National Rifle Association of the United Kingdom

National Rifle Association of the United Kingdom
National Rifle Association of the United Kingdom
Motto Sit Perpetuum (May it last forever)
Formation 1859
Type Shooting sports
Official languages English

The National Rifle Association of the United Kingdom (NRA) is the governing body of full bore rifle and pistol shooting sports in the United Kingdom.



The National Rifle Association was founded in 1859,[1] twelve years before its better known American cousin. The Association has recently added the suffix "of the United Kingdom" to its website tagline. Its founding aim was to raise the funds for an annual national rifle meeting (now known as the Imperial Meeting) "for the promotion of marksmanship in the interests of Defence of the Realm and permanence of the Volunteer Forces, Navy, Military and Air".[1]

In 1890, Queen Victoria granted the NRA a Royal Charter of Incorporation.[2]

2009 marked the 150th Anniversary of the National Rifle Association of the United Kingdom. These days the Association is primarily concerned with civilian full-bore target rifle shooting, although retaining its military heritage and close links with the British Armed Forces.[3]

In 2006, the NRA founded the National Association of Target Shooting Sports (NATSS) working group in association with the NSRA and CPSA, to explore the practicalities and benefits of a merger between the bodies. The project was shelved in July 2009.

The National Shooting Centre

The principal ranges used at Bisley today are as originally laid out in 1890 to accommodate modern full-bore rifle shooting.[4] Century Range provides 108 points at distances up to 600 yards.[5] Stickledown Range is the largest long range in the UK with 50 targets and firing points from 800 to 1200 yards.[5] There is also the Short Siberia Range with points at 100 and 200 yards.[5] There used to be a Long Siberia Range which was originally a 600 yard range. This is now used by Bisley Shooting Ground (a commercial sporting clay shooting organisation) as a sporting clay Range. BSG also operate Cottesloe Heath, which lies in the danger area for Century Range and thus is subject to time limitations. The Running Deer Range (operated by the British Sporting Rifle Club) has facilities for moving targets at up to 100 metres.[5]

Pistol shooting was also well accommodated with Melville, Cheylesmore and Winans ranges.[5] The original Cheylesmore Range was opened for the 1948 Summer Olympics: recently relocated, it still facilitates 35 lanes at 25 metres[6][5]. To cater for the increased popularity of pistol shooting, Melville Range, also offering 60 lanes for shooting at both 25 and 50 metres, was opened in 1983 and Winans (now closed) [5] was renamed Winans from Gallery in 1993.

Clay pigeon shooting has taken place at Bisley since the early 1920s. The facilities were greatly expanded to accommodate the 2002 Commonwealth Games shooting, when the National Clay Shooting Centre was opened. The NCSC offers world class facilities for DTL, Skeet, ABT, Double Trap and Universal Trench. Bisley Shooting Ground, a commercial clay shooting operator, runs extensive sporting clay facilities on the Cottesloe Heath and Long Siberia ranges.[5].


See also

External links

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