Q & A

How do I join the Club?
Over the last few years our Club has been oversubscribed so we operate a waiting list which is currently around 1.5-2 years.  If you are interested in taking up shooting with us please let us know by completing our contact form.  Once you are on the list you will be invited to attend one of our Visitors’ Days. These take place approximately twice a year when we normally invite around 12-15 people from the top of the waiting list.  On that day you will meet with the Club officials and some members and will be given a tour of the Club so that you can see the facilities on offer.  Our Club Secretary will explain how the Club works and your obligations should you wish to become a member.  If time permits (and if suitable supervision is available) you may be given an opportunity to have a go on our indoor range (but this is not guaranteed).  After your visit, should you still wish to join you will then need to make a formal application. (Please note there is an administration fee of £25 payable when you submit your application form). Your details are submitted to the police for background checking and, if accepted, you will become a Probationary Member for a minimum of 3 months, during which time you will need to visit the Club on a regular basis.  The length of time for probationary membership is dependent on a number of factors, two being your ability to shoot safely and also the availability of Club officials – we all work on a voluntary basis and most are employed full time as well so on occasions approved Probationary Members may have to wait a while before their applications can be processed.

How much does it cost to use the Club facilities?
Membership currently stands at £215 per year.  This is payable on or before 1 January each year.  Probationary members pay visitors’ fee of £6 every time they attend the Club until such time that they are offered membership, when the pro-rata membership fee is then charged.

How old  do I need to be to shoot at the Club
The minimum age to join our club is 10 years old and we welcome junior members.  However, anyone shooting at the Club must also have the stature and strength to be able to safely use the equipment. People under the age of 18 attending the Club will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Do I need to have previous shooting experience?
No, beginners are welcome.

Does the Club provide training?
Yes we do. All new members, including those who have shot before, are assessed for their abilities and skill level and if training is required it is provided by our range officers. This is free of charge.  Our aim is to make the sport enjoyable for all.

What are the opening times of the Club?
Our Club is open Monday to Friday evenings (excluding Thursdays),  Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings.  Whilst most disciplines can be shot when the Club is open there are specific days for air and .22 and priority on the ranges is given to people shooting those disciplines.

Are you able to accept people with disabilities?
Our Club has disabled access for wheelchair users and some disciplines can be adapted to suit those less able-bodied shooters. Benchrest for example is an excellent way for disabled shooters to be able to compete on the same level as other members. We are striving to improve our facilities for less able bodied shooters and our members always do their best to help everyone enjoy their time at the Club.

How often need to shoot?
We do not stipulate an exact number of visits for full members but we do expect them to attend on a regular basis.  Probationary members need to attend a minimum of 10 times over the minimum 3-month probationary period to be considered for a place at the Club.

Can I try out shooting at the Club?
There are strict rules governing when members of the public are allowed on approved ranges and regretfully therefore, we are unable to let people come to the Club except on designated Visitors’ Days. These days are generally reserved for competitions and waiting list visits.

I already have an FAC. Can I shoot at your Club?
Unfortunately, being an FAC holder does not automatically allow you to use our facilities.  The Club is for members only and you would be permitted to shoot only on designated Visitors’ days or if you attend by invitation from another member, after clearance from the Club Secretary.

I do not have my own equipment. Can I borrow any from the Club?
We do have equipment available for all disciplines which probationary members and full members are welcome to use.  Similarly, should you have your own equipment you are welcome to  use it at the Club.

Do I have to take part in competitions?
We are a competitive club and whilst not essential, we actively encourage all of our members to take part.  Most are involved in postal shoots but we also have teams which shoot for Somerset, Bristol and District and also at open shoots across the country.  Some of our members have also represented the UK overseas. 

What is the difference between (rimfire) small bore and (centre fire) full-bore?
Generally, a weapon which shoots .22 and under in rimfire is classed as small bore. All other calibres that are centre fire are classed as full bore.

Calibre is the approximate internal diameter of the barrel in relation to the diameter of the ammunition used in it. Full bore shooting normally takes place at greater distances than small bore, often up to 1000 yards. Prone competition shooting at Portishead Shooting Club is generally limited to .22 small bore at distances of 25 or 100 yards. We also shoot center fire (gallery rifles) at these distances although they are done from a standing position. Centre fire full bore is shot indoors.


Have a question? Please check out our FAQ page for answers to many of the common queries raised.