A personal history of the club by Malcolm Buswell

Due to failing health Malcolm resigned as our President in 2012.  Several months later in 2013 he sadly succumbed to his illness.  He has the distinction of, to date, being the longest serving member spanning a term of almost 65 years, having joined in 1947.

In 1955 Malcolm was elected Treasurer, a job that he looked after until just a few years ago before resigning.  As Treasurer Malcolm guided the club financially, to the present site in 1969, where the indoor range was completed in 1972. Later developments, 100 yard range then the 50 metre range and the extension to the indoor range were all carefully overseen by Malcolm as treasurer.

As President he was always at the club to meet and greet visitors attending various shoots  He also took pride in representing the Club at outside functions.

The club was an important part of his life and we have all benefited from his efforts in building the facility that we enjoy today.

Malcolm wrote a personal history of the club from his recollections and experiences.  This is shown below.


Havant Rifle & Pistol Club

Established 1943

  A Personal History


Malcolm Buswell


This  is dedicated to the 400 – 500 persons who have become, for their time, members of Havant Rifle and Pistol Club. Although told through my involvement within the club, most credit is due to the many who have demonstrated their skills at planning, administration and construction of the buildings and who have also given of their support to shooting sports by regular commitment to teams and matches – “enjoyment being their reward”.



 At the Beginning

.22 shooting practice was encouraged during World War 2 and when, in 1943, a shooting section of the Havant & Horndean Home Guard decided to ask for a night, then two nights, to be set aside so that their Drill Hall range could be used solely for its own members shooting practice plans, the groundwork for the formation of Havant Rifle Club was put in place.

The first General Meeting was held in this range at the Connaught Drill Hall, Park Road South, Havant on 31st October 1944. This hall was later pulled down and built over it was a shop, to be let to Perrings Furnishers, which later became McDonalds fast food outlet, and a corner of the site is now the location of the Havant Tourist Information Office and entrance to a multi-Storey car park.

At this first meeting it was agreed that the Havant Home Guard Rifle Club become affiliated to the Society of Miniature Rifle Clubs. Elected as officers were:

President          Sir Dymoke White

Vice President  Mr J McIlroy

No treasurer was appointed.

It was announced that the first match would be against Southern Railway Rifle Club on 13th November 1944. Members present included W. Graham, H.B.Seward and W.J.Seward, who all continued to shoot in club teams for many years.

In 1947 there were hundreds of tons of coal stored in the Bedhampton chalk pit where Habitat/Wessex Bowl and Homebase now are. Amongst the coal owned by the Bedhampton Coal Co. there was just room for a 100 yard .303 range. My own introduction started when, as a small boy, then just aged 13, I was somehow invited into this chalk pit one Sunday morning to have a go.

Alongside were members of the RNVR and Havant Home Guard. My instructor was Lt Cdr Bryan Bulpitt RNVR, a friend of my father and who soon after became Chairman of the re-named Havant Rifle Club, before eventually emigrating to New Zealand.

.303 shooting did not last for very long, but I continued shooting, by starting on .22 in Havant Drill Hall, and by joining the shooting squad in the cadet corps at school, eventually getting into the school VIII and captaining them in the Sussex County School competitions and the Ashburton Shield at Bisley.

Still able to shoot at Havant in the school holidays, I was able to appear in the club photograph taken in 1949 that is now on the present club’s wall. However, late in 1947 a letter had arrived from Havant Borough Council reducing the two allocated nights to one – so that Hayling Home Guard could have their own shooting night. This was to prove insufficient for both practice and match nights in view of the increasing numbers of members of the Havant section.

One day in December of that same year, three wise men sat together on a Bench in West Street, Havant. In discussion the subject of the winding down of the Home Guard was broached. One said to another, “You own some land across the road, don’t you?” O u t of this conversation between Bryan Bulpitt J.P., MBE, J. Rankin McIlroy J.P. and Sir Dymoke White, Bart, J.P. whilst sitting on the Havant Bench together dealing with the felons of Havant, came the decision to move site.

Sir Dymoke White held the trump card.

The club’s third AGM had passed a resolution that anyone scoring a 9 in a league match should be fined one penny and two pence for an 8 – for the benefit of club funds.

Thus proving funds were available, the three JPs conspired together to get the Brockhampton Land Company, majority owned by Sir Dymoke, to offer the club for rent some land it owned at the southern end of the British Legion in Brockhampton Lane, Havant. So, with fines building up funds, the club decided in 1948 to affiliate to the Hampshire Smallbore Rifle Association, and planned to move into the Legion grounds, at a rent of £10 per year for 21 years.

The move did not go according to plan. With all permissions granted came a letter, from the government Ministry of Supply, refusing an allocation of timber to start work. Perhaps all available timber was needed for some new housing being built, at a place called Leigh Park, nearby.

Club chairman Bryan Bulpitt, armed with the support of letters from Sir Dymoke White, Mr Mcllroy and W.J. Seward, club secretary, went to see the Regional Licensing Officer in London, as a result of which, it transpired, Buck Taylor was allowed to go to Leigh Park in search of wood.

The new indoor 25 yard range was built in 1951, with the club room being heated with an American Coke stove in the centre – which proved just too hot at times.

Meanwhile, at the AGM in September 1951 the members voted to double the subscription from 5 shillings to 10 shillings per year, payable quarterly and the club held an inaugural buffet consisting of sandwiches, sausage rolls, coffee, tea, trifles, fancy cakes and ice cream. Amongst all this is a note that in the same year the rifle team had won the Duttson Cup, a local cup knockout for teams of four.

The next few years saw shooting improve both in quality and in quantity of people joining the club, including a section from RAF Thorney Island, who came as their own team, but were asked to join Havant as individual members. The club was thus able to attract several to shoulder-to-shoulder shooting and thus select them as members of Havant teams.

Some employees of the John Wyeth Industrial League team also joined Havant at the same time.

In 1954 there was a demand to extend shooting into the pistol discipline, and accordingly a night was allocated for .22 pistol shooting, the first shots being fired by Sir Dymoke White.

The subscription was raised to twelve shillings and sixpence, and the treasurer resigned. It was thus left to the secretary to collect the subscription. One such subscription was missing, and, when tracked down, Ian Hammond was found to be in Italy, competing for Great Britain at pistol in the Games commemorating the centenary of the Unification of Italian States. Ian was the club’s first international shot, and, of course, in those days had to pay his own way to Italy to compete.

By this time, I was serving out my two years National Service in Cyprus, and competed in the Middle East rifle and Bren gun championships. On my return to the club, Bryan Bulpitt found out that I was to start an accountancy career, and so, in 1955, he believed I had become a fit person to be nominated by him to become Treasurer, which I accepted, except for the few times when assistance was needed while I was working, away. I struggled to raise the subscription each year – and for the next 43 years, it seems.

Gradually, the club became more well known, competing in local, county and national .22 rifle and pistol leagues, without, apparently winning very much. Until 1958 – when the rifle team competing at Whale Island won the 25 yd indoor sharpshooter events, and at Chilcomb down the County event.

The next year, the successes were repeated, so the club entered the National Knockout on the final day of the annual Bisley National Meeting and won the Cheylesmore Cup for disc breaking at 100 yards. News of this was spotted by Southern Television and the interview was transmitted live from the Southampton studios.

The frames holding the discs consisted of two pieces of chipboard (paper target size) placed back to back, 6 inches apart, with damp newspaper packed between them – very effective as no bullets appeared to reach the rear piece of board.

Snaps 1

In a match at the former Wickham range, Bill Graham shot a first sighter, saw it was a bull, and then knocked his telescope off the stage. Undaunted he fired his complete match card, the result being a ‘possible’ 100.

At Gamble Road, visiting teams would stand in a circle like penguins, moving round in turn to put their backsides next to the only source of warmth, a heater fixed to the clubroom wall.

Charles Ashton scored up one match, and then turned to his team saying he could not remember scoring any of his detail’s cards. All 16 cards were shot upside down, and not one firer had noticed.

Teams entered in the disc breaking competitions were regularly called Havant-a-Clue, Havant-a-Hope and Havant-a-Chance. Once, an additional team was called Havant-a-Club.

On one return from Bisley, the team stopped outside the Red Lion, Chalton for a beer and to finish their picnic lunches. Hard-boiled eggs were banged against the table all together but none of them had been cooked!

The 1960’s

After the excitement of the summer, October saw the start of return to normality with the 1959/60 season opening league matches, with the decade showing sonic successes. In 1962, Havant Rifle team won the Edmund Shield and repeated this in 1977 and each year from 1979 to1984.

In 1964, Gordon Coldman arranged, on a handshake, with Mr D. Hoare of Adsdean Farm Supplies, the use of a small chalk pit at Funtington to be used by Havant Rifle Club for up to 100 yard rifle shooting outdoors.

This gave Havant the chance to compete in the Summer National League for the first time. Very little work was needed – just a concrete platform from which to shoot. Some pistol shooting was also possible from a standing position alongside each end of the platform.

The resulting increase in the quantity of shooting continued into increasing the quality of results, and in 1966 Havant, at last, managed to win the Portsmouth & District Indoor Rifle League team championship for the first time, the start of a run that saw the club win 15 times in the next 18 years. The trophy for this, the Peters Cup, records winners for each year as far back as 1910.

The Move to Southleigh

By 1969 the club had become well established and was becoming well recognised for its successes locally and nationally for its rifle and pistol achievements. The summer time outdoor shooting captured the interest of established shooters from other local and West Sussex clubs, whose members Joined Havant as individual members, but who were encouraged to return to their own clubs for winter competition, thus maintaining the quantity of winter league teams.

From 1949 all went well for 20 years. Mr Bulpitt had succeeded Sir Dymoke White as President who maintained his contact With the club. However the death of Sir Dymoke occurred in 1969, with just two years of the Brockhampton lease remaining.

A part of the story of my involvement with Havant Rifle Club has so far not been told. My father had shared A.R.P. (Air Raid Precautions) duties with Bryan Bulpitt and Rankin Mcllroy during World War 2, and all three shared similar retail business connections. Throughout my childhood we were as a family friendly with Mr Arthur Jones and his two daughters through our membership of Emsworth sailing Club. The connection here is that Mr Jones was land agent to Sir Dymoke White’s estates. Through this link the continuing activity of Havant Rifle Club always reached Sir Dymoke’s ears.

The club became aware of pressure on its continuance in Havant, as it became apparent that the Brockhampton Land Company had become bequeathed to Sir Dymoke White’s daughter, who had married an admiral, and the farming land later forming Southleigh Estates was left to his son, Mr Lynton S. White, who farmed at East Meon. The admiral was not as interested in the club and decided to sell all the land in the Brockhampton area for industrial development, and thus the club was told that its lease would not be renewed on its expiry in 1972.

Arthur Jones was asked if he could seek ideas from Lynton White as to what might happen to the club. The exciting response was to ask the committee if they would like the opportunity to check out these three possible sites:

1                    a corner within Southleigh Farm

2                    in the field opposite BUPA’s entrance

3                    behind the cottages in Southleigh Forest.

With an almost full attendance of the club committee each site was visited and, hopefully, the right decision was made – for 21 years at £1 per annum.  Roy Weaver was left with two years to plan and build an indoor range, with the complication of us moving out of Havant Borough and into East Hampshire. This was to be the first of what became the 5 stages of development at Southleigh Forest.

At work, in Portsmouth Dockyard, Roy had by chance sitting next to him the son of one of Petersfield’s planning officers. Thus plans for an indoor range were drawn up without too many visits to Petersfield, and once these had obtained the required planning and building regulation consent modifications could be made. Thus the club range has only single skinned walls – an uninsulated building that kept the cost down.

There were also some rumours – a fully fledged caravan holiday park next to us, a BUPA hospital opposite, a re-siting of Portsmouth Grammar School to the west of BUPA and a retail site alongside the railway bridge. Sir Dymoke White’s house was sold to Plessey, but only BUPA came to fruition and a garden centre by the railway bridge.

The Southleigh Forest indoor 5 firing point range was built during the summer on 1972 and was ready for the start of the indoor season, with the lease being signed on November 7th 1972.

Three teams were to compete in the Portsmouth Rifle League and various pistol teams in postal competitions initially, with space to shoot becoming a premium very soon. In one year – (1970/71) – Havant had 5 rifle teams in the shoulder-to- shoulder league with one team having to alternate weekly on a Thursday pistol night.

Snaps 2

A Morris Minor, hood down, was seen one evening along the top of Portsdown Hill, then going down to Whale Island, with 4 people up, the large Woolgar Shield showing high above the rear seat, two rifles held up either side, there being insufficient room in the car boot for more than the jacket and ‘scope cases.

Barry Wood (Southbourne), Roy Weaver (Emsworth), Malcolm Buswell (Havant), Barry Hall (West Street) and H.B.Seward (Bedhampton) would sometimes meet up on the same No. 31 bus to matches, each carrying his own rifle and equipment case.

Some of the ranges in the area which have closed – Grammar School, Southern Railway, Royal Insurance, H.M.S. Vernon, Elm Road, Gamble Road, Old Cosham Post Office, H.M.S. Nelson, Portsmouth Gas, G.E.C., Hilsea T.A.Centre, Moneyfields and Dockyard.

Shooting a league match at H.M.S. Vernon, Havant scored 799 out of

800 – with best six to count out of eight shooting – who was unlucky enough to be counted out with a score of 100?

Additions at Southleigh

The second stage was started when, by 1976, it was becoming certain that Adsdean was not of sufficient capacity for the needs of outdoor shooting. Mr Jones had, by now, retired and Mr. Lynton White’s own land agent, Mr Geoffrey Ayres, took over at Southleigh Estates. Somehow Sid Pitt got to know Mr. Ayres and suggested that when the moment was right we might wangle a further piece of land out of, the now, Sir Lynton White. I was left with the job of writing to Mr. Ayres to ask if we might tread through the land beyond our indoor range for about 120 yards. It seemed Sid Pitt had got his word in first, so he was left with the job of organising the clearing of the scrubland, then single- handed levelling it with a garden rake, incorporating a widened fence line to ensure the required 7˚ shooting angles on the 100 yard site.

In 1978 Mr. Ayres wrote to the club to ask if we had sufficient land as Sir Lynton White wished to document the 100 yard range into our lease. The committee dared to ask if whether or not the fence line from the entrance gate to the North East corner of the butts could be straightened. It ran from the gate parallel to the indoor range as far as the 100 yard firing point and then turned outward by 7˚.

The response was a misrepresentation of the request, and offered the club a 7˚ angle from the entrance gate, thus widening the side of the whole site for its full length. This the club gratefully accepted, together with Southleigh Estates offer to build a post and wire fence along this new line and also behind the butts at right angles to the road. A revised lease was signed on February 20th 1978 to incorporate the additional land.

The butts were widened to the new line with the addition of earth supplied by Dave Pike from the new solid spoil tip adjacent to the range. A post and timber cover was built over the concrete base forming, the 100 yard firing point.

June 27th 1978 saw the official opening of the outdoor range, with an invitation team event being held for rifle and pistol on 16th/17th September. Repeated every autumn since, this shoot has become known as the “Final Fling”.

Stage 3 was planned following growing demand for range time by the pistol and air weapons sections. It was agreed that now the car park was wider there was room to add a side extension to the indoor range, of three firing points of 25 yards, and to enlarge the club room. In honour of Roy Weaver’ s work on the main indoor building and on the outdoor site this was to be named “The Weaver Range” just prior to his moving to Scotland.

Before building work was started the treasurer had obtained and completed Sports Grant application forms, carefully stating the alms and achievements of the club to a standard formula. This resulted in the Hampshire Playing Fields Association issuing a non-repayable grant of £5,391 as a proportion of the completed cost of “The Weaver Range”. This was received in 1982.

Earlier in 1982 Mr Ayres had asked if the club had a firm of solicitors acting for it. Dick Knight, who was employed at Lloyds Bank in Southsea, was able to introduce me to Mr. Ward of Large and Gibson who acted as the bank’s local solicitor.

It followed that from Birchams, one of the largest firms of London solicitors, we received not a lease extension document but a draft Deed of Intent of Gift of the whole three acres that the site plan showed and an intent to scrap the 1972 lease with its 1978 addition.

This gift reflected the patronage the Dymoke White family had shown to the club since 1943, and was part of Sir Lynton White’s plans to divest himself of his interests in Southleigh Estates Ltd. -particularly so after the building of the BUPA hospital and sale of the tip to George Ewen Ltd. This tip was then operated by the Onyx Group and eventually passed on to Veolia.

After much red ink and four attempts at drafting with myself, a final Deed of Gift was prepared in London, signed, and a Land Registry Charge Certificate issued showing the outline of our land. Much behind the scenes work had also completed, hopefully successfully, but since the signing on the 14th October 1982, no problems have arisen that have not been overcome. Had the club not continued to function, the site could have reverted to the donor, with compensation for work earned out on the site to be agreed in arbitration by an independent, qualified valuer.

In October 2001, Mr Ward, by now in retirement, remembers being involved and recalls the Deed was not that straightforward to agree to!

Stage 4 was planned to increase the comforts of shooting outdoors and was carried out over the winter of 1987/88. Planning permission was obtained to demolish the timber firing point and construct the fully enclosed 12 position breeze block and garage doored area that exists now.

This was intended to improve firing conditions and range safety and enclose shooters away from the car park distractions. The range was fitted with equipment benches and recently electricity was fed in with the intention of permitting air weapon shooting along the length of the covered area.

The treasurer had again submitted an application for a grant for construction of the building and £3,500 was eventually received.

By 1990 the need for a separate firing point for 25yd/50m shooting had been assessed. The extra land to the right of the 100 yard range had not been brought into full use, separation from the main area being an earth bank the full length of the range.

Two modifications to the 100 yard range were needed:

The butt sleepers were taken down and additional soil brought in to increase the height and extend the butts to the full width of the land. To replace the sleepers a timber overhead baffle was constructed halfway down the 100 yard range reaching across the right hand range area as well. This was to assist the prevention of stray shots going over the main butts, and extended use of the open spare land was now made possible.

Plans were drawn up for Stage 5 by Eric Bryant with an architect’s help, for a 10 firing point covered area on the 50 metre range, to be built in 1991/92. The first stage was a wall from the butts back to the new point to separate the ground from the 100 yard range. The building was to be of l,350 sq.ft. with the front left open and a large assembly area at the rear. Mrs Jackie Davies came up trumps with a bricklayer whilst club members built the roof and concreted the floor.

From this time onward, increasing range construction standards expressed by the Technical Arms Service (Army, Warminster) caused much discussion in committee prior to implementation.

In 1998/99 various initiatives on range safety standards were carried out, including cutting a path at half height across the butts to hinder soil slippage and to produce the minimum height angle of 34˚. This included the placement of 3,000 bags of sand against the top half of the bank, which had contained much gravel that might cause ricochets. More sand was added to the lower half for the same reason.

At the same time, the whole 100 yard range ground area was topped with gravel free soil and grass seeded and, in an attempt to make the car park a drier place in the winter, crushed old concrete was spread. Throughout the club has been most grateful for the lorries and loads of infill kindly provided from the tip site owners alongside the range.

Unfortunately, and to the detriment of shooting sports generally in this country, tragic events at Hungerford in 1994 then at Dunblane, resulted in a complete ban on pistol and revolver shooting in .22 calibre and above, which caused a reduction in shooting members at this and other clubs.

Havant, meanwhile, were able to continue discussions with the NSRA and NRA to resolve queries relating to carbine licensing so that there would be no restriction on the use of under lever gallery rifles in pistol calibres over .22 up to .45 on the 50 metre range.

The club also proceeded with the reroofing of the original roofs of the two indoor ranges, completing this work in the summer of 2000.

With most of the building work on the Southleigh Forest site now completed, attention was turned to endeavouring to replace the lost .22 pistol activities and the club is grateful to the initiatives taken by:

John Wilson, the club’s former pistol captain, to introduce archery to the club. Claude Close, who formed a lightweight sporting rifle section, now expanded into a Portsmouth area shoulder to shoulder league, and to David Cole, who guided the club into black powder single shot pistol and revolver disciplines.

At the 2001 Annual General Meeting the chairman, Mick Upton, made members aware of the need to bring the indoor ranges up to the level of recent M.O.D. standards. These would include lengthening the range to incorporate updated bullet catching arrangements, increasing the assembly area behind firers, a smooth floor to be laid and lead dust extraction systems.

Snaps 3

During the 1960’s, Worplesdon Rifle Club invited Havant often to fill one of the remaining firing points at the last 16 finals of the National Knockout .22 rifle shoot. Havant finished 17th by a long way each time, but the atmosphere of competing alongside most of the Great Britain international shots was very instructive,

At Adsdean, shooting was regularly interrupted if a horse and rider passed by on the footpath alongside the range. Boats passing behind the butts at Tlpner similarly were also stopping shooting during Portsmouth & District outdoor meetings.

Membership numbers of 65 were recorded at the time of the move to Southleigh Forest. By 1978 this had reached 91 and at April 1984 was stated to be 127.

The range has been hired for various competitions including Portsmouth v Banbury, Fareham v Royan, Hampshire Police events, Navy team practice, Worthing PSK events, inter town matches Portsmouth v Worthing and Brighton and a ladies team match Portsmouth v Worthing/ Gosport/ Southampton. The shooting events of the Hants & I.O.W. Games were shot at Southleigh in the years the games were hosted by Havant Borough and there were pistol events against Springfield.

In 1977, The Havant Club had the only facility in Hampshire and West Sussex where both indoor and outdoor target shooting was available on the same site. Also in 1977, David Cole won the British Junior Pistol air weapons championship at Bisley and between 1975 and 1979 had shot for the British Junior team in the World Pistol championships and also competed in Yugoslavia, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and France.

In 1979, Malcolm Buswell won the Havant & Portsmouth Winter League Division 1 rifle individual championship, but found there was no trophy for this. The Portsmouth Association had always believed the league overall champion would be competing in Division 1. This did not happen in 1978/79 when the overall winner competed in division two at HMS Nelson – his name was Malcolm Cooper!

In 1981, Havant finished second to Birmingham in the Summer British National 50m/ 100yd outdoor league in which 380 teams had competed in 40 divisions. This represented the highest ever level reached by a Havant team in a national league.

In this revision of the club booklet it  becomes possible to record the activity up to a period in which Eric Bryant asked for help that would be needed to maintain and improve a site of this size. A proposal to commit members to 10 hours of work as a condition of membership was defeated at an AGM.

To try to overcome the demise of the .22 pistol section, John Wilson formed an archery section and Claude Close a lightweight sporting rifle section. The latter has expanded rapidly and a local shoulder to shoulder league formed. The club also began 50m black powder competition.

Meanwhile, working parties succeeded in replacing the remaining sections of the indoor ranges roof. The target rifle team again won the Hants and IOW Games and also the Arthur Lee cup twice in succession. Subscriptions were increased at the June 2000 AGM.  Archery equipment was by now fully available, but John Wilson pointed out that all that is needed for the discipline to continue is archers!

During the year leading up to the 2002 AGM the club and its solicitor prepared the way for the transfer of the site from the Deed of Gift into full ownership through Trustees with no outside party having an interest.

To effect this, all existing Trustees retired, only one of these being reappointed. At 31st December 2006 the Trustees were Gordon Powell, Dick Knight, Eric Bryant and Dave Gilbert. Their function is to ensure the Committee acts and operates in the best interests of the Club in ownership and use of the land.

25th June 2003 was the 60th time of assembly of members for an AGM, 35 of which represent shooting at Southleigh Forest. We all appreciate that, over time, premises etc. depreciate unless fully maintained. Accordingly a programme of repair and new building was initiated which will probably cost £80,000 by the time work on this phase is completed. In 2002 /03 a top surface was applied to the car park, the butts were re- dressed with sand to conform to the required angle, and footings dug to lengthen the two indoor ranges. There was still time in 2003 to host the Hants and IOW games and to introduce sporting rifle and air matches to the event’s activities. Havant won the target rifle and lightweight sporting rifle events.

During 2005 we learned of the death of Sir Lynton White (after whom our main indoor range is named) and of his widow Lady Phyllis White, whom many remember visiting our range to pass it formally into our possession from the original Deed of Gift.

The following year, Mr Robert White, their son, presented the prizes at our AGM and spoke of the White family history. Our President, in reply, reflected on his own knowledge of the club site as a youngster in the 1940’s. The members then by acclaim elected Mr White as a Patron of the club.

With the above all safely signed and sealed the work started previously could now be continued with gusto by Eric Bryant’s team of volunteers, with outside help where necessary.

So far, they have reinstated and covered the drainage ditch, replaced outdoor target frames, car park floodlights, the car park surface, indoor and 100yd range roofs, the White and Weaver range butts, the gent’s toilet, the sand on the outdoor butts, and repaired the 100yd firing point garage doors, and also built a target store and workshop – plus completely renovating the club room.

At the same time, the club has hosted more shooting activities: the Portsmouth Open, Final Fling, Springfield meetings, Hants and IOW Games, Goodwood  Pony Club and disabled groups.

If anything can breed success, it is involvement and willingness to assist, compete and then manage, that has made the Havant Rifle and Pistol Club a success locally and nationally.

The facilities now available will doubtless in themselves attract competitors to the club This booklet is intended to show the 65 year history of this club through my own eyes, and I hope the sport will continue for many more years to come.

As I conclude my shooting after 58 years, it gives me pleasure to record the latest success in rifle – the ‘A’ team winning the Portsmouth and District shoulder-to-shoulder League without a tie or a defeat. Congratulations also to Tony Thornhill for winning two Gold awards during the winter season for muzzle-loading rifle in Patch Ball 50m and Free Rifle 100 yards competition.

Meanwhile, attendances at the range continue to increase. In 2005/06 and average 67 shot each week in their various disciplines, either in practice or in matches, rising to 72 in 2006/07 and to 85 in the current year.

Recent rifle results show Havant ‘A’ again won the Portsmouth Shoulder-to-Shoulder League, and this time added the 50m National Outdoor Winter League Division 2 title. Bill Baird took part in the Interservices Meeting at Bisley and was second in the Grand Aggregate and standing and kneeling events.

The two Light Sporting Rifle teams both won their divisions and are to be promoted to National League divisions 1 and 2.

As Treasurer for the majority of this personal record of the Club’s history, I remain confident that the camaraderie that exists will ensure our facilities will continue to improve and thereby attract more target shooters to join us and maintain the competition achievements we have already gained.

With most of the building work on the Southleigh Forest site now completed, attention was turned to endeavouring to replace the lost .22 pistol activities and the club is grateful to the initiatives taken by:

John Wilson, the club’s former pistol captain, to introduce archery to the club.

Claude Close, who formed a lightweight sporting rifle section, now expanded into a Portsmouth area shoulder to shoulder league.

David Cole, who guided the club into black powder single shot pistol and revolver disciplines.

Shooting in the 1980s

The 1980’s was the decade in which individual members proved their ability in a wider field.

Neil Braisher shot for England in the Pershing Trophy at Camp Perry, USA and at Suhl in Germany in 1982, at Joensu in Finland in 1984 and won the British Prone Rifle Championship, shot at Bisley, four times in succession, equalling the British record.

Alex Welch represented England in the Under 25’s Match v Switzerland at Bedford in 1984 and won the British Junior (Rhodes Cup) at Bisley. Alan Perry shot in several home countries international matches and representedg Great Britain in the Pershing Trophy shot in America, where he tied with Neil Braisher for the top individual score.

Gordon Perry, P. Probert and J. Draper shot together in Gibraltar whilst representing the Royal Navy.

In 1988 Havant became the only club ever to have filled the three top positions in the British Prone Individual Rifle Championships – 1st Neil Braisher, 2nd Alan Perry,  3rd  Malcolm Cooper, who got his own back by winning the next year.  This record of one club filling the first three places still stands today.  As does a County filling the first four places.  Phil Wooldridge came fourth and subsequently joined Havant

Malcolm and Sarah Cooper, who had met at HMS Nelson in 1969 and married in 1974, carried Havant’s name throughout the world. Some of their successes are reprinted on page 20 but were also recorded on television.

Sarah Cooper was British Ladies Champion in 1974 and together they won the small-bore pairs event for England at the 1986 Commonwealth Games, fitted in between Malcolm’s two successful Olympic titles – Los Angeles in 1984 and Seoul in 1988. Malcolm had also been selected for the 1980 Moscow Games but the shooting sports withdrew before travelling.

To mark his achievements, on his return in 1988, Malcolm was awarded the accolade of an M.B.E. and was offered the Presidency of the Havant Rifle Club, which he accepted and served until his unfortunate illness and death in 2001.

Transcript of the introduction to the interview with Malcolm Cooper on BBC TV ‘Out to Win’ on October 9th 1979, partly filmed at Havant RPC Range. .

“This a championship full bore rifle and if you can hold it as steady as that – well, after a few years practice, you might be able to give the man who is holding it here, Malcolm Cooper of Portsmouth something of a run for his money. He has to be very special, though, as Malcolm is one of our National, European and World shooting champions.

….despite all the gloom.. …World and European Standing Champion at 300 metres and European small-bore champion at 50 metres, second in the world at 50 metres in all three competitions at all three shooting positions combined, namely Prone, Kneeling and Standing.

That’s quite a list, but first of all, for now you can talk a little about the small-bore rifle ……….”

 Shooting from 1990-2001

In the aftermath of success, the retirements of Malcolm Cooper and Neil Braisher in 1991 meant a return to more routine and individual competition with successes still achieved at local, county and national league levels. This is particularly rewarding following the changes in competition requirements following changes in the law preventing .22 pistol leagues from 1998 onwards.

Subsequent successes include:-

1998  National Outdoor Summer League

Alan Perry, 47th   and M. Restall, 57th  out of 841 shooters.

1999  Summer 6 yards Air Pistol League

D.Dumbrell 8th , E. Bryant 9th

Lightweight Sporting Rifle Standing Individual League

P.Tester 2nd, Class A, G.Powell 2nd  & C.Close 6th, Class B

6 Yard Air-Pistol Individual League

D. Dumbrell 3rd  Class B

Standing Air Pistol Individual League

D. Gilbert 14th, Class A

ISSF 10 metre Standard Air Pistol Individual League.

D. Gilbert 5th  Class A

2000/01 Portsmouth Shoulder to Shoulder Rifle League

‘A’ team 1st, Div. 1, ‘B’ team 2nd Div. 2 and promoted

2001  National PSK Rifle League – 1st Div. 3

National 50 meter Rifle League – 1st  Div. 6, 1st Div. 12

National 50yd Metric league – 1st  Div. 13

Any Sights  League – 1st Div. 4

Havant Final Fling Invitation Match – 3rd

Club shooters continued to show an interest in shooting away from the club with Rob Watts taking third place at an air weapon event at Okehampton and also winning an award from Havant Sports Council, whilst Duncan Farmer, Bill Baird, Alan and Claire Perry shot well at rifle open meetings and at Bisley.

In the past 60 years many keen members have devoted their time and energies to building up the club to its present levels – these include :-

Chairmen –       B.Bulpitt, J.Jameson, M.Upton, G. Smith, A. Perry

Secretaries –     M.Child, W.J.Seward, J.Gatland, B.Upton, R.Weaver, C.Smart, D.Cole, K. Lefevre

Treasurers –      H.B. Seward, B.Hall, M.Buswell, Mrs M.Rigby

The Builders – most members have contributed. They are fully represented in the three pages of photograph albums kept in the club.

The Shooters – who have won the Individual Club Championships within their spheres of activity.

Rifle –  S.A. Scott, P. Probert, M. Buswell, A. Abbott, N.Braisher, G.Perry, M. Reynolds, P. Terry,                                                                                         A. Perry F. Hounsell, M. Restall

.22 Pistol –  B. Stubbs, J. Anderson, J. Wilson, D. Gilbert

Air Rifle –   A.Shaw, A.Syms, T.Millson, P.Fowler, C.Smith, I.Thompson                              N. Cantwell

Air Pistol –  D.Cole, R.Eneas, A.Millson, D.Gilbert, A.Syms, Mrs M. Rigby

In this revision of the club booklet it becomes possible to record the activity up to a period in which Eric Bryant asked for help that would be needed to maintain and improve a site of this size. A proposal to commit members to 10 hours of work as a condition of membership was defeated at an AGM.


Malcolm Cooper
Double Olympic gold medallist
Club president 1988 – 2001

Range Opening Times

Evening sessions start around 7pm, Saturday and Sunday mornings about 9am, and Saturday afternoon about 2pm. These times may vary.
No shooting is allowed on the outdoor ranges between 21:30 and 8:00 without prior agreement

10M Air Range: Only Air Rifles & Pistols under 6ftlbs may be used on this range

General Points

  • Your name must be entered on the appropriate sheet and the range fee (currently £2.00) paid prior to shooting. In the event that the Clubhouse is not open then the range fee must be recorded in the book in the 100 yard range and then paid at the earliest opportunity.
  • It is essential that all income be collected to pay for ongoing maintenance and future building or rebuilding projects.
  • Please read the separate page regarding range safety
The 10 metre air range can be used at any time that the club room is open. 

***Friday morning does not formally have a range officer rota due to the numbers attending but clubroom is usually open.

** Very often open for Benchrest and LSR

RO Times: Volunteer range officers endeavour to open the range premises and clubroom at times convenient to the membership. However, precise timing is not guaranteed. Typical opening times are as follows: Mornings 09.15-12.00, Afternoons: 14.00-17.00, Evenings: 19.00-21.30


50 Metres100 YardsIndoor 3 lanesIndoor 5 lanes
MorningClubroom ClosedClubroom ClosedClubroom ClosedClubroom Closed
AfternoonClubroom ClosedClubroom ClosedClubroom ClosedClubroom Closed
EveningFreeFreeLSR & 20yd Air PistolLSR & 20yd Air Pistol from 21:00 PP1


50 Metres100 YardsIndoor 3 laneIndoor 5 lane
MorningClubroom ClosedClubroom ClosedClubroom ClosedClubroom Closed
AfternoonClubroom ClosedClubroom ClosedClubroom ClosedClubroom Closed
EveningClubroom ClosedClubroom ClosedClubroom Closed.22 prone Winter


50 Metres100 YardsIndoor 3 lane                        [Weaver Range]Indoor 5 lane                                    [Sir Lynton White Range]
AfternoonClubroom ClosedClubroom ClosedClubroom ClosedClubroom Closed
EveningClubroom Closed**Clubroom ClosedClubroom Closed**Clubroom Closed**


50 Metres100 YardsIndoor 3 laneIndoor 5 lane
MorningClubroom ClosedClubroom ClosedClubroom ClosedClubroom Closed
AfternoonClubroom ClosedClubroom ClosedClubroom ClosedClubroom Closed
EveningFreeFreeFree20yd Air Pistol


50 Metres100 YardsIndoor 3 lanesIndoor 5 lanes
Morning        No formal RO.  Club room may not openFree***Free***Free***Free***
AfternoonClubroom ClosedClubroom ClosedClubroom ClosedClubroom Closed


50 Metres100 YardsIndoor 3 lanesIndoor 5 lanes
Morning.22 Rifle 3P,.22 Prone Rifle.22 Rifle 3P.22 Rifle Prone
AfternoonLSR & GalleryFreeFree20yd Air Pistol & LSR
EveningClubroom ClosedClubroom ClosedClubroom ClosedClubroom Closed


50 Metres100 YardsIndoor 3 lanesIndoor 5 lanes
AfternoonFree. Every 1st and 3rd Sunday limited to target numbers 7-12FreeFreeProbationers and beginners
EveningClubroom ClosedClubroom ClosedClubroom ClosedClubroom Closed

How to Get to the Club

  • The club has no postal adress so please do not try to send anything by post.
  • The address used by the council is Southleigh Forest Emsworth Road Rowlands Castle Hampshire
  • Telephone 02392 499219
  • Nearest postcode is PO9 2PB. The entrance to our site is marked by two red brick gateposts each showing a five miles per hour whiteback ground round with a red border.
  •  Our latitude is 50.868584 North,
    Our longitude is 0.953584 West.
    OS Grid Reference: SU 737082
  • Please use thesefollowing instructions
  • From the north using the A3(M), at junction 2 take the B2149 towards Rowlands Castle and Emsworth. Having come up the slip road, take the first exit. After a short distance take the third exit at the small roundabout (second exit is for a church) and follow the road for about two miles.  At the second of the two mini-roundabouts, pass to the left of the garage and take the B2148 towards Emsworth. Having passed over the railway bridge, up the hill and into the trees,  the gate to the ranges is on the left, just before the large sign for the next big junction.  There are large 5 mph signs on each gate post.
  • From Purbrook or West Leigh, take Bartons Road and just past the Spire [BUPA] Hospital turn left. The gate to the ranges is almost immediately on your right.
  • From the A27 trunk road (either direction), turn off at the junction for Emsworth and head towards Emsworth along the A259. At the next roundabout turn left, pass under the railway and the A27, heading towards Horndean and Rowlands Castle. Just past the junction of Bartons Road and Horndean Road the gate to the ranges is on the right.
  • In the event of needing to call an ambulance, give the following information to the emergency services:
  • Our latitude is 50.868584 North,
    Our longitude is 0.953584 West.
    OS Grid Reference: SU 737082
  • We are on Comley Hill north of the junction with Bartons Road and Emsworth Common Road. Nearest postcode is PO9 2PB. The entrance to our site is marked by two red brick gateposts each showing a five miles per hour white background with a red border.

Contact Form

2 + 2 = ?

History of Havant Rifle & Pistol Club

The foundations of Havant Rifle and Pistol Club were laid in 1943, when Havant & Horndean Home Guard asked for evenings to be set aside at their Drill Hall range solely for their own shooting practice. Havant Home Guard Rifle Club was affiliated to the Society of Miniature Rifle Clubs (now the National Smallbore Rifle Association) in 1944, and the first match, against Southern Railway Rifle Club, was held on 13th November in that year.

In 1947 the club was renamed Havant Rifle Club.

1948 saw the club affiliated to the Hampshire Smallbore Rifle Association and a move to new premises.

In 1951 a new 25 yard indoor range was built, and the membership increased steadily during the next two decades, as did the quality of shooting, resulting in many trophies and an increasing profile in shooting circles.

As the seventies began, the club was told its lease would not be renewed, and so began the search for a new location. This search resulted in the club setting up at its present site at Southleigh Forest.

During the following twenty or so years, the site was cleared, a club room and indoor ranges built, and outdoor ranges laid out and equipped. The outdoor ranges were officially opened at the end of September in 1978, with an invitation team event. This event has continued to this day, being known as the ‘Final Fling’.

Owing to the current number of members, new members are restricted to Juniors [under 21], their parents and disabled persons

Havant Rifle & Pistol Club is a Home Office approved club. When available, membership is open to both newcomers to shooting and experienced shooters.

Havant Rifle & Pistol Club is a Home Office approved club.

The Club is run by the members for the members. In accepting membership you will be expected, from time to time, to take part in both the running of the Club and maintenance of the facilities

The Club provides equipment for newcomers but when becoming full members individuals are expected to provide their own. There are no storage facilities at the club for members to use.

As a responsible club, every effort is made to ensure that our members are suitable people to hold Firearms Certificates and our application procedure will necessarily involve some questions which will help us verify that.

We are obliged by law to inform the police of new applicants so that checks may be made. Please note you will not be able to handle firearms or air weapons at the club until a police check has been completed.

When the police check has been completed, the Secretary will invite you to start your training sessions during which time you will be able to handle firearms and air weapons under supervision.

Training sessions commence on the first Sunday of a month. The first three are safety sessions followed by shooting training the next month. These are taken by qualified instructors.

After the first three sessions you will be asked to pay your Probationary subscription. To qualify for membership, you will need to be able to demonstrate that you are safe to be on a range and that you have made a minimum of six attendances during your three month probationary period.

Applicants under 16 are only permitted within the club providing a parent or guardian remain on the premises at the same time.

How to apply

If you are interested in joining the club the following four steps apply.

Step 1

Contact the club via our contact page and arrange a visit to the club on a Sunday for an initial introductory chat, to view our facilities, discuss membership and the shooting disciplines we participate in. This is also an opportunity to complete/submit a membership application form. A passport type photograph is needed for your ID badge.

Step 2

On receipt of a membership application form the relevant police check will be requested. When the police check has been completed the new applicant will be advised of this in writing by the Secretary.

Membership & Other Fees
Probationary Ammunition Fee [payable first visit] £5.00
Probationary Membership:
Standard membership: £30.00
Junior membership:      £10.00

*Probationary membership is for three months after which time prospective members will normally be invited to join the club.

Subscription Fees:
Standard membership: £120.00
Junior membership*:    £   40.00
Student membership*: £   60.00

*Junior membership until 21 years old; Student membership 21 – 23 years with student ID.

Range fees:
Members:     £2.00
Visitors fees: £5.00 (per person in addition to the range fee)

Step 3

Prospective members will be advised by the Secretary which Sunday they can then attend to commence their probationary period.

On your first visit one of our instructors will explain probationary membership to you. Initially £5.00 is payable to cover ammunition costs etc for the early training sessions. During the first three weeks you will be given tuition in the safe handling of weapons, range safety rules and range etiquette and the various shooting disciplines available at the club. After these visits you will be required to pay the Probationary Subscription. It is from this point that your three months Probationary period starts.

For obvious reasons we have to be very strict on safety. Until our instructors have signed you off as safe and competent your attendance will be restricted to Sundays, starting at 12:45. A probationer’s form will be started to record your attendance. Once this has been set up, you must ensure that it is signed and dated by your instructor on each visit.

After the probationary membership fee (see below) is paid the Secretary will write to the applicant’s referees. All members, probationary or full, pay a range fee each visit to cover heating, lighting and targets, currently £2.00.

Step 4

When the three month probationary period recording a minimum of 6 attendances has been completed and our instructors have signed you off as safe and competent the Secretary will arrange for the probationer’s details to be added to the agenda for election at the next available committee meeting.

On election the Secretary will then write to the member, asking for their first subscription which will be proportionate to the full year’s subscription. Once the subscription is paid a full membership ID badge will be available for wearing at all times at the Club


The minimum age is dependent on the ability and maturity to handle a firearm safely.

It is a legal requirement that a parent or guardian remains with an under-16 child whilst they are on Club premises. For non-shooting parents this generally means sitting in the Clubroom whilst the child is shooting.

Use of ranges is restricted to probationary and full members only. Visitors to the area may use the facilities (under supervision) but only if they are experienced shooters from another club and hold the relevant certificate.

Competitive Shooting
No-one is forced to enter competitions, but as a competitive target shooting club, all members are expected to have a go. There are many competitions, and you will find your own level, competing against others of similar ability. A range officer or section captain will tell you how to go about this. However, shooting is different things to different people, and we all enjoy it in different ways.

Opening Times
Details of the club opening times are available under the tab headed Facilities.

Generally Monday evenings are for Light Sporting Rifle, air rifle and air pistol. Tuesday evenings are for prone 25 yards rim fire, Thursday evenings are for air rifle and pistol and Friday for Bench Rest.
The outdoor ranges are used when these evenings are light enough – roughly mid-April to mid-September. New members may check with section captains or longer-serving members for the arrangements at weekends.

However, all members are reminded that shooting outdoors is NOT permitted between 21:30 hours and 08:00 hours without prior agreement. There must be at least two people present on the premises before shooting is permitted to take place.


A person who is not a probationary member of the Club, but who is a full member of another club and/or holds a firearm certificate, and who visits the Club’s premises at the invitation of at least one member of the Management Committee.

A Visitor may shoot on the Club’s ranges provided that on each occasion he/she:
1) produces to the Range Officer his/her firearm certificate, and/or proof of membership of another club,
2) confirms his/her eligibility to shoot by entering name, address, firearm certificate number and/or other club name in the Club’s register of visitors, such entry to be counter-signed by the Range Officer, and
3) pays the visitor’s fee and range fee.

Club Facilities

Havant Rifle and Pistol Club has three indoor and two outdoor ranges.
The main building has a modern club room with kitchen and lounge area. Free WiFi.
There is wheel chair access to the club room and all five ranges. Disabled facilities are in the main building.
Leading off the club room are three indoor ranges.

The Weaver Range

Three firing points:

  • 25 yards: .22 rim fire Target Rifle
  • Prone, Standing, Kneeling
  • 20 yards: Light Sporting Rifle
  • .22 rim fire & Air Rifle
  • 20 yards: .177 Target Air Pistol, rim fire Pistol
  • 25 meters: Light Sporting Rifle
  • .22 rim fire & Air Rifle and
  • Gallery rifle

The Sir Lynton White Range

Five firing points:

  • 25 yards: .22 rim fire Target Rifle
  • Prone, Standing, Kneeling
  • 20 yards: Light Sporting Rifle
  • .22 rim fire & Air Rifle
  • 20 yards: .177 Target Air Pistol, rim fire Pistol
  • 25 meters: Light Sporting Rifle
  • .22 rim fire & Air Rifle and Gallery rifle
  • 5 turning targets for use at all distances and disciplines above
  • 10 metre: 10 turning targets for timed air pistol competitions.

Both ranges can be combined and used as one for certain competitions

Air Range

A 10 metre range constructed to comply with the governing International body, ISSF, rules for the Olympic discipline of Target Air Rifle and Air Pistol. The Air guns used are restricted to a maximum of 6ftlbs.
The range has 10 individually lit automatic targets with four firing points designed to meet disabled or junior needs.

Outside Ranges

100 Yard Range
12 firing points can accommodate targets at 50 metres or 100 yards. Three of these firing points can also accommodate targets at 50 yards.
When shooting with live ammunition only the prone position is permitted at 50 metres or 50 yards.
The range is used for:
.22 Target Rifle
Air Rifle, Target and Field Target
Antique Firearms.
The firing point and preparation area can be illuminated. There are also floodlights illuminating the first twenty yardsfor Field Target.

50 Metre Range
12 firing points with targets positioned at either 25 or 50 Metres
The range has 15 turning target positions, floodlights at 25 yards and spotlights on five targets at 50 metres. The firing point can be lit.
This range is used for:
22 rim fire Target Rifle: Prone, Standing, Kneeling
Light Sporting Rifle
.22 rim fire & Air Rifle
rim fire Pistol
Gallery Rifle
Downloaded Fullbore Rifles
Black Powder Antique Firearms

Three .22 Target Rifle outdoor, Three 50M Bench Rest

May, July & September

and  Two 10 Metre Air Gun competitions are held each year.

April & October

The 2020 dates and entry forms are below

Entry can be made by members and non members.

Sporter Air Rifles welcome to the 10 metre shoots

All competitions are shot in classes dependant on 25 yard or 10m averages.

Prizes are a minimum of 50% of the entry fees.

Sunday 5 April 2020

10 Metre Air [Rifle & Pistol]

Sporter Air Rifles welcomed

Re entry permitted

Entry-form 5 Apr 2020

Sunday 24 May 2020

Double Dewar

[incorporates Portsmouth Association long range competitions]

Bench Rest English Match [afternoon only]

Re entry to both permitted

Double Dewar entry form

Bench Rest entry form May

Sunday 5 July 2020

Double Dewar

Bench Rest English Match [afternoon only]

Re entry to both permitted

DD Entry-form-July 2020

Bench Rest entry form July

Sunday 27 September 2020

Final Fling Scottish Match

Bench Rest English Match [afternoon only]


Bench Rest entry form Sept

Sunday 25 October 2020

10 Metre Air [Rifle & Pistol]

Sporter Air Rifles welcomed

Re entry permitted

Entry-form 25 Oct 2020


Shooting Disciplines

Smallbore target rifles use the .22 inch long rifle cartridge. Most competitions are shot prone. The shooter wears a shooting jacket and uses a sling and glove to help support the rifle and hold it steady. Havant Rifle and Pistol Club has a number of club firearms, jackets and slings which new members may use until such time as they obtain a firearm certificate and buy their own. If you are sure you want to take part in this discipline, there is nothing to stop you buying your own jacket, sling, glove etc. whilst you are using a club firearm.

  • Small Bore Prone

  • Air Pistol

  • Air Rifle

  • Light Sporting Rifle

  • Gallery/Under Lever Rifle

  • Muzzle Loading Rifle

  • Bench Rest

Although they differ in size for the different ranges, all targets are black circles with white lines depicting the different scoring rings. The piece of paper with the target printed on it is known as a ‘card’. The actual black circle is known as an aiming mark, or more correctly, a ‘diagram’. The aiming marks are sized so that they look the same through the sights at different distances.

At 25yards, the card has ten diagrams like the one on the left, each 51mm in diameter, with the score normally being out of 100. The competitor will fire one shot on each diagram.

At 50 metres, the score is normally out of 200. Each card has two diagrams 112mm in diameter, the competitor firing five shots on each diagram of two cards. Some competitions are also shot at 50 yards.

At 100yards, the score is also normally out of 200. In this case each card has only one diagram of 205mm diameter, at which 10 shots are fired on each of two cards.

Some members also take part in ‘three-position’ events, that is, a competition will consist of a course of fire using prone, standing and kneeling positions.

Target air rifles are shot at six yards and ten metres. Target air pistols are shot at six yards, ten metres and twenty yards. 10 m Air Rifle is an International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) shooting event, shot over a distance of 10 metres from a standing position with a 4.5 mm (.177 in) calibre air rifle with a maximum weight of 5.5 kg. It is one of the ISSF governed shooting events included in the Olympic games.

The art of successful air pistol and air rifle shooting relies on a combination of hand/eye co-ordination and a good stance. The sport requires minimum physical exertion, so men and women of all ages can compete equally on all levels.

Light sporting rifle is shot at twenty yards and fifty metres for rimfire, prone and standing. No slings or any forms of additional support are allowed, but elbow pads may be used when shooting prone.
Air rifles are also used for light sporting rifle competitions, but are limited to a range of twenty yards.

Gallery rifles use the calibres that were formerly used by pistols. Following the 1997 ban on handguns, many members changed to these disciplines. The weapons used are mostly modern replicas of late 19th century models such as Winchester.

Havant Rifle and Pistol Club has a significant presence in the muzzle loading section. The weapons are a mixture of original and replica black powder guns.

Benchrest shooting is a form of competitive rifle shooting from a table using a telescopic sight with the rifle supported on a rest, so specialist clothing and slings can be avoided.
Competitions are typically shot at 25 yards and 50 metres. Any calibre air rifle (up to 0.22 in) or 0.22 in rimfire rifle may be used and standards can be very high.

FULLBORE SHOOTING                                                                   

Can be shot providing the ammunition does not exceeded the muzzle energy and muzzle velocity limits stated on the Range Safety Certificate.  Before use each batch of ammunition must be chronographed to confirm that it is within the Range Safety Certificate limits.  This procedure must be recorded in the club’s records.

Welcome to Havant Rifle & Pistol Club

Target shooting is the second most popular participant sport in the country.

Havant Rifle and Pistol Club has a long and distinguished record of target shooting at local, county, national and Olympic levels.

Owing to the current membership numbers, new members are restricted to Juniors [under 21], their parents and disabled persons

Normally membership is open to all, regardless of age, gender or ability.

With almost four hundred members, Havant Rifle and Pistol Club caters for precision .22 rifle [prone, standing & kneeling],  benchrerst [air & .22], light sporting rifle, air rifle (sporting and target), air pistol, muzzle-loading and gallery rifle shooting disciplines.

As a competitive target shooting club, members are expected to take part in competitions, these can be at club, local, county or national levels.

Visitors are welcome at 10:00 on Sundays to view the facility and watch the various forms of shooting. Please send your details to the club Secretary via the contact form to arrange a visit.

For full details on the steps to become a member see Become a members page

Club Rules

Current Rules


Malcolm Cooper
Double Olympic gold medallist
Club president 1988 – 2001


Lorraine Lambert
Para Olympics
Rio 2016

 Matt Guille
Commonwealth Games 2018
East Hants Award Certificate