George Bentley, Katherine Fleck and James Bell set off with Mr Nuthall for the Scottish Long Range Championships at the weekend and competed with adults, shooting at 1,000 yards.

‘Although we were full of expectation having seen photographs, the longest electronic range in the world was far more beautiful than any of us had imagined. Perched on the side of the Tilt Valley at the southern tip of the Cairngorms National Park, Blair Atholl’s Jubilee Range looked like a tricky range on which to shoot.

Whilst the firing points are flat, the targets are arranged diagonally up the side of the valley, the target numbers run from right to left and the thousand-yard firing point is actually nine hundred and eighty-seven yards from the target. After setting up camp, we enjoyed the twilight views of our own Tilt Valley and speculated as to whether bears have actually become extinct in Scotland.

Next morning, we were up, packed and ready for a day of long-range competition. Members of the West Atholl Rifle Club welcomed us warmly and gave us insight into further nuances of this stunning range. ‘Wild cats live behind the targets’ we were told; ‘the wind effects the elevation of your shots as well as blowing the bullets from side to side!’ Armed with (and slightly alarmed by) this information, Katherine, George and James tackled the first nine hundred yard shoot; two shots and fifteen to count, in windy and occasionally showery conditions.

Scores were solid but improvement would be necessary to achieve respectable scores at the longer range. During the second shoot, the wind became even more difficult to read but Sedbergh’s trio managed to consolidate their shooting and demonstrated proficient marksmanship.

The afternoon saw the pupils compete at one thousand yards, alongside adult competitors from as far afield as Australia. Sound shooting in windy conditions ensured that the Sedberghians attained decent scores although there is much to work on before competing at Bisley in July.’


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