On the 1-2 September 2012, seven sharpshooters and two members of HQ Sqn represented the Royal Yeomanry at the TA Pistol Operational Shooting Competition at Pirbright . The competition is open to all TA units and guest teams from the tri service community. Amongst 17 teams attending this year were some familiar names we encountered at the TA OSC in July and some RAC competition in the form of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry.
Many of the team were relatively inexperienced in pistol shooting. Given the limited opportunities to practice pistol shooting, we were relieved to find we had the opportunity to practice both the competition shoots on Saturday morning. After a light lunch, the team returned with a cool confidence following the morning's practice and were keen to get rounds down range in the competition proper. When the cordite fumes had cleared the RY A team were ranked 14th and the B team 17th. So room for more practice and improvement ahead of next year's competition!
Sunday morning saw the top 30 ranked firers shoot off for the top 15 honours, and the falling tiles competition. Unfortunately our highest ranking (in both sense of the word) individual shot was Capt Matthew Webb, ranked 27th of the TA firers (45th including guests) who with a total score of 245 out of 400 was 6 points and 3 places outside of qualifying for the shoot off. To demonstrate the quality of the competition 1st place went to a Sgt from the MPGS with 384 out of 400.
We then watched with interest as the falling tiles were set up to discover that each team of four would be shooting at 10 clay pigeons mounted on wooden stakes. Each team had six rounds per firer and the winning team in each round would be the first to dash from the 50m to 15m point and either clear all the tiles first or, failing that, hit the most tiles with the available rounds. The A Team were drawn against the Maritime Reserves and after beating them in the dash looked favourites to clear their tiles first, but after stoppages and some shoddy shooting from Capt Webb (who later admitted to forgetting his POA until his last two rounds) were duly sunk by the Maritime Reservists (who went on to be runners up). The B Team also won the dash at a canter, and conducted a rapid and terrifying Beirut unload which unfortunately spared all of their pigeons! Despite our modest results much was learned and the team thoroughly enjoyed the weekend. Many thanks to our player manager Capt Webb for supporting the team, and to LCpl Nim of HQ W Sqn for stepping in to ensure we are a truly Regimental team.
The shooting team now has a number of practice weekends in October and November ahead of the LONDIST OSC in December.
LCpl Chris Moden
RY Shooting Team Captain