General Information

Shooting is a sport that is accessible for all ages, male or female, able-bodied or disabled, being designed for both recreational and competitive shooting.

Everyone can compete together no matter your ability, age or male/female, with additional competitions for juniors, females and veterans.

Like most sports, participants have the opportunity to progress from a recreational hobby through the levels of competitions from club, county to international. Essex shooting clubs currently have numerous regular County, Home International and GB shooters, including Juniors, that have progressed from learning how to shoot competitively at their local club.

Whether, you want to shoot for fun, become British champion or an Olympian, joining a local club is the first step, where you will be welcomed into the sport by very friendly people.

First Steps

As you are reading this you are either a newcomer interested in trying shooting or having previously shot, whether it was at school, Scouts, Cadet forces, Armed forces or even a fairground, looking for how to take the sport up again.   

There are many types of shooting disciplines, from air guns, single shot small-bore rifles & pistols to semi automatic sporting rifles. If you have never shot before or have children who want to try it, there are many local shooting clubs in Essex where you can learn to shoot safely the various types of guns before deciding which of the disciplines you prefer, if not all ! The skills learned shooting a particular discipline are easily transferable to other disciplines.

So how do you start ?

Find a club. On this website under ‘Affiliated Clubs’ you can find many local clubs with details of their contact details, location (zoomable map), facilities & disciplines shot. Not every club is the same, some shoot indoors only up to 25yds, some both indoors & outdoors shooting up 100yds. There is also a link to their website & Facebook pages, if they have one.

Found a club ?

After finding a club, they will generally invite you to visit them for you to see the clubs facilities. As shooting is a regulated sport having to abide by the Firearms Act for the safety of all, clubs generally follow the same procedure for membership, with some having open days where individuals can try out shooting.

After applying for membership, which will require references to vouch for you and a police check, you will become a probationary member where you should, receive basic training on how to handle a gun safely and learn shooting techniques for the various disciplines being undertaken. While being a probationary member , clubs should have equipment for you to use before being offered full membership after 6 months.

Getting your own equipment.

After discovering shooting is for you, you will undoubtedly wish to purchase your own equipment instead of having to share club equipment. You can obviously purchase equipment, including Air Rifles & Air Pistols (which are FAC exempt), at any time except for Small-bore Rifles & Long Barrel Pistols which require a Firearms Certificate (FAC). To apply for a FAC you will be required to be a full member of a club. It is well advised to discuss with other club members about what equipment is best for you to purchase. You don’t have to buy the most up to date equipment to start with, there is generally some good secondhand buys around from time to time that don’t need you to break the bank.  

What next ?

After learning to shoot for a while, you will probably what to start shooting competitions to start filling up the display cabinet with medals and trophies. A shooters first taste of competition will probably be shooting either club or postal leagues for either individual or club teams, shot on your own club’s range. The next step is often attending Open Meetings at other ranges, such as our Championship Meetings. Following this, as the ‘Road to Success’ table below this box shows, as you improve, so the competitions get bigger. In shooting, you are placed in classes for competitions, so that you are competing against others of similar ability. Obtaining some instruction & coaching along the way, will help you progress up the ladder quicker.

Essex County pick teams for all shooters within the county that shoot in both postal leagues and shoulder to shoulder matches. Beyond county competitions, there are week-long National meetings in England and Scotland, Home Countries teams, Great Britain matches, and regional and national development squads leading to International competitions.

Road to Success






Club Competitions

Local/National Postal Leagues

Club Championships

Local Open Shoots

Club Instruction / Coaching

County Postal Leagues

County Teams 

County Championships

County / Regional Coaching

Home Countries Competitions

National Championships

National Team – Junior/Senior   

Commonwealth Games

National Coaching

GB Squads – Junior/Senior


World Cups / Championships