The NTSA was set up in 2012 to promote Target Shotgun throughout the UK. When looking back over 2013, the first full competition year for the Association, there were some great highlights which saw an increase in the number and variety of new Target Shotgun competitions. During the year, the first NTSA National Champions were themselves established and a number of NTSA records were set.
Representatives of the NTSA were able to have ‘face to face’ meetings with the Home Office personnel, leading to direct input to the writing of the revised Home Office Guidance to Police for licenced firearms. Membership of the NTSA is now recognised as good reason to possess a Section 1 shotgun.
On the competition front, it was in early February that the NTSA held their Spring Challenge at Bisley. This match was primarily to blow off the cobwebs of winter and to experiment with three brand-new courses of fire. The Whitehead and the NRA (USA) Police Match were held alongside Historic Multi Target. The Whitehead was a slug only match and was a cut down version of the competition that has been shot with gallery rifles and the like. The NRA (USA) Police match was a combination of both slug and buckshot. The Historic Multi Target match for double barrelled shotguns was also getting its first outing. All the competitions were hailed as a great success and fun to shoot and with a bit of tweaking with the courses of fire they will become a regular feature of NTSA Matches. The match was followed by an Association lunch and presentations to the winners as follows.
The Whitehead – Rob Sanders – 151 (3X)
The NRA (USA) Police Match – Rob Sanders – 686
Historic Multi Target – Rob Adam 89 (12x)
In early March there was an impromptu Target Shotgun match held at Carlisle Small Arms Club, in Cumbria. The date had originally been set aside for a L2 IPSC shotgun match. However appalling weather conditions meant that it would be difficult for many competitors to travel and so that match was postponed. Ironically although cold, the day saw clear skies in the Brampton area and local shooters still gathered for a match. This gave everyone an opportunity to again experiment with some new courses of fire which have now become known as the NTSA Standards.
An article covering these courses of fire was included in the November issue of Target Shooter. Basically, they involve set time with a set number of targets to shoot. These cover various shooting skills such as loaded and unloaded starts, strong and weak shoulder shooting, with occasional position changes. Great fun to shoot and include both slug and birdshot courses of fire. Some buckshot matches are now also being considered.
Next, we moved North of the border to hold the Scottish NTSA Championships near Dumfries. The competition included the regular Timed and Precision and Multi Target courses of fire but included historic T&P as well. A number of the NTSA Standards were also shot. Andrew Duffy was declared the overall NTSA Scottish Champion for both the Regular and Historic competitions, with Vanessa Duffy becoming the NTSA Scottish Standards Champion.
The big match of the year was the NTSA Nationals in June, held at Wedgnock ranges in Warwickshire. Such was the popularity of this event it was decided to put the Historic courses of fire over to another date and concentrate on the regular events of Timed and Precision and Multi Target along with the NTSA Standards for birdshot. The Slug competitions were held over the NTSA 30 meter course of fire as befits such a prestigious event. The first NTSA National Champions were.
Timed and Precision – Steve Boulter – 289 (12x)
Multi Target – Rob Adam – 112 (32x)
NTSA Standards – Gavin Rose – 205
Overall National Champion – Rob Adam – 395 (37x)
The Association’s AGM took place after the competition. During which Andrew Duffy was re-elected as Chairman. The membership voted in some changes to the NTSA Constitution which gave a better reflection of the Association operating as a distinct and separate organisation.
In August the NTSA were again back at Dumfries for a summer fun shoot again based on the NTSA Standards and some trailing more historic courses of fire. It is essential to get the timings right to ensure that the precision element of slug shooting is maintained whilst establishing the correct length of time to make the competition competitive. A mixture of slug and birdshot standards were shot and the overall winner on the day was the NTSA Chairman, Andrew Duffy.
September and the NTSA were back at Bisley where they ran the Police Sport UK Target Shotgun events at their Force Long Range Open Championships. Competitions for Multi Target and T&P for both regular and historic shotguns were run producing PSUK Champions as follows.
Sydney Street (Timed & Precision) – Simon Drewett – 294 (14x)
The Trenchard (Multi Target) – Tim Tremmett – 101
Historic Sydney Street – Ron Sargent – 276 (5x)
The NTSA Historic Championships were held at Wedgnock in November. With the courses of fire for Historic Multi Target and Timed and Precision for double-barrelled shotguns having now been established, it was felt that it was time to also introduce single-shot historic guns into the equation. With single-shot, it is even more important to get the timings right and these were spot on for this competition. Again the 30 meter courses of fire were used across all the competitions and the 2013 National Historic Champions on the day were.
Multi Target Double Barrelled – David Payne – 94 (5x)
Multi Target Single Barrelled – David Payne – 90 (2x)
T&P Double Barrelled – John Gardener – 278 (7x)
T&P Single Barrelled – Rob Adam – 290 (9x)
Finally, to round the year off, there was a Christmas fun shoot held in Dumfries the weekend before Christmas. So all in all, this turned out to be a great year for the Association’s first full competition year. A number of matches were held right across the country which included the first ever NTSA National Championships. The NTSA have been innovative and have advanced the sport of Target Shotgun. A number of new courses of fire were introduced, and developed, with historic shotgun and the NTSA Standards becoming firm favourites.
Match dates and new venues are well into the planning stages for 2014. With an expanding membership, the NTSA is going from strength to strength. The Association welcomes both members and non-members to all its open matches. The new season will begin with The Blue Team Club Championships at Bisley on 8th March. This will again be an open competition. To get more information on the great sport of Target Shotgun, courses of fire and the NTSA match programme, visit www.targetshotgun.co.uk