Airguns


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The Airgun section has sole use of two ranges. The recently enlarged Heston range was originally opened by the American actor and gun enthusiast Charlton Heston. The newer Dancox range was named in honour of Private Frederick Dancox VC of The Worcestershire Regiment.

Both ranges are for airguns only, which must not exceed the legal muzzle energy limit * of 12 foot pounds for rifles and 6 foot pounds for pistols. BB airguns are not allowed. However, airguns are always treated as firearms and all WNSC rules apply. Anyone under the age of 14 can use the airgun ranges provided they are tall enough to be able to use the gun safely and are supervised by an adult over 21 years of age.

Heston range is approximately 27 metres long and it is possible to set up targets at this distance or shorter. Pistols are normally shot at 6 or 10 metres. 25 metres is the normal distance for air rifle target shooting.

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Dancox range is located at the far end of the site from Heston range. It is a field target range covering an area of over half an acre with no fixed targets, enabling shooters to practice engaging targets at widely differing distances.

On both ranges paper targets can be used for scoring, pellet testing or scope alignment. There are a variety of 'knockdown' targets for fun shooting or 'plinking' and some are quite challenging.

Payment of airgun member fees allows access to the site when it is open for other events. This normally means Saturdays and Sundays. Payment of an enhanced fee allows access during the week within the normal shooting times. Anyone taking up the latter option would be given the codes for the combination locks and be shown the procedures for opening the ranges, putting up the warning signs and closing the site at the end of each session.
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* Please Note:
  • Airguns below these limits can be purchased by anyone over the age of 18 and used without a licence.
  • Between 14 and 17 years of age it is permissible to use a gun owned by someone else with their permission. Anyone under 14 can only use a borrowed airgun when supervised by an adult over 21 years of age.
  • A firearms certificate (FAC) is required for airguns above these limits and because of this they can only be used on ranges which have been approved for firearms use. Full range fees are charged and a full programme of probation and training would be required i.e. you would be treated exactly as any other member with a firearm.

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Always Remember Airgun Safety


Safe Gun Handling - On the Range and In the Field.


  • You are always responsible for your airgun, whether you are shooting it yourself, are allowing someone else to shoot it, or even if it is being used without your permission, if the person concerned acquired it as a result of your negligence.

Always treat an airgun as though loaded, develop an awareness of where the barrel is pointing, and ensure that it is always pointing in a safe direction.


  • Safe gun handling comes from a state of mind in which you have a constant awareness of where the barrel is pointing, without conscious effort. This isn't something you can achieve simply by reading about it - you have to develop the awareness by keeping it at the forefront of your mind whenever you have the airgun in your hands, until it becomes second nature.

Do not load your airgun until you are ready to fire it and are sure that the shot will be safe.


  • A significant proportion of airgun accidents occur when the person in control of the airgun wrongly believes it to be unloaded, usually after it was loaded in the vague anticipation of a shot that was not taken. If you load your airgun and don't take the expected shot, discharge it in a safe direction, preferably into the ground.

Never rely on a safety catch to make an airgun 'safe'.


  • Safety mechanisms are mechanical devices that can fail. The ONLY way to make a loaded airgun safe is to discharge it in a safe direction.

Never put a loaded airgun down.


  • Always safely discharge your airgun before putting it down, to ensure that it cannot fire.

Never leave your airgun unattended, you can never be sure who might pick it up.


  • On picking up an airgun, first make sure it's unloaded Even if it's your own gun, and you checked it was unloaded before putting it down. Get into the habit of checking, in case you ever pick up a loaded gun.

Before pulling the trigger, consider where the pellet might travel if you miss the target - don't shoot unless the shot is perfectly safe.

  • A pellet can travel hundreds of yards, so look beyond the target to ensure the shot will be safe. Also consider the possibility of a ricochet, which changes the direction of the pellet's travel.