Let's start with accommodations. Our accommodations were supplied courtesy of our team captain's (Liu Cheng) lab partner. We ended up spending two nights in a 6-person tent. The tent was fairly sturdy and easy to set up. It kept us dry even with the wet weather weekend. As you can see from the photos, some people were not so lucky. When we first arrived, we actually saw a tent, under waist-deep water. We specifically requested for a camp site located on higher ground. The Oxford people complained that they had a river running down the front of their tents.
Next, we shall move onto food. We became regulars at Jenny's, which was a small shop located behind most of the club houses. She sold basic burgers and stuff. However, she does a mean egg and bacon roll for 2.70 quid. It is a hearty breakfast for the hearty shooter. It is frequently busy. For lunch, we often had it at one of the pubs, which serves baguettes. Then for dinner, we would end up having some decent food. For two evenings, we had our dinner at the London & Middlesex clubhouse. On the second evening, we actually went off to Staines (near Heathrow) to look around. We ended up having Nandos instead. Cheng was nice enough to treat us to dinner!
Moving on to equipment. We brought enough Gallery Rifle Small Bore (GRSB) for each of us. However, we ended up with only one working Gallery Rifle Centre Fire (GRCF) as we couldn't get another one fixed. So, we ended up borrowing one rifle from Oxford. As for ammunition, we kept running out. However, we just kept buying them from the NRA and kept shooting them. Fun!
Following on, we'll come to the matches themselves. I had a lot of fun. I would think that my favourite weapon is the GRSB. I find that I can shoot fairly well with that rifle. Plus, I like the machine. It's just so simple to use and straight to shoot. The GRCF was a pain to use. I ended up hurting my fingers on it a bit. But that's normal with the GRCF. Then comes the pistols. Although I've not shot any weapons since December, pistols was where it became most apparent. Where everyone else was scoring 45+, I only started with a measly 30. However, with each round, I became better as I zeroed in the pistol. I even managed to score my highest score of 47 points in one of the rounds. Cool!
Finally, comes the people. The organisers were all very nice people. They were all so obviously gun enthusiasts. Some were even clearly ex military. But everyone was so nice. I guess when you're surrounding by hundreds of people packing goodness knows what, it pays to be extra nice. There were plenty of elderly chaps who took part in the various competitions. One of these people, Allan, knew Guy from when he was knee high. He took the effort to show the ropes and shared some tips on how to shoot better. Xueni got a lot of attention from everyone, as she was the smallest sized person on the range and frequently had problems handling the larger rifles.
All in all, it was a fun weekend. How could it be otherwise, when you get to fire off live rounds at random targets and meeting all sorts of interesting folk. Enjoy the photos!