February 2016 saw the Great British Shooting Shows eighth spectacular annual event for the shooting community. Held within five huge halls at the Stoneleigh Park exhibition centre, it is the only shooting event of its kind to be found anywhere in the UK and Europe.  A shooting specific show, with a proven track record, run by shooters for shooters.  Over 300 trade stands from the shooting industry’s leading manufacturers, distributors, retailers and associations showcased thousands of high quality shooting products and services.  

From the larger international trade stands to our smaller trade stands, exhibitors worked tirelessly to ensure visitors were treated to an unrivalled retail experience.

 

Many companies take the opportunity to launch new products at the British Shooting Show and this year was no exception.  Following months of secrecy and working closely with Blaser, it was a privilege to have helped with the launch of their new O/U shotgun, the F16 at the show.  This being a major coup for Robert Sajitz, CEO of Blaser UK and the visiting public, and what a show they had in store for them!  The new clay gun from the John Jefferies HPX stable, the ‘Suprema’ generated a great deal of interest amongst show visitors.  Manufactured by Perugini & Visini, the ‘Suprema’ promises to be a ‘truly special’ gun.  The Browning stand was very busy over the three days of the show with visitors particularly keen to see the new range of B15 and B25 guns, a range of 4 models with 2 different styles of hand engraving.  These are high quality guns at affordable prices.  The impressive Krieghoff stand also drew large crowds eager to see the dazzling range of guns including the new much awaited K-20 Parcours fitted with 32’’ barrels as standard.  The K-20 weighs in at 7 ¼ and 7 ½ pounds and is an ideal weight for good consistent performance with excellent recoil management.  With an eye catching display of products, the new Schultz and Larsen range attracted many visitors. With new guns being launched it was timely that Eley Hawk Ltd launched their brand new DTL Gold Cartridge at the show, which has produced some very impressive scores from the sponsored shooters using it.

Crowds queued for a chance to try out the very latest in shooting simulators, seen for the first time in the UK. Using the latest software, visitors were able to try their hand at a vast array of realistic shooting disciplines.

Air Rifle enthusiast had several treats in store.  Firstly Daystate finally revealed their all new rifle with the launch of the ‘Renegade’, a beautifully styled bullpup rifle with a pre-charged action that is mechanically-driven!  The electronic/mechanical trigger is the first system of its kind to be seen on a high powered PCP air rifle.

Available to the British public for the first time, Air Arms showcased their latest rifle, the ‘Galahad’ and enjoyed a constant stream of visitors, flocking to get a chance to see it up close and even get to try it out on the range.  The Galahad is fully ambidextrous and includes the ability to transfer the cocking arm from the left or right hand side with incredible ease.  The ranges attracted many show visitors eager to get ‘hands on’ with the latest air rifles and pistols, with a marked increase noted in the numbers of young shooters new to the sport.  

The latest optics were on display with the leading manufacturers showcasing the latest product ranges.  Carl Zeiss had their latest range of riflescopes, the Victory V8 line with sensational 92% light transmission and a unique 60mm lens.  At the Swarovski stand their full range of optics were on show including the New X5 range, offering outstanding optical performance at longer ranges. Schmidt and Bender demonstrated their new 3-27×56 PM II High Power Digital BT riflescope with a Bluetooth interface which allows projection of data from external devices, such as laser range finders, into the field of view.

 The Vortex stand also had a busy show with an endless stream of visitors eager to get their hands on their latest products which included the Diamondback spotting scopes and the Razor HD 50 mm Binoculars.  The vast range of optics on the Minox stand proved a great hit with show visitors.  Their ZX5 line offers four different models each available with and without an illuminated reticle and have proved very popular with shooters worldwide. Visitors were also able to try out some of the latest in night vision scopes on the dark tunnel lanes.  The WOLF from Nitesite utilises the latest infrared illumination technology in delivering crisp, ultra- clear night vision regardless of ambient light conditions, giving the night hunter a real advantage.  Night vision Gear UK revealed their latest prototype model, the Spectre digital night scope.  Offering outstanding performance it is ideal for rimfire and air rifle shooters alike.     

The new larger arena was also a great hit with visitors as crowds gathered to watch a continuous programme of demonstrations.   Andy Cullen gave a first class demonstration on training gundogs, yet again making it look easy, even with pups 6months old working well in front of an audience, no mean feat!  Ralph Skripek warmed the crowd with his fabulous cooking techniques & his jovial assistant Rob Collins both had the crowds laughing throughout the performance.  Chris Green followed up nicely with his outstanding knowledge of wildfowling keeping the crowd both informed and entertained. 

The show had plenty of other areas which drew large crowds over the three days such as the working demonstrations from master Gunsmiths and engravers demonstrating their skills throughout the three day show, stunning guns from private collections like Mike Kay’s amazing Winchester collection, recognised as the finest outside of the USA, and the Lovat Society’s remarkable collection of historical sniper rifles.  Specialist stands showed firearms and the work done by associations like the Fifty Calibre Shooting Association and the Gallery Rifle UK.  

The ‘Knife Block’ glinted with quality and saw an increased number of exhibitors in this growing sector, catching the eyes of hundreds of show visitors.  

The very latest in fashionable specialist clothing and shooting accessories offered visitors some great deals.  This went down well with the Gamekeeping section as this was very well represented with the National Gamekeepers Organisation (NGO) and the Game &Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) supporting the show, the NGO reporting Game Keepers attending in mass and reports of the best show to date.

There was a buzz of excitement at this year’s show as visitors arrived in their thousands to enjoy Europe’s largest public shooting retail show.  Visitors were given a free show guide on entry to the show, after the final day of the show very few of the 35,000 copies printed remained. 

The 2016 British Shooting Show has been a great success, measured by the overwhelming amount of positive comments and messages received from visitors and exhibitors alike.  We thank the exhibitors for all their hard work in making the show such a success and thank all the visitors for their support in attending the show.  Preparations are already underway for the 2017 show with over 70% of exhibitors having already confirmed their stands, some booking larger and additional stands with many more committing to the new 3 year programme and booking up until 2019. The future of the British Shooting Show is looking very bright indeed! 

For more information on The Great British Shooting Show, please visit this website www.shootingshow.co.uk

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