If you’re new to shooting – perhaps you’ve never seen a rifle up close – learning more about the sport can be daunting. The best way to go about it is to find a local club where you can develop your knowledge and trial different equipment before buying your own. You can also get a feel for different shooting disciplines and even competition, to see what most piques your interest.
A great place to get started is the shooting range in Howick. If you’re in East Auckland it’s a convenient place to shoot, and it’s fully indoors which is great in winter. There are quite a few different clubs operating out of this range, including a couple sporting smallbore clubs, a target shooting club, air rifles and a pistol shooting club as well.
My favourite organisation at this range (and I’ve tried almost all of the options on offer), is the Howick Smallbore Sporting Rifle Club (HSSRC). It’s an extremely friendly environment and has a wealth of experienced shooters willing to lend a hand. The range is great and the club equipment is very good – the shooting fees are cheap too. You can hire a rifle, pay your range fee and pay for your ammo for less than a movie ticket – not a bad way to spend a Friday evening. You’ll also be fully supervised (if you’re unlicensed) throughout the shoot with full instruction – easy as!
Moving on in the club, you can participate as a range officer or assistant range officer, or help new shooters as well. You can also participate in the inter-club tournament and the club fun shoots and end-of-year prize shoot. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved, which you’ll find out as you go along. You’ll also find most shooters here engage in a couple different disciplines, and can not only help you with your shooting technique, but can also point you towards other clubs and competitions you might enjoy.
If you’re looking for a good place to learn, or you’re new to the area and already a competent shooter, this could be the place for you.
The club shoots on Friday evenings from around 7 pm onwards, and has plenty of gear available. You can also purchase ammo at very reasonable rates. Once you become a member (which doesn’t cost much at all), your weekly shoots and ammo will be even cheaper. If you’d like more info, leave a question in the comments below, or head on over to the HSSRC facebook page.