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  1. That would be nice, thank you - just have to see if I can abandon my friend once in a while.
  2. Thank you again. Yes, the closure of grounds is both sad and a real nuisance. I'll have to talk to my shooting partner as it was he that had the really bad experience at Wallers. He has to travel a fair distance, so he may not wish to risk it.
  3. Thank you - yes, I have been there and liked it. Agree about the layout and choice, and I could hit some of the targets, too! But that was mostly when they were able to open on a Tuesday, no longer possible, alas. Otherwise, I have been put off by reports of really bad queueing. Has it really changed?
  4. Very helpful reply - thank you. I really can't stand queues nowadays, esp., to be blunt, if caused by complete novices and family outings taking an excessive amount of time when they ought to be catered for on beginners' stands that the organiser can't be bothered to provide for them. We all have to start somewhere but it's the same as not allowing learner drivers onto busy main roads for their initial lessons.
  5. Can anyone recommend this clay shoot for the average (or worse) clay shooter? An acquaintance has suggested it as a venue but it is a little distant from me, so, frankly, what I really need to know is how difficult are the targets? If they are designed for proper competition CPSA shooters, then they are very, very unlikely to be suitable for my mediocre level of skill. I don't mind if some are beyond me, but I would like to be able to hit something like 50% +. If it is any guide, I shoot quite happily at 1. Spitfire, near Stockbridge, 2. Lains, near Andover, and 3. the Acorn shoot on the Compton estate near Kings Somborne i.e. I can hit 50% or sometimes 60% + at these grounds. I also used to shoot at Chalky Hill, near Alton and could score in the mid 30s out of 50 on a good day, until I and others got fed up with the queues and ceased to attend. Hope someone can enlighten me. Thank you.
  6. A few concluding remarks. 1. Renewed thanks to all who helped or took an interest in this little episode. 2. Like everyone else, I can entirely recommend the Arnold Heal gunshop and Jai Nolan, the owner. Very nice little shop, full of guns and ammunition rather than clothing, and its owner was a pleasure to deal with. 3. The BSA fully lives up to its description of 'excellent'. Indeed, the woodwork and metal work are better than excellent for a gun that is nearly 60 years old. The bore looks to be in good condition, too, but I am too busy with match cards for the winter season to try it out for some time. The relative lack of wear everywhere, including on the rubber butt pad (usually a give-away area), made me wonder just how much the rifle had been shot. Then I came to think that it must have had quite a lot of use because when I looked the large cocking lever the bluing there seemed to be rather worn away where the fingers would have gripped and rubbed it - and fingers contain moisture and acid, which are not good for metal. By comparison, the bluing on the barrel is very little worn, even close to the fore end where it would have been frequently grasped to take the rifle from its rack or to replace it there. Then I looked more closely and discerned, so far as I can tell, not bluing but case hardening on the lever; in fact, the case hardening colours (blue and grey, not spectacular but definitely present) are not much more worn on the front wearing surface than they are on the back of the lever, which would not have had much contact with fingers. Of course, I could be wrong about it being case hardening. Any other suggestions? Roger
  7. Well, I bought the rifle, without much hesitation. Very good gun shop and a worthwhile journey, though not, perhaps, a great ferry experience. A few more details - if any one is interested - a bit later, probably on Sunday as I am out beating all day (in the rain) tomorrow.
  8. Except that it will be raining! But thank you anyway - I have certainly enjoyed my previous trips to the island as a day visitor, and my wife is a bit miffed that she can't come with me this time. The gun shop has some interesting cartridges on offer, and probably other things, too. Roger
  9. Thank you for the pm and the advice. One of my shooting friends was a ferry captain on this very route and he tends to be rather cautious about the rules, but I expect I'll be all right.
  10. Thank you. I got a Senior's discount - still not cheap but I think the journey may be worthwhile. (The question of transporting a firearm on a merchant vessel is one best not entered into here.) Roger
  11. I am going to inspect the rifle tomorrow. Mr. Nolan has been more than decent about it i.e. he is holding it for a week without a deposit (offered but declined - too much paperwork, he said!). He sounds a very nice guy over the phone and told me more about the rifle. It is a target rifle, BSA Martini International Mk 3. That model had a floating barrel, unlike all the other Internationals. The problem is that the heavy fore end is connected to the action by an aluminium hanger that is susceptible to damage and wear. If that happens, accuracy may be affected. However, he tells me the rifle has been privately owned and well looked after, and not abused as a club rifle probably would be. I am looking forward to my visit. I am not too clever with posting photos but there are some quite good ones on Guntrader, where the BSA is advertised ( under BSA rifles - Martini action). They will disappear if I or some one else buys the rifle. I use an Anschutz (1800 series barrel in a modern Gemini stock) for my target shooting, but I greatly admire these old BSAs for their engineering, workmanship, and accuracy. They have quite a following in the USA, I understand, and good examples still sell over here too. Two other Mk 3s in good condition sold quickly over the last two or three months, I noticed.
  12. Many thanks to Figgy and Old Farrier as well. PW as usual is the place to go. Roger
  13. Gentlemen, I am more than grateful to all three of you. Very helpful - and very prompt - responses. Better than I could have possibly hoped for. I intend to offer a deposit in the morning and catch the ferry as soon as I can. I will keep you informed of the outcome, though that may take several days. It is quite an interesting rifle, but it can be a tricky proposition second-hand, as I hope to be able to explain in due course. Good reviews for the gun shop on Google and Facebook too, as I now discover. Reputation is everything, even in today's often degenerate world. Thank you again. Roger
  14. A neutral title (I hope), but what I really need to know is whether I can rely upon the description of a rifle's condition as 'excellent' in an advert from A. Heal, Newport, Isle of Wight? Any one have any experience with this gun shop? I am quite close but it is still a pain and an expense to take a ferry across the Solent to to examine the gun. Grateful for any help. My guess is that this is a decent, long-established dealer and that I can rely upon the description.
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