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Bell target, indoor practice. Weatherproof!


Accuspell
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Those who don't know about it tend to scoff, but I shoot bell target to keep my trigger finger and eye coordinated. It is superb practice for offhand shooting too. It is so easy with open sights that nobody in our club has scored a maximum yet, I cam close with a 30.5, but I have only seen a 30.6 scored once in my life!

My target is set up in the garage, which gives me the 6 yards we use at our club (some shoot on 7 yards because the skittle alley is 7 yards long!). It is lit by candles, one each side which is traditional (tea lights work!). The target is set with the centre of the bull at 5 feet high (league variation allowed 5ft - 5ft 1 in).

All shots are taken stood, totally unsupported, no slings nothing, and open sights with a rifle of less than 6ft-lbs (same as 10m match shooting). The bull is 3/8th inch diameter. If you get your pellet through the hole, the bell rings! It was devised to improve the general marksmanship for the British Army and was decreed by Queen Victoria that it should be made available for the general public, so it was shot in pubs and clubs up and down the country and was very popular, with more participants than football in its heyday around 1900- 1920 Birmingham, which was a much smaller place then, had over 1200 competing clubs. There were over 4000 nationwide. So it was very much centred on the midlands, with leagues in the south, Wales and Scotland.

The size of the bull was calculated so it represented shooting a 6 inch target at 100 yards, but didn't require the same facilities and was easy to operate in a busy bar. many still are shooting in pubs and clubs. In those days there would be a pellet vending machine on the wall and you asked for the pub gun from behind the bar! In the 140 years or so it has been operating there has never been a single violent incident from bell target shooting.... can the same be said of darts, pool/snooker, or even dominoes? 😁

Anyway, this is my setup and my first groups after 6 months lay off. You soon lose it if you don't practice. I was scoring 27s and 28s.... oh that reminds me, the scoring:

A bull is 5 (5.1 if you leave no trace on the edge)

even if you ring the bell but there is 1/2 pellet mark on the plate = 4

Then 3 and 2 - there is no '1' that is a miss.  the rings are 1" concentric from the centre of the bull. 

6 shots to count = maximum of 30.6  Anything over 28 is pretty reasonable and above average for a season total average. It doesn't take much to drop a couple!

It is actually great fun and helps train concentration, breathing, stance/posture, trigger and eye cocordination and so is very useful for outdoor shooting.  I don't worry about offhand shots so much now when I am hunting. I shoot with a side lever spring powered Anschutz LG380 from 1979.

 

 

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Edited by Accuspell
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3 hours ago, JTaylor91 said:

Learn something new everyday, I’ve never even heard of it. Thanks for posting.

There is a league that runs in N. Lincs. They travel with the equipment from pup to pub with each pub fielding a team, just like darts matches. Near Market Rasen there are a couple of pubs that take part.

Here you go. When the pubs get going again, go along and see it for real and have a go. You will either hate it, or get hooked! At least you can have a couple of pints to drown your sorrows, or to celebrate!

https://lincsbelltarget.co.uk/

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4 minutes ago, Accuspell said:

There is a league that runs in N. Lincs. They travel with the equipment from pup to pub with each pub fielding a team, just like darts matches. Near Market Rasen there are a couple of pubs that take part.

Here you go. When the pubs get going again, go along and see it for real and have a go. You will either hate it, or get hooked! At least you can have a couple of pints to drown your sorrows, or to celebrate!

https://lincsbelltarget.co.uk/

Brilliant think I will, cheers.

 

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Airgun practice is some of the best practice you can get as the barrel time of the pellet (the time it takes to exist the barrel after the trigger is pulled and the air that fires it is released) is long. So it teaches good trigger technique and follow through. It also IMHO teaches "muscle memory" and certainly for anyone shooting fullbore rifles standing or kneeling is excellent practice. I can't recommend highly enough the value of an air rifle with a good trigger...which means one that is NOT an El Gamo creep laden horror in comparison to the old good BSA trigger of good repute.

Edited by enfieldspares
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I used to shoot bell target in our local league.  I found a newspaper article while clearing my dads house from when I shot a maximum which got us the league cup that year (a long time ago).

 

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I started shootint Bell Target at the local pub when I was about 17. 
 

With practice you can get quite good, I shot for the club in a league match after just a few weeks but wasn’t anything special. 
 

My mate managed to shoot a 30.5 but no one in the club had ever managed to shoot a 30.6. My mate did shoot for Wales mind. 
 

Also used a lever action (side lever) rifle but can’t remember the make of it. Most of them shot PCP cylinder powered rifles, they were expensive, highly customisable and very accurate. 

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I know of it but never though to try, but things being what they are at the moment sounds like something I could set up in the loft, I mainly have a garden as my gallery (10m) so like to test myself against small targets anyhow but this seems like quite a level beyond that!

Just a though are the sights blade or peep hole

Edited by Chaz25
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  • 2 months later...

I was educated in the way of things bell target by that nice Mr Spittle, when I used to visit his shop in Wolves back in my Uni days...
Still got the signed book on the history of the sport.
No leagues near me - but there are a few chaps in the local gun club who collect the targets, pellet dispenser machines, etc.

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