Muzzle Loaders:

(Evenings, before 9pm please)


Call: 01394 386999

Or email


Our parent organisation:

Club News 2016

9 January 2016 - Club Shoot

A good turnout of 13 shooters for the first club meeting of 2016. The forecast was not good, but the weather held for us, for the mornings shooting anyway. Looked a bit wet when I left after lunch!!

We split into two squads, singles and doubles shooters in each, and proceeded to have a very good mornings shooting with some excellent scores. Martin took first place in the singles with Dave HS (r/u) and Dave E (3rd place). Same old faces!!!!  Archie performed very well and took first place over Bushey (r/u) and Kevin (3rd place) in the doubles.

There was 1 retiree from the competition, yours truly, who once again experienced problems with the big 8 after an excellent start. (See footnote)

Thanks go to Rachel and Clare for doing fine jobs trapping and scoring for the two squads.

Regarding this months averages - Dave HS and Archie were plus 6 on their average. Tim was close with a plus 5 as was Martin. Everyone else were plus 1's and 3's..... Except Kevin & Bushey who will now have an average for next time!!

Cambridge Gun Club asked a photographer to take some shots of us, excuse the pun, for their website. Look out for these as the previews I saw were very good indeed.


Some notable moments of the day:


The hairy Shooter after clipping the right side of an incomer, yes you’ve guessed it- “You don’t eat its wings.”


Clare on her mobility scooter was a sight to behold with many a wince as she pointed it downhill!


Mike becoming agitated following several offers to buy his mis-firing gun.


Dave HS’s face on winning a bottle of port (one of his favourite tipples it is said).













Next Club Meet:

Saturday 20th February. Bring and shoot whatever gives you pleasure.



I have started a thread on the MLAGB forum re the mis-firing issues with the big Coggie. It is attracting interest and some useful comments and advice. Have a read, it’s in the shotgun section and entitled “8 bore percussion mis-fire woes”.


See you on the 20th, hopefully with a reliable 8 bore!!! Mike


20 February 2016 - Club Shoot

A great turnout of 19 shooters for the second club meeting of 2016. The forecast for the day was not looking good, but we were lucky as yet again the weather held for us, with only a couple of light showers. The Anglian Muzzle Loaders welcomed new member Clive Smith from Bedfordshire who seems to be a natural at this muzzle loading.

We split into two squads, singles and doubles shooters in each, and proceeded to have a good mornings shooting at some varied, and sometimes challenging, targets. Thanks go to Rachel for doing a fine job trapping and scoring for Martin’s squad.  Mike’s squad were not so fortunate in having a designated trapper, and did all the scoring for themselves in between shooting the clays! Get well soon Sandra & Tony, we missed you both!

There was some excellent shooting and scores. In the singles, Mike was high gun over Martin with an excellent 23/30, with Clare and newcomer Clive taking joint third place. Sadly Mike could not claim his prize for doing so well in the averages as he was shooting a much bigger load than the other single barrel shots (see footnote*).  For the doubles, Bushy shot exceptionally well to take first place closely followed by Dave HS in second and Kevin in third place.


Some notable moments of the day:


SP Pete broke his extractor screw in the barrel. Martin came to his rescue and helped remove the said article.


Bushey demolished nearly all the springing teals in great style.


Ably supervised by Martin, newcomer Clive Smith was able to join in and was shooting singles with Martin's gun. They were neck & neck all the way with Martin clinching the lead at the last stand (... the battues!)


Martin unusually  missed all 3 of the going away rabbits!!


Considering his ongoing recuperation from recent abdominal surgery,  Hairy Shooter shot particularly well with 30/40!  Although he does need to man up a bit and stop complaining about his bruised finger!


Graham “I’m a clay conservationist, it’s not about hitting the targets, it’s all about fiddling and fettling the guns!”


Mike grinning widely as he dusted another clay with the big Coggie 8 bore. The recent work on the breach plug obviously worked with not one single misfire on the day!!

















Next Club Meet:

Sat 19th March, Cambridge Gun Club, bring and shoot whatever gives you pleasure.



A gentle reminder:  For club shoots, other than the Big Bore competition when loads are unlimited up to the service charge of the piece, the maximum charge allowed is 3 ½ drams with a maximum load of 1 ¼ oz.. Shot size no greater than 7s.


See you on the 19th March - Mike


19 March 2016 - Club Shoot

Having driven through heavy rain showers on our way to the shooting ground, and with more threatening black clouds as we arrived we were very thankful that Mick, the ground owner had just completed the installation of a full cover for the second compact stand. This meant that we could be split into two squads for the morning's shooting and "keep our powder dry" as they say.


So - how did it go?


Squad 'Sandra'


This squad had 11 shooting - was originally 10 but the ‘Small Person’ was late on parade so after having a look at the reprobates on Rachel's squad decided he’d get a better class of verbal abuse from this squad.

We started off on familiar territory - that being the newly covered former sportrap layout - up the path on the right! There were 5 shooting singles and 6 shooting doubles. A couple of the ‘singletons’ didn’t get off to the best of starts and decided to have an early bath - sometimes it’s the best way - rather than slug it out - if your heads not with it. Meanwhile (still on the singles) Tosh and Clive were slugging it out early on with Tosh 1 away at session end and Clive only 2 behind on 3 away - with Bill  lurking in the background.

In the doubles Martin and Bev  were (as usual) toe to toe all through the first session both ending on 4 away. Martin was ahead - then Bev came back and then he went ahead - then Martin…… you get the drift! To be fair, Bev's performance was much more impressive as he was shooting an original double flintlock. Tim had obviously been on increased medication as he was shooting ‘very nicely’ thank you very much. Tony started well but was seriously let down by his gun - Martin had a few choice words on that matter at lunch….Paul was not having the best ‘day at the office’ at the start but started finding the targets after a while - the small person once again proved that if he has ‘no clue’ as to what he’s supposed to be shooting at, he’ll hit them - but - not always when his brain is actually in gear! Luckily for him - the former is the norm!


ALL CHANGE for layout 2...


Only 3 now left in the singles and with these targets proving to be ‘slightly’ more challenging Tosh kept his head; (for once) keep his lead, and Clive just ran out of steam at the end. Bills hopes of either of the other two falling failed to materialise - now if only the birds hadn’t been made of clay…..

What about the battle of the doubles I hear you ask…. Well Martin and Bev were even at the start - Martin then goes 3 ahead and THEN misses 3 consecutive targets (one pair due to the schoolboy error of omitting to put shot down the barrels!) - which Bev then kills. Martin asks Bev, "are those second hand flints in your gun?" Bev assured him that they were indeed new flints and we can see that Bev really pushed the boat out for this tussle. So we’re now evens again with 4 targets to go. BEV misses 2 and Martin only one - SO Martin wins by one! However, the shooting performance Bev showed us with his flintlock was as good as you will ever see with one of these guns anywhere in the world! Don’t know about you but I’m knackered just writing this!

As for the rest of the gang - Tim couldn’t keep up his early form and was last seen late in the evening with a torch looking for the wheels that had fallen off his wagon earlier. Pauls score on this layout was on par with his earlier score - and he was getting back some consistency. Tony’s gun was still not helping him and was reflected in his final score. As for SP - a respectable joint 3rd - and that with shooting 6 less targets than the others….. pretty good. I SAID PRETTY GOOD PETE!



Squad 'Rachel''


Our squad started on the enclosed compact range - a stone's throw from the car park, which was rather handy when you have a lot of gear to carry! We had 3 shooting double guns and 6 shooting single guns - with Bushy & Kevin sharing a ramrod as Kevin had forgotten his! The targets, thrown from 15 different traps, were a combination of straightforward, slowish Rabbits (which Derek loved), teal and incoming crows, to the more challenging fast loopers, very long distance dropping crow targets and, probably, the most difficult target we encountered, especially if you were looking in the wrong place, a difficult to visually pick up, orange, low, dropping edge on left to right crosser (which Bushy loved as he WAS always looking in the wrong place. And that was after showing him the bird and advising him where to look . We're all convinced that he never actually saw it at all - should have gone to Specsavers!

With the exception of Archie and Dick, the rest of us scored fairly evenly on both ranges. Dick had a poor start to his shooting day but he definitely warmed up at the end by finding his form and shooting his last 7 birds straight. Archie had a similar story with the first range, and pulled his socks up and shot the fist 10 birds of the second range straight to finish on 23/40 - well done Archie.

With the usual wager on the day, Clare & Derek both got off to a flying start - neck & neck after the first 6 birds. Then Derek dropped one, Clare pulled ahead. Then Clare dropped 2 birds which put Derek in front.... until he dropped another for them to finish at half time with 12/15 each. The scuffle continued throughout the second half, with Derek just managing to miss just one too many Easter bunnies for Clare to take home his cash for her 2016 "Handbag" Fund!!

The two Dave's were just not in the running that day, shooting an unrespectable 15 apiece they seemed to share common themes  - both were shooting big bore guns, Dave E his faithful 7 bore and Dave C (aka HS Hairy Shooter) his 9 bore, both shooting their black powder of choice -  Dave E his Swiss and HS his allegedly "fiery" Czech powder, and both had some not so plausible excuses. I think they had been reading Dr Ed's book of 101 shooting excuses before it was presented to Ed the other month! Eventually HS manned up and increased his powder charge back to 3 drams which seemed to make a difference. Dave E  just played OXO all morning!

Graham had some terrific breaks on some of the rather more difficult  targets such as the left to right fast looper, but sadly allowed the easier ones to escape his grasp. Kevin, shooting his single 14b kept pace with the shared ram rod, muttering the occasional "you'll have to do better than that" to Bushy whenever he missed his target.



















*Rachel, who is still waiting (Dave!) for her gun to be altered kindly offered to do the scoring - a big thank you to her for her patience and for keeping us all in order making sure that we shot at the right targets in the right order and generally seeing fair play!


Having a dedicated scorer really does make a difference in the smooth running of the squad, and we all appreciate Sandra and Rachel's help with this.


Next Club Meet:

Sunday 10th March, Cambridge Gun Club, bring and shoot whatever gives you pleasure.



10 April 2016 - Club Shoot

An excellent turnout of 20 shooters for the fourth club meeting of 2016. Weather was dry with sunny intervals and a good breeze.

We split into two squads, with  singles and doubles shooters in each, and proceeded to have a good morning's shooting at some varied, and sometimes quite challenging, targets. Remember the low incoming duck on the pond stand 5?  This caught several of us out!  Then there was the quartering away teal, the low and fast crosser over the far bank and the very long & fast dropping looper all on stand 1, all of which also proved difficult targets for most.

Bev, sometimes shooting both barrels of his double flintlock in the singles competition, caused some confusion to Sandra and his fellow shooters. However he shot very well, and there was negligible delay in the ignition of his gun, a joy to watch!! Recent newcomer Clive shot his new Pedersoli single and did extremely well. We hear a double 10 version is on its way! Martin, recovering after his recent operations, still managed a respectable 18/30 in the singles with his flintlock as did Dave Elvin, also using a Pedersoli Mortimer flintlock. Phil shot very well, his singles score increasing with every meeting. Dave Corneby (AKA The hairy shooter), continued his run of mediocre shooting with a 17. He's hoping for a return to form at Greystone Wood!!

A special mention must be made about our latest newcomer Ted, who joined us for the morning and shot an excellent 18/30 using Martin's single. Over the last few years, Ted has watched us shooting muzzle loaders from afar, both at Cambridge Gun Club, and also previously at Lakenheath.  And just like many of us, it was only a question of time before he too was "sucked" in to shooting  black powder! Having already applied for his BP licence, Sunday was actually  Ted's very first experience of shooting a muzzle loader. In addition to learning how to load and  shoot a single barrel gun,  he also learnt how to unload (when the gun would not go off) all under the expert guidance of Martin.

Thanks go to Rachel and Sandra for again doing a fine job trapping, scoring and keeping order for the two squads.


Some notable moments of the day:


“Come on Pete, you’re last again, hurry up!” Pete’s response - “Tactics!!”


Bev “My right hand flint is a bit dull, but I can’t afford a new one” Shall we have a whip round?


Bill blitzing the clays with his fine 9 bore fowling piece.


Loading tables being carried between stands, where have the other ones gone??


Numerous exclamations of “pesky wabbit!!”


Martin's mind not on the targets more on his 'Norah Batty' post op support stockings as he spent all day rearranging them!




In the doubles, Bushy shot exceptionally well to, once again, take first place in the doubles with 30/40, closely followed by his partner in crime Kevin 'the carpet' with 29 and in third place, Archie with an excellent 22. In the singles, Bev and Clive shared first spot with a good 22/30 score, with Clare (who was missing her Handbag Fund raiser Derek) taking third place with 20. This was a close event with only 6 birds separating all 12 of the single barrel shooters.


















Next Club Meet:

Saturday 14th May at Cambridge Gun Club for the Trevor Watling Memorial Trophy competition. 40 targets with Double Muzzle Loading guns. Those not in the competition may bring and shoot whatever gives you pleasure.


Footnote: "I've just started another thread on the MLAGB forum re further misfires experienced using my 8 bore during Saturday's North of England championships, I'm sure there will be some helpful advice come out of it. It's in the shotgun section entitled "8 bore percussion woes - revisited" ...for those who wish to follow it"


See you on the 14th - Mike


14 May 2016 - Trevor Watling Memorial Trophy

An excellent turnout of 23 shooters on the day, 20 of who shot doubles in the first club competition of 2016. Weather was dry with some sunny intervals and a stiff breeze.


Trevor Watling Memorial Trophy background:

Trevor Watling was one of the very early members of the then "Lakenheath Muzzle Loaders." He very sadly, lost his life in May 2011 from injuries sustained following a tragic accident in his workshop.  In subsequent years, in memory of Trevor, we have shot for the "Trevor Watling Double Barrel Cup".  The cup is an old pewter double handled cup made by James Dixon & Sons, the same makers as produced muzzle loading powder flasks.



We split into two squads, yellow and green, under the new regime of drawing coloured counters for squadding. Completely different stands to the ones we normally shoot were used with some interesting and challenging targets. The shoot was over 40 birds with 20 being shot on covered stand 7, a compact sporting layout, and, 10 birds on each of the open stands 10 and 11, which both had 2 pairs of traps. No “pesky wabbits” this time, which pleased some!



Thanks go to Trevor's daughters, Peggy and Molly and daughter-in-law, Lisa, for scoring for the green team and Sandra for scoring for the yellow team. Thanks also go to the setting up gang for the day, (Martin/ Dave E) whose efforts often go unnoticed whilst we munch down our breakfasts and chat!!!


Some notable moments of the day:

• Great support to the event by the whole Watling family.

• An emotional trophy presentation.

• Clare’s fine score after making“a little adjustment” to her stock comb height after her less than great Yorkshire performance with the same gun.

• Kevin: “I hope Mike shoots better with that camera than he does with his gun!!”

• Derek upon moving to stand 7 from stands 10/11: “What a change in temperature here, it’s almost tropical!!”

• Derek handing over the transient tenner once again!

• Bev’s safety pin repair to his jacket zip, times are hard!!

• Pete (SP) shooting at a section of a “no bird” clay, and hitting it!!!

• Our newest member, Ted Eagling, shooting his very recently acquired single percussion gun for the first time. We were very impressed with his preparation, new nipple and vent plug made and fitted, superb phial box fitted out, which all proved well for a great result of 21 ex 30. Well done Ted!

• Graham's mammoth drive from Wales to Ipswich, 5 hours kip, grab the ML gear and headed for Cambridge - great effort!



Martin C had the highest score to take the trophy with an excellent 32/40,Clare and Kevin were only 1 target away with 31/40 and hairy Dave and Bushy close behind with 30/40, In fact only 6 targets separated the top ten shooters on the day,a very close competition indeed with some fine individual performances!!

















Highest average went to Clare with a +8, Derek with a +7 was second, and the Hairy Shooter third also with +7 after count back.


Next Club Meet:

Saturday 11th June 2016 at Cambridge Gun Club for the annual Recession shoot Trophy (1/2 oz of shot only!!) 30 targets for single ML guns. Those not wishing to enter the competition, may bring and shoot whatever gives them pleasure.


Next National competition: is the Scottish regional ML and Classic breech loading sporting to be held on 28th May 2016, Leuchars, Fife. Contact Martin or Clare for further details.



See you on the 11th - Mike


11 June 2016 - Recession Trophy

A fine June day welcomed an excellent turnout of 23 shooters, with 22 entering  the second club competition of 2016 for the coveted Recession Trophy for singles.


Recession Trophy background:

The competition was first shot for in June 2011, during the country’s recession period. As the competition was for ½ ounce loads only, it was aptly named the Recession Trophy. The trophy and prizes were also suitably sized!



We split into two squads, red and green. We shot over two compact sporting layouts showing a good variety of birds and yet again, included some of those pesky wabbits. There were 16 different targets for the 30 target competition, all set up specially for us by ground owner Mick, so there was something for everyone (to miss!!)

When looking at the amount of lead shot in ½ ounce, it is amazing how well some of the targets were broken. Remember, this the normal load in a .410 cartridge, so don’t feel too bad if your scores were not as usual.



Thanks go to Rachel and Sandra for trapping and scoring for the competition and Dave Elvin Junior for doing the same in the afternoon session for the ML gang.

A big get well soon from all the club members goes to Pete SP and Viking who unfortunately could not make the shoot.


Some notable moments of the day:

• The Hairy Shooter upon taking the top edge off a rabbit target “You don’t eat its ears!!” There can’t be many parts of the anatomy left that he can’t eat!! (I can think of a couple!!)


• Dick suffered many miss-fires forcing him to cap-off with barrel down several times. His final score: 18 clay pigeons, 6 worms, 2 spiders and a mole!!


• “That clay will suit short barrels, you’ll be alright Bushy!!”


• “Hey Bushy, has someone bin an’ cut a lump orf the endayar barrels?”


• Kevin: “You can borrow this old sock boy to protect your wrist, you’ll have to cut the toe off first though. Don’t worry I haven’t worn it!!”


• The long L-R rabbit bolting down the hole before Mike could hit it!


• Rachel getting covered with showers of muzzle load debris after each shot. Well at least she had a chair to sit on!!


• Kevin: “I’ve got about 3 ounces of shot in my left barrel where I keep missing with this scoop, I’m taking the bugger home!”


• Graham after forgetting to full cock his gun in the stand: “of all the people to be standing behind me when I done that it had to be you! (Mike the report scribe)”


• Paul, using his normal double barrel gun, was struggling to get it to go off - until he realised that he was capping the wrong barrel..!!


• John was particularly surprised when his double barrel had a sudden reluctance to fire half way through the competition - something that he had never experienced before with this particular gun! With some assistance from Dave E he soon got it going again.


• Dave E received relentless ribbing about his "non shooting" son David shooting targets that Dave E had missed!!  As a non shooter and under his father's instruction David was using Dave's modern Browning and shot it particularly well with a final score of 18.


• Paul seemed to wake up on the last 7 birds of the competition and shot them all straight, giving a grand total of 10 for the day.


• The F bird on the training stand caused many problems for all the shooters to pick up, with several no birds recorded from both squads . It was a fast,  low, edge on left to right crosser that blended in to the bank, and was only clearly visible at the end of the bank where there was about 10 feet to shoot at it as it plummeted to the ground. Paul (as above) shot this stand very well.


• The transient tenner was passed to Derek on this occasion, having beaten Clare by one target - it's a shame the photographic evidence to accompany this presentation is too blurred to use!!



Clive had highest score to take the trophy with an excellent 24/30, runner-up was Dave Elvin Senior with 22/30 (his faith restored in new-fangled percussion guns!) and third place was Kevin also with 22/30. In fact only 7 targets separated the top 12 shooters on the day, another very close competition indeed and bearing in mind only ½ ounce loads were used, an excellent result and superb shooting.

A special mention for young Alfie (Archie’s grandson) who, shooting a muzzle loader for the first time, achieved a fine 14/30. I believe, and many would agree, that we have a future champion in the making in this young chap!!

Dave Elvin’s son Dave junior also put in a fine performance, albeit using one of those modern new fangled things with the barrels the wrong way round.  Derek also shot particularly well, who it was rumored was suffering from a major lack of sleep!!

Mike, both Tony’s, Paul, Graham and Archie all had very bad hair days- better luck next time!!














Highest average went to Bushy with a +7 and Kevin with a +6 was runner-up. Both received a tub of caps- they didn’t have to share them this time!!


Next Club Meet:

Sunday 17th July 2016 at Cambridge Gun Club. Club meeting so bring and shoot whatever gives you pleasure.


Next National competition: Next National competition is the National clay pigeon championships to be held on 9th July 2016 at Yeaveley estate shooting ground, Derbyshire. Contact Martin or Clare for further details.



Mike (focus on the bird the bird and nothing but the bird!!)


17 July 2016 - Club Shoot

A fine and hot, hot, hot July day welcomed a reduced turnout of 15 shooters, but with holiday season and fine Sunday barbeques to be had, it was maybe no surprise. The hairy Shooter offered his apologies, something about having an attitude or was it going to Latitude? Can’t be sure.



We split into two squads, blue and yellow, with singles and doubles shooters in each. Two compact sporting stands were used showing a good variety of birds but no pesky wabbits this time, which pleased some. The left to right looper on stand 8 caused several people problems, and it was also shot at unmercifully in the afternoon session! Strangely, the weather conditions seemed very different on the two stands, on Stand 8 it was still, very hot with “sun in yer eyes” and just a few yards away on the skeet/compact stand, with your back to the sun, it was quite windy and noticeably cooler. The weird English weather strikes again!


So how did it all go...

Martin shot brilliantly over both layouts dropping 4 shots on what was believed to be the ‘easier’ of the two layouts but only dropping one on the ‘more difficult’ one – horses for courses as they say – or was it due to the 'big 7' playing up? Whatever the reason excellent scores.

Phil had a great day shooting exceptionally well in the singles to gain a very creditable 20/30 and win a high average prize. This was his highest ever score with AML. The Bushy/Kevin ‘doubles’ war of attrition continued as usual (as did the banter) bushy taking the honours this time – never far away from the  30/40 mark consistently (29 today). Speaking of ‘consistancy’ Carol started off on the ‘Skeet layout like a woman possessed – missing the first 4 targets THEN only missing 1 from the next 10. She strode off to the compact layout on a high – BUT after hitting her first 2, missed all the rest  - but hey excellent start. Graham didn’t get on with the compact layout either but made a comeback on the skeet layout.

Tims form has been in the ascendance recently and continued today with some nice steady shooting a nice string of 10 shots with only one loss. Archie was almost 50/50 between the layouts – some nice ‘flying’ targets that he favours. Mike was another who’s score seems to indicate he favoured the compact layout over the skeet one – it included a nice little run of 11 with only 2 dropped. Tosh and Bev were propping up Martin with a couple of 21’s. Bev (the only flintlock shooter amongst us that day) started on the compact layout by only dropping one target – he had a ‘glitch’ after the first targets on the skeet layout – and twas not to be. Tosh missed the first two targets on the skeet layout – but put that down to worrying about his new glasses AND his gun not cocking. ‘Dr’ Bushy’s diagnosis helped find a ‘cure’ but didn’t stop him doubling his first range misses on the second range.

Ted was another who started of really well on the skeet layout – but a wheel must have fallen off walking to the second one. Derek shot consistently over both layouts only 1 target difference between them. Perhaps he was more at ease – not having to fend off Clare in the ‘handbag fund’ tussle! Dave E had a shakey start and finish – but we all know what he’s capable of. Just look at the report from Yeaveley – a fine bag of swag!

As for Viking/Nordic/gluten free Sid! After a 'less than' impressive start and Clare not being able to find him a vet – he decided to retire from the competition. He’ll be back!! as they say!



Thanks go to Clare for trapping and scoring for the blue squad. She was nursing a sore shoulder and was not up to shooting unfortunately.


Some notable moments/quotes of the day:

• Martin double powder loading his 7b, fortunately all was well and didn’t it sound good! Was this also how Clare hurt her shoulder we ask?


• Several “nitro boys” passing through and taking an interest (but pretending not to!)  Fortunately the ones with the ‘lit’ roll-ups dangling from their bottom lips carried on by unawares.


• Archie successfully loading and shooting “Plaaarstic” wad cups in his 2 year old ‘home build’ percussion  gun. It was ‘pointed out’ that this was not in the spirit of traditional muzzle loading practice, and not allowed in MLAGB competitions -  but come the sad day when lead is banned?


• Yet another case of (other than Martin) the ‘average winners’ being all in the same squad. Mmmmm?














Highest average went to Martin with a +4, and he won the wine,  followed by Phil with a +3 who won a giant chocolate Toblerone.  Bushy & Tosh shared third place having a game scene beer glass and a tin of caps respectively. Special thanks go to Tosh & Carol for donating the glass & Toblerone.


Next Meetings:

Sunday 7th August 2016 at Cambridge Gun Club. Club meeting so bring and shoot whatever gives you pleasure.


Next National competition is the Hornsey Wood Pigeon Match, otherwise known as the Helice Championship. This will be held on 23rd July 2016 at Rugby District Trap Club at Crick, Northamptonshire.  Well worth trying this if you haven’t done so, it's as close as you will get to traditional live pigeon trap shooting.  Contact Martin or Clare for further details.


This has been a joint Mike/Tosh production...


07 Aug 2016 - Club Shoot


Another fine and very hot, but breezy day welcomed a total of 16 shooters, 2 of whom were new faces to Cambridge, Paul and Russell.  So a big AML welcome to them.

We were also delighted to see Simon join us for Saturday's shoot. Simon used to shoot with us at Eriswell (formerly Lakenheath) but unfortunately over the past 2 years his job has taken him out of the area so he was always unable to attend our monthly shoots. Welcome back Simon, we hope to see more of you in the future!!



We split into two squads, blue and red, with everyone unusually shooting singles on this occasion. Three stands were used, Two compact sporting (6&9) and the driven stand which was a pleasant addition, particularly as the start of game season is just around the corner! There was a wide variety of targets including two nasty overheads, a pair of wabbits, loopers and crows in fact something for everyone and it was enjoyed by all. “DIY scoring and trapping” was the order of the day - Sandra and Rachel where are you? !!!



Some excellent shooting - Martin had highest score again with Mike and newcomer Russell only one behind him, Kevin and Derek only one behind them. So a very close thing and it could so easily have gone either way. In their usual tussle, it was Kevin’s turn to beat Bushy by one point today!

It was notable that with the exception of Martin, all of the other GB team members, Clare, Dick and Bev, were not on their usual form. Spirited runs of hits on their last stand could not save the day for them - Saving themselves for Hungary in a weeks’ time I reckon!  Good luck to you all.

Tony, Viking and Archie all made fine starts then lost out on the last stand. Phil, after his excellent July performance, couldn’t quite repeat it today. Pete SP was on/off but retained his usual “around 50%”. The other new comers Simon and Paul also shot well.


Some notable moments/quotes of the day:

• Martin to Mike after 25 birds: “I think you’ve trounced me old boy” Unfortunately mike went on to miss 4 of his last 5 targets, whereas martin hit them all. The tables turned!!


• The “Transient tenner” headed back Derek’s way.


• Archie’s gun certainly needs a heavier mainspring.


• Mike’s Big 8 “Bertha” played up again half way through. Light loads do not seem to suit this gun, in the afternoon session with “proper loads” it behaved itself- there’s a lesson there!!


• A “nitro man” marveling at how well our old guns break clays.


After moving to the driven stand at the half way mark (15/30 targets), Bev proudly announced that he had doubled his score by cleanly shooting the first pair of birds!!


Again on the driven stand, Pete (SP) commented that it can be so much more effective coming from behind.


Following a morning of struggling to squeeze some very tightly fitting 12b wads into his Pedersoli, new Paul learnt from Simon that an Italian 12b is actually a 13b in size!!















Highest average went to Bushy with a +7 and Mike with a +5, was runner-up.


Next Meetings:

Next Club meeting is on Saturday 17th September 2016 at Cambridge Gun Club. Bring and shoot whatever gives you pleasure. I will not be attending this one due to holiday, so if anyone would like to try report writing for this meeting, please let Clare know.


Next National competition is The Autumn National Clay pigeon Championships to be held at Stoke Orchard, Gloucestershire on Saturday 3rd September 2016. Contact Martin or Clare for further details if you fancy having a go.




17 Sept 2016 - Club Shoot

We had a 'comfy' turn out of 17 shots on the day and quite a mix of old and new faces. The game season us underway so a few heads have been 'turned'. We wont be expecting 'record breaking' attendances once it starts getting colder and wetter but that wont stop us...we'll still be muzzling! We could always move indoors!


It was also Cambridge Gun Club's (our hosts) charity shoot day and Clare used this as an excuse not to shoot - but to run a muzzleloading Have-A-Go stand..mmmm.

we split into two groups - Red under Bev's leadership and Blue under Dave E. Bev has written a brief review of the 'reds' and Tosh has pushed Dave out of the way to do the 'blues' (Dave couldn't find a flint with a good enough edge to sharpen his crayons!). So  lets start with Bevs report...


The Red Team started out with 8 shooters, 3 doing doubles and 5 the singles, but poor Pete (small person) decided, because of a painful neck problem, to transfer over to the doubles and use his black powder breech loader. (He reckoned his standard muzzle-loading load of 4 drams and 2 oz would not help his condition!)

We had the Owens clan in our group. Archie was with his son Tony and grandson Alfie, only the second time Alfie had shot with us using a muzzleloader. The targets were tricky on both of the layouts that we shot, the trickiness being exacerbated by the strong gusty wind.

 In the doubles Bushy was well out in front with a score of 26 from the 40 targets. Bushy is a really good and consistent shot, so his winning score gives a good indication of how hard the targets were.  Paul R who has only shot with us once before also put in a strong performance scoring 20. He has definitely got the bug!

In the singles Archie came out on top in our group with a creditable 16 from the 30 targets. I thought that Alfie’s score of 10 in those conditions was brilliant. I do hope he continues to shoot with us. Bev was shooting his new acquisition, a very nice single 7 bore flint gun and had high hopes. These were unfounded, he ended with a shed-load of excuses and a disappointing score of 12. As a point of interest and the fact that it is Bev writing this, he did go round afterwards with his normal flint gun and got the highest score in the singles in the afternoon session. Thank you very much!!!


The Blue Team had 9 shooters and I use that in its loosest of forms (some of us were just making up the numbers). 8 shooting singles and Paul (Snappy) on his own shooting doubles. He was slightly peeved that I wasn't shooting my double as due to my current form in that discipline he was feeling rather confident of 'whipping' something! Anyway...

The targets were 'challenging' in the conditions and Bev and Dave had picked the best of badish bunch but hey - we were in the fresh air. We started on the 'skeet' layout which proved tricky for some of us Mssrs Dave E and Phil were shooting like men possessed. Dave only dropping 2 and Phil 3. Dave M was sitting snuggly behind with 4 away so needed to be watched. Viking, Tosh and Simon were toe to toe - Clive got off to a bad start - BUT found his form towards the end. Carol was disappointed with her score but she did hit some nice targets. Meanwhile on the doubles - sorry but Paul (Snappy) has given me a crisp £10 note to keep quiet regards his progress!

So on to Layout 2 - what can I say - this was 'interesting'. The first few birds were 'ish but the E and F birds mostly all flew on to breed! Out of 40 E&F  birds shot at by the blue team in the singles only '7' ...YES 'seven' were kills. Overall 100 shots were fired at these two targets with only 23 kills. These were the targets that changed what could have been a 'phenominal' round by Dave E into a merely 'fantastic' round. Phil continued with a great start missing only 2 from his first 10 shots (as did 'Comeback Clive') - but they were both fallers on E and F - but still one of Phils best shooting days ever. Well done again Dave E and Phil. So all in all a very nice time was had by all.... oops nearly forgot - the Viking was the only one in our squad who hit the F and he did it TWICE!



















Next Meetings


National: The next National shoot is the National Muzzle Loading Skeet Championships on Saturday 1 October. This will take place at Eriswell Shooting Ground (near Lakenheath) and the shooting starts at 10am. Full competition details are on the MLAGB web site, or contact Martin / Clare for more information.


Club: The next AML Club shoot takes place on Saturday 15 October at Cambridge Gun Club. For those of you who like to shoot your Big Bore guns this shoot will include the Big Bore competition*. Further information can be obtained from Martin/Clare. * If you do not wish to take part in the competition, shooting will be taking place as normal with 30 single targets and 40 for the double guns.

15 Oct 2016 - Big Bore Competition

At this moment in time there are only scores available for the Big Bore Comp...

















Paul R with a very nice +6 which helped him win the main trophy as well as the averages. Graham with a +3, obviously not hindered by the groans from the other competitors at his 'allegedly' corny jokes. (I personally love them - but in my condition laughing is out of the question!)

Thanks go to Phil for giving us some bottles as prizes - so we were able to give them to Bev, Dick & Tony for equaling their averages.


Next Meetings


Club: The next AML Club shoot takes place on Saturday 12 November at Cambridge Gun Club. This will be the Hammer Gun competition - shot over 40 targets. In addition, we will also be holding the AML Flintlock competition shot over 30 single targets. The winner will be presented with our new trophy kindly donated by Archie, and beautifully engraved by Tim!!


Entering these competitions is purely optional so if you prefer to shoot your usual muzzle loader then please do as targets will be set as normal.

12 Nov 2016 -
Hammer Gun and Flintlock Competitions

The weather forecast was wet and windy, and indeed  it was, but 18 intrepid muzzle loaders bravely turned out in the cold driving rain to shoot.  An excellent show considering such poor conditions. It was notable that there were very few nitro shooters around that day!


With only two meetings left in 2016 and three competitions to hold, (the recent addition of the AML Flintlock Trophy being the third), it was decided to hold two concurrent competitions today, leaving the Powder Horn Trophy comp for the December meeting.



We split into two squads, The 12 Good Men and True all shooting doubles for the Hammer Gun Tankard and the 4 brave flinters for their trophy and 2 others shooting percussion singles. Three compact stands were used, with a variety of sporting birds from each of the skeet range, the  ABT range and the pond.

 Thankfully they were all under cover and helped protect us from the elements to a greater or lesser extent!


The Hammer Gun Tankard Trophy:

Some interesting hammer guns were used for the event: Tim shot a fine Westley Richards bar in wood 12b to good effect, Bushy brought another Westley Richards this time a 0.360” 'dangerous game rifle' modified to 0.410 bore and Kevin shot a fine 28b Robert Jackson from 1871 with barely legal 24.5” barrels. This was a very sporting gesture from Bushy and Kevin.


All targets were shot as two pairs on report, 40 birds total.


Stand 1 the sporting skeet, 12 targets, 3x double pairs:

The first pair of the competition, the long quartering away rabbit and the fast R/L crossing looper, proved somewhat challenging to say the least! Suffice to say only 5/48 targets were actually killed!!

The next 8 birds saw better performances, notably from Tim dropping 3 and both Pete SP and Mike only missing 1. Bushy and Kevin unusually failed to score at all on this stand.


Stand 2 the sporting ABT, 8 targets, 2x double pairs:

The 12 Good Men were now in their stride, Archie, Phil, Clive and Mike dropping only 2 birds each, Pete SP and the Viking only 3. Bushy and Kevin got to grips with their small pieces and got on the card with 3 and 4 kills respectively.

Stand 3 the sporting Pond, 20 targets, 5x double pairs:-

By now the weather had worsened, the increasing wind was blowing heavy rain straight into the covered stand from across the pond, morale was declining rapidly amongst the troops.

Unfortunately there is no photographic evidence, but the image of the shooters huddled together at the back of the stand whilst the scorer, trapper and shooter got soaked at the front was a sight to behold!

Interestingly, and maybe not surprisingly, the fast crossers on this stand suited the light, short barreled and small bore guns of Kevin and Bushy.

Both Paul R and Tim still managed to shoot well in the circumstances to score 12/20, Bushy and Mike managed 11/20, Pete SP and Derek gained 10/20, the remainder failed to make double figures.

The stand emptied very quickly, as each shooter on completing their last pair, packed up and returned to the clubhouse for a warming tea and hot pie!!



Tim and Paul R both shot very well and came joint third with 21. Pete SP shot exceptionally well to take r/u spot with 22. The tankard winner was Mike with 25, who was especially pleased as his shooting of late had been less than good as Derek, Martin and Hairy Dave can testify!!


The Flintlock Trophy & Muzzle Loaders:

Joining our muzzle loading group for his first visit to Cambridge was 19 year old Curtis, shooting his single barrel percussion gun. Having first been introduced to muzzle loading at the tender age of 12 at the Fenland and Sandringham game fairs, Curtis now goes to Sywell to shoot DTL as well as using his muzzle loader on game shoots and at his local clay club! Clare was using her double percussion gun which helped the squad for scoring duties!

The Flintlock gauntlet had been laid down long before the flinters had even got to their stand and for the three feisty flinters,  the competition promised  to make for a very exciting morning! The sixth member of the group was Graham who was shooting his very newly acquired Pedersoli flintlock for this competition and was there to enjoy his day and to learn how to shoot these flintlock guns!

The group started on the Pond stand - where 8 differing targets were presented including fast L/R loopers, quartering incomers pushed across the range in the wind and one 'pesky' rabbit running across the top of the pond at some speed! Martin had a cracking start and only dropped 2 out of a possible 15, Bev dropped 5 and Dave's start could only be described as a little 'disappointing' dropping 7. He did not quite manage to grasp the technique for those speedy  loopers!  However as Martin always says, "it's not over until it's over!!" and battle resumed.  Graham, after 'warming' up on the first half of the targets shot, hit almost all the rest on this stand - aha! thought Graham, I have cracked it with the flintlock . Sadly as the day progressed this was not to be the case! Curtis on the other hand had a bit of an OXO going on.... hit the first... miss the second.... hit the first... and so on!! And finally Clare was having several  "where has the clay gone??" moments - shooting a double gun with one eye blocked off is rather challenging - even more so for fast L to R targets, which most of them  were!! Just as she was about to pull the trigger the target momentarily disappeared behind the hammers!

The second compact  stand were the sporting targets set up on the skeet layout - 5 differing targets this time of which two of each were shot. Both Bev and Dave managed to gain a target on Martin, with Dave finding his form and dropping only 2 birds on that stand, as did Curtis.

It was all down to the last stand - 5 different single targets on the ABT range to finish - could Bev close the lead that Martin had? He was 2 away! Unfortunately Dave could not recover from his rather unfortunate  start. The battle continued... Martin dropped the second target.... Bev hit his. The gap had narrowed - one bird between them for a possible shoot off! Martin then took  the next target a VERY fast R to L dropping crosser some 30 yards out - the clay carried on into the next range - a loss! Bev was up, this was his opportunity....same bird.... another loss! It was now down to the last two targets - Bev trying hard to equal Martin. This was not to be and both shot the last two targets which placed Martin on 23 to clinch the trophy from Bev on 22. Really good flintlock shooting from all particularly in such poor weather conditions!


Some notable moments/quotes of the day:


• “Derek, you look thoroughly P**sed off!”


• “Do you want a simo, Simmo?”


• “The weather is going to change, it’s going from bad to worse”


• “I thought I’d shoot this little ol’ gun, I’ve won enough hammer gun trophies this year!”


• “Look at those duttyol’ cartridges, you won’t get that with my buggers!”


• As the results were announced, Bev muttered that had he known that he and Martin were so close he would have tried harder!


















Owing to the variety of guns shot the averages were not awarded. Prizes were given to the first 3 places of the Hammer Gun comp, with Paul R & Tim in joint third place, receiving a tin of WD40 and wine respectively, SP Pete was given a hammer gun mug and 2 cans of "Craft Dan" beer for his fantastic achievement of being runner up and winner Mike was given a tool for removing percussion caps off the nipple. This very useful item also has a pricker attached and is designed and engineered by our very own Tim. We recommend that if you have not already got one, that you add it to your Christmas list as at £10 each it is the ideal tool to have with you when game shooting as well as at the clay range!! (see photo above).


With the exception of the WD40 all the prizes were donated and special thanks go to Tim, Bushy, Dick & Viking for sourcing such splendid prizes.


Next Meeting:


Next, and last meeting for 2016, is on Saturday 10th December at Cambridge Gun Club, shooting 30 bird singles for the Powder Horn Trophy. Those not wishing to enter the competition may bring and shoot whatever black powder gun gives you pleasure. Following the afternoon session, there will be a festive dinner in the gun club restaurant at 3:00pm. This was excellent last year (apart from my pepper pot incident!) so please let Clare know asap in advance if you wish to attend.




10 Dec 2016 - Brad Randall Powder Horn

A dreary December morning greeted the 22 shooters, with rain forecast for the afternoon, at least the weather held for the competition. A great turnout for the last meeting of 2016 with the Festive dinner to look forward to at the end of the afternoon’s session.



We split into two squads, blue and yellow, 11 shooters in each. Two stands were used, all sporting birds from the skeet range and over the pond.


The Yellow Squad

Stand 1 the sporting skeet, 15 targets:-

A slow start by the squad, only 6 kills from 33 targets (memories of the Hammer Gun competition?) But once these targets were out of the way, there was some good shooting on the next 12 birds.  Notably from Bushy, dropping only 1, Mike 2, Derek 3, Curtis, Tim and Pete (SP) 4, and newcomer Tom, Paul  R and Tony 5.

We were accompanied for part of this stand by a group of young university lads enjoying some nitro shooting and taking great interest in our black powder muzzle loading guns. As customary for such interest, we offered them a shot or two at the end of the round which they eagerly awaited and enjoyed immensely.


Stand 2 the sporting Pond, 15 targets:-

Pete (SP) and Derek both shot like men possessed, dropping only 3 of the 15 targets to achieve joint 6th place and 5th place respectively overall. Paul R, Tom and Mark all dropping 5. Dick suffered from several misfires which is reflected in his lower than usual final score. A big thank you to Sandra for trapping, scoring and generally keeping the mob in order!!


The Blue Squad

Stand 1 the sporting Pond, 15 targets:-

Out of the 11 shooters in the blue squad Graham had bravely decided to use his flint gun and Simon his breechloader.  There was some very impressive shooting. As usual certain targets trip up the majority of shooters, namely the rabbit and the looping birds. It was noticeable that Martin, Clare and Viking consistently broke the loopers, there is obviously a knack to be learnt. Clare, Dave E, Martin and Viking came out in the lead after this layout having only missed 4 out of the 15 targets, closely followed by Archie who shot out of his boots and Bev. Viking also shot particularly well in the circumstances as he suffered from sporadic misfires.


Stand 2 the sporting skeet, 15 targets:-

Mixed fortunes on this layout. Ed got his act together missing only four targets. The wheels fell off for Archie who struggled a bit. Again it was the looper and rabbit that tripped up the majority of the shooters and of course the very fast right to left crosser and also of course etc. etc. Anyway Martin shot brilliantly only missing one target, Bev two targets, which allowed him to creep one position up the leader board, with Clare and Dave E missing three. Viking slipped back mainly because of gun problems. Graham struggled a bit with his flinter, but it is only a matter of time and perseverance before he consistently connects.



Runner up spot with a fine 23/30 score went jointly to Clare, Bev and Dave E.

The Powder Horn Trophy winner was Martin (again) with an excellent 25/30.

Strangely, the top 4 scores were all from the blue squad???















After the' prize giving' break, the group split into two squads again, one group shooting muzzle loaders and .410 /28g.  The other group were shooting a mixture of BP hammer gun and nitro guns.

A beautifully wood turned  miniature snowman - a Christmas tree ornament made by Dave E,  was to be the prize trophy for an impromptu  .410 challenge.  A close battle ensued on the skeet layout  between the four .410 shooters, with Martin pushing ahead to take his second trophy of the day with 19/30, closely followed by Bushy on a 17/30.


The Festive dinner in the gun club restaurant and AML club draw.

To celebrate our last shoot of the year, and as it was Christmas - Clare had organised some extra prizes for the averages competition. These were supplemented by the very generous gifts brought in by our members which resulted in everyone going home with a Christmas gift. Bev, being the highest on the averages this month with a whopping  +6 had first choice, with everyone else choosing in descending order. The AML Club also made a special presentation of a 'Viking Festive Hamper' to Sandra as a big thank you for all her scoring duties throughout the year.


Twenty two of our AML club members sat down at 3.30pm to enjoy a fabulous Christmas meal of roast turkey and all the trimmings, followed by Christmas pudding & custard, home made mince pies, mint chocolates and fresh coffee.  We would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to Cambridge Gun Club - Karen, Mick, Jonno, Carol, Lauren, Cheryl and Justin for looking after us throughout the year.


Next Meeting:

Sunday 8 January - all the 2017 dates  will be published shortly on the web site.




National News

About Muzzle Loading

Useful Links