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  • scoutwithprosthesis1This young Scout was born without a left hand.  When he took an interest in shooting, which is very popular in the Scout movement, Hampshire Scouts helped his local club to find a solution. 
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  • vicmorris1Vic Morris lives in south Wales and is paralysed from the neck down as the result of an accident.  With the aid of an 'equaliser' device invented by his coach, John Kelman, Vic shoots pistol and rifle. 
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  • stewartnangle1Stewart Nangle, a Lancastrian, is pictured shooting .22 pistol.  What the photograph does not show is that at the time one of his legs was fitted with a metal frame that was bolted into the bones. 
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  • Di CoatesDeanna (Di) Coates lives in Hampshire, shoots air rifle from a wheelchair, and is one of our most successful disabled international athletes. 
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  • michaelwhapples1Michael Whapples from Leicestershire is blind and shoots air rifle.  In 2011 he was the first British shooter ever to compete at the Open European Shooting Championships for the Vision Impaired, held at Nitra, Slovakia. 

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  • MattSkelhon1Matt Skelhon shot to fame when he grabbed gold at the Bejiing Paralympic Games and proved it was no fluke by claiming silver and bronze at London 2012.

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  • peterbreheny1Peter Breheny from Derbyshire shoots benchrest rifle.  He has Kennedy's Disease, a progressive wasting condition that has weakened his limbs. 
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First steps 

There are many different types of target shooting available for people to try in Great Britain.  Some of them are readily accessible to disabled people, others less so.  Also, shooting clubs and facilities do not all cater for every discipline; some only offer one, whilst larger complexes can cater for many of them.  The only place in the country where almost all disciplines can be tried is Bisley Camp in Surrey, where the principal national governing bodies are based.

The DSP is working with various governing bodies on improving accessibility to the sport, so if the disciplines that you particularly fancy are not suitable for your type of disability at the moment, or are not currently available in your area, do not give up hope!  The key skills for target shooting are very similar for all disciplines, so you could start with a different but similar option, learn those key skills, and take up your first choice when it is available to you.

For a summary of the principal target shooting options go to the Options page.

Clubs

There are clubs all over the country that cater for varying types and degrees of disability, and the list is steadily growing longer.  You can find out about clubs, shooting grounds and other facilities in your area from the relevant national governing body (see the Options page mentioned above, or look in Other Sites).  Clubs and other facilities that are known to the DSP as being suitable for shooters with disabilities are listed on the page of Disabled-friendly Clubs under the Clubs menu, with links to their contact details, but this list is not exhaustive.  There are many clubs that have never been asked specifically about taking disabled members, but which will happily to do so - it is always worth enquiring.  If you have difficulty finding a suitable club the DSP may be able to help via its network of contacts, so please get in touch.

All clubs are different in character, so if possible it is worth visiting several to see what is on offer, and whether the ambience suits you!

Equipment

Clubs will usually provide all the equipment needed, although most shooters choose to buy their own once they have settled into the sport.  This need not be overly expensive, as there is an extensive market in secondhand kit.   

What does it cost?

If you use your club's equipment, the cost will be just the price of your pellets or ammunition, and membership subscriptions - probably around the cost of a pint or a cappuccino a week!

If you buy your own equipment and enter lots of competitions - as much as you want to spend.

What are the prospects?

For those who are keen and able enough, the top level available to a disabled shooter is competing at the Paralympics.  Great Britain has produced quite a few Paralympic champions over the last 20 years.  Those interested in reaching serious top-level competition should contact Disability Target Shooting GB.

There are some types and degrees of disability that do not meet the criteria for the Paralympic athlete categories.  At the moment options for international competition for such people are limited, but they are expanding, and the DSP is encouraging development in this area.


What are the options?

There are lots of different disciplines (types of target shooting) that you can try.  You may wish to have a go at several different ones to see what suits you best.

Small-bore

The most readily-accessible disciplines for disabled shooters are .177 calibre air rifle and air pistol, both shot on indoor ranges that are 10 metres long, and .22 (small-bore) rifle shot indoors at ranges of 15, 20 or 25 yards. Those who are more adventurous can tackle outdoor .22 rifle shooting at 50 yards/metres and 100 yards.  There is also a 50 metre .22 pistol discipline, as well as rapid-fire pistol, and lightweight sport rifle. 

Field Target

This is an air rifle discipline shot outdoors at varying ranges, using a variety of shooting positions.  There are more detailed explanations on the British Field Target Association (BFTA) site.  The ranges are usually in fields or woodland settings, so inevitably some are not accessible for wheelchairs.

Crossbow

There are crossbow equivalents for most of the air rifle disciplines, including Field Crossbow.  An explanation can be found on Wikipedia.  The National Small-bore Rifle Association (NSRA) is in the process of introducing a new Sport Crossbow discipline, which is particularly disabled-friendly. 

Full-bore

For those who prefer bigger bangs and distances, full-bore rifles (7.62mm calibre) are shot at ranges from 200 yards up to 1200 yards.  Information from the NRA (National Rifle Association) of the disciplines they cover is available on the NRA web site - go to Home/Types of Shooting. 

Even bigger calibres are used by the black-powder shooters belonging to the Muzzle-loaders' Association.  Information about this very picturesque sector of target shooting can be found onthe MLAGB site. 

Benchrest

This encompasses rifle and pistol options for a variety of calibres and distances.  It is a popular option for shooters with lower limb disabilities, because they can take part without requiring any modification of the rules or equipment.  Details of .22 and airgun benchrest can be found HERE, and of larger calibre options HERE.

Clay Target

For shotgun shooters, clay target disciplines include skeet, trap, sporting, trench and down the line disciplines, depending on the speed, launch point and trajectory of the targets.  For a more detailed explanation of these options from the CPSA (Clay Pigeon Shooting Association).

Aiming Options

Telescopic sights can be used in some disciplines, especially in benchrest shooting

People with special needs who find it difficult to cope with the visual exercise of centering a target in a foresight ring and a rearsight aperture, may find it is easier to use a "red dot" sight, using a laser beam.  We are exploring the possibility of getting this option accepted for competitions.

Blind and visually impaired (VI) people can shoot air rifle disciplines using an acoustic aiming system.  This is explained on the British Blind Sport site .  This system will also be available as an option for the new Sport Crossbow discipline being introduced by the NSRA. 

Please note

Sadly some disciplines are really not suitable for people with some types of disability; for example, rapid-fire pistol, in which 5 shots are fired at 5 separate targets in times of between 8 and 4 seconds!

Hot News!

DSP Videos

Videos on disabled target shooting now on Vimeo and YouTube. You are invited to contribute your videos.

Please Do Our Surveys!

survey Information about people and facilities is vital to our work (and funding). YOU can help by completing our People and Clubs/Grounds Surveys.

£250,000 for Clubs!

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Read about the huge increase in Sport England investment in grass-roots target shooting. 

International Development

Image of Earth superimposed on a wheelchair wheel

Read about how we are hoping to expand the range of international competitions open to disabled shooters, and let us know if you can help.  

Helpful Stuff

Vision for Shooters

For most shooters, being able to see well enough to aim accurately is the key to our sport. Our Vision Section has lots of information to help all shooters who have vision problems, great or small.

Funding Guidance & Information

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Need information on funding for any aspect of disabled target shooting?  Check out the extensive Funding section on this site. 

Advice for Clubs

EFDS Inclusion Hub is a free on-line resource created by the English Federation of Disability Sport for clubs that wish to become more disabled-friendly and include more disabled people in their activities.
More information

Disability Awareness

For those encountering people who have various types of disabilities, we offer a round-up of some on-line advice and videos that may help to put everyone at their ease.