The Gallery Rifle and Pistol disciplines (GR&P… or just Gallery Rifle (GR) ) covers events shot at short and medium distances by various rifles and pistols using pistol calibre cartridges. They evolved from the mainstream pistol disciplines, shot before the 1997 handgun ban, but now they are a discipline in their own right, with rules to encompass the specific features of firearms available today in the UK.
There are four main categories of firearms for GR, although some are further sub-divided by sights or action..
Gallery Rifle Small Bore (GRSB). Most competitors use a semi automatic (self loading) .22 rifle. The vast majority use the very popular Ruger 10-22, or similar derivatives.
Gallery Rifle Centre Fire (GRCF). Most shooters use a lever action rifle (Marlin, Winchester etc) in a traditional pistol calibre. Popular calibres include .38/.357, .44 or .45. Other types of rifle are available which are gaining popularity including lever release designs in 9mm. Some competitions offer prizes for Iron and Optical sights.
Long Barrelled Revolver (LBR). With an an overall length of 60cm and a barrel length of 30cm these types of firearm are designed to comply with UK firearms regulations. The revolvers are available in a variety of calibres. Most popular are .38/.357 and .44 although some competitors do use the .45 ACP. A few of the events require the use of a holster; sights can be Iron or Optical, such as a red-dot.
Long Barrelled Pistols (LBP). The LBPs are generally semi automatics although single shot designs are available and are sometimes used for precision events. Like the LBRs they are designed to comply with UK firearms regulations. LBPs are available in .22 rimfire calibre only and can be used for all events.
Most events are shot at distances between 10m and 50m although a few do go out to 300 Metres. There is a large selection of GR events which only require range space out to 25 metres so the disciplines can be shot on most UK ranges. The most common shooting position is standing unsupported but some events do test the shooter’s skills from other positions such as kneeling, sitting or from the weak shoulder or hand, even using barricades for cover or support. Some competitions are slower, precision events whilst others require the competitor to shoot and reload quickly. The targets can be stationary or turning at set intervals, for multiple exposures. Some targets are even moving and reactive (eg steel plates – or rubber simulations).
B&D run a number of GR events, such as T&P1, Multi-Target and Precision. There are plenty more events locally and nationally, should you wish to take GR more seriously. These include four open meetings of similar style and duration held at the National Shooting Centre at Bisley every year. The main ‘GR Festival’ is the Phoenix, which attracts over 500 competitors and has a very wide range of events on offer. Finally, there are a few B&D members who shoot on the National and International circuit for the England and Great Britain teams. However, whilst this sounds daunting, events are shot in classes, so everyone has a chance of success, even at their first competition.
For a more detailed look at GR, the events, rules, results and future competition diaries, take a look at www.galleryrifle.com or speak to one of the committee.
Rook and Rabbit rifles
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the rook and rabbit rifle was one of the mainstays of British gun making. Widely distributed and owned in Britain,it was also exported to many parts of the world, and particularly to the countries in the British Empire. Every gunmaker of note produced rook rifles. For example, Holland and Holland ( The two rifles in the photos are Holland and Holland rook rifles circa 1860 ish ) which were amongst the elite of the London gun trade devoted eleven pages of its 1887 catalogue to rook rifles so you can see how important these guns were. Most if not all of these types of rifles were made in Birmingham By little known gun makers, some making actions, others making triggers, then the well known makers would do the finishing and put their own makers stamp on them. Sneaky A !! These rifles enjoyed great popularity until the early 1920s by which time the 22 being a cheep and efficient round had taken over banishing many rook and rabbit rifles to the loft !!!!! You can still buy these rifles today, most you can buy off ticket because they are classed as obsolete calibre but if you want to shoot them they must be put on your licence and be in proof I collect these rifles and it never ceases to amaze me of the craftmanship in these guns, they are great guns to shoot so what are you waiting for get out and buy one !!! You won't be disappointed.
written by a well known member.....