Newer members often ask about their options for firearms for their first FAC and tend to be steered towards what they’ll have been using as a provisional member. However, due to anomalies in the law, one group of firearms they won’t be too familiar with are Long Barrelled Revolvers / Pistols (LBR / LBP’s). Below is a brief summary of the situation, and options available.
A quick look back at how we got where we are today !. In 1997 the government moved all centrefire and rimfire pistols into Section 5 (from FAC Section 1) – effectively banning them from general use by UK shooters. Home Office approved clubs were then left with just 3 types of firearm which could be held on a club FAC – hence used by members without a personal FAC. They were centrefire rifles, rimfire rifles and muzzle-loading firearms.
When the Home Office were asked to define a ‘rifle’, their response was “a firearm with a barrel over 30cm, and over 60cm overall length”. Thus, bearing in mind the need to keep within the constraints of the law, LBR’s were born. Originally, they were sold by some dealers as Rifles. However, with no consistent policy across the UK’s licensing authorities, confusion reigned; some forces accepted this, others refused. Eventually a new firearms category emerged – Long Barreled Revolvers. Soon after, Long Barreled Pistols came on the scene, but both fell outside of the 3 defined categories for Home Office approved clubs, thus neither type could be used unless you had it entered on your personal FAC.
The situation today is that you need a personal FAC to acquire LBR’s / LBP’s – at present the club cannot have one on the club’s FAC. But ….. that may change ! Recent enquiries suggest that, following a court ruling, some forces may relax their view on club FAC’s – and thus what firearms can be purchased for club use. We’ll keep a close eye on those developments !
However, if you do decide to acquire an LBR / LBP before then – what are your options ? If we take LBR’s first, the market leader is the Taurus – available in 22, .30, 38/357, 44 and 45ACP. Expect to pay up to £700 for a new Model 66 in 38/357; second hand ones start at about £450 - £600. There are some others (Alpha’s etc), but you pays your money and takes your choice.
You’ll notice above the wrist brace projecting from the rear – that’s what makes the firearm the correct length and hence legal. Taurus’ are the ‘poor cousin’ to Smith & Wesson, so like most guns, they take a while to run in / run smoothly. However, all the old pistol comps (which is what Gallery Rifle is based on) have provision for LBR’, so plenty of opportunities to do just that.
Iron sights can be replaced with a rail, to mount a scope / red-dot; by far the best rail is from Steve Pike at Shield Shooting Centre (< £50). I would also suggest getting either some speed-loaders, or getting the gun converted to moon-clips (a flat disc of steel that holds the rounds as a group, ready to drop whole into the cylinder.) Also, consider the need for a holster – take a look at www.neiljonesshooting.co.uk for leatherware.
Not long after LBR’s came LBP’s. LBP’s are only available in 22RF (semi-auto CF pistols and rifles now being section 5) . However, unlike the Taurus – built as a UK market revolver – the first LBP’s were converted from the Browning Buckmark Rifle. Stocks were removed and replaced by a counter-balance rod, thus allowing them to be shot like pistols. The LBP’s were also semi-auto – since semi-auto 22 rifles were still allowed in the UK. That also meant they were magazine fed – in the Buckmark’s case, 10 rounds. Ideally, you should try to get at least 4 mags with your pistol.
Again, whilst there are many new versions of the LBP’s now emerging on the market (such as the 1911 based Low Mills, the K22 and the 1911TSC), the Buckmark is still currently the most common. Expect to pay between £350 and £600 SH, and £750+ for a new one. The Buckmark has an integral rail, to mount a scope / red-dot and there are options for lighter barrels, to better balance the pistol.
So, to sum up ….. to acquire an LBR / LBP, you need an entry for one on your personal FAC. Expect to pay between £350 and £750 for a basic model, but recognise that like all other firearms, there is always a nice array of add-ons. There are also loads of competitions for LBR’s and LBP’s – so expect to get through plenty of ammo as well !!
written by a long time member of the local shooting community.
plese find below a few pictures on instruction for sight alignment