I was a bit nervous on the way to A1SG in Barnet – I’d booked in for my first CPSA registered shoot, and was stepping into the unknown. Who would I be squadded with? How difficult would these targets be? Would I get stuck on the M25? Thankfully the last issue wasn’t a problem and I rolled into the Shooting Ground about 15 minutes before my allotted start time. A1SG is situated on the A1 just two miles south of junction 23 of the M25 (Bing Maps here), and is certainly one of the best equipped shooting grounds I’ve reviewed so far. As well as 12 stands of Sporting, they have Olympic Trap, Helice and Skeet layouts – so the site was busy on the Saturday afternoon I was there.
Certainly walking in and finding George Digweed and Ben Husthwaite on the scorecard was a bit sobering – I was in illustrious company. After checking in, kitting up and getting the squad together – we strolled round the well made up paths to stand 1 – the grounds are really well-appointed and nicely spaced out all radiating around from a good size car park and a nice club house.
Stand one was a R/L crosser and L/R looper – in between two banks of trees – missable and certainly caught a few of our squad out. Stand two was an incoming floater of a target followed by a L/R Midi at some distance which was tricky to even see, let alone get a bead on – lots of lead to account for the pace. Then we had a sim pair of quartering Left to Right – which were lovely, followed by four stands that came off the dominating high tower in the centre of the grounds. Some tricky right to left birds and then two stands of driven birds in a variety of speeds and sizes – we were just over halfway round and some good scores going up on the board for the shooters in my squad.
Into the home leg – we had an interesting teal followed by quartering left to right which caught a lot of people out – the teal was really tough to hit unless you took it very early and over the top which gave you a starting chance. This was followed by a right to left battue and left to right crosser – I couldn’t find either of these, ended up carding a 1 which really disappointed. We had a skippy quartering rabbit with a right/left crosser to follow and a pair of loopers which I enjoyed (7/8) – final stand was an incoming right to left over a tree-line followed by a overhead going away which I straighted and which left me going home happy.
Our squad scored pretty well – with me propping up the card – but no shame, this was my first CPSA shoot and I learnt tons. I was a bit under my shooting average, but watching some good shooters was an education all the way round. We had a friendly squad and some laughs on the way round, despite some tricky targets.
Back to the excellent club house to check our cards in and check the scoreboard – as expected, I was a looong way away from Digweed and Husthwaite etc – but a really enjoyable day. Very impressed with A1SG – nicely laid out, good, challenging targets and a well equipped site. The clubhouse has a good snack bar and a small shop/desk area for cartridges and essentials – very cosy and welcoming. All the staff were excellent, very polite and welcoming to the site.
I’ll definitely be at more CPSA shoots – and certainly back to A1SG for more.