Fylde Coast Muzzle Loaders Society - A Society Dedicated to the Preservation and Use of Black Powder Firearms Fylde Coast Muzzle Loaders Society - A Society Dedicated to the Preservation and Use of Black Powder Firearms
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Fylde Coast Muzzle Loaders Society - Frequently Asked Questions

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Q: I know what days you are shooting on thanks to your handy calendar, but what time do you start and finish?

A: At Weeton, we generally begin by 10:30am and finish before 3pm. For Altcar, we ask that people arrive by 12 midday, in order to start shooting at 1pm, finishing at 4pm. If the weather is really bad, we may finish earlier than these times.

Q: If I join as a Probationary member, how soon would I be able to buy my own gun?

A: As a novice, you would be a Probationary Member for at least 6 months, during which time you would be expected to attend our shoots at least 6 times, preferably more. This gives us time to get to know prospective members, and for you to receive basic training in the safe use of firearms. After you become a Full Member, you could then apply to the Police for a Firearms Certificate (FAC), ensuring that you have the necessary secure storage arrangements in place and that you meet the criteria set down by the Police and Home Office. Only when the FAC is issued, which could take a couple of months (including a home visit by Firearms Registry staff), will you be able to purchase a firearm.

Q: As a probationary member, how much will it cost me to shoot ammunition belonging to full firearms-licensed members, who allow me to shoot their guns?

A: At present, ammunition (and ammunition loading components) are fairly expensive.

The vast majority of people will be happy to let you use their ammunition free of charge, but we would recommend probationaries to offer a small token gesture to the gun owner for the ammunition they shoot (even though most will refuse to actually take it).

Q: I don't want to shoot Black Powder muzzle-loading weapons. Is this OK?

A: Not really. As we are primarily a muzzle-loading black powder club, our rules state that anyone obtaining membership (and in possession of a current FAC) would be expected to purchase a 'Black Powder' weapon within the first twelve months of their membership. Anyone joining the Society and subsequently obtaining a FAC through having served a probationary period is expected to make their first purchase a bona fide 'Black Powder' weapon. However, as long as you shoot black powder occasionally, you are welcome to use other types of firearm, subject to their meeting the Range Safety Requirements.

Q: What do you mean by bona fide 'Black Powder' weapon?

A: Any firearm, original or replica, that would normally use black powder (or a substitute e.g. Pyrodex or Hodgdon Triple 7) as a propellant. A breech-loading weapon using black powder cartridges would meet this definition, e.g. the Sharps 45/70, or Snider, so it does not have to be strictly muzzle loading.

Q: I already have a Firearms Certificate and my own weapons. Can I shoot at your Club?

A: As long as your weapons comply with the Range Safety Requirements (for calibre, muzzle energy and velocity), you are welcome to shoot with us as a Visitor, charged at the rate shown here. If, however, you shoot with us as a Visitor more than three times in a year, we would ask you to apply for Full membership status. The stipulations regarding Black Powder weapons would then apply.

Q: I pay a membership fee every year. Why is there also a charge at the range?

A: To put it bluntly, we could not afford to run the Club without it. By charging a 'Range Fee', we are able to keep our subscriptions amongst the lowest in the area, and those who shoot more, pay more.

Q: Can you advise me on whether or not I can only transport my firearms between home and a range, or gunsmith's premises - i.e. can I stop off somewhere else (to give the dog a walk)?

The law states that you have to take reasonable care with regards to the security of your shotgun/firearm at all times. A locked car with an alarm and the firearm out of sight is reasonable.

Many shooters will leave Bisley, for example, and stop off at a pub for lunch. In this instance, you should keep the bolt in your pocket. To walk the dog is reasonable, although long periods of leaving the car in a secluded place is not recommended, for obvious reasons. RFD's have this same problem. As a Section 5 Carrier, it is permissible to carry pistols in a safe in the boot and if stopping for lunch, keep the car in view from the restaurant window.

A club official may NOT hold a gun for you, unless he is an RFD. On the other hand, a shotgun may be held by a club official for up to 72 hours, provided the official also has a shotgun certificate.

If you were to lodge a firearm in a club armoury, you must notify the police.