You want to start competing in CSR and wonder where to start in terms of what you will need for a seasons shoot. Here are a few (not all) considerations, my own list gets longer every month, you can never be over prepared :)
1. Rifle: Of course, you will need a rifle, and the rifle you choose will depend on the class you are shooting in. Most competitors use an AR15 style rifle with a side charging handle. Why is this important?
Well, from experience, if you are using an AR15, you really want to give yourself the very best chance of charging/reloading the rifle confidently and at speed. The standard T shaped charger, is difficult to grasp quickly and will get in the way of your cheek when pulling it back to reload. Side chargers mean you can keep your cheek on the stock and in the aim whilst reloading, they are more ergonomic in operation.
If you are thinking about shooting in the Practical optic class you may consider a bolt action rifle, my only advice on this is to make sure you are comfortable behind the rifle and are confident with working the action quickly.
Magazines: all shoots will require a mag of 10 rounds, as you will be changing mags between practices, its a good idea to have your ammo pre loaded in mags. I have 10 magazines, but there are shooters who only have 2 so its a personal choice, pre fill mags, or bomb up between practices! Some practices require 2x sighters on top of your 10 rounds!
2. Ammo: For the winter league you will need around 500 rounds of ammunition. Entirely up to you, consider to reload your own ammunition for the season, or go for factory boxed ammo, many do, and do well with it. See the "Reload or Buy" page for my thoughts on this.
3. Ear Protection: No advice needed here, it should be part of your basic kit when shooting. I always pack two sets with me, one pair of electronic and one pair of Decibulz.
4. Waterproofs: Yes, yes, yes! The winter league this year (2022) was largely a wet season, this was my best investment by far, I opted for military surplus water proofs and wore the trousers on every shoot regardless, the ground on Century range is often wet, there are plenty of large and sometimes deep puddles, so its an obvious consideration.
5. Waterproof boots: Again, a decent set of waterproof boots will go a long way to making your life comfortable. Remember, you are out in the weather all day, the ground will be wet, you are likely to be running through soft wet sloshy grassland on Century. For me, there is nothing more annoying than wet feet!
6. Gun bag: A decent gun bag preferably with a harness on, typically CSR shooters have drag bags or similar, these come with shoulder straps which makes life easier when carrying your rifle between firing points or between Century range and the butts or to your vehicle. A lot of shooters seem now to be investing in Bag/Gun carriers like the Eberlestock Gunslinger packs, these are expensive, but damn good and serve as a holdall as well as a gun bag.
7. Comfortable Clothing: I have already mentioned waterproof clothing, but what about everything else?
Think about comfort, you will be changing positions more than once during an AM or PM session so make sure you have good movement!
There is no "Dress Code" to speak of, many shooters opt for a loose fitting combat jacket (surplus), there is no need to go "tactical" on these shoots, we are civilians remember. Think about winter though, keeping warm is a must!
Hat or not? I prefer to wear a cap, some wear beanies, but its rare to see anyone not wearing a hat, just saying!
Gloves, oh yes, you will need some gloves.
Note: Ony one piece of camo is allowed, we cannot be mistaken for a member of the military on duty! (rules: A2.4.1)
8. Optics: I don't really need to say much about this, optics are expensive and not all are fit for purpose when you are considering shooting CSR.
There are two classes which require optics:
Service Optic which restricts magnification to a max of x4.5 power.
Practical Optic with no restriction on magnification.
I shoot in the Service Optic class and use a 1-8x24 Primary Arms PLX, it has an excellent reticle and the glass is some of the best. There are plenty of scopes out there that will do the job nicely. A scope with a decent set of turrets is a must, you will be adjusting your scope between practices to account for the distance changes and having small fiddly turrets will cause you problems. Turrets with zero stop or single turn will help, its easy to be a whole revolution out!
Point to note: Bisley is measured in Yards, most Military ranges (not all) are Metre ranges. Make sure your dope is correct.
9. Food: Bring plenty, you will get hungry, you are out in the cold all day so think about what you need, its too late if you turn up without scoff!
Flask of coffee is mandatory.
10. Notebook and pen: Don't forget these, no doubt you will want to record your scores but more importantly record conditions. Bisley is a windy place and keeping a record will help you out as you navigate your way through the season, it did me!
11. Wind meter: Optional of course! However, this was one of my best purchases this season, knowing what the wind is doing speed wise means you can be confident in using your wind tables (assuming you have bothered to get a ballistic calculator out).
12. Firing point extras: These are personal preference, but here is what I take to the firing point with gun and ammo:-
Reduced copy of course of fire (COF), handy to quickly check the stage shoot, know the COF, it is your responsibility!
Pocket binoculars, small pair of Bino's or a monocular, handy to check your target once the spotting discs have been put up.
1x Spare mag of 10 rounds in case of a reshoot.
These are just a few things that should be considerations as well as the basics: Gun, Ear Pro, Ammo, Safety Flag and you!