The Great British Shooting Show 2015 February

February 13, 2015

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This year marks the 7th Great British Shooting Show, now firmly ensconced at Stoneleigh Park’s International Centre and in our diary.

For three days in February (13th-15th this year), the great and the good of the shooting trade pack four halls with a diverse array of kit. Once more remarkable for what wasn’t there (the candy floss and dross so prevalent at summer shows), the GBSS now attracts the big names from Blaser and Schmidt & Bender to Perazzi and Eley. So it’s a great chance to see all the new launches before they hit your local gunshop (although you may find many of them here, too), and get the lowdown directly from the manufacturers.

Woodline-Beaver
I go to shows with a (short) shopping list of things to buy and things to research, but it’s frequently the unexpected, new or just plain crazy that catches my jaded eye. Hammond’s had three of these. The Beavertail camouflage pattern is an alternative to the ubiquitous RealTree and plethora of digital patterns available…although I’m not sure the tiled pattern isn’t too regular to break up the human form. It’s available in top to toe formats for those keen to coordinate.

In my ongoing search for a durable pair of wellies that are tough enough to stand up to 364 days of use, I’m seriously tempted to try a pair of Arxus Primo Canvas Zip or Primo Nord Zip. The zip up the back feature isn’t one I’ve trialled before. As it’s always the zips that go first, I’m intrigued to

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see if this placement can outlast the more traditional side zip.

And finally, the Quadpod rifle support which had otherwise apparently sane men lying on their bellies to try it out. This competitor to the Triggerstick takes some mastering, but can be used prone, kneeling and standing, contorting into all sorts of geometric lines to cradle your rifle without straps.

I’m always looking for lightweight, packable, waterproof, non-camo, rustle-free jackets. My Ridgeline Monsoon smock is my go-to coat when I know it’s going to be wet. Really wet. Perfect for highseat work or standing around on a torrential driven day, there’s no denying its weight or its

warmth. I’d been looking for a lightweight equivalent, and even considering the shorter Pintail only to discover that one of the geniuses at Ridgeline had read my mind. This July (so I’ll have to suffer a little longer), they’ll be launching a lightweight smock.

Having found one solution, I stumbled across a second lightweight, butt-covering coat from Browning, the Featherlight Typhoon. Ever design-concious, No.2 loves the diagonal zip, proposing all sorts of hypothetical utilitarian advantages to the feature: I’m more interested in the water and windproofness and less in the funky zip.

Ridgeline
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The one item I was determined to go home with was a pair of warm gloves for an upcoming excursion to Germany in pursuit of boar. There’s nothing like the anticipation of six hours in a highseat at minus stupid to develop my latent shopping instinct.

I found the perfect thing for my shovels: a pair of XXL Almati gloves from Deerhunter. As you can see from the technical information that accompanies them, these aren’t just any glove. And I’ve been promised they’ll outlast the five year guarantee they come with.

Gloves
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No.2 finds it impossible to attend a show without purchasing something furry and/or shiny. The brand new (launched at the show) AYA Limited Edition Centenary Specials caught her eye, as did the Spanish AYA team over for the launch. And while I’ll concede that they’re a lovely pair (the guns not the Spaniards) and represent amazing value for the quality and history, my wallet and I remain unmoved.
Furry-balls
At least the guns distracted her from the Westley Richards stand with its twin temptations of Filson and Begg & Co. Thankfully she completely missed their firearms. She did shell out on a brace of furry balls from Paws For Thought for her Sealyhams. Apparently ‘the girls’ find fur as fascinating a temptation as she does.

Having escaped with my wallet intact, I can only recommend the show as a fantastic opportunity to share and compare. And if you’re hungry and not inspired by the expensive catering trailer cuisine,

take a short walk out of the halls to the Farmers Fayre Farm Shop in the showground for soup and a homemade sandwich with real substance.