Common Time 2019

Rifle Club

Boys shooting

Boys reloading guns

In 2004 it was decided to expand opportunities for shooting at Winchester College, since until that time the sport had been confined to members of the CCF. The foundation of Winchester College Rifle Club (WCRC) enabled First Years and those pupils who had left the CCF to shoot. Target rifle shooting is not militaristic and some of our best shots in recent years have not been members of the CCF.  

The School's shooting range, Cecil Range, was built in 1915 at the expense of the mother of George Cecil, who was killed in action in 1914. The first shot was fired by Rudyard Kipling, a friend of the Cecil family. Cecil Range has recently been partly refurbished. There are six firing lanes for use at a distance of 25 yards. Several local shooting clubs also enjoy use of the range, and the School is always open to approaches from local organizations who might like to make use of the facility.  

Shooting is an extremely safe sport. Accidents are prevented by rigid application of rules of safety and by the cultivation of a calm and unhurried approach in the range. The last recorded shooting accident at Winchester was in the 1800s! Using .22 inch target rifles, provided by the club, pupils are encouraged to develop their powers of concentration and self-control.

The School's teams often compete in the British Schools Small-Bore Shooting Association postal leagues, with U14 teams firing ‘5-bull' targets, and older pupils firing the more demanding '10-bull' targets. From time to time there have been visits to the Lord Roberts Centre at Bisley to fire at 50 yards, and there have also been ‘shoulder-to-shoulder' matches against Wellington, Marlborough and Epsom.

Since WCRC's equipment is for the most part second-hand, the most committed pupils often purchase their own rifles, slings, shooting jackets and gloves. These are bought on the pupil's behalf by the School and placed on WCRC's firearm certificate. When pupils leave, they may obtain their own firearm certificate and continue to shoot at a local or university club.