We’re gearing up for a busy year ahead but have enjoyed some time out to recharge our batteries. A few fishing trips in Cardigan bay produced some fresh mackerel and we’ve been fortunate to have been invited on some wonderful game shooting opportunities locally.
There really can be few more wholesome experiences than to have a day walking up woodcock behind an experienced Pointer. Many woodcock were seen, a few were shot and these will be enjoyed for dinner with a good glass of red in the near future.
We also took a few outings with small local syndicates offering pheasant and rough shooting for ducks, geese and other game over farmland in the Dyfi Valley and the freezer is now filled with healthy, natural meat.
New historic rifle shooting area
In between these outings, we’ve been working on a new shooting area for our Historic Rifle Experience days and client walkabouts. This area combines old buildings with superb shooting out to ranges of 800m in a circular bowl of some 900 acres surrounded by forestry.
Sand bags on old boundary walls, our signature Figure 11 targets and a selection of Enfield, Mauser, Mosin Nagent and other historic rifles will combine to give clients an open sighted view of the challenge our grandparents faced during World War 2 and our greatgrandparents in World War 1. The days will be trialled in March 2017 and available from April onwards.
Clients reading this who want to come to us on the weekends please contact us soon to avoid disappointment. We are takings bookings now into the autumn 2017. Due to the demand, we will be adding VAT to our weekend bookings from April 1st onwards. We have not put prices up at all in three years. The weekday prices will remain the same for 2017, inclusive of VAT. Bookings made on weekends and Bank Holidays after April 1st will also be plus VAT.
Even more steel targets
We’re investing in more steel targets to add to the shooting opportunities on all of our shooting areas, including our newly re-vamped big quarry, our mountainside targets and the unpainted, realistic deer stalking targets on our wilderness area.
We’ve also ordered a clever remote control system for our running boar/moving target system which will enable us to start and stop it at distance of 100-350m. The target will therefore move, just like game does, to further challenge our clients. Fancy a go? Let us know.
WMS at the British Shooting Show
Andrew and Helena enjoyed the buzz of a very busy British Shooting Show at Stoneleigh Park Exhibition Centre in mid February. Thank you to everyone who came by to see us and also to those who called us when we returned home to book in. Thanks also to Blaser Sporting and the gang for being such good company during the event. Next up is an event at Braces of Bristol in the summer. Watch this space for details.
With best wishes
Andrew and Helena
How can it be Christmas again already?
We’ve enjoyed a really good 2016 at WMS Firearms Training with clients arriving from all around the UK, across Europe and even from New Zealand to shoot with us.
Many of our clients go on to become friends and we find that repeat and referral business is now making up a large part of our business. Thank you to everyone who has rebooked and recommended us to others.
Not a company to stand still we have some interesting plans for 2017. We’ll be launching a new Historic Rifle Experience Day, featuring battle rifles from World War Two, to complement our popular Sniper Experience Days.
We’ll be running Masterclasses at Euston Estate in Suffolk in late March and July; announcing a collaboration with a UK rifle manufacturer in January; and will be introducing new initiatives to help clients from Europe who want to come to the Wales to enjoy our long-range shooting opportunities.
Thank you once again for all your support and we look forward to welcoming you to WMS in 2017.
We wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a healthy and fulfilling New Year!
Andrew and Helena
WMS Firearms Training
We are delighted to announce a cooperation agreement with Euston Estate in Suffolk to provide clients of both organisations with the very best in rifle shooting training and deer stalking.
Euston Estate in Suffolk has an excellent reputation as a provider of some of the best Red, Roe, Muntjac and Chinese Water Deer stalking in the UK under the expert guidance of Chris Rogers, the Estate’s Deer Manager. Both WMS and Euston Estate attract clients from all over the UK, Europe and further afield.
The agreement will mean that clients who train on WMS Firearms Training’s 10,000-acre rifle shooting facilities in Mid Wales can go on to practice what they have learnt on Euston Estate’s new 50-300m shooting range which features a selection of WMS’s signature reactive steel targets.
Clients can further develop their shooting skills from standing, kneeling, sitting and off sticks using WMS training methods under Chris Rogers’ eagle eye. They can then go on to stalk with him on the Euston Estate and put into practice their new levels of competence and ethical hunting skills.
At the same time Euston Estate clients who want to develop their longer range shooting or learn specific skills for overseas hunting can arrange a trip to WMS, which has built a reputation for preparing clients for the hunt of a lifetime.
Andrew Venables, CEO of WMS, comments: “We are often asked by clients who come to train with us why it is so hard to find facilities to practice the skills they have learnt. This new agreement will give these clients a superb opportunity to hone the skills gained with us under the guidance of Chris and then put them into practice deer stalking.”
Chris Rogers says: “This is a really exciting opportunity for Euston Estate and for rifle shooters. Having helped out our deer stalking clients with tips and techniques on the range and in the field, it’s fantastic that we can now offer advice and WMS training methods to new and existing shooters.”
“Our new shooting range offers clients the chance to practice shooting at practical distances which relate to all UK stalking scenarios and, thanks to its layout and topography, the sort of shooting positions found from the highlands to the lowlands can also be rehearsed. We are delighted to be working with WMS Firearms Training to make training and practice more readily available to rifle shooters.”
The Euston Estate covers some 10,500 acres to the South East of Thetford Forest in the County of Suffolk. This traditional family estate has been home to the Dukes of Grafton for nearly 300 years and has always been kept as a sporting estate offering some of the finest deer stalking and driven bird shooting the UK has to offer.
Red, Roe and Muntjac reside on the ground in healthy numbers and provide both trophy and cull stalking. The estate also has land containing Chinese Water Deer only 40 minutes drive to the North on the Norfolk Broads.
The estate’s ground is made up of deciduous and pine forest, open farm land, wetland and grassland set in gently rolling topography. Stalking is conducted on foot or from high seats and ground hides depending on weather, time of year, species being stalked and the requirements of individual clients.
Estate rifles are available for clients to use if required and thanks to the estate’s size and deer numbers, Euston can cater for numbers of clients from one to eight depending on species to be stalked and number of outings booked.
To find out more please contact:
Andrew or Helena Venables, WMS Firearms Training
We were fortunate to escape to the sunshine in February for a trip to Mauritius. Neither of us had been before and this nation with its peaceful population of Hindus, Muslims and Christians was a revelation. The lush green tropical island was formed from the caldera of multiple volcanos and is now characterised by sugarcane, rum, vanilla, flowers, mountains, coral reefs and golden beaches.
Mauritius was also where Gerald Durrell did so much conservation work, notably on the Pink Pigeon, Mauritian Fruit Bat and rare Mauritius Kestrel, all of which we saw in their wild environment. In the creation of an interesting circle Andrew worked with the Durrells at the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust on the groundbreaking Celebes Macaque enclosure so he was delighted to see the success of JWPT projects in Mauritius.
A happy chance meeting led to us spending a day looking at local game and wildlife in the company of Dominique Thévenau who runs Mauritius Fishing & Hunting Safaris.
Dominique’s knowledge and experience (he spent many years as a PH in South Africa) was inspiring: he not only manages a huge estate that employs several locals, but has a wealth of knowledge about hunting and shooting, animal management and biodiversity, was charming and modest and had an appealing fondness for chocolate. Yes, we liked him.
We are currently liaising with Dominique to offer WMS clients a chances to visit Mauritius for some sustainable hunting of the local Rusa deer (found nowhere else in the world) and wild boar, which provide much appreciated food for the locals and keep populations of these animals healthy.
On the fishing side Dominique takes clients fly fishing and spinning on the seaward side of the island’s reefs for bone fish, dorado, trevally, tuna and more.
Let us know if you’d be interested in a trip to Mauritius to hunt or fish.
First among equals
WMS runs a “First Among Equals” policy when it comes to showcasing shooting kit. This means we are not restricted by any “pro user” agreement with a specific brand. We showcase what we like, simple as that.
This allows our clients to compare optics from the likes of Zeiss, Leica, Swarovski, Minox and Nightforce, and rifles from manufacturers such as Blaser, Mauser, Brno, Howa, Savage, Steelcore and Remington.
So if you want some new kit, don’t just look at it in a gunshop, come and try it here and hone your shooting skills at the same time. Then you can decide what suits you and your shooting before parting with your hard-earned cash.
Sunshine and storms
In common with the rest of rural Britain, we are weathering the succession of storms and looking forwards to spring proper and some dryer weather.
We have been running clients days throughout the winter for hardy souls who enjoy an additional challenge of wind and rain and it is of course good preparation for those tough hunts.
On a positive note our new moving target system is fully installed and we are just awaiting some dry weather for final ground works.
We’ll be testing and filming the system later this month so look out for some new videos popping up on social media.
Bookings are busy for 2016 with dates going fast so if you want to shoot and train with us we recommend calling us sooner rather than later, especially if you want to prepare for a hunt you’ve already booked.
To meet demand we’ve increased our training capacity this year by taking on another instructor. Chris Parkin is a highly-regarded shooting journalist and all around excellent rifle shot who has a wealth of knowledge about rifles and scopes.
Chris, who has tested and reviewed much of the kit on the market, will bring his technical engineering knowledge and analytical mind to complement WMS’s training services.
We are booking clients on days with Chris from April onwards and know he will be enormously popular.
Andrew will still be providing training on the majority of our bespoke one-to-one and two-to-one days while Alan and Helena are also available to act as a guides for experienced groups who want to use our facilities for their own practice days.
We wish all our friends, clients and colleagues a great Spring and look forward to seeing you at WMS.
Andrew and Helena
Andrew’s and Helena’s Annual Leave
To prepare for what is panning out to be a busy year ahead of us we will be taking our annual leave from February 8th-23rd.
In our absence WMS Firearms Training Headquarters will be looked after by the ever capable Alan Hollander, our on site Gunroom and Security Manager.
Telephone enquiries and messages will be forwarded to us by Cara Marshall, our house sitter and menagerie manager, and we will respond to these and to emails as and when we can while we are away.
Please be patient if we don’t get back to you immediately.
WMS Firearms Training will be attending the Great British Shooting Show at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, from February 12th-14th 2016.
Chris Parkin, our new instructor and renowned technical shooting journalist, will be representing WMS on the Blaser Sporting stand at the in Hall 2, Zone 8 of the show, where you can also find our Blaser colleagues, Robert Sajitz, Jon Carrington and Tomo Svetic.
Chris will not only be able to provide all the information you may require about WMS training courses, our facilities and Blaser Academy UK but also knows an awful lot about setting up rifles and optics. So if you have any questions do pop by and see him.
While you are on the Blaser Sporting stand don’t forget to check out the superb Blaser R8 Professional Success, which is now being produced with some very stylish stock finishes.
Also have a look at the fantastic Mauser M12 Impact which recently proved its long-range capabalities at 1,000m at WMS late last year. Watch how Mauser made the 1,000m sporting rifle in Fieldsports Channel TV’s film here.
Shotgun shooters will be interested to see, and enter a competition to win, the all new Blaser F16 12-gauge over-and-under shotgun, being unveiled on the Blaser Sporting stand on Friday 12th February 2016 at 10:20AM. Available in both Game and Sporting Versions the Blaser F16 is a beautifully designed, perfectly balanced shotgun which combines an elegant look with the technological features that really make a difference.
New look WMS website
Finally, we’re really pleased with the new look WMS website which has just been edited and updated to include more information and some stunning new photos.
We’re sure you’ll agree that the updated site really does convey the WMS philosophy of making every shot count.
We look forward to seeing you here in Wales during the course of 2016!
Andrew and Helena
WMS Firearms Training
WMS’s new instructor, Chris Parkin
NEW MOVING TARGET SYSTEM: The Longest, the Fastest, the Best!
We’re delighted to announce that the new WMS Moving Target System, supplied by Laporte of France, has been installed at our most accessible site and is now undergoing testing and evaluation prior to launch for client use in March 2016.
With a track length of 50m the WMS Moving Target System is the longest in the UK and gives you a unique opportunity to hone your skills on a range of targets moving at speeds of 5-30kph.
Variable inclines and angles add to the challenge, so whether you want to try target shooting with a difference, practice your moving quarry skills in case things go wrong when you’re stalking, or train for a driven hunting trip give us a call on 0174 831869 now to find out more! Bookings now being taken now for individuals and groups.
We’ve recently opened a new shooting area in the Upper Tywi Forest. The 800 acre site is an upland oasis of hill grasses, sphagnum bog and rocky outcrops surrounded on all sides by mature forestry. The topography is ideal for safe shooting with 180 degree arcs of fire, excellent backstops and challenging wind conditions, making it the perfect location to prepare for stalking in Scotland or hunting in the mountains of Europe and further afield in pursuit of wild quarry in wilder places.
The site has some covered firing if required and hilltop locations with fantastic views to our signature steel targets placed out to 1,000m to test and educate any rifle shooter. There is also a farmhouse that can be used for indoor seminars, hot drinks and food during or after a day’s shooting. Please phone 01974 831869 to find out more or to book.
NEW POLARIS RANGER
WMS one-to-one clients who want to shoot from the far reaches of our shooting areas but don’t fancy the hike to the top of the hill whil carrying heavy kit can now enjoy a trip in our new Polaris Ranger UTV.
WIth plenty of room for Andrew, you and all your gear this amazing hill-climbing vehicle is not only supremely powerful but also surprisingly comfy and quick getting to you your destination with a minimum of fuss. Vitally it also makes the perfect shelter for that all important tea break.
So if you want to try a one-to-one that focuses on making those challening long shots from the hill tops and fancy a ride in the Polaris at the same time please call 01974 831869.
WMS GIFT VOUCHERS
Stuck for Christmas present ideas for yourself, a friend, or a member of the family? How about a WMS Gift Voucher in part or full payment for a day’s training with Andrew on one of our fantastic training areas here in Wales?
A voucher for a one-to-one day will certainly put a smile on any deerstalker’s or hunter’s face, while those hard-to-buy-for non-shooting friends and relations will love our renowned Sniper Experience Day which costs just £275 all inclusive.
For more information please go to our Gift Vouchers page and to order please call us on 01974 831869.
OUR FAVOURITE AMMUNITION: Andrew’s independent view
At WMS we use many different types of ammunition in our rifles. Here are some of our favourites which fall into the Sheer Excellence category.
Brand new BUSHNELL FUSION 1 MILE ARC 10×42 Laser Rangefinding Binoculars with Ballistic Calculator
RRP: £1,050, WMS Price: £825 inc VAT and P&P to UK.
Includes battery, carry case and neck strap.
Andrew says: “I’ve used my Bushnell Fusion 1 Mile Arc binos extensively here in Wales and also during a tough hunting trip in Africa. They are absolutely superb, easy to use, robust and offer performance equal to solutions costing three times as much.”
To buy now: call 01974 831869 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
A VERY BIG THANK YOU to all of our clients who have come from all four corners of the UK and from overseas, including Australia, Austria, Denmark, Dubai, France, Germany, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Pakistan and the United States, to train with us during 2015.
Meeting clients and helping you improve your shooting skills makes what we do not only enjoyable but incredibly rewarding.
Thank you all for your support and we look forward to seeing you in 2016: but remember, please do book early to secure your chosen dates!
With best wishes
Andrew and Helena
We love to challenge our clients and give them a lot of fun at the same time and our amazingly large shooting areas enable us to create new and exciting signature shots!
For those of you wanting the ultimate in long-range targets we’ve now put in place two super-long shots enabling you to shoot from 1,450m to 1,700m, that’s well over ONE MILE!
Fancy a crack with our Magnum calibre rifles in .300WM and .338LM at this distance? Book your super-long challenge NOW by calling 01974 831869 and don’t forget you can also use your own suitable calibre firerams.
STEEL TARGET SPECIAL OFFER: 20% off for clients collecting from WMS HQ
Our range of ISO 9001 compliant, bullet resistant “secret recipe” reactive steel targets, made to our specifications, are used by us on a daily basis. The fact that they’re also used by the UK Armed Forces Sniper Training Schools just goes to show how good they are.
Targets are available in the following designs and the prices shown are the special offer rates including VAT, which applies to clients visiting WMS HQ and taking the targets with them. We can also arrange delivery to any UK or overseas destination.
Crow, fox, rabbit inc spike base £75
Muntjac life sized inc base £150
Roe Deer life sized inc base £295
Wild Boar life sized inc base £575
Figure 11 inc base £300
Hanging disc 25cm £35
Hanging disc 50cm £155
For those of you who want something different we can cut and make targets to a design of your choice: if you have something in mind give us a call on 01974 831869 for a quote.
As a word of caution, don’t be fooled by other targets on the market some of which are not up to the job.
CORPORATE DAYS AT WMS
Alexandra Baur, Head of PR for Blaser in Germany, brought over some German hunting clients and the editors-in-chief of Jagd & Hund and St Hubertus magazines, the biggest hunting magazines in Germany and Austria respectively.
On another trip Blaser Sporting UK CEO Robert Sajitz brought along some of his dealers to show them just what the Blaser R8 Professional and Professional Success could do in real field conditions; we were all impressed with the superb 6.5×55 calibre which put in some extremely accurate small group shots at 1km; smiles all round!
Optics manufacturers Leica and MINOX also invited guests to corporate days at WMS to showcase their binoculars, riflescopes and spotting scopes. Each company invited company staff from Germany and UK, dealers, and editors and journalists from magazines such as Shooting Gazette, Sporting Gun, Sporting Shooter, Shooting Sports and Gun Mart.
From our perspective we were enormously impressed by the range of optics on show particularly the new MINOX ZP tactical scopes which really proved their worth on our own Steelcore Cyclone .308 and PGW Timberwolf .338LM shot to 835m, or 900 yards.
We hope to have some of these on the WMS equipment line up very soon. We were also rather taken with the range of Sauer rifles, especially the new Sauer 404, provided for the day by Garlands. Check out the video to find out more about it!
“Thank you for hosting a simply splendid day yesterday. I am extremely impressed by your facility and by the way you conducted the day from start to finish; for me you hit the ‘sweet-spot’ in terms of balancing a safe, fun, instructional and pleasant environment. I could not have asked for more.”
IAN SPICER, MARKETING DIRECTOR, MINOX GB
BOOK YOUR OWN CORPORATE DAY
If you are interested in booking a Corporate Day at WMS to showcase products to the press or dealers, or just want to reward your staff with a unique day out, then give us a call to discuss the options available. Group prices from just £1,200 plus VAT per day including instruction.
BOOKINGS FOR AUTUMN/WINTER 2015 AND SPRING 2016
As always we ask you to book your shooting days at WMS as early as possible to avoid disappointment particular if you have a specific date in mind. The autumn and winter is already filling up fast and weekends are limited.
And as if coming to Wales to shoot isn’t enough, our recommended hotel for clients, Y Talbot in Tregaron, has been named CAMRA West Wales Pub of the Year 2015 and is on a shortlist of three for the Wales Pub of the Year title to be judged in July.
This comes on top of Y Talbot featuring in the New York Times list of 10 hotels in Europe that make you feel at home.
Cheers or Lechyd da as we say in Wales!
Thank you for reading and we look forward to seeing you soon.
Best wishes and Happy Shooting!
Andrew and Helena Venables
We regularly receive enquiries about firearms law and licensing from our clients and the wider public with many of these concerning firearms certificate (FAC) applications, renewals, variations, firearm certificate conditions and shooting permissions.
While we can answer many of these questions, it was clear there was a need for us to be able to provide clients with access to robust and accurate legal advice from a professional in the field.
As WMS’s Legal Consultant Lachlan will be a valuable addition to our team and the range of services we offer.
With specialist experience in firearms law and fieldsports, Lachlan is frequently instructed in firearms appeals and is an experienced advocate in the Magistrates’, Crown, County and Coroners’ courts.
His broad case experience and excellent track record of success in difficult cases means he can advise on a wide range of issues surrounding individual firearms licensing problems and scenarios.
Lachlan said: “I am delighted to have been asked to assist WMS Firearms Training as its Legal Consultant. Firearms law and licensing is complex and often very confusing and it is imperative that shooters are equipped with the correct legal advice to ensure their rights and their sport are protected.”
You know a trip is off to a good start when you are whisked from limo to business class lounge, to comfortable flights with great food and then you are met on wrong side of immigration control by your hosts and military men in peaked hats. We were fast-tracked through passport control, our bags were collected by minders and we stepped out into the warm Karachi sunshine and into our Land Cruisers, closely followed by our host’s security personnel. The steely eyed team piled into their truck, blue lights flashing and Kalashnikovs slung for the short trip, to our host’s Karachi residence and a quiet lunch and rest before our trip into the Sindh tribal areas.
Helena was quite overwhelmed by the VIP treatment. Having visited Pakistan twice before, I had an idea of what to expect; guests are considered a blessing and are treated royally in Islamic countries.
Our journey North, via Nawabsha to central Sindh and our host’s home area was a riot of colours, noise, new smells and life, every lorry painted brightly with images of flowers and partridges mixed among religious statements, decked with ribbons, polished chrome and multiple aerials. The journey was at times entertaining with horns blazing and lights flashing as our convoy dodged through the gauntlet of overtaking, road works and evening traffic. This is not a journey visitors can, or should, make by simply hiring a car and a sat nav, which made it all the more special.
The highway shrank to a two-lane road which reduced again to a single track in places as we neared the shooting area and farm on which our host’s compound is based. Horns blasted, guards stepped aside and the steel gates swung open to reveal a brightly lit and very comfortable set of buildings, with our room in the centre. It was 10pm and after refreshments and introductions we were told diner would be served at midnight, or soon after. Now we were really on “local time” and in the full embrace of this vibrant yet troubled country.
Our arrival in Pakistan was two days after the terrible massacre of school children in Peshawar, an incident our host, his family and friend’s condemned, and just as the three days of National Mourning started. Despite these terrible events, everyone we met was happy to see us, hugely hospitable and we never felt threatened in any way. On the contrary people were grateful that we had come to see Pakistan and look beyond the headlines at the reality of everyday life, which is very different from the bad news the media focuses on.
The five days before the shooting competition were filled with a mixture of providing training to our host’s son, brother and friends, answering innumerable questions about all aspects of shooting as well as zeroing some of our hosts many rifles and scopes. I am often reminded of the old saying “Fear the man with one gun.” Having many guns can dilute the capacity to focus on single solutions, actions, handling, trajectories and these factors make shooting under pressure more difficult.
It wasn’t all work though; we spent a day duck shooting on a massive lake, 40k long and 5-10k wide. Boatmen from a local fishing village punted us out to raised machans set out in the enormous reed beds, the home of countless duck of many species. Our spot was more flown over and around than into, hence my bag of 9 passing duck for perhaps 40 shots. The top gun took 96 for 200 odd shots which is good shooting by any standard. I can’t blame the gun as I borrowed, a Blaser F3 12b shooting local Shaheen cartridges with 32g No4 shot which went off with an impressive bang, bringing down a few spectacular duck.
On our return to the shore I was stunned to be presented with an enormous garland of fresh roses, a traditional Sindhi gift to an honoured guest. After the bag was laid out, picture taken and people thanked we were off to a feast at the local village with a fantastic array of local dishes to include barbequed duck, duck livers, curried fish from the lake, roasted goat including the brains and eyeballs for honoured guests and the ubiquitous roti bread to scoop it up with.
On the morning of the competition I was asked to participate myself, which I was of course happy to do. The Blaser LRS2 tactical .308 rifle I borrowed proved capable of shooting a two-inch group at 600 yards; sadly the group was in the wrong place and thanks to an unnoticed loose bipod I put in a couple of flyers which sealed my fate and meant I didn’t make it through to round two. Happily my young protégé, Monnium, shot a perfect 50 with a 2.5 inch group in exactly the right place despite a tricky wind while his uncle Burhan scored a 48 in the first round and two hits on the 850 yard Urial target in the second round to achieve second place.
Or, rather he would have done so if he had not drawn second equal with an astonishingly talented 14-year-old boy, also shooting a Blaser LRS2. Burhan then generously ceded 2nd place to the lucky lad who was later presented with the prize of a brand new Sauer 202 rifle. First prize was a Blaser LRS2, of course.
The day after the competition we drove up into the hills to look for Chinkara Antelope, had a chance at a Blandford Urial which did not bear fruit and ended the day with a splendid barbeque in the desert surrounded by villagers and goats, minus the one we ate. Christmas Day was spent back at the ranges zeroing scopes, sorting ballistics and going through a small portion of our hosts remarkable rifle collection.
All too soon it was time for the trip back to Karachi and our flights home. On the way back, I realised that in three trips to Pakistan, I had not been able or even allowed to spend a dollar of my own money, such was the generosity of my hosts. I return this as best I can when they visit the UK and come shooting with me at WMS but even so I am left blinking at the kindness and warmth of my hosts and friends on these trips. Now that Helena has experienced this first hand I can see we will be back, to do whatever we can to spread the good news about this remarkable country and its people and culture.
THEME FOR THE WEEKEND Successful shooting with mid-calibre hunting rifles focusing on the real skills required to hunt humanely and effectively at ranges between 50-400m.
COST £900 per person for the weekend on an ALL INCLUSIVE basis of training and instruction, accommodation, food and VAT. For more details see below.
MAX NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS SIX
BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW ON THIS SUPERB SPORTING WEEKEND BY CALLING US ON 01974 831869
SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEKEND
FRIDAY MARCH 13 2015
20.00 ice-breaker and buffet dinner at Y Talbot Hotel, Tregaron, SY25 6JL
09.00 Meet at WMS HQ to set objectives for the weekend and look at the kit guests have brought with them. Short seminar/discussion on best practice hunting at distances of 50-400m
10.45 At one of our shooting areas
Check zeroes at the recommended distances for the calibre and quarry
Instruction and practice in different shooting positions including free standing, standing off sticks, kneeling and sitting and shooting out to 200m
12.45 Lunch break and Q&A session
Instruction and practice shooting from sitting and prone from 200-300m
Advice, instruction and practice on solutions for wind and elevation
16.00 Return to WMS HQ for tea, cakes and a debrief on the day
(Rifles can be cleaned and left with us in our RFD armoury secure storage)
17.30 Return to Y Talbot Hotel
19.30 Drinks and then group dinner at Y Talbot in a private dining room where we will be able to eat, drink and share hunting tales and laughter.
SUNDAY MARCH 15 2015
09.00 Meet at Y Talbot for a short briefing on today’s theme of longer range shooting solutions from 200-400m.
09.30 At one of our shooting areas
Andrew Venables will demonstrate how longer range hunting shots can be made at over 200m using Blaser rifles and explain in which circumstances such shots are ethical and viable.
10.30 Instruction and practice at shooting at ranges from 200-400m. Longer shots may be made on the day at extreme distances depending on conditions and your wishes.
12.45 Lunch break and Q&A session
13.30 Putting theory into practice. Clients will have the opportunity to shoot at various targets set out at relevant ranges.
16.00 Finale with a Blaser LRS-2 tactical .338 Lapua Magnum at distances up to 800m and a prize for the client who achieves the most clangs.
17.00 Back to WMS HQ
17.15 Tea, cake, debrief and outline for your further shooting practice and skills development
18.00 Departure with your Certificate of Attendance.
COST £900 including VAT per person for the weekend on an ALL INCLUSIVE basis.
All training and instruction, use of our shooting facilities, full insurance and use of additional Blaser rifles as required.
- Buffet dinner on Friday night
- Accommodation Friday night
- Full Welsh breakfast, packed lunch and three course dinner on Saturday
- Accommodation Saturday night
- Full Welsh breakfast and packed lunch on Sunday
- Hot drinks and refreshments on shooting days
- Tea and cakes back at HQ after the shooting days
The cost does not include ammunition. Clients should bring their own rifles and chosen ammunition for the event. Ammunition will be available to purchase over the weekend; please let us know your calibre and requirements in advance when booking.
Numbers are limited to a maximum of 6 clients who may bring non shooting guests to share the weekend, please phone for details on additional costs for guests.
TO BOOK To book your place on this superb sporting weekend please call Andrew or Helena on 01974 831869.
PAYMENT is confirmation of booked and places will be allocated on a first come first booked basis. Payment can be made by credit or debit card or via BACS.
Further Blaser Academy UK training weekends will run on the following dates during 2015.
Questions will be collated into common themes and then answered by Andrew, owner of WMS, by email and on our website blog and social media pages. We will also build this information into an ever-expanding knowledge bank.
With over 35 years of experience in shooting training, wildlife management and hunting Andrew is one of the UK’s best-respected rifle shooting instructors. Recently appointed as the first non-German member of the prestigious Blaser Academy, his wealth of knowledge and pragmatic, practical approach means he is perfectly placed to answer rifle-shooting questions on a wide range of subjects.
So, if you are bothered by a bullet, puzzled by a product, or confused by a calibre send an email to
email@example.com and we will do our best to help.
In our absence the WMS office will be managed by Sally Wilson, our administrator extraordinaire, who along with looking after our dogs will also be checking emails, picking up phone messages, answering queries, sending out Gift Certificates and taking client bookings.
Site security will be in the capable hands of Alan Hollander who lives across the road from WMS HQ. Alan, who is a mean rifle shot and also assists Andrew on some of our client days, may also pick up the phone; so if you get a gruff Essex boy you’ll know who it is.
Lastly, we are pleased to say we have had a fantastic 2014; what we do seems to go down very well and the smiles on the faces of our clients makes it all worthwhile.
So we would like to thank all of our longstanding clients for their ongoing support and all of our new ones for choosing to book with us. Your feedback has been invaluable, your company enjoyable and it just remains for us to wish you all a joyful festive season and and a prosperous and happy 2015! We look forward to meeting you again soon.
Andrew and Helena
The latest of these is our new “Ask Andrew” information service where shooters can ask questions on any rifle shooting related subjects, problems or mysteries. Some questions will be answered directly; all will go into the making of articles, blogs and videos to address subjects that really interest sporting rifle shooters.
So to ask us a question simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org This email address is live now and the project will come fully on stream in the new year.
Andrew’s recent appointment as the first non-German member of the prestigious Blaser Academy was a great accolade and we are now putting together the content for the two-day Blaser Academy training weekends we will be running throughout 2015.
We recently welcomed Alexandra Baur of Blaser in Germany to Wales to show her our facilities and how we work; to say she was impressed is an understatement. As Blaser’s Head of PR she will be putting together an article on WMS to appear in “Passion”, the Blaser magazine.
The first two Blaser Academy weekends will run on March 14-15 and March 28-29 2015; we will be updating our website with a Blaser Academy page in the New Year where you will be able to find out more information about course content and objectives.
Our experience in animal management also means we are in demand from professional firearms users such as the police and zoos. In November we spent a weekend at the British Veterinary Zoological Society autumn meeting, held at Lancaster University, showcasing the training we do for zoo keepers and zoo vets and also presenting a paper on the use of firearms in zoos and wildlife parks.
It’s not all work
We are lucky to get out and about for fun now and then and it is of course important for us to keep our hands in and do some shooting ourselves. A visit to our friend Mike Robinson, game chef, restaurateur and deer manager, was a great opportunity for some deer management in practice as well as a chance to discuss the problems of managing fallow deer in huge downland fields.
Not surprisingly we ate splendidly at Mike’s pub The Pot Kiln and I was also able christened my newly acquired WJ Jeffery 6.5×54 Mannlicher Schoenauer rifle, vintage 1903 on a fine muntjac buck.
The rifle is proving quite a star; I guess they knew a thing or two in 1903 with their 160gn bullets, high sectional densities and modest velocities. When I am not using the Blasers, PGW and Steelcore rifles, I will happily reach for my bit of history.
In November we were in London for a sparking party hosted by Simon and Selena Barr of renowned fieldsports PR agency Tweed Media at Leica Studios on Bruton Street.
With a kilted bagpiper, McNab canapés and King’s Ginger cocktails this was a great and fairly lively evening and an enjoyable opportunity to get out of the shooting clothing and into something a bit more glam.
For Helena, who is Tweed Media’s Senior Copywriter, this was a good opportunity for her to meet up with colleagues and clients in the shooting business, including those from Edgar Brothers who kindly send us kit to test, Rigby gunmakers and West Highland Hunting.
Also attended by many other friends and shooting journalists the party was followed by late evening steaks at Gauchos and then a walk back to our hotel under London’s Christmas lights. A bit different from rural Wales!
Looking forward to 2015
2015 is already looking busy and we have already taken a number of bookings with one client returning to us from France for two visits, a regular group coming back from Kent, several one-to-one days in the diary, some zoo work and some training for an arctic expedition.
We have set several dates for our Sniper Experience Days and our new Sniper Plus Days (fancy shooting a professional sniper weapons system?) so give us a call if you want to book in or if you want to order a Gift Voucher for someone.
Ongoing projects for 2015 include trips to Scotland, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire to discuss collaborative projects and planning another hunting trip—more on this to follow in the New Year.
We will also be attending the hugely popular British Shooting Show to be held at Stoneleigh Park International Centre near Kenilworth in Warwickshire from February 13-15, 2015. WMS will exhibiting on the Blaser stand promoting what we do, how we do it and of course our new Blaser Academy training days. So do pop by and say hello and we hope to see you there!
Set up seven years ago by German rifle manufacturer Blaser, the Blaser Academy provides top-class shooting tuition for novices, seasoned stalkers and hunters. Its philosophy is that coaching, training and practice are key to developing the full potential of any shooter.
The Blaser Academy UK will launch in March 2015 at WMS’s 10,000-acre shooting facilities in Wales, with the first two weekends of training scheduled for March 28-29 and April 11-12. Bespoke, private Blaser Academy training days can also be arranged.
With over 35 years of experience in shooting training, wildlife management and hunting Andrew is one of the UK’s most highly regarded rifle shooting instructors. He established WMS in 2006 and the company has gone on to become a renowned provider of training to private and professional clients, zoos and wildlife parks and the UK government.
Robert Sajitz, CEO of Blaser Sporting in the UK, commented: “The Blaser Academy and Andrew Venables share the same goal: empowering shooters to become the best shots they can be. We are delighted to welcome Andrew to the Blaser Academy and to be working with him so shooters in the UK can benefit from his wealth of experience and knowledge.”
Andrew added: “It is a great accolade and a tremendous honour to be appointed as a member of the prestigious Blaser Academy. The liaison between WMS and Blaser will raise awareness of the value and importance of ongoing coaching and practice and will provide a great opportunity for UK shooters to develop their skills.”
Please do contact us direct for more information about the forthcoming Blaser Academy training weekends at WMS or to book a place on 01974 831869.
Money earned by Limpopo Safaris from hunting contributes to projects such as the reintroduction of rare species such as sable antelope and protects the local area’s rare white and black rhino populations. Hunted animals are skinned, butchered and the meat distributed to the safari camp to feed guests and those who work for the company, with any excess sold locally. Read more about the hunt in Helena’s article for Sporting Shooter magazine on our In the press webpage.
FILMING regularly takes place at WMS these days for shows and productions wanting our input on various aspects of rifle shooting. In the past few weeks we’ve hosted County Deer Stalking and the films made with Peter Jones and his superb cameraman include the danger of ricochets; using shooting sticks and shooting from kneeling; the best ranges to zero at for stalking; and how to set up for shots at 200-300m. These films will be out shortly; we’ll let you know when!
In early October, the folk from Team Wild TV came back for more filming. We worked with Cai Ap Bryn, a game chef wanting to hone his shooting skills, and a great film crew for two days on a variety of segments to include rifle safety, shooting positions for hunting, and short, medium and longer range shooting. We shot out to 500m as planned, then because we could, further to 700m with great success.
When you see the finished films remember that hunting is about getting close enough to be sure of your shot. Shooting at longer range targets is for practice and to get to know your kit better, like a track day for rifles. It’s also an extra string to your bow if it all goes wrong at normal ranges. We look forward to seeing the footage and thank both fantastic film crews for their hard work.
WE WORK all year round as there is demand in every season for the training we offer. Preparing for a tough winter hunt in Europe or further afield is actually better on a wet and windy day. This is because if you can make the shot with us in the face of a gale up a Welsh hill, then you can probably make it anywhere.
Clients often report that training hard with us to 500m in tough conditions meant they could confidently enjoy a successful shot at half the distance in sunshine. Train hard; hunt easy. Other clients were fully tested to the limits of our training and succeeded. They all gave it their best shot, or knew to tip their cap and pass on a shot beyond reasonable limits.
COVERED shooting is now available on another of our shooting areas and is used for some of our larger training events, corporate days and zoo firearms training courses, also giving shelter for teaching and those all important lunches.
We recently hosted a group of 12 on a hugely successful day Corporate Day, shooting a variety of .22 rimfires at 80-110m in our large quarry area, before moving on to train and shoot .308 rifles at 100-200m, with enormous fun in competitive scenarios and on our hostage target. Then it was the long shot at 840m which everybody succeeded in doing using our Tactical Rifles. Smiles all round from the clients: “The best corporate day ever and we can’t wait to come back next year.”
BOOKINGS continue to flood in which is fantastic but means we are already fully booked for weekends until the New Year. We do have a few weekdays in October and November left, so if you want to shoot with us before Christmas, call us now.
We plan to close between December 20th and January 5th for family time, to enjoy some game and rough shooting ourselves and to prepare for a busy 2015. If you want to train with us in Wales, or on location around the UK and abroad next year please do contact us early. Weekend options need booking a good 2-3 months in advance and we will of course do our best to assist.
TALKING of Christmas a WMS Gift Voucher makes a unique present and can be bought in full or part payment for any of our training days. So if you’re stuck for an idea for the shooter in your life then give us a call: for more information see our Gift Vouchers webpage.
SNIPER weapons system enthusiasts will know that WMS is now sole UK distributor for the fantastic range of sniper rifles from PGW Defence Technologies. These include the Coyote .308W, the Timberwolf in .338LM, the chosen sniper weapons system of the Canadian Army, and the LRT-3 in .50BMG.
We’re looking forward to some more testing and demonstration work with the remarkable Timberwolf which is supremely tough, amazingly accurate and fast handling; what more could you need in a tactical rifle?
TALKING tactical we have recently launched our new Sniper Experience PLUS Day which is already going down a storm. Aimed at those who have attended our popular and well received Sniper Experience Day and want to do more this new day includes shooting our 7.62×51 calibre rifles at 200-700 metres, and our new .300 WinMag and .338 Lapua Magnum at between 800-1000 metres. The rifles used are the ultimate in tactical weapons systems and fitted with genuine sniper scopes. The cost is just £295 including VAT; to book just give us a call.
We look forward to welcoming new clients to shoot with us soon, to seeing our regular clients back again and would like to extend our thanks to all of you for your custom and support.
Andrew and Helena Venables
WMS Firearms Training
The factory tour we were given was fascinating and we learnt just how much goes into making Blaser rifles and shotguns, watching how the first pieces of unmilled steel are turned into precision CNC tooled barrels and actions. What was noticeable was the rigorous quality control Blaser has implemented at every stage of the production process: no wonder these rifles and shotguns shoot so well and are so reliable.
The highlight of the tour was the chance to shoot wild boar with the Blaser R8 Professional Success in .308 in the Blaser Shooting Cinema. To say this was exciting is an understatement and we both made several “kills” and came away completely buzzing.
We now plan to put together a WMS Boar Hunting Trip for clients, with some training attached; watch this space and please, if you are interested, let us know.
After a superb traditionally German dinner with Alexandra Baur and Darren Hull of Blaser, which featured large quantities of schnitzel, Käsespätzle, Kartoffelsalat and of course local beer, Day Two of our trip was shooting Blaser F3 shotguns at Jagdparcours Dornsberg, one of Germany’s premier clay shooting grounds.
Situated in beautiful rolling woodland with a huge hunting lodge at its heart, Dornsberg has a comprehensive and challenging sporting clay layout with a number of trick shots that really focused our minds.
As expected the fast and well-balanced F3 12-bore shotguns performed brilliantly whether on high crossers, fast incomers or the clay ground’s hilariously tricky bouncing bunnies.
For clients who want to come and shoot Blaser rifles at WMS Firearms Training, we have two Blaser R8 Professionals and one R8 Professional Success available in calibres 6.5 x 55, .308 and .300WM. We also have two Blaser LRS2 Tactical rifles in .308 and .338LM.
We would like to extend our thanks to Blaser for looking after us so well and for giving us what was a memorable and informative visit.
Another highlight of the summer has to be our wedding on 12th July at Nanteos Mansion in Aberystwyth. We kept things relatively small with around 40 guests, most of whom were family, and had a relaxed ceremony full of laughter, followed by drinks, dinner and dancing to Dangerous Dave (who plays blues).
We had so many good wishes from friends from all around the world via social media and email that it really felt as though they were with us too and added to the cheerful and celebratory mood.
Not being people to do things very conventionally we had actually had our honeymoon earlier this year in February (a long story) so weren’t planning on going away after the wedding.
Instead we came back to HQ and spent a couple of days getting the WMS show on the road for the countryside event of the summer, the 2014 CLA Game Fair at Blenheim Palace…and our working honeymoon.
2014 CLA GAME FAIR
WMS exhibited on the Lairds Sporting Directory stand at this year’s CLA Game Fair where we not only promoted what we do on our shooting areas but also showcased a range of ballistic gel and soap from Defensible Ballistics, which offers a full range of ballistic analogue solutions for all ballistic testing applications.
This gel and soap, which enables you to determine how well your rifle bullets are performing, was of great interest to visitors on our stand and a real talking point.
As well as meeting old clients and friends and making new ones we were also using the CLA Game Fair to meet suppliers of first class shooting equipment with regard to future liaison and also had a number of meetings regarding our continued business development.
Back at HQ
For clients meeting us at HQ we have now put in our own mini shooting lodge for meets and greets, and for our famous post-shooting tea and cake. The shooting lodge is proving very popular and gives clients somewhere to relax and talk about their day.
We are also now using the lodge for the “classroom” style teaching we give on subjects such as ballistic solutions, how to set up your scopes and equipment, reloading and so on. While we hear we are good at teaching shooting in the field there is also a great deal that can be learnt over a cup of coffee and an in depth discussion.
Thanks for reading and please do contact us if you have any questions or want to book a day.
Andrew and Helena Venables
One advantage of living 1,000 feet up a hill is that at least we don’t flood. It has rained a lot this spring, but April saw our shooting areas dry out and the past few days have been warm and sunny so the wellies can be put to one side for a while.
Recent improvements at WMS include the acquisition of a shooting trailer allowing on site shelter and covered firing and the creation of our new quarry-based impact area on an extension to the B Range area. This three level excavation allows shooting from 50 yards to over one mile at our unique WMS steel targets with excellent bullet signature visible from the very furthest distance.
We recently held our first long range shoot into this area with two clients wanting to make a one-mile shot into the quarry. We accessed the required hill top using our Scot Trac All Terrain Vehicle as .338 rifles and all the ancillary kit add up to a lot of weight. The ATV means we can transport clients and really heavy kit to a multitude of firing points around this and other areas, now totalling some 8,000 acres.
The first round fired landed within 75cm of the Figure 11 target, with a hit achieved on round number three. Thirty carefully considered rounds were fired in total, all 300gn .338LM match rounds. The wind, mirage and light conditions were challenging and despite this, the group average was one mil of elevation and 3 mil of wind. At 1,690 metres, a mil is 169cm, for the record. We had a couple of two mil wind bumps that were impossible to account for and an interesting feature of our topography. All in all it was a great day and the clients, who were on their second visit, have already booked to return again in August.
WMS is seeing an increase in our professional training services to zoos, wildlife parks and the UK Government. The zoo courses have been very well received, with excellent feedback. We were also flattered to have a formal UK Government Evaluation of our firearms training services from DEFRA which gave WMS an overall 9.6/10 for training value and quality, which is a terrific accolade.
In July WMS will be exhibiting on The Lairds Shooting Directory Stand on Gunmakers’ Row at this year’s CLA Game Fair at Blenheim Palace from July 18-20. The Game Fair takes place a week after Helena and I get married and so we are looking forward to raising a glass with old friends making new ones. We hope to see you there.
Developments at WMS continue apace and we have just signed up a another major shooting area, taking the number of acres we can shoot over to some 8,000! The latest area includes a quarry allowing excellent bullet signature at ranges of up to 1,600 metres. We are now developing each of these shooting areas further to provide infinitely variable shooting scenarios including simulated stalking in open ground and woodland.
We have invested in new rifles to allow younger shooters the chance to practice and learn safe, responsible rifle shooting at ranges out to 200 metres. These rifles include a CZ 455 Varmint .22 WMR and a Savage Model 93 .17 HMR both of which can be shot out to around 200 metres, which is around double the range of a standard .22 rimfire.
Our centrefire rifles include .223 Steyr and Sako rifles, .308 Steyr, Tikka and HS Precision, .300 Win Mag Browning and Remington. All are fitted with premium quality scopes from Zeiss, Leica, Nightforce and Schmidt & Bender, and have appropriate moderators.
We will also be taking delivery of a new .338, to be announced shortly.
For the big game hunter we have a .375 Holland & Holland, and a .458 Win Mag, both Brno bolt actions available with either scopes or open sights.
On the writing front we are delighted to announce that Andrew has been commissioned by Sporting Rifle, the rifle shooting bible, to write a monthly column. You can read the first two, on shooting safety, and backstops and safe shooting areas, on our ‘In the Press’ web page.
Andrew’s next article to be published in the June issue of Sporting Rifle is a succinct analysis of what makes a good sporting rifle.
Helena also writes for the shooting press and this month interviewed Richard Ali, Chief Executive of BASC for Shooting Gazette. Recently published articles include her take on the EC’s mistaken attempt to re-open the Firearms Directive and the response from the Federation for Conservation and Hunting, her regular monthly column on shooting Wales for Sporting Shooter, interviews with shooting industry names for Gun Trade News, and profile pieces for Modern Gamekeeping.
Our Zoo and Animal Management Firearms Training courses are proving immensely popular, with some of Britain’s best known zoos and wildlife parks taking our specialised courses this spring.
Finally, our Range in a Box is ready to roll, enabling us to come to you to provide safe, fully instructed shooting onto our steel reactive targets. For more information about this exciting new development or to book this unique rifle shooting experience give us a call.
We would like to thank all of clients for their support and encouragement and look forward to getting many more of you on target during the coming months.
Andrew and Helena
WMS Firearms Training
Welcome to the all new WMS website which showcases everything WMS Firearms Training has to offer. Our new website is a culmination of six months’ work which has seen WMS move to a new HQ, establish a choice of new shooting areas and set up a Registered Firearms Dealership and armoury.
As the best known and best renowned rifle shooting training company in the UK WMS has also refocused its business back to its roots. This means we can concentrate on doing what we’re best at: providing the most effective rifle shooting training, preparation and practice for our clients.
The new WMS website is easily navigable and split into our areas of expertise, providing you with a comprehensive summary of what we offer, where and how. We have included a testimonials page so you can see what our clients really think of what we do, and our “In the Press” link shows the wealth of positive press coverage we have received over the past few years.
You can check us out on FieldsportsChannelTV on our video link, read what we think of a range of firearms in our Reviews section, and catch up with our latest advice via our Tips page.
We will be updating and adding to the WMS Firearms Training website on a regular basis and clients are welcome to send us their photos, videos and top tips for inclusion. We also welcome feedback on the new website so please send any suggestions or thoughts to us at email@example.com
We would also like to thank our existing clients for their support and encouragement over the past six months and look forward to meeting many new ones.
Andrew Venables and Helena Douglas
Check out our Facebook page for latest info, shooting quotes and the chance to win a free day’s shooting at WMS Firearms Training!
Due to operating constraints which meant we were unable to expand and improve our rifle shootingexperiences we have stopped using our previous leased range in Llangurig.
As a result we have opened NEW AND EXTENDED range facilities in the nearby Elan Valley area. This gives us far greater flexibility to offer both short- and long-range shooting out to 2,000m in a variety of terrain over 8,000 acres, and to create unrivalled training and shooting experiences for our valued clients.
We have also opened a new HQ with an armoury, secure parking and shooting lodge facilities where clients can meet in the morning and enjoy an end-of-day social with us after their day on the range.
We thank all of our clients for their support and encouragement over the past years and for their enthusiasm about our recent changes. We look forward to continuing to provide you with unrivalled shooting experiences, superb customer service and the very best in shooting instruction.
Call us now for more information or to book on 01974 831869.
Andrew Venables and Helena Douglas