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Thread: Bell Target

  1. #1
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    Bell Target

    In its heyday what would have been the gun choices ? Was BSA the more popular gun of choice or maybe Gem, Britannia or German imports?
    Anybody have copies of records of guns used?
    Fascinating history but not a lot of information about..
    John

  2. #2
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    Bell target has always fascinated me, I enjoy the challenge and the thought of the history behind it all
    it was and I suppose to some lesser degree it still is quite big in England but for some reason it's almost non existent in Scotland...
    Was it only an English pastime?

  3. #3
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    While researching my Britannia video, which also covers some of the history of early bell target, I found a record that said in the National Air rifle championships of 1908, out of 940 competitors 936 used a Lincoln Jeffries BSA underlver.
    https://youtu.be/hVYnb4fDzU4
    I think BSA had the market pretty much tied up.

    Still prefer my Britannia though.

    Matt

  4. #4
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    Not a lot of information out there that I can find. www.belltarget.com is a useful site that has a pdf file of a very interesting book "ring my bell" by Frank Spittle (apparently no longer available).
    Couldn`t find any mention of bell target in the north of England or Scotland, seems to be mostly around Birmingham/midlands area .

    Matt`s video on you tube is an excellent piece of work and well worth a watch if you haven`t seen it already. Can`t be that many Britannias kicking about now and probably more expensive now


    Seems to be a bit of a resurgence going on at the moment with a few new clubs starting up, good to see ,especially if the old vintage rifles get an "airing".

    John

  5. #5
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    http://www.belltarget.com/resources/...rget_Story.pdf


    Bell target was well established before BSA began production of the Lincoln Jeffries type. I have seen a couple of photos from around 1900 where the participants appear to be using a mixture of Militias and Gems but I can't locate the photos now. Last week, someone on the other forum sold a militia that was marked up as a Lincoln Jeffries so I presume he sold them for target use before his own design came into fruition.
    Last edited by WebleyWombler; 27-02-2021 at 12:01 PM.

  6. #6
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    @WebleyWombler would love to see any old photos if you ever find them.
    Looks like I need more time on the vintage airgun gallery, excellent site with an awful lot of information.
    John

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by perlin View Post
    @WebleyWombler would love to see any old photos if you ever find them.
    Looks like I need more time on the vintage airgun gallery, excellent site with an awful lot of information.
    John

    If you read through the link I provided, you will see a photo of the Kendrick brothers taken in 1904 (before production of the L/J-BSA started) and they appear in my eyes to be holding Militias . I will search for other photos but don't hold your breath.

  8. #8
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    Bell Target

    Here's a photo of the Bridgend ( South Wales ) Air Rifle Team 1905, the Bridgend an District Air Rifle League . ( badarl.com ) formed in 1907/08, with a couple of breaks for the two world wars, still in existence today ( Six teams ) anxiously awaiting the lockdown to end to be able to start shooting again
    https://imgur.com/ddJOMlo
    And another of one of the teams ( Ffordd-y-Gyfraith ) today
    https://imgur.com/9IrGADp

  9. #9
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    Good to see..Got to love the old bowler hats and flat caps . looks like a club with a healthy membership.
    John

  10. #10
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    A few photographs from my collection.

    Guernsey air rifle clubs between the wars https://imgur.com/gallery/VKbd94c

    Not great quality, taken with my phone.

    Dave
    Smell my cheese

  11. #11
    edbear2's Avatar
    edbear2 is offline Cut 'n shut Beezer airgun Geezer
    Join Date
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    My local league was BSA at the beginning;
    "BSA rifles being specified came about because Lord Dudley and Lord Ednam were major shareholders in the Birmingham Small Arms Company - or BSA as it was better known - and usually all 10 members of one team shot with one BSA rifle with fixed sights..It was only in the 1920s that air rifles of a rival manufacturer, Webley, were allowed".

    http://www.belltarget.com/lord-ednam.php

    Some of our venues;

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/312284...57631530525209

    Post war the league guns went to Airsporter Clubs and Webley MK3's.......this continued up to the advent of the German stuff when slowly people switched due to the Rekord trigger and more weight, I won't say the accuracy was any better, they were just easier to get good results from so average shots improved their scores.

    I have an Airsporter club and a 1911 BSA, both of which I have scored possibles with, but that is really hard work and rare compared to my TX which I built for the league with a longer sight base to suit my eyes;

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/312284...57646258601290

    We use normal full power springers only, many wear scopes for HFT or Hunting outside the bell season, so this makes it more accessable cost wise as no need to spend on expensive match PCP's or the weird olympic style shooting apparel as seen in some leagues. Older shooters or people who struggle can have a loader if required.

    Open sights only, no apertures, no shooting aids of any type not even sight hoods...most use HW's or TX's (with iron sights added)....Power max is 11.6 checked at beginning of season then lable put on action, target is set at 5 or 6 pounds to ring, so even a big splitter is marginal. score 5 for a ding, 5 shots and two sighters allowed.

    Guns can have CS and the like stocks / many are Venom or the like tuned and fettled triggers, but most are out of the box with a service / lube.

    See the odd break barrel, there are two RB BSA's and a couple of HW80's and a Webley and a HW98 I can recall, but generally it's underlevers.


    Mostly rural real ale and good food pubs around the West and North of the Worcester area....


    ATB, ED.
    Last edited by edbear2; 02-03-2021 at 11:51 AM.
    "I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth."

  12. #12
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    Wink

    Thanks for the info Dave and Ed, very interesting stuff. I wonder what some of the old timers would make of the canvas/leather suits used now and the optical aids available. I do like the idea of a personal loader though....and the real ale
    John

  13. #13
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    Bell Target

    Hers a little gem I picked up a couple of years back, Pellet machine that used to be on the wall in the pubs, a penny would buy you enough pellets for the match.
    Still works but unable to find the tins to complete. Any out there?

    https://i.imgur.com/yGuT1mp.png

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unframed Dave View Post
    A few photographs from my collection.

    Guernsey air rifle clubs between the wars https://imgur.com/gallery/VKbd94c

    Not great quality, taken with my phone.

    Dave
    Made this comment else where here before, few 'Bougard/Bougord's feature in the photos, quite prominate Guernsey family, small holders/ market gardeners, family member Clifford Bougard came from Channel Islands to Nailsea, Somerset about 1900, set up successful grocery shop with market garden, heated green houses, supplied Bristol fruit &'veg wholesale market. Grew up with William, one of his grandsons, Cliff, William & his Dad were keen shooters, keeping pigeons, rats etc under control, recall target shooting too.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimlad View Post
    Hers a little gem I picked up a couple of years back, Pellet machine that used to be on the wall in the pubs, a penny would buy you enough pellets for the match.
    Still works but unable to find the tins to complete. Any out there?

    https://i.imgur.com/yGuT1mp.png
    Apparently, they were paper trays. I imagine similar to how we used to buy rolls of caps. I have the same dispenser or very similar.

    Dave
    Smell my cheese

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