Sirrah Cup shooting tournament

Sunday 25th March 2018

Mons Barracks, Aldershot

The Learned Clerk reassured me that being left handed would not be a handicap for the Sirrah Cup. Using firearms can be a painful process if you are left handed because the spent shells are ejected towards the side of your head. "Although the guns are real, you won't be using live ammunition", she said. Sandra was right about the ammunition. The hardware is real enough but computers and pressurised gas mean the recoil from firing is there but the noise is reduced and the smell of cordite is absent. Nevertheless, all but the Glock 17 is designed for right handed soldiers and I had to shoot using the wrong hand and eye. This gave me the perfect excuse for a poor score. I'll deal with the Learned Clerk later.

It was great fun and the Tobacco Pipe Makers consoled themselves that this type of weaponry is best left in the hands of the professionals. The Irish Rifles Company of the London Regiment looked professional and they retained the Sirrah Cup with ease. A third team from the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY) also romped home in second place. Bearing in mind these ladies are trained to save lives, if push comes to shove, they are capable of defending themselves.

The competition is played out using assault rifles and then we had a go with heavy machine guns. Great fun! The last competition was each man or woman for themselves using Glock 17 pistols. My son, James, got through to a play off with a FANY. Much to the relief of the Pipe Makers, James won so we weren't totally embarrassed.

Thank you to Major Bob and the Irish Rifles Company of the London Regiment for organising a splendid day for us. It is a great experience, regardless of whether you are left or right handed. Thank you to Sandra for organising our end of the experience.