Hunters Of England

UK Sniper / Tactical Shooting Sports



“The Best Of The Best”




I wasn’t going to do a write up on this comp as looking back through the articles ive written this year it seamed very similar to some of the others.. but after speaking to several friends I was convinced that as it was the official “World Sniper Championship” this was a fitting and worthy subject for the final foreign comp of the year and of course they were right.. as usual name and faces have to be protected so I wont go into personal details of my fellow competitors but

I will try and give you a honest account of the comp.


This past couple of years Ive shot a lot in Europe with both the police and military but without doubt this comp is the pinnacle of its type in the sniping community.. and I have known about it for some time.. and long wanted to attend but with over 20 countries invited places are limited and are strictly by invite.. and of course only open to military and police/security services. So one week before the start date I had a good piece of luck Israeli sniper was short of a partner, my security services clearance had just come through and a friend who was competing put my name forward as a possible stand in.. and that was it, the powers that be said yes and I was on the way. A simple short easyjet flight to Vienna and then a 2 hour drive gets you to Budapest, where everyone was billeted in the local police training academy which was a 30 minute drive to the range.


The range itself is 450m long and 200m wide and is divided down the middle by a concrete wall and surrounded on three sides by 40ft earth bearms.. all this meant that we were protected by the worst of the wind but when gusts did make it down to us they were very tricky to read.


So the first day started with the usual opening ceremony, flag rising and photo sessions with police and military top brass, then the safety briefing which with over 20 countries participating was a translator’s nightmare but with English being the designated language for the comp and a very good multi lingual translator all went quickly and smoothly.

Engage Brain And Go To Guns

The first COF was a cold clean bore shot at two very small air rifle targets (approx 1 ½ inches across) at 100m given the temp was 95F with humidity of near 50% I was interested to see what effect it would have on my Diggle range card settings.. surprisingly although there was over a 1000ft difference in elevation and a huge difference in temp old “mean & green” held true to her original zero although I did make a balls up of the first two targets the following 4 small bullet patches allowed unlimited sighters and confirmed the error was mine not the rifles…with my zero confirmed the next COF moved us closer.

At 25m  we were presented with a cocktail stick with a flag on it.. one round in 3 seconds with the instruction to break the flag pole.. any hit on the flag would mean minus points!! A cock up on this meant you could be into minus points before you even got on the score bored..this “minus score” trend continued throughout the comp.


After a short lunch we moved down to 155m the target was a .50cal case, again one round in 20 seconds again a very tough call with tons of mirage and 30 other guys to the left and right of you blazing away with everything from 223 up to 300 win mag the necessity to be able to “get into your bubble” was must. Personally I had a couple of very unfriendly muzzle breaks near me but during the COF but due to the levels of concentration I was oblivious to them, thank god...


A good solid multi positional shooting technique is of course a must.. two rounds kneeling and dropping to prone for the final two in 45 seconds was a good test of speed and pin point accuracy and that is the name of the game here any drop in points and you plummet faster than a tarts knickers on pay day. Another important aspect of this level of shooting is your own confidence and mental strength so when your confronted with 4 targets at 150m the largest being 1 ½ inch across with a decreasing scoring zone and any bullet hole that is touching the line means you loose all your previous scores.. its a good test of your faith in your own ability.. by the way I screwed this one up to!!


I would like to say at this point you may notice that a lot of the COF are "single shots" this may seam a bit mean..after traving this far the feeling is you want to get some rounds down. But as the organisers reminded us "this is not sport shooting" and you dont get 2 + 20 in order to get on and get a good the REAL world only 1st hits count, lives often depend on it and for most of these guys you only get one shot and its GOT!! to be right, so in hind sight they were right and as they say it did sort the men from the boys.


The end of the first day meant a good evening meal on the range and then prep for the night shoot.. there were two COF 155m and 203m under illumination of a hand spotting lamp and car headlamps. This is type of shooting really tests your scope and an illuminated ret is a must the 58mm obj lens and 35mm tube on my US Optics grabs as much light as possible and gets it to the shooter, ive got to say this scope has served me brilliantly throughout all the comps this year.. by that I mean its reliable, the clicks are solid ¼ MOA no more or less, zero stays put regards of abuse or travel, good thick tube wall that doubles up as a carry handle when in a rush, and a crisp clean ret.. fine enough to pick out the finest detail on a target and a great Mill scale to range a target accurately.. i use a simple rule when it comes to my scopes “if you carnt see carnt shoot it” so you must have the best you can get… never skimp on your glass.

Day 2 Must Try Harder

After the night shoot it was back to base and clean the weapons, we had 4 hours sleep and then we were back out again.. with sleep deprivation and jet lay starting to bite the day started with long cold bore 450m shots again having trust your equipment and charts meant hits or misses.. the best COF of the day was the “Karm Sutra” well named if you look at the picture, you must use your partners body to support your rifle for 5 shots at 180m at a small inward scoring target. there were lots of variants in the positions used to do this but I was really happy with ours, my partner had a big broad back and by using two of my backbags I had a kind of shooting bench.. am not sure but I think he went to sleep at one point.. just don’t ask where his head was!! 


As the morning wore on the temp shot back up to 95F but thankfully slightly less humidity so when will were told as part of a team shoot one guy would run and the other would shoot my partner who was used to the Israeli desert heat took pity on me and offered to run whilst I did the shooting, I didn’t argue with him. Both team members starting prone on the go, the shooter engages a 1 inch clay dics with as many rounds as nessercary when the disc was hit a cover fell away to reveal 20 smiley faces.. meanwhile the runner runs back 20m to receive a picture of the target smiley and runs back to the shooter and has to describe the correct face.. and of course the shooter must find and identify and engage with one round…tough? By the way all that must be done in 60 seconds…I was very pleased with our efforts on this one.. even with an accent and grammar differences we did complete it successfully (its the second row down 4th face in) Then we had an impromptu down pour of hail, lightning and monsoon type rain put only a brief stop to shooting but not for long. At the end of the second day evening meal was on the range as was weapons cleaning and kit drying then back to the accommodation, by then a wash and brush up and a few medicinal beers were in order before catching up on some much needed sleep. By the way if a group of Russian shooters ever invite for a quick drink don’t go!!


The final day is only a half day of shooting but the pressure does not ease off.. there are 3 different COF first a one round, 168m shot at a hens egg.. not to hard?  but then factor in a 10 second time frame and a 10 – 15 degree down hill angle the and a gusting 5 – 10 mph quarter value wind.. it makes things slightly more difficult. 

The second COF was my favourite out of the whole event.. SOG knives who are one of the sponsors of the event donate a stack of there throwing knives for this. The blades are knocked into a block of wood with the blade edge facing towards the shooter, and a piece of white paper is stapled to a bored behind the knife. At a distance of 80yd and within 30 seconds the shooter must shoot one round at the blade edge and strike it perfectly which will split the bullet in two haves and show on the paper behind…who the hell thought up this one..!! until I saw it I would of said this was nearly impossible but the skill level of the shooters attending meant that around 30% of the field made the shot.. as I said out standing. Don’t try this at home as a bad ricochet could end up anywhere.


The final COF was another good one, three targets comprising of a small, medium and full size clay pigeon at a distance of 136 yd – 246 yd- and 364 yd.. place the rifle down on the firing line and move back 10m on the command run forward with one round engage one target,, run back for the next round and so on all must be completed within 50sec..once again speed with pin point accuracy was the only way to gather points. The end of shooting meant a big sigh of relief.. this was the toughest comp ive ever shot with some of the smallest targets ive ever seen, but as the organisers said it was designed to decide who was “The Best Of The Best”


A Great End To The Year

The evening was a very grand affair held in the centre of the beautiful city of Budapest along the banks of the Danube with some excellent catering and of course the hard won trophy’s were presented, the comp is split into two halves police and military.

The result of the police individual event was 1st Russia 2nd Ukraine, 3rd Macedonia and the team scores for the police were same. The military individual results were 1st Russia 2nd Russia 3rd GBR and the teams were 1st Russia 2nd Hungary 3rd Czech rep.   


As I mentioned before in other articles ive shot against the Russian and Ukraine guys before and the standard of all aspects of there shooting is amazing…they don’t have the best kit in the world but the key to there success is a simple one take what youve got and.. practice, practice and then practice some more!!! There is a lesson their that we all would do well to heed.. for every round ive shot this year either in practice or in competition ive shot 10 dry fires and its paid off.


this year the uk had official representation in the form Sgt Jan berry (Para regiment) with Birmingham university OTC the rifle (the AW98) was kindly donated David Walls of Accuracy International.

Kit Review

Before I close I would like to say a  big thanks to all involved in getting the rifle together this year without which none of the comps would have been possible and for all that have asked about “Green & Mean” here are the specs.


Surgeon action (probably the best tactical action on the market) with the built in rail and recoil lug it also represent great value for money, kreiger barrels (no explanation nessercary) McMillan stocks (again no explanation nessercary.. the best) US Optics SN3 5x25 Tpal as I said above just a rock solid scope.. dependable and no dramas.. thanks to John Williams and all the guys at USO for making the ret I designed for the scope and getting it put together and out to me in time for the deadline. And final a big thanks to vince for putting it all together for me with a weeks notice!!


Enjoy and be safe



PS Don’t try to reproduce any of courses of fire detailed here as the may result in injury or death 

sniper tactical rifles shooting