THE six shooters of the Amicale des Tireurs Bayeusains visited for the annual rifle and pistol competitions between the twin towns of Dorchester and Bayeux.

A few days previously one of visiting key members had slipped and fallen on his wrist meaning he could not shoot the single-handed pistol competitions.

To maintain the tradition of five-person teams, six Dorchester shooters fired in those matches and afterwards drew coloured discs from a bag to determine who would be in the Bayeux team.

The first match at the Sandringham Sports Centre range in Dorchester was the 10m precision air pistol competition; a total of 30 scoring shots on six targets.

The county town shooters beat the visiting team by 33 points (1,272 to 1,239) despite Bayeux taking two of the top placings.

Jean-Jacques Durand with 278 was some way ahead of Scott Civil, 265, for top score.

Michel Huart was a further eight points behind, 257, and the luck of the draw put Dorchester’s sixth scorer in the Bayeux


The Police Pistol competition followed, advancing towards the targets from 20m to 15m, 10m, and a supplementary 7m potential tie-break shoot with air pistols.

Dorchester won comfortably (1,187 to 984) with Steve Maros top scoring (256) ahead of Andy Macklin (252) and Gill Carter (230), and with Jean-Jacques Durand (231) leading the Bayeux shooters.

These competitions were followed by a club social at the range where the shooters and friends met the mayor of Dorchester and had some opportunities for field target air rifle shooting to give everyone a flavour of this expanding form of shooting.

On the Saturday morning at the Piddlehinton range, each Bayeux shooter was twinned with a Dorchester shooter and a traditional style vermin control .22 sporting rifle to shoot 20 scoring shots at 50m followed by 20 more at 100 yards, giving a highest possible score of 400.

Because a bipod support and telescopic sights are allowed the 50m target is quite small; the circular Cadet one designed for 25-yard shooting.

In the first round at 50m, Burden (187) led the way from Marie-Claire France (186) with Mark Phillips a close third (185).

Using standard competition targets at 100 yards, Burden (189) was three points ahead of Paul Cooke (186) with Phillips again third on 185.

Durand and France were the highest visiting scorers on 182.

The combined scores of both ranges saw the Dorchester team win by 1,819 to Bayeux’s 1,784 with Burden (376) top score, seven points clear of Phillips (370) who just edged Cooke (369) into overall third place.

France was just a point behind on 368.

The 25m black powder pistol competition, using replica historic arms similar to those used for duelling or by highwaymen, was shot with the wind gusting from the left, making it difficult to hold the pistols steady.

The shooters measure their own powder and load the lead ball down the muzzle of the pistol between each shot.

Because of the variability the loading creates they are allowed 13 shots with the best 10 to count for the match.

As with the rifle competition, shooters were twinned with a pistol.

The windy conditions led to scores being lower than expected.

Chris Slade shot a very creditable 90, eight points ahead of Mark Chegwidden (82) who was a further point in front of Ian Davison (81).

Jean-Michel Samson was the top Bayeux shooter on 80.

The luck of the drawn meant that Dorchester’s sixth shooter was drawn for the Bayeux team so Dorchester ended up 21 points ahead of Bayeux (375) with


Bayeux have a well-earned reputation for their pistol shooting, and this is the second consecutive time Dorchester have won this match on their home


Towards the end of the afternoon, the Mayor and Mayoress of Dorchester, Richard and Carolyn Biggs, joined the teams and were instructed in how to measure the gunpowder, load the lead ball, and experience the cloud of smoke when the pistols are fired.

The mayor presented medals to the winning team and the highest scorer on the losing team.

Dorchester and Bayeux shooters and supporters gathered on Saturday evening at The Gamekeeper, Charminster, for a celebration dinner.

Further medals were presented, and at this time of commemoration of the 75th anniversary

of the D-Day landings and the liberation of Bayeux the shooters exchanged appropriate mementos.


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