29 Jun Sennybridge F Range
Sennybridge May 2016
A merciless sun beat down from a cloudless sky as our convoy wound its way slowly along the track, dust obscuring the lead vehicle from time to time as we made our way past downed aircraft and the occasional wrecked military vehicle or knocked out tank.
Afghanistan? Mozambique? No … deepest, darkest Wales. Dust? In Wales? Really? Could this be one of the seven signs of the apocalypse?
Instead of the trademark grey skies and drizzle, the sky was a clear azure blue and the locals were out of their homes, pointing up at the strange bright, burning thing in the sky in superstitious terror.
Sennybridge is a cracking military range in the truly beautiful Brecon Beacons. The firing point faces a reverse slope with pop-up targets from 25 metres out to 1,500 metres.
And, just to make things interesting, there are sheep on the range … well; we were in Wales after all.
When I say sheep, I suspect there is more than a touch of lemming in their DNA, as they tend to congregate around the target you’re shooting at … and no, you can’t take any that you shoot home to put in the freezer – they actually take a very dim view of any ovine casualties.
The real beauty of Sennybridge is that the targets are electronic and drop when they are hit, before popping back up again like two dimensional zombies that just won’t stay dead. This means no butts duty (more on butts later, rubber gloves will be worn), so you can get in a lot of shooting.
There was an eclectic mix of guns from a nice .303 and AK47 to Ian’s cannon, a very cool piece of kit called a Desert Tech, SRS-A1 in .338 Lapua Magnum, that he was kind enough to let me try from a standing position. Surprisingly I actually hit the target and managed to stay on my feet.
Neil, taking a well-earned break from his RCO duties, seemed to be enjoying himself with his very covetable M16.
As we all packed up ready to head home, I asked Neil if he’d had fun and he glanced up at me with his trademark thousand-yard stare.
“I had fun once” he said, then looked down at his shoes “It was awful.”
Everyone would like to give a big thanks to Neil and Ian for organizing what was a great day of shooting and I’m certainly looking forward to the next one.
Although having traveled up on Saturday and stayed at a pub, perhaps a little less beer the night before.