Last modified: 2021-08-31 14:46:30 by MJ (Admin)
Created at: 2021-04-17 15:01:39
Witney Projectile Range
Shooting has been a sport in Witney for around a century, with the first outdoor range to the East of what is now Madeley Park. It was in a large field facing Cogges Wood and was constructed for the Volunteers in Victorian times though not used for many years even before WW1. During WW2 a full bore short range was made at Astall.
After WW1 the local TA Company (commanded by Capt. Sidney Smith) had the Drill Hall built circa 1925, partly paid for by selling the silver shooting trophies they had won. The Drill Hall (now called the Langdale Hall) had a shooting range where Capt. Sidney Smith and his Sgt. Major, Jack Buford, started a rifle club and members of the TA Company became its first members.
The Witney Pistol Club (which was started by Paul Smith in February 1967) the drill hall range as well as shooting at the Graven Hill army site at Bicester were used.
When the Town Council took over the drill hall (circa 1979) the wall separating the range from the main hall was removed and the range became a bar, this was the end of shooting at this site. At a council meeting open to the public, the shooting clubs were promised a new range by councillor David Stew. The result is the range we now have.
In 1983 the backstop was upgraded to allow full bore pistols to be used, this allowed projectiles with a power of up to limits 475 lbs/ft and velocity up to 1710 ft/sec. (which typically means a standard .38 Special round can by fired but a fully loaded .357 can not).