In the UK we can still participate in pistol shooting with certain restrictions imposed since the handgun ban in 1997.
In 1997 the government amended the Firearms Act and placed all centrefire Semi-Automatic Rifles and Pistols into the prohibited category as described under Section 5 of the Act.
When required to clarify what is considered a long barreled firearm as described in Section 1 of the Act it was defined as having a barrel length no shorter than 300mm (12") and an overall length of firearm no shorter than 600mm (24") - none as the 12/24 rule.
As such the Long Barrel Pistol and Long Barrel Revolver were 'born'.
Under the re-defined descriptions in the UK it is possible to own:
Long Barrel Revolver - 12/24 rule and chambered up to .45
Long Barrel Pistol - 12/24 rule, Semi-Automatic chambed in .22 rimfire only.
Muzzle Loading Pistol - standard frame sizes, up to .45 calibre.
There are 5 main LBP contenders:
1) GSG 1911 - Approx £400 - 450. A very capable firearm out of the box and being based on the Colt 1911 there are a lot of optional tweaks and gear that can be fitted to tune the pistol to your requirements.
2) Walther PPQ - Approx £800. A smart looking and great handling firearm out of the box and a growing amount of of optional extras coming onto the market. Fits nicely in the hand and with a lower profile, muzzle flip is reduced.
3) Browning Buckmark - Approx £800-1000. One of the first LBP models available. It is essentially a Browning Buckmark Rifle 'cut down' to an LBP form factor. very popular and very accurate, just like their rifle fathers.
4) K22 - Approx £900-1000. A very accurate and sort after pistol. Resembling the popular Berretta 92 with its open top slide design, well balanced feel and thick grip makes this pistol a favourite for competition.
5) Volquartsen .22 LBP - £1750-2000. A highly customizable and accurate firearm. Based on the highly popular Ruger MkIII, the Volquartsen is a superbly built gun with the ability to tune it to your absolute specification including carbon fibre barrel wrapping, handgrips and tuned firing pin and slide.
It is also on the horizon for a Glock based model to be released based on the popular 17 frame and slide with the UK legal barrel and rear extension.
There are other makes out there and HRC members are happy to discuss with you before purchase.
Currently HRC participates in the Phoenix Postal competition for LBP and will be looking at adding other competitions and courses of fire in the coming months including practical pistol, steel plate shooting and turning target.
Please Note: The law as written means the club cannot own an LBP for members use, also unless you have auhorisation on your personal FAC for an LBP, you cannot try one out which begs the question: How do you get to try one and see if it is something you would like to try? The answer is, you can if you are under the instruction of an RFD and you are looking at a potential purchase you are able to test the firearm. We are lucky to have an RFD in the club who is able to demonstrate the pistol you are looking to purchase.
This is a fabulous and fun discipline and HRC are happy to help you in discussing a potential purchase or learn more about a fast growing shooting discipline.