Antique ammunition clears the way for sharp shooters

by John Campbell, Range Conducting Officer

“Gordonstoun is one of the few schools to have its own indoor shooting range on campus. We decided to upgrade the shooting range over the summer. It’s an unusual facility to have available and this work brings the rifle range up to competition standard so that we can now have more inter-house competitions as well as hosting local and national competitions.

I found thousands of antique cartridges hidden at the back of a store room. There were eight antique ammunition cases in all and they were full of brass cartridges: the remains of rounds shot over a period of more than fifty years from the 1940s onwards. The metal containers would have originally contained the ammunition when it was delivered to the school. They are now antiques in their own right and tell a story of the old days when the school ran the Air Training Force and the Combined Cadet Force as well as when the Army used the range. There are easily tens of thousands of cartridges, although I haven’t counted them!

Children from the Junior and Senior Gordonstoun schools now use the shooting range and one of our Year 8 Junior School pupils recently shot a perfect 100, which is an incredible achievement. He is just one of a number of students who want to take part in competitions and this work makes that possible. One idea we have is to melt down the brass cartridges to make a new trophy.

Scotland has a strong tradition of success in shooting: it is Scotland’s fourth most successful Commonwealth Games sport. I hope that the children practicing on our range today will be the gold medal winners of the future!”