The Return of the 1500Ted

Ted George offers some background to the thriving international pistol competition circuit inthe early 1990s and proposes a much-needed revitalisation


The majority of 1500 shooters compete with rifles

Around 1993 Dave Ballantyne and I set up a 1500 pistol team and a selection/training process with the approval of the NPA, NRA and British Pistol Club (BPC). At the time Great Britain was the leader in this discipline outside of America where, other than in a few organised matches, 1500 was accepted as a training shoot and competition for police and security personnel. Other European countries were keen on the discipline, with the Bund der Militär-und Polizeischützen (BDMP) shooting it and Belgium and Czechoslovakia following soon after.

The international competitions ran from 1993 until the loss of pistols and the dissolution of the NPA in 1997-1998. The 1500 was marked down with Bianchi for inclusion in the 2000 Sydney Olympics; a team from GB was selected and funding approved. Sadly, because of the ban, it did not happen. Since then, some of the shooters in the original team who still participate in international competitions have ‘donned the shirt’ and represented the country as a make-up team of best scores at the event.During the period between 1993-1997 the teams that were entered won four team gold medals in the four-man event and two golds, one silver and one bronze in the pairs event.

Present day

During the last 15 years a World 1500 Association has been formed and the number of countries shooting the associated matches has grown, now including Russia, South Africa, Germany, Belgium, Australia, the USA and Norway. Every two years a World Championship is held in one of the member countries: Sweden this year in August, then Germany in two years’ time.


The 1500 has adapted well to rifle shooting

Long-barrelled revolvers can be used for training, with some modifications, and for some events .22 pistols can also be used. Some pistols are stored in Europe for use in the matches if required. Now looks like a good time to revive the 1500 team and give it a more official standing. Speaking as the appointed coach for the team back in 1993, we can achieve scores to challenge the other competing countries and with some training even beat them.

Since the ban on pistols I have worked with various groups shooting 1500 in other European countries, putting together training plans, assessing the individual’s faults and suggesting ways of training them out of the technique. These countries are now putting in good and consistent match grade scores. The training notes I put together have been used by Germany, Sweden and Southern Ireland to good effect. I firmly believe we could put a core team together that would be capable of challenging for the medals at a future World Championship training and team selection. Training would be inclusive to everyone shooting competitively in the UK.

There are numerous competitions around the country including Mattersey, Derby, Basildon and Bristol as well as the Bisley GRAWs including the GR&P National Championships in August. Additionally, and new for 2015, there is a Scottish 1500 championship match to be held in Aberdeen on 2 August. I am proposing that competitors with a Match 5 score above 578 would be able to gain an invitation to join the squad where the coaching team would work with these individuals. Teams at these international WA events are two-person for the revolver matches and semi-auto.

We have in the region of 25 people entering competitions in Sweden over the long weekend of 13-16 August. For many this is simply for the pure enjoyment of taking part in international competition. Registered scores from most competing are not high enough to make it into to any sort of GB first team, but we have half a dozen or so that would be suitable candidates for the four spaces available.


Can GB compete internationally with in 1500 with the pistol – as they do with the rifle?

The GR&P sub-committee will decide a short list of potential members for the first team; criteria for performance in the individual matches at national circuit competitions will be key in making the final selection.

The NRA is enthusiastic about the venture and will offer Goodwill Team status should the team apply. Range space for training is available at a number of ranges, donated to help the formation of a national pistol team. The team would also eventually seek sponsorship to help with the cost. For information about international 1500 competition shooting see the WA website.  For more information on 2015 World Championships the World Championships website.

Ted George

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