A decade ago, the British Shooting Show got under way at Newark, a plucky new show in a mixture of indoor halls and marquees. Today, the level to which it’s grown is truly stunning. Set amid the NEC’s vast high-ceilinged halls, it’s a sprawling – yet focused – showcase for the shooting industry and all those whose livelihood or sport depends on it.
Think of any of the major exhibitions at the NEC – Good Food, The Photography Show, Comic Con – just a few years ago it would have been unthinkable that shooting would have its own event of the same scale. And now, it does. It’s not an exaggeration to say that everyone who’s anyone is there, and there really is something for everyone – sporting rifle shooters included.
How do I get there?
The NEC’s central location means that 75 per cent of the UK is within a three-hour drive, and, as with last year, parking will be free for BSS visitors. If you fancy leaving the car at home, there are also 43 direct rail routes from around the country straight into the NEC via the attached Birmingham International station. Speaking of internationals, there are over 140 direct flights into Birmingham International Airport from European destinations and the USA – so overseas readers have no excuse not to go either.
So just how big is it?
Firstly, every kind of shooting is covered. Visitors can see a vast range of shotguns, rifles, pistols, air rifles, airsoft, optics, night vision and thermal imaging equipment, hunting knives, bushcraft, wildfowling, gundogs, gamekeeping hall, country clothing & footwear. There is also ammunition and reloading equipment, historical arms collection, gunsmith and engraving demonstrations, arena displays, shooting associations and schools.
The industry’s leading brands are once again showcased across three enormous exhibition halls. Visitors are offered every conceivable shooting related product and covering all disciplines. With over 600 manufacturers, distributors and retailers servicing the requirements of shooting enthusiasts worldwide.
Among the exhibitors, there will be over 50 international stands with private office suites, with some hosting corporate entertainment functions. There will also be over 170 trade-only exhibitors. This combination of public and trade show proved so popular in 2018 and is set to return this year, with organisers work closely with exhibitors to make sure they make the most out of their three days at the NEC, from product launches to demos and even a few manufacturer representatives flying in. In short, it’s a showcase for the gun industry, including shops, shooting grounds and distributors, to promote all disciplines of shooting in the UK.
With the move to the NEC, the show has increased by almost a full third again in size from its original Stoneleigh footprint. Last year saw the greatest number of manufacturers ever to attend, along with many of the industry’s leading distributors. 2019 is already poised to shatter that record.
The increased scale of the show, coupled with the burgeoning international element to its make- up, means that many exhibitors are upgrading their presence to fit the setting. Visitors can expect to see huge stands from the gun trade’s big names – from Beretta to Browning, Savage to Schmeisser – as well as retailers where you can pick up a bargain or two if you’re looking to improve your shooting set-up for 2019.
Rifles at the show
Look out for the Rifle Focus logo on display throughout the show, identifying the wide range of exhibitors with rifles for sale, accessories or rifle shooting information. We’re told there will be a full range on offer – from ‘out of the box’ factory rifles to specialist custom builds, and from pest control, deer stalking and big game right through to specialist target shooting disciplines and calibres.
Plus, shooting associations will be on hand to dispense professional advice and information on all aspects of shooting – whether you’re a budding foxer or looking to take your target shooting to the next level. There’ll also be displays of modern tactical hardware and classic military rifles, including one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of limited and special edition Winchesters outside of the USA.
And don’t miss Sporting Rifle at the show, either. We’ll be exhibiting alongside sister mags Airgun Shooter and Clay Shooting, so drop by our stand for subscriptions discounts, giveaways and the chance to meet the team, as well as learning more about the Great British Shooting Awards.
What? British Shooting Show 2019
Where? NEC, Birmingham
When? 15-17 February 2019, 9am-4pm
Why should I be interested? Oh, it’s only the biggest indoor shooting exhibition in the UK. Having moved to the NEC last year, it’s bigger than ever and is a truly stunning showcase for the shooting industry – if you’ve never been, you really need to get there this year.
How do I find out more? Buy tickets and get more info at: