The BDMP vs. Jersey Pistol Match 2014 was held in Leitmar, Germany this year. Since SLG Bisley is affiliated to the BDMP a small contingent is allowed to attend and participate in the revolver and pistol extravaganza. Additionally, since a number of our attendees are England Gallery Rifle team members it was decided that the match should become a 3 way true International match : Germany vs. Jersey vs. England.

Much of the SLG Bisley team set off early Thursday morning to make for Rhineberg where a number of our guns are held and where the range facilities are superb, so the guys and girls had the opportunity to get a bit of practice pre match before the final trip to Leitmar.

Matt Peppitt and myself weren't this lucky, we couldn't set of from the UK until Friday morning. But we made the dash across France, Belgium, Netherlands and finally Germany having left home at 4am we arrived at Leitmar at about 2pm when we all met up and were greeted by Dietmar and Olaf of the BDMP and were soon after joined by the team from Jersey. This was now all our opportunity to catch up a little with friends new and old but for Matt and I to choose and sight in guns ready for Saturday morning as well.

The match itself started on Saturday and we all shot each discipline with a variety of lovely .38 revolvers. This is a full days shoot comprising of a 1500, a PP2, a PP1 and an NPA-B (Multi Target) these were shot as individuals but also as 2 person teams. Each of us suffered a variety of technical issues, jamming guns, light striking guns, speed loader failure... The list goes on... But we had a great day and were assisted where possible by both the Germans and by the Jersey's and in turn we assisted them and supported each other. The spirit of cooperation and friendship was really demonstrated and developed at this meeting.

Saturday night is German night and is hosted by Anne and Dietmar. This as always is attended by everyone and is a must not miss occasion! Anne laid on a beautiful meal whilst Dietmar plied us all with an array of home grown and brewed ciders and wines that are the most tasty drinks you'll find anywhere in the world. It became apparent that Dietmar may have identified Skippy as the England weak link and managed to make him imbibe far more of this German nectar than is sensible. Steve fought hard against this but the pull of the Apple and quince was too strong! A very merry evening in Anne's garden was had by all fostering the friendship between our nations shooters that is warm and genuine.

One thing that can be said is that Dietmar's nectar doesn't give you a bad head the next day if you don't mix it too much, so I was bright on Sunday morning. It seems that Dietmar's plan to affect a performance change shall we say in Skippy had partially worked whilst the guys from Jersey needed no assistance doing the same to themselves as they hit their hotel bar after they left Anne's leaving the BDMP team in a strong position for Sunday.

Sunday is a more gentle day's shoot (thankfully for some) where the competitions are a stock 9mm semi auto match followed by a pocket pistol match both fairly specific to this meeting. Once this match was over The International Match could commence with all teams congregating in the main range for a PP1 and NPA-B aggregate competition. This was a true head to head shot in mixed nation lines so was really exciting and was full of thrills and spills for team England with the same issues that dogged us the day before...light strikes for Peter Cooper and speed loading feed trouble for Steve, both of whom struggled valiantly to deal with their issues...Peter really can pull that trigger fast to catch bullets a second time around! Both Matt and myself shot through attaining respectable scores equalling each other on aggregate. The match result was as expected considering that both Germany and Jersey shoot handguns all the time, but if we hadn't had our malfunctions we would being only 20 points behind Jersey have attained second place! This was a feat in itself and something that the whole team should be proud of...we were there with no national funding competing in an International handgun match with no real preparation due to national restrictive policy.

Prize giving followed and we were pleased to gain some individual medals, Matt Peppitt, LynneMarie Cooper, Steve Lamb and of course John Robinson all receiving awards. Whilst team medals were won by Steve and myself and by the golden boys John Robinson who had paired up with Marcus Emmel, both real European Champions!

Sunday night was our opportunity to thank Anne and Dietmar going out to dinner as a group with Gerry Weir and Derek Barnard from Jersey joining us too. A mixed bag of great company, laughter and some of the stranger food ever seen by any of us made for a lovely last night cementing our friendships and creating some lasting memories...omelette and ice-cream? Really!

Well done lads and ladies, we're pushing the boundaries!

Alan Podevin