Angus McLeod started shooting at the age of 13 when his school offered it as a Friday afternoon activity. Not keen on playing ball games, this was the perfect alternative.
Angus specialises in Full Bore – a discipline that many of us know very little about so Team Scotland caught up with Angus to get the lowdown on his sport.
“The name relates to the calibre used and distinguishes it from Small Bore. The calibre for the Commonwealth Games is .308 Winchester which is the commercial name of the cartridge used.”
“The main difference with the Full bore event compared with other shooting events is that it is shot entirely outdoors and we shoot at five different ranges starting at 300 yards followed by 500, 600, 900 and finishing at 1000. At 1000 yards the rifle barrel is actually pointing at place about eight metres over the target centre. The target centre or “bull” (which scores 5.0) at 1000 yards is 20 inches across with a Vbull within that at 10 inches scoring 5.1.”
“Apart from holding the rifle steady or ‘shooting flat’ as it is known, you must contend with the weather, in-particular the wind. The wind is the dominating factor in every shot you fire; it is common to apply a correction to your sights that relates to several metres at the target end. The most complex conditions are found when shooting in a strong ‘fishtailing’ wind where the wind switches quickly either side of your line of fire; when you apply a correction and fire at the wrong moment your error can be doubled, it can rain at the same time, and occasionally the target disappears in the mist.”
Feeling like we had a better grasp on what the sport involved, it was time to find out more about the man behind the machine.
Q: How much training are you currently doing and will this change in the lead up to Glasgow 2014?
AM: “I live fire every weekend or at least twice a week. This is supplemented with electronic training/ simulation using Noptel or SCATT. I also use an air rifle indoors as it is a cheap form of training. This will change as the Games get nearer with more team training, shooting as a pair and regular exposure to high level competition, which will mean travelling abroad over the winter too.”
Q: You experienced the high of winning a medal in Delhi (Silver in Full Bore Rifle Pairs with Ian Shaw) – tell us about that experience.
AM: “The Delhi experience was hard work, made harder by the design of the Full bore range infrastructure and issues with an unproven scoring system. Coming through that and getting a medal was a great relief, effort = result.”
Q: What are your aspirations for Glasgow 2014?
AM: “Now I have had my selection confirmed I just want to just produce the best result I can.”
Q: What would it mean to you to compete on home soil for Team Scotland?
AM: “It would be great; like Iâ€™ve gone a full circle as I first shot a Barrybuddon aged 14.”
Q: Away from the sport – what is your career and how do you manage this with shooting?
AM: “I have just left the Army and I am now an independent consultant. I currently fit my job around shooting, but this will change over the winter to the opposite and cycle back to the former as the Games gets closer, but it does not always work like that!”
Q: What have been your sporting highlights to date?
AM: “There have been quite a few, but I don’t think like that – there is an expression I quote whenever I am asked this question – “you are only good as your next shot” – look forwards not backwards.”
Q: What would you say to encourage others to take up the sport?
AM: “Full bore is unique in that it is gender and age ‘free’ – anyone can win!”
Photo Credit: Donald McIntosh