Find out who won at the recent IPC Shooting Industry Awards

Every year we look forward to the IPC Media Shooting Industry Awards — now in their 19th year. The reason we anticipate them so keenly is because they illustrate the strength of our sport here in the UK. As judges, it is our happy task to act as arbiters over a wide cross-section of products, services and companies, all of which have a great, positive story to tell. We receive entries from shooting-related businesses that are justifiably proud of what they do and it is a considerable challenge for us to arrive at a final decision — it’s a job we take seriously.

The products entered have to be new on the market in 2013 and this year the entries proved, as ever, that ours is a world which does not sit still, but is constantly developing. As you can see, there are a number of categories, but one that really stood out for me this year was the best “New Shooting Accessory”. Such was the array of innovation demonstrated within the entries, we struggled to narrow the shortlist down to just five products.

Some subtle changes to the categories were made this year, with the shotgun section divided up into three categories. As organisers, we felt comparing a bespoke Best London Gun with a factory-made semi-auto wasn’t entirely fair, so the decision was taken to split the category into three different price brackets. All three winners are richly deserving, from the realistic, through the ambitious to the “gun of a lifetime”.

Finally, we would like to congratulate Robin Scott, former editor of Sporting Gun and now Editor- at-Large of that title, Shooting Times and Shooting Gazette.

He received our award for his outstanding lifetime’s contribution to the shooting industry. He has reported on, enthused about and campaigned for our sport all his working life. He’s definitely earnt it!

New clothing product

Shortlisted:

  • Härkila Pro hunter X jacket
  • Kufstein shooting coat from Laksen
  • Moorland Waistcoat from Just Cartridges
  • Musto Fenland Packaway jacket

Winner: Musto Fenland Parkway jacket
The judges were impressed by the diversity and the quality of the entries in this category. and there was a wide range, from smart jackets which wouldn’t look out of place at church on Sunday morning, to wildfowling clothing which could really only look right in the place it was designed for; namely the muddy creek in the twilight. and, after much discussion, the panel decided the musto Fenland Packaway is a jacket that offers a lightweight solution on those days when you really don’t want to take a coat, but the threat of showers makes it a necessity. What’s more, this jacket is also delivered at the right price (£175) and, despite its light weight, offers a credible solution to those early season showery days.

New footwear product

Shortlisted:

  • Härkila Forester boot
  • Seeland estate boot

Winner: Seeland Estate boot
The judges had a tight call to make picking a winner from these two excellent boots, but in the end the Seeland estate got the nod for, in the words of one mud-loving shooter: “Looking good and being a very comfortable boot at a reasonable price.” and another judge with plenty of experience of wet British shooting seasons said: “this is a really good boot for the money.” With an RRP of £109.99 it’s hard to argue with that statement.

Game cartridge

Shortlisted:

  • Hull high Pheasant extreme
  • Lyalvale express Paper Case
  • Gamebore Black gold

Highly Commended:

  • Hull Cartridge high Pheasant extreme

Winner: Gamebore Black Gold Wool Wad
This was a tremendous category to judge because we are blessed with so many excellent brands in what is a crucial market for our readers. Just making a shortlist was a challenge, so choosing a winner was a real head scratcher. after talking powder, lead, fibre and plastic for no short time the judges managed to whittle it down to two contenders.

And they were compelled to award a highly Commended to the one that was narrowly pipped to the post — the high Pheasant from hull Cartridge. as one of the judges said: “there’s no bird shudder with this one. When you connect the bird drops, and that’s what we all want to see!”

But, the best game cartridge this year wowed the judges to the extent that one said: “a lot of thought has gone into developing this load. the kills are stupendous and they hold the pattern really well.” another judge said: “not only is this a first-rate gameshooting cartridge, there is also the element of innovation which demonstrates a progressive attitude. it’s a great concept.”

Clay cartridge

Shortlisted:

  • Black gold Competition from gamebore
  • Fiocchi FBLACK
  • Eley Superb

Winner: Fiocchi FBLACK
Again the judges were so impressed by the range and the quality of the entrants they feld they had to award  highly Commended in this extremely competitive category and that went to the eley Superb.
But the Fiocchi FBLACK took the plaudits for its growing reputation among people in the know. one judge said: “Just listening to all of my contacts within the clayshooting world, people are swearing by these shells.” another judge said: “there were some excellent entries here, but the winner gets my vote because i have simply never heard a bad word against them.” and retailing at well under £200 for 1,000 shells, this cartridge is certainly an attractive prospect for any competition shooter.

Rifle cartridge

Shortlisted:

  • RWS semi-auto from RUAG Ammotec UK
  • Eeley edge
  • Norma .243 from RUAG Ammotec UK

Winner: Norma .243 from RUAG Ammotec UK
The judges were full of high praise for the Norma .243 from RUAG ammotec uK, which is a conventional lead-tipped bullet with a rapid mushrooming effect and mild recoil, and is globally popular for hunting medium sized game.

Consistency is everything when it comes to rifle cartridges and that is something the judges particularly remarked upon about this round. as one of our judges said: “the quality is consistently superb straight out of the box.” and with an RRP of £1,798 per 1,000 you are certainly going to get a tremendous amount of good shooting for your money.

New gundog product

Shortlisted:

  • Retrieve air launcher from Lite Launcher
  • Kronch Pemmikan bar
  • Field trial management System from Skinner’s

Winner: Kronch Pemmikan bar
We all love our four-legged shooting friends and we do everything we can to ensure they are ready for action when the season starts. it really is quite a special feeling when your beloved gundog goes and retrieves the high curling pheasant you have just shot. hard to beat in fact.

So it’s heartwarming to see there are lots of products out there which will not only help us prepare our dogs for those halcyon days in the field, but will also help us keep them going when the birds are dropping left, right and centre. after all, if you are shooting well you want your dog to be up to the challenge of collecting all that delicious game.

The Kronch Pemmikan bar has been devised specifically to keep your dog going through even the toughest days on the moor, in the coverts or on the marsh. and it has met with great approval among the best dog trainers in the land so it took the honours in a tightly fought contest.

New scope

Shortlisted:

  • Nikko Sterling from highland outdoors
  • Leica eri from edgar Brothers
  • Kahles helia 5from RUAG Ammotec UK

Winner: Kahles Helia 5 from RUAG Ammotec UK
In the ever-growing rifle scope market there is some pretty stiff competition, and the shortlist here represented brands that satisfy all budgets. But the judges were almost unanimous in this category. Kahles scopes have developed a reputation for sheer excellence. one judge said: “to me this is a brand that has stirred up the optics market. it’s great that they are finally getting the recognition they so clearly deserve.”

The helia 5 generation of scopes offer a successful blend of performance, innovation and outstanding light transmission and while the rrP is £1,917 the judges had no doubt that this product is worth every penny. after all, if you want the very best you must be prepared to pay for it.

New binoculars

Shortlisted:

  • Hawke Panorama ED from Deben
  • Swarovski SLC 10×42
  • Leica geovid HD-B rangefinder from Edgar Brothers
  • Bushnell Fusion 1 mile arc from Edgar Brothers

Winner: Swarovski SLC 10×42
In another tight category Austrian brand Swarovski has yet again demonstrated a commitment to pure quality which gives the end user incredible clarity, range and long-term support. this brand is synonymous with the highest standards on a global scale. Whether it’s a game warden in africa or a highland gillie, everyone who needs the best quality binoculars goes time and again to this remarkable name and this latest product is no exception to the rule.

At £1,380 the ergonomic design, together with thumb depressions for a secure grip, allows greater viewing comfort, particularly when observing over long periods. not surprisingly, sales have doubled over the former model for the same period in the previous year.

New shooting accessory

Shortlisted:

  • Primos trigger stick tripod from John Rothery
  • Lightforce Pred 9X from RUAG
  • Magnetic Cartridge pen from Seeland
  • My clay shooting record from Clay Shooting Success
  • Blackhawk Sportster bipod from Edgar Brothers

Winner: Primos Trigger stick tripod from John Rothery
This was the biggest and most diverse category of all. The judges were overwhelmed by the number of entries in this category and the variety of ingenious new products coming on to the market. there’s clearly no shortage of gadgets for today’s shooter. the panel saw everything from digital weather gauges to shooting glasses inspired by fighter jets. So, creating the shortlist was something of a challenge but eventually it was narrowed down to the five above.

And the Primos trigger Stick is a product that impressed the judges thanks to its clever design and quality. it’s a product that has clearly been designed for stalkers by stalkers and has met with great reviews from knowledgeable critics.

The RRP is £129.99 and the trigger function on the handle allows the user to adjust the height and angle of the tripod simply by depressing the trigger. and the tripod locks into place when the trigger
is released, simple but highly effective.

Best website

Shortlisted:

Winner: skinnerspetfoods.co.uk
This category was judged by ShootingUK editor Laura Nineham who applied her considerable expertise to selecting the winning website. Laura said: “The websites on the shortlist were all compared against a number of criteria that assessed the navigation, design, mobile accessibility, clear display of contact details, concept and regular updating of the site.

“What pushed Skinner’s over the edge was their strong yearly traffic growth, the addition of the very helpful ‘locate a stockist’ feature, prominent testimonials displayed throughout the site and clear contact information. I was also really impressed with their interaction with customers and the design of the website.”

Best shooting ground

Shortlisted:

  • Ian Coley
  • E.J. Churchill
  • Barbury
  • Royal Berkshire
  • Oxford Gun Company
  • Atkin Grant & Lang
  • North Wales Shooting School

Winner: E.J. Churchill Shooting Ground
We asked readers to nominate their favourite grounds and the shortlist was compiled from the grounds with the most entries. And it’s quite a shortlist which sounds like a pretty good week travelling around the country and shooting.

But E.J. Churchill at West Wycombe has demonstrated a continually progressive attitude towards game and clayshooters alike, which the judges simply could not ignore. One of our judges said: “This ground really is a market leader and its ability to cater for corporate clients, gameshooters and clay busters alike is remarkable. I love going there and am always impressed by the welcome and the ambience.”

And to emphasise their market leading position, E.J. Churchill also hosted the fabulous World English Sporting Championship earlier this year. The competition was won by His Shooting Highness George Digweed, and the event itself received plaudits from all who experienced it.

Best gunshop

Shortlisted:

  • E.J. Churchill
  • Solware
  • Malmo Guns
  • William Powell
  • Avalon Guns

Winner: William Powell
As with the best shooting ground category we asked for reader nominations and the shortlist was
derived from the shops with the most nominations. Surrounded by the smell of oil and leather, we all love to spend an hour or so in the gunshop, and we are fortunate in the UK to have a blend of traditional and more contemporary retail experiences to satisfy our shooting needs. But this year we were particularly impressed by the range of products and level of service provided by the William Powell shop at Banbury.

One of our judges said: “This company has demonstrated a big commitment to the British gameshooter in the past few years, with significant investment. A visit to their shop is never time wasted.”

New rifle

Shortlisted:

  • Anschutz 1517 Deluxe from RUAG
  • Anschutz 1727F from RUAG
  • CZ527 .17 Hornet from Edgar Brothers

Winner: CZ527 .17 Hornet from Edgar Brothers
The judges were extremely impressed by the CZ527 .17 Hornet and it is no surprise that demand has outstripped supply for a well-conceived, well-built and well-priced utility firearm. In fact UK distributors Edgar Brothers sold all 80 of their initial allocation in the first month.

This increasingly popular calibre is certainly more than up to the job and with an RRP of £1,107 for the Varmint version of this rifle it has clearly found a successful niche in the market. Vermin control has rarely been more fun and one judge said: “These are reliable rifles with no frills and at a very attractive price.”

New shotgun less than £1,500

Shortlisted:

  • Revo K200 Wildfowl from Sportsman Gun Centre
  • Hatsan Xtreme from Edgar Brothers
  • Lincoln Premier Compact from John Rothery

Highly Commended:

  •  Lincoln Premier Compact from John Rothery

Winner: Revo K200 Wildfowl from Sportsman Gun Centre
This was the first of the three new shotgun categories introduced this year. Three separate price brackets were introduced so that shotguns in similar sections of the market can be judged against their competitors.

And in this first category it was very difficult to split these three excellent and affordable shotguns. However, after much deliberation the Lincoln Premier was Highly Commended for its obvious appeal to ladies and younger guns.

But the Revo K200 wildfowl took the plaudits for being, in the words of one judge: “Bloody well made for the money.” And another said: “At that price it is just too good for me to look anywhere else.” For the record the RRP is a rather astonishing £434.99 and this gun has been a big hit with wildfowlers and pigeon shooters alike.

New shotgun £1,500 to £14,999

Shortlisted:

  • Rizzini RB EM from ASI
  • Browning B725 Grade 5

Joint winners: Rizzini RB EM & Browning B725 Grade 5
The judges throught the previous category was tough but this one was extraordinary. The bottom line is that these are two exceptional shotguns which any of us would love to have in the cabinet. The Rizzini brand has made a big impact on the market in recent years, and these stunning guns are a real pleasure to handle. They add something very special to any gameshooting day.

Meanwhile the Browning B725 Grade 5 has all the hallmarks of another classic from one of the biggest names in the history of shotgun manufacturer. It handles like a dream, looks superb and has all the reliability you would expect from such a well- established name.

When it came to voting time it couldn’t have been tighter and, even with a recount, the decision was split right down the middle. The Browning has an RRP of £3,999 and the Rizzini is £3,895.

New shotgun more than £15,000

Shortlisted:

  • Boxall & edmiston 12-bore square side-plated over-and-under
  • Browning Custom Shop B25 Special Series

Winner: Boxall & Edmiston 12-bore
This was another tight decision and the judges certainly enjoyed the chance to indulge the fantasy of owning either of the shortlisted options. But the Boxall & edmiston impressed by being in the words of one judge: “an innovative and aesthetically pleasing gun which not only reflects the great British gunmaking tradition, but also looks to the future with a subtle blend of hand and machine working.”
another judge said of Boxall & edmiston: “this company has made tremendous steps towards resurrecting a great tradition and they certainly have the support of the trade and the shooting public.” this gun has an RRP of approximately £16,800.

The Field’s sporting personality of the year

Mike Robinson, the renowned game chef, was this year’s Field Sporting Personality of the year. “No one has done more to champion the cause of our wild harvest than mike,” says the Field’s editor, Jonathan young. “It features throughout his menu at the Pot Kiln pub in Berkshire (a favourite haunt of Wills and Kate) and at the top gastro-pub, the harewood arms in Fulham, where mike has an interest.

“He has also introduced millions to the delights of cooking and eating game through his numerous TV programmes, such as UKTV Food’s daily live show great Food Live and BBC’s Saturday Kitchen. a regular contributor to the Field for many years, he will be fronting the Field and CLA’s Game Cook of the Year contest at this year’s game Fair, showing live audiences how to get the best from our wild countryside.”

The IPC Media shooting industry lifetime achievement award

When Robin Scott stood down as editor of Sporting Gun magazine in December 2013 it marked the end of 27 years in the hot seat. That’s 27 years! Back in 1986, when he took the job on, email was not even a glimmer in the eye of computer experts and Margaret Thatcher still had four years of her premiership left.

During his editorship robin shepherded his team of experts into producing a market-leading magazine, month-in, month-out on some 320 occasions. that is a tremendous number of deadlines and it must have required the wisdom of Solomon to coax copy out of a wide-ranging team of freelance writers over that extensive period of time.

As a passionate shooter and fisherman Robin has never been happier than when stood in the field with gun in hand and dogs at the ready, or on the banks of the tay with his fly rod. he was an accomplished competition clayshooter and is still a force to be reckoned with when the clays or birds are flying. He always brought that love of country sports to the magazine and his own writing. as a true countryman and a hardened hack he is an expert at reading the minds of his audience and he clearly loved the job.

Robin said: “It is tremendously flattering to think that doing the job you love for 27 years is some sort of achievement and deserving of an award such as this. All I can say is that editing such a great title as Sporting Gun has been massive fun and time has simply flown by. Of course it’s an honour to have your work recognised in this way and that is thanks to many thousands of Sporting gun readers over the years.”

Robin is now an editor-at-large for the iPC shooting titles, so he has a wider audience than ever. He just doesn’t have to worry about pulling the whole magazine together any more. Well done, Robin, on such a long stint and we wish you all the best for the future in the field or down by the river.