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baldie

The Grail

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Most days you suck lemons....occasionally you get a peach.

 

I started field target shooting when it first ever began in the UK, circa late 70' very early 80's [if memory serves]

 

One of the early shoots I remember well, was at Harewood house in Leeds, and it was at the WAGBI roadshow, which shows how long back it was, as they are now BASC.

 

I remember bumping into Ivan Hancock and Dave Pope, in the shoot queue, the guys who started Venom.

 

I was intrigued by Dave Pope's rifle, which i believe was a tuned, custom 80. He let me have a go with it, and i swore one day, I would own one of their guns. They were out of reach, price wise to most working men then, never mind a spotty teenager.

 

A chance post on here a couple of days ago, gave me the opportunity i've waited over 30 years for. A quick trip down the M1 , and a boyhood dream was finally realised.

 

Here she is...a Venom Vantage 77.

 

Talking with my old pal Tim Finley [who probably knows more about airguns than any man in the UK] He believes, its one of the very early 77's, which were venom tuned, but predates the Lazaglide tune. Either way, its the smooth cocking, silent shooting machine, i remember so well, and why these rifles were so highly prized.

 

IMG_2190_zpsphfn24za.jpg

 

Integral custom silencer and barrel latch

 

IMG_2192_zpsnxdnzyjk.jpg

 

The giveaway sticker which were never fitted to anything but their tuned guns.

 

Beautiful walnut stock, with probably one of the first adjustable butt pads to be seen around the time.

 

IMG_2194_zpsogfjiwur.jpg

 

The gun is pristine, and was owned from new by the vendor, and has been lovingly cared for all these years.

 

Rest assured Paul, it won't ever be sold again, and I will shoot it, and love it.

 

Bit of a lovely moment when I got it home, and realised how much I loved shooting back then, and the fond memories I have of the field target scene as a lad.

 

I've built and owned all manner of exotic guns in my life, but not one of them gave me the buzz that this old girl has.

 

It joins a Venom ultra glide SR 200 i already own, which was one of the last, venom made.

 

Life is good sometimes. :)

 

 

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Very nice indeed ,I always preferred the 77 to the newer 97 and being venom tuned is the icing on the cake .what calibre is it ?

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That looks absolutley mint, what a find.

 

I remember the very first field shooting event at Magham Down, Hailsham in 1980. It was arranged by "Airgun World" magazine and, at a guess, was probably sponsored by Sussex Armoury who were based locally in Hailsham.

 

Unfortunately I didn't get to shoot the competition with my trusty old Airsporter. I was shooting a smallbore 100yd prone match at the same time in nearby Hampden Park and had a three hour wait between details. I'd arranged a slot to shoot the field target event in the available time but they were running late and I couldn't wait. Did have a go on the zeroing range though.

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Very nice Dave, I'm glad you managed to fulfill a dream.
I remember your enquiry on the post previously mentioned. :-)
Enjoy

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Most days you suck lemons....occasionally you get a peach.

 

I started field target shooting when it first ever began in the UK, circa late 70' very early 80's [if memory serves]

 

One of the early shoots I remember well, was at Harewood house in Leeds, and it was at the WAGBI roadshow, which shows how long back it was, as they are now BASC.

 

I remember bumping into Ivan Hancock and Dave Pope, in the shoot queue, the guys who started Venom.

 

I was intrigued by Dave Pope's rifle, which i believe was a tuned, custom 80. He let me have a go with it, and i swore one day, I would own one of their guns. They were out of reach, price wise to most working men then, never mind a spotty teenager.

 

A chance post on here a couple of days ago, gave me the opportunity i've waited over 30 years for. A quick trip down the M1 , and a boyhood dream was finally realised.

 

Here she is...a Venom Vantage 77.

 

Talking with my old pal Tim Finley [who probably knows more about airguns than any man in the UK] He believes, its one of the very early 77's, which were venom tuned, but predates the Lazaglide tune. Either way, its the smooth cocking, silent shooting machine, i remember so well, and why these rifles were so highly prized.

 

IMG_2190_zpsphfn24za.jpg

 

Integral custom silencer and barrel latch

 

IMG_2192_zpsnxdnzyjk.jpg

 

The giveaway sticker which were never fitted to anything but their tuned guns.

 

Beautiful walnut stock, with probably one of the first adjustable butt pads to be seen around the time.

 

IMG_2194_zpsogfjiwur.jpg

 

The gun is pristine, and was owned from new by the vendor, and has been lovingly cared for all these years.

 

Rest assured Paul, it won't ever be sold again, and I will shoot it, and love it.

 

Bit of a lovely moment when I got it home, and realised how much I loved shooting back then, and the fond memories I have of the field target scene as a lad.

 

I've built and owned all manner of exotic guns in my life, but not one of them gave me the buzz that this old girl has.

 

It joins a Venom ultra glide SR 200 i already own, which was one of the last, venom made.

 

Life is good sometimes. :)

 

 

its nostalgia for me as well !geeze its going back a bit now though i remember dave and ivan from the stourvale woodsman days when i started field target myself got to be 40 years back or there abouts ,they used to work upstairs over trapshot of lye ,i remember the first 80 they bought down the range (we used to meet in a sports center at stourbridge i think it was , on a saturday for a bit of practice and then down the woods on a sunday morning for the FT ) that they had played with i still remember the sting on the trigger finger lol, they really did have a talent for tuning "and a good business"

 

AHHHH HAPPY DAYS

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Dohhhh|!!!! early Daystates and Air Arms Shamals took the place of my precious Venoms,,,,wonder where they are now,,,,,I know where my HW80 Lazaglide is which was custom stocked and completely reblued but I would love to know where my Grail is now,,,,Full lazaglide 77,,custom grade 3 stock,,reblued including blued compression tube,,Mach 1 barrel,,,and wait for it a Mach 1 trigger!!! now that's rare!,,,, that was like a swiss watch!!!,,,,got into some debt acquiring these beautiful guns!!!!..............Then there was the GC2 wasn,t there Dave,,,,,,,,,still something about a sweet springer,,,,and I,ve said this before,,like an old girlfriend you wished you treated better,,,,you,ve loved and lost,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,O

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Dave did I see this post in FB? A couple days ago? Didn't twig it were you?

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Stirred some memories there fella's eh ? :D

 

1066.

Indeed it was. The sponsors were Airgun world, Sussex armoury and NARPA. It was such a success, they put on 5 regional shoots the next year, and that was it......FT was born. In the early days, the targets fell forward when the disc was hit. They also ran a side shoot consisting of bird decoys with weighted heads. These had to be head shot to knock them off, and were placed in very lifelike situations.

I think most folk enjoyed the bird shoot more than the main course to be honest. It was great fun.

 

Pete,

Yes I have fired a Whiscombe, and if I ever find one, that will be added to the collection. I love the airsporter, so the whiscombe would be most welcome.

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A guy called Pete Dutton had three whiscombe rifles he shot and up at Redfearns when I dabbled in FT and HFT from memory It cocked link a spring gun sounded like a spring gun but due to opposing pistons was totally recoiled to shoot .

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Recoilless that should be

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