A Little Bit of Diggle History…
Diggle Ranges are probably the largest member owned range complex in Great Britain if not Europe. Records indicate that target shooting took place in the valley as early as 1860 – probably as a result of the Volunteer Rifle Corps Act of 1859. The Ranges as we see them today, were formalised some time later and we have records confirming that the Range House was constructed by the military around 1897.
The Ranges were in continuous use by the military until 1973 and at that time, five civilian shooting clubs were also sharing the facilities. When the Army pulled out, the civilian clubs were able to purchase the Range House, Ranges and danger areas comprising some 660 acres of Pennine moorland. The five clubs eventually amalgamated into the Pennine Shooting Sports Association, managers of Diggle Ranges. The PSSA Committee is composed of elected members who stand for re-election every three years.
Facilities at Diggle
The range complex is extensive – 660 acres in total and offering fullbore rifle shooting out to 1000 yards. There are four ranges:
A Range – This is a 100 yard range with covered firing-points with eight permanent concrete benches. It is used extensively for competitions and the United Kingdom Benchrest Association hold their 100 yard shoots on this range.
B Range – This range has grassed firing-points at 100, 200 and 300 yards with formal butts with six target frames. At the 300 yard point is a covered firing area with five permanent concrete benches.
C Range - The 1000 yard range also offers shooting at 400, 500, 600, 800 and 900 yards via grassed firing-points. At 600 and 1000 yards there are covered firing-points with eight permanent concrete benches in each.
D Range – A 100 yard sighting-in range, equipped with a covered firing-point and five concrete benches. The outdoor shooting facilities are backed up with a substantial stone-built centrally-heated Range House complete with toilet and kitchen facilities, members lounge, general clubroom and a well-equipped shop.
Parking - There is a proper surfaced car park adjacent to the Range House and further ladies and gents toilets and showers in a separate building. Basic ‘bunkhouse accommodation is also available for visiting shooters.
Shooting at Diggle – They have a large, active membership and cater for most shooting disciplines. Formal competitions are held every weekend throughout the year and they also host several national events, including Practical Rifle, GB F Class, Quigley and Benchrest plus the famous Egg Shoot and Fly Shoot. Regular competitions are held for the following disciplines: Target Rifle – F Class – Benchrest – Classic Military Rifle – Under-lever Rifle – Black-powder Cartridge Rifle – Practical Rifle & Civilian Service Rifle – Practical Shotgun – Mini Rifle – Tactical Rifle & McQueen – Disabled Shooting.
Membership – The Pennine Shooting Sports Association has over 300 members but applications for membership are always welcome e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. They are managers and owners of Diggle Ranges and they offer excellent value to shooters wishing to become members of the PSSA. Day visitors holding an FAC are welcome and a £15.00 range fee is payable, which entitles the user to shoot on any of our ranges subject of course to safety constraints.
Range Hire - They have British Aerospace amongst their regular clients. Greater Manchester Police and the Royal Armouries are also frequent users. They are happy to hire out the facilities to commercial bodies or private clubs. Individual ranges can be hired by the day or half day or the whole complex may be hired exclusively. They can supply targetry and butts crews by prior arrangement. Please e-mail the chairman at email@example.com to discuss your requirements.