A small Scottish business is playing a major role in helping a British rifle team compete against some of the best competitive international shooters.
Four keen marksmen, led by captain Mike Roberts, will represent Team GB at the Fifty Calibre Shooters Association World Championships in the US in July.

team captain Mike Roberts
team captain Mike Roberts

They will be the first British team ever to compete in the prestigious competition in New Mexico, where they will shoot some of the world’s most powerful rifles at targets up to 1,000 yards away.
And their self-funded trip is being supported by Scott Country International, a market-leading night vision and country goods retailer, based in Dumfries and Galloway.
The well-respected firm, which employs just four people at its office at Castle Douglas, is supplying smock-style jackets to the team to protect them against winds of up to 50mph.
Mike, 42, said: “It will be extremely windy particularly in the afternoon and early evening, and it will be extremely cold in the early mornings. These smocks will be fantastic for those conditions.”
He will be joined in the New Mexico desert by team mates Stuart Gilbert, of Shropshire and Staffordshire’s Chris Buckley and Malcolm Hurst.
As members of the Fifty Calibre Shooters Association UK, they have spent years training with the rifles, which weigh more than 30lbs each and have been custom built.
Mike said: “It really is a test of physical and mental strength. When you fire it, it’s like having an elephant kick you in the shoulder every time.”
He uses a Fortmeier .50bmg rifle, built by Heindrich Fortmeier, which weighs 32.5lbs. It has a 38” barrel, it measures 58” overall and it is fitted with a Sightron 8-24×56 scope.
Following two years’ worth of training, they are confident of returning to British soil with silverware.
Mike said: “We are going to win! We’re not going there to lose. We’re hoping to show the Americans up on their own soil, as well as teams from around the world.
“The four of us have worked hard for the last two years, training and getting ready for this and hopefully we’ll come back with something.”
The team will be wearing Ridgeline Monsoon Elite smocks emblazoned with Scott Country International’s logo during the world championships, which will be broadcast on television.
The company’s managing director Cowan Scott said: “To be in with a chance of winning a prestigious event such as this, all aspects of your training and preparation have to be meticulously planned, right down to all the kit you use and wear.
“Therefore we are thrilled to be providing them with the latest Monsoon Elite Smocks from Ridgeline.”


Meet Team GB at the Scott Country International stand at the CLA Game Fair at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, on Sunday, July 20.
For more information about the team on www.fcsa.co.uk