National Rifle Association (United Kingdom)

sports governing body in the United Kingdom

The National Rifle Association (NRA) is the governing body for full bore rifle and pistol shooting sports in the United Kingdom. The NRA was founded in 1859, 12 years before its better known American namesake.


  • Southward, Putney Heath merges itself into the more extensive area of Wimbledon Common; but our limited space will not allow of our saying more of this interesting locality than that every July it is the scene of the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association. The old windmill, formerly a picturesque object on the breezy common, has been converted into the head-quarters of the Rifle Association. These annual gatherings are attended by the élite of fashion, and always include a large number of ladies, who generally evince the greatest interest in the target practice of the various competitors, whether it be for the honour of carrying off the Elcho Shield, the Queen's or the Prince of Wales's Prize, or the shield shot for by our great Public Schools, or the Annual Rifle Match between the Houses of Lords and Commons.
  • I see that you are to call the attention of the House of Lords on Monday to the proposed removal of the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association from Wimbledon to some other quarter. I can conceive nothing more fatal to the encouragement of rifle shooting, both by the Volunteers and Englishmen generally, than the change from Wimbledon to another spot, as none can he found so available for the public generally, or be reached so quickly and cheaply as Wimbledon Common. Many men look forward to their Wimbledon week either as residents in camp or as shooting visitors all the year round, and a spirit of friendly feeling among all classes and nationalities of Volunteers and of interest in their performances is thereby kept up throughout the country.
  • What I hope is that, when the whole district is full of these little rifle clubs, we may then get a central range to which they could all adjourn. Bisley is very useful to men of means, but to the ordinary civilian rifleman it might as well be in the moon. We must have local ranges if the men are really to get the good of them.
    • Arthur Conan Doyle, "A British Commando", The Strand Magazine, June 1901
    • Referencing the NRA's Headquarters at Bisley, Surrey and Conan-Doyle's desire to develop local rifle clubs more accessible to working class men.