Hot, humid conditions blow shooters off course
THE shoot-out at 700 metres on Saturday began in oppressively hot and humid conditions with an unusually strong north-easterly in the face of shooters.
Mid-way through the first match, the targets darkened as a thunderstorm grew to the west and fat rain-drops spattered the dry dust; this darkening, with a still bright sky over the targets to the east, made for challenging conditions for shooters in a Double 700m match.
In the first 700-metre match Ron Schild opened the Full-bore Target Rifle (308 cal, non-telescopic, manually-supported) competition with two 4-point “inners”.
Then he found the centre with three 5-point centrebulls and two 5-point bullseyes (the centre-bulls being used to separate ties on a count-back) before again slipping outside the centre with an inner and an unfortunate 3-point “bird”.
Then with the deep darkening of the targets, and the difficulty of seeing the fall of shot, he closed with a none-the-less reasonable score of 44 points (out of 50, this 10-shot match) with 3 centre-bulls.
followed, and despite the difficulty in seeing and the heavy raindrops, he was in the centre of the target from the outset, opening strongly with a centre-bull and continuing with an impressive string of bulls-eyes and centre-bulls to post a perfect score of 50.
Mal McKellar was last down on the mound and he too found the centre with his second sighting shot and continued on with an un-broken string of bullseyes and centre-bulls to also close with a perfect score of 50 points.
However, a total of just 4 centres saw Wearne, with 5 centres take a fine firstmatch win on count-back.
In the second 700-metre match veteran Schild, again opened for Full-bore, but struggled with the continuing deterioration in seeing, with very dark targets against a bright background and increasing rain, and, after a string of disappointing “birds”, withdrew from the competition for reason of inability to see the fall of shot.
Wearne once more followed, also struggling with the deteriorating conditions and the unprecedented difficulty in seeing the targets, however, he once again opened in the centre, with two bulls-eyes and a centrebull, but then dropped out of the centre on four of his remaining eight shots to close with a still very creditable 51/2 (out of 55, this 11-shot match) to stay in contention.
McKellar was last down, and, though he saw the opportunity for a match win, had difficulty finding the centre, posting a consistently low-on-the-target 3-point “bird” and 4-point “inner” with his two sighting shots; however, his firstto-count found a 5-point centre-bull and he followed that with nine more bulls and centre-bulls, with just one 4-point “inner” interspersed, to take a worthy match-win with 54 points and 4 centres.
In summary, under very challenging conditions, the Full-bore Target Rifle Double 700m Match was taken by Mal McKellar with 104 points (out of 105) and 8 centre-bulls over Rob Wearne 2nd with 101/7, and Ron Schild 3rd.
The Club meets every Saturday at 1pm at the Mossman & District Rifle Club Range mid-way between Port and Mossman and visitors are welcome.