OKC Gun Club hosting world handgun championships
Oklahoma City is hosting the International Handgun Metallic Silhouette Association World Championships this week. The nine-day event began Friday at the Oklahoma City Gun Club near Arcadia and will conclude Saturday with the 500-meter match.
Some of the best handgun shooters from across the country and the world have descended on Oklahoma City this week for the International Handgun Metallic Silhouette Association World Championships.
The nine-day event began Friday at the Oklahoma City Gun Club near Arcadia and will conclude Saturday with the 500meter match.
By the end of the week, world championships will have been awarded in airgun, .22 rimfire and centerfire at distances ranging from 10 yards to more than a quarter of a mile.
Distances range from 10 to 18 yards for air pistols and 25 to 100 yards in the small-bore division (pistols chambered for .22 long-rifle cartridge only).
In the big-bore division, for powerful centerfire handguns only, the distances range from 50 meters to 500 meters.
“It’s the only handgun discipline that shoots out to 500 meters,” said Jim Fields, match director for the IHMSA World Championships.
The 500-meter match was added just last year in the world championships as the Oklahoma City Gun Club’s silhouette range is one of the few that can offer such a distance for shooters.
“A lot of IHMSA clubs do not have the facility to shoot out to 500 meters,” said Fields, an OKC Gun Club member who has won more than 30 world championships in the shooting discipline over three decades of shooting.
This is the fourth year — and second straight — that the OKC Gun Club has hosted the world championships. Almost 400 shooters from the United States, Australia and South America are competing.
The sport started in 1975 by a group of handgunners in Tucson, Arizona, looking to have some fun. What evolved was the IHMSA, which sanctions the shooting contests across the world.
The competition is divided according to handgun action type, sights and caliber, shoot- ing positions (standing or freestyle) and distance.
To score a hit, a halfinch-thick steel target in the shape of a chicken, turkey, pig or ram must be knocked off its stand.
The contest is a timed event as shooters have a 30-second load command and two minutes to fire upon a group of five targets.
The OKC Gun Club has one of the best metallic silhouette gun ranges in the country, with an automated system that can raise 6,000 pounds of targets all at once, Fields said.
This year, an air-conditioned facility with three loading presses has been added near the firing range. The OKC Gun Club hosts monthly matches in IHMSA and a state championship.
The monthly local matches normally draw between 50 and 60 shooters, Fields said.
The OKC Gun Club hosts numerous state, regional, national and world championships each year, ranging from cowboy action shooting with old-West style sixshooters to police competitions with modern firearms.
The IHMSA World Championships will have shooting matches each day beginning at 8 a.m. at the club.
The International Handgun Metallic Silhouette Association World Championships began Friday at the Oklahoma City Gun Club and will continue the rest of the week.