There were seventeen sharp shooters this year at the 2011 Service Rifle Competition out at the Terrace Rod and Gun club July 23.
Registration took place at 8 a.m. and was followed by safety meetings and rifle reviews, with shooting taking off at 9:20 a.m., and continuing on until 6 p.m.
There were 16 vintage shooters and one modern shooter at the event.
Event organizer Richard Kean said the Terrace Rod and Gun Club offers what most service rifle matches do, such as the use of snap, rapid and deliberate type matches while using prone, kneeling and standing positions.
Every shooter also took a turn manning military rifle butts, constructed in 1943, which are re-enforced concrete bunkers with earth packed in front of them.
Participants use these butts to take shelter behind while changing up targets for shooters between rounds.
Shooters wear a military helmet, safety equipment and a high-visibility vest
while manning the rifle butts.
“It is perfectly safe, and an experience so say the least,” Kean said.
Kean explains that service rifle matches require cardio and gym conditioning as it is physically difficult to move into various shooting positions and engage targets which are moving or may only appear for a few seconds.
He compares service rifle shooting to the real–life situations of hunting.
“Hunters often need to be moving quickly, change locations to source the best shooting angle, manage adrenaline and an elevated heart rate, control laboured breathing and figure out the numerous computations running through the hunter’s mind prior to pulling off that
one shot,” Kean explained.
Kean said he was seriously impressed with one shooter, Jordy Mandur of Terrace, who despite using a vintage service rifle with a limited magazine capacity and being on crutches, managed to place fifth in the competition.
“He turned a lot of heads and his determination impresses me very much,” Kean said.
The top three in the vintage category were Troy Hansen from Terrace in the number one spot, Mark Ciemniak from Kitimat in second and Dace Helps
from Telkwa placing third.
The modern shooter event went to the only contestant, Al Lencucha from Kitimat.
Kean urges people to keep the Terrace Rod and Gun Club Service Rifle event on their radar for next year.
He expects the competition to take place on the same date and would like to see more local
shooters at next year’s event.