ANZAC DAY SHOOT: REPORT 2018
(see below for full result listing)
It was great to see a good number of guest shooters from various clubs join in as we opened the Sheffield Rifle Club ANZAC Shoot up for the first time in 2018. It was an overcast day and quite chilly but luckily the rain held off and the wind was quite well behaved for a day out at the Sheffield Range.
Since 2016, we have been shooting the event as an ‘in house’ comp for fun and to remember the diggers in our own way by flinging lead & copper down range at a good rate of knots. This year, we decided the format worked well enough to open it up for other TRA or SSAA shooters to join in. A total of 14 participants joined in and a number of interested spectators attended. We did have 18 registered entrants but there were a couple of no-shows and also a late withdrawal or 2. There were 5 shooters from the Sheffield Club and the rest attended as guests. For the first time, we had about 5 entrants firing various milsurp rifles with open sights and everyone else was using hunting/varmint style rifles of various makes and chamberings.
The milsurp shooters were all happy to join in the fun, even though they were shooting against scoped rifles. Seeing the old rifles put through their paces was quite a bit of fun in itself and we agreed on the day that if we get 3 or more milsurp iron sight entrants at future events, we will create a sub-division for them to compete against each other.
The idea for the ANZAC Shoot came about in 2015 when ANZAC Day happened to fall on a Saturday and during our regular shoot, one of the members remarked that, “we should be shooting at Turkish Helmets”. From there, we got to thinking and devised our own format for the shoot to make it as inclusive as possible and provide a change of pace for the club shooters, who are more accustomed to TR & F-Class Shooting. The event is essentially based around the NRAA “Field Rifle” rules, with a few tweaks and time limits to add to the pressure, because after all, the Diggers never had the luxury of target shooting gear and limitless time to set up each shot.
The shoot is primarily about having fun but also about knowing your rifle and your own abilities and putting them both together under mildly challenging conditions. As some shooters found out, if you just rock up and don’t know your kit, you will find it hard to get on target… luckily, these targets don’t shoot back, though! Similarly, it is about choosing an appropriate tool for the job. That is why it was designed as an open event. Competition for the Perpetual Trophy and the Cool Hand Luke have no divisions within the rules and frame work allowed. Hitting the target consistently is the name of the game; not allowing handicaps for those who choose to make it harder for themselves.
Before getting into the nitty gritty, we also need to say BIG THANK YOU to Judy, Suzie and Tanaya who so graciously gave their time to look after the target for us on the day.
The 200yd Details
We shoot a total of 10 rounds at 200yd, plus 2 sighters. Those rounds are split between two details of 5 rounds in 3 minutes. You can use a sling or not.
First detail is your sighters and then 3 minutes to place 5 rounds on target from your choice of a sitting or a kneeling position. Rounds may be single feed or mag feed but your loading time for mag or breech feed is included in your three minutes.
Second detail is standing, with an optional post to rest on (a wobbly one, because there is no perfect rest in battle: it is ANZAC Day, after all). Again, you have 3 minutes to place 5 rounds on target, including load time.
Surprisingly, most shooters performed better standing, supported, than they did in the sitting or kneeling position; which should technically be a more accurate and stable position to shoot from. It was commented that this shows how little these positions are used these days by your average shooter, with few shooters taking full advantage of the opportunity to properly support their shot from these positions and some stating that they had never actually shot from these positions at all.
Another thing that arose during the 200yd shoot was that most shooters got all their rounds downrange in half the time allotted. We are considering reducing the time limit to 90sec for next year’s shoot: just to turn up the heat a little.
After all shooters had completed their details, one of the Milsurp shooters offered a chance for people to ‘have a go’ of his 303brit Jungle Carbine. Needless to say, there were a good number of volunteers so the Sheffield President and a couple of others went off to light the BBQ at 300yd mound while a god almighty racket broke out at the 200yd range with more than one old rifle getting a bit more of a work out.
Lunch was a relaxed and casual affair with a BBQ for all and a good chance for more of a chat and mingling amongst all present. It was great to see shooters from all over the state and from different clubs and shooting disciplines having a simple feed, a good yack and a bit of a laugh. It was also great to see a number of people making contact and keen to promote ‘cross fertilisation’ for disciplines and an attitude of camaraderie and co-operation, rather than the factional rivalry that can sadly be too common in the shooting sports.
300yd: Cool Hand Luke
The final detail of the day we call “Cool Hand Luke”. It is shot prone at 300yd off sandbags, folding bipod or elbows. After 2 sighters, you then have 2 minutes to place 10 rounds on target, again including loading time. Magazines can only have 5 rounds loaded at a time, so you have to decide if you are going to single feed or take time to break your shooting position and load your mag/mags. The ‘Cool Hand’ also has its own prize for the smallest group of the detail, with no runners up, regardless of what that groups scores in total. You can win the Cool Hand prize, even if all 10 shots are in the 1, as long as it is the smallest group between the furthest two bullet holes.
It is surprising how much pressure this detail can put you in when you are not used to it, with any rifle stoppages or failures severely hampering your overall chances for the top spots. Still, it does afford a chance for a bit of a laugh and a good ribbing when experienced shooters feel the pinch. At one stage, one shooter had a stoppage after 6 rounds, which ended his run but he ended up with 7 holes in his target and his opposite only had 9 hole in his. Let’s just say there was a good bit of stirring going on behind the line after that one… That shooter wasn’t the only one to Fail To Finish the detail due to pressure or equipment malfunction/user error.
The Cool Hand Luke has proven, each year, to be the deciding detail: with shooters either significantly rising or dropping in the placings by the end. It is those who can stay steady and cool under pressure through out the whole shoot who do best. As they say, “slow is smooth and smooth is fast”.
So Who Won?
Well, it’s good to see a new name go onto the Perpetual Trophy this year and it can’t be said that we stack the comp to favour Sheffield Shooters because a guest took the honours. This year we added medals to the prizes, as previously the prizes have been only novelty value in the theme of ‘A Care Package From Home’:
1st prize: Perpetual Trophy, Gold Medal & Brandy Soaked Fruit Cake.
C. Kenney (guest shooter)
2nd prize: Silver Medal & Commemorative tin of ANZAC Biscuits
J. MacLeod (SRC Inc Pres)
3rd Prize: Bronze Medal, Billy Tea & Corned Mutton
E. Stewart (SRC Inc Sec)
Cool Hand Luke: Bronze Medal & Hand Knitted Beanie
J. MacLeod (SRC Inc Pres)
As mentioned already, a few modifications and additions to next year’s event are on the cards. Among the changes being considered are:
Reduce time limit at 200yd
Introduce “Mil-surp Iron Sights” Division with it’s own prizes
Possibly add “Mad Minute”
Historical Paraphernalia Exhibit
All in all it was a fun and friendly day with heaps of positive feed back from all participants and plenty of smiling faces at the end of the day. Most of those in attendance have commented that they are keen for the next one and a few are also keen to come down the range for a shoot from time to time. We even made a few bucks for the club and that will go straight back into improving the range and facilities.
See you on the range!
FULL RESULT LISTING
1. Chris 81
2. Juz 79.9
3. Ed 79.8
4. Travis 72
5. Alan 56
6. Darrel 54
7. Craig 48 (iron sights)
8. Wayne 41
9. Shaun 38 (iron sights)
10. Harry 31 (iron sights)
11. Graham 28
12. Steve 27 (iron sights)
13. Gareth 22 (iron sights)
14. Kevin 14 (iron sights) (withdrew before 300yd detail)