2017 was a time of growth for Service Rifle at SSAA Goulburn & Districts Branch. As indicated below the January Sniper match was a successful day.
On March 5th a small but enthusiastic trio of shooters gathered and shot 2 details of Rapid Fire A and one of Snap A. D.Wyborn was the winner on the day.
Due to the low numbers the match was revised to a reduced 3 position match - 50m, 75m & 100m - using mini core targets - identical to the Cadet & Trainer core match. While this seems a lot easier and certainly it takes the windage challenges out of the equation the half size targets almost duplicate the full size 3P match in terms of ratio. Using his 1899 Martini Enfield A.Wood took out the match with a 120.3, followed up by C.Hartley on 105.2 using a Longbranch Lee Enfield No4 MkI.
In spite of the weather and numbers, a great time was had by the competitors.
The challenge of Sniper Match is that you aren't allowed to have sighting shots. You're supposed to know your rifle and shoot it accordingly. For those unaware, the match is shot prone at 300yds, 2 phases of 6 bullets for a total of 12 rounds. In each phase the shooter has a minute to set up their "nest" and then 90 seconds to shoot all 6 rounds, and then get back off the mat.
And the lack of sighter was the downfall for a number of today's competitors. The only scores that count are the first detail. So, S.Hale took 1st place with his Weatherby Vanguard in 22-250, scoring 37 out of a possible 60 points. J.Hohnen placed second with a Steyr ProHunter Varmint in 223 Rem, scoring 29. And S.Hale's son, A.Hale took outright 3rd place and 1st Junior using his father's Lithgow LA102 in 223 Rem with 26 points.
While A.Wood scored an impressive 54.12, this was a second detail score and did not count to the overall result. If the match revealed anything, it was that competitors tended to shoot high and needed get to know their rifles better. Basically, there's no substitute for practise and experience. All competitors looked hungry to shoot these distances more often and nothing is more sure than the fact that long distance shooting is infectious!