Lest We Forget
Ken Kechington has asked me to write a short report on the Remembrance Day shoot hosted by the Canberra Rifle Club. It was my 3rd time competing in this well run event which results in a great day of service rifle shooting -this year was no exception.
There are two classes -
SMLE class : SMLE No 1 MkIII or Mk III*
In 303 British only, Commonwealth issue web or leather sling. Sights as issued, adjustable windage sights must be set to zero - no peep sights. Target/King swivels may be fitted but must not be used. .303 barrels only - heavy barrels allowed. No range sights or optics (SMLE No 1 with range sights or optics may enter in open class). No rubber nose caps.
Open class : Any military issue rifle with any sight (including non-issue). Any SMLE not meeting requirements for SMLE class. No shooting jackets. No butt pads. Australian/British type military issue canvas webbing or leather slings only. Shooting mats or groundsheets are allowed.
Course of fire for both classes are a prone with 2 non convertible sighters 300 meter deliberate and 200 meter snap and rapport fire also with 2 non convertible sighters.
There’s nothing like shooting your SMLE in the heat of the day and remembering those who served, for me it’s interesting to see the variety of SMLE’S with their differences such as the year of manufacture, the armoury that produced them and their various stages of condition. There was an assortment of ammunition used including hand loads, factory, and military surplus -which performed well considering the date of manufacture.
At the end of the day it's all about having a go.
The open class saw an interesting mix of service rifles fitted with a variety of military issue and non issue sights including adjustable windage and peep sights. There was a number of shooters fielding vintage or faithfully restored sniper rifles. A Victorian shooter won the open class with his impressive No 4 Mk1 T sniper rifle chambered in 303 British. This rifle had an original No 32 Mk 2 scope which was unserviceable when the owner first acquired it but now was cleaned and fully restored to its former glory an impressive military sniper rifle that performed well.
I had average results in the open class with my 1942 Mosin Nagant PU sniper rifle -shooting the 200 meter 10 rounds rapport I managed to get off 8 rounds with 2 stoppages. The PU scope mount which is side mounted on the left side of the receiver means I can only reload manually which puts me at a disadvantage when competing against a rifle with a ten round magazine or a shooter using charge clips. Or maybe I’m just too slow as they say "a bad tradesmen always blames his tools".
Brian W a Goulburn member enjoyed his first visit to the Canberra Rifle Club, and was impressed with the C.R.C. members and their efforts hosting the Remembrance Day shoot - it was worth the visit.
Its impressive to see the level of competitiveness and sportsmanship alive and well which brings people together sharing in their love of Service Rifle shooting.
The day was finished off with a barbecue and the medal presentation, which was the icing on the cake for shooters who received medals for their efforts.
I managed to win a second place in the 300 meter deliberate SMLE class and another second place in the over all Aggregate score which finished off the day on a good note.