The 2016 SSAA National Lever Action Championships were hosted by the SSAA Northern Rivers Branch on the Casino Rifle Range in New South Wales over the October long weekend. Queensland, New South Wales, the ACT, Tasmania and Western Australia were all well represented.
Saturday was the Rimfire match where .22 Long Rifle and .22 Magnums are used with peep sights. The weather conditions played their part with 45kph crosswinds helping to level out the field. The eventual winner managed the conditions best to come out on top, so the Open Rimfire champion was Darren Moy, from Queensland, with Don Chesworth, of NSW, taking silver and Steve Hurley, a WA representative, securing the bronze.
The National Centrefire Match took place on Sunday. The weather had settled down with the warm, pleasant sunny conditions much appreciated. In the Centrefire match a variety of centrefire lever-actions are used all fitted with peep sights. This time the top three placings in the Open Centrefire were once again as last year - filled by competitors from Western Australia. Gold went to Hurley, silver to Brett Worner and bronze to Mick McDonnell.
Monday saw the old traditional lever guns, all fitted with customary open sights, come out for the Classic Calibre match. The course of fire is set to replicate long-established hunting with many animal contour targets over numerous distances employing a variety of shooting positions that you would use in the field. Contesting the rapid fire events standing in the rain made it more of a challenge. The Open Classic champion was Hurley, with silver going to Peter Cohen, of Queensland, and bronze to Jim Buckley, from NSW.
In each of these events the Ladies class, as well as the Juniors, enjoyed good participation along with all the grades from AAA to C.
The 2-Gun competition was fought out through all categories and is calculated by combining each contestant’s individual totals from the Rimfire and Centrefire matches. This resulted in the Open 2-Gun winner being Hurley, followed by Chesworth and third placed Worner.
The 3-Gun outcome comprises each shooter’s personal scores from the Rimfire, Centrefire and Classic matches and this results in the Open National Lever Action champion being decided. On this occasion the champion was Hurley, second went to Chesworth and third came Buckley. Once again the 2-Gun and 3-Gun were staged by the Ladies and Juniors.
One final honour up for grabs is the State teams. This consists of line-ups of four contenders from each state and four different targets, one for each starter. The individual scores are combined to obtain the total. This time, as has been the case for many years, gold went to WA, silver to Queensland with bronze for NSW.
Finally, a huge thank you to the members of the SSAA Northern Rivers Branch for their support and hard work to prepare and run the 2016 National Lever Action Championships.