The guns were anything but silent at SSAA Brisbane over the Labour Day long weekend from April 29 to May 1 as some of Queensland’s best shooters marked their targets for the 2017 Combined Services State Championships. There were 50 competitors at the meeting - 40 men, seven ladies and three juniors - with strong contests across all the weekend’s events.
Saturday was given over to Pistol categories, with a variety of military, police or modified service handguns on the range, including one grouping even being devoted to original pre-1946 manufactured pistols. The highlight of the Pistol shooting was the Class One 3P Core event, with Peter Richards placing top in the Grand Master grade with a score of 356.20. Trevor Rock was first in Master grade with a score of 350.16, while Glen Sherritt carried off A grade with 330.06. The B grade winner was Michael Trussler with a score of 338.10 and Peta Bosomworth was the C grade victor with 306.05.
The Rifle shooting events were held on Sunday and Monday, with an impressive selection of guns ranging from 19th-century infantry models all the way through to modern military rifles making an appearance. As with the Pistol events, the Rifle 3P Core section was strongly contested, with Richards winning the Grand Master category with a score of 148.15. Michael Beak claimed the Master grade with 146.17, while Greg De Koning came top of A grade with a near-possible score of 149.14. The B grade title went to Shannon Ditman with 139.08 and the C grade champ was George Sedgewick with 129.03.
The .310 Cadet and .22 Trainer rifle events continue to grow in popularity, with some excellent scores including Master grade shooter Beak notching a possible in the .310 Cadet bracket with a score of 150.14.
SSAA Brisbane Secretary Steve Walsh said it was the first time the Combined Services State Championships had been held at the range for several years and it was great the event was accompanied by perfect shooting weather. “The conditions were ideal, with warm days and a bright clear sky,” he said.
Combined Services competitions are about using classic military and police-issue firearms, mostly from WWI or WWII, with many starters shooting a range of guns from all time periods. “Of special interest for people that are new to Combined Services is the co-existence of the old and collectible, alongside with the new and modern,” said Steve.