Wet weather did not dampen the spirits – or the powder – of nearly 20 shooters who competed in the Queensland Muzzleloading State Championships held near Warwick.
The SSAA Queensland branch at Inglewood hosted the State titles over the weekend of October 14 and 15, with competitors coming from distant outposts such as Far North Queensland – a 19-hour drive – for the event.
As the name suggests, the competition was all about muzzleloading firearms – muskets, shotguns and handguns – typically from the 19th century and earlier, with some modern reproductions in the mix as well.
Branch publicity officer Tom Donald said everything from 16th century Japanese matchlock arquebuses through to 18th century Brown Bess flintlock muskets, a Gold Rush-era Rogers & Spencer .44 revolver, reproduction duelling pistols, muzzleloading shotguns and even colonial-era Pattern 1853 Enfield rifle-muskets were on the firing line.
Branch secretary Stephanie Dudgeon said muskets were a lot more accurate than people thought and the competitors had all very much embraced the spirit of the event despite the wet weather.
“Everyone was very helpful and keen to show off and explain how they all worked for those who didn’t know – like me,” she said.
Shooter Des Prowse was the overall winner in the various longarm events, including breaking the State record in the Traditional Rifle 100m Benchrest competition with a score of 98.3.
Des also placed first in the aggregate for Open Rifle, Traditional Rifle and Flintlock Rifle events, along with second in the Military Rifle and Handgun categories.
Aggregate placings for the events were:
|Class 1 & 2 Handgun – 1 Tony Van Elst (321.1), 2 Des Prowse (309.2), 3 Robert Rosier (229).|
|Military Rifle – 1 Jeff DeLacey (246.1), 2 Des Prowse (231.1), 3 Peter Burke (217).|
|Traditional Rifle – 1 Des Prowse (263.5), 2 Peter Burke (232.1), 3 Robert Rosier (202).|
|Open Rifle – 1 Des Prowse (281.1), 2 Ian Hanlon (209), 3 Peter Burke (194).|
|Flintlock Rifle – 1 Des Prowse (252.3), 2 Gordon Gentle (222.1), 3 Robert Rosier (178).|