Bowen, North Queensland was the venue for the 2019 Championships held on the weekend of 31 August and 1 September. Competitors from Western Australia, Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales joined local and intrastate competitors to make up a field of 33 for the weekend.
Saturday’s Open match imposed no restriction on calibre and caters for any lever action rifle with a wooden stock and allows aperture sights. Eight targets were shot over distances from 100m to 25m and from positions such as any field position to standing unsupported. Targets included round and contour animal profiles. Time frames for the five shots on each target varied from five minutes to 10 seconds for the rapid fire. High individual target scores were the order of the day with Kerry Guinea, Don Chesworth, Jim Ellis and Robert Luther all scoring 50’s. On the other hand, everyone found at least one target in which they scored well below maximum to restrain their aggregate total. Outright winner was Don Chesworth over Gordon Ferguson and Jim Ellis.
1st AAA Don Chesworth 1st AA Gordon Ferguson 1st A David Mitchell
2nd AAA Jim Ellis 2nd AA Drew Tarring 2nd A Robert Luther
3rd AAA Jim Buckley 3rd AA Kerry Guinea 3rd A Paul Dickson
1st B Ray Bendon 1st C Ben Jasiulec 1st Jnr Chloe Kendall
2nd B Brian Endersby 2nd C Heath Kendall
3rd B Greg Klein 3rd C Derek Hansen
In keeping with the Open classification of this match, a wide variety of rifle brands were to be seen – Browning, Marlin, Winchester, Mirouk, Henry and an even wider variety of calibres – 22LR, 30-30, 218Bee, 357M, .223, 44-40,.222, 44M, 6X45, 22-250.
The Classic Calibre match, in which only open sights combined with centrefire cartridge introduced prior to the end of 1938 are allowed (there are some exceptions), was shot on Sunday. Similar variety of targets, distances positions and timeframes are also offered in this match with the only dispensation to the open sights being an additional 5 seconds for the rapid fire. Classic Calibre matches are often the great leveller as see here by two A grade shooters out shooting their higher grade competitors to take the major placings. Outright winner was Gordon Ferguson over Darryl Challacombe and Jim Buckley.
1st AAA Jim Buckley 1st AA Drew Tarring 1st A Gordon Ferguson
2nd AAA Don Chesworth 2nd AA Kerry Guinea 2nd A Darryl Challacombe
3rd AAA Jim Ellis 3rd AA Des Prowse 3rd A Les Flowler
1st B Allan Mc Donald 1st C David Mitchell
2nd B Ian Lade 2nd C Greg Klein
3rd B Ray Bendon 3rd C Brian Endersby
Rifle brands utilised in this match showed less variety being mainly Winchesters and Marlins with a sole Savage. However the calibres still evidenced quiet a selection - 357M, 38-55, 218Bee, 25-20, 32-20, 30-30, 44Special, 44M, 44-40 and 25-35.
The Two Gun aggregate resulted in Gordon Ferguson in first place only one point ahead of Don Chesworth with Jim Ellis in third. Top veterans were Don Chesworth, Kerry Guinea and Jim Buckley.
Bowen Branch members contributed greatly over the weekend with efficient scorers and target crew as well as wonderful catering. In the months leading up to the championships however, it was down to two dedicated lever action shooters, namely Allan McDonald and Les Fowler for all the preparation. You are to be congratulated on your efforts which resulted in an excellent free flowing weekend.
Thanks also go to Total Solutions Engineering Pty Ltd for their support of the championships.
The variety offered through the various shooting positions, timeframes, distances and the many different targets all combine to make the Lever Action discipline one of the most interesting and challenging disciplines amongst the many from which SSAA members have to choose. If you have not already tried this discipline, you should!