This year’s SSAA WA Muzzleloading State Championships were contested over a glorious windless weekend with temperatures in the low 30s. October 10 and 11 saw most of WA’s top muzzleloaders gathered at the Perth Muzzleloading Club to compete in 18 separate events (including prone, kneeling, offhand, crossed sticks and bench rest positions), with four different classes of rifles (Military, Traditional, Open and Flintlock), shot at 50, 100 and 200m. The championships were best described as an absolutely splendid weekend, with everything proceeding as per the program. In charge was head range officer Peter Norgard, who had no disputes and for the first time I can remember, no cross-fires, and everything finished on time on both days.
With only one country shooter, John Drummond from Albany, proving the old comment about being wary of the man with only one gun, John won the 50m Off Hand Open event with an untouched Pattern 1853 .577 Enfield military rifle. Indeed, he out-shot all of the more fancied Schutzen small-calibre rifles with peep sights and palm rests.
The hotshot for the weekend again was Justen McGowan, despite having a dose of Ross River Virus infection. As we all know, it’s hard to keep a good man down, and Justen’s nine gold medals are a tribute to his fighting spirit.
Next up was Frank Della, who as well as preparing a super barbecue on the Saturday, also managed to win seven gold medals. Despite having only attended the club a few times in the past few years, another one-gun shooter emerged from the smoke. Buckley polished off four gold medals in a short time, followed by Kerwin Bee with a pair of golds for his growing collection.
Single golds went to Keith McKay, John Drummond and myself. It’s just about time for me to once again consider not shooting in all 18 events. These silly thoughts do flitter through my mind, and of course there is no real hurry to make up my mind just yet. Next year, I will be nudging 80 - maybe I should go back to playing chess?
Rick Denniston worked the computer, with scores regularly spat out. Non-shooting helpers included Kevin Brice, Derrick Clemesha and Chris Allen. Peter Watson helped out whenever and wherever needed and also fixed up another super barbecue on the Sunday.
It really was very good shoot. Congratulations to all the medal winners and the rest of the gang.
by Leo Laden