It only takes Michael Strike four shots to hit a milk jug from 1500 yards away. In fact, he did this in the United States and beat-out a bunch of Americans in the process.
Far from chasing competition, the SSAA member travelled to the US for business and joined in with the Long Range Shooters of Utah (LRSU) because he likes their laid-back and social approach. “The style of competition is quite different in the US compared to some of the very tense long-range shooting competitions in Australia,” said Michael.
The Milk Jug Challenge invitational event saw people across the US gather in Utah to participate, although Michael was the only Australian representative. During the competition, Michael noticed that he had an X-factor that few of the Americans had - he was used to shooting in windy conditions. “From a wind point of view, the SSAA Eagle Park range takes the cake as the windiest shooting range I have ever been to,” he said. “Everyone else was complaining about a consistent left-to-right 10-mile wind, but I was loving it. If nothing else, Eagle Park really promotes skills on how to handle shooting in wind”.
Michael is a member of the Melbourne Benchrest club at the SSAA Eagle Park Range at Little River and usually shoots with a Remington Model 700 .308-calibre rifle. He participates in many Benchrest competitions using basic stocked rifles with a sub-club known as the ‘The Riff-Raffs’. They keep it quite social and relaxed while focusing on themselves and the elements, rather than winning or losing a competition.
According to Michael, it can be difficult to locate a range beyond 1000m in Australia. Generally speaking, we just don’t have the space. The other problem is that current Australian firearm laws tend to make it harder to comfortably shoot at extreme distances. Michael says this is because suppressors and foldable riflestocks are too restricted here, unlike in the US.
“What you can do and what is available depends on each club,” said SSAA Long Range Precision National Discipline Chairman Andrew Hay. “We are encouraging clubs to include a Long Range Precision event every now and then alongside their regular shoots because lots of people are interested.”
If you are one of the many shooters interested in long-range shooting activities, here’s your chance to get involved. The SSAA National Long Range Precision Championships will be held in Tasmania this year from October 21 to 23 at the Campbell Town Rifle Club. The competition will consist of Class A matches at 400, 600, 800 and 1000 yards, with nominations opening soon. In the meantime, you can familiarise yourself with the Long Range Precision rules so you’re ready to go.