Winchester Australia is giving shooting enthusiasts and novices the chance to test some of its products first-hand when it hosts its inaugural Range Day on Friday, November 27. The venue for the ground-breaking event is the SSAA Little River Range in Lara, just outside Geelong, where visitors will be invited to take aim with everything from air rifles to the hefty .50BMG. It is also an opportunity to check out the pick of some of Winchester Australia’s biggest brands.
Advance tickets can be purchased online for $115 per person, or they can be bought on the day at $150, subject to availability. Each shooter will be given a package for their outing, including 10 rounds of .223 Remington, 10 rounds of .308 Winchester, three rounds of .338LM and one round of .50BMG. They will also be eligible to shoot 10 clay targets, as well as unlimited bouts on the rimfire circuit and the Daisy inflatable air rifle range. The kit will be rounded off with a Winchester merchandise pack.
There will be something for everyone from beginners to the more experienced hands. If you ever wanted to try shooting for the first time or just have a crack at a new calibre, here is a tantalising option. A good start would be to open with a stint on the unlimited rimfire rifles before working your way through centrefires. Get to grips with a Steyr SSG08 in .338LM and focus on targets at 200, 300 or 400m. Perhaps a session could finish with shooting a .50BMG.
Onlookers will be able to pick up pointers from some of Australia’s leading shooters. Among the ranks will be Renae Birgan, ‘Sox’ Philipisidis, Anthony Panetta, Daniel Johnson and Brian Mortensen. It will be an occasion that should be on any shooter’s wish list and looks likely to provide an exhilarating day of firearms action.
Winchester Australia’s marketing coordinator Jackie Martin, and sales and marketing manager Jeff Gordon have high hopes for the innovative occasion and are looking forward to the big day. “We are catering for a crowd of 300, with 100 shooters allocated to each session,” said Jackie. Shooters can select which timeslot they wish to embark on for their adventure. Sessions run from 9-11am, 11.30am-1.30pm and 2-4pm.
“We settled on Friday as a day for the event because the ranges are busiest with their own things on Saturday and Sundays,” said Jeff. “On Friday, workers and tradies can maybe take RDOs. It’s also a good day for us to put our own staff on.”
Jeff outlined how the smooth flow around the location would be kept ticking over. “The focus is to allow people to shoot multiple firearms,” he said. “The Daisy inflatable air rifle range will be the place where mates can perhaps compete against each other, and Winchester will be handing out spot prizes to the best shots or whoever amuses us in whatever way...If there is a line-up for one particular firearm at any stage, we can move people on to other positions.”
Jackie hoped the Range Day could be the potential starting point for those who had never used a firearm before. “We will be giving out bags with protection, eye protection, pens, hats and other knick-knacks in,” she said. “A lot of people are interested but simply don’t know where to start. But with our Range Day, new shooters can get in, sign on and turn up in a safe atmosphere.”
There was just one word of advice for those attending: Please do not bring your own firearms, as there will be searches at the entrance gates. Besides, Winchester Australia already has all the items needed for a fun day.
“We want to create an extreme value-for-money experience, more than the sum of the equation,” said Jeff. “If this works, we will see how we go and we may be able to make it fly. By that, I mean expand to Sydney or Melbourne for the future.”
There will be plenty of merchandising available for buyers but no guns or ammo. “We have noticed at recent SSAA SHOT Expos when we have run stalls how many females are attending such events,” said Jeff. “So we will have special black T-shirts on sale with a pink motif saying ‘Winchest-her’.”
As mentioned, spaces at Winchester Australia’s Range Day are limited to 300, so get in quick and purchase your tickets today!