Wed 16 Apr

Wednesday 12 September 2012

McKellar pulls rabbit out of hat

Mossman shooters represented the region well at the weekend's Prize Shoot.

The Mossman & District Rifle Club Annual Prize Shoot was held on Sunday and was staged as three 10-shot matches at ranges of 400, 500 and 600 metres contested over several classes.

These classes included:

  • Full-bore Target Rifle (308 or 223 cal., peep-sight, manually-supported) Divisions 1 and 2
  • F-Class Standard Target Rifle (308 or 223 cal., telescoped and bipod-supported) Divisions 1 and 2
  • F-Class Open Target Rifle (unrestricted calibre to a maximum of 8mm, telescoped and bipod-supported)


Results counted for both Range performances and in the Aggregate for All Ranges.

In long-distance, high-performance target shooting, weather conditions are a critical aspect that shooters must accommodate and adapt to as their shoot progresses. These conditions are rarely totally benign, and can change rapidly.

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Sunday opened overcast early but cleared to thick, scudding clouds interspersed with very warm sunny spells and a light breeze. These conditions created an aggressive and persistent mirage, and lighting on the targets that varied rapidly from bright to sombre, providing very challenging conditions for shooters from around the region and from as far away as Darwin.

The one common theme in comments from shooters throughout the day was the difficult ‘seeing’ caused by the changing intensity and direction of the mirage and by the often deep shadowing of the targets interspersed with the bright, sunny patches between clouds.

One regular and well-travelled visiting shooter described ‘the Mossman mirage’ as amongst the worst he has experienced anywhere, caused by the sandy soils and the high moisture content which ‘boils out’ in the heat of the Sun.

In the Range performances, winners were:

400 metres

Full-bore Target Rifle Division 1: Elliott Ross (Cairns) with 49 points (out of a possible 50 for Full-bore peep-sighted rifles) with 6 centre-bullseyes
Full-bore Target Rifle Division 2: Lothar Ross (Cairns) with a 48/1 (out of 50), with Mossman’s Mal McKellar a close second on 47/5
F-Class Standard Target Rifle Division 1: Kevin Chatfield (Ravenshoe) with 57/3 (out of a possible 60 points for F-Class ‘scoped rifles)
F-Class Standard Target Rifle Division 2: Damian O’Kane (Cairns) 56/3 (out of 60), on centre-bulls over Brian Corkill (Cairns) 56/2
F-Class Open Target Rifle: Peter Smith (Herberton) 59/6 (out of 60), on centre-bulls over Dave McNamara (Cairns) 59/5.

500 metres

Full-bore Target Rifle Division 1: Peter Barry (Darwin) 50 points (out of a possible 50 for Full-bore peep-sighted rifles) with 5 centre-bullseyes, on a count-back over Elliott Ross (Cairns) also with 50/5
Full-bore Target Rifle Division 2: Gary Moss (Atherton) with a 50/4 (out of 50), on centre-bulls over Steve Durham (Mareeba) 50/3, with Mossman’s Mal McKellar fourth on 48/4 and Rob Wearne fifth on 
47/4
F-Class Standard Target Rifle Division 1: Kevin Chatfield (Ravenshoe) with 60/5 (out of a possible 60 points for F-Class ‘scoped rifles)
F-Class Standard Target Rifle Division 2: Wayne Swift (Collinsville) 60/7 (out of 60), with Mossman’s Norbert Schmidt second with 58/3 on a count-back over Damian O’Kane (Cairns) also on 58/3
F-Class Open Target Rifle: Dave Stewart (Herberton) 60/6 (out of 60), on centre-bulls over Dave McNamara (Cairns) 60/4.

600 metres


Full-bore Target Rifle Division 1: Elliott Ross (Cairns) 50 points (out of a possible 50 for Full-bore peep-sighted rifles) with 5 centre-bullseyes
Full-bore Target Rifle Division 2: Steve Durham (Mareeba) with a 48/1 (out of 50), with Mossman’s Mal McKellar a close second with 47/6, Rob Wearne third on 46/1, and Ron Schild sixth with 44/1
F-Class Standard Target Rifle Division 1: Kevin Chatfield (Ravenshoe) with 60/5 (out of a possible 60 points for F-Class ‘scoped rifles)
F-Class Standard Target Rifle Division 2: Kathleen Chatfield (Ravenshoe) with 56/2 (out of 60), with Mossman’s Norbert Schmidt equal fourth on 52/1
F-Class Open Target Rifle: Michael Toohey (Ravenshoe) 60/4 (out of 60).

Outright winners in the Aggregate of All Ranges

Full-bore Target Rifle Division 1: Elliott Ross (Cairns) 149 points (out of a possible 150 for Full-bore peep-sighted rifles) with an impressive 16 centre-bullseyes, over Bob Boulter (Atherton) second with 146/7, and Peter Barry (Darwin) third on 145/10.
Full-bore Target Rifle Division 2: Mossman’s Mal McKellar pulled the proverbial rabbit out of the hat with his consistency to take the win with a fine 142/15 (out of 150), over Lothar Ross (Cairns) second with 141/9, and Steve Durham (Mareeba) third on 141/6
F-Class Standard Target Rifle Division 1: Kevin Chatfield (Ravenshoe) with 175/9 (out of a possible 180 points for F-Class ‘scoped rifles), over Steve Lazarus (Cairns) second on 169/9
F-Class Standard Target Rifle Division 2: Wayne Swift (Collinsville) with 170/9 (out of 180), over Damian O’Kane (Cairns) with 167/8, Kathleen Chatfield (Ravenshoe) third on 167/6, and Mossman’s 
Norbert Schmidt fifth on 164/6
F-Class Open Target Rifle: Dave Stewart (Herberton) 176/15 (out of 180), over Dave McNamara (Cairns) 176/10, and Peter Smith (Herberton) on 175/14.

The Sam Leonardi Memorial Trophy for highest score in the Full-bore Target Rifle category, to honour Mossman’s best ever shooter with both Queensland and Australian representation, was awarded to Elliott Ross of Cairns for his outstanding 149 points (out of 150) with an exceptional 16 centre-bullseyes (53% of all shots).

It is worth noting that Mal McKellar’s outright win on the Aggregate for Full-bore Target Rifle Division 2 included 15 centre-bullseyes (50% of all shots), second only to the 16 centres of Full-bore Target Rifle Division 1 and Sam Leonardi Memorial Trophy winner Elliott Ross.

The M&DRC thanked all who made the shoot possible and a great success, including participants, markers, club members, spouses, Range Officer Neil Attwood, Butts Officer David Schild, ‘runner’ Ryan Barton, and photographer Steve Cruickshank.

The club meets every Saturday at 1pm at the Mossman & District Rifle Club Range mid-way between Port and Mossman, and our weekly Club shoots resume next Saturday 15 September. Visitors are always welcome.

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