Winner Damien Webb, SSAA Warwick president Mal Smith and winner Russell Powell at the state championships at Risdon Range.
Winner Damien Webb, SSAA Warwick president Mal Smith and winner Russell Powell at the state championships at Risdon Range. Gerard Walsh

Gibson triggers record claim

IPSWICH shooter Russell Gibson is odds-on to become a Queensland record holder after the Warwick branch of the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia hosted the Queensland Rimfire Group Titles at Risdon Range at the weekend.

Gibson shot .260 on Sunday afternoon to win the 100-yard heavy rimfire benchrest class.

SSAA Warwick branch president Mal Smith said his effort on the day was judged by branch officials as a new state record.

“The target and the backing paper will be sent to Max Cody, of Crookwell, New South Wales, for verification,” Smith said.

“We are confident with our measuring that he will become a state record holder for the first time.

“Ross has bought a bit of good gear and puts in a lot of practice on the range in the Ipswich area,” Smith said.

In the championships, 15 shooters competed in light rifle on Saturday and 30 in heavy rifle on Sunday.

Smith said, apart from a wet Saturday, the championships were a great success.

“We had more shooters on Sunday as some don’t like shooting with the smaller guns,” Smith said.

In a light rifle event, the rifle must weigh under 3.35kg. In a group event, each shooter aims to put their five bullets as close together as possible. The winner is determined by the smallest spread between the bullets, with the lowest scorer the winner.

While some of the most experienced shooters in the nation were at the range on Saturday, Sunshine Coast club debutante Russell Powell was victorious at 50 metres.

He scored .7584 to win an event where the lowest score is the best.

Newcastle shooter Robin Cox was second with .7808.

Allan Marsh, of Guyra, won at 100 yards light.

Powell competed in his first shoot and clearly his twice weekly practice sessions paid off.

“There are plenty of old heads to learn from, as well as a lot of young talent,” he said.

He definitely prefers the shorter events.

“I went from first at 50 metres on Saturday morning to 14th at 100 yards in the afternoon,” Powell said.

“The wind was tougher in the afternoon.

“I was more surprised than everyone else when I won on Saturday.”

A member of the Lismore club, Damien Webb, was competing in Warwick for the first time and won the heavy class at 50 yards.

“The conditions were changeable on Sunday morning,” he said.

Part of the fun of shooting is adjusting to different conditions.

“There was a friendly atmosphere at the Warwick shoot and the facilities are great. I will be back,” he said.

Brisbane shooter Les Flood won the (overall) two-gun.

This year, the Warwick branch has been allocated three state championships.

The junior championships are on September 17-18 with a field of 25 expected, including six from the Warwick branch.

Warwick will also be the venue for the Queensland Centrefire Benchrest Championships on October 28-31 at Risdon Range.

Smith tips a field of 40 each day for the centrefire titles.



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