Smallbore shooting is both enjoyable and competitive, and never more so than during the interclub season. Hosted in turn by the various Auckland sporting clubs, it’s pretty much for bragging rights and continues through the winter and spring months.
Each interclub shoot is completed on the target of the host club. This means every year you get shoot a few different targets from your usual, including groupings, application targets, snap shoots, silhouettes and all shot in various positions.
The nights are hosted at either the Howick or Waitakere ranges, and there is a Saturday shoot in Riverhead at the Auckland NZDA. Some years the North Auckland NZDA puts on a fun shoot as well.
All of the shoots held at Waitakere are shot in every position except standing, as the mounds don’t have much headroom. The Howick rifle range features shoots in all four positions (standing, sitting, kneeling, standing), as does the NZDA shoot. The Auckland NZDA shoot is the only one shot at 50 metres, while the others are at 25.
The 50 metre shoot (which happened to be today) is 40 rounds, ten each in the four positions mentioned above, with 2 minutes of sighters to start. Without the snaps and silhouettes to explain and call, it’s a pretty easy shoot, but the extra distance adds some challenge – especially for the standing. All of the shoots are between 40 and 50 rounds, so one box of ammo will be fine.
What’s on the line?
Each club puts together a team of five shooters (or tries to), and a team of juniors as well. The top four scores counting on the night. There is recognition for the top team, top junior team, top gun and top gun junior.
As mentioned above, it’s pretty much bragging rights. If we’re honest, Waitakere has some of the best shooters out there, so they take out the top spot almost exclusively, but it’s still a very competitive atmosphere and there’s certainly a lot of jostling for the other spots on any given night.
Usually there are pins or boxes of ammo as prizes, and at the end of the year there are trophies to dole out as well.
At the end of the day, it’s a great way to meet more of the shooting community, try different targets and shoot at a couple different ranges. If you’d like to find out more about the competition or smallbore in general, go along to a regular shoot at your local club and ask a committee member or the captain, or simply leave a comment below.