As part of keeping a handgun in Australia, I am required to attend the shooting range a number of times each year to practice and to participate in competitions. The number of times you need to depend is related to the number of handguns you own. As such, I recently attended the local Huon Gun Club, for their IPSC shooting practice. I don’t normally participate in the IPSC event, normally competing in Classic Matches at my old range, yet as I now live closer to the Huon Branch, I will need to start going here. I met the three other people who attended the range on the day and they seem like a nice bunch of people. They explained to me the particular set up of this club, and as I brought my pistol with me, they invited me to participate in the practice with them. I suspect that they wanted to ensure that I had the correct demeanour and discipline, that I was essentially someone whom they would want to join the branch.
One of the guys that I met spent a lot of the time scouring the ground. I thought that he was looking for spent cases (which is how most people spend their time at ranges), yet he was looking for used projectiles (the “bullet” part of the round…. The bit that is shot from the gun). He told me all about his process of melting them down and recasting them for reloading and use. It was interesting, I knew that people did this, yet I thought that they used old led from car tires and fishing sinkers. I haven’t really seen used projectiles on a gun range before (as they are always shot away from where I am).
I was pretty nervous… I have shot IPSC maybe two times in my life, so it is not what I am used to doing. Yet, I seemed to really impress them with my ability and discipline. I showed them that I was well trained, by demonstrating correct finger discipline, the gun was always in a safe direction, the one time a case failed to properly eject, I showed that I can keep cool and fix the problem. In addition, I think they could see that I was well practiced, as my time was not the lowest on the day, and my accuracy exceptional. For example, on the first course we were required to shoot 9 different targets. The other guys used 20 to 30 rounds for this course, I used nine as I hit the target with each shot. I am pretty proud of my accuracy here, especially as it was my first time in a long time shooting a gun.
One of the problems with the range is that it is so remote. I got a little lost on the drive home, as I needed to drive along dirt roads in a state forest. Send issue was that they spend around 6 hours on the range when they go. I don’t have that much time to spend away from home, as there is always work needing to be done. Still, I do admit that it was a lot more fun than Classic shooting. I will definitely be attending more in the future.