By Narrabri Pistol Club’s Rob Boutcher

Narrabri Pistol Club hosted the 40th annual John Ford Steel Challenge Metallic Silhouette 200-metre Big Bore Open event from Friday, May 6 to Sunday, 8.

Thirty competitors took part in the event and travelled from Brisbane to Cowra and all points in between to take part.

Unfortunately, several competitors had to cancel at the last minute due to being COVID-19 positive.

For the uninitiated, handgun 200-metre big bore metallic silhouette is a 40-shot match shot at steel, animal-shaped targets – 10 chickens at 50 metres; 10 pigs at 100 metres; 10 turkeys at 150 metres; and 10 rams at 200 metres. These are quite a distance for handguns.

The targets must be knocked from their stand to score, which can prove to be difficult as the rams weigh 25kg.

The aggregate is made up of four categories, which include revolver, production, standing and unlimited, with a total score out of 160.

Each match takes about one hour to complete.

The standard of competition was extremely high at the 2022 event, with state team members from both NSW and Queensland competing.

Some Australian team members selected to compete at the World Championships in Sweden in July also competed.

Weather was cool to cold across the three days, with strong southerly winds at times providing very testing conditions for the competitors.

Nine Narrabri Pistol Club members competed in the event at their home range. They were Tim Anderson, Dave Dewsbury, Paul Wilkins, Matt Burke, Jack Ford, Jason Anderson, Billy-Dean Borodzicz, and Jayden and Jeff Hamblin. Clubmate Rob Boutcher was the official judge.

In the off-gun results, Dewsbury and Anderson were the two most successful Narrabri competitors.

Anderson won the revolver match with the only 40/40 score, while Dewsbury was victorious in the unlimited match with the only 39/40 score.

Anderson also shot a 40/40 in the production match but, due to work commitments on Sunday, was unable to participate in a shoot-off with the other four competitors who also shot a 40.

The handicap teams event for the prestigious John Ford Steel Challenge trophy was won by Wee Waa duo Matt Burke and Billy-Dean Borodzicz, who are Narrabri Pistol Club members.

The open four-match aggregate winner was Merriganowry’s Matt Seears with 145, and the women’s four-match aggregate winner was Toogoolawah’s Judy Harding with 129.

The production match winner was Inverell RSM’s Glen Anderson with 40/40; revolver match winner was Narrabri’s Jason Anderson with 40/40; standing match winner was Toogoolawah’s Scott Dawson with 34/40; the unlimited match winner was Narrabri’s David Dewsbury with 39/40; and unlimited full scale match winner was Seears with 40/40.

Grade results for Narrabri Pistol Club members across the three days are as follows:

Int grade: first – Jason Anderson; A-grade: first – Billy-Dean Borodzicz; B-grade: first – Matt Burke.

AA-grade: second – Jayden Hamblin; A-grade: first – Billy-Dean Borodzicz, second – Jeff Hamblin; B-grade: first – Matt Burke.

AAA-grade: first – Jason Anderson, second – Paul Wilkins; B-grade: first – Matt Burke, second – Jeff Hamblin.

Int grade: third – Tim Anderson; AAA-grade – first – David Dewsbury, third – Jason Anderson; B-grade: second – Billy-Dean Borodzic, third – Matt Burke.

Full scale unlimited:
AAA-grade: first – Billy-Dean Borodzicz; A-grade: second – Matt Burke.

Two lever action rifle matches were also conducted, which were 100-metre rimfire and 100-metre pistol cartridge.

Results for those are as follows:
100-metre rimfire: First – Jake Davey (Inverell RSM), second – Glen Anderson (Inverell RSM), third – Scott Dawson (Toogoolawah).
100-metre centrefire pistol cartridge: First – Jack Ford (Narrabri), second – Glen Anderson (Inverell RSM), third – Paul Wilkins (Narrabri).

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