1997 – Introduction of ISSF Rifle

The Introduction of ISSF Rifle to MISC

1997

By Reg McCready and Kim Frazer

After Essendon Rifle Club and TRV elected to enter an agreement with MISC to host rifle shooting events in 1996, some modifications to the existing ranges had to take place to comply with LRD safety requirements.

TRV’s biggest postal matches are shot at 20 metres and MISC didn’t have any 20m ranges. To be able to shoot at this distance the club decided to use the 25m range. To accommodate the 20m distance, target holders were attached to the dividing walls on Bay 3[1] which were swung out when required and then folded back along the wall when shooting finished. It took some time to get an acceptable standard of illumination onto the target. Sometime around 2017 or 2018 the Committee of the day decided to move these target holders up into Bay 1 which is where they still reside today.

On the 50m range things were not so simple. When shooting from the prone position it was possible to fire a shot that would leave the range. This was overcome by shooting prone and kneeling from benches. Shooting from benches is quite common in Europe but it was quite unusual in Australia. The club did have a few benches that were used for some of the pistol matches. These were acceptable for rifle-shooting, but more were needed. The Keilor Target Group had been formed with the intent of establishing a shooting range at the Keilor Council’s sporting complex in Keilor Park Drive. The group consisted of a number of city clubs who wanted a 50m range close by instead of having to drive to Frankston or Geelong to shoot 50m.  When this proposal fell through the group donated the funds they had accumulated to MISC for the purpose of constructing more benches. About a dozen were subsequently manufactured and installed.

Shooters found it quite different to be shooting from a bench rather than off the ground, but all soon adapted to it. For those who shot three-position, it was a big change to be shooting kneeling from a bench, and it required quite a careful setup of spotting scope and shooter to ensure items were not knocked off the bench. The benches were used for a number of years until the ranges received a major makeover when MISC was selected as the host venue for rifle and pistol shooting for the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

Once the ranges were all set up to accommodate rifle shooting, the Committee of the day decided that as rifle was now being shot at the club, rifle events would be added to the program of events of the club’s Anniversary Shoot. The Anniversary Shoot commemorates the opening of the club and is held annually in May as close as possible to May 24th.

For a number of years TRV has been conducting their 50m and air rifle state championships at the club. In the years that TRV have been host state for the TRA National Championships the events have also been held at the club. In 2017 and 2018 the club was host to the TRA ‘Rimfire Bench Rest’ format of the National Championships.

[1] Bay 4 didn’t exist at that time and was built later for the 2006 Commonwealth Games.