Come and check out Smithton Rifle Club this weekend.
Established in 1905, the rifle range retains most of the original infrastructure yet provides a place for club members to whet their skills.
“Prior to that there were a lot of ex-servicemen in the area,” says club president Bob Davies, of providing an outlet for people to hone their accuracy.
“The army paid five shillings for every member who made marksman-grade.”
Despite a drop in numbers down to three members two years ago, today the club is gaining momentum again with 21 members.
“The thing about the rifle range is a lot of people think it is closed,” says Bob, hoping to change that perception this weekend with a come and try day.
Open to all over the age of 18 with ID, no experience is necessary to test out your accuracy and consistency. Participants will complete a safety briefing and shooting lesson before taking to the range. Equipment including safety gear is supplied by the club.
From a distance of up to 300 yards, shooters have two sighting shots to line up the target before 10 scoring shots to hit the bullseye.
“At the end of the day you’re really challenging yourself,” says Bob of the sport.
“Yes, you’re competing against others but mostly it’s about trying to better yourself.”
Meeting on the first and fourth Saturday of every month, Bob says it is this challenge that he thrives off.
“There are days we can come out here and it’s clear like today,” he says.
“Other days we come out to compete in 45 kilometre per hour winds and that’s where I get the enjoyment from it; the scientific calculation.”
The club is looking to purchase new electronic targets, allowing shooters to more accurately analyse shots using sensor technology.
Smithton Rifle Club president Bob Davies says anyone over the age of 18 can check out the come and try day on this weekend. Picture: Ashleigh Force.