Dick Travis VC .303 Nationals 2018 Match Report.

 Saturday the 17th of March 2018 rolled around very quickly and the Karori Rifle Club was filling with shooters at 730 am. Geoff Collings our usual scrutineer was in hospital (get well soon Geoff) so the task of checking that the rifles complied with the Trentham Range Standing Orders was carried out by nephew and NZ Rifle Team Armourer – Mike Collings. Thank you Mike. All rifles were declared fit for the purpose.

Thank you to Firearms Safety Specialists for the ECI and pen in each entry pack. Also to Derek Morris for the .303 key rings too.

The usual welcome was followed by a brief on the upcoming matches, code of conduct (emphasis on fun) and the workings of the electronic targets. With that done 14 shooters assembled at the 500 yard mound for the briefing by our Range Officer. Shots were going down range at 9am sharp.

The conditions were calm with little wind. A good score there to be had and achieved by most. Notably a pair of 49’s by reigning champion – Mike Collings – and possibles for Nicole M, Ernie Schuch and myself in the second string.

Despite the electronic targets being quicker to use the 14 shooters were still at it at 12pm. The Wellington Rifle Association club members were starting to arrive for the afternoon shoot at 300 yards. This meant the .303 shooters had little or no time for lunch. Still we were there to shoot not eat and most made do with something at the mound before the afternoon shooting began.

The weather was cooling but the wind was light. Scores at 300 were great with 8 shooters getting 49’s and possibles from Mike Collings and Nicole M (2). There was a bunch at the top with other shooters making there mark as they got to grips with the olde rifles.

Back the Karori Rifle Club for a beer or two, excuses, what if’s and a BBQ. Life is good…….

Day 1 saw Nicole out front having dropped 1 point over 4 matches and Mike Collings down 3.

New comers Ross Mason (SMLE) Callum Beardslee (No 4) and Alex Beesley (SMLE) and Kiriahi M (17) (Nicole’s No 4) were enjoying shooting the older rifles and the unique atmosphere of the Dick Travis VC shoot. Malcolm Morrison was regaining some of his form from years gone by. Daryl May (P14) from Petone and Ernie Schuch (SMLE) were starting to warm up at 300 yards and ready for the Sunday matches. John Jordan (P14) Steve Bain (P14) and Derek Morris (No4) were rueing lost points and determined to shoot better come Sunday. Regular .303 shooter Stuart Brown (No4) was fighting with a heavy cold and shooting below his usual high standard.

Breakfast was cooked on the BBQ early on Sunday morning. A good start to what was an eventful match or two. Shots went downrange at 9am sharp. The conditions were warmer than Saturday with sunshine and a light wind from left and right. Maybe a minute either side for the 600 yard match. Mike Collings shot first and put down a 49 and a 50 followed by a 48 and 49 from Nicole. I managed to get a possible in the first string but crashed to a 46 in the second. Callum Beardslee saved his best for  a great 49 in his second string. Ross Mason clearly getting to grips with his unfamiliar SMLE also managed a 49 as he rose up the scoreboard.

Back to 800 yards and Nicole M and Mike Collings were tied for first place. The usual discussion took place as to the elevations required and the differences between relative differences between those using Parker Hale or Central rear sights. Most importantly all shooters were straight on at 800.

The conditions were beginning to get tricky. The wind was rising and falling. It was changing from left to right. It was coming from behind and from in front. None of this stopped Mike Collings putting down a match and championship winning 75.12!! He really worked for this and it was the best shoot of the competition. It was not unbeatable but certainly a strong statement from Mike that he wanted to take the DTVC Trophy back to Te Puke.

Nicole put up a valiant 72.7 only to be topped by our daughter Kiriahi in her first DTVC with a 73.9. Well done those girls. Ernie 71.6, Malcolm 71.5, Ross 70.4, and John Jordan, wearing Steve Bain’s shooting jacket, rounded out the top scores with a creditable 70.7.

The standard of marksmanship was excellent. The conduct of the shooters beyond reproach and the general attitude was in the spirit of the DTVC .303 competition. Well done everyone.

Back to KRC for a drink and the presentation of prizes. As always we are blessed with the presence of the descendants of Dick Travis. Noel Bockett and his wife Denise came over from Australia and Keith and Rita come down from Opotiki. Many shooters engaged with the family and stories were swapped.

Cloth badges for the top ten shooters were presented. Each with the finishing place on it. This year was the first time we had top shot cloth badges. This was for the top shot at any distance. These went to Nicole 50.7 at 500, 50.6 at 300, and Mike for his 50.8 at 600 and 75.12 at 800. Well done those shooters.

Firearms Safety Specialists Ltd puts up cash for prizes each year and in 2018 they went to Kiriahi M for third place – $100, Nicole M for second place – $200 and Mike Collings the winner – $300.

Of course Mike was also presented with the Dick Travis VC Trophy for the second time and it goes back to Te Puke again. Well done that man! A great display of marksmanship with a P14 rifle.

Noel Bockett always gives me three $50 notes to give out to those who deserve something. This year they went to Sam Stevenson our long suffering scorer and entry taker. Thank you Sam. Also to Fiona Beardslee who worked tirelessly helping with dressing the range, with dinner duties and generally being useful to everyone who needed help. Also to Ross Mason who showed great attitude. Asking to borrow 100 cases, reloading dies, and reloading a .303 rifle for the first time. Then getting a zero the week before. That was the spirit that deserved recognition.

All in all another great competition.

Photos and a link to them at the Karori Rifle Club website will follow shortly.

See you in 2019.

Match Director
Karori Rifle Club
Dick Travis VC 2018

Karori Rifle Club, Seddon Rifle Range, Trentham, National Rifle Association of New Zealand

Where:    Karori Rifle Club

When:      Wednesday, 31st January 2018 after shooting 

All are welcome to attend to buy and sell new and second hand goods.


Bookings for available space essential: Contact Nicole from the Karori Rifle Club phone:

Businesses are welcome to sell – please contact us first to discuss

When:                                   Sunday, 3 December 2017

Sign in:                                 At Karori Rifle Club rooms from 0800 onwards

Cost:                                     $40 per entry, score cards will be handed out at KRC rooms

Range Briefing:                    at 0855 hrs

Competition starts:              0900 hrs


  • Self squadding on the mound before the range briefing
  • 2 x 10 counting shots plus 2 sighters; and 1 x 15 counting shots plus 2 sighters

At the end of each string squads to move targets to the right and one person up the Board. Number of targets to move up after each string will be advised on the morning.

  • Electronic Targets will be used, please bring a device
  • NRA Rules to apply
  • NRA Grading will apply (competitors may enter a higher grade if they wish)



Any questions or pre-entry notifications please reply to: Steve

President  Karori Rifle Club






NameClubGrade500 Yards500 YardsTOTAL
Maurice SubritzkyKaroriFO58.0458.07116.11
Graeme CookKaroriFO55.0557.03112.08
Simon TeagueKaroriFO47.0260.03107.05
NameClubGrade500 Yards500 YardsTOTAL  
Wayne SubritzkyKaroriFTR59.0459.06118.1
Karyn FlanaganKaroriFTR57.0459.04116.08
Steve FlanaganKaroriFTR58.0454.04112.08
Saul ReidKaroriFTR53.0357.01110.04
Ernie SchuchKaroriFTR52.0154.02106.03
Ross TaitKaroriFTR474895
NameClubGrade500 Yards500 YardsTOTAL  
Nicole McKeeKaroriTR-B48.0247.0295.04
Kiriahi McKeeKaroriTyro41.0446.0187.05
Charlotte FlanaganKaroriTR-A49.0349.03

I was sitting on my shooting chair at the 800 yard mound last Sunday watching the targets rise and fall. I saw lots of X bulls, V bulls fives and fours being scored and I was happy. Happy also to be at Trentham on a sunny March day with fellow shooters showing how it is done with ex-military .303 Lee Enfield rifles. The request to shoot a 15 shot 800 yard match at the Dick Travis VC nationals was not misplaced and the resulting scores spoke for themselves.

It was in late February when I became aware that the response by invited shooters to the .303 Nationals in 2017 was lukewarm. I put some of this down to the worst summer I can recall for a long time that has seen poor turnouts in other outdoor activities. It has also occurred to me that the longer than usual 800 yard match might have caused misgivings with some. But despite this those who did attend not only had splendid weather but they enjoyed mastering the long distance match with aplomb. Well done those shooters.

The smaller than usual band gathered at the Karori Rifle Club at 7.30am for entry and scrutineering. A quick outline of the weekend’s event then it was down to 500 yards for the range briefing. Conditions were still and the flags offered little in the way of wind indication. But those who were able to read the signs well were rewarded with good scores with Mike Collings off to a great start with a two possibles – 50.4; 50.6. But he was not alone and was chased hard by Ernie Schuch and Collin Brown scoring 49.5 and 49.4 in the second match.

The two squads fairly rattled through their shots in the ideal conditions which allowed an early and leisurely lunch break and plenty of range talk at the clubrooms.

The afternoon saw the DTVC competitors join with the WRA club shooters for the usual Saturday afternoon match’s at 300 yards. Again there was little wind to start with and mirage reading was a go. But the wind did lift as the afternoon wore on and the usual difficulties that entails. Not to be outdone Mike Collings shot two superb possibles with a 50.6 and a 50.5. Again chased hard by Ernie Schuch who shot a 50.5 and a 50.4, Nicole McKee with a 50.7 and Stuart Brown with a 50.4. Things were heating up on the scoreboard with Mike Collings leading on 200.21 followed by the surging Ernie Schuch on 197.18 and twice previous winner Richard Liddell on 194.13.

The Karori Rifle Club hosts a combined dinner at this event each year and this welcomes all the WRA shooters and the DTVC shooters to a great social occasion. This year KRC was able to offer not only venison sausages but also legs of roasted wild pig and crayfish. A gourmet delight to those who partook. A few drinks and a few excuses were heard but all in good natured banter. The evening was a success with Stuart Brown and Steve Bain bringing their wives into the clubhouse to share the occasion. We were also graced with members of Dick Travis’s family who travel from Australia and Opotiki to be with us each year.

The traditional battle of the bar between Nicole and John Ball did not eventuate this year with John being a no show. The well-stocked bar did not get the hammering of previous DTVC shoots!!

Sunday morning and we were on the mound at 9am. I had arranged the weather again and we were off to a flying start at 600 yards. Conditions were much the same as Saturday morning – benign.

600 yards has in previous shoots has usually produced the match winner. Just that little further back makes or breaks some shooters. But this year the sores were still high with Mike Collings again shooting well with 49.4 and 49.2. Not to be outdone Ernie Schuch shot a 49.3 in his second match with Nicole McKee putting up an excellent 49.5 in hers.

And then it was all the way back to 800 yards. A first for DTVC shooters after 5 years of 300/500/600 matches. The spirit of this competition was ever present when a discussion about the likely elevations was had on the mound prior to shooting. Elevations for Parker Hale sights were different to Central sights but not by much. The result was everyone was straight on with Richard Liddell and Nicole McKee starting with V bulls!!

The introduction of the 15 shot match at 800 yards was an attempt to separate the top scoring shooters and at the same time give everyone a taste of being that bit further back on a gallery range. There may have been unintended consequences to this bold move. One is the unease with which some intending shooters treated this new test. The second is that when the scores from the last five annual DTVC matches were collated – some 4500 rounds downrange – and presented to the NRA and NZDF it was found that the dear old .303 was shooting well within the prescribed cone of fire required under standing orders at Trentham. The result of this is that these rifles in this trim can now shoot alongside the usual collection of .308 and other calibre rifles at all distances at Trentham. Great news and well done to those who helped this come about.

So onto the 800 yard scores. This distance did indeed change the order of things. Mike Collings shot an incredible 74.11 followed by Nicole McKee with 73.9 and Richard Liddell with 72.6. Earlier contender Ernie Schuch fell away with a disappointing 59.3 with all other shooters in the 60’s. Overall an astonishing result no doubt helped by the great conditions. But also aided by the preparation, determination and general good attitude of the DTVC 2017 shooters. Everyone enjoyed the 800 yard match including veteran .303 shooter John Hand who turned up to watch the final with a grin from ear to ear.

The prize giving was held after the shoot at KRC with winner Mike Collings taking away the DTVC trophy and a $300 purse. Nicole McKee certainly benefited from the 800 yard match rising to 2nd and collecting a $200 purse. Last year’s Richard Liddell came in a close 3rd and collected a $100 purse. All shooters were presented with a KRC blue cloth badge with the DTVC year and position attained – a very nice piece. Noel Bockett representing Dick Travis’s family also made a cash contribution for the Match Director to present to whomever he saw fit. This year it was to Sam Stevenson for 6 years of excellent scorekeeping. To Ernie Schuch for being the most improved shooter and also Collin Brown who shot his best this year by far.

For those who made the effort to prepare and attend the DTVC 2017 – congratulations on your sportsmanship and sense of history. For those who for one reason or another could not make it be assured this competition has a place for you. The Karori Rifle Club welcome all shooters to this competition each year. Start your preparation now and get those lovely old wooden rifles humming for 2018. Also bring a friend or two to share the travel expenses and the occasion, you will not be disappointed and will take away with you a great memory of what it is to shoot in such a historical match with a great bunch of people.

I have attached to scores.

Duncan McKee

Match Director

DTVC 2017

Dick Travis VC 2017: AGGREGATE
NameRifle500: 1500: 2300: 1300: 2600: 1600: 2800Total
Mike CollingsP1450.450.650.650.549.449.274.11372.38
Nicole McKeeNo 448.348.446.450.745.249.573.9359.34
Richard LiddellNo 448.149.448.349.544.047.272.6357.21
Ernie SchuchMk348.449.550.550.446.249.359.3351.26
Stuart BrownNo 441.048.446.250.445.347.165.1342.15
Steve BainP1447.247.344.146.439.146.263.3332.16
Duncan McKeeNo 444.347.342.245.346.241.166.6331.20
Colin BrownNo 430.149.448.
NameClubGrade900 Yards900 YardsTOTAL
Frank DuckettMastertonFO57.0155.04112.05
Colin BrownKaroriFO53.0156.03109.04
Graeme CookKaroriFO52.0351.04103.07
June MorrisKaroriFO48.025199.02
Maurice SubritzkyKaroriFO50.014898.01
Craig HuntKaroriFO3957.0196.01
NameClubGrade900 Yards900 YardsTOTAL
Wayne SubritzkyKaroriFTR56.0351.01107.04
Ross TaitKaroriFTR52.0253.02105.04
Harry MayKaroriFTR52.0150102.01
Ernie SchuchKaroriFTR4852.02100.02
Matt ClarkeKaroriFTR4951100
Ben HawinkelsKaroriFTR464692
Dominic KaroriFTR4747
NameClubGrade900 Yards900 YardsTOTAL
Richard LiddleKaroriTR-A46.0548.0294.07
Steve TeagueKaroriTR-C35.0128.0163.02
NameClubGrade500 Yards500 YardsTOTAL
Graeme CookKaroriFO58.0458.03116.07
Craig HuntKaroriFO58.0557.03115.08
Colin BrownKaroriFO57.0457.04114.08
Frank DuckettMastertonFO58.0452.03110.07
Maurice SubritzkyKaroriFO53.0257.04110.06
NameClubGrade500 Yards500 YardsTOTAL
Wayne SubritzkyKaroriFTR59.0558.05117.1
Ross TaitKaroriFTR57.0359.04116.07
Dominic Reiner-ClarkeKaroriFTR55.0252.02107.04
Ernie SchuchKaroriFTR54.0153.02107.03
Matt ClarkeKaroriFTR56.0249105.02
Ernie SchuchKaroriTR-B43.0144.0187.02