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 McKee, 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 McKee (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 McKee (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 McKee 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 McKee for third place – $100, Nicole McKee 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.
Karori Rifle Club
Dick Travis VC 2018
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: 386 3253 or 027 44 00 567
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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.
Any questions or pre-entry notifications please reply to: Nicole McKee
President Karori Rifle Club
RIP Patron of the Karori Rifle Club – Mr Cor Husmann
It is with sadness that I inform you all that Cor Husmann Patron of the Karori Rifle Club has passed away.
Cor’s life ended on the 19th of July 2017. He has been cremated wearing his black New Zealand Blazer. A private family service will be held for him this week. Cor is survived by his wife Jos, two sons and grandchildren.
Cor joined the Karori Rifle Club in the post war era staying a staunch and vocal advocate for our club for decades. Cor attended all KRC functions wearing his blue Karori knitted jumper with his name on it and his blue KRC blazer. After the original Karori Rifle Club burned down Cor was one of the driving forces behind the rebuild and extension of our Club house. He also built the family home in Point Howard with his own hands.
He is remembered as a great man both in stature and for his Dutch temperament. Cor would fiercely voice his opinions about the direction of the club and any proposed changes it considered. He also fiercely voiced his opinions on how the range should run on a Saturday and how people should behave both on the range and in the club house. He continued to give his advice to myself and Immediate Past President Shaun Connolly. Advice that both Shaun and I have cherished and will miss dearly.
Cor was a fantastic marksman. He won the club championships from B Grade and also made the NZ Palma Team. I am told that he may have been the first Chairman of the NZ Veterans Association and made their team many times. He kindly donated his Range shooting hat to the Karori Rifle Club many years ago with a plethora of badges.
His personality and antics are well remembered; from enjoying a beer with Don Wilton and Colin Simonsen to staunchly supporting the Dutch football team, to the time he crashed into Bob Bent’s car on Seddon range when Bob had the only other car parked on the range.
Rest in peace Cor Husmann. Thank you for your contribution to the Karori Rifle Club, to New Zealand Fullbore Rifle Shooting and to New Zealand. You will be sadly missed but fondly remembered.
Karori Rifle Club
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.
Entry form and information for the 2017 Dick Travis VC 303 Nationals is now on our site under the Dick Travis VC 303 National Championship tab on this our home page.
We are excited to announce that this year the DTVC will be shooting one 15 shot match at 800 yards. As a result of the extra shoot we will begin the competition on the Saturday morning at 500 yards.
Scrutineering will begin at 7.30am sharp on Saturday 18 March with all competitors
expected on the range ready to start shooting by 8.45am.
Karori Rifle Club are pleased to have the support of Firearms Safety Specialists NZ Ltd who are offering 3 cash prizes for the top shooters of this 303 National Competition.
An article in the Wellingtonian about Karori Rifle Club’s Steve & Karyn Flanagan.
KRC has a strong representation in the 2016 New Zealand F Class Rifle Team; Steve & Karyn Flanagan, Maurice S & Colin B head to Australia next week.
I have really sad news to deliver tonight. Stump Morris passed away earlier this evening after a long illness that took a sudden and swift turn over the last few days.
Stump and June Morris have not only been long serving members of our club since 1999 but have also given so much of themselves to it and to the NRANZ including sponsoring prizes in the Ballinger Belt for many years.
We can attribute the Karori Rifle Club flag to their generosity, the carpet that is in our clubrooms was also a gift, not to mention the kitchen upgrade. He did so much maintenance work on the clubrooms while June grafted away inside.
Stump was one of the most politically incorrect, racist, male chauvinistic people we’ll ever have met. But he was also the most sensitive, kind, caring and loyal person I have ever met. Stump (and June) have always spent time looking after the older members of our club and organisation, time spent with Bob Bent, Graeme Derby and Ray Barrow to name a few.
They have consistently put so much hard work into the club over the years humbly rejecting the praise and gratitude of its members.
When I first started target shooting I was using a .303. When the range re-opened after the army shut it down I wasn’t allowed to shoot the .303 anymore. I was going to leave the sport. Stump convinced me to shoot his Musgrave and then offered to sell it to me at an unbelievably cheap price even allowing me to pay it off. You see I wasn’t working as I was an at home mum and Duncan was in full time study. I made my first NZ Ladies Representative team with that rifle. I still have it.
Stump also turned up on our doorstep one day with bags full of groceries because he knew we were doing it hard. It included a huge slab of steak. We hadn’t eaten steak in months. His generosity was enormous and never ever forgotten.
He (and June) are also the reason why Duncan and I met – so he is to blame for the tribe of McKee’s that came from us meeting.
Our club has lost a good man. Many of us have lost a great friend. We’ll raise a cup of tea to that.
I’ll let you know funeral details when I get them.
Karori Rifle Club
|Dick Travis VC 2016: 300 1|
|Dick Travis VC 2016: 300 2|
|Dick Travis VC 2016: 500 1|
|Dick Travis VC 2016: 500 2|
|Dick Travis VC 2016: 600 1|
|Dick Travis VC 2016: 600 2|