The SAMSSA National Championship was held at the Eastern Cape Silhouette shooters‘ headquarters at Kuduskloof. I wasn’t really planning to attend, but Tanya saw the opportunity to get me to park the kids off at the in-laws in Knysna, leaving her free to attend her scrapbooking course.
Which is what we did.
Left for PE at oh-dark-thirty on Wednesday the 30th, popped in at Fuller Firearms along the way, dropped the kids, some books for Charl, and some stuff for my boss off in Knysna, and got to the Blue Skies Country House just before 17:00.
Thursday morning I was at the range at 08:00 and… it was raining. Bugger. No fun shooting in the rain. But first, I’d been squadded as Range Officer, so that’s what I did — walked around making sure that people don’t do silly things, as we are all likely to do when things go wrong under pressure.
Now my first set of licences for silhouette guns took six years, and I’ve been waiting for the current set for a bit more than a year already, so the reality is that I need to borrow guns to be able to compete in all the events. By design, I was squadded with Francois, who also borrowed some of Juan’s guns, so we decided to start with Event 1, Big Bore Revolver, and he, being somewhat foolish, elected to go first.
Which means that when my turn came, we had the sight settings for Juan’s Freedom Arms .357 Magnum pretty much sorted, and I klupped 8 chickens, 7 pigs, and 10, yes, count ’em, 10 turkeys. And this is where the wheels came off. It was raining all the time, and dripping on me through the awning, and I was not particularly happy, but what doesn’t kill us makes us strong. But then some well meaning fool went and stuck a pole under the awning, causing all the water which had pooled on top to come over the side and drench me completely. This made me more than slightly unhappy. Fortunately there were no kids on our side of the range.
I managed to get two rams, for a total of 27, earning me a bronze in A class.
Of course after all of this I was cold, wet and miserable, and in no mood to get even more wet, so I called it a shooting day and went to support the tannies in the food tent, who made hamburgers for R15 and pancakes for R2 — absolute bargain.
Friday was a lot better, weatherwise, and I shot a 25 in Small Bore Revolver using Gunther’s Freedom Arms, a 28 in Production using my Anschutz Exemplar, an 8 in Standing (I suck at standing) with my Browning Medalist, and a 30 in Unlimited, again with the Anschutz. Believe it or not, 8 out of 40 gave me a silver in B class. And I got a gold for Unlimited, but only because I hadn’t entered for Unlimited before, so I was shooting B class — I’m now firmly bumped up into International, and bound never to win anything again (I’ll need a 37 to get bronze, and then only if the other guys are shooting badly…)
Saturday I shot Smallbore Rifle, for the first and second times in my life, scoring 10 and then 11, not bad, but I’d need around 15 or more to start winning anything. Saturday evening was the prize giving, which was all good, despite the last minute venue change, and Sunday was the long drive back (750 km, a bit over 8 hours).
Thanks to the EP silhouetters, they’re a great bunch.