WHEN it comes to bringing out the big guns, Charters Towers shooter Mark McQuillan has proven he’s got the right stuff.
Mr McQuillan took out the top spot in the African Plains Rifle division at the Sporting Shooters Association (SSAA) Queensland championships for Big Game Rifle, held at the SSAA Ipswich range at Ripley in south-east Queensland over the weekend of October 21 and 22.
Big Game Rifle competitions involve shooters using guns of the kind associated with the golden age of safari hunting, as well as modern arms carrying on that tradition of hunting dangerous game. The African Plains rifle match involves using magnum-calibre sporting rifles to fire at targets up to 200m away, with shooters firing from a number of positions including standing, sitting, and using a post for rifle support.
The hotly contested match is always a popular event, but Mr McQuillan, an SSAA Townsville branch member, outshot the 16 other competitors on the firing line to take out the African Plains Rifle championship.
Mr McQuillan said he was “stoked” with his win, especially considering the nearly 1300km drive to get to the championships.
“It’s made it all worth the drive,” he said.
The event trophy has been on a rather long round trip, as one of Mr McQuillan’s friends from north Queensland won the trophy last year, and had asked him to return it.
“One of my friends from up here won it last year so I was bringing it back – now I get to take it home again,” Mr McQuillan said.
Big Game Rifle chairman Ted Rogers said the Big Game Rifle discipline was designed for people who wanted to carry on the spirit and history of traditional firearms, and wanted the challenge and enjoyment of shooting heavy-calibre guns.
“We had some very good shooting (at the championships) and there was a great range of guns on the firing line across the weekend,” he said.
With more than 66,000 members in Queensland and 180,000 members nationally, the SSAA is the premier body representing licensed firearms owners in Australia.