Prince George George Rod and Gun Club hosts Silhouette nationals

Competitors will be aiming at national titles this week on the range at the Prince George Rod and Gun Club.

The Canadian Rifle Silhouette championships, which begin Sunday, feature 55 participants from as far away as Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan and B.C., including four from Yellowknife, and five from Whitehorse. A trio from Prince George - Don Reeves, Merl Sinoski and Michael Rutherford - represent PGRGC.There are also eight competitors from the U.S.

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Silhouette shooting is a sport that uses .22 calibre rifles with scopes mounted on them as competitors fire at a series of steel-plated targets of chickens, pigs, turkeys and rams.

The championships feature competitions in two rifle categories - small bore and large bore - at both the club's Hartman and Blackwater ranges respectively.

Reeves, who also serves as the match director, said small bore involves particpants taking shots in a standing position from distances of 40 metres at chickens, 60m at pigs, 77m at turkeys and 100m at rams. They'll have 2.5 minutes to shoot at a bank of five targets, followed by a 30-second break and then have 2.5 minutes to knock the five animals down again. Each animal that is knocked down counts for one point, for a total of a 40-point match.

The small bore competition, daily from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. begins Sunday at PGRGC's Hartman Range and continues until Tuesday afternoon.

The competition then switches to the Blackwater range Wednesday at 9 a.m.for the large bore (high powered rifles) silhouette event that continues until Saturday at 2 p.m.

Large bore includes participants firing from distances of 200m at chickens, 300m at pigs, 385m at turkeys and 500m at rams.

The Blackwater range, with a 1,000-m range has only been open for three years and it's the first time the club has hosted the Silhouette national championships.

"It's a sport that's big in the U.S. and Canada and very popular in Europe," said Reeves. "Having the Blackwater range allows us the opportunity to shoot high powered rifles and makes it possible to host this event."

Anyone who wants to watch the action this week is more than welcome to. The Hartman range is at 9444 Hartman Road, while the Blackwater range is on Blackwater Road.

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