Growing gun club hosts handgun championship

At the rate membership at the Whitehorse Rifle and Pistol Club is expanding, it'll be more difficult to win Yukon shooting titles in coming years. Membership at the club has doubled over the last three years, growing to more than 500.

At the rate membership at the Whitehorse Rifle and Pistol Club is expanding, it’ll be more difficult to win Yukon shooting titles in coming years.

Membership at the club has doubled over the last three years, growing to more than 500. However, the growth in membership was not reflected by the Yukon Handgun Championship, organized by the Yukon Shooting Federation and hosted by the Whitehorse club over the weekend.

Only about 10 shooters competed at the championship. That’s because so many of the new members are simply recreational shooters, said club president Geoff Fletcher.

“Membership is on the rise and we have a lot more families coming up shooting in the evening, and the handgun (popularity) has increased tremendously,” said Fletcher.

Also, one of the main components of the championship, silhouette shooting, is not as popular as it once was.

Pistol silhouette “has slowed down in popularity and there is no nationals for it anymore,” said Fletcher. “We’ve kept it alive by combining it with a lot more action handgun events.”

Organizers of the handgun championships kept the silhouette component – shooting at steel plates in the shape of animals at various distances – but threw increasingly popular “action” events into the mix.

“It’s a combination of all of them and it makes it more interesting,” said Fletcher. “Action shooting games are the in thing right now.”

The championship expanded to 11 events this year. There was falling plates – steel shooting – an International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) event, and a contest called Smoke ‘n Hope, a timed event in which shooters attempt to hit the five targets as quickly as they can with as few bullets as possible.

The championship’s aggregate winner was Dave Buchanan, ahead of Dan Nickason in second and Len Andre in third.

Buchanan won all five silhouette competitions and the PPC (police pistol combat) walkdown.

Nickason won both falling plates shoots, pistol and revolver.

James Russell was crowned top shot for juniors and Nora Trombley top shot for females.

In addition to its 500-plus members, the club is used by Rangers, Junior Rangers, military personnel, Air Cadets, RCMP, armored truck guards, Parks and Recreation officers, conservation officers – the list goes on and on.

“We are supposed to have a day with some old folks from the old folks home,” said Fletcher. “We’ve had a couple of church groups come up with the kids… We’re very community oriented.”

The Whitehorse Rifle and Pistol Club, located on Grey Mountain Road, is an accredited member of the Shooting Federation of Canada.

Fletcher has been to clubs throughout Canada, but as far as the Whitehorse club goes, “It’s probably number two or three, as far as the private ranges are concerned, for best facilities and variety of shooting,” said Fletcher.

Results

Centrefire silhouette (scoped)

1st Dave Buchanan

2nd Len Andre

3rd Dan Nickason

Centrefire silhouette open

1st Dave Buchanan

2nd Len Andre

3rd Dan Nickason

Centrefire silhouette revolver

1st Dave Buchanan

2nd Len Andre

3rd Dan Nickason

Rimfire silhouette (scoped)

1st Dave Buchanan

2nd Nich Rittel

3rd Len Andre

Rimfire silhouette open

1st Dave Buchanan

2nd Len Andre

3rd Nich Rittel

Falling plates pistol

1st Dan Nickason

Falling plates revolver

1st Dan Nickason

IPSC Style

1st Doug Trombley

2nd Dan Nickason

3rd Len Andre

Smoke ‘N Hope

1st Doug Trombley

2nd Nich Rittel

3rd Rob Russell

Long range precision open sight

1st Rob Russell

2nd Dave Buchanan

3rd Len Andre

PPC Walkdown

1st Dave Buchanan

2nd Rob Russell

3rd Dan Nickason

Aggregate high score

1st Dave Buchanan

2nd Dan Nickason

3rd Len Andre

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com