Metro Rifle & Pistol Club Team successful at McDonald Challenge (2016)

Metro Rifle & Pistol Club Team successful at McDonald Challenge (2016)

Our 2016 Team in Sackville

Pictured left to right: Dave Connors, Sheldon Whitty, Ian McNeil, Andre Dejardins, Andy Maxwell, Allen MacEachern, Terry Eldridge, Mike Kelly and Paul Whukitsch (Photo credit: Sheldon Whitty)

The Nova Scotia Rifle Association has been hosting shooting competitions since 1861. It is their band of volunteers, specifically coordinator Bob Selig, who organizes the annual provincial pistol shooting championships in the spring of the year. The competition, in keeping with tradition, is named after a past NSRA volunteer (McDonald Challenge) and follows the world standard ISSF rules, just like the Olympics. Teams from various shooting clubs across the province gather to via for the ‘top shot’ and ‘top team’ bragging rights and of course the coveted McDonald Cup. It is a friendly, family oriented event with a BBQ and camaraderie but still retains the intensity a provincial competition warrants on the firing line.

The McDonald Cup is ran just like the Olympic event of Standard Pistol. It is a .22 cal match shot at 25 meters, one handed. Like all Olympic pistol events it requires 60 shots. The first 20 shots are fired over a period of 40 minutes; in 4 five shot strings, allowing time for a high degree of accuracy. The next 20 shots are fired in 4 five shot strings in 20 seconds per string. This is referred to as a timed fire event and puts some time restraints on competitors thereby increasing the pressure. The final 20 shots are fired in 4 five shot strings in 10 seconds per string. This is the toughest component of the event and the one where competitors generally drop points. It takes even well-seasoned competitors a lifetime of practice to do well in this component of the event.

This year’s Provincials were held Saturday May 14th at the Bull Meadows range complex on the Beaverband Rd. outside Sackville. For the first time ever the Sydney Metro Rifle & Pistol Club trained a team for the event. How did the Cape Breton Team do? The best descriptor would be the word “Domination”. The cup and provincial title, 1st place, was won by Vice President Mike Kelly, the 3rd place bronze metal was taken by Chief Range Officer Terry Eldridge and forth place was taken by Club Secretary Andy Maxwell. 3 of the top 5 spots in the McDonald Challenge were won by competitors from the Metro Rifle & Pistol Club winning the Metro Club top team in the province.

Our President Sheldon Whitty placed 8th overall with Paul Whukitsch11th, Allen MacEachern 12th, Ian McNeil 13th, Dave Connors 14th and Andre Desjardin taking 16th place.

In the afternoon the NSRA has taken to scheduling a Free Pistol Match set up according to Olympic guidelines as well. Since people have traveled from all over the province to attend the McDonald Challenge I believe they felt it best to have lots of shooting to warrant the trip. The free pistol match is a series of 60 shots taken on your own time over a period of 2 hours. It is all one handed shooting at a standard pistol target placed at the rifle friendly distance of 50 meters…….. with a handgun! This event is the only Olympic shooting sport that has never been changed since its introduction and no one has ever come close to shooting a perfect score. That should give you an indication of how difficult this sport actually is. In essence you are shooting a pistol at an X ring the size of a quarter, over half a football field away, with one hand behind you back.

How did the Cape Breton Team do in this the toughest of pistol events? The best descriptor would again be “Total Domination”. 2nd place was won by Vice President Mike Kelly, the 4th place was taken by Chief Range Officer Terry Eldridge and 5th place was taken by Club Secretary Andy Maxwell. Again: 3 of the top 5 spots in the Free Pistol Match were won by competitors from the Metro Rifle & Pistol Club, again winning the Metro Club top team in the province. Our first time competitors did awesome as well with Paul Whukitsch placing 7th, Ian McNeil 8th, Allen MacEachern 10th, Dave Connors 11th and our President Sheldon Whitty placing 13th overall. It was a tough match and great fun was had by all those who participated!

Result details can be found here.

Mike Kelly
Vice President

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