Jul 18

Shooter on target after 39-year break

LOCAL marksman Brian Martin only took up his rifle again 12 months ago after a 39-year hiatus.

TOP SHOT: Brian Martin shot near-perfect scores after a 39 year hiatus.

But in that space of time, the 74 year-old has proved an able man behind the rifle.

Over the October 25-26 weekend, Martin took out third place in the Dubbo A Grade Multi Range & Country Trophy Shoot from a string field of 22 NSW competitors.

The shoot was held over the 90 and 50 metre shooting range, shooting 60 shots on each.

His score of 1179.1200 earned him a bronze medal, five points behind the winner.

Martin is a member of the Inverell RSM Small Bore Rifle Club and a life member of the Silver City Small Bore Rifle Club in Broken Hill.

He began his shooting career in 1960 when he won the Port Pierie Prize Shoot.

He finished second in the 1967 Silver City shoot, second in Renmark and took a third place in Mildura in 1970. In 1971, Martin won the Port Augusta-Whyalla two day combined shoot.

He lay his rifle down in 1975 after a move to Inverell and some deteriorating scores.

Martin believes in an active lifestyle.

“I believe this keeps you young. Since my retirement from Coles in 2006, I have travelled over 40,000 kilometres in four states, swinging a metal detector and done very well in coins, jewellery, and relics,” he said.

Competition from other prize-hunters caused him to rethink his old hobby, and he decided to take up the rifle again.

He had to wait about three months for both his license and registration papers, outlay a considerable sum for a new rifle, equipment and ammunition, but he hasn’t looked back.

“After two months back into shooting, I won a B Grade medal at Dubbo and this was followed up with another B Grade at Lismore,” he said.

“My scores just kept going up with practice, so it was back to Dubbo again and shot 794/800 over 90 metres in the pouring rain for another medal.

“A score of 597/600 in Broken Hill over 20 metres gave me my fourth one,” he said.

Martin hopes to compete in 12 prize shoots in the next year including the 2015 National Championships in Sydney.

“They say it doesn’t matter what sport you are into, practice is the key word to good results.

“And when you become good at it, you must keep practicing to stay good.”

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