Sisters do it for themselves

by Bernard Allen

Gun Africa spoke to firearms testing guru Chris Blatherwick, match Director, about the gun africa 2016 Champion lady Shoot-off initiative on 6 august 2016 at the Spes bona facility in Touwsrivier.

When asked about the underlying purpose of the event, Chris didn’t hesitate to point out that the myths about limitations on women when it came to firearms were still alive and well, and in good need of a final headshot – a feat that these sorts of events will help to achieve. “The moment they step into many shooting environments, women are still labelled as being ‘less capable’ of handling firearms when, in actual fact, they are just as technically competent as men when it comes to operating the full range of firearms available on the market. In some cases, they actually have an advantage. Even when it comes to physically large firearms, ladies can still be surprisingly adept.

The major advantage that often stands out for ladies is simply that they step into the firearms arena with open minds and less ego than their ‘macho’ counterparts,” Chris comments. The event itself saw a total of 17 female competitors from largely varied shooting disciplines and levels of experience run a course of fire over seven different stages. The nature of the stages were deliberately mixed up to not only offer some novelty value for the participants and spectators, but also to not favour any particular competitor too strongly.

Towards that end, the participants were given the chance to ‘play’ with the trusty .38 snub-nosed revolver, a Mossberg 4x4 rifle, a Vektor LM5 rifle, a Ruger .22 rifle, a Truvelo CMS 6.5 x 47 Lapua rifle, a lever-action .357 rifle for the aspiring cowgirls, a crowd pleasingly obnoxious shotgun and, of course, as a sneaky nod to Chris’s own taste, the immortal 1911 .45 pistol. The sheer overall adaptability of the ladies involved in the event was inspiring, while seeing which platforms exposed their weaknesses and strengths was fascinating. For example, the .38 snub-nosed revolver (usually the traditional ‘go-to’ recommendation for women) was the least favourite platform of the day, while the shotgun and lever-action .357 tickled everyone’s fancy the most.

An interesting issue raised is that this particular event needs to attract the firearm dealers and equipment suppliers themselves. “It is ridiculous just how poorly the female segment of the shooting population is being serviced. If you look at something as simple as finding appropriate sizing in shooting shirts and other gear for the ladies, we still have a long way to go. I would really like to see more dealers taking a keen interest in the ladies’ side of the sport – not only sponsoring equipment at events, but having a presence there. The potential benefits for them are enormous.” In terms of the future, Chris says the intention is to make this an annual event.

Range 1 - 20 m x 12 m

SUBWAY SPECIAL

Weapons Platform .38 Special Revolver
Maximum round count 15 rounds
Targets Salad plates
Range dimensions 20m x 12 m
Range officer Mogamat Majiet
Firearm sponsor Nicolas Yale

 

STAGE PROCEDURE

The shooter stand in a demarcated starting area, no firearm in hand, with hands in the surrender position

  • On the audible start signal, the shooter runs down the run line, and picks up the firearm on the table.
  • The shooter proceeds to load the firearm with the quantity of ammunition needed to clear the stage.
  • The shooter engages targets 1 to 5 while in standing position (see below).
  • The shooter can reload the weapon at any stage.
  • The shooter has a maximum of 15 rounds with which to complete the stage.
  • The shooter will be penalised five seconds for each target not cleared.

Nellian van Zyl

Nellian van Zyl

Range 2 - 48 m x 22 m

SHOOT & SCOOT

 

Weapons Platform

Truvelo CMS 6.5x47L

Mossberg 4x4 .308Win

Maximum Round count

5 Rounds - Truvelo

15 Rounds - Mossberg

Targets Jackal and clay
Range Dimensions 48 m x 22 m
Range Officer Dylan Geringer
Firearms Sponsors

Truvelo Manufacturers

City Guns

 

Dylan Geringer

 

STAGE PROCEDURE

The shooter stands in a demarcated starting area, no firearm in hand, with hands in the surrender position.

  • On the audible start signal, the shooter runs down the run line, and picks up the Mossberg 4x4 magazine.
  • The shooter proceeds to load the magazine of the Truvelo CMS with the quantity of ammunition needed to clear the stage.
  • The shooter assumes the prone position and proceeds to load the magazine. 
  • The shooter engages targets 1 and 2 in the prone position. 
  • When both targets have been engaged, or the 15 rounds expended, the shooter will make the weapons platform safe. 
  • The shooter stand ups and proceeds to run to the Mossberg 4x4 station. 
  • The shooter loads the Mossberg 4x4 magazine with the quantity of ammunition needed to clear the stage. 
  • The shooter assumes the prone position and proceeds to load the magazine. 
  • The shooter engages targets 3 to 8 in the prone position. 
  • When the five targets have been engaged, or the 15 rounds expended, the shooter makes the weapons platform safe. 
  • The shooter will be penalised five seconds for each target not cleared On the audible start signal, the shooter runs down the run line, and picks up the Mossberg 4x4 magazine. 
  • The shooter proceeds to load the magazine of the Truvelo CMS with the quantity of ammunition needed to clear the stage.
  • The shooter assumes the prone position and proceeds to load the magazine. 
  • The shooter engages targets 1 and 2 in the prone position. 
  • When both targets have been engaged, or the 15 rounds expended, the shooter will make the weapons platform safe. 
  • The shooter stand ups and proceeds to run to the Mossberg 4x4 station. 
  • The shooter loads the Mossberg 4x4 magazine with the quantity of ammunition needed to clear the stage. 
  • The shooter assumes the prone position and proceeds to load the magazine. 
  • The shooter engages targets 3 to 8 in the prone position. 
  • When the five targets have been engaged, or the 15 rounds expended, the shooter makes the weapons platform safe. 
  • The shooter will be penalised five seconds for each target not cleared
Teresa Botha

 

Tracey Boshoff

                                                                   

Range 3 - 38 m x 14 m

SPEED DAEMON

Weapons platform Vector LM5 .223 Remington
Maximum round count 15 Rounds
Targets Clay
Range dimensions 38 m x 14 m
Range Officer Sulaiman Samaai
Firearm Sponsor

City Guns

 
Sulaiman Samaai
Deidre van Eck

STAGE PROCEDURE

The shooter stands in a demarcated starting area, no firearm in hand, with hands in the surrender position

  • On the audible start signal, the shooter runs down the run line, and picks up the magazine. 
  • The shooter proceeds to load the magazine with the quantity of ammunition needed to clear the stage. 
  • The shooter assumes the prone/standing or kneeling position, and proceeds to load the magazine. 
  • The shooter engages targets 1 to 5 in the position of choice. 
  • The shooter can reload at any stage. 
  • The shooter has a maximum of 15 rounds with which to complete the stage. 
  • The shooter needs to make the firearm safe after the stage. 
  • The shooter will be penalised five seconds for each target not cleared.
 
Helen Xie
Bernadette Remacle

 Range 4 - 33 m x 14 m

THREADING THE NEEDLE

Weapons platform Ruger 10-22
Maximum Round count 15 Rounds
Targets Tin cans
Range dimensions 33 m x 14 m
Range officer Ludwig Churr
Firearms sponsor City Guns
Ludwig Churr

Sharon van Wyk

STAGE PROCEDURE

The shooter stands in a demarcated starting area, no firearm in hand, with hands in the surrender position

  • On the audible start signal, the shooter runs down the run line, and picks up the magazine.
  • The shooter proceeds to load the magazine with the quantity of ammunition needed to clear the stage.
  • The shooter assumes the prone/standing or kneeling position, and proceeds to load the magazine.
  • The shooter engages targets 1 to 5 in the position of choice.
  • The shooter can reload at any stage.
  • The shooter has a maximum of 15 rounds with which to complete the stage.
  • The shooter needs to make the firearm safe after the stage.
  • The shooter will be penalised five seconds for each target not cleared.
Shihaam Fester
Deidre van Eck

 Range 5 - 26 m x 15 m

GOING UP IN SMOKE

Weapons platform Pump-action shotgun
Maximum round count 15 Rounds
Targets Clay
Range dimensions 26 m x 15 m
Range officer Didier Vernes
Firearm Sponsor City Guns
Didier Vernes

 

STAGE PROCEDURE

The shooter stands in a demarcated starting area, no firearm in hand, with hands in the surrender position

  • On the audible start signal, the shooter runs down the run line, and picks up the shotgun.
  • The shooter proceeds to load the weapons platform with the quantity of ammunition needed to clear the stage.
  • The shooter engages targets 1 to 5 in the standing position.
  • The shooter can reload at any stage.
  • The shooter has a maximum of 15 rounds with which to complete the stage.
  • The shooter needs to make the firearm safe after the stage.
  • The shooter will be penalised five seconds for each target not cleared.

 

Alida van den Berg
Yvette van der Westhuizen
Danel Liebenberg

 Range 6 - 21 m x 10 m

WILD WEST

Weapons Platform .357 lever-action rifle
Maximum round count 15 Rounds
Targets Tin cans
Range dimensions 21 m x 10 m
Range Officer Damian Enslin
Firearm sponsor Damian Enslin
Damian Enslin
Ester Liebenberg

STAGE PROCEDURE

The shooter stands in a demarcated starting area, no firearm in hand, with hands in the surrender position

  • On the audible start signal, the shooter runs down the run line, and picks up the rifle.
  • The shooter proceeds to load the magazine tube with the quantity of ammunition needed to clear the stage.
  • The shooter engages targets 1 to 5 in the standing position.
  • The shooter can reload weapon at any stage.
  • The shooter has a maximum of 15 rounds with which to complete the stage.
  • The shooter needs to make the firearm safe after the stage.
  • The shooter will be penalised five seconds for each target not cleared.
Naomi Liebenberg
Louise Nel

Range 7 - 20 m x 10 m

SMOKE & HOPE

Weapons Platform .45ACP 1911
Maximum Target Count 15 Rounds
Targets Steel plates
Range dimensions 20 m x 10 m
Range Officer Shaheed Isaacs
Firearm Sponsor Interarms
Shaheed Isaacs
Stella Kruger

STAGE PROCEDURE

The shooter stands in a demarcated starting area, no firearm in hand, with hands in the surrender position

  • On the audible start signal, the shooter runs down the run line, and picks up the pistol magazine.
  • The shooter proceeds to load the magazine with the quantity of ammunition needed to clear the stage.
  • The shooter engages targets 1 to 5 in the standing position.
  • The shooter can reload at any stage.
  • The shooter has a maximum of 15 rounds with which to complete the stage.
  • The shooter needs to make the firearm safe after the stage.
  • The shooter will be penalised five seconds for each target not cleared.
Bernadette Remacle
Aziza de Villiers
Last modified on Tuesday, 20 September 2016 08:24
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