Smallbore rifle competition is for everyone

Smallbore rifle competition is for everyone   Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of various shooting competitions that are in conjunction with the soon to be completed Pondera Sport Shooting Club Building.
   Unless you are actually involved in the sport of shooting, you may  not realize that there are five smallbore shooting clubs in the area; Pondera Valley, Brady, Ledger, Valier and one in Shelby.
   The are made up of men, women, and students that thrive and participate in a lifetime sport. The sport is also handicap accessible, especially when the new Shooting Club building is complete just north of town.
   Smalllbore shooting is done with a .22 caliber rifle and it can be as simple or fancy as you like, says shooter Bruce Martin.
   Local shooters fire their rifles from four different positions; standing, kneeling, sitting and prone at the target that is just 1-¾ inches across from 50 feet away.  A perfect score would be 400. But like a 300 game in bowling or getting a hole-in-one on the golf course, it is rarely achieved.
   When the “shooting building” is complete there will be 13 firing lanes. The building will be the biggest shooting range in the state and the Pondera Sports Shooting Club goal is to host a sectional tournament and possibly a two-day state tournament, which are currently held either in Big Timber or Missoula.
   Right now the local shooters use the basement of the Brady Community Center, which has five lanes for firing. Ledger Community Hall has five lanes as well, Valier has six and the Shelby Club has eight lanes.
   Monday evenings at 7:30 p.m. was when shooting matches were held. The area tournament was just recently completed. Now, other nights will be used for practice and to get new shooters involved with the sport.
   For new shooters it is always best to come out and fire a few rounds first. The local club has some equipment to use to see if this is something you would like to get involved in before you go out and invest a lot of money in equipment.
   Contact Martin at 450-0322 or Roger Erickson at 278-3494. “We are more than happy to help new shooters get started,” he said.