The Magnum/Peregrine Gong Shoot took place on a farm near Delmas on a clear, brisk June day. We handed out Magnum beanies which helped to take some of the chill out of the Mpumalanga air. Conditions were near perfect for the 70 shooters competing in what proved to be a challenging match.
On the face of it, a gong-shooting competition appears fairly straight forward: hit the target and score a point – easy. However, the course was designed to challenge veterans while also trying to accommodate newcomers to the sport. Competitors could use any calibre of their choice, the only restriction being that Peregrine bullets had to be used. A total of 30 gongs, each 200mm in diameter (apart from two which measured 175mm), were placed on a very slight uphill slope. Some of the gongs were partially obscured by long grass and bush, and shooters had to overcome such obstacles. The field was divided into six courses of five gongs, each with its own specific requirements, as follows. Course 1: sitting (unaided); course 2: angled/sloped bar with low and high shooting positions; course 3: crouched and standing; course 4: tripod (kneeling); course 5: prone; course 6: standing with Lazy Aim shooting aid. Gongs were placed at 130m to 390m for courses 1 through 5, and at 130m to 300m for course 6.
Course 6 proved the most challenging with an 18% hit rate, as many shooters were unfamiliar with the Lazy Aim, a shooting stick designed to provide support for the hip and shoulder and recommended for ranges up to 200m. Three of the gongs were placed well beyond this range, intensifying the challenge.
Course 1 proved the next most difficult, with shooters achieving a 25% hit rate. The gongs on course 1 were all flanked by trees and the varying wind conditions proved challenging. Thereafter, hit rates were as follows: course 2: 35%; course 3: 34%; course 4: 36%; course 5: 43%. Course 3 included three of the farthest placed gongs, one at 350m and two more at 390m. Unsurprisingly, the prone position permitted on course 5 produced the best results of the day with 145 hits.
Five out of five scores on individual courses were achieved by Piet Breedt (course 1), Adriaan Goosen and Ian de Jong (course 3), Johan Lottering (4) and Jarrod Tyson (5).
The ladies’ section winners were Chanté Bredenhann in first place with 12 hits; Lindy McGee in second with 11 hits and Sandy-lee Hawkey third with 10 hits.
Deon de Villiers was the day’s overall champion with 18 hits. Second place with 17 hits went to Grant Pickett; third was Piet Breedt, also with 17 hits, but his time score was slightly longer than Grant’s.
The shoot was extremely well sponsored, with more than 100 prizes. Whylo sponsored a pair of Vortex 8x32 Diamondback binoculars, a Vortex harness, a Vortex Viper 4–12x40 scope valued at R9 500, and a range of Smith’s products which included Smith’s Fire Wire and 3-in-1 knife sharpeners. Bushill sponsored a Konuspot 100 20–60x100 spotting scope valued at R7 800, plus a number of Bushill rear bags, rifle bags and shooting mats. Nocturna provided a Viper NiteSight and a Nocturna Pro, while Lazy Aim gave away three sets of shooting sticks. CorrosionX supplied gun lubricants and there were hampers from Freddie Hirsch, as well as gift vouchers from Brother Arms. DOW sponsored knives, and Magnum provided a number of Enlan knives as well as three of the much sought-after Magnum custom knives valued at R6 000. Rapala VMC sponsored a range of prizes including pistol cases, ammunition boxes and the main prize of the day – a FAIR shotgun valued at R17 000 which Byron van Heerden won in the lucky draw. Magnum tested these excellent shotguns in the July 2017 edition. Rapala also hosted an extra shooting station where attendees could try out a selection of Victrix and Sabatti rifles at ranges up to 800m.
Almost every competitor walked away with a prize.
A big thank you to all who attended and especially to our sponsors without whose support the competition could not have taken place. Congratulations to the winners, and we hope to see you all again at next year’s event!