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As a joke, I challenged some of my friends from Waterford, who shoot little short equipment (pistols), to turn up at their annual Glock Shoot which took place last Sunday, and knock spots off them after a day’s practice. They took the bait.
I turned up dressed as they do, with my little black pistol strapped in a holster in easy reach, just above my right knee, cowboy fashion. They took one look at me and smirked widely.
Note, riflemen shoot 40 times further than pistolaros do, out to 1 000 yards, and our equipment (rifles) are very much longer and more sophisticated to say the least. They shoot a measely 25 yards, at the extreme.
Game almost over, I thought. I joined the firing line, with about 20 of them squinting eyes and hands perched just over the butts, of our pistols. I was ready.
A short fellow who was noisily dragging a shovel around, shouted “Watch and shoot” and continued, “Yes, you too Captain King”. Laughter followed.
I ignored him and then the targets appeared with a clang, hands flashed down and up with pistols in hands as if by magic with roaring noises. I went for my piece too, with equal speed, and came up with my borrowed piece to join the fun and the targets disappeared from whence they came, before I could squeeze the trigger.
“I was not ready,” I bellowed. I was waiting for what we get on the rifle range such as “Are you ready, gentlemen”, “Watch and good luck” and that sort of thing.
It was a magic day of skill and marksmanship, which almost equalled that of the senior discipline, fullbore rifle shooting.
Those who give the sport less than the support deserved, should take time out to attend some of what is on offer and witness unique athletes perform at the highest level. I shall return next year.
Before I go, I asked the shovel-carrying man, who turned out to be the range officer in charge of activities, why he was carrying the shovel and he retorted that it was to shovel up the . . . I was about to shoot. Horrible little fellow.
– CAPTAIN BILL KING