Report back from the 2nd Whaleoil Gun Club Cows4Me trophy meet

Another great weekend of entertainment was had at the outstanding Awakeri Rifle Range, arranged by Spiker and Mcvac. The scores are at the end of the post.

There were a couple of no-shows from the first event and their presence was missed; however, we?re assured they?ll be with us next time. (Dates to be confirmed)

Many of us met up on Friday night at the Awakeri Hot Springs for a few beers and the obligatory male bonding and bulldust session at the legendary Westies Bar and Grill.

PHOTO: Whaleoil

The excitement was high and at times the air was a bit blue, but we managed to get through the night without a complaint from any of the neighbours so we can?t have been too bad. Thankfully one of the crew is a lady so the boys managed to tone it down a little bit.

Some of us took a dip in the pools much to the horror of those who saw them come back in a towel PHOTO: Whaleoil

On Saturday it was only a short 5 min drive to the range. It was?signposted with a Whaleoil sign, so there was no mistaking for the newbies where we were.

The Whale Meat Company provided a 1st class bacon and egg breakfast for the hungry and slightly hungover lads and lass and then the fun began.

Those that hadn?t gathered at the Springs arrived pretty much at the appointed hour for a very civilised 9.30am competition start.

The range was well adorned with a collection of various types of rifles from .22?s, 8mm Mausers, .303, .308, shotguns and pistols; as well as an antique anti-tank rifle that was on display. Guess which one it is.

While most of the club brought their own firearms, rifles were supplied for the .22 and 8mm comps.

PHOTO: Whaleoil

The first competition was the .22 rifle iron sights (no scopes allowed) with two shots from each position, prone, kneeling (sitting for those with creaky knees) and standing.

The rifles were German WWII training rifles.

With 13 shooters and 11 range positions, it turned out that 10 went first and were scored then the other 3 took a position and were scored.

While the majority of members hold firearms licenses and are experienced, most have little time to practice and none claimed to be an expert. Surprisingly as with the 1st event, the quality of shooting was high even from the rank amateurs and everybody was having a great time. The 22?s are a lot of fun.

At this point members of the range called in to see how we were going. They watched the range marshal?s safety methods and instructions, noted that everybody was properly equipped said a cheery ?have a great day? and left us to it, obviously happy with the professional way the event was being conducted.

50m .22 range taken from the firing line PHOTO: Whaleoil

Next, it was time for the 8mm shoot with Mausers dating back to WWII and with at least one from WWI.

Same rules as the .22 shoot, iron sights, 2 shots from each firing position then scoring.

The 8mm Mauser has a hell of a bark and a bite to go with it and this event sorts the men from the boys…and the girls! I must say it?s a heck of a thing to see and hear these formidable weapons live fired. To say nothing of the absolute rush of firing them yourself. Hard to beat.

Everyone joined the shooting and again the scoring was better than expected, sore shoulders and all.

100m 8mm firing range PHOTO: Whaleoil

Then as we were making good time and had plenty of ammo it was time for a bit of freestyle shooting where the crew chose their firearms and merrily blazed away at their targets for a while until lunch.

Lunch was provided by the Whale Meat Company and was a ham on the bone prepared by Spiker along with bread?and eggs. The ham was positively demolished before I got close to taking a picture of it and, since we all know what an empty plate looks like, I didn?t bother.

After that, it was time for the pistols that had been kindly provided by two of the members of the Whaleoil Gun Club.

We warmed up with a .22 Ruger and a .22 Smith and Wesson. Then it was onto the big gear with a Glock and a 9mm Smith and Wesson.

The range has an extremely well-appointed pistol range with plenty of land; the various competition types are permanently set up so all you have to do is walk from one to the other instead of having to drag heavy targets around.

I cannot even begin to describe how much fun it is to be let loose with these hand guns and am very grateful for the generosity of EveryWhichWayButLoose and Mark for sharing them with us all and mentoring and training us. This was my second time using pistols and I?m hooked and I am not the only one!

Our group had a great time and there were a couple of Dirty Harry?s in the mix. ?Yes, we had some pretty fast times and there was dead-eye shooting going on.

While this was happening the other group was participating in the Jungle Lane, shooting targets that had been placed in the bush. A good time was had by all on this by all accounts.

At this point, it was time to get Westies open, so I took off, but not before getting a few pics of the trophy for the final event of the day.

The Cows4Me Memorial Trophy.

A shotgun clay bird shoot.

As I wasn?t there I?ll leave it to someone to add more in the comments if they like. The trophy was created from a piece of a Totara fence post donated by Kopua Cowboy and crafted into the work of art below by our very own Richard.

The club was suitably stunned by the workmanship that has gone into this. I?m sure Cows4Me would have loved it. The quote on the side is from one of his comments. The brass at the top, the Taranaki colours along with Friesian cow black & white are a testament to the sheer brilliance of Richard.

The winner came as no surprise to me as I?ve seen him shoot before. Cameron wasn?t there this time but he?s assuring us all that the trophy will be his soon and if anyone else wants their name on it they had better get down there quick smart.

Having seen Cam shoot too, rest assured it?s not a brag.

The Cows4Me Memorial Trophy. PHOTO: Whaleoil

Sunday was the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day and a couple of the Whaleoil Gun club had mentioned that they?d like to do something. Well the Awakeri Shooting federation members were right into this idea and leapt on board.

An excellent turn out of mums dads and kids joined some of the Whaleoil Gun club and a moving reading was done by one of the range members from his soldier great grandfather?s diary to his family, The Whaleoil Gun Club members joined with Awakeri members and fired a remembrance volley down range. The soldiers prayer was read, a cannon was fired (albeit a bit out of planned sequence hehehe) and another Awakeri member played the bagpipes to end the morning.

PHOTO: Whaleoil

PHOTO: Whaleoil

RESULTS-Medals, as shown in the above photo, were awarded to…



Shotgun-Cows4Me memorial trophy Whaleoil

All too soon, the weekend was over and it was time to hit the road back to the various parts of the North Island we all hailed from.

It was another great weekend for the Whaleoil Gun club and will live on in my memory for years. I?m looking forward to the next one already.

I?d like to gratefully acknowledge all those that participated as everyone contributed something to make the day great.

Special thanks to the Awakeri Shooting Federation for taking a punt on one of their members? words and trusting complete strangers to do the right things.

Also to the Whale Meat Company for sponsoring the event and to Cameron Slater for sponsoring the Whaleoil Gun Club. It wouldn?t have happened without you.


by Wallace Westland