The Guyana Sport Shooting Foundation’s Practical Pistol Section commenced shooting activities for 2018 on Saturday 17th February, 2018, when they hosted the 3rd Annual P&P Insurance Brokers & Consultants sponsored Practical Pistol Match at the GDF Yarrowkabra Range. The event saw local practical shooters testing their skills in four dynamic stages setup by the Match Committee. Shooters competed for the top 3 prizes in two divisions based on their firearm setup, in accordance with the rules of the United States Practical Shooting Association USPSA Handgun Rules. The divisions were Production and Limited Division.
Opening remarks were made by recently elected President of GSSF, Mr. Ryan McKinnon, who reminded participants of the safety rules and the Match was declared open by Match Director Mr. David Dharry.
On the cool, sunny Saturday afternoon, shooters were placed in two squads and the match commenced. In the first of two stages designed by Mr. Dharry, called ‘Daily News’ and ‘Hello from D Other Side’, the competitor started seated at a table reading a book with only their unloaded handgun placed on a table. Upon start signal, competitors were required to load the handgun and then engage the targets all while remaining in the seated position.
‘Hello from D other side” saw shooters starting by standing in any of two specifically defined areas set out on the course of fire, and were required to face up range while holding with a mobile phone against the ear on the same side where their firearm is holstered. Upon start signal, shooters had to turn, make the gun ready, then engage targets there were situated in front of the opposing starting area defined, then run to the other area and engage targets situated on the other side. There was a single paper target on this stage which needed to be engaged anywhere outside of the two defined “boxed” areas. The shooters came up with various strategies to engage this paper target so as to beat the clock and register good hits to score.
The other two courses of fire were designed by Mr. Rajiv Latchana. The 3rd stage called ‘Step In” consisted of 7 paper targets and 7 no-shoot targets immediately in front of them. Competitors were required to move along the defined shooting area (marked by a fault line) and engage the targets as they became visible from behind several screens. Competitors deliberately slowed their rate of fire in this stage as the presence of no-shoot targets posed a penalty factor of double the highest score per shot, a whooping negative 10 per shot.
The 4th stage for the afternoon called ‘Both Ends Now” consisted of several paper targets placed at varying angles, distances and heights with their direct visibility also obscured by screens. This stage proved to be the most challenging for the day as it caused shooters to move to various spots on a single fault line covering both ends of the stage to shoot at these targets comfortably. Several shooters were seen warming up for the sprint that was needed to cover the distance in as short as possible time. There were several speedy reloads on the move, as the frequent sound of double taps pierced the afternoon ambiance on the Timehri Ranges on this final stage of the match.
Scoring for practical shooting is done by recording the competitor’s time with an electronic device which ‘hears’ the shots and records the time from the audible beep which signals the start to the sound of the last shot fired. The targets are then checked, recorded and the total score gained is divided by the time recorded for that competitor the result of which is termed a Hit Factor. The highest HF will win the stage, the total match points are an accumulation of all of the competitor’s stage points. All scoring at GSSF pistol events are computed using scoring software specifically designed for the discipline since this is done atomically it aids in efficiency. Ultimately the scoring in practical shooting rewards the winners who can have a balance of accuracy within the shortest possible short stage times as against other competitors within the division.
After the Match, there was a side match in the form of a Shoot-off, whereby those that signed up were randomly selected to compete against another shooter in a knock out styled competition. Pairs of shooters competing against recharged their magazines and gathered around 10 steel poppers. Rules were simple: at the start signal the shooter that falls the first 5 wins. To get things stated was a duel between Mr. Rajiv Latchana and Mr. Mohamed Khan. Upon the start signal, a rapid burst of gunfire and falling steel flooded the range…. there was a slight pause at one end as Latchana did a magazine change much to the excitement of onlookers but alas, Mr. Mohamed Khan proved that slow and steady rules over quick and jerky trigger finger (in a tortoise vs hare moment) and took the 1st bye.
The action continued as shooter after shooter took the dusty walk to reset the stage, until the final round came. It was down to two of Guyana’s seasoned shooters: Dr. Johan DaSilva and Mr. Ryan McKinnon both shooting the much talked about CZ Shadow 2 Pistol. After the sound of the start signal and the proverbial settling of the smoke it was McKinnon who made light work knocking over the metal poppers inclusive of performing a mandatory magazine change as agreed upon by the finalists.
The Stats Officer for this match was Mrs. Vidushi Persaud-McKinnon, who released the results in agreement with the Match Director. The prize order was as follows:
1st – Ryan McKinnon – 235.5987 points
2nd – Johan DaSilva – 197.7184 points
3rd – Vidushi Persaud-McKinnon – 105.0355 points
1st – Rajiv Latchana – 180.0000 points
2nd – Andrew Phang – 169.9061 points
3rd – David Dharry – 133.5190 points
Chairman of the Practical Shooting Committee and the Match Director for this event Mr. David Dharry, expressed appreciation to P&P Insurance Brokers for their continued support to the promotion and building of the sport in Guyana. Director Mr. Vikash Panday echoed the same sentiments that his company stands committed to continued support of the GSSF and sport shooting in spite of the slow economic conditions that presently exist.
The Board of Directors wishes to commend the Match Director, Range Master, Stats Officer, Range Officers and the shooters for ensuring an efficient event. Special thanks also to the Guyana Defence Force, Chief of Staff Brigadier Patrick West, Commissioner of Police Mr. Seelal Persaud, Asst. Commissioner Mr. David Ramnarine, the ranks of TSU and the Guyana Police Force, the Media and GSSF members for their support in promoting practical shooting locally. Sincere thanks were extended to CEO, Mr. Bishwa Panday of P&P Insurance Brokers and Consultants Ltd.
In Photo below:
Prize Winners 2018 of P&P sponsored GSSF’s Practical Pistol Match. (From left to right: Mrs. Vidushi Persaud-McKinnon, Dr. Johan DaSilva, Mr. Ryan McKinnon, Mr. Rajiv Latchana, Mr. Andrew Phang and Mr. David Dharry.)
In photo below: Participants and members