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Canadian Rangers demonstrate their skills with Lee Enfield rifles during Ottawa shooting competition

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Canadian Rangers demonstrate their skills with Lee Enfield rifles during Ottawa shooting competition

Post by Guest on Mon 18 Sep 2017, 09:12

Canadian Rangers demonstrate their skills with Lee Enfield rifles during Ottawa shooting competition

David Pugliese
September 17, 2017

Sergeant Peter Moon, the public affairs ranger for the 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group at Canadian Forces Base Borden, has written this report about Canadian Armed Forces Small Arms Concentration:

A nine-member team of Canadian Rangers from Northern Ontario has competed against some of the best military marksmen in Canada and “performed well,” according to their team captain.

The team shot against top shooters from the Canadian Armed Forces, including other Canadian Rangers, as well as military teams from the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States, in the two-week long Canadian Armed Forces Small Arms Concentration. The competition attracted 450 shooters and support staff and is held annually at the historic Connaught Ranges, near Ottawa. The Rangers competed using their .303-calibre, bolt action Lee-Enfield rifles.

During the competition they shot at still, moving, and briefly visible targets at distances ranging from 25 metres to 500 metres. They shot within strict time limits while standing, kneeling, sitting, and lying prone on the ground. Sometimes, they had to run 100 metres to get from one shooting position to another.

A highlight of the competition for the Rangers was shooting at a new target consisting of a charging bear that was 25 metres from them. Called “Bear Attack,” it required the Rangers to fire five quick shots, replace their magazine, and shoot another five rounds.

“Shooting is one of the favourite things I like to do as a Ranger,” said Master Corporal Christopher Keesic of Moose Factory, a Cree community on James Bay. “It helps me as a hunter. Sometimes, when you shoot at the competition targets they are so small compared to a large animal like a moose. If you can hit something the size of a grapefruit 500 metres away there’s definitely not going to be any issue if you do shoot at a moose.”

He said he learned to shoot when his grandparents gave him an air rifle. “They didn’t teach me proper trigger pull, how to control my breathing, how to shoot from different positions, all things the army teaches you to make you a better shot.”

Sergeant Richard Mifflin, the team captain, said competition shooting is more precise than the kind of shooting the Rangers are accustomed to when they are hunting. “It’s at longer distances than they are used to,” he said. “They wouldn’t engage a caribou or a moose at 500 metres. We teach them how to hold their rifle, proper breathing, and try to keep them shooting repetitively, because they have to fire 10 shots from the same position in a limited time, compared to one or two when they are hunting.

“They are good shooters at short range. But you could see them improving and gaining confidence as they shot more. They did well.”

Team members were Ranger Hondy Nadj Atlookan of Fort Hope, Ranger Leonard Beaver of Webequie, Master Corporal Christopher Keesic of Moose Factory, Rangers Amanda and Pamela Machimity of Mishkeegogamang, Ranger Craig Sainnawap of Kitchenuhmaykoosib, Ranger Brendan Sawanas of Sandy Lake, and Master Corporals Darren and Roland Shewaybick of Webequie.

(The photos were taken by Peter Moon and Combat Camera photographers. The main photo above by Moon shows Rangers Pamela and Amanda Machimity of Mishkeegogamang, identical twins and two of the few female shooters at the competition.)


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