THE fastest shooters in the country are on the Border this weekend.
Armed with pistols, these crack shots can hit five targets in a little over two seconds.
Almost 100 of the best in the nation will vie for the Australian National Steel Challenge title over three days from tomorrow at the Wodonga Handgun Club.
About $13,000 in prizes are up for grabs, as well as the chance to go to the world titles for the winner.
Click on the video below to see some of the shooters in action. (iPhone users go to the Video tab in Menu.)
The club’s Cherie Blake said the event was shoot as fast as you could.
“We have close to 100 starters, including 20 women and 10 juniors,” Blake said.
“They shoot with three different pistols over the three days to win the National Steel Master of Australia.
“There is eight stages each day, each shooter having to hit all five targets in the shortest time possible.
“Four of the targets can be hit in any order but the stopper plate, which is marked with a red post, has to be the last one.”
Yesterday the Western Australian contingent was already in town and practising at the range on the outskirts of the city.
With hands in the starting position above their heads they fired off their rounds in a blur.
The metallic ping of bullets hitting the steel plates was the only feedback needed to move to the next target.
Last year the nationals were held at the Hume Pistol Club.
Members of that club were also helping the Wodonga Handgun Club with the three-day nationals.
Blake said the sport attracted all hand gun shooters and was spectator friendly.
“Because of a few changes in the rules and the guns allowed we are seeing more women and juniors in the sport,” she said.
“And a lot of people who might not specialise in steel target shooting can compete as well — it lends itself to a large cross-over from other disciplines.
“For the spectators it is also pretty easy to follow.
“You are close to the action and have to wear protective eye wear and ear plugs but each hit can be heard and the marks from the bullets hitting the steel are clearly visible.”
The national titles will be held from tomorrow to Sunday at the Wodonga Handgun Club off Plunketts Road, marked by a red flag at its entrance.