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Crack-shot Casey honoured

Saturday, 21st November, 2020

Brian Casey at home with the certificate from the SA Rifle Association awarded him for 50 years with the West BH Rifle Club and a collection of his medals over the years. He is holding his old “three-o” with which he began shooting with the club, while on the table is the sleeker and far more accurate modern rifle. PICTURE: Craig Brealey Brian Casey at home with the certificate from the SA Rifle Association awarded him for 50 years with the West BH Rifle Club and a collection of his medals over the years. He is holding his old “three-o” with which he began shooting with the club, while on the table is the sleeker and far more accurate modern rifle. PICTURE: Craig Brealey

By Craig Brealey

Fifty years ago, Brian Casey joined the West Broken Hill Rifle Club and began target shooting with a World War II .303.

Now, to honour his service to the club, Brian has been awarded a 50-year membership certificate and gold badge from the South Australian Rifle Association.

The honour was presented - a little late due to Covid restrictions-  by Club Captain, Peter Jackson.

Brian had a few shoots in 1969 and became a member of West Broken Hill Rifle Club in February 1970. 

He said he had enjoyed shooting every since he was a lad.

“On a Saturday you’d go out with your mates and your .22 on your pushbike for shot out bush. 

“We’d ride up Oxide Street and no-one turned an eye. You could’t get away with that these days!”

The West Broken Hill Rifle Club is affiliated with the SA Rifle Association which governs all the local district rifle associations.

Brian said that when he first started target shooting, under the guidance of his mate Harold Hooper, it was common to see 40 or 50 shooters at a Saturday competition, all using .303 military rifles and army issue ammunition. 

“These days, with the advancement in rifle technology and ammunition, the rifles are far more superior and the target dimensions have been reduced to compensate for this,” he said.

Brian said he had made many lifelong friends in the target shooting community. 

He is an outstanding sportsman, having won badges or medals at prize shoots in most states.

He was also a member of the SA State Team in 1977, eleven times the No. 9 Broken Hill Champion and several times club champion.

“My most prized trophy, the Eddy Hart Memorial Sash, is framed on my office wall,” Brian said. 

“This match is contested over two days of competition by shooters from all over Australia to find the top twelve competitors who then fire a fifteen to count match at 900 yards.

“Brian won this event in 2001 with the only possible score of 75.3 and the sash was presented by lifelong mate, John Hart, Eddy’s son.

“My only disappointment in 50 years of target shooting is not being able to win my club’s two-day prize meeting,” he said.

Apart from target rifles, Brian is a shotgun shooter with the Broken Hill Field and Game club with which he achieved a rare feat two years ago - he won the A Grade Championship, his son won the B-Grade, and his grandson the Junior.

“Ben” (as he is known around the rifle ranges) said he will continue to enjoy target shooting while he can and encouraged anyone who would like to have a go to contact West Rifle Club captain, Peter Jackson, on 0437 882 054 or secretary Gary Hanford 0428 509 313. 

Club equipment is available and there are qualified coaches to help you, because safety, said Brian was “our number one priority”.

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