NEGAUNEE-A recent rifle shoot at the Negaunee Rod and Gun Club featured much more than the family squirrel or deer gun.
The non-competitive event focused on military rifles, allowing club members to put their favorite military weapons through their paces.
"It was a fun shoot," said club President Reg Lipp. "Ninety percent of the entry fee goes back into door prizes and we are planning on grilling some burgers and brats. Today is just about the shooting, not winning or losing."
Craig Benz checks his sights by shooting on the ground at targets 100 yards away. (Journal photo by Chelsey Roath)
Mike Korhonen lies down and aims at the milk jug targets. (Journal photo by Chelsey Roath)
Examples of the military weapons that were shot at the meet. (Journal photo by Chelsey Roath)
The military rifle shoot was started in 2006 because there were "a lot of people that liked to collect and shoot military guns but there was no venue to do so," he said.
Craig Benz and Mike Korhonen where among the 20 gun enthusiasts that took part in the shoot.
"I find this event enjoyable because there is no competition. It's a fun, local event with nothing on the line," said Benz, who has collected and shot guns since childhood.
"We had a B-B gun range in the basement growing up," he laughed. "I guess that is where is all started."
There were four different stages the members went through.
The first was bench/prone, where members shot from a table at paper targets in order to check their sights and test how accurate their guns were.
The second stage, kneel or sit, involved bowling pins set up at distances ranging from 50 yards to 100 yards away. There was also one steel plate to shoot at.
The third, offhand, included simple steel plates 100 yards away. They ranged from 4 inches to 18 inches in diameter.
The final stage was the wave attack/death jug shoot, which was new this year. Milk jugs were strategically placed across the field filled with water and red dye. The goal was to not shoot the jug with red coloring inside.
"The jugs are placed 300 yards away," explained Korhanen. "We've only had one guy shoot the jug with the red in it and it made a mess."
The military rifle shoot will be held again next year with new improvements planned.
"There is always going to be something new," noted Lipp. "We have to keep them challenged."