March 30th, 2012

500m Fly Shoot National Championships in Canberra, Australia

Report by Murray Hicks
On March 10, 2012, history was made down under when 78 shooters attended the inaugural BRT 500m Fly Shoot National Championships held in Canberra, Australia. 500m fly shooting has grown immensely in popularity down under since the first Fly Shoot was held in Canberra, 22 years ago. The Fly Shoot is a highlight of the Aussie shooting calendar, attracting the largest field of competitors among any benchrest-style match in Australia. The day of the match was a cracker (that means good in the Aussie lingo) with blue skies and light winds.

500m BRT Fly Shoot Championships Australia

CLICK “PLAY” to hear Murray Hicks talk about the sport of Fly-Shooting in Australia. Murray explains Fly Shoot rules, including the famous Rule 10: “Any competitor found not enjoying themselves, will be disqualified”.

[haiku url=”″ title=”Fly Shoots by Murray Hicks”]

Stuart Elliott 500m BRT Fly Shoot Championships AustraliaThe 500m (560-yard) Fly Target is shot for score on a target with 10 scoring rings, plus a central fly image (instead of an “X”). A shot that hits any part of the fly counts as 10.1. Bonus points are also awarded for group size, with one point for a group under 10″ up to a maximum of 10 points for a group under 1″. Thus, 60.5 is the max possible score for one five-shot target (10.1 x 5 plus ten bonus points).

The Fly Shoot has two equipment classes: Light Gun (under 17 lbs.) and Heavy Gun. This is one of the few matches in Australia where Light and Heavy guns shoot head to head for overall placings. The wide variety of chamberings/calibers used by competitors is remarkable. Unlike the 600-yard BR game in the USA, which is dominated by small 6mm cartridges, at Australia’s Fly Shoots, you will see everything from small varmint calibers all the way up to big-bore Magnums. Many shooters favor the big 30s because it’s easier to see .30-caliber bullet holes through the mirage. This year’s Canberra event was won by Stuart Elliott shooting a 300 Win Mag. It was fitting that Stuart won the Inaugural BRT 500m Fly National Championships. Stuart, who runs BRT Shooters’ Supply, was one of the three Fly Shoot “founding fathers” who dreamed up the Fly Shoot discipline 22 years ago.

500m Paul Read BRT Fly Shoot Championships Australia

To learn more about 500m Fly Shooting or 200m Rimfire Fly Shoots, visit There you’ll find official records, match results, and you can download the SSSA Fly Shoot Rules. CLICK HERE to view more photos of the competitors and their hardware.

Spotters Add to the Fun
The use of a spotter during the match is permitted and even encouraged. This adds greatly to the fun of the shoot. Having a good mate on a spotting scope alongside you spotting your shots and helping to call the wind changes can really help when conditions get rough (as they often do).

500m BRT Fly Shoot Championships Australia

The past year has seen the 500m Fly Shoot officially recognised by the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (SSAA) and added to the official rule book. As a result the March shoot in Canberra this year became the Inaugural Fly Shoot National Championships. BRT Shooters’ Supply came on board as the event’s major sponsor, offering BRT’s full support and organizing an excellent prize pool. Thus the “BRT 500m National Fly Shoot Championships” was born.

500m BRT Fly Shoot Championships Australia

The BRT 500m Fly Shoot Nationals were shot in reasonably good conditions, with major rains and floods in the week leading up to the shoot things were looking a bit dodgy. Luckily the day before the shoot the weather started to clear and over 40 tons of gravel had to be bought in to repair the access road to the 500m target line which had been washed away. The main organiser David Groves and his willing team of helpers took this all in their stride and did a tremendous effort to keep things running smoothly.


The inaugural shoot had an international flavor with shooter Sebastian Lambang, maker of the Seb rest, making the trek from Indonesia to compete. Lambang bought along his new switch-barrel rifle. With wide front “wings” attached and his .284 barrel, Seb finished 14th overall and 7th in Light Gun.

500m BRT Fly Shoot Championships Australia

Top Competitors at 500m BRT Fly Shoot Championships

Name – Score – Class + Placing
1. Stuart Elliott: 261.03 — HG 1
2. Murray Hicks: 260.05 — HG 2
3. Anthony Hall: 257.03 — LG 1
4. Jason Trotter: 249.02 — HG 3
5. Annie Elliott: 247.03 — HG 4
6. Michael Farr: 242.04 — HG 5
7. Les Fraser: 242.01 — HG 6
8. Les Fraser: 241.01 — LG 2
9. Tyson Trotter: 238.01 — LG 3
10. Roy Gow: 237.02 — LG 4
11. Mick Easton: 235.02 — LG 5
12. Dave Groves: 228.02 — HG 7
13. Michael Bell: 228.01 — LG 6

Other Important Results
Small Group Paul Read: HG 1.382″
Best target Jason Trotter: HG 58.01
Best Junior Roy Gow: LG 237.02

Note on Rankings: The ranking list (the “Dirty Dozen”) includes 13 rankings of 12 shooters. Les Fraser shot both classes, finishing 7th overall with his HG and 8th overall with his LG. A second entry is included in the “Dirty Dozen” list for Les to allow recognition of his second highest score in Light Gun Class. However, each shooter normally only gets one overall ranking in the “Dirty Dozen” top 12.

500m BRT Fly Shoot Championships Australia

All photos are copyright Murray Hicks, used with permission.