Sights firmly set on respect

Member Ian Aylett zeroes in his rifle. The process of adjusting your rifle's scope so that the crosshair is centred on the point where bullets hit. 235859 Pictures: STEWART CHAMBERS

Lang Lang Rifle Club has a long-range view when it comes to paying respects to the Anzacs with the club going full-bore recently to support the men and women who have served our country.

The club’s annual Anzac-shoot saw members and old soldiers join forces to have fun and raise money for Legacy, an organisation that cares for the families of Australian Defence Force men and women who have lost their lives or their health as a result of their service.

Lang Lang Rifle Club President Laurie Thompson said the club was invested in the shoot, lock, stock and barrel, and has its sights fixed on continuing the event for many years to come.

“We do this every year on Anzac Day and the profits we make go to Legacy, so it’s something we all enjoy but we are also very proud of,” Thompson said.

“We have old soldiers come down for the shoot and we conduct a service, we had a bugler playing the last post, then we shoot with the .303s, have a barbecue afterwards and everyone’s happy.”

The legendary .303 rifle, which has the dubious distinction of having the highest kills of any rifle to its name, is a bolt action, magazine-fed rifle that served the English military and that of the Commonwealth since 1895, and saw action in both World War 1 and World War II.

Thompson, himself, has been a long-time shooter and has been involved at Lang Lang since moving from New South Wales in the mid 1990’s.

“I’ve been here at Lang Lang for 25 years, the last 22 years as president, and that’s basically because no other bugger wants to do it,” he says with a short laugh.

“I’ve been shooting all my life, and when I came down from New South Wales I found this place and I’ve loved it ever since.

“We have about 70 members and they’re all great people, we sit around after a shoot and talk about how many mistakes we’ve made and how we could have done better. The Anzac shoot is one of two big events we hold for the year, the other being our El-Alamein-shoot in October each year.”

The Lang Lang Rifle Club has been in existence for over 120 years and boasts an extensive military history, with troops trained at the facility for both world wars. The club has also trained national and international champions, both junior and senior, and has small bore and full bore competitions throughout the year.

The club also has a junior program and a zeroing service, where shooters can come to zero in their rifles.

Apart from the Anzac and El-Alamein shoots, the club has three ranges open every Saturday, beginning at 100 yards at 9.30am, before the distance lengthens out late morning and early afternoon.

Members shoot over the longer ranges of 300, 500 and 600 yards before putting down their guns for the day.

The club also has competition shoots throughout the year with shooters coming from Bairnsdale, Rosedale and Sale to take part. Those interested in learning more about the Lang Lang Rifle Club can contact Laurie Thompson via email at lth59610@bigpond.net.au