The shooting sports are one of the most popular pastimes in Oklahoma and this weekend in western Oklahoma some of the best long range rifle shooters will be competing for prizes.
The Oklahoma Practical Precision Shooters “Heat Stroke Open” will be held Saturday and Sunday in Hammon and Cheyenne.
Shooters from Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska and Arizona are expected to be shooting on the western Oklahoma prairie this weekend. Competitors will be shooting targets with 30-caliber and under centerfire rifles at distances up to 1,200 yards.
“Everybody just shoots what they bring,” said Joey Thompson of Hammon, secretary of the Oklahoma Practical Precision Shooters club. “It’s really a sport that has grown quite a bit in the last couple of years and starting to get quite a bit of money involved in it.”
Gun and ammo companies have donated merchandise for prizes for the Heat Stroke Open. Half the contestants will shoot near Hammon and the other half near Cheyenne on Saturday and then switch locations on Sunday.
An awards ceremony will be held at the Clarion Hotel in Elk City on Sunday night.
The Oklahoma Practical Precision Shooters hold a monthly match but this weekend’s event is one of the club’s major shoots.
“This is probably the biggest one we have ever put on,” Thompson said.
The club formed in May of 2011 and has about 100 members from across the state and Texas, he said. Several live in the Oklahoma City area and the club is looking to buy land for a range near Oklahoma City, he said.
“Most of us guys out here in western Oklahoma actually own some land where we can go shoot,” he said.
There is a national precision rifle series and next year’s “Heat Stroke Open” might be included in that series, Thompson said.
“One of the biggest clubs in the country (for precision rifle shooting) is out in California and there are several big matches out there,” he said. “I actually just got back from Shreveport and been to Albuquerque in the last couple of months (for matches).”
Registration is closed for this weekend’s match. To learn more about the Oklahoma Practical Precision Shooters, check out the club’s Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/318198588213946/