It’s time for the Lindis Ranger to saddle up.
Charles Innes, under the guise of his alter ego, will again contest the duellist category at the End of Trail World Championship of Cowboy Action Shooting at Founders Ranch in Edgewood, New Mexico, in June.
It will be the second time Mr Innes has competed at the world championships, after he finished 10th out of 23 competitors in the duellist category (unaided, right or left-handed shooting) and 289th overall out of 640 shooters in 2016.
Cowboy action shooting, also known as Western action shooting, is a competitive sport that originated in Southern California in the early 1980s.
It requires competitors, who dress the part, to use firearms typical of the mid-to-late 19th century, such as single-action revolvers, lever-action rifles chambered in pistol calibres, and side-by-side double-barrelled shotguns, with or without external hammers, or pump-action shotguns with external hammers.
Competition generally requires four guns – two revolvers, a shotgun, and a rifle – and involves shooting over 12 stages, which mimic scenes of the old West.
Stages are always different, each typically requiring 10 revolver rounds, nine or 10 rifle rounds, and two to eight shotgun rounds.
Targets are usually steel plates that ring when hit. Reactive targets, such as steel knockdown plates or clay birds, are also used.
Mr Innes, who recently finished third in the duellist category at the national championships in Whanganui, said the world championships were squeezed between several other competitions he would also shoot at.
“We’re heading away in May next year. Prior to the world championships, we are shooting at the Utah state champs in Salt Lake City, then move on to a club shoot in Colorado and then we head on to Cortez for the Colorado state champs.
“Then we head on down to the world champs for seven days.”
Following that, he will shoot at the Wyoming state championships.
Mr Innes, a member of the Central Otago Pistol Club, will be one of 18 New Zealanders heading overseas.
He said he was confident of a success during the five-week trip.
“I’ve got a few goals written down for the state champs. I want to take out the top duellist at two of the state champs and that’s what I can probably do if it all goes right, but that depends on the day.
“At the world championships, I got top 10 last time. I know I’m capable of getting in the top five of the duellist category.”
He believed the key would be being well-prepared and focused.
Leading up to the trip, Mr Innes said he would be firing between 200 and 300 rounds a week.