Cable Bay Shooting Club member Brian Bishop will compete in the open class for New Zealand at the IPSC Australasian Hand Gun Championships in Bali next week. Photo: Jacob Page.

Shooter looks to hit the target in Bali

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Nelson’s Brian Bishop is hopefull of leading the New Zealand Pistol Shooting Team to a medal at the Australasian International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) Hand Gun Championships in Bali, Indonesia, next week.

The 27-strong team flew out on Sunday to acclimatise with the Cable Bay Club shooter also taking on the team manager role.

IPSC is an action-based style of shooting, the pistols and ammunition are real, and the safety record and standard are second to none.

Brian is competing in the open class and, along with one other person, was part of the four-member team that came third in the last Australasian IPSC Hand Gun Championships.

Brian has been part of the New Zealand setup for the past six years. He says the athletic nature and moving targets make for a good mental challenge.

“Some stages are really complicated and you have to work out what is the best way for you to get around the course and take the best shot.

“Every course is different and the way you approach it is different for every individual.

Brian has been “hooked” on pistol shooting since the first time he tried it, 20 years ago.

“The guys that you shoot with are awesome, but I love the challenge of going to a course and trying to work out mentally what is required for me to be successful.

“You only get one shot and I like that.”

Brian travels the country to compete at various regional events to make selection for the New Zealand team.

“You have to be calm, you’re moving with a full firearm.

“You need to think on your feet and go with it, because no two competitions are the same.”

“I never wanted the flashest gear but I love to compete.”

The 48-year-old says he’d like a placing in the team’s event.

“We achieved that at the last Australasian Championships and there are a couple of us who are returning.”

The former rower and hockey player says he enjoys the sport because you can still do it to a high level at an older age.

“I’ve shot against guys in their 70s and, while they don’t move rapidly, they’re deadly accurate.

“The top guys in training can shoot 30,000 to 40,000 rounds a year. I’m more around 10,000.”

Brian says he tries to get to Cable Bay or Motueka to train every week, as well as mentor new members.