DELPHOS — Too often, stories about men and guns usually involve some kind of violence. But some just enjoy shooting guns as part of a hobby.
Such is the case with the North West Ohio Benchrest Shooters, a group of more than a dozen men who take pride in their shooting accuracy.
On Sunday, the group got together at the Black Swamp Rifle & Pistol Club on Pohlman Road, north of Delphos, to test their skills, shooting at targets 200 yards away with extreme accuracy.
Bob Blaine has been with the group for 27 years.
“It is relaxing. It is very competitive to the extreme, but we all have fun,” said Blaine. “We all help each other, and we’ve learned from it and it’s just part of our heritage as well.”
Fred Moreo, a local gunsmith and owner of Sharpshooter Supply, is a senior member of the club.
“I’ve been here since 1984,” said Moreo.
Many of the club members are getting up in years and there are concerns that the younger generation isn’t all that interested in this kind of precision shooting.
“There’s a lot more older people than younger people. I guess you just have to have that mindset of accuracy and that kind of stuff. There’s a lot of people nowadays they’re happy to hear things go bang and watch things tip over, so what we’re doing is probably not considered exciting,” Moreo said.
Patrick Kennedy organizes these shooting competitions where accuracy is measured down to the hundreds of thousands of an inch.
Part of the day is spent shooting at several different paper targets. The other is where a shooter takes five shots at one paper target.
“A lot of these targets are going to just look like they’re one shot — one hole — and there’s five shots in them,” Kennedy said.
The guns and ammo the men use can be quite expensive.
“It’s all custom manufactured. Most of the people are shooting 6ppc, which is based off of the 220 Russian cartridge, and they fire form it out and they chamber shape it. It’s a smaller cartridge, but it’s highly efficient. It’s the most accurate cartridge in the world,” Kennedy said.
Getting involved in the sport can be pretty expensive.
“It just takes so much money to get started because most of the (equipment) online is going to be about $2,000. It’s not a cheap sport,” Kennedy said.
For more information on the sport, visit bsrpc.org.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.