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GUNS Magazine October 2011 Digital Edition - Page 44
To start the shooters meeting each morning, Denny Wilcox blew a “call to arms” with his bugle. A fun gAMe By Any nAMe. Mike “Duke” Venturino Photos: Yvonne Venturino IMBAR/VIMSAR? Those acronyms stand for “Vintage Military Bolt-Action Rifle” and “Vintage Military SemiAuto Rifle.” Shooting competitions are springing up around the country centered on such firearms. V Part of the “walk-about” is handgun shooting. Denny Wilcox is firing a Browning Hi-Power in this photo. I’ve just returned from my first one and see much potential in this type of shooting match, not to mention much fun. First off, it’s relatively inexpensive to get into. Although there is no set rulebook for these shoots around the nation, the VIMBAR match I attended allowed any military bolt action of any nation still in its “as-issued” state. At the match there were US Krags, 1903 and ’03A3 Springfields, 1917 Enfields, various vintage Mausers from around the world, Mosin-Nagants from Friday before the match at the Golden Spike Range was sighting-in day and many competitors took advantage of the practice. both Russia and Finland, British SMLEs and No. 4s, and possibly others I didn’t notice. The honor for most unique, however, had to go to a Nevadan named Andy Willey. He showed me just how fast a straightpull Swiss Model 31 can be operated. For ammunition, any suitable load was allowed, excluding tracer and armor piercing. Most of the competitors used inexpensive military surplus stuff. (In the other shooting sports in which I have participated such as cowboy action and BPCR Silhouette, for the bucks you spend to fire the first event you could just about buy one each of the above VIMBARs and a year’s supply of mil-surplus ammo for each.) My invitation to attend this match came from a couple of fellows with whom I’ve been acquainted for years. In fact, if you have had any experiences with Browning or Winchester firearms in the last few years, you have also been acquainted with them in a distant sort of way. They are Denny Wilcox and Peter Sodoma, both employees of Browning in Morgan, Utah. I got to know them back in the 1990s when Browning was developing their Model 1885 BPCR Silhouette rifle. We discovered we shared a fondness for single actions, lever guns and now vintage military firearms. 44 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • OCTOBER 2011