IHMSA 2006 International Championship Match
Article by Dan Larabel

The 2006 International Handgun Metallic Silhouette Association (IHMSA) international championship was held at the Tusco Rifle Club in Midvale, Ohio July 22nd through July 28th of this year.  This International match comes to Ohio every other year and is where handgun competitors who have qualified throughout the year in local matches have a chance to compete against other shooters from around the country.  The event was attended by shooters from all over the United States, Canada, Brazil, and as far away as Australia.  What's nice about this event is that you don't have to be the "cream of the crop" to have a good time.  If that were the case I would've had to stay home and miss all the fun!  It was a week of a lot of fun, a lot of shooting, and a chance to enjoy the company of other steel silhouette shooters.

I'm not sure what was better, that first cup of coffee each morning sitting around the breakfast table at the hotel discussing all of the excuses for the previous day's terrible scores or the smell of fresh gun powder when we arrived at the range each day.  The competition consisted of shooting 80 rounds at steel targets set at varying distances depending upon the caliber of handgun.  The Big Bore guns shot 20 rounds each at 50, 100, 150, and 200 yards, while the Field Pistol and Small Bore .22's shot at 25, 50, 75, and 100 yards.  In all, fourteen different categories could be shot.  If you had to shoot more than a couple of guns each day, you stayed pretty busy.  The competition was pretty exciting throughout the week.  Each morning, the previous day's scores were posted to see who got knocked out of first place in their category.   As some of us found out, shooters in first place at the beginning of the week usually didn't stay there and by the end of the week, many were edged out by only 1 or 2 shots.

The last day of competition was reserved for tie breaker shoot offs.  This was where the best of the best, who had shot perfect scores throughout the week, had to shoot against each other until one missed to determine who took first place. 

West Walker shooters from left to right:  Scott Larabel, Dennis Nelson, Dan Larabel, and Chris Hacket.  Not shown is Dave Krysiak.

Some of the Michigan shooters.

West Walker's Dave Krysiak and Dennis Nelson were among those who had to stick it out for the shoot offs for first place.

Most all of the Michigan clubs were well represented at the match, including St. Joseph Conservation Club in Sturgis, Berry County Conservation Club in Hastings, South Kent Conservation Club in Dorr, Alma, and of course West Walker Sportsman's club.  The West Walker team did pretty good, taking home some first place and a few second and third place awards.  Complete West Walker team standings will be posted on the web when the official results are in.

Click on an image below for a larger view.

(Photos taken by Dan Larabel and Chris Hackett)

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Chris Hackett in Creedmore shooting position Dave Krysiak catching a bite to eat before his next round.

Some of the shooters and spotters.

Chris Hackett after shooting a good round.

Scott Larabel double checking his sight settings.

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Discussing the days' shooting. More debate from some of the Michigan shooters. Chris Hackett and his trusty six shooter Scott Larabel under some serious concentration. Dennis Nelson checking things out on the Big Bore range.
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Chris and  Scott. Dan Larabel waiting to spot for Scott Larabel. Dennis Nelson shooting his Big Bore gun. Chris Hackett discussing what went wrong with his spotter, Michelle Krysiak A shot of the West Walker guys, Scott, Dennis, Dan, and Chris.
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The Sturgis MI and West Walker shooters

Dave and Michelle Krysiak

The Big Bore and Field Pistol Range

Dave Krysiak shooting with his wife Michelle spotting for him.

Dennis Nelson shooting with his wife Julie spotting for him.

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Shots of our party at the banquet held during the match.  The food was great.

Oops.  Scott's secret hiding spot exposed.
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Enjoying some dogs on the grill and a few cold ones after a long day of shooting.
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More relaxation with some of the Michigan shooters from Alma, Sturgis, and West Walker