The Inaugural 2022 LERAA Marine Rescue Trophy May 20th-21st

Lee Enfield Rifle Association Australia (LERAA) hosted a fundraising event for Tuross-Moruya Marine Rescue on the May 21-22 weekend at Rankins Springs. Over the past years this weekend has become known as the “LERAA Invitational” where groups of interested people have been invited to attend and participate in a weekend of sporting events, displays, camping and camaraderie. 2022 had the distinction of being dedicated to fund-raising for Tuross-Moruya Marine Rescue.  

The events:  


The Inaugural LERAA Marine Rescue Trophy 

For Lee Enfield No1MkIII SMLE chambered in .303 in “as issued” configuration 

  • Match 1 – (Standing Unsupported, 200 yds)  – 2 marked sighting shots may be taken prior to the start of this match, followed by 10rnds unsupported standing (figure 11) on screen Bayonet Fixed. 
  • Match 2 – (Kneeling Snap 200 yds) 10 rounds will be fired at the fig 12 target with 3 second exposures indicated by whistle blast. 
  • Match 3 – (Rapid 200yds) 10 rounds will be fired at the figure 11 target on screen, competitors will retrieve the rifle (full magazine – bolt open) from the standing position behind the firing point, go to the prone and fire 10 rounds in 60 seconds. 
  • Match 4 – From the prone unsupported position 10 rounds will be fired at the 200yrd Tin Hat Targets all points to score. 

The LERAA 25 

For .22LR training rifles at 25 yds 

  • 10 rounds Standing Unsupported 
  • 10 rounds Kneeling position 
  • 10 rounds Prone position 


The LERAA 25 (continued) 

For .22LR training rifles at 25 yds 

  • 10 rounds Standing Unsupported 
  • 10 rounds Kneeling position 
  • 10 rounds Prone position 

Exhibition/Demonstration and firing of Blackpowder and Milsurp rifles 

The LERAA Invitational 

For milsurp rifles in various calibres 

  • Match 1 – 2 marked sighting shots may be taken prior to the start of this match, followed by 10rnds prone 
  • Match 2 – 10rnds prone 

The Rankin’s Springs Target Shooting Complex just outside the small village centre is a somewhat quiet and deserted place which once every month welcomes the LERAA travellers from near and far. The calls of crows, magpies gives way to the sounds of arrivals throughout the Friday morning through to the early hours of Saturday. People are congregating from the NSW South Coast, Sydney, Central NSW cities and towns, SE Queensland, Gippsland and Melbourne. The caravans arrive, the tents, the pop tops and the swags rise up and what was a paddock becomes a hive of activity as people are greeted, helped, cajoled for taking “others” favourite spots and the campfires lit. Amongst the usual suspects we welcome the brave group of Tuross-Moruya Marine Rescue and a large group of young men and women from Cammo Club in Moruya. Hands are shaken, introductions made, names forgotten and then nicknames given as we all find our way to the central fire, dinners eaten and the telling of tales begins. Many thanks must be sent to our new friends from Marine Rescue as they have arrived prepared, a few bags of ready cut firewood….a very welcome supply as the chilly evening air settles over the camp. The evening continues with the tired travellers filtering off to tents and beds while being replaced by the newly arrived into the early hours 

“Moooooooooorning!” is the catch-cry call of the red-crested LERAA secretary bird. Familiar to the faithful and a new experience for some. There is no need for an alarm clock when at Rankins Springs! The dawn and slumber is broken and people begin to fill the morning solitude with pots, pans and the sharp hiss of stoves being lit…groans and stretches as people poke their heads out from the canvas and into the brisk morning air. Appropriate responses are mumbled, grumbled and dissed at the morning calls. The weather is magnificent, clear and a light breeze. Its easy to camp poorly with unsatisfying food, hard cold beds and a feeling of not having what you need….not when you camp with LERAA. The words go out and the coffee pots are handed around…food offered and the behind-the-scenes activities are under way. The crackle of the fire is a welcoming sound and the sight of flames as you sip your morning brew is a delight. The LERAA “elves” are out setting up the range, raising flags, targets and preparing the sporting field for play. 

The morning begins with formalities. Registration, record keeping and scrutineering brings out the people and the equipment that will tackle the sporting field. New people to the sport are issued with the required forms and soon made ready. Rifles are swabbed to remove their protective oil coatings and the accoutrements of the modern shooter are laid out on the benches.  

Tradition and ritual in the shooting sports goes back many decades to the late 19th century and LERAA has its own. We gather for the raising of the Australian flag and make dedication of the weekend to a battle where Australians have served our country. A moment of silence and we move to raise our LERAA flag. Safety briefing is completed and a rundown of the days activities is passed along. We are also fortunate to have a NSW Marine Rescue flag and table. A raffle will be conducted of a camping stove with the proceeds to raise funds for Tuross-Moruya Marine Rescue. Within minutes the raffle is sold out….  

Graham Murgatroyd has brought along a somewhat rare item- an unopened crate of 1955 Radway Green (UK) milsurp .303 ammunition, exported and sold on from the Kirkee Factory in India. The opening of a sardine tin gives the opportunity to see how ammunition was packed and distributed in the past century. It’s a bit of a lottery as to how it will perform as it will depend on how it has been stored for the past 70 years.  

The match is on! The crack of the first sighting shots reverberate and echo against the distant hills. The smell of smokeless powder and cordite wafts through the air…. some are using milsurp ammunition and the cordite smell brings great joy. Sadly, the newly opened Kirkee ammunition has deteriorating primers and is being found to be unreliable…so is swapped out for some 1960’s Footscray ammunition. Australian surplus is as strong as the day it was made. 

Twenty two shooters are competing in the Inaugural LERAA Marine Rescue Trophy, including four from Tuross-Moruya Marine Rescue. Each detail shoots, scores and then “Seconds” the next detail. It’s a beautiful sunny day and the day disappears quickly as we cycle through the details and four matches.  

Graham Murgatroyd is in fine form and his first match comes close to a Possible (Maximum score 50/50) as he chalks in a fine 49/50. Duane is chasing close by with a strong 45 followed on by Jack at 43. Jack is a new shooter and is showing ominous form as a strong contender. Shooting a SMLE with a bayonet is now an uncommon practice in the shooting sports and always adds a variation. The SMLE is very susceptible to pressure being applied to various parts and historical documents show the point of impact is affected by up to 2 feet at 200yds with a bayonet fitted.  

Match 2 starts to separate the men from the boys as we test our aging knees. Murgo and Andre take the honours with 42 , Jack only 2 behind and the mind games begin with appropriate cheering and commentary being supplied by the others…who will rise to the challenge and who may crack under the pressure? It only takes one good or bad stage and the leaders will change. 

Match 3 sees Murgo pull out an excellent 48 while Jack continues to pressure with an excellent 44 and Paul Mc drills a 43. Consistency is apparent at the top and its going to be a close final shoot out between Murgo and Jack 

Match 4 Sees Duane drill a magnificent 43 while the consistent Murgo drills a fine 41 and Peter M brings up a commendable 38. The tiredness has crept in and the day has wearied some…with retirements throughout. 

Rifles are cleaned and the .22 trainers come out and a field of 40 take on the LERAA 25. A global postal competition designed for military training rifles in the popular and inexpensive .22 calibre. Last year our 2021 winner was Uwe Neuhaus from Ulm, Germany and we are all lining up to see if we can wrest away the 2022 crown from his fine eyes and skills. We continue to shoot into the fading light and call time for the awarding of the trophy. 

The inaugural winner of the LERAA Marine Rescue Trophy is presented with his trophy. The winner is Graham Murgo Murgatroyd with 180/200 followed by Jack at 158 and Peter , third with 141 after a consistent effort throughout. The trophy is lifted, pictures taken and further prizes awarded for events throughout the day. 

The LERAA Executive tallied the profits of the weekend and presented the cheque to Tuross-Moruya Marine Rescue for $2500. Thanks were conveyed by both LERAA and Tuross-Moruya Marine Rescue to each other for organising and holding the event and we all look forward to gathering again 20-21 May 2023 for the 2023 LERAA Marine Rescue Trophy. 

As is tradition at LERAA we stoked the fires, set up the tables and gathered for our dinner at the long table. The smells of cooking fires and food filled the air and the telling of tales began in earnest. Graham Murgatroyd had a treat and brought along one of his legendary bunny chow curries. Warming curry, warming fire, warming spirits and warming friendships abounded throughout the evening until well into the morning hours 

“Moooooooorning!” cried out all too soon. Surely it isnt time to wake up? Yes it was time to get another morning of heartwarming breakfasts and nerve calming coffee into the system to start another day of LERAA Invitational Weekend. 

Tables were moved to the firing line and a fine selection of some Milsurp firearms began to be displayed. Some relatively common, some very rare and a diverse range of country of origins and service. We had the opportunity to look over some rarer and earlier Lee Enfields, Martini Henrys, a selection of Mausers, including a fine K98, Mosins of a number of origins and a Mannlicher, converted to .303 at Lithgow that saw heavy service in Indonesia. The morning was spent running our young men and women through the .22s and full bore rifles. The smiles and eagerness to give it a go was a pleasure to behold. Every now and then the air would be broken by the report of a range of muzzle loaders and black powder cartridge rifles…something that brings a smile all around and many questions that follow.  

As we bid farewell to our Cammo club visitors we moved into the final event, the LERAA Invitational where the Milsurps came out to shoot 2 x 10 rounds. A great opportunity to bring out the safe queens and lesser used of people’s collections. A spirit of friendly competition ensued with conversations about the characteristics of each rifle and calibre being discussed at length.  

The events drew to a close and camps started to break as people headed back to their hometowns….a weekend to savour. New friends made and smiles made to last until we do it all again!