DAVID Oates returned from an extended break from shooting in fine style on the weekend, winning three events at the Country Energy Open in Gulgong.
The Orange shooter won the masters service pistol (879/900) and service pistol unrestricted (885/900), as well as the A grade 25m service pistol (625/650).
Orange's national champion Dean Brus had to be content with second in the masters service pistol (872/900) and service pistol unrestricted (884/900).
But Brus won the masters 25m service pistol with a score of 635/650, which is an unofficial state record beating the old mark by three shots.
"That's twice I've done that now," Brus said. "But because it wasn't an official state event the record doesn't count."
Fellow Orange shooter Max Wicks also competed on the weekend and finished second in the A grade service pistol unrestricted (862/900) and third in service pistol (835/900).
Brus said after a long layoff, Oates had come back in top form.
"It's definitely some friendly competition," Brus said. "The form he's come back in is fantastic."
Brus and Wicks will compete at the national championships later this month in Brisbane.
Last year Brus, who is part of the NSW team, won the national title in service pistol and service pistol 25m, but said it would be hard to defend his title.
"I'd be a little bit disappointed if I don't bring something back," he said.
The nationals run from March 21-30.