ORANGE'S David Oates went into the Central West Pistol Championships with the aim of gaining some competition experience before the National Service Pistol Championships in April.
Oates did more than that when he finished the weekend with two third places in disciplines he doesn't normally shoot.
The 41-year-old was selected in the NSW Service Pistol team in December and shot on the weekend for some match fitness.
Oates finished third in the A grade men's 10m air pistol and the A grade men's 25m centre fire.
"I didn't shoot very well in the centre fire but I was shooting it more for match practice," Oates said.
"To come here and be half competitive is great."
It has been a while since Oates has been in the NSW men's service pistol side – four years in fact.
He was in the team for five years but took the next four years off before getting the call from NSW team-mate and fellow Orange shooter Dean Brus.
Brus and Oates were two of over 60 shooters at the championships at the Orange range on the weekend.
Orange shooters finished with a number of titles and club president Brus was amazed at the standard over the weekend.
"We had an enormous amount of 50s (five-shot perfect series)," Brus said. "The standard has been exceptional."
In C grade men's 25m centre fire it was an Orange one-two with Roger Bond winning from Max Wicks.
Andrew Bond won the junior air 60 and was third in the D grade event.
Wicks was in the top three again when third in the C grade men's 50m pistol.
In the D grade men's 10m air pistol Garry McKay was second.
Maisie Harvey was Orange's top woman claiming the D grade women's 10m air pistol.