Steamboat Springs After he pushed a lead ball down the barrel of a flintlock rifle on Sunday afternoon, Bob Brassell said that when the smoke from the gun has cleared and the lead comes to a quick rest, the people who fire 18th century rifles often say the same thing.
“The usual expression is ‘Wow,’” the firearm instructor said as he watched a young boy bury the wooden end of a rifle squarely into his shoulder and delicately aim at a target about 60 feet in front of him.
Seconds after he pulled the trigger, 10-year-old Rhys Morgan was rewarded with the sound of lead slamming into metal.
“It was fun,” he said. “It didn’t have as much kick as I was expecting.”
Morgan was one of about 130 participants in the third annual Lorna Farrow Memorial Fun Shoot, held Sunday at the Routt County Rifle Club on U.S. Highway 40. Named in honor of Farrow, who died in 2009, the Fun Shoot again honored the memory of the woman who for more than 20 years helped to promote the participation of women and children in shooting sports.
A shooting enthusiast, Farrow was also the co-owner of Farrow Repair Service in western Steamboat Springs.
With 120 participants, the Fun Shoot last year doubled its attendance. It continued to draw even more people and volunteers to the range on Sunday, when the sounds of .22-caliber rifles and shotguns that echoed across the berms bookended the “wows” and positive exclamations that came from young shooters like Morgan.
And many of the 50 instructors who manned the archery, shotgun, handgun and rifle stations said if Farrow was present at the Fun Shoot, she would have been running around the stations, making sure everyone was happy.
As he helped a young girl properly shoot a handgun, Gary Farrow, Lorna Farrow’s husband, said the Memorial Shoot was a continuation of something that started decades before his wife’s death.
“You can still feel the enthusiasm out here,” he said. “We’re continuing something that started years ago. This isn’t an NRA thing. It’s not a political thing. It’s a factual thing where we’re making people not afraid to shoot a gun. It’s a piece of machinery like anything else.”
He said firearm safety was the most important thing being taught at the range Sunday and that as long as there are girls or young kids who want to learn how to safely shoot, he’ll be there to help.
Volunteers at other stations insisted that Farrow would have loved the smell of gunpowder, the sound of rifles firing, and most important, the many smiles on children’s faces as they successfully sent lead balls and bullets into tin and clay targets downrange.
“We still have the memory of her being around, and I like to think she’s watching over us,” Pete Schroeder said after he helped a group of young boys successfully hit airborne clay targets with shotguns.
Funds raised from the Fun Shoot will benefit women’s and 4-H shooting sports and the Bust of Steamboat, an annual fundraiser that benefits the Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project.
To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email ScottFranz@SteamboatToday.com