April 09, 2014 - An afternoon of Old West-themed fun and fancy shooting is being organized by Oxford resident Melissa Morrison.
Dubbed the "Silver Bullet Shoot-off," this first annual event will take place at the Bald Mountain shooting range in Orion Township on Monday, July 14 at 3 p.m.
The event will serve as a fund-raiser for the second annual Lone Ranger parade set to roll along M-24 through Oxford on Saturday, Aug. 2.
"My goal is to clear at least $1,000," Morrison said. "I really enjoyed last year's parade. It brought the community together. It was just fun and safe. You could let your kids go off and walk around . . . My kids really enjoyed it. I think it was our kids' first step in feeling like they belong in the community."
Since August 2012, Morrison and her husband, John, have lived at 1344 W. Drahner Rd., the home that once belonged to radio actor Brace Beemer.
From 1941-54, Beemer portrayed the Lone Ranger on the national radio show that originated from WXYZ in Detroit. He lived in Oxford from 1942 until his death in 1965.
"The community really does know this house," Morrison said.
The shoot-off will be divided into two parts – a competition for experienced shooters only ($65 per person entry fee) and a novice station for first-time shooters ($50 per person entry fee).
Fees include cowboy-themed refreshments and a souvenir t-shirt.
The competition will feature four Old West-themed shooting scenarios and is limited to pistols and revolvers up to .45 caliber.
Competitors will be limited to five shots per scenario and they'll score points by doing things like shooting the hat off the villain's head or shooting the gun out of a desperado's hand.
"Kill shots will be worth less," Morrison said. "That's because the Lone Ranger didn't shoot to kill. He shot to rescue the victim. We're trying to keep it in that spirit."
"You get extra points if you come dressed up as a cowboy and you also get extra points if you use a revolver," she added.
Shooters who score the most points will be awarded prizes for first, second and third places.
"Merge Studio is going to be making a first place trophy," Morrison said. "From what I understand, they do beautiful work, so it's going to be a unique trophy that any shooter would love to have. This won't be something that anybody can go buy at a trophy store."
Competitors must provide their own handguns and ammunition. The range does sell ammunition, but please call ahead (248-693-0567) to make sure they have the appropriate caliber in stock.
For inexperienced shooters and first-timers, there will be a novice station manned by a National Rifle Association-certified instructor who will show folks how to safely and responsibly handle and shoot firearms.
Firearms and ammunition will be provided by the range at the novice station.
Whether shooting competitively or taking advantage of the novice station, event participants must be at least 15 years old.
Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a participating, paying adult.
Applications for the Silver Bullet Shoot-off will be available on-line at www.homeofthemask.com and at the Oxford Village offices (22 W. Burdick St.).
CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.