David Luckman, England's long range rifle marksman, finds time
Great Britain's David Luckman keeping score at NRA Long Range High Power Rifle Championships in Camp Perry, Ohio
There wasn't much left for David Luckman to accomplish in the world of Long Range High Power Rifle. Representing the Great Britain Rifle team for almost two decades, Luckman has earned almost every honor in the sport. Seventeen consecutive Grand Aggregate crosses in the United Kingdom, a World Palma Rifle Individual Championships, and now — the 2012 NRA Long Range High Power Rifle title.
"To win the overall (NRA) Championship is just brilliant," said Luckman. "I'm very very pleased."
Topping three-time NRA Long Range champ John Whidden by a single point (with an X to spare), Luckman now has an American trophy to add to his collection. A fitting tribute to the days he spent so many years ago finding his way around the Sedgemoor Target Shooting Club.
Starting rifle at an early age in England
Growing up, Luckman started shooting for the same reason most kids his age did anything … because his older brother did.
"I started smallbore at a local club because my brother and my dad did it," he explained. "I really enjoyed the competitive side of it so it went on from there and started fullbore when I was 16. My brother (four years older) already experienced some good success and I was trying to follow his footsteps."
In time he found his focus. Shots became easier, scores became higher and people started to notice. That's when the national team came calling.
"I got onto the junior team that came over to Canada in 1994 and shot for the first time for England in 1996. Made my first junior team when I was 20 and made it every year since."
Over those years, he's completed what most competitors refer to as the Long Range High Power Rifle circuit. Events in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the United States to be exact. Even those exotic locations can grow a little routine over time, so officials do their best to change things up when given the opportunity.
"The Australia Match will be in the West Indies next year so that is going to be a new one. Probably be a one off, but looking forward to go off and participate in that one."
Finding the time … for Rifle, Country and Family
The only thing more difficult then finding a range that'll handle a 1,000 yard shot is finding the time to perfect said shot. Working as an Actuary (a number guy who deals with the financial risk and uncertainty) in Great Britain, my first assumption was that David's rifle time would be limited at best. That was far from the fact.
"My employer provides an extra two weeks off every year to cover representative teams … the are very good on that front," said Luckman. "If you represent your country at any sport then they give you the time. They are very encouraging and supportive in how we get on."
But finding time away from work is only one hurdle in the rifle race. An accomplished tennis player, David also enjoys running, swimming and looking after his 14 month old son.
"Thomas is taking up a fair amount of our time," he said with a laugh. "He's just on the edge of walking without support. Trouble to come."