'Topgun' Hopkinson captures GNRA handgun championship
Stabroek News
December 16, 2003

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Harold `Topgun' Hopkinson marked his return to competitive handgun shooting by carting off the Guyana National Rifle Association's (GNRA) handgun championship at the Timehri Rifle Ranges on December 8.

The Sunday morning's quiet was shattered with the sound of 115 grain, 9 mm Winchester, full metal-jacketed warheads moving at velocities of over 1,200 feet per second, puncturing IPSC targets and the resounding twang of hits on steel poppers.

These sounds were associated with the culmination of a hard-fought GNRA, Handgun Championship, which saw the veteran marksman, Hopkin-son proving that his dominance of the handgun sport of the mid 90's had not diminished with the transitory years.

In the sun and rain, at the Timehri Rifle Ranges, against younger and much fitter shooters, the `Topgun' was consistent, being in the points-paying position at every single stage of the three-week, National Han-dgun Championship.

So too was national handgun captain, Dale Hing, who unwaveringly hounded his former captain at every stage and sometimes surpassed the veteran marksman's achievements. Hing had been last year's runner-up.

Hopkinson was eventually rewarded for his resilience, as he wrested the Handgun Championship Trophy from last year's winner Hemant Narine, who wavered after his spectacular performance in the first shoot with .22 pistols.

Hopkinson went into the last IPSC shoot with a six-point lead over Hing's 24.

After the smoke cleared and the reverberations from the CZ-85B, Bul M-5, Walther P99 and Glock pistols subsided, the `Topgun' was still in front by two points with the handgun captain on 40.

Using the 9 mm CZ-85B combat pistol, Hopkinson made up for his age with accuracy, reliability, consistency and some amount of agility.

The GNRA's top hand -gunners apparently took turns in dominating the three-stage competition. Narine took the first week with the Colt .22 pistol; Hopkinson, the second week with the 9 mm, CZ-85B Combat pistol. On the final shoot, Hing used the 9 mm, CZ-85B combat pistol with an astonishing display of speed and accuracy.

After points, penalties and hit factors were tabulated and deductions disbursed for procedural infractions, Everall Franklin's 15 points earned him fifth place, (Glock 17 pistol); fourth was Hemant Narine, with 16 points (Glock 34 pistol); in third place was Richard Austin, with 19 points (Glock 34 pistol). Handgun captain, Dale Hing scored 40 points (CZ-85B Combat pistol) and Hopkinson scored 42 points. The presentation of prizes for the Fullbore and the Handgun sections will be held this Saturday.

The GNRA Handgun Section would like to thank its sponsors, Woodpecker Pro-ucts, Gaskin & Jackson, Trophy Stall, INDESCO, Herbal Life Distributors, Readymix Concrete, Splash-mins Fun Park, Queensway, Global Marketing, Desinco Trading, C&V Shipping, Merriman's Funeral Home, Swansea, General Marine and Topgun Aviation Security Services for the support in 2003 and look forward to their continued support in 2004.