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Jim Richards, a competitive shooter from Townsend, set a world record for 10 shots at an enclosed target from 1,000 yards, a feat of long-range shooting that took nearly two months to become official.

Richards set his record for light guns at the Northwest Sectional for the Original Pennsylvania 1,000-yard Benchrest Club, which was held March 29 in Missoula at the Deep Creek Range.

The target was measured, then taken down and sent to the Benchrest Club’s headquarters in Duncannon, Pennsylvania. The record was confirmed via a letter posted May 21 by the parent organization, which was created in 1967.

In the letter from the Benchrest Club, it is noted that Richards’ target grouping measured 2.659 inches — “even smaller than originally suggested.

“The fact that this is the smallest group fired at 1,000 yards in any discipline anywhere is absolutely amazing,” the letter continued. “Your efforts are to be commended.”

Deer Creek Range manager Dan Kurzenbaum brought the letter to the Missoulian this week, after Richards received his trophy — a three-foot tall rifle bullet — at a competition over the past weekend.

Several Montanans show up in the world records list on the web site www.pa1000yard.com, including Tom Mousel and Leo Anderson of Kalispell. Kalispell’s Cody Finch had a target measurement of 3.835 in the light gun 10 shot group in 2006.

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