Old fellows

Rifle

Tapio Säynevirta (FrBGd). Tapio was a true 300 metre shooter although he came to publicity in his early years as an air rifle specialist. He is the first Finn who conquered 600 points in 300 metre prone match – and he did it traditionally with .308 rifle. Tapio was a trustworthy and long-time asset in the teams participating CISM and ISSF championships. He gained team silver medal in the 1st Military World Games (1995 Rome (ITA)), individual silver medal in 300 m prone in the ISSF World Championships (1998), a team silver medal in standard rifle (2001) and an individual silver medal in standard rifle (2003) in European Championships.

Tapio’s personals bests: Free rifle 300 m prone 600, free rifle 300 m 3P 1170, standard rifle 300 m 585 and military rapid fire rifle 568.

Kari Pennanen (SnLt). Kari’s main interests are in prone shooting. So it is natural that he has reached in big bore prone the pretty score of 600 points among six other Finnish shooters. Having been in the military team since 1993 he is absolutely the grand old man of big bore shooting! So, he has gained several podium places in CISM, NMSC and ISSF championships of which there are four CISM team medals in standard rifle and military rapid fire events (1995, 2000, 2006 and 2011). Kari has participated twice in the Military World Games. In European championships he has been in team podium six times both in 10 and 300 meter events. He has gained also many individual medals in prone shooting in the Lapua European Cup. Besides many national medals, he is a multiple Finnish champion in 300 metre shooting.

Kari’s personal bests: standard rifle 584 (2001), military rapid fire rifle 565 (1998), big bore prone 600 (2005), big bore 3P 1165 (2004), small bore 3P 1166 (1998), small bore prone with integers 597 (2005) and with decimals 613,4 (2019).

Tapio Säynevirta (RIP)
Kari Pennanen

Johan Laakso (SWO, 1942-2014). Johan, or Jussi, by how he was usually called was one of the most talented Finnish military rifle shooters ever. He was a member of the Finnish military team almost his whole military carrier, totally 23 years (1966 – 1988), primarily as a shooter and later as a rifle coach.

Jussi participated in CISM World Championships 16 times as a shooter. On the very top of his great success was winning the military rapid fire rifle in CISM in 1977 with then a new CISM record of 550 points. At that time, the Finnish team had Mosin-Nagant rifles with only 5-cartidge-magazine which must be refilled during quite busy shooting time with a special reloader (furthermore there was paper targets and scopes). Furthermore he gained many individual CISM medals: two bronzes in 1969, a bronze in 1973 and a bronze in 1979. In CISM team matches he was a cornerstone for Finnish success and achieved 4 gold medals, 8 silver medals and 12 bronze medals. During his time in the military shooting team Jussi participated all Nordic Military Shooting Championships and Finnish – Russian Multi-sport Events, where he gained lot of individual podium places.

In UIT (ISSF 1980-) civilian shooting Jussi participated in Mexico Olympic Games (1968) being on the 11th place in the free rifle 3-position match 300 m (1135). He also participated in four ISSF World Championships. In Korea (1978) he became a silver medallist in free-rifle 3-position match 300 m (1155) and also a bronze medallist in kneeling position (389). In year 1977 he got a bronze medal in free rifle prone stage 300 m (a part of 3-position match, 396) in the European Championships in Winterthur 1977. But this bronze medal was not an easy issue. There was a tie between all the medallists. They had got the same score of 396. The series were the same. Also tens and nines were the same amount. And what to do then: the medals were decided with the help of ruler – the winner was the one whose last shot was nearest to the very centre of the target. Jussi was not the lucky one and got the third place losing the gold or silver medal only by millimetres.

Furthermore he gained numerous gold medals in Nordic Championships.

In his last years in the military team, Jussi was lucky to compete with his son Arto who was also elected to the military team – and naturally Arto may also have been incredibly happy about this!

Arto Laakso (SnLt). Arto was a true big bore shooter and was in the military team years 1988 – 1998 in a time when the Finnish team changed its rifles from old Russian Mosin-Nagant rifles with large rims to modern .308 Tanner rifles.

Arto participated in the CISM military world championship 1994 (SUI) and in 1996 (SWE). Furthermore Arto succeeded also into regional CISM events, Nordic military championships and Finnish – Russian military multi-sport event where he was multiple medal winner in the military rapid fire rifle match. In civilian shooting he was a team member in 300 metre shooting European Cup in which he won a standard rifle competition in 1992 (577; Skövde, SWE).

Arto’s personal bests: standard rifle 578, military rapid fire rifle 564 (1996), big bore prone 599 (1997), big bore 3P 1159 (1997).

Johan Laakso (RIP)
Arto Laakso

Pistol

Kai Jahnsson (SCGd). Kai is a multitalented shooter mastering wide range of pistol shooting from air pistol to military rapid fire pistol shooting. Besides as an Olympian top shooter he was one of the core shooters of the Finnish military shooting team. He took part in Beijing and London Olympics being also in air pistol final in 2012. He has got a bronze medal in 25 m centre fire team event European Championships 2005 and multiple gold medals in Nordic civilian and military championships. Kai has participated many CISM world championships and military world games in 1999 (Zagreb, CRO) and 2007 (Hyderabad, IND).
 
Kai’s personals bests: Center Fire Pistol 587 (2005, Thun-SUI), Military Rapid Fire Pistol 583 (2004, Elverum-NOR), Free Pistol 563 (2010 Mikkeli-FIN) and Air Pistol 588 (2012 London-GBR).

Kai Jahnsson

Shotgun

Veli-Matti Matikainen (Capt). Veli-Matti is a trap shooter. Since 2013 in the military team he has yet achieved 6th place in 2014 Doha (QAT). Veli-Matti has participated once in the Military World Games. Furthermore, having been in a national team since 2004 he has gained a team bronze medal in junior European championships in Belgrade (SRB) in 2005. He is a double Finnish champion in trap and once in trap mixed team.

Veli-Matti’s personal best in skeet is 120/125.

Miikka Peltonen (BGd). Miikka is a skeet shooter. Since 2013 in the military team he has achieved numerous podium places in skeet shooting in military championships. He was in the Finnish team winning gold medals in Mungyeong (KOR) 2015 and bronze 2016 in Doha (QAT). Miikka has participated once in the Military World Games. Furthermore, having been in a national team since 2005 he has gained podium places in ISSF events. He was number one in Copa El Rey (SPA) 2014. He also has one Finnish championship both in senior and in junior classes.

Miikka’s personal best in skeet is 122/125.

Veli-Matti Matikainen
Miikka Peltonen