Raised in Sweden, Gunnar Westling was the “top shot” in 1927 in a Swedish regiment of twelve hundred men. He immigrated to BC in 1929 and by 1936 had resumed his interest in shooting. His skill in both the small and full bore rifle, as well as the handgun, made him one of the very best BC marksmen. He won over 100 medals and honours in handgun competitions between 1946-59. In 1960, he stood out among all marksmen of the British Commonwealth, winning the coveted “Queen’s Prize” in Bisley, England.

Westling was named BC small bore (.22 rifle) champion in 1947 after winning the BC Rifle Association (BCRA) Grand Aggregate. He represented the province at the 1952 national matches in small bore, handgun, and full bore categories. In 1956, Westling won the BC handgun championship. He won the province’s Lieutenant Governor’s Match an unprecedented four times in 1956, 1958-59, and 1968.

Westling was target rifle champion of BC in 1956, 1958-59, 1964, and 1966, while finishing runner–up in 1957, 1961-62, and 1968. He won the Grand Aggregate of the national match in Ottawa in 1966. That same year, he won the Bisley Aggregate to become the Canadian target rifle champion.

Westling qualified to represent Canada on the Bisley Team at the Commonwealth Games in Bisley, England seven times in 1954, 1960-61, 1967, 1970, and 1972-73.

In 1960, the one hundredth anniversary of the National Rifle Association, he won the Queen’s Prize at Bisley, becoming the champion marksman of the Commonwealth. He received letters and telegrams of congratulations from H.R.H. the Queen, the Prime Minister of Canada, the Premier of BC, and civic leaders.

Westling helped the Canadian team win the Overseas Team Match in 1970 and 1972.