Four Pending NRA Records Set at Missoula’s Deep Creek Range
Last month, the Montana Rifle and Pistol Association (MRPA) hosted the 3rd Annual Northern Rockies Long Range and F-Class Regional at the Deep Creek Range near Missoula, Montana. The match was a sell-out for the third straight year, and three competitors set pending NRA Long Range and F-Class National Records. If the pending records are recognized by the NRA, that will make a total of eight (8) NRA National records set at Deep Creek over the last three years.
This year, the forest fires and resultant smoke conditions in the Intermountain West cast a ominous haze over the event. However, the haze did not prevent outstanding performances by many shooters in both F-class and sling divisions.
All National Guard Shooter, SSG John Coggshall
SSG Coggshall is a member of the Connecticut Army National Guard’s 1-102 Infantry battalion and a member of the All National Guard marksmanship unit. Coggshall used an Eliseo Tubegun set up as a Palma rifle and used factory-loaded ammunition. Coggshall shot great, finishing with a 1091-59X out of a possible 1100 points. This should be a new national record for the Long Range Regional Aggregate in the Service Category. The previous record was set in Missoula by Allen Spiker, former member of the All National Guard team. While Coggshall is new to the Palma game, he has a lot of experience shooting smallbore as well as service rifle. He has been on a winning Whistler Boy team, and has been the High Junior during the President’s 100 at Camp Perry. His Team Coach described him as a hard-holder who can hold half the X-Ring with his iron-sighted Palma rifle.
Ken Nelson also had a record setting performance. Nelson fired a very impressive 1096-71X, as he dropped only four points to smash previous national record in the Senior Category. With this score he not only established a new NRA national record, he squeezed out the tournament win over second place finisher Allen Spiker. Both shooters fired 1096s, but Nelson surpassed Spiker by X-count. Nelson reported that he received some advice from his friend, German Salazar, before the match, and Nelson took that advice to heart. He noted that his thought process between shots really helped him on the line. Nelson splits his time between his native British Columbia and Phoenix, AZ where he shoots at Ben Avery. Nelson only began shooting long range four years ago, after many seasons as a smallbore shooter.
LTC Donald Erpenbach – Montana ARNG
LTC Erpenbach set two pending F-TR records at the match. Erpenbach shot exceedingly well on day one of the tournament. In the first day’s Palma course Erpenbach shot a 442-14X besting the previous record held by USAMU shooter Sherri Gallagher. Erpenbach was on a roll and in the separate 1000-yard match he fired a 194-7X, edging ahead of the previous record. Erpenbach really put things together well for this match.
SGT Micheal Palagi – Montana ARNG
SGT Palagi received the MRPA’s new “Top M-24” shooter award. This award recognizes Montana Soldiers who shoot an issued sniper rifle with issued M118LR ammo. Palagi’s recent performance was outstanding and he is deserving recipient of the first Top M-24 award.
Deep Creek Range
The Deep Creek Range in Missoula, MT is one of the nicest places to shoot in the Intermountain West region. The range is located in the mountains within a few minutes drive of Missoula, and there is camping on-site. When conditions are good at Deep Creek, records get broken. The MRPA host 3 weekends of shooting there every year. To learn more about shooting at Deep Creek, contact Jamey Williams at jameydan[at]gmail.com.
The MRPA wishes to thank the 2012 Northern Rockies Sponsors:
Bruno’s Shooter Supply
Carl Boettger Scope Mounts
Competition Machine – Gary Eliseo
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