September 22nd, 2019

Sunday GunDay: Joe Hendricks Jr.’s CMP Cup-Winning Tubegun

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Photography by Meghan Hendricks.

This story is about a great shooter, Joe Hendricks Jr., and his Eliseo RTS Tubegun, chambered in 6mm Competition Match. With this versatile rifle, Joe Hendricks Jr. won the 2019 CMP Cup Aggregate Title for Match Rifles. Joe comes from a long line of talented marksmen. His father AND his grandfather are elite competitive shooters. His dad has been a National Champion, and all three generations have shot together, shoulder to shoulder, on the Remington Rifle Team. Like grandfather, like father, like son.

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Joe says: “I think it’s pretty cool that there have now been two major Across the Course Championships won by a Hendricks using a Gary Eliseo chassis, one by me this year, and one in 2014 when my father (Joe Hendricks Sr.) won the NRA National Championship.”

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Photography by Meghan Hendricks.

Joe Hendricks Jr.’s Rifle — Eliseo RTS Chassis, Rem 40X Action, Krieger Barrel
Joe’s rifle is built on a Competition Machine RTS Target Model chassis. This Tubegun features a Remington 40X action with Pacific Tool & Gauge Bolt and Jewell trigger. The scope is a Leupold 6-18x40mm. The barrel is a Krieger chambered in 6mm Competition Match. Joe explains: “The 6mm Competition Match is a cartridge that my dad came up with. It is basically a .243 Winchester with a 31° shoulder.”

If you look carefully in the photo below, you’ll note the silver-toned, adjustable butt-plate. That’s an upgrade Joe added: “I did a small modification to the stock, where I put on an Anschutz buttplate instead of the standard one Gary Eliseo uses. This Anschutz hardware provides a little bit more adjustability.”

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Here Joe Hendricks Jr. fires at 200 yards from the standing position.

The Standing Position — Why It’s Critical to Match Success
Joe told us: “As far as shooting strategies and training methods go, I shoot a lot of standing practice — at least 50 shots per session. I still train the other positions of course, but I believe if you start your day off with a great standing score, it really makes the rest of the day easy because then you don’t feel like you’re playing catch-up the whole time.”

Joe explains: “When I’m shooting standing, I shoot in a manner very similar to the way that Carl Bernosky does. He’s written a few articles about the standing position. He always talks about making sure the shot goes off inside his hold, and I’m the same way. I don’t try to do too much. I just let the gun do its thing and when/if it stops in the Ten Ring, I shoot the shot. If it doesn’t, I don’t.”

About the CMP Cup Two-Day Course of Fire
The CMP Cup is a two-day match comprised of two, 1000-point Aggregates, for a 2000-point Grand Agg. Each day, the competitors fire 100 shots total from the 200, 300, and 600 yard lines. The match starts with 20 shots slow fire standing at 200 yards. Next are two, 10-shot, rapid fire strings in 60 seconds from the sitting position. Next are two, 10-shot strings in 70 seconds prone at 300 yards (rapid fire prone). Each day’s course of fire concludes with two, 20-shot sequences of slow-fire prone at 600 yards.

Joe Hendricks Jr. CMP Cup Eliseo tubegun RTS 6 Competition High Power

6mm Competition Match Cartridge — Slower Powder Yields Better Barrel Life
My dad was shooting a 6XC for a while and was getting tired of going through almost two barrels a year. So, he came up with the 6mm Competition Match. Like I said, it is a .243 Winchester with a 31-degree shoulder. This delivers the same (if not better) velocity as the other popular 6mm cartridges, but we get almost double the barrel life because we increased the case capacity, so we can shoot a slower burning powder. The barrel I took to Camp Perry that won the CMP Cup had over 3700 rounds on it when I was finished. [EDITOR: Take note readers! Most 6mm barrels are toast after 2500 rounds.] Granted it definitely needed to come off at that point, but it obviously was still shooting well enough to win!

Accurate Load with Peterson Brass, Berger Bullets, and Vihtavuori N165
The two loads I shot all week were Berger 108gr BT behind Vihtavuori N165 in Peterson Cartridge Company brass for 200 and 300 yards, and then Berger 115 VLD behind N165 in Peterson brass for 600 yards. Both loads are easily going over 3000 FPS. I try to only use the best components for reloading, so that’s why I go with Berger, Vihtavuori, and Peterson. Obviously Berger and Vihtavuori quality are pretty known, but I believe Peterson is right up there with Lapua[.] I’ve visited the Petersen factory many times. I’m always blown away by the time and effort Peterson puts into everything.

Winning Marksmanship — the Mental Game
The other big thing I’ve been focusing on lately is my mental game. In order to be at the top of a sport, regardless of the sport, the athlete has to have a solid mental approach. For me, I’ve learned that my key is confidence. A good shooting buddy, who was with me the first day of the CMP Cup, suggested I was arrogant because I kept telling him I was going to win. Then I told him it was confidence not arrogance. If I was confident in my ability, I did not think there was any way I could lose. [Editor: To help build confidence and visualize success, we recommend With Winning in Mind, by Lanny Bassham, an Olympic gold-medal winning marksman.]

All in the Family — Three Generations of Hendricks Marksmen

Joe’s father, Joseph Hendricks Sr., has been a National Champion rifle shooter. Joe’s grandfather, Gary Hendricks, is also a talented marksman. In fact, all three men — grandfather, father, and son — shot together on the Remington Rifle Team. Joe says that the shooting sports have helped build strong family bonds. He and his father enjoy shooting together, and competing against one another: “I learn so much just by watching my dad… shoot. Even though I have been competing for 10 years now, I’m still incredibly new to the shooting sports compared to my dad. My father is always there to help.”

“I feel very privileged to have grown up in the family that I did, with not only my father as a competitive shooter, but my grandfather as well. I definitely would not be the person I am today, let alone the shooter, without either of them. At one point, all three of us were on the Remington Rifle Team. I’ve had the opportunity to shoot team matches with all three of us on one team, as recently as this past summer.”

“Initially when I began shooting competitively, I was putting a lot of pressure on myself. I wanted to be as good a shooter as my dad and grandfather. I was trying so hard that it was really affecting my scores negatively. Then one year, I told myself I was just going to have fun, and not worry about match scores. That year was the year I really started to win things, and shoot some good scores.”

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“When my father won the NRA National Championship in 2014, I was so proud, but along with being proud, all it did was make me more motivated. Ever since I started shooting, I wanted to win a National Championship, but after he won, it just fueled my fire more. There is a bit of father/son rivalry. It’s a lot of fun if we are shooting right next to each other at the same time. We just give each other crap about shooting a bad a shot, or shooting a lower score by a point or an X.”

“My dad started shooting when he was around 10, so he has a vast amount of knowledge compared to most people, especially me. He is always there to help whenever I have a question on anything firearm or shooting related. To this day, whenever I’m done with a match, I always talk to my dad. He always has time to listen to what I have to say.”

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December 9th, 2014

Get Poker Chips in CMP Airgun “Aces” Postal Match

Postal match CMP air rifleDo you shoot an air rifle or air pistol? Want to test your skills against other shooters across the country? Then sign up for a fun new “Aces” postal match in January. The CMP’s inaugural “Aces” postal match offers airgun marksman a nation-wide competition with Air Rifle, Air Pistol, and Para-Air Rifle/Air Pistol events. Match Registration opens on January 1, 2015 for the initial January-March (Q1) match period.

COURSE OF FIRE
All 3×20 courses of fire are 20 shots prone, 20 shots standing, and 20 shots kneeling in integer format while all other rifle courses of fire are 60 shots in decimal format. All PPP courses of fire are 40 shots with the rest of the pistol events in 60 shots, both in integer format.

cmp postal match air rifle pistol aces 2015

Special “Aces” Event Poker Chips — One Per Quarter
Every competitor in the CMP “Aces” Postal Match will receive a specially- designed participation poker chip. There will be a different color each quarter, so collect all four!

Quarterly matches can be shot on Orion paper targets or electronic targets. Orion targets must be requested from the CMP and will be mailed to participants. All Orion targets must be returned for scoring at CMP. Current National Standard Three-Position Air Rifle Rules and USA Shooting Air Rifle and Pistol rules apply. CLICK HERE for more information and schedules.

Modern competition air rifles are decidedly high-tech. Check out this Feinwerkbau:
CMP Air Rifle feinwerkbau

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June 19th, 2014

How to Become a Distinguished Air Rifle Shooter

Report based on Story by Kyle Jillson in NRAblog.
Air Rifle Shooters — Do you dream of winning the NRA Indoor National Championships or competing in the Olympics some day? All that may be a few years off, but you can work on becoming an NRA Distinguished Shooter in Sporter and Precision Air Rifle right now…

Making Distinguished in Air Rifle shooting is a goal that can be accomplished by a skilled, dedicated shooter in a few seasons. The discipline you learn along the way will help your overall accuracy with just about any gun. Two separate medallions and lapel pins can be earned by each individual who successfully completes the requirements for both 3-Position Precision and Sporter. Shooters who earn both awards will also receive a Double Distinguished pin.

Steps to Become Distinguish Air Rifle Shooter
So how do you become distinguished? First, you need to be an NRA member. Placing in the top-scoring 10% in a designated tournament (e.g. Indoor National Championships, National Junior Air Gun Championships) will earn a step toward an NRA Distinguished Air Gun Award. Each competitor who makes the same numerical score as the last score in the high 10% will be awarded a step toward NRA Distinguished Air Gun Award. Inner tens will not be used as part of the numerical score to break ties.

It takes a minimum of four (4) steps to be presented with an NRA Distinguished Air Gun Award and you can only earn up to two steps each year. At least one step must be earned for competition in the NRA National Air Gun Championship and Training Summit. Additionally, the steps for 3-Position Sporter Air Rifle or in 3-Position Precision Air Rifle cannot be earned simultaneously. If you’re trying to eventually get both, 3-Position Sporter Air Rifle must be completed first before you can complete steps in 3-Position Precision Air Rifle.

Get started working towards this award today! Click the following links to review PDF info sheets: Sporter Air Rifle and Precision Air Rifle.

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April 21st, 2014

Lauren Phillips wins Women’s Smallbore Junior Olympic Title

Based on Report by Lars Dalseide for NRABlog.com
I first read about Lauren Phillips in 2012. Back then she part of a spitfire quartet known as the West Seattle/Vashon Thunderbirds. Fresh off her team’s NRA National Junior Sectional victory, she decided to start taking a more serious approach her shooting career.

Lauren Phillips Nebraska

Since then, she hit the road for matches in Fort Benning, Georgia, Anniston, Alabama, Camp Perry, Ohio, and Colorado Springs, Colorado. What did that travel catalog get her? How about a scholarship to the University of Nebraska and a spot in the National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships. Once she earned that Junior Olympics spot, well, let’s just say she’s been difficult to stop. So much so that she walked away with the overall Women’s Three-Position Rifle title yesterday.

To get a full breakdown of Phillip’s performance at the National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships, take a look at the press release from USA Shooting:

Phillips Dominates Women’s Three-Position Rifle at NJOSC
No one could catch Lauren Phillips. Before she even stepped on the line for the Women’s Three-Position Rifle Final at the National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships (NJOSC), Phillips (Seabeck, Wash.) already had the title in the bag.

Phillips, a freshman at the University of Nebraska, built a dominating eight-point lead over the closest competitor in the 66-shooter field. Champions at this year’s NJOSC are determined through a modified selection format similar to that of USA Shooting’s National Championships: Points are awarded points earned in each day of competition with Nebraska freshman Lauren Phillips takes a moment at the National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships additional points awarded for performance in the Final – Eight for first, seven for second and so on. Phillips finished fifth in the Final, but it didn’t really matter.

“The Qualification was just like I was planning for – build an early lead so it takes the pressure of the Final,” Phillips said. “That’s just what I did. Went in Day One with a personal best and Day Two two points lower, but stayed consistent…I went in gunning for a record Final but it didn’t happen today. There were some excellent performances by my fellow collegiates.”

Lauren Phillips Nebraska

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February 4th, 2014

Registration Opens for 2014 CMP Youth Training Camps

Do you have a young family member who enjoys shooting? A CMP summer camp is a great way to provide school-age kids a solid start in position shooting. Camps are offered around the country, during the summer months. Camp registration is now open. There are many options for this year’s camps, but it’s important for interested youngsters to apply soon. Don’t delay — some locations will fill-up quickly.

CMP summer camp 2014 sign-ups

Each summer the Civilian Marksmanship Program sponsors a popular series of Junior Air Rifle Camps and Clinics to teach intermediate and advanced rifle marksmanship skills to junior shooters and their adult leaders. CMP Summer Youth Camps are three-position, air rifle camps that run for a week (with the exception of the Outreach Clinics and the Advanced Standing Camp). Click the links in the boxes below for specific information about each camp. CLICK HERE for general CMP Camp INFO Page

Camp

Location

Camp Dates

1

Anniston, AL- CMP South

2-6 June

2

Anniston, AL- CMP South

9-13 June

3

Camp Perry, OH- CMP North

9-13 June

Clinic 1

Willard, MO- Springfield Area (Outreach Clinic)

16-18 June

4

Anniston, AL – CMP South

16-20 June

5

Camp Perry, OH – CMP North

16-20 June

Clinic 2

Port Orchard, WA – Seattle Area (Outreach Clinic)

7-9 July

Stand 1

Phoenix, AZ – Ben Avery (Advanced Standing Camp)

10-12 July

6

Anniston, AL – CMP South

14-18 July

7

Phoenix, AZ – Ben Avery

14-18 July

8

Anniston, AL – CMP South

21-25 July

9

Kerrville, TX

21-25 July

10

Anniston, AL – CMP South

28 July-1 Aug

11

Fountain, CO

28 July-1 Aug

Stand 2

Anniston, AL – CMP South (Advanced Standing Camp)

4-6 Aug

Camp Costs
The tuition the CMP charges for these camps does not begin to cover the total cost of operating the camps; the CMP subsidizes the camp program through its budget for the camps, but participants are still responsible for a cost share.

2014 CMP Junior Rifle Camp Fees:
$245 (athlete); $50 (adult) for Three-Position Air Rifle Camps
$175 (athlete); $50 (adult) Advanced Standing Camp $150 (athlete); $30 (adult) for Clinics

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September 2nd, 2013

USA Shooting 300M National Championships Held at Fort Benning

Report and Photographs by Tony Chow
On August 12th to 16th, USAMU’s Fort Benning range hosted the 2013 USA Shooting 300m National Championships. This match, held every four years, nominates athletes to represent the United States at the 300m World Championships, due to be held in 2014, in Granada, Spain.

300m Championships Fort Benning

300m Shooting — A World-Class Challenge
300m shooting is a challenging discipline. With much smaller scoring rings than NRA targets, the 300m target can bedevil even the most experienced High Power shooters, especially in tricky wind conditions. While European 300m shooters typically use expensive rifles from the likes of Gruenig & Elmiger (G&E) and Bleiker, less costly American-made equipment has proven to be every bit as competitive. Case in point are the free rifles used by the USAMU team, all of which are built from American target actions such as Panda and BAT, fitted with Krieger barrels, and glass-bedded into Anschütz stocks.

The competition took place in unseasonably mild weather for this time of the year in Georgia. As the popularity of 300m shooting is limited in the United States, 21 shooters in total took part in four days of competition. Despite the light participation, the athletes included some of the best international rifle shooters in the country. The relaxed and club-like atmosphere belied intense and high-level competition on the firing line.

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Electronic targets record all shots as 10, 9, 8, etc., with the X-count being the first tiebreaker. Each whole number score is accompanied by a more precise score that ranges from 0-100. An official 10, for example, could be anything from 91 (on the edge of the ring), all the way to 100 (dead center). The more precise score is NOT used officially for score keeping in ISSF competition, but could be in the future, as already is the case in 50m prone and 10m air rifle.

300m Championships Fort Bennign

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3P Course of Fire and Results
The 3P events occupied the first two days of competition. Athletes shot in three positions–kneeling, prone, and standing — using free rifles, mostly chambered in 6BR. Under ISSF rules, men fire 40 record shots in each position, while women fire 20 record shots in each position. Each event is repeated on the second day, and the two-day aggregates determined the winner. In Men’s 300m 3P, USAMU’s Joseph Hall, who had never shot a 300m match before, beat his more experienced teammates Joseph Hein and Michael McPhail to take gold. Among women, USAMU’s Erin Lorenzen edged out 2008 World Championship veterans Reya Kempley and Janet Raab for the gold.

The prone and Standard Rifle events followed in the second half of the competition. The 300m prone match is shot by both men and women, using same free rifles as in the 3P events. The Standard Rifle match is another 3-position event, except contested only among men, using rifles strictly limited in external shape and adjustability. Cooler temperatures and intermittent rain made conditions trickier to read than during the first two days. In men’s prone, USAMU’s Eric Uptagrafft took gold, edging out Unit teammates Hall and McPhail. In women’s prone, Erin Lorenzen once again came out on top over Reya Kempley (photo below) and Michelle Bohren.

300m Fort Benning National Championship Tony Chow

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In the Standard Rifle event, AMU’s Joseph Hall continued his good form and took another gold over teammate Joseph Hein. Equally noteworthy is the third place finisher Steve Goff. Goff, an AMU Hall of Famer who now competes as a senior in USAS matches, beat back much younger challengers to earn the third and final slot in the 2014 US Men’s Standard Rifle Team.

Cartridge Options for 300m Shooting — by Tony Chow
The cartridge of choice in 300m is 6mmBR Norma (aka 6BR). The AMU shooters all shoot Norma Diamond Line 6BR factory ammo, loaded with moly-coated 105gr Berger HPBT bullets, with the notable exception of prone match winner Eric Uptagrafft, who shoots handloads with HBN-coated bullets in his 6mm Dasher. Civilian shooters mostly shoot the 6mmBR as well, also preferring Berger bullets. I was the odd man out shooting a Gruenig & Elmiger (G&E) chambered in 6.5×47 Lapua. That cartridge was actually the result of a collaboration between G+E and Lapua to create an alternative to 6BR, though in the 300m world, it never managed to catch on. There was one shooter using 6.5-284 and another shooting a wildcat cartridge called “.260 BMR (boomer)”.

6BR 6mmBR Tony Chow 300mI’m not the authority on the pros and cons of various calibers. I doubt that most world-class 300m shooters concern themselves too much with these matters. The 6BR is simply good enough. It holds well inside the 10-Ring, is relatively economical, and offers extremely long barrel life when using mild factory loads. G+E rates its chrome-moly, cut-rifled 6BR barrels as capable of lasting 7,000 rounds. The AMU gunsmith, Glenn Sulser, told me that the AMU’s policy is to re-barrel at the 4,500-5,000 round mark.

Longer cartridges such as 6.5×47 and 6XC are supposed to offer easier feeding, but in my observation, the nose-heavy nature of 6BR is, in practice, not a major problem for 300m shooters. One of the advantages of 6.5×47 is even longer barrel life, and that’s the reason I went for this caliber myself. But looking back now, the greater recoil and extra cost in brass and powder are probably not worth it.

Factory Ammo vs. Handloads — Cost Considerations
One of the advantages the AMU shooters enjoyed over the civilians is that the Unit marksmen had an unlimited supply of ammo, and therefore could shoot as many sighters as they wished. In a 15-minute sighting-in period, it was not uncommon for AMU shooters to fire 20+ sighter shots, just as they do in smallbore. We civilians had to settle with under 10 sighters, in order to leave enough for the match.

Unless you are filthy rich or have someone else paying for the ammo, reloading is definitely the only way to go. A reloaded round costs under 50 cents a piece. The European factory ammo costs nearly $3 a round these days (as sold in the USA).

CLICK Photos to See Full-Screen Images:

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July 19th, 2013

Three-Way Shoot-Off in Smallbore Prone Match at Perry

Breaking News: SPC Hall Wins Camp Perry 3-P Championship
Port Clinton, Ohio – With a final score of 2383-171x, Specialist Joseph Hall of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit captured the 2013 NRA Smallbore 3-Position Rifle title in Camp Perry, Ohio. Besting fellow U.S. Army Marksmanship teammate Jason Parker by a total of three points, this is Hall’s first overall title at the National Championships.

The Smallbore 3-Position Championships consists of two separate phases — Metallic Sights and Any Sights. During each phase, shooters fire their smallbore rifles from the standing, kneeling, and prone positions. Out of a possible 2,400 points, Hall dropped a mere 17 points.

Story based on report by Lars Dalseide for NRABlog
The first match this Friday (19 July) at the NRA National Smallbore 3-Position Championships in Camp Perry was one for the history books. The first match, shot prone with “any sights”, ended in three-way perfection. For not only were three shooters tied for first, they were tied with a perfect score of 400-40X (“X” is a bullseye).

Camp Perry Joseph Hall Prone Smallbore Championship

“Not something you see every year,” said Match Director H.Q. Moody. “Not something you see for a lot of years.” Perfect scores meant there was a chance to chase the National Record. All you have to do is keep hitting bulls until you miss. Nothing like carving your name into a little bit of NRA history, aye? For one of these three shooters — Reya Kempley, Joseph Hall (of the USAMU), and Michael McPhail — immortality was in reach.

Camp Perry Joseph Hall Prone Smallbore ChampionshipBut the weather gods intervened. As Kempley, Hall and McPhail got ready for the the shoot-off — lightning struck, quite literally. As lightning flashed and thunder roared, the shoot-off was delayed. With officials calling for a fifteen minute break, rangemasters, spectators and staff scattered for shelter. When the match resumed (Kempley barely made it to the line in time), the three competitors went at it. All three had early misses (nines instead of tens), so there would be no new record. Kemply was off her game, finishing third, but the two men finished with identical 199-19X scores — just one shot off perfect.

Hall was awarded the match by application of an NRA tie-breaker rule — on the basis that Hall’s one “miss” (i.e. not scoring a bullseye 10X) occurred earlier in the shoot-off’s record string than did the single “miss” by McPhail. The thinking behind this rule is that it is more difficult to shoot consecutive 10Xs later in the match.

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May 31st, 2013

USA Shooting National Rifle and Pistol Championships June 3-9

USA Shooting National ChampionshipsThe USA Shooting National Championships for Rifle and Pistol will be held June 3-9, at the home of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) in Fort Benning. More than 500 competitors will vie for national titles in rifle and pistol disciplines. This year’s National Championships serves as a World Cup selection match with the top-three finishers in each Olympic event open class earning a berth in the upcoming World Cup in Granada, Spain in July.

Many talented athletes will visit Fort Benning next week, including 2012 Olympian and Prone National Champion Michael McPhail and Olympic and USAMU teammate Eric Uptagrafft. 2012 Olympians Jason Turner and Keith Sanderson will be returning to defend their titles in Men’s 10m Air and 25m Rapid Fire Pistol. On the women’s side, 2012 Olympian Sarah Scherer looks to repeat as National Champion in 10m Air Rifle. Other standouts include National Rifle Team members Emily Holsopple, Sarah Beard, and Amy Sowash.

USA Shooting National Championships

More information can also be found on the USA Shooting website (USAShooting.org) by clicking on the ‘Match Information’ link located under the ‘Events’ tab. Look for scores on USA Shooting’s match results page following each competition. Photos will be posted on USA Shooting’s Flickr photo gallery.

CLICK HERE to download the complete 2013 National Championships Schedule (XLS format).

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April 22nd, 2013

Ryan Anderson Wins NJOSC Smallbore 3-P and Prone Titles

Alaska Ryan Anderson NJOSC rifle smallbore

Story based on report by USAShooting.org
Alaska Ryan Anderson NJOSC rifle smallboreThe Alaska-Fairbanks rifle shooting program has produced many great champions, such as Matt Emmons and Jamie (Beyerle) Gray, both of whom went on to medal in the Olympics. (Jamie won the women’s 3-P 50m rifle gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics). Based on his recent performance at the 2013 National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships (NJOSC), Ryan Anderson may be the next great world-class shooting talent from Alaska-Fairbanks.

At the 2013 Junior Olympic event, Anderson swept both men’s smallbore (.22 caliber) events — he won both the Three-Position and Prone titles. Combined with his silver-medal finish in the 10m Air Rifle event, Anderson proved to be one of America’s best young shooters — a rising star.

Dominant 3-P Performance
Anderson’s dominance was showcased in the Three-Position event where he walked into the event finals with an 11-point lead over Dan Geer. Anderson added 1.2 points to his lead, finishing the 10-shot final as the only competitor to shoot over 100 (101.1) in the final.

All Photos from USAShooting.org
Alaska Ryan Anderson NJOSC rifle smallbore

The smallbore prone event was a tight battle between Anderson and Air Force rifle shooter David Higgins. Going into the prone final, the two young men were tied — having both shot identical scores of 594 and 597 in each of their two relays. They’d follow that up with identical 105 scores in the finals. So the prone event came down to a ‘sudden death’ tie-breaker. Tied after 130 shots, the match came down to a 131st tie-breaker shot for gold. Anderson shot a 10.1 to win, while Higgins managed a 10.0 for second place. West Virginia’s Patrick Sunderman took third, 8.4 points behind.

Alaska Ryan Anderson NJOSC rifle smallbore

Also to note in the Men’s Rifle events, Kentucky’s Cody Manning and Anderson’s UAF teammate Tim Sherry finished the competition as the event’s only three-event finalists. Manning finished fifth (Air), sixth (Prone) and seventh (3P). Sherry finished seventh (Air) and earned a pair of fifth-place finishes in the smallbore events.

CLICK HERE for complete 2013 NJOSC results (PDF File).

Alaska Ryan Anderson NJOSC rifle smallbore

Alaska Ryan Anderson NJOSC rifle smallbore

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December 7th, 2012

New ISSF 2013-2016 Rules: Finals Start from Zero, and End in Head to Head Duel for Gold

ISSF Rule ChangesIn November, the ISSF Administrative Council approved new ISSF rules calling for major changes in ISSF and Olympic Shooting Sports events. Starting in 2013, all Finalists will start with zero scores and there will be elimination rounds, ending with a final two-shooter duel for the Gold medal (the loser of the duel gets Silver). The new Finals procedure represents the ISSF’s first major format change since the introduction of finals in 1986. The new Finals format will be used in all 2013 ISSF Championships.

This rules were changed to make shooting events more “spectator-friendly”, attract media coverage, and engage a larger fan base. It is hoped that the new format, ending in a duel, is more appealing and easily understandable. The new ISSF rules contain new Finals formats for all Olympic shooting events mandating that ALL finalists start from zero. This means that qualification scores will not be carried into the Final anymore, making the scoring system immediately understandable for spectators. Furthermore, all Finals feature eliminations, and end with duels between the two best athletes to decide the gold and silver medals. The new 2013 Rules have been published on the ISSF website, ISSF-sports.org.

Other Shooting Rule Changes to Be Implemented
The new ISSF Rules also include the separation of sighting and match firing in 10m and 50m rifle and pistol events, a new position order for 50m Rifle 3-Position events, and a provisional test of decimal scoring for 10m Air Rifle and 50m Prone Rifle events. The Final for the 50m 3-P Rifle event will become a true 3-Positions Final, not a one-position Final like it used to be. And new time limits will require shooters to make more rapid position changes in future 3-position rifle Finals. Both 25m Pistol Finals will use hit-miss scoring to encourage more spontaneous spectator reactions.

ISSF Big Shots Praise Finals Format Changes
“The shooting sport has always been a leading sport in the Olympic movement. And with the new finals we made an important step forward to keep that leading position,” said ISSF President, Mr. Olegario Vazquez Raña.

ISSF Sec. Gen’l Franz Schreiber concurred: “It was time to change….The ISSF has always been open to innovation, and we are proving it once again. All sports must adapt to the digital era of technology and media. The time has come to adopt new [formats] which fulfill these objectives.”

Legendary USA Olympic marksman and ISSF Vice-President Gary Anderson observed that the rule changes will present challenges: “We will have to work hard to make this work. But our sport will benefit from this new, appealing format.”

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March 11th, 2012

TCU Wins 2012 NCAA Rifle Championship (Smallbore + Air Rifle)

TCU Wins NRA National Rifle ChampionshipThe TCU rifle team used a dominating effort in air rifle to erase a five-point deficit to claim its second national championship in the last three seasons. TCU’s top-scoring Air Rifle shooter, Sarah Scherer, finished third in the air rifle individual finals, which was won by another lady shooter, West Virginia Mountaineer Petra Zublasing. Congrats to Petra!

In addition to the Team National Championship, the Frogs took home the air rifle title after firing a 2,353, topping West Virginia’s team score of 2,350. Kentucky finished the smallbore competition on day one in first place, but the KY Wildcats couldn’t hold off the TCU squad. TCU’s “Horned Frogs” fired a 2,353 in air rifle to record an impressive 4,676-4,661 overall victory over the defending champion Wildcats. Alaska-Fairbanks took third place overall in the team competition behind TCU and Kentucky.

Final NCAA Rifle Championship Team Rankings:

1. Texas Christian University (TCU)
2. Univ. of Kentucky
3. Univ. of Alaska – Fairbanks
4. U.S. Military Academy (West Point)
5. Univ. of Texas El Paso (UTEP)
6. West Virginia Univ.
7. Jacksonville State Univ.
8. Univ. of Nevada – Reno
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February 13th, 2012

Shooter Profile: Rodrigo Rosa — A Rising High Power Star

Rodrigo RosaRodrigo Rosa is a rising star in the world of High Power shooting. Though he’s been shooting competitively for only four years, he is already a top contender at the national level. In 2011, the young marksman, who now lives and works in New Hampshire, was right up with the leaders at the NRA National High Power Championships. At Perry, Rodrigo finished second in the Across-the-Course phase and finished third in the Long Range National Championship. He was also on the winning 2d Amendment match team with Norm Houle. Over the last couple of years, Rodrigo has lead the field at New England High Power events. He was New Hampshire State Champ in 2010 and 2011, Massachusetts State Champ in 2011, and Mid-Range (and Across-The-Course) Vermont State Champion in 2009. Rosa is also a two-time NE Regional Across-the-Course Champion, winning titles in 2008 and 2011. That’s an impressive shooting resume for a young man who shot his first High Power match in 2008, and had to borrow money to get his first real match rifle.

Rodrigo tells us: “I had a good year in Camp Perry in 2011. My goal was only to perform well in the across-the-course event, so taking second place after Carl Bernosky by only 3 points and taking third place in the Long Range event was a real treat.”

What was the “secret” of Rosa’s meteoric rise from rookie shooter to podium performer at Camp Perry? Rodrigo replied: “Key factors? I would have to say dry-fire practice, and working on consistency and the ‘mental game’. I spent many hours dry-firing last winter, particularly working on my off-hand position. Despite such training my technique was still flawed at the beginning of the year. I could dry-fire very well but the results did not show on target. I believe that my ability to finally build a mental sequence that allows me to perform the same movements time-and-time again, on demand, made the greatest difference on my results.”

Interview with Rodrigo Rosa — Born to Shoot

We had the opportunity to chat with Rodrigo. He told us how he got started in competitive shooting. He then discussed his shooting techniques and his reloading methods. At our request, Rodrigo offers some tips for new sling-shooters. Rosa also revealed his preferences in hardware and shooting gear.

Rodrigo Rosa

AccurateShooter: Rodrigo, tell us about your background. How did you get involved in shooting?

Rosa: I grew up on a farm in Brazil. When I was about 11 years old my mom bought me an air rifle, and I later inherited my grandpa’s Winchester .22LR. I hunted many rabbits and ducks with that rifle until I was 17 years old when my studies became more important. I traveled to the USA in late 2004 to finish my Veterinary clinical training at Cornell University, where I met my wife-to-be. We got married in 2005 and moved to California for internships. It wasn’t until early 2007 when I decided to buy a rifle and join a gun club. All I could afford was a simple .308 hunting rifle. With the .308, I tried (with limited success) to hit small metal silhouettes at 600 yards. Despite my limited success I decided to educate myself about the shooting sports, predominantly by reading books by David Tubb and Nancy Tompkins, as well as foreign publications.

My wife Kate and I moved to New Hampshire in 2007, when I decided to take a personal loan to buy a better rifle, suited for High Power competition. I joined the Nashua NH Fish and Game Association and started to work on my skills. In late 2010 I met Norm Houle who became a good friend and gave me extra motivation to stay in the game.

AccurateShooter: What are your strengths and what are the areas where you need improvement. What training methods do you use to improve those weak points?

Rosa: My strengths are my ability to concentrate, attention to detail and perseverance. The areas I tend to work on the most are my mental systems. I know I am able to shoot a perfect score in any yard line and shooting position, so I spend most of my time coming up with ways to make my shooting sequence as meticulous and repetitive as possible. I believe I still have a lot of work to do….

AccurateShooter: What are the best and worst things about competing at Perry?

Rosa: 2011 was my second year competing in Perry (I also started the match in 2009 but had to leave early for a family issue). I had one of the best weeks of my life! Perry is a wonderfully beautiful and challenging range, and the friends I had the pleasure to share my time with were the highlight of the trip. From previous experience, I would say that the heat and humidity are the worst things
about Perry, but 2011 gifted the competitors with amazingly pleasant weather.

Rodrigo Rosa
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AccurateShooter: Rodrigo, do you have any tips for novice High Power shooters?

Rosa: Start by investing in good equipment — buy quality and you will buy it only once. Seek the advice of successful shooters. All truly good shooters will be glad to share their “secrets”, for it is only worth winning when all competitors can shoot their best. Develop a safe, reasonably good load for your cartridge and quit messing with it! If you already have an accurate rifle your time is much better spent working on your hold than on developing loads. Be ready! Develop checklists, plans, mental sequences. The less you can worry about, and the more prepared you are for adverse situations at the firing line, the better your chances will be.

AccurateShooter: Speaking of load development, tell us what load you shoot, and what methods you use to create accurate ammo.

Rosa: I shoot the 6mmXC cartridge Across-the-Course and Long-Range (except for Palma, of course). I use Federal 210M primers, Norma brass, Hodgdon 4350 powder, Sierra 70gr bullets for 200 yards and DTAC 115gr bullets from 300 to 1000 yards. My loads are: 39.5 grains H4350 with the Sierra 70gr; 37.5 grains H4350 with DTAC 115gr for 300 yards; and lastly, for Mid-Range and Long-Range, I use a stout H4350 load with the DTAC 115s. (Editor: Start at 37.0 grains H4350 and work up with the 115s; Rodrigo’s long-range load is near max).

The most important steps of my reloading are accurate load weighing (I weigh ALL loads) and bullet selection. I select all the bullets I shoot from 600 to 1000 yards by bearing surface and length. I do not spend any time doing elaborate load testing (and re-testing). All I care about is having a reasonably accurate load that functions smoothly in my rifle.

Rodrigo Rosa
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Rodrigo RosaAccurateShooter: Tell us about your shooting coat and sling. Do you have any advice concerning coat fit and sling adjustment?

Rosa: I currently wear a Monard shooting coat. Proper fit is fundamental for anyone who wishes to be competitive in any category of position rifle shooting, and the folks at Monard certainly have got that down. My advice to anyone who is going to invest hard-earned money in a coat is to make sure that the maker uses at least 15 different measurements of his/her body. Anything less than that is not acceptable in my opinion. I also prefer the stiffness and coolness of canvas over leather. Leather tends to mold better to ones body but softens and shrinks when wet. Since High Power shooters must often shoot in the rain I believe that canvas is a more durable and stable material. For a sling I always used the Superior Shooting Systems Heart Breaker Sling. This is an extremely well-made sling crafted to last many decades. It is important to cut the new sling to fit one’s arm diameter so that the “hinge” is located between the arm and the hand. I did not know this important “trick” for the longest time until David Tubb called my attention to it at Perry last year.

Rodrigo Rosa

AccurateShooter: You shoot a Tubb 2000 match rifle. Tell us the features of the T2K you really like, and explain how you set up the sights and buttstock for different positions.

Rosa: The Tubb 2000 rifle is the only rifle I have ever shot Across-the-Course. It is an extremely user-friendly gun that truly allows the shooter to extract all that a competitive target rifle can offer. I used to have only one buttstock and was therefore forced to make adjustments between shooting positions. Now I have three buttstocks individually set up for each position — a major asset in my opinion. My off-hand buttstock is probably the least orthodox of the three. It has a good deal of added weight to help balance the gun and a very narrow buttplate. I like the narrow buttplate because it fits my small shoulder better. This plate is, however, kept mostly flat (very shallow curvature) in order to comply with NRA rules (less than 1/2 inch depth).

Canting — I truly enjoy the ability to cant the T2K rifle to fit my body. Anyone who watches me shooting seated will notice that I use a great amount of canting in that seated position. Canting is a major asset and can greatly improve most shooter’s position by increasing comfort. The key thing with canting is you must be consistent with the amount of cant you use (hint: learn how to use a bubble level).

Forearm — I have shortened the tubular handguard/fore-end of my rifle in order to improve balance as well. People occasionally ask me: Didn’t you get nervous about cutting such an expensive rifle? (I had taken a loan to buy the rifle and it wasn’t even paid for yet). My answer was “Not at all!” My philosophy is that if something does not fit you or does not do the job for which it was intended, then you MUST act on it. It is pointless to have a rather costly piece of machinery if it does not lead to 10s and Xs.

Sights — I use a Warner #1 rear sight and a “Right Sight” in the front. I currently use the “Houle Tube” sight extension tube (bloop tube) made by Norm Houle. This bloop tube has been a major improvement. It lets me have a short, balanced gun for off-hand and a long gun for sling-supported positions. I must admit that I did not believe these extension devices would repeat zero until I tried one. The Houle Tubes are incredible. These extensions come in 2″, 4″ and 6″ lengths and repeat zero flawlessly every time.

Gunsmithing — Dick Beaudoin from Derry, NH has done most of the customization work on my rifle. I want to give him credit. His patience and attention to detail has made all the difference.

Editor’s Comment: We thank Forum member Rodrigo Rosa for taking the time to share his knowledge with our readers. He is a very talented, yet humble young shooter who works diligently on his game. We have no doubt that one day we will see Rodrigo standing on top of the podium at Camp Perry. Boa sorte Rodrigo, we wish you 10s and Xs and continued success…

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December 7th, 2011

Gift of a Lifetime — A Smallbore Match Rifle from MT Guns

MT Guns target rifles Anschutz WaltherMany readers will be considering purchasing a rimfire rifle this season for a young family member, or grandchild to use as his/her “first gun”. Of course you can source a 10/22 or other bargain-basement firearm from Walmart, but why not acquire a rifle your boy or girl can use for a lifetime? If you get a high-quality, used bolt-gun, you’ll be providing a rifle that will deliver years of shooting enjoyment, and that will remain competitive as a young shooter’s skill level advances over time.

Where can you find a very high-quality, match-grade rimfire rifle at an affordable price? You can spend weeks watching the auction boards, or you can save time and money by contacting MT Guns in California. Run by Mac Tilton, MT Guns has the nation’s largest selection of quality used rimfire match rifles.

MT Guns target rifles Anschutz WaltherVast Inventory of Target Rifles
Mac, owner of MTGuns.com, has hundreds of “previously owned” rimfire rifles in inventory, including scores of Anschütz models. Most have model 54 or 64 actions in prone or position stocks. Mac also stocks many BSA Martini and Walther match rifles. For a young shooter Mac recommends an Anschütz model 64 action rifle or a model 1407 with a 54 action. Another good choice, according to Mac, is the Walther KK ISU model. Mac’s gunsmiths can cut down the buttstocks of these rifles to fit young marksmen.

Rifles Sourced from Europe
In recent years, Mac has acquired hundreds of match rifles from Europe. Among these were a couple dozen Anschütz prone rifles that are essentially “as new”, still “in the wrap”. Most of the rifles have seen more use, however. For more info, call Mac at (805) 720-7720, from 10 am to 5 pm, Eastern Time.

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July 22nd, 2011

NRA Smallbore Championships Kick Off with 3-Position Events

Metallic Sights Standing Competition Video
Yesterday, 21 August, marked the opening of the Smallbore 3-Position Competition at the NRA Championships in Camp Perry, Ohio. The video below shows some of the shooters during the standing segment of the Metallic Sight portion of the smallbore championship events.

Standing Position Shooting
This week, smallbore competitors compete in three different positions: Prone, Standing, and Kneeling. Here are images from the standing portion of the event.

Prone Shooting
Here is a slide-show from the prone segment of the Smallbore three-position tournament at Camp Perry. These photos were taken on 21 July, during the first relay.

Images provided courtesy the NRA Blog, used by permission, all rights reserved.

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July 2nd, 2011

Indiana Hosts NRA National Metric Championships Mid-July

Smallbore competitors — mark your calendars for July 15 through July 19. That’s when the 2011 NRA National Metric Smallbore Championships will be held at the Wa-Ke’-De Range in Bristol, Indiana. Practice Relays will be held on the 15th. With Position shooting scheduled for July 16-17 and Prone for July 18-19, this event is a great way to tune up your marksmanship skills prior to the Smallbore Championships at Camp Perry which kick off on July 21st.

Wa-Ke'-De Range Smallbore

The Second Annual NRA Metric Smallbore Championships are limited to the first 200 competitors. You can still register now by contacting H.Q. Moody at 703-267-1475 or HMoody@nrahq.org. Don’t procrastinate — anyone attempting to sign up after July 8th will have to do so at the Statistical Office at the Chief Wa-Ke’-De’ Range. The Jameson Inn in Elkhart, Indiana is the host hotel. Mention the National Metric Championships to receive a special rate.

CLICK HERE to download 2011 Metric NRA Metric Championship Official Program
(36-page program contains schedules, courses of fire, sign-up info, even a map to range.)

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June 26th, 2011

CMP News: Air Rifle Championships and Facebook Launch

‘Tis the season for Air Rifles at Camp Perry. The NRA National Junior Air Gun Championship at Camp Perry just concluded yesterday, June 25th, 2011. Photos from the event are displayed in the slide show below (courtesy the NRA Blog).

National Junior Olympic 3-Position Air Rifle Championships
Today, June 26th, the National Junior Olympic 3-Position Air Rifle (3PAR) Championships commences. The event will run for six days, finishing July 1st. The Junior Olympic Tournament will be held at the CMP Marksmanship Center (North) at Camp Perry. The CMP will provide special LIVE coverage for the 3PAR Junior Olympic event. Live target images and results will be available on the CMP website at http://clubs.odcmp.com/cgi-bin/report_matchResult.cgi?matchID=7132.

CMP Joins Facebook
The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) now has an official Facebook Page. There you’ll find news, match reports, photos, plus the latest updates in CMP Programs and Sales. You can also link to events if you have your own personal Facebook page. CLICK HERE to visit the CMP’s new Facebook Page.

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March 7th, 2011

After Battling Cancer, Matt Emmons Is Named USA Shooting Athlete of the Month

When Olympian Matt Emmons wasn’t on the firing line at the 2010 International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup Final in October, the shooting community took note. Emmons was in New York battling thyroid cancer and recovering from a surgery that removed his entire thyroid. After his surgery, Emmons competed in the 2010 USA Shooting Winter Airgun Championship and reached the podium each day in Men’s 10m Air Rifle.

In February, Emmons won the 2011 Rocky Mountain Rifle Overall Championships. With that gutsy performance, Emmons served notice that he is back, and he’s the man to beat. Emmons set a new USA Shooting National Record with 1188 points in Men’s 50m Rifle 3P qualifier. Moreover, Emmons finished the three-position match with a 19.6 point margin over the silver medalist. His final score was 1188 points in day one, 1179 points in day two and 101.6 points in the final for a total of 2468.6 points. He also topped the competition in Men’s 50m Rifle Prone with 1303.6 total points. Emmons also took gold in the Men’s 10m Air Rifle event with 1295.3 total points.

Emmons was named the match’s Overall Champion after winning all three events in the Rocky Mountain Rifle Championships and finishing an impressive 27 points ahead of the next competitor. National Rifle Coach Major Dave Johnson said, “Emmons continues to build towards the spring World Cups; he’s had an incredible tournament and has worked very hard in recovery.” Performances such as Emmons’ deserve to be recognized, which is why Matt Emmons is the ELEY/USA Shooting Athlete of the Month. We congratulate Emmons and wish him continued success as he prepares for his first ISSF World Cup of the season in Sydney, Australia, March 21 to 30.

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January 5th, 2011

CMP Sets Dates for 2011 Summer Camps

CMP Youth Summer Air Rifle CampThe CMP has recently posted its 2011 schedule for its CMP Summer Youth Rifle Camps (see chart below). The CMP Summer Rifle Camps are primarily designed for junior shooters participating in three-position air rifle. These popular five-day camps have been a staple of the CMP Summer line-up since 2000. Registration opens on 17 January. Cost is just $225 for each junior shooter, a fee kept low through CMP camp subsidies.

CMP Youth Summer Air Rifle Camp

CMP Youth Summer Air Rifle Outreach ClinicCampers receive classroom instruction by top air rifle experts, and personal attention on the range from established collegiate athletes. National Rifle Team Members and Olympians contribute to the camp curriculum. For the third straight year, Sommer Wood, a collegiate shooter at Clemson, will be Camp Director.

Just like 2010, all full-length three-position air rifle camps will take place at the CMP North and South ranges, in Port Clinton, Ohio and Anniston, Alabama respectively. There will also be a three-day Advanced Standing Camp and several Outreach Clinics at various locations in the country. But note: All camps and clinics will be commuter only — the CMP removed the program’s housing option in 2010.

CMP Youth Summer Air Rifle Outreach Clinic

Outreach Clinics in Four States Supplement Summer Camp Offerings
To reach a wider base of young shooters, the CMP will also be offering summer Outreach Clinics, in addition to the scheduled Camp programs in Alabama and Ohio. In 2011 Outreach Clinics will be held in Texas, Arizona, South Dakota, and New York.Registration for Outreach Clinics opens April 1, 2011.

For more information regarding the 2011 Summer Camps please visit the CMP homepage, www.odcmp.com and click on the Summer Rifle Camps link. You can also contact Sommer Wood at swood [at] odcmp.com.

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December 28th, 2010

5th Annual Camp Perry Open for Air Rifles and Air Pistols

Camp Perry OpenThe Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) invites air rifle and air pistol shooters to the 5th Annual Camp Perry Open. This year’s match will include a 3-position air rifle competition, an international air rifle (all standing) event, a pistol course of fire, and junior clinics. The 3-day match will be held January 14-16, 2011 at the CMP Marksmanship Center in Camp Perry, Port Clinton, Ohio. Visit the Camp Perry Open webpage for complete information including rules, fees, event schedule, and match descriptions/courses of fire. You can also download (and print) the Camp Perry Open Match Program (PDF) for future reference. This includes rules, schedules, match descriptions, registration info, gear lists, and even directions to the CMP range.

Camp Perry Open air rifle

The U. S. National Team coaches, Maj. David Johnson and Sergey Luzov, plan to bring some National Team members to shoot in the International event. The Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) is also sending some of their best to shoot in the International standing course of fire event. Members of many top NCAA rifle teams will attend as well. This is a great opportunity to see some of the best shooters in the USA compete.

Camp Perry Air Rifle

Special Junior Clinic
On Saturday afternoon, 15 January 2011, there will be a clinic for a maximum of 50 school-aged junior
shooters. The clinic will run from 2:30 – 5:30 PM. On-the-line training will be provided by the members of the U. S. National Development Team, as well as USAMU Team members. The culmination of this event will be a 20-shot standing competition. This was a very popular event in 2010, so register early!

What to Bring
In addition to your air rifle, you’ll need a Clear Barrel Indicator (CBI). You will not need spotting scopes because the match will be fired on MEGAlink Electronic Targets and the exact shot locations are shown on electronic monitors at each firing point. (Isn’t technology great?) Shooting mats are provided at the range, but you may bring your own. Shooters using precision air rifles should bring them along with their shooting jackets and other equipment. Also, bring your own pellets. The CMP will have air tanks and CO2 available at the range. Please bring your own adapters.

HOW TO REGISTER (Registration Closes January 1!)
To register, log on to the CMP’s Camp Perry Open Registration page. Competitors over the age of 18 must complete and sign a CMP Affidavit and Liability Release prior to competing at Camp Perry. Shooters under the age of 18 must have a 2011 Parental Permission Form completed prior to competing at Camp Perry. These Release Forms may be submitted to Katie Harrington at: CMP, P. O. Box 576, Camp Perry OH 43452, or fax it to 419-635-2573. If you have questions call Katie at 419-635-2141 ext. 1131, or email kharrington [at] odcmp.com. NOTE: The last day to register is January 1, 2011. (In hardship situations, a late registrant might be accepted, but this isn’t guaranteed.)

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July 22nd, 2010

Camp Perry Smallbore Position Championships Commence

With the firing of a cannon, the 2010 Smallbore Position Championship commenced on July 22, 2010. Today, the 22nd, competitors will shoot the Metallic Championship, on the 23rd the Any Sight Championship will be held, and the team matches will run on Saturday the 24th. Over 300 shooters will compete for the Frank Parsons Memorial Trophy. In years past, juniors have comprised around 70% of the total competitors. This year junior shooters make up 85% of the competitors. That’s a good sign for the future of the sport.

YouTube Preview Image

This report came from the NRA Blog which will provide scores, photos, and videos in the days ahead. Above is a video from the 2009 Smallbore 3P competition at Camp Perry.

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