Forum member Rick Curtis, a shooter from the Phoenix area, put together an interesting video showing some of the F-Class shooters at a recent club match at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility. Rick notes: “As you can see (hear) at the beginning of the video the first relay was fired in a ‘frisky’ headwind.” (Don’t worry about the awful wind noise — it moderates 35 seconds into the video.) It is interesting to see the different shooting styles, and the wide variety of hardware on the line.
Watch F-Class Shooting Video from Ben Avery Range in Phoenix, AZ
One fellow who watched the video made an interesting comment: “A couple of those shooters sure do a lot of moving around before and after the shot. I shoot sling and jacket and definitely try to minimize my movement. Is minimizing movement as important in F-Class?”
Rick Curtis replied: “I sent some of the individual videos back to the shooters who were in them with some recommendations that included minimizing movement, spotting scope placement, shot routine suggestions and a few other observations.”
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Got plans for October? If you live in the western USA, consider a trip to Phoenix for the CMP Western Games. The 11th Western CMP Games and Creedmoor Cup Matches will be held at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix, Arizona, on 10-19 October 2014. The Western CMP Games Matches run 10-14 October 2014. The Creedmoor Cup Matches take place on 15-19 October 2014. All interested shooters are invited to participate in these unique, national-level competitions. NOTE: Registration for the Creedmoor Cup matches must be done online via www.creedmoorsports.com.
Small Arms Firing School
CMP Rifle Small Arms Firing School offered at during the Western CMP Games in Phoenix, AZ, Friday, October 10th. This course is recommended for all new shooters and anyone that would like to learn gun safety and sound target shooting skills, regardless of previous experience. In this course you will learn about safety, positions, how to load and clear the rifle, how to loop a sling and prepare for practice firing. Rifle SAFS students are required to use the Rock River AR15 commercial rifles issued by the school. Personal rifles are not permitted. Ammunition will be issued for use during practice fire and the M16 EIC Match and coaches will be available to assist students. Junior competitors must be at least 12 years old.
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The wind gods smiled on the shooters at the Berger Southwest Nationals on Thursday. For most of the day, the wind flags were hanging straight down or barely moving. Many shooters managed to go through the 800-yard stage without dropping a point. Conditions got tougher for the 900-yard and 1000-yard stages but it was still a day of low winds and high scores.
Team Grizzly made the most of the good conditions in the F-Open Division. Coached by Trudie Fay, and anchored by 2013 World Champion Kenny Adams, the four-person team shot brilliantly, scoring 1786 with 104 Xs. That beats the existing 800/900/1000 Palma course National record by five (5) points and ten Xs. The previous record, 1781-94X, was set by Team Berger in 2008.
During the match we had a chance to chat with Shiraz Balolia as he was getting his .300 WSM ready for the 1000-yard stage. Since stepping down as the captain of the USA F-Open Team, Shiraz had told us that he planned to shift his priorities, and devote more time to non-shooting activities. But here he was, back in the thick of competition. Shiraz smiled and said “You’re right, I was planning to get away from shooting a bit. But I just couldn’t miss this match … I guess I have the bug”. When a man’s this good at long-range shooting, you can’t keep him away from the firing line for long. Shiraz serves as Captain of Team Grizzly.
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The Berger Southwest Nationals (SWN) have kicked off at the Ben Avery Range in Phoenix, Arizona. Overall attendance has been impressive for this important shooting event. Approximately 275 shooters have registered. On Wednesday (February 5th) roughly 200 shooters competed in a 600-yard Mid-Range event, with three 20-shot matches. The wind clinic on Tuesday the 4th was also well-attended with 130 or so participants.
In addition to the rifle competition (continuing through Sunday), there will be other fun events. On Friday, after the 1000-yard match, there will be a SWAP meet.On Saturday, there will be a Banquet dinner at the Ben Avery Indoor Range.
The Mid-Range match was tightly fought. We don’t have official results yet, but we’re told that Jim Murphy was at the top in F-TR, followed by Lige Harris, Gerry Wiens, Grant Ubl, and Eric Stecker.
Next up is a 4-person Team match (800, 900, 1000 yards) starting bright and early on Thursday. AccurateShooter.com will be reporting directly from the match. Watch the Daily Bulletin for photos from the match and interviews with the shooters.
To learn more about the Berger Southwest Nationals, watch this video featuring footage from the 2013 event. Helpful interviews with last year’s competitors provide useful insights into conditions at Ben Avery. One regular shooter at Ben Avery told us: “On a typical day, when the wind builds it is pretty gradual and progressive. But when it starts to die, it can drop off quickly, with a pretty big change from shot to shot.”
Watch Berger SW Nationals Preview Video
Berger SWN Events Schedule (Thursday – Sunday)
The remaining action starts at 9:00 am each morning, Thursday through Sunday.
Thursday, 6 February 2014, 9:00 AM 4-Man Palma Team Match: 15 shots for record at 800, 900 and 1000 yards.
(Divisions – Palma, F-Open, F-TR)
Practice available to those not shooting with a team.
Friday, 7 February 2014, 9:00 AM – Start of Grand Agg Individual Palma Match: 15 shots for record at 800, 900 and 1000 yards.
(Divisions – Palma, F-Open, F-TR)
Swap Meet – after conclusion of fire at 1000-yard line.
Saturday, 8 February 2014, 9:00 AM Individual 1000 Yard Matches: Two 20-shot matches at 1000 yards. Any Rifle-Iron Sight (Any sight for F-Class shooters). (Divisions – Palma, Any Rifle-Iron Sight, F-Open, F-TR) 4 Man Team Match: 20 shots at 1000 yards. Any Rifle-Iron Sight (Any sight for F-Class shooters). (Divisions – Palma, Any Rifle-Iron Sight, F-Open, F-TR
Sunday, 9 February 2014, 9:00 AM Individual 1000 Yard Matches: Two 20 shots matches at 1000 yards. Any Rifle-Any Sight (Any sight for F-Class shooters). (Divisions – Palma, Any Rifle-Any Sight, F-Open, F-TR)
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A while back, while in Arizona, we headed out to the Ben Avery Shooting Facility, located about 27 miles north of downtown Phoenix on I-17. We were impressed by Ben Avery’s vast range complex, which includes a Clay Target (shotgun) center, 1000-yard High Power range, 100-300 yard Benchrest range, rifle and pistol silhouette ranges, handgun ranges, smallbore range, Running Boar range, and a large, 53-bay, 200-yard main range.
At the main range we ran into Forum Member Troy D., who had a brand-spanking new 6mmBR rifle built by Lester Bruno of Bruno Shooters Supply. While breaking-in his new 28″ Krieger barrel, Troy was using Sierra 70gr Blitz-Kings. Accuracy was impressive — the 70 grainers ripped tight, little knots in the high 2s, low 3s. Though his rifle has an 8-twist barrel, Troy was testing the 70s in preparation for a prairie dog trip next week. From what we saw, those p-dogs should be worried. Troy’s gun was a tack-driver with the Sierra Blitz-Kings.
Troy’s Compact Storage Box (Just $1.50!)
While Troy was cleaning between groups, we noticed he was using a compact little box to hold his jags, brushes and patches. The box was the perfect size for these items. Troy explained: “If you’re just taking one rifle to the range, you don’t need to take a big gear box with stuff for all your guns. Apart from solvent, bore guide, and cleaning rod, this little box holds all I really need to clean my rifle.” Troy sourced the box at Cabela’s for $1.50.
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The Berger Southwest Nationals, one of the biggest shooting events west of the Mississippi, kicks off next week at the Ben Avery Range near Phoenix, Arizona. The event begins with a Shooting Clinic on Tuesday, February 4, and concludes with 1000-yard Matches on Sunday the 9th. The host Desert Sharpshooters Club, and the staff at Berger Bullets, are working very hard to make this the best SW Nationals ever. And if you are interested, there is still time to register. Berger tells us: “It’s not too late to sign up for the 2014 Southwest Nationals! The match runs from Feb. 4-9 at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility. We have a great schedule and prizes.” The weather will be good (it was 74° in Phoenix yesterday), and there will be thousands of dollars of gear on the Prize Table. If you want to join the fun, download the entry form below, and, as soon as you can, send an email to michelle.gallagher [at] bergerbullets.com.
The Berger Southwest Long Range Nationals are held every February at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility just north of Phoenix, Arizona. Berger has partnered with the Desert Sharpshooters Rifle Club and the Arizona Game and Fish Department, resulting in a “must attend” event for long range shooters around the world.
Ben Avery is a truly world-class facility, with 98 firing points, carefully maintained firing lines and plenty of wind flags. As the match sponsor, Berger provides the “extras” – ice chests full of drinks on the firing line, a banquet on Saturday night and awards to the winners, including over $3,500 in cash prizes and over 30,000 bullets in awards.
Here’s a great Slide Show featuring images from the recent Western CMP Games at the Ben Avery Shooting Range outside Phoenix, Arizona. CLICK HERE for full match results. This video slide show features photos by Grant Guess and others. How many of your buddies do you recognize in the photos?
Click Arrow at lower left to start slide show (with music):
The Western CMP Games and Creedmoor Cup Matches were held October 11-20, 2013. As usual, the event was well-attended. The CMP Games featured the Small Arms Firing School, M16 Match, four Garand/Springfield/Vintage Military matches and the New Modern Military match. Other matches include a Carbine Match, a Rimfire Sporter Match, and the popular Vintage Sniper Match. The Creedmoor Cup events included a High Power Rifle Clinic, Creedmoor Cup (2400 point aggregate) Match, 4-Man Team Match, and Creedmoor EIC Match.
The 2013 Berger Southwest Long Range Nationals (at Ben Avery in AZ) have wrapped up, and some divisional results have arrived. (Stay tuned for more complete results — as they are made available.) Congratulations to Grizzly Industrial President Shiraz Balolia, who won the F-Open Division.
The F-Open competition was very close right down to the end, and the conditions were unforgiving. Shiraz finished with a 1226-55X score, one point ahead of F-Open runner-up Freddy Haltom (1225-60X), who had high X-count among Open-classers. We’re told that Shiraz was using a “shoulder-busting” .300 Win Short Mag in Phoenix. We’ve been promised photos of Balolia’s winning rig as soon as Shiraz gets back from Arizona.
The Top 10 F-Open shooters are listed in the chart above. Note, the 9th and 10th best Aggregate Scores were shot by two “Masters”, who out-shot dozens of “High Masters” to make the Top 10 overall. Steven Blair, who placed 8th Overall in F-Open, told us: “When conditions and competitors are as tough as they were in Phoenix, the winners deserve our accolades. It was no accident or luck that they finished as they did.” Forum member Kelbro agreed: “Except for the practice days, this was a challenging week. Double congrats to the top dogs. They earned it.”
In the F-TR division, John Hayhurst shot well throughout the Nationals to finish first with 1210-25X. Runner-up Lige Harris had 35 Xs, but ended six points down, finishing with 1204-35X. James Crofts, a past F-TR National Champion, finished third with 1203-24X. In F-TR Team Competition, the new Michigan F-TR team coached by Bryan Litz proved to be a powerhouse, securing an impressive team win. Shooters were: Al Barnhart (captain), Doug Boyer, Bill Litz (Bryan’s father), and Dale Sunderman. The second- and third-place teams were both USA F-TR Development squads. USA Team Blue grabbed second place, while USA Team Red took third. We’re told that USA Team blue set a new F-TR Palma record on Saturday. However, Team Michigan came back with a big win in Sunday’s 1000-yard team match, securing the Team Aggregate title.
In F-Open division, we’re told that Team UHaul finished first, with great shooting by Matt Davis, Herb Edwards, David Gosnell, and David Mann. Team Tex-Mex was second, with strong performances by Bryan Chatwell, Freddy Haltom, Ben Milam, and Cory Bizzel. Team Grizzly ended up third despite a cross-fire in one match. Team Grizzly is composed of F-Open winner Shiraz Bilolia, Emil Kovan, John Myers, and Tony Robertson.
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It’s February, so it must be time for Berger Southwest Long Range Nationals again. Hosted by the the Desert Sharpshooters at the Ben Avery Range outside Phoenix, this popular event kicked off on February 5th, and runs through Sunday, February 10th. As always, there has been a huge turnout (200+ shooters from throughout the USA and Canada), and the match is very well-organized. We’ll provide complete results when the match is complete, but here are some early highlights…
In F-Open competition, Team Grizzly won the Palma (800, 900 and 1000 yards) 4-person team match at the Berger SW Nationals against some of the fiercest competition in the country. Trudie Fay served as coach and the shooters were Shiraz Balolia (team captain), Emil Kovan, John Myers, and Tony Robertson.
Congratulations go to the USA F-TR Team “Blue” for winning the Palma Team Match. USA Team Blue narrowly edged out an excellent Michigan Team coached by Bryan Litz. The top F-TR shooter of the day was Dan Pohlabel (creator of the FLEX Bipod) who shot an impressive 443-17X, edging Matt Schwartzkopf of USA F-TR Team “Red” who scored 443-14X.
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The complete, final results of the Berger SW Long Range Nationals (at the Ben Avery Range in Arizona) have been posted. You can download all the results from the links at the bottom of this story. In case you missed our previous match report, Trudie Fay was the overall winner in the sling category, Jim Murphy took F-Open Class, and James Croft won F-TR. In team competition, The sling winners were the US National Team composed of Trudie Fay, Bryan Litz, Justin Skaret and Peter Church. In F-Open, the winning team was Team Norma/Berger composed of Larry Bartholome, John Brewer, Danny Biggs, and Jim Murphy. The winning F-TR team was the Arizona State Rifle & Pistol Assn. squad, with Warren Dean, John Chilton, Steve Lockwood and German Salazar. Complete Results are linked below.
This Video by Jim Everson, was shot from the pits at the 2012 Berger SW Nationals:
Michelle Gallagher of Berger Bullets provided this post-match message:
I hope you all enjoyed yourselves at the match and got back home safely. We were so excited that you could all make it, and I’m glad the weather even cooperated!
Thank you to everyone that helped out during the week. There are just too many to list everyone, but the match would not have run as smoothly without you, and we deeply appreciate everything you did. We want to give a special thank-you to Kathy Buell, Jennifer Litz, and Melesia Cisneros for their help. They had no idea what they were getting into when they volunteered to help, but they were invaluable. Also, Matt Schwartzkopf with AZ Game & Fish put in countless hours getting the range ready. He did an amazing job, the range looked beautiful, and we were excited to have him shooting with us! We also want to send a big thank-you to all the companies who donated to the match. We are so thankful for your participation, and I know the shooters were as well.
We’ll be sending out the results CDs as soon as possible, but here are some results for now. I also have them up on the Berger website. We’ll also be posting some photos of the match soon.
Report by German Salazar
The 2012 Berger Bullets Southwest Long Range Nationals fired last week at Phoenix’s Ben Avery Shooting Facility left competitors from all over the US and Canada smiling and ready to return for next year’s event. With over 200 competitors from 40 states and several Canadian provinces, this was truly a national level event and the scores reflected that intensity. However, it wasn’t just about the shooting; as at any large rifle match, renewing old friendships, seeing friends from the AccurateShooter Forum and enjoying time and a few meals with them are just as important.
The week began on Tuesday with a wind reading clinic by Mid Tompkins who knows more about how air moves across a rifle range than just about anyone. Next in line was Wednesday’s 600-yard match, a nice warm-up for the long-range shooting to come. Thursday we got down to business with a Palma team match. The sling winners were the US National Team composed of Trudie Fay, Bryan Litz, Justin Skaret and Peter Church. In F-Open, the winning team was Team Norma/Berger composed of Larry Bartholome, John Brewer, Danny Biggs, and Jim Murphy. The winning F-TR team was the Arizona State Rifle & Pistol Assn. squad, with Warren Dean, John Chilton, Steve Lockwood and German Salazar.
Individual shooting resumed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday as well as one more team match at 1000 yards. Conditions throughout the week were picture perfect as cool mornings gave way to afternoons in the mid 70’s. One of the Canadian shooters mentioned that it was 35 below at home on Saturday while we were in shirt sleeves! The wind was challenging without ever being as vicious as it can be on certain days in Phoenix. More than one Eastern shooter was heard to comment that they had never seen wind as switchy as this. Overall, it tested one’s ability without reaching a level of frustration — just perfect. Trudie Fay was the overall winner in the sling category, Jim Murphy in F-Open and James Croft in F-TR, but many other shooters won cash and bullets from our generous sponsor Berger Bullets as well as many door prizes at the barbeque from Nightforce, Krieger, Leupold, Sierra and many others.
Put this match on your list for next year, it’s well worth the effort. We have 100 firing points (check out the photo below) and we’re ready to put them all to use!
All-Star Instructors Lead Clinic
A training clinic was held on Feb. 7th (Day 1), with a true all-star cadre of instructors. The clinic started with Nancy Tompkins instructing sling shooters on proper position/shooting style, while Darrell Buell and Larry Bartholome did the same for F-TR and F-Open shooters. Mid Tompkins then conducted a lengthy wind clinic which featured a series of drills at 1000 yards to observe specific wind trends. Many shooters commented on the benefits of the exercise as well as the opportunity to get some ‘trigger time’ before the main event. Finally, Bryan Litz (photo right) gave a class on long-range ballistics.
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Carl Bernosky and Tyler Rico Top Field at Creedmoor Cup
Congratulations to Carl Bernosky (Match Rifle) and Tyler Rico (Service Rifle) — winners of the 2011 Western Creedmoor Cup, held October 19-23 at the Ben Avery Range outside Phoenix, AZ. Carl shot 2376-101X while Tyler tallied 2344-83X overall. Tyler was also the High Junior shooter for the match. If you see these guys, give them a pat on the back — they did a great job. Other Creedmoor Cup Category Winners were: Matthew Pitchon (High Senior, 2285-40X) and Sara Rozanki, (High Woman, 2325-56X).
CMP Western Games Winners included:
Western Games Garand Match: Brian Dobish, 284-6X
Western Games Springfield Match: James Denovchek, 285-8X
Western Games Vintage Military Match: Glendale Rutherford, 289-5X
Three Gun Aggregate Results: Glendale Rutherford, 852-12X
What the High Power Clinic Will Cover
The free shooting clinic will be conducted by team coach Ken Roxburgh, and Team Remington/Bushmaster members. The clinic will offer formal classroom instruction, practical application, dry and live fire training, and demonstrations by some of the world’s leading high power service rifle and match rifle competitors. Clinic Topics will include:
Fundamentals of High Power Shooting
Positions — Standing, Sitting, Prone
Trigger Control and Aiming
Courses of Fire
Effects of Weather
Weapon handling and safety
Competition Data book
Rifle Care and Cleaning
Assembly/disassembly of Match Guns
How to Sign Up for the FREE High Power Clinic
Interested shooters can register for the Team Remington/Bushmaster High Power Rifle Shooting Clinic at the CMP website. There you can learn more about the clinic and download the Registration Form. Participants are encouraged to bring their shooting equipment and rifles; ammunition is not required for the course. To prepare you may want to read our article on the Basics of High Power Competition.
If you’re interested in watching a real pro shooting Service Rifle, here’s former National Champion (now Creedmoor Sports G.M.) Dennis Demille, shooting 300-yard Rapids from the prone position position. This was filmed at last year’s Southwest Nationals. You’ll see him adjusts his sights while looking through the spotter. Then watch how calm and steady Dennis stays from shot to shot. That comes with years of practice and training.
How about a bolt gun? This next, high-def video was taken by our friend Jonathan Ocab a competitive shooter and talented photographer from Southern California. It shows Dennis Demille shooting the 200-yard Rapids (sitting position) with a Tube 2000 bolt-action gun. Notice the quick reload after he empties his first magazine.
Editor’s Note: Both Remington and Bushmaster are Freedom Group Companies. The Freedom Group is owned by Cerberus Capital Management, a private holding company. Now, please read carefully, because there is much mis-information floating around the internet currently. Georges Soros, either individually or as part of an investment group, does NOT own or control Cerberus. Repeat George Soros does NOT own or control Cerberus. Nor does he (or his investment companies) own or control any of the Freedom Group of companies. Got that?
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The Western CMP Games/ Creedmoor Cup start very soon. From October 15-23, 2011, the Arizona State Rifle & Pistol Assn. will host the 8th Western CMP Games and Creedmoor Cup at the Ben Avery Range in Phoenix, AZ. The Western CMP Games Matches run from October 15 to 18. The Creedmoor Cup Matches take place on 19-23 October. All interested shooters, from novices to High Masters, are invited to participate. All entrants should pre-register. However, walk-ons will be allowed as range capacity permits.
The Western CMP Games program includes clinics, individual rifle matches, Team Matches, Rimfire competition, and CMP rifle sales. The 8th Western CMP Games kick off with a New Shooter Clinic on 15 October followed by a 200-yard Garand-Springfield-Vintage Military Rifle Match that afternoon. On Sunday, 16 October, there will be an As-Issued M1 Garand EIC Match in the morning where shooters who do not have any EIC points can earn introductory “4-point legs.” That afternoon, there will be a Rimfire Sporter Match. The Rimfire Sporter Match is a low-key event that caters to all ages and skill levels.
On Monday, 17 October, there will be a second Garand-Springfield-Vintage Military Rifle Match that morning followed by an M1 Carbine Match that afternoon. The Western CMP Games Matches conclude on Tuesday, 18 October, with a third Garand-Springfield-Vintage Military Rifle Match, and Vintage Sniper Test Match. For more info on the CMP Games, contact the CMP at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (888) 267-0796, ext. 1114.
Creedmoor Cup Clinic and Matches
The Creedmoor Cup matches will take place on 19-23 October, starting with a High Power Rifle Clinic offering lectures, demonstrations and dry line firing. Creedmoor Cup matches include a Zeroing Match, an EIC Match, a 2400 Aggregate Match and a Team Match. New This Year: The Creedmoor Cup will not longer be a one-day, 80-shot (800 point) match. It will not be a 240-shot (2400 point) Aggregate fired over three days. The 50-shot team match will now be fired on Sunday prior to the start of the EIC Match.For more information on the Creedmoor Cup Matches, contact Dennis DeMille at demille [at] creedmoorsports.com or call (800) 273-3366.
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The 8th Western CMP Games and Creedmoor Cup Matches will be held at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix, Arizona, on 15-23 October 2011. The Western CMP Games run 15-18 October while the Creedmoor Cup Matches follow on 19-23 October. This event typical draws hundreds of shooters who compete with a wide variety of rifles — Match Rifles, Service Rifles, Vintage Military Rifles, and Rimfire Sporters. All interested shooters, whether new or experienced, recreation-oriented shooters or national championship contenders are invited to participate in these unique, national-level competitions. CLICK THIS LINK to register for the match. This event is co-sponsored by the Civilian Marksmanship Program and Creedmoor Sports.
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The Western CMP Games/ Creedmoor Cup are less than two weeks away. From October 16-24, 2010, the Arizona State Rifle & Pistol Assn. will host the 6th Western CMP Games and Creedmoor Cup at the Ben Avery Range in Phoenix, AZ. The Western CMP Games Matches run from October 16 to 19. The Creedmoor Cup Matches take place on 20-24 October. All interested shooters, from novices to High Masters, are invited to participate. Event registration deadline is October 13, 2010.
The Western CMP Games kick off with a Garand-Springfield-Military Rifle New Shooter Clinic from 8:00 am – 11:00 am on Saturday, 16 October. The clinic includes lecture, demonstration and dry fire position work while emphasizing what new shooters need to know to shoot these matches. Gary Anderson, CMP Director Emeritus, will be the lead instructor. After the clinic the first Garand-Springfield-Vintage Military Rifle Match will be fired in the afternoon. Hornady will then present a Reloading Clinic from 5:00 – 7:00 pm.
Plenty of Garand Action, Plus Rimfire Sporter Match Debuts
On Sunday, 17 October, there will be an As-Issued M1 Garand EIC Match in the morning where shooters lacking EIC points can earn introductory “4-point legs.” That afternoon, there will be a new event on the schedule, a Rimfire Sporter Match. The Rimfire Sporter Match is a low-key event that caters to all ages and skill levels.
Shooting opportunities on the third day, Monday, 18 October, have also been expanded. There will be a second Garand-Springfield-Vintage Military Rifle Match that morning followed by an M1 Carbine Match that afternoon. The Western CMP Games Matches conclude on Tuesday, 19 October, with a third Garand-Springfield-Vintage Military Rifle Match, and Vintage Sniper Test Match.
Creedmoor Cup Clinic and Matches
The Creedmoor Cup schedule begins on Wednesday, 20 October, with an Advanced Clinic. The Creedmoor Cup Matches include a Practice Match, a 4-Man Team match, the 80-shot Creedmoor Cup Match and an EIC Match. Both events feature special hospitality events and prize awards. For more information visit the Western Games Webpage, or contact Christina Leveck-Roguski, (419) 635-2141 x1114, croguski [at] odcmp.com.
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This weekend, March 27-28, the Arizona Game and Fish Department hosts its Outdoor Expo 2010 at the largest public shooting complex in the nation — the Ben Avery Shooting Facility, located just west of Interstate 17 on Carefree Highway. At the Expo, you can try out many different shooting disciplines. Plus there will be archery classes, mounted (horseback) shooting demos, wildlife info sessions, and many other outdoor activities. This is a very popular event — the 2009 Expo drew over 35,000 visitors. Both Admission and parking are FREE.
Outdoor Expo visitors will be able to test the latest firearms from companies like Glock, Smith & Wesson, and Ruger. Visitors can also try a variety of specialty shooting disciplines, such as cowboy action shooting, black powder, tactical pistol, and silhouette shooting.
Shotgun fans can shoot skeet, trap or sporting clays at Ben Avery’s enhanced Clay Target Center. Kids can shoot .22s and air guns while learning more about firearm safety. Guests (of all ages) can take an archery class or try out “3D Archery” on a walking course through the desert. There will be many exciting demonstrations at the 2009 Outdoor Expo. Visitors can witness a Dillon Aero mini-gun demonstration or even shoot a vintage Gatling Gun.
– Match Report by German Salazar
This past week 89 shooters competed in what is traditionally the biggest winter Palma match in the USA — the 2009 Arizona Palma State Championship. Held at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix on December 4-6, the event included Palma, F-Open and F-TR classes. Ben Avery’s High Power range has 100 firing points to 1000 yards and is renowned for challenging conditions and excellent match administration.
Trend Towards Heavy Bullets
Chatting with competitors, we noted an increase in the use of bullets heavier than 155 grains, with the Berger 185 being the most frequently mentioned alternative, although the Berger 175 was also in use as were Sierra and Berger 190 grain bullets. Competitor frustration with the availability of Varget and its ever-changing burn rate are driving an increased use of H4895, IMR 4320 and IMR 4064 in the Palma. Tubeguns were also much in evidence, being a Western favorite with large number of them on the line in the hands of the California and Arizona shooters. Gary Eliseo was on hand as always and had a good performance throughout.
Match Kicks Off With Tough Conditions
The match opened Friday, December 4, as all Palma matches do, with the 800-yard stage. Relay after relay battled cold north winds. Over half the competitors were High Masters, yet only two shooters fired scores of 150 — Tom Whitaker of California and Phil Hayes of Arizona. As the morning wore on and the competitors moved back to 900 and 1000 yards, the wind eased off a bit and scores improved with 150s becoming more common. At the end of the day, Whitaker’s 450-30X topped the list, followed by Bryan Litz of Berger Bullets and Kelly Bachand from Washington.
On Saturday morning, the desert chill remained, but the flags hung limply, raising hopes for high scores. Those expectations were realized as Bud Solis, a retired Seattle police officer, put up a sterling 450-25X to lead the day. Close behind (all with 449 scores) were Bachand, Gary Rasmussen (WA), German Salazar (AZ), and Randy Teissedre (CA). The final day, Sunday, conditions began relatively calm but progressively got windier with frequent direction changes. No one was able to master the conditions for a 450, but the mother-daughter duo from Prescott, AZ, Nancy Tompkins and Michelle Gallagher, came closest, each shooting a 449 with Nancy’s 29X just edging out Michelle’s 26X. David Littlefield (WA) and Jim O’Connell (CA) also shot 449s on Sunday.
Gallagher Wins Match, with Whitaker and Bachand One Point Behind
Michelle Gallagher posted a 3-day tally of 1345-81X, giving her a one-point victory over runner-up Tom Whitaker (1344-91X) and third place Kelly Bachand (1344-79X). Note that Tom had ten more Xs than Michelle, but came up just one-point shy. Bryan Litz finished fourth overall, with German Salazar in fifth (on a tie-breaker over Michael Storer). All the Top Ten are listed, with scores, in the table below. In Team Competition, the US Team coached by Gary Rasmussen compiled a 1787-95X, edging second-place Team Berger (1783-96X) and third-place Bald Eagles Grand Seniors (1782-75X).
Top Ten Grand Aggregate
1. MICHELLE GALLAGHER: 1345-81X – MW
2. TOM WHITAKER: 1344-91X – HiSR
3. KELLY BACHAND: 1344-79X – HM
4. BRYAN LITZ: 1343-91X – HM
5. GERMAN SALAZAR: 1339-68X – HM
6. MICHAEL STORER: 1339-68X – HiJR
7. FELIX SOLIS: 1338-59X – HM
8. ROBERT GUSTIN: 1337-64X – HM
9. ALLEN SPIKER: 1335-50X – HM
10. JIM O’CONNELL – 1332-62X – HM
The F-Open Class was won by Rick Curtis of Phoenix at 1328-67X with Darren Sucato, another tough Phoenix shooter in second place. F-TR went to John Chilton with his factory Savage F-TR rifle putting up an impressive 1308-45X.
There are weekly matches in Phoenix for across the course High Power, Prone, F-Class, and Smallbore. A complete schedule is found on www.desertsharpshooters.com. The Arizona state association website ASRPA.com also has useful information.
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