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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On April 1st, Under very windy conditions, 62 competitors fired the 3×600 match which opened the Berger Bullets SW Nationals at the Ben Avery range in Phoenix, AZ. Eric Stecker and Michelle Gallagher of Berger Bullets, along with Mid Tompkins, kept the match going at a quick but manageable pace as strong and quickly-increasing winds rolled in from the west. Despite a forecast of thundershowers to go with the wind, the sky remained mostly clear throughout the match — it was the wind that gave everyone a hard time as it cycled through a range of 0 mph to 20 mph frequently.
German Salazar (photo above), shooting his .30-06 Eliseo R1 Tubegun, won Thursday’s 3×600 Match with a 592-27X, followed by Peter Church’s 591-30X with another Eliseo Tubegun (B1 in .308) and Jonathan Thornton took third place with the same score of 591-30X. Leo Ahern was the first Master, shooting his .308 to a 587-25X. Mike Toliver won the Expert class at 582-18X, Pete Jend was the high Sharpshooter with a 559-12X and Travis Burian of Wickenburg, Arizona won the Marksman class and the Junior category with a 543-8X. National Guard shooter Ryan Kuhn’s 566-16X was tops in the Master, Service Rifle, Service member category. In F-Class, Nancy Tompkins led the way at 576-17X with John Andres in second with a close 571-11X and Ulo Nigol third with a 565-4X from his Savage 6BR.
The Berger Bullets SW Nationals continues all Easter weekend (Friday through Sunday) with more across-the-course matches at Ben Avery: 80 shots Friday, 100 shots Saturday and 50 shots Sunday.
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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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