As an Amazon Associate, this site earns a commission from Amazon sales.











August 30th, 2021

SSG Amanda Elsenboss Wins National High Power Championship

Amanda Elsenboss 2021 High Power Champion championship Camp atterbury service rifle National Guard USAMU

Hail the new Champion — SSG Amanda Elsenboss is the 2021 NRA High Power Rifle National Champion. Amanda secured the High Power title with a Grand Aggregate score of 2386-133X. This is a major achievement for Amanda. In winning the coveted High Power title, Amanda is now just the third female to earn this honor, along with Nancy Tompkins and Nancy’s daughter Sherri Gallagher. And we believe this is the first time a woman won the High Power title shooting a Service Rifle in all matches.

Amanda Elsenboss 2021 High Power Champion championship Camp atterbury service rifle National Guard USAMU

Elsenboss, formerly with the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, now competes with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard Team. She is classified as a High Master in NRA High Power. Finishing second overall was SSG John Coggshall of the Army National Guard with a score of 2380-125X. Coggshall, like Amanda, shot a Service Rifle. Kenneth Lankford, shooting a Match Rifle, finished third with 2379-104X.


CLICK HERE for Full High Power Championships Results »

The match was held August 22–28 at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. On her Facebook Page, Amanda posted:

“Today was a great day. After four long, hot days on the range I won the 2021 NRA [High Power] Rifle Championships. Thank you to everyone for the support and encouragement along the way. Congratulations to John Coggshall for coming in second overall and second Service Rifle, and to Kirk Freeman for being third Service Rifle. It was some great shooting by the Guard… and everyone really making the last day count.”

Amanda Elsenboss 2021 High Power Champion championship Camp atterbury service rifle National Guard USAMU

Amanda added: “I have to thank my biggest supporter — Perry Sabertooth X Mayfly” (shown above in Amanda’s shooting cart at Camp Atterbury).

Before Her High Power Victory, Amanda Took 2nd in Long Range

Amanda Elsenboss 2021 High Power Champion championship Camp atterbury service rifle National Guard USAMU
Before winning the 2021 High Power National Championship, Amanda took second in the 2021 NRA Long Range National Championship, also held at Camp Atterbury.

This has been a great summer for Amanda at Camp Atterbury. She finished second overall at the 2021 NRA Long-Range Nationals, behind Oliver Milanovic, and she also won the Canadian Cup at Atterbury. Prior to that, competing at Camp Perry with the National Guard All Guard Marksmanship Team, Amanda shot perfect individual scores in both the National Trophy and Hearst Doubles team events. Her 500-34X in the National Trophy Team (NTT) event set a National Record.

Amanda, then shooting with the USAMU team, previously won the NRA Long Range National Championship in 2019. Now that she has won BOTH High Power and Long Range National Championships, Amanda can truly be ranked among the most notable shooters in U.S. history.

Amanda Elsenboss — America’s New Leading Lady of Shooting

SSG Amanda Elsenboss 2021 NRA High Power Championship

Before his retirement from the U.S. Army, Emil Praslick III coached Amanda as a shooter with the U.S. Army Markmanship (USAMU) team. Emil, considered one of the greatest shooting coaches in the nation, was impressed with Amanda’s skill and dedication. Emil posted: “[Amanda is] by far the easiest shooter to coach I’ve ever worked with. A machine.”

SSG Amanda Elsenboss high power championship NRA Camp Atterbury

Video Interview with SSG Amanda Elsenboss
This video, featuring SSG Amanda Elsenboss, was created by the USAMU to mark Women’s History Month. Amanda talks about her career in the military, and her love of competitive shooting. This is a great video, well worth watching. There are images from many shooting ranges around the nation.

SSG Amanda Elsenboss. CLICK Speaker Icon to Hear Sound!

When serving with the USAMU, Amanda shot the sling division at the Berger SW Nationals:
SSG Amanda Elsenboss

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
August 21st, 2021

Oliver Milanovic Wins NRA Long Range National Championship

NRA High Power long range national championship palma oliver milanovic Eliseo tubegun
Top Guns at LR Nat’l Championship: SSG Amanda Elsenbuss (2nd place), Oliver Milanovic (Champion), Jeffrey Miles (3rd place). Photo courtesy Shooting Sports USA.

NRA High Power long range national championship palma oliver milanovic Eliseo tubegunMilanovic Wins LR National Championship
We have a new Long-Range National Champion. Competing at Camp Atterbury in Indiana, Oliver Milanovic took the 2021 NRA National Long Range Championship with a score of 1245-73X. Oliver was shooting an Eliseo Chassis + Borden Action Palma Rifle with 155gr bullets. Finishing second, tied on points but with four fewer Xs, was 2019 National Long Range Champion SSG Amanda Elsenbuss, with 1245-69X. In third place was Jeffrey Miles, just one point back, with 1244-73X.

As you can see, with the top three shooters all separated by just one point, it was a very close competition. But Milanovic, a popular marksman from Arizona, put on an impressive performance to take the win and the Thompkins Trophy. No stranger to the podium, Oliver has been on the winning Sling Division Team at the Berger SW Nationals in the past.

For all the relays, Milanovic shot his trusty .308 Winchester Competition Machine (Eliseo) chassis rifle with a Borden action, loading Palma-spec 155-gr bullets. In the Long Range Championship, other chamberings are allowed for some stages, but we’re told Oliver ran his 155gr Palma load throughout. Milanovic also won the Palma Individual Trophy Match with an impressive 450-30X score, not dropping a single point.

CLICK HERE for Full Long Range Nat’l Championship Results »

NRA High Power long range national championship palma oliver milanovic Eliseo tubegun

NRA High Power long range national championship palma oliver milanovic Eliseo tubegun

A full report on the 2021 NRA High Power Long Range Championship will appear in a future digital edition of Shooting Sports USA.

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
August 19th, 2021

Long Range Matches at Camp Atterbury This Week

Camp Atterbury Palma Long Range Matches Wimbledon 2021

The 2021 NRA Long Range Target Rifle Championships, and Palma Matches, have been taking place this week at Camp Atterbury in Indiana. May of America’s top sling shooters have been competing, employing their skills on targets at 800 to 1000 yards. The Palma Team and individual matches were held August 15-16, with other matches running through Friday, August 19.

Camp Atterbury Palma Long Range Matches Wimbledon 2021

15 August — Palma Team Match
16 August — Palma Individual Match
17 August — Leech Cup/Porter/Andrus/Roumanian Team Matches
18 August — Wimbledon Cup/Farr/Doc Aiken/Herrick Team Matches
19 August — Mustin/Remington (and Shoot-offs)/Award Ceremonies*

Camp Atterbury Palma Long Range Matches Wimbledon 2021

Last day of the 2021 NRA National Long-Range Championships at Camp Atterbury:

Thomas Colyer Wins Leech Cup Shoot-Off
Forum member Corbin Shell reported: “I was fortunate to score for Thomas Colyer who shoots on the Oak Ridge Sportsmen’s Association (ORSA) long range rifle team. His Shoot-Off score was a 100-5X — not dropping a point. Michelle Gallagher was also in the Leech Shoot off and shot 99-3X.” A talented marksman, Thomas Colyer also won the Wimbledon Cup several years ago.

Camp Atterbury Palma Long Range Matches Wimbledon 2021
Camp Atterbury Palma Long Range Matches Wimbledon 2021

Phillip Crowe Wins Mustin Match
FYI, Phillip Crowe, also from Oak Ridge Sportsmen’s Association (ORSA) long range team, won the Mustin match with a Shoot-Off score of 99-3X. Here is a photo of Phillip at the beginning of the Mustin Shoot-Off.

Camp Atterbury Palma Long Range Matches Wimbledon 2021

Palma Competition — by John Parker, Shooting Sports USA

According to the NRA High Power Rules 3.3.1 (a), a Palma rifle is “a rifle with metallic sights chambered for the .308/7.62 or .223/5.56 NATO cartridge case”.

When talking about Palma rifle competition, the traditional course of fire is at three yardages, 800, 900 and 1000 yards. The first Palma match was conducted by the NRA in 1875 at New York’s Creedmoor Range. The original Palma trophy, now lost to the ages, was commissioned by none other than Tiffanys. SEE 2018 SSUSA Camp Atterbury Long Range Gallery HERE.

Camp Atterbury Palma Long Range Matches Wimbledon 2021


* This is the schedule as published on the NRA Camp Atterbury National Matches Official Calendar. However it appears the Mustin Shoot-Off was completed on Thursday, August 18.

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
July 30th, 2021

Ian Klemm and Tod Hendricks Are 2021 F-Class LR Champions

NRA F-Class Long range 1000 yard National Championship Camp Atterbury Ian Klemm vortex Tod Hendricks

Breaking News from Camp Atterbury, Indiana…

The final individual match results have been tallied and there are two new NRA Long Range F-Class National Champions: Ian Klemm in F-TR and Tod Hendricks in F-Open. Congrats to both of these men for their outstanding performances. Ian, a multi-time Champion, has really dominated the F-TR field in recent years. This is now his FOURTH F-TR National Championship, having previously won in 2020, 2018, and 2017. That is dominance! And Tod has long been a top competitor, including past F-Open team (Grand Agg) and individual (Mid-Range) wins at the Berger SW Nationals.

NRA F-Class Long range 1000 yard National Championship Camp Atterbury Ian Klemm vortex Tod Hendricks

Finishing second in F-Open was Forum member Keith Glasscock, host of the popular Winning in the Wind YouTube Channel. Second in F-TR was Matt Schwartzkopf, a great guy who also supervises the Berger SW Nationals at Ben Avery. Matt is a double amputee below the knee, but he has never let that issue hold him back in competition.

NRA F-Class Long range 1000 yard National Championship Camp Atterbury Ian Klemm vortex Tod Hendricks

NRA F-Class Long range 1000 yard National Championship Camp Atterbury Ian Klemm vortex Tod Hendricks


View Complete 2021 F-Class National Championship Results »

Comments from F-Open Winner Tod Hendricks
Tod told us: “The heat and humidity were very challenging, but everyone had to deal with that. I struggled a bit on the first two relays on Day One, actually shooting an 8 due to a mental mistake on relay one. Both those relays were cleanable and I dropped 6 points. Being able to refocus myself and only drop 3 points in the last six relays is something that I will forever use as a mental tool. I’ve been close to winning a few big matches. I never felt like I choked at the end, but after a while you start to question yourself a little. Of course, this win got that monkey off my back.

I’d like to thank my sponsors Lapua, Brux barrels, Borden Accuracy, and Kahles, as well as my teammates on Team LBB — they were pulling for me and I felt it. Shout out to X-Ring Rifle Stocks — the owner Jason and I developed a new F-Open stock a couple years ago. He’s a very smart and hard working guy who took the time to listen to a few unconventional ideas.”

NRA F-Class Long range 1000 yard National Championship Camp Atterbury Ian Klemm vortex Tod Hendricks
Matt Schwartzkopf (center, dark blue shirt) with Michelle Gallagher at 2021 F-Class Nationals. Photo by Forum member Turbulent Turtle.

Here is one of Keith Glasscock’s fine videos from his Winning in the Wind YouTube Channel:

Keith, who finished second overall in F-Open, offered these insights about the F-Class LR Nationals: “The key to performing well in Atterbury revolved around keeping yourself healthy in the heat and humidity. It is difficult to make good decisions when overheated or dehydrated. Winds were only marginally readable, but changes were not ‘sharp’ in nature. With so many excellent competitors at the event, the chances of getting target service in less than 7 seconds was better than even. For the record, the draw of these events is the opportunity to spend time with my F-Class family doing the thing we love.”

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
July 30th, 2021

F-Class LR Team Championship — Team Indiana & Team USA Blue

F-Class Open F-TR camp atterbury team championship

Kelly McMillanThe NRA F-Class Team Championship was held July 29, 2021. Congrats to the winning squads, Team Indiana (F-Open) and Team USA Blue (F-TR). Conditions were fairly difficult with plenty of rapid wind switches to challenge the wind callers. It was great to see a large number of teams on the firing line, both in F-TR and F-Open.

Second place was very close in both divisions. F-TR was decided on X-count. In F-0pen, Team Kelly McMillan finished second by just one point, but with a huge edge in X-count. Team Kelly McMillan had 83 Xs compared to 66 Xs for Team Indiana. Tim Vaught and Norm Harrold both drilled 23 Xs while Doug Skogman had 20 Xs. Kelly, who sadly passed away recently, would have been proud of this team. His team’s outstanding performance honored his memory.

F-Class Open F-TR camp atterbury team championship

Full F-OPEN Team Aggregate Results

In F-TR division, Team USA Blue’s Luke Ramsey shot brilliantly to score 396-21X to lead his team. Ian Klemm, currently in first place in the individual F-TR competition, also shot great to tally 392-16X.

F-Class Open F-TR camp atterbury team championship

Full F-TR Team Aggregate Results

Getting the Band Back Together

Ray Gross joined six good friends to squad up as Team Creedmoor, which finished a very close second in the F-TR division. The top two squads had the same 1559 Aggregate point total with Team USA Blue earning Gold with 57Xs vs. 44Xs for Team Creedmoor.

Ray was proud of his team’s performance: “After a 3-year hiatus, we got the band back together to finish Silver (by Xs) at the U.S. F-Class Long Range Nationals. It was a fairly tough day, living off the flags, with a lot of quick switches. I’ll coach you guys anytime!”

F-Class Open F-TR camp atterbury team championship

Team Creedmoor team-mates (L to R): Daniel Pohlabel, Paul Phillips, Ray Gross, Brad Sauve, John Droelle, and Jeff Rorer.

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
July 29th, 2021

Images From Camp Atterbury — Report by Paul Phillips

Camp Atterbury F-Class National Championship Paul Phillips

Paul Phillips KO2M camp atterburyPaul Phillips is now best known as an Extreme Long Range (ELR) ace shooting large caliber “boomers”. He was the King of Two Miles in 2019. But Paul has also competed in F-Class and other disciplines. This week he is at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, participating in the NRA F-Class National Championships in F-TR division. He is currently in fourth place, with the final invidual competition to take place this Friday, July 30, 2021 (today 7/29/21 is Team Competition). SEE Current F-TR Standings.

Camp Atterbury F-Class National Championship Paul Phillips

Paul has good skills with a camera as well as a rifle. On his Facebook Page, Paul recently posted images from the F-Class Nationals. He observed: “My First National Match string since 2018. Feels like a .22 rimfire compared to the big bruisers. Lots of fun.”

Camp Atterbury F-Class National Championship Paul Phillips

Mid-Range Team Match at 600 Yards

Camp Atterbury F-Class National Championship Paul Phillips
This photo from the Mid-Range Team Match by Forum member “Turbulent Turtle”.

Paul Phillips also shot the 600-yard Team Match on July 26, 2021. Shown below are score-cards for Paul Phillips and his team-mate Jeff Rorer. Both shot “clean” (not dropping a point), in this particular event, Team Match 6311. Paul’s 200-13X was the second highest score among all competitors on the line, but he didn’t want to take full credit: “I’m just a trigger-puller. Dan Pohlabel was making the wind calls.”

Camp Atterbury F-Class National Championship Paul Phillips

Camp Atterbury F-Class National Championship Paul Phillips

Paul wanted to credit his sponsors: Creedmoor Sports, Manson Precision Reamers, Nightforce Optics, Berger Bullets, Lapua, Vihtavuori, CROSSTAC, Kestrel Ballistics, Labradar, Longshot Cameras, Applied Ballistics LLC, Bullet Central, Bix’n Andy, and Ryan Pierce.

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
July 28th, 2021

2021 Mid-Range Champions: Mayhall F-Open and Rutherford F-TR

NRA F-Class F-Open F-TR National Championship Camp Atterbury

The 2021 NRA Mid-Range F-Class Championships are complete, with the Long-Range competition running right now. We commend the new Mid-Range Champions who both shot spectacular matches. Roger Mayhall didn’t drop a point in F-0pen, finishing with 1800-131X to win F-Open. That’s a brilliant performance.

In F-TR division, Drew Rutherford topped a competitive field with 1791-96X. Hail the new Champions!

Roger Mayhall Wins F-Open Mid-Range with Stunning 1800-131X

NRA F-Class F-Open F-TR National Championship Camp Atterbury

NRA F-Class F-Open F-TR National Championship Camp Atterbury6mm Dasher Rifle Takes F-Open Title
Roger shot a 6mm Dasher, a wildcat based on the 6mmBR cartridge. Roger said his rifle was a tack-driver: “I think I owe my gunsmith a beverage or two!” Roger did a superb job of wind-reading to finish 3 days without dropping a point.

On the F-Class Competition Facebook Group, other shooters praised Roger’s amazing 1800-131X performance:

“I’ve known Roger for over 5 years. Great man, always willing to help a fellow shooter. Shooting clean all three days with an incredible X-count. Well done! So much for the claim that a 6mm can’t win an Aggregate!” — Jason Simes

“Good job buddy — I told you those Dashers could shoot. Just outstanding shooting.” — Chris Ford

“Awesome shooting Roger! Chalk up a national championship to the 6mm.” — Dan Bramley

About Roger Mayhall’s Championship-Winning Dasher
Posting on Facebook, Roger wrote: “I’ve had a few people ask about the equipment I used in the Mid-Range at Nationals. Here are the particulars:

The gun was a 6 Dasher, supported by a Defiance Deviant action, Bix ‘N Andy trigger, Alex Wheeler LBR F-Class stock, Sightron SV ED 10-50x60mm scope, Dan Bramley tuner on a 30″ Krieger [1:8″-twist] barrel. Also used were a SEB NEO front rest, Dima Rifle Systems Rear Bag with a Dead Bottom Bag. My load consisted of the 105gr Berger Hybrid in a fire-formed 6BR Lapua case propelled by Varget powder and a CCI 450 primer. Barrel work was done by Dan Bramley[.]”

Drew Rutherford Wins F-TR Mid-Range Championship

NRA F-Class F-Open F-TR National Championship Camp AtterburyDrew Rutherford put on a strong performance to win the F-TR Mid-Range Championship. Rutherford was using Eliseo R1 Tubeguns fitted with SEB JoyPod coaxial bipod. Chassis-maker Gary Eliseo noted: “Congratulations to Drew Rutherford, national midrange FTR champion! Drew used his .223 Rem and .308 Win R1 rifles to win the Mid-Range Championship, well done Drew!”

The Competition Machine (Eliseo) R1 Chassis is a very versatile system. As fitted with rear bag-riders and SEB JoyPods, Drew used his R1s with great success. But the same chassis, less bag-rider and bipod, can be used for “hard-holding” Palma Matches, or even High Power competition.

NRA F-Class F-Open F-TR National Championship Camp Atterbury

2021 NRA F-Open Mid-Range TOP TEN
Mid-Range F-TR National Championship
2021 NRA F-TR Mid-Range TOP TEN
Mid-Range F-TR National Championship


F-Open Mid-Range Full Results | F-TR Mid-Range Full Results



Solomon Sets New Nat’l F-Open 1-Day Record with 600-53X

Finishing second in the F-Open Mid-Range Championship was Bret Solomon with 1798-135X. That was notable because Bret posted the high X-Count, AND set a single-day National Record in the process. Gunsmith Thomas “Speedy” Gonzalez posted: “Congratulations to my friend Bret Solomon on shooting a 200-20X and then setting a new [1-Day] 600-yard National Record of 600-53X at the U.S. F-Class Nationals. Bret was shooting the Lil’ Red Devil in 7mm RSAUM with a new Bartlein 4-groove barrel I forced him to shoot!”

Brett Solomon Lil' Red Devil F-Open Rifle

Here are photos of Bret Solomon’s Lil’ Red Devil rifle as previously featured in our Daily Bulletin.

Brett Solomon Lil' Red Devil F-Open Rifle

Christened the “Little Red Devil” by Speedy, this ruby red, flame maple-stocked beauty is chambered in .284 Winchester. It features a Melonited BAT 3LL action with two bolts (regular and magnum bolt face). The stock is crafted by Will McCloskey using advanced CNC machines, allowing ultra-precise tolerances for improved tracking and perfect geometry.

Torrefied Wood from Yamaha, CNC-Milled to Perfection
This wood is very special — the flame maple was sourced from Yamaha which used a torrefaction process to stabilize the wood and prevent warping. Yamaha’s proprietary ARE process was developed by Yamaha for musical instruments. Speedy explained that Yamaha uses heat and pressure (we think) to stabilize the wood and dampen vibrations. During torrefaction, the sap in the wood actually crystallizes.

F-Open rifle Bret solomon

For this rifle build, the torrefied wood blank was CNC-milled by Will McCloskey to “best-in-industry” tolerances. A special red-tone polyester finish Lee Garver, a noted guitar painter. This very hard, yet glossy finish makes the stock “pretty nearly scratch-proof” according to Speedy.

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, News 1 Comment »
July 23rd, 2021

F-Class NRA Championships at Camp Atterbury Are Underway

NRA F-Class 2021 Camp Atterbury

America’s top F-Class shooters are in position with targets in sight right now. The shooting phase of the 2021 NRA F-Class National Championships commenced today, July 23rd, with the first scored relays of the Mid-Range Championship, held at Camp Atterbury in Indiana. The Mid-Range event runs through July 26 with the Mid-Range Team Match. The Long Range F-Class National Championship then commences on July 27th, and runs through July 30, with the Team Match on July 29, 2021.

NRA F-Class 2021 Camp Atterbury

F-Class National Championship event schedule from the NRA National Match Calendar:

NRA F-Class national championship

F-Class National Championships Camp Atterbury Indiana
The 2021 NRA F-Class Nat’l Championships at Camp Atterbury are underway. The Mid-Range F-Class Nationals run July 22-26, 2021, while the Long Range F-Class Nationals take place July 27-30, 2021.

Camp atterbury indiana satellite map

Lodging Options at Camp Atterbury — Summer 2021
Shooting Sports USA (SSUSA) recently released information on the NRA Championships at Camp Perry. The SSUSA article states: “As for lodging, there are several options. The most convenient are on-base, with Camp Atterbury offering hotel-style buildings with suites, along with standard rooms, and ‘open military squad bay’-style quarters available by reservation. Camp Atterbury also offers a limited number of RV spots, plus the MWR campground and cabins. NOTE: Lodging is controlled by the Camp Atterbury Lodging Office, not the NRA.

Click Photo for Large Map of Camp Atterbury, Indiana
NRA national match championships camp atterbury 2021

Smallbore F-Class National Championship

It is not well-known, but the NRA recognizes a .22 LR Rimfire F-Class discipline. And this year Camp Atterbury hosted the F-Class Smallbore Championship. Turnout was fairly meager for this event, with only 17 competitors. But every match needs a start, and we expect smallbore F-Class to become considerably more popular in years to come. The match involved three stages, with targets at 50 yards, 50 meters, and 100 yards. The 2021 Smallbore F-Class Championships, part of the NRA National Matches, were held July 12-16 at Camp Atterbury, near Edinburgh, Indiana.

.22 LR Rimfire F-Class NRA Championship 2021
Cole McCullough photo from SSUSA.org

.22 LR Rimfire F-Class NRA Championship 2021Shane Collier won the 2021 NRA Smallbore F-Class National Championship with a 6363-479X Score, also winning High Civilian honors. William Treder finished second with a score of 6359-473X. Treder was High Senior. The High Women was Barbara C. Hampson with 6287-349X. Since 2019, the Marianne Jensen Driver Memorial Trophy has been awarded to the NRA Smallbore F-Class National Champion.

The Smallbore F-Class Nationals were fired over four days at distances of 50 yards, 50 meters and 100 yards. The event was shot at the new, modern covered ranges at Atterbury, which were also used for the NRA position-shooting smallbore championship.

FULL RESULTS for Smallbore F-Class Nat’l Championship

MORE PHOTOS from All NRA Smallbore Nat’l Championships

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
July 4th, 2021

NRA Perpetual Trophies — Connecting Past to Present

Leech Cup Wimbledon Trophy Cup NRA SSUSA.org
Stunners in silver. Above are the NRA Leech Cup (left) and Wimbledon Cup (right).

Shooting Sports USA has a fascinating article about the Perpetual Trophies awarded in national-level NRA matches. The story recounts the history behind the elaborate trophies, some from the 1870s. SSUSA’s Jennifer Pearsall writes: “The pieces of wood, stone and precious metal … are more than just instant recognition of achievement. They are the link of the American shooter’s present to his or her patriotic past. As you read this legacy of the NRA ranges, their founders, and the long list of cups, bowls, and plaques, realize that the history of competitive shooting is undeniably a significant part of the foundation of this country”. Read Full Trophy Story HERE.

The NRA was co-founded by Col. William Church and Gen. George Wood Wingate (ranked Captain at the time). Both Church and Wingate hoped to improved the marksmanship skills of American soldiers. One of the newly-formed NRA’s first actions was to issue: “An Act to Establish a Rifle Range and Promote Skill in Marksmanship”. That led to the opening of the famed Creedmoor Range, with a special inaugural match in June of 1873.

Many of the awards presented in the first NRA matches were cash or firearms. Some of these firearms were heavily embellished works of art. In the very first match, a member of the 22nd New York Regiment took home a gold-mounted Winchester Model 1866 valued at $100 — big money for the time.

Leech Cup Wimbledon Trophy Cup NRA SSUSA.org
In the 1870s shooting competitions were social as well as sporting events. Ladies and gentlemen came to watch and cheer the winners. This illustration, originally from Harpers Weekly, portrays the shooters and the viewing gallery at the 1876 Grand Centennial Championship — the “Palma” Match.

The Leech Cup — A Gift from Ireland
The Leech Cup was created for the first meeting of the American and Irish shooting teams. The elaborate cup was presented by Major Arthur Leech, captain of the the Irish team, to the Amateur Rifle Club of New York. This masterpiece of Irish silversmithing was later given to the NRA in 1901 by the New York Club. Today, the Leech Cup is the oldest trophy offered in overall NRA competitive target shooting, awarded through the National High Power Long Range Championships.

Michelle Gallagher with Leech Cup in 2013.
Leech Cup Wimbledon Trophy Cup NRA SSUSA.org

The Wimbledon Cup
The Wimbledon Trophy was a gift from the NRA of Great Britain. It was given, as a gesture of sportsmanship, after the the U.S. Team was denied the ability to compete in England’s Elcho Shield match, then limited to Britain, Scotland, and Ireland. To maintain friendly competitive relations, the British presented the Americans with a large, engraved, lion-footed tankard trophy to be awarded each year to the Champion U.S. long-distance rifleman.

Wimbledon Trophy Cup NRA SSUSA.org

Palma Trophy Facts Team Match National Camp Perry Tiffany'sThe Palma Team Trophy
Originally named the Centennial Trophy, in honor of the Centennial celebration of the independence of the United States of America, the Palma Trophy was commissioned from Tiffany’s at a cost of $1,500. The trophy was a full-sized replica of a Roman Legion standard, executed in bronze with silver and gold inlay. On the banner of the standard was the legend, “In the name of the United States of America to the Riflemen of the world”. Above the banner was an eagle, bearing in its talons a wreath of palm leaves and a plaque on which was the single word, “PALMA”, the Latin word for palm tree, which was used by the Romans to signify victory, or the ultimate in excellence.

Because the word Palma was so easily seen, the trophy soon became known as the “Palma Trophy”, and by 1878 was referred to officially by that name. The original seven and one-half foot trophy is now lost, having not been seen since at least 1954. Serving in its place is a copy which was commissioned by Dr. Herbert M. Aitken of Eau Claire, WI. The copy was made from the original Tiffany blue-prints at a cost of $32,500. Dr. Aitken has given this copy of the Palma Trophy to the NRA for use in the Palma Match. The trophy is retained by the winning team until the next Palma Match.

In 2008, the Palma Trophy was returned to the NRA, and it was decided that the trophy, once refurbished, will travel to the host nation for the match every four years, then returned to the NRA for safekeeping.

The first competition for the Palma Team was a challenge match for which the British Commonwealth nations were invited. The match was fired in 1876 at the old Creedmoor Range on Long Island as part of the Centennial celebration of the United States. Teams representing Scotland, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and the United States took part. The match is currently fired on a four-year interval.

Permalink - Articles, Competition, News 1 Comment »
June 21st, 2021

NRA 2021 National Championships Schedule for Camp Atterbury

NRA national match championships camp atterbury 2021 f-class high power mid-range Long range ELR pistol smallbore

The 2021 NRA National Rifle and Pistol Championships will be held July 6 through August 28, 2021 at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. Registration for the 2021 NRA National Championships for Smallbore Rifle, High Power Rifle, F-Class, and Precision Pistol is now open. Competitors can REGISTER ONLINE for the 2021 NRA National Championships via the NRA Competitive Shooting Web Portal.

NRA national match championships camp atterbury 2021 f-class high power mid-range Long range ELR pistol smallbore

The following 2021 NRA Rifle and Pistol Championships will be held at Camp Atterbury this summer, starting with Smallbore Rifle. Camp Atterbury has hosted the High Power Rifle Nationals since 2017. Here is the schedule for the Major events. NOTE: There is NO ELR event this year:

Smallbore Rifle Championship: 6-18 July, 2021
Precision Pistol Championship: 20-25 July, 2021
F-Class Mid-Range Championship: 22-26 July, 2021
F-Class Long Range Championship: 27-30 July, 2021
Fullbore Championship: 1-7 August, 2021
High Power Mid-Range Championship: 9-13 August, 2021
High Power Long Range Championship: 14-19 August, 2021
Over-the-Course (OTC) Competition: 22-28 August, 2021

View Latest Match Calendar (6/18/21) — CLICK TO ZOOM!

NRA 2021 Championships schedule

Note, this year the Smallbore Nationals will include Rimfire F-Class, starting on July 11th. Among notable specific rifle matches include: Fullbore America Match (August 7); Palma Team Match (August 15); Wimbleton Cup Match (August 18). For 2021, the NRA will NOT host an Extreme Long-Range Championship. Specific start dates are listed at end of article.

In addition to the main NRA matches, there are Indiana State Rifle and Pistol Association (ISRPA) events including: Junior Intermediate Smallbore Clinic, Ladies’ Day on the Range, Family Day on the Range, Basic Safety Class, Introduction to Shooting Sports Class, Laser Range.

Camp atterbury indiana satellite map

Lodging Options at Camp Atterbury — Summer 2021
Shooting Sports USA (SSUSA) recently released information on the NRA Championships at Camp Perry. The SSUSA article states: “As for lodging, there are several options. The most convenient are on-base, with Camp Atterbury offering hotel-style buildings with suites, along with standard rooms, and ‘open military squad bay’-style quarters available by reservation. Camp Atterbury also offers a limited number of RV spots, plus the MWR campground and cabins. NOTE: Lodging is controlled by the Camp Atterbury Lodging Office, not the NRA.

Click Photo for Large Map of Camp Atterbury, Indiana
NRA national match championships camp atterbury 2021

To REGISTER for the 2021 NRA National Matches, go to Competitor.NRA.org/register.aspx.


Key NRA Championship Start Dates by Discipline
6 July — Smallbore Nationals 3-Position
11 July — Smallbore Nationals Prone and Rimfire F-Class
17 July — Metric Smallbore Prone and Rimfire F-Class
20 July — Precision Pistol (including Revolver)
22 July — F-Class Mid-Range Individual
26 July — F-Class Mid-Range Team Match
27 July — F-Class Long-Range Individual
29 July — F-Class Long-Range Team Match
1 August — Fullbore Match
7 August — Fullbore America Match
9 August — Midrange Cycle
14 August — Long Range Cycle
15 August — Palma Team Match
16 August — Palma Individual Match
18 August — Wimbleton Cup Match
22 August — OTC (Over the Course) Week

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
May 25th, 2021

2021 NRA Championships at Camp Atterbury INFO

NRA national match championships camp atterbury 2021 f-class high power mid-range Long range ELR pistol smallbore

The NRA has released information about the 2021 NRA National Rifle and Pistol Championships to be held July 6 – August 28, 2021. Registration for the 2021 NRA National Championships for Smallbore Rifle, High Power Rifle, F-Class, and Precision Pistol is now open. Competitors can REGISTER ONLINE for the 2021 NRA National Championships via the NRA Competitive Shooting Web Portal.

NRA national match championships camp atterbury 2021 f-class high power mid-range Long range ELR pistol smallbore

These 2021 NRA Championships will be held at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, from July 6, 2021 through August 28, 2021. Camp Atterbury has hosted the High Power Rifle Nationals since 2017. Here is the schedule:

Smallbore Rifle Championship: 6-18 July, 2021
Precision Pistol Championship: 20-25 July, 2021
F-Class Mid-Range Championship: 21-25 July, 2021
F-Class Long Range Championship: 27-30 July, 2021
Fullbore Championship: 1-7 August, 2021
High Power Mid-Range Championship: 9-13 August, 2021
High Power Long Range Championship: 14-19 August, 2021
ELR 1-Mile Championship: 20-21 August, 2021
Over-the-Course (OTC) Competition: 22-28 August, 2021

CLICK HERE to view the preliminary Match Program (PDF file). This includes aerial maps of ranges and housing locations. For the latest updates on Camp Atterbury and the 2021 NRA National Championship, subscribe to the free SSUSA Insider newsletter.

CLICK photo for Preliminary Match Program for 2021 National Championships
NRA national match championships camp atterbury 2021

Lodging Options at Camp Atterbury — Summer 2021
Shooting Sports USA (SSUSA) recently released information on the NRA Championships at Camp Perry. The SSUSA article states: “As for lodging, there are several options. The most convenient are on-base, with Camp Atterbury offering hotel-style buildings with suites, along with standard rooms, and ‘open military squad bay’-style quarters available by reservation. Camp Atterbury also offers a limited number of RV spots, plus the MWR campground and cabins. Something to note: Lodging is controlled by the Camp Atterbury Lodging Office, not the NRA.

Click Photo for Large Map of Camp Atterbury, Indiana
NRA national match championships camp atterbury 2021

Base Access for Summer 2021
Please note, Camp Atterbury’s main gate at Cyclone Street will be closed due to renovation. Follow the detour signs to the Schoolhouse Road Gate entrance. At base entry, each person will need to have a driver’s license or official government issued ID available for inspection. At base entry, each person will need to have a driver’s license or official government issued ID.

NRA national match championships camp atterbury 2021

Health and Safety Protocols at NRA Championships
All participants at the NRA Championships should follow the Indiana National Guard Camp Atterbury COVID-19 policies. The NRA issued this statement regarding COVID-19:

“While the COVID-19 pandemic continues, competitor and staff safety is our primary concern. The NRA will follow federal, state and local regulations during this summer’s events. It is possible that due to COVID-19 the NRA and ISRPA events may become altered in order to promote better safety or remain compliant. It is possible that any or all of our events may become altered or at worse canceled due to the pandemic impact or significant changes. We do not anticipate canceling this summer’s events. We will continue to monitor the federal, state and local regulations and issue and issue further statements as needed.”

John Parker, Shooting Sports USA Editor, says this should be an exciting summer for rifle shooters: “As for High Power Rifle, the 2021 NRA Mid-Range, Long-Range, F-Class Long-Range, F-Class Mid-Range and International Fullbore Championships will also be fired at Camp Atterbury. The centerfire rifle matches will begin on July 22 and run through August 28.

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
April 3rd, 2021

Register Soon for 2021 NRA National Championships in Indiana

NRA national match championships camp atterbury 2021 f-class high power mid-range Long range ELR pistol smallbore

Get ready to sign up folks! Registration for the 2021 NRA National Championships for Smallbore Rifle, High Power Rifle, F-Class, and Precision Pistol opens in five days. Online registration will open at 9:00 am Eastern Time on Thursday, April 8, 2021.

Register for the 2021 NRA National Championships via the NRA Competitive Shooting Web Portal. Get a head start on registration by setting up your profiles at: Competitor.nra.org/Register.aspx

NRA national match championships camp atterbury 2021 f-class high power mid-range Long range ELR pistol smallbore

These 2021 NRA Championships will be held at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, from July 6, 2021 through August 28, 2021. Camp Atterbury has hosted the High Power Rifle Nationals since 2017. Here is the schedule:

Smallbore Rifle Championship: 6-18 July, 2021
Precision Pistol Championship: 20-25 July, 2021
F-Class Mid-Range Championship: 21-25 July, 2021
F-Class Long Range Championship: 27-30 July, 2021
Fullbore Championship: 1-7 August, 2021
High Power Mid-Range Championship: 9-13 August, 2021
High Power Long Range Championship: 14-19 August, 2021
ELR 1-Mile Championship: 20-21 August, 2021
Over-the-Course (OTC) Competition: 22-28 August, 2021

NOTE: Listed dates include registration/sign-up and/or practice day, and award ceremony.

See 2021 Camp Atterbury NRA National Championships calendar below. CLICK to view larger, full-screen, printable image that is easier to read. ENLARGE (+ with mouse) after loading to read small print.


CLICK CALENDAR to VIEW Full-screen PDF then click Enlarge (+)

NRA national match championships camp atterbury 2021 f-class high power mid-range Long range ELR pistol smallbore

Above is the Official Calendar for the 2021 NRA National Championships at Camp Atterbury. The 2021 NRA Nationals start with the Smallbore Championships, July 6 through Sunday, July 18. The Precision Pistol National Championships begin on Tuesday, July 20. The F-Class Mid-Range Nationals start July 22, with F-Class Long-Range commencing on July 27. Moving on to High Power Rifle, the Fullbore event runs August 1-7, while the Mid-Range Nationals begin on Tuesday, August 9, followed by the Long-Range Nationals starting on August 14, 2021. Then the NRA Extreme Long-Range (ELR) Championship begins on Friday, August 20 and concludes Saturday, August 21.

Camp Atterbury Indiana national guard NRA high power smallbore matches championships

John Parker, Shooting Sports USA Editor, says this should be an exciting summer for rifle shooters: “As for High Power Rifle, the 2021 NRA Mid-Range, Long-Range, F-Class Long-Range, F-Class Mid-Range and International Fullbore Championships will also be fired at Camp Atterbury. The matches will begin on July 23 and run through August 29. Plus, the Extreme Long-Range Championship is slated to return on August 20…. This popular event that debuted in 2017 at Camp Atterbury is a can’t-miss for ELR competitors [with] targets at one mile and beyond.”

To learn more about the 2021 NRA Nationals, visit compete.nra.org. And for the latest updates, subscribe to the free Shooting Sports USA Insider newsletter.

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
March 7th, 2021

2021 NRA National Championships Schedule for Camp Atterbury

NRA national match championships camp atterbury 2021 f-class high power mid-range Long range ELR pistol smallbore

NRA Competitive Shooting has released the Official Calendar for the 2021 NRA National Championships at Camp Atterbury. The 2021 NRA Nationals at Camp Atterbury start with registration for the Smallbore Championships on Tuesday, July 6. The Smallbore Nationals continue through Sunday, July 18. The Precision Pistol National Championships begin on Tuesday, July 20, with the F-Class Mid-Range Nationals starting July 22 (registration/practice), with F-Class Long-Range commencing on July 27. Moving on to High Power Rifle, the Fullbore event runs August 1-7, while the Mid-Range Nationals begin on Tuesday, August 9, followed by the Long-Range Nationals starting on August 14, 2021. Finally, the NRA Extreme Long-Range (ELR) Championship begins on Friday, August 20 and concludes Saturday, August 21. The last week of the month, August 22-27 is slated for OTC competition.

NRA national match championships camp atterbury 2021 f-class high power mid-range Long range ELR pistol smallbore

Smallbore Rifle Championship: 6-18 July, 2021
Precision Pistol Championship: 20-25 July, 2021
F-Class Mid-Range Championship: 21-25 July, 2021
F-Class Long Range Championship: 27-30 July, 2021
Fullbore Championship: 1-7 August, 2021
High Power Mid-Range Championship: 9-13 August, 2021
High Power Long Range Championship: 14-19 August, 2021
ELR 1-Mile Championship: 20-21 August, 2021
OTC Competition: 22-28 August, 2021

NOTE: Listed dates include registration/sign-up and/or practice day, and award ceremony.

See full 2021 Camp Atterbury NRA National Championships calendar below. CLICK to view larger, full-screen printable image that is easier to read. ENLARGE (+ with mouse) after loading to read small print.


CLICK CALENDAR to VIEW Full-screen PDF then click Enlarge (+)

NRA national match championships camp atterbury 2021 f-class high power mid-range Long range ELR pistol smallbore

To learn more about the 2021 NRA Nationals, visit compete.nra.org. And for the latest updates, subscribe to the free Shooting Sports USA Insider newsletter.

Permalink - Articles, Competition, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
August 28th, 2020

Kevin Nevius — Smallbore and LR Champion and Gun Builder

On the Shooting Sports USA website, there’s a great profile of Kevin Nevius, one of America’s leading competitive marksmen. Kevin is best known for his smallbore success — Kevin won smallbore National Championships in 2008, 2010, and 2014. Kevin also has also an impressive record in long-range centerfire competition. He won the NRA 2018 Long Range Championship, while in 2005 and 2006 he won the Sierra Trophy at Camp Perry in 1000-yard competition. This story, penned by gunwriter Hap Rocketto, covers Kevin’s career, which has included multiple championships and many records.

“My brother got me into long range varmint hunting and I started building my own guns very early,” Nevius told Dan Holmes in a Pronematch.com interview. “I had a hunting friend who shot indoor smallbore who started me in three position and I was hooked.”

NRA Long Range National Championship Kevin Nevius Lapua 6.5x47 .308 Win Palma Camp Atterbury Indiana David Tubb Bob Gill John Whidden

At the 2018 NRA Long Range Championships, Kevin Nevius went head to head against the nation’s top long-range aces this past week, and emerged on top. Besting the likes of past multi-time Long Range Champions David Tubb and John Whidden, Kevin Nevius shot superbly at Camp Atterbury to win his first NRA National Long Range Championship.Kevin built his own rifles for the match, using Kelbly centerfire actions in a Grunig & Elmiger smallbore stock. Here is Kevin’s first-hand report of his 2018 LR Championship victory.

Smallbore shooting is where I learned to build a good position, and so much of that carries forward to Long Range High Power. It was a huge shock though, the first time I looked at a 44” aiming black through aperture sights at 1000 yards! Smallbore aiming blacks are twice as big, at one tenth the distance — the fact that we can hit something at 1000 yards with that sight picture still amazes me!

» READ Kevin Nevius Profile in Shooting Sports USA

Here are highlights from Hap Rocketto’s Profile of Kevin Nevius:

Shooting Sports USAChampion shooter Kevin Nevius grew up in a household that did not allow firearms, an unlikely beginning for one of the United States’ premier prone rifleman and gunsmiths. Once out on his own he fell in with his brother who enjoyed long-range varmint hunting. His natural bent for things mechanical (he is a professional structural engineer) soon had him tinkering with rifles, which eventually led him to building his own.

Everything fell into line for him in smallbore during the 2008 season. After shooting a series of training matches in which he was most successful, he arrived at Camp Perry at the peak of performance and won his first National Smallbore Rifle Conventional Prone Championship. Kevin came back strong in 2010, winning the inaugural individual National Smallbore Rifle Metric Prone Championship, as well as the team title at Bristol, IN. [Kevin then won the Smallbore Conventional Prone Championship in 2014 with a practically perfect score of 4799-390X (LINK).]

Along the way, Nevius has won some impressive national records. In conventional competition he co-holds the 1200-shot metallic sight aggregate record of 1200-102X. He was just one shot short of perfection in the 480 aggregate, where he holds the civilian record of 4799-412X, just one point behind, and 11 Xs ahead of, Joe Hein’s 4800-401X open record.

Kevin Nevius hopes to build a smallbore rig capable of 3/8-MOA at 100 yards.
Kevin Nevius smallbore gunsmith

Building the Ultimate Rimfire Prone Rifle
Kevin is not just a great trigger-puller. He also smiths his own rifles. His current goal as a gunsmith is to build a rimfire rifle that will shoot 3/8″ groups at 100 yards. That’s a big challenge — 3/8-MOA represents very good accuracy for a centerfire rifle with handloaded ammo. But if any rimfire smith can build a rifle that will shoot that well at 100, it’s probably Kevin.

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Gunsmithing, Shooting Skills No Comments »
August 23rd, 2020

Sunday GunDay: Whidden’s Title-Winning .308 Win Palma Rifle

John Whidden Palma Rifle .308 Win Barnard Anschutz P action smallbore stock

This feature story comes from 5-time NRA National Long-Range Champion John Whidden. In this article John, who runs Whidden Gunworks, talks about the Palma rifle he has used at the Camp Perry and Camp Atterbury National Matches and other major competitions. This unique .308 Win prone rifle features a Barnard “P” action in a converted aluminum Anschutz “Precise” smallbore (rimfire) stock. The combo of Barnard action and Anschutz ergonomics is hard to beat, says John, who told us: “this is easily the best Palma rifle I’ve ever had.”

As a bonus, the Barnard “drop-in” required no modification of the Anschutz Precise stock. This means John can actually swap in his rimfire barreled action and shoot smallbore with the same stock.

Whidden’s Perfect Palma Match
Whidden secured his 2017 NRA Long Range National Championship title by shooting “clean” (not dropping a point) in the tough Palma competition. In the NRA Palma match, rifles must be .223 Rem or .308 Winchester, with metallic sights (no scopes). The match is conducted at three yardages, 15 shots at each distance of 800/900/1000 yards, with unlimited sighters at 800 and two sighters at 900 and 1000.

Whidden’s Championship-Winning Rifle
Since John captured his fifth Long Range crown with a superb performance in the Palma match, we thought we’d give readers a look at John’s very special Palma rifle. This unique .308 Win prone rifle features a Barnard “P” action in a converted aluminum Anschutz “Precise” smallbore (rimfire) stock. John told us this gun handles like no other: “After recoil, with this Anschutz stock, the sights fall right back on target — better than any other prone rifle I’ve shot”.

As a bonus, the Barnard “drop-in” required no modification of the Anschutz Precise stock. This means John can actually swap in his rimfire barreled action and shoot smallbore with the same stock.

Sling Rifle Evolved: The Ultra-Accurate Hybrid Palma Rifle

by John Whidden
The mental component of Long Range competitive shooting is always challenging but having tremendous confidence in the accuracy of your equipment is a huge benefit. There’s nothing to start your Palma match off well like knowing that you are shooting the most accurate Palma rifle you’ve ever owned.

John Whidden Palma Rifle .308 Win Barnard Anschutz P action smallbore stock

After winning an NRA Long Range National Championship at Camp Perry, there are always plenty of questions about the equipment used by those at the top. Shooters are always looking to learn what is the best equipment at any given time so that when the time comes to spend our own hard earned dollars we can make the best choices. Even if you shoot an entirely different discipline knowing which manufacturers are making winning gear is very valuable.

Whidden .308 Winchester Palma Rifle
Action: Barnard “P” (three lugs, 60° bolt lift)
Barrel: Bartlein 32″, Light Palma contour, cryo-treated by 300 Below
Stock: Anschutz Precise aluminum smallbore stock, set up for centerfire barreled action
Trigger: Barnard Two-Stage adjustable

John Whidden Palma Rifle .308 Win Barnard Anschutz P action smallbore stock

Whidden’s Wonder-Gun: German Stock, New Zealand Action, American Barrel
The Palma rifle I shot this year at Camp Perry is one that I have been super pleased with. I built the rifle early this year and the major components are a Barnard P action, Anschutz Precise smallbore stock, and Bartlein barrel. The caliber is .308 Win, as dictated by the Palma rules. Palma matches are fired from 800, 900, and 1000 yards utilizing iron sights only. No optical sights are allowed.

John Whidden Palma Rifle .308 Win Barnard Anschutz P action smallbore stock

The Anchutz Precise stock is so well-designed that once I finished adjusting the details, I realized that my hold was about 1/3 smaller than with the stocks I shot previously. While in recoil the gun will track vertically and fall back down right on my own target just as it should. In the past, with my other Palma rifles, it was frankly sometimes a struggle to get them to settle back on target after a shot.

Whidden Gunworks has installed a variety of different actions in the Anschutz Precise stocks. Though the stocks are designed for the .22 LR caliber 2013 action rifles, we’ve successfully installed Barnard, Kelbly, Bat, Nesika, and Remington clone actions into them. The Barnard Model P makes a particularly simple installation because there is no modification necessary to the stock at all. A competitor can then shoot both his centerfire rifle as well as his smallbore gun in the exact same stock. The location of the trigger and bolt handle on the Barnard are positioned just right to make this work. Other actions do require at least some amount of modification to the stock, and we have found the Barnard works the best.

Barnard manufactures several models of actions as part of their lineup. All of the actions in the lineup use three lug bolts which give a shorter 60-degree bolt lift when opening and closing. All of the critical surfaces are machined after heat treating. This means that they are exceptionally true and square, more so than other actions. The Model P action is most familiar to Palma and F-Class shooters and are commonly seen on the firing line. The fact that Model P actions include an excellent two-stage trigger makes also the pricing very attractive.

Based on my previous excellent experiences, I selected Bartlein barrels for this rifle. When shooting internationally in the Palma matches we are restricted to 155 grain .308 bullets, but I made the unusual choice of a 1-10″ twist for these bullets. I’ve shot this fast twist for some years with the 155s with good success and it’s pleasing to know that Bryan Litz is finding benefits in some cartridges to shooting faster twist rates than we previously thought we needed. The chamber is the 2011 Palma and the barrel is a Light Palma contour finished at 32” length. The barrel was cryo-treated by 300 Below. The point of impact isn’t changed at all by barrel heating and the accuracy is incredible regardless of the temperature of the barrel. This can’t be said of all the barrels I’ve owned.

John Whidden Palma Rifle .308 Win Barnard Anschutz P action smallbore stock

Get Your Own Wonder-Gun from Whidden Gunsworks
Like what you see? Whidden Gunworks can build you a rig like this, fitting a centerfire barreled action in the Anschutz Precise stock. John tells us: “Call us to find the current all-up price for a special rifle like this with Barnard or other suitable custom action, and Anschutz stock. We attempt to keep all of the parts except the stock in inventory, so lead time should be under eight (8) weeks.”

Stock Offers Great Adjustability
John Whidden Palma Rifle .308 Win Barnard Anschutz P action smallbore stockOne thing that is quickly noticed about the Anschutz Precise stock is its adjustability. The engineers did a very good job of allowing many of these adjustments to be made while in the shooting position, most notably the cheekpiece adjustments. When a shooter picks up a Precise stock for the first time they also notice how narrow the fore-end is. This really contributes to reducing the pain in the forward hand in prone when shooting with a sling. This stock is, by far, the most comfortable sling stock I’ve ever handled.

This rifle was very accurate right away and very comfortable to shoot. I’ve built some really good shooting Palma rifles but this is easily the best Palma rifle I’ve ever had. The Barnard action with its superb quality and excellent two-stage trigger has been the best choice I could have made. When you can go to the firing line knowing that you have the very best, the foundation for success has been set.

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Gunsmithing, Shooting Skills No Comments »
August 10th, 2020

America’s Shooting Sports Heritage — NRA Perpetual Trophies

Leech Cup Wimbledon Trophy Cup NRA SSUSA.org
Stunners in silver. Above are the NRA Leech Cup (left) and Wimbledon Cup (right).

Shooting Sports USA has a fascinating article about the Perpetual Trophies awarded in national-level NRA matches. The story recounts the history behind the elaborate trophies, some from the 1870s. SSUSA’s Jennifer Pearsall writes: “The pieces of wood, stone and precious metal … are more than just instant recognition of achievement. They are the link of the American shooter’s present to his or her patriotic past. As you read this legacy of the NRA ranges, their founders, and the long list of cups, bowls, and plaques, realize that the history of competitive shooting is undeniably a significant part of the foundation of this country”. Read Full Trophy Story HERE.

The NRA was co-founded by Col. William Church and Gen. George Wood Wingate (ranked Captain at the time). Both Church and Wingate hoped to improved the marksmanship skills of American soldiers. One of the newly-formed NRA’s first actions was to issue: “An Act to Establish a Rifle Range and Promote Skill in Marksmanship”. That led to the opening of the famed Creedmoor Range, with a special inaugural match in June of 1873.

Many of the awards presented in the first NRA matches were cash or firearms. Some of these firearms were heavily embellished works of art. In the very first match, a member of the 22nd New York Regiment took home a gold-mounted Winchester Model 1866 valued at $100 — big money for the time.

Leech Cup Wimbledon Trophy Cup NRA SSUSA.org
In the 1870s shooting competitions were social as well as sporting events. Ladies and gentlemen came to watch and cheer the winners. This illustration, originally from Harpers Weekly, portrays the shooters and the viewing gallery at the 1876 Grand Centennial Championship—the “Palma” Match.

The Leech Cup — A Gift from Ireland
The Leech Cup was created for the first meeting of the American and Irish shooting teams. The elaborate cup was presented by Major Arthur Leech, captain of the the Irish team, to the Amateur Rifle Club of New York. This masterpiece of Irish silversmithing was later given to the NRA in 1901 by the New York Club. Today, the Leech Cup is the oldest trophy offered in overall NRA competitive target shooting, awarded through the National High Power Long Range Championships.

Michelle Gallagher with Leech Cup in 2013.
Leech Cup Wimbledon Trophy Cup NRA SSUSA.org

The Wimbledon Cup
The Wimbledon Trophy was a gift from the NRA of Great Britain. It was given, as a gesture of sportsmanship, after the the U.S. Team was denied the ability to compete in England’s Elcho Shield match, then limited to Britain, Scotland, and Ireland. To maintain friendly competitive relations, the British presented the Americans with a large, engraved, lion-footed tankard trophy to be awarded each year to the Champion U.S. long-distance rifleman.

Wimbledon Trophy Cup NRA SSUSA.org

Palma Trophy Facts Team Match National Camp Perry Tiffany'sThe Palma Team Trophy
Originally named the Centennial Trophy, in honor of the Centennial celebration of the independence of the United States of America, the Palma Trophy was commissioned from Tiffany’s at a cost of $1,500. The trophy was a full-sized replica of a Roman Legion standard, executed in bronze with silver and gold inlay. On the banner of the standard was the legend, “In the name of the United States of America to the Riflemen of the world”. Above the banner was an eagle, bearing in its talons a wreath of palm leaves and a plaque on which was the single word, “PALMA”, the Latin word for palm tree, which was used by the Romans to signify victory, or the ultimate in excellence.

Because the word Palma was so easily seen, the trophy soon became known as the “Palma Trophy”, and by 1878 was referred to officially by that name. The original seven and one-half foot trophy is now lost, having not been seen since at least 1954. Serving in its place is a copy which was commissioned by Dr. Herbert M. Aitken of Eau Claire, WI. The copy was made from the original Tiffany blue-prints at a cost of $32,500. Dr. Aitken has given this copy of the Palma Trophy to the NRA for use in the Palma Match. The trophy is retained by the winning team until the next Palma Match.

In 2008, the Palma Trophy was returned to the NRA, and it was decided that the trophy, once refurbished, will travel to the host nation for the match every four years, then returned to the NRA for safekeeping.

The first competition for the Palma Team was a challenge match for which the British Commonwealth nations were invited. The match was fired in 1876 at the old Creedmoor Range on Long Island as part of the Centennial celebration of the United States. Teams representing Scotland, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and the United States took part. The match is currently fired on a four-year interval.

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Shooting Skills No Comments »
April 30th, 2020

NRA Cancels All National Matches Scheduled for Summer 2020

NRA cancel 2020 national rifle pistol matches championship camp perry atterbury high power smallbore

We learned last week that the CMP had closed the Camp Perry CMP Championship Matches. Now the NRA has followed suit, cancelling the Pistol, Smallbore, and High Power National Championships slated for summer 2020 at Camp Perry (Pistol) and Camp Atterbury (Rifle). We know readers will be disappointed. The NRA High Power Championships were slated for mid-August — over three months away. Many shooters were hoping some normalcy would be restored by then. However the potential health risks of having hundreds of shooters in close proximity lead to the cancellation decision. On 4/29/2020, the NRA stated:

Due to the current state of affairs surrounding COVID-19, the uncertainties associated with this pandemic at present, and shutdowns across our country that have impeded vital preparatory work, the National Rifle Association has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 NRA Precision Pistol Championships scheduled for July 1-5, 2020), 2020 NRA High Power Championships scheduled for August 9-25, 2020, and the 2020 NRA Smallbore Championships scheduled for July 23-August 4, 2020.

We are trying to make the best of the current situation by moving forward with range construction and other improvements as we look towards the 2021 NRA National Championships season. The NRA is also exploring the feasibility of hosting a variety of new NRA events at Camp Atterbury (if conditions are favorable) [in] the state of Indiana later this year.

We share your disappointment that we had to cancel these competitions. The NRA wishes everyone good health and the best of luck. Stay safe and healthy. For more information, visit Competitions.NRA.org.

NRA cancel 2020 national rifle pistol matches championship camp perry atterbury high power smallbore

nra rifle pistol smallbore championship cancelled cancel camp atterbury

The NRA had previously cancelled all sanctioned matches through April 30, 2020. Read story HERE.

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
November 12th, 2019

CMP & NRA 2020 Nat’l Matches at Camp Perry, Camp Atterbury

national matches cmp nra 2020 calendar

Good news — the NRA and the CMP are coordinating the schedules of their respective pistol and rifle National Match and Championship events at Camp Perry (CMP) and Camp Atterbury (NRA) in 2020. This should allow competitors to shoot ALL their favorite events, without conflict. Coordinating CMP/NRA event schedules will also help competitors save on travel time and expense.

CMP’s Programs Chief, Christie Sewell and NRA’s Cole McCulloch, Director of Competitive Shooting, said jointly: “It’s important that competitors of both organizations have the opportunity to shoot matches of their choice without conflicting dates, by event.”

Key 2020 National Matches Dates:
NRA National Matches First Shot Ceremony — July 1, 2020
NRA National Matches Pistol Championships — July 1-5, 2020
CMP National Matches First Shot Ceremony — July 7, 2020
CMP National Matches Pistol Championships — July 7-12, 2020
CMP Smallbore Championships — July 14-22, 2020
CMP High Power Rifle Championships — July 21-31, 2020
CMP National Games Events — July 30 – August 3, 2020
CMP Long Range Matches Camp Perry — August 4-8, 2020
NRA Smallbore Championships — July 23 – August 5, 2020
NRA High Power Rifle Championships — August 9-15, 2020
NRA Mid-Range Rifle Championships — August 16-20, 2020
NRA Long Range Rifle Championships — August 21-25, 2020

national matches cmp nra 2020 calendar

CLICK HERE for Full-Size 2020 Nat’l Match Calendar PDF »

CMP National Matches Program 2020 at Camp Perry
The CMP will open the National Matches at Camp Perry with its First Shot Ceremony and pistol matches on Tuesday, July 7. CMP pistol events will run through Sunday, July 12. CMP Smallbore rifle check-in and practice will commence on Tuesday, July 14 and matches will run for a week with championships and prone awards on Wednesday, July 22. CMP’s Rimfire Sporter Match and CMP Junior Smallbore camp will also be completed during that period.

CMP Cup High Power Rifle matches begin Tuesday, July 21 and will conclude with a CMP Cup awards ceremony on July 23. CMP Rifle Clinics will begin July 24 and conclude July 26. CMP’s National Trophy Rifle Matches will begin July 27 – July 31, with CMP National Games Events July 30 – August 3. CMP Long Range matches open on Tuesday, August 4 and conclude with the CMP Palma Rifle match and Long Range awards on Saturday, August 8. All CMP events will continue to be held at Camp Perry in Port Clinton, Ohio.

NRA National Matches Program 2020 at Camp Atterbury
The NRA Pistol Championships run July 1-5, 2020. NRA Smallbore 3P Rifle begins on Thursday, July 23 and concludes Tuesday, August 4 with a final awards ceremony. NRA High Power Rifle commences on Monday, August 9 and concludes with an awards ceremony on Saturday, August 15. NRA Mid-Range Rifle opens on Sunday, August 16 and closes on Thursday, August 20 with an awards ceremony. NRA Long Range Rifle begins Friday, August 21 and concludes Tuesday, August 25 with the final awards ceremony.

For more information CLICK these links:

CMP National Matches at Camp Perry | NRA National Matches at Camp Atterbury

NRA CMP matches map indiana camp perry atterbury

Permalink Competition, News 2 Comments »
August 22nd, 2019

SSG Amanda Elsenboss Wins NRA Long Range Championship

SSG Amanda Elsenboss USAMU NRA National Long Range Championship
The display target is a copy, for spectators, of the larger, official target. The actual X-Ring is 10″ at 1000 yards. Amanda shot without a bipod, using only a sling to support the rifle, and aperture sights (no scope).

Congrats to Amanda Elsenboss for winning the 2019 NRA National Long Range Championships held this month at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. This completes her season of dominance, winning the Interservice, CMP, and NRA Long Range Championships. Amanda finished off her campaign with a win in the Mustin match and a shoot-off score of 100-9x. She also won the Leech Cup with a 200-15X, and 100-6X shoot-off score. Great job, Amanda!

SSG Amanda Elsenboss USAMU NRA National Long Range Championship
Before his retirement from the U.S. Army, Emil Praslick III coached Amanda as a shooter with the U.S. Army Markmanship (USAMU) team. Emil was impressed with Amanda’s skill and dedication. Emil posted: “[Amanda is] by far the easiest shooter to coach I’ve ever worked with. A machine.”

Amanda expressed gratitude: “Thank you to everyone who supported me during the 2019 CMP Long Range Matches. Everyone’s support and encouragement helped me along the way, fan club included. Especially, a huge shout out to past and present AMU members for pointing me in the right direction. When the moment of confusion happened I always knew who I could count on to get me back on track. So, Thank you to everyone on and off the range who was cheering me along!”

SSG Amanda Elsenboss USAMU NRA National Long Range Championship

Amanda Helps Train Young Competitors
When Amanda is not shooting matches or practicing with the USAMU, she helps train new shooters. Here SSG Amanda Elsenboss offers pointers to a Liberty University Service Rifle shooter at a CMP Small Arms Firing School (SAFS). Amanda Elsenboss hails from Woodbury, Connecticut and holds the military occupational specialty of small arms repairer. Elsenboss started shooting when she was 13, and soon became an avid rifle competitor. She now serves as a shooter/instructor on the USAMU Service Rifle Team.

SSG Amanda Elsenboss USAMU NRA National Long Range Championship

Video Interview with SSG Amanda Elsenboss
This video, featuring SSG Amanda Elsenboss, was created by the USAMU to mark Women’s History Month. Amanda talks about her career in the military, and her love of competitive shooting. This is a great video, well worth watching. There are images from many shooting ranges around the nation.

SSG Amanda Elsenboss. CLICK Speaker Icon to Hear Sound!

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills 4 Comments »
August 13th, 2019

Ronald Zerr Wins 2019 NRA Nat’l High Power Championship

Camp Atterbury High Power NRA Championships
NOTE: This is a photo of Ronald Zerr from a Team Match, 600-yard stage. Photo by SSUSA.org.

Congratulations to Ronald Zerr, the 2019 NRA National High Power Rifle Champion. Competing at Camp Atterbury, Indiana against hundreds of the nation’s best High Power shooters, Zerr finished with an impressive score of 2374-107X, five points ahead of runner-up Kenneth Lankford (2369-116X). Finishing third overall was SSG Sean Morris (U.S. Army Reserve) with 2366-87X.

Kerr, who hails from Tucson, Arizona, is a civilian shooter, a dedicated sling-shooting competitor for many years. Kerr shot a great match to earn the National High Power title, a Mumma Trophy plaque, plus gift certificates from Geissele Automatics, Krieger Barrels, and Sierra Bullets.

Notably Morris shot the match with a AR-15 type service rifle shooting 5.56×45 ammo. His strong showing earned him the service rifle championship, and the Dupont Trophy plaque. Denise Loring shot 2340-84X to earn the service rifle High Woman award.

Camp Atterbury High Power NRA Championships

About the NRA National High Power Championship
The NRA National High Power Rifle Championship is the aggregate of three matches: the Vandenberg Cup, Nevada Trophy and Clarke Trophy matches, which themselves are comprised of numerous events. Next year, along with the High Power Championships, Camp Atterbury will host the NRA Precision Pistol and Smallbore Rifle Championships.

A full match report from the 2019 NRA High Power Rifle Championship will be published in a future issue of the Shooting Sports USA digital magazine.

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills 4 Comments »