September 27th, 2015

‘Sights, Wind and Mirage’ in Shooting Sports USA Archives

Wind Reading Quadrant High Power

Vand Zande wind readingIn the digital archives of Shooting Sports USA, we’ve found some great features that deserve a second look. A few years back, Shooting Sports USA published Sights, Wind and Mirage, an outstanding article that explains how to judge wind speed/direction and adjust your sights accordingly. Authored by highly respected shooter Ernest (Ernie) Vande Zande, this article is a definite “must-read” for all competitive rifle shooters — even those who shoot with a scope rather than irons. Vande Zande’s discussion of mirage alone makes the article well worth reading. Highly recommended.

CLICK HERE to Read “Sights, Wind and Mirage”
by Ernie Vande Zande

Invaluable Insights from a World-Class Shooter
The article covers a wide variety of topics including Wind Reading, Mirage, Effects of Sight Canting, Quadrant Shooting, and Sight Adjustment Sequencing. Vande Zande offers many jewels of insight from his decades of experience shooting and coaching in top level tournaments. U.S. Shooting Team Leader at the 1996 Olympics, Vande Zande has set more than 200 records in National and International competition. He was the Smallbore Rifle Prone Champion at Camp Perry in 1980. An International Distinguished shooter, Ernie has been on nine Dewar teams and he was a member of the USAR Shooting Team from 1982. No matter what your discipline, if you are a competitive rifle shooter, you should CLICK HERE to read Sights, Wind, and Mirage.

Vand Zande wind reading

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August 26th, 2015

Shooting USA TV – Camp Perry National Matches

Shooting USA Television Camp Perry

Didn’t get enough of Camp Perry this summer? Then tune in to Shooting USA TV this evening. Tonight’s episode of Shooting USA television spotlights the National Matches and CMP events at Camp Perry, Ohio. The National Matches at Camp Perry are the World Series of American shooting sports, attracting the nation’s top pistol and rifle marksmen. There are individual competitions, such as the Vintage Sniper Match, or the M1 Garand Match featuring legendary firearms. Then there’s the National Trophy Infantry Team Match, known as the Rattle Battle among competitors, simulating an assault by an Infantry Squad. Catch this episode of Shooting USA on the Outdoor Channel. NOTE: This is a repeat broadcast including footage from the 2014 National Matches.

Tubb 2000 rifle, left-hand version. Note how the butt-plate is adjusted for cant, angle, and drop.
Tubb 2000 Rifle Camp Perry

NRA National MatchesThe 1903 Springfield on Tonight’s Show
Vintage military rifle fans take note — this week’s show also features an American classic, the U.S. Rifle, Model of 1903, better known as the 03 Springfield. While its design was initially borrowed, its accuracy, quality and service record proved to be a fine military bolt-action rifle in the trenches of WW I and on into World War II. “It was a beautifully made gun, extremely, extremely well balanced,” says Firearms Historian Garry James.

Shooting USA Wednesday Broadcast Times on the Outdoor Channel:

Eastern Time – 3:30 PM, 9:00 PM, 12:30 AM (Thursday)
Central Time – 2:00 PM, 8:00 PM, 11:30 PM
Mountain Time – 1:30 PM, 7:00 PM, 10:00 PM
Pacific Time – 12:00 Noon, 6:00 PM, 9:30 PM

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August 15th, 2015

Rule Britannia! Team GB Wins World Palma Team Championship

Great Britain Palma Team Championship Camp Perry Fullbore August Team USA England

Congratulations to the Great Britain Palma Rifle Team (GBPRT), winner of the 2015 ICFRA World Long Range Palma Team Championship match. The British team shot superbly, winning by 70+ points over runner-up Team USA. Great Britain’s 7106-827V score* set a new Palma Team Championship record, smashing the old record by 79 points. The British marksmen displayed stunning accuracy — Team GB had fully 102 more Vs than did the second-place American squad (A “V” is the equivalent of an “X” in American scoring). The Brits shoot great as a team. Consider this — Great Britain had eleven shooters with 50 or more V-bulls. Team USA had just three.

Team GB ran away with the match with a great team performance at 1000 yards on Day Two. As the GBPRT blog noted: “An awesome demonstration of GB shooting and coaching was made – superb use of the wind and the firers to not just hold our lead, but to win the range by a stonking 33 points.”

Great Britain 2015 Palma Team Highlights

  • Match record beaten by 79 points – 7106.827 (176 V-bulls more than last time*).
  • Individual record beaten by 3 points – 449.59 (Toby Raincock).
  • Highest 900-Yard Aggregate score – 2384.276.
  • Most consecutive Palma Team matches won – Four in a Row.
  • First team ever to win ALL six ranges.

NRA Palma Team Match Bulletin (Team Results) | CLICK HERE for Complete Team Results Spreadsheet.

Palma Team Match Camp Perry 2015

Great Britain’s Toby Raincock Shoots a Match for the Ages
The top individual shooter in the Team match was Great Britain’s Toby Raincock, who dropped only one point over two days to finish with 449-55V, a new record individual score that will be very hard to break. The next best individual score was the 447-49V by fellow Brit Jon Underwood. The top American shooter was John Whidden, who finished with a 445-45V.

The GBPRT website summed up the big victory as follows: “It was a glorious day for GB and more statistical analysis would tell you more of the depth of our victory[.] We won big and we were justly proud of years of hard work. The celebrations immediately after the match were wonderful and full of the beauty of our sport. All the teams gathered and shook hands. The runners up USA and South Africa were valiant fighters and all teams showed their appreciation for not only a great match but also a great win.

Team USA Takes Second

Great Britain Palma Team Championship Camp Perry Fullbore August Team USA England

The American team shot very well in finishing second, breaking the previous Palma Team match Aggregate record in the process. Team USA enjoyed a significant 25-point margin over third-place South Africa. John Whidden had a great match, finishing as the seventh-highest shooter overall.

Team USA member Kelly Bachand praised his team-mates and coaches: “I am extremely proud to have contributed to the USA’s silver medal in the 2015 Palma Trophy match. I feel very blessed to have been counted a member of this elite group of shooters and coaches.” Team USA’s shooting members included: Kelly Bachand, SFC Shane Barnhart, Tyrel Cooper, Mark DelCotto, SSG Amanda Elsenboss, Trudie Fay, Michelle Gallagher, SFC Brandon Green, Norman Houle, Bryan Litz, Kevin Nevius, Kent Reeve, Justin Skaret, SGT Eric Smith, Nancy Tompkins, John Whidden, (SFC Russ Theurer and Wayne Budbill alternates). Dennis Flaharty was Team Captain, SFC Emil Praslick III was head coach, Robert Mead was adjutant, and line coaches were: Norm Anderson, Ray Gross, Steve Hardin, Gary Rasmussen.

Jim Mauer added a farewell note for coach Praslick: “Special shout out to SFC Praslick. [Emil] will be retiring later this fall. It has been a challenging pleasure competing against him for the last six years. I wish you the best of luck in retirement Emil! You have left a lasting impression and legacy on the Army and the entire competitive marksmanship community.”

*The previous record score was 7027-651V set in Brisbane, Australia in 2011 by Team Great Britain. NOTE: the NRA Bulletin lists Great Britain’s Final Score as 7106-825V, rather than 7106-827V as noted on the GBPRT website. We don’t understand the discrepancy, but we will list the higher total until we receive clarification.

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August 14th, 2015

Great Britain Takes Early Lead in Palma Team Championships

Palma Team USA World Fullbore Long Range Target Rifle Championships
Click above photo to view larger image.

Here’s an early report from the 2015 World Palma Team Championships being held at Camp Perry. After Day 1 of the Team Championships (conducted on August 13th), Great Britain is in the lead with a score of 3551-403. That gives the Brits a 30-point margin over their closest rival. Team USA holds second place with a score of 3521-359, followed by South Africa in third with a score of 3512-339.

Today, August 14th, is the final day of Palma Team Competition. We’ll see if Team USA can come from behind, or whether Team Great Britain can build on its Day One lead. Stay tuned for more updates, including the final results after today’s team matches.

Here is Junior Team USA member Dusty Taylor showing off her USA pride. Today is the final day of the Palma Team World Championships. Dusty says: “Go USA!!!!”

Palma Team USA World Fullbore Long Range Target Rifle Championships

Dusty Taylor photo by Anette Wachter of the U.S. Palma Team. Top photos by Berger Bullets.

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August 13th, 2015

Australian Ben Emms Wins World Fullbore Rifle Championship

fullbore Palma Target Rifle Camp Perry World Championships

Congratulations to Ben Emms of Australia for winning the World Fullbore Long Range Championship at Camp Perry. Nigel Ball of Great Britain finished second, while another Aussie, Mattthew Pozzebon, took third. There was some amazing shooting done this past week by the top competitors. Here is a report from Anette Wachter, a member of the U.S. Palma Team.

How Ben Emms Won the World Championship by Anette Wachter (
For a while I thought he was not human. Ben Emms of Australia kept powering through every yard line of the Long Range Championship with perfect scores. When the rest of us got pummeled at the 1000-yard line on day 3 he still cleaned the string. He “finally” dropped one point the last day. I guess he is human after all.

But for some dramatic effect he kept us on the edge of our seats during the shoot off. Two crazy shots (a wide two and a low three) were nail biters. His last round for record had to be at least a four to keep the Gold medal from going to second place finisher Nigel Ball from Great Britain. Cheers came from the crowd and especially his team-mates when the final shot came up as a FIVE on the target. Nigel had a beautiful target of centered shots and won the Silver while Matthew Pozzebon also of Australia took the Bronze Medal. Tom Whittaker and Bob Stekettee were also in the Top Ten shoot-off. Tom came home with many awards last night.

The three top Lady trophies went to Sherri Jo Gallagher for the Gold, Trudie Fay with Silver and Jane Messer of GB with the Bronze. We were rooting for Trudie all week as she also was down only one point. Her last string at 1000 was difficult but she still finished in the top 25 in the world. Sherri almost made the shoot-off. She was in 10th place all day until the final results came in at the end and she was pushed to 11th. Although the 11th spot kept her out of the shoot-off, she did stay for the awards ceremony to receive her High Woman Gold Medal and then hit the road for an all night 14-hour trip back to Golden Knights turf for work. Hard core girl!

READ FULL Story on >>

The Fullbore Team Championships are now underway, with squads from 11 countries competing for national honors. Team USA was ready to go on Day One, hoping to win the Worlds on our “home turf”:

fullbore Palma Target Rifle Camp Perry World Championships

Photos by Anette Wachter from 30CalGal Facebook Page.

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August 9th, 2015

World Fullbore Rifle Championships Commence at Camp Perry

Palma Target Rifle F-TR World Championships Camp Perry .308 Winchester Sherry Jo Gallagher

The Fullbore (Target Rifle) World Championships are now underway at Camp Perry. Held every four years (like the Olympics), the ICFRA World Target Rifle (Fullbore) Championships event is quite possibly the most important long-range rifle competition on the planet. This year the World Championships take place in the USA, at Camp Perry, Ohio. Teams from 11 countries are competing. Here we have some early reports from the August 8th Opening Ceremony…

Report by Ray Gross, Captain U.S. F-TR Team, 8 August, 2015
The U.S. Army Golden Knights parachuted in as part of the opening ceremony for the World Long Range Championships being held at Camp Perry, Ohio. Three of our sister teams, the U.S. Palma Team, the U.S. Veterans Team and the U.S. Under-25 Team will be competing against teams from around the world. Several members of our team, Ray Gross, Steve Hardin, Bryan Litz, and Lane Buxton, are part of the U.S. Palma Team.

CLICK HERE for more reports from U.S. F-TR Rifle Team Blog

Palma Target Rifle F-TR World Championships Camp Perry .308 Winchester Sherry Jo Gallagher

The format is very similar to our own World Championships. Everyone entered in the Individuals will shoot 15 shoots for record at 800, 900, and 1000 yards and they will complete that course of fire three times over the next several days. The team event fires the same course twice.

The main difference from our style of shooting is that they will compete using aperture-type target sights and will be using an arm sling as support compared to the scopes and bipods that we use. The rings on our target are substantially tighter to account for the the greater stability and accuracy of the type of rifles that we use.

Report from Anette Wachter (aka 30CalGal), 8 August 2015
Day One of the World Long Range Championships — we had Opening Ceremonies this morning which had our U.S. Army Golden Knights jumping in and the flag raising of each participating country. Sherri Gallagher, former USAMU shooter and now a Golden Knight, led the team as the first and solo jumper. I was sort of hoping she would land in the prone position with a rifle and start the competition. The rest of the Knights fell from the sky and landed perfectly on the X.

CLICK HERE for more reports from

Palma Target Rifle F-TR World Championships Camp Perry .308 Winchester Sherry Jo Gallagher

The U.S. Fullbore Nationals consisted of individuals and various team events as well as the biggest event, the America’s Match. The USA has never lost the America’s Match at home. We won it three years ago here at Perry and last summer up in Canada. Yesterday was not in the cards. First let me congratulate Great Britain for some outstanding shooting. They lost a total of 17 points for 8 shooters all day and took the Gold. Australia came in second, South Africa 3rd and the USA in 4th. Very humbling yes. One of our coaches had to leave at the middle of the match for a family emergency as well. So I believe the kinks are done and we can move on successfully for this coming week of Worlds. We have the best shooters in the U.S. on our team. Things will turn around. Three women were in the top 25 of the Fullbore Nationals: Michelle Gallagher, Trudie Fay, and Jane Messer. Our Veterans and Under 25s had their World Championship team events as well. Our Veterans took the Gold and the USA Under 25s took the Bronze. The GB kids shot very well and received Gold and Silver medals.

Click HERE for Full-Bore Nationals Results

Palma Target Rifle F-TR World Championships Camp Perry .308 Winchester Sherry Jo Gallagher

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August 6th, 2015

Old Guys Rule! 60-y/o Betzold Wins Garand and Carbine Matches

Camp Perry CMP Trophy  Games M1 Garand Carbine 3-Gun Aggregate National Matches

Victor Betzold had a Camp Perry experience for the ages. At the 2015 CMP Games, Betzold won the Garand Match, won the M1 Carbine Match (setting a new Record), and took the 3-Gun Aggregate for the second year in a row. Now that’s an impressive performance. Betzhold is no stranger to shooting – beginning in junior high and firing well into college, then taking his love for guns into the Army. After the years went on and work and family became higher priorities, he fell away from the sport he loved. But now that he’s retired at age 60, he’s had time to practice again – practice that has certainly paid off.

During his remarkable showing at the National Games Matches, Betzold won the Carbine Match with a score of 375-6X, setting a new National Record in the process. In the National Garand Match, Betzold fired a score of 290-7X to become the overall winner of a field of 1213 competitors.

“It feels great,” he said. “I’ve been working at this for a long time.” The 60-year-old Betzold was also the top senior for both the Garand Match and the Carbine Match.

With his outstanding performances in the Garand and Springfield Matches, as well as an exceptional seventh-place finish in the Vintage Military Match, Betzold claimed the 3-Gun Aggregate title for the second year in a row — with a combined score of 865-19X.

Lady Competitor at the Garand Match (file photo).
Camp Perry CMP Trophy  Games M1 Garand Carbine 3-Gun Aggregate National Matches

To review complete results for all CMP National Match events at Camp Perry, visit the CMP 2015 Trophy Matches and SAFS Results Page.

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August 4th, 2015

Huge Turnout for AiR-15 Event at Camp Perry

Air 15 Challenge Match Camp Perry Gary Anderson

Though most of the action at Camp Perry this summer has been outdoors, there was also an important match conducted indoors at the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center. The AiR-15 Challenge match attracted nearly 200 competitors this year. Shooters used AR-type air rifles, aiming at reduced-size bullseye targets connected to electronic scoring systems.

AiR-15 Match Rifle Based on Anschütz 8001
Creedmoor Sports offers an AR-style air rifle built around an Anschütz 8001 barreled action. This rifle was designed in conjunction with the development of the CMP’s National Match Air Rifle shooting discipline.

AiR-15 Match Rifle

Some of the nation’s best marksmen were on hand, including 2015 NRA High Power National Champion SFC Brandon Green, who won the AiR 15 Shoot-Off with an outstanding score of 199-7X. Green’s victory earned him a $700 check from the CMP.

Air 15 Challenge Match Camp Perry Gary Anderson

One of the nation’s greatest High Power shooters, SFC Green actually got his start in competitive shooting in sporter air rifle for a JROTC unit in Louisiana. After shooting sporter for a few years, he switched to precision in high school before joining the Army and becoming a member of the USAMU.

“I think, mainly, people come in here to train,” Green explained. “It’s convenient to train and compete – get a little of that match pressure. That’s the reason that I come in to do it. Just to get time on the sights – time on the gun. Plus, it’s exciting to come in and shoot for a little bit of money.”

“Come out and try it,” he added. “It’s a good time.”

The AiR-15 match was part of a series of Air Rifle and Air Pistol Matches held this summer in the Gary Anderson Competition Center, a state-of-the-art indoor facility boasting 80 electronic target-equipped firing points. The center houses classrooms, a large common area, Olympic and other memorabilia and a world-class air range.

Air 15 Challenge Match Camp Perry Gary Anderson

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August 3rd, 2015

It’s Palma Time at Perry — Fullbore Championships Commence

Anette Wachter 2015 Camp Perry USA U.S. Fullbore Target Rifle Palma championship

From August 3 through August 14, Camp Perry, Ohio will be the center of the Fullbore (Palma Rifle) universe. From 3-7 August the U.S. Fullbore Championship will take place on the shores of Lake Erie, followed by the ICFRA World Target Rifle (Fullbore) Championships, which runs 8-14 August. The Worlds are a very big deal — just like the Olympics, the ICFRA World Target Rifle (aka Fullbore or Palma) LR Championships event is held every four years. This year the World Championships take place in the USA, at Camp Perry, Ohio. Teams from 11 countries will be competing. The United States won’t host the Worlds again for at least another 25 years.

CLICK HERE for Day-by-Day Match Results from the U.S. Fullbore Championships.

2015 Camp Perry USA U.S. Fullbore Target Rifle Palma championship

Our friend Anette Wachter (aka 30CalGal) was on hand for the start of the U.S. Fullbore Championships this week. Here are some images Anette posted from Perry. Many foreign shooters are already in the USA, using the U.S. Fullbore Championship as a “tune-up” for the upcoming World Championships. In addition some of the international events are being held this week such as the ICFRA Veterans World Championship Team Match and the ICFRA Under-25 and Under-21 World Team Championships.

2015 Camp Perry USA U.S. Fullbore Target Rifle Palma championship

Photos courtesy Anette Wachter. Read Anette’s Shooting Commentaries on

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August 3rd, 2015

Pennsylvania Juniors Win Team Matches at Perry

Pennsylvania Camp Perry Junior Team AR15

Pennsylvania Camp Perry Junior Team AR15It’s great to see young people get involved in the shooting sports and achieve success through dedication, practice, and team-work. We congratulate the Pennsylvania Junior Team which took first place in the 6-man and 2-man Junior team matches this year at Camp Perry. Special kudos go to this year’s High Junior, PA team member Matt Lovre, shown at right.

The winning 6-Man Pennsylvania squad included Jack Graw, Joe Hendricks, Kevin Kerin, Matt Lovre, Alexander Thomas and Wyatt Thomas. Alexander Thomas reports: “Great day, great coach, [Berger] bullets flying true. Conditions were tough, but team members held together to shoot awesome scores and take the number 1 spot at Nationals!”

The Pennsylvania Junior Team’s match load featured .22 cal Berger 77gr OTM bullets pushed by Alliant Reloder 15 powder. The team’s AR-platform rifles were smithed by Dead Center Sports with White Oak upper receivers and Geissele triggers.

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August 2nd, 2015

Nancy Tompkins Wins 2015 NRA Long Range Championship

Michelle Gallagher Mid Tompkins Nancy Tompkins Brandon Green

The matriarch of American Long Range Shooting has done it again. The amazing Nancy Tompkins won the 2015 NRA Long Range Championship with an impressive performance. This marks the fifth time Nancy has won the LR Championship. This year’s LR match went down to the wire after many days of shooting. It all came down to X-Count, with two talented ladies tied for score. Shooting a 1242-58X over the multi-day competition, Nancy finished four Xs ahead of SSG Amanda Elsenboss (1242-54X). Both women dropped only 8 points out of 1250 possible. Amanda’s USAMU team-mate, SFC Brandon Green, finished third, one point back, at 1241-75X. SFC Green, the newly-crowned 2015 High Power National Champion, had high X-Count by a wide margin.

CLICK HERE for Complete 2015 NRA Long Range High Power Rifle Championships RESULTS.

This year’s Long Range Championships event was hugely popular, with 321 competitors on the match roster. Many familiar faces ranked among the Special Award winners. Our friends David Tubb (1241-69X) and Jim O’Connell (1235-66X) were High Senior and High Grand Senior, respectively. Tubb finished fourth overall, with the second-highest X-Count. There were also talented newcomers, such as High Junior Charlotte Flanagan, a young Kiwi from far-away New Zealand. Firing a 1236-40X, Charlotte is shooting at an extremely high level for someone so young. As Ken Littlefield noted: “It’s pretty impressive to come into Camp Perry for the first time and win the Junior Championship!” Charlotte could be formidable at the World Fullbore LR Championships slated for 3-9 August at Camp Perry.

Here are the overall Top 10 finishers. Note that Michelle Gallager, Nancy Tompkins’s daughter, made the Top 10, making this a “family affair” for the Tompkins/Gallagher clan:

1. NANCY TOMPKINS (1242-58X), HM, Div. B – U.S. Match ‘Any’ Rifle*, Rule 3.2, 3.7(c)
2. SSG AMANDA ELSENBOSS (1242-54X), HM, USA REG W Div. B – U.S. Palma Rifle, Rule 3.3.1(a)
3. SFC BRANDON GREEN (1241-75X), HM, USA REG Div. B – U.S. Palma Rifle, Rule 3.3.1(a)
4. DAVID TUBB (1241-69X), HM, Div. B – U.S. Palma Rifle, Rule 3.3.1(a)
5. DAVID CALVERT (1241-63X), MA, Palma Rifle (NRA Rule 3.3.3 (b))
6. JANE MESSER (1240-60X), HM, Palma Rifle (NRA Rule 3.3.3 (b))
7. DAVID LUCKMAN (1239-68X), MA, Palma Rifle (NRA Rule 3.3.3 (b))
8. SGT DICONZA (1238-59X), HM, USMC REG Div. B – U.S. Palma Rifle, Rule 3.3.1(a)
9. PHILLIP CROWE (1238-54X), HM, Div. B – U.S. Palma Rifle, Rule 3.3.1(a)
10. MICHELLE GALLAGHER (1237-64X), HM, Div. B – U.S. Palma Rifle, Rule 3.3.1(a)
*The NRA Match bulletin lists Palma Rifle, but Nancy said she shot her “Any Rifle”.

In this photo, Michelle Gallagher is missing … but someone had to take the photo.
Michelle Gallagher Mid Tompkins Nancy Tompkins Sherri Jo Gallagher

Here is Nancy with the Tompkins Trophy. And yes, if you are wondering, that trophy was donated, decades ago, by hubby Mid Tompkins as the top prize for the Long Range High Power Rifle competition.

Nancy Tompkins Long Range Championship
Photo courtesy

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August 1st, 2015

High Power Excellence from Camp Perry

Carl Bernosky Camp Perry Aaron Perkins

How good are the best High Power position shooters? Pretty amazing actually. Here are some targets from the 2015 NRA High Power Championship at Camp Perry. Shown above is a 100-10X (literally a perfect score) at 200 yards. This was shot sitting, rapid-fire by 11-time National High Power Champion Carl Bernosky. That’s impressive to say the least. As one Facebook fan noted: “Not bad for an old codger with a bad back….”

Carl Bernosky
File photo of Carl Bernosky from previous competition.

The target below is a 100-0X, shot rapid-fire prone by an unknown sling shooter. That may not seem that impressive at first, but this was fired from THREE HUNDRED yards. It takes a mighty solid hold to produce a nice 10-shot cluster like that without dropping a point.

Carl Bernosky Camp Perry Aaron Perkins

To put these impressive performances in perspective, Lapua’s Kevin Thomas reports: “For those who aren’t familiar with these targets, the center X-Ring on both of these targets is 3 inches across. The 10-Ring is 7 inches across [including line], roughly the size of a small sandwich plate.”

Target Photos from Facebook by Aaron Perkins.

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July 30th, 2015

Long-Range Championships at Camp Perry

Brandon Green SFC long range camp perry 7mm RSAUM USAMU

The NRA High Power Long Range Championships kicked off on the 29th of July. Despite challenging winds there were many impressive performances, including one by newly-crowned NRA High Power Champion SFC Brandon Green. The talented USAMU shooter traded his Across-the-Course Rig for his 7mm RSAUM prone rifle to compete in the series of Long Range matches. Brandon shot very well, finishing with a 100-7X in the final Shoot-Off to win the Mustin Trophy match.

Shown at top is SFC Brandon Green with his long-range rifle. Note: the target in the photo shows the shot position for Brandon’s 10-shot Shoot-Off — all 10s and Xs. However, this is a REDUCED-SIZE target used for shot-marking (display) purposes only. The actual 1000-yard NRA Long-Range Target has a 10″ X-Ring, and a 20″ Ten-Ring. So the group of shots shown is much smaller than Green’s actual shots on the real 1000-yard target. Nonetheless this was a very impressive string for a sling-shooter using iron sights.

If you’re curious about Green’s long-range rifle, it is a 7mm RSAUM with an Anschutz trigger in a Robertson Composites prone-style stock. This rifle features iron sights, but when USAMU shooters participate in scoped “any sights” competitions, they normally use Nightforce NSX scopes, according the USAMU coach SFC Emil Praslick III.

You Call the Wind…

Conditions were far from easy on Day 1 of the Long Range Championships. Here is a shot taken through a 25X spotting scope by Kevin Thomas of Lapua. Take a look at those flags swinging at different angles. Based on what you can see, what’s your wind call?

Brandon Green SFC long range camp perry 7mm RSAUM USAMU

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July 29th, 2015

SFC Brandon Green Wins National High Power Championship

Brandon Green NRA High Power Championship 2015

Congratulations to SFC Brandon Green on winning the 2015 NRA National High Power Championship. Green shot an impressive 2387-140X to earn his second High Power title, finishing ahead of past Champion Norman Houle (2380-126X) and USAMU team-mate SFC Shane Barnhart (2379-127X). Brandon told “It’s a great honor and privilege to shoot and compete with such great people here at camp Perry. We had a great match this year and I already look forward to seeing everyone next year.”

Over 260 shooters competed in this year’s High Power Championship events. CLICK HERE to view complete match results, with overall rankings, as well as category-specific results.

It was a well-deserved win for Green, who had to over-come the effects of a nasty spider bite on his right arm (see photo). Joe Caley observed: “Our man Brandon Green and his new-found Spiderman powers pulled off another great Championship. Years from now, no one will remember the 2015 Championship [scores], but they will remember Brandon Green’s Spider Bite!”

Brandon Green NRA High Power Championship 2015

SFC Green expressed gratitude to all those who assisted his efforts: “I just want to say thank you to all of my friends and family who support and help us do what we love to do. Thank you for all of the hard work, congratulations, and encouraging words. From the USAMU support team to the friends on the range and back home, I feel blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful people. THANK YOU!”

Here are the Top Ten Finishers, ranked by score for all Classifications:

1. SFC Brandon Green (HM) 2387-140X U.S. Army, Service Match Rifle
2. Norman Houle (HM) 2380-126X Civilian Match Rifle
3. SFC Shane Barnhart (HM) 2379-127X U.S. Army, Service Match Rifle
4. Rodrigo Rosa (HM) 2374-106X Civilian Match Rifle
5. MSG Robert Mango (HM) 2372-104X U.S. Army Reserve, Service Rifle (NRA Rule 3.1)
6. SGT Lee Bahten (HM) 2370-116X U.S. Army, Service Rifle (NRA Rule 3.1)
7. Joseph Hendricks (HM) 2369-82X Civilian Match Rifle
8. Ronald Zerr (HM) 2367-112X Civilian Match Rifle
9. CPT Samuel Freeman (HM) 2367-96X U.S Army Reserve, Service Rifle (NRA Rule 3.1)
10. Kenneth Lankford (HM) 2367-95X Civilian Match Rifle

CLICK HERE for Complete Results from NRA 2015 High Power National Championships.

2015 NRA High Power National Championships

2015 NRA High Power National Championships

Bernosky Forced to Withdraw Due to Medical Issues
Report by
This is the second championship for SFC Green, whose first win came two years ago in 2013 after a tie with legendary shooter Carl Bernosky at 2384-126X each. Although both possessed the same point total and X-Count, Green was ultimately awarded the championship after a rulebook-mandated comparison of Xs at each distance gave him the advantage.

Bernosky, a ten-time NRA High Power Rifle champion, withdrew from this year’s competition after the first day (while in sole possession of first place) due to medical complications.

“This win is kind of bittersweet because Carl wasn’t able to be out here. We are pretty good friends and we’re both super competitive people so I wanted to shoot against him,” Green said. “Carl is one of the best competitors I’ve ever seen in this sport, Norm too, and it’s nice to be able to shoot with these guys every year.”

Range photos from 2015 HP Nat’l Championships courtesy

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July 23rd, 2015

U.S. Shooters Help South Africans After Match Ammo Seized

Palma Long Rnage World Championships US Customs ATF South Africa Ray Gross

Story Based on Report by NSSF
American shooters, along with Brownells and Redding, are providing help to the South African Palma (Target Rifle) team members, who will be competing at the Long Range World Championships at Camp Perry in early August, 2015. The ability of the South Africans to compete has been jeopardized by the unexpected seizure of their pre-shipped match ammo by U.S. Customs and ATF. We don’t know why the Feds seized the South Africans’ match ammo, but without it, the South African Team’s ability to participate in the Long Range World Championships has been threatened.

To rectify this situation, American F-TR and Palma shooters, backed by Brownells and Redding, have secured reloading equipment (presses, dies) and ammo components (brass, bullets, powder) so that the South Africans can assemble the needed .308 Win ammo on their arrival in the USA at the end of July.

F-TR Palma World Championships US Customs ATF South Africa Ray GrossAccording to industry sources, the shipment of match ammo for the South African Palma team was seized at the U.S. port of entry by U.S. Customs and ATF agents. When Ray Gross, captain of the U.S. F-TR rifle team, learned about this, Ray contacted Geoff Esterline, Product Category Manager at Brownells. Esterline immediately turned to Robin Sharpless, Executive VP of Redding Reloading, for help.

“I won’t go into the full list of presses and accessories we’ve gathered up, but I can say it’s extensive,” Sharpless told NSSF. “A member of the U.S. F-TR team who lives near Camp Perry has agreed to take our shipment and those from Brownells and the other companies providing brass, powder and bullets so that, when the South African team arrives in the U.S. during the last days of July, they can get started immediately on hand-loading. The U.S. team is even building benches for the press setups, so the South African team should be able to knock this out and get to the more important task at hand, and that is shooting at Camp Perry.”

The 2015 Palma Match and Long Range World Championships will be held August 3-15, in conjunction with the annual NRA National Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio.

Ray Gross reports: “The folks who deserve credit for this are the members of the U.S. Palma Team, Ryan Henning, Geoff Esterline of Brownells, and the folks at Redding. Members of the Palma team had donated much of the needed equipment within hours of U.S. Palma Team Captain Dennis Flaharty putting the word out.

My contribution was limited to a few emails to Brownells. They coordinated with Redding to provide the remaining equipment. This is a great example of international shooting camaraderie, but my part in it was very small.”

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July 20th, 2015

Rattle Battle at Camp Perry

CMP Camp Perry Rattle Battle NTIT Infantry Trophy Team Match Video

The CMP’s National Trophy Infantry Team Match (NTIT) has been a staple at the National Matches since 1922. Also known as the “Rattle Battle,” the event is one of the most unique in the competitive rifling world — scoring is based on how many hits six-person teams can score on a bank of targets during a series of 50-second firing periods at four yardages. Teams begin the NTIT match with 384 rounds of ammunition, which they fire upon eight silhouette targets from 600, 500, 300 and 200 yards during successive 50-second periods. After each rapid-fire string, team members move forward (to the next-closest distance) carrying all equipment from firing line to firing line. The match emphasizes extremely fast, accurate fire and good communication among teammates. The Rattle Battle is always an exciting competition for spectators to watch. View NTIT match results on the CMP website.

Watch CMP ‘Rattle Battle’ Video — 50 Seconds of Rapid Fire…

The video shows the California Grizzlies, one of the top junior squads. The lead photo shows the U.S. Army Reserve (USAR) Team in action during the NTIT match. See more in USAR “Rattle Battle” Video.

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July 15th, 2015

Vintage Sniper Rifle Match July 17th at Camp Perry

Vintage Sniper Rifle Match

This Friday, July 17th, the CMP hosts the Vintage Sniper Rifle Match at Camp Perry. One of the most popular vintage rifle matches held each summer at Perry, this is a two-man team competition using scoped rifles of WWI and WWII Vintage. Many competitors use some version of the M1903 Springfield, but you’ll also see scoped M1 Garands, K31s, Mausers, and even a Lee-Enfield or two.

Vintage Sniper Rifle Match

Two-person teams will fire 10 rounds in 20-second intervals from scoped vintage military rifles set on sand bags. One team marksman shoots from the prone position at 300 and 600 yards, while the other serves as a spotter to relay shot position. Marksman and spotter switch positions on the firing lines, allowing each teammate to play both roles. Scores are then combined for an Aggregate team total.

Two M1 Garands, fitted with scopes and lace-on cheekpads.
Vintage sniper rifle team match camp perry

Who can identify this rifle, with its unusual scope mount?
Vintage sniper rifle team match camp perry

Our friends at Criterion Barrels have written an interesting article about last year’s Vintage Sniper Rifle Match. It you want an “insider’s perspective” on the 2014 Match, plus Vintage Sniper gunsmithing tips, read this article. Here are some highlights:

About the Match and the Rifles
The Vintage Sniper Match was the brainchild of Hornady’s Dave Emary. The competition was inspired by his father, a World War II scout sniper, who carried a rifle similar to the 1903A4 rifle builds that can be found today on the Camp Perry firing line. Bob Schanen worked alongside Dave and the CMP staff in establishing the various competition rules prior to the first official Vintage Sniper Match in 2011. The match developers made a point to offer some level of flexibility in rifle configuration, allowing specific types of non-issue optics and rifle rebuilds. This helped make the match more inclusive.

Hornady’s Dave Emary and “Gunny” R. Lee Ermey (right): CMP Vintage Sniper Rifle Match

Bob Shanen has two vintage sniper competition rifles. Both builds are based off of the USMC Model 1941 sniper rifle, a design similar to the M1903A1 National Match rifle. Bob’s rifles both carry 8x Lyman Junior Target Spotter scopes with a thin crosshair reticle. Bob attributes a large part of his rifle’s accuracy to the Criterion M1903 match-grade barrels installed on each rifle by Rick Humphreys, a Milwaukee area gunsmith. These tack-driving barrels are capable of half-MOA accuracy.

Camp Perry — The Venue
The hallowed grounds of Camp Perry have hosted some of the nation’s finest shooters each summer for more than a century. Some of the world’s greatest marksmen have accomplished remarkable feats on the ranges of this lakeside military outpost. Located on the coast of Lake Erie, Camp Perry is positioned just outside of the scenic town of Port Clinton, Ohio. It is our firm belief that every shooter should make the pilgrimage to the Camp Perry at least once in their lifetime. If not participating in an event, visitors should at least make an attempt to meet the competitors, witness the wide selection of firearms used by participants, and pay a visit to the various vendors on base.

Photos from Garand Thumb Blog and NRA Blog.

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June 7th, 2015

Online Registration Still Open for National Matches

2012 Nat’l High Power Champ Carl Bernosky. Photo courtesy

 2014 NRA National Rifle and Pistol Championships at Camp Perry, Ohio

Report based on story by Kyle Jillson for
It’s not too late — you can still sign up for your spot in this summer’s NRA National Rifle and Pistol Championships. Register online now to participate in the 2015 NRA National Rifle & Pistol Championships which will be held July 6 – August 14, 2015.

Pistol and High Power Rifle REGISTRATION | Smallbore Rifle Championships REGISTRATION


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May 30th, 2015

High Power Champ Carl Bernosky Explains How to Shoot Standing

Some folks say you haven’t really mastered marksmanship unless you can hit a target when standing tall ‘on your own hind legs’. Of all the shooting positions, standing can be the most challenging because you have no horizontally-solid resting point for your forward arm/elbow. Here 10-time National High Power Champ Carl Bernosky explains how to make the standing shot.

Carl Bernosky is one of the greatest marksmen in history. A multi-time National High Power Champion, Carl has won ten (10) National High Power Championships in his storied shooting career, most recently in 2012. In this article, Carl provides step-by-step strategies to help High Power shooters improve their standing scores. When Carl talks about standing techniques, shooters should listen. Among his peers, Carl is regard as one of the best, if not the best standing shooter in the game today. Carl rarely puts pen to paper, but he was kind enough to share his techniques with’s readers.

If you are position shooter, or aspire to be one some day, read this article word for word, and then read it again. We guarantee you’ll learn some techniques (and strategies) that can improve your shooting and boost your scores. This stuff is gold folks, read and learn…

Carl Bernosky High PowerHow to Shoot Standing
by Carl Bernosky

Shooting consistently good standing stages is a matter of getting rounds down range, with thoughtfully-executed goals. But first, your hold will determine the success you will have.

1. Your hold has to be 10 Ring to shoot 10s. This means that there should be a reasonable amount of time (enough to get a shot off) that your sights are within your best hold. No attention should be paid to the sights when they are not in the middle — that’s wasted energy. My best hold is within 5 seconds after I first look though my sights. I’m ready to shoot the shot at that time. If the gun doesn’t stop, I don’t shoot. I start over.

2. The shot has to be executed with the gun sitting still within your hold. If the gun is moving, it’s most likely moving out, and you’ve missed the best part of your hold.

3. Recognizing that the gun is sitting still and within your hold will initiate you firing the shot. Lots of dry fire or live fire training will help you acquire awareness of the gun sitting still. It’s not subconscious to me, but it’s close.

4. Don’t disturb the gun when you shoot the shot. That being said, I don’t believe in using ball or dummy rounds with the object of being surprised when the shot goes off. I consciously shoot every shot. Sometimes there is a mistake and I over-hold. But the more I train the less of these I get. If I get a dud round my gun will dip.* I don’t believe you can learn to ignore recoil. You must be consistent in your reaction to it.

Carl Bernosky High Power5. Know your hold and shoot within it. The best part of my hold is about 4 inches. When I get things rolling, I recognize a still gun within my hold and execute the shot. I train to do this every shot. Close 10s are acceptable. Mid-ring 10s are not. If my hold was 8 inches I would train the same way. Shoot the shot when it is still within the hold, and accept the occasional 9. But don’t accept the shots out of the hold.

6. Practice makes perfect. The number of rounds you put down range matter. I shudder to think the amount of rounds I’ve fired standing in my life, and it still takes a month of shooting standing before Perry to be in my comfort zone. That month before Perry I shoot about 2000 rounds standing, 22 shots at a time. It peaks me at just about the right time.

This summarizes what I believe it takes to shoot good standing stages. I hope it provides some insight, understanding, and a roadmap to your own success shooting standing.

Good Shooting, Carl

* This is very noticeable to me when shooting pistol. I can shoot bullet holes at 25 yards, but if I’ve miscounted the rounds I’ve fired out of my magazine, my pistol will dip noticeably. So do the pistols of the best pistol shooters I’ve watched and shot with. One might call this a “jerk”, I call it “controlled aggressive execution”, executed consistently.

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May 19th, 2015

U.S.A. Palma Team Practices at Camp Perry

U.S. Palma Team Camp Perry Ohio World Championships

U.S. Palma Team Camp Perry Ohio World ChampionshipsThe Fullbore (Palma) World Championships will be held at Camp Perry, Ohio this summer. The American squad arrived a bit early — for a few days of team practice. Our friend Anette Wachter (aka 30 Cal Gal) is in Ohio with Team USA and she posted some photos on Facebook. Skies were gray, but that didn’t deter the American shooters who practiced their shooting under the watchful eyes of top wind coaches.

Take a look at the photo above. How many ace American shooters can you spot? Here’s one hint — pulling the black wheeled case is John Whidden, past U.S. Long-Range National Champion.

At right is the first bit of Team USA swag. Anette says there is more to come — team shirts and jackets were sized and ordered for all the U.S.A. shooters and coaches.


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