Camp Perry is moving into the future. The first fifteen (15) electronic targets are being installed right now at Camp Perry’s Petrarca Range. This is the beginning of a process to supply many ranges at Camp Perry with state-of-the-art Kongsberg (KTS) electronic targets similar to those installed at the CMP’s Talladega Marksmanship Park. NOTE — the CMP is not planning a whole-scale replacement of all of Camp Perry’s old-fashioned targets. However the CMP hopes to modernize the Camp Perry facility, by installing some electronic targets on all Camp Perry ranges by summer 2018.
Camp Perry’s new Kongsberg electronic targets will be similar to the targets installed at the Talledega facility (shown above). Image courtesy CMP and www.AL.com.
New Kongsberg Electronic Targets for Camp Perry
On the Camp Perry Petrarca Range in Ohio, KTS targets for rifle, pistol and smallbore are currently being installed. The CMP states: “The project is going according to plan and is within budget, with completion expected by the end of June for CMP use and those attending the National Matches.”
When the new target systems are installed, the Petrarca Range will offer 10 KTS targets for rifle and five KTS targets for pistol and smallbore. Though the rifle targets will be located at the 200-yard line, the changing of the target faces and the use of reduced target definitions will allow shooters to practice for longer distances as well. Pistol targets will be mounted in portable carriers that will allow them to be set up at 25 or 50 yards.
More Electronic Targets at Camp Perry by 2018
It is hoped that some KTS rifle targets will be available on ALL of the Camp Perry ranges by summer of 2018. (These will supplement the conventional target frames, not replace them altogether). 2016 National Match competitors will be able to try out the new KT targets when they visit the Camp Perry training site in July. In the future, the Petrarca Range will be open for public use.
Monitors Display Score and Shot Location Instantly
Each Kongsberg target connects to a monitor that displays the hit locations to the shooter. Easy push-button controls allow the shooter to cycle through hits and options without having to change positions. The monitors employ non-glare glass protected by an aluminum frame that acts as a shade. This ensures good visibility for the shooter.
Engineered in Norway, Kongsberg target systems do more than just display shot locations to competitors. The system automatically calculate scores, and every target is networked to a central, “command” computer. This can provide updated competitor rankings, and can even display the results to event spectators on large view screens. See how it works in this video from Kongsberg:
Video Demonstrates Kongsberg Target System
Mobile Electronic Targets Will Be Moved Around the Country
The CMP now has set of mobile electronic Kongsberg High Power targets. The CMP plans to shuttle these transportable targets to a variety of ranges in the north, south, east, and west, allowing shooters around the country to experience the benefits of electronic target systems. The CMP has found that shooters love the fact that matches run much more quickly and efficiently with electronic targets, as shooters do not have to be shuttled to the pits between relays. In addition, each shooter has a monitor providing instant feedback of his shot locations and scores.
In April, 15 mobile electronic targets were temporarily installed and fired upon from 200, 300 and 600 yards at the Oklahoma City Gun Club during the Oklahoma CMP Games Matches. The mobile targets were transported from Talladega and mounted by the CMP and volunteers for use during the event. The targets were removed at the conclusion of the event for future use at other High Power ranges.
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Since this is Mother’s Day, here’s a story about one very special mother — a talented lady shooter who also reared one of the greatest marksmen in history, David Tubb.
We expect you’ve heard of David Tubb, 11-time NRA National High Power Champion. Without question, David is one of the greatest rifle shooters who ever lived. What you may not know is that David came from a family of shooters. David’s father, George Tubb, was a nationally-ranked High Power competitor. What’s more (now this may surprise you), David’s mother “Polly” was was a great shooter in her own right. When she wasn’t rearing a future Champion, Polly was hitting the X-Ring at rifle matches.
Pauline (“Polly”) S. Tubb of Canadian, Texas, earned several rifle championships during the course of her shooting career. In this photo, Polly took a moment to appear for a photo after winning the 1962 National Woman’s Bolt Rifle championship at Camp Perry. One shooter who competed against Polly observed: “I was there as a 1962 Pennsylvania State Team junior! I remember Polly. She beat some of the best Army and Marine shooters and always did it with style and good humor.”
Nick Till in 2009 M1A Match. Nick was the 2007 Service Rifle Nat’l Champion. Photo courtesy NRA Blog.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the NRA Springfield M1A Match, scheduled for July 31, 2016 at Camp Perry, Ohio. The Springfield M1A Match will kick off the 2016 NRA National High Power Rifle Championships. With this year’s anniversary M1A competition, more than 4,000 competitors will have shot the classic M1A for score from Camp Perry’s 300-yard line.
Big bucks will be at stake in this year’s M1A match. Springfield Armory is donating over $25,000 worth of cash and prizes, including a $2,000 cash award to the overall winner. All competitors who register by July 15, 2016 will also receive a free Springfield M1A Match T-shirt.
Sponsored by Springfield Armory, the NRA Springfield M1A Match was conceived to promote use of this historic battle rifle, based on the military’s M14. “Springfield Armory has always been about heritage,” stated Springfield Armory CEO Dennis Reese. “I competed myself last year. It was incredibly inspiring to see hundreds and hundreds of our M1A rifles on the Camp Perry firing lines.”
M1A Match Course of Fire
Equipment rules allow pretty much all types/grades of M1As in the match. The one-day course of fire consists of 50 shots at 300 yards on the NRA MR-65F target, as follows: 5 sighters; 20 shots slow-fire prone; 10 shots rapid-fire prone; 10 shots rapid-fire, kneeling or sitting; and 10 shots slow-fire standing.
Video of 2009 M1A match at Camp Perry (NOTE: Loud wind noise — turn down speakers.)
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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 AccurateShooter.com’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…
How 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.
5. 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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At its upcoming Annual Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, the National Rifle Association (NRA) will launch a new activities program for Millennials — young Americans in their 20s and early 30s. The new MRA (Millennial Rifle Activities) program will include a series of special events for Millennials held throughout the nation. These MRA “gatherings” will be unique among NRA competition disciplines. First, all participants in MRA events will receive a participation badge or trophy for showing up. Second, though shooting at targets will be encouraged, no actual gun-handling is required. Millennial participants can choose to watch instead. Finally, for those who do choose to shoot at MRA events, scoring will optional. Actual scores will be kept confidential, and there will be no published rankings. “At MRA events”, promises an NRA news release, “all participants will be winners.”
The NRA’s new MRA activities program targets “Millennials” — the young Americans raised on video games and the internet. If you’re not familiar with the term “Millennials”, this refers to Americans born between 1980 and 2000. They represent “the first generation that grew up with the internet and the first to have truly incorporated technology into their daily lives.” READ More.
Scoring Optional at Millennials Matches
Creating a competition program for Millennials has been challenging. With short attention spans, Millennials are easily distracted and they lack motivation to prepare or practice. Very self-absorbed, Millennials were raised on “instant gratification” and see themselves as entitled. These personality traits seem to run contrary to the focus, self-discipline, and mindset required for serious competition. Accordingly, the NRA has taken a whole new approach to MRA matches — scores won’t count and the focus will be on participation. Said one member of the NRA Competition Committee: “These were the kids who got ‘participation trophies’ for playing soccer. We are offering the same kinds of rewards. At our Millennial Matches you’ll be acknowledged just for showing up. Scoring will be optional. The emphasis is not on winning, but on participating.”
An NRA spokesman told us: “We’ve done a lot of research into the Millennial group. This demographic is very different than older generations. They expect to be rewarded for participation and they don’t want to be judged by objective standards, such as numeric scores. We’ve also learned that they like to do activities on the spur of the moment and without preparation. That’s why actual shooting will be optional at MRA events. We expect that many participants will arrive completely unprepared — without a gun or ammo. But they can still participate, and be acknowledged… and that’s what it’s all about. We want to get more Millennials involved, whether they actually shoot or not.”
NRA Millennials Outreach Follows Success of NRA Programs for Women
The NRA’s outreach programs have enabled the organization to grow its membership base successfully. For example, in recent years the NRA has significantly expanded the ranks of female members. The NRA now offers a wide variety of programs expressly for women, including self-defense training and women’s wilderness retreats. The NRA also maintains a media channel for women, NRAwomen.tv. This broadcast/web channel promotes women’s activities and recognizes top female shooters.
Millennials Create Unique Challenges for Match Directors
Dennis Santiago is a seasoned match director with decades of experience running NRA matches. He said that finding a formula for the new Millennials Match “gatherings” has been a challenge: “Designing a competitive course of fire for the new MRA Millennials discipline is not as easy as you would think. Millennials have short attention spans and it is difficult to draw them away from their digital devices. You have to come up with range commands that can attract their attention. We are thinking of sending commands via Twitter, or possibly streaming match instructions over Spotify.”
Dennis also noted that a shooting competition with “optional scoring” is something new and different for the NRA. “The concept of recording and reporting scores was hotly debated. Ultimately we decided to make scoring optional. We concluded that mandatory scoring would probably discourage participation by Millennials. To a generation that has been rewarded for simply showing up, we wanted to create a ‘safe space’ and a non-threatening environment for this new class of competitor.”
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Report based on story by Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer
Registration for the 2016 National Trophy Pistol and Rifle Matches will open April 1, 2016. The National Matches will take place at Camp Perry, Ohio, six miles west of Port Clinton, during the months of July and August. Starting April 1st, you can register on the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) website to claim your spot at this year’s event.
2016 National Match Schedule Includes Legacy Series
The 2016 Match Schedule will be different from the 2014-2015 National Matches, returning to the original schedule of years past. Events featured will include the John C. Garand, President’s Rifle, Hearst Doubles, Vintage Sniper, as well as a multitude of prestigious pistol events. New this year, the CMP will introduce its Legacy Series — an extra week with competitions featuring both vintage and modern military rifles. Each event has been named to honor the memories of important figures in marksmanship history, as well as to commemorate the spirit of past and present National Matches.
Shooting Clinics at Camp Perry This Summer
The Small Arms Firing School (SAFS) will also be held for rifle and pistol enthusiasts this summer. Participants will be taught firearms handling and competition skills by some of the top military shooters in the country. The SAFS courses have been a staple in the National Matches at Camp Perry since 1918. Many other clinics and learning opportunities, taught by qualified professionals, will also be available during the National Matches.
Spectators Are Welcome at the National Matches
Events are open to the public, and spectators are welcome to observe firing on the Camp Perry ranges at any time. Guests are encouraged to visit Camp Perry and watch the many events held during Match season. The photo below shows spectators watching Pistol events at the 1956 National Matches. That was quite a crowd…
The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) is a federally chartered 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation. It is dedicated to firearm safety and marksmanship training and to the promotion of marksmanship competition for citizens of the United States. For more information about the CMP and its programs, log onto www.TheCMP.org.
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This week’s episode of Shooting USA TV features the 2015 Palma World Championships. The World Fullbore Championships and ICFRA World Long Range Palma Team Championship were held at Camp Perry this past summer. The last time the USA hosted the Palma Championship was 1992 in Raton, New Mexico. The event won’t return to the USA for another 28 years. If you want to see the world’s best sling shooters in action, tune in to this episode of Shooting USA on the Outdoor Channel.
This Team Championship is a prestigious match at 800, 900 and 1,000 yards with national squads competing for the prized Palma Trophy (see below). The 2015 Team Championship was secured by the talented United Kingdom squad.
Palma Team World Championships
The Team Palma match is the oldest, continuously-running rifle match in the world. This event was first held in 1876 in Creedmoor, New York as a challenge match to mark America’s Centennial. British Commonwealth nations were invited and the American team won the first title. The Palma World Championships currently take place every four years. This summer the event was held in the USA, with the top eight teams in the world competing at Camp Perry in Ohio. The next Palma Team World Championships will be held in New Zealand in 2019.
“It’s fantastic. It is the greatest honor you could ever get to represent your country. We wouldn’t give it up for anything,” says Australia Palma Team Member, Ben Emms. The match itself takes place over two days, with each team shooting at 800, 900 and 1,000 yards. Competitors shoot a modern target rifle with iron (aperture) sights. All rifles are chambered for the .308 Win (7.62×51) with 155-grain bullets. Wind calls are made by each team’s Wind Coach. “His job is very complex. He’s up there, he’s watching the mirage, the wind flags, and paying attention to the other targets down range,” says American Team Member Amanda Elsenboss.
The top individual shooter in the 2015 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 surpass. 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 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 sriginal 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.
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You may not know it, but a team of youngsters from California is the winningest junior team in the history of the National Matches at Camp Perry. Despite California’s tough gun laws, the young shooters on the California Grizzlies Rifle Team have managed to rack up impressive victories in competition, achieving excellence season after season.
Help Support the California Grizzlies Junior Rifle Team
Right now the Grizzlies Grizzlies are seeking donations to support their effort to attend the 2016 National Matches at Camp Perry. You can make a secure PayPal donation through the Grizzlies’ website, www.TeamGrizzlies.com.
The California Grizzlies squad has always excelled — it remains the only junior team to ever win the Infantry Trophy (NTIT) at the NRA National Championships. In 2009, Team Grizzlies O’Connell shot a 1284 to win the NTIT, becoming the first junior team to ever win the event and the first civilian team to win in 79 years. In 2013, the Grizzlies again shot superbly, winning not only the High Junior Title, but the Civilian Title as well. In fact, in 2013, the young Grizzlies squad beat ALL the adult teams except the powerhouse U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit Team.
Here is the 2009 Grizzlies Squad that won the NTIT outright, beating ALL other teams.
Watch the Grizzlies in Action, Training for the Nationals
This video was filmed in 2010 during a week-long training clinic held at the Coalinga range in central California. During the clinic, Grizzlies members honed their position shooting skills. We wish these boys and girls good luck in their quest for another team victory at Camp Perry.
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Online registration is officially open for the 2016 NRA National Rifle and Pistol Championships at Camp Perry, Ohio. Held July 11 through August 9, 2016, the National Matches attract the nation’s finest civilian and military marksmen who will participate in a month of competitive shooting on the shores of Lake Erie. From pistol, to smallbore rifle, high power rifle, and long range high power rifle (including F-Class), the national matches have something for just about every serious shooter.
Shooters may now register to compete in this summer’s 2016 NRA National Rifle and Pistol Championships at Camp Perry, Ohio. Championship will be held in NRA’s Pistol, High Power, Mid-Range, and Long Range disciplines. Click the links below for the 2016 NM Calendar and NM Registration Form:
Smallbore Championships Will Be Held in Bristol, Indiana
As usual, the pistol, High Power, and High Power Long Range Championships will be held at Camp Perry, Ohio, on the shores of Lake Erie. However, the NRA National Smallbore Position Championships and Smallbore Prone Championships will be held at the Chief Wa-Ke-De Range in Bristol, Indiana. This year’s Smallbore Championships are scheduled for July 10 through July 18th.
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The Camp Perry “campus” is better than ever, thanks to millions of dollars in site improvements in recent years. Key grounds and buildings improvements have been made at the historic Camp Perry base, which boasts America’s largest rifle range. Over the past five years, the base has poured more than $10 million into facility enhancements. These projects are funded with a mix of Federal and state monies, as Federal facilities are operated on state (Ohio) lands.
Roads Have Been Sealed to Reduce Dust
In 2015, Camp Perry took on more than 20 projects, totaling over $900,000. The renovations included chipping and sealing of the range roads to keep dust off of the ranges. That’s a big deal that will benefit all visitors to Camp Perry. In addition, new HVAC systems were installed throughout the complex. That will be welcome in the hot summer months. Also in 2015, the lighting on Scorpion Road by the clubhouse was upgraded. For 2016, there will be additional improvements to the Camp Perry site. Approximately 20 more projects are slated for the current year, with a similar budget (around $1 million).
Major Building Upgrades
Major upgrades are taking place this year on the Petrarca Range and the North Barracks. New walls and lighting (along with new garage doors) are being installed in Petrarca Range buildings to create a more “classroom-type” setting for soldiers and National Match competitors. “When soldiers come here in the winter time, they’ll have a place to work under cover in a classroom environment, but still be able to work with weapons on the ranges,” explained CPT Michael Yates, Camp Perry Base Operations Supervisor. “It worked out nicely that it benefits our partners for the National Matches so the clinics will have a nice area to work with too.”
Two North Barracks Buildings renovations are almost complete. Those Barrack facilities were closed during the 2015 National Matches, but will be up and running for the 2016 National Matches — allowing even more housing options right on the Camp Perry base.
“Everything that we’re doing here at Camp Perry is continually improving what we have. This facility has been around for over 100 years now, so she is always needing some updates,” said said CPT Michael Yates, Base Operations Supervisor of Camp Perry. “We did a big sanitary update in the ’90s, water in 2010, and electric in 2011. Now we’’re coming up on the life cycle of those things, so we’re doing life-cycle updates.”
Camp Perry range photos courtesy Shawn McKenna.
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Old is new again. After receiving many suggestions on how best to fill the recently-added week at the end of the National Matches in August, the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) has created the “CMP Legacy Series”. To be conducted during the final week of competition at Camp Perry, the Legacy Series will include the following matches:
CMP Heritage Match (Aug. 10) – 800 Aggregate event, 20 shots standing and 20 shots sitting at the 200-yard line, 20 shots rapid fire at the 300-yard line and 20 shots prone slow fire at the 600-yard line.
CMP Viale Memorial Match (Aug. 11) – 50-shot National Match Course of Fire
CMP Critchfield 2-Man Team Match (Aug. 12) – 50-shot National Match Course of Fire.
CMP Modern Military Rifle Match (Aug. 13) – 55-shot match fired at the 200-yard line.
CMP Roosevelt Commemorative Match (Aug. 14) – 30-shot Krag/m1903 match fired at the 200-yard line.
The theme “Legacy Series” was chosen to honor Camp Perry and those individuals who have helped shape the nation’s longest-running series of championship and recreational rifle events in America. The schedule above was chosen by the overwhelming majority of CMP competitors surveyed. Of the 1,595 responses, 1,051 selected the CMP Legacy Series to conclude the 2016 National Matches.
The CMP Heritage Match is typical of the National Match Course service rifle events fired at Camp Perry for more than 100 years. The CMP Viale Memorial Match celebrates the memory of 2nd Lt. Robert M. Viale, KIA, namesake of Camp Perry’s 1,000-yard range. The CMP Critchfield 2-Man Team match is named in honor of Ammon B. Critchfield, Adjutant General of Ohio and founder of Camp Perry, the largest rifle range in the nation.
Critchfield would also be pleased to see those 1903 Springfields in action more than a century later on his range at the CMP Roosevelt Commemorative Match, open only to the Springfield and its predecessor, the Krag-Jorgensen rifle.
The CMP Modern Military Rifle Match showcases modern, semi-automatic military style rifles like the non-accurized M14/M1A, the original lightweight AR15 and many foreign military semi-autos and commercial equivalents.
If you have questions regarding the CMP Legacy Series, contact Christina Roguski at croguski @ thecmp.org, Shannon Hand at shand @ thecmp.org or Kim Filipiak at kfilipiak @ thecmp.org.
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Click Calendar above to download large-size 2016 National Match Calendar PDF.
It’s never too early to start planning for the National Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio. Here is the official calendar for next year’s National Matches to be held in the summer of 2016. Registration for the CMP National Trophy Rifle & Pistol Matches and CMP Games Events will open on April 1, 2016. Competitors should note that most events and matches have returned to the previous dates before the adjustment for the Palma (Fullbore) World Championships in 2014 and 2015. However, the Smallbore National Championships will be held at the Wa-Ke-De facility in Bristol, Indiana, rather than at Camp Perry.
Report based on Story inNRABlog.
It’s official — Indiana is IN and Ohio is OUT. The Chief Wa-Ke-De Range in Bristol, Indiana, is now the permanent home of the NRA National Smallbore Rifle Championships. The Smallbore Championships will no longer be contested at the historic Camp Perry facility on the shores of Lake Erie near Port Clinton, Ohio. After the Smallbore Nationals were relocated to Indiana for the past two years to facilitate the 2015 World Long Range Championships, many competitors expected a return to Camp Perry. However, the NRA Smallbore Committee has decided to make Bristol, Indiana the permanent venue for the Smallbore Championships.
Situated about three hours west of Camp Perry, the Wa-Ke-De Range has some advantages over the Camp Perry facility. First, the 100-point firing line is covered in asphalt instead of grass. In addition, the range sits in a large grove of trees that provide a beautiful setting and shelter from the wind — practically the opposite of Camp Perry’s notorious wind and open fields.
Despite this, many smallbore competitors wished for the Nationals to return to Camp Perry. One poll of shooters ran roughly 3:1 in favor of returning to Perry. On his personal website, Bill Dutton has posted an Open Letter to the NRA which states many reasons why the Smallbore Championships should be returned to Camp Perry. Among other things, Bill notes: “The facilities are perfect for a large Regional but The Chief Wa-Ke’-De Rifle Range lacks the grand scale which a Camp Perry provides. Competitors and parents look forward to browsing vendor row at Camp Perry in order to replenish supplies for the coming season… in addition to trying out the latest shooting equipment. The nearest hotel [was] in Elkhart, about 15 minutes away. Camp Perry has sufficient onsite lodging for hundreds of competitors and their families. I personally had a bill for $1,400 for the hotel I and my daughter stayed in. Compared to a Hut at Camp Perry where four people can sleep for $12.50 per night, translating to equivalent cost of $175 per person for two weeks.”
View Photo Gallery from 2014 Smallbore Championships
2016 Championships Scheduled for July 10-18, 2016
The 2016 Smallbore Championships will be held 10-18 July, 2016, with registration opening on April 1, 2016. As before, the Metric and Conventional Position Championships will fall under the umbrella of the NRA Smallbore 3-Position Championship. Note: The Metric Prone Championship was removed but the 50-yard match was added to the NRA Smallbore Prone Championship. From these two main championships (3-Position and Prone), an overall NRA National Smallbore Rifle Champion will be crowned.
Team championships in both position and prone will still be awarded. 3-Position team matches will be shot as “paper matches,” meaning the scores will be taken from a shooter’s individual performance in the 3-Position Championship. Prone team matches will still be shot on their own and will be held following each day’s individual prone matches.
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In 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.
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.
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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.
The 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.
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.
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
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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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!!!!”
Dusty Taylor photo by Anette Wachter of the U.S. Palma Team. Top photos by Berger Bullets.
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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 Championshipby Anette Wachter (30CalGal.com)
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.