April 27th, 2016

How to Shoot Standing — HP Champion Carl Bernosky Explains

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…


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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April 1st, 2016

NRA Launches New “MRA” Activities Program for Millennials

Millenials NRA MRA participation trophy

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.”

Millenials NRA MRA participation trophyThe 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.”

Millenials NRA MRA participation trophy

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.

Millenials NRA MRA participation trophy

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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March 31st, 2016

Registration Opens for 2016 National Matches at Camp Perry

Camp Perry 2016 Natinoal CMP Matches Regisatration Open

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.

For more information on the National Trophy Pistol and Rifle Matches, to view event schedules, or to REGISTER for the matches, visit: www.TheCMP.org/competitions/cmp-national-matches.

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.

Camp Perry 2016 Natinoal CMP Matches Regisatration Open

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…

Camp Perry 2016 Natinoal CMP Matches Regisatration Open

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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March 29th, 2016

PALMA World Championship on Shooting USA Television

Palma Trophy Facts Team Match National Camp Perry Wind Coach

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.

Team Palma Perry UK British World Championship Shooting USA

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.

Palma Trophy Facts Team Match National Camp Perry Wind Coach“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.

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

Because the word Palma was so easily seen, the trophy soon became known as the “Palma Trophy”, and by 1878 was referred to officially by that name. The 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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February 27th, 2016

Help Support the California Grizzlies Rifle Team

California Grizzlies junior Team

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.

California Grizzlies junior Team

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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February 26th, 2016

Registration Opens for 2016 National Matches at Camp Perry

Camp Perry Championships Shawn McKenna
Shawn McKenna Photo.

NRA National Championship Camp PerryOnline 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:

2016 National Championships Calendar | 2016 National Championships Registration Form

Camp Perry National Championships NRA

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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February 19th, 2016

Camp Perry Invests Millions in Facility Upgrades

Camp Perry Improvements

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.

Camp Perry 2015 improvements

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 Improvements National Matches

Camp Perry range photos courtesy Shawn McKenna.

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February 8th, 2016

New CMP Legacy Series Events Added to 2016 National Matches

CMP Camp Perry Legacy Series National Matches Ohio

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.

CLICK HERE for Complete 2016 National Match Calendar

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.

Camp Perry legacy Series

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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November 22nd, 2015

2016 National Matches Calendar Now Available

2016 national match calendar CMP
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.

CLICK HERE to Download 2015 National Matches Calendar PDF

Camp Perry Shawn McKenna
Photo by Shawn McKenna

Camp Perry wind call national matches

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November 9th, 2015

NRA Smallbore Nationals Move Permanently to Indiana

Wa-Ke-De Range Indiana smallbore championship

Report based on Story in NRABlog.
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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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 (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!

READ FULL Story on 30CalGal.com >>


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 30CalGal.com

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 30CalGal.com.

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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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