July 20th, 2014

Competitors Battle Rain and Geese at Garand Match

Neither rain, nor geese, nor gloom of morn stays these competitors from the [sometimes swift] completion of their appointed rounds.

This year’s Camp Perry competitors at the John C. Garand Match had to battle rain, gloomy skies, plus an interruption by a bold flock of Canadian Geese. Nonetheless good fun was had by all. The challenge was to keep the guns and gear (and spectators) dry. All across the firing line one saw tarps and panchos, and even a few umbrellas. The match began on a very dark gloomy morning. Conditions improved during the day, but the rain clouds hovered all day long. CLICK HERE for hundreds more CMP photos from the event.

Wounded warrior Sgt. Robert K. Evans competes at Garand Match.
2014 Garand match Camp Perry

2014 Garand match Camp Perry

A flock of geese decided to fly across the firing line… VIEW LARGE PHOTO
2014 Garand match Camp Perry

2014 Garand match Camp Perry

It takes many helping hands in the pits to run a big match like this.
2014 Garand match Camp Perry

2014 Garand match Camp Perry

Here’s another way to store your gear on the firing line.
2014 Garand match Camp Perry

Spectators relied on panchos and umbrellas to stay dry.
2014 Garand match Camp Perry

“Been there, done that — got the T-Shirt.”
2014 Garand match Camp Perry

2014 Garand match Camp Perry

That’s all folks… until next year.
2014 Garand match Camp Perry

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July 19th, 2014

Ty Cooper Offers Tips for Camp Perry Competitors

Creedmoor SportsTyrel Cooper of Creedmoor Sports will be competing at Camp Perry this summer. A past member of the USAMU, Cooper’s shooting resume includes five national championships (one each in 2008, 2011, 2012, and two in 2013). He is the current (2013) NRA National Long Range Champion, and reigning (2013) NRA National Service Rifle Champion. In this article, Cooper offers advice to other competitive shooters.

Below is a 2012 file photo of SSG Ty Cooper shooting a service rifle. Cooper won the 2013 NRA National High Power Rifle Long Range Championships with a final score of 1243-71X. In the Long Range Championships, Cooper used a Nesika-actioned bolt gun with long barrel chambered in 7mm SAUM.

Mental Preparation
by Tyrel Cooper
Getting focused mentally is an important part of preparation for Perry. I have shot two long range team matches and a no-sighter, 50-shot across-the-course match since last Perry — that’s it. So I expect to be a little rusty but at the same time I am preparing myself to win mentally. I am telling myself “I am the 2014 Nation Champion”. Now my goal hasn’t been to be the Service Rifle National Champion; no, my goal the last 4 years has been to be the overall National Champion and do it with a Service Rifle. Now I haven’t achieved that goal and with today’s rifles and calibers it might never happen. The purpose of this goal is to look past a service rifle and go after everyone.

Tyrel Cooper Creedmoor SportsIn 2011 I was chasing Sherri Gallagher, since then I have been chasing Brandon Green and last year almost got him. If I get beat by a Service Rifle I am going to make him or her work for it. So there is your peak into my mental process. I go for the top and if I am hanging with them then the Service Rifle National Championship will come, Kind of like how I shoot for X’s and Tens will come.

Now I understand everyone is at different levels. You have to figure out what your goals are and then lie to yourself that you’ve already achieved them. Here is a trick that I used back in 2008: When I was a kid just starting out, my Dad made me read several books on shooting. One of them being With Winning In Mind by Lanny Bassham. One of the things I remember from his book is that he would make notes and place them where he would see them often. They contained his goals or stated he was already a world champion. I took a page from his book and did the same thing.

I made 3×5 cards and wrote my personal best 500 and 800 aggregate scores and taped on the horn of my truck, above the radio in my truck, on my laptop and a few other places I would see them often. Every time I saw those I would tell myself that I average those scores and I would get used to seeing them. By doing this you are lying to yourself to overcome the mental blocks the subconscious mind lays out for you.

I went from my worst year in 2007 to winning my first National Championship in 2008. I kind of slacked off in 2009 because I had reached my goals and didn’t set new ones and it showed, so I had to find new goals and motivation which I did and that pushed me back to the top.

Long story short, this is a mental sport and you have to figure out what you need to do to perform at your highest levels and breaking through those mental road blocks. You have to figure out how to get yourself to relax and control your mind keeping calm when you are shooting a personal best, either standing or on the day.

Here is a tip from my mental process from shooting. First I shoot for Xs, I took the line from the movie The Patriot and applied it to my shooting, “Aim small, miss small” and it is true. If you accept wide shots then you will keep shooting wide shots.

Slow, Solid, Smooth, Center

Always focus on the positive and good shots, and what you did physically and mentally, when you shot them. When I am nervous and need to calm myself down I tell myself: slow, solid, smooth, center.

Slow
I want my movement to be slow… I can shoot tens and Xs all day with slow movement.

Solid
Solid like a rock, a rock doesn’t move and that’s how I want my positions. By saying solid it reminds me to go through my little checks to make sure I am doing what I need to do make that happen.

Smooth
Smooth — that is my trigger word for smooth movement. You don’t want fast choppy movement but slow and smooth. This also reminds me to be smooth on the trigger. You can be smooth-fast or you can be smooth-slow but you have to be smooth and most people aren’t when they think they are. Just before leaving the USAMU, I walked up and down the line of five shooters during a rapid fire string and only one of them was smooth with their trigger control. It’s the second most important thing when it comes to shooting.

Center
This reminds me that I want my shots in the middle. It is just a positive reinforcement of where I want my shots to go. I shoot a reverse flat tire so it also kind of reminds me as to what I am looking for.

Tyrel Cooper Creedmoor Sports

Organizing Your Gear
[This year] I have all new gear, a new place, and I am creating a new system. Coming from the Army Marksmanship Unit, I had years to develop and refine my system from my daily routines, to my gear, and to my set-up process. I wanted to share with you a little bit of what I am going through right now.

I went and shot a match at [Fort] Benning a few weekends ago and I had more issues with my gear and system than I did with the act of shooting, it was frustrating and I didn’t like it one bit. So in my preparation for Perry, I took all of my gear apart in my living room and started over. I went through as if I was going to shoot a match; placing gear where I wanted it in or on my Creedmoor Range Cart. There is a lot to be said for having a system and not having to worry about where your gear is or isn’t. Once I got all of my gear in place, I put my new Ron Brown Sling on my rifle and dry fired a little bit. Worked on sitting and prone to figure out what sling notches I would need to use and how my new glove/mitt combination would work. My gear is set and ready to go in my living room, and even though I am not leaving until Sunday, I am setting all the shooting gear and equipment aside to make sure I have everything I need.

If you don’t have a system with your gear where everything has its place or certain spot, then I would suggest you start working on one. When it comes to a match, you don’t want to be searching for something or worrying if it was forgotten at home.

If you have a good system, it allows you to focus on the important things such as how to get your mind in your little bubble, working on what you need to think about to shoot Xs, and thinking about whatever reminders you need to think about to get you to perform at your highest level.

My reminder that I ask myself when I am setting up my gear either in my living room or getting ready to head down range is this: Scope, mat, rifle, stool, jacket, sweatshirt, sling, glove, ammo, mags, data book, and ear plugs. This is the most important stuff that I can’t shoot a match without. I always have extra pens, flags and small stuff in my stool.

Story Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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July 18th, 2014

USAMU Teaches 472 Shooters at Small Arms Firing School

A great time was had by boys and girls, men and women, young and old alike at the 2014 Small Arms Firing School (SAFS) held July 17, 2014 at Camp Perry. This year’s SAFS was a great learning experience for the hundreds of participants, ranging in age from 7 to 70.

small arms firing school camp perry cmp usamu

Military Rifle Coaches and CMP Rifle Master Instructors taught marksmanship basics and fundamentals to some 472 rifle marksmen (and “markswomen”). The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) Rifle Team Members conducted a classroom session in the morning, and then the Army Rifle Coaches provided “world-class” instruction on the firing line. The Rifle SAFS concluded with the Rifle Excellence in Competition (EIC) Match. SEE Match Results.

small arms firing school camp perry cmp usamu

Here are photos from the CMP SAFS Photo Gallery. CLICK HERE to see hundreds more images …

small arms firing school camp perry cmp usamu

small arms firing school camp perry cmp usamu

small arms firing school camp perry cmp usamu

small arms firing school camp perry cmp usamu

small arms firing school camp perry cmp usamu

small arms firing school camp perry cmp usamu

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July 16th, 2014

Get Calendar for 2014 NRA National Matches

If you’re wondering what is happening when at the NRA National Rifle and Pistol championships, here is a calendar of all the scheduled events. The pistol matches concluded last week. Smallbore (rimfire) events are underway this week (in Bristol, Indiana), while the High Power events commenced yesterday (July 15) with clinics. The popular CMP Garand match is held July 19, while the NRA High Power National Championship commences on Saturday, July 26.

Click the calendar image below to see a large size version (that’s easier to read). You can also download a PDF file with the complete National Matches Event schedule for 2014.

CLICK to DOWNLOAD 2014 National Match Calendars

2013 National Matches Calendar

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July 13th, 2014

USAMU Soldier Wins National Pistol Championship

Report based on story by Lars Dalseide for NRA Blog
This afternoon, SSG Patrick Franks of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit walked off the Rodriguez range as the new NRA National Pistol Champion. It’s the first time in 14 years that someone besides Zins or Hemphill was allowed to hoist the trophy to the sky. With a final score of 2649-147X, Patrick’s victory was by a slim margin.

“He won by 16 Xs,” said Match Director Tom Hughes. “I can’t remember one ever being this close.”

Patrick Franks Pistol Championships Camp Perry

2014 has been a great year for Patrick Franks. “This year was my first first place win at Interservice (the 55th Interservice Pistol Championships at Fort Benning),” said Franks. “A lot of our team matches at Interservice and at Canton were milestone performances and looking back at those I just kept going with it while I’m here.”

Patrick Franks Pistol Championships Camp Perry

“I thought I was shooting pretty well,” Franks continued. “Good for my average, good for being up here. Just tried concentrating on the team matches and ended up coming out better than I expected. Just enough.”

The USAMU Pistol Team enjoyed a clean sweep of the individual matches, won the .45 caliber team match, and secured the overall Team title. Congratulations to SSG Patrick Franks on winning his first National Pistol Championship, to SFC James Henderson for taking second, and to SGT Greg Markowski for taking third. (Markowski also won the Revolver Match). 13-time NRA Pistol Champion Brian Zins, a few weeks out of hip surgery, finished 10th.


Here are photos from the CMP Photo Gallery for the 2014 National Trophy Pistol Matches at Camp Perry.

Patrick Franks Pistol Championships Camp Perry

Patrick Franks Pistol Championships Camp Perry

Patrick Franks Pistol Championships Camp Perry

Patrick Franks Pistol Championships Camp Perry

Patrick Franks Pistol Championships Camp Perry

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July 12th, 2014

2014 NRA National Pistol Championships Are Underway

National NRA Matches Camp Perry Pistol

Story by Lars Dalseide for NRA Blog
Port Clinton, Ohio – If you’ve never attended a match held by the National Rifle Association then you don’t know what you’re missing. The sights and sounds are enough to overwhelm the tamest of firearm enthusiasts, driving one to ask … why the hell am I watching and not shooting in this thing?!

This year that question can be answered with a simple it’s too late. But next year? That is definitely a possibility. So pick up that pistol, head down to the range, and get that trigger finger in shape for 2015.

Until then, here’s a look at what you’re missing:

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July 8th, 2014

2014 National Matches Commence with First Shot Ceremony

The 2014 National Matches started with the signature shot of a target rifle. This year the first shot was taken by a legendary marksman — DCM Emeritus Gary Anderson, who used the vintage Model 70 Winchester with which he had won many titles. Anderson, a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, also served as keynote speaker for the National Matches Opening Ceremony. Anderson stated that the National Matches have “truly [become] a great shooting festival. It’s about all of us getting out on the field and participating.”

Anderson also talked about the skill of the shooters at the National Matches: “There’s a big difference between shooting and marksmanship. Marksmanship is a skill. Marksmanship is the ability to hit difficult, long-range targets. Marksmanship is extreme precision performed under the pressure of competition. Marksmanship, not just shooting, decides the ultimate results.”

Gary Anderson First Shot Camp Perry National Matches

CLICK HERE for Video Showing 2014 National Matches First Shot Ceremony.

This year’s National Matches started with a military theme. World War II aircraft flew overhead, a WW II Sherman tank rolled past the spectators, and cannons fired. The National Matches are a joint effort of the Civilian Marksmanship Program, the National Rifle Association, and the Ohio National Guard. The National Matches were were first held in 1903, and have been conducted at Camp Perry since 1907. After Anderson fired the first shot, he donated his Model 70 rifle to the Civilian Marksmanship Program.

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July 6th, 2014

Vintage Sniper Rifle Team Match Returns to Camp Perry

Vintage sniper rifle team match camp perryThe popular Vintage Sniper Rifle Team Match returns to Camp Perry on July 18, 2014, as part of this year’s National Matches. The Sniper Team Match was first held at Camp Perry in 2011, after being “test-fired” at the Eastern and Western CMP Games in 2010. The match tests competitors’ shooting abilities in a controlled environment and requires precise communication between teammates. Fierce competition and great camaraderie have made the Vintage Sniper Rifle Team Match a hugely popular event.

Vintage sniper rifle team match camp perry

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

CLICK HERE for more info about the Vintage Sniper Match and other National Trophy Rifle Matches. These CMP Photo Gallery images are from the 2011 Vintage Sniper Rifle Team Match.

Vintage sniper rifle team match camp perry

Dennis DeMille (G.M. of Creedmoor Sports) with spotter Don Rutherford.
Vintage sniper rifle team match camp perry

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

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

Here’s an old Swedish Mauser, chambered for the 6.5x55mm cartridge. These old Swedes can shoot!
Vintage sniper rifle team match camp perry

Wounded Veteran participates in Vintage Sniper Rifle Team Match.
Vintage sniper rifle team match camp perry

Hornady’s Dave Emary (left) with “Gunny” R. Lee Ermey (right).
Vintage sniper rifle team match camp perry

A good time was had by all. This is a fun competition.
Vintage sniper rifle team match camp perry

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July 3rd, 2014

First Shot Ceremony Will Honor Those Who Served in WW II

The NRA National Rifle and Pistol Matches kick off next Monday, July 7, 2014 at Camp Perry. There will be something special this year in honor of the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines who fought in World War II. Here’s the CMP’s notice of the special event:

First Shot Ceremony at Camp Perry
In recognition of the heroism many soldiers displayed 70 years ago to the day, at the Battle of Saint Lo in Normandy, France, and the Battle of Saipan in the South Pacific, the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) will be bringing the sights and sounds of these great conflicts to the shores of Lake Erie at 10 a.m. on Monday, July 7, 2014. Please join us at the ranges of Camp Perry in Port Clinton, Ohio, as we merge the great sacrifices of veterans everywhere with the friendly rivalry of marksmanship competition.

Camp Perry Ceremony First Shot National Championship

Camp Perry Ceremony First Shot National ChampionshipScheduled to appear are a WW II Navy Avenger torpedo bomber and the WW II B-25 bomber “Yankee Warrior”. These warplanes will fly overhead as vintage military vehicles parade alongside the ranges towards the crowd. Leading the ground forces will be a fully-operational M-4 Sherman tank. Other vehicles on display will include a WW II AMTRAC and WW II Army Jeeps.

Gary Anderson, DCM Emeritus, has the honor of firing the First Shot at the Opening Ceremonies. A legendary shooter, Anderson is a two-time Olympic gold medalist who also carries seven World Championships and 16 National Championships in his list of accomplishments. Anderson will fire the first shot of the National Matches with his Model 70 rifle, which he used to win one of his U.S. National Championships.

Camp Perry Ceremony First Shot National Championship

The First Shot Ceremony and the Range Dedication events are free and open to the public. All guests are welcome. To learn more about the National Matches, CLICK THIS LINK.

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June 22nd, 2014

Sign Up for 2014 NRA National Championships at Camp Perry

Report based on story by Kyle Jillson for NRA Blog
Camp Perry National MatchesThe 2014 Remington and NRA National Rifle & Pistol Championships at Camp Perry, Ohio are just a couple weeks away. You can still register for one or more of the matches. Just click the orange “Register” button (below) to register online.

Many of the finest civilian and military marksmen in the United States will square off for weeks of rifle and handgun competition while vying for the NRA’s historic and prestigious trophies. From pistol, to smallbore rifle, high power rifle, and long-range high power rifle, the National Matches have something for just about everybody.

Head on over to the Camp Perry sign-up page and get started on this year’s application.

Camp Perry National Matches Ohio High Power Fullbore Smallbore NRA

Smallbore Matches Will Be in Indiana This Year
If you’re a smallbore shooter, these next two years will be a little different. In 2014 and 2015, the NRA National Smallbore Position Championships and the NRA National Smallbore Prone Championships will be held at Chief Wa-Ke-De Range in Bristol, Indiana. This change of venue for the Smallbore Championship Events was made to accommodate the 2015 World Palma Rifle Championships at Camp Perry. (The change was made in 2014 because the World Palma teams will be practicing at Camp Perry this summer, a year before the big event.) The Chief Wa-Ke-De Range is an excellent location that has hosted the NRA National Metric Championships for the past few years.

The NRA National Rifle & Pistol Championships are the pinnacle of target shooting in the USA. If you’re itching to try out some new equipment or are looking for an excuse to buy some more accessories, the National Matches are the perfect excuse. Use the links below to register for the National Matches, or to view the 2014 program brochures (in PDF format) for the High Power, Fullbore, and Pistol disciplines.

Click Here to Register for the National Rifle and Pistol Matches

Click Here to Sign Up for Camp Perry

2014 National Matches Calendar (Draft)

2014 High Power Program

2014 Fullbore Program

2014 Pistol Program

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June 4th, 2014

CMP’s Rifle Small Arms Firing School Returns to Camp Perry

Report based on story by Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer/Editor
Would you like to learn AR marksmanship under the tutelage of world-class USAMU team members? Then consider attending the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s Rifle Small Arms Firing School (SAFS), held Wednesday, July 16-17, during the National Rifle and Pistol Matches at historic Camp Perry. SAFS courses have been conducted at the National Matches since 1918. Hundreds of rifle participants are expected this year.

small arms firing school cmp camp perry usamu

The school is structured toward teaching new shooters, so no past firearm experience is required. Intermediate shooters are also welcome to participate. Students will learn basic firing practices and competition skills. In addition to the live fire practice, students will compete in an EIC Match. All participants will be instructed by members of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) and coached by Military Rifle Team Members or CMP Rifle Master Instructors.

CLICK HERE for Small Arms Firing Schools INFO | CLICK HERE for Rifle SAFS Registration.

For those already familiar with rifle shooting, an Advanced Rifle Course will also be held to provide additional class instruction and the chance to fire in a special Excellence-In-Competition (EIC) Match. Whether an experience shooter or picking up a firearm for the first time, come enjoy a day of fellowship and fun in one of America’s oldest pastimes with the security and knowledge of some of the best marksmen in the country!
small arms firing school cmp camp perry usamu

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February 24th, 2014

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

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

Wind Reading Quadrant High Power

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