June 8th, 2018

Yanks Enjoy Irish Hospitality at Emerald Match

Emerald Match Ireland 2018 Tullamore Midland range Phil Kelley James Crofts

American shooters have been enjoying Irish hospitality this week in Ireland, while attending attending the Emerald 2018 match at Midlands National Shooting Centre of Ireland (Tullamore). Our friends James Crofts, Phil Kelley, and Aussie Jenni Hausler provided these images from the event — both at the range and off. The Yanks are off to a good start. James reports: “Day one scores are out and Team USA is on top. Madison Bramley topped F-Open and I held on for F-TR. I also won the 1000-yard match. My equipment performed flawlessly — rifle built by Keith Weil of KW Precision, Cerus Stock by Will McCloskey, and BRM action by Jim Borden.”

Emerald Match Ireland 2018 Tullamore Midland range Phil Kelley James Crofts

American Phil Kelley posted: “As always our hosts are outstanding. Man, love this range! Ready for the big match starting tomorrow.”

Emerald Match Ireland 2018 Tullamore Midland range Phil Kelley James Crofts

Phil Kelley enjoyed the Team Match and long-range Clays Fun Match which preceded the main event. Phil posted: “A great day, with a busy line at 1100 and 1200 yards in Ireland. Last fun day included some great competition. Team USA did well. After getting completely destroyed at 1100 yards, I was able to win the 1200 yard match; with a miss! First ever board miss, it’s only 6’ wide. 12-14 mph winds with a lying, heavy mirage.”

Emerald Match Ireland 2018 Tullamore Midland range Phil Kelley James Crofts

The day finished with a fun (and challenging) Clay Pigeon Shoot at roughly 1235 yards. Phil noted: “Ellis Berry, James Crofts and myself were one of only a handful to hit the 4.25″ clay target within 5 shots in these conditions.” Think you can do that? That 4.25″ clay bird represents a mere 0.338 MOA at 1200 Yards! Not easy folks…

Emerald Match Ireland 2018 Tullamore Midland range Phil Kelley James Crofts
Competitors in the Clay Pidgeon Shoot at 1200+ yards.

Posting on Facebook, Mias Nieuwoudt had an interesting observation about the challenge of 1200 yards: “On average it seems the old 308s ran out of steam compared to our F-Open rigs at 1200 yards. Maybe a 40° scope rail with the targets angled backwards at 30° so you can lob the points like mortars!”

Emerald Match Ireland 2018 Tullamore Midland range Phil Kelley James Crofts

Emerald Match Ireland 2018 Tullamore Midland range Phil Kelley James Crofts

Touring the Emerald Isle — Countryside and Castles
On June 5, Phil Kelley observed: “Another great group touring day. A morning stop at Donamass Castle ruins provided incredible Irish views, then on to the town of Kilkenny for the Smithwicks Brewery tour, visit to Kilkenny Castle and a walk on the Medieval Mile.”

Eire Ireland Emerald Match James Crofts Jim Kelley Team Berger Tullamore Midlands Centre
Interior of Kilkenny Castle

Eire Ireland Emerald Match James Crofts Jim Kelley Team Berger Tullamore Midlands Centre
Nancy Tompkins (left) and Michelle Gallagher (right) give a shout out to friends.

Eire Ireland Emerald Match James Crofts Jim Kelley Team Berger Tullamore Midlands Centre
The American contingent — enjoying the good life in Ireland.

Facebook Photo Credits: Jenni Hausler, James Crofts, Phil Kelley, Pat Hunt, the Bramleys.

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March 17th, 2018

Get Lucky! Download FREE St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock Targets

Free downloadable pot of gold Ireland St Patricks day shamrock target NRA

It’s March 17th today — St. Patrick’s Day. To help celebrate this traditional day of Irish pride, parades, and green beer, the NRA has created two (2) fun targets you can download, print, and shoot. Try out these free targets and see if you have the “luck of the Irish”. Click each Irish target photo below to open a high-rez PDF file you can download and print.

The first target features a large four-leaf clover in the middle, with 17 other smaller three-leaf shamrocks around the outside. With five black bulls-eyes in the center graphic, that gives you a total of 22 aiming points for shooting fun. For added challenge we suggest you set this target at 100 yards for rimfire rifle and 200 years for a centerfire gun.

CLICK Below for Big PDF Shamrock Target

Free downloadable pot of gold Ireland St Patricks day shamrock target NRA

The second target offers the legendary Pot of Gold at the end of the rainbow. Along with a big bullseye on the pot, there are 15 shamrocks in gold circles, plus five small gold bars with tiny bullseyes. Those smallest bulls will be a challenge even at 100 yards. You’ll need a half-MOA (or better) rifle to “clean” this target, hitting the smallest red dots.

CLICK Below for Big PDF Pot of Gold Target

Free downloadable pot of gold Ireland St Patricks day shamrock target NRA

Whether you’re Irish or not, these targets will hopefully bring you a bit of luck. Click each image above to open a high-rez PDF file that you can print out. Then, this St. Patty’s day, wear your green, grab your gear, and head to range for some fun shooting.

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August 11th, 2017

The NRA Perpetual Trophies — Heritage of Shooting Excellence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wimbledon Trophy Cup NRA SSUSA.org

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

Because the word Palma was so easily seen, the trophy soon became known as the “Palma Trophy”, and by 1878 was referred to officially by that name. The 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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July 1st, 2017

Erin Go BR — Great Rimfire Benchrest Video From Ireland

National Rimfire Benchrest Association of Ireland (NRBAI) .22 LR Air Rifle smallbore

Rimfire Benchrest can be fun and rewarding. It can also be frustrating because sourcing superior lots of ammo is a never-ending challenge. Still we like rimfire benchrest because you don’t need to load at the range. Plus rimfire barrels last a very long time (our friend Joe Friedrich set an ARA Benchrest record with a 100,000+ round-count barrel). Here’s a great video from the National Rimfire Benchrest Association of Ireland (NRBAI). Production quality is excellent! We highly recommend you watch this video, which does a great job illustrating both the fun and challenge of rimfire benchrest competition.

If you’ve never seen 50m Rimfire Benchrest competition, this video is well worth watching:

National Rimfire Benchrest Association of Ireland (NRBAI) .22 LR Air Rifle smallbore

“If you need to get your mind away from everything… then look down a scope, concentrate, and be disciplined.”

National Rimfire Benchrest Association of Ireland (NRBAI) .22 LR Air Rifle smallbore

“Comradery is one of our organization’s key traits… there are no barriers of gender, age or mobility. Just a very diverse, bunch of good people enjoying a sport together.”

National Rimfire Benchrest Association of Ireland (NRBAI) .22 LR Air Rifle smallbore

“The skill, in brief, is having the ability to hit the equivalent of the top of a pinhead at 50 meters, in all conditions with a .22 round. Not easy, especially when you have to do it 50 times to get a maximum score of 500 [points], 250 per sheet.”

National Rimfire Benchrest Association of Ireland (NRBAI) .22 LR Air Rifle smallbore

National Rimfire Benchrest Association of Ireland (NRBAI) .22 LR Air Rifle smallbore

National Rimfire Benchrest Association of Ireland (NRBAI) .22 LR Air Rifle smallbore

Credit Boyd Allen for finding this NRBAI Benchrest Video, released on 6/28/17.
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June 8th, 2016

Nancy Tompkins Scrambles Egg at 1230 Yards in the Emerald Isle

NRA Ireland Egg shoot Nancy Tompkins Midlands Emerald

Can you hit an egg at 1230 yards? Nancy Tompkins can. It did take her a couple of shots though. Mighty impressive shooting by a great lady, the first-ever female to win the National High Power Championship. Nancy was shooting at Ireland’s Midlands National Shooting Centre. She took six shots to hit a clay pigeon, and then hit the egg two shots later. Here’s the official proof:

NRA Ireland Egg shoot Nancy Tompkins Midlands Emerald

Nancy, along with daughter Michelle Gallagher, has been in the Emerald Isle competing at a series of matches at Midlands. Hosted by the NRA of Ireland (NRAI), the Emerald & Ireland Long Range Challenge is held annually at the Midlands National Shooting Centre of Ireland (MNSCI) in late May and early June. The event starts with the Long Range Challenge at 1100 and 1200 yards. That is followed by the Emerald match. In past seasons, the Emerald match included three yardages (800, 900, and 1000 yards) with a shoot-off for the top 10 competitors.

Nancy says she loves to shoot in Ireland — the facilities are excellent and the wonderful hospitality of her Irish hosts makes the experience memorable. Here’s a photo from the Midlands Shooting Centre, located in Tullamore, Ireland.

NRA Ireland Egg shoot Nancy Tompkins Midlands MNSCI Emerald

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June 30th, 2015

Yanks Win Creedmoor Cup Match in Ireland

2015 Creedmoor Cup F-Open F-Class Tullamore Dublin Ireland 2015 1875

Way to go Team USA! The American F-Class squad won the prestigious Creedmoor Cup competition held June 28-29 at the Midlands National Shooting Centre in Tullamore, Ireland. This is a competition with a rich history, going back to the original Challenge Match in 1874 between American and Irish Teams in Creedmoor, New York. (Read Match History)

2015 Creedmoor Cup F-Open F-Class Tullamore Dublin Ireland 2015 1875
Photo by Matthew Schwartzkopf.

Phil Kelley wrote: “I never knew when planning for this trip the wonderful history that is the Creedmoor Cup, Ireland and U.S. rifle competition, and the hunger of the Irish for freedom. It is one of many things that has made this trip so enjoyable. J.P. Craven [opened] the Creedmoor competition with John Sigler, previous President of the NRA. John had the honor of the first shot with a rifle used to help gain Irish independence. The Irish, like Americans, have a rich history that ties the rifle and independence together. It has been an honor to be part of this event, with each and every individual that is part of it.”


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March 17th, 2015

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

The folks at F-TR Ireland send greetings from the Emerald Isle: “Wishing all our friends and fellow-shooters at home in Ireland and around the globe all the very best. Beannachtai na Féile Phádraig! (That means ‘St. Patrick’s Day Blessing’.) Hope you all have a great St. Patrick’s Day and enjoy the festivities wherever you may be, whether be you Irish by birth, heritage, or aspiration!”

Ireland F-TR St. Patrick's Day March 17

Irish Rifle (Crafted by Enda Walsh of Custom and Precision Rifles Ireland)
Ireland Gun Stocks

Irish Shooting Range (National Shooting Center, Tullamore, Ireland)
Tullamore Range Ireland Rick Jensen F-Class

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March 17th, 2014

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to Our Readers!

F-TR irelandThe folks at F-Class Team Ireland wish you a Happy St. Patrick’s Day and F-TR Ireland sends greetings from the Emerald Isle….

Wishing all our friends and fellow-shooters at home in Ireland and around the Globe all the very best. Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Beannachtai na Féile Phádraig! Hope you all … enjoy the festivities wherever you may be, whether be you Irish by birth, heritage, or aspiration!

Big May Match at Midlands in Ireland
The NRA of Ireland (NRAI) invites shooters to the inaugural F-Class Emerald & Ireland Long Range Challenge, to be held at the Midlands National Shooting Centre of Ireland (MNSCI), May 30 through June 1, 2014. The Long Range Challenge will be shot at 1100 and 1200 yards on May 30, followed by the Emerald match on May 31 – June 1. The Emerald will be shot at 800, 900, and 1000 yards, complete with a shoot-off for the top 10 competitors.

F-TR ireland

Guns of EIRE
Here are the custom guns crafted for the FCWC 2013 F-TR Team Ireland. Compliments to Francie McFadden of NGSS and Edi Graeff of PSE Composites for the work. (Photo courtesy of the UK Varminting website.)

F-TR ireland

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November 8th, 2013

Across the Atlantic: European F-Class Championships at Bisley

F-Class European Championship Bisley Rutland England Great Britain Joe Melia Paul Eggerman

Credit Des Parr for providing match details found in this report.
The 2013 European F-Class Championships are now history. Congratulations to new F-Open Euro Champion Joe Melia of Ireland, and new F-TR Euro Champion Paul Eggerman of Germany. Held at the Bisley Ranges in England, the European Championships drew top shooters from all over the Continent, plus the U.K. and Ireland. Following the individual competitions, national teams competed, and Great Britain emerged the big winner. British teams won gold in F-Open, F-TR, and the Rutland Cup. Hail Britannia!

On the GB F-Class Association website, Des Parr authored a great day-by-day account of the Euro Championships. Des writes: “The 2013 European Championships had a little of everything to keep everyone happy — some very light winds to please the trigger pullers, some very strong winds to please the wind-readers and only a little rain to please everyone! Friday was notable for having remarkably calm and steady wind. This enabled everyone to really see what their rifles were capable of in near to ideal conditions. The result was predictable; some very high scores.”

Individual Championships
In F-Open division, senior Irishman Joe Melia shot 457.39 to capture the title. Des Parr notes: “Joe got a rousing cheer from all his fellow competitors, indicative of his good standing. In second, it was another medal for Ireland, this time the fiercely competitive Anthony Dunne used all his experience to rack up 453.38. In third place was the new GB Captain from Wales, David Lloyd with 452.33.”

In F-TR, the Germany’s Paul Eggemann shot a superb score of 447.35 to win the individual title, ten points ahead of his nearest rival. Ukraine’s Sergei Baranov took second with 437.22, while his countryman Sergei Gorban finished third with 436.26.

Links to Full European F-Class Championship Results
F-Open Championships Results | F-TR Championships Results | Team Championships Results

8-Man Event — Top place went to Team GB with 1084.58. Second place was taken by Italy with 1035.46 and in third was BDMP Germany with 1021.32. In F-TR, first place went to Team GB with 1007.32, with Team Italy second (987.31), and Ukraine third (978.26).

4-Man Rutland — There were ten, 4-man teams in the Rutland Competition. In F-Open, Winning Team GB was steered to victory by captain Peter Hobson with a super 524.19. France Open 1 took second with 522.17, while the Europe Open team was third with 497.22.

Irish Teams won silver and bronze in the 4-man Rutland Match at the European Championships.
F-Class European Championship Bisley Rutland Ireland

In related news, Forum member Gary Costello from the U.K. won the GB/Euro National League title for 2013 with a total of 71 points. This multi-match title is based on the best of four (4) League Championship Competitions throughout the year. Gary explains: “We have eight shoots in total, this championship is open to GB F-Class Association members and includes shooters from France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Spain, Ukraine and several other countries. Most of these countries have maximum 300 yards to shoot so the UK is the closest place to compete in long-range competitions. That’s a bit amazing considering the size of the UK to Germany for example.”

F-Class European Championship Leagu Bisley Gary Costello 300 WSM

Gary used a 300 WSM built by Gunsmith Peter Walker, with a Nesika L action, Benchmark barrel, and a March 8-80x56mm scope. Gary told us that it took some time to master the 300 WSM, which has more recoil than a .284 Win, but in the end, Gary’s choice of caliber helped carry him to victory over a long season of hard-fought competition. Finishing second in League standings was Mark Daish with 70 points, while Des Parr took third place with 64 points. (Point totals based on best four matches.) Complete 2013 GB F-Class League Results are available on the GB F-Class Association website.

Photos courtesy F-TR Ireland and Gary Costello.
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March 17th, 2013

For St. Patrick’s Day — A Salute to Irish Shooters

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to our readers around the world. As an Irish-American whose great-grandfather was born in County Donegal, I’m proud to wear green today. But lest readers think that Ireland is only a land of shamrocks, lucky leprechauns, and Riverdancers, be aware that Ireland has an active community of precision shooters. In 2011, the National Rifle Association of Ireland unveiled the beautiful new 1200-yard range in Tullamore, at the Midlands National Shooting Centre. Also in 2011 Tullamore was was the site of the first modern-era Creedmoor Cup Challenge Match between Irish and American Teams. The Yanks won that year, but that was just the beginning of a great rivalry.

Tullamore Range

Midlands National Shooting Centre of Ireland
National Rifle Association of IrelandIn the year 2000, the National Rifle Association of Ireland (NRAI) was formed. One of its primary goals was to promote fullbore target shooting in Ireland. The NRAI needed a home and that home was found on the bog of Derrymore in Blueball just outside Tullamore in County Offaly. In 2000, a 400-yard range was built on the site. Three years later the 600-yard “Windmill” range, the first of its kind in modern Ireland, was also built to allow for mid-range target shooting. The site was christened the Midlands National Shooting Centre of Ireland (MNSCI) and with it the story of Irish F-Class began. No sooner had the 600-yard range been built at the MNSCI, when the NRAI formed a national F-Class league bringing together like-minded shooters from all over Ireland.

tullamore range ireland Midlands

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November 17th, 2012

Custom Gun Stocks from Ireland’s Enda Walsh

ireland shieldThere are few master craftsmen who can create a truly “bespoke” wood stock customized for the owner. Ireland’s Enda Walsh is one such talent. Through Gun Stocks Ireland, Enda creates high-quality stocks for hunters, prone shooters, and F-class competitors. Enda first started building stocks in 2001 for himself and friends, and grew the business over a decade. Enda explains: “Demand gradually increased until in 2009 the decision was taken to make it my full-time occupation. In 2010 I obtained my RFD licence and haven’t looked back. My goal with Guns Stocks Ireland is to manufacture precise custom rifle stocks to the highest standard, tailored in every detail to best serve the shooters requirements.” Enda adds: “I started Gun Stocks Ireland to produce custom, individually-tailored gunstocks. I build from hand casts so your gun is genuinely an extension of your arm.”

Walsh offers many stock designs, including a wide variety of thumb-hole and vertical grip stocks. Many of these feature hand-relieved grip areas customized for each guns’ owner. The hand-grip section literally fits the shooter “like a glove”. How does Enda create an ergonomically perfect grip for each customer? He actually makes a casting of the customer’s hand: “I send customers a hand cast kit so the shooter can make a plaster cast with his hand in shooting position. Done correctly there will be no tension in the shooter’s hand no matter how tight a hold is employed.” Enda’s stocks aren’t cheap, but they are a good value considering the amount of expert labor involved. Typical price for a fitted, bedded, and finished fully-adjustable F-Class stock is 1500 Euros.

Enda’s stocks, as you can see from the photos, are labors of love. Each stock may require up to 80 hours of work from start to finish. That includes fitting of special features, such as adjustable buttplate, adjustable cheek-piece, and a unique bag-rider that adjusts up and down for elevation control and rifle balance. We think the adjustable bag-rider is a great idea that American stock-makers should emulate.

Vertically Adjustable Bag Rider Permits Easy Elevation Adjustment
“For F-Open shooters the benefit of the [adjustable] bag runner is it allows precise elevation adjustments shot to shot without having to reach forward to adjust the front rest, taking the shooter out of his natural position. For ‘bag squeezers’ it eliminates the variable settlement during a shot causing vertical variances. The adjustable bag runner allows elevation changes to be dialed in easily and precisely with one hand.” — Enda Walsh

This is a .308 Win Savage in a fully adjustable F-TR stock. This rifle always performs well at the LRRAI shoots in Castlemaine Rifle & Pistol Range.

Enda Walsh Shoots What He Builds
Enda Walsh is a very talented shooter as well as a master stock-maker. He recently won a Silver Medal at 1000 yards at the 2012 European F-Class Championships at Bisley. He also shared a team Gold Medal at 1000 yards, shooting with an Irish F-TR team, and making wind calls as well.

Enda says: “I was very happy to take a silver at Bisley this year. This was my first trip to Bisley and first Euro Championships. The experience gave me some ideas on how to improve things for next year….”

Gun Stocks Ireland
Contact: Enda Walsh
Currabaha – Dungarvan
County Waterford

E-mail: info [at] gunstocksireland.com
Phone in Ireland: 011-353-[0]87-661-1993

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March 17th, 2012

An Irish Blessing for Our Readers

I wish you not a path devoid of clouds,
Nor a life on a bed of roses.
Nor that you might never need regret,
Nor that you should never feel pain.

No, this is not my wish for you. My wish for you is:
That you might be brave in times of trial
When others lay crosses upon your shoulders.
When mountains must be climbed and chasms crossed,
When hope scarce shines through.
That every gift God gave you might grow along with you,
And let you give the gift of joy to all who care for you.

That you might always have a friend who is worth that name.
Whom you can trust,
And who helps you in times of sadness,
Who will defy the storms of life by your side.

One more wish I have for you:
That in every hour of joy and pain, you feel God close to you.
This is my wish for you and all those who care for you.
This is my hope for you, now and forever.

Author Unknown — some variations of this text, as translated, are found.

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June 27th, 2011

Yanks Dominate Creedmoor Matches in Ireland

The Creedmoor Cup F-Class events in Ireland have come to a close. The Irish hosts ran a great match and the American shooters proved their prowess — winning both team and individual titles. Here’s how the events were scheduled so you can keep things in order: after several practice days, the two-day NRA-Ireland F-Class Individual Championships was held Wednesday and Thursday last week. Then, on Friday, competitors divided into F-Open and F-T/R squads to shoot the USA vs. Europe matches. On Saturday and Sunday, the main event, the two-day Creedmoor Cup Match was held. All of these matches were conducted on the brand new 1200-yard range in Tullamore. The Irish are to be commended for constructing such a great range in a relatively short time.

Creedmoor Cup Ireland

Creedmoor Cup Ireland

American Shooters Dominate Team and Individual Events
We don’t have all the scores yet, but we do have key results. We’re proud to announce that the USA won the main Creedmoor Cup event! Prior to that, on Friday, the Yanks prevailed in the Europe vs. USA Challenge match (sort of like the Ryder Cup). Forum Member Erik Cortina reports: “I’m not 100% on the numbers but I know we beat them by about 110 points shooting in the rain! We have a very strong team and excellent wind coaches!”

Creedmoor Cup Ireland

In the individual competitions held during the week, American shooters also topped the podium. In F-T/R individual competition, Darrell Buell won the championship with a solid performance. Larry Bartholome shot superbly in windy conditions to win the F-Open match. (Larry was using a Precision Rifle & Tool Low Boy stock, Nightforce scope and a SEB Neo Rest.) Larry’s compatriots also shot well — there were nine Americans among the top 11 F-Open shooters. That is definitely a dominant performance by our talented F-Open squad.

Creedmoor Cup Ireland

Here are some reports from Ireland that came in from Forum members Erik Cortina and TonyR over the last few days:

Sunday, 6/26: “The second day of the Creedmoor Match was completed today and the USA has won the Gold Medal. I haven’t seen the score but I’m sure it will show up at some point. Shooting conditions were again tough with high speed fishtail tail winds that switched rapidly but our wind coaches, Bob Mead, Nancy Tompkins, Michelle Gallagher, Dale Carpenter, Jim Murphy, and Ricky Hunt were up to the challenge. The Irish Team were great hosts and we all had a wonderful time. They put together a new range with this event in mind in just a few months and it is something to be proud of.” — TonyR

Saturday, 6/25: “Shot the first day of the Creedmoor Cup today. Winds were tough! We had a fishtailing wind from 5-7 o’clock and we were being pushed into the 3 ring with ease, the F-T/R guys were going into the 1’s! We didn’t have a good day, we dropped 434 out of 4,000, but they had a worst day than we did, they dropped 648 points! So to say winds were tough is an understatement! We are having tons of fun regardless.” — Erik

Creedmoor Cup Ireland

Friday, 6/24: “We just finished shooting the Europe vs. USA Challenge. I’m not 100% on the numbers but I know we beat them by about 110 points shooting in the rain! We have a very strong team and excellent wind coaches!” — Erik

Thursday, 6/23: “Larry shot great today [to win the F-Open Championship]! In F-Open, there were 9 of us in the top 11. This is an awesome range! We have been shooting in 25 +- winds for two days and it’s fun when you can stay ahead of the wind, but if you get behind it, it’s not fun at all…” — Erik

Want to see more photos from Ireland, and read more reports from the competitors? You’ll find more info about the Creedmoor events, match results, plus linked photo galleries on the USA
F-T/R Team’s new Facebook Page. Log on to: http://www.facebook.com/us.rifle.team.

Creedmoor Cup Ireland

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June 6th, 2010

19-Year-Old New Mexico Co-Ed Has Bright Future in F-Class

Increasing the number of women who are knowledgeable about firearms is vital for the future of hunting and the shooting sports. Thankfully, there are many talented women shooters who can help inspire other females to get involved in the shooting sports. One such capable young lady is Susannah Clary from New Mexico. An avid hunter and competitive shooter, Susannah has distinguished herself in long-range F-Class competition, and she hopes to shoot in the Creedmoor matches next year. Here is a profile of 19-year-old Susannah, penned by her proud father, Dr. Jim Clary.

Susanna Clary

Susannah Clary — Pride of New Mexico by Jim Clary
Susannah L. Clary, my daughter, now age 19 and beginning her junior year in college, shoots F-Class High Power. Who says female shooters can’t be good looking? She shoots a Savage Model 12 rifle custom-chambered in 6.5 x 284 Norma by Alan Warner in the US. She uses Lapua brass with a 139gr Lapua Scenar bullet with 49.4 grains of H4350 powder. It gets out there pretty good at 2,950 fps. The scope is a Nightforce 12-42x56mm NXS with NP-R2 reticle. Alan Warner and his son Dan worked over the Savage action and used their reamer on the chamber. Now the action is incredibly smooth and the rifle is very accurate. Susannah loves her Nightforce scope. CLICK HERE to read a detailed NXS Review written by Susannah. We use Gerald Perry’s Exbal/Nightforce ballistics program to generate the necessary data for shooting.

Susanna Clary

Susannah hopes to compete at the Creedmoor matches in Ireland in 2011, either for the Irish team or as an individual competitor. Her connection with Ireland is that her dad (me) is an Irish-American, and because she has never shot for any national team (a prime requirement), and has a direct and verifiable heritage to Ireland, she is eligible to shoot for the Irish team — if they wish to have her. Susannah also plans to shoot in the 2013 World Championships as an individual. She would like to shoot for the U.S. Team, but given her college responsibilities, she has no time for the team-selection prelims across the US.

Susannah has completed the NRA rifle and pistol instructor’s courses, and must now wait until she is 21 to be fully certified. In the meantime, she works part-time at a gunshop/shooting range, the Calibers Shooting Sports Center, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She does hold at least one National Record — she set a 1000-yard Junior High Power record at the 2007 US Nationals in Raton, NM (Whittington Center).

Susanna Clary

Though Susannah has said she ‘wants to be a sniper’, she is studying for a bachelors’ degree in Nursing. She is a bright, hard-working young lady. She has five published scientific papers and she even holds a patent. She managed all that before even starting college. I’m very proud of her.” — Dr. Jim Clary

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June 6th, 2010

Irish Lassies Learn to Shoot in County Wicklow

Ireland NASPRCIreland has adopted some very tough gun laws recently, but we’re glad to see that our Irish shooting friends are still “fighting the good fight” and bringing new shooters into the sport. In fact, Ireland’s National Association of Sporting Rifle and Pistol Clubs (NASRPC) has begun a training program for lady shooters.

The Irish Sports Council has scheduled a Women on Target program to encourage more female participation in sport shooting. Declan Keogh, an NRA-Certified Instructor, has scheduled his first clinic on Saturday June 19th, 2010. The class is being hosted by the Hilltop Shooting Club in Tithewer, Newtown Mountkennedy, County Wicklow. The clinic is a part of the Irish Sports Council’s Women In Sport program. The three-hour class will include basic pistol instruction and .22LR target shooting. Instructors will cover the NRA’s rules for safe gun handling and teach shooting fundamentals. The program costs €20, which covers ammo, program materials, and refreshments.

CLICK HERE for Irish Women on Target Application and Information Form. PDF

CLICK HERE for lastest Ireland NASPRC Newsletter. PDF
This issue contains a detailed Guide to Regulations Governing International Travel with Firearms.

Ireland Women on Target

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September 28th, 2009

ShootingUSA TV Features Creedmoor Black Powder Match

On Wednesday, Sept. 30th, Shooting USA television features the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association (NMLRA) Creedmoor re-enactment, hosted at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. The show, a repeat broadcast, features black powder muzzle-loaders and black powder cartridge shooters recreating one of the most famous rifle competitions of the 19th Century. This show airs multiple times this Wednesday, Sept. 30th, on the Outdoor Channel:

Eastern Time 4:30 PM, 8:30 PM, 12:00 Midnight
Central Time 3:30 PM, 7:30 PM, 11:00 PM
Mountain Time 2:30 PM, 6:30 PM, 10:00 PM
Pacific Time 1:30 PM, 5:30 PM, 9:00 PM

Creedmoor Black Powder Match

Rifle shooting was a very popular spectator sport in the 19th Century. Thousands of spectators came to watch long-range rifle matches held on “Creed’s Moor”, a range built by the NRA with funds from the New York state legislature. The first International Creedmoor match took place in 1874, when a group of Americans responded to a “Challenge to the Riflemen of America” from the Irish rifle team, considered the world’s best. The match was shot at 800, 900 and 1000 yards and was decided on the very last shot. After an Irish cross-fire near the end of the match, American John Bodine shot a final bullseye to win the international challenge cup. The U.S. team used a combination of breech-loading Remington Rolling Blocks and Sharps rifles. The Irish team used Rigby muzzle-loading rifles.

Click Here for Creedmoor Match History | Click Here to view 12’x6′ 1874 Match Target

BPCR long range bullets BPCR long range bullets
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May 29th, 2009

An Irish Tankard for Long-Range Marksmanship

Ireland crestAs the start of Camp Perry draws closer, we’d thought you might want to learn the history behind the trophies awarded at the National Shooting Championships. First on the agenda is the Leech Cup. The trophy is awarded to the highest-scoring competitor in one of the 1000-yard events at Camp Perry. The Leech Cup winner is determined through a 10-shot shoot off, after shooting 20 shots at 1000 yards slow-fire prone. The Leech Cup was once the only 1000-yard “any rifles” match shot with iron sights at the National Championships. Currently, there are five matches, held over four days, which count towards the National Long-Range Championship. The overall winner of these five matches receives the Thompkins Trophy as the National Long-Range Champion.

NRA Leech Cup Camp PerryThe Leech Cup, awarded during the National Matches at Camp Perry every year, is the oldest trophy offered today in competitive target shooting in the United States. Its history reaches back well over a century into the first days of the NRA itself.

In 1873, the Irish Rifle Team, flush with victory after their first win in the British National Rifle Championships, were anxious to embellish their worldwide reputation and challenged America to field a team in the spirit of international friendship. The group to answer their challenge was the Amateur Rifle Club of New York, which picked up the gauntlet and managed to beat the heavily-favored Irish at the NRA’s Creedmoor Range on Long Island in September, 1874. The American who cemented his team’s 1874 victory was Colonel John Bodine, who, needing only a hit on target to win, scored a 4-point bullseye with his last shot.

To commemorate the event, the Irish team captain, Major Arthur Blennerhassett Leech, presented the Americans with a handsomely ornate sterling silver tankard –- The Leech Cup. A masterpiece of the Irish silvermaker’s art as practiced in the Victorian period, it is heavily-embossed and surmounted by a representation of an ancient tower in ruins. The trophy has been an award for long range marksmanship ever since the “International Rifle Match” between the Irish and the Americans. The Leech Cup was presented to the NRA by the Amateur Rifle Club of New York in 1901. It was lost after the National Matches of 1913, and went missing for 14 years until being recovered in 1927.

Story courtesy NRA Blog.

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