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August 29th, 2008

Drive Safe This Holiday Weekend

Today, millions of Americans will hit the road to begin a long, Labor Day weekend. We urge you all to drive safely. Don’t try to cover too many miles, or drive long distances at the wee hours of the morning. Fatigue can be a killer. An average of 115 persons die each day in motor vehicle crashes in the United States — one every 13 minutes. Every year over 43,000 Americans die in auto accidents and there are roughly 2.9 million injury cases. The cost of these accidents exceeds 230+ Billion dollars.

Famed Shooters in Recent Road Accident
Think an accident can’t happen to you? Consider this… Just a few days ago, when returning from the Camp Perry National Championships, Mid Tompkins and Nancy Tompkins (at left) were involved in an accident in Kansas. Mid and Nancy are both legendary long-range shooters, and Nancy is the author of the excellent book, Prone and Long-Range Shooting. Mid was driving a van, pulling a trailer. It was late at night, and (for reasons unknown) the van and trailer went off the road and rolled over. Mid suffered cartilage and rib damage. Nancy was trapped in the van for 20 minutes before rescue workers cut her free. She was then air-lifted to a Topeka hospital and treated for leg, knee, and shoulder injuries. Fellow shooters Bob Jones and Steve McGee were following on the same highway and helped the rescue effort. Thankfully, neither Mid nor Nancy sustained life-threatening injuries, and we send them our prayers for a full recovery.

Nancy recently posted on “Mid is doing well, but is very sore. His ribs — front and back — are bothering him and he has a nasty cut on this left elbow with some lacerations. I have a broken right tibia (leg bone), right patella (knee) left shoulder, and a tear on my left rotator cuff, a broken nose and very sore ribs and face. No matter what, we feel very blessed to have survived this. We made it as did our three cats that we absolutely love and adore.”

Drowsiness Degrades Driving Skills
A driver who is very fatigued will suffer impairment in his driving skills similar to being intoxicated. Even if you don’t nod off or blank out, drowsiness impairs your reaction time, degrades your peripheral vision, and dulls your ability to concentrate on the road. Remember that when traveling at 60 miles per hour, you’ll cover 90 feet in just one second. Nodding off for just an instant could be fatal, as the following video explains:

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Night Driving — A Special Warning for Older Drivers
A significant percentage of competitive shooters (if not the majority) are over 45 years of age. As we reach “middle age” and beyond, our night-vision degrades significantly. This is a progressive process, and most individuals don’t notice a change from year to year. Scientific studies have shown that a 50-year-old driver needs twice as much light at night as does a 30-year old driver. Older eyes also do not recover from glare as well as young eyes. Pupils shrink and don’t dilate as much in the dark as we age. Various reports indicate that the retina of a senior citizen receives far less light than the retina of a 20-year-old. This can make older drivers function as though they are wearing dark sunglasses at night.

CLICK HERE for National Safety Council Tips on Night Driving.

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August 29th, 2008

40th Anniversary Rifle Raffle for Williamsport Club

The Original Pennsylvania 1000-Yard Benchrest Club (Williamsport) marks 40 years of 1000-yard shooting this year. Williamsport, the birthplace of long range benchrest shooting, held its first match in 1968. Many key aspects of long range benchrest, as we know it today, can be traced back to the Williamsport range and its founders.

PA 1000-yard BR Williamsport

To celebrate Williamsport’s 40th year, and to raise funds, a Commemorative Rifle has been built by the members of the Williamsport Bench rest club.

PA 1000-yard BR WilliamsportThe rifle is chambered in 6mm Dasher. Components include: BAT action, Jewell trigger, Bartlein barrel, Baer stock, and a Nightforce BR scope. Many club members contributed time to fabricate the rifle, which would retail for $4000+. The rifle sports Bruce Baer’s innovative “Sidewinder” off-set stock. Mark King chambered the rifle. Springman Rifles pillar-bedded the stock, and Gary Hendrix applied the clearcoat. Engraved rifle components carry the Club’s logo and denote this as the 40th Anniversary Rifle — a true one of a kind.

The 40th Anniversary Commemorative Rifle will be raffled off to raise funds for much-needed range improvements. Raffle receipts will be used to repair the pit wall, which, after 40 years, has deteriorated. Fund raised will allow the pit wall to be straightened, reinforced, and elevated, with a new roof installed over part of the pit area. The raffle is limited to 1000 tickets, priced at $20.00 each. Raffle tickets can be purchased by mailing a check or money order (payable to “Original PA 1000-Yd BR Club”) to:

Original Pennsylvania 1000-Yard Benchrest Club
P.O. Box 1413
Williamsport, PA 17703

Please include a note with your payment stating that it is for 40th Anniversary Rifle Raffle. Your raffle tickets will be returned by mail. Tickets cost $20.00 each. The winning ticket will be drawn at the Club’s annual banquet on October 18, 2008. The winner will be contacted via phone, email or USPS mail, and his name will be posted on the Club’s website,

PA 1000-yard BR Williamsport

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