July 13th, 2011

NRA National Championships Commence at Camp Perry

Camp Perry CannonOn Monday, 11 July, the 2011 NRA National Rifle and Pistol Championships officially commenced at Camp Perry, Ohio. DCM Emeritus Gary Anderson led a procession of special guests into the ceremony.

Poor weather cancelled the traditional delivery of the colors by a parachute team, so the flag was presented to Anderson by a squad from the Ohio National Guard. VIP Guest Joseph Westphal, Under Secretary of the Army, addressed the gathering, and then Westphal fired the ceremonial First Shot, followed by wounded warrior SFC Sene Polu, who fired the second shot.

Now that the championships have begun, each morning the National Matches start with a bang — a big bang. With the raising of the colors, a cannon is fired in salute. On 12 July, Mike Krei, NRA’s Director of Competitive Shooting was chosen to fire the cannon, marking the first day that shots are going down range at the NRA National Pistol Championships.

Camp Perry Cannon

Pistol Championships Underway
We are now into the second day of competition in the National Pistol Championships. It’s day two of the NRA National Pistol Championships, and that means competitors are firing the NRA Preliminary Pistol Championship today in three separate relays. In this morning’s first relay, shooters took to the range to complete the Center Fire, .22 Caliber, and .45 Caliber stages of fire. The aggregate of these stages comprises each competitor’s total score.

Who are the front-runners? SFC Jim Henderson of the Army Marksmanship Unit won this Championship last year with a score of 890-42X, but the record of 894-50X was set by Brian Zins in 1996. At this stage in the match it’s too early to tell who the winners might be, but with 10-time National Champion Brian Zins sitting out this year, there may be some surprises. James Lenardson, SSG Jean-Noel Howell, David Lange, and SSG Patrick Franks are just a few of the competitors who are riding high after yesterday’s Revolver Matches, but Philip Hemphill, SFC Henderson, John Zurek, and many others could still finish on top of the podium.

Story by Kerrin Brinkman and photos courtesy the NRA BLOG.