December 31st, 2011

Carl Bernosky, National HP Champion — A Top Story of 2011

Currently, the NRA Blog is featuring “Top Stories of 2011″. Among these stories is an account of how Carl Bernosky earned his NINTH High Power National Championship. We believe Carl’s latest National Championship title, and his amazing skills with a rifle, deserve more ink. So, here, from the NRA Blog, is the story of Carl’s 2011 victory at Camp Perry.

Report by K. Jillson for the NRA Blog

Bernosky Gets His 9th Nat’l HP Title
This past August, Carl R. Bernosky of Ashland, Pennsylvania, shot his way to his 9th NRA National High Power Rifle Championship at the NRA National Rifle & Pistol Championhips at Camp Perry. A National Guard training facility on the shores of Lake Erie, near Port Clinton, Ohio, Camp Perry has been home to NRA’s national championships for 102 years. The matches, which take place during July and August, have become notorious for their harsh gusts of wind, sweltering heat and storms that come off the lake with little warning.

2393-160X out of 2400
This year, during the NRA High Power Rifle Championship, Bernosky posted a 2393-160x out of a possible perfect score of 2400, Bernosky took first place and won the prestigious Mumma Trophy. In addition to winning the overall high power rifle championship, Bernosky was also the NRA Match Rifle Champion. He won top honors in eight of the eighteen matches that make up the championship and placed within the top three in five others.

“It’s just a matter of getting your mind ready to shoot the shot when it’s there and just tweaking everything a little bit”, Bernosky said when I asked him how he prepares for each match. “You don’t have to be thinking about what you’re doing, it just happens.”

During his title run this year, Bernosky tied the National Record for slow fire standing from 200 yards — an extremely impressive accomplishment. The record, a 200-15x, was originally set by Gary Anderson in 1971 during the Navy Cup.

“When I shot that 200 with 15 standing, that was discipline. I didn’t shoot a bad shot”, Bernosky told me. “That was the best target I’ve ever shot, including practice”. Bernosky tied the record during the Crescent Cup, which has the same course of fire as the Navy Cup, and finally let us know that the record had been on his mind for a very long time. “Every time I shoot a standing, whether in practice or in a match, I'm thinking about that record. I always thought I could shoot that well”, Bernosky said. “It’s tough to do and it’s a great feeling to have done that”.

The record-tying match couldn’t have come at a better time. Tied for first, Bernosky was looking for a boost to have a great day of shooting and take sole possession of the lead. The Crescent Cup was the first of the final day’s three matches and Bernosky couldn’t have asked for a better boost. “When you enter the final day and you’re tied and you just stand up there and shoot a 200-15x, it doesn’t get any better than that…”, Bernosky said.

Having grabbed the lead after the excellent performance, Bernosky held on for the last two matches and won by three points — close. Congratulated by his friends and fellow competitors as he packed up, Bernosky left the firing line a champion.

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