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July 2nd, 2012

USAMU Conducts Small Arms Firing School at Camp Perry

USAMU logoEvery summer at Camp Perry, Ohio, prior to the National Rifle and Pistol Trophy Matches, soldiers from the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) take time to pass their knowledge on to the next generation of American shooters. The Small Arms Firing School (SAFS) was instituted in 1918 by the Dept. of Defense. SAFS is now run by the USAMU, with help from other U.S. Military and National Guard personnel.

The SAFS is divided into pistol and rifle programs. The Pistol SAFS will be held on Monday, July 9, 2012, while the two-day Rifle SAFS will be held July 28-29, 2012. There are two divisions for rifle shooters — a basic program for novice/intermediate shooters, plus an Advanced Service Rifle Course for experienced marksmen. Both rifle programs finish with special M16 EIC Matches.

Small Arms Firing School Camp Perry

The SAFS program is very popular, drawing over 1,000 participants to each year’s rifle and pistol classes. Fees for the Rifle School or Pistol School are a modest $45.00 for adults and $30.00 for juniors. The USAMU provides semi-auto-only M-16A2 rifles for the students to use. The USAMU also supplied pistols and ammo for the pistol students. CLICK HERE for registration and more information.

Small Arms Firing School Camp PerryThe day starts with classroom instruction and covers everything from the functioning of the weapon to proper positioning. The instructors, such as 2009 National Pistol Champion SFC James Henderson, are among the best in their respective shooting disciplines. After a few hours in the classroom, the students trek to the range and get a feel for the weapon in dry-fire simulation. There are two students per military instructor. Upon their return from lunch, students go to the range for live-fire practice.

Small Arms Firing School Camp Perry

SFC Jason St. John, USAMU, explained: “The advanced class … covered mental management training, preparing for a competition, and basically what it’s going to take to get to that next level”. Splitting the rifle class into two divisions based on shooter experience has proven to be effective and popular. Said SFC Lance Dement, USAMU: “In previous years we had around 400 students or less (for the rifle class) and now we’re close to 700. With the price of ammo going up, the cost of fuel, the economy the way it is, and people are still coming — that’s a good thing. They are the future of the sport.”

Shooters of All Ages Attend Firing Schools
Persons from all walks of life, young and old alike, have participated in the pistol and rifle Firing Schools. The students range in age from 12 to 70. (Minimum age for Rifle SAFS students is 12; minimum age for Pistol SAFS students is 14.) State junior shooting teams showed up, families planned their family vacations around the trip to Perry, and others flew long distances to learn from the elite marksmanship instructors.

“It’s such a great thing,” said Jim Davis from Indiana. “This is the best place in the country, maybe the world, to learn about shooting and everything that goes with it.” Davis took his son and three other kids from the Dekalb County 4-H Club to the rifle class, stressing how valuable the instruction is to them now and down the road. “I still remember when I came to this school as a teenager,” he said. “I tell my kid that this is something that you’ll always remember.”

This story is based on a report by Michael Molinaro, USAMU public affairs officer.
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July 2nd, 2012

2012 National Trophy Matches and CMP Events Start July 9th

Camp Perry CMPThe CMP National Trophy Matches will kick off July 9th with the First Shot Ceremony. The official program and registration information for the CMP National Trophy and CMP Games Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio, are posted on the CMP website’s National Match Page. The National Matches are conducted by a partnership between the CMP, NRA and Ohio National Guard. The National Matches are open to the public and visitors can stop by the National Matches Welcome Center, Building 3, at Camp Perry throughout the matches for information.

The colorful First Shot Ceremony will be held on Monday, 9 July, at 10:00 AM with a Military Band Concert starting at 9:30 AM. This year’s First Shot Speaker, LTG William E. Ingram Jr., Director Army National Guard, has the honor of firing the First Shot to officially open the 2012 National Matches. Public viewing from bleacher seating is open to the public and encouraged. Highlights will include a color guard, a military band and a National Guard combat maneuver.

2012 CMP National Trophy Matches
9 July: First Shot Ceremony
9 July: Pistol Small Arms Firing School
9 July-4 August: NM Air Gun Events
10 July: Warm-up Pistol Match
15 July: National Trophy Pistol Matches
22 July: National Rimfire Sporter Match
27-29 July: Rifle Small Arms Firing School

2012 NRA Rifle and Pistol Championships
10-14 July: NRA National Pistol Championship
18-26 July: NRA Nat’l Smallbore Rifle Championships
5-15 August: NRA Nat’l High Power Rifle Championships

New Rodriguez Range Berm and Target Pits
This year’s National Match competitors will enjoy the newly rebuilt Rodriguez Range berm and target pits. The State of Ohio hired local contractors to rebuild the Ohio National Guard’s 100-year-old range this past winter. The CMP purchased and installed a new speaker system in the pits.

Camp Perry Rodriguez Range

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