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September 22nd, 2021

Ten Ways to Win — Lessons for Competitive Shooters

SSG Amanda Elsenboss high power national championship
SSG Amanda Elsenboss, now with the Pennsylvania National Guard, is the 2021 NRA National High Power Champion. And Amanda also won the NRA Long Range National Championship in 2019. These two major titles place Amanda among the greatest American shooters and one of only three women in U.S. history to win the High Power title. Amanda combines a superb “mental game” with outstanding gun-handling and wind-reading skills.

DCM CMP Gary AndersonIn the archives of On The Mark magazine, DCM Emeritus Gary Anderson, an Olympic Gold medal-winning shooter in his younger years, offers sage advice for competitive shooters.

In his article Ten Lessons I Wished I Had Learned as a Young Shooter, Anderson provides ten important guidelines for everyone involved in competitive shooting. Here are the Ten Lessons, but you should read the full article. Anderson provides detailed explanations of each topic with examples from his shooting career.

READ Full Article by Gary Anderson in On the Mark.

LESSON 1 – NATURAL ABILITY WILL NOT MAKE YOU A SHOOTING CHAMPION.
(You also need hard work, training effort and perseverance.)

LESSON 2 – ANGER IS THE ENEMY OF GOOD SHOOTING.
(The key to recovering from a bad shot is to stay cool, no matter what happens.)

LESSON 3 – BAD SHOTS CAN TEACH YOU MORE THAN GOOD SHOTS.
(Today, error analysis is one of the most powerful tools for improving scores.)

LESSON 4 – NEVER GO WITHOUT A SHOT PLAN.
(A shot plan is a detailed breakdown of each of the steps involved in firing a shot.)

LESSON 5 – PRACTICE IN BAD CONDITIONS AS WELL AS GOOD CONDITIONS.
(Most competitions are fired in windy conditions or where there are plenty of distractions.)

LESSON 6 – CHAMPIONS ARE POSITIVE, OPTIMISTIC PEOPLE.
(Negative shooters expect bad results; positive shooters expect to train hard to change bad results.)

LESSON 7 – IT’S NOT ABOUT WHETHER YOU WIN OR LOSE.
(It’s about how hard you try to win.)

LESSON 8 – YOUR DOG WON’T BITE YOU AFTER SHOOTING A BAD SCORE.
(Hopefully your coach, parents and friends won’t bite you either.)

LESSON 9 – YOUR PRESS CLIPPINGS CAN HURT YOU OR HELP YOU.
(Winning can go to our heads. We start thinking we are so good we don’t have to work hard any more.)

LESSON 10 — YOU NEVER SHOT YOUR BEST SCORE.
(Great champions are always looking for ways to improve.)

USAMU shooters on the firing line at the Wa-Ke’-De outdoor range in Bristol, IN.
smallbore national championships Wa-ke-de
Photo courtesy USAMU.

About Gary Anderson
DCM CMP Gary AndersonGary Anderson served as the Director of the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) from 1999-2009, and is now DCM Emeritus. As a Nebraska farmboy, Gary grew up hunting and shooting. Dreams of winning an Olympic Gold Medal in shooting led Gary to the U.S. Army. In 1959, he joined the elite U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit. Just two years later, he won his first national championship.

At the 1962 World Shooting Championships in Egypt, Anderson stunned the shooting world by winning four individual titles and setting three new world records. At the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, Gary won the 300m free-rifle Gold Medal, setting a new world record in the process. At the 1966 World Shooting Championships in Germany, Anderson won three additional world titles. At the 1968 Olympics, Gary won a second gold medal in the 300m free-rifle event.

After his “retirement” from international competition, Gary competed in the National High Power Championships, winning the President’s National Trophy in 1973, 1975 and 1976. Over his competitive career, Anderson won two Olympic Gold Medals, seven World Championships, and sixteen National Championships. He is unquestionably one of the greatest American marksmen ever.

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August 21st, 2021

Oliver Milanovic Wins NRA Long Range National Championship

NRA High Power long range national championship palma oliver milanovic Eliseo tubegun
Top Guns at LR Nat’l Championship: SSG Amanda Elsenbuss (2nd place), Oliver Milanovic (Champion), Jeffrey Miles (3rd place). Photo courtesy Shooting Sports USA.

NRA High Power long range national championship palma oliver milanovic Eliseo tubegunMilanovic Wins LR National Championship
We have a new Long-Range National Champion. Competing at Camp Atterbury in Indiana, Oliver Milanovic took the 2021 NRA National Long Range Championship with a score of 1245-73X. Oliver was shooting an Eliseo Chassis + Borden Action Palma Rifle with 155gr bullets. Finishing second, tied on points but with four fewer Xs, was 2019 National Long Range Champion SSG Amanda Elsenbuss, with 1245-69X. In third place was Jeffrey Miles, just one point back, with 1244-73X.

As you can see, with the top three shooters all separated by just one point, it was a very close competition. But Milanovic, a popular marksman from Arizona, put on an impressive performance to take the win and the Thompkins Trophy. No stranger to the podium, Oliver has been on the winning Sling Division Team at the Berger SW Nationals in the past.

For all the relays, Milanovic shot his trusty .308 Winchester Competition Machine (Eliseo) chassis rifle with a Borden action, loading Palma-spec 155-gr bullets. In the Long Range Championship, other chamberings are allowed for some stages, but we’re told Oliver ran his 155gr Palma load throughout. Milanovic also won the Palma Individual Trophy Match with an impressive 450-30X score, not dropping a single point.

CLICK HERE for Full Long Range Nat’l Championship Results »

NRA High Power long range national championship palma oliver milanovic Eliseo tubegun

NRA High Power long range national championship palma oliver milanovic Eliseo tubegun

A full report on the 2021 NRA High Power Long Range Championship will appear in a future digital edition of Shooting Sports USA.

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August 22nd, 2019

SSG Amanda Elsenboss Wins NRA Long Range Championship

SSG Amanda Elsenboss USAMU NRA National Long Range Championship
The display target is a copy, for spectators, of the larger, official target. The actual X-Ring is 10″ at 1000 yards. Amanda shot without a bipod, using only a sling to support the rifle, and aperture sights (no scope).

Congrats to Amanda Elsenboss for winning the 2019 NRA National Long Range Championships held this month at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. This completes her season of dominance, winning the Interservice, CMP, and NRA Long Range Championships. Amanda finished off her campaign with a win in the Mustin match and a shoot-off score of 100-9x. She also won the Leech Cup with a 200-15X, and 100-6X shoot-off score. Great job, Amanda!

SSG Amanda Elsenboss USAMU NRA National Long Range Championship
Before his retirement from the U.S. Army, Emil Praslick III coached Amanda as a shooter with the U.S. Army Markmanship (USAMU) team. Emil was impressed with Amanda’s skill and dedication. Emil posted: “[Amanda is] by far the easiest shooter to coach I’ve ever worked with. A machine.”

Amanda expressed gratitude: “Thank you to everyone who supported me during the 2019 CMP Long Range Matches. Everyone’s support and encouragement helped me along the way, fan club included. Especially, a huge shout out to past and present AMU members for pointing me in the right direction. When the moment of confusion happened I always knew who I could count on to get me back on track. So, Thank you to everyone on and off the range who was cheering me along!”

SSG Amanda Elsenboss USAMU NRA National Long Range Championship

Amanda Helps Train Young Competitors
When Amanda is not shooting matches or practicing with the USAMU, she helps train new shooters. Here SSG Amanda Elsenboss offers pointers to a Liberty University Service Rifle shooter at a CMP Small Arms Firing School (SAFS). Amanda Elsenboss hails from Woodbury, Connecticut and holds the military occupational specialty of small arms repairer. Elsenboss started shooting when she was 13, and soon became an avid rifle competitor. She now serves as a shooter/instructor on the USAMU Service Rifle Team.

SSG Amanda Elsenboss USAMU NRA National Long Range Championship

Video Interview with SSG Amanda Elsenboss
This video, featuring SSG Amanda Elsenboss, was created by the USAMU to mark Women’s History Month. Amanda talks about her career in the military, and her love of competitive shooting. This is a great video, well worth watching. There are images from many shooting ranges around the nation.

SSG Amanda Elsenboss. CLICK Speaker Icon to Hear Sound!

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August 2nd, 2015

Nancy Tompkins Wins 2015 NRA Long Range Championship

Michelle Gallagher Mid Tompkins Nancy Tompkins Brandon Green

The matriarch of American Long Range Shooting has done it again. The amazing Nancy Tompkins won the 2015 NRA Long Range Championship with an impressive performance. This marks the fifth time Nancy has won the LR Championship. This year’s LR match went down to the wire after many days of shooting. It all came down to X-Count, with two talented ladies tied for score. Shooting a 1242-58X over the multi-day competition, Nancy finished four Xs ahead of SSG Amanda Elsenboss (1242-54X). Both women dropped only 8 points out of 1250 possible. Amanda’s USAMU team-mate, SFC Brandon Green, finished third, one point back, at 1241-75X. SFC Green, the newly-crowned 2015 High Power National Champion, had high X-Count by a wide margin.

CLICK HERE for Complete 2015 NRA Long Range High Power Rifle Championships RESULTS.

This year’s Long Range Championships event was hugely popular, with 321 competitors on the match roster. Many familiar faces ranked among the Special Award winners. Our friends David Tubb (1241-69X) and Jim O’Connell (1235-66X) were High Senior and High Grand Senior, respectively. Tubb finished fourth overall, with the second-highest X-Count. There were also talented newcomers, such as High Junior Charlotte Flanagan, a young Kiwi from far-away New Zealand. Firing a 1236-40X, Charlotte is shooting at an extremely high level for someone so young. As Ken Littlefield noted: “It’s pretty impressive to come into Camp Perry for the first time and win the Junior Championship!” Charlotte could be formidable at the World Fullbore LR Championships slated for 3-9 August at Camp Perry.

Here are the overall Top 10 finishers. Note that Michelle Gallager, Nancy Tompkins’s daughter, made the Top 10, making this a “family affair” for the Tompkins/Gallagher clan:

1. NANCY TOMPKINS (1242-58X), HM, Div. B – U.S. Match ‘Any’ Rifle*, Rule 3.2, 3.7(c)
2. SSG AMANDA ELSENBOSS (1242-54X), HM, USA REG W Div. B – U.S. Palma Rifle, Rule 3.3.1(a)
3. SFC BRANDON GREEN (1241-75X), HM, USA REG Div. B – U.S. Palma Rifle, Rule 3.3.1(a)
4. DAVID TUBB (1241-69X), HM, Div. B – U.S. Palma Rifle, Rule 3.3.1(a)
5. DAVID CALVERT (1241-63X), MA, Palma Rifle (NRA Rule 3.3.3 (b))
6. JANE MESSER (1240-60X), HM, Palma Rifle (NRA Rule 3.3.3 (b))
7. DAVID LUCKMAN (1239-68X), MA, Palma Rifle (NRA Rule 3.3.3 (b))
8. SGT DICONZA (1238-59X), HM, USMC REG Div. B – U.S. Palma Rifle, Rule 3.3.1(a)
9. PHILLIP CROWE (1238-54X), HM, Div. B – U.S. Palma Rifle, Rule 3.3.1(a)
10. MICHELLE GALLAGHER (1237-64X), HM, Div. B – U.S. Palma Rifle, Rule 3.3.1(a)
*The NRA Match bulletin lists Palma Rifle, but Nancy said she shot her “Any Rifle”.

In this photo, Michelle Gallagher is missing … but someone had to take the photo.
Michelle Gallagher Mid Tompkins Nancy Tompkins Sherri Jo Gallagher

Here is Nancy with the Tompkins Trophy. And yes, if you are wondering, that trophy was donated, decades ago, by hubby Mid Tompkins as the top prize for the Long Range High Power Rifle competition.

Nancy Tompkins Long Range Championship
Photo courtesy NRABlog.com.

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