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March 13th, 2022

Sunday Gunday: SSG Erin McNeill — Lady Champion

USAMU SSG sergeant Erin McNeil wins 2021 Interservice Rifle Championship smallbore high power

For today’s Sunday GunDay story, we feature a very talented young lady shooter, U.S. Army Staff Sergeant (SSG) Erin McNeil. Erin, who started shooting as a young teen in a 4H program, is now one of the leading service rifle and high power shooters in the nation. Erin McNeil claimed the 2021 Interservice Individual Rifle Championship with an impressive score of 996-52X, beating out 86 other service members (mostly guys BTW). That score also earned Erin the title of High Woman.

USAMU SSG sergeant Erin McNeil wins 2021 Interservice Rifle Championship smallbore high power

The 2021 Interservice Rifle Championships (IRC) continued with other events, including the 1000-yard match. Shown below is SSG McNeil competing in the IRC 1K Match. CLICK HERE for more match photos.

USAMU SSG sergeant Erin McNeil wins 2021 Interservice Rifle Championship smallbore high power

Staff Sgt. Erin McNeil hails from Fort Wayne, Indiana. She has a B.S. in Mathematics from Texas Christian University (TCU), and holds the military occupational specialty of battle management system operator. With the USAMU, SSG McNeil has served on the International Shooting Team and the Service Rifle Team. As a USAMU team member, SSG McNeil has earned the President’s 100 Tab, Rifleman’s EIC Badge, and Bronze Medal at the 2014 World Championship in 3-Position/50m Smallbore Rifle.

USAMU SSG sergeant Erin McNeil wins 2021 Interservice Rifle Championship smallbore high power
USAMU SSG sergeant Erin McNeil wins 2021 Interservice Rifle Championship smallbore high power
Along with centerfire shooting, Erin enjoys smallbore competition. She won the Bronze Medal competing in 3-Position/50m Smallbore Rifle at the 2014 World Championships.

Erin enjoys shooting competition because “It’s really between you and the gun. It’s a very mental game. I think shooting is a great sport… as long as you are able to compete within yourself.”

McNeil started shooting through a 4-H program while in the 8th grade and then shot in college with the TCU Rifle Team. Now, she serves as a shooter/instructor on the USAMU International Rifle Team. In the video below, SSG McNeil talks about her career in competitive shooting, and what she enjoys most about rifle competition — both smallbore and High Power. She notes she enjoys instructing young high school and collegiate shooters (see video below):

Camp Perry 2021 National Trophy Junior Team Match matches
SSG Erin McNeil of the USAMU (left) competes in NTI match with a young lady shooter.

USAMU SSG sergeant Erin McNeil wins 2021 Interservice Rifle Championship smallbore high power

Like Father, Like Daughter — Both Great Shooters
Erin noted: “My father was very influential in my shooting career. As a child, I looked up to him. I knew that he had been a world-class shooter in his youth. He asked me a few times if I would be interested in starting the 4H Rifle program. He was excited when I started showing interest in the program. Although he never coached me for fear of crossing the father/daughter relationship with the athlete/coach relationship, but he was always my biggest supporter and even gave assistance when I asked for it. I had a natural talent for shooting and ended up joining my high school’s Army JROTC. I was given a NCAA scholarship to TCU during my senior year. After completing college, I was accepted into the USAMU. My dad [was] the quiet, proud encourager of my shooting career[.]”

Words of Praise for SSG Erin McNeil from Facebook

“Congrats Sergeant McNeil from an old shooter from the 1964 ARADCOM Interservice Rattle Battle matches at Fort Carson Colorado, Ft. Campbell, Ft Sheridan, et cetera. You make me proud of all you folks who carry on the tradition.” — Walter Colbert

“I’ve watched Erin shoot while I was calling the matches from the Tower at the Camp Perry smallbore championships. [She was] never bothered and never ruffled. Just keeps shooting those Xs.” — Ken Kelley

USAMU SSG sergeant Erin McNeil wins 2021 Interservice Rifle Championship smallbore high power
USAMU SSG sergeant Erin McNeil wins 2021 Interservice Rifle Championship smallbore high power

SSG Erin McNeilSSG Erin McNeil of the USAMU
Staff Sergeant Erin McNeil, an international rifle shooter with the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, Fort Benning, Georgia, has distinguished herself through her many accomplishments. Erin started shooting in 2001 and has numerous shooting accomplishments.

Her awards include the Army Commendation Medal, three Army Achievement Medals, two Army Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, two Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbons, Army Service Ribbon, President’s 100 tab, and Distinguished Excellence in Competition Rifleman’s Badge.

After graduating from Texas Christian University with a B.S. in Mathematics in 2010, Erin enlisted in the Army on February 15, 2011. After she completed Basic Combat Training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and Advanced Individual Training as a battle management system operator at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, she was assigned to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, where she has competed in smallbore, service rifle, and long range disciplines, and she also serves as a marksmanship instructor.

SSG McNeil Offers Lessons to Junior Shooters

USAMU SSG sergeant Erin McNeil wins 2021 Interservice Rifle Championship smallbore high power

SSG Erin McNeil, as the noncommissioned officer in charge of the Fort Benning junior shooters club, enjoys sharing her skills and knowledge with the next generation. “You cannot come to one of these without learning something.” The photo shows SSG McNeil during the 2014 Montgomery Bell Academy Rifle Classic in Nashville, Tennessee. At that event, Erin and other top USAMU shooters provided instruction/coaching to High School competitors from all over the Southeast. “The kids who know us, and know of us, come to every clinic and benefit from them. You cannot come to one of these [clinics] without learning something.”

Permalink - Videos, Competition, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
February 6th, 2020

Reading the Wind — Good Guidebook from M.Sgt. Jim Owens

Reading the Wind Jim Owens book CD DVD Creedmoor Sports

Readers often ask for a good, authoritative resource on doping the wind and reading mirage. Many of our Forum members recommended M.Sgt. Jim Owens’ Wind-Reading Book. With 22 sets of wind charts, this 166-page resource is offered for $14.95 in print format or $12.95 in CD format.

Owens’ Reading the Wind and Coaching Techniques clearly explains how to gauge wind speeds and angles. Owens, a well-known High Power coach and creator of Jarheadtop.com, offers a simple system for ascertaining wind value based on speed and angle. The CD also explains how to read mirage — a vital skill for long-range shooters. In many situations, reading the mirage may be just as important as watching the wind flags. Owens’ $12.95 CD provides wind-reading strategies that can be applied by coaches as well as individual shooters.

As a separate product, Owens offers a Reading the Wind DVD for $29.95.

NOTE: The Wind DVD product is completely different than Owens’ $12.95 CD. The DVD is like an interactive class, while the CD is basically an eBook.

Played straight through, the DVD offers about 75 minutes of instruction. M.Sgt. Owens says “You will learn more in an hour and fifteen minutes than the host learned in fifteen years in the Marine Corps shooting program. This is a wind class you can attend again and again. [It provides] a simple system for judging the speed, direction and value of the wind.” The DVD also covers mirage reading, wind strategies, bullet BC and more.

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
April 25th, 2010

Sneak Preview of NEW 2010 Creedmoor Sports Catalog

Creedmoor Sports 2010The Creedmoor Sports 2010 catalog will be mailed out to Creedmoor’s customer list next week. Want a sneak peek? The complete, 88-page 2010 catalog, in digital format, is available online. CLICK THIS LINK to browse through the pages, search for products and zoom in for details.

There are many new products in the 2010 Creedmoor Catalog, such as a new fullbore prone coat, with special features for belly shooters. Creedmoor worked with Dennis Flaherty, U.S. Palma Team Captain, to develop this product. $50.00 from the sale of each coat goes to support the U.S. Palma Team. Also new this year is a “No-Pulse” sling, item NPS-01, $81.95. The 2″-wide sling is made of synthetic material so it won’t stretch or shrink, no matter what the weather. Special “grippy” backing stabilizes the sling on your arm, while a unique dual-strap connection on the cuff dramatically reduces pulse effects. In addition, Creedmoor has a new, deluxe spotting scope mounting head (“Polecat” series) which comes in three versions, so it can fit 5/8″, 3/4″, or 1″ stands.

Creedmoor Sports 2010

Permalink Competition, New Product No Comments »