Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Shooting is a great sport--Great for the mind and great for the body. Exercise both and you will be successful.   
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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Shooters news for the Minn Area - July 15, 2014

Next weekend    
The great scores from the Minn Long Range Championships are in the book. Wow, what a weekend it was!
This coming weekend it's off to the Eau Claire Rifle Club for another great weekend of shooting in the beautiful upper Midwest.  There will be both an OTC match and a Mid Range Prone match to tempt area shooters. I'll be heading over on Saturday (July 19) for the Mid Range match.  I am really looking forward to it as I haven't been at Eau Claire for at least 15 years.  Saturday's match will all be shot from the 600 yd line, and each shooter will fire four 20 shot matches for record.  Shooters may use Iron sights for all 4 matches or may use "Any" sights for two of their trips to the firing line. 
"Over the Course" aficionados will have their turn on Sunday, July 20. The normal OTC format will be used, with each shooter firing a 20 shot offhand match from 200 yds, and then a Rapid Fire matches from 200 and 300 yds, finishing with a 20 shot prone competition at the 600 yd line.
  So, as you can see there is a little something for everyone.  See you there?
            Click Here for Match bulletin   Click Here for weather forecast

 For those of you trigger pullers out there that are in the Southern end of our state, you might want to head to the River City Rifle and Pistol Club near Mason City, Iowa. That rifle club will be hosting the Iowa 300yd prone Mid Range Championship this weekend, July 19, 20. Saturday shooters will form up teams of two for a 2x20 shot prone match starting at 1200 hrs.   On Sunday the 300 yd MR prone champ will be crowned after the 4x20 shot championship matches. 
            Click Here for match bulletin

Last Weekend
 *** On the Firing Line Report** --  Minn Long Range State Championship 
  From: Erik Rhode  7/15/14  
The 2014 MN State Long Range and Palma Championships were held on July 12th and 13th at the Gopher Rifle and Revolver Club in Harris, MN.   The schedule for the weekend promised 3x1000 yard matches on Saturday, followed by a 20-shot, 2-man team match.  Sunday was the Palma match, with shooters shooting 15 shots for record on the NRA LR target from the 800, 900, and 1000-yard lines.
Note: complete Results posted below at end of Video

The conditions on Saturday were about the best I have ever seen for a long range match.  The mirage was hard to see, but the flags spoke the truth to those who watched them.  We shot under a light overcast sky for most of the day, with winds maxing out around 3-4 mph.  These were not gusty winds either, so sight adjustments were few and far between.  Once you figured out what the condition was worth, you could proceed to shoot as many 10's and X's as your skill level would allow.  

In match #1, my skill level allowed for twelve 10's and 8 X's, and a match winning score of 200-8x.  Not to be outdone, Stacy "The Surgeon" Tamulinas put up a blistering 200-14x in Match #2, which tops the MN state 1000-yard record set just last year by “Mighty” Morgen Dietrich.  Congrats Stacy, that’s going to be a tough one to beat!  In Match #3, wily vet Bill Lair led the pack and missed tying Stacy’s new record by a single point with his 199-14x to win that match.

Speaking of Mr. Dietrich, He didn’t win a single match all day, but he was 1st High Master in all 3, and his consistent scores gave him the day’s top aggregate score of 596-30x to make him the MN 1000-yard champion for the 2nd year running.  Great shooting as usual, Morgen!   I finished 3 points back with a 593-25x for 2nd place, and Bill Lair’s 591-26x locked up the #3 spot.

Capt. Bob Peasley
Despite ignoring all previous zeroes and making major changes to sights, rifle, sling, coat, and attitude, Expert-ranked Lil’ Dickie VanValkenburg managed fine scores all day to lead the combined Master/Expert/Sharpshooter class by a wide margin.  His 584-21x day placed him squarely in HM territory.  Better buy a new rifle, Dick!

Up on the big end of the range, the F-Class gang wasn’t letting the great conditions go to waste either, with some very impressive scores being turned in.  In F-TR, “Magic” Mike Lehmeier maintained the high standard he’s been setting this year by winning the day from the Sharpshooter class with a fine score of 581-15x. 

I’m not sure how John “Machine Rest” Rykus is still in the Expert class, but he left his Expert classmates in the dust to finish the day with a 595-25x including 200-11x in Match #3.  That put John in 2nd place for the day, behind only the unclassified Mike Jones and his enchanted 6 Dasher.  Mike’s score of 598-35x included 2 clean 200’s, most notably a 200-15x in match #2.  This is a pending National Record for 1000-yard F-Class.  Congrats Mike, it doesn’t get much better than that. 

The 2-man team match got done quickly and smoothly, thanks to volunteer target pullers.  Our esteemed Match Director Mark “Rottweiller” Rohmann took one for the teams, and did yeoman’s duty keeping 2 different targets in the air for a total of 88 shots.  4 F-Class and 3 sling teams competed in their classes for the team title.  In F-TR, the Laitinen/Olson connection carded a 379-3x to top the class.  They had no direct competition in F-TR, but their score being only 3 points behind the winning F-open team tells me that they would have fared just fine against any challengers.  In F-Open, the team of Loepffe and Bauer put up the top score of 382-11x for the match win.

On the sling side, the juggernaut of Team RhoNak was unstoppable.  Masterful wind calls and rock-solid holds put Brian “Short Pants” Mrnak and myself at the top of the heap with a team score of 397-11x.      

Picts and Video from Minn Long Range Champs - Complete Results at end of video

 Watch at U-tube --Select full screen, 1080HD and turn up the volume!

Sunday’s Palma match offered a little more challenging condition, but still manageable.  Competition was tight in the sling division, with 3 shooters still clean going back to the 1000-yard line.  Morgen Dietrich and Bill Lair only dropped 4 points each back there, but Morgen’s 446-28x for the day topped Bill’s 446-23x for the match win.  That makes Morgen Dietrich the 2014 MN Palma Champion, and combined with his win on Saturday, makes it a clean sweep for the 2014 MN Long Range Championship.  That’s 3 trophies returning to Morgen’s house – hopefully his wife has the feather duster warmed up!  Since Bill Lair was shooting 155 class bullets, his score in the Palma match earned him the Wadekamper Palma trophy for his mantle.  Great shooting guys! 

Familiar names topped the F-Class boards again on Sunday, with Magic Mike Lehmeier topping the F-TR field with a score of 430-14x.  Winning both days aggs makes Mike the 2014 F-TR LR Champion!  I have to think that this will be Mike’s last match as a Sharpshooter.

In F-open, It was no surprise to see John Rykus again on top of the Expert class with his 441-14x.  North Star Rifle Club’s Big Bad Ben Winget won the day with a tough score of 446-14x to win the match, and the 2014 F-Class Palma trophy.  Mike Jones was right behind him with a 444-24, and this score allowed him to hold onto his Saturday lead to win the weekend aggregate, and the 2014 MN Long Range Championship Trophy.  Great shooting boys!

Looking over the scores for the weekend, I can’t help but notice that the top scores in F-class and sling are almost identical.  While many of us enjoy some good-natured ribbing between the disciplines, it’s pretty clear that these are both extremely competitive and challenging games.  If you want to win matches in either one, you’re going to need to get up early and pack a lunch.  It’s great to see the influx of F-Class shooters making these matches such a great success. 
Champions--Morgan Dietrich, Bill Lair, Mike Lehmeier and Mike Jones
All in all, this was a great weekend of shooting, one of the best in recent memory.  A good time was had by all, fistfights were averted (narrowly), and the weather was perfect.  Thanks to Mark Rohmann and the GRRC volunteers for putting on a top-notch match.  Looking forward to returning to GRRC this fall for Fullbore matches on September 14th, and again on October 4th and 5th.  Anyone planning on shooting the Fullbore World Championship at Camp Perry in 2015 would be unwise to miss these matches.
Best Regards,  Erik Rhode  

  Erik, Thanks for taking the time to write us that report. We know time is short when getting ready for Camp Perry. Good Luck to you and all the rest of our local guys and gals heading out to the National Championships!  Also - working with match director Mark Rohmann at this match was a real pleasure.  Mark's hard work in preparations made this great championship event.  GRRC'c top notch shooting facility was a showcase for these type of events.

Note: from Erik Rhode
 One of my roommates for Camp Perry just called to let me know that due to a staffing emergency caused by an injury at his work, he is not going to be able to go. 
As such, I have a space in a very nice condo in Port Clinton right on the shore of Lake Erie that I am looking to fill.  The condo is a 2-story, with a master bedroom and bath upstairs(mine) and a bedroom on the main floor with 2 beds - one of these 2 is available.  There is another bathroom with shower on this floor, as well as full kitchen/dining room, clothes washer and dryer, air conditioning, cable TV, wifi - pretty much all of the comforts of home.  You can walk out the back door onto the sand and jump right into the lake if you so desire, or cook dinner on the BBQ grill. 
I have the unit reserved from Thursday, July 31 through Monday, August 11th.  I will be shooting the 2 Palma days at the end of Long Range on 8/2 and 8/3, and then the Fullbore national championship matches from 8/4-8/10.  I'd like to get $600, which is just under $55/night.  Luxury accommodations at flea-bag rates.  Anyone interested can contact me via e-mail at:
It's a long shot, but maybe someone is still on the fence about going out for full bore week.
Two Weeks out         
July 26,27  - Mid West F-Class Championship at Elk River Sportsman's Club -   Click here for match program
Aug 10       - Small Bore ourdoor prone 1600 at Mpls, Rifle Club  -  Click here for match program  

That's All Folks

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Shooters News for the Minn Area - July 8, 2014

Next Weekend  
This weekend, it's time to put away that trusty Service Rifle and dig out your Long Range prone guns.  You will also need about 150 rds of well crafted ammo -- ammo good enough to reach out and touch the target almost a Kilometer away.  It's "Long Range Weekend" at Gopher Rifle and Revolver Club's 1000 yd shooting facility just North of the Twin Cities at Harris, MN.  The folks at GRRC will be hosting the 2014 Minn Long Range/Long Range F Class State Championships  July 12-13th. Shooters are expected to come in from around the five state area to contest this championship, as GRRC has the long established reputation of putting on a great match weekend at their top notch 20 position 1000yd rifle range.  We all know that when you shoot Long Range at GRRC, the sky is always blue, the wind fair, and the grass is green on the firing line. What more could you ask??
Saturday, July 12 shooters will be firing 3 twenty shot matches with unlimited sighters all at the 1000 yd line.  These 3 matches will determine the Individual 1000yd champion in both the traditional Sling Class and in F-class. The 4th match of the day will be Team Match championship.  Teams of 4 shooters will be made up, and take to the line with each shooter firing twenty shots toward the team aggregate score with coaching from the team captain and wind coach. 
Sunday, July 13 will again see the competitors at the long lines firing a "Palma" match in the Palma State Championship.  The course of fire this day will start with 15 shots for record from 800 yds, after which shooters will move back to the 900 yd line for another 15 shot match, and then it's all the way back to the 1000yd line again, for the final 15 shot match of the day.  The top score of the day will determine the State Palma champ, and the top aggregate score from both days will determine the 2014 Minn State Long Range Championship.  The forecast (click here) is for probably good weather with a light breeze from the SW, so we hope to see you all there. It will be top competition and fun shooting all weekend.      Click Here for Match program and entry info

For the Service Rifle shooter who wants a "fun" match to shoot -- head on over to the East side of the Cities on Saturday, July 12th to Oakdale Gun Club for a CMP Military Rile Match. The course of fire for this match is CMP course A  --30 shots for record from the 100yd line, starting with 5 sighters from the prone position, and then followed by 10 shots prone for record, then 10 shots prone rapid fire, and finishes with 10 shots from the Offhand position. Contact match director Tom O'mara at for info.
             Click Here for Match program and entry info

300 Meter International  

From: Brian Shiffman
The July Minneapolis Rifle Club 300 meter match will be held this Sunday, July 13th.  There will be two relays scheduled; the first starts at 10 AM and the second at noon.   Registration begins Sunday June 1.

Register yourself at  Read the instructions.  Pay attention as you fill in the boxes and make selections from the drop down lists.  There is room for only 14 shooters per relay.  The box at the top of the list shows the number of shooters for each relay. 

Last Weekend  
It was 2 great days for a Service Rifle matches at GRRC last weekend.  Tom Torberg and the other GRRC guys offered up a CMP games match on Saturday July 7th and drew about 20 shooters to this fun event. I finally got to get out the AR and shoot one of these matches after having missed the first 3 CMP matches that Rifle Club. These matches are all shot at the 200 yd line and are only 30 rds for record, so it was great for me get in some service rifle shooting after not having shot a SR match (or any OTC match) since last June. I found that I could still see the service rifle sight well enough to get a 99 on the easy SR1 target for the prone slow fire stage.  Then a rifle jam cost me two saved rds. on the rapid fire stage and my quest for a match winning score was over. The last 10 shots are fired from the standing position and with fortunately good trigger breaks, I scored a 90 and was amazed that I could still hit the ten ring once in a while.
  After the morning match was over, the shooters split up into 2 man teams for the afternoon, sniper type match.  Out came the old Springfields, Enfields, M1Ds, and even a Swiss K-31 Schmidt Ruben carbine. They were topped off with the old Redfield, Unertl, and other old scopes and  the shooter teams each fired  at 300 and 600 yd for score.
   It was good to see some new shooters on the line and I hope that some of them might become full time competitors.  These CMP games matches are important in bringing in new shooters to our sport and should be supported by all of us.

 a few picts from the sniper match

Sunday, July 8th  
It was a "fun match" on Saturday, but on Sunday morning the mood was changed. The fun was over - This days match was a Leg Match, and coveted Leg Points were on the line.  If you ever win enough Leg points (30) in your shooting career, the CMP will award you a Distinguished Rifleman's Badge. This is the most sought after award in Shooting and non-distinguished shooters will travel almost anywhere for the chance to pick up those last few points. This quest for a DR Badge will occupy many shooters for years as they try to get their scores up high enough to win some of these elusive award points. Many shooters are overwhelmed with emotion when they finally 'Leg Out' --- It's a Big deal !

From:  Kurt Borlaug
  GRRC hosted an EIC "Leg" Match on Sunday July 6th. The morning broke with rain and cloudy conditions but by the first prep period the match was underway and we had hot and humid conditionsfor the duration of the day. This was for many a first match of the season, as well as for others their first match EVER!! There were several new shooters experiencing the challenges of Highpower Rifle competition for the first time and it was a welcome sight.
  Off hand started the match and there were several shooters who broke the 90 mark with Kurt Borlaug at 92-2x, followed closely by SSGT Al Schneider (MN ARNG) with a 91-1x and Greg McCarty at 91-0x.
  The two rapid-fire stages began to sort out the standings. Mark "Monard" Schoess had the high sitting score with a 98-1x followed by Borlaug at 98-0x......donuts anyone? Right behind was Scneider at 95-1 and Larry Weidell at 94-0x. The wind was beginning to pick up and the classic GRRC fishtailing winds had many shooters questioning what to use for wind at 300 yards. A few figured the best call and held hard. Borlaug at 98-3x, Schoess at 97-2x and McCarty at 96-1x. Still shooting consistantly was Scneider at 95-3 and Weidell at 95-2.

 Select "full Screen" and 1080 HD -- turn up the volume! 

  The 600 yard line beckoned next and after a walk in the increasing heat the shooters gathered to where the final standings would emerge. The conditions were not as extreme as they appeared and most shooters had a few lost points due to over-doping the wind out the left side. Making quick recoveries and carefully watching the flags as the mirage was hard to pick up through the spotting scopes, the competitors waited out conditions and counted on quick pit service to shoot when their condition returned. 
  At the end of 600 yards, Mark schoess had the high score of 189-3x followed by Weidell at 187-5x. Tim Thole showed his wind doping skills with a 186-5 and McCarty carded 185-2. Still in the hunt was Schneider at 184-5x.
The big winners (and very happy shooters) for the day are--
Mark Schoess who earned an 8 point Leg, and
SSgt Al Schneider Who earned a 6 pt leg.
Neither of these shooters "Legged Out", but both are well on their way to earning the greatest prize in shooting.
     Thanks, Kurt for that report.
  Click Here for a 'You Tube' video of the GRRC Leg Match

Two Weeks Out
July 19     - Mid range prone at Eau Claire Rifle Club -- Click Here for match program  
July 20     - OTC matches at Eau Claire Rifle Club  --  Click Here for match program
July 26,27 - Minn Mid Range F-class Championship - Click Here for match program  

That's All Folks!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Shooters News for the Minn Area - July 1, 2014

Next Weekend
I let my M-1 do the talking
   While we all get ready to celebrate our nations Independence Day Friday July 4th, service rifle shooters wanting to exercise their veteran M1 Garand, and M1A rifles will be heading to the Eau Claire Rifle Club to pull some triggers in that Club's annual 4th of July rifle match.  First up to the firing line in the morning will be the M1 Garand shooters competing in a 50 shot match. All shooting will be done from the 200 yd line will issued Ball Ammo.  The course of fire will be CMP course B.  Prone slow fire will be shot first so shooters can get good zeros for the rest of the match. 10 shot rapid fire matches, and a 10 shot standing match will follow.  Click Here for match bulliten.
this coming
  After a lunch break the match for M1A rifles will commence about 1pm.  Again the course of fire will be the 50 shot CMP course B, but this time all firing will be from the 300 yd line on the SR-3 target.  Click here for Match program

Dale Hanson at GRRC CMP Games
Closer to home for me will be the CMP Games match for service rifles at Gopher Rifle and Revolver Club to be held on Saturday, July 5th. I shot a couple of these fun matches last year at GRRC, and now finally I'll be able to get to shoot one this year. This is the last in GRRC's summer series of CMP matches, and I want to get to this one.  I'll be shooting in the "modern military"  with an match AR, so no prizes for me, but I do get to have some fun and shoot with the guys. This will also be a morning match using CMP course A (30 shots) at the 200 yd line from 3 positions. I'm ready !  Click here for match program and entry info.
  In the afternoon, there will be a second match for those who want to shoot the older "sniper" rifles (or whatever they have).  The shooters will split up into teams of two and fire 10 shots each at 300 and 600 yds -- alternating between shooting and coaching wind.  This should be a fun match.

Now let's get serious. 
All right, we tuned up our service rifles at the CMP games matches--It's time for some serious shooting -- an EIC Leg Match.  On Sunday, July 6th, the action is back at the GRRC range near Harris, MN., with the "must make" service rifle match of the year. Shooters will be competing for "Leg Points" with the top 10 percent earning another step up the ladder towards the coveted lifetime award of a"Distinguished Rifleman" Badge. These elusive points can only be earned at Leg Matches, and shooters are only allowed to enter 4 Leg matches per year. So, you can imagine the competition is hot and heavy between those who travel long distances to get their last few leg points, and any local shooters who aspire to be the best of the best.  Every Service Rifle shooter should attend the Leg match in your area. Even if you are just a beginner, you learn the most by shooting with the best shooters.
  Get a 'Leg' up on the competition!    Click Here for Leg match bulletin and entry info
Last Weekend  
"On the Firing Line Report"  --  State NRA Championship 

 From: Erik Rhode   
 2014 MN State Highpower Championships

June 29-29, 2014   

This past weekend, Minneapolis Rifle Club in St. Francis hosted the 2014 Highpower Championship matches.  This was the first time in recent history that MRC has hosted a major HP match, but judging by the way things went, it won’t be the last.

For the individual match, match director Mark Rohmann added the interesting twist of making it a 1000-pt aggregate instead of the usual 800.  The additional 200 points were scheduled to come in the form of a 2nd prone slow fire stage at the end of the day.  Matches at MRC always run very quickly due to the reduced course, and a 1000 point match usually takes about as long as an 800 at most other ranges.     Would it end up being a factor in the match?  Only time would tell.

This match has more history than any other in the MN shooting sports, and there is serious hardware at stake.  There are historic traveling trophies that go to the winners of the standing, sitting, prone rapid, prone slow, high service rifle, senior and grand senior categories, as well as the overall match winner.    The top prize is the “Governor’s Cup”, a trophy first presented to the winner of the state championship matches in 1940 by then-MN Governor Harold E. Stassen.  The winner of that first match was a gentleman named Owen B. Emswiler, undoubtedly a hard-holder.  Looking at the names of the next 75 years of winners is like reading a who’s who of MN shooting history.  Local legends like Sandager, Wadekamper, Sailor, Erickson, and Barth all have a part of their legacy engraved into this brass cup. 

We were unsure of what kind of turnout to expect, as an ominous weather forecast was keeping fair-weather shooters like Duluth’s Lil’ Dickie VanValkenburg and Dale “Weatherman” Wickstrom at home in their pajamas curled up by the fire.  The weather turned out to not be a factor, as temps stayed in the mid-80’s all day with high humidity and gusting winds from the south.  Nothing we in MN can’t handle. 

As it turned out, 27 shooters braved the forecast to test their mettle against MN’s best.  It looked like the trophies were going to have to be earned, as among those 27 shooters were 6 different High Masters who already had their names scratched into the Governor’s Cup at least once.  As has been the trend this season, there was a healthy mix of classifications at this match, with 8 Masters, 8 Experts, 2 Sharpshooters a Marksman and 2 shooters not-yet classified.  It has really been great to see the recent influx of newer shooters breathing some life into the sport here in MN.   

Head Line officer Chris Hazelton called relay #1 to the line at 9:00 am sharp to get things underway.  As always, the day started off with the 20-shot standing match.  This is considered by most HP shooters to be the most daunting part of any match, and has driven many former OTC competitors into the ranks of prone-only shooters.  Keeping your shots inside of a 6” 10-ring at 200 yards from standing is no easy task, and small mistakes in technique or concentration can lead to disastrous results.  It’s also a very quickly diminishing skill set, as I continue to prove to myself this season by not practicing standing like I have in years past.  I managed to ruin a fairly decent string with one of the above-mentioned mental errors – my brain locked up my trigger finger mid-pull, and by the time it finally broke, the sights had passed just out of the 5-ring and into zero point territory.  That miss left me with a score of 180-2x for the standing match, and basically out of the running.  Oh well, at least the pressure was off and I decided to have as much fun as possible the rest of the day.  Jim “Big Match” Biles came out of hiding once again and followed up his recent Regional Championship Gold medal by winning the standing match with a fine score of 189-2x.  Topping the Master class was 2013 Service Rifle champ Scott Brabec with his 186-1x.  Rich Boyarski was the class of the combined Ex, SS, MM class with 180-1x.

In the 200-yard sitting rapid-fire match, I thought I had a chance to take that trophy home for the 2nd year in a row with my 199-7x, until “Tiny” Tim Thole blazed away for a blistering 200-10x to lock up the win.  Kevin Kuehl headed up the combined class with a commendable 194-06. 

When we got back to the 300 yard line for the prone rapid-fire match, things started to get a little dicey.  The wind was gusting from 15 to 20 mph and some relays were caught in mid-string switches.  Some shooters managed the conditions better than others, and again, Big Match Biles relied on his years of wind-reading experience and hard-holding to win that match with score of 198-7x.  New Master Jim Fernandez was hot on his heels, shooting a 198-6x to take the class win.  “Dynamite” Dean Gillette’s 192-4x rounded out the class winners by winning the combined group.

Next it was time for slow-fire on the reduced MR63 target.  Some might assume that shooting slow fire at 300 yards is only half as difficult as the full-course 600.  Those people would be wrong.  The 10-ring is only 5.85” across, and it takes full concentration to keep all 20 shots inside it.  The wind was still strong and gusty, but with time to evaluate the flags and mirage between shots, some good scores were posted.  Stevie “Wonder” Erickson put up the top score in the first slow fire match with an excellent 200-13x.  Right behind him was our match director Mark “Rottweiler” Rohman, missing the top spot by a single X, and winning the Master class with his 200-12x.  Ahh, now I’m starting to get why Mark likes having the extra slow-fire stage at the end!  Rich Boyarski won the combined class with a score of 184-5x. 

The second stage of the slow prone was when things got interesting.  A brief mini-storm swelled up and dumped heavy rain on the High Master relay for 5 minutes or so before blowing through.  This made me feel right at home, as I have been rained on at matches in each of the last 5 weekends.  Steve Erickson didn’t let it bother him either, dropping only a single point in the monsoon to win the second stage with his 199-12x.  Winning both slow fire prone stages earned him a 399-25x, and he will be adding his name one more time to the Prone Slow Fire trophy.  Mark Rohmann won the Master class handily with his 398-21x performance, once again proving that he is not to be taken lightly in the prone game.  Rich Boyarski’s name once again came up on top of the combined class, shooting a solid 193-4x for that class win. 

Jim Biles had a solid lead over the rest of the field going into the last stage, but got caught in the rain and dropped more points than he would have liked, finishing with a 193-3x.  Would it be enough to hold on?  As the High Master relay headed for the pits to finish out the day, all were comparing scores and doing mental mathematic gymnastics to try to sort out how it was going to end.  It was a long 2 relays in the pits waiting to get back up to the 300 meter building to get the official results and fill our bellies with barbecued pork chops. 

When Mark and Steve “Stat Man” Knutson got the official scores posted on the big computer screen, Dean Gillette was the winner of the combined EX, SS, MM class with his score of 923-13x.  Rich Boyarski took second with his 911-14x, with class wins in 4 of the 6 possible matches along the way.  Jim Soderstrom led the Master Class with consistent scores in the mid-190’s all day after getting off his feet.  Craig Bennis turned in a 958-19x for second in class. 

The High Service Rifle shooter in this match is presented with a traveling trophy consisting of a large hand-painted jug commemorating our fallen soldiers.  This relatively new trophy has been in the hands of MN’s best SR shooters, and this year is no exception.  Tim Thole wins the 2014 Service Rifle trophy and will get to keep this beauty on his mantle until he has the chance to defend it in 2015.  Great shooting Tim, and congratulations on your win. 
Click for complete results

Erik Rhode 2014 State Champ
In a surprising turn of events in the High Master Class, Jim Biles’ second stage of the prone slow fire match dropped him down to second place for the day with a score of 968-23x.  Worth mentioning in 3rd place, was Grand Senior “Ancient” Omer Hamer with a 966-20x.   Omer has been a competitive shooter since before smokeless powder was invented, so finishing a state championship only 3 points out of the lead is no mean feat.

Tim thole Service Rifle champ
After my minor catastrophe in the standing match, this humble shooter managed pretty good scores for the rest of the day and squeaked past Jim at the end by 1 point  My 969-34x was the top for the day, so yours truly is the 2014 MN State Highpower Champion.  I am very happy with this unexpected win, and am proud to be able to put my name on the Governor’s Cup again. 

2014 trophy winners:   
 Standing Champion: Jim Biles    
Sitting Rapid Fire Champion: Tim Thole
Prone Rapid Fire Champion: Jim Biles
Prone Slow Fire Champion: Steve Erickson
Senior Champion: Jim Biles
Grand Senior Champion: Omer Hamer
Service Rifle Champion: Tim Thole
2014 State Champion: Erik Rhode

On Sunday, 4 teams assembled to vie for a chance at the 85-year old team championship trophy.  Teams from host club MRC, Gopher Rifle & Revolver Club, and one pick-up team led by past Service Rifle champ Phil Carlson were ready to challenge the returning champion North Star Rifle Club Screaming Weasels.  Weather was beautiful, and good time was had by all.  Upsetting the Weasels was not in the cards though, as their combined team score of 3100-86x left the competition in the dust.  This is the 5th consecutive state championship for NSRC, and we don’t plan on breaking that streak anytime soon.  If any other clubs want to see this trophy in their clubhouse, I’d suggest getting your team together early!
2014 MN State Highpower Rifle Team Champions:
North Star Rifle Club 'Screaming Weasels
Firing members:   
Kevin Bangen
Bob Peasley
Omer Hamer
Erik Rhode
Thanks to Mark Rohmann, Chris Hazelton, Steve Knutson, and everyone else who helped to make the 2014 state matches a success.  Can’t wait to get back to MRC for the next match!
 Best regards,    Erik Rhode
Thanks Erik for that Great Report.  You sure have stepped up to the plate this year helping write these reports on matches.  These reports of yours are read on the blog by 20 plus people a day from all over the country and those folk are learning about Minn shooting with your help. This helps promote shooting in our state and promotion keeps our sport going. I hope sometime we could get an F-class shooter on line writing rpts on that part of our sport and a Sm Bore position shooter.

Two weeks out 
July 12  --  CMP games match at Oak Dale - Click Here for Program
July 12,13  --  Long Range, Palma and F-class St. Championships -  Click Here for match program

That's All Folks !

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Shooters News for the Minn Area - June 24th, 2014

The Week Ahead 
With the prone mid-range Regional Championships out of the way, The action turns to the Over the Course shooter this next Sat and Sunday.  On both days the OTC competitor can find some stiff competition at the Mpls Rifle Club. Whether they are Service Rifle shooters or Match Rifle aficionados, they can test their skill in the State OTC Championships. The 80 shot competitions start off on Saturday, June 28 with the matches for the Individual championship honors in both divisions. Shooters will fire Offhand, sitting rapid fire, prone rapid fire, and prone slow fire matches on their way to the State Titles. Top competitors such as Kevin Bangen, and the veteran winner, Omer Hamer will be there so bring your best game.  After this match MRC will be feeding the folks a pork chop barbeque and there will be time to talk shooting and swap "I shot a" stories with your friends.
    Click Here for Individual championship match Program
On Sunday, June 29 shooters will choose up teams, and fire for the State Team OTC Championship. Shooters will have the benefit of team coaching during these matches and this makes for a good fun match. I have always thought that the team matches were the most fun.  Once again the course of fire is 20 shots in each of the four positions -- standing, sitting, prone, and prone.   Click Here for the Team championship match program
   Now's the time to start planing your outing to Eau Claire Rifle Club for the annual "Pig Roast" match weekend July 19-20.   Remember Saturday is prone mid range matches and Sunday is OTC matches.  Click here for Match program

Bad News dept.
There will be no Pig at the Pig roast!  That's right, shooters will not be feasting on Pork barbeque at the annual Eau Claire Rifle Club pig roast match this year.  The world as we know it is over !
 From: James Melville match director
Due to the National Matches held in Camp Perry this year being moved up, we have decided not to offer the meal for your Pig Roast Match. We have lowered the match fees to normal price and any one who has already sent in match fees will be given a refund.
I have attached an updated match bulletin."  "
James Melville            Click Here for revised match bulletin

Small Bore
State Championship matches are also on tap for Small Bore shooters this coming weekend.  Small Bore position shooters will be heading to the Elk River Sportsman's Club to contest for the 3 Position St. Championship on Saturday, June 28.  Targets will be shot at 50 meters from the Kneeling, Prone, and Standing positions. Two targets of 20 shots in each of these positions will decide the winner.
 Click Here for 3P match program and entry info
Those wishing to give it another try to win a State Championship will be back to ERSC on Sunday, June 29 for the 4 Position NRA Championship.  This day's shooting will include a match shot from the Sitting Position in addition to three positions shot yesterday. All four matches will be shot on A-23 targets from 50 yds.     Click Here for 4P match program and entry info

I wish I was a 'position' shooter because I like shooting Sm Bore at ERSC.  It's a nice range and you shoot off Grass under the shade of some trees. I'll be there in Sept. for their prone match.  FYI -- This Sm bore range at ERSC is named after deceased member Ed Hassig, a Marine gunner who survived Wake Island, the Alamo of the Pacific in WW2.     Semper Fi Ed.

Last Weekend  
The Regional Mid-Range Championships Matches at Elk River Sportman's Club are in the Book.  All that's left is to clean the gear and remember a weekend well spent at ERSC shooting bullets 600 yds into the bullseyes and enjoying the day and the competition with our friends. As I wrote earlier the weather Saturday for the Team Championship was as perfect as weather could get for a 600 yd rifle match.  Just imagine it -- Bluebird sky's, light puffy clouds, 75 deg, and only a light zephyr of air movement, just enough to produce a visible mirage and show that no sight change was needed -- just load it, shoot it, repeat.  
 I went to the match to take a few pictures because I was just going to shoot Sunday in the individual match.  I had my gear as it was running through my head that if someone needed a forth team shooter, I might be better off shooting Sat than Sun as the forecast was for Rain on Sunday and the Team match Sat was only 60 shots per shooter and that's enough for me. Sure enough Team Rohmann was short a trigger puller and maybe I could help them stay in the competition against the annual power house team from the Mpls. Rifle Club. MRC always comes to prone Championships with only "Win" in mind.  This year would be no exception as they were bringing nationally competitively shooters to the firing line such as multiple past Champion and Long Range Palma team wind coach, Steve Knutson, also on their team is National Long Range Team shooter and many time State and Regional Champion, Stacey Tamulinas. Erik Rhode, Mn St Long Range Champion would fill out their #3 spot and anchoring this formidable team was long time competitor, Leo Huta.    
   Team Rohmann didn't seem to have a chance. MRC had the big names but our team had hope.   Team Capt. and sometimes brilliant shooter, Mark Rohmann would be the boss and call the team strategy.  Second shooter and wind coach would be Phil Klanderud - a strong prone long range shooter, 3rd spot and anchor of this team would be the always competitive, and experienced Steve Erickson (championships too many to list), and who is also the son of the legendary National Champion, 'Doc' Erickson. The #4 shooter on
Team Rohmann would be me, yours truly, no championships. I do have a good gun though.  I would be shooting a 6mm BR, through a Kreiger barreled Rem 700 action, pillar bedded by Randy Gregory in a 32 layer/in. laminated wood stock from Richards MicroFit.  29.7 gn Russian Varget would push a Sierra 107 MK at 2850 fps. Bring it on !
   Capt. Rohmann ordered up 4th shooter (me) to fire first with Erickson coaching wind. This was an Any sight match so I had my Leupold V-XIII on the gun set on 20x.  Steve said 1 min right and shoot it, and the first sighter went in the 10 ring at 10 o'clock.  Then starting poorly, I wiggled the first record shot into the 9 ring, but after that I just held the dot and broke the shot where Steve said to put it and we stayed in the 10s and Xs, There was little wind, we just shot fast and chased the spotter. Steve was up next for us and kept them on the water line losing only 2 pts to bad wind calls by his wind coach (guess who?) but also suffered an over loaded rd that sailed up to the 7 ring. 

   On the way to the pits for my time pulling targets, I checked
the score board and saw Team Rohmann was in the lead after 2 shooters -- Yes !  The big dogs weren't having it all their way today.  And so it went - shooter after shooter for 3 matches, Team Rohmer holding it's own and building a lead over the X ring specialists from the Mpls Rifle Club. The little guys on the block were having their day. Solid steady shooting by each team member resulted in wins in each of the 3 matches and at the end of the day Team Rohmann was the 2014 Regional Mid Range Champions.  

Congratualtions to Team Champions
Mark Rohmer      -593-25x
Steve Erickson    -584-26x
Phil Klanderude   -592-24x
Jim Evenson.      - 595-36x
The highest individual score of the day (prone class)  was fired by Stacey Tamulinas -- 596-31x

2014 Minn Mid Range Regional at ERSC
The Rest of the Story
*On the Firing Line* -- Mid Range Regional 
From: Erik Rhode 

Last weekend, the Elk River Sportsman's Club played host to the 2014 F-Class/Mid Range Prone Regional Championship.  2 days of shooting at 600 yards were on the docket, and a healthy number of shooters made their way to the club to test their skills.

Anyone who had been paying attention to the weather forecast for this match knew to expect a beauty.  I'd been checking WeatherBug all week, and could hardly believe the predictions for 2-4 mph winds for Saturday, and 3-6 mph for Sunday.  If this forecast held up, we were sure to see some SERIOUS scores at this match.

I packed up my wife and dog in the camper and headed up on Friday afternoon to make a full weekend of it.  Full electrical and water hookups for the camper made for a very comfortable stay.  This was my first time shooting at ERSC since 2011, so we decided to take a walk after dinner to get the lay of the land.  Some renovations had been done to the clubhouse, including full bathrooms, and there was also a new storage building near the shotgun range.  We wandered over to the 600-yard line and found it in beautiful condition.  The grass was trimmed short and more importantly; the whole line was flat from end to end.  No holes or humps to have to shoot in or on.  Canopies were set up behind the line for shade and rain cover, should the forecast get ugly.  

Saturday was the scheduled team match day.  I woke up early and shuffled my way over to the clubhouse to find my teammates, and get our squadding assignment.  In total, 7 F-Class and 2 sling teams were on hand for the match.  There was a wide range of skill levels among the F-class gang from folks shooting in their first matches, to seasoned vets.  All of the sling shooters on hand save one were salty old High Masters, so competition was sure to be hot on our side.  

The weather forecast did indeed hold up, and there was nary a puff of wind to speak of when shooting commenced at 9am sharp.  If a shooter could just hold center, there wasn't enough wind to even divert a bullet out of the 10-ring.  An absolute perfect condition to really lock down a solid no-wind zero.  Conditions didn't get much worse throughout the day, and I would be surprised if there were any gusts over 5 mph.   

In the F-Class division, the Turret Twisters were head and shoulders above the rest, led by  Lisa "X-Ring" Olson with her 595-28x topping the scoreboard for the day.   Her teammates Jon Clauson, Adam Shidla, and Joel Danielson weren't far behind with all 3 putting up good scores to give their team the win with a total score of 2363-117x.  Team Adamski was next down the board finishing with a team score of 2316-79x for 2nd place.  

With only 2 sling teams present, second place wasn't going to be anything to brag about.  As it turned out, Mark "Rottweiller" Rohmann's Team Rohmann made the Minneapolis Rifle Club team look like a bunch of Chihuahuas with a decisive 22-point victory margin.  Firing members were the Rottweiller himself, Philly Dawg Klanderud, Stevie Wonder Erickson, and your own Jim "Even Money" Evenson.  All 4 put up good scores for a team total of 2364-111x. While I didn't shoot as well as I would have liked on the "other" team, I did get to spend a lot of time coaching the other shooters on my team all day, which was a valuable experience for me.  

A BBQ dinner was served after the match, and was reported to be top-notch by all who attended.  The wife and I had a graduation party to get to in Bloomington, so I had to skip it this time around in the spirit of keeping family harmony.  One of these days, my relatives are going to have to learn not to schedule this kind of thing on my match days!

On to Sunday, and the individual matches.  The wind was no more severe than the day before, but a glance at the weather radar showed it wasn’t a question of if it would rain, only when.  As it turned out, relays 1 and 2 got to fire the first match of the day before it arrived.  Heavy rain with enough thunder and lightning to keep things interesting chased all of the shooters to the cover of the canopies.  After getting drenched in La Crosse last weekend, I was pretty happy to have something to stand under and keep my rifle and gear dry.  The rain kept on and caused a delay of about 90 minutes, causing Match Director Scott Olson to make the executive decision to shorten the day’s program from 80 shots to 60.  This seemed like a good idea to all, and eventually we were able to carry on.  When the rain finally blew through, the wind surprisingly dropped right back off to next to nothing, giving the rest of the shooters a chance at some epic scores. 

Many stepped up to the challenge, with personal bests being set all over the place, and even some national records among the F-Class gang.  Young Jager Brabec carried on a family tradition by setting a new Intermediate Junior National Record shooting an excellent 197-9x with his F-TR rifle in his first match of the day.  I don’t know the exact age of this young man, but he is very young.  He and his older brother have some real skills and I expect we will be hearing their names in MN shooting circles for many years to come.  In the second match, Lisa Olson tied the women’s National record with her 200-16x, and Jon Clauson tied the men’s record with his 200-19x.  These types of scores require some serious shooting by serious shooters.  Congrats to all 3, hopefully they have some empty space on their walls for the NRA certificates they earned.

With 37 total F-Class shooters, there were too many highlights to cover, so I’ll leave the details to the scoreboards.  F-Class medal winners were:

Gold: Jon Clauson 600-47x  (Thats right--47 out of 60 shots into a 3in Xring at 600 yds)
Silver: Mike Jones 599-42x
Bronze: Greg Wahlstrom 599-31x

Gold: Ed Higgins 594-30x
Silver: Mike Lehmeir 588-18x
Bronze: Jager Brabec 586-24x
Medal winners
On the sling side, it was no surprise to anyone to see Stacy “The Surgeon” Tamulinas come out on top, only dropping 1 point all day.  Stacy’s 599-38x performance showed the rest of us what a top shooter can do when presented with perfect conditions.  Right behind him was Mark Rohmann, shooting 2 199’s and a 200 to finish in second place with 598-35x.  Mark has really developed as a shooter in the last couple of years, and is proving that he can hang with anyone on the line.  With only 8 shooters in the class, new NRA rules allow only a Gold medal to be awarded, so Dr. Tamulinas was the only shooter to go home with hardware.  I asked Stacy after the awards ceremony just how many regional medals he has, and he answered that he has lost track.  I don’t doubt it – I picture something like Blackbeard’s treasure chest with gold medals spilling out all over the floor somewhere in Stacy’s den…

Thanks to Scott and the gang at ERSC for putting on a great match.  Everything ran smoothly, and everyone was treated very well all weekend.  Scores were ready quickly, and the awards ceremony ran very smoothly.  The BBQ and pit shuttle were nice touches, and added to the “big match” atmosphere.  As I mentioned earlier, it’s been a long time since I’ve shot a match at ERSC, but I won’t hesitate to go back next time there’s one there for us sling shooters.  
Complete results:
Best regards, Erik

Thanks again Erik for sending in the match report, I appreciate your help in producing this news letter and blog.
Note: we do need an willing F-class contributor to write something about what goes on in F-class

Two Weeks Out 
July 4th        - M1 Garand & M1A match at Eau Claire -- Click here for program
July 5th        - CMP Games Service rifle match at GRRC -- Click here for program
July 6th        - Service Rifle "Leg" match at GRRC -- Click Here for program
*July 19        -  MR prone and OTC at Eau Claire*   Click here for match program

That's All Folks!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Shooters News for the Mnn Area - June 21, 2014

EXTRA ! EXTRA !     Perfect weather for Mid Range Champs !

This story starts out -- "It was the perfect shooting day..."  
and it was.  After what, it seems like, endless weekends of bad weather for rifle matches, today made up for it.  35 folks turned out to fire the Regional Mid Range Team Championship at Elk River Sportsman's Club today in what anybody would call "Perfect" conditions. It was all shot from the 600 yd line under Bluebird sky's, gentle breezes, on a nice warm summer day for 8 four shooter teams. The competition was good because the 'gentle' breezes were constantly switching from side to side and that kept wind coaches in the game with one eye on the mirage and the other on the wind flag at the 300 yd line. Plenty of high scores were turned in.

Tomorrow -- Sunday we all shoot the "Individual" match and hope that you will join us.  Maybe it will be another great day at Elk Rivers top notch shooting facility.

Erik Rhode at the 600 yd line

            Top F-class shooter -- Lisa Olson

Complete results coming soon

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Shooters News for the Minn Area - June 17, 2014 -- Pt #2

Last Weekend - Part #2    

  **On the Firing Line Report**
 Mid West Palma Championships Team Match

From Erik Rhode:

Hi Jim,
I'm back from Lodi, and trying to get myself back into the "work" mindset.  Before I get too far with that, I figure I'd better send this out while it's still fresh in my mind.

On monday, the Winnequah Gun Club in Lodi Wisconsin kicked off what many consider to be the premier Long Range shooting event in the country - The Midwest Palma.  Top-notch shooters from all over the US are on hand as I type this, all fighting for the chance to put their name on one of the most coveted trophies in the sport.  To have any hopes of accomplishing this, shooters must grind it out over 4 long days of Palma matches.  Winnequah is a tough range with many surprises, and it has a funny way of turning early leaders into mid-pack finishers very quickly.  Locals seem to have a bit of a home-field advantage, and infrequent visitors are all-too-often left scratching their heads wondering what went wrong.   

The week's festivities begin with the 4-Man Team Palma match.  This match follows the traditional Palma format, with each team member firing 15 shots for record at the 800, 900, and 1000 yard lines.  Rifles must be chambered in .308 Winchester or .223 Remington - pretty much everyone shoots the .308.  Each team can designate a coach that will make the dope calls for the shooter.  The coach can be a firing member of the team, or a full-time, non-shooting coach.  The same target is used at all 3 yard lines, the NRA LR target.  This is generally thought of as the "1000 yard" target, so shooting it at 800 and 900 yards usually leads to higher scores at those ranges.  800 yards is still a long ways with a .308, but having a 1.2 MOA X-ring does help.  

For this year's team match, 8 sling and 4 F-Class teams showed up to test their combined skills.  Wind was fairly brisk, I'd estimate 8-12 mph for most of the day with pick-ups and let-offs keeping things interesting.  

On the sling side, competition promised to be stiff, with all 8 teams being ranked as "High Master" teams by the NRA's team grading system.  There were some big names shooting, including Steve and Shirley McGee, fresh from their magnificent weekend performance in La Crosse.  The F-Class gang's 4 teams were more varied in experience levels, but the competition wasn't any less fierce.  

Looking at the 4 F-Class teams on paper, most would have assumed an easy victory was in the cards for the team from Brux Barrels or Brian Litz's Jack Pine Savages.  As it turned out, these were the top 2 finishers, but only 19 points separated the first place team from the 4th.  Good scores were put up by all shooters present, with the Marksmen, Sharpshooters and Experts keeping pace with the Masters and High Masters in many strings.  At the end of the day, it was the experience of the shooters from Brux Barrels that put them on top.  High Master aggs from 3 of their 4 shooters locked up the victory over the 2nd place Jack Pine Savages.  Congrats to The Brux gang - looks like they know how to do more than just make barrels!

On the sling side, 3 coaches from the US National team were on hand with teams of their own.  Bob "Maestro" Mead, Rick "Rain Man" Hunt, and MN's own Cap'n Bob Peasley demonstrated their wind-reading skills at long range throughout the day.  In addition to the wind, lighting conditions were challenging with fast-moving clouds changing sight pictures for all shooters.  Occasional elevation 9's and even 8's were popping up on targets from some of the best shooters present.

Coach Mead turned in a masterful performance at all 3 yard lines by keeping all 4 of his shooters in the black throughout the day.  I believe only one 8 came up on Bob's #20 target all day, and that was a wild elevation shot that couldn't be blamed on Bob.  He didn't let a lot of 9's out either, and consistent elevation holds by his 4 shooters sealed the deal for the match winning team score of 1778-78x.  Congrats to Bob's Wild Hares - firing members Morgen Dietrich, Brian Mrnak, Bob Steketee, and Erik Rhode.  

Bob's "Wild Hares" shooting team
Also of note to local shooters, MN favorite Stacy "The Surgeon" Tamulinas was the top gun for the day with a very impressive score of 447-31x. Stacy is shooting very well and I am looking forward to shooting on his team next weekend at the Mid Range prone regional championship at the Elk River Sportsman's Club.  

Best of luck to everyone sticking around Lodi for the rest of Midwest Palma week - wish I was still there.
That's all for now, have to get to work so I'll have time to load ammo tonight!
Erik Rhode

Two Weeks Out
June 28,29  - Sm Bore Position St. championship at Elk River
June 28  -     State OTC Championship at MRC - Click Here for match program
June 29  -     State OTC Team championship at MRC  Click here for match program 

That's All Folks