Friday, August 14, 2009

Minn Service Rifle Team -- Camp Perry Report

Minnesota Service Rifle Team shooters have Returned from Camp Perry and Larry Weidell has written up this report about this years National Team Trophy competition to share with us

Camp Perry 09 -- MN Service Rifle Team

The weather this year was fantastic with the temperature hovering around the high 70’s and mid 80’s. While it threatened to rain a couple of days it held off till the final day when we were shooting the Garand match and the skies opened up and dumped on us. It didn’t stop the match though! The wind was the Camp Perry usual blowing and fishtailing. Some of our new shooters had never put on four minutes of wind and that wasn’t enough at times.

Commercial Row is one of the few places where guys go shopping. It’s the only place where all of the vendors who cater to High Power are located for two weeks out of the year. All of the stuff you usually look at in catalogs is on display. Add the CMP store located just a couple of hundred yards away to list of vendors and you have the capability to empty your wallet of cash and wear the numbers off your credit card. The good news was that many of the vendors had hard to get reloading components. The bad news is the prices were a lot higher than we have been used to paying.

The shooting was great. With only a few exceptions the CMP did a great job running the matches. I can attest that all of my shots went into the Lake Erie. There were plenty of shoulda, coulda, woulda to be heard. The highlights were Jeremy, Matt, Al, and Eric got leg points. In fact Jeremy legged out and received his medal on stage. Kurt B also got a Daniel Boone medal from the NTI match. The Hearst Doubles and the team matches were exciting. Tom did a masterful job of making the target go up and down in mere seconds allowing the shooters to shoot lots of tens and X’s during the NTT (6 man team) match. The NTIT (Rattle Battle) was the usual adrenaline pumping action filled event. While the team didn’t get top honors we did score higher than the last two years combined.

Dining out was always an experience. The pizzas and burgers at Bel Mel were fantastic. Let’s say that it will be a long time before we eat any Mexican in Port Clinton. If you like walleye then the Jolly Roger is the place to go. Hard to believe but one of the best burgers was the Angus (the g is not silent) at McD’s. Maybe it was because we were hungry and it had been a long day.

One of the great things about Perry is meeting old friends. The more years you go the more friends there are to see. Given that I have lived and shot matches in MN, TX, MO, AZ, and shot matches in CA, NM, CO, IL, and OH there were a lot of people to say hello too.

You cannot help but meet new friends at Camp Perry. You get paired up with different people from across the country and stuck in the pits for a couple of hours each day. On one occasion I struck up a conversation with a young college student on the target next to me. Jen said that she was thinking about shooting the Springfield match but didn’t bring her rifle. I offered her the use of mine and she said she would try and get signed up for the match. She called me a day or two later and said that she was signing up. While the MN team was shooting the Rattle Battle she got us squadded. The bad news for the other MN shooters is they got wait listed for the match because it was overbooked. The CMP at that point decided to run another relay. Jen and I promptly volunteered to pull targets for the extra relay. Jen’s goal for the match was to get all ten shoots off in rapid fire. She shot a 98-5 slow fire and then got all ten shots off with time to spare with a 92 during rapid. I think my coaching helped. Standing wasn’t as pretty but even with a miss she got a bronze medal. Kurt B also borrowed my rifle and managed to shoot well enough to earn a gold medal. I got a gold medal as well.

This was my first year shooting with the MN team and all I can say is I look forward to shooting with the team in years to come here in MN and at Camp Perry. Kurt did a fantastic job coordinating training prior to Perry, carpooling, obtaining housing, getting shirts and hats and many other tasks. Everyone else pitched in as needed to get things done so no one person got dumped on.

As in previous years at the end of the week and on the trip home, there was discussion about what we can do to grow the sport. It would be great to have more competitors on the line at home and at the Nationals. Many suggestions were floated. I would guess that we get more new shooters from walk-ons and those brought out by friends than from clinics. So for the good of the sport bring out some friends. Find some Juniors to bring out as well. Girl-friends and wives are welcome as well, maybe not at the same time though.

Hold hard and favor center,

Larry Weidell

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