Also in this issue "Camp Perry 2012 - My Story" by Mark Havlik - see below
Planing a nice lazy, stay at home Labor Day weekend? Forget it! There are good rifle matches to shoot. There are good days to be had at the range.
First off is the 3 position Regional for Small Bore competitors at the Mpls Rifle Club. Starting out on Saturday Sept 1, shooters will fire matches of 40shots each from Prone, Standing, and the Kneeling positions with Iron Sights. The 3P matches will be followed by a 40 shot Mentor team match. On Sunday Sept. 2nd, competitors will shoot the same course of fire, but have the opportunity to use "Any" sights. It's too bad my right knee won't go into that position any more. I did like shooting Kneeling position years ago. I knew I could shoot great scores in Kneeling if I could just tame that side to side wobble a little more.
Sept. 1st also offers a Mid Range Prone match for the bigger gun guys and gals. You can head just East over to the Eau Claire Rifle Club and shoot their 80 shot MRP match. All four 20shot matches will be fired form the 600 yd line. You will shoot two matches with Irons and two with Any sights. Click Here for match info and entry
That's not all:
Stick around for Sunday, Sept. 2nd at Eau Claire, and the course of fire will be an 80 shot, OTC (over the course) match, so pack in your Match Rifle for the Rapid Fire stages. Shooters will fire Standing, and Sitting Rapid from the 200 yd line, Prone Rapid from the 300 yd line and finish with 20 shots prone from the 600 yd line. Click Here for info and entry
On Monday, Sept. 3rd, the Eau Claire will the 3rd match of their Labor Day series. This day is reserved for the fun of shooting the older guns. 1st match of the day is for M-1 Garand rifles. The course of fire is the CMP course B, to be shot all from the 200 yd line. Its basically a reversed 50 otc match, where you shoot prone first, to get all the older guns zeroed in, and finish with the 10 shot standing match. This is a great course of fire for newer shooters, and those who get their older Service Services out just once in a while. Click here for Match bulletin
The M-1 match will be followed directly by a similar match for the M-14/M1A rifles. However, I don't have a match program, and this match may be fired from the 200 to the 600 yd line. Be prepared.
Off Hand Championships, and Couples match at MRC -- No News
Small Bore Prone St. Championships -- No News
More From Camp Perry
US National Team - Forshee competes in the Long Range Championships.
L to R
Major David Cloft,
Camp Perry 2012 - "My Story" by Mark Havlik
By Mark Havlik
Camp Perry was used as a Prisoner of War camp during WWII and to house the German and Italian POW's hundreds of small 4 man huts were constructed. These huts still stand today and those that haven't succumb to neglect are inhabitable and are available for rent during the Nationals. Demand for these huts is high and the supply is limited so our team was lucky to procure a Hut at the last minute. As money is tight this year Dean and I agreed to stay in the hut and babysit the teams gear. We arrived and checked in at the Camp Perry Club House and found ourselves billeted in the "double letter" huts, EE06 to be precise. The kind lady at check in drew us a map to find our palatial estate only we found ourselves in what can only be kindly called the tenement district. Luckily for us it was nicer inside than it looked outside and our team Captain Kurt Borloag had stopped by earlier to hook up a window air conditioner and microwave.
Sunday morning Dean and I went to registration to pick up our registration packets and get our squadding assignments. About 2/3rds of the way to Perry Dean told me he hadn't preregistered for any of the matches, but he wasn't worried about it. As luck would have it as soon as he was put on the waiting list for the President's match five email cancelations came in and he was good to go. Dean admitted afterwards that he'd never do that again.
Camp Perry has four rifle ranges, Viale (Ve'al'ee), Young, Rodriguez and Petraca but only Viale and Rodriguez are used during the Nationals. We had an hour or so before we needed to be on Rodriguez for the scheduled squadded practice so I went to the CMP store to buy some Greek HXP ammo for the Post 435 Firearms Safety program. The CMP store is an interesting place with memorabilia, books, shooting accessories and of course rack upon rack of M1 rifles. I strode up to the counter and ordered 1000 rounds of the Greek M2 Ball ammo and announced I'd be paying cash. The man behind the counter didn't even blink, it must be an everyday occurrence there I guess.
Squadded practice on Rodriguez went without much drama, although if I knew then what I discovered later in the week I would have payed more attention to my 300 yard zero. There was one disappointing moment when I was in the pits. A junior shooter who was squadded on our firing point couldn't hit the target at 600 yards. He finally hit the paper on his last shot 6 to 8 inches outside the scoring rings in the upper corner of the target. We felt bad for him, but who comes to the National Matches without a solid 600 yard zero?
Monday morning brought the President's match, the most prestigious and competitive 30 shot match in all shooting sports. I was squadded on point 64 on Viale, quite a hike from the hut, code named the Taj Mahal. The goal of this match is to make the cut for the "President's 100" or simply put, the top 100 shooters out of a field of over 1300 of the country's best Rifleman.
My match started out in a train wreak. After squeezing off my first shot in standing at 200 yards with a good call on target, I got a bad feeling that I forgot to remove my 600 yard elevation from squadded practice the day before. A quick glance down at my rear sight confirmed my fear, when my target came up it was a visible miss dead center at the top of the target. Angry with myself for making such a stupid mistake I finished standing with a 81-0, not a bad score with a miss, but effectively taking me out of competition.
Things didn't get any better for 300 yard Rapid fire. After confirming my sight setting and shooting a good group I discovered my normal 300 yard zero shoots a full minute low at Camp Perry! Why didn't I notice that during squadded practice! Anyway, a tight group in the 9 ring was only good for a 90-0. Again, not a bad score but not nearly good enough to make the "President's 100".
Wind was the major factor back at 600 yards. In all my years of shooting I've never seen such a strong wind switch so fast. The range wind flags and streamers were showing the wind blowing to the targets and quartering slightly right. The Mirage in my scope was switching from 3 moa right to 1 moa left. The problem was it switched faster than I could get from my scope to my rifle. When I was on the wind I was in the 10 ring the couple times I got caught in the switch I was in the 7 ring. My 90-1x at 600 netted me a grand total of 261-1x good for 699th place out of 1300. Interestingly, if my first shot had gone into the 10 ring as I had called it I would ended up in the 450 range.
Tuesday brought the National Trophy Individual Match. This match is a 50 shot match and is similar to the President's match only adding 10 shots fired from the Sitting position from 200 yards and 10 additional shots for a total of 20 at 600 yards from the prone position. The goal of this match is to finish in the top 10% of all competitors to earn points towards "Distinguished Rifleman" status.
I'd like to blame my poor performance in this match on something but the sad truth is I just shot poorly. The only bright spot was my 99-2x at 200 sitting bringing my match total to an embarrassing 446-11x.
Wednesday's midweek match marks the start of the team matches with the Hearst Doubles Match. This match is fired in the same 30 shot format as the President's Match only having two team members firing from the same firing point. This is considered a fun match by most and good natured ribbing of teammates can be heard up and down the firing line.
While this was both me and my partner Dean's best performance so far of the week our scores were still below our average and our score of 542-7x was good for 140th out of 289 total teams.
Because the Hearst match only has a fraction of the participation of the President's Match, it ends in the early afternoon. It is followed by a second match, the Vintage Sniper Match. While the rest of the Minnesota delegation decided to shoot this match, I decided to sit it out and enjoy my afternoon off.
Commercial Row, sometimes called Robbers Row is a Camp Perry tradition. Venders sell reloading supplies, firearms and miscellaneous shooting gear. I ended up spending more than I had planned to, buying some powder, smallbore ammo, air rifle pellets and a neat little pellet sorter/holder. I also treated myself to a new shooting glove as my old one was getting pretty ratty. After I left Commercial Row I stopped into the NRA and CMP stores for some t-shirts and assorted memorabilia. On the way back to the "Taj Mahal" I stopped at the PX to pick up some cold beverages.
I arrived back to the Taj Mahal at about 4 PM and decided the rest of the team would be finishing their match and be back in about an hour or so, plenty of time for a much needed nap. The rest of the team showed up at the hut at about 7 pm waking me from my blissful slumber. The Vintage Sniper match it turns out turned into somewhat a CF and ran several hours longer than it should have.
Thursday morning brought the Team Trophy match and another chance at redemption. My scores weren't anything special but I was having a better day than I had had all week. At 600 yards the wind was playing the same game it had all week. I decided to leave my scope at the ready line and just rely on the expert wind coaching of team Captain Kurt Borloag. I think Nadine's windage knob was smoking by the end of the 20 shot string, adding and subtracting wind as fast as Kurt was calling the changes.
While my performance in the team match was nothing to brag about, the Minnesota Service Rifle team had it's highest finish ever! with a 19th overall and 11th of the nonmilitary teams.
Friday morning was the Infantry Trophy Match or "Rattle Battle". This would be my first experience shooting the Rattle Battle and my nerves were on edge. Each team consists of 6 shooters shooting 8 targets and one or two coaches. Each team member is allowed 64 rounds of ammunition to shoot as they see fit. Targets are the Army AQT silhouettes and are shot at 600, 500, 300 and 200 yards. Every team starts at 600 yards and targets are exposed for 60 seconds. Only hits on the silhouette are scored, 4 points at 600, 3 points at 500, 2 at 300 and 1 at 200.
We got lucky and were squadded on second relay, which was the choice relay to be on as the wind had yet to pick up and the haze had lifted. Even though I was only able to get 20 shots off per yard line I still had one of the higher hit counts of the team per yard line with 17 at 600, 18 at 500 and 17 at 300. I ended up giving 4 rounds away to my teammates before we had gotten to the 300 yard line which was a good decision as I had a full magazine of 20 rounds and got my last shot off just before the targets went down.
The team finished 15th overall and missed our target score of 1000 by 1 for a 999.
Saturday morning and the trip home came way too soon. Another National Match over, done and in the history books. I realized as we were leaving Camp Perry, I didn't have the sour attitude about the Nationals I had last year. I had a good time at Perry this year, despite shooting poorly and going home empty handed I was in a good mood. Good lord willing and the creek don't rise I'll be back in 2013. -- Mark Havlik
Tks, Mark for this great article. Every shooter should go to Camp Perry for the Nationals at least once. This article gives any shooter a good look at what that experience would be like. Remember folks, the Minn Service rifle team needs a new shooters every year, by the rules, and that gives any newer shooter the opportunity to shoot on a State Team at the Nationals. The State Service Rifle Team needs you!
Two Weeks Out
It's almost time for the great Mid Range matches at the NorthWestern Gun Club. Yup, the 9/11 matches are less than 2 weeks away. Get that entry in soon or you will be left hopeing for cancellations.
Sept 8-9 Mid Range Regional Championships at NWGC - Click Here for match program
Sept 8-9 Long Range Regional at Bismark, N. Dak -- Click Here for match program
Sept 9 300 meter International at MRC
Sept 16 Prone Sm bore 1600 at Elk River