Monday, June 17, 2013

Shooters News for the MN Area - June 17. 2013

Extra ! Extra!   --   Look below for Larry Sawyer's excellent article on the  2013  USA Shooting National Rifle Championships

The Week Ahead

      Long Range shooters are off to Lodi, Wisc.  for the Midwest Palma Championships.  It will be a whole week of firing matches at distances from  800yds to 1000yd to see who's the best in the Mid West at long range rifle shooting.  Good luck to those from Minn heading out to challenge for the championship. 

   June 22-23    Over the Course shooters have two excellent matches to participate in this coming weekend.  Mpls. Rifle Club is place you can shoot a reduced course OTC match both Saturday and Sunday.  The 600 yd matches will be shot from MRC's well groomed 300 yd line on reduced targets.   Saturday's  match (June 22)  will be followed by a Pork Chop Barbeque put on by the chefs of the MRC highpower division.  Sunday's (June 23) match will follow the same course of fire including the extra string of prone slow fire from the 300 yd line that makes these matches into 1000 pt aggregate matches. That's right, you get to practice your prone technique for 40 shots each day instead of the usual 20. 
     With the Minn NRA Service Rifle Champ matches coming up the weekend after next at NorthStar Rifle club, these matches should be well attended with those service rifle shooters that hope to be competitive in the championships.  Match Director is Mark Rohmann (, who always puts on a good match.
                                      Click Here for Match program and entry info

Last Weekend


Twenty one Service rifle shooters came to GRRC for the CMP Games last Saturday. They brought with them many fine old service rifles to shoot and have some fun with.  There were Springfields, Enfields, M1 Garands, a Swiss K-31, an M1A, and a few modern AR's on the line.  Folks came to have some fun with the old guns and get in a little trigger pulling on Gopher's 200 yd line.   Tom Toberg got everyone squaded and the 1st relay got on the line for the first match at 0900 on time and ready to shoot.


The course of fire was easy (it was a Fun match), each shooter started with 5 sighters on the generous SR target while the modern military rifles (ARs) shot on reduced targets.  The first match was 10 shots for record prone slow fire, followed by a 10 shot prone rapid fire string, and then each shooter finished with a 10 shot string of Offhand to finish the 30 shot competition.
  Good scores were shot by all participants, and since everyone had so much fun by the time the match was over at noon, we started over and did the whole thing again.  It was a great day!  It was good no-stress competition, and no one really cared about their score.  The next CMP games match at GRRC is July 6th. See you there!   Oh, I should mention Tom Torberg shot an awesome 285 score to win the 2nd match.   

300 Meter International
From Brian Shiffman:  

It looked pretty bad if you were sitting in your easy chair having a cup of coffee and looking out of the window.  However, at the range it was not bad at all.  The wind was howling from the East but that is a direction that has a lot of trees to block it from the range.  There was little wind to worry about and some of the scores bore that out.  It was cloudy all the time but the rain let up until part way through the second relay, and then it was not that bad.  Being inside with the heat on, it was quite comfortable.  
   In addition to the shooters there were some guests and the second relay was a bit late in starting as people caught up on news and views.
   The first relay had all the F-Class shooters, except me, and two Prone shooters while the second relay had 3 Position and Offhand shooters in addition to me.  Something for everyone this month. 
    As I mentioned the scores were pretty high in the F Class ranks.  Terry Stern became the 4th person to shoot a perfect 600 while his neighbor, Greg Meller (who shot a 600 in April) shot a 599.  Right behind him was Robert Smith with a 598.  All this was in the first relay.  Dr. Smith used an unobtanium front rest controlled by a joy-stick and built like an Abrams Tank.  Terry shot his 600 using .223 and a bi pod in F-TR Class.  I know, the results page shows all F class shooters as F-Open but that is not correct.  The F-TR class got lost somewhere between here and there.  Terry’s rifle was something he worked on which obviously worked.  Me, well, I came in last of all F Class shooters.  Well, someone has to be last; I volunteered. 
    The full results can be seen at
   The next match is July 14th.  Registration will be open on July 1st.
Brian D. Shiffman
Small Bore

  It was a small contingent that showed up at MRC for the monthly Prone 1600 match but the competition was still tough.  Jim Biles was down from Duluth,  Eric Hazleton top ranked Junior prone shooter came as did Emily Quinar, former NCAA competitor.  Rising star in the Highpower ranks, Erik Rhode, was there to get his prone Sm bore career started with 160 shots for record this day.  Myself and young Junior Noah Olson made up the rest of the line.
    Since it was a monthly club type match, I brought the old (1964) M52D Winchester and some inexpensive SK yellow box ammo to shoot in the first two matches (iron sights). I would then switch to the ultra modern Anshutz 2013 for the last two matches (scope).  
 As it turns out, I should have stuck with the old gun for the whole match.  I dropped only 6 pts on the first 4 targets at 50 and 100 yds (80 shots--iron sights) and then went into the tank with the Anshutz for the last 4 targets using the Scope.  Oh, well at least I shot an EX score. 
  The big winner was Jr. Eric Hazleton, who continues to amaze us all with his growing skill.  Erick dropped only 6 pts all day while successfully finding a shooting window when the wind was rapidly switching from left to right for the last two matches.  Erik Rhode, who was shooting next to Emily Q, got some good lessons on wind reading, from the former St Champ, and I'm sure he will start applying this at the 600 yd line in up coming Highpower matches. 160 shots
prone slow fire in one day with instant feedback will improve anyone's skill at the mid-range firing line.
  Jim Biles was having a great day leading the pack after first two matches, but a few gusts of wind and he was tied with Emily for 2nd overall, and then lost that pos. on tie breaking X count.  You do learn to shoot for Xs in Sm bore Prone.


USA Shooting National Championships
From Larry Sawyer:

Here's a recap of the USA Shooting National Championships held last week in Ft. Benning. Sorry it's so long- I include some background info for those not familiar with the International Rifle games.    

2013 USA Shooting National Rifle Championships Recap
I traveled to Ft. Benning on June 1st to spend nearly a week competing in USA Shooting's National Championships and U.S. Team Trials. Although I find the act of flying with firearms to be a p.i.t.a., the match is always enjoyable and forces me to bring my best game, since shooting it means you're competing against Olympic Champions and World Record holders. It does not get any more intimidating than this event! Plus, this would be the first time U.S. Nationals would be fired under the new ISSF rules. 

     As a side note, I focus on International-style rifle for many reasons: If one wants to shoot the hardest target, shoot International. If one wants to earn a spot on the U.S. Team, you have to compete in Team Trials. If a kid wants to shoot in college, they need a long resumé of scores from International type matches. The easy target won't cut it for the coaches looking for the top kids. And if a kid wants to land on the U.S. Team, by far the most opportunities are via junior/national events, as those events serve as Junior National/Development team tryouts. So…

     First up was Men's 3-Position Rifle. One day of training and then two 3x40 matches means, "I hope you're ready." First step was to go through equipment control, where all kinds of equipment specs are checked for compliance: clothing stiffness is regulated, thickness too; new boot rules were demonstrated but not enforced Rifles are weighed. Old standard rules still apply: sling width is maxed at 40mm, glove thickness is limited; jacket overlap can't exceed 10cm, and on and on. 

     The ISSF (International Shooting Sport Federation) has made many changes in the past year, to make Shooting more TV-friendly. Among them: far shorter match time limits, a new order of firing, and new finals formats. We are now shooting a three-position rifle match this way: 15 minutes for unlimited sighters, then the clock stops, and then: 2 hours 45 minutes block time for 40 kneeling, 40 prone, and 40 standing. That, my friends, is FAST. There is now precious little time to wait out wind changes. If you spend 40 minutes on your 40 kneeling, change-over in 5 minutes (which is VERY fast and efficient by the way); build/settle your prone position and shoot sighters for 10 minutes, then spend 40 minutes on prone; change-over in 10 minutes (again very fast), build your standing position and shoot sighters for 15 minutes (which ain't much)'d have 45 minutes for 40 shots standing. Take longer ANYWHERE in there, and you'll end up with less than 45 minutes for standing. That leaves almost NO time for waiting out wind changes. We had very easy conditions and the best I could do was six minutes left on the clock, and that was after shooting everything with minimal breaks and a steady cadence on my shots. I probably rushed it, but you REALLY don't want to have six shots left with two minutes on the clock. Final score for me on day one: 1129/1200. (My stage scores were 378/400 kneeling, 393/400 prone, and 359/400 standing.) Middle of the pack. Thanks for playing! Oh, well, I had no expectations other than to put the new gun to the test and see what I could do after a long winter of no shooting. 

    Day two: Slightly worse performances across the board: 392/400 prone, 375/400 kneeling, and 348/400 standing. (That's a miserable standing score for someone who routinely shoots in the 360's.) Final tally for day two: 1116/1200. Overall, not the direction I wanted to go. At age 53, there are very, very few other competitors in my age class at this match and others like it. Seems the oldsters all are content to shoot belly matches. So, I ended up the 2013 USA Shooting Senior National Champion in Men's 3-Position Rifle. Apparently one gets credit for just showing up and enduring the heat and torture.   
      Last event for me: Men's Prone Rifle, 60 shots. This event is changed in a big way from past formats. The time limit is shorter and all shots are scored to decimal tenth's. A quick explanation of decimal scoring: Imagine each ring, 1-10, has eight more rings added to it, each one worth 1/10th point. Thus, shoot an eight that juuuuust touches the eight line, and it's an 8.0; but shoot an eight that aaaallllmost touches the 9 ring, and you now have 8.9 points. Deep 7's become 7.something, deep 9's are 9.something, and perfectly centered 10's are worth 10.9 points. A ten-shot string now has a possible score of 109.00 points. 
       Everyone is struggling with the mathematics. You can now have two guys who shoot the same (old-style) raw score, like 592, and one can score 615.7, while the other scores 609.2. And the next day they can reverse places! It's now a game of centering every shot, not just hitting the 10 ring somewhere. If all you do is graze the 10-ring all day long, your score will suffer badly. Think center!!   
     In addition, the new time limit format is 15 minutes for unlimited sighting shots; clock stops; then the match is 50 minutes for 60 shots, straight through. Take a break if you want, at your own peril! Either wait for your condition and shoot fast, or shade. I racked up a raw 589/600 and 590/600, but again, those numbers now mean nothing. Real scores were 614.7 and 612.8. (First 40 shots on day two I posted a 398/400. That's pretty good. Then the wheels came off.)  In the end, I finished middle of the pack and good enough for the bronze medal in the Senior Class, right behind Steve Goff (former AMU shooter) and Ron Wigger, current Rifle Coach at West Point.   
     The last event for men was Air Rifle. I don't shoot that. I know better.  
Full results of all men's and women's rifle and pistol events can be found here:
Larry Sawyer     

  Thanks Larry for sharing that with us and congratulations on winning that Senior 3P 
Championship !

Two Weeks Out
June 29-30    Service Rifle State Champ and Leg match at NorthStar Rifle Club -- Click Here for Match bulletin
June 29-30    Sm Bore 3P and 4P Championship --- No match bulletin available    

July 4th         M1 Garand and M1A matches at Eau Claire -- match bulletins available soon  

That's all Folks

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