**On the Firing Line Report**
Mid West Palma Championships Team Match
From Erik Rhode:
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!
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