Labor Day has come and gone – so even though the calendar hasn’t said “end of Summer” yet – unofficially summer has drawn to a close. Saturday September 10th was our last 50/80 XTC High Power Match of the summer and we could not have asked for a more beautiful day for a rifle match. And, as is usual at the end of shooting season, we had some match conflicts with other Clubs and our attendance was down because we had five shooters from FWRR go to the Fall Creek Conservation Club for the Indiana 100-yard State Championship Match. Nonetheless, we had nine shooters at the line for Saturday’s match.
We had a couple of special guests for the Match. Carl Johnson, an FWRR Distinguished Rifleman (Badge 2160) currently living in southern Indiana showed us that he still has the chops as he was the overall match winner with a score of 773-24X. Carl also had a personal best in Prone Rapid with a 200-11X and was the high Prone Slowfire shooter with a 196-8X. Jim Schieltz made the trip over from the Lima Sabers – he had a rough day as he had ‘scope issues but before things went sour, he managed to shoot the top Offhand score with a 194-4X. 200-yard Rapid Sitting honors went to Mark Walters with a 197-3X.
And, congratulations to Miss Mia King – one of our Junior girl person shooters. This is Mia’s first season shooting high power and on Saturday she put together a score of 725-10X (90.6%), putting her solidly into NRA Expert territory and just into CMP Expert classification.
But, to match the high points of the day, there were several examples of how quickly things can change in high power shooting. When we started the rapid fire strings, Gary Mabis found that his rifle would not strip rounds from the magazine – making it a straight pull AR-15 (a condition not conducive to shooting in a time limit). After putting up great Offhand and Sitting Rapid scores, Jim Schiletz’s scope developed issues – shots that were called in the 10/X rings wandered out to the 7 or 8 ring. Normally, we would blame this on the shooter – but not this time – it was an equipment issue. The most baffling issue of the day was the disappearing bullets that Mark Walters was shooting. Mark was beating up the 10/X rings. He would fire a shot and it would not plot. This might happen again on the next shot. We did some experimenting and the only explanation we could logically figure was that the bullets were blowing up as they went downrange – strange indeed.
We are going to shoot a fun match on Thursday afternoon, September 22nd after a quick practice session to get zeroes for .22 rimfire rifles. The Juniors have wanted to shoot a Rattle Battle Match ever since they learned about it during their SAFS trip to Camp Perry. We will shoot a mini-Rattle Battle that afternoon. The Juniors have gotten fairly well organized (they’re doing it all themselves) and Captain King is assigning shooters, figuring out strategies and deciding how she is going to divvy up the 200-rounds of ammo allowed for the four person team for this match. We are looking for an Old Coot Team to shoot against them, so if you guys want to shoot this match – I have a set of rules and you just need to figure out a Team.
On September 24th, we will shoot the Leonard Johnson Memorial Match. This has sometimes been called “The World’s Toughest Team Match”. Each shooter on two person teams will shoot 20 rounds with .22 rimfire rifles at 200-yards on the NRA SR-42 target, a reduction of the SR-3 target to simulate the 300-yard stage of the National Match Course at 200 yards. Now, as if this was not already a hard enough target – shooters will move back to 300-yards and fire another 20-rounds each at that same target! It is a challenging match and it draws a number of shooters with unique rifles!
We close the high power season on October 9 with a 60-round Mid-Range match. That match will start at 11:00, so if folks want to come from afar – they won’t have to start out at oh-dark-thirty. We resume Winter Offhand Matches on Saturday, November 12 with a 40-round offhand match.