Yesterday and today complete the individual fullbore nationals. Yesterday morning I shot the tiniest little group at 300 yards, 12 out of 15 shots were within a 2.5” V ring and the remaining 3 shots were just slightly wider. In order to get a sense of the caliber of shooters present let this sink in: I shot a 75-12V out of a possible 75-15V and I got 14th place. The results for that match are here: http://compete.nra.org/perryscores/default.aspx?mid=694. I had a very difficult time at 1000 yards on the second day. The wind was strong and out of the west, a typical Camp Perry wind. Clouds were rolling in and the mirage disappeared often, the target would go dark without direct sunlight, and for some reason I was not perceiving the changes in the wind very well. It was a bummer.
Going into the second day I was in 2nd place in the short range aggregate: http://compete.nra.org/perryscores/default.aspx?mid=678. I lost a point today at 600 yards which dropped me all the way down to 13th. I don’t like to play what-ifs, but if the shot which was a 4 had instead been a 5 I would have been tied for 3rd place and if it had instead been a V I would have been tied for 1st place. That is a bummer, but it’s not a total loss. I shot well in these matches holding very good elevation; the points I lost were to missing the wind. Since I’m shooting this all as practice for the big team match (The Palma Team Match), then the fact that I’m holding hard and breaking good shots is really what I need to focus on.
At the end of the 1000 yard match today there was the top 10 final. If you recall, I had the extreme pleasure of shooting in this last year (see post here). This year Norm Houle was the lone US Palma Team member in the top 10 final. He shot extremely well and had the highest score in those final 15 shots at 1000 yards. He moved up and finished in 5th overall. Results for the final are here: http://compete.nra.org/perryscores/default.aspx?mid=699. Results for the fullbore nationals aggregate are here: http://compete.nra.org/perryscores/default.aspx?mid=670.
Ok, now there were some items I was going to follow up on… Ok that rifle I posted pictures of, let’s start there (Pictures are at this post). That rifle was homemade around a Barnard action (the same action I use) using three major tools: a drill press, a belt sander, and a hydraulic press. The rifle didn’t look like it should shoot very well, but its owner and proud builder shot out the V-ring with it! A large piece of aluminum was drilled out until it was a perfect interference fit for the Barnard action. A hydraulic press was then used to press the action into the aluminum block. The stock is also built around aluminum and the use of the belt sander is apparent. All of that and the rifle just plain shoots! Another one I said I’d follow up on was the Great Britain rifle team. I think we could stand to learn some things from them. They seem to have a much different team dynamic than we do. In the morning before we shoot, every member of the GB team gathers together for some morning pre-game rituals (stretching and such, nothing too wild). Where are all of the US shooters before we shoot? The US rifle team members are scattered throughout the line, doing their own thing. This is something small and simple, but it is likely a small piece of the puzzle which helps the GB team to work well together.
Tonight is the US Palma Team dinner and then tomorrow I get a day off from shooting. It may not seem like anyone would need a day off from their hobby, but trust me, the day off will be nice and much appreciated!
Scores can be tracked here:
Pics from day 2 and 3 of fullbore are here:
Pics of GB team being together and the US team being dispersed are here:
Also, here is a link to a blog by Gary Rasmussen, shooting phenom and my coach on the Palma team: