This post will cover days 6 through 9 of my trip to Camp Perry (8/6 through 8/9).
8/6 was a day off for me! Yes I got a day off from shooting, isn’t that interesting. Well I’m glad I got it, I really needed it. What did I do with my day off? I worked nearly a full day for my employer in order to save a day of vacation time.
8/7 was the America match and I had the extreme pleasure of shooting in it for the USA. The America match is a big deal to the USA and it had never been lost on US soil. Notice “had” was past tense. We did not perform well as a team and it was a real bummer. Great Britain showed up and kicked everyone’s butt with a simply amazing score. Kudos to the GB team and we need to learn from our mistakes, lick our wounds, and get back after it!
8/8 was the first day of the world long range championships. The US Army’s Golden Knights parachuted in, led by past world long range champion and past US Palma Team member Sheri Gallagher. That was followed by the flag raising ceremony. After that enjoyable spectacle we had 800 yard, 900 yard, and 1000 yard practice before a lunch break and the first match of the championship. The first match was at 800 yards. I shot a 75-8V out of a possible 75-15V which was good for 114th place, haha! Tough crowd to be shooting with here.
8/9, today, was the second day of the world long range championships. We shot 800 yards, 900 yards, and 1000 yards with 15 shots and 2 convertible sighters at each yard line. At 800 yards the flags were literally hanging on the poles, no movement at all. When I got down to shoot they had started to move just a little, but it was hardly anything. I shot most of the string with just 0.5 to 0.75 minutes of wind on the rifle. I ended with a 75-10V, it looks like that put me on the 4th page of the scores, 144th place! That is hilarious! That’s a perfect score with 2/3 of the shots in the center bullseye and I’m in 144th place. Those results are here: http://www.nrahq.org/compete/natpdf/cp644-15.pdf. At 900 yards the wind had picked up slightly. I picked a condition and took my time shooting. I was very pleased to shoot a 75-9V; that was on the 2nd page of results, good for 56th place! Seriously this is ridiculous. At 1000 yards everything had changed. The wind was up full speed out of the east. I took my first sigher with 8.5 minutes right and caught a wide 5 on the left. I ended up using 9 minutes right for most of the string; that means that the bullet was being pushed about 9-10 feet off course because of the wind. I shot the string very quickly, in just 9 or 10 minutes total and ended up with a 74-8V. I was pretty bummed about the one 4 I had, but it was an odd one I couldn’t explain, and that’s just how it goes sometimes. At 1000 yards it doesn’t take much to put your bullet slightly off course. Losing my first point of the world long range championships was a bummer, but it’s not the end of the world. I will likely be in about 300th place on that 1000 yard string, but I’m not out of the running for the match altogether just because of one point. Scores for that first 1000 yard string are here: http://compete.nra.org/perryscores/default.aspx?mid=646. I was really blessed at 1000 yards. There was a last minute squading change which made it so I shot first. I shot quickly then scored and packed up my stuff. Just as we were loading up the car the sky opened up and just dumped on the range. We got totally soaked and we were only outside for a few moments. I was very blessed to not have to shoot in that weather. I’ve been on that relay before, but today I wasn’t!
Yesterday my lovely wife showed up and tonight my parents will show up. I’m excited to be able to share this with them and I’m hopeful that we can make some really good memories.
Scores can be tracked here:
Pics from day 6 and 9 of the Camp Perry trip are here:
Also, here is a link to a blog by Gary Rasmussen, shooting phenom and my coach on the Palma team: