Last week I traveled to Lodi Wisconsin for the Midwest Palma Championships and the Gillespie Memorial Palma Long Range State Championship. This has always been one of my favorite matches each year and with this being my 5th year attending the match I was just as excited my first year. However, this year was extra special because it was the first time that I shot the match left handed with a left-handed rifle. In fact, it was my first large championships match with my new left-handed rifle – nicknamed Black Widow.
I arrived in Lodi on Sunday to check in and pick up my packet. Then on Monday morning I reported to the range for practice day. I did not have zeros for the 800 and 900-yard line, so I definitely wanted to get some good practice in and play with the wind on the range because they cut down over 300 trees on the range since I was there last year so they could expand the range to accommodate more targets and more shooters. Because of this the range is almost like a totally different range to read when it comes to wind, and it is much more challenging whic
h also makes it so much more fun. Because, if we didn’t like shooting in the wind and we wanted it to just be a holding game we would all just shoot small-bore. (No offence to anyone who shoots small-bore! I shoot it to and it provides all its own challenges) However at the 900-yard line the skies opened up and it poured! So, we all retreated to the target shed and sat through one of the loudest storms I have ever experienced. After the rain finished up we went back out to finish the 900 and shoot the 1000-yard line and we were then done for the day. Ready to begin the individual competition.
On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, we shot a Palma match each day and managed to shoot every yard line everyday while dogging rain and storms most days. This was the first year that I have been there that they did not have to cancel a match or a yard line due to weather. Then on Friday we shot a 3×1000 and that finished up the Midwest Palma.
With this being my first year attending this match and shooting left handed I knew that the whole week was basically going to be one big long training exercise/practice. And I could not have asked for a better time and place to really get accustomed to my new Palma rifle. On Monday, I dropped only 4 points during the Palma match tying my personal best Palma score and shooting a 446-22x, to repeat the success on day 2 I dropped only 6 points shooting a 444-13x. This was a great way to start the week and really build up my confidence with Black Widow! The second part of the week really pushed and challenged all my shooting skills; and I learned something new every day, and improved on some aspect of my shooting.
Friday Night we had an awards banquet and ate lots of good food, and clapped for the weeks’ winners. Then we went back to our rooms and campers and prepared for the weekend matches. Saturday was a Palma match and Sunday we fired a 2×1000 to finish out the Gillespie Memorial Palma Long Range State Championship. After I finished firing, I packed my car, said my goodbyes, and headed back home. It was a great week, and I am so happy that I had the opportunity to go and shoot my favorite match of the year and I cannot wait to go again next year!