Wow! What an amazing weekend of shooting! On Saturday, I shot an 80 round across the course match, and Sunday I shot an EIC Leg match.
Saturday was an interesting day. It was slightly breezy in the morning, and by the afternoon when we got back to 600 the wind was a blowin and very switchy. I started the morning with a 191-3x standing, rapid sitting was a 200-9x, rapid prone was a 198-8x, and slow fire prone was a 189. Not every match can be a personal best, but the biggest thing you can take away if you didn’t shoot a personal best, is what did you learn? For me, on Saturday the biggest places I learned something was standing and at 600 yards. For standing, I started out kind of rough with a few shots outside of the black, and it was a little frustrating because I just could not get the gun to settle in the middle. So, after my 9thshot for record, I just told myself, “You need to just set this down, and step away for a moment and take a breath.” So that is what I did. I set my rifle down on my stool, stepped back away from my cart, tilted my head up to the sky, and closed my eyes and took a couple deep breaths. Relaxing not only my body, but also my mind, I refocused myself, and stepped back up to my cart. I repositioned my feet, picked up my rifle, and dry fired a shot. Just the small act of taking a moment to step back and refocus made a huge difference! I fired a 10 on my 10thshot, and on my last 10 shots, or what we call the back 10, I cleaned the string. A lot of people don’t think there is enough time to do things like step back, or put the gun down and walk away for a moment. However, sometimes that is just what needs to be done to allow you to regain your focus and come back stronger. At 600 yards, I improved even more on my wind reading abilities, because no one is ever done learning how to read and follow wind conditions. Joe Hendricks, Jr. won the match with a 789-32x, followed by David Shellhammer in second place overall and 1stservice rifle, and I was 3rdoverall and 2ndservice rifle.
As I said earlier, Sunday was an EIC Leg match. When we pulled into the parking lot my little heart started pounding, and I could feel the little butterflies in my tummy. This all might sound silly, but to me its motivation! After the season last year, I had 26 of the 30 points needed to earn my Distinguished Rifleman’s Badge, and I knew that if I kept my head on straight, and kept it in the game, I had a good chance at earning my last 4 points. I started the morning with a 97-2x offhand, then I finished up the 200 yard line with a 98-2x rapid sitting. At the 300 yard line, I fired a 98-4x rapid prone, and then finished my day with a 197-6x at 600 yards. This gave me a total of 490 points out of a possible 500 points. With that score I felt confident that I was in the running for the leg points being awarded that day. It turned out I was correct. I ended up winning the match, and earning my final points to be awarded my Distinguished Rifleman’s Badge. It is a great feeling to achieve this goal that I have been working towards. It is also an honor to be amongst all the other great Distinguished Riflemen and Women. Congratulations to Jack Graw who took second place, also earning himself leg points to go towards his total. This was his second time earning points. He did not “Leg Out,” but if he keeps shooting like he did, then he will get there in no time!