CMP and NRA National Matches

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Wow! What a busy and amazing month it has been. Within the last month I had the opportunity to travel back to both Camp Atterbury and Camp Perry to compete in the national matches. And I snuck in a state championship in between.

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Camp Atterbury:

The first national match stop of the year was Camp Atterbury for the NRA Across the Course Championships. This was the second year that the NRA has held their national championships at Camp Atterbury. I won’t lie and tell you that the match was perfect and ran smoothly, but this is only the second year they were at this location. So, at that point I went into the match with a little bit of an open mind, and not extremely high expectations. I honestly was not sure what to expect. We started the matches with team matches then moved into individual matches. The days were hot and long at times, but to me every day on the range is a good day. Loading up on lots of water and finding shade wherever we could we made it through the very hot days alive.

I think my favorite part about the NRA Nationals was the awards banquet. We moved out of a tent this year, and into the base conference center. It was a beautiful log cabin style building, and the food was soooo good. Fried chicken, pulled pork, mac and cheese, and salad. I’m sure there were other things to eat to, but man that fried chicken was IMG_1895.JPGamazing! We sat around the tables talking, laughing, and telling stories, and even though the matches did not run super smooth I still think many people had fun. We were all out there together, and overcame the heat and bumps in the road. I am not yet ready to give up the NRA Nationals, and I hope others feel the same way in order to continue that tradition.

At the end of NRA week, I went home with a couple different awards and prizes. I won High Colligate Service Rifle and 1stplace Master Civilian Service Rifle overall as well as in 7 of the 12 individual stages for the master class.

Pennsylvania CMP State Championships:

In between NRA and CMP week I had a weekend I was able to sneak off to Reade range and shoot the Pennsylvania CMP State Championships. It was a warm day, but we were shooting on electronic targets, so it went by pretty quickly. Even with 6 relays! I had never seen that many people at a match at that range! It was wonderful to see everyone there! Including the entire USMC Rifle team. Everyone was trying to get in the last bit of practice before the big show at Perry. At the end of the day I had shot a 782-22x. SSGT Ferguson USMC was the overall match winner, and I was High Pennsylvania resident, so I became 2018 Pennsylvania CMP State Champion.

IMG_0589.JPGThe next day we shot a Leg Match, and even though I no longer need leg points shooting these matches are fun and great practice for the CMP Nationals. Congratulations to all shooters who fired in the leg match the next day. It was tough competition. One Silver and Two Bronze legs were awarded. The Match winner was SSGT Ferguson USMC with a 494-18x. Taking the silver and 8 leg points was SGT Doan USMC with a 493-24x which gave him enough points to leg out, and earn his Distinguished Rifleman’s Badge! The first bronze was awarded to CPL Wynn USMC with a 492-22x earning him 6 leg points. The final leg metal was another bronze and 6 points awarded to Wyatt Thomas with a 491-13x. Again, congrats to all shooters. It was a fun match and fun to see everyone out on the range shooting some high scores.

Camp Perry:

Across the Course:

DSC_0868.JPGAhhh, my favorite place on earth! Being at Camp Perry is my favorite part of summer. I don’t know if it’s just the base and all its history or being on the water hearing the waves, maybe it’s all of it. All I know is if I had to pick somewhere to retire, Port Clinton would defiantly be one of my top choices.

The matches ran great as usual. With a few bumps in the road on my part with some 300 yard zero issues, that were quickly addressed, I shot decent scores. I am not disappointed in my performance in any of the matches I fired in at the CMP Nationals. The scores may not have been the highest scores I have shot, but did Tiger Woods or Arnold Palmer with every golf tournament they played in?!? However, Brandon Green of the USAMU (United States Army Marksmanship Unit) was IMG_1387.jpgON FIRE this year! So much that he needed an ice bath after the P100 shoot off! He went out the first day, and shot a perfect score in the President’s 100, and then shot a clean in the shoot off to win himself the match! Great shooting Brandon! He then proceeded to go out the next day and win the NTI. Winning both matches has been done before but not in a very long time.

I fired in 4 matches total. 2 individual matches and 2 team matches. The two-man team match I got to shoot with my boyfriend Joe Hendricks Jr.. We had a fun day joking around, and trying to beat each other. Even though we were shooting on the same team it’s always a friendly competition between us. However, we were not laughing when we got caught in an absolute torrential downpour at the 600-yard line. It was so bad that we could not see our target at all. Our gear was still wet the next day for the 6-man team match! This was the first time I was ever asked to shoot on a big state team for the 6-man team match, and I was super excited but also very nervous. And that explains my 8 in offhand in a nut shell haha. I turned around looked at the coach and said “I’m so sorry that was such a bad shot I’m just so nervous!” But I pulled it together and those two points were the only two points I dropped in offhand. The rest of the day was all about breaking good shots which wasn’t too hard. I had a great time getting to shoot both team matches with great people no matter what the weather was. It was just pure fun!IMG_3116.JPG

During the awards ceremony I was pinned with my Distinguished Rifleman’s Badge that I earned earlier this summer. It was a great moment one that I have watched others achieve for many years and finally achieved for myself.

Long Range:

P1140400.jpgThis year the CMP started something new for their National Matches. They extended their National Matches and added Small Bore and Long Range. I got the chance to compete in the long-range portion of the National Matches, and having not shot much to any long range since the NRA Nationals last year, I forgot how much fun long range is. It is a different game than Across the Course. You really have to watch the wind; especially at Camp Perry! I shot my trusty Palma rifle the whole time during long range, and let me tell you she can still shoot! 4 strings at 1000 yards and a Palma course, and I was beat at the end of the three days! I’m very excited to hopefully shoot the long range again next year! I’ll make sure to get some more practice in first haha. 

 

I’d like to give a huge shout out to all my sponsors I would not have made it through the shooting season without your help!

To the Capstone Precision Group thank you for allowing me the opportunity to ne apart of Team VihtaVuori and to represent not only VihtaVuori on the line, but also Lapua and Berger Bullets. You guys have kept me fully stocked all year round, and being apart of your booth at the NRA Annual meetings was an experience I will never forget!

 

To NightForce Optics thank you for your support of my shooting by keeping my rifle optics covered! Your Service Rifle Scope is the best on the market for dependability and repeatability! I know my scope will never let me down on the line!

Defiance Machine, XTSP, and Brux barrels I would have never been able to build my Palma rifle without your support! She shoots just as good as she looks!

ESS Eye Pro thank you for always keeping my eyes safe from dust dirt and debrief on the range!

And for everyone else who has supported me and helped me out not only this year but over the years! Thank you! I can never say thank you enough for all the support!

Also thank you to you, the readers! I don’t know how many of you there are out there but, your support of reading my blog posts and following me on social media means a lot to me. Thank you!

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Big News!

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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.

IMG_7119Saturday 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 IMG_2858down 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.

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Distinguished Rifleman’s Badge

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!

First match of the year

Well it finally happened! I kicked off the work boots, laced up my combat boots, and got out to my first match of the 2018 shooting season. Let me tell you, besides the stiff new shooting jacket, there really were not that many cobwebs to knock off.

I’m always a little nervous going to shoot my first match of the year. It’s like I think from season to season all the information is just gonna fall out of my head in my sleep haha. But as soon as I pick up the rifle my brain just goes into a different setting, the muscle memory kicks in, and everything just happens exactly how it is supposed to.

The match I shot Saturday was a 300 yard reduced course match, and it didn’t go to bad. I shot a 96-2x offhand, a 98-4x rapid sitting, a 99-4x rapid prone and a 198-10x slow fire prone. This gave me a total score of 491-20x which was enough to win the match. I had never shot at Clairton Sportsmen Club, in Pittsburgh, PA before, but it was a beautiful range and a well run match. I am excited to have the opportunity to go back there, and shoot again later this season. 

Playing Catch up 2.0 Part 3 (The Final Chapter)

IMG_9025NRA National Long-Range Championships
I arrived back at Camp Atterbury late Thursday night. Well, around 9, so not that late and when I got there, I moved my stuff into my room then went to meet a friend I had not seen in some time for dinner. After dinner, we returned to the base, and I unpacked the rest of my stuff and got ready for the next day.

NRA National Long-Range Championships Day 1
On the first day of long range you shoot two 20 shot strings at 1000 yards. This being the Remington Band of Brothers Trophy Match and the Vice Admiral Mustin Trophy Match. The Remington match is and any rifle, any sight match and the Mustin match is an any rifle, iron sight match.  In the Remington match, I fired a 193-5x and in the Mustin match, I fired a 196-8x. After I finished shooting the Mustin match, I left the range early thanks to my amazing target buddy Keith Hoverstad who went to the pits by himself so I could IMG_9024go back to my room and take the fastest shower ever, and hit the road to drive the 4-1/2 hours back to Camp Perry to go on stage, to receive my awards from the presidents 100! Everyone told me I was crazy, but I just knew I had to try to make it to awards! Thinking awards started at 8pm I gave myself what I though was plenty of time to make the drive, with time to spare. Only to get a phone call about half way through my drive, to find out that awards actually started at 6! I looked at my GPS, and my arrival time was 6:20! Luckily, I made it just in time for my awards, and stayed for others to get their awards, then got back in the car to get back to Camp Atterbury, to be ready for day 2 of long range! I pulled onto base around midnight thinking ok, this will work out good, I can get around 6 hours of sleep and I will be ok. Unfortunately, not everything works out as we plan…. After I parked my car and gathered all of my belongings, I lock my car door and walked across the parking lot to my door. I reached in my purse to get my keys and they were not there! I poured out, and searched every bag I had, and there were NO KEYS!!! I ran back to the car and shined a light through the window, praying they were not locked in my car and there they were between the center console and the driver’s seat. Broken hearted, I called my mom in tears, saying I locked my keys in my car, and I didn’t know what to do. We called road side service and I finally got to go to bed at 3 am, only to get up at 6 to be on the range for roll call at 6:30 the next morning.

NRA National Long-Range Championships Day 2
After sluggishly dragging my gear out of my car and slowly walking to the firing line, I IMG_9988quietly sat next to my cart waiting for roll call to start explaining to everyone why I was half asleep. After roll call, I headed to the pits sitting quietly in my chair, I offered to pull the first shooter if my target buddy would pull the second one. So, I pulled for the first shooter, and as soon as he was done I sat back down in my chair and fell fast asleep…. I woke up just in time for the pit change, and we headed up to the line to shoot our match. On the second day, the gun you shoot determines the match you shoot. Since I was only shooting my Palma rifle during the national matches I fired in the Edward D. Andrus Memorial Trophy Match. In the match, I fired a 198-8x which was very surprising considering how little sleep I had. I won High Jr. in that match and received the Edward D. Andrus Memorial Trophy Match High Jr. Trophy Plaque.

IMG_1399NRA National Long-Range Championships Day 3
After much more sleep than the night before, I woke up to my dad knocking on my door. He drove from the house in Louisville to the base (a 2-hour drive), to watch me shoot the last day of the 1000 yard individual matches. We drove down range, parked in the dew covered grassy field and unloaded my gear to head up to the line to shoot. I was on relay 2, so I was the second person to shoot. Looking across the sky and seeing the dark clouds rolling in I knew we were gonna get some rain. The match I was shooting in was the Herb “Doc” Aiken Memorial Trophy Match. I fired a 194-4x. After I finished shooting, I packed my gear up quickly; as I was seeing the rain drops start to fall then I walked over to my car, and put it all in the car so it did not get wet. After all my gear was in the car, I headed back to the firing line to catch the bus to the pits. As soon as we got in the pits, the skies opened up and it poured! We all grabbed the targets and ran for cover trying to stay as dry as possible! We had a 3-1/2 to 4-hour rain delay. However, we did manage to get the whole match in that day; as well as the shoot offs.

NRA National Long-Range Championships Day 4
On the 4th day of long range, you shoot an individual Palma match. Although I don’t know the scores for each yard line, and after some struggles I completed the match firing a 435-14x. Relieved to be done, I only had two more things to do, before my trip to the National Matches was complete for the summer. So, I put on my professional pit puller hat and headed to the pits to pull for a 4-man team match, and make some more money. After the team match, I went back to my room and took a shower and got dressed for the awards. At the Awards, I won High Jr. in the Sierra Trophy match, which is a combination of the 4 – 1000 yard matches, fired at the beginning of the week using only a Palma rifle. And, I would like to give huge congratulations to my friend Jonathan Howell, for winning High Jr. overall, for the national long-range championships for the second year in a row!

 

Playing Catch up 2.0 Part 2

FullSizeRender 2CMP National Across the Course Matches
I arrived at Camp Perry Saturday night ready to wake up early Sunday to get my competitor packet and shoot a new match this year at the CMP nationals called the Oliver Hazard Perry match. This match replaced the squadded practice and consisted of 200-yard rapid fire sitting, 300-yard rapid fire prone, and 600-yard slow fire prone. Unfortunately, due to time I did not shoot the new match. The range we were supposed to shoot on was still being used by the Small Arms Firing School. Due to complications from their match earlier in the day, they were running a few hours behind. Instead of starting the match very late, and getting off the range past 7pm, I decided that my rest was more important, and I went back to my room and prepared for the next day, which was the Presidents Hundred!

IMG_8939CMP Day 1 Presidents 100
The Presidents Hundred is my favorite match of the year! Ever since I started shooting, one of my big goals was to make the presidents hundred, and last year I made that goal a reality by placing in the top 100 shooters! This year I not only wanted to make the hundred but I wanted to place higher than I did last year and I definitely accomplished that goal! This year I placed……. Well let’s not just skip to the best part. Let’s back up… so, the night before the match, I was on the phone with my dad and we were playing a game of what ifs, and I asked what if I win the presidents 100? Like, win the overall and he told me if I win the overall that he would buy me a motorcycle, which, I was like really, no way?!?! Because I really want a motorcycle. So, we made the bet! The next morning, I made the Viale death march down to the 200-yard line, to begin the battle against the other 1107 competitors. With my Rock River National Match A4 CMP upper, with a Nightforce Competition SR Fixed Sr-1 4.5×24 Zerostop Scope (Thank you Nightforce!!!), and a Bushmaster lower receiver with a Magpul UBR GEN2 collapsible stock, we started the match. The Presidents Hundred rifle match is 10 shots standing at 200 yards, 10 shots rapid prone at 300 yards, and 10 shots slow fire prone at 600 yards. I fired a 97-3x standing, a 100-3x rapid prone and a 100-3x slow fire IMG_8951prone at 600 yards. For a total score of 297-9x out of a possible 300 points. This not only put me in the top 100 but it put me in the top 20! 3rd, to be specific. So, that meant that I was in the shoot off! I had never been in a shoot off before, so I was unbelievably excited! The shoot off was another 10 shots slow fire prone at 600 yards. However, we had a time limit of 50 seconds for each shot with everyone’s targets getting scored at the same time, and run up together; and we started the process over for the next shot, until all 10 shots were fired. I fired a 94-1x in the shoot off making my total score a 391-10x placing me 14th overall as well as high Jr. and high woman. I also set a new Women’s National Record.

 

IMG_8956CMP Day 2 NTI (Leg Match)
NTI Stands for the National Trophy Individual Rifle Match and every year this match is the National Leg match, where non-distinguished shooters get the chance to compete to earn leg points towards their Distinguished Rifleman’s Badge. Going into this year, I had 10 points that I earned at the National Matches two years ago. This year, I wanted 10 more. A leg match is a 50-round match that is 10 shots standing, 10 shots rapid sitting, 10 shots rapid prone and 20 shots slow fire prone. standing and sitting went great – both scores being in the upper 90’s. At the 300 rapid fire string, I had a little goof. I made a bad wind call, giving me a score in the low 90’s. I was optimistic that I could still make the cut, so I buckled down and gave it my all at the 600. And through tricky winds, I prevailed! Looking at my overall score, I knew I was gonna be right on the bubble for leg points, but in the end, I made the cut, and received 10 more leg points! That now puts me at 20 of the 30 points needed to go distinguished. FullSizeRender 5

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CMP Day 3 and 4
The last two days were team matches, and I shot the two-man team match with my friend Eli Edwards. This is the second year Eli and I have shot this match together, and we had some bumps in the road throughout the day, but we had fun shooting together. The last day I was at Perry, was the 6-man team match, and since I didn’t have a team to shoot on I became a professional target puller and pulled targets for the Texas service rifle team and made some money. Then, I was on the road headed back to Camp Atterbury.

Playing Catch up 2.0 Part 1

IMG_9095So, let me start by saying that I’m super sorry that this took so long to post! I really did mean to post every day after the matches, but everything got so busy, that I didn’t have the time I thought I was going to have. So, here I am playing catch up to tell you guys how awesome the national matches were. Now, the title says 2.0 at the end because this is the second time I’m writing this. I wrote it when I got home from long range, but my computer then decided to delete the whole file so here we go again. And, this is part 1 because to tell you guys about all the amazing things that happened, it was over 4 pages on my word document! So, I cut it down into 3 separate parts for your guys reading convince. So, let’s pick up where we left off.

NRA Across the course day 4
This was the last day of the NRA Across the Course national matches, and we fired standing, rapid prone, and slow fire prone. In standing, I fired a 194, in rapid prone, I unfortunately can’t remember or find my score, but it was above 190, but my 600-yard score was a 198-6x! To that point that was the highest 600-yard slow fire score I have ever shot with my service rifle. I was very pleased with my efforts at 600 yards, and I been have absolutely blown away by my Nightforce fixed 4.5 power service rifle scope! Before this year, I had never shot a scope. I was worried about the transition period, but the transition from irons to scope was flawless for me. I ended up shooting around the same scores as I was shooting with irons right off the bat, and then after just two matches, I was shooting scores higher then I have ever shot! That night after the matches we had the awards to go to. I won the master civilian service rifle class which was awesome, and I placed 32nd overall in the service rifle category! It was such an amazing year at the NRA XTC Nationals, and I left there excited and ready to go to the CMP XTC National Matches!

NRA National Championships Day 2 and 3

img_8895.jpgUnfortunately, there is no news to report for day 2 because it rained all day. Unless you want to hear about how during the rain delay I sat in the car and played a game on my IMG_8897phone called dancing line. Then, around 11 they said we were headed down range at 12:45 to just finish the standing stage of the match. Unfortunately, when we got down there they had to once again evacuate the range and called it for the day. So, I went to the outlet malls and walked around looking in all the shops at clothing and stuff. I only found one thing I really liked but I still didn’t buy it. I want to save my money for commercial row at Perry!

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However, today day 3 was a great day! We fired standing, rapid prone, and 2 strings at 600 yards. To start the day in standing I fired a 195-5x, then at 300 rapid prone I fired a 196-6x. At 600 I fired 193-4x on my first string and a 193-7x on my second string.

Tomorrow is the last day of the NRA National Matches and I am sad that it is coming to an end but also at the same time I am very excited to head to Camp Perry to shoot the CMP National Matches.