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.
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 amazing! 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.
The 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.
Across the Course:
Ahhh, 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 ON 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!
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.
This 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!