Last updated on August 1st, 2018 at 08:30 am
North Dakota State High Power Championship: CMP "Leg" Match & M1 Garand • OTC
The Grand Forks Rifle Range has been around for decades, it has hosted the North Dakota State XTC almost exclusively since it was built long before I was even born. I have shot there many times, and been blown all over the place. This past weekend, the range was different… it wanted to be nice… it was a little puppy just wanting to be petted...
The weekend started off with the Leg match, followed by the ND State Garand Championship and ending with the 80 shot XTC Championship on Sunday. Looking at the weather ahead of the weekend I was shocked and in disbelief. Winds in the single digits predicted? High temps only in the upper 70’s? A low likeliness of rain? It seems that the good Lord was granting us all compassion after turning the wind WAY past settling 11 for the LR champ over a month ago. It was a beautiful weekend to be outside and in good company. Off we go.
8AM on Saturday, Tom Reiten calls relay one to the line - we had 15 non-distinguished shooters and several distinguished. Putting my windage zero to “0” seemed strange, even for 200 yards. A little standing pulse, and a couple ill-advised trigger jerks took care of my “all 9’s and 10’s credo”. I finished with a 93 - not a train wreck, but I had shot a 98 at the Leg match in June. Kohl Klein was the mac daddy to start the day with a dandy 98 - he literally had not shot that rifle since that same match the year before. Rust was not a problem.
The wind continued to be gentle, and cooling. I have worked on my rapids all summer, I still need work but finished sitting with a respectable 98-4. A couple just out, no doubt a little rough on the trigger. Back to 300 we go, the mirage is starting to move in prep it show consistent from the left, probably a ½ to 1 min need but right as we go down it stops, and starts from the right. I go back to zero as I looked in the scope when I got down from standing and put ½ from the opposite direction. I made the right call, but probably could have went with 0. 98-3x was the score again, no train wreck. I have a decent aggregate going and will all come down to 600 as upstart Ryan Karrar was shooting well and had excellent RF strings!
600 doesn’t disappoint, mirage swirling a bit but consistently looking right to left. I put on 1.5 minutes and let my first shot fly: 8 my scorer calls…. not the way I wanted to start. Correct off it, and 10 on second round then a couple later another 9 shows just out at 3... I add another ½ and back in the middle with 10’s and X’s. Only one more 9 showed up in the string up at 11, I must have shouldered it but I finished with my highest SR score at 600, 196-6 and finished with 3 Xs in a row. Another relay had yet to fire, I was happy with my 485 - my highest in competition agg to date but knew that it could be beat, I could have done a little better. When all was said and done, my score held up and I got the 6 point leg. The bad part was, as only 15 shooters shot, I got another 6 pointer and am over 30 points but am still chasing a hard leg… Ryan Karrar finished with a point worthy 477, but also lost out to the lack of participation... Oh well, he will have points soon enough. There were many bronze, silver and gold pins handed out for all the qualifying scores. Well done, no doubt ND has the talent when the conditions allow us to show it.
I did not take part in the Garand match, but Coby Dalgliesh claimed his second state title of the year with a 277. Well done to the Norwegian lumberjack!
Sunday morning arrived with the eerie feeling we were all missing something, the flags hung limp another day. Purely amazing, two days of excellent weather. On relay 1, Coby, Holien, Dietrich, Thompson, Theuer all stood next to each other to see who could claim the victory. Tom Reiten again called the line with Gordy Linnel working the pits. Prep is over… It's GO TIME!
Sighter #1, 8… Well, that isn’t great. 9 on sighter 2… ok, focus… 10, 10, 10, 10, 9, 10,10,10,10,10. Why did 99 pop in my head? Then a 9, couple 10’s and then 2 double nines where I hit the spotter but finished with 2 X’s. 195-2x. I was happy and knew I was off to a good start. There were plenty of 10’s shot by my relay mates too, will have to see who gets the win. Down to sitting, I was hoping for a couple cleans but just haven’t been able to make it happen in competition yet settled for a 197-4x and think that my wind zero may be slightly off. Had I done a better job of being centered the groups were clean worthy. All the experience on the line did not make my same mistakes, as right next door to me Mr. Thompson drilled out a 199-11x for the MW. Holien was down 1 and well, but needed another X. Travis Jorgenson of recent Camp Perry fame (he earned 6thoverall in the pistol aggregate) showed his cross functional prowess and beat me with a 198-5x. Coby let a couple 9’s loose too for a 198-3x.
Back to 300 - sighters looked good and I had a 98 on the first string. Not terrible, but thought it looked better. Second string I was 10 ring plus about ½ inch and lost 4 more. This is where my lack of experience really shows cause the hard dog Thompson right next to me put up a 9 and 1, from X… show off… Well done Mr. Thompson! He again got Holien by an X for the match win both losing a single 9. Ryan Karrar showed us lower classmen how to get it done with a nifty 199-7x. And Ryan Holien was in the action using a borrowed rifle as he had a pierce primer in his Elisio to shoot his own 199-9x. It is going to be close for the win back at 600.
Just as with standing, relay 1 together with the state champ on the line. And we are off… the match begins and nothing, every one of us cagey veterans is waiting for someone to shoot a pilot shot so we can better utilize our own sighters. Coby gives in and starts rattling off from this 223 match rifle, then Holien starts with his Turbo. I am holding on for a bit with the service gun but Thompson and Theuer start with their 223 and turbo respectively. The mirage is starting to move and the wind would flip but very slowly. Sighters go and I am in the middle, but lose a 9 for the first shot just out at 3. Click over and back in… Later in the string Thompson loses a 9 out the right, I see it and think about another ½ left correction. I shoot again, and get a 10 but didn’t move the scope, I should have as the next shot came up out the right again. Later I lost another shoulder shot at 11 which was all me and another 9. Finished with a 196-5x. Russ T drove the straightest and claims the 600 title with a 198-9x. Holien again gets out X’d with only 7 x’s with his 198. Thompson in with a 197-9x. We scored for the final relay, they had WAY harder conditions, we had it easy. I wished I had shot that string with my palma gun as I am pretty sure I could have put a 200-15x+ on the board with a good target puller. All the shots are fired, on to the results.
Duane Holien has won the overall XTC 18, yes 18 times in his career. He only lost 4 total points once off his feet, which was darn impressive. His standing let him down, or he could have had 19. Everyone’s favorite retired engineer won the match with a 783-34x. He also claimed both rapid fire matches and the rapid fire aggregate. Tina is happy to have her trophies back. Russ T claimed the 600 SF trophy and I was able to take home the Standing trophy, slow fire aggregate, and Service rifle champ with a personal best 782-13x. Just a couple less in rapid and I could have been a contender… At least I broke Kohl Klein's streak of 5 years on the SR trophy….
The weather was excellent, the company great, and we have a couple more matches to close out the season in ND. We have a Garand, Palma and Leg match in Bismarck the weekend of August 11th. Grand Forks is hosting a mid-range prone regional the weekend of August 18th, the LR regional is in Bismarck September 8th - 9th, and the last weekend in September, there will be a Leg match, mid-range state prone champ and the 2018 Bruce Alexander match up in lovely Rolla, ND. Many more opportunities to come out, make some noise and have some fun…
As always, thanks to Denny Coulter for arranging the match, and Tom Reiten and Gordy Linnell for keeping things smooth. Merrill Stellon and Bill Murray even made an appearance on Sunday, great to see all our fellow competitors…