Last updated on April 15th, 2018 at 11:20 am
The 2016 NRA and Service rifle championship was held at the North Star rifle club near Red Wing Minnesota July 11 & 12. Saturday was 4 person team day with 3 teams shooting match rifles, 1 team shooting mixed rifles and 2 shooting service rifles.
This year we shot the full 80 shot course and by about noon some were wishing it was a 50 shot course! The morning started with a tropical dew point, 80 degrees with light wing and mostly sunny. The temperature topped out at about 92 by the time we shot the 600 yard stage. A pick up team consisting of Steve Clark from Wisconsin & 3 Minnesotans, Brad Yliniemi, Steve Naumann & Matt Griffin won the match with score of 3110X99. The North Star Club team of Erik Rhode, Omer Hamer, Lane Halley & Bob Peasley were awarded the state champion plaques with a score of 3036X89.
On the service rifle side the MRRA team of Mark Schoess, Tom O’Mara, Kevin Dooner & Tom Torborg won that match with a 2845X30. Of special note is that several SR shooters were using the optical sight now allowed by CMP & NRA rules. We were also pleased as punch to see 9 shooters attending their first ever tournament at North Star. Seven of those were SR shooters. North Star member Mark Havlik was able to create a team from his Legion Post and this was the first ever tournament for these shooters.
Sunday was the individual championship and the weather was much better after a 5” overnight rainfall at the range and the 50% chance of thunderstorms never materialized. The morning started off with Grand Senior Omer Hamer winning the standing match in the match rifle division with 187X1. Senior shooter Jim Fernandez from Duluth shot the only 200 in the sitting RF match with 10X’s. Steve Clark from Wisconsin shot the only 200 in the 300 yard RF match posting 6 X’s. The 300 yard RF trophy went to resident senior Jim Biles shooting a 198X11. Moving back to 600 yards the winds started to become a factor switching from mostly left with an occasional sudden switch to solid right. Omer Hamer & Jim Biles fought it out to a tie with both shooting 198X11. Jim took the money and 300 yard trophy by losing 2 points with two 9’s to Omer’s single 8. Jim Biles wins the NRA rifle championship and high senior with a 779X30.
On the service rifle side, US Air Force shooter Matt Griffin shooting an optically sighted AR15 started things off with 194X8 standing. Matt backed this up with a 200X11 sitting RF for that trophy. Not giving up, Matt shot a service rifle winning score of 199X7 with his optically sighted AR15 - or AR14 if you are Tom Brokaw. North Star member Jim Schonke wins the 600 yard stage with service rifle shooting a solid 195X6. When the scores were finalized Matt Griffin bested a dozen other SR shooters with a 784X30 to win the 2016 Minnesota service rifle championship & the little brown jug.