Long Range High Power & F-Class Regional - Gopher Rifle & Revolver Club
Gopher Rifle and Revolver Club in Harris Minnesota hosted a long range regional match on June 1st and 2nd. For those in my faithful readership (all three of you thank you Mom, Erik, and Morgen), GRRC is built over a swamp and is mostly tree lined. Yep, I know what you're thinking; wind tunnel with good mirage.... Guess again mom! (She like to guess at that stuff and is quite intuitive when it comes to the wind and mirage). Can I curse about the wind in the opening paragraph after just talking about my mom? Better not! With soggy pits from the wet weather pattern, a vote was taken to shoot the match on the club's new Shotmarker Electronic Targets.
Saturday started off with a bang. Literally, we added a target to the system and needed to calibrate. Three shots and we were quickly up and ready to go. Really impressive how quick and easy it was. Match director (Steve Naumann) gets a big thumbs up and fist bump for running a good match.
For the Palma Alliance faithful, this is an any rifle any sight match: Conditions definitely favored the ballistically superior calibers and scopes. The winds had most of us guessing all day; 5 minutes left to about 3 minutes right for the Palma shooters. GRRC is typically an interesting wind range. It isn't normally this tough, but you typically take a few lumps. The switches were fast, inconsistent, and different than what we have seen the last few years. Ask the people who missed the target about the fast switches and tough conditions (my sevens don't seem as bad now).
Sling Match 1 was won by Craig Bennis with a 197 8x, Steve Clark and Philly Dawg Klanderud also shot 197’s but lost the X race. Sling Match 2 was all Bill Lair with a 194. Jay Salinas a newer Palma shooter gets an honorable mention for his 190. Jay got lots of help from Palma Team members at this match. A really nice part about some of these smaller matches is that shooters can take the time to help others.
Sling Match 3 was won by Philly Dawg Klanderud with a 199. Great shooting with his 6.5 Creedmoor with 150 grain Sierras. Phil has been suffering from memory loss lately, apparently he cannot remember where his Palma Rifle is. Please everyone wish Phil a speedy return to his Palma rifle. Phil is a solid wind reader and I was honored to shoot with him at the Berger Nationals in AZ this Spring.
Fclass Match 1 was Bill Kolodzeij with a 198-7Z. F-Classs Match 2 was won by Bob Mead (Mead is still a four letter word) with a 197-7X. Can we mention anything about Coach Mead yet? (Editor’s note: Yes, it’s official - Bob Mead has been named as captain of the US Palma Team for the 2023 cycle). F-Class Match 3 was won by Chris Longley with a 196-5X.
Sunday brought renewed hope that was quickly dashed. Conditions were gusty, and switchy, ballpark 6 minutes left to 2 1/2 right wind for the Palma shooters. Sunday was the any rifle iron sight portion of the match. Sling matches 4,5 and 6 were a battle between Bill Lair, Brian (Cupcake, Loose Barrel, Short Pants or Short Barrel Loose Cupcake Pants) Mrnak, and Philly Dawg Klanderud. After some advanced math was completed, Philly Dawg was the Grand Aggregate winner with 1169-41X beating Short Pants by 2 X's. Palma Alliance shout out to Brian for his performance shooting 155s all weekend! He didn’t win, but it couldn’t have been much closer.
Jay Salinas shot with a borrowed set of iron sights on Sunday. I was really impressed with the people who loaned him sights, and helped him install and get on paper. That's team work and a good group of shooters. Come out and shoot, people will help you.
The US National Rifle Team has a practice discussion group. Nate Guernsey (US Palma Shooter) heads up this top secret digital training facility. His rule is that you post all your groups good and bad. This picture sums up my weekend and the wind (hint it isn't good). Not sure if I have ever shot 6 8's in a single match before. If it has happened it was definitely at Harris or in North Dakota, or at Lodi (you get the picture). My approach has been to search out windy and unfamiliar ranges and compete with the Palma Rifle. Watch out Kansas and Ohio, I have more 8's to shoot!
Not kidding this range kicked me hard this weekend. Going to take a day off, digest the data, and come up with a new plan for next time. As a note: the best shooters picked a condition and shot it. You had to be really picky. Mirage readers did not fair well, and flag readers got caught often. You really needed to watch both. Mirage looked funny all weekend, and I struggle to describe it (temperature or swamp related???). You could almost always see a boil somewhere between you and the target.
F-Class shooters were all disqualified for shooting scopes in matches 4, 5, and 6. Just kidding, relax! You guys are all so serious. I don't want to see a 20 page rant about this on the Accurate Shooter Forum. Match 4, 5, and 6 were respectively won by Bill Kolodzeij, Pat Scully, and Chris Longley. Bill was the Grand Aggregate winner with 1172.
Party Marty - Junior Report Writing Assistant Intern, who goes to bed at 9pm.