Mid-Range high Power & F-Class Regional - North Star Rifle Club
This past Memorial Day weekend the North Star Rifle Club hosted a joint F-Class and Sling Mid-Range Prone Regional. Cap’n Bob Peasley was at the helm guiding us all to our proper places. It was good to have both F-Class and Sling shooters on the line. As our numbers have stabilized, all ranges have the capacity again to have both type of shooters take the line together and compete. 34 shooters in total competed on the weekend.
This year's course of fire was 2 sighters and 20 shots for record at 300, 500, & 600 yards on Saturday, followed by 3 strings of 2 sighters and 20 shots all at 600 on Sunday. I attended this match last year, and was not near the top. The real memory was the EXTREME heat; it was in the upper 90’s with high humidity and little wind to cool us. This year was about as PERFECT of weather conditions as one could ask for. Temps in the mid 70’s, blue skies with a gentle breeze. After this lousy Spring, it was just fantastic to be outside amongst friends.
Let’s get to the shooting. I will admit I hate the 300 yard target - it rarely decides matches and sometimes seems to be a waste of good ammo. However, at this event not a single sling shooter was able to keep all their shots in the 10 and X ring. Looking at the scores, my rather pedestrian score of only 199-13X took the lead, with Jay Johnson just an X back with 199-12X. That will be Jay's only mistake the whole weekend, but we will get into that more later. Back to 500, Jay shows all of us he means business and his ‘Merica stocked quad lock in 6 dasher got the only sling clean with a dandy 200-13X. Brad “Yipsy” Yliniemi was next high with a decent 199-10X and the wiley veteran Bill Lair put up a 199-5X. The rest of us spent more time in the 9 ring.
Final yard line of the day, and Jay again dominates with a stellar 200-11X in some slightly switchy mirage changes at 600. Brad again is next best with another 199 - this time with 11X’s, and plenty of 98’s or worse on the board too. I shot my palma rifle all day, and we just didn’t do a good enough job against everyone else. I ended up in 3rd after day 1 with a 595-29X, Brad 596-30X, and Jay with his single nine well ahead of the pack with a 599-36X! Also notable was Tommy Thompson of Bismarck with a 594-21X. Tommy was ready to strike when the scopes came out on day two.
Over on the F-Class side for Day 1 - no cleans at 300 either, but Steve Ernst was closest with a 199-10X for the win. This weekend the FTR guys showed that the .308 could get things done! They had many of the yard line wins over the weekend. At 500, Don Schoff was high with a 197-09X, followed closely by Stephen Morcomb with a 196-06X. At 600, Stephen got the win with a 194-8X, and another North Dakota shooter, Mike Dahl, just a couple X’s back with his own 194-5X fired with a 6XC. For the daily agg, Stephen had the lead at 585-22X with Dan Dileva just 1 point back at 584-22X. The FTR shooters of Ernst and Andy Jewison were at 583’s just a couple of X’s separating them. Sunday would be the decider.
Sunday arrives to another beautiful day. Omer Hamer at 83 years young was ready to go. Denny Coulter and everyone’s favorite Serb, Elliot Zunich, were next oldest at 77. It's great to shoot with these gents! I have a hell of a lot of respect for all of the Grand Seniors, especially when they beat me and it's always great to have them on the line. Match 1 - I changed to my 6BR with a 25X scope for the day. I was lucky enough to get the match 1 win with a 200-13X, but Craig Bennis shooting a 22BR (I think) was just 1 X back. Other cleans were Thompson with 9X's, Johnson with 12X's, and Brad with 11X's. Omer showed he still has it with his own 199-9X - one shot had just a little too much gravity for a 9 low.
Match 2 - the 6BR gets it done again this time a little better with 15X's. Jay gets the second clean with 12X's and Steve Knutson driving his Tubb gun has 11X’s. Thompson and Bennis both pulled an Omer and decided a nine would be just fine. The final match is up, and the real story was that Jay kept his irons on the whole weekend and went clean again with another 200-11X. Craig Bennis avenged the last match 9 to a stellar 200-15X, followed by Tommy T with his 240NMC and a 200-14X. I only managed 13X's, and Newt had 12X's, but I got to score for Spencer McGowan shooting an AR 223 match rifle get his first clean, with a 200-13X. Well done Spencer - after the first one, they come much easier!
I looked back at my records and my 6BR now shot 9 straight 200’s at 600 with a scope. So when I got back to ND, I took it off and put the 243 back on for LR work. Makes sense, right?
I was fortunate enough to get the Day 2 Agg with a 600-41x, followed by Jay with his own 600-35X (but with irons, so way more impressive). Down in the combined EX, MA Class, Denny Coulter won the day with a 591-18X shooting a 260. Always great to see those legends of shooting put up a good score. Jay down 1 for the agg with 71X, I was 4 points back with a 1195-70X, and Tommy T moved past Brad with his scope for the Bronze with a 1193-54X. Jim Fernandez got the combined MA, EX Class Agg with a 1152-25X. They don’t come much nicer on the planet than Jim - congrats!
Over to F-Class, Stephen Morcomb leads off with the win with a 197-9X, but then Steve Ernst shooting the best action out there (Stolle Panda, just like I use) got the only clean of the weekend 200-9X - great job Steve! He also got the final win of the day following up his 200 with a 199-10X. That means FTR gets the regional win! Great job Steve, you have been making great progress in the short time youve been in this game. Steve had a 595-26X for the daily agg, followed by Dan Deleva with a 589-25X, and Mr. Jewison (also sporting a Stolle Panda) with his own 589-21X. Ernst with the agg win 1178-48X, Dan D with silver at 1173-47X, and Andy in the third spot by X’s over Stephen with a 1172-45X.
Cap’n Bob called us all together to go through results after the range was torn down. Thank you to everyone who helped with getting targets, number boards, and flags put away. It goes way faster when everyone can lend a hand. It was truly a great weekend to be on the range!
See you next year!