2018 5-Buckle Overshoe Match - Fried Family Marksmanship Complex - Moffit, ND.
Spring in North Dakota has been wind, cold, additional cold, day warm steak, snow, repeat. To say 2018 has been a long cold winter is an understatement. The Five buckle match has a reputation for being “maybe” just a little too early in the ND shooting season.
2018 turned the past on its ear, except the traditional wind. Saturday began with a vintage service rifle match - I offered to run the line so that Match Director extraordinaire Tom Thompson could partake in the festivities. We had to keep adding additional targets - what a GREAT problem to have! The weather was nice, we had sun and people were happy to be outside. The match ran well with M1 Garands, Springfield 1903’s, and some current model service rifles in the mix. I didn’t snap a picture of the results, but everyone got to burn some gunpowder with 10 shot matches at 200 in standing, slow prone and rapid fire prone.
In the afternoon, the match changed to a 3X20@1K. The usual crowd shuffled in, competitors were in attendance from MN, ND, SD and even Canada! The match was set for all any sights, and we AGAIN needed to add extra targets! So great to see us using 13 of the 16 targets, thank you everyone for attending!
The conditions had gotten rather “blustery”. The wind was also giving some subtle direction changes, so not only could you easily get 9’s and 8’s from a direction change, but if you missed the velocity changed in addition to the direction there were plenty of spotters in the white. I chose to shoot my iron sighted 308 Palma rifle for the day and was significantly under gunned. New Zealand is an EXTREMELY windy range, I am trying to train for a potential trip there in January. From my dismal scores, I definitely have significant room for improvement.
Of the 10 sling shooters, Neal Jenson started the day off with a 192-4, second went to the Norwegian Coby and third to everyone’s favorite engineer Tom Thompson with a 189-2. We won’t even talk about my score, but I do think I avoided a 7, so there is that moral victory. In F open, of the 15 competitors Eric Johnson put his foot down on the little target and guided his rig to a 182-0, second was K Jensen with a 178-2 and third Garald Gilles with a 174-2. When open scores are below 190, you know the wind is not kind. FTR got punished too, but 8 brave souls faced off against each other with Roger Nelson riding his 308 to 186-2. Drew Rutherford took the weekend journey to Lodi, I think he is just scared of Roger… 😉
On to match two for sling, 192-7 was high from the speedy shooting Coby. He was getting his shots downrange fast and trying to stay out of the larger wind bracket. Thompson second with a 191-4 driving his 240NMC with 110 sierras, and Neil out X’d Tom Reiten for third with a 188-6.
F-Open K Jensen again finds himself near the top, but this time in with the match win. Second goes to Eric Johnson and third to woodworker extraordinaire Mike Dahl. Roger Nelson again claimed the match win in FTR followed by Ryan Karrar and L Brice.
Onto the final match, the wind had a couple times of letting off but of the 3 relays I shot I used wind from 12 minutes left down to 7 minutes. Those 155’s flying at 3020 really did feel like flying bricks… Coby got serious in the last match, and again turned his 243 up to 11 and drove it hard and fast to a blistering 195-9, but his buddy to the south Ryan Holien claimed this match with his stellar 196-9. 3rd place was several points back to Denny Coulter with a 191-5. For the day, the dog whisperer claims the day with a 577-23 - Nice Work Coby! He was ahead of 2nd by 7 points so, he pretty much whooped us all.
Onto F-Open, Eric Johnson back for the match with a 188-4, second was K Jensen with a better X count, but one point back 187-7 and third to T Lockwood with a 181-2. For the Agg, K Jensen got the win by 1 point 552-12 to 551-7 for Eric Johnson. Mr Lockwood locked down third several points farther back.
In FTR, Roger Nelson kept up his hammering with a great 189-3. Yep, his 308 beat the open guns in the last match (I guess I should have asked Roger how to shoot a 308 before the day started.) Roger fired a 545-5 for the day, and distanced himself from the field... Well done.
Great shooting by everyone in some VERY difficult conditions. Thanks to our volunteers - Bob and John. Calling the line, and calling for marks on days like this definitely help the day go smoother. And always, thank the match director. Anything you can do the give these people a heads up that you plan to attend really helps getting the day running faster - Send a text, call or email ahead of the day really is appreciate.
On to day two - XTC a full 80 shot XTC match sanctioned by CMP but using NRA rules. The weather was again beautiful, and the wind velocity had dropped significantly. There were several new shooters, and some Jr’s too. Again, we had to add targets, such a great problem to have! 21 total shooters started the day with 2 sighters and 20 shots for record. Over the winter I broke down and purchased an A4 Service Rifle from Keystone Accuracy of Pa. I have shot a couple hundred rounds breaking it in, but this was the first try at 200 and beyond. With a 192-3 I claimed the first match, still plenty of work to get my standing to improve but I was happy with the result. Aaron G of SD was second OA with a 186-1. Aaron showed us all how to sit and shoot, his 199-6 was well ahead of next high Kohl Klein’s 197-7 and Mr. Thompson also fired a 197 but with only 5. Back to 300 we go, due to a simple planning error we fired out 300-yard line on 200 centers. The 300 center box was full of 1K repair centers, we all thought we had the correct paper until it was time to reface. Oh well, everyone accommodated the change with no ill effect. The wind however decided to change from sighters, thus it took a blind hog to find this nut and Coby owned the 300 match with a 189-5 followed by Tom Headrick firing a manly bolt rifle and another 189 and I slid into third with a 185-0. Back to 600, we had mirage reverse direction, velocity changes and directional changes. It was readable, but took a little bit of luck to get through.
The sage veteran Tom T guided his SR to a 196-5, followed by two 195’s by Coby and myself. As the smoke cleared, my new SR took the day with a 766-15. I am happy, but know I have more potential to get into the HM range in XTC. Second was Aaron G with a 752-15 and third went to Coby with a 751-18. Of note from all the classes returning to the competitive field Mark Ness took the SS class with a very good 716-10, look out he will be knocking on master scores again in no time. And winning the MK class was young gun Ryan Karrar with a 707-7, his prone position is sound and with a little more experience no doubt he will be classing up shortly as well.
What a great weekend to be outside in the Sun, warmth and companionship with old friends. Moffit gave us some crazy wind and yet today was being less evil. Plan on coming back next month for the State LR match! In a few weeks take a journey up to Rolla where Coby will have the 8 point range in tip-top shape, this is the only protected range in ND and will hopefully allow us to get some leg points distributed to some ND shooters.
Thanks again to our volunteers and Match Director Tommy Thompson, without them these matches would not exist!
See you on the firing line!
CLICK HERE to read the Official Bulletin from Tom Thompson.