Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day 1 at the Berger Bullets Southwest Nationals

The Ben Avery Shooting Facility, located at the northern end of Phoenix Arizona, will often provide an entire day of nearly wind free shooting. I have had some of my best scores at 600 yards there in the past. Sometimes however this 54 year old range shows a much different face. This morning the competitors in the 4th Annual Berger Bullets Southwest Nationals were witness to a stiff wind out of the north created by the rapidly warming desert under the rising sun. When I arrived at the range this morning giant dust devils were constantly being driven across the range pushed by a twisting 12 to 17 mph wind. When I received my squadding ticket I breathed a silent prayer that some of the wind would die down before the second relay took the line. It would turn out that this prayer fell on deaf ears.

The wind pummelled the first relay of shooters, rewarding even the smallest mistake with an eight or worse. German Salazar got it figured out and his 196-7X took Match one by a mere point over Palma Team member Justin Skaret, however Justin's 195-15X was an unbelievable feat considering most of the High Masters could only muster a handful of X's in the turbulent twisting wind. My 192 was not bad considering the conditions but still four down to the leader, Salazar, and the wind was beginning to lessen in intensity.

Match two saw yours truly lead the way with a match winning 199-11X over runner up Allen Elliott's 197-12X. Salazar also posted a 197 but with only 10X's. Skaret's 195-7x turned it into a four horse race for the agg victory. Salazar down seven, Elliott and myself down nine and Skaret down an even ten with one match to fire.

The wind for match three was far less intense but more than a little devious, quick reversals would easily earn the unwary a wide nine as Elliott found out as he posted a disappointing 193-8X to finish down 16 for the day. Skaret posted a solid 197-11X to take the clubhouse lead with a 587-33X. Salazar and your intrepid blogger took the line last, with the afternoon temps nearing 95 degrees, to see who would take this years Championship title. When I got up 20 minutes later I felt my 198-13X, though not perfect, was the best I could do in the conditions at hand. As I set my rifle down I looked up to see Salazar with an outstretched hand of congratulations as his 196-4X had him tied with me at 589 but down 8 X's. To me the best part of every shooting match is the time spent with friends both old and new, but hey, a victory is icing on an already sweet cake! By the way check out German's very informative blog here 

The competition amongst all the classes was great, especially in the face of such a challenging wind condition. In the Master service rifle class Walter Tang came out on top with a very good 570-14X. Chuck Fryer led the match rifle Masters with a 570-12X. In the combined service match rifle Expert class James Karcher grabbed the victory with a 566-16X. Robert Maust posted a very good score of 574-13X to take the Sharpshooter service win and Abraham Kamerman who won match 3 with an inspired 199-14X led the Match rifle Sharpshooters with a very good 580-32X! Congratulations Abraham, I'm sure you will be jumping right over Expert and will soon be receiving a Master class card.

The Marksman class was led by service rifle shooter Maury Krupp who posted a 531-10X. Finally, we had two F class competitors this year and Mr Bill Berta took home the W with a 557-9X on that very small target.  John Andres gave him a run with his big 300 Win mag by posting a 551-10X,

Though I will not be shooting the across the course portion of this years match I do plan to stop by and get some pics and get all the scores to put up right here on competitive shootings newest blog.

Thanks for reading,
R Curtis

Click here for a few pictures of the day.

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