There is a certain kind of dread that exists in one’s mind when they know that they must endure something unpleasant. I have spent a very unpleasant day on the range at Camp Perry and, as I walked down Viale Range Thursday morning, I fully expected to be shooting and pulling targets in the rain. Neither is pleasant. I also suspected we might be put in a ceasefire, a condition where one stands in miserable rain, gear getting soaked while Range Control waits for sufficient visibility to allow us to safely shoot. On the plus side was the fact that this has been a great week of fun shooting with the finest sharpshooters in America.
On the third day of the 2012 NRA High Power Rifle Championships, I fully expected to get wet yet I was looking forward to the shooting and the people I’d be enjoying the day with. I wasn’t disappointed, I had fun and I was rained on. On relay three, I was to start my day in the pits. There were a series of alibi relays that slowed our morning and by the time I was getting ready to shoot, there was a light drizzle. By the time I finished my rapid fires, it had become a light rain. I was grateful for the ability of the Kowa TSN 883 spotting scope and the Bushnell Elite Tactical riflescope I was using to handle water with no problems at all. Except for the distortion caused by rain drops on the spotting scope’s ocular lens, there was no effect to the scopes at all. A simple wipe with a cloth removed the droplets of water and the Kowa was clear as a bell with no fogging. The same was true with the Elite Tactical riflescope.
It was also clear that I was out of practice for this sort of thing. My scores for the first three days have been dismal, though not the fault of my equipment. I had trouble getting into positions and acquiring a natural point of aim. During rapid fires, the scope bounces around and my pulse beat is clearly across the ten-ring. My scores aren’t bad for developing the zero on a gun owned for less than two weeks, but I’m hardly a threat for the others shooting the Any Sight/Tactical class.
In spite of the rain, I had a great opportunity to get a firm no-wind zero. The wind was dead calm, something that rarely happens at Camp Perry. Instead of taking advantage of great conditions, I further damaged my chances of a good finish on the 600-yard line. About half way through the 20 shots, I lined up on target 21 instead of target 22. This resulted in a miss, adding insult to injury. A crossfire is a rookie mistake that almost every shooter makes at least once, and I’m ahead of my lifetime quota. Once again, points lost that can’t be made up. Sadly, I have slipped another place in the point standings, putting me in fourth in Master Any Sight/Tactical.
On the bright side, as I was finishing up, the rain abated and fellow Carolinian John Friguglietti from Lincolnton, North Carolina was the shooter and I was the scorer. John shoots a Tubb 2000 and put down a stunning 200-14x for second place in the Air Force Cup. John had already won the Artillery Cup with a 200-17x.
Championship standings at this point have Carl Bernosky leading Sherri Gallagher for the Championship with David Tubb in the lead for the Any Sight/Tactical Championship.