Separated by a single X (bullseye) at the halfway point, The United States Rifle Team completed their mission to beat the Great Britain Rifle team by a final score of 4,784-308x to 4,781-305x.
“Both sides fired four hundred and eighty bullets each,” said Emil Praslick. “And it came down to three points on a ten point target. Unbelievable.”
Shot over the course of a day, eight man teams from each country took to Camp Perry’s Viale Range to try their luck at 300, 800, 900 and a thousand yards. Though the Americans leaped ahead in round three, the United Kingdom rifle team’s push in the fourth and final relay was almost enough to make the difference.
“If we every have another one like this it’ll be enough to kill me,” joked one U.S. coach.
Established in 2002, the America Match is open any country with an eight man rifle team. The teams gather every two years to test their mettle in one of the more grueling shooting competitions in the world. Held every four years in the United States, this if the first time it was held during the NRA Long Range Rifle matches at Camp Perry as the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, New Mexico previously served as host.
With this win, the overall standings are Great Britain 3 and America 3.
“You cannot possibly find better sportsmen,” said Praslick. “Within in seconds of the final shot they were over here shaking hands. They are the best sportsmen I have ever seen.”