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Thursday, August 23, 2018

10 Days at Camp Atterbury

By Mike Jamison, VSSA High Power Rifle Chairman

The NRA has moved their portion of the National Championships to Camp Atterbury, Indiana. A scheduling conflict did not permit me to go last year, the first year that they were held there, but I was able to make it this time.

Camp Atterbury had a similar purpose to Camp Perry, historically. It was a POW site for prisoners brought back from Italy. The “Huts” are long gone, however with modern facilities and housing.

The Indiana Guard clearly want us there, as the ranges were well maintained. The grass was mowed and the pits had all new wood in the target frames. NRA brought the crew from Florida that puts on the Orange Blossom Regional at Port Malabar every spring, and they are Good! Brad Sutherland and Joe Yaw were there helping with Range Engineering and Support, and Brad’s wife, Terry and her friend were doing Stats. Results were posted within ½ hour after firing concluded, each day!

Chip Becker, the rifle range director at Port Malabar, was running the pits at Camp Atterbury. They ran very well, with some interesting touches I noticed. In addition to new wood, they were using a vegetable oil on the target carriers that did NOT stain our hands or clothes (a nice improvement). Chip kept the pits running smoothly without having to holler at us (much).

The entire operation, both the line and the pits, ran smoothly, quickly, and efficiently. We were off the line by 2:30 most days.

As a shooter, the caliber of the competition was what I had hoped for. The first day of the Mid-range matches, I shot a personal high: 199 at 300 yards, 198 at 500 yards, and 199 at 600 yards for a 596-27X. That put me in 13th place! The third day I shot a 200-9X at 500 yards, and I didn’t even make the top 10.

While I didn’t win anything, I was pleased with my shooting. There is an old saying: “Steel sharpens Steel.” If you want to get better, shoot against the best.

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