Rattlesnake Mountain Shooting Facility’s Long Range season continued with a windy and mostly chilly April affair over the Easter weekend. Good Friday dawned with frost on the target carriers and a wind chill somewhere in the bitter range. Nevertheless, 15 hardy souls showed up for the 300 and 600-yard mid-range contest. Gil White and Ben Cook continued their knife fight from last month in the F-Open category, with Bill Prue pitching into the fray in the F-Target Rifle category. All three shooters finished with the same score separated only by X-count. Once again it was Ben coming out on top, this time by a single X, to take the combined F-class trophy. In the Black Powder Target Rifle arena, defending champion Dan Steinmetz stumbled at 300 yards, taking a miss on his second shot for score and opening the way for a serious challenge by Gorden Gerken. But that miss only served to motivate Dan who proceeded to shoot enough 10’s to erase that blemish and put the trophy well out of reach for the rest of the field. For Dan and Ben it was indeed a Good Friday.
Fifteen shooters were on hand Saturday morning for the Palma/Creedmoor course. Temperatures were again chilly but the wind seemed fairly gentle, or so everyone believed. That deceptively soft breeze turned into a nightmare switching tailwind – unstable, unpredictable, and nearly unreadable. It was classic Rattlesnake conditions with every wind flag pointing in a different direction and the mirage contradicting them all. At 800 yards John Van Santford came within a point of cleaning the target with his Palma rifle, while Bill Prue and Andrew Hansen took the lead in the F-TR and F-Open categories, and Gorden Gerken did the same in BPTR. At 900 yards all scores dropped noticeably as the wind got nastier and the distance greater. The only lead change however was among the sling shooters where Bud Solis alone managed to score in the 140’s. At 1000 yards Kevin Carter made a good showing in F-Open, but it wasn’t quite enough to catch the leaders. The real change came in BPTR where Ash Garman caught a lucky break and jumped out in front; as perennial favorite and reigning state champion Dan Steinmentz took a crushing zero, demonstrating just how challenging this sport can be.
Only nine competitors took the field on Easter Sunday for the final two stages at 1000 yards. The frigid 20+mph quartering headwind made communication extremely difficult. Shooters could scarcely hear what was being said by scorers sitting a few feet away, and radio traffic was often unintelligible. In the F-TR category, Bill Prue and Greg Anderson each took one stage and one beating. Since Bill’s beating was less severe, he came out on top for the day. In BPTR, the day clearly belonged to Skip Steinmetz who completely dominated. (...except for that cold bore jackpot won by Gorden Gerken)
By 12:30 firing was complete and final scores could be tallied. With no sling shooters participating on Sunday, Bud Solis’ lead from Saturday carried over to win him the match in the combined target rifle category. Bill Prue was the combined F-class match winner after a solid performance on both days. And Ash Garman just managed to hold onto his Saturday lead to end up the match winner in the BPTR category – a gift from the Easter Bunny.
Join us next month for the Washington State Palma and Creedmoor Championship May 19-21. That will be a three-day NRA registered match, run by John Hauptmann. The championship will be the aggregate of three times over the Palma/Creedmoor course. The match is open to all participants; however WSRPA membership is required to compete for the title of Washington State Champion. Advance entries are requested. The range will be available for practice May 16-18 if desired. Contact match director John Hauptmann by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (509-308-9230).
Match notices and results.
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