column By: Rick Weber | June, 18
We started at 200 yards, and a quick shower came through during
In the afternoon on Day One, the clouds were low and the wind was high at 600 yards, but no rain . . . yet. Brent Danielson shot the top score of 88 followed closely again by Laurie Kerr with an 85. We were able to get both relays in and headed to the clubhouse.
I counted 16 Whitworths, 15 Alex Henrys and four other muzzleloading rifles by different makers. What makes this so great is that nearly all these rifles are still being shot or have been used in recent years.
The rifles are not just hidden away in a collection, but are being used for what they were built to do. Yes, they are worth serious money, but they were made to be shot – all of them. Someone gave the display the nickname “Museum at Oak Ridge” and I’d have to agree because, rifle for rifle, it equaled or exceeded most museums I’ve visited.
Dinner was catered and nearly 50 people were fed, as wives, relatives and guests came to socialize. To me, this is another great part about shooting . . . the people! Some who attended were past their shooting days and just wanted to visit and catch up. Life is good when you can shoot, eat, handle nice, original pieces of history and visit with old friends.
Thursday was cloudy and the temperature started near 50 degrees Fahrenheit, but the wind was still around. We picked up at 300 yards, since the forecast was good for the day, and we would be able to get the entire match completed. Ray Hopkins topped the score of 94-1X at the 300-yard range with a slew of people right behind him, scoring in the 90s. Moving to 1,000 yards showed how things can change. Although Dave Munch was the top 1,000-yard shooter with a 76, he unfortunately had problems at 600 yards or he’d been in the hunt. Ray Hopkins posted a 71 to Brent’s 61, allowing Ray to claim the Championship with only two points separating them. Congratulations to both shooters for some top-notch shooting!
Raton, New Mexico - July 2017
The Black Powder Cartridge Rifle Silhouette National Championships were held July 10-14 at the NRA Whittington Center near Raton, New Mexico. On July 11 and 12, the Scope competition was held and the Iron Sight matches were July 13 and 14.
The Scope National Championships went relatively smooth, with many of the regular faces showing up in the winner’s circle. Of particular note was the amazing performance by Brian Chilson on the chicken line. Brian blasted a super score of 10 of 15 chickens on Day One and a 12 of 15 for Day Two. The score of 22 total chickens helped Brian earn a score of 102 for another Scope National Championship. Rick Moritz wound up as 2nd Place National Champion with a 95, and Dave Gullo shot a 90 to round out the top three. Brent Danielson was 1st Master (81), Bryan Youngberg first AAA (82), Kevin Finney 1st AA (69), Ben Taylor 1st A (63), and Ted Taylor 1st B (43). High Woman went to Carol Scott, High Junior went to Megan Taylor and High Intermediate Junior went to Jace Haagen.
A very nice banquet was catered and served at the Coors Range on the evening of the second day of the Scope match. Tremendous door prizes as well as the Scope Nationals awards were given out, and there was plenty of socializing. I enjoyed it immensely and wanted to give a big “thank you” to those that made the banquet possible.
The Iron Sight National Championships may experience a “changing of the guard”, so to speak. Ty Rice was very pleased to earn the title of National Champion Iron Sight this year. Brad Rice, Ty’s father and multi-past National Champion, spotted for his son, and as you could imagine he was quite proud. From watching his father, he had a nearly lifelong goal of winning the Nationals. As BPCR competitors know, nothing is given to a shooter on the silhouette range and any wins must be earned. Ty worked very hard at developing loads and procedures, practicing and entering matches around the country. I am certain nearly everyone there was pleased to see him win. His son, Gabe, sister, Sam, and his parents make shooting and the National Championships a family tradition. Winning is also a strong family tradition, and it looks as if that tradition will continue for the foreseeable future.
The weather refused to cooperate for the Iron Sight competition and Match One had to be “called” early on account of thunderstorms. Lightning popped and thunder crashed – man, did it rain! The match was finished the next morning, and later on we started an abbreviated Day Two match of 40 shots for score. The weather again wreaked havoc on us, and Match Director, Jim Kidwell, made the hard decision to cancel Match Two and use only the Match One scores to determine the winners.
Rounding out the top three: Cody Smith, 2nd Place National Champion (47), and veteran rifleman Joe Scott, 3rd Place National Champion (46). Butch Ulsher ended up 1st Master with a 45. Only one point separated each of the top four places! 1st place AAA went to Ken Pointer (41), 1st AA to Virgil Burrow (38), 1st A to David Heintz (31), and 1st B to Patti Messi (13). Megan Taylor was our High Junior with 26.
Despite the weather, the 2017 Nationals BPCR Silhouette Nationals was a great time and a rewarding experience. Again, thanks to all the folks who made it possible. See you at Raton in 2018! -Cody Smith
Brian Chilson: .45-90 C. Sharps Arms ’74 Sharps, Buffalo Arms 560-grain bullet, Matthews lube, Walters Wads, Swiss powder, Starline cases, Federal primer Montana Vintage Arms 6X scope.
Rick Moritz: .38-50 CPA Stevens 44½, Paul Jones 370-grain bullet, White Lightning lube, plastic wads, Swiss powder, Winchester cases, Federal primers, Montana Vintage Arms 6X scope, DZ Arms mounts.
Dave Gullo: .45-90 Ballard, Buffalo Arms 535-grain bullet, SPG Lube, plastic wads, Swiss powder, Buffalo Arms cases, Federal primers, DZ Arms 8X scope.
Tyrell Rice: .45-70 CPA Stevens 44½, Buffalo Arms 540-grain bullet, Rice lube, Walters Wads, Swiss powder, Starline cases, CCI primers, Montana Vintage Arms front sight (aperture insert), Hoke rear sight.
Cody Smith: .40-65 C. Sharps High Wall, Pioneer 450-grain bullet, Rice lube, Walters Wads, Swiss powder, Starline cases, Federal primers, Baldwin front sight (aperture insert), Baldwin rear sight.
Joe Scott: .45-70 Meacham High Wall, SAECO 529-grain bullet, SPG Lube, Walters Wads, Swiss powder, Remington cases, Remington primers, Ballard front sight (aperture insert), Forcum rear sight.
USIMLT National Championships
Ben Avery Shooting Facility
Phoenix, Arizona - March 2018
A competitor can belong to any organization, call any country home and shoot any type of rifle, but no matter what, we are all shooters. At Nationals, we all worked well together and had fun; great cooperation among all, good weather and plenty of wind. How about those volunteers on the line, in the pits and those awesome target pullers! Many thanks to Skip Burke, Ray Hanson, Bob Englebach, Rex Powers, Margo Hanson, Arleen Decker, Laurie Kerr, John Stanton and George Taylor. The folks at Ben Avery bent over backwards to make sure we had everything we needed and provided us with a superb range and facility for our lunch and awards ceremony. The wind was about as fierce as I have experienced anywhere, but placing shots on paper in those conditions is what makes us better competitors; if it was easy, nothing would be learned. Remember: “The Wind Is Your Friend.”
It was very special to have our friends from New Zealand and the Netherlands join us. Attendance is expected to double next year from both International and U.S. shooters. We will be at Ben Avery again next year shooting between the NMLRA Western Nationals and the 1,000-Yard Shoot. Dates will be posted as soon as I receive confirmation. I am very happy with the match, and thanks to everyone for making it a success. See you all next year.
– Ed Decker
USIMLT (U.S. International Muzzleloading Team)
Long Range Team