column By: Cody Smith | August, 19
If you want to shoot at one of the greatest ranges in the country, compete with some of the very best riflemen and women in the country and enter a match that is just about the most fun possible, you better make plans to get on down to the .22 BPCRA National Championship next year. This year’s .22 BPCRA National Championship was held July 2nd and 3rd at the NRA Whittington Center near Raton, New Mexico, and it was a ton of fun! On behalf of the .22 BPCRA board of directors, I want to thank everyone that shot, donated to and helped run this fantastic match. Here’s a bit of a run-down of some of the happenings that went on.
July 1st was our set-up and practice day and we had a good showing of shooters to help us set-up the targets. As most of you know, that wizard of all things metal, Mr. Dan Zimmerman, built a set of 40 banks of resettable targets last year, as well as a trailer to store and haul them, with a lockable tool box for all the small parts. This was our second year using them and I think we have most of the quirks worked out. As you can imagine, setting-up 40 banks of targets with sighters is quite a project; but with all the help, we had the range in tip-top shape in an hour or two. Shooters were encouraged to give their banks a thorough testing before the match and to do any adjustments or lubrication so they would function properly for the match.
The Board of Directors held their annual meeting at mid-day. I thought it was a very positive, productive meeting and it was nice that all the board members were able to attend. We discussed details about how to run the match, where we want to take the .22 BPCRA in the future and we did make two big decisions. The first one is the elimination of B Class. With the current state of the skill level of the shooters, it was felt that combining B Class with A Class would adequately cover the need, and purchasing awards for B Class was an unnecessary expense. The second decision was the creation of Grand Master Class. Over the last year or two there have been many debates (some of them rather heated) about what to do about Master Class becoming so large. Lots of ideas have been floated around and it is hard to know what is exactly the best thing to do, but after much thought and discussion this is what we decided. The current score breakdowns would remain the same, but another class will be added, so that shooting three scores of 34/40 or greater, or 51/60 or greater in a 2-year period will qualify you to shoot in the Grand Master Class. Now that’s something to shoot for! Grand Master Class will go into effect January 1st, 2020.
After a brief safety meeting, our Chaplain, Harold Forcum, led us in asking for a blessing over our match, then we sang the “Star Spangled Banner” and Match Director Kenny Tebbe handed the microphone over to Kirk Martin to call the shooters to the line. Kirk is normally one of our top competitors, but he recently had surgery on his hand so he volunteered to call the line, and an excellent job he did too! Thanks a bunch, Kirk, for taking that job on.
Raton was really pretty this year as the grass was green from all the moisture, the skies were clear, and the trees, mountains, and wildlife add a different dimension to the match that you often don’t get at other places. The weather held quite nicely both days, with only one squall on Day One that one relay had to deal with. Jim Gier, of Montana Vintage Arms, has graciously made unique medallions to give to the winners for many years now and our daily winners each received one. In Scope Class, A/B Class went to Shirley Jarvis with a 37, AA went to Richard Wood with a 43, Hugh Mills took AAA with a 46, and Kenny Tebbe won Master with a 48. Kem Smith was 3rd Overall with a 49, Ty Rice was 2nd Overall with a 50, and John Haagen anchored High Overall (also with a 50 score) beating out Ty by reverse animal count.
In Iron Sight Class, A/B Class was won by Tim Lee with a 35, Gail Shuttleworth took AA with a 37, Joaquin Bustamonte won AAA with a 39 and High Master was Vance Ballew, scoring a 44. Third Overall was Brent Danielson with a 45, Second Overall was Joe Scott shooting a 48, and myself, Cody Smith, was quite pleased to turn in a 50 to win High Overall Iron Sight.
Our Day Two Scope winners were High A/B Class going to Richard Dipboye with a 36, AA won by George Dillman shooting a 43, AAA Class taken by Hugh Wilson with a 49, and James Rodebaugh won High Master with a 50. Third Overall went to Edward Hager with a 50, Second Overall to Ty Rice shooting 50, and our fearless Match Director, Kenny Tebbe, taking the High Overall with a super 52!
Day Two Iron Sight in A/B Class was won by Peter Romanik with a 38, AA Class going to Gail Shuttleworth with a 45, AAA taken by Kenny Tebbe shooting a 44, and Bryan Rosenbaum winning High Master with a 47. Third Overall went to Ron Calderone turning in a 47, Second Overall went to Brad Rice with a 49, and I was again pleased to take High Overall with a 50.
With so many top marksman competing in this match, it is inevitable that there will be a bunch of ties. I love to shoot in and watch shoot-offs, but there often gets to be so many it is hard to manage it all. This year we decided to only shoot off for the top three aggregate places in Overall and each class. All others would be decided by reverse animal count, unless it was a dead tie across the whole course. Even with this, we had plenty of shoot-offs, and we got a bit discombobulated trying to get them figured out. The board wants to thank everyone for their patience and understanding, remembering that this is a “member-run” organization and we are all just volunteering. We will do better next year.
So, without further delay, what everyone has been waiting for: the Aggregate Winners!
We also had four special classes that we were pleased to award this year. Our High Super Senior was Hugh Mills with a 95 and our High Senior was Kem Smith with a 97. Coralee Smith was all smiles as she picked up her MVA High Woman Medallion and pink RTIC soft-sided cooler donated by David and Carolyn Clark.
Perhaps the most exciting news of the match was our junior shooters. We had seven junior shooters this year, and they were a serious bunch! Cole Sauer ended up coming out in the lead with an 80, winning an MVA Medallion, some SK ammunition, and a beautiful .22 line box made by Brad Swenson. Harold Forcum made and donated one of his superb boxes to each of the other junior shooters. Gail Shuttleworth of CPA Rifles also donated a very cool original Stevens 44 in .22 long rifle for the Junior Shooters Shoot-Off match. All of the junior shooters had a chance at the turkeys and Ava Lemaster came out the winner by shooting five in a row, twice. Ava was all smiles as she picked up her new rifle, but I thought the buttons were going to pop off of Grandpa and Grandma Joe and Carol Scott’s shirt as they swelled with pride. Great shooting, Ava, and a big thank you to the whole Scott outfit for sharing your family with us and being such a great example of positive sportsmanship.
Lots of different people generously donate lots of time, money, and products to this organization and this match. Our Match Sponsor, Montana Vintage Arms, has steadfastly supported our matches since the beginning. All of their products are top notch and their support really helps make our championship special. We also had several additional top-level donors this year that gave prizes worth no small amount of money. They included Dan Zimmerman of DZ Arms, Gail Shuttleworth of CPA Rifles, Harold and Paulette Forcum, Swiss Powder, SPG Lube and Sales, RWS Ammunition, and Capstone Industries. A big thank you also goes out to George Dillman of Wyoming Armory Precision Rifle Company. George graciously brought his Polaris Ranger down to the match all the way from Cody, Wyoming for us to use for range work and target resets. It must have saved about a million steps and was very much appreciated. In addition to all of these donations, we had a plethora of door prizes that came from a large variety of very generous people and businesses. We the board of directors and the shooters, wish to express our sincere appreciation to all that support our National Championship. Thank you!
We had three positions up for election on our board this year. Joe Scott and Kenny Tebbe were re-elected and Kevin Griggs was voted in. David Wiese, one of our founding directors, was not re-elected by a narrow margin. We want to express our sincere appreciation to David for the years he committed to our organization and for being there in the beginning to get this deal rolling. Thank you, David, for all of your time, money, energy and ideas!
A list of our Current Board of directors and officers follows. Please feel free to contact any of the below people with any thoughts, ideas, suggestions, comments or donations. This is a member-run organization and we are all striving to do the very best we can to serve you. Please check out our Facebook page under “.22 BPCRA Silhouette” and our website at 22bpcra.com for news, information, pictures and contact information.
.22 BPCRA Directors and Officers:
David Barnes Elected Director
Paulette Forcum Vice President
John Gage Elected Director
Kevin Griggs Treasurer and Elected Director
Ty Rice Elected Director
Kenny Tebbe President and Elected Director
Joe Scott Elected Director
Cody Smith Elected Director
Kenny Wasserberger Elected Director
Bryan Youngberg Elected Director
Mary Zang Secretary