By James Evenson, Minneapolis Rifle Club
The 2014 Prone Smallbore State Championship results are in the books. The last smallbore prone match of the year on the Minneapolis Rifle Club's (MRC) schedule was held August 23 and 24 at the Bob VanJean Small Bore facility at MRC. It turned out to be a great event with a full line on Saturday for the Iron Sight matches. The range was in great shape as usual thanks to the hard work of George Minerich and others.
The weather was threatening and the sky turned overcast, but the wind was light and fairly steady. This made for good shooting conditions. Shooters of all ages were on hand to contest the outcome and vie for championship awards. There were Sub-Juniors, Intermediate Juniors, Juniors, Adults, Seniors and Grand Seniors. It would be a day when the juniors would give the adults a run for the money on every target in every match.
First up, two targets at 50 yards. The wind flags were swaying just a little, right to left. It was not good visibility on this foggy, misty morning, so I adjusted everything to see the best I could – 1.1mm rear aperture, yellow filter, 5.5mm front aperture for the 40" sight radius – and fired a few sighters, then the 20 shots for record. I cleaned the target for a 200-13x – things were going well. Another clean on the second 50-yard target gave me a 400-24x. I was happy to get it as I haven't shot a 400 in that match for a while, but it was not close to a winning score. Kurt Kisch, juniors, Abby West, Erik Hazelton and Grand Senior Elmer Miller from South Dakota all shot scores of 400 with higher X counts.
The Dewar match with one 50-yard target and one 100-yard target were next. I kept the streak going and cleaned the first target but dropped two (only two?) on the 100-yard target for a 398, while Abby West showed us all the high level of Minnesota Junior shooting by posting the top score of 400-20x. Emily Quinar followed just behind at 399-29x. Juniors Carmen Fry and Norman Lilyerd also fired scores of 398 in this tough match. The 100-yard match went to Kurt Kisch with a solid 400-24x.
At one point, Kisch and A. West were tied for the lead, both down three points for the day. The last match saw Stacey Tamulinas, three points down on Kurt and Abby, refuse to give up and clean both 50 meter targets – posting an awesome 400-29x on the toughest targets of the day. Abby lost four points, falling behind the leaders, but Kurt posted a 399-26x to hold the top score and the Iron Sight prone championship.
Erik Hazleton was the High Scoring Junior, with 1593-108x, and Abby West was High Intermediate Junior, just one point and a few X’s back of Erik. Young Ryan Hudson was Top Sub-Junior Champion.
Once again, I was happy with my new(er) rifle. I didn't win or place, but I got a new personal record score for iron sights – 1590-87x. I believe that Grand Senior Elmer Miller also shot a personal record score with his 1589-85x. Elmer is a Marksman class shooter, but this 1589 score would be competitive in the Expert class even at the Western WildCat matches.
The match was followed by a great barbeque put on by the MRC guys, with Chris Hazleton doing all the cooking and laying out the spread. What a feast! The meal included baked beans with bacon, barbequed pulled pork, pasta salad, taco salad, potato salad, salad and cold lemonade. A little socializing was a good way to end the match.
Saturday's Iron Sight Scores:
The day dawned bright and clear for the "any" sight matches. The field was diminished somewhat with many juniors finding other things to do with their families. It wasn't going to be an easy day, however. The wind forecast was to be about 14mph from the NE – meaning swirling gusts to contend with at the MRC range, where it is believed that only two 1600 scores have ever been shot. It would be a wind reader’s match. Patience would be the key to winning scores. The two top wind readers for the day were Emily Quinar and Stacey Tamulinas. Stacy won the match, posting an incredible 1595-102x to Emily's 1590-105x. It’s important to remember that Emily shoots iron sights only. The rest of the shooters were about two wind shifts behind all day, and my match was over after stitching the 9-ring full of holes on the 100-yard targets.
The overall high shooter for the weekend was Texas resident Stacey Tamulinas (3189-208x). The top Minnesota shooter and State Champion for 2014 was Kurt Kisch (3180-199x). High Junior went to champion Erik Hazleton, and the High Sub-Junior Champion was Ryan Hudson. Another up-and-coming junior shooter is Kurt Kisch's daughter, Kamilla Kisch, who posted competitive scores all weekend.
It was fun shooting with all the juniors. Watch out shooting world – Minnesota has some great junior rifle shooters who are already shooting good scores!