By Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Keith Schachle, 61, of Brooks, GA, certainly made his first trip to the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s (CMP) Oklahoma Travel Games a memorable one – both for himself and those next to him on the firing line.
“The Oklahoma Games are already on our calendar for next year,” he said.
The Oklahoma Games is one stop on the CMP’s series of Travel Games, which feature a variety of vintage and modern military rifle competitions as well as an assortment of pistol matches and learning opportunities. The CMP Cup events, also on the Oklahoma schedule, give competitors the chance to participate in Excellence in Competition events, where they can earn points toward coveted and hard-sought Distinguished Badges.
CMP Cup events feature two 800 Aggregate matches, an EIC Match and a 4-Man Team Match. Travel Games competitions include Three- and Four-Gun Aggregate awards for the Top Scoring individuals of the event.
A regular face at other Travel Games events throughout the year and the National Matches at Camp Perry every summer, Schachle decided to give the Oklahoma Games a try while also giving himself and his wife, Brenda, a mini vacation (using the trip to visit family members in the area).
“The OKC Gun Club is a great venue for these matches,” he said. “Local range folks were very welcoming and accommodating.”
Schachle said the trip worked out well, not only with the chance to catch up with relatives, but also with his performances on the range.
During the Games, he led both the Three- and Four-Gun Aggregate competitions – showing off his vintage and modern military rifle skills. He led the Three-Gun by a 10-point margin and the Four-Gun by nearly 15-points.
He was also shocked to see his first tarantula on the range, but even in the face of the friendly eight-legged visitor, Schachle said the biggest challenge on the firing line was the unrelenting conditions.
“The weather didn’t start getting rough until Friday,” he said. “Temps dropped drastically, and the wind was worse than I had ever shot in, including Camp Perry.”
“Prones were not an issue, but offhand was tough,” he continued. “I actually saw a shooting cart get blown over.”
Despite the added obstacle, along with a few personal gun issues, Schachle managed to overtake the Springfield Match (ending only three “x’s” away from the current record score) and the Garand Match Course and was also High Senior of the Vintage Military and Modern Military events.
“I felt prepared going into the matches, but any time guys like Larry Stonecipher show up, you have your work cut out for you,” he said.
Another regular to the Games, Larry Stonecipher, 67, of Ada, OK, ended in second in the Four-Gun Agg. behind Schachle and went on to earn the top spot in the Modern Military event, where he set a new Oklahoma Games record score of 293-15x – one “x” above the former record, set in 2018. Stonecipher was also the overall Match Rifle competitor in the Cup Matches
During the CMP Cup Matches, Schachle similarly reached consistent scores each day of the 800 Aggregate events to earn the High Senior title and a new record for Service Rifle, with a score of 1561-48x.
Curtis Bohlman, Jr., 54, of Luther, OK, led overall in the Cup Matches Service Rifle category with a score of 1580-54x. After winning the first day of the 800 Aggregate, Bohlman landed in second place on Day 2 behind Nick Till, 45, of Howell, MI. In the end, Bohlman overtook the two-day aggregate by just one point over Till.
Till, a member of CMP’s highpower rifle team, returned to claim victory of his own in the EIC Rifle Match with a score of 491-21x.
Fellow CMP highpower team member Sara Rozanski, 41, of Elmore, OH, earned the title of High Woman in the CMP Cup, finishing in the Top 15 overall. Rozanski is the current Oklahoma Games High Woman record holder.
The 4-Man team event was topped by the OKC Gun Club Morris. Curtis Bohlman combined his talents with Thomas Sims, Kent Shomber and Kurt Schmidt to record a score of 1928-59x.
In Travel Games pistol events, Andrew Granberry, 56, of Germantown, TN, led the Service Pistol Aggregate with a score of 851-14x. Granberry earned the win in the As-Issued 1911 Pistol Match with a score of 361-4x and joined Robert Cantrell to receive the win in the Pistol Team event.
1SG Robert Kolesar, 65, of the U.S. Army Reserve, earned the overall wins in both the Pistol EIC and .22 Rimfire Pistol EIC events. Richard Wise, 62, of Yukon, OK, topped the 40 Shot Match, while James Smith, 72, of Oklahoma City, OK, overtook the Military & Police Service Pistol Match title.
Other top rifle Travel Games results included Eric Pauls, 53, of Fenton, MO, who received second behind Schachle in the Three-Gun Agg. and obtained the win in the Vintage Military Match. Pauls also set a new Oklahoma Games record in the M16 EIC event that accompanies the Small Arms Firing School with his score of 385-7x, just one point above the previous record.
Richard Bodine, 60, of Frederick, MD, led the Carbine Match with a score of 364-4x, while the Vintage Sniper Match Manual team of John Brewer and LTC James Lacy (Henry County Gun Club) combined forces to set a new record score of 390-12x. Also setting a record in the Vintage Sniper Match was William Meade and Jerry Penn, who teamed up in the Semi-Automatic class to earn a score of 379-6x.
LtCol Lucas Keck, 41, of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve was the high non-Distinguished competitor and earned second overall, with a score of 376-9x.
For a complete list of results, visit https://ct.thecmp.org/app/v1/index.php?do=match&task=edit&match=17803.
Photos of the event can be found on the CMP Zenfolio page: https://cmp1.zenfolio.com/f473956436.
About the CMP Travel Games:
The Travel Games are regional competitions held in different corners of the country throughout the year, featuring exclusive CMP rifle and pistol outdoor events. A common part of the CMP schedule for the last decade, the Games are centered around recreation-oriented competition and educational activities that are designed to accommodate experienced marksmen as well as those just beginning the sport. To learn more, visit the CMP website at http://thecmp.org/competitions/cmp-travel-games/.