Beaver Claims Overall Win, First EIC Points in 2021 Camp Perry M16 Match
September 23, 2021Civilian Marksmanship Program▸State Director▸Indiana▸Beaver Claims Overall Win, First EIC Points in 2021 Camp Perry M16 Match
Junior Andrew Beaver, 19, of Indianapolis, Indiana, earned his first service rifle Excellence-In-Competition points during the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s (CMP) 2021 National Rifle Matches M16 competition, held as part of the annual Small Arms Firing School in August.
Attaining his first four Excellence-In-Competition, or EIC, points in the match means he is on his way to claiming a Distinguished Rifleman Badge – the highest honor given by the CMP to a rifle athlete. An individual receives a badge after competing in CMP EIC events and earning at least 30 points overall.
Marksmanship competition is a family affair for Andrew – competing with multiple relatives back in Indiana and at Camp Perry. He watched his brother, Matthew, become Distinguished as a junior and has been eager to follow in Matthew’s footsteps to nab a Badge of his own ever since.
“It’s always been something I’ve looked forward to,” Andrew said of earning a Distinguished Badge. “I’ve always thought it was something cool to reach for.”
He admitted that his initial goal for the M16 event was to break the current record score of 394-12X, fired a decade ago in 2011. He felt good going into the competition day, but being on the third relay meant he was first to be sent to the pits. The free time pulling targets downrange left him to think about the match ahead and caused his nerves to build.
“Once we got up, I kind of got into the zone and calmed myself down – a lot of breathing,” he went on. “Through it all, I really tried to not get too nervous and just really try to do my best.”
In the end, he was less than 10 points short of the record score yet managed to become the overall winner above the field of more than 300 Distinguished and Non-Distinguished competitors in the M16 Match, with a score of 387-12X. He continued to compete in the weeks that followed, entering many other National Rifle Matches and CMP Games events. There, he earned the High Junior honor in the Modern Military Match after obtaining a combined score of 279-3X.
“I try not to think about what my final score will be,” Andrew confessed. “I make sure I’m eating, make sure I’m drinking water, making sure I’m not thinking about the match too much. I try to think about other things going on.”
Andrew first started shooting when he became involved with smallbore rifle around age 10 and has been shooting ever since. This year was his seventh competing at Camp Perry, where he signed up for pretty much everything throughout the National Trophy events and the CMP Games series.
He’s attended a few Small Arms Firing Schools over his lifetime, led by current members of military teams like the Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU). He revels in their guidance and has even thought of becoming a member after watching them on the range and respecting the excellence they have come to cast in prestigious National Matches like the National Trophy Individual (NTI) and President’s Rifle competitions.
“Seeing a lot of the AMU be top performers in a lot of the matches definitely sets a goal of what I would like to do,” he said.
A member of the Indiana State Rifle and Pistol Association, Andrew claimed the Indiana Junior State Champion title for highpower in 2020. Someday, he’d like to reach the President’s 100 as one of the top 100 competitors in the President’s Rifle Match and eventually compete in the accompanying shootoff – an esteemed feat.
And, he’s certainly working hard to earn more points in the hunt for that coveted Distinguished Badge.
“I’ve been shooting a lot and moving my way up,” Andrew said. “I come out to have fun. Shooting good scores really makes me feel good about myself – kind of boosts some self-confidence. And being happy is one of my main goals.”
His sister, Meghann Beaver, 22, is also an accomplished competitor – achieving the third-highest female score in the 2021 M16 Match, 24th overall and her own service rifle EIC points. She also earned the High Woman title in the Vintage Military Match during the Games events. No stranger to success, she has claimed several High Junior and High Woman designations throughout her career at local and national levels.
“It’s just fun in general because it’s not the AR-15s all the time,” Meghann said of competing in vintage rifle matches. “It feels like a part of history.”
She admits that she doesn’t practice the vintage rifles any more than others and chalks up her achievements to, simply, “a stroke of luck.”
In the end, one of the most enjoyable parts of competing in marksmanship matches for the Beaver siblings isn’t just the chance to improve on the firing line – it is, of course, about outshooting the other.
“I think a lot of what I enjoy is the competition with my sister,” Andrew said with a smile.
Meghann shares the sentiment, saying, “I always tell everyone if I think I’m doing poorly, ‘Well, as long as I can beat my brother, that’s all that matters.”