Russ & Vickie Evans
State Director Info
- 24+ years of coaching the Vienna Cougars Jr. Rifle Team and supporting local junior shooting clubs.
- 24+ years of running Smallbore and Air Rifle NRA Regionals, Sectionals, and State Championships.
- 24+ Years of working at and Managing National Matches Junior Camp, Camp Perry, OH.
Shirley, Welter Claim Wins at 2023 Gary Anderson Invitational
By Ashley Dugan, CMP Staff Writer
A total of 330 junior sporter and precision air rifle athletes arrived in Ohio and Alabama over the weekend of Dec. 1-2 to compete in the 2023 Gary Anderson Invitational – one of the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s (CMP) most anticipated youth events of the year. Individuals from around the country participated in the three-position match, with Gary Anderson himself even in attendance to witness the budding talent on the firing line.
In sporter, Bethany Shirley, 17, of Monroe, GA, acquired a commanding lead with a score of 660.6 for the overall win – nearly 20 points over Brooklyn Zeigler, 16, of Gray, TN, who earned a score of 642.9 for second. Rounding out the top three was Brayden Rich, 16, of Winthrop Harbor, IL, with a score of 641.5.
Leading the precision class was Natalie Welter,14, of Parker, PA, with an overall score of 699.7. Following closely in second was Carley Seabrooke, 17, of Helena, AL, with an aggregate score of 698.3, as Jack Ogoreuc, 16, Grove City, PA, found a score of 697.4 for third.
Along with individual competitions, a four-person team event is also held during the event.
Leading teams of the 2023 Gary Anderson Invitational:
- American Legion Post 295 – 2348-156X
- East Coweta – 2325-138X
- Camden County High School Team A – 2323-131X
- Zion Benton High School Team 1 – 2174-55X
- Daniel Boone High School Sporter 1 – 2149-69X
- Zion Benton High School Team 1 – 2140-54X
The Gary Anderson Invitational is held within the 80-point electronic air gun ranges at both the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center at Camp Perry, Ohio, and the Judith Legerski CMP Competition Center in Anniston, Ala. The junior sporter and precision air rifle competition includes kneeling, prone and standing positions for qualification scores as well as a 10-shot final fired by all athletes on the line. Winners are determined from scores at both locations.
Find a complete list of results of the 2023 Gary Anderson Invitational on the CMP’s website at https://ct.thecmp.org/GAI23Results.
View and download free event photos from both locations at https://cmp1.zenfolio.com/f260916458.
About Gary Anderson:
Mr. Anderson is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and holds seven world championships, six world records and 16 national championships. He has won more Olympic and world championship three-position titles than any other American in history. In 1999, Anderson began a 10-year reign as Director of Civilian Marksmanship and retired in December 2009.
Today, Anderson serves as DCM Emeritus and remains a mentor for new and experienced, old and young shooters around the country through his articles and classes. Anderson’s advice is regularly featured in CMP’s junior magazine, On The Mark, and throughout the year during the clinics he leads at CMP events. In 2014, the CMP North Competition Center was renamed the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center, in honor of his years of dedication to the sport.
CMP Installs New Megalink Air Gun Targets at Ohio, Alabama Ranges
By Ashley Dugan, CMP Staff Writer
The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) is excited to announce the installation of new electronic air gun targets at its indoor air gun ranges in Ohio and Alabama!
All 80 firing points at the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center at Camp Perry, Ohio, and the 80 points at the Judith Legerski CMP Competition Center in Anniston, Ala., will now be equipped with Megalink 3D-Score targets. Installation on targets at Camp Perry was completed in November, while assembly is in progress in Anniston.
The Megalink targets boast some of the latest technological advancements in accuracy, including crossfire recognition and pellet speed measurement, using optical detection – all under the blanket of Megalink’s reputation of dependable, world-class products that are used by several of today’s leading national and international entities.
“We chose to go back to Megalink targets so that we may once again partner events with USA Shooting, with the possibility of also accommodating the NCAA and beyond,” said Dana Lynd, CMP’s Deputy Chief Programs Officer. “These targets are ISSF (International Sport Shooting Federation) approved and have a witness strip, allowing us to host more elite competitions in our facilities that require a specific level of precision technology.”
With the latest installation of Megalink targets, the CMP is already scheduled to hold the 2023 USA Shooting Winter Airgun Championships at Camp Perry in December as well as Part 3 of the Olympic Trials in Anniston in January 2024.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming these talented athletes to our facilities as we broaden our scope in the air gun community, and we look forward to creating partnerships with groups who share the same mission,” Lynd added.
The CMP is currently in discussions for the fate of the previous line of Kongsberg Target System (KTS) air gun targets, with 100 set to be stored out west for CMP Junior Camps and three-position competitions. The CMP’s line of outdoor KTS electronic targets will continue to be used at travel events, Alabama’s Talladega Marksmanship Park as well as at Camp Perry’s Petrarca Range.
The CMP Competition Centers are open for public use every Tuesday evening from 5-8 p.m. EST in Ohio and 4-7 p.m. CST in Alabama. The ranges are also open by appointment during the week, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Ohio and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Alabama. Individuals may bring their own equipment or may rent from the CMP. Learn more about the CMP’s Competition Centers at https://thecmp.org/ranges/cmp-competition-centers/.
Local Couple Finds Shared Hobby Through CMP’s Air Gun Center
By Ashley Dugan, CMP Staff Writer
You might say that Tom and Joan Kerbel met by “accident” – that is, a car accident.
One fateful day, Tom got into a wreck so bad that it, unfortunately, destroyed his lunch – so, he was forced to walk into the local Subway to have another sandwich made. There, the employee, Joan, was happy to make him another. The two ultimately hit it off, marking the beginning of a lasting relationship.
Fast forward eight years into their marriage and the two have sparked a new type of love affair that has strengthened their bond even more – air gun competition at Camp Perry.
Camp Perry in Port Clinton, Ohio, is headquarters to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) – a national organization dedicated to firearm safety and competition for all. The base also holds the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center, which is home to an indoor, 80-point electronic air gun range that has facilitated local, regional and national events for over a decade, including Olympic trials.
Outside of competition, the air gun range hosts Open Public timeslots each week, where anyone of any skill level is welcome to give air rifle or air pistol a try – even if they don’t own an air gun of their own. It’s a great place to gather with friends and family or simply to try something new.
“We like it because it’s something we can do together,” Tom said. “We enjoy it.”
Joan, a native of nearby Gibsonburg all her life, was aware of Camp Perry and had seen the activity around the National Matches each summer (an event held at Camp Perry since 1907), but never knew what it was about.
“I just knew it was some sort of shooting – I didn’t know it was people from all over the world, which is amazing,” she said.
Tom, also from the area, remembers shooting .22 rifles at Camp Perry when he was younger – even thinking back to the famous Mess Hall that was destroyed by a tornado in the late 1990s. He got away from visiting Camp Perry for a while then came back around six years ago when he was invited by a group of friends to try out the air gun range.
Though he had always shot for fun at sportsman’s clubs, he didn’t know what to expect with air gun. He was quickly entranced and soon encouraged Joan – who wasn’t too keen on the idea of shooting – to join him at the range.
“I thought to myself, ‘Great, now I have to sit and watch him shoot,’” she admitted. “I didn’t want to go.”
Her thoughts changed as she walked up to the main entrance of the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center, saying she was immediately impressed by the facility.
“We were surprised at how big and beautiful the building is,” Joan said. “When you walk in the door, the people are so helpful and so cheerful.”
Once in the range, Tom got Joan on the firing line with an air rifle, though she was nervous. Thankfully, her worries were alleviated with the help of CMP’s employees who happily assisted her during her first dive into marksmanship.
“There were people there to help us, and that felt really good,” she said. “The people at Camp Perry came over and showed me how to set everything up and how to handle the air rifle and how to absolutely be safe.”
“And I was instantly hooked,” she went on. “I just loved it.”
CMP’s trained staff, like former Division I NCAA rifle athletes Ryan Hinson (CMP junior rifle camp coordinator) and Catherine Green (North Range coordinator) have supported Joan along the way and are always at the range to help others interested in the sport. Joan also received help from CMP’s Jackie Slosnerick, who regularly competes in air pistol.
“They were very comforting,” she said of the CMP staff members. “They’re so willing to help you.”
The staff gave her tips on how to improve her shots and made the entire process easier on the newcomer.
“The people are so nice – I can’t stress that enough,” she said. “The cost isn’t bad to try it out, to rent the gun and buy pellets. It’s just a fun day.”
Joan admits she likes the lightweight air guns because it’s less compression on the ears, with no kickback as with other firearms. Tom and Joan also like the controlled temperature of the range – avoiding the elements of the outdoors.
Tom and Joan visit the air gun range every Tuesday and Thursday during the day and compete in CMP matches when they can. Since their start, they’ve now grown to participate in other marksmanship disciplines, with Joan recently moving on to the outdoor .22 rifle and .22 pistol. Tom also shoots silhouettes, long range and black powder events in his spare time and even won five air gun trophies during the 2023 National Matches.
“It was just a good year,” Tom said with a smile.
Tom and Joan became so involved with air gun that they even trained to become range officers – individuals who ensure safety on the range during events. It was while serving as a range officer during one of CMP’s competitions that Joan took notice of air pistol and became intrigued.
“I thought, ‘I’d like to try that,’” she said. “So, the next time we went to the air range, I tried air pistol, and BAM – I was hooked again.”
Joan has goals of her own in the sport – starting small by trying to reach an overall score of 400 and earning a bronze medal at the upcoming 2024 National Matches. Until then, she and Tom will continue their weekly dates at the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center, doing what they love.
“We feel blessed to have this facility so close to our residence. So many people can’t do this,” Joan said. “We’ve also met so many wonderful people through shooting. It’s amazing.”
Learn more about CMP’s Competition Centers, including open hours and other frequently asked questions, by visiting https://thecmp.org/ranges/cmp-competition-centers/.
Ohio Local Bryan Scott Earns Nationally Recognized Marksmanship Badge
By Ashley Dugan, CMP Staff Writer
Bryan Scott, 55, of Clyde, Ohio, has reached an accomplishment many set out to achieve but never attain – earning a Distinguished Rifleman Badge. It came unexpectedly through a hobby that started as a mere suggestion and blossomed into a persistent passion.
Distinguished Badges are the highest individual awards authorized by the U. S. Government for excellence in marksmanship competition. Badges, offered in a number of disciplines, are presented by the CMP after an individual receives at least 30 Excellence-In-Competition (EIC) “leg” points at qualifying matches. It’s a symbol of consistent skill on the range and is a merit that is looked upon with great reverence in the marksmanship world.
Bryan first became involved in marksmanship as an adult through shotgun trap and skeet while in the Air Force at the Tyndall Air Force Base range in Florida. He had always liked firearms and shooting, so he decided to give it a try, just to pass the time.
“I became hooked and within a year was shooting some good scores,” he said. “My best scores were a pair of 98 out of 100 clays in registered matches in both trap and skeet.”
He soon moved on to Germany and a new base for three years where, unfortunately, they were without a recreational shooting range. As quickly as it began, his shotgun career had ended.
It wasn’t until 2012 when a coworker told him about the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s (CMP) Small Arms Firing School held during the annual National Matches at Camp Perry that he got back into the sport.
“Being a resident of the local area all my life, I knew that Camp Perry held the National Matches, but other than that, I really had no idea what they entailed or how to enter or even if it was open to novice shooters,” he admitted. “I did [SAFS] for a couple years but didn’t really get involved in competitive shooting other than that.”
The Small Arms Firing School (SAFS) courses for rifle and pistol have been staple events at the National Matches since 1918, educating over 1,000 pistol and rifle participants each year. Formulated for those of any age, especially those new to marksmanship, the school is led by members of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit and other qualified civilian and military professionals. SAFS utilizes both classroom and live-fire training that covers basic instruction as well as a scope of competition skills, with an EIC match held at the conclusion of the course.
Knowing the benefits of SAFS, Bryan decided to introduce his oldest son to the course after he had enlisted in the Marines in 2015, in the hopes of preparing him for basic training. The positive experience during that trip motivated Bryan to sign up for other National Matches competitions, like the popular .22 caliber Rimfire Sporter Rifle Match.
“I really enjoyed it,” he said. “I wanted to shoot more matches, so I purchased a Rock River NM rifle at Perry in 2017.”
Though now equipped with a service rifle suitable for the many prestigious events of the National Matches, Bryan found himself stuck.
“I still knew nothing about the Distinguished Rifleman Badge and really didn’t even know where to go to shoot matches,” he said.
He decided to dive into the unknown and became a member of the nearby Sandusky County Sportsman’s Club, where member Jesse Bragg held a monthly service rifle match. It was there that Bryan met other local marksmen who told him about the Toledo Area High Power Rifle League that got together twice a month for competition, from September to March. Bryan became a regular in the League and started to build his comfort and abilities with service rifle.
At Camp Perry that next summer, he showcased his hard work by earning his first four leg points in the SAFS EIC match and followed them up by earning 10 more a few days later in the National Trophy Individual match.
Despite reaching 14 points so quickly, it took two years to earn his next points. The following year, in June of 2023, his final three points to finish the journey to his Distinguished Rifleman Badge came from the place where it all started – Camp Perry.
But just because he was finally Distinguished didn’t mean his marksmanship adventures ended. Bryan continues to compete in 30 to 35 matches a year through the Toledo League and competes in monthly matches at the Lima SABRES range. He even makes the hour drive to the Ashland Lake Gun Club’s highpower matches as often as possible, along with the two-hour drive to the Alliance Rifle Club in Malvern to take part in its fall match. If that wasn’t enough, he goes even farther to the Miami Rifle and Pistol Club near Batavia in Southern Ohio – a three-and-a-half-hour excursion.
Clearly, competitive shooting can be a big commitment. Whether its the hours in the car to spend hours on the range or the years of dedication to reach the highest honors the sport can give, Bryan doesn’t mind. For him, it’s not the accolades that keep him coming back for more – it’s the people.
“The best part of shooting is the camaraderie of the other shooters,” he said. “And, of course, I just like competing.”
Find a Local Club: If you’d like to try competing on your own, you can find CMP Affiliated Clubs local to you by visiting the CMP website at https://thecmp.org/clubs/search-clubs/.
About the Distinguished Badge Program:
To earn a Distinguished Badge, a competitor must earn 30 Excellence-In-Competition (EIC) points or more in a qualifying competition. Individuals earn the 6, 8 or 10 “leg” points based on score and a percentage of match participation, with at least one “hard” leg, worth 8 or 10 points. Currently, the CMP administers Distinguished Badges for:
- Service Rifle
- Service Pistol
- .22 Rimfire Pistol
- Junior Air Rifle
- International Shooter
- Smallbore Rifle
- Distinguished Marksman Badge
- Distinguished Air Rifle and Air Pistol
- Distinguished Service Revolver Badge
For others interested in learning more about the Distinguished Badge Program or how to earn one (or several!), find all the info on the CMP website at https://thecmp.org/competitions/distinguishedbadges/.
CMP Competition Centers Hold Special Range Events
By Ashley Dugan, CMP Staff Writer
CAMP PERRY, Ohio; ANNISTON, Ala. – To encourage new visitors to stop by and to provide regular guests with even more exciting opportunities, the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) has created special events within its state-of-the-art indoor air gun ranges to close out 2023.
The CMP’s electronic target air gun ranges are found within the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center in Ohio and the Judith Legerski CMP Competition Center in Alabama. The climate-controlled facilities host Open Public timeslots every week, where individuals of all ages and experience levels are welcome to fire upon the advanced target system for practice or entertainment.
Each Competition Center is open to the public all year long – by appointment Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Camp Perry and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Anniston. The ranges are also open every Tuesday evening from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Camp Perry and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Anniston, with no appointment needed.
The special events are set during the Tuesday evening range times at both ranges and include:
- November 14, BOTH LOCATIONS – Turkey Shoot: Match will start at 6 p.m. in Ohio and 5 p.m. in Alabama. Course of fire will be sighters for practice, followed by single shots for record. The highest value shot taken will receive a point. First person to collect 10 points gets a whole turkey, while the next two to earn 10 points get pies!
Air guns utilize compressed air or CO2 to propel lead pellets downrange. The lightweight air pistols and air rifles produce little sound and no kickback – making them perfect introductory firearms. The CMP encourages those individuals who have never fired an air gun before to tour the ranges and to try the worldwide sport performed at the college level and beyond, including the Olympic stage.
As always, CMP staff members will be onsite to answer questions and to ensure a safe environment for all.
Don’t own an air gun? The CMP offers several air guns to rent for use at our ranges. Participants must supply their own pellets or may purchase them at the range. Individuals who own personal air guns may use them, as long as they are under 600 fps. All personal air guns will be inspected by our range staff before they can be used. The CMP also encourages those with disabilities to attend, with spring stands and other equipment available for use.
Outside of these special 2023 events, juniors in Ohio are able to take part in the Junior Rifle Club – open to all beginning youth who show an interest in air rifle! The club is led by former Division I NCAA rifle athletes, with only the cost of pellets needed to participate (available at the range). Equipment is provided by the CMP.
To learn more about the CMP Competition Centers, visit https://thecmp.org/air/cmp-competition-centers/. We hope you’ll join us!
CMP Offers Junior Air Rifle Training to Youth, Taught by Former NCAA Athletes
By Ashley Dugan, CMP Staff Writer
CAMP PERRY, Ohio – After last year’s successful run, the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) will again host a youth club focused on introducing the shooting sports (three-position sporter air rifle) to local juniors – the Junior Rifle Club. The 2023 club will present the same beneficial training sessions as in the past, though restructured to better accommodate those interested in participating.
Air rifle is a sport open to a wide range of individuals. With no recoil, air rifles are a perfect introductory firearm to new marksmen and women, a safe activity for those with disabilities and a fun way for older adults to stay active. Dedicated youth athletes are even eligible for college scholarships (with many schools hosting NCAA rifle programs) or trips to international competitions held around the world – including the Olympic Games.
CMP’s Junior Rifle Club, intended for youth ages 10 and above, will operate through a semester format, with the fall session beginning Tuesday, Oct. 3. Each training will be held within the 80-point electronic target indoor air gun range at the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center – located on the grounds of the Camp Perry National Guard Training Base, just west of Port Clinton.
Those involved in the Junior Rifle Club will experience 10 weeks of instruction, covering:
- Firearm safety,
- Basics of the sport,
- Strategies to compete successfully,
- Tips on becoming a well-rounded athlete and
- More information on how to take air rifle skills and apply them toward college scholarships, travel or even the Olympic stage.
Each training is led by former NCAA Division I rifle athletes, including CMP’s junior rifle camp coordinator Ryan Hinson, who was an athlete at Morehead State University, along with CMP program coordinator Alana Kelly, who was previously a member of the University of Mississippi team.
At the conclusion of the 10-week semester, participants in the Junior Rifle Club will compete in a real air rifle competition against other youth athletes from across the country. Participants will also receive a special shirt designed just for Junior Rifle Club members.
Don’t own an air rifle? No problem. The CMP will provide all equipment, with participants only responsible for the cost of rifle pellets available at the range.
If you’d like to become involved in the Junior Rifle Club or if you have questions, contact Ryan Hinson at email@example.com or call 419-635-2141 ext. 707. You may also, simply, attend the open public range session held on Tuesday, Oct. 3, at 5 p.m. at the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center.
Additional Open Marksmanship Times. For all ages and experience levels, the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center is open by appointment only Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., along with open periods every Tuesday evening from 5 to 8 p.m. (no appointment necessary). The CMP Competition Center is also available for local groups to hold meetings or conferences.
For questions or to make an appointment at the Camp Perry location, please call Catherine Green at (419) 635-2141, ext. 704.
Outside of the range, guests to the facility may also browse the filled displays of authentic Olympic and other memorabilia from the career of celebrated American marksman, Gary Anderson, or shop the retail center for equipment and memorabilia needs. Learn more about the CMP’s air gun competition centers at https://thecmp.org/ranges/cmp-competition-centers/.
CMP’s Gary Anderson Invitational Junior Air Rifle Event Returns in December
By Ashley Dugan, CMP Staff Writer
CAMP PERRY, Ohio; ANNISTON, Ala. – Registration is now open for the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s (CMP) junior air rifle event, the Gary Anderson Invitational. The annual match is set for Dec. 1-2, 2023, at the Judith Legerski CMP Competition Center in Alabama, and Dec. 2 only at the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center in Ohio.
The Gary Anderson Invitational is a sporter and precision air rifle competition, designed for junior schools, clubs and individuals of all experience levels in a 3×20 course of fire – 20 shots at kneeling, prone and standing positions. Along with sporter and precision athletes, adaptive junior competitors are welcome to compete in this event. Additionally, a four-member team event will be held concurrently with the individual match.
The top three competitors in sporter and precision, determined from 3×20 qualifying scores plus a 10-shot final fired by all participating athletes, will receive medallions and plaques. Gold, silver and bronze medals will also be awarded to those earning achievement cut-scores during the event. Top teams will earn prize money and engraved awards.
For more information about the Gary Anderson Invitational, including a link to registration, visit https://thecmp.org/cmp-matches/gary-anderson-invitational-air-rifle-championship/.
About Gary Anderson:
Gary Anderson is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and holds seven world championships, six world records and 16 national championships. He has won more Olympic and world championship three-position titles than any other American in history. In 1999, Anderson began a 10-year reign as Director of Civilian Marksmanship and retired in December 2009. Today, he serves as DCM Emeritus and remains a mentor for new and experienced marksmen around the country.
About CMP’s Air Gun Ranges:
The 20,000-square-foot Judith Legerski CMP Competition Center in Anniston is home to an 80-point air gun range equipped with CMP’s own electronic targets, powered by Kongsberg Target Systems. The target line instantly displays shot placements to allow for fast and accurate scoring, while large monitors overhead give spectators the chance to keep up with scores while observing from the stands.
The Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center at Camp Perry includes an open reception and common area, fully equipped classrooms, cylinder filling room and CMP retail store, along with projection screens and flat-screen television sets throughout the building. Display cases around the facility contain authentic memorabilia from the career of Gary Anderson, leading to an 80-point air gun range that replicates the Judith Legerski CMP Competition Center range. Be sure to check out the larger-than-life mural located within the range that can only be found at Camp Perry!
Learn more about the CMP’s air gun ranges at https://thecmp.org/ranges/cmp-competition-centers/.
Club Feature: Ohio’s Pickaway Diabolos
By Ashley Dugan, CMP Staff Writer
For being a small patch of Ohio, Pickaway County has a lot to offer. Part of the Columbus metropolitan area, its home to a world-famous pumpkin show, beautiful state parks and, for young firearm enthusiasts, its own marksmanship club.
The Pickaway Diabolos is a youth-orientated organization located in the Everts Center in Circleville, Ohio – Pickaway’s county seat. The Diabolos club was started in 2013, simply, to give local youth the opportunity to compete in the shooting sports.
“There was the local 4-H and Boy Scouts that had basic introduction and safety shooting programs, which is good, but I felt that more opportunity to compete was needed,” said Pat Cherry, club leader and instructor.
He personally invested in several rifles and equipment to get the program started and since then has relied on supportive donations from the National Rifle Association Foundation and MidwayUSA Foundation grants.
“American Legion Post 134, VFW post 7941 and Hilltop Sportsmen’s club have been generous to us, as have the Pickaway County Sportsmen’s Inc., which gives us range time and equipment use,” he added.
The Diabolos host one 10-meter air gun range with seven firing points that’s rented by the hour. This past summer, the club teamed up with Pickaway County Sportsmen’s Inc. and moved some of its more experienced competitors into outdoor conventional prone and three-position .22 smallbore shooting. The club has also considered starting an outdoor summer smallbore 60 shot and Dewar Course league.
Two female Diabolos have already done particularly well in the smallbore discipline, including 13-year-old Avery Hines who placed in the Central Ohio Rifle League Regional and Ohio State Championship. Additionally, 16-year-old Anna McComb won the Ohio Junior Trophy in the Ohio State Championship. Both the Regional and State Championship were fired on Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) electronic targets – technology the Diabolos hope to one day own once funding is secured.
Though the Pickaway Diabolos club is geared toward youth, it’s open to debilitated marksmen as well, including disabled veterans, with the potential to involve interested adults – but only if Pat approves.
“Adults are too much trouble,” he joked. “Also, there are other adult clubs in the county.”
The Diabolos currently hold 20 juniors, with 14 traveling to various events at the Germania Singing & Sport Society in Columbus and CMP matches at Camp Perry.
Over the years, many of its members have not only come from far reaches of Pickaway County but from across Central Ohio, with some traveling from as far as Bexley (33 mi), Delaware (63 mi), Galina (52 mi), Pickerington (25 mi), Springfield (73 mi) and Xenia (63 mi).
Several Diabolo alumni have gone on to bigger stages, including one who joined The Ohio State University rifle team and is now an engineer in the Pickaway County Engineers Office and another who fired for the Akron Zips rifle team and is an ER Nurse. Other careers from past members include an Army Doctor, an accomplished musician as well as an individual studying agriculture engineering on a high-tech farm.
“Most all our members graduate as National Honor Society members,” Pat said. “We believe in the journey being as important as the destination. The self-control and self-discipline required in shooting carries to other endeavors. Many of our members have multiple interests.”
Avery Hines has a small herd of cattle and a desire to be a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, specializing in large animals, and likes to hunt – with several deer and turkey to her credit. There was even a Diabolo who designed an electric-powered pellet rifle for a high school science fair, which earned him a full-ride scholarship in engineering.
“I find that all of our young members are unique, and those that stick with it seem to do very well,” Pat said. “One of recent members that stands out is Mr. Tyler Goodwin. Aside from being a good shot while in high school, Tyler attended fire department training, as his father was a Battalion Fire Chief in Pickerington (Ohio). Of his mother’s family, her father and brothers were all fireman, and she operates the local fire museum.”
“Tyler was also an outstanding student and was given a congregational scholarship to the military academy of choice,” Pat went on. “Wishing to be a helicopter pilot, he chose to take an Army ROTC scholarship at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in which he graduated from and has been commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant and assigned to Army Helicopter School.”
With an already remarkable legacy, the Pickaway Diabolos are currently accepting new members, so long as the individuals, “show the maturity to follow direction,” Pat said.
Keep up with the Pickaway Diabolos through their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pickawaydiabolos/.
If you’d like to find your local club, visit the CMP Competition Tracker Page at https://ct.thecmp.org/app/v1/index.php?do=clubSearch to become involved.
Have an article to share or want to highlight your CMP Affiliated Club? Send us your photos, reports and articles to highlight in The First Shot – email firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you.
A Note from the CMP: At the CMP, we are not only dedicated to an increasing number of those involved in marksmanship within our own programs but are also devoted to supporting the efforts of those who are creating their own legacies in their own ways. Our Club News articles are our way of displaying the successes of our clubs, in the hopes of encouraging others to take the same respectable paths – both in marksmanship and in life. We are proud of our clubs for all their endeavors and are honored to show them off within our news feed.
Register Now for CMP’s Fall Monthly Air Gun Matches
By Ashley Dugan, CMP Staff Writer
CAMP PERRY, Ohio; ANNISTON, Ala. – The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) Monthly Air Gun Matches schedule, a collection of air rifle and air pistol competitions for a variety of ages and experience levels, are open for registration. Remaining events for 2023 are set for Sept. 9 (this date includes a Smallbore Match) in Ohio and Sept. 16 in Alabama, as well as Oct. 14 and Nov. 18 at both locations.
NEW FOR THE OHIO SEPT 9 MATCH! This match will include a Smallbore 3×20 and Final! Competitors will only be able to fire in the Air Rifle 3×20 or the Smallbore 3×20, with both matches beginning at 11:30 a.m. The 60 Shot events will remain in their 8 a.m. timeslot. Those who have already signed up and would like to update their matches to include smallbore, please contact Catherine Green at email@example.com with any changes or log-in to Competition Tracker to update your matches.
Events offered at the Monthly Matches include:
- Junior 3×10
- 60 Shot Air Rifle Standing
- 60 Shot Air Pistol
- 3×20 (3P) Air Rifle for Adult and Juniors
Top scorers at each range are recognized with special Monthly Match medals. Competitors may also earn EIC points toward a Distinguished Air Rifle, Air Pistol or Junior Distinguished Badge.
The Alabama Monthly Matches are held within the Judith Legerski CMP Competition Center in Anniston, while Ohio’s events are at the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center on the grounds of the Camp Perry National Guard Training Facility in Port Clinton. Both locations are equipped with 80-points of CMP’s own indoor electronic target line.
For more on the Monthly Matches and registration info, visit https://thecmp.org/ranges/cmp-competition-centers/monthly-air-rifle-and-air-pistol-matches/.
Note: CMP’s online payment system is being updated and currently not operational, so all payments will need to be made by phone at 419-635-2141 or paid on the day of the event.
About CMP Competition Centers:
The Judith Legerski CMP Competition Center in Alabama includes the CMP South Store, which is fully stocked with equipment and memorabilia needs. The Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center in Ohio also includes a store and features cases of authentic Olympic and other memorabilia from the career of celebrated American marksman, Gary Anderson, for observers to enjoy.
Each of CMP’s indoor air gun facilities holds an 80-point range, equipped with innovative electronic targets. The venues regularly host local, state and national competitions as well as Open Marksmanship, which allows visitors of virtually any age and experience level to test out air rifles or air pistols with the guidance of qualified CMP staff members.
To learn more, visit https://thecmp.org/air/cmp-competition-centers/.
CMP Offers New Laser Shot Simulator, Other Open Activities This Fall
By Ashley Dugan, CMP Staff Writer
CAMP PERRY, Ohio – Those searching for unique activities during the fall months should look to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP), headquartered on the grounds of Camp Perry near Port Clinton. Dedicated to firearm safety and training for all, the CMP has designed a variety of competitive and learning opportunities available to the public that aren’t just for practical purposes – they’re also fun!
Indoor Air Gun Range and Olympic Displays:
The Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center, located on Camp Perry, is the perfect location for visitors of any age to explore. Open to the public each week, the facility houses an indoor 80-point electronic air gun range formatted for the use of both air rifles and air pistols. The air guns are propelled by compressed air, expelling virtually no kick back and little sound, making them ideal for young and old participants alike. Guests may bring their own air guns (as long as they are .177 cal. with muzzle velocities of 600 fps or less) or rent from the CMP. Outside of the range, the building offers several displays of Olympic memorabilia from the career of two-time gold medalist, Gary Anderson, as well as other amenities. The facility may also be rented for parties, group building sessions and more! Visit https://thecmp.org/ranges/cmp-competition-centers/ for more information.
Laser Shot Simulators:
The latest installment to the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center is the Laser Shot Simulator – essentially, a hands-on video game for firearms. The simulator offers many options including rifles, pistols and shotguns, which act as the controller of the game. Simply point the adapted firearm to the game projection screen and choose a course. The wide selection features steel target simulations and other entertaining challenges in a controlled and safe environment. The simulator programs are even capable of being used for civilian training, military qualifications and law enforcement purposes – but, mostly, they’re just a lot of fun!
Open Air Gun Competitions:
All year long, the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center hosts a number of competitive opportunities for anyone to enjoy. Such CMP matches open to those of any skill level (from beginner to expert) include the Monthly Air Gun Matches, hosted each month, as well as several Postal events like the Aces Postal and CMP Postal. The Postal matches are fired upon official targets and submitted to be compared amongst others competing in the same match from around the country. Those in JROTC programs may also enter the annual JROTC Postal, which moves on to Regional and National levels. For junior athletes, the Gary Anderson Invitational is a staple event during the air gun season. If you aren’t interested in competing but are curious about the sport, all competitions are open for viewing, free of charge!
Junior Rifle Club:
Youth local to the Camp Perry area may choose to join the Junior Rifle Club, designed as an introduction to the sport of air rifle. Each training session is led by former NCAA Division I rifle athletes, with fundamental instruction on firearm safety, basics of the sport and tips on becoming a well-rounded athlete. There is no initial cost to join, with equipment provided by the CMP in introductory weeks! For more information, please email Ryan Hinson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you aren’t ready to head indoors just yet, Petrarca Range on Camp Perry is an outdoor area open to the public each week through November. The range includes 10 electronic rifle targets set up at 100 yards (though capable of simulating up to 600 yards) and 5 cardboard pistol targets set at 50 ft. or 25/50 yards. Guests may bring their own firearms to use for $10 per hour ($25 for 3 hours), up to a .30-06 ammo caliber. The range will also host a Garand/Springfield/Vintage and Modern Military rifle match on Sept. 23, 2023. Visit the CMP website for registration info!
Whether a seasoned marksmen or purely trying something new, the CMP has so much to offer at Camp Perry! Learn about these opportunities and more by visiting the CMP website at https://thecmp.org/.
Petrarca Range Open on Mondays to the Public
By Sheri Trusty, CMP Feature Writer
Each summer, competitors from around the country travel to Camp Perry in Port Clinton, Ohio, for the National Matches, which are open to the public. But many people don’t realize that marksmen of any skill level are welcome to shoot at the Petrarca Range and the National Matches. Petrarca Range, located on the grounds of Camp Perry, is a covered range open on Mondays to the public and features electronic targets equipped with the most innovative technology on the market.
“Petrarca Range is for civilians to learn, to practice, and to have fun,” said Petrarca Chief Range Officer Mike Conrad.
Petrarca Range shooting stations are positioned at the edge of bay doors which open to give individuals access to the range’s 10 electronic rifle targets. The targets feature Kongsberg Target System (KTS) technology which relies on acoustics to determine shot location. Scoring is instantly displayed on user-friendly, touch screen monitors at your side.
“There are microphones in each corner of the target. The microphones pick up the sound and triangulate where the shot is,” Conrad said. “There are no scoring rings. This eliminates the need for someone with a spotting scope.”
The KTS technology-enhanced target system is one reason Jim Sherman travels over an hour from his suburban Cleveland home several times a month to shoot at Petrarca.
“It’s nice because scoring is really fast and very easy. You just look at the monitor. That’s important because I shoot from all positions, and I don’t want to get out of position to look at my score,” Sherman said. “You’re not sending someone down to the pit to constantly change targets, and you’re not dependent on a spotter. Depending on a spotter makes shooting more complex, and Petrarca takes all that away.”
Philip Edwards of Marblehead learned to shoot while serving in the Vietnam War, but his wife, Joyce Edwards, was new to guns when they began shooting air rifles at the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center next door to Petrarca. Joyce took to air rifles instantly but was hesitant to move on to bigger guns at Petrarca. That soon changed.
“I could tell when she took her first shot at Petrarca with her .22 that she was hooked,” Philip said.
Joyce shoots with enough precision, Philip said, “to shoot a golf ball at 100 yards all day long.” Within the comfort of the Petrarca Range, Joyce quickly transformed from a timid competitor to a medal winner. Philip and Joyce began shooting at Petrarca in 2017, and in 2019, they won gold and silver medals respectively in smallbore bench at the National Matches.
“We’ve been so blessed with the staff at Petrarca. They are so amazing, so nice, and so accommodating. They understand that shooting is a new thing for some people,” Joyce said.
But the range is just as suitable for seasoned marksman like Philip. The range offers some protection from the elements while simultaneously exposing marksmen to the difficulties they present.
“I like the range because it’s a challenge. Sometimes it’s raining, sometimes it’s snowing, and sometimes it’s windy. It’s a challenge because it’s never consistent,” Philip said. “You have to figure out how to shoot in any circumstance.”
The CMP will host a M1 Garand, Springfield, Vintage Military & Modern Military (GSMM) Match on June 24, with the first relays beginning at 9 a.m. The competition is open to the public. Cost for one GSMM match is $40 for adults and $30 for juniors. Two matches cost $70 for adults and $50 for juniors. Three matches cost $100 for adults and $70 for juniors. CMP Achievement Pins will be awarded to winners.
The GSMM Match will be governed by CMP competition rules which can be found at https://thecmp.org/competitions/cmp-competitions-rulebooks/. For more information on the match, call CMP Competitions at 419-635-2141, ext. 714, or visit https://ct.thecmp.org/app/v1/index.php?do=match&task=edit&match=24146.
“The GSMM Match is like the big range match but scaled down. They’ll shoot from all three positions (prone, prone from standing and standing),” Conrad said.
Petrarca Range is open to the public on most Mondays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., but individuals should check the schedule before traveling to Camp Perry. The range will be open on various days/times during the National Matches in July and August. In addition to the electronic rifle targets, the range also offers cardboard pistol targets. Range fee is $10 per hour or $25 for three hours. Only ammo no larger than .30-06 can be fired on the range.
Sherman is grateful to have access to the KTS technology-enhanced electronic targets.
“A lot of ranges are switching to these targets. It’s the wave of the future,” Sherman said. “It’s a great time-saver. As a marksman, it’s wonderful to have instant feedback. It’s worth the hour and a quarter drive.”
Philip and Joyce said it is not just the technology and challenge of the range that bring them to Petrarca several times a month. They also come for the camaraderie.
“It’s more than shooting,” Philip said. “It’s about visiting with friends. We talk about shooting and current events and just all kinds of things.”
For more information on Petrarca Range, call Mike Conrad at 419-635-2141, ext. 753 or visit https://thecmp.org/ranges/cmp-targets-at-petrarca-range/.
CMP to Host Special Air Range Events with Numerous Local Prizes
For those looking for an entertaining night out with friends, family or maybe even on your own, the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) has created a lineup of exciting air gun events for everyone to enjoy – all set at the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center in Ohio and the Judith Legerski CMP Competition Center in Alabama. Whether an expert marksman or someone who’s never tried the sport before, we have a spot for you on the firing line.
The competition centers feature 80-point indoor electronic air gun ranges that regularly hold local, state and national events. Each week, the climate-controlled facilities host Open Public timeslots, where individuals of all ages are welcome to fire upon the advanced target system for practice or fun. The range is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. (Ohio) and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. (Alabama) and by appointment Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Ohio) and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Alabama).
Special Events scheduled for 2023 include:
- Date Night Fun!: Come in any time in February to participate in our couples team match – an air rifle event featuring a supported rest (bench) for stabilization. Match fee is $10 per couple.
- March Madness Match, March 16: Competition begins at 6 p.m. Participants face off, with the winner moving on to the next bracket. Match fee is $5 per person.
- Elimination Match, April 18: Competition begins at 6 p.m. Guests fire shots, with the lowest score eliminated until a winner is crowned. Match fee is $5 per person.
Winners of each event will be awarded prizes to local establishments!
If you don’t own an air gun, don’t worry. The CMP has several lightweight, easy-to-use air guns for loan. Sporter class air rifles are free of charge with entry fee, while the National Match Air Rifles (NMAR) are available to rent for a reasonable fee. Participants must supply their own pellets or may purchase them at the range. Individuals who own personal air guns may use them, as long as they are under 600 fps.
The simplicity of bench rest style shooting allows safe accessibility for all, so the CMP encourages those with disabilities to also attend.
Visitors to the range must complete a one-time CMP Eligibility Affidavit and a Liability Waiver, as well as attend a short safety briefing before reaching the firing line. Children under the age of 18 must have a parental consent form signed. CMP staff members are always onsite to answer questions and to ensure a safe environment for all.
The Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center is located at 1000 Lawrence Rd., Building 5042, Port Clinton, Ohio, 43452. The Judith Legerski CMP Competition Center is located at 1470 Sentinel Dr., Anniston, Ala. Learn more about each range by visiting https://thecmp.org/air/cmp-competition-centers/ or give us a call at (419) 635-2141.