Local Rifleman Sets New Record, Claims Win at 2015 National Rimfire Sporter Match
August 21, 2015Civilian Marksmanship Program▸The First Shot▸Local Rifleman Sets New Record, Claims Win at 2015 National Rimfire Sporter Match
By Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer
CAMP PERRY, Ohio – Talented marksman, Ted James, 36, of Woodville, Ohio, was the overall winner of the Tactical Class during the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s (CMP) Rimfire Sporter Match – recently held during the 2015 National Matches at Camp Perry. James bested a field of 65 competitors in the class that helped make up a group of over 300 participants overall.
During the match, held on Aug. 1, competitors fire .22 Rimfire Sporter rifles in three different classes: O-Class (open sights), T-Class (scoped) and Tactical. Fired at 50 and 25 yards in six stages, the event is perfect for introducing new marksmen to the realm of competitive shooting as well as uniquely challenging experienced shooters.
In the Tactical Class, James fired an outstanding score of 596-37x (37 center shots) out of a possible 600 points. The score was a new National Record for the Rimfire Sporter Match – not bad considering this was James’s first year competing in the Tactical Class.
“Immediately after, I knew I was above the record but didn’t think my score would hold up all day – it seems every year the scores just keep going up,” he said.
He also posted 597-44x in the T-Class, but again didn’t feel his score would be good enough to beat the rest of the competitors on the firing line. Though his confidence was shaken, the excellent score actually landed James in second place in the class.
“I left the match after that, and now I regret not sticking around for the awards,” he said.
Though he usually shoots in the O-Class as his second choice (always firing in more than one class), he was recording such great scores during his Tactical practice, comparable to his T-Class scores, that he decided this year to compete in the class at Camp Perry. And, evidently, it turned out to be a good decision.
A rifleman most of his life, James began shooting when he was around 10 years old – mostly playing with .22’s with his dad on the rifle range he had built at their house. His dad was a member of a local sportsman’s club where he would take James shooting for fun and was also an avid hunter.
“I remember always looking forward to fall when he would take off to go deer hunting,” James said. “Even though I didn’t get to go along then, it was exciting for me because I knew it meant I’d get to help sight in his deer rifles.”
When James became older, he began to compete in the matches held at his dad’s club – something that he feels helped him develop skills both in riflery and life.
“Whether it’s shooting or something else, I believe healthy competition is a great way to further one’s skills,” he said. “Competition provides incentive to improve, breeds ingenuity and makes those serious enough about it to constantly search for new and better ways of doing things.”
His first taste of the CMP and Camp Perry came when he attended the DCM Clinic when he was in his early teens. There, the class fired M1 Garands (sold by the CMP) at 200 yards. After that, James grew a desire to come back year after year to compete.
Over the years, James has fired in many CMP matches, such as the organization’s popular John C. Garand Match, where competitors fire genuine WWII Garand rifles, and the growing Vintage Sniper Match, which combines the art of using scoped vintage sniper rifles with the challenge of communicating in a two-man team. He’s also fired in some of CMP’s various service rifle matches.
In addition to his experience with CMP Games Matches, James was involved with a traveling three-position indoor smallbore league years ago.
“That’s something I’d like to get involved in again, but pesky things like work keep getting in the way,” he joked.
As for the Rimfire Sporter Match, he’s fired in the event for the last three or four years and has done a little better each time. His first year, James took second place in the T-Class and third the next. He has also done reasonably well in the O-Class.
“Rimfire Sporter is one of the easier disciplines to get involved in, equipment wise, yet remains challenging enough to maintain interest,” he said. “The rifles used are also closer to the type that are more commonly used afield.”
Living in a rural area with lots of open space has also been beneficial to James’s marksmanship ability over the years – allowing him to practice in his own backyard in Woodville, as well as gathering with friends at a private range.
Along with practicing outside on a real range, James also suggests, “No one should underestimate the value of dry fire practice and working on positioning itself – things that you can do right in your living room.”
For those who may not be fortunate enough to perform live fire practice in their backyards, The Sandusky County Sportsman’s Club, located just east of Gibsonburg on S.R. 600, provides several rifle and pistol ranges from 50-500 yards – with reasonable membership fees. The Oak Harbor Conservation Club, which offers an indoor facility, is also another option.
“I would always like to see more people compete,” he said. “Anyone from this area who is interested in the shooting sports should consider competing at Camp Perry. People from all over the world converge here every summer, and for us locals to not come and experience it just doesn’t seem right.”
For those who may be interested in getting involved in competitive shooting but may be apprehensive, James suggests starting out small – local matches, lots of practice, setting goals and competing against yourself, etc. Sooner or later, they’ll be able to see for themselves that there’s nothing to be afraid of – and that marksmanship competitors are some of the most encouraging athletes, even of their opponents, in the sporting world.
“I can’t think of another sport where the participants are as helpful towards one another as they are in shooting,” he said.
The National Rifle and Pistol Matches are held at Camp Perry every July-August. The rest of the year, the world-class Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center, located at Camp Perry, hosts an array of air rifle and pistol events inside its state-of-the-art air gun range. The range contains 80 electronic firing points as well as Olympic and other authentic memorabilia from the unparalleled career of two-time gold medalist, Gary Anderson.
The public is welcome every Tuesday and Thursday for Open Public Nights, where men, women and children of all ages may bring their own air guns or rent from the CMP. For more information on the CMP and the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center, visit www.THECMP.org.