This is one of the fastest stages at the match, with large 18×24-inch plates that are fairly close. However, it’s a mistake to not respect this stage, because the times are so fast, one mistake can really hurt. Rob Leatham knows all about the pitfalls of Smoke & Hope from his career at Steel Challenge, and in the video below he runs the new Springfield Armory XD(M) 5.25 Competition like a boss on this stage.
Rob finished the match with a 95.57, which was good enough to bring home a win in ESP and place him near the top of the overall standings as well. The new Springfield Armory XD(M) 5.25 looks like it’s going to be a force to be reckoned with in the competition shooting world, and I’m looking forward to seeing it in action at even more matches.
In February 1903, an amendment to the War Department Appropriations Bill established the National Board for the Promotion of Rifle Practice (NBPRP). This government advisory board became the predecessor to today’s Corporation for the Promotion of Rifle Practice and Firearms Safety, Inc. that now governs the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP). The 1903 legislation also established the National Matches, commissioned the National Trophy and provided funding to support the Matches. This historic legislation grew out of a desire to improve military marksmanship and national defense preparedness. President Theodore Roosevelt, Secretary of War Elihu Root and NRA President General Bird Spencer were among the most important supporters of this act.
Pursuant to this Congressional authorization, Army General Order No. 61 was published in April 1903. It directed that the first “National Trophy Match” would be fired at Sea Girt, New Jersey on 8-9 September of that year. Teams of 12 representing the Army, military departments of the states, Navy, Marine Corps and state National Guard organizations competed for the new National “Dogs of War” Trophy. The new National Matches expanded to include their first pistol events in 1904. The National Matches moved to Camp Perry in 1907 and with few exceptions, Camp Perry has been the home of the National Matches ever since.
The National Matches celebrated their 100th anniversary in 2003 and the 100th anniversary of their first coming to Camp Perry in 2007. In the 107 years since the inauguration of the National Matches, they have been organized 89 times. Peak attendance for the matches was in 1962 when the matches were supported and conducted by the Department of Defense and 7,762 competitors participated. Defense Department support was withdrawn after the 1967 matches. The NRA and a cadre of volunteers successfully continued the matches, although with significantly reduced participation. Subsequent to that and until 1995, the National Board for the Promotion of Rifle Practice secured federal appropriations to partially support the matches, but federal support for marksmanship created continuing political controversy. As a result, the U. S. Congress privatized the Civilian Marksmanship Program and the National Matches in 1996, while simultaneously enacting federal legislation that mandated the continuation of the National Matches under CMP leadership (Title 36 USC, §40725-40727). Today, the National Matches include the CMP National Trophy Pistol and Rifle Matches, the Pistol and Rifle Small Arms Firing Schools, CMP Games rifle events and the NRA National Pistol, Smallbore Rifle and Highpower Rifle Championships. The matches are now conducted by a partnership of the CMP, NRA and Ohio National Guard. In recent years, attendance has grown, with combined participation in the 2008 CMP and NRA National Matches events exceeding 6,500 shooters.
CAMP PERRY—Home of the National Matches
National Match, Camp Perry 1920
In the years following the first National Matches at Sea Girt in 1903, shooting leaders struggled to find suitable sites for the Matches. The Matches were at Fort Riley, Kansas in 1904 and returned to Sea Girt in 1905 and 1906. Neither facility, however, was adequate to support growing participation in the matches. A permanent home was needed. General Ammon Critchfield, who became the Adjutant General of Ohio in 1903, selected the present Camp Perry site as a potential home for the matches, obtained an appropriation from the Ohio Legislature to start construction in 1905 and established Camp Perry in 1906. In January 1907, a proposal from the Ohio Rifle Association to make Camp Perry the home of the National Matches was accepted by the NBPRP Executive Committee, which asked the Department of War to transfer the matches to the new Ohio State Rifle Range. The ranges were named “Camp Perry” in honor of Commodore Oliver Perry, whose 1813 sea victory over the British took place in Lake Erie just offshore from the new site. The 2007 National Matches celebrated 100 years of National Matches at Camp Perry in 2007.
CMP National Trophy Pistol Matches
The National Trophy Rifle and Pistol Matches trace their history to the 1903 legislation that established the first National Matches and appropriated funds to acquire the National “Dogs of War” Trophy, which continues to be one of the most prestigious team trophies in U. S. marksmanship. When the National Trophy Matches expanded to include pistol events, the first trophy awarded was the General Custer Trophy that annually goes to the National Trophy Individual Pistol Champion. The Custer Trophy was first contested in 1904. The Gold Cup National Trophy Team Trophy was initially awarded in 1920. Today, the National Trophy Pistol Matches provide service pistol national championship competitions that preserve the finest traditions of military marksmanship in the United States. A total of 25 different National Trophies are now awarded during the National Trophy Pistol Matches.
CMP National Trophy Rifle Matches
The National Trophy Rifle Matches trace their history to the 1903 legislation that established the first National Matches and appropriated funds to acquire the National “Dogs of War” Trophy. This trophy continues to be one of the most prestigious trophies that can be won through rifle shooting in the United States. Today, the National Trophy Rifle Matches provide national championship competitions in service rifle events that preserve the finest traditions of military marksmanship competition in the United States. A total of 36 different National Trophies are awarded during the eight days of competition that now comprise National Trophy Rifle Week.
CMP Games Rifle Matches
Twelve years ago, the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) inaugurated the John C. Garand Match and, with it, an exciting new concept in target competition. The Garand Match is a unique competition where shooters fire older “as-issued” military rifles over a course of fire that makes target shooting accessible to thousands of shooters, many of whom do not participate in traditional target competitions. The Garand Match allows shooters to reenact military and marksmanship history and features camaraderie and a relaxed, fun-filled, yet challenging experience. In response to the growing popularity of the Garand Match, the CMP established other competitions of the same type that now include the Springfield Rifle Match, Vintage Military Rifle Match, Rimfire Sporter Match and M1 Carbine Match. Together, these matches have come to be known as “CMP Games Matches.”
I had the opportunity this weekend to swing by the NRA’s Whittington Center located just outside Raton, New Mexico. To say that the Whittington Center is one of the finest shooting facilities in the United States would be an understatement. The grounds are beautiful, the scenery absolutely breathtaking, and the amenities top notch.
Founded in 1973, the crown jewel of shooting facilities anywhere in North America, the 33,000-acre Whittington Center is home to the NRA’s finest events. Located near beautiful Raton, New Mexico, the Whittington Center hosts many competitive, educational, and recreational activities in all shooting disciplines. This world-class hunting venue provides shooters with the finest and most comprehensive facility in America year-round.
The Whittington Center Gun Club offers its members a variety of shooting ranges, including ranges for smallbore rifle, high power rifle, black powder, trap, skeet, sporting clays, hunter sight-in, PPC, smallbore rifle silhouette, highpower rifle silhouette, long range pistol silhouette, hunter pistol silhouette, benchrest, and practical pistol.
For young men and women, NRA Whittington hosts an annual Adventure Camp. It offers the chance of a lifetime for youths to learn about firearms and experience the thrill of tracking and stalking big game. All activities are under the guidance of the most skilled firearms instructors and outdoor specialists in the nation. Situated on some of the wildest country left in the West, there is no summer camp experience quite like it in the world.
Imagine yourself in wild mountain country near Raton, New Mexico, where cougars still roam and the skies are so wide you can almost see back in time. Back to the days when Ute raiding parties rode over the mesas. Back to when legendary mountain men like Jim Bridger and Kit Carson knew every trail between Raton and Santa Fe. Puffs of black powder smoke drifted into the clear mountain skies as buckskin-clad hunters brought down mule deer and elk, antelope and bear. These men were marksmen, some of the finest America has ever known. Their very lives depended on shooting and wilderness skills. Bridger and Carson are gone into the pages of history, but their spirit lives on. You’ll find it in the wild Rocky Mountains of northern New Mexico, where the NRA Whittington Adventure keeps the legends of our frontier history alive.
You Can Experience America’s Wild Frontier
How would you like to experience some of the wildest country left in the West, learning to hunt, shoot, and sharpen your outdoor skills? This is exactly what the NRA Whittington Adventure offers; a chance for young men and women to learn about firearms and experience the thrill of tracking and stalking big game, all under the guidance of the most skilled firearms instructors and outdoor specialists in the nation. There is no summer camp experience quite like it in the world.
Where Shooting & Outdoor Adventure Come Together
The NRA Whittington Adventure instructors will teach you the fundamentals of pistol, rifle, muzzleloading, and shotgun shooting skills with safety always foremost in mind. They’ll introduce you to the fine art of competitive shooting, rifle and pistol silhouette, and bullseye disciplines plus skeet and trap shotgun savvy. Or, how about learning to shoot black powder muzzleloading rifles, much like those the mountain men used? How about firing high power rifles at targets 1,000 yards away? Or even the thrill of a deserted mining town in Van Houten Canyon?
Experience the Outdoors in the Shadow of the Rockies
All good outdoorsmen know the fundamental skills crucial to the hunt. During the NRA Whittington Adventure you’ll learn more than just the basics. You’ll learn skills like wilderness map reading, how to prepare a hunting camp, animal tracking, how to use game calls, care of downed game, and an understanding of wildlife management techniques. The counselors want you to experience the magnificent Rocky Mountain back country during this adventure. You’ll go on a simulated big game hunt with a few days and nights under the stars. When this adventure is over, you will have gained knowledge and some of the outdoor skills needed to survive in wild mountain terrain. You will also have the opportunity to become Hunter Safety qualified in New Mexico. Maybe most important of all, the NRA Whittington Adventure is designed to encourage leadership and team spirit. You’ll be involved with a group of young people willing to cooperate in a true outdoor learning experience, an adventure like no other in America, in a setting that will take your breath away.
Come to the Best of the Rocky Mountain West
The NRA Whittington Center is without a doubt the most complete shooting center in the nation. The camp includes 33,000 acres of rugged western terrain, 10 miles southwest of Raton, all in the scenic high mesa country of New Mexico. As you might have guessed, the beautiful landscape abounds with wildlife. You’ll sleep in the Whittington Center’s log cabin housing units and eat in the dining facility.
A Total Equipment Package Plus Expert Training
The NRA Whittington Adventure supplies all firearms and ammunition. Pistols, rifles, shotguns, and blackpowder guns will be provided at the camp. You will be asked to bring your own shooting glasses and hearing protection, as well as your own personal outdoor items such as sleeping bags and hiking boots. But don’t worry, the Whittington Center will provide a complete list of equipment and travel information needed for this unique outdoor experience.
Skilled People Ready to Make Your Stay Worthwhile
The NRA is proud of the staff assembled for the NRA Whittington Adventure. All of the adult instructors possess tremendous outdoor and shooting skills. They were chosen because of a demonstrated ability to work with young people. A camp health officer will be on site (each camper will be asked to provide a current physical prior to the camp).
If you can’t take advantage of the lodging offered on site, local hotels are easy to find, and the one I stayed at offered an NRA discount.
The 2011 Ruling from the California Court, in a dramatic ruling, gave gun owners a win in a National Rifle Association / California Rifle and Pistol (CRPA) Foundation lawsuit. Fresno Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Hamilton ruled that AB 962— the hotly contested statute that would have banned mail order ammunition sales and required all purchases of so called “handgun ammunition” to be registered—was unconstitutionally vague on its face.