July 27th, 2014
CMP rifle match at Kimberton Fish & Game. The weather was clear but humid. I had practiced earlier in the week with my M1 Garand. I was ready to start the match. At the start of the match, competitors are allowed to take up to five sighter shots not for record. I always fire a couple, if just to foul the cold clean bore. I fired two shots and looked through my spotter scope. I decided I did not need the remaining three.
Slow Fire Prone:
Ten rounds with a ten minute time limit.
On the command to commence firing, I took half a minute to get my first shot off. An “X”! Then a “10”, then a “9”. Two more “9”s followed, then a flinch yielded an “8”. Pausing to resettle my position, I worked to smooth my breathing. Next was a “10” with another “9” following it. Annoyed, I pushed the next shot and the bullet clipped the previous “8”. With less then a minute remaining, I closed my eyes and county to twenty. Opening them I took up the slack in the trigger and the shot broke in a complete surprise to me. Yup, an “X”!
Rapid Fire Prone:
Two rounds, reload and fire eight in 80 seconds.
While standing, I loaded two rounds into my rifle. A full clip of eight is ready on the ground next to my mat. When the fire command was sounded, I dropped to my knees and pushed forward into the prone position and cycled the bolt chambering the first round. My first two rounds went downrange and I felt good about them. I did not take the time to look through the scope to see the results. I slammed the full clip into the receiver and started to squeeze the trigger. The M1 bucked eight more times with the spent clip sailing out of the Garand with it’s historic “ping”. The results were even better than the previous stage.
I was feeling really good as I prepared for the next stage.
Ten shots standing without support in ten minutes.
Almost as soon as I loaded the first single round into my rifle I felt unsteady. My first shot, a low “8”. I shrugged it off and loaded round #2. I hoisted the M1 to my shoulder, sighted it and smoothly yanked the hell out of the trigger….
A miss, low left way outside of the “5” ring. That was it, no hope now. The next seven shots were either high or low. Ninety seconds was left in the match. One round left to fire. I stood there for a full minute as the shooters to my right and left finished the stage. With half a minute left, I loaded the final round of .30-06 ammunition into my rifle and took aim. Slowly the pressure of my finger on the trigger increased. The sear released and the last shot was done. Not only was my last record shot an “X”, the bullet actually hit the “X” itself
Match score 251-4X @ 83.66%