Conditions on the rifle range were less than ideal. Numbing cold combined with gusting winds made shooting well a challenge.
A three stage match fired with no sighters. I did well in the offhand stage but ran into trouble in the rapid fire prone. Going from standing unsupported to prone using a sling, I knew there would be a shift in bullet impact on the target. This stage is ten shots fired with a magazine change in 70 seconds. After firing my first magazine of two rounds, I reloaded with the second eight round magazine and paused to check the target through my spotting scope. My shots were low so I added three clicks up on the elevation wheel. The last eight shots went smoothly with about three seconds to spare. Looking through the spotting scope again, I could see the results of my adjustment. Mistakenly, I had turned the wheel the wrong way and put three clicks down on the rear sight! All eight shots were down out of the black! I was out of the race now but I continued on to fire the slow fire prone stage and finish the match with a dismal final score.
After the President’s Match I asked the match director how many shooters signed up for this last chance at a medal for the season. He told me that none of the regular Hanseatic competitors showed today. But I was free to fire the course for a chance to improve my score. I asked him what was the current high score for the season. After checking the season records, he informed me that I was the front runner. Well, seeing how I was top dog with no contenders, I put my M1 Garand back in it’s case and pondered about the guaranteed award I would receive next month.
The first relay is the Wettschiessen. As always, the Swiss competition starts with this 12 round cold bore match sans sighters. I knew that currently I shared the top score of 51 out of a possible 54 with one other competitor. This was my last chance of the season to pull ahead for the win. My first shot was a high “3”. My next shot was the high “4”. I adjusted the rear sight and my third shot was spot on for elevation but struck left with another “4”. Instead of adjusting the rear sight again, I lessened the tension on the sling. My last thee were all “5” ring hits!
The Wettschiessen continues with 6 rounds on the oh so hard to see B4 target. Our B4 targets have A10 scoring rings printed on them but they are scored as shown below.
I was doing well, scoring all “4”s until the last two shots got loose and edged out into the three zone. The resultant 48 would not help me in my pursuit this year.
I took a break while other competitors; who needed to, qualified in the Obligatorisches Programm.
The Feldschiessen; which is 18 rounds fired on the B4, speeds up as it progresses. My resultant 62 points out of a possible 72 is a medal score and again guarantees me at least a silver medal. More importantly to me is the fact that I fired a medal score in all eight Feldschiessen matches held this year!
The Einselwettschiessen is a 10 round precision slow fire match. I alternated between good hits and sloppy hits. The general rule is that if you keep everything inside of the “8” ring you are assured a medal. Everything inside of the “7” ring, you have a chance. Two thirds of the way through, I slipped and let that “6” hit down low right. But my last two shots both punched “X’s and secured me my third medal score of the season.
So, the regular season is officially over. The only thing that remains is the December match consisting of the M1 Garand Cup and the Swiss vs Mauser Match. Following that is the awards presentation and luncheon.