Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Go to the National Matches.

  It's a two-day drive for us to get there from Texas, but if you are within reasonable distance, it's a gunny day trip.   Between Toledo and Cleveland.  Good highways, right on the shore of Lake Erie at Port Clinton.  Turn in between the stone towers and show your Drivers License to get on base.  Drive straight in then turn left to park on Commercial Row or keep going to go to the range parking lots.  During the day there will be long firing lines of people on Viale Range or Rodriegez Range.  You can walk up behind the firing lines and watch.   Go to the CMP North Store, (ask directions on Commercial Row), and sniff a little cosmoline.  Wander Commercial Row and see products you never dreamed of at bargain prices.  Free popcorn and gatorade at Springfield Armory.
  If you are bold you could ride the shuttle to the pits for a relay or go out on the fishing pier and then climb the range control tower on the beach and get an overview.- they are always open and friendly, though they don't get many visitors.  Just ring the doorbell at the bottom of the stairs.
  The match schedule is posted on the CMP page.  State Teams will start shooting Monday for about a week and then the NRA Highpower Rifle Championship followed by the Long Range Championship.  Bring binocs.
  Happy people from all over the nation, plus some international types, all armed to the teeth and banging away.  Absolutely safe, of course.  No doctors and no swimming pools.
  The first year I went, 2001, I was hopping mad/angry that I hadn't gone two decades before.  It's like Mecca for shooters, but with no arabs, better guns and bald eagles.
  Don't tell Obama or the Democrats, or any Republicans you can't vouch for.  101st year at Camp Perry for the Nationals.  Free admission.  Cheap T-shirts and souvenirs.

UPDATE:  Or check the schedule and bring your Garand, Carbine, Vintage, or 1903 Springfield and come shoot THOSE matches.  The CMP issues ammo for everything but vintage and it's 30 shots at 200 yards.  Shouting distance!  You won't be the worst shot there, I guarantee you.
  Don't worry about it!  They will teach you to run targets, (two guys in the pits on each target), and you start with five prone sighters.  All at 200 yards.  Friendly people.  Beginner safe!  Sign up online or check in at Headquarters in the red brick building with arched portico.  Cheap.  Thousands of people shooting.  Eagles!  Free parking!  Cold water!  Many guns!

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