On Saturday the 18th of July 2020, we got together for the second Mid-Range Prone Match of the 2020 season. If all had been well, this would have been fired on July 4, 2020, and the Michigan Fullbore Championship would have been fired on May 23rd. However, thanks to Coronavirus that was not to be.
At any rate, this was the third weekend in a row that had a match on it. The 4th was the Fullbore Championship, the 11th and 12th was the Michigan Long range championship, and finally the 18th was this match. That kept the turnout low. Six (6) Shooters, and only five (5) scorecards turned in.
Our day was increasingly warm, and humid. However, we pulled out the awnings and we were able to cover the line and finished by 11:30 AM. As payment for the heat and humidity, Mother Nature gave us easy conditions. For a couple of strings, it felt like weather to check your zero in.
The High Target Rifle Shooter was Ray Gross with a 597-32X, beating Jamie Root, 597-25 by seven (7) "X's". The high and only F-Open shooter was Marcel Bollinger with a 592-22X.
After a coronavirus delay of about seven (7) weeks the 2020 Michigan Fullbore Prone Championship was finally held. Twenty-one (21) shooters participated in this years event. We had eight (8) F-Open shooters, five (5) F-TR shooters, seven (7) Target Rifle (Sling) shooters, and one Mid-Range prone shooter with an Any Rifle who shot for fun.
The F-Open was a contest between Marcel Bollinger and Al Barnhart. Marcel was victorious with a 447-22X to Al's 446-29X.
In F-TR, Paul Phillips dominated the field firing a 445-23X compared to his second place challenger, Tom Martelle who posted a 441-21X.
In the Target Rifle (Sling) category it was a run for the money between visiting Hanne Brantner from Pennsylvania and Midland local, Ray Gross. Hanne was the winner with a 449-28X over Ray's 448-29X. Per Michigan Rifle and Pistol Association rules, Hanne cannot be named Michigan Champion due to residency. As a result, Ray is named the Target Rifle Champion.
We had sixteen (16) shooters turn out for the first Suburban Mid-Range Prone Match of 2020. Normally, we would have started in May, but due to Governor Whitmer's executive orders in response to the Coronavirus Crisis we were not allowed to conduct any matches.
Conditions were pleasantly cool, and sunny. However, we were dealing with a strong, gusty wind. From those who tried to dope it, many commented that it was almost undopeable.
There were some interesting scores fired. Jamie Root was the high sling shooter with a 597-26X. Of note, is his closest competitor was twelve (12) points behind. I believe Jamie was benefiting from a hard hold, and nuclear 223 handloads (MZ over 3100 fps with 85.5 Bergers).
in the F-Open Category Marcel Bollinger bested the pack with a 590-26X. He too was seven (7) points ahead of his closest challenger.
Finally, in F-TR Tom Fisher was high with a 583-15X, a handy fifteen (15) points of his nearest competitor.
Per the Governor's orders regarding the Coronavirus Crisis all matches are canceled until May 15, 2020. This includes matches scheduled for April 25, 2020, and May 9, 2020.
If the spread of the virus abates such that groups of more than 10 are allowed, it is possible the May 23, 2020 Fullbore State Championship will run as scheduled. If not, we will likely postpone until later in the year.
Per the Governor's Executive order, Midland County Sportsman's Club will be closed until April 13, 2020. As a result the Winter League matches scheduled for April 4, 2020 and April 11, 2020 are canceled.
With luck we will be able to start again after the 13th.
Below are the final grand aggregate standings for this year's Snow Country. A couple of points to clarify the standing and results:
Due to the COVID-19 crisis we have canceled the Shoot-Off for this year. It may have been possible that Governor Whitmer would eliminate the "Stay-at-home" order prior to the 18th, but we suspect that we will still have prohibitions on being closer than six (6) feet to our fellow man. So the Shoot-Off is canceled. The funds normally expended for the Shoot-Off have been rolled into the final awards total.
For the first time this year's league began with four categories: F-Class, Sling-Irons, Sling-Scope, and Collegiate/Junior. We had dissimilar entries in those categories, so for the Grand Aggregate the Sling-Irons and Sling-Scope were rolled together. However, for awards in the individual matches they were kept separate. As a result for Sling-Irons, and Sling-Scope there are awards paid for matches 1-4 and the grand aggregate. For F-Class there are awards paid for matches 1-6 and the grand aggregate. For Collegiate/Junior the top three competitors in the grand aggregate will receive Trophy Plaques.
Due to limited entries in F-Class, Sling-Scope, Sling-Irons awards are being paid as follows:
F-Class, first, second, and third in matches 1-4. First and second in matches 5-6.
For both sling categories first was paid in matches 1-4.
The checks will be mailed this next week (March 30, 2020).
In the following awards list, those shown in Bold would have been invited to the League Shoot-Off. Those persons will receive a 2020 Snow Country Shoot-Off T-Shirt. The T-Shirts will either be mailed or handed out at matches later this year, after the 6' zone of exclusion is lifted.
Once again we had seven (7) shooters come out for a Winter Mid-Range Prone match. The weather was better than the last one by about 6 degrees F. Moreover, we noticed no COVID-19 virus beastie's in the area. We did however, shake hands by banging elbows.
The conditions were very good for shooting with just a little drift noticeable. The high F-Open was Mike Ruhlman with a 390-15X. He was closely chased by Tony Dekelaita with a 388-11X. High Palma Rifle shooter was Ray Gross with a 399-28X. Leo Cebula was chasing Ray until he fired a shot on Ray's target. Then it was time to test loads with the 85.5 Bergers. Velocity looked good, but can't seem to get two of them to hit the same hole.
Notably, we had two new shooters, Dave Monette, and his son Jake. They fired F-Open for their first match. I suspect we will see a singular improvement when they come up for their second shoot.