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Camp Perry
by Jim Owens

Planning on going to Camp Perry for the National High-Power Rifle Matches for the first time? Here is some useful information to get started. If you have not shot Camp Perry before, you must contact the NRA competition division and ask them to put you on the list for a "packet." Call 1-800-672-3888, push option six, then extension 1475 and the pound (#) sign. NRA will send the packets out about June 1st, make sure you fill it out and send it back right away. One year I waited till just before the date on which you have to pay a late fee and I found myself on the waiting list. I almost didn't get to shoot that year.

You must first decide what you want to do. Some people:

  1. Go to Camp Perry just to look around.

     
  2. Go just to shop on commercial row. Building after building of shooting supplies. Things you never knew existed, and once you know they exist, you can't live without them.

     
  3. Volunteer. The NRA desperately needs the volunteers to run the matches. You can volunteer yourself and kind of get the feel of the matches or better yet you can shoot the matches and sell your wife and kids into slavery. NRA pays the volunteers $20 a day and gives them a lunch. Best of all, they give them a hut. You can live with them in the hut, more on the housing shortage later. If you or the family want to volunteer, called Grace Lee at 1-800-672-3888, push option 6, extension 1485 and the pound (#) sign. The NRA will give them a two-day training class, the first week. The adults are usually made line or pit block officials. The kids are usually made field phone operators, teenagers are usually on the maintenance crews. There are other jobs around the camp the volunteers can do. Usually they want the kids to be 12 years and older. But they will take younger ones and if they are mature.

     
  4. Shooting. Let's first define our terms. Do you want to shoot the first week or the second week? The first week is the CMP matches or also known as the "Board Matches." The first week is for Service Rifles ONLY (M-1 Garands, M-14/M-1A or M-16/AR-15s). There are no separate classifications the first week, the Marksman shoot against the Masters and High Masters. Because the entry fees are so much cheaper, you pay less and you shoot less than the second week, therefore a far greater # of competitors.

Saturday, July 31st of 1999 is the check-in day for the first week. On Sunday August 1st and Monday August 2nd, the volunteers attend their training class. The shooters attend the "Small Arms Firing School put on by the Army and the Marine Corps. The shooters gather in the bleachers and attend the morning school. In the afternoon of Sunday and on Monday you shoot the M-16 off sandbags at 200 and 300 yds. You get a certificate of completion; the cost of the SAFS is $20.

On Tuesday, August 3rd the shooters will fire the Presidents Hundred. They will shoot 10 rounds Off Hand, 10 rounds 300 yds rapid fire, and 10 round 600-yd slow fire. The top one hundred shooter's make the President's Hundred. Again High Masters and Marksmen are together. The costs of the Presidents Hundred is $30, without ammo ($20.00 for juniors). It will take all day to shoot the 30 rounds. There will be at least six relays, three relays on the line and three in the pits. Sometimes they may have as many as eight relays.

On Wednesday August 4th you shoot the National Trophy Individual Rifle Match or better known as the "Leg Match." This match is the one in which you try to win points toward Distinguished Rifleman. Normally a Gold medal is worth 10 points, a Silver medal is worth 8 points and Bronze medal is worth 6 points. A total of 30 points are needed to go Distinguished. For civilians at the Natural Matches, ANY medal, Gold, Silver or Bronze is worth 10 points. Again, no classifications are used. Generally an Expert or Higher has a good chance of placing in the medal category. There may be a thousand or more shooters and with a hundred or more medals given. The top 10% of the Non-Distinguish shooters will place. You shoot a National Match Course; 10 rounds Off Hand, 10 rounds two hundred-yard rapid-fire, 10 rounds three hundred yard rapid fire and 20 rounds are fired at six hundred yards slow fire. No sighters are given in this match. Again it will take all day to shoot the 50 rounds. The cost is $30, without ammo ($20.00 for juniors)

On Thursday, August 5th, the adults have the day off. I would advise the adults to stay and help the juniors; they need pit pullers and coaches. The juniors shoot the "Whistler Boy" Match. That is a two-man team, National Match Course (50 Shot). The cost is $30.00

On Friday on August 6th, the Military, the State Teams and Club Teams shoot the National Trophy Team Match, that also is a National Match Course (50 Shot). That match is the 6-man team, fired on one target. All the slow fire, (off hand and 600 yds), are fired by two shooters, pair firing. They alternate shots on the same target. There is a total team time. There will be no pit change; your team has to have a couple of pit pullers. The cost is $75.00 without ammo; the juniors get free ammo.

On Saturday August 7th, the Military, the State Teams and the Club Teams will shoot the Combat Infantry Trophy Match or better known as the "Rattle Battle." It is a 6-man team shooting rapid-fire on eight targets from 600, 500, 300 and 200 yds. The cost is $75.00 without ammo; the juniors get free ammo.

After the team matches on Friday and Saturday, the John Garand, M-1, "As-issued" match will be held. The cost is $30.00

Saturday evening is the Awards Ceremony for the first week, in the Base Theater. It is a show well worth attending.

If you want to shoot on the team matches, try to get on your state team. They usually have a fundraiser to help pay your cost.

 

The Second Week

The second week cost a lot more, so there are fewer people shooting, but you get to shoot a lot more. The second week is broken down, by both classification and type of rifles used. A Marksman Service rifle does not shoot against a marksman with a Match Rifle. The Marksmen do not shoot against Sharpshooters or Masters.

First you have to decide if you want to:1) Shoot the NRA Championships, across the course, ONLY, cost is $221.00, $111.00 for juniors. 2) Shoot the Long-Range Championships, 600,1,000 yds and the Palma Match, ONLY, the cost is $135.00 or 3) Shoot BOTH the Across the Course and Long Range Matches, the cost is $281.00.

The people who shoot second week, usually drive down on Saturday and check-in. There is a match on Sunday called the "Rumbold Team" Match; it is a good warm-up match for the National Championships. This match is a 50 shot Natural Match Course with sighters; you can use a Match Rifle or Service Rifle. The Rumbold is a four-man team, usually Local Clubs or State Associations. The cost is $60.00 per team. You can have one member from an adjoining state fire on your team. You can form a team with members from states that are not adjoining, but you must enter in the RNDC Match, it is held at the same time as the Rumbold. You have a snowball's chance in hell of winning; there is only one winner given and High Master teams from across the country shoot it. Guess who wins.

The NRA Championships are held on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. August 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th. You shoot three 800 aggregate matches, but it takes four days to do it. You will shoot two sighters and 20 rounds Off Hand Slow Fire, that is a match in itself. Then you shoot two sighters and two, ten shot strings of sitting rapid fire, that is also a match by itself. You then shoot two sighters and two, ten shot strings of 300 yard rapid fire. No 600-yd slow fire is shot on the first day. Each day you shoot three stages of the 800 aggregate.

The Long-Range Championship, only shooters start on Tuesday, August 10th and shoot Wednesday and Thursday at 600 yds. They are the 5th relay. They have to come down to the pits on the last pit change to help pull the targets.

Thursday evening is the Awards Ceremony for the second week, again in the Base Theater.

On Friday August 13th, if you are a long range only shooter or are shooting both the Championships and long-range, you shoot 1,000 yds Iron Sights, Individual in the morning and a four man team in the afternoon. On Saturday August 14th you shoot 1,000 yds. Scopes may be used on the rifle if you have one, Individual matches in the morning and four-man team matches in the afternoon. Team Matches cost $60.00.

On Friday and Saturday the High Shooters on each relay in the Individual Matches will be in the "Shoot Off" for the Championship.

On Sunday, Aug. 15th they shoot the Palma Matches; 800, 900, and 1,000 yds. Most people use that Sunday as a day of travel and head back home and return to work on Monday. NRA squads that morning, on the line, so they know how many shooters they have.

NRA has a long-range Firing School held the next few days after the Long-Range Championships. The 13th, 14th and 15th are classroom instructions and the 16th and 17th are range time. The cost is $150.00


Weather

Camp Perry is right on Lake Erie; in fact, the bullets go right into the lake. It can be freezing cold first thing in the morning and hot as hell and the afternoon, so be prepared. Storms can pop-up any time. Leaving your rain gear on the 200-yd line while you are soaking wet in the pits will not enhance your reputation as "being smart."

 

Housing

Camp Perry is a World War 2 prisoner of war camp. The "Huts" are a 14-ft. by 14-ft. concrete slab with a building on it; there is a door, three windows, one on each side, one light bulb in the center, four military racks or beds with a shelf and a rod for hanging things above each bed. Bring cleaning supplies, you'll want to clean the huts out before using them. Do not bring an air conditioner to use in the huts, the electrical outlets will not handle the load, it's a fire hazard, and the MPs will confiscate them.

You do not want the "double letter" huts. They are in the South 40, far from the Ranges, Commercial Row and they are in the poorest condition. Worst of all is the bathrooms. You can sit on the toilet and shake hands with the guy next to you. The showers are one large room with showerheads (if they work) around the room. Ask for the huts between the Mess Hall and Commercial Row. The Huts themselves aren't that much better, but the bathrooms sure are. They have individual stalls for both the toilets and showers. The huts used to cost $8 a day per bed. They now cost $2 a day per bed, the trick is to get them. The other housing they have is the modules. They are a two-man Room with their own bathroom, and they have air-conditioning. You better like the person you are living with because with all your gear you are very close. $38.15 a day for both beds, again they are hard to get.

They do have some beds in the barracks. The cost is $5.45 per bed per night. You don’t have to walk to the bathroom in the rain like you do if you are in the huts. Housing office telephone number is 614-336-6214.

 

Food

A tornado has torn the roof off the Mess Hall and it is no longer usable. The Army use to run the Mess Hall and you could eat there. They no longer run the Mess Hall. IGA Supermarket ran a lunch and dinner last year; I ate there once. There are a lot of good restaurants in town, and several have all you can eat dinners.

Some people bring a small refrigerator. Most people have one or two ice chests. Milk and cereal will do for Breakfast in the morning, Lunchables and a drink to take with you on the range for there are no lunch breaks. You have to get ice every day to keep things from spoiling. You can get the ice at the PX or at the snack bar. Most people pick up the ice right after they have supper in town.

 

Commercial Row

After you have spent all your money on Commercial Row, you'll soon realize that Commercial Row is a social event. People will walk up and down Commercial Row, running into their friends and talk about the day's events. One of the other meeting places is the building that houses the Wailing Wall. People gathered to look at the day's scores and talk about how well they "could have" shot.

 

Swap Meet

On Tuesday Aug. 3rd and Monday Aug. 9th there are competitor swap meets; you get to sell your junk to some one else and buy their wonderful stuff from them.

 

Competitor Meeting

On Thursday Aug. 5th there is a meeting for the competitors with both the CMP and the NRA about the rules. A lot of rule changes have come out of this meeting.

 

Location

Camp Perry is about 40 miles East of Toledo right on Lake Erie. It is on Ohio Route 2 four miles west of Port Clinton. To reach Camp Perry from the East use Route 2 or Ohio Turnpike I-80 & 90. From Ohio Turnpike exit gate 7, travel North on Route 250, then west on Route 2. From the West use Route 2 or exit Ohio Turnpike exit gate 6, travel North on Route 53, then west on Route 2.

 

Equipment to bring

Stewart Leech, better known as the Colorado Gray Fox, has made an equipment list of items to bring to Camp Perry for the Nationals; it is printed in here for your use. Click Here  






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