Talladega’s New Shooting Mecca

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posted on August 14, 2015
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The new park’s centerpiece is the 600-yard rifle range. Each covered firing point is equipped with an electronic target that automatically displays the score on a monitor next to the competitor.
In June SSUSA made the trek south from NRA HQ to Alabama, for the grand opening of the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s (CMP) Talladega Marksmanship Park. The new park has multiple rifle, pistol and shotgun ranges, supplemented with state-of-the-art Kongsberg electronic targets and scoring systems, making it one of the most advanced in the country.

The dedication ceremony of the park took place in front of the massive park club house entryway. VIP guests were in attendance for the festivities.

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley literally flew in to the park for the ceremony—landing by helicopter on the 600-yard range. The Governor spoke of the new park’s ability to serve as a venue for learning how to properly use a variety of firearms.

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Alabama Congressman Mike Rogers fires a M1 Garand at the 600-yard rifle range.
“It's such a beautiful facility out here. It really will attract a lot of visitors,” the Governor said. “Alabama is a state that loves the Second Amendment. We love firearms, and I think it’s important not only to have the right to bear arms but the responsibility to bear arms.”

Alabama Congressman Mike Rogers was also present during the event. “This is a great place. My son is already planning to come back,” he said. “You won't find anything like this anywhere else. This really is a world-class facility. I think that people, not only from around the country, but from around the world, will make this place a destination. With all of these lush hills—it's really a beautiful place to come.”

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R. Lee Ermey was on hand, traveling with Team Glock to help dedicate the new park.
Once the range was officially dedicated, the spectators moved inside to the reception area of the club house for a toast. Afterwards, I snagged a CMP employee (and his golf cart), and joined up with Mike Doy and Justin Petrick of Springfield Armory to tour the new competitive shooting facility.

I was able to view just about everything the new park has to offer. From action pistol to sporting clays, this park is guaranteed to offer something for everyone in the family. The terrain is improved enough to make it easy to travel from one area of the park to another via golf cart or automobile, despite the distance between ranges. The CMP has expanded its staff to help run the new park, including former NRA high power rifle coordinator Sara Rozanski as range master.

Hundreds of competitors at the 600-yard range fired for a chance to win the limited edition M1 Garand the CMP was giving out as a prize at the One Shot Dedication Match. Whoever shot closest to target coordinates preselected by match officials would win the rifle.

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After the dedication, guests headed into the club house for a champagne toast. The clubhouse is massive at 13,000 square feet. The air conditioning in the Alabama heat isn’t so bad either.
The Kongsberg electronic target system is simple to use, and updates quickly and accurately. When the Dedication match was complete, it was announced that the scoring had been completed in one-third of the time compared to traditional paper targets. As an added bonus, competitors will be happy to know that there is no pit duty at the new park.

The clubhouse is the icing on the cake at this facility, over 13,000 square feet of air conditioned goodness, perfect for escaping the sweltering heat during a round of high power rifle across the course on a hot summer day. Creedmoor Sports even has a pro shop in the building. Multiple screens throughout the building display live competition scores, as well as videos of the park. Except for special events, the CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park will be open to the public Wednesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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