Above: Nick Till of Howell, MI, won the Heritage Match along with helping his partner, James Root, win the Critchfield Team event.
The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) hosted summer rifle competitions in August at Camp Perry through heat, short bursts of hammering rain and moments of incomparable fun to create an unforgettable experience for all participants that joined the event.
Labeled as the Legacy Series, the matches within commemorated those who helped shape the nation’s longest-running series of championship and recreational rifle events in America—the National Matches. The competitions catered to both modern and vintage military rifle enthusiasts.
Nick Till, 42, of Howell, MI, was the first winner of the Legacy Series during the CMP Heritage Match, with a score of 784-21X.
“I figured it would be good to come out and shoot the first match and hopefully be lucky to win,” he said. “It was a good time. I really enjoyed it.”
Another competitor eager to be a part of the inaugural Legacy Series was Carol Fortney, 55, of Monaca, PA—one of the few women out on the firing line during the week. She was unable to make it to Camp Perry during high power week, but found that the Legacy Series was ideal for her schedule as well as her rifle shooting desires.
“These matches kind of hit everything that I wanted to do, and the timing worked out perfectly,” she said. “I just think it’s neat to have participated in this first time. And I enjoyed every bit of it. I don’t want to go home.”
Fortney says being the only female on the line doesn’t bother her at all, admitting the other competitors make her feel comfortable while she competes. In fact, she enjoys shooting at Camp Perry so much that she plans on returning to the matches next year, if time allows.
“I think it’s great that you guys (the CMP) do this and that so many people volunteer for it. I think that people who don’t understand shooters don’t realize how nice of a sport it is, and I think that needs to get out more,” she added. “I’ll shoot in every match that I can.”
In duo competition, Nick Till was the top individual competitor in the Critchfield Team Match—ending with an aggregate score of 967-24x with the help of his partner, James Root, 42, of Lasalle, MI, to the overall win. The match was the first ever fired upon the new electronic targets on Petrarca Range.
Similar to the targets used at the Talladega Marksmanship Park in Alabama, the 10 state-of-the-art outdoor electronic targets on Petrarca are capable of adapting to rifle, pistol and smallbore shooting. Rifle targets are located at the 100-yard line, but the changing of the target faces and the use of reduced target definitions allow shooters to practice for longer distances as well.
“It was my first time shooting on the electronic targets, and I liked it,” said Till. “At 100 yards, with no wind and everything, it all comes down to the fundamentals of position.”
Winning the Viale Memorial Match was Philip Beaver, 54, of Indianapolis, IN, who fired an aggregate score of 477-8X. Peter Yarbro, 41, of Mishawaka, IN, led the Modern Military Match with a score of 284-6X. Thomas Box, 66, of Sand Creek, MI, was named High Senior of the event.
Overtaking the final match of the Legacy Series was Farrell Porter, 50, of Pontiac, IL, who recorded a score of 284-7X in the Roosevelt Commemorative Match. David Golding, 64, of Montpelier, OH, claimed the High Senior title—finishing third overall. The leading competitor using a 1903A3 was Robert Sherer, 47, of Middle Point, OH, with a score of 275-2X.
Next year, the Legacy Series events will coincide with the 2017 National Match schedule to allow even more competitors the opportunity to take part in what will become a new tradition at Camp Perry.