Above: Down range view of 300 meter electronic targets at Fort Benning, GA. The screens in the foreground are meant to reduce wind for the 50 meter smallbore range. Photo courtesy Reya Kempley
From May 15-19 of this year, the Minneapolis Rifle Club will be hosting the first 300 Meter National Championship in recent memory, in Saint Francis, MN. It will be an open match for all current members of USA Shooting, both international and domestic, governed by International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) 2018 rules. Three places will be awarded for each category: Men’s 3-P, Women’s 3-P, Prone, and Standard Rifle. All categories are limited to 28 shooters, with the exception of Standard Rifle, where the MRC reserves the right to raise the limit to 42 if it sees fit. Match fees will be $75 for each/any category entry, and are non-refundable after May 8. No finals will be conducted, as the event is not for Olympic Qualification, thus any ties will be decided by shoot off.
The Minneapolis Rifle Club is a natural place for the new championship to call home, as according to Club Executive Officer George Minerich, the “Club has been involved in 300 meter marksmanship since its (the Club’s) inception in the 1930s.” The Club has a storied history, fielding members for the U.S. Team multiple times, most recently in Spain in 2014, as well as several Olympic competitors.
The discipline of 300 meter competition precedes the club by several decades, its roots going back to the first World Shooting Championship match in 1897, (championships at which the U.S. was generally well represented). Since then, 300 meter has become known as arguably one of the hardest of all shooting disciplines. In Mr. Minnerich’s opinion, “to clean the 40-shot Standing match is to achieve shooting perfection.”
If a reason beyond its history is needed to justify the championship’s locale, the rifle club’s facility is second to none: it’s the only international shooting facility with 300 meter electric scoring in the United States. Well, that’s not quite true, there is one other like it in the U.S., but the Army runs that one down in Fort Benning.
All in all, from the competition, to the venue, to the host, this sounds like an exciting event any competitive shooter would enjoy immensely.