At the First Shot Ceremony on Tuesday, July 6, Indiana First Lady Janet Holcomb kicked off the 2021 NRA National Matches at Camp Atterbury. An active Indiana National Guard training facility, Camp Atterbury is the new home of the reunified NRA National Championships for Precision Pistol, Smallbore Rifle and High Power Rifle, and it is located about 37 miles south of Indianapolis, near Edinburgh, Ind.
A large crowd gathered to observe the ceremonial first shot. Mrs. Holcomb was shooting a Walther KK300 rifle with SK’s Standard Plus .22 Long Rifle ammunition.
“Indiana is proud to be home to the NRA National Matches,” said Mrs. Holcomb. “In the competitive shooting world, no other event carries the legacy, prestige and history of the NRA National Matches.”
NRA Second Vice President Willes Lee, NRA Director of Competitive Shooting Cole McCulloch and Indiana State Rifle and Pistol Association President Charlie Hiltunen joined the first lady to begin the festivities at Camp Atterbury.
A true lover of the shooting sports, Mrs. Holcomb is an instructor, a competitor and also hunts. Cole McCulloch succinctly sums up her love of shooting.
“Mrs. Holcomb really is the First Lady of shooting,” said McCulloch. “She just absolutely loves shooting.”
During his remarks, Second Vice President Willes Lee thanked First Lady Janet Holcomb for the support that she has given to the NRA, hunting and the shooting sports, along with expressing his great appreciation for the state of Indiana and its people. Second Vice President Lee also expanded on the current state of the NRA.
“The NRA remains the best in the business for firearms safety, education, training and protecting our Second Amendment rights,” said Lee. “We’re signing up 1,000 new members a day digitally, because everyone understands how important it is to protect our Second Amendment rights.”
The NRA, along with the Indiana National Guard and the state of Indiana, has built a new 100-point covered range at Camp Atterbury to accommodate championship shooters. And while slowed by the pandemic, the plans for an NRA National Marksmanship Center at Camp Atterbury are still a go.
The Indiana State Rifle and Pistol Association has been a key partner for the NRA with its new endeavor at Camp Atterbury. Essentially, the NRA could not have conducted the 2021 National Championships without the help of the ISRPA, as well as key match personnel who worked at Camp Perry in past years.
“We’re blessed at the NRA Competitive Shooting Division right now to have people like [ISRPA President] Charlie Hiltunen and First Lady Holcomb on our side when we need them the most,” said McCulloch. “Charlie and I started together on this journey at the beginning, and he has been a real friend to me personally, as well as the NRA. The Indiana State Rifle and Pistol Association has stepped right in and been the NRA’s best friend.”
In addition, McCulloch revealed that the endgame for the NRA at Camp Atterbury is to augment the NRA National Matches with additional events to make a “summer-long festival of shooting.” While the NRA’s focus will always remain with the Precision Pistol, Smallbore Rifle and High Power Rifle championships, the hope is that additional events will bring more people into the shooting sports.
“New events at Camp Atterbury will be a great way to introduce your friends and family to the NRA and our way of life,” said McCulloch. “We must carry on the great traditions of the shooting sports.”
2021 Smallbore Nationals
Youth shooter Anthony Hotko secured the Frank Parsons Memorial Trophy after winning first place in the 2021 NRA Smallbore Metric 3-Position Nationals grand aggregate.
The National Metric 3-Position grand aggregate is comprised of scores from 40 shots in each of three positions: prone, kneeling and standing at 50 meters with both metallic and any sights. The total is 240 shots.
Hailing from Batavia, Ill., and classified as a Marksman, Hotko finished the match with a final aggregate score of 2263-75X. In addition, Hotko’s score garnered him High Civilian and High Intermediate Junior special category awards.
In second place was Katrina Demerle of Hamilton, Ohio, with 2241-59X. A Master-class shooter, she also received High Woman honors.
Finishing in third place was Lara Spanic of Milwaukee, Wis., who also secured the High Junior award. The Expert-class shooter completed the aggregate with a score of 2241-66X.
Winning the 3-position grand aggregate was Richard Clark of Jackson, Miss., with 2388-167X.
As for the Smallbore F-Class Nationals, this year’s champion is Shane Collier with 6363-478X. Hailing from Warm Springs, Ga., Collier also garnered High Civilian and High Intermediate Senior honors to go with the Marianne Jensen Driver Trophy he won for the National Smallbore F-Class Championship. Collier is classified as a Master smallbore rifle shooter.
In second place was William Treder of Florence, Ariz., with a score of 6359-473X. Treder, a Master-class shooter, also secured the High Senior award.
Finishing in third place was Master-class shooter James W. Murphy. Traveling to Camp Atterbury all the way from Owensboro, Ky., Murphy scored 6355-459X.
High Woman went to Master-class shooter Barbara C. Hampson of Homestead, Fla., with 6287-349X.
With a aggregate score of 8739-606X, Team Lapua’s Kevin Nevius won the 2021 NRA National Smallbore Rifle Prone Championship. For the win, Nevius placed third in the Conventional Prone Championship with a score of 6389-477X and first in the Metric Prone Championship with 2350-129X.
His score of 8739 was a full 10 points ahead of runner-up Virginia McLemore and 11 points from third-place finisher Howard Pitts. Additionally, Nevius was high shooter in the Wakefield Team and the second-highest score in the Dewar Team International Postal Match. This year also marked his 19th appearance on the Dewar Team.
In the Prone grand aggregate, the winner was Morgen Dietrich of Bismarck, N.D., with 6392-507X.
At the 2021 NRA Smallbore Nationals, junior shooter Richard Clarke’s 50-yard standing target with iron sights scored him 200-18X. Keep in mind that the NRA A-23/5 smallbore target’s X-ring diameter is 0.39-inch. This is an incredible shooting accomplishment. Congratulations, Mr. Clarke!
Eighty-nine competitors were in the running for the Iron Man award this year, which goes to the grand aggregate winner of the Smallbore Prone Nationals combined with the 3-Position Nationals.
The 2021 NRA Smallbore National Rifle Championship Iron Man award went to John Hamilton of Corydon, Ind., with 13187-603X. In second place was Joe Graf of N. Scituate, R.I., with 13128-663X. Placing third was Cameron Zwart of Hudsonville, Mich., with 13120-613X.
2021 NRA Smallbore Rifle Grand Aggregates
The best way to keep up to date regarding the NRA National Matches is to subscribe to the free Insider newsletter. And visit competitions.nra.org for information about Camp Atterbury and the NRA National Championships.
Read more: Larry Sollars Wins 2021 NRA National Mid-Range Rifle Championship