The First “Made In America” Match At The National Matches

The “Made in America” Match made its debut at Camp Perry during the 1996 National Matches.

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posted on January 23, 2023
Win Model 52 B
Winchester 52 rifles similar to the one above were popular at the first “Made in America” Match in 1996.

In addition to the Randle Doubles/Mentor Match, the NRA Smallbore Committee initiated the “Made in America” Match that required shooters to use rifles, metallic sights and ammunition made in the United States. The idea was encouraged by NRA President Marion Hammer who was on hand to support and oversee the match.

For the first “Made in America” Match in 1996, competitors fired equipment that varied from custom target rifles built on Winchester or Remington actions to an array of stock Winchester 52s, Bs, Cs, Ds and Es, along with Remington 37s, 540Xs and 513Ts. There were also Harrington and Richardson 5200s, Kimbers, a Mossberg Model 42B, and a Springfield 1922. A prize was awarded for the most original rifle and there were two so good that a double award was presented for George Stephen’s Remington 37 and Norm Austin’s Remington 513T. The match was a Dewar Course, 20 shots at 50 yards and 20 shots at 100 yards, prone, with the 100-yard stage shot first.

War veteran Jim Miller won with a 400-27X shooting his custom Winchester 52E, Redfield Mark VIII sights and Federal Ultra Match ammunition. Junior Sheryl Church used an out of-box Kimber to take second while Bruce Meredith used a stock Winchester 52D that he had never before fired for third—it was the trophy rifle awarded to him after he won the 1967 National Prone Championship and it had sat unused for 30 years. In addition, Steve Rocketto won special mention for the most period paraphernalia. He showed up on the line with his Winchester 52C, 10X coat and glove, 22-year-old Camp Perry sweatshirt, a 1941 rule book, assorted Freeland items, and a couple of boxes of Western EZXS which he used in the match.

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