Thursday, July 8, 2010

Canton McKinley Regional Pistol Match

Up front: This has exactly nothing to do with airguns.

In a previous life, I shot bullseye pistol on a league at the Canton McKinley Rifle and Pistol Club. It's the largest bullseye club in the US and has produced some very gifted shooters. (I'm not one of them.)

Wait a second, I can make an airgun connection to this post. Super nice guy and national champion, John Bickar, got his start here. It was humbling to shoot rimfire next to him on the line, though it did make me focus that much harder. Shooting alongside John was usually good for at least 3 or 4 extra point. It's hard on the ego to get crushed by a youngster.

He also shoots a 10-meter air pistol like you wouldn't believe.
Check out John's precision shooting blog here.

McKinley hosts the last 2700 pistol match before the National Matches at Camp Perry next week, so most of the top bullseye pistol shooters in the country use the McKinley match as their final "tune up" for Nationals.

Wife and I drove down today to visit with my aunt and uncle who were there as vendors selling knives. Today was for registration and some practice relays. We were there early enough that the firing line was still relatively quiet and relaxed. Many of the competitors were hiding inside the clubhouse as it was 95 degrees out in the sun. Tomorrow, there will be 92 shooters at a time on the firing line. It's truly something to see. Requirements for the match include using both a centerfire as well as a rimfire pistol. Centerfire shooters typically gravitate to customized .45 Autos. Relays consist of slow, timed and rapid fire targets.

The range is huge. There's a rifle range at one end and a "plinking" range on the other. The pistol range is completely shielded from the side ranges so various disciplines can occur at once. It is a bit disconcerting at first, though, to walk downrange to score and repair targets only to hear a .357 magnum blazing away on the plinking range. I thought they said, "CEASE FIRE"!

Most of the competitors at this level need a bunch of stuff. At least 2 guns, (most bring several extras) tons of magazines, ammo, targets, shooting glasses, cleaning gear, water, staple gun for posting targets, spotting scope, misc spare parts and tools...

All the military shooting teams will be present. They bring armorers equipped with entire machine shops on wheels. One of the guys was modifying a Pardini rapid fire pistol grip to make it more left hand friendly. If you're nearby, come out Friday, Saturday or Sunday and see the action. July 9--11th, 2010. Bring hearing protection and sunscreen.

Some video from previous years. And here.

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