2017 NRA National Smallbore Prone Rifle Championships
Day Two Metallic Sights
(Based on Preliminary Scores
Your Correspondents in the Field
Joe Graf and Hap Rocketto
The weather radar was glowing red and, after consultation with local experts, the Match Director declared a three hour rain delay to start of the match. As if on cue the heavens opened and lightning and thunder filled the air just at the stroke of nine. By noon the storm had blown itself out and the shooters were on the line to finish the metallic sight aggregate.
Olympian Mike McPhail fought it out with Army team mate Hank Gray for honors in the opening Meter Match. Bothe shot a 400-37X with McPhail prevailing on the tie breaker. Defending National Champion Marl Del Cotto was third with 400-36X.
The Dewar was another hard fought contest that ended up with the Stat Office going to the Rule Book to give George Norton the win as he and el Cotto tied with clans and 35Xs. Gray, Eric Uptagrafft, and McPhail were knotted at 400-33X with the rules deciding in Gray’s favor for third place.
McPhail shot a 400-36 at 100 yards to wrap up another win. Ed Foley, Norton, and Uptagrafft all shot 400-33Xs with Foley in third, Norton in third, and Uptagrafft out of the money.
Gray emerged at the Metallic Sight Champion with a near perfect 2399-201X. McPhail was second, 2398-209X, and Norton, 2398-190X third.
A Competitors’ Meeting followed the match and it was very productive. Lones Wigger spoke to a possible return to Camp Perry citing that the ranges have been greatly altered since smallbore was last there, firing lines torn up for example. The only available firing line is the Vaile 200 yard line, with is not covered, and would require the competitors to man haul their gear 800 yards from the parking lot.
Many other suggestions were raised concerning smallbore, in general, and the National Championship, in particular. The Members of the Smallbore Committee and Staff present took copious notes, asked questions, and solicited ideas.
Day three will open the anysight championship with the Dewar, and possibly the Randle, to be fired in the afternoon.