I am a few weeks late on this post I know. This year’s State Championship at the infamously windy Rattlesnake range was no different than other matches there. It was windy. It was not full value 25 mph as it can be but it was very switchy conditions where you would need several minute changes. I have never complained about shooting here. I keep going back for some reason. It is a challenge. And fun.
You can always look at shooting at Rattlesnake as really good practice. Winning and average scores are much lower than a match elsewhere. But that is part of the game. If you shoot here you understand it. Outsiders might look at the scores from a match here and think the competitors tanked. Nope, the conditions just gave us a little challenge. The top competitors were neck and neck throughout the weekend. The first day was brutal for everyone. There were several misses, myself included, and you think you are out of the race. But then days 2 and 3 come and anything can happen. And did. More misses and points dropped evened the score a bit. Wayne Budbill held on and won the match by 8 points. Todd Branin was 2nd and Marty Mayo 3rd. I held on to my 6th place which was only 3 points behind 3rd place. My Team Wranglers won the St Team Palma Championship. Gary Rasmussen was coach and the shooters were myself, Todd Branin, Wayne Budbill and Jim Obermeyer. There were two teams from Canada that were competing. I had a great time shooting my brand new rifle that John Whidden of Whidden Gunworks built for me. I will write about it in another article but it is a beautiful rifle and shoots right where you point it. It is a completely different style of rifle from the wood stocks I have been shooting from day one of my competing career.
I am now shooting an Anschutz stock ( as seen in photo above) which has a lot of moving parts to adjust and fit to you. But I kept it simple to start with and did not try any weird angles and felt pretty comfortable right away. This match was the first time I shot it other than sighting it in the week prior. The guts of the rifle is a Barnard action and trigger and Bartlein barrel. I decided it was time to come in to the modern times. I can manipulate this bolt with one finger practically compared with my RPA Quadlock I have. That action required some muscle power to manipulate. I have some fine tuning and just plain practice time to feel 100% but overall I love it already. Stay tuned!