I have lived in Washington State my entire life and I have never been to Wilbur, WA. Or perhaps I have and I did not know it. A beautiful location near Grand Coulee Dam which is a destination in itself in the center of the state. Out in the middle of nowhere on ranch land about 100 precision rifle shooters met for the 2nd annual charity match that benefits the Karstetter Children’s Education Fund. Matt was the best friend of Clint Sharp the match director. I believe about $5000 was raised with match fees and raffles. Awesome. The Field Match is a precision rifle match which had 8 stages set up around the hill side with steel targets set out as far 1300 yards plus a bonus round One Mile shot. 3 stages included some pistol targets. Other than some of the target sizes being too small and the over population of rattlesnakes the match was great.
For whatever reason, the summer of 2014 is a rattlesnake boom for Eastern Wa. They are everywhere! I was just in Richland, Wa. this weekend at, of all places, Rattlesnake Mountain Shooting Facility and they had a stern warning there as well. At least this time I did not see any. At Wilbur there were one too many snake sightings. One snake was not so lucky sneaking up on a squad and was promptly beheaded. Ken Hagan of H&H Precision Rifles, thought it would be funny to stage the dead snake next to one of the RO’s as he finished calling shots. We did film it of course. Ron was sitting looking through spotting scope and Ken put the snake right next to his hand. Ron actually moved and put his hand right on it and did not notice. He stood up and we yelled at him there was a snake and he jumped back. He was not as startled as we had hoped though. I know, that was mean. But it was funny! I’m assuming Ken may need to watch his back from now on. As for my comment about target sizes, there were several very small ones! This is actually a great match for new shooters to attend and is set up that way. But even Clint admit he needed to up the target sizes. The moving target was 500 yards away and was much smaller than what is normally used. Thanks Clint! But I will brag that I hit it 3 times! I think I was the highest or tied in my squad for that stage. That is about all I can brag about though for the match. Actually I did do really well with the pistol stages. Which is unusual for me to do well with pistol. The practice must be paying off. The odd part is I used a demo compact gun I am reviewing. It is a Sphinx Compact 9mm. I am shooting this thing better than my Tanfoglio race gun. Figures.
I was able to use my Leica range finder/binoculars for more than range finding. They give you angles as well as the range. Our first stage of the match was a target about 600 some yards down a steep incline. The angle of it was steep enough that the ballistic distance (of the angle) was different than the range distance. There was about a 50-100 yard difference (I am going off of fuzzy memory of actual distance here) with the angle drop. I was hesitant to trust that but it worked! I noticed others used range distance and were really high over the target. I love that ballistic stuff. I can’t learn enough of it.
We had three women this time at the match. Still could use more! Congrats to Jake Vibbert of JC Steel as match winner. The bonus Mile Shot was fun to watch but standing near the 50cals with giant brakes actually gave me a headache that night. I’m not kidding, they were canons. Cool to look at but not to be bear. Thank you all volunteer RO’s. Thank you Clint for the awesome BBQ to end the day with. And most of all, thank you Clint for the supplied port-a-potties. I did not have to dig a hole or find a car to hide behind. The girls especially thank you.