By Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer
Camp Perry, OH -(AmmoLand.com)- A total of 443 entered this year’s Small Arms Firing School (SAFS) – held in Camp Perry’s historic Hough Theater and Viale Range during the 2015 National Trophy Rifle Matches.
The clinic is designed for new and experienced shooters alike. Beginners learn the basics of marksmanship and competition shooting, while the more advanced will have the chance to learn more specific instruction on how to improve their skills.
DJ Maier, 36, and his wife Keiko, 34, of Lake Villa, IL, participated in SAFS for the first time. DJ, a former Marine, had been to the matches before but hadn't returned since 2000. His wife, who he met in Japan while he was stationed there, is totally new to the shooting game – but with the help of the SAFS instructors, she was able to catch on quickly.
“She did fine today. I think it’s something we’re going to do from here on out,” DJ said. “She’s new to it. She’s from Tokyo . . . for her to come out here, really her first time to pick up a highpower rifle – she was shooting 9’s and 10’s, so the instruction had to have been awesome. She did very well.”
“I enjoyed it a lot,” Keiko added with a smile. “First of all, I was really nervous because I had never touched a gun, even a small one, but I got a really good coach . . . I really enjoyed it.”
The course is led by members of the Army Marksmanship Unit and other highly qualified military shooting team members and CMP instructors. At the end of live-fire practice on the range, all students are able to compete in a true EIC Match – with the chance to earn points towards becoming Distinguished marksmen.
John Watson, 47, of Perry, OH, was the winner of the M16 Match with a score of 387-15x. During his impressive performance, Watson managed to clean both the Prone Rapid Fire and Sitting portions of the match – firing 100-3x and 100-4x, respectively.
Micaela Wojnar, 16, of Milan, OH, was the high junior of the match – finishing in fifth place overall with her outstanding score of 385-8x.
Along with SAFS, a junior highpower clinic and advanced clinic was also held on the Camp Perry ranges. The clinics catered to those who wished to acquire even more fundamental teaching as well as those who were looking for more progressive instruction.
The CMP-Remington Advanced Highpower Clinic offers in-depth learning through classroom and dry-fire exercises on the range. The course is led by members of the Remington-Bushmaster Team and headed by retired U.S. Marine and former non-commissioned officer in charge of the Marine shooting team, Ken Roxburgh. This year, over 50 students took the course.
During the CMP-USMC (United States Marine Corps) Junior Highpower Clinic, members of the USMC shooting team provided classroom instruction and also conducted live firing practice on the range from the 200, 300 and 600 yard lines. The group of over 140 juniors learned many variables of the sport including effects of weather, maintenance, positioning and sight alignment.
“We take what we know from being on the Marine Corps shooting team and basically teach them what we know,” said Sgt. Mark Windmassinger, staff non-commissioned officer in charge.
This year’s clinic was somewhat different than past years, with the removal of the EIC match. However, the absence of the match brought an exceptional learning opportunity for the junior marksmen – actually allowing the instructors to give even more personal attention to each junior.
“It gives us a lot more time to work with the shooters one-on-one – slow down, take a little more time. And it’s a lot more effective – we've seen a lot better results this year,” Sgt. Windmassinger said.
Andrew Miller, 15, of Fallbrook, CA, is a member of the California Grizzlies junior team and participated in the USMC Clinic with his teammates. Having shot highpower for two years, he knows the fundamentals of marksmanship and now uses the clinic as a way to prepare for the events ahead during the National Matches.
“It’s a good chance to get your zeroes confirmed because when you’re at a different range, your zeroes will change. So this is practice,” he said. “The instructors are also very helpful.”
And the best part about taking the clinic at the revered Camp Perry?
“It’s fun. This is way nicer than my range,” Andrew said with a smile.
For more information on the National Matches and its clinics, visit http://thecmp.org/cmp-national-matches/.
For more information about the CMP and its programs, log onto www.TheCMP.org for more information and program descriptions.
About The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP)
The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) is a national organization dedicated to training and educating U. S. citizens in responsible uses of firearms and airguns through gun safety training, marksmanship training and competitions. The CMP is a federally chartered 501(c)(3) corporation that places its highest priority on serving youth through gun safety and marksmanship activities that encourage personal growth and build life skills.
For more information, please visit www.TheCMP.org.