By Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer
Camp Perry, OH -(AmmoLand.com)- Come be a part of Open Public Shooting at the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s (CMP) world-class air gun facilities in Camp Perry, Ohio, and Anniston, Ala.
All ages and genders are welcome and urged to take a shot (or two or three) at the rousing world of air rifle and air pistol marksmanship from our safe and fun indoor ranges.
“Open Public Shooting at the air range is an enjoyable evening for many different groups,” said Lue Sherman, North Competition Center coordinator. “We have a great staff of qualified coaches on hand to make everyone feel comfortable.”
Sherman can often be seen helping range-goers during Open Public nights, along with other qualified CMP staff members from various backgrounds and firearm experience – including World Cup athletes, college athletes, military members and certified coaches through NRA and USA shooting.
“People come to the range for the first time to experience electronic targets, but they stay for the attentive coaching that they receive from staff,” said James Hall, CMP program outreach supervisor – stationed at the South office in Alabama.
The 20,000-square-foot CMP South Competition Center in Anniston houses classrooms, offices and changing rooms. Connected to the facility is the 80-point air gun range that houses 10-meter firing points – equipped with state-of-the-art electronic targets.
The Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center at Camp Perry is the completed result of the $1.1 million-dollar expansion to the formerly known CMP North Marksmanship Center. The expansion includes an open reception and common area, fully equipped classrooms, cylinder filling room and CMP retail store. The addition also includes projection screens and flat-screen television sets throughout the building.
Connected to the new expansion is the existing 80-point air gun range, which replicates the impressive South Range in Anniston.
For those new to the sport, the lightweight, easy-to-use air guns are available for loan at both ranges. Sporter class air rifles are free of charge, while the National Match Air Rifles (NMAR) are available to rent for a reasonable fee.
Participants must supply their own pellets or may purchase them at the range. Shooters who own personal air guns may use them at the range as well, as long as they are under 600 fps.
“It’s great to work with the beginner shooters and have them leave at the end of the evening with a smile on their face and excited to come back again,” said Sherman of her observations at the Ohio range.
“Many first time visitors are surprised to find such a world class facility is located close to their home in Anniston AL,” Hall added.
“Participants really enjoy using the NMAR rifles as well as the pre-charged Crosmans – not having to pump the gun entices people to spend more time shooting. And the comradery amongst the other shooters undoubtedly makes for a friendly atmosphere,” he said.
Offering the chance to do something safe, fun and a little out of the ordinary, youth church groups and clusters of friends have been known to use both ranges as a “game night” – challenging each other with pretend matches and generating laughs throughout the evening.
The Annie OAKleys, a local church group of women who gather for fun matches and marksmanship practice (instructed at times by Gary Anderson himself and organized by his wife, Ruth Ann), also occasionally spend girl’s nights together on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the range in Ohio.
Because of the state-of-the-art facilities offered by the CMP, some local rifle programs in Alabama as well as Ohio use the Open Public Nights as practice sessions. The Ottawa County 4-H Shooting Stars and Black Swamp Jr. Rifle teams, along with the nearby Donoho School, Munford City School and Calhoun County 4-H programs in Alabama, call the ranges home on Tuesday and Thursday nights.
A group of air pistol shooters even drive to the South Competition Center from Birmingham and Atlanta to receive coaching from the CMP staff as well. Additionally, because of the center's close proximity to Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Ala., many college rifle team members come to the range to receive coaching from the CMP’s experienced staff.
The CMP also encourages those with disabilities to attend its Open Nights. The air ranges carry spring stands and other equipment for use with para-athletes. Because the shooting sport utilizes a functional classification system, wheelchair users and ambulant athletes from different disability classes are able to compete together, either individually or in teams.
For individuals with a competitive spirit, Open Pubic Nights host a CMP Pneumatic Bench League – fired to add a little competition to the setting. The course of fire is 20 shots from the bench at 300 yards reduced targets (first 10 shots are “sighters,” or practice shots) and 20 shots from bench at 600 yards reduced targets (first 10 shots are sighters). Shooters must use Sporter Pneumatic Single Pump .177 pellet rifles that shoot at 600 feet per second or less with either Open Sights or Scope, such as Daisy 853 Rifles.
This is a Monthly Re-Entry League, meaning shooters can re-enter as many times as they’d like, with the top score kept. Entry fee is $2.00 for each entry – placed into the prize pool that offers 100 percent payout (1st Place, 50 percent; 2nd Place, 30 percent; 3rd Place, 20 percent).
The Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center is open Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5-8 p.m., August through June, except for holidays and special events. The range can also be rented for a fee for your next company or business/family outing.
The CMP South Competition Center holds Open Shooting hours for the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-7 p.m.
All shooters who wish to fire in the range must complete a one-time CMP Eligibility Affidavit and a Liability Waiver, as well as attend a short safety briefing. Shooters under the age of 18 must have a parental consent form signed.
For more information on Open Public Shooting, visit http://thecmp.org/air/cmp-competition-centers/open-public-shooting/.
Questions may be directed to Lue Sherman at [email protected] or 419-635-2141 ext. 707 for the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center and Matt Carroll at [email protected] or 256-835-8455 ext. 415 for the CMP South Competition Center.
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.