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2017 Nevada Grand Prix Match report (June9-11th)

June 13 2017 at 5:47 PM

Nevada Air Gunners (N.A.G.)  (Login AirSmithCA)

Wow!! What an amazing experience. I am so exhausted and thrilled at the same time. But to be completely honest, With my foot injury and the long recovery from surgery, I wasn't sure this event would even happen this year. I seriously considered canceling it but Jason Howard stepped up and said he would do the target installation if I was willing to organize the event. I know I speak for all of us whom were there when I say THANK YOU Jason!!!! Your tireless efforts all last week were very much appreciated. He helped me prep and paint all 56 targets, installed them through out the canyon, set up camp, and even designed a new logo for the club..... Great Job!! You are amazing!

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Thankfully, it was all worthwhile. Out of 20 expected registrants, I am pleased to report 16 dedicated field target shooters made the trek to Battle Mountain to test themselves against the 56 metal quarry on the slopes and flats of Horse Canyon at the Square "M" ranch and showed themselves ready to take on Battle Mountain”s montra "ARE YOU TOUGH ENOUGH?" We had several typical suspects returning from last year with some other established field target shooters coming to Battle Mountain for the first time. We also welcomed Derek Acres from Colorado and Al Padilla from southern Ca whom joined us as walk-ons. Many camped on site and some enjoyed the inexpensive lodging in town. After each match we enjoyd a customary BBQ picnic lunch at the picnic tables. The few that had to make last minute changes were missed. We hope you will have the opportunity to participate in this field target adventure again sometime soon.

Jason and I arrived early and camped on site all week to make preparations. Our course spans 28 lanes up a dirt road that snakes it's way through the canyon. The terrain is rugged and scenic and it emphasizes the "field" in field target but it provides the opportunity to create a unique challenge at every turn. Some shots are uphill, some downhill, some steep, some shallow. Others are flatter and some are canopied by trees and shrubs for light and dark effect. The wind is often a factor out there and with the way that the canyon walls change height and direction, You can have one shot that has minimal wind effect and the next on the same lane could have left or right drift, sometimes coupled with up or down drafts.
Our match activities started Friday June 9th with a Pistol match. A week or so before the match We rescheduled the Pistol match for 1pm to accommodate contestants needing to travel Friday morning because of work schedules. With some clouds overhead, temps were pleasant and conditions were good throughout the afternoon. We had six Hunter pistol shooters and four in Limited. The course was fairly tough with a possible of 40 points. We had a very tight contest in Limited with Rizalde shooting his "Rizzynator" and Bill Corder with "the Riddler". Randy Ebersole lead Hunter with his new Thomas brand convertible carbine that doubles as a PFT rig with the butt stock removed.

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1st Rizalde Marquez – Steyer LP1 - scope undeclared- …… 32/40
2nd Bill Corder – AA S500 pistol – Weaver Kaspa 3-12x- …. 31
3rd Cameron Kerndt- Airmax MK2 – Leapers 3-12x- ……... 27
Lonnie Smith – Crosman 1701P – 3-12 Aeon - …………..… 6


1st. Randy Ebersole – Thomas – undeclared 3-12x-42- .... 33/40
2nd. Scott Hull – Benjamin Marauder – UTG 3-12-44-..….. 30
3rd. John Knapp – Crosman 1720T – Hawke 3-12x-50-…… 24
Wayne Burns – Marauder Pistol – Hawke 3-12x -…………… 23
Darren Taylor – 1740 special – Weaver 12x - ……………….. 19
Jason Howard – 1720T – Simmons 3-12 - ……………………….13

Rifle Match:

The 28 lanes on our course span approximately 1/2 mile and they rise in elevation a little. Because of the wind factors can change so dramatically from day to day I assign lanes with an ODD number course and an EVEN number course. That way each day every shooter gets a sampling of the whole layout under the same conditions. In order to help avoid confusion, our Lane signs and scorecards were color matched (YELLOW/Even lanes and RED/odd lanes) to keep everyone on track. To assist our shooters in finding targets on their assigned lanes we created matching yellow or Red target signs. Each target was assigned a number that corresponded on the scorecards. Shooters were expected to shoot the targets in numerical sequence. Our match conditions this year are a perfect example as to why I run the lanes this way. Saturday the wind was brutal!! 15-25mph winds and gusts. Sunday was a beautiful mild breezy day. The lower part of the course gets the full brunt of the wind. The upper side of the course is much more protected by trees and the topography. Going with ODD/EVEN protocol gives every shooter as fair of a sampling of facing the elements as I can provide.

On the course we had some very tight contests in OPEN PCP and HUNTER PCP and a surprise victory by a new shooter. Derek Acres, a veteran in our armed services, registered as a walk=on toting an RWS 54 and manged to top Hunter Piston for a win in his first field target match. Chris Merritt shot an impressive day 2 score to mount a comeback in OPEN-PCP which was decided by only one point against Wayne Burns. Hunter Precharge ended in a tie for first place between Randy Ebersole and Jim Cyran with the shoot off going to Randy Ebersole.

On the scoreboard:

Wayne Burns – USFT #156 – Nikko 10-50x-60 - ……….86/112
Chris Merritt – USFT – scope undeclared - …………….85
Pat Callihan – USFT – Bushnell 8-32-40 - ………………. 48


Rizalde Marquez – Thomas – scope undeclared – … 93/112
Scott Hull – Marauder carbine – UTG 3-12x-44 - …... 83
Bill Corder – Steyer LG110 – Leupod Comp 35x - …… 81

Lonnie Smith – HW97 – Simmons 6.5-20x-50 - …….. 76/112

Derek Acres – RWS 54 – scope undeclared - ………60/112
Jason Howard – HW97 – Vortex 4-12x-40 …………..50
Len Niles - Benji NP – UTG 3-9x - …………………………20

Randy Ebersole – Thomas – Hawke - ………………… 85/112
Jim Cyran – SteyerLG100 – S&B 5-25x-56 - …………85
John Knapp – TM-1000 – Hawke 8-32x-56 -….…….82
Cameron Kerndt – Steyer LG110 – Hawke -.…….. 79
Darren Taylor – Steyer – Hawke - ……………………….70
Al Padilla – Air Arms S500 – Aeon - …………………….58

Thank you to all of our participants. Your presence enhanced our experience. I hope each of you enjoyed sharing the field as much as I enjoyed sharing it with each of you. Congratulations on your achievements!! Also I’d like to offer a big THANK YOU to all who helped take down the course Sunday. We appreciated that assistance so very much!!!!

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Randy and Riz celebrating their divisional sweep of Pistol and Rifle wins.
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This message has been edited by AirSmithCA on Jun 13, 2017 8:35 PM

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Scott Hull
(Login Scotchmo1957)

Thanks Lonnie, Jason,...

June 13 2017, 7:15 PM 

Chris, etc. It was impressive that you managed to put on a quality GP match when considering the distances and terrain. If you host it again, it's on my list.

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Wayne Burns
(Login WayneBurns)

Great Match, Great food, Great fun, AND GREAT FOLKS to spend time with!

June 13 2017, 10:44 PM 

Thanks to all who worked so hard to make it happen, and those who traveled to attend... It takes a lot of effort to make something like this happen in the middle of nowhere. AS much as I complained, I still loved the challenge of this course! ... especially, now that I'm done shooting it:-) for this year.

I got a flat last year also, on the way out, and bought some nice new 10plys for the back, but my front tires are iffy at best, so we went the longer mostly Paved Way down 305, BUT, it is about 2/3rds less rock road to travel on.. so we lucked out this year.

The neighbor said the rock they use to regravel with, is from the blasted mine tailings, so they have lots of sharp edges. I guess the county figures it saves money on rock and the local tire shops sell more tires and pay more taxes, or something like that.. Great planning if ya think about it:-)

I was really impressed with Derek's shooting with his hunting rig, a .22 cal RWS 54. At about 16fpe, that is a very loopy trajectory. Not bad winning a state division title at your first match. The week he spent learning the game here in Ashland seems to have paid off:-)


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Lonnie Smith
(Login AirSmithCA)

interesting thing about Old 8A Road ...

June 13 2017, 11:59 PM 

The first 3-4 times we' ve come out I had no problem but this year was ridiculous. Obviously something has changed. We drove out the long way too and also noted that the gravel section was better that direction. Ten ply tires are good, another tip I learned is reducing the inflation. Lot of people tend to run them higher for better mileage on the highways. But for gravel roads I think a running them a little low is a better ride and it allows the tire to flex more on the uneven surfaces.

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(Login JHoward2882)

Thank you guys

June 13 2017, 11:24 PM 

For all the great talks and for helping out with the take down. My ankles salute you.

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Paul Porch
(Login paulporch)

Looked like fun and a challange. Congrats Riz and Randy ! Good shooting by all ...

June 15 2017, 6:20 AM 

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(Login 22Jim)

What a Special Match!

June 15 2017, 9:33 PM 

First a huge thank you to the people who made this match possible, Chris, Lonnie and Jason. We out West are truly blessed to have such enthusiastic members of our sport who give freely of their time and resources to put on special matches like this.

This is such a unique match. Held in the middle of nowhere not close to anyone, primitive camping, difficult course of fire, howling winds, dust and gravel, miles of dirt roads to access the match site. Out of the 9 or so vehicles that were driven to the match site we had at least 5 flat tires and one catastrophic blow out over the 3 days. In spite of the conditions I never heard one complaint, people cooked great food and shared with everyone, beverages flowed freely, and great friendships were cemented over the 3 day event. I though to myself it was too bad that so many people were missing such a great event, but then I realized that only a small percentage of people would enjoy such a match. The 16 or so shooters who show up each year are a unique bunch of people to be able to appreciate this match.

The competition was superb, and shooting was really incredible. The goal on Saturday was to survive. Below is a link to a You Tube video showing the wind conditions during the pistol match on Friday, the winds on Saturday for the rifle match were the same or worse. Sunday we caught a break and had only moderate winds, welcomed by all the shooters.

I have come to appreciate the people who show up to compete at these special matches because without their support there would be no matches like this.

Below are some pictures from the pistol match on Friday.

Jim in Sacramento

Video of wind in the Canyon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1awIAs7lVU
(notice the target markers as well)

The pretzel man Scott
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John, Randy and Sarge
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Several competitors watching Jason
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(Login dan_house)

So Is early June gonna be the match date now?

June 16 2017, 4:41 PM 

Bummed I missed it this time. Last year was a blast

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Lonnie Smith
(Login AirSmithCA)

Yes, Late May early June is what We have in mind..

June 16 2017, 6:53 PM 

You were definitely missed Dan.


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On line trajectory calc by Brad Troyer MILDOTS


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