Each year over Labor Day weekend, the ARA Nationals are held at the Benchrest Rifle Club of St. Louis, a fantastic shooting venue near Wright City, Missouri. The National Tournament is shot over two days. Five targets are fired on Saturday and three more on Sunday. Three relays are needed to accommodate all of the shooters. Last weekend, ninety nine of the best rimfire benchrest shooters from around the country met in at the BRRC to compete. Those competitors probably fired more than forty thousand shots (including warming and sighting shots) at their 792 targets. That’s a LOT of shooting!!!
And the range was beautifully covered in hundreds of colorful wind flags. It was quite a sight. This year was the nicest weather we’ve ever had for a National Tournament. The weather was pleasant for both day’s shooting. It was breezy with switchy winds, but not too strong. As usual, the competition was fierce, with only a few points separating competitors. The final standings, scores, and equipment used by all of the competitors will be posted here on the ARA website within the next few days.
Pictures and videos are already posted on the ARA Facebook site. They are interesting and well worth your time to peruse.
This year, Iowa was very well represented, considering that Iowa only has two clubs that host ARA matches.
Iowa shooters included:
Scott Albury (yeah, I know that he lives in Illinois, but he shoots with us, so we’ve adopted him), Logan Deters, Ron Elbe, Dustin Godman, Keith Johnson, Brian Voelker, Dan White
And those shooters had outstanding logistics and psychological support from more Iowans including:
Kevin Coss, Jim Giesking, Mike Godman, Keith Johnson’s wife, Marcia Voelker
At the conclusion of shooting, many awards and some great door prizes (including a brand new benchrest rifle with Leupold scope and case) were handed out. (I didn’t win the rifle, or any of the door prizes, but I sure had fun.) The Nationals are great fun and a wonderful learning experience. I can highly recommend that you participate.
Oak Hills Gun Club
ARA puts out a magazine (online and hard copy) about twice a year. It covers both ARA (American Rimfire Association) matches and PSL (Professional Shooting League) matches. Interesting reading, particularly since you can read it free, just by clicking on the pic of the magazine in the below link. The September 2016 issue contains lots of color pictures that let you see the Nationals and the facilities at the St. Louis Benchrest Rifle Club. And, that issue contains a great article on Dustin Godman and Logan Deters, the two Oak Hills Junior shooters who attended the Nationals this year. BTW if you’ve never gone to an ARA Nationals, I highly recommend it. It’s both interesting and educational. The ARA Nationals are held at the St. Louis Benchrest Rifle Club, which is only about a 4-hour drive from here. No one has to “qualify” for the ARA Nationals. Just register, pay your entry fee, and shoot. For your entry fee, you’ll shoot 5 targets on Saturday and 5 targets on Sunday. And you’ll get to rub elbows with the best shooters, gunsmiths, and rifle component manufacturers in the country. They are all great folks to be around.
ARA News September_2016*