2004 National Championships
October 8 - 10, 2004
Butner, North Carolina
The first ever F-Class United States Championship match was held at the famed Butner, NC National Guard Training Range #4. There was beautiful weather on tap the whole weekend, not to hot, not to cold, and no rain at all. We had 135 shooters participate from 30 different states (AK, AL, AZ, CA, CT, DE, GA, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KY, LA, MD, MI, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, and WY) and 4 different countries (Canada, UK, Scotland, and South Africa).
There were two classes contested over this 3 day match, Target Rifle (T/R) and F-Class Open (F/O). There were 46 T/R and 89 F/O competitors in all. Some of the special categories being contested were Top Female, Top Senior, and Top Junior. There were 3 woman, 2 juniors, and 7 seniors competing for these awards. A special thanks goes to the North State Shooting Club for hosting this match and to the NC National Guardsmen/women for the use of their great facility!
Some of our special guests were the teams from the United Kingdom and South Africa. Those shooters traveled a long ways and had a grand old time from what I hear. South African will be hosting the World Championships in 2005. A special welcome to them. We also had John Sigler, the NRA 2d VP and Edie Reynolds, NRA Rep on hand to help handout awards to the winners. John even competed on Sunday just to see what F-class was all about, and for a self-proclaimed pistol shooter.... winning the morning match isn't a bad way to start out for a "rookie". He fired a 150-14x for a 164-14x score. Congratulations John!!
Friday Oct 8th - Day #1
The match started with everyone firing 3 individual matches at 600 yards and ended with a 4-man team match. The conditions on this day were probably the trickiest of the entire championship. At the completion of individual firing the first John Brewer was first with a 471.22 in F/O and Kurt Hester with a 456.15 was first in T/R class. The matches were still pretty close at the top though. In F/O class there were only a couple of points between the top 3 and the X count was up for grabs. The T/R class had the top 2 shooters with the same scores but the leader had 4 more Xs. So there were no runaways and the field was wide open.
After the matches were over the teams got together and went to a local restaurant from some food and drinks and some socializing. The Diggle Dollopers brought along their Lung Tester and eventually got some bites on it. Nobody figured it out though. If you ever have the pleasure to spend an evening with these gents, you should do so because they believe in laughing hard as much as good shooting.
Saturday Oct 9th - Day #2
This day was the first of the 1000yd stages with 3 individual matches and 1 team match again. The conditions were pretty decent without a lot of big changes, but enough movement that you needed to hold pretty good to keep scoring those Xs. For the team match in the afternoon, it boiled down to a trigger pulling contest when all conditions just flat laid down.
After the range was called cold on Saturday afternoon John Brewer again led the T/O class with a 488.38 with Bob Crone and Emil Praslick III right on his heals and Kurt Hester in T/R class again stretched out his lead a little more with a 476.27 with second place 4 points back from him. A special note should be made that John Brewer fired the only perfect score of the match on this day during that last match. That's 15X at 1000yds for a total 165.15. Nice shooting John!
A complete chicken BBQ dinner was served to all match participants after the match. It was a good time to socialize with other shooters and enjoy some good southern chicken.
Sunday Oct 10th - Day #3
The final day of competition brought about some more great sunshine and decent conditions, but the conditions were not as good as Saturdays though. The format for this day was 2 more individual matches and the final team match all at 1000yds to wrap things up for the Nationals competition. John Brewer in F/O and Kurt Hester were finally unseated as the day agg winners. They were replaced by Larry Bartholome in T/O class with a 322.23 and Brad Sauve in T/R with a 312.17 score.
At the conclusion of the match it was time to pull up a chair and enjoy the awards ceremony. Many door prizes were given out and then all of the awards and prizes were handed out. Congratulations to everyone and especially to the winners! See the following links below for all of the individual and team results.