The National Smallbore Rifle Outdoor Conventional Three Position Championship
The Metallic Sight Championship
Veteran competitor and shooting sports writer Hap Rocketto sat down with NRA Board Member Walt Walter to put together this report from Day One of the NRA's Conventional 3-Postition Smallbore Championship
Bristol, Indiana -
The first day of the National Smallbore Rifle Outdoor Conventional Three Position Championship easily reminded of one of the penultimate scene of the Warner Brothers 1942 classic Casablanca. Nazi Major Heinrich Strasser is shot by Humphrey Bogart's character, Rick Blaine. Corrupt Police Inspector Louis Renault was a witness to the shooting but saves Rick's life by telling the investigating police to "round up the usual suspects". It seems that all of the usual suspects were present at Bristol and ready to shoot.
For many this was day three of a four day position grind, the range, course of fire, and shooters were the same but the change of target, from metric to conventional, made many feel that they had put on glasses with magnifying lenses.
Conditions were good, 36 400X400 were recorded prone with the top four having 36Xs requiring a peek at the rule book to break ties. Gordon Jonas, an intermediate senior shooting in the Expert class, won the match with Sarah Beard and Cap Spencer coming in second and third while Dan Lowe had to settle for first Master.
Standing was no walk in the park if you were not punching out tens and Xs. It seemed to be the day for Experts as Elizabeth Gratz was as solid as an oak. She opened with a 200-9X and backed it up with a 199-9X for 399-18X win on her feet. Michael Dickinson was giving up no ground as he posted a 398-20X to move into second ahead of George Norton’s 396-28X.
Going into kneeling competitors from Master, Expert and, Sharpshooter classes were all in play. Gratz was in the lead just three points down. Master Norton, 796-58X, held a seven X lead on Dickinson, Sharpshooter Bernard Cheezum 796-44X was right behind and Spencer stood at 795-52X, Beard held on at 794-57X and Jonas. It was a day when execution was the key and there was just no room for error going into the final 40 shots.
In the final standings Army shooter George Norton was victorious firing a fine aggregate of 1196-85xs. Second place went to civilian Michael Dickinson who was barely out of the money with a score of 1196-75xs while Bernard Cheezum,III took third place.