Shooters break into teams for two days of joint competition on Lake Erie's shore

2014 NRA Enlisted Men's Trophy Team Match at Camp Perry

Port Clinton, Ohio - Before the High Power Championship officially starts at this year's NRA National Rifle and Pistol Matches, presented by Remington, competitors have a couple days to team up with their buddies and shoot some team matches.

Yesterday's two-person matches, Whistler Boy and the Remington/NRA 2nd Amendment Match, saw a number of both civilian and military shooters line up on Rodriguez range. The 2013 High Power National Champion, SSGT Brandon Keith Green of the United States Army Marksmanship Unit, looked ready to pick up where he left off last year, winning the 2nd Amendment Match with USAMU teammate SSGT Shane Barnhardt and a combined score of 982-41x out of 1000.

In the Whistler Boy Match, open only to junior shooters, team California Hodgson's Forrest Greenwood and Lane Ichord took first after shooting the match-high of 952-28x.

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Popular for decades, the NRA-Springfield M1A Match breathes new life into a legendary rifle before the High Power Rifle Championships

Port Clinton, Ohio - Before the rise of the AR-15 as the competition rifle of choice in the shooting sports, the Springfield M1A enjoyed a number of years in the spotlight. Still an effective firearm, many still enjoy shooting the M1A whether they have owned one for decades or recently began appreciating the classic rifle. Because of its sustained popularity, the NRA teamed up with Springfield Armory a few years ago to create the NRA-Springfield M1A Match, celebrating its use.

The match is the most prize-rich High Power event the NRA holds, with more than $25,000 in cash and prizes awarded across all skill levels. If you shoot the match, there's a very good chance you'll walk away with some cash.

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NRA Pistol winner started his military career in high school, learned pistol later

Patrick Franks lifts NRA National Pistol Trophy over his head in celebration

Port Clinton, Ohio - Patrick Franks didn’t start with a love for pistol. Probably an odd thing to hear when referring to NRA’s 2014 National Pistol Champion, but that doesn’t make it any less real.

“My father started me shooting smallbore when I was a freshman in high school,” Franks explained from the Hough Theater stage in Camp Perry, Ohio. “I got older, less interested, joined the military and became more interested.”

Probably a familiar tale.

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From Interservice Champion to NRA National Champion in under a month

Patrick Franks of the US Army Marksmanship Unit wins NRA's 2014 National Pistol Championship

Port Clinton, Ohio - Just as the shooting community was getting use to the idea of this year's Bianchi Cup upset we have another.

This afternoon, Patrick Franks of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit walked off the Rodriguez range as NRA's National Pistol Champion. It's the first time in 14 years that someone besides Zins or Hemphill was allowed to hoist the trophy to the sky. With a final score of 2649-147x, his victory was by the slimmest of margins.

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Title winners and past champs gather at NRA Pistol Championships for team win

Colorado's State Pistol Team

Port Clinton, Ohio - They say you're never shooting against the competition ... only against yourself. If your performance continues to improve then that's all that matters. But there are times when you are shooting for more. More than individual performance. When you're shooting for others. For teammates.

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Shooters of all shapes and sizes come out for the shot at the NRA title

Centerfire shooter on the 3rd Day of NRA's National Pistol Championships in Camp Perry, Ohio

Port Clinton, Ohio - If you've never attended a match held by the National Rifle Association then you don't know what you're missing. The sights and sounds are enough to overwhelming the tamest of all firearm enthusiast, driving one to ask ... why the hell am I watching and not shooting in this thing?!!?!

More of a look around the NRA National Pistol Championships ...

First time competitive shooter arrives on the big stage at the NRA Nationals

Sgt. Lawrence Carter walks his targets back to the 50 yard line at Camp Perry, Ohio

Port Clinton, Ohio - Ending Day Three of the NRA National Pistol Championships on the third page isn't what you shoot for (no pun intended). But when you've only been worried about marksmanship for grand total of 2 1/2 months, it's not a bad place to be. Such is the case for Sgt. First Class Lawrence Carter from Alpha Company, Special Operations Recruiting Battalion out of Fort Bragg.

"Shooting is shooting, but you have to have a lot more patient when it comes to marksmanship," the Sergeant explained. "It’s very precise. Dramatically precise."

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Competitors facing chance of seizing National NRA crown from the 13-time champ

Brian Zins shoots during the NRA Centerfire Pistol Championship

Port Clinton, Ohio - Certain things in life are certain

Water is wet, frogs should never trust scorpions, and the sun will come out tomorrow. Another certainty, at least in the world of competitive shooting, is that Brian Zins will win the NRA National Pistol Championship. Well get ready for a day without sun.

Heading into the final match of the competition, Zins finds himself 8 points behind co-leaders Keith Sanderson and Nick Mowrer with a 1759-87x. 8 points behind. Not that either man's score of 1767 (we'll leave out the X count for now) is an insurmountable climb. Heck, Patrick Franks sits only 1 point behind while Lange and Henderson are each a mere 2 points away from tasting the Iron Throne.

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Marine takes first title in NRA National Pistol competition in Ohio

Shooter lines up for NRA's Preliminary Pistol Championship at Camp Perry

Port Clinton, Ohio - The first title taken at the NRA National Pistol Championships is not part of the championships at all. Let me say that again ... the first title taken at the RNA National Pistol Championships is not part of the overall championships. That's because it's the prelim.

"They shoot the same guns, the same 900 shots, but it's more about preparing for the championships than winning them," explain Pistol Match Director Tom Hughes. "Almost a warm up."

Warm up or not, the Preliminary Pistol Championships still comes with a title, awards, and the envy of those who weren't prepared for the first bite at the apple. It means you're tested, firing true and ready to take on the aggregate charge.

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