Dates set for 4th Annual NRA Metric National Championship in Bristol, Indiana

The smiling winners of the 2012 NRA Metric National Championship

Fairfax, Virginia - The National Matches at Camp Perry are a shooter's paradise, especially for smallbore competitors. But what about those who just can't get enough action or have scheduling conflicts?

Enter the NRA Metric National Championship.

Going on its fourth year, the NRA Metric National Championship is held just prior to the National Conventional Championships at Camp Perry on the Wa-Ke-‘Da Rifle Range in Bristol, Indiana. This year you'll be able to test your skill July 11-15.

And when we say just prior, we really mean it. The first of Camp Perry's two smallbore legs, 3-Position, starts July 17. Once the Metric Championship ends, competitors shooting at Camp Perry will have one day to get to the shore of Lake Erie for the practice day. Don't worry though, Bristol is just a short drive from Camp Perry - about three hours - and many shooters attend both.

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Shoots for 40 years, donates awards to NRA Museum

Around this time last year, 80+ year old Hazel Poole of Indiana donated her 'Scare Jacket' to the NRA National Firearms Museum:

Fairfax, Virginia - The National Firearms Museum receives donations every year — some from within our own NRA family. Today, Museum Director Jim Supica received just that kind of donation from the Hazel Poole of Indiana donates her shotgun Scare Jacket to National Firearms Museum Director Jim Supica family of our very own Bill Poole, the Director of NRA’s Education & Training Division.

It’s no secret to NRA employees that Bill is a wizard when it comes to the game of trapshooting. When you meet his mother Hazel, it’s easy to understand where Bill not only gets his shooting skills, but his sense of humor too.

Hazel flew in from Indiana to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with Bill and his family. While here, she made a unique donation to the National Firearms Museum: her “Scare Jacket.”

Many competitive shooters own Scare Jackets (or shooting vests) embellished with the patches, pins, medals, and other awards they collected over the years. And Hazel’s jacket is certainly scary enough to warn other competitive shooters that she was quite the force to be reckoned with on the range.

As an accomplished trap shooter, Hazel is an Indiana State Trap Champion and a Hall of Fame trap shooter in both Indiana and Kentucky. Her Scare Jacket is covered with patches and pins that recognize her accomplishments on the trap field including State Team and Ladies’ Champion titles. The largest patch of all is on the back of the jacket — the Ladies’ Champion at the Dayton Homecoming Grand American in 1970, a major competition for trap shooters.

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Is there just not enough competition going on for you even with Camp Perry? Can't wait until Camp Perry's rifle phases? Good, because NRA's third annual Metric National Championship is about to start.

Held on the Wa-Ke-‘Da Rifle Range in Bristol, Indiana, July 13-17, the championship consists of both Position and Prone portions.

Despite being so close to the National Matches, the championship ends just before Camp Perry's smallbore practice begins on July 18. Bristol is also a short drive from Camp Perry and many shooters compete at both places, using the Metric Championship as some last minute practice before the big show.

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Campers in the Living History Center

Friendship, Indiana - One of the highlights of the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association's Spring Shoot is the Primitive Encampment/Living History Center, a section of the property that appears to have traveled backwards in time to the earliest days of the United States.

Here, you could find people dressed up in pre-1840s attire and living in canvas tents and log cabins throughout the week. Visitors, affectionately referred to as "flatlanders," would occasionally come through and browse the wares and admire the setups, but this wasn't all for them. A "commericial row" was set up to sell handmade items to people of every time, but the people in the Primitive Encampment were there for each other, as a hobby they enjoyed, more than residents of the 21st century.

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Shooters on the Quail Walk, Saturday at the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association's Spring Shoot

Friendship, Indiana - The awards ceremony for the NRA Trap Championship were held yesterday, completing the shotgun section of the NRA National Muzzle Loading Championships.

Trap was a little longer than the skeet championship. Where skeet was an aggregate of 16 birds and 14 doubles, trap involved 40 birds for six and a half days; almost the entire length of the Spring Shoot.

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Joe Brown with Match Director Jonathan Leighton

Friendship, Indiana - After yesterday's NRA Black Powder Skeet Championship I was able to pull aside the winner, Joe Brown, and pick his brain to learn what he likes so much about muzzleloader matches and what he thinks of the NMLRA's Spring Shoot.

"I've been muzzleloading of some kind or over for 30 years," Joe told me, immediately establishing how much he likes the sport. "I started coming up here maybe 25 years ago, but I was a pistol shooter and moved to shotgun a few years later. I've always liked skeet and try to shoot modern skeet once a week at the local club. It took me a while to move to muzzleloader skeet, but I'm glad I did."

This was the first muzzleloading shotgun match I'd been to and, unlike other shotgun competitions I go to, it was a new experience seeing shooters walk off the field to reload their shotguns at the bench before the next set of clays.

This component of muzzleloading is something shooters don't experience with modern styles and creates a unique experience.

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Viewing historical guns at the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association's Spring Shoot

Friendship, Indiana - As National Firearms Museum Senior Curator Phil Schreier told us last week, there was a spectacular exhibit on the Lewis & Clark Expedition at this year's National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association's Spring Shoot. In the video below, Phil talks about some of the interesting history behind the exhibit's centerpiece, of which there were TWO of these rifles side-by-side. Accomplishing this was a feat so rare you're not likely to see it again.

In addition to oogling rare and historic firearms, the NMLRA's Spring Shoot offers a whole list of classes throughout the week for some hands-on learning.

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Indiana NRA Field Rep John Crone

Friendship, Indiana - Yesterday on the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association's skeet field, we were lucky enough to run into none other than NRA's Indiana Field Representative John Crone.

Initially he blended in as just one of the guys; just one of the many shooters here at the match. But soon enough we came to realize that this was a man we've met at a number of NRA events.

After finishing the last flight of clays, he left the firing line to clean his shotguns. I took the opportunity to go over and check on his progress.

Crone is a big fan of muzzleloading. In fact, he has been coming out to the NMLRA matches for about 10 years. Expect last year. Events beyond his control took him away from the sport that he loves so.

"I was gone for eighteen months in Iraq and I'm back at it," Crone told me with a smile. "I'm out here and I'm making noise."

He had shot well, but others had shot better. The Spring Shoot brings out some extremely talented marksmen. 

When I brought up next week's Field Operations Division Annual Planning Meeting, Crone said he was excited, but also had some fighting words for some of his co-workers - listen up, Field Reps.

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A hot rod at the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association Spring Shoot

Friendship, Indiana - I arrived at Friendship for the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association's (NMLRA) Spring Shoot yesterday as things were wrapping up. Luckily, there was still time to snap some photos from the activities of the day.

Now if you think Camp Perry has a lot of matches, then you're probably not familiar with the NMLRA. The Association's Spring Shoot features more than 600! This includes the more than 50 NRA matches shot over the week.

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