NRA Competitive Shooting Division carries America's shooting sports traditions into the 21st century

Doug Koenig at the 2013 MidwayUSA & NRA Bianchi Cup Colt Speed Event

Fairfax, Virginia - My list's #3 is the successful year in NRA Competitive Shooting. While all may seen quiet in the cold winter months, the Competitive Shooting staff is working hard to make sure it continues offering a wide range of shooting activities to everyone interested in our great American tradition - from novices to world champions.

How many activities? The NRA sanctions more than 11,000 shooting tournaments and sponsors more than 50 national championships each year.

While not as visible as Camp Perry or the Bianchi Cup, NRA Competitive Shooting's largest event actually began yesterday. The National Indoor Rifle & Pistol Championships is the biggest competition of the year, bringing in thousands of shooters who participate comfortably from their backyards in sectional tournaments across the country.

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From the Rifle Clubs in Sacramento to the Champion's podium at NRA's National Long Range Championships

Sergeant Tyrel Cooper, NRA's 2013 National Long Range High Power Rifle Champion
Staff Sergeant Tyrel Cooper stands alongside the Tompkins Trophy at NRA's Long Range High Power Rifle Awards Ceremony.

Port Clinton, Ohio - It was a close one for Staff Sergeant Tyrel Cooper. He's been close before at NRA's National Long Range High Power Rifle Championships in Camp Perry, but not as close as this. Not so close that his overall point total of 1243, while impressive, was not good enough to win. It was only good enough for a tie. Thank god for the X count.

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Teams get first crack at the titles for NRA Long Range Awards Ceremony

All Guard Rifle team accepting their prize during NRA's Long Range High Power Rifle Awards Ceremony

Port Clinton, Ohio - After a long day of gunning for NRA's overall Long Range High Power Rifle title, a smaller group of competitors decided to cast aside an afternoon of rest and relaxation in lieu of a team match. All you have to do is round up three shooters, one coach and one captain — that's a team. That's also the easy part. The tough part comes when you get behind the gun. Even worse, when they get behind the gun.

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Army Marksmanship Unit takes top prize at NRA Long Range

Ty Cooper of the US Army Marksmanship Unit wins NRA's Long Range High Power Rifle Championships

Port Clinton, Ohio - Tyrel Cooper of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit won NRA's National Long Range High Power Rifle Championships this afternoon with a final score of 1243-71x. Held every summer at Ohio National Guard base known as Camp Perry, the Long Range phase marks the conclusion of NRA's National Rifle & Pistol Championships.

"It's a long time coming," said Cooper with a smile. "Years of shooting and now here it is."

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Shooting at 800, 900 and 1,000 yards for NRA's final rifle title of the season

Shooter expels a round during the 800 yard phase of NRA's 2013 Palma Match

Port Clinton, Ohio - The final day of NRA's Long Range High Power Rifle Championship is devoted to Palma. A course of shooting different from others, it's been known to send some shooters home early.

"We saw one guy who fired the first relay, grabbed his equipment, and went home," said Gary, a competitor from Michigan. "Guess it's not for everybody."

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Service Rifle's top prize at NRA Championships goes to All Guard Shooter

All Guard's Cody Shields wins NRA's 2013 Porter Trophy in a shoot out at NRA Long Range Rifle Championships

Port Clinton, Ohio - This time last year, Cody Shields was in his final days of deployment with the National Guard. Described as "eventful", there was little else said about his time in Afghanistan. A sentiment shared by many returning from battle. The important thing is that he made it back home.

"Ten fingers and ten toes," said Shields. "All is good."

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Heat generated from barrel use creates heat waves in sights

Scope with a mirage shield attached at NRA Long Range High Power Rifle Championships

Rain fell for hours last night in Camp Perry, Ohio. The night before competitors shoot the Palma Matches; where they will fire 30 of their 45 shots from the field and NOT the raised firing points. It could cause problems for some.

Port Clinton, Ohio - There are several types of rifles here at the NRA National Long Range High Power Championships. But no matter what the rifle, there are only two types of sights; metallic and any. Metallic sights are what you find on a gun fresh out of the factory. Any, typically, are scopes that magnify the target. What we've seen over the past few days, however, were attachments to the end of the scopes.

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Images from around the NRA Rifle Championships in Camp Perry, Ohio

Checking out a shooter's performance at the 2013 Long Range High Power Nationals

Port Clinton, Ohio - While competitors are keeping an eye on their performance, we're keeping our eyes on the competitors. The concentration, the intensity ... not to mention the odd smile or two they unleash during the down time.

More shots from the NRA Long Range High Power Nationals at Camp Perry ...

One year after moving from Smallbore to Long Range High Power, Barnhart is in reach of NRA title

Shane Barnhart of the US Army Marksmanship Unit shooting an NRA Long Range High Power Team match

Port Clinton, Ohio - Shane Barnhart of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit finishes the third day of NRA's National Long Range High Power Rifle Championships in a precarious position … in the lead. How he got here, however, is somewhat of a mystery. Not because of his skill or training — he has plenty of that — but because of his lack of wins.

More on Shane Barnhart's lead going into the final day of NRA's 2013 Long Range High Power Rifle Championship ...

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