Outshooting competition, Jack Odor has NRA title within reach

Shooter Dan Theodore escapes the sun at the NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships in Raton, New Mexico

Raton, New Mexico - On the outset of this year's Black Powder Target Rife Prone Championship, shooters across the board were posting outstanding scores thanks to great conditions.

A couple competitors even managed to shoot themselves into the National Recordbook. Jim Kidwell became co-owner of the scoped 300 yards record, tying Terry Gazaway's 100-4x. Marisa Moritz actually broke a record - her own, by one point - for a 30-shot match at 200, 300 and 600 yards by a woman, firing a 285-5x.

More on Odor's lead at NRA's 2012 Black Powder Prone Championship ...

Black Powder Rifle Championships run in a unique, efficient way

Match Director Jonathan Leighton and Chief Range Safety Officer Dustin Swartz give commands to the NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships

Raton, New Mexico - The NRA Whittington Center is purposely a minimalistic kind of place. One of its goals is to preserve and let visitors appreciate the beauty of the New Mexico landscape.

People coming out for hunts or competitions don't want to see buildings littered all over the place - that's what they came here to get away from. There are a few quarters for guests, a couple administration buildings and the museum.

More on the technology used at NRA Black Powder Rifle Championships...

Takes fifth NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Position Championship

Raton, New Mexico - After calmer weather on the second of the two-day championship, Chip Mate won his fifth Schaffer Trophy with a score of 552-10x.

"This is the best run match I've ever shot in," Mate said. "It's a shooter's match."

More on Chip Mate's NRA Black Powder position win ...

Bill and Dave meet up every year at the NRA Whittington Center

Bill (right) and Dave (left) Wallinger at the NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships in Raton, New Mexico

Raton, New Mexico - Every shooter has a story and Bill and Dave Wallinger are no different. These brothers grew up in Illinois, but Dave now lives in Idaho and the two have come down to the NRA Whittington Center each year for almost a decade to shoot the NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships.

More on these brothers at NRA Black Powder Championships ...

In a close race, match leaders struggle to pull ahead in New Mexico

NRA Black Powder rifle shooter Robert Garibay

Raton, New Mexico - Day two at the Mid-Range Black Powder Rifle Championships began much like the first, sunny and cool. Shooters took to the line for the second half of the Position Championship at the NRA Whittington Center.

More from the first day of NRA Black Powder Championships ...

No clear leader after shooters battle the elements in New Mexico

NRA Black Powder Target Rifle shooter takes careful aim between his sticks at the NRA Whittington Center

Raton, New Mexico - After a long, hot, windy, sometimes rainy day on the range, the Black Powder Mid-Range Position Championships are half way over - and we don't even have a leader. There's currently a two-way tie for first place between Rick Moritz and Keith Lay at 273-4x apiece.

Scores and more from the first day of NRA Black Powder Championships ...

Youth behind the firing line at the NRA Whittington Center

Range Safety Officer Kellen Swartz at the NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships in Raton, New Mexico

Raton, New Mexico - The success of NRA matches relies on volunteers giving their time to be range safety officers, referees, stat officers and more. Their enthusiasm for the shooting sports allows competitors to have fun in a structured, professional environment.

Many volunteers are retirees, capable of being at matches for many days without worrying about how much vacation time they have left - but not all of them.

More on the people behind the Black Powder Rifle Championships ...

Black Powder rifles rise with the sun in New Mexico

A Wisconsin Badgers fan takes aim in the NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships at the NRA's Whittington Center

Raton, New Mexico - As the sun was barely peeking over the horizon at the NRA Whittington Center, a crowd gathered for the opening meeting of this year's Black Powder Target Rifle Championships. There were a couple new faces in the crowd as shooters rubbed the sleep from their eyes and greeted friends they see only a few times each year.

"I heard I'm squadded next to you this year. I'm sorry," one competitor joked to another. "Do you like me new hat?" another asked. "Not at all," his buddy replied with a hint of a smile.

More on the start of NRA's 2012 Black Powder Rifle Championships ...

New Mexico center scenery with the NRA in Raton

NRA Whittington Center in Raton, New Mexico

Founded in 1973, the NRA Whittington Center is located just outside Raton, New Mexico, and hosts competitive, educational and recreational activities in all shooting disciplines year-round.

There are outdoor shooting ranges here for everyone. Silhouette, Practical Pistol, Black Powder, Benchrest, High Power Long Range, Smallbore, Shotgun, they'll accommodate you. Maybe even a little hunting too.

More on what you can see at the NRA Whittington Center ...

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