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.

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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.

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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 ...

NRA Whittington Center hosts Black Powder Target Rifle

Match Director Jonathan Leighton stands with 2011 Black Powder Target Rifle Champion Keith Lay

Haven't had your fill of rifle competition this summer? You're in luck. NRAblog is heading out to the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, New Mexico, for the 2012 NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships starting next week.

More on the NRA Black Powder rifle championships ...

A NRA Black Powder Target Rifle staff shirt

Shirts for the 2012 Black Powder Target Rifle Championships arrived this week and hey ... they look great. Made with lightweight, breathable fabric that only Under Armour can provide, these shirts are restricted. Restricted to those who come out to the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, New Mexico for this year's Black Powder Target Rifle Championships.

Registration is currently open, so reserve your spot today. Shot August 18-25 at NRA's Whittington Center, these championships are a very fun week of shooting in the NRA's oldest discipline.

"I'm so excited for this year's championships," Match Director Jonathan Leighton told us. "The match is shaping up well, the prize table is filling up with many a great things and just about every shooter will walk away with something." 

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