High winds keep targets grounded at NRA National Rifle and Pistol Championships

Wind flags at Camp Perry during the 2014 NRA National Rifle and Pistol Championships

Port Clinton, Ohio - The scores for this year's High Power Rifle Championship and Mid-Range Rifle Championship are going to be a little lower than normal. No, shooters haven't suddenly become more inaccurate than last year. It's because unrelenting winds bore down on Camp Perry today, making it impossible to hold any matches.

But Camp Perry is known for it's punishing heat, out-of-nowhere storms, and wind, right? At 20 miles per hour and gusting up to 28 mph, today's wind was ripping the targets clean off their frames and even cracking a couple. And that was for the brief time they even tried putting the targets up.

More on what today's cancellation means for the National Matches ...

Gusts break frames, rip targets, delay start of matches

2014 Army Cup at the NRA National High Power Championship, presented by Remington, at Camp Perry, Ohio

Port Clinton, Ohio - For the first time in history, Camp Perry's High Power Championships and Mid-Range Championships are delayed due to wind.

Notorious for it's occasional brutal conditions, the National Matches experienced blasts so strong this morning that targets were strewn across the range. Start time for the Appreciation Cup, the day's first match, has been pushed back to noon ... if the winds subside. Should shooting resume before the wind fully dies down, expect some interesting scores as competitors are forced to wrestle with the wind.

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Army marksman holds on to first as defending champ pulls into second at NRA High Power Championship

SSG Shane Barnhart of the United States Army Marksmanship Unit at the NRA High Power Rifle Championships, presented by Remington

Port Clinton, Ohio - Following a tough day on the range that was was split by a rain delay mid-afternoon, SSG Shane Barnhart of the USAMU held his point lead and remains atop the scoreboard half-way through the 2014 High Power Championship.

Now sporting a 1193-64x out of a possible 1200 points, Barnhart shot a 595-28x during today's Navy Cup, Coast Guard Trophy, and Army Cup matches. Barnhart's lead is three points over second place, which now belongs to USAMU teammate and defending High Power national champion SSG Brandon Keith Green and his score of 1190-58x.

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Competitors approach half-way point of High Power's National Championship

2014 NRA High Power Rifle Championship at Camp Perry, Ohio

Port Clinton, Ohio - Ominous rain clouds hang over Camp Perry's ranges today as the High Power Rifle Championship soldiers on through its second day.

Sunday's three matches have competitors beginning at 200 yards with the slow fire, standing match of the Navy Cup, before taking a seat - or knee - for the rapid fire Coast Guard Trophy. Shooters then move all the way back to 600 yards for the Army Cup, a slow fire match shot from the prone position. Every match in the High Power Championships consists of 20 shots, all at once in a slow fire match and broken into two 10-shot strings when doing rapid fire.

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USAMU poised to take Mumma Trophy home for the second consecutive year

SSG Shane Barnhart of the United States Army Marksmanship Unit at the NRA High Power Rifle Championships, presented by Remington

Port Clinton, Ohio - With one day down and three to go in this year's NRA National High Power Rifle Championship, SSGT Shane Barnhart of the United States Army Marksmanship Unit is out in front with an early lead, racking up a 598-36x of today's 600 possible points.

A win for Barnhart, who was one half of the top two-man team in Thursday's Remington/NRA 2nd Amendment Team Match, would be the first High Power Rifle title in an impressive shooting career that includes one NRA National Smallbore Prone win and three NRA National Smallbore 3-Position championships. The other member of Barnhart's winning team, defending High Power champion SSG Brandon K. Green, currently sits sixth with a 595-38x.

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Hundreds of shooters converge on Camp Perry, Ohio, for four days of High Power action

2014 NRA National High Power Rifle Championships at Camp Perry, Ohio

Port Clinton, Ohio - And they're off! The 2014 NRA High Power Rifle Championship officially began this morning as hundreds of competitors took to the firing line (and pits) to vie for the prestigious Mumma Trophy. And right in the mix with them is United States Army Marksmanship Unit member and defending champion SSGT Brandon K. Green.

The Army marksman has already demonstrated he's in fine form this year after top finishes in the preceding days' team matches, but the national championship isn't just one match, it's twelve.

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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 grab 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 Barnhart 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.

More on the NRA High Power Team Matches ...

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.

More on 2014 NRA-Springfield M1A Match ...

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.

More on the military journey of NRA Pistol Champ Patrick Franks ...

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