Port Clinton, Ohio - Before the Pistol phase of the NRA National Rifle & Pistol Championships in Camp Perry kicked off, the National Rifle Association, Civilian Marksmanship Program and Ohio National Guard invited local journalists to a Media Day at the base. As with most of our Media Days do, this one kicked off with a little range time.
The Air Gun range to be specific. Opened a few years ago, Camp Perry is home to an 80-point electronic target air gun range.
"We hold a number of national competitions here at the range," explained one staffer. "In fact, this February the Air Gun team that is going to London was finalized here."
Finding an open spot, the journalist were seated with air rifle in hand. Then came out the instructions.
"Once you have loaded your pellet then close your bolt, and you should be ready to fire. Sights are peep sights. Look through the rear of the sight and line up the front sight with the black bullseye at the center of the target. When you are ready, begin firing."
Some fired with glee while others with frustration. No matter. Seeing the scores immediately bounce upon the screen with every squeeze of the trigger was enough to put a little thrill in the worst of shots. Course, that's before the learned about the competition.
At stake, not including pride, were gold, silver and bronze medals. Also heading home with the winners would be a brand new iPod and a $15 iTunes gift certificate. Best ten shots take home the prize.
At the end, scores of 95, 95 and 99 took home the gold. Each were happy to show off their bounty &hellip but a little hesitant about the iPods.
"I'm not sure what to do with this," said the overall winner (name redacted). "Is there a fourteen-year-old around here to show me how it works?"