By Kyle Jillson | August 8 2012 07:30

Army marksman takes lead at Camp Perry with the Service Rifle

Competitors exit the pits at the NRA's High Power Rifle Championships

Port Clinton, Ohio - The first day officially over, the United States Army Marksmanship Unit's Staff Sergeant Tyrel Cooper has taken the lead in the NRA's National High Power Rifle Championships. After outshooting Carl Bernosky and USAMU teammate Sergeant Sherri Gallagher in the Coast Artillery Trophy Match, Cooper finished with a top score of 598-30x.

SSG Cooper leads Gallagher by just two X's and is a scoring point ahead of Bernosky. And he better keep that one scoring point lead as 2011 High Power Rifle champ Bernosky is sporting 39Xs. That means he will take back the lead in the event of tie.

Scoring targets during the Scott Trophy Match at the NRA High Power Rifle Championships

High Power Rifle Championship — Match 400
Place Competitor Score
1       Tyrel Cooper 398-30x
2       Sherri Gallagher 398-28x
3       Carl Bernosky 397-39x
4       Brandon Keith Green 396-34x
5       Rodrigo Rosa 396-32x

One thing to note is that SSG Cooper is shooting a Service Rifle. SGT Gallagher and Bernosky, on the other hand, are shooting Match Rifles. Match Rifles are more customized for the individual needs and wants of the competitor while Service Rifles are more of a standard, no frills version of the firearm. That might not sound like much, but there is a huge difference. That's why no Service Rifle shooter has bested the Match Rifle competitor in the NRA High Power Rifle Championships since 1987. That's when Army Staff Sergeant Greg A. Strom posted a 2356-79x to beat out Patrick M. McCann's 2352-99x.

SSG Cooper is a two-time NRA Service Rifle champion, winning the DuPont Trophy in 2008 and again in 2011. His reputation as a strong shooter means that we might be witnessing a seldom seen occurrence in the High Power Rifle Championships. How will SSG Cooper fare against the other competitors today? You never know.

Here's what's in store for the firing line:

  • Navy Cup
    • Slow fire match shot in the standing position from 200 yards.

  • Coast Guard Cup
    • Rapid fire match shot from the sitting/kneeling position from 200 yards. 

  • Army Cup
    • Slow fire match shot prone from 600 yards.

Weather forecasts suggests we'll be seeing the same thing we saw yesterday - temperature in the 80s with little chance of rain - but at Camp Perry you never know when a storm will be suddenly thrown you way.

Below are a few moments from yesterday's matches:

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