By Kyle Jillson | August 25 2012 08:00

Long Range Black Powder Target Rifle Championship begins

Black Powder rifle used during the NRA Creedmore Championships

Raton, New Mexico - In 1874, the first Creedmoor match was shot at the Creedmoor range on Long Island, New York. Competitors lined up at 800, 900 and 1,000 yards as the accuracy of Ireland's best shooters was pit up against the accuracy of the United States' best shooters.

The NRA has preserved that match throughout the years and the exact course of fire is shot today in the Creedmoor Championship.

Now, the Creedmoor range wasn't quite as high in elevation as the Whittington Center in New Mexico — and the wind wasn't gusting so — but it's still basically the same match that was first shot 138 years ago.

NRA Competitor waits with his rifle at the NRA Creedmoor Championships in Raton, New Mexico

And after the first of two days, Rick Moritz is the match leader with a 277-09x, followed closely Dave Gullo and his 276-8x. The leaderboard gets a little looser after that with John Venhous sitting third with a 269-4x. Lee Shaver is fourth with a 267-2x and Mark Hipes is fifth with a 265-3x.

NRA Director of Competitive Shooting, Dennis Willing did pretty well yesterday for having never shot a black powder rifle before, putting up 209 that placed him 31st.

The match still has one more day of shooting and there are a few competitors within striking distance of Moritz. We'll see how they all do this evening at the awards ceremony.

Creedmoor Championship
Place Competitor Score
1       Rick Moritz 277-9x
2       Dave Gullo 276-8x
3       John Venhous 269-4x
4       Lee Shaver 267-2x
5       Mark Hipes 265-3x
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