By Kyle Jillson | August 8 2013 18:20

Brandon Keith Green edges Carl Bernosky by six X's for the NRA High Power Rifle lead

NRA High Power Rifle shooter at Camp Perry, Ohio

Port Clinton, Ohio - Yesterday, Brandon Keith Green was third on the NRA High Power Championships' leaderboard, two points behind defending champion Carl Bernosky. Today, with three of the championship's four days in the record books, he is in control of the lead.

But where Bernosky led through Wednesday by one point, Green's lead is even slimmer. Tied in points with Bernosky at 1789 apiece, Green holds the superior number of tie-breaking X's - 98 to 92. So how do you score an X? Within the 10-ring that lies at the center of a target is an even smaller ring half its diameter known as the X-ring. A fired round that hits the X-ring not only counts as 10 points, but awards the shooter an 'X' used for tie-breaking situations just like this. At 200 yards the X-ring has a diameter of 3", at 600 yards it increases to 6". Needless to say, the ring is very hard to hit.

How did Green do it? The day began with the Appreciation Cup Match, a 20-shot rapid fire match at 200 yards from the sitting or kneeling position. Green was two points and one X down of Bernosky. The clouds draped over Camp Perry and strong winds coming off Lake Erie would persist through the entire day and it showed in the scores. During the match, Bernosky would drop two points, scoring a 198-6x, but so did Green, taking a 198-4x. At the same time, yesterday's fourth place competitor Mark Laramie managed a perfect 200-11x, covering his two point deficit and not only tying Bernosky in points, but taking a 2x lead.

The day's second match, the Marine Corps Cup Match, came as the firing line moved back to the 300 yard line. Here, competitors would shoot a 20-shot rapid fire match from the prone position. Bouncing back from the Appreciation Cup, both Bernosky and Green shot perfect 200s, seven and thirteen X's respectively, while Laramie was unable to hold his lead and dropped two points of his own, ending with a 198-11x. Bernosky was back in the lead with an overall score of 1591. Heading into the day's final match, Laramie and Green were tied at two points behind Bernosky, but Laramie's three-X lead secured second place and bumped Green to third.

At 600 yards, the final round of the day was the Air Force Cup Match, where competitors took 20 slow fire shots downrange from the prone position. Fighting the wind, Green kept his group tight and walked away with a 200-13x while Laramie fired a 199-10x and Bernosky a 198-10x. Now leaping to a tie for first in points, Green's accurate shooting propelled him into first on account of his X's. Gaining three on Bernosky back in the Marine Corps Cup, Green further increased the lead to six.

And this is where we stand going into the last day of the 2013 High Power Rifle Championship. Brandon Keith Green in the lead with 1789-98x, Carl Bernosky narrowly in second with a 1789-92x and Mark Laramie down but not out in third with a 1788-98x.

Sixty shots remain throughout tomorrow's final three matches. It's going to be a nail-biter. But it always is.

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