Sergeant First Class Brandon Green of the United States Army Marksmanship Unit has won the 2015 NRA National High Power Rifle Championship at Camp Perry, Ohio, edging out three-time champion Norman Houle 2387-140x to 2380-126x.
"This win feels pretty good," Green said with a smile. "There's a lot of hard work that goes into competing with the type of competitors that are on the rifle range every day. It's nice to see all that hard work pay off and come out on top."
The four-day NRA High Power Rifle Championship is a 240-shot, 2400-point aggregate of the Vandenberg Cup, Nevada Trophy and Clarke Trophy. Each sub-aggregate consists of four matches shot at distances of 200, 300 or 600 yards.
This is the second championship for Green, whose first win came two years ago in 2013 after an improbable tie with legendary shooter Carl Bernosky at 2384-126x each. Although both possessed the same number of tie-breaking Xs, Green was ultimately awarded the championship after a rulebook-mandated comparison of Xs at each distance gave him the advantage.
Bernosky, a ten-time NRA High Power Rifle champion, withdrew from this year's competition after the first day - while in sole possession of first place - due to medical complications.
"This win is kind of bittersweet because Carl wasn't able to be out here. We are pretty good friends and we're both super competitive people so I wanted to shoot against him," Green said. "Carl is one of the best competitors I've ever seen in this sport, Norm too, and it's nice to be able to shoot with these guys every year."
Fellow USAMU member Sergeant First Class Shane Barnhart placed third overall with a 2379-127x.
During the NRA National High Power Rifle Championship, shooters compete in either the Match Rifle Championship or Service Rifle Championship based on the type of firearm used – center rifles with numerous modifications or rifles as-issued by the U.S. Armed Forces.
Green, Houle, and Barnhart, all match rifle shooters, placed first, second, and third respectively in the Match Rifle Championship.
This year's Service Rifle Championship went to United States Army Reserve Master Sergeant Rob Mango with a 2372-104x. U.S. Army Sergeant Lee Bahten of the USAMU 2370-116x and U.S. Army Reserve Captain Samuel Freeman placed third with a 2367-96x.