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A Report from the 2012 NMLRA Western National Shoot

posted Mar 6, 2012, 9:33 AM by Peter Lucas   [ updated Mar 12, 2012, 11:59 AM ]
The 2012 NMLRA Western National Shoot was held at the Ben Avery Shooting Complex near Phoenix on February 29 through March 5 of this year. Approximately 50 shotgun shooters attended the event this year. The weather for the first two days of the competition was near perfect. Randy Dyer took advantage of the great conditions and shot the first perfect score ever in the Skeet Aggregate. The Skeet Aggregate event consists of 16 skeet single targets (2 birds from stations 1 through 8) and 14 doubles targets (1 pair of birds from stations 1 through 7).

    The weather took a turn for the worse on the third day of shooting. Just before the range opened on Friday morning the wind began to blow with a vengeance. There where wind gusts of 50 miles an hour for most of the morning. Things settled down at little in the afternoon, but it was still too windy to do any serious shooting. Rather than attempt to battle the wind, several of the shotgun competitors arranged an impromptu sporting clays event with modern guns. By five p.m., the wind had died down enough to permit the black powder cartridge event to take place on the trap range.

After the range was closed to muzzle loading events, a black powder match was held each evening. Black powder cartridge matches require shooters to use black powder loads with a breach loading shotgun with either Damascus barrels or an exposed hammer. Black powder cartridge matches were held on the trap range on Wednesday and Friday evenings. Black powder cartridge matches were held on the skeet range on Thursday and Friday evenings. Doc Bell won both of the black powder cartridge trap events with scores of 24 and 21. Doc Bell also won both of the black powder skeet events.

     A new shotgun event was added at the Western Nationals. At 4 p.m. each day (except for Friday when it was too windy) the skeet range was closed and an MLAIC Clay Target event was held. The number of targets was reduced from the typical 25 per round to 20 due to time constraints. The percussion shooters posted some excellent scores on the MLAIC course. Nick Maas shot a perfect 20 on only his second time shooting the event. There were only two flint shooters and we did not fare so well on the MLAIC course. With a high score of five birds out of 20, the flint shooters would have some work to do if they wanted to compete in the MLAIC world championships in Pforzheim, Germany in later this year.
    The 10 yard trap competition was rescheduled to Sunday morning. Travis Dyer with a perfect score of 50; which tied the
Western National Shoot record. Andy Larson had also shot perfect scores in the 10 yard trap championship in 2004, 2008, 2009 and 2011.
While not technically a shotgun event, the First United States Blunderbuss Championships were also held on the primitive ranges. The event included 5 shots at a paper target, 5 shots from a moving seat and 5 shots at clay targets. I ended up with a score of 125 out of 150 and won the event.

    Here is some video from the Blunderbuss Competition.

YouTube Video