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NMLRA Territorial Matches! National Muzzleloading Shotgun Events at Local Clubs.

posted Apr 25, 2011, 9:16 AM by Peter Lucas   [ updated May 23, 2011, 8:30 AM ]
    This year, the Colorado Muzzleloading Association will host its first NMLRA Shotgun Territorial at the High Country Hideaway.   
The  NMLRA, in cooperation with local clubs, sponsors a number Territorial Matches each year.  The Territorial Matches give local shooters across different regions of the United States a national style of competitive muzzleloading shooting.   In addition, all competitors who compete in a Territorial Aggregate will be eligible to compete in the National Territorial Championships, to be held at the Walter Cline Range in Friendship, Indiana in June during the NMLRA Spring Shoot.

   The exact events which are contested at a NMLRA Territorial Shoot is largely left to the local club which is hosting the event.  Each Territorial Shoot could include offhand matches for percussion and flintlock rifles, pistols, and military muskets; matches for heavy and light bench guns, shotguns (trap and skeet), inlines, and black powder cartridge rifles.  In the case of Colorado, the Colorado Muzzleloading Assocition has hosted the NMLRA Rifle and Pistol Territorial Matches for a number of years. However, until this year, there has not been a Shotgun Territorial in Colorado.  As is often the case with shotgun territorials, the Colorado Shotgun territorial will be held a a different time and location from the Rifle and Pistol Territorial.

    All events contested at the NMLRA Territorials are all shot as "aggregates".  An aggregate consists of two to five matches.
The total score of all of the matches determines the aggregate score.   In case of the Skeet Aggregate, the winner is determined by combining the scores from the following three matches:  Match I32a Standard Skeet (25 birds); I32b Lo-Gun Skeet (25 birds), I32c Skeet Singles (16 birds) and Doubles Skeet (14 birds). Consequently, the maximum score which you can obtain in the Skeet Aggregate is 80 birds. In the case of the Trap Aggregate, the winner is determined by combining the scores from the following three matches: Match J33 10 yards (15 birds); J34 16 yards (15 birds); J35 20 yards (10 birds).  The maximum score in the Trap Aggregate is 40 birds.

    The MMLRA supplies medals for the top three shooters at each Territorial Event.  There are awards for each match within an aggregate and for the whole aggregate.

    The Territorial Matches are "non-reentry", which means that you get only one chance to each of the matches.  In other words, you can not shoot each of the matches several times and then take your high score.  Because Territorial Matches are "non-reentry," many clubs will  sponsor a simultaneous match in conjunction with the Territorial.  For example, the High Country Hideaway will also have reentry trap and skeet events so that you can shoot as many rounds as you would like over the course of the four days the event will be held.

    Information regarding the upcoming Territorial Matches can be found at the NMLRA website.  In addition, a copy of a Muzzle Blasts (the official magazine of the NMLRA) Article regarding territorial matches is attached.  

Special Rules For Shotgun Territorials:

    A copy of the Territorial Rules is also attached.  For the most part, the NMLRA Rules and Regulations apply to Territorial Matches.  However, there a couple of differences.  First, certain types of Shotguns are permitted at the Territorial Matches which may ot be permitted at other NMLRA events.  The Territorial Match rules provide: "Break open muzzle loading shotguns are allowed. See rule # 2470 in NMLRA Rules and Regulations."   In order to understand exactly what this means it is necessary to review a couple of the NMLRA Rules.  Under Rule 1070, a "MUZZLE LOADING FIREARM" is defined as a muzzleloading rifle, pistol, or shotgun that complies with the Range Safety regulations of this rule book and loads from the muzzle,. . .and complies with Rule 1250.  If you look Rule 1250 you will find that in order to be legal, percussion guns must use an "old type percussion cap that fits on the nipple."  Rule 1250 is supplemented by Rule 8120 which applies only to shotguns and provides that no sealed or concealed ignition type shotguns will be allowed. The nipples, hammer, and frizzen must be visible at all times.
    What this means is that shotguns using 209 style primers and sealed breaches are not legal in all NMRLA events unless a specific exception applies.  I am told that shotguns using 209 style primers have been permitted at the events at Friendship, however, there is not a specific reference to their use which I can find in the event programs.  In the case of Territorial Shotgun events Rule 2470 specifically applies.  For those of you who have not already fallen a sleep, Rule 2470 provides as follows:

BREAK-OPEN POLICY – Sealed-ignition break-open muzzleloading firearms will be allowed on all ranges in specified matches during the NMLRA National Shoots.
a. Approved firearms will have a semi-permanent, mechanically fit breeching system.
b. Said breeching system shall be either threaded or welded in place.
c. Firearms with a press-fit breech plug secured by an O ring, such as the Harrington and Richardson Huntsman model, are prohibited.
d. Approved primers include the priming disk, 209 shotgun primer, center-fire cartridge primer, and percussion cap.
e. Each range will implement its own range procedures.

    The bottom line is that you have a muzzleloading shotgun which uses 209 primers, such as the Thompson Center Encore, the CVA Optima, the Traditions Pursuit or the Knight TK2000 you can use it a the Territorial Shotgun matches. I like this rule as it broadens the number of shooters who can participate in the Territorial Events.  Whether or not it is a good idea to allow shotguns with 209 primers at the muzzleloading championships at Friendship is a more controversial question, on which I am not going to opine.

    Second, the manner in which the option bird in Skeet is shot is done in the same manner as an NMLRA Championship Match.  The Territorial Rules (and NMLRA Rule 8440) provides:

    The 25th bird is the option bird - shooter returns to the station where the first miss occurred. If a double bird is missed, the shooter shall call for another pair of doubles and shoot in the same sequence as the original miss, with only the original missed bird counting for score.

   This is a departure from normal American Skeet Rules, where only the missed bird would be thrown for the option bird.

Peter Lucas,
Apr 25, 2011, 12:41 PM
Peter Lucas,
Apr 25, 2011, 12:41 PM