CAPITAN, N.M. October 24, 2012 – Eighteen shooters from throughout New Mexico and Texas, ranging in age from 9 to over 50, attended a smallbore rifle clinic hosted by the New Mexico Tech Shooting Sports Club, Socorro Gun Club and Capitan Highpower Rifle Club on October 12 to 14 at the Capitan Smallbore Rifle Range.

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Tech students compete at Capitan.

 

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The Capitan gun range, owned by the Capitan Highpower Rifle Club, is three miles east of Capitan, north of U.S. Highway 380 and is known for highpower rifle competitions. Attendees received expert instruction and coaching in safe firearms handling and the fundamental principles and techniques of prone and three-position .22 rifle shooting (i.e., prone, standing, kneeling), which will carry over to air rifle and highpower rifle shooting.

The clinic provided instruction that enhanced competitors’ shooting skills and prepared them for competition. James and Virginia McLemore were the clinic instructors. Virginia is a certified coach, training counselor, national champion, and holds national records in highpower and smallbore rifle. James is a certified rifle and small arms reloading instructor. The clinic also included a three-position and prone smallbore rifle competition on Sunday. The course of fire for the three-position shooters was 20 shots in each position (prone, standing, kneeling) followed by the Dewar course (20 shots at 50 yds, 20 shots at 100 yds) in the prone position, for a total of 1,000 points.

Five members of the New Mexico Tech Shooting Sports Club attended the clinic. David Best and Brian Sun were members of the 2011-2012 New Mexico Tech Rifle Team and new shooters who attended were Austin Mier, Frank Anees, and Jean Paul Chanuel. The New Mexico Tech Shooting Sports club has provided experience in air rifle and pistol, smallbore rifle, and highpower rifle for more than 25 years. But this is the third year the students were interested in competition beyond the club level. Not too many colleges are as supportive of the shooting sports as New Mexico Tech, who provided some of the travel funds and training materials.

In Sunday’s competition, the wind died down and the competitors could concentrate on the fundamentals without being blown around as on Saturday. Socorro shooter Kris Haskins won the three-position event, with Tech student David Best just two points behind, to capture second. Brian Sun was third. In the prone competition, Alto shooter, Sha Rodolph won the competition, Ron Miller from Lubock was second, and Tech student Austin Mier was third.

A special thanks to the Civilian Marksmanship Program who also provided funds through a special projects grant to support this event. The CMP is a national program that promotes firearm safety and marksmanship training with emphasis on youth participation (web site is http://www.odcmp.com/).

The New Mexico Tech Rifle Team recently finished competing in Amarillo on Oct. 20 and 21 and for the NRA Intercollegiate Club Sectional Championships, which will be at the New Mexico Military Institute in January 2013. The NRA National Intercollegiate Club Championships will be help at Fort Benning, Ga., in March 2013 for the top 10 teams that qualify at the sectional championships. New members of the New Mexico Tech Shooting Sports Club are welcome. The club has regular practice at the New Mexico Tech Gym Classroom every Monday from 5 to 7 p.m. during the fall and spring semesters.

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By Virginia T. McLemore/ New Mexico Tech Rifle Team Coach