Tucked away at the end of a gravel road that winds through the hills and meadows outside of Junction City, the Boyle County Fish and Game Club is hosting a National Rifle Championship that ends today.
Expert shooters from across the country have come here to compete in the National Ultimate Benchrest (UBR) Championship.
“In this little place, right here in central Kentucky, some of the people shooting over there today are the best in the world at what they do,” said Middle Tennessee Sporting Association president Rick. Fox Friday afternoon.
In UBR competitions “You take the best gun and the best possible ammunition, which is all made by hand. You can’t buy that stuff off the shelf and you take the best possible optics that you can buy. And you practice your bench technique to have your rifle in the same position every time, and you always operate from the same position, all other things being equal, and then you have to factor in the wind, which instantly changes over. the field, ”Fox said.
For example, a wind of just 5 miles per hour will blow a 30-caliber bullet off target through a full bullet hole, Fox explained.
Holding a sheet of paper with eight targets – the two in the center only being used to attach a rifle’s sight – Fox said, “To be successful in this game, when you shoot four of those targets… you have 10 minutes to put one. bullet hole in each of the bull’s eyes ”, which are only the size of a pinhead at 100 yards.
And the only thing that touches the gun is the ball of your finger, he said.
Today, shooters aim at targets 200 meters away. Scores from both days will be tallied and the winners will be the shooters with the highest scores, said Mark Henson, a member of the local fishing and hunting club who was tracking the scores on his laptop inside the small club. -house.
There are four classes of rifles used in competition, Henson said: Factory, Modified, Custom, and Unlimited. Sizes are limited from .22 to .30.
Henson said his brother Billy Henson knew most of the details, but was at the shooting range to make sure the event went smoothly.
He said the club destroyed the old shooting range about two years ago and built the covered concrete shooting lodge. There are 20 permanent stations with seats for snipers to set up their rifles. And there is a long table that stretches the length of the pavilion where others can prepare their guns while waiting their turn to fire.
“Safety is strongly emphasized,” Henson said. Before the start of the tournament, a safety meeting was held and all the rules were explained – no bolts in the guns until the shooting officer gives the order; no one is allowed on the shooting range, etc.
There is also a security system that involves flashing red lights, sirens and beacons warning people that filming is about to begin.
Several pop-up canopies have been installed under nearby shade trees, and competitors have gathered around the chat store, making it almost feel like a family reunion. The crickets were singing, the birds were hovering above and when the wind picked up a large assortment of brightly colored windmills, ribbons and other wind measuring devices that were installed between the pavilion and the targets began to float, making the scene look like an obstacle course.
But when the shooting officer announced over the public address system that the next session was about to begin, everyone fell silent. The men began to adjust their guns sitting on metal supports controlled by joysticks. The guns rested on leather sandbags. Everyone made sure their noise-canceling headphones and earplugs were snug and when the shooting started gunshots rang out in the hills.
Jackie Stogsdill of Somerset waits for a strong gust of wind to die down before taking her next shot on Friday. (Photo by Robin Hart)
A competitor in the UBR national championship is aiming precisely the target at 100 meters on Friday. The space between the shooting range and the target is dotted with many colorful wind flags that help shooters determine the wind speed that is affecting their aim. (Photo by Robin Hart)