The Garand Thumb Blog Shooting Team loaded a truck full of M1 Garands and 30-06 and hauled down to the CMP Eastern Games at Camp Butner, NC.
We shot three Garand Matches over the weekend, two on Saturday back to back, and one on Sunday . The conditions were absolutely perfect, bright and sunny in the low 70’s We could not have asked for better weather.
The three of us did very well. I brought a home my first ever medals: a bronze and a silver! My shooting partner earned two bronze medals and a sliver while, the new shooter we brought with us significantly improved his scores.
As far as my performance, I was able to pull off a 98/1 in slow prone in my second match, Garand Reentry, which made me very happy! I struggled with off hand this weekend to the point that even after that 98/1, my off hand fell apart and put me dangerously close to being out of contention. In the end, I had a great weekend beating my personal best twice and brought home two medals, just missing a third by 3 points.
I want to give some credit to the new shooter that came with us. He shot three matches in a row and consistently shot better each time. On Saturday he picked up a new Service Grade Garand that he had bought from the CMP trailer. After a brief check of the vital parts in the hotel room and a guess at the elevation, he used his 5 sighters to zero his rifle. He then went on to post his best score yet! We were quite proud of him in the pits for not having any misses in rapid prone, which had made working in the pits on his firing point last weekend a little scary .
CMP hosts a “Competitor Only Sales Event” on the Friday of check in. I had read reports on the CMP forum of some “surprises” over the past few years and was excited to see what they had for us. While there were no Carbines, Bolts, or Winchesters, CMP brought a nice selection of service grades.
There were indeed some surprises among the service grades. There were at least five nice six- digit Springfields. The three of us each took one home. One is a pre-war, mine is a December 1941, and the third an October 1942 with a original barrel and a lead dipped heal. The first two are 1960’s Springfield Rebuilds with nice shooter barrels.
These matches were a ton of fun, the whole event had a nice laid back atmosphere and the Camp Butner Range was great to shoot at. Being able to park so close made everything a little easier and I really liked the switch operated pits. Beats the upper body work out the target carriers at Camp Perry give you, especially on back to back matches.
If you are can make it next year for sure take a trip to Camp Butner it is well worth the trip and a great way to kick off the shooting season!
Pictures from the weekend below.