The Blonde Bomber Visits the Poconos: WBRP M14 Match.

I’ve been working on a M14/M1A build for a few years now. At the 2014 National Matches I picked up a “blemished” M1A receiver from the Springfield Armory shop at commercial row. Over the winter I found a deal on a rack grade TRW GI parts kit. Then this summer Springfield Armory had a package deal on a mid-weight NM barrel and bolt installed while I shopped on commercial row that. I couldn’t  it pass up.


After some tinkering and trying to figure out how to put these rifles together, the “Blonde Bomber” was born. If you haven’t guessed she gets her name from her very yellow blond birch stock which is a stock I picked up at the CMP north store.

The GTB Shooting Team headed up to the Poconos to Wilkes-Barre Rifle & Pistol Club  with our M14s. It was in the mid 60’s and just a bit overcast up in northeast PA.

WBRP runs a reduced  200 yard CMP National Match Course walk and paste match. It’s a nice club to shoot at with luxurious covered firing points. Since it’s a CMP match all stages start from standing which is good practice for EIC matches. This format is also nice for trying new things since it doesn’t count for EIC points and it doesn’t affect NRA classification.



Shooting the M14 is interesting. In off-hand I like it better than the Garand but not as much as I like my A2.  I weighted my stock which helped me slow my wobble a little. It also has a long magazine which is nice because I have short arms and this hold helps me keep get a better cheek weld in off-hand.


Sitting. Oh boy did the Blonde Bomber push me around in sitting. I gave up a far too many points in sitting because of this. That said, I think with some time I can clean up the sitting position.

Rapid prone when fairly well. Both my shooting buddy and I kept 9 rounds in the black and popped a 6 each… not sure what that was about. Reloading these things might be harder than a Garand or at least I have trouble with rocking in a mag. It otherwise handled like a Garand in rapid prone.

The 20 rounds of slow prone went better than I expected. I got sloppy on the last round and popped that 7. “That little guy, I wouldn’t worry about that little guy.”

I haven’t set up to handload for 308 and I wasn’t impressed with the box of PPU I had shot to check function. Creedmoor sports 30-06 served me very well in my bolt guns at Camp Perry so I picked up a case of it for this match. Just as it had at Perry this ammo didn’t let me down. I continue to be  impressed with Creedmoor’s ammo.

In the end I am happy with my performance and the performance of the Blonde Bomber. It was a great match I look forward to going back to WBRP next season. As far as the Blond Bomber, I’m not ready to give up my White Oak AR and take the Blonde Bomber to the NTI in 2016 but for sure I’ll give it a try at the M1A match at Perry.

IMG_0293 M14s on the line


Redemption in the Poconos: Wilkes-Barre Rifle and Pistol Club Service Rifle

Back in 2012 when I was just getting started shooting Garand Matches I attended WBRP’s first Garand match. I had been meaning to return for some time and since I had the day free and I was looking for some trigger time (and some redemption from the Talladega match), I loaded up the truck and headed up north early in the morning.

It was a full 10 degrees cooler up in Wilkes-Berre and in the low 70s when firing started. It was just a little bit overcast and by the time we rolled into the last stage the sun was out. They have nice covered firing points with a concrete floor which makes things a little easier.


This was a CMP “National Match Course”  walk and paste, which is 50 shots 10 off-hand: 10 rapid sitting, 10 rapid prone, 20 slow prone. The rapid stages start from standing per CMP rules, which makes things interesting.

They allow service rifles and modern military to accommodate as many people as they can. There was even a women there who posted a respectable score with a AK-74. I brought both the Garand and the AR-15A2 with me but on the way up I decided to shoot the A2. I have big plans to shoot some black rifle events at Perry this year and I could use a little time on the trigger of that rifle.

Off Hand

Off Hand

Off Hand went well all things considered. I dropped a 5 then a 7 about half way. I reset my position and things went better from there. However, somewhere during the stage I put a nice shot at six o’clock into the 9 ring… of the hospital target.


Dropping into the sitting position is not something I do often since the High Power Matches we shoot at Kimberton are NRA. That said, I managed to not fall over and dropped into a decent NPA. The first magazine did not feed on the first try. I don’t think I pulled the charging handle all the way. I let this stress me out and rushed the sting more than I should have but in the end I am happy with sitting. I should practice getting into position and not rocking so much when I shoot.

Rapid Fire Sitting

Rapid Fire Sitting

I feel great about my prone. I did well in rapid prone and cleaned one of the two targets for slow prone. After letting a bad prone string at Talladega get in my head I needed a couple good strings laying on the shooting mat.



I am glad I made it back up to WBRP. It’s a great group of folks to shoot with and they run a nice match. I am going to try to make it back up there again in the fall with my Garand.