Santa Margarita Gun Club
Promoting safe, competitive shooting sports for active and retired military, civilians, and juniors.

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Hello to all SMGC Members and Participants:
This is a reminder for all of you to look at your SMGC Membership Cards. Annual Memberships for 2016 will EXPIRE on January 31st.

The Club’s operational cost are covered by our club membership dues. If you plan on keeping a regular membership, you must submit your renewal ASAP, otherwise you risk losing it. Regular Memberships are given to All Active Military Members (Active Duty and Reserves) and only a few Civilians, whom have provided some invaluable services to the Club get a Regular membership as well.

All members, Regular and Associates get discounted Match Fees for all SMGC Events. Over the course of the year the money you spend does two things for the club. First it helps the club out financially to re-order supplies needed to conduct our events. Secondly, the savings discount on entry fees essentially pays for itself over the course of the year.

So if you haven’t renewed your membership as of yet, please do so ASAP. Thank You


SMGC Board of Directors


2017 SMGC BoD Election Results – [.docx] [.pdf]


Berger Bullets is hiring for an International Account Manager. Get more information.


IMPORTANT: Effective 02/01/2016, non-military ID persons will not be able to enter the base by simply providing a Driver’s License. The person must also be sponsored.

Sponsorship for non-military match participants is provided by the Santa Margarita Gun Club when registering and providing Driver’s License information to the club by NOON (Pacific Time) on the Wednesday *BEFORE* the weekend of the match in question.

MCB Camp Pendleton Security Regulations require the match sponsor (SMGC) notify the appropriate Base agency of Non Department of Defense (DoD) persons participation in the Match on the Wednesday preceding the Matches. This notification is generated by the received match entry forms and intention to enter correspondence. DRIVER’S LICENSE NUMBERS AND STATE OF ORIGIN ARE PART OF THIS INFORMATION WHICH IS TURNED INTO THE BASE SECURITY. Therefore without this information, your entry onto MCB Camp Pendleton may be denied. Additionally, persons who have expired driver’s licenses will not be granted entry onto Camp Pendleton.

Please use the secure, encrypted online form to submit your updated DL information, in addition to your match registration.

All Electronic Entries for ALL Matches & Non-Firing Participants, must be done by NOON on WEDS before the Match otherwise Civilians will not placed onto the Base Access Roster and there by will NOT be allowed on Base.

2017 Berger Bullets Southwest Nationals

Long Range Report – From Berger Southwest Nationals

If you haven’t been to this match, think about going!

The SMGC was well represented at this match. From the sling slide we saw Marco Rojas, Allen Thomas, Jerry McDonough, Jim Minturn and Randy Teissedre. F-Class participants included: Gary Atkinson, Janusz Dabrowski, Lee Davis, Charlie Wallace, Bill Baston, Bill Tusch, Duane Fitzgerald, Walter Lange, Mark Roth, Martin Tardiff, Mike Jones, and while Harry didn’t shoot, Wind Coach Harry Harrison.

The weather was outstanding with interesting and challenging conditions of both wind and lighting. See photos below!

There were some incredible scores put up during the week.  Notably from our club, Mark Roth and Martin Tardiff achieved Long Range F-Class High Master Ranking. Mark dropped only 10 points during the 125 shots for record, shooting a 1240-52X, Martin shot a 1232-61X.  Mark also shot a clean-19X in one of the strings of fire for the 600 yard match.

Mark Roth finished 13th overall and first place in Master classification.  Gary Atkinson finished 12th in Master classification and 17th overall. Martin finished 3rd overall in the Individual Palma match.  Randy finished 3rd and Allen finished 5th overall in the individual Palma match.

They also have a great Saturday evening meal and prize give away.  Winners of some free stuff included Martin, Duane, Bill Tusch and Bill Baston.

Let me know if I missed anyone.





2017 February 04 and 05 – Long Range Match Report

Welcome back everyone, this weekend marked the clubs first Long Range match of the New Year! It was great to finally get back on the range for some quality time with our ballistic machines, and it was an important event for those heading to Phoenix for the Berger Southwest Nationals. Special thanks go out to the club and Mike Jones for arranging for competitors to find confidence in their 800, 900, and 1000 yard zeros. Harry Harrison also came out to lend a hand in gathering up new membership as well as to practice team coaching with our Club’s F-Class team members. Of course a big thank you goes out to our Corpsman which consisted of Van Texas and Rich Elliot on Saturday and Rich once again on Sunday. Without these guys watching over us round one would not be able to be expended. We had 18 participants over the two days of shooting even though national match preparation and Superbowl parties jostled in fierce competition of our fleeting weekend hours. It was a great turn out!

The power and the beauty of Mother Nature’s whims were a sight to behold on base this weekend. As we arrived and assembled at range 116, we were treated to the rare and fleeting conversion of the normally arid scrubland into a vivid green rolling meadow as far as the eye could see in all directions.

Said meadow was also endowed with plenty of mud and standing water making traversal of the various features of the range a little more precarious than normal.

Of particular peril was ‘Lake Butts’ at the fording between the range access road and the pit access road. Fortunately no one was left behind, even if all traveling were not necessarily Military personnel!


Our Saturday match consisted of unlimited sighters and twenty rounds for score at the 800, 900, and 1000 yard lines. Of course the 800 yard line was our first string, but it was our second water hazard! Hmm, was this once a golf course? It sure looked like it today!

Finally assembled we commenced with the match, starting with our legendary safety brief by none other than John Hermsen our Club President and Chief RSO (pictured in maroon jacket below). We were all well advised of the normal perils of our regimen along with the not-so-obvious dangers from indigenous insect and aquatic visitors. The major floods that swept through the area and subsequent standing water hosted many things best left alone and undisturbed including certain species of shrimp and possibly young misguided whales.

Off and running we all dialed in for 800 yards. This was unusual for the SMGC LR matches which are mostly 3×1000 events and a great opportunity to post some excellent scores. We were fortunate to have relatively steady but mild wind at the 800 line.

Speaking of which, in the photo below, Jack Lindsey was casually laying down a 200-12X on his second ever match event. That’s amazing! Way to go Jack!

Here in the foreground Marc Mittry was off to a great start sling shooting his way to class and match victory over the rest of the ‘F-Class Pukes’

Of course the F-class crew didn’t take this laying down (well, OK, prone is a form of laying down but it is a required position after all) and began posting outstanding scores of their own. Below Harry Harrison coaches Duane Fitzgerald and Mike Jones of the clubs F-Class team with first class precision

As you can tell by all the gear Harry isn’t messing around with making wind calls. Equally Duane (looking up at the camera) wasn’t either. If his scores could be entered into the match he would have won the F-Class division Saturday in total.

That said, Mark Roth (below in the foreground) gave him a run for his money!

I was bound to do well myself, considering I had Mark on my left and Jack on my right. Sure enough it rubbed off on me a little as I posted a 196-5X and earned a Gold Award Pin! I am currently classified as a Sharpshooter, but with scores like this I’m headed for the deep end of the pool post haste. Good thing I have my flotation device on (A.K.A Sissy Pad)


We pushed back to 900 yards and ran another relay, and as you can see here the flags are starting to play out their maddening contradictions that range 117A is well known for.

Upon arrival at the 1000 yard line we encountered a new obstacle – foliage! Ken Letwin looks socked in here from this angle.

Turns out the top of the mound wasn’t as overgrown as the edges.

At the big end of the 1000 yard line there is a little more room the stretch out too.

After suffering what Mike Jones officially dubbed ‘weird’ wind, our match winners were awarded at the end of the day.

Marc Mittry takes First in Match Rifle / Sling Class

Mark Roth takes First in F-Open Class

Gary Atkinson takes First in F-T/R Class as John Hermsen valets his prize money to him in style.

Other achievements not photographed include Kamran Sadaghiani earning a Silver and Gold Club Award Pin.

Simon Wagner earned two Gold Club Pin Awards.

A competitor whom I wasn’t able to identify should have rightly earned some kind of prize for actually sticking a bullet in the target. Yes, the projectile was found lodged in the target face!

The range always has the last laugh though. With all firearms put away the flags fall into unison.

Day Two 3x1000LR Match

On Sunday most of the crowd was on to things other than LR rifle shooting, and this enabled another uncommon event. We were able to shoot with no pit changes, leaving our rifles on the line for the duration of the match, and at whatever pace we felt we could maintain. With only six shooters this meant we could get in and out to free up the afternoon. Sure enough we were leaving the parking lot of Range 116 by 11:30am!

Gary Atkinson gives us a big welcome to the speed 3×1000 match of the day while Sam Hosking and Tod Sladek put the first rounds down range.

Braving the ‘jungle’ at the small end of the 1000 yard line:

One thing new we had to deal with on Sunday was low light. The oncoming storm due the following morning was bringing in a lot of low cloud cover and fog. This is where scope construction and light gathering capability started to be a critical factor. We also had the wind die all together and then switch back ever so slowly the opposite direction it had be drifting through that morning. It wasn’t uncommon to be right on your no-wind zero at some point in the morning. This lead to some great scores!

Match results are posted below for both days. Best of luck and safe journey to those heading to Phoenix. Go Team Santa Margarita!

2017-02-02 – Letter from the Long Range Director

You may have noticed a new sponsor on the home page of the website, so it seems like time to announce the new sponsor for some of our activities with the Santa Margarita Gun Club. David Whitsitt of US Lapua is sponsoring reloading components for the Wounded Warriors at the Mid and Long Range events that we host. He is also providing some complete ammunition and bullets for service rifles for the enlisted Marines and Wounded Warriors competing in XTC and Mid-Range. Harry and I are working to invite and provide rifles and ammo for the Wounded Warriors who are part of the Wounded Warrior Battalion West on Camp Pendleton, so anyone who wants to help out give Harry or I a shout.

David’s generous donations have come after a couple of years of Duane Fitzgerald, our Assistant Long Range Director, purchasing Lapua products thru David’s US Lapua website:

David is also sponsoring our F-Class Open team at matches where we will be competing in the team events. The team is composed of Walter Lange, Duane Fitzgerald, Mike Jones and Lou Murdica. Our plan is to compete at the upcoming Berger SW Nationals in Phoenix, the California State Palma Championships in March and the Arizona State Championships in April and the F-Class Nationals in Lodi at the end of September. We will be coached by Richard King (a friend of Walter) and Harry Harrison. We figured Harry needed something useful to do until his shoulder is fully back in shooting shape, and he obviously can read the wind.

Mike Jones
Long Range Director, Santa Margarita Gun Club

2017-01-30 – Letter from the SMGC President

Attention All Cub Members!

The Club is actively seeking any residents of ORANGE COUNTY CALIFORNIA: Who possess, participate with SMGC, and would like to pass to their heirs, an AR-15 platform firearm; OR, Any resident of ORANGE COUNTY CALIFORNIA: Who would like to purchase an AR-15 platform firearm in order to participate with SMGC in it’s competitive events.

We are seeking you! To be represented by Michel and Associates in an “all expenses paid” Lawsuit to challenge the recent AW Ban enacted by California legislature and signed into Law by Governor Jerry Brown.

If the previously stated criterion is applicable; and your character is suitable to withstand the inevitable scrutiny. We need your participation. The other possible implications of participation will be the publishing of your name in media (A’la, PERUTA v.s. COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO); and the possibility of being deposed ( a formal process of answering questions with Counsel present).

For those of you not familiar, Michel and Associates is the premier law firm in the State of California engaged in fighting the lunacy that has taken hold recently, they are financed by NRA and CRPA. Although Non-White and Female litigants are advantageous, we highly encourage anyone who is interested and believes they may qualify, to discuss the possibility of participation with me directly.

Lastly, the last day to renew your Memberships for the year has arrived and I cannot overstate the role your dues play in providing for a solid number for us to budget and work with throughout the year. This is the time of year when the large payments go out, such as, Insurance. This is also the year which the rent will come due. I managed to work a deal last time to avoid having to pay for several years, however, in September I expect to receive a substantial bill and I will need you to do your part to provide the capitol the BoD and I will need to work with.

Speaking of money, the Club sustained moderate damage in the recent flood to the Targetry that was recently repaired and stored in the new Conex box at Range 103, and I would like to ask any of you with the capacity to drop a few bucks on us to help repair the targets to please do so.

Thank you all for your loyal and continued support,

John Hermsen, President and CRSO

With the BoD for FY 2017-2018:

Harry Harrison
Dave Ellis
Joseph Mueller
Walter Lange