Santa Margarita Gun Club

Holiday Message from the SMGC Vice President and High Power Rifle Director

Hello Fellow Shooters!

I just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Safe & Happy New Year! 2015 promises to be a great year for shooting at the Santa Margarita Gun Club. 2014 was a difficult and challenging year for the club. We had many difficulties and hurdles to get over during this last year. We have made considerable efforts to over-come those short falls in order to get back on the correct path in 2015.

Many of you are not aware of the moving parts that are put into motion in order to put together events for Everyone to Enjoy. The reality of FACTS: Whether we put on a practice session or a Regional Championship; we have to do the exact same things in order to use the ranges aboard MCB Camp Pendleton. For starters, we are mandated to have (2) USMC Base qualified Range Safety Officer’s (RSO’s) and at least (1) medical person (EMT or higher) present, (2) if that person is also going to shoot, in order to operate on any range aboard the base. This does not include the hours of volunteered time to organize, set-up, tear down and then process the required paperwork for the USMC, along with the NRA and CMP paperwork for these events.

Your Board of Directors and Club Officers are doing our best to ensure we all have access to the very best Ranges in Southern California. Some of you know the answer to this question and others do not. Q: How far would you have to travel just to get to another range (600 yards and beyond)? Phoenix (AZ), Coalinga (Central Calif.), Boulder City (NV), Palmdale or 29 Palms (High Desert) are the nearest ranges which have a 600 to 1000 yard range. Think about how far you would have to travel in order to gain access to those available distances we have aboard Camp Pendleton. I hope those of you who are reading this recognize we have a great venue of ranges aboard Camp Pendleton at our disposal and for the most part it is in your own back yard or at least within an hour or two hour drive instead of a four or five hour trip.

Although we haven’t had a match since September, I hope everyone is looking forward to breaking out your shooting gear and getting started again. Our club has to operate our Calendar by the Federal Fiscal Year (Oct-Sep) due to USMC Range Scheduling. The Club Officers and I have locked down the Events for the 2015 Schedule. Please check the web site for the exact dates and types of competitions. We have scheduled the Long Range Matches to occur primarily on the 1st weekend of the Month and the Mid-Range (MR) Matches and the Across the Course (XTC) Matches will occur primarily on the LAST Weekend of the Month. PLEASE NOTE: MR matches will be on Saturday’s and XTC matches will be on Sunday’s this year. Part of our changes we have made for this year are a direct reflection of the format of the National Rifle Championships. Our MR Matches have been formatted to assist those planning on shooting at the 2015 National Championships. Specifically, the MR matches will alternate between (3 x 600 and the 300, 500, 600 yard) formats every other month (see the schedule of events for further details). Additionally, after the National Long Range Championships are held at Camp Perry in 2015, the USA will host the World Palma Championships at Camp Perry. This is the year you should attempt to go to the National Championships, especially if you have never gone there.

The Board of Directors and Club Officials want to build on the things that have shown to improve the overall club operations and your individual shooting skills. This building process will start with the very first events of the year. SMGC is making efforts to assist folks in the development their individual skill levels in the various disciplines. During the 1st Event, a Work Party & Practice Session, we are making available chronographs along with advice to develop your loads for your particular rifles. We will be shooting at 100, 200 & 300 yards in order to assist you in establishing your “No Wind” Zeros.

We are planning and conducting some shooting “Clinics” to assist you in improving your skill levels as well. There will be an “Across the Course” Rifle Clinic at the end of January (Jan 31 & Feb 1) specifically to help those who shoot this type of event to improve your abilities. We are also speaking with “NANCY & MID TOMPKINS” in order to put together a “Prone & Long Range Clinic”. The dates are yet to be determined, but the clinic will also include Nancy’s Latest Book. As John Hermsen previously stated, the SMGC is also looking into obtaining other equipment to assist us in the operations of conducting matches. You will also notice when you look at the Match Programs for the Mid-Range and XTC matches, that the match programs are already done and NRA Registered and approved for most of the year.

In order to continue to stream line our process of checking-in, so that we can start our MR & XTC matches on time. I will ask all of you, to do the following things:

  1. Ensure you continue to Register for Matches (On-Line) at prior to the matches. Please Note: Registrations now have to be done by Wednesday preceding the matches. IF they are done after that Wednesday night, they will be considered LATE ENTRIES and subject to a $10.00 Late fee, so bottom line is register early it cost you nothing to do so.
  2. Prior to Coming Down to Camp Pendleton, Double check the web site for any last minute notifications and ensure you are going to the correct Range. SMGC Ranges are 103, 116A, 116B and 117 (depending on the event type and the month).
  3. When you arrive at the range, get your gear and move to the appropriate starting yard line. We will collect forms/fees and issue score cards behind the firing line and get squadding done on the line.
  4. After you have brought your gear to the starting ready line, Assist us in setting up the Range (If it is not already done).
  5. Once the pre-match activities are complete, Move to your firing point and get ready for the start of the match.
  6. The competitors who are assigned on the relay going to the pits first – will do exactly that. They will drop off their gear at the appropriate yard line, check in and when told to do so, will move directly to the Pits and place their targets in the target carriers.
  7. The Mandatory Environmental Safety Brief will be read in the Pits and on the firing line concurrently, versus having everyone on the firing line hear it and then move down to the Pits or Firing line. These simple steps will help us to get the matches started “ON TIME.”

Other Club News:
Our SGMC Pistol Program is still stagnating until we can get someone willing to become the Pistol Director. We have folks who are willing to be assistants to this program to make it happen, but we still need one or two person(s) who are willing to take the bull by the horns and make this work. Everyone likes to shoot, but the simple fact is someone needs to step out in front if this program if it is to get back into operation. Those who enjoy shooting Pistol need to look inside of yourselves and decide if you would like to see this program go forward or not.

The SGMC will also be conducting several Regional Matches in addition to our Annual “Camp Pendleton Open” in September 2015. These Regional Matches have changed in their Formats, so please look them over. We are addressing the increase in participation levels of the Mid-Range Matches this year.

The club has increased our Awards Program, specifically our Annual New Trophies to recognize our exceptional and consistent shooters. These Trophies are:

  1. The San Luis Rey Mission Trophy – This perpetual Trophy will recognize the Overall Winner of the Annual “Camp Pendleton Open”. (2014 Winner – Aaron Perkins)
  2. The Berger Bullets Trophy – This perpetual Trophy is awarded to the Overall Winner of the 1st Grand Aggregate at the Annual “Camp Pendleton Open”. This trophy is a New Award (2014). (2014 Winner – Aaron Perkins)
  3. The Mid-Range Champion Trophy – This perpetual Trophy will recognize the shooter who has accumulated the most points during the Mid-Range Shooting Events for the entire shooting season (Jan-Oct) for both F-Class and Match/Service Rifles. (2014 Winner – Steve Blair)
  4. The Long Range Champion Trophy – This perpetual Trophy will recognize the shooter who has accumulated the most points during the Long Range Shooting Events for the entire shooting season (Jan-Oct) for F-Class, Match and Service Rifles. (2014 Winner – Gary Fowler)
  5. The Across the Course Champion Trophy – This perpetual Trophy will recognize the shooter who has accumulated the most points during the Across the Course Events for the entire shooting season (Jan-Oct). This trophy is a New Award (2014). (2014 Winner – Don Goodner)
  6. The President’s Trophy – This is a Service Award which will be given to the individual person, (who is a Non-Board Member) in recognition for their dedicated Service to the Club in the amount of personal time and service given in the course of All of the events held by the club throughout the year. (Jan-Dec). (2014 Winner – John Kountz)

SGMC Pin Awards:
We will continue to award the SGMC Pins. They have been a huge success in recognizing individual efforts. When looking at the match results at the end of the tournament, please be sure to point out to the Match Director or the Stat Officer when you shot well enough to receive one of these awards. We take pride in awarded them “At the Match”.

Final Thoughts:
I just wanted to ask all of you who take the time to read this, to please step up whenever you see a need for something to get done at the range. There are many moving parts to running a match and it cannot be done by just one person alone. When you get to the range early please give us a helping hand at the target conex box. Helping load up targets onto the range cart (to be brought down range), ensure all of the target “cans” get place onto the range cart or ensuring the “correct repair centers” are taken to the pits helps all of us out.

Please remember this: “WE ARE A CLUB, NOT A COUNTRY CLUB”. The SMGC – Santa Margarita Gun Club, is a mutual beneficial organization and each of us works to help out each other. There are no paid employees; each position is a VOLUNTEER Position. With this being said, if you are not a club officer, then be more than just a “Shooter”. YOUR Assistance is appreciated in any capacity, whether at the beginning or especially at the end of a Match. Things need to be put away in their proper place at the end of our matches too.

Last but certainly not least, please stick around after the matches have concluded to ensure you receive your correct scores and to recognize the Winners in each category. Remember this: when merchandise is awarded, Winners must be present in order to receive those prizes. We know you don’t do this sport for the money because you could make more $$ doing something else. Allow us (as a club) to recognize your hard work. It is motivational to us all when we see someone improving and/or shooting their (PB), Personal Bests. Having a reputation and being known as a “Good Shooter and Competitor” is something we should all strive for. So please show your support to our fellow Club Members who did well enough to be recognized.

Thank you and I look forward to seeing you at our events.

Good Shooting, Stay Centered and Semper Fidelis,

Harry D. Harrison
MGySgt, USMCR (Ret.)
SMGC Vice President and High Power Rifle Director