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

Letter from the SMGC President – 2019-01-06

Attention All Hands,

One unfortunate outcome of the government’s shutdown is that just as the License to operate was literally days away from completion, the processing has come to a dead stop.

The addition of Range 223B to our inventory was the last process to complete, the check was cashed, and all was in readiness for our resumption of activities on the 19th and 20th of this month.

Many, MANY man hours of work was done this last year and a half (now more) to engage the Club’s operations and improve our programs. As many may know, we did our best to coordinate with SOI and it’s leadership to bring you occasional events and develop the PRS discipline for the Club and it’s Members.

We value your participation and loyalty, and your rewards are forthcoming. I want to apologize to you all for the length of the process and the impression some may have developed that we would never reopen; but, at the same time I would like to impress upon you all the massive scale of the efforts involved.

Without the direct and invaluable efforts of several influential members of the Marine Corps, all our efforts would have been in vain. I’m not going to identify them directly at this time, but I will soon. Please make a special effort to congratulate and thank those individuals in the future because without them, as I said, we would be dead in the water.

I am hoping in earnest that our politicians will recover from the rampant Rectal Inversion that infects our representatives, the government will get back at it, we will resume the good work we do, and I can say again…

See you on the Range,

John Hermsen, President/CRSO

2018 December 15-16 SMGC Practical Rifle Clinic and Match

Match report courtesy of Mike Jones.

Thanks to all of the support for this activity from the Base and Range Control to jump thru hoops to accommodate our request for the range, while our lease renewal is in process.

Thanks to Beau Winn for planning the stages and COF for the match.  Thanks to the medics, Paul, Rich and Steve for showing up and supporting the activity.  Thanks to the SDPRC guys for coming out and helping instruct the newbies.

Saturday December 15th, we conducted a Practical Rifle Clinic on R117 to introduce rifle skills and challenges associated with Practical or Precision Rifle competitions.  This was an introductory clinic to give those interested a baseline in fundamentals of marksmanship and how they are applied or adapted to this shooting competition.  46 people came out to learn and practice, it was just about an even split between civilians and active/reserve duty military. 

We ran 6 stages where obstacles were presented by an instructor, he did a walk thru of the challenge, the various ways to address it and then a stage of shooting was conducted so that integration rifle support, body/position support and natural point of aim could be challenged and techniques developed to provide accurate shot placement. The entire group was divided into squads and each squad worked through 3 stages before lunch, after the break we had the opportunity to run through 3 more stages before breaking down the range for the night.

Small Tank Trap
Roof Top

Sunday December 16th, the range staff started early, again, when I arrived- waiting for the Marines was the ammo truck and guard.

We had 53 participants and I think the military representation was fantastic – clearly more than half the competitors. Originally designed as an 8 stage match, we had to toss one of the stages due to targetry issues.   The match started around 8:30 and was wrapped up at 3.

The top finishers were:

First Overall: Jorge Ortiz – Free Match Card

  • First Overall: Jorge Ortiz – Free Match Card
  • Second Overall: Serge Ducourneau – Free Match Card
  • Third Overall: Peter Awalt – $10 Cash
  • First Military: Beau Winn – $20 Cash

The scores for the 2018-12-16 Practical Rifle Match are available for download in PDF here and on the Match Results page.

For the future: you will be able to find our schedule at:

We are in process with the lease renewal and anticipate having that finished around January 15. In February we should be returning to a regular monthly schedule. For Practical Rifle competitions this will most likely be the 2nd weekend of the month, but to get a match in January we are planning the following:

  • Saturday Jan 19 – Practical Rifle Match
  • Sunday, Jan 20 – Midrange Match, 3X600
  • Saturday Jan 27 – Long Range Match, 3X1000
  • Sunday, Jan 28 – Long Range Match, 3X1000
  • Saturday, Feb 10 – Long Range Match
  • Sunday, Feb 11 – Practical Rifle Match

59th Annual High Desert (2018) Rifle Match Report

First, a very big Thank You to Gunner Skinta, Gunny Herrera, and Mr. Folts at MAGTFTC MTU and Jeff Lovat for organizing this event and accommodating all of the civilians.

Day 1 Thursday was a 3X1000 match.

Opening Ceremony and First Shot was conducted by Gunner Duane Ledford (USMC Ret).

Winds were relatively light compared to the forecast in the morning and then steadily built over the morning and culminate in 30MPH with gusts on the final relay of the day and…. Just enough rain drops to get the dust to stick to your case or anything else left out.

I (Mike Jones) shot in the final relay. I started with about 5 minutes of wind on the scope, about the fifth shot I was holding off the frame and so put another 5 minutes of wind on the scope, held left for a couple more shots, added another 5 minutes of wind and finished the string with 15 minutes of wind on the still ended up holding on the left edge of the target. Yes that’s about 19 minutes of wind at 1000 yards. Mark Roth was scoring for me and would laugh everytime I was able to find an X or 10 as I t was an absolute guess as there qwas nio mirage and the flags were pointing up and virtually useless for seeing any changes in velocity. While I am shooting a 6.5-284, my friends Jeff Lovat and Brad Losey are shooting their 223s, I sure they were having a great time.

Overall winner for the day 1 was Mark Roth with a 587-14X. Lou Mudica 2nd and Mike Jones finished 3rd in F-Class. Gunner Skinta Won the day in Service Rifle with 572-12X

Day 2, Friday looked better…but… the wind kept building thru the morning and once again the flags were useless. The results for the day were Mark Roth, again, with the top score. Walter Lange second and Mike Jones third.

In Service Rifle, The overall winner of the McVeigh Trophy was SSgt Edwards, Our John Hermsen was second overall and Gunner Skinta in third.

Friday’s Service Rifle/Match Rifle Team Match at 1000 yards was won by the “Sundevils” which included:

  • Brad Losey
  • Ken Letwin
  • George Carr
  • Jeff Lovat
  • Coached by John Hermsen

Day 3, Saturday was an 80 XTC

A good showing with 39 shooters. Highlights include George Carr wining the match with a 779.24. Harry Harrison shooting his first ever 300 rapid 100 with 10 X’s !!!! The Marines kindly cut the center out of the target for him to keep as a memento.

Day 4, Sunday were the Rifle and Pistol EIC’s.

Only one man, George Carr, made the cut during the Rifle EIC with a 458.9.

The Pistol EIC found no one making the cut but Michael Drake with a 248.1 came in first place.

Overall, thanks for all who helped us help the Marines. An extra special shout out to Pete Jedrzejczyk & James White who both donated $100.00 of their match refunds to the Marines at MTU. Outstanding !!!!

Mike Jones and Jeff Lovat.
Match Directors, SMGC

The results for the 59th High Desert Regional (2018) are available in Excel here.

2018 F-Class Nationals (Raton, New Mexico) Match Report

First, I would like to thank all of the “sling shooters” for running the match, Mike St Clair (USCM Retired and SMGC member) was the match director, Jim Oconnel, Dennis VanLier, Mike McShea (pistol shooter) were some of names and faces you might recognize from Coalinga and Berger SWN.

We had 3 club members travel to Raton New Mexico for the 2018 F-Class Nationals. Mark Roth, Lou Murdica and Mike Jones. We also have a friend, Ed Harrach, from New Mexico that I made and honorary SMGC Member for the team match.

The mid-range match started on Sunday September 16, whenever you, or I, fired your first “9” for score, you had lost the match. The eventual winner, John Myers shot 1800-133X as the aggregate score. It was impressive shooting in challenging conditions. Second place was Tod Hendricks 1796-119X. Our honorary member, Ed Harrach, was one of the bronze Medalists with a score of 1795-110X. Either of those score would have won last year.

Here is a picture of Ed Harrach with his overall Bronze in Mid-range:

For the Midrange Team Match we finished 7th overall with a 1585-85X. We were 8 shots from third overall. The winning team Brux- Lapua-Borden shot a 1598-112X.

Long Range Started on Thursday, September 20 in a downpour of rain. I shot a 199-9X and could barely see the rings on the target, maybe that’s what I need to shoot well. The days remaining matches were cancelled after the first string of fire.

The rest of the matches were conducted in challenging conditions. At various times flags lied, mirage lied and even combinations of the two seemed be not be telling the truth. I have a lot to learn from Harry. Also when you shoot is a factor as conditions varied widely from string to string.

Most of the match, I was shooting and pulling with Lou Murdica (SMGC member, disabled Navy vet). He finished 3rd overall in the Long Range aggregate, High Senior, and 2nd overall for one of the days, his aggregate score was 1181-50X. Great Shooting – Lou!

Mark Roth finished 23rd overall with 1174-40X, honorary SMGC member Ed Harrach finished 25th overall with 1173-37X. Good job Mark and Ed!

In the Long Range team match……………we got killed…….the highlight and summary of the conditions for me was my second string when I shot a 192-6X. During this string of fire, Dam Bramley, Captain of the F-Class National Team and coached by Michelle Gallagher, shot a 193-6X. That helped my self-esteem since the conditions didn’t look as bad as they apparently were. If Michelle couldn’t see the conditions change……me and my one good eye were not going to see it. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it

For planning purposes, the CA State Long Range Championships are coming the first weekend in November. I have not seen the match form anywhere. If someone finds it please forward it to me for disbursement.

See you on the range soon.
Mike Jones
Long Range Director, SMGC

2018 59th Annual High Desert Rifle Matches at MCAGCC Twentynine Palms

The following message is from Jeff Lovat, the event coordinator. This is not an SMGC event. The information and match programs are being provided here for convenience. All official and up-to-date information should be obtained from the event coordinator.

The matches are a go and the Marines want A LOT of shooters there and besides us civilians they are recruiting more Marines to actively shoot it.

Come shoot for a day, or two days, or three days or all four days. And enjoy the thrill of being on an active Marine Corps Base and who knows what you will see and hear. Tanks on the move, Amtracs crawling along, the sweet sound of machine guns firing and bombs being dropped or shot out of cannon’s….

Remember, free camping behind the 600 yard line berms and FREE PIT SERVICE included.
$5 BBQ provided by the Marines after the matches.

To the shooters who sign up I will send directions how to get on base, a detailed map how to get to the base, and exact directions to get you to the rifle and pistol ranges.

Feel free to forward any and all of this to other shooters.

This is the tweaked Version 5 92718 match program.
It supersedes all prior programs.

QUESTIONS most asked already and the answers:

  • Is there 1000 yard practice Wednesday November 28?
    NO. Unfortunately the range is needed for other purposes that day.
  • How many shots for record on TH and FR?
    60 shots for record Thursday
    40 shots for record Friday.
    Unlimited sighters both days.

And remember a team match following Friday’s two matches we hope you all will shoot in.

Match Forms: