Written by Conrad Funke
“After checking in Butch’s Guns Friday we met up with Tomas Meraz and he was kind enough to show us around and let us do a little rifle data verification on his ranch. With our rifles dialed in we headed to a Cajun shrimp boil at Butch‘s house. Oklahoma hospitality is awesome! Butch and his crew served up 150 Pounds of shrimp!”
This past weekend I attended the Butchs Oklahoma shoot presented by the National Rifle League and Butch Fjoser. This was my third national level match and I was pretty excited for it, I needed a little personal redemption after shooting poorly at the previous match in Colorado. Fellow shooter, music DJ and navigator Phillip Velayo flew into Tucson Thursday afternoon and our all-night road trip had begun. After checking in Butchs Guns on Friday, we met up with Felipe Tomas Meraz and he was kind enough to show us around and let us do a little rifle data verification on his ranch. With our rifles dialed in we headed to a Cajun shrimp boil at Butchs house. Oklahoma hospitality is awesome! Butch and his crew served up 150 Pounds of shrimp!
Back to Basics
Saturday, day one of the match began at 0800 and the legendary Oklahoma winds were already blowing. Coming from Southern AZ I figured wind was nothing new but the wind in Oklahoma is a whole new ball game. Butch also made a pretty strict set of rules for the match. I feel the two most noteworthy were a shooter can only use one bi-pod and one support bag the entire match and there is NO sharing of information. Each shooter was on their own for wind calls and techniques, it was a back to basics type match. Within minutes I think there were a lot of shooters humbled by small steel targets and tricky wind, I know I certainly was. I struggled for a bit trying to figure out the wind but was finally able to pick up some points towards the end of the day. Waiting for the bus back to staging Travis Ishida with the National Rifle League occasionally does a 2-dollar challenge. He picks the target and position and you get two rounds to hit it and win the two-dollar bill. I accepted the challenge and my shot was a coyote target at 291 yards while standing with no support (offhand shooting). I connected on round two and claimed my 2 dollars!
Going into day two of the match I knew I needed to pick up some points to achieve my goal of a top 20 finish. I was off to a pretty good start but my last stage was on the range that seemed to be the most challenging of the weekend and I just couldnt get into a groove. I fell a point short of the top 20 and ten points short of a top 10. Overall, I feel the match went well, looking back I see where I gave up some points with bad strategy but it was a great learning experience. The prize table was stacked with great prizes from the series sponsors and cash! On top of the 100% payback Butch generously added another $5,000 dollars into the prize pool. I was able pick up a much-needed certificate for some barrel work from Owens Armory, with some luck that will be the beginning of a new rifle build for my wife.
I am very grateful to have the opportunity to enjoy this sport. I cant thank my wife enough for the support. Butch and the National Rifle League for putting on the match. All the volunteer Range Officers for spending their time out there scoring instead of shooting, Phillip for some coaching on trip out there. Tim Baird at Ace Fishing & Sporting Goods for helping me out with my reloading supplies, Accurate Ordnance, LLC for building my rifle, Alpha Munitions for some ultra-consistent brass, CONX Media for great media coverage and last but not least the entire NRL shooting community, everyone has been kind and helpful. If you are on the fence about shooting one of these matches just sign up, you will have a great time.