Author Topic: The First Match Report on the new RWVA website (April 2005)  (Read 1947 times)

Offline Fred

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The First Match Report on the new RWVA website (April 2005)
« on: April 28, 2013, 03:28:49 AM »
[Posted April 18, 2005]

Ramseur, April 16 [1775] - The star cluster arced high into the blue sky on a day in the low 60s, a perfect day for shooting, the red stars tracing a graceful parabola downward.

     On the ground, the long column of shooters reacted immediately by scattering to the 25 m berm to either side of the range road. (40 shooters? At a popup shoot? That's breaking a record that goes back nearly 15 years!)

     Why did they scatter and take cover? Because the star cluster was the "enemy in sight" signal they had been warned to anticipate. Because they were deep in a re-creation of the events of 230 years ago, along a road outside Boston....

     Now facing downrange, what did they see? Popups? No sir, they saw British Redcoats at 200, 300, and 400 yards, and immediately opened fire, loading and firing one round at a time, like their forefathers so many generations ago. [We took military surplus 3-D popup targets, and painted them up in redcoat attire! The "one round at a time" was to simulate, as best we could, single-loading muskets...]

     Redcoats? Why of course. It's April, and at the Revolutionary War Veterans Association, thoughts turn to the days of yore, when good honest hard-working Americans had to spring to the defense of their communities against an invading army of British regulars. They did it once. They did it again in the War of 1812. They may even have to do it sometime in the future.

     But April 16 was just for the fun and history of it.

     To bring to life the old cry "Muster and March, for Liberty!"

     Harmless history, is all it was.

     But History with a punch, as your battle rifle tore into the opfor. Nothing cold-blooded about it. These were enemies of liberty, and deserved to be knocked down.

     And it could get in your blood. That Patriot spirit that had a flag that said "Don't Tread On Me". But you had to use marksmanship. The dirty devils at 200 yards exposed only their heads, and some were also hard to see (the shame of it!).

     At 200 yards, while you were rapid-firing, it took a headshot to knock the target down. If it was YOU that made the shot, you felt good. But not for long, because there were three more, and each of them required a head shot, too. But the rifleman, and some of the cooks, knocked 'em down, easy, and moved on out to 300 yards where you sighted just above the spot the two white suspenders crossed over the chest on the red uniform coat.

     BAM! BAM! BAM!

     Good feeling! Three football fields distant, the targets dropping as you put your bullet thru 'em.

     Even showing up, we replicated history by putting shooters up against the Army Qualification Test to see who would be assigned to 3-man rifleman teams, and who would be assigned to 4-man cook teams. Spartacus took the glory by shooting 240 to win this event (yep, we owe him a shirt, and gave him the standard warning to stay away from a mirror for a few days...). But seven others did it too - shot the 210 points or more that puts the 'rifleman' burden on you. Qualify as rifleman on the AQT on Range 2, and you have NO excuse when you go against the popups on Range 1. Participants also heard the story of Paul Revere, how he didn't simply knock on a door and move on, but knocked on specific doors where, immediately after he went on, another rider took to saddle and headed off in another direction. Yes sir, with no telephones (at least, none reported) those guys didn't run around in circles and shout "the Redcoats are coming". No way. They were organized. Those riders heading in every direction were the 18th-century version of a telephone tree and they worked it so well within a few hours as many as 14,000 men were marching toward the 800-man British column. Including 78-yr-old Sam Whittamore, armed with 2 muskets, a pistol, and a cutlass. (And you think you are well-armed?) Despite pleas from his wife to stay home (how many of you would have resisted those pleas?), he shot two Brits at least before they put a musket ball in his face, and left him for dead with a dozen bayonet wounds. But old Sam must've been strong with the spirit of liberty, as he not only recovered but lived another 20 years, and prob never paid for another drink at the local tavern! A great day of shooting, a lot of good people on the range, a lot of marksman's skills improved. Can't get much better. (But it will. Check out what's planned for Memorial Weekend.) Eight first-time shooters were welcomed into the fold. Is love of liberty a catching disease? We hope so...
« Last Edit: April 29, 2013, 02:30:42 AM by Fred »
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