Many shooters have heard the words “Camp Perry” spoken with a sense of awe and reverence. After all, Camp Perry, Ohio is where all the serious competitive rifle and pistol shooters gather for best of the best bragging rights. I’m not talking action competitions like USPSA Action Pistol or 3-Gun. I’m talking about classic marksmanship with rifles and pistols. Long range targets, precision, hundreds of competitors wearing those heavy leather shooting jackets. You know, the real deal.
Why the awe regarding Camp Perry? That’s where competitors do superhuman things like hit 1,000-yard distant targets with just 10-inch center bullseyes, using only iron sights. We’ll get to more about that in a minute.
Camp Perry isn’t about a single competition. It’s the home of dozens of competitions, one of which that just wrapped up August 14th, 2015. That would be the 2015 World Long Range Palma Championships. Just prior to that was the NRA High Power Rifle Long Range Championships. Many top competitors entered events for plenty of trigger time opportunity.
Before we talk about who won what, we ought to clarify a few things, mainly confusing words like Palma, ICFRA, and Creedmoor. We’ll assume that everyone reading this is familiar with the NRA, or National Rifle Association. The NRA provides more marksmanship and safety training than anyone, bar none. Sponsorship of big deal matches like these raises the bar for thousands of competitors from all over the world
Let’s talk about ICFRA first. That’s the International Confederation of Fullbore Rifle Associations. The name is plural because it encompasses long range shooting organizations from all over the world. Full member countries span the globe from Australia to the West Indies to Kenya to Ukraine, plus eight others. 19 other countries participate as affiliate members with teams coming from countries including Barbados, Israel, Japan, Namibia, and Slovenia, just to name a few. As of now, two additional countries, Brazil, and Romania participate as observer members. Clearly the ICFRA includes a broad representation of marksmen from around the globe.
The ICFRA was proposed as an evolution of the Palma Council back in 1999, the idea being to create a true international confederation for long range shooting competition. The ICFRA was officially inaugurated in July 2003 during the Palma and Individual Long Range Championships at Bisley, United Kingdom.