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Schachle Leads, Fairless Sets Perfect Score at 2021 Oklahoma CMP Games
OKLAHOMA CITY – At the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s (CMP) 2021 Oklahoma Games and Highpower Rifle Matches, past champion Keith Schachle, 63, of Brooks, Georgia, returned to the plains of Oklahoma after a year off from the event to claim overall wins in all of the Garand, Springfield, Vintage and Modern Military matches – including a new Oklahoma Games record score of 295-5X in the Modern Military course. His outstanding showing allowed him to later take home both the Three-Gun and Four-Gun Aggregate honors, earning yet another record in the latter, with a score of 1155-34X.
The 2021 Oklahoma CMP Games and Highpower Rifle Matches were held Oct. 17-24, at the Oklahoma City Gun Club. Over 400 entries covered the ranges in a variety of modern and vintage military rifle and pistol matches held throughout the week. The Highpower event added both team and individual service rifle matches for competitors, with the chance to earn EIC (Excellence-In-Competition) points.
Schachle made his first trip to the Oklahoma Games in 2019, where he claimed the Three- and Four-Gun Aggregates along with the Springfield and Garand Match events. The weather during that initial trip challenged him – with what he claimed to be the worst wind he had ever competed in, at the time. Luckily for competitors at the 2021 Oklahoma event, conditions greatly improved and even made for an enjoyable experience.
“It was probably the best weather we’ve ever had in Oklahoma,” said Steve Cooper, CMP’s education and training manager who has traveled to every Oklahoma Games since the event was added to the CMP schedule a decade ago.
The 2021 event happened to occur right after a stream of tornadoes hit the area, leaving a beautiful window of weather for competitors, staff and guests. Another occurrence that made the 2021 Oklahoma Games unique was the appearance of a few interesting rifles not commonly seen on the firing line during the Garand/Springfield/Vintage/Modern Military (GSMM) matches.
Jimmy Hamilton, 66, of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, fired his M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR), a 22-pound rifle, which is known to be awkward to handle due to its length and weight. The U.S. Army’s “light” BAR machine gun was introduced in 1917 and was used in World War I. It’s also widely recognized as the gun used by the infamous gangster couple Bonnie and Clyde in some of their robberies. The firearm is chambered in the .30-06 bullet, which is used in the M1 and other GSMM rifles.
Another unusual rifle in the GSMM match was a Bren light machine gun, used by Gere Goodenberger, 57, of Collinsville, Oklahoma. The Bren, built in the 1930s, was used by the British Army in World War II, the Korean War and various conflicts until 1992. Given the design of the rifle, Goodenberger had to load one, single round at a time in the rifle and change the large banana-shaped magazine after each shot – something that quickly became an exciting display for those on the range.
“It was quite difficult and heavy to handle, but he did a great job,” said Cooper.
Both rifles were fired in single shot and semi-automatic modes for the CMP’s slow-fire and rapid-fire stages of the match, though both are capable of firing on full-automatic mode (prohibited in CMP events).
Also causing a stir on the firing lines in Oklahoma was Bill Fairless, 65, of Vienna, Illinois, who reached a perfect 200 individual score – firing 100 at both the 300- and 600-yard lines in the Vintage Sniper Team Match with a semi-automatic M1 Garand sniper rifle.
“Which is a VERY difficult thing to do,” Steve Cooper commented. “If you check past M1 Garand sniper scores in the semi-auto class, you’ll find some good scores, but a 200 is a ‘clean’ 20 bullseyes with a rifle that’s not nearly as accurate as the manually-operated bolt gun class.”
With his score, he and teammate Richard Reichert set a semi-automatic Vintage Sniper team Oklahoma Games record, with 382-11X. The manual class Vintage Sniper team of John Bass and James Fletcher claimed an Oklahoma Games record of their own in the match, netting a score of 395-13X for the overall win.
In the CMP Highpower events, Roger Farley, 55, of Piedmont, Oklahoma, brought home overall titles in the EIC Rifle, Prone Slow Aggregate, Sitting Rapid Aggregate and was named the overall CMP Cup 2400 Aggregate Service Rifle competitor. Also earning service rifle wins was Ken Lore, 65, of Hickory, North Carolina, who was overall in the Prone Rapid Aggregate and Charisma Owen, 19, of Wichita Falls, Texas, who topped the Standing Slow Aggregate.
Winners were named for the three days of 800 Aggregates that led to the overall 2400 Aggregate, with Owen just three points shy of the current 800 Aggregate Day 1 score with 789-39X. Larry Stonecipher, 69, of Ada, Oklahoma, trailed the Day 2 record by only one point, recording a score of 790-25X, while Schachle claimed Day 3 with a score of 786-32X.
Outside of competition, the CMP offered a number of learning opportunities, including the M1 Rifle Advanced Maintenance Clinic led by armorer Luke Tyus. The course covers all of the necessary tips and tricks used to preserve the quality of the M1, including secrets used by CMP professionals.
“He did a super job and covered virtually everything a person would need to know about breaking down and maintaining the M1 rifle,” Cooper said. The M1 Rifle Advanced Maintenance Clinic is held at each of the CMP Competition Games – check out the 2022 schedule at https://thecmp.org/competitions/cmp-travel-games/.
Other overall winners of the 2021 Oklahoma CMP Games:
CMP Games Rifle:
M16 Rifle Match: Robert Powell, 50, Olathe, Kansas – 374-11X
M9 EIC Pistol Match: Brandon Lane, 45, Bixby, Oklahoma – 206-2X
Rimfire Sporter Rifle T-Class: Robert Spurrier, 60, Lakewood, Colorado – 578-23X
Rimfire Sporter Rifle TU Class: Adam Baker, 39, Tuttle, Oklahoma – 579-23X
Carbine Rifle Match: Jon Ussery, 62, San Antonio, Texas – 350-6X
CMP Games Pistol:
.22 Rimfire Pistol EIC Match: MSG Ron Robertson, 56, Azle, Texas – 270-6X
Pistol EIC: John McNally, 55, Heath, Texas – 261-3X
As-Issued 1911 Pistol Match: Larry Drake, 61, Gower, Missouri – 367-7X
Military & Police Service Pistol: Silas Fentress, 71, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – 369-4X
40 Shot Pistol Match: Roger Kneeland, 68, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – 349-4X
View a full list of results on the CMP’s Competition Tracker page at https://ct.thecmp.org/OKGames2021results.
Save the Date for 2022. The Oklahoma CMP Games and CMP Highpower Rifle Matches will take place October 16-21, 2022. Find out more details at https://thecmp.org/cmp-matches/cmp-games-oklahoma/. CMP’s next Competition Games events will take place at the CMP Talladega Marksmanship in Talladega, Alabama. Visit our website at https://thecmp.org/cmp-matches/talladega-600/ for more details on the Talladega 600 “A Southern Classic” scheduled for November 15-21, 2021.
The Civilian Marksmanship Program is a federally chartered 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation. It is dedicated to firearm safety and marksmanship training and to the promotion of marksmanship competition for citizens of the United States. For more information about the CMP and its programs, log onto www.TheCMP.org.
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