September 25, 2020
Written by Bill Crawford, General Manager of Liberty Mountain Gun Club
The morning started off with a quiet calm and just a bit of low-lying fog. Rumors of “record-breaking weather” were murmured until the lead edge of the cold front started to blow in. Now everyone is conceding defeat, but not you. You suspected the front would bring crazy winds, and you were right.
You’re at the 1000-yard Benchrest Shooting National Championship and surprisingly find yourself as one of the favorites. Who would have thought just few years earlier you had wandered up to Liberty Mountain Gun Club with no experience and no expectations whatsoever? The Range Safety Officers and staff there immediately made you feel comfortable and encouraged you to learn.
You quickly found your passion in precision rifle shooting. When you found out there was an academic rifle shooting class, you were pleasantly surprised. Who would ever have thought you could get two credits learning to shoot? So you became a regular at the range and your skills grew rapidly.
While LMGC offers 100, 200, and 300-yard shooting ranges (which are good distances to learn precision and some wind reading), your tastes grew to longer ranges—600 yards, then 1000. From contacts you made while studying at Liberty, you even got an opportunity to engage steel targets at over a mile away!
Back at the national championship, as you stare downrange, you notice the 200-yard wind flag blowing slightly to the left, the 400-yard flag blowing strongly to the right, and the 800-yard flag blowing up. UP?! You make note of this anomaly and wonder how on earth a flag can be blown straight up. This is going to be a fun and challenging day.
About then, one of the world’s greatest shooters and defending national champion walks up next to you. He looks to the flags and casually observes, “Our kind of weather huh?” You nod and say you sure hope so.
You find a sense of pride and are humbled at the same time that someone like him would make such a comment to you, like you were long-time pals—even equals! He knows you went to school at Liberty and learned how to shoot there, and he finds it intriguing that a university has such a rare facility within their campus recreation department.
After a friendly exchange, you wish him luck, shake his hand, and say you hope to meet him in the finals. Then, with one last look downrange, you head back to your car to prepare for the day of shooting, in the sport you grew to love those few short years ago.
To view hours and find more information, visit Liberty.edu/LMGC