Konrad's journal of Highpower Rifle Competition

"Mental Focus. Not Equipment Hocus Pocus."

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Some Background

Sometimes people ask me how I got started in highpower or what the purpose of this web site is.



I have always been interested in history, especially World War II. That, coupled with seeing some of the military rifles that my Dad had, gave me the desire to buy an M-1 Garand. Unfortunately, when I was in college in the late 80's and early 90's M-1s were more than my meager finances would allow. Then in 1991 my Dad told me that the Department of Civilian Marksmanship was selling Army surplus M-1s to the public for $165. You could only buy one in your lifetime and you had to show proof of at least 100 rounds of competition activities. A local club (Sycamore Sportsman's Club) was holding monthly Garand clinics on their 100 yard range. Each clinic consisted of a lecture and firing the 50 shot National Match Course on the reduced target.

On April 13, 1991 I fired in my first competitive clinic with a loaner Garand and shot a score of 166 out of a possible 500. I didn't shoot any x's and there was only one 10 (in sitting). There were 26 misses. My second clinic was considerably better and I scored a 235 over the same course of fire. Although not only did I not shoot any x's again, I didn't even shoot a single 10. But by now I had enough shots to apply to get the rifle. So I gathered my proof of competition along with my FBI fingerprint card and mailed them to Washington D.C.

The rifle finally arrived in June of 1993 and I had that piece of history that I wanted. But I was slightly intrigued with this service rifle competition "thing". By the beginning of 1994 I had graduated from college and had a job which didn't leave me a lot of time to shoot. Over the next several years I would go back and fire in an occasional clinic but it wasn't until 1996 when I fired in actual NRA sanctioned competition. A few times I shot in an American Legion league team match at our state association range. For me these were big-time matches because there were pits and the range went out to 300 yards. Also competing in these league matches were the top shooters in the state. Their team was usually squadded at the other end of the range from me so I never talked to them. But they were shooting scores that I couldn't even fathom. For someone who was shooting in the upper 300's with his Garand, some ball ammo, and a cloth shooting jacket, a score of 490 was difficult to comprehend.

By the winter of 1997-98 I had decided that I would like to try my hand at being at least somewhat competitive in highpower. So that spring I bought a second hand M1A, a glove, a stool, a mat, etc. and proceeded to shoot more matches. 1998 was the first year that I competed at Camp Perry when I shot in the President's match and the N.T.I. (both in the rain). At that point I was hooked. At Camp Perry I finally replaced the cloth smallbore shooting jacket that I was using with a nylon one.

After that I just kept on shooting more and more matches each year with the intention of getting better. While the improvements were fairly easy to achieve in those early days they are quite a bit more challenging now. Just making a small gain requires some serious analysis on my part. But that's part of the challenge.


This web site

During the years that I was shooting and trying to improve I would think about my good days and bad days. While I knew what was going through my mind, what other shooters were thinking was still quite a mystery. Were they disappointed when they shot below their expectations? Did they ever cross-fire or save shots in rapid fire?

In time I discovered that other competitors had their ups and downs just like I did. The reaction to a good or bad day depended on that shooter's commitment and personal philosophy. There weren't too many others that analyzed their performance like I did but there was a common thread in being focused on improving and shooting better.

So I created this website to illustrate what goes through my mind during the course of the season. I wanted a way for the newer shooter to see that someone else goes through the same frustrations and elations that they do. While these experiences and emotions are my own, they are found in many highpower shooters at all levels. While we're all different, we're pretty much the same.