The 2014 USARB
May 2nd-4th, 2014
In 2014, The Phoenix Airgun Club hosted the first ever USARB National Championship. At that time the USARB was under the leadership of Stephen George, who worked with the PAC to make this a success. Before we were able to host the match, the club required the ability to seat 40 shooters at the line. The PAC worked hard with a handfull of members and the Rio Salado Sportsman's club to build a quality 40 bench range. With construction complete, and two separate ranges available for use, this was poised to be the optimum range for this event. We had two ranges for use, both the High Power (for practice and testing) and the Small Bore for competition.
The USARB championship had no precedence, therefore the PAC had to rely on the rules of the WRABF to orchestrate the event.
The entry fee was only $75. For every class that the shooter participated in, it was an additional $25. The banquet dinner, and Saturday’s lunch was included in the ticket.
The event was scheduled over three days during the weekend of May 3rd and 4th, 2014. On Friday the 2nd, the range was open for sight-in, rifle testing, and check-in. Check-in consisted of verifying demographic and rifle information. Every participant received a welcome bag valued at about $200. It consisted of: two shirts (one from a vendor and the other from the event), three hats (one from PAC, the event cap, and one from a vendor), a tin of pellets from H&N, a set of (yet to be released) 'No Limits' scope rings, a rifle sock, Ultra-lightweight canteen with carabineer, reusable goodie-bag, and commemorative pin.
The custom match-designated sticker for passing rifle inspection was a unique 3-D holographic sticker, that is sure to enhance the appearance and value to any rifle.
Passing through the arduous check-in process, everyone received their own custom, laser printed name badge, with all their relays and bench numbers printed on it. This made it really easy to remember when and where you had to be. Considering, all the socializing that was going on, it became easy for shooters to forget their times!
Saturday started early after a brief ceremony from a local Boy Scout troop. First up was Light Varmint and Spring Class. (The Spring class was officially approved by the USARB for inclusion in this championship, and as seen later, developed into a sanctioned class the following year.) Light Varmint had 39 shooters, and the Spring Class competition saw 16 shooters. After the morning relays, complimentary lunch was provided by an award winning gourmet food truck, called Aiolio. After the break, the shooting resumed with Open 25m in the afternoon, seeing 55 shooters.
On Sunday, Heavy Varmint shot in the morning with 58 shooters, and Open 50y in the afternoon with 43 shooters.
We had a special team of “target runners” that handled all the targets flawlessly. This was so the shooters may fully concentrate on shooting, and worry less about setting up their target. Every single target had a fresh Chloroplast backer (633 in all). This was done to ensure every shot was uniform in it’s backing, and optimized in it’s pattern.
The evening celebration and award ceremony was held at the Las Sendas Country Club. It started around sunset with stunning views over the valley. Just prior to the awards, shooters were given their original target back with a printout of their scores along with a shot analysis. They were given thirty minutes to review for protest.
With the largest prize pool in airgun history, valued at over $20,000, all the medal winners were awarded high end rifles. This was never before seen of this caliber in an airgun championship, worldwide.
The first-class banquet full course dinner consisted of both filet minion and chicken gordon bleu on the same plate. All of which was included in the event entry fee. This was all possible by the generous support of the sponsors.
This match was the first airgun benchrest national or international championship that saw electronic scoring. This solidified the progressive advancement in scoring technology that the PAC continues to advocate. The Phoenix Airgun Club was instrumental in working with the Orion scoring system to be the first electronic scoring system to recognize both the WRABF 25m and 50y original target, with all the target specs being the same.
This match also saw the development of cross-fire identification target backers, which was subtly used in the match with success.
We were honored to host shooters from all over the world. There were delegates from Europe, Africa, Central America, Canada, and South America. These shooters came for the unique opportunity to compete against the best in this unprecedented event.
In 2015, the Match was offered by the USARB to come back to Phoenix. However, we believe in the spirit of giving others the opportunity to showcase their range, so we graciously declined. For the following year in 2015, the USARB has yet to determine it’s location.
History has shown this inaugural championship here in Phoenix was an overwhelming and outstanding success, it has certainly set the bar for many championships to come.
Here are some stats:
This event shot 211 shooter positions. That’s a total of 633 targets, and 15,825 bulls.
We thank our sponsors for their tremendous support:
Airguns of Arizona -Overall Sponsor
Pyramyd Air - VIP Sponsor
Joe Brancato Air Tanks - Air Sponsor
Wild West Airguns