Shooting Sports USA - June 2020 - 20

FEATURE | NATIONALS

But unlike the circumstances 14 years earlier
when demands on the Army was the reason for
the cancellation, in 1926 government officials
claimed economic cutbacks as the reason for
the elimination of funding for the National
Matches in the federal budget. All of the major
NRA matches that year were once again shot
at Sea Girt except for the Leech Cup, which was
conducted in Washington state.
As was the case in 1926, the 1932 National
Matches faced insurmountable financial hurdles.
The Great Depression forced the withdrawal of
federal appropriation for the National Matches.
The NRA's response to the elimination of the
National Matches was to conduct regionals at
Corps Area sites located around the country. Affectionately known as "Little Camp Perrys," these
matches were implemented by the NRA with the
help of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, National
Guard and civilian state rifle associations. The
"Little Camp Perrys" were held in California,
Massachusetts, New Jersey, Virginia, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, Texas and Washington.
While the National Matches were eliminated
for a second straight year in 1933, the NRA
was deeply rooted in its efforts to promote the
shooting sports across the U.S., and the NRA
Executive Committee wisely improved upon its

HAP ROCKETTO'S TAKE

C

ancel the NRA National
Championships and the National
Matches? Never! Who would think it?
But 70 years ago, just outside of the
memory of most every contemporary
competitive shooter, it happened when
the North Korean Army invaded South
Korea and ended any hope of a 1950
National Championship and National
Match series.

20

JUNE 2020 | SSUSA.ORG

1932 efforts by encouraging state associations to
conduct the year's matches.
For the third straight year, in 1934 federal
funds were not available for the National
Matches. The War Department had reserved
$75,000, but the President's budget director
eliminated the appropriation. To once again
fill the void, the NRA organized regional pistol
tournaments in conjunction with state rifle and
pistol associations, as in previous years. The
Smallbore Nationals were held on a smaller
scale at Camp Perry.
In February 1942, the NRA Executive Committee moved to designate "no tournaments as
'Official Regional' or 'National Championship'"
that year. This decision was the first in a series
of events that led to a tumultuous time in the
history of the National Matches, leading to the
transformation of Camp Perry into an active
war facility that acted as a reception center for
recruits and a POW camp.
It would not be until 1946 that National
Matches would resume. The first to report this
news was the June 1946 issue of NRA's Tournament News (Shooting Sports USA's predecessor) with the headline "Camp Perry Again!" At
the time, Camp Perry was synonymous with
the National Matches.

For most competitive rifle and pistol
shooters the time spent at the NRA National
Championships and the National Matches is
much like the week between Christmas and New
Year's Day, days of wonderment. So, when I
heard the news that the coronavirus has caused
the NRA and the CMP to cancel the NRA National
Championships and the National Trophy Matches,
the first thing that came to mind was Alan
Rickman, playing an angry Sheriff of Nottingham


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Shooting Sports USA - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Shooting Sports USA - June 2020

Contents
Shooting Sports USA - June 2020 - Cover1
Shooting Sports USA - June 2020 - 2
Shooting Sports USA - June 2020 - 3
Shooting Sports USA - June 2020 - Contents
Shooting Sports USA - June 2020 - 5
Shooting Sports USA - June 2020 - 6
Shooting Sports USA - June 2020 - 7
Shooting Sports USA - June 2020 - 8
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