Greetings and Happy New Year!
For the last several years, I have been doing very well at my local club's CMP matches and have been having a lot of fun doing it. It's been a lifelong dream of mine to shoot with the best at Camp Perry and find out where I stack up. I tend to be an overly practical man and between the cost of quality equipment and the travel expenses, it's been a dream I could put off and ignore for most of my life. However one of the first times, I held my newborn daughter, it occurred to me that one day I would have to tell her to go after what she dreams about. Those words would sound rather hollow if I don't chase down one of my own just to see what it feels like. After a talk with my understanding and supportive wife, we decided to take our family vacation this year to Camp Perry. This July I will be shooting with my wife and 2 year old girl cheering me on.
I however lack a local source of information on what to expect at Camp Perry these days - the last time my club sent members down to Perry was some time in the mid 60's and I have a funny feeling it's changed a bit. I think its safe to assume that at least a few members here have some experience recently at the National Matches. Would anyone care to help a new shooter out so he at least knows what to expect and does not stick out as a fool?
Where would you recommend staying in the area? What would be a good balance between close to Camp Perry and also near other things so the wife and little one can do other things for a couple days while we are out there? Cost and child safety / friendliness are also concerns for us.
Since we up in North West Wisconsin, our likely travel route will take us trough Illinois and perhaps even Chicago. What special travel concerns will we have crossing a state and city that is decidedly unfriendly to legally owned semi automatic rifles?
What other things near CP are worth visiting?
It is my understanding that the match uses target pits and all shooters are expected to also act as target setters. Having never worked in a target pit before I would like to get some practice before the big event. Do any ranges in Minnesota or Wisconsin use this system?
What is your process like for making match loads in the .223? What are you using for bullet weights for the different distances? Any recommended powders for the 600 yard work? I will be using a Compass Lake made AR with a 1 in 8 Douglas barrel.
What is the best value in shooting jackets that are legal for Hi-Power?
While we are at it, what's the best value in match grade .223 dies, and bullets?
As things get closer, I will likely be adding more questions and concerns. Thank you for reading this rather long post, also thanks in advance for any council and advice that you have to offer.