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Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America. Memorial Day was borne out of the Civil War and was officially proclaimed in May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. The 30th of May, 1868, was designated for the purpose of decorating the graves of union soldiers who died in defense of the country during the late rebellion. The date was chosen because it wasn't the anniversary of any particular battle. On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there.

By 1890 Decoration Day was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day however, honoring their Civil War dead on separate days until after World War I when the holiday was changed to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war.

The name for the holiday gradually changed from "Decoration Day" to "Memorial Day," but was not declared the official name by Act of Congress until 1967. In June of 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which moved Memorial Day from it's traditional May 30th date to the last Monday in May in order to create a convenient three-day weekend. The law took effect at the federal level in 1971 but after some unwillingness, all 50 states finally adopted Congress' change of date within a few years.

In Honor of the
Men and Women of the American Military Services
Whose Sacrifices Have Made Our Freedom Possible.

Shongum Sportsmen Association

Invited one and all to compete with tangible links to
the battles of our Nation's History in our


Saturday, May 27, 2017

At The
Shongum Sportsmen's Mansfield
100 Yard Outdoor Range

10:00am - 1:30pm

Shooters celebrated our country's history by competing with the firearms
that helped to make this country great. From the Brown Bess, to the AR-15, we had a match for everyone.

On Saturday May 27, 2017, the Shongum Sportsmen's Association (SSA), sponsored a Memorial Day vintage Military Rifle Marksmanship Match
held in honor of the men and women of the American military services whose sacrifices have made our freedom possible.

This premier vintage military rifle marksmanship event attracted top shooters who came from all over the tri-state area to celebrate our country's history by competing against fellow collectors with the firearms that helped make the United States what it is today.

The Shoot
Contest rules for the smokeless powder events required shooters fire 10 rounds in 2 minutes at a target placed at the 100 yard line. For the black powder events the targets are also placed at 100 yards but shooters had five minutes to place five shots in the X-Ring or near about. The two (2) contests for smoothbore muskets allowed shots to be taken at 18th century "whites of their eyes" combat range (25 yards) with special care being taken at that distance so that the muzzle flashes did not to set fire to the targets.

The match this year consisted of sixteen (16) rifle and one (1) special combination rifle and handgun event named after the most decorated US soldier in WWII, Audy Murphy. Trophies were also awarded for the highest scoring female shooter and shooter under 18 years old.

Participants brought fine examples of historic American military firearms including Trapdoor Springfields, Krag rifles and carbines, US 1917 Enfields, 1903 Springfields, M-1 Garands and the ubiquitous AR 15 clones.

This year to mark the 141st anniversary of the Little Big Horn battle, particpants, in addition to trapdoor carbines, were allowed to use any carbine of many types used by Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho warriors in their fight against the US 7th cavalry on that long ago warm Sunday afternoon.

There was a virtual museum-like collection of shooters in attendance who also brought some of the most iconic American military arms in original and outstanding condition. Among the various rifles and carbines on the line were four (4) Krag Jorgensen Model 1898 rifles, three (3) Krag carbines, and a Winchester Model 1895 Carbine identical to the one carried by Teddy Roosevelt in the famous charge up San Juan Hill. Notable among the notables was an excellent condition Remington 513 .22 caliber US Army training rifle and two very nice US Springfield M1922 M-1 .22 caliber rifles. Also seen was a rare Iron Frame 1860 Henry reproduction in .44WCF caliber, several very fine 1917 US Enfields, two (2) M1As, four (4) 1903A4 Springfield sniper rifles, and a gaggle of ARs, '03 Springfields and M1 Garands.

Additionally three historical reenactors attended the match this year in awesomely authentic uniforms and their appearance was one of the highlights of a fine day.

Art C. from Willingboro, NJ a WWI reenactor with the Ebony Doughboys WWI reenacting group was dressed impeccably as a WWI 369th Harlem Hell Fighter in full combat gear. He fired a Berthier Model 07-15 3 shot rifle and Berthier Model 1916 5 shot rifle.

Chuck M. from Ewing NJ a Buffalo Soldier reenactor and a 10th Cavalry reenactor was dressed as a Buffalo Soldier and fired45-70 Trapdoor Carbine. and a Springfield 1861 musket. A change in hat, cartridge belt, and rifle, and Chuck M. was now in the 10th Cavalry firing a 30-40 Krag Carbine.

Chris C. was dressed in the uniform of a sergeant in the 12th Infantry Division Phillipine Scouts and carried an M-1 Garand rifle.

All in all a great way to honor the brave men who served in those units.

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Competition began under bright skies shortly after 10:00A under the close eye of Shoot chairman Stan G. and Range Safety Officer Steve S. Despite the large number of events Steve ran the line with authority and military like precision and the match was completed in time for a leisurely lunch of military style cuisine specially prepared by one of the best cooks in all of New Jersey.

Madame la Chef Barbara F. did her usual outstanding job of pulling together this gastronomic event to usher in the start of summer. This year's menu included Grilled SPAM, and boiled 100% all beef ball park style hot dogs. The dogs were served on fresh buns and could be suffused with warm chili or bedaubed with mustard, ketchup, or sauerkraut and topped off with a generous serving of good old fashioned baked beans just like grandma used to make. This year, Barbara made up her special Polish style sauerkraut with apples which scored a home run with all the appreciative epicures who partook in this delight. You can bet they would be eating their hearts out down at White Castle if they only knew. A selection of America's favorite delicious nuitricious deserts, Devil Dogs, Ring Dings, Ding Dongs, (sorry; no Twinkies, Yodels, Yankee Doodles, or Honey Buns this year) potato chips, and apple pie were also available to top off this exquisite dining experience. All in all, a fabulous gourmet like treat well worth the price of admission alone.

After the usual lunchtime banter, the winners of the rifle matches were announced with some memorable and outstanding acheivements. High score of the day went to John M. with a 99-4X in the Legendary 03 event using an 03-A3 Springfield followed closely by Pete Y. with a 98-3X firing a Remington 513 US training rifle in the Trainer Contest. Paul M. was the top winner of the day taking home five trophies including the coveted Little Big Horn, Spanish American Volunteer, and Boxer Rebellion awards. Paul was followed by John M. who took honors with three wins after shutting down the competition in the grueling Audie Murphy event with an outstanding score of 284 out of a possible 310. Special mention goes to both Jeff A. and Jay R. for turning in nearly identical scores in the American Sniper contest. Their hits were so close to being identically placed that it took the sharp eye of the official scorer to determine the winner. Last but not least, Pam A. won the Rosie the Riveter award firing a AR15 in the Fallujah event.

There was no winner of the Young Warrior award again this year since no one meeting the strict club guidelines entered that contest.

Everyone's appreciation and thanks once again goes to Tom P. who performed the unsung but necessary task of scoring targets and compiling match results.

Congratulations to all contest winners and thanks to everyone who showed up and participated in this match making it a success.

The next Shongum Vintage Military Rifle Match which commemorates VJ Day will be held in August. Details and further information can be found on the SSA and NJACC websites. Shoot Results Follow:
Memorial Day Match
CONTEST / Guns of the Era Winner / Rifle Score

5 Rounds

1) Monmouth
Smoothbore Flintlock (50 Yards)
No Entries  
2) Bull Run
Percussion Smooth Bore (25 Yards)
No Entries  
3) New Orleans
Flintlock Rifle (100 Yards)
No Entries  
4) Pickett's Charge
Civil War Rifle (100 Yards)
Paul M.
1860 Henry Repro
5) Brandy Station
Civil War Rifled Carbine (100 Yards)
No Entries  

10 Rounds 2-Minutes - 100 Yards

6) Little Big Horn
Trapdoor Springfield .45-70,
SASS Lever Rifle (Pistol Cal)
Paul M.
Winchester 1873
7) San Juan Hill
Krag Carbine .30-40 Krag
John M.
Krag Carbine
8) Spanish-American Volunteer
Trapdoor Springfield .45-70
Paul M.
45/70 Trapdoor Springfield
9) Boxer Rebellion
Krag Rifle .30-40 Krag
Paul M.
1898 Krag Rifle
10) US Enfield M1917
US M1917, P17
Rich H.
US M1917
11)Legendary '03
03,'03A1, '03A3, MK I '03,
John M.
'03 Springfield
12) Pork Chop Hill
M1 Garand
Andy G.
M1 Garand
13) Young Warrior
Any Shooter/Gun Under 18
No Entries  
14) Khe Sahn
Jay R.
15) Fallujah
(War on Terror)

Any Jersey Legal AR-15
Paul M.
16) American Sniper
US Military Scoped Sniper Rifle Pre '75
Jeff A.
Springfield '03A4
17) Trainer
US Military .22 Trainer
Pete Y.
513 Trainer
18) Rosie the Riveter
Any Female Shooter Any Match
Pam A.
AR-15 (Fallujah)
19) Audy Murphy
M1 Garand / 1911A1
John M.
M1 Garand / 1911A1
All Scores in html format

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