11/10/2012 7:30:00 AM
Jack Tomasoski prepares to fire at targets as far as 1,100 yards out.
Father and son compete in ultra-long-range shooting events
Many teenage boys devote their time to high school sports. After-school practice for baseball, soccer, basketball, hockey or track take up much of their free time.
Jack Tomasoski, however, has applied himself to a different kind of sport.
His sport is three-gun and ultra-long-range tactical shooting.
This is a sport that Jack has been learning for the last two years - since he was 11 years old. He began shooting at a much younger age, however.
At the age of five, Jack began shooting under the supervision of his father, Dan Tomasoski, and shot in his first competition at the age of seven. Jack was hooked right from the start. He is not the only one in his family who takes part in shooting sports, however.
Along with his father, Dan, Jack's siblings - Alex, 20, Lauren, 18, Aaron, 16, and Max, 9 - also participate. Jack is, like the rest of his siblings, home-schooled until reaching high school. This allows him to keep up on his studies while traveling as far away as West Virginia and Texas for shooting matches.
One of these shooting matches was held at Fort McCoy. It was an ultra-long-range shooting match that lasts for three days. Jack and Dan had the opportunity to compete at the Fort McCoy Training Facility, Friday, Sept. 14 through Sunday, Sept. 16.
Saturday consisted of a battle rifle shoot from 100 to 500 meters. The targets are standard military 18- by 36-inch reactive targets which are anywhere from 120 to 550 yards out. Sunday featured the same targets at 600 to 1,100 yards - which is quite a shot.
To hit your target at these ranges, you need weather meters, spotting scopes, range finders and, most importantly, the right rifle. Dedication, hard work and lots of practice also play a big part in being a long-range shooter.
The Tomasoskis were blessed with some nice results.
In Friday's Combat Pistol 9-40 yards, Dan took first and Jack took third.
In Saturday's Battle Rifle 120-550 yards, Jack took first and Dan tied for second. The event requires a battle rifle of your choice and has reactive targets that appear for a very short time at unknown distances.
The gun of choice was a DPMS LR-308 SASS 24-inch with Springfield Armory 4-14 x 56 first focal plane, 7.62 x 51 dedicated ranging reticle, with 168-grain Nosler Custom Competition bullets at 2,650 FPS to match the corrected trajectory of the reticle.
In Sunday's Shooter Spotter Team ultra-long range 600-1,100 yards, Jack and Dan took first place together. Targets appear for a limited time (30-60 seconds) at unknown distances.
Dan shot a perfect score and during the first run Jack shot clean (100 percent) on the reshoot.
Ultra-long range is shot with a custom rifle made by Mike Schnautz, of Butternut, with a Vortex Razor HD 5-20 x 50 EBR-1 MOA reticle.
The .338 RUM or .338 Lapua fires a 300-grain OTM Sierra bullet at 2,875 FPS. It delivers over three times the foot-pounds of energy at 1,000 yards that a .308 does.
A .308 Winchester delivers 501 foot-pounds at 1,000 yards, the .338 RUM delivers 1,880 foot-pounds. Bullet path is over 26 feet of hold-over to properly strike the 18- by 24-inch targets at 1,100 yards.
Hold-over is calculated based on ballistic coefficient, velocity, wind, temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, elevation, twist rate of the barrel and number of grooves of rifling (spin drift) and the Coriolis effect (rotation of the Earth).
After Fort McCoy, the Tomasoskis headed off to Glengary, W. Va., to compete in the FNH 3 Gun Championship. It was their second time at this match - one of the largest and most challenging in the country.
More than 300 competitors from around the country come together to test their skills in this tactical scenario match. Each competitor is faced with neutralizing the targets before them using a combination of AR-style rifle, service pistol, and high-capacity tactical shotguns.
It's three days of shooting three stages per day followed by an awards banquet and the distribution of more than $240,000 in prizes awarded by finish.
Dan took second in his division. Jack, at 13, came in right in the middle of the pack in his division, where there were a couple other juniors, but it was mostly serious adult men and women shooters from a wide range of backgrounds.
The Tomasoskis thank the sponsors who made it possible to travel to and compete in these events.
Informal practice sessions are enjoyed in Boulder Junction most Monday nights throughout the summer. Contact Dan if you would like to learn more.
Dan Tomasoski is the Owner of Gun Works Precision Shooting in Eagle River. Dan is a firearms instructor and teaches classes for carrying a concealed weapon, to handgun fitting and training, to medium and long range rifle instruction.
Details are available at www.gwps.me or (715) 367-1144.
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