national caliber marksmen
has exhibited skills for 22 years
Helen E. McKinney
(June 2010) The smell of blackpowder, the loud,
reverbating click of a flintlock and the thrill of competition has led
Tim Marsh to Friendship, Ind., for the last 22 years. A serious competitor
in the National Muzzle Loader Rifle Association National Shoots,
Marsh has received more than a few awards to attest to his skill as
My dad, Harry Marsh, taught me how to shoot, said Marsh,
37. His father also builds primitive guns.
Tim Marsh (left)
awards at the National
Shoot last year and
was inducted into
the Friendship Hall of
Fame three years ago.
For Marsh, guns are a hobby. He prefers shooting offhand,
flintlock and percussion guns, and hunts quit a bit in the town of Stanton,
Ky., where he lives. The shoot at Friendship is a really good
shoot, he said.
A big advantage to his trek to Friendship is the chance to meet
a lot of people you see only once or twice a year. His father
competes at Friendship as well.
Marsh doesnt like to brag much about his skill, but he was inducted
into the Friendship Hall of Fame three years ago and has won the NMLRA
National Championship three times.
He is one of many shooters who will compete in the 2010 NMLRA Spring
National Shoot from June 12-20 at the Walter Cline Range. This years
shoot also includes the Junior National Championships, Territorial Championships
and the National RifleAssociations National Muzzleloading Championship.
Competitors can compete for both the NMLRA Spring National Shoot and
the NRA National Muzzleloading Championship, said Terry Trowbridge,
Director of Publications for the NMLRA.
There are two shooting ranges at Friendship: the Curly Gostomski Primitive
Range and the Walter Cline Modern Range. The NMLRA plays host to two
national shooting competitions at the latter range. In addition to the
annual Spring National Shoot, the National Championship Shoot is held
During these shoots, shooters from around the world compete for national
record scores. Competition categories include muzzle loading rifle,
pistol, musket, shotgun, bench and slug guns, and tomahawk and knife
The NMLRA was established in 1933 in Portsmouth, Ohio, relocated to
Dillsboro, Ind., and ended up at the present site of Friendship in 1940,
said Trowbridge. The Walter Cline Range was established in 1942.
Many shooters were attracted to old-time firearms at first because
it was a cheaper way to shoot, Trowbridge said. During the depressed
times of the 1930s and 40s, individuals didnt have enough
money to target shoot, so they started competing. Many shooters
enjoy the friendly competition.
The NMLRAs Rand House Museum will play host to a wine tasting
at the 2010 National Spring Shoot, Trowbridge said. Ertel Cellars of
Batesville, Ind., will offer its wines for a wine tasting celebration
in the afternoon and evening of June 12.
More than a dozen wines will be available for sampling and purchase.
Ertel Cellars is a family owned winery located on 200 acres in Ripley
County, Ind. Visitors will be serenaded by the sounds of Rick and Hillary
Wagner of Jims Red Pants. They will be performing on the front
porch of the Rand House.
The National Spring Shoot is also a time of learning, since many seminars
will be offered on the different disciplines of shooting. A free shooting
seminar will be given by three-time NMLRA National Champion Chuck Blender
from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday, June 12.
Muzzle loading vendors also exhibit their wares on Commercial Row during
the National Shoots at Friendship. Guns, accoutrements and research
books are just some of the accessories that will be available.
For more information, call (812) 667-5131 or
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