Mojave Desert
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Did you bring your desert hiking boots?

I’ve got a bit of a trek ahead.

Shooters are ranked by the NRA according to their scores in official competitions. These are most easily expressed as the appropriate percent of the perfect 100.

  • Marksman – Less than 85%
  • Sharpshooter – 85-90%
  • Expert – 90-95%
  • Master – 95-97%
  • High Master – 97% and above

To earn a higher ranking, a shooter must record a total of 360 shots at the new level.

Back in April at the Arizona Regional Championships, I shot a 2440-35. The 2440 is a smidgin above the 90% mark of the possible 2700 points but only includes 270 shots. It is an expert-class score but not enough shots to earn a step up. (I’m Sharpshooter class at the moment.)

In today’s official 2700, I shot a 2441-53 over an additional 270 shots.

And that should be sufficient.


In the next couple of weeks, I should be receiving my Expert-class card from the NRA.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that Expert class is also known as the “vast wasteland” that many shooters enter but few leave.

I think of it as the Mojave desert, completely barren and devoid of plant life, unlike the sometimes lush Sonoran desert we have around Phoenix.

But with a couple of gallons of drinkable water, some dried desert rations and a pair of good boots, I’m ready to begin my trek.

I’ll be the dried-up, leather-skinned, dusty-haired shooter at firing position #8 for a while.

10s and Xs, pardner!

3 thoughts on “Did You Bring Enough Water?

  1. Good for you!

    And the comparison with the “vast wasteland” of Expert status and that of the Mojave Desert is spot on.

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