The Battle of Chosin Reservoir was a brutal 17-day battle of the Korean War, fought over the roughest terrain under the harshest winter weather conditions of the war. Allied troops were encircled and attacked by enemy forces but were able to break out and inflict crippling losses on the enemy. A cold front from Siberia had descended over the Chosin Reservoir and the temperature plunged to as low as −35 °F. The freezing weather resulted in frostbite casualties, icy roads, and numerous weapon malfunctions. Medical supplies froze, morphine syringes had to be defrosted in a medic's mouth before they could be injected, and frozen blood plasma was useless on the battlefield. Cutting off clothing to deal with a wound risked gangrene and frostbite. Batteries for the vehicles and radios did not function in the freezing weather and quickly ran down. The lubrication in the guns gelled and rendered them useless in battle. Firing pin springs and operating rods froze and jammed. Refer to the Wikipedia page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Chosin_Reservoir for details on the battle and the heroism and hardships of “The Chosin Few”. Although we won’t get anywhere close to the miserable conditions they experienced during the battle, this match honors their service and sacrifice.
Sanner’s Lake Frozen Chosin Match Report
The day dawned bone-chillingly cold as a hardy group of competitors arrived at the range for the seventh annual Frozen Chosin match at Sanner’s Lake; the biting wind, dreary skies and frozen fingers giving just a hint at what the conditions might have been like during the actual Battle of Chosin Reservoir.
An eclectic group of vintage rifles filled the line, with American M1 Garands and M1 Carbines joining forces with a British Lee-Enfield to smash the enemy SVT and Mosin Nagants! Actually, the battle for match supremacy was pretty darn close, but in the end Alston Rush and his M1 Carbine put together a superb 251-1X to come out on top...and I believe Alton’s victorious Carbine was actually his grandfather’s rifle from WWII, making the victory all the more appropriate and special.
Coming in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place was a gaggle of Garands, all keeping the race tight with scores in the 240’s, as James Black and Ryan Moore took second and third place with a 249-2X and 244-2X, respectively. Not one to be left behind, Jeremy Hanson was locked in a battle for 4th place with Nathanial Swift and his SVT but when the smoke cleared they both ended up with identical 241-0X scores that couldn’t be settled by X-count...so the tie-breaker ended up being Jeremy’s higher standing slowfire score! Congratulations to all the shooters for giving it their all despite the frosty conditions.
See a complete summary of the scores as well as pictures from the match below.
Thanks to everybody for stepping up to the plate regardless of the weather, keeping their vintage rifles tuned up and dialed in, and putting down some seriously respectable scores, all while maintaining am inspiring spirit of competition and comradery. And, more importantly, remembering those who fought and died in faraway lands to preserve our freedom.
Keep an eye on the Sanner’s club calendar for future Vintage Military Rifle matches as well as the classic military rifle “Woodstock” benchrest matches, all of which will be starting back up in the March timeframe.
See you at the range!
- M1 Carbines are the focus of the match, but any centerfire rifle or carbine used in service during the Korean conflict is acceptable.
- Refer to the Korean War Weapons Wikipedia page for details. If it’s on the list and legal for use at SLSC, bring it!
- Rifle must be configured as it was used in service, i.e. no sporter modifications, aftermarket precision sights, bedded stocks, etc. are allowed.
- Modern replicas (e.g. James River M1 Carbine) or semi-automatic variants (e.g. Auto-Ordnance Thompson, Ohio Ordnance Works BAR) are acceptable.
- No mounted optics or bipods. Shooting mats and slings are acceptable.
- Attire should be appropriate to the weather (period correct preferred!). No custom shooting jackets or specialized gloves.
- Ammo: 30 rounds ammunition plus sighting/backup rounds
- Other: Spotting scope (optional, but helpful), shooting mat (optional)
- Open to the public. Non-members contact match director for gate access.
- The colder the better. Rifle and equipment should be properly cold soaked on the line prior to shooting. Only historically accurate methods may be used to unstick frozen equipment!
- Rifle type and caliber will be listed in match results. The more interesting and unique, the better!
Course of Fire Details
- NRA SR-1 targets at 100 yards.
- Sighting shots: As many as needed in 10 minutes
- Prone slow fire: 10 rounds in 10 minutes
- Prone rapid fire: 10 rounds fired in two 5 round strings, 30 seconds per string. Loading and reloading will be off the clock.
- Standing: 10 rounds in 10 minutes
- Thirty shots total for score
- 100 points possible for each string, 300 points total.
- Shooters ranked by highest combined score.
- Ties broken by X's, then by highest individual string, then by fewest hits of lowest value.
- Each string of 10 shots will be shot on a separate target.
- Point value of the ring for each shot will be totaled (maximum of 100 per target).
- Number of X's will be noted.
- Holes touching a higher value ring are given the higher value.
- Firing fewer than required number of shots will be scored as misses.
- Firing more than the required number of shots and more than 10 hits are on the target, with no cross firing evident, the 10 hits of the lowest value will be recorded for that string.