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
A national weather service weather warning and potential ice storm didn’t stop an intrepid band of shooters from attending the sixth annual Frozen Chosin match at Sanner’s Lake! Freezing rain and overall dreary conditions made for an appropriate backdrop to remember the service of those Americans who endured the hardships of the Korean War while ensuring their sacrifice will not be forgotten.
It was an all-American line-up on the firing line this year, with nothing but M1 Garands and M1 Carbines filling out the shooting stations from end to end. In fact, the Carbines actually outnumbered the Garands this year, which was great to see and highly appropriate for this match.
And when the smoke finally cleared, it was Ed Thompson and his M1 Carbine holding off the Garands and taking the overall victory over with an excellent 264-4X. Never let it be said that an M1 Carbine can’t hold its own at 100 yards! Breathing down his neck, though, was Larry Chiarizia and his Garand keeping it close with a superb 262-4X. Filling out the podium was the M1 Carbine of Jake Swierczek, who overcame several magazine feeding issues to nab third place with a strong 250-2X.
See all the scores and pictures from the match below.
Thanks to everybody for shrugging off the miserable (but appropriate) conditions and making it out the range to keep the match going with some great shooting and great scores! Keep an eye on the Sanners calendar for future Vintage Military Rifle matches as well as our Woodstock matches which will be starting back up the March timeframe. Hopefully the ice will have melted by then...
...and the baffles:
The long slog to the targets...
...to score and commiserate:
- 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.