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.
Frozen Chosin Match Report
Sanner’s Lake Sportsmen’s Club
The weather took a turn for the worse on Saturday morning as an icy wind swept in from the north...in other words, perfect conditions for the third annual Sanner’s Lake “Frozen Chosin” match! Nine shooters shrugged off the wintry chill and prepared to do battle in the frosty conditions to honor the service of the “Chosin Few”.
M1 Carbines dominated the line, appropriately enough, supported by a pair of M1 Garands as well as an oddball Swiss K31. Although not technically on the list of Korean War service rifles, the K31 was in the Swiss inventory at the time the Swiss Armed Forces were monitoring compliance with the Korean Armistice Agreement as part of the International Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission. So it got the benefit of the doubt!
The old warhorses performed well, with just a few stoppages here and there necessitating minor percussive actions to get back in the game. One Carbine had to make an early exit, though, after having trouble finding the target, although it was otherwise working fine. In the spirit of camaraderie and sacrifice, Dick C made the best of it by sticking around and calling the line on the second relay, allowing yours truly to shoot.
It was a tight battle across the board, with second place going back and forth until the final scores were tallied and junior shooter Trevor G had one more X than Mike K. See the match report for scores and below for pictures from the match. Thanks to all the shooters for coming out and showing what the old warhorses are capable of, even the much-maligned Carbine! And don’t forget to check out our upcoming monthly high power matches as well as the vintage “Woodstock” rifle matches...see the Sanner’s website for more details.
The Firing Line:
Prone Slow Fire...note the wind blowing the scorecards!
Scoring Targets.. the gravel trail was appreciated!
- 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.