United States Rifleman's Association

Family, Friends,Community

United States Rifleman's Association - Family, Friends,Community

2014 Schedules Posted for Illinois and Oklahoma

The USRA 2014 Schedules are posted for Illinois and Oklahoma. Event registration is open for shooters and instructors may sign up for events.

We have also added a “Suggested Reading” section to the website. These are book recommended by our instructors.

There is also a new Governance page to find information about how our organization is operated.

USRA BOOT CAMP 2013 After Action Report



I arrived in Osage Beach on Friday afternoon in order to confirm the layout, take care of last minute items, and get squared away before everyone started rolling in.

While walking around the property, we made up a list of chores that needed addressing on Saturday. Trees needed to be limbed, cut, and hauled to the fire ring, brush piles burned, stairs repaired, lights hung, etc.

I figured we would have plenty of willing help because that’s how this organization was formed. I wasn’t wrong. Saturday, everyone pitched in with whatever skills, experience, tools, or strong backs they had and by mid-afternoon we had blown through the “to do” list like Derek through a full mag of .223.

Later, some took advantage of the open range time to warm up the pistols and rifles while others chose to sit back and take in the glorious view the changing colors of the trees offered.

Sunday, more campers arrived and the place started to come together. Canopies and tents sprung up, trailers leveled, kitchen equipment set up, gear situated, and re-acquainting with friends went into full swing.

Darrin, our pig roaster, arrived on schedule and the pig roast was on! He was amazed, once again, with how much food this group can put away. While we had roughly 35 partaking in the feast, he cooked for 42. We only had about 1 ½ pans of pork left over and all the sides were devoured. Pappy and Terry welcomed the left overs and had a plan to work them into the next day’s food.

At our annual meeting, Justin Anderson was elected as President and John Morton was re-elected as Secretary. Justin has been very active in USRA here in Illinois and I’m sure he will do a fantastic job. He has other capable officers and the finest group of Americans I’ve known backing him. He will take the reins on January 1, 2014.

We started off each day with a hearty breakfast. With full bellies, we made our way to the fire ring to raise the flag, say the Pledge of Allegiance, and have a muster so everyone was up-to-speed on the day’s activities.

Monday was Introduction to Defensive Handgun on the pistol range and American Marksman on the 25M range. After dinner, Pappy put on an excellent clinic on how to strip the M1 / M14, do some maintenance, lube it, and most importantly, re-assemble it! He then transitioned right into the AR15 family of rifles. Knowing how much and where to put what type of lube can be very important to keeping these guns running.

Tuesday was a repeat of Monday, thus giving everyone an opportunity to take both classes. The distance range was opened up to 300 yards for those that had their rifles dialed in and needed to dope them at actual yardage. The after dinner clinic was a “High Power” orientation. We learned the basics on gear, target reading, scoring, pit duty, etc. Hopefully, we can get a few more USRA members to make the trip to Camp Perry and compete next year.

Wednesday was “Competition Day”. A day designed to put our shooters thru the paces with their rifles and handguns. Nothing like a little pressure due to friendly competitive trash talk and a few bucks on the line to amp up the adrenaline and give you a good case of the jitters. This gives you a whole new perspective on how good you think you can shoot vs. how you actually do under stress.

Wednesday was also our day for One Shepherd. Ten or so guys (and Viper) strapped on the M.I.L.E.S. gear, grabbed a laser fitted AR carbine and a few mags of blanks and headed out for some force-on-force gaming. All I saw was smiles when they returned. Chris lowered the price for the Tru-Combat gaming for our guys. This is a direct result of us helping tear down the tents last year at the close of Boot Camp. One organization helping out another like-minded organization. Doesn’t get any better than that!

I encourage you to look into the One Shepherd organization. They are on the web and Facebook. A good group of guys teaching leadership skills, organizational skills, map and compass work, and other useful knowledge.

Thursday was another awesome day! Derek had been working on the Introduction to Tactical Carbine class for over a year. The class was great! His course of fire flowed nicely. It followed a logical progression from understanding the operation of your AR15, to shooting it quickly and accurately from various positions, to reloading, to clearing the inevitable malfunctions, and more. The round count was kept to an acceptable number.

Later, Mike brought out the bowling ball mortar. To say we were all impressed would be the understatement of Boot Camp. That thing was awesome! Even the video Erik posted doesn’t do it justice! Thanks Mike for sharing your “toy”.

After an outstanding pork steak dinner, we made our way out for the night shoot exhibition. A head count was taken to insure safety. We tried out several options in night vision, tracers, thermal imaging, flash hiders, and more. Hitting targets at 400 yards in pitch darkness was exhilarating!

Friday was an open range day. An RSO was assigned for each range and our shooters made their way to whatever range they needed work on.

At 1:00 p.m., George put on quite an informative shotgun demonstration. Nothing at all like what we’ve all seen come out of Hollywood. Slugs, 00 Buck, 4 Buck and birdshot were compared at various ranges from various barrels. The shotgun can be an important tool, but you have to know its pattern, capability, and limitations.

In the afternoon, we dispatched 2 of our guys to help the neighbor change out his well pump. We had been tapping off his well and the pump finally gave out. He didn’t ask, we didn’t offer. We just did the neighborly thing and did what needed doing. Family, Friends, Community. The basis of USRA.

Saturday, Boot Camp was winding down. Around a dozen or so of us tore down the tents again. Many hands make light work. They were all down by 11:00. Chris and Jason made sure everything got stowed where the critters can’t chew on them over the winter. Chris assured me that the tents would be up again and available to us for the Boot Camp in 2014.

You think you got it all? Not hardly! Pappy and Terry put on outstanding meals each and every day. The mess tent was up and running each morning bright and early. Hot coffee, BACON, spuds, eggs, biscuits and more greeted us as we crawled out of our sleeping bags. Dinners were top rate. No skimping here either. Salads, garlic bread, veggies, and more to go with the main course. Many, many thanks to all the hard work and preparation these 2 guys put into making this happen. It was very well received as no one had to worry about packing 6-7 days’ worth of food, keeping it cold, bringing pans and stoves, cooking it up, and maintaining a clean work area. These guys planned and shopped so well, I think we will be able to offer all 3 meals next year!

So now you think you got it all? Not even close! Too much happened to put it all here. Things like: Extrapolate, visual acuity, inclination, brush pile (again), “I’m so disappointed”, “arwy”, jitney, camp fires that burned 24/7 from Saturday to Saturday, camp fire talks that lasted almost that long, dog attacks, our mascot “Donkey”, and so much more.

I want to thank each and every one of you that came, participated, contributed, learned, taught, shared, laughed, and worked. YOU are the reason USRA exists. YOU are what makes Boot Camp happen.

Mark your calendar now for the 2014 Boot Camp: Oct 18-25

Bill “EEL” Essling

P.S. Dale Spencer will be posting pictures from Boot Camp on our web site. Visit www.usrifleman.org and click the “Boot Camps” tab at the top.

P.S.S. If you have pictures, get them to Dale so he can upload them.

Boot Camp Schedule of Events

SI Exif

October 19-26, 2013      Osage Beach, Missouri



Saturday Oct 19

  • Travel day / open range day
  • No scheduled USRA activities
  • Sight in rifles
  • Practice with pistols
  • Assist in set up of ranges / classrooms / tents


Sunday Oct 20

  • Travel / open range time until 1400 hrs
  • At 1400 hrs all ranges will close for the day
  • 1400 hrs – Pig Roast
  • 1600 ish hrs  – USRA annual meeting at the range.


Start times are in stone.  Be prompt.
Close times are “ish”


Monday Oct 21

0845 – 1700         American Marksman clinic on the 25M range.

0845 – 1700         Intro to Defensive Handgun on the pistol range.


Tuesday Oct 22

0845 – 1700         American Marksman clinic on the 25M range.

0845 -  1700         Intro to Defensive Handgun on the pistol range.

0845 – 1700         Distance range open for shooters that are ready

1900 – ????         CMP/High Power orientation


Wednesday Oct 23

“Competition Day”

0900 –1500          Assault Rifle match,“Turkey Shoot”,Bowling Pin match and 400 yard “1 shot” Match

1530 – ????     ***One Shepherd – Force on Force***

1900 – ????            Tactics and Strategy discussion

***OPTIONAL***You will need approx. $100 – $130 for MILES rental and for .223 blanks.  AR-15 carbines and magazines are provided.


Thursday Oct 24 

0800 – 1700     Distance range open for shooters that are ready

0800 – 1700     25M range open for practice

0830 – 1200 –  Defensive Shotgun Demonstration

2100 ish –          Night Shoot Demo– tracer, NVD,

flash hiders, Thermal Imaging, etc.

on the Distance range


Friday Oct 25

0800 – 1700    Distance range open for shooters that are ready

0800 – 1700     25M range open

1300 – 1700  “Tourist or Terrorist” on the pistol range


Saturday Oct 26

0800 – 1700    Distance range open for shooters that are ready

0800 – 1700     25M range open

1100 –               Assist in tearing down tents



Boot Camp    **USRA member**                            $175

Boot Camp    **non-member**                                  $225

  •  Range fees are included in the Boot Camp registration
  •  Pig Roast is included in the registration fee
  • Breakfast and Dinner (Mon-Sat) is included in Registration fee
  •  Entry fee for 1 round in each match is included in the registration fee

Fun shoots / Matches

All fun shoots will be settled at dinner with a 50/50 split to the winner.

You may enter a match more than once by paying an additional fee.


Bowling Pin Match                                                                                   $5 per entry

400 yard “1 shot” Match                                                                          $5 per entry

Turkey Shoot                                                                                             $1 per entry

Assault Rifle / Zombie shoot                                                                   $5 per entry

Tourist or Terrorist                                                                                   $1 per entry


PLEASE REGISTER ASAP FOR BOOT CAMP.  We need numbers for food, pig roast and shirt sizes

Fees for additional match entries will be handled in cash when you walk up / sign up for that match.

You can call me at 630-292-6452 or e-mail info@usrifleman.org with questions.

See you there!


USRA to hold Annual Boot Camp in Osage Beach MO.

USRA will be holding it’s annual week long Boot Camp in beautiful Osage Beach, Missouri in October.  The Boot Camp runs from Saturday October 19th through Saturday October 26th.

The Boot Camp is open to all that share the desire to learn more about their firearms and / or have a passion to pass along their knowledge and skills to others.  You do NOTneed to be an Instructor to attend.

Saturday the 19th may be used as a travel day, sight in your rifle day, try out that new handgun, etc.  Things will officially kick off on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. with a pig roast followed by the Annual Meeting.  This is where members of USRA can elect their Board of Directors, provide input to instructional curriculum, and generally, have a say in how this club will be run.

There will be numerous activities to keep you busy and your barrel warm.  The 8 hour Introduction to Defensive Handgun course will be taught on Monday and Tuesday.  Our American Marksman course will also be taught on those same two days.  You may change courses day to day or re-take the same course to get the material ingrained into your memory.

The 400 yard range will be open to those that complete the American Marksman course so bring that center fire rifle too.

There will also be a number of “fun” shoots.  Test your competitive edge at the Bowling Pin shoot, Terrorist or Tourist shoot, The Zombie Shoot, and the 400 yard “1 shot”.

Camping on site is allowed and encouraged.  No better way to make friends than over a campfire.  There are a limited number of RV electric hook-ups also available.  Food, ice, Wal-Mart, and other shopping are approximately ½ hour from the range.

Don’t know anyone that will go with you?  Won’t know anyone there?  Not a problem.  USRA is built on the foundation of Family, Friends, and Community.  If you show up, you will quickly make friends, friends that will still be friends after the Boot Camp closes.

The pig roast, breakfast and dinner, range fees, and match entry fees are included with the registration fee.

Click on the “Boot Camp” tab at the top (to be added soon)for additional information, a complete schedule of events, and to register



Mark your calendars for USRA’s second annual Boot Camp in Osage Beach, Missouri Oct 19-26, 2013. Activities include: Introduction to Defensive Handgun classes, American marksman classes, Competition day, Defensive shotgun demos, night shoot demo with tracers, NVD, thermal imaging, lasers and more.

Breakfast and dinner is INCLUDED in your registration fee. More info and a complete schedule will be posted by Aug 5. We will outline the daily activities, gear required, guns and number of rounds needed, etc. Check back on Aug 5 for full details.

USRA Board Meeting July 13 in Waterman.

USRA will be having a board meeting following the NRA classroom portion of our rifle shoot on July 13 in Waterman. We will hold it in the township building we use as the classroom. Among the things on the agenda are the boot camp and how we are going to handle the wave of requests for CCW classes. Bring ideas and thoughts on how we can improve USRA.

For those not close enough, either post up here or send Eel a msg via FB.

Hope we can get many of you put to help with the NRA class and hang around for the meeting. Pappy says we will either grill some grub or order some food from Pub West.