The NRA-affiliated North-South Skirmish Association (N-SSA), the oldest and largest Civil War shooting sports organization in the country, held its 136th National Competition October 6-8, 2017. During its 67-year-old history, the N-SSA has grown and expanded its matches to include live-fire competition with original or authentic reproduction Civil War period muskets, carbines, breech-loading rifles, revolvers, mortars and cannons. It is the largest Civil War event of its kind. This year’s Fall Nationals saw the N-SSA’s 3,000 members compete with speed and accuracy in a thrilling exhibition of black powder prowess at the beautiful Fort Shenandoah shooting range, just outside of Winchester, Va.
Philip Schreier, senior curator of NRA Museums with Benjamin T. Waits of the Nansemond Guards, the 2017 NRA/N-SSA National Civil War Match Champion.
During the Fall Nationals, more than 100 participants competed in the 3rd Annual NRA/N-SSA National Civil War match. The new National Champion, Benjamin T. Waits of the Nansemond Guards, won with a score of 529-5X. NRA/N-SSA National Civil War Match participants compete with three black powder firearms: rifle musket, carbine and revolver and the Grand Aggregate is the overall champion of all three classes.
Dennis W. Heuer (center), NRA High Scoring Senior Skirmisher and David Booz, N-SSA National Commander (left) with Philip Schreier (right).
Colin T. Scanlon (center), NRA High Scoring Junior Skirmisher with N-SSA National Commander David Booz (left) and Philip Schreier (right).
Since 1998 the NRA has also presented a special plaque to the N-SSA High Scoring Senior and Junior Skirmishers. This year the high scoring Senior (over 65) was Dennis W. Heuer of the Dismal Swamp Rangers with a score of 184-3X, and the high scoring Junior (under 19) was Colin T. Scanlon of the 1st Maryland Cavalry with a score of 162.
The NRA was represented by Philip Schreier, senior curator of NRA Museums and a member of the Civil War living history community for 40 years. He presented the NRA awards in the uniform of a New York National Guard Officer, typical of the early members of the NRA Board of Directors circa 1871.
The NRA maintains a member services booth at both the Spring and Fall Nationals every year. The Spring Nationals will be held May 18-20, 2018. For information about the N-SSA and how to join a local team, check out n-ssa.org