MCAGCC, Twentynine Palms, Calif. -- A new "pending" National Record was shot into the record books at the 43rd Annual NRA High Desert Regional High Power Rifle Tournament hosted by the High Desert Competitive Shooting Club And The Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command at Twentynine Palms, California on Saturday, November 16th.
It was a fine day for the high expectations as the 1st relay was preparing to shoot the 200-yard line rapid sitting stage. After the first string was fired all still felt quite normal, but after the second string the dust had settled and one marine stood out like no other before in history. There were rumors that a Marine on target 42 had cleaned both 10 shot groups. That was nice, like so many other shooters had done before. But then shock of delay of the rumor had finally sunk in.... This Marine had just cleaned two 10 shot rounds with 20 "X". That reads 200 and 20 (X's). This Marine was no other than CWO3 Dennis DeMille. What a moment to remember. DeMille had just beaten a 15 year old record of 200 and18 (X's), which was shared by other distinguished shooters, including himself. Unless you could witness the target, it was like a fantasy. But then there was a delay in the match. Rifle books were flashing about and officials were discussing what had to be done next.
Dennis had to shoot another 10 round string of fire to set a new mark in the event there could be a tie in the future. Standing back and observing, other shooters were wondering if they should surround DeMille or stand back. No one moved as DeMille took the command "Ready on the right, ready on the left, all ready on the firing line." When the dust cleared, this time DeMille had shattered the old record of 200 and 18 with a new pending National Record of "300-28 (X's) or "200 with 20 (X's) plus 8. WHOW!
CWO2 Leonard Garcia, Range Officer and witness to this new record had the target removed and sent to his office for safe keeping. Dennis DeMille is currently stationed at MCB Camp Pendleton, Oceanside, California. He has been assigned to the Marksmanship Training Branch since December 2000. Dennis has been in the Marine Corps for 19 years. He was born in Stephanson, Michigan, Upper Peninsula.
Dennis recently placed 3rd overall across the course n the 2002 NRA National Championships, held at Camp Perry, Ohio. He has many other honors such as "All Marine Corps Rifle Champion" in 1992 and 2002 and has won five individual state championships. California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Iowa.
Dennis set the new record with a "Tubbs 2002" 6x Match Rifle which he has been using since May. He was shooting 6mm 107 gr. bullets. To no surprise he also won the match with a 790 and 42 (X's). Congratulations Dennis From all of us at Twentynine Palms, The High Desert Competitive Shooting Club and all the participants who were proud of you on this record setting day.