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.
Sanners Lake “Frozen Chosin” Match Report
The weather was unfortunately beautiful and although not representative of the actual conditions at the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir it certainly made for a strong turnout and an excellent match! Sixteen shooters (two full relays) arrived at Sanner’s Lake on Saturday morning and prepared to do battle in honor of the service and sacrifice of the “Chosin Few” during the second annual Sanners Lake “Frozen Chosin” match.
Fully half of the firearms at the match were, appropriately enough, M1 Carbines, and rounding out the rest was an interesting mix of Garands, Enfields, and even a pair of enemy rifles consisting of an SKS and a classic Mosin-Nagant carbine. Fittingly an M1 Garand was the hero of the day as Paul shrugged off the abundant warmth and sunshine and shot a stellar 270-3 to take the top spot. The M1 Carbine was not to be outdone, though, with Mark keeping the battle close and scoring second place with a strong 267-2. And finally, to continue the Allied sweep of the leader board, Jake painstakingly persevered through the punishing punch of his Lee-Enfield “Jungle Carbine” and snagged third place with an excellent 260-2.
On the enemy rifle side, Joe's SKS kept the heat on the good guys while Jared's Mosin-Nagant 91/59 Carbine pounded the participants with ear-shattering shockwaves and eye-watering muzzle flash. Right up until it broke, that is, and although there were numerous suggestions for the judicious application of Mosin-style “percussive maintenance” it remained unresponsive. However, in the spirit of party loyalty comrade Joe swiftly stepped up and swapped in his SKS so Jared could keep the Russian rifle rounds raging downrange.
See the match report file for scores and pictures from the match. Thanks to all the shooters for coming out and making a battle of it despite the terrific weather! And don’t forget to join us at the upcoming monthly high power matches as well as the vintage “Woodstock” rifle matches...check the Sanners calendar for details!
- 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.