The National Rifle and Pistol Matches held each summer at Camp Perry, Ohio, are considered the World Series of the shooting sports. Our current matches got their start in 1873 at Creedmoor on New York’s Long Island.

In 1872, the newly formed National Rifle Association went looking for a place to build a rifle range. They acquired land on Long Island know as Creed’s Farm, and owned by the Central and North Side Railroad. When NRA range committee member Colonel Henry Shaw, saw the land, he noted that the bramble reminded him of an Irish moor. The site became known as Creed’s Moor, and was later shortened to Creedmoor.

In 1876, the NRA sponsored matches at Creedmoor to celebrate the centennial of the United States. Tiffany’s of New York was commissioned to create the Centennial Trophy to be presented to the winner. The word PALMA was placed on the trophy. It is a Latin word for excellence in sports, victory, etc. The name stuck and now the 800, 900 and 1000 yard event has become known as the Palma Match.

Political opposition to the promotion of marksmanship in New York forced the NRA to find a new home for its range. In 1892, Creedmoor was deeded back to the state, and the NRA's matches moved to Sea Girt, New Jersey. The New York site is now home to the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center.

In 1903 The National Matches as we now know them, were created by an Act of Congress.

Due to the overwhelming growth of NRA's shooting programs, a larger range than Sea Girt could accommodate was needed. Gen. Ammon B. Crichfield, Adjutant General of Ohio, had begun construction of a new shooting facility on the shores of Lake Erie, 45 miles east of Toledo. Named for Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, Camp Perry became the home of the annual National Matches in 1907.

The Arizona Connection:
The Arizona state flag was designed by Colonel Charles W. Harris two years before statehood. Col Harris, Adjutant General of Arizona (1912-1918 and 1923-1928), noted that the suggestion that the territory adopt a flag came originally from the members of the 1910 Arizona Rifle Team in attendance at the National Rifle Matches at Camp Perry. All of the other teams at Camp Perry flew a distinctive flag, while Arizona was without an emblem of any kind. The first flag was sewn by Nan D. Hayden.