September 19th, 2009

New CMP-Approved Air Rifle and Rule Changes for Electronic Scoring

Rulebook Air RifleAn updated (V2) version of the National Standard Three-Position Air Rifle Rules is now posted on the CMP website. (CLICK HERE to download.) You can also order printed copies of the rulebook from the CMP for $2.00 each. The updated rules incorporate changes adopted by the National Three-Position Air Rifle Council at its annual meeting at Fort Benning, GA in June. The revisions were made necessary by the adoption of a new Sporter Class air rifle and the increased use of the Orion Scoring System that uses computer-imaging technology to score scanned paper targets.

New Sporter Air Rifle Approved
The new Sporter Class air rifle is the Crosman Challenger 2009. The CH2009 uses a fixed cylinder charged with either compressed air or CO2. It is equipped with a pressure gauge, a Lothar Walther barrel, adjustable cheek-piece and adjustable butt-plate. The Crosman CH2009 is available to “qualified instructional groups” at $410.00 with sights, or $345.00 without sights through Crosman’s EASY program.

Rulebook Air Rifle

There are currently three (3) approved Sporter Class air rifles that have adjustable butt-plates and cheek-pieces. In approving the Crosman sporter, the Council continued its practice of only approving specific Sporter Class air rifles by manufacturer and model. The Council has also adopted a price ceiling, for all Sport Class air rifles, of $525.00 with sights.

Computer-based Scoring Inspires Rule Update
The Orion scoring system uses computer software to plot bullet locations on targets scanned using off-the-shelf, flat-bed scanners. Though sometimes called “electronic scoring”, the Orion system is really quite different than true electronic targets which use microphones or digital sensors to plot shot impacts. It may be better to think of the Orion system as “computer-aided optical scoring”.

Orion Scoring TargetThe increased use of electronic targets for major three-position air rifle competitions and the popularity of the Orion Scoring System for paper targets has made it necessary to update the rules for scoring and score protests. The revised rules explicitly recognize three scoring methods, 1) manual scoring of paper targets with scoring gauges and human judgment, 2) electronic scoring targets and 3) electronic scoring of paper targets.

The new rules recognize that electronic scoring (with computer technology) and manual scoring are two completely different methods of scoring, and one method shall not be used to challenge the other. Manual scoring compares the outside edge of a scoring gauge with the outside edge of a scoring ring to determine whether a close shot receives a higher or lower value. Electronic targets and electronic scoring, on the other hand, measure the radial distance from the exact center of a shot hole to the exact center of the target. It is neither fair nor accurate to use one scoring method to check the accuracy of another.

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