December 7th, 2017

Hardware and Rules for PRS Gas Gun Series

PRS Gas Gun AR15 AR10 Series Semi-auto tactical

Ask most gun guys about the Precision Rifle Series (PRS), and they’ll tell you it’s a discipline for bolt-action “tactical” rifles. Yes that’s true, but PRS now has a “Gas Gun” series as well, and many local PRS-style matches also allow gas guns to compete in their own division.

Capitalizing on the success of the bolt-gun competitions, this year the PRS approved a new Gas Gun series for semi-auto rifles such as AR15s and AR10s. The inaugural 2017 PRS Gas Gun Series competition took place February 17-19, 2017 at the CORE Shooting Solutions range in Baker, Florida. This article explains the basics of the Gas Gun Series and offers some factory hardware options.

PRS Director Shawn Wiseman Explains New Gas Gun Series in this Video:

Gas Gun Series Basics — Interview with PRS President
Shooting Sports USA interviewed PRS President Shawn Wiseman.

SSUSA: What will be the format of the 2017 PRS Gas Gun Series matches?
Wiseman: The matches will be a two day format with 8 to 10 stages per day. There are three Divisions; Tactical Light for 5.56x45mm NATO/.223 Rem. rifles, Tactical Heavy for 7.62x51mm NATO/.308 Win., and Open for everything else up to .30 cal. The maximum distance will be 800 yards.

SSUSA: What guns do you expect to be popular?
Wiseman: In the Open Division, I expect to see a lot of 6.5 Creedmoors for two main reasons; it’s an inherently accurate cartridge and Hornady makes great ammo for the folks that aren’t into reloading. I think the Tactical Light Division will probably be the most popular. It is hard to say specifically what rifles will be the most popular but there are a few AR companies that are known for the accuracy. Armalite, GA Precision, LaRue and Seekins will all be very popular rifles in this Series. I think we will continue to see high-end optics with 5X to 6X zoom range on the rifles. Bushnell, Kahles, Leupold, Nightforce and Vortex will continue to be the most popular.

PRS Gas Gun Series Factory Firearm Options

While you can compete in the Gas Gun Series with an AR15, many Open Division competitors are favoring the larger AR10-platform rifles that can shoot the 6.5 Creedmoor and 6mm Creedmoor cartridges. Both Savage and Smith & Wesson offer AR10-type rifles optimized for this competition.

Smith and Wesson M&P 10, 6.5 Creedmoor

gas gun series PRS

S&W’s AR10-platform rifle is a leading choice for the PRS Gas Gun Division. The M&P 10 in 6.5 Creedmoor shows good build quality and good accuracy with factory 6.5 Creedmoor ammo. If you’re a fan of the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge, the M&P 10 is a smart gas gun option. S&W offers good customer service and a rock-solid warranty. This rifle features a 2-Stage Match Trigger, Magpul MOE Stock, 15″ M-LOK handguard, and a 20″ barrel with 1:8″-twist 5R Rifling. MSRP is $2035.00.

Savage MSR-10 Long Range, 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Win

gas gun series PRS

The updated Savage MSR-10 Long Range is available now in .308 Win and 6.5 Creedmoor. Next month (January 2018), Savage will also release a 6mm Creedmoor version. This rifle features a Magpul PRS Gen3 Stock, Blackhawk 2-stage trigger, non-reciprocating side charging handle, and QPQ-treated heavy barrel (1:8″ twist for 6.5 Creedmoor; 1:10″ for .308 Win). MSRP for all chamberings is $2284.00.

New .224 Valkyrie for AR15 Platform
Another option would be the smaller AR15 chambered for the new .224 Valkyrie cartridge. This brand new offering from Federal is basically a 6.8 SPC necked down to .224 caliber. With the 90gr Sierra MatchKing, it offers ballistics comparable to a 6.5 Creedmoor, with less recoil.

PRS Gas Gun Series Rules

For the new PRS Gas Gun Series, a committee of top PRS shooters, Multi-Gun shooters, and Match Directors developed the PRS Gas Gun Series Rule Book. Highlights of the Rules are listed below.

PRS Gas Gun AR15 AR10 Series Semi-auto tactical

For the new PRS “Gasser” Competition, the PRS developed rules on gun types, scoring, match timing, penalties, safety and other key topics. CLICK HERE for Full PRS Gas Gun Series Rules.

Open Division: The Open Division rifles will not exceed a caliber of .30 or a velocity of 3,200 fps. A match DQ will result any rounds over the speed limit of 3,200 fps (+/- 32 fps for environmental factors and equipment discrepancies). Match Officials may request at any point during a match that a competitor fire their rifle through chronograph. If the bullet exceeds the 3,200 fps speed limit, the shooter will receive an automatic match DQ.

Tactical Light Division: Intended to allow competitors the opportunity to compete using traditional military and law enforcement caliber (.223/5.56). This promotes Active Duty military and law enforcement competitors use of their Service and Department-issued rifles. Tactical Light Division rifles are restricted to 5.56 NATO/.223 Remington chamberings only. Bullet weight cannot exceed 77 grains and muzzle velocity cannot exceed 3,000 fps.

Tactical Heavy Division: Intended to allow competitors the opportunity to compete using traditional military and law enforcement caliber. This promotes Active Duty military and law enforcement competitors’ use of their Service and Department issued rifles. Tactical Heavy Division rifles are restricted to 7.62 NATO/.308 Winchester calibers only. Bullet weight cannot exceed 178 grains and muzzle velocity cannot exceed 2,800 fps. No modified wildcat rounds permitted to shoot in the Tactical Divisions Anyone discovered violating this rule will receive an automatic Match DQ. Tactical Division shooters will shoot the exact same COF as Open Division shooters.

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December 7th, 2017

NRA Competition Classifications — What You Need to Know

NRA High Power Competition Category Classification Master, High Master, Expert, Marksman
2014 NRA High Power Champion Joseph Hendricks

Marksman, Sharpshooter, Expert, Master, High Master — how are those classifications set up and how does one move up (or down) from one classification to another? These questions and more are answered by the NRA in a Shooting Sports USA article.

The purpose of the classification system is to allow competitors of the same relative ability to compete on a level playing field. That way relatively new or inexperienced shooters can compete in a class with others of the same skill levels, and be recognized. Likewise, the most skilled or successful shooters compete in the Master and High Master categories. But now and then a Marksman or Sharpshooter can indeed win a match outright or place in the top ten.

NRA High Power Competition Category Classification Master, High Master, Expert, Marksman

How Does a Competitor Receive a Classification?
You begin the classification process by competing in a sanctioned, registered tournament. The match sponsor then sends the scores to the NRA within 30 days. If you are an NRA member, your NRA membership number is your classification ID. Non-NRA members are assigned a classification number.

Competitors may check their classification status at any time via the NRA Classification Page.

What are the Standards for Each Classification (Marksman, Sharpshooter etc.)?
Section 19 in each NRA Rule Book covers the classification rules for that discipline. This section includes the course-of-fire used for classification, number of shots required and the percentage for each class. For example, in High Power Rifle competition a minimum of 120 shots is required for the first classification card. The High Power performance-based classification levels are:

Marksman: Below 84 percent
Sharpshooter: 84-88.99 percent
Expert: 89-93.99 percent
Master: 94-96.99 percent
High Master: 97 percent or above

NOTE: After the initial High Power classification, an additional 240 shots will be required to reevaluate a classification — and each time thereafter.

NRA High Power Competition Category Classification Master, High Master, Expert, Marksman

How Long Does the Classfication Card Remain Valid?
A classification card remains valid as long as the competitor competes in an NRA-sanctioned tournament at least once every three years (five years if the competitor holds a Master card). The date on all classification cards is the effective date, not an expiration date. You do NOT have to shoot three matches a year to maintain your classification (a common misconception).

Is an NRA Classification Card Required to Enter a Tournament?
NRA has no such rule, generally speaking. However, some tournament sponsors may require this as part of their local regulations. You may use a Temporary Score Record Book for your first few tournaments while awaiting your classification card. These books are free and are provided either by your tournament sponsor or by the NRA Competitive Shooting Division. Note that until you are classified, you must compete in the master class for your first few tournaments.

NOTE: Some high-level matches do require NRA membership. For example the 2016 NRA National Smallbore Rifle Championships Program stated: “Competitors who do not hold an NRA Official Classification, either in the type of competition being fired, or an Assigned Classification, will not be allowed to enter.”

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December 7th, 2017

The Winchester Model 52 That Shot 3000 Bullseyes in One Day

Samuel Sam Moore Calvin Coolidge 3000 Bullseye NRA Museums

Here’s a rifle that earned a Presidential medal. It has a unique heritage, having been used to shoot 3000 consecutive bulleyes in a single day. The year was 1926 and a high school shooter named Sam Moore hoped to set a record. With his trusty Winchester Model 52 rifle in hand, Moore fired 3,000 rounds downrange, only stopping when his rifle became too hot to hold and daylight was fading fast. But he had fired 3,000 consecutive bullseyes in NRA Junior Rifle competition (target at 50 feet). The event, which set a world record, received national attention.

Samuel Sam Moore Calvin Coolidge 3000 Bullseye NRA Museums Moore was summoned to Washington, DC on April 26, 1926 to meet President Calvin Coolidge. At the White House, President Coolidge presented Moore with a gold medal. The engraving on the back reads: “Presented to L.S. Moore by the President of the United States [on] behalf of the National Rifle Association. Junior Rifle Corps World Record — 3000 — consecutive bullseyes.”

Moore went on to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1931, helped develop the Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knife, served in WWII as a USMC aviator and maintained his interest in shooting until his passing in 1982. Moore’s rifle and engraved gold medal were donated to the National Firearms Museum by his son David.

Photos and story from NRA Museums Facebook Page

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