The CMP (Civilian Marksmanship Program) offers a wide variety of resources for novice shooters and juniors. These materials help novices learn basic marksmanship skills and get started in competition. Some resources can be downloaded from the CMP website, while others are available for purchase from the CMP E-Store. In addition, The CMP maintains a Coaching Resources webpage with dozens of informative articles. Here are some of the CMP articles you can find online:
On the Mark Magazine
This monthly magazine offers competition reports, news about junior events, along with instructional tips and coaching information.
Gary Anderson Instructional Articles
This link opens an index page with 30+ articles by Gary Anderson, DCME. Topics include: Introduction to Marksmanship, Sight Adjustment and Zeroing, How to Practice, Rimfire Sporter and much more.
by Dennis Santiago
Tricked-out match guns are fun but, if you want to prove that you’ve got an eagle eye and steady hands, a true test of skill is the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s As-Issued Four Gun Aggregate.
The Four Gun Aggregate encompasses a series of CMP John C. Garand 30-shot matches (200-yard As-Issued Military Rifle Match Course A) on NRA SR targets at one of the CMP Regional Games or the Nationals officiated by the CMP. These are the only places you can earn the coveted neck-ribbon CMP achievement medals.
You will need four as-issued rifles. The first is the M-1 Garand. (The course of fire is named after this rifle’s inventor.) This remarkable battle rifle will test your prowess at slow prone, rapid prone, and offhand. The match winner will put almost all bullets into a saucer.
You do get to hear that classic “ping” when the en bloc clip ejects with this gun. It’s a good idea to write your firing point number on your hand for each match because you will move around over the course of the tournament.
Next comes the hyper-accurate 1903 Springfield. You can use either the WW I M1903 or the later WW II M1903A3 model with peep sights. A Springfield will typically shoot groups half the size of a Garand with the same ammunition. Think potential in terms of tea cups instead of saucers.
Different shooting disciplines demand different levels of precision/accuracy. In the rapid-fire 3-Gun game, you could probably “clean” most stages with a 2-MOA rifle. By contrast, in the short-range group benchrest game, to compete with the best, you’ll need a rifle that shoots in the “ones” (i.e. 0.1-0.19 MOA) in perfect conditions. In 1000-yard F-Class competition, the top shooters want a rifle that will hold one-third-MOA of vertical at that distance.
What is your standard of accuracy? How good is “good enough”. Jim See, a skilled gunsmith and successful PRS competitor, recently answered that question for his tactical discipline. For the kind of matches Jim shoots, he likes to have a rifle that will hold half-MOA for five (5) shots, 3/4-MOA for 15 shots, and 1 MOA for twenty shots. Remarkably, Jim’s rifle can do that with factory ammo. Above is an impressive 15-shot group shot with .260 Remington Federal Premium Ammo.
“I say it all the time, my loads need to print 5 under 1/2″, 10 under 3/4″, and 20 under 1″. It’s simple, if a hot barrel will keep 20 rounds fired in succession under my standard it will be a good barrel and load for Precision Match Shooting. Federal Premium Gold Metal Match .260 with Sierra bullets made the cut for me today. 15 consecutive shots under 3/4 MOA.” –Jim See
It’s said that you “can never have too much accuracy”, but there are acceptable standards for each discipline, and they’re not the same. A 100/200 yard Benchrest shooter will be sorely disappointed with a rifle/ammo set-up that can only deliver half-MOA. On the other hand, a PRS competitor like Jim See can achieve great success with a lesser degree of precision. This means you can save time and money. You can run your barrels longer between cleanings, and you don’t have to go “full OCD” when loading your ammo. The PRS shooter does not need to weigh-sort primers, or load powder to single-kernel standards. Proof is the performance. Jim See recently took third place at the Spearpoint Shootout, and he has been a podium finisher at other events. Learn more about Jim’s gunsmithing and training operations at EliteAccuracy.com.
Download This Load Development Target
Jim’s target seemed a bit familiar. AccurateShooter.com created this Diamond and Dot Target a few years back. On each aiming point, there are high-contrast black horizontal and vertical lines for aligning your cross-hairs. The gray circle lets you see the bullet impacts above, without obliterating the red diamond, which is quite useful for precise aiming (we put fine cross-hairs on the points of the diamond). This target sheet includes data entry tables below each of the three aim points. There are many other free targets out there, but this format is very popular. We’re pleased to see Jim using it. You can download this and dozens of other FREE Targets from the AccurateShooter.com Target Page.
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A.P. Lane’s Gold Medal-Winning Colt Revolver
This Colt Officer’s Model revolver, factory-fitted with a skeletonized hammer, belonged to legendary Olympic shooter A. P. Lane, who was known as the “Pistol Wizard”. Lane used this Colt Revolver to win FIVE Olympic Gold Medals — three in 1912 and two in 1920.
A.P. Lane was one of the greatest pistol shooters of his generation. He shot scores that were typically 25-50 points higher than those of his competitors. And he exhibited true Corinthian spirit. At the 1912 Olympics, Lane shared his match ammunition with another competitor who used that ammo to capture the Silver Medal (Lane won the Gold).
This revolver, factory-fitted with a skeletonized hammer, was used by American A.P. Lane in winning five Olympic Gold Medals in the 1912 and 1920 Olympic Games. It’s a .38 caliber, Officer’s Model centerfire revolver from the early 20th century. Olympian A.P. Lane’s Gun can be found in Gallery 13, Firearm Traditions for Today, at the NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Virginia. The Museum exhibit includes a panoply of Lane pieces – his revolver, his five Gold Medals, and the five Olympic certificates that went along with them.
Click Photo to See Full-Size Image
Watch Video History of the A.P. Lane Revolver
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The CMP has approved a new event for Glock pistols at the 2017 National Matches at Camp Perry. Plastic Pistols at Perry? Traditionalists may scoff, but this is certainly a way to get more (and younger) pistol competitors involved. The first-ever GLOCK Sport Shooting Foundation (GSSF) Match will be held on July 1, 2017 as part of the CMP’s 2017 National Matches. The inaugural Glock Match will be open to both adults and juniors, with two different categories: Stock and Unlimited.
The big news are the prizes — six Glock pistols will be awarded to top Class winners. The Glock Match will be shot on NRA D1 paper targets, with ten (10) rounds each at 5, 7, 10, 15 and 25 yards. NOTE: This is NOT a slow-fire match. According to the CMP press release, competitors will have just 15 seconds for each 10-round string. We hope that’s a misprint — ten shots in 15 seconds makes this a “mag-dump” contest, not a precision match, in our opinion. To compete at the match, shooters must have an active GSSF membership (you can join during match registration at check-in).
There will be two pistol classes, Stock and Unlimited. The Stock Class is for GLOCK firearms with components that are or ever have been available from GLOCK, Inc., though some modifications are permitted. NOTE: Fiber-optic and express sights are approved.
The Unlimited Class is for firearms with major modifications such as aftermarket barrels, mag funnels, recoil springs, and firing pins. Unlimited Class pistols can use “any non-post and notch sights including but not limited to, ghost ring or laser, electronic or optical sights.”
“This match was suggested by Bob Schanen, a valued, long-time GLOCK employee and Camp Perry rifle competitor for 30+ years,” said Brandie Collins, GLOCK public relations and communication manager. “The partnership with CMP in bringing this match to Camp Perry meets our common goals of promoting safe gun handling, marksmanship and introducing people to competitive shooting. Shooters of all skill levels will enjoy shooting this match.”
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From the late ’70s through 1983, a huge, concrete-walled warehouse in Houston was used for benchrest testing. Virgil King and Bob Fisher set up a bullet-catching backstop at the end of a 30-yard-wide, 325-yard-long fire lane that remained unobstructed even when the warehouse was in use. This allowed accuracy tests in virtually perfect “no wind” conditions. Over a six-year period, about 30 shooters were invited to test their rifles. The results were amazing, with numerous “zero groups” being shot in the facility. Many of the lessons learned in the legendary Houston Warehouse still help benchresters achieve better accuracy today.
Dave Scott explains why the Warehouse was so unique:
“Over a period of six years, the levels of accuracy achieved in the Houston Warehouse went beyond what many precision shooters thought possible for lightweight rifles shot from sandbags and aimed shot-to-shot by human eye. For the first time, a handful of gifted, serious experimenters — armed with the very best performing rifles (with notable exceptions) — could boldly venture into the final frontiers of rifle accuracy, a journey made possible by eliminating the baffling uncertainties of conditions arising from wind and mirage. Under these steel skies, a shooter could, without question, confirm the absolute limits of accuracy of his rifle, or isolate the source of a problem. In the flawlessly stable containment of the Houston Warehouse … a very few exceptional rifles would display the real stuff, drilling repeated groups measuring well below the unbelievably tiny .100″ barrier. The bulk of rifles, however, embarrassed their owners.”
Scott’s article also reveals some interesting technical points: “One thing that IS important is that the bullet be precisely seated against the lands. T.J. Jackson reported this fact in the May 1987 issue of Precision Shooting. In a letter to the Editor, T.J. wrote, ‘…in all our testing in that Houston warehouse… and the dozens and dozens of groups that Virgil King shot in there ‘in the zeroes’… he NEVER fired a single official screamer group when he was ‘jumping’ bullets. All his best groups were always seated into the lands, or at the very least… touching the lands. Virgil said his practice was to seat the bullets so the engraving was half as long as the width of the lands. He noticed an interesting phenomenon with rifles that could really shoot: if the bullets were seated a little short and the powder charge was a bit on the light side, the groups formed vertically. As he seated the bullets farther out and increased the powder charge, the groups finally became horizontal. If he went still farther, the groups formed big globs. He said the trick is to find the midway point between vertical and horizontal. That point should be a small hole.”
You should definitely read the complete article, as it provides many more fascinating insights, including shooting technique, barrel cleaning, neck-turning, and case prep.
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This story involves a match held last fall, but we know many of our readers compete in the Mid-Range (600-Yard) Benchrest discipline and follow developments in this sport. Accordingly we’re offering this report on the 2016 IBS Nationals held at the Big Piney Sportsman’s Club in Houston, Missouri.
The 600-Yard Nationals at Big Piney last September was a great event that drew 82 shooters from 14 different states. Competitors traveled from as far away as Florida, Idaho, and North Dakota to compete in the 2016 600-Yard International Benchrest Shooters National Championship. The weather was great and so was the food. A good time was had by all, and shooters praised the facility and the efficient way the match was run. The IBS offers a big “thank you” to everyone involved in running this excellent match. Their hard work and dedication deserves recognition.
On the forearm of this Heavy Gun was painted: “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death”
Here are the Class Winners at the 2016 IBS 600-yard Nationals in Missouri
The opening morning for Light Gun class proved to be challenging, as the start time was pushed back one hour due to the fog settling in the firing line. By the second half of the eight targets to be shot, shooters began to settle in and take control of the conditions. The Missouri shooters stayed on top with Ben Peters winning light gun score with a 385. Jason Walker took the group win with a 2.008” through 8 targets. With Tom Jacobs, Darrel Dacus, Jim Bauer, and Carrol Lance rounding out the top 5 in Light Gun overall it was going to be a hard fight to the finish.
Click Image to View Larger Equipment List Look at the Caliber Column — Every Top 10 shooter in Light Gun Class shot either a 6mm BR Norma or a 6mm Dasher, an “Improved” version of the 6mm BR. In Heavy Gun it was 9 of 10 (with one unidentified 6.5mm). Hard to beat the 6mm BR and the Dasher for pure accuracy at 600 yards.
This competitor shot the match with a Labradar chronograph on his bench.
On Sunday the Heavy Gun class started right on time with the clouds keeping Saturday’s fog in check. Relay 3 started the day off strong, putting it on top shelf for everyone to follow. The conditions seemed to stay pretty steady and helped create opportunities for competitors to shoot some amazing groups. Tom Jacobs came through with a 1.685 Heavy Gun group Aggregate. Rookie shooters Jim Kowske and TJ Stroop put on great Heavy Gun performances. Jim was second in Heavy gun group with 1.996” and TJ shot his way to second in score with a 384. Jason Walker hung on winning Heavy Gun score with a 389. This set up Jason as the Heavy Gun overall winner.
The Big Piney Range is a pretty facility surrounded by trees.
Jason dominated the weekend landing himself a 2-Gun Overall Championship. The top Rookie honors went to T.J. Stroop. Sally Bauer won the Overall top female. Rory Jacobs was able to seal the top Junior spot. The Big Piney crew would like to thank everyone for being great friends and great competitors! We could not have done it without everyone!
The match organizers provided tasty BBQ banquets for hungry shooters.
Here competitors relax between relays at the Big Piney facility.
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If your local shooting club wants to attract new members, and provide a new form of competition, consider starting a series of groundhog (varmint) matches. These can employ paper targets, metal silhouette-style targets, or both. Groundhog matches are fun events with straight-forward rules and simple scoring. You don’t need to bring windflags or load at the range, so a Groundhog match is more “laid back” than a registered Benchrest match. Normally there will be three or four rifle classes, so you can compete with a “box-stock” factory gun, or a fancy custom, as you prefer. Many clubs limit the caliber or cartridge size allowed in varmint matches, but that’s just to protect reactive targets and keep ammo costs down. In this article, Gene F. (aka “TenRing” in our Forum), provides a basic intro to Groundhog matches, East-Coast style.
Groundhog Matches Are Growing in Popularity
Though Groundhog matches are very popular in many parts of the country, particularly on the east coast, I’ve found that many otherwise knowledgeable “gun guys” don’t know much about this form of competition. A while back, I ordered custom bullets from a small Midwest bullet-maker. He asked what type of competition the bullets would be used for, and I told him “groundhog shoots”. He had not heard of these. It occurs to me that perhaps many others are unfamiliar with this discipline.
Groundhog matches have grown rapidly in popularity. There are numerous clubs hosting them in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware, as well as other venues. They are usually open to the public. Most Eastern clubs have five to twenty cement benches, and overhead roofs. At this time, there is no central source for match schedules. If you’re interested in going to a groundhog match, post a query in the AccurateShooter Forum Competition Section, and you should get some info on nearby opportunities.
How Matches Are Run — Course of Fire and Scoring
Unlike NRA High Power Matches, there is no nationwide set of standard rules for Groundhog matches. Each club has their own rules, but the basics are pretty similar from club to club. Paper groundhog targets are set at multiple distances. There are normally three yardages in the match. Some clubs place targets at 100, 200, and 300 yards. Other clubs set them at 200, 300, or 400 yards. At my club in Shippensburg, PA, our targets are placed at 200, 300 and 500 meters.
The goal is to score the highest total. The paper targets have concentric scoring rings. The smallest ring is normally worth ten points while the large ring is worth five points. The course of fire varies among the various clubs. Most clubs allow unlimited sighters and five shots on the record target in a given time period. Only those five shots on the scoring rings are counted, so that with three yardages, a perfect score would be 150 points. Tie breakers may be determined by total number of dead center or “X” strikes; or, by smallest group at the farthest distance.
Types of Rifles Used at Groundhog Matches
The same benchrest rigs found at IBS and NBRSA matches can be utilized (though these will typically be put in a ‘custom’ class). Though equipment classes vary from club to club, it is common to separate the hardware into four or five classes. Typical firearm classes can include: factory rifle; deer hunter; light varmint custom (usually a limit of 17 lbs.with scope); and heavy varmint custom (weight unlimited). Some clubs allow barrel tuners, others do not. Scope selection is usually unlimited; however, some restrict hunter class rifle scopes to 20 power. Factory rifles usually cannot be altered in any way.
Good, Simple Fun Shooting — Why Groundhog Shoots Are Popular
Forum member Danny Reever explains the appeal of groundhog matches: “We don’t have a governing organization, or have to pay $50 a year membership just to compete in matches. Sure the rules vary from club to club, but you adapt. If you don’t like one club’s rules, you just don’t shoot there. It’s no big deal.
There are no National records, or Hall of Fame points — just individual range records. If you want to shoot in BIG matches (with big prizes), there is the Hickory Ground Hog Shoot among others. If competition isn’t your bag, many clubs offer mid-week fun matches that you can shoot just for fun. You shoot the same targets but with a more relaxed atmosphere with no time limits.
The best part is you don’t have to shoot perfect at every yardage. You always have a chance because in this sport it really isn’t over until the last shot is fired. Typically ALL the entry money goes to the host club, with much of the cash returned back to the shooters via prizes. Junior shooters often shoot for free, or at a reduced rate. The low entry cost also encourages young guys to get involved who don’t have $4000 custom rifles or the money to buy them.
There isn’t a sea of wind flags to shoot over or to put up and take down. If the range has a couple of flags so much the better, but after all it is a varmint match. No pits to spot shots and slow things down either. If you can’t see your hits through your rifle scope or spotting scope well you are in the same boat as everybody else. That’s what makes it interesting/ sometimes frustrating!
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Shooting Sports USA just released an excellent, in-depth article about the first-ever PRS Gas Gun Match. If you enjoy tactical-style shooting, or have an interest in modern semi-auto rifles, we strongly recommend you read this match report by SSUSA Editor John Parker. Offered in a magazine-style format, this SSUSA feature includes explanations of the rules and tactics for these matches, along with interviews with top competitors, including match winner SSG Tyler Payne of the USAMU.
Payne dominated the match, finishing 200 points ahead of the next competitor. Payne competed in Open Class shooting a JP Enterprises LRP-07 chambered in 6mm Creedmoor, running Berger 105gr 6mm Hybrids at 2975 fps. He used a Vortex Razor HD 4.5-27x56mm scope. With its 6X zoom ratio, this optic allowed SSG Payne to switch from a wide field of view to high magnification as the stage demanded. With targets out to 800 yards, having 27X on tap was useful.
There are three divisions in PRS Gas Gun Matches: Tactical Light (.223 Rem/5.56), Tactical Heavy (.308 Win), and Open. At this match, about 65% of shooters competed in Tac Light. Match Director Ryan Castle said: “The remaining 35% was split pretty evenly between Open and Tactical Heavy.”
Open Class Caliber Choices
“For Ammo in Open Class, 6mm and 6.5mm Creedmoor were popular — overall winner SSG Tyler Payne won using a rifle chambered in 6mm Creedmoor”. — John Parker, SSUSA
Gas guns to 800 yards, yep there are targets down there somewhere…
Jeff Cramblit Facebook photo
Gas Gun Match Loads — Short Range vs. Long Range
“The .223/5.56 [Tactical Light] guns had some lag time waiting on shot impacts. I believe the long-term solution may be to find a light and fast load for closer stages for near-instant reaction time and use a heavy load for the long shots to see splash and get the target to move a little more.” — Sean Murphy, Nightforce
Interview with Match Winner Tyler Payne
SSG Tyler Payne told SSUSA: “This match has a lot of similarities to 3-Gun, which I’ve been shooting for 11 years now. With targets out to 800 yards, limited rounds and 30-second penalties, the match gave you the opportunity to go as fast as you wanted but really forced you to be accurate. Training for PRS has given me enough discipline to make my shots count and 3-Gun has taught me how to be efficient. Those two things helped me excel at this match. Having to slow down with a gas gun and make my shot count was very foreign to me. Usually at matches with a gas gun, you get as many shots as you want to take, so having to slow down was difficult.”
“If I had any pointers for someone wanting to try this type of match it would be to get out and confirm your data as far as you can. Don’t trust your ballistic Apps. Other than that, ask questions, watch the experienced shooters and have fun”.
Open Division: The Open Division rifles will not exceed a caliber of .30 or a velocity of 3,200 fps. With this and other divisions, Match Officials may request at any point during a match that a competitor fire their rifle through chronograph..
Tactical Light Division: Tactical Light Division rifles are restricted to 5.56 NATO/.223 Remington calibers only. Bullet weight cannot exceed 77 grains and muzzle velocity cannot exceed 3,000 fps.
Tactical Heavy Division: This class is restricted to .308 Win (7.62×51) gas guns. Most will be AR-10 platform rifles. Bullet weight cannot exceed 178 grains and muzzle velocity cannot exceed 2,800 fps.
Scoring and Penalties
The Gas Gun Series utilizes a time plus penalty-based scoring system for all match scoring. This means the score is the shooter’s total combined time on all stages plus any penalties accrued.
Penalties are as follows:
30 seconds for any rifle targets not engaged or neutralized.
15 seconds for any pistol targets not engaged or neutralized.
15 seconds for hitting a “No Shoot” target.
No more than 50% of the stages at a match can utilize an unlimited round count. At least 25% of the targets in Gas Gun Series match must be 2 MOA or smaller. Max distance is 800 yards.
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The name Jessie Duff is synonymous with handgunning excellence. Winner of over 60 major Pistol Championships, Jessie is arguably the best female action pistol shooter in history. Jessie demonstrated her talent recently with another big victory. Jessie took top honors (again) at the 2017 U.S. Steel Nationals. She won her 8th Ladies Open National title, and also finished as High Lady Rimfire Optics plus 3rd overall Single Stack. Congratulations to Jessie and the other divisional winners.
Here’s Jessie shooting the “Roundabout” Stage at the 2017 U.S. Steel Nationals:
Jessie Duff — The First-Ever Female Grand Master
In 2013, Jessie Duff became the first woman in history to earn the vaunted title of USPSA Grand Master (GM), the highest rating conferred by the U.S. Practical Shooting Association (USPSA). To earn this prestigious ranking, Duff had to maintain an average above 95% in shooting classification courses, something never before achieved by a lady shooter.
“I am honored to have earned the designation of Grand Master with USPSA” said Duff. “This is something I have been working toward my entire shooting career and I’ve come this far thanks to a lot of hard work and a lot of support,” she added.
Duff has “raised the bar” for female shooters across the country. As female participation in shooting sports has grown, Duff’s accomplishments and continued success have blazed a path for women in competitive action shooting. “Jessie is one of the best shooters in the world,” said USPSA Executive Director Kim Williams. “USPSA is proud to announce her historic record as the first woman to ever reach this ranking in Practical Shooting,” added Williams.
Jessie Won Rimfire High Lady Title Shooting “Bulk Pack” Eley Ammo
For her rimfire stages at the 2017 U.S. Steel Nationals, Jessie used ELEY Contact .22 LR ammo, which is now available in 300-round bulk “REC Paks”. ELEY Contact is a 42 grain 1090 fps subsonic round engineered to perform in all rimfire semi-auto firearms.
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Kelly McMillan hosts three top shooters on his Taking Stock Radio Show this Friday, March 31, 2017. The broadcast will feature ace shooters from three long-range disciplines: Dan Bramley (F-Open), Ian Klemm (F-TR), and Nancy Tompkins (Palma/Sling). Kelly says: “Friday’s show will be awesome. Shooters from F Open, F-TR and Palma/Sling competition will join us to talk about their specific disciplines.” During this week’s Radio Show these three top Long Range competitors will share their experiences and offer some winning tips for other competitive shooters.
The Radio show runs 3/31/2017 at 11:00 AM Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Sports Channel
The ‘First Lady’ of American Long-Range Rifle Shooting, Nancy Tompkins
Ian Klemm (second from right) with Berger SWN-winning North-by-Southwest F-TR team.
About McMillan Fiberglass Stocks
Kelly McMillan is the president of McMillan Fiberglass Stocks (MFS). This company began in 1973 whn Gale McMillan starting crafting benchrest stocks at home in his carport/garage. In 1975 MFS hired its first employee, Kelly McMillan.
By 1979 Kelly was made a partner, and by 1984 Kelly was in charge of running the stock shop. Since that time MFS has continued to grow with innovation and design. Today McMillan Fiberglass Stocks has a 15,000 sq. ft. facility and 65 employees. MFS manufactures around 12,000 stocks per year, most of which are individual customers ordering one custom built stock at a time.
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Shooting on a Golf Course is pretty cool. But do you have to yell “Fore!” prior to pulling the trigger?
Sean Murphy has a job we can envy. As Marketing Communications Manager for Nightforce Optics, Sean gets to shoot at major rifle competitions as part of his job. Sean recently attended the Long Range Shooting Experience (LRSE) Match at the RockCastle Shooting Center in Park City, Kentucky.
As part of the Precision Rifle Series (PRS), the LRSE match attracts many of the nation’s top tactical/practical shooters. The venue is a beautiful setting, more like an outdoor park than a typical gun range. In fact, Sean tells us: “I’ve long said a golf course is a waste of a perfectly good shooting range. One of the many reasons I love the LRSE match is getting to shoot rifles across the greens at Rockcastle.” Part of the LRSE match did indeed take shooters close to putting greens.
Yes that’s a putting green just ahead of the competitors. Use the blue golf flag to help call the wind!
Rockcastle Shooting Center is part of a 2000-acre outdoor playground. The shooting center is the “new” part of an old resort, which boasts a 100-room guest hotel and conference center, a restaurant with excellent food (and great views), a winery and 2-acre vineyard, and, yes, an 18-hole USGA golf course. It does look like a beautiful place to shoot. Nice to see that guns and golf can co-exist in Kentucky.
Some folks say you haven’t really mastered marksmanship unless you can hit a target when standing tall ‘on your own hind legs’. Of all the shooting positions, standing can be the most challenging because you have no horizontally-solid resting point for your forward arm/elbow. Here 10-time National High Power Champ Carl Bernosky explains how to make the standing shot.
Carl Bernosky is one of the greatest marksmen in history. A multi-time National High Power Champion, Carl has won ten (10) National High Power Championships in his storied shooting career, most recently in 2012. In this article, Carl provides step-by-step strategies to help High Power shooters improve their standing scores. When Carl talks about standing techniques, shooters should listen. Among his peers, Carl is regard as one of the best, if not the best standing shooter in the game today. Carl rarely puts pen to paper, but he was kind enough to share his techniques with AccurateShooter.com’s readers.
If you are position shooter, or aspire to be one some day, read this article word for word, and then read it again. We guarantee you’ll learn some techniques (and strategies) that can improve your shooting and boost your scores. This stuff is gold folks, read and learn…
How to Shoot Standing by Carl Bernosky
Shooting consistently good standing stages is a matter of getting rounds down range, with thoughtfully-executed goals. But first, your hold will determine the success you will have.
1. Your hold has to be 10 Ring to shoot 10s. This means that there should be a reasonable amount of time (enough to get a shot off) that your sights are within your best hold. No attention should be paid to the sights when they are not in the middle — that’s wasted energy. My best hold is within 5 seconds after I first look though my sights. I’m ready to shoot the shot at that time. If the gun doesn’t stop, I don’t shoot. I start over.
2. The shot has to be executed with the gun sitting still within your hold. If the gun is moving, it’s most likely moving out, and you’ve missed the best part of your hold.
3. Recognizing that the gun is sitting still and within your hold will initiate you firing the shot. Lots of dry fire or live fire training will help you acquire awareness of the gun sitting still. It’s not subconscious to me, but it’s close.
4. Don’t disturb the gun when you shoot the shot. That being said, I don’t believe in using ball or dummy rounds with the object of being surprised when the shot goes off. I consciously shoot every shot. Sometimes there is a mistake and I over-hold. But the more I train the less of these I get. If I get a dud round my gun will dip.* I don’t believe you can learn to ignore recoil. You must be consistent in your reaction to it.
5. Know your hold and shoot within it. The best part of my hold is about 4 inches. When I get things rolling, I recognize a still gun within my hold and execute the shot. I train to do this every shot. Close 10s are acceptable. Mid-ring 10s are not. If my hold was 8 inches I would train the same way. Shoot the shot when it is still within the hold, and accept the occasional 9. But don’t accept the shots out of the hold.
6. Practice makes perfect. The number of rounds you put down range matter. I shudder to think the amount of rounds I’ve fired standing in my life, and it still takes a month of shooting standing before Perry to be in my comfort zone. That month before Perry I shoot about 2000 rounds standing, 22 shots at a time. It peaks me at just about the right time.
This summarizes what I believe it takes to shoot good standing stages. I hope it provides some insight, understanding, and a roadmap to your own success shooting standing.
— Good Shooting, Carl
* This is very noticeable to me when shooting pistol. I can shoot bullet holes at 25 yards, but if I’ve miscounted the rounds I’ve fired out of my magazine, my pistol will dip noticeably. So do the pistols of the best pistol shooters I’ve watched and shot with. One might call this a “jerk”, I call it “controlled aggressive execution”, executed consistently.
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This story appears courtesy NRABlog.com.
Looking to get started in Multi-Gun competition? The NRA Outdoors 3-Gun School is a two-day course covering all the skills you’ll need to compete in the 3-Gun game. The course, hosted at Peacemaker National Training Center in West Virginia, provides hands-on training for pistol, rifle, and shotgun. Participants experience a fast-paced mix of lessons and firing drills, including actual 3-Gun stages.
Video Shows Highlights from NRA Outdoors 3-Gun School Training Sessions:
You don’t even have to bring guns or load your own ammo. The NRA Outdoors 3-Gun School includes everything you need with the $1600.00 price of admission. You don’t need to bring any guns, ammunition or gear! The NRA Outdoors 3-Gun School provides all firearms, ammo and equipment used for the course, including Armalite AR-pattern rifles, Benelli shotguns customized by Hayes Custom Guns, SIG Sauer pistols, and Vortex Optics.
3-Gun Comps — What the Multi-Gun Game is All About
Most 3-Gun matches consist of 8 to 12 stages, with shooters engaging as many as 35 targets per stage. You’ll shoot at paper silhouettes as close as 10 feet away, and steel targets as far out as 600 yards. Time is of the essence — all stages are “on the clock”. You’re racing from station to station, your synapses firing as your transition from shotgun to rifle to pistol, close to long range, around corners, and over barriers.
You’ll encounter spinner wheels, swinging bowling pins and zooming clay pigeons, all while rushing through and around a bevy of walls, barrels, windows and even vehicles. Some 3-Gun matches are shot at night (see above), where the artificial illumination creates an entirely different set of challenges.
How to Participate
You can register now for the NRA Outdoors 3-Gun School. The first class of the year is scheduled for April 14-15, 2017. More classes will be offered in May, June and August. If you’re interested, register soon — these programs fill quickly.
CLICK HERE for more information about the NRA Outdoors 3-Gun School. Learn about other training courses by visiting the NRA Outdoors website or call (844) 672-6883.
Hardware for 3-Gun Competition — Guns & Gear
In this NSSF video, Top Shot Finalist Chris Cerino reviews the hardware you’ll need for multi-gun matches. Chris talks about carbine configurations — including barrel, handguard, and optics options. Cerino also demonstrates pistol techniques and explains the key features of a belt/holster rig.
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M1 Garand Springfield Armory July 1941 production. Facebook photo by Shinnosuke Tanaka.
My father carried a Garand in WWII. That was reason enough for me to want one. But I also loved the look, feel, and heft of this classic American battle rifle. And the unique “Ping” of the ejected en-bloc clip is music to the ears of Garand fans. Some folks own a Garand for the history, while others enjoy competing with this old war-horse. Around the country there are regular competition series for Garand shooters, and the CMP’s John C. Garand Match is one of the most popular events at Camp Perry every year. This year’s Perry Garand Match will be held Saturday, 22 July 2017.
The CMP also has a John C. Garand Match each June as part of the D-Day Competition at the Talladega Marksmanship Park. Here’s a video from the inaugural Talladega D-Day Event in 2015.
Watch Prone Stage from the Inaugural Talladega D-Day Match in 2015
M1 Garand Manual
Recommended M1 Garand Manual
Among the many M1 Garand manuals available, we recommend the CMP’s U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, M1: ‘Read This First’ Manual. This booklet covers take-down, reassembly, cleaning, lubrication, and operation. The manual, included with CMP rifles, is available for $3.25 from the CMP eStore. The author of Garand Tips & Tricks says: “It’s one of the best firearms manuals I’ve seen. I highly recommend it.”
M1 Garand Slow-Motion Shooting Video
What really happens when an M1 Garand fires the final round and the En-Bloc clip ejects with the distinctive “Ping”? Well thanks to ForgottenWeapons.com, you can see for yourself in super-slow-motion. The entire cycling process of a Garand has been captured using a high-speed camera running at 2000 frames per second (about sixty times normal rate). Watch the clip eject at the 00:27 time-mark. It makes an acrobatic exit, spinning 90° counter-clockwise and then tumbling end over end.
2000 frame per second video shows M1 Garand ejecting spent cartridges and En-bloc clip.
M1 Garand History
Jean Cantius Garand, also known as John C. Garand, was a Canadian designer of firearms who created the M1 Garand, a semi-automatic rifle that was widely used by the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps during World War II and the Korean War. The U.S. government employed Garand as an engineer with the Springfield Armory from 1919 until he retired in 1953. At Springfield Armory Garand was tasked with designing a basic gas-actuated self-loading infantry rifle and carbine that would eject the spent cartridge and reload a new round. It took fifteen years to perfect the M1 prototype model to meet all the U.S. Army specifications. The resulting Semiautomatic, Caliber .30, M1 Rifle was patented by Garand in 1932, approved by the U.S. Army on January 9, 1936, and went into mass production in 1940. It replaced the bolt-action M1903 Springfield and became the standard infantry rifle known as the Garand Rifle. During the World War II, over four million M1 rifles were manufactured.
Credit: NPS Photo, public domain
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Tired of hauling around an old-fashioned Score Book and making entries with pencil and paper? Well now you can go digital — Creedmoor Sports has released a full-featured Scoring Book App that lets you plot your shot locations using an iPhone, iPod, or iPad (Apple tablet). The price is right — just visit the iTunes store to download the App for FREE.
Record Match and Practice Data
This new App, available for free in the Apple App Store, provides all the same functions and capabilities of the traditional Creedmoor print Data Book, but with the convenience and ease of recording your match and practice information with your iPhone or tablet. With this App you can break your 20 shot slow-fire segments into either 10- or 20-shot targets, and also opt for sighting shots. All the specific event data can also be recorded, such as location, wind, light etc., along with wind and elevation adjustments.
COMMUNICATIONS Restrictions: In some matches you are not allowed to have electronic communication ability, so you may have to set your iPhone to “Airplane Mode”, or use this only with an iPod (which does not have two-way communication capability).
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The new SEB Mini joystick (coaxial) pedestal rest has been a huge success. Sebastian (“Seb”) Lambang’s SEBRests.com team is shipping these out worldwide to meet demand. The great thing about the Mini is that it folds up into a small package, making it much easier to transport than a conventional coaxial front rest such as the Seb NEO or Farley. Shown above is an army of Minis getting ready to conquer the world (well at least the world of shooting).
Even though the Mini is compact and relatively light weight, it is very stable and gives up very little in performance to a full-sized joystick front rest such as the SEB NEO. At the Berger SW Nationals last month, our Systems Admin Jay Christopherson used a SEB Mini. Jay finished Second in F-Open Class just one point behind winner David Gosnell, thereby proving the SEB Mini is “competition ready”.
Jay reports: “I’m glad I had the SEB Mini — it worked great and was much easier to transport and carry from position to position.” Here’s a short video of Jay using the SEB Mini to drill a string of Xs with his .284 Winchester F-Open rifle.
New Carry Bag for SEB Mini
With the success of the SEB Mini, Seb Lambang has already started designing some new accessories. Here is a prototype carry package, the Mini Transporter. You can see this compact bag will hold a Mini even with big F-Class feet attached. Seb says: “I’m experimenting with soft case for Mini rest… Your thoughts?” We think Seb should certainly offer this case for sale. Post your thoughts in the comment section below.
SEB Mini with large disc feet attached still fits in bag.
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We recommend you tune in to Shooting USA on the Outdoor Channel tonight. Tonight’s episode features both a Vintage Sniper Rifle competition and the GAP Grind, one of the most popular tactical matches. The show airs at 9:30 PM ET, 8:30 PM Central, 7:30 PM MTN, and 6:30 PM Pacific.
Vintage Sniper Rifle Match at Talladega
This week, Shooting USA features the Vintage Sniper Match at the CMP’s Talladega Marksmanship Park. This is a two-man team event, for shooter and spotter, using military rifles in service up to 1953. One added challenge is the time limit. The team has only 20 seconds to complete each shot — That’s 20 seconds for the spotter to read the conditions, and for the shooter to pull the trigger.
Guns of Grandfathers…
In this episode two USAMU marksmen, SGTs Daniel Crody and Robert Shoup, compete with an Springfield M 1903 A4 reproduction topped with a vintage optic. “For me it holds a little bit of sentimental value,” says SGT Crody. “I did have two grandfathers in World War II. It is definitely a pleasure holding a piece of history… and to be able to see and feel what these guys had as far as tools to operate with.”
Who can identify this rifle, with its unusual scope mount?
“It’s a match that brings a different type of competitor out. It brings a nostalgic competitor out. You’ll see World War II time-period rifles, sniper-type rifles that were used during World War II, Korean War era,” says the CMP’s Chief Executive Officer, Mark Johnson. “The optics are either original optics or current reproduction of old optics.”
GAP Grind on Shooting USA
Tonight’s Shooting USA episode also features the Bushnell GAP Grind, a tough tactical/practical match in Tennessee with 300 competitors. The Grind runs a Pro-Am format — new shooters partner with an experienced shooters for the two-day, 25-stage event. This year John Scoutten teamed up with new shooter Jen Hodson. Even with the challenges, Jen had a great time at the GAP Grind. “I will definitely be back!” says Jen, shown here:
Ramia Whitecotton Facebook photo.
On the first day of the Bushnell GAP Grind, teams are scored together. On the second day team members still work together but scores are logged individually. This is a difficult event with awkward positions, barriers, and other challenges. Targets vary in size, shape, and distance. One of the toughest targets is the 500-Yard Mover.
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Photo by Lapua’s Adam Braverman. Lapua match ammo was used by many competitors.
The NCAA Rifle Championship was held at Ohio State University March 10-11, 2017. The team National Championship went to the powerful West Virginia University squad. The No. 2-ranked WVU Mountaineers rifle team claimed its fifth straight NCAA title in commanding fashion, shooting a championship-record 4723 Aggregate score at Ohio State’s French Field House. This was the Mountaineers’ nineteenth national championship, a remarkable record of excellence.
WVU shooters also secured top honors — the individual titles were both won by West Virginia freshman. Morgan Phillips won the small-bore titles on March 10, 2017. Milica Babic won the air rifle championship the next day.
The Mountaineers’ NCAA championship five-peat is the third in the sport since 1980. WVU previously won six straight titles from 1988-1993, and Alaska-Fairbanks won six straight from 1999-2004.
NCAA Rifle Championship Rules
The NRA Blog has listed some of the more important rules in effect for the NCAA Rifle Championship.
Modern Electronic Targets
The 2017 NCAA Championships used electronic targets, with monitors at each shooting station. That allows spectators to view the scoring in real time. For air rifle, shot at 10 meters, and smallbore, shot at 50 feet, all NCAA competitions using electronic scoring targets shall comply with USA Shooting Rule 6.3.2 and be at least ISSF Phase I approved.
Max Rifle Weight is 8kg (17.64 lbs)
The maximum weight for a complete smallbore rifle cannot exceed 8 kilograms. Previously, a maximum weight of 6.5 kilograms was imposed for female shooters, but as of this season, both men and women can use up to an 8 kg rifle. [Editor: That’s actually a pretty heavy rifle to hold off-hand in the standing stages — it approaches the weight of an F-TR rifle.]
Single Shot Only
NCAA shooters aren’t worried about magazine capacity. Only single shot rifles that must be manually loaded before each shot are permitted in competition. Additionally, only one rifle can be used in the Elimination, Qualification and Finals rounds of an event. The action, barrel and stock cannot be changed, but the shooter can swap detachable buttstocks or accessories (subject to 8kg weight limit).
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The year’s first Starlight 3-Gun Shootout, a unique night-time match, takes place March 10-11 at the Copperhead Creek Shooting Club near Marble Falls, Texas. When the sun comes down this Friday, March 10th, many of the world’s best 3-Gun shooters will add lights and lasers to their comp guns and compete for a trove of cash and prizes. This match is part of a series of night-time events to be held throughout the country in 2017.
Using laser sights and firearm-mounted lights, Starlight 3-Gun competitors will shoot seven stages over two nights, 4 stages Friday night and 3 stages Saturday. The Starlight 3-Gun Championship showcases spectator-friendly pyrotechnics and special effects. Match Director Chuck Anderson says “our goal isn’t just to create a challenging course of fire. We wanted to create a course of fire [with] lights, lasers, strobes, smoke and sound that would absolutely wow spectators, too.
The Starlight 3-Gun Match Series is the brainchild of Jim Shepherd, founder of the Outdoor Wire Digital Network. After Crimson Trace decided to “retire” its popular Midnight 3-Gun Invitational (M3GI) match in Oregon, Shepherd proposed taking the M3GI concept and growing it into a series of exciting night-time 3-gun events with eye-catching lighting effects.
Jim writes: “Shooting for speed and accuracy is challenging enough, but ‘doing it in the dark’ [is] far more impressive for spectators. Accuracy is part of the equation, but unlike precision shooting competitions, you’re racing the clock to shave tenths of seconds off your overall times.
We’ve described it as ‘drag racing with guns’. At the end of the competition, the lowest time wins. It’s a simple measurement system that makes it possible for spectators to actually know who’s leading the match at any given point. And that makes for engaged spectators. And that’s our goal — get people interested in shooting sports.”
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