June 21st, 2017

Tech Nightmare: CMP Electronic Target Problem at Camp Perry

KTS Electronic Targets failure Camp Perry Excellence Competition EIC

By Steve Cooper, CMP North General Manager & Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer
In disappointing fashion to all involved, the CMP [cancelled] its June 17 Excellence-In-Competition match when significant damage was done to the target system following the successful completion of standing and rapid-fire sitting stages at 200 yards by nearly 100 competitors.

KTS Electronic Targets failure Camp Perry Excellence Competition EIC
Nearly 100 competitors took to the firing line on Viale Range for Saturday’s EIC Rifle Match.

The CMP EIC match was the historic debut of the latest in scoring technology on the “big” ranges at the 101-year-old Ohio National Guard training site near Port Clinton. The match fired on Viale Range was a fill-in for a previously cancelled Ohio Rifle & Pistol Association event. CMP is in its second year of operating 10 electronic target lanes at 100 yards for rifle and five lanes for pistol at Camp Perry’s Petrarca Range. CMP also operates two 80-point electronic indoor airgun ranges at Camp Perry and Anniston, AL, respectively.

During the changeover from 200 to 300 yards at the Saturday event, multiple targets were damaged when newly-trained CMP target workers accidentally strained or tore several interconnecting cables on the target line while raising and lowering target carriers. Diagnostics showed several targets were showing errors, but CMP technicians believed many targets could be salvaged and some were repaired.

The loss cut the range from 35 to 19 serviceable targets. CMP staff and competitors agreed to shrink the size of the range, re-squadding shooters into more relays on the remaining working targets. After repairs were made, firing continued with the prone rapid-fire stage at 300 yards. When firing was complete, a handful of shooters received inconsistent information on their monitors. A re-fire was conducted for that group and many of the re-fire group still reported target errors.

KTS Electronic Targets failure Camp Perry Excellence Competition EIC
Members of CMP staff convene to discuss abnormalities during the 300-yard prone rapid-fire stage of the EIC Rifle Match. Moments later, the match was called off after it was determined too many targets were compromised by damaged cables in the Viale Range pits.

It became clear that the initial damage to the target communication system was worse than originally thought. Christie Sewell, CMP Programs Chief, explained to competitors that it was impractical to go any further and had no choice but to cancel the match. CMP offered refunds to all competitors or the option of crediting their entry fees to a future match. The match did not count toward the competitors’ EIC match total for 2017.

The Takeaway from this Experience – CMP is a Pioneer in the Electronic Target World
They say it’s easy to recognize pioneers — they’re the ones with arrows in their backs. It feels that way sometimes at the Civilian Marksmanship Program as we roll out the most sophisticated electronically-scored targets in the world to America’s bullseye rifle and pistol shooters. Sometimes we make mistakes and they cost us time, money and aggravation.

KTS Electronic Targets failure Camp Perry Excellence Competition EIC
Cables carry power + communications from target to target the length of the line. Many places between targets can trap and catch cables. The loss of 1 cable can take out 5 adjacent targets.

But we press on. And the competitors who understand our goals press on with us. We pull the arrows out of each other’s backs, cover shot holes with thick-skin pasters, learn from our mistakes and press on with our mission. That mission includes safety instruction, youth marksmanship fundamentals, growing the sport of bullseye target shooting and providing our competitors the best opportunity to maximize participation in this sport.

What Actually Went Wrong on Saturday
Those familiar with the KTS targets at the CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park know they are hard-wired and mounted to actuators that tilt the targets up and down for use on three different target lines. Shooters fire from a common covered firing line and fire distances of 200, 300 or 600 yards during open public sessions and matches without moving. Those targets are semi-permanent and fit into frames that are bolted to iron brackets mounted on a concrete deck.

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June 19th, 2017

“This is My Rifle” — 74-Year-Old Marine Reunited with M1 Garand

Pat Farmer USMC Marine Corps M1 Garand CMP Camp Matthews
After 56 years Pat Farmer was reunited with the M1 Garand he used while serving his country.

By Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer
Pat Farmer hadn’t felt the weight in his hands in 56 years. After five decades, the memories flooded back as his fingertips grazed the wood of the stock and gripped it tightly. It was a piece of his personal history, and the history of his country… and now, it’s a relic he’ll be able to keep for the rest of his life.

“I had never dreamed it would be in the CMP (Civilian Marksmanship Program) warehouse,” he said. “I had just hoped to possibly start a search beginning with the CMP.”

The 74-year-old from Jacksonville, NC, is a retired veteran who served 26 years in the armed forces. He was raised on a farm in Nebraska where he became familiar with guns at an early age. As a teen, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps during his senior year in high school through a delay program. On August 30, 1960, he left for the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, California, to attend boot camp — where he celebrated his 18th birthday.

Pat Farmer USMC Marine Corps M1 Garand CMP Camp Matthews

Upon arrival he was issued M1 Garand #4305638. The firearm soon became a close companion as he spent countless hours with it on the “Grinder” — a Marine Corps term for a deck or parade ground used for drill and formations.

Reunited with M1 Garand after 56 Years
On May 8, 2017, Pat Farmer was reunited with M1 Garand #4305638 thanks to the CMP. Bringing it back to life, Pat began to fieldstrip the rifle. As he got to the trigger housing of the gun, he found something that he couldn’t believe – tape with his name and markings on it. It read, “Farmer 20/8L.” Pat believes it was his 500-yard “dope” – twenty clicks elevation, eight clicks left windage.

Pat Farmer USMC Marine Corps M1 Garand CMP Camp Matthews

“Fifty-six years ago, we drilled and did the manual of arms with M1s as if they were matchsticks. It seems much heavier now!” Farmer added with a laugh.

Pat was eventually selected for aviation school after infantry training and shot on the rifle team while attached to a Reserve unit. He went on to shoot expert rifle at the Camp Mathews rifle range*. “It was some of the best and most rewarding years of my life,” he said.

Many years later, Pat one day went through an old locker box and found his custody receipt from Jan. 27, 1961, when he turned in his boot camp rifle before transferring to aviation school. Curiosity set in as he wondered whatever became of M1 Garand #4305638 – and the idea of finding it overcame him.

“I had purchased a few rifles from the old DCM and also CMP, so on a whim I decided to contact CMP to see if my old M1 had ever passed through their system,” he explained. Here’s the story of what happened and the years of waiting…

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June 17th, 2017

Air Gun Opportunities During Camp Perry National Matches

Gary Anderson Competition Center CMP Camp Perry

Story based on report by Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer
Headed to Camp Perry this summer? Then consider doing some airgunning while you’re there. More shooting equals more fun right? Camp Perry centerfire competitors can participate in air rifle/air pistol events throughout the month of July. The air gun matches are held inside the modern air-conditioned Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center. This facility has modern electronic targets with monitors at each shooting station. Large LED view screens show scores to spectators.

Gary Anderson Competition Center CMP Camp Perry

The Gary Anderson Competition Center range consists of 80 firing points – each equipped with new electronic targets, installed in November 2016. The high-tech Kongsberg Target System (KTS) targets are powered by OpticScore technology, which are scored optically by internal LED lights. Monitors at each firing point instantly display scores, and button functions with an LED lighted screen allow ease of use for individuals of all ages and experience levels.

Gary Anderson Competition Center CMP Camp Perry

Events at the CMP air range include 30 and 60 Shot Air Pistol, 30 and 60 Shot Air Rifle, 20 Shot Standing and 20 Shot Novice Prone. For an extra challenge and maybe even a little spending money, Top Center Shot cash prizes will be awarded during the 20 Shot Standing, 30 Shot Air Pistol and 30 Shot Air Rifle competitions. Additionally, an AiR-15 Challenge and Top 20 Shoulder-to-Shoulder competition with CMP National Match AR-15 style air rifles will be held.

AiR-15 Match Rifle Based on Anschütz 8001
Creedmoor Sports offers an AR-style air rifle built around an Anschütz 8001 barreled action. This rifle was designed in conjunction with the development of the CMP’s National Match Air Rifle shooting discipline.

AiR-15 Match Rifle

Air Gun Range Open to Public Between Scheduled Matches
The Air Gun Range will be open for public “fun shooting” this July, between scheduled matches. Camp Perry visitors are invited to visit the Competition Center and “give it a shot”. Loaner air rifles and air pistols will be available, along with help from trained CMP staff members.

Gary Anderson Competition Center CMP Camp Perry

CMP staff members are also on hand to answer questions. The facility also has a CMP store where guests may purchase shirts, mugs, and other items. CLICK HERE for more information about the National Match Air Gun events

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June 10th, 2017

MilSurp Gold — The $27,556 XM-3 Sniper Rifle

Sniper Rifle DARPA XM-3 XM3 CMP Auction Iraq War

Would you pay over twenty-seven grand for a slightly-used Rem 700 bolt-action rifle and Nightforce scope? Well somebody did just that recently, paying the princely sum of $27,556.00 for a DARPA XM-3 Sniper Rifle system in a CMP Auction. In fairness the buyer did get a case, a PVS22 Night Vision Device (NVD), and some other accessories. Created for the USMC, only fifty-two (52) XM-3s were ever made, so this is a pretty rare rifle. But, honestly, is this thing really worth $27,556? What do you think?

Sniper Rifle DARPA XM-3 XM3 CMP Auction Iraq War

This XM-3 system was recently sold by the CMP at auction (SEE Auction Photos). There was plenty of interest in this item, with 111 total bids for the rifle, case and accesories. Here is the CMP Auction product description:

DEFENSE ADVANCED RESEARCH PROJECT AGENCY (DARPA) XM-3 Sniper Rifle S6533990

These XM-3 sniper rifles used by the United States Marine Corps. In mid-2005, DARPA worked with Lt. Col. Norm Chandler’s Iron Brigade Armory (IBA) to field items to expeditionary units in Afghanistan. Since they already had a great working relationship, DARPA contracted IBA to build and test lightweight sniper rifles that incorporated the improvements the snipers desired in combat. The mission was to be lighter and smaller than the existing M40s, while having better accuracy, clip-on night vision that did not require re-zero, better optics, and better stock, and it had to be suppressed. The barrel had to be short enough to allow maneuverability yet long enough to deliver a 10” group at 1,000 yards. If the barrel was too heavy, maneuverability would decrease, yet if the barrel was too light it would only be able to shoot a few rounds before the groups started to shift due to barrel temperature. IBA tested a number of barrel lengths, ranging from 16 to 20 inches and in different contours. Each rifle with a different length was assigned an XM designator starting with XM1 through XM3. In each case, everything on the prototype rifles was kept the same except the barrel.

During the final phases of testing it was found that the 18” barrels had no issues keeping up with their longer 20” brethren. The final barrel length was set at 18.5”, and the contour was a modified #7. The straight taper on the barrel was only 2” vs. 4” and the overall diameter at the muzzle was .85” vs. .980”. This helped reduce a lot of the rifle’s weight while not negatively affecting accuracy or effective range. A number of the groups at 1,000 yards were < 1 MOA. The Marines of I-MEF were the first to field test the rifles at Camp Pendleton. Shortly after I-MEF took receipt of the XM-3s, the first units in II-MEF took receipt of theirs. By mid-2006 there were dozens of XM-3s in Iraq. There were 52 XM-3s made. More info on the XM-3 Sniper Rifle can be found at SteveReichertTraining.com.

Sniper Rifle DARPA XM-3 XM3 CMP Auction Iraq War

Also included: Scope SN P06798; Sniper Data Book with some firing information; PVS22 Night Vision Device SN 2936D (NVDs function); appears complete tool/cleaning kit with cleaning rod; sling; suppressor case and wrap (SUPPRESSOR IS NOT INCLUDED!); bipod; cold bore shot target; instructions; iM3200 Storm case.

Sniper Rifle DARPA XM-3 XM3 CMP Auction Iraq War

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May 16th, 2017

GEAR News: CMP Announcement RE Shooting Jacket Rules

CMP Civilian Marksmanship Shooting coat jacket monard rules

The great shooting coat controversy has been quelled — at least for the next few months. The CMP will not be banning any brands of commonly-used jackets for now. On Monday, May 15th, the CMP announced that it would halt “strict enforcement” of shooting jacket rules for the remainder of 2017, until new, clear standards can be adopted. Here is the CMP’s statement:

Moratorium on Strict Enforcement of Shooting Jacket Rules
The Civilian Marksmanship Program has declared a moratorium on strict enforcement of rules on design and construction of shooting jackets for 2017 until specific procedures and measurement tools are developed to determine the maximum amount of support coats may provide to competitors.

“The CMP 2018 Rules will contain further clarifications concerning jacket design and construction specifics going forward,” said Mark Johnson, CMP’s Chief Operating Officer. “The CMP strives to institute rules that promote true marksmanship skill and those that resist the equipment race (gamesmanship) facets of our sport.”

“The CMP’s matches are being developed to enhance competitor learning and increasing their own personal marksmanship skill set, not who can buy the best gadget for means of additional support or easier access to higher point totals,” Johnson said.

In 2017, the primary emphasis of the shooting jacket rule, 6.6.1 in the CMP Highpower Rifle and Pistol Competition Rules, 21st Edition – 2017, still applies. The rule states, in part, “Shooting jackets made of flexible material may be worn in CMP Rifle events. Shooting jackets may have shoulder, sling and elbow pads providing those pads are not constructed so as to provide rigid artificial support. Jacket constructions that use back braces (…) or other non-flexible materials are prohibited.”

For 2018, it is the CMP’s intent to provide a clear and concise definition of “flexibility” as it relates to support materials used in shooting jackets and a simple measurement process capable of passing or failing jackets across the entire spectrum of highpower rifle jackets in the marketplace.”

Jacket Rules Not Abandoned Completely
We commend readers to look at the second-to-last paragraph in the CMP statement above. The CMP says Rule 6.6.1 still applies, requiring shooting jackets to be made of “flexible materials” without “rigid, artificial support”. Keep that in mind. While the CMP is halting “strict enforcement” of jacket rules, you still can’t show up with a bionic exo-skeleton.

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April 18th, 2017

Teaching New Shooters — CMP Training Resources

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:

teaching shooting positions youth junior

Videos

These short marksmanship trainging videos cover the basics of the Kneeling, Standing, and Prone postions. (NOTE: these are live links — videos will launch when you click.)

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April 17th, 2017

CMP “As-Issued” Four-Gun Aggregate — Fun and Challenging

CMP 4-Gun As-Issued Santiago

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.

CMP 4-Gun As-Issued SantiagoThe 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.

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April 15th, 2017

Plastic Pistols at Perry? Yes It’s True… New Glock Match in July

Glock Camp Perry National Matches Pistol GSSF

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).

Glock Camp Perry National Matches Pistol GSSF

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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March 25th, 2017

Get Physical — Strength and Cardio Training for Shooters

In the archives of The First Shot (the CMP’s Online Magazine), SGT Walter E. Craig of the USAMU discusses physical conditioning for competitive shooters, particularly High Power competitors. Fitness training is an important subject that, curiously, is rarely featured in the shooting sports media. We seem to focus on hardware, or esoteric details of cartridge reloading. Yet physical fitness also matters, particularly for High Power shooters. In his article, Craig advocates: 1) weight training to strengthen the Skeletal Muscle System; 2) exercises to build endurance and stamina; and 3) cardiovascular conditioning programs to allow the shooter to remain relaxed with a controlled heart beat.

SGT Craig explains: “An individual would not enter a long distance race without first spending many hours conditioning his/her body. One should apply the same conditioning philosophy to [shooting]. Physical conditioning to improve shooting skills will result in better shooting performance…. The objective of an individual physical training program is to condition the muscles, heart, and lungs thereby increasing the shooter’s capability of controlling the body and rifle for sustained periods.”

CLICK HERE to READ FULL FITNESS ARTICLE

In addition to weight training and cardio workouts (which can be done in a gym), SGT Craig advocates “some kind of holding drill… to develop the muscles necessary for holding a rifle for extended periods.” For those with range access, Craig recommends a blind standing exercise: “This exercise consists of dry-firing one round, then live-firing one round, at a 200-yard standard SR target. For those who have access only to a 100-yard range, reduced targets will work as well. Begin the exercise with a timer set for 50 minutes. Dry-fire one round, then fire one live round and without looking at the actual impact, plot a call in a data book. Continue the dry fire/live fire sequence for 20 rounds, plotting after each round. After firing is complete, compare the data book to the target. If your zero and position are solid, the plots should resemble the target. As the training days add up and your zero is refined, the groups will shrink and move to the center.”

Brandon GreenFitness training and holding drills help position shooters reach their full potential.

Training for Older Shooters
Tom Alves has written an excellent article A Suggested Training Approach for Older Shooters. This article discusses appropriate low-impact training methods for older shooters. Tom explains: “Many of the articles you will read in books about position shooting and the one mentioned above are directed more toward the younger generation of shooters in their 20s. If you look down the line at a typical high power match these days you are likely to see quite a few folks who are in their middle 30s and up. Many people in that age range have had broken bones and wear and tear on their joints so a training program needs to take that into account. For instance, while jogging for an extended period for heart and lung conditioning may be the recommended approach for younger folks, it may be totally inappropriate for older people.”

READ FULL ARTICLE by Tom Alves

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March 21st, 2017

Guntry Clubs — Posh, Upscale Facilities for Gun Aficionados

Guntry Club Greshame GunVenture Televison Iain Harrison Sig Sauer

Shooting ranges have gone upscale with the development of the “Guntry Club”. This new kind of recreational/social facility combines a shooting range with Country Club style amenities. Imagine a high-tech indoor range with “Pro Shop”, restaurant, and maybe outdoor shooting facilities as well. In the past five years, more and more of these deluxe “Guntry Clubs” have opened nationwide.

This week GunVenture TV takes a look at some of the country’s finest gun clubs. First, join Tom Gresham and RECOIL Magazine’s Iain Harrison at one of the original “Guntry Clubs” — the Scottsdale Gun Club. You’ll tour the exclusive Titanium lounge before heading to the range for some full-auto fun with Sig Sauer’s John Hollister. Then, Tom visits a very high-end facility in Centennial, Colorado. The upscale Centennial Gun Club features a retail store, range, training center, and lounge.

Guntry Club Greshame GunVenture Televison Iain Harrison Sig Sauer

Finally, GunVenture visits the Talladega Super-Speedway, where Ryan Gresham takes a lap on the famous track before visiting at the CMP’s impressive new Talladega Marksmanship Park, which boasts state-of-the-art electronic targets.

Here’s a CBS News report on upscale “Guntry Clubs”, luxurious facilities that target younger, more affluent patrons. Chip Reid reports on a high-end gun club in Manassas, Virginia: “This is not your Grandfather’s shooting range. Elite Shooting Sports is 65000 Square feet of bright lights, polished wood, flat-screen TVs, and state of the art equipment”.

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March 18th, 2017

An American Icon — The M1 Garand Lives On…

John C. Garand Match CMP Camp Perry
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.

John C. Garand Match CMP Camp Perry

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 match instruction video War Department

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.

John Jean C. Garand M1

Credit: NPS Photo, public domain

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March 15th, 2017

Shooting USA TV Features Vintage Sniper and Tactical Matches

Talladega Vintage Sniper Match Shooting USA

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.

Shooting USA Vintage Sniper USAMUGuns 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?
Vintage sniper rifle team match camp perry

“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

Shooting USA GAP Grind Jim Scotten Jen

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:

Shooting USA GAP Grind Jim Scotten Jen
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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March 6th, 2017

CMP Ranges Get Gifts of Pardini Air Rifles and Pistols

Pardini air rifle pistol for CMP Marksmanship
The CMP’s ranges in Ohio and Alabama each received two Pardini air pistols plus an Olympic-grade Pardini GPR1 air rifle. The GPR1 was designed in collaboration with Niccolo Campriani, a three-time air rifle Olympic gold medalist.

Pardini USA has generously donated new air rifles and air pistols to the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s (CMP) air gun ranges. The Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center at Camp Perry, Ohio, and the South Competition Center in Anniston, Alabama, both received a precision Pardini GPR1 air rifle and two handsome Pardini K12 air pistols.

These fine Pardini air guns are available for demonstration and use by the public during the CMP’s Marksmanship Nights, held every Tuesday and Thursday evening from 5 pm to 8pm in Ohio, and from 4 pm to 7 pm in Alabama. Shooters of all skill levels are welcome to participate. To learn more about CMP Marksmanship Nights, visit the CMP’s Competition Center Webpage.

Pardini air rifle pistol for CMP Marksmanship
The air guns are specially engraved, “To the CMP from G.P. Pardini”.

These Pardini air guns found a home at the CMP’s ranges thanks to Vladimir Chichkov, a partner at Pardini USA LLC. “I would like to thank Vladimir Chichkov for taking the time to introduce me to Pardini USA rifles and pistols last year during the National Rifle and Pistol Matches,” said Lue Sherman, a CMP staff member at Camp Perry. “I think having these in our ranges, especially at Camp Perry where those who attend the National Matches will be able to witness the guns for themselves, will be great for both the CMP and Pardini USA.”

Pardini air rifle pistol for CMP Marksmanship

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January 26th, 2017

New 2017 CMP Competition Rules — Some Big Changes

2017 CMP Rules Competition Pistol High Power new

By Gary Anderson, DCM Emeritus
The 2017 CMP competition rules are now approved and posted on the CMP website. The 2017 CMP Highpower Rifle and Pistol Competition Rules and the 2017 CMP Games Rifle and Pistol Competition Rules can be downloaded on the CMP Competition Rules Page.

CLICK HERE for 2017 Highpower Rifle and Pistol Competition Rules

CLICK HERE for 2017 CMP Games Rifle and Pistol Competition Rules

2017 CMP Rules Competition Pistol High Power new

2017 marks the third consecutive year with major CMP competition rule changes. The 2015 Rules opened Service Pistol shooting to a wider variety of pistols and introduced the popular 22 Rimfire Pistol Distinguished Badge. The 2016 rules authorized limited power optical sights for service and modern military rifles and opened Service Rifle shooting to a wider variety of M16/AR-type rifles.

AR Alternative Rifles Allowed in Highpower Service Rifle Competitions
The 2017 rules authorize residents in states where AR ownership is prohibited to use an Alternative Rifle that is legal in that state. The introduction of an Alternative Rifle rule exemplifies the CMP’s determination to take whatever steps are legally possible to ensure that all competitors in the USA can continue to compete in CMP Highpower Service Rifle competitions.

The new Highpower Alternative Rifle will allow competitors in states where the ownership or possession of M16/AR-type rifles is prohibited to use a rifle that has the same capabilities as an M16/AR-type rifle. Alternative Rifles may be either semi-auto or manually operated and must be chambered for the 5.56 x 45mm NATO cartridge (.223). Optical sights with a manufactured maximum of 4.5X are permitted. These rifles must have a 4.5-pound trigger pull, a maximum barrel length of 20 inches and a fixed sling swivel on their fore-ends. Alternative Rifles may have stocks with the same adjustment capabilities as Service Rifles, that is butt-stock length may be adjustable, but the cheek-piece and butt-plate must be fixed. Stock design and magazine configuration is flexible according to what is permitted in the competitor’s state.

Match Rifles Will Be Allowed in Highpower Matches
The 2017 CMP Rules will also open the door for Match Rifle competitors to shoot in CMP-sanctioned highpower events. Due to the advantages these rifles have (more cartridge options, no trigger limitation, infinite stock adjustments and unlimited optical sight power), competitors with Match Rifles will usually compete in a separate or Open Individual Category, but they will now be welcomed in CMP Highpower Matches. Traditional EIC and National Trophy Match events will still be restricted to Service and Alternative Rifles, but match sponsors can now invite Match Rifle competitors to shoot in CMP-sanctioned events. Except for EIC and National Trophy Matches, which will continue to be no-sighter matches, the 2017 Rules will permit sighters in other matches.

Tubb 2000 Match rifle

Most Match Rifle competitors have already competed in CMP Matches with Service Rifles and are familiar with CMP requirements that shooters must start rapid-fire series from standing. The CMP regards this requirement to quickly go from standing to sitting or prone and place the natural point of aim on the target as a vital skill that highpower rifle shooters should be able to perform. However, some Match Rifle competitors who have never competed in CMP Matches will find this to be a new … challenge.

New Competition Classification System
The CMP will develop and introduce a new competitor classification system in 2017. The system will be similar to traditional classification systems where competitors are divided into five classes according to current match score averages. CMP classifications will initially be available for use by Highpower and Service Rifle match sponsors. The CMP system will provide for instant, electronic updates of match score data. Match sponsors will be able to confirm competitor classifications through online look-ups.

For those competitors who are over 70 or who have physical impairments, the CMP has lots of experience in making it possible for those competitors to start rapid-fire series in position. Everyone who is able is expected to start rapid-fire from standing, but those who cannot are allowed to start in position. These competitors can win special and class awards as well as CMP Achievement Awards; they just cannot win the match.

Use of Electronic Devices (Airplane Mode OK)
The new rules clarify that the use of “electronic devices such as cell phones, tablets or other hand-held communication devices only to keep time, record shots, or compute sight adjustments” is permitted. However, those devices must not be capable of communicating with other electronic devices (must be placed in airplane mode).

Below are summaries of other rule changes in the 2017 CMP Competition Rules.

(more…)

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December 19th, 2016

Basics of the Prone Position — Building the Position

USAMU Prone First Shot CMP
USAMU Prone First Shot CMP

The First Shot, the CMP’s online magazine, features a well-written article on Prone Shooting Technique by SPC Matthew Sigrist of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU). The article covers all the major points of gun hold and body position: hand position, elbow position, stock weld, buttstock placement, and sling position/tension.

Keep it Steady — The Elements of a Good Prone Position

Part 1 — Building the Position
By SPC Matthew Sigrist

Imagine the following scenario: You are at the last stage of fire in the National Trophy Individual Match, firing at the 600 yard line in the prone position and every point matters. What should you reflect on as you prepare to shoot this final string? As your eyes cloud from sweat, you realize that all you have to rely on is your experience and knowledge of the fundamentals.

During the National Trophy Individual Match, you will fire 60 percent of your shots from the prone position. This article will address the fundamentals of a good prone position and help you learn the techniques required to be successful in both the slow and rapid-fire stages of National Match competition.

This article will be divided into two parts. In part one, we will discuss the elements of a good prone position. In part two, we will cover the techniques you will in the rapid-fire and slow-fire stages.

The Fundamentals

The fundamentals are the building blocks of a position. Much like the framework of a house, a correct application of the fundamentals ensures a solid and stable structure. Since each person’s position will depend on their particular body build and shape, there is no “perfect position” that applies to everyone. Experience, practice and knowledge of the correct fundamentals will dictate the best position for you.

There are six key elements of any position. The purpose for these six points is to achieve a solid platform that allows for consistent sight alignment using the least amount of muscle tension.

    1. Placement of the Firing Hand (the hand that pulls the trigger)
    The firing hand needs to be placed high on the pistol grip. This high hand position will give you better control of the rifle. Combined with a firm grip there will be a reduced amount of hand movement when pulling the trigger. Wrap your thumb over the three fingers on the pistol grip (excluding the trigger finger). This will help isolate the movement of the trigger finger.

    2. Placement of the Non-firing Hand (the hand supporting the rifle).
    The non-firing hand should grip the handguard or stock in the flat portion of the hand between the thumb and forefinger. The fingers should curl naturally around the stock, but they should not grip it tightly. The position of the hand on the stock will depend on the physical size of the shooter. Generally speaking, taller shooters with longer arms will grip the rifle further out, near the sling swivel, while shorter shooters will need to pull their hand rearward. This is sometimes referred to as “short-stocking” the rifle.

    3. Stock Weld
    Stock weld is the contact that the face makes with the stock. It is important because it directly effects your sight alignment. Consistent head placement will help you achieve consistent sight alignment. The human head weighs an average of 8 to 10 pounds. The full weight of the head must rest on the stock. In doing this you achieve two things, a relaxed neck and reduced recoil because of the pressure of the head.

    4. Placement of the Rifle (the contact that is made in the firing shoulder)
    The rifle butt placement needs to be consistent. If this changes between shots, it effects your sight alignment and the effect of recoil. In the prone position the rifle will sit lower in the shoulder compared to other shooting positions. This allows for a more forward head and a lower position as a whole.

    5. Position of the Sling
    The sling should be high on the arm, above the bicep. This way the sling will have less leverage on the arm so it doesn’t cut off the circulation.


Demonstration of the placement of the firing elbow (left) and non-firing elbows (right).

    6. Placement of both the firing, and non-firing elbows
    A guideline for non-firing elbow placement is that there should be 1 ½’’ to 2’’ gap between your non-firing arm and the rifle’s magazine. (NOTE: this references the AR-15 service rifle) Your arm should be almost straight up and down; this will transfer the weight directly down the arm and not to the side (see picture above). Think of the firing arm as only a kind of kickstand, it doesn’t support weight it only holds the firing hand in position.

Variations of the Prone Position

There are two main variations of the prone position; open/spread legged, and bent-legged. The two types will be discussed below.

Open/Spread Leg Position

Demonstration of the Open/Spread Leg Position.

The first position is the open/spread legged position. This is when the shooter spreads their legs shoulder width or more apart. This allows for a more forward pressure on the sling and elbows. This position requires a tighter sling and solid elbow placement. The rifle should sit tight in the shoulder. With this position, your body will be farther behind the rifle compared to the bent leg position, allowing for minimum disturbance from recoil.

Bent Leg Position

Demonstration of the Bent Leg Position.

The bent leg position is when the shooter bends the firing side leg up towards the firing hand making the knee at a rough 90 degree angle to the body. The non-firing leg will remain straight and inline with the body. This will take pressure off the lungs and heart minimizing the pulse from the chest as well as easing the pressure on the lungs which will allow for easy breathing and control.

Summary

You now know the fundamentals of a good prone position, as well as the two types most commonly used. Extensive dry-firing will reveal which is the best position for you. If possible, have a friend take pictures of you in position. This will enable you to better diagnose and correct your errors. Remember, a position must be both fundamentally sound and comfortable. Practice frequently to learn your new position and to develop the conditioning required to endure long days on the range.

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December 14th, 2016

CMP Custom Shop Can Repair and Upgrade Military Rifles

CMP Custom Shop

You may not be aware, but the Civilian Marksmanship Program runs a reliable, reasonably-priced maintenance/repair facility for USGI-issue rifles. Since October 2013, the CMP Custom Shop (Anniston, AL) has provided gunsmithing services for a wide range of U.S. Military rifles, specifically those issued in early eras. As well as repairs and troubleshooting, the CMP Custom Shop can upgrade, accurize, customize, and refinish the types of rifles the CMP sells.

CMP will work on the M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, 1903 and 1903A3 Springfield, the 1917 Enfield and the Krag. Other rifles like the Remington 40X, Mossberg 44, and H&R Model 12 can also be serviced. CMP will NOT work on shotguns, pistols, revolvers, M14/M1A, AR15-style rifles or other commercially-produced modern rifles. For a list of services (with prices) visit the CMP Custom Shop webpage.

cmp custom shop USGI rifle repairs

NOTE: Before you can send a rifle to the CMP Custom Shop you must be a customer on file in the CMP system. Customers must meet the same eligibility requirements as for CMP rifle purchases. Once qualified, you can purchase a rifle from the CMP and have the CMP Custom Shop make modifications to it prior to shipping.

CMP Custom Shop Can Work on USGI Rifles Purchased from Other Sources
The CMP Custom Shop can work on rifles that may have been purchased elsewhere as long as they were made by a USGI contractor. Some examples include: Springfield Armory (not Springfield Inc.), Harrington & Richardson, Winchester, International Harvester, Remington, Rock Island, Eddystone, Inland, Underwood, Rock-Ola, Quality Hardware, National Postal meter, Standard Products, IBM, Irwin-Pederson and Saginaw. NOTE: There are many NON-USGI copies of the M1 Garand, 1903 Springfield and especially the M1 Carbine that CMP will be unable to work on.

CMP Custom Shop Garand 1903 repair

CMP Custom Shop Garand 1903 repairFor more information, call (256) 835-8455, x1113, or send email to customshop [at] thecmp.org. Shipping and Correspondence address for the CMP Custom Shop is:

CMP Custom Shop
1803 Coleman Rd
Anniston, AL 36207

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December 7th, 2016

American Marksman Championship at Talladega in January

American Marksman TV show Championship television Michael Bane Talladega CMP

The CMP’s Talladega Marksmanship Park will host the first-ever American Marksman National Championship January 6-8, 2017. This will be the culmination of a nationwide series of competitions for the Outdoor Channel’s new American Marksman television show. The January big-money National Championship gives amateur shooters the chance to win cash, gear and fame. The top shooter will win $50,000 and earn the title of “American Marksman”.

The American Marksman competition began in March 2016 with regional qualifiers at locations across the country. That was followed by nine Regional Championships. The process all comes to a high-stakes conclusion at the American Marksman National Championship in Talladega in January 2017. Top competitors from the nine Regional Championships are eligible to compete in the National Championship. Competitors are split into one of four divisions: Men’s Open, Women’s Open, Military/Law Enforcement, and Juniors. The entire process will be filmed for later broadcast on the Outdoor Channel.

CLICK for American Marksman National Championship INFO Page

American Marksman Competition Talladega CMP

American Marksman — A Nationwide Challenge Match
“If you ever wanted to enter a shooting competition and thought it was too intimidating or too expensive – then this is your chance to show the world what you’ve got,” said producer Michael Bane of the Outdoor Channel. “For only $20 at the local level, you get the chance to try to qualify with other amateurs in a relaxed, safe environment and the best of you will meet in a … National Championship with TV cameras rolling. The person who earns the title of ‘American Marksman’ walks away with $50,000.”

Course of Fire Remains Top Secret
The Course of Fire for the National event at Talladega will not be released until competitors arrive at the venue. Eligible participants receive a sheet outlining a list of skills to practice during the fall leading up to the match. The National Championship competitor will be awarded a check for $50,000, a prize package and the honor of being named the first American Marksman.

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November 22nd, 2016

Build Your Own Garand at CMP Advanced Maintenance Class

CMP AMC Class M1 Garand Maintenance Anniston Alabama Talladega Marksmanship Park

Want to build your own accurized M1 Garand? Then consider signing up for the CMP’s Advanced Maintenance Class (AMC), a 3-day program for students with mechanical aptitude and a desire to work on M1 Garand rifles. Each student will assemble his own CMP Special M1 Garand Rifle with a USGI receiver. This will be a “keeper” Garand that the AMC student takes home. Total cost for the 2017 AMC is $1830.00, which includes the cost of the rifle ($1030.00) plus tuition charges. Students must provide their own accommodations in Anniston, Alabama.

Registration is open for the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s (CMP) 2017 Advanced Maintenance Clinics. Interested persons may register now through December 2, 2016. NOTE: If you are interested in this program, apply soon — all spots in last year’s classes filled up quickly.

Each 3-Day Advanced Maintenance Class will be led by highly-qualified Custom Shop staff members. On the third day, students will visit the Talladega Marksmanship Park as VIP guests of the CMP. At Talladega, each AMC student will have a chance to fire the M1 Garand they built in the class, shooting at Talladega’s high-tech electronic targets.

CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park

CMP 2017 Advanced Maintenance Class (AMC) dates are:

January 24-26; January 27-29
March 14-16; March 17-19
August 15-17 (Buddy Class); August 18-20 (Buddy Class)
October 24-26; October 27-29

CMP AMC Class Garand M1 Talladega Marksmanship Park

This class is not intended for gunsmiths — no prior armorer experience is required. Students will assemble their own CMP Special rifle, which is included in the $1830.00 fee. Class topics will include:

– Commercial barrel installation, chambering, and headspace
— Component function, selection, and inspection
— Fitting and proper assembly of a complete CMP Special rifle
— Discussion of malfunctions and their remedies
— Accurizing techniques for the M1 Garand

How to Register
Applicants must register via the CMP Competition Tracker system website between November 21 and December 2, 2016. An electronic lottery will randomly assign the 20 available seats for each class date. CLICK HERE for more details.

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November 18th, 2016

CMP Committed to Perry — CMP Will Offer MORE Matches in 2018

CMP Camp Perry Ohio SAFS National Matches 2018 High Power Rifle

In response to the NRA’s just-revealed plans to move NRA High Power Rifle Matches away from Camp Perry starting in 2017, the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) has announced that it will offer MORE matches at the storied Camp Perry facility in 2018. CMP is demonstrating its commitment to Camp Perry, which has been the site of the National Matches since 1907.

Rimfire Sporter Camp Perry CMP

CMP Announces New Programs for 2018 National Matches

The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) is pleased to announce planning is underway for a number of new and exciting programs for the 2018 National Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio.

“In an effort to continue to attract new competitors and to reward the thousands who annually participate in our matches, the CMP will add new pistol, smallbore, high power rifle, and long range rifle matches in 2018,” said Mark Johnson, CMP Chief Operating Officer.

“A major part of our mission is to conduct competitions, provide marksmanship training and recognize competitors for their progress and achievements as has been done at the National Matches since 1903. Accordingly, we enthusiastically look forward to the opportunity to expand our role at the National Matches at Camp Perry. We are committed to Camp Perry and our published dates for events in 2017 remain set. We have invested in Camp Perry with electronic targets on Petrarca Range, the Bataan Armory, our headquarters building, the CMP North Store, and the Gary Anderson Competition Center.”

CMP Camp Perry Petrarca Range Electronic Targets

Planned enhancements include a new CMP High Power Ranking System which will provide a fair and accountable method of rewarding success on the firing line at every level of experience, above and beyond our current awards. New, challenging pistol and rifle matches will be added to the schedule. Greater shooting opportunities for women and junior competitors are being developed. Increased use of electronic targets is being considered for many events. A CMP Range Officer Certification and Licensing Program has been developed for pistol, rifle and airgun disciplines and will be introduced by year-end.

“The CMP will not waver in its mission of promoting firearm safety and marksmanship training with an emphasis on youth,” Johnson said. “The tradition of the National Matches at Camp Perry will continue, supported by the CMP and the Ohio National Guard, with or without the participation of other organizations.”

Get 2017 National Match Calendar Online
To get more info on the National Matches or to download a 2017 National Match Calendar, visit the CMP website at: http://thecmp.org/competitions/cmp-national-matches/.

CMP Camp Perry Ohio SAFS Small Arms Firing School
One of the important events at Camp Perry every summer is the Small Arms Firing School.

CMP Camp Perry EIC Pistol Match

CMP Camp Perry Ohio SAFS Small Arms Firing School
Shown is the CMP’s Camp Perry Competition Center with its 80-point electronic target air gun range.

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November 14th, 2016

CMP Now Accepting Scholarship Applications

CMP Scholarship

CMP ScholarshipThe Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) invites young men and women shooters to apply for CMP scholarships for the 2017-2018 school year. The CMP offers $1,000 one-year scholarships to current high school seniors. Since 2005, CMP has awarded over $1 million in scholarship grants. Last year, the CMP received a record-setting number of applications and awarded over $150,000 in scholarship money. Winning scholarship recipients came from JROTC programs, 4-H groups and other shooting clubs.

CMP Scholarships are based on merit. Selected individuals are high school seniors who are currently enrolled in a team or club that is participating in rifle or pistol marksmanship competitions. Applicants must provide rifle or pistol competition history, list of awards, and future goals in the shooting sports. Applicants must also provide academic GPA and an official high school transcript (3.0 Minimum GPA Required).

Applications are Being Accepted Now for 2017-2018
The CMP is now taking scholarship applications for the 2017-2018 freshman college year. Scholarships are one-year awards that may be used to fund any accredited, post-secondary education or vocational program. (Note: Students planning to enroll in a military academy are not eligible).

CMP Scholarship Regulations | 2017-2018 Scholarship Application Form.

The deadline for CMP Scholarship Application is March 20, 2017. Learn more about the program at the CMP Website Scholarship Page. If you have any questions, please contact Kathy Williams at 419-635-2141, ext. 709, or email kwilliams [@] thecmp.org.

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