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January 7th, 2022

CMP Introduces New Rifle and Pistol CMP League Matches

CMP League Match 2022

The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP), starting this month, have authorized CMP League Matches at CMP-affiliated clubs throughout the USA. This will give shooters the ability to enjoy CMP-type competitions at their local ranges. The new CMP League Match Program will be open to any CMP-Affiliated Clubs. Participants’ average scores will be computed by CMP’s Competition Tracker, with awards distributed to the top competitors from around the country.

Beginning January 2022, the CMP will sanction a series of simulated head-to-head rifle, pistol, and CMP Games events for competitors to participate in from their home ranges. A CMP sanctioned match is an event hosted or sponsored by a CMP affiliated organization, where match sponsors agree to use CMP Competition Rules in conducting CMP Highpower Rifle, CMP Pistol and CMP Games competitions. Types of League Matches and available timeframes will include:

Rifle: March 15 – June 15 and/or August 15 – November 15
50 shot National Match Course (Non-EIC) (Full or Reduced)
4X20 (80 shots, Individual) (Full or Reduced)

Pistol: Outdoor Pistol League May 1 – October 31; Indoor Pistol League November 1 – April 30
30 Shot National Match Pistol Course (full or reduced)
900 Pistol Aggregate (.22 Rimfire, Centerfire, .45 Caliber or Service Pistol)

CMP Games Type Match: March 15-June 15 and/or August 15 – November 15
30 Shot As-Issued Military Rifle Course | Carbine | Rimfire Sporter

CMP League Match 2022

How to Get Your Local Club Involved

Interested clubs will need to fill out an application and also submit a match program. Once approved, the match director will be sent a spreadsheet to record official scores that will be compared among other participating clubs. Fees for these events include $10 per league to sanction, plus $2 per competitor.

CMP League INFO, including applications and match instructions, can be found on the CMP website at CMP.org/competitions/cmp-league-matches. Or call CMP Competition Support at 419-635-2141, ext. 714.

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January 5th, 2022

New and Revised CMP Rules for 2022 Released

CMP 20222 high power service rifle airgun pistol competition rules highpower

CMP 2022 Competition Rules Are Now Available

Article based on report by Gary Anderson, DCM Emeritus
The CMP has posted updated 2022 rulebooks on the CMP website. The CMP competition program began in 1996 with two disciplines, Service Rifle and Service Pistol. CMP competitions have now grown to include separate disciplines for Service Rifle, Service Pistol, .22 Rimfire Pistol, Service Revolver, As-Issued Military Rifle (Garand, Springfield, Vintage Military Rifle, M1 Carbine, Modern Military Rifle, Vintage Sniper Rifle), As-Issued Pistol (M9, M1911, M&P Service Pistol) and Rimfire Sporter Rifle competitions where the CMP is the national governing body. The CMP also issues rules for Match Pistol (3-gun pistol), Long-Range and Mid-Range Rifle, Smallbore Rifle (position and prone), Air Rifle, and Air Pistol to govern events it conducts in conjunction with the National Matches, CMP Competition Games, and other match sanctioning programs.

To govern all these target rifle and pistol disciplines, the CMP now publishes five different rulebooks. Here are links to download the 2022 editions of these rulebooks:

2022 CMP Highpower Rifle Competition Rules (25th Edition — 2022)
2022 CMP Smallbore Rifle Competition Rules (4th Edition — 2022)
2022 CMP Air Rifle and Air Pistol Competition Rules (1st Edition — 2022)
2022 CMP Pistol Competition Rules (25th Edition — 2022)
2022 CMP Games Rifle and Pistol Competition Rules (9th Edition — 2022)

CMP 20222 high power service rifle airgun pistol competition rules highpower

If anyone has questions about any 2022 CMP Competitions Rulebooks, contact the CMP Competitions Department at competitions@thecmp.org or (419) 635-2141, ext. 714 or 729. For Smallbore Rule questions, contact (419) 635-2141, ext. 730 or bdonoho@thecmp.org. For Air Rifle/Air Pistol questions, please contact (419) 635-2141, ext. 702 or airgun@thecmp.org.

jonathan Ocab photographer
Photo courtesy Jonathan Ocab, who himself earned the Distinguished Rifleman Badge.

Here are the Highpower (Centerfire) and Smallbore (Rimfire) Rifle Rules Changes for 2022. Other changes (e.g. Pistol Rules Changes) are provided below that:

CMP HIGHPOWER RIFLE COMPETITION RULE CHANGES

The CMP Highpower Rifle program includes 1) traditional Service Rifle events conducted according to National Trophy Match rules (no sighters, starting rapid-fire series from standing), 2) Highpower Rifle events conducted according to CMP Cup Match rules (with sighters, starting rapid-fire in position), 3) Long-Range Rifle (prone and F-class events at 800, 900, and 1000 yards) and Mid-Range Rifle (prone and F-class events at 600 yards). The CMP program for Mid- and Long-Range competitions now includes: 1) Match Rifle Prone Long-Range, 2) Service Rifle Prone Long-Range, 2) F-Class Long-Range, 3) AR Tactical Long-Range, 4) Prone Mid-Range, F-Class Mid-Range 6) AR Tactical Mid-Range, and 7) Service Rifle Mid-Range events.

CMP 20222 high power service rifle airgun pistol competition rules highpower

There are no major changes in the 2022 Highpower Rifle rules, but there are several technical changes that competitors and match sponsors will want to note. For example, Eye and Ear Protection is now required during Pit Duty:

Rule H2.6.9. Residency requirements for National Trophy Team Matches were changed to allow competitors who live in states that do not enter teams to join and compete for a team from an adjoining state. Competitors who wish to take advantage of this authorization must apply to CMP Competitions for annual approvals.
Rule H3.6.2. The rule requiring the wearing of eye and hearing protection on active Highpower Rifle ranges was clarified to also require wearing eye and hearing protection when in Highpower Rifle target pits.
Rules H3.8.2 & H6.5. Firing times for rapid-fire series on electronic targets are clarified. To equalize firing times between pit-operated and electronic targets, 3 seconds are added to electronic target firing times to compensate for the time it takes for pit-operated targets to rise from the pits to their fully elevated positions.
Rule H3.9.3 c). The allowance for an extra sighter when CMP Cup Matches at 600 yards are interrupted for more than 3 minutes was extended to also apply in all Long-Range events at 800, 900, and 1000 yards.
Rule H3.10.1. A CMP sanctioned Highpower Rifle match may be fired on ranges that have both electronic and pit-operated targets if random squadding is used. A new rule clarifies that for Service Rifle EIC Matches, all Non-Distinguished competitors must fire on the same type of target.
Rule H3.10.9. A procedure for correcting scores recorded in error was added.
Rule H3.10.10 h). A procedure for handling shots that were inadvertently not recorded was added.
Rule H3.10.11 b). If there is a missing shot with no evidence of a crossfire or off-target miss and it is confirmed that the competitor fired all ten shots, the competitor will be given the score of the lowest value hit for the missing shot. The previous requirement that the nine visible hits all had to be nines or tens was dropped.
Rule H5.2.2. F-Class Mid-Range 600-yard 3×20 competitors will be allowed unlimited sighters before the first 20-shot stage.
Rule H6.6.6 d). A procedure was added for allowing a sighter in matches where electronic targets are used for events where an additional sighter may be authorized after an interruption.

CMP rule 2022 eyewear

SMALLBORE RIFLE COMPETITION RULE CHANGES

The first CMP Smallbore Rifle Competition rulebook was released in 2018. These rules were used to conduct National Matches Smallbore Rifle Position and Prone Championships in 2018, 2019 and 2021. (The 2020 Championship was cancelled due to covid.) One of the most encouraging 2021 National Matches developments was an increase in competitors in the National Matches Smallbore Rifle Position Championship and the high percentage of those competitors who were juniors. Entries were up 44%, with 137 competitors. An impressive 88% of those competitors were juniors!

There are no significant Smallbore Rifle rule changes for 2022, but there are a couple of program developments to note:

Smallbore Rifle Distinguished Badges. Smallbore Distinguished Badges were introduced in 2020, but Covid prevented this new award opportunity from getting off the ground. With a new Camp Perry Open Smallbore Rifle event in May, the National Matches Smallbore Championship in July, and the expectation that there will be sanctioned Smallbore EIC Matches in 2022, the first presentation of Smallbore Distinguished Badges could occur in the coming year.

Smallbore Position Course of Fire. The CMP Smallbore Rifle rulebook mandates that Smallbore Rifle Position EIC Matches be 3×40 120-shot courses of fire, but if the pending ISSF change to 3×20 three-position events is finalized, CMP Smallbore Position EIC Matches likely will be changed to recognize 3×20 courses of fire as EIC Matches later in 2022.

Junior Age Limit Change. Since the Smallbore Rifle matches attract a high percentage of juniors, the age group rule change that extends junior eligibility to the day of a competitor’s 21st birthday, intermediate junior eligibility to the 18th birthday and sub-junior eligibility to the 15th birthday will impact many juniors who compete in these matches.

(more…)

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December 21st, 2021

Position Shooting Fundamentals — Good Article by Gary Anderson

rimfire sporter position shooting Gary Anderson

Want to learn the basics of position shooting? Then you should check out an article by Gary Anderson, DCM Emeritus, in On the Mark digital magazine (Summer 2014, pp. 6-13). This article covers all the key elements: body position (prone, sitting, standing), sling use/adjustment, sight picture, aiming process, and trigger control. While this 8-page article was specifically written for Rimfire Sporter shooters, the techniques described by Anderson apply to all types of position shooting, whether you shoot air rifles, smallbore rifles, or centerfire rifles.

CLICK HERE for Position Shooting Article in On The Mark Magazine
NOTE: This is a large PDF Document — it may take some time to fully load. Scroll to page 6-13.

Here’s what Anderson says about aiming — how to keep your sights steady and get them centered on the middle of the target:

Trigger Contact and Center
rimfire sporter position shooting Gary AndersonAs soon as aiming at the target begins, the index finger must move from the trigger-guard to contact the trigger. It is important to get initial pressure on the trigger as soon as aiming begins. Then the shooter must focus on the sight picture and centering the sight picture movements over the aiming point. No one, not even champion shooters, can hold the aligned sights perfectly still. The sights are going to move a little bit or a lot, depending on the shooter’s skill level. The secret is to center those sight picture movements over the aiming point on the target (see trace illustration) before pulling the trigger.

When the sight picture movements on the target are centered, the last step in firing the shot is to add… smooth pressure on the trigger until the shot breaks.

Anderson also discusses the 5 Basics of Shot Technique:

rimfire sporter position shooting Gary Anderson

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December 15th, 2021

Young Katrina Demerle Wins 4th Straight Anderson Invitational

Teen four peat GAI Gary Anderson Invitational air rifle match Katrina winnner

Katrina Demerle, 17, of Hamilton, Ohio, is a living legend of the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s (CMP) Gary Anderson Invitational. Katrina has now claimed four straight overall wins in the junior air rifle event in 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021. That’s four straight titles for the talented Katrina. And she could make it five in 2022: “I will be back to try to win again next year!”.

Teen four peat GAI Gary Anderson Invitational air rifle match Katrina winnner

Over 340 athletes competed in the 2021 match, held annually at the 80-point electronic air gun ranges at the CMP Competition Centers at Camp Perry, Ohio and Anniston, Alabama. This is a three-position (3P) match with shooters firing from prone, standing. and kneeling positions.

Teen four peat GAI Gary Anderson Invitational air rifle match Katrina winnner

Last year, Demerle fired a national Precision Individual 3×20 plus Final record score of 701.4 using her Pardini GPR1. Shooting 700.6 overall this year with the same Pardini air rifle (which she named “Giorgio”), Katrina took top spot in the precision category. “There was a little bit of added pressure [this year] since I wanted to have another consecutive win and also wanted to beat my national record from last year.”

Competing in nearly 400 matches since 2014, the talented young athlete is a member of the USA Shooting National Junior Team for both international and three-position air rifle. Before the GAI, she had already recorded a memorable year — earning second at the Junior Olympic 3P National Championships and the overall top score at the CMP 3P National Championships, becoming the overall winner at the Junior World Championship in Lima, Peru, and winning the Junior Air Rifle National Championship in international air rifle. And the talented Ms. Eberle currently holds six national records in total.

Katrinia has nicknamed her Pardini GPR1 Air Rifle “Georgio”:
Teen three peat GAI Gary Anderson Invitational air rifle match Katrina winnner
CLICK HERE for large Pardini GPR1 photo.

Finishing second behind Demerle in the precision individual competition was Isabella Baldwin, 17, of Nashville, Tennessee, with a score of 697.8. Gracie Dinh, 15, of Starkville, Mississippi, fired 693.9 for third.

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December 5th, 2021

Sunday Gunday: Let Santa Bring You a CMP M1 Garand

CMP marksmanship program M1 Garand store order rifle vintage .30-06

We think every serious vintage rifle collector should acquire an M1 Garand at some point. If you ordered from the CMP this fall, perhaps you may find an historic M1 Garand under your Christmas tree this year. The CMP has, in the past couple of years, received over 90,000 Garands from overseas arsenals, so there are plenty to be had currently. This article explains how to order an M1 Garand from the CMP, and how to select the right grade for your needs and budget.

How to Order an M1 Garand from the CMP
To purchase an M1 Garand through the CMP, you must be an adult U.S. Citizen, and a member of an affiliated organization who has participated in a “Marksmanship Activity”. This basically means you need to join a gun club and participate in a clinic or match. Proof of club membership and citizenship is mandatory for all ages. However, the marksmanship requirement is waived for those over 60 years of age. Garands must be ordered by mail or through official CMP Auctions. CLICK HERE to Start Order.

Garand Turkish Turkey Philippines

CLICK HERE for Garand Ordering Information | CLICK HERE for Eligibility Requirements

CLICK HERE for Garand Grading Information

CMP Civilian Marksmanship Program M1 Garand Christmas Rifle
This handsome M1 Garand was built with a CMP barreled action fitted to an aftermarket figured Walnut stock. That’s not war-worn GI wood.”

Here are two videos that explain the procedure for ordering an M1 Garand from the CMP. Along with mail-order sales, the CMP has brick-and-mortar stores where M1 Garands can be inspected and purchased and then transferred via your FFL (in compliance with state law). The three CMP stores are located in Anniston, Alabama; Talladega, Alabama; and Port Clinton (Camp Perry), Ohio.

CMP marksmanship program M1 Garand store order rifle vintage .30-06

M1 Garand Barreled Actions and Aftermarket Barrels

CMP Civilian Marksmanship Program M1 Garand Christmas Rifle

Along with complete M1 Garand rifles, the CMP also offers barreled actions. This can save you money, and also makes sense if you are looking to create a rifle with high-grade wood, or you want to bed the action for improved accuracy. You can order an M1 Garand barreled action, as well as complete M1 Garand rifles, from the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP). The eligibility requirements and ordering process will be the same for a barreled action as for a complete rifle.

If you already have an M1 Garand, but need a new barrel, you can order a pre-chambered Criterion barrel in .30-06 Springfield. Criterion tell us: “This is a direct replacement barrel for the M1 Garand rifle, manufactured to Mil-spec print #6535448. It has the original G.I. contour and Parkerized finish. Receiver threads are timed, all milling cuts are made, and all M1 Garand barrels are hand-lapped.” NOTE: Each barrel is .010 short-chambered and should be headspaced by a qualified gunsmith. These Criterion .30-06 replacement barrels, priced at $259.95, are legal for use in Service Rifle and John C. Garand matches.

m1 Garand Rifle Barrels CMP Criterion

If you want to re-chamber your M1 Garand to .308 Winchester, the CMP eStore sells brand new Criterion-made barrels in .308 Win for $199.95. These authentic-profile barrels are chambered and headspaced within .010″ of finished size, with final fitting to be done by a competent gunsmith. The barrels are also externally Parkerized to match your vintage M1 Garand.

New Criterion M1 Garand (.308 Win) RIFLE Barrel, 4140 Chrome Moly Steel
Item: 065CRI/308 | Price $199.95

How to Maintain the M1 Garand Rifle

Once you have an M1 Garand in your collection, you’ll want to keep it in tip-top condition so it works flawlessly for vintage military matches and fun shooting. Below we’ve linked two good SSUSA articles on M1 Garand maintenance. Following that you’ll find two excellent videos covering M1 Garand Disassembly, Cleaning, and Lubrication. Finally there are links to recommended print manuals for the M1 Garand.

M1 Service and Maintenance
Shooting Sports USA (SSUSA) published an excellent article on Service and Maintenance of M1 Garand Rifles. This offers some smart tricks, such as using smoke from burning masking tape to darken the front sight post. There is also an older SSUSA article that covers basic cleaning and servicing and also explains how to upgrade the performance of your Garands. READ Article HERE.

M1 Garand maintenance procedures

As a resource for Garand owners, SSUSA recommends GarandGear.com: “[At] Garand Gear you’ll find USGI spec parts, tools, gauges, clips and a few Garand accessories. They also have some interesting freebies, most notably a direct analysis of M1 gas port pressures produced by different brands of commercial .30-06 ammunition, showing which ones exceed M2 Ball pressure, as well as the pressures produced by ammo manufactured specifically for the M1 Garand, such as Hornady’s M1 Garand Match and Federal’s American Eagle M1 Garand. Here you’ll also find free, downloadable and printable PDF copies of War Department M1 Garand maintenance manuals TM9-1275 and TM9-1005.”

m1 Garand Rifle Barrels CMP Criterion

M1 Garand Disassembly, Cleaning, and Lubrication

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December 3rd, 2021

Great Resource for Vintage Military Rifle Shooters

Gary Anderson CMP Director shooting vintage military rifle training book

CMP Guide to Target Shooting with Vintage Military Rifles
The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) now offers VMR: Target Shooting With Vintage Military Rifles, an instructional guide by Gary Anderson, Director of Civilian Marksmanship Emeritus. Gary himself was a world-class marksman who earned two Olympic Gold medals in rifle shooting.

The CMP says this 284-page illustrated book is “likely the most comprehensive manuscript ever written about the methods of training and competing with popular American and foreign vintage military rifles.” Fans of vintage military rifles will likely find this 18-chapter book “to be the most complete coverage of the topic, from a competitor’s and historian’s point of view”, said Christie Sewell, CMP Programs Chief. The book is up-to-date, having been released in early 2021.

Anderson definitely has the credentials — he won Olympic Gold Medals in Tokyo and Mexico City in the 1960s. Gary also set multiple U.S. and international records. The originator of the CMP’s competitive vintage rifle program, Anderson set out to present a detailed manual covering all aspects of shooting vintage military rifles. The book covers 1903 Springfield, U.S. Krag, 1917 U.S. Enfield, M1 Garand, M1 Carbine and many more, including rifles from “across the pond.”

Target Shooting With Vintage Military Rifles Topics:

Origins and Fundamentals of Marksmanship
Operation, Cleaning, Loading & Unloading
Sight Adjustment, Zeroing & Fine Tuning
Highpower Rifle Match Procedures
Firing Rifles in Competition

Prone, Sitting and Standing Position Building
Using a Scorebook/Databook
Strategies for Improvement
Critical Value of the Sling
Rifle and Range Safety

Gary Anderson CMP Director shooting vintage military rifle training book

Purchase Online at CMP E-Store (When Available)
This informative Gary Anderson book is sold through the CMP E-Store for $29.95. You can also print out and submit the CMP Publications order form (order item NLU # 792, $29.95). The CMP stores in Alabama and Ohio also carry this Gary Anderson book. Unfortunately it is currently back-ordered on the E-Store.

Gary Anderson CMP Director shooting vintage military rifle training book

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November 15th, 2021

Coaching Young Rifle Shooters — Gary Anderson Book

Gary Anderson Coaching Juniors Training Manual CMP

Young shooters are the future of our sport. We need to encourage young people to try shooting and develop an interest in marksmanship at a young age. Thankfully one of America’s legendary shooters, DCM Emeritus Gary Anderson, has created a great training resource, published by the CMP.

Gary Anderson’s book, Coaching Young Rifle Shooters, fills an important need. Anderson, one of the most successful American marksmen in history, has created a fully-illustrated guide to help parents and coaches train young shooters. This 187-page, full-color book is the most comprehensive instructional guide of its kind currently in print. In his training guidebook, Gary provides coaches with the tools needed to develop young shooters and improve their skills. In his 11 years of international competition, Gary won two Olympic gold medals, seven World Championships, and 16 national titles.

Gary Anderson Coaching Book

Coaching Young Rifle Shooters
By Gary Anderson

Instructional and teaching guide for coaches and parents who work with beginning and intermediate junior rifle shooters.

187 pages, full color.
Fully Illustrated.
$20.95 plus S&H

CMP Store
Item NLU 758

Order through the CMP E-Store.

About Gary Anderson
DCM CMP Gary AndersonGary Anderson served as the Director of the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) from 1999-2009, and is now DCM Emeritus. At the 1962 World Shooting Championships in Egypt, Anderson won four individual titles and set three new world records. At the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, Gary won the 300m free-rifle Gold Medal, setting a new world record in the process. At the 1966 World Shooting Championships in Germany, Anderson won three additional world titles. At the 1968 Olympics, Gary won a second gold medal in the 300m free-rifle event.

Gary retired from active international competition after the 1969 World Championships in Spain, where he set a 50m, three-position world record. After his “retirement” from international competition, Gary competed in the National High Power Championships, winning the President’s National Trophy in 1973, 1975 and 1976. Over his competitive career, Anderson won two Olympic Gold Medals, seven World Championships, and sixteen National Championships. No American has ever won more major shooting titles.

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November 10th, 2021

Big Talladega 600 Match Next Week, November 15-21

Talladega 600 alabama november 2021

One of the biggest combined vintage military, service rifle, High Power, and pistol matches of the year, the CMP’s Talladega 600 takes place next week at the Talladega Marksmanship Park in Alabama. The event has been designed to appeal to rifle and pistol enthusiasts alike, providing a wide variety of marksmanship opportunities for competitors from around the country. Informational clinics, including the GSM Master Instructor Course and a Rifle Marksmanship 101 (with M16 EIC Match), offer an educational experience for both new and advanced marksmen.

Talladega 600 PROGRAM | REGISTRATION | MATCH SCHEDULE

Talladega 600 alabama november 2021

Talladega 600 alabama november 2021

The Talladega 600 will include a wide variety of popular CMP Matches:
BENCHREST GARAND MATCH
RIFLE MARKSMANSHIP 101/M16 MATCH
PISTOL MARKSMANSHIP 101/M9 MATCH
GARAND/SPRINGFIELD/VINTAGE/MODMIL MATCH
CONGRESSIONAL 30
RIFLE EIC MATCH
4-MAN TEAM MATCH
CARBINE MATCH
RIMFIRE SPORTER BENCHREST MATCH
HIGH POWER DIXIE DOUBLE MATCH
VINTAGE SNIPER TEAM MATCH
RIMFIRE SPORTER MATCH
M1A MATCH
CMP MATCH PISTOL 2700
CMP AS-ISSUED 1911 PISTOL MATCH
MILITARY & POLICE PISTOL MATCH
CMP .22 RIMFIRE PISTOL EIC MATCH
EIC PISTOL MATCH

Additional events include versions of prestigious National Trophy Matches, such as the Congressional 30 (with the same Course of Fire as the President’s 100 Match) and the Dixie Double Highpower Match (mirrored off of the Hearst Doubles Match).

Online REGISTRATION

Match Program

Download an Entry Form

Match Schedule

Live Targets

Area ACCOMODATIONS

This video has interesting aerial drone footage of the Talladega Marksmanship Park

2021 Talladega 600 CMP georgia marksmanship park
Two Benchrest matches will be held during the Talladega 600 — a Benchrest Garand Match and a new Rimfire Sporter Benchrest Match.

Pistol Matches Are Always Popular
Many participants enjoy the Talladega 600 because they can compete with pistols between rifle matches. More Guns = More Fun. The Talladega 600 includes .22 Rimfire EIC and Service Pistol EIC matches, along with As-Issued 1911 and Military & Police pistol matches.

2021 Talladega 600 CMP georgia marksmanship park

Advanced Electronic Target Systems — So No Pit Duty Required

Talladega 600 alabama november garand GSMM 2021

Kongsberg target systems are used at the Talladega Marksmanship Park. Each firing point of the 500-acre facility is equipped with a state-of-the-art KTS electronic target and scoring monitor. This speeds up relays and eliminates the need for competitors to do pit duty to pull and mark targets. Located beside the shooter on the firing line, each monitor allows the competitor to see his/her shot location and score immediately.

Talladega 600 alabama november garand GSMM 2021

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October 20th, 2021

Talladega 600 Southern Classic on Shooting USA TV Today

CMP Marksmanship program talladega park 600 match

Today, October 20, 2021 Shooting USA TV features the Talladega 600 held this past January. Shooting USA notes: “Competition is back, as America gets back to normal again. For the Civilian Marksmanship Program … the Talladega 600 brought competitors from across the country — all glad to be back shooting. Dozens of competitors are on the line at the Talladega Marksmanship Park, the impressive home range of the CMP.”

Shooting USA noted that this event was a welcome return to normalcy: “After a year of cancelled competition, the Talladega 600 offered days of shooting in matches for most everything you might own, from rimfire to High Power. That had shooters from across the country emptying their gun-safes, and driving down to Alabama to shoot.” After being postponed due to storm damage from Hurricane Zeta, the CMP’s 2020 Talladega 600 event was rescheduled to January 2021.

SHOOTING USA TV Air Times
View Shooting USA on the Outdoor Channel: Wednesdays 9:00 PM (Eastern and Pacific); 8:00 PM Central.
NOTE: If you miss the 10/20/2021 broadcast, you can still view the show on Vimeo for a small 99-cent fee, or just $1.99 per month unlimited. LINK HERE: Shooting USA on Vimeo.

About the Talladega 600 — Southern Classic

The Talladega 600, “A Southern Classic”, is held annually. Though typically fired in November, the 2020 Talladega 600 was rescheduled to January 2021, due to storm damage from Hurricane Zeta. This year, matches included Garand, Springfield, M1A, Carbine and Vintage/Modern rifle events, and versions of prestigious National Trophy Rifle Matches. There was also an Excellence-In-Competition (EIC) match, 4-Man Team match, and .22 Rimfire Sporter match.

CMP Marksmanship program talladega park 600 November match

NEW Garand Benchrest and Rimfire Sporter Benchrest Matches
Two new types of matches were conducted at January’s Talladega 600: a Benchrest Garand Match and a Rimfire Sporter Benchrest Match. Competitors at these events can use sandbags to support their rifles. The Benchrest Garand match was very popular, and is likely to become a regular event.

CMP Marksmanship program talladega park 600 match

Pistol Matches Were Popular
The Talladega 600 included .22 Rimfire EIC and Service Pistol EIC matches, along with As-Issued 1911 and Military & Police matches.

CMP Marksmanship program talladega park 600 match

CMP Talledega D-Day Garand Match
State-of-the-art Kongsberg target systems are used at the CMP’s Talladega Marksmanship Park.

About Talladega Marksmanship Park
The 500-acre CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park is one of the most advanced outdoor shooting facilities in the Western Hemisphere. The facility includes a 600-yard rifle range, a 100-yard multi-purpose range, and a 50-yard pistol range, equipped with Kongsberg electronic targets and scoring monitors. Since the 54 targets at each line register hits and calculate the scores instantly, no pit duty is required at Talladega. The park regularly hosts rifle, pistol and shotgun events throughout the year.

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October 9th, 2021

Oklahoma CMP Games & HP Matches October 17-24, 2021

Oklahoma games CMP garand carbine rimfire sporter training

The Oklahoma CMP Games & CMP HP Rifle Matches will be held October 17-24, 2021 at the Oklahoma City Gun Club. The CMP Highpower Match schedule includes two CMP 800 Aggregate Matches followed by a 4-Man Team Match and EIC Service Rifle Match. Following the HP matches are the CMP Games events. The CMP Games Matches include Rifle Marksmanship 101 & M16 Match (formerly SAFS), GSMM Matches, Carbine Match, Rimfire Sporter Match, and Vintage Sniper Team Match. If you’re anywhere near Oklahoma City next week you might want to check out the action.

Oklahoma games CMP garand carbine rimfire sporter training

NOTE: The CMP’s Oklahoma Games are not just for seasoned competitors. There will be a Small Arms Firing School plus a New Shooter Clinic for those who have never shot a CMP Games match before. And the Rimfire Sporter match is popular with novice shooters, who can can compete with very affordable rifles.

Oklahoma games CMP garand carbine rimfire sporter training

Oklahoma CMP Games Resources

CMP Games - Oklahoma

Oklahoma CMP Games General INFO

Oklahoma CMP Games Program

2021 Online Registration

Printable Entry Form

2021 Schedule

Area Accommodations

Directions to OKC Gun Club

Photos from CMP Oklahoma Games

Electronic Targets Allow Faster Relays and No Pit Duty!
The High Power range will be set up with Kongsberg Electronic Targets (KTS). The KTS system registers each shot and relays the location and score value to a monitor beside each shooter on the firing line. Wireless monitors are placed at each firing point so competitors can immediately view their shot placements. Scores are tallied automatically by the KTS system.

Oklahoma games CMP garand carbine rimfire sporter training
Oklahoma games CMP garand carbine rimfire sporter training

GSM New Shooter Clinic Plus M1 Maintenance Clinic
There will also be a GSM New Shooter Clinic and an M1 Maintenance Clinic held during the week. CMP Sales will be at the event with a limited supply of rifles. Ammunition and CMP memorabilia will also be available for purchase.

VINTAGE SNIPER MATCH — Wednesday, October 20th
The 2021 Oklahoma Games will include the popular Vintage Sniper Team Match. Competitors must use Korean War or earlier, as-issued military sniper rifles or replicas of those rifles. Optics must also be original issue or replica scopes from the same period. The CMP Games Rules lists the approved rifles and optics.

Camp Perry Vintage Sniper match Oklahoma

The course of fire is designed to reproduce the conditions under which skilled long-range military riflemen operated. Two riflemen work together as a team. During the match, each team member functions alternately as a shooter or a spotter. After one team member finishes firing, they switch roles and the other team member fires. Firing is done at distances of 300 and 600 yards from the prone position. Shooters may use either a sling or sand bag support, but not both. Wind doping is critical and firing must be done quickly; targets are exposed for each shot for only 20 seconds and then withdrawn for 20 seconds.

Pistol Competitions for Centerfire and Rimfire
There are also several pistol matches including CMP As-Issued 1911 Pistol Match, Military & Police Service Pistol Match, 40 Shot Pistol Match, EIC Service Pistol Match, CMP .22 Rimfire Pistol EIC Match and Pistol 2-Man Team Match. A Pistol Marksmanship 101 training class will also be held.

Oklahoma games CMP garand carbine rimfire sporter training

About the CMP Travel Games
The CMP Travel Games are regional competitions held in different corners of the country throughout the year, featuring exclusive CMP rifle and pistol outdoor events. A common part of the CMP schedule for the last decade, the Games are centered around recreation-oriented competition and educational activities that are designed to accommodate experienced marksmen as well as those just beginning the sport.

For more information about the Oklahoma CMP Games, email Competitions@TheCMP.org or call 888-267-0796, ext. 714.

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September 9th, 2021

Top Shooters Teach Marksmanship at Camp Perry Nat’l Matches

CMP National Matches Camp Perry Brandon Green USAMU marksmanship training

This article recognizes the efforts of military men and women who teach others shooting skills and preserve the proud traditions of American marksmanship.

The National Matches at Camp Perry, a staple in the marksmanship world for over 100 years, include many excellent training clinics taught by military teams as well as CMP instructors. The CMP offers an entire lineup of educational courses for those new to the sport and those eager to develop their skills. The types of rifle and pistol courses span from junior to adult, competitive to maintenance and everything in between. Along with classes taught by CMP staffers, other courses are taught by military personnel, including many past and current National Champions and record-holders.

Small Arms Firing School Led by 3-Time Nat’l HP Champion SSG Brandon Green
This year, the Small Arms Firing School was directed by many top-flight marksmen from a number of military teams. The rifle classroom portion was led by the USAMU’s SFC Brandon Green (shown below), a 3-Time National High Power Champion who holds multiple national records including a perfect score in the President’s Rifle event.

CMP National Matches Camp Perry Brandon Green USAMU marksmanship training

CMP National Matches Camp Perry Brandon Green USAMU marksmanship training
The 2021 Rifle Small Arms Firing School helped train over 250 individuals on the range.

Out on the line, world-class shooters such as SSG Amanda Elsenboss and MAJ Samuel Freeman, the 2021 winner of the President’s Rifle Match, brought their knowledge and experience into one-on-one training with participants. Elsenboss is one of America’s greatest shooters. She recently won the 2021 National High Power Championship at Camp Atterbury, after winning the National Long-Range Championship in 2019.

“Having those world-class shooters serve as instructors is an honor and one the students should remember always”, Cooper added.

U.S. Marine Corps Junior Clinic
The Marine Corps junior clinic, guided by MAJ Martinez (USMC Shooting Team Officer), is always a big hit with up-and-coming young rifle shooters. CMP Training Manager Steve Cooper noted: “It was great to see so many enthusiastic young people, who revere the Marine Corps Shooting Team, come out and take advantage of the instruction at this year’s clinic.”

The 3-day clinic includes more advanced training beyond fundamentals, including weather conditions, how to read wind, equipment use, shooting positions, and rulebook standards. Juniors in the clinic spend one day in the classroom, followed by two days of live-fire on the range at 200, 300, and 600 yards.

Marine corps junior clinic CMP National Matches Camp Perry Brandon Green USAMU marksmanship training

“We talk to them and try to understand them, what they struggle with as individuals and their process,” Cooper said of the USMC’s training technique. “We try to give them tiny, little fixes to what they already have going on.”

GySgt Daniel Rhodes, the staff non-commissioned officer in charge of the Marine Corps Rifle Team, helped lead instruction on the firing line in 2021. Rhodes was pleased with the turnout of around 80 juniors. Rhodes explained that around 25 percent of the juniors in the clinic were first-timers.

Team CMP Advanced High Power Clinic:
Led by members of Team CMP (the organization’s own competitive High Power squad) the Advanced High Power Clinic offers more complex instruction in service rifle competition techniques using classroom and range discussion. Though the class traditionally only utilizes dry-fire training on the range, in 2021, a 600-yard live-fire portion was added.

CMP National Matches Camp Perry Brandon Green USAMU marksmanship training
The Advanced High Power Clinic, led by Team CMP members including Bob Gil (above), provides advanced training on wind reading, mental management and more.

With 65 individuals signed up, the course was broken into groups headed by Sara Rozanski, James Fox, Nick Till, Danny Arnold, Robert Taylor and Bob Gil — all experienced and award-winning marksmen. Each focused on a specific area, such as wind reading, mental management and positioning.

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July 24th, 2021

USAMU Hosts Rimfire Small Arms Firing School at Camp Perry

CMP USAMU SFC Brandon Green SAFS small arms rimfire firing school camp perry
Junior shooter receives instruction from 3-time National High Power Champion SFC Brandon Green. This kid is a lucky young fellow — you won’t find a more qualified instructor than SFC Green!

The USAMU Service Rifle Team recently arrived at Camp Perry. Today, the day before the big National Rimfire Sporter Match, USAMU team instructors conducted a Small Arms Firing School session for rimfire shooters. This was done in cooperation with the CMP, which will host hundreds of Rimfire Sporter shooters tomorrow July 25, 2021. Today, the CMP conducted the official Rimfire Sporter Check-In. Competitors had their rifles weighed and triggers tested. To ensure that expensive match rifles don’t dominate the competition, all Rimfire Sporter rifles are limited to 7.5 pounds overall weight while the rifles’ triggers must break at 3.0 pounds or higher.

CMP USAMU SFC Brandon Green SAFS small arms rimfire firing school camp perry
CMP USAMU SFC Brandon Green SAFS small arms rimfire firing school camp perry
CMP USAMU SFC Brandon Green SAFS small arms rimfire firing school camp perry

The USAMU posted: “If you think things are a little too quiet around here, hang in there because High Power shooting will begin next week.”

SSG Brandon Green

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July 20th, 2021

Creedmoor Sports Opens Store on Camp Perry’s Commercial Row

Creedmoor Sports Camp Perry

The folks at Creedmoor Sports are reviving a tradition this week — opening an “outlet store” on Commercial Row at Camp Perry. To serve shooters at the National Matches, Creedmoor Sports loaded a large truck with shooting gear and accessories and headed North to the shores of Lake Erie. Over the past few days, Creedmoor’s team has been unpacking the gear and setting it up.

Camp Perry commercial row

The Creedmoor Sports store at Camp Perry opened today July 20, 2021. On Creedmoor’s Facebook Page, the crew posted: “Almost everything is unboxed and we’re on track to open our Camp Perry store[.]”

Creedmoor Sports Camp Perry
Creedmoor Sports Camp Perry
Creedmoor Sports Camp Perry

Top Creedmoor Sports Products

Creedmoor Sports Rifle Case

Creedmoor Sports Camp Perry

Creedmoor Range Cart
Creedmoor Sports Camp Perry
Creedmoor Deluxe Canvas Shooting Coat
Creedmoor Sports Camp Perry
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July 7th, 2021

High Power Rifle Competition on Shooting USA Today

Shooting Usa service high power cmp rifles

This week’s Shooting USA TV episode features CMP High Power competition. High Power Rifle, sometimes called XTC from “Across the Course”, is a shooting sport using centerfire (aka “fullbore”) target rifles. Major High Power matches are run by the CMP and NRA, as well as state rifle groups. The sport is divided into classes by equipment, and popular classifications include Service Rifle, and Open Class. This episode of Shooting USA focuses on High Power competition at the Talladega Marksmanship Park in Alabama.

This episode of Shooting USA airs Wednesday, July 7, 2021, 9:00 PM Eastern and Pacific, 8:00 PM Central on the Outdoor Channel. Shooting USA is also available On Demand via Vimeo.com.

This week Shooting USA TV features CMP High Power competition from the Talladega Marksmanship facility in Alabama. High Power is a challenging discipline that requires high accuracy in the rifle and great marksmanship skills in three positions — standing, sitting/kneeling, and prone. The CMP competition involves slow- and rapid-fire at 200, 300, and 600 yards in all three positions. There are separate Service Rifle and Open divisions.

Service Rifle High Power

Young 15-year-old Tyler Fisher from Arizona shot superbly at the 2020 CMP Western Games Match in Phoenix (Ben Avery). His impressive marksmanship secured second place overall (and High Junior) at the Western Games EIC Match shooting Service Rifle, a subclass of High Power.

High Power highpower cmp shooting use rifle

Camp Perry AR15 Tubegun High Power Space Gun Tubb 2000 Rifle Standing
High Power Open division Tubb 2000 with a shortened handguard, and custom hand support bracket forward of mag well.

HIGHPOWER CLINICS
The CMP conducts a number of High Power clinics each year. The CMP offers a pair of High Power clinics in conjunction with the U.S. Marine Corps Rifle Team and members of the Remington-Bushmaster rifle team. There is a Junior Clinic as well as an advanced High Power clinic. Both focus on service rifle disciplines.

USAMU PRO TIP: Bullseye Pistol Competition

In addition to the High Power rifle feature, this week’s Shooting USA episode has a good USAMU Pro Tips segment about bullseye pistols. Staff Sergeant Ryan Franks with the USAMU Service Pistol Team shows the fundamentals of bullseye shooting, the classic pistol competition shot from a one-handed standing position. In this Pro Tip, SSG Franks focuses on proper stance and grip.

Shooting usa usamu bullseye pistol competition grip stance handgun


Shooting USA Garand Presidents 100
Shooting USA will air Wednesday, July 7, 2021, at 9:00 PM Eastern and Pacific (8:00 PM Central) on the Outdoor Channel. Shooting USA is also available On Demand via Vimeo.com. Watch a single episode for $0.99, or get a full-month subscription for $3.99 and watch as many shows as you like with limited commercial interruptions.

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June 22nd, 2021

14-Year-Old Earns First EIC Points in Pursuit of Distinguished

Firing school small arms Camp Perry

At a recent Miami Rifle & Pistol Club (MRPC) match in Ohio, a talented young lady, Madelyn Schnelle, earned her very first Excellence-In-Competition (EIC) points. This was a key step in her journey toward the coveted Distinguished Rifleman Badge.

At the MRPC match, held June 5-6, 2021, Madelyn gained her EIC points by placing second among Non-Distinguished competitors with a score of 480-14X. This is an impressive performance for a relative newcomer. Though she just started High Power competition in May of 2020, Madelyn is now maintaining a Master-level average. Madelyn competed in her first marksmanship match in May 2020 and has gone on to reach Expert classifications for both the CMP and the NRA.

During the 2020-21 winter, Madelyn trained with a SCATT electro-optics training device and a Compass Lake .22 Rimfire upper. Since getting back into competition in the spring of 2021, Marilyn has done great. This May she achieved her personal best, shooting 788-25X in an 80-shot event. Then, at an NRA Midrange Prone match at Wildcat Valley R&PC, she WON the match with an impressive 598-26X.

Grand-Dad Shoots with Grand-Daughter on Same Team
Dave Schnelle, Madelyn’s grandfather, is also a competitive shooter. At the same June MRPC match Dave had reason to celebrate. Along with finishing second overall in the Distinguished category of the EIC Match, he was able to watch his granddaughter earn her first EIC Points. Having earned his own Distinguished Badge in 2006, Dave is proud of his granddaughter: “In my 22 years of shooting High Power, I’ve never had so much fun! Madelyn’s progress is a testament to the fact that this is a learned skill, and with dedication, hard work and some good coaching, you can achieve remarkable results”. Dave and Madelyn often practice and travel together as members of the Wildcat Valley Rifle & Pistol Club.

Firing school small arms Camp PerryAbout the Distinguished Badge
The Distinguished Badge is a distinct honor for any marksman. The badge, available for a variety of disciplines, is awarded after scoring within the top percentage of participants in an EIC-designated event and netting the accompanying EIC points — with 30 points needed overall. Shown at right is the Distinguished Rifleman Badge awarded for rifle marksmanship excellence.

Learn about the CMP’s Distinguished Badge Program.

Madelyn Heads to Camp Perry Next Month

Firing school small arms Camp Perry

Madelyn will be making her first trip to the Camp Perry National Matches in July 2021. “She is a VERY upbeat person”, Grandad Dave noted, “She really brings a ray of sunshine to the firing line, and competitors love her light-heartedness and joking”. Madelyn is the oldest of six kids. Living on 80 acres of woods and trails, she loves the outdoors and enjoys hunting, fishing, and riding dirt bikes with her siblings. Her father, Matthew Schnelle, also shoots High Power matches.

Camp Perry 2021

This July Madelyn will go to Camp Perry in Ohio for the National Matches. She will participate in the the Small Arms Firing School (see below), team matches, and CMP Games events.

Firing school small arms Camp Perry

Praise for Madelyn from Another Lady Shooter

Dr. Paula Crenshaw, who earned her own Distinguished badge at age 67, praised young Madelyn:

“Congratulations Madelyn! Great score! I shot my first rifle at age 12 at summer camp and loved it, but it took me until my 50s to start shooting competitively. I wish I’d had an awesome grandfather like yours to guide me. Hope to see you at Camp Perry!

Glad to hear she uses a SCATT for off-season training, as I found it invaluable when I was working toward my Distinguished Badge. I hope she sticks with shooting as she gets older. Many young people quit once they leave their junior programs, but the beauty of shooting is you can continue to compete even into your later years, just like her grandfather Dave and I have done.” — Paula Crenshaw DR #2521

The Path to Distinguished — One Starting, One Finishing

Firing school small arms Camp Perry

At the same June MRPC match Scott Schneider (right) secured the last final EIC points he needed for his Distinguished Rifleman Badge. Here Scott and Madelyn pose together. On the very same day that Madelyn earned her first EIC points, Scott earned the final points he needed to “Go Distinguished”. This was a great day for both shooters.

About the Miami Rifle & Pistol Club

Firing school small arms Camp Perry

The Miami Rifle & Pistol Club (MRPC), located in Batavia, Ohio, hosts competitions for a variety of marksmanship disciplines. The club boasts multiple firing lines for rifle and pistol, situated in a scenic, wood-lined region of Ohio. The club has provide the tri-state area with firearms education and competition since 1916. For MRPC range info and event calendar, visit the MRPC Website.

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June 7th, 2021

Garand, Springfield, Modern Military Match at Camp Perry

Petrarca Range Camp Perry GSMM electronic target

It’s great to see normalcy return to our shooting facilities, including Camp Perry. COVID is still a concern, but the ranges are opening up at long last. On May 22, 2021, the CMP hosted a Garand/Springfield/Vintage and Modern Military Rifle (GSMM) Match on the electronic targets of Petrarca Range at Camp Perry.

Petrarca Range Camp Perry GSMM electronic target
Petrarca Range Camp Perry GSMM electronic target

The CMP’s recreational-style events, like the GSMM Match, are designed to ease interested individuals into the sport. On the firing line are a mix of seasoned competitors and those getting started in marksmanship. They all come together to share a common interest. The match allows shooters to meet old friends and enjoy the company of fellow shooters. And of course there is the fun and challenge of the course of fire.

Petrarca Range Camp Perry GSMM electronic target

GSMM matches attract new shooters as well as older competitors. You don’t need to make a huge investment in rifles or optics. We have friends who have done well with a “box stock” 1903 A3 Springfield they acquired from the CMP decades ago

During Petrarca GSMM matches, CMP staff members are always on hand to ensure safety on the firing line and answer questions. This match is fun and efficient. The electronic targets, with monitors at each station, show shot location/score instantly. And there is no pit duty. Competitors never have to venture downrange to change or retrieve targets.

Twenty-five competitors participated in Camp Perry’s May GSMM Rifle event. Similar GSSM matches will be held at the Petrarca Range on June 26 and September 25, 2021. Here are the May Match “Top Guns” by class, with their scores:

M1 Garand: Jeffrey Beierke, Blissfield, Michigan – 277-3X
Springfield: Andy Welter, Westerville, Ohio – 262-6X
Modern Military: Scott Whiteman, Fort Wayne, Indiana – 280-5X

Petrarca Range Camp Perry GSMM electronic target
Petrarca Range Camp Perry GSMM electronic target
Petrarca Range Camp Perry GSMM electronic target

CLICK HERE to learn about the Petrarca Range electronic target system at Camp Perry, Ohio.

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June 6th, 2021

Sunday Gunday: AR Service Rifle — Focus on Ammo & Reloading

High Power service rifle AR15 reloading 600 yard Danny Arnold powder kernels
The 600-yard target has an X-Ring 6 inches (1 MOA) across, while the 10-Ring spans 12 inches (2 MOA).

The following article is about reloading for NRA/CMP Highpower Rifle competition and is geared toward competitors shooting the AR15 Service Rifle. In Highpower Rifle competition, shooters fire in four stages: Standing slow-fire at 200 yards, Sitting rapid-fire at 200 yards, Prone rapid-fire at 300 yards, and Prone slow-fire at 600 yards. Competitors use a sling for support in all positions but standing. A typical AR15 Service Rifle sports a 20″ free-floated barrel and a 4.5-pound trigger. Service Rifle scopes are limited to maximum power of 4.5X.

Thoughts on Loading for Service Rifles, Particularly for 600 Yards

by Danny Arnold, Team CMP
Article originally published in CMP Shooting News

Before we get started, I want to stress that all of the information that follows is geared toward the .223/5.56 Service Rifle. That doesn’t mean that there’s nothing here for anyone else, but the .223/5.56 Service Rifle platform is where I’ve spent the majority of my time, so here we go.

There is only one “Perfect” 600–yard load for my rifle, True or False? This example is more anecdotal than scientific, but it provides some food for thought….

Team CMP spent the early part of March competing in the Orange Blossom Regional. As soon as we got on the range, Sara Rozanski (Team CMP member) started having problems with her 600-yard ammunition. Nearly 1/3 of her cases were exiting the chamber minus the primers. I offered to swap my ammunition for hers, suspecting that my Wylde chamber would be more forgiving than her CLE chamber — a solution that seemed to solve the problem. At least neither of us was blowing primers!

High Power service rifle AR15 reloading 600 yard Danny Arnold powder kernels

Sara’s ammunition was a factory load using a well-known 80+ grain bullet with an unknown primer and powder, using brass from a respected manufacturer. My load was a different brand of 80-grain bullet, with my choice of powder and primer, all in brass made by someone else. Given the color of the primers, the only thing that our ammunition could possibly have had in common was the brand of powder… maybe. So, how did we shoot?

Sara and I shot the two-person team together and the entire 2,400 Aggregate, although on different relays. Sara’s combined 600-yard score was 780-28X (97.5%). Mine was a 783-24X (97.87%). Our scores were never more than two points apart on any of the four days. Keep in mind that we were using each other’s ammunition the entire time.

So, we had different barrels, chambers and ammunition, but similar results. That goes back to the idea that a good load will perform similarly if fired in a good barrel.

Are We Too Focused on Ballistic Coefficients (BCs)?
The revailing wisdom has always trended toward loading the highest-BC bullet we could find and pushing it as fast as possible. Back in the early ’90s when I got started with the AR15, the 80-grain Sierra was state of the art. Actually, I picked up all of my Leg points with it, although today it looks a bit dated — kinda like me.

So, the question I’ll pose is this: Would you rather shoot a high-BC bullet that groups 3/4-MOA (minute of angle) or a lower-BC bullet that groups into one-half-MOA traveling 50 feet-per-second faster? The reason that I posed this question is a situation I found myself in a decade ago. Our coach decided that he wanted us to pair-fire some 600-yard for practice. Unfortunately, I hadn’t gotten the memo and all that I had available was my normal short-line ammunition, loaded with a 77-grain bullet. The shooter I was paired with was using a higher-BC bullet than I was, but in the end, we both shot 198s.

Admittedly, using 77-grainers meant that coach had to work a little harder to keep us together on target, but it was a teaching moment for me. I knew that my upper shot 77s better than the available bullets in the 80-grain range, so I cranked out a windage table for the 77-grain bullet at 600 yards and shot those for the rest of the season. After all, the wind blows ALL bullets around. It’s just a matter of knowing what YOUR bullet is doing.

With the shortages that we’re experiencing right now, a lighter bullet may be all that you have available for the 2021 season. That doesn’t mean that you’re disadvantaged though.

High Power service rifle AR15 reloading 600 yard Danny Arnold powder kernels
Danny Arnold teaching Highpower Clinic at 2021 CMP Eastern Games

Loading High-BC Bullets
In the past decade, several bullets have appeared that weigh 80-grains or more. One thing that many of them have in common is a very sharp nose profile, whether metal or polymer. The question is: Are you using the right seating stem?

The jacket material in the bullet’s nose is very thin. If you section a bullet, you’ll find that there is a surprising amount of air space in the nose. If you’re using older seating dies, your seating stem may be contacting the bullet nose too close to the tip, where the jacket is the both thinnest and is unsupported by the lead core. This can manifest itself either as a deformation at the very tip of the bullet or as a circular dent around the bullet nose that you can see and feel with your thumbnail. I think we can all agree that denting a bullet is usually considered a bad thing.

High Power service rifle AR15 reloading 600 yard Danny Arnold powder kernels

One company goes so far as to recommend their proprietary seating stem for use with their high-BC bullets. Other companies leave it up to you to find a seating stem that will allow the bullet nose to go deeper into the seating stem, moving the contact point further down the bullet where the jacket is thicker and supported by the core material.

Seating Depth and Bullet Preferences
Some bullets don’t mind some “jump” into the lands, but some really do. Unfortunately, manufacturers don’t tell you much about that. Your chamber configuration (Wylde, CLE, or some hybrid of the two) and the bullet that you choose will determine your optimal seating depth. Long and short of it, a quality measuring tool to determine seating depth is a necessity these days. Keep in mind that if you’re doing this with a brand new barrel, the throat is likely going to change slightly in the first 200 rounds and may need to be re-measured. Actually, since all of your short range ammunition has to be loaded to magazine length, you’re probably better off developing your short range loads before starting on long range load development. That gives the throat a chance to wear in a bit on a new barrel.

Brass Prep — Why It Is Important
When match-grade AR15s first arrived on the scene, it was amazing how little it took to get them to shoot well. Other than making sure that I had brass from the same lot and running it through a set of match-grade dies, I did nothing. Of course, we were also using a post front sight. Was the occasional bad shot me, the rifle, the load or just an archaic sighting system?

Transitioning to optics has caused me to reconsider how and what I do in my reloading process: That, and having some extra time on my hands to experiment.

A little (or a lot) of time spent with a neck turning tool, a primer-pocket uniformer and a flash-hole reamer will quickly show you how consistent brass is by manufacturer and even by individual lot. That exercise also makes the prices charged for high-quality brass seem ridiculously cheap. That doesn’t mean that I advocate neck-turning or other uniforming practices, nor do I advocate spending scandalous amounts of money on long-range brass. However, our sport is about consistency. The consistency of your brass is a matter of choice, whether you choose to simply segregate cases by weight (cheap option), neck turn (labor intensive) or open your wallet a little wider for premium brass.

High Power service rifle AR15 reloading 600 yard Danny Arnold powder kernels

Weighing Charges vs. Throwing with Powder Measure
To measure or weigh? For a long time, I used a powder measure to throw all of my 600-yard loads. The powder I was using metered well, and the results downrange didn’t justify the extra time spent with a scale. That was in the day of iron sights though. Nowadays, I’m throwing my charges and trickling up to the desired weight as measured on a scale that weighs to a 100th of a grain.

To quantify the difference between individually weighing each charge versus throwing charges with a powder measure, I weighed six kernels of powder that I trickled into the pan and then dumped them into the hopper. Going through that process 10 times, I came up with an average weight of .08 grains for six kernels. Next, I threw 50 charges for weighing using my powder measure. If I felt the measure hanging up as it cut kernels, I put the charge back into the hopper without weighing it.

High Power service rifle AR15 reloading 600 yard Danny Arnold powder kernels
That’s six kernels of powder sitting in the pan — average weight .08 grains.

Those 50 smoothly-thrown charges varied .26 grains from lowest to highest, with the majority varying no more than .16 grains from highest to lowest. If the desired weight was exactly in the middle, at worst you’d be .13 grains (9-10 kernels) low or high, with the majority being off no more than .08 grains (6 kernels) above or below the desired charge weight. Is that enough to send a shot outside the 2-MOA 10-Ring? Probably not.

Has more consistent brass and weighing charges to one-hundredth (0.01) of a grain added up to higher scores? Honestly, this question is hard to answer. Looking at the results on paper at 200 yards, using a powder that meters well combined with a consistent touch on the loading lever doesn’t appear measurably different than meticulously weighing each and every powder charge. Looking back over my 600-yard plots however, I can see a trend toward a group that is closer to X-Ring height.

Since the bullseye is widest at the center, shooting groups that are the height of the X-ring gives you more room for error when the wind is blowing. That can translate into higher 600-yard scores.

How You Load Your Ammunition vs. How You Load Your Rifle
The loading/chambering cycle of the AR-15 is, in a word, violent. You have a relatively heavy bolt and carrier assembly under power of a stout buffer spring slamming forward to chamber each round of ammunition. By design, those rounds were supposed to be held securely by the magazine feed lips until the bolt stripped them off the follower. Obviously, due to their overall length, 600-yard loads can’t be chambered that way. Although the barrel extension is funnel-shaped, it’s also got a lot of “teeth” ringing the inside of it (see below).

High Power service rifle AR15 reloading 600 yard Danny Arnold powder kernels

Whether you’re using a standard magazine or a single-round loading device (SLED), dropping a round in the loading port and releasing the bolt is an act of faith in that you’re trusting the bullet to arrive in the chamber undamaged.

Ask yourself, how many times have you seen someone drop a round on the follower, press the bolt release and watch as the bolt jammed on a cockeyed round? If that happens once every 100 tries, how many times did the bolt close on a scratched, dented, or misaligned bullet? Could that be the cause of the occasional errant shot?

My technique is to drop each round on top of the SLED and then push it slightly forward with my finger, partially chambering it before releasing the bolt. Admittedly, some people may be unable to do this due to body configuration or left-handedness, but why go to all the trouble of loading “perfect” ammunition and then damage it on the way into the chamber?

Now that we’ve covered bullets, brass, and assorted errata we can move on to discussing loads for 600 Yards…

High Power service rifle AR15 reloading 600 yard Danny Arnold powder kernels highpower target
The NRA Highpower 600-yard target has a 6-inch (1 MOA) X-Ring, and a 12-inch (2 MOA) 10-Ring.

Load Development for 600 Yards

Finding a load for 600 yards is a lot like finding a load for short range. Once I decide on a bullet, powder, primer, velocity range and a measured guesstimate of seating depth, I load 10 rounds of each test load, increasing in 0.2 (2/10) grain increments. I test them from the prone position at 200 yards. Ideally, I want to see two loads that are 0.2 (2/10) of a grain apart that shoot almost identical groups. The load that I choose will fall in between the two best shooting loads that I tested. If the first load is XX.2 grains and the second is XX.4 grains, my chosen load will be XX.3 grains.

Why develop loads in 0.2-grain (tenths) increments if I have a scale that measures in 0.01-grain (hundredths) increments? Or, why not test in 0.1-grain increments?

For me, working in 0.2-grain increments gets me to the results quicker. Also, there is a difference between accuracy and consistency in this scenario. Developing loads in 0.2-grain increments gets me to an accurate load. Producing that load using a scale that accurately measures to .01-grain insures a consistent load, assuming that I do my part.

Once I’ve settled on a load, it’s time to play with seating depth, if I choose to. If I’m lucky and the groups are acceptable as-is, I won’t do anything. If I think there’s room for improvement, I’ll experiment a little. Depending on the bullet, changing the seating depth by a couple of thousandths one way or the other may change the group size. During this phase of testing, it’s a good idea to chamber a round and see if the entire round will then extract. If you leave a bullet stuck in the throat, your rounds are too long. Finding that out at a match can ruin an otherwise good day.

High Power service rifle AR15 reloading 600 yard Danny Arnold powder kernels
Danny Arnold shooting his AR15 Service Rifle, standing position at 2021 CMP Eastern Games.

Another thing to keep in mind is that your barrel is not static. Every round fired has an effect on the throat, vaporizing and scouring away metal until the distance the bullet travels before meeting the rifling measurably increases. If you have chosen a bullet that shoots best when close to the lands, you’ll need to periodically re-measure and possibly change your bullet seating depth to maintain that optimal relationship.

The Elephant in the Room — User Skill Level

There’s really not a delicate way to put this, so I won’t try. There’s little point in spending time and effort developing a load that shoots into half-MOA off the bench if you’re only capable of shooting 2 MOA using a sling right now.

That doesn’t mean that there’s no hope. On the contrary, it just means that your time and effort is better spent practicing with some good short-range ammunition on reduced targets at a 100 or 200-yard range. At that distance, wind is not a factor and your technique can be improved more quickly so you’re in a position to benefit from that ½ MOA ammunition.

About Team CMP
CMP has created a Highpower Team with top competitors. Team CMP competes at several events throughout the year and most importantly, helps to teach Highpower Clinics at CMP Competition Events. Learn from Team CMP at Camp Perry during the Advanced Highpower Clinic, scheduled this year for July 30 through August 1, 2021. Visit the Highpower Clinic Web Page for more information.

The Civilian Marksmanship Program is a federally-chartered 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. It is dedicated to firearm safety and marksmanship training and to the promotion of marksmanship competition for citizens of the United States. For more information about the CMP and its programs, visit www.TheCMP.org.

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June 3rd, 2021

Match Etiquette: Be Prepared, Know the Rules and Course of Fire

Match Etiquette USAMU Course of Fire Rules SFC Norman Anderson CMP Rulebook NRA

Match Etiquette USAMU Course of Fire Rules SFC Norman Anderson CMP Rulebook NRA

Don’t Be “That Guy” (The Bad Apple on the Firing Line)

By SFC Norman Anderson, USAMU Service Rifle Team Member
You know the guy, he’s still talking at the coffee jug when his preparation period begins, then his magazines aren’t loaded when the command “STAND” is given, and finally, he doesn’t know the rules when he argues with the block officer as his target comes up marked “9 and No”. Although this guy might be the highlight of the “after match” activities, he is the proverbial bad apple on the firing line. With this example fresh in your mind, let’s go over how not to be “that guy”.

While the sport of High Power shooting is a hobby for most, all are passionate about performance throughout the day. In order to achieve your maximum performance each and every day, it is essential that you conduct yourself as a professional competitor. As a competitor, you have a personal responsibility to know the course of fire as well as the rules and procedures that apply to it and to be prepared to follow them. Knowing this will not only make you a better competitor, but it will enable you to resolve situations with other targets besides your own. So what does all this mean? I’ll explain…

Know the Course of Fire
Know the course of fire. It sounds easy enough, as we all shoot plenty of matches, but it’s more than that. If you think about it, how many people in the pits, for example, do not really know what is happening on the firing line? This leads to targets being pulled early during a rapid fire string or missing a shot during a slow fire string. In cases like this, the result is the same, delays in the match and upset competitors. To avoid being “that guy,” it is imperative that you stay tuned to the events as the day progresses. When you are at the range shooting a match, be at the range shooting the match.

At any firearms competition — be sure you know (and understand) the course of fire.
CMP Match Etiquette

Match Etiquette USAMU Course of Fire Rules SFC Norman Anderson CMP Rulebook NRAKnow the Rules
Now, let’s discuss rules. As you have probably heard more than once, the rulebook is your best friend. Here is why. I can virtually guarantee that most competitors know some of the rules based only on the old “this is how we do it at home” adage. The funny part of that is, the same green NRA rulebook and orange CMP rulebooks are used to govern High Power matches all over the country.*

It is vital that all shooters be familiar with the rules as they are written, not with “how they are applied at home”. This creates consistency and continuity in how matches are conducted, from local club matches to state tournaments to National Championships. Knowledge is power when it comes to scoring targets under contention, what to do in the case of a malfunction, or even how to file a protest correctly. These rules are in place for a reason and it benefits everyone to both know and operate by these rules.

Maintain Composure and Humility — Exhibit Good Sportsmanship
One aspect of competing that cannot be forgotten is bearing. As I mentioned earlier, you must be prepared for both good and bad to happen. All too often we all see “that guy” (or that “that guy’s” gear) flying off of the firing line in disgust. Remember that we all must maintain our composure and humility in all conditions, not matter what happens. After all, it’s just a game. To put it into perspective, if it were easy, attendance would be a lot higher. Sportsmanship must be displayed in an effort to keep from ruining the day for all those around you. It doesn’t cost anything to smile, and smiling never killed anyone. So turn that frown upside down and keep on marching, better days will come.

Like a Boy Scout — Always Be Prepared
Lastly, I would like to cover preparedness. Being prepared goes beyond simply having your magazines loaded and a zero on your rifle. It means approaching the firing line, knowing what you are about to do, being ready for what is going to happen (good or bad), and being ready for the results. If you approach the firing line to merely shoot 10 shots standing in your next LEG match, you are not going to be pleased with the result. You must be prepared mentally and physically, not only for the next stage, but also the next shot. By being prepared physically (equipment ready), you give yourself peace of mind which is an essential part of being prepared mentally, and by being prepared mentally, you are less likely to become distracted and are more likely to maintain focus for each and every shot.

Conclusion — Informed Competitors Make for Better Matches
The culmination of these efforts results in a shooter that knows how to be ready for success on the range, but also and perhaps more importantly, a shooter who knows what it means to be a competitor. When you have a range full of competitors who know and follow the rules and proper match procedures, the match runs smoothly, everyone shoots well, and a good time is had by all. In the end, isn’t that what it’s all about?


* After this article was originally written, the CMP separated its rules into multiple Rulebooks:

The 2020-21 8th Edition of the CMP Games Rifle and Pistol Competition Rules for CMP-sanctioned matches for As-Issued Military Rifle and Pistol events including Special M9 and M16 EIC Matches, and Service Pistol, and Rimfire Sporter.

The 2020-21 24th Edition CMP Highpower Competition Rules for CMP-sponsored and sanctioned matches for Highpower Rifle events in National Trophy Matches, Excellence-In-Competition (EIC) Matches, CMP Cup Matches and other CMP-sanctioned competitions.

The 2020-21 24th Edition CMP Pistol Competition Rules for CMP-sponsored and sanctioned Pistol Matches in the National Matches, National Trophy Matches, Excellence-In-Competition (EIC) Matches, and other CMP-sanctioned competitions.

This article by SFC Norman Anderson originally appeared in the CMP First Shot Online Magazine.

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May 23rd, 2021

SunDay Gunday: CMP 4-Gun Aggregate Champion Brian Williams

Brian Williams M1 Garand M1903 springfield .30-06 M1 Carbine CMP Modern Military 4-Gun 3-Gun

Brian Williams is one of the top CMP match shooters in the nation. At the recent 2021 CMP Eastern Games, Brian won both the 3-Gun and 4-Gun Aggregates. He also won the 4-Gun at the CMP National Matches in Camp Perry three years in a row — the inaugural 2017 4-Gun Agg, plus 2018 and 2019. Due to COVID, there were no CMP Camp Perry National Matches in 2020. Brian noted: “We will never know what may have happened in 2020, but I will be there in Ohio in 2021 to defend the 4-Gun title.”

Brian Williams M1 Garand M1903 springfield .30-06 M1 Carbine CMP Modern Military 4-Gun 3-Gun

Given his remarkable, consecutive “three-peat” in the CMP 4-Gun Aggregate at Camp Perry, it cannot be questioned that Brian is the leading CMP 4-Gunner in the nation. In this article, Brian provides perspectives on the “Wood Gun” game, with suggestions on how to improve your performance with the M1 Garand, M1903 Springfield, M1917 Enfield, M1 Carbine, and other 20th Century military rifles. While Brian also shoots his AR15 for the 4-Gun, today’s article focuses on his favorite firearms — his classic “Wood Rifles”.

VIDEO Showcase — Brian Williams Shoots M1903A3 Prone in May 2021

The Classic Wood Guns of CMP 4-Gun Competition

Perspectives on M1 Garand, M1903A3, M1917, and M1 Carbine
Q: What should one look for when acquiring older rifles for CMP 4-Gun Games — M1 Garand, M1903/1903A3, M1917, M1 Carbine? What are realistic budgets for these firearms? What kind of accuracy can one expect? What upgrades are important?

Brian: All of these military surplus rifles are out there, but they are getting harder to get your hands on. And, just like everything else, the prices continue to rise. Not that long ago you could get your hands on a M1 Garand for four or five hundred dollars. In today’s market they are usually about double that price. But understand that these rifles are all unique and all have a story to tell. No two are alike, or have the same story. Just like the guns themselves, there are fewer and fewer dedicated gunsmiths for these vintage rifles. But I promise if you look for a good smith, they are out there and they are some of the most interesting people you will ever meet.

M1 Garand — Of the four (4) centerfire guns I shoot in the CMP games, my favorite has to be the M1 Garand. There were over 6 million of them produced in a very short time period, and every single one has its own unique story, and that is just cool. M1 Garands are capable of good accuracy. I believe that a well-maintained M1 with at least a replacement barrel is capable of shooting between 1 and 1.5 MOA.

Brian Williams M1 Carbine CMP Modern Military 4-Gun 3-Gun

M1903A3 Springfield — I find that the sights on a M1903A3 are a little easier to see than the sights of the M1903, but both are very accurate rifles. Like most military rifles in the current climate the prices have risen dramatically, but there are some gems out there that can be had for far less than $1000. The nice thing about the Springfield rifle is that almost all of the accuracy than you would want can come from just replacing a worn out 80-year-old barrel. In terms of accuracy, I think a good M1903A3 can shoot 1 MOA most of the time.

Brian Williams M1 Carbine CMP Modern Military 4-Gun 3-Gun

M1917 Enfield — This rifle is the newest of my collection and it shoots very well, with just a new Criterion barrel — again about 1 MOA with iron sights. These rifles are very close in price to the M1903 Springfield. But if you do your homework and keep your eyes open, there are always great deals to be found. I actually prefer shooting the M1917 to my M1903A3, due primarily to the M1917’s cock-on-close bolt which allows smoother cycling.

M1 Carbine — By 1945 there had been more M1 Carbines built than Garands. Today the Carbine can be harder to find, and due to the scarcity the price has shot up and most military M1 Carbines are going for more than $1000 at this point. The great thing about the M1 Carbine is that as long as you have a good ammo supply this rifle can shoot. Honest. I have had countless numbers of people that tell me that there is not an M1 carbine that will shoot. I can tell you from experience that they will, but you are going to have to put in some time with one to learn how to get it to shoot where you want it.

Brian Williams M1 Carbine CMP Modern Military 4-Gun 3-Gun
The M1 Carbine shoots the .30 Carbine round, with 110gr bullet going about 1990 FPS. In comparison, the .30-06 Springfield round used in the M1 Garand is almost three times more powerful than the .30 Carbine.

Reloading for .30-06 Springfield Rifles

Brian Williams M1 Carbine CMP Modern Military 4-Gun 3-Gun

Tech Report by Brian Williams
Reloading for a military surplus gun as different than loading for a modern precision rifle in my opinion. There are a few tasks that care over from one to the other, but the main goal is slightly different. The Target that is being shot in the CMP games matches has a rather generous 10 ring, and with a little larger target you focus needs to change from a round with ultra accuracy to a round that is safe and functions well in your particular rifle.

Brian Williams M1 Carbine CMP Modern Military 4-Gun 3-GunBullet Selection — With the .30-06 for my Garands and Springfields I stick mostly with 168gr bullets plus some 155-grainers. These bullet weights have just worked for me in the past.

Cartridge Brass (Milsurp vs. Commercial) — I use both military and commercial brass, having success with each. I do prefer commercial brass as it is easier to prep for the first reload. Military brass usually has a primer crimp of some kind that needs to be removed, and I have found that trimming these cases can sometimes leave you scratching your head as the OAL on military cases varies considerably.

Brian Williams M1 Carbine CMP Modern Military 4-Gun 3-GunPower Charge and Dispensing — I have always had good success with Hodgdon H4895 powder. My load has always been right around 47.0 grains, with both the 168gr and 155gr bullets. I also use the Auto-Trickler to drop all of my powder charges. This is a fantastic piece of equipment that not only gives super-consistent powder charges quickly, but it also makes one less thing that you have to worry about while on the firing line. With the Auto-Trickler, there is never a question about the powder charge in your ammo. As for primers, I have been shooting CCI 200 Large Rifle primers for many years and have never had an issue.

Case Care and Trimming — With most of the .30-06 brass that I use, I will only reload them 5 times maximum. I don’t push the brass too much, because the Garand’s semi-auto cycling can be tough on the cases. I also trim my cases for OAL each reload cycle. I use a Giraud power trimmer, so trimming is relatively quick and easy.

The chambers in some of the older rifles are not perfectly-machined like a modern high-end rifle. This can cause the brass to grow a little inconsistently, so I find trimming every load cycle helps to make sure that everything stays in a nice safe spec.

Case Annealing — A few years ago I started to anneal my .223 Rem service rifle brass. Now I have added that process for all my match ammunition. I anneal after every firing. It is a rather easy step as I can have my auto-feeding Annealeez machine running while doing something else, so annealing does not add a great deal of time or effort to the reloading process.

.30-06 Springfield .308 Winchester
The .30-06 case was the father of the .308 Winchester, which was adopted as the 7.62×51 NATO cartridge. Brian has another Garand chambered in .308 Win which he shoots in Service Rifle Class in the President’s Match and NTI Match at Camp Perry.

Perspective on CMP 4-Gun (and 3-Gun) Aggregate Competition

Since the CMP’s introduction of the 4-Gun Aggregate in 2017, combining three classic wood rifles with the modern AR15-platform guns, Brian has lead the field, winning the 4-Gun at every National Match cycle held so far by the CMP at Camp Perry. Brian has also dominated in the 3-Gun Aggregate which includes the three older wood rifles.

Q. What’s the most fun/satisfying thing about shooting CMP 4-Gun Aggs?

Brian: The 4-Gun Agg takes place over several days, and is usually decided by a very thin margin of victory. Making sure that you are prepared for all four rifles and keeping focus through several days of competition is very difficult. There is a great sense of accomplishment when you are able to perform well for the entire aggregate.

Q. Do you like shooting the wood rifles more or the AR in Modern Military?

Brian: No question that the wood rifles are my favorite. A steel rifle, with a beautiful wood stock (see above), firing the .30-06 Springfield, is “where it is all at” in my opinion.

Q. What is the best approach to shooting these older Wood Guns?

Brian: One of the things that I struggled with shooting the “wood guns” is that it is so easy to tell yourself that its the rifle and not your bad habits or poor position. “The rifle is far older than I am it must just not be a shooter”. In order to be successful with these rifles you have to be honest with yourself. Only then will you improve.

Brian Williams M1 Carbine CMP Modern Military 4-Gun 3-Gun

Q. If you could change any CMP 4-Gun course of fire, or revise aspects of the CMP 4-Gun discipline, what would you modify/alter?

Brian: There is always conversation around changing the course of fire, target dimensions, or putting certain rifles into different classes. I like the fact that I have to adapt myself to fit the current discipline. I would surely not want to make it any easier. I feel like that would decrease some of the satisfaction that I get from competing well.

Q: What are your key gear items and shooting accessories?

Brian: A good shooting coat has been very important for me. I currently use a Creedmoor Hardback Cordura Leather Coat. I also think that a good rifle sling is very important. For the last couple of years I have been using a Eric Hollis National Match leather sling and love it. I own a ShotMarker e-Target system and I think it’s one of the best training tools that I own. It just makes it so easy to shoot, capture information, and then be able to recall that information later and use it to improve.

The Mental Game — How to Become a Better Marksman

Q. What is your pre-match routine (mental/physical match prep)?

Brian: I try not to do anything different on match day that I would do any other day. I am a coffee drinker and drink just as much on match day as I do on any work day. This game is very mental, and I find that treating match day just like any other day helps me to control stress and anxiety.

Q. If you could do it all over from the beginning, how would you change your training/practicing processes?

Brian Williams M1 Carbine CMP Modern Military 4-Gun 3-GunBrian: I have learned that practice makes me better, but just sending rounds down range is not that beneficial to me. Some of the biggest improvements I have made have come from practice sessions where I did not fire very many rounds. Working through the shot process, being honest with myself, and evaluating what needs to happen to get the desired outcome.

Q. Most guys will never achieve what you’ve done in Marksmanship, i.e. win multiple multi-gun titles. What are the other positive things people can get from the sport, beyond trophies and glory?

Brian: This is an easy one — this sport is full of the most genuine, thoughtful, and helpful people out there. I have friendships with people that I only see a couple times per year… yet when we see each other it’s like we had just gotten together last week. This does not just apply to fellow competitors, but also to the folks who run matches, to those who supply gear, even to spouses of competitors who’ve fed me more times than I can remember.

Brian Williams M1 Garand M1903 springfield .30-06 M1 Carbine CMP Modern Military 4-Gun 3-Gun

Brian “Carbine” Williams, King of Wood Guns
Commentary by Dennis Santiago
When it comes to CMP Games competition, Brian Williams presently dominates the multi-gun field. I first met Brian at the so-called Michigan Embassy at Camp Perry, a makeshift compound of tables, pop ups and lawn chairs where competitors gather at the end of the shooting day to exchange stories. It’s a “who’s who” gathering of High Power personalities exchanging tall tales. In this prestigious crowd, Brian Williams is “King of Wood Guns”, his mastery of the GSMM (Garand, Springfield, Modern Military) Four-Gun Aggregate renown to all. Yet he is as humble a champion you can ever hope to spend time with.

I discovered that Brian and I share a mutual love of the U.S. .30 Caliber M1 Carbine, a rifle many other shooters don’t give a second thought. But we believe in the potential of the little gun. We know that when driven right, the joy of collecting gold achievement pins with it. I’ve enjoyed trading notes with Brian about how to make it shoot better to turn in scores in the high 360s to mid-370s out of a possible 400. In this regard, I assure you Brian is again the guy who will shoot the 400 possible on any given day. He truly deserves the moniker “Carbine” Williams.

Marksmanship Journey — from Novice to CMP 4-Gun Champion

I started shooting High Power rifle in 2007 with an iron sights AR15 A2. Most of the local shooting clubs are reduced course, so for the first couple of years I only shot reduced course of fire at 100 and 200 yards. In 2010 I shot my first match at the full distance of 200, 300, 600 yards, and was introduced to the Distinguished rifleman program. At that point I decided set a goal to “go distinguished”. In 2011, I made the trip to Camp Perry and was able to shoot in the M16 EIC match and thereby earn my first four introductory leg points. The day of the match went very well for me. Not only did I earn the points, but I won the match, and set a new National Record with the win. Over the rest of that season and the beginning of 2012 I was able to collect enough points to make my goal of going Distinguished.

Over the following years I continued to shoot a service rifle, first with iron sights and then with a scope when the rules changed. I enjoyed every bit of shooting the AR15. In 2014 I started to get into the CMP Games guns, with the M1 Garand and M1 Carbine. I enjoyed these two rifles so much that I decided that I should get a M1903 Springfield and I should also get a rifle to shoot in the vintage military rifle matches. For that I ordered a K-31 Swiss rifle.

In 2017 the CMP introduced a 4-Gun Aggregate award at the National Matches. This Aggregate would include the Garand, Springfield, Vintage rifle, and the new Modern Military rifle (non-scoped service rifle). For the first year of the 4-Gun Agg, I spent a good deal of time preparing for these matches in the months leading up to Nationals. Well that time was well spent as I did win the 4-Gun Aggregate. At this point in my shooting career I had gone Distinguished, made the President’s 100, and had achieved a classification of High Master, but the 4-gun Agg was the thing I was most proud of. I enjoy shooting these older rifles because they had such an impact on the world in which we live today. The M1 Garand played a key role in WW II, and the M1903 Springfield has been carrying out its job for over 100 years.

Brian Williams M1 Carbine CMP Modern Military 4-Gun 3-Gun

Mix that in with the fact that all of the competitors in the CMP Games matches are some of the finest people that I have ever surrounded myself with. Great guns and great people, who could ask for more?

In 2018 I campaigned a .308 Win-chambered Garand across the course in the President’s Match and the National Trophy Match at Camp Perry. Again I spend a good deal of time shooting the Garand for the months leading up to Nationals, and was able to be the high shooter with the Garand in both matches for 2018 and 2019. But I never took my eye off the 4-Gun, and was able to win it in 2018, and 2019, as well as the inaugural year of 2017.

Rimfire Sporter — Brian’s Fifth Gun
Along with his centerfire rifles, Brian Williams likes to shoot in CMP Rimfire Sporter matches. In fact, he won the Rimfire Sporter Match “O” Class (Iron Sights) at the 2021 CMP Eastern Games. Shown below is his Czech-made .22 LR CZ 452 Ultra Lux bolt-action rifle.

Brian Williams M1 Carbine CMP Modern Military 4-Gun 3-Gun

Q: How do you like Rimfire Sporter? Do you have to adjust your technique for rimfire vs. centerfire?

Brian: Most of the fundamentals will transfer from centerfire guns to the rim fire guns, the biggest difference is in the course of fire for the match. The Rimfire course of fire includes a slow-fire seated stage, and a rapid-fire standing stage, both of these stages are unique to the Rimfire Sporter game. I enjoy this discipline, but due to the scheduling of the Rimfire Sporter match at Nationals I have not yet shot this event at Camp Perry. I did do well in this event at both the Eastern CMP Games and New England CMP Games.

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May 13th, 2021

The Games Are Back! 2021 CMP Eastern Games Are a Success

2021 CMP Eastern Games garand service rifle

Marksmanship competition is back! Slowly but surely, shooting sports are returning to normal, after many major events were cancelled due to the COVID pandemic. We were pleased to see the CMP Eastern Games were held this year, after being cancelled in 2020. The revived 2021 Eastern Games, held April 22 through May 2, 2021, were a huge success.

There were over 420 competitors at the 2021 Eastern CMP Games and High Power Rifle Matches held at Camp Butner in North Carolina. With more than 1,500 event entries, the Eastern Games featured a full schedule of rifle and pistol matches, including many new competitions added to the lineup. In addition to the matches, there were a variety of training programs such as an M1 Garand Clinic and Rifle Marksmanship 101 with live-fire training.

Full Eastern Games Results | 2021 Eastern Games Photos (705)

2021 CMP Eastern Games garand service rifle
2021 CMP Eastern Games garand service rifle

Along with Rifle Marksmanship 101, the CMP offered a Pistol Marksmanship 101 Course and accompanying M9 EIC Match was held for the first time at Camp Butner. Similar to Rifle Marksmanship 101, participants in the Pistol Course were instructed in the classroom and on the range on firearm and competition fundamentals, including proper firing practices and safety guidelines. Other pistol additions to the schedule in 2021 were .22 Rimfire Pistol, Center Fire and .45 Pistol 900 Aggregates.

2021 CMP Eastern Games garand service rifle

Brian Williams Wins 3-Gun and 4-Gun Aggregates plus Rimfire Sporter
The star of the 2021 Eastern Games was Brian Williams of Granby, Massachusetts. Williams earned several top finishes in rifle matches, with Garand, Springfield, M1 Carbine, and Modern Military competition victories. His consistent performances earned him both the Three Gun and Four Gun Aggregate titles. Brian even won the Rimfire Sporter Match! Williams was only eight Xs from the current Four Gun Aggregate Eastern Games record score of 1152-35X, which he personally set in 2019. He also holds Eastern Games records in the Modern Military and Carbine events.

2021 CMP Eastern Games garand service rifle

Another top 2021 Eastern Games performer was SFC Brandon Green, a 3-time National High Power Champion. Green won the CMP 2400 Overall Aggregate at the 2021 Eastern Games with an impressive 2379-97X score. Along the way Brandon won the EIC Service Rifle Match setting a new Eastern Games record with a 497-26X tally.

2021 CMP Eastern Games garand service rifle
2021 CMP Eastern Games garand service rifle

We were pleased to see the 2021 CMP Eastern Games included participation by disabled shooters:

2021 CMP Eastern Games garand service rifle

There were many M1 Garand shooters at Camp Butner this year. Training included a special clinic focused on the Garand.

2021 CMP Eastern Games garand service rifle
2021 CMP Eastern Games garand service rifle

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