June 10th, 2018

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 two different Rulebooks:

The 2016 4th Edition of the CMP Competition Rules for CMP Games Rifle and Pistol Matches governs all CMP-sanctioned matches for As-Issued Military Rifle and Pistol events including Special EIC Matches that are fired with As-Issued Military Rifles or Pistols.

The 2016 20th Edition of the CMP Competition Rules for Service Rifle and Service Pistol governs sponsored and sanctioned matches for Service Rifle, Service Pistol and .22 Rimfire Pistol events, including National Trophy Rifle and Pistol 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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June 5th, 2015

Short-Range Action — New America’s Rifle Challenge Discipline

NRA Americas rifle challenge ARC rifle shooting AR15 Practical Tactical

The NRA America’s Rifle Challenge (ARC) is a new short-range rifle discipline designed to develop practical shooting skills using modern sporting rifles such the AR-15. NRA-ARC is designed for shooters of all skill levels. With all targets positioned at 100 yards or less, almost any outdoor centerfire range is capable of hosting ARC matches. No pits or swinging target holders are required.

The ARC is a close-range, action-oriented discipline. The course of fire features targets placed from seven yards to 100 yards. Some stages also incorporate magazine changes and the use of barricades. ARC matches involve movement, as competitors transition into multiple shooting positions: standing, kneeling/sitting, and prone.

NRA-ARC is NOT limited to AR-15s. Any semi-automatic detachable magazine-fed rifle can be used. There will be three classes of firearms: Iron Sights, Optics Limited (with one non-magnified optical sight), and Optics Open (maximum two optical sights, one of which may be magnified).

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May 25th, 2014

World Shooting Championship Rules and Course of Fire

This September, the NRA will host The 1st Annual Trijicon World Shooting Championship (WSC) at the Peacemaker National Training Center in Glengary, WV. Intended to be the “mother of all shooting matches”, this event involves four days of multi-discipline shooting at ranges from 15 to 1500 yards (and beyond). Competitors must be skilled with pistol, rifle, and shotgun. The goal of this match is to assemble the top 400 shooters from all the leading shooting sports, and then crown one undisputed World Shooting Champion. The “top guns” will share in $300,000 worth of cash and prizes.

The organizers of the WSC have just published the Official Rules and Course of Fire for the 4-day event. This is now available, for free, in PDF format. This WSC Rules Document provides a Match Overview, Match Scoring Rules, Description of each stage, Course of Fire for each stage, and List of Firearms for each stage. CLICK HERE for World Shooting Championship Rules and Stage Descriptions.

Trijicon World Shooting Championship Peacemaker WV

Stage 5: NRA F-Class
Basic Stage Description: The NRA F-Class Stage is [a] long range bulls-eye course of fire, and is governed by the NRA F-Class Rule Book. In this particular stage an FNH USA SPR 308 Rifle with a 20 inch barrel will be used to measure a shooters ability to shoot at long range.

Course of Fire: From the 500 yard line, shooters will fire a total or maximum of 3 sighter shots and then fire a total of 10 shots for record on the official 500 yard F-Class target. Shooters will have a maximum of 10 minutes to complete the “for record” period of fire.

All shooters will compete over the course of four days in twelve equally weighted, officially sanctioned disciplines from various shooting sports. All firearms and ammunition will be provided for each event thus shooters will compete with common firearms and ammunition. This will also alleviate the need for new equipment to be purchased for unfamiliar events; and assist with international and domestic travel for all competitors.

Match Information:
Actual Match Dates: September 10, 2014 – September 13, 2014 (Check-In on Sept. 9th)
Location: Peacemaker National Training Center, Glengary, West Virginia
Contact: info@peacemakernational.com or call 304-229-GUNS (4867)

Trijicon World Shooting Championship Peacemaker WV

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