July 28th, 2014
We are already half-way through the NRA High Power National Championship and SSG Shane Barnhart of the USAMU remains atop the leaderboard, with a score of 1193-64X out of a possible 1200 points. Barnhart shot a 595-28X during Sunday’s Navy Cup, Coast Guard Trophy, and Army Cup matches. Barnhart currently holds a three-point lead over second place SSG Brandon Green (1190-58X), the defending High Power National Champion. Like Barnhart, Green shoots for the USAMU. Kenneth Lankford leads the “any sight” (scopes allowed) division with 1191-54X.
High Power Hardware: The Guns of Perry
We thought our readers would like to see some of the ultra-accurate rifles campaigned by High Power competitors at Camp Perry. Both bolt-action and self-loading rifles are popular. Among bolt guns, Tubb 2000s and Eliseo tubeguns are popular. Semi-auto AR platform “Space Guns” offer some advantages (particularly during rapid-fire and for standing position), and are favored by many of the top marksmen. Many Camp Perry High Power competitors are also shooting less exotic AR service rifles.
Here is your current leader, SSG Shane Barnhart, with an AR Space Gun. Note the side charging handle and tall iron sight set-up.
Tubb 2000 with a shortened handguard, and custom hand support bracket forward of mag well.
The modern AR Space Gun, scoped version. Note the side charging handle, and absence of forward assist. A block fitted under the handguard helps with the standing position. The scope is mounted on a “piggy-back” rail that extends forward of upper receiver’s built-in rail.
Tubb 2000 rifle, left-hand version. Note how the butt-plate is adjusted for cant, angle, and drop.
Look carefully — it appears that a separate fore-arm section is duct-taped to the red free-floated handguard. Perhaps this AR owner experienced some wiggle, and that’s why he seems puzzled?
A countdown timer is attached directly to this shooter’s Tubb 2000 rifle.
This Service Rifle competitor shows how to get some “R & R” between relays.
All Photos courtesy NRA General Operations.
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July 26th, 2014
The SCATT MX-02 is a revolutionary electronic shooter training system that is capable of operating outdoors with live, centerfire ammunition, at distances from 25 yards to 600 yards. Tony Chow recently tested this product, as fitted to his AR-15 Service Rifle. Tony concludes this is a very useful tool that can help High Power competitors refine their technique and thereby shoot higher scores. CLICK HERE for Full 3000-word Review.
How the SCATT MX-02 Works
The SCATT sensor mounted on the end of the barrel has a digital camera that recognizes the black bullseye in the target, even in broad daylight outdoors. Using the bullseye as a reference, the SCATT software tracks the movement of the muzzle relative to the center of the target. The unit can plot these movements as a continuous trace, which appears on a monitor as a squiggly, colored line. By sensing the exact moment of shot release, the SCATT can also interpolate relative shot placement (for a single shot or series of shots) — but this is not the same as an electronic target which actually records the exact shot impact location on the target.
Back in January, we reviewed this product from the perspective of a smallbore competitive shooter. (Read Previous Review.) Recently, we had the chance to test SCATT MX-02 again, this time on an AR-15 service rifle, in order to assess its implications for the High Power competition community.
We put the MX-02 through its paces in all three High Power shooting positions and in various environmental conditions. We wanted to find out whether the system can reliably operate in the harsher outdoor settings and withstand the recoil of a centerfire rifle. We also wanted to assess whether it provides added values for High Power shooters over older generation of electronic trainers such as SCATT’s own venerable WS-01.
On both counts, we came away impressed. The SCATT MX-02 stood up to centerfire recoil after hundreds of shots and was able to consistently recognize the often less-than-pristine High Power target faces. Both indoors and outdoors, the MX-02 acts as SCATT should and dutifully captures useful aiming traces and other data. It does that even during outdoor live-fire sessions, where shooter performance often differs from indoor dry-firing due to the sensation of recoil and environmental factors.
SCATT Rapid Fire Results (paper target on left, screen on right).
In particular, SCATT MX-02 allows shooters to effectively troubleshoot and improve their rapid-fire performance, a service that no previous-generation trainers are capable of providing. The unit isn’t perfect — the SCATT MX-02 had some mounting issues with small-diameter barrels, but a cardboard shim provided a quick and effective solution.
CLICK HERE for Full SCATT MX-02 Review.
Overall, performance was impressive. In most realistic training conditions that High Power shooters experience, the system performed well. We can certainly recommend SCATT MX-02 as an extremely valuable tool for High Power competitors looking to take their performance to the next level.
Test Drive the MX-02 at Camp Perry
SCATT electronic training systems are currently on display at the NRA National Championships in Camp Perry, Ohio. Interested shooters can try out SCATT at Champion Shooters on Commercial Row, Building #1023B.
For more information or to order SCATT products, including the new MX-02, visit ScattUSA.com or call toll-free: 1-855-57-SCATT (72288).
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July 25th, 2014
The NRA maintains a webpage with the latest results for all the National rifle and pistol matches at Camp Perry. Click any of the links below to launch a page with match-by-match results. Once you navigate to the appropriate results page, click the particular match title (or 3-digit match number) to open a table with ranked lists of competitors with their scores. For example, the National High Power Rifle Championship is Match number 400.
CLICK for MATCH RESULTS
Over $25,000 Worth of Prizes at 2014 NRA Springfield M1A Match
The Springfield M1A Match was held Wednesday July 24, 2014. Sponsored by Springfield Armory, this popular event features big-money payouts and valuable hardware prizes. More than $25,000 in cash and prizes were awarded, with categories for shooters of all skill levels. There was a big turn-out for the event. Competitors were treated to bright, sunny skies yesterday. Here are photos from the match, courtesy NRA General Operations.
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July 17th, 2014
Yet another important gun-related company has left California for a more business-friendly location. Gary Eliseo’s Competition Machine Inc., producer of rifle chassis systems, has moved operations to Northern Arizona. A large, new Arizona facility has been secured, and Gary’s team is busy putting the production machinery in place and organizing supplies and inventory.
Rifle Chassis Builder Moves to Arizona
Gary Eliseo announced: “It’s official, after 24 years of dealing with the difficult business environment in California, we’re relocating to Northern Arizona. To our friends and customers we ask for your patience during this monumental task. Our new shop will be larger and more efficient which will allow us to better serve your needs. We have some exciting new products planned in the future that we were simply not able to pursue in California.”
Gary is happy about his new digs in Arizona. His new Arizona facility is much bigger: “The new shop is over twice the size of the old one (3600 square feet vs. 1500 square feet). The added space which will let me open a new rifle division. We’ll update the Competition Machine website soon with the new contact information.” — Gary Eliseo
Here’s a photo of the new facility on “move-in” day. Gary says: “This is just an empty shell, but it’s soon to be a very busy place. There is so much more opportunity for us here than in California. Also, this Northern Arizona area is crazy beautiful, I think I’m gonna like it!”
Highway Photo by Wing-Chi Poon, Wiki Creative Commons License.
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July 16th, 2014
If you’re wondering what is happening when at the NRA National Rifle and Pistol championships, here is a calendar of all the scheduled events. The pistol matches concluded last week. Smallbore (rimfire) events are underway this week (in Bristol, Indiana), while the High Power events commenced yesterday (July 15) with clinics. The popular CMP Garand match is held July 19, while the NRA High Power National Championship commences on Saturday, July 26.
Click the calendar image below to see a large size version (that’s easier to read). You can also download a PDF file with the complete National Matches Event schedule for 2014.
CLICK to DOWNLOAD 2014 National Match Calendars
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July 1st, 2014
The July 2014 digital edition of Shooting Sports USA magazine is now available. Along with the cover story on the Bianchi Cup, this month’s issue has many interesting articles. And the price is right — this month’s Shooting Sports USA eZine is FREE for the taking. Just Click This Link to load the July 2014 eZine edition right in your web browser.
For all competitive shooters, we highly recommend a 6-page article on Mental Training by Editor Chip Lohman. Drawing on scientific studies, Lohman reveals that practice and specialized training can actually improve mental function and create beneficial physical changes in the brain itself. Lohman quotes one study which revealed that “Brain scans of concert violinists and taxi drivers show enlargement of the areas important to the practice of their profession.” Morever, Lohman notes that “the trained brain has a better idea of tripping the correct nerves and muscles, leading to memory within the muscle itself.”
What this means is that competitive shooters can benefit from mental training in profound ways that were not previously understood. If you want to shoot higher scores at your next match, you should definitely read this article, part 2 of a series.
From the ’50s — How to Shoot the High Power Rifle
Another highlight of this month’s Shooting Sports USA eZine is a “golden oldie” article, “How to Shoot the High Power Rifle”. First published in American Rifleman way back in August, 1955, this article covers basic High Power technique. Lt. Col Jim Crossman talks about position shooting, sling use, practice methods, and procedures for relaxing between firing sequences. Much of the advice Lt. Col. Crossman offers can still benefit today’s High Power shooters.
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June 22nd, 2014
Report based on story by Kyle Jillson for NRA Blog
The 2014 Remington and NRA National Rifle & Pistol Championships at Camp Perry, Ohio are just a couple weeks away. You can still register for one or more of the matches. Just click the orange “Register” button (below) to register online.
Many of the finest civilian and military marksmen in the United States will square off for weeks of rifle and handgun competition while vying for the NRA’s historic and prestigious trophies. From pistol, to smallbore rifle, high power rifle, and long-range high power rifle, the National Matches have something for just about everybody.
Head on over to the Camp Perry sign-up page and get started on this year’s application.
Smallbore Matches Will Be in Indiana This Year
If you’re a smallbore shooter, these next two years will be a little different. In 2014 and 2015, the NRA National Smallbore Position Championships and the NRA National Smallbore Prone Championships will be held at Chief Wa-Ke-De Range in Bristol, Indiana. This change of venue for the Smallbore Championship Events was made to accommodate the 2015 World Palma Rifle Championships at Camp Perry. (The change was made in 2014 because the World Palma teams will be practicing at Camp Perry this summer, a year before the big event.) The Chief Wa-Ke-De Range is an excellent location that has hosted the NRA National Metric Championships for the past few years.
The NRA National Rifle & Pistol Championships are the pinnacle of target shooting in the USA. If you’re itching to try out some new equipment or are looking for an excuse to buy some more accessories, the National Matches are the perfect excuse. Use the links below to register for the National Matches, or to view the 2014 program brochures (in PDF format) for the High Power, Fullbore, and Pistol disciplines.
Click Here to Sign Up for Camp Perry
2014 National Matches Calendar (Draft)
2014 High Power Program
2014 Fullbore Program
2014 Pistol Program
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June 19th, 2014
Phase I Nearing Completion at CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park
By Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer
Construction continues at the CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park as Phase I has reached 95% completion. The first phase is expected to be complete in September 2014. Clearing of brush, trees and other natural foliage is 100% complete, with 95% of the 600,000 cubic yards of dirt moved. The only earth that remains to be moved is in the action pistol bay areas. The second phase of the project is expected to be complete in March 2015, with the range’s official opening to the public in April 2015.
Berms have taken shape as 95% of the 600,000 cubic yards of crimson Alabama dirt has been moved.
This concrete slab will be home to the CMP Clubhouse. The building will overlook the 600-yard range.
Phase II of the project is around 10% finished, with pavement down on the main entrance road and the concrete foundation for the main building complete. It may be another month before workers begin to stand steel and pour concrete slabs for the other buildings on the property. Workers are also preparing to place footings on the 600-yard range.
The 600-yard and 300-yard ranges will be equipped with state-of-the-art, all-weather electronic targets.
Electronic Targets at Talladega
Back at CMP’s south offices, the state-of-the-art electronic targets that will be featured at the new park have been under construction. The wooden frames for the 600-yard range are already complete, while construction on the 300-yard frames will soon be underway.
The electronically-powered target lifters are being crafted in Ohio. Once completed, the frames and the lifters will be attached to rubber-faced targets that will be able to withstand all weather conditions and multiple shots. The targets resemble the electronic targets used at CMP’s air gun ranges, only on a much, much larger scale.
An aerial view shows the trees that will serve as natural dividers between each range.
The main goal of the new park will be to provide a place where beginning and experienced marksmen can practice firearm safety through clinics and courses, as well as participate in CMP Games matches. The park will also be open for year-round open public shooting. Mark Johnson, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, reports: “It’s impressive. It’s going to be a lot more impressive looking with the grass, the woods and the rolling hills. People are going to really like it.”
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June 11th, 2014
Dry-firing practice can benefit all competitors, particularly sling-shooters. However, for AR15 Service Rifle shooters and High Power competitors using AR-based “spaceguns”, dry-firing is complicated by the charging handle location — pulling back on the handle requires that you move your head placement on the rifle. In addition, extensive AR dry-firing can cause pre-mature wear of an AR’s firing pin. AR shooters take heart — now there are products that allow you to dry-fire your AR more easily, without breaking position, and with no adverse effects on the firing pin.
Creedmoor AR15/M16 Dry-Firing Device
Creedmoor Sports offers a Delrin dry-firing device that allows you to reset your AR trigger with a very short pull of the charging handle — plus you don’t have to break position. Machined from solid Delrin, the dry-fire device is inserted into the bolt carrier and limits the swing of the hammer, allowing unlimited dry-firing without the risk of firing pin damage. The trigger pull is unchanged and the shooter can reset the trigger mechanism by cycling the charging handle a mere one-quarter inch or so. The shooter can reset his trigger without breaking position and the lessened impact of the hammer allows the shooter to better evaluate his sight picture and follow-through. Creedmoor’s AR-15/M16 Service Rifle Dry-Fire Device, item #C1051, retails for $18.95
Other AR Dry-Firing Devices
MidwayUSA offers a similar Delrin dry-firing device for ARs. Like the Creedmoor unit, this TMA-made device fits in the bolt carrier group and protects the firing pin from damage. The orange unit slips between the buffer and bolt, and permits the trigger reset with only a quarter-inch movement of the charging handle. During storage the device can also provide a safety function by preventing the hammer from hitting the firing pin. But, we caution, don’t leave your gun loaded presuming this device, by itself, will make the gun safe. MidwayUSA’s orange Delrin AR dry-firing device, item #872223, costs $17.29.
Story tip by Boyd Allen. We welcome submissions from our readers.
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June 9th, 2014
Editor: Our friend Shawn McKenna is a talented High Power competitor. A few years back Shawn ordered a Monard custom-fitted shooting coat. He found the jacket helped him shoot higher scores with less fatigue. He liked Monard coats so much he decided to sell them. Here is his report.
By Shawn McKenna
For years and years, like most High Power shooters, I used an “off the rack” shooting jacket and thought I was happy with it. There may have been one or two adjustments the supplier would accommodate during ordering, but by and large it was like wearing a suit that you bought without the benefit of having it tailored.
I’m always looking to improve my scores, and in 2008 I set out to find a better shooting jacket. I happened across Monard during a web search and was surprised to learn that they took an astounding 19 different measurements during the fitting process. I thought, “This has to be much better than an off the rack coat.”
The custom coat that Monard offers to High Power shooters is called the “HP Ultimate” coat. Consisting of 29 different sections or panels, it offers customization of the composition, thickness and type of material used in each panel. And the 19 different measurements include separate right and left shoulder profiles and separate front and back profiles.
The measurements are entered into a computer program where the ratios between various points are checked against a historical database of similar measurements. Any ratios that fall outside these typical ranges are double-checked or re-measured before confirming the order to insure the fit is right the first time. This measuring process produces a custom-fit coat with the right balance of support and comfort in each position, be it for across the course, long range, or Palma shooting.
How to Get a Monard HP Ultimate Shooting Coat
Order Monard High Power Ultimate shooting jackets from McKenna Shooting Sports. Call Shawn McKenna personally at (719) 322-3127 to talk about options, measurements, and pricing.
Shawn says: “At first glance, the order form seems daunting. But don’t worry, I can guide you through each part of the order form and explain the many different options. I’m not just the owner of McKenna Shooting Sports and a Monard-trained rep, but an experienced rifle competitor who can explain the features desirable for across the course vs. prone shooting coats (i.e. higher arm orientation, shorter torso options for prone) as well as the many different choices within those two basic options.”
McKenna Shooting Sports, LLC
1826 E Platte Ave, Suite 110
Colorado Springs, CO 80909
shawn [at] mckennasports.com
GET 10% OFF
Mention this Accurateshooter.com article and get 10% off of your order placed by June 30th. Also, see Shawn on Commercial Row at Camp Perry for 10% off Camp Perry orders.
Testimonials from Monard Customers:
“The level of support, fit and comfort of my Monard is far superior to anything else available. My old coat feels like a sweatshirt by comparison. Shooters have to try one to fully appreciate the difference. All the Monard shooters with whom I talk agree – there’s no going back once you get one.”
–Jeff Lindblom, 2013 Missouri State Champ (in photo)
“Shooting offhand in a Monard is a much-needed upgrade; the support in the lower back you get with a profile matching your lower back is great! While shooting prone it is comfortable and easy to buckle all the way down.”
–Laura Monturi, Colorado State Rifle team
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June 8th, 2014
This is the result a high power competitor dreams of seeing: 100-10X. This was shot recently by 2013 National High Power Champion SSG Brandon Green during the 200-yard sitting stage at the Tennessee Regional match. Another high power shooter commented: “Brandon Green [shot] about a two-inch group, rapid-fire sitting from 200 yards! Most competitors have never seen one of these.”
Brandon shot 100-7X on the next string, to end up with 200-17X for the sitting stage. He had 199-13X standing. Overall, when the dust settled and he completed his other yardages, he finished with 798-53X for the day. That’s impressive shooting by a great marksman. We believe Brandon was shooting a Tubb 2000 bolt-action rifle chambered in .260 Remington.
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May 29th, 2014
In the archives of The First Shot (the CMP’s Online Magazine), SGT Walter E. Craig of the USAMU discusses physical conditioning for competitive shooters, particularly High Power competitors. Fitness training is an important subject that, curiously, is rarely featured in the shooting sports media. We seem to focus on hardware, or esoteric details of cartridge reloading. Yet physical fitness also matters, particularly for High Power shooters. In his article, Craig advocates: 1) weight training to strengthen the Skeletal Muscle System; 2) exercises to build endurance and stamina; and 3) cardiovascular conditioning programs to allow the shooter to remain relaxed with a controlled heart beat.
SGT Craig explains: “An individual would not enter a long distance race without first spending many hours conditioning his/her body. One should apply the same conditioning philosophy to [shooting]. Physical conditioning to improve shooting skills will result in better shooting performance…. The objective of an individual physical training program is to condition the muscles, heart, and lungs thereby increasing the shooter’s capability of controlling the body and rifle for sustained periods.”
In addition to weight training and cardio workouts (which can be done in a gym), SGT Craig advocates “some kind of holding drill… to develop the muscles necessary for holding a rifle for extended periods.” For those with range access, Craig recommends a blind standing exercise: “This exercise consists of dry-firing one round, then live-firing one round, at a 200-yard standard SR target. For those who have access only to a 100-yard range, reduced targets will work as well. Begin the exercise with a timer set for 50 minutes. Dry-fire one round, then fire one live round and without looking at the actual impact, plot a call in a data book. Continue the dry fire/live fire sequence for 20 rounds, plotting after each round. After firing is complete, compare the data book to the target. If your zero and position are solid, the plots should resemble the target. As the training days add up and your zero is refined, the groups will shrink and move to the center.”
Fitness training and holding drills help position shooters reach their full potential.
CLICK HERE to READ FULL ARTICLE
Training for Older Shooters
Tom Alves has written an excellent article A Suggested Training Approach for Older Shooters. This article discusses appropriate low-impact training methods for older shooters. Tom explains: “Many of the articles you will read in books about position shooting and the one mentioned above are directed more toward the younger generation of shooters in their 20s. If you look down the line at a typical high power match these days you are likely to see quite a few folks who are in their middle 30s and up. Many people in that age range have had broken bones and wear and tear on their joints so a training program needs to take that into account. For instance, while jogging for an extended period for heart and lung conditioning may be the recommended approach for younger folks, it may be totally inappropriate for older people.”
READ FULL ARTICLE by Tom Alves
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