Something interesting took place in St. Louis, Missouri this weekend — F-Bench competitors shot next to Sling, F-TR, and F-Open prone shooters and all had fun. We like events that bring shooters together from multiple disciplines, and we like matches that allow F-Class folks to shoot from the Bench for a change. (We’d love to see a 300-yard match that allows short-range PPC and 30BR shooters to compete side-by-side with F-Class shooters — the more the merrier.)
The 2016 Sierra Cup Match took place at the Bench Rest Rifle Club (BRRC) of St. Louis on Saturday, May 14, 2016. Some 57 shooters braved some chilly weather to compete at 600 yards. Competitor Jim K. (aka 500Stroker in our Forum) said this was “another great match” despite challenging conditions: “It was freezin’ cold, with major switching winds, but I loved every minute. Congrats to all the winners — they earned every point at this match.”
2016 Sierra Cup Winners
F-Open — Tony Francik
F-TR — Drew Rutherford
F-Bench — Neil Greenwell
Sling — Jeff Lindblom
New, Experimental Sierra Projectiles Perform Great
Two Sierra staffers competed this year, shooting prototype Sierra bullets in the final stages of testing. Congrats to Sierra’s Tommy Todd who took Second Place in F-TR class, and to Sierra’s Mark Walker who finished third in F-Open. That bodes well for the new, experimental Sierra bullets. Based on Tommy’s and Mark’s results, the new Sierra bullets appear to be very accurate indeed.
Forum member Drew R. (aka SkiUtah2) drove all the way from North Dakota to attend the Sierra Cup:
“This was my first time at BRRC and it was as anticipated — a great place to shoot. I met many gracious and talented shooters. I love getting to try new ranges and meeting people from the AccurateShooter Forum. It’s fair to say that even the guy from North Dakota was chilled when we started on Saturday. The warm welcome helped take the edge off.
Organizing a match of this caliber takes a lot of work even with an army of people behind the scenes, and without a core group herding the cats it doesn’t run well as this one did. Thanks Brett, Joe, and everyone who made this match run so smoothly. Coordinating with sling, bench, F-TR and F-Open shooters’ needs must have been remarkably challenging and you made it look effortless.
It was a fun time. I can highly recommend this range and this match to everyone wanting an enjoyable and memorable experience. Conditions on Saturday were definitely not a trigger-pulling contest, and (for me) that adds to the fun. The amenities are top tier. Many of the ranges I shoot at do not even have running water, much less showers onsite.
Thanks to Sierra for the sponsorship and very generous prize table. And thanks for the award waiving my entry fee as the ‘Long Distance Shooter’ for my trek. That was classy and completely unexpected.” — Drew R.
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The NRA has released new, updated versions of Competition Rules, with changes that have been adopted for 2016. There are quite a few minor changes affecting rifle competitors in High Power, Service Rifle, Prone AR Platform Rifle, F-Class, and Smallbore Disciplines. There are also new rules for matches with Electronic Targets.
The wait is over… Creedmoor Sports is now producing some of the best .223 Rem target ammo you can buy. Three “match-grade” types are offered with Sierra bullets and NEW Lake City cartridge brass. If you shoot Service Rifle, you may find that this new Creedmoor ammo rivals good handloads — and that’s quite an achievement. Creedmoor General Manager Dennis DeMille, a past National Service Rifle Champion, states: “As a National Rifle Champion and having fired probably a Gazillion rounds down range (mostly hand loads), I would not hesitate to compete with this ammunition on a National Level!”
Creedmoor currently offers .223 Rem competition ammo loaded with three of the most popular projectiles: 69 grain Sierra TMK (Tipped MatchKing), the 77 grain Sierra TMK, and the 77 grain Sierra BTHP. All three ammo types are loaded in Creedmoor’s new production facility using brand new Lake City Brass. As with all Creedmoor Ammo, each lot is pressure tested and velocity tested prior to every round being hand-inspected and packaged. That gives you confidence that this ammo is consistent lot to lot. Given the quality of this ammo, it is VERY affordable, starting at $34.75 per 50-round box. That works out to $0.69 per round. At that price, when you consider hand-loading, you have to ask yourself “what’s your time worth”? Would that time be better spend practicing?
Quantity Discounts and FREE Shipping on Large Orders
Creedmoor offers quantity discounts on the .223 Rem ammo: “Order Five (5) or more boxes of any one round to get your first price break. Order Ten (10) boxes of ANY combination of Creedmoor Ammo (Rifle or Pistol, Mix and Match) you get free shipping.”
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Since this is Mother’s Day, here’s a story about one very special mother — a talented lady shooter who also reared one of the greatest marksmen in history, David Tubb.
We expect you’ve heard of David Tubb, 11-time NRA National High Power Champion. Without question, David is one of the greatest rifle shooters who ever lived. What you may not know is that David came from a family of shooters. David’s father, George Tubb, was a nationally-ranked High Power competitor. What’s more (now this may surprise you), David’s mother “Polly” was was a great shooter in her own right. When she wasn’t rearing a future Champion, Polly was hitting the X-Ring at rifle matches.
Pauline (“Polly”) S. Tubb of Canadian, Texas, earned several rifle championships during the course of her shooting career. In this photo, Polly took a moment to appear for a photo after winning the 1962 National Woman’s Bolt Rifle championship at Camp Perry. One shooter who competed against Polly observed: “I was there as a 1962 Pennsylvania State Team junior! I remember Polly. She beat some of the best Army and Marine shooters and always did it with style and good humor.”
Nick Till in 2009 M1A Match. Nick was the 2007 Service Rifle Nat’l Champion. Photo courtesy NRA Blog.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the NRA Springfield M1A Match, scheduled for July 31, 2016 at Camp Perry, Ohio. The Springfield M1A Match will kick off the 2016 NRA National High Power Rifle Championships. With this year’s anniversary M1A competition, more than 4,000 competitors will have shot the classic M1A for score from Camp Perry’s 300-yard line.
Big bucks will be at stake in this year’s M1A match. Springfield Armory is donating over $25,000 worth of cash and prizes, including a $2,000 cash award to the overall winner. All competitors who register by July 15, 2016 will also receive a free Springfield M1A Match T-shirt.
Sponsored by Springfield Armory, the NRA Springfield M1A Match was conceived to promote use of this historic battle rifle, based on the military’s M14. “Springfield Armory has always been about heritage,” stated Springfield Armory CEO Dennis Reese. “I competed myself last year. It was incredibly inspiring to see hundreds and hundreds of our M1A rifles on the Camp Perry firing lines.”
M1A Match Course of Fire
Equipment rules allow pretty much all types/grades of M1As in the match. The one-day course of fire consists of 50 shots at 300 yards on the NRA MR-65F target, as follows: 5 sighters; 20 shots slow-fire prone; 10 shots rapid-fire prone; 10 shots rapid-fire, kneeling or sitting; and 10 shots slow-fire standing.
Video of 2009 M1A match at Camp Perry (NOTE: Loud wind noise — turn down speakers.)
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Geissele Automatics manufactures a line of two-stage triggers favored by top Service Rifle, High Power, and 3-Gun shooters. Geissele now offers a variety of trigger models for both large-pin and small-pin lowers, with pull weights from 1.8 lbs to 6.0 lbs. You select the Geissele trigger with the appropriate first and second stage pull for your discipline (refer to chart below for trigger model specs).
Video Shows Geiselle Trigger Installation in AR15
Our friend Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com has crafted a video showing how to install a Geissele National Match Trigger in an AR15. This video covers installation of the trigger assembly, the trigger guard, the safety selector lever assembly, and the pistol grip.
AR15 Trigger Installation Video
Follow-Up Video for AR10 Trigger Install
Gavin recently released a follow-up video which covers the installation of a Geissele Super Dynamic Trigger in an AR10. The procedure is mostly the same as for the AR15, but this video also covers removal of the AR10 factory trigger, so it’s worth watching. You may want to turn the volume down on your computer’s speakers before playback. CLICK HERE for Geissele Trigger Instruction Manual
AR10 Geissele Trigger Installation
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Some folks say you haven’t really mastered marksmanship unless you can hit a target when standing tall ‘on your own hind legs’. Of all the shooting positions, standing can be the most challenging because you have no horizontally-solid resting point for your forward arm/elbow. Here 10-time National High Power Champ Carl Bernosky explains how to make the standing shot.
Carl Bernosky is one of the greatest marksmen in history. A multi-time National High Power Champion, Carl has won ten (10) National High Power Championships in his storied shooting career, most recently in 2012. In this article, Carl provides step-by-step strategies to help High Power shooters improve their standing scores. When Carl talks about standing techniques, shooters should listen. Among his peers, Carl is regard as one of the best, if not the best standing shooter in the game today. Carl rarely puts pen to paper, but he was kind enough to share his techniques with AccurateShooter.com’s readers.
If you are position shooter, or aspire to be one some day, read this article word for word, and then read it again. We guarantee you’ll learn some techniques (and strategies) that can improve your shooting and boost your scores. This stuff is gold folks, read and learn…
How to Shoot Standing by Carl Bernosky
Shooting consistently good standing stages is a matter of getting rounds down range, with thoughtfully-executed goals. But first, your hold will determine the success you will have.
1. Your hold has to be 10 Ring to shoot 10s. This means that there should be a reasonable amount of time (enough to get a shot off) that your sights are within your best hold. No attention should be paid to the sights when they are not in the middle — that’s wasted energy. My best hold is within 5 seconds after I first look though my sights. I’m ready to shoot the shot at that time. If the gun doesn’t stop, I don’t shoot. I start over.
2. The shot has to be executed with the gun sitting still within your hold. If the gun is moving, it’s most likely moving out, and you’ve missed the best part of your hold.
3. Recognizing that the gun is sitting still and within your hold will initiate you firing the shot. Lots of dry fire or live fire training will help you acquire awareness of the gun sitting still. It’s not subconscious to me, but it’s close.
4. Don’t disturb the gun when you shoot the shot. That being said, I don’t believe in using ball or dummy rounds with the object of being surprised when the shot goes off. I consciously shoot every shot. Sometimes there is a mistake and I over-hold. But the more I train the less of these I get. If I get a dud round my gun will dip.* I don’t believe you can learn to ignore recoil. You must be consistent in your reaction to it.
5. Know your hold and shoot within it. The best part of my hold is about 4 inches. When I get things rolling, I recognize a still gun within my hold and execute the shot. I train to do this every shot. Close 10s are acceptable. Mid-ring 10s are not. If my hold was 8 inches I would train the same way. Shoot the shot when it is still within the hold, and accept the occasional 9. But don’t accept the shots out of the hold.
6. Practice makes perfect. The number of rounds you put down range matter. I shudder to think the amount of rounds I’ve fired standing in my life, and it still takes a month of shooting standing before Perry to be in my comfort zone. That month before Perry I shoot about 2000 rounds standing, 22 shots at a time. It peaks me at just about the right time.
This summarizes what I believe it takes to shoot good standing stages. I hope it provides some insight, understanding, and a roadmap to your own success shooting standing.
— Good Shooting, Carl
* This is very noticeable to me when shooting pistol. I can shoot bullet holes at 25 yards, but if I’ve miscounted the rounds I’ve fired out of my magazine, my pistol will dip noticeably. So do the pistols of the best pistol shooters I’ve watched and shot with. One might call this a “jerk”, I call it “controlled aggressive execution”, executed consistently.
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Guest Article By Michelle Gallagher, Berger Bullets
Let’s face it. In the world of firearms, there is something for everyone. Do you like to compete? Are you a hunter? Are you more of a shotgun shooter or rifle shooter? Do you enjoy running around between stages of a timed course, or does the thought of shooting one-hole groups appeal to you more? Even though many of us shoot several different firearms and disciplines, chances are very good that we all have a favorite. Are we spreading ourselves too thin by shooting different disciplines, or is it actually beneficial? I have found that participating in multiple disciplines can actually improve your performance. Every style of shooting is different; therefore, they each develop different skills that benefit each other.
How can cross-training in other disciplines help you? For example, I am most familiar with long-range prone shooting, so let’s start there. To be a successful long-range shooter, you must have a stable position, accurate ammunition, and good wind-reading skills. You can improve all of these areas through time and effort, but there are other ways to improve more efficiently. Spend some time practicing smallbore. Smallbore rifles and targets are much less forgiving when it comes to position and shot execution. Long-range targets are very large, so you can get away with accepting less than perfect shots. Shooting smallbore will make you focus more on shooting perfectly center shots every time. Another way to do this with your High Power rifle is to shoot on reduced targets at long ranges. This will also force you to accept nothing less than perfect. Shoot at an F-Class target with your iron sights. At 1000 yards, the X-Ring on a long range target is 10 inches; it is 5 inches on an F-Class target. Because of this, you will have to focus harder on sight alignment to hit a center shot. When you go back to the conventional target, you will be amazed at how large the ten ring looks.
Also, most prone rifles can be fitted with a bipod. Put a bipod and scope on your rifle, and shoot F-TR. Shooting with a scope and bipod eliminates position and eyesight factors, and will allow you to concentrate on learning how to more accurately read the wind. The smaller target will force you to be more aggressive on your wind calls. It will also help encourage you to use better loading techniques. Nothing is more frustrating than making a correct wind call on that tiny target, only to lose the point out the top or bottom due to inferior ammunition. If you put in the effort to shoot good scores on the F-Class target, you will be amazed how much easier the long-range target looks when you return to your sling and iron sights. By the same token, F-Class shooters sometimes prefer to shoot fast and chase the spotter. Shooting prone can help teach patience in choosing a wind condition to shoot in, and waiting for that condition to return if it changes.
Benchrest shooters are arguably among the most knowledgeable about reloading. If you want to learn better techniques about loading ammunition, you might want to spend some time at benchrest matches. You might not be in contention to win, but you will certainly learn a lot about reloading and gun handling. Shooting F-Open can also teach you these skills, as it is closely related to benchrest. Benchrest shooters may learn new wind-reading techniques by shooting mid- or long-range F-Class matches.
Position shooters can also improve their skills by shooting different disciplines. High Power Across-the-Course shooters benefit from shooting smallbore and air rifle. Again, these targets are very small, which will encourage competitors to be more critical of their shot placement. Hunters may benefit from shooting silhouette matches, which will give them practice when shooting standing with a scoped rifle. Tactical matches may also be good, as tactical matches involve improvising shots from various positions and distances. [Editor: Many tactical matches also involve hiking or moving from position to position — this can motivate a shooter to maintain a good level of general fitness.]
These are just a few ways that you can benefit from branching out into other shooting disciplines. Talk to the other shooters. There is a wealth of knowledge in every discipline, and the other shooters will be more than happy to share what they have learned. Try something new. You may be surprised what you get out of it. You will certainly learn new skills and improve the ones you already have. You might develop a deeper appreciation for the discipline you started off with, or you may just discover a new passion.
This article originally appeared in the Berger Bulletin. The Berger Bulletin blog contains the latest info on Berger products, along with informative articles on target shooting and hunting.
Article Find by EdLongrange.
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To succeed in long-range shooting matches, given the high level of competition these days, you’ll need solid wind-reading abilities. We’ve found an article by SFC Emil Praslick III, retired USAMU Service Rifle coach and U.S. Palma Team Coach, that can help you make better wind calls in competition.
Emil Praslick, now retired from the U.S. Army, is considered one of the best wind gurus in the United States, if not the world. During his service with the USAMU he authored an excellent two-part article on wind reading that is available on the CMP (Civilian Marksmanship Program) website. Both articles contain helpful illustrations, and are “must-read” resources for any long-range shooter–not just Service Rifle and Highpower competitors.
Part One covers basic principles, tactics, and strategies, with a focus on the 200-yard stages. Emil writes: “There are as many dimensions to ‘wind reading’ as there are stages to High Power competition. Your tactical mindset, or philosophy, must be different for the 200 and 300 yard rapid-fire stages than it would be for the 600 yard slow-fire. In the slow-fire stages you have the ability to adjust windage from shot to shot, utilizing the location of the previous shot as an indicator. Additionally, a change to the existing conditions can be identified and adjusted for prior to shooting the next shot.”
In Part Two, Praslick provides more detailed explanations of the key principles of wind zeros, wind reading, and the “Clock System” for determining wind values: “The Value of the wind is as important as its speed when deciding the proper windage to place on the rifle. A 10 MPH wind from ’12 o-clock’ has No Value, hence it will not effect the flight of the bullet. A 10 MPH wind from ‘3 o’clock’, however, would be classified as Full Value. Failure to correct for a Full Value wind will surely result in a less than desirable result.”
Praslick also explains how to identify and evaluate mirage:
Determine the accuracy of the mirage. Mirage is the reflection of light through layers of air that have different temperatures than the ground. These layers are blown by the wind and can be monitored to detect wind direction and speed.
Focus your scope midway between yourself and the target, this will make mirage appear more prominent. I must emphasize the importance of experience when using mirage as a wind-reading tool. The best way to become proficient in the use of mirage is to correlate its appearance to a known condition. Using this as a baseline, changes in mirage can be equated to changes in the value of the wind. Above all, you must practice this skill!
Click HERE for more excellent instructional articles by Emil Praslick and other USAMU Coaches and shooters.
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The 10th Annual Eastern CMP Games and Creedmoor Cup Matches will be held at Camp Butner, North Carolina, April 29 through May 8, 2015. The Eastern CMP Games run April 29 through May 3, while the Creedmoor Cup Matches will follow the Eastern Games, May 4-8. Events will include a 4-Man Team Match, Creedmoor Cup Match and EIC Match. All interested shooters are invited to participate in this popular event, which includes: Rimfire Sporter Match, M16 Match, M1 Garand Match, Springfield Match, M1-Carbine Match, Vintage Military Match, Modern Military Match, Vintage Sniper Match, Pistol Matches and more.
There will also be skills training seesions throughout the week, including a High Power Shooting Clinic, Pistol Clinic, and GSM New Shooter Clinic. The free Team Remington High Power Shooting Clinic will offer instruction by some of the nation’s top High Power service rifle competitors. This will feature lectures, dry fire training, plus lots of hands-on coaching with a large squad of instructors. The Eastern CMP Games will also conduct a Small Arms Firing School (SAFS). The SAFS instruction is geared toward new shooters, so no previous firearm experience is required.
The Vintage Sniper Match is a two-person team match, utilizing scoped rifles from the Korean War, World War II or earlier, upon sandbags. Teammates take turns as both shooter and spotter.
Garand-Springfield-Military New Shooter Clinic
The Garand-Springfield-Military (GSM) New Shooter Clinic is recommended for all new shooters to the CMP Games, as well as those who may not be firing, but simply would like to learn more about the events. The clinic includes classroom instruction, demonstrations and dry-fire position practice – all led by CMP GSM Master Instructors.
Great Place to Get Started in Competitive Shooting
The CMP Games matches are ideal events for shooters who have not participated in previous competitions. Shooters are permitted to coach or assist each other in these matches. Experienced shooters are encouraged to assist new shooters with positions, slings, loading and the rules.
To learn more about the Eastern CMP Games, email croguski [at] thecmp.org or call (888) 267-0796, extension 714. If you have questions about the Creedmoor Cup contact Dennis DeMille, demille [at] creedmoorsports.com or call (800) 273-3366 M-F, 9:00 am – 6:00 pm Central Time.
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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.
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.”
At its upcoming Annual Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, the National Rifle Association (NRA) will launch a new activities program for Millennials — young Americans in their 20s and early 30s. The new MRA (Millennial Rifle Activities) program will include a series of special events for Millennials held throughout the nation. These MRA “gatherings” will be unique among NRA competition disciplines. First, all participants in MRA events will receive a participation badge or trophy for showing up. Second, though shooting at targets will be encouraged, no actual gun-handling is required. Millennial participants can choose to watch instead. Finally, for those who do choose to shoot at MRA events, scoring will optional. Actual scores will be kept confidential, and there will be no published rankings. “At MRA events”, promises an NRA news release, “all participants will be winners.”
The NRA’s new MRA activities program targets “Millennials” — the young Americans raised on video games and the internet. If you’re not familiar with the term “Millennials”, this refers to Americans born between 1980 and 2000. They represent “the first generation that grew up with the internet and the first to have truly incorporated technology into their daily lives.” READ More.
Scoring Optional at Millennials Matches
Creating a competition program for Millennials has been challenging. With short attention spans, Millennials are easily distracted and they lack motivation to prepare or practice. Very self-absorbed, Millennials were raised on “instant gratification” and see themselves as entitled. These personality traits seem to run contrary to the focus, self-discipline, and mindset required for serious competition. Accordingly, the NRA has taken a whole new approach to MRA matches — scores won’t count and the focus will be on participation. Said one member of the NRA Competition Committee: “These were the kids who got ‘participation trophies’ for playing soccer. We are offering the same kinds of rewards. At our Millennial Matches you’ll be acknowledged just for showing up. Scoring will be optional. The emphasis is not on winning, but on participating.”
An NRA spokesman told us: “We’ve done a lot of research into the Millennial group. This demographic is very different than older generations. They expect to be rewarded for participation and they don’t want to be judged by objective standards, such as numeric scores. We’ve also learned that they like to do activities on the spur of the moment and without preparation. That’s why actual shooting will be optional at MRA events. We expect that many participants will arrive completely unprepared — without a gun or ammo. But they can still participate, and be acknowledged… and that’s what it’s all about. We want to get more Millennials involved, whether they actually shoot or not.”
NRA Millennials Outreach Follows Success of NRA Programs for Women
The NRA’s outreach programs have enabled the organization to grow its membership base successfully. For example, in recent years the NRA has significantly expanded the ranks of female members. The NRA now offers a wide variety of programs expressly for women, including self-defense training and women’s wilderness retreats. The NRA also maintains a media channel for women, NRAwomen.tv. This broadcast/web channel promotes women’s activities and recognizes top female shooters.
Millennials Create Unique Challenges for Match Directors
Dennis Santiago is a seasoned match director with decades of experience running NRA matches. He said that finding a formula for the new Millennials Match “gatherings” has been a challenge: “Designing a competitive course of fire for the new MRA Millennials discipline is not as easy as you would think. Millennials have short attention spans and it is difficult to draw them away from their digital devices. You have to come up with range commands that can attract their attention. We are thinking of sending commands via Twitter, or possibly streaming match instructions over Spotify.”
Dennis also noted that a shooting competition with “optional scoring” is something new and different for the NRA. “The concept of recording and reporting scores was hotly debated. Ultimately we decided to make scoring optional. We concluded that mandatory scoring would probably discourage participation by Millennials. To a generation that has been rewarded for simply showing up, we wanted to create a ‘safe space’ and a non-threatening environment for this new class of competitor.”
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Report by Johnny Fisher
The Civilian Marksmanship Program has just finished temporary installation of 15 traveling electronic Kongsberg Targets at the Oklahoma City Gun Club in Arcadia, OK. These high-tech targets will be employed during the Oklahoma CMP Games, slated for April 6-10, 2016. All the High Power rifle events during this year’s Oklahoma Games will be run exclusively on these electronic targets. Competitors will be scored electronically with match results being processed in real-time. Notably, this means High Power competitors will not have to do “pit duty” the entire week since manual target-pulling and shot-marking is no longer required.
The majority of shooting at the Oklahoma CMP Games will be fired at the 200-yard line for the Garand / Springfield / Vintage & Modern Military (GSMM) matches. However, the electronic targets have also been readied for use in the scheduled Excellence In Competition (EIC) and Vintage Sniper matches. Those events require additional firing from 300 yards and 600 yards.
Electronic Target Technology — How Kongsberg Targets Work
CMP Targets technician Bryan Parris explains what makes these targets so special: “These targets were designed by the experts at Kongsberg Targets exclusively for the CMP to fit the standard US target dimensions of 72″ square target backers. What shooters discern as the black of the aiming bull is actually black rubber sheeting that is the entire size of the backer. A layer of white corrugated plastic then covers this rubber with a center hole having been cut out to reveal the appropriate sized bull for that yard-line. All that is required as competitors move further back through the course is to change out the plastic cover to reveal a larger aiming black.”
This acoustically-scored target system uses four microphones to locate the bullet as it passes through the target. The microphone closest to the bullet traveling through the target actuates the remaining three to triangulate the exact shot location for the scoring system and simultaneously display the shot on the shooter’s monitor.
Behind the coroplast face and inside the foam insulation, the target is wrapped with rubber to form a type of chamber. This helps insulate the target’s four microphones stay insulated from extreme temperature changes and also helps keep out ambient noise. This chamber need only exist to the extent that it separates itself from the other targets. Parris states: “We’re building these targets to last a great long while. They are extremely durable and can have anywhere from 3000 to 5000 rounds fired through them before any maintenance is required whatsoever.”
The entire system can be powered via battery, generator, or combination of both. The target line communicates wirelessly with the firing line computer system for timing courses of fire and recording scores. And of course, there is virtual real-time communication with monitors set up on each firing point to display shot / group location and value.
When fully assembled, each target weighs about 200 pounds. They are a little cumbersome in their current form, but the CMP’s target technicians are “still working some things out [for] potential future travel games.”
Registration Still Open for Oklahoma CMP Games
The 2016 CMP Oklahoma Games will be held at the Oklahoma City Gun Club in Arcadia, OK from April 6 – 10, 2016. Registration is still available. For more information about these Kongsberg Electronic Targets, contact Bryan Parris of CMP Targets at (256) 835-8455 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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You may not know it, but a team of youngsters from California is the winningest junior team in the history of the National Matches at Camp Perry. Despite California’s tough gun laws, the young shooters on the California Grizzlies Rifle Team have managed to rack up impressive victories in competition, achieving excellence season after season.
Help Support the California Grizzlies Junior Rifle Team
Right now the Grizzlies Grizzlies are seeking donations to support their effort to attend the 2016 National Matches at Camp Perry. You can make a secure PayPal donation through the Grizzlies’ website, www.TeamGrizzlies.com.
The California Grizzlies squad has always excelled — it remains the only junior team to ever win the Infantry Trophy (NTIT) at the NRA National Championships. In 2009, Team Grizzlies O’Connell shot a 1284 to win the NTIT, becoming the first junior team to ever win the event and the first civilian team to win in 79 years. In 2013, the Grizzlies again shot superbly, winning not only the High Junior Title, but the Civilian Title as well. In fact, in 2013, the young Grizzlies squad beat ALL the adult teams except the powerhouse U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit Team.
Here is the 2009 Grizzlies Squad that won the NTIT outright, beating ALL other teams.
Watch the Grizzlies in Action, Training for the Nationals
This video was filmed in 2010 during a week-long training clinic held at the Coalinga range in central California. During the clinic, Grizzlies members honed their position shooting skills. We wish these boys and girls good luck in their quest for another team victory at Camp Perry.
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Online registration is officially open for the 2016 NRA National Rifle and Pistol Championships at Camp Perry, Ohio. Held July 11 through August 9, 2016, the National Matches attract the nation’s finest civilian and military marksmen who will participate in a month of competitive shooting on the shores of Lake Erie. From pistol, to smallbore rifle, high power rifle, and long range high power rifle (including F-Class), the national matches have something for just about every serious shooter.
Shooters may now register to compete in this summer’s 2016 NRA National Rifle and Pistol Championships at Camp Perry, Ohio. Championship will be held in NRA’s Pistol, High Power, Mid-Range, and Long Range disciplines. Click the links below for the 2016 NM Calendar and NM Registration Form:
Smallbore Championships Will Be Held in Bristol, Indiana
As usual, the pistol, High Power, and High Power Long Range Championships will be held at Camp Perry, Ohio, on the shores of Lake Erie. However, the NRA National Smallbore Position Championships and Smallbore Prone Championships will be held at the Chief Wa-Ke-De Range in Bristol, Indiana. This year’s Smallbore Championships are scheduled for July 10 through July 18th.
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On the Shooting Sports USA website, legendary shooter Middleton (“Mid”) Tompkins is profiled this week. One of the great figures in American rifle shooting, Mid is also the patriarch of the greatest family of shooters in American history. Mid’s wife Nancy Tompkins, and daughters Michelle Gallagher and Sherri Jo Gallagher, have all been National Champions. Mid himself is a six-time, across-the-course national High Power rifle champion. He’s also been on 18 Palma teams as captain, coach or shooter. Mid started shooting smallbore rifle over 60 years ago, competing in that discipline at Camp Perry in 1954. But he committed to High Power in 1955 and never looked back: “I liked High Power’s diversification of standing, sitting, rapid fire and long range shooting.”
Practice Ammo: Mid does not use practice ammo, saying: “If it isn’t the best ammo he owns, the shooter learns absolutely nothing because they don’t know—when they shoot an 8, if they shot it, the ammo shot it or the gun shot it.”
On Scorebooks: “I totally, totally do not believe in scorebooks. It takes away your concentration from what you should be doing, which is doping the wind and pointing the rifle downrange. Shooting is not about book-keeping. Shooting is about putting a bullet in the middle of the target.”
Practice Makes Perfect: For decades, Mid shot every Saturday and Sunday, whether for practice or in a match. Mid shot with four different clubs, each hosting their own match on a different weekend. He shot them all, as well as practicing the day before each match. That’s in addition to competing in Sanctioned and Registered matches.
Middleton Tompkins Interview from 2015:
In the video above, Mid talks candidly about his storied career as a shooter and a shooting coach. He explains what it takes to win, and offers advice on how new shooters can improve their skill sets. Mid also talks about advancements in rifle hardware and bullet design. Mid also offers invaluable advice on how to dope the wind at Ben Avery. Last year, the 1000-yard Range at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix was officially dedicated as the “Middleton Tompkins Range”.
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Blast from the Past: As we get set up in Phoenix for the 2016 Berger Southwest Nationals, we thought we’d revisit one of our more interesting features from a few years back. At the 2010 SHOT Show, we had the unique opportunity to corner three “superstars” of High Power shooting, and solicit their wind-reading secrets. Carl Bernosky, David Tubb, and John Whidden all shared some championship-caliber wind wisdom in video interviews. If you shoot competitively, you’ll want to watch these videos. David’s video is worth watching twice because some of the key points he makes go by pretty quickly.
In the three videos below (in alphabetical order), Carl Bernosky (10-Time Nat’l High Power Champion), David Tubb (11-time Nat’l High Power Champion and 7-time Nat’l Long-Range Champion), and John Whidden (2-Time Nat’l High Power Long-Range Champion) shared some of the wind-doping strategies that have carried them to victory in the nation’s most competitive shooting matches. This is GOLD folks… no matter what your discipline — be it short-range Benchrest or Long-Range High Power — watch these videos for valuable insights that can help you shoot more accurately, and post higher scores, in all wind conditions.
We were very fortunate to have these three extraordinarily gifted champions reveal their “winning ways”. These guys REALLY know their stuff. I thought to myself: “Wow, this is how a baseball fan might feel if he could assemble Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, and Ted Williams in the same room, and have them each reveal their hitting secrets.” Editor’s Note: These interviews were conducted before Bernosky and Tubb won their most recent National Championships.
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Old is new again. After receiving many suggestions on how best to fill the recently-added week at the end of the National Matches in August, the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) has created the “CMP Legacy Series”. To be conducted during the final week of competition at Camp Perry, the Legacy Series will include the following matches:
CMP Heritage Match (Aug. 10) – 800 Aggregate event, 20 shots standing and 20 shots sitting at the 200-yard line, 20 shots rapid fire at the 300-yard line and 20 shots prone slow fire at the 600-yard line.
CMP Viale Memorial Match (Aug. 11) – 50-shot National Match Course of Fire
CMP Critchfield 2-Man Team Match (Aug. 12) – 50-shot National Match Course of Fire.
CMP Modern Military Rifle Match (Aug. 13) – 55-shot match fired at the 200-yard line.
CMP Roosevelt Commemorative Match (Aug. 14) – 30-shot Krag/m1903 match fired at the 200-yard line.
The theme “Legacy Series” was chosen to honor Camp Perry and those individuals who have helped shape the nation’s longest-running series of championship and recreational rifle events in America. The schedule above was chosen by the overwhelming majority of CMP competitors surveyed. Of the 1,595 responses, 1,051 selected the CMP Legacy Series to conclude the 2016 National Matches.
The CMP Heritage Match is typical of the National Match Course service rifle events fired at Camp Perry for more than 100 years. The CMP Viale Memorial Match celebrates the memory of 2nd Lt. Robert M. Viale, KIA, namesake of Camp Perry’s 1,000-yard range. The CMP Critchfield 2-Man Team match is named in honor of Ammon B. Critchfield, Adjutant General of Ohio and founder of Camp Perry, the largest rifle range in the nation.
Critchfield would also be pleased to see those 1903 Springfields in action more than a century later on his range at the CMP Roosevelt Commemorative Match, open only to the Springfield and its predecessor, the Krag-Jorgensen rifle.
The CMP Modern Military Rifle Match showcases modern, semi-automatic military style rifles like the non-accurized M14/M1A, the original lightweight AR15 and many foreign military semi-autos and commercial equivalents.
If you have questions regarding the CMP Legacy Series, contact Christina Roguski at croguski @ thecmp.org, Shannon Hand at shand @ thecmp.org or Kim Filipiak at kfilipiak @ thecmp.org.
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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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Here’s an AR configuration suited to the new AR Mid-Range Prone Discipline: Moderate-length barrel, Harris Bipod, Leupold Mark AR MOD 1 4-12x40mm scope. Photobucket image by Ingo1978.
The NRA has created a new mid-range, target-shooting discipline for AR owners. The provisional rules for the new AR Mid-Range Prone Competition will allow calibers from .22 up to .308. Rifle weight will be limited to 14 pounds. Competitors may use Harris (or similar) compact, “tactical” bipods, and optics up to 12-power will be allowed (but iron sights can also be used). The goal of this new competition is to get the many AR owners to the range to compete.
The NRA’s Information Sheet for the new mid-range discipline explains: “These rifles are of the ‘AR-Platform’ variety, semi-automatic, chambered in any caliber from .223 cal./5.56mm. up to and including .308 cal./7.62mm. The courses of fire will be the same courses of fire currently used for other NRA Mid-Range (Prone) High Power Competition (300, 500, and 600 yards) and are designed to be fired concurrently with other forms of Mid-Range competition. The targets will be the same targets that are used for Service Rifle, Match Rifle, and Palma Rifle Mid-Range Prone competition. Mid-range telescopic sights will be allowed, but not required. Because this is prone competition, shooters may use tactical front rests such as Harris-type bipods and limited rear rests of the type one might find used in military or police tactical situations.”
A very prominent NRA member who works with the Competition Committee recently posted this explanation of the new AR discipline on our Forum:
NRA Mid-Range (Prone) Tactical Rifle (AR)
For those clubs and match directors who have members with ARs who want to shoot Mid-Range Prone but who don’t want (or can’t afford) to shoot traditional “sling” or F-Class, we have a new opportunity to get those ARs out of the closet and onto the range with very little in the way of additional costs:
It’s called Mid-Range Tactical Rifle (AR). A copy of the description and the Rules (Provisional) are attached as a PDF file and should be published by the NRA very soon. CAUTION — these are NOT official — but I think they are accurate:
In brief, here’s how it works:
1. The event will be fired concurrently with any other Mid-Range event, alongside of F-Class and “sling” divisions.
2. The Event will be fired on the “sling targets”.
3. AR Rifle General Standards:
Calibers: 223/5.56 up to and including .308/7.62mm
Weight: Overall weight not more than 14 pounds
Support: Harris-type “tactical bipod” (no large F-Class bipods).
Optics: Scope not more than 12X
Barrel: Not more than 20″
Trigger: Trigger pull not less than 4.5 pounds
4. This is NOT F-Class — this is designed to be closer to “tactical”. F-Class competition gear is generally illegal; competition stocks are generally illegal. [The event] is designed to attract more law enforcement and/or military (maybe local National Guard?) and other “tactical shooters” out to the range shooting for precision. For more info, check out the attached PDF file.
You’ll find a discussion of this new AR Mid-Range discipline in our Shooters’ Forum, HERE: AR Mid-Range Match Forum Thread. Here are some interesting comments from that thread:
“Opening up mid-range matches for ARs is a great idea. I’m not an AR guy myself, but I have lots of shooting friends who are. They tend to have a lot of ideas what their guns are capable of out to 600 yards, but most don’t take many opportunities to shoot them at those ranges, and none of the existing High Power disciplines are very appealing. Until now. I hope it doesn’t become an equipment race. A 185/200 is a respectable score even with a 12″ 10 ring. I hope everyone is supportive — helping get these guys on the paper and providing positive feedback even for scores that seem modest by F-Class standards.” — Comment by Berger.Fan222
“It looks like the recommended targets will be the same as conventional shooters use (i.e. ~1 MOA X-ring). Given the specifications for rifles/bipods/scopes/etc., I think this would be an appropriate level of difficulty to start. It will be challenging, particularly at 600 yards, but by no means impossible. Of course, at 600 yards, anyone shooting an AR15 (.223/5.56) will be at a disadvantage to ballistically-superior calibers unless they come up with a good way to load 80+ grain bullets that will mag-feed. Personally, I’d like to see this limited strictly to .223 ARs. Almost everyone has one and the mag feed requirement would really keep things even across the board. The inclusion of other calibers will allow this to become a ‘caliber race’ in that .223 will have a very hard time keeping up with other, better calibers at 600 yards.” — Comment by gstaylorg
“Looks like a great new addition. The PDF document says rule 7.20 for course of fire which is mid-range slow fire. I believe all slow fire is currently ‘one round loads’. The PDF explicitly states 10-, 20- or 30-round magazines and no sleds. Does anyone know if this new discipline would be fired from magazine or one-round loads? Shooting from magazine would be keeping with the ‘tactical’ aspect and enforcing mag-length loads. But it does not seem to jive with the ‘one round load’ currently stipulated for slow fire?” — Comment by Highpower-FClass
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