September 22nd, 2019

Sunday GunDay: Joe Hendricks Jr.’s CMP Cup-Winning Tubegun

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Photography by Meghan Hendricks.

This story is about a great shooter, Joe Hendricks Jr., and his Eliseo RTS Tubegun, chambered in 6mm Competition Match. With this versatile rifle, Joe Hendricks Jr. won the 2019 CMP Cup Aggregate Title for Match Rifles. Joe comes from a long line of talented marksmen. His father AND his grandfather are elite competitive shooters. His dad has been a National Champion, and all three generations have shot together, shoulder to shoulder, on the Remington Rifle Team. Like grandfather, like father, like son.

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Joe says: “I think it’s pretty cool that there have now been two major Across the Course Championships won by a Hendricks using a Gary Eliseo chassis, one by me this year, and one in 2014 when my father (Joe Hendricks Sr.) won the NRA National Championship.”

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Photography by Meghan Hendricks.

Joe Hendricks Jr.’s Rifle — Eliseo RTS Chassis, Rem 40X Action, Krieger Barrel
Joe’s rifle is built on a Competition Machine RTS Target Model chassis. This Tubegun features a Remington 40X action with Pacific Tool & Gauge Bolt and Jewell trigger. The scope is a Leupold 6-18x40mm. The barrel is a Krieger chambered in 6mm Competition Match. Joe explains: “The 6mm Competition Match is a cartridge that my dad came up with. It is basically a .243 Winchester with a 31° shoulder.”

If you look carefully in the photo below, you’ll note the silver-toned, adjustable butt-plate. That’s an upgrade Joe added: “I did a small modification to the stock, where I put on an Anschutz buttplate instead of the standard one Gary Eliseo uses. This Anschutz hardware provides a little bit more adjustability.”

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Here Joe Hendricks Jr. fires at 200 yards from the standing position.

The Standing Position — Why It’s Critical to Match Success
Joe told us: “As far as shooting strategies and training methods go, I shoot a lot of standing practice — at least 50 shots per session. I still train the other positions of course, but I believe if you start your day off with a great standing score, it really makes the rest of the day easy because then you don’t feel like you’re playing catch-up the whole time.”

Joe explains: “When I’m shooting standing, I shoot in a manner very similar to the way that Carl Bernosky does. He’s written a few articles about the standing position. He always talks about making sure the shot goes off inside his hold, and I’m the same way. I don’t try to do too much. I just let the gun do its thing and when/if it stops in the Ten Ring, I shoot the shot. If it doesn’t, I don’t.”

About the CMP Cup Two-Day Course of Fire
The CMP Cup is a two-day match comprised of two, 1000-point Aggregates, for a 2000-point Grand Agg. Each day, the competitors fire 100 shots total from the 200, 300, and 600 yard lines. The match starts with 20 shots slow fire standing at 200 yards. Next are two, 10-shot, rapid fire strings in 60 seconds from the sitting position. Next are two, 10-shot strings in 70 seconds prone at 300 yards (rapid fire prone). Each day’s course of fire concludes with two, 20-shot sequences of slow-fire prone at 600 yards.

Joe Hendricks Jr. CMP Cup Eliseo tubegun RTS 6 Competition High Power

6mm Competition Match Cartridge — Slower Powder Yields Better Barrel Life
My dad was shooting a 6XC for a while and was getting tired of going through almost two barrels a year. So, he came up with the 6mm Competition Match. Like I said, it is a .243 Winchester with a 31-degree shoulder. This delivers the same (if not better) velocity as the other popular 6mm cartridges, but we get almost double the barrel life because we increased the case capacity, so we can shoot a slower burning powder. The barrel I took to Camp Perry that won the CMP Cup had over 3700 rounds on it when I was finished. [EDITOR: Take note readers! Most 6mm barrels are toast after 2500 rounds.] Granted it definitely needed to come off at that point, but it obviously was still shooting well enough to win!

Accurate Load with Peterson Brass, Berger Bullets, and Vihtavuori N165
The two loads I shot all week were Berger 108gr BT behind Vihtavuori N165 in Peterson Cartridge Company brass for 200 and 300 yards, and then Berger 115 VLD behind N165 in Peterson brass for 600 yards. Both loads are easily going over 3000 FPS. I try to only use the best components for reloading, so that’s why I go with Berger, Vihtavuori, and Peterson. Obviously Berger and Vihtavuori quality are pretty known, but I believe Peterson is right up there with Lapua[.] I’ve visited the Petersen factory many times. I’m always blown away by the time and effort Peterson puts into everything.

Winning Marksmanship — the Mental Game
The other big thing I’ve been focusing on lately is my mental game. In order to be at the top of a sport, regardless of the sport, the athlete has to have a solid mental approach. For me, I’ve learned that my key is confidence. A good shooting buddy, who was with me the first day of the CMP Cup, suggested I was arrogant because I kept telling him I was going to win. Then I told him it was confidence not arrogance. If I was confident in my ability, I did not think there was any way I could lose. [Editor: To help build confidence and visualize success, we recommend With Winning in Mind, by Lanny Bassham, an Olympic gold-medal winning marksman.]

All in the Family — Three Generations of Hendricks Marksmen

Joe’s father, Joseph Hendricks Sr., has been a National Champion rifle shooter. Joe’s grandfather, Gary Hendricks, is also a talented marksman. In fact, all three men — grandfather, father, and son — shot together on the Remington Rifle Team. Joe says that the shooting sports have helped build strong family bonds. He and his father enjoy shooting together, and competing against one another: “I learn so much just by watching my dad… shoot. Even though I have been competing for 10 years now, I’m still incredibly new to the shooting sports compared to my dad. My father is always there to help.”

“I feel very privileged to have grown up in the family that I did, with not only my father as a competitive shooter, but my grandfather as well. I definitely would not be the person I am today, let alone the shooter, without either of them. At one point, all three of us were on the Remington Rifle Team. I’ve had the opportunity to shoot team matches with all three of us on one team, as recently as this past summer.”

“Initially when I began shooting competitively, I was putting a lot of pressure on myself. I wanted to be as good a shooter as my dad and grandfather. I was trying so hard that it was really affecting my scores negatively. Then one year, I told myself I was just going to have fun, and not worry about match scores. That year was the year I really started to win things, and shoot some good scores.”

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“When my father won the NRA National Championship in 2014, I was so proud, but along with being proud, all it did was make me more motivated. Ever since I started shooting, I wanted to win a National Championship, but after he won, it just fueled my fire more. There is a bit of father/son rivalry. It’s a lot of fun if we are shooting right next to each other at the same time. We just give each other crap about shooting a bad a shot, or shooting a lower score by a point or an X.”

“My dad started shooting when he was around 10, so he has a vast amount of knowledge compared to most people, especially me. He is always there to help whenever I have a question on anything firearm or shooting related. To this day, whenever I’m done with a match, I always talk to my dad. He always has time to listen to what I have to say.”

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September 3rd, 2019

CMP Oklahoma Games in October

CMP Oklahoma Games

The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) Oklahoma Games are slated for October 7-13, a month away. Match shooters from the middle of the country should consider attending the popular annual event held at the Oklahoma City Gun Club. CMP OK Games Registration is still open! Note — this match is not just for seasoned competitors. There will be a Small Arms Firing School, and the Oklahoma Games will also feature a New Shooter Clinic for those who have never fired in a CMP Games match.

CMP Oklahoma Games

Previously held in April, the CMP Oklahoma Games will feature the popular M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, Springfield, Vintage/Modern Military, Rimfire Sporter, and Vintage Sniper Rifle matches. Pistol matches, such as the As-Issued 1911, Military & Police Service Pistol and .22 Rimfire Pistol will also be held throughout the week. The CMP Cup Matches will again be held at this Travel Games event. This include two days of invididual competition, followed by a 4-Man Team Match, and EIC Service Rifle Match.

CMP Games - Oklahoma

Oklahoma CMP Games Resources

Electronic Targets Allow Faster Relays and No Pit Duty!
High Power competitions will be fired on CMP Targets, an electronic target system that plots shot placement in real time, and eliminates the need for pit duty — allowing quicker matches with less physical labor. Shot locations/scores appear on remote monitors placed at each shooting location.

CMP Oklahoma Games

Along with competitive matches, a rifle Small Arms Firing School (SAFS) is scheduled to instruct beginning and experienced marksmen in the classroom and on the firing line, with the help of CMP staff and certified instructors. Those in attendance will learn rifle handling, shot technique and safety, followed by firing in an actual M16 EIC match.

CMP Oklahoma Games

Match Awards will be distributed each day. All participants are invited to the annual BBQ where shooters can make friends and mingle with fellow participants and CMP staff. For some the Oklahoma BBQ is the highlight of the event.

CMP Oklahoma Games

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.

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August 13th, 2019

Ronald Zerr Wins 2019 NRA Nat’l High Power Championship

Camp Atterbury High Power NRA Championships
NOTE: This is a photo of Ronald Zerr from a Team Match, 600-yard stage. Photo by SSUSA.org.

Congratulations to Ronald Zerr, the 2019 NRA National High Power Rifle Champion. Competing at Camp Atterbury, Indiana against hundreds of the nation’s best High Power shooters, Zerr finished with an impressive score of 2374-107X, five points ahead of runner-up Kenneth Lankford (2369-116X). Finishing third overall was SSG Sean Morris (U.S. Army Reserve) with 2366-87X.

Kerr, who hails from Tucson, Arizona, is a civilian shooter, a dedicated sling-shooting competitor for many years. Kerr shot a great match to earn the National High Power title, a Mumma Trophy plaque, plus gift certificates from Geissele Automatics, Krieger Barrels, and Sierra Bullets.

Notably Morris shot the match with a AR-15 type service rifle shooting 5.56×45 ammo. His strong showing earned him the service rifle championship, and the Dupont Trophy plaque. Denise Loring shot 2340-84X to earn the service rifle High Woman award.

Camp Atterbury High Power NRA Championships

About the NRA National High Power Championship
The NRA National High Power Rifle Championship is the aggregate of three matches: the Vandenberg Cup, Nevada Trophy and Clarke Trophy matches, which themselves are comprised of numerous events. Next year, along with the High Power Championships, Camp Atterbury will host the NRA Precision Pistol and Smallbore Rifle Championships.

A full match report from the 2019 NRA High Power Rifle Championship will be published in a future issue of the Shooting Sports USA digital magazine.

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August 10th, 2019

Sight Picture Options for Iron Sights

Iron sights picture metallic sights USAMU

In an article for the CMP Online Magazine, SSG Tobie Tomlinson of the USAMU Service Rifle Team explains the various sight alignments employed by iron sights shooters. Tobie writes: “There are a myriad of sight picture options that shooters have used to great effect over the years. The sight picture that allows you to consistently shoot the smallest group, with a minimal shift in zeros, is the correct one. Remember, for any shooter to be successful, consistent sight picture must be complemented by front sight focus and sight alignment.” CLICK HERE to read FULL ARTICLE

Center Hold
The front sight is placed directly in the center of the target. A center hold is great in different light conditions. On a bright day the target appears small. On a dark day the target appears large. In [any] light conditions the center of the target is always in the center. A shooter who has problems with elevation shots in various light conditions may benefit from a center hold.

6 O’Clock Hold
With the 6 O’Clock hold the front sight is placed at the bottom of the aiming black. For many shooters, this hold allows precision placement of the front sight. The ability to accurately call your shots will come with time and experience. Light changes, which alter the appearance of the target, may affect shooters who utilize the 6 O’Clock hold.

Sub 6 Hold
The sub 6 is just like the 6 O’Clock hold, only there is a small line of white between the front sight and the aiming black. Many shooters have a problem determining the exact 6 O’Clock position with their front sight, but by using a sub 6 or line of white they may be able to better estimate their hold.

Frame Hold
With the frame hold, just like with the other holds, the front sight is in the center of the rear sight. The front sight can then be placed at the 6 or 12 O’Clock position on the frame when there is no visible aiming point. This hold is typically reserved for foul weather and poor light conditions. By placing the front sight at the top or bottom of the frame, a shooter may hold better when there is little target to see. It can be difficult to hold a tight group this way, but it may add more hits in bad conditions. This technique is normally applied when shooting longer ranges such 600 or 1000 yards.

CLICK HERE for more articles from The FIRST SHOT, CMP Online Magazine.

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August 3rd, 2019

NRA Rifle Championships at Camp Atterbury — 2019 Schedule

Camp Atterbury Indiana high Power Championship

Many of the best rifle competitors in the United States will be heading to Indiana next week to compete at the 2019 NRA National High Power Rifle Championships which commence Monday, August 5, 2019. The Across-the-Course Championship, Mid-Range Championship, Long Range Championship, and Extreme Long Range Championship will all take place August 5-21, 2019 at Camp Atterbury, near Edinburgh, Indiana.

Camp Atterbury Indiana high Power Championship

GET 2019 High Power Rifle Championships PROGRAM HERE »

Camp Atterbury National NRA High Power championships 2019 program free

Day By Day Planner for 2019 Nationals at Camp Atterbury

Monday, August 5 will be the First Shot Ceremony, and squadded practice will also begin.

Tuesday, August 6 marks the beginning of the Team Matches. They will conclude on August 7.

Thursday, August 8 is the start of High Power Across the Course competition. They last until August 11.

Monday, August 12 is the Mid Range Team Championship, lasting until August 13.

Tuesday, August 13 is the first day of the Mid Range Individual Championship. They last until August 16.

Saturday, August 17 will be the Palma Team Match day.

Sunday, August 18 begins the Long Range Championship which continues through August 21.

Wednesday, August 21 is the registration day for the NRA Extreme Long Range Championship. The match will be fired over the next two days, finishing on August 23.

Email nrahighpower@nrahq.org for more information.

Camp Atterbury Indiana high Power Championship

View Schedule for ALL 2019 NRA National Championships »

Lodging at Camp Atterbury and Nearby
Camp Atterbury offers on-base lodging — rooms and cabins will be available to all competitors 18 and over. Camp Atterbury lodging includes suites and standard rooms as well as the MWR Campground and the MWR Cabins. Lodging is controlled by the Camp Atterbury Lodging Office, not by the NRA. Entry fees DO NOT include lodging costs. There are also a number of hotels nearby, including Charwood Suites. Nearby campground Johnson County Park also offers special rates for High Power competitors.

With the CMP hosting important matches next year at Camp Perry, many rifle competitors will be “commuting” between the two venues this summers, driving 4.5 hours from Indiana to Ohio.

Map Camp Perry Camp Atterbury Ohio Indiana

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July 30th, 2019

President’s 100 Match at Camp Perry — A Great Tradition

President's 100 Camp Perry Dennis Santiago
Looking downrange at the 600-yard targets. All Camp Perry photos courtesy Dennis Santiago.

Our friend Dennis Santiago is at Camp Perry this summer. Yesterday (7/29/2019) he competed in the historic National President’s 100 Match. This is a huge event. in recent years, there have been over 1000 ranked competitors from throughout the nation, making this one of the biggest rifle events of the year.

The President’s 100 Rifle Match is richly steeped in history. This unique match was first held in 1878. Here’s the view from the line at 600 yards:
President's 100 Camp Perry Dennis Santiago

The 2017 President’s 100 Rifle Match was a tightly-fought affair, with the top five shooters separated by just two points. SSG John Cogshall (ARNG) shot superbly to take the top position and President’s Rifle Trophy. The top 100 competitors overall in the President’s Rifle Match are designated as the President’s 100. They receive President’s 100 medallions and certificates. GET full match results.

Top Five Shooters at 2019 National President’s 100 Match

1. SSG John Cogshall (ARNG) 390-14X (Trophy Winner)
2. SGT Thomas Colyard (SC, USMC) 389-16X
3. Sean Prosser (PA) 389-12X
4. Greg Troxell (TX) 388-11X
5. John Hefner, (TX) 388-13X

Note: SFC Brandon Green, USAMU, who holds the course record at 400-20X, also shot a 388-13X but was ranked sixth by tie-breaker.

President's 100 Camp Perry Dennis Santiago

President’s 100 Shoot Off! — The Top 20 shooters face off while everyone watches, wishing the best for every one of them. This is what attending a family gathering is for us.
President's 100 Camp Perry Dennis Santiago

President’s 100 Course of Fire
There is a three-yardage, four-stage Course of Fire for the President’s Rifle Match Course of Fire. Firing is done on the SR target at 200 and 300 yards and the MR target at 600 yards. Scores in stages 1-3 determine the President’s 100 and the final rankings of competitors in 21st place and below. Scores in stages 1-4 determine the match winner and the final rankings in places 1-20. If there is a tie for first place (equal total and X-count), the tied shooters will continue to fire one-shot-at-a-time until the tie is broken. No sighters are permitted in National Trophy Rifle Matches.

President's 100

Origins of the President’s Match
Dunfey USAMU President's MatchThe National Rifle Association’s President’s Match was instituted in 1878, as the American Military Rifle Championship Match. In 1884, the name was changed to the President’s Match for the Military Rifle Championship of the United States. It was fired at Creedmoor, New York until 1891. In 1895, it was reintroduced at Sea Girt, New Jersey. Today, the match is held at Camp Perry, Ohio.

The President’s Match was patterned after the Queen’s Match for British Volunteers. That British competition was started in 1860 by Queen Victoria and the NRA of Great Britain to increase the ability of Britain’s marksmen following the Crimean War.

The tradition of making a letter from the President of the United States the first prize began in 1904 when President Theodore Roosevelt personally wrote a letter of congratulations to the winner, Private Howard Gensch of the New Jersey National Guard.

After a hiatus in the 1930s and 1940s, The President’s Match was reinstated in 1957 at the National Matches as “The President’s Hundred.” The 100 top-scoring competitors in the President’s Match were singled out for special recognition.

CLICK HERE for history of the President’s Match.

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July 27th, 2019

SCATT MX-02 Training System Works for Centerfire Shooters

SCATT MX-02 training digital camera sensor target

The SCATT MX-02 is an electronic shooter training system that is capable of operating outdoors with live, centerfire ammunition, at distances from 25 yards to 600 yards. Tony Chow tested this product for AccurateShooter.com. 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 shoot higher scores. CLICK HERE for MX-02 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.

SCATT MX-02 training digital camera sensor target

Some time ago, we reviewed this product from the perspective of a smallbore competitive shooter. (Read Previous Review.) Here we test SCATT MX-02 again, this time on an AR-15 service rifle, in order to assess its suitability 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).
Scatt MX-02 shooting trainer camera

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.

For more information or to order SCATT products, including the MX-02, visit ScattUSA.com or call toll-free: 1-855-57-SCATT (72288).

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July 23rd, 2019

The Road to Camp Perry — Dennis Drives to Ohio

 Camp Perry Dennis Santiago travel National Matches California Ohio Route 66
All Camp Perry photos courtesy Dennis Santiago.

Our friend (and fellow Californian) Dennis Santiago recently drove across the country, all the way to Ohio. His mission? To attend the CMP National Matches at Camp Perry. This has become an annual pilgrimage for Dennis, who writes: “My goal is to spend time with as many of my friends as possible — the friends I’ve known and hang out with throughout the year, the ones I only see once a year at Camp Perry, and the many I’ve only conversed with on social media and will meet in person for the first time. More than anything, Camp Perry is where I come home to my shooting family. My mission is to celebrate my love of this sport with them.”

Here are some photos of Santiago’s successful journey across the USA to Ohio. He’s done the road-work, now it’s time to buckle down and shoot 10s and Xs across the course.

 Camp Perry Dennis Santiago travel National Matches California Ohio Route 66

 Camp Perry Dennis Santiago travel National Matches California Ohio Route 66
“Get your kicks on Route 66 — in Manuelito, New Mexico.” — Dennis Santiago

 Camp Perry Dennis Santiago travel National Matches California Ohio Route 66
“The heartland is an ocean of corn. It is an amazing thing to see how much food we make.” — Dennis

 Camp Perry Dennis Santiago travel National Matches California Ohio Route 66
“Arrived and I’m hungry… at Camp Perry National Rifle Competition, Port Clinton, Ohio.” — Dennis

 Camp Perry Dennis Santiago travel National Matches California Ohio Route 66

Advice for First-Time Visitors to Camp Perry

Dennis first competed at Camp Perry in 2016, writing about the experience in his Dennis Talks Guns Blog. Here are some of Santiago’s tips for first-time Perry competitors:

 Camp Perry Dennis Santiago travel National Matches California Ohio Route 661. Walk the Base. Do not drive around. Get used to walking. Walk from your hut to everything. Walk to the administration buildings. Walk to the ranges. Walk to commercial row. Walk to the CMP North Store. Walk to the CMP or Army trailer to have the triggers of your rifles(s) weighed. Walk. This is your primary mode of transportation while on base.

2. Go Shopping. It’s called Commercial Row. It is the best shopping mall for competitive shooters ever. The sale prices here are Black Friday quality. You stock up on supplies. You can buy elusive powders in quantity with the same lot number. Same with bullets and primers. I stocked up. Everything you need to keep making your pet loads — except brass. This is a service rifle tournament. Pretty much everyone is using LC or WCC cases.

3. Learn about the Perils of Perry. It rains at Camp Perry. Sometimes that rain comes with lightning. When that happens range controls issues an evacuation order. Depending on where you are and how much time you have, you either grab your stuff and make for a sheltered structure or leave your stuff under whatever rain cover you have and leave it there until the storm cell passes.

Coming Soon — The President’s 100 Match
In past years, Dennis has competed in the historic National President’s 100 Match, which takes place on Monday, July 29th this year. This is a huge event — in recent years there were over 1100 ranked competitors from throughout the nation, making this one of the biggest High Power events of the year.

Presidents 100 Match

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May 15th, 2019

How to Shoot Standing — HP Champion Carl Bernosky Explains

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…


Carl Bernosky High PowerHow 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.

Carl Bernosky High Power5. 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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April 23rd, 2019

CMP Eastern Games and Cup Matches April 26 – May 5, 2019

CMP eastern games creedmoor cup electronic targets

CMP eastern games creedmoor cup electronic targetsThe 2019 Eastern CMP Games & CMP Cup Matches are scheduled for April 26 through May 5, 2019. This is one of the biggest shooting matches on the East Coast, held at the Camp Butner Range in North Carolina. The CMP Games include Small Arms Firing School (SAFS), Garand/Springfield/Vintage/Modern Military Matches, Carbine Match, Rimfire Sporter match, and Vintage Sniper Team Match. There are also several pistol matches.

Following the CMP Games Matches will be the CMP Cup Matches: 4-Man Team Match, CMP 800 Aggregate Matches, and EIC Service Rifle Match. There will also be a GSM New Shooter Clinic, M1 Maintenance Clinic, and Team CMP High Power Clinic. The CMP will also sell rifles and ammunition at the event.

CLICK HERE for Match Program | CLICK HERE for Entry Form

CMP eastern games creedmoor cup electronic targets

CMP Electronic Targets for Games and Cup Matches
All matches on the High Power rifle range will be conducted using 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.

The CMP Eastern Games have been very popular, thanks in no small part to the mobile electronic target system. Recent Eastern Games have drawn over 350 competitors. The Kongsberg electronic targets allowed the CMP to run relays more efficiently, and the targets eliminate the need for competitors to do pit duty. GSM Matches, which typically run four relays each day, saw days with a total of nine and 10 relays during its scheduled times, while the Vintage Sniper and other matches finished in record time.

CMP eastern games creedmoor cup electronic targets

“The electronic targets are phenomenal,” said brothers Richard and Jonathan Mast, who attended the Eastern Games along with other family members. Jonathan added, “It was the best shooting experience I’ve ever seen as far as immediately finding out where you’re shooting — best I’ve ever had.”

CMP eastern games creedmoor cup electronic targets

Throughout the CMP Games, competitors will use the CMP’s mobile electronic high power target system. The Kongsberg targets contain internal microphones that locate shot position. The scores are instantly calculated by computer and then wirelessly transmitted to portable, tablet monitors on each firing point.

The electronic targets provide immediate feedback. Importantly, the e-Targets eliminate pit duties and permit relays to fun faster and more efficiently. Shooter Caleb Mast noted: “This makes it easier for people who don’t have [a spotting scope]. All you pay is the registration fee, and I just brought what I’m wearing and was still able to score well enough to get my feedback on the monitor.”

CMP eastern games creedmoor cup electronic targets

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April 10th, 2019

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 2019 7th 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 2019 23rd 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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April 6th, 2019

Improve Your Shooting Skills with Multi-Discipline Training

Michelle Gallagher Cross Training

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.

Michelle Gallagher Cross Training

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.

Michelle Gallagher Cross TrainingPosition 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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December 18th, 2018

The Real Deal — Sources for Official Shooting Targets

Official Target Printer Vendor Source

NRA Target IBS Hunter Rifle Target

Sources for Official Shooting Competition Targets:

ALCO Target Company

American Target Company

Kruger Premium Targets

National Target Company

Pistoleer.com

U.S. Target Company

AccurateShooter.com offers dozens of FREE, printable targets for target practice, load development, and fun shooting. We also offer a few of the most popular NRA Bullseye targets. One or more of these printable targets should work for most training purposes. However, some readers have asked: “Where can we get the real targets… exactly like the ones used in NRA, IBS, and NBRSA shooting matches?”

All these vendors carry nearly all the NRA High Power and Smallbore targets, including the new, smaller F-Class targets. Germany’s Kruger Targets sells all the important NRA targets, and international (ISSF) air rifle and smallbore targets too.

Available Official Competition Targets
Vendor NRA High Power F-Class NRA Smallbore Air Rifle/Pistol IBS NBRSA Other
ALCO Target
Company
Yes, All No Yes Yes No No Archery, IDPA, IPSC, Police, Realistic, Shoot-N-C, Silhouette, Fun Targets, Pasters.
American Target
Company
Yes, All Yes Yes, All Yes No No USBR, Sight-in, Muzzle-Loading, Police Silhouette
Kruger Premium
Targets
Yes, All Yes Yes, All Yes No No IDPA, IPSC, Animal Shapes, ISSF, Sight-in, Fun Targets
National Target
Company
Yes, Nearly All Yes Yes, All Yes Yes* No IDPA, IPSC, FBI, Police Silhouette, Sight-in, Target Backers, Pasters
Pistoleer.com Yes Yes Yes, most and color training Yes Yes No Bianchi, FBI, IBS, IDPA, IPSC, Silhouette, Archery, Pasters
U.S. Target, Inc. Yes Yes Yes, All Yes No No Bianchi, FBI, Police Silhouette, IPSC, Realistic Silhouette, Varmint

Official Target Printer Vendor Source

Orrville Printing currently sells IBS targets for rimfire (50 yard) benchrest, short-range centerfire Benchrest (100, 200, 300 yards), Hunter BR Rifle (100, 200, 300 yards), plus the official 600-yard and 1000-yard IBS targets. National Target Company also has most of the IBS targets. NBRSA short-range, 600-yard, and 1000-yard benchrest targets are available directly from the NBRSA Business Office. Call (307) 655-7415 to order for the season.

CMP Western games target source
At Western CMP Games, veteran rifle competitors Leon Rutherford, left, and Don Rutherford, demonstrate how to score targets at the GSM new shooter clinic. Note the use of a separate Target Center, which is available from many of the vendors listed above.

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November 5th, 2018

Basics of the Prone Position — Building the Position

USAMU Prone First Shot CMP
USAMU Prone First Shot CMP

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

Keep it Steady — The Elements of a Good Prone Position

Part 1 — Building the Position
By SPC Matthew Sigrist

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

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

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

The Fundamentals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Variations of the Prone Position

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

Open/Spread Leg Position

Demonstration of the Open/Spread Leg Position.

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

Bent Leg Position

Demonstration of the Bent Leg Position.

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

Summary

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

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October 19th, 2018

TUBE TECH: How to Set-Up and Configure an Eliseo TubeGun

Salazar tubegun

This 2010 story is reprinted at readers’ request.
In the past few years, tubeguns have really taken over in high power circles. At most matches you’ll see more tubeguns than conventional prone rifles, and a high percentage of those tubeguns will have been built using an Eliseo (Competition Machine) CSS chassis kit.

Step-By-Step Guide to Stock Set-Up
If you are a new tubegun shooter, or if you are planning a tubegun build this winter, our friend “GS Arizona” has prepared a comprehensive set-up guide for Eliseo tubeguns. Eliseo’s CSS chassis system affords a myriad of adjustments. Initially, one can be overwhelmed by all the variables: Length of Pull, Length to Sights, Length to Handstop, Cheekpad Height, Buttstock Offset, Buttstock Cant Angle, Handstop Angle, and Forearm Rotation.

Salazar tubegunIn his Guide to Configuring the Eliseo Tubegun, GS Arizona shows how to adjust the Tubegun so that a shooter’s prone position is stable, repeatable, and comfortable. The article covers each adjustment, step by step. If you follow the instructions, starting with setting Length of Pull, you should find that your hold becomes more stable, the gun moves less from shot to shot, and your eye position relative to the sights is improved.

About the Set-Up: “Adjusting the stock is a process that you must work at and it builds on itself. As you get one adjustment right, the others begin to fall into place. Our hope is that you take from this article a system for adjusting the stock, not an exact set of dimensions; and that you understand that it will take continuous work over a period of time to really refine the adjustments. Your goal is not to obtain a ‘perfect set of dimensions’ but rather a perfect feel that accomplishes the three objectives of stability, durability and comfort and the knowledge of how to change the adjustments to achieve those objectives under varying conditions such as sloped firing lines or other terrain features.”

eliseo tubegun set-up chassis fit assembly handstop

eliseo tubegun set-up chassis fit assembly handstop

CLICK HERE to Read Full Eliseo Tubegun Article »

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September 20th, 2018

Sling Thing: Dennis DeMille Explains How to Set Up Your Sling

Dennis DeMille Creedmoor Sports Rifle Sling video training set-up
Dennis DeMille shows a young competitor at the CMP Western Games how to adjust his leather sling.

Setting-Up a Leather Service Rifle Sling for Competition
So you made the mistake of disassembling your leather service rifle sling, or are intimidated about how to use one? In this Creedmoor Sports InfoZone video, Creedmoor G.M. Dennis DeMille explains how to set up and use a sling. The covers the basics — Dennis starts with a totally disassembled leather service rifle sling and shows you how to set it up properly.

Tip: “Many shooters shy away from using a leather sling because they have never been taught how to use one. That’s unfortunate. In my opinion a leather sling offers more support than a web sling, which is important when competiting with the heavier than normal rifles.”

Configuring the Sling for the Standing (Offhand) Position
In this second in a series of Creedmoor InfoZone videos on the setup and use of the leather service rifle sling, Dennis DeMille details how to configure and best utilize the leather service rifle sling while shooting from the standing position.

Tip: “Putting the Frogs in different hole will change the amount of added elevation a sling provides.”

Looking at Sling Types — Comparing the Features
In this video Dennis showcases a large variety of shooting slings. He explains the strong points of each type so you can choose the sling best suited to your discipline and shooting style.

Dennis DeMille High PowerThe Benefits of Dry-Fire Training
Once you know how to set up your sling properly, you’ll want to practice. Dennis DeMille stresses the importance of dry-fire practice with sling and shooting coat. Dry-Fire training is essential to the sling disciplines. Dennis DeMille, a national Service Rifle Champion, told us that, for every minute he spent in actual competition, he would spend hours practicing without ammunition. While in the USMC, Dennis would practice in the barracks, working on his hold and dry-firing:

“The most important thing is to spend time off the range practicing. Most of what I learned as a High Power shooter I learned without ammunition — just spending time dry firing and doing holding exercises. Holding exercises will really identify the weak parts of your position. The primary purpose of dry firing is to get you used to shooting an empty rifle. If you can shoot a loaded rifle the same way you shoot an empty rifle then eventually you will become a High Master.”

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July 12th, 2018

T-Riffic: Tikka T3 Modular Tubegun Chassis from Gary Eliseo

Eliseo Competition Tubegun T3

At the SAKO/Tikka booth at SHOT Show, we saw some tactical shooters admiring the smooth Tikka T3 action and crisp trigger. They liked the action but they told us they wished they could get the T3 action in a configuration similar to the Ruger Precision Rifle. Well folks, there is a way to build a Tikka T3-based tactical/practical rig.

Gary Eliseo of Competition Machine offers a tubegun chassis for Tikka T3 actions in both Target and Tactical versions. The T3 kit is set up for AICS short action magazines. This is a “no gunsmithing” installation — no modifications to the action are required and the chassis kit works with the factory T3 trigger and safety. Along with the new Target and Tactical versions, a lower-cost Light-Weight Hunter T3 Chassis is also offered which accepts most AR-type buttstock assemblies.

Eliseo Competition Tubegun T3

Eliseo Competition Tubegun T3Tikka’s T3 action is a very nice unit that works well as the centerpiece of a precision rifle. The T3 action is rigid and robust. It cycles smoothly and has a short 75° bolt lift. The T3 features a Sako-style extractor, with angled-leading-edge bolt lugs for smooth lock-up.

The T3 action can be installed in Gary’s Chassis Kit with either a recoil disc (and bolts) or glue-in action mounting. Price for the Tactical model is $1050.00, with a rugged Cerakote finish. Price for the Target version is $950.00 with a powdercoat finish or $1025.00 with a Cerakote finish. The Light-Weight Hunter chassis (that accepts owner-installed AR-type buttstocks) starts at $685.00. (Check for current pricing.) Tikka T3 action and AICS 5-round or 10-round magazines sold separately. For more info, visit GotXRing.com, call 928-649-0742, or send email to: spraynandprayn [at] gmail.com . CLICK HERE for order page.

Eliseo Competition Tubegun T3

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July 9th, 2018

National High Power Championships at Camp Atterbury

NRA National Matches Camp Atterbury Indiana High Power Service Rifle
2018 National Matches photo from NRA Competitive Shooting Facebook Page.

National High Power Matches, July 5-24, 2018 at Camp Atterbury Indiana
The NRA National High Power Matches are now underway at Camp Atterbury in Indiana. The Rifle National Matches, running July 5-24, will include the High Power Championship, the Long Range Championship, and the Mid-Range Championship, along with other special events. We are now in the thick of the NRA High Power Rifle Championship, which runs through Wednesday, July 11. Good luck to all the competitors! The Long Range Individual Championship runs the 16th through the 19th, followed by Long Range Palma, and Mid-Range individual and Team Matches.

Carl Bernosky high power rifle

National Matches at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, 2018 Schedule:

Friday, July 6: Whistler Boy JR. Team, 2nd Amend. Team Match, Awards Ceremony, Competitor Meeting
Saturday, July 7 – Wednesday, July 11: NRA High Power Rifle (awards ceremony on concluding day)
Thursday, July 12: Long Range Packet Pickup and Competitor Meeting
Friday, July 13 – Monday, July 16: NRA Long Range (awards ceremony on concluding day)
Tuesday, July 17: NRA Long Range Palma, Palma Team Awards Ceremony
Wednesday, July 18 – Saturday, July 21: NRA Mid Range Individual
Sunday, July 22: NRA Mid Range Teams, Mid Range Awards Ceremony
Monday, July 23: Range Clean Up/Clear Out

NRA National Matches Camp Atterbury Indiana High Power Service Rifle
Click Calendar to See Large, Full-Screen Version.

NRA National Matches Camp Atterbury Indiana High Power Service Rifle

NRA National Matches Camp Atterbury Indiana High Power Service Rifle

Lodging at Camp Atterbury and Nearby
There is on-base lodging — rooms and cabins will be available to all competitors 18 and over. To book a room, or for any questions about lodging, please call (812) 526-1128. Camp Atterbury lodging includes suites and standard rooms as well as the MWR Campground and the MWR Cabins. Lodging is controlled by the Camp Atterbury Lodging Office, not by the NRA. Entry fees DO NOT include lodging costs. There are also a number of hotels nearby, including Charwood Suites. Nearby campground Johnson County Park also offers special rates for High Power competitors.

With the CMP hosting important matches this year at Camp Perry, many rifle competitors will be “commuting” between the two venues this summers, driving 4.5 hours from Indiana to Ohio.

Map Camp Perry Camp Atterbury Ohio Indiana

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July 1st, 2018

Trigger Options for AR-Platform Rifles

AR15 Timney drop-in trigger two-stage 2-stage single stage

AR-platform rifles are fun and versatile, but the standard, mil-spec triggers leave much to be desired. They tend to be gritty, with creep and heavy pull weight. One of the easiest, most effective AR upgrades is a trigger group swap. An improved fire control group makes a huge difference. There are many aftermarket trigger options for the AR platform rifles. Choose single-stage or two-stage, either standard trigger assembly or unitized “drop-in” trigger, such as those made by Timney or Triggertech.

Read Full AR Trigger Article in NRA Blog HERE »

AR15 Space Gun trigger
When upgraded with a precision trigger and match barrel, AR-platform rigs work great in NRA High Power competitions (Photo from NRA Blog, at Camp Perry).

AR15 Timney drop-in trigger two-stage 2-stage single stageTwo-Stage vs. Single-Stage Triggers
Two-stage triggers have two separate movements. The first stage offers a light, spring-loaded pressure that works against the shooter’s pull until stopping at the second stage – this is called “take-up”. If there is no spring pressure, it is known as “slack”. Should the shooter continue to pull the trigger once he’s arrived at the second stage, the mechanism will operate like a single-stage trigger from there until engaging the sear and firing the gun. Good trigger reset requires the shooter to keep pressure on the trigger, even during reset, to minimize movement of the muzzle.

Single-stage triggers feature no take-up or slack, as they begin engaging the sear as soon as the shooter begins pulling the trigger. Some competitive shooters prefer the two-stage trigger because of the feedback it provides during its first stage, while other shooters, including those using their rifle in tactical scenarios, may want the surety of a single-stage trigger, ready to engage and fire once their finger is inside the trigger guard. Regardless of preference, a good trigger will feature minimal creep and should be free of grittiness, providing a smooth, even break.

AR15 Timney drop-in trigger two-stage 2-stage single stage

Drop-In Trigger Assembly vs. Standard Trigger Group
Once you decide between a single-stage or two-stage trigger, you can choose between standard and drop-in trigger groups. Standard trigger groups feature all the fire control group parts separated, and need to be pieced together and installed much like a mil-spec trigger, while drop-in trigger are pre-assembled and contained within a casing that simply drops in to the receiver and accepts the pins, hence the name.

After-Market Trigger Comparison

Some shooters prefer drop-in triggers due to the ease of installation, while others opt for standard groups so they can access the components individually for cleaning adjustment or replacement. If one piece of a drop-in trigger fails, you’ll need to either replace the entire unit or send it to the manufacturer for repair, whereas you may be able to simply replace the broken component of a standard trigger without needing a whole new trigger set.

Trigger Terminology — “Creep”, “Stacking”, “Overtravel”
“Creep” or “travel” is the distance the trigger moves between the end of take-up and when the trigger breaks to fire the fun. Too much creep can affect accuracy, but no creep can be unsafe, as the shooter may not be prepared to fire. “Stacking” occurs when the trigger weight actually increases during travel — this shouldn’t happen. Lastly, “overtravel” is the distance the trigger continues moving back after the gun fires.

This article is based on a longer story in the NRA Blog.

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June 4th, 2018

Get Physical — Strength and Cardio Training for Shooters

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

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

CLICK HERE to READ FULL FITNESS ARTICLE

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

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

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

READ FULL ARTICLE by Tom Alves

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