Shooting ranges have gone upscale with the development of the “Guntry Club”. This new kind of recreational/social facility combines a shooting range with Country Club style amenities. Imagine a high-tech indoor range with “Pro Shop”, restaurant, and maybe outdoor shooting facilities as well. In the past five years, more and more of these deluxe “Guntry Clubs” have opened nationwide.
This week GunVenture TV takes a look at some of the country’s finest gun clubs. First, join Tom Gresham and RECOIL Magazine’s Iain Harrison at one of the original “Guntry Clubs” — the Scottsdale Gun Club. You’ll tour the exclusive Titanium lounge before heading to the range for some full-auto fun with Sig Sauer’s John Hollister. Then, Tom visits a very high-end facility in Centennial, Colorado. The upscale Centennial Gun Club features a retail store, range, training center, and lounge.
Finally, GunVenture visits the Talladega Super-Speedway, where Ryan Gresham takes a lap on the famous track before visiting at the CMP’s impressive new Talladega Marksmanship Park, which boasts state-of-the-art electronic targets.
Here’s a CBS News report on upscale “Guntry Clubs”, luxurious facilities that target younger, more affluent patrons. Chip Reid reports on a high-end gun club in Manassas, Virginia: “This is not your Grandfather’s shooting range. Elite Shooting Sports is 65000 Square feet of bright lights, polished wood, flat-screen TVs, and state of the art equipment”.
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M1 Garand Springfield Armory July 1941 production. Facebook photo by Shinnosuke Tanaka.
My father carried a Garand in WWII. That was reason enough for me to want one. But I also loved the look, feel, and heft of this classic American battle rifle. And the unique “Ping” of the ejected en-bloc clip is music to the ears of Garand fans. Some folks own a Garand for the history, while others enjoy competing with this old war-horse. Around the country there are regular competition series for Garand shooters, and the CMP’s John C. Garand Match is one of the most popular events at Camp Perry every year. This year’s Perry Garand Match will be held Saturday, 22 July 2017.
The CMP also has a John C. Garand Match each June as part of the D-Day Competition at the Talladega Marksmanship Park. Here’s a video from the inaugural Talladega D-Day Event in 2015.
Watch Prone Stage from the Inaugural Talladega D-Day Match in 2015
M1 Garand Manual
Recommended M1 Garand Manual
Among the many M1 Garand manuals available, we recommend the CMP’s U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, M1: ‘Read This First’ Manual. This booklet covers take-down, reassembly, cleaning, lubrication, and operation. The manual, included with CMP rifles, is available for $3.25 from the CMP eStore. The author of Garand Tips & Tricks says: “It’s one of the best firearms manuals I’ve seen. I highly recommend it.”
M1 Garand Slow-Motion Shooting Video
What really happens when an M1 Garand fires the final round and the En-Bloc clip ejects with the distinctive “Ping”? Well thanks to ForgottenWeapons.com, you can see for yourself in super-slow-motion. The entire cycling process of a Garand has been captured using a high-speed camera running at 2000 frames per second (about sixty times normal rate). Watch the clip eject at the 00:27 time-mark. It makes an acrobatic exit, spinning 90° counter-clockwise and then tumbling end over end.
2000 frame per second video shows M1 Garand ejecting spent cartridges and En-bloc clip.
M1 Garand History
Jean Cantius Garand, also known as John C. Garand, was a Canadian designer of firearms who created the M1 Garand, a semi-automatic rifle that was widely used by the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps during World War II and the Korean War. The U.S. government employed Garand as an engineer with the Springfield Armory from 1919 until he retired in 1953. At Springfield Armory Garand was tasked with designing a basic gas-actuated self-loading infantry rifle and carbine that would eject the spent cartridge and reload a new round. It took fifteen years to perfect the M1 prototype model to meet all the U.S. Army specifications. The resulting Semiautomatic, Caliber .30, M1 Rifle was patented by Garand in 1932, approved by the U.S. Army on January 9, 1936, and went into mass production in 1940. It replaced the bolt-action M1903 Springfield and became the standard infantry rifle known as the Garand Rifle. During the World War II, over four million M1 rifles were manufactured.
Credit: NPS Photo, public domain
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We recommend you tune in to Shooting USA on the Outdoor Channel tonight. Tonight’s episode features both a Vintage Sniper Rifle competition and the GAP Grind, one of the most popular tactical matches. The show airs at 9:30 PM ET, 8:30 PM Central, 7:30 PM MTN, and 6:30 PM Pacific.
Vintage Sniper Rifle Match at Talladega
This week, Shooting USA features the Vintage Sniper Match at the CMP’s Talladega Marksmanship Park. This is a two-man team event, for shooter and spotter, using military rifles in service up to 1953. One added challenge is the time limit. The team has only 20 seconds to complete each shot — That’s 20 seconds for the spotter to read the conditions, and for the shooter to pull the trigger.
Guns of Grandfathers…
In this episode two USAMU marksmen, SGTs Daniel Crody and Robert Shoup, compete with an Springfield M 1903 A4 reproduction topped with a vintage optic. “For me it holds a little bit of sentimental value,” says SGT Crody. “I did have two grandfathers in World War II. It is definitely a pleasure holding a piece of history… and to be able to see and feel what these guys had as far as tools to operate with.”
Who can identify this rifle, with its unusual scope mount?
“It’s a match that brings a different type of competitor out. It brings a nostalgic competitor out. You’ll see World War II time-period rifles, sniper-type rifles that were used during World War II, Korean War era,” says the CMP’s Chief Executive Officer, Mark Johnson. “The optics are either original optics or current reproduction of old optics.”
GAP Grind on Shooting USA
Tonight’s Shooting USA episode also features the Bushnell GAP Grind, a tough tactical/practical match in Tennessee with 300 competitors. The Grind runs a Pro-Am format — new shooters partner with an experienced shooters for the two-day, 25-stage event. This year John Scoutten teamed up with new shooter Jen Hodson. Even with the challenges, Jen had a great time at the GAP Grind. “I will definitely be back!” says Jen, shown here:
Ramia Whitecotton Facebook photo.
On the first day of the Bushnell GAP Grind, teams are scored together. On the second day team members still work together but scores are logged individually. This is a difficult event with awkward positions, barriers, and other challenges. Targets vary in size, shape, and distance. One of the toughest targets is the 500-Yard Mover.
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There’s a notable quote: “Old Age and Treachery will always beat Youth and Exuberance.” (David Mamet). Well, that’s not always true. Recently a 15-year-old marksman beat the entire field of shooters at the CMP’s Talladega 600 M16 match. Here’s the story of that remarkable win…
Report based on story by Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer
Alabama native Anthony Kissik, one of only two junior competitors in the Talladega 600 M16 EIC Match, was the overall winner with an impressive score of 383-16X. In winning the match, Kissik beat all adult shooters, including many top-flight competitors with decades of experience. With his win, Kissik received his first EIC (Excellence-In-Competition) leg points towards earning his Distinguished Rifleman Badge — a major honor for competitive marksmen.
Last year, Kissik missed the EIC cut mark by only a few points, slipping in his prone rapid stage. It was a mistake he was determined to avoid at the 2016 event. As the 2017 match commenced, Kissik was focused on not making mistakes. “Don’t screw up. Don’t screw up” he told himself. After cleaning the prone slow-fire portion, he felt comfortable with his performance. “And it was good from then on out”.
The M16 EIC Match is fired at the conclusion of the CMP’s Small Arms Firing School, an introductory clinic designed to instruct new and veteran marksmen on rifle safety, fundamentals and techniques. The EIC match gives competitors the chance to earn their first four leg points towards the 30 points needed to earn a revered Distinguished Badge.
From 3P Air Rifle Competition to High Power Rifle at Camp Perry
An Alabama state-level junior champion, Kissik began his shooting career on a sporter 3P air rifle team. He then got started in High Power competition through matches hosted by the Virginia Junior Marksmanship Program. He attended his first High Power match at Fairfax before heading to Quantico in the summertime. Fresh off the air rifle firing line, he had a steep learning curve in the High Power discipline: “When you win in air rifle, it’s fun. In High Power I still have a lot to learn. In order to win in High Power, you have to be very precise.”
Competing at Camp Perry at Age 13
Kissik attended his first National Matches at Camp Perry at age 13, the youngest member of his squad. “Ultimately I want to get to High Master classification, and Distinguished, of course,” he added. As another personal goal, Kissik hopes to someday outshoot his coach, Sam Richardson.
With a new appreciation for High Power, Kissik has worked to hone his skills at CMP’s Talladega Marksmanship Park, which Kissik now calls home: “The [Talladega] facility is great. No pits, you don’t have to walk. It’s one of the most advanced in the country, and I get to call it my home range.”
The Talladega Marksmanship Park boasts Kongsberg electronic targets at 200, 300, and 600 Yards.
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The CMP’s Talladega Marksmanship Park will host the first-ever American Marksman National Championship January 6-8, 2017. This will be the culmination of a nationwide series of competitions for the Outdoor Channel’s new American Marksman television show. The January big-money National Championship gives amateur shooters the chance to win cash, gear and fame. The top shooter will win $50,000 and earn the title of “American Marksman”.
The American Marksman competition began in March 2016 with regional qualifiers at locations across the country. That was followed by nine Regional Championships. The process all comes to a high-stakes conclusion at the American Marksman National Championship in Talladega in January 2017. Top competitors from the nine Regional Championships are eligible to compete in the National Championship. Competitors are split into one of four divisions: Men’s Open, Women’s Open, Military/Law Enforcement, and Juniors. The entire process will be filmed for later broadcast on the Outdoor Channel.
American Marksman — A Nationwide Challenge Match
“If you ever wanted to enter a shooting competition and thought it was too intimidating or too expensive – then this is your chance to show the world what you’ve got,” said producer Michael Bane of the Outdoor Channel. “For only $20 at the local level, you get the chance to try to qualify with other amateurs in a relaxed, safe environment and the best of you will meet in a … National Championship with TV cameras rolling. The person who earns the title of ‘American Marksman’ walks away with $50,000.”
Course of Fire Remains Top Secret
The Course of Fire for the National event at Talladega will not be released until competitors arrive at the venue. Eligible participants receive a sheet outlining a list of skills to practice during the fall leading up to the match. The National Championship competitor will be awarded a check for $50,000, a prize package and the honor of being named the first American Marksman.
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Want to build your own accurized M1 Garand? Then consider signing up for the CMP’s Advanced Maintenance Class (AMC), a 3-day program for students with mechanical aptitude and a desire to work on M1 Garand rifles. Each student will assemble his own CMP Special M1 Garand Rifle with a USGI receiver. This will be a “keeper” Garand that the AMC student takes home. Total cost for the 2017 AMC is $1830.00, which includes the cost of the rifle ($1030.00) plus tuition charges. Students must provide their own accommodations in Anniston, Alabama.
Registration is open for the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s (CMP) 2017 Advanced Maintenance Clinics. Interested persons may register now through December 2, 2016. NOTE: If you are interested in this program, apply soon — all spots in last year’s classes filled up quickly.
Each 3-Day Advanced Maintenance Class will be led by highly-qualified Custom Shop staff members. On the third day, students will visit the Talladega Marksmanship Park as VIP guests of the CMP. At Talladega, each AMC student will have a chance to fire the M1 Garand they built in the class, shooting at Talladega’s high-tech electronic targets.
CMP 2017 Advanced Maintenance Class (AMC) dates are:
January 24-26; January 27-29
March 14-16; March 17-19
August 15-17 (Buddy Class); August 18-20 (Buddy Class)
October 24-26; October 27-29
This class is not intended for gunsmiths — no prior armorer experience is required. Students will assemble their own CMP Special rifle, which is included in the $1830.00 fee. Class topics will include:
– Commercial barrel installation, chambering, and headspace
— Component function, selection, and inspection
— Fitting and proper assembly of a complete CMP Special rifle
— Discussion of malfunctions and their remedies
— Accurizing techniques for the M1 Garand
How to Register
Applicants must register via the CMP Competition Tracker system website between November 21 and December 2, 2016. An electronic lottery will randomly assign the 20 available seats for each class date. CLICK HERE for more details.
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Are you from a Northern state that’s snowbound in the winter? Looking for a fun December diversion (and a break from cold weather)? Then consider a trip to Talledega, Alabama. This December, the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) hosts the Second Annual Talladega 600, “A Southern Classic”, at the Talladega Marksmanship Park. This event for rifle, pistol, and shotgun shooters kicks off Tuesday, December 6, 2016, and concludes Sunday, December 11th. It should be fun for the whole family. For more info, visit the Talladega 600 Webpage.
Competitors of all ages and skill levels are welcome at the Talladega 600. Events will include popular CMP Games Matches: Garand, Springfield, and Vintage Military Match, as well as the Vintage Sniper, Carbine and Rimfire Match. There will be a Small Arms Firing School with an M16 Match, the Congressional 30 (similar to President’s Rifle Match), the Dixie Double Highpower Match, and an EIC Rifle Match. Pistol events will include the .22 Rimfire EIC Pistol Match, the Service Pistol EIC Match, the As-Issued 1911 and the Military & Police Matches. Shotgunners can enjoy a Sporting Clays Shoot and a 5-Stand Shoot.
Talladega Marksmanship Park
The 500-acre CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park is one of the most impressive shooting venues in North America. Talladega boasts superb facilities and state-of the-art electronic target systems. Each rifle firing point is equipped with a modern KTS electronic target and scoring monitor. Located beside each shooter on the firing line, these monitors allows competitors to see shot locations and scores instantly — no more waiting for targets to pulled and then marked with with a spotter disc.
For spectators following the action, large monitors inside the comfortable 13,000-square-foot Clubhouse will display scores from the shooting matches as they are being fired. Scores are also viewable online through the CMP’s Competition Tracker.
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The Talladega Marksmanship Park boasts Kongsberg electronic targets at 200, 300, and 600 Yards.
The CMP’s Talladega Marksmanship Park — the most impressive (and high-tech) shooting facility in North America, will be featured on this week’s episode of Shooting USA television. The show tours the Talladega facility and spotlights Talladega’s first-ever competition, the inaugural D-Day Memorial match last year. (Talladega recently held its second D-Day match on June 4-5, 2016).
Shooting USA Television Air Times (Wednesday/Thursday) on the Outdoor Channel:
Eastern Time: 9:00 PM, 12:30 AM, 3:00 AM (Th)
Central Time: 8:00 PM, 11:30 PM, 2:00 AM (Th)
John C. Garand Match — Part of D-Day Memorial Event
Talladega is known for NASCAR and its super-speedway, but now there is another destination for sports enthusiasts, thanks to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP). Congress created the CMP in 1903 with an original mission to promote civilian marksmanship, but in its 110-year history, the CMP never had its own range. So, the organization built the CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park, a $20 million sports facility, one of the most advanced shooting sports facilities in the world.
“You won’t find another place like this in the United States, and I think in most of the world,” says Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama. “You know, I brag on the Talladega 500 all the time, being the fastest NASCAR track, and now I’ll be able to brag about having the best, if not the most world-class marksmanship facilities in the world here in the same neck of the woods.”
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The Second Annual D-Day Match in Talladega was a big success. On the weekend of June 4-5, over 250 eager competitors arrived at the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s (CMP) Talladega Marksmanship Park for the D-Day Match commemorating the 72nd Anniversary of the Allied Forces’ landing at Normandy. This was a major match, attracting rifle and pistol shooters from throughout the country.
The Talladega range complex is an impressive, modern facility equipped with a computerized, high-tech Kongsberg electronic target system that plots shot locations and displays scores on monitors at each shooting station. For many competitors, this D-Day match was their first experience with electronic scoring. None complained about being freed from pit duties (the Kongsberg system eliminates the need to raise and lower targets or mark shots).
The John C. Garand Match has become hugely popular…
Georgia boys dominated the popular John C. Garand Match. Winning gold was SSG Jonathan O’Neal of Marietta, GA, who fired a score of 291-13X. Larry Sollars (Cumming, GA) followed closely behind, one point back with a score of 290-9X. Keith Schachle of Brooks, GA, shot a 288-7X for third.
Vintage Sniper Rifle Matches at Talladega
New this year, the D-Day Matches featured the inclusion of one of the CMP’s most popular competitions, the Vintage Sniper Match. During the event, a team of two uses a scoped Korean War, World War II or earlier “as-issued” military rifle to fire at distances of 300 and 600 yards. All shots are taken from the prone position with sand bag rests permitted. Each partner takes a turn as both shooter and spotter.
Over 60 shooters registered for the event’s first showing at the D-Day Matches. CMP Competitions Department manager Shannon Hand said, “The addition of the Sniper Match was very well-received by the competitors! It was a great event!”
Winning the Manual (bolt-action) Vintage Sniper Match were Bobby Robinson and Daniel Henk. In the Semi-Automatic Sniper Match, the team of Franklin Hines III and CMP North general manager Steve Cooper fired the winning overall score of 368-7X.
In pistol action, SSgt. Chad Ranton, 29, of Beaufort, SC, was the overall competitor in the .22 Rimfire Pistol EIC Match with a score of 276-5X. Notably, 15-year-old Katelyn Abeln proved she came to win after recording a score of 254-3X to earn Junior Division gold in the EIC Pistol Match. Katelyn was also the High Non-Distinguished pistol shooter of the match.
All persons are welcome to visit the Talladega Marksmanship Park, which is open to the public all year long. More information on the Talladega Marksmanship Park, including a facility map and description of facilities, can be found at the CMP’s Talladega Webpage.
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TALLADEGA, Alabama — The 2nd Annual D-Day Anniversary Matches will be held June 4-5, 2016, at the CMP’s Talladega Marksmanship Park in Alabama. The event commemorates the 72nd Anniversary of the Allied landing at Normandy in 1944. Last year, the new $20-million-dollar Talledega Park marked its Grand Opening to the public with the inaugural D-Day Match. That was a great success, and the 2016 D-Day Match promises to be even bigger and better. It’s not too late to join the fun — there are still slots available for the event.
Watch Prone Stage from the Inaugural Talladega D-Day Match in 2015
The CMP’s John C. Garand D-Day Anniversary Match is a big event with many different competitions for rifle and pistol shooters. Along with the signature M1 Garand event, a Vintage Sniper Match, EIC Service Rifle Match, .22 Rimfire Pistol Match, and a EIC Service Pistol Match, and .22 Rimfire Pistol matches will be conducted. Last year’s D-Day match saw the debut of Talladega’s electronic target system. The John C. Garand Range has a huge firing line with monitors at all shooting stations. These connect to three banks of electronic targets positioned at 200, 300, and 600 yards.
Last year, 55-year-old Douglas Armstrong fired a score of 293-10X to become the first overall winner in the D-Day John C. Garand Match — breaking the previous National Match Record. He was also the winner of the EIC Rifle Match.
State of the Art Shooting Facility in Alabama
The 500-acre CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park is one of the most advanced outdoor shooting facilities in the Western Hemisphere. The facility includes a 600-yard rifle range, a 100-yard multi-purpose range, and a 50-yard pistol range, equipped with Kongsberg electronic targets and scoring monitors that allow shooters on the firing line to review shots in a matter of seconds. Since the 54 targets at each line register hits and calculate the scores, no pit duty is required at Talladega. For more info, send email to shall[at]thecmp.org or phone 256-474-4408 ext. 414.
State-of-the-art Kongsberg target systems are used at the CMP’s Talladega Marksmanship Park.
Talladega Marksmanship Park also contains 15 action pistol bays, a trap field with a 5-stand overlay, and a 15-station sporting clay field. The crown jewel of the Park is the 13,000-square-foot CMP Park Club House, featuring indoor and outdoor viewing areas, a CMP Pro Shop operated by Creedmoor Armory, classrooms, and lounge areas. To learn more about the CMP’s Talladega Marksmanship Park visit: Talladega Marksmanship Park Webpage.
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The CMP’s New Talladega Marksmanship Park in Alabama offically opened this weekend. On hand for the opening ceremonies were Alabama Governor Robert Bentley and Congressman Mike Rogers. Joining in the initial competition, Rep. Rogers fired an M1 Garand from the bench.
500-acre Facility Cost Nearly $20 Million to Complete
The new facility features 500 acres of Rifle and Pistol ranges, along with Trap and Sporting Clays fields. The main rifle range boasts state-of-the-art electronic targets at 200, 300, and 600 yards. Chief Operating Officer Mark Johnson said workers completed construction on time and the project came in under the original $20-million budget.
It’s rare when Soldiers and Marines agree on anything. But in this case, both Army shooters and Marine marksmen endorsed the electronic target system at Talladega. Members of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) and the U.S. Marine Corps Service Rifle Team traveled to Alabama to test the Kongsberg electronic target system at the CMP’s new Talladega Marksmanship Park. Despite wet weather, the system worked well, allowing shooters to see their shot locations (and scores) instantly. At each shooting station a monitor displays the shooter’s target. Shots are plotted as contrasting white dots with shot values automatically calculated. Watch the video below to hear what the Soldiers and Marines thought of this high-tech system.
Video Shows Electronic Target System in Action
SGT Joseph Hall of the USAMU said the target system was “Super-smooth, super-quick. So far everything has been fantastic. We are saving a tremendous amount of time. There are no pit changes because everything is electronic. We are able to concentrate more on the shooting aspect… and less on … taking care of the targets and pit changes and relay changes. The relay changes here are just as simple as moving your equipment and the next guy getting on the line. The amount of time you’re saving is just incredible.”
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CMP Board Members and a few CMP staff members enjoyed a visit to the CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park yesterday. They fired a few shots downrange from the 200-yard line. Here’s an image from the Kongsberg electronic target system. Shot impacts are precisely triangulated with sonic target sensors, then shot locations (and scores) are displayed on monitors placed next to each shooter. For more information on the CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park, visit http://thecmp.org/competitions/talladega-marksmanship-park/.
The 13,000-square-foot CMP Park Club House overlooks the 600-yard range. Panoramic windows look out towards the firing line and the Alabama woodlands beyond.
Register Now for Inaugural D-Day Match at Talladega
The first official matches at the new CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park will be fired on the weekend of June 6-7, 2015. The celebration is a two-day event which includes tours of the facility. A special John C. Garand “D-Day Anniversary” Rifle Match On Saturday, June 6th will officially open the facility. On Sunday there will be an EIC Service Rifle Match, EIC Service Pistol Match, and a CMP .22 Rimfire EIC Pistol Match. The inagural event is limited to the first 350 Competitors, so register soon via the CMP’s Competition Tracker website.
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What lives in the Alabama backwoods and has 54 sets of ears? The answer is the new, $20 million-dollar CMP Marksmanship Park in Talladega. This new facility, set to open in May, boasts electronic Kongsberg Target Systems (KTS) at 200, 300, and 600 yards. All totaled, there are 54 Kongsberg target units, each with its own acoustic sensors — the “ears” as it were. Each KTS target has a set of acoustic sensors (very precise microphones) that plot the shot location using sound triangulation. Shot locations are accurate within a fraction of a millimeter. What’s more, because electronic targets do not expand or shrink with humidity levels, as paper does, scoring should be more consistent match to match.
Monitors Display Score and Shot Location Instantly
Each target connects to a monitor that displays the hit locations to the shooter. Easy push-button controls allow the shooter to cycle through hits and options without having to change positions. The monitors employ non-glare glass protected by an aluminum frame that acts as a shade. This ensures good visibility for the shooter.
Engineered in Norway, Kongsberg target systems do more than just display shot locations to competitors. The system automatically calculate scores, and every target is networked to a central, “command” computer. This can provide updated competitor rankings, and can even display the results to event spectators on large view screens. See how it works in this animated demo video from Kongsberg:
Video Demonstrates Kongsberg Target System
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Phase I Nearing Completion at CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park By Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer
Construction continues at the CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park as Phase I has reached 95% completion. The first phase is expected to be complete in September 2014. Clearing of brush, trees and other natural foliage is 100% complete, with 95% of the 600,000 cubic yards of dirt moved. The only earth that remains to be moved is in the action pistol bay areas. The second phase of the project is expected to be complete in March 2015, with the range’s official opening to the public in April 2015.
Berms have taken shape as 95% of the 600,000 cubic yards of crimson Alabama dirt has been moved.
This concrete slab will be home to the CMP Clubhouse. The building will overlook the 600-yard range.
Phase II of the project is around 10% finished, with pavement down on the main entrance road and the concrete foundation for the main building complete. It may be another month before workers begin to stand steel and pour concrete slabs for the other buildings on the property. Workers are also preparing to place footings on the 600-yard range.
The 600-yard and 300-yard ranges will be equipped with state-of-the-art, all-weather electronic targets.
Electronic Targets at Talladega
Back at CMP’s south offices, the state-of-the-art electronic targets that will be featured at the new park have been under construction. The wooden frames for the 600-yard range are already complete, while construction on the 300-yard frames will soon be underway.
The electronically-powered target lifters are being crafted in Ohio. Once completed, the frames and the lifters will be attached to rubber-faced targets that will be able to withstand all weather conditions and multiple shots. The targets resemble the electronic targets used at CMP’s air gun ranges, only on a much, much larger scale.
An aerial view shows the trees that will serve as natural dividers between each range.
The main goal of the new park will be to provide a place where beginning and experienced marksmen can practice firearm safety through clinics and courses, as well as participate in CMP Games matches. The park will also be open for year-round open public shooting. Mark Johnson, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, reports: “It’s impressive. It’s going to be a lot more impressive looking with the grass, the woods and the rolling hills. People are going to really like it.”
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Report based on Story by Steve Cooper, CMP Writer
The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) has purchased roughly 500 acres of property just south of the Talladega Speedway in Alabama for the purpose of building a new CMP Outdoor Marksmanship Facility. As planned, the new site will include a high power rifle range, 100-yard smallbore range, ten (10) action pistol bays, and a shotgun range. The multi-phase, multi-year project will allow the CMP to offer competitions and marksmanship training at a state-of-the-art facility in the Southeast. “With the support of friends of the Civilian Marksmanship Program, we envision a facility that will provide … a safe, instructive environment where CMP will conduct training, competitions and related events near our Anniston home, less than 30 minutes away,” said CMP Chief Operating Officer, Orest Michaels.
The facility, projected to be completed in five phases, will be located three miles from the Talladega Superspeedway, and will be accessible from the Eastaboga (#173) or Talladega (#168) Interstate 20 exits. The facility property is situated near Turners Mill Road, south of the speedway and two miles north of downtown Talladega. For now the CMP has cleared land for access roads and constructed a pair of 200-yard highpower rifle firing points for testing and evaluation purposes.
The following is a general description of the multi-year project phases, which will be supported by a CMP capital campaign. As with all projections of its magnitude, the project phases may vary and are subject to unforseen development and funding constraints:
Phase I – to establish a 50-point rifle range with firing lines at 100 and 200 yards, complete with fully-operational target pits with manually-operated cantilever style target carriers and a state of the art electronic target system.
Phase II – Expand the range by adding 300- and 600-yard firing lines, utilizing Phase I features and adding permanent restroom facilities.
Phase III – Construct a 100-yard smallbore range, a 50-yard pistol range, a 50-foot pistol range and a 10-Bay action pistol range.
Phase IV – Complete classrooms for firearm safety and marksmanship training.
Phase V – Create a five-stand, 12-station sporting clays range.
At present the CMP leases outdoor ranges at Camp Perry to conduct the Small Arms Firing Schools, clinics and games events during the annual National Matches in July and August. Additionally the CMP has conducted regional events and clinics at non-CMP facilities in Arizona, California, Georgia, North Carolina and Oklahoma. “Eventually the CMP Outdoor Marksmanship Facility will provide us greater flexibility with outdoor programming and allow us to offer additional opportunities to participate in firearm safety and marksmanship events in the southeastern U.S.,” Michaels added.
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