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June 7th, 2021

Garand, Springfield, Modern Military Match at Camp Perry

Petrarca Range Camp Perry GSMM electronic target

It’s great to see normalcy return to our shooting facilities, including Camp Perry. COVID is still a concern, but the ranges are opening up at long last. On May 22, 2021, the CMP hosted a Garand/Springfield/Vintage and Modern Military Rifle (GSMM) Match on the electronic targets of Petrarca Range at Camp Perry.

Petrarca Range Camp Perry GSMM electronic target
Petrarca Range Camp Perry GSMM electronic target

The CMP’s recreational-style events, like the GSMM Match, are designed to ease interested individuals into the sport. On the firing line are a mix of seasoned competitors and those getting started in marksmanship. They all come together to share a common interest. The match allows shooters to meet old friends and enjoy the company of fellow shooters. And of course there is the fun and challenge of the course of fire.

Petrarca Range Camp Perry GSMM electronic target

GSMM matches attract new shooters as well as older competitors. You don’t need to make a huge investment in rifles or optics. We have friends who have done well with a “box stock” 1903 A3 Springfield they acquired from the CMP decades ago

During Petrarca GSMM matches, CMP staff members are always on hand to ensure safety on the firing line and answer questions. This match is fun and efficient. The electronic targets, with monitors at each station, show shot location/score instantly. And there is no pit duty. Competitors never have to venture downrange to change or retrieve targets.

Twenty-five competitors participated in Camp Perry’s May GSMM Rifle event. Similar GSSM matches will be held at the Petrarca Range on June 26 and September 25, 2021. Here are the May Match “Top Guns” by class, with their scores:

M1 Garand: Jeffrey Beierke, Blissfield, Michigan – 277-3X
Springfield: Andy Welter, Westerville, Ohio – 262-6X
Modern Military: Scott Whiteman, Fort Wayne, Indiana – 280-5X

Petrarca Range Camp Perry GSMM electronic target
Petrarca Range Camp Perry GSMM electronic target
Petrarca Range Camp Perry GSMM electronic target

CLICK HERE to learn about the Petrarca Range electronic target system at Camp Perry, Ohio.

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills No Comments »
May 23rd, 2021

SunDay Gunday: CMP 4-Gun Aggregate Champion Brian Williams

Brian Williams M1 Garand M1903 springfield .30-06 M1 Carbine CMP Modern Military 4-Gun 3-Gun

Brian Williams is one of the top CMP match shooters in the nation. At the recent 2021 CMP Eastern Games, Brian won both the 3-Gun and 4-Gun Aggregates. He also won the 4-Gun at the CMP National Matches in Camp Perry three years in a row — the inaugural 2017 4-Gun Agg, plus 2018 and 2019. Due to COVID, there were no CMP Camp Perry National Matches in 2020. Brian noted: “We will never know what may have happened in 2020, but I will be there in Ohio in 2021 to defend the 4-Gun title.”

Brian Williams M1 Garand M1903 springfield .30-06 M1 Carbine CMP Modern Military 4-Gun 3-Gun

Given his remarkable, consecutive “three-peat” in the CMP 4-Gun Aggregate at Camp Perry, it cannot be questioned that Brian is the leading CMP 4-Gunner in the nation. In this article, Brian provides perspectives on the “Wood Gun” game, with suggestions on how to improve your performance with the M1 Garand, M1903 Springfield, M1917 Enfield, M1 Carbine, and other 20th Century military rifles. While Brian also shoots his AR15 for the 4-Gun, today’s article focuses on his favorite firearms — his classic “Wood Rifles”.

VIDEO Showcase — Brian Williams Shoots M1903A3 Prone in May 2021

The Classic Wood Guns of CMP 4-Gun Competition

Perspectives on M1 Garand, M1903A3, M1917, and M1 Carbine
Q: What should one look for when acquiring older rifles for CMP 4-Gun Games — M1 Garand, M1903/1903A3, M1917, M1 Carbine? What are realistic budgets for these firearms? What kind of accuracy can one expect? What upgrades are important?

Brian: All of these military surplus rifles are out there, but they are getting harder to get your hands on. And, just like everything else, the prices continue to rise. Not that long ago you could get your hands on a M1 Garand for four or five hundred dollars. In today’s market they are usually about double that price. But understand that these rifles are all unique and all have a story to tell. No two are alike, or have the same story. Just like the guns themselves, there are fewer and fewer dedicated gunsmiths for these vintage rifles. But I promise if you look for a good smith, they are out there and they are some of the most interesting people you will ever meet.

M1 Garand — Of the four (4) centerfire guns I shoot in the CMP games, my favorite has to be the M1 Garand. There were over 6 million of them produced in a very short time period, and every single one has its own unique story, and that is just cool. M1 Garands are capable of good accuracy. I believe that a well-maintained M1 with at least a replacement barrel is capable of shooting between 1 and 1.5 MOA.

Brian Williams M1 Carbine CMP Modern Military 4-Gun 3-Gun

M1903A3 Springfield — I find that the sights on a M1903A3 are a little easier to see than the sights of the M1903, but both are very accurate rifles. Like most military rifles in the current climate the prices have risen dramatically, but there are some gems out there that can be had for far less than $1000. The nice thing about the Springfield rifle is that almost all of the accuracy than you would want can come from just replacing a worn out 80-year-old barrel. In terms of accuracy, I think a good M1903A3 can shoot 1 MOA most of the time.

Brian Williams M1 Carbine CMP Modern Military 4-Gun 3-Gun

M1917 Enfield — This rifle is the newest of my collection and it shoots very well, with just a new Criterion barrel — again about 1 MOA with iron sights. These rifles are very close in price to the M1903 Springfield. But if you do your homework and keep your eyes open, there are always great deals to be found. I actually prefer shooting the M1917 to my M1903A3, due primarily to the M1917’s cock-on-close bolt which allows smoother cycling.

M1 Carbine — By 1945 there had been more M1 Carbines built than Garands. Today the Carbine can be harder to find, and due to the scarcity the price has shot up and most military M1 Carbines are going for more than $1000 at this point. The great thing about the M1 Carbine is that as long as you have a good ammo supply this rifle can shoot. Honest. I have had countless numbers of people that tell me that there is not an M1 carbine that will shoot. I can tell you from experience that they will, but you are going to have to put in some time with one to learn how to get it to shoot where you want it.

Brian Williams M1 Carbine CMP Modern Military 4-Gun 3-Gun
The M1 Carbine shoots the .30 Carbine round, with 110gr bullet going about 1990 FPS. In comparison, the .30-06 Springfield round used in the M1 Garand is almost three times more powerful than the .30 Carbine.

Reloading for .30-06 Springfield Rifles

Brian Williams M1 Carbine CMP Modern Military 4-Gun 3-Gun

Tech Report by Brian Williams
Reloading for a military surplus gun as different than loading for a modern precision rifle in my opinion. There are a few tasks that care over from one to the other, but the main goal is slightly different. The Target that is being shot in the CMP games matches has a rather generous 10 ring, and with a little larger target you focus needs to change from a round with ultra accuracy to a round that is safe and functions well in your particular rifle.

Brian Williams M1 Carbine CMP Modern Military 4-Gun 3-GunBullet Selection — With the .30-06 for my Garands and Springfields I stick mostly with 168gr bullets plus some 155-grainers. These bullet weights have just worked for me in the past.

Cartridge Brass (Milsurp vs. Commercial) — I use both military and commercial brass, having success with each. I do prefer commercial brass as it is easier to prep for the first reload. Military brass usually has a primer crimp of some kind that needs to be removed, and I have found that trimming these cases can sometimes leave you scratching your head as the OAL on military cases varies considerably.

Brian Williams M1 Carbine CMP Modern Military 4-Gun 3-GunPower Charge and Dispensing — I have always had good success with Hodgdon H4895 powder. My load has always been right around 47.0 grains, with both the 168gr and 155gr bullets. I also use the Auto-Trickler to drop all of my powder charges. This is a fantastic piece of equipment that not only gives super-consistent powder charges quickly, but it also makes one less thing that you have to worry about while on the firing line. With the Auto-Trickler, there is never a question about the powder charge in your ammo. As for primers, I have been shooting CCI 200 Large Rifle primers for many years and have never had an issue.

Case Care and Trimming — With most of the .30-06 brass that I use, I will only reload them 5 times maximum. I don’t push the brass too much, because the Garand’s semi-auto cycling can be tough on the cases. I also trim my cases for OAL each reload cycle. I use a Giraud power trimmer, so trimming is relatively quick and easy.

The chambers in some of the older rifles are not perfectly-machined like a modern high-end rifle. This can cause the brass to grow a little inconsistently, so I find trimming every load cycle helps to make sure that everything stays in a nice safe spec.

Case Annealing — A few years ago I started to anneal my .223 Rem service rifle brass. Now I have added that process for all my match ammunition. I anneal after every firing. It is a rather easy step as I can have my auto-feeding Annealeez machine running while doing something else, so annealing does not add a great deal of time or effort to the reloading process.

.30-06 Springfield .308 Winchester
The .30-06 case was the father of the .308 Winchester, which was adopted as the 7.62×51 NATO cartridge. Brian has another Garand chambered in .308 Win which he shoots in Service Rifle Class in the President’s Match and NTI Match at Camp Perry.

Perspective on CMP 4-Gun (and 3-Gun) Aggregate Competition

Since the CMP’s introduction of the 4-Gun Aggregate in 2017, combining three classic wood rifles with the modern AR15-platform guns, Brian has lead the field, winning the 4-Gun at every National Match cycle held so far by the CMP at Camp Perry. Brian has also dominated in the 3-Gun Aggregate which includes the three older wood rifles.

Q. What’s the most fun/satisfying thing about shooting CMP 4-Gun Aggs?

Brian: The 4-Gun Agg takes place over several days, and is usually decided by a very thin margin of victory. Making sure that you are prepared for all four rifles and keeping focus through several days of competition is very difficult. There is a great sense of accomplishment when you are able to perform well for the entire aggregate.

Q. Do you like shooting the wood rifles more or the AR in Modern Military?

Brian: No question that the wood rifles are my favorite. A steel rifle, with a beautiful wood stock (see above), firing the .30-06 Springfield, is “where it is all at” in my opinion.

Q. What is the best approach to shooting these older Wood Guns?

Brian: One of the things that I struggled with shooting the “wood guns” is that it is so easy to tell yourself that its the rifle and not your bad habits or poor position. “The rifle is far older than I am it must just not be a shooter”. In order to be successful with these rifles you have to be honest with yourself. Only then will you improve.

Brian Williams M1 Carbine CMP Modern Military 4-Gun 3-Gun

Q. If you could change any CMP 4-Gun course of fire, or revise aspects of the CMP 4-Gun discipline, what would you modify/alter?

Brian: There is always conversation around changing the course of fire, target dimensions, or putting certain rifles into different classes. I like the fact that I have to adapt myself to fit the current discipline. I would surely not want to make it any easier. I feel like that would decrease some of the satisfaction that I get from competing well.

Q: What are your key gear items and shooting accessories?

Brian: A good shooting coat has been very important for me. I currently use a Creedmoor Hardback Cordura Leather Coat. I also think that a good rifle sling is very important. For the last couple of years I have been using a Eric Hollis National Match leather sling and love it. I own a ShotMarker e-Target system and I think it’s one of the best training tools that I own. It just makes it so easy to shoot, capture information, and then be able to recall that information later and use it to improve.

The Mental Game — How to Become a Better Marksman

Q. What is your pre-match routine (mental/physical match prep)?

Brian: I try not to do anything different on match day that I would do any other day. I am a coffee drinker and drink just as much on match day as I do on any work day. This game is very mental, and I find that treating match day just like any other day helps me to control stress and anxiety.

Q. If you could do it all over from the beginning, how would you change your training/practicing processes?

Brian Williams M1 Carbine CMP Modern Military 4-Gun 3-GunBrian: I have learned that practice makes me better, but just sending rounds down range is not that beneficial to me. Some of the biggest improvements I have made have come from practice sessions where I did not fire very many rounds. Working through the shot process, being honest with myself, and evaluating what needs to happen to get the desired outcome.

Q. Most guys will never achieve what you’ve done in Marksmanship, i.e. win multiple multi-gun titles. What are the other positive things people can get from the sport, beyond trophies and glory?

Brian: This is an easy one — this sport is full of the most genuine, thoughtful, and helpful people out there. I have friendships with people that I only see a couple times per year… yet when we see each other it’s like we had just gotten together last week. This does not just apply to fellow competitors, but also to the folks who run matches, to those who supply gear, even to spouses of competitors who’ve fed me more times than I can remember.

Brian Williams M1 Garand M1903 springfield .30-06 M1 Carbine CMP Modern Military 4-Gun 3-Gun

Brian “Carbine” Williams, King of Wood Guns
Commentary by Dennis Santiago
When it comes to CMP Games competition, Brian Williams presently dominates the multi-gun field. I first met Brian at the so-called Michigan Embassy at Camp Perry, a makeshift compound of tables, pop ups and lawn chairs where competitors gather at the end of the shooting day to exchange stories. It’s a “who’s who” gathering of High Power personalities exchanging tall tales. In this prestigious crowd, Brian Williams is “King of Wood Guns”, his mastery of the GSMM (Garand, Springfield, Modern Military) Four-Gun Aggregate renown to all. Yet he is as humble a champion you can ever hope to spend time with.

I discovered that Brian and I share a mutual love of the U.S. .30 Caliber M1 Carbine, a rifle many other shooters don’t give a second thought. But we believe in the potential of the little gun. We know that when driven right, the joy of collecting gold achievement pins with it. I’ve enjoyed trading notes with Brian about how to make it shoot better to turn in scores in the high 360s to mid-370s out of a possible 400. In this regard, I assure you Brian is again the guy who will shoot the 400 possible on any given day. He truly deserves the moniker “Carbine” Williams.

Marksmanship Journey — from Novice to CMP 4-Gun Champion

I started shooting High Power rifle in 2007 with an iron sights AR15 A2. Most of the local shooting clubs are reduced course, so for the first couple of years I only shot reduced course of fire at 100 and 200 yards. In 2010 I shot my first match at the full distance of 200, 300, 600 yards, and was introduced to the Distinguished rifleman program. At that point I decided set a goal to “go distinguished”. In 2011, I made the trip to Camp Perry and was able to shoot in the M16 EIC match and thereby earn my first four introductory leg points. The day of the match went very well for me. Not only did I earn the points, but I won the match, and set a new National Record with the win. Over the rest of that season and the beginning of 2012 I was able to collect enough points to make my goal of going Distinguished.

Over the following years I continued to shoot a service rifle, first with iron sights and then with a scope when the rules changed. I enjoyed every bit of shooting the AR15. In 2014 I started to get into the CMP Games guns, with the M1 Garand and M1 Carbine. I enjoyed these two rifles so much that I decided that I should get a M1903 Springfield and I should also get a rifle to shoot in the vintage military rifle matches. For that I ordered a K-31 Swiss rifle.

In 2017 the CMP introduced a 4-Gun Aggregate award at the National Matches. This Aggregate would include the Garand, Springfield, Vintage rifle, and the new Modern Military rifle (non-scoped service rifle). For the first year of the 4-Gun Agg, I spent a good deal of time preparing for these matches in the months leading up to Nationals. Well that time was well spent as I did win the 4-Gun Aggregate. At this point in my shooting career I had gone Distinguished, made the President’s 100, and had achieved a classification of High Master, but the 4-gun Agg was the thing I was most proud of. I enjoy shooting these older rifles because they had such an impact on the world in which we live today. The M1 Garand played a key role in WW II, and the M1903 Springfield has been carrying out its job for over 100 years.

Brian Williams M1 Carbine CMP Modern Military 4-Gun 3-Gun

Mix that in with the fact that all of the competitors in the CMP Games matches are some of the finest people that I have ever surrounded myself with. Great guns and great people, who could ask for more?

In 2018 I campaigned a .308 Win-chambered Garand across the course in the President’s Match and the National Trophy Match at Camp Perry. Again I spend a good deal of time shooting the Garand for the months leading up to Nationals, and was able to be the high shooter with the Garand in both matches for 2018 and 2019. But I never took my eye off the 4-Gun, and was able to win it in 2018, and 2019, as well as the inaugural year of 2017.

Rimfire Sporter — Brian’s Fifth Gun
Along with his centerfire rifles, Brian Williams likes to shoot in CMP Rimfire Sporter matches. In fact, he won the Rimfire Sporter Match “O” Class (Iron Sights) at the 2021 CMP Eastern Games. Shown below is his Czech-made .22 LR CZ 452 Ultra Lux bolt-action rifle.

Brian Williams M1 Carbine CMP Modern Military 4-Gun 3-Gun

Q: How do you like Rimfire Sporter? Do you have to adjust your technique for rimfire vs. centerfire?

Brian: Most of the fundamentals will transfer from centerfire guns to the rim fire guns, the biggest difference is in the course of fire for the match. The Rimfire course of fire includes a slow-fire seated stage, and a rapid-fire standing stage, both of these stages are unique to the Rimfire Sporter game. I enjoy this discipline, but due to the scheduling of the Rimfire Sporter match at Nationals I have not yet shot this event at Camp Perry. I did do well in this event at both the Eastern CMP Games and New England CMP Games.

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May 23rd, 2021

CMP Barrels for M1903 Springfield, M1917 Enfield, M1 Carbine

m1 m1903 springfield Rifle Barrels CMP Criterion
M1903 photo from ShootingUSA.com. Watch History of U.S. Service Rifle episode via Vimeo on Demand.

1903 Rifle Barrels CMP Criterion

Good news for owners of 1903/1903A3 Springfields, M1917 Enfields, and M1 Carbines. The CMP eStore sells brand new chambered, Criterion chrome-moly barrels for these M1903/M1903AC rifles for under $200.00. In addition there are M1 Carbine barrels for $229.50. These authentic-profile barrels are made by Criterion Barrels in Richfield, WI, using the button-rifling process. They are “semi-finished” meaning they come chambered and headspaced within .010″ of finished size, with final fitting to be done by a competent gunsmith. The barrels are also externally Parkerized to match the finish of your vintage ’03, Garand, or M1 Carbine. To order, go to the CMP eStore and click the Barrels Link in the upper left.

NOTE: Final assembly and headspacing by a qualified gunsmith is required!

New Criterion M1903 Springfield RIFLE Barrel, 4140 Chrome Moly Steel
Item: 065CRI/03 | $199.95

New 1903 barrels by Criterion Barrels, Inc., 4140 chrome moly steel, button rifled, contoured, and finish lapped after contouring. These comply with CMP competition rules and are legal for the 1903 Matches. Parkerized like the original 1903 and chambered .010″ from finish size to be fitted and headspaced when assembled to fit your receiver and bolt dimensions.

New Criterion M1903A3 Springfield RIFLE Barrel, 4140 Chrome Moly Steel
Item: 065CRI/A3 | Price: $199.95

New 1903A3 barrels by Criterion Barrels, Inc., 4140 chrome moly steel, button rifled, contoured, and finish lapped after contouring. These comply with CMP competition rules and are legal for the 1903A3 Matches. Parkerized like the original 1903A3 and chambered .010″ from finish size to be fitted and headspaced when assembled to fit your receiver and bolt dimensions.

m1 Garand  Rifle Barrels CMP Criterion

New Criterion M1917 Enfield RIFLE Barrel, 4140 Chrome Moly Steel
Item: 065CRI/1917 | Price: $199.95

New M1917 barrels by Criterion Barrels, Inc., 4140 chrome moly steel, button rifled, contoured, and finish lapped after contouring. These comply with CMP competition rules and are legal for the 1903A3 Matches. Parkerized like the original M1917 Parkerized like the original M1917 and chambered .010″ from finish size to be fitted and headspaced when assembled to fit your receiver and bolt dimensions.

New Criterion M1 Carbine RIFLE Barrel, 4140 Chrome Moly Steel
Item: 065CRI/CARBINE | Price $229.50

New Carbine barrels by Criterion Barrels, 4140 chrome moly Steel, button rifled, contoured, and finish lapped after contouring. Comply with CMP Competition Rules and are legal for the CMP M1 Carbine Matches. Parkerized like the original M1 Carbine and chambered .010 away from finish size to be fitted and head-spaced when assembled to fit your receiver and bolt dimensions. Barrel is .30 Carbine.

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January 25th, 2021

Vintage Military Rifle Shooting — New Book by Gary Anderson

Gary Anderson CMP Director shooting vintage military rifle training book

CMP Guide to Target Shooting with Vintage Military Rifles
The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) has released VMR: Target Shooting With Vintage Military Rifles, a new book by Gary Anderson, Director of Civilian Marksmanship Emeritus. Gary himself was a world-class marksman who earned two Olympic Gold medals in rifle shooting.

The CMP says this 284-page illustrated book is “likely the most comprehensive manuscript ever written about the methods of training and competing with popular American and foreign vintage military rifles.” Fans of vintage military rifles will likely find this 18-chapter book “to be the most complete coverage of the topic, from a competitor’s and historian’s point of view”, said Christie Sewell, CMP Programs Chief.

Anderson definitely has the credentials — he won Olympic Gold Medals in Tokyo and Mexico City in the 1960s. Gary also set multiple U.S. and international records. The originator of the CMP’s competitive vintage rifle program, Anderson set out to present a detailed manual covering all aspects of shooting vintage military rifles. The book covers 1903 Springfield, U.S. Krag, 1917 U.S. Enfield, M1 Garand, M1 Carbine and many more, including rifles from “across the pond.”

Target Shooting With Vintage Military Rifles Topics:

Origins and Fundamentals of Marksmanship
Operation, Cleaning, Loading & Unloading
Sight Adjustment, Zeroing & Fine Tuning
Highpower Rifle Match Procedures
Firing Rifles in Competition
Prone, Sitting and Standing Position Building
Using a Scorebook/Databook
Strategies for Improvement
Critical Value of the Sling
Rifle and Range Safety

Gary Anderson CMP Director shooting vintage military rifle training book

Purchase Online at CMP E-Store
This new Gary Anderson book is sold through the CMP E-Store for $29.95. You can also print out and submit the CMP Publications order form (order item NLU # 792, $29.95). The CMP stores in Alabama and Ohio will also carry the new Gary Anderson book.

Gary Anderson CMP Director shooting vintage military rifle training book

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December 9th, 2020

Legendary American Service Rifles on Shooting USA TV

Shooting Usa service rifles

This week Shooting USA TV has a great show, well worth watching. This episode features the history of U.S. military service rifles. Starting with the Trapdoor in 1873, and ending with the M14 in the 1960s, this episode traces 90 years of battle rifle development. This history lesson ends right before the general adoption of the M16 5.56x45mm infantry rifle.

In addition to history, today’s show talks about using Tripods in Precision Rifle Competition. PRS and NRL shooters can learn multiple ways to use a tripod for support during stages. These methods are explained by Staff Sergeant Tyler Payne from the USAMU Action Shooting Team.

Shooting USA airs Wednesday 9:00 PM Eastern and Pacific, 8:00 PM Central on the Outdoor Channel. You can also watch Shooting USA any time online via Vimeo.com. Subscribe for $3.99 per month or pay just $0.99 per episode.

History of American Service Rifles
The Trapdoor was the first cartridge-firing service rifle, replacing cap and ball rifles. Then came the evolution to better, faster-cycling service rifles used in two World Wars, Korea, and the early Vietnam era. Those rifles were the Krag Jorgensen, 1903 Springfield, M1 Garand, and M14.

Shooting USA Krag Jorgensen

The Krag Jorgensen Served 1892 to 1907. First Smokeless Cartridge Rifle.
Caliber: 30-40 Krag

Shooting USA 1903 Springfield service rifle

The 1903 Springfield Served as Primary Service Rifle 1903 to 1936.
Cartridge: .30-06 Springfield

Shooting USA Craid Jorgensen

The M1 Garand Served 1936 to 1958. First Semi-Auto Service Rifle.
Cartridge: .30-06 Springfield

Shooting USA M14 Service Rifle

The M14 Served 1959 to 1964. First Select Fire Primary Service Rifle.
Cartridge: 7.62x51mm NATO (.308 Winchester)

Tripod Tips for Precision Rifle Shooters

Shooting usa usamu tripod PRS

This week’s Shooting USA episode has a great USAMU Pro Tips Segment showing how to use a tripod for rifle support. Along with clamping the rifle on the top of the tripod, you can used the deployed legs for support in multiple ways.

SSG Tyler Payne explains: “If you’re presented with a barricade where you can support the front of the gun, the tripod really shines as a rear support. With the front of the gun and the rear of the gun both supported, it’s like shooting off of a bench.”


Shooting USA Garand Presidents 100
Shooting USA is available On Demand via Vimeo.com. Watch a single episode for $0.99, or get a full-month subscription for $3.99 and watch as many shows as you like with limited commercial interruptions.

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October 12th, 2020

Criterion Chambered Barrels — Under $200 for M1 Garand, 1903 Springfield, 1903A3

M1 Garand Criterion barrel
1903 Rifle Barrels CMP Criterion

Here’s good news for owners of M1 Garands, 1903 Springfields, and 1903A3s. The CMP eStore sells brand new Criterion chrome-moly barrels for these rifles for $200.00 or less. In addition there are M1 Carbine barrels for $229.50. These authentic-profile barrels are made by Criterion Barrels in Richfield, WI, using the button-rifling process. They are “semi-finished” meaning they come chambered and headspaced within .010″ of finished size, with final fitting to be done by a competent gunsmith. The barrels are also externally Parkerized to match the finish of your vintage ’03, Garand, or M1 Carbine. To order, go to the CMP eStore and click the Barrels Link in the upper left.

NOTE: Final assembly and headspacing by a qualified gunsmith is required!

New Criterion M1903 Springfield RIFLE Barrel, 4140 Chrome Moly Steel
Item: 065CRI/03 | $199.95

New 1903 barrels by Criterion Barrels, Inc., 4140 chrome moly steel, button rifled, contoured, and finish lapped after contouring. These comply with CMP competition rules and are legal for the 1903 Matches. Parkerized like the original 1903 and chambered .010″ from finish size to be fitted and headspaced when assembled to fit your receiver and bolt dimensions.

New Criterion M1903A3 RIFLE Barrel, 4140 Chrome Moly Steel
Item: 065CRI/A3 | Price: $199.95

New 1903A3 barrels by Criterion Barrels, Inc., 4140 chrome moly steel, button rifled, contoured, and finish lapped after contouring. These comply with CMP competition rules and are legal for the 1903A3 Matches. Parkerized like the original 1903A3 and chambered .010″ from finish size to be fitted and headspaced when assembled to fit your receiver and bolt dimensions.

m1 Garand  Rifle Barrels CMP Criterion

New Criterion M1 Garand (.30-06) RIFLE Barrel, 4140 Chrome Moly Steel
Item: 065CRI/M1 | Price $189.95

New .30-06 M1 Garand barrels by Criterion Barrels, Inc. 4140 chrome moly steel, button rifled, contoured, and finish lapped after contouring. These complyl with CMP Competition Rule 7.2.4 (6) and are legal for M1 Garand Matches. Parkerized like the original M1 and chambered .010″ from finish size to be fitted and headspaced when assembled to fit your receiver and bolt dimensions. Barrel is .30-06.

New Criterion M1 Garand (.308) RIFLE Barrel, 4140 Chrome Moly Steel
Item: 065CRI/308 | Price $199.95

New .308 Win Garand barrels by Criterion Barrels, 4140 chrome moly steel, button rifled, contoured, and finish lapped after contouring. Parkerized finish and chambered .010″ from finish size to be fitted and headspaced when assembled to fit your receiver and bolt dimensions. NOTE: Barrel is chambered for .308 Winchester.

New Criterion M1 Carbine RIFLE Barrel, 4140 Chrome Moly Steel
Item: 065CRI/CARBINE | Price $229.50

New Carbine barrels by Criterion Barrels, 4140 chrome moly Steel, button rifled, contoured, and finish lapped after contouring. Comply with CMP Competition Rules and are legal for the CMP M1 Carbine Matches. Parkerized like the original M1 Carbine and chambered .010 away from finish size to be fitted and head-spaced when assembled to fit your receiver and bolt dimensions. Barrel is .30 Carbine.

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May 13th, 2020

Shooting USA Worth Watching This Week — Multiple Features

bianchi cup shooting usa tv model 1903 springfield sniper rifle

There is a great multi-part episode of ShootingUSA on the Outdoor Channel this week. This week’s show covers the Bianchi Cup, AR rifles from Colt and S&W, the historic Model 1903 Springfield, Smith & Wesson 10mm Model 610 Revolvers. Plus there is a bonus Pro Tip segment on how to mount and align riflescopes. If you receive the Outdoor Channel, you can see this excellent hour-long show today (5/13/2020) at 9:00 pm Eastern/Pacific, or 8:00 pm Central.

If you miss the show, or don’t get Outdoor Channel on cable, all ShootingUSA episodes are available “on demand” through Vimeo.com. You can subscribe for $3.99/mo, or watch any specific episode for a modest $0.99 fee. Under a buck for an hour’s entertainment? That’s a lot cheaper than going to the cinema.

Lead Feature: Bianchi Cup

27 years ago Doug Koening, who has won the Bianchi Cup 18 times, set the standard with a 1920 score. Since then, every Open shooter knows that he or she must “clean” this match (i.e. score a “1920”) to have a chance to take the title of “Champion”. The X-Count is the tie-breaker.

Shooting USA Bianchi Cup doug koenig

Feature: M1903 Springfield Rifle

The M1903 Springfield served in both WWI and WWII. The accuracy and quality and service life have clearly made the ’03 Springfield one of History’s Guns.

model 1903 springfield sniper rifle

Feature: Smith & Wesson Model 610

The Smith and Wesson Model 610s are back and now chambered in 10mm. The Model 610 is a N frame, all stainless-steel construction, in a choice of barrel length – four inch, or six-and-a-half-inch.

model 1903 springfield sniper rifle

Pro Tip — Mounting a Scope

In this episode, John Paul from JP Enterprises shows his method of Truing a Riflescope. He says: “If you’re going to be successful you need to lay down a solid foundation. One of those basic foundation blocks is making sure that your scope is true to the rifle.”

model 1903 springfield sniper rifle

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November 29th, 2017

Vintage Sniper Rifle Match on Shooting USA TV Today

GAP Grind PRS Tennessee John Scoutten Shooting USA

The November 29, 2017 episode of Shooting USA TV features the Vintage Sniper Rifle at Talladega Marksmanship Park in Alabama. Vintage Sniper Rifle matches have proven popular with competitors of all ages, from 18 to 80. These matches are conducted with two-man teams, using vintage rifles with old-style optics. Most shooters use bolt-action rifles such as the 1903 Springfield and Swedish Mauser, but there is also a semi-auto class popular with Garand shooters. You can watch this episode on the big screen or view this episode on YouTube. Click the arrow below to start the 48-minute show:

Broadcast Times: Wednesday 9:30 PM Eastern Time; 1:30 AM ET (Thurs). Earlier in Central, Mountain, and Pacific Time Zones. Check your local listings for the Outdoor Channel.

Vintage Sniper Rifle Competition at Talladega

Talladega Marksmanship Park Vintage Sniper Rifle CMP

In this episode, Shooting USA features the Vintage Sniper Match at the CMP’s Talladega Marksmanship Park. This is a popular 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.


File photo from Vintage Sniper match at Camp Perry. At Talladega, there are video target monitors at each shooting station.

Shooting USA Vintage Sniper USAMUGuns 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…”

“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.”

Who can identify this vintage European rifle, with its unusual scope mount?
Vintage sniper match Talladega

BONUS: PRS Competition — the GAP Grind

NOTE: This 11/29/17 Shooting USA episode is a double feature that includes coverage of the GAP Grind, the biggest PRS tactical match of the year. Official called the Bushnell GAP Grind Pro-Am, this is a tough tactical/practical match in Tennessee with 300 competitors. Conducted in association with the Precision Rifle Series (PRS), the GAP Grind features a Pro/Am format — new shooters partner with an experienced shooters for the two-day, 25-stage event. For the featured event, Shooting USA’s John Scoutten teamed up with novice shooter Jen Hodson.

Shooting USA GAP Grind

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July 21st, 2017

Vintage Sniper Rifle Match at Camp Perry July 24th

Vintage Sniper Rifle Match

This upcoming Monday, July 24th, the CMP hosts the Vintage Sniper Rifle Match at Camp Perry. One of the most popular vintage rifle matches held each summer at Perry, this is a two-man team competition using scoped rifles of WWI and WWII Vintage. Many competitors use some version of the M1903 Springfield, but you’ll also see scoped M1 Garands, K31s, Mausers, and even a Lee-Enfield or two.

Vintage Sniper Rifle Match

Two-person teams will fire 10 rounds in 20-second intervals from scoped vintage military rifles set on sand bags. One team marksman shoots from the prone position at 300 and 600 yards, while the other serves as a spotter to relay shot position. Marksman and spotter switch positions on the firing lines, allowing each teammate to play both roles. Scores are then combined for an Aggregate team total.

Two M1 Garands, fitted with scopes and lace-on cheekpads.
Vintage sniper rifle team match camp perry

Who can identify this rifle, with its unusual scope mount?
Vintage sniper rifle team match camp perry

Our friends at Criterion Barrels have written an interesting article about last year’s Vintage Sniper Rifle Match. It you want an “insider’s perspective” on the 2014 Match, plus Vintage Sniper gunsmithing tips, read this article. Here are some highlights:

About the Match and the Rifles
The Vintage Sniper Match was the brainchild of Hornady’s Dave Emary. The competition was inspired by his father, a World War II scout sniper, who carried a rifle similar to the 1903A4 rifle builds that can be found today on the Camp Perry firing line. Bob Schanen worked alongside Dave and the CMP staff in establishing the various competition rules prior to the first official Vintage Sniper Match in 2011. The match developers made a point to offer some level of flexibility in rifle configuration, allowing specific types of non-issue optics and rifle rebuilds. This helped make the match more inclusive.

Hornady’s Dave Emary and “Gunny” R. Lee Ermey (right):
AccurateShooter.com CMP Vintage Sniper Rifle Match

Bob Shanen has two vintage sniper competition rifles. Both builds are based off of the USMC Model 1941 sniper rifle, a design similar to the M1903A1 National Match rifle. Bob’s rifles both carry 8x Lyman Junior Target Spotter scopes with a thin crosshair reticle. Bob attributes a large part of his rifle’s accuracy to the Criterion M1903 match-grade barrels installed on each rifle by Rick Humphreys, a Milwaukee area gunsmith. These tack-driving barrels are capable of half-MOA accuracy.

Camp Perry — The Venue
The hallowed grounds of Camp Perry have hosted some of the nation’s finest shooters each summer for more than a century. Some of the world’s greatest marksmen have accomplished remarkable feats on the ranges of this lakeside military outpost. Located on the coast of Lake Erie, Camp Perry is positioned just outside of the scenic town of Port Clinton, Ohio. It is our firm belief that every shooter should make the pilgrimage to the Camp Perry at least once in their lifetime. If not participating in an event, visitors should at least make an attempt to meet the competitors, witness the wide selection of firearms used by participants, and pay a visit to the various vendors on base.

Photos from Garand Thumb Blog and NRA Blog.

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September 30th, 2013

New CMP Custom Shop Will Repair and Upgrade USGI Rifles

CMP Custom Shop Civilian Marksmanship ProgramOver the years, many Civilian Marksmanship Program firearms purchasers have asked if the CMP would consider offering reliable, reasonably-priced and prompt maintenance, repair and upgrade of USGI-issue rifles. The CMP has responded and the answer is “YES”.

Starting October 1, 2013, the CMP Custom Shop (Anniston, AL) opens for business, providing a wide variety of repair, upgrade and custom services for a wide range of U.S. Military rifles, specifically those issued in early eras. As well as regular repairs (and troubleshooting), the CMP Custom Shop will be able to perform virtually any normal upgrading, accurizing, customizing, and refinishing for the types of rifles the CMP sells.

CMP will work on the M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, 1903 and 1903A3 Springfield, the 1917 Enfield and the Krag. Other rifles like the Remington 40X, Mossberg 44, and H&R Model 12 can also be serviced. CMP will NOT work on shotguns, pistols, revolvers, M14/M1A, AR15-style rifles or other commercially-produced modern rifles. For a list of services (with prices) visit the CMP Custom Shop webpage.

cmp custom shop USGI rifle repairs

NOTE: Before you can send a rifle to the CMP Custom Shop you must be a customer on file in the CMP system. Customers must meet the same eligibility requirements as for CMP rifle purchases. Once qualified, you can purchase a rifle from the CMP and have the CMP Custom Shop make modifications to it prior to shipping.

CMP Custom Shop Can Work on USGI Rifles Purchased from Other Sources
The CMP Custom Shop can work on rifles that may have been purchased elsewhere as long as they were made by a USGI contractor. Some examples include: Springfield Armory (not Springfield Inc.), Harrington & Richardson, Winchester, International Harvester, Remington, Rock Island, Eddystone, Inland, Underwood, Rock-Ola, Quality Hardware, National Postal meter, Standard Products, IBM, Irwin-Pederson and Saginaw. NOTE: There are many NON-USGI copies of the M1 Garand, 1903 Springfield and especially the M1 Carbine that CMP will be unable to work on.

CMP Custom Shop Garand 1903 repair

CMP Custom Shop Garand 1903 repairFor more information, call (256) 835-8455, x1113, or send email to customshop [at] thecmp.org. Shipping and Correspondence address for the CMP Custom Shop is:

CMP Custom Shop
1803 Coleman Rd
Anniston, AL 36207

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January 23rd, 2012

SHOT Show: 1903-A3s and 1903-A4s Coming to Creedmoor Sports

At SHOT Show, Creedmoor Sports’ General Manager, Dennis DeMille, spotted something that he thought would be a big hit with his customers — new builds of Springfield 1903-A3s and 1903-A4s using Remington or Smith Corona receivers with parkerized finishes. These rifles are built by Curt Wolfe at Rockridge Machine Works in Pennsylvania. DeMille learned about these rifles from Hornady’s Dave Emary, who gave Curt’s work at Rock Ridge a strong endorsement.

Dennis reports: “These rifles are NICE! Issue condition nice. Much nicer than the one I set a National Record with.” The A4s feature original Remington actions with turned-down GI bolt, fitted to new 30-06 4 groove, 1:10″ twist barrels chambered in .30-06. All fire-control parts are original GI. The A4s come with walnut-stained reproduction “C” stock, Malcolm reproduction of original Weaver 330C (M73B1) scope, original GI buttplate, and repro GI military leather sling. The A3s have original Smith Corona M1903 actions, click-adjustable iron sights, and will be available in both “Scant C” stocks and straight stocks. NOTE: Both the A3s and A4s use intact receivers, NOT re-welded decommissioned versions.

Creedmoor Sports 1903 Springfield

1903s Should Be Avaialble in Mid-February
Vintage military rifle shooters should find these rifles affordable. Dennis says: “We’ll be selling the A4s for $1,075.00, while the A3s will sell for $875.00. We should have some of all models in stock within a few weeks.” CLICK HERE for more info on Creedmoor’s new 1903-A3 or 1903-A4 rifles. Creedmoor Sports expects its first shipment from Rockridge in mid-February.

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August 22nd, 2011

DeMille Smashes Record in Springfield Rifle Match at Perry

Dennis DeMilleDennis DeMille, Gen. Manager of Creedmoor Sports, fired a rare 100-4X in the standing stage of the 2011 Springfield Rifle Match, winning the event and setting a new record in the process. DeMille’s 297-8X Aggregate score broke the previous record of 295-6X set by Douglas Armstrong last year. DeMille fired a 98-2X in slow-fire prone, and a 99-2X rapid-fire prone. DeMille then capped his record-setting match with his remarkable 100-4X in the final offhand stage. MSG Julia Watson, USMC, the only female competitor, placed second with a 293-4X Aggregate.

DeMille is Former National High Power Champion
A former U.S. Marine Rifle Team member, Dennis is no stranger to the podium at Camp Perry. Dennis won the NRA Nat’l High Power Championship in 2005 and the Service Rifle National Championship in 2003. This year Dennis proved this year that he still has what it takes. Congratulations to Dennis — Well done! After Dennis returned from Camp Perry, we asked him some questions about his 1903 Springfield rifle and his performance.

Interview with Dennis DeMille

Q: How does it feel to win an elite competition at age 46 compared to your other championships earlier in your career?

Dennis: Notwithstanding my freakish friend Carl Bernosky, as you get older, for a variety of reasons, winning becomes a little bit harder — in my case it’s poor vision. So of course each victory tastes a little sweeter and nothing is taken for granted.

Q: What were conditions like at the match this year?

Dennis: We had beautiful conditions that day — just a little warm.

Q. What ammo were you using?

Dennis: Hornady 168 grain .30-06, as issued at the Match.

Q: Was anything special done to accurize your rifle?

Dennis: No. This was the first match for this stock though. I think that might be why I shot two 9s in prone slow fire — it was still settling in. Nothing has been done to any part of the rifle to make it more accurate. The rifle is “as-is” from the CMP … complete with nasty trigger. Before I shoot it again though I am going to swap out the front sight blade for a fatter USMC type blade so I can see it [better].

Q. You nailed the standing, often considered the hardest stage. What advice can you give to shooters who want to improve their standing abilities?

Dennis: No secret there — snap-in, holding exercises, and a good mental program. In particular I recommend 20 one-minute holding exercises, with 30-second breaks in between each hold. That is the quickest and best way to identify a poor position (because it will be painful), and build a well-supported position.

Q: Does Creedmoor Sports have any specialty products for shooters of the 1903 Springfield or other vintage military rifles?

Dennis: We really don’t have many products specific to those rifles. But the beauty of those rifles and that course of fire is that there isn’t much you need to buy.

Dennis DeMille

Photos Courtesy Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP).
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April 26th, 2010

‘Old Sniper’ Honored in Shooting USA Repeat Episode

On Wednesday, April 28, the Shooting USA TV show reprises its special “Old Sniper” broadcast. In this popular episode, 84-year old WWII veteran Ted Gundy, who served as a U.S. Army sniper in the Battle of the Bulge, meets with the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) at Fort Benning. For a week, the “Old Sniper” (and his son) were honored as VIP guests of the USAMU at Fort Benning.

Old Sniper Shooting USA

At the end of the show Gundy received a new replica of the 1903 Springfield A4 Sniper rifle. The rifle, complete with vintage-type scope, was presented by Val Forgett of Navy Arms. Then, shooting from a rucksack rest, Gundy proceeded to hit steel at 300 yards. CLICK HERE for Full Story with details.

Old Sniper Shooting USAOld Sniper Shooting USA

This Shooting USA Special broadcast helps viewers remember our remaining WWII veterans, while showing the dedication and hard work of the modern-day USAMU. Broadcast times (on the Outdoor Channel) are shown below (check your local listings).

Eastern Time: 2:30 PM, 10:30 PM, 2:30 AM (Thursday); 4:30 PM (Saturday)
Central Time: 1:30 PM, 9:30 PM, 1:30 AM (Thursday); 3:30 PM (Saturday)
Mountain Time: 12:30 PM, 8:30 PM, 12:30 AM (Thursday); 2:30 PM (Saturday)
Pacific Time: 11:30 AM, 7:30 PM, 11:30 PM: 1:30 PM (Saturday)

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