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September 21st, 2022

2023 CMP and NRA National Matches Calendars

nra civilian marksmanship program cmp 2023 national matches high power smallbore match calendar schedule spreadsheet

Start the planning for next summer, folks — the CMP and the NRA have both released their preliminary National Matches Calendars for 2023. These calendars cover rimfire and centerfire rifle and pistol events at Camp Perry, Ohio (CMP) and at Camp Atterbury, Indiana (NRA). NOTE: These are first-generation calendars — they may later be revised or modified, but these can be used for initial planning.

Here are the current CMP and NRA 2023 calendars. Click each image to load a larger file that is easier to read. The CMP calendar will actually load as on online spreadsheet.

CMP 2023 National Matches Calendar

The 2023 CMP National Matches at Camp Perry commence Friday, July 7, 2023 with Smallbore check-in/practice. The schedule concludes Saturday, August 5 with the Palma Match and awards. Here is the full CMP schedule (click to zoom):

nra civilian marksmanship program cmp 2023 national matches high power smallbore match calendar schedule spreadsheet

NOTE: This CMP Calendar is hosted online in spreadsheet format. This allows you to increase display size, and also to search for specific words. CLICK HERE to view full spreadsheet calendar.

NRA 2023 National Matches Calendar

The 2023 NRA National Matches at Camp Atterbury commence Saturday, July 8, 2023 with OTC opening ceremony. The schedule concludes Sunday, August 6 with the final smallbore competitions. Here is the full NRA schedule (click to zoom):

For more information (and comments), visit the NRA Competitive Shooting Facebook page.

Here are some recent comments by Facebook readers:

“Looks like there is a very serious overlap between CMP and NRA next year. Hopefully both calenders are only drafts and will change several times like they have in the past.” — Joe Bakies

“I was hoping to shoot Long Range next year, but it conflicts with the Civilian Marksmanship Program National Matches.” — Joseph Hayes

“Lines up perfect for us smallbore competitors.” — Shane Barnhart

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August 25th, 2022

Over 580 Entries at 2022 Camp Perry National Air Gun Events

Gary Anderson Competition Center

CMP Records 580+ Entries During 2022 National Air Gun Events at Camp Perry
The 2022 National Air Gun events, held this summer as part of the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s National Matches, welcomed over 580 air rifle and air pistol entries throughout July and August. The events were held at the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center at Camp Perry, Ohio.

Gary Anderson Competition Center

This modern Gary Anderson Competition Center boasts a long row of indoor electronic targets, which can provide multiple target distances from fixed firing points.

Story based on Report by Ashley Dugan, CMP Staff Writer
The 2022 CMP National Air Gun events hosted both seasoned competitors and novice shooters. New to the schedule in 2022 was the 100 Shot Challenge, which consisted of 100 record shots. Winning the Air Pistol competition was Daniel Miller, of Mineola, Texas, with a score of 912-7X.

Gary Anderson Competition Center

An AiR-15 Challenge Match was also on the schedule, featuring air guns that resemble AR-15 rifles and a simulated 100-yard target. Leading the event for the second consecutive year was SFC Brandon Green who finished with an impressive score of 396-19X. One of the nation’s greatest marksmen, the USAMU’s Brandon Green has won multiple High Power Rifle National Championships.

Gary Anderson Competition Center

The CMP’s Bench League allows participants of any age to compete in a national-level event, even if he or she has never competed before. During the League, competitors fire air sporter, precision or AiR-15 rifles off a bench with sandbag support. Claiming the overall win in the 60 Shot Bench Air Rifle Match was Philip Edwards, of Marblehead, Ohio, with a score of 632.3.

A Center Shot contest, where participants who fire closest to target center have the chance to win money, also challenged air gun competitors in rifle and pistol categories. Leading the Rifle Center Shot contest was Scott Braun of Belvidere, Illinois, who fired the only 10.9 shot.

For a complete list of results of the 2022 National Matches Air Gun Events, visit the CMP’s Air Events Competition Tracker page. The National Match Air Gun Events will return next Summer for the 2023 CMP National Matches at Camp Perry.

Gary Anderson Competition Center
Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center at Camp Perry.

About the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center
The Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center in Ohio, is open to the public, year-round. This modern facility features an 80-point range equipped with the CMP’s own electronic targets. The facility also includes a retail center for equipment and memorabilia sales.

Gary Anderson Competition Center

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August 16th, 2022

John Whidden Wins Smallbore Championship at Camp Perry

John Whidden CMP National prone championships Camp Perry Ohio

Team Berger shooter John Whidden of Whidden Gunworks topped the field to win this year’s Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) Smallbore Prone National Championship at Camp Perry. Whidden, who hails from Nashville, Georgia, was named the Prone 6400 Aggregate Champion after firing a score of 6379-449X. During his route to the Aggregate win, Whidden also earned third overall in the Iron (Metallic) Sight Championship and second in the Any Sight match.

The National Prone Championships featured two days of both Iron Sight and Any Sight events (four days overall) for adults and juniors. Each day included four stages of fire at 50 yards, 50 meters, and 100 yards.

John Whidden CMP National prone championships Camp Perry Ohio

The 2022 CMP National Smallbore Matches were held at prestigious Camp Perry National Guard training facility on the shores of Lake Erie near Port Clinton, Ohio. The matches started July 19th with a Small Arms Firing School for new competitors, and concluded after eight days of competition from July 20-27. These Smallbore disciplines were fired over the eight days of competition:

July 20 – Three Position Iron Sight Championship
July 21 – Three Position Any Sight Championship
July 22 – Junior Team Match, Three Position Team Championship
July 23 – Prone Metallic Sight Championship Day 1
July 24 – Prone Metallic Sight Championship Day 2
July 25 – Prone Elimination Final & Prone Team Championship
July 26 – Prone Any Sight Championship Day 1
July 27 – Prone Any Sight Championship Day 2

The Smallbore Prone National Championship is decided over four days of firing 160 rounds per day for a possible 6,400 score. Whidden finished first with a 6,379-449X, followed by Antonio Gross in 2nd scoring a 6,371-412X, and Larry Parker medaling 3rd with 6,362-413X.

John Whidden CMP National prone championships Camp Perry Ohio

Whidden stated, “The CMP ran a great match as they always do. The wind and the elements were enough to keep us on our toes. I was really pleased with the performance of the Lapua Midas+ rimfire ammunition throughout the match!”

John Whidden CMP National prone championships Camp Perry Ohio
John Whidden CMP National prone championships Camp Perry Ohio

CLICK HERE for complete results of the 2022 CMP National Smallbore Matches. Hundreds of photos of the CMP 20222 Smallbore events can be viewed on the CMP Zenfolio website.

John Whidden CMP National prone championships Camp Perry Ohio

About Lapua Ammunition and Berger Bullets
Lapua manufactures high-quality rimfire ammunition and Berger manufactures precision projectiles and match-grade ammunition for Target, Hunting and Tactical applications. Berger is part of the Capstone Precision Group, the exclusive U.S. distributor for Berger, Lapua, Vihtavuori and SK-Rimfire products. For more information, visit Bergerbullets.com.

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August 7th, 2022

Sunday Gunday: Marksman Inspired by Grandfather’s Legacy

Jeff Hansen CMP Camp Perry distinguished badge marksman Lou Hansen grandpa grandfather

Jeff Hansen of Utah now holds Distinguished Rifleman Badge #2561. Jeff’s journey to Distinguished status began with a box filled with his grandfather’s old shooting medals, which led him to the Camp Perry National Matches in Ohio.

Though he had no intention of shooting competitively, only arriving to see the ghosts of his grandfather and uncles, he was so moved by the ambiance of Perry that he began his own marksmanship career — eventually leading him to a prestigious Distinguished Badge.

At the 2022 National Matches, Jeff fired his best scores yet. In the National Trophy Individual (NTI) Match, he reached an overall score of 487-9X for 52nd overall out of nearly 790 competitors. And at the 600-yard line he shot an outstanding 199-5X out of a 200 possible.

“He was on the range with me shooting that 199″, Jeff said of his grandfather. “I felt like he was right there when I finished up. I just hope other people see this and see what I’ve tried to do – if I can do this, they can do this”, he said. “Chase that dream”.

Jeff Hansen CMP Camp Perry distinguished badge marksman Lou Hansen grandpa grandfather
Left to Right: Alvin Hansen, Ray Hansen, and Jeff’s Grandfather Lou Hansen at Camp Perry.

Inspired by My Grandfather to Become a Distinguished Marksman

Article based on CMP Report by Jeff Hansen

Jeff Hansen earned his Distinguished Rifleman Badge in 2022 – a journey which began with his Grandpa’s own marksmanship tales from the 1920s and 1930s.

As early as I can remember, my grandfather, Lou, was a huge influence in my life. He was a great marksman. My dad, Ed Hansen, would tell me about the hunting trips they would go on and how Grandpa would make incredibly long shots to get an amazing bull elk or mule deer, only taking one shot to do so. He was always taking me hunting and fishing and shooting – lots of sleepovers where I didn’t actually sleep much, if any, because I would be so excited for the adventures that were going to happen with him the next day.

Whether it was hunting ducks, pheasants, chukars or just shooting, it didn’t matter. It was always an awesome experience with him. Life was great. Then, we got some tough news – my grandfather had leukemia. He fought a courageous battle with it for a couple of years, then in 1978, when I was 8, he passed away. Needless to say, I was devastated.

Inspired by Grandfather’s Shooting Medals
Not too long after he passed away, my dad brought home a box from Grandpa’s. It was full of medals. He carefully removed them and told me they were from when my grandfather competed in rifle matches with his brothers (Alvin Hansen, a U.S. Army veteran of World War I in France, Ray Hansen, and Oscar Hansen) at Camp Perry, Ohio, in the late 1920s to 1937.

Jeff Hansen CMP Camp Perry distinguished badge marksman Lou Hansen grandpa grandfather
Shooting medals from 1920s and 1930s with picture of Lou Hansen and his brothers.

My Grandpa was really humble – never said much about his trips to Camp Perry or his accomplishments there. Seeing the contents of the box, my grandfather became an even bigger hero to me. The medals he earned that impressed me the most were the three President’s Hundred brassards from 1935, 1936 and 1937 – along with many others.

I grew up looking at those medals thinking I wish I could do that maybe, someday. My life moved forward. My dad, a U.S Air Force veteran, and I both loved hunting, fishing, and shooting and still went as often as we could. Later, I got married and now have three daughters and one son. As my family grew up, we also enjoyed hunting, fishing, and shooting together.

Then, life threw some blows. My dad passed away suddenly in November 2014, and my mom fought a fierce battle with cancer for a few years before passing away in March 2018. Not long after she passed away, I found myself hanging [my grandpa’s] medals on the wall in my own home. Seeing them there got me thinking about how awesome it would be to go to Ohio and watch the President’s Match – not shoot, just watch.

In July 2018, I went. I’ve got to admit there were a few tears in my eyes driving between the two iconic lighthouses at the entrance to Camp Perry. I loved it.

The year I came happened to be the year SFC Brandon Green of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit cleaned the President’s Match — a record that still holds today. I got to talking to one of the Army Reserve team guys, asking him questions about competing, and he couldn’t believe I was there just to watch. I showed him some pictures of my grandfather’s medals, scorebook, and of Camp Perry in the 1930s. Matt Goad and Jon Arcularius of the Army Reserve team came over to look at them.

They said, “Hey, you can’t come all the way out here with a family history like that and not shoot here!”

Jeff Hansen CMP Camp Perry distinguished badge marksman Lou Hansen grandpa grandfather

They offered to sign me up for the NTI match the following day and even said they would get a rifle, ammo, and anything else I would need. That was so awesome, but I couldn’t make it work – I was flying back home the next day. Although I didn’t shoot, they did get me all the information I needed to get started.

I loved every minute of my first Camp Perry trip. It was because of the people there, showing me such kindness and taking me under their wings, that I thought, “I’ve shot all my life and hunted, and I’ve always liked marksmanship. This is something I can do.”

When I got home, I ordered a White Oak upper and started changing parts on my AR-15 to make it ready for matches. I was ready in the spring of 2019 and started shooting mostly small matches.

Jeff Hansen CMP Camp Perry distinguished badge marksman Lou Hansen grandpa grandfather
Grandpa Lou was humble and never talked about his achievements at Camp Perry.

At first, all I wanted to do with my rifling career was get a President’s Medal — following in my Grandpa’s footsteps. I didn’t know what “going Distinguished” was all about. I got a Silver Achievement Medal in the first match I went to, then started to go to more matches. Through that, I caught wind that winning President’s is one thing, but you’ll get to President’s if you excel your skills and go Distinguished. So, that became the new goal.

By summer, I was traveling to EIC matches and earned my first points at Nampa, Idaho, on July 21, 2019. After that, it was time to head back to Perry for the President’s and the NTI.

I didn’t do as well as I wanted, but it was an amazing experience to be competing where my grandfather had. I struggled the rest of the year and didn’t earn any more points until 2020. It was tough trying to find matches during COVID, but I ended up earning 12 more points by the end of the year. I missed a hard leg at Twentynine Palms, California, by X-Count, and things got tough after that.

I figured I needed to step up the way I was practicing, so I got a Shot Marker electronic target system and some wind flags so I could practice full distance. I’m very lucky that I can practice 30 minutes from home any time I want on public land.

Jeff Hansen CMP Camp Perry distinguished badge marksman Lou Hansen grandpa grandfather
At the 2022 National Matches, Jeff fired a superb 199-5X at the 600-yard line.

Starting in the first part of December, I had some extremely hard things going on in my personal life, and I didn’t feel like practicing. I didn’t even pick up my rifle for two months. I missed the first EIC in Phoenix in January, and before I knew it, February was half gone. Then, one of my friends talked me into going to the Western CMP Games in Phoenix in March.

Jeff Hansen CMP Camp Perry distinguished badge marksman Lou Hansen grandpa grandfather

Practice was tough, and sometimes I wondered why I was even trying. Tons of things were going wrong, and I was about DONE. I wanted to quit, many times. [But then] Western Games was fun, and I did well, but gained no points.

Navy Matches were coming around at the end of April, so I practiced as much as I could and made the trip. With several friends going, it would be great getting together after the matches and have a good time. I shot well the first day as well as on that Saturday. I even shot my personal best National Match Course score. Then Sunday, May 1, was the real test – the EIC match.

I struggled in standing and dropped a few more points than usual. Sitting was the same – rapid prone was good. Slow prone went well. The wind had some fairly big changes, but I worked through it and ended up with 477-11X. I figured there’s no way I’m making the cut for a hard leg this time and headed to the pits to finish out the match. We finished and waited for the results.

Jeff Hansen CMP Camp Perry distinguished badge marksman Lou Hansen grandpa grandfather

When the results were posted, I couldn’t believe it – I FINALLY GOT THAT HARD LEG! I did it. On top of earning my goal at last, it’s awesome to have my friend Jeff Lovat (#2383) be the one to present me with my Distinguished pin. (That President’s Hundred medal is still out there – maybe next year!)

The Honor of Earning the Distinguished Marksman Badge
Though I certainly enjoy earning my Distinguished Badge, the greatest thing I have gained from accomplishing this is without a doubt all the friends and people I have gotten to know along the way. To all my shooting friends, thanks for not letting me quit – part of this accomplishment is yours too.

To all of you that are working toward that goal, don’t ever quit. Keep practicing, and your day will come. Never quit until you reach your goals.

No matter what, I do know one thing. When I walk that stage at Perry at the 2022 National Matches and get my Distinguished Badge officially presented to me — well my father, my grandfather and his brothers will be walking it with me.

About the Distinguished Badge Program

To earn a Distinguished Badge, a competitor must earn 30 Excellence-In-Competition (EIC) points or more in a qualifying competition. Individuals earn the 6, 8 or 10 “leg” points based on score and a percentage of match participation, with at least one “hard” leg, worth 8 or 10 points. Currently, the CMP administers Distinguished Badges for:

Service Rifle
Service Pistol
.22 Rimfire Pistol
Junior Air Rifle
Smallbore Rifle

International Shooter
Distinguished Marksman Badge
Distinguished Air Rifle and Air Pistol
Distinguished Service Revolver Badge

To lean more about the Distinguished Badge Program, visit the CMP website.

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June 23rd, 2022

Pistols of Perry — Handgun Competitions at National Matches

Camp Perry National Matches EIC Rimfire Service Pistol .22 LR Competition NRA CMP

After the Opening Ceremony, the 2022 National Matches at Camp Perry officially commence on July 12th with the handgun Small Arms Firing School (SAFS) followed by M9 Pistol Excellence-In-Competition (EIC) pistol matches. The SAFS will be led by USAMU, Military Team, and CMP instructors. Following classroom instruction and practice on the range, SAFS participants will fire an M9 EIC Match with the goal of earning points towards the prestigious Distinguished Badge.

On July 13th, the .22 Rimfire 900 Aggregate, Team Matches, and Rimfire EIC matches will be held. In the past, these matches have been hugely popular — with 480+ Rimfire competitors from novices to experts.

Following the rimfire pistol matches, there will be centerfire Pistol Aggregate and Team Matches on July 14, followed by .45 Pistol Aggregate and Team matches the July 15. Then, on Saturday the 16th, the big President’s 100 Pistol Match, National Trophy Individual Match, National Trophy Pistol Team Matches, and GSSF Glock National Challenge will be held. There will be plenty of talent on the firing line. In recent years, over 90% of the top 50 Service Pistol shooters were Distinguished. The last pistol matches run on Sunday the 17th, with Pistol Games Awards at the end of the day.

2022 Nat’l Matches Calendar | Camp Perry Pistol Match Photos

Camp Perry National Matches EIC Rimfire Service Pistol .22 LR Competition NRA CMP

Camp Perry National Matches EIC Rimfire Service Pistol .22 LR Competition NRA CMP

Talented shooters stand shoulder to shoulder on the firing line…
Camp Perry National Matches EIC Rimfire Service Pistol .22 LR Competition NRA CMP

The license plate says it all — perfection at Perry is a 10X.
Camp Perry National Matches EIC Rimfire Service Pistol .22 LR Competition NRA CMP

There should be over 450 competitors in the .22 Rimfire EIC match.
Camp Perry National Matches EIC Rimfire Service Pistol .22 LR Competition NRA CMP

Camp Perry National Matches EIC Rimfire Service Pistol .22 LR Competition NRA CMP

It took decades of competition to acquire all those patches — that’s dedication to the sport.
Camp Perry National Matches EIC Rimfire Service Pistol .22 LR Competition NRA CMP

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June 20th, 2022

Prepare for Perry — Get Ready for the National Matches

Camp Perry CMP national match 2022 registration Ohio

How’d you like a memorable shooting experience at America’s most famous shooting range? Then register now to compete at the CMP National Matches, held at Camp Perry, on the shores of Lake Erie near Port Clinton, Ohio. Registration is still open for popular centerfire and rimfire competitions. While many of America’s best marksmen will be at Perry this summer, there are programs, such as the Rimfire Sporter series, for shooters of all experience levels. There is still time to register for pistol and rifle matches.

CLICK HERE to REGISTER for National Matches at Camp Perry »

The CMP National Matches will run from July 10 to August 13, 2022 at Camp Perry, Ohio. This major event attracts thousands of shooters over the course of the summer. The 2022 National Matches start with pistol competition and conclude with Long Range Rifle. The Full 2022 Nat’l Matches Calendar is available online.

National Matches Info

2022 National Match Calendar | National Match Program | Camp Perry MAP

CMP National Matches 2022 Camp Perry Ohio rimfire high power junior prone

CMP National Matches 2022 Camp Perry Ohio rimfire high power junior proneCMP National Matches
2022 REGISTRATION

Held annually at Camp Perry, the CMP National Matches include the CMP National Trophy Pistol and Rifle Matches, the Pistol and Rifle Small Arms Firing Schools, the National Games Rifle Matches, the National Smallbore Matches, and the National Long Range Matches. These matches are conducted by a partnership of the CMP and Ohio National Guard. Since their inception, the National Matches have become a huge, national shooting sports festival with well over 4,500 annual participants. Competitors range from beginners to many of the world’s best.

Registration for the 2022 CMP National Matches is still available, but don’t delay much longer.


National Matches Phases


National Matches Info

Good Gear for Camp Perry Competition — High Power and Smallbore
Here are some items that can benefit High Power and Smallbore shooters at the National Matches. All these items are available from Creedmoor Sports, which also sells excellent, customizable shooting coats. Through 11:59 pm on June 20th, FREE Shipping is available for $149+ orders with code DAD22.

Camp Perry CMP national match 2022 registration Ohio

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June 7th, 2022

CMP National Matches at Camp Perry — Program & Registration

CMP National Matches 2022 Camp Perry Ohio rimfire high power junior prone

The CMP National Matches will run from July 11 to August 13, 2022 at Camp Perry, Ohio. This major event attracts thousands of shooters over the course of the summer. The 2022 National Matches start with pistol competition and conclude with Long Range Rifle. The Full 2022 Nat’l Matches Calendar is available online. There is still time to register for pistol and rifle matches. We provide registration links below.

National Matches Info

2022 National Match Calendar | National Match Program | Camp Perry MAP

CMP National Matches 2022 Camp Perry Ohio rimfire high power junior prone

CMP National Matches 2022 Camp Perry Ohio rimfire high power junior proneCMP National Matches
2022 REGISTRATION

Held annually at Camp Perry, the CMP National Matches include the CMP National Trophy Pistol and Rifle Matches, the Pistol and Rifle Small Arms Firing Schools, the National Games Rifle Matches, the National Smallbore Matches, and the National Long Range Matches. These matches are conducted by a partnership of the CMP and Ohio National Guard.

Registration for the 2022 CMP National Matches is still available, but don’t delay much longer. Click the links below to register for particular disciplines.

Rifle Online Registration
Rifle Printable Registration PDF

Long Range Online Registration
Long Range Printable Registration PDF

Rimfire Sporter Online Registration
Rimfire Sporter Printable Registration PDF

2022 Pistol Online Registration
Pistol Printable Registration PDF

Smallbore Online Registration

Air Gun Online Registration

CMP National Matches 2022 Camp Perry Ohio rimfire high power junior prone

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May 18th, 2022

CMP Training Courses at National Matches This Summer

Camp Perry CMP instruction clinic

Ready to learn more about marksmanship? This summer, the CMP will offer a wide selection of training programs at the National Matches at Camp Perry. CMP training courses serve all levels of shooters, with personalized instruction for all. During this year’s National Matches, there will be an array of educational courses taught by experts, including USAMU team personnel and coaches. Courses span from junior to advanced, delivering a little something for everyone.

Camp Perry CMP instruction clinic

Participants in CMP National Matches clinics receive one-on-one instruction. Here is a quick guide (ranked from Advanced to Beginner) for scheduled learning events at the 2022 Camp Perry National Matches, which run July 12 through August 13, 2022.

ADVANCED – Team CMP Advanced Highpower Clinic:
Led by members of CMP Gold (CMP’s own competitive Highpower squad), the Advanced Highpower Clinic offers more complex instruction in service rifle competition techniques using classroom and range discussion. Though the class traditionally utilizes only dry-fire training on the range, in 2021, a 600-yard live-fire portion was added. This course is only open to those who have attended the Advanced Small Arms Firing School at least once and have an “Expert” classification with the CMP or National Rifle Association.

CMP National Matches Camp Perry Brandon Green USAMU marksmanship training
The Advanced High Power Clinic, led by Team CMP members including Bob Gil (above), provides advanced training on wind reading, mental management and more.

INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED – Junior Smallbore and Air Rifle Camp:
The camp is open to intermediate and advanced junior athletes who shoot both three-position smallbore and standing or international air rifle. Instruction is held on CMP’s outdoor Petrarca Range and within the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center indoor air range, both located on the grounds of Camp Perry. Participants must be between the ages of 12 to 20 and currently involved in three-position smallbore competition matches and international air rifle. Camp will cover safety and a reinforced understanding of the fundamentals, among several other points of interest. Those juniors hoping to move their marksmanship careers on to college are encouraged to sign up for this valuable course.

Camp Perry CMP instruction clinic
Camp Perry CMP instruction clinic

INTERMEDIATE – U.S. Marine Corps Junior Highpower Clinic:
The three-day clinic gives focus to more advanced training outside of fundamentals, including weather conditions, how to read wind, equipment use, shooting positions and rulebook standards. Juniors in the clinic spend one day in the classroom, followed by two days of live-fire on the range at 200, 300 and 600 yards. Those young athletes who would like to attend this clinic must first attend the Rifle Small Arms Firing School.

BEGINNER – Small Arms Firing Schools (SAFS):
One of the most popular events of the National Matches, the SAFS course is a combination of classroom education and hands-on instruction on fundamentals, competition basics and safety. Training is led by members of military marksmanship teams as well as certified CMP instructors. At the conclusion of the course, students fire real competitions on the range, with instructors nearby. Equipment is provided by the CMP, with participants only needing a willingness to learn in order to attend. Currently, the CMP offers Small Arms Firing Schools for Pistol (M9), Smallbore Rifle, .22 caliber Rimfire Sporter Rifle and Highpower Rifle (M16) during the National Matches as well as an Advanced SAFS course for further training.

small arms firing school camp perry

BEGINNER — As-Issued Military Rifle Clinics:
Any CMP Games competitors who have not previously fired in one of these matches are required to attend a clinic before they fire. All other competitors in these matches are encouraged to attend as well. These free one-hour clinics will cover the Garand-Springfield-Vintage Matches with instruction and demonstrations. Topics include match rules, shooting positions and techniques, scoring and pit pulling procedures and how to fire the courses of fire. The clinic is open to all competitors. More experienced juniors may attend the USMC clinic, taught by current marksmanship professionals.

BEGINNER — M1 Maintenance Clinic:
CMP Armorers will present this two-hour clinic on disassembly, assembly and maintenance of the M1 Garand Rifle. Special attention will be given to accurizing steps that can be taken with the rifle while maintaining its legality for CMP-sanctioned As-Issued Military Rifle Matches. Topics such as head space, barrel installation, component purpose/function, general rifle assembly, rifle/component maintenance and various other techniques will be covered during the course.

Camp Perry CMP instruction clinic

MORE INFORMATION on Camp Perry Training Programs

Learn more about these training clinics and other educational opportunities, visit the CMP website at https://thecmp.org/cmp-national-matches/clinics.

Article based on story by Ashley Brugnone, CMP Staff Writer

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May 14th, 2022

M1A Tech Tips and Springfield M1A Match at Camp Perry

Springfield M1A gunsmith armorer's course AGI

Do you own a Springfield M1A (or wish you did)? Then you should watch this 5-minute video from the American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI). This video shows the basics of the operation of the popular M1A rifle, the civilian version of the military M14. In this video, gunsmith John Bush field-strips the M1A and shows how the bolt, op rod, and trigger group fits together and operates. This video contains excerpts from the M1A Rifle Armorer’s Course, AGI Course #1584. The full Armorer’s Course is available on DVD from www.AmericanGunsmith.com.

Watch Highlights of AGI M1A Rifle Armorer’s Course:

Springfield M1A rifle camp perry m14 .308 win AGI

Springfield M1A gunsmith armorer's course AGI

2022 CMP Springfield M1A Match at Camp Perry

The 15th annual Springfield Armory M1A Match will take place during the 2022 CMP National Rifle Matches. The CMP will host the event on Sunday, August 7, 2022, the same weekend as the Garand/Springfield/Vintage Military matches. Competitors of all experience levels are encouraged to bring their M1A rifles to Camp Perry and compete. CLICK HERE for Online REGISTRATION. The match is open to all individuals ages 12 and above. For more information contact the CMP at competitions@thecmp.org or call 419-635-2141 ext. 724 or 714.

Springfield M1A match high power rifle

The Springfield Armory M1A match began with one man’s idea and passion. Springfield Armory’s Mike Doy witnessed the waning of classic M1 Garand and M1A rifles from the competitive High Power firing lines. “I really wanted to get those M1A rifles out of safes and closets and back out onto the field. So 11 years ago, I promoted the idea of running an M1A-specific match at Camp Perry. That first year we had over 600 competitors and spectators.” Now the match offers some of the biggest pay-outs at Camp Perry. In recent years, Springfield Armory has donated over $25,000 worth of cash and prizes, including a $2,000 cash award to the overall winner.

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May 9th, 2022

How to Shoot in Standing Position — Carl Bernosky Explains

Carl Bernosky High Power

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 very best standing shooters in the history of High Power shooting. 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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March 24th, 2022

Registration Open for 2022 National Matches at Camp Perry

CMP National Matches 2022 Camp Perry Ohio rimfire high power junior prone

Registration is Now Open for National Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio
Held annually at Camp Perry, the National Matches include the CMP National Trophy Pistol and Rifle Matches, the Pistol and Rifle Small Arms Firing Schools, the National Games Rifle Matches, the National Smallbore Matches, and the National Long Range Matches. These matches are conducted by a partnership of the CMP and Ohio National Guard. Registration for the 2022 National Matches opened March 1st, 2022. Click the links below to register for particular disciplines. You can register online, or with a mail-in form.

The CMP National Matches have become a huge, national shooting sports festival with well over 4,500 annual participants. Competitors range from beginners to world and Olympic champions. There are a huge variety of events — from indoor air rifle matches, to long-range high power competitions.

CMP National Matches 2022 Camp Perry Ohio rimfire high power junior prone

National Matches Info

2022 National Match Calendar | National Match Program | Camp Perry MAP

How to Learn More about the CMP National Matches
CMP’s National Matches are open to the public and the CMPs encourages all marksman to participate in the Historic National Matches at Camp Perry in Port Clinton, Ohio. Watch the video below or contact the CMP staff with any questions you may have. Call (419) 635-2141 or email competitions@thecmp.org. Registration opens March 1, 2022.

National Matches 2022 REGISTRATION Links

Rifle Online Registration
Rifle Printable Registration PDF

Long Range Online Registration
Long Range Printable Registration PDF

Rimfire Sporter Online Registration
Rimfire Sporter Printable Registration PDF

2022 Pistol Online Registration
Pistol Printable Registration PDF

Smallbore Online Registration

Air Gun Online Registration

CMP National Matches 2022 Camp Perry Ohio rimfire high power junior prone

Junior Shooter Opportunities

The National Matches offers several options suitable for junior marksmen. A variety of matches and clinics (each supervised by CMP-trained professionals and staff members) are available to young rifle, pistol and air gun shooters, with safety guidelines. 2022 Camp Perry NM programs will include:

National Rimfire Sporter Match — specially designed for new and upcoming competitors.

National Matches Camps, Clinics and Schools — full of smallbore, rifle and pistol educational possibilities for youth at entry and advanced levels.

National Air Gun Events — fired at the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center at Camp Perry, Ohio, offering a mix of simple, fixed-position matches and open opportunities to accommodate young competitors learning marksmanship fundamentals in a controlled setting.

CMP National Matches 2022 Camp Perry Ohio rimfire high power junior prone

Each event of the National Matches is open to competitors of all ages, meaning with proper training, supervision and safety, juniors will gain the chance to compete on the firing line at a national level — next to some of the best marksmen in the world.

CMP National Matches 2022 Camp Perry Ohio rimfire high power junior prone

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January 2nd, 2022

NRA Perpetual Trophies — Connecting Past to Present

Leech Cup Wimbledon Trophy Cup NRA SSUSA.org
Stunners in silver. Above are the NRA Leech Cup (left) and Wimbledon Cup (right).

Shooting Sports USA has a fascinating article about the Perpetual Trophies awarded in national-level NRA matches. The story recounts the history behind the elaborate trophies, some from the 1870s. SSUSA’s Jennifer Pearsall writes: “The pieces of wood, stone and precious metal … are more than just instant recognition of achievement. They are the link of the American shooter’s present to his or her patriotic past. As you read this legacy of the NRA ranges, their founders, and the long list of cups, bowls, and plaques, realize that the history of competitive shooting is undeniably a significant part of the foundation of this country”. Read Full Trophy Story HERE.

The NRA was co-founded by Col. William Church and Gen. George Wood Wingate (ranked Captain at the time). Both Church and Wingate hoped to improved the marksmanship skills of American soldiers. One of the newly-formed NRA’s first actions was to issue: “An Act to Establish a Rifle Range and Promote Skill in Marksmanship”. That led to the opening of the famed Creedmoor Range, with a special inaugural match in June of 1873.

Many of the awards presented in the first NRA matches were cash or firearms. Some of these firearms were heavily embellished works of art. In the very first match, a member of the 22nd New York Regiment took home a gold-mounted Winchester Model 1866 valued at $100 — big money for the time.

Leech Cup Wimbledon Trophy Cup NRA SSUSA.org
In the 1870s shooting competitions were social as well as sporting events. Ladies and gentlemen came to watch and cheer the winners. This illustration, originally from Harpers Weekly, portrays the shooters and the viewing gallery at the 1876 Grand Centennial Championship — the “Palma” Match.

The Leech Cup — A Gift from Ireland
The Leech Cup was created for the first meeting of the American and Irish shooting teams. The elaborate cup was presented by Major Arthur Leech, captain of the the Irish team, to the Amateur Rifle Club of New York. This masterpiece of Irish silversmithing was later given to the NRA in 1901 by the New York Club. Today, the Leech Cup is the oldest trophy offered in overall NRA competitive target shooting, awarded through the National High Power Long Range Championships.

Michelle Gallagher with Leech Cup in 2013.
Leech Cup Wimbledon Trophy Cup NRA SSUSA.org

The Wimbledon Cup
The Wimbledon Trophy was a gift from the NRA of Great Britain. It was given, as a gesture of sportsmanship, after the the U.S. Team was denied the ability to compete in England’s Elcho Shield match, then limited to Britain, Scotland, and Ireland. To maintain friendly competitive relations, the British presented the Americans with a large, engraved, lion-footed tankard trophy to be awarded each year to the Champion U.S. long-distance rifleman.

Wimbledon Trophy Cup NRA SSUSA.org

Palma Trophy Facts Team Match National Camp Perry Tiffany'sThe Palma Team Trophy
Originally named the Centennial Trophy, in honor of the Centennial celebration of the independence of the United States of America, the Palma Trophy was commissioned from Tiffany’s at a cost of $1,500. The trophy was a full-sized replica of a Roman Legion standard, executed in bronze with silver and gold inlay. On the banner of the standard was the legend, “In the name of the United States of America to the Riflemen of the world”. Above the banner was an eagle, bearing in its talons a wreath of palm leaves and a plaque on which was the single word, “PALMA”, the Latin word for palm tree, which was used by the Romans to signify victory, or the ultimate in excellence.

Because the word Palma was so easily seen, the trophy soon became known as the “Palma Trophy”, and by 1878 was referred to officially by that name. The original seven and one-half foot trophy is now lost, having not been seen since at least 1954. Serving in its place is a copy which was commissioned by Dr. Herbert M. Aitken of Eau Claire, WI. The copy was made from the original Tiffany blue-prints at a cost of $32,500. Dr. Aitken has given this copy of the Palma Trophy to the NRA for use in the Palma Match. The trophy is retained by the winning team until the next Palma Match.

In 2008, the Palma Trophy was returned to the NRA, and it was decided that the trophy, once refurbished, will travel to the host nation for the match every four years, then returned to the NRA for safekeeping.

The first competition for the Palma Team was a challenge match for which the British Commonwealth nations were invited. The match was fired in 1876 at the old Creedmoor Range on Long Island as part of the Centennial celebration of the United States. Teams representing Scotland, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and the United States took part. The match is currently fired on a four-year interval.

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October 5th, 2021

Lessons from Camp Perry 2021 — Tips for Service Rifle Shooters

CMP Camp Perry National Matches Long Range Pistol Rifle Commercial Row History

Hi-Lux Optics has created three videos of interest to across-the-course and service rifle competitors. The first video highlights the appeal of service rifle shooting, with comments from 2021 Camp Perry competitors. The second video offers five tips for new service rifle shooters. The third video focuses on the CMP matches at Camp Perry this past summer. If you have ever wanted to share the Camp Perry experience, this last video provides a great over-view of the event.

Four Reasons to Shoot Service Rifle

Service Rifle shooting is fun yet challenging. You need to develop skills with multiple positions and be able to make rapid wind calls. However, the modern AR-based service rifle is affordable and has relatively low recoil. Highly-customizable, modern service rifles can be fitted with adjustable stocks and optional magnified optics. Older military rifles, such as the M1A and M1 Garand, offer different challenges with heavier-recoiling cartridges, greater weights, and classic iron sights. Hi-Lux asked competitors at Camp Perry during CMP’s 2021 summer games what they enjoyed most about competition with service rifles and Military rifles such as the M1 Garand. The shooters’ responses had four key themes: Self-Improvement, Comradery, History (enjoying shooting rifles with heritage), and Challenge.

Five Tips for New Service Rifle Shooters

This summer at Camp Perry, Hi-Lux reporters asked competitors “What advice do you have for new shooters getting into service rifle?” The most common responses, explained below, were: Keep Learning, Don’t Quit, Stay Calm, Practice Fundamentals, and “Get Started!”. These tips will actually apply to a wide variety of shooting disciplines.

00:21 Keep Learning
Every shot you take is a learning experience. There are so many ways to learn — talk to fellow shooters, watch training videos, attend a training clinic such as those hosted at the CMP Regional Games. Don’t be afraid to ask, and never stop learning.

01:38 Don’t Quit
You may hit a performance plateau. Don’t let that stop you. The only way to get better is to continue moving forward. Persevere and continue your training off-season with dry-fire practice.

03:10 Stay Calm and Focused
Go into each shot with a clear and empty mind. While you’re up on the line, it’s just you and your rifle.

04:20 Practice Fundamentals
With the right mindset in place, practice will strengthen your fundamentals. Dry firing can reveal issues with follow-through and trigger pull that might not be noticeable under recoil. This is especially true with offhand shooting.

05:48 Get Started
You’re not too old to start a new discipline. There are many free clinics available, and many local ranges have regular service rifle competitions where you can hone your skills. Learn more about Service Rifle shooting clinics on the CMP website.

The 2021 National Matches at Camp Perry — Return of the Games

After cancellation in 2020 due to COVID, the CMP National Matches at Camp Perry returned in summer 2021 with a full selection of matches for pistol and rifle. This video showcases the unique experience that is Camp Perry — the leading venue for American marksmanship competition since 1907. The video covers different disciplines, including Service Rifle, M1 Garand matches, Vintage Sniper, and more.

CMP Camp Perry National Matches Long Range Pistol Rifle Commercial Row History

History of Camp Perry

“In the year 1907 the machinery of the National Matches, now grown to immense proportions, was moved to the mammoth new range at Camp Perry.”
—James Drain, Arms and the Man, August 1911

Federal legislation originally launched the National Matches. The 1903 legislation also established the National Matches, commissioned the National Trophy and provided funding to support the Matches. The National Matches have been held at Camp Perry since 1907. The range is located along the shores of Lake Erie in northern Ohio near Port Clinton. The site was first acquired in 1906, in response to the need for a larger facility for military training and the NRA’s shooting programs. In 1906 Gen. Ammon B. Crichfield, Adjutant General of Ohio, ordered construction of a new shooting facility on the shores of Lake Erie, 45 miles east of Toledo, Ohio. The original land for Camp Perry was purchased in 1906, and the reservation was named after Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, the American naval commander who won the Battle of Put-in-Bay during the War of 1812.

NRA National Matches

On August 19, 1907, Cpl. L. B. Jarrett fired the first shot at the new Camp Perry Training Site. And that year, 1907, Camp Perry held its first National Pistol and Rifle Championship events. This location has hosted the annual National Matches ever since (though they were cancelled in 2020 due to COVID). Typically over 4,000 competitors attend the National Matches each year, making it the most popular shooting competition in the western hemisphere.

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September 12th, 2021

Sunday GunDay: John Whidden’s New .223 Rem Palma Rifle

Whidden Gunworks .223 Remington Barnard Action Palma fullbore
Whidden Gunworks .223 Remington Barnard Action Palma fullbore

.223 Rem for Long Range Palma, by John Whidden (5-Time Nat’l LR Champion)
We’ve seen quite an amount of interest in recent years in .223s for Long Range Palma shooting. Yes, the .223 Remington is a pretty light cartridge for long range use, but the specific rules of Palma shooting make it a choice worth considering.

Back in 2019, the Int’l Confederation of Fullbore Rifle Associations (ICFRA), the international governing body for Palma shooting, made a rule change allowing .223 Rem rifles to use bullets of less than 91 grains. Previously the rule allowed the use of bullets less than 81 grains in the .223 Rem, and we have long had the popular option of .308s shooting bullets less than 156 grains. These heavier bullets such as the 85.5gr Berger LR Hybrid and 90gr Berger VLD make the .223s quite competitive in the wind with the old standby .308 Winchester. The .223 does hold the obvious advantage of much lower recoil than the .308. [Editor: The reduced recoil is quite noticeable in the video below where John is shooting his .223 Rem rifle.]

John Whidden Shoots .223 Rem Palma Rifle with 90gr Berger VLDs

Watch video at 00:25 and you’ll see the recoil of Whidden’s .223 Rem Palma rifle is significantly less than a .308 Win Palma rig. John joked: “With the .223 Rem there is just a pop and a wiggle after the shot.”

.223 Rem Palma Rifle — Barnard Action, Tec-Hro Stock

The Barnard P action imported by Whidden Gunworks is the foundation for many winning Palma rifles. As soon as our USA shooters returned from the New Zealand Palma match in 2019 they were immediately requesting bolts to convert their actions to .223 Remington.

Whidden Gunworks .223 Remington Barnard Action Palma fullbore

Given all of this interest in the .223 Rem, I decided to build one myself and see if all of these theories about wind performance held water. Starting with my Barnard P action, I worked with Tec-Hro in Germany to use one of their Fanatic stocks for the project. The Fanatic is a modern aluminum stock suitable for prone or Three Position use. The stock uses adapter blocks to work with a wide variety of rimfire actions such as Anschutz, Walther, and Feinwerkbau. As far as I know we were the first to test it out for centerfire use. After shooting the stock with my .308 Win barreled action installed to refine a few details and ensure the stock would stand up to recoil, I then mounted my .223 Rem barreled action and went to the range.

Whidden Gunworks .223 Remington Barnard Action Palma fullbore

Prior to my range visit a decision was made concerning bullets and twist rate. After discussion with Mark Buettgen at Bartlein Barrels I ordered two barrels — a 1:7″-twist and also a 1:6.25″-twist. Mark was looking for some data using the Sierra 90gr MatchKing bullet and we expected that the faster twist rate might give the best success with that MatchKing bullet. When the barrels arrived they were chambered and installed on the rifle.

Whidden Gunworks .223 Remington Barnard Action Palma fullbore
John uses a Warner rear adjustable sight with a Centra front sight.

Fast Twist-Rate Barrels for Long .223-Caliber Bullet
First up the 1:6.25″-twist barrel was installed and testing commenced. The barrel shot extremely well right out of the gate. All loads used Lapua brass and Vihtavuori N140 powder. I tested the Berger 85.5gr and 90gr bullets as well as Sierra 90gr and 95gr bullets. Testing with the 6.25-twist barrel went well with both of the Berger bullets looking especially good. Later the 1:7″-twist barrel was mounted and tested.

While both barrels were very accurate we decided that the 1:6.25″-twist barrel outshined the 1:7″-twist tube. Now we all know that some barrels are just a little more accurate than others. With such a small sample of data here (just two barrels) I’m not saying that a 1:6.25″-twist is decidedly better. In fact we have a number of customers shooting 7-twist barrels who are shooting them very well. With this particular rifle however, the 6.25-twist seems to be the more accurate of the two.

Whidden Gunworks .223 Remington Barnard Action Palma fullbore

.223 Rem Load Development for Palma Competition

The load I settled on is Lapua brass, Vihtavuori N140 powder, and Berger 90 grain VLDs which I moly-coat. I soft-seat the bullets into the lands with only .001″ neck tension or a little less.

Why the Berger 90gr VLD? The secret sauce is that the 90gr VLD is much superior in the wind after we point it up with the Whidden Pointing Die. The 85.5gr Hybrid bullet comes from Berger with this treatment already done while the 90gr VLD does not. When the 90-grainer is pointed up, the wind drift is a few percent better than the 85.5, given the velocities that I feel comfortable achieving with the rifle.

I settled on 2840 fps for the 90gr VLD and 2880 fps for the 85.5gr Hybrid from a 32″ barrel. When pointed up, the 90-grainer shoots flatter to 1000 yards by 1 MOA which indicates a G7 BC of .289 in my combination. Wind Drift in a 10 mph direct crosswind at 1000 yards is 70.8″ with this 90gr combination compared to 76.8″ for the 85.5gr load.

Whidden Gunworks .223 Remington Barnard Action Palma fullbore

Whidden Gunworks .223 Remington Barnard Action Palma fullboreTesting in Competition — at Camp Perry
This past August 2021 at the CMP Long Range National Championships at Camp Perry I finally had the chance to shoot the rifle on a big stage. Winds that day were from almost directly 12:00 to about 1:30 switching headwinds. Velocity was around 8-10 mph meaning not the easiest or the hardest of conditions. I managed a third place finish in the Palma match. That proves the .223 Rem is definitely competitive in elite Palma events.

.223 Rem Performance in the Wind
My sense of the .223 Rem’s wind performance was that it was in line with the performance I’d expect from my .308 Win Palma gun. Of course the lack of recoil made the .223 Rem much easier to shoot well.

How to Order a Rifle Like This
Whidden Gunworks can build a rifle like this for Palma competitors who want to move to .223 Rem. John tells us: “We’ve built a number of these combinations of the Barnard P action, Tec-Hro Fanatic stock, and Bartlein barrel. They all shoot incredibly well and the ergonomics are top notch. One of the good points is that the current price of $3875.00 (without sights) makes it a bargain for a top-tier Palma rifle.”

Whidden Gunworks .223 Remington Barnard Action Palma fullboreAbout John Whidden
5-Time National Long Range Champion

John Whidden is founder and owner of Whidden Gunworks and a lifelong competitive shooter. Major shooting accomplishments include being a 5-Time U.S. National Long Range Champion, winner of the Australia National Queen’s Prize, and member of three USA Palma Teams. John is currently active in Long Range Highpower, 300 Meter Prone, and Smallbore prone events. John tells us that one secret of his success is having top equipment: “The mental component of Long Range competitive shooting is always challenging but having tremendous confidence in the accuracy of your equipment is a huge benefit. There’s nothing to start your Palma match off well like knowing that you are shooting the most accurate Palma rifle you’ve ever owned.”

Whidden Gunworks .223 Remington Barnard Action Palma fullbore

Whidden Gunworks stands ready to help with your shooting and reloading needs. Whidden Gunworks specializes in custom bolt action rifles, reloading dies, other reloading tools, and reloading components. Well known for match-grade custom rifles and high-quality reloading dies, Whidden Gunworks’ growing lineup includes components from Berger, Lapua, Vihtavuori, and SK rimfire ammunition. Learn more by visiting www.WhiddenGunworks.com.

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September 9th, 2021

Top Shooters Teach Marksmanship at Camp Perry Nat’l Matches

CMP National Matches Camp Perry Brandon Green USAMU marksmanship training
The 2021 Rifle Small Arms Firing School helped train over 250 individuals on the range.

This article recognizes the efforts of military men and women who teach others shooting skills and preserve the proud traditions of American marksmanship.

The National Matches at Camp Perry, a staple in the marksmanship world for over 100 years, include many excellent training clinics taught by military teams as well as CMP instructors. The CMP offers an entire lineup of educational courses for those new to the sport and those eager to develop their skills. The types of rifle and pistol courses span from junior to adult, competitive to maintenance and everything in between. Along with classes taught by CMP staffers, other courses are taught by military personnel, including many past and current National Champions and record-holders.

Small Arms Firing School Led by 3-Time Nat’l HP Champion SSG Brandon Green
This year, the Small Arms Firing School was directed by many top-flight marksmen from a number of military teams. The rifle classroom portion was led by the USAMU’s SFC Brandon Green (shown below), a 3-Time National High Power Champion who holds multiple national records including a perfect score in the President’s Rifle event.

CMP National Matches Camp Perry Brandon Green USAMU marksmanship training

Out on the line, world-class shooters such as SSG Amanda Elsenboss and MAJ Samuel Freeman, the 2021 winner of the President’s Rifle Match, brought their knowledge and experience into one-on-one training with participants. Elsenboss is one of America’s greatest shooters. She recently won the 2021 National High Power Championship at Camp Atterbury, after winning the National Long-Range Championship in 2019.

“Having those world-class shooters serve as instructors is an honor and one the students should remember always”, Cooper added.

U.S. Marine Corps Junior Clinic
The Marine Corps junior clinic, guided by MAJ Martinez (USMC Shooting Team Officer), is always a big hit with up-and-coming young rifle shooters. CMP Training Manager Steve Cooper noted: “It was great to see so many enthusiastic young people, who revere the Marine Corps Shooting Team, come out and take advantage of the instruction at this year’s clinic.”

The 3-day clinic includes more advanced training beyond fundamentals, including weather conditions, how to read wind, equipment use, shooting positions, and rulebook standards. Juniors in the clinic spend one day in the classroom, followed by two days of live-fire on the range at 200, 300, and 600 yards.

Marine corps junior clinic CMP National Matches Camp Perry Brandon Green USAMU marksmanship training

“We talk to them and try to understand them, what they struggle with as individuals and their process,” Cooper said of the USMC’s training technique. “We try to give them tiny, little fixes to what they already have going on.”

GySgt Daniel Rhodes, the staff non-commissioned officer in charge of the Marine Corps Rifle Team, helped lead instruction on the firing line in 2021. Rhodes was pleased with the turnout of around 80 juniors. Rhodes explained that around 25 percent of the juniors in the clinic were first-timers.

Team CMP Advanced High Power Clinic:
Led by members of Team CMP (the organization’s own competitive High Power squad) the Advanced High Power Clinic offers more complex instruction in service rifle competition techniques using classroom and range discussion. Though the class traditionally only utilizes dry-fire training on the range, in 2021, a 600-yard live-fire portion was added.

CMP National Matches Camp Perry Brandon Green USAMU marksmanship training
The Advanced High Power Clinic, led by Team CMP members including Bob Gil (above), provides advanced training on wind reading, mental management and more.

With 65 individuals signed up, the course was broken into groups headed by Sara Rozanski, James Fox, Nick Till, Danny Arnold, Robert Taylor and Bob Gil — all experienced and award-winning marksmen. Each focused on a specific area, such as wind reading, mental management and positioning.

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