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November 8th, 2022

Get Official Targets: Air Rifle, Rimfire, Benchrest, F-Class, High Power, and Pistol

official shooting IBS NBRSA NRA rifle shooting targets paper bullseye benchrest

Do you need targets — not just any old targets, but the correctly-sized targets for specific shooting disciplines (such as NRA Smallbore, F-Class, and 1K Benchrest)? Well you won’t find them at your neighborhood gun store. Precise, dimensionally-correct competition targets are produced by a half-dozen specialty printers. In this article we provide links to the leading target sellers, with a chart showing “who’s got what”. Look for your particular discipline and the vendors will be specified.

Sources for Official Shooting Competition Targets:

ALCO Target Company

American Target Company

Creedmoor Sports

National Target Company

Pistoleer.com

U.S. Target Company

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

Official targets NRA IBS NBRSA

All these vendors carry nearly all the NRA High Power and Smallbore targets, including the smaller F-Class targets. National Target has the F-Class and High Power targets, including 100-yard reductions of the 200, 300, and 600-yard military targets.

NRA Target IBS Hunter Rifle Target

Orrville Printing currently sells IBS targets for rimfire (50 yard) benchrest, short-range centerfire Benchrest (100, 200, 300 yards), Hunter BR Rifle (100, 200, 300 yards), plus the official 600-yard and 1000-yard IBS targets. National Target Company also has most of the IBS targets. NBRSA short-range, 600-yard, and 1000-yard benchrest targets are available directly from the NBRSA Business Office. Send an email to nbrsa@icloud.com or call (434) 993-9201.

Available Official Competition Targets
Vendor NRA High Power F-Class NRA Smallbore Air Rifle/Pistol IBS NBRSA Other
ALCO Target
Company
Yes, All No Yes Yes No No Archery, IDPA, IPSC, Police, Realistic, Shoot-N-C, Silhouette, Fun Targets, Pasters.
American Target
Company
Yes, All Yes Yes, All Yes No No USBR, Sight-in, Muzzle-Loading, Police Silhouette
Creedmoor Sports Yes, Some Yes, Some Yes, All Yes No No NMAR, Repair Centers, Police Silhouette, Sighting Targets, Shoot-N-C Grid
Domagron Targets Yes, Some No Yes, Some Yes No No NRA, Air Gun, Reactive, Fun Targets
National Target
Company
Yes, Nearly All Yes Yes, All Yes Yes* No IDPA, IPSC, FBI, Police Silhouette, Sight-in, Target Backers, Pasters
Pistoleer.com Yes Yes Yes, most and color training Yes Yes No Bianchi, FBI, IBS, IDPA, IPSC, Silhouette, Archery, Pasters
U.S. Target, Inc. Yes Yes Yes, All Yes No No Bianchi, FBI, Police Silhouette, IPSC, Realistic Silhouette, Varmint

Alco Target silhouette paper cardboard

Need Steel, Cardboard Silhouettes or specialty targets? ALCO Target Company in Duarte, California is the USA’s leading producer of the full spectrum of shooting targets including paper targets, cardboard targets, steel targets, and target stands.

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Shooting Skills No Comments »
September 12th, 2022

CMP New England Games Next Week — September 18-25, 2022

2021 CMP Games New England Electronic Targets

On September 18-25, the CMP 2022 New England Games will take place in Jericho, Vermont. Hosted by the Vermont State Rifle and Pistol Association and the Burlington Rifle and Pistol Club, the New England Games will be conducted at the Camp Ethan Allen Training Site, a beautiful facility — as you can see below.

CMP games new england

CLICK HERE to Register for 2022 CMP New England Games »

New England Games Registration is still open. Competitors are encouraged to register right away, though interested shooters will also be able to register for additional matches while attending the event. The CMP expects over 150 competitors this year. The New England Games have become extremely popular for the breathtaking views and serene environment, and the excellent electronic target system.

2017 CMP Games New England Electronic Targets

The 2022 New England Games will feature the CMP’s electronic High Power targets. The electronic target system is now well-sorted and provides accurate scoring. Shooters have monitors right at their shooting stations, providing instant scoring info — no more waiting for the targets to be marked manually. And with the elimination of pit duty allowed by the target system, matches are completed more quickly.

Here’s the view from the berm, looking back to the firing line…
new england cmp games 2017 camp ethan Allen

new england cmp games 2017 camp ethan Allen

Similar to the Eastern, Western, and Oklahoma CMP Travel games, the New England Games features a variety of competitive shooting matches. The CMP Highpower Rifle Matches include a 4-Man Team Match, two CMP 800 Aggregate Matches followed by an EIC Service Rifle Match. Following the CMP HP Matches will be the CMP Games Matches. The CMP Games Matches include Rifle Marksmanship 101 & M16 Match (formerly SAFS), Garand/Springfield/Vintage/Modern Military Matches, Carbine Match, Rimfire Sporter Match and Vintage Sniper Team Match. There are also several pistol matches for competitors to fire including CMP As-Issued 1911 Pistol Match, EIC Service Pistol Match, and .22 Rimfire Pistol EIC Match.

There will also be a GSM New Shooter Clinic and an M1 Maintenance Clinic during the event. CMP Sales will be at NE Games with a limited supply of rifles. They will also have ammo available for purchase.

IMPORTANT — Magazine Restrictions. To comply with a relatively new Vermont law, competitors may NOT bring 20-round magazines into Vermont. Competitors may use 10-round magazines during the New England Games to be compliant with the new Vermont State Law. Note, however, you may BORROW a 20-round magazine from a member of the Vermont State Rifle and Pistol Association after your arrival to Camp Ethan Allen. Contact a CMP associate during check-out process for magazine loans.

High Praise for Venue and Match
Competitors at past CMP New England Games were mightily impressed by Camp Ethan Allen, a beautiful venue. “I was blown away by the facilities at Camp Ethan Allen,” said Steve Cooper, CMP North general manager. “The grounds were neatly manicured, our offices for registration and sales were very convenient and the classrooms were perfect for our clinics.” Photos from past events are posted on the CMP’s Zenfolio website.

The CEATS Pistol Range hosted both centerfire and rimfire matches in a lovely, tree-lined setting.
New England Games CMP CEATS SAFS

Learn More about the CMP New England Games
For registration, travel, and housing information, visit the New England Games Page on the CMP website. If you have questions, Contact Vera Snyder at vsnyder@thecmp.org or call 888-267-0796, ext. 782. Competitors can also find more housing information here at Vermont.org/places-to-stay.

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
September 6th, 2022

Sling Science — How to Install and Adjust Your Rifle Sling

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

The NRA High Power Over-the-Course (OTC) National Championship will be held at Camp Atterbury over the next 7 days. Firing will be done in multiple positions — prone, sitting/kneeling, and standing. Proper support and adjustment of the sling is vital for successful High Power competition. In this short article, Dennis DeMille, a past Service Rifle Champion, explains how to set-up a sling on match rifles.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Tactical No Comments »
August 20th, 2022

Improve Your Shooting Skills with Multi-Discipline Training

Michelle Gallagher Cross Training

Guest Article By Michelle Gallagher, Berger Bullets
Let’s face it. In the world of firearms, there is something for everyone. Do you like to compete? Are you a hunter? Are you more of a shotgun shooter or rifle shooter? Do you enjoy running around between stages of a timed course, or does the thought of shooting one-hole groups appeal to you more? Even though many of us shoot several different firearms and disciplines, chances are very good that we all have a favorite. Are we spreading ourselves too thin by shooting different disciplines, or is it actually beneficial? I have found that participating in multiple disciplines can actually improve your performance. Every style of shooting is different; therefore, they each develop different skills that benefit each other.

How can cross-training in other disciplines help you? For example, I am most familiar with long-range prone shooting, so let’s start there. To be a successful long-range shooter, you must have a stable position, accurate ammunition, and good wind-reading skills. You can improve all of these areas through time and effort, but there are other ways to improve more efficiently. Spend some time practicing smallbore. Smallbore rifles and targets are much less forgiving when it comes to position and shot execution. Long-range targets are very large, so you can get away with accepting less than perfect shots. Shooting smallbore will make you focus more on shooting perfectly center shots every time. Another way to do this with your High Power rifle is to shoot on reduced targets at long ranges. This will also force you to accept nothing less than perfect. Shoot at an F-Class target with your iron sights. At 1000 yards, the X-Ring on a long range target is 10 inches; it is 5 inches on an F-Class target. Because of this, you will have to focus harder on sight alignment to hit a center shot. When you go back to the conventional target, you will be amazed at how large the ten ring looks.

Michelle Gallagher Cross Training

Also, most prone rifles can be fitted with a bipod. Put a bipod and scope on your rifle, and shoot F-TR. Shooting with a scope and bipod eliminates position and eyesight factors, and will allow you to concentrate on learning how to more accurately read the wind. The smaller target will force you to be more aggressive on your wind calls. It will also help encourage you to use better loading techniques. Nothing is more frustrating than making a correct wind call on that tiny target, only to lose the point out the top or bottom due to inferior ammunition. If you put in the effort to shoot good scores on the F-Class target, you will be amazed how much easier the long-range target looks when you return to your sling and iron sights. By the same token, F-Class shooters sometimes prefer to shoot fast and chase the spotter. Shooting prone can help teach patience in choosing a wind condition to shoot in, and waiting for that condition to return if it changes.

Benchrest shooters are arguably among the most knowledgeable about reloading. If you want to learn better techniques about loading ammunition, you might want to spend some time at benchrest matches. You might not be in contention to win, but you will certainly learn a lot about reloading and gun handling. Shooting F-Open can also teach you these skills, as it is closely related to benchrest. Benchrest shooters may learn new wind-reading techniques by shooting mid- or long-range F-Class matches.

Michelle Gallagher Cross TrainingPosition shooters can also improve their skills by shooting different disciplines. High Power Across-the-Course shooters benefit from shooting smallbore and air rifle. Again, these targets are very small, which will encourage competitors to be more critical of their shot placement. Hunters may benefit from shooting silhouette matches, which will give them practice when shooting standing with a scoped rifle. Tactical matches may also be good, as tactical matches involve improvising shots from various positions and distances. [Editor: Many tactical matches also involve hiking or moving from position to position — this can motivate a shooter to maintain a good level of general fitness.]

These are just a few ways that you can benefit from branching out into other shooting disciplines. Talk to the other shooters. There is a wealth of knowledge in every discipline, and the other shooters will be more than happy to share what they have learned. Try something new. You may be surprised what you get out of it. You will certainly learn new skills and improve the ones you already have. You might develop a deeper appreciation for the discipline you started off with, or you may just discover a new passion.

This article originally appeared in the Berger Blog. The Berger Blog contains the latest info on Berger products, along with informative articles on target shooting and hunting.

Article Find by EdLongrange.

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August 5th, 2022

FREE Creedmoor Data Book Scoring App for Android + iOS (Apple)

Creedmoor Sports High Power CMP Competition Scoring App Apple Android

Creedmoor Sports High Power CMP Competition Scoring App Apple AndroidTired of carrying old-fashioned paper Score Books? Well now you can go digital — Creedmoor Sports offers a full-featured Scoring Book App that lets you plot your shot locations/scores using an Android device or Apple iPhone or iPad. The price is right — FREE! Just visit the Apple App Store or Google Play Store to download the App for FREE.

Record Match and Practice Data
This new App, available for free in the Apple App Store, and the Google Play Store provides all the same functions and capabilities of the traditional, spiral-bound print-format Creedmoor Rifle Data/Score Book, but with the convenience and ease of recording your match and practice information with your mobile device. With this App you can break your 20 shot slow-fire segments into either 10- or 20-shot targets, and also opt for sighting shots. All the specific event data can also be recorded, such as location, wind, light etc., along with wind and elevation adjustments.

creedmoor scoring app

CLICK HERE for iOS (Apple)

creedmoor scoring app

CLICK HERE for Android OS

creedmoor scoring app

COMMUNICATIONS Restrictions: In some matches you are not allowed to have electronic communication ability, so you may have to set your iPhone to “Airplane Mode”, or use this only with an iPod (which does not have two-way communication capability).
Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills, Tech Tip No Comments »
July 25th, 2022

Get Official High Power and F-Class Targets + Repair Centers

Official Targets Creedmoor sports

Are you a High Power or F-Class marksman looking for official bullseye paper targets? Here are bulk sets of 25, 50 and 100 targets from Creedmoor Sports. All these can can be used for general practice, fun matches, or official sanctioned events. Choose the official 200-yard SR target with all scoring rings (X,10,9,8,7,6,5), priced at $49.95 for 50. For long-range practice, try the NRA Official 600-yard High Power Target ($58.95 for 25ct), or the Official “Full Face” MR-65 500-Yard F-Class Target ($31.95 for 50ct). Creedmoor also offers a variety of Repair Centers, including the 300-Yard SR-3C Target Repair Center ($34.95), or the 600-yard MR-1 Target Repair Center ($64.95). These target centers can be used on top of full targets, or by themselves for practice on smaller target frames.

Official Targets Creedmoor sports
Official Targets Creedmoor sports

Creedmoor Sports also offers match-grade spotter discs. These are used to mark shot locations. They are offered in three diameters: 1.5″, 3.0″, and 5.0″. In addition, you can purchase the spindles used with spotter discs along with orange Golf Tees also employed to mark shots. These are placed in the shot holes by pit workers.

Frankly for practice, we recommend a target cam, or ShotMarker system.

Creedmoor Sports Target

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Gear Review No Comments »
July 16th, 2022

Saturday at the Movies: Five Classic Metal-Frame 9mm Pistols

9mm metal frame pistol sig sauer P226 hk P7 PSP P7m8 P7m13 CZ 75 Beretta 92 M9 Browning Hi Power semi-auto 9x19mm 9mm Luger

This week we focus on five classic metal-framed 9mm pistols. These five world-class handguns all shoot the 9mm Luger (9x19mm) cartridge. Most have been used by military and police forces as well as used by civilians for sport-shooting and defense. This Editor has shot all five pistol types and owned three. I can recommend all of them. Metal-framed pistols typically have a lower center of gravity and weigh more than Glocks and other polymer-framed handguns. Consequently, they tend to have less muzzle flip, and less perceived recoil than polymer-framed handguns.

SIG Sauer P226

The SIG Sauer P226 is a high-quality, ultra reliable single-action/double action handgun with a proud Swiss/German heritage. It has a very ergonomic grip that fits most hands very well. Standard P226s do NOT have a manual safety, but the P226 has a decocking lever drops the hammer safely. This Editor has trained new shooters with a Sig P226 and Glock 17. For 80% of my trainees the Sig P226 pointed better due to the superior grip design. This meant that the sight picture was better, and the trainees achieved better results with the P226 vs. the Glock 17. The P226 is also a very reliable firearm. I have over 6000 rounds through my P226 with not one single jam. That’s impressive. The first video, reviewing the SIG P226, has over 1.4 million YouTube views, indicating it is very popular with pistoleros.

HK P7 Series (PSP, P7m8, P7m13)

This Editor has shot a P7m8 extensively. It is superbly accurate. With a very low bore axis, it has much less muzzle flip than most 9mm pistols. And with a fixed barrel, the slide moves straight back during cycling. The HK P7 blowback-operated semi-automatic pistol was designed and manufactured by German gun-maker Heckler & Koch (H&K) from 1978 to 2008. It is thin, superbly accurate, with a precise trigger that shames the Glock. The P7m8 features a unique gas-delayed blowback system, which uses gas from the cartridge to retard the rearward motion of the slide. This works via a barrel port and a piston inside a cylinder under the barrel. The signature feature of the P7 series is the “squeeze cocker” on the front of the grip. Squeezing the cocking lever cocks the firing pin. When the front of the grip is released, the weapon is fully de-cocked, making it safe with a round in the chamber.

Browning Hi-Power

The Browning Hi-Power is a single-action, semi-automatic handgun with a legendary heritage. This handsome all-metal pistol was based on a design by American John Moses Browning, and completed by Dieudonné Saive at Fabrique Nationale (FN) of Herstal, Belgium. J.M. Browning died in 1926, several years before the design was finalized. FN Herstal initially named the design the “High Power”, which alludes to the 13-round magazine capacity, almost twice that of other designs such as the Luger or Colt M1911. The name was later shorted to “Hi-Power”. The Browning Hi-Power has served military forces and police in many countries throughout the world. It is a very well-balanced pistol, with a nice, crisp trigger. After 82 years of continuous production, FN Herstal announced that the Hi-Power would be discontinued in 2018. However, in 2022 FN resumed Hi-Power production, so this classic lives on.

CZ 75

The CZ 75 is the flagship pistol of CZ-USA and has been a staple among 9x19mm fans for over 45 years. Originally introduced in 1975, hence the name, the CZ 75 remains viable as a defensive pistol. CZ claims the CZ 75 is “used by more governments, militaries, police, and security agencies than any other pistol in the world”. The CZ 75 is very reliable and works well for both defense and IDPA competitions. The ergonomics are good, controls are intuitive, and the trigger is very nice. Over the years, CZ has made numerous variations of the CZ 75 pistol, but the original is still an excellent handgun.

Beretta 92FS and Military M9

For Americans, the Beretta 92 series of pistols is best known as the official sidearm of the American military for 30+ years. The United States military replaced the .45 ACP M1911A1 pistol in 1985 with the Beretta 92FS, designated as the “M9″. The M9 and the civilian models 92/92FS have a distinctive, recognizable feature — the cut-away slide which exposes most of the 9mm barrel. The metal frame also has an attractive grip design. The 92FS pistols we’ve shot were accurate and reliability was good. There have been various modifications and upgrades over the years. However the M9 was replaced in 2017 by the new polymer-framed SIG Sauer P320, adopted as the military’s M17/M18 modular pistols.

This Hickok 45 video review of the Beretta 92FS has over 2.5 million views:

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June 12th, 2022

Sunday Gunday: Wounded Warrior, SGT Robert Evans, Earns Distinguished Rifleman Badge

SGT Robert Evans distinguished rifleman wounded warrior
At the 2013 Western CMP Games, SGT Robert Evans attained what many shooters seek their entire shooting careers — a Distinguished Rifleman Badge. Evans earned his DR badge with just one hand, after losing his right hand while serving in Iraq with the U.S. Army.

CLICK HERE to Read Full Story on CMP Website
Report based on story by Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer/Editor

SGT Robert Evans distinguished rifleman wounded warriorSGT Robert Evans: Defying the Odds, Single-Handedly
AFter joining the Army in 2003, SGT Robert Evans served two tours in Iraq, suffering a spinal injury on the first tour. On his second tour, his life changed forever. On May 31, 2007, Evans was commanding a Bradley Fighting Vehicle in Iraq. As the Bradley drove under an old Fedayeen guard shack, an IED on top of the guard shack detonated while Evans was reaching out of the turret. The blast amputated Robert’s right hand at the wrist.

Even as a young boy, Evans had always enjoyed shooting. He vowed to stay involved with the sport despite his injury: “I couldn’t give up shooting after I lost my hand. It’s always been too important to me,” he said. “No matter what is going on in my life, when the sights are aligned and the hammer is about to fall, nothing in the world matters at that second. It’s my nirvana.”

Evans worked his way back into the sport by starting in F-Class. The position allowed him to hold hard and pull the trigger, while also being able to use his optics. Then he got involved with J.J. O’Shea’s M1 for VETS Project. The project helps transition wounded combat veterans back into the world of shooting, with equipment arrangements, position training and mental preparations.

SGT Robert Evans distinguished rifleman wounded warrior

Working with the M1 for Vets group, Evans started shooting again. But there were challenges: “The first time I shot after my amputation, it was very frustrating,” he said. “I couldn’t hold still, and shooting left-handed was so foreign.” Being extremely right-eye dominant his entire life, the loss of his right hand caused him to relearn many things, including how to shoot. Learning how to reload and adjust for wind while slung up became a pain for Evans….

SGT Robert Evans distinguished rifleman wounded warrior

In 2008, after several months and rigorous hours of dry firing, Evans found himself crossing the threshold of Camp Perry — a dream he had waited to fulfill his entire life. He scored around 50 points standing, out of 100, on his first trip. Though not bad for someone with an amputation, that wasn’t enough for Evans. He wanted to become a Distinguished Rifleman.

SGT Evans during Team Match at 2013 CMP Western Games.
SGT Robert Evans distinguished rifleman wounded warrior

He began to realize his dream as he earned his first 10 points (towards Distinguished) at Camp Perry in 2012. It took him 15 months to LEG out. His next 6 points came at the 2013 Eastern Games in Camp Butner, NC, followed by 10 more points at the 2013 National Matches. There, hoping to “bronze out,” he managed to one-up himself to actually earn a silver medal.

Then came the 2013 Western Games at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix, AZ. Never giving up hope and remembering his long journey from the hospital bed to the firing line, he received his final 8 points. SGT Robert Evans had become a Distinguished Rifleman.

SGT Robert Evans distinguished rifleman wounded warrior

“There was a lot of pressure, speculation and competition as to who would be the first Combat Wounded Veteran to ‘go Distinguished’ within M1 for VETS,” he said. “I’m very proud to have earned my badge, but more importantly, I hope that more wounded veterans will realize that it is within their grasp. It’s not an impossibility anymore. I hope it motivates everybody to train a little harder and hold a bit tighter – not just wounded veterans. If I can do it, anybody can.”

Posted Courtesy of the Civilian Marksmanship Program, www.TheCMP.org
Author: Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer/Editor

Commentary by GS Arizona
Robert Evans’ inspirational effort is a fresh reminder of the value of marksmanship in creating a focused challenge and reward that can help our wounded warriors regain the confidence and motivation to succeed in all aspects of life.

Robert’s effort is very reminiscent of that of Karoly Takacs, a Hungarian pistol competitor who lost his right hand in a grenade accident in World War II. Determined to overcome the injury, Takacs taught himself to shoot left-handed after the war and earned gold medals in the 1948 and 1952 Olympic Games. Robert brings that Old World grit and determination into the modern day and into the context of our nation’s most historic and cherished award for marksmanship. Robert’s Distinguished badge will shine brightly as a beacon to those who face challenges in their lives and can find a path to renewal in the brotherhood of marksmen. We salute him for his efforts and for the inspiration he brings to us all.

Editor’s Note: GS Arizona is a Distinguished Rifleman, Distinguished Pistol Shot, Distinguished Smallbore Rifleman (NRA) and a dedicated student of shooting history.

A Special Message from SGT Evans

SGT Evans wanted to thank all those who were instrumental in helping him achieve his goal of “going distinguished”. has a long list of individuals to whom he owes his successes.

“I think it’s necessary to let our fellow competitors and enthusiasts know how important they’ve been to me and the rest of the M1 for VETS shooters. They are the ones who keep us going and make our world go round,” he said. “Without all of the support from the shooting community, organizations and businesses that have donated to M1 for VETS, it never would have happened. Thank you all so very much!”

“I’d really like to thank the CMP and everyone who has helped me. That’s the real reason I went Distinguished,” he said. “M1 for VETS is a fantastic organization, and I really can’t thank them enough for what they do. No matter where my shooting career takes me, I’ll always be thankful to them for teaching, mentoring and accepting me. They are a fantastic group of guys and the reason I had the opportunity to even try. I’d also like to thank John and May Marx … and Dick Whiting.”

distinguished rifleman sgt Evans
SGT Evans and his wife Karen after a Washington meeting with Senators Harry Reid and John Ensign.

“My mother, father and grandparents have always been there for me and are a constant source of encouragement,” he said. “And last, but certainly not least, my loving wife, Karen. She supports me no matter what I do and backs me up entirely. She’s my world and I can’t thank her enough for her support and loyalty. I love you, Karen.”

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills No Comments »
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.

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills No Comments »
February 20th, 2022

Sunday GunDay: .22 PPC for 300m Prone Competition

.22 PPC Rifle 300m prone

The 300 Meter .22 PPC — Smaller Caliber for Less Recoil

By GS Arizona
[This article originally appeared in Precision Shooting Magazine many years ago, but we are reprising it because the .22 PPC remains a notable cartridge for many disciplines, from benchrest to silhouette.]

I’ve spent the past few years pursuing the largely solitary pastime of 300 Meter shooting in the US. While it is a hugely popular sport in Europe, with thousands of competitors in each of various countries and overflowing national championships, in the U.S., 300 Meter shooting is simply a forgotten discipline. As an example, consider that the entry at the USA Shooting 300 Meter National Championships held at Fort Benning did not reach 20 competitors in [years past]. For those not familiar with the discipline, the 300 Meter ISSF target has a 100 mm ten ring, 200 mm 9 ring and so forth. That’s a 3.9″ ten ring at 328 yards for those of you who may object to the metric system, electricity and other intrusions upon a well settled universe (which ends at the dragons). [Editor’s Note: GS Arizona was a championship-class prone shooter, in both rimfire and centerfire disciplines, who had a popular online Blog, which has been closed.]

300 Meter Basics
300 Meter matches can be either three-position (prone, standing, kneeling) or all prone. Being of that age at which limbs aren’t limber and the mid-section obscures one’s view of the toes, I shoot prone matches only and leave the 3P to those for whom the term “shooting athlete” doesn’t produce an automatic smirk from the better half.

.22 PPC Rifle 300m prone

Like most 300 Meter shooters, I shoot a 6BR as my main rifle. As used in 300 Meter shooting, the 6BR is loaded with a 105-108gr bullet, with a velocity in the 2850 fps range. There is simply no cartridge out there at this time that delivers the accuracy, low recoil and ease of loading that can be had from the 6BR. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t embark on a quixotic adventure now and then to find something better. This article is about one such search. So, if you don’t mind spending some time learning about an uphill struggle in a forgotten corner of the shooting world, pour a hot cup of coffee, get a plate of chocolate chip cookies and read on.

Getting Started–The Concept Behind the Project
The premise for building a .22 PPC was simple — less is more. Less recoil, that is, while retaining good ballistics and accuracy, should allow for higher scores. The hard part is meeting the ballistic and accuracy standards set by the 6BR. If pressed I might also admit to a desire to do something different. I made a decision early on in the project to stick to 80-grain bullets. I believe the 80 is pushing the envelope for safe and sane pressure in a case the size of the PPC; additionally, there are a number of manufacturers of 80-grain .224″ bullets so selection and testing can be more meaningful. Barrels are another consideration and all of the better barrel makers offer a 1:8″ twist .224 barrel (unlike the limited selection of 1:6.5″ twist required for 90 grain .224″ bullets).

With the basic parameters of a full-length .22 PPC case (reformed Lapua .220 Russian to be exact) and an 80-grain bullet established, a few other details needed attention. The first of these was specifying certain dimensions for the reamer maker. I chose not to change any of the essential dimensions of the .22 PPC such as headspace, shoulder angle or body taper, but there were a couple of areas that I felt needed to be different from the typical Benchrest PPC. These were neck diameter and throat length. With the outstanding quality of the Lapua brass, I elected to go with a 0.255″ neck diameter which would allow the use of unturned brass and still leave 0.002″ clearance around the neck of a loaded cartridge. The throat was specified longer than a standard PPC to allow for the length of the 80-grain bullets and avoid having the bullet go past the neck/shoulder junction.

300 Meter .22 PPC — Equipment List
Hardware
Action: RPA Quadlite, RPADefense.com.
Stock: Master Class Highpower Prone MasterClassStocks.com
Barrel: Broughton .224″ bore, 1:8″ twist, 30″ Palma contour
Rear Sight: Warner #1, Anschutz Iris, Warner-Tool.com
Front Sight: Gehmann Iris from Scott Riles
Trigger: Jewell 4 oz. one-stage
Bolt Knob: Keychain from 7-11 ($2.00)

Gunsmithing
Barrel fitting, sight, scope bases: Warner Tool Company.
Stock inletting, pillar bedding, and hardware: Alex Sitman,
Master Class Stocks.

Detours Along the Way
Like Quixote stumbling his way to his dreams, I’ve made a few mistakes. That 0.255″ neck diameter turned out to be the first. Turning brass isn’t a problem, but I was so captivated by the quality of the .220 Russian brass that I planned to skip turning or just take a light (0.001″) clean-up cut. Well, that’s fine, but as it turns out, PPC die makers assume you have turned necks and using unturned brass causes problems. The Redding Competition Seater, for instance, wanted to crimp the entire length of the neck onto the bullet. Turns out it was 0.250″ in the neck diameter of the sliding sleeve. This required reaming the sleeve which wasn’t too hard as the sleeve is made of relatively soft steel. Hand turning the chambering reamer with lots of care and oil took care of that problem. This opened up the neck to 0.255″ which might be 0.001″ more than ideal but I’ll live with it.

.22 PPC Rifle 300m proneSizing dies were another problem altogether. Forget using a non-bushing die with unturned brass–you’ll just overwork the neck to death. The Redding bushing dies worked well, though. Fired brass ends up at 0.254″ and is sized to 0.250″ in two steps (0.252″ and 0.250″) to maintain better concentricity.

I also got the throat length wrong as the base of the bullet (above the boat tail) is halfway up the neck and I want it just above the shoulder. I don’t know how I missed on that spec, but that’s what happened. As it turns out, the extra throat length hasn’t caused any problems with the Nosler 80, but it might with shorter or pointier bullets. Powder and primer choices became additional areas for demonstrating my inability to make good choices. You might think that adding a heavier bullet to an existing cartridge would be simple but it really turned into a full scale adventure.

Choice of Components and Smiths — Only the Best
Based on my previous favorable experience and that of a few friends, I ordered a Broughton barrel for the PPC, a .224″ bore 1:8″ twist, long enough to finish at 30 inches in what is generally referred to as a medium Palma taper. I haven’t been disappointed by the barrel: like all of those made by Tim North of Broughton Barrels, it is top notch. With the barrel and reamer in hand, they and the RPA Quadlite action were sent to Al Warner for barreling and then on to Alex Sitman for the stock. I can’t say enough good things about Alan’s metal work and Alex’s stock work. They have barreled and stocked many rifles for me over the years, all flawless. Alex’s Highpower Prone stock fits me like a comfortable moccasin. The trigger is a Jewell set at 4 oz., the rear sight is a Warner #1 and the front sight is a Scott Riles with a Centra aperture.

Eventually, the UPS man — purveyor of all things worth having — arrived with a long package and the real work began. Load testing and shooting can be a lot more frustrating than planning and talking to gunsmiths, but hopefully the eventual results make it worthwhile. I had a good supply of Nosler 80-grain bullets and some preconceived notions about powder and primers. Off to the loading bench.

Load Development + Accuracy Testing
Fire-forming the .220 Russian cases to the PPC chamber was a breeze: run an expander into the neck to get them to .224″, bump the shoulder 0.002″, load a caseful of IMR 4895 (about 23 grains) and insert a Nosler 77 (leftover from another project) and fire. I shot these at 100 yards while zeroing the rifle and was very impressed with the accuracy. Fouling was minimal, off to a promising start.

Once formed, I loaded the brass with Varget and the 80-grain bullets. Since Varget has given such good results in the 6BR, it was a natural starting point for this project. However, it quickly became evident that it might be too slow. While accuracy was excellent, powder fouling in the barrel was very heavy even at the highest charge tried (28.5 grains) and there was soot all the way down the shoulders of the cases. Cleaning the bore felt like patching a rusty water pipe after just 20 shots. I knew I’d never make it through a 60-shot match (about 70 shots with sighters) without cleaning[.]

Putting the .22 PPC to the Test in Competition
At this point, I took the PPC to a 300 Meter match with the Varget load. While it might not look perfect, I needed to try it. The first string was a 198 and I was able to clean the rifle immediately after firing. The second string was also a 198 but I had to fire the third string without cleaning. The effects of the fouling were evident in the last score, a 194.

While a 590 total isn’t bad for 300M, it was a bit below my average with the 6BR at this range – my home range that I knew well. More importantly, the score dropped as the group opened up in the third string when I wasn’t able to clean. At the Nationals all 60 shots are fired without a break for cleaning or additional sighters; therefore, Varget, while promising, wouldn’t work in the long run.

The next faster powder on my shelf was IMR 4895. I’d used it in the fire forming loads and if I had a lick of sense I would have tried it right away since the fire forming loads shot so well. However, stubbornly clinging to the preconceived notion that Varget was going to be a great powder for this combo cost me a month or so fooling with it. I then worked up loads with 4895 from 26.8 to 28.6 and saw that while 4895 was better suited to the case than Varget, it was still slow. The powder fouling was still occurring, though to a lesser degree. The shoulders still showed some soot, but less. I settled on 27.8 grains as a useful load and loaded 70 cases.

New Load for a New Home
At this point, I moved from Florida to Arizona causing a delay of several months in testing. The move also had an effect on the load as the hotter and drier climate in Arizona turned out to be much more suitable for 4895. Of course, I still had those 70 rounds loaded with 27.8 so I shot them in practice. Everything seemed OK but one primer (Federal 205M) pierced at the edge. I didn’t pay much attention to that as there were no other pressure signs and it was the first primer failure of any sort so far in this project. Extraction was fine, primer edges were nicely radiused and base growth was under two tenths. There was an opportunity to shoot a 500-yard prone match the following day so I reloaded the cases with the same load. At the match I pierced two more primers, this time right at the edge of the firing pin, causing two craters running into the firing pin hole. As you might imagine, all subsequent shots cratered into that area, although no more pierced.

I was contemplating a switch to Hodgdon Benchmark (slightly faster than H4895) until this point. Now, repairing the bolt face and switching to a tougher primer took priority. I loaded 25 rounds with CCI BR4 primers and 25 with Remington 7.5 primers. Both of these are well known for their tougher cups which I hoped would eliminate the piercing. I like the mild flash from the Federal 205 and believe it contributes to good accuracy, but I needed a primer that holds together more than I need to cut another tenth MOA. Bearing in mind that the powder charge itself might need reworking, I took those 50 rounds to the range to test them with the 27.8 gr. IMR 4895 load as it remains best to only change one thing at a time. Temperatures were in the 100 to 110 degree range during testing as they are for a good portion of the year here in Phoenix. If the load won’t work in hot temperatures, it just won’t work at all for me.

The primer testing at 200 yards showed the CCI BR4 primers to be better suited to this load than the Remington 7.5 primers. While no primer failed out of the 50 fired, the CCI BR4 primers gave distinctly better accuracy. I fired two ten-shot groups prone (scoped) with each, the Remington-primed groups averaged just over 1 MOA and the CCI-primed groups averaged 1/2 MOA. The difference between the two was principally in the amount of elevation in the groups. Given that result, as well as previous good experience with the CCI primers in the 6BR, I settled on the CCI BR4 primers for the PPC.

Final Testing at 500 Yards–It all Comes Together
While the purpose of the 80-grain PPC is 300 Meter shooting, those matches are somewhat hard to find so I’ve done most of my testing at 200 yards on the local public range (Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix) and at 500 yards in some of the local prone matches. With the primer issue potentially resolved, I went back to the 500-yard range to make sure the load held good elevation at that distance.

Final testing at 500 yards was a complete success. I fired one group of 24 shots from the prone position. Elevation for the bulk of the group was right at 3″ (0.6 MOA), the horizontal spread was somewhat larger as the group was fired in gusty, fast-switching conditions. The CCI BR4 primers functioned flawlessly, with no sign of pressure despite ambient temperatures over 100° F. None of this should be taken as a general statement of inadequacy of Federal primers. I have used (and continue to use) the very same lot of Federal 205M primers in my 6BR and have not experienced any problems at all. Simply stated, the 80-grain .22 PPC is an odd duck and has special requirements when fired under the conditions that prevail in my area.

At this point, I’ve determined that the basic premise of a .22 PPC for 300 Meter matches is perfectly viable, even if it is quite a bit more complex an undertaking than the 6BR. Recoil reduction over the 6BR was minimal, bordering on unnoticeable, but accuracy is on a par with the 6BR, perhaps slightly better. As a nice bonus, the PPC has proven to be quite useful for the 500-yard prone matches that are a regular part of the Phoenix shooting scene and it never fails to spark a good conversation with a new friend when I’m practicing or testing at the range. Future plans include testing Berger and Hornady 75 and 80-grain bullets and Hodgdon Benchmark powder. And, after conferring with your moderator, who ran some simulations in QuickLOAD, I’ll be trying Reloder 15 soon (QuickLOAD predicts RL15 allows 100% load density with good velocity). At some point I’ll also have the reamer reground for a shorter throat and tighter neck, but probably not until time comes to rebarrel.

6mmBR Norma versus .22 PPC

For the shooter who wants a superbly accurate, easy to load cartridge for 300 Meters to 600 yards, you simply can’t beat the 6BR. Everything you need, including brass, dies, reamers and knowledge are just a phone call away. The .22 PPC, by contrast, is an uphill struggle. The chambering reamer was custom ground to my specifications to allow unturned brass, as well as a longer freebore for the 75- and 80-grain bullets that are the heart of the project. The no-turn necks also meant that the Redding Competition Seater (an excellent unit) had to be reworked to allow for the thicker neck diameter. Once those hurdles were overcome I struggled to find the best powder for this combination–and I’m still searching. Unlike the 6BR where any of a half dozen or more powders will do the job (Varget, Reloder 15, N140, N540, IMR 4895, Norma 203B, etc.) the .22 PPC with heavy bullets has proven finicky with even the most accurate powders leaving fairly heavy carbon fouling.

Despite the problems, the .22 PPC offers a bit more pure accuracy than the 6BR and also a tiny bit less recoil. Both of these things can contribute to slightly higher scores in prone matches. However, to get the most out of the PPC, one must find the time to clean between 20 shot strings–a not inconsiderable effort sometimes in the mad rush of pit changes, scoring, shooting and just plain being tired.

This rifle was initially a .223 and when that cartridge proved unsatisfactory for my purposes, I had it rebuilt as the .22 PPC you see here. I like it and I enjoy the challenge, but I would not recommend this combination as someone’s primary rifle; it can get a bit frustrating. To put it into another context, the 6BR is like a 350 Chevy, it’ll just keep on doing the job forever, no matter what. The .22 PPC is like a Ferrari, it’ll scream when you do everything right, but it takes more attention to detail and a lot more maintenance. You wouldn’t want a Ferrari as your only car and likewise, you would be better off making the .22 PPC a second rifle.

Parting Shots — The .22 PPC vs. 6mm BR
If you’re looking for a simple, accurate and reliable cartridge for 200 to 600 yards, you probably can’t improve on the 6BR. However, if you’re someone who finds the journey as rewarding as reaching the destination, then you may very well enjoy a .22 PPC for prone shooting. While I received a great deal of help in this project from friends, gunsmiths, suppliers and parts makers far and wide, I really must acknowledge the huge debt we all owe to Ferris Pindell and Dr. Lou Palmisano. Without them there would be no PPC. We truly stand on the shoulders of giants.

Copyright © Precision Shooting Magazine and GS Arizona. Reprinted by permission.
Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Reloading 2 Comments »
February 17th, 2022

Get Official High Power and F-Class Targets + Repair Centers

Official Targets Creedmoor sports

Are you a High Power or F-Class marksman looking for official bullseye paper targets? Here are bulk sets of 25, 50 and 100 targets from Creedmoor Sports. All these can can be used for general practice, fun matches, or official sanctioned events. Choose the official 200-yard SR target with all scoring rings (X,10,9,8,7,6,5), priced at $49.95 for 50. For long-range practice, try the NRA Official 600-yard High Power Target ($58.95 for 25ct), or the Official “Full Face” MR-65 500-Yard F-Class Target ($31.95 for 50ct). Creedmoor also offers a variety of Repair Centers, including the 300-Yard SR-3C Target Repair Center ($34.95), or the 600-yard MR-1 Target Repair Center ($32.95). These target centers can be used on top of full targets, or by themselves for practice on smaller target frames.

Official Targets Creedmoor sports
Official Targets Creedmoor sports

Creedmoor Sports also offers match-grade spotter discs. These are used to mark shot locations. They are offered in three diameters: 1.5″, 3.0″, and 5.0″. In addition, you can purchase the spindles used with spotter discs along with orange Golf Tees also employed to mark shots. These are placed in the shot holes by pit workers.

Frankly for practice, we recommend a Longshot LR-3 Target Cam, or ShotMarker system.

Creedmoor Sports Target

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January 29th, 2022

FREE Data Book App Records Match & Practice Scores

Creedmoor Sports High Power CMP Competition Scoring App Apple Android

Creedmoor Sports High Power CMP Competition Scoring App Apple AndroidTired of carrying old-fashioned paper Score Books? Well now you can go digital — Creedmoor Sports offers a full-featured Scoring Book App that lets you plot your shot locations/scores using an Android device or Apple iPhone or iPad. The price is right — FREE! Just visit the iTunes store or Google Play Store to download the App for FREE.

Record Match and Practice Data
This FREE Data Book App, available in the Apple App Store, and the Google Play Store, provides all the same functions and capabilities of the traditional, spiral-bound print-format Creedmoor Rifle Data/Score Book, but with the convenience and ease of recording your match and practice information with your mobile device. With this App you can break your 20 shot slow-fire segments into either 10- or 20-shot targets, and also opt for sighting shots. All the specific event data can also be recorded, such as location, wind, light etc., along with wind and elevation adjustments.

creedmoor scoring app

CLICK HERE for iOS (Apple)

creedmoor scoring app

CLICK HERE for Android OS

creedmoor scoring app

COMMUNICATIONS Restrictions: In some matches you are not allowed to have electronic communication ability, so you may have to set your iPhone to “Airplane Mode”, or use this only with an iPod (which does not have two-way communication capability).
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September 8th, 2021

CMP New England Games in Vermont September 19-26, 2021

2021 CMP Games New England Electronic Targets

CMP games new englandOn September 19-26, the CMP 2021 New England Games will take place in Jericho, Vermont. Hosted by the Vermont State Rifle and Pistol Association and the Burlington Rifle and Pistol Club, the New England Games will be conducted at the Camp Ethan Allen Training Site, a beautiful facility.

» CLICK HERE to Register for 2021 CMP New England Games

New England Games Registration is currently open. Competitors are encouraged to register right away, though interested shooters will also be able to register for additional matches while attending the event. The CMP expects over 150 competitors this year. The New England Games have become extremely popular for the breathtaking views and serene environment. Add in the new electronic target system and you have a recipe for success.

IMPORTANT — New Magazine Restrictions. To comply with a new Vermont law, competitors may NOT bring 20-round magazines into Vermont. Competitors may use 10-round magazines during the New England Games to be compliant with the new Vermont State Law. Note, however, you may BORROW a 20-round magazine from a member of the Vermont State Rifle and Pistol Association after your arrival to Camp Ethan Allen. Contact a CMP associate during check-out process for magazine loans.

2017 CMP Games New England Electronic Targets

The 2021 New England Games will feature the CMP’s electronic High Power targets. The electronic target system is now well-sorted and provides accurate scoring. Shooters have monitors right at their shooting stations, providing instant scoring info — no more waiting for the targets to be marked manually. And with the elimination of pit duty allowed by the target system, matches are completed more quickly.

Here’s the view from the berm, looking back to the firing line…
new england cmp games 2017 camp ethan Allen

new england cmp games 2017 camp ethan Allen

Similar to the Eastern, Western, and Oklahoma CMP Travel games, the New England Games features a variety of competitive shooting matches. The CMP Highpower Rifle Matches include a 4-Man Team Match, two CMP 800 Aggregate Matches followed by an EIC Service Rifle Match. Following the CMP HP Matches will be the CMP Games Matches. The CMP Games Matches include Rifle Marksmanship 101 & M16 Match (formerly SAFS), Garand/Springfield/Vintage/Modern Military Matches, Carbine Match, Rimfire Sporter Match and Vintage Sniper Team Match. There are also several pistol matches for competitors to fire including CMP As-Issued 1911 Pistol Match, EIC Service Pistol Match, and .22 Rimfire Pistol EIC Match.

There will also be a GSM New Shooter Clinic and an M1 Maintenance Clinic during the event. CMP Sales will be at NE Games with a limited supply of rifles. They will also have ammo available for purchase.

High Praise for Venue and Match
Competitors at past CMP New England Games were mightily impressed by Camp Ethan Allen, a beautiful venue. “I was blown away by the facilities at Camp Ethan Allen,” said Steve Cooper, CMP North general manager. “The grounds were neatly manicured, our offices for registration and sales were very convenient and the classrooms were perfect for our clinics.” Photos from past events are posted on the CMP’s Zenfolio website.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a true CMP Games event without a Rimfire Sporter Match.
New England Games CMP CEATS SAFS

The CEATS Pistol Range hosted both centerfire and rimfire matches in a lovely, tree-lined setting.
New England Games CMP CEATS SAFS

Learn More about the CMP New England Games
For registration, travel, and housing information, visit the New England Games Page on the CMP website. If you have questions, Contact Vera Snyder at vsnyder@thecmp.org or call 888-267-0796, ext. 782. Competitors can also find more housing information here at Vermont.org/places-to-stay.

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August 21st, 2021

How to Install and Adjust Competition Rifle Slings

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

The NRA High Power Over-the-Course (OTC) National Championship will be held at Camp Atterbury over the next 7 days. Firing will be done in multiple positions — prone, sitting/kneeling, and standing. Proper support and adjustment of the sling is vital for successful High Power competition. In this short article, Dennis DeMille, a past Service Rifle Champion, explains how to set-up a sling on match rifles.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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June 6th, 2021

Sunday Gunday: AR Service Rifle — Focus on Ammo & Reloading

High Power service rifle AR15 reloading 600 yard Danny Arnold powder kernels
The 600-yard target has an X-Ring 6 inches (1 MOA) across, while the 10-Ring spans 12 inches (2 MOA).

The following article is about reloading for NRA/CMP Highpower Rifle competition and is geared toward competitors shooting the AR15 Service Rifle. In Highpower Rifle competition, shooters fire in four stages: Standing slow-fire at 200 yards, Sitting rapid-fire at 200 yards, Prone rapid-fire at 300 yards, and Prone slow-fire at 600 yards. Competitors use a sling for support in all positions but standing. A typical AR15 Service Rifle sports a 20″ free-floated barrel and a 4.5-pound trigger. Service Rifle scopes are limited to maximum power of 4.5X.

Thoughts on Loading for Service Rifles, Particularly for 600 Yards

by Danny Arnold, Team CMP
Article originally published in CMP Shooting News

Before we get started, I want to stress that all of the information that follows is geared toward the .223/5.56 Service Rifle. That doesn’t mean that there’s nothing here for anyone else, but the .223/5.56 Service Rifle platform is where I’ve spent the majority of my time, so here we go.

There is only one “Perfect” 600–yard load for my rifle, True or False? This example is more anecdotal than scientific, but it provides some food for thought….

Team CMP spent the early part of March competing in the Orange Blossom Regional. As soon as we got on the range, Sara Rozanski (Team CMP member) started having problems with her 600-yard ammunition. Nearly 1/3 of her cases were exiting the chamber minus the primers. I offered to swap my ammunition for hers, suspecting that my Wylde chamber would be more forgiving than her CLE chamber — a solution that seemed to solve the problem. At least neither of us was blowing primers!

High Power service rifle AR15 reloading 600 yard Danny Arnold powder kernels

Sara’s ammunition was a factory load using a well-known 80+ grain bullet with an unknown primer and powder, using brass from a respected manufacturer. My load was a different brand of 80-grain bullet, with my choice of powder and primer, all in brass made by someone else. Given the color of the primers, the only thing that our ammunition could possibly have had in common was the brand of powder… maybe. So, how did we shoot?

Sara and I shot the two-person team together and the entire 2,400 Aggregate, although on different relays. Sara’s combined 600-yard score was 780-28X (97.5%). Mine was a 783-24X (97.87%). Our scores were never more than two points apart on any of the four days. Keep in mind that we were using each other’s ammunition the entire time.

So, we had different barrels, chambers and ammunition, but similar results. That goes back to the idea that a good load will perform similarly if fired in a good barrel.

Are We Too Focused on Ballistic Coefficients (BCs)?
The revailing wisdom has always trended toward loading the highest-BC bullet we could find and pushing it as fast as possible. Back in the early ’90s when I got started with the AR15, the 80-grain Sierra was state of the art. Actually, I picked up all of my Leg points with it, although today it looks a bit dated — kinda like me.

So, the question I’ll pose is this: Would you rather shoot a high-BC bullet that groups 3/4-MOA (minute of angle) or a lower-BC bullet that groups into one-half-MOA traveling 50 feet-per-second faster? The reason that I posed this question is a situation I found myself in a decade ago. Our coach decided that he wanted us to pair-fire some 600-yard for practice. Unfortunately, I hadn’t gotten the memo and all that I had available was my normal short-line ammunition, loaded with a 77-grain bullet. The shooter I was paired with was using a higher-BC bullet than I was, but in the end, we both shot 198s.

Admittedly, using 77-grainers meant that coach had to work a little harder to keep us together on target, but it was a teaching moment for me. I knew that my upper shot 77s better than the available bullets in the 80-grain range, so I cranked out a windage table for the 77-grain bullet at 600 yards and shot those for the rest of the season. After all, the wind blows ALL bullets around. It’s just a matter of knowing what YOUR bullet is doing.

With the shortages that we’re experiencing right now, a lighter bullet may be all that you have available for the 2021 season. That doesn’t mean that you’re disadvantaged though.

High Power service rifle AR15 reloading 600 yard Danny Arnold powder kernels
Danny Arnold teaching Highpower Clinic at 2021 CMP Eastern Games

Loading High-BC Bullets
In the past decade, several bullets have appeared that weigh 80-grains or more. One thing that many of them have in common is a very sharp nose profile, whether metal or polymer. The question is: Are you using the right seating stem?

The jacket material in the bullet’s nose is very thin. If you section a bullet, you’ll find that there is a surprising amount of air space in the nose. If you’re using older seating dies, your seating stem may be contacting the bullet nose too close to the tip, where the jacket is the both thinnest and is unsupported by the lead core. This can manifest itself either as a deformation at the very tip of the bullet or as a circular dent around the bullet nose that you can see and feel with your thumbnail. I think we can all agree that denting a bullet is usually considered a bad thing.

High Power service rifle AR15 reloading 600 yard Danny Arnold powder kernels

One company goes so far as to recommend their proprietary seating stem for use with their high-BC bullets. Other companies leave it up to you to find a seating stem that will allow the bullet nose to go deeper into the seating stem, moving the contact point further down the bullet where the jacket is thicker and supported by the core material.

Seating Depth and Bullet Preferences
Some bullets don’t mind some “jump” into the lands, but some really do. Unfortunately, manufacturers don’t tell you much about that. Your chamber configuration (Wylde, CLE, or some hybrid of the two) and the bullet that you choose will determine your optimal seating depth. Long and short of it, a quality measuring tool to determine seating depth is a necessity these days. Keep in mind that if you’re doing this with a brand new barrel, the throat is likely going to change slightly in the first 200 rounds and may need to be re-measured. Actually, since all of your short range ammunition has to be loaded to magazine length, you’re probably better off developing your short range loads before starting on long range load development. That gives the throat a chance to wear in a bit on a new barrel.

Brass Prep — Why It Is Important
When match-grade AR15s first arrived on the scene, it was amazing how little it took to get them to shoot well. Other than making sure that I had brass from the same lot and running it through a set of match-grade dies, I did nothing. Of course, we were also using a post front sight. Was the occasional bad shot me, the rifle, the load or just an archaic sighting system?

Transitioning to optics has caused me to reconsider how and what I do in my reloading process: That, and having some extra time on my hands to experiment.

A little (or a lot) of time spent with a neck turning tool, a primer-pocket uniformer and a flash-hole reamer will quickly show you how consistent brass is by manufacturer and even by individual lot. That exercise also makes the prices charged for high-quality brass seem ridiculously cheap. That doesn’t mean that I advocate neck-turning or other uniforming practices, nor do I advocate spending scandalous amounts of money on long-range brass. However, our sport is about consistency. The consistency of your brass is a matter of choice, whether you choose to simply segregate cases by weight (cheap option), neck turn (labor intensive) or open your wallet a little wider for premium brass.

High Power service rifle AR15 reloading 600 yard Danny Arnold powder kernels

Weighing Charges vs. Throwing with Powder Measure
To measure or weigh? For a long time, I used a powder measure to throw all of my 600-yard loads. The powder I was using metered well, and the results downrange didn’t justify the extra time spent with a scale. That was in the day of iron sights though. Nowadays, I’m throwing my charges and trickling up to the desired weight as measured on a scale that weighs to a 100th of a grain.

To quantify the difference between individually weighing each charge versus throwing charges with a powder measure, I weighed six kernels of powder that I trickled into the pan and then dumped them into the hopper. Going through that process 10 times, I came up with an average weight of .08 grains for six kernels. Next, I threw 50 charges for weighing using my powder measure. If I felt the measure hanging up as it cut kernels, I put the charge back into the hopper without weighing it.

High Power service rifle AR15 reloading 600 yard Danny Arnold powder kernels
That’s six kernels of powder sitting in the pan — average weight .08 grains.

Those 50 smoothly-thrown charges varied .26 grains from lowest to highest, with the majority varying no more than .16 grains from highest to lowest. If the desired weight was exactly in the middle, at worst you’d be .13 grains (9-10 kernels) low or high, with the majority being off no more than .08 grains (6 kernels) above or below the desired charge weight. Is that enough to send a shot outside the 2-MOA 10-Ring? Probably not.

Has more consistent brass and weighing charges to one-hundredth (0.01) of a grain added up to higher scores? Honestly, this question is hard to answer. Looking at the results on paper at 200 yards, using a powder that meters well combined with a consistent touch on the loading lever doesn’t appear measurably different than meticulously weighing each and every powder charge. Looking back over my 600-yard plots however, I can see a trend toward a group that is closer to X-Ring height.

Since the bullseye is widest at the center, shooting groups that are the height of the X-ring gives you more room for error when the wind is blowing. That can translate into higher 600-yard scores.

How You Load Your Ammunition vs. How You Load Your Rifle
The loading/chambering cycle of the AR-15 is, in a word, violent. You have a relatively heavy bolt and carrier assembly under power of a stout buffer spring slamming forward to chamber each round of ammunition. By design, those rounds were supposed to be held securely by the magazine feed lips until the bolt stripped them off the follower. Obviously, due to their overall length, 600-yard loads can’t be chambered that way. Although the barrel extension is funnel-shaped, it’s also got a lot of “teeth” ringing the inside of it (see below).

High Power service rifle AR15 reloading 600 yard Danny Arnold powder kernels

Whether you’re using a standard magazine or a single-round loading device (SLED), dropping a round in the loading port and releasing the bolt is an act of faith in that you’re trusting the bullet to arrive in the chamber undamaged.

Ask yourself, how many times have you seen someone drop a round on the follower, press the bolt release and watch as the bolt jammed on a cockeyed round? If that happens once every 100 tries, how many times did the bolt close on a scratched, dented, or misaligned bullet? Could that be the cause of the occasional errant shot?

My technique is to drop each round on top of the SLED and then push it slightly forward with my finger, partially chambering it before releasing the bolt. Admittedly, some people may be unable to do this due to body configuration or left-handedness, but why go to all the trouble of loading “perfect” ammunition and then damage it on the way into the chamber?

Now that we’ve covered bullets, brass, and assorted errata we can move on to discussing loads for 600 Yards…

High Power service rifle AR15 reloading 600 yard Danny Arnold powder kernels highpower target
The NRA Highpower 600-yard target has a 6-inch (1 MOA) X-Ring, and a 12-inch (2 MOA) 10-Ring.

Load Development for 600 Yards

Finding a load for 600 yards is a lot like finding a load for short range. Once I decide on a bullet, powder, primer, velocity range and a measured guesstimate of seating depth, I load 10 rounds of each test load, increasing in 0.2 (2/10) grain increments. I test them from the prone position at 200 yards. Ideally, I want to see two loads that are 0.2 (2/10) of a grain apart that shoot almost identical groups. The load that I choose will fall in between the two best shooting loads that I tested. If the first load is XX.2 grains and the second is XX.4 grains, my chosen load will be XX.3 grains.

Why develop loads in 0.2-grain (tenths) increments if I have a scale that measures in 0.01-grain (hundredths) increments? Or, why not test in 0.1-grain increments?

For me, working in 0.2-grain increments gets me to the results quicker. Also, there is a difference between accuracy and consistency in this scenario. Developing loads in 0.2-grain increments gets me to an accurate load. Producing that load using a scale that accurately measures to .01-grain insures a consistent load, assuming that I do my part.

Once I’ve settled on a load, it’s time to play with seating depth, if I choose to. If I’m lucky and the groups are acceptable as-is, I won’t do anything. If I think there’s room for improvement, I’ll experiment a little. Depending on the bullet, changing the seating depth by a couple of thousandths one way or the other may change the group size. During this phase of testing, it’s a good idea to chamber a round and see if the entire round will then extract. If you leave a bullet stuck in the throat, your rounds are too long. Finding that out at a match can ruin an otherwise good day.

High Power service rifle AR15 reloading 600 yard Danny Arnold powder kernels
Danny Arnold shooting his AR15 Service Rifle, standing position at 2021 CMP Eastern Games.

Another thing to keep in mind is that your barrel is not static. Every round fired has an effect on the throat, vaporizing and scouring away metal until the distance the bullet travels before meeting the rifling measurably increases. If you have chosen a bullet that shoots best when close to the lands, you’ll need to periodically re-measure and possibly change your bullet seating depth to maintain that optimal relationship.

The Elephant in the Room — User Skill Level

There’s really not a delicate way to put this, so I won’t try. There’s little point in spending time and effort developing a load that shoots into half-MOA off the bench if you’re only capable of shooting 2 MOA using a sling right now.

That doesn’t mean that there’s no hope. On the contrary, it just means that your time and effort is better spent practicing with some good short-range ammunition on reduced targets at a 100 or 200-yard range. At that distance, wind is not a factor and your technique can be improved more quickly so you’re in a position to benefit from that ½ MOA ammunition.

About Team CMP
CMP has created a Highpower Team with top competitors. Team CMP competes at several events throughout the year and most importantly, helps to teach Highpower Clinics at CMP Competition Events. Learn from Team CMP at Camp Perry during the Advanced Highpower Clinic, scheduled this year for July 30 through August 1, 2021. Visit the Highpower Clinic Web Page for more information.

The Civilian Marksmanship Program is a federally-chartered 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. It is dedicated to firearm safety and marksmanship training and to the promotion of marksmanship competition for citizens of the United States. For more information about the CMP and its programs, visit www.TheCMP.org.

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