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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.
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July 7th, 2021

High Power Rifle Competition on Shooting USA Today

Shooting Usa service high power cmp rifles

This week’s Shooting USA TV episode features CMP High Power competition. High Power Rifle, sometimes called XTC from “Across the Course”, is a shooting sport using centerfire (aka “fullbore”) target rifles. Major High Power matches are run by the CMP and NRA, as well as state rifle groups. The sport is divided into classes by equipment, and popular classifications include Service Rifle, and Open Class. This episode of Shooting USA focuses on High Power competition at the Talladega Marksmanship Park in Alabama.

This episode of Shooting USA airs Wednesday, July 7, 2021, 9:00 PM Eastern and Pacific, 8:00 PM Central on the Outdoor Channel. Shooting USA is also available On Demand via Vimeo.com.

This week Shooting USA TV features CMP High Power competition from the Talladega Marksmanship facility in Alabama. High Power is a challenging discipline that requires high accuracy in the rifle and great marksmanship skills in three positions — standing, sitting/kneeling, and prone. The CMP competition involves slow- and rapid-fire at 200, 300, and 600 yards in all three positions. There are separate Service Rifle and Open divisions.

Service Rifle High Power

Young 15-year-old Tyler Fisher from Arizona shot superbly at the 2020 CMP Western Games Match in Phoenix (Ben Avery). His impressive marksmanship secured second place overall (and High Junior) at the Western Games EIC Match shooting Service Rifle, a subclass of High Power.

High Power highpower cmp shooting use rifle

Camp Perry AR15 Tubegun High Power Space Gun Tubb 2000 Rifle Standing
High Power Open division Tubb 2000 with a shortened handguard, and custom hand support bracket forward of mag well.

HIGHPOWER CLINICS
The CMP conducts a number of High Power clinics each year. The CMP offers a pair of High Power clinics in conjunction with the U.S. Marine Corps Rifle Team and members of the Remington-Bushmaster rifle team. There is a Junior Clinic as well as an advanced High Power clinic. Both focus on service rifle disciplines.

USAMU PRO TIP: Bullseye Pistol Competition

In addition to the High Power rifle feature, this week’s Shooting USA episode has a good USAMU Pro Tips segment about bullseye pistols. Staff Sergeant Ryan Franks with the USAMU Service Pistol Team shows the fundamentals of bullseye shooting, the classic pistol competition shot from a one-handed standing position. In this Pro Tip, SSG Franks focuses on proper stance and grip.

Shooting usa usamu bullseye pistol competition grip stance handgun


Shooting USA Garand Presidents 100
Shooting USA will air Wednesday, July 7, 2021, at 9:00 PM Eastern and Pacific (8:00 PM Central) on the Outdoor Channel. Shooting USA is also available On Demand via Vimeo.com. Watch a single episode for $0.99, or get a full-month subscription for $3.99 and watch as many shows as you like with limited commercial interruptions.

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January 19th, 2018

CMP 2018 Competition Rules Issued — Some Notable Changes

2017 CMP Rules Competition Pistol High Power new

The 2018 CMP competition rules are now approved and posted on the CMP website. The 2018 CMP Highpower Rifle and Pistol Competition Rules and the 2018 CMP Games Rifle and Pistol Competition Rules can be downloaded on the CMP Competition Rules Page.

CLICK HERE for 2018 Highpower Rifle and Pistol Competition Rules »

CLICK HERE for 2018 CMP Games Rifle and Pistol Competition Rules »

2018 CMP Rules Competition Pistol High Power new

Evolution of CMP Competition Rules
There are a number of important CMP Rule changes for 2018 that are spelled out below. CMP Competition Rules have undergone major changes in the last few years that were aimed at modernizing the CMP competition program and promoting greater participation in rifle and pistol target shooting. In 2015, rule changes expanded the types of pistols that can be used in EIC and National Match Service Pistol events and introduced the immediately popular CMP 22 Rimfire Pistol Distinguished program. The most significant 2016 change was the authorization for Service Rifle shooters to use optical sights with 4.5X max magnification. 2017 saw the introduction of a new classification system, rules for electronic targets and the addition of rules for “Alternative Rifles” and “Match Rifles”.

Important Rules Changes for 2018
The biggest change in the 2018 Rules is the introduction of a two-track system for conducting CMP-sanctioned Highpower Rifle Matches. Highpower Rifle events can now be conducted as either traditional “National Trophy Rifle Events” where there are no sighting shots and competitors start rapid-fire series from standing or as “CMP Cup Match Events” where sighting shots are allowed before each stage and competitors start rapid-fire series in position. All EIC Rifle Matches and Camp Perry National Trophy Matches will continue to be conducted according to National Trophy rules, with no sighters and rapid-fire starting from standing. The CMP Cup Matches, which are scheduled at the beginning of the 2018 CMP Highpower Rifle Matches at Camp Perry on 23-25 July, and the CMP Cup Matches, which are included in the 2018 CMP Travel Games programs, will be conducted under Cup Match rules with sighters and rapid-fire stages starting in position.

The rules for CMP As-Issued Military Rifle and Pistol events and Rimfire Sporter Matches remain unchanged in this regard. These events typically allow sighters at the beginning of each course of fire. Competitors start rapid-fire series from standing, but any competitors who are 70 or over or who have physical limitations that prevent them from readily standing and getting back into position are allowed to start rapid-fire series in position.

Otherwise the 2018 CMP Games Rifle and Pistol Rules, which include Rimfire Sporter Rifle Rules, have only minor changes from the 2017 edition.

National Records — Rules providing for the official recognition of National Records in open and junior categories in CMP-recognized events were added for 2018. The CMP is compiling its first list of official records and will post it on the CMP website as soon as it is ready. To be recognized as National Records, scores must be fired in the National Matches or in competitions conducted by the CMP staff such as CMP Travel Games or National Range Matches.

CMP Smallbore Matches Coming to Camp Perry
Traditional smallbore rifle championships are returning to Camp Perry in 2018 and rules for those events are being drafted now. The 2018 National Matches Calendar features six days of CMP Smallbore Rifle shooting on 17-22 July. There will be two days of smallbore position and four days of smallbore prone shooting, along with one full day of Rimfire Sporter Rifle competition on 22 July. Provisional CMP Smallbore Rifle Rules will be released in the next few weeks.

Electronic Targets — A new section has been added to the CMP Rulebooks to help explain and clarify the CMP’s Electronic Scoring Target Rules. See Rule 7.0 in the CMP Competition Highpower Rifle and Pistol Competition Rules or Rule 9.0 in the CMP Games Rifle and Pistol Competition Rules.

CMP RULE CHANGES for 2018 by Rulebook

(more…)

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March 2nd, 2017

The Great Debate — Weight vs. Volume in Powder Dispensing

Lee Auto-Disk Chargemaster weight vs. Volume

When we first ran this story a while back, it spurred a hot debate, with strong opinions on both sides of the issue. Some guys argued vehemently that volumetric powder dispensing was best — citing the experience of short-range benchresters, most of whom still throw their charges. Others say weighing your charges is best, so long as you have a very precise, and very repeatable scale. We know some of the top 1000-yard shooters weigh their charges to the kernel.

Lee Auto-Disk Chargemaster weight vs. VolumeMost competitive long-range shooters weigh powder charges for their handloads. Some even use ultra-precise magnetic force restoration scales to load to single-kernel tolerances. But is weight-based measuring always the best way to fill a case with powder? Another option is volumetric charging. This method fills a precisely-sized cavity with powder and then dumps the charge into the case. A Harrell’s rotary powder measure works this way, as does the sliding powder filler on a Dillon progressive press.

For long-range applications, most people believe that precise weighing of powder charges is the best way to achieve optimal accuracy and low ES/SD. However, those short-range Benchrest guys do pretty darn well with their thrown charges, at least at 100 and 200 yards.

Our friend Dennis Santiago recently observed something that made him scratch his head and wonder about weighing charges. His AR-15 match rifle shot better with volumetric (cavity-measured) charges than with weighed charges dispensed by an RCBS ChargeMaster. Here’s what he reports:

Cavity vs. Dribble (Dennis Santiago Report)
I had the chance to compare nominally identical ammunition loaded two ways. These were all .223 Remington match loads using 77gr Sierra Match Kings over 23.4 grains of Hodgdon Varget. Same gun. However I loaded some ammo with charges dispensed with a Lee cavity-style powder measure while other rounds were loaded with powder weighed/dispensed by an RCBS Chargemaster. The cavity-drop ammo (with powder dropped from the Lee unit) was consistently better than the weighed-charge ammo. I have no idea why…

So, ladies and gentlemen — what do you think? Why did Mr. Santiago’s volumetrically-charged ammo shoot better than ammo filled with weighed charges? What’s your theory? Gary Eliseo suspects that Dennis’s Chargemaster might have been drifting. What do you think? Post your theories in the comments area below.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 16 Comments »
February 3rd, 2017

New CMP Range Officer (RO) Training Program

CMP Range Officer Program training

This year, the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) will offer a new Range Officer Training Program. This comprehensive training program will train and certify Range Officers for the CMP phases of the National Matches, CMP Travel (Regional) Games competitions, and CMP 3-position air rifle championships. The first objective of the new program is to train volunteers to serve as Range Officers in the 2017 National Matches. The course fee will be waived for National Matches volunteers.

CMP Chief Operating Officer Mark Johnson explained: “Knowledgeable, fair, effective Range Officers are absolutely essential… The CMP recognizes that the best way to make sure it has excellent Range Officers for its competitions is to train them.”

The CMP held the first-ever New England CMP Games event in 2016.
CMP Gmes

Range Officer Volunteers will be enrolled in Level I training to be completed in the first months of 2017. Level II courses will be available prior to the start of the National Matches. If you have questions about the RO Training Program, email the CMP Competition Department: competitions [at] thecmp.org.

Level I Range Officer Training
Level I Range Officer instruction covers general topics common to all Range Officer work. Enrollees will receive a Range Officer Handbook titled Becoming a Range Officer and be able to complete an online training course. Enrollees who complete Level I training will receive a certification and CMP Range Officer Vest and be eligible to attend Level II training.

Levels II and III Range Officer Training
Level II courses are discipline-specific, 1-day, in-person sessions taught by CMP-appointed instructors. Level II RO instruction will be offered for four shooting disciplines: 1) Highpower Rifle; 2) Bulls-Eye Pistol; 3) Rimfire Sporter; and 4) 3-Position Air Rifle. The highest Level III certification will be issued after Range Officers who complete Level II training serve as Range Officers in CMP competitions under the supervision of a CMP Master Range Officer. CMP Master Range Officers will conduct/supervise the training of Level II and Level III students. The first Level II courses should begin in March or April.

CMP Rimfire Sporter Competition
Level II Training will be offered for this and other specific disciplines.

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January 13th, 2012

NRA Changes Some High Power Rules for 2012

The NRA has issued some 2012 Rule Changes for High Power Matches. You really need to download and read the new Rules yourself, but we’ll summarize some (not all) of the changes below.

Rule 2.11:
Sets residency and “paid-up” membership requirements for Club Team shooters. Different standards for (a) Local Club Teams; and (b) Open Club Teams.

Rule 3.3.2 NRA Any Sight Match Rifle/Tactical Rifle
Part (c) now reads: “Competitors may use a service rifle equipped with optic sights to compete under this rule. Competitors using service rifles described in Rules 3.1(c) and 3.1(d) may remove the carry handle to allow mounting of the optic sight.”

Rule 7.22 F-Class Long Range National Championships
This section now reads:
“Any match sponsor that wishes to conduct the F-Class Long Range National Championships shall use the following courses of fire:
Day 1, 3-15 shot 1,000 yard individual matches.
Day 2, 3-15 shot 1,000 yard individual matches.
Day 3, 2, 4-person team matches, 20 shots per individual plus the aggregate of the 2 team matches.
Day 4, 2-20 shot 1,000 yard matches.”

Rule 14.18 Signal Systems for Scoring Targets
The Visual Signaling System described below will be used in all high power rifle tournaments:

(a) Slow Fire: Value spotters are placed as indicated on the target frame, all of a highly visible color such as fluorescent orange or black. The shooter may request the color they can best see.

X ………………………….……Center Right side
10 ……………………………..Bottom right corner
9 ………………………………..Bottom center
8 ……………………….……….Bottom left corner
7 ………………….…………….Center left side
6……………….……… Center right side (same as X)
5 ……………..…….Bottom right corner (same as 10)
Miss ……………….Both bottom Left corner
……………………..and bottom Right corner

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September 3rd, 2010

Seven New Nat’l Records Set at Quantico High Power Weekend

by Lorne Cooper
This past weekend at Quantico MCB Range 4, the Quantico Shooting Club hosted its 3rd NRA Registered Tournament for 2010. This was a match for the ages, with a total of seven (7) pending National Records set in Individual and Team Competition. The 34 competitors in this 2-day match had to cope with hot, 95° weather, but otherwise conditions were generally mild — helping the marksmen record some spectacular scores.

Quantico Club High Power Weekend

300-Yard F-TR and Service Rifle Records Broken
Match One consisted of the 300-yard, 15-shot Individual Prone Course. In the F-TR Class, Brian Santucci fired a 150-7X to break the 149-8X record set by Joseph Sturtevant and GySgt Daniel Borowiecki fired a 141-5X to set a new record for the Service category. In the F-Open Class (Senior), David Dye fired a 150-10X to tie the record set by Jim Murphy. On the High Power side, Nathaniel Guernsey placed 1st with a 149-8X.

Quantico Club High Power WeekendNew National F-TR Team Record: 1744-61X
Match 2 was a 4-man team fire of the Mid Range Prone Course (45 shots per member), 15 shots each at 300, 500 and 600 yards. In F-TR, the winning Camp Butner F‐Troop team set a new National Agg Record of 1744-61X. The team consisted of Joseph Conley (436-15X), James Croft (438-11X), Phil Kelley (426-13X), and Jeff Rorer (444-22X).

New Iron Sights Team Records
For High Power Metallic Sight, Team VFEMI set a new record with an aggregate score of 1767-82X. Team members were Carl Lindezweig (432-20X), John Badger (444-18X), Nathaniel Guernsey (447-28X) and Jack McKinney (444-16X). The USMC Gold team also set a new National Record in the Service Category with a score of 1765-76X. The team members are: Sgt Sean Morris (442-16X), GySgt James Otto (440-14X), and Sgt Joshua Peterson (435-17X), and Sgt Emily Windmassinger (448-39X). The Long Range Palma Course of Fire (Match 3) was shot on Sunday. GySgt Daniel Borowiechi broke the record he set back in June in the F-TR Service category with a 399-5X.

Quantico Club High Power Weekend
Special thanks go to GySgt Chris Stephens for running a smooth and efficient Line! Our next match will be a Fullbore match to be held on September 25th & 26th. Come out to Quantico for what is expected to be another fantastic weekend!

Note: The National Records reported here are based upon the latest information available and are still subject to verification. Photos courtesy of Doug Hurst.
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June 7th, 2010

Tubb Instructional DVD Can Benefit Position Shooters

David Tubb’s instructional DVD, “The Art & Technique of the Modern Match Rifle”, is a great resource for any High Power or position shooter. This 2-disc DVD provides over 4.5 hours of instruction and shooting demonstrations. We’ve watched the entire video and can assure you that it is excellent. Novice High Power and prone shooters who apply David’s methods should definitely improve their scores.

David has included highlights from that DVD in a shorter promo video. While the shorter video is a sales tool, it’s very informative in its own right. Watch the video and you’ll learn a great deal just by watching how David shoulders his rifle, and how he adjusts and maintains his shooting position. David shows examples of prone, sitting, and standing positions. In the short “trailer”, David also provides helpful tips on adjusting sights, and placing the spotting scope.

YouTube Preview Image

If you shoot Service Rifle, High Power, or prone, you can benefit from watching this short sampler video. The full 2-disc DVD is available for $49.95 from Creedmoor Sports or Superior Shooting Systems. With over 4.5 hours of content, the DVD covers all the across-the-course positions, the set-up and use of aperture sights and diopters, High Power and long range targets, the approach method in offhand, proper placement and use of spotting scopes. The DVD includes bonus footage of David shooting strings in all of the across-the-course positions.

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May 27th, 2010

June Issue of Shooting Sports USA is FREE Online

Shooting Sports USAThe June 2010 digital edition of Shooting Sports USA has been released, and it’s definitely worth reading. The lead story is an interview with Sig Sauer Team Captain Max Michel, 3-time World Speed Shooting Champion and 5-Time USPSA National Champion. Max provides great “how-to” advice on pistol shooting, covering sight picture, grip, target acquisition, practice strategies and gun maintenance. Shooting Sports USA Managing Editor Chip Lohman has penned a detailed review of the Schneller stainless Range Cart. Bob Schneller supplies range carts to both the USAMU and U.S.M.C. shooting teams — that’s a strong endorsement. You highpower guys should definitely take a look at the Schneller carts.

The “must-read” article in this month’s issue is a detailed wrap-up of the 2010 F-Class Nationals written by F-Open Team USA member Larry Bartholome. Larry provides a day-by-day account of this Championship event, with coverage of both F-Open and F-TR classes.

Shooting Sports USA

In addition to the June issue, you can read previous month’s editions of Shooting Sports USA, by clicking on the “Archives” tab at the bottom of the page, after you’ve launched the June issue in your browser. Visit ShootingSportsUSA.com to request a free Digital Edition of Shooting Sports USA each month.

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April 25th, 2009

Stock Designs for Prone High Power Shooting

German Salazar, a top prone shooter and contributor to AccurateShooter.com and DesertSharpshooters.com, has crafted an excellent article on stock design. Writing for Precision Shooting magazine, German compares traditional stocks, such as the MasterClass Prone, with more modern, modular designs, such as the Eliseo TubeGun and Ross Precision stock. German, who shoots match rifles built with each type of stock, explains the pros and cons of the different designs, and explains how to optimize the stocks’ adjustments for best fit and function. German also explains the best methods to attach and bed an action to each of the designs.

CLICK HERE to Read Full Story by Salazar

Salaza highpower stock review

Salaza highpower stock review

For a limited time, German’s excellent article is available online, courtesy of Precision Shooting Magazine. If you’re a highpower shooter, or you are interested in the design, construction, and engineering of modern competition stocks, this article is a “must-read”.

Salazar highpower stock review

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February 11th, 2009

USAMU Tips on Sling Use

On the ShootingUSA television show, today’s episode will feature the Infantry Team Match at Camp Perry. In connection with that segment, Sgt. First Class Kyle Ward of the U.S. Army Marksmanship provides guideslines on how to properly fit a shooting sling, and how to best use the sling in various shooting positions.

CLICK HERE to read Sgt. Ward’s step by step Sling Instructions.

Proper Sling Adjustment
Once the sling is linked together properly, Sgt. Ward explains: “The next step is attaching the sling to your arm. Attaching the sling to your arm is simply done by creating slack in the sling, turning the sling a quarter turn clockwise if you’re a right handed shooter, or a quarter turn counter clockwise if you’re a lefty. You know that your sling is set to the proper length when you can easily and comfortably get into position, when you can take your firing hand off the rifle, and the rifle remains in your shoulder. To get the most of your sling, setting it to its proper length, and where you place it on your arm is critical. There are some general rules to follow when setting up your sling. You want it tight enough that it’s providing maximum support, but not so tight that you have to fight to get it into position.

Proper Sling Placement
Sling placement on your arm is also critical. In the sitting position, you want to place the sling toward the inside of the arm. Place the sling too far to the outside, and it will likely introduce pulse into your position. It’s not uncommon to have to adjust the length of the sling for different firing positions. While using the sling in the prone position, you should place the sling in the outside of the arm. Placing the sling too far towards the inside will reduce the sling’s effectiveness and likely generate pulse.

Try these techniques the next time you’re on the rifle range. Proper use of the leather sling will definitely increase you scores, and decrease the amount of perceived movement when looking through the sights.”

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