September 5th, 2021

Handy 50-Yard Sight-In Target for .30-06 Vintage Military Rifles

Garand sighting 50 yard target

Take a look at that unusual target below. We bet you’ve never seen one of these before. It’s a 50-Yard Sighting Target for the M1 Garand (and other .30-06 Springfield vintage military rifles). It’s designed to allow a rifleman to confirm his zeros for multiple yardages all the way out to 1000 yards. But importantly, he can establish those zeros at a very “short” shooting facility, since the target is positioned at a mere 50 yards.

Garand sighting 50 yard target

Here’s how it works. The target is placed at fifty (50) yards. You start at the bottom, aiming at the black circle. Then check your come-up table and work your way up, clicking step-by-step to the various horizontal lines set for 200, 300, 500, 600 and 1000 yards. This is NOT “spray and pray” — you need to have a pretty good idea of the clicks you need, based on your ammo’s ballistics. This target is calibrated for the U.S. Military M72 Ball Ammo. The targets are available from Champion’s Choice ($0.75 each) or from Creedmoor Sports (12 for $5.95).

Kevin Thomas used this target to get zeroed for a D-Day Anniversary Match at the Talladega Marksmanship Park a few seasons back. Kevin used the target for both his M1 Garand as well as his M1903A1 Springfield, both chambered for the .30-06 Springfield cartridge.

Garand sighting 50 yard target

Zeroing at a Short Distance — How to Use the 50-Yard Sighting Target, by Kevin Thomas
As part of my preparation for the Garand Match at the CMP’s Talladega Marksmanship Park, I needed to zero my new M1 Garand, but I was crunched for time. I didn’t have time to get to my normal range and confirm zeros at actual yardages. But a 50-yard zero target came to the rescue. Made for M1s using the M72 National Match ammo, the target allows the shooter to establish fairly good zeros at 200, 300, 500, 600 and 1,000 yards if you’ve got access to a 50-yard range.

I have no idea when these 50-yard Sighting Targets were first developed, but they’ve been around for at least as long as I’ve been involved in this game (longer than I care to admit). It consists of a tall target, with a smallish black bullseye located at the bottom center. The bullseye is an aiming point only. Extending through the top of the target is a vertical line that runs directly up the center, to nearly the top of the paper. Across this, there are intersecting horizontal lines that are marked 200, 300, 500, 600 and 1,000.

The target was designed for the M1 Garand rifle using then-issued M72 National Match ammunition. This ammo launched a 173gr FMJBT bullet at approximately 2,640 FPS. It was a good load in its day, supersonic out to the 1,000-yard line. While that ammo is fairly scarce these days, this isn’t a problem for the handloader. My standard match load for the M1 Garand utilizes the 175gr Lapua Scenar HPBT, and delivers remarkably similar ballistic performance. Thus my normal Garand load translates nicely to this 50-yard target. Yes, this is by design. No point in reinventing the wheel when Lake City has already established what works!

Garand sighting 50 yard target

In use, the shooter sets the target up at a measured 50 yards, and (this is critical) checks the vertical line with a plumb bob or a carpenter’s level, to ensure that it is absolutely vertical. Once the target is set, the rifle is fired and the group noted. From there, it is a simple matter of zeroing it normally to bring the groups into alignment with the vertical line, at the elevation needed for a particular range. Once your group is hammering the intersection of the vertical line and the horizontal line marked “200”, you have established your 200-yard zero for that rifle. Record the number of clicks, and you’re good to go. Raise the impacts up to coincide with the line marked “300” and you now have a 300-yard zero as well. And so on, right up the target. Record those settings in your data book, and you’re ready to go to the range at the full distances. If done carefully, you may be in the X-Ring, but at the very least, you’ll be well-centered and ready to get some hard dope recorded for future shoots.

The same target can also be used with an M14/M1A, at least at the shorter distances. The ballistics of the M118 and the current M118LR are similar enough that this will get you on target at the full distances, probably requiring just a half MOA or so change from the 50 yard zero you recorded. Same bullets, moving at a slightly more sedate 2,550 fps, you’ll be in the ballpark at least.

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August 8th, 2021

Sunday GunDay: Springfield M1A at Camp Perry

Springfield M1A match high power rifle

2021 CMP Springfield M1A Match at Camp Perry
Today we feature the M1A rifle. This is the one day in the year when the rugged M1A rifle, descended from the M1 Garand, is the star of the show at Camp Perry. The 14th Annual Springfield Armory M1A Match takes place today, August 8, 2021 at the CMP National Rifle Matches.

History of the Springfield M1A Match
The Springfield Armory M1A match began with one man’s idea and passion. Springfield Armory’s Mike Doy witnessed the waning of classic M1 Garand and M1A rifles from the competitive High Power firing lines. “I really wanted to get those M1A rifles out of safes and closets and back out onto the field. So [13] years ago, I promoted the idea of running an M1A-specific match at Camp Perry. That first year we had over 600 competitors and spectators.” Now the match offers some of the biggest pay-outs at Camp Perry. In recent years, Springfield Armory has donated over $25,000 worth of cash and prizes, including a $2,000 cash award to the overall winner.

Folks, take the time to WATCH this 3-minute video. It has great match footage of Camp Perry and interviews with M1A competitors. Well worth watching!

Springfield M1A match Nick Till
Nick Till in 2009 M1A Match. Nick was the 2007 Service Rifle Nat’l Champion. Photo courtesy NRA Blog.

Springfield M1A at Camp Perry National Matches
For many years, the semi-auto version of the M14 was “top dog” in iron sights Service Rifle competition. Now that discipline is dominated by .223 Rem (5.56×45) AR-type rifles, but the bigger .308-caliber rifle, now sold as the M1A, remains popular. The CMP hosts a major M1A Match every year at Camp Perry, sponsored by Springfield Armory. Significant prizes are awarded. In past years M1A Match competitors took home over $25,000 worth of cash and merchandise. This year’s Springfield M1A match will be held at Camp Perry on August 8, 2021.

M14 rifle Springfield M1A camp perry Shooting Sports USA
Photo courtesy Civilian Marksmanship Program.

Springfield M1A Match 2016 — Rapid Fire Sitting Stage

In the April 2018 issue of Shooting Sports USA, you’ll find a good article on the civilian version of the M14, now sold commercially as the Springfield M1A. An evolution of the battle-proven M1 Garand, the M14 was designed to shoot the 7.62×51 (.308 Win) round instead of the larger .30-06 Springfield cartridge used in WWI, WWII and Korea. While the vast majority of today’s M1As are chambered for .308 Win/7.62×51, Springfield Armory also produces a 6.5 Creedmoor version.

Ray Gross M1A service rifle

Dick Jones reports that accurized M14/M1As could post remarkable scores: “The accuracy potential of the M14/M1A is unquestionable. During their reign as service rifles, they produced multiple perfect 200 scores at 600 and 1000 yards in the hands of top shooters. This is a difficult feat with a modern, scoped, magnum-caliber rifle and remarkable with an iron-sighted battle rifle. Good competition rifles can group 10 shots under one MOA, and the meticulously-massaged rifles used by the top shooters during my career would consistently put up 10 shots under an inch at 200 yards off a test cradle.”

In this video, YouTube Reviewer Hickok 45 compares the M1 Garand and the M14/M1A:

M14 rifle Springfield M1A camp perry Shooting Sports USA

“Descended from the M1 Garand, the M14 utilized multiple improvements that made it a far superior firearm for combat and a much better rifle for competition.” — Dick Jones, Shooting Sports USA.

M1A Match Equipment Rules and Course of Fire
Renewed interest in the M1A, coupled with major sponsorship from Springfield Armory, led to the the first dedicated Camp Perry M1A match in 2008. That first-ever match proved a huge success, drawing over 500 shooters. This year, match organizers also expect hundreds of shooters.

Equipment rules allow pretty much all types/grades of M1As in the match. The one-day course of fire consists of 50 shots at 300 yards on the NRA MR-65F target, as follows: 5 sighters; 20 shots slow-fire prone; 10 shots rapid-fire prone; 10 shots rapid-fire, kneeling or sitting; and 10 shots slow-fire standing. Here are photos from the 2014 Springfield MIA match, courtesy NRA General Operations.

Springfield M1A Match Camp Perry

Springfield M1A Match Camp Perry

Springfield M1A Match Camp Perry

Springfield M1A Match Camp Perry

See how the modern M1A is built in this Springfield Armory Video:

As racing improves automobiles, competition improves firearms, and the current crop of Springfield M1As, from the Basic to the top-of-the-line Super Match and Loaded models, reflects the years of development. The M14 and its variants are … still considered by many to be the best battle rifle in the history of the U.S. Military. — Dick Jones, Shooting Sports USA

Military Version Operation Revealed — M14 Training Film

The original military version of the M1A was the select-fire M14. The 27-minute official U.S. Army video below demonstrates the operation of the M14. Field-stripping is shown from the 5:13 time-mark through 8:30. Cut-away drawings show the M14’s gas operation at 8:40.

Watch M14 Functioning Cycle Starting at 9:25 Mark:

The M14’s complete 8-step functioning cycle is demonstrated from the 9:25 time-mark through 22:41. These eight operations are: 1) Feeding; 2) Chambering; 3) Locking; 4) Firing; 5) Unlocking; 6) Extracting; 7) Ejecting; and 8) Cocking. This movie is fairly long, but fans of battle rifles will find it well worth their time. Every M1A owner should definitely watch this video start to finish.

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August 6th, 2021

Classic Rifles at Camp Perry this Weekend — GSMM Event

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

Friday August 6 through Sunday, August 8, 2021 classic military rifles will fill the firing lines at Camp Perry. The National John C. Garand, Springfield, Vintage and Modern Military Match (GSMM) will be held Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, with the one-day Springfield M1A Match on Sunday only. (See CMP Camp Perry Calendar.) Some participants will shoot just one rifle type, but there is also a combined GSMM 4-Gun Aggregate. This GSSM Agg encompasses a series of position shooting matches on NRA SR targets at the CMP Nationals. As the matches are completed, day by day, results will be posted on the CMP National Matches Results Page.

M1 Garand Match Camp Perry

This video shows the Garand Match at Camp Perry. The rifles are still the same a decade later…

The annual GSMM event is one of the most popular events at Camp Perry, drawing participants from around the nation. One of the favorites to win the GSMM Aggregate is Brian Williams, recently profiled in our Daily Bulletin. The 4-gun Aggregate includes Garand, 1903 Springfield/1917 Enfield (or similar bolt rifle), M1 Carbine, and AR-type rifle for “Modern Military”. Remarkably, Brian has won the GSMM 4-Gun at the CMP National Matches in Camp Perry three years in a row — the inaugural 2017 4-Gun Agg, plus 2018 and 2019. There was no match in 2020 due to COVID, so Brian aspires to his fourth title in 2021. Below, Brian offers some thoughts on the classic wood-stocked rifles used in GSMM competition.

The Classic Wood Guns of CMP 4-Gun Competition

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

Perspectives on M1 Garand, M1903A3, M1917, and M1 Carbine
Brian provides perspectives on the “Wood Gun” game, with suggestions on how to improve your performance with the M1 Garand, M1903 Springfield, M1917 Enfield, M1 Carbine, and other 20th Century military rifles. Brian explains what to look for

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brian Williams M1 Carbine CMP Modern Military 4-Gun 3-Gun
Public domain photo from Armémuseum (The Swedish Army Museum).

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

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

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July 3rd, 2021

Saturday at the Movies with Miculek

Jerry Miculek Saturday Movies Videos revolver pistol

About Jerry Miculek… The Man, The Myth, The Legend

The video above begins: “My name is Jerry Miculek. Guns are what I do.” Jerry Miculek is a true legend in the firearms community. Acknowledged as the best wheelgun speed-shooter in history, Jerry is also an accomplished rifle and shotgun shooter with many class victories in 3-Gun competition. He also has been a prolific YouTube Video creator. For this Saturday at the Movies story, we are featuring five notable Jerry Miculek videos. You will find over 200 more informative and entertaining videos on the Jerry Miculek Pro Shooter YouTube channel

1. Shooting Twin Double-Barreled M1911 Pistols Simultaneously

Here Jerry shoots two, double-barrel .45 ACP 1911 pistols (AF2011) at the same time, one in each hand. Jerry was the first-ever person to accomplished this 4-barrel feat with twin handguns. Employing the dual double-barreled pistols, Jerry send 20 rounds downrange in under 1.5 seconds. This amazing sequence is captured with hi-speed cameras for vivid slow-motion playback. There are some spectacular close-ups as the bullets leave the muzzles. Worth watching!

2. Take-Down and Full Cleaning of AR-15

If you want to keep your black rifle running smoothly and reliably, you must clean it regularly and follow the correct maintenance procedures. In this video, Jerry Miculek takes down and cleans an AR-platform rifle belonging to his daughter Lena. This is a good video because Lena’s rifle was “run hard and packed up dirty” so you can see where carbon and grease build up. This 35-minute video is very thorough. Jerry is one of the nation’s top action carbine shooters, so listen carefully to his advice on cleaning and lubrication.

3. Jerry Reviews Magnetospeed T1000 Target Impact Indicator

MagnetoSpeed makes more than barrel-mounted chronographs. The T1000 is a target hit indicator that illuminates a super-bright red light when you hit a steel target. The T1000 was designed to be mounted to the back side of AR500 steel targets. In this video Jerry tests the MagnetoSpeed T1000 indicator light system. We like the T1000, especially for longer ranges where impacts on plates may not be easily visible. And you never have to paint your steel targets again to show impacts!

4. Shooting 240 Yards with 85-Year-Old K-22 Rimfire Revolver

Jerry Miculek is probably the greatest (certainly speediest) revolver shooter in history. He has set multiple world records with Smith & Wesson wheelguns. Here he tests a true classic — an 85-year-old S&W model K-22 revolver chambered for the .22 LR rimfire cartridge. Jerry uses this handsome classic blued revolver to hit targets at 240 yards!

5. 80,000 Philippine M1 Garands in One Place

Last year Jerry Miculek recently the CMP where he looked at the vast inventory of military rifles, including 80,000+ M1 Garands recently received from the Philippines. CMP tech staff showed Jerry some rare Garands that had never been issued. If you’re interested in classic military arms, you should definitely watch Jerry’s video. Gina Johnson, CMP’s general manager, told Guns.com that: “We have roughly 86,000 rifles from the Philippines and roughly 13,000 rifles from Turkey in our possession”.

Along with the 80,000+ Philippines Garands, the CMP received 13,000 from Turkey. The arrival of these 99,000 M1 Garands is great news for rifle collectors. Garands have been in short supply in recent years. Garands were getting harder to acquire from the CMP. In fact, over the past two years, many common Garand varients have been “sold out” on the CMP site.

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June 7th, 2021

Garand, Springfield, Modern Military Match at Camp Perry

Petrarca Range Camp Perry GSMM electronic target

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

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

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

Petrarca Range Camp Perry GSMM electronic target

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

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

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

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

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

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

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May 23rd, 2021

SunDay Gunday: CMP 4-Gun Aggregate Champion Brian Williams

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

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

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

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

VIDEO Showcase — Brian Williams Shoots M1903A3 Prone in May 2021

The Classic Wood Guns of CMP 4-Gun Competition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reloading for .30-06 Springfield Rifles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Mental Game — How to Become a Better Marksman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marksmanship Journey — from Novice to CMP 4-Gun Champion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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May 23rd, 2021

CMP Barrels for M1903 Springfield, M1917 Enfield, M1 Carbine

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

1903 Rifle Barrels CMP Criterion

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

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

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

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

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

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

m1 Garand  Rifle Barrels CMP Criterion

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

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

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

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

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May 13th, 2021

The Games Are Back! 2021 CMP Eastern Games Are a Success

2021 CMP Eastern Games garand service rifle

Marksmanship competition is back! Slowly but surely, shooting sports are returning to normal, after many major events were cancelled due to the COVID pandemic. We were pleased to see the CMP Eastern Games were held this year, after being cancelled in 2020. The revived 2021 Eastern Games, held April 22 through May 2, 2021, were a huge success.

There were over 420 competitors at the 2021 Eastern CMP Games and High Power Rifle Matches held at Camp Butner in North Carolina. With more than 1,500 event entries, the Eastern Games featured a full schedule of rifle and pistol matches, including many new competitions added to the lineup. In addition to the matches, there were a variety of training programs such as an M1 Garand Clinic and Rifle Marksmanship 101 with live-fire training.

Full Eastern Games Results | 2021 Eastern Games Photos (705)

2021 CMP Eastern Games garand service rifle
2021 CMP Eastern Games garand service rifle

Along with Rifle Marksmanship 101, the CMP offered a Pistol Marksmanship 101 Course and accompanying M9 EIC Match was held for the first time at Camp Butner. Similar to Rifle Marksmanship 101, participants in the Pistol Course were instructed in the classroom and on the range on firearm and competition fundamentals, including proper firing practices and safety guidelines. Other pistol additions to the schedule in 2021 were .22 Rimfire Pistol, Center Fire and .45 Pistol 900 Aggregates.

2021 CMP Eastern Games garand service rifle

Brian Williams Wins 3-Gun and 4-Gun Aggregates plus Rimfire Sporter
The star of the 2021 Eastern Games was Brian Williams of Granby, Massachusetts. Williams earned several top finishes in rifle matches, with Garand, Springfield, M1 Carbine, and Modern Military competition victories. His consistent performances earned him both the Three Gun and Four Gun Aggregate titles. Brian even won the Rimfire Sporter Match! Williams was only eight Xs from the current Four Gun Aggregate Eastern Games record score of 1152-35X, which he personally set in 2019. He also holds Eastern Games records in the Modern Military and Carbine events.

2021 CMP Eastern Games garand service rifle

Another top 2021 Eastern Games performer was SFC Brandon Green, a 3-time National High Power Champion. Green won the CMP 2400 Overall Aggregate at the 2021 Eastern Games with an impressive 2379-97X score. Along the way Brandon won the EIC Service Rifle Match setting a new Eastern Games record with a 497-26X tally.

2021 CMP Eastern Games garand service rifle
2021 CMP Eastern Games garand service rifle

We were pleased to see the 2021 CMP Eastern Games included participation by disabled shooters:

2021 CMP Eastern Games garand service rifle

There were many M1 Garand shooters at Camp Butner this year. Training included a special clinic focused on the Garand.

2021 CMP Eastern Games garand service rifle
2021 CMP Eastern Games garand service rifle

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April 21st, 2021

CMP Warns Against High-Pressure Loads in Garands and 1903s

CMP .30-06 ammo ammunition safety warning M1 Garand m1903 1903a3 50000 CUP high pressure

The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) has issued an ammunition safety advisory to all users of M1 Garands, M1903s, and M1903A3 rifles. Ammunition that is loaded beyond 50,000 Copper Units of Pressure (CUP) and using bullets weighing more than 172 grains should be limited to modern rifles, and NOT USED in old military rifles aged 70+ years.

CMP .30-06 ammo ammunition safety warning M1 Garand m1903 1903a3 50000 CUP high pressure

After this warning was issued by the CMP, the California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA) provided further safety recommendations for owners or older firearms:

CRPA Ammunition and Older Firearms Guidelines
Many of us have either purchased or inherited firearms in excess of 25 years of age. The issue … noted as an example by the Civilian Marksmanship Program in regards to certain ammunition leads as they apply to the M1 Garand is not isolated to that particular firearm. The CRPA… has seen similar issues exposed with other [older] firearms when using modern loads. We strongly advise you to check with the manufacturer for recommended load limitations before purchasing modern ammunition for an older firearm.

CRPA also recommends these safety procedures:

Have a gunsmith check your older firearm for safety prior to using it.

Take a reloading class to help develop a safe load for your older firearm.

Inspect older ammunition for defects such as a green patina or rust build up on the cases or crystallization on the projectiles. If defects are observed, the CRPA suggests disassembling the ammo into components for proper recycling and disposal.

Storage of Ammo for Older Rifles
The CRPA also cautioned that you should be cautious about older ammo that may be decades old, including old milsurp ammunition. The CRPA advises:

1. Store ammunition in a cool, dry, location where little temperature fluctuation occurs.
2. If storing ammunition in an air/watertight ammo can, utilize water absorbent silica packs and place packs in the can with the ammunition.
3. Conduct periodic checks every 12-24 months and replace the silica packs as needed.

CRPA Notification provided by EdLongrange

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March 2nd, 2021

Never Do This! — Gun Preserving Advice from Jerry Miculek

Jerry Miculek gun video handling safety error garand sks AR15 revolver

Jerry Miculek is the best action revolver shooter who has ever lived. Miculek is also a true master with rifle and shotgun. This guy shoots hundreds of thousands of rounds every year in all types of firearms. Through that process, he has discovered common mistakes many shooters make. Those mistakes can harm the guns, or threaten the safety of the operator. Here Jerry offers some vital gun handling and safety advice in his “Never Do This” video series.

Jerry Miculek has won multiple revolvers championships, and has set amazing records for revolver speed shooting (with reloads). Yes Jerry, “Mr. Revolver”, knows a thing or two about wheelguns. In this video, Jerry explains how you can damage your revolver by using the wrong methods to open and close the cylinder and extract ammo. Jerry shows what NOT to do, and then he very carefully explains the proper procedure to release the cylinder, and swing it out of the frame. In addition, Jerry shows how best to swing a loaded cyclinder back into place. If you own a revolver, ANY revolver, you should definitely watch this video.

In this second video, Jerry explains common mistakes people make when handling and shooting three classic, semi-auto firearm types — the M1 Garand, the SKS carbine, and the M1911 pistol. Jerry shows handling faults that can cause out-of-battery detonation or early primer strikes, or cause jams in the Garand and SKS. Then Jerry explains why you should never release the slide on a M1911 pistol with a round already in the chamber. This is a must-watch video for Garand owners.

Here Jerry demonstrates of the most common jams that can happen with AR-platform rifles. Miculek reveals the cause of the issue and then shows how to prevent it. Jerry notes: “This is one of those malfunctions that you won’t see coming! I’ve seen it … on the range and it can be devastating to your time in a match. All ammo used in the video were dummy rounds and intentionally loaded for training without powder or primers.”

Jerry Miculek gun video handling safety error garand sks AR15 revolver

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January 25th, 2021

Vintage Military Rifle Shooting — New Book by Gary Anderson

Gary Anderson CMP Director shooting vintage military rifle training book

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

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

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

Target Shooting With Vintage Military Rifles Topics:

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

Gary Anderson CMP Director shooting vintage military rifle training book

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

Gary Anderson CMP Director shooting vintage military rifle training book

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January 7th, 2021

Videos Show How to Maintain and Optimize M1A Rifles

M14 rifle Springfield M1A camp perry Shooting Sports USA

Do you own an M1A rifle? If so, you’ll want to view a new video from Springfield Armory (SA). As part of SA’s new Workbench Video Series, this 9-minute video is a detailed guide to the M1A rifle. The video can benefit any M1A owner or shooter: “These in-depth videos were developed to help new gun owners safely care for and maintain their firearms, as well as provide a useful resource for seasoned gun owners”, notes Steve Kramer of Springfield Armory. In the video, firearms expert Steve Horsman provides a step-by-step guide for the popular M1A semi-auto rifle.

Springfield Armory M1A Workbench Video:

“Descended from the M1 Garand, the M14 utilized multiple improvements that made it a far superior firearm for combat and a much better rifle for competition.” — Dick Jones, Shooting Sports USA.

Ray Gross M1A service rifle

An evolution of the M1 Garand, the M14 was designed to shoot the 7.62×51 (.308 Win) round instead of the larger .30-06 Springfield cartridge used in WWI, WWII and Korea. While the vast majority of today’s M1As are chambered for .308 Win/7.62×51, Springfield Armory also produces a 6.5 Creedmoor version

M14 rifle Springfield M1A camp perry Shooting Sports USA

For many years, the semi-auto version of the M14 was “top dog” in iron sights Service Rifle competition. Now that discipline is dominated by .223 Rem (5.56×45) AR-type rifles, but the bigger .308-caliber rifle, now sold as the M1A, remains popular. Each summer, the CMP hosts a major M1A Match at Camp Perry, sponsored by Springfield Armory. This is a popular event with 100+ competitors and significant cash prizes.

See how the modern M1A is built in this Springfield Armory Video:

As racing improves automobiles, competition improves firearms, and the current crop of Springfield M1As, from the Basic to the top-of-the-line Super Match and Loaded models, reflects the years of development. The M14 and its variants are … still considered by many to be the best battle rifle in the history of the U.S. Military. — Dick Jones, Shooting Sports USA

Military Version Operation Revealed — M14 Training Film

The original military version of the M1A was the select-fire M14. The 27-minute official U.S. Army video below demonstrates the operation of the M14. Field-stripping is shown from the 5:13 time-mark through 8:30. Cut-away drawings show the M14’s gas operation at 8:40.

Watch M14 Functioning Cycle Starting at 9:25 Mark:

The M14’s complete 8-step functioning cycle is demonstrated from the 9:25 time-mark through 22:41. These eight operations are: 1) Feeding; 2) Chambering; 3) Locking; 4) Firing; 5) Unlocking; 6) Extracting; 7) Ejecting; and 8) Cocking. This movie is fairly long, but every M1A owner should definitely watch this video start to finish.

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January 3rd, 2021

Sunday GunDay: The M1 Garand That Came for Christmas

CMP Civilian Marksmanship Program M1 Garand Christmas Rifle
We think everyone should have a Garand in their gun collection…

In our AccurateShooter Forum, you’ll find a popular thread: “Anybody Get Gun Stuff for Christmas?”. One notable post featured a very special Christmas-week arrival — an M1 Garand barreled action. A Forum member received this CMP-sourced barreled action from a friend and then transformed it with a stunning wood stock and other components. We’d say this is a very successful and handsome holiday project. And get this — the skilled owner, who works as a volunteer armorer, assembled his new M1 Garand in record time: “Well, it took three weeks in-transit for my [Christmas] gift to myself to arrive, but I picked her up at 1400 hours yesterday. Had her built into a complete rifle by 1530….”

CMP Civilian Marksmanship Program M1 Garand Christmas Rifle

CMP Civilian Marksmanship Program M1 Garand Christmas Rifle

If you would like to put together a handsome M1 Garand like the Christmas rifle shown above, you’ll need to start with a barreled action. You can order these, as well as complete M1 Garand rifles, from the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP). Below we explain how to order an M1 Garand from the CMP, and how to select the right grade for your needs and budget.

If you have questions about assembling a Garand, contact us and we will put you in touch with the builder of the Christmas M1 Garand rifle. He is a CMP-trained armorer who works to maintain ceremonial rifles for VFW, American Legion, and Disabled Veterans Posts throughout Kentucky.

Ordering an M1 Garand from the CMP — Qualifications

Garand Turkish Turkey Philippines

How to Order an M1 Garand from the CMP
To purchase an M1 Garand through the CMP, you must be an adult U.S. Citizen, and a member of an affiliated organization who has participated in a “Marksmanship Activity”. This basically means you need to join a gun club and participate in a clinic or match. Proof of club membership and citizenship is mandatory for all ages. However, the marksmanship requirement is waived for those over 60 years of age. M1 Garands must be ordered by mail or through official CMP Auctions.

CLICK HERE for Garand Ordering Information | CLICK HERE for Eligibility Requirements

CLICK HERE for Garand Grading Information

Here are two videos that explain the procedure for ordering an M1 Garand from the CMP. Along with mail-order sales, the CMP has two stores where M1 Garands can be ordered over the counter and then transferred via your FFL (in compliance with state law). The three CMP stores are located in Anniston, Alabama, Talladega, Alabama, and Port Clinton (Camp Perry), Ohio.

Ordering a Barrel — If you already have an M1 Garand, but the barrel has seen better days, you can order a pre-chambered Criterion barrel in .30-06 Springfield. Criterion tell us: “This is a direct replacement barrel for the M1 Garand rifle, manufactured to mil-spec print #6535448. It has the original G.I. contour and Parkerized finish. Receiver threads are timed, all milling cuts are made, and all M1 Garand barrels are hand-lapped.” NOTE: Each barrel is .010 short-chambered and should be properly headspaced by a qualified gunsmith. These Criterion .30-06 replacement barrels, priced at $259.95, are legal for use in Service Rifle and John C. Garand matches.

m1 Garand Rifle Barrels CMP Criterion

If you want to re-chamber your M1 Garand to .308 Winchester, the CMP eStore sells brand new Criterion-made barrels in .308 Win for $199.95. These authentic-profile barrels are chambered and headspaced within .010″ of finished size, with final fitting to be done by a competent gunsmith. The barrels are also externally Parkerized to match your vintage M1 Garand.

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

How to Maintain the M1 Garand

Once you have an M1 Garand in your collection, you’ll want to keep it in tip-top condition so it works flawlessly for vintage military matches and fun shoooting. Below we’ve linked two good SSUSA articles on M1 Garand maintenance. Following that you’ll find two excellent videos covering M1 Garand Disassembly, Cleaning, and Lubrication. Finally there are links to recommended print manuals for the M1 Garand.

M1 Service and Maintenance
Shooting Sports USA (SSUSA) published an excellent article on Service and Maintenance of M1 Garand Rifles. This offers some smart tricks, such as using smoke from burning masking tape to darken the front sight post. There is also an older SSUSA article that covers basic cleaning and servicing and also explains how to upgrade the performance of your Garands. READ Article HERE.

M1 Garand maintenance procedures

M1 Garand Disassembly, Cleaning, and Lubrication

Recommended M1 Garand Service Manuals

Among the many M1 Garand manuals available, we recommend the CMP’s U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, M1: ‘Read This First’ Manual. This booklet covers take-down, reassembly, cleaning, lubrication, and operation. The manual comes with CMP rifles or can be purchased for $3.25 from the CMP eStore. The author of Garand Tips & Tricks says: “It’s one of the best firearms manuals I’ve seen and I highly recommend it.” The CMP also offers many other M1 Garand print resources including:

M1 Garand Owner’s Guide (125 pages, Scott Duff)
M1 Garand Complete Assembly Guide (155 pages, Walt Kuleck & Scott McKee)
Complete Guide to M1 Garand and M1 Carbine (296 pages, Bruce Canfield)

M1 Garand match instruction video War Department

Jim thompson m1 garand essential practical historical guide book

Do you own an M1 Garand, or have you always wanted to acquire one of these legendary semi-auto battle rifles? Well then here is a valuable new resource: The Essential M1 Garand: A Practical and Historical Guide for Shooters and Collectors. This new book by Jim Thompson covers the history of the M1 Garand, and offers practical advice for Garand owners, along with complete parts lists. The book includes annotated military and National Match manuals, a troubleshooting chart, and a section on hand-loading for the Garand. The final Section addresses common questions about the rifle and offers detailed instructions for maintaining this wartime classic. First published in February, 2020, The Essential M1 Garand is available in Print Paperback and Kindle eBook versions. View Table of Contents.

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December 21st, 2020

Maybe Santa Will Bring an M1 Garand This Year…

CMP marksmanship program M1 Garand store order rifle vintage .30-06

If you ordered from the CMP this month, perhaps an M1 Garand may arrive as a Christmas gift this week. We think every serious collector should, as some point, have one of these historic rifles in their collection. The CMP has, in the past couple of years, received over 90,000 Garands from overseas arsenals, so there are plenty to be had currently. This article explains how to order an M1 Garand from the CMP, and how to select the right grade for your needs and budget.

Garand Turkish Turkey Philippines

CLICK HERE for Garand Ordering Information | CLICK HERE for Garand Grading Information

How to Order an M1 Garand from the CMP
To purchase an M1 Garand through the CMP, you must be an adult U.S. Citizen, and a member of an affiliated organization who has participated in a “Marksmanship Activity”. This basically means you need to join a gun club and participate in a clinic or match. Proof of club membership and citizenship is mandatory for all ages. However, the marksmanship requirement is waived for those over 60 years of age. Garands must be ordered by mail or through official CMP Auctions. CLICK HERE to Start Order.

Here are two videos that explain the procedure for ordering an M1 Garand from the CMP. Along with mail-order sales, the CMP has two stores were M1 Garands can be ordered over the counter and then transferred via your FFL (in compliance with state law). The three CMP stores are located in Anniston, Alabama, Talladega, Alabama, and Port Clinton (Camp Perry), Ohio.

CMP marksmanship program M1 Garand store order rifle vintage .30-06

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December 9th, 2020

Legendary American Service Rifles on Shooting USA TV

Shooting Usa service rifles

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

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

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

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

Shooting USA Krag Jorgensen

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

Shooting USA 1903 Springfield service rifle

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

Shooting USA Craid Jorgensen

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

Shooting USA M14 Service Rifle

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

Tripod Tips for Precision Rifle Shooters

Shooting usa usamu tripod PRS

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

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


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

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November 7th, 2020

Great M1 Garand Resources for Rifle Maintenance and Cleaning

M1 Garand match instruction video War Department

Do you own an M1 Garand? Or perhaps you’re thinking of ordering a Garand, now that the CMP has acquired 99,000 of these classic battle rifles from Turkey and the Philippines. An M1 Garand is a great addition to anyone’s firearms collection. It is a piece of living history — plus it can be used in Vintage Military rifle matches. Here are some great resources for M1 Garand owners. We list two useful articles on general maintenance. In addition, we’ve included three excellent videos covering M1 Garand Disassembly, Cleaning, and Lubrication. Finally there are links to recommended print manuals available from the CMP.

M1 Garand maintenance procedures

M1 Service and Maintenance
Shooting Sports USA (SSUSA) recently published an excellent article on Service and Maintenance of M1 Garand Rifles. This offers some smart tricks, such as using smoke from burning masking tape to darken the front sight post. There is also an older SSUSA article that covers basic cleaning and servicing and also explains how to upgrade the performance of your Garands. READ Article HERE.

M1 Garand Disassembly, Cleaning, and Lubrication

M1 Garand Tips and Tricks

This popular Tips and Tricks Video has been viewed over 1,100,000 times on YouTube.

Recommended M1 Garand Manual
Among the many M1 Garand manuals available, we recommend the CMP’s U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, M1: ‘Read This First’ Manual. This booklet covers take-down, reassembly, cleaning, lubrication, and operation. The manual comes with CMP rifles or can be purchased for $3.25 from the CMP eStore. The author of Garand Tips & Tricks says: “It’s one of the best firearms manuals I’ve seen and I highly recommend it.” The CMP also offers many other M1 Garand print resources including:

M1 Garand Owner’s Guide (125 pages, Scott Duff)
M1 Garand Complete Assembly Guide (155 pages, Walt Kuleck & Scott McKee)
Complete Guide to M1 Garand and M1 Carbine (296 pages, Bruce Canfield)

M1 Garand match instruction video War Department

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October 15th, 2020

Big Talladega 600 Match in Alabama November 16-22, 2020

CMP Marksmanship program talladega park 600 match

Yes, the Pandemic is still here, but at least we are seeing major shooting events taking place again (with health precautions). One of the most popular multi-discipline matches in the Southeast, the Talladega 600, IS going forward in 2020. The CMP’s Talladega 600 kicks off Monday, November 16. A variety of matches and training sessions will run through Sunday, November 22, at the CMP’s Talladega Marksmanship Park in Alabama. CLICK HERE for registration info, entry forms, and complete match schedule.

CMP Marksmanship program talladega park 600 match
The Talladega 600 will include a mix of rifle and pistol competitions for all ages and experience levels.

Matches include Garand, Springfield, and Vintage/Modern rifle events, and versions of prestigious National Trophy Rifle Matches. A rifle Excellence-In-Competition (EIC) match, a 4-Man Team match, M1A Match and the retitled Congressional 30 and Dixie Double competitions add an elite level of competition. Additionally, Carbine, .22 Rimfire Sporter, and Vintage Sniper will be held at the Talladega 600.

CMP Marksmanship program talladega park 600 November match

NEW Garand Benchrest and Rimfire Sporter Benchrest Matches
New for 2020, two test matches will also be fired at the Talladega 600: a Benchrest Garand Match and a Rimfire Sporter Benchrest Match. Competitiors at these new events can use sandbags to support/stabilize their M1 Garands and .22 caliber rimfire sporter rifles. The use of sandbags should help competitors of any age, with increased ease and safety on the firing line.

Pistol Matches Are Always Popular
Those eager for pistol events will be able to look forward to .22 Rimfire EIC and Service Pistol EIC matches, along with As-Issued 1911 and Military & Police matches.

CMP Marksmanship program talladega park 600 match

Rifle Marksmanship 101 Class Is Open
For an educational experience, a Rifle Marksmanship 101 Class (which features an M16 EIC Match) is also open to both new and advanced individuals looking to enhance their marksmanship knowledge.

CMP Marksmanship program talladega park 600 match
State-of-the-art Kongsberg target systems are used at the CMP’s Talladega Marksmanship Park.

About Talladega Marksmanship Park
The 500-acre CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park is one of the most advanced outdoor shooting facilities in the Western Hemisphere. The facility includes a 600-yard rifle range, a 100-yard multi-purpose range, and a 50-yard pistol range, equipped with Kongsberg electronic targets and scoring monitors. Since the 54 targets at each line register hits and calculate the scores instantly, no pit duty is required at Talladega. The park regularly hosts rifle, pistol and shotgun events throughout the year.

CMP Marksmanship program talladega park 600 match

Safety Protocols in Effect
During the match, CMP staff will be monitoring and assuring safety guidelines are followed. Please note that Masks will be required when off of the firing line. Sanitation procedures will also be administered, along with other precautions to ensure the well-being of staff and guests.

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October 12th, 2020

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

M1 Garand Criterion barrel
1903 Rifle Barrels CMP Criterion

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

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

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

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

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

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

m1 Garand  Rifle Barrels CMP Criterion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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October 5th, 2020

Bargain Finder 263: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Sunday afternoon or Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Harbor Freight — 10-Gun Safe $279.99 (Sale Code 16617906)


Great value at $279.99 with CODE 16617906 — Safe weighs 179 lbs.

Here is a great deal for a secondary safe that you might use in a workshop, bedroom, vacation property, or even an RV. This Union Safe Co. 10-Gun safe compares with Stack-On safes costing up to $560.00. Sold by Harbor Freight, this safe is rated for 10 long guns and also has a top shelf for handguns and valuables. NOTE: This safe appears for $339.99 on the Harbor Freight website. To get the $279.99 Sale price, use the Sale Code Number 16617906 when you add the safe to your shopping cart. You can also use the same Sale Code for in-store purchases. Safe Dimensions: 59″ H x 21″ W X 14″ D.

2. CMP Rifle Sales — M1 Garand (New Barrel & Stock), $650.00

CMP M1 Garand rifle sales .30-06 Springfield
Get good shooting M1 Garand with New Criterion Barrel and New Stock

The CMP now offers a “partially refurbished” M1 Garand for $650.00. The CMP Special Rack Grade (.30-06) M1 Garand features a refinished M1 receiver, a NEW production Criterion barrel, NEW production American Walnut stock and handguards, and NEW web sling. The receiver is the only original part of the rifle that has been refinished. The CMP notes that the receiver will have heavy pitting above the wood line. If you can live with that cosmetic flaw, this is a good choice for those who want to shoot M1 Garand matches. IMPORTANT: To purchase a CMP M1 Garand, a buyer must be an adult U.S. citizen who is a member of a CMP-affiliated club. ORDERING Information HERE.

3. EuroOptic — 6-24x50mm Vortex Viper $469.99 (Save $280)

vortex viper 6-24x50mm sale big discount
Versatile, affordable optic for PRS and Varminting

If we needed a SFP scope with MOA reticle for varmint or fun match duties, this 5-24x50mm Vortex Viper would be one of our leading choices. With a magnification range perfect for varminting, this optic offers good glass, nice controls, and a great warranty — all at an affordable price. And right now you can Save $280 on this Vortex Viper at EuroOptic. This scope features glass-etched EBR-1 reticle in the second focal plane, XD Lens, 30mm main tube, tactical-style turrets, and CRS zero stop.

4. Midsouth — Norma .223 Remington Brass, $99.99 for 250

Nikon Natchez discount scope refurbished sale
Impressive deal on very high quality .223 Rem brass

After Lapua, Norma makes some of the best brass you can buy. And here’s a chance to get a big supply of .223 Rem brass for your High Power or varmint rifle. This 223 Remington brass has very tight tolerances, holds up well to multiple reloads. We have seen very good accuracy with this brass with both light and heavy .224-caliber bullets. The price — $99.99 for 250 cases, works out to $0.39 per case. You can pay up to $0.70 per case for some other premium .223 Rem brass.

5. MidwayUSA — Pelican V800 53″ Double Rifle Case, $149.96

Pelican Vault V800 double rifle case transport case foam wheels
Excellent hard case, $50 savings, great for air travel

This is one of the best large hardshell rifle cases on the market. The Pelican Vault V800 compares well to other hard cases costing up to $350.00 but right now it is just $149.96 at MidwayUSA. Choose Desert Tan or Black. This case will hold two large match rifles securely. It features five layers of customizable foam, along with six (6) push-button latches. This same V800 53″ case sells elsewhere for $219.00, and is normally $199.95 at MidwayUSA. With this deal you save $50.00! Competitors headed to the F-Class Nationals in Raton, NM at the end of the month may want to grab one of these big 53″ cases.

6. Brownells — KRG Bravo Chassis Rem 700, $324.99 with Code

brownells krg bravo tactical hunting stock internal aluminum precision
Versatile internal frame stock for PRS or hunting — tan, black, or green

The Kinetic Research Group (KRG) Rem 700 Bravo Chassis is a good dual-purpose choice for PRS and hunting. There is an internal aluminum frame with polymer exterior in Flat Dark Earth, Sako Green, or black. The stock fits Rem 700 and Rem Clone actions, accepts AICS-pattern mags, and is M-LOK compatible. The 2.9-lb KRG Bravo chassis features adjustable cheek riser and length-of-pull, built-in thumb shelf, plus quick-detach sling-swivel and bipod mounts. The KRG Bravo stock costs $349.99 at Brownells. You can also get $25 Off with Brownells code VSE, lowering the net cost to $324.99.

7. Amazon — Teslong Borescope $44.99 or Rigid Version $79.99

teslong digital borescope
Teslong borescopes are game-changers — true “must-have” tool

The Teslong digital borescope has been a huge success. This compact, electro-optical, cable-type borescope outputs sharp, high-resolution images and VIDEO to desktop computers and laptops, and many tablets. Check out our Full Teslong Review complete with inside-the-barrel videos. Get the basic version for $44.99 on Amazon or the rigid version Teslong Borescope for $79.99. If you scope your barrels often, you may prefer the rigid version which is easy to insert and rotate.

8. Midsouth — Tipton Gun Butler, $19.49

Tipton Gun Butler caddy gun vise cleaning tray sale Amazon
Very useful, particularly for regular cleaning, great price

Here’s a handy, portable gun caddy that works well for rifle maintenance chores at home or at the range. Right now the Tipton Gun Butler is marked down to $19.49. The Gun Butler offers a convenient platform for cleaning your gun or doing tasks such as scope mounting. Two removable forks/cradles hold a gun securely in place, while compartments and slots hold solvents, jags, brushes, mops, and tools. The Gun Butler features a convenient carrying handle, and slip-resistant rubber feet.

9. MidwayUSA — Remington Roll-Up Mat Cleaning Kit, $11.77

week deal Remington cleaning kit
Amazing deal — very complete tool set, and great gift item

This is a great portable gun cleaning kit. It’s now a steal at just $11.77, 68% off the regular price. This kit contains 9 caliber-specific bore brushes, 5 various-sized bore mops, patch pullers, a 3-piece cleaning rod, plus a pair of utility cleaning brushes. Heck just all the brushes and mops are worth more than the $11.77 price. This kit also makes a great gift for your shooting buddies or family members who enjoy guns.

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September 20th, 2020

Sunday GunDay: Old “Number 2″ — Cherished M1A of Ray Gross

Ray Gross M1A M14 service rifle .308 .30-06 Distinguished rifleman badge
Old “Number 2″ belonging to Ray Gross. Click Photo for full-screen Image.

Ray Gross, one of America’s great rifle competitors, has served as captain of the United States F-TR Team. While Ray is best known for his F-Class shooting and leadership, Ray is also an experienced service rifle shooter, who secured his Distinguished Rifleman Badge 25 years ago. Ray has shot many rifles during his competitive shooting career, but the M1A rifle above held a special place in Ray’s heart. This old semi-auto earned Ray his Distinguished Badge, and he’ll never forget that, though he parted with the rifle in 2016.

Ray Gross M1A M14 service rifle .308 .30-06 Distinguished rifleman badge

Posting back in 2016, Ray told us:

“I said goodbye to an old friend… Affectionately known as ‘Number 2′, she is the rifle that I earned my Distinguished Rifleman Badge with in 1995 (#1159).

That rifle was also responsible for a fair amount of Venison in the ’90s, as well. But since then, she has spent a lot of time in the closet. Last time I got her out was to destroy a bunch of hard drives containing evidence collected during my Computer Forensics days. She deserved better than that.

I will miss the beautiful sound of all that American steel slamming into battery when I tripped her bolt.” – Ray Gross

M14 rifle Springfield M1A camp perry Shooting Sports USARay Gross was profiled in Shooting Sports USA last year. He explained how he started his competitive shooting career with an M1A rifle:

How did you begin in competitive shooting?

I began competing in 1991, at age 27. I bought an M1A and joined the Midland County Sportsman’s Club. One day I was at the club shooting the M1A when a member, Rich Koskela, came over and invited me to join them shooting competitions. Up until that point, I had no idea there was such a thing as NRA Competitive Shooting and I had been a member since 1986. Anyway, Rich and some of his friends showed me the basics and at my first match, I finished in the top half and first MU.

What are your major accomplishments in the shooting sports?

In 1995, I earned the Distinguished Rifleman Badge and a few years later switched to Palma rifle. On the way to making my first Palma team in 2003, I won the Army Cup, the Andrus trophy twice and the Sierra Trophy once. As a coach, I won the Herrick match, and seven F-TR National Championship team matches. Internationally, I’ve coached three gold medal America Match teams (The USA has only won four in Palma Rifle), and earned a Silver and Bronze coaching on the Palma Team in 2015 and 2019. In 2017, I led the U.S. F-TR Team to a World Championship. This year (2019), I also won the NRA ELR National Championship (25-lb max Division).”

Ray Gross M1A M14 service rifle .308 .30-06 Distinguished rifleman badge

M14 rifle Springfield M1A camp perry Shooting Sports USA

“Descended from the M1 Garand, the M14 utilized multiple improvements that made it a far superior firearm for combat and a much better rifle for competition.” — Dick Jones, Shooting Sports USA.

In the April 2018 issue of Shooting Sports USA, you’ll find a good article on the civilian version of the M14, now sold commercially as the Springfield M1A. An evolution of the battle-proven M1 Garand, the M14 was designed to shoot the 7.62×51 (.308 Win) round instead of the larger .30-06 Springfield cartridge used in WWI, WWII and Korea. While the vast majority of today’s M1As are chambered for .308 Win/7.62×51, Springfield Armory also produces a 6.5 Creedmoor version.

Ray Gross M1A service rifle

Dick Jones reports that accurized M14/M1As could post remarkable scores: “The accuracy potential of the M14/M1A is unquestionable. During their reign as service rifles, they produced multiple perfect 200 scores at 600 and 1000 yards in the hands of top shooters. This is a difficult feat with a modern, scoped, magnum-caliber rifle and remarkable with an iron-sighted battle rifle. Good competition rifles can group 10 shots under one MOA, and the meticulously-massaged rifles used by the top shooters during my career would consistently put up 10 shots under an inch at 200 yards off a test cradle.”

M14 rifle Springfield M1A camp perry Shooting Sports USA

For many years, the semi-auto version of the M14 was “top dog” in iron sights Service Rifle competition. Now that discipline is dominated by .223 Rem (5.56×45) AR-type rifles, but the bigger .308-caliber rifle, now sold as the M1A, remains popular. And in non-pandemic years, the CMP hosts a major M1A Match at Camp Perry, sponsored by Springfield Armory. This is a very popular event with 100+ competitors and significant cash prizes.

See how the modern M1A is built in this Springfield Armory Video:

As racing improves automobiles, competition improves firearms, and the current crop of Springfield M1As, from the Basic to the top-of-the-line Super Match and Loaded models, reflects the years of development. The M14 and its variants are … still considered by many to be the best battle rifle in the history of the U.S. Military. — Dick Jones, Shooting Sports USA

Military Version Operation Revealed — M14 Training Film

The original military version of the M1A was the select-fire M14. The 27-minute official U.S. Army video below demonstrates the operation of the M14. Field-stripping is shown from the 5:13 time-mark through 8:30. Cut-away drawings show the M14’s gas operation at 8:40.

Watch M14 Functioning Cycle Starting at 9:25 Mark:

The M14’s complete 8-step functioning cycle is demonstrated from the 9:25 time-mark through 22:41. These eight operations are: 1) Feeding; 2) Chambering; 3) Locking; 4) Firing; 5) Unlocking; 6) Extracting; 7) Ejecting; and 8) Cocking. This movie is fairly long, but fans of battle rifles will find it well worth their time. Every M1A owner should definitely watch this video start to finish.

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