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Old December 17, 2008, 02:38 AM   #1
HeliosPrime
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AR15 match vs. service grade

I have been reading and looking into starting high power shooting in matches, and was wondering what the difference between match and service rifles. I am thinking about getting an AR15 and I would like to know if there is a difference between match and service.
I am not looking for a tricked out expansive gun for now, but I dont want to buy one that wont meet the requirements to shoot in a match. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
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Old December 17, 2008, 03:04 AM   #2
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service vs match are different classes of HP competition. Basically a match rifle (aka spacegun) can be customized extensively while a service rifle has to retain its military as-issued configuration. You can typically compete with either in an HP competition, and the results are distinguished accordingly. But only service rifles are allowed in EIC competition (i.e. Distinguished Rifle).

IMO if you can use a standard rear aperture w/ post front sight, service rifle is a good way to go. Look for models that are advertised as 'match' or 'national match' service rifles.

Here's RRA's model - http://www.rockriverarms.com/index.c...TOKEN=69375391

This is a spacegun.
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Old December 17, 2008, 03:15 AM   #3
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Thanks for the clarification. Also, do you know if adjustable stocks are allowed, at least in NRA matches?
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Old December 17, 2008, 04:19 AM   #4
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stocks

Helios: Allowed in Match Rifle, not Service Rifle. Look again at the picture of C. Bernosky's Match rifle for a sense of what is possible in that class.
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Old December 17, 2008, 09:14 AM   #5
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A service rifle must have the same exterior silhouette as a standard issued US military rifle. (Internal modifications allowed).
M16 (A2 or A4)
M14 (M1A)
M1 (Garand)

Match rifle is any other rifle in any caliber, but must have iron sights.

Space gun (match rifle) is usually an AR based weapon with a fully adjustable stock and iron sights.

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Old December 17, 2008, 09:23 AM   #6
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and lets not forget that a match gun can have a light trigger, but a service rifle must be 4.5 lbs or greater.
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Old December 17, 2008, 12:12 PM   #7
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If you are going to shoot an AR, it must have a 20" barrel, A2 butt stock and as Dave said a 4 1/2 + trigger.

Rock River, Bushmaster and Armalite make "National Match" or "DMC" models. Most shooters that are starting out use the RRA because of the nice trigger they have. Seasoned veterans are using any lower, White Oak Arms (WOA) uppers and Greisle (spelling) triggers.


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Old December 17, 2008, 09:53 PM   #8
Ken O
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They answered you question on differences above.
Your last statement "I dont want to buy one that wont meet the requirements to shoot in a match. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated."

Your best bet would be to go the "service rifle" format. Its legal in CMP and NRA competitions. A Spacegun is only legal in NRA.

Later on if you want to go the match rifle venue, all you got to do is pick up a spacegun upper and put it on your lower. You can add adjustable stocks also.

Service rifle upper


AR match rifle upper
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Old December 17, 2008, 11:24 PM   #9
Casimer
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Quote:
Also, do you know if adjustable stocks are allowed, at least in NRA matches?
Yes, they're allowed in NRA matches - but using one will put you in the match rifle class.

check out www.nationalmatch.us , which is a prominent HP forum and a good source for match info and used equipment.
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Old December 18, 2008, 08:59 AM   #10
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Shooting a match

You can use any rifle you want (almost) to shoot at a HP match. The question is what class it will put you in and if it is considered legal to post a score.

The HP shooters I have met are great guys and just want to shoot and want others to shoot also. If you show up with your trusty "huntin" rifle and pay your entry fee they would let you shoot. You most likely will not be competitive, but you can have fun.

You will find the guys the most helpful bunch you will ever meet; they will borrow you mats, spotting scopes or even a spare sling.

Which leads to another subject.
Miscellaneous equipment and supplies can cost as much as the match rifle you bought. I shot my first couple of matches with a piece of carpet as a mat and binoculars for spotting. I slowly over time bought nicer stuff.

(Cut for an earlier post) This is what I did.

$1,000 Rock River Arms National Match A2 AR15 (.223 is the easiest and cheapest to shoot)
$200 Konus 20x60x80 spotting scope (Kowa is better but 3 times more)
$200 Vin-Ray scope stand (buy once, cry once)
$50-75 Sling (I like Les Tam @ $75)
$25-60 Glove (I'm a open finger guy)
$100 Used shooting jacket off Ebay (bought my hawkeye 20 year old heavy leather jacket for $115)
$80 Shooting mat (mine is a Creedmoor with extra padding)
$65 Shooting stool (mine is a Creedmoor)
$25 Dewy cleaning rod
$20 Sinclair AR cleaning rod guide
$20 AR cleaning hold open
5 ~ $15 Mags (20 round straight body)
$25 NRA membership
$150 Ammunition (400 rounds Remington 55 grain)
$35 Ray-vin Super Smoker (the best)
$30 shell holder (20 round + 2 sighters)

There you go, 2K. Now go have fun.

If you shoot short courses, the ammo will be fine your first year. Next year buy a press and make your own "match" rounds for the same cost.

Remember, Dry fire as much as you can, focus on the front sight, forget about the last shot, don't worry about the next shot, and break this shot in the X ring.

Jim

ps; please don't show this post to my wife
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Last edited by shooterer; December 19, 2008 at 07:42 AM.
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Old December 18, 2008, 05:20 PM   #11
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Ditto the last part in spades, unless you're among the fortunate few whose spouse is also a competitive shooter.

In addition to the trigger weight limit, the original rule was for a gun to be qualified for EIC service rifle matches was that a black and white photo of it should be indistinguishable from a blalck and white photo of an as-issued service rifle. The only exception made was for the hooded rear aperture match sight. Then we got the ersatz assault weapon ban, with the term 'assault weapon" redefined by appearances, which included the presence of bayonet lugs or flash hiders. As a result, the rules were changed to allow still more deviation from as-issued service rifles. Bayonet lugs and flash hiders were no longer required, and remain optional today.

You'll note there was nothing in the above rule to prevent you from making invisible mods for accuracy, such as glass bedding, custom springs, heavy weight match barrels, etcetera, because you can't see those things in a black and white photo. You are only required to omit those accuracy steps if you are shooting a gun in an As-issued service rifle match, such as the J.C.Garand match, or a VMR (Vintage Military Rifle) match. Those rules allow you to hand select the parts you assemble into the gun, but with a few exceptions, that's it.
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Old December 18, 2008, 08:40 PM   #12
HeliosPrime
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Thanks for the tips. Lucky for me I have a girlfriend who is a competition shooter, so I can borrow some of her gear.
Unfortunately for me, I am on a budget seeing as how I am trying to finish college, and work to pay my way through. So $800 or more for a rifle is out of my budget at this time.
I have been thinking about buying an AR kit and a stripped lower to save some money, and I thought it would be cool to say I built my gun from parts.
Any thoughts or experience with AR kits that are around $500 for the kit minus the lower reciever?
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Old December 18, 2008, 11:02 PM   #13
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I'd go for a used rifle instead, or at least a used upper. Having the right barrel and float tube is important. Unfortunately everything AR is probably selling at a premium right now.

Again, the guys at nationalmatch.us might be helpful. I've seen people post requests for assistance putting together a rifle on a set budget, and they seem to be able to get it done.
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Old December 19, 2008, 04:01 AM   #14
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I found a website that sells stripped Superior lowers for $95. Would I be skipping on quality if I got one of those rather than RRA? It almost seems too good to be true.
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Old December 19, 2008, 06:23 AM   #15
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lower

I have had the urge to assemble an AR for some years. So far, I have resisted it. That $95, though, sounds like a good price and has me rethinking. What would you have to pay as a transfer fee?
One detail, though there may be a way around it, that has kept me from doing it myself is the need for special tools - an armourer's wrench, barrel vise, action block for the upper receiver, vise block for the lower, etc. Maybe the job can be done properly without these tools; I'd be interested in hearing about that from people who know. The cost of the tools adds more than $100 to the job.
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Old December 19, 2008, 07:55 AM   #16
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lowers

No special tools are required to put a "lower Parts kit" in a stripped lower. AR's we designed to be field stripped with nothing more than a bullet as a pin punch.

If you are going to build a stripped upper you will need to borrow a few tools.

A Superior lower will be fine. Almost all lowers are made by 6 manufactures that put others names on them. You really can't go wrong with any manufacture; the main difference is in the finish.

Jim
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Old December 20, 2008, 02:26 AM   #17
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"...meet the requirements..." Buy what you can afford and go shoot the matches anyway. Match shooting is great fun and you'll meet some great people who will help you.
"...I can borrow some of her gear..." You lucky offspring of unmarried parents. I can give you some recipes that won't cost a lot and will impress. You do cook? S'ok if you don't. I have recipes that impress and only require the ability to read. toheir@hotmail.com
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Old December 21, 2008, 01:12 PM   #18
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Of course, if you're in the military, and shooting at service sponsored matches (i.e. All Army, etc) 'service rifle' means exactly that - military issue M16A2, -A4, or M4.

No free float, weights, tuned trigger, or NM sights. On the plus side, you're issued ammo - Black Hills Mk262s (77gr Matchkings).

And starting this year (2008), the shooting is done in body armor. (Actually, I find the body armor adds some stability in some positions, especially seated.)

Personally, I like the fact that everyone's equipment is equal, and it really is all about the skill of the shooters
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Old January 14, 2009, 01:49 AM   #19
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go to this link and it will answer all your questions on High power rifle matches



http://www.nrahq.org/compete/RuleBoo.../hpr-index.pdf
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