View Full Version : Carbines in High Power matches?

October 3, 2005, 10:17 PM
Just took a CMP course this weekend and I am hooked. I do not currently own a rifle that could be used in High Power, but have been planning on buying a 16" barreled AR soon. Mostly for HD and to use in three gun matches. But now I want to try my hand at the High Power thing and was wondering if using a carbine would be a complete waste of my time and effort. While I know it would be best, do you really need a 20" barrel to be competitive in this thing or can you score well with a shorter barrel? The place where I think I would do most of my matches only has a 100 yard range and I guess must always use the "simulated" 200/600 yd targets.

Resources are limited otherwise I would buy a competition ready Bushmaster or the like and a carbine in a heartbeat.

Does 4" matter in this kind of thing? (And leave the dirty jokes to yourselves ;) )

As always, thanks in advance for the help.


Jim Watson
October 3, 2005, 10:31 PM
I guess you could do it for fun on a reduced course, but look at it the other way. Why does 3-gun demand a carbine? What is your home defense situation that you want a rifle instead of a pistol or shotgun?

October 3, 2005, 11:09 PM
Jim, thanks for the quick reply.

I take it that when you say I could do it for fun on a reduced course, that you mean that I should not expect great results with a carbine (shooter skill being a separate issue) at 100 yards but it may do ok? Or, at 100 yards, is a carbine not such a bad choice? I'm not planning on getting to Camp Perry anytime soon... :)

On the HD thing, I tossed that in there as a bit of "self-justification" for the purchase...Main reason for wanting one is for three-gun, and well, I just plain want one, but would like to be able to use it for HP now that I've "discovered" it. I have an 18" Remington 870 loaded with low recoil Federal 00 for HD, along with an easily accesible Beretta 96.

Again, thanks for the input.


October 4, 2005, 07:15 AM
You can get some excellent accuracy out of a 16" barrell and certainly enough to make you competitive at the average shoot on a 100 yd range. Where the carbine, and more specifically the .223 round will fall short is at the longer ranges were wind really starts to play a factor.

If I were shooting a match at a hundred yards, I'd work up some good loads for my Wilson Combat UT-15, put a good scope on it, and shoot it instead of my Rem 700 .300 Win Mag for no other reason than it would be cheaper to shoot and less punishing on my shoulder. I probably wouldn't win unless compitition was pretty weak, but I bet I'd be real competitive and an AR is just plain fun to shoot!

October 4, 2005, 12:56 PM
It's almost guaranteed that it's accurate enough for your needs, especially for a reduced course match.

October 4, 2005, 09:21 PM
You can get some excellent accuracy out of a 16" barrell and certainly enough to make you competitive at the average shoot on a 100 yd range.

that depends on the 'average' shooters at these matches. my club has about 35 shooters every year (6 month league). we have one master (94%), four experts (89%), nine sharpshooters (84%) and 21 marksmen (under 84%)...

on a 40 round match, with a possible score of 400-40X, an expert score is 356. thats harder to achieve than you think. i dont want to dampen your spirits but while a 16" rifle may be accurate enough to shoot well, it will be counter productive to scoring well in HiPo...

the 10 ring on the SR-21 (300/100 reduced) is 2-1/8" in diameter. its 1-3/4" on the 600/100 reduced (MR-31). it will be difficult to hold that tight with a carbine...

if youre set on a carbine, get one with a fixed A2 length stock, add a good 2 stage trigger (the RRA NM trigger is the best buy on the market) and then buy or build a 2nd upper for HiPo. you really need good sights and a float tube under the handguards. they do not make them for carbines unless you are in a very informal match that would allow you to use an external float tube/handguard...

consider that most Service Rifles (ARs set up for the NRA/CMP matches) weigh in around 12-15 pounds. ive seen them upwards of 17 pounds. this weight is very helpful in offhand and in position. a carbine cant be made this heavy and if you did, it would be counter to the whole reason you went with a carbine...

if youre just in it for fun, then it will be fine. if you want to be competitive you really need a more dedicated rifle...

ive cleaned the 300 rapids target 1 time. a buddy of mine is a master shooter and has cleaned each stage at one time or another but hes shooting a match prepped rifle and about 12-16 matches a year...

check with National Match (http://www.nationalmatch.us) for more details on setting up for HiPo...


October 4, 2005, 11:41 PM
Does 4" matter in this kind of thing?

I will note that the IDF considers the heavy-barreled M4 a Designated Marksman rifle - if that helps anybody.

October 5, 2005, 01:25 PM
I will note that the IDF considers the heavy-barreled M4 a Designated Marksman rifle

your not in Israel anymore Toto...

im not saying you cant shoot it, heck ive shot an M1 Carbine because i wanted to do it for fun, but what im saying is that youre going to be handicapping youreself (or he will be handicapping HIMself) by not going with a standard, dedicated upper for that particular style of shooting...

when the wind is blowing and his hits are just out of the 10 ring at 3 O'clock, whats a standard rear sight going to do if he puts one click of wind on? hes going to be further out at 9 O'clock because the sights are generally NOT repeatable at 1 MOA...

also the shorter sight radius will begin to play havoc as well...


October 6, 2005, 08:48 PM
Guys, your input has been insanely helpful. I think that if I am going to get a proper length rifle for High Power. I am going to post a new topic with a few questions about what I am looking at. Your advice here has been key and much appreciated.