View Full Version : new guy here!

December 12, 2005, 12:26 AM
Hello everyone - I finally got everything going now, so I can post and stop lurking.....

I have read through many archives and forums, and am trying to answer a question about NRA service competitions.

I do not want to start WW-III, but here she goes. I am quite fond of the M1A, but there seems to be a lot of grumbling about the upkeep and tuning required by this gun to be competitive. Would I be better off with a RRA NM/ Bushy DCM type lower and a White Oak CMP upper?

I am not against the AR's. I used to own one back in the 80's. paid about 400 for a Colt AR. It was a nice shooter, but I "had" to have a .44 mag, so I traded it at a gun show for a $450 ruger super redhawk. I miss that AR a lot! And it was a base model, no frills and uper and lower sections fit real loose.

Anyway, I do not have a problem with paying the premium for a match / super match grade M1A, but it seems that the AR's dominate the field.

If I shoot a 1A, will I be ranked amongst other 1A'ers, or will all the 18lb AR's shot not even seated in the shoulder pocket with the charging lever on the nose just eat my lunch?

I want to get in to this for fun, and if I am just going to just be using a rifle that is not up to the high tech new equipement, I think I would get frustrated and end up not active.

Comments please???!!

Tim R
December 12, 2005, 12:54 PM
It depends on the shooter. A few guys are still be competitive with a M-1A. I believe a guy should learn to shoot a 30 cal as they will build solid positions. After the positions are built, moving to a AR is easy and somebody will kick some booty. You do shoot against what ever is brought out. A service rifle is a service rifle.

On the other hand, the AR is about 1/2 the money to shoot, no recoil and most should make it to Expert in short order. Seems to me though most of those who started with the AR hit a wall at Expert as they never learned how to be a hard holder.

I started back in 1986 and shot for the Navy with an M-14. Went to Perry in 1990. After I left that command, I no longer had support and stopped shooting. 12 years later I had some extra money and decided to get back into it. M-1A's don't come cheap. And for that reason, I had a M-1 built in 308. I used Roland Beaver and had him build a heavy barrel/heavy stock M-1. I used an old DCM M-1 I bought for $167.00. (correct postwar Springfield dammit, I should have known and it took Roland 16 mos.) I still spent the same money if not more than a good top shelf AR. After shooting the M-1 for 2 seasons, I went to an AR. I've won 5 or 6 matches and have been in the money for most of the other 14 matches I shot last season.

I like you did some checking. I decided to have WOP build my upper, pinned sights with a 6 1/2 to 1 NorPac barrel, flash hider and bayonet lug. I got the tight twist just in case I wanted to shoot 90 gr. bullets at a 1000. The barrel shoots 69 to 80 gr. SMK's very well. I shot 55 gr. FMJ's a few times with no problem and they shot well. I haven't tried any less than that.

I got a RRA NM lower and had the RRA 2 stage trigger tuned by John at WOP. I could not be more happy with this rifle. The thing flat shoots. Some shooting buddies have had some good luck shooting RRA's Nm rifles off the shelf. One made expert, the other master in 2 years after starting with nothing.

Just for fun my buddies decided to have a wood gun (M-1) match at a 100 yards on reduced targets 1 time last year. I had no problem putting them in their place with my CMP '06 M-1 as they were not use to the recoil.

Just some food for thought.

December 12, 2005, 01:16 PM
What Tim R said!

No better set up than a WOP upper.

Ken O
December 12, 2005, 10:45 PM
I have the same AR setup as Tim does, and yes you will be more competitive right off with the AR.
The M1/M1a does make any weak spots in your position show right up.
My club has weekly XTC club matches and monthly NRA Regionals, and also weekly Garand/Springfield matches. The Garand/Spring matches really helped my rapid sitting, you have to be real solid to deal with the recoil.
I shoot both rifle matches every week during the summer, and enjoy them both.
Also the AR cost about half as much to shoot... half the powder, bullets are much cheaper, brass is cheaper and I get about a dozen reloads out of them compared to about five or so for the '06.
If you pick up a RRA lower, you can pull the trigger and send it to WOP and for about 25 bucks he tunes them, order a WOP or WOA upper to put on it and it would be hard to do any better at a very low cost, way less than a M1a.

December 14, 2005, 10:11 PM
First I have ALOT of respect for the AR, it is the dominate rifle on the firing line. That said, I shoot an SA M1A "loaded" in competition. Mainly because I LIKE it. I'm not that great of a shot but the rifle is going in for the full NM treatment in a few weeks.

seems to be a lot of grumbling about the upkeep and tuning required by this gun to be competitive.

I think once the rifle is in competition trim it doesnt take alot to keep it there.

I believe a guy should learn to shoot a 30 cal as they will build solid positions.

You will most certainly find the weak spots in your position. I do fairly well in offhand and sitting but my prone still SUCKS, havent found what I'm doing wrong yet. I very much agree that learning to shoot the .30 cal will probably make you an EXCELLENT AR shooter.

AR cost about half as much to shoot...

Very true. Last box of 500 168 SMK... $102... Brass is done after 5 firings. Twice the powder.

I have always loved the M14/M1A rifles and will probably continue to shoot them. Wont swear that I would NEVER go to an AR, but no time soon.

Tim R
December 15, 2005, 05:37 AM
I always enjoyed shooting M-14's and then later my 308 M-1. Have you tried "Firm Grip" yet? Messy icky stuff that will glue you down. Wipes off the rifle with Furniture polish. I sprayed it on the rifle butt for offhand, on my knees for sitting and for prone I hit the spots were the elbows go.

The AR is soooo much easier to keep control of. I use the charge handle for a nose stop, try that with your 30 with your thumb across the back of the reciever.

December 15, 2005, 02:15 PM
On the other hand, the AR is about 1/2 the money to shoot, no recoil and most should make it to Expert in short order. Seems to me though most of those who started with the AR hit a wall at Expert as they never learned how to be a hard holder.

I think everyone runs into that, but I agree that if you've shot the bigger rifles, you'll be better equipped to push past it.

The AR is going to be easier to shoot in the rapid stages for a beginner. Either rifle can clean any target on the course, but it'll take more work to make that happen with an M1A.


December 15, 2005, 10:40 PM
thanks gang!

Damn this is gonna be fun! I shot sporting clays and skeet for years, but eventually got turned off at the competition level.(winchester pigeon grade and Citori with Briley custom chokes - I lived in houston!)

Most shotgunners seemed to be a bit too eliteist. Holier than thau, and driving away in their mercedes with their with their purdey or H&H.....I am not that type. I enjoy playing with load charges with my other guns, and getting into the physics and mechanics - (.270, .458, etc. I have 16 right now.) You guys, and others really sound like good down to earth people willing to help a newbie.... well an over 40 newb!

Thanks again - - - Planing this out, deciding on the platform might be half the fun. Perhaps a weighted RRA/WOA AR for competition, and an M1 Garand or M1A lower quality grade for practice and form/ foundation work......

Back to my shotgun news.

December 24, 2005, 06:31 PM
Buy the ar15 and do not look back. Your skills will advance faster with it.
It is a different animal than the M1A and takes a slightly different hold for most positions. Do not confuse yourself or get any bad habits. Now does the above average expert that used to shoot a M1A. Is he better after he changed over to a AR15. I would say he should see big improvements.
Why go a couple of years of struggling when if you practice you may make master in under 3 years with the ar instead of 3 years to make expert.

Here is a example of what you may see. A person who has not shot a M1A in matches will struggle using one for the first time after using a ar15 for his service rifle shooting. Now you take the M1A shooter and he will not lose much switching over to a ar15.
I used the M1A for around 10 years back in the 80's and like 1991. Got back into service rifle back in the fall of 01 and shot my first match in jan 02. Then in oct of 04 I shot a friends M1a in a 30 cal state championship match and still managed to shoot a master score XTC with it. It felt good to shoot it but it also felt really wierd also. Nice to pick up a rifle after like 11 years and shoot a master score.

Buy the ar15.
John at white oak is a good guy to deal with but you will not lose much with the rra's

Tim R
December 26, 2005, 08:15 AM
Shrike, You are right about High Power shooters being more the friendly type. This is one reason why I like it so well. Any High Power shooter worth his salt is always going to help out the best he can if it be the loan of equipment or giving pointers.

I know I cost a husband a few $ as his wife got a WOP upper and a RRA lower with a WOP tuned RRA trigger for Christmas. And no, it wasn't for him......she shoots better than he does.

My favorite match's are held at a 100 yard range on reduced targets about 40 minutes away. The match director has some 4-H kids come in and fire up the BBQ'er. We have lunch between the Service rifle match and and the Hunting rifle match. $5.00 will get you a double cheese burger with all the fix'ins, a bag of chips and a drink. It's like a big family and loads of fun. The 4-H kids are small bore shooters and they make a few $ for their fund.

This year some buddies and I are still going to attend those matches and cut off some others so we can make sure we hit all the full range matches we can. It will mean more driving around the State but we are thinking we should start working hard now for a trip to Perry in 07.

December 26, 2005, 09:15 AM
Shrike What state are you in? Remember buy once cry once. If you know you are going to stay in this sport buy the best when ever you can.

You will meet some of the nicest folks you will ever meet. 90% of them will help you anyway they can. Even most of the big names in this sport are some of the nicest folks you would want to meet.

Tim if you have never been to Perry do not wait till 07 but go in 06. If you have been before you know how it is.

Tim R
December 27, 2005, 06:00 PM
Tim if you have never been to Perry do not wait till 07 but go in 06. If you have been before you know how it is.

I went to Perry in 90 with the Navy. I would love to go in 06 but I have other things planned with the family during that period of time.

December 28, 2005, 11:03 PM
I know I cost a husband a few $ as his wife got a WOP upper and a RRA lower with a WOP tuned RRA trigger for Christmas. And no, it wasn't for him......she shoots better than he does.

and that is why MY wife will stay at home!:D First handgun she ever shot was my 9mm, and she shot circles around me! And I grew up surrounded with guns on a farm, and was expert in Army M-16 and small bore!

Anyway, perhaps it would be a good thing to get my wife involved too and help eliminate AIDS - Arms induced divorce syndrome! That and my 10 year old son and 8 year old daughter are really getting in to my collection, albeit locked up in a safe - 16 total guns from .22 to .458 win mag, handguns 9mm to .44 mag and shotguns.

I think this would be a great atmosphere for him to grow up through his teen ages - something fun and challenging, drug and alcohol free (at least no adult beverages during the shooting!) and dozens of mentors for a young kid.

They both got a kick of shooting my dad's old winchester 69a he got for his 12th birthday. now it is mine. (you might be able to guess my age now!) at 50 yards, my son was 3x and daughter 2x! this with .22 shorts, open iron sights, and again a gun that was made in 1930's! (ok, out of a box of 50 rounds!)

Thanks again gang - On a serious note, my greatest concerns are:

1) I want to commit myself to this before buying anything, I do not need another gun that will just add to my collection. If I wanted to do that I would be shopping for a S&W 500.

2) I want to only pay once - not pay twice for the gun (ie, buy a gun, then pay the price over again for needed improvements) and

3) I fear that this may be like a pro bowler's tour. that is to say, (ps, I am not a bowler!) it seems that the matches are won based on who missed the one "x", as in pro bowling - the one person who does not get a strike looses. Am I way off base here?

If I go in, I will probably get a RRA NM A-2 out of the box with rear and front weights, leather sling, and maybe upgrade the trigger to a Geissele "Guys-lee?" for the first year or so, then get a WOA upper.

I really wanted a .30 as in an M1A, but I think this woud just frustrate me, as others wouls be taking the top slots with their AR's, and I know the M-16/ AR inside and out, again from my early 20's and then later owning a colt smooth sided A2.


BTW - I am in Rockwall, Texas, and considering joining Terrell gun club.

Tim R
December 29, 2005, 10:30 AM
If I go in, I will probably get a RRA NM A-2 out of the box with rear and front weights, leather sling, and maybe upgrade the trigger to a Geissele "Guys-lee?" for the first year or so, then get a WOA upper.

That rifle is a good choice by the way. A friend of mine made it to Master in a couple of years with his. Another should be hitting Master this year with his RRA NM. RRA and WOA both use Wilson barrels. You can get different barrels by S/O from WOA. WOA and WOP are owned by the same guy, John BTW.

As for the trigger, you will have the RRA NM 2 stage coming with the rifle. Send it to John at WOP with a note saying what you want and $35.00. He will use $5.00 of your $35.00 to ship it back to you. People can spend lots of $ for a trigger that won't work as well as the WOP tuned RRA.

BUT.......if you have a friendly FFL who isn't trying to make the rent on every gun sale, the FFL is able to get the WOP upper for about $50.00 cheaper than you can by ordering it your self. The FFL can then order the RRA NM lower. I got my RRA lower for $280.00. Plus you save a few $ in taxes because you are not buying a complete firearm.

I got the WOP pinned rear 1/4 MOA sights, a NorPac 6 1/2 to 1 twist barrel that just flat plain %^$#*&! shoots any thing from 55's to 80's. I added the RRA NM lower. Best $ I've spent on the sport so far. I also got the Bayo lug and flash hider as well because I could, post post ban you know. It was a simple deal, 2 push pins and there you have it.

For more info try www.highpowerforum.com the site is a little slow right now but I'm sure you will find any info you are looking for there.

And 1 more thing. I would give a left twin if my wife would come out and join the fun. She sits at home and complains about me buying bullets and powder all the time. She should be glad I'm not shooting a 30 cal any more. 14 matches this year might have had something to do with it though.

December 29, 2005, 03:33 PM
Go to this site and ask any questions you may have on highpower in Texas. http://forums.delphiforums.com/texashighpower

They should let you know where you can shoot to where the best deals are from scopes to rifles.
Tim is pretty correct on the WOA tiggers. RRA's make a good product you can use till you get everything else you need. Remember if you buy the upper from rock river and the lower also they will not warrenty it as a complete rifle and if you buy them seperately you might get a loose fit as they do not fit them like you would a matched setup. Most of the time its tight but not always. If you can not get a deal from someone on one I would just get the best WOA has and buy the rra's lower match and you will be close to what the list is anyway on the RRA.

You may think about getting your kids into 4H as they have great small bore shooting and matches for the young ones. It better than kicking a little white ball around.

before you buy just ask for the info on where to get things as the highpower guys try to get the best deals when possible. We even go in for large buys of powder and bullets most of the time. REally cuts the cost down.

Like the pro bowlers tour? Well very seldom do you see the final score determined by X's. With 500 to 800 points up for grab in most every match its usually decided by a few points. The only match I had decided for me by X's in 2005 was the last match and I lost. We had heavy wind most of the time with rain mixed in. I shot a 192 of and he shot a 193 in off hand, Sitting he won also but I got a few back at 300 yards in the rapid prone. I had a so-so 600 yard score of 194 (darn 7) with we ended up tied with a 775 but he out X'ed me by like 3 X's. But two guys behind us were in the mid 760's and the rest of the pack were like 740's and below.
That is typical of the way the matches go without the tie breaker. You will see it more in the stages wher a few folks will have the same score which will be common and only a few times a year can not be broken by X'.
Please do not get discouraged by some of the scores the better shooters have but think about a few years of practice and many matches and you can shoot those scores also.
You will only compete with folks that are close to the same skills as there are classifications for how you shoot. A typical match will have a overall winner and classification winners.
The only time you will not see that is a very small match or a CMP/EIC match were everyone is equal in their eyes.

Good luck

December 29, 2005, 03:44 PM
Wow! Thanks I have not seen those photo's in a few years. The service rifle one's of the guy in the blue jacket was my room mate a few years ago. I took those photo's on my back deck of my house here in the Springs. He is in North Carolina now.


Tim R
December 29, 2005, 06:45 PM
Well then, My hat is off to you for some fine and helpful photo's. Springs eh, I grew up in Denver when there was lots of open space between the two.

December 30, 2005, 03:33 PM
Take a look at the CMP website and they'll have a list of prior winners going back into the 60's. You'll notice that there is not one single instance where someone has shot a perfect score. X's are nice, but at the end of the day, the guy who's shot the fewest 9's is the one who wins.