View Full Version : Camp Perry National Matches lessons learned

Citizen Carrier
August 10, 2009, 12:53 PM
Just a few things I learned this time around while shooting the CMP Games events and the M1A Match.

Never wear shorts to a high power match. Yeah, it's hot outside, but that ejected brass from your neighbor's rifle is much hotter. Try finding natural point of aim with that lying on the back of your knee.

Never wait until your prep time to start figuring out the sling adjustment on a leather M1907 type sling. Have that figured out and marked before you arrive at the match. Or better yet...

The USGI web sling is better than the leather M1907 sling. No, it doesn't look as nice or classy, but it's just better. Not the least because a new web sling costs about $12 and a decent leather sling starts out around $50 and moves up from there.

The Army-issue wet weather poncho is not enough rain gear. Your lower legs, shoes, and socks will still get soaked.

The NRA rule book was changed to eliminate the need to start from standing to get into the prone or seated for rapid fire. You just start out seated or prone and start shooting when your targets appear. I think this is genius. Now if only the CMP rules would follow suit...

The Springfield M1903/1903A3 "c-stock" is better than the "s-stock", or scant stock, for target shooting.

Don't go back to do pit service without your hearing protection! Hey, bring a folding chair or stool with you too. Only one of you can fit on that tiny bench, realistically.

If you've gained weight, seated rapid fire is no longer the friend it was when you were 30 pounds lighter and 15 years younger.

August 12, 2009, 01:26 AM
I think that the leather sling is better than the web sling, but as you say you have to have it marked before you get to the range.

I think that the best slings are the synthytic slings. And the new slings by Jim Owens are the best. They are set up differently and don't strech or pull apart during a long string of fire.

Ken O
August 12, 2009, 08:55 PM
On the slings, I use them all, but I always use the web for off-hand. Then, switch to the biothane or leather, or maybe stay with the web. They all work just fine.

The web sling can be marked also, get into the sitting position and where the end brass piece lays against the inside web draw a line with a magic marker. Do the same in prone. Then write a "S" and a "P" above or below the line. This will get you real close and you can fine tune from there.

August 13, 2009, 01:03 AM
I totally agree with the web sling for standing. All it is doing is meeting the requirment to have a sling on the rifle.

I like the web sling because it goes on and comes off quickly. I use the Jim Owen rigged sling which works great for shooting but you can't carry your rifle with it.

August 14, 2009, 02:54 PM
You mentioned rain gear, but missed one very important point.

Always cover your gear on the line when you go to the pits. And always take your rain gear with you to the pits.

The weather rolls over the Great Lakes faster than a train. You can leave for the pits in bright sunny weather, and 20 minutes later it is blowing a gale. And raining for an hour. And they won't let you out of the pits.

I use a Turner Sling. The holes in the sling are numbered. I write them down in my data book. Like 10 for sitting and 12 for prone slow fire. I will set my sling up on the ready line along with my elevation.

I preferred starting the rapid fire sequences from standing. It is good practice to learn how to quickly assume a solid shooting position.

Citizen Carrier
August 14, 2009, 03:35 PM
I've not cared for standing to prone or seated as I've never been able to quickly establish NPA that way and end up trying to muscle the sights back to the six o'clock.

Wouldn't be a problem if I had more time to practice, but the first and only matches I even fired this year were the ones at Perry.

August 16, 2009, 12:23 PM
I agree that it is good to learn how to rapidly get into a sitting or prone position from standing. To make it more realistic though it would have been appropriate to start with your feet at least 6 inches apart. I never could get use to standing up with my ankles crossed. And then standing there with my ankles crossed while the match director was trying to get through the range commands.

Citizen Carrier
August 16, 2009, 01:31 PM
A couple of people jumped on me over on the Nation Match forums when I wrote in favor of getting rid of the standing to rapid rule in NRA matches.

I suppose I'm approaching the matter from the standpoint of a bullseye pistol shooter.

I started shooting high power back in the late 1990s with reduced range matches in Kansas while I was stationed out there. All told, I probably shot 5 or six matches. Then a long, long break until about 3 years ago.

But three years ago I discovered I could shoot in local pistol matches multiple times a week if I wanted. With National Guard duty eating up at least one weekend every month, rifle shooting just took a backseat.

In bullseye pistol, there just is nothing equivalent to the "standing to rapid" rule. The buzzer goes off, the targets turn, you shoot. Slow, timed, or rapid, nothing changes. I do not have to lie flat on the ground and then assume a standing, one-hand hold pistol shooting stance in timed or rapid.

So in that light, I looked at getting rid of the standing rule as no big deal.

Apparently, some of the Old Guard thinks differently:D

August 16, 2009, 04:01 PM
I notice your quote about getting away from the bench. A problem we have here is getting enough people to shoot highpower. It seems that more people always want to shoot in benchrest matches. We shoot one of each weekly.

And we havn't had enough peope to shoot a HP Rifle Silhouette match in a couple of years.

August 16, 2009, 04:52 PM
The price of equipment has gone up so much on HP that it doesn't make any sense. Younger shooters coming in to shooting sports want equipment that is not reconditioned 60 year old rifles. Or shooting with open sights, us older shooters have trouble getting around or with our eyes. You could buy a M-14, but for $2,000 you can make a really nice BR rifle with a good scope.

August 16, 2009, 07:06 PM
As one of the old guard the new rules about rapid fire procedures have change the complexion of the sport. Standing to position added to the challenge. A good score only came from hard work and concentration. Well, the rules are the rules so we'll live with them what ever they are.
I favor the leather sling. It takes a little to master but makes for a very stable position. One item that seems to have lost favor is the Score & Data Book. Kept like a diary it can be another learning tool.

Citizen Carrier
August 17, 2009, 07:56 AM
I don't keep a score and data book and have only seen one being used on the firing line maybe twice.

I should've picked up one of the "Connecticut Junior Shooters" data books they were selling for $5 as a fundraiser in some of the shops on commercial row. It seems like a good idea.

I've commented before in other places that Highpower seems to have a lot of older people and retirees in it because those are just about the only people who can afford all this gear.

August 17, 2009, 04:15 PM
I've commented before in other places that Highpower seems to have a lot of older people and retirees in it because those are just about the only people who can afford all this gear.

Nope, it is just because HP is getting old.

I saw lots of juniors at small bore, with Dad and Mom behind the firing line, and I see younger folks at F Class.

August 17, 2009, 06:29 PM
I don't keep a score and data book and have only seen one being used on the firing line maybe twice.

I should've picked up one of the "Connecticut Junior Shooters" data books they were selling for $5 as a fundraiser in some of the shops on commercial row. It seems like a good idea.

I think it helps keep your head in the game, segregates zeroes for different loads and provides a picture of a developing slow fire group. The correction grids and wind charts are invaluable. How many minutes from wide nine to center X? It's in the book. Plus it creates a history of your shooting.

Ken O
August 18, 2009, 09:26 PM
Citizen, the standing to sitting/prone reasons are cover by the post above. Since you shoot Bullseye I can give you an example to relate to....

A few years ago on one of these forums, a couple newer shooters were getting into Bullseye pistol and thought the one hand shooting should be changed to two hands. They gave a lot of the same reasons you did, its a lot easier to hold steady, more guys would get into it since one hand is so hard, and its not "real world" because no one hunts or shoots with one hand. I argued that it was a competition and should stay one hand for the same reasons...its harder. The arguments raged for quite a while, the "old guard" wanted it to stay the same, and the newer shooters would like it changed.

I'm guessing if they stayed with it, they wouldn't want it made easier now. It takes a lot of practice to reduce the wobble and execute the shot within the 10 ring. Same with standing to sitting, it takes practice to get back into the NPA after breaking position after prep.

The top shooters will still shoot the best score no matter where you start, its the newer guys that it will make the difference until they get the experience.

A couple years ago the NRA made staying in position for age 60 and older leagle. I saw no problem with that, these guys have probably shot for many years so it wasn't really an advantage, it just kept them in the game longer. I was eligiable, but I never did stay in position because I don't have the health probems most my age do. I did do it this year when the rule was changed again to include everyone.

Citizen Carrier
August 19, 2009, 08:05 AM
Yes, that is a good parallel.

After a few seasons of bullseye pistol, I came to think that my most accurate shots would from that point on be made with only the one hand.

I would not fight with a pistol that way, as two hands would allow me to shift to different aim points faster and "tighter", but the single, well-aimed, accurate shot for me comes with just using one hand at this point.