View Full Version : Match Rifle

April 6, 2010, 05:48 PM
I am looking at the Bushmaster D C M A3. Is there another out of the box rifle to look at.

April 6, 2010, 07:53 PM
White Oak

Tim R
April 6, 2010, 09:47 PM
kraigwy is right. Might also check RRA for an out of the box match AR.

If it were me, I'd get a RRA lower and a upper from WOA or WOP.

April 6, 2010, 10:25 PM
I have experience with only one service rifle - a Colt Match Target bought quite a few years ago now. It has proven very accurate out of the box. Don't know how it stacks up to the others.


Citizen Carrier
April 7, 2010, 05:09 AM
Bushmaster makes a DCM/CMP-legal AR15.

DPMS also makes a match version of their Panther AR15.

But these, and the ones mentioned by others, are not "match" rifles. They are correctly referred to as "service" rifles...even though they have free float handguards and NM sights.

I don't think the DPMS comes with a match trigger though.

And I don't think Darkgael's Colt Match Target comes from the factory with free float handguards.

Mine is a Rock River Arms...

April 7, 2010, 05:59 AM
And I don't think Darkgael's Colt Match Target comes from the factory with free float handguards.

You are correct. It did not come that way. Extra work. Extra money.

April 7, 2010, 01:02 PM
If you are talking about a service rifle for High-power matches, then the number 1 "out of the box" rifle on the firing line is the Rock River NM A2 then Armilite, Bushmaster, DPMS and Colts.

If you are new to the sport, they will all out shoot you for the first few years. The RR is used most because of its triggers and most Bushmasters I have seen have had their triggers replaced.

Most of the big boys over at www.nationalmatch.us are running White Oak uppers with anyone's lower and a Gisele (spelling) trigger.

I hope this helps,

April 11, 2010, 08:40 PM
Last time I knew for sure, the recommended new-rifle set-up was a White Oak Armament (http://www.whiteoakarmament.com/) Service Rifle upper mated to a RRA lower with a tuned 2-stage trigger (formerly the RRA, but I guess the Giessele is the hot one now).

Mine is mostly box-stock Armalite, but with a WOA-chambered 1-7" twist Wilson barrel after I shot out the stock 1-8" twist barrel. Next barrel, it's getting a new free-float tube and possibly some rear sight work. I like the pinned set-up especially. Oh, and maybe a trigger tune-up to make sure it just passes the check weights! :p

Edited: And my experience mirrors Jim's above: I've never met a Bushmaster shooter with the stock trigger in his/her rifle. But I have met a couple who had doubling problems with their brand-new Bushy 2-stage triggers out-of-the-box... :eek:

April 12, 2010, 08:27 AM
The Bushmaster trigger will go South on you within 1000 rounds, you can count on it.

I have 2 RRA NM triggers I bought in 2001 and 2002, and they are both as good as new, with about 8000 on the one and 6000 on the other trigger.

April 12, 2010, 11:39 AM
I have an RRA National Match A4 for shooting Service Rifle. It is legal for Service Rifle matches, has a match trigger, National Match sights, stainless barrel, A4 receiver configuration. And no problem with the trigger yet after 6 years. I strongly recommend it.

FWIW, many AR15s sold as DCM rifles are not match rifles, a few have free-float handguards on them, but they often have rough triggers, military sights and standard barrels. Olymic Arms sells a DCM rifle that is pretty good, good barrel and sights but needs the trigger upgraded, I see them at CMP shoots regularly. Bushmaster DCM rifles have a better trigger but a standard barrel, I have never seen one that shot that great. So make sure you look at them closely to make sure you are getting everything you need.

April 12, 2010, 02:35 PM
then the number 1 "out of the box" rifle on the firing line is the Rock River NM A2 then Armilite, Bushmaster, DPMS and Colts.

By "number 1", do you mean that there are more of that brand on the line or that shooters using the Rock River score better in general than owners of the other brands?


April 13, 2010, 07:34 AM
What I meant was that there are more RR in the line. What kind of scores they are shooting, I have no idea I am just worrying about my next shot.

That is what I love about this sport it is much like golf, you shoot for your personal best each time you shoot.


April 13, 2010, 02:53 PM
To reiterate for clarification, under the competition rules "Match Rifle" refers to optionally accurized bolt guns. This was done after the Springfield '03 service rifle proved not to be on a level playing field with the Garand under service rifle match rules. The bolt guns were easier to make maximally accurate for long range slow fire and harder to operate in rapid fire, so they got their own category. "Service Rifle" refers to an optionally accurized self-loading rifle that has been in military service. When I say "optionally", you don't have to take an accurized one to the match, but are usually at a disadvantage if you don't. The terms I hear most often for Service Rifles that have been fit up for match shooting are Accurized Service Rifle, National Match Service Rifle, and Match-accurized Service Rifle, but it doesn't get called a Match Rifle, as that's the bolt gun category. There are also the separate matches for As-issued military rifles that must not be accurized, like the John C. Garand Match, or the various Vintage Military Rifle matches.

Frank White's trigger is a good one that is (or was; I haven't looked at recent pricing) among the least expensive to drop into the AR.

April 14, 2010, 03:08 PM
I know this is off topic, but....

Service vs. Match rifle in a nut shell

Service rifle
*A rifle that has the outside silhouette of a rifle adopted by the US military
M-16 ~ AR-15 (20' barrel)
M-14 ~ M1A
M1 ~ Garand (same thing)
1903 ~ 1903 a3 works best because of its peep sight
(for some reason, the 1917 are considered "Not Issued")

Match Rifle
*Anything with iron sights (that easy)

My service rifle (next to a air rifle trainer for winter)

My Match Rifle

April 17, 2010, 08:15 PM
I have heard that the only problem with Colt's for service rifle matches is trying to find them and their quality and accuracy are simply as good as any other of equal value. I have a few hundred dollars left to pickup a colt target match stainless from lay away. The post is smaller than I remember and the trigger pull is amazing.

I am considering trading my sons ar15 in on a armalite match as well. I have heard they are as good as you can get for the price out of the box with a two stage trigger.

My questions are:

1) Is there truly any technical information that separates the various manufactures of this rifle platform if equal investments into them or like all other firearms it is truly your own experience and perference? (If I spend 2,000 on a colt or bushm, or rr, or armalite does one truly standout?)

2) Are the findings personal or actual?

3) What is the equipment list needed to perform at a service rifle match?

4) Based on technical data (not personal perference), is there a best avenue to have a capable service rifle?

Tough questions. Thanks for your replies in advance.

Citizen Carrier
April 18, 2010, 09:05 AM
Two years ago a friend of mine asked the Chief Warrant Officer in charge of the ranges at Camp Perry what the most popular model of Service Rifle AR15 was. He said it was the Rock River Arms.

Others might make a better rifle, but that is the one most numerous. At least it was two years ago.

At a minimum, you'll need:

The rifle with adjustable sling. (leather or web...I like web)

At least two serviceable 20 round magazines (straight walled, not curved like a banana)

Suitable ammunition

Eye and ear protection

Shooting mat for prone and seated phases

Chamber block (yellow or orange thingy you put in the chamber when the rifle isn't in its case)

I cannot decide if I consider a spotting scope to be a "minimum" need for a new shooter. If you are shooting 100 yard reduced targets, you'll need it to spot your own shots in slow fire to make adjustments. If you are shooting at 200 and 300 yards shooting full-size targets served by pit crews, you should be able to spot the marker showing where your shot hit and the marker showing the score of your last shot. If you are shooting at 600 yards (which I haven't done yet), I imagine you'd need the scope. A scope on a stand, not a tripod, but I've seen people get by with those too.

I'd say at a minimum, you could get by in matches starting with those things above.

A shooting jacket is nice, but don't let NOT having one keep you from going to a match and shooting. The first match I shot was a Garand match in Kansas and I was just wearing a t-shirt. I wasn't a happy man by the end of that 88 round match, but .223 isn't 30-06 and you can get by with a shirt or two and a sweatshirt.

Oh, and some kinid of wheeled cart to move your gear from the parking lot to the firing line.

But there are plenty of other things you'll determine you'll need as you go along.

April 18, 2010, 10:23 AM
What would you recommend for spotting scopes?

Is there a best cheapest way to get / build a service rifle?

Is there a "best" or at least a safe investment upper for national match service rifle?

Thanks for the input.

Citizen Carrier
April 18, 2010, 11:05 AM
As far as brand names for spotting scopes, you mean?

I would approach it from the standpoint of magnification (which is how I did approach it). I'm using a BSA "Spectre Series" 25-75x70, which I bought last year at Camp Perry on vendor's row. It was about $130 dollars.

You can certainly spend a lot more on a spotting scope...but why? Like I said, this will enable me to see bullet holes if I happen to shoot a 100 yard reduced course of fire, or my marked hits and scores at 600 yards. At 200 and 300 yards I can easily see my last marked shot and score with my eyes alone.

Keep in mind, you'll need more than just a scope. You'll need a stand and a head for the scope.

Like these:



(I prefer the saddle head)

A best, cheapest way to buy or build a service rifle? I assume we are talking about AR15s only.

Like any gun, the best and cheapest way is to find somebody who is selling one who needs cash in a hurry. DCM-legal service rifles are kind of a rare niche, so you'll need to routinely patrol auction type websites like gunbroker, auctionarms and gunsamerica. And find all the Highpower related forums online you can and both look for rifles for sale there AND advertise that you want to buy one. And check with local Highpower shooters at matches.

As far as building one...you'd have to be pretty confident in your ability to put together an AR15 with free float handguards, national match front and rear sights, a match barrel (1:8,1:7.7, or 1:7 rate of twist) and match trigger. I wouldn't be.

Then there's buying one new.

As far as I know, the DPMS "Panther" DCM/CMP-legal AR15 is the least expensive of the service rifles. The rear sight is National Match, but isn't hooded, and it has a standard trigger rather than a match trigger.


Next up in price is probably Bushmaster's entry:


Then Rock River, then the Armalite entries, the Fulton Armory ones, and these White Oaks things everyone keeps talking about as likely the best.

I've been told the U.S. Army team conducted a study and found that AR15s without the flash hider tended to be more accurate than those that have them. My RRA doesn't have a flash hider.

Any of those "uppers", if bought seperately, would constitute a safe investment if you wanted to go that route.

April 19, 2010, 07:36 AM
May have more questions later. You provided great feedback. It really is exciting to get back in competive shooting. I only shot in a Navy national match and although I was asked to advance to west verse east my command said they were unable to let me go.:(

I am planning to start shooting in Hoover with my son in the next few months, I've heard they have excellent ranges.

He asked about single action competion (bolt). Any suggestions about starting this type of competing like prefered rifles, expense, key add-ons?

And again thank you so much!!!!!!

June 14, 2010, 06:51 PM
"Bushmaster DCM rifles have a better trigger but a standard barrel, I have never seen one that shot that great."

Wrong there, Sir.

The DCM Bushmaster has a heavy non chrome match barrel that is very good. They shoot as well as anything else.

The Bushmaster match trigger is junk. That is their only problem.

June 14, 2010, 10:10 PM
Ref: Spotting Scopes, yes they are necessary and critical. I would recommend 20-24 power. Anymore and mirage washes out the target, any less you cant see your bullet holes at 200-300 yards. I mean your bullet holes not the spotters the pit crew put in the target.

Many shooters fire the first two rounds during rapid fire, then, uses the scope to see if there are any last sec, corrections needed, while loading your second mag.

Like I said, 20-24 power. When I was coaching we had a 100 MM team scope. I threw away the 30 X eye piece to keep people from putting it in the scope. I stuck with the 20X.

But yes, the spotting scope is a critical piece of equipment. You deffently need one for reading mirage at 600 & 1000. I dont see how you can get by without one.

June 15, 2010, 02:39 PM
He is 100% correct. 20-25 power is perfect. Less and you can't see your bullet holes and more, unless you have a really high dollar scope and sometimes even then,the mirage gets so bad you can't see anything.

Now for a good scope that will not cost you a small fortune I reccomend the Konus 20-60-80mm or the 100mm.

The first time I saw a Konus it was right beside a $800 Kowa on the 600 yard line at a HP match.

I checked out the 600 yard targets with them both and I could bearly see any difference that would make me want to pay so much more for the Kowa.