View Full Version : Rifle competitions and what to look for when choosing a rifle

June 3, 2013, 10:32 PM
Currently, I'm pretty much just a pistol shooter. I have a few .22s that I shoot from time to time, but that is it as far rifles go. I thoroughly enjoy IDPA and IPSC competitions on the weekends, but I do want to eventually expand into doing more rifle shooting.

I don't really have any idea what type of organized rifle competitions exist. There are local ad hoc matches at ranges around here, but is there anything that is common and [inter]national, like IDPA and IPSC are? (Not that they have to be like them in style, just in their widespreadness.) If so, what do I look for in a rifle? Specific calibers? Be sure to get a semi-auto? Depends on what competition I'm after?

I shoot a CZ 75B in IDPA/IPSC, which is decent, but had I known back then that I'd be getting into IDPA and IPSC, I probably would have selected a slightly different CZ. I'm looking to avoid the same situation with a rifle purchase.


Jim Watson
June 3, 2013, 11:14 PM
Three gun competition seems to be gaining in popularity.
There are a variety of events with somewhat different rules but they all reduce to IPSC style run n gun with rifle, pistol, and shotgun.
USPSA Multigun is a standardized system and there are clubs emulating 3-Gun Nation. IDPA Defensive Multigun hasn't amounted to much, the club here has gone to an outlaw match to suit themselves. As have many.

Note that most are THREE gun; you gotta have a shotgun,too.

There is the occasional two gun match or carbine shoot, but nothing standardized I know of.

Don't worry about what is common, national, or international, try what you can get to.

The AR is pretty standard, you see a lot of tricked out rifles. Visit before you buy and talk to some shooters.

Or you could take up something else. The NRA still shoots carefully at bullseyes with a variety of rifles.

June 4, 2013, 01:55 AM
Popular options is 2-gun and 3-gun.

3-Gun is Rifle, pistol, and shotgun. It is further broken down sometimes into Tactical 3-gun, and Multi-gun. I have done 3-Gun (Tactical) which is more offesive/defensive focused and more safety orienty. Meaning you have to use cover during reloads, pie-ing, and each gun is carried separately. You normally switch between rifle and shotgun during the stage (not carrying them together) as your pistol is holstered. For example, you start with your shotgun only, shoot steel targets, and move to another area and dump your shotgun in a bucket, then pickup your rifle on a table. You shoot pistol targets as needed.
I've never tried Multi-gun, but I believe it is more "run-n-gun" style, meaning you don't need to have cover all the time (behind walls that is) and can carry all 3 guns together.

2-Gun is Rifle and pistol only.

For rifle selection, the AR15 is the most common choice. You will want a caliber of 223/5.56 at minimum but can have others like 7.62, 6.8SPC, 300BLK, etc. You will NOT qualify with a 22lr rifle.

You can also use an AK47 if you feel comfortable. One of the guys I ran with used an accurate AK47 w/ optics even during the 150yard targets and he was hitting them accurately.

For a rifle and pistol you will definitely want a semiauto. Shotguns are fine with pump-action, but semiauto is also good if you can afford one.

Good luck with your selection!

June 4, 2013, 07:07 AM
If there's one in your area, rifle silhouette is a fun and challenging game.
And you can use the .22 that you already have to start.
The game is played with different sized steel animal shaped targets, at distances out to 100 meters for .22, and much farther for other calibers.

June 4, 2013, 07:28 AM
OK, I have a starting point and some research tasks now. Thanks y'all!

I generally prefer the IDPA way of doing things over USPSA, meaning having to shoot behind cover, having it be more about skill and practice than cubic dollars thrown into equipment, etc. So, I think I know where I'm pointing.


June 4, 2013, 09:40 AM
Rifle shooting Competition:

High Power Rifle
CMP GSM (Garand, Springfield, Vintage military Rifle matches)
NRA Small Bore
ISU Small Bore (International Shooting Union)
ISU 300 Meter (large bore =/< 8mm)
NRA Light Rifle
CMP Rimfire Sporter.
Silhouette Rifle, (small bore and large bore)
Precision Rifle (want-to-be-sniper rifle)
F Class
Bench Rest

Others that slip my mind right now.

June 4, 2013, 01:50 PM
Airgun Field Target matches.
Unknown distances, up to 50 yds, on small varmint sized steel knock down targets.

June 4, 2013, 07:03 PM
I generally prefer the IDPA way of doing things over USPSA, meaning having to shoot behind cover, having it be more about skill and practice than cubic dollars thrown into equipment, etc.

Maybe see if you can find a rimfire tactical match close by. You've probably already got the rifle. I've never shot it, but I'd love to; looks challenging, affordable and fun.


Look into rimfire steel, too.

Bart B.
June 6, 2013, 05:04 PM
If you get a semiauto service rifle (M1, M1A, AR10) in .308 Win., you'll be able to shoot it in the greatest type and number high power rifle matches:

NRA Match or service rifle, 200-600 yards standing slow fire at 200, sitting at 200 and prone at 300, rapid fire, prone slow fire at 600.

CMP service rifle matches; same as NRA's plus all rapid fire at 600, 500, 300 and 200 yards prone. And earn point to qualify for the Distinguished Rifleman Badge shooting Excellence in Competition matches.

Service or Any rifle/sights, prone slow fire, 600 - 1000 yards.

Palma rifle, 800-1000 yards, all prone slow fire.

F-class, prone with a front rest at 600 to 1000 yards.

3 position free rifle at 300 meters.

While many AR type platforms using the .223 Rem round will also allow this, that cartridge has not performed all that well accuracy wise past 600 yards. The US Army Shooting Team finally gave up on it over a year ago for long range matches past 600 yards.