What Off Season? First Matches of 2017

This year I’ve been telling myself “there is no off-season.” Last year at this time I was shaking down my new rifle and trying to remember the things I learned in 2015.

This year I’ve been attending my clubs indoor rimfire league, pulling the team score down shooting kneeling on my feet.  

This month, I found a bit of time to attend some walk and paste matches to get my fix of high power.

 

The first of which being a 500 agg at New Holland where, after borrowing some ammo from the club (long story), both my shooting buddy and I posted our first High Master Scores! I came in 3rd for service rifle with a 485-14 in a three-way X count tiebreaker. Lots of good scores that day and a record turn out for the club.

The next weekend we headed out to Langhorne for their “outlaw” walk and paste. Another 500 agg in NRA format, I couldn’t top my 485 from the weekend before, but I was able to post a 481 which I am plenty happy with. I’m felling a little more confident in slow fire, posting a 91 and 198 on both ends. All of my off-hand shots went where I called them and the 9s slow prone were shot 1 and 2 where I knobbed my way right past the X. I cleaned the second string.


I have a lot of XTC scheduled for May and lots to do before then. Including squaring up my zeroes on my new scope and piles of brass to load!

CMP 2017 Rules: Want to start shooting EIC? Buy a new rifle. 

The new rules are up for EIC for 2017. 

Read them here: http://thecmp.org/wp-content/uploads/Rulebook.pdf?ver=01042017

Of note CMP describes the new classifications and match rifles, presumably a shot across the bow of the NRA after their last minute location change of the NRA championships.

Personally, I’m disappointed to see further restrictions placed on handguards. It seems now only quad rails or traditional A2 tubes will be permitted for service rifle.

 Under the old rules it was convenient to invite new shooters to EIC matches where they could “run what they  have” with minimal modifications and cost, A2 grip and a 4x.  It was win win, as they got to try out their gear to see how it held up to XTC and it helped get new people involved in the sport. 

This all might seem trivial however in the “AR community” quad rails are fairly uncommon these days, modular free floats such and Mlok and Keymod are all the rage. 

Under the new rules new shooters will need to find a quad rail or A2 tube, borrow a rifle, build an A4 or shoot out of competition.  Because XTC wasn’t already intimidating enough?

Good news, the A1/A2 grip rule hasn’t changed. So my sticker is still relavent.
http://garandthumb.com/store/service-rifle-rules-compliance-device-keepin-it-cmp-legal-sticker/

Leg Points at New Holland!

New Holland typically runs a generally well attended CMP EIC Match in April, but this year the weather just wouldn’t cooperate. Heavy rain the first try and then snow on the rain day cancelled the match twice! But  finally in July the weather worked out.

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While I still consider Kimberton my “home club” I am a member of New Holland Rifle and Pistol and spend a fair bit of time there practicing.

It was hot and humid again, but slightly cooler than it had been during the week.

There was a “P100” format match first to help everyone verify their zeros and get those 7s out of their system. Boy did I have some 7s to get out. I opened with my worst off-hand ever with the A4. Not one but two 7s and a few 8s to boot to total a gross 82. I mostly blame trying to work with a bad patch of ground fighting a downward slope.

The rest of the P100 went better. I made a nice group rapid prone at 300 and noted its poor placement in the 9 ring, which I corrected for the next match. Out back at 600 I posted a 96. My 600 come ups were predictable as I have spent plenty of time on that back berm practicing and my Leupold tracked right to where it should.


After turning in our score cards and grabbing a cold drink from the truck it was back to 200 to do it again for a 50 round CMP national match course, this time for points.

Remembering my struggle with slope I found a better piece of dirt to make my stand this time and posted a 93 off-hand! I got a little frustrated circling the 10 but I kept them in the black.

CMP rules require firing sitting from standing which can be its own special challenge. I borrowed a trick I learned from the Internet and parked my shooting cart behind me which I use to help me stand up in a less dramatic fashion. These methods helped me keep both feet in the same spot. When I was a bit larger, I was only keeping my right foot in the same place which made re-locating my NPA a challenge. I managed to keep most of the shots in the middle and posted a 97 in sitting.

Back to 300 for rapid prone I posted another 97, this one I worked a little harder for with an 8 low right, my “go to” spot if I goof up my breathing.
Spent some time in the pits after 300 nervously looking over my data book and feeling out where others stood.

Kirby says “way to go”

Back at 600 my wind call and elevation were right on and first shot was a 10. I wasn’t super happy with my position but assumed I could make it work. Turns out I was wrong, and pulled a 6:00 seven. I started seeing flashes of screwing up my nice short line scores with a hot mess out back. I took a minute to reset and worked my way back into the 10 where I stayed for all but two rounds for the rest of the string.

Out Back

Posted a 479 in the end. I knew there was a 480 to beat, and 3 legs to give out. So, I was nervous as the match director added up the final results. I managed to come in second for my first points since Small Arms Firing School at Perry in 2015, just less than one year since my first Across the Course match!

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My shooting buddy managed to take the last leg, which we like to call “the foot” so “GTB shooting team” had a good day!

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Win at York Riflemen

I had a long weekend of shooting on the books but the weather did not cooperate. The EIC and the 3×600 matches at New Holland  were canceled and so was the walk and paste at Kimberton.  The show still goes on at York Riflemen, so I hauled across the River for their 800 agg.

gunsup

It was overcast with a bit of fog but the rain stayed light.  There were two relays so we scored in the pits. I was up first.

I have been shooting fast in off-hand lately and its been working for me. I shot 22 rounds off-hand in around 12 minutes and posted a 185. A seven I did not call surprised me a bit, in reviewing the video i should keep an eye on my follow though.

Rapids went well. I shot fast again in sitting, on purpose. I’ve been trying to strike a balance between pacing fast enough to have enough time to establish NPA after dropping into position for CMP matches, and not spraying all the rings of the target with wild shots.

Sitting

I took my time in rapid prone and made a pretty nice group. A little to the right next time.


Slow prone went well enough that I was surprised to learn turn I came in first! This means a fair bit to me as I’ve been shooting a couple times a year at York for a few years now, I have learned a lot from the shooters there.

With some luck this might be the score I needed to get a new classification card. We will see what the NRA has to say in a couple of weeks!

Quick AAR: First Across The Course Match With Optics

  Took my shiny new, optics equipped service rifle down to Quantico for fleet week to give it a work out.

Some quick observations. I am using the VXR 1-4 with a SPR-G reticle.

1. My zeros were 100% and my windage changes went where I expected.

2. The back berm is where it mattered the most. Today was just me vs the wind. As opposed to me vs my eyes. When the math was right the shot went where it should. Best of all after the string my eyes didn’t hurt.

2. I like the dot. There has been a lot of speculation on the right reticle. At least for me it doesn’t seem to matter. I put the green dot in the middle of the black dot and squeaze.

3. Hold off. There was some crazy shifting wind at 600 today. I was able to hold off when I could see the conditions changing.  In theory this can be done with irons but it seemed much simpler to me with optics. With the light conditions I could just make out some of the scoring rings and was able to slice up the black for windage in a pinch.

4. Seeing the spotter. This one is minor but I’ve been using the rifle scope to see my last shot instead of my Konus. Shoot #1 > load > see shot #1 > make needed changes >take shot #2 > plot shot #1. While a little goofy at first this way, I am able to use the time the target is down to plot my shot in my score book. 

Bottom line: I like it. For me it seems to make a difference and be worth any trade offs at least for now. I posted a 458/500 which is my best EIC so far, even with a Hail Mary in sitting.

Let’s see what I say after tomorrow’s match  as they are calling for rain!