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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Bridgeville July 800 Agg: Shooting Master Scores


The National Matches are just around the corner! I go to Delaware fairly frequently in the summer, for surf fishing, but this weekend I left the Rod at home and brought my service rifle down for an NRA 800 agg.

The weather was hot and the air thick with humidity. We ran two relays and scored in the pits. Which can be a bit tricky but the match runs fast.

I started out strong shooting “fast and angry” off-hand. Posting a 186.


I’ve been working on sitting and it seems to be paying off as I posted a nice pair of 99s. I seem to have a habit of pulling one low right when I forget to breathe.

Back to 300 I dropped 3 points in rapid prone I was happy with my groups. I Made a windage change between strings but couldn’t keep all 10 in the 10 ring in the second string.

Back at 600 I came close to my personal best and posted a pair of 96s for a 192!

The 8:00 8 was a sighter the 12:00 eight was pulse, heat, and fatigue late in the second string.

I managed to post a nice score on the high-end of Master keeping my streak going!

Thanks to some advice from others at York a few matches back I made some changes to my sling and now pull it almost all the way into my armpit. This has really been working nice as the sling doesn’t fall down my arm mid string and stays nice and tight.

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! 

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb: Optics in Service Rifle For 2016

It started as a rumor at Camp Perry, then emails went out,  then official word on the website from CMP. At first there was talk of  a weight limit, now it doesn’t look like there will be a weight limit. Hopefully, we are likely a few weeks away from seeing the new rule book.

It’s time to face it, optics will be allowed in Service Rifle matches next year.

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Read CMP’s statement here:

https://thecmp.org/2016-cmp-rifle-and-pistol-rule-changes/

Note that Mark has stated that the weight limit for optic equipped rifles is no longer going be included.



Take a deep breath, it’s ok.

First things first: “why in the heck would they do that!”

My understanding is that it is driven by the military teams.  The logic seems to be that deployed Soldiers and Marines do not use iron sights.

Josh from CBI at Twentynine Palms with his ACOG equipped M16A4

The A2 has dominated the firing line at Camp Perry for almost 20 years. First accepted in 1986, the A2 is fast becoming  an “old gun” at this point. If the question is “should” CMP allow optics, well, the times are changing. From Springfields to Garands to M14s to A2s, the service rifle community has always adapted. The game is changing with the times; the line might look different but it will still be the game we love.

The skills that made a good marksmen in 1907 with a Springfield and a Campaign Hat will make a good marksmen in 2016 with a optic equipped  A4. 

It’s yet to be seen what scopes will do to scores. Things could be about the same, irons could continued to reign supreme, or scopes could break all the records. It took several years for black rifles to take hold in the XTC world. Personally I think we will see the same thing by the time the NTI comes around with a mix of irons and scopes making the cut.

My Service Rifle 2016

I can’t tell you what the right choice is. But  since I can’t change the rules I’m going to embrace them.

The equipment related rule changes that will matter most to Service Rifle shooters are optics and collapsible stocks.

Sadly as far as for the optics, it’s not as easy as just ordering a 4.5 power scope and strapping it on with your favorite tactical brand of scope mounts. Service Rifle is shot “across the course” (XTC) at 200, 300 and 600 yards. With the exception of some very high dollar scopes most 4 powers scopes have a fixed parallax which poses a challenge. 

After Camp Perry I ordered an A4 flattop upper with a MK7 rail, from White Oak Armament in anticipation of the rule change, and I needed a New Jersey legal upper if I wanted to get serious about EIC matches. I really like this upper it served me well in the late season and now is making it easy to adapt to the new rules.

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Leupold VX-R 1.25-4

I ordered a custom VX-R 1.25-4 from Leupold with the parallax set at 200 yards, this being the shortest distance shot in XTC matches. The logic being that 200 yard parallax is fairly close to infinity so the error at 600 will be minimal compared to the error a user will experience shooting a shorter distance than the scopes’ parallax.

I also selected Leupold’s M1 turrets, I picked these over the CDS turrets as they seemed easier to read and I might be more likely to notice if I missed a rotation of elevation when I moved back to 600, like I did in Maryland.

For the reticle, I went with the SPR-G which is the SPR with the green dot instead of red dot. I’m color blind so seeing red on black is a challenge for me. The SPR has a large circle and hash marks. The hash marks were my primary reason for selecting this reticle.  I also like the idea of the large circle – it might come in handy when trying to square up the target.
 SPR-G at 100 on a SR-1
For a mount I went with a DNZ “freedom reaper” one piece mount. The magic numbers for shooting prone with this scope  seem to be 1.38 or less tall  with a 3 inch over hang. Sadly there are not a lot of options for those numbers. I know some other folks are going with a riser with low rings mounted to that. I’ve had a DNZ mount on my Tikka T3 for many years and it never left me down so I will give it a shot on my service rifle.

Basics to look for in a Service Rifle Scope:

  • 200 or 300 yard parallax
  • Repeatable elevation and windage adjustments
  • 1.38″ or less height over bore mount
  • 3″ cantilever mount.

Magpul UBR Stock 

 

The new rules include language around collapsible stocks now being legal. Frankly this one might be worth waiting to see the rule book on as it not clear if “any” collapsible stock will cut it. I happened to have an extra UBR so I installed one on my Service Rifle to kick around.  As far as stocks go this one is one of the best out there. For one, it’s built like a tank, but more importantly it allows the user to adjust the length of pull while maintaining a constant cheek weld.

A full range report will follow as soon as I can stretch its legs a little. I only have a few rounds down range with the scope mounted just getting a rough 100 yard zero due to the recent weather. My initial impression is that shooting with a scope is going to at the very least be more comfortable than irons.

All in it’s around a $800 cost to upgrade your A4 to be optic equipped, more if you have an A2. Make that $1100 if you want a UBR as well.

If you are new shooter please do not be intimidated by all of this. Get a A4 with a removable carry handle or even an A2 irons will still get the job done.

Armistice Day Match: WWI bolt guns on the line!

It’s a tradition at my club to bring our 1917s to the November Match. Because of the holidays let November match falls a little earlier in the month and is often on or about Armistice Day/Veterans Day. Which, As I’m sure the reader is aware marks anversary of the WWI armistice. 

My 1917 Eddystone has a July 1918 receiver with a Remington replacement barrel dated 11-18. I like to imagine that it could have been made in time for the AEF’s Hundred  Days offensive which “went over the top” 8/8/18 and ended with the armistice on 11/11/18. Then rebarrled in the aftermath of the war with a barrel made in the last month of fighting. 
Anyway enough about my imagination. It was cool and bright for the Armistice day match. The glare can be pretty tough at this range in the fall and this match was no exception. Smoking that tiny front sight post help cut down on the glare some. 

I punched an 8 on my first shot for score while I was still trying to remember the correct sight picture for this rifle. Posting a 95 in slow prone. As you may know the 1917 has no windage adjustments so it’s a “Pennsylvaina windage” game with these rifles. My Eddystone shoots a bit left so it takes a “favor right” to hit the 10.

Seems when I got to rapid I over compensated some on favoring right but did “ok.”

I sat out the second rely while my shooting buddy posted a nice score with his 1917. Then broke out my RIA 1903 for the third relay. 
My Rock Island 1903 is a interwar rebuild. It’s  receiver was made just a few hundred after the “safe to fire”serial number  cut off for RIA. It’s a neat old rifle sporting a WWII era scant stock and a set of Bill Bentz reproduction USMC sights.

The thick front sight, hood and larger rear peep made all the difference for this rifle that I had long ago written off as “not a shooter” due to its high muzzle numbers.  After installing a set of Bill’s sights I discovered the problem was my eyes not the rifle as now it can hold a 1 MOA group.

While I couldn’t hold hard enough to keep all the rounds in a neat little 1 MOA group I did pretty well for the first time out eight the 1903. I was particularly impressed with how smouth thr action is compared to my A3 and 1917s. It was so easy to work I left far too much time on the clock in rapid. I’m used to having to beat the bolt open for a couple rounds in rapid fire due to HXP’s questionable headspace.
My shooting buddy brought out a WWI vintage SMLE which he tells me he will leave at home next time! It was fun to play with some bolt guns for a change. Next month is the last Garand for the season I plan on shooting my December 19141 six digit Springfield, you know, to avenge Pearl Harbor,