Photo taken at the 600 yard line, 2006 National Championship Matches, Camp Perry, Ohio
The Blue and Gray Rifle and Pistol Club regularly schedules and holds three different types of competitive rifle matches monthly; High Power, Small Bore - Prone, and 200 Yard Precision. On match days the gate to the Guntersville Dam range is left open and members and non-members are welcome to participate. The High Power and Small Bore are both NRA matches and scores are sent in for national classification. The Precision match is a popular 200 yard contest that is a lot of fun and was put together by one of our members. High power matches are usually on the first Saturday of the month, Small Bore are on the second, and Precision on the third Saturday. The club also schedules and holds ‘special events’ during the year. Most of those are affiliated with the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP), the scores are reported to the CMP, and CMP awards are given. The CMP events are service rifle events. Examples of service rifles are the M16, M14, M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, 1903 Springfield, and 1903 A3 Springfield.
Each type of event has different variations. This page is not meant to be a detailed outline of all of the rules, acronyms, and variants of competitive events. However, it should help explain the basics of what they are about, how the Blue and Gray fits into the picture, and how you can get involved. More detailed information, including suggestions on equipment, is available on the CMP or NRA web site.
High power matches at Blue and Gray are reduced course matches that are affiliated with the NRA and governed by NRA rules. High power is fired at 200, 300 and 500 or 600 yards. Sometimes those matches are referred to as ‘across the course’ matches. An across the course match is fired standing slow fire, sitting and prone rapid fire, and prone slow fire. The standing and sitting positions are fired at 200 yards, prone rapid at 300 yards, and prone slow at 500 or 600 yards. The term XTC is also used to refer to a high power match. XTC is a shorthand way to say ‘across the course.’ The reduced course matches at Blue and Gray follow the same format as an XTC except all positions are fired at 100 yards and the scoring rings of the targets are reduced to replicate the different distances. Reduced course high power is usually scheduled at the Blue and Gray Guntersville Dam range for the first Saturday of each month. All scores fired at B&G are sent to the NRA and the NRA treats a reduced course match the same as an XTC for national classification. The Blue and Gray also holds XTC matches at the Tennessee Army National Guard range at Arnold Air Force Base in Tullahoma, TN (also called AEDC, Arnold Engineering Development Center). The AEDC matches are sporadic, at best, due to National Guard training schedules. Keep an eye on the Forum and the Bulletin Board to stay abreast of events scheduled for AEDC.
A lot of expensive equipment is not needed to shoot high power. The Blue and Gray high power matches are NRA matches and competitors can fire any rifle. That is, a competitor is not restricted to shooting a service rifle. The minimum equipment required to start shooting high power is a rifle that is no larger than 35 caliber that can be loaded quickly with 5 rounds. Spotting scopes facilitate sight adjustments. Spotting scopes are not a requirement, but, for practical purposes, a spotting scope is needed for reduced course competitions and is a very nice thing to have to shoot XTC. Competitors can't see where the bullets strike without a spotting scope at a reduced course match. At an XTC match, competitors can see where the bullet strikes because people working in the target pits put a large marker in the bullet hole, but, at 600 yards, it is a strain to see the marker without a scope. Shooting mats, stools, coats, and gloves are nice to have but not necessities. When I started high power I used a piece of carpet for a mat, a heavy coat to isolate my heartbeat and a heavy work glove to keep the sling from cutting my arm. Just about anyone on a modest budget with a rifle can shoot high power.
There are many variations of smallbore competitions. The matches at Blue and Gray are smallbore, prone matches that are affiliated with the NRA and governed by NRA rules. Other variations can include standing and sitting positions and the rounds fired can be 80, 120, 160, or ?? Competitors often refer to small bore matches by the total number of points that can be attained – such as a 1200 prone match. Blue and Gray matches are 800 prone and 1200 are under consideration. For 800 prone, the course of fire is unlimited sighting shots in every stage and 20 rounds at 50 yard targets, 20 at 50 meter targets, and 40 at 100 yard targets. Smallbore matches are scheduled for the second Saturday of the month and only in months that are not too hot or cold. Normally, they are April through June and September through December. However, that is not sealed in cement – check the schedule.
Everyone is welcome to come and shoot smallbore. You don’t need a lot of specialized equipment to shoot smallbore at Blue and Gray. If your style of shooting or equipment violates NRA rules your scores will not count for national classification, but, you are welcome to come and shoot. The only requirement is a rifle must be .22 rim-fire and capable of being loaded one round at a time. Semi-automatic rifles are frowned upon at a smallbore match because they are difficult to load one at a time and it is difficult to show they are empty by locking the bolt back. If you have a rifle, you can come out and join us in a shoot. A spotting scope is needed for smallbore competitions to allow competitors to see where the bullets strike. Shooting mats, stools, coats, and gloves are nice to have, but, not necessities. Come and join us for smallbore!
Several different CMP games are held by the Blue and Gray Rifle and Pistol Club. They include Vintage Bolt Gun, John C. Garand, and M1 Carbine matches. All of the CMP games are governed by CMP rules.Photo taken at John C. Garand Match, Guntersville Dam, 2009
The CMP matches are held at either 100 or 200 yards, depending on the game, at the Guntersville Dam range. Several of these events are scheduled at the beginning of the year as replacements for reduced course high power. Other matches are scheduled at different times during the year. The Vintage Bolt Gun match is usually held the first Saturday in January. Watch the monthly bulletin and the web Bulletin Board for announcements on CMP competitions.