Blazing sun, mid-90s, high humidity, hot barrels and full-length jackets. Perfect conditions for my second High Power Rifle competition of the season. Sarcasm aside, it was a hoot. Thanks to ArmaLite’s generous loan of a National Match M-15 Service Rifle and Wilson Combat’s donation of 100 rounds of match grade 69gr .223 Remington ammunition, I held my own. Well, theirs . . .

The recently repaired ArmaLit M-15‘s running like a dream. Swapping out the bolt carrier group fixed previously reported issues. Even in the hot and humid weather the rifle performed flawlessly. If only my own performance had been as good . . .

No barn sides were molested during the 200-yard standing slow fire competition. My shots were constantly falling low, even though the sighters said I was on target. I was consistently low and in the same general area; a quick adjustment should have fixed it. But it didn’t. Needless to say, I’ll be working on this before the next match.

There was some mis-communication between the pit and the line. My logbook doesn’t exactly match up with the record (posted at the bottom). My logbook says three misses, the record only reflects one. Either way, ug.

I dropped five rounds outside the black shooting 200-yards sitting rapid fire. Better but not good and certainly not great. The grouping was much tighter than last time, when I was racking the charging handle and re-positioning the ArmaLite M-15 with each shot.

After the match, the RO gave me the benefit of his sage advice: keep my right elbow on my right knee. That should eliminate some of that wobble. The majority of my experience in this type of shooting is from Olympic smallbore (which uses kneeling not sitting; any help transitioning into this new sport is most welcome.

My performance in the 300-yard prone rapid fire part of the contest yielded roughly the same score as last time out, but the groups were much smaller and more consistent. I tried to adjust the elevation to move my shots into the X ring. I guess I didn’t put enough dope on the gun.

The 600 yard prone slow fire was an absolute pleasure. Despite some fliers (due to my lack of experience in reading the wind and mirage properly) all of my shots wound up somewhere in the 10 ring.

In general, I seem pretty solid with the prone position, my favorite. It provides a stable position and requires the least use of my muscles. Which means I have to work on everything else. As well.

The result:

  • 200 Yards Standing Slow Fire – 144 1x
  • 200 yards sitting rapid fire – 180 2x
  • 300 yards prone rapid fire – 176
  • 600 yards prone slow fire – 177 2x
  • FINAL SCORE – 677 5x

Combined with my other scores, this weekend’s tally should classify me in the NRA’s “Sharpshooter” category.

[FYI: “Marksman” is the lowest classification, a catch-all for everyone scoring less than a 672 in an 800 agg match. “Sharpshooter” requires a score of 672-712. “Expert” clocks-in at 712-752. “Master” between 752-776 and “High Master” above 776.]

Nothing in the world can describe the feeling when the target pops up and the scoring disk is marking it as an “X” (in the picture above, I’m shooting at target #5). The trick, of course, is doing that all the time, every time.

6 Responses to Bridgeville High Powered Rifle Match Take Two – 800 Agg Wrap-Up

  1. A few great resources for a beginner:

    1. The CMP has a great dvd set by the AMU high power team:
    http://smartflix.com/store/video/4629/Mind-over-Matter-High-Power-Rifle-Competition

    2. http://www.usrifleteams.com/ forums, requires registration.

    There is also a David Tubb dvd set on high power, he uses a bolt action rifle in it but the same principles for position are sound.

    Also, as for your low standing shots, I once had a problem of nailing 10s on my standing sighters, then shooting shots low for record. I realized that I was anticipating recoil after the first couple shots, pushing the rifle forward/down. The cure is awareness, but also to dryfire a few shots now and again to be sure you’re not anticipating.

  2. I like the logbook. Simple and straight forward. Where did you pick it up? And now that you’ve been using the ArmaLite rear sight (instead of the NM RRA) which do you prefer?

    A couple of us down at the club have just started working through the “Winchester/NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program” and the High Power Rifle just to get inspired. Might help motivate you for a little fun.
    http://www.nrahq.org/education/training/marksmanship/qualbook.pdf#page=24

    BTW – I’m in the market for a NM upper for service rifle. I still haven’t decided on which brand. White Oak, RRA, or ArmaLite. I’m just tired of borrowing one of the club’s M1 Garands and i want to get serious with it.

    Thanks for the write-up

    • I love the logbook. It’s helped a lot, especially with the slow fire stages and visualizing where the rounds are grouping. I picked mine up from Creedmoor sports (http://www.creedmoorsports.com/store/home.php), the same place I got my jacket.

      Comparing ONLY the uppers, the ArmaLite wins hands down against the RRA. The aperture may be larger, but it’s a ton clearer. It just feels better constructed as well.

      While Service Rifle is great, I get the feeling doing this with an M1 Garand would be so much more fun. Let me know how you like it!

      Hmm, I might have to look into that qualification thing. Thanks!

    • My White Oak runs flawlessly, and I’ve been shooting high master scores with it. So far roughly 1300 rounds down the tube, I just spray more CLE on the bcg every 200 rounds, clean the barrel every 300 or 400 rounds. No feeding issues or locking open issues with standard mags, some issues with a BobSled but the problem was with the sled. Fit and finish awesome on a RRA lower. Also check out CLE (Compass Lake Engineering). Look for a 1/7 or at most 1/8 twist rate on the barrel, and a Wylde chamber. But nothing wrong with RRA either, and frankly any reliable upper will get you to Master and probably beyond. Even a 1/9 twist will shoot light bullets well on windless days. 1/4 minute clicks are preferred, but 1/2 minutes are fine.

      Also Creedmoor Sports is having a sale on some new brand of match service rifle upper, “Criterion”, but you’d be guinea pig:
      http://www.creedmoorsports.com/store/onsale.php?onsaleid=193

      As far as your guys’ discussion of the apertures, the rules allow these to be swapped to your preference (a square is also allowed instead of a pin-hole) and light conditions, so you should not get a service rifle upper based on that alone. WOA gives you three screw-in apertures of different sizes to try, and you can also specify your front post size when you order.

      Also, unless I’m mistaken, M1 is still in the Service Rifle class, as is the M1A.

      For real fun, I’m moving on to rowing a bolt…building a surplus Israeli Mauser into a .308 match rifle!

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