High Power Rifle at TRC

High Power Rifle

A First Timer's Experience

     My first high power match was both an eye-opener and a learning experience! This ain't no "shoot 'n scoot". A steady hand--not quick legs, wins the day.

For those unfamiliar with NRA High Power Rifle matches, the Roy Dunlap course consists of four stages: two Slow Fire (one shot per minute) and two Rapid Fire (10 shots with one mandatory reload).

The Slow Fire stages are shot Standing from 200 yards and Prone from 600 yards. The Rapid Fire stages are Sitting from Standing in 60 seconds at 200 yards and Prone from Standing in 70 seconds at 300 yards. Two sighting shots are allowed before each stage. Iron sights only, no optics.

The JC Garand course is similar, except that it is shot entirely at 200 yards and fires less rounds (shorter match).The Slow Fire from 200-yards was harder than it sounds.

Rapid fire stages were a rush!

You can't use a sling and that front sight seemed to do figure-8's around the aiming black. Luckily, it was the first stage so the temperature was still pretty cool and the wind hadn't picked up yet.

The Rapid Fire stages were a rush! Wait for the target to come up, get down into position, close the bolt, get a good sight picture, squeeze off the first two shots, reload, snatch a glimpse of the wind flag out of the corner of my eye, fire the next eight, all while trying not to think about the clock ticking off the seconds. I don't think I remembered to take more than two breaths the whole time!

At 600 yards the target is over a third of a mile away! During this stage the wind was blowing West to East between 5-10 mph (excellent for TRC) and the mirage was making the black bullseye shimmy like my sister Kate. It was difficult to remember to keep focused on the front sight and practice proper breath control while squeezing off the shot. No one was more surprised than I when that target came up with the spotter in the black.

A few observations:

Rifles varied. There were M1A's, AR-15's, a couple of Garands, and even a bolt gun! Handloaded ammunition was what the dedicated were using, but I put most of my shots on target with cheap mil surplus.

600 yard prone is hard work! Appropriate elbow padding (either a shooting jacket or a couple sweatshirts) is a must. A shooting mat or an old carpet scrap helps too. You'll want a spotting scope or good pair of binoculars. Not so much to see the bullet holes, but to see the spotting disks and chalkboards placed on the target to indicate your score.

Need help or advice? There's always plenty of that to go around!

Experienced shooters have books where they enter their sight settings, the location of their hits, and other vital stat's. It seems like a good idea if you are a serious shooter, but it's not really a requirement for the novice.

It gets hot out on that firing line! Be sure to bring plenty of fluids and small energy snacks. You want to keep your body operating as well as possible. The front sight and aiming black are hard enough to keep in focus as they dance in the mirage without getting lightheaded and having blurry vision.

Need help or advice? There's always plenty of that to go around! No trophies, no ribbons (but shoot well enough and you might even get your money back)--just a bunch of guys and gals with a wide range of skills and classifications who enjoy shooting high power rifles. If this sounds interesting to you, look into attending one of these matches and experience the event. Observers are welcome. The high power match I attended was the most fun I've had with my M1A in a long time. Top

John C Garand Match

     Tucson Rifle Club's CMP-sanctioned John C Garand Matches are held on the third Sunday of every month. Subject to seasonal adjustments, squadding starts at 0630 and the match itself starts at 0700. Normal finish time is 1130 or noon. The cost for the match is $10; Juniors (under 18) and Active Military shoot for free. Surplus ammunition may be purchased on the line for $10. Free loaner rifles are available if requested prior to match day; club ammunition must be purchased and used.  At this match we strive for a relaxed, friendly atmosphere with the emphasis on learning and having fun. They are an excellent introduction to highpower shooting and a way for experienced shooters to just come out and shoot without the pressure of regular competition.

Our Garand matches are actually two matches and a clinic all rolled into one.

Shooters with as issued rifles compete against each other. The main prize is bragging rights, but the competitor with the highest score overall has a choice between a coupon good for one free match or a gold CMP award pin.  The High M1 Garand Score receives a silver CMP Award Pin.  The High Junior receives a bronze CMP Award Pin.

Shooters with any other centerfire rifle with iron sights chambered in 8mm or less come out for practice or just to have a fun day at the range

New shooters of all kinds come to test the highpower waters, to qualify to buy a rifle from the CMP, or to get some one-on-one coaching from the more experienced shooters on the line.

The 50-shot course of fire is fairly simple: Five sighting shots followed by twenty shots for score slowfire prone in a time limit of 25 minutes. Next is one 10-shot string of prone rapidfire. Then one 10-shot string of sitting or kneeling rapidfire. Finally, ten shots standing slowfire in ten minutes. All firing is done at 200 yards. The full size NRA SR target with a 13 inch bullseye is used. Each relay fires the entire course at one go so there are only two pit changes.

People have been known to show up and shoot the match with nothing more than the money for match fees and any ammunition needed. But you'll probably be more comfortable if you bring a pencil or pen, eye and ear protection, a comfortable coat or sweatshirt, a glove for your non-firing hand, sunscreen, a hat, a snack, and something to drink.

First-time shooters will receive a CMP Certificate of Achievement by mail approximately two weeks after the match. Top

Roy Dunlap 800-Aggregate Highpower Rifle Match

    The Roy Dunlap 800-Aggregate Highpower Rifle Match is held on the fourth Saturday of every month. Squadding starts at 0630; firing at 0700. Normal finish time is between 11am or 2pm depending on the season.

Like the Garand Match this match is actually two simultaneous matches.

First is the NRA Approved Highpower Match. Scores for this match are sent in to the NRA Competitions Division and are used to determine a shooter's national classification. This match will cost an adult $10 plus an additional $5 which goes to pay the NRA tournament fee; Junior shooters (under 18) shoot for free. Shooters compete only against other shooters in their category (Service or Match Rifle) and classification (Marksman, Sharpshooter, Expert, Master, and High Master). A coupon good for one free match goes to the winner in any category/classification with two or more shooters. The high Junior shooter receives $10 worth of NRA Award Points.

The other match is simple practice. The cost is $10 for adults; free for Juniors. All shooters compete against each other regardless of category or classification. Scores are not sent in to NRA and will not affect the shooter's national classification. A single free match coupon is given to the highest scoring shooter overall; High Masters are excluded from awards in this match.

As befits a match where scores can affect a shooter's national classification, this match is run a little tighter than the Garand Matches. Shooters should be prepared for a faster pace to complete the yard line and pit crew changes in a reasonable amount of time. They should be familiar with the range commands, scoring, and pit procedures. Their rifle and other equipment should be in good working order. They should have a good basic 200 yard zero. The atmosphere is still friendly, new shooters are always welcome, but a complete tyro would be well advised to try his hand at a Garand Match first.

The normal course of fire is the 80-shot Regional Course.  The Regional course consists of twenty standing slowfire shots at 200 yards followed by two strings of sitting rapidfire. Then the shooters move back to 300 yards for two strings of prone rapidfire. Finally they move back to 600 yards for twenty shots of prone slowfire. Two sighting shots are allowed before each stage. As each relay completes the various stages at the different yard lines there are multiple scoring and pit crew changes as the other relays take their turns shooting, scoring, and in the pits.

During the cool months three relays are normally used and the finish time is around 2pm.

During the summer months only two relays are used and the finish time is around 11am (before it gets too hot!).  With only two relays no coaching or assistance is available for new shooters and all scoring is done in the pits.

For more information, contact Bill Gibson (520) 885-2630. Top

600 Yard Mid-Range Prone Practice Match

This match is held on the first Sunday of every month.  Range setup and squadding start at 7:00AM, firing at 7:30AM.  Entry fee is $5.

As the name states this match is for practice only. Scores are kept and a match bulletin is published via email and the TRC blog but that's as far as it goes. Scores are not sent to NRA and there are no prizes other than "bragging rights."

It is an Any Rifle - Any Sight match meaning there are no restrictions on rifles other than they must be centerfire less than .35 caliber. Iron or optical sights may be used. Support from a sling, bipod, sandbag, or other rest may also be used. Coaching and switching rifles are authorized.

All rifles should have a known 200 yard sight setting to facilitate getting "on paper" at 600.  Rear sights or scopes must have the capability to be raised at least an additional 14 minutes to be zeroed at 600.  Any .223 rifles must have at least a 1-9" twist barrel and must use at least 68 grain bullets to be effective at 600 yards.  Muzzle brakes are prohibited by NRA rules.

The course of fire is unlimited sighters and twenty shots for record within a 25 minute time limit. Two of these stages are normally fired for a total of 40 record shots. If time permits and the shooters desire a third stage may be fired.

During the cooler months shooters will be divided into three relays with one relay shooting, one scoring/coaching, and one in the target pits.  During the warm months there will be only two relays: one on the firing line and one in the pits.

This match is a perfect opportunity to do final load testing, refine zeros, or just get the practice at 600 yards we all need!

For more information contact: Greg Fallon (520) 575-0262. Top

Smallbore Prone Match

While not a highpower rifle event, this match is good practice for refining your highpower rifle skills as it emphasizes good hold and shot execution without the distraction of recoil and noise.  Come try it!  It’s relaxing yet challenging, and the firing line is shaded.

Sign-in and range setup start at 7:30AM.  Start shooting by 8:00AM.  Normal finish time is around 10:00 or 11:00AM

Entry fee for adults is $6; Juniors (under 18) shoot for free. There are no awards and classifications are not used

Rifles must be .22 rimfire; scope or iron sights. Some loaner rifles are available.

The course of fire is 40 record shots at 50 yards on the A-23/5 target followed by 40 shots at 100 yards on the A-25 target.  If time and weather permit a 40 shot combined 50yd/100yd Dewar Match will also be fired.  Unlimited sighters are allowed before and during each stage.

For more information contact: Greg Fallon (520) 575-0262. Top

Highpower Special Events

Special Highpower Events are held during months which have a Fifth Saturday or Sunday.

 These events may be special match formats such as Prone-only or Standing-only matches, team matches, practice sessions, or range maintenance/work parties. The course of fire or work project, match fees (if any), start and expected finish times will be announced in advance through the TRC Highpower Mailing List (http://www.tucsonrifleclub.org/TRC_highpower_subscribe.shtml) and notices in the TRC Rangemaster’s Office. Top


Tucson 1000 Yard Prone Match

This match is held on the first Sunday of every month starting at 07:30. Cost is $15. No awards are given. As the name implies this match is open to any type of rifle and sight system capable of shooting 1000 yards (No AK-47's). The course of fire is 20 shots of prone slowfire. While this match is not currently sanctioned by the NRA, it uses current NRA High Power Rifle rules and classifications
This match is shot at the 1000 yard line on NRA LR targets. Normally, three 20 shot matches with unlimited sighters are shot.

 Contact for more information. Top