Remember it is a sport of doing the same thing the exact same way every time.
Muscle memory is important to learn. When you take a pen to paper, you don’t think of how you do it you just do it. So every time you mount the rifle to your shoulder do it the same way you did it last time. Don’t think about it.
I’m getting ahead of myself.
The course of fire is as prescribed by National Match rule #7.15.
80 shot National Match Regional Match course.
Standing, 200 yds, 20 shots for record with 2 sighters, slow fire, single load, 20 minutes
Sitting, 200 yds, 20 shots for record with 2 sighters, rapid fire, from standing, two strings of 2 and 8 or 5 and 5, magazine change/reload required, 50 seconds per string
Prone, 300 yards, 20 shots for record with 2 sighters, rapid fire, from standing, two strings of 2 and 8 or 5 and 5, magazine change/reload required, 60 seconds per string
Prone 600 yds, 20 shots for record with 2 sighters, slow fire, single load, 20 minutes
Sounds easy but it’s not.
Before hand you must have everything ready to go. Mags loaded, dope figured out, sling settings set and most importantly your brain screwed on straight.
Center line (aka the Chief Range Officer) will call you to your firing point. At this point you move your equipment from the ready line to the firing line. Put your sweatshirt on and then your shooting coat and ear protection. Get your data book out and ready. Put your ammo in a place you can reach easily. Check your position. Do it again. Check it again just to be sure. Double check your position. There is a reason they call it position shooting. Center Line will call for a 3 minute prep period. During this time you may handle your rifle but NO shots are allowed to go downrange. You may dryfire. It’s a good exercise at your firing point. It can solidify your position if done correctly. If you load and fire your rifle during prep you will be escorted off the range. I have seen it happen and those MP’s didn’t look very friendly.
Safety first, safety last, safety always.
Now all this sounds complicated. It is. To enjoy this sport start off slowly. Go and hang out at your local rifle range and watch what goes on. Don’t be intimidated by the guys with the thousands of dollars of equipment. When I had my first rifle built for me the guy who built it told me something I carry with me today. He said, Just because you have a $1500.00 rifle doesn’t mean you can shoot well. It means you suck with a $1500.00 rifle. Go practice.”
The targets I shoot at are what is called MOA or minute of angle. This means that at 200 yards the X ring is 3 inches wide with an aiming black of 13 inches. At 300 yards the X ring is also 3 inches but the aiming black is 19 inches and includes the 8 ring. Now at 600 yards the X ring is 6 inches wide and the aiming black is 36 inches and includes the 7 ring. This all sounds pretty big until you walk to your firing point and look at the targets. The aiming point looks the same size at all distances. Go ahead and set up your spotting scope, they still look small.
As you practice and go to longer ranges you will learn the comeuppance on your rear sight. We call this your, “dope”. As you learn the dope for your rifle you’ll learn that misshots aren’t the fault of your rifle but of you. The rifle is just a mechanical tool to deliver the bullet to the target. So as you develop as a position shooter it is too easy to relate this to hunting. As you grow as a Highpower Shooter you become a better hunter.
I have touched on just a few points of my sport but I hope it serves as an introduction to Highpower Rifle shooting. Whatever you may think of gun ownership know that what I do as a sport is as physically athletic and mentally athletic as any skier or bobsledder.
It is almost a marathon sport in that you report to Center Line at 0630 and are released at the end of the 600 yard stage. That is normally sometime around 1700. That’s a long day seeing as how you are on a range without shade for the entire day.
So come out and join us for a day of fun. I’ll let you use my equipment. Call or email me and let me know when you want to come check it out.
Here are some links to some local ranges and their schedules.
Harrisburg Hunters & Anglers
Mechanicsburg Sportsmen Association