NRA High Power Rifle Matches
For specific rules, procedures, and equipment - ALWAYS refer to the current NRA or CMP Rule books.
High Power Rifle matches are contests of marksmanship skill where competitors shoot at paper targets. In a Conventional High Power Rifle match, also known as "across the course", the Standing and Rapid Fire Sitting stages are fired at 200 yards, the Rapid Fire Prone stage at 300 yards, and the Slow Prone stage at 600 yards. Mid Range Prone Matches are fired at 300, 500 and/or 600 yards. Long Range matches are fired from the prone position at distances of 800, 900, and 1000 yards.
Targets are mounted on frames in "pits" behind a berm of earth. Competitors take turns in the pits to pull and score targets for the other competitors on the firing line. Competitors are rotated by "relay". While one relay is shooting, a second relay logs the scores (at the firing line) and a third relay is working the targets in the pits. Once a competitor is assigned a relay and the match starts, they must remain for the entire match even if their rifle breaks or they have a bad day and wish to withdraw from shooting. At facilities that do not have pits, the location and value of each shot is determined after the string of fire is completed.
A Slow Fire stage requires competitors to load each round individually and to fire one shot at a time. Each individual target is lowered after each shot, marked with the shot location and the value, and raised to be scored and exposed for the next shot. Usually shooters have as many minutes to fire that stage as there are shots to fire. For example, a ten-shot slow fire string will have a time limit of ten minutes.
A Rapid Fire stage consists of firing a ten-round string within a specified time limit. At the start of the stage, shooters are in a standing position. When the targets are exposed, competitors go into a Sitting/Kneeling or Prone position (depending on the stage being fired), fire the rounds in their magazines, change magazines or reload, and finish shooting the string. The time limit is 60 seconds per string for Sitting/Kneeling and 70 seconds for Prone.
For Rapid Fire stages, the targets are left in the raised position for the entire string. When time has expired, the target frame is pulled into the pits, each shot hole is marked, the shot values noted and marked on a chalkboard. This chalkboard is hung on the target frame and the whole frame is raised up to be viewed by the shooter and scorer.
High Power Rifle competition is broken down into Service Rifle and Match Rifle categories. Service Rifles are actual military or civilian versions of rifles that are, or were, standard issue rifles for our armed forces. The approved Service Rifles are the M-1, M-14 (M-1A), and M-16 (AR-15).
Match Rifles are custom built rifles that are limited by few rules. Match rifles are made to conform to a specific shooter and their style of shooting. An NRA Match Rifle must have metallic sights and capable of holding at least five rounds in the magazine. Match Rifles can shoot any safe ammunition up to .35 caliber.
Besides your rifle and ammunition, other equipment may include a special shooting jacket. It keeps you tight, especially in the Standing position. There are rubber pads to reduce slipping and buckles to tighten the jacket around you. A sling is used to hold the rifle firmly and is very important for good scores in the Rapid fire and Slow Prone stages. A glove for the hand that holds the rifle forearm will help pad the forward hand from sling pressure. A mat makes the Prone position more comfortable and can also be used in the Sitting position. Many shooters use a hat to shade light for a better view of the sights. A shooting stool is useful to hold the equipment plus magazines, ammunition, eye protection, data book, etc. and they are handy when you sit and score for another shooter.
An optical aid is necessary to mark your shot value and placement as well as score other shooters. A spotting scope is preferred over binoculars. A spotting scope allows you to be able to see your shots in slow fire and helps you center your groups while remaining in position. Whereas a set of binoculars are more cumbersome, they can get a novice started in the sport. A higher quality scope will allow you to see the mirage downrange. This helps to gauge wind magnitude and changes. It also allows the shooter to see small bullet holes at longer ranges and is vitally important at reduced course ranges with no pits. A spotting scope with the eye piece angled at 45 degrees is by far the most desirable.
Detailed programs for each ENGC NRA High Power Rifle match are located at Highpower In Nebraska. As required by the NRA, match programs list dates and times, entry fee, course of fire, awards, rifles allowed, and any rules which may or may not apply to that specific match or tournament.