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Discussion Starter #1
I would be very interested in getting involved in tournament shooting
especially with the Garand as I have been a WWII history buff and an
avid reader of WEB Griffin books. I have just recently moved to Raleigh North Carolina and started pistol target shooting, but have some previous experience with rifle target shooting (mostly .22). Any links or help that anyone could provide to help me get started with this type of firearms sport
would be greatly appreciated..

Best Regards,
-Mark
 

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tl-driver - Find a local NRA/CMP Rifle Club, and go to one of their events, and they will assist you. The local gun stores should be able to direct you to either an NRA/CMP Rifle Club, or a Shooting Range where they hold their events. Actually any club that holds regular shooting events could be a help, because their events may follow the military or NRA/CMP format.

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yes try calling a local range, some orgs will allow non-members to compete in garand match. Ask them if they will provide equipment to loan, a lot of clubs do this, including the garand you will need
1. a spotting scope -normaly you cannot use tripods so mono pods such as freelands is used most often
2. a shooting mat, you will have to invest in one, as it is almost impossible to shoot prone without one, but you might get a loaner
3. a sling, the canvas cmp slings work best, as you have to use it an a certain way for prone and sitting ( if the club does sitting)
4. a shooting mit
4. eventually you will need a shooting jacket, there is many different types some good some not so good, freeland,creedmoor, champions choice, and a couple of other manufacturers, if you dont have one a sweatshirt will do , prone with a garand will make you sore if you dont have some padding

i would advise just watching a shoot to see the structure and commands, if you need a copy of the commands I can post them. the spotting scope is important, a 60mm is as small as you want and 20x, nikon earth and sky are popular and cost about 150 bucks on ebay

The distance for garand is 200 yards. a normal 200 yard nra rifle target, some ranges will use 100 yard targets resolved for 200 yards, at 100 yard range. normaly there is prone slow 20 rounds giving 20 minutes, than 10 rounds rapid fire given 60 seconds, then off hand slow fire 20 rounds, and rapid fire 10 rounds. the ammo is ball supplied by the cmp and you cannot use any home grown ammo just what is issued before the match. National match componets are illegal for garand shoots, only service grade parts and bore. most of these are low key affairs and you will probably find lots of people willing to show you the ropes.( national match is a whole other story)
score cards are given out before the match and you score each others targets, that can be different depending on the club. I can show you how to score if you e me, and give lots of advice on jackets, and tell you how to use the sling, actually using the sling correctly is important ----keep em in the x-ring
 

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7mmag6 - How is that for being almost silent? Good info, and it will vary a little from range to range.

NEEDED:
M1 Garand
Shooting mat
Shooting glove
Spotting Scope & Stand
Shooting Jacket
Shooting cap
Ear Protection


Obviously the M1 Garand is needed for M1 Garand Matches. Remember not all M1 Garand Matches are registered and as a result range rules are what governs the limits on how an M1 Garand is prepared, though very few will allow VISIBLE National Match parts.

At our club matches (unregistered) if you use a Club M1 Garand, you must purchase the ammo from the club (they do not want any problems with their M1 Garands). However if you use your own M1 Garand, then you can use reloads.

A Shooting Mat is needed, and if you don't have one and/or can't borrow one, a piece of carpet will suffice for a short time.

Some shooting mats have one side that will resist holding dirt and dust, and the other side should have non-skid material for your elbows. Since this is not an expensive item, it can be experimented with a little more readily, and for at least a short time you can use a piece of carpet. What you should be looking for is a shooting mat that provides enough padding that you do not bruise your elbows or knees when getting up and down, or moving around to get into a comfortable position, AND you need non-skid surfaces for your elbows.


A Shooting Glove is necessary or you can't hold the rifle correctly without hurting your hand.

A Shooting Glove can be a regular utility glove, though the specially made for shooting, gloves are best. You need something that first, fits your hand well (uncomfortable doesn't get it when you are trying to get your best score), and provides padding for your hand when it is pressing against the sling swivel, or hand stop. Some people prefer to use a spray on non-slip goo that keeps the rifle stock from slipping on the shooting gloved hand. I do not use it myself, and maybe 50% of the people I shoot with do not use it (that means about 50% do use it), that should be your choice. It may not be allowed in an M1 Garand Match. I mentioned it so that you at least know about it.


A Spotting Scope is really necessary if you want to shoot well, but you can get by without one for a short time, if you have friendly helpful club members. A tripod is not really acceptable except for the short ones for prone shooting.

SPOTTING SCOPES: Think of the spotting Scope in the same way you would think of a Large Telephoto lens for a SLR (Single Lens Reflex) Camera. There is no substitute for quality: Nikon (good prices), KOWA (excellent), Swarovski (too expensive), Leica (too expensive). The cheap ones, less than $150.00 just won't do the job at 200 yards or more, because you won't be able to see any hits in the black. I chose the KOWA 821 with the 45 degree eyepiece, for myself, and it does the job, that is why you will see so many of them on the firing line. I may have bought a Nikon if there was one to look through to check out at the time i was looking.

A good spotting scope is a long term investment, and that should be your view of what you are looking for. A quality Spotting Scope should be foremost in your mind, it is resellable for closer to what you paid for it, if that is your choice later.

As was stated before by somebody else, a 60mm Objective lens is the smallest you should accept, because the smaller ones just do not gather enough light for you to see clearly beyond 100 yards. If you can afford it, get a 70mm or larger Objective lens, though a VERY GOOD 60mm will work except in poor light. Remember that, just because the spotting scope has a very large Objective lens doesn't mean that it is better (it usually is though), the quality of the glass can make or break the light gathering ability.

Spend a lot of time looking through other peoples spotting scopes, and you will find the one you want. Most people are at least willing to help you find the one you should get, and they don't mind showing off their spotting scopes.

The maximum power that is effective (the trade off between magnification and enough light to see well) is around 20 to 30 power. The higher magnification cuts down the amount of light that gets to your eye, and a spotting scope that gathers enough light with a 25X eyepiece, and is virtually perfect, may be totally unacceptable trying to use a 35X eyepiece, or even a 30X eyepiece.

A variable power eyepiece will reduce the amount of light, more than a fixed eyepiece. I have both, and I use the fixed power 27X LER (Long Eye Relief), I do not use the very expensive variable power eyepiece that I have.

A Spotting Scope Stand should not be an afterthought, it should be a planned purchase, because even with the best of spotting scopes, if the stand moves too easily, or falls over in the slightest wind, or bump, your spotting scope could become garbage in a second. A Spotting Scope Stand should have a large diameter support tube, as close to 1" diameter, or more, as you can buy. Its base should give a wide support, the wider the better, for stability (but not so wide it becomes a trip hazard that could endanger your spotting scope). A slide together spotting scope stand for transporting or storage is best, as it keeps all the parts together, and they are on the line ready to go all the time.

You need a weighted bottom on the stand for stability (a sandbag is OK for temporary use, but the scope stands usually have an option for a 10 lb or so weight that attaches to the scope stand base (in a heavy wind you may still need the sandbags). Do not even think of using the spike on the base for stability, most ranges don't want their firing line dug up, and some even have a concrete firing line.


A Shooting Jacket is necessary, if you do not want to rub your elbows raw, and if you get a good Shooting Jacket, it can boost your Standing (Offhand)score by at least 10 points.

The Shooting Jacket is a very desireable item. I think you can do well with a jacket that isn't leather or doesn't have leather sleeves, and you can save some money (at least $100.00). Except for the standing position, the only advantage for me is the elbow pads (many people really like the recoil pad, but that is not something that is a bother to me). The USMC style shooting jackets are available for about $50.00 or $60.00, and are OK except for the benefit of the more ridged jackets in the Standing position. If you are flush with money, then an all leather shooting jacket for around $400.00 is a must have.



Some sources, for shooting equipment and supplies, are O. K. Weber, Champions' Choice, Creedmore, and one or more that have been mentioned already, plus some that I did not list because I can't think of them right at this moment. Watch for sales, it will keep money in your pocket, as some of these suppliers really do have sales; they're not like department stores that put unmarketable items on sale, as loss leaders, and the only thing that you can use is sold at the regular price. This market is their main source of income, and they only carry items that are at the very least useful, and usually just what you need.


A Shooting Cap is something you may want to look for, too. They come in many varieties, but what you want is something that can shade your eyes from the sun or glare, and also to keep distractions at the sides to a minimum. The better ones have flaps that you can drop, or hold up with velcro, and have a long shade at the front.

DO NOT FORGET EAR PROTECTION, IT IS VITAL TO YOUR FUTURE HEARING. THE BEST IS STILL NOT GOOD ENOUGH, BUT THAT IS ALL WE HAVE. The ratings are in db (decibels), and the higher the number the better. I double up with ear plugs rated at 33 db, with electronic muffs, rated at 19 db over the top. The db numbers do not add up, for instance 33 db plus 19 db does not equal 52 db, it is more like about 38 db, never-the-less it increases the protection, and MORE IS BETTER. I use electronic muffs, over the ear plugs, to enable me to hear the range commands, and that is a SAFETY ISSUE!


I WILL ELABORATE MORE ON THESE LATER!
 

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Re: spotting scopes
I should probably posting this somewhere more general but CDNN has Winchester 15-45x50 spotting scopes for $50 - this is a full scope & not the compact variety.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Wow thanks guys !!!! I never thought I would get anywhere near this much
information.. Thanks again.. I have to print out your posts and read them over a few times then will reply with questions.. I really appreciate the warm welcome it's not too often you join a new group and get this type of response..

Best Regards,
-Mark
 

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I use a spotting scope with a 50mm objective and a 21X eyepiece. The magnification is about right. In regular Over the Course matches, your targets will be marked after each shot by the guys in the pits--they'll put a 3" white spotter in the bullet hole and put a scoring disk on the perifery of the target to show what the point value is. At 200yds, you don't even really need the scope. At 600yds, the scope is used for spotting the spotter, but mostly for watching the mirage which is arguably the best indication of a wind change. With too much magnification, the mirage becomes difficult to monitor. 20-25X is about right. Besides, spotting holes at 300yds is tough with the best scope and impossible at 600yds (due to distortion from mirage).

I would show up to your first match with whatever you've got and figure out what stuff you'll want as you go. A sling is good, but it takes new guys a couple times out before they even get into using it because they're usually so tied up just keeping up with the pace of the match, much less learning the mechanics of the sling. Bring a sweatshirt (save your elbows from getting chewed up) a couple clips and have a good time. Find out how long the match is and figure out if you'll need to pack a lunch and or water. Sunscreen. A chamber flag is almost always required--call ahead and ask if they can provide one--if not, order one.

I highly recommend Jim Owen's book Leather Sling and Shooting positions as it will give you a very good primer on how a match works, the positions, sight picture, focus, etc. It's a short read, but worth it's weight in gold. Check www.jarheadtop.com

Generally, you'll be shooting in the Service Rifle category competing against the M14 and the AR in NRA Highpower or CMP EiC matches. The other category is Match rifle which is basically anything with iron sights that doesn't meet the Service Rifle rules. The basical rule of thumb for Service Rifle is that you can do whatever accuracy mods you like as long (match barrels, bedding, etc) as it doesn't alter the exterior profile of the rifle (hooded NM aperature is an exception). The John C Garand Match is a special case where you cannot have NM parts and the rifle must be as-issued without accuracy mods.

Ty
 

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30Cal - I keep forgetting that the better ranges have "Butts", where you put in your time, to do your part when you are not shooting. Some ranges do not have "Butts", and the shooters usually ride down range, to post targets, and back in a pickup. Your 50mm and 21X is a good combination, to see spotters, but would be marginal at 200 yards without spotters being used.

A 200 yard range with "Spotters", is an easy view, and out to 600 is possible with the 50mm Spotting Scopes when "Spotters" are used to mark the targets. At 1,000 yards it takes a pretty good scope to see the markers usually with a 60mm it is not easy to see them.

On a 200 or 300 yard range without butts, you need the larger 70mm and up, to see the holes in the targets (a 60mm will allow you to see all .30 Cal holes, but not .223 Cal holes in the black). If you don't look at the targets downrange, you can't adjust for any mistakes you may be making.

In any case you should set yourself up to deal with whatever target system is in use, and if you can afford it, go for one of the larger spotting scopes.

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Good posts guys, a wealth of info, I did not know about the book, I will certainly order it. as far as scopes here in the desert the heat waves make magnification irrelevent over 30x, my range does not have a 600 yard berm so we have to use 600 yard targets reduced to 200, the first time I tried a 600 yard range was in roswell and man what a difference that was. Great posts gyrene and 30cal keep em coming. I have a garand match this sunday and Ill let you know the bad news.
 

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I've a friend who shoots CMP match with an AR 15 he build, most CMP matches allow military rifles, not limited to M1, when I shot DCM I started with the M1 and was issued an M14, some guys used bolt guns or AR 15/M16.
The ten round rapid fire requires a reload, so useing an AR or M14 requires a mag change, with the M1 I would load 2 rounds to start and reload a full 8 round clip, with the M14 or M16 I would use 2 mags with 5 rounds each, doing a tactical reload after 4 rounds. The club I belong to sponsors CMP matches, and isn't very strict. One guy I know uses a custom AR 15 with National Match adjustible trigger at about 2 lbs pull. I never invested much in league shooting, I was issued a rifle, and mat and never bothered with a spotting scope. I supplied the radios we used to call the pit from the fireing line.

"Life is too important to be taken seriously."
 

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Otter - The CMP/NRA Clubs usually have a Military Rifle Match, where rifles that are used or have been used by the U. S. Military and Naval Services, which includes .30-40 Krag Jorgensen, 1903 Springfield, 1903A3 Springfield, M1 Garand, M14 (M1A), and M16 (AR-15) rifles.

M1 Garand Matches are of course restricted to M1 Garands. Many clubs vary their rules, unless they are registered M1 Garand Matches, and then they have to follow the CMP/NRA M1 Garand Match rules.

Most active clubs have organized a variety of matches throughout the year, including ones such as Stoner Matches. The rifle must be either designed by Eugene Stoner, or an M16 (AR-15) lookalike (in CA that would include the FAB-10, and now I understand there are other break action AR-15 lookalikes).

They have WWI Bolt Action Matches including rifles used by any Military or Naval Service during that time era. WWII Bolt Action Matches allowing any rifles used by any Military or Naval Service in the WWI/WWII eras.

Mini-Palma Matches, using .22 rimfire Bolt Action Rifles at 200 yards are a somewhat frequent occurrance many places.

The Sky is the limit, as to what the Match can/will include, as long as you can get enough participants to pay the bills.

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where to shoot high powered rifle matches??

I live in the SAn Antonio area and would like to get some info where I can join or go watch a competition or shoot that I may join later. I have tried looking for places around here but have failed miserably. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
 

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Ilocano1963 - Since I live in CA and have never been to a range around San Antonio, I can't help much. Try the local Gun stores for information, as most gun stores are in touch with the surrounding area and many of their customers must participate in Range shooting, if only to sight in their rifles before going hunting.

Check with the CMP for CMP/NRA Shooting Clubs in the San Antonio Area, you can locate them at: http://www.odcmp.com

Good luck on your hunt!

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Thanks for your input Gyrene. I'll do that when I get home this morning and hopefully I can find myself a place before the end of the week. i'll tell yo the outcome.
 

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Lots of good advice here. Here's some more advice (also good, I hope).

I have a "Winchester" scope as described. It is OK for 50 yards, but completely useless for 200. Save up and buy a good scope.

Join the NRA. No NRA, no guns. It's that simple.

Subscribe to the NRA "Shooting Sports" magazine. Lots of leads to matches and equipment suppliers. The magazine is designed for competitive shooters.

Don't shoot commercial hunting ammo in your M-1 unless you want to buy a new op rod. Buy or load military-equivalent ammo. The latest editions of the big loading manuals contain loads specifically for military gas guns. Follow them. There is no advantage to hotter loads.

Last, but not least, have fun! Rifle shooters are the best people you will ever meet. Even the champion shooters will help a new guy. I don't know any other sports where that happens so regularly.
 
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