The National Trophy Rifle Matches are run by the Civilian Marksmanship Program ( http://thecmp.org/ ) at Camp Perry OH, where they have been since 1907. Five days of shooting the most prestigious matches in the US.
There were 7 Juniors (The Scorpions) and at least 10 adults from Arizona shooting in the matches and a handful of non-shooting coaches and parents. There were also at least two military personnel with AZ addresses who are not part of the AZ team. For the two 6-man team matches the adult team was named the Phoenix Rod & Gun Club Team.
The Arizona Shooters spent nearly every weekend of June and July practicing. A typical weekend would include morning practice matches or skills training starting with set up at 6AM and shooting from 7AM till 10 or 11AM on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, At Ben Avery, PRGC or Rio Salado depending on club schedule.
One of the AZ coaches owns a huge RV. At the end of our final Sunday practice at Ben Avery we loaded all our gear into his RV. He, together with another coach, drove from Arizona to Ohio. Most of the rest of us flew commercial.
With everyone on base by the last weekend of July, Sunday 28-July was “squadded practice”, each shooter got 10 minutes at each 300 and 600 yards to confirm zeros.
And with that, commenced a week of
getting up at 5AM every
morning, walking our gear a mile to the firing line in the dark, roll
“colors” ( http://arizona-rifleshooting.com/perry-ceremony.html ) at sun-up and a full day of shooting in the
hot, humid, sundrenched northern Ohio coast. We did not have a single
this year, and very few interruptions for other reasons, but we had
day. Some AZ shooters, including the entire Junior team, stayed at a
park about 10 miles up the road, others stayed in hotels, a few
brought RVs and stayed on base and a few of us stayed in the barracks
on-base. We did not get 4-man hut
on-base this year as we had in prior years, but staying on base is very
enjoyable, the best part is not having to find a parking spot behind
line at 5:30AM, just walk from you barracks or hut to the firing line.
The President’s Match
Monday was the President’s Match. It is described on the CMP website:
“First fired in 1878, the President’s Rifle Match, a National Trophy Rifle Match, was incorporated into the National Match program after the Nationals were established in 1903. The President’s Rifle and Pistol Matches have become especially prestigious because the match winners traditionally receive letters of congratulations from the President of the United States of America.”
This is 30 shots from Standing and Prone at 200, 300 and 600 yards, both slow fire and rapid fire. Of the 1063 total shooters competing this year, the top 100 shooters earn the right to wear the “President’s Hundred” tab.
More information on the tab here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/President%27s_Hundred_Tab
There is a shoot-off of the top 20 shooters to determine the winner.
The National Trophy Individual Match
Tuesday was the National Trophy Individual Match. On the CMP website:
“The National Trophy Individual Rifle Match (NTI) is a National Trophy Rifle Match. It was first fired in 1904, the second year of the National Matches and has become one of the most prestigious of the National Trophy Rifle events.”
This match is 50 shots total from Standing, Sitting and Prone at 200, 300 and 600 yards, both slow fire and rapid fire. This is an Excellence-In-Competition match which is a stepping stone (or “leg” of the journey) towards obtaining the prestigious “Distinguished Rifleman” badge. (There is a formula based on ranking, but simplified: in order to “go distinguished”, one must place in the top 10% in an EIC match numerous times)
Of the 993 total shooters competing this year, Arizonans William O, Jacob B and Madison R earned points toward their distinguished badge.
The National Trophy Junior Team Match and Hearst Doubles Team Match
These two matches were held separately on Wednesday. Described by the CMP:
“The Hearst Doubles Rifle Team Match was a new National Trophy Rifle Match in 2006. This is a two-person team match where both team members fire a 30-shot course of fire with service rifles.” The winning team has their name engraved on the permanent “William Randolph Hearst Trophy”.
The course of fire in the President’s Match described above fired by two shooters who can coach each other.
Only a few Arizona adult Shooters participated in this one. The team of Mike M and Bill P came in 81st place of the 314 adult teams.
“The National Trophy Junior Team Match is a two-person team match where both team members fire the National Match Course of fire with service rifles.”
The course of fire is the same as the National Trophy Individual match described above.
Three Arizona Junior 2-man teams competed with one team coming in 7th place of 55 teams.
The National Trophy Team Match
The National Trophy Team Match (NTT), shot on Thursday, is the most prestigious team match, with 6 shooters, its sometimes called the “6-man team” match. The CMP page: http://thecmp.org/competitions/cmp-national-matches/national-trophy-rifle-matches/national-trophy-team-match/
“The National Trophy Rifle Team Match
(NTT) is a National
Trophy Match. It was first fired in 1903 when competitors in the first
Matches competed for the “National (Dogs of War) Trophy” that was
pursuant to an appropriation by the U. S. Congress. The NTT is a
team match with a requirement that at least one firing member be a “new
shooter.” The NTT Trophies are among the most valuable and most
all National Trophies.”
The course of fire is the same 50-shots per person as the National Trophy Individual match described above.
In addition to one new shooter every
year (if you’re reading
this and haven’t shot NTT yet, we need you on the AZ team!) Each team
volunteer target pullers, and either a shooter or non-shooting
coach and score keeper, so its really an 8 to 10 person team.
Arizona’s team are all members and regulars at Phoenix Rod & Gun Club (https://phoenixrodandgun.org/ ) so this was the Phoenix Rod & Gun Club Team and we came in 21st place out of 40 teams. Shooters: William O, Mark M, Mike M, Jamie H, Steve C and Bill P.
Arizona’s Junior team, The Scorpions (http://www.arizonajuniorhp.com/ ) were right behind the adults in 22nd place. Shooters: Albert R, Madison R, McKenna B, Jacob B, Tyler F and Avery M.
The problem with Junior shooters is…. When they turn 20 (or join the military) they are no longer a junior, so the team has naturally occurring attrition, we NEED more junior shooters! If you are a teenager and are reading this, we need you on the AZ Junior team!
You will note from the photos above and
most of the photos
The AR-15 rifle is the rifle of
The older M1 and M14/M1A style rifles are permitted, but nearly 100% of
shooters in the National Trophy Matches use the AR-15, it simply is the
target rifle for this sport every invented. (it’s the best “3-gun” and
all-around recreation/sport/hobby rifle too for that matter). You may
notice from the photo, nearly all the rifles have scopes. Scope sights
been permitted in service rifle competition for several years now and
at least 95% of the rifles in competition. I walked the line on one
over 100 shooters on the line and equipment for another 100 or more on
ready line, and counted just a few M1 rifles, even fewer AR-15s without
so it is official, the iron-sighted AR-15 is more antique than an
The National Trophy Infantry Team Match
Friday’s National Trophy Infantry Team
Match (NTIT) is a
different format from the 200yd standing low fire & sitting rapid
yard prone rapid fire followed by 600yd prone slow fire courses of fire
the matches described above. It is all rapid fire! And it starts with
prone and moves to 500yd prone, the 300 yard sitting. Instead of 10
fire strings, the 6 shooters shoot full magazines of their (not
equal) share of 384 rounds of team ammo. Instead of scoring rings, the
only counts 4, 3 or 2 point per hit on target depending on distance.
are 8 targets for 6 shooters! There are some other bonus points and
must be followed. This match is the most team-oriented match in all the
shooting sports, individual scores are not tracked only the team total,
shooters are totally dependent upon the coaches for instructions on
settings to correct for wind. Also luck plays a big role, if there is a
malfunction, there is no “do-over”.
“The National Trophy Infantry Team Match (NTIT) is a National Trophy Rifle Match that was first fired in 1922. Only two Civilian teams have ever won the prestigious Infantry Trophy that goes to the winner of this match. The first Civilian team to win this honor was the Nebraska Civilian team who won in 1930. Seventy-nine years later, in 2009, the California Grizzlies Junior Team won the Infantry Trophy. The NTIT is sometimes called the “rattle battle” because it emphasizes extremely fast, accurate fire. It is also an exciting competition for spectators to watch.”
Out of 31 teams in full competition
Rod & Gun Club Team from Arizona
came in 11th
place! Shooters: Myles G, Jason H, Mark M, William O, Bill P and Ken R.
that not the same shooters on each of the two adult teams, they need
some folks are better at one event than the other, or just prefer one
other and the new guy may not be the same guy for both matches.)
The Arizona Junior team The Scorpions, Shooters: Albert R, Madison R, McKenna B, Jacob B, Tyler F and Avery M, came in 25th place overall or 7th place among junior teams. They have won this match in prior years.
A very good introductory video of the
NTIT match can be
found on the youtube channel of an Illinois shooter at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kweoOKvMh0
The Arizona-rifleshooting write up about NTIT http://arizona-rifleshooting.com/ntit.html
The awards ceremony was held Friday evening in a packed auditorium built in the ‘30s. All the awards for the week’s matches are presented, as well as the Distinguished Badges for those who earned them during the previous year.
I don’t think any current AZ team
members made it to the
stage this year, as many of us have in prior years. Let’s aim for next
you’re reading this, and want to earn the right to stand on that stage…
you on the team!
A few AZ shooters stayed for the M1
1903, Vintage and modern Military, Vintage Sniper and other fun “CMP
matches that follow the National Trophy Matches. Most of us flew home
Match program, schedule, Results etc can be found by clicking the appropriate link in the box at:
Dozens of photos taken by an AZ shooter
can be found at http://arizona-rifleshooting.com/Perry2019-pics.html
and hundreds more from the CMP at https://cmp1.zenfolio.com/f1003134809
searching the web or youtube for keywords such as Camp Perry, CMP,
National Matches etc.
The 2020 National Trophy Matches are scheduled to be held the week of July 27-31 at Camp Perry.
The matches are open to all. If any of you are interested in participating, start training now! Arizona will hold beginner’s clinics and a dedicated development team training program all year in addition to nearly weekly high power shoots. See http://arizona-rifleshooting.com/ for more details or contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
When you go to Camp Perry next year…. (did I mention we want you on our team?) You really should try the Perch and Walleye and Jolly Roger, and the best Ice Cream in the world at Andy’s in Port Clinton! Bring lots of money, Commercial row is filled with cool stuff and the CMP-north store usually has M1 Rifles.