Thanks to Phil Arrington for the pics!
WOW, this is a FUN match!!!
"Load and be ready!"
NTIT National Trophy Infantry Team match or "Rattle Battle" is a match I had never fired before 1999. It consist of a team of 6 shooters, 2 coaches with binoculars and 384 rounds of ammo at the 600 yard ready line, there are 8 “silhouette” style targets. The ammo is divided between the shooters, not necessarily evenly. The two end shooters shoot at 2 targets. At each distance there is 50 seconds to shoot. Only hits count and hits at longer distance count more than closer. And targets with 7 or more hits have some bonus points added based on the square of the score
Shooting is done at 600 yds and 500 yds on the more or less full size silhouette target (E-target) and at 300 and 200 yd at a "prone" target (F-target).
There are 8 targets and 6 shooters, typically the 2 end shooters shoot 2 targets each. They are called "swing shooters".
The 6 shooters only carry their rifle and loaded magazines, and wear the coat and glove. No mat stool scope, etc. 2 coaches can use only 10x binoculars. A score keeper from another team follows behind with a scope. Some teams arrange someone to follow 100 yds back to get brass, or have a non-shooting captain.
They start by walking to the table and laying out the ammo to be counted by the range official. The team uses 384 rounds, (origionally it was 2 cans of .30-06 M2 ball on 8-round M1 clips!) today they provide their own ammo. After the ammo is counted, the shooters load their magazines and stand by.
When called to the line, they have a 1 minute prep period at 600 yards. There are no sighters, only coaches looking for traces in the binoculars.
Seconds after the command "load and be ready", the targets come up, they have 50 seconds to shoot as many shots as they can! On the line in prone.
After 600, the whole firing line marches together to 500 yard line, and immediately the command is given. Again, after scoring at 500 they march to 300 and then later to 200 yds. Then they march to the pits to work targets for the next relay.
Hits at 600 yds count 4 points, 500 yds, 3 pts, 300 yds, 2 pts, 200 yds, 1 pt.
There is a bonus point system called "squaring". If there are all 8 targets hit with at least 6 hits each, the bonus is 8^2 or 64. if 7 are hit, then 49 pts, 6 hit, 36, etc, so 6 hits or more on all 8 targets is an important goal.
There is a team strategy to take advantage of the point system. Hits at 600 yds are worth so much more that teams try to get as many shots there and at 500 as possible sacrificing 300 and 200 yards. This carries the risk that if one is shooting rapidly, one is more likely to miss. A miss counts 0 points at all distances. So a strategy is to shoot as many shots as the members can accurately shoot at 600, then 500 saving only a few for 300, and none for 200 yds.
Our team strategy was: 22 shots at 600, 26 at 500 and 16 at 300 yds, none at 200. A perfect score would have been 1380. We planned on using two 20 rd magazines at 6 and 5, and one at 300. By using 20rd mags, you can get a lower position and it signals the swing shooters when to swing.
There are no alibis. If one shooter has a failure, his ammo can be distributed to the other members, so ammo must me interchangable.
One failure at 600 yds can drop enuf points to cost the entire match.
So, skill is needed, as are good zeroes, but so is luck. in 2000 luck was NOT with the AZ adults.
maybe next year.
Phil Arrington, one'a the world's PREMIER highpower
riflesmiths took these pics of the USAF team we was hanging around with!
Visit his website at: http://www.arringtonaccuracy.com/
...Heck! get him to build you next rifle for you!