Bill Poole's National Match Course article

This is a typical Match at Rio Salado Sportsman's club, Mesa AZ.

Here is a short description I wrote a coupla years ago, it pertains specifically to the Ojai Valley Gun Club's 1st Sunday of every month match, but is applicable to any National Match Course, or Service Rifle, or Highpower Rifle Match.
Here's another write up from me, and here's one from Dave Gowan describing the reduced match at smaller clubs.



Welcome to our National Match Competition. Since you're reading this, you're probably new to this game. Don't worry about your score, it does not matter. Just handle the rifle in a 100% safe manner, follow the range officer's commands and you'll be fine. For obvious reasons, if you violate a safety rule, you will be removed from the range.

The other competitors will not look down upon you if you have a lousy score, but two things that will annoy them are: shooting the wrong target and doing a poor or slow job scoring their targets.

There are four shooting stages to this match:

  • 200 yards, 10 shots (plus 2 sighters) slow fire, standing, 12 minutes.
  • 200 yards, 10 shots, rapid fire sitting, 60 seconds.
  • 300 yards, 10 shots (after 2 slow fire shots, 2 minutes) rapid fire, prone, 70 seconds.
  • 600 yards, 20 shots, (plus 2 sighters) slow fire, prone, 22 minutes.
  • In the slow fire stages (including all sighters) load one shot at a time! and the target will be marked with value and hole location (see the target for value marker locations).

    In the rapid fire stages, we will start in the standing position, with a clip of 8 rounds lying within reach for later, we load 2 rounds on the load command, with an M1 rifle, the bolt is closed and safety is on!, with other rifles, the bolt is open! When the targets appear, then we hop down to position, shoot 2 then load and shoot 8 in the time allotted. The targets will be marked after all shooting. (You can load 2 rounds in the M1 by crossing 2 rounds in a standard clip, using a special clip, or inserting the standard clip first, then pushing the two rounds straight down into the magazine and carefully closing the bolt.)

    Use the sighter shots to see where the bullets are hitting and then adjust the sight settings to hit in the center.

    On the M1, the left knob is elevation, the right is wind. One click is 1 inch per hundred yards: 2" at 200, 3" at 300 and 6" at 600. (match rifles and AR-15 have different click amounts).

    Assuming you are hitting somewhere near the center of the target, from 200 to 300, move the rear sight up about 3 clicks, from 300 to 600, 11 more, that should be close. After every stage, count the clicks down to the bottom and write that number down for next time.

    When scoring targets, try to be fast and accurate. Watch the dirt behind the target to see the impact, then (slow fire only) pull the target down, put the spotter in the bullet hole, white on black and black on white!, patch the old hole and hang the orange disk for the value. In rapid, put the little tiny spotter in the 10 holes, list on the chalk board how many 10's, how many 9's etc....

    Some shooters find it helpful to write down where each shot is hitting and other info, use the attached sheets. At OVGC, shooters record their own score cards, list the value of each shot as it occurs, add up the total and hand your card in after the match.

    Feel free to ask for help from any of the experienced shooters, and welcome to our sport. We shoot the first Sunday of every month, we expect to see you!

    Good shooting!

    last modified by Bill Poole on 4-Jan-00, ©.
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