az Precision Rifle Shooting az rifle logo

Sometimes called "PRS", "NRL", "Long Range Precision",
"Tactical Precision" or "Sniper Rifle Match".

Here in Arizona we have the AZLRPS group with a great monthly shoot at Cowtown and RSSC HP division hosts a smaller monthly match at Rio Salado called "4 Peaks Tactical". I see some matches at GunSite in Paulden too.
I have not yet gotten active in this sport, so I am reporting on it from the outside.

PRS centerfire style at Cowtown & Rio Salado

Aslo NRL22 rimfire style at:
PRGC     runs matches at Ben Avery

governing bodies:    

4 peaks tactical at Rio Salado

A 4-peaks match at Rio Salado (ca 2018)

PRS is probably the fastest growing shooting sport of this decade (remember when cowboy action claimed that title in the 90's?).

I've only shot it a few times, I am far from being an expert, so I'll just add some notes here and invite the interested reader to research it further.

Basically the sport stresses first shot hits from non-standard, often awkward, positions at non-standard, sometimes unstated, distances under time pressure. Targets are almost always steel, sometimes plastic, I think electrically-reactive targets are sometimes used.

I think most matches are scored by hit-count.

Course of fire seems to follow the practical shooting type of format with a number of scenarios and the shooters divided into groups (called squads? or ?) who move together from stage to stage, at each stage, one shooter at a time shoots, someone runs the clock, someone watches/listens for hits.

Each stage usually has some scenario or expected shots to be fire from a firing point, maybe more than one firing point, usually several target to engage, and usually a stated, but small, number of shots and a short time window (a minute or 2, or less?). In that time, one must get into position, find the targets, range them, find them in the scope, adjust the elevation, guess the hold-off for wind and fire the shots. Go watch some youtube videos to get a better understanding than I can give.

Ruger Precision Rifle

Nearly all the major Rifle makers are trying to find there way into this market.

A hunting rifle that is light enough to comfortably carry on a hunt, with a skinny little barrel simply is not satisfactory for PRS (or F-class). it hard to hold a light rifle still and the skinny barrel heats up too much with a competition string of shots. Don't even consider using your hunting rifle.

So look for the "Tactical" bolt action rifles:
Ruger Precision

The more serious shooters often use rifles built custom with a chosen action, barrel, stock, trigger etc, sometimes the action itself is from the small-shop custom makers (Surgeon, Impact, Defiance, BAT, AI, Gunwerks....) that make actions and entire rifles.

You can also get by with a semi auto, something on an AR15 or AR10 platform.

There is also a .22 version of this called NRL22.
NRL22 rifles.

As I understand it, 10X is the minimum for a fixed scope or the lowest tolerable max for a variable.
Must have big target knobs, you will be adjusting the elevation at every stage, possibly more than once. The mechanics MUST be very repeatable and rugged to last! You might not adjust windage as much especially the scopes that have "mil dots" for windage allowing for hold off.
Most current generation scopes are 30mm, you will need rings strong enough to hold a big heavy scope the right distance for eye relief.
MOA or Mils, that is your preference. 1 MOA (minute of angle) is very close to 1" at 100yds. 1/10 Mil(milliradian) is 1cm at 100m. (about 3/8"/100yds) Make sure your ballistic charts/apps are set for the same units as your scope.

I can't even name all the scopes available:
Vortex has a huge, innovative product line, I think most of them are made in China People's Optics Factory number 39, they have price points from <$200 to >$2000. (The hugely popular Vortex Razor HD Gen II 4.5-27x56 is $2000 )
Schmidt & Bender
US Optics
Sig Sauer

Honestly I cannot give any useful advice, start looking at websites that specialize in this sport!

Buy or load with Match Bullets, pick the ones that work best in your rifle. You can experiment with bullet style (tipped or BTHP/HPBT) bullet weight etc.

but what caliber? Well, you may be limited by the gun you get, it might only be available in .308, 6.5 Creedmoor and maybe a coupla other calibers. Scanning some websites, it looks like the various 6mm are most popular, then some 6.5mm.... .308 doesn't even make the list.

OK, wild guess from the Service Rifle shooter as to what to get for one getting into this sport:
Ruger Precision rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor with some <$1000 Vortex Viper scope . Use factory ammo from any big name vendor that shoots good in your rifle.

Other Gear:
I don't shoot this sport enough to really know. I'm guessing:
ear & eye protection of course
elbow & knee pads maybe,
a sling,
Bipod (harris or?)
a few spare magazines
and/or side carrier for a few extra rounds of ammo,
a shooting mat,
some kinda fore-end bag
some rear bag.
Maybe a range finder.
Maybe a Kestrel (don't get the cheap knockoff versions at Midway)
ballistic charts or phone app.
a little do-hicky to attach your scope setting info to your rifle during the stage. "Dope Card Holder"

more info:

NRL photo
Photo found online of an NRL match

Some of the photos were shamelessly borrowed from the internet. Linked to their source where possible.

some photo's from the 4-peaks match at Rio

This was written in Dec 2019, check club calendars and my main website to confirm everything is still up to date!

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Last modified by: Bill Poole (13sep23, 25-Jul-21, 05-Jan-20). (c)
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