How to succeed at your first rifle match

How do you succeed at your first rifle match?

I placed First, Unclassified, in my first match. It was an 80 round (plus sighters) NRA match run at Markham Park in Ft Lauderdale, FL.
I missed being able to shoot my first 8 rounds and still scored a 555/800.

And I used a borrowed rifle. I brought 20rd mags, ammo and golf gloves lol. 😀

I’ve now been to several organized matches revolving around ‘Highpower’, the Civilian Marksmanship Program Excellence-In-Competition matches and the NRA Highpower Rifle matches.

Most matches are run pretty much the same way as safety rules are fairly universal. Just listen to the Match Director.

You’re here to figure out how to succeed at your first match.

* Listen. As a community target shooters are incredibly helpful. They’ll tell you how to stand, when to shoot within your wobble, such as in the standing position (everyone wobbles, don’t worry about it).

* Focus on the front sight … always. If you focus on the target, where is the front sight? The front sight will determine where the barrel points and hence where the bullet goes. So center the front sight in the blur of the target.

* Follow through. Be smooth with the trigger and remain in your position until the shot is truly over. Many times I see people IMMEDIATELY come out of position when the shot is over. Eventually they begin to come out of position AS they are pressing the trigger.
Just relax. Dry-firing your rifle helps considerably.

* Ammo is the most important piece of equipment. Then the sling. So, yeah, that’s right, the rifle is third most important.
I earned my first 4 points for Distinguished Rifleman to place in the top 10% of the Small Arms Firing School using their handout rifle complete with 9,000lb trigger and three round burst selector.
The key? Hornady 75 grain .223 Match Ammo (which they also supplied).

I didn’t have an AR-15 at my first ever match but subsequent experience and the advice of the US Army’s Marksmanship Unit reveals that practice in dry-firing, above all else, is the most productive method for best accuracy on a live range.

My first ever standing target 😀

Author: Dan Passaro

Carnegie Mellon BSMechE changing the science and military fiction author dream into reality.

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