What is the 30 caliber rule in highpower


March 18, 2005, 11:55 AM
what is the 30 caliber rule ?

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Jon Coppenbarger
March 18, 2005, 12:58 PM
It basicly is a rule that came about when the 223 become popular.
At one time I think in the early 90's it was allowed to plug a 223 hole with a 30 cal. plug to see if it touched the next higher scoring ring. The old rule was you used the 30 cal scoring plug to score everything but when the 223 became the dominate cartridge it changed.
Why it changed is a matter of opinion and I will keep mine to myself as it is a old subject to bring up.
The way it stands now is you shoot a 223 you get plugged with a 223 and everything above that gets a 30 cal. as a general rule.

I will pu tit this way if it was still the same for a very good shooter it might actually add up to 5 points a match onto the score more or less. At lest a few more X's

March 18, 2005, 04:34 PM

I shot a whole season of highpower, just wanted to make sure i wasnt scoring incorreclty this whole time.

March 19, 2005, 04:43 AM
Doesnt this mean that a shooter with a .223 is placed at a slight disadvantage right from the start? Whats the point of that?

March 19, 2005, 08:32 PM
What is the point?

WAY less recoil. Advantage: 223.


March 23, 2005, 02:59 AM
I think the .30 cal rule lasted until just a couple years ago. I could be wrong on that, but I remember people were bitching about the change at the time.

Steve Smith
March 23, 2005, 07:30 AM
You must still plug a .223 hole with a .223 plug. This puts a bonus on the shooter with the largest caliber, DESPITE his accuracy or LACK THEREOF. (Yes, Jon didn't want to wade into this but I will). The 30 caliber rule is sheer stupidity. The game is an accuracy contest, not a he-man contest. Highpower rules allow for up to .35 caliber rifles to be fired, and this round would have a .05" scoring advantage to a .308 or a .30-06 or even a .300 Win mag. Should a rifle in .35 Whelen have an advantage over .300 Win Mag? NO. The rule also, by proxy, indicates that ALL calibers that are fired that day must have a scoring plug sized to fit. That means the pits would have a .308, .223, 6mm, 6.5mm, just to name a few...and pit service WILL show for all the competitors since folks will be passing plugs back and forth. Finally, and most grievous of all of this, is what I mentioned at first. Scoring is based on diameter on the bullet, rather than the center. Does the center of the hole not represent the true aiming and shooting ability of the shooter? If a .308 is fired and breaks the line of the next scoring ring, but a .223 is fired dead center THROUGH the hole, did the .223 shooter not make an identical shot? Are they not deserving of the same score, since the center of their hits were identical?

The 30 caliber rule was invented by sore M1A shooters that were jealous of the accuracy that the mouse gun afforded. Had there been something that the Garand shooters could have done to cheat the M1A shooters back in the 60's and early 70's, I'm sure they would have done it too.

Oh well, doesn't matter that much to me, I beat'em anyway.

March 27, 2005, 06:48 AM
I'm not disagreeing with you regarding the gist of your content, but I do want to straighten out the terminology and some of the finer points.

The "30 Caliber Rule" is the way it was previously...as Jon says, all shots get plugged with a 30 Caliber gauge. The rule change REMOVED the 30 Caliber Rule.

Historically, in the past pretty near all calibers in use were 30 cal. You'd get the odd 6mm and 7mm, but they were rare enough that it didn't make sense to get plugs of different calibers. Somewhere around 2000, a proposition to change the rule to "Plug with actual caliber" was floated with the NRA. Comments were invited and in speaking with the NRA Competitions Department after it was all decided, virtually none was offered (for or against). Sad, because when I posted a question regarding the change on the old Shooters.com board, it created the longest thread ever with passionate arguements both ways.

Lesson learned: When a proposal is floated by the NRA, make your feelings known in writing right to the Competitions Dept right away.

Steve, FYI, the 35 Cal limit applies to "Any-Rifle" but there doesn't appear to be any restrictions on "Match Rifles". Funny because I had a recollection that 8mm was the maximum caliber for Highpower (I couldn't find it in the 2003 Rules.

And...don't go getting uppity on the 30 Cal folks..."Oh well, doesn't matter that much to me, I beat'em anyway"...outstanding scores have been fired with the 308, and continue to be. Jim O'Connell won the Civilian SR title not long ago shooting one...and the only 500's ever fired by the SR's were fired with the 308 (or more properly with the 7.62 NATO, since one was using M118 and the other M852). :neener:

March 27, 2005, 08:01 AM
The removal of the .30 cal rule was a huge item of contention several years ago. I remember reading how the world was gonna end because of it :rolleyes:

Anyhow, I always felt, and still do, that a hit is a hit and a miss is a miss. If you want the benifit of a large caliber scoring plug, shoot a large caliber and take the hit of the recoil, and all the other baggage that come along with shooting the big bores.

There have been a few times where the .30 cal rule would have helped me a lot. Once this winter I shot a 498 on a reduced course and both the nines would have plugged with the .30 cal had the rule been in place. I would really have liked to shoot a 500, but I would never have shot that 498 with my M14. So I am still way ahead of the game.

Jon Coppenbarger
March 27, 2005, 05:24 PM
Sure you would of John.
I found it amazing how easy everything came besides off hand with the ar15 compared to the M1A's.

Steve Smith
March 27, 2005, 05:45 PM
BR, I am just as aware as you about records made by the .30's that still stand. The records are what they are not because of the caliber, nor the rifle itself, but because of the shooter. The essense of what I said is still the same and is the truth, technically speaking, despite my "uppityness." I will continue to improve, and who knows, I might even break one of those records myself.

Steve Smith
March 27, 2005, 08:05 PM
BR, I am just as aware as you about records made by the .30's that still stand. The records are what they are not because of the caliber, nor the rifle itself, but because of the shooter. The essense of what I said is still the same and is the truth, technically speaking, despite my "uppityness." I will continue to improve, and who knows, I might even break one of those records myself.

March 27, 2005, 08:17 PM
Oh well, doesn't matter that much to me, I beat'em anyway.
Well, let's see...it depends on who "em" is and during what match you might be speaking of, but I have records for only a few with knowlege of who was shooting what. If "em" means M14/M1A shooters in general then here's some info.

2003 NTI
O'Connell was shooting an M1A that year I believe. 492-23x
Bob Beckett was shooting an M1A I'm certain. 482-16x
Stephen Smith AR15 475-4x

We could do the same with the President's and NRA Matches as well.

Hipwr223, some of us were using that rule to upgrade 7's and 8's! How'r you likin' this M14 vs M16 discussion? :evil:

March 27, 2005, 08:22 PM
"Hipwr223, some of us were using that rule to upgrade 7's and 8's! How'r you likin' this M14 vs M16 discussion? "

Chris I have been thru this discussion too many times in the past. I got slapped around like a red headed stepson during the original debates at the defunct shooters.com. I have found it best to never discuss religion, politics, or the .30 cal rule amongst friends.

March 27, 2005, 08:24 PM
Hipwr223 (the shooter formerly known as Hipwr308)
...true...true...especially that part about "politics" these days...

Headless Thompson Gunner
March 27, 2005, 08:38 PM
I'm confused. Why wouldn't you score a shot using a plug that's the same size as the bullet that made the hole? Seems obvious to me that this would be the most accurate scoring method, and also the most fair. So what am I missing? (I'm new to highpower shooting, and I am genuinely curious what factors I may not be considereing)

"But the other guy might be me just because his bullets are bigger than mine" sounds awfully petty to me. The difference in size between a .223 and a .308 is only 0.085 inch. At 500 yards, that amounts to a whopping 17 thousands of one MOA. Does that honestly make a difference? And even if it does make a difference, why don't you just shoot the bigger bullet if you want that advantage?

Taken to its logical conclusion, why doesn't everyone shoot .50s in highpower competition? That'd give you the largest advantage in terms of bullet size and scoring. Does the Barret rifle meet the requirements for Service Rifle?

March 27, 2005, 08:56 PM

I have no problem discussing politics when it flushes out the enemy though.

Quintin Likely
March 27, 2005, 09:23 PM
I'm confused. Why wouldn't you score a shot using a plug that's the same size as the bullet that made the hole?
Pure speculation on my part: I think because at the time, .30 calibers were the cartridge. A lot of people didn't take the mouse gun seriously until the bullets to make it a serious XTC threat to the horsepower king M1s and M1As were available. So, since the cartridge wasn't really considered something to use across the course, no one really cared at the time about having the plugs to score it.
Taken to its logical conclusion, why doesn't everyone shoot .50s in highpower competition? That'd give you the largest advantage in terms of bullet size and scoring. Does the Barret rifle meet the requirements for Service Rifle?
.50 BMG would make for a very interesting rapid string. :p

March 27, 2005, 09:32 PM
That's easy.

The .30 caliber rule is that only real men shoot .30 calibers in Highpower.....



Steve Smith
March 28, 2005, 07:17 AM
BR, let me know when you get over your myopia and can read the last sentence of my last post.

FWIW, I didn't say I beat em all, but I do beat a fair share, and will beat more. The shooters you pointed out are not only exceptional in their own right, but also the exception to the rule, and the least likely to consider the death of the 30 caliber rule as an advantage.

Funny, I hardly ever see you poke your head out of the sand for more mundane issues, but you are quick to jump in when there is arguing to be done. While you are correct about the score (and I don't know what you and Hpwr223 are talking about), being a devil's advocate about the rule doesn't make you right...it just makes you argumentative.

The current state of the "30 caliber rule" (that is, its absense...thanks BR) is a He Man bonus, plain and simple. If you choose to shoot the larger gun, you get a bonus. Someone, somewhere, thought that it was deserved. I have shot both (M14 and AR-15) and I don't think it's deserved.

March 28, 2005, 07:27 AM

When I mention that I never discuss religion, politics or the .30 rule amongst friends, Chris was pointing out my hypocricy for discussing politics with friends at the FL HP site. The difference is that the liberal leftist shooters/gunsmiths that frequent the FL site are not my friends.

None of that was directed at you. Sorry if you misread any of that.


Steve Smith
March 28, 2005, 07:33 AM
John, not at all. I was reading his "7 or 8" jab and wondering what the context was...but it is none of my business.

I'm sure that we could all find material to argue on if we get into politics but thankfully that isn't even allowed here, or I would surely wind up banning myself.

Hey man, I'm back in the US right now...actually in NC. Jon C is shipping some gear out to me so I can start shooting matches again. LMK if you are making it to some of the "big" matches in the south.

Jon Coppenbarger
March 28, 2005, 08:18 AM
John You need to work on your scores!! LOL
Chris I think the Island is moving and effecting your shooting!! At least your taste is shooting wear! LOL
Steve I did not forget you as some of its packed but needed a different box for one thing going out very soon.

You know I got back into this sport about 2 years after the rule changed and remember the still heated debates back then. What I remember is having to use a bigger plug on those little holes but never gave it much thought as I was only seeing 1 or 2 guys using them back in 91 or 92.

A few of us can go back and remember about the same high scores with folks shooting the 14's. There were fewer of them but man they could make those things sing! I still have not equaled my off hand average from those days but my rapid scores have sure gone up. At least when I do not cross fire or do other stupid things.

I did not want to really talk about it as you saw in my first post but I will say this.
I DO NOT CARE, there is nothing I can do about it or care to do about it.
Most of us most likely see many shots every match that would of made the 30 cut but I really have not given it much thought if any at a match other than "Man I need to work on my group".

To Steve, John and yes you to Chris I hope the weather finnally gets better so we can all go out and get some matches in.
PS for you Chris you need more Rain during your maches! LOL

You all are what I consider good friends and hope to see you all on the line.

March 28, 2005, 08:21 AM
First of all, I don't get here nearly enough, I know...and I don't have much to offer the IDPA, 3-gun etc folk. If I see something HP related at the top and I can offer something, I do (this weekend I also posted on M14 Flash Suppressors). And stuff at the top is generally stuff that's being discussed a bit...sometimes more controversial...like "the 30 Cal Rule". I could throw in my 2 cents on more "mundane" stuff, but most times by the time I've seen it, it's old news.

Ya know that "uppity" comment was offered in fun and was a sorta reminder that there's folk with all kinds of rifles in the audience here. You wouldn't want any of them to walk away with a bad taste would you? Confidence is a good thing, but some folk might take the "he man" bit the wrong way if they didn't know you. :cool:

I was reading his "7 or 8" jab and wondering what the context was... ...that was no jab at all...or actually a jab at myself saying that I'm not at John's level and would get benefits from the 30 Cal Rule more often upgrading 7's and 8's versus John's 9's to 10's and 10's to X's.

We need to catch up. I missed that whole thing and am trying to understand what happened. BTW, "hypocrisy" wasn't being pointed out...it was more an agreement with your statement. I'll shoot you an e-mail off board.

I got rain going on right now...you happy? :scrutiny: You and I are in agreement on our role in this whole thing. It's there, we apply it, we don't worry about the rest.

Steve Smith
March 28, 2005, 07:41 PM
Chris, I'm sure we ALL are in agreement, despite our disagreement with the rule itself. I am first and foremost an honest competitor and even though I disagree with the "post 30 caliber rule rule" I still apply it and expect it to be applied, as we all should.

On He Man here's my take: I have rarely heard a Master or High Master (especially the latter) M14 shooter mention that it's a "man's rifle" or the only "real rifle." Usually they have grown tired of that comment by then and are only interested in their own growth in the sport, rather than macho posturing.

All I care about when hearing another person talk about their shooting prowess is how they shoot, not what the shoot. Well, as long as it's a Service Rifle. ;)

March 29, 2005, 06:55 AM
We're actually in closer agreement regarding the 30 Cal Rule than you think. I thought the center of the hold was the best measure of skills. I also thought the practicalities of needing only one plug in the pits was a good thing. I didn't agree with the need for a change, but it's what we got so like Jon, I just shrug my shoulders, apply it and focus on more important things.

You actually missed the mark on my "he-man" bit...but unknowingly hit it with this.
...only interested in their own growth in the sport, rather than macho posturing.

Now if you want to talk about posturing from an M14 shooter, do I have a story for you... :p ...and there is a certain board member cringing right now, hoping I don't break into the archives. :D

March 29, 2005, 08:13 AM
Common Chris I was young and dumb. However I did shoot the M14 really well when it stayed together. My last Sam Dayton built M1A was every bit as accurate as any AR I have owned. It really was. THe down side to the whole system is that unless you have a USMC or AMU van following you around, you are gonna have to tweak and fix stuff all the time.

Sorry this is off topic anyhow.

Steve Smith
March 29, 2005, 05:24 PM
BR (oops John and I used your name earlier, want me to take them off?), I knew what you were getting at with the he man thing all along. ;) It's the same thing that I was getting at.

Ok, Hpwr223, how about some east coast matches?! I gotta get some shooting done! Jon has all my reloading gear now so I think I'll use that Hornady reman for half a season. That should be a fun experiment.

March 29, 2005, 08:32 PM

Are you making a permanent move to the east coast? I generally do not get much chance to shoot any farther south than Bridgeville De. In the old days I would make Quantico once in a blue moon, but I simply can not get the time away from the shop. I will be going to De at least a couple times this summer if I can make it. My stupid store has grown somewhat beyond my control these last couple years and it is consuming my life sadly. It is certainly getting in the way of my shooting.


Zak Smith
March 30, 2005, 01:35 AM
The game is an accuracy contest, not a he-man contest. Highpower rules allow for up to .35 caliber rifles to be fired, and this round would have a .05" scoring advantage to a .308 or a .30-06 or even a .300 Win mag. Should a rifle in .35 Whelen have an advantage over .300 Win Mag? NO.
This got me thinking. Is High-Power a "practical" sport, or a pure game with arbitrary rules? Is it confused about its identity?

The definition of the service rifle and the equipment/sling rules seem to indicate intent for some level of practicality in the equipment (ie, similar to issue rifle & kit). On the other hand there are totally impractical devices employed such as shooting jackets, there are statements like "it is an accuracy contest" (contrast to IPSC's motto of DVC - Speed, Power, Accuracy), and the rules allow for things like sighter shots and alibis for broken guns.

I figure this is as good a thread as any to ask this, since it seems a question behind the plug debate. My background is exclusively the self-described "practical" shooting sports such as IPSC, 3Gun, and tactical rifle. Lately I've been reading long-range.com and nationalmatch.us for some bolt rifle data. The contrast between the kind of shooting I'm used to and the issues discussed in those forums brought this to a head for me.

I don't intend this to criticize HP, since I sure as heck would benefit from shooting it, but I'm wondering about the philosophy behind it.


March 30, 2005, 08:09 AM
I am no highpower historian,( BlindRat would be better to answer this I am sure), but here is what I think. When National Match course shooting was started it was an effort to raise the skill level of the average soldier. The Distinguished program was the carrot for soldiers to go after. It was at some point understood that the average civilian should also have these skills and the DCM was started. For a long time the military had known distance courses as SOP for qualification. However, in recent years, the Army has gone away from KD qual and only the USMC still use a course of fire similar to NMC. Since Vietnam the emphasis has shifted away from individual rifleman skills in the military in general(IMHO) and at least within the ARMY by and large. So Highpower rifle shooting has lost much of it's nessecity as a training aid and has become more of a sport.

It is still the best way to teach an individual how to become a rifleman. If you can shoot NMC well you can translate those skills into practical shooting with ease. Hopefully with a new AMU commander we are seeing an effort to include more KD shooting in the ARMY and maybe one day it will become doctrine again.


Jon Coppenbarger
March 30, 2005, 09:01 AM
I will answer some of your questions.
There are two things we shoot and they are NRA matches and CMP matches.
You asked about sighters and in the NRA regular matches we shoot you get 2 sighting shots in each position before you shoot. In CMP matches we shoot other than specialty matches like the garand match you get NO sighters at any distance or position.
The rules for CMP do vary slightly but only in the way they are run and not really the equipment but the CMP is strickly followed for big matches.
It actually states in the CMP book all rules not listed here are covered by the rules of the NRA. So that means everything is covered.

The CMP type matches were started by the president of the united states around the turn of the century to promote civilian marksmanship in case we were needed in war.
The rifles Steve, Chris, John and myself shoot are service rifles and they must follow the rules down to the T.
What that means is the rifle MUST look exactly like a issue weapon with the only external modifications you will notice might be a shiney stainless barrel for some folks and a small hood if they want on the rear sight. Internal mods are generally just a tuned two stage trigger set at no lower than 4.5# and maybe a better chamber and a float tube hid under the handgaurds.
Thats really about it.

The use of a jacket is allowed but you do not have to use it and its only real use is it allows you to tighten your sling tighter and wrap it in the proper way around your arm and also it allows you to really pull the rifle in tight.
It does help on off hand positions but not as much as you would think.
The mat is used to just keep you out of the dirt and mud and is not allowed in certain CMP matches either. The use of a spotting scope is allowed as you will need it to help read the wind and without it you could not score for others.
YOU do not have to use any of the above but they have been used by the US Army and Marine shooters since the start so we get to use them also. If its allowed for our fighting men for marksmanship we get to use it also.

Alot of folks think they know how to shoot and they do have a good ideal but just like your sport it takes skill and you do not get to the top or better untill you practice it and want to improve.
Most folks that start out say at even reduced 200 yard matches keep over 95% of there shots or even all of them in the scoring rings. I thought I was a pretty good shot. Always or most always got my deer or elk or what ever it was I was going after. Went to my first match and it was a humbling experience to say the least but it drove me to want to learn.
What I love about this sport to say a few things that Mr Basham said.
You do not have to jump high like in basketball, You do not have to be strong and big like in football or run the 4 minute mile to be a good shot.
Thats why a 14 year old girl that might weigh 90 pounds can beat us with the same equipment.
Its easy to shoot but to get to the point like John said a score of 498 or win a national title as he did is a hard thing to do as believe me he gets my upmost respect and you might not think of it John but we do look to you and I do listen when you speak. We might not always agree on little things like a pad under a elbow but please believe me when I say it in no way reduces my respect for you. It just goes to show alot of us how great this sport is that the shooters that have reached a few goals alot of us strive for talk and share with the others that are trying to each those goals.

A example of what it is like for a shooter going to camp perry is a very great article written by Steve Smith after his first trip to Camp Perry for the nationals in 2003. Steve you might post a place for folks to read that as it truely give a new person the insight to what the experience is. When I read it I can relive the trip over again.

Zak think about showing up the first morning and shooting the Pesidents 100.
You just came all the way to ohio from here in CO where we are.
You get up at like 5 in the morning and that makes it 3 our time. Grab a bite to eat and out to the range. You most likely have to park a ways off. Put everything you need for the day on that little cart you have to pull around as you will not get off of the firing line untill way after 4 and maybe like 7 that night. You are shooting on Viale range and once you park and get your stuff close to the range it is only the beginning as the firing line is still 800 yards away so you either walk or throw your stuff on a tractor pulled cart that takes you to the end of the firing line.
Then you have to walk to your position down the line and there are 150 firing points so your walk might still be a long one of up to 10 more minutes. Oh did I mention the WET grass and every time you take a step the mosquitoes come up in a swarm to attack you.
You get to your point and you are squaded with 5 others on your position. You look at the others and you have a general run down like this. A young person most likely around 18, A Marine or Army shooter team member, Maybe a Natioanal champion, Most likely a new shooter who has no real ideal what they have gotten themselfs into and a couple of average joes like myself in the mix. Its 7 for roll call and then its either off to the pits or you stay at the line. 7:30 its colors and the canon goes off and the emotions of the event strike you! From Its time to the reality of where you are at and who has walked these grounds and now that it is light to how many folks are there and how big this place is.
Like me a first timer and I get to fire first (thanks).
You are up on the line and you get your prep and the fog rolls in or its raining or it happens to be sunny that day and the light in the early morning has thrown that target into something you never saw before. Your zero's go out the window from where you shot here in CO as you have to learn the hard way that that sun lite is a 1/2 minute right if its out and the light in the morning is a good 1/2 minute higher that it would be just a couple of more relays later.

Oh and remember its standing off hand and that wobble you thought the training and all those matches was cured away long ago has just come back as with everything around you going on you are going threw the motions. you check your rifle 2 or 3 times to make sure its not loaded for the dry firing during prep as you have heard the stories of folks firing and then getting kicked off the range for the day and then WHAM!!!!! somebody fires a couple targets down from you and they are gone for the day. You check you rifle for the 3rd or 4th time again.
And then it starts and then the pressure builds from the opening shot of CMP week on tuesday till you finish up on SAT. It does not get easier either as it goes. The day you are helping the juniors for the Whistler boy match. Now remember they have just trained all year for that one match and its the one big match for just them once a year. It does not matter if you are in the pits for them to pull targets or the coach calling the wind on the line or the Captain of that two man junior team running around making sure they have everything like that ammo or the jacket they are suppossed to have and making sure the coach has nothing to worry about like you keeping track of the score being done right for your juniors. You know if YOU mess up and believe me it will try to many times that day you have just ruined any chances for your team winning that day and thats you and not even what the shooters have done.
Or the 6 man Team match also no sighters with 5 others and your coach depending on your every shot being right in there.
And the end of it all the Rattle battle match 50 seconds starting from 600 yards with 25 to 30 rounds or more you fire and NO alibi's for anything even no pit alibi's. Also no mats and no scopes other than a coach with a pair of 10x50 bino's to call the wind.
Like me last year I have to fire on two targets as were asigned to me. Its 500 yards targets start to come up and guess what the target I am aiming at does not come up so I start to swing to my second target but right when I start to switch my primary target comes up so I just start over. Now my team mate next to me has aleady fired like 2 or 3 rounds by the time I get settled on my target again and then I fire like 4 rounds and my rifle jams. Clear the jam and recharge it and get back on the target and then continue firing but after like 4 more rounds I switch to my second target to make sure I get enough rounds on it to get the 6 shots in the scoring rings that it has to have to count toward the squaring and then after I fire 12 shots into it its back to finish up on the first target. Did I get all my shots off in 50 seconds? The answer is yes I did but the saved round that I used at 300. My score was 10 & 10 for a total of 20 hits out of the 24 shots I fired. Did I plan all of that NO I did not want that mess. But YES I planned and trained for what to do if it happened so I got the job done for the team.

So Zak I hope this gives you a insight as to what we do and why.
You need to come out and try it as it should help you in your sport also.
It kinda the same as you shoot.
Lets say you just layed down at the 600 yard line at Raton. Your first shot at 600 yards remember in the leg match for CMP is NO sighters. You are using a ar15 shooting .223 with open sights and you have the typical Raton winds and its like 1 or 2 in the afternoon so the clouds and rain and wind are all in play now. Your elevation has to be right as does your call of the wind as if you miss your day is over and you need that 10 ring to win. I mentioned Raton as you shoot there so you know the conditions.

Thanks Jon

Steve Smith
March 30, 2005, 09:15 AM
Zak, I like what John said above. The emphasis on the NMC and CPM courses were practical, and to the USMC and reports from roughly half the military snipers, they still are. The practicality of the game still stands, as shooting is still ultimately the same as it was 100 years ago. However, the advent of the AR-15 changed Highpower. The .223 is not an effective killing round at 600 yards. Yes, most of us could probably make headshots if the target were stationary and had a good background, but what if it is in the trees? A heavier caliber is then more prudent becuase you don't know what you'll have to punch through to get to the target (body armor, vehicle). As I said, the AR changed HP. Now it truly is a shooting game, first and foremost. Just as Smallbore is an excellent way to train for Highpower, the AR is an excellent tool to train with for using larger calibers. I would say that most anyone who is truly proficient with an AR on the NMC course would fair quite well if given an M14. I know I have proven this to myself and my achilles heel is still the same with either gun, my standing position, rather than recoil ar anything else.

I said all that to say this: I believe that shooting the AR in the NMC is extremely educational, but is leaning toward "accuracy" rather than practicality. I also believe that if a good HP AR shooter expands his horizons and first uses an M14 on the NMC and is consistently capable of shooting the same scores, then he is really doing well for himself. Beyond that, he should work with even more practical types of shooting, such as what you do...but still striving for excellence on the NMC simultaneously. The differely riflery sports are not at odds. I see the NMC and HP in general as a base for all the other sports, and something not to be left behind, but to be accessorized with skills from other disciplines.

Zak Smith
March 30, 2005, 12:25 PM
John, Jon, and Steve,

Thanks for your thoughtful replies. I now better understand the historical context of these matches.

Maybe we can hash the rest of it out over a beer sometime. I don't want to hijaack this thread or go on frothing about "practical shooting". :D


April 1, 2005, 06:46 PM
Here's an article with commentary that could give a much better account of the history behind the sport than I ever could;

Today I think that Highpower Rifle means different things to different folks. Whether it continues to have relevance for Soldiers facing an enemy is a controversial question. I think I, Jon, John and Steve witnessed a long and heated argument put forth by a Marine that Competitive Shooting (most notably Highpower Rifle Competition) did not have combat relevance when you speak to the troops that have participated in "Two Way Shooting Matches". One of the ancillary accounts brought to support that assertion was a former USMC Competitive Shooter who contrary to his earlier experiences felt that Competitive shooting in the Corps did not. Yet, I know of several Marines who have come back from Iraq and who say that skill learned in Competitive shooting absolutely have benefits in combat.

So...like politics, religion and the 30 Caliber Rule...the Combat Relevance of Highpower Rifle, is something that perhaps should not be discussed with non-Competitive shooting friends.

Steve Smith
April 2, 2005, 08:29 AM
BR, I think you last line is important for us all to remember.

Here's an article that was, as I understand, in response to the original "Highpower has no relevence to the two-way range" article. IIRC, the two writers bandied back and forth about this for a while...but anyway, here's the story.


April 2, 2005, 01:16 PM
That article written by Gooch was my contribution to the "discussion", but it was not the "former MTU shooter I was referencing. And when brought up, the article was summarily discounted by the "Highpower has not value" poster as invalid because Gooch had no combat experience.

Here's one of the threads that was offered, where Gooch actually expressed disdain for the current USMC system is built around KD Marksmanship;

And this is the thread with the actual criticisms of the former MTU shooter was brought up and where the criticism's were most strident;

Steve Smith
April 5, 2005, 07:38 AM
Thanks BR!

April 24, 2005, 02:55 PM
I shot Highpower using a Krieger-barreled M14NM for just over 10 years. I very distinctly remember the demise of the .30 caliber rule being a bone of contention for the AR-15 shooters, but never really saw where that .08" made or broke a given match. I felt it came into play most when the .30 caliber plug allowed a .224" hole to cross a scoring ring when it normally wouldn't, giving the shooter the next higher point for that particular shot.

I did my leg matches, climbed the ladder, and made my permissive TDY pilgramages to Camp Perry. I watched as the heavy bullets and single-shot loading allowed the AR-15 to finally make a name for itself where the M14 and M1 Garand previously dominated. Things soon were eerily reminiscent of how IPSC had become, with the race guns, major and minor power factor, and the widening chasm between the practical intent and paper-punching results. Granted, my M14NM wasn't exactly as-issued, with a unitized gas system and the aforementioned Krieger barrel, so I was more part of the problem than solution. My indoctrination to Highpower was the older generation's concept that participation made for better marksmen, particulary when mobilized to Ready Reserve status during a national crisis. How an 80-grain .224 bullet was supposed to do enemy interdiction at 600+ yards, I don't know.

I walked away from NRA Highpower in 2002. Or rather, graduated to 600-1000 yard F-class Open and TR Categories. I even played in 3-gun for a while, and may go back to it. I found the F-Class and 3-gun to be more of a return to the basics, much like IDPA's cleaner remake of IPSC.

But it's all good, I don't begrudge anybody their particular shooting sport. Matter of fact, I just ordered myself a retirement gift, a Remington 40XB in 7.62mm NATO. When the Custom Shop delivers it 3-6 months from now, Palma will be the next game in my sights. ;)

Jon Coppenbarger
April 24, 2005, 07:23 PM
NOOOOOOO not palma. LOL
I shot the M1A from like 82 till 91 0r 92. I do understand what you are saying. I do like this little black rifle but miss those days.

Bwana John
April 25, 2005, 10:21 AM
If .22 caliber shooters get to score using a .30 cal plug because that was the caliber of the previous servive rifle, then .30 cal shooters should be able to score using a .45 cal plug for the same reason.

April 27, 2005, 02:32 AM
If .22 caliber shooters get to score using a .30 cal plug because that was the caliber of the previous servive rifle, then .30 cal shooters should be able to score using a .45 cal plug for the same reason.

The idea is that everyone uses the same plug, that way bore diameter doesnt play a factor in scoring. SO how about everyone use the same size? It really wouldnt matter if it was .45 or .30.

April 27, 2005, 07:57 PM
Is there any other shooting sport that has some form of the .30 cal rule? Everything else I've ever shot you had to touch the scoring ring, regardless of caliber.

I can understand from a practical standpoint why it was handy when .223 plugs were an oddity, but not anymore.

Anyways, I might be a he-man, but I shoot my matches one .30 cal shot at a time.

May 10, 2005, 09:27 PM
Doesn't make any difference to me anyway! When you boys went to the RAT GUN.....I tore the tent down and went to the house!! And I pity the boys in Iraq tryin to shoot that friggin thing now!! :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

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