Help with possible start in competition


March 29, 2005, 07:03 PM
I am in the Navy on a Cruiser (small boy). Some one in the chain of command (COC) wants to start a shooting team for the Atlantic Fleet Rifle and Pistol Matches, thinking it will help with training for our VBSS teams and force protection guys. Great idea, since it gets me to shoot more and even with command blessing, but I have never shot for competition before. I have no idea what equipment/weapons are involved. The COC doesn't know either. They say wait until the competition to see. They don't even know if we provide our own weapons, or if they are provided for competitors. This is not the first time a JO has come up with a good idea, but with no plan, concept of how to get it to work, or contact info for others. And it usually falls to us to fix it for them if it is going to work. I don't have any buddies involved in this, so I have no old boy network to call to help.

Anyone have any experience with the navy shooting team type competitions and can give me some idea of what to expect, or where I can get info? I can't seem to find a spec on weapons, only that you cannot use anything but garand, m14/m1a,m16/ar15,1911,1911a1, or m9/92fs. I found a spec for the ar15 service rifle on the CMP website if that is the correct spec, too bad we use the M14 at work. My COC thinks my kimber is not allowed (forward slide grooves), but doesn't know. I need to find out what is allowed. If mine isn't legal for this, I am looking for recommendations of what would be a good 1911 to use. If it has to be a mil-spec, somehow I think the standard Springfield ain't gonna do. Any custom makers that do those kind of guns? I know work is not going to provide, and we don't have a guy who will be on the team who will build the pistols like they had out in Whidbey Island.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Jon Coppenbarger
March 29, 2005, 10:07 PM
The site is
There is the info you seek and the folks to talk to about it. I believe the fleet matches are in april but not sure.
It is a long list of things you will need but I do believe the rifles and ammo are isued in the mornings before the match for navy personel.
Talk to them and they can get you the info.

I hope this helps

March 30, 2005, 10:12 AM
If you use M-14's at work that should get you started in the service rifle matches. I would find out more about them and ammo for training. You can do a lot of shooting and practice with an as issue rifle before you are likely to need/warrent a tuned National Match rifle.
Some where in the system I am sure the equipment and resourses are available, you just have to locate it.
Good luck!

Navy joe
March 30, 2005, 10:29 AM
Hi, Where are you stationed? The fleet matches are indeed in a few weeks and you can request to go there as no cost TAD. I haven't been able to go yet due to stupid sea duty. There should already be a message out in the traffic about it. The weapons and ammo, as well as coaching get provided to you. It is standard CMP Bullseye and highpower courses and they expect you to shoot both the rifle and pistol comps.

As far as VBSS, try to find some local IPSC/IDPA for the pistols and some 3-gun. It is a lot more dynamic, moving and shooting stuff where the fleet matches are slow fire target type. Neither are training, both are games, but IPSC/IDPA and 3-gun will get you used to handling weapons quickly under stress. NEITHER ARE TRAINING!

If you are in the Norfolk area I can set you up with all kinds of stuff. If not, visit , read about the sport and find a club using the club finder.

March 30, 2005, 07:06 PM
I am in Norfolk, and that was kind of the info I was looking for. The message on the street now touts the competition as a chance to get more/better training for VBSS/Force Protection types. Most of us will take what we can get. I don't do VBSS anymore, but do FP stuff and try to do what I can with training. I am not the greatest shot, but one of the GM's put me up, since I like to shoot (recreational) and am as good as most onboard with a pistol.

I would like to try IDPA, but I don't think I am good enough. I have seen a couple of videos of folks (pro's) shooting IDPA and they are very, very fast. Way faster than me. I prefer a 1911 or my S&W 1076, as they are the most accurate for me. And since I live in Hampton now, there are no good ranges a reasonable distance away. Seems better to drive to VA Beach to A&P (a decent, if busy range) for 7.50, than the marksman (more, aggravating rules) up here with a range fee and 4 targets costing 18.50. The only range I saw with IDPA was Norfolk County Rifle Range in Chesapeake, but it is a membership range and I don't know what is involved.

Would appreciate any help. Especially with whether IDPA is worth trying here, and if anyone knows which guns are used at the fleet match. Is it 1911 or m9, and M14 or M16? Thanks

March 30, 2005, 07:41 PM
Every IDPA match I have been to I've placed in the bottom %25 or lower in the rankings(not that I’m proud, it’s just the way it is). Don't worry about being good enough just go and have a good time. Anyways, IDPA IS NOT TRAINING. Fighting off eight moving armed bad guys with hostages with a pistol as a stage? Will that happen in the real world? Maybe, but your chances of surviving are slim indeed. IDPA is a good time, make friends, swap stories and becoming more proficient with your pistol.

Just go be safe and have fun.

Oh and most matches just charge a match fee like $10-$15 with no membership required, just show up and register on time and wait for the shooters brief. Also, let 'em know that you are a new shooter and ask if some one could go over some of the procedures for shooting a stage. It wouldn't hurt to go over the IDPA rule book just as a primer. Don't worry about, having all the right equipment just bring what you got, but I would suggest, and holster for your pistol, some extra mags, about 100 rounds of ammo, and something to cover up with. Mag carrier is nice but you can pull mags out of your pockets just fine.

Navy joe
March 31, 2005, 08:39 AM
If you can not point a gun at yourself or anyone else and follow basic instructions you are good enough for IDPA. You can bring whatever handgun you like that is 9mm or larger, a safe strongside holster that points down and at least three mags. WHILE THIS IS A GAME, NOT TRAINING :D you will get max benefit ussing a Beretta 92 out of a duty holster, which possibly your command would support by bringing a gaggle of you with a GM (for all you competition readers GM right now means Gunner's Mate, not Grandmaster) and weapons to the match. First, go on your own, bring the GM and try it out.
Go to and look at the calendar. NCRR matches are open to non members. Lots of fun. My sea schedule(Fleet week) is going to screw matches up for me for a while, but if I'm around I will loan you gun and gear(Glock or Beretta 92 to try it out). The matches are Thursday nights, very convenient. April 9th they are running a tactical shotgun match out back, any stock pump gun and buttload of ammo will do.

I also shoot USPSA(IPSC) all over VA and NC, you can shoot at Blackwater with our club, duty rigs are allowed. Space guns are not necessary for IPSC.

A&P is a good range, I have a membership. Better yet, go to the Camp Allen range that is on the Marine side of NOB Norfolk behind base housing and the MCX. I have a membership there too, only open to those with some type of .mil ID card. They are running a bare bones IDPA style competition either this Sat. or next.

Jon Coppenbarger
March 31, 2005, 11:35 AM
Have you gone to the site yet?
The rules and applications and ALL the info for ALL the fleet matches and schedules are listed with contact points.
It tells you what you will need and what you can and can not bring.
You will have 2 alantic matches in the next two months and also two Pacific matches also.

If you do not do it soon you will have to wait another year for the fleet matches as they are only in the spring.
It does not keep you from firing in civilian matches or the Nationals and those are things you can also do with very few restrictions to the military folks. The only restriction you may have is you can only fire in one civilian EIC match a year. The Camp Perry EIC During the nationals on August 3rd this year is for you considered a Military match and what that means is you may shoot in the Fleet or all service matches plus the nationals and still shoot one civilian EIC match also.

I am glad you and your command are going to do this as marksmanship training in the military has gone backwards for a few years. You will get help from the Navy shooting team, The USMC shooting team and also The United States Army marksmanship Unit. Their goal is to help you train for marksmanship so you may take it back to you unit and help train others.

Due to deployments alot of the units are in either great demand or overseas and they have even started to turn to civilian shooters that are either distingished or have made the Presidents 100 to help in the training. It is in the beginning stages for that having only been done 3 or 4 times last year but it is due to expand as the program gets set up.
The USNST, USMC and USAMU programs are designed for exactly what you and your unit are looking for. All other matches of any type are engouraged and do help but go to the sources you have as it is their job to train you and they WILL or will tell you what you need to get it done.

Good luck and let us know how you do and what you think of the experience.


Navy joe
April 2, 2005, 09:37 AM
I agree that all matches are good, but here is the situation. Around here there is no decent Highpower and almost no place to practice it save for a 200 yd range 35 miles away. The closest HP I could go to would be Quantico 150 miles away or a monthly club 170 miles out that shoots 100yd reduced course. I'm taking those steps myself once not on the hook for deployment, possessing of the loot to buy HP gear, etc.

I just don't think HP is ideal right now for Buddy's situation. The GM is asking him to find an outlet because you can't hardly get military range time in the Norfolk area. You reserve a month out, every slot is full, and someone will probably be more than happy to jump your time slot if your command is late. Heck, many units use a local private indoor range to train up reservists as well as get the specwar guys extra trigger time. What I'm saying is there will be about zero chance to get out and practice highpower skills before or after the fleet matches. That said, you still get paid while you are there, they hand you guns and ammo, and coach you. What's not to like? Everyone that can go should.

VBSS stands for Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure, they boat or helicopter onto ships and boats of people that may not like us to search for contraband ranging from drugs in the Caribbean to illegal weapons/other cargo in the Persian Gulf. Any weapons use would probably be in structures, on the move and pretty fast. I doubt that if shooting starts on a VBSS raid that anyone will check their Natural Point of Aim. That's why I said IDPA/IPSC, not training, but gives a chance to use their guns from holsters, in dynamic situations.

Jon Coppenbarger
April 3, 2005, 05:49 PM
I do understand as I was just replying to his search for info as his original post was seeking info for the Alantic fleet matches and the rules and what it would take so I was trying to get him all the info as per his post.
Thanks Jon

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