What the heck is 'match grade'?


January 13, 2003, 01:27 PM

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January 13, 2003, 01:32 PM
A sales tool.

Navy joe
January 13, 2003, 01:46 PM
Sometimes also genuinely means that the gun is worked to the point where it will always shoot better than you're gonna have a prayer of doing, or that ammo of the same stamp is .5 MOA consistent but your hold is 5 MOA inconsistent. Unlike "tactical" you some times get what you pay for with match grade.

January 13, 2003, 01:52 PM
A sales tool.


January 13, 2003, 01:59 PM
Match grade what ?
Match grade ammo is usually loaded to tighter tolorances with bullets designed for match shooting rather than hunting or personal defense.
A match grade barrel is usually a barrel that has been manufactured to closer tolorances and is better finished than a production line barrel.
A match grade gun usually means a gun that is manufacturered to conform to competition in some kind of match. For example you might see a match grade AR15. This is an AR15 with a trigger that is lighter and smoother than a mil-spec trigger and usually the weight is at the minimum allowed per the rules of the match. The rifle will also have a barrel that is not mil-spec; it won't have a chrome chamber or barrel, it will probably have a SAMMI chamber rather than a NATO chamber. It will have a free float tube with not only floats the barrel but also allows the use of a shooting sling without effecting your POI.
There is definitely a difference in match grade stuff offered by a reputable manufacturer. If you are looking at something in particular I am sure you can just ask the company what the differences are.

January 13, 2003, 02:05 PM
For a 1911 match grade has a very specific meaning:

A match grade 1911 starts with a frame, barrel, and slide which are slightly oversized and "cut in" to specific (ideal) size. Frame first, then the slide is fitted to it.. The barrel has oversized lugs that are machined in for a proper (perfect) fit. In lockup, the lower lugs rest snug on the cross pin of the slide stop and the upper lugs rest snug against the top of the slide. This is the ultimate (three point) support of the barrel rear which allows zero movement in lockup. Of course, the bushing has to be properly fitted as well and the barrel must be top quality.

A true match grade 1911 is one which will consistently shoot sub inch groups. It takes a lot of hand fitting to get one.

A mass produced 1911 has parts which are intentionally "sized loose" so they don't require much fitting. In lockup, there is always some barrel play and the rest position is usually standing up on the link, not resting on the cross pin. Obviously, you get a spread of accuracy and performance which is not consistent or predictable.

Andrew Wyatt
January 13, 2003, 02:17 PM
in the case of .308, federal and Black hills ammo duplicate the most accurate handload in my dad's M-1a.

You do get what you pay for there.

January 13, 2003, 03:10 PM
I have learned 'match grade' as being a step above 'standard' but a step or so behind 'target' :scrutiny:
Sometimes it's just a marketing ploy, sometimes it really is an upgrade in quality & precision. Tough part is figuring out which :banghead:

January 13, 2003, 04:29 PM
I think it's out of the same dictionary as tackycal.

January 13, 2003, 05:00 PM
"Match Grade" goes back to the National Match variants of US military arms, to include the National Match 1903 Springfield rifle and National Match M1 Garand, as well as National Match 1911 pistols. These guns were assembled by military armorers for the purpose of winning competitions. They will have 'N.M.' stamped on their component parts. In the case of the 1903, they will often have a small star stamped on the muzzle crown.

Nowadays, unfortunately, Match Grade could mean simply a stamping or rollmark somewhere, with little attendant improvement in tolerance and quality. :(

January 14, 2003, 12:32 AM
F4GIB nailed it on the first shot! :neener:

January 14, 2003, 12:40 PM
Match-grade is one of several designations for the same rifle in a different stock, or the same cartridge with a different bullet. In order:

1. Tactical
2. Match-grade
3. Varmint
4. Target
5 Sporter
6. Wal-Mart

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