I'm infatuated with High Power


March 20, 2012, 07:49 PM
I'm really just starting out as a shooter, and mainly have only hunted this past year (which I loved). I have read several "what do I need" and "how do I get started" threads so this isn't one of those. It seems that the more I read and see the more the fun High power shooting looks to me. Now my first issue is cost, I know it costs a lot to shoot high power even if you reload, and due to life, as it were, it will be a while before I can really afford to start out. I am a new member of a local gun club that has NRA HP competitions and while at the range a member was actually practicing for the comp and as I watched he actually offered to let me shoot his spare as long as I provide the ammo. AWESOME right? This brings me to my next issue....I haven't fired anything more powerful than a 50cal ML and never farther than 30yrds.

So all that lead up to this question. I can afford a Mosin-Nagant right now and have been wanting one for a while. I was wondering if shooting a MN would be good practice to get me worked up for the recoil and working on the fundamentals? Also would I even be viable in a HP competition with a MN or would it be just a glorified plink session for me? All the while I would be saving up for the real deal to be competitive.

Irregardless I plan to pick up a MN just for fun, history and a friend of mine wants to hunt some wild hogs down south and with his sporterized MN.

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March 20, 2012, 07:58 PM
A lot of clubs have loaner rifles...you pay for the ammo and shoot theirs. Use something that you can compete with, like an AR 15, M1a or Garand.

March 20, 2012, 08:03 PM
If you want to shoot HP, spend the Nagant money on ammo to shoot HP. Practice with the .22 you have listed in your sig line. Shooting an event will do more for you than a MN.

What you need to get down is positions, sight pic (NPA) & trigger control.

March 20, 2012, 08:42 PM
Most guys shooting High-Power matches competitively are going to be shooting an AR-15. So you really don't need to worry about working up to the recoil. Many advantages over the other service rifles and ammo cost is not even the least of them.

I like mil-surps as much as the next guy but no way I'd put money down on a Mosin if I wanted to get into HP competition. It would be much better to take the time you need to save up and get a rifle that will help you do well. Meanwhile, read, attend matches, get to know the local guys in the High Power cult, volunteer to help in the butts. Learn the game. Make friends -- who will end up helping you excel. And save up for a decent match rifle and equipment.

March 20, 2012, 09:02 PM
Rock River NMAR. Other than ammo, a 5x7 blue tarp to lay on, stove or welder glove, and a cloth coat (denim, whatever) you're good to go. Spend money on match fees and ammo. As far as upper limits go, HP can really thin your wallet as you'll spend $300 for some gadget that raises your score 2 points. It's addictive and fun, HP shooters are good people and I enjoy their company.

March 21, 2012, 03:39 AM
Practice with the .22 you have listed in your sig line. Shooting an event will do more for you than a MN

Maybe check out some CMP Rimfire Sporter (http://www.odcmp.com/NM/Rimfire.htm) matches with your Savage. A sling, 3 positions, slow & rapid fire...sounds like good, affordable & relevant practice while you're gearing up for HP.

March 21, 2012, 04:13 AM
I appreciate the responses, alot of great input. MrBorland I was actually thinking of doing some rimfire just like you say, its nice and affordable.

Its almost like being a kid again, I've always wanted to get into shooting sports and have been held back until very recently so its hard to not want to get into everything available. So its possible I am getting ahead of myself, but thats why I like this forum, you guys give good solid advice and leave out the "you're and idiot for asking or thinking"

March 21, 2012, 09:58 AM
You've gotten some excellent advice here. Practice with your .22. Practice practice practice. All of what you learn with the .22 transfers to HP very nicely. Not only that, but the .22 is a far less forgiving arm than any HP rifle. Trigger pull, follow through, NPA etc are all MORE critical with a .22.
Save your $ and buy a good accurate AR rifle. The Mosey will not yield much in the way of experience for HP, save a good strong flinch.


March 21, 2012, 11:23 AM
do NOT get a MN to practice for HP. it will hurt you more than help.

the best practice you can get is rimfire or dryfiring. take your 22lr to a smallbore comp to start. it's even more challenging than HP (to me at least) and a whole lot cheaper.

as was stated, almost every club has loaner rifles and ammo.

if you follow sam1911's advice above, you will likely have plenty of older folks offering you their old gear.

March 21, 2012, 08:14 PM
Here is the link to Appleseed in Ohio. You might check them out for a weekend.


Great place to get some shooting under your belt

Edit: didn't filter for Ohio right when pasted

March 21, 2012, 08:38 PM
I'm actually a member of the Lima Sabres thats on the top of the Ohio list for apple seed. They run a couple different rimfire comps that I can look into. I just have to work it out with my crazy ass fast rotating swing shift

March 22, 2012, 05:46 AM
Great advice so far. You will find most HP shooters are more than willing to help the new guy. This will end when you start posting better scores than thet are. :p The shooting small bore suggestion is a very good one. See if there are any clinics in your area. You should ask the guy who is lending his rifle to you who he would ask to be shown the different positions and go find that person.

Dry fire practice is important. 10 minutes here, 10 minutes there makes a difference. Put a black tack in the wall and back away about 15 feet or so. It will look about right to you.

The rifle: Rock River does make about the best out of the box NM rifle out there. Most of the store bought rifles will be RRA's. For about the same money as the RRA NM rofle you can order a White Oak Arms upper and build a RRA lower your self. It jest so happens WOA has about the best price on the lower parts/stock. but be ready for a wait on the upper from WOA. If you wanted to spend a little mire as in a few hundred dollars more, you could build the same lower and get a White Oak Precision upper. (WOA and WOP are owned by the same company) The main difference is the pinned rear sights are included with the WOP. Of the three mentioned, all of them can take you to Master.

2nd important is the scope. Buy as much scope as you can afford. Scope stands have become expensive too. It would be easy to spend even and a little more than you did on the rifle on the scope. The ideal scope power is 25 or 27X.

You can use a piece of carpet for a mat. A bucket for the stool and a heavy jacket, not coat for the coat. If no jacket, long sleeve shirts.

Often times the old shooters will have used gear to sell. Keep your ears open and you could even let the guys know your in the market.

I have to warn you about getting a Creedmore heavy coat....they tend to shrink in the winter months.

March 22, 2012, 06:44 AM
All good advice - start with smallbore and Appleseed won't hurt any either (altho they use a sling for offhand which is a no-no in HP). Here's a thread with equipment discussions, including how I started off on the cheap and what was a good early investment vs stuff that could be postponed.


WOA cannot be beat for value and quality, altho my RRA NM has not given me any issues - it's simply a bit looser, including the chamber, than the White Oak. When it's shot out, I'll have John re-barrel it and pin the sights so the 2 guns will be identical. They both use Wilson barrels so the minor differences are in the fitting and attention to detail. The lower doesn't matter squat as long as you get a good trigger ($$) - Gieselle or Extreme, or RRA 2-stage if on a budget, but it's a buy-once, cry-once thing.


March 22, 2012, 08:52 AM
If you want a Mosin-Nagant just to have one, by all means satisfy that itch.

But do not use it for High Power practice. Unlearning bad habits is much, much harder than learning good ones from the start.

Often times the old shooters will have used gear to sell. Keep your ears open and you could even let the guys know your in the market.

There is a lot of truth in that statement. This sport has been around for over a century. People enter and leave it. There are probably more people leaving than entering it today, but I have no way of validating that statement. I do see a lot more older competitiors on the line than those from the younger generation.

That may have something to do with disposable income, and how we really don't start to come into much of it until we're past our 30's. High Power competition isn't the cheapest sport to get into. And many in the younger generation don't have the patience and discipline for it yet. It's a very focused sport, it isn't flashy like 3 gun or the action pistol sports, and any money a young person gets seems to get spent on firearms for activities that are just more fun for the younger generation.

Anyway, when the older generation finally gives it up, they dispose of their gear. I've got gear myself on indefinite loan from competitors who've gotten out of the sport.

I am a new member of a local gun club that has NRA HP competitions and while at the range a member was actually practicing for the comp and as I watched he actually offered to let me shoot his spare as long as I provide the ammo. AWESOME right?

I'd make friends with him, and attend those local matches before you go out and buy a single thing. All you really need is the rifle. And ammo. And it sounds like this fellow is willing to loan you one for the events.

Everything else you can borrow or use a substitute for in the meantime. Just go to the local matches, use your social skills to make friends, and someone will step up to guide you through the journey. That's just how the passion and knowledge of these sports gets passed along. Most of the events I attend are looking for ways to attract the younger generation into it so the sport can continue.

March 22, 2012, 08:58 AM
Oh, I almost forgot. You're very close to Camp Perry. Perhaps two hours?

Attend the National Match events. Just go show up. Volunteer to help this year. They're always looking for volunteers to help in some fashion. Furthermore, there will be competitors there who just don't have the health to pull targets and will pay someone to go do it for them. It's not a lot of money, but it'll pay for your gas and lunch.

When you're ready to get something, that's a great place to get it. You'll find no end to the vendors and competitors selling off their used gear. You're very fortunate to be so close to it.

March 22, 2012, 09:24 PM
I don't know Ken, I've seen some Juniors who will flat kick everyone's behind every chance they can. I shot with a snot nosed kid who is a high master with a service rifle. It kind of takes learned treachery and conniving out of play.

An example: I shoot with another junior who was on track for a scholarship for not missing any school. As a senior in HS, he had not missed one single day of school from the first day he stepped into kindergarten. We were shooting a Garand match and I was informed by him he was going to beat me that day. I asked why. He said it was because all of his sighters were 10’s and mine were not. My come back was he could not beat me on that day because he had already shot all of his 10’s. I was kidding of course, but he did not shoot another 10 that day. I might have won that match….can’t remember. The kid did get the flue later on and missed a day of school losing out on the scholarship. Still a good kid but I have not seen him for awhile due to my health issues. The kids girlfriend by the way could clean the offhand phase of small bore match. Our local 4H club is turning out some shooters.

WOA cannot be beat for value and quality, altho my RRA NM has not given me any issues - it's simply a bit looser, including the chamber, than the White Oak RRA, WOA and WOP all use the Wylde chamber by the way. Don't get me wrong, I do like the 2 WOP uppers I have. I've sold a few WOP's when people ask me what I'm shooting.

March 22, 2012, 09:45 PM
p-32, yeah, eyesight and being able to focus on the front sight are a big deal. youth has an advantage. wish i had started at a much younger age

Jon Coppenbarger
March 22, 2012, 11:31 PM
yeah as far as pulling and getting paid? During the team match which is really the only ones you may have a paid puller for. You must register also (may not have to pay for that if I remember right) and you can register there the day before or so. look for signs on the bullitin boards along the walls out side on commercial row. We pay $150 per person and usual hire up to 4 persons for that match they run on thursday. But we have had the same 4 folks do it for us like the last 3 years.(locals) Not a bad way to spend about 7 hours and then head over and buy stuff with on commercial row or at the cmp office.

Ask around your local club and see if you can borrow a rifle or share a rifle for any of the garand, old military rifle matches or the such they run during the nationals. good way to learn.

March 22, 2012, 11:56 PM
RRA, WOA and WOP all use the Wylde chamber by the way
There's more than one "Wylde" titled chamber cut.

March 23, 2012, 12:35 AM
P-32, anecdotes do not make a population.

I see more people over 40 than under on the lines. Period. In fact, a whole bunch of them are well past 40 years old. I think if you're honest you'd admit to seeing the same.

Now I see the exact opposite in the IDPA matches I shoot. But this sport is not a young person's game. It takes a patience and a discipline that most do not have in their teens, twenties and thirties. By the time it settles in, life has a way of eating up your little, tiny bit of disposable income so that even if you were so inclined, it's a hard game to just jump right into.

March 24, 2012, 12:53 AM
Well heck Ken, I see everybody younger than me. 40 year olds are kids. I see the group you are talking about as a flash in the pan. Unless the 40 year old shooter is bitten by the high power bug pretty hard, Most give it up in a few short years because of eyesight.

anecdotes do not make a population.

I wasn't meaning to come up with any anecdotes....I've been around some JR shooters who seem to pick the game up quickly. In 2007 at Perry, I and my shooting buddies got parked in a hut next to the Washington State Jr. Boys. What a nice group of boys. I was refreshed and foundfaith in our young men again. They were respectful with yes sir, no sir and they did not keep us up at night. We probably kept them up. It’s true they don’t have a lot of extra cash, but the team provides them with equipment. Our local 4H club has match 22’s the kids shoot along with coats, gloves spotting scopes/stands and mats. The club also bought RRA NM AR’s for the kids to shoot when they are ready.

I will admit I have had to get on a couple of juniors for not paying attention while I was calling a match. The adults in the area quickly resolved the issue and we continued. This was not a safety issue but rather a procedural issue.

March 24, 2012, 08:49 AM
Hell if eyesight drops people out I may be in trouble, I'm only 34 but have bad astigmatism and bifocals. My eyes are much worse than my 62yr parents. No worries though I guess, I strap on my coke bottles and shoot at the middle target :P

March 24, 2012, 12:28 PM
harrod, as long as you can focus on the front sight, you should be ok

March 24, 2012, 04:05 PM
I'm 60 and astigmatic along with the age-related presbyopia. Since I accidentally had money left in a health savings acc't that had to be spent on something, I bit the bullet, so to speak, and got a pair of Decots with a front sight script.

They're pricey but, at no extra charge, they'll grind the sweet spot wherever you want it on the lens. They sent a sample pair for me to sight with and have someone mark the pupil location when using the rifle - obviously, there's some compromise between offhand and prone positions, but I anticipate a significant improvement over the regular glasses I was using.

There's also the option of just using a pair of lens with your distance script (and the astigmatism correction) and getting a rear hood insert that adds 0.50 or 0.75 - Bob Jones offers those as well as a pair of specs that alllow you to rotate the glass.


Finally, there's the Microsight that some swear by, and others swear at. Interesting concept that I haven't tried yet.

Lots more interesting discussion on the NM forum (I think you have to join to browse)

March 26, 2012, 11:41 AM
I shot my first HP matches with an old 1917 Enfield. Also used the club's loaner M1 Garand a bit. I also had folks loan me scopes and mats. I assembled what I needed gradually.

Before I was done I had shot matches with the Enfield, my own Garand, an M1 Carbine,
an AR clone, and an M1A. I did best with the M1A. I will shoot the M1A again, if I ever go back to HP. If I was starting fresh today I would get
an AR. Ammo is cheaper and recoil is less.

If you can borrow a rifle to start that would be the way to go.

35 Whelen
March 28, 2012, 06:43 AM
Harrod, you don't mention whether or not your local HP matches are Across the Course (200, 300, & 600 yd.) or reduced. If they're reduced, then all your shooting will be at 100 or 200 yds. and you can compromise a bit on equipment.

Our local matches are 100 yds with reduced targets. I rigged up a Swiss K-31 with a Lyman front aperture and a Redfield Palma rear. I shot really light cast bullet loads and was the butt of quite a few jokes at first, but within one year had my Expert classification and was spanking some of the AR boys. Point being you don't have to go out buy a $1200 AR match rifle especially if you're shooting on a reduced course.

Don't be concerned about your eyes until you try it. I ha d abuddy I want to try it but he said he had bad eyes and "couldn't see iron sights". But he agreed and I set him up with my Swiss K-31. First time to ever fire a HP match he shot a 635-6X/800!! So much for bad eyes!

A few months ago I built my first AR simply because they were SO cheap...as in about $500 cheap. It's pleny accurate to hold the X-ring at 100 yds. I've been shooting it for about three months mainly because it's so much easier to load ammunition. Here's some other suggestions:

Shooting mat: Carpet or one of the inexpensive ones from Midway for $24.99

Glove: any old heavy leather glove.

Sling: Watch eBay.

Spotting scope: I just bought a Konuspot 80 at Optics Planet for $170 shipped. For the money these are outstanding scopes.

Scope stand: Lots of my buddies build their own, but they're fairly inexpensive at Champion Shooters Supply. (http://www.championshooters.com/store/home.php)

Like others have said, shoot Smallbore competition. Except for rapid fire, it's course of fire are the same as High Power and the targets are scaled down so that the sight picture is the same as HP targets. I bought an old Mossberg 46B(a,) that had factory match sights on it, for less than the price of a new Ruger 10/22 and it's a tackdriver and its size makes it perfect for getting used to holding a larger rifle.

For dry fire practice, I draw black dots on manilla folders. the ratio, so your dots look the same as the targets at which you actually fire, is .02" per foot of distance. For example. if you have a place to dry fire that's 25' long, .02 x 25 = a .5" or 1/2" dot or circle for an aiming point.

One last thing, go over to Jim Owen's (http://jarheadtop.com/) website and read the excerpts out of his book. Fantactic reading and I really learned alot.

Good luck!


March 29, 2012, 12:12 AM
It's a reduced course, we only have up to 300yrds on our furthest range. I did find out today at a club meeting that they are going to have a few "training" (for lack of a better word).days were they will instruct the basics and have club guns and club ammo. I'm gunna see if they have one on a day off, and see what I can learn.

March 29, 2012, 07:53 PM
I did find out today at a club meeting that they are going to have a few "training" (for lack of a better word).days were they will instruct the basics and have club guns and club ammo.

I just helped with a rifle clinic this last weekend. Pay attention and they say. You will be taught the long tried and true ways of doing things. Think focus front sight,focus front sight, focus front sight.

Don't be like one guy we had in attendance but didn't shoot who knew it all and would argue with us about equipment etc. This guy has a gun shop and decided to sponsor a rifle team. I think he got himself in over his head because he about has a backfire when it’s suggested a 2 stage trigger would be beneficial to his team members. Oh did I say focus front sight?

April 3, 2012, 10:23 AM
High Power does have some cost associated with it.

One of the reasons why AR's are so popular is because they are a very forgiving platform and they are Service Rifle legal. Match rifles using true micrometer sights usually take first place though, but some of those sights cost more than a decent AR.

Don't waste your money on a Mosin Nagant, unless it is a Finnish Biathlon model, but those usually sell for around 450 US, at least the one I saw for sale.


April 3, 2012, 12:45 PM
This is all about YOU and if YOU want to do an older service rifle and do not care for the black rifles or don't want the costs of a real match black rifle don't go down that road.

A great many people poo poo the 91/30, if you want one anyway pick one with the best bore you can find, plop down your $100, get your change back and buy a box of "good" 54R ammo as well as some surplus. Lock the gun in a vice and see how it shoots with both...I would bet you will find it will shoot well enough for you to have some fun with.

I also plan on doing high power this season, and while I own a 30 year old colt hbar I doubt I will shoot it. I will however shoot my 91/30's, 1903's and other military rifles....those are just what intrests me....the black rifles intrest other people...no big deal, just know that all of those top guys shoot the black rifle for a reason.

35 Whelen
April 3, 2012, 11:51 PM
^ What fpgt said. Shoot what you WANT to shoot and you'll enjoy the game much more. Last month I shot a 715-8X with my bone-stock AR. I've shot quite a few similar and even better scores with my K-31 and these scores were immensely more gratifying and fun because 1) I love the rifle, and 2) I worked hard for those score with a 60 year old bolt rifle.


April 4, 2012, 06:48 AM
Thanks for all the comments and advice guys, I really appreciate it. I plan on attending one of the clinics that the club puts on to learn as much as I can and find out about borrowing a club rifle for a little while. I still plan on getting the Mosin simply because I want one. :neener: Weather I shoot it for HP competitions remains to be seen.

There is definitely a HUGE amount of info out there, and I have been doing a lot of reading. Don't worry, I'm not one of those "I read it and know it all now" people, all that info just shows me how much I still don't know. Maybe I'll shop around online to see if I can get a real book on the subject (they still make paper books!?:what:)

April 4, 2012, 09:22 AM

Try this. AMU Service Rifle Marksmanship Guide (https://estore.odcmp.com/store/catalog/catalog.aspx?pg=product&ID=780&item=&sfv=&cat=BKS&desc=&udc=&mct=&vndr=&ba=&pmin=&pmax=&note1=&note2=&note3=&note4=&note5=&max=)

Make that short trip up to Camp Perry and enroll in the rifle Small Arms Firing School.


RIFLE SMALL ARMS FIRING SCHOOL, 27 - 29 JULY, 2012 (Check in is 27 July, SAFS & M16 EIC Match is 28 - 29 July)

•Basic instruction and firing practice for new shooters
•Competition skills instruction and range firing for intermediate shooters
•School concludes with special M16 Rifle EIC Match

Costs $45.00, which includes the use of a rifle and all the ammunition. It's an awesome deal!

For their entry fee, students receive all instruction, an M9 9mm service pistol or an M-16 service rifle to fire, ammunition for the school, a USAMU Service Pistol or Service Rifle Guide, a SAFS T-shirt, SAFS certificate and handout materials. All SAFS students also receive automatic entry in the M9 Pistol EIC or M16 Rifle EIC Matches at no additional cost, a special EIC match pin and an opportunity to win four EIC credit points. Advanced pistol students will be entered in the Service Pistol Warm Up Match on 10 July. Advanced pistol students will not be entered into the M9 EIC Match.

Sign up soon. They put a cap of 700 participants on the school. Last year they had somewhere close to 600 shoot.

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