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1st NRA Service Rifle Match - come ups from 100 yard zero?

Discussion in 'Competition Shooting' started by Narwhal, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. Narwhal

    Narwhal Well-Known Member


    I'm planning to shoot my first NRA service rifle match tomorrow. It will be held on a range with 200 yards maximum distance, so reduced targets will be used, I assume. First I will describe the equipment I have:

    I have a Compass Lake Engineering AR-15 A4 service rifle upper with a douglas 1:7 twist chrome moly barrel and 1/4 MOA rear sight. The lower is an LRB with a Geiselle service rifle trigger and A2 stock. I have a turner sling but can't figure out how to use it so I will use a GI nylon web sling.

    I'm planning to use black hills 77gr BTHP match ammunition. I have zero'd the rifle at 100 yards with a "center hold" using this ammunition. It is shooting less than 1 MOA from prone.

    I have 4 30 round Magpul PMags. I am a big & fat (6ft 280 lbs) person so the 30 round magazines do not interfere with my prone position.

    I have a Konus 30-60x spotting scope with a ray vin "eclipse" stand. I have a shooting glove. I have a shooting jacket but I probably won't wear it because it doesn't fit. I have a folding chair, a notebook, and a pen.

    I have a high power style shooting mat.

    My questions:

    What is the course of fire, and how can I calculate my come ups for a "6 oclock hold" on each stage beforehand?

    I have chrono'd the ammunition through my rifle and the black hills using the 77gr SMK bullet is giving me right at 2700 fps.

    Thanks in advance, I appreciate any links or knowledge you can share.
  2. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

  3. Slamfire

    Slamfire Well-Known Member

    The course of fire typically for reduced course matches is

    10 Shots standing in 10 minutes, each shot fired single shot

    10 shots sitting rapid fire, with a reload, in 60 seconds

    10 shots prone rapid fire, with a reload, in 70 second

    20 shots prone slow fire, each shot fired single shot.

    I suspect you will be doing this as it gets difficult to score 20 shots on each target at reduced course matches. However if you shoot XTC, the typical course of fire is 20 shots standing for 20 minutes;, 20 shots sitting rapid at 200 yards in two ten shot strings of 60 seconds each. At 300 yards you shoot 20 shots prone rapid fire in two ten shot strings of 70 seconds each. The long range stage is either at 500 yards or 600 yards depending on the range and the course of fire is 20 shot fired in 20 minutes.

    For across the course matches before you shoot for record you get a three minute preparation period, which is announced by the match director, where you can handle your rifle, put on your sling, and dry fire. You are not allowed to “handle” your rifle until the preparation period begins. You can, on the ready line behind the line, with the open bolt indicator in the rifle, take off your sight protectors, load your magazines, click up your sights, as long as the rifle stays on your shooting stool, you are not sticking magazines into the rifle (empty or loaded!) and you are not pointing and clicking the thing. Everyone wants to be safe and these rules are prudent.

    After the three minute preparation period you will get two minutes for two sighting shots. Often these are part of the 20 minute slow fire stage, approved matches the match director tells everyone you have 22 minutes to fire two sighting shots and 20 shots for record. For the rapid fire sequences the two minute sighter period is conducted just before going into rapid fire. You will fire two sighters, the targets will be cleaned and half masted, then the match director will commence the firing commands for rapid fire.

    I wish I could tell you standard come ups for reduced courses, but it depends on the individual. I find zero changes based on position (like one or two clicks) and weather. It might be due that in cold weather I have extra clothing, but there are zero differences between 32 F days and 90 F days.

    If you have a 100 yard zero you will be in the black at 200 yards, probably need a ½ to 1 MOA up to be in the center.

    There will be left or right shifts in the rapid fire. I find looking at my data books, I go 1 click left to 2 left for my 30 caliber rifles and, strangely, 1 click to 2 clicks right with the AR15’s.

    For me, even though it does not work out mathematically, the difference between a 6 O’C hold and a center of mass, is 1.5 MOA. Takes 1.5 MOA more elevation to be in the center with a 6 OC hold than a center of mass.

    For a future data point, for the full XTC course, out to 500 or 600 yards, these were my “standard” come ups for two different NM AR’s. Most shooters bottom out their rear sight and count the clicks up, and that is what I do. These rifles had 1:8 Wilson barrels and I was using ½ MOA adjustments for elevation and windage. You will find that the elevation amounts, in MOA's, to come up are very close rifle to rifle. At least you will be in the black.

    CMP Bushmater NM AR 15

    Load 75 Hornady 24.3 grains N140, any case, CCI #41 primers.

    200 SF

    E: 18 6 OC hold
    W: 0

    200 RF

    E: 15 center hold
    W: 0

    300 RF

    E: 21 center hold
    W: 1R

    Long Range Load: 80 grain Sierra 23.5 N140 WW brass CCI #41

    500 Yards
    E: 37/39 center hold/ 60’c
    W: 1L

    600 Yards

    E: 40
    W: 1L

    Rock River NM AR15

    Load 75 Hornady 24.5 grains N140, WCC91 case, CCI #41 primers.

    200 SF

    E: 26 6 OC hold
    W: 0

    200 RF

    E: 22 center hold
    W: 0

    300 RF

    E: 34 center hold
    W: 2R

    Long Range Load: 80 grain Sierra 23.5 N140 WW brass CCI #41

    600 Yards

    E: 89
    W: 2R
  4. DJW

    DJW Well-Known Member

    The course of fire generally starts with 2 sighters and then a 20 rnd string offhand in 20 minuetes(offhand) This is where you make your sight adjustments. For 200 yd. course a 55 or 69 gr. pill is more than adequate but you are already set with the 77 gr. After your sighters you will probably have to come up a few clicks as it looks like you want to hold at 6 o'clock.
    After scoring your target you will set up for the second leg. That is usually the seated rapid. Again you will get 2 sighters and then 2 strings of 10 rnds. You can't load all 10 in one mag and most guys use 8 and then 2 in the mag change. Don't rush, there is plenty of time even though it is called rapid.
    After scoring the seated you will set up for the prone rapid. Essentially the same drill except done prone! Again, one mag change per each 10 rnd. string. After scoring the prone rapid you will have yet another 2 sighters(forgot to mention the sighters for prone rapid before but you will get them.) Then the prone slow fire which is 20 rnds. in 20 minutes. All together 88 rounds and usually takes 2 to 3 hours depending on how many relays(different groups of shooters if there are more shooters than points from which you guys are shooting.) Relax and enjoy the day.
  5. Narwhal

    Narwhal Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all the replies so far, very helpful.

    Based on the Hornady ballistics calculator my come ups from 100 to 200 should be almost exactly 2 MOA.

    It's my understanding based on this information http://m14forum.com/rifle-competition/17401-nra-highpower-service-rifle-target-sizes.html that the diameter of "the black" on all the 200 yard targets is about 12". If I'm thinking of it right that means I'd need to come up another 3 MOA (about 6" at 200 yards) to switch my center hold to a six o'clock hold.

    So I guess that means I should hypothetically come up 20 clicks (.25 MOA x 20 = 5 MOA) to go from my 100 yard center hold to my 200 yard, 6 o'clock hold.

    I realize it may be different in practice, as slamfire1 demonstrated when he said that he only needs 1.5 MOA to go from a center to a six, but maybe I can work out the difference during my sighters.

    Am I correct in assuming that there in't much elevation change required when shooting the entire course of fire at 200 yards since the black is about the same diameter on all 3 targets (notwithstanding possible changes to due to sling tension, light conditions, etc)?
  6. DJW

    DJW Well-Known Member

    If you have installed a "free float" tube then sling tension will not be a factor.
    Just try and enjoy the experience. You will live to shoot many hi-powr courses and learn some things in each one. It is not just about scoring points, there is fellowship and being out in the fresh air as well. We used to go and have a meal sometimes after the match. You will make new friends and exchange tips and ideas. You may even get together and place large orders for reloading components down the road when the panic dies down. Just relax and enjoy the day!
  7. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

    If your shooting jacket doesn't fit, bring a Carhart or something of sturdy material and a sweatshirt. You do not want to put that sling on without some padding between your arm and the sling. Bring the leather sling along so someone can show you how it works.

    And just tell them its your first match. You'll get plenty of help that way.

    You will get sighters.

    Just go have fun and don't worry about your score.
  8. Howard Roark

    Howard Roark Well-Known Member

    I come up 1 min from 100 to 200 yards offhand. I also come up one min from offhand to sitting 200 yards. Never shot prone from 200. This is what sighters are for :)
  9. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

    1 minute from 100 yards to 200 will have you in the black. Use your sighters from there. And be sure to record that dope once you find out what it is.
  10. Nwflycaster

    Nwflycaster Well-Known Member

    Shooting 77 grn SMK's and 1/4 minute adjustments have me 7 clicks elevation adjustment from 100 to 200
  11. Narwhal

    Narwhal Well-Known Member

    Just got back:

    The good news is that the 5 MOA come ups were pretty close, the first sighter hit at about 11 oclock on the edge of the 9 ring.

    The bad news is I was pretty humbled by the match, shooting a 573-4. I didn't completely understand the course of fire and end up not shooting the second string of the seated rapids because I had only bought 12 rounds with me to the line. So I guess I would've gotten another 50 or 60 points had I shot that string. Still not too good.

    Everyone was very nice and I thoroughly enjoyed shooting the match. Single loading every round during the slow fire strings was something I hadn't expected to do, which proved tiresome. I guess you get better at it over time, but it's challenging having to break position for every shot for the reload. I was shooting way too fast and definitely need a timer, I think I was finishing the rapids in about 40 seconds. Plus there was a lot of vertical stringing due to my own incosistent point of aim (tendency to gravitate toward a center hold, had to force myself to hold six).
  12. Narwhal

    Narwhal Well-Known Member

    Also the 30 round pmags were a no-go, and seemed to be "frowned upon". So someone lent me some 20 round magazines to use.
  13. lakecitybrass

    lakecitybrass Well-Known Member

    For me, it has been 2 minutes from 100 to 200, 3 minutes from 200 to 300 and 11 minutes to 600. I have shot XTC since 1995. (1/2 minute rear sight = 4 clicks to 200)

    If you get to shoot an EIC leg national match course, there will be no sighters. In any event, if you are shooting a service rifle, the magazine must be a straight 20 round mag. If you are shooting a match rifle, a ten round mag would be legal, although in a CMP match, only the service rifle is allowed.
  14. Howard Roark

    Howard Roark Well-Known Member

    There is nothing in the CMP rules that restricts magazines to 20 rounders. 20 rounders must be straight but 30 rounders and polymer mags are allowed. Just don't use the mag for support, I.e. prop up on it. See CMP rule 6.2.3.
  15. lakecitybrass

    lakecitybrass Well-Known Member

    I haven't shot a leg match for a while, but I understood that the 20 round straight mags were the only ones that were legal. I know I have never seen a competitor shoot with a 30 round made but if true, I stand corrected. I feel that attempting to shoot prone with a long magazine like that would be a pain
  16. Howard Roark

    Howard Roark Well-Known Member

    Yep, prone with a 30 rounder would be a pain. I don't get the issue with the curved mags considering all of the other stuff that we do to service rifles.
  17. Slamfire

    Slamfire Well-Known Member

    I tell new shooters to take a quick breath between rapid fire shots, basically to slow them down. New shooters tend to go full auto because they don't have the timing down.

    I use a center hold except for standing. There I will use 6 OC, flat tire, or center. Center hold works if the front sight post is wide. It less confusing for me to center the post, center the bull in the rear aperture, center the post in the bull, center, center, center. If you ever shoot at 600 yards, use 6 OC hold, and forget what you put in the middle, the bull or the post, the change up will put shots in the white.
  18. Narwhal

    Narwhal Well-Known Member

    Good advice, thanks SlamFire1.

    I think part of my "speediness" on the rapids was that I have some experience shooting an M1A at appleseed shoots and during those it was a challenge to get to get the shots off in time, especially considering we had to drop into position from standing.

    By comparison to the M1A, with the AR it's so easy just to fire,fire,fire,fire,fire at the bototm of every breath without pausing at all, when in reality it would be helpful to slow down and concentrate on sight alignment, front sight focus, and trigger squeeze; maybe even stop to read the wind a little.
  19. lakecitybrass

    lakecitybrass Well-Known Member

    Yes, it is way to easy for me to shoot way to fast because it is so much fun. 60 or 70 seconds is a long time, especially in NRA matches where you don't have to drop into position. I used to shoot a sitting rapid in 27 seconds and the score always reflected it. It wasn't nice.
  20. Litlratt

    Litlratt Member

    I'm confused by the "bottom of every breath".
    In sitting and prone, the muzzle lowers as you inhale and rises as you exhale. I suggest you set up your position so that at the end of your exhale you are at your NPA for whatever hold you use.
    A breath should be taken prior to each shot. Deep breaths should be taken during the range commands and your magazine change. During the string, your thought process should be breathe, focus(which may or may not require blinking, I recommend you blink at least once) and squeeze.
    It is OK to establish a cadence in the rapids, but do not shoot one.

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