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  #21  
Old 08-08-2014, 10:54 PM
Greg Ficklin Greg Ficklin is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 578
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The status of Distinguished Rifleman is something that most could achieve, but fewer than 1/1000 actually do as I have read somewhere.
It is the highest accomplishment in service rifle competition short of a national trophy. It recognizes Excellence In Competition, but mostly perseverance, and dedication to a reachable goal in ones shooting life. It cannot be achieved in a single match, but it can be accomplished in a single year. It took me six years from the time I got my first "leg" points. I barely made the cut for bronze in the Special Garand EIC at the Eastern Games the second of third time I shot that match, that only comes once a year. That's three years of getting close but no cigar. I've seen grown men weep in disappointment, when they fall just short of the cut for the top 10%.

But you keep at it. You pay your dues being "leg meat" for those that came to take what was theirs before they left home. I shot one EIC eight years in a row never making the cut, as the EIC was always the last match of a ten day shooting extravaganza of the Eastern Games/Creedmoor Cup. I came so close so many times. I went on traveling to our State EIC, and even more mid, and late season EIC's at Butner for five more years.
In 2011 I went to the Nationals for the second time and squeaked into the cut by the skin of my teeth. It felt good to make progress and leave Camp Perry with 14 points. I stayed at 14 points as an Expert, but when I got my Master card from the NRA, it fueled the desire and gave me hope that sooner or later I would make it. The Butner curse as I came to call it was still on me. I was shooting well, but there's something about a leg match that takes you down a notch or two.
It's called pressure. The pressure you put on yourself will kill your scores. I was still at 14 points at the start of the 2014 season, but after missing the cut again at Butner in the Creedmore EIC, I went back to Butner again in June and broke the curse with a 476-8X for another bronze and 6 pts. Now at 20 pts I make plans for Perry, and hope to go out by making the cut. On the day of the NTI the conditions were terrible. It was dark, and rainy with a 10mph wind coming from 10:30 to 11:30. I relied on my Walt Walter Navy Team data book because it's wind chart had never let me down. I told myself that this was just a club match, and to show off like I always do. I shoot a 93-0 on my feet, a 97-3X on my tail. It was like a ton of weight off my shoulders, but the 300 was next.
The 300 is a leg match killer. It has taken more good shooters out of the running than the standing slowfire, because the standing slowfire takes out the inexperienced competitor. It was the 300 that sunk me in the P-100 the day before. I made my wind call and pounded a 99-4X. Shot number 7 went out early, but my NPA saved me and it only leaked out for a 9. I went to the pits knowing that barring a catastophy I would be a Distinguished Rifleman that day. Words can't describe the joy of truly feeling like I was gonna make it. Because of the poor conditions, we speculate in the pits that the cut would certainly go below 470. I get to the 600, and I have to shoot first. I said "this is it, lets put this quest to bed" I pounded the first ten for a 95-2, and then the last ten for a 99-3X. I did it, a 483-12X good for a real gold leg finally, and at Perry too !

It is perseverance that pays off in the end. Stay with it, and strive for improvement, and shoot the leg matches especially if you don't think you are good enough. The experience of leg matches is invaluable. You just don't know match pressure if you don't chase the prize. The bitterness of failure makes you better, and all the sweeter when you get to the end.
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Distinguished Rifleman #2198
NRA HP XTC High Master (service rifle)
NRA Patron Life member
PCGC Junior Team coach
CMP GSM Master Inst.

Last edited by Big_Red; 07-31-2015 at 11:54 PM. Reason: Readability
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  #22  
Old 10-02-2014, 02:40 PM
Greg Ficklin Greg Ficklin is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 578
Default EIC (leg) medals

These are my EIC (leg) medals. They are arranged left to right chronologically. The medals on the bottom row are earned at the matches themselves by placing in the top 10% of non-distinguished shooters. The top row represent the 10 point milestones or legs. After the first ten are earned, you get a Bronze, a silver at 20, and the DR at 30 points. A shooter needs to have one "Hard leg" of a silver, or gold match medal to go out with 30. Since the 2011 Bronze was earned at Perry, it counts as a
hard leg. This is called an "easy hard leg" because even a bronze is worth ten points to a civilian at Perry in the NTI.
__________________
Distinguished Rifleman #2198
NRA HP XTC High Master (service rifle)
NRA Patron Life member
PCGC Junior Team coach
CMP GSM Master Inst.

Last edited by Greg Ficklin; 10-04-2014 at 08:03 PM.
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  #23  
Old 10-02-2014, 03:01 PM
X Hunter X Hunter is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: PA
Posts: 1,302
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"The ultimate achievement for a service rifle or pistol shooter is to earn Distinguished designation. The Distinguished Rifleman, Distinguished Marksman, and Distinguished Pistol Shot Badges are awarded to members of the Armed Forces, or civilians, in recognition of a preeminent degree of achievement in target practice with the service rifle or pistol."
A Short History of the Distinguished Shooter Program, Hap Rocketto

Welcome Distinguished Rifleman Greg Ficklin
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  #24  
Old 10-02-2014, 09:06 PM
hi-revr hi-revr is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Missouri
Posts: 405
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I love seeing how people display their awards. http://forums.thecmp.org/showthread.php?t=110530. EIC and DR awards are certainly worthy of display cases. I appreciate you sharing your path to glory. I wish others would do the same. I doubt there are many DR badges given to people winning their first 3 or 4 matches. It's the mix of good and bad that make the stories interesting.

What are the small pins in the case?

One correction for the sole purpose of preventing misinformation. " A shooter needs to have one "Hard leg" of a silver, or gold match medal to go out with 30" Not correct. Medals have no direct correlation to leg points. In a local EIC match there is a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place medal for the overall match. If a match had 50 points eligible shooters, but the first 3 places were DR's, there would be 1(10), 1(8), 3(6) point legs. Two people get their required hard leg but no medal.

Last edited by hi-revr; 10-02-2014 at 09:14 PM. Reason: hjjj
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  #25  
Old 10-03-2014, 02:19 AM
Greg Ficklin Greg Ficklin is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 578
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The small pins are from left to right A NRA life member pin, A Garand EIC pin, and the last is an NRA life endowment pin. The NRA pins don't really belong in the box, but as a separate story line in the journey, they are in there for now.
I know that DRs can still earn the medals for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in EIC matches. But I think they are treated purely as place medals, and the leg medals still go to the ND list. It just doesn't seem right that a shooter could get a hard leg and no medal. I'll ask Shannon how that works.
__________________
Distinguished Rifleman #2198
NRA HP XTC High Master (service rifle)
NRA Patron Life member
PCGC Junior Team coach
CMP GSM Master Inst.
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  #26  
Old 10-03-2014, 10:33 AM
hi-revr hi-revr is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Missouri
Posts: 405
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Please post a pic of the Garand pin, I didn't know they existed.
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  #28  
Old 10-03-2014, 02:48 PM
wesvb wesvb is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Friendswood, Texas
Posts: 1,358
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My first 4 are with an M1, 12 with plastic fantastic and I WILL get the last points with a wood stocked M1A.
Congrats Greg!
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  #29  
Old 10-04-2014, 09:17 PM
Greg Ficklin Greg Ficklin is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 578
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That's enough about me. I really wanted this thread to be about you, the readers that may want to succeed in CMP rifle competition. But now you know a little about the goals, and what it means to get the Distinguished Rifleman distinction. I hope everyone that reads this sets a goal to get there, because you can.
Now, what I want to talk about is how to get there. The DR badge isn't something someone can just stumble into. It has to be a long term goal. Like a long trip, it starts with the first step. For me it was going to a clinic after seeing a flyer for one held at a gun club I never heard of. Gun clubs are a lot like skunks. There are more of them than you think, and unless one gets in the news, or in the case of a skunk, gets hit on the highway, you may never know they are there. That's why the CMP has the club tracker on it's website. With it you can search for clubs, and CMP sanctioned clinics, and matches by state. I encourage you to use the club tracker to find a club near you. Now "near" is a relative term. What is near for me may not be near for you. For the sake of this discussion anything within a one hour drive is near. What you are looking for is a place that shoots matches regularly. If you are lucky enough to have more than one choice, choose the one that has the better range, more firing points, pulled targets vs walk and pace, a 200 yard line, instead of a closer 100 yard bench range. There's nothing wrong with a 100 yard range, but if driving another 45 minutes gets you a 200, and 300 yard club range that shoots NRA HP, then it is obviously better choice.
Some people are very lucky to live within an hour of a full distance 200, 300, and 600 yard ranges. These are called XTC for across the course, or full distance range. These are usually military bases that allow a single club use of the facility. Camp Butner is a good example of this. Their club is the North State Shooting Club. People living in the north central Alabama area will soon have a state of the art CMP shooting complex that will rival any in the world near Talladega in mid 2015. My point is you need a shooting home, and it needs to be a club that offers what you want to do. You need other people that do what you do, with the same goals, and passion for what you can achieve. Even if it takes two hours to get to, and you can only get there once a month, you need a club. You need the facility, but more than that you need the people like you that have had their eyes opened to the discipline and journey you have undertaken. The similarities of a church for spiritual growth and fellowship, and a gun club for the competitive shooter are too many to list. How many can you think of ?
First step...Join a club.
__________________
Distinguished Rifleman #2198
NRA HP XTC High Master (service rifle)
NRA Patron Life member
PCGC Junior Team coach
CMP GSM Master Inst.
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  #30  
Old 10-06-2014, 09:37 PM
TomH TomH is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 205
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Do not be intimidated because you think everybody will shoot better than you They will!! Get over it!! but just at first Think about it Where do you think you will learn more a full distance club full of NRA Highmasters and CMP Distinguished Riflemen or the local public range where the "25 yd. marksmen" hang out
Go there and say "I'm just starting out and I heard this is a good place to learn"99.9% of the people there will bend over backwards to help you

I had never met Greg but I read a post where he described in detail how to operate a vintage bolt rifle without taking it out of your shoulder so I tried it and actually got pretty good at it
A couple of years ago at the Eastern Games I walked up to him and said "Hey that works really good...Thank you" He smiled at me and said " You just made my day I posted that and hoped it would help somebody"
There are plenty of people out there waiting to help....all you have to do is show up and ask
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