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Old 10-11-2014, 06:27 PM
Greg Ficklin Greg Ficklin is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 594

Went up to the club today and shot this clean with my M1. This was shot at 200 yards prone with a sling like any other CMP GSM match.
This particular M1 is my Clint Fowler 3 lug Unlimited Garand with a new Criterion .308 barrel. This rifle has had everything possible in terms of NM accurizing, so it should shoot like this, but don't think you have to have a $2000 M1 to be competitive. Which brings me to the next topic in this blog. Gear !

You can't be a competitive shooter without good gear. Your gear is everything you take to a match. Most people get into competitive shooting before they have the gear to start. People that already have a rifle suitable for CMP games matches seldom look into, or even know about the game that was created just for them. They are having so much fun sitting on their tail, measuring group sizes, and tinkering with ammo, and the thought of taking a new direction into competition would upset their world where they feel like fundamental marksmanship is below their expertise and skill level.

I'm sure that no one reading this far is in that category, but every competitive shooter was at one time an enthusiast that shot like everybody else, until everything changed. The change is a change in focus away from the rifle, and ammo to a focus on your own ability to put into practice the concepts of fundamental marksmanship to a military standard. In the military all the rifles, and ammo are the same. It's the shooter that wins or looses based on what he knows, his decisions, and application of fundamental concepts.
I have said this before, but it bears repeating. You will never lose to a better rifle in the same category, only better shooters.

With that in mind lets rundown the basic gear you absolutely need, and stuff you will want to make your journey more enjoyable. Let's face it, we love good gear and there seems to be no end to the search for things that will seemingly give us an edge.

Things you absolutely need:
1. Rifle ( Your CMP M1 is fine just as it is)
2. Ammo (more on this later)

Let's look at these two things a little closer.
1. The rifle- The rifle is the least of your worries. You don't need the best rifle to be competitive. If you have a CMP Special, or Service Grade M1, you have a rifle that can win the National JCG at Perry. Just make sure the gas plug is tight, and the rear sight has the proper tension to stay put during the match.
Don't mess around with your rifle too much. People take them apart too much, clean them too much, and blame them too much. If you are field stripping your M1 more than once a year, stop it. It loosens the fit, and wears out the trunions on the trigger guard that hold the whole thing together.

2. Ammo- There are entire books about ammo, and arguments on web forums about it. Since it is the consumable used in all shooting, it is the most debated, studied, and maligned component. Nothing shakes the confidence of a competitor more than untrusted ammo. But we have to realize that the CMP matches are only shot at 200 yards, and dispel some myths about ammo, and superstitions that cause uncertainty in it.

This is my opinion from good to absolute best in terms of match winning ammo.
- Good: HXP and Lake City ball can win any JCG match at 200 yards.
- Better: Surplus LC match ammo, and hand loaded match ammo. (The load used above for the picture was mixed .308 brass FL sized, three different primers, 42gr of Varget thrown with a RCBS uniflow, and a
155 Nozler CC bullet, COAL 3.30.)
- Best: Factory made Hornady, Black Hills, and Creedmore match 30/06. Factory match ammo is in the "best" category because it is. Factory match ammo sets the standard that all competition hand loaders aspire to copy.
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 11:04 PM. Reason: Readability
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