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Old 05-29-2014, 06:39 PM
Greg Ficklin Greg Ficklin is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 594
Default What it takes to be competitive - advice and tips

The discipline and practice of fundamental marksmanship is as old as firearms themselves. Over the years the rifles have changed, but the fundamentals of making a well aimed round hit exactly where it was intended have never changed.

Every course of fire in CMP competition has it's roots in basic military training. The value of basic knowledge in the discipline of fundamental marksmanship has been proven throughout our history. From the pioneers that needed to eat and protect themselves, to every armed conflict America has fought, the effective use of individual arms cannot be understated. It doesn't matter how young someone was when they first shot a firearm. It doesn't matter how many guns one has collected, or what they are worth. It doesn't matter if you are male or female. In fact young women have a unique advantage over men to excel in the discipline because they see it for what it really is. It is a discipline that has to be learned, and for the fastest improvement, learned from someone that can teach effectively!

Most red-blooded American men feel like they can hold their own with the use of a rifle. It is part of our culture, but it isn't true. In fact the very lowest NRA, or military classification of Marksman ranks them in the top 1% of all that have ever used a rifle for any reason. Rifle competitors occupy the top 1% They take up the discipline to apply fundamental concepts, based on a military standard, as close to perfection as one life span allows. I hear it all the time, "If only I had discovered this sooner in my life". Taking part in the the matches, joining a club, and starting a journey with the goal of being distinguished, changes a lifelong gun owner/enthusiast into something new. The competitor is a martial artist in the truest sense, in the same way as a student of Jiu-Jitsu, Karate, or Kendo, are martial artist. Your favorite guns now have a more personal purpose, a job to do, in the development of the shooter in pursuit of a goal. The DR badge is the shooting equivalent of a black belt. It means you have put in the effort to reach a standard defined through history.

You don't learn the fundamentals marksmanship by owning guns, and shooting from a bench. CMP competition is all about the shooter's application of fundamentals consistently. Performance is measured against perfection. You will never lose to a better rifle, you will only lose to better shooters. You learn from people willing to teach, and the experience of competition. Every day at the range, every match, every little thing you learn from others, is a step in a journey that lasts a lifetime. Great people, great shooting, and a proud history await you. Get in the game, and make every shot count. We need you in the 1%.
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; 02-25-2018 at 08:45 PM. Reason: Re write
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Old 05-29-2014, 06:55 PM
Hrfunk Hrfunk is offline
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 136

Great post, Greg! I have said before that precision shooting is nothing less than a quest for perfection.
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Old 05-29-2014, 06:55 PM
Skeet6 Skeet6 is offline
GSM Master Instructor
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Pocono Mountains
Posts: 1,654

Awesome post, Greg...
Mike B
CMP GSM Master Instructor
NRA Range Safety Officer
Still searching for WRA 1614856.
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Old 05-29-2014, 09:27 PM
BuddyBGood BuddyBGood is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NW Pa.
Posts: 1,078

Greg,once again.Well Said.Thank You.
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Old 05-30-2014, 12:06 AM
Roadkingtrax Roadkingtrax is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Arizona
Posts: 8,617

I appreciate this post very much, especially when many more posts represent the collector side of an M1, etc.

Shooting competitions will eliminate the bench use all together. I really hate the bench. Come out and shoot a NRA HP match, a Games Match or just your local run-what-ya-brung match. You'll learn so much more about you, your skills and the rifle's quirks and capabilities. Shooting matches back-to-back can be a real eye opener.

Last edited by Roadkingtrax; 05-30-2014 at 12:14 AM.
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:32 PM
mahd776 mahd776 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: West central Illinois
Posts: 218

This post really drives home what I am just starting to learn. A friend and I go shooting several times a year at his or my club range. Has always been sitting and shooting from a bench. Dawned on me last year that while dammed accurate shooting off a bench I was terrible other wise! Went to a intro to High Power Service Rifle a couple months ago that was put on by the Illinois State Rifle Association and have since shot two matches at my club in Tremont IL. Scores were as I expected low but I had a lot of fun and have been learning more in those two matches than anytime bench shooting. Used a AR the first match and M1A second match. At 63 years old I do not see myself being a high ranked shooter though anything is possible but at least will be able to hit my target from different positions if needed. This has really opened my eyes as to what shooting should be about at least for me.

Last edited by mahd776; 06-03-2014 at 11:34 PM.
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Old 06-04-2014, 07:36 AM
canes7 canes7 is online now
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 2,480

Great post Greg. Those are some words that this forum needed badly.
Dan W.
CMP GSM Master Instructor
CMP HP Master
DR#2474 (2019) 1/2 with irons, 1/2 with optics
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Old 06-15-2014, 03:25 AM
musketjon musketjon is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Southern Commiefornia
Posts: 4,613

Great write. I think this ought to be stickey.
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Old 06-15-2014, 01:57 PM
Mac Attack Mac Attack is offline
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Fayetteville, GA
Posts: 800

Excellent post, again. It was after reading a similar post of Greg's that I decided to get into the game and step away from the bench. I am one of those "If only I would have discovered this sooner in life..." type or shooters. I wish I would have tried it out many years back rather than just last year as they are so much more enjoyable l and challenging enging than plinking at targets from a bench. Every time I meet someone who owns a .22 rifle or M1 I try to encourage them to try to their hand at a RFS or Service Rifle match as they owe it to themselves and to try it at least once.

Thanks again Greg for your motivational post.

Last edited by Mac Attack; 06-18-2014 at 06:29 AM.
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Old 06-15-2014, 08:38 PM
X Hunter X Hunter is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,404

Greg doesn't just talk, he also walks the walk.
Greg is now up to about 20 leg points after earning a bunch at Butner this weekend.
Nice going Greg!
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