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Old 08-20-2015, 10:20 AM
tjtorborg tjtorborg is offline
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Blaine, Minnesota
Posts: 1,778
Default Proposed rule change to allow Optics

I emailed Mark Johnson about all of the rumors floating around and here is his response (posted with his permission):


New rules package so far…. These are the changes thus far that are being discussed.

Service Rifle:
1) The only alibis that will be permitted are range alibis (no fault of the shooter).

2) Optics will be allowed on rifles that weigh 11.5 lbs., total with optic installed. Optics will only be allowed on the AR platform. The optic maximum magnification will be 4.5 power. There will not be a separate category for optical sighted ARs.

3) No weight limit on iron sighted, non-optical sighted ARs, i.e. you can shoot the current configured service rifle just as it is with no weight restrictions.

4) Only .223/5.56 NATO will be allowed for ARs, .308/7.62 NATO for M14 platforms, .308/7.62 NATO or .30/06 for M1 Garands.

5) M-4 type stocks will be allowed on the AR platforms.

If the rules pass the up-coming CMP Rules Committee meeting the new rules package will be implemented in the 2016 CMP Rules for Service Rifle and Service Pistol. Just a note a service rifle with no lead front or back weighs 10.9 pounds with carry handle installed. Remove the carry handle and install a 1-4.5 power scope and rings you get 11.25 lbs. With that said we set the weight limit with optics at 11.5 lbs. If you want to shoot with a scope you will not be able to lead the rifle. If you want to shoot with iron sights go as heavy as you like.

Best Regards,

Mark Johnson
Chief Operating Officer
Civilian Marksmanship Program
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Old 08-20-2015, 10:22 AM
tjtorborg tjtorborg is offline
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Blaine, Minnesota
Posts: 1,778

Additional information from Mark, posted with his permission:

Just some information for you to give you the rationale behind the 11.5 lb. weight restriction for scoped ARs. When you start at 9.7 lbs., you have 1.8 lbs. for scope and mount. No scope and mount we weighed went over 1.8 lbs.

The actual weights of the AR that CMP owns and issues for Small Arms Firing Schools, without a scope or scope mount:

With carrying handle 10lbs 1oz
With carrying handle + sling 10lbs 9oz
Without carrying handle 9lbs 7oz
Without carrying handle + sling 9lb 14oz

Rifle Specifics (as weighed):

Manufacture: Rock River Arms
Caliber: .223 / 5.56 - .223 Wylde Chamber
Specifics: Forged A4 Receiver with NM Carry handle,
Forged A2 receiver with CMP logo,
20” Match HNAR 1:8 twist, 416 R Stainles Barrel heavy
A2 flash suppressor installed
AR A2 .50 front sight post
A2 Match rear sight .40 aperture, ˝ MOA
2 stage match trigger 4.5 lbs. total
NM free float sleeve installed, A2 style

If the scoped AR weight rule is adopted the rifle will be weighed without sling and without magazine. The scope can be mounted to the carry handle as long as it makes weight.
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Old 08-20-2015, 06:40 PM
Agrivere Agrivere is offline
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 17

I can't help but wonder if Mark (and the other folks who came up with this weight limit idea) are aware that Rock River isn't the only manufacturer of National Match rifles (tongue in cheek - I'm sure they are), but more importantly, the RRA barrel has a different/lighter profile than most other barrels on the market.

From Mark's post:
Without carrying handle - 9lbs, 7oz

I have a nearly identical setup, except with a more "common" barrel profile, which I weighed to be 9 lbs, 12 oz, without any sights, no lead, no sling, no magazine, etc. Add an optic (mine all come in around 1 lb, 10 oz on a mount), and my rifle ready to run weighs in at 11 pounds, 7 ounces.

Given that they've only allowed 4 ounces of "fudge factor", and a Kreiger profile barrel weighs roughly 5 ounces more than the RRA barrel does, that's cutting things awfully close.

My real fear, however, is that this weight limit will create an "arms race" of sorts which will benefit nobody. Having a weight limit on the rifle is inherently not a big deal, but with current Service Rifles it's a self limiting activity. The important thing isn't how much they weigh, but that they are properly balanced. The entire reason lead weights are added to current Service Rifles is to offset the weight of the heavy barrel and make them more balanced.

I don't think Service Rifle shooters will accept a rifle that's not balanced the way they want it to be (I know I won't accept such a rifle), so they will be forced to find ways to remove weight from the front so they can add it to the back. How long will it be before folks start turning their float tubes into swiss cheese to remove weight from the front? Carbon Fiber quad rails? Titanium float tubes? How much money will be wasted by folks who now have to have their barrels fluted under the handguard to remove some weight? I have no doubt that all of these things will be done in order to properly balance an 11.5 lb. Service Rifle.

It's a process which benefits nobody other than the folks who get paid to flute barrels and make carbon fiber float tubes. It risks turning away new shooters, and places huge burdens on many junior programs which are already strapped for funds.

Lets also not forget that the weight limit does not include the sling or the magazine. How long will it be before we see extra-heavy slings and SLEDs to add the missing weight back to the rifle? I don't see any reason why a SLED can't be made from Tungsten, can you? Who benefits from this?

I'm all for allowing optics, for many reasons, not the least of which it allows many more shooters to get in the game. And I understand why the idea of a weight limit is appealing - give optics shooters a perceived benefit (the scope), but give them a perceived disadvantage as well (the weight limit).

I fear that when this plan meets the light of day, however, it will serve only to force service rifle shooters to undertake a pointless expenditure of money to create the rifle they want, through the additional expenses of barrel fluting, skeletonizing float tubes, and many more things I'm sure folks will think of to balance that rifle.

So, who wants to join me in a group order for Tungsten SLED's?
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Old 08-20-2015, 09:39 PM
park ranger park ranger is offline
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: far western Maryland
Posts: 591

Does an M4 type stock weigh less than the A2 stock?
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Old 08-25-2015, 11:15 PM
Blued-Steel Blued-Steel is offline
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 62

It's simple for juniors and those of us with decent eyesight, just use the irons, no arms race really. People can shoot in the 470s-490s with irons and juniors sharp eyesight will beat scoped rifles. The rifles don't shoot themselves. Calling the wind will still be necessary at 300 and 600, see bullet holes with a 4X scope? Hard to do at 300 with a 26X Kowa 82. Add a heavy mirage and you still need that spotting scope.

I see the scope as keeping someone who can't see the front post anymore in the game.

That said, my next rebarrel will include an A4 upper with carry handle--just for -- options.
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Old 08-26-2015, 08:09 AM
rickgman rickgman is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 992

Gentlemen, I can't help but think that these proposed rules are overly complicated. Simply allow optics and hit everyone with a reasonable weight limit. Those who choose optics have less leeway on how they apply their weight budget since optics add weight to the overall rifle. Allowing optics does make sense to me. Service rifles now use optics so competition service rifles should be allowed to have optics as well. I personally find that optics help in some situations but are problematic in others. There are far more things that can go wrong with optics than iron sights. One that comes to mind is the fact that some scopes do not track straight up and down when elevation is adjusted. This is a real issue in service rifle competition. Also, unless one carefully chooses their optics, they can find that eye relief and exit pupil size can a real problem when used in multiple shooting positions. Rick
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Old 08-26-2015, 10:41 AM
X Hunter X Hunter is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,341

Originally Posted by rickgman View Post
Also, unless one carefully chooses their optics, they can find that eye relief and exit pupil size can a real problem when used in multiple shooting positions.
That's the reason one would want a collapsible stock that had many length of pull options/positions as opposed to the tacticool stocks that are adjustable only for short/medium/long.
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Old 08-26-2015, 09:26 PM
WindLogik WindLogik is offline
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Washington State
Posts: 2,220

I'm in complete support of no alibis except for range alibis. I'm tired of waiting for folks that can't figure out how to resize brass.

It makes sense to me that they have separate weight limits. There are a lot of SR rifles out there right now, and there's just no reason to rock the boat.

I don't think optics will matter. I think folks that can't shoot will buy optics and then still not be able to shoot. The sighting system is minor in comparison to the fundamentals. It'll be great out here to shoot in the foggy rainy conditions and listen to all of the whining from the scope shooters.
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Old 08-27-2015, 10:26 AM
3StrikesNC 3StrikesNC is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: in a house
Posts: 2,783

It'll be great out here to shoot in the foggy rainy conditions and listen to all of the whining from the scope shooters.

Frankly I don't see a difference in the fog/rain, irons vs. optics. Perhaps that's because I hunt with low power scopes in all weather, which includes a lot of rain & especially fog.

With a 40mm objective I don't believe I see a difference in light. Not quite sure on a 33mm, with lens coatings available today. Now a 20mm, definitely yes, low light conditions and I believe one will pay a penalty.

I do agree that anyone with a $1k+ Service Rifle and a $49.95 scope will certainly whine.
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Old 08-27-2015, 01:05 PM
Herzo Herzo is offline
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Southwest Ohio
Posts: 171

I have to agree on the no alibi proposal, I don't believe that the enemy gives you a 5 minute timeout when your rifle jams.

As to the rain on your optics, I don't suppose anyone ever has had to fire a round, blow through the rear aperture, fire, blow, fire, blow.......................
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