High power rifle shooting “across the course” is based upon what is known as The National Match Course. This is a 50 shot course consisting of 10 rounds fired slow fire from the standing position at 200 yards. Ten rounds rapid fire in a 60 second time limit in the sitting position at 200 yards. Ten rounds rapid fire in a 70 second time limit in the prone position at 300 yards and then 20 rounds fired slow fire in the prone position from 600 yards.
There are many other courses of fire to include the Regional Course, Double National Match Course, President's Match Course, and so on. These are all "Across the Course" matches with some combination of the 4 basic building blocks of this discipline: (1) Standing Slow Fire, (2) Sitting or Kneeling Rapid Fire, (3) Prone Rapid Fire, and (4) Prone Slow Fire.
The targets are all bulls eye with scoring rings from a 5 thru 10 with an X ring. Most matches shot at the OKC Gun Club (as well as other ranges) are 80 shot or 100 shot matches. The difference being the addition of a second string above the usual 10 shot string.
Matches are fired with a center fire rifle classed as either an NRA Match rifle or a Service rifle. Most NRA Match rifle are bolt rifles although there are a large number of modified semi-automatic Service rifles in that class. Service rifles are just that. A rifle such as an M1, M14 (M1A) or M16 (AR15) that has no external modifications from that of an issue military service rifle is classed as a Service rifle.
A note on ammunition: If you plan on competing with an AR15, the military 55-grain bullet is not authorized in the 600-yard stage. It isn’t accurate at all and is just plain dangerous to the folks in the pit.
You don’t need a lot of fancy equipment to get started. A 3 X 6 piece of carpet for a mat, a spotting scope and a heavy coat such as a field jacket with a sweat shirt (for body support and to allow the use of a tight sling) will get you started until you can get other items. It seems like those of us that have been at it awhile pack enough stuff around that we need a cart.
If you are interested in trying this type of competition, I suggest that you come to one of the Club’s monthly matches (see the calendar in the Primer) and watch what happens. Talk with the shooters and the range officials. They will all be more than happy to show you what they are doing, what they are using, will give you load information and just generally help you all they can.
Come by and visit with us or contact one of the High Power Division officers and let us introduce you to a fun discipline that gets the most out of you and your gun.