High Power Rifle

High Power Rifle Competition

High Power Rifle Competition has concluded for 2023 and will pick back up in Spring of 2024


This event simulates an NRA or CMP-style high powered rifle match, and is a good practice for those who wish to compete in these types of events or who want to sharpen their skills in multiple position shooting.  See below for the types of equipment and rifles that are typically used in these sorts of competitions.  You will need approx. 100 rounds of ammunition for your rifle, and at least 2 magazines.

Reduced Distance
High power rifle shooting at the full regulation distances requires a range with firing lines at 200, 300 and 600 (or 500) yards.  Since we only have a 100yd range, we use NRA official reduced targets. The SR-1 target simulates the 200 yard target; the SR-21 is the 100 yard equivalent of the 300 yard target and the MR-31 gives the same appearance at 100 yards as the normal 600 yard target does at the full distance.

Because of their small size, the reduced targets are well adapted to being hung on stationary frames. Because of the short distances involved, it is practicable to walk down to the targets after each string and remove them for scoring elsewhere or to score them on the frames.

Courses of Fire
There are 4 strings of fire which are the basic building blocks of any NRA high power rifle course of fire or tournament. These are:

1. Slow Fire, standing – 10 rounds at 200 yards in 10 minutes.
2. Rapid Fire, sitting or kneeling – 10 rounds at 200 yards in 60 seconds.
3. Rapid Fire, 10 rounds prone – 300 yards in 70 seconds.
4. Slow Fire, 10 rounds prone – 500 or 600 yards in 10 minutes.

Every NRA High Power Rifle match for which classification records are kept is a multiple or a combination of one or more of these strings.  The popular National Match Course, for instance, consists of 10 rounds slow fire standing; 10 rounds rapid fire sitting or kneeling; 10 rounds rapid fire prone and 20 rounds slow fire prone.  Matches fired all at one distance and in one position are known as “single-stage” matches and are usually 20 shot matches (2 times one of the basic strings).

“Slow Fire” does not require much explanation.  The shooter takes his position on the firing line, assumes the prescribed position and is allowed one minute per shot to fire the string.

“Rapid Fire,” on the other hand, is more elaborate. In rapid fire sitting or kneeling, the shooter uses a preparation period to establish sitting or kneeling position; then comes to a standing position and, on command, loads either 2 or 5 rounds (depending on the firearm) into the rifle.  When the targets appear or the command to commence fire is given, the shooter gets into the firing position, fires the rounds in the rifle, reloads with 8 or 5 more for a total of 10 and finishes the string.  The procedure for rapid fire prone differs only in the firing position and the time spent.

Rifle:  Rifles to be used in High Power Rifle competition should be equipped with metallic sights, any sights, or scopes.  The type of sights you choose on your rifle will determine the division of the rifle. Tournament programs often group competitions into two divisions, Service Rifle and Match Rifle. The rifles currently defined as “Service Rifles” include the M1, M14, M16 and their commercial equivalents.  Per NRA rules, Service Rifles are permitted to use up to a 4.5X optic/scope.

For Match-category rifles, Winchester and Remington have made their Model 70 and Model 40X rifles in “match” versions and custom gunsmiths have made up match rifles on many military and commercial actions. 1903 and 1903-A3 Springfield, 1917 Enfields and pre-war Winchester Model 70 sporters in .30-06 are all equipped with clip slots for rapid reloading.  Keep in mind that most vintage military and foreign military service rifles will be ineligible for the service rifle category.  However, they would be eligible to compete in the “Match Rifle” category, please reference the NRA High Power Rule Book.

Whether you choose a Match or Service Rifle, the most suitable rear sights are aperture or “peep” with reliable, repeatable ½ minute (or finer) adjustments.  Front sights should be of either the post or aperture type.  Whichever rifle division you decide, the magazine should be capable of holding at least 5 rounds of ammunition and should be adapted to rapid reloading.  Several course of fire for Hi-Power competition require that you have at least 2 magazines, or some other way to rapidly reload your rifle (see above for Courses of Fire).

Spotting Scope:  A spotting scope or a substitute optical device is important for scoring and observing the placement of shot spotters on the target.  The beginning shooter will benefit from the use of about any telescope which gives an erect image.  The most suitable spotting scopes, however, have a magnification of from 20 to 25 power and an objective lens at least 50mm in diameter.  Eyepieces angled at 45 to 90 degrees are convenient for using the scope without disturbing the shooting position.

Shooting Coat:  The shooting coat is equipped with elbow, shoulder and sling pads which contribute to the shooter’s comfort.  Since there are several styles of shooting coats of varying cost, the shooter is advised to try out several types before making an investment.

Shooting Glove:  The shooting glove’s primary function is to protect the forward hand from the pressure of the sling.  Any heavy glove will serve the purpose until the shooter makes a final choice among several shooting gloves available.

Sight Blackener:  The shooter using an exposed front sight such as the blade found on the service rifle will require some means of blackening the sight.  A carbide lamp will do this job or a commercial sight black sold in spray cans can be used.

Scorebook:  If the shooter is to learn from experience, they should record the conditions and circumstances involved in firing each shot.  Sight settings, sling adjustments, wind and light conditions and ammunition used all have a place in the scorebook.  Actual shot value is the least important data recorded.

Ammunition:  Most competitors eventually turn to handloads.  Careful handloading will yield ammunition less expensive and more accurate than otherwise available.  Both tracer and incendiary ammunition are prohibited by NRA Rules and armor-piercing ammunition may be prohibited by local range regulations.