Shooting Sports USA - June 2020 - 26

FEATURE | EXCELLENCE

Serena: The current Service Rifle is the M16,
with civilian competitors using the AR-15
platform. On occasion you will see Garands on
the line, but usually in competition for a special
Garand award or for fun. Separate "Games"
matches for vintage rifles exist. The biggest
change that has happened during my time
was the legalization of optics (limited to 4.5x)
and adjustable stocks (horizontally only) in
2016. I started off with iron sights and resisted
switching over until late 2017. Several other
changes, such as the allowance of an extended
bolt release have been added as well.
Dick: There was no option for scopes. A lot
of effort was spent on Service Rifles getting
the slop out of the movements. There were
two options for aperture diameter and three
different post widths. M14s and M1As were
much more difficult to manage in rapid fire
because of recoil. Using Hawkeye or Firm Grip
adhesives was almost universal because a
locked in position is required for the second
magazine of eight shots of 7.62 mm match
ammunition. Because of the recoil of the M14s,
juniors with a Distinguished Rifleman Badge
were rare. During my tenure running North
Carolina's program only a couple of my juniors
earned leg points.
Serena: EIC matches are 50-shot matches
without sighters following the National Match
Course-of-Fire. The top 10 percent of nondistinguished competitors earn Excellence in
Competition points toward the Distinguished
Rifleman's Badge. When I first started, cut
scores for points were around the 470s. Now,
one must reach nearly 480 or better to earn
points. Many people blame scopes for this, but
I don't believe they've changed the game that

26

JUNE 2020 | SSUSA.ORG

much. I believe that scopes have leveled the
playing field for those with eyesight issues, due
to age, genetics, etc. Talented shooters who
had started on the Distinguished path but were
unable to finish reentered the game, driving
the scores up. In order to compete, the next
generation learned to shoot better, the higher
cut scores driving more intense competition.
Dick: In those years, High Power was
probably the most popular of all the NRA
disciplines. All 250 firing points on Viale and
Rodriquez were filled to six relays and even
seven relays were tried. Because of the tight
schedule, the match was ruthlessly kept on
schedule. When the call, "Is the line ready?"
was issued, a raised hand drew the response,
"Shoot him on the alibi relay." Prep time for
following relays was done concurrently with
scoring for the previous relay, meaning you
did your prep with the previous shooter's
spotters in the target. We were on the line and
in the pits at first light and the days were long.
Serena: High Power Rifle is not the most
popular discipline nowadays with action sports
like 3-Gun that are more spectator-friendly.
Colleges don't have High Power teams, so
many young kids and adults pursue Smallbore
and Air Rifle for scholarship opportunities.
There has been an increase in women in the
sport, especially among juniors. Much of this
may be due to the minimal recoil of the M16.
High Power is still largely dominated by older
males. This needs to change so that the sport
can live on. We need more young people to
enter the sport. The community is incredibly
welcoming and supportive-all it takes to
get started is some time and reaching out to
someone who is already involved.


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Shooting Sports USA - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Shooting Sports USA - June 2020

Contents
Shooting Sports USA - June 2020 - Cover1
Shooting Sports USA - June 2020 - 2
Shooting Sports USA - June 2020 - 3
Shooting Sports USA - June 2020 - Contents
Shooting Sports USA - June 2020 - 5
Shooting Sports USA - June 2020 - 6
Shooting Sports USA - June 2020 - 7
Shooting Sports USA - June 2020 - 8
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