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Below is a listing of some general information about the various shooting disciplines supported by the MRRA. If you have any questions about any of the following disciplines or equipment required that aren't answered below, feel free to contact the webmaster and he will be sure that your questions get answered.

International  | High Power  | Palma  | Silhouette  | Capt'n Bob's Highpower Glossary

Bullseye Pistol |  Capt'n Bob's Mid-range Guide |  Capt'n Bob's Match Check List |  F-Class

The Rifleman Writes by Larry Sawyer


Minnesota is fortunate to have a new facility for NRA/ISU 300-meter shooting at the Minneapolis Rifle Club located near the Twin Cities. We have the Suiss-Ascor electronic target system on twelve of twenty points.

300-meter competition is all slowfire and all at 300-meters and is generally comprised of three positions - prone, standing and kneeling. 300 M shooting is very popular in Europe and with the Army Marksmanship Unit at fort Benning Georgia. For those who compete in smallbore, 300M shooting is a natural transition. The support equipment (slings, boots, coats, mats etc.) is the same as used in smallbore, however, the rifle used is an NRA/ISU free-rifle. The free-rifle is, as you would suspect from the name, a less restrictive class of rifle than the NRA highpower rifle. The NRA Highpower rifle is a legal free-rifle but NRA/ISU rules also allow the use of hooks, palm rests, a maximum caliber of 8MM and iron sights-corrective lenses are allowed as in Highpower shooting. NRA Palma, NRA Highpower, NRA Service Rifles are legal rifles for 300 Meter shooting.

Minneapolis Rifle Club 300M rules allow NRA Highpower equipment such as coats, slings, boots and mats in 300M matches to promote the sport and open it to Highpower shooters. Hunting bullets and composite tipped bullets such as the Hornady A-Max and the Nosler Ballistic Tip bullets are not allowed, also, no magnum calibers are allowed as they damage the electronic targets. Minnesota matches are generally half course matches this means they consist of 60 record shots: 20 prone/ 20 standing/ 20 kneeling with unlimited sighting shots in each stage. Competitors are allowed 30 minutes per stage so when the matches start at 10:00 a.m. they are usually completed by 1:00 or 2:00 p.m., and no pit duty is required! A full course match consists of 120 record shots 40 prone/ 40 standing/ 40 kneeling.

The 300-meter metric target is very challenging and shooting it will dramatically improve Highpower scores for those who are serious. Highpower shooters who generally fire in the low to mid 190's at 200 yards standing will likely score in the 150's to 160's on the 300 meter targets. In prone, a clean 200 is very rare on a 300-meter target and you will find the 1.5 inch x-ring a challenge. The wind is very much a factor in prone shooting and 300 meter shooting is an excellent way to improve long-range skills as well. The kneeling position may be new to Highpower shooters but with some effort it too can be mastered. Occasionally we all need a new challenge and 300-meter shooting may be just that for you, give it a try.

International Equipment

Equipment used in an International match at Minneapolis Rifle Club is identical for that used in a regular High Power rifle competition
(see below) except that:
1) An international "Free" rifle can used along with any NRA/Service/Palma rifle.

2) If you shoot an International match at the Minneapolis rifle club , you will not need a spotting scope since your shots are displayed on a computer monitor.

Kneeling Roll. - This kneeling roll fits under the rear leg between the ground and the top of your foot. These are rather inexpensive and can also be made very easily.

Check out our Links page for a listing of competitive shooting equipment suppliers.

High Power

In NRA Conventional Highpower Rifle Competition, shooters compete with either a service rifle or a match rifle. The service rifle category is generally limited to either the unmodified M1, M14, M16, or their commercial equivalents such as an AR15 or M1A. Match rifles typically are of custom make, conforming to the desires of the shooter. They are more free of regulations than are the service rifles. All shooting, with the exception of limited long range events, are done only with metallic aperture, or peep, sights. Shooting consists of either across the course or long range matches. Shooters competing over the course are required to fire at distances of 200, 300, and 600 yards. In a typical Regional, or 800 point aggregate match, the course of fire is a total of 88 shots. Twenty record shots are fired in each stage, plus two sighting shots. Each shot is worth a maximum of ten points, with the entire match being worth a total of 800 points.

Over The Course (OTC)...

- The first stage of fire consists of two sighting shots and 20 shots for record in 20 minutes. These shots are fired at a distance of 200 yards in the standing/offhand position. The target used has a 3 inch X-ring, a 7 inch ten-ring. Each succeeding scoring ring is three inches wide. The aiming black is 13 inches wide, consisting of the 9,10, and X rings. The lowest value ring is the 5-ring. X's are scored a vlaue of ten and are used for tie breaking purposes.

- The second stage of fire consists of two ten-shot strings fired rapid fire from the sitting position with a time limit of 60 seconds for each string. This string is also done at 200 yards using the same target as was used for offhand. The string starts with the shooter in the standing position. Once the clock starts, the shooter drops into the sitting position and shoots the 10 shots. If the shooter is using a semi-automatic rifle, 2 shots are fired then a clip change is required and the remaining 8 shots are fired. If the shooter is using an NRA type rifle, 5 shots are fired then a re-load is performed and the remaining 5 shots are fired.

- The third stage of fire is rapid-fire prone (lying down) at 300 yards. Each of two ten-shot strings are fired in a time limit of 70 seconds. The dimensions of the target are the same as the 200 yard target, with the exception of an additional ring of black to facilitate aiming. The string starts with the shooter in the standing position. Once the clock starts, the shooter drops into the prone position and shoots the 10 record shots. The shooter uses the same re-load procedure as with the 200 yard rapid sitting.

- The final stage is fired at a distance of 600 yards. Twenty shots for record are fired slow-fire from the prone position in 20 minutes. The target used has a 6 inch X-ring, and 12 inch 10-ring. The 9 and 8 rings are each three inches wider. Each ring of value below that is six inches wider. The aiming black consists of the 7, 8, 9, 10, and X rings, which constitutes a 36 inch aiming black.

4-Gun, Mid & Long Range...

A 4-Gun Match consists of 4 22 shot relays, 2 sighting shots and 20 shots for record, all shot from the prone position at 500 or 600 yards. The shooter has the option to use 4 different guns in 4 of the following 5 matches:
- Any Rifle Any Sight (metallic, aperture or telescopic)
- Any Rifle Iron Sight (metallic or aperture)
- NRA or Palma Rifle Any Sight (metallic, aperture or telescopic)
- NRA or Palma Rifle Iron Sight (metallic or aperture)
- Service Rifle.
Mid-Range match is fired at 300, 500 and 600 yards. A match will probably consist of 17 shots, 2 sighting and 15 for record, in 22 minuntes from the prone position from each yard line but the course of fire may vary. For example, a 4-Gun match is considered a Mid-Range Match.

A Long Range match is fired at 1000 yards and is fired from the prone position. They are usually 80 shot matches consisting of 4 strings of 20 shots for record in 30 minutes. These matches generally have unlimited sighters.

High Power Equipment

Highpower shooters are known for the large amount of equipment that they haul out onto the range. Below is the basic equipment used along with a description of its use. Though each of these items are generally necessary, it isn't necessary to go out and buy all new equipment. In getting started, it's generally best to ask other shooters opinions about equipment. It's also much cheaper to buy used equipment rather than new. Check out our Links page for a listing of competitive shooter supplies.
Rifle - Shooters preference as to service or match (NRA)

Sling - For the service rifle, the sling must be of military style. For the match rifle, adjustable slings with arm cuffs and buckle adjustments are the norm.

Shooting jacket - The purpose of the jacket is to provide support, and to pad the shooter to minimize the effect of pulse and recoil. The best coats are the NRA-style of either heavy Cordura or leather make.

Glove - The glove is necessary to pad the hand from the pressures of the rifle. They come as either mits or gloves. This too is a personal preference.

Shooting Mat - The shooting mat is used to provide some padding between the shooter and the ground.

Spotting Scope and Stand - The spotting scope allows you to see the spotters and scoring disk in your target. They are also often used to locate shot holes during the rapid fire stages. More importantly, when shooting long range, they allow you to judge the wind by watching the mirage. Scopes vary in power and objective diameter. The power used should be between 30 - 50X. Diameters should preferably be 50mm or larger. The larger diameter scopes will allow you to see conditions better. The best scopes are made by Kowa. A scope stand that allows you to adjust the scope so that it can be viewed in all positions is necessary.


A Palma Match, known as the " America's Cup " of rifle shooting, is a special type of international High Power long range match. There are currently very few Palma ranges in the United States. Minnesota is proud to be the home to one of these few. Gopher Rifle and Revolver in Harris, MN is in the home of a Palma range and will be hosting several matches in the summer of 2007.

A Palma match course of fire consist of a total of 45 shots fired for record. The match starts at 800 yards. An unlimited amount of sighters and 15 shots for record are fired in 22 minutes. After shooting has completed, all shooters then move back to the 900 yard firing line. At this point, the shooters are allowed 2 sighter shots and 15 shots for record in 22 minutes. The final stage is then fired at 1000 yards, again 2 sighter shots and 15 shots for record are fired in 22 minutes.

International Palma rules limit matches to a Palma rifle. A Palma rifle consists of a single shot bolt action rifle weighing less than 6 kg (13.2lbs) in 7.62mm NATO caliber (.308 Winchester) firing a 155 grain palma bullet. US Palma rules allow any weight bullets, NRA Match and Service Rifles.
Palma Equipment

Equipment used in a Palma match is identical for that used in a regular High Power rifle competition except that a Palma rifle is used. Check out our
Links page for a listing of competitive shooting equipment suppliers.


Rifle Metallic Silhouette shooting is considered by many to be the ultimate rifle challenge. The sport originated in Mexico in the days of Poncho Villa as entertainment. Live animals were tethered and shot at from long distances. Live animal shooting evolved into metallic silhouette shooting to save on targets. The sport was very popular in Mexico and US shooters traveled south of the border to compete.

The sport emigrated to the US in the early 70's. The first sanctioned shoot was held in Tucson in 1973 when the NRA sponsored the first national championship. Roy Dunlop, noted gunsmith, is considered to be responsible for popularizing the sport in the US.

Unlike other forms of competition, a class system exists so shooters compete against shooters of or near the same ability. Beginning shooters need not shoot against master class shooters. Everyone has a chance win his or her class. Classes are Master, AAA, AA, A, and B.

Both highpower and smallbore categories exist. The targets consist of chickens, pigs, turkeys and rams. The highpower targets are made of high strength steel to avoid damage. The chickens are placed at 200 meters; the pigs at 300 meters; the turkeys at 385 meters; and the rams at 500 meters. All shooting is done offhand without slings or shooting jackets.

In smallbore, the targets are 1/5 the size of the highpower targets, and placed at 1/5 the distances. Thus the chickens are shot at 40 meters; the pigs at 60 meters; the turkeys at 77 meters; and the rams at 100 meters. The body of the chicken is about the size of half-dollar. Each target gets larger in size, and most shooters consider the turkey to be the most difficult because of its shape.

Targets are placed in banks of 5. A complete round is 40 targets- 10 of each animal. A shooter gets 2-1/2 minutes to shoot a bank of targets. After a brief rest, the second bank is shot. Then, each shooter moves to a different target until all 40 targets have been fired at. The targets must be knocked off their stands in order from left to right.

Shooters may shoot in either (or both) of two rifle classes: Standard Class (heavy barrel) or Hunter Class. A Standard Class rifle must weigh 10.2 lbs. or less, and can be a custom rifle. A Hunter Class rifle must weigh 9 lbs. or less and must be an off-the-rack rifle or near to one. It must have the original stock (or a very close reproduction thereof) and the original trigger set at a minimum of 2 lbs. The most common calibers used today are .260, 7mm08, 308, and .30-06. Most shooters elect to shoot match grade bullets, but this is not necessary. No magnums are allowed to prevent target damage and the shoulders of the shooters. Some shooters in Standard Class will shoot custom calibers.

Smallbore shooters may also shoot in both rifle classes. The rules are nearly the same. However, no Stingers or magnums are allowed.

Shooters use scopes- usually in the range of 16x-36x. The scopes need to have parallax adjustments and target knobs. The most popular are the Weaver T models and the Leupold 6.5x20, or their fixed power scopes. However, many lower priced scopes are available and perform well. Many shooters prefer a large dot to a crosshair.

What most shooters like best about the sport is that you know immediately whether or not you hit the target. One does not need to wait to see his target as in disciplines involving paper. Also, only a minimal investment is required. Most deer rifles will do just fine when saddled with a proper scope in Hunter Class. Also, most shooters team up with a buddy so they can spot for each other. A good spotter is a strong asset.

Shooting at these long distances and at the diminutive smallbore targets may seem out of reach for the average shooter, but as one competes he improves and the gratification is wonderful.

ISU 300 Meter at MRC

Sius-Ascor monitor
Sius-Ascor electronic target

High Power SR target
Standing position
Sitting position

The view from 600 yards
Prone position

High Power gear