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.
MID RANGE EXPLAINED
There have been several questions about the new mid range course. As your hard working HP chairman I have attempted to get those answers. I will try to pass on what I have learned and explain some of the possibilities & combinations of shooting this course; but first, a short history lesson.
TODAY'S HISTORY LESSON
Until about the mid 90's everybody had 1 high power rifle classification. This one classification served for everything, over the course, 1000 yard, 4 gun 600, Palma, standing, service rifle. The NRA, at the request of shooters, agreed that prone shooting was clearly different than over the course so they created the LONG RANGE classification. Long range was defined as prone matches fired at 600 yards and beyond. Six & five hundred yard scores fired in conjunction with over the course matches were not used toward your LR classification. Only scores fired in 600, 800, 900 and 1000 yard matches such as 3 gun or 4 gun 600's, 1000 yard and Palma were used in this system. As it developed, scores fired at 600 were averaging higher than those fired at 1000 or in Palma matches. This was partly due to the fact that there are very few ranges to practice and compete in 1000 yard and Palma shooting. Conversely there are a lot of 600 yard ranges and lots of 600 yard competition. Also by its nature Palma and 1000 yard are more difficult even without the handicap of fewer opportunities to shoot these longer distances. Wind and flag reading skills are more critical at 1000 yards. The bullseye has a different perspective on the 1000 yard target. This requires different aperture settings on the front sight. The result of this was that most shooters earned their long range classification shooting at 600 yards. When these 600 yard shooters shot Palma and 1000 yard most were disappointed that they were not shooting the same class scores. Many said the heck with it and gave up Palma and 1000 yard while others wrote to NRA about the problem. NRA listened and created the new mid range course for those who do not have access to Palma ranges. So now you have the opportunity to shoot two different competitions with two classifications in prone slow fire.
ON TO THE GOOD STUFF
Since the prone scores at 3-5 & 600 are generally a little higher, the NRA decided to increase the percentage averages for each class in the new mid range course. You will now have to shoot 1.5% higher for each particular class. For example high master long range requires a 97% average whereas high master for mid range will require a 98.5%. This means you will need to average 444 out of 450 for high master on the standard mid range course; and 788 out of 800 in the 4 gun 600 events.
The basic course of fire is 2 sighters and 15 shots for record in 22 minutes at 300, 500 & 600 yards. The course can be fired with any suitable prone rifle and with iron sights or any sights. Suitable rifles or cartridges can be AR15's through 338 Winchester single shots and everything in between that you normally see on the high power range. The program will state any limitations such as iron sights or any sights. See my editorial at the end of this article regarding cartridge limits. The NRA will keep national records for individuals and teams in this event at registered matches.
Very few clubs have firing points at these three distances. Fortunately the good news is that there are many variations in this mid range competition. For example the 4 gun 600 we all know and love is a mid range match. Those will continue just as in the past at most clubs. A 4 gun mid range can now be fired at 500 yards on the MR65. At this time (December 2006) the Northstar Rifle Club in Red Wing is the only Minnesota club that has firing points at the 3 distances to shoot the so called standard mid range match of 15 shots each at 300, 500 & 600 yards. Northstar has several mid range events scheduled for 2007.
Here are some possible combinations of mid range competition. At Northstar I am planning on the 45 shot mid range with iron sights. This will be followed by a 20 shot string at 600 with iron sights followed by a 20 shot string with any sight for a total of 85 shots. This could be done in reverse with any sight allowed in the first 2 and irons in the last 20 shot match, but I'm going with mostly irons. If your club has only 300 yards you can shoot a 4 gun (20 shots each) just like the olden days of 4 gun 600. It would be fired on the MR63 and could be set up with all irons, all scope or half and half. If your club has only 500 yards it's the same as 300. You can also shoot 1 iron and 1 scope at 300 followed by 1 each at 500 or 600. If you have only 3 and 500 you can shoot the 15 shot each range with two 15 shot strings at 500. I would guess that fired this way would not count toward national records. You can shoot 2 scope matches at 300 and 2 iron matches at 5 or 600 or reverse.
As most of you know a first time shooter in an NRA match must enter as an unclassified master. After your first match you may use a temporary scorebook or just the results bulletin from this match. This score can be used to enter in the proper class for all your next few matches until 120 record shots have been reported to NRA. You will be further classified upward after NRA receives your next 240 record shots or 120 shots for long range. You should also be aware that NRA will only move you up in classification. No matter how poorly you shoot even for 5 years NRA will not move you down in class. If you are shooting below your average for quite a while you might consider writing NRA and requesting a downward adjustment to your class. They will review your scores and move you downward to the proper classification. Remember, however that this downward move is a once in your lifetime deal. If you move from any class downward then subsequently shoot well enough to move back up you will again move. If you again go into a slump and shoot lower scores NRA will not move you down again. Use this option wisely!
Upon discussion with other match sponsors I think we all agree that for first timers in mid range in 2007 we will use your long range class if you have one. Otherwise you will be an unclassified master. Remember, you need to shoot only 120 rounds to get the new card and 2 matches will satisfy this.
In my humble opinion there should be 1 more rule that NRA did not use. It's my opinion that this course should be limited to cartridges suitable for over the course guns. Of course one could build a 5 shot repeater for the 6.5X284 or 338 Winchester for a legal OTC gun. "GOOFY" would be one way to describe a person who would go to this trouble in my opinion. I would instead limit the cartridge to 308 Winchester case capacity; and yes I know there are folks out there still shooting the 30-06 and even 280 Remington over the course. PUH-LEESE, we are well into the 21st century! I have been considering a 308 capacity limitation in the program for the matches I run at Northstar. As usual the shooters opinion weigh heavily in the way I conduct matches so contact me with your thoughts on this or any other high power questions.