Getting Started in High Power Shooting

NRA high power rifle shooting is challenging and fun, steeped in tradition that goes back over 100 years. You'll be firing your rifle at various distances and positions, rapid fire and slow. A short essay like this can't possibly impart a knowledge of all the nuances of the game, but maybe between the other parts of the CGC web page,  the references on the links page, and your own reading you will get an idea of what will be happening on match day.  To get you started, though, here is some of the gear you will need, or at least should consider bringing:

  • Rifle and ammo - Duh
  • Extra magazines or clips - Remember, you need to reload in the rapid fire stages.
  • Eye and ear protection - You will need these for both shooting and pulling targets.
  • Spotting scope - You don't need to actually see the bullet holes, but most shooters like to get a good look at the spotters placed by the target puller.  Binoculars will work fine to start.
  • Shooting coat - A shooting coat, or at least a heavy-duty jacket or coat will not only cushion you from recoil but will protect you from your sling, and provide padding for your elbows.
  • Sweatshirt - Worn under the shooting coat (yes, even in July) it provides extra padding and isolation from your pulse. 
  • Shooting mat -- A mat of some sort not only makes you more comfortable, but also helps give you reference points to aim for when you get into position in the rapid fire stages.
  • Towel - A small towel or terrycloth wash cloth has a thousand and one uses. 
  • Shooting glove - If your sling is comfortable going across your bare hand, it probably isn't tight enough.  Any heavy-duty glove will be better than nothing.
  • Rain gear - Matches are usually fired rain or shine, so be prepared.
  • Tools - Having a screw come loose at the wrong time is a pain in the neck, but not having a screwdriver can ruin your whole day.
  • Sight black - A shiny front sight is a nuisance, so you may want to dull it with a sooty flame or commercial product.  Daniel Boone knew about this trick.
  • Pencil and paper - Most shooters keep a log of their shots, but there also may be a need to write down phone numbers, dates, etc.
  • Hat, bandana, sunblock - Usually at a match if you're not way too cold, you're way too hot.  A bandana helps keep sweat out of your eyes.
  • Water and snacks - Drink *plenty* of water.  Snacks should be pocketable finger food that you can eat on the run, since usually there is no lunch break.