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GUNS Magazine March 2012 Digital Edition - Page 30
STORY: Mike “Duke” Venturino PHOTOS: Yvonne Venturino Shooting vintage military rifles is catching on nationwide. CMP GaMes E very year, the CMP (Civilian Marksmanship Program) holds both eastern and western games. These events include shooting with M1 Garands and M1 Carbines, ’03 and ’03A3 Springfields, vintage military rifles and vintage sniper rifles. Although age 62 is not the ideal time to take up a new shooting discipline, I’m building a World War II military rifle collection so I thought a trip was in order to the Ben Avery Shooting Facility near Phoenix, Ariz. last October to see what the CMP games were all about. CMP’s games offer a large variety of competitions but a primary one is called “GSM” which is an acronym for Garand, Springfield and (vintage) military rifle. Also on Duke’s Montana friend, Ted Tompkins, is shooting Duke’s M1903A3 Springfield after they super glued its rear sight into place. Duke fires his M1 Garand (above) from prone position as Ted spots for him. This is the 200-yard firing line (below) at the Ben Avery shooting facility in Phoenix, Ariz. as the competitors prepare to fire a stage. one afternoon there would be a vintage sniper rifle match, which particularly interested me. Here’s the course of fire for GSM. All shooting is done at 200 yards. The first stage is slow fire from prone with only slings for support. The shooter gets 15 minutes for a maximum of five sighting rounds, but then must fire 10 shots for score on the standard SR target. (That target is 40"x42" with a 13" black 9 and 10 rings.) The next stage is 10 shots rapid fire from prone. (No sighters.) This must be done in 80 seconds. Final stage is 10 shots slow fire, offhand in 10 minutes. The GSM match was held on three days. The vintage sniper rifle event was different. Shooters participated as 2-man teams with their individual scores combined for a total. Ranges were 300 and 600 yards, and shooters could use sandbags supplied by the CMP or their rifles’ slings, but not both. This match allowed a 5-minute sighting period at both distances with unlimited shots. One or both team members could do the sighting. Then the match consisted of 10 rounds for score at 300 and 600 yards. The targets were variations of the SR target: the one used at 300 yards also had the 8 ring in black, and at 600 yards the 7 ring was also black. To add a little pressure, the rules call for the targets to be up for only 20 seconds. Making the trip with me was good friend Ted Tompkins of Big Arm, Mont. Never previously had I fired a high-power rifle event on paper targets, but get this: Until the day before we left on the trip, Ted had never fired a military rifle at all. (However, he is a Master Class shooter in the BPCR Silhouette and Long Range Target games and holds state champion titles from both Montana and Arizona.) Before leaving we spent about an hour on my range so I could at least show 30 W W W. G U N S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • M A R C H 2 0 1 2