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Thank you for this excellent e-newsletter. The links and information are great.
John B.
I greatly enjoy the USAMU shooting tips in the newsletter and also being able to find them on-line.
Regards, Ray in FLA
SFC Singley:
It has been a while, but I sent CMP a request for a TFS article on possible means by which us "centrally endowed" (read that as 'fat') shooters might work ourselves into a useable sitting position. Spring is coming and I will be trying to get ready for matches. Your article has been copied and I will read it and work on trying the options you have provided. Thanks very much for your individual military service to our Nation and for your personal efforts to help other shooters improve our skills.
Melvin C.
Really enjoyed the M1 for Vets article. Its really good to read something that was done for wounded vets. The match must have been a real wingding. Too cold for me. There is alot of history 1903 Springfield and the M1 . I had to sleep with my o3 for baning the butt on the deck in boot camp. Anyway thanks again for the story.
Jim N., Ok
I enjoy the TFS. In fact, occasionally I like to print some of the articles to be able to review them in the future.
James L. M.
Whenever we come back in from the field it’s always a good day when “The First Shot” is in. I drill the guys in the fundamentals – many of which I learned and fine tuned at CMP matches – and it comes back in spades out here when it really counts!
Dean H.
LTC - US Army
Security Advisor
Finally caught up with the October '06 story: A Rifle For Shifty. It was simply one of the best things I've read. As someone who had two uncles in combat in WWII, one air corps and one infantry, I will forever believe those men were heroes of the first echelon. Anything any of us can do for any of them is simply the least we can do.
Steve R.
Birmingham, Alabama
The article about Bill Krilling was very good, a great shooter, coach and a gentlemen to boot!
Ruth S.
Thanksfor the great stories and tips. Even old dogs can learn new tricks. This is great for keeping the CMP active.
Tim H., AZ

Printable Version

So you want to shoot Infantry Trophy?

By SFC Norman Anderson, USAMU Service Rifle Team Member

The National Trophy Infantry Team Match or "Rattle Battle" is a unique event where scoring is based on how many hits six-person teams can score on banks of eight silhouette targets. The Infantry Team Match emphasizes extremely fast, accurate fire.

It is “that day;” the day when you can drink all the coffee you want; the day when it is okay and even encouraged to be pumped. This is the day when the command “Load and Be Ready” might just as well be “Gentlemen, Start Your Engines.” It is a Coach, a Captain, six shooters, eight targets, four yard lines, 50 seconds at each yard line, 384 bullets and no alibis!! Once your team is called to the line, there is no looking back, so you had better be ready when you get there. Here’s how to prepare yourself, your equipment and your teammates in order to make sure that you show up with your “A” game for this “spray and pray” event. First, a review is in order to cover all that the Infantry Trophy Team Match involves.

The E-type silhouette and F-type silhouette targets are used for the Infantry Trophy Match.

As stated earlier, this is a match where a team of six shooters, directed by a Coach and a Captain, engage eight targets from the 600, 500, 300 and 200 yard lines. The command “Load and Be Ready” is given, and then the targets are exposed for 50 seconds. At the end of 50 seconds, the targets are pulled into the pits and scored. The E-type silhouette (approximately 40” tall by 20” wide) is used for the 600 and 500 yard stages. Firing is done from the prone position for these two stages. Once firing is complete at the 500, teams advance to the 300 yard line to engage the F-type silhouette (approximately 13” tall by 26” wide) from the sitting position. The targets are changed over in the pits while teams move from the 500 to the 300 yard line. After the 300 yard stage is completed, teams that have ammunition remaining advance to the 200 yard line to engage the F-type targets from the standing position.

Each team begins the Infantry Match with 384 total rounds which is allocated among team members.

Also already mentioned, each team gets 384 rounds of ammunition to shoot the entire match. It is the responsibility of the team’s Coach and Captain to determine how many bullets each shooter receives for each stage. Each shooter should be issued ammunition in relation to his or her ability to achieve hits. This is because as the number of shots a shooter fires increases, there is a point when that shooter’s effectiveness peaks and begins to decline. Coaches and Captains must study each shooter in order to determine where that point is to determine the number of bullets to allocate to them. This is very important as it directly impacts the team’s ability to score.

Scoring for this match goes as follows: the total number of hits at each stage is multiplied by the point value of each hit and that number is added to the “bonus.” This sum is the stage total. The point values for each stage are: at 600 yards each hit is worth four points; at 500 three points per hit; at 300 two points per hit and at 200 yards 1 point per hit. The “bonus” is calculated by counting the number of a team’s targets that have 6 or more hits and multiplying that number by itself or squaring it. As an example, if your team has six hits on all eight targets, your bonus would 8x8 or 64 points. However, if only 5 targets have 6 or more hits, your bonus would be 5x5 or 25 points. This bonus is awarded at each stage and calculated into the stage total.

The coach and captain play a vital role during the Infantry Match as they assist their team during the 50 seconds of firing at each stage.

One integral aspect of this match is “swinging.” Because a team of six firing members must engage eight targets, typically the shooters on each end of the firing squad “swing” or shoot on two targets. Normally, right handed shooters swing from right to left while lefties swing from left to right. As it is usually necessary to make a magazine change in the prone stages, that creates a perfect opportunity to change your natural-point-of-aim to your swing target. The four “straightaway” shooters need only worry about their own targets unless someone yells for “help.” Help is asked for in the event of a rifle malfunction. Because of the “Bonus,” it is very important that all targets receive at least six hits. If “help” is called, the shooters on each side should each fire 4 or 5 shots on the help target. Swing shooters should not help as they already have two targets to shoot. Good communication and training gets you ready for this scenario and allows you to escape disaster.

That covers the basic nuts and bolts of the Infantry Trophy Team Match, so I’ll move on to how to prepare yourself, your equipment, and your teammates in an effort to maximize your scores.

Whether you are shooting “swing” or “straightaway,” you are responsible for shooting good shots. Your Coach and Captain have already determined that you are capable of shooting the number of bullets that you are assigned, and they expect that many hits from you, so it stands to reason that you need to learn how to accurately shoot a lot of bullets in only a little time. That is exactly where you need to start. Think about shooting rapid prone; the sequence goes like this: shoot, breathe, settle, and shoot…..the sequence doesn’t change for this match, it just goes faster. That translates into faster trigger manipulation, shorter breaths, and not as much “settle.” Remember, the target is 40” x 20” and a hit anywhere on it counts, so it is not necessary to shoot “10X clean” sized groups. Yes, good groups increase your hit probability, but each shot doesn’t have to be absolutely perfect. As long as the front sight is on the target and you have good sight alignment, it is going to be a hit. Prepare yourself mentally to accept shots that might not be as pretty as you would like. Now that you have your head right for Trophy, it is time to prepare your gear.

Equipment needed for the Infantry Trophy Match include a rifle, sling, jacket, glove and magazines.

Getting your equipment ready for Infantry Trophy is a little easier than the other matches because you don’t need as much stuff. You need a rifle, sling, jacket, glove and some magazines. I recommend having a single sight smoker for the entire team and having the Team Captain hold on to it to take downrange in case someone needs a touch-up. You may find it necessary to adjust your sling from Prone Rapid or Sitting Rapid sling settings. Also, some “position-in-a-can” or shooting adhesive may help you maintain a position for the required time. Remember, it is illegal to modify the firing line, so you have to do what you can to hang on for 50 seconds of fury. You will only know what changes or adjustments you need to make by trying them in practice.

USAMU Hopper won a close National Infantry Trophy Match last year with a score of 1367 edging out the Marine Corps by six points.

OK, your head is ready, your equipment is ready, now go get the rest of your team ready. The “Rattle Battle” is a fun match where it is okay for you to be excited. Help your teammates by getting them ready. Take time to check each other’s zeroes and equipment. Talk positively to your team about what you are collectively about to do. It is important to remember that this is a team effort, and it will take all of you to win regardless of what happens so don’t dwell on the negative. Stay focused on the task, remain positive and have a good time. Remember, this match is all out and all over in short order, so “Load and Be Ready” and be in the middle!!

Editor’s note: The National Infantry Trophy Team Match is covered in the CMP rulebook under rule 8.5.

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