2008 CMP Competition Rules Released
By Gary Anderson, DCM
Final decisions have now been made on proposals for changes in the CMP rules for service rifle, service pistol and as-issued military rifles. The 12th 2008 Edition of the CMP Competition Rules is now posted on the CMP web site at
http://www.odcmp.com/Competitions/Rulebook.pdf. Printed copies of the 2008 rulebook can also be ordered from the CMP.
The 12th 2008 Edition of the CMP Competition Rules is now posted on the CMP website at http://www.odcmp.com/Competitions/Rulebook.pdf.
Just like in 2007, there are not a lot of rule changes, nothing in the 2008 rules is going to substantially change any CMP courses of fire or the way competitions are conducted. There are some rule changes, however, that are designed to address issues that have come up or to respond to recommendations that were received from match sponsors and competitors. Here are highlights on 2008 rule changes:
Pistol EIC Match Scheduling. The new rules clarify that Pistol EIC Matches may schedule different relays to be fired on two or three different days if the EIC Match is conducted in conjunction with a single multi-day competition. All relays of a Pistol EIC Match must be fired on the same range so that conditions remain relatively equal.
Awarding EIC Credit Points. All official EIC credit point calculations are done by computer and are not official until scorecards are turned in to the CMP and the electronic results list for that match is posted on the CMP web site. Match sponsors cannot award EIC credit points because they do not have all the information needed to confirm the eligibility of every competitor.
Mixed As-Issued Military Rifle Matches. Previously, an as-issued military rifle match could only be sanctioned by the CMP if it was a Garand, Springfield, Vintage Military Rifle or Carbine Match. Many sponsors told us that their military rifle matches were mixed with competitors being allowed to fire any of these rifles. To make it possible for sponsors of matches that want to allow any legal as-issued military rifle to sanction their matches with the CMP, the new rules offer a mixed “As-Issued Military Rifle Match” option. When rifles are mixed and scorecards are returned to the CMP, the type of rifle fired by each competitor must be checked. When these scorecards are scanned into the CMP Competitor Tracker results system, scores will be grouped according to the type of rifle fired.
Standing Prior to Rapid Fire in EIC Matches. The 2008 NRA Rules were changed to allow any rifle competitors 60 years of age or older to remain in position and not stand prior to the start of a rapid-fire series. This rule will not appply for competitors in CMP EIC matches since staying in position to start rapid fire offers a significant advantage over shooters who must move from standing to sitting or prone and quickly reestablish a natural point of aim. To be eligible to earn EIC points, a competitor must stand before a sitting or prone rapid-fire series and must get into the firing position from standing. The CMP’s intent is to ensure that anyone who earns a Distinguished Badge earns that badge while performing under the same conditions that all other badge holders have followed. EIC Match scorecards are being changed so that scorers must confirm that eligible competitors assumed the sitting and prone rapid-fire positions from standing. Competitors who cannot stand may still fire in EIC matches and their scores will be listed, but recorded as “out-of-competition.”
Standing Prior to Rapid Fire in As-Issued Military Rifle Matches. Since the objective of these matches is to encourage as many shooters as possible to participate as long as possible, competitors who are not able to stand prior to rapid fire because of physical limitations or medical conditions will continue to be able to compete and have their scores count. Shooters who are 60 or over who are able to stand should continue to do so because this is part of the course of fire. Shooters who are not able to stand should alert a range officer and follow the established procedure of keeping the rifle out of the shoulder until targets come up and then not firing until a competitor who was standing fires the first shot. Since CMP rules give competitors considerable leeway in deciding whether they can stand, it is important for each shooter’s decision to be based on whether he is able to stand and safely assume the position from standing and not on whether this is a way to gain an advantage over other competitors.
Rule Interpretations. Both the previous Army DCM and the current CMP DCM have had the authority to issue rule interpretations. New rules clarify that no DCM ruling or interpretation may set aside or change any established rule. The DCM is the only member of the CMP staff who can approve a rule interpretation.
Scorers Acting as Assistant Range Officers. Many range operations are making increased use of scorers as assistant range officers who are responsible for signaling that the shooters they are scoring comply with Range Officer commands to load, clear and ground their rifles. Language to this effect is added to Rule 5.3.3 on Scoring.
ECIs or empty chamber indicators that confirm actions are open and chambers are empty are now required in all rifles and pistols in both CMP and NRA matches at all times except during preparation and firing periods.
Mandatory Use of ECIs. Highpower and air rifle shooters quickly accepted he mandatory use of ECIs (empty chamber indicators, CBIs, clear barrel indicators for air rifles), but smallbore and pistol shooters resisted. Now several years of experience have demonstrated how effective these safety flags are in allowing range officers to quickly confirm that guns are cleared. The presence of an ECI in any firearm is also a way to assure anyone in the presence of that gun that it has been properly cleared. Both CMP and NRA rules now require all rifles and pistols to have ECIs inserted at all times when they are on ranges except, of course, when guns are on the firing line during preparation and firing periods.
Handling Firearms. The CMP and NRA have been striving to coordinate their range procedures so that both organizations follow the same rules. What a competitor can and cannot do with a firearm in the ready area as well as on the firing line before the preparation period has been subject to dispute. Handling firearms is defined as “anything that a shooter does to operate the mechanism, shoulder, aim, put a sling on, load, practice loading, insert a clip or magazine or otherwise perform any action that would prepare the shooter to fire the firearm.” There were questions concerning whether this definition allowed competitors to adjust or blacken sights, adjust a sling or put a sling on behind the line. The new rules specifically allow “adjusting or blackening sights and adjusting slings without placing them on the arm” in the ready area. Competitors are also authorized to load clips or removable magazines in the ready area.
Moving to the Firing Line. A couple of years ago, NRA Range Officer scripts required competitors to ground their rifles after being instructed to move their equipment to the firing line and then not to handle their rifles in any way until the preparation period began. That was eliminated, but questions remained about whether a shooter could “sling up” before bringing the rifle to the line. The new CMP rules specifically prohibit putting on slings behind the firing line, but do authorize competitors to “handle” their rifles on the firing line before the prep period begins as long as ECIs remain inserted. That means slings can be put on the arm on the firing point before prep begins.
National Ranking and Handicap Systems. The new rules authorize the establishment of national ranking and handicap systems that are being announced by the CMP this spring.
Service Rifle Rules. There are no rules changes here. The CMP received applications to permit the use of certain new accessories, but did not approve them. The CMP is now taking a much stricter view towards any proposed new accessories or rifle modifications that move the service rifle any further away from its original as-issued condition than the numerous exceptions that have already been permitted when the Army ODCM was making the rules. In principle, service rifle competitors must adapt their positions and firing techniques to the service rifle, not seek to add accessories that adapt the service rifle to them.
As-Issued Military Rifle Rules. There are some changes to these rules. As-issued front sight covers for M1903 Springfields are now permitted. Using a sling with a Carbine is clarified; only a Carbine type sling can be used in hasty-sling configuration when a Carbine is fired in a M1 Carbine Match; if a Carbine is fired in an M1 Garand Match, then a web sling with a loop can be attached for prone and sitting.
Other As-Issued Military and Production Sporter Rifles. A new rule gives match sponsors the option of allowing competitors in their matches to fire “non-standard rifles in As-Issued Military Rifle Matches such as commercial M1 Garands, commercial M1 Carbines, other semi-automatic service rifles or sporter-type rifles with non-optical sights.” Many match sponsors have told us that in their local club matches they want to let shooters who have these types of rifles participate. If a match sponsor wants to do this, they can do so, but if any of these rifles are used, the scorecards of competitors using these rifles must be marked as “Out-of-competition” so that those scores will not be mixed with as-issued M1 Garand, Springfield or Vintage Military Rifle scores in the CMP on-line results system.
Service Pistol Rules. There are only a couple of minor changes. Serrations on the front of M1911 type slides or holes (filled or unfilled) in the frame and slide of M1911 type pistols are permitted. The latter change allows shooters with otherwise legal scope-mounted pistols to remove their scopes to fire these pistols in EIC matches.
CMP Achievement Pins can now be earned in CMP sanctioned matches for as-issued military rifles that se either the 30 or 50 shot John C. Garand courses of fire. To offer this award program, match sponsors should order pins to be awarded in their matches at the time they submit their application for sanctioning.. Instructions and applications forms are available at http://www.odcmp.com/Competitions/Sanction.htm.
Issued Ammunition is M1 Garand and Springfield Matches. If ammunition is issued to competitors in an as-issued military rifle match, any competitor who substitutes and fires other ammunition must be disqualified.
CMP Achievement Pins. More and more clubs are no awarding gold, silver and bronze CMP Achievement Pins to competitors in Garand, Springfield and Vintage Military Rifle Matches. In addition to updating the 30-shot Course A scores needed to qualify for these pins, the new rules also provide 50-shot Course B scores.
The 12th 2008 Edition of the CMP Competition Rules are posted at http://www.odcmp.com/Competitions/Rulebook.pdf. Anyone with questions about the new rules or any CMP competition rule may contact the CMP at firstname.lastname@example.org.