2023 Bucks County rifle competition season opener…

Finally, it is match day! The day is a triple-header involving two rifles. The first match is the CMP Service Rifle match using my AR-15A2.

I had neglected to photograph my targets, but I ended up with a fairly OK score of 261-1X out of a possible 300-30X.

Second up in the day’s events is the Combat Rifle match. Also, with my AR-15A2.

Stage One is rapid fire prone. Ten rounds with a reload in 60 seconds.

Stage Two is rapid fire kneeling. Ten rounds with a reload in 60 seconds.

Stage Three is the Offhand Snap. Ten single round engagements of 5 seconds each. The shooter stands with the rifle loaded and shouldered at the low ready. With each command of “Targets” the shooters have five seconds to aim and fire one shot. After each shot, the rifle is lowered back down to the low ready position.

I was happy with the resultant total of 128-11v out of a possible 150-30v.

The last event of the day is the Swiss Schützenfest. My rifle is a 1942 7.5x55mm Karabiner K31

We are allowed six sighters before the start of the Obligatorisches Programm. I fired three rounds and declared myself ready.

The Obligatorisches Programm is the Swiss Army qualification test. You must qualify during the season in order to be eligible for awards in the other Schützenfest events. Part one is five rounds slow fire on the A5 target. Yes, there are six bullet holes in my target. The competitor on my left cross fired on to my target. His was the low shot in the “4” ring. I know this as I was finished shooting and had spotted my shots. So, perfect score!

Part two is done in a progressively faster series on the B4 target. Which is scored as shown below.

Five rounds, slow fire. Two rounds in 20 seconds. Three rounds in 30 seconds. The series ends with five rounds in 40 seconds.

I was doing great keeping everything in the black. Well, until the last five rounds where I shanked one. But I managed to earn 74 points to easily qualify!

The second event is the Feldschiessen. Eighteen rounds for record on the B4 target. As with earlier, the Feldschiessen gets faster as it progresses. It begins with 6 rounds slow fire. Three rounds in 20 seconds. Then another three rounds in 20 seconds. And finally, 6 rounds in 50 seconds. I got loose on the last five rounds. Way too loose! Alas; with a score of 53 points, I missed the cutoff for being awarded a Karte!

So, I qualified the first time out, so I don’t have to worry about it for the rest of the season. The Feldschiessen was a near miss. I was tired and cold so elected to end my day there and forgo wasting scarce GP11 ammunition on the Einzelwettschiessen and the Meisterschaft

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Resizing rifle brass for reloading….

Rifle brass stretches upon firing. Everyone knows this. However, many reloading setups have the cleaned cartridge case being trimmed prior going to the press. This causes a problem as the subsequent resizing after trimming can cause the case to stretch some more.

In my case, I have the resizing die and my electric trimmer set up on a separate toolhead. This way the case is deprimed and resized at station #1. Then the resized case is trimmed to length at station #3.

Once all the brass has been resized and trimmed, the toolhead is swapped for another containing the powder measure, seating die and crimping die. Now the prepped brass can loaded as usual.

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Finalized 2023 PPC match schedule…

The official schedule of matches for the 2023 DLEMA season has been finalized.

All matches start promptly at 0900hrs.

APR 8th

MAY 13th

JUN 10th

JUL 8th

AUG 12th

SEP 9th

OCT 14th

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2023 DLEMA PPC Competition

While the complete schedule of matches for the 2023 outdoor season has not been finalized, the first match is confirmed for April 8th. When the rest of the season schedule for the Delaware Law Enforcement Marksmanship Association is approved, I will post an update.

Open to police and civilians alike. Beginners are welcome. We shoot the NRA stock auto/revolver course of fire. Forty-eight rounds on a B-27 target from 3 to 25 yards.

All magazines or speed loaders are loaded with 6rds.

String #1: 6rds from the holster standing strong hand only in 8 seconds at 3yds.

String #2: 12rds from the holster with 2 hands standing in 20 seconds at 7yds.

Score and repair target.

String #3: 12rds from the holster with 2 hands standing in 20 seconds at 15yds.

String #4: 18rds from the holster with 2 hands in 90 seconds at 25yds. First 6rds are kneeling right side barricade. Second 6rds are standing left hand barricade (trigger must be manipulated with the left hand). Last 6rds are standing right hand barricade.

Score and tally results

All handguns must be at least .35 caliber. No full power magnum ammunition allowed. No cross draw or shoulder holsters allowed. Stock duty/carry guns only. Your three highest scores are averaged and ranked for season awards.

The yearly dues are $20.00 which pays for the awards at the end of the year. The first relay of the day is $15.00, any subsequent relays for the day are $5.00. We compete once a month at the Nanticoke Sportsman’s range in Seaford, DE.

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Of Ghosts and Guns…

A prized treasure of mine is my father’s old Stevens Model 58 20-gauge bolt action shotgun.

After I inherited it, I used the Stevens to roll a sizeable number of rabbits and squirrels in New Castle County. But my greatest feat was to double on a pair of quail flying off in two different directions off of the C&D canal. Even to this day, every time I pick the Stevens up, I can feel my father’s presence.

The shotgun predates the 1968 Gun Control Act requirement for serial numbers on commercially sold firearms. Stevens was bought by Savage Arms in 1920 and continued to operate as a semi-independent subsidiary. My father never told me when he had purchased the smooth bore but said that he had it before I was born. So, as near as I can tell, the Chicopee Falls marking puts it somewhere between 1933 and 1963. So, between 60 and 90 years old and still going strong!

The bolt handle sweeps back towards the trigger.

It is chambered for standard 2-3/4″ shells.

The shotgun is equipped with a two round detachable magazine.

The barreled action is held in the stock by the single large screw at the front of the magazine well.

The rear of the firing pin assembly is visible at the rear of the bolt.

Lifting the bolt handle cocks the firing pin upon opening.

With the bolt forward and locked, the red painted band indicates the shotgun is ready to fire.

The bolt head has no locking lugs.

The root of the bolt handle locks against the receiver shoulder.

The stock has a hard plastic buttplate.

The barrel is equipped with a Savage Arms factory built adjustable choke.

It adjusts from full choke to cylinder bore.

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2023 Rifle Competition Schedule…

The dates for the Bucks County Marksman’s Guild competition held at the Bucks County Fish & Game Association range in Doylestown, PA have been scheduled.

All matches are conducted at 100 yards on scaled targets.

NRA/CMP Service Rifle, Combat Rifle and Swiss Schützenfest 

MAR 25

APR 29

MAY 27

JUN 24

JUL 29

AUG 26

SEP 23

OCT 28 (tentative}

NOV 18

End Of Season Rifleman’s Challenge Match

DEC 16 (Course of fire revealed on match day)

The 2023 rifle competition season at Bucks County Fish & Game generally encompasses three matches on each monthly match day. 

Service Rifle.

You can choose to shoot the 50 round NRA course of fire or the 30 round CMP course. NRA and CMP shoot together but are awarded separately.

The NRA course has three categories following NRA rules. Match Rifle, Service Rifle-A (AR-15s) and Service Rifle-B (all others) and a separate match, the M1 Garand Cup. Ten rounds slow fire offhand, ten rounds rapid fire sitting, ten rounds rapid fire prone and 20 rounds slow fire prone.

The CMP course has three categories, Modified Rifle (as-issue service rifle with a red dot), Service Rifle-A (iron sighted as-issue AR-15s) and Service Rifle-B (all other iron sighted as-issue rifles) and a separate match, The President’s Match. Ten rounds slow fire prone, ten rounds rapid fire prone and ten rounds slow fire offhand.

Combat Rifle.

Thirty rounds for record. No spotting scopes or shooting coats and no alibis allowed. Restricted to as-issue military surplus rifles or commercial equivalent. There are eight separate categories that you can compete in. Categories are fired with rifles designed for that era only. Modern military may have red dots.

Ten rounds prone rapid fire, ten rounds kneeling or sitting rapid fire and ten offhand snap engagements.

Combat Rifle Categories

WWI-Entente (prewar-1918)

WWI-Central Powers (prewar-1918)

WWII-Allies (1919-1945)

WWII-Axis (1919-1945)

Cold War-NATO (1946-1991)

Cold War-ComBloc (1946-1991)

Modern Military-NATO (1992-present)

Modern Military-Sino/Russia (1992-present)

Swiss Schützenfest.

7.5mm and 5.6mm Swiss service rifles or commercial equivalents only. Swiss Army rules apply. Up to four events fired.

Obligatorisches Programm (Swiss Army qualifier. Competitors must qualify in order to be eligible for awards in the following events)

Part 1:

5 rounds slow-fire (6 minutes) prone position at A5 target

Part 2:

5 rounds in 6 minutes, prone position at B4 target
2 rounds in 20 seconds, prone position at B4 target
3 rounds in 30 seconds, prone position at B4 target
5 rounds in 50 seconds, prone position at B4 target

The B4 target is scored as shown in the upper left corner of the target.

66 points required to qualify.


6 rounds in 8 minutes, prone position at B4 target
3 rounds in 20 seconds, prone position at B4 target
3 rounds in 20 seconds, prone position at B4 target
6 rounds in 50 seconds, prone position at B4 target

55 points minimum for an award.


10 or 15 rounds slow fire prone position at the A10 Target.

84 or 126 points minimum for award.


If the competitors opted for the 15-round Einzelwettschiessen, they may continue on and fire an additional 15 rounds slow fire in the kneeling position on a separate A10 target.

A combined 30 round score of a minimum of 246 points required for an award.

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New Year, New Season…

I’ve got time until Spring arrives. Now is the time that I get my match ammunition ready for the season.

Up first on the production line is the venerable .30-06 Springfield. I use the tried-and-true Sierra MatchKing 168gr. HPBT match bullet on top of IMR-4895 powder.

Over the years I have been asked about the stripes on my ammunition.

I mark all the cartridges to be used in a bolt action rifle with black stripes as they are primed with Remington #9 1/2 large rifle primers. Ammunition to be fired in semi-autos are marked in red denoting that they utilize CCI #34 military large rifle primers. Currently I am reloading my stock of once fired military brass. Remember all that high quality Greek military ball ammo that the CMP brought in cheap back in the day?

After the match, the twin stripes shows that the spent cartridges now are twice fired. After cleaning, resizing and trimming, the processed brass will be put aside for future reloading once my supply of once fired brass is exhausted.

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Rifle Competition Finale…

December’s rifle match was a mystery up until the competitor’s assembled on the 100-yard range. The only information given out prior was regarding what type of rifle and how much ammunition to bring.

Thirty rounds of ammunition and any as-issue bolt action or self-loading service rifle with iron sights and hasty sling.

The target board as viewed from the firing line.

100 yards zoomed in. A Swiss A-10 bullseye target, a Figure 12 combat silhouette target and the William Tell target!

Stage 1.

Fifteen rounds slow fire prone on the A-10 target. I was happy with my performance.

Stage 2.

Part 1 was a magazine of five rounds for five single shot volley engagements while standing. The match director would command “PRESENT’ and the firing line from a low ready standing position would take aim. Withing two seconds the command “FIRE” was given, and all competitors immediately fired. The competitors returned to a low ready position and the procedure was repeated until all five rounds were expended.

Part 2 was a magazine of five rounds for a single engagement while standing. The match director would command “FIRE’ and the firing line from a low ready standing position would take aim and fire all five rounds in thirty seconds.

Stage 3.

William Tell. OK, none of us saw this coming! Five rounds prone slow fire. Immediately before firing commenced, the match director announced that hits in the black would be scored as normal target. A hit on the green silhouette would incur a 50% reduction of the total match score! Additional hits on the silhouette would not incur any additional penalties as you cannot make Willaim Tell’s son anymore deceased! Plus, the 50% penalty already put you out of the running. My first two shots were a pair of 2’s. “Great, just aim in the same spot three more times”. I said that OUT LOUD! Smooth move genius. Shot #3 put the kid in the grave. That caused an aneurism in my brain, and I shanked the last two. My match total of 156 points was cleaved down to 78. No joy in Mudville today.

So much for the Challenge Match. The season was officially over. Time for the 2022 season awards!

The Swiss Schützenfest Obligatorisches Programm qualification. If you don’t qualify, no other award will count.

Swiss Schützenfest Feldschiessen 1st place award.

Three times during the season I posted medal scores in the Feldschiessen and thus was awarded three Kartes.

Combat Rifle Match. World War I.

Combat Rifle Match. Cold War.

Combat Rifle Match. Modern Military (post-Cold War)

CMP Service Rifle-B

CMP Service Rifle-A

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November Rifle Results…

The last full rifle match of the 2022 season!

The day started for me with the Service Rifle match. My rifle of choice was my M1 Garand as I would need it in the following Combat Rifle match. I was currently in 2nd place in the CMP “A” category. The first stage was the slow fire prone. Taking my time, I turned in a respectable 95-2X out of a possible 100-10X.

The next stage was the rapid fire prone. I leaned a bit too much against my sling and pushed my group a bit to the left. But the resultant 90-0X was still helpful.

Offhand. My nemesis. My first two shots were a pair of 10’s bracketing the “X” ring. My third shot enlarged the hole in the “10” ring at 6 o’clock. I picked up a bit of wobble for the next four rounds. All 9’s orbiting the “10” ring. I rushed #7 and pushed it out of the black into the “8” ring. That pissed me off…. mistake. I flat out jerked my last two rounds low left. But in my case, I will smile at an 86-0X. My match total was a 271-2X out of a possible 300-30X.

My 90.33% was just enough to move me up to 1st place!

The next match of the day was the Combat Rifle match. No spotting scopes, no sighters, no alibis, and hasty slings only! I am signed up for the World War II / Allies category

Stage 1, sustained fire prone.

Ten rounds with a reload in two minutes. I dropped only one point for a total of 49-8v out of a possible 50-10v!

Stage 2, rapid fire kneeling.

Ten rounds with a reload in 60 seconds. I have difficulty here because my nearly 60-year-old knees are in rebellion! A meager 36-1v hurt my running tally.

Stage 3, sustained fire offhand.

Ten rounds with a reload in two minutes and thirty seconds. Despite shanking a few low, I improved with a 42-3v.

Alas, the kneeling did me in. 2nd place would be my finish today.

The traditional end of the day’s competition is the Swiss Schützenfest! Having already qualified in the Obligatorisches Programm, I relaxed and readied my K31 rifle while the others made their attempts. The Feldschiessen would finish the day for me. Fired on the dreaded B4 camouflage target, it is a challenging match. Six rounds slow fire followed by two strings of three rounds each sustained fire with a final five rounds rapid fire.

My match total was a 58. This was good enough to earn me another Karte for the year!

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Halloween rifle Match results…

The rifle matches consist of three events. The NRA/CMP Service Rifle match, the Combat Rifle match and the Swiss Schützenfest.

Well; in both the CMP and the Combat, I started well but came up short in the end. But I pulled myself together for the Schützenfest.

I had already qualified in the Obligatorisches Programm so I was safe there. Currently I was running in second place in the Feldschiessen with my 7.5x55mm K31.

My rival was smoking along with his new 5.56x45mm PE90!

As it went, the stars aligned for me, and I kept all but one in the black. The resultant score of 61 pushed his 58 points off the top of the leader board for now. I know he will be gunning for me come November!

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