A definition of the different rifles used in NRA Competitions
Port Clinton, Ohio - During the NRA Long Range Rifle Championships, a number of matches are fired at the same time. Today, for example, competitors will be shooting side by side for the Wimbledon, Farr and Doc Aiken trophies. You might be asking yourself why? Shouldn't everyone have a chance at winning those events? Doesn't it get confusing? It does. So here's the primer.
During Long Range High Power, competitors are allowed to shoot any of three different types of rifles. The .308 Palma, the Service Rifle and what's classified as Any. Today's matches (listed above) are specific to the particular rifle. Wimbledon, for example, allows Any rifle. According to the NRA rule book, here's what Any rifle means:
A rifle with no restrictions on sights or accessories, including Schuetzen type butt plates and palm rests, except that it must be safe to competitors and ranger personnel. Ammunition will be restricted to no larger then .35 caliber.
A Service rifle is:
As issued by the U.S. Armed Forces or the same type and caliber of commercially manufactured rifle. Having not less then four and a half pound trigger pull with standard type stock and standard type leather or web sling.
And finally, a Palma rifle is:
A rifle with metallic sights, chambered for unmodified .308/7.62mm NATO or .223/5.56mm NATO cartridge case.
Now there are a few more details as to what each of the categories allow, but those are the highlights.
NRA Trophies and matches are tied to the rifle the competitors shoot. Today's Service Rifle shooters will be going for the Farr Trophy while competitors firing Palma rifles are shooting for the Doc Aiken.
Another important tidbit is this: competitors are allowed to shoot any rifle at any time. If they shot an Any rifle on Saturday, they could have switched to a Palma on Sunday and a Service rifle today. The only caveat being that once you start a match with a particular rifle, that's the one you're stuck with for the match.
All other scoring is the same. They're shooting the same distances on the same targets, so a 10 with a Palma rifle is just as good as a ten with a Service or Any.
With that in mind, we're off the range.