By Lars Dalseide | November 15 2012 08:48

NRA Club holds a Military Surplus Rifle Match in New Mexico

Patrick Hernandez's 1891 Mosin-Nagant shot at the Guns of August match

Albuquerque, New Mexico - Our friend Patrick Hernandez from the New Mexico Military Surplus Rifle & Pistol Shooters Club (NRA Club # B82119) dropped us a note the other day. Seems Patrick and the crowd at the club recently held a customized match. Not an NRA sanctioned match mind you, but a match that suits the mission of their club — the use of vintage military surplus firearms at long ranges.

Sure, they could shoot a regular NRA match, but they're trying to do something different. Called the "Guns of August 1914 – 1918" Shooting Match, here's what they came up with. First the distance.

After some research and consideration, firing points were place at 200, 300, 385 and 500 meters. Those points were chosen to simulate actual the average distance that most ordinary Patrick Hernandez stands at attention with his 1891 Mosin-Nagant at the Guns of August match soldiers of the time would find themselves under fire. Now to the targets.

At 200 and 300 meters, they fired upon 29" wide, 1/2" round steel plates that match the NRA High Power SR - Military "Target, Rifle, Competition, Short Range" (minus the 5 ring). At 385 and 500 meters, the targets were 45" long by 29" wide, 1/2" steel places that match the NRA High Power MR-1 Target (also minus the 5 ring). Both sets of targets were painted black.

All firearms used in this match were unmodified, originally configured service military rifles that were issued to any of the ‘ordinary soldiers’ from that time period. Those included, but were not limited to, the Model 1903 Springfield, the M1 Garand, the Model 1917 Enfield, and the Model 1891 Mosin-Nagant.

With no sighting round (because there are no sighters in battle), competitors fired five shots at each target. A hit gets you a point, a miss gets you a zero. How is that for a challenge?

After the day was done, it was Chris Clinton and his 1911 Model 1903 Springfield who ended up on top with a 19 out of 20. Which target did he miss? Why the 500 meter one of course.

So thanks to Patrick for sharing his report. With any luck, we'll have more from the New Mexico Military Surplus Rifle/Pistol Shooters club and their matches at the Shooting Range Park in Albuquerque.

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