CMP Advanced High Power Clinic Provides Innovative Instruction at the Shooting Range

The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) Advanced High Power Clinic, held each year at the annual Camp Perry national matches in Ohio, is a great place to learn something new, whether it’s technique, wind reading, equipment problems or mental management.

“I will continue to attend this clinic every year, even after reaching my shooting goals; I’m sure I can continue to learn things from your instructors,” said one attendee.

“This clinic is an excellent opportunity for high-powered shooters who really want to advance to the national level in the sport,” said another. “I learned more in two days than in 10 years. Incredible opportunity.”

For the first time, the clinic included two days of live-fire training at the shooting range.

The purpose of the Advanced High Power Rifle Clinic is to provide participants with adjustments that will make them more effective on the range, such as a different hand position, moving the sling up or down the arm, tightening the straps of the jacket or a myriad of other subtle changes.

“Highpower is a points game: earning a point here and there means moving up a rank, winning your class, or winning an entire match,” said Dan Arnold, one of the course’s instructors.

“While high power hasn’t changed much over the years, we as shooters are continually evolving,” Arnold explained. “We get older, our bodies change, we buy a new glove or a sling; all these small changes mean that the shooting process has to change too. Trying to use the same shooting process you’ve been using for years while ignoring all the changes that have occurred will result in scoring stagnation, at best. In the worst case, your scores will drop.”

The clinic’s instructors are talented and decorated athletes in their field.

The 2022 Advanced Clinic, which ran from July 30 to August 1, began with an afternoon in the classroom. The group of around 70 participants was led by Nick Till, James Fox, Brian Williams, Sara Rozanski and Dan Arnold, accomplished shooters and women who make up the CMP Competitive Instructor Corps. The 2022 session also included two days of live fire for the first time in the course’s history.

During the classroom portion, instructors (including 12 guest trainers) discussed wind reading techniques, demonstrated positions and adjustment methods for irregular firing points or high winds, mental management, training aids, and rifle maintenance before ending with a general question and answer session.

The second day we spent at the shooting range. Students were assigned relays and firing points at the 200-yard line and were able to meet their instructor, who had a High Master ranking. Each instructor was paired with two students during the training session. For 30 minutes, students could dry fire and then live fire 10 to 15 rounds while their instructor evaluated their standing positions and suggested changes.

The course features small groups for more focused instruction, including by Dan Arnold (white).

The students then worked on their seated positions. After the sighting shots, the students fired two groups of five shots: two shots followed by a magazine change, and then three shots within a 30-second time limit. Once their two groups were shot, the students finished their time at the 200-yard line by firing a standard group of 10 shots in 60 seconds.

Since paper targets are used during national games at Camp Perry, the relays rotated through periods of shooting and service in the pits, where they shot and marked targets for students on the shooting line.

At the 300-yard line, prone quick-throw positions were evaluated. After their sighting shots, the students fired two groups of five shots as they had done before: two shots followed by a change of magazine, then three shots within a 35-second time limit. The students finished their time at the 300-yard line by firing a standard group of 10 shots in 70 seconds, which concluded the day’s practice.

The third day found the students and their instructors at the 600-yard line for prone slow throw. He encouraged each student to shoot a minimum of 10 shots while their instructor reviewed their positions and gave them tips on reading wind conditions. After the firing was complete, the students set up their telescopes and watched the mirage and wind flags while listening to one of the instructors point out the changes in speed and direction.

CMP Instructors for the CMP Advanced Highpower Clinic include: Dan Arnold, James Fox, Sara Rozanski, Brian Williams, and Nick Till.

The clinic ended with a short presentation of a certificate and t-shirt to those who completed the training – a small memento of their hard work, but a multitude of educational experiences at the range that will last a lifetime.

If you missed Clinic 2022, don’t worry. The Advanced High Potency Clinic 2023 will take place from July 21 to 23. The course is open to those who have already attended the Advanced Small Arms Shooting School at least once and have an “Expert” rating. Participants must bring their own ammunition and equipment for the live fire portion of the class, though the most important thing is to keep an open mind.

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