The vast scope of the 2023 Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) long-range national matches provide an opportunity for almost anyone to test their proficiency in long-range shooting, including a new medium-range match. Participants can compete with six different rifles in three different classes, making matches accessible to shooters of all skill levels. Matches will take place July 31-August 5 during National Matches at Camp Perry’s Viale Range.
“Pretty much anyone with a long-range rifle or AR can shoot the matches,” said Sara Rozanski, CMP high-powered rifle coordinator. “We could have anyone fall into one of the categories offered.”
The Long Range series with 800, 900, and 1000-yard games was launched by CMP in 2018. This year, a 600-yard mid-range game was added.
“This is the first time we have a mid-range match. It’s three games, shot from 600 yards,” Rozanski said. “This is a program that we would like to grow.”
The Long Range Series includes ten individual and team events. The matches are named after the citizen soldiers and those whose vision and determination made Camp Perry, Ohio the site of one of the world’s greatest shooting ranges and the permanent home of The National Matches. Participants can compete with a Match Rifle, Service Rifle, Palma, F-Open, FT/R, or AR Tactical in the Service, Match, and Palma rifle classes.
Shooters can compete one day or every day of the event. Daily and package rates are available.
“Prizes are awarded at the end of each day, and added prizes will be awarded on the last day. Competitors can win a match for that category and receive their award that day,” Rozanski said.
With the variety of competition options and the relatively small amount of equipment required, long-range matches can be an easy step toward national competition. In addition to a rifle and ammunition, Rozanski recommends that competitors bring the following equipment: a prone mat, range bag, safety glasses, ear protection, and if desired, a shooting jacket.
Competitors are encouraged to bring their families with them to the competition. Spouses and children can spend time at the BB shooting range at the Gary Anderson CMP Competency Center, where BB guns can be rented and a shooting simulator will be set up.
“This year we are going to have a simulator. It’s computer-based filming on a big screen,” Rozanski said. “You are not shooting real bullets or buckshot. You are shooting lasers at a screen. It has cheating, skeet shooting and hunting, just about anything you can think of.”
In addition to on-site activities, Port Clinton, located on the shores of Lake Erie, offers a wide range of entertainment. Downtown Port Clinton, which is about a ten-minute drive from Camp Perry, is packed with shops, restaurants, and plenty of opportunities to listen to live music. Waterworks Park offers swimming, boating and fishing. North Coast Beachfitters, located in Waterworks Park, rents water equipment like paddleboards, kayaks, and boogie boards. The Arts Garage (TAG) features resident artists, art exhibits, and art classes. Hopfinger Zimmerman Memorial Park offers a playground, pickleball courts, basketball courts, a dog park, a swimming pond, a fishing pond, and pavilions. The Liberty Aviation Museum features vintage automobiles, airplanes, and military vehicles.
“If they’re worried about bringing their families, there’s a lot to do during the day,” Rozanski said. “And the games usually end around 3:30, so families have all night to explore Port Clinton.”
Back at Camp Perry, the competitors can have fun competing on the shooting range. Events include:
- Midrange 3×600 – 20 prone slow shots at 600 yards in 22-minute block times
- Viale Memorial, Critchfield, Henry Memorial, Kerr Memorial, McMaken & Speaks
- Memorial individual games, Baesel Memorial: Record 20 slow shots in 30 minutes at 1,000 yards
- Bataan Memorial 4-Man Team Match: 20 prone slow shots per member at 1,000 yards
- Winder Memorial Iron Team Match: Record 20 shots per team member in 47 minutes from 1000 yards
- Camp Perry Palma Match: Record 15 shots at 800, 900, and 1,000 yards, in a 22-minute block time on each shooting line
The CMP Long Range Nationals will kick off with the CMP Mid-Range Match on July 31.
“So it’s several days of long-range matches. All events are open to the public,” Rozanski said.
Camp Perry offers a unique competition environment. The historic grounds have been home to generations of military personnel, and it is one of the few remaining firing ranges that offer long-range shooting.
“There aren’t many courses where you can shoot 800, 900 or 1,000 yards. They are getting rarer and rarer,” Rozanski said. “Camp Perry is a premium range with a lot of history. People say that it is one of the most difficult but unique shooting ranges to shoot.
Rules for CMP medium and long range bouts can be found in the CMP High Power Rifle Competition Rulebook available at www.thecmp.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/2023HighpowerRifleRules.pdf ?vers=061123.
Accommodation information can be found at www.cplcc.com.
More information about the match, including fees and registration links, can be found at https://thecmp.org/cmp-matches/national-long-range-matches/.
The Civilian Marksmanship Program is a federally chartered 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. It is dedicated to firearms safety and marksmanship training and the promotion of marksmanship proficiency for United States citizens. To learn more about the CMP and its programs, log on to www.TheCMP.org.