By Steve Cooper, CMP North General Manager
There has been a great deal of discussion in the past year about competitors wearing shooting jackets that, in the opinion of the CMP Rules Committee, have provided an inordinate amount of support, particularly advantageous for use in the rifle standing position. While the CMP is sympathetic to the need for vendors to compete for the equipment dollar, it is incumbent upon the organization to monitor and regulate the use of equipment that preserves the integrity of the sport.
One jacket marketed in the U.S. under the name HP Ultimate, with the option Extra Stiff Felt Back, contained rigid internal components that were deemed contrary to the spirit of the equipment rule and in 2017 the CMP moved to prohibit its use in competition. Understanding that jackets of this type were in the marketplace, the CMP issued a moratorium for the remainder of the year, allowing competitors to use the jacket until a thorough and impartial judgment could be made prior to the 2018 season.
After considerable evaluation, including discussions with the new U.S. distributor, Oberle Enterprises, Inc., it has been determined the HP Ultimate – #M085030 Extra Stiff Felt Back jacket stands alone as an example of equipment that runs contrary to the spirit and letter of CMP’s rule 4.6.1. and will no longer be allowed in CMP competition after the 2017 calendar year. That model jacket contained compressed and heated, low melt polyester felt inserts, which is no longer be produced, per Oberle. The provider’s remaining line of shooting jackets without inserts are not affected by this decision.
If you own one of the "HP Ultimate" jackets with this option, your jacket is now illegal per the 2018 CMP 4.6.1 rule. The best way to know if you have the illegal option is to contact the new US Distributor for Monard Shooting products, Robert Oberle at Oberle Enterprises at 720-670-6818. Mr. Eberle is offering to determine if the jacket has the illegal option and he can assist you with modifying the jacket to make it legal. For a small fee and shipping Mr. Oberle said he can modify your jacket.
There are several good choices in the marketplace for highpower shooting jackets/coats. A quick Google search shows Creedmoor Sports, Champion Shooters Supply, Champion’s Choice, Kurt Thune and others in addition to Monard/Oberle who provide rules-compliant shooting jackets for CMP and ISSF competitions. There appears to be a consensus in the industry to provide high quality equipment with a strong adherence to equipment rules and the spirit of fair play.
CMP 2018 Rule 4.6.1 Shooting Jackets
Shooting jackets worn in CMP Rifle competitions may only be made of pliable (soft, flexible, easily bent) fabric or leather, except for buckles, straps or other fastening devices and rubber or similar material on gripping surfaces. The internal or external use of any other material, device or substance that serves to stiffen, rigidify or immobilize any part of the competitor’s upper body, back, arm or arms is prohibited. Prohibited materials include, but are not limited to, plastic, wood or metal inserts or devices, fiber board, fiberglass, fiberglass resin, carbon fiber or laminated materials. Shooting jackets must be used in their manufactured condition and cannot be altered except for the removal or replacement of original fabric, leather or rubber. Competition Officials may establish an inspection procedure to determine if shooting jackets comply with this rule. Scores fired with shooting jackets that are ruled to be illegal must be nullified. Manufacturers or shooting equipment suppliers with questions regarding the legality of a shooting jacket should submit a sample to the CMP for evaluation.