CMP Smallbore Rifle Rules Update￼
April 20, 2022Civilian Marksmanship Program▸The First Shot▸CMP Smallbore Rifle Rules Update￼
By Gary Anderson, DCM Emeritus
An updated version of the 2022 CMP Smallbore Rifle Competition Rules is now posted at https://thecmp.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/2023SmallboreRifleRules.pdf.
When the 2022 CMP Smallbore Rifle Competition Rules were released at the beginning of January, we reported that the final version of some Smallbore Rifle three-position rules would be delayed until after ISSF (International Shooting Sports Federation) 50m rifle rules were finalized. The CMP strives to keep its Smallbore Rifle and Air Gun rules closely aligned with ISSF rules that govern Olympic and international competitions. This is because a high percentage of competitors in these CMP events also compete in USA Shooting and/or NCAA college rifle competitions where ISSF rules are followed.
In our 4 January 2022 CMP Shooting News report we noted that the ISSF was in the process of changing its 3×40 three-position event to a 3×20 course of fire and that three-position and air gun finals were also being changed. These ISSF rule changes became controversial, its finals rules frequently changed and opposition from the ISSF Athletes Commission, Technical Committee and Section Committees caused the IOC (International Olympic Committee) to delay final approval of the 2024 Olympic Games Shooting Program. There has been uncertainty as to what the final version of these rules will be. Since competitors who plan to shoot in CMP competitions this year need to know what the CMP rules are going to be, the CMP has decided to finalize its 2022 CMP Smallbore Rifle Competition Rules based on what we know now, namely that the 60-shot 3×20 course of fire is likely to stay, while ISSF rules for finals have just seen yet another change. The updated CMP Smallbore Rifle Rules adopt the 60-shot 3×20 course of fire as the standard three-position event but leave previous finals rules in place until there is more clarity regarding whether the new 2024 Olympic finals rules can or should be adopted for CMP smallbore competitions.
The updated 2022 CMP Smallbore Rifle Competition Rules are now posted at https://thecmp.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/2023SmallboreRifleRules.pdf. The major change in this update is the recognition of the 3×20 course of fire as the standard 3-position event. All smallbore position EIC matches where competitors can earn credit points for the new Distinguished Smallbore Position Badge must be 3×20, not 3×40, events. The program for the CMP Camp Perry Open in May and the National Matches Smallbore Rifle Three-Position Championship in July will feature 3×20 courses of fire. If a match sponsor wants to sanction a Smallbore Rifle Match with a 3×40 event, this can still be done, but the CMP encourages match sponsors to schedule 3×20 events. Given the uncertainty regarding ISSF finals rules, this edition of the CMP Smallbore Rifle Rules will still include the 45-shot progressive elimination final that the ISSF previously used (Rule SB10.4) and a 24-shot prone final that was previously used by the ISSF.
Changes in the updated version of the CMP Smallbore Rifle Rules are primarily associated with rule changes necessary to adopt the 3×20 event as the standard three-position course of fire. If electronic targets are used, the three-position event starts with a 15-minute preparation and sighting time when competitors may fire unlimited sighting shots in kneeling followed by a 90-minute record fire time. During the 90-minute record fire time, competitors fire 20 record shots kneeling, sighting and 20 record fire shots prone, and sighting and 20 record fire shots standing. Competitors should note that the 90-minute time limit is a reduction from the 105-minute time limit that was published in initial version of the CMP rules in January. If paper targets are used, the previous time limits of 30/20/40 minutes per stage for sighters and 20 record shots have not changed.
Smallbore position tie-breaking has also changed. Three-position ties will be broken according to the highest standing score, then the highest kneeling score. Inner tens will not be used unless two competitors are tied in all three positions. Then inner tens could be used to determine the higher-ranking standing score.
Smallbore prone competitors are not affected by these latest rule changes except that new rules for conducting 40-shot prone events on electronic targets have been added. Those rules will come into play during the 2023 National Matches when the CMP expects to have 100 electronic targets available at Camp Perry for the Smallbore position and prone matches. Trips downrange to place the correct aiming mask or to move the targets to the proper firing distance may be necessary before a 40-shot event starts, but once a match starts, competitors will be allowed to shoot all 40 shots without a break. Returning to sighters during record firing will be permitted in prone but not in three-position events. To accommodate prone competitors who prefer to take breaks after 20 record shots, the time limit for 40-shot events will be 45 minutes. Five extra minutes will be allowed so competitors who wish to take a mid-match break can do so. The 50/100 Yard (Dewar) event will have two 20-minute stages because targets must be moved from 50 to 100 yards between stages during that event.
Rules regarding smallbore rifles, shooters’ clothing and accessories remain unchanged.
There is one aspect of the CMP National Matches Smallbore Rifle program that is not addressed in the updated 2022 CMP Smallbore Rifle Rules. F-Class events will be conducted simultaneously with the Smallbore Prone events during the National Matches Smallbore Rifle Prone Championship on 23-24 and 26-27 July. Issues concerning F-class rifles, shooting rests, firing positions, etc. that are not covered in the CMP Smallbore Rifle Rules, will be governed by the ASSA (American Smallbore Shooting Association) F-Class Rules (Rule 17.0, https://www.americansmallbore.com/rules.html).
Anyone with questions about the 2022 CMP Smallbore Rifle Competition Rules or CMP Smallbore Rifle Match programs for the Camp Perry Open in May (13-15 May, https://thecmp.org/cmp-matches/camp-perry-open/) or the National Matches Smallbore Championships in July (19-27 July, https://thecmp.org/cmp-national-matches/smallbore-national-matches/) should contact the CMP Smallbore Rifle staff at 419-635-2141, ext. 730 or via email at [email protected]