Small Arms Firing Schools at the National Matches

Civilian Marksmanship ProgramEducationSmall Arms Firing Schools at the National Matches

About Small Arms Firing Schools

Small Arms Firing Schools (SAFS) provide instruction and range firing for shooters of all levels. In fact, SAFS instruction and hands-on coaching – provided by Army Pistol and Rifle Teams and supported by coaching from Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard team members – has long been regarded as some of the best available anywhere.

Shooting team members teach basic marksmanship techniques geared to meet the needs of new and less experienced shooters as well as shooters who want to learn new ways to improve their scores.

Courses Offered:

  • Pistol School: 13 July 2021
  • Advanced Pistol SAFS: 13 July 2021
  • Smallbore School: 20 July 2021
  • Rimfire School: 24 July 2021
  • Rifle School: 31 July – 1 August 2021

History of Small Arms Firing School

The Department of Defense first conducted the Small Arms Firing Schools (SAFS) as part of the National Matches at Camp Perry in 1918. Federal law continues to require the annual conduct of Small Arms Firing Schools, which now instruct over one thousand pistol and rifle shooters a year in firearms safety and fundamental marksmanship skills.

The Schools are conducted by the U. S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) and sponsored by the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP). The Schools are open to all U. S. citizens who are over the minimum age. Firearms and ammunition are provided, students must bring eye and ear protection.

Pistol Small Arms Firing School
New and Intermediate Shooters

  • Basic instruction and firing practice for new shooters
  • Competition skills instruction and range firing for intermediate shooters
  • School concludes with special M9 Pistol EIC Match
  • Personal pistols and ammunition may be used in the class. If you want to be eligible for EIC points, students must use issued firearm and ammunition.

Pistol students fire slow, timed and rapid-fire stages at 25 yards. Upon the completion of pistol training Pistol SAFS students, while still being assisted by their coaches, have a unique opportunity to test their new marksmanship knowledge and skills by firing an M9 Pistol EIC Match that uses the course of fire practiced on the range.

Advanced Pistol Course
Experienced Shooters

  • Advanced class instruction
  • Question and Answer panel with Pistol Champions

The Advanced Pistol Course is open to any competitor who has a minimum of 10 EIC points or at least an Expert NRA classification. In this course participants can expect to focus on the fundamentals, understanding training methods, and building a mental approach to competitive shooting. In addition, participants will have the opportunity to question a panel of pistol champions.

Smallbore School
More details to come 

  • Students will use issued rifles and ammunition
  • Personal rifles will not be allowed in the class

Rimfire Sporter School
More details to come 

  • Students will use issued rifles and ammunition
  • Personal rifles will not be allowed in the class

Rifle Small Arms Firing School
New and Intermediate Shooters

  • Basic instruction and firing practice for new shooters
  • Competition skills instruction and range firing for intermediate shooters
  • School concludes with special M16 Rifle EIC Match
  • Personal rifles and ammunition may be used in the class. If you want to be eligible for EIC points, students must use issued firearm and ammunition.

Rifle students fire prone, sitting and standing position slow or rapid-fire exercises. On the second day, Rifle SAFS students, while still being assisted by their coaches, have a unique opportunity to test their new marksmanship knowledge and skills by firing an M16 Rifle EIC Match that uses the course of fire practiced on the range the previous day.

Advanced Service Rifle Course
Experienced Shooters

  • Advanced class instruction
  • Course concludes with special M16 Rifle EIC Match
  • Personal rifles and ammunition may be used in the class. If you want to be eligible for EIC points, students must use issued firearm and ammunition.

Intermediate and advanced rifle shooters who have attended previous Rifle SAFS: You belong in this group if you have previously attended one or more Rifle SAFS, have fired in competition where you have completed a rifle EIC match or have earned an NRA classification of Sharpshooter or higher.

What to expect

SAFS offer beginning shooters special hands-on instruction that starts from the beginning with safety, nomenclature, clearing, loading and unloading, shot technique and basic firing positions. Intermediate SAFS instruction focuses on teaching and practicing competition techniques.

When you arrive at Camp Perry, please check-in at the National Match Welcome Center. No one is permitted to register or check-in on the day of the school.

All Pistol and Rifle SAFS students, except Advanced Pistol course students, are REQUIRED to attend the safety briefing at the beginning of the first day of each class. Your SAFS scorecards will be stamped after the safety instruction. If you miss the safety briefing, you will not be permitted to fire in the school and no refund will be given.

Cost

$50.00 for adults ($35.00 for juniors) for the Pistol or Rifle School; $20.00 for adults ($15.00 for juniors) for the Advanced Pistol School.

For their entry fee, students receive:

  • All instruction
  • An M9 9mm service pistol or an M-16 service rifle to fire
  • Ammunition for the school
  • USAMU Service Pistol or Service Rifle Guide
  • SAFS T-shirt
  • SAFS certificate
  • Handout materials

All SAFS students also receive automatic entry in the M9 Pistol EIC or M16 Rifle EIC Matches at no additional cost, a special EIC match pin and an opportunity to win four EIC credit points.

Registration and Fees

Registration will open on March 1st. The fastest and easiest way to register for either SAFS is to register on-line on the CMP web site.

Note: Your registration fee must be paid by credit card if you register on-line. The registration fee must be received by the CMP before your registration is complete.

Age Limits

The minimum age for Pistol SAFS students is 14; the minimum age for Rifle SAFS students is 12. An Age Waiver Request Form may be submitted to the CMP for younger participants only if evidence of previous range firing training and competition and the individual’s ability to safely handle center fire pistols or rifles is presented with the request.

Firearms and Ammunition Information

Students may use the M9 9mm service pistols or the M16 5.56mm service rifle or commercial rifles of the same type and caliber issued by the school. Ammunition will also be provided for those students using issued pistols or rifles.

What to Bring

All students must bring:

  • Personal eye and hearing protection to be worn while on the range
  • Clothing suitable for wear on an outdoor firing range
    • Headgear, rain gear, sunscreen and insect repellant are highly recommended, as all firing is done on open outdoor ranges.

Students may bring additional items of competitive shooting gear that they normally use for bull’s-eye pistol or highpower service rifle shooting.

Rifle shooters should bring shooting jackets and a shooting glove if they have them.

Slings are provided with issued rifles and must be used in school events.

Entry Confirmation and Check-In

After the CMP receives your SAFS entry, it will be confirmed.

Housing for SAFS Students

The Adjutant General’s Department of Ohio offers housing for SAFS students at Camp Perry on a space available basis.

To reserve Camp Perry housing, click here.

For further information, contact the Camp Perry Club House (888) 889-7010 or email [email protected].


If you have any questions regarding SAFS, please contact CMP Competitions at [email protected] or (419) 635-2141, ext. 714 or 706.