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 classroom instruction and range firing for individuals of all experience levels. SAFS instruction includes hands-on coaching from current military pistol and rifle teams within the classroom and on the range.

SAFS participants will learn fundamental marksmanship techniques, competition basics and, most importantly, firearm safety. With its wide range of instruction, SAFS is suited for those just beginning in marksmanship as well as those wanting to improve their skills on the firing line.

Courses Offered and Registration Links:

  • A CMP Rimfire Clinic with live fire will be held: 13 July 2024
  • Pistol School: 15 July 2024
  • Advanced Pistol SAFS: 15 July 2024
  • Smallbore School: 18 July 2024
  • Rifle School: 27-28 July 2024

History of Small Arms Firing School

The Department of Defense first conducted SAFS as part of the National Matches at Camp Perry in 1918. Federal law continues to require the annual assembling of Small Arms Firing Schools, which now instruct over one thousand individuals each year.

SAFS courses are conducted by the U. S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU), military members and certified CMP instructors. Each school is open to all U. S. citizens who are over the minimum age, with firearms and ammunition provided.

Pistol Small Arms Firing School
New and Intermediate Individuals

  • Basic instruction and firing practice
  • Competition skills instruction and range firing
  • School concludes with special M9 Pistol EIC Match
  • Personal pistols and ammunition MAY NOT be used in the class.

Pistol students fire slow, timed and rapid-fire stages at 25 yards. Upon the completion of pistol training, Pistol SAFS students 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. Participants must bring eye and ear protection to the course. The minimum age for Pistol SAFS students is 14.

Advanced Pistol Course
Experienced Individuals

  • 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. Participants must bring eye and ear protection to the course.

Smallbore School
More details to come 

The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit members conduct the Smallbore Small Arms Firing School at Camp Perry’s Petrarca Range. Participants may bring their own rifle or borrow a Walther KK300 rifle from CMP (please send request to bdonoho@thecmp.org). Each participant will be expected to bring their own equipment, to include spotting scopes, shooting coats, slings, prone mats, etc.

A CMP Rimfire Clinic with live fire
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 Individuals

  • Basic instruction and firing practice
  • Competition skills instruction and range firing
  • School concludes with special M16 Rifle EIC Match
  • Personal rifles and ammunition MAY NOT be used in the class.

Rifle students fire prone, sitting and standing position slow or rapid-fire exercises. On the second day, Rifle SAFS students test their new marksmanship knowledge and skills by firing an M16 Rifle EIC Match. Participants must bring eye and ear protection to the course. The minimum age for Rifle SAFS students is 12.

Advanced Service Rifle Course
Experienced Individuals

  • Advanced class instruction
  • Course concludes with special M16 Rifle EIC Match
  • Personal rifles and ammunition MAY NOT be used in the class.

Individuals in this course must be intermediate and advanced rifle marksmen and women who have attended previous Rifle SAFS, have fired in a rifle EIC match or have earned an NRA classification of Sharpshooter or higher.

What to expect

Two juniors learn the fundamentals of competitive shooting from Marine Corps instructors.

All SAFS students, except Advanced Pistol & Rifle 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.

Entry fee includes:

  • USAMU Service Pistol Guide, USAMU International Rifle Marksmanship Guide, CMP Guide to Rimfire Shooting or a Service Rifle Guide
  • SAFS T-shirt
  • SAFS certificate
  • Handout materials

All Pistol and Rifle 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

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

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.

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 rifle shooting (shooting jackets, shooting glove, etc.).

Slings are provided by the CMP.

Entry Confirmation

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 info@cplcc.com.


If you have any questions regarding SAFS, please contact CMP Competitions at safs@thecmp.org or (419) 635-2141, ext. 714 or 706.