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Table of Contents

  1. What is the difference between service rifle and match rifle?
  2. What is a distinguished rifleman?
  3. What is a classification?
  4. I've heard of Camp Perry. What goes on there?
  5. How can I get started in Highpower?


What is the difference between service rifle and match rifle?

Service rifles must retain the external appearance of their issued military counterparts, namely, the M-1, M-14, or M-16. In addition, they must be chambered in one of the standard military chamberings for that rifle. Match rifles do not have these restrictions and give the freedom to customize and tailor the rifle to the shooter. Also, some matches, especially ones sanctioned by the CMP, allow only service rifles to compete for awards.

There is no need to get worked up over which type of rifle you shoot. At the majority of NRA Highpower tournaments the differentiation between rifles is made only for awards purposes and does not affect the score that you shoot. Use whatever rifle you're comfortable with.

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What is a distinguished rifleman?

A distinguished rifleman is not necessarily a shooter who is gray around the temples. Someone who is distinguished has earned a distinguished rifleman's badge from the Civilian Marksmanship Program or their respective branch of military service.

Civilians earn points toward the distinguished rifleman badge at special matches called Excellence In Competition (E.I.C.) matches. These tournaments are commonly called "Leg" matches and the points earned toward the distinguished rifleman badge are referred to as "Leg" points. E.I.C. matches are shot with service rifles only and utilize the full-distance 50 shot National Match Course with no sighting shots. The top ten percent of non-distinguished shooters can earn up to ten points credit toward the distinguished badge, depending on how many non-distinguished shooters fire that match. To earn the badge a competitor must get 30 or more points with at least one eight or ten point award.

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What is a classification?

When you shoot in an NRA approved or registered match your scores are sent to the competitions division of the NRA. They keep track of your scores and issue you a classification card based on the scores that you shoot. When you have a classification and you shoot in a match, you compete for awards with others in your classification. This allows shooters of similar skill levels to compete against each other.

An initial classification is issued after a competitor fires 120 record shots. After that, the NRA checks for re-classification after at least 240 record shots. To qualify for a particular classification, the shooter must have fired at least 240 shots with an average score within that particular class. The average score percentages are shown below.

Classification Average Score for at least 240 shots
High Master 97.00% and greater
Master 94.00% - 96.99%
Expert 89.00% - 93.99%
Sharpshooter 84.00% - 88.99%
Marksman Up to 83.99%

For an explanation of how the NRA calculates classification click here.

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I've heard of Camp Perry. What goes on there?

Camp Perry plays host to the National Rifle and Pistol Matches every summer. For the traditional schedule of the matches see the Camp Perry Summary.

Many highpower shooters look forward to the National Matches not just to compete but to shop for shooting items on vendor's row and meet other shooters from around the country. If you have never attended the National Matches at Camp Perry contact the NRA competitions division for an entry packet.


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How can I get started in Highpower?

First, you might want to read up on some of the basics of this sport and find out if there is a match near you. Next, contact the match sanctioning organization and let them know you are a new shooter. They will probably be more than happy to help you. Finally, gather your equipment and attend a match. Highpower shooters are some of the friendliest people you will meet.

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