New Zealand Service Rifle

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An overview of competitive shooting with members of the New Zealand Service Rifle Association.

Johan Horn, SAPS Armourer

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Johan Horn, a police officer and armourer with the South African Police Service discusses setting up R4, R5, and Galil rifles for Service Conditions competition.

SANDF Marksmanship Programs

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SGM Strydom of the South African National Defence Force discusses marksmanship training and competition in South Africa.

Combat and Competition


An overview of the similarities and differences of training for combat compared to competition as experienced by a combat veteran, sniper, drill sergeant, and competitive shooter with the U.S. Army Reserve Marksmanship Program.

An overview of the similarities and differences of training for combat compared to competition. Are there any actual bad habits or training scars caused by fixed, square range competition courses?

Here’s my take. I suspect “training scar” claims occur more from novice skill levels rather than learning a “bad” habit. When academy/basic training remains the totality of formal learning a person has, they’re more likely to repeat such things because it’s the only response available in a rather limited base of experience, especially when there is little to no history of performing at a higher level while under pressure where the results are measured and truly matter to them.

As the two military combat veterans in these videos explain, we shot a series of surprise courses at CAFSAC in the shoot houses at Connaught, Ottawa. Despite shooting these multiple courses after the fixed, square range courses (the sort that allegedly cause “training scars”) not a single competitor displayed any such mistake. None of the range officers reported anyone inadvertently remaining flat footed when they should have been moving, failing to use cover, unloading before finding and engaging targets, etc. It’s almost as if being more skillful and being used to performing at a higher level while under pressure where the results matter helps people perform better while under pressure. And they could perform appropriately according to the given context/situation at hand. Amazing!

Others have experienced the exact same thing:

Yep, despite not doing a “scan and assess” after shooting a stage, when it came time to replicate things in as real of environment as possible, I kept my guard up and kept treating it as “real”, even though it wasn’t.

It’s almost as if my mind and body know when I’m gaming, and when I’m not.


South African Top Lady Shooters

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Louise Seymore and Ronelle Alberts were the top Lady shooters at the 2016 South African Combat Rifle Association championships and in the Top 50 Shoot Off. Here is how they got their start.

Botswana Defence Force Marksmanship Programs

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CPT Letsomo of the Botswana Defence Force–Authorities/Ministries/State-President/Botswana-Defence-Force-BDF/

An overview of marksmanship programs in the BDF.
“You have to start right now!”

Can Competitive Shooting Help Real-World Defensive Shooting?

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Competition Makes the World Go ‘Round

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“If the question is whether you should compete, then the answer is yes. If the question is when, the answer is now. NOTHING will take your training to the next level the way training for a competition will.”

Competition makes EVERYTHING better. Period. The simple act of someone trying to do a job better than another person leads to dramatic increases in work productivity. It drives performance in business, causes students to “compete” in education for awards and scholarships, instigates guys to fight over the most attractive women, has given us the Super Bowl, and has led to the $1 double cheeseburger – all great things.

Our history has been painted with the importance of competition. There was a day when our lives depended on it. We competed with other men for the best women. We competed to kill food to provide for our family. We competed to be predator and not prey.

Competition is what our country was founded on. Capitalism, democracy, an entire government, built upon the shoulders of competition. It has contributed greatly to the United States being the most powerful nation in the world. Consider also, ironically, that in the few places where competition was allowed to thrive in the Soviet Republic, it succeeded. Communism and Socialism are founded on a non-competitive world view. It is the antithesis of Democracy. And while a society, government, and economy built upon a lack of competition failed, the two places where competition was encouraged – the space program and the Olympics – succeeded incredibly well for the USSR.

We now live in a country where everyone has a sense of entitlement, part of which is learned though the “everyone is a winner” mentality. We no longer keep scores in elementary-level sports, and every kid on the team gets a trophy and a ribbon. We actually had the mom of a 3rd grade kid who participated in our “field day” last spring call up the superintendent of our school, infuriated because her son did not receive a ribbon when she saw that only 1st through 3rd place students were awarded ribbons in their various events. Anti-competitive viewpoints such as this, coupled with the pussification of America, is leading us down a dangerous and emasculating path.

Lack of competition is the single biggest problem with our public school system. There are no incentives for one school district to be better than the next district down the road, no incentives for teachers to be excellent, and no incentives for the students to compete and perform. As a middle school Industrial Technology teacher, I became frustrated a few years ago with the quality of the balsa wood bridge projects my students were building. The simple act of changing the project to a competition – where the bridge that held the most weight got the highest grade in the class and a small gift certificate to a restaurant in town, and the one who held the least got the worst the grade – dramatically improved the design, quality, and craftsmanship of the bridges all-around. Competition gave the project a purpose.

– Matt Reynolds

Click to access competition_reynolds.pdf

Service Conditions

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Personnel of low skill are fond of circulating the myth that competition has no value to real world use and that it is focused on competition-only equipment and technique.

Wrong. Examples of Service Conditions matches currently held throughout NATO, the Commonwealth, and other allied countries have been conducted for decades. Prior to this, shooting matches featured Skirmisher Matches dating back to the late 1800s. See the history of Bisley for examples. There are civilian versions of these matches in most countries where civilians can own centerfire rifles similar to those issued to military personnel. See DCRA (Dominion of Canada Rifle Association) main site (also here) and NZSRA (New Zealand Service Rifle Association) main site (also here)and SACRA (South African Combat Rifle Association) for examples.

Bisley: The Queen’s Prize

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Great history on the British approach to rifle shooting.

Skirmisher events as done in the World War II era:

It should be noted it’s known in the United States as the National Rifle Association of America because founding member General George Wingate was inspired by Britain’s organization and matches at Wimbledon.

Here’s examples of America’s version back then.

And examples of the modern versions held today.

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