Civilian Marksmanship Program


Sighting in with Shooting USA - The CMP - Civilian Marksmanship Program

SI29-11-1We're Sighting In on the Civilian Marksmanship Program that brings you both rifles, and competition events. The CMP is the only organization that can deliver your rifle directly to your home. 

For years we’ve been taking you to the Lake Erie coast for service rifle competition. With a month of matches, hosting more than a 1,000 competitors each day, the National Championships draw a loyal group of competitors who enjoy the tradition that goes back more than 100 years.

SI29-11-2But before you get an AR, or M1, or any other National match rifle, you have to learn how to use it and how to compete in the matches. That’s the job of the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s local clubs, and their new shooters clinics, like the one in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

Charlie Smart has been instructing for new shooters for 30 years. He says the clinics are the core of the CMP program. It allows folks to come to a local club, and not have to travel a long distance. And get a chance to shoot across the national match course in an informal setting with coaching from people they know.

SI29-11-3The coaches are local club members and service rifle competitors. They’re the folks you find competing at Camp Perry. But here, they’re just fellow rifle enthusiasts, shooting service rifles and high power rifles.

New shooters each get a coach and everything is taught at the firing line. Shots are fired from the 200 yard line in three positions, standing, sitting, and prone. Start positions, commands, and shooting times are also the same as the national matches. And everyone learns to work in the pits scoring targets. The clinic operates exactly like the Camp Perry matches.

Charlie says, “The main thing we’re trying to do is just get people comfortable with the course of fire. This is brand new to a lot of the people who come into these clinics. You need to be ready to train that new generation and give back to the discipline. So that’s why I enjoy running clinics, and coaching matches, more than I enjoy shooting.”


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If you get interested in service rifle competition, you don’t just need a new shooter’s clinic. You also need guns and gear, and those come directly from the Civilian Marksmanship Program. The CMP is authorized by congress to sell military surplus M1 Garands, M1 Carbines, and 03 Springfields, that are shipped directly to your home.

SI29-11-11You have to be a member of a recognized shooting club to qualify to purchase. There are nearly 5,000 affiliated clubs the CMP recognizes. You provide the CMP with proof of your club membership, as well as age and citizenship. And they’ll send a vintage Garand to your door for about $500. 

And the CMP sells ammo, direct to your home, surplus 30-06 ammo in bandoliers with the eight round clips already loaded. Plus .223 and .308 ammo, if you’re shooting those calibers in competition. 

And the CMP offers accessories, a shooting mat, glove and shooting jacket. All are affordably priced to be ordered from the CMP accessories website.


Federal American Eagle Match Ammo.
American Eagle 30-06 designated as match ammo for the Garand and the ’03 Springfield. The round is built to Federal Premium specifications, but priced for competitors who burn up more ammo than the average hunter. Box of 20 is about $20. 

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BLACKHAWK! Shooting Mat
Stitched with three quarters of an inch foam padding throughout and the front pouch will hold a hydration pack. The Blackhawk! pro shooter mat is $165. 

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WW-1 Re-Enactors in Pennsylvania

SI29-11-7We’ve never seen anything as authentic as the World War One re-enactments by the Great War Association on their private battlefield outside Newville, Pennsylvania. The Great War Association has dug the trenches and bomb craters of No-Man’s Land. Once a year they’re joined by the pilots who have built their own World War One Aircraft to fly strafing missions in Fokkers, and Newports and other replicas. There are no spectators allowed, but Videographer, Chris Gerlach has the tape of an extraordinary re-creation of history.

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