Registration for the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s (CMP) 2023 National Trophy Pistol and Rifle Matches is officially open! The annual event, held at the Camp Perry National Guard Training Base since 1907, is conducted by a partnership between the CMP and Ohio National Guard and showcases a variety of indoor and outdoor events. Both adult and junior athletes are welcome to participate in this century-old tradition.
The National Matches is comprised of the CMP National Trophy Pistol and Rifle Matches, National Games Matches, National Smallbore Matches, National Air Gun Championships and the National Mid-Range and Long Range Matches. The month-long series also includes a variety of educational clinics for marksmen and women at all experience levels.
Whether competing for the first time, a seasoned athlete or simply observing, the National Matches has something for everyone. All events are open to the public and spectators are welcome.
Rimfire Sporter Rifle:
The first event of the 2023 National Matches will be the Rimfire Sporter Rifle Match. One of the most popular events of the National Games events, the Rimfire Sporter Rifle match features .22 caliber competition in open sights (O-Class), telescopic (T-Class) and tactical/unlimited (TU) classes, fired at 50 and 25 yards. The event is perfect for those just beginning in the sport or those looking for some nostalgic fun on the range. A CMP Rimfire Clinic with live fire will be also be held prior to the match.
National Smallbore and Air Gun Matches:
For the first time, all National Smallbore events will be fired on electronic targets! The smallbore schedule includes iron sights and any sights prone events as well as 3×20 (three-position) individual matches.
For air rifle or air pistol competitors – check out the National Air Gun Matches, held on the electronic target range within the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center. This series features training, followed by two days of 60-shot competitions.
In 2023, the National Smallbore and National Air Gun schedules have been combined to allow athletes the option of competing in both disciplines. Anticipated events for both smallbore and air rifle include a 3-member elimination team event as well as an aggregate for those firing in air rifle and three-position smallbore competitions.
This year’s National Pistol events will again include a mix of traditional matches like the President’s Pistol, National Trophy Individual and National Trophy Team events, along with a series of 900 Aggregate matches for .22, .45 and Center Fire Pistol. Additionally, Service Revolver and GSSF GLOCK National Challenge (featuring a new Modular Optic System Configuration category) events will add unique fun to the schedule. The 2023 Pistol matches will also see enhancements to the ranges, with target lines set at 25 and 50 yards to eliminate moving between strings.
Highpower, Service and Vintage Rifle:
The National Trophy Rifle series includes prestigious matches like the President’s Rifle, Hearst Doubles, Rattle Battle, National Trophy Individual and National Trophy Team events. For juniors, a special paired Junior Team Match is also on the schedule. Likewise, the CMP’s own Highpower (HP) Rifle Championship series will again offer a 4-man team event and three 80 shot matches to the schedule and will be fired on electronic targets.
The CMP will continue to offer an assortment of vintage and modern military rifle events during the National Games Matches portion, including the John C. Garand, Springfield and Vintage Sniper matches. In 2023, the Garand/Springfield/Vintage/Modern (GSMM) Military schedule has been updated to allow competitors multiple times to choose to fire in the different matches.
Mid-Range and Long Range Rifle:
The CMP’s National Long Range series features 10 individual and team competitions. A Mid-Range event with a course of fire of 20 shots slow prone at 600 yards is on the schedule in 2023, along with Long Range matches that are open to Match Rifle, Service Rifle, Palma Rifle, F-Open, F T/R or AR Tactical categories – all fired on Camp Perry’s 1,000-yard Viale Range.
Small Arms Firing Schools (SAFS) will be held for rifle, pistol and smallbore. Participants in SAFS are instructed by some of the top military shooters in the country on firearm safety and competition basics. All firearms and ammo are provided for the live-fire portion of the clinic.
For youth athletes, a five-day CMP National Matches Junior Camp will be open to those athletes who shoot both three-position smallbore and standing or international precision air rifle. Participants must be between the ages of 12 to 20 and must currently compete in the disciplines.
Other clinics during the National Matches include the CMP/USMC Junior Rifle Clinic, taught by current members of the Marine Corps Shooting Team, and the CMP Advanced Highpower Clinic, for more experienced competitors – both include classroom and live-fire training on the range.
Outside of the action on the firing line, Commercial Row offers a variety of items for both spectators and competitors – with an array of manufacturers selling used firearms, ammunition, competition gear, accessories, apparel and much more. The CMP North Store, located on the grounds of Camp Perry, allows even more buying opportunities at the Matches with a lineup of military surplus rifles, memorabilia and equipment needs.
Housing for the National Matches is currently available on the grounds of Camp Perry. Accommodations include four-person huts, cottages, barracks, RV spaces and camp sites. Camp Perry housing info posted at https://cplcc.com/national-matches/. If base housing is full, numerous hotels are available in the surrounding Port Clinton, Fremont and Sandusky areas. Visit https://thecmp.org/cmp-national-matches/area-lodging-links/ for lodging information.
All events are open to the public, free for viewing. Spectators are welcome to observe firing on the Camp Perry ranges at any time, with ample parking on-site. Guests are encouraged to participate in the many exciting activities and visual attractions offered during the National Matches season.
Review the new 2023 National Matches schedule and other event info on the CMP website at https://thecmp.org/cmp-national-matches/. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact the CMP at (419) 635-2141 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to see you there!
— By Ashley Dugan, CMP Staff Writer
The Civilian Marksmanship Program is a federally chartered 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation. It is dedicated to firearm safety and marksmanship training and to the promotion of marksmanship competition for citizens of the United States. For more information about the CMP and its programs, log onto www.TheCMP.org.