The annual process of reviewing and updating CMP competition rulebooks is nearing completion with this announcement and the posting of the 2023 rulebooks on the CMP website at https://thecmp.org/competitions/cmp-competitions-rulebooks/. The CMP competitions program now includes separate disciplines for Service Rifle, Service Pistol, 22 Rimfire Pistol, Service Revolver, As-Issued Military Rifle (Garand, Springfield, Vintage Military Rifle, M1 Carbine, Modern Military Rifle, Vintage Sniper Rifle), As-Issued Pistol (M9, M1911, M&P Service Pistol) and Rimfire Sporter Rifle competitions where the CMP is the national governing body. The CMP also issues rules for Match Pistol (3-gun pistol), Long-Range and Mid-Range Rifle, Smallbore Rifle (position and prone), Air Rifle, and Air Pistol to govern events it conducts in conjunction with the National Matches, CMP Competition Games, and other CMP match sanctioning programs.
For 2023, the CMP has added one new discipline, Action Pistol. The 1st Edition CMP Action Pistol Competition Rules were released in November and a couple of minor updates have already been completed. The CMP is slated to take over the conduct of the prestigious annual Action Pistol championship, the Bianchi Cup, that will take place in 2023 on 23-26 May at the Green Valley Rifle & Pistol Club near Columbia, Missouri (https://thecmp.org/competitions/cmp-pistol-program/cmp-bianchi-cup/).
To govern all of these target shooting disciplines, the CMP now produces six different rulebooks. They are listed below, with links for downloading the 2023 editions of these rulebooks:
CMP rulebooks are updated annually to accommodate new program developments, clarify rules issues, and incorporate recommendations from competitors, match sponsors and CMP staff. The rule revision process starts anew each year after the National Matches and continues through the fall when the next year’s rulebooks are drafted, reviewed, and approved. The CMP rules process relies on a group of “Rules Advisors” consisting of CMP staff and outside technical experts who evaluate and recommend rule changes. The CMP Board of Directors and its Rules Committee have final authority to approve CMP rules.
The 2023 editions of these rulebooks are now posted on the CMP website where competitors, match officials, and match sponsors can download them to read or copy. Printed versions of the rulebooks will be produced in the next two or three months and will be available for purchase after that. It is possible that during the year, it will be necessary to update certain rules due to emergency issues that arise or because of new information. If it is necessary adopt an emergency rule change and to update a rulebook, the rulebook version that is posted on the website will have an update date on the cover. If there is a rules conflict, the most recent updated version posted on the CMP website is regarded as the official version.
The 2023 rulebooks do not have any major rules revisions, but they do have a complex variety of changes, clarification and updates. The summaries that follow identify and discuss the changes in each CMP rulebook. If anyone has questions about any rules in the 2023 CMP Competition Rulebooks, please contact the CMP Competitions Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or (419) 635-2141, ext. 714 or 729. For Action Pistol or Bulls-eye Pistol questions, please contact (419) 635-2141, ext. 729 or email@example.com. For Smallbore Rule questions, please contact (419) 635-2141, ext. 730 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For Air Rifle/Air Pistol questions, please contact (419) 635-2141, ext. 702 or email@example.com.
AN INTRODUCTION TO CMP COMPETITION RULES
For competitors and aspiring match officials who are new to rifle and pistol competitions, the Winter 2022 edition of the CMP magazine for junior leaders, On the Mark, contains an illustrated article titled “COMPETITION RULES—A Primer on Competition Rules and How to Follow Them.” This article covers a history of shooting competition rules, rulebook terminology, rulebook players, guiding principles in shooting rules, safety and safe range procedure rules, an outline of the detailed technical rules contained in each rulebook, and an explanation of how someone can be involved in the rule change process. You can download a copy of this magazine from the CMP website at https://thecmp.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/OTM_Winter2022_ForWeb.pdf. The article is found on pages 6 to 13.
DISTINGUISHED MARKSMAN BADGE CHANGES
The CMP Highpower Rifle, Pistol, Smallbore Rifle, and Air Gun rulebooks have rules that describe the Distinguished Marksman Badge program for eligible competitors in that discipline who have physical disabilities or limitations that prevent them from complying with all rule requirements for other Distinguished Badges. To compete for a Distinguished Marksman Badge, competitors with disabilities must apply to the CMP for a “Distinguished Marksman Authorization” (contact 419-635-2141, ext. 602; firstname.lastname@example.org). Applicants must describe how they propose to complete an EIC course of fire while using adaptive positions, techniques, or equipment. Eligible competitors who fire EIC Match scores that equal or exceed EIC minimum cut scores receive EIC points that count towards the awarding of the Distinguished Marksman Badge. The only change in the 2023 regulations for this program is a provision that awards 10-point legs for achieving a qualifying score in a National Trophy Individual Match at the National Matches. The CMP expects to award its first Distinguished Marksman Badge in 2023.
CMP ACTION PISTOL RULEBOOK
The CMP Competitions Program will expand in 2023 as the CMP takes over the responsibility for conducting the Bianchi Cup Action Pistol Championship. The CMP is adding Action Pistol as one of its supported disciplines. In order to do this, the CMP has produced a new 1st Edition Action Pistol Competition Rules, which it released in November. In addition to the Bianchi Cup competition which will utilize this new rulebook, the CMP plans to conduct Action Pistol events using this rulebook at its Talladega Marksmanship Park in Alabama, which has a full complement of Action Pistol ranges. The CMP Competitions Department will also sanction Action Pistol Matches conducted by CMP-affiliated clubs.
Action Pistol is a shooting sports discipline that combines pistol handling skills (drawing from a holster, rapidly assuming firing positions, etc.) with a variety of pistol marksmanship tests that require both accuracy and speed. Action Pistol is distinguished from traditional Bullseye Pistol disciplines by its requirements for competitors to perform pistol handling skills in a variety of events that involve stationary, multiple, moving or falling plate targets, at distances from seven to 50 yards. Firing stages require competitors to start from a ready (start) position, draw their pistols from holsters and fire multiple shots in a standing or prone position, within very short time limits. Time limits for assuming position and firing six-shot series are as short as five seconds.
To compete, competitors must have a legal pistol and holster. Most events are fired with center-fire pistols in calibers ranging from 9mm/.38 Special to .45 ACP, although events for 22 Rimfire pistol are also available. Competitions typically have three or four different pistol divisions, 1) open (optical sights and special accurizing allowed), metallic (no optical sights) and production (unmodified pistols). There is also a production optic category. The production division offers a popular and relatively low- cost, accessible event for entry-level competitors.
The first edition of this new rulebook is primarily based on the events that are conducted during the Bianchi Cup competition, the Practical, Barricade, Falling Plate and Moving Target events. Rules for these events will be nearly identical to what past Bianchi Cup competitors have experienced. Rules for a Speed event and a Short Course event for novice and junior competitors are also included. As the interest and demand for additional events is identified, the CMP expects to add additional events to this list.
CMP HIGHPOWER RIFLE RULE CHANGES
The CMP Highpower Rifle program includes 1) traditional Service Rifle events conducted according to National Trophy Match rules (no sighters, starting rapid-fire series from standing), 2) Highpower Rifle events conducted according to CMP Cup Match rules (with sighters, starting rapid-fire in position), 3) Long-Range Rifle (prone and F-class events at 800, 900, and 1000 yards) and Mid-Range Rifle (prone and F-class events at 300, 500, and 600 yards). The CMP program for Mid- and Long-Range competitions now includes: 1) Match Rifle Prone Long-Range, 2) Service Rifle Prone Long-Range, 2) F-Class Long-Range, 3) AR Tactical Long-Range, 4) Prone Mid-Range, F-Class Mid-Range 6) AR Tactical Mid-Range, and 7) Service Rifle Mid-Range events.
There are no major changes in the 2023 Highpower Rifle rules, but there are several technical changes that competitors and match sponsors will want to note (each listing starts with the applicable rule number in this rulebook):
CMP PISTOL RULE CHANGES
The CMP Pistol program now includes both Service Pistol, 22 Rimfire Pistol and Service Revolver events for National Trophy and EIC events where Distinguished Badges can be earned and Match Pistol events for three-gun 22 rimfire, centerfire, and 45 caliber pistols. The Service Revolver and Match Pistol events that were introduced in 2021 have proven to be highly popular; 186 competitors shot in the 2022 National Matches Revolver EIC Match; Match Pistol competitors numbered 459. The most significant 2023 Pistol rule changes are the simplification of Service Pistol rules and the elimination of requirements that copper-jacketed or plated bullets must be used in Service Pistols. Here is a list of the 2023 Pistol rule changes (each listing starts with the applicable rule number in this rulebook).
2.6.9 c). National Trophy Residency. A 2022 rule change allowed state NTT teams to include competitors from adjacent states that do not enter NTT teams in competition. This new change limits state NTT pistol teams to one such competitor.
2.8.1. New Shooter Definition. Civilian National Trophy Team members will now be permitted to retain new shooter eligibility for two years (formerly one year).
3.2.9. Spectators and Media. A new rule encouraging the accommodation of spectators and media at competitions was added. It spells out limitations on their actions.
3.12.3. CMP Pistol Achievement Awards. Achievement Award cut scores for EIC Matches were revised based on 2022 National Matches pistol event scores. Score changes were minor.
4.1.1 Service Pistols. Former rules 4.1.1 through 4.1.4 were simplified into one rule. The listing of specific approved pistol models is eliminated. The new rule was written to provide one simplified list of specific requirements for all Service Pistols. The pistol must be a semi-automatic pistol of a type that was designed for general military, law enforcement or other similar duty use. Any cartridge between 9x19 mm and .45 ACP is acceptable. Barrels are restricted to 5.5 inches in length, triggers must lift 4.0 lbs., sights must be open, grips must be suitable for right- or left-hand use and have no orthopedic features. Recoil reduction systems of any type are prohibited. Service Pistols may not exceed 42 ounces in total weight. The intent of CMP Service Pistol rule changes that began in 2015 was to give competitors broad discretion in selecting pistols to use in CMP Service Pistol National Trophy and EIC Matches. These 2023 changes are designed to further fulfill that intent.
4.1.2. 22 Rimfire Pistols. The prohibition of recoil systems based on barrel venting, porting or “similar systems” was deleted.
4.4. Pistol Ammunition. The requirement to use “metal-jacketed or metal-plated bullets” in Service Pistol Matches was deleted. “Any safe ammunition” may now be used in any CMP pistol event.
7.4.8 b. President’s/NTI Aggregate. The MSG Aubrey Smith Trophy was added to be presented to the high Army new shooter.
7.5.4 CMP National Match Pistol Any Sight Championship. The Reiter Cup, named in honor of Steve Reiter, was added, to be presented to the Match Pistol Any Sight Champion.
7.6 CMP National Match Pistol Team Events. The T. D. Smith III Trophy, named in honor of T. D. Smith III, was added, to be presented to the winning 4-person team in the Match Pistol team aggregate.
CMP GAMES RULE CHANGES
CMP Games Competition Rules for Rifle and Pistol govern Vintage Military Rifle, As-Issued Pistol, and Rimfire Sporter events. The 2023 CMP Games Rules introduce three new events and an expanded version of the Special EIC Matches where competitors with no previous EIC points can now earn 4-point legs in either Service Pistol (with an M9 pistol) or 22 Rimfire Pistol (with a 22 rimfire pistol). Here is a list of changes in this rulebook (each listing starts with the applicable rule number in this rulebook):
SMALLBORE RIFLE COMPETITION RULES
The first CMP Smallbore Rifle Competition rulebook was released in 2018. These rules were used to conduct National Matches Smallbore Rifle Position and Prone Championships in 2018, 2019, 2021 and 2022 (The 2020 Championship was cancelled due to covid.). The big news in the CMP Smallbore Rifle program is that the 2023 National Matches Smallbore Rifle Championships, both position and prone, will be conducted on electronic targets. The other big change is the addition of F-Class rules to facilitate the conduct of F-Class Smallbore Rifle events. Changes in the 2023 CMP Smallbore Rifle Rules are (each listing starts with the applicable rule number in this rulebook):
AIR RIFLE AND AIR PISTOL COMPETITION RULES
The first CMP Air Rifle and Air Pistol Competition rulebook was released in 2022. These rules were used to conduct new National Matches Air Rifle and Air Pistol Championships in 2022. A 2nd Edition CMP Air Rifle and Air Pistol Competitions Rules will be posted on the CMP website, but 2022 1st Edition Rulebooks will continue to be used in 2023. If any changes are necessary during the year, an errata sheet will be printed to accompany published rulebooks.
-- By Gary Anderson, DCM Emeritus
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.
Restricted 18+ in CA in compliance with CA State Assembly Bill 2571 prohibiting the marketing of firearms to minors in the State of CA.
Civilian Marksmanship Program
419-635-2141, ext. 711