The Civilian Marksmanship Program has teased some of the upcoming 2024 rule changes. One of the biggest changes is a category of newer rifles in the Vintage Sniper Match. Let’s speculate on what those might be.
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CMP vintage sniper matches are fired at 300 and 600 yards. Competitors are limited to a specific list of rifles and optics. Through 2023 the only eligible rifles were those used in or before 1953. Generally, original scopes (or replicas) are allowed, though the old Weaver K4 is also legal on some guns.
The 2024 rules will add a new class for sniper rifles issued between 1954 and 1974. That cutoff year seems arbitrary at first, but is 50 years before the effective date of these rules. That also lines up nicely with Curio & Relic firearms, which were manufactured at least 50 years ago.
So what new guns will be eligible? No one knows yet, but there will probably be a specific list included in the rules, much like the current list of rifles. Some very interesting options come to mind in the 1954-1974 time frame, including:
- Dragunov SVD
- USMC Winchester 70
- M-40 and M-40A1
- FR F1
- ZK-31 (maybe?)
- M59 and M59F1
Let me know in the comments what other possible sniper rifles I missed on this list. It’s also noteworthy that replicas are allowed! So, depending on what the final list of eligible rifles includes, this could be your excuse to clone that one old sniper rifle you’ve always wanted. This may also spur some production of throwback models.
While the vintage sniper changes are the big news here, there are several other changes as well. Service rifles will no longer be limited to the A1 or A2 pistol grip but can use standard symmetrical models. Shorter 5- and 10-round magazines will also be legal, not just the 20- and 30-round models previously allowed. The rules also will prohibit listening to music or communicating with electronic headphones, and electronic targets with timing functions will be used to call late shots where applicable. Check out the CMP’s post to read the other changes.
From the CMP:
27th Edition 2024 CMP Pistol Competition Rules. This rulebook governs the conduct of Match Pistol (2700 three-gun aggregates) and National Trophy and EIC events for Service Pistol, 22 Rimfire Pistol and Service Revolver. Other than the general changes noted above, there are no substantial Pistol rule changes coming in 2024.
11th Edition 2024 CMP Games Rifle and Pistol Competitions Rules. This rulebook includes rules for As-Issued Military Rifle, Modern Military Rifle, Vintage Sniper Rifle Team, As-Issued Pistol, and Rimfire Sporter Rifle events. Rules for benchrest events (as-issued military rifles at 300 yards, rimfire sporter rifles at 100 yards) that are gaining popularity with older (and younger) rifle competitors are now included in this rulebook. A new Sniper Rifle Team Match category for military sniper rifles (original or replica) “manufactured for sniping from 1954 through 1976” is being introduced. This additional category promises to add a whole new aspect of interest for competitors who are devoted to shooting in Vintage Sniper Rifle Team Matches.
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