By Gary Anderson, DCM Emeritus

CMP Competition Rules for 2018 have now been finalized, approved by the CMP Rules Committee and released for use in governing this year’s competitions. The 2018 22nd Edition of the CMP Highpower Rifle and Pistol Competition Rules and the 2018 6th Edition of the CMP Games Rifle and Pistol Competition Rules can be downloaded at

CMP competitors and match officials must take care to use the correct CMP Rulebook. The CMP Highpower Rifle and Pistol Rules govern traditional Highpower Rifle “across the course” events at 200, 300 and 600 yards, all EIC matches and Rifle and Pistol National Trophy Matches. The CMP Games Rules govern As-Issued Rifle and Pistol Matches, special military rifle matches, the Vintage Sniper Rifle Team Match and Rimfire Sporter Rifle events.

CMP Games Competition Rules govern all As-Issued Military Rifle Matches as well as Vintage Sniper Rifle Team and Rimfire Sporter Rifle Matches.

CMP Competition Rules have undergone major changes in the last few years that were aimed at modernizing the CMP competition program and promoting greater participation in rifle and pistol target shooting. In 2015, two major changes advanced pistol competitions by expanding the types of pistols that can be used in EIC and National Match Service Pistol events and by introducing the immediately popular CMP 22 Rimfire Pistol Distinguished program. The most significant 2016 change was the authorization for Service Rifle shooters to use optical sights (4.5X max.).  2017 saw the introduction of a new classification system, rules for electronic targets and the addition of rules for “Alternative Rifles” and “Match Rifles.” 

The CMP Highpower Rifle and Pistol Competition Rules govern traditional service rifle and pistol events that take place in EIC or National Trophy Matches.

The biggest change in the 2018 Rules is the introduction of a two-track system for conducting CMP-sanctioned Highpower Rifle Matches. Highpower Rifle events can now be conducted as either traditional “National Trophy Rifle Events” where there are no sighting shots and competitors start rapid-fire series from standing or as “CMP Cup Match Events” where sighting shots are allowed before each stage and competitors start rapid-fire series in position. All EIC Rifle Matches and Camp Perry National Trophy Matches will continue to be conducted according to National Trophy rules, with no sighters and rapid-fire starting from standing. The CMP Cup Matches, which are scheduled at the beginning of the 2018 CMP Highpower Rifle Matches at Camp Perry on 23-25 July, and the CMP Cup Matches, which are included in the 2018 CMP Travel Games programs, will be conducted under Cup Match rules with sighters and rapid-fire stages starting in position.

The rules for CMP As-Issued Military Rifle and Pistol events and Rimfire Sporter Matches remain unchanged in this regard. These events typically allow sighters at the beginning of each course of fire. Competitors start rapid-fire series from standing, but any competitors who are 70 or over or who have physical limitations that prevent them from readily standing and getting back into position are allowed to start rapid-fire series in position.

The 2018 Highpower Rifle Rules includes new rules for the Springfield M1A Match that joined the CMP National Matches program in 2017 as well as for the Long Range Rifle events (800, 900 and 1000 yards) that will become new CMP Matches at Camp Perry on 6-8 August 2018.

The 2018 CMP Games Rifle and Pistol Rules, which include Rimfire Sporter Rifle Rules, have only minor changes from the 2017 edition. Rules for the Glock Pistol Match, which was introduced in the 2017 CMP National Matches program, are new in this rulebook.

Traditional smallbore rifle championships are returning to Camp Perry in 2018 and rules for those events are being drafted now. The 2018 National Matches Calendar features six days of CMP Smallbore Rifle shooting on 17-22 July. There will be two days of smallbore position and four days of smallbore prone shooting, along with one full day of Rimfire Sporter Rifle competition on 22 July. Provisional CMP Smallbore Rifle Rules will be released in the next few weeks.

Here is a summary of changes in the 2018 CMP Highpower Rifle and Pistol Rules:

  • Highpower Rifle Two-Track Option. Highpower Rifle events can now be conducted as either “National Trophy Events” with no sighters and rapid-fire series starting from standing or as “CMP Cup Matches” with two sighters per stage and rapid-fire series starting in position.  Match Programs must state which rules track will be followed for a particular competition.
  • New Courses of Fire. New events that have been added to the list of CMP-recognized events are the 30-shot Oliver Hazard Perry Match (200 and 600 yards), the 40-shot Springfield M1A Match (300 yards), the 20-shot Camp Perry 1000 Match (1000 yards) and the 45-shot Viale Long Range Match (800, 900 and 1000 yards).
  • Senior Age. The age threshold for Seniors was lowered from 65 to 60.
  • Classification Rules. Rules for this new CMP program were updated to provide for continuing classification calculations to be made whenever another complete match result is added to a competitor’s database.  Once a competitor has at least 240 recorded shots, older match results will not be included in classification calculations as long as at least 240 shots are used for the calculation.  CMP classifications are available through on-line look-ups.  Classification changes become effective as soon as new results are added to the database.
  • The last four editions of the CMP Competition Rules introduced many major changes. A 2016 change allowed the use of optical sights (4.5X max.) on both Modern Military Rifles (CMP Games Rules) and Service Rifles (CMP Highpower Rifle and Pistol Rules).

    Match Rifles. The new rules clarify that Match Rifles used in Mid and Long Range Matches may be single shot rifles and do not require magazines.

  • Service Pistols. The new U. S. Government M17 and M18 9mm pistols and commercial equivalent SIG 320 pistols were added to the approved Service Pistol list along with the CZ P-10 C, FN P-9, H&K P2000, Kimber Custom Target II 1911, SIG P210 Target and SIG P320 X-Five pistols.
  • Pistol Competition Rules. Rules for Pistol malfunctions, refires and scoring were added to eliminate the need to refer to a second NRA Rulebook.  These rules were carefully coordinated with NRA Pistol Rules.
  • Highpower Rifle Scoring. The rule for scoring insufficient hits in rapid-fire was changed to provide that when there are no saved rounds, no excessive hits on adjacent targets, a double cannot be found and all shots are in the 9 and 10 rings, the missing tenth shot shall be scored according to the lowest value hit.  The rule for scoring excessive hits in a rapid-fire series now provides for giving the high ten scores to the competitor when there are 11 or 12 hits.  If there are 13 or more shots, the competitor may elect to accept the low ten or refire the series.

Here is a summary of changes that can be found in the CMP Games Rifle and Pistol Rules:

  • Senior/Grand Senior Ages. The age threshold for Seniors is now 60; the age threshold for Grand Seniors was lowered to 70.
  • Achievement Medal/Pin Scores. These scores, found in Annex F, were updated according to competitors’ scores in 2017 championships.  Most changes were minor. 
  • New Events. Rules for the Glock Pistol Match were added.

Here is a summary of changes that can be found in both new rulebooks:

  • Match Officials. The old term “Pit Officer” has been changed to “Target Officer.”  The CMP is working to upgrade the status and training of Match Officials and concluded that “Pit” is not a very dignified title for a competition official.
  • Score Falsification Enforcement. Score falsification is defined and clearly identified as a cause for disqualification for either a competitor or scorer.  “Falsification” includes recording scores that are higher than scores actually fired by a competitor.  Only Scorers can turn in signed scorecards. 
  • Penalty. An option to apply a two or five-point penalty in lieu of disqualification was added.
  • Protest Procedures. Protest rules were revised to provide for a clear progression from a 1) complaint to 2) a verbal protest to 3) a written protest and request for a Jury decision.
  • Rifle Shooting Jackets. Previous CMP Shooting News notices should have made it clear to competitors that rifle jackets with back or other braces or supports made of materials other than normal jacket materials are illegal.  A stricter definition of materials that may or may not be used in rifle jackets was adopted in the 2018 Rules.  One jacket manufacturer was selling, but has now discontinued, a jacket model that violated this prohibition.  The manufacturer’s U. S. distributor has agreed to modify any of these jackets (see the CMP Shooting News announcement at  Any competitors who still have rifle jackets that may violate this rule are urged to study Rule 4.6.1 in the Highpower Rifle Rules or Rule 3.5.1 in the CMP Games Rules and, if necessary, to take steps to ensure that their jackets are legal for competitions in 2018.
  • Electronic Target Rules. These rules were Annexes in the 2017 rules, but now have become Rule 7.0 in the Highpower Rifle Rules and Rule 9.0 in the CMP Games Rules.
  • National Records. Rules providing for the official recognition of National Records in open and junior categories in CMP-recognized events were added. The CMP is compiling its first list of official records and will post it on the CMP website as soon as it is ready.  To be recognized as National Records, scores must be fired in the National Matches or in competitions conducted by the CMP staff such as CMP Travel Games or National Range Matches.

As part of its efforts to upgrade the status and training of match officials, and ensure more uniform application of all competition rules, the CMP instituted a Range Officer Training Course in 2017 (for more information, go to the CMP website at Volunteers who will serve and Range and Target Officers in the 2018 National Matches will be required to complete this course.  CMP-affiliated clubs that plan to hold sanctioned matches are also urged to have their match officials complete this course and obtain CMP Range Officer certifications. 

Competitors or match officials with questions regarding either the 2018 CMP Highpower Rifle and Pistol Competition Rules or the 2018 CMP Games Rifle and Pistol Competition Rules are invited to contact CMP Competitions at

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