M1 Clinic at BRRC
CMP M1 Garand class and clinic – Review
Last Sunday I had the opportunity to attend a Garand clinic and match, put on by the Burbank Rifle and Revolver club. They offer the clinic on the third Sunday of odd numbered months. The club putting on the clinic had Garands available to the participants for shooting in the match. The clinic was free, the match portion was 15$, plus the cost if you used their ammo of 20$. There were pads on the firing line, and all you need to bring is a good attitude.
We traveled up the I5 to the range, and filled out the releases and paperwork for the CMP. Weather was cool and breezy, but sunny. Other experienced competitors were there to shoot a match in relays using the 200 yard range.
BRRC clinics are taught by CMP Master Instructor Dennis Santiago. Dennis has been teaching this course since 2007. The clinic started with a discussion of gun safety, especially muzzle control and the use of an empty chamber indicator. Throughout the clinic safety was stressed and demonstrated. There was an interesting presentation on the history of the DCM and CMP, followed by the history of the US Service Rifles. The operation and parts of the M1 were covered including the operation of the gas system.
The hands on portion of the clinic included:
1. How to check that the rifle is unloaded, how to lock the action back completely, and the use of the Empty Chamber Indicator (ECI required in CMP matches).
2. How to safely release the bolt and avoid the “M1 thumb”.
3. How to load a single round without a carrier.
4. How to load 2 rounds in an enbloc – needed for the rapid fire portions of 10 rounds (2 plus 8).
5. Trigger control principles, setting windage and elevation with the sights, and proper sight picture. Everyone was also tested to check for their dominant eye.
6. How to rig the sling, demonstrated with the web sling.
7. The prone position; and how to move the position to adjust the point of aim. Checking the natural point of aim was covered as well. The importance of breathing and relaxing the muscles was demonstrated.
8. Off Hand position was demonstrated and discussed.
Other portions of the lecture covered range commands, target and scoring. The clinic took about 2.5 hours, and then we were off to shoot our match at the 100 yard range, using a reduced target. The SR1 target is reduced to give scoring ring half the size of the target used for 200 yard matches.
The line officer for the match at BRRC is Wayne Fenner who also happens to be one of the pit bosses at the U.S. Nationals at Camp Perry, Ohio. After a second review of range safety rules and commands – BRRC makes sure the information is absorbed -- we were assisted in setting up slings and prone positions. There were several experienced coaches to help with setup most of whom are graduates of the same course we were taking that day. We then fired a number of sighters, the coaches had spotting scopes to assist with zeroing the shots. We then fired 10 shots prone, slow fire, as part of the match. After scoring and target replacement, we started the 10 shot prone rapid fire portion. This was more challenging - noise plus dust and concern about time caused many shots to be rushed. We finished the match with 10 shots slow fire offhand. This was really challenging for most – the weight of the rifle and trying to get a good aim was difficult.
Afterwards there was a certificate award ceremony for completing the clinic.
I really enjoyed the clinic; it was an opportunity to learn about the Garand, the history, positions and what is needed to shoot in a competition. It was much more difficult than shooting from a bench with sandbags and supports. The match let me know how much I have to learn, but also gave me the tools I needed to practice.