Welcome to the very first Marksman Challenge. Someday, we’ll look back at this post and say, “That’s where it all began.” At least, the idealist in me would like to think so.
Since this is the very first challenge, we need to lay down some ground rules for what you should expect.
The Marksman Challenges are a recurring set of tasks that the community participates in. This is not a competition, though I’m sure there will be some friendly rivalry along the way. Rather, this is an opportunity for everyone, myself included, to test skills against a challenging set of criteria.
I will post a new challenge each month. Each one focuses one one of the main subject areas of the site: marksmanship, equipment, fitness, skills, and mindset.
Anyone may participate in these challenges, guests and subscribers alike, but I am only able to reward community members for their efforts. By community members, I specifically mean members of the Community Forum, not just email subscribers.
The Rules of Every Challenge
This is not a place for participation trophies. The standards are the standards and will be upheld, but there is more than a simple pass/fail criteria. Any given challenge includes a minimum standard to pass, and at least one additional higher level. For successfully completing a challenge, community members earn a unique badge displayed on their profile as well as other benefits.
Here are the rules:
#1 Integrity First
We do not allow cheating. If anyone is caught cheating on a challenge, they will be unable to participate in any future challenges. We are a friendly group here, and it’s not like some monetary reward is on the line. Do Not risk the community for the sake of your pride. This isn’t just about you.
#2 Proof or it Didn’t Happen
Every challenge requires proof of completion. Since every challenge is different, then the standard of proof will change over time. Proof might be a photograph of a target, a screenshot, or even a short write-up of an event. I realize some proof can be faked, but then we revert back to Rule #1.
#3 You May Complete a Challenge at Any Time
Unless otherwise specified by the challenge rules, any challenge is fair game to go back and accomplish at a later date. However, there is an extra point value associated with completing it during the month it was posted.
#4 Use the Forum for Scoring
Every challenge is cross-posted to a new topic in the forum. To be scored, you must submit your proof of completion as a reply to that topic. You are welcome to ask questions, talk about progress, or discuss the challenge in any way here in the comments section of a challenge or in the Training Logs, Tips, and How-Tos forum. However, only replies submitted to the original challenge thread will be scored.
#5 Have Fun
This is the most important part. We’re all on this journey together, so encourage one another and seek help. This whole thing is way more fun when you work with others to achieve your goals.
The 4 MOA Rifle Fundamentals Challenge
This first challenge is all about the fundamentals of rifle marksmanship.
To complete this challenge you’ll need a zeroed rifle, a single box of 20 rounds, and a 25-yard range. Of course, you’ll also need the official target.
The target consists of twenty 1-inch circles divided into four rows, assuming you print it on a standard piece of 8.5×11 paper. The center dot of each circle is 1/4 inch, but that’s not the important part for this challenge.
Place the target at 25 yards. At this distance, each circle represents approximately 4 Minutes of Angle. I chose that distance because it’s the classic standard of accuracy from WWII, equivalent to a 20″ human silhouette at 500 yards.
Completing the Challenge
You perform the challenge, you must fire one shot in each circle. To increase the difficulty, however, you must utilize each of the main rifle positions for the challenge.
- The top row is for the standing position. Any variant will do, but you’ll probably have the most success with the erect or target standing positions.
- Shoot the second row from the kneeling or squatting position
- The third row is from the sitting position.
- The bottom row is from the prone position.
You may use a shooting sling for this, but you may not rest the rifle on any other fixed object for support, including the ground- so no using the magazine as a monopod for this one.
A hit counts if the any portion of the white circle or inner black dot is torn. It does not count if the shot falls outside the circle but just a bit of the black outer edge tears. You must tear or puncture the inner white circle.
There is no time limit for this challenge. Take your time, practice your natural point of aim, and make your hits count.
To be scored, you must submit a photograph of the finished target and the rifle you used for the event to the appropriate thread in the forum.
Level 1: Challenge Completed
You receive a level one badge if you place a shot in 15 of the 20 circles. The combination of circles you hit does not matter, so you could miss every standing shot but still complete the challenge.
Level 2: Superior Performance
To achieve a Level 2 badge, you must hit 18 of the 20 circles with at least three hits in the standing position.
Level 3: Master Performance
To earn the level three badge, you must clean the target with 20 out of 20 circles hit.
Good Luck, Have Fun
That’s it, go forth and be awesome.
Let me know if you have any questions down in the comments. I look forward to seeing your progress in the forum and scoring your targets.
Anyone doing this just be mindful of Rule 4. If you set this target up at my home range at say chest height you could be sailing rounds over the berm with kneeling or prone. You may need to adjust target height to stay safe. Might be good to consider alternatives there like slinged up and no sling if the other options are unavailable.
Definitely a good point. I would suggest placing the target fairly low, like hip height, if you can.
I’ll be doing this on an indoor range that maxes out at 25 yards. So it will be right in front of the backstop from any angle.
This is the first time since I cannot remember when I have seen even a mention of Natural Point of Aim. So few people know this, yet it is SO simple and SO effective. Until you can practically make use of this principle you are merely making nmoise and wasting ammo. Well done.
Thanks for coming by and commenting! The NPOA is such an important part of marksmanship. The emphasis on “go fast” for the last several years has made people a bit complacent, I think.
I hope to you see you give this challenge a go!