My favorite match was High Power Service Rifle – and, excepting the wear and tear on a 73 year-old body, I’m better equipped for it than at any time in my life. Ssusa.org describes the rifles used:
“The match can only be shot with U.S. service rifles (or civilian equivalents) with iron sights or even up to a 4.5x optic. The most popular rifle is of course the AR-15, however you will still find a few M1As, M1 Garands and even a handful of guys shooting Remington A3s or 1903 Springfields.”
I shot my first match with a borrowed AR-15 . . . finished in sixth spot, and felt pretty good. Two of the guys who beat me had the little red medal that reads distinguished rifleman, and one had shot at 4 Olympics. Luck – the cop I had borrowed the rifle from obviously sighted it in correctly. That match left me able to buy a DCM Garand for $168 . . . and when I got it, they took it down to Berg Hall and went through it until it was ready for high power service rifle. Looks something like this one:
My Springfield was built in March of 1943, and rebuilt with a Marlin barrel in 1956. And, to go along with it, I have Dad’s Remington 03A3 – made toward the end of 1944. Now, it looks like this:
Before Dad put the Bishop stock on, it looked something like this:
While they are both 30/06, the Garand was designed for a lighter cartridge, and wants to be fed cartridges with a lighter bullet and less powder. George Patton wrote “In my opinion, the M-1 rifle is the greatest battle implement ever devised.” Well, I won’t argue with the ghost of George Patton – but I won’t feed my Garand the same full load, 168 grain bullets that my O3A3 likes. Instead, I’m looking at ordering more ammunition – ideally, I could still get cartridges with headstamps that read LC for Lake City . . . but my Garand ammunition is now made in Serbia by Prvi Partizan. The other potential source of new ammunition is in the Czech Republic.
My Service Rifle ammunition may come from the eastern edge of Europe – but it is available, and loaded to the right pressure for the old M1.