Guns and Gear

A Closer Look At The 2024 CMP Rule Changes

We’re now officially into 2024, and that means it’s time for the latest CMP rule changes. Some of these changes were teased earlier but we can now look at the full text. As far as I can tell, these all seem like improvements.

CMP @ TFB:

Vietnam-era Vintage Snipers

The big one that we looked at last time was the new class of vintage sniper rifles. The new “Category B” list of approved rifles issued from 1954-1976. I speculated on the list of possible rifles in a previous article when this CMP rule change was teased. Well, the list is now public and it looks pretty good. Here are the approved rifles (and associated optics):

  • USMC Winchester 70 in .30-06, with Unertl 8x or “Unertl, Lyman or Fekker 6X or 8X scope with up to a 1.5” objective; Leatherwood Malcolm 3X, 6X or 8X”
  • USMC M40 in .308 Winchester, with Redfield 3-9x Accu-range or Leatherwood ART, or any commercial 3-9x scope with up to a 40mm objective
  • US Army XM21/M21 in .308 Winchester, with Redfield 3-9x Accu-range or Leatherwood ART, or any commercial 3-9x scope with up to a 40mm objective
  • US M-16A1 with Colt 3x scope or commercial scope up to 3x and up to 32mm objective lens
  • British L42A1 with Number 32 scope, or commercial Lyman Alaskan or Weaver K2.5, K3 or K4
  • French MAS 49/56 with APX scope
  • French FR F1 with APX, S&B 1.6-6x, or Zeiss 2.5-10x scopes, or commercial 4-10x scope with up to 50mm objective
  • Israeli FN Mauser with Nimrod 6×42 or 10×40, Kahles ZF95, or commercial 4-10x scope with up to 50mm objective
  • Israeli M-14 with Nimrod 6×42 or 10×40, Kahles ZF95, or commercial 4-10x scope with up to 50mm objective
  • Soviet SVD with PSO optic
  • Romanian PSL with LPS Type 1 or Type 2 optic
  • Yugoslavian M69 with Zrac ON-2 or commercial 3-6x with up to 40mm objective
  • Yugoslavian M76 with Zrac ON-76 

That is quite a list. Some will be pretty easy to source (like an M-16A1), and others (like the SVD) are pretty rare and expensive. CMP also published a list of more detailed points about the US rifles. For example, Winchester 70 rifles must use pre-64 actions. But the M40 only needs to be a Remington 700 action with a wood stock and appropriate scope. 

There will doubtlessly be changes and additions to the rules as time goes on, and as people who own an overlooked sniper rifle ask for it to be included. 

SIG 550 for Modern Military Matches

This probably violates some kind of journalistic standards about not getting involved in the story, but I asked for this CMP rule change. I wrote up a little summary about the SG550 series and some of the military users and sent it off to the CMP Rules Committee. A while later I got back an email stating that they would be added! It joins other foreign rifles like the HK-91, FAL, and AK-47.

Approved non-US modern military rifles, now with the SIG 550.

However, this is not an approval for use in standard service rifle matches. Modern Military Matches are part of the CMP Games. The course of fire is either 30 or 50 rounds in a mix of slow and rapid fire. All targets are at 200 yards.

A Closer Look At The 2024 CMP Rule Changes

The author’s new SIG SG551.

Highpower Rifle Changes

In addition to various scoring, timing, and range command clarifications, there are two big equipment changes for rifles. The old restrictions on pistol grips are no more. Now that the A1 and A2 are not the only approved option for AR-15 service rifles. Standard, symmetrical grips can now be used, so if you have a preference for other grips they are likely now legal. 

The other big change is to magazines. Under the old rules, the standard 20-round magazine was the smallest size allowed. 10-rounders were permissible, but they needed to be the same overall size as a 20- or 30-round mag. Well, short magazines are now legal as long as they have some high-visibility markings.

A Closer Look At The 2024 CMP Rule Changes

Service rifle with Nightforce 4.5x Competition Service Rifle scope.

Other Changes

There are a bunch of other changes worth mentioning:

Accessibility Changes – Shooters with physical disabilities competing for Distinguished Marksman badges must seek approval from CMP for any positional, course of fire, or equipment changes.

New Stages For Action Pistol – Three new courses of fire for the Action Pistol matches.

Restrictions on Electronic Hearing Protection – Yes, you can still wear electronic earpro. However, you cannot listen to music or communicate with a coach using them.

Restriction on Electronic Spotting Scopes – Spotting scopes that transmit to electronic devices are now prohibited.

Conclusion

This year’s batch of changes is pretty solid. If you have a Vietnam-era vintage sniper rifle sitting around gathering dust, there is now a great reason to dig it out of the safe. And my fellow owners of SG55X rifles have an excuse to see what they can do in competition. Look for matches near you on the CMP Competition Tracker. See you on the range.

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