CMP site is on target for shooters
Program aims to teach skills to youngsters
Thom Gabrukiewicz, Redding Record Searchlight
May 18, 2003
With the 1903 Act of Congress that established the National Board for the Promotion of Rifle Practice, an idea was born that has led to thousands of people — mostly youth — to safely learn how to shoot.
And the affiliated Web site, http://www.odcmp.com, is the place to go to learn about shooting events in your area.
The Civilian Marksmanship Program grew out of this Act of Congress to develop the marksmanship skills of civilians and young people who planned on joining the U.S. Armed Forces. From 1903 to 1996, the program was under the supervision of the Department of the Army's Office of the Director of Civilian Marksmanship.
Now, the Civilian Marksmanship Program is a private, nonprofit corporation responsible for firearm safety training and rifle practice for all qualified U.S. citizens, with special emphasis on youth.
"The CMP is authorized to provide support and encouragement to clubs and state associations with emphasis on strong junior programs," the site reads. "These programs will include instruction in the basics of marksmanship, firearms and range safety, competitive marksmanship and subjects related to firearms safety."
North state clubs that are affiliated with the CMP include the Yreka Rifle Club, the Sierra Sportsmen's Club in Susanville, Red Bluff's Tehama Shooters Association and the Mt. Shasta Rod and Gun Club.
The CMP site has information on how the program was developed, an auction area, a forum, competition information, youth camp information and applications, technical information on the Garand rifle, a latest news area, a newsletter, training publications and an area where youth can apply for scholarships. The site even has links for people to purchase surplus government rifles.
That includes the M1 Garand, which qualified individuals can purchase from the CMP for $500.
"John Garand's rifle was the single most significant small arms development in the history of modern warfare," the site reads. "No other rifle in this nation's history so outclassed that of its adversaries. The accuracy, reliability, ruggedness and most of all, its firepower, could not be matched by any of the Axis powers during WWII. It performed with distinction throughout WWII to Korea and to the early days in Vietnam."
But the site is much more than a clearinghouse for surplus firearms. The current newsletter features Cowboy Action shooting competitions, a rundown on the 2003 NCAA Men's and Women's Rifle Championships held at West Point and a question and answer session with three-time Olympian and medalist Bob Foth about the use of offset risers in air riflery.
Of course, there's all the information anyone needs to get into the CMP program, from AR-15 competition rifle shoots and Junior ROTC programs to an air rifle purchase program and a national coaches conference.
The CMP is an interesting program that has sent thousands of U.S. citizens into the military with the knowledge and experience to protect and defend the U.S. With a new mission, the CMP hopes to train a whole legion of young shooters the proper way to pick up a rifle — and have a little fun in the process.
Know of an outdoors Web site you'd like to share? Outdoors Web runs every Sunday in the Record Searchlight. Reporter Thom Gabrukiewicz can be reached at 225-8230 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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