When in starting in high power, there are several pieces of equipment that we recommend to make your first time on the range a safe and pleasant one.
Hearing protection: This is a must. We recommend earmuff-type hearing protection along with a secondary foam or rubber insert. Cost: earmuffs, $10 to $200; foam or rubber inserts, $.89 to $10.
These Howard Leight Impact Sport electronic earmuffs can be found for about $50 from major shooting sports retailers.
Eyewear: In most cases prescription glasses will be acceptable. If you don’t wear prescription eyewear, we suggest a good pair of clear shooting glasses. Cost: $5 to $75.
Glove or mitt: These are purchased for the non-firing hand and come in a combination of materials. Cost: $20 to $70.
These Model 700 clear safety glasses are $5 on the Champion Shooters Supply website. The NRA High Power glove is comfortable for use with a sling. Available from Creedmoor Sports for $29.
Rifle slings: Rifle slings range in material from leather or webbing to synthetic material. Cost: $23-$120.
This 56-inch National Match High Power sling is $60 from Champion Shooters Supply.
Shooting coat: Shooting coats are normally made of canvas or leather, or a combination of the two. Cost: $70 to $800.
This Creedmoor Sports canvas shooting coat starts at $141.
Shooting mat: This allows for a good barrier between you and the ground. Cost: $22 to $140.
Shooting stool: While not required, it is nice to have something to sit on while waiting to shoot or keeping score. Attachments can be purchased separately and the costs will vary. Cost: $30 to $100.
This shooting mat conveniently rolls up to make it easy for transport or storage. Available from Creedmoor Sports for $90. This cordura nylon stool has a storage area for range gear. Purchase from Champion’s Choice for $61.
Spotting scope and stand: Aside from the rifle, this is the second largest expense you will encounter, and is critical for sighting-in and scoring. Cost: spotting scope, $100 to $3,500; stand, $140 to $400.
This Kowa 82SV 82 mm spotting scope starts at $800, and the Polecat stand is $320. Both are available from Creedmoor Sports.
High power rifle: This is the largest expense usually, but also the place where your money is best spent. Prices can range greatly depending on the type of rifle you are interested in, and whether you are buying new or used. Before purchasing a rifle, check your local gun laws. Cost: $800 to $5,000-plus.
The AR-15 is the most popular rifle for across the course competition.
Rifle optic and mount (optional): In 2017, the NRA added rules that allow for fixed or variable scopes up to 4.5x for service rifle, and unlimited power for match rifle. Cost: scope, $110 to $2,000-plus; mount, $100 to $350.
The Nightforce Competition SR Fixed 4.5x24 mm scope was designed specifically for high power rifle competition. It can be found from a variety of retailers for around $1,750. This Geissele Super Precision High Power Rifle National Match long scope mount is a perfect match for the Nightforce. You can find it on the Geissele website for $350.
The prices are estimates of new products taken from several different shooting supply retailers. We recommend also looking for equipment at local matches, shooting forums, and gun shows to help keep the first-time costs down. For best results, do some research at a local match before making any decisions or purchases. Observe how shooters use their equipment on the line, and ask about their purchase decisions. With all of the available options, getting started in high power rifle can be affordable for almost anyone.