The end of “Jacketgate” has arrived. CMP has issued a press release, authored by North General Manager Steve Cooper addressing the 2017 shooting jacket controversy that high power shooters should take note of. The jacket in question is called the “HP Ultimate,” which is now distributed in the U.S. by Oberle Enterprises.
The specific model affected is the HP Ultimate M085030 Extra Stiff Felt Back jacket. Due to the jacket utilizing “… rigid internal components,” they were deemed “contrary to the spirit of the equipment rule.” Basically, the CMP Rules Committee decided that this jacket provides an inordinate amount of support, particularly when firing a rifle in the standing position.
This particular version of the HP Ultimate utilized compressed and heated, low melt polyester felt inserts, which is no longer going to be produced, per Oberle. Shooting jackets without inserts are not affected by this decision.
The HP Ultimate jackets with this option are now illegal per the 2018 CMP 4.6.1 rule. For a nominal fee plus shipping, Oberle will modify jackets to comply with the rule.
Read the entire rule below:
CMP 2018 Rule 4.6.1 Shooting Jackets
Shooting jackets worn in CMP Rifle competitions may only be made of pliable (soft, flexible, easily bent) fabric or leather, except for buckles, straps or other fastening devices and rubber or similar material on gripping surfaces. The internal or external use of any other material, device or substance that serves to stiffen, rigidify or immobilize any part of the competitor’s upper body, back, arm or arms is prohibited. Prohibited materials include, but are not limited to, plastic, wood or metal inserts or devices, fiber board, fiberglass, fiberglass resin, carbon fiber or laminated materials. Shooting jackets must be used in their manufactured condition and cannot be altered except for the removal or replacement of original fabric, leather or rubber. Competition Officials may establish an inspection procedure to determine if shooting jackets comply with this rule. Scores fired with shooting jackets that are ruled to be illegal must be nullified. Manufacturers or shooting equipment suppliers with questions regarding the legality of a shooting jacket should submit a sample to the CMP for evaluation.
Does this matter to NRA high power shooters? Depends on your shooting coat. As always, when you have a question about gear, consult the rulebook first. The NRA high power rules have Section 3, which governs equipment. See NRA Rule 3.18 below:
3.18 General—All devices or equipment which may facilitate shooting and which are not mentioned in these rules, or which are contrary to the spirit of these rules and regulations, are forbidden. The Match Director, Official Referee, Jury Chairman or Supervisor shall have the right to examine a shooter’s equipment or apparel. The responsibility shall be upon the competitor to submit questionable equipment and apparel for official inspection and approval in sufficient time prior to the beginning of a match so that it will not inconvenience either the competitor or the official.