I haven’t seen very many written articles on this shooting competition, and I really like the competition format, so I decided to make 1 longer article on Service Conditions Rifle Competition. I know it doesn’t have much to do with hunting, but this is a really fun competition and I love that it’s rifle-oriented.
What is Service Conditions – Rifle?
Service Conditions Rifle is a subset of Canadian Service Conditions competition. Within Service Conditions, there’s:
- Service Conditions – Rifle
- Service Conditions – Pistol
- Service Conditions – CQB
- Service Conditions – Precision Rifle
Service Conditions Rifle focuses on practical marksmanship from a variety of shooting stances like prone, sitting, kneeling, and standing. Shots are from 200 all the way to 500 meters depending on the range. There can be running and movement in some matches, but it’s definitely not IPSC style run and gun because Service Conditions – Rifle has many people shooting a “stage” at once. Service Conditions Rifle uses a service rifle, most typically AR-15s, whereas Duty/Operational Pistol is focused on duty/combat pistols, and precision rifle focuses more on precision (typically bolt action) rifles in teams. Some provinces also have CQB matches, which focuses on shorter range shooting (less than 35 meters). CQB uses rifle and pistol. Service Conditions Service Rifle competitions train for usable accuracy at lots of different distances, and is great marksmanship practice for those of us who want to keep our rifles skills sharp.
What is the Match Like?
Relays go quick. Because so many shooters can be on the line, each relay moves a lot of shooters through the match at a time. Time is not much of a factor within the match because while you have to make a shot or several shots within a time limit, there’s no extra points for finishing first. Service Conditions Rifle is first and foremost a marksmanship match. Having lots of people on the line was actually a good thing for me as a newbie to the competition, because it makes necessary strict orders that are called out on the firing line. These orders are clear and are easy to understand, and you can quickly get familiarized by watching a relay before yours. Where I shoot, there is no butts system that enables downrange scoring and moving of targets, so participants have to walk down and score their targets after firing, and all targets are static.
Equipment for Service Conditions Service Rifle
Rifle: An AR-15 is ideal, but there are other rifles you can use: SKS, SVT-40, M14, Garand, VZ58, T97, you might even see a Mosin Nagant show up to a match! If you’re just looking to shoot for fun, shoot what ya brought! Ideal rifles are accurate, reliable, and fast to reload, but if all you have is an SKS, bring it out!
Optics: I believe it’s open for civilians shooters. An optic with drop compensation will make shifting from 200 to 300 to 400 to 500 meters easier. Fixed 3x and 4x, 1-4x scopes, and red dots are popular. Big magnification optics can be a detriment when shooting from less stable stances like standing, kneeling, or sitting because the optic moves a lot.
Trigger: If you’re on the AR platform, you have lots of choice here, but keep pull weight above 2 kg to stay within regulations. There are some excellent 2 stage or single stage triggers that meet that criteria. Personally, I have an RRA 2 stage NM trigger that I got with my LPK (Lower Parts Kit) and love it. Good triggers make it easier to shoot while standing or kneeling.
Sling: A 2 point sling will make it easier to shoot standing and some prefer them for prone as well. Others just make do with longer mags.
Magazines: Pinned 30 round magazines let you monopod off them while in prone, and they also give more purchase on your knee when in the kneeling or sitting position. Since you still have to swap mags after 5 shots on some courses anyways, 10 round pistol mags and Beowolf mags don’t offer any advantage.
Ammunition: Whatever’s reliable and accurate enough. Targets are big, and most of the variability is yourself, so don’t beat yourself up if your rifle/ammo combo can’t do 1 MOA, it’ll probably be fine.
I’m Sold, What Next?
- The Service Rifle forum on CGN to find matches near you.
- Listen to Modern Rifleman Radio or back versions of Canadian Service Conditions Radio.
- Check out the DCRA’s section on Service Rifle
- Get out to a match and try it out!
I’ve made a playlist of any YouTube videos I find with Canadian Service Conditions shoots, so if you find any, let me know and I’ll add them to the playlist: