National Matches

Springfield Armory National Match firearms
CASE 52

Springfield Armory NHS, US NPS

Competition Weapons

In 1903 an Army board recommended the National Match competitions in order to promote competitive rifle shooting among Army, National Guard, and civilian marksmen. The Matches have provided a setting for the exchange of ideas and techniques to improve marksmanship and equipment of the U.S. armed services. Initially limited to service rifles and carbines – at that time the Krags – the competition has since included the firearms displayed here. In addition, the National Match “course of fire” has come to be employed by shooting clubs throughout the United States.

 
M1898 Krag-Jorgensen
Catalog# SPAR 1616

Springfield Armory NHS, US NPS

M1898 Krag

The first weapon used at the National Matches in 1903 was the M1898 standard issue Krag-Jorgensen. Even with the adoption of the M1903 Springfield, many competitors preferred the Krag. The Krag is still considered the smoothest bolt action weapon ever developed and remains popular with hunters and sportsmen.

 
Springfield M1903A1 NM
Catalog# SPAR 1610

Springfield Armory NHS, US NPS

M1903A1 NM

Springfield Armory began production of specially made National Match rifles, the M1903 NM, in 1921. Prior to that date, standard 1903 service rifles were made during between 1928 and 1940. This example is one of the earlier ones, modified with the addition of a “C” type, or pistol grip, stock.

 
M1922 .22 cal.
Catalog# SPAR 1711

Springfield Armory NHS, US NPS

M1922M1 .22 Caliber

The Ordnance Department, together with the National Rifle Association, developed a series of .22 caliber rifles to stimulate training with the bolt action service rifle in rifle clubs, schools, and colleges.
 
M1 Garand rifle
Catalog# SPAR 1609

Springfield Armory NHS, US NPS

M1 "GARAND" NM

In March 1953, Springfield Armory was directed by the Chief of Ordnance to furnish 800 .30 caliber M1 rifles for use at the National Matches. Because production standards for service rifles were so high only minor gunsmithing was needed to obtain National Match quality. By 1959 production of new M1 rifles was phased out and all subsequent M1 NMs were made by rebuilding existing rifles or assembled from supplies of parts on hand.

 
M14 NM
Catalog# SPAR 1611

Springfield Armory NHS, US NPS

M14 NM Rifle

The M14 National Match rifle is the same basic design and operation as the standard issue M14 rifle, except for the elimination of automatic fire capability. Each M14 NM rifle is required to fire 50 match rounds without a malfunction during targeting and accuracy tests. The extreme spread of these groups cannot exceed 3.5 inches at 100 yards.

 
M1911A1 NM
Catalog# SPAR 1323

Springfield Armory NHS, US NPS

M1911A1 NM

The requirement for a National Match pistol was established in 1954. At a meeting held at the Springfield Armory, an engineering project was begun for rebuilding standard issue M1911A1 pistols to superior accuracy and targeting requirements for National Match competition. This specimen was manufactured at Remington Rand and rebuilt at the Armory to meet National Match specifications.

Last updated: February 26, 2015

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Springfield Armory National Historic Site
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