If ever you are at an NRA National Defense Tactical Rifle Match and they ask if you want to shoot, say yes. I didn’t and I regret it. I decided that taking video and photos at the first one was more important. Bad decision. The new NDM was created by NRA’s Competitive Shooting Division, and they found the right guy for the job, former Navy SEAL Trey Tuggle. The match is a speed and accuracy event designed to test a shooter’s ability to perform drills that relate to real world defensive-shooting scenarios—and best of all, it is fun. Think of it like NRA Action pistol, but using a rifle, and the targets are fired from 7 to 500 yards in three classes. You shoot prone, kneeling or standing. You have to shoot from a barricade and—horrors—you have to shoot from your weak side, too. I was fortunate to be at Camp Perry, Ohio, on August 14 and 15 for the first National Defense Tactical Rifle Match. While limited to just a rifle match at this point, this is NRA’s first match that is similar to the exciting 3-gun gaining so much attention around the country.
Electronic Target Response targets were used at this one, but the match’s 164-round course of fire can be shot at the NRA NDM and D-1 targets at just about any gun club with a 100-yard range. I’ll warn you, though, you’ll want to shoot it.
The stage is printed out in a booklet in front of you and it’s kind of like an evil version of the old electronic game “Simon.” Two shots blue prone, kneeling two green, two red standing, two yellow kneeling again and now back to prone. Wait, was I supposed to shoot green first? There are no alibis; you mess up and you lose time—and likely the match. And you must keep your rifle on you at all times. When not shooting, you have to have open bolt indicator, but literally, you live with your rifle the whole match.
The inaugural event was invitation-only, and about 60 competitors turned up with everything from FN SCARs to Mini-14s—but AR-based rifles dominated—and to put it simply, the shooters were challenged and had a blast. Top-level competitors, active-duty military personnel and even former Rifleman staff Chad Adams—now the host of "3-Gun Nation"—came and even he got out of sequence.