Practical Rifle or IPSC-rifle has not been around as long as big brother IPSC – Pistol, but still IPSC rifle has had a growing interest among IPSC shooters, especially here in Norway. Many IPSC pistoleros also shoot rifle and vice versa.

 

Some of the veterans of the IPSC rifle told me that it was actually our friends in the east, the Fins that pioneered the IPSC rifleshooting in Scandinavia in the beginning of the 80’s.

Here in Norway it started in a small scale in the mid 80’s and the first official Norwegian Championship was held in 1987.

 

What about the encyclopaedia of IPSC rifle in Norway? Has it developed any or is it still as in the beginning? Well, it depends who we ask I guess.

 Even though the weapons are basically the same as when it all started in the 80’s. Still AR15’s, AUG’s, G3’s, FAL’s, M14’s, SIG550’s etc…

 Nothing new really. Almost like IPSC pistol in a way… same old guns as 1911’s and CZ /clones…

 

But one thing has changed a lot, and that is the sighting-system used by the shooters. Through the years we have seen winners of the “NM” used everything from iron-sights to dual scope/dot-sights.

 

Let’s start with the first Norwegian IPSC Championship (“NM” in Norwegian) in 1987 and go all the way up to present day and take a closer look at the guns/gear used by the champions.

 

 

1987 Rolf Simensen.

 

Rifle:               Armalite AR-10

Calibre:           7,62X51

Barrel:            Standard

Optic: No

Comp:             No

Trigger:          Unknown

Bipod:             No

Ammo:            Unknown

 

 

ArmaLite AR-10,.308Win.

 

 

Rolf Simensen was the first to win the first official Norwegian IPSC- rifle Championship. He used a standard AR-10, calibre .308, actually a rare rifle in Norway.

 

Rolf is also the only shooter who has ever managed to win NM with a “major” calibre rifle… In fact back then, most shooters used AG3’s, G3’s, FAL’s, M-14’s and major calibre rifles because of the availability and price of .308 ammo.

At that time .223 ammo was harder to get and pretty expensive compared to these days.

 

 

 

Rolf and his Armalite AR-10.

 

1988 Folke Myrvang.

 

Rifle:               Ruger Mini-14 (Stainless)

Caliber:           .223

Barrel:            Standard 18,5”

Optic:              2-10X (cheap unknown brand)

Comp:             No

Trigger:          Standard Ruger.

Bipod:             No

Ammo:            Fabric, 55 grains, unknown brand.

 

Folke won the NM in 1988 with a standard Ruger Mini-14. Today this seems very strange, but according to Folke most shooters quickly found that a smaller calibre like 223 was the way to go in IPSC-rifle, even if Rolf had won the NM-87 with a major calibre rifle.

 

Mini-14 was also a non-expensive ticket into the 223 world.

 

 

1989 Sverre Idland.

 

Rifle:               Colt AR-15A2

Caliber:           .223

Barrel:            HBAR, 20”

Optic:              No

Comp:             Standard A2 muzzle brake

Trigger:          Standard Colt

Bipod:             No

Ammo:            Fabric, 55 grains, unknown brand.

 

AR-15A2, calibre 223 Rem.

 

In 1989 Sverre Idland won the NM with a Colt AR-15A2 rifle. The previous winner (Folke) of last years NM-88 used a scope on his rifle. This didn’t seem to worry Sverre who chose to compete with a no frills iron-sighted AR-15.

 

 

1990 Sverre Idland.

 

Rifle:               Colt AR-15A2

Caliber:           .223

Barrel:            HBAR, 20”

Optic:              Falcon red dot.

Comp:             Standard A2 muzzlebrake

Trigger:          Standard Colt

Bipod:             No

Ammo:            Fabric, 55 grains, unknown brand.

 

Sverre won again in 1990. He used the same set-up as the year before except for one thing. The rifle now had an Israeli Falcon red-dot sight. This set-up and Sverre behind the trigger seemed to a tuff nail to beat in the coming years.

 

 

Falcon red dot-sight.

 

 

 

1991 Sverre Idland.

 

Rifle:               Colt AR-15A2

Caliber:           .223

Barrel:            HBAR, 20”

Optic:              Falcon reddot

Comp:             Standard A2 muzzlebrake

Trigger:          Standard Colt

Bipod:             No

Ammo:            Fabric, 55 grains, unknown brand.

 

 

 

1992 Sverre Idland.

 

Rifle:               Colt AR-15A2

Caliber:           .223

Barrel:            HBAR, 20”

Optic:              Falcon reddot

Comp:             Standard A2 muzzle brake

Trigger:          Standard Colt

Bipod:             No

Ammo:            Fabric, 55 grains, unknown brand.

 

 

 

 

Sverre Idland goes for his rifle.

 

 

1993 Sverre Idland.

 

Rifle:               Colt AR-15A2

Caliber:           .223

Barrel:            HBAR, 20”

Optic:              Falcon reddot

Comp:             Standard A2 muzzlebrake

Trigger:          Standard Colt

Bipod:             No

Ammo:            Fabric, 55 grains, unknown brand.

 

Sverre won again in 1993. His 5th championship in a row!!! Since 1990 he used the same set-up, standard Colt AR-15A2 with Falcon reddot.

 

 

1994 Bengt Larsson.

 

Rifle:               Colt AR-15A2

Caliber:           .223

Barrel:            HBAR, 16”

Optic:              Scope 1-4 (S&B)

Comp:             Unknown.

Trigger:          Unknown.

Bipod:             Unknown

Ammo:            Unknown.

 

Bengt had been one of the top rifleshooters in Norway for many years. He often managed to place top 3 at previous Norwegian Championships, and finally in 1994 he made it on top.

 

 

1995 Sverre Idland.

 

Rifle:               Colt AR-15A2

Caliber:           .223

Barrel:            HBAR, 20”

Optic:              Falcon reddot

Comp:             Standard A2 muzzlebrake

Trigger:          Standard Colt

Bipod:             No

Ammo:            Fabric, 55 grains, unknown brand.

 

Sverre Idland and his Colt with Falconsight.

  

1996 Sverre Idland.

 

Rifle:               Colt AR-15A2

Caliber:           .223

Barrel:            HBAR, 20”

Optic:              Falcon reddot

Comp:             Standard A2 muzzlebrake

Trigger:          Standard Colt

Bipod:             No

Ammo:            Fabric, 55 grains, unknown brand.

 

Sverre took his 7th championship in 1996. Nobody has ever won NM more than him. This was his last open-class “NM” victory so far. As most of you know Sverre is still in the game, but now as a top semi-auto standard shooter with several NM victories in this new division.

 

  

1997 Odd Strengenes.

 

Rifle:               Bushmaster XM-15, (Gunsmoke  Enterprises Custom)

Caliber:           .223

Barrel:            HBAR, 16”

Optic:              Aimpoint 5000X2

Comp:             Bushmaster AK-74style comp.

Trigger:          JP.

Bipod:             Harris.

Ammo:            Fabric, Hirtenberger 62grains

 

I shot my first IPSC-rifle competition at the NM-96. I managed to place top 10 and was very happy with that. That also inspired me to do much better at the NM-97. I therefore looked closely at what the previous winners had used. Sverre was dominating the sport with his 20” Colt/Falcon-sight and I was very close to get a similar setup. 

 

My rifle came out a little different than Sverre’s set-up. I chose a shorter barrel because it felt handier and more manoeuvrable on field courses, I chose 2X power on my Aimpoint because my eyes didn’t see too well on longer ranges and I needed some magnification.

I also had a freefloat handguard, bipod, compensator and match-trigger.

 

 

Odd’s rifle set-up for NM-97.

 

1998 Odd Strengenes.

 

Rifle:               Bushmaster XM-15, (Gunsmoke  Enterprises Custom)

Caliber:           .223

Barrel:            HBAR, 16”

Optic:              Aimpoint 5000X2

Comp:             Bushmaster AK-74 style comp.

Trigger:          JP.

Bipod:             Harris.

Ammo:            Fabric, Hirtenberger 62grains

 

In  NM-98 I used the same set-up as the year before.

 

 

 

Odd  shooting his Bushmaster at NM-1998.

 

 

1999 – Flemming M Pedersen.

 

Rifle:               Bushmaster XM-15

Caliber:           .223

Barrel:            HBAR, 20”

Optic:              Zeiss Varipoint 1-4X

Comp:             JP Recoil Eliminator.

Trigger:          JP.

Bipod:             No bipod.

Ammo:            Fabric, American Eagle (Federal) 55grains

 

NM-99 was won by world-class IPSC pistol-shooter Flemming M. Pedersen. He was a newcomer to the IPSC riflesport, starting up in the late 90’s, but he soon found out what the game was all about.

 

Flemming’s rifle set-up was again a little different from previous champions. He used the then new Zeiss 1-4X Varipoint scope. With this scope he got the best of two worlds, speed of a dotsight and accuracy of the riflescope.

Many of the top shooters today use this scope, as a matter of fact the Zeiss Varidot 1-4X has been the choice of NM-champions since 1999…

 

  

 

Flemming shooting his Bushmaster at NM-1999.

 

Flemming and his Bushmaster.

 

 

2000 – Flemming M Pedersen.

 

Rifle:               Bushmaster XM-15

Caliber:           .223

Barrel:            HBAR, 20”

Optic:              Zeiss Varipoint 1-4X

Comp:             JP Recoil Eliminator.

Trigger:          JP.

Bipod:             No bipod.

Ammo:            Reload: Winchester

55 grains bulk/26, 0 grains N-140.

 

 

Flemming won NM-2000 for the 2nd time using the same rifle set-up as the year before.

Flemming – NM 2000 at Steinsjøen.

 

2001 – Even Skaarer.

 

Rifle:               DPMS A-15

Caliber:           .223

Barrel:            HBAR, 20”

Optic:              Zeiss Varipoint 1-4X

Comp:             JP Recoil Eleminator.

Trigger:          JP.

Bipod:             Harris bipod.

Ammo:            Reload/69grains Sierra bullet.

Even shooting stage 12 at NM/Nordic-rifle, Hell 2001.

 

 

Even Skaarer won his first Norwegian Championship in 2001. He did it using a DPMS A-15 and Zeiss Varipoint scope. Almost same setup as Flemming who won the year before, except for a bipod and heavy 69 grain match bullets.

  

 

2002 – Even Skaarer

 

Rifle:               DPMS A-15

Caliber:           .223

Barrel:            HBAR, 20”

Optic:              Zeiss Varipoint 1-4X

Comp:             JP Recoil Eliminator.

Trigger:          JP.

Bipod:             Harris bipod.

Ammo:            Reload/69grains Sierra and military Lake City M193/55grains.

                        (Even used 69grains ammo on two stages where range was over 150 meters.

On short range stages he used M193/55 grains ammo).

 

 

Even won again in 2002 with basically the same setup as the year before. Only different this time was the use of heavy match bullets on the stages with longer range and light bullets on the stages with shorter range.

 

 

2003 – Hans Roger Loe.

 

Rifle:               DPMS A-15

Caliber:           .223

Barrel:            Fluted Bullbarrel, 20”

Optic:              Zeiss Varipoint 1-4X

Comp:             JP Recoil Eleminator.

Trigger:          JP.

Bipod:             Harris bipod.

Ammo:            Sellior & Bellot 55grains

 

 

In 2003 another top shooter from IPSC pistol grabbed the title. This time it was Hans Roger Loe. Just like Flemming Hans Roger was a long time pistolshooter who found IPSC rifle fascinating. And being no stranger to the game he also quickly found out what it was all about.

 

When looking at the results list from 1999 to present, you will see that most shooters at top 10 ranking are also pistol-shooters. No wonder.

Pistol shooters have more experience from the tactical-side in IPSC than rifle shooters. There are a lot more pistol-matches than rifle matches so that obvious helps a lot in figuring out how to shoot stages and win matches.

  

 

 

Hans Roger with his DPMS A-15 Panter Bull

 

 

2004 – Even Skaarer

 

Rifle:               DPMS /Bushmaster (DPMS lower/Bushmaster upper)

Caliber:           .223

Barrel:            Bushmaster HBAR, 16”

Optic:              Zeiss Varipoint 1-4X

Comp:             JP Recoil Eliminator.

Trigger:          JP.

Bipod:             Harris bipod.

Ammo:            Reload/69grains Sierra.

 

 

Even got back the title in 2004.  His 3rd this time. After having major gas-problems with his rifle in the 2003 NM, he now used a borrowed Bushmaster 16” HBAR upper and showed that he was still a big player in the IPSC rifle-game.

 

 

Even shooting 16” Bushmaster upper and DPMS A-15 lower.

  

 

Even shooting his DPMS rifle with dual Zeiss optics.

 

 

2005 – Even Skaarer

 

Rifle:               DPMS A-15

Caliber:           .223

Barrel:            DPMS HBAR, 20”

Optic:              Zeiss Varipoint 1-4X and Zeiss reddot

Comp:             JP Recoil Eliminator.

Trigger:          JP.

Bipod:             Harris bipod.

Ammo:            Reload/69grains Sierra.

 

 In 2005 Even got his 4th title. His DPMS 20”rifle was fixed and without problems. And again the rifle set-up was a little different from previous years.

For the first time somebody won with a dual-optic sight set-up. The dual sighting system was not new in IPSC rifle, in fact some Americans had used this system even back in the 90’s, and other good Norwegian rifle shooters like Frank Sandås and Steinar Haugli had used it for years.

 

 

Even has won the Norwegian Championship 4 times. Nobody except

                   for Sverre Idland got more wins.

 

 Since 1989 to present (2005) “minor” calibre AR-15 style rifles have been the ticket to success for Norwegian IPSC rifle shooters. But there have also been shooters that have been close to winning the title with “major” calibre rifles.

Steinar Haugli and Geir Wollman are among the best known this last decade.

 

Steinar Haugli shot and still shoots a highly modified Kongsberg G3 rifle. Geir Wollman has been shooting a Stoner SR-25 in .308W in many championships.

 

 

Steinar at the Nordic Rifle Championship 2005.

 

Geir with his SR25 – NM 1997.

 

Personally I think it’s just a matter of time before somebody makes it with a “major” calibre rifle.

But for the time being it’s an AR15 with JP compensator and Zeiss Varidot 1-4X scope that is the best ticket to win.

 

D.V.C

 

Odd Strengenes

 

 

Norwegian IPSC rifle champions – 1987 to 2005.

 

               

Semi-auto open division.

 

·        1987 Rolf Simensen -  AR10

·        1988 Folke Myrvang - Ruger Mini-14

·        1989 Sverre Idland – Colt AR15

·        1990 Sverre Idland – Colt AR15

·        1991 Sverre Idland – Colt AR15

·        1992 Sverre Idland – Colt AR15

·        1993 Sverre Idland – Colt AR15

·        1994 Bengt Larsson – Colt AR15

·        1995 Sverre Idland – Colt AR15

·        1996 Sverre Idland – Colt AR15

·        1997 Odd Strengenes – Bushmaster XM15

·        1998 Odd Strengenes – Bushmaster XM15

·        1999 Flemming M Pedersen – Bushmaster XM15

·        2000 Flemming M Pedersen – Bushmaster XM15

·        2001 Even Skaarer – DPMS A-15

·        2002 Even Skaarer – DPMS A-15

·        2003 Hans Roger Loe – DPMS A-15

·        2004 Even Skaarer – Bushmaster/DPMS

·        2005 Even Skaarer – DPMS A-15