While I was recently in Alabama visiting Creedmoor Sports, I had the opportunity to visit the most AMAZING range facility I’ve ever seen: The CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park. The only think I can liken this to is visiting the “Disneyland of Shooting”!
In this story I’ll give you a brief tour of the park (lots more for me to see, we only had one day), do some shooting, and show you the collection of military rifles (M1 Garand and more) that you can actually buy. Wow- I can’t wait until my next visit!
About the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP)
I was aware of the CMP prior to visiting Talladega, but had no idea how much they do, and the facilities they have!
The Civilian Marksmanship Program is a national organization dedicated to training and educating U. S. citizens in responsible uses of firearms and air guns through gun safety training, marksmanship training and competitions. The CMP is a federally chartered 501(c)(3) corporation that places its highest priority on serving youth through gun safety and marksmanship activities that encourage personal growth and build life skills.
The CMP Mission
The federal law enacted in 1996 (Title 36 U. S. Code, 40701-40733) that created the Corporation for the Promotion of Rifle Practice and Firearms Safety, Inc. (CPRPFS, the formal legal name of the CMP) mandates these key “functions for the corporation:
- To instruct citizens of the United States in marksmanship;
- To promote practice and safety in the use of firearms;
- To conduct competitions in the use of firearms and to award trophies, prizes, badges, and other insignia to competitors.
The law specifically states: In carrying out the Civilian Marksmanship Program, the corporation shall give priority to activities that benefit firearms safety, training, and competition for youth and that reach as many youth participants as possible.
CMP Talladega: Prepare to be AMAZED
Visiting the CMP Talladega range will make a lasting impression on you if you are a shooting enthusiast. The main building (center of picture above) has everything from conference rooms, to a CMP store where you can buy your very own vintage military rifle, with the M1 Garand being the most popular.
This is where we started our tour, and following that, it was on to visiting some of the on-site shooting ranges.
Here’s a map from thecmp.org that shows the many ranges available at this facility:
We took a driving tour of the ranges, but only had time to shoot at two of them, “Rifle Range #1”, and the “Unknown Distance Range”. This was my first opportunity to try Service Rifle shooting, and what fun that was! Brent Books from Creedmoor Sports showed me the ropes, and I tried both an AR-15 and an M1 Garand off-hand at 200 yards. This involved trying a Creedmoor Sports shooting coat for the first time- WOW, what a difference the right gear makes!
The first two shots landed in the 10-ring and in the x-ring about 1″ apart. I felt good at that point, before things *fell apart* :). Still, I was happy with how I shot the first time, and I learned a *lot* from Brent. I definitely want to do more of this type of shooting.
The CMP Pro Shop
This tour just kept getting better- with the visit to the CMP Pro shop, I was totally amazed at the collection of rare and vintage military rifles they have on display, and for purchase.
Here’s the collection of rifles we looked at (click links below for more information, you can buy via the website!)
I had a great time at CMP Talladega– and, however, I’d really like to go back and shoot shotgun, pistol, and more rifle. I guess another trip is in order! Many thanks to Creedmoor Sports for making this trip possible! If you are in the area, drop by and check out this awesome shooting facility.
Don’t miss out on Ultimate Reloader updates, make sure you’re subscribed!