The Oklahoma City Gun Club will be the site of a national shooting match of vintage guns.
For the third consecutive year, the Civilian Marksmanship Program is holding “The Oklahoma Games” this week at the gun club north of Arcadia.
Some of the shooting contests will feature modern weapons, but most involve rifles and pistols made before 1952, said Dan Arnold of the Oklahoma City Gun Club.
“It gives everybody the opportunity to bring something out (to the gun range) that has been in the closet a long time,” Arnold said.
Many of the participants are collectors of the vintage firearms, Arnold said. The CMP games are an opportunity for collectors to shoot the guns in competition matches, he said.
“The games kind of have a following of their own,’’ he said. “Shooting the older stuff is just fun for me, but there are some people who take it very seriously.”
The CMP is a U.S. government-chartered program that promotes firearm safety and marksmanship.
It was created by Congress in 1903 so civilians could learn and practice marksmanship skills, just in case they would be called into military service. Over the years the focus of the program shifted to youth development.
The CMP was administered by the U.S. Army until 1996, when it became a tax-exempt, non-profit corporation chartered by Congress, but not officially an agency of the U.S. government. It has two main offices, one in Ohio and another in Alabama.
In addition to holding training clinics, the CMP sponsors several national shooting matches each year, like The Oklahoma Games this week at the Oklahoma City Gun Club.
The event has drawn competitors from both coasts the past two years, Arnold said.
The shooting matches begin Thursday and run through Sunday. For more information on the CMP and its games and events, visit www.thecmp.org.