Marine Shoots Perfect Score at National Trophy Rifle Team Match Competition

Sgt. Antonio DiConza of the U.S. Marine Corps broke a 31-year record during the National Trophy Team Match to become the High Individual of the event. (Photo: CMP)

Sgt. Antonio DiConza of the U.S. Marine Corps broke a 31-year record during the National Trophy Team Match to become the High Individual of the event. (Photo: CMP)

Marine Sgt. Antonio DiConza, 25, of the U.S. Marine Corps and Fredericksburg, VA, shot a perfect score at the most recent National Trophy Rifle Team Match competition, breaking a 31-year-old individual record.

DiConza hit the ten-point center ring on each of his 50 shots, scoring a perfect 500-15x and breaking the previous record of 499-28x, which was shot by SSG Donald Manning in 1985.

“It’s like winning the lotto, even though the lotto is luck and this takes a bit of skill,” he told the Civilian Marksmanship Program, which hosted the competition. “But it’s the same feeling. I can’t believe it.”

For those unfamiliar with the scoring rules, the National Trophy Rifle Team Match course consists of 50 shots broken down into four stages:

  • Stage One: Competitors have 10 minutes to shoot 10 shots from 200 yards away in the standing position.
  • Stage Two: Competitors have 60 seconds to shoot 10 shots from 200 yards away in the sitting or kneeling from standing position.
  • Stage Three: Competitors have 70 seconds to shoot 10 shots from 300 yards away in the prone from standing position.
  • Stage Four: Competitors have 20 minutes to shoot 20 shots from 600 yards away in the prone position.
CMP-Target

Here’s one of the paper targets. Source: 2016 CMP Competition Rules for Service Rifle and Pistol. (Photo: CMP Competition Rule Book)

After shooting a perfect score in the first three stages, DiConza nearly lost his focus during the final slow-fire, long-range stage.

“My nerves started getting to me. But I just stayed calm – and in those last two shots, I was like, ‘Is this going to make me or break me?’ So I shot one more shot, and the last shot, I was shaking,” he explained. “I told myself, ‘You know, I just shot 19 10’s and a few x’s – just shoot another 10. It’s not that hard. Relax.’”

DiConza was able to relax, and his last shot was a record breaking 10-point strike.

“I was really ecstatic. It was the proudest moment of my life,” he said. “Well, other than my little girl.”

After the match, DiConza was presented with the Pershing Trophy, the award given to the highest scoring competitor at the NTT Match.

Despite his stellar performance, DiConza’s team— USMC Altendorf—did not manage to win the competition. That award went to Army Reserve Anderson, which won the overall match by shooting a 2957-111x. This score was only one point under the decade-old Overall National Record.

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • LAMan August 12, 2016, 8:01 pm

    Well done, SGT DiConza!!
    And GA, please give us some info on rifle, equipment, ammo, and target sizes.
    Tks,
    DMM

  • NavyVet66 August 12, 2016, 10:23 am

    Good shooting Marine! Semper Fi.

  • Dave August 12, 2016, 9:47 am

    What rifle was he using and what loads was he shooting? Some incredible shooting, congratulations.

  • MOS8541 August 12, 2016, 4:13 am

    WONDERFUL! reminds me of my pre sniper school days in DC. In the 80s we used to shoot interservice matches at Ft Meade. They followed the Military protocol with 200,300, and 500 meters, multi position. It included FBI, the OGA , and if I recall DC P.D. swat. I then went to sniper school in 1986, having Carlos Hathcock as a guest instructor while he was still in. OK health. An amazing man, who inspired us all in the then TINY sniper community, including The Legend.

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