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Varsity Rifle
Division NCAA Division III
Conference Mid-Atlantic Rifle Conference (MAC)
Head Coach TBA
Home Venue duPont Athletic Center
Nickname Engineers
Mascot Beaver
Colors Cardinal red and silver gray

The Rifle program is an integral part of MIT culture and activities, dating back to the founding years of MIT. In MIT's "First Annual Catalogue of the Officers and Students" a section on "Military Tactics" stated that all students would be trained and educated in the use of small-arms. In 1899, Class Rifle teams were organized, laying the path towards MIT's participation in intercollegiate rifle competition. Today's Varsity Rifle program is one of MIT's two co-ed varsity teams and is a precision shooting team, shooting both air and .22 rifles.


William Barton Rogers founded MIT with the purpose of educating students in practical arts and sciences, modeling the sciences program after West Point, the first engineering program in the United States. Unlike West Point, a federally regulated institution, MIT was able to change admissions criteria. However, West Point's influence was great with the "First Annual Catalogue of the Officers and Students" stating in "Military Tactics" that all students would be trained and educated in the use of small-arms.

In 1899, the first Inter-Class Rifle competitions were held Walnut Hill Range in Woburn, MA. There were also efforts to hold matches against the Harvard Rifle and Pistol Club. With the support of the newly founded National Rifle Association (NRA), MIT's Rifle Club gained momentum and held regular matches, starting in 1907. Though the Rifle Club was largely funded by the National Rifle Reserve, a federal program to train young men in marksmanship and general shooting skill in preparation for war, the club competed against such schools as Columbia University and the University of California.

On March 8, 1916 the MIT Rifle Team was recognized as an official sport of MIT. In November of 1917 the MIT Walker Memorial Range was opened and the team held practice from 4-6. The team used Krag magazine carbines and Springfield service rifles, similar to rifles used in combat at the time. After the Great War draft May 18, 1917, MIT became the only school with access to Sprinfield rifles. With insufficient resources and equipment at other college programs due to the war effort, MIT was unable to compete with other schools but continuted to compete in NRA hosted matches.

Read a more thorough description of the origins of the rifle program from a former Rifle Team member, Justine Li '10.

The Team

The MIT Varsity Rifle Team is a co-ed NCAA team that competes in the Mid-Atlantic Rifle Conference. Practice is held in the duPont Rifle Range during the 5-7pm Institute mandated sports and activities period. A winter sport, competitions and practice begain in September and end in February or March at the Championships. MIT also hosts the annual Bean Pot Invitational at the end of January.

Five shooters on the team compete in two courses of fire: Smallbore Half Course Free Rifle Three Position (60 shots) and Air Rifle (60 shots). The smallbore three positions consist of prone, kneeling, and standing shot at 50 ft while air rifle is only shot at 10 meters from the standing position. Team members use standard precision shooting equipment regulated by NCAA rules: boots, pants, jackets, sling, glove, etc. The MIT Rifle program provides equipment to all shooters making it easy for new shooters to join the team.

Learn more about the team here.