Sunday, September 14, 2008

There's a first time for everything...

...and yesterday was my very first rifle match... ever!
It was a .22LR precision/tactical rifle match and 16 guys showed up for it - $25 a head.
I showed up with my Savage boltie, decked out with a wee Barska 3-9x32 scope and a bipod. My friend and I got there early and took a few minutes siting our rifles in @ 25, 50, 75 and 100 yards. Once the rest of the guys showed up, my little $120 Savage was looking pretty outmatched by all the custom 10/22s, Anschutz rifles and what-have-you on the rack. It was pretty intimidating. I turned to my friend and said "OK, I guess I just have to beat you" - he had brought a rig not much more decked out than mine - tube fed, no less...
The competition was in 9 stages, several prone at varying ranges - 75 yards, 100, 150 and one at a "mystery range" which some dude measured with his laser rangefinder at about 115 yards. The 4" target at 150 yards was so small I couldn't make out the numbers on them, and had to ask my friend which one was mine...
We then had a stage where you put your rifle in the rangemaster's shed and stepped back about 10 yards. You had 60 seconds to dash in, load 3 rounds into your rifle and aim out the window at a 4" steel plate at 115 yards. First shot was worth 100pts, 2nd was 50 and the third was 25. I nailed it on my third shot, which I think was a complete fluke. That was a damn small target.
Next up was "the jungle", 5 posts setup along a dirt path with clay pigeons set up on them at varying ranges. We had 7 shots to take them down. A hit was not enough - you had to knock them off the posts. I got 4 with 6 and then when I lined up on number 5, my last round jammed in my action. The rangemaster called time as I was frantically trying to get it out...
The last few stages were prone at 25 yards (hit the fuse on the dynamite - a line about 1/4" wide), 50 yards (hit the bad guy behind the hostage - maybe 1X1.5") and then hit a 4" target with 5 rounds off hand.
At the end of the day, I came out in 11th place out of 16 - and I was stoked! I fully expected to come last, given my inexperience and lack of practice with this rifle/scope combo (about an hour at dusk on Wednesday) - my buddy came in at 9th place - he's very good at shooting offhand - that's pretty much the only way he shoots.
I had an excellent time, it was a nice group of guys and I'll definitely do it again - though next time I'll remember to bring a sling to steady myself with the offhand shooting. I'll need a fair bit more practice too I think. I'll probably get a better scope - one that I can at least see my targets with!
Oh yeah, my friend and I were using bulk ammo, too...
Savage .22LR boltie rifle - $120
Barska 3-9x32 scope - $40
Walmart 9-13 inch adjustable bipod - $40

Not coming in last - priceless!

Good times...

3 comments:

DirtCrashr said...

Offhand is the hardest, and the best practice. Congrats on having fun!

phlegmfatale said...

Well-done, you! I came in 10th of 13 in my first steel-plate match, and I was thrilled.

mamirhi said...

I love all the new words I'm learning already! You're so smart!! =0)