Sunday, July 7, 2013

2013 Arkansas State Ruger Rimfire Challenge Shoot Recap

"The Ruger Rimfire Challenge introduces participants to the fun and excitement of competitive shooting in a safe, low-pressure, family-friendly format. All levels of target shooters - new, novice and experienced - are welcome to compete. Each will find a challenge appropriate to his or her level of marksmanship.

The Ruger Rimfire Challenge was developed with safety in mind. Shooters are required to compete using a rifle and handgun from any manufacturer chambered in the .22 Long Rifle caliber. The targets are steel plates that are set in a course of fire that is no less than 5 plates and no more than 7 plates. The course of fire is designed to be completed by even the most inexperienced shooter using one 10-round magazine without the need to reload “on the clock.” Steel plates were chosen as the targets because they are easy to buy or build, and because this type of target provides the shooter with immediate visual and audio feedback.

A unique feature of the Ruger Rimfire Challenge is that experienced participants are encouraged to help new and novice shooters move up to the next level of proficiency by sharing their tips and shooting knowledge. Matches emphasize the friendly, supportive aspects of target shooting and competition. This low-key competition should remind participants that the shooting sports are lifetime activities that are fun and affordable for men, women and youth.

The initial investment required to participate in the Ruger Rimfire Challenge is low compared to other shooting sports. Since .22-caliber ammunition is very affordable, a whole family can shoot without breaking the bank.

All Ruger Rimfire Challenge competitions must include stages for both handgun and rifle chambered for .22 Long Rifle only. Competition is open to all safe and responsible individuals who can legally own or handle a firearm in the
jurisdiction of the competition."

I borrowed the text above from the Ruger Rimfire Challenge Official Rules book.  The pictures were taken at the most recent Arkansas State Ruger Rimfire Challenge Match.  The folks at Nighthawk Custom Training Academy and their volunteer event staff did an awesome job with the event again this year.

From my perspective, I had a really good day.  Lucas, one of the folks that read the PG&G blog, contacted me several weeks ago about the shoot and let me know he was planning to drive up from Central Arkansas to attend.  We made sure we were in the same squad and spent the day talking about guns, competition, ammunition, and a variety of other subjects.  It was great to have some diversion between trips to the firing line and I know it helped me relax and ultimately shoot better.  Lucas is a really good shooter and has invested the time to develop his skills.  Even though I tried to be competitive with him I didn't have a chance, but I still think shooting either before or after him helped me up my game a notch.  Even though we competed in different divisions, I think we were both pleased with where we ended up on the scoreboard.

The shoot organizers allowed me to set up a GoPro camera on the berm that I was able to trigger remotely during the shoot.  Here's a video of both of us shooting Stage 3.  You can really hear the difference in our speed.  I also tacked on two runs Lucas had on Stage 1.  He's a real competitor.  Fighting through a failure to fire that would rattle most people and immediately following that up with a blazing run.  I learned quite a bit from shooting with Lucas.

I also learned quite a bit from watching these two shooters.  Allie "Allie-Cat" Barrett and Dwight Stearns.  These two fierce competitors came to play and it was a real treat to watch them shoot.  Allie Barrett won both the High Lady and Open Champion awards.  Dwight finished at the top of the Limited class and was awarded the Limited Champion award.

I didn't have the camera rolling for Dwight, but I did catch Allie's runs on Stage 3 of the rifle portion of the match.  It may provide some insight into the speed some of the top level competitors achieve through dedication and practice.

This was the 3rd Annual Ruger Rimfire Challenge to be held at the Lonesome Oak Guns and Range facility in Centerton, Arkansas.  I say they get better every year and I think almost everyone that has attended the previous matches would agree.  I can't wait for next year.

Full shoot results are available on the Nighthawk Custom Training Academy website.  

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