Smallbore rifle competition is also called rim fire as the round used is the .22 long Rifle (.22LR).
There are many disciplines in smallbore shooting, including those shot in the Olympics. In the past, many smallbore competitors started out in high school. Yes, schools had shooting teams! Many a youth who started there wound up in international competition and Olympic shooting. With today’s anti-gun ideas floating around, very few schools have shooting programs; it is found mostly in private schools. Boy Scouts of America has shooting programs. Here is a link to their web page: Boy Scouts of America Shooting Sports Program.
USA Shooting is an organization that prepares young shooters to compete in events including the USA Olympic Team. Here ia a link to their web site USA Shooting.
Another good source of information is here at SmallBoreRifle.com.
To get started in smallbore, you do not need to buy the most expensive equipment. There are some good rifles available at reasonable prices such as the Savage Mark 1 FVT, a single shot .22 LR rifle with target peep sights. A shooting mat can be made from a piece of carpet remnant and foam sleeping bag pad, nylon slings are OK to start, and other accessories can be purchased as the need arises.
Smallbore is a good place for kids to learn the basics of shooting, and you never know where or when the next Olympic champion will be found!
Here are some of the disciplines found in smallbore:
PRONE – 50 yard or 50 meter
4 POSITION – Standing, Prone, Kneeling, Sitting. Indoor or Outdoor. Junior 50 feet; otherwise 75 feet and 50 yard.
3 POSITION – Standing, Prone, Kneeling
BENCHREST – 50 yard and 100 yard
.22 F class – fired at 100 or 200 yards on reduced size targets that simulate 800-1000 yards
There are many other events that are done at club level and don’t require anything other than a sporting rifle.
Here is an event that is spreading all over the county and is open to everyone, young and old. It is called the Appleseed Project:
The Appleseed Project is run by the Revolutionary War Veterans Association (RWVA). It is a history lesson on the battles of Lexington and Concord complimented by a marksmanship clinic where shooters can earn the “Rifleman” badge. It is a two-day event, however shooters can go to only one day if they desire.
Rifles used are usually .22 LR caliber, however centerfire can be used.
The Ruger 10/22 can be customized into the “Liberty Training Rifle” which is designed for this event, however any rifle is OK.
Events are held in most states. The annual schedule is on the Appleseed web site. More locations are being added all the time, so there will probably be one near you. You can sign up on-line or by mail.
Centerfire rifle shooting has many disciplines, from simple sporting target events to service rifle to Olympic events.
There are many sports that use simple equipment – just a standard hunting rifle. Then, there are those that require speciality rifles that are custom built for a particular use. The NRA has some good information on their web site. Here is a link to a web site that has a lot of good information on many types of centerfire shooting sports – AccurateShooter.com
Some events are long range, others can be fired at distances as close as 100 yards. Here are a few of the popular events:
BENCHREST – This usually requires a custom rifle, but one can always start with a Remington 700 varmint or any other heavy barreled tactical rifle. Savage makes some benchrest guns that are not to expensive. Check them out at the Savage web site. Here is a link to a web site that has a lot of good information on benchrest – 6mmBR.com
PRONE – Again,the custom rifle is used at the higher level of competition, but anything can be used at club level.
F-CLASS – This is an event that is fired at 1000 yards. The rifles can be custom or stock – Savage has some very good F-Class guns which have been used by the US Team to win many matched, including International matches. Here is a link to the Official US F Class Team. The US team shot in an International match at the famos Bisley Range in England and took home many medals. Many of the team members used stock Savage F-TR (F Class Target Rifle) rifles. The F Class rifles are very heavy, weighing in at 15-17 pounds. They usually have barrels of 30 to32 inches – barrels alone weight 6-7 pounds.
CMP – This event uses the M-1 Garand and is held at CMP (Civilian Marksmanship Program) affiliated clubs.
SERVICE RIFLE – There are many variations here from using vintage military rifles to the more modern AR platform rifles.
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