BarryinIN Posted July 12, 2020 Report Share Posted July 12, 2020 My attention wanders like that of a coffee-guzzling squirrel. My latest interest is shooting in Long Range .22 Rifle matches. I'm sure everyone has a different idea of what "long range" is with a .22, but at this club it's 75 to 240 yards. Basically it's like silhouette shooting, but at extended ranges and shot from prone with bipods. Targets are typical steel animal silhouettes plus a few rectangles and even some bolt heads thrown in. They have two classes, Standard and Master. The main difference is the distance shot. You have to shoot in Standard until you clear 75% hits in two matches. Usually, Standard shoots at 75, 110, and 165 yards. Master shoots at 165, 200, and 240 yards, the max available there. You can use a bipod, but no rear bag. You can also rest your forend on a backpack to replicate hunting situations, but no front sandbags. A friend took about two seconds to think of putting a sandbag rest in a backpack, the weasel. If you claim decrepitness, you can shoot from a bench. I should, but have resisted. Shooters are paired up, so that whichever one is not shooting can spot and keep score for the shooter. Because it would be too easy to shoot that far with a .22, they add to the difficulty with the shooting order. They have three basic courses of fire, and they rotate through them from match to match. At my first one, they shot the middle one as far as difficulty goes. This may get confusing on paper, but here is how that went. You draw a random scoresheet from a stack, and it has your shooting order. Three 20-target stages. Five minutes per stage. My order? Five at 110 yards, then five at 165, five at 75 yards, then back to 110 for the last five. That's my first twenty targets. 110/165/75/110 Some back and forth there, you see? Break to paint targets and switch places with your partner. After his turn, here is what I had for my second stage of twenty: Five targets at 75, five at 110, five at 165, then back to 75 again. 75/110/165/75 Break, switch shooters, they shoot that stage, then it's time for my last stage. That was five at 165, five at 75, five at 110, and 165 again. 165/75/110/165 So you shoot each distance four times in those three stages. Twenty shots total at each distance for 60 shots overall for the match. Like in silhouette, targets are shot in order left to right, one shot each, a point for a hit and nothing for a miss. With the jumping around in range, and need to adjust scope elevation AND parallax, there is plenty of opportunity to screw things up besides the usual shooting error. A good spotter is important too, because they will remind you what distance is next, remind you to change your scope, etc. I shot with a friend I've shot with a lot, so that helped. The importance of that was pounded home next time. I got 11 out of the first two arrays of 20. That's 11 for them combined. Then I got 15 of the last 20. That's what happens when you use the match to zero- 26 out of 60. My buddy who had shot this once before (and unbeknownst to me spent an afternoon fine tuning his zeroes on this range) got 51/60 and one step toward Master. The winner got something like 58. Next month was the toughest course of fire they use. You change distance a lot more. No more than two targets were shot at any one distance, then you changed to another bank for one or two, then switched again. Your score sheet had you all over the range. Scope knobs were spinning, parallax dials were cranking. I was glad I had shot a match before this, because it would be a bad one to start on. This one really shows how important the spotter is. That person needs to be on their toes just to tell the shooter what target is next. My buddy couldn't make this one so I got someone else. Someone less. It was so he could do to keep up with where I was. I had to wait for him to sort things out. He missed shots. He missed hits. None of this helps, especially in a times event. I don't remember my exact score for this one but it was in the 20s and close to the first one. I'd like to blame the spotter, but I can't. The most recent match was the easiest of the three courses. They don't allow scores from this one to count toward moving up in class to Master. You shoot a stage of 20 at one distance. Next stage, all 20 are at another distance. Last stage is at the remaining distance. The only complication is you get assigned where to start and end. Oh, and this one is shot at the same distances for everyone, so it's 110, 165, and 200 yards. I got to start at 200. This time, I got over there to get good zeroes ahead of the match. That made a difference. I also switched rifles to one with a stock better suited to prone shooting. My neck had been killing me. Things went a lot better this time around. My buddy and I are members of this club although it's an hour farther than our regular club. We took another guy from our local club this time, and the three of us ended up in the top five. He joined at their meeting the following night. My buddy tied for first with 58. I've shot NRA Highpower (centerfire) to 600 yards, and F-Class to 1,000 yards. I've played around at all ranges in between. People say this Long Range .22 is like shooting .308 at around 700-1000 yards, but I don't think it's as hard as 700 and sure isn't as hard as 1,000. But it IS hard, and it's a lot easier to setup and do. It takes about three hours to do the match, and that's with a crowd of 25-30 that requires three relays. Capable equipment is easier to come by, too. Ammo isn't even close! Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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