My first (almost) formal shoot, sort of.

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Dec 24, 2018
Northern illinois
Hey all,

Hope everyone's feeling good.

I've been interested in some form of competition for a few years but I don't have a lot of time (full time work monday- Friday coupled with wife, 2 kids (2 & 4 years old)) and a home to maintain . I don't have a lot of spare time and generally shoot when I have a chance to sneak off for a couple hours. Needless to say, I don't shoot enough to become or remain competitive nor do I have the ability to commit even one weekend day per month to actually going to formal competition .

About 2 months ago I was invited to participate in a 22 rimfire match & 4th of July bbq at my dad's cousins place against him and his buddies. Oh yeah, I was definitely interested.

The only details I got originally were that it would be at 20-25 yards and include a variety of targets and entry was $25. Ok, that sounded good. I planned to bring my martini cadet (converted to 22 rimfire , having a long heavy Remington matchmaster barrel and Redfield aperture sights in a custom stock - built in the mid 60s , in the style of the martini international rifle). This rifle is supremely accurate but a little slow. So I followed up to get a little more info. I was told that there was a speed aspect to the competition and maybe a single shot would be a bad choice. I sighted in my 1954 vintage marlin 39a a week ago with some lapua center x ammo that I got a few months ago in a trade and figured, it's going to be what it is- let's do it.

Last night I had some second thought (late, I know). What if the targets were dark or smaller than my my iron sights could work well with? I just wasn't sure what to expect. So I decided to bring the marlin 39a and also my only scoped 22 rifle- an early 70s winchester model 250. this thing-

The winchester is in no way a fine rifle. It's strange mechanism and plastic sights don't instill much confidence and I put a ruger Chinese air rifle scope on it years ago for backyard pests. It's an abused and neglected rifle that never gets much cleaning or care. It's reasonably accurate though.

When I arrived there was a sign in and a board with names and stages listed. A professional range officer to direct the shooting and some people standing around waiting. Once everyone had arrived we were able to fire 10 rounds to sight in. Looking around, everyone had brought a modern semi auto with a scope. Oh boy, budget winchester it is.

Sighting in I took 2 shots and was low and left. Twisted the turrets a bit and took a shot and then brought it up a few more clicks . my sight in target looked like this-
Not bad. I felt a bit of confidence and figured I could do alright.

The stages were as follows:

10 rounds at 10 circles that were progressively smaller, rested on shooting blocks, no time limit.

10 rounds at 10 paint balls glued to golf tees , no time limit, rested on elbows

10 rounds at 10 various random shapes that were progressively smaller, rested on elbows , no time limit

10 rounds at a bullseye type target with a white center and black outer ring, 2 points for hits in the white , 1 point for hits in black outer ring, rested on elbows in 15 seconds.

10 shots at 10 lolly pops, rested on elbows , no time limit.

10 shots at 6 pencils stuck in holes drilled vertically in a 2x4, rested on shooting blocks, no time limit.

10 shots at 10 shotgun primers inserted into holes drilled in a 2x4, no time limit, rested on shooting blocks.

And a catch up round of 10 rounds, a center dot a smaller than a dime that was worth 5 points and alternating triangles around the center worth 1 or 2 points each, each spot can only be scored once , rested on elbows, no time limit.

After the first 3 stages I was in good shape (I blocked out the other 11 shooters names)

Feeling pretty good but the speed stage was next and that's the one I was most concerned about.

Well, I was right to be concerned, in my haste I short stroked the lever causing a jam. By the time I cleared it I only had 5 seconds to fire my remaining 7 shots. There went my lead. I scored 4 shots in the outer ring and the rest were outside the bullseye.

I tied for second on the lolly pops and shot all 6 pencils. I was behind but not by much. I managed to get 6 hits on the shotgun primers, double what the next best score was. My shots were in line enough to cut the 2x4 in half lengthwise . I was only 1 point behind the highest score in the "catch up" round.

Final scores looked like this
I managed to take 2nd place out of 12 shooters. One gave up at the end and the other had to leave early. Not too bad. I know it was nothing spectacular and none of these folks were competitive shooters (clearly neither am i) but we had some fun and I managed a decent finish with a rifle that is far from ideal against newer , nicer , modern rifles .

I won my entry fee back and a t shirt. The real prize is bragging rights ;), with an intent to return next year and be well prepared. Good times.

Just thought you all might like reading my first attempt at a semi competitive event against a bunch of amature like myself. We had some fun!

Here's how the range looked:
You seem to have done above average on everything but the speed circle.

What happened?
Well, I was right to be concerned, in my haste I short stroked the lever causing a jam. By the time I cleared it I only had 5 seconds to fire my remaining 7 shots. There went my lead. I scored 4 shots in the outer ring and the rest were outside the bullseye
I have always maintained that practice is good, good practice is better but to get good, you have to compete. Competition stress makes you concentrate. In most firearm competitions, the other shooters can be a great help. Those that won't, you don't want or need their help anyway. I've learned this to be true in smallbore, trap, skeet, black powder, and benchrest. Didn't get good at all but did well at some. Keep at it. You have a good start.
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