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Old July 25, 2017, 11:08 AM   #1
reteach
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Getting started in rimfire silhouette

I have searched this question on the internet in general and found some good info on Rimfire Central and elsewhere. But I haven’t found answers here on The Firing Line. So I’d like your input.
I am interested in rimfire silhouette competition. I have the rifle, a Ruger American .22LR with a Vortex scope. Bought it about a month ago and I’m still going through various brands of ammo to see which one it shoots best, but I can put holes in a two inch target at 100 yards pretty consistently off a rest. I know I need to work without the rest.
Finally the questions - what else do I need?
1. What gear besides rifle and ammo comes in handy at a competition (or at practice)?
2. What kind of practice/prep work is helpful?
Thanks.
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Old July 25, 2017, 11:55 AM   #2
David R
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You get 30 seconds to prep, then 2 minutes to shoot 5 shots. A timer is important.

Nothing is more important than offhand skills.

Get to know your settings for the distsnces.

Rule number one.

HAVE FUN!

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Old July 26, 2017, 01:35 PM   #3
T. O'Heir
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"...have the rifle..." Which Ruger? Don't think it makes much difference though.
Who's competitions? NRA's are a bit different than the IHMSA's. Some of 'em allow sling use, some do not.
Go here. Covers everything except target dimensions.
http://www.riflesilhouette.com/
Target dimensions, rules and forum are here. http://www.ihmsa.org
Free printable .pdf target are here. Not sure if they're CF or RF though. Other targets there too. http://www.accurateshooter.com/shooting-skills/targets/
Shooting off hand requires upper body tone. Back and shoulders. Arms not so much.
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Old July 26, 2017, 01:49 PM   #4
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22 LR silhouette is a fun, although challenging, sport. I have attached three of the four targets in PDF format. People tend to agree that the turkey is the hardest to hit because of its shape. I practice with a 1" bull to find out where I am consistently hitting and then lay an outline of the silhouette over it to find the best aim point for each target. I have only been shooting the small bore silhouette for three years and barely into the AAA classification but I am still having a great time doing it.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf GrayChickenRight.pdf (29.1 KB, 27 views)
File Type: pdf GrayPigRight.pdf (40.6 KB, 12 views)
File Type: pdf GrayTurkeyRight.pdf (47.1 KB, 17 views)
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Old July 26, 2017, 01:56 PM   #5
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Here is the ram target and the bulls eye target I use.
Note: the point of impact from the bench will differ from your off hand point of impact. It is imperative to practice often but not for too long. Always keep the basics in mind, Breathe, target acquisition, Sight control and trigger pull. Breathe! Make your process a ritual and practice the ritual at home and at the range. Get some snap caps for home dry fire practice.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf GrayRamRight.pdf (84.2 KB, 14 views)
File Type: pdf 1x8x1BullTarget.pdf (20.0 KB, 14 views)
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Old July 26, 2017, 03:28 PM   #6
g.willikers
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Above all, resist the temptation to blame a poor performance on the rifle.
That just leads to buying more rifles, usually without benefit to your scores.
Eventually you should improve enough to win lunch and ammo money.
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Old July 26, 2017, 04:16 PM   #7
reteach
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T. O'Heir "Which one?"

I have the Ruger American Standard with a 22" barrel. I have bookmarked the links. I'll read them soon. Thanks.
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Old July 26, 2017, 04:21 PM   #8
reteach
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ShootistPRS

Than you for the targets. As to making it a ritual, that's kind of what I expected. I need to find a range near me that is set up for this kind of practice. If anyone knows a place in Dallas/Fort Worth, I'd be happy to hear about it.
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Old July 26, 2017, 04:28 PM   #9
reteach
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g.willikers

I think with the American I have a good enough rifle and scope combination that I'll be able to avoid that trap. Plus I have a 40-year-old Ruger 10/22 with a cheap scope and a brand new BX trigger, and 70-year-old Mossberg 46. My safe is full of .22's.
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Old July 26, 2017, 04:49 PM   #10
reteach
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David R

Yes, by all means, I plan to have fun.

"Get to know your settings for the distsnces."

I've heard it elsewhere, and this will be a new thing for me. I thought just learning where to hold the crosshairs would have been the method. Getting used to changing the scope settings will take some extra practice.
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Old July 27, 2017, 01:16 AM   #11
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Another kind of rimfire silhouette

My club just recently started up NRA smallbore cowboy silhouette. We used to have the more formal matches with 1/5 scale targets, but the interest waned. IT's a pretty demanding course of fire.
The Cowboy silhouette is done a little different, the targets are 1/2 scale and at somewhat different distances.Very similar to Hunters pistol targets. Rifles are .22 lr only, no scopes, no slings, and all standing.
No bolt guns and only tube magazines. Levers, pumps, and even auto loaders are all fine, but must be tube fed.
The general relay rules and times are very similar, 15 second ready(load)and two minutes for five shots. I believe the equiptment restrictions help to attract younger shooters and people who may own a rimfire rifle, but don't want to invest in new gear to just try it.
I have found that almost any solid hit from even standard velocity ammo will take down the rams. High center is the goal and Turkeys are the toughest.
Besides a timer, a good spotter can help you with winds, and a ton of offhand practice.

Last edited by gunman5646; July 27, 2017 at 01:35 AM.
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Old July 28, 2017, 11:29 PM   #12
reteach
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gunman

I guess a big part of my problem is that I don't belong to a club. The nearest place I've found that I can walk in and shoot silhouettes is 60 miles away.
Cowboy silhouette sounds like fun, but I don't own a rifle that matches the rules.
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Old July 29, 2017, 09:21 AM   #13
g.willikers
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Quote:
Getting used to changing the scope settings will take some extra practice.
That can get way too confusing.
I preferred centering the scope on just one of the targets and then using the hold over and hold under technique on the rest of them.
Then there's a lot less stuff to have to remember in the midst of competition.
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Old July 29, 2017, 04:32 PM   #14
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I agree! I set my zero at the longest range and then hold under at the closer ranges. (I have no skill at holding over)
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Old July 29, 2017, 05:30 PM   #15
reteach
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"That can get way too confusing."
"I set my zero at the longest range and then hold under at the closer ranges."

Yeah, that's what I was thinking. Glad to hear I wasn't off base. But I have read elsewhere that David R's method is very common. I'm going to save that until I get good at knocking down anything at any distance.
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Old July 29, 2017, 07:35 PM   #16
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Get a notebook and write down your zeros so you can't make a mistake. It's also good to put in your scores and see your improvements from match to match.
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Old July 30, 2017, 10:16 AM   #17
ShootistPRS
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While you NRA shooting card will track scores pretty well I made tis sheet for storing my records in 3 ring binder and an electronic duplicate on two computers.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Smallbore Silhouette Score RecordsTemplate.pdf (53.0 KB, 13 views)
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Old July 30, 2017, 11:43 AM   #18
Don Fischer
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What range's and position's do they shoot?
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Old July 30, 2017, 12:59 PM   #19
reteach
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AZShooter and ShootistPRS

Great ideas. I saw a video of a guy who wrote his zeroes on the stock of his rifle. I'm not going to do that but a card taped to the stock should work. I'll make a chart like that of my own, maybe on a laminated card that I can re-use after, as you suggest, recording the info elsewhere.
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Old July 30, 2017, 02:44 PM   #20
Rob228
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Shooting offhand is a thing that not a lot of people do well. I grew up shooting rimfire sporter rifle competition, 50' indoors, scoped rifles, unsupported offhand and the rifle has to weigh less than 7.5 pounds. It certainly makes shooting a 12" bull at 200 from a supported offhand position easy for my annual quals....

Everyone that I shot sporter rifle with (it was a winter season) shot silhouette all summer with the same rifles. Since you're in Texas it sounds like you won't have to have an indoor season but keep an eye out for a sporter rifle league, it really makes you focus on the fundamentals of offhand shooting and will certainly help your silhouette game.

As far as the course of fire: consistency is crucial, do the same thing every time. Build your own routine, but make it 100% consistent, from walking up to the firing line to pulling the trigger.
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Old July 30, 2017, 05:15 PM   #21
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To me , the biggest thing was a really great trigger pull.
Fighting a heavy , gritty , non adjustable factory trigger does nothing for your marksmanship .
If you have a smooth trigger with a 2 to 2 1/2 lb. let off you can do much better, especially over 50 yards.
If the trigger is not adjustable bring it to a gunsmith that can do a trigger job or replace it with a suitable target trigger.
Gary
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Old August 1, 2017, 10:45 AM   #22
reteach
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"consistency is crucial, do the same thing every time"
"the biggest thing was a really great trigger pull."

I expect it to be a Zen-like activity, much like archery.

The BX trigger in the 10/22 breaks at about 2.5 pounds. The American trigger breaks at about 3.5, and is adjustable. I will lighten it to 2.5 before the next range session.
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Old August 2, 2017, 05:39 AM   #23
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Quote:
a supported offhand position
Not being argumentative.....I am not familiar with that term. What is a supported offhand position? I have always understood "offhand" to mean shooting with the gun unsupported ....off the hands only.
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