Smallbore Silhouette National first impressions

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Smallbore Silhouette National first impressions

Post by glen ring » Sun Jul 31, 2016 5:22 pm

I talked my wife into shooting the smallbore silhouette nationals with me this year.
I had a Kimber 22 that I have killed many critters with over the years and it's very accurate.
I bought my wife a kimber .22 because we had several magazines and they are a quality and accurate .22 rifle.

We arrived at our first nationals and she indicated to me she thought we had Turtle and crow guns compared to the fancy rifles there.

She has since told me..

A. she will never sport a fancy , leather vest
B. she will never drop several thousands of dollars into a glittery gun she shoots at coyotes and crows.
C. she will just shoot our old Kimbers.

I think that new shooters wanting to try this sport ( she was ) would go to the first match, see all the EXPENSIVE spotting scopes, guns and doodads and Immediately think they can never afford all that.

The sport is HARD and I kept assuring her that ALL of her misses would easily kill a crow, rabbit, squirrel and even a coyote, so that's the value of competing with our " turtle" guns.

If she were a new shooter trying this all by herself she would never come back.

I understand this sport isn't for everyone, but maybe a change in the rules would make it more accessible to folks owning less expensive guns.

Surely there's a way to make the numbers go up.
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Re: Smallbore Silhouette National first impressions

Post by Jason » Sun Jul 31, 2016 8:46 pm

It may be best to not judge the sport by the gear you see at the nationals, in the hands of those dedicated enough to travel from all over the country (and some from outside the country) to the match. If they are willing to spend the money on the trip, they are also much more likely to be willing to spend the money on dedicated, purpose-built smallbore silhouette rifles.

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Re: Smallbore Silhouette National first impressions

Post by glen ring » Sun Jul 31, 2016 9:06 pm

I guess I missed you at the Nationals Jason.I was there. I don't judge anyone I just want numbers up . Now, where were you ?? I thought you and I had a bet thing going on .
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Re: Smallbore Silhouette National first impressions

Post by Jason » Sun Jul 31, 2016 11:51 pm

I was at work, building a new team there and then running our local smallbore silhouette matches on the weekend where I help smallbore silhouette shooters get started with whatever rifle they happen to have or let them use one of mine.

I went to the Conard Cup and Iron Man matches. The NRA Nationals never was in my plans for this year. What does that have to do with it? What bet are you talking about?

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Re: Smallbore Silhouette National first impressions

Post by 44 mag » Mon Aug 01, 2016 4:39 am

If you want to see better numbers just come to Ridgway next year. It is usually more than doubled. The best shooter wins in Ridgway not the weather. Mike Haynes

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Re: Smallbore Silhouette National first impressions

Post by glen ring » Mon Aug 01, 2016 6:23 am

Jason. I was just looking back at some of your posts and I thought you were coming to the nationals in Raton. I was really looking forward to meeting you in person. Maybe you can make them nest year. I'll be there .

I met a guy there that was shooting a Ruger American with a 4x scope in smallbore and he was having fun. I think if the NRA would change the rules so that folks could buy a cheaper rifle to compete with in a stock class the numbers would increase. Maybe have a MSRP as a limit to a rifle with no modifications and even a scope power limit.

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If there weren't so many wacky states to drive through we would certainly love to come to Pennsylvania to shoot. We won't even stray into Colorado anymore now that they've legalized wacky weed.
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Re: Smallbore Silhouette National first impressions

Post by Jerry G » Mon Aug 01, 2016 7:13 am

How could they change the rules so you could shoot ' on the cheep'?

You can buy a $400 rifle, put a $100 scope on it and be competitive in highpower hunter. Legal to shoot in both classes.

You can buy a $250 10/22, put a $100 scope on it and be able to knock down 30 out of 40 smallbore animals. Been there, done that. Oh, I forgot. I did a little work on the trigger myself. With the 10/22 you have to keep it very clean to cycle the 1080fps ammo.

$850 for rifles to compete in 4 different classes. What rules need to change?

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Re: Smallbore Silhouette National first impressions

Post by dustinflint » Mon Aug 01, 2016 7:36 am

glen ring wrote:I think if the NRA would change the rules so that folks could buy a cheaper rifle to compete with in a stock class the numbers would increase. Maybe have a MSRP as a limit to a rifle with no modifications and even a scope power limit.
This has been tried before (originally with the hunter rifle and with IHMSA and with air rifle, etc.) It doesn't work. We don't need more rules. Rules are not going to increase shooter numbers. We dot need more "classes" so that shooters have to buy more equipment. If another class is added all we're going to get is existing shooters going out to buy stock guns with scopes that meet the rules which adds more expense and is another freaking rifle to carry.

In air rifle silhouette, they added the Target gun class so people would bring out their 10-meter guns that they supposedly already had and throw a scope on it and shoot it. They added the Sporter class to give people that didn't want to spend the money a cheaper "stock class" rifle to go buy to get in the game. Do those classes bring more shooters? NO, it does the opposite. All of the air rifle silhouette shooters have bought springer rifles and target rifles to add to their Open rifles and now when a new shooter comes out to an airgun match they feel like they have to buy THREE very expensive airguns and THREE very expensive scopes to compete. Airgun silhouette would be much better off and much more popular if there was and had only ever been one "open" air rifle class that is basically unlimited so shooters could go out and buy ONE rifle and ONE scope and shoot it.

There is talk of a ".22 AR class" to draw new shooters - which is another bad idea - it will just be more expense to existing shooters who have to go out and buy a new expensive rifle to shoot the .22 AR Class." The much better option is to remove the tube-fed requirement from the Smallbore Cowboy Rifle, which would make a .22 AR legal in SCR and we have something for the AR crowd to come out and shoot - easy to do and it doesn't have the unintended consequence of adding expense. Big changes in the rules only add more expense to the game.

Silhouette is a COMPETITIVE shooting SPORT. It is a competition. It is not "hunting practice" or shooting instruction or anything like that. If a new shooter is interested in getting into the game, he/she is not going to show up to a match and see some nice equipment and get intimated and go home. If he/she does that, there was no real interest there to begin with. A new shooter interested in getting started is going to talk to experienced shooters and any experienced shooter is going to tell the new shooter that a $400 CZ (and other nice rifles like Kimber, Savage, etc.) with a decent scope is PLENTY of rifle to get started with and just fine to shoot forever if they don't want to buy a more expensive rifle or build whatever they want. Hayley Kunzli, who is a high master shooter, won the afternoon match at the Louisiana Smallbore state championship yesterday with a CZ452. Any new shooter that has a couple minutes exposure to an experienced shooter is going to figure this out quickly.
glen ring wrote:I talked my wife into shooting the smallbore silhouette nationals with me this year.

She has since told me..

A. she will never sport a fancy , leather vest
glen ring wrote:DON't be sucked into buying a 400 dollar leather vest that has Team whatever on it.
glen ring wrote: I will NEVER sport a multi hundred dollar leather vest.
glen ring wrote: The only vest I'll ever wear is an orange one that is required by law here for dear and elk hunting.
I'm not sure why silhouette vests offend you so much but for anyone reading this website that is a new shooter or thinking about being a new shooter - please don't take this as good advice. Most shooting sports allow elaborate shooting-specific coats and clothing. They are very helpful for precision shooting. Our game restricts that clothing significantly but does allow leather vests. A vest is certainly not required or even necessary to get started but as a shooter improves a vest is VERY helpful. Equipment can't help you much in this game but a good vest is a piece of equipment that can help about as much as anything (second only, in my opinion, to a good trigger and a good repeatable scope). Competitors in any sport are going to use equipment as much as possible to get any edge available and I only know of one high-master shooter that does not use a leather vest (he uses a vest, just not a leather one.)

My advice to new shooters or anyone thinking about shooting silhouette is:
1. Find an experienced master class shooter and ASK LOTS OF QUESTIONS;
2. Shoot whatever .22 you have or buy a CZ/Savage/Kimber, etc.
3. Spend your initial money on a nice silhouette scope (Leupold, Weaver, Sightron or Bushnell)
4. Shoot LOTS.

Dustin

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Re: Smallbore Silhouette National first impressions

Post by atomicbrh » Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:04 am

Smallbore rifles built by the top name builders and Air Rifles are actually free. The rifles really do not cost you anything. You can shoot them all your life and then when you are too old to shoot sell them for more than you paid for them. They do not depreciate in value but appreciate in value if you keep them long enough. The scopes have lifetime warranties. You can pass Leupolds on to future generations of your family. If you keep high quality scopes for decades they also appreciate in value. The cost in Silhouette is the AMMO and travel expenses. Silhouette is a front-end loaded sport. Large initial purchase but low maintenance costs and high resale value if you decide to get out.

Vests are the item than is somewhat perishable. A person who shoots a lot goes through many vests during their career.

15 years ago Eley ammo that cost $135 per case TYD shot better than anything I can afford to buy now. We were shooting 3/4 inch groups at 100 meters with that ammo in CZ452's. If great ammo was available at that price now I think a lot more people would be shooting. Today, pellets cost what smallbore ammo should cost. Pellets should be 1/3 of the price they are now.

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Re: Smallbore Silhouette National first impressions

Post by glen ring » Mon Aug 01, 2016 9:16 am

Silhouette was intended as practice for a hunting sport...that's why the targets are shaped like animals. Maybe the targets should be shaped like...small circles.

I think that the AR match being discussed is great and innovative. It's called an AR match, but will probably be open to any semi-auto. It's going to be a run and gun type match that anyone will feel comfortable shooting with their stock Ruger 10-22. I got that from the " horse's mouth" I hope it happens. I'll certainly shoot that sport and we will promote it heavily at our range, but some folks don't like or can't do the run and gun action stuff and I understand that.

High Power rifle is most certainly dying. 65 or so folks at a national tournament is low shooter turnout. The older guys I talked to and respect believe it's due to the equipment race. It seems like smallbore should have more numbers. Being an "outsider" to that sport I certainly understand what a new shooter must feel when they walk up to a match with a stock rifle wearing shorts and a t-shirt.

IPSC shooters experienced this downward trend until the stock classes were invented and now a monthly match at our club sees around 75 shooters. It's fun to watch also.

PPC is about to die and it's due to the equipment race and the lack of innovation to make it a better sport. Most of the young guys have moved to the stock class IPSC events and IDPA. It's more fun and a hell of a lot more practical.

Numbers are down in Rifle silhouette. I have stated why I feel that. When they stop having a national event , like they did in Hunter Pistol, that will be that and those "free" guns will be collecting dust.

Jerry g I want to see your score sheet where you shot a 30 with a Stock Ruger 10-22 . That would give me some hope.
I just hate to see everyone show up at a match and say " Where are all the new shooters and why are the numbers down each year?'

Lever action silhouette has continued to grow and our regional in Sept. has been closed to entries because we have been full. We cater to new, B class shooters and make them feel welcome. Old , worn guns are often shot , cherished and the topic of many conversations. Wear any vest you want, be as competitive as you want at our matches, but the B class awards are just as big as the master class awards. Our side matches are just plain fun ( as some of you will see in September) and the fun factor has kept many older guys coming back. The side matches are fun and are designed so that a 15 year old B class kid has a chance of beating a Master Class national champion. Yep, it happened.

Hey, maybe that new AR 22 match ain't a bad idea after all.
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Re: Smallbore Silhouette National first impressions

Post by Jason » Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:50 am

Just for reference, the three loaner guns that I let shooters who come to the matches I run shoot are:
  • Ruger American with Weaver V16 scope with dot reticle and BKL rings
  • CZ 452 Scout (Pink!) with Weaver V16 scope with dot reticle and BKL rings for smaller shooters
  • CZ 452 Varmint with self-customized stock with a Weaver T24 with dot reticle and Burris rings (this rifle got me to AAA class)
The first one can be had for $500 total and uses the same magazines as a 10/22. I have not modified a single part in it, only adjusted the trigger. The only thing I have done on the stock is stick some grip tape to the butt since the black plastic/poly/whatever is slick as it comes from the factory. It can clean 40/40 off the bench with Center-X, SK Rifle Match, Norma Match, or Geco "bolt action" ammo and I shot 31/40 at the last practice match that I shot with it last year. That's only one animal shy of a master score on only the third time I shot it standing. Needless to say, most of the misses were me and not the rifle. I only average 33 or so with my frankenhunter built off a 1712 or my 54.18 MSR standard rifle. That Ruger American could be made a fair amount better with just adding some weight to both ends, as it has a lot of room before it approaches hunter class max weight. I haven't modified that one, though, as I have it to show that it's not necessary to spend a ton of money to be competitive.

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Re: Smallbore Silhouette National first impressions

Post by Thesnackbar » Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:59 am

" The older guys I talked to and respect believe it's due to the equipment race. " Who made it an equipment race? The younger guys who everyone more or less state are non existent, or the "older guys" who have been shooting this sport for a long time and shaped it?

Ive talked to a lot of older guys too, there were issues with the old way and rules before they loosened up.Well who loosened them up? Oh yes, the competitors who were shooting the sport loosened them up because it was what they wanted...Its a great system, if we don't like something we can change it,most of the time.

I have seen several posts, many times about your distaste of the fanciness of the jackets, and the blingy rifles. No one is asking or telling you that you have to have these things. you yourself have stated that you competed with a stock weatherby and I think that is awesome. Not gonna lie, I personally like nice things, did it take time to get there? well yes it did. I didn't have a fancy shiny rifle and everything else at first, but i liked the game so i took my time to build what i wanted. All the " old guys" said don't build a rifle yet, take your time until you learn what you like, what fits you, then build a rifle if you still want one. Good advice i think. The best part? They all helped me along the way.

There are car races all the time, vintage cars, muscle cars, you name it. They all have classes, some are fancy, some are highly custom and shiny, some are not. But they all have one thing in common....They don't drive themselves. At the end of the day your equipment is not near as important as your drive and will power to succeed. The rifle doesn't shoot itself, trigger, custom barrel, ubber scope, doesn't make a shit if you cant shoot or don't practice(except for the unicorn shooters out there that are just gifted,bastards).


Like car people and there cars, my rifles are the same to me. i customize them to my tastes, i like my rifle my way. you like your factory rifle. same same. To each his own.

One of the great things about this sport is that everyone to an extent and within boundaries can shoot what they like how they like. Here are the rules and as long as it stays in the box you are good to go. I would like to keep it that way. Important facts and things for any new shooter to know is that this game is challenging and no matter how much money they spend it will not buy them the trophy. Not all sports are built for everyone, and no matter how much we try to accommodate, this game isn't for everyone. We should seek and listen to others on how we can better our game, but also explain to them the limitations. Ask new shooters what their concerns are and address them.

I can show up to the line with the nicest $4000.00 dollar gold plated rifle, doesn't mean i am going to be beat you. What it means is that i am going to have fun with my gold plated paper weight trying to hit as many targets as i can. A wise ancient shooter told me that he had a discussion once with a friend of his about the cost of shooting silhouette, he asked his friend how much his bass boat cost, how much his fishing rods and reels where and the up keep, insurance and gas he spent speeding across the water each day for 5 fish.... Do the math and those 5 target each match i hit are still cheaper than fishing or hunting. People will always spend money on what they truly love doing. Thats also why i also continue to eat 100 dollar a pound venison:). When was the last time any of us would spend 100 dollars a pound for a piece of steak at the grocery store?
Last edited by Thesnackbar on Mon Aug 01, 2016 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Smallbore Silhouette National first impressions

Post by kd5zmg » Mon Aug 01, 2016 12:08 pm

I get that it is an equipment race, but it does not necessarily need to be. Once you get a rifle that out performs you, then it is possible to do very well in this sport. I am the third owner of a custom built rifle with a 5418 Anschutz action. I paid as much as a brand new 1712 without McMillan stock. My daughter's 1712 was $2250 with brand new McMillan Hunter stock.

I like my rifle better now that I am used to it, only because the trigger is nicer to me than hers. I think once you get a rifle you can trust to shoot, it is up to the shooter to perform as well as the rifle. At what price point is the rifle going to be at is unknown. Before Nationals, I was thinking I could compete within my class range with a $500 CZ and I could have, but picked up the 5418 on an awesome deal.

There were master class shooters running CZ 452, but with McMillan stocks, driving the price of the rifle up towards $1200-$1500 with scope and probably accurrizing services to boot. I also saw a SAKO with some crazy heavy mods like a tappered barrel and a target trigger system installed. Who knows how much that one costs with the total build and killer paint job. I also noticed some several single load rifles that had Pharr Stocks, and the list goes on.

When we shot we used a modest spotting scope, probably less than $300 to be conservative on price, I wouldn't know exactly because it was a friend who brought it up. When my daughter and I shoot, we use a cheap less than $100 spotting scope setup. I was told that the important pieces that are necessity for this sport would be rifle, ammo vest. Could it be done without a vest? Sure, because my daughter is now hitting Masters scores in practice and she is still waiting on her vest from C. Winstead which will hopefully be here soon. She is using a shotgun vest that I had her modify by putting leather patches on the shoulders. It works, but it is not totally ideal to use. The heavy leather makes a huge difference, but that is just my opinion. You still need the fundamentals to do well.

Good luck!

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Re: Smallbore Silhouette National first impressions

Post by GTS » Mon Aug 01, 2016 3:23 pm

Glen,

I tried to stop myself, but just couldn't do it! This is the second, or maybe the third post of yours wherein you proudly proclaim your disdain for flashy rifles and vests. That is of course your right to express your opinion and I applaud your persistence.

That being said, this is also the second time you refer to the sport of metallic silhouette shooting as being practice for hunting. In that, you are way off base and should probably do a little research on the topic. The reason the targets are shaped like animals is because those were the live domesticated animals that they used to shoot at in Mexico where this sport originated. Silhouette has always been about who was the better shot from the dimmest writings of a soldier in Poncho Villas army describing an argument between two soldiers about who was the best shot, to the fiestas where the live animals were shot then later cooked and consumed, to the metallic silhouette matches of today. It was written that those first two soldiers settled the disagreement by seeing who could kill a steer tethered at an unknown distance, which would later become dinner for the troops. Silhouette shooting was about gambling, drinking, eating and having a grand old time, but it certainly wasn't about practicing for hunting, and as I mentioned, it has always, and will always, be about who is the best shot on a given day.

Now back to those "race car rifles" as I believe you described them in another post. I started out shooting a box stock Savage hunting rifle and did okay with it. When Savage came out with their heavy barreled single shot action I got one for the standard rifle class, and did okay with it. Time passed, income increased, the nest became empty, and I found my self ordering a flashy rifle from Mark Pharr. I have shot a witnessed 9/16" group at 500 meters with that rifle, and in competition I still do okay. I love the rifle because I really like accurate rifles, be they .177 pellets, or 300 WSM. I have improved a little since the beginning, but that is due to more trigger time, not what I am shooting. And, as one our local shooters is fond of saying, "it ain't about the bow and arrow, it's about the Indian".

Greg Sullivan

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Re: Smallbore Silhouette National first impressions

Post by hugh » Mon Aug 01, 2016 4:16 pm

You know what I saw at a state match of the CLA variety? A real live no kidding Winchester 1873 in 22. You know how much those things are worth? And there was this guy shooting it. Intimidated the heck out of me, that fancy gun up against my lousy Marlin. I can't compete with that. A $4000 -$5000 rifle? My wife wanted to just go home. There were traces of color case hardening left on it AND he had Original TANG sights. Imagine going to the line against that, or worse yet having to shoot next to him. It just wasn't fair. Ruined the whole event for me. We should have a rule against any gun worth more than $500. I'm just glad he wasn't wearing one of those high dollar, fancy cowboy hats.

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