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Re: Hunter Pistol and the Future

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:22 pm
by TexasSilhouette
If you have ideas, I'm all ears. I've never loved a sport more than Hunter Pistol and fought tooth and nail to keep it alive. Trained a few kids that set a few records, trucked them all over the country. Met good people, shot at good ranges, saw some great sights, Good times.

Some changes were made to accommodate some shooters all with the hope and promise of increased attendance but when the line was drawn in the sand we fell short of the mark. Looking back it appears some of those changes may not have been the right thing to do but that's usually the case with hind sight.

There have been discussions regarding a new pistol silhouette game, one geared more toward off the shelf equipment. Perhaps a game leveraging guns, calibers, and positions you would/might actually use in a hunting situation. Maybe a three gun game that coincides with the lever action games including an opportunity to shoot the big ram at 200. Just ideas at this point, worthy of discussion.

Re: Hunter Pistol and the Future

Posted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:31 am
by DJA
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems like the taco hold evolved because of the rule about resting arms against your body?
I think the elbows off the body is what gave the taco hold it's name (get that front elbow out like you're force feeding yourself a big taco) rather than what drove the evolution of it. What makes taco hold work, for me at least, is that it's as close as you can get to a rifle shooting stance while only having two points of contact with the gun and daylight under the armpits. When done correctly the receiver and rear sight are right up against the face--can't touch it, but you'll feel the breath from your nose on the back of your hand. Obviously, this isn't going to work with a revolver. Well OK, I guess the rules don't preclude wearing a blast shield on your face. Using a contender with a Williams FP-TK rear sight, the sight picture and adjustability is very much like a CLA gun albeit with about half the sight radius. This is a very stable, accurate way to shoot a pistol but only if the pistol can be configured to accommodate the hold. Thus, Contenders rule.

Back to my earlier post in this thread, I didn't say anything about outlawing the Contender, it's a fine "hunter's pistol." Rather, outlaw the taco hold. You can still shoot a contender, you just have to hold it the same way the guy next to you is holding his revolver or Ruger MK, or whatever. The downside, of course, is that this makes the game harder again. If that's what's keeping people from taking up hunters pistol, I guess it is doomed.

Re: Hunter Pistol and the Future

Posted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:07 pm
by Tlee
In my mind, it’d be hard to justify disallowing something (like the taco hold) that has been allowed for a decade or more. I think it would further kill what little diehard interest is left.
It appears, to me, that expanding the guns allowed is the way to go... Such as allowing “mares leg” Lever Action pistols into Hunter Pistol. It might reignite some interest, particularly as popular as Lever Action Rifle has become.

My .02,


- Tim

Re: Hunter Pistol and the Future

Posted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:25 am
by GabbyJs
I think a challenge difference would be best in Hunter Pistol. Unfortunately, very expensive for participating clubs. I think the IHMSA targets were 3/8 size. They could be used for "taco hold" shooters. Heavy weight centerfire targets only. Conventional stance shooting would be done at the standard 1/2 scale targets. I quit Hunter Pistol when I attended a National event and the shooter's meeting was held, mostly discussing open sight rules. I felt as though open sights elevated above normal at extended lengths beyond the barrel dimensions was ridiculous. All for the "taco hold". I think that the 12" barrel lengths were probably substituted later to eliminate that issue. I'd love to shoot Hunter Pistol again, but don't want to travel more than 50 miles to do it.

Re: Hunter Pistol and the Future

Posted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 3:54 pm
by DJA
I busted out Don Hill's old Smith Model 17 yesterday (It still has the inspection sticker on the stocks from the 1990 HP Nationals!) for a little plinkin' at chigs and pickens. Lo and behold, a little over half my shots returned that satisfying "bang . . tink" sound. Fun! Tim, I just might go old school for the Texas HP match. Anybody want to join me?

Re: Hunter Pistol and the Future

Posted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:22 pm
by K Danz
I was one of those die hard Hunter Pistol guys back in the day and I'd like to offer my 2 cents.

In 1990, the NRA made a rule change in the name of "safety" and that was to move the chickens from 25 to 40 meters. Suddenly scores started to drop and and I know of several shooters in my neck of the woods that gave it up because they couldn't count on an "automatic" 20 on chickens and pigs. At the Nationals that year, there was a group from a club in New Hampshire that made their feelings known with T-Shirts that said "40 Meter Chickens Suck!" Also at that Nationals, there was a guy who shot a score of 59x60 and yep, the one miss was a chicken. At the competitors meeting that year, everyone complained about the 40 meter chickens, and as usual, Greg said it's done, move on.
Now I'm not saying that was the total downfall of Hunters Pistol, but I did notice the start of declining competitor numbers after the chickens got moved.
What upsets me still to this day is that IHMSA never followed suit. On top of that, the NRA still sanctions the Bianchi Cup where the steel plates are shot at 10 yards. I now shoot USPSA where we shoot steel as close as 7 yards. Yes, you do get hit with splatter at those distances, but that's why you wear shooting glasses and spectators are expected to wear glasses as well.

Another downfall of the game was where folks started pushing the limits of the rules. In particular there were a couple folks who every year, showed up at a match with something not addressed in the rule book. Then, would take it to the Nationals, someone would protest, then they would say..."show me in the rules where i can't..." So it had to be allowed, and everybody else whined that these guys had an advantage. Folks got tired of the equipment race.

Again, just my humble opinion.

We still shoot Hunters Pistol in Sudlersville MD, 3rd Saturday, October thru March. So if you're in the neighborhood, come shoot with us.

Re: Hunter Pistol and the Future

Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:34 pm
by Hawkeye7br
Yeah, I didn't really understand that move as well. I think NRA did go to 1/2 scale chicken for .22's instead of 3/8 for 40m but that complicated things for a lot of ranges like ours that were holding dual sanction. We had to put in a 40 yard berm and buy another set of chickens, then things just got too squirrelly.

FWIW, IHMSA started to go downhill about then as well. We built permanent ranges that were then banned from use except for championship events, not a very good use of facilities. You can't just let a range sit there for 2-4 years and expect it to not go downhill and need a lot of prep work for an event.

Nowadays, the emphasis is on black plastic guns that hold 50,000 bullets (OK, maybe a slight exaggeration) and action shooting. I admit, I have dabbled in it and it is fun. But a couple days ago I had one of our 4H kids at the range and I dug out my 54 Anschutz military trainer, set the sight at the 125m marking, told the 14 year old he could hit offhand and to hold at the top of a 16x20 rectangle at 150m. He hit the second shot offhand, then went about 12 for 15 after that. The grin on his that was fun......

Re: Hunter Pistol and the Future

Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:19 pm
by emmettva
I agree with twidpa's point--too specialized for the firearm/caliber. I have a modern uberti '73 winchester in 357 mag that i had slicked up for cowboy action shooting (1) sport. I also use it in NRA pistol caliber lever action silhouette (2) sports. AND i use it in 2 different clubs' 200 yard offhand gong matches with a 180 grain cast it is exceedingly accurate with no recoil for (3) sports. Am working up a 195/200 grain gas checked load for the 200 yd rams for the 4th sport NRA rifle cal. lever action silhouette--and just for the cost of 1 rifle. If i still hunted small/med game that would be a 5th sport. Pretty good return on investment and with a rifle cartridge that can be used successfully in 5 different rifle endeavors not counting home defense and in handguns as well, and brass cost is low prep is almost zero time with carbide dies and loads for a variety of powders and bullets are published everywhere. A single shot contender in 357 mag is simply not as versatile.

Re: Hunter Pistol and the Future

Posted: Sun Jan 10, 2021 11:24 am
by gardenman
I have run the Silhouette program at Purgatory Falls Fish and Game in Mont Vernon NH for at least 7 years. We still shoot all 4 pistol disciplines, but often there are only 3 competitors where we used to get 6 to 8. I started shooting smallbore but the match runs much smoother if I don't shoot. I am going to start this year again with my son. He enjoys it. If we can all introduce 1 or 2 people to it maybe it will stick around.