Air rifle silhouette

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dustinflint
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Re: Air rifle silhouette

Post by dustinflint »

In the Texas/Louisiana region, we have a great benchrest silhouette game for air rifle, small bore, and high power that does not require any additional distance. It’s slowly catching on for folks that like to shoot off the bench. We won’t ever force anyone to shoot standing or off the bench but both are available for whoever wants it and it gets people out to the range.

I have an air rifle that shoots 65 ft-lb. It would completely destroy our very nice resettable air rifle target system. If someone shows up to one of our matches with a rifle shooting significantly harder than 20 ft-lb, they are not shooting at our targets.

Dustin
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Re: Air rifle silhouette

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How does your benchrest game work?
The only reason I wanted to get the targets farther away was because like all shooting sports today airgunners are enamored with long distance, the few there are around here shoot at 100yds. I was thinking it would be easy to double the distance making the ram targets 84yds? Close enough to 100yds to make those people interested.
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dustinflint
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Re: Air rifle silhouette

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kevinbear wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 4:21 pm The only reason I wanted to get the targets farther away was because like all shooting sports today airgunners are enamored with long distance, the few there are around here shoot at 100yds. I was thinking it would be easy to double the distance making the ram targets 84yds? Close enough to 100yds to make those people interested.
I like your idea of doubling the distance as long as you have the room. Our air rifle range doesn't have 90 yards and most of our smallbore ranges don't have 200 meters, so it wouldn't work for us.
kevinbear wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 4:21 pm How does your benchrest game work?
Let me give you the long answer to this question:

This idea come from the Varmint Benchrest Silhouette game at Ridgway Rifle Club - It is VERY popular (like pay-for-your-bench-a-year-in-advance popular). They shoot at steel crows at 850 yards, bobcats at 900, prairie dogs at 950 and coyotes at 1000. I have no interest in it at all because I don't like shooting off a bench, but I think it is the key to blowing up the popularity of silhouette. I believe that the NRA (or another sanctioning organization) should officially incorporate a benchrest class (and probably an F-Class class) allowing any rifles that are legal for regular benchrest (or F-Class).

I like what Ridgway did because the game is DIFFICULT to score well (just like standing silhouette) but there are a few problems in my opinion. In order to incorporate a benchrest class, it needs to be able to be shot alongside standing silhouette; it needs to be shoot at chickens, pigs, turkeys and rams; and it needs to be able to be shot on a regular silhouette range (instead of a 1000-yard range). So I took Ridgway's varmint benchrest targets and converted them (by MOA) to 200, 300, 385 & 500 meters. Then I found that the closest chicken/pig/turkey/rams targets (by MOA) would be 1/5 scale targets at 200, 300, 385 & 500 meters. So the plan was simple: get some THICK, HEAVY, 1/5-scale targets cut and put them at 200, 300, 385 & 500 meters. Benchrest & F-class shooters shoot them off the bench or the ground next to the standing shooters with the same time limits as standing shooters. Get it in the NRA rule book with national records, grand slams, etc. and we probably triple or quadruple the number of shooters at HP nationals and get the industry supporting us again all for the cost of some really cheap targets. Problem solved - Highpower silhouette saved - turn my attention to climate change or something...

But climate change would have to wait! We can't have HP benchrest silhouette without smallbore and air rifle benchrest silhouette too. This seemed simple: simply use 1/10 scale targets for smallbore at half the distances - 100, 150, 200 & 250 meters. The problem is that we'd have to have SB ranges that are 250 meters long - not going to work. So, we just scale them down to 40, 60, 77 & 100 meters - but then we have targets that are so small that they're impossible to cut and even more impossible to find after they're hit - not going to work.

Now, a quick aside... I built an air rifle practice range in my backyard with all the targets set at 20 yards and all the targets scaled to the size of an air rifle (1/10 scale) chicken. I had all the targets cut out of 3/8" thick steel so they'd be heavy and wouldn't fly too far when I hit them. They can EASILY withstand a .22LR also. One day shooting in my backyard it came to me - use these targets for smallbore benchrest silhouette but set ALL the targets at 100 meters. The scale is correct and the targets are relatively heavy and don't fly too far with the proper backstop, etc. The only difference is that the shooters don't have to get 4 sight settings. (I had a set of these cut for Bonner; he can show them to you if you haven't already seen them)

So, we tried it - and it has been very challenging and fun for the folks that have tried it. It requires a very accurate rifle and any wind at all and things get tricky.

For air rifle, it's half the size targets at half the distance (in yards) - 50 Yards. We use paper for air rifle and if it ever catches on we'll get some tiny steel targets cut. The scale is actually the same as the 10-meter standing targets that are easily found in paper format on the internet (attached).

So, the short answer to your question is:

Highpower - 1/5 scale at 200, 300, 385 and 500 meters.

Smallbore - targets scaled to 1/10 chicken at 100 meters.

Air rifle - 10m scale at 50 yards.

Dustin

Now back to climate change...
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kevinbear
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Re: Air rifle silhouette

Post by kevinbear »

Thanks Dustin.
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Re: Air rifle silhouette

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Kevin,
What you say is correct even though I don't like it. Yes, I remember when we used to shoot 5 or 6 silo matches a month, and some were 120 shot matches and we shot two guns. No more. Sad.
Some clubs are already doing the type of thing you propose with some success but it's a tough situation.
We still shoot airgun silo at our club. We also shoot airgun field target which is a little more relaxed and mostly not shot standing but it is way harder to run.
We keep trying and promote silo and airgun shooting every chance we get. I say we because the club does support us.
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Re: Air rifle silhouette

Post by kevinbear »

Well I'm all in now, ordered a set of targets made from AR500, won't have to worry about target damage!
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