I failed in trying to determine where and how this game got started but that really doesn’t matter. What matters is that the game is fun, a challenge and cheap to play. The game is “know your limits” and has taken off like wildfire. Below are video clips of a match from Long Range Shooters of Utah.
As long range rimfire nuts, we may not see this drill as a stage in competition but it is prime candidate for a super fun club shoot. The largest target circle you see on the rack is 60mm or 2 inches in diameter. the smallest circle is 6mm or .236 inches.
These targets are shot with .22 rifles which means to clear the bank,your rifle must be dead on, accurate, and repeatable. This target can be shot from different distances with different requirements in shooting position.
The shooter starts with the largest target putting one shot on each . The event is timed and allows 60 seconds to complete all 8 targets. Local rules can take over from there as far as shooting position, rests allowed, etc.
There is really no limit to the variables that you can apply. Hitting a target allows the shooter to progress to the next smaller target or opt out to keep his points. The shooter can opt to stop at any time. If the shooter proceeds to the next target and takes the shot but misses he loses all of his points and is out of the match for that round with a score of zero, hence the name “know your limits”.
The target stand is placed at 50 meters. Shooters usually fire from the prone, sitting, and bench positions using bipods and rear bags as rests. The target stand is moved to 35 meters and shot from the sitting position and closer still, 15 to 20 meters for standing.
There are several versions of this target set up available today from most steel target manufacturers. Here is a really good one that can be purchased right from Amazon. Actually many variants of this game exist and many different style targets are used. You can purchase your own metal targets here and create a very similar setup.
Your set up can have larger targets for pistols and closer shooting or any number of other variables. You could even develop a game for ultra long distance shooting with larger targets of decreasing size. The sky is the limit and this is a huge amount of fun, especially when you are playing with friends.
Poor man’s way to play
If you like this drill and think you and your buddies would have a blast with it but don’t want to drop $200 on a target and stand, check out this paper version on Amazon.
Same rules, same fun, you just don’t hear the “tink”. For the even poorer, or lazier man, Just draw circles on a sheet of paper at the same sizes of the targets or as close as possible. the largest target is 60mm and the smallest is 6mm. Any bullet that cuts the line is a hit.
Tips on how to win this drill
This drill is completely about accuracy. There is no dexterity test, no distance changes, no obstacles to deal with, no required speed shots, just pure accuracy. So what rifle do you think would have the advantage here.
It should be a bolt action of the target variety. Not to say that semi autos can’t or haven’t won this drill. Many have. They are great guns and I have seen 10/22’s beat the pants off of bolt action guns in this kind of drill. I am just saying, the requirements of this drill perfectly fit the design of the bolt action which is supposed to be inherently more accurate than a semi auto but as in any competition, a great shooter can bear every one with a $200 rifle.
Even though the drill is only at 50 meters remember you must be able to see and hold in the middle of a 6mm or .236 inch dot. Again this is only slightly larger than the bullet. For this kind of accuracy, even close up, I want a scope that allows me to see the paint imperfections on that dot.
In order to hold in the middle of a 6mm circle you must first be able to see the circle from 50 meters away. I recommend a good clear scope with at least 20x magnification. I am a believer that you can only hit what you can see. The scope doesn’t have to be high priced.
The glass is surprisingly clear and on my 22 it holds and returns to zero like a champ. Sight picture is surprisingly clear and you just can’t beat the reticle. Remember, cost is one reason we are in the rimfire game. Lower cost means a lot more fun..
Most of the competitors in the videos were using bipods and a rear bag from the prone position which is a great way to shoot very small groups. I have bipods on all of my rimfires. I use those in the $20 range. I just don’t see the need for a $100 bipod when the $20 one is just as stable. Check out the one I use here on amazon.
This one has telescoping legs that will accomodate traditional rifles as well as ar15’s with long magazines. If you are shooting from a bipod, a good squeeze bag for the rear of the rifle is an absolute necessity. If you don’t have one already get a good one made from leather stitched with thick material. The good ones come with a belt clip so you can carry it with you during competitions or hunts. Here is the one I use on Amazon.
How to hit the little circle
Here is a little secret that many people know but rarely use. Your crosshairs should be centered in the target and not moving before you take any shot. What? Everybody knows that. Yep. But not many people can execute it. The human tendency is to hold as steady as possible and take the shot at the best opportunity.
Sure, it’s common sense but how many shots have you taken when you had yet to completely stabilize the cross hairs……and how many of those have you missed? Yes, at times a hurried shot is necessary but know that the probability of hitting that shot is low.
If you will adopt two mental principles for long range shooting, and I mean really use them, your long range shooting performance will jump to the next level. 1. Your job is to create a stable platform to allow complete stabilization of scope crosshairs and 2. To maintain that stabilization through execution of the shot by pulling the trigger straight back along the center line of the rifle.
When the shot executes, no movement in crosshairs should occur if you are dry firing. The definition of a stable platform is one that allows NO movement of the crosshairs. Not a tiny bit of movement……NO movement.
If you can’t create a situation where there is no movement, you should not take the shot. A tiny bit of movement is not ok. Some might say this is a pipe dream. There is no way to have zero movement of scope cross hairs. And if you believe that you are right.
You have to believe this can be done. This is the difference between champions and us regular folks. The true champions believe the impossible is possible and they find a way to make it happen. Spend some time dry firing but make sure you use a dummy round.
Dry firing a rimfire firearm without one can damage the firing pin and / or the chamber. Make absolutely sure your rifle is empty and all safety precautions have been taken. Your objective is to learn to completely stabilize the cross hairs, slowly at first, then activate the shot with no cross hair movement.
When you can do this you will be shocked at how much better your shooting will get. If you are looking for more information about the mental factor of long distance shooting check out this article.