There are many “wildcat” matches being shot around the country for those hooked on long range shooting. By wildcat, I mean matches that aren’t really governed by a specific body like the NRA, NRL, etc.
One specific type of match that sounds like a lot of fun to me is called extreme rimfire silhouette. Through my research, the only place I can find that regularly holds these matches is Cherokee Gun Club, in Gainesville GA. I’ll include a link to their site below.
What is Extreme Rimfire Silhouette
All matches are shot with .22 caliber rifles. There is class for pistols that allow .17 caliber. The matches are like a normal rimfire silhouette match as far as the basics. You shoot at 4 banks of targets with 10 targets on each bank.
But that is where the similarities end. The distances for each bank are further out and the targets are the same size as normal small bore rimfire silhouette. Shooters can use rests as opposed to firing all shots from an off hand position.
One fifth scale targets are used. The targets are made from 1/4” and 3/8″ steel plate and are cut in the shape, silhouette, of different animals. The chickens are 3/8″ thick and pigs, turkeys, and rams are ¼”. The goal of the contest is to hit and knock off the rail as many of the silhouettes as possible.
The targets consist of: 10 chickens at 75 meters, 10 pigs at 112 meters, 10 turkeys at 144 meters, 10 mini targets at 144 meters, and 10 rams at 189 meters. The photo above is a picture of the swingers I purchased to practice with. These are 1/5th scale and are exactly what is used in the matches. Now that I have these, I will definitely be ready when I make the trip to Georgia to shoot in this match.
To check them out on Amazon, click here. Each shooter is allowed to use a spotter to call his hits, and read and interpret wind and other environmental conditions to keep the shooter on target. A perfect score is 40.
The above picture, believe it or not, is a view of the targets from the shooting positions. Yes, the targets are there. They are those little black specs you see waaaaay down on the horizontal banks. This will give you a little perspective on what this match requires.
Below are the class requirements and regulations that are used by the Cherokee Gun Club in Gainesville GA. This information is taken directly from their website.
Production .22 caliber rimfire rifles – including single shot, bolt action, semi-automatic, and lever actions with factory tapered barrel.*Wood or composite factory stock*Rifles are limited to maximum scope magnification of 9X
BENCH REST SCOPE CLASS
Production .22 caliber rimfire rifles – including single shot, bolt action, and lever actions*Non-adjustable Bench Rest stocks allowed.*Factory medium and heavy non-tapered barrels are allowed.*Factory fluted barrels are allowed.*Rifles are allowed to be customized (i.e. triggers tuned, barrel bedding, etc.)*Unlimited scope magnification with AO allowed.
Production and / or custom .22 caliber rimfire rifles – including single shot, bolt action, and lever actions.*Unlimited barrel configurations allowed.*Custom stock configurations allowed.*Unlimited scope magnification with AO allowed*Barrel tuners allowed.*Unlimited rifle supports allowed.
.17 HMR/ .22 MAG CALIBER CLASS
Production .17 HMR & .22 Mag caliber rimfire rifles – including single shot, bolt action, semi-automatic, or lever actions.*Non-adjustable Bench Rest stocks allowed.*Factory medium and heavy non-tapered barrels are allowed.*Factory fluted barrels are allowed.*Rifles are allowed to be customized (i.e. triggers tuned, barrel bedding, etc.)*Unlimited scope magnification with AO allowed.
SEMI-AUTO UNLIMITED CLASS
Production and/ or custom semi-auto .22 caliber rimfire rifle only*Heavy barrel configurations allowed*Custom stock configuration allowed*Unlimited scope magnification including Adjustable Objective (AO)*Trigger tuning allowed including aftermarket replacements
IRON SIGHTS CLASS
Production .22 caliber rimfire rifle – including single shot, bolt action, falling block action, semi-automatic, and lever actions.*Requires open “Iron” sights and / or adjustable “peep” sights.*Heavy non-tapered barrels allowed.
UNLIMITED PISTOL CLASSProduction and/ or custom single shot, bolt action, or semi-Auto .22 & .17 Caliber rimfire pistols*Unlimited barrel configurations allowed.*Custom stock configurations allowed.*Unlimited scope magnification with AO allowed*Barrel tuners allowed.*Unlimited Pistol supports allowed
Tips from experienced shooters
- It’s nice to be able to focus on just shooting and hold during the match. Loading extra mags before the match is a wise idea.
- Use a good quality rear bag with that allows complete stability. A cheaper bag is not worth whatever you saved on buying it.
- Know the dope settings for your scope, rifle, and bullet combination. Have them written on a sticker on the rifle if you need to refer to them. Record the actual numbers or marks on the turret instead of how many clicks up or down. This will insure that you never get lost because you can’t remember what you did last.
- In classes that allow it, a semi auto allows shots without having to re establish cheek weld and fore end support position. Which makes shot correction easier and more accurate but don’t let yourself start to shoot too fast.
- Practice shooting the wind at long range is time well spent.
- To see hits 14x magnification on the scope is about the minimum where only 9X is allowed in some of the classes. It’s best to use a spotter with a good spotting scope with as much magnification as possible.
- If using a bipod, use a good one like a Harris with notched legs and the swivel feature. This makes moving the rear support the only thing necessary as you go through the bank of 10 targets. Usually a Harris is well made enough that it swivels but there is no wobble.
- This should be common sense but don’t switch ammo after you establish your dope and zero.
- Make sure you can accommodate a comfortable position. You can’t shoot well if you are not comfortable. I am 5ft 9in and have to use two boat cushions to get comfortable at my home range. You never know what to expect when going to a new range so make sure you are prepared. Here is an adjustable blind chair that I plan to buy before I go back.
I have never personally shot one of these matches it sounds like a lot of fun and more tailored towards older guys like me, vs and NRL 22 match where physical dexterity is also required. I may find myself taking a trip to Georgia very soon. You should try it too.