The Rimfire Chronicles – Episode 842 (just kidding)

Mossberg .22 Training Rifle-image NRA of
Mossberg .22 Training Rifle-image NRA 

Well I was feeling a bit sorry for myself lately because I experiencing multiple aches and pains consistently and backing off on the exercise a bit hasn’t helped, it appears. Nudging 60 is no fun, it seems. Nevertheless, I was able to arrange an impromptu rimfire match for the MRCA last weekend, when we normally have the weekend off, and I thought that my achiness would mitigate against a high score.

A short ring around resulted in 13 people including three women, a bonus for sure. What was great was that they all shot above and beyond any of their previous results, netting pretty good scores.

Rimfire Chronicles - Marcus PB
Marcus’ PB, shot thanks to a generous sight-in period.

One of the reasons everyone shot well was that, as range officer for the day, I permitted a generous sighting in period prior to the 3-P match proper and it seemed to pay dividends in highers scores. Well, who’d-a thunk it, eh?

“Young” John Lewis is a veteran and a really experienced and quick rapid-fire shooter and he cleaned up in iron-sighted category with his Mossberg WW2 vintage training rifle, garnering 145/150. One thing about military rifles is that they are a bit heavier with weight distributed towards the muzzle and they facilitate very consistent steady hold and release. In other words, they are made for shooting lots, whereas your average sporting rifle nowadays is made more for carrying and shooting accasionally.

One of my good friends, Louise Smith, a competent and very deliberate rifle shot and one third of a shooting-mad family, shot a 147.15/150.30 with her straight pull .22 (with NO SLING!!) and she was very pleased. I asked her why she did so well and she replied, “Well, I’d been listening to you coaching new shooters and just applied your coaching tips.” Crikey, did my head swell, or what! So I came straight back to her and asked, “What tips exactly were you talking about?” Louise rattled a few off and I proceeded to walk on air for a fair while.

Now I talked before about that sight-in period and how shooters recorded higher scores. Well it worked for yours truly too. For the first time in my memory of this event, my competition group was centred – yippeee! And I managed to pull off 150.25/150.30.

The thing that worries me a bit now though, is that Louise is nipping at my heels and I used a sling while she didn’t. Once she slings up, my hard-won PB may be toast.

God help us men when women apply themselves in serious numbers to this traditional male domain and the sport will be the better for it.




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Marcus O'Dean