In The Crosshairs
How About A New Shooting Game?
Remember the song, “Is that all there is?” Those were the words I was thinking last October as we drove away from the CMP’s Western Games at the Ben Avery Shooting Range near Phoenix, Ariz. The Vintage Sniper Rifle event was our primary reason for attending but it consisted of only 10 rounds at 300 yards and 10 at 600 yards. My Montana friend Ted Tompkins and I did participate in other matches but they weren’t important to us. Personally I left feeling unsatisfied. That’s not criticism of the CMP because their primary focus is on 200-yard competition with metallic-sighted rifles.
During the 1,200-mile trip home we talked about a way to enjoy more shooting with vintage sniper rifles. Both of us are avid competitors in the NRA’s Black Powder Cartridge Rifle Silhouette game, so it was natural to think about trying the old, scoped sniper rifles on steel metallic silhouettes. Most of the NRA sponsored BPCR silhouette matches consist of 40 shots for score with unlimited sighters in the allotted time period. That makes about 60 rounds fired in an event.
More shooting plus getting to see the targets fall through the scopes sounded good to us. I’ve been match director for numerous state and regional BPCR silhouette championships so organizing a new one didn’t seem daunting. But we wondered about where to have an experimental match? There are several silhouette ranges in Montana but they are already booked most weekends throughout the warm months.
That’s where the matter rested until the next month when we were again in Phoenix for the Arizona state championship for BPCR Silhouette. There we discussed the idea with our friend A.P. “Butch” Ulsher who is on the board of directors of the Butte (Montana) Gun Club. Butch is never adverse to more shooting so he said, “Why limit it to vintage sniper rifles? Why not attract more people and make it a challenge between our BPCRs and vintage sniper rifles? And why make it a 1-day event? Our club also has pits for paper target shooting. We can shoot steel on day one and then paper on day two.”
Upon returning to Montana Butch gave me a call saying the weekend of June 30th/July 1st was open at the Butte Gun Club. So now we had an idea, a range and an available date. What next? Some rules and a match format were needed and I was pretty much left to come up with that.
By Mike “Duke” Venturino
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