June 21st, 2019

Fun Shooting — Steel Plates with Rimfire Pistols and Rifles

rimfire steel challenge keltec cp33 plate rack
The Action Target Sport Plate Rack is specifically designed for .22 LR Rimfire shooting. This rack features six 4″-diameter plates that reset with a provided cable.

Shooting plates is fun. You get immediate feedback — “instant gratification” when you make a hit. When shooting steel inside 100 yards, we like to use .22 LR rimfire guns. The ammo is inexpensive, noise levels are lower (though you still need ear protection), and at close ranges there are fewer issue with ricochets and bullet splash-back. Additionally, for busy folks who don’t have time to reload, you can pick up a .22 LR rifle or pistol, grab a couple $5 boxes of ammo, and get to the range in a few minutes. The convenience means it is easier to shoot every week if you like.

SFC Joel Turner from the USAMU’s Action Shooting Team offers a few pointers on how to shoot plates quickly and accurately. He’s using a centerfire pistol, but the same principles apply for rimfire handguns. Click speaker icon to activate audio.

New .22 LR CP33 Pistol is Great for Plates
If you like shooting plates, one of the better new handguns for the job is Kel-Tec’s CP33. We tested this interesting handgun at the 2019 SHOT Show Media Day at the Range, and were impressed. The pistol is big, but balances well. The sights are easy to see, and the full-length rail lets you easily mount a variety of optics. The trigger is surprisingly good — better than 90% of rimfire handguns out there. For the plates game, this “quad-stack” gun can handle long stages without mag changes. The standard clear-sided CP33 magazine holds 33 rounds of .22 LR ammo.

rimfire steel challenge kel-tec cp33

If you are interested in an affordable, but very accurate, high-capacity semi-auto rimfire pistol you should consider Kel-Tec’s new CP33. Shooting Sports USA (SSUSA) notes: “The rapid growth of rimfire competition in Steel Challenge has prompted some gun makers to enter the fray. Kel-Tec is one, and their new CP33 .22 LR pistol has a lot of potential.” Watch 22 Plinkster’s video review below. He reports: “This handgun has been 100% reliable IF I load the magazine the right way… and it’s pretty dog-gone accurate.”

SSUSA’s testers tried the pistol with a variety of ammo and it consistently shot about one-half-inch for five shots “from a 25-yard sandbag bench rest using the iron sights.” SSUSA noted that the gun disassembles quickly and easily by removing one central pin. That’s a nice feature.

READ FULL Kel-Tec CP33 Review in Shooting Sports USA »

Overall SSUSA’s tester, Chris Christian, was impressed with the gun, saying it balanced well and the sights aligned naturally: “…the neutral-balance-point grip produced an almost instinctive sight alignment.”

Christian used the CP33 in a 6-stage Steel Challenge Match, and did well: “I decided to shoot Rimfire Pistol Iron (RFPI) and used the CCI Mini-Mag. The high-speed ammo ran perfectly. [T]he bright sights and handling qualities let me finish top among iron-sight shooters and even hold my own with C and B class rimfire pistol shooters using optical sights. It would be interesting to put a reflex sight on the gun, and maybe even shoot some Bullseye with it.”

The competition was founded in 1981 by Mike Dalton and Mike Fichman, in Southern California. The two Mikes wanted an exciting alternative to paper targets and came up with the all-steel format. The Steel Challenge World Speed Shooting Championships have grown to one of the largest professional pistol competitions in America. In 2018, hundredes of competitors from the United States and around the world competed at the Talladega Marksmanship Park for glory and huge cash prizes. The Steel Challenge is governed by the Steel Challenge Shooting Association (SCSA) that consists of eight standardized stages with three types of steel targets: small circle, big circle, and square. Here is a steel challenge layout in Germany.

rimfire steel challenge outer limits germany

Steel Challenge is similar to IPSC, but has simpler rules and more consistent stage designs. Up until 2011 the annual Steel Challenge World Championship was held in Piru, California every year. Then, as renamed the World Speed Shooting Championships (WSSC), the Championship was held in Frostproof, Florida (2012, 2013), St. George, Utah (2014), San Luis Obispo, California (2015-2017), and Talladega, Alabama (2018, 2019). There are also over 100 Steel Challenge Regional Matches held around the country.

This Video Shows the Steel Challenge Rimfire Rifle Optics Divison. These guys are FAST!

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February 6th, 2019

Midweek Movies — More SHOT Show 2019 Product Videos

shot show 2019 savage proof research ultimate reloader gavin gear thompson center accuracy international AI

SHOT Show is the largest gun/hunting trade show in the world, with tens of thousands of products and accessories on display. For a gun guy, going to SHOT Show is like being a kid in a candy store.

We’ve seen that the SHOT Show 2019 videos we’ve showcased thus far have been very popular with our readers. So today we are bringing you five more SHOT Show videos, featuring products from Accuracy International, Proof Research, Savage, Thompson Center (T/C), and five pistol-makers.

Proof Research — Hi-Tech Barrels and Rifles

Here our friend Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com learns about the carbon-wrapped Proof Research barrels. Being lighter than conventional barrels, these Proof Research barrels definitely offer an advantage for hunters packing into the wild.

Proof Research Carbon Barrels ultralight

The Proof Research carbon barrels have also performed very well in PRS/NRL tactical competitions. There is a lot of technical information shared in this interview, so it is definitely worth watching.

Thompson Center Arms (T/C) — Value Leader

Thompson Center Arms (T/C), a Smith & Wesson Company, is known for value-priced rifles that offer great “bang for the buck”. We’ve regularly featured T/C rifles in our Deals of the Week. There are some impressive guns in the T/C line-up, including the T/C LRR (Long Range Rifle).

Thompson Center T/C LRR PRS long range rifle

With an $1100 street price, this rig is a great value choice for PRS factory class. The rig balances well and we like the thumbwheel adjustments for LOP and cheek height.

Accuracy International $19.5K ASR with 3-Barrel Deployment Kit

If T/C guns are bargains, then the Accuracy International (AI) line of rifles is at the other end of the spectrum. At SHOT Show this year AI displayed its Advanced Sniper Rifle (ASR) which will be submitted for SOCOM’s multi-caliber rifle program. This rig costs a hefty $19,544.00 as a “deployment kit” including three barrels (.308 Win, .300 Norma Mag, and .338 Norma Mag), two bolt bodies, key spare parts, magazines and a MilSpec transport case.

accuracy international AI .308 .300 Norma Magnum mag socom rifle .338

The AI ASR employs a QuickLoc barrel change system for rapid caliber swaps. The rifle features a new two-position, AR-type safety and redesigned 2.5-lb trigger. The fore-end tube includes an RRS™-compatible rail, integrated top rail, and M-Lok™ mounting interface.

Savage Hunting Rifles — Model 110 High Country

For 2019 Savage unveiled some handsome, versatile rifles for backcountry hunters. These rigs feature nice camo finishes, adjustable AccuFit cheekpieces and buttpads, and barrels threaded at the muzzle for brakes or suppressors.

Savage High Country model 110

We liked these new rifles, particularly the Model 110 High Country featured above. It has a tough corrosion-resistant finish and spiral-fluted barrel for weight savings.

Handguns — Some of the Best New Pistols for 2019

In this video, The Firearm Blog (TFB) presents its five favorite new-for-2019 handguns. TFB praised the new KelTec CP33, a VERY impressive new .22 LR rimfire target pistol, boasting a 33-round clear magazine. On Media Day, we shot the CP33 with a suppressor and were extremely impressed. The gun balances well, and the trigger is EXCELLENT — really surprisingly good. Glock attracted attention with the new Glock 43X and 48 silver-slide models. The 43X does offer more capacity (10 rounds) with a longer grip vs. the Glock 43. Buyers may be attracted by the silver PVD-finished slide. Frankly, that’s nothing more than cosmetics and the Glock still retains not-so-great ergonomics and a mediocre trigger. There are better striker-fired, DAO polymer-framed pistols out there, for less money.

New KelTec CP33 is a high-capacity winner, with a great trigger.
Keltec CP33

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