February 25th, 2008

Air Apparent? Open Grove Launches Air Rifle BR Matches.

With the price of ultra-premium 22LR match ammo edging past $20 for fifty rounds, some dedicated bench shooters are turning to airgun technology to expand their shooting options. A tin of five hundred (500) RWS or JSB match pellets costs just $4 to $14. Compare that to spending $50 or more to shoot three 25-round target sheets with premium Eley or Lapua rimfire ammo.

While airguns are popular in prone, three-position, and Field Target disciplines, air rifle benchrest is a relatively new mode of competition. Joe Friedrich, 2007 ARA Aggregate Rimfire Champion, recently supervised the first air rifle benchrest match at his Open Grove range in Southern California. Joe reports: “After spending some time with everyone at the match, it appears there is a lot of interest, which is great. I had a wonderful time, and look forward to adding more matches to our schedule. We had 5 shooters show up despite the atypical cold, windy and rainy weather. We even had a guest from Alberta, Canada.”

Equipment list:
Glen R.– Walther 300 LG ALUTEC 10m .177
Dave L.–1ZH46M Russian Pistol .177
Doug M.–FWB P70 Modified Field Target .177
Brian D.–Air Arms SL 400 Field target .177
David R.–Theoben Rapid Field Target .177

Shown above is Doug’s ultra-high tech FWB Field Target Rifle. (Be sure to click the large photo link to view the exotic hardware in detail.) Joe observed: “Doug’s FWB was one of the best looking rifles I have seen, and Doug can flat-out shoot. It was interesting to see how well these field target rifles perform. The two pellet types we’re using in the Field Target rifles are the 10.2gr JSB Exact Diablo Heavy, a round-nose design, and the Crosman Premier. These are both available from PyramidAir.com.”

Writing in Benchrest Central’s new AirGun Forum, Don M. explains: “The lack of recoil makes free recoil a non-issue. The springer class isn’t quite the same but the springer guys know this. The big wheel on the parallax adjustment of the scope [is used] as a range finder in the Field Target game. The wheel is calibrated in yards and when focused, will tell the distance to the target. With good balistic data, you can click in the elevation needed to hit your mark.”

Joe added: “Kudos goes to Dave shooting his little pistol at 340 fps. Dave did well, even though it seemed like it took awhile for the pellet to reach the target.”

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