February 11th, 2008

Air Rifles for High School Competition

Air rifles are ideal trainers for young shooters. They can be used indoors (with appropriate pellet traps). And, because they are not firearms as defined by state and federal law, there is no problem (in most jurisdictions) with the use of air rifles by teen shooters. Junior Air Rifles can be purchased through the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP).

High School Air Rifle Competition on TV
This week, the ShootingUSA television show features Air Rifle Competition at the high school level. ShootingUSA reports the shooting sports are expanding in high schools across the country: “Air rifle competition is a growing sport in high schools. The proof is the largest invitational high school team match in the country.” The tournament hosted by Mongomery Bell Academy in Nashville, TN draws over 400 competitors from 72 high schools in 16 heartland states.

The format is Olympic-style 10-meter competition. The match requires 20 shots from each of three positions — standing, kneeling and prone. 600 is a perfect score, but with the very tiny Ten-Ring, perfect scores are very unusual. There are three classes of competition. Sporter Pneumatic Class (pump rifle, no special gear); Open Sporter Class (compressed air rifle, glove allowed); and Precision Class (Shooting Suits, Shoes and Gloves allowed).

ShootingUSA runs every Wednesday on the Outdoor Channel at the following times:

Eastern Time 4:30 PM, 8:30 PM, 2:00 AM (Thursday)
Central Time 3:30 PM, 7:30 PM, 1:00 AM (Thursday)
Mountain Time 2:30 PM, 6:30 PM, Midnight
Pacific Time 1:30 PM, 5:30 PM, 11:00 PM

Camp Perry Junior Open
In related news, the Second Annual CMP Camp Perry Junior Open was held successfully on Jan. 18-19. For the second year in a row CMP’s newest three-position air rifle event, the Camp Perry Junior Open, was filled to capacity with 57 junior shooters. Travelers from as far away as Auburn, Alabama and Waukegan, Illinois made the trek to Camp Perry, Ohio, for the sanctioned precision and sporter air rifle match.

The event was held on a temporary range in Camp Perry’s Bataan Armory, which the CMP acquired from the Ohio National Guard. Next year the Camp Perry Junior Open will take place at the new CMP Camp Perry Competition Center which will house an 80-point air gun range with electronic targets. The Competition Center will open in June, 2008.

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