July 12th, 2008

Sanchez Wins Rimfire Silhouette Nationals, Sets New Records

Youth triumphed over age and experience at the 2008 NRA Smallbore Silhouette Championships, conducted last week at the at the Ridgway Rifle Club in Ridgway, Pennsylvania.

Mark Pharr (left) with NRA Champion Agustin Sanchez (right)

Agustin Sanchez, a 24-year-old Shooter from Baja, Mexico topped the field in both Hunter Class and Standard Rifle Class. Sanchez was on fire during the match, setting new NRA Match records in both classes. The young ace from Baja tallied an amazing 116 out of 120 in Standard Rifle and 115 out of 120 in the Hunter Rifle. Sanchez was using Lapua’s new Midas+ rimfire ammunition for all of his matches.

Rimfire Silhouette is an extremely challenging sport. All shooting is done offhand from the standing position. Small targets are placed as far as 100 meters. At that distance, the wind has a huge effect on bullet flight. Typically, chicken targets are placed at 40 meters (43.7 yards), javalina targets at 60 meters (65.6 yards), turkey targets at 77 meters (84.2 yards), and ram targets at 100 meters (109.4 yards).

Two classes of rifles are used in Rimfire Silhouette: Standard and Hunter Class. Standard rifles can weigh up to 10 pounds, 2 oz. (with sights) and have no restriction on trigger pull weight. The fore-end shall not exceed 2 1/4″ wide, and 2 1/4″ deep measured from the centerline of the bore. Hunter Class rifles must have a more conventional “sporter-style” stock, typically with a narrow fore-end. A high comb is used to provide a good cheek weld. Hunter Class Rifles are limited to 8.5 pounds (with scope), and the trigger pull weight shall not be less than 2 pounds. No bull barrels are allowed — you must use a conventional tapered hunting barrel. Many top silhouette shooters like Mark Pharr will shoot the lighter Hunter rifle in both classes, as accurized Hunter Class guns can be competitive even against the heavier guns.