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October 18th, 2012

USA vs. Germany Junior Air Rifle Internet Match

Internet Air Rifle matchStory based on report by Kyle Jillson in NRAblog
Earlier this month, junior air rifle shooters from Georgia faced off against counterparts in Germany during an “internet match” that allowed both teams to keep track of their opponents scores in real-time. The two teams were 4,000 miles apart, but they competed simultaneously, with scores from both countries posted instantly (in both venues) via internet connections.

Each shooter was ranked and paired against the corresponding member of the opposing team – like golf’s Ryder Cup. Instead of a team aggregate determining the outcome, countries earned points for beating their opponents.

The US team was set up at the Ole Mill Range in Griffin, Georgia, while their German opponents were shooting from from Untergrombach, Baden-Wuerttemberg, in southern Germany. American and German teams, separated by 4,000 miles and a six hour time difference, came together on a fall day to shoot a fun match between one another – simultaneously. Instead of waiting for results from one another and shooting on different days, it was great to see the two groups work out schedules that allowed competition as if they were all at the same range.

Internet Air Rifle match

Instead of a normal 60-shot standing match, the two ranges agreed to tweak the rules to the head-to-head format for a little international fun. All shooters still shot in the same relay with scores reported as they came in and “wins” were counted after each pair had finished.

Internet Air Rifle match

How did the US team fare? I’m sure they’ve seen better days. Outshot in all but one match, the United States lost to Germany 3-1. Despite the defeat, this match was a great example of the shooting sport’s international strength. This “internet match” opened all kinds of doors for future matches between not only different countries, but different states within the USA. The ease of communication through computers can really help the shooting sports expand with a web of competitions the world over.

Photos courtesy
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October 18th, 2012

Save Money by Sharing a Ride to the Range or Shooting Match

Gas prices have topped $4.40 a gallon and, in California, premium fuel has reached the five dollar mark at some stations (Ouch). Many match directors have told us that match attendance is down, particularly at regional and national events which require long drives. Many shooters are staying closer to home and not attending distant matches. Shooters are driving less to cut fuel bills, and to reduce wear and tear on their vehicles. With the price of gasoline soaring above $4.40/gallon, many shooters are cutting costs by attending fewer matches, or sticking to competitions near home.

While not traveling to a distant match will certainly save on gas (not to mention hotel bills etc.), we’d think there’s a compromise solution. We’ve observed that 95% of competitors at matches arrive solo — one to a vehicle. And, typically, most shooters drive big pick-up trucks or SUVs that may get less than 20 mpg on the freeway.

PROPOSAL: Car Pool to your next rifle match, sharing the ride with fellow shooters.

Car Pooling FailWhenever possible, this editor tries to “share my ride” with other shooters when going to the range or a match. I also drive an 10-year-old station wagon that gets an honest 29 mpg on the highway. Though it’s cheap to run, my vehicle has plenty of space for all the guns and gear 2 or 3 shooters would ever need. Another benefit of ride-sharing is that you can use car pool lanes on major highways, avoiding the nightmare of bumper to bumper traffic jams.

Here is a chart showing how much you can save by carpooling and by driving a vehicle with better mileage. If you drive 5000 miles a year to shooting matches, a car getting 27 mpg will save $479 in fuel costs compared to a vehicle getting 17 mpg. And even if you stick with your 17 mpg truck or SUV, ride-sharing with one other shooter can save you nearly $650.00 per year (if you drive 5000 miles to matches).

MPG Miles Driven Fuel Cost
@ $4.40/gallon
Ride-Share Savings
27 mpg 3000 $488.88 $244.44
22 mpg 3000 $600.00 $300.00
17 mpg 3000 $776.47 $338.24
27 mpg 5000 $814.81 $407.41
22 mpg 5000 $1000.00 $500.00
17 mpg 5000 $1294.12 $647.06

Of course, as with any activity, exercise moderation when driving together to matches. Don’t try to stuff too many guys and too much gear in any single vehicle….

Car Pooling Fail

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