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March 11th, 2023

Saturday at the Movies: NRL22 and NRL22X Rimfire Tactical

NRL22 rimfire tactical steel targets KYL JC Steel hangers

The National Rifle League (NRL) started off sponsoring major centerfire tactical matches, similar to PRS competitions. That proved successful so the NRL added a .22 LR Rimfire series, called NRL22. The NRL22 rimfire discipline has been a major success, as rimfire guns are fun to shoot and ammo is very affordable. The most popular NRL22 matches have drawn up to 200 rimfire competitors. And now there is a companion rimfire long-range series, NRL22X. Learn more about NRL22 and NRL22X at

NRL22 rimfire tactical steel targets KYL JC Steel hangers

NRL22 rimfire tactical steel targets KYL JC Steel hangersNRL22 is a great way to get into competition shooting with minimal expense. There are six (6) classes: Open, Base, Ladies, Young Guns (8-16), OG (60+)/Adaptive, and Air Rifle. Base Class is for the budget-minded shooter — the combined MSRP of Rifle and Optic may not exceed $1200.00 (so you could spend $700 on a rifle and $500 on a scope for example). That keeps the sport affordable.

Open, Youth, OG, and Ladies Classes have no price limits on rifle and optic. Visit to find an NRL22 match near you. CLICK HERE for a full set of NRL22/NRL22X rules. The NRL also sponsors NRL22X matches. These involve significantly longer distances for greater challenge. Currently, an NRL22 membership costs $60/year for adult classes or $25/year for Young Guns Class.

March 2023 NRL22 Course of Fire

For actual NRL22 competitors, this is a very useful video. It shows how shooting from a variety of positions, and it includes very cool through-the-lens views. This covers the NRL22 March 2023 course of fire.

NRL22 Competition with Base Class ($1200 Max) Rifle

One good thing about NRL22 competition is you don’t need to spend a fortune to compete. Base class is limited to $1200.00 for rifle and optic. You can do very well even at this budget level. This video, complete with through-the-lens imagery, shows an NRL22 match shot with a Base Class Ruger Precision Rimfire rifle.

NRL22 nrl22x rimfire tactical competition NRL rules registration
NRL22 and NRL22X are not just for guys. The ladies enjoy the competition too and do very well. There is a separate Ladies class, but women can also compete in other classes. Photo by Jonathan Ocab.

Interview with NRL22 Founder Travis Ishida
This Vortex Nation video features an 80-minute interview with Travis Ishida, one of the original founders of the NRL22 and NRL22X disciplines. Travis told us that the NRL now runs 7-8 times as many rimfire matches as centerfire matches.

NRL22 Competition Guide — Match Procedures and Equipment

NRL22 nrl22x rimfire tactical competition NRL rules registration

If you want a basic overview about NRL 22 Competition, there is a good NRL22 Competition Guide on the Widener’s website. This covers the classes, the rules, target dimensions, the types of supports used, and match strategies. Here are some samples:

Any rifle system that comes in under a combined MSRP of $1200 shall be eligible to compete in the Base class. This combined MSRP price is for the rifle and scope only. It excludes scope rings and bases, bipods, suppressors, data cardholders, magazines, spare magazine holders, auto bolt releases, aftermarket triggers, and extended magazine releases. Adjustments are also allowed in this division as well as adding rails of any type. If any shooter goes over the MSRP amount of $1200, they get bumped into Open class.

One of the most obvious rules is that all rifles must be chambered in .22 Long Rifle. Magnum and like rimfire cartridges are not allowed. It is recommended that whatever rifle you choose has a removable magazine rather than a fixed, tubular magazine since it’s harder to make safe, but they are allowed.

You can use any equipment in NRL22 unless a specific course of fire rules out using an item specifically. The only exception is tripods are never allowed. The sharing of equipment is allowed as well as slings to assist in unsupported positional shooting.

The steel target dimensions range from .25 inches wide to 6 inches wide. Some stages will require 10 rounds to be shot, while others may have you shoot 12 rounds. Most often, you’ll have 120 seconds to shoot a course of fire.

Ammunition Selection for NRL22 and NRL22X

Our friend F-Class John, a top F-Open competitor, has recently started tactical rimfire matches. He enjoys the challenge. And he admits a big part of the appeal is the MUCH cheaper ammunition. He has seen good results with relatively inexpensive Norma Tac-22 ammo, but he now favors SK ammo which he says offers great performance for the price. In this video, F-Class John tests SK Rifle Match Ammo vs. the premium Lapua Center-X ammo. He tested using a benchrest set-up with his MPA chassis rimfire rifle.

NRL22 nrl22x rimfire tactical competition NRL rules registration

How to Register for NRL22 Competitions

Looking to get started in NRL22 or NRL22X (long range) competition? CLICK HERE to visit the NRL22 home page. The NRL22/NRL22X website has a registration page along with information on equipment rules, match locations, match rules, and the 2023 Match Schedule. CLICK HERE for NRL22 rules and CLICK HERE for NRL22X-specific Rules.

NRL22 nrl22x rimfire tactical competition NRL rules registration

BONUS — Rimfire Practice Targets

SPECIAL BONUS–Rimfire Tactical Precision Targets

These FREE targets by DesertFrog are offered in Adobe Acrobat format for easy printing.
CLICK HERE to download all six targets as a .ZIP archive.

This article Copyright 2023 Any reproduction without authorization gives rise to penalties under 17 U.S. Code § 501.

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March 11th, 2023

Enjoy Local Fun Matches and GroundHog Shoots

Varmint Silhouette match

There are many centerfire rifle competitive shooting disciplines — High Power, F-Class, silhouette, short-range benchrest, long-range benchrest, and PRS (tactical) to name a few. But on any given spring or summer weekend in the USA, there are probably more local “fun matches” happening than there are F-Class, registered benchrest, and PRS events combined.

Harold Seagroves hickory groundhog shoot
Harold Seagroves’ 3-time Hickory Ground Hog Match-Winning Rifle

At clubs across the country, varmint fun shoots (also known as “groundhog matches”) are becoming more popular every year. In these matches, usually shot from the bench, you engage paper targets, clay pigeons, steel “critter” silhouettes, or some combination of paper and reactive targets. Shooters like these matches because you can shoot a wide variety of rifles, you don’t have to spend a fortune to be competitive, and there is fun for the whole family. Rules are inclusive — you won’t be turned away because your rifle is two ounces overweight. A large percentage of the match fees usually go back to shooters in the form of cash prizes. And the level of camaraderie is high.

hickory groundhog shootInclusive Rules Welcome All Shooters
Forum member Danny Reever has explained the appeal of groundhog matches: “We don’t have a governing organization, or have to pay $50 a year membership just to compete in matches. Sure the rules vary from club to club, but you adapt. You build your rifle (or even pistol) to fall within the rules of either the clubs you shoot, or to fit all the clubs rules. If not there still is a class for you to compete in. If your factory rifle doesn’t conform to the rules, it can shoot in a custom class. If your custom doesn’t make weight for Light Custom (usually 17 pounds and under), you shoot it in heavy custom class. If you want to try your Tactical rifle or F-Class rig, bring it out there’s a class you can shoot it in. If you don’t like one club’s rules, you just don’t shoot there. It’s no big deal.

There are no National records, or Hall of Fame points — just individual range records. If you want to shoot in BIG matches (with big prizes), there is the Hickory Ground Hog Shoot among others. If competition isn’t your bag, many clubs offer mid-week fun matches that you can shoot just for fun. You shoot the same targets but with a more relaxed atmosphere with no time limits.

Groundhog varmint fun shoot summer family

The best part is you don’t have to shoot perfect at every yardage. You always have a chance because in this sport it really isn’t over until the last shot is fired. Typically ALL the entry money goes to the host club, with much of the cash returned back to the shooters via prizes. Junior shooters often shoot for free, or at a reduced rate. That lessens the burden on the family’s wallet (not a small thing in these economic times). The low entry cost also encourages young guys to get involved who don’t have $4000 custom rifles or the money to buy them.

St. Thomas Groundhog ShootMore Fun, Fewer Complications
There isn’t a sea of wind flags to shoot over or to put up and take down. If the range has a couple of flags so much the better, but after all it is a varmint match. No pits to spot shots and slow things down either. If you can’t see your hits through your rifle scope or spotting scope well you are in the same boat as everybody else. That’s what makes it interesting/ sometimes frustrating!

As for calibers, I’ve seen everything from .223 Rem to .338 Lapua and everything in between. Our range record at my club is held by Bill Slattery, who shot a 147 out of a possible 150 with a 22BR 13 months ago. That’s on a target with a 1.250 ten ring at 200/300/500 meters. That record will stand for awhile, and shows you that some very good shooting is done at groundhog matches.

The best part is it’s laid back, everyone gets along, there is no place for big egos here. We who shoot the Ground Hog Matches don’t begrudge the other organizations and shooting disciplines, or those that shoot in them, heck some of us cross over and compete in registered benchrest matches too. Life’s too short, live and let live is our motto so just come out and have fun!”

Fellow Forum members chimed in:

FdShuster: “I’ve competed in our local ground hog matches for several years now, have introduced a number of others to them, and we all enjoy them and more importantly, continue to learn from them. Distances are as close as 100 yards, (with a 5/8″ 10 ring) to as far as 500 meters. With a 2″ 10 ring. Wind, mirage, bullet trajectories, all make them a challenge, and unlike shooting for group, where the group can be anywhere on the paper, in this game they must be very small, but also in the 10 ring. With the different classes — Custom, Factory, Hunter — almost any rifle will fit in somewhere. And Danny is correct about the friendly attitudes. I’ve seen competitors go out of their way, and jeopardize their chances of winning, to help someone else who may have a problem on the line.”

Texas Fun ShootMike C: “Here in Texas, our version of groundhog matches involves shooting at clay pigeons at 400 yards. We use 60mm, 90mm, and 108mm clay pigeons attached to target boards. You have 10 shots to break 8 clays, with a seven-minute time limit. We have developed a good following at these matches. In past years, a Shooter of the Year Award was given based on the Aggregate score for three of our matches, which are held in Utopia, San Angelo, and Huntsville.”

40X Guy: “I would have to say upon finishing my first year ever of groundhog matches, that the average Joe can grab his Swift, or his 25-06, or his 22-250 and go rip some holes in paper. Everybody is having a good time and its a gathering of like-minded people who have all shot chucks at some point or another. Even if one does not win the match, you can look at your target and say “darn that chuck target has five holes in him at 400 yards and he’s dead” just as well as the next guy shooting a custom bench rifle. Everybody fits in and everybody, 8 to 80, is having fun! It is addictive and will drive you to spend your hard-earned currency for sure!”

Permalink Competition, Hunting/Varminting, Shooting Skills No Comments »
March 11th, 2023

What’s Your Gun Worth? Check with Blue Book of Gun Values

Blue Book of gun values

The 43rd Edition of the Blue Book of Gun Values was released last month. Purchase this popular price guide through Blue Book Publications for $54.95. But it’s on sale right now at Graf’s for just $29.99, a 45% savings. Or order from order from Amazon for $53.88. The Blue Book of Gun Values by S.P. Fjestad is the leading gun valuation resource. There are now over 1.9 million copies in circulation worldwide. This book continues to be the “Bible” for buyers, sellers, collectors, and connoisseurs in the firearms industry.

Blue Book of gun values

Blue Book of Gun Values, 43rd Edition, April 2022

The 43rd Edition contains 2,528 pages covering over 1,900 manufacturers/trademarks, with almost 30,000 gun model descriptions, and over 180,000 values, with new-for-2022 data!

This 2022 43rd edition includes a new dedicated section on AR-15 manufacturers, making it easier to find these popular models. In addition there is an updated 64-page color Photo Percentage Grading System (PPGS) which makes firearms grading even easier and more accurate. The 2022 Blue Book also features a Serialization Index to make finding serial number information even easier!

Review by Tom Gresham, Gun Talk Radio Host
“At some point, every gun owner asks the question, ‘What’s it worth?’ The leading reference for decades has been the Blue Book of Gun Values. Whether you are a seller, a buyer, a shopper, or just curious, this constantly-updated gold mine of research is your friend.”

Online Subscription Options
You can also access all the latest Blue Book gun pricing info via an Online Subscription. You can purchase a One-year subscription for $34.95, or you can get a monthly subscription, billed $3.95 per month recurring. For general subscription information, visit the Blue Book Online Subscription Page.

Features of the new Blue Book of Gun Values:
· Includes the new 2022 makes and models, with many new handguns and rifles, and important pricing updates.
· 2,528 Pages covering over 1,900 manufacturers and trademarks, with almost 30,000 gun model descriptions, with new section on AR-15 manufacturers.
· 180,000+ up-to-date values are provided — most complete resource in print.
· Important pricing updates on major trademark current, antique, and discontinued models, including Colt, Winchester, Smith & Wesson, and Ruger.
· An 64-page color Photo Percentage Grading System (PPGS) which makes firearms grading even easier and more accurate.
· More information, more values, more illustrations, and more history than any other gun price guide on the market.


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