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August 11th, 2021

Silhouette Championship in Pennsylvania — and a Piece of History

Ridgway PA NRA smallbore silhouette championship Erich Mietenkorte SK Lapua

Silhouette Championship in Pennsylvania
Ridgway PA NRA smallbore silhouette championship Erich Mietenkorte SK LapuaFor the past few days, the Ridgway Rifle Club in Ridgway, PA has hosted the 2021 NRA Smallbore Rifle Silhouette Championship. Many of the nation’s top silhouette shooters attended this event. After a warm-up match on the 7th, the Championship match began on Sunday, August 8th and concluded on Tuesday, August 10th. Each match day featured a 40-round match with Standard Rifle and a 40-round match with Hunter Rifle. The High Power (centerfire) Silhouette Matches will continue later this week.

Ridgway PA NRA smallbore silhouette championship Erich Mietenkorte SK Lapua

Original 1950s Metal Silhouette from Mexico Donated to Ridgeway Club
There was a special dedication at the match. Ace silhouette shooter Erich Mietenkorte explained: “Most people will see this picture and just see the two of us kneeling next to a piece of steel that roughly resembles an ewe. However, in reality it represents the origin of [a sport] that has enriched my life immensely. Rifle silhouette … has added to my life an extended family of some of the nicest, most humble, and selfless people I have had the privilege to get to know[.]

Ridgway PA NRA smallbore silhouette championship Erich Mietenkorte SK Lapua

This silhouette was made in the 1950s for the Club De Tiro Y Caza Cananea in Sonora, Mexico and is one of the original targets that was shot at a distance of 500 meters to give birth to the sport of rifle silhouette. It is only fitting that it was presented to the Ridgway Rifle Club for its ongoing efforts in promoting the sport in the United States. Special thanks to Daniel and Carlos Salazar, and Mark Pharr for honoring our sport with this special gift. READ Letter from Club De Tiro.

Ridgway PA NRA smallbore silhouette championship Erich Mietenkorte SK Lapua
Here are Team Lapua, Team Berger Bullets, and Team SK members with their awards from the match. The staff of the Ridgway Rifle Club put on an outstanding event, with High Power Silhouette to follow. Excitement is growing for the inaugural Lapua Monarch Cup in 2022.

Congratulations to Luke Johnson on winning the 2021 NRA smallbore rifle silhouette championship. Luke won the overall title and also won the hunter gun championship. Luke’s team Lapua teammate Cathy Winstead-Severin won the standard rifle championship. Cathy Winstead-Severin finished 2nd followed closely by Laura Goetsch. Team SK’s Erich Mietenkorte took 4th overall. CLICK HERE for full Match Results.

Silhouette Centerfire high power history formation Mexico Ram Pig Chicken livestock

The NRA Blog ran an feature on Silhouette shooting by NRA Silhouette Program Coordinator Jonathan Leighton. Here are selections from Leighton’s story:

NRA Silhouette Shooting
The loud crack from the bullet exiting the muzzle followed by an even louder ‘clang’ as you watch your target fly off the railing is really a true addiction for most Silhouette shooters. There is nothing better than shooting a game where you actually get to see your target react to the bullet. In my opinion, this is truly what makes this game so much fun.

Metallic Silhouette — A Mexican Import
Silhouette shooting came to this country from Mexico in the 1960s. It is speculated that sport had its origins in shooting contests between Pancho Villa’s men around 1914. After the Mexican Revolution the sport spread quickly throughout Mexico. ‘Siluetas Metalicas’ uses steel silhouettes shaped like game animals. Chickens up front followed by rows of pigs, turkeys, and furthest away, rams. Being that ‘Siluetas Metalicas’ was originally a Mexican sport, it is common to hear the targets referred to by their Spanish names Gallina (chicken), Javelina (pig), Guajalote (turkey) and Borrego (ram). Depending on the discipline one is shooting, these animals are set at different distances from the firing line, but always in the same order.

Before Steel There Was… Barbeque
In the very beginnings of the sport, live farm animals were used as targets, and afterwards, the shooters would have a barbeque with all the livestock and/or game that was shot during the match. The first Silhouette match that used steel targets instead of livestock was conducted in 1948 in Mexico City, Mexico by Don Gonzalo Aguilar.

As the sport spread and gained popularity during the 1950s, shooters from the Southwestern USA started crossing the Mexican border to compete. Silhouette shooting came into the US in 1968 at the Tucson Rifle Club in Arizona. The rules have stayed pretty much the same since the sport has been shot in the US. NRA officially recognized Silhouette as a shooting discipline in 1972, and conducted its first NRA Silhouette Nationals in November of 1972.

Now There Are Multiple Disciplines
The actual sport of Silhouette is broken into several different disciplines. High Power Rifle, Smallbore Rifle, Cowboy Lever Action Rifle, Black Powder Cartridge Rifle, Air Rifle, Air Pistol, and Hunter’s Pistol are the basic disciplines. Black Powder Cartridge Rifle also has a ‘Scope’ class, and Hunter’s Pistol is broken into four sub-categories. Some clubs also offer Military Rifle Silhouette comps.

Where to Shoot Silhouette
NRA-Sanctioned matches are found at gun clubs nation-wide. You can find match listings on the Shooting Sports USA website or contact the NRA Silhouette Department at (703) 267-1465. For more info, visit SteelChickens.com, the #1 website dedicated to Silhouette shooting sports.

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November 10th, 2020

New Single-Shot Actions & Target Rifles from Vudoo Gun Works

vudoo gunworks V22-S single shot action benchrest f-class rifle smallbore

Here’s big news for .22 LR rimfire benchrest competitors and smallbore F-Class shooters. Vudoo Gun Works is now offering precision single-shot rimfire actions, and complete Benchrest/F-Class style target rifles. Vudoo will be selling the new V-22S Single Shot Action, the Vudoo/Flavio Fare BR-VS 0.7-2.8 oz. trigger, and complete single-shot target rifles with benchrest and F-Class-style modern low-profile stocks. With a Rem 700 footprint, the V22-S action can also be used for smallbore silhouette and prone rigs. That’s good news for .22 LR competitors in many disciplines.

About The Vudoo V-22S Single-Shot Action
The all-new V-22S action was designed for optimal function in single-shot applications. The action has a three-lug bolt, six o’clock ignition, and the bolt can be dis-assembled without tools. Vudoo claims the action’s 60-degree bolt lift is “the smoothest and lightest of any three-lug [rimfire] design on the market”. The V-22S will be offered in various configurations: right bolt/right port, right bolt/left port, left bolt/left port and left bolt/right port. There is an integral 11mm dovetail mount and optional 0, 20, 30, or 40-MOA Picatinny rails. Another first for this type of action is a complete color-coded mainspring kit with mainsprings ranging from 13 to 18-pound force. The action is currently priced at $1405.00 MSRP.

Vudoo Gun Works V-22S Action Features
Rem 700 Short Action Footprint
Rem 700 Pinned Trigger Interface
Three Lug, 60-Degree Bolt Throw
Six O’Clock Ignition — Vertical Sear Fire Control
Tool-less Bolt Assembly/Disassembly
Color-Coded Mainspring Kit (13-18 lbs.)
Integral 11mm Dovetail Mount
Picatinny Rail 0, 20, 30 or 40 MOA

vudoo gunworks V22-S single shot action benchrest f-class rifle smallbore

Trigger Options — Flavio Fare BR-VS or your Choice of Rem-Compatible Triggers
A newly-designed fire control system yields precise, consistent ignition thanks to the Vudoo/Flavio Fare BR-VS Trigger. Vudoo Gun Works teamed up with Flavio Fare to co-develop a trigger for the new fire control system. The BR-VS Trigger adjusts from .7 to 2.8 ounces with heavier pull weight ranges coming soon. [Editor: We have talked to folks who have tried this new trigger and they say it is outstanding.] If you prefer a different trigger, a 60-degree cocking piece will be available as an option.

vudoo gunworks V22-S single shot action benchrest f-class rifle smallbore

Complete Rifles Starting at $2800.00
Vudoo Gun Works will offer complete single-shot target rifles with three different match stocks: McMillan Kestros, McMillan Edge, Grayboe Renegade SS. These rifles will be fitted with the new BR-VS trigger, or other trigger of your choice. Complete rifle price ranges from $2800 to $3450 depending on options.

vudoo gunworks V22-S single shot action benchrest f-class rifle smallbore

vudoo gunworks V22-S single shot action benchrest f-class rifle smallbore

vudoo gunworks V22-S single shot action benchrest f-class rifle smallboreVudoo Designer Talks about V22-S Action
Mike Bush, Design Engineer and Co-Founder of Vudoo Gun Works told us: “The V-22S is a ground-up Gen 3 design, which is where the tool-less bolt assembly/disassembly started. We rolled this design backwards into what are our current Gen 2 Repeater actions and we couldn’t wait to get the new Single-Shot out and in the hands of competitors, target shooters and those with a general passion for rimfire”.

Mike says the design really works: “I’ve not seen a system that offers better concentric alignment, repeatability and smoothness of operation… add to this, the six o’clock ignition and our new Vudoo/Flavio Trigger, and I think you’re going to see big differences downrange.”

More Details about the V22-S Action
Some folks have asked whether Vudoo’s new action is devived from the Remington 40X rimfire action. Vudoo states: “The V22-S departs from the 40X in that the 40X was a full size center fire receiver converted to handle the diminutive .22LR cartridge. The V-22 has been designed from the ground up as a true-to-scale Rimfire receiver that fits the Rem 700 footprint. The V-22 has a very unique control-round-feed protocol. The bolt has full capture control of the cartridge from the time it leaves the magazine until it ejects the spent round out the ejection port. [So] the cartridge is controlled in a way that it never touches anything on its entrance into the bore. There is no feed ramp, nor does the projectile go in at an angle that would damage it in any way. We all know how susceptible the soft lead of the .22 LR is to accuracy degrading damage and minor nicks during the chambering process. It is eliminated in the V-22’s geometry.”

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May 25th, 2020

Lapua Monarch Cup Silhouette Event Postponed to 2021

Lapua silhouette monarch cup Canada mexico usa

With the Nationals Championships for Smallbore Rifle Silhouette cancelled in Canada, USA, and Mexico, the 2020 Lapua Monarch Cup has been postponed until 2021. For more information on the Lapua Monarch Cup visit LapuaMonarchCup.com.

“In light of the current global health situation surround COVID-19, the Monarch Cup Board of Directors made the difficult decision to postpone the Lapua Monarch Cup from 2020 to 2021″, stated Monarch Cup Director, Daniel Salazer. “The uncertainty regarding international travel and the concern for the safety of our friends and competitors, led to this very disappointing decision. We vow to make the 2021 Lapua Monarch Cup an event to remember.”

Lapua silhouette monarch cup Canada mexico usa

The Lapua Monarch Cup was slated to be 2020’s elite event of the silhouette shooting world. The Cup was to be hosted in three different countries: Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Events were planned throughout the summer and fall of 2020. Competitors earn points from each match within their respective classification (Master, AAA, AA, & A), giving all shooters an opportunity for $25,000 in cash prizes. But now that will be moved to 2021.

“Lapua is saddened that this difficult decision had to be made, but we know it’s the right one”, stated Adam Braverman, Director of Sales and Marketing. “The board and Lapua’s top priority is for the health and safety of the international shooting community. However, we are excited to announce that we will continue as the Title Sponsor of the Monarch Cup for 2021.”

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May 13th, 2020

NRA National Silhouette Championships Cancelled

National Silhouette Championships Ridgway Rifle Club PA Pennsylvania NRA

Add another major National Rifle Championship to the list of shooting events cancelled in 2020. We’ve lost the CMP matches at Camp Perry, and the NRA High Power and Smallbore Championships at Camp Attebury in Indiana. Now the 2020 NRA National Silhouette Championships in Pennsylvania have been cancelled due to Pandemic concerns. Here is the official statement from the NRA:

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the many ensuing federal and state safety regulations and mandates, the Ridgway Rifle Club has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 NRA National Silhouette Championships which was to be held July – August 2020 at the Ridgway Rifle Club in Ridgway, Pennsylvania.

The NRA and the Ridgway Rifle Club share your disappointment that these competitions had to be cancelled.

A decision regarding the 2021 NRA National Silhouette Championship dates and location(s) will be announced later this year. The NRA and the Ridgway Rifle Club wishes everyone good health and the best of luck. For more information please visit Competitions.nra.org.

National Silhouette Championships Ridgway Rifle Club PA Pennsylvania NRA

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September 3rd, 2019

Smallbore Silhouette Champion Edges Team-Mate in Shoot-Off

Lapua Rimfire Test Center Midas ammo .22 LR smallbore rimfire ammunition

Congratulations to John Mullins, the new 2019 NRA Smallbore Silhouette Hunter Rifle National Champion! Mullins tied for first place with fellow Lapua team member Dustin Flint. Then, in a dramatic shoot-off, Mullins shot 107/120 to edge out team-mate Flint. Notably, both men used Lapua .22 LR rimfire ammunition. Mullins’s ammo choice was Lapua Midas+.

The 2019 NRA National Silhouette Smallbore Championships took place August 4-6, in Ridgway, Pennsylvania. Matches consist of 3 x 120 round relays, all fired from the standing position. For each relay, shooters engage ten chickens at 40 meters, ten pigs at 60 meters, ten turkeys at 77 meters, and ten rams at 100 meters.

Champion Mullins Had Pre-tested His .22 LR Ammo at Lapua Test Center
When asked what was most critical to capturing the title, Mullins stated, “Lapua ammunition was the key factor in my success. I visited the Lapua Rimfire Test Center in Mesa, AZ and paired the most accurate ammunition with my rifle.” Mullins found that Lapua Midas+ outperformed all other options at 50 and 100 meters in the Lapua test tunnel, shown below.

Lapua Rimfire Test Center Midas ammo .22 LR smallbore rimfire ammunition

Above is the Lapua Rimfire Testing Facility in Mesa, Arizona. This allows measurements at both 50m and 100m for the same shot. Later this fall Lapua will open a new Test Center in Marengo, Ohio with identical capabilities. For more information regarding ammo testing at Lapua’s USA Rimfire Test Centers, email Lapua here: rimfiretest [at] capstonepg.com

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August 4th, 2019

Sunday GunDay — .22 LR Rimfire Silhouette Match Rifle

Erich Mietenkorte .260 Bobcat silhouette rifle Lilja

The Modern Smallbore Silhouette Rifle
Smallbore rifle silhouette is a shooting discipline that can really test a shooter’s ability and fundamentals. The saying in silhouette is “the bench proves the rifle, standing proves the shooter”. To be able to stand and shoot a rifle at targets ranging from 40 meters to 100 meters is no small feat, especially when the 100 meter ram target is just a little bigger than a large potato.

Of course, you need a good rifle. The CZ 455 has been at the top of the starter rifle list for a long time, however, a few newcomers such as the Tikka T1x are definitely challenging that spot. The gold standard in the silhouette discipline seems to be the venerable Anschutz 1712. With a fantastic two-stage trigger, smooth operation, great balance, and consistent accuracy it’s one of the most popular rifles, just look through the equipment survey from the U.S. Nationals and you will see what I mean. Even though the Anschutz is a great rifle, there are those competitors who want more. Enter Erich Mietenkorte, a Master silhouette shooter from Ellensburg, Washington and his P-51 Mustang-inspired .22 LR silhouette rifle.

Erich Mietenkorte .260 Bobcat silhouette rifle Lilja
The P-51 Mustang artwork was masterfully painted by Perry Mallet of Spokane, WA from a basic theme sketched out by Erich. This is one of the coolest gunstock paint jobs we’ve ever seen. Bravo Mr. Mallet!

Erich’s Smallbore ‘Silhouette Slammer’

Report by Erich Mietenkorte
At the heart of my .22 LR “Silhouette Slammer” is a Sako P94s Finnfire action. I chose this action due to its incredibly fast lock time. Mated to that is a tight-bore Lilja 4-groove barrel finished at 24 inches. This has a Winchester 52D chamber. The barrel and chamber combination were suggested by Loren Peter of Vancouver, WA, a long time silhouette shooter and gunsmith, and it definitely works! The rifle easily and consistently shoots under one inch at 100 meters with good ammo.

Finnfire Fitted with Modified Anschutz 2-Stage Trigger
The Finnfire was originally equipped with a single-stage trigger but I decided that a two-stage works better for me. There weren’t any available options at the time so I took an Anschutz 5109 trigger from a model 1712 and machined a new sear and mated it up to the action.

CLICK to Zoom Photo
Erich Mietenkorte .260 Bobcat silhouette rifle Lilja
Click Image for large, full-size photo showing details of paint-work.

The rifle wears a Leupold FX-3 25-power optic, a scope favored by many silhouette shooters for its clarity, magnification, and relatively light weight. To make weight in Hunter Class, the rifle may weigh no more than 8.5 pounds total with optic! The last component that makes up this winning rifle is the amazing work of art that is the stock. All of these components rest in a custom fiberglass stock made specifically to push the limits of the NRA stock jig that all competition silhouette rifles must fit. The stock was constructed by Steve Wooster, a long-time silhouette shooter from Chehalis, WA. The P-51 Mustang artwork was masterfully painted by Perry Mallet of Spokane, WA from a sketch I did. Perry took an idea and used his artistic abilities to create a masterpiece that looks as good as it shoots.

Erich Mietenkorte .260 Bobcat silhouette rifle Lilja

Getting Started in the Silhouette Game
Erich’s advice for anyone wanting to get started in the fun and challenging discipline of silhouette is to take any .22 LR scoped rifle you have and simply show up at a silhouette match. On many occasions Erich has helped newcomers and has even loaned out his own rifle for novices to try. “One of the best things about silhouette is the generosity and friendliness of the competitors. Silhouette is a shooting sport that you don’t have to be intimidated, all shooting abilities are welcome and everyone has an opportunity to be successful.” To learn more about silhouette shooting, or locate a silhouette match near you, visit Steelchickens.com, a popular silhouette-centric web forum.

In this Video Erich Mietenkorte Shoots Rams at 100M with his .22 LR Silhouette Rifle:

Erich Mietenkorte .260 Bobcat silhouette rifle Lilja
Note the bullet impact locations on those 10 turkeys — that would be about a 1″ group. Great shooter with a great rifle. In Canada two weeks ago, Erich set a new Ram “long run” record, hitting 30 in a row.

The Three Amigos — Along with his P-51 paint job smallbore rifle, here are two of Erich’s centerfire silhouette rigs. Erich notes: “The green rifle is my High Power silhouette standard rifle (class weight limit 10 lbs. 2.0 oz.). This features a Defiance Machine Rebel action with a Lilja #6 Contour barrel finished at 26″. This rig is chambered in .260 Bobcat (aka 6.5×250, i.e. 250 Savage necked up to 6.5mm). This cartridge has the same energy as a .260 Remington but much less felt recoil. It is very efficient and makes a big difference when shooting a lot of rounds in a match.” Stock by Steve Wooster.

Erich Mietenkorte .260 Bobcat silhouette rifle Lilja

The brown rifle (upper right) is a blueprinted Remington 700 action with a Lilja #5 Contour barrel finished at 26″, also chambered in .260 Bobcat. Erich tells us: “I won Second Place at the U.S. National Championships last year with this rifle. Stock made by Wooster. This rifle is for the hunting rifle category (9-lb weight limit). For Hunter rifles in smallbore and High Power the trigger must have a safety and a pull weight at least two pounds. (By contrast, a Standard rifle may have any weight trigger with/without a safety.) Because you can shoot a Hunter rifle in the Standard rifle class, I started my High Power silhouette journey with this rifle and then added the Standard rifle later. I’ll be replacing this rifle this upcoming season with a Defiance Rebel action and barrel chambered in 6mm BR.”

Erich Mietenkorte .260 Bobcat silhouette rifle Lilja

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