Why Ruger Rimfire?
In photo, Tim Norris.
From Down Range TV
SHOOTER READY, STAND BY, BEEEEP!!! The first time I answered those range commands with gunfire was in 1988 at a local club that I had just joined. Combat Shooting as we referred to it then (in less PC times) was still a fairly new sport and as such was still evolving rapidly. Back in the day there were few veteran shooters let alone pros around to draw experience from, so we just had to jump in with both feet and hope for the best.
My first tournament level competition was the 1991 World Speed Shooting Championships, and it was terrifying. Back then you would pick up the leading shooting magazines and read about the Pros and the World Championship events and it looked like a lot of fun. The problem was that we didn’t have a clue as to what it took to compete in those events, so again as before we jumped in head first and hoped that the water was deep enough, but not too deep mind you. Most of us that shoot competitively started just like this and we continue to compete because we have survived the process. I was very lucky in that there was a group of us that shot together a lot and we all jumped in together.
So you’ve read up to here and you say that’s a quaint story Tim, but what’s the point, and what does any of that have to do with Ruger Rimfire? Well we’ve all heard the stories about some father, husband, boyfriend, or whatever taking a new female shooter to the range, putting a large bore center fire handgun in her hands and saying “just shoot that target”. The aftermath of that adventure is more often than not that the new female shooter decides that she no longer wants to shoot. This is a tragedy, someone who had an interest in a sport that needs all the supporters it can get is at the least no longer interested and at worst is convinced that it is a dangerous pass time with no redeeming social value.
Several years ago some folks in Southern California started shooting .22 Rimfire two gun matches as a change of pace from the usual Practical Shooting fare. So we arrive at the question “Why Ruger Rimfire”? Ruger Firearms saw these two gun Rimfire matches and realized that this would be a great vehicle to bring new shooters into the sport and the reasons are many.
The barrier to enter into this sport is very low since the firearms can be purchased inexpensively and can be shot in competition right out of the box. There are no holsters or other accessories needed since this shooting is done from the Low Ready start position and the stages are stand and shoot. The firearms are fairly light weight and can be handled by young shooters more easily than their center fire counterparts.
Rimfire allows new shooters to start with firearms that are low recoil, low noise and use inexpensive ammo. Local matches are generally very reasonably priced and most discount match fees for women and juniors so a family can go out for a day of shooting and still afford the gas it tasks to get home.
Many clubs have equipment to loan if you want to give it a try but don’t have all of the necessary guns and gear, just give the match director a call or dash off an e-mail and ask. Just about every club that I shoot Rimfire at uses this match to teach their new shooters the safety and procedures that most of us veterans take for granted.
Both of the local clubs that I am a member of have offered new shooter clinics at a very low cost (just enough to cover range fees and ammo), we supply the firearms, ammo, instruction and even lunch and in the last 6 months we have taught 60 new shooters how to safely enjoy this sport. Many local clubs have embraced the Ruger Rimfire model and have created regular monthly matches, if I wanted to I could shoot 7 Rimfire matches a month in my home state with more slated to come online this year.
Competitive shooting is one of the only sports that I know of were you can compete on the same field as the Pros but you don’t have to compete against them. It’s like playing in an NBA game with Michael Jordan but you don’t have to play against him. Professional and veteran shooters are far more willing to share knowledge than in other sports and ultimately shooting is a great way for families to spend time together, for friends to reconnect and to forget the day to day stresses that seem to drag on us even more these days.
SHOOTER READY, STAND BY, BEEEEP!!!
These words still make my heart race, it’s always a great day to be on the range.