Posted By admin on November 12, 2013
From Volume 14 Spring 2013
About two months ago, I was competing in my first shooting match, the Parma .22 Ruger Rimfire Challenge. I was using a Marlin fully-outfitted, tube-fed hunting rifle and a Smith and Wesson 22A. The pistol worked well, but the Marlin was an extremely heavy rifle more made for bench rest shooting than speed shooting while standing. The first stage was easy enough, but my dad had just bought some clips for the pistol, and they didn’t work too well, so the gun kept jamming. So at the end of the stage, I had all 30 seconds on all of my strings. (Strings are the rounds on each stage, and there is only a 30-second time limit for each string).
The next stage was the first rifle round. There were three strings, and it was rifle only. I could finally finish the round because both of the guns had been greased and ready to go to the next round of knocking down letters. Everyone on my squad kept shooting right through the “D” on the end, and, of course, the easiest target was the stopper plate.
The next round was knocking down circles and was my best string with the rifle. Next up was lollipops, and they were kind of difficult so I didn’t do too well with those. There was a rifle-only stage, and that was my worst stage of the day. On the last string, the Marlin was getting so heavy I couldn’t lift it anymore, and I felt awful going to the next stage. The next stage was a rifle-only stage; we were shooting whistle pigs, and they were so tiny and easy to miss, but they were fun.
(“one of the people on our squad let me fire his Ruger 10/22, and I cut my time in half while using it. “)
After everyone had their turn, one of the people on our squad let me fire his Ruger 10/22, and I cut my time in half while using it. The next round was Texas spinner stars, and the pistol portion of it I didn’t like at all because it was hard to aim, but the other part, which was the rifle part, was a lot more fun. Then we went to a pistol-only stage where we shot some circles that were very close together, and I got my fastest time yet.
Finally, we were at the last stage where I shot the Ruger again and had some really good groups and really good times. We went to the prize table and waited for the last group to finish. It took a long time because they had some issues with their last round, but finally they finished and we started the raffle.
The second ticket they called was mine. I was very excited as I went up to the prize table and looked around at what there was to offer. I eyed an action for a 10/22, and my dad said I could build a rifle around it, but then a kid pointed out some paperwork for a free 10/22 as one of the prizes. I wasn’t sure if I wanted it, but my dad urged me to take it. Unsure as I was, I took the gun and felt very good about it afterwards.
I couldn’t have gotten the gun without my dad and the people on my squad. Everyone I met was very friendly and helpful, and I really appreciated all the help that everyone had offered. It was a great experience, and I hope I can compete in more .22 matches in the future.
(Editor’s Note: Ashley has continued to shoot Ruger Rimfire and Steel Challenge matches; constanly improving her times. She has written articles in Volume 15 (Summer 2013) and Volume 16 (Winter 2013). She continues to write, test firearms, and enjoy the shooting sports always keeping safety as her number one priority.)