Smallbore Rifle Silhouette
Objective: Shooting metal silhouettes of animals (Chickens, Pigs, Turkeys, and Rams) off of a rail or stand using a .22 Long Rifle from a standing position.
History: The sport of Silhouette shooting reportedly goes back to Pancho Villa’s men tying live animals at varying distances and seeing who could hit them. The winner went home with dinner. This has evolved from live animals to metal silhouettes of Chickens, Pigs, Turkeys, and Rams. In Smallbore Silhouette we shoot Chickens at 40 meters, Pigs at 60 meters, Turkeys at 77 meters, and Rams at 100 meters.
Equipment: A bolt action rifle chambered in a .22 Long Rifle either single shot or with a 5-shot magazine. Extended magazines don’t offer any advantage since loading is limited to no more than 5 rounds and using the magazine as a rest isn’t allowed. It needs to be capable of 1-inch groups at 100 meters. Smallbore Rifles are specified under NRA Silhouette rules 3.2 and 3.3. A scope of at least 10 power although most use 20 to 35 power. Since vertical scope settings are changed with each animal the scope must be capable of constant scope adjustments without losing the point of aim or ability to track accurately. Ammunition should also be capable of 1-inch groups at 100 meters.
The Basics: Stand and Deliver! Shooters are called to the shooting line and given the command Ready! We then have 15 seconds to prepare for the next command, Fire! We then have 2 minutes 30 seconds to fire 5 shots at a bank of 5 animals. Firing is from left to right with one shot per animal. If our shot misses we move to the next animal. After 2 minutes 30 seconds, the command Cease Fire is issued and we remove magazines, open bolts, and assure that our rifle is safe. Then Shooters back to the line and on command we shoot the next bank of 5 animals for a total of 10 shots for each animal. A match is completed after 40 shots have been fired.
How to Get Started: Find a range that provides Smallbore Silhouette and show up! Shooters active in Silhouette are anxious to get new shooters involved and finding help and guidance isn’t a problem. Any rifle capable of the required accuracy is fine. Upgrades in equipment can be made as you progress.
Smallbore Silhouette isn’t an easy game but watching animals fly off of the rail is extremely satisfying. Join us, we’ll have a blast.
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