View Full Version : Rim Fire Questions

jackie schmidt
05-10-2009, 09:25 AM
As an avid 100-200 yard Centerfire Competitor, I admitt that I am pain fully ignorant of the various Rimfire Disciplines.

I have read the rules for two of The Sanctioning Bodies, (USBR and NBRSA), I have no knowledge of how things are really done.

What is the most popular format?? Is group shooting considered more difficult than score, or vice-versa??. Is there a Rifle that one can build and compete in all classes, (such as a Sporter in Centerfire).

Aside from the Rifle, is the equipment pretty much the same as found in centerfire, ie, front rest, rear bag, flags, etc.

I just want some general info. I have never been to a Rimfire match, in fact, I have never seen a Rimfire Benchrest Rifle in person. Aside from a few shooters over in Louisianna, I do not even know anyone who shoots Rimfire.

Educate me. And others. I bet I am not the only one out here who is ignorant (sort of stuck in our own world), of some of these common items.........jackie

05-10-2009, 10:24 AM
Most rimfire is score shooting. There are some ARG group shooting matches in the south I believe. The most popular formats (in no particular order) are ARA, IR 50-50, RBA, and PSL. I believe you can find all links to these organizations at the BRC homepage. There are a few guns that will compete in all classes, but very, very few. Most folks own two guns if they compete in IR 50-50 and RBA as they have classes. Their heavy guns mostly fit both the 10.5# and unlimited classes so they are generally less than 10.5#. Tuners are a must in 10.5# and unlimited. They are not allowed on sporters. The stocks on sporters must be made of wood and have a convex underside. ARA and PSL are unlimited only (but shoot what you got, if it is a sporter...have at it.) The rests are generally what you would see in centerfire for the sporter and 10.5# classes (front rest, rear bag), unlimited class shooting you see mostly one piece rests and free-recoil shooting. Flags are a MUST in rimfire. The state of Texas has the most clubs sanctioned by ARA (which is based out of Boerne, TX) with probably Missouri and Indiana being next. Don't know much about IR 50-50 or RBA. They surely have sanctioned clubs in TX. The Professional Shooters League (PSL) will have their last match of the year in TX. There is much more but I'm trying to get to Mother's Day dinner with my family. Someone else will chime in to help.


05-10-2009, 10:57 AM

Carp pretty much summed it up in a nutshell. There's a ARA double tournament this coming weekend, Saturday and Sunday, 5/16-17 outside of New Braunsfels, Dieztville to be exact, with the Saturday event starting a 11AM. There will be a lot of folks there who can answer just about any question you may have. Should have a lot of good shooters attending and Dan Killough said he was going to be there so any questions concerning PSL he could answer for you also. Haven't seen the who's attending list but Fred Jamison may list it here before the events. You should try to make it over if you want to see a good one first hand.


Kent Owens
05-10-2009, 12:03 PM
If you click on the links on the home page of this forum to Ir5050/USRA, RBA.

Fred J
05-10-2009, 12:05 PM
Rimfire is no different that CF when it comes to equipment. We both spend the same amount a money. Some more disciplines put restriction on rifles just as the CF disciplines do. What's the main difference? In RF, you are stuck with what ever ammo the manufactures stiff you with. No reloading or modifying the 22 RF ammo. We spend just as much time testing lots of ammo, as you do in load development, bedding, tuner testing and set up procedures. Many of the successful RF shoots spend more time learning to read conditions for short range shooting. As all the RF ammo we use, is sub-sonic, expensive and sometimes in short supply, we really pay attention to those conditions. The time restraints are a bit different of our score shooting. Where in CF you have a short period per group, we have on average, a 20 minute time limit for each 25 shot score target. That includes all the sighter's as well. I know our schedule stays full, but if you get a chance, look up a range and attend one of their matches. There is just about the same amount of BS at their shoots as there are in CF. We will even supply you with a set up so you can learn first hand how we got hooked on RF. Hope to see you at one of our RF matches sometime soon.
Check out our club web site for more on the Dietzville/Cedar Pointe Clubs at Howard's in New Braunfels. Like Les noted, this weekend, we will be hosting a double tournament, where you will see the like of Ed Shilen and many other find RF competitors.

Fred J

05-10-2009, 01:45 PM
I enjoy rimfire only at club level, but my hats off to those who take the leap.

You can easily simulate rimfire benchrest with your CF BR sporter if you want.
Just chamber up a great barrel in 22 Hornet and spend the next few months buying and testing overpriced second or third pick lots of factory ammo. Iím guessing rimfire accuracy will drive Tony nuts in less than a week. :eek:

Bill Myers
05-10-2009, 01:52 PM
Jackie,Call Dan Batko,I think that he shoots Centerfire with you,He has a Rimfire Rifle that i built for him last year,Take a look ,He will probally let you shoot it. BILL

bob finger
05-10-2009, 02:02 PM
Jackie: Lots of ARA in TX, Its a tough target and no restrictions on the rifle/rest like some of the other organizations. Not knocking any of them they are all fun. One good rifle can take you to the top in ARA (or PSL). Main difference between cf and rf is ignition is CRITICAL on rim fire. That and ammo. And reading the wind. Get you a case of Eley Black box, a nice rifle, grab your best rest and bag and find some ARA or PSL targets, put one up at 50 yards and see how tough this game is. I bet you get hooked quick and will be among the top quite soon.

Come up to Kettlefoot for the next PSL on May 23, bring your bench gear and some money. There will be several of us there who will gladly loan you a rifle. I'll have a back up in the car you are welcome to shoot. I guarantee it won't be your last rimfire match! bob finger

05-10-2009, 03:04 PM

You may want to read the rules for IR50/50 or RBA they are quite similar, and ARA, which is similar to unlimited 50/50 and RBA. Which is more popular depends on where you're from. ARA is big in the midwest, 50/50 along the east coast and RBA in the south. Lots of crossover shooters for all the games.

Generally speaking, score is considered harder to shoot than group. This is only because of the movement required to shoot 25 individual bulls. It's possible to build and shoot a sporter in all classes. That said, it's improbable that you will be happy with the results. Some shooters master the sporter, but, most are more comfortable with a 10 1/2 lb. rifle and the flat stock that goes with it. The 10 1/2 lb rifle seems to be at no disadvantage when competing in the heavier classes.

Your existing equipment will make the crossover to rimfire without a problem. The one thing to look at would be your flags. Usually you centerfire guys use bigger flags to be seen at 2-300 yards. They are heavier and not as quick to respond to sudden light chnages in winds.

As others have said, get to a match near you. Doesn't matter which game. You'll be welcomed and most likely offered a rifle and gear to use.

Good luck.


Peter Armstrong
05-10-2009, 08:44 PM
The rimfire world championships are on in the US in 2011 (Kettlefoot) and if you have any international aspirations its 8 1/2lbs sporter 10 1/2lbs and unlimited class.

Most of the gear is the same but the limitations of the ammo will drive you crazy.


Brian Voelker
05-11-2009, 07:48 AM
Score is the most common as the clubs do not have to have moving backer set up and scoring is by plug on one hole and edge. ARA and PSL are worst edge and 50/50 , RBA , etc are best edge. ARA target rewards center shots and 50/50 rewards least amount away from center on all shots. I can shoot a 0 on ARA target and win a target but in 50/50 the same shot would put me at mid pack or worse.
You will need a staple gun as you have to hang your own target. The 100 yard round trip will be good for the legs. If you cant do it someone will help. It will scare you if you are a CF shooter as the rules in most CF prohibit any one not authorized down range after the first commence fire.
Build a 10.5# gun and use the same stock, CF rest, bag set up you are used to for score shooting.
I compare 50 yard RF to 200 yard CF as far a flag reading and hold offs for the center shot. Big difference in sound and recoil though! You dont have to wear muffs and plugs to keep concussion from affecting you after full day, just plugs.
And you dont need any reloading equipment with you in the truck or at home, just money for case lots of ammo! When I finish a RF target and say I am going to reload for the next relay it means I am going to have a soda and go BS with the neighbors and think about what condition I missed for the errant shot I just had.
Target break down for the 25 shots for record in 20 or 30 minutes is shoot a few sighters for warm up fouling and then pick your standard condition. Use short runs when your condition is there and pause or go to sighter when you get lost. Have a good dead air zero and use hold over to center shots. Bullets move the same way as you are used to.
You will build your own rig. Big difference in internal barrel lap between RF and CF if you want a competitive rifle. RF needs .0005 taper mostly in first 8 inches to compensate for low pressure loads and high amount of fouling in the RF compared to CF. The rest of the build is same as CF except chambering is similar to throating and you have to index for extractor cut.
Remember RF is lead bullet technology. 16-17 twist barrel and smaller barrel diameters than you are used to. Mostly .800-.900" straight contours. If you want more weight put it in the stock.
Good luck in your new adventure.

bob finger
05-11-2009, 08:16 AM
Brian and all:

A correction if I may. The PSL target is scored "best edge", not worst edge as you said. ARA is scored worst edge as stated.

From the PSL rule book, page 6 Item 9, second sentence it reads "Scoring is based on the best edge scoring method."

A nit I know, but PSL is new enough that not all are familiar with the rules. bob finger

05-11-2009, 04:44 PM
A Top rimfire shooter by the name of Mr Shelby Wright once told me....In rimfire NO 2 days are the same.......Mr Wright has since passed, but I will always remember those words. Ernie