View Full Version : Which scoring gauge (plug) to use in Rimfire Benchrest targets ?

06-23-2011, 04:11 PM
I recently bought new scoring gauges in .22 rf to using in our club meets on the USBR target so that 3 or 4 of us would use the same gauge in scoring and make it quicker. Before we used a RIG gauge-a NRA gauge-and one from ? that was a tall tube style. The older gauges had a measure of .2235" but the new ones from Champion Choice (the only one sold ) has a measure on the shaft of .198" and there is a small bottom ring that is .22". What's up ? No more .2235 to be bought ? My question is "what are the Rimfire Benchrest associations using for the official scoring gauge" ? Help. Richard P S I was told by a person in the U S B R that the new plugs are made by Anschutz.

06-23-2011, 04:39 PM
IR 50/50 uses a .224 that Bill Hinegardner has. I like it better than any that I have seen. After all, a .22 bullet is .224.

Dave S
06-23-2011, 07:41 PM
IR 50/50 uses a .224 that Bill Hinegardner has. I like it better than any that I have seen. After all, a .22 bullet is .224.


You may get some arguments with that statement.. Some people claim that when you measures groups, that the bullet hole is actually .221 or .220 or something other than .224. And that when you measure group size, that the old standard of measuring outside edge to outside edge and subtracting .224 in entirely wrong. I have always subtracted .224 from my measurements for groups and have been severely criticized for reporting inaccurate group sizes... :-)


Joe Haller
06-23-2011, 07:59 PM
Make your own.


If you don't have a lathe, you can buy a gauge with official NRA dimensions from Hughes Precision, Bob & Susan Hughes are members of our club and shoot rimifire benchrest with us. They have a machine shop in Indian River, Michigan.

Before this last postage rate increase they were charging Six bucks for a .22 caliber gauge. (They make other sizes too)

UP here at our club, we found the Hughes Gauge gives a more accurate reading. No plastic magnifier - No glare from a light source. For those close ones, we use a 4 or 5 power magnifying glass over the gauge. MUCH more accurate measurements.

If you would like a gauge like the one shown above, send Susan Hughes an e-mail . . . susan@hughesprecision.com

Joe Haller (Mr Frosty)

Joe Haller
06-23-2011, 08:06 PM


bob finger
06-23-2011, 08:15 PM
If you are scoring an sanctioned IR50 target, you MUST use an IR50 plug, just like Mr. Pepper above mentioned. They can be obtained from IR50/50. If I remember correctly they are $18 and are among the best plugs out there. Easy to use and see with the magnifier. A light box is a valuable addition when you are scoring lots and lots of targets.

The "official" ARA plug comes from ARA and is essentially what Mr. Haller described. I don't think RBA has an "official" plug. I don't score RBA targets so am a poor source for that one. bob

06-23-2011, 08:46 PM
Oh yes, Bobby, couldnt let that one go by. The RBA always used the Myers plug which is the big one with the dome shaped top and the brass measuring pin. It was .2235. However since Mr. Myers has now gone to the big range the plugs are getting skinned up and hard to see through. If the 50/50 plug is like that then it too will become cloudy and you will not be able to see through it. Ken Fulghum at Randolph Machine, 336-625-0411 is making the new plug for RBA , it is like the old RIG plug with the magnifying lens removed. We are using a 90 degree flashlight with a built in 8x magnifier lens. it is the best at seeing the really, really, really close ones. Try it , you will like it. I am inviting you down to the RBA 3 gun Nationals this weekend ,we would love to have you down. Might be some hot dogging going on.

Pete Wass
06-23-2011, 11:26 PM
I bought an ARA scoring plug, which comes with a small Printer's loupe for magnification. I had a Rig and then bought one of the new IR 50/50 plugs @ the crawfish. The new IR 50/50 is a bit more "forgiving" than the other two I mentioned and seems to be more forgiving and easier to read than the Myers.

06-23-2011, 11:30 PM
I bought one of the units shown in the link below. I mostly bought it for potentially scoring 17's but have also played around with it on 22 targets [ after the targets were scored with the legal plug ]. I like it better than a plug because the tear of the target paper can't affect the score.


Kent Owens
06-23-2011, 11:42 PM
I like using the "new" IR50/50 scoring plug better than any other I've used. The .224 diameter is inside the glass. The plug sets flat on the paper, and you get what you get. No need for a light box, microscope, flashlight, or anything else. It just works! It's probably best to not have visually impaired folks scoring targets.

06-24-2011, 07:04 AM
If you are scoring an sanctioned IR50 target, you MUST use an IR50 plug, ........


Not necessarily so:

Total of the scores for Sporter, 10.5, and 13.5 Classes at both 50 yards and 50 meters. Only contested at the Nationals.


Scoring plugs that measure.224 shall be used.

Scoring Protest
After targets are scored, targets must be hung in full view of competitors. Targets are not to be handled by competitors until

The above from the 50/50 rules. I know Bill wants every club to use the 50/50 plug, but that's not what the rules say. If it ain't written down, it was never said!


PS: If you got to disassemble a rifle to remove the magazine it ain't legal either.

bob finger
06-24-2011, 07:21 AM
Ken: Looks like you have a point. The IR50 rules appear to have NOT yet been amended. So, no matter what Mr. IR50 told us Rangemasters a non sanctioned plug protest is not going to hold much water per the rules.

Lets not start up on the sporter rules again, please. You and I will always agree to disagree on that one. bob

06-24-2011, 07:27 AM
Gotta smile with that one!


06-24-2011, 08:32 AM
Maybe those rules are like the several others that were voted on and passed by the membership at meetings held at the Nationals.
1. You can't lose more points than you can earn. (double shot target no more than a 10 point deduction. Before you could lose 11.
2. After the incident with a gun being discharged prior to the commence fire command at the match, at the same meeting it was again voted on and passed that a bullett would not be inserted into the gun until after the commence fire command was given.

I haven't found a revision in the rules! This was done prior to Wilbur selling IR50-50 to Bill. I reminded Bill and he is supposed to revise the rules soon.

Pete Roberson
06-24-2011, 08:49 AM
I agree with the second one maybe going as far as no bolt until after the commence fire is given but I sure hope Bill has second thought about the first one, other wise everyone will be trying to improve on that edge nine, but so far it's not written in the rules, yet!!

06-24-2011, 02:53 PM
Good point Pete! I hadn't heard the rule explained with that twist before.
I also agree with #1. Whether it's in the rule book or not, I enforce it at my range with a "gentle" reminder to the offender when it is obvious that a round was waiting in the chamber for the "commence fire" command.


06-24-2011, 04:40 PM
Stay on point guys. I have had some really good feedback about the scoring gauges that I think other shooters are appreciating also. Thanks

Joe Haller
06-24-2011, 05:21 PM
Learning how to score a target with a gauge (plug) does not come easy for some people.

When my wife Mavis and I started spending our winters in South Texas, we helped organize a rimfire BR club at the resort we were at. A commercial outdoor range was only two miles away. Generating interest was easy. In the second year we had 35 members.

BUT: None of these guys or gals wanted to score targets. I spent a winter season doing more scoring than shooting: The next year, I decided some of our members had to learn to use a gauge.

Just "showing" them did not work too well. Maybe because they were all OLD retired farts. So: I drew up a couple of graphics as part of a "lesson plan". Even my most difficult "student" after looking over the graphics, said: "Now I got it!".

How many people in your club do you trust with a scoring gauge?

Joe (Mr. Frosty)

06-24-2011, 09:06 PM
Good point. I spoke to a fellow shooter today about having a meeting after the next shoot-before the scoring so we do the same scoring. He had a suggestion that anytime there is a doubt on a score we should mark that bullseye and then pass it to 1 person who has the function to use the scoring plug so it's done the same way by 1 person. This is still a friendly club match. Does any club use something similar ?

Pete Wass
06-24-2011, 09:23 PM
A relitively simple way to assure that there are no premature shots fired or any shooting accidents is not allow any bolts in rifles before the command "Commense Fire". The second or two it takes to insert one's bolt will not prevent them from finishing their "Card". A strict bolts out rule between Cease Fire and Commense Fire assures rifles are safe and will not discharge. A rife without it's bolt inserted is as safe as any front rest. Anyone who has a rifle with a difficult to remove bolt needs to remedy that situation before they show up to compete.

Joe Haller
06-24-2011, 09:26 PM
At our club, when a scorer has a shot that he feels just a little to close to call, he decides in his mind what he" thinks" it should be: Then asks two others to have a look. The score is determined by vote of the three people.

The gauge stays in the shot hole until the value is determined. Some inexperienced shooters will want to plug the hole a second time. I have even seen shooters push the gauge inward to gain a point. "bad-bad".


Pete Wass
06-24-2011, 09:33 PM
At our club, when a scorer has a shot that he feels just a little to close to call, he decides in his mind what he" thinks" it should be: Then asks two others to have a look. The score is determined by vote of the three people.

The gauge stays in the shot hole until the value is determined. Some inexperienced shooters will want to plug the hole a second time. I have even seen shooters push the gauge inward to gain a point. "bad-bad".


The .224 section of the "New" scoring device is recessed in the magnifier thus preventing it from being able to thrust through the paper. It's a great device :).

06-24-2011, 09:38 PM
Why not use the IR 50/50 rules that are posted on their site, before the match starts appoint 3 referees and after the match have a 10 minute protest period. if there is a protest to a scoring box mark it and after the protest period is over the refs plug the target and at the same time reveal there results and the score stands or the extra point is awarded or an x is awarded. IR charges 2 dollars for a protest and if the protest is good they get their money back or if the score stands the club gets the money

Joe Haller
06-24-2011, 09:45 PM

Joe Haller
06-24-2011, 10:03 PM
About a dozen years ago IBS made an attempt to promote rimfire benchrest. It didn't fly. Seems the reason was that the target was too easy. The 10 ring was 1/2 inch in diameter: Twice the size of the I.R. 50/50 ten ring.

06-24-2011, 10:49 PM
Thank you Joe Haller for that comparison it was very informative..

06-25-2011, 08:50 AM
Hey Kent, I resemble that remark.

Joe Haller
06-25-2011, 12:58 PM
Because of this last postage increases I had asked Susan Hughes about any price increase on the gauge She and Bob are making. She said the post office increased the postage cost by 50 cents.

SO: She said the price of the Hughes .22 caliber gauge will increase to $6.50.

There is something else she told me: She has had my "How To Score" graphic reproduced by a local printer and she sends a copy with every gauge. There is no "middle man" profit here. I suspect they are offering the best value in scoring gauges in the world.

Those graphics would not be much help to someone trying to learn the ARA scoring method, but for IR-50/50 and RBA, graphic #2 has all the information needed to teach a newbee how to score either of those targets.

You can find the graphics in post #5 of this thread.


Fred J
06-25-2011, 02:02 PM
I disagree. ARA scoring is not hard to learn. It's been difficult to accept for the most part. Glad to see you still rolling along..

Joe Haller
06-25-2011, 02:57 PM
I'm still rolling. Had a bunch of busted spokes last month. Cost 40 bucks to have them replaces and the wheels trued up.

About the ARA target: I understand the part about the trailing edge of the gauge breaking" through" a scoring ring to the next lower value. In computer graphics, the diameter of a circle is determined by the outside of the line. Line thickness can vary, so you don't want to measure from the inside of a variable width line. I think the hard part is when you get out to the 10 ring. When does a 10 turn into a zero or miss?

I know it is different than scoring the old BR-50 target, where you got a -25 if the "leading" edge was in that thick 10 ring. I think you guys corrected that mistake. But: Explain how ARA determines the difference between a 10 and a miss.

We are finally getting some nice Spring weather UP here. It started the same day you guys in Texas entered Summer.

Joe :-)


Dave S
06-25-2011, 03:11 PM

The difference between a 10 and a miss or zero on the ARA target is this.. If the bullet hole completely cuts the outside line, then it is a 10. If you can see any blue around the inside (worst) edge of the plug, then it is a zero or a miss...


Fred J
06-25-2011, 05:09 PM
Dave said it all. The best thing to do to avoid having to plug, is to put them all in the middle.

Joe Haller
06-25-2011, 05:51 PM
Hello Dave:
Hi Fred:

I THINK I finally see the light. A verbal description added to the graphic on the ARA target could help a new shooter understand How to Score it.

For the shooters who have not seen the target, I submit this graphic, which is similar to the one on the ARA target. I just made it backwards. Again, I think adding a verbal description would help in scorer training.


Dave: You had asked me if I had any of the RIG scoring gauges left. As you know, I had sold more then 500 of them to members of the RFC On-Line-Matches, before the well went dry. I thought I had a couple of them left in the shop, but so far have not been able to find them. All I have left are a two dozen .17 caliber RIG gauges. Many of our members have the RIG gauge, but most prefer the new Hughes Gauge. I'll beg, borrow or steal a RIG for you when we have our next match.

That Black Grade 10 Suhl I bought from you is the envy of many of our local shooters.

If I don't go to jail for stealing that gauge for you, I'll need your mailing address.

Joe :-)

Joe Haller
06-25-2011, 05:53 PM
Now that you have seen it, did I get it right?

Dave S
06-25-2011, 06:30 PM
Thanks Joe... pm sent with my address...


Pete Wass
06-25-2011, 09:57 PM
Target Sizes:

As a competitor, I see no relevence in target size. I have to compete against all the others shooting at them so there is no advantage or disadvantage to me or anyone else. Hang em up, I'll shoot at em. I like em all :).

Fred J
06-26-2011, 12:01 AM
Excellent graffic.

06-26-2011, 07:30 PM
Thanks for all of the feedback. I'll be buying some gauges this monday. Richard