View Full Version : Thanks to all for participation in Production Class Discussion.
Now that we have clarified that we are in a test phase of this great idea of a low cost production class and that the Match Directors will have some latitude in their recruiting efforts, I would like to thank those that contributed in the discussion.
I feared in starting the discussion that some one might think that I was looking for change for my own benefit. My rifle was purchased along with several others long before the production rules were put in place. The famous airgun shooter Joe Isaacks and others were shooting non competitive rigs in the HV class to help get the bench game going in Houston. We had already accepted the challenge of getting the most from entry level equipment.
I have today installed a barrel band on my Hammerli and moved my scope back close to two inches from a comfortable position in the original set up and I am constructing a wood base to raise a leather bag that I owned and did not go out and purchase. I will be in full compliance with the original rules at our next shoot. This change will allow me to better consider and make decisions on equipment for new shooters as we move forward.
We were the second club I think to join Chris in this great adventure and will work hard to grow the game in all classes.
04-11-2012, 11:59 PM
Good Luck, Bob. Hopefully when the weather turns warmer in spring and summer we'll have more visitors we can talk to about giving the class a try for fun. We have 3 shooting Production and I'd sure like to see that grow. We always have fun even if the winds try their best to humble us.
Wild River Air Rifles
I cannot believe that with three 2500 to 3500.00 rigs that I spend more time trying to get the best out o a 249.00 air rifle. I think that once the plinkers with 22 rim fire see the fun and lower cost our 5 bench air gun range will be over run.
Good ShootN' to your group.
04-13-2012, 12:52 AM
What you are now seeing is why I began to shy away for the idea of a strictly STOCK gun production class, and lead more towards a "Sporter" designation, allowing minor mods on guns that have the basic appearance of standard sporting guns. there are lots of hunter/plinkers with guns not strictly original that might shoot, and, so long as its clear the gun isn't customized with features peculiar to mostly bench shooting, I say, wheres the harm?
I know there are some bog standard sporter guns with truly great accuracy that one might occasionally run across (esp if you really go thru a lot of em while looking), but its mostly luck, and I see little intrinsic difference in the use of an otherwise stock gun that's been refined a bit with minor trigger and barrel tuning or stock bedding. Even a replacement barrel of the same type falls into the category to me.
But, what Ive seen is that even obviously modified sporters that retain sporter type stock (round underneath with no special BR profle) and no special heavy barrels are still a of of fun and are not a huge step up from standard guns, so long as the idea of the no machine rest with hand steered butt is retained.
I notice you decline guns with regulators ... perhaps that too is a good idea, but I'm not going to turn folks away that have em, since I haven't seen proof they are an important aid to higher scores.
The only small change in production class was clarification that this is a test year. The shooters who participate will determine the rules as we go forward. If you read the clarification you would have seen the major points were 1) match directors ability to determine if a small price difference giving no clear advantage is allowed. The rifles are still production out of the box rifles. As far as mechanical rest costing 1,000.00 and the shooter not allowed to make one single adjustment might as well be a wooden block, as far as any advantage. In fact a shooter with a bag of sand would have an advantage, in that the a flexible leather or soft material that conforms to a round rifle stock would be more stable, proven I think in competition. Any thing between the forearm of the rifle made from any material is allowed as long as any adjustments on that item are not used. This so the majority who have a 29.00 rest do not have to purchase any thing more.
I sure hope that you will offer a production rifle class at your events even though you personally are a master tinkerer. The production class shooter in my mind will initially, at least, be a plinker that would like the social and competition of a shoulder to shoulder event and is more interested in shooting what he owns and not having to find a master tinkerer to stay competitive. I was shooting these less expensive guns. as a great challenge, to see if I could get the most from it.
There are clearly many rifles outside this price limit and we should allow them to come and play.....post the scores on the forum of those guns outside these rules and invite to them to compete with similar equipment in order test the interest of expanding this class or creating another, makes sense. I believe that an non regulated rifle costing a little more might fit when everyone figures out that it is the shooter, his ability and not so much the scope or the mounts or the rest.
All is for naught in this discussion as you as a Match Director with input from your shooters will do what is required to grow the sport, as will I. We are off to a good start.
Perhaps in my first post on this thread. I should have said, I put my rifle back to its factory out of the box configuration by putting the second (totally useless) barrel band back on the rifle, having removed it long before the class was created. Even though it is not my preferred distance for best eye relief, the scope is two inches back from where it was comfortable for me. I have also put away my old alum. platform used only to support the bag I will now have on a wooden block to get the rifle at the proper height. All of this because I already owned a second leather bag and was not forced to buy one. The other shooters at our club can still use what ever rest they own.
I doubt one will find a factory rifle under the price limit with a regulator and adding one is tinkering.
As always, though we sometimes do not agree, we are both for growing the game and bringing shooters to the wonderful world of airguns. You should have it your way if that's what the shooters want.
04-13-2012, 01:29 PM
I would gladly add the production class anytime there are at least three shooters wanting it. I have offered to do this before, but there hasn't been the interest. Here's the situation: We only shoot once a month, and usually only have time for two relays. So far, folks tend to shoot the gun(s) they are currently playing with, or ones they feel are most competitive. The "regulars" would need some sort of special incentive to bother with a bone-stock gun, and so far we haven't found the right incentive i guess. I have a couple guns that might work, but I too won't bother with them unless I know others will show up with something similar, because I don't want to use up the match day with inexepensive stock guns when I already have three or four SPORTER types I could be using UNLESS it encourages a few new guys to begin shooting with us.
See Bob, there really isn't much point to trying to encourage the regular shooters to begin using inexpensive bone-stock guns UNLESS this attracts new blood to the benches. All these guys have modified guns they can use in sporter class, and they rarely bring THEM either. A fact of life is many airgunners tend to personalize their guns.
04-13-2012, 01:46 PM
Bob, I have to agree with LD here. I think the Production Class as currently defined and being tested is far too restrictive to really open up the class and draw in new shooters.
My first concern is that finding a $700 rifle and scope combination that is accurate enough to keep someone’s interest in the benchrest sport is a real crapshoot. 1 out of 10 .22 caliber Marauders are considered reasonably accurate out of the box. If you are the lucky 1 of 10 and are a reasonable shooter you will win more often than not. If you are one of the unlucky 9 you will probably shoot 1 or 2 matches and quit or put an LW barrel on the rifle or perform some other modification to make it more accurate and disqualify yourself from the class. I cannot imagine that there are a lot of people with Marauders or Hammerlis that are looking for a place to shoot their inaccurate stock rifles in competition.
The people we are trying to attract are people who are interested in accurate rifles, they are the people that buy a $300 Marauder put a new barrel on it and tune it until it shoots like a $1500 Rapid or Daystate. There is nothing they enjoy more than beating someone with a high dollar rifle. Benchrest shooting is all about accuracy and no other shooting sport I know of is more dependent on equipment than benchrest. What other shooting sport do you know or where the only contact between the firearm and the shooter might just be the tip of your finger?
Who I am trying to attract to my matches are shooters who own accurate rifles that they use primarily for hunting and plinking. The vast majority of people who own Rapids, Daystates, FX’s and Air Arms rifles have never fired a shot in competition but they strive to have the most accurate rifle they can have. They are the people who come to a match get skunked and use it as a challenge to improve their technique and equipment. They begin pellet testing and tuning and swapping parts to improve their results. Benchrest is the ultimate test of accuracy and those interested in pursuing accuracy will hopefully enjoy the sport and continue to participate.
These hunters and plinkers are also the people that understand there is a huge difference between an EV2 or P70 shooting off a SEB rest topped with a 36x Leupold Competition scope and their hunting rifle and sand bags. This is why telling them they can shoot in Heavy Varmint or Open Class is not necessarily a good option.
I am looking to create a class that gives people, who own “hunting” rifles and love accuracy, the chance to compete in a sport where accuracy is king. I have watched the rise of the Hunter Field Target class bring large numbers of new shooters into the field target sport. What was key there was the Hunter class was defined by the “type” of equipment you used and not the “cost” of the equipment. It gave people who would never consider shooting a traditional field target match a way to participate using the gear they already owned in class where they felt they could be competitive.
I will continue to have the Sporter Class in all the matches I run. If I see enough people show up with inexpensive stock equipment I will consider a production class as well. I just don’t think there will be enough interest to support it here in Sacramento.
Just my thoughts and nothing more.
Jim in Sacramento
Jim and Ld,
I agree with both of you with your good ideas and willingness to do what works best. We should all satisfy our local shooters first. We will start at the low end as we have several shooters close to meeting the rules as they were configured before the rules were written it is a no brainer that none of these will make any change this year. I will go back to my original set up. One or two new guys are really easy and will just shoot for what we all really do, to try to best our last best match. Any one doing that is a great success. I have stepped down with my Hammerli to get the class started and will go back to my other guns when we finish our 15 targets. Not sure if we can shoot another 15 since I am the only one with more guns. I will encourage all to shoot my rifles. One Maruader guy is already looking at HV. He bought an airgun and came from other games. When we get anyone showing up with the next level of rifles for the most part not regulated we will make a place for them. I think that a tricked out regulator added with non factory barrel belongs with the big boys.
04-13-2012, 09:45 PM
There we agree. Whatever the local guys need to bring em in, and keep em coming. For sure we need to have a place for guys with totally stock entry level rigs, AND we need to have a place for them once they have tuned and modified those entry level rigs after tiring of middling scores, yet we still need to allow for the ones that want to go all-out with fancy machine rests, pro-level scopes, and custom lapped barrels as well. BUT, its a balancing act, as too many little classes stifles competition. This sort of balancing CAN'T be done on any one small range as well as most would want .... but rather, I suspect we NEED more big regional matches!
WE need to get the shooters workin themselves up for trying to outgun the competition in something like "three-gun" matches, where folks can bring two or three different guns and shoot in maybe several classes at the big match. One way to do this, I think, is to wean ourselves from three-card aggregates in the same class, and perhaps initiate matches where its the total of three, or four cards, each fired with a different class gun?
Say we have a match where you can shoot any four of LV, HV, OPEN, Sporter, and count the best three out of four scores. I envision say five minutes of sighters per relay, and 20 minutes per for the coring portion. What happens to "stock class"? I think it should be changed to allow any stock APPEARING gun, recognizable as being an "entry level" platform ... allowing it to meld into any of the other classes with varying levels of success.
04-14-2012, 10:27 AM
Jim, your thoughts are very well put remembering what this sport is all about...accuracy............ at least you have an open mind realizing we all cannot afford $4000 guns and everyone has to start somewhere. You guys helping the novice with this class no matter how you end up tweaking the regulations will help the sport progress and grow.
thank you for your effort................Frank
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