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Basics - what are the competition formats?

 
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Old 09-04-2008, 09:29 AM
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Basics - what are the competition formats?

For someone who doesn't know anything about centerfire competition shooting, what are the different formats? General info or a link would be great.

What class would be appropriate for starting out with a 22-250 VLS or a blueprinted 7mm wsm with 26" super match med. contour?
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Old 09-05-2008, 03:48 PM
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Re: Basics - what are the competition formats?

You have to tell us what you are planing to shoot ie. F class, benchrest, terrorist etc. etc.

Do you reload? If so the choices are limitless, if not it would be smart to stick to a proven factory loaded chambering that has rounds avalable and suitable for use in competion.

I can tell you if it is Terrorist they realy go down hard with the old 308 even harder if its belt fed!

Last edited by ICANHITHIMMAN; 09-05-2008 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 09-05-2008, 08:39 PM
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Re: Basics - what are the competition formats?

I'm most familiar with NRA F-Class, because thats mostly what they have around here. There are two categories: Open and Target Rifle, usually abbreviated as F/O or F/TR, or something like that. F/TR is limited to an unmodified (i.e. no Ackleys) .223 Rem or .308 Win, shot from a bipod and/or sling. Rear bags are allowed. Max weight for the gun (including everything attached to it, like scope, bipod, sling, etc.) is 8.25kg (~18lbs 3 oz.) F/Open is limited to .35 cal or less (may depend on local range restrictions), 10kg or less (22#), and ~3" fore end (76mm), and must be fired 'from the shoulder' i.e. no rail guns, but the majority are fired from conventional bench rests and bags placed on the ground. For either category, no muzzle breaks are allowed. The targets are round bullseyes with circular scoring rings - the 'X' ring is 1/2 moa at most distances, the 10 ring is 1 moa, 9 ring is 2 moa, etc. on a square target face that is approximately 6' x 6' (for long range). You shoot, someone in the target pits pulls the target frame down, marks the shot and runs the shot back up. Another competitor behind you marks the score for each shot on your card. You have a block of time, roughly one minute per shot, including two free 'sighters' (don't count for score) and you can shoot as fast or as slow as you want. There are some subtle variations, but thats the gist of it. You rotate with the people scoring and the people pulling the targets, and everybody shoots 3-4 strings per day. Distances may be as little as 300yds, and as much as 1000yds, and total round count can run upwards of 100rds for a day, with little (basically 'no') time for cleaning between strings. Your gun has to shoot as well 'hot-n-dirty' as it does clean with just a couple fouling shots through it. Some ranges have nice paved firing lines with covers to block the sun and rain, others are simply raised grassy or gravel mounds that may or may not be level! Most ranges have at least one wind flag mounted up on a pole so that it should be visible to all shooters... individual wind flags or mirage boards are not allowed.

The guns you mention would qualify in the F/Open category (even if you shot them off a bipod, which some people do to good effect). The .22-250 most likely has a slower twist for varmint bullets... the lighter bullets might get blown around a bit in the wind by 600yds; the odds of them making it to the target reliably @ 1k would be pretty slim. The 7 WSM should be able to make it to 1k with ease; the question becomes whether recoil would be manageable or not, and how long your barrel would last - some people go through 20 rds + 2 sighters in 2-3 minutes (out of a possible 22 minutes) if they are 'machine-gunning' and have good conditions and a strong target puller Either gun would work for getting out there and getting your feet wet; neither are what I would recommend for regular use in this particular venue for the reasons mentioned above.
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Old 09-07-2008, 11:48 AM
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Re: Basics - what are the competition formats?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ICANHITHIMMAN View Post
You have to tell us what you are planing to shoot ie. F class, benchrest, terrorist etc. etc.

Do you reload? If so the choices are limitless, if not it would be smart to stick to a proven factory loaded chambering that has rounds avalable and suitable for use in competion.

I can tell you if it is Terrorist they realy go down hard with the old 308 even harder if its belt fed!
"Targets" were what I had in mind... I really meant "basics" ie - What's the difference between F class and benchrest?

I do reload - these are the two most accurate guns in my lineup.

Based on the 2nd posting, F class sounds good, but maybe there are other formats that folks could enlighten me about?
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Old 09-07-2008, 12:24 PM
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Re: Basics - what are the competition formats?

I'm not a BR competitor at this time, so you'll have to forgive me not being quite as specific in the description.

Benchrest has a number of different formats... kind of like F-Class has Open and TR, regular and Fullbore. There is what is referred to as 'point blank' benchrest (100-200, and sometimes 300yd), and there is long range benchrest.

There are two main 'flavors' of point blank BR... 'group' and 'score'. In group you have a target with a 'record' bull and a sighter bull. You get something like seven minutes to shoot as many shots as you want at the sighter, and five on the record target. This is what a lot of people think of when they think 'benchrest'. The groups are very, very tiny - so tiny that registered matches have to have a moving target backer to prove that there are actually 5 shots in that bug hole. The other 'flavor' is score benchrest. For this you have one large target paper, with 6 bullseyes on it. Again, one is a 'sighter' bull, and you can shoot it up to your hearts content. The other 5 get one shot each, and your score is something like '50-4x' or similar. The 'X' is incredibly small... about the size of the tip of a writing pen. Both varieties shoot individual targets, and then aggregates... usually 5 targets with 5 shots each on them at each yard line.

The above each have 'classes' such as 'Sporter', 'Light Varmint', 'Heavy Varmint', etc. which basically describe the weight and dimensional limits of the gun. It seems like most people end up building a 'Sporter' or LV gun and use it to compete in as many possible classes as they can. Score BR has 'Hunter' class which imposes some unique restraints on the gun... no more than 6x scope, has to have a magazine cutout, and the cartridge has to be at least 6mm and have a capacity equal or greater than a .30-30 - essentially they are like NASCAR stock cars... they have to meet a certain set of arbitrary restrictions, but they *are* full on Benchrest guns, make no mistake! One of the two main governing bodies of benchrest, IBS, allows what they call 'Varmint for Score', or VFS. In this you start seeing people bringing their Light Varmint (hence the name) 6PPC rifles complete w/ 45x scopes and shooting along side the Hunter BR folks. This is also where you start seeing 'factory' or other classes more oriented towards the people with 'regular' rifles who want to come out and shoot. Depending on the club you go to, you may get a cold shoulder if you show up with a rifle without a benchrest pedigree, or you may be welcomed and can shoot alongside for fun even if your gun doesn't meet all the requirements of the rules - how or if the match director adjusts your entry fee can vary widely.

Long-range BR is a little less 'sub-divided' than point-blank BR... first of all, they shoot for score *and* group at the same time on the same target. You still shoot aggs (5 targets), but I believe the folks in the 'heavy gun' category (>17# or so) shoot 10-shot groups, vs 5 for the 'light gun'.

Differences between F-Class and Benchrest?

Some claim there isn't much, and call F-Class simply 'belly benchrest' as we shoot off the ground, not off of benches. A top-flight F/Open gun and a top level 600-1k BR gun may be one in the same - there is not a lot of difference between the two. Actually, BR has the more restrictive set of rules in this case. It's not uncommon to see people cross over between the two... if you have a gun that can legally play in both games, why not?

As you may have noticed, the most *record* shots a BR shooter may shoot in one string is 10. Usually its 5. F-Class usually shoots 15-20 record shots here stateside, though I've shot as few as 7-10 in Canada. In F-Class, once you start for record, there is no going back to the sighter bull to find out what the changing wind conditions are doing to your bullet impact. You have to suck it up and keep shooting - and actually try to 'read' the wind' (sometimes I might as well be reading braille or Swahili for all the good it does me!) and predict the effect.

Most forms of BR have sufficient time between relays to allow shooters to clean their guns and even reload their cases - in F-Class you pretty much never have time to do more than drag a brush thru the barrel to knock down the powder fouling, if that. Most people don't bother.
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