column By: Steve Garbe | October, 18
Early reports from the .22 BPCR Association National Championships held on July 27 through 29 this year at the Whittington Center in Raton, New Mexico, revealed that the match was completely booked-up with 160 competitors. This fact goes to show that the .22 BPCR discipline is continuing to grow and is easily our most popular single shot rifle competition. I can only see a bright future for .22 BPCR competitions if they continue to enjoy this level of participation. It’s also obvious that much of the enthusiasm for .22 BPCR Silhouette is due to the .22 BPCR Association itself and the way that it manages the matches.
The 2018 Matthew Quigley match, put on by the Forsyth Rifle and Pistol Club of Forsyth, Montana, also enjoyed a nearly full complement of shooters this year despite bad weather conditions. The good folks who ran the competition made the best of the situation and pulled off an excellent shoot while dealing with wind, rain and mud. Over 600 entrants easily make “The Quigley” the biggest single-shot rifle competition going; indeed, it has held that distinction for a number of years now. The match organizers, officials and workers are all volunteers, working hard the whole week for no compensation other than knowing they put on a good shoot for a sport that they love.
Now, there’s a common denominator concerning these two very successful matches that should be noted: Both of these competitions are run by volunteers who are actively involved in the sport. The folks who make these large matches a reality have a very positive attitude combined with an understanding of what the competition needs to be and what the shooters expect. This makes a winning recipe for a successful rifle match. No one needs to tell them that the berms need to be weeded, the gongs painted, the firing line policed or any other of the 101 things that constantly need attention at any big rifle match. They know about these things because they are shooters themselves.
Another successful aspect of these matches, especially the .22 BPCR competitions, is the officers of the governing association come from the ranks of the shooters. These people are uniquely qualified to make decisions for the good of the organization and the matches that it sponsors and promotes. There is never the worry that someone who doesn’t really understand (or care) what the shooters want is in any position of power within the organization itself. This concept is both efficient and simple with well-run and well-attended matches being the outcome. We sincerely hope that this state of affairs concerning the .22 BPCR Association continues.
Running a successful match for those who have never attempted such a thing is far from easy. One can only appreciate the effort that goes into managing a rifle match if they have done it themselves. For those competitors who typically show up to a match, shoot, gather up their prizes and head home – please stop for a moment before you leave the range and thank those folks who made the whole thing happen. Rifle matches don’t run themselves; it takes a lot of work by dedicated people to ensure that you have a good time. A “Thank You” can go a long way towards making them feel that they aren’t being taken for granted. Better yet, offer to lend a hand at cleaning up afterwards. I can promise you that your offer of help will ensure the continuation of the matches you enjoy.– Gut Ziel