Scenes From This Weekend’s NRA National Junior Three-Position Air Rifle Championships

This weekend the NRA’s Junior Air Rifle 3-position Rifle Championships are being held in Bloomington, Illinois.  Participants made it through regional qualification events to get to the shoulder-to-shoulder National Championships. Young people representing nearly half of America’s states came to the Central Illinois Precision Shooting Range to compete. Not surprisingly, the skills on display were very impressive.

The NRA Air Gun Nationals runs two days, with each competitor shooting the 60-shot course of fire each day.  Each shooter fires on two ten-round targets from prone, standing and kneeling under time constraints. And they don’t use your dad’s pellet rifle, either.

Sights from the NRA National Junior Air Three-Position Rifle Championships

No, these shooters use some pretty high-tech equipment combined with excellent technique.  They have to.  Shooters try to hit a center speck on a tiny bullseye at 10 meters.

Sights from the NRA National Junior Air Three-Position Rifle Championships

Officials use electronic scoring down to a decimal place, reducing the number of ties and ensuring accurate scoring.  At the same time, by scanning the targets and letting the computer instantly score them, it makes life a lot easier for scorekeepers. It also eliminates human error.

Sights from the NRA National Junior Air Three-Position Rifle Championships

In talking with some coaches and parents, these young people work extremely hard to compete. Regular practice sessions, both at home and at the range, help make good shooters into championship competitors. All of that in addition to their normal schoolwork.

At the same time, these young folks also work hard to fund their considerable equipment and travel expenses. While not at the range practicing, some washed cars, baked bread and sold candy bars to help pay for gear.  Even middle-of-the-pack competitive air rifles run upwards of $2500 to $3500. State-of-the-art guns can cost as much as a small car.

Sights from the NRA National Junior Air Three-Position Rifle Championships

As for those custom-made leather competitive shooting jackets and pants? You could buy a high-end AR and a top quality American-made optic for the price of a set of those.

Sights from the NRA National Junior Air Three-Position Rifle Championships

Keep an eye out. Results should soon show up at OrionResults.

Here are some more sights from this year’s NRA National Championships.

Sights from the NRA National Junior Air Three-Position Rifle Championships

Sights from the NRA National Junior Air Three-Position Rifle Championships

Sights from the NRA National Junior Air Three-Position Rifle Championships

Sights from the NRA National Junior Air Three-Position Rifle Championships

Sights from the NRA National Junior Air Three-Position Rifle Championships

Sights from the NRA National Junior Air Three-Position Rifle Championships

Sights from the NRA National Junior Air Three-Position Rifle Championships

Sights from the NRA National Junior Air Three-Position Rifle Championships

 

comments

  1. avatar Moltar says:

    awesome stuff. Just wish those kids could use 22lr instead of an air rifle for that competition, it’d be a whole lot cheaper for the kids competing and thinking about competing.

    1. avatar GunGal says:

      Would sure be more fun shooting 22lr than pellets
      As kids we made our own rubber band guns.
      Sneak out at night during summer and the war was on. And, no, never put everyone’s eye out.
      Got to think it was more fun being a baby boomer than it is for kids today.

      1. avatar Moltar says:

        I know I did (and still do) have much more fun outdoors than my kids do…. We go camping and all I hear is complaints, we go fishing they get mad the fish ain’t bitin soon as the bait hits the water, and we go shooting all I hear is how they run out of ammo and targets after about an hour. Then again they are only 4,7, and 8 they still don’t play outdoors as much though.

    2. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      nothing is moor fun than shooting 6.5mm creedair.

    3. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      At this level of competition, a .22LR rifle (new) starts at about $2500K and goes up. A good .177 competition air rifle could start in the $1600 range and go up from there. .22LR ammo for this level of competition will typically cost $6 and up for a box of 50 rounds. It often is less expensive to start with an air rifle – especially since 10 meter air rifle range can be set up in many basements or hallways, and the kids will be able to really practice before showing up at a competition.

      The only real target .22’s made anymore are from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, italy and maybe Russia. There used to be serious target rifles made here in the US – the Winchester 52, the Remington 37, etc. No more. The American shooters’ obsession with getting the most noise for their dollar has eliminated the American target rifle sector from the large manufactures; the only way you get a new American-made .22 target rifle with globe/peep sights, accessory rail, adjustable stock and fast trigger (ie, the Anschutz trigger group) is to have one custom made.

      Someone who wants to start shooting three-position shooting seriously could do much worse than go shopping for a used Win52, Rem37 or similar rifle, with sights already on it, and then put their money into a coat, spotting scope, etc. By the time one becomes good at getting the form, NPA, etc down pat, they’ll be ready to upgrade their rifle. If you want to take the shortcut to finding a top-level air or .22LR competition rifle, here’s the one word you can use to cut to the chase: Anschuetz.

      1. avatar Moltar says:

        you may have a point I wasn’t thinking full on super comp guns right off. I was thinkin separate classes like idk maybe a play on NHRA dragster classes.

        Stock- pretty much run what you brung and hope you brung enough. Sight changes are allowed and match ammo is allowed. The jacket, gloves, and worn gear (except eyes and ears) are optional.

        Super stock- Factory stock, receiver, and trigger. Everything else is up for grabs. Jacket is required, rest is optional.

        Comp- Custom built high performance rifles (Anschuetz and others). Jacket and all gear must be worn.

    4. avatar Big Bill says:

      There are several youth .22lr matches and organizations (including NRA and 4H) that are available. Probably more than for air rifles.

  2. avatar GS650G says:

    Some outrageously high tech guns right there. Those guns will do a .177 hole 10 shots in a row. It’s all up to the shooter.

  3. avatar Grace12 says:

    Lots of girls! But we all know that according to bloomers, shannon and david bacon pork chop pig boy they’re all future child killers and terrorists.

  4. avatar ironicatbest says:

    My7 year old grandson was going to enter this however since they don’t allow creedmor position he said, ” FCK THEM STUPID BUTT FCKERS, THEY CAN EAT SHT AND DIE,GDAM AZHOLES, FCKEM Grandpa!!!”

  5. avatar Gun Owning American says:

    Liberal heads exploding in 3..2..1.

  6. avatar Southern Cross says:

    10 metre indoor air rifle was my starting discipline. The modern guns make my old Feinwerkbau 300 look positively old school.

  7. avatar EGB says:

    How can we help sponsor these young sharpshooters? Any good links for reputable teams? I’ve bought tickets for 4H fundraisers, but this endeavor looks promising too. Always glad to help the next generation…

  8. avatar Docduracoat says:

    Great to see kids getting into shooting!
    Even if it is with those funny looking air rifles
    As someone else said, is there any way to support them?
    I would chip in to support youth target shooting

    1. avatar Big Bill says:

      “[your city here] air gun teams” (sans quotes)
      Google it. Usually lots of teams, even a few school teams. Most will gladly accept monetary support.

  9. avatar craig k says:

    Had my first air rifle at 5, a Daisy PAL BB gun. Served me well, 19D DMR as adult.

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