National Rifle League: HUNTER Series

The National Rifle League is an organization that is home to many different series such as 2 Day National matches, NRL22, NRL22x, and NRL Border Wars. Beginning on February 19th the first match for a new series will be held. That series is the NRL HUNTER Series gearing up for the 2021 season. A series designed to put your own hunting gear to the test.

Words with the President/Founder

Talking to Travis Ishida, the President and founder of the National Rifle League and now the NRL: Hunter Series his passion for this series shown through.

Travis is someone who cares about growing the shooting sports in a fair, honest, and educational way. He has been involved in the hunting community for over ten years and has filmed epic hunts for 5 years. A word that was brought up in conversation many times was the word “ethical.” Travis talked about hunting as something that should be done properly and ethically. If you take a shot that is too far, not placed correctly, or shot with the correct round, how is that an ethical shot to take? Yet so many hunters are going out there without the proper knowledge and gear.

Thus NRL HUNTER. A place to bring the gear and equipment that you use to take those shots every year and put it to the test in a scored event. The same bloodstained jackets and rifle you got that prized deer with last winter.

Something that also was brought up many times was the type of competitors and other series within the National Rifle League. Travis stated. “If we have the same race gun competitors that we see at the 2 day NRL matches show up to NRL HUNTER then we screwed up.” He stated to “leave your sponsor jerseys at home”. This isn’t the palace for it. This is the place to do hunting right and to show those that may not know what right is the proper gear to hunt with and why. The priorities or NRL HUNTER are simple, Education and Verification. Educate others about the gear and equipment used and verify your own.

What is it?

As the NRL HUNTER website states “Hunting isn’t merely a a hobby or a pastime, it is our way of life.”

NRL Hunter is a series to pay homage to the shooting style that the vast majority of Americans participate in each year, hunting. Equipped with lighter rifles, less power scopes, ranging equipment and real moving targets, hunters are the main reason that much of our equipment even exists. The goal of NRL hunter is to bridge the gap between those shooters and our current competition shooters.

Who should compete?

NRL HUNTER was created to allow hunters to come out and prove their gear. Prove that their rifle, rangefinders, even clothing is able to confidently and ethically kill an animal. This Series isn’t for the gamers or the race gun guys it is for those that first want to prove their gear and for those that want to learn how to properly hunt.

This is the type of discipline in which it is all up to you. It is up to you to find your targets, range your targets, and engage your targets. Many shooters love that, some are not accustomed to that as they normally receive their targets and distances in a match book. The divisions are very inclusive as they allow the hunters that often don’t get to compete against the heavier calibers a chance to really show up to these events.

The Rules/Divisions

There are three divisions, factory, light, and heavy. Between those there is also a ladies classification and young guns classification. Within each division there is a maximum weight limit and minimum power factor. Power factor is the Bullet Weight in (gr) multiplied by Muzzle Velocity in (fps). 

Factory Division has an approved list of factory rifles that are allowed to compete. Note: Factory means factory. No custom barrels or modifications done to the rifle. Factory means it needs to be kept as it would coming directly off the line.

Open Light Division has a weight restriction of 12 lbs maximum with a minimum power factor (PF) of 380,000.

Open Heavy Division has a weight restriction of 16lbs maximum with a minimum PF of 380,000.

What do the matches consist of?

From the NRL Rules

The match will consist of Blind Stages.

  1. This means no stage briefing, distances, nor stage descriptions are provided.
  2. Competitors will be required to find, range, and engage all targets on the clock as an individual.”

There will be a 4 minute time limit to find the targets, range your targets, build your positions you so choose, and engage each target. Distances will be from 100-1000 yds.

Another cool thing about these stage set ups is that each target will created to be a realistic sized animal as you would see and engage while hunting.

Train Up

The first NRL HUNTER match in Nehawka, Nebraska is giving a 4 hour train up included in the match fee. This will be given by two very experienced precision rifle shooters within the community.

Scoring and Championship

First and foremost, the shooter must be a NRL HUNTER (NRLH) member in order for their scores to be counted toward the championship. The scoring works a bit different in this series than the two day NRL matches. In order to qualify for the championship match you only need to shoot one match with a high enough score that qualifies you. Other series you need three or so during the regular season. There will be 180 spots for the champsionship with each division porprationed for slots based on the amount of competitiors within that division.

When are the matches?


Anna Martinez
Anna is a Federal Weapons Gunsmith with 8 years of previous experience within the US Army Ordnance Corps (91F). She has taken multiple armorer and weapons proficiency classes to include FN, Knights Armament, and Small Arms Weapons Expert course. She also writes for American Gunsmith, AR Build Junkie, and is active in Precision Rifle sports around the nation.