Smallbore Match

The neglected safe queen.

Back in the beforetimes – pre-pandemic – which I can hardly remember these days, I was getting interested in the smaller calibers. I found myself a cute turquoise Ruger 10/22 Takedown and was considering trying some metallic silhouettes at my gun club.

I got as far as mounting a scope on her, but never got sighted-in. Then Ms Rona came to town. 

Over the ensuing  two and a half years I was pretty pre-occupied with practicing medicine, survival gardening, and trying not to catch the plague. You may laugh now, but I’m in primary care with snotty nosed children breathing right in my face on a daily basis. It wasn’t as high risk as say ER or ICU, but I was directly exposed nearly weekly there for awhile. It was stressful.

All gun club matches were cancelled because many members were retirement age and above, and thus high risk. Even if the matches weren’t cancelled I wasn’t going to go. I constantly worried that my exposure at the office would result in me getting someone else deathly sick. I didn’t have the leftover energy to go to the range by myself, so except for a ladies shotgun gig last summer when things were looking hopeful pre-delta, I mostly haven’t picked up a firearm in 2 1/2 years. (I did hunt with crossbow though) With all the other stressors I kind of lost interest. Don’t judge me. We have all coped in whatever ways we could, myself included.

But since the clouds are parting now I was looking for ways to pry myself out of my malaise. Lo and Behold, an email arrived from my club, announcing the restart of smallbore silhouette matches! These are non-sanctioned matches just for fun and the next one is happening in about a week.

Well, I scuttled down to the basement to find my 10/22 because it had been so long that I honestly couldn’t remember if I had mounted a scope on it or not. I had, and then the “oh yeah” came back to me. I had put it on, but that’s as far as I got.

The email said that ammo needed to be “standard velocity” only, so 1100 fps or less. All I had were high velocity “Bucket O’Bullets” type which were also purchased in the beforetimes. I previously used those for steel matches with my CMMG AR adapter set-up. 

Given that, now that the ammo shortage is easing a bit, I went shopping and found myself some Norma which I knew was a reliable brand. They came in right at the cutoff of 1100 fps. Score! I was worried that much lower than that and my semi-auto wouldn’t cycle. I know that a lot of smallbore match people use bolt actions, but the email said to bring whatcha got, so that’s what I’m doing.

Right at the cut-off!

I happen to be on staycation this week, so I’m hoping to get to the range to get sighted in and shake off the cobwebs before the match. I’ve at least got a small goal now, though I have zero expectations for how I will perform at the match. I honestly want to just go plink and get back into the shooting routine. Hopefully this will help me find my lost mojo again. Fingers Crossed.

Dr LateBloomer is a female general pediatrician who bought her first firearm at the age of 46. She now enjoys many different shooting disciplines including self-defense, IDPA, USPSA, Steel/Rimfire Challenge, 3-Gun, Sporting clays, and is getting started in hunting. She is a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment and works to enlighten her medical colleagues whenever possible.