Precision Rimfire Shooting is a Fast Growing Sport
Precision rimfire shooting is one of the fastest-growing shooting sports in the nation, and after attending a Mid-Atlantic Rimfire Series match recently, it’s easy to see why. To learn more about the sport and its universal appeal, we caught up with David Luu, MARS Founder, and National Match Director.
The Accessibility & Price
Unlike traditional Precision Rifle Series matches, space isn’t an issue as MARS events don’t stretch over 1,000-yards. Living in Maryland, Luu struggled with finding a place to practice PRS on the East Coast. “One of the big problems with shooting long range is finding a range that you can actually do it,” he explained. This struggle was a driving factor in the start of MARS.
East Coast PRS shooters frequently travel to attend PRS matches, but MARS eliminates this need. Rimfire matches require less space, making competitions and practice more accessible. Additionally, .22 LR competition thrives on a price advantage. The rimfire round has long been used as a training cartridge (LINK) because of its lower price point. The ballistics and performance of the cartridge differ from a typical PRS rifle, but, as we learned, that doesn’t make the sport any less difficult.
Though MARS ditches extreme long-range targets, the sport mimics PRS by pairing the small .22 LR round with equally small targets. Not to mention, Luu adds time restraints and shot limits to as well as barriers and obstacles to overcome while shooting. This gives MARS a similar look and feel as PRS.
Vudoo Gun Works shooting athlete Tony Gimmellie told Guns.com that these challenges are what hooked him on the sport. “When we’re shooting a rimfire at 100-, 200-, 300-yards, its almost equivalent to shooting your .308 at 800-, 900-, and 1,000-yards… We can simulate [PRS] by shrinking target size too,” he told us.
Luu agreed with Gimmellie, saying one of the biggest issues for beginners is understanding the ballistics of .22 LR at distance.
The Family Friendly Environment
Another big advantage to the .22 LR platform is reduced recoil – the very reason many new shooters start with a .22 LR rifle. The low recoil paired with inexpensive ammunition allows youth shooters to learn, practice, and compete at a relatively low cost to parents.
“It’s a great way to get families into [shooting sports], which is another reason I started this. We want firearm ownership to grow, and the best way is to get people out there to experience it,” Luu said.
A number of competitors echoed those sentiments, citing the sport as a great way to connect with their kids and have fun while doing it.
The Equipment Needed
While nearly any .22 LR rifle will get you started in a rimfire precision match, optics are where you’ll want to invest your initial money. Luu recommends a minimum of a 10x scope to begin, with 30x as the preferred magnification to stretch out. The biggest factor your scope needs, no matter the magnification, is the ability to dial in closer or back out easily.
Luu pointed out that you can get started in precision rimfire with a standard Ruger 10/22 if you like but also said the Savage B-Series, Ruger Precision Rimfire, CZ 455, and the Tikka T1x are solid options as well. If you have the extra money, Luu recommends Vudoo Gun Works as it is “the Cadillac” of precision rimfire rifles.
Whether you’re brand new to competition shooting or you’ve been shooting for years, precision rimfire matches are a great way to have fun and challenge yourself in the process.