"Speed Pins" Bowling Pin Handgun Match Rules
"Speed Pins" Bowling Pin Handgun Match
All normal range safety rules apply. Safety is paramount.
Distance: 25 feet
Pin type: Five full size bowling pins for all calibers.
Pin tables: 36" to 40" high, but it can be varied to guarantee that bullets will safely hit the berm or backstop. Pin tables are five feet wide. Typically four tables are required. Plans for "Speed Pins" pin tables are available HERE.
Pin spots: Pins are spotted 12 inches apart, equally spaced.
Format: Matches are head-to-head. The first shooter to get all five pins ON THE GROUND OR BERM wins the round. Tie tables are shot over. If a pin is knocked off of the table by a shot hitting the table instead of the pin, and that shooter wins that table, the table will be shot over. If one pin falls to the side and knocks over another pin, there is no penalty or shoot-over.
Each round is two out of three to advance. Either single or double elimination can be used. If double elimination, the final round should be three out of five to win.
Timing In: Each shooter shoots four tables, of five pins per table, individually timed. The shooter's three best times are added together, and the first round match-ups are determined by qualifying times.
Match-ups can be either fastest against next fastest down to slowest against next slowest, or fastest against slowest, or however you want to do it. Fastest against next fastest is best for new shooters, as they get to shoot against other new shooters, in most cases. Other schemes for match-ups can also be used.
Timing in is a good idea, rather than perhaps just a luck-of-the-draw match-up, as it allows every shooter to get warmed up a bit, and to be sure everything is working OK.
If there a a large number of shooters, timing in may be reduced to "Best two table times out of three", or even "Best table time out of two".
Start: Referee's commands are typically
"The range is hot."
"Shooters to the line"
"Load and make ready."
"Ready on the left"
"Ready on the right"
Shooter's start position can be either be with gun touching the table, if there is a table, or with the gun held in front of you pointed down at a 45 degree angle. The referee will announce before the start of qualifying which start position will be used. Trigger finger should be outside of the trigger guard.
When the referee's timer horn blows, the shooters commence firing until the referee announces either:
"Winner on the Left"
"Winner on the right"
or "Tie table".
If the referee cannot determine the winner on a close table, he may appeal to the other shooters for help.
Please stop shooting once a winner is announced.
The referee will then announce:
and the shooters will remove magazines, lock the slide back, and show the referee the empty chamber. Some ranges may require chamber flags to be inserted into the chambers.
Depending on individual range rules, you may be required to transport your handgun to and from the firing stations, or to another firing station holstered or in a case or carrier so you are not touching the gun itself.
The referee will then announce:
"Range Clear (or Cold), pin setters, please."
All shooters are expected to help set pins when they are not shooting, or on deck.
Magazines: Rim fire shooters can load no more than ten rounds in their first magazine. Center fire shooters can load no more than eight rounds In their first magazine. No restriction on second magazine.
Ammunition: Lower velocity center fire bullets can bounce back off of a bowling pin with devastating results, so full metal jacketed bullets are not a good idea, particularly with lower velocity centerfire ammunition and/or light loads. Hollow points are OK. Any .22 caliber ammunition, excluding bird shot, is OK.
Classes: Rim fire optical sight, rim fire iron sight, revolver, and semi-auto center fire are the basic classes, but you can split large caliber and smaller caliber center fire into two classes, or split center fire into optical sight and iron sight classes.
Red dot sights are considered optical class. High visibility sights with plastic inserts are considered iron sights. If you are unsure, check with the referee BEFORE signing up. Iron sight guns MAY be allowed in the optical sight class, but optical sighted guns may not shoot in the iron sight classes. Center fire Revolvers are usually allowed in the center fire semi-auto classes, according to their type of sight.
The guiding principle is that a slower class gun can step up into a faster class, but not vice versa. Rim fire semi-autos may or may not be allowed into the centerfire classes, depending on the wishes of the center fire shooters.
You MAY be allowed to enter two different guns in a class, provided they are significantly different, and you clear it with the referee first, and pay two entry fees. If you come up against yourself in the match, you must retire one of the guns and continue with the other gun. Once the gun has been retired, it cannot be used later in the match.
Currently there are no standardized rules for pin shoots, and this set of rules for "Speed Pins" will hopefully fill some of that gap.
There is also a set of rules HERE for pin shooting matches where you use full size semi-permanent pin tables and wider pin spacing, or pin tops for rimfire matches.
Typical entry fees are $5 to $8 for center fire, and $5 for rim fire, per gun.
Some clubs also have a "Fast Table Time" pot, where you can put a buck in the pot, and the whole pot goes to the fastest table time when timing in.
I put this together in somewhat of a hurry, so if there are any questions, or any rules omitted, please leave me a comment and I'll update the post.