If You Can't Beat 'em, Outlaw 'em!
I just got this email from the Oak Harbor Sportsman's Association regarding their falling plate matches.
I had won their last two rimfire optical sight matches, although the scores were fairly close. I use a two handed silhouette style grip which although it is a little slower, is a little more accurate, at least for me.
Here's the email:
After a lot of consideration I have come to the conclusion that I need to make a rule change for our falling plate matches. I strive to conduct matches that are as equatable, fair and as level a playing field for everyone participating as I can. I also don't want the matches to turn into some type of equipment race. Therefor I have made the decision to add a rule that requires shooters using 2 hands to have both hands touching, in a conventional pistol grip. I don't like adding rules but if I don't do it I'm convinced that at the next match we will have some showing up with Ruger 10/22s with pistol grip butt stocks or folding stocks and that would change the match to something we never intended it to be, and would create some hard feelings among some of the shooters.
(last paragraph has been omitted, as it was about a different subject)
Here's my reply:
Jim,If any of you want to fisk his email, feel free to do so in the comments.
Since I am the only shooter in rimfire with a 2 hand silhouette style grip, your rule is obviously written with me in mind. It's true that some people feel that a 12" long barrel and a 2 hand grip is the reason I have the success I am sometimes lucky enough to enjoy.
The real truth is that I shoot between 20,000 and 30,000 rounds a year in practice. The grip and stance is NRA legal and I keep both elbows out from my body to comply with the NRA guidelines. The grip is basically taken from NRA silhouette shooting.
As to your fears that a bunch of people will copy my method, I can only add that I have been shooting this way for years both at Coupeville and at Custer, and no one has copied it yet.
I shoot for the fun and the fellowship, and if you take it so seriously that as soon as someone wins a couple of times you change the rules to outlaw that shooter, then I am afraid you have lost sight of why these matches are held in the first place.
I am disappointed, but I will respect your new rule and no longer attend your matches, and you will no longer have to compete against me in rimfire optical.
Should you win the next match, however, you will also know that you had to use the rule book to win, rather than your shooting ability.
Personally, I'd rather lose on the range than win using rule changes......
UPDATE: Jerry the Geek at Cogito Ergo Geek has a post up on this issue HERE.