Muzzleloading competition ranges from informal, friendly fun-shoots to win
"bragging rights" among friends, to highly structured and regulated championship
matches at state, regional and national levels.
There is a level of competition for every
muzzleloading shooter, whether you are a novice just out for a little fun or a long time
serious competitor. And, there is a style of competition for every taste. You can pick
from percussion or flintlock; pistol, rifle or shotgun; paper bullseye targets, silhouette
& reactive targets or trap & skeet.
Novelty Matches - Get a few shooters together
on the range and make your own rules! Cut a playing card in two, edgewise. Hit a swinging
water balloon. Split a ball on the edge of an axe so the halves hit targets on each side.
The possibilities (and fun) are endless.
Offhand Matches - Fired at a variety of
distances and target types, offhand shooting is done in the standing position without the
aid of any rest. The most common distances are 25 yds and 50 yds. A 100 yd match is truly
a challenge. The most common target is the paper bullseye, ranging in size from as big as
a pie plate to as small as a baseball. Some special matches may have restrictions on the
type of sight or action used on the rifle.
X-stick or Buffalo Matches - Generally fired
at ranges of 50 yds or 100 yds from a sitting position, with the aid of a cross-stick
rest, the Buffalo match is reminiscent of the historic long-range Buffalo Hunter. Targets
usually have a buffalo image with medium to small size bullseyes. This is a good match for
young shooters since they can use the X-stick to support the rifle. The steadiness of the
X-stick also allows one to test the limits of a rifle's accuracy.
Benchrest - Generally fired at ranges of
50yds and 100yds with the aid of a shooting bench and stool, targets provide a separate
bullseye for each shot because the shots land on top of each other if fired at a single
bull. This is the ultimate in muzzleloading accuracy and eccentricity. Bench guns are
large caliber (a .50 cal is a small bore), and heavy (a 20 pounder is a lightweight).
Benchrest competitors are forever in search of the perfect one-hole group, and they
approach that goal regularly. No secret load recipe is too bizarre. No special accessory
is too expensive in this quest.
Trap - Fired in much the same manner as
modern trap matches, muzzleloading trap shooting is great fun. Try it, and take a little
trip back into your heritage.
If you have not experienced muzzleloading shooting, give it
a try! Don't have a muzzleloader? Don't know where to go? Check out the "Kickapoo
Club" button at the top of this page. Want to improve your scores or locate
information & supplies? Check out the "Resources" button at the top of this
Have a question or comment? E-mail Tal
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