Published January 20, 2013, 12:00 AM

TALKIN WITH DOKKEN: Guns for league shooters

Brad Dokken answers the question: What is an ideal beginner’s rifle for someone who wants to start shooting in an indoor rifle league, and are there different classes for shooters?

Q. I was reading about the indoor rifle leagues at the Forks Rifle Club. What is an ideal beginner’s rifle for someone who wants to start shooting in one of these leagues, and are there different classes for shooters?

A. I ran your question by Tom Reiten, a longtime competitive shooter and member of the Forks Rifle Club. Here’s his explanation:

The light rifle is generally a bolt-action rifle in .22 long-rifle caliber, weighing less than 8.5 pounds with sights and having a minimum trigger pull weight of 2 pounds. It also normally has a variable-power telescopic sight of 3- to 9-power or 4- to 16-power, which focuses down to 50 feet. The most important feature of the rifle is a good trigger. The most affordable rifle currently meeting these criteria is the Savage Mark II BV with a laminated wood stock. There are a number of other excellent rifles, but they are significantly more expensive.

Shooters in NRA-approved matches are classified based on the scores in their first several matches. They then compete within that classification until they raise their average score enough to move into a higher classification.

“In other words, as soon as you reach the top of your classification, you get moved up into the bottom of the next classification,” Reiten said. “The ultimate goal is to achieve a High Master classification; relatively few shooters attain that status.”

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