.22LR Rifle Training for 3-Gun

I do a lot of rifle training with my .22LR AR conversion, both for reasons of cost (six cents per round vs. 25-50) and logistics (a lot of ranges prefer you not to use rifles in the pistol bays.)

Most of what we do in 3-gun, can be effectively practiced with a .22LR rifle.  Slow-fire accuracy, target transitions, setups and position shooting, reloading and weapon manipulations, all of these can be done with a .22LR.  The only things that cannot be effectively practiced with the .22LR carbine are recoil control on single targets, and long range holdover and wind doping.

When I’m practicing, especially outdoors, I like to break my training up into blocks.  I pick a skill that I want to work on, and do a warmup, some skill development drills, and a more complicated drill that ties everything together.  Ideally, I don’t have to change the stage setup for the entire block.

This is a training block that I use for position shooting with the rifle, based on the old Gunsite Rifle Bounce.  It’s designed for the .22LR, but it can be scaled up to work with any rifle, or even a shotgun with slugs…

For the targets, I use cheap 2″ steel plates at the indicated distances.  This scales up to 8-10″ plates at 100, 200, and 300 yards.  You can use other targets, but the drill really works better if they’re reactive and self-resetting.  The Bianchi barricade can be replaced with anything sturdy enough to use as a support – a trash barrel, shooting bench, table, or what-have-you.

Warmup –

  1. From offhand, fire ten rounds, slow-fire, on T1.
  2. From supported kneeling (using the barricade,) fire ten rounds, slow-fire, on T2.
  3. From prone, fire ten rounds, slow-fire, on T3.

Skill Development –

  1. Start standing in Box A, rifle at port arms.  On signal, fire one round on T1 from offhand.  Record your time.  Repeat 10x, and record your number of hits.
  2. Start standing in Box B, rifle at port arms.  On signal, fire one round on T2 from supported kneeling.  Repeat 10x, record your times and hits as before.
  3. Start standing in Box A, rifle at port arms.  On signal, drop prone and fire one round on T3.  Repeat 10x.
  4. Start standing in Box C, rifle at low ready.  On signal, move into Box A and fire one round on T1 from offhand.  Repeat 10x.
  5. Start standing in Box C, rifle at low ready.  On signal, move into Box B and fire one round on T2 from supported kneeling.  Repeat 10x.
  6. Start standing in Box C, rifle at low ready.  On signal, move into Box A and fire one round on T1 from prone.  Repeat 10x.

The Working Drill –

  1. Start in Box C, rifle at port arms, loaded with six rounds only.  On signal, engage the targets in the following order:  T1 from Box A offhand, then T2 from Box B in supported kneeling, then T3 from Box A in prone.  Record your time, add 10 seconds for each miss.
  2. Start in Box C, rifle at port arms, loaded with six rounds only.  On signal, engage the targets in the following order:  T3 from Box A prone, then T2 from Box B in supported kneeling, then T1 from Box A offhand.  Record your time, add 10 seconds for each miss.  Score as above.

Running through this entire block takes be 60-90 minutes, and uses up 120-150 rounds of ammunition depending on how many extra repeats I do.  In that time, I get a thorough workout in the most commonly used rifle positions in 3-gun shooting, getting into and out of positions quickly, trigger control, and movement.  Each individual drill is a building block for the next, and the working drill ties everything together into a pretty good simulation of a 3-gun rifle stage.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be posting some more of these ‘block drills.’  Stay tuned!


Steel Challenge


I’m running my new-old 22/45 at a steel challenge match today. If you’re looking to get started in competitive action shooting, this is a great game to start with.

The gear requirements are pretty minimal, you can get away with a pistol, holster and five magazines, or in the rimfire division, a .22 pistol and five magazines.


At a full match, there’s a total of eight stages with five targets on each and you shoot each stage five times.

There are enough different divisions for everyone to play, and at any given match you’re likely to see anything from iron-sight .22 revolvers to fully blown Open Class race blasters.


Going to a match? Grab a friend. Hetre curtis runs a Beretta 87 with an Aimpoint micro R1.

If you have any reservations about getting into competition because of byzantine rules or not having the right equipment, then Steel Challenge is the game for you.

Of Rimfire Pistols, Steel Challenge, and Android


Suffering from a bit of insomnia, so why not do something useful?

This post is my first attempt to blog via the WordPress for Android app.

It was fairly easy to install. As for gun content, if all goes as planned there should be a photo of a Ruger 22/45 in this post.

It’s one of the first guns I ever bought, and recently I had some custom work done to it. The marketing gimmick for the 22/45 is that the grip is supposedly the same as on a 1911.

This is untrue. The angle may be the same, but the grip has never had the same feel as a government model. So I took a spare pair of 1911 grips that were sitting in a miscellaneous parts bin, and dropped the pistol off with a local smith, who shaved down the original plastic grip, installed some anchors for the grip screws, and then fit the 1911 grips to the pistol.

I also had him install a scope rail, allowing me to mount an Adco red dot scope on top. (I won the scope earlier this year at The Superstition Mountain Mystery 3 Gun match.)

This pistol has quickly become my favorite Steel Challenge gun, as well as my gun for training newbies to shoot a pistol.

Tamslick on Multiple Rimfire Magazines

Over at Books, Bikes, Boomsticks, Tamara’s got a good bit of advice up about making sure you have multiple magazines available for your rimfire guns.

There’s really not a whole lot I can add on top of what she’s got to say. Eight or ten magazines is a great number, but if you’re on a budget shoot for a minimum of six. If money’s tight, consider going to your local gonne shoppe and ask to paw through the miscellaneous magazine box. More often than not you’re likely to find at least a magazine or two that will fit your gun, assuming it’s a Ruger, and with a bit of cleaning, they’ll run just fine.

Tactical Solutions .22 Upper Update.

So, just to see what would happen, I put my Tactical Solutions AR-22 upper on a lower with a JP Fire Control Group in it.

The results were underwhelming. Both JP and Tactical Solutions make fantastic products, but unfortunately, the JP FCG doesn’t possess enough oomph to detonate .22 rounds reliably.

I’ve been told that there are a couple of fixes for this (one of which is featured prominently at link above). From what I’m told, you can make the ignition more reliable either by changing out the hammer spring for a heavier one, or replacing the hammer with a standard GI one. I may give one of these solutions a go, but in the meantime, I’ll just play musical lowers and mate the Tac Sol upper with a lower that has a Rock River National Match Two Stage trigger in it. The trigger pull is heavier, but certainly not unreasonable, and ignition of the rounds is quite reliable.

Tactical Rimfire Match Writeup

Hola amigos, I know it’s been a long time since I blogged at you, but I finally have some down time to do a writeup on the tactical rimfire match that we ran a couple of months ago.

Once a month, I help to run a tactical rifle match at our local range. Three stages, with targets from contact distance to 400 yards and a round count of 100-150.

Well, in the last few months, a lot of the guys around here had picked up rimfire rifles in various “tactical” configurations- GSG-5’s, Tactical Solutions AR-22 uppers, Nordic Components 10/22 conversion kits, and other similar rigs.

From Tactical Rimfire Match

I figured that with everyone buying these things, and ammo costs being what they were, why not set up a side match that would allow us to shoot from the same positions, at steel targets, but on a shorter range?

As luck would have it, Hoser, our Match Director had recently acquired a set of steel targets for our club so we could run matches for Sportsman’s Team Challenge. He thought these targets could pull double duty for this match and Team Challenge. So, the decision was made to use the Team Challenge steel, while cribbing the props, shooting positions, and rules from our regular Tactical Rifle match.

From Tactical Rimfire Match

It was decided that we’d run the side match during our August match. Fourth Sunday of the month rolls around, and it turns out that all of the rifle berms had been booked for a 4H black powder shoot. Had we not planned on doing the rimfire match, we’d have had to just pack up and go home. So, intent on mashing lemons into lemonade, we reserved one of the pistol berms, set up a course of fire and broke out the bulk packs.

From Tactical Rimfire Match

The results were an unqualified success. Everyone had a good time, and we were able to run through two courses of fire, a standards stage, and then broke out a dueling rack for some one-on-one competition.

Tactical Solutions AR-22, Wherein the Author Actually, Y’know, Shoots the Thing.

Ok, so I’m back from my first local Steel Challenge match with the Tactical Solutions AR-22 upper, and I have to say that I’m thoroughly happy with the thing.  The gun ran with zero malfunctions.  I shot the match with Federal .22 bulk pack ammo, the sort that is available at Walmart.  It also ran with a couple of magazines of Winchester Super X, and the handful of ancient Wildcat .22 LR ammo that was kicking around in the bottom of my range bag.

Since I’ve got four magazines, I pretty much shot the entire match using one magazine per stage.  (We run each stage three times, so given the average number of targets one magazine allows plenty of ammo per stage, even assuming a couple of misses.)

One of the other shooters brought out a suppressor, an AAC Pilot, and it screwed right on and ran with no problems.  The only downside I found was that the thread protector could come loose after heavy shooting.  That could be alleviated with a bit of locktite, I’m sure.

Tactical Solutions AR-22 and Steel Challenge.  Like chocolate and peanut butter, they just go together.

Tactical Solutions AR-22 and Steel Challenge. Like chocolate and peanut butter, they just go together.

Also, in my previous post I noted that the AR-22 upper didn’t fit onto all of my lowers.  A fellow shooter put a call in to Tactical Solutions (thanks to rtr over at the Colorado AR-15 board) and was told that if the upper didn’t fit, that the solution is to use a judicious amount of gun oil and some pressure.

Between some grease, an AR-15 pin punch, and a few light taps with a hammer, I was able to mount the TacSol upper to a Rock River lower.

I’ve got some videos from the match, and will be uploading those hopefully by the end of the week, as well as some ideas about a new kind of match with the tactical-ish rimfire guns that seem to really be hitting the market now.