A Visit To The National Rifle League Match In Iowa

    National Rifle League Iowa

    The National Rifle League (NRL) recently expanded their match coverage across the United States.  I was happy to learn that my own state of Iowa was included in that expansion and it was within a reasonable drive for me to attend as a spectator.  The Iowa match, named the Vortex Rampage, took place in Mt. Auburn, Iowa at the Sure Shot Range and Guns shop.

    My son and I were able to attend for part of day one on June 1.  It was a partly cloudy day with the temperature at a comfortable 75 degrees.  The National Rifle League match was already underway when we arrived.  The entrance was free.  We noticed quite a mix of license plates from Iowa, and surrounding states, which I expected.  We also saw plates from as far away as Texas and Indiana.  Later we spoke to people from Ohio and Kentucky as well.

    Closest to the parking area were three shooting stages.  The intermittent gunfire from each stage could be heard clearly.  There was a mix of shooters shooting with suppressors and others with loudeners (muzzle brakes).  There was a strong representation of bolt action guns and only one apparent gas gun in attendance, but the styles and colors they wore differed greatly.  I spoke with shooters here and there while they were waiting for their next stage.  Everyone we spoke to was happy to share their experience, even if they weren’t happy with their own performance.  I spoke to several that had never shot in the NRL before and just wanted to try it out.  They all said they were still having fun even if their scores weren’t great.  We had started observing Stage 11 and worked our way progressively through each one.  One thing I kept hearing was that the wind seemed to be playing tricks.  Stages 9-11 were partially blocked from the direct wind, however, the distance to the target had plenty.  The opposing hill was dotted with steel targets at all sorts of distances ranging from 400 to 1100 yards and the sound of ringing steel could be clearly heard throughout the match.

    Below are some of the photos I took while at the National Rifle League match with some descriptions of the stages.

    National Rifle League, Iowa

    Prone stage. The shooter starts standing at the bottom of the stair and must get into position after the timer begins. Muzzle discipline is strictly enforced, muzzle up or down only with actions open.

    National Rifle League, Iowa

    Grounded rifles awaiting their next action.

    National Rifle League, Iowa

    A shooter makes a quick adjustment between targets at different distances.

    National Rifle League, Iowa

    National Rifle League, Iowa

    This was the youngest competitor I saw at the match at 13 years old. If I recall correctly, he was scoring well. This stage involved building up the objects used as a shooting rest.

    National Rifle League, Iowa

    National Rifle League, Iowa

    This stage required the shooter to use four different shooting positions to include prone.

    National Rifle League, Iowa

    The wind was moving between 10-15 mph and possibly more at times.

    National Rifle League, Iowa

    Range Officer giving directions on the TriggerTech Tree stage.

    National Rifle League, Iowa

    National Rifle League, Iowa

    National Rifle League, Iowa

    My son and I had a great time watching the NRL match, even though we weren’t behind the trigger.  I spoke with one of the range officers during a quick break and he explained that the NRL isn’t for everyone, but it’s addicting for those that try. An entry rifle typically costs about $1,200-1,500 while the entry-level optics run about $1,000.  I spoke with several shooters that were happy to show their rifle set-ups, so I’ll be sharing their photos and specs soon.  I highly recommend checking out a National Rifle League match if there’s one in your area.

    Have any of you participated in the NRL? Would you like to? What kind of rifle and optic combination would you go with?

     

    Doug E

    Doug has been a firearms enthusiast since age 16 after getting to shoot with a friend. Since then he’s taken many others out to the range for their first time. He is a husband, father, grandfather, police officer, outdoorsman, artist and a student of history. Doug has been a TFB reader from the start and is happy to be a contributor of content. Doug can be reached at battleshipgrey61 AT gmail DOT com.


    Advertisement