In May, twelve Barton County 4H’ers and five certified shooting instructors started the 4H Small Bore Rifle Season by starting practice at the county level. Every Wednesday evening, they met at the Kiowa Gun Club to practice.
During the practices, they learned firearm safety, range safety, how different ammunition brands function differently in their rifles, how the weather affects ammunition performance and how to compete in NRA 3 Position Matches and NRA Silhouette Matches. The kid’s provided their own rifles. They had to be safe, operational .22 caliber rifle with aperture sights or telescopic sights.
In the 3 Position matches, the competitor shoots 10 scoring shots in the prone, standing kneeling position for possible score of 300 points. They have a time limit of 10 minutes in the prone, 20 minutes in the standing and 15 minutes the kneeling position. Their targets are 5.5 inches in diameter, with ten scoring rings and they are placed 50 yards from the firing line.
In the Silhouette matches, the competitor shoots steel targets of four different animals at four different distances from the standing position. The chickens are 2.5 inches tall and are set at 40 yards from the firing line. The pigs are 3 inches tall and are set at 66 yards from the firing line. The turkeys are 5 inches tall and set at 70 yards from the firing line. The rams are 6 inches tall and are set at 100 yards from the firing line. The competitor shoots a group of 10 of each animal. They get a 5 minute time limit for each group of animals.
In August, the 4H’ers competed in three qualifying matches. Each match was a 3 position match. The matches were held in Reno county, Ellis county and Barton county. The Barton county match was held at the Kiowa Gun Club and the Barton county 4H’ers helped run the match.
On Oct. 3, seven of the Barton county 4H’ers traveled to the Capital City Gun Club in Topeka to compete in the State 4H Small Bore Match. The competitors competed in a 3 Position match and a Silhouette match. There were 38 competitors from all across the state shooting at this event. From Barton County, Ryan Kohman, from Great Bend, placed 6th in the silhouette match and 8th overall. Katelyn Reh from Ellinwood placed 5th in the prone position and 4th in the standing position of the 3 Position match and ended up 5th overall in the 3 position match. She placed 16th in the Silhouette match and ended up 12th place overall. Parker Smith from Great Bend placed 2nd in the standing position with an overall finish in the 3 position match of 7th. She finished 19th in the Silhouette match with an overall finish of 14th. Alivia Buatista from Great Bend, Jace Schwager from Great Bend, Caleb Straub from Great Bend and Aron Vainer from Great Bend also competed in the match. Reh, Smith and Kohman made up the Barton County team and placed 4th.