.38 in Creedmoor at Raton

What follows is a dialogue provided by Steve Rhoades (Director-Arizona State Rifle and Pistol Association) regarding the use of .38 caliber cartridges in the Creedmoor at Raton this year. - webmaster

From: Steve Rhoades [mailto:bpsteve@cox.net]
Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2005 10:50 AM
To: Rifle@nrahq.org;
Subject: .38 caliber


I just received a copy of an e-mail sent to Jim Betush concerning the use of .38 caliber rifles at the Raton Creedmoor Nationals.

Whoever is making decisions at NRA and (or) Whittington Center concerning the .38 calibers should take time out from their busy schedules and attend a shooting match!

The National Record for scope rifles at 1000 yards is held by Jim Betush with his “unsafe” .38-50 with a respectable score of 88x100. He set this record at my regional match last year and did it on the target next to me, out shooting my scoped 45-90 shooting duplex loads!!!!!

I have pulled targets for Jim and other .38 caliber shooters with absolutely no fear for my life but have pulled for and shot with .45 caliber shooters, at Raton, whose loads passed the “power factor” but should have been banned from competition after 800 yards.

If the NRA wants to continue encouraging shooters to participate in target rifle matches (and the numbers are growing) some intelligent and informed leadership is mandatory!

Thank you for your time,

Steve Rhoades
Director-Arizona State Rifle and Pistol Association

From: Steve Rhoades [mailto:bpsteve@cox.net]
Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2005 11:07 AM
To: Undisclosed Recipients
Subject: .38 power factor at Raton

To all:

The NRA, in all their wisdom, has decided that meeting the power factor isn’t enough for the .38 caliber shooters at Raton so they have raised the bullet weight. This move will virtually eliminate all the .38 caliber shooters from competition at Raton.

Please read my e-mail to George Harris, and follow up with responses of your own. If we want to continue to enjoy target rifle competition we all must stick together and demand intelligent leadership from the NRA!

Let me know your views on this subject,

Steve Rhoades

From: Steve Rhoades [mailto:bpsteve@cox.net]
Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2005 3:51 PM
To: 'Harris, George'
Subject: RE: .38 in Creedmoor at Raton


I would encourage you to send my letter along to the committee. “The fellows with the exotic .38s” are the ones that are being singled out to jump through another hoop. You already have a “power factor” and if a load meets that factor then it should be allowed to shoot. If circumstances show that the original “power factor” has proved not to be a valid gauge then, and only then, should the playing field be changed. It’s time for someone from the competition committee to step up and do some real research on the subject instead of making rules based on hearsay.

With the majority of the shooters growing older, recoil has become a factor. The use of a .38 certainly helps the older shooter that has a problem as well as encouraging the ladies and younger shooters to try their hand at Creedmoor. Encouraging shooters, not discouraging them, should be the number one goal of the NRA and its competition committee.

As for the Whittington Center dictating rules for NRA competition, I believe if someone from the competition committee went to them with factual technical information they would no longer be concerned with the safety aspect (which should be their only influence on this subject)

Thank you for your time

Steve Rhoades

George Harris (of NRAHQ) responded to Steve’s email above. Not having George’s permission to publish his correspondence, I’ll refrain from doing so.

At this point in the discussion, I asked Steve if I could publish this information on BPCR.net, and he urged me to do so, knowing that it would inform the most people in the fastest manner. - webmaster

From: Steve Rhoades [mailto:bpsteve@cox.net]
Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2005 6:45 PM
To: 'BPCR Webmaster'
Subject: RE: .38 caliber


I can’t understand the thinking of the committee. They say they need to find ways to introduce new people to the shooting sports. As soon as something new comes along, that gets people excited about shooting as well as buying new equipment, they start frustrating everyone by modifying the rules. The same thing happened with the scope class. And during all of this maneuvering of the rules and the changing of silhouette classifications they haven’t published a new rule book for silhouette or target rifle. The only way a shooter can keep up with the changes is by word of mouth. But what do we expect? That’s how the committee gets all its information about the matches they sanction.

Being a match director makes us the point of contact for most new shooters and it seems like we are the last people consulted or informed about proposed or mandated rule changes.

Steve Rhoades
AZ State Rifle and Pistol Association