The MRA fields two teams in the Greater Boston Pistol League (GBPL), and we are always looking for new members to join our teams. Whether you have competed in the past, or are new to competitive target shooting, as long as you know how to safely handle a pistol, there is a place for you to hone your skills on our teams.
We are a handicapped scoring league, so after you have shot your first two matches you will be assigned a handicap that will be added to your raw score and used for the team total in matches. Handicaps are adjusted twice over the course of the season, so as you improve, your handicap will decrease to keep things challenging. One of the great things about new shooters in the league is that they tend to improve at a faster rate than their handicap is adjusted, so they have the potential to play an influential role on their teams right from the start.
We compete with .22 LR pistols at 50 feet on indoor ranges. Matches are most Tuesday nights at 7:30 PM October through May, with occasional practice sessions in the off season. Half of our matches are at the MRA on the Fazio range, and the other half are at the various other eastern Massachusetts clubs who participate in the league. A full list of the clubs can be found here.
Currently the GBPL has two divisions, A & B, with the A division shooting double matches while the B division shoots single matches (not all clubs have teams in both divisions, but MRA does). New competitors are welcome on both teams.
In the B division, a match involves 3 scored targets for each shooter, Slow fire (10 shots in 10 minutes), Timed fire (10 shots in 40 seconds), and Rapid fire (10 shots in 20 seconds). There is also a practice target before the Slow fire (unlimited shots in 5 minutes) to warm up. Targets are scored with 10's in the center and decreasing values as the rings get larger, so a perfect score on all 3 targets would be a 300. The A division shoots the same targets and sequences, but they shot each stage twice for a total of 60 rounds and a perfect score of 600. There are no special prerequisites to shoot in the A Division, but if you are an experienced bullseye shooter and especially if you average 275 or better in a 300 point match, you should be in the A Division. More detail on how scoring works in the league can be found here. If you have not shot a bullseye pistol match before, it is strongly encouraged to observe the full firing sequence at least once before participating on the firing line.
If you have not shot gallery bullseye pistol before, here is a list of things you should bring to your first match or practice:
- A .22 pistol with iron sights or a non-magnified optic (with some sort of case to secure it in, hard or soft cases work fine). Many entry level competitors use the Ruger Mk II/III as it is a relatively inexpensive pistol capable of excellent accuracy.
- Magazines for your pistol. To avoid delays, you should have at least 2, and if you have more, that makes things even easier. It is possible to complete the course of fire with a single magazine, but you will need to let the range officer know so he can ensure you have sufficient time to reload.
- Eye & ear protection for your safety. This is a must, even if you are just observing.
- Ammunition (B division shoots 3 stages of 10 rounds each, plus a practice stage, so normally 40 rounds in a night, but you should bring at least 50 in case of any duds or misfires). The Fazio range is restricted to standard velocity ammunition (no high velocity), which also tends to be more accurate at these distances. Popular options include CCI Standard/Green Tag, Federal Champion/Gold Medal, and Eley Club.
- A spotting scope (optional), some folks like to use one during slow fire (10 rounds in 10 minutes), or between strings of timed and rapid fire, to observe their targets, but it definitely not required. Some people bring a pair of binoculars for same purpose.
Above is a typical shooting position, showing pistol, magazines, ammunition, targets, and spotting scope.
The home team provides targets (so you don’t have to bring your own), and there is usually something to eat and drink (donuts & coffee/soda are typical) available before or after shooting.
Depending on turnout and the size of the range, we usually have 2 or 3 lines worth of shooters. Once you are done shooting, it helps if you can assist with the scoring of targets or calling the range commands. We are always glad to teach new competitors how to score or call the line.
Once you have decided to join the team, there is a small fee to cover match refreshments (usually $10-20 for the season). The club covers the league fees and match supplies.