Come one, come all to one of the toughest shooting challenges known to man: bowling pin shooting using potent handguns with open sights.
The event registration starts at 0830 Sunday, 28Oct07, and the shooting starts at 0900.
The three events are centerfire autoloader, centerfire revolver (both shot concurrently), followed by the .22 RF handgun event. Open sights for the centerfire events, and optics are allowed for the .22 RF event.
The tables are two-tiered steel, and the lower three pins have three feet of wood-chip and bullet-strewn table behind them, and the top two pins have air behind them.
The pins range from new to previously-shot, and they are used until they can no longer stand up.
The course of fire is six shooters 25 feet away from their six tables. The shooters can start with their firearms ON TARGET. At the start signal, the eight-second electronic timer starts, and the shooters all fire together, trying to get all five of their pins to go OFF their tables.
At the end of eight seconds, the firearms are unloaded and made open and safe. The scores are taken - any pins left on the tables are scored as misses. After the scores are confirmed, the shooters are cleared to go downrange and set up five more pins.
The next six shooters are then called to the tables, and the cycle continues until every shooter has fired at six tables. The top score is therefore 30 for autoloader, and 30 for revolver.
After everyone has shot, the man-on-man shoot-offs begin, if necessary, to serve as tie-breakers. First, second, and third-place trophies are thereby determined.
The .22 event is run the same way, except that the five pins are placed on the lower level at the back edge, and the times are lowered to a mere four seconds.
In August, the event concluded at high noon.
The real challenge at the Chester pin shoot is to get one's five heavy pins off the table during the loud distraction of five other handguns. The firearms and ammunition must be very powerful, for the 4-pound pins have to be driven back a long three feet. At the August event, I was using a .44 Magnum S&W 6-inch M629. The bullet was a 212-gr full wadcutter at 1200 FPS. That's power factor 254! On my sixth table, I hit my fist pin dead center. It knuckle-balled straight back, and promptly laid down on the very back edge of the table.
Now the absolute best that a .40 S&W can do is PF190. The typical .45 ACP hardball produces a PF of about 190-200. 9mm Parabellum is way too underpowered even in its heaviest loads. The .357 Magnum throws a 158gr bullet at 1300 FPS, and this is only PF 205. The .41 and .44 magnums are certainly adequate for pin-shooting, but there are many factors that can defeat even PF254 bullets. My situation mentioned above is a good example of this. The pin was so bullet-heavy that it refused to go off the table even after absorbing a .44-caliber 212-gr wadcutter at 1200 FPS.
My .45 ACP load is a 253gr cast lead SWC at 890 FPS. This is PF225, and I had several pins remain on the table ("deadwood"). The fact that I had nine shots to work with saved me.
With bowling pin shooting, accuracy is critical as well. The kill-zone of the pin is the size of a 12-ounce beverage can. At 25 feet, it is not easy.
As you can see, pin-shooting is the ONLY handgun sport that requires speed, power, and accuracy, the original "DVC" of the 1970's IPSC competitions. You won't find this in today's IDPA, IPSC, bullseye, steel plate, or any other handgun sport.
So, bring out those old magnum revolvers and warhorse M1911's and come to the Chester, NH bowling in shoot. The crowd is VERY friendly, even jovial, and the match staff is professional and safety-oriented. Finally, the event is fun to just plain watch!