2024 Extreme Air Gun Challenge

Wayne Burns, Match Director of the AirGun Oregon and Airguns of Arizona 2024 Extreme Air Gun Challenge, brings us this match report. This was a big three-day event that took a huge amount of effort to plan, organize and run. Thanks Wayne!


New For The 2024 Extreme Air Gun Challenge

The many weeks of steady preparation and testing of our new long range targets with LED lighting signifying a hit was worth the effort. They really helped the score keepers get it right with a lot less down time between relays in the Long Range event.

Of course, seeing the lights flash with a hit is REALLY satisfying for both the shooters and the fans watching. The rest of the facilities needed only minor repairs to be ready for action this year.

We added a new event this year and it gained popularity better than expected.

The 100 Yard EBR Benchrest contests have been exclusively shot with pellets only. With all the new air rifles designed for slugs and the new high quality of the slugs being manufactured, I thought we should see how they could compare with the pellet scores in the 100 Yard EBR game.

So I scheduled the slug classes to shoot in the later and most windy part of the day. Otherwise the scores in that class probably would have been even better.

However the slug class, as expected posted on average, higher scores than the pellets, as you’ll see as I continue the report.

This year we had competitors the Skout Air Guns team from Pennsylvania, and they did well with their new slug barrel they matched up with some really accurate Corbin Slugs and Sightron scopes.

Skout ended-up with no less than three first places!

Many competitors also traveled in from the North and South West, 36 competed in the five events, 100 Yard EBR pellet, 100 Yard EBR Slug, EFT 25-105 Yard Field Target, Speed Silhouette challenge, and the Long Range 145-300 Yard challenge.

The weather was perfect on Thursday for registration and practice. The skies were partly cloudy with light winds with temps in the high 60s. Friday, the cold front started moving in and the winds began their dancing in our Southern Oregon Valley bowl…


AoA Extreme Field Target Grand Prix

We had 24 Extreme Field Target competitors, so with 15 lanes we easily split up into squads of two each. We had 64 total shots. The match went 1/3 faster than last year with this method, it allowed us to have more time to do both pellet and the slug class 100 Yard Benchrest in the afternoons.

2024 Extreme Air Gun Challenge

John Bagakis (above) again this year lead the way with the high score on day one with a 59/64, with Barbara Pellegrino within reach at 55/64. Gabe Valenzuela and Darren Taylor were next with 52/64. David Stevenson was at 51, and eight more from 47 to 50.

Unless John had a bad day two it looked like a tight race for second to fourth…

Some great scores were shot on day two of the EFT match. John Bagakis didn’t let up! He shot better with a 61/64 to secure his First Place spot, but Andy Gonzalez also shot a 61/64 after shooting a 49/61 on day one, to jump all the way to Third.

Barbara Pellegrino was more consistent with a 55 day one and a 57/64 day two, to secure her Second Place prize. Linas Cechavicius and Gabe Valenzuela tied, but Gabe took Fourth by winning the shoot-off.

2024 Extreme Air Gun Challenge

 

Almost everyone shot better on day two with the lighter winds, but you would think the light rain would have held back the scores, but no!

Carl Forrey shot a 60/64, Mike Bricker and Linas Cechavicius a 59, Martin Martin and Glenn Horner both a 58. Gabe Valenzuela joined Barbara with a 57 on day two to get him to the winners circle in Fourth Place in the AOA Extreme Field Target Grand Prix.


Air Gun Oregon AoA 100 Yard Extreme Benchrest

Friday afternoon, we started with the Extreme Bench Rest 100 Yard Pellet class.

Gabe Valenzuela scored the high card with a 220-3x with his FX M3. That’s Gabe in the photo below. Luke Sowinski from the Skout team was second with a 218-2x, Keith Short, Skout Team. Next with a 217-2x was Linas Cechavicius with a RTI Prophet II a 215-3x.

Later Friday, the EBR 100 Yard Slug class started around 3 pm and the fickle winds had gained velocity as the front edge of the cold front unfolded around us.

Brad Stevenson and his Vulcan 3 with Altaros slugs in .22 cal (5.52) 40gr Kings, shot a 237/250 with 3xs. That’s 17 points higher than the high pellet score for the day of 220 shot by Gabe Valenzuela.

But that is still a long way from the perfect 250 scores you sometimes see in 25 Meter bench rest. Does that matter, or is the target too hard?

Gabe V. also shot a great 232 4x with his FX M3 and, as did Luke Sowinski, but his had 7xs shot with his .25 cal. Skout and Corbin .2475 caliber 48.5gr slugs. Todd Blanchard shot a 229 3x, and Mike Bricker a 223 2x.

On average the slug scores were about 10-14 points better than the pellet class.

Mike Bricker shot the high 100 Yard pellet class EBR score with a 224-0x for day two. Todd Blanchard was next with 220-1x, Tony Pellegrino a 218-0x and Luke Sowinski a 217-3x. Todd Hartman scored a 216-1x and John Bagakis 215-0x.

The last event for day two was the 100 Yard Slug class EBR. Todd Blanchard’s 233-4x was the high card, with Brad Stevenson recording a 230-3x, Gabe Valenzuela a 225-2x, Luke Sowinski 224-4x and also Chad Staten a 224-3x.

Mike Bricker shot a 220-0x and Bill Gardner a 219-4x. The stronger afternoon winds had taken their toll with the Slug class EBR scores ending much closer to the Pellet class on day two.

Here is the list of the competitors who made the 100 Yard EBR Pellet Class Finals: Robert Steele, Mike Bricker, Todd Blanchard, Gabe Valenzuela, Nathan Wilkening, John Bagakis, Keith Short, Luke Sowinski, Linas Cechanvicius, Fred Philips and Tony Pellegrino.

And in the new 100Yard EBR Slug class we had the following make the cut: Bill Gardner, Chad Staten, Mike Bricker, Todd Blanchard, Gabe Valenzuela, Brad Stevenson, John Bagakis, Linas Cechanvicius, Augie Sotelo, David Stevenson, Luke Sowinski,  and Fred Phillips.

2024 Extreme Air Gun Challenge

Sunday was finals day in 100 Yard EBR Pellet Class. After some very difficult scoring decisions, an abnormal and very gentlemanly tie was agreed to between Mike Bricker and Robert Steele for First Place with 216-3x.

Next was Todd Blanchard with 214-0x, and Todd Hartman at 213-3x and Gabe Valenzuela with a 212-2x.

The 100 Yard EBR Slug Challenge showed higher scores this time with Bill Gardner from the Skout team posting a 234-5x, and Chad Staten was right behind with a 233-5x. Next was a tie broken by X count with Todd Blanchard at 232-6x and Mike Bricker with a 232-5x.


Speed Silhouette

Sunday morning the skies were clearing and the winds were very light. We started off with the Speed Silhouette Challenge.

We had two banks of five targets each for a total of 10 targets at 25 and 50 Yards. This allowed two competitors to go “head to head” with the winners moving on to challenge each other until we were left with John Bagakis on top and Dave Wilson second, and Linas Cechanvicius in third.

2024 Extreme Air Gun Challenge

It’s a really fun game to play AND watch!


145 To 300 Long Range Challenge

This year in the 300 Yard Long Range Challenge, Mike Bricker didn’t shoot another perfect 250 or even win again, but his team won with his FX Panthera! Tony Pellegrino (210) was First, and Mike and Tony’s wife Barbara tied for Fourth with 190.

Scott Hull was Second with a 200. Then Brad Stevenson and John Bagakis tied for Third with 195. Chad Staten also tied at Fourth with a 190.

The new targets we designed with LED lights flashing when hit really worked well, a minor improvement will make them 100% accurate next year. They really helped the spotters and competitors AND the onlookers enjoy the game.


2024 Extreme Air Gun Challenge Wrap Up

Finally, in the “Combined Two Best Scores” category. This year, Todd Blanchard was First, Brad Stevenson Second, Gabe Valenzuela took Third and Mike Bricker Fourth.

Congratulations to all!

I’d like to thank everyone who attended, some traveling from across country, and everyone who made such a huge effort to make this event a success.

First the sponsors, Co-sponsors, Air Guns of Arizona, and Skout Air Guns, also Athlon Scopes, Falcon Optics, Arken Optics, Altaros Slugs, JSB Predator International and Corbin Slugs for donating some of their quality products toward hosting the event.

The AirGun Oregon and Airguns of Arizona 2024 Extreme Air Gun Challenge also would not have been possible without my club mates: Randy, Jacob, Darren, Casey, Eric and the RSO staff from Ashland Gun and Archery Club.

Thank you, and bless you ALL for helping me make the 2024 Extreme Air Gun Challenge such a success. Hope to see you again next year!


Thanks Wayne for a great shoot and a great report!