Saturday at the Movies: NRL22 and NRL22X Rimfire Tactical By: Editor


March 11th, 2023

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Saturday at the Movies: NRL22 and NRL22X Rimfire Tactical

NRL22 rimfire tactical steel targets KYL JC Steel hangers

The National Rifle League (NRL) started off sponsoring major centerfire tactical matches, similar to PRS competitions. That proved successful so the NRL added a .22 LR Rimfire series, called NRL22. The NRL22 rimfire discipline has been a major success, as rimfire guns are fun to shoot and ammo is very affordable. The most popular NRL22 matches have drawn up to 200 rimfire competitors. And now there is a companion rimfire long-range series, NRL22X. Learn more about NRL22 and NRL22X at

NRL22 rimfire tactical steel targets KYL JC Steel hangersNRL22 is a great way to get into competition shooting with minimal expense. There are six (6) classes: Open, Base, Ladies, Young Guns (8-16), OG (60+)/Adaptive, and Air Rifle. Base Class is for the budget-minded shooter — the combined MSRP of Rifle and Optic may not exceed $1200.00 (so you could spend $700 on a rifle and $500 on a scope for example). That keeps the sport affordable.

Open, Youth, OG, and Ladies Classes have no price limits on rifle and optic. Visit to find an NRL22 match near you. CLICK HERE for a full set of NRL22/NRL22X rules. The NRL also sponsors NRL22X matches. These involve significantly longer distances for greater challenge. Currently, an NRL22 membership costs $60/year for adult classes or $25/year for Young Guns Class.

For actual NRL22 competitors, this is a very useful video. It shows how shooting from a variety of positions, and it includes very cool through-the-lens views. This covers the NRL22 March 2023 course of fire.

One good thing about NRL22 competition is you don’t need to spend a fortune to compete. Base class is limited to $1200.00 for rifle and optic. You can do very well even at this budget level. This video, complete with through-the-lens imagery, shows an NRL22 match shot with a Base Class Ruger Precision Rimfire rifle.

NRL22 nrl22x rimfire tactical competition NRL rules registration
NRL22 and NRL22X are not just for guys. The ladies enjoy the competition too and do very well. There is a separate Ladies class, but women can also compete in other classes. Photo by Jonathan Ocab.

Interview with NRL22 Founder Travis Ishida
This Vortex Nation video features an 80-minute interview with Travis Ishida, one of the original founders of the NRL22 and NRL22X disciplines. Travis told us that the NRL now runs 7-8 times as many rimfire matches as centerfire matches.

NRL22 Competition Guide — Match Procedures and Equipment

NRL22 nrl22x rimfire tactical competition NRL rules registration

If you want a basic overview about NRL 22 Competition, there is a good NRL22 Competition Guide on the Widener’s website. This covers the classes, the rules, target dimensions, the types of supports used, and match strategies. Here are some samples:

Any rifle system that comes in under a combined MSRP of $1200 shall be eligible to compete in the Base class. This combined MSRP price is for the rifle and scope only. It excludes scope rings and bases, bipods, suppressors, data cardholders, magazines, spare magazine holders, auto bolt releases, aftermarket triggers, and extended magazine releases. Adjustments are also allowed in this division as well as adding rails of any type. If any shooter goes over the MSRP amount of $1200, they get bumped into Open class.

One of the most obvious rules is that all rifles must be chambered in .22 Long Rifle. Magnum and like rimfire cartridges are not allowed. It is recommended that whatever rifle you choose has a removable magazine rather than a fixed, tubular magazine since it’s harder to make safe, but they are allowed.

You can use any equipment in NRL22 unless a specific course of fire rules out using an item specifically. The only exception is tripods are never allowed. The sharing of equipment is allowed as well as slings to assist in unsupported positional shooting.

The steel target dimensions range from .25 inches wide to 6 inches wide. Some stages will require 10 rounds to be shot, while others may have you shoot 12 rounds. Most often, you’ll have 120 seconds to shoot a course of fire.

Ammunition Selection for NRL22 and NRL22X

Our friend F-Class John, a top F-Open competitor, has recently started tactical rimfire matches. He enjoys the challenge. And he admits a big part of the appeal is the MUCH cheaper ammunition. He has seen good results with relatively inexpensive Norma Tac-22 ammo, but he now favors SK ammo which he says offers great performance for the price. In this video, F-Class John tests SK Rifle Match Ammo vs. the premium Lapua Center-X ammo. He tested using a benchrest set-up with his MPA chassis rimfire rifle.

NRL22 nrl22x rimfire tactical competition NRL rules registration

How to Register for NRL22 Competitions

Looking to get started in NRL22 or NRL22X (long range) competition? CLICK HERE to visit the NRL22 home page. The NRL22/NRL22X website has a registration page along with information on equipment rules, match locations, match rules, and the 2023 Match Schedule. CLICK HERE for NRL22 rules and CLICK HERE for NRL22X-specific Rules.

NRL22 nrl22x rimfire tactical competition NRL rules registration

BONUS — Rimfire Practice Targets

SPECIAL BONUS-Rimfire Tactical Precision Targets

These FREE targets by DesertFrog are offered in Adobe Acrobat format for easy printing.
CLICK HERE to download all six targets as a .ZIP archive.

This article Copyright 2023 Any reproduction without authorization gives rise to penalties under 17 U.S. Code ? 501.

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Tags: .22 LR Rimfire, Base Class, ELR Rimfire, Long Range Utah, NRL, NRL22, NRL22X, PRS, Rimfire Barricade, Rimfire Tactical, Young Guns