Local benchrest shooting champion shoots to the top
FINLEY POINT — Winning a United States Air Rifle Benchrest national championship is quite an impressive accomplishment. So is setting an outdoor world and national air rifle record for the most bull's-eyes.
Flathead Lake area resident Amador Zuazua, also known as AZ, set the record on Oct. 10 in Mesa, Arizona. He won the Outdoor .177 Heavy Varmint Class of the 2018 USARB national championship.
According to the USARB website, air rifle shooting is done on a specialized bench outdoors at targets set 25 meters (27.34 yards) away. Each target has 25 small targets on it with 25 bull's-eyes. The bull’s-eyes are about one-fourth of an inch in diameter. Within each bull’s-eye is a dot, about the size of a pencil dot. Pellets that touch the bull's-eyes are scored as a 10 and pellets that “obliterate” the bull's-eye are scored as a “X”. A perfect score would be 250-25X.
During the championship match, each shooter shoots three cards. A perfect card would total 750-75X. Zuazua shot a score of 742-33X to win the championship.
You could say the rifle Zuazua uses in competition is a Daisy Red Rider on massive steroids. Zuazua shoots a highly customized rifle built by a US company.
During a competition back in July, Zuazua shot a national record with a score of 750-50X, beating the old mark of 750-39X, which was set by Dick Strever in 2016.
Zuazua said he also set an all-time world record by shooting 348 consecutive registered bull’s-eyes.
In August, Zuazua will have a chance to represent Montana and put his skills to the test on the world stage during the 2019 World Rimfire and Air Rifle Benchrest Federation World Championship in Pretoria, South Africa.