21 September 2017
Let me clearly state these are my personal observations,
This natch was added as a fun match and as an incentive to encourage more participation from plain-base shooters. In the last five years, both the ASSRA and the ISSA have seen a rebirth of interest in calibers smaller than the traditional .321 One of the easier bore diameters to compete in is .25 caliber since the barrels and brass are readily available. Some purists go for the .25-20 Single Shot while most go for the .25-29 WCF. CPA even offers a .25 Hornet which will give a straight case.
The competition can be fierce, this the rules specify that the group sizes be measured for each bull, added and then subtracted from the total score. Thus, the tighter group gets a higher placement. There is a precedent for this in the decades before World War One when groups were measured by string wrapped around the outside shots; the shorter string won the prize.
As to opening the match to gas-checked bullets, I am in favor of that if they shoot in a separate category. A decade ago, I helped Jack Wiberg work on loads for a Ruger #1 in .25-'06 that he never got quite competitive before he passed away. He was shooting both gas-checked for CBA and plain-base bullets to use in ASSRA competition.
I enjoy the match and plan on shooting better next year. Shooting my Stevens and watching the results, I may even campaign the .25-20 in matches this coming Spring for practice. Practice, even shooting under match times, is not the same as a regular match. This year, just getting to the Nationals was a personal goal since the Swedish Hospital neurosurgeons in Seattle removed a tumor from my spine.
Farm boy from Western Illinois, living in the Magical Pacific Northwest