Gong Shooting is long range metallic silhouette shooting using vintage firearms and replicas, both rifles and revolvers. At our Club, distances are 75, 100, and 125 yds (less for .22's). There are numerous Classes in Gong, and shooters may shoot in more than one class. The use of Black and Smokeless Powder is determined by the firearm classification. The Club hosts Gong Shoots on the 4th Saturday in June, July, August, and September. Sign up starts at 8 am, and live fire begins at 9 am. Please refer to the Calendar link in the Menu for exact dates.
Listed below are the Gong Shoot Classes, Stages, Scoring, Safety, and FAQ.
Sporting Rifle: The rifles will be single shot, exposed hammer, breech loading, original or similar to those developed prior to 1896. Front sight blade or globe. Rear sight open, peep or soule type. Metallic cartridges loaded with black powder, black powder substitute or smokeless powder and all lead bullets only. Calibers of .375 or larger. Not allowed: Slings, Schuetzen type rifles, jacketed or metal gas check bullets, telescopic sights.
Military Rifles: Original or true reproduction. All external parts must be of the type originally issued including sights. Single shot, exposed hammer, breech loading, all lead bullets only. Caliber must be as originally issued. Black powder only in the military class. No smokeless powder in this class.
Muzzle loading Rifle: Percussion, flintlock (wheel lock or matchlock as well) rifle with exposed hammer or firing mechanism. Open or peep rear sight, blade or hooded front sight. No scopes. Lead bullet or round ball of 36 caliber or larger. Black powder or substitutes only. No smokeless powder in this class. No slings. No plastic sabots. No modern “in line“ rifles.
Cowboy Action Rifle: Lever or pump action, smokeless or black powder. Must be of a pistol caliber. Not allowed: Win 50-110, 45/70 Govt, etc.
22 Single Shot Rifle: This is intended for 'Vintage' or 'Antique' single shot 22s with iron sights, although any simple iron sighted 22 would be allowed. 'Antique' 22s must use Standard Velocity ammo. Both types can choose short or long range targets. No fancy modern target rifles with full aperture globe sights, palm rests, hooked butt plates etc. 22 inserts for single shot buffalo type rifles (Sharps, Rolling blocks, Winchester 1885) are allowed.
Any Other Rifle: Must be period-correct, single shot, and lead ammo only. Example: Martini Cadet.
Period-correct scopes are allowed.
Rifle Stages for All Rifle Classes
These are the typical setups for the Gong Shoot, but the exact setup can vary
dependent on the choice of the shoot director that day.
Stage 1: 75 yards, Usually a Buffalo Gong. Often required to be shot sitting with cross-sticks.
Stage 2: 125 yards, Buffalo Gong. Usually required to be shot from the sitting position with or without a stool, using cross sticks.
Stage 3: 100 yards, Buffalo Gong. Usually required to be shot from the sitting position with or without a stool, using cross sticks.
Stage 4: 50 to75 yards dependent on the gong used, Buffalo Gong most often, or other critter. Shot offhand without artificial support, no cross-sticks, rests etc.
NOTE on Rifle Stages:
At any stage a shooter may elect to shoot that stage from a more difficult position than listed. For example a shooter may elect to shoot the sitting stage offhand, or a military rifle shooter may elect to shoot the 125 yard target sitting and not with the bench rest. Choosing a more difficult position is for the personal challenge of that shooter and will not result in any extra credit or points in any way. Once a shooter starts a stage from a more difficult position they must complete the stage that way. They may not revert to the normal way part way through that particular stage.
Black Powder Cap & Ball Revolver: Black powder or substitutes. Lead round ball only, caliber 36 or larger.
Cowboy Action Cartridge Revolver: Single Action. Black or smokeless powder. Lead bullets only, .32 through .45 caliber.
Revolver targets are rectangular steel gongs, placed at 20, 30, 40 and 50 yards distance. A shooter will shoot 5 shots at each distance for a total of 20 shots. Hits anywhere on the gong count as a hit. Hits only on support frames will count as a miss. The spotter/scorer will have the final say on scoring hits and misses. Each competitor is responsible for their score card. Any descrepencies should be brought to the attention of the spotter/scorer before you leave the firing line. Shooters are responsible for turning in their score cards to the shoot director.
Targets and Scoring
Targets: All targets are Metal Buffalo gongs, or other critters, hanging from a steel frame. The gongs will be painted a color suitable for the conditions, as chosen by the Shoot Director. Gongs may be repainted during a shoot as conditions dictate. A hit anywhere on the gong counts as a hit. A hit determined by the spotter/scorer to be only on the metal support frame will be counted as a miss. The spotter/scorer will have the final say on scoring hits and misses.
Scorecards: Each shooter will be responsible for their scorecard. Any discrepancies should be brought to the attention of the spotter/scorer before you leave a stage. Shooters are responsible for turning in their completed scorecards to the shoot director.
Number of Shots: At each stage you may take up to 2 sighting shots before declaring you are going to score. There will be 5 shots for score at each stage. Once you start scoring shots you can not go back to sighting shots at that stage. Muzzle loading shooters may, with the consent of all involved, shoot only 3 shots for score at each stage due to time constraints.
Time You are not on the clock. You may take the time you need to shoot safely, but you need to be mindful of other shooters waiting.
Tied Scores: Ties will be broken by a shoot-off, the details of which will be at the discretion of the shoot director in consultation with the shooters involved.
Registration will be open from 8am to 9am the morning of the shoot. A shooter may register for as many different classes as time will allow. A shooter may only enter an individual class once. Registration Fee is $15, plus $5 for each additional class. Note: All shooters, volunteers, and spectators must sign a Liability Release form as required by the Blue Hill R&P Club.
A safety briefing will be held at 9am, after which competition will begin. Shooting will be suspended for a lunch break, and as needed for target maintenance.
Blue Hill R&P Buffalo Gong Championship
A Blue Hill Club Champion for each class will be determined by the aggregated score for the gong shoots held for the season. Of the four shoots scores, the lowest one score will be dropped and the total of the other three will determine the champion at the September championship shoot. Dropping one score will allow for someone missing a shoot or having a bad day. Also, by dropping a score the winners will not be determined until the September shoot- making it a true Club Championship.
Safety Rules for Gong Shooters
SAFETY IS EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY. Anyone, at any time, who sees something unsafe or might become unsafe may CALL OUT CEASE FIRE. If a cease fire is called, all shooting will stop and guns made safe until the situation is resolved.
If in doubt about any procedure or rule, ASK!
Eye and Hearing protection is required at all times for shooters and spotters.
Treat all firearms as if they are loaded.
Keep all firearms pointed in a safe direction, muzzle pointed down to the ground (or downrange when at the firing line).
Keep all actions and cylinders open and empty behind the firing line. An empty chamber indicator is required.
Do not load until you are on the firing line and ready to shoot.
Keep your finger off the trigger until you are on the target.
An area will be designated for loading Cap’ n Ball Revolvers behind the firing line. Muzzleloaders may be charged behind the firing line, BUT per-cussion caps for revolvers and muzzleloaders will only be installed when you are on the firing line and ready to shoot. Flintlocks will not have the pan charged and closed until you are on the firing line and ready to shoot.
Pay attention to range Safety Flags:
Red Flag = The firing line is hot. Open for shooting.
Yellow Flag = Caution: Guns will be made safe and there will be no loading or shooting until the yellow flag is replaced with the Red Flag.