Getting Started in NRL22 and NRL22X

NRL22 & NRL22X – Getting Started


Comradery, competing, or just enjoy a fresh take on target shooting? NRL22 and NRL22X might be for you.

I hate the connotation of the word competing. At least when applied to shooting sports. Yes, there are diehard competitors, but there are far greater numbers of people that just want to try something new for the sake of having fun.

Whichever category you fall into, NRL22 has something to offer everyone.

A precision Vudoo V-22 Long Rifle setup

Let’s see what it takes to get started!


If you’re completely new to shooting sports, these are great disciplines to start into. Don’t know what to expect at your first match? Having trouble understanding how to find a match near you? Check out this article on Getting Started in Shooting Sports.

Most backyard plinkers already have the necessary equipment, and die-hard competitors will find options to mimic their centerfire rifles. While NRL22 does allow air-rifles, this article will focus on 22 LR.  Here’s a quick rundown of a typical shooters’ loadout.


Equipment List

  1. Rifle
  2. Ammo
  3. Dope Card
  4. Bags
  5. Bipods
  6. Slings
  7. Riflescopes


Ruger 10/22

Most shooters have spent some time behind the Ruger 10/22. These are fantastic little carbines for the backyard plinker and will suffice for the time being. Most NRL22/NRL22X rifles will be capable of 1/4 -1/2” groups at 50 yards. Of the semi-auto 22s I’ve owned; few were capable of such accuracy.

Which brings ups to the mid-range options in my opinion. A magazine-fed bolt action rifle is hard to beat for the balance of speed and accuracy. The Ruger Precision Rimfire, CZ 457, and Savage rimfires all fit the bill for an intermediate-level rifle.

At the top of the list lives any 22 LR based on the Remington 700 footprint. Yes, that’s correct you can use the stocks as your centerfire rifles on 22s from companies such as Vudoo and Bergara. Full-sized “AICS” magazines make mag changes smooth and quick. There’s nothing small about these small-bores; Especially not the price tag. The compatibility, consistency and accuracy of these platforms is unparalleled.

Bergara Rimfire B-14R


When deciding what ammo to take to a match there’s a couple things to consider

Premium and Budget 22 LR ammo
  • How consistent is the performance? Does it change based on distance?
  • What does your gun prefer?

22 ammo can cost anywhere from $20 per 500 rounds to over $120 per 500 rounds. Typically speaking, the higher price tag ammo has more stringent quality control and more consistent performance from brick-to-brick. Cheap ammo may shoot great at 50 yards, but the variations in velocity can give you dismal groups at 100 yards and beyond.

It’s not necessary to buy the most expensive ammo. Do some testing and find out what your firearm like. Just like fingerprints, no two guns are alike. Your Ruger may prefer different ammunition than your buddies Ruger. I suggest shooting for groups at 50 and 100 yards. If you have a chronograph, go ahead and use it to help determine consistency. Why not?!


Since you will be engaging target in NRL22 from 25-100 yards, you’ve going to need to know how much to dial or hold over for each shot. A couple of reasonable options are gun-mounted dope cards such as the X-Ring Armory or a football wrist coach

X-Ring Armory Data Card


Shooting from barricades can be a fun challenge. Its certainly easier with the support of a good bag. Most competitors are happy to loan a bag to a new shooter when its their turn to shoot. This is a great way to see what suits you best. Bags such as the Armageddon Gear Gamechanger and Weibad Fortune Cookie are designed specifically for shooting from barricades and give you a serious edge in these unstable positions.

Armageddon Gear Game Changer

Another option for those starting out is to make their own bag from an old sock or pant leg. They can be filled with anything from rice or beads to sand.



While not required, there is usually a stage that incorporates the use of a sling. With so many variations on sling setups and attachments, I will not get into recommendations. The principle of shooting with a sling is quite possibly best learned from the service rifle shooters community. Increasing tension through a sling can help you stabilize when shooting off hand.



There’s a plethora of options suitable for NRL22 and NRL22x. The key features you should focus on are close parallax focus of 25 yards or less, available elevation adjustment of 60 MOA or greater, and a zero stop. If you are looking for a suitable entry level rifle scope, check out this article from The National Interest.

Regardless of which rimfire discipline you shoot, it’s ideal to have an adjustable parallax that can focus at close range as well as long range. 25 yards or less is ideal on the close focus. Depending on how far your plan on shooting, select a scope with a minimum of 60 MOA/18Mils  of elevation adjustment with options having up to 110 MOA or 32 mils of elevation adjustment. just like centerfire rifles, a rimfire rifle can use a canted 20-30 MOA to achieve the desired available elevation adjustment for longer ranges. If you’re going to be dialing for longer shots, it’s pertinent to have a zero stop for a fast hard stop when returning to your original zero. Based on this criteria, here are a few scopes I’d reccomend.



Recommended Riflescopes

Argos BTR GEN2

  • Precision zero stop
  • 60 MOA/18 Mils elevation travel
  • Parallax 10 yards to infinity
  • $399.99

Midas TAC

  • Precision zero stop
  • 85 MOA/25 Mils elevation travel
  • Parallax 10 yards to infinity
  • $669.99-689.99

Midas TAC

  • Precision zero stop
  • 110 MOA/32 Mils elevation travel
  • Parallax 25 yards to inifity
  • $849.99

NRL22 vs NRL22X. What’s the difference?

So we’ve covered the bare essentials of NRL22, but what about NRL22X? Just recently announced, NRL22X will have unlimited restrictions on target distance, size or equipment (albeit still restricted to 22 LR and air rifles). In preparation for NRL22X look at our article on Getting Started in 22 Long Rifle ELR and how to shoot 22s 300 yards and beyond!

4 thoughts on “Getting Started in NRL22 and NRL22X

  1. I am going to get involved in 22nrl base class and am looking for a scope to fit the rifle and scope requirements of one thousand and fifty total outlay on those two pieces of equipment.

  2. I just shot my first NRL 22 base, Did ok. Immediately discovered 2 min per stage w/10 rounds to engage x # of targets, is not enough time to operate turrets for range changes. Necessary to use hold over or under. Used a Diamond Back Tactical MOA. Working on finding some different glass & reticle that will fit the bill better. Would like eventually to find NRL 22X competition. Plan to shoot an other NRL22 in December 2020 I shoot rodents (w/22lr) out to either side of 100 yd. Wonder what can be accomplished @ or beyond 300 yd?

    1. Yes, there seems to be one stage every match I shoot that doesn't give you enough time to dial. I shot an NRL22X match last weekend with a stage just like that. To do well on these stages, you'll want a x-mas tree style reticle like what is found on Argos BTR GEN2 6-24x50 (Base Class) or on Midas TAC 5-25x56 (Open Class). Both are phenomenal choices in NRL22. The Midas TAC 5-25x56 is going to excel in NRL22X since it has 110 MOA total elevation adjustment vs 60 MOA on the Argos BTR GEN2 (That's important when you decide to dial for those 300+ shots).

  3. Happy to help if you have any questions. Depending on what gun you are looking at, there are several options that you can go with. The Argos BTR GEN2 6-24x50 is a great base class choice.

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