Despite what Asheville's Thomas Wolfe once wrote, you can go home again.
The Ruger Rimfire Challenge was originally developed by Ken Jorgenson of Ruger, Michael Bane, and the late Nelson Dymond. In 2014, the responsibility for running the Ruger Rimfire Challenge passed to the National Shooting Sports Foundation and it became known as the NSSF Rimfire Challenge. On January 1, 2018, the Rimfire Challenge will pass to a new non-profit organization run by Jorgenson and Bane called the Rimfire Challenge Shooting Association. Thus, it will have closed the circle and returned home to its founders.
Below is the NSSF's press release, in part, on the transition:
NEWTOWN, Conn. — The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the trade association for the firearms industry, is proud to announce that the NSSF Rimfire Challenge will be transitioned to a new organization: the Rimfire Challenge Shooting Association. The transition takes place Jan. 1, 2018.
Originally developed by Sturm, Ruger & Co.’s Ken Jorgenson, along with author and TV personality Michael Bane and the late Nelson Dymond, a long-time and well-known shooting match director who held a strong passion for rimfire firearms, the program was first known as the Ruger Rimfire Challenge. NSSF took over the administration of the program in 2014, changing its name to the NSSF Rimfire Challenge. The new organization will be led once again by Ken Jorgensen and Michael Bane.
Designed to introduce new shooters to the shooting sports in an exciting, family-friendly format, Rimfire Challenge matches focus on competition with .22-caliber rifles and pistols. Matches are open to shooters of all ages and shooting experience levels, with events conducted at ranges nationwide and an annual World Championship taking place each October.
“It’s truly a great thing to see this program return home to the people who had this wonderful idea to begin with,” said Tisma Juett, NSSF Manager, Recruitment and Retention. “The NSSF is proud to have been a part of growing a shooting sport that has proven to be such a wonderful activity for mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, neighbors and friends in which to participate. We wish Ken and Michael much success and look forward to many more firearms owners joining the shooting sports with them.”
“I am excited to once again be involved in the day to day operation of the Rimfire Challenge events,” said Jorgenson. “The concept originally created by Nelson and implemented as part of the Ruger Rimfire Challenge is as valid today as it was in the beginning. We will work to continue that vision and grow the rimfire competition opportunities for shooters of all skill levels.”
“I could not be happier to once again be a part of the Rimfire Challenge!” Bane added. “It is a wonderful sport, a way to bring whole families into the competition. Ken and I are committed to bringing the Rimfire Challenge to the next level. It’s going to be fun!”
Michael Bane makes the announcement of the change on the video portion of his weekly podcast. You can see it at this link. As he notes, the first year will be about stability and communication. He doesn't see any major rule changes coming immediately. The existing rulebook along with examples of courses of fire can be found here.
All shooting competitions go through life cycles and I think change like this is important. New management and new ideas along with a fairly low cost of entry should help the Rimfire Challenge continue growing and bringing in new shooters. The more that we can show that the shooting sports are fun, the less likely that the gun prohibitionists will be to convince the general public that guns are "icky".