June 28th, 2008

NRA Silhouette Nationals Commence

Starting June 28, and running through the middle of July, silhouette shooters will compete for National Championship honors at host ranges in Pennsylvania. Pistol events will be held in Bradford, Pennsylvania, while the High Power and Small Bore Silhouette Rifle Championships will be hosted by the Ridgway Rifle Club in Ridgway, Pennsylvania.

NRA 2008 National Silhouette Championship Events

HANDGUN — Bradford, PA
Hunter’s Pistol: June 28-29
Hunter’s Pistol Metallic Sights: June 28-29
Smallbore Hunter’s Pistol: June 30-July 1
Smallbore Hunter’s Pistol Metallic Sights: June 30-July 1
Hunter’s Pistol Grand (4-Gun) Aggregate: June 28-July 1

RIFLE — Ridgway, PA
Smallbore Rifle: July 5-8
Smallbore Hunting Rifle: July 6-8
High Power Rifle: July 10-12
High Power Hunting Rifle: July 10-12

NRA Black Powder Silhouette and Cowboy Silhouette Championships will be hosted in late July and August, at the Whittington Center in Raton, New Mexico. In addition, the Canadian National Silhouette Championship will be held in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan (SK) from July 19-26, 2008.

CLICK HERE for general information on NRA silhouette disciplines. Direct questions to the NRA Silhouette Department by calling (703) 267-1465 or emailing silhouette@nrahq.org .

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June 28th, 2008

Data Cards — Don't Leave Home without One

Three-gun match competitor Zak Smith employs a simple, handy means to store his elevation and wind dift data — a laminated data card. To make one, first generate a come-up table, using one of the free online ballistics programs such as JBM Ballistics. You can also put the information in an Excel spreadsheet or MS Word table and print it out. You want to keep it pretty small.

Below is a sample of a data card. For each distance, the card includes drop in inches, drop in MOA, drop in mils. It also shows drift for a 10-mph cross wind, expressed three ways–inches, MOA, and mils. Zak explained that “to save space… I printed data every 50 yards. For an actual data-card, I recommend printing data every 20 or 25 yards.” But Zak also advised that you’ll want to customize the card format to keep things simple: “The sample card has multiple sets of data to be more universal. But if you make your own data card, you can reduce the chance of a mistake by keeping it simple. Because I use scopes with MILS, my own card (bottom photo) just has three items: range, wind, drop in MILS only.”

Once you have the card you can fold it in half and then have it laminated at a local office store or Kinko’s. You can keep this in your pocket, tape it to your stock, or tie the laminated card to your rifle. If you regularly shoot at both low and high elevations, you may want to create multiple cards (since your ballistics change with altitude). To learn more about ballistic tables and data cards, check out the excellent “Practical Long-Range Rifle Shooting–Part 1″ article on Zak’s website. This article offers many other insights as well–including valuable tips on caliber and rifle selection.

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