December 21st, 2008

A Short History of Silhouette Shooting

The NRA Blog recently ran a story on Silhouette shooting by NRA Silhouette Program Coordinator Jonathan Leighton. Here are selections from Leighton’s story:

NRA Silhouette Shooting
The loud crack from the bullet exiting the muzzle followed by an even louder ‘clang’ as you watch your target fly off the railing is really a true addiction for most Silhouette shooters. There is nothing better than shooting a game where you actually get to see your target react to the bullet. In my opinion, this is truly what makes this game so much fun.

Metallic Silhouette — A Mexican Import
Silhouette shooting came to this country from Mexico in the 1960s. It is speculated that sport had its origins in shooting contests between Pancho Villa’s men around 1914. After the Mexican Revolution the sport spread quickly throughout Mexico. ‘Siluetas Metalicas’ uses steel silhouettes shaped like game animals. Chickens up front followed by rows of pigs, turkeys, and furthest away, rams. Being that ‘Siluetas Metalicas’ was originally a Mexican sport, it is common to hear the targets referred to by their Spanish names Gallina (chicken), Javelina (pig), Guajalote (turkey) and Borrego (ram). Depending on the discipline one is shooting, these animals are set at different distances from the firing line, but always in the same order.

Before Steel There Was… Barbeque
In the very beginnings of the sport, live farm animals were used as targets, and afterwards, the shooters would have a barbeque with all the livestock and/or game that was shot during the match. The first Silhouette match that used steel targets instead of livestock was conducted in 1948 in Mexico City, Mexico by Don Gongalo Qguilar. [Some matches hosted by wealthy Mexicans included high-ranking politicians and military leaders]. As the sport spread and gained popularity during the 1950s, shooters from the Southwestern USA started crossing the Mexican border to compete. Silhouette shooting came into the US in 1968 at the Tucson Rifle Club in Arizona. The rules have stayed pretty much the same since the sport has been shot in the US. NRA officially recognized Silhouette as a shooting discipline in 1972, and conducted its first NRA Silhouette Nationals in November of 1972.

Now There Are Multiple Disciplines
The actual sport of Silhouette is broken into several different disciplines. High Power Rifle, Smallbore Rifle, Cowboy Lever Action Rifle, Black Powder Cartridge Rifle, Air Rifle, Air Pistol, and Hunter’s Pistol are the basic disciplines. Cowboy Lever Action is broken into three subcategories to include Smallbore Cowboy Rifle, Pistol Cartridge Cowboy Lever Action, and regular Cowboy Lever Action. Black Powder Cartridge Rifle also has a ‘Scope’ class, and Hunter’s Pistol is broken into four sub-categories.

Where to Shoot Silhouette
NRA-Sanctioned matches are found at gun clubs nation-wide. There are also many State, Regional, and National matches across the country as well. You can find match listings on the Shooting Sports USA website or contact the NRA Silhouette Department at (703) 267-1465. For more info, visit SteelChickens.com, the #1 website dedicated to Silhouette shooting sports.

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December 21st, 2008

CARB-OUT — If It's Good Enough for Tony B…

Tony Boyer, all-time benchrest Hall of Fame points leader, has had a spectacular year, racking up many major wins. Of course, most of that success is due to his shooting skills, but Tony also benefitted from his superb Bartlein gain-twist barrels, and a new bore-cleaning product, CARB-OUT™ from SharpShoot-R™ Precision Products of Kansas. Boyer has been using CARB-OUT for the past year, and Tony enjoyed one of his best seasons ever. The use of CARB-OUT has helped Tony to remove carbon from his match barrels, reducing the need for abrasives. CARB-OUT, we’ve found, can also reduce the amount of brushing you need to do.

SharpShootR Precision Carb-Out solventOur friend Boyd Allen tested CARB-OUT on a rifle that had stubborn carbon fouling. Boyd had previously applied conventional solvents which did a good job of removing copper and conventional powder fouling. However, when examining the barrel with a borescope, Boyd saw heavy “burned-in” deposits of carbon. In this situation, Boyd observed, scrubbing with an abrasive such as Iosso or JB would normally be required. But Boyd had received a sample of CARB-OUT and Boyd decided to give it a try: “After working with a nylon brush and patches, getting all that I could out, I was able to see heavy carbon next to the lands, extending forward. This I removed by wetting the bore with the nylon brush, letting it soak for 20 minutes, and brushing with a bronze brush. I did this twice. Previously I would have expected to have done a lot of strokes with an abrasive to get the same result, since this was a worst case situation. Being able to to remove hard carbon without the use of abrasives is a ‘great leap forward’ to steal a phrase”.

Using this regimen, Boyd was able to remove the stubborn carbon. “CARB-OUT really works”, Boyd told us. “This was that baked-on black stuff that normal solvents won’t touch. After a good soak, the CARB-OUT on a wet [bronze] brush knocked it out.” Boyd observed, “Others may differ, but after using this stuff, I think abrasives may be a thing of the past.” Boyd observed: “If Boyer, who has been at the top of the BR heap for years, believes in the stuff… that’s significant.”

While Boyd used CARB-OUT with a bronze brush, Terry Paul says the product is designed to work well without brushing. For the typical type of carbon fouling seen in barrels, Terry says: “You simply put it on a patch or a mop and swab it thru the barrel. CARB-OUT also leaves behind a protective coating that prevents future carbon adherance. This coating is less than 100th of a micron in thickness, so it will not affect first shot accuracy.” For more info, visit SharpShootR.com, or call (785) 883-4444.

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