August 29th, 2009

Spirit of America Match Underway at Whittington Center

The Spirit of America National Fullbore Rifle Prone Championship is now underway at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, NM. Sponsored by the Bald Eagle Rifle Club, the Spirit of America (SOA) is a major match that draws many of the top prone shooters in the country. The match is for Target Rifles as well as for F-Class Rifles. “Target Rifle” is defined as “a rifle chambered for use with the unmodified 7.62×51 commercial or .308 Winchester cartridge [or] a rifle chambered for use with the unmodified 5.56mm commercial or .223 Remington cartridge.” In practical terms, “Target Rifle” is a class for .308 or .223 Palma rifles.

Fullbore rifle competition originated in the United Kingdom in the 1960s as an offshoot of Service Rifle shooting and has gained popularity in the United States. Both team and individual matches are featured in the championship, in which competitors shoot from distances of 300 yards up to a maximum of 1000. The match is governed by the Fullbore Rifle Rulebook. Different sets of targets will be used by the two classes:

Target Rifle: 300 yds – MR63; 500 yds – MR65; 600 yds – MR1; 800, 900, 1000 yds – NRA LR

F-Class: MR63FC, MR-65FC, MR-1FC, and LRFC

Running for a full week, the SOA consists of a series of daily matches, each with their own awards and rankings. At the end of the week Aggregate awards are determined for Grand Aggregate (Target Rifle and F-Class), Short Range Aggregate (Target Rifle), Long Range Aggregate (Target Rifle), and SOA Team Match Aggregate.

Aug 28 — Cunico Automotive Team Match
Aug 29 — Folsom Shooting Club Team Match
Aug 30 — McGee Stocks Individual Match
Aug 31 — U.S. Armed Forces Indiv. Match
Sep 1 — Sierra Bullets Team Match
Sep 1 — Galaxy Glass Long Range Team Match
Sep 2 — Sinclair International Indiv. Match
Sep 3 — Sierra Bullets Indiv. Match

CLICK HERE for a seven-page Guide to the Match that includes rules, match information, and complete schedule.

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August 29th, 2009

Parent of Remington, Marlin, Bushmaster Suffers Hedge Fund Woes

Over a two-year span (2006-08), Cerberus Capital Management, through its Freedom Group holding company, acquired Remington Arms, Bushmaster, and Marlin Firearms, along with other gun brands. Observers were concerned about the consolidation of so many legendary American gun-makers under one ownership group — too many eggs in one basket. If Cerberus suffers financial setbacks, it was feared, this could have a huge effect on the U.S. gun industry.

Cerberus Capital Management

Cerberus Hedge Fund Investors Jump Ship
Now it appears that those fears may have been well-founded. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Cerberus Capital Management’s investors overwhelmingly want out of the firm’s core hedge funds, asking for the return of more than $5.5 billion, or almost 71% of the fund assets”. That’s bad news for Cerberus of course. However, the Hedge Fund represents only about 1/3 of Cerberus assets, so the overall picture isn’t completely bleak. The Private Equity (PE) Fund, for which Cerberus is most famous, is NOT directly affected by these Hedge Fund issues. Still, the PE Fund is not without its own problems. Cerberus’s investment in Chrysler proved disasterous. After Chrysler went into bankruptcy, most of its assets were turned over to Fiat and the UAW.

What’s ahead for Cerberus? We can’t predict. There’s no reason to believe, at this time, that Cerberus is seriously threatened. Likewise, there may be no immediate effect on the operations of Remington, Bushmaster, and Marlin. However, you can bet that the top Cerberus decision-makers will be taking a hard look at the “bottom line” of all the enterprises Cerberus controls. And that, in turn, could mean a financial squeeze for Freedom Group companies that are not performing up to expections.

Freedom Group Gun Companies:
Bushmaster, Dakota Arms, DPMS, Eotac, H&R, L.C. Smith, NEF, Parker Gun, Remington Arms Co.

CLICK HERE for further Discussion of Cerebus Hedge Fund issues.

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