May 29th, 2010

Quantico Memorial Day Weekend Remembering the Brave Match

Quantico Marine logo VirginiaThe First Eastern Armed Forces Memorial Match is being hosted by the Quantico Shooting Club this Memorial Day weekend. Each year, 14 military service members who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country will be honored at this match. The trophies will bear the names of the service members and the winner of each match. All match entry fees are donated to the Remembering the Brave Foundation, which was founded by Stephen Beck. Steve was a Casualty Assistance Officer in the Marine Corps and is a high power shooter. This match was his idea as a way to remember our fallen heroes.

Quantico Memorial Day Match
De Oppresso Liber (“to Liberate the Oppressed”) is the motto of the United States Army Special Forces.

The 1000-yard individual match is named in honor of PO1 Joseph Adam McSween. Adam’s mother Florence was present and spoke to the group of shooters after the match about her son. Adam was killed by enemy action while conducting combat operations in Kirkuk in 2007. he presented the trophy named for her son to the winners. Victor Armenta was first with a score of 199-12x. Jon Howell was one “x” behind for second place and Dave Kerin was third with 198-12x.

The 1000-yard team match is named in honor PO2 Marc A. Lee, the first SEAL to be killed in Iraq in 2006. He was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart posthumously. The winning team was the Virginia Shooting Sports Association. The individual aggregate match is named for SSG Marc J. Small, a Special Forces Medic, who was killed in Afghanistan last year. His father, Murray, was at the match and spoke about his son’s decision to join the Army. Murray presented the awards to the top three shooters in the aggregate. Jon Howell was the high individual shooter, dropping only three points on the day. Victor Armenta was second and Ken Roxburgh was third.

Story and photo courtesy the NRA Blog and Jan Raab, Nat’l Mgr. of NRA’s High Power Rifle Program.

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May 29th, 2010

Swiss Stamp Celebrates Markmanship Competition

Swiss Rifle stampIn some nations which have imposed draconian regulations on firearms, a match rifle is the last thing you’d expect to see on a postal stamp. That’s not the case with the Swiss. Switzerland is a “nation of marksmen”.  When young, all Swiss men receive military training, and then, after active duty, male citizens remain “on call” in a reserve status — retaining their rifles. Not surprisingly, target shooting is a hugely popular activity throughout Switzerland.

Though it has a population of just 7,000,000, Switzerland boasts over 2,000 rifle ranges. Each year, close to 200,000 Swiss participate in the Eidgenössisches Feldschiessen (annual shooting skills exercise). A several hundred-year-old tradition, the Feldschiessen (aka Tiro Federale in Campagna) is the largest shooting event in the world. The Swiss government actually provides free ammunition for Feldschiessen competitors.

To mark the importance (and popularity) of target shooting, Switzerland recently introduced a new stamp. Remarkably, on the right side of each stamp, in the middle of the bullseye, a small hole is actually punched through the paper! That’s Swiss attention to detail. A sheet of these stamps can be purchased from Swiss Post for 20 Swiss Francs (about $17). Shipping worldwide is free.

Swiss Rifle stamp

Photos and original story concept courtesy The Firearm Blog.

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May 29th, 2010

New 12th Edition of Cartridges of the World Available

Since it was first released in 1965, Cartridges of the World by Frank Barnes, has been considered the definitive print resource on firearm cartridges. The current 12th Edition, edited by Holt Bodinson, was released late last year. The 568-page 12th Edition now describes over 1500 cartridges (from 0.1 inch to 0.95 inch caliber). This edition has interesting new articles on cartridge design and performance. The book includes dimensions, illustrations, a short history, and sample loading data for over 1500 different cartridges, including virtually every significant cartridge introduced since the early 1870s, with separate chapters on rimfires, shotgun shells, sporting rifle cartridges from the United States and Canada, Britain, and Europe, plus handgun cartridges, military cartridges, and limited production “wildcat” and “proprietary” cartridges. You won’t find all the narrow-focus or obscure wildcats, but the book is still a useful resource, well worth owning. It’s a “must-have” item for any serious cartridge collector.

Frank C. Barnes (1918-1992) began collecting information on handgun cartridges at the early age of 12, thanks to his father, a police officer. Frank Barnes was an innovative cartridge designer, who invented the original 308 x 1.5″ Barnes, predecessor of the 30BR case. Before Frank began a law enforcement career, he was a college professor. Frank was also a pilot, and a race-car driver.

Cartridges of the World was first published in 1965. It’s lived through 12 editions and can be found on many reloaders’ bookshelves today. Suggested retail for the book is $32.99, but MidwayUSA currently sells the 12th Edition for $19.99 plus shipping (Midway item 242319). Amazon.com offers the book for $21.77 with free shipping on combined orders over $25.00.

AMAZON LINK: Cartridges of the World (12th Ed.): Complete Reference for Over 1500 Cartridges

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