September 20th, 2010

National Champion Set Sights on Top Soldier Competition

SGT Sherri Gallagherby Michael Molinaro, USAMU
Sgt. Sherri Jo Gallagher set high goals for 2010. To say she met them is an understatement. The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit Soldier recently won the National High Power Rifle Championship, is on the brink of competing to be the Army Soldier of the Year, and relishes every moment serving her country.

“I wanted to be in the military since I was very young — I was drawn to the challenge and excitement of it,” said Gallagher. “I wanted to learn how to be a leader and make a difference in life. Then I had the opportunity to join the USAMU and turn my favorite hobby into my daily life. Nothing could be more fun than that.”

Gallagher became the first service member since 1987 to win the high-power competition at the National Championships held annually at Camp Perry, Ohio. She set a new national record in the match with a 2396-161x, dropping only four shots during the entire competition. She shot 21 more “X”s than anyone else in the field, which included legends of the sport and past champions. She also became the second woman ever to win the championship — her mother, Nancy Tompkins, being the first.

“Mom won in 1998,” Gallagher said. “We were both competing that year so I didn’t get to watch her that much — but she wasn’t shooting high-power this year so she was able to watch me shoot. She brought me coffee every day. It was very nice.”

SGT Sherri Gallagher Nancy Tompkins

Gallagher grew up around the sport of shooting. Her stepfather managed a U.S. national rifle team, her mother is a living legend in the sport, and her sister is a three-time national high-power long-range rifle champion and finished third overall in the long-range event this year. “I started shooting when I was five,” Gallagher said. “My step-dad had us pulling targets by about seven and the best way to get out of the pits is if we volunteered to shoot. So it was good motivation.”

Gallagher currently holds 21 National records in rifle. In 2009, she won the National High Power Long Range Rifle Championship for the first time and credits her success on the firing line to some very simple advice she received at a young age.

“The biggest thing we learned growing up was to have fun and if you’re not having fun something is wrong,” she continued. “There is no point getting worked up over what you do because all you can do is your best.”

Gallagher took that advice to heart in training for the nationals this year because besides winning the coveted title at Camp Perry, she was named TRADOC Soldier of the Year just a few weeks prior. A process that started at the unit level back in the spring now has her set to go head-to-head against the best the Army has to offer at the 2010 Best Warrior Competition with the title of Army Soldier of the Year on the line.

SGT Sherri Gallagher Nancy Tompkins

“It’s been an awesome experience,” said Gallagher, who was promoted to the rank of Sergeant since competing at TRADOC (U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command). One of the reasons soldiers in her unit believe Gallagher is thriving is the approach she takes to every task she is given: “She has a ‘can do’ attitude about everything she does”, said SFC Kyle Ward, NCO-in-charge for the service rifle team. Gallagher hasn’t lost focus on the mission at hand for the USAMU: “The most important thing is training Soldiers, assisting with research and development, and helping the war fighter,” she said. “My goal for next year is to learn how to be a better instructor. I like to use everything I learn through competition to help train others. I get to use a skill I grew up using and help people with their marksmanship.”

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September 20th, 2010

Shooting Sports USA Seeks Products of the Year Nominations

Shooting Sports USA MagazineDo you know of a great new shooting or reloading product? Here’s a chance to acknowledge quality new products. Shooting Sports USA Magazine, the NRA’s Competitive Shooting Journal, is collecting nominations for the best competitive shooting products of the year. The finalists will be featured in the magazine’s SHOT Show issue, which will be handed out at the NRA booth at the Las Vegas tradeshow in January, 2011. Send one or two nominations, high-resolution photograph, and 200-word description to shootingsportsusa@nrahq.org with 2010 PRODUCT as the subject line. The deadline is October 20, 2010, one month away.

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September 19th, 2010

Fay Wins Spirit of America Fullbore Match — Biggs Wins F-Open

Trudie Fay SOA ChampionTrudie Fay continued her outstanding shooting from earlier this week to win the Spirit of America Fullbore Championsihp with a Grand Agg score of 1781-104X, edging Tom Whitaker by one point. That’s as close as it gets — Tom finished with 1780-105X. He had one more ‘X’ than Trudie, but one less point, and it is the total score that decides the Championship. Trudie shot brilliantly right out of the gate, winning the Sunday Agg with a 450-33X. Tom almost matched that later, winning Thursday’s Agg with a 450-31X, but ultimately, Tom was unable to overcome Trudie’s early lead. Congrats to Trudie and Tom, and all the shooters who performed so well at the 2010 Spirit of America Match.

Danny BiggsBiggs Wins F-Open Division
Multi-time F-Class National Champion Danny Biggs won the F-Open Division with an impressive 1777-88X, three points ahead of Ryan Pierce (1774-87X), a master-level shooter who finished ahead of all the High Masters except Danny. Ryan is clearly a rising star in the F-Class world. Third overall with high X-Count for the match was Jim Murphy who scored 1766-90X. Placing fourth overall was Larry Bartholome, whose 1763-78X score also earned him High Senior Honors. (Photo at right is a file photo when Danny shot F-TR at the 2010 Championships.)

Michelle Gallagher of Berger Bullets won the F-TR division with a 1717-62X score. Michelle eged runner-up Laura Perry (1717-57X) on X-Count. Bill Watts finished third in the F-TR Division with a 1710-60X score.

Spirit of America Match Results

Final Results have not yet been published for the team competition. But so far, in Fullbore Competition, the U.S. National 4-man Team, coached by Tom Whitaker, is in first place, while the 8-person United States Rifle Team, also coached by Whitaker, has a solid lead over the Bald Eagles Team. U.S. Rifle Team members are: Norm Crawford, Trudie Fay, Wayne Forshee, Johnie Franklin, Boyd Goldsby, Noma Mayo, Kent Reeve, and John Rhynard.

Berger 4- and 8-man Teams Lead in F-Class Team Competition
In F-Class Team events, the 4-Man Team Berger (Larry Bartholome, Danny Biggs, Robert Bock, Jim Murphy) has a 6-point lead over Team Sierra Spindle Shooters. In the SOA 8-man F-Class Team event, the Berger Right-Left Team, coached by Mid Tompkins, has a solid lead over the Insane Clown Posse, coached by Mid’s wife Nancy Tompkins. (It’s all in the family we guess.)

CLICK HERE for latest SOA Match Results

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September 19th, 2010

Good Deal on .223 Varmint Ammo — Act Quick

If you’re looking for some pre-loaded .223 Rem ammo for a Prairie Dog hunt, give MidwayUSA a call. Right now, Midway USA is running a clearance sale on Black Hills Remanufactured .223 Rem Ammo. This is good ammo loaded with 36gr Barnes Varmint Grenade HPFB bullets. Barnes’ Varmint Grenades employ a lead-free design. That may be useful when hunting in areas (such as parts of California) with restrictions on lead bullets. The price for a 1000-round case (20 Boxes of 50) is $579.38, marked down from $747.99, item # 785740. That’s a $168.61 savings. Act quickly, as quantities are limited.

Black Hills Varmint Grenade

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September 18th, 2010

Matt Kline Shoots 2.815″ Record at 1000 Yards with 300 WSM

1000-yard Matt Kline recordSeptember 12th at the Original Pennsylvania 1000 Yard Benchrest Club (Williamsport) range Matt Kline set a new 10-shot Heavy Gun World Record with a 2.815″, 100-4X.

Breaking the 3″ mark (for 10 shots) is big news in the 1K benchrest game. The existing IBS 10-shot, 1000-yard record is 3.044″ set by Joel Pendergraft in 2009, while the NBRSA 10-Shot, 1000-yard record is 4.322″ set by Dave Tooley in 2006. Counting this 100-4X target, Matt also set a new 6-Match Heavy Gun Score Aggregate of 99.000. With Williamsport Match 10 still to shoot, Matt could push the HG Score Agg even higher.

Record Set with 300 WSM and 210-grainers
Matt Kline shot a 300 WSM with 210gr Berger VLD bullets. This confirms the accuracy of the short magnum, which may prove to be the new “go-to” cartridge of choice for those who want to shoot the high-BC, heavy 30-caliber bullets. Matt’s gun featured a BAT action, 30″ Broughton barrel, and a Nightforce 8-32x56mm BR scope. The rifle was smithed by Mark King Rifles.

Matt shared some details of his reloading process with Assist. Editor Jason Baney. This may surprise you. Matt anneals his 300 WSM brass after every firing. The necks are turned to .0135″ wall thickness for a .338″-neck chamber. Interestingly, Matt does not meplat-trim or point his Berger bullets. However, he pre-sorts the bullets very thoroughly, segregating them by .001″ variance in both bearing surface and overall bullet length. You need extremely consistent bullet-to-bullet BCs to shoot record groups like Matt did.

1000-yard Matt Kline record

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September 17th, 2010

Spirit of America Match Concludes Saturday at Raton, New Mexico

Trudie FayThe Spirit of America Match (SOA), one of the nation’s most prestigious long-range tournaments, has been underway this week at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, New Mexico. Turn-out has been good, with 111 competitors: 67 Fullbore (Palma) shooters and 44 F-Class competitors, including 31 F-Open and 13 F-TR shooters.

Thus far Trudy Fay won the Camaraderie Trophy match, the Aggregate of last Sunday’s two Matches. Tom Whittaker won US Armed Forces Trophy Match, the Aggregate of Tuesday’s two individual matches. On Thursday the 16th, Match 7 (300, 500, and 600 yards), plus Match 8 (900 yards) were fired. We will provide Thursday results as soon as available. You can check the Bald Eagles Club website for the latest SOA Match Results.

Today, Friday the 17th, the Angel Fire 4-Man Team Match will be held at 300, 500, 600 and 1000 yards. Team matches were previously held on Monday (Raton 8-Man Match) and Wednesday (Cimarron 4-Man Match). The Spirit of America Match will conclude on Saturday with Match 10 (300, 500, 600 yards, sponsored by Sinclair Int’l), and Match 11 (900 yards, sponsored by Lapua). The combined Aggregate of Match 10 and 11 constitutes Match 12, The End of the Trail Trophy match. CLICK HERE for Match Schedule & Class Rules.

Spirit of America

The Fullbore National and Spirit of America Championship will be awarded based on the Grand Aggregate of the four Daily Aggregates: Matches 3, 6, 9, & 12 in Target Rifle and F-Class Categories. There are also separate SOA Short Range Championship and Long Range Championship Trophies.

NRA Whittington CenterSunday Aggregate — Camaraderie Trophy Match
——- HM ——-
TRUDIE FAY W HM 300-25 150-8 450-33 *MW*
MICHAEL STORER J HM 299-18 149-10 448-28 2MW
NANCY TOMPKINS W HM 299-18 149-4 448-22 3MW
NOMA MAYO SW HM 300-25 147-5 447-30 1HM
KELLY BACHAND HM 300-18 147-9 447-27 2HM
——- MA ——-
CARLTON HARDIN MA 300-17 147-3 447-20 1MA
DOUG FRERICHS S MA 298-10 147-6 445-16 2MA
RICK CURTIS MA 299-19 145-4 444-23 3MA

Tuesday Aggregate — US Armed Forces Trophy Match
——- HM ——-
TOM WHITAKER S HM 300-21 143-5 443-26 *MW*
ALLEN ELLIOTT S HM 296-12 146-5 442-17 2MW
JON RHYNARD S HM 296-17 145-4 441-21 3MW
KENT REEVE HM 300-18 141-1 441-19 1HM
TRUDIE FAY W HM 299-20 141-5 440-25 2HM
——- MA ——-
ANDREW DONEY MA 299-17 141-2 440-19 1MA
BILL LAIR S MA 298-12 141-4 439-16 2MA
NICK MOWRER MA 299-11 140-4 439-15 3MA

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September 17th, 2010

Armalite Rolls Out 10th Anniversary Limited Edition AR-50A1

To celebrate 10 years of AR-50A1 production, ArmaLite offers a new, Limited Edition of its metal-stocked .50-caliber rifle with bundled hardware including scope mount, scope rails, bipod, and monopod.

The total production run for the Anniversary AR-50A1 is just fifty (50) rifles. All will have a custom, silver-black crackle powder-coated finish. The anniversary dates are laser-etched on the upper receiver. Each Anniversary AR-50 is part of a special package including an ArmaLite 30mm scope mount; Armalite +15, +30, and +50 MOA scope rails; a bipod, a monopod; 100 rounds of once-fired USGI 50 BMG brass; and a certificate of authenticity. For more information, visit Armalite.com. The base-model Armalite AR-50A1 (without the Anniversay upgrades) has an MSRP of $3,359.00.

Armalite 50 BMG

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September 17th, 2010

New Ammo Site Offers $25.00 Off First Order over $200.00

A new web vendor for loaded ammunition has just opened its doors to the online public. BulkAmmo.com launched its new secure web-store earlier this month. To celebrate its grand opening, BulkAmmo.com is offering our readers a special promotion: $25 off their first order over $200. To take advantage of this special offer, use Coupon CODE “GrandOpening” during check-out.

Bulkammo.com

Steven, one of the BulkAmmo.com principals tells us: “We have a lot of inventory available and it’s all ready to ship.” BulkAmmo.com currently stocks major brands including Aguilla, CCI, Federal, Fiocchi, PMC, Remington, Tula, Winchester, and Wolf. You’ll find a wide selection of pistol, rimfire, and centerfire rifle ammo, plus shotgun shells. Brands of .308 Win brass-cased ammo include: Hornady (Interlock), Federal (GMM), and PMC.

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September 16th, 2010

Top Shot Winner Iain Harrison Reveals Hollywood Insider Secrets

Iain Harrison, Top ShotThe History Channel’s new TOP SHOT television show was a big success, attracting more than two million viewers each week. The show, which featured equal amounts of “Reality TV” and head-to-head competition with a variety of weapons, had a winning formula that captured a large audience. The competitors in this gun-friendly series became instant celebrities of sorts, none more so than Iain Harrison, the ex-pat British Army officer who was “the last man standing” on the show’s final episode. Iain was a fast learner who had no real weaknesses with any weapons — from throwing knives to AR15s. He was a popular and deserving champion who came away with the show’s $100,000 prize and bragging rights to the title of “Top Shot”.

Iain Harrison was recently interviewed by the NRA’s American Hunter magazine. In his interview, Iain gave away a few TOP SHOT secrets — including “behind the scenes shenanigans”. To read the complete interview with Iain, visit AmericanHunter.com. In his closing comments, Iain had this to say about the overall experience:

If you ever get the chance to participate in one of these shows, my advice is to go for it. So long as you and your family can handle the separation, it will present a great opportunity to see behind the scenes of a TV show, shoot a few unusual guns and make some lasting friendships. Just remember that the show’s audience is comprised of mostly non-shooters, and whether you like it or not, you are acting as an ambassador for the sport we all love. Your behavior reflects on all gun owners. Don’t screw it up.

CLICK HERE for Harrison Interview.
Iain Harrison photo courtesy NRA Blog.

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September 16th, 2010

NBRSA 600-Yard Match at Ojai, CA This Weekend

Ojai Valley 600-yard NBRSAThe Ojai Valley Gun Club (OVGC) hosts a 600-yard Registered Benchrest match this Sunday, September 19. Beat the heat and come up to this beautiful location in the Coastal Mountains. There will be both Light Gun (17-lb) and Heavy Gun (unlimited weight) matches (three record targets each class), and the cost is just $25.00 for a full day of shooting. Shooting starts at 8:00 am sharp, so get there early. Under NBRSA Rules, the Light Guns will shot 5 record rounds per target, while the Heavy Guns shoot 10 rounds per target.

Match director Barry Bluhm says: “We welcome all shooters, even if their rifles don’t make the 17-lb weight limit for Light Gun. F-Classers and other guys who don’t have a true Light Gun can shoot their heavier rifles in both stages and all targets will be scored, but Light Gun official awards will be limited to the 17-pounders.”

While there is time to load between matches, it’s wise to come pre-loaded with at least 75 rounds. A total of 45 record rounds will be shot, and you’ll need sighter rounds. If you’ve never shot at 600 yards before you’ll need +11-14 MOA elevation from a 100-yard zero for most popular calibers.

Ojai Valley Gun Club NBRSA

As the Ojai range is located at about 3,350 feet, temps can be “brisk” in the morning. Bring a sweater or jacket as it could be under 40° when the match begins. Highs should be in the 70s by mid-day. The weatherman predicts excellent conditions for Sunday, so we could witness some record-setting performances. When it is cool, calm, and still in the early morning, it’s very possible to shoot quarter-MOA groups at Ojai. We’re still waiting for a sub-inch group to be shot in Registered 600-yard competition at Ojai — maybe this will be the weekend.

For match information, call Barry Bluhm at (805) 798-2473. The range is located off CA Route 33 about 35 minutes’ drive north-east of Ventura, California (see map below).

Ojai Valley Gun Club

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September 15th, 2010

Jerry Miculek and Maggie Reese Win USPSA Nationals

Multi-Gun nationalsLegendary shooter Jerry Miculek of Princeton, Louisiana won the Open division at the U.S. Practical Shooting Association’s (USPSA) 2010 Multi-Gun National Championships this past weekend at the Desert Sportsman’s Rifle & Pistol Club in Las Vegas, Nevada. Miculek, who finished second in 2009, has won the title previously in 2008, 2007, and 2005. His first place finish this year also earned Miculek the Senior Open division title.

This was an impressive come-from-behind victory by Miculek, who trailed most of the match. Jerry grabbed the lead on the 10th of 12 stages, then held on to win with a final score of 1997.2577. In winning his fourth USPSA Multi-Gun Championship, Jerry out-gunned dozens of other shooters half his age. Maybe those young bucks should buy Jerry’s Practical Rifle DVD in which he explains his techniques. Though some of his younger competitors could cover ground faster, Jerry was ultra-accurate with his rifle, scoring hits faster than the younger shooters. As Jerry told photographer Yamil Sued: “Son, if I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it right.” In the video below you can see Jerry competing in the 3-Gun Nation Championship, which was held on Monday, immediately after the USPSA event.

Jerry Miculek Las Vegas

Jerry Miculek Las Vegas

USPSA Maggie Reese“Jerry is one of our sport’s most respected competitors. There is no match that he enters that he is not among those favored to win and that’s certainly true when it comes to Multi-Gun competition,” said Michael Voigt, USPSA president and the defending Multi-Gun champion who finished second this year behind Miculek. Voigt’s final score of 1963.7636 placed him second in the match while Taran Butler finished third with 1927.1224.

Reese Repeats as Women’s Champion
In the Women’s Open division contest Maggie Reese of South Pasadena, California took top honors, winning six of the 12 stages and posting a final score of 1272.8205. This gave Maggie back-to-back USPSA titles, as she also won the Womens’ Multi-Gun Championship in 2009. A soft-spoken, humble competitor, Maggie really dominated her division in this event. She is a deserving Ladies’ Champion. Maggie’s final total was more than 155 points ahead of second place Vinky Castillo’s score of 1117.8194.

USPSA Maggie Reese

SGT Horner and Tasha Hanish Both Win Tactical Division Second Year in a Row
In the Tactical Division, SGT Daniel Horner of the USAMU successfully defended his USPSA Multi-Gun Tactical division title. The Army shooter, who won five of the 12 stages, finished with a 2075.0824 score, beating his nearest competitor by more than 218 points. Then, one day after securing his USPSA Tactical title, SGT Horner won the first-ever 3-Gun Nation Championship, capturing a $25,000 cash prize donated by Leupold.

Cave Creek, Arizona’s Tasha Hanish, a member of the FNH USA shooting team, won seven of 12 stages and dominated the field as she won the Women’s Tactical division title for the second year in a row. Hanish won the first four stages of the match, jumping out to a 62+ point lead over FNH USA teammate Dianna Liedorff. Hanish won the title with a final score of 1252.3448. Liedorff finished second with 1095.2133. Watch Tasha in action in the video above.

More than 150 top shooters from 26 states, as well as Canada, competed in the 2010 USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals. Despite the brutal heat, which reached the mid-90s, these shooters managed to “run and gun” for four days straight, sending over 19,000 rounds downrange during the competition.

CLICK ARROW to View Slide-Show

Jerry Miculek and Maggie Reese action photos © 2010 by Yamil Sued, HotGunShots.com.

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September 15th, 2010

Beretta Recalls .22 Caliber NEOS Pistols

Beretta Neos RecallBeretta U.S.A. Corp. has discovered a potential condition with Beretta .22 caliber NEOS semiautomatic pistols in which the pistol will fire even if the safety is activated and, in some cases, the pistols may fire if the safety is moved from the OFF to the ON position. Because of safety concerns relating to this situation, Beretta U.S.A. Corp. is immediately implementing a recall of Beretta .22 caliber NEOS semiautomatic pistols.

If you have a Beretta NEOS pistol, send it to Beretta’s Accocreek, MD Service Center for repair. Instructions on how to send your Neos to Beretta are available at www.berettasupport.com/neos or by calling 1-800-BERETTA.

Beretta Neos Recall

Note: Some pistols are not subject to recall. Please visit www.berettasupport.com/neos to see if your NEOS has already been repaired. If the firing pin for your NEOS looks like New Version 1 or 2 above, you do not need to return it. Returned NEOs pistols will be retrofitted, at no cost to the owner, with a replacement firing pin assembly. The new firing pin assembly can be identified either by a circle on the back of the firing pin that includes a red dot in the center, or by a vertical line as shown in the photos. Please make sure that your Beretta NEOS pistol is unloaded before delivery to the service center. Do not experiment with your Neos pistol to see if it has the potential safety issue.

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September 14th, 2010

Multi-Gunners Compete In USPSA and 3-Gun Nation Events

Over the past five days at the Desert Sportsman’s Range in Las Vegas, the nation’s top multi-gun competitors competed for glory and serious prize money. Thursday through Sunday (Sept. 9-12), the USPSA conducted its Multi-Gun Nationals — a big event with shooters competing on twelve separate stages, some 3-gun, some 2-gun, and a few shotgun-only, pistol-only, or rifle-only. One of the USPSA stages even started off with a full-auto FNH machine-gun (provided by the match organizers). On most of the stages, most competitors blazed through the rifle and pistol segments, but many shooters struggled with their scattergun reloading. Those guys and gals who could stoke their shotguns quickly (and smoothly) enjoyed a major competitive edge.

3-Gun Nation Finals
On Monday, September 13, the Finals of the season-long 3-Gun Nation series was held at the Desert Sportsman’s range. The number of stages was reduced to four, but the scenarios were longer and tougher, with more moving and shooting, and generally more challenging scenarios. On ALL the 3-Gun Nation stages, all three guns (rifle, pistol, and shotgun) were used. To do well you need to be strong with all weapon types. The top shooters all had their serious game faces on as big money — over $40,000 in prize money — was at stake. Conditions were tough; temps were in the mid-90s, and erratic afternoon winds toyed with the shooters during the long-range rifle events.

Multi-Gun Nationals

SGT Horner Wins 3-Gun Nation Championship and $25,000 Prize
After seven hours of elimination events to select shoot-off participants, the 3-Gun Nation Final Shoot-off was held at day’s end. In this signature event, sixteen 3-Gun Nation competitors dueled in a series of one-on-one matches until just two shooters remained. These two then competed head-to-head for the Championship. The “last man standing”, SGT Daniel Horner of the USAMU, won the Grand Prize of $25,000, provided by Leupold. Runner-up Bruce Piatt took home a check for $10,000, which US P.A.L.M. supplied. David Neth finished third, winning $5,000, courtesy of Timney Triggers. Congrats to SGT Horner and all the 3-Gun Nation competitors.

YouTube Preview Image
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September 14th, 2010

California Grizzlies Sweep Three Major Junior Team Matches

California Grizzlies Jr. TeamThe California Grizzlies junior rifle teams put on an impressive display of marksmanship at Camp Perry this year, winning the National Trophy Junior Team Match (NTJT), the Minuteman Trophy and the Junior Infantry Team Trophy at the 2010 CMP National Trophy Rifle Matches. The two-person California Grizzlies Berger team of 19-year-old Chad Kurgan (Twain Harte, CA), and 20-year-old Anthony Henderson (Sonora, CA) fired a team score of 967-26X to win the NTJT and set a new National Record. Kurgan fired an aggregate score of 492-19X and Henderson followed with a 475-7X.

In the six-person National Trophy Rifle Team Match (NTT) junior category, California Grizzlies Team Seeley captured the Minuteman Trophy with an aggregate score of 2852-72X. Firing members of Team Seeley were Kurgan, Henderson, Bharadwaj, Shelby Rosasco, 19, of Jamestown, James MacMillan, 17, of Kentfield and Cheyanne Acebo, 18, of Vacaville. Team Seeley was captained by Thomas Pappageorge and coached by Dirk Seeley.

California Grizzlies Jr. Team

In the National Trophy Infantry Team Match (NTIT) junior classification California Grizzlies O’Connell won first place with an aggregate score of 1268. The team scored 556 at 600 yards, 526 at 500 yards and 186 at 300 yards and 0 at 200. Team O’Connell firing members were Bayer, Kurgan, Lehn, MacMillan, Maddalena and Rosasco. The team was coached by Jim O’Connell.

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September 14th, 2010

FBI Reports Crime Drops as Gun Sales Rise

FBI crime statistics 2009As firearms and ammunition experienced record sales in 2009, the nation’s crime rates continued to fall, according to the FBI’s just-released report, Crime in the United States, 2009. During 2009, property crime continued to fall — for the seventh straight year — with an estimated decrease of 4.6 percent. Violent crime declined for the third year in a row, with an estimated 5.3 percent drop from 2008 figures. Each of the violent crime categories decreased from 2008—murder (7.3 percent), robbery (8.0 percent), aggravated assault (4.2 percent), and forcible rape (2.6 percent). The decrease in violent crime in 2009 occurred at the same time that firearm sales were surging.

FBI 2009 Crime Report

The FBI’s crime statistics are based on reports from the 17,985 city, county, university and college, state, tribal, and federal agencies who participated in the Uniform Crime Reporting program in 2009. These agencies represent 96.3 percent of the nation’s population.

CLICK HERE to read full FBI 2009 Crime Report

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September 13th, 2010

New “Pro Series” Tactical Rifle Cases — Good Quality, Great Value

Pro Series Tactical Rifle Caseby Zak Smith
The simple and well-made rifle cases my dad and I used when I was a kid are hard to find and don’t fit the kinds of long-guns I shoot most these days: long-range precision rifles and AR-15s. There are plenty of “tactical” rifle cases on the market, but between poor construction and bad design features, it’s hard to really like most of them. One notable poor design feature is putting the zip opening on the bottom of the case (opposite the carry handle). The use of junky, low-quality zippers is another all-too-common defect.

MidwayUSA’s new “Pro Series” tactical rifle cases happily do not have those problems. The cases work well and have some good features. You can select between “tactical” black or a handsome OD green. Three sizes are offered, giving buyers a choice of 35″, 43″, or 47″ overall case lengths. Right now through the end of September, 2010, both colors and all three sizes are on sale.

I am not a fan of overloading rifle cases with a lot of extra junk, or bulky pockets that encourage it. The MidwayUSA case has plenty of internal compartments, and a large external pocket that may fit a compact M4/AR-15. Inside the main compartment, there are Velcro retention straps to hold your gun in place. The case also has angled, internal slash pockets on both ends. These help protect the muzzle on one end and help secure the buttstock on the other end.

Pro Series Tactical Rifle Case

Although the case is designed more for an AR-15 (with a half-dozen magazine pouches on the outside), I threw my Accuracy International AW — chambered in .260 Remington — into the case and took it down to the Sporting Rifle Match held at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, NM. Although the bolt rifle wouldn’t normally fit in an AR case, with the AW’s stock folded, it fit perfectly with room to spare.

Editor’s Note: The 47″ version of the case can swallow fixed-stock rifles with barrels up to about 25.5 inches. In the 43″ Pro Series case, a non-folding Accuracy International AW with 20″ barrel plus factory muzzle brake fit fine, with no clearance problems.

I don’t use a thread protector on the rifle’s muzzle when the suppressor is removed, so the muzzle “pocket” in the MidwayUSA case was nice. My suppressor, rear shooting bag, and some ammo went in the outer pocket. The top zipper opening is reminiscent of the full-on sniper drag bags, or more pertinently, easy to pull the rifle out with the bag set on the ground or in the bed of my truck.

Pro Series Tactical Rifle Case

With a glut of rifle cases on the market, the MidwayUSA Pro Series is built well and has pricing that cannot be beat. Now through September 30, 2010, the Pro Series Cases are on sale at MidwayUSA. 35″ models are $38.99, the 43″ case is $42.99, and the largest 47″ case is $44.99.

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September 12th, 2010

BedBunker Gun Safe Offers Stealth Storage

Bedbunker gun safeHere’s a new gun storage vault with an innovative “stealth” design. The “BedBunker” from Heracles Research Corp., provides secure storage for up to 32 rifles and 70 pistols, in side-by-side locked steel compartments. BedBunker modular safes are designed to replace the box spring under twin, queen, or king size mattresses and are compatible with most standard bed frames. The BedBunker is equipped with eight 1″-diameter threaded legs for height and leveling adjustments. NOTE, the weight of the BedBunker is supported by the eight metal legs, NOT by the bed frame.

Bedbunker gun safePros and Cons of BedBunker Design
The patented, under-mattress design of the BedBunker has many benefits. Number 1, the safe is in a “stealth” location that thieves may ignore completely. The best gun safe is one that doesn’t call attention to itself. Second, an installed Bedbunker is very large and would be difficult to move. Third, Bedbunkers use floor space that is otherwise wasted.

What are the negatives? First, BedBunkers are very expensive. The $4200.00 Cal-King-size BedBunker is more than twice as expensive as a typical gunsafe of equal (1500 lb.) weight. The $2200 twin-size BedBunker is more affordable, but the $3700 price of the Queen Double-safe unit will easily buy you two (2) conventional large safes.

Bedbunker gun safe

We also have concerns about the Bedbunker locking system. We don’t think the key locks are as secure as a typical UL Group II (or better) safe lock and we don’t think the vertical lift doors (with small cross-bolts) would withstand a pry-bar attack as well as a premium gun safe equipped with multiple, large-diameter cross-bolts on all door sides.

For more information, visit www.bedgunsafe.com, or call Heracles Research Corp. of Spokane, WA, at (509) 624-2555.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 12 Comments »
September 10th, 2010

Dead Simple 4-Shot Sight-In for Hunting Rifles

Here’s a simple procedure that lets you get a solid zero for a hunting rifle in just four shots. Of course you probably want to fire a few more rounds to confirm your zero before you head off to your hunting grounds, but this will let you get on-target with a minimum amount of time and ammo expended. (This assumes your scope is securely mounted, and the bases are not drastically out of alignment.)

1. First, remove the bolt and boresight the rifle. Adjust the position of the rifle so that, looking through the bore, you can see the center of the target with your eyes. Secure the rifle in the rests to maintain its position as boresighted. Then, without moving the rifle, center the reticle. That should get you on paper. With the rifle solidly secured in front and rear rests or sandbags, aim at the center of a target placed at your zeroing distance (50 or 100 yards). Confirm there are no obstructions in the barrel! Then load and fire one shot. Then, return the gun to the exact position it was when you pulled the trigger, with the cross-hair centered on the target as before.

2. Locate, in the scope, where your first bullet landed on the target. Now, while you grip the rifle firmly so it doesn’t move, have a friend adjust the turrets on your scope. While you look through the scope, have your friend turn the windage and elevation turrets until the cross-hairs, as viewed through the scope, bisect the first bullet hole on the target. In other words, you use the turrets to move the center of the reticle to the actual position of shot number one. Dial the crosshairs to the hole — don’t move the rifle.

3. After you’ve adjusted the turrets, now re-aim the rifle so the cross-hairs are, once again, positioned on the target center. Keep the rifle firmly supported by your rest or sandbag. Take the second shot. You should find that the bullet now strikes in the center of the target.

3-Shot Zero

4. Take a third shot with the cross-hairs aligned in the center of the target to confirm your zero. Make minor modifications to the windage and elevation as necessary.

5. Now shoot the rifle from a field rest (shooting sticks, bipod, or rucksack) as you would use when actually hunting. Confirm that your zero is unchanged. You may need to make slight adjustments. Some rifles, particularly those with flexy fore-arms, exhibit a different POI (point of impact) when fired from a bipod or ruck vs. a sandbag rest.

If you recently cleaned your rifle, you may want to fire two or three fouling shots before you start this procedure. But keep in mind that you want to duplicate the typical cold bore conditions that you’ll experience during the hunt. If you set your zero after three fouling shots, then make sure the bore is in a similar condition when you actually go out hunting.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, Optics, Shooting Skills 7 Comments »
September 9th, 2010

USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals Begin September 10 in Las Vegas

USPSA Multi-Gun NationalsThis weekend, September 10-12, over 150 of the nation’s best rifle, shotgun and pistol shooters will compete at the U.S. Practical Shooting Association’s 2010 Multi-Gun National Championships. The event is hosted at the Desert Sportsman’s Rifle & Pistol Club , on the west side of Las Vegas, NV. Your Editor will be on hand to report on the action.

The USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals will feature 12 challenging stages involving rifle, shotgun, and pistol. The action is fast, demanding speed AND accuracy. National Titles will be decided in multiple USPSA Classes: Open, Limited, Tactical, Heavy Metal Limited, and Heavy Metal Tactical divisions. Honors will also be awarded in the categories of High Lady, Senior, Super Senior, Junior, Military & Law Enforcement.

Match Location:
Desert Sportsman’s Rifle & Pistol Club
12201 W. Charleston Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89135


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Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
September 9th, 2010

New 575-page History of the National Matches (Fall Release)

Camp Perry 100 Years National Matches bookThis fall, the NRA is releasing a definitive, 575-page history of the National Matches. The $59.95 book, entitled The National Matches: 1903-2003 The First 100 Years covers all the National Match venues, starting with New Jersey’s Sea Girt, followed by Creedmoor in New York, and finally the present-day home at Camp Perry, Ohio.

Richly illustrated with hundreds of photos, this special Collectors’ Edition includes National Match facts, complete National Match results, and notable shooter histories. The book also covers the evolution of match rifles and pistols over the past century.

Any shooter who has competed at the National Matches, or who has an interest in National Match history, should consider adding this book to his personal collection. The National Matches: 1903-2003 The First 100 Years will soon be available for purchase from the NRA Program Materials Center, item number CC19740.

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