October 13th, 2010

NRA Class Records Broken at Missoula’s Deep Creek Range

Four NRA High Power National Records* were either tied or surpassed recently at the Deep Creek Range in Missoula, Montana. With some great weather — nearly ideal with only light breezes — the weekend of Sept 24-26 witnessed some great performances by top shooters. Attendance for the High Power and F-Class Long Range Regional was excellent with 43 competitors filling all available spots.

Missoula, MT High Power

NRA Records Broken or Tied
In the Palma rifle division, All-National Guard shooter SSG Allen Spiker tied the Palma course record. His score of 449-20X ties a six-year-old national record in the Service category. Allen also set a pending Long Range Regional Aggregate record in the Service category. Allen, using his Palma rifle, fired an impressive 1088-47X, topping the existing 10-year-old record by one point.

Two other records were also set this same weekend. In the F-Class (Target Rifle) division, SFC Bob Evans of the Montana Army National Guard, shot a 417-7X in the Palma course. This breaks the current F-TR National Record in the Service category by an impressive 18 points. Evans did this using a M-24 rifle with the standard issue 10X Leupold scope and M118LR ammo. Most other F-TR competitors had custom .308 Win rifles with high-magnification scopes and tailored hand-loads.

Missoula, MT High PowerJunior Sets Record in her First F-Class Match
F-Open shooter, Nicole Hagedorn, set the final National Record for the weekend. Nicole, a junior shooter firing in her first F-Class contest, shot a solid 431-5X in the Palma match. This score establishes a new National Record in the Junior category. Nicole, a college student studying X-ray Technology, revealed that one of her goals for the match was to out-shoot her father, which she did. Nicole’s father, Tim, revealed some surprising facts about his daughter’s record-setting rifle: “I was rebarreling my match rifle to 6.5-284, so I took my old barrel and a bunch of parts I had lying around the shop and used them to assemble a rifle for her. She had never fired the rifle before [she used it at the match on] Saturday, Sept. 25th! In fact, I had to replace the rail with a 20 MOA rail two days before the match. I sighted it in at 100 yards, and then shot it at 600 yards at a steel plate. The next shots fired were Nicole’s sighters at 800 yards.”

Missoula, MT High Power

The Deep Creek range is located in a scenic mountain valley 15 minutes from Missoula and typically provides great conditions for shooting. To learn more about High Power shooting at Deep Creek, contact Jamey Williams at jameydan[at]hotmail.com or visit MTRPA.org.

*All new Records listed here are “pending” and subject to NRA certification.

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October 13th, 2010

Ammo-Makers Expand Production and Hire Workers in Idaho

ATK Lewiston, IDTwo ammunition manufacturers in Lewiston, Idaho, plan to add “significant numbers of workers” this year and next. Alliant Techsystems (ATK), parent of CCI, Alliant Powder, RCBS and other companies, expects to add about 100 jobs by the end of 2010, and Extreme Bullet plans to expand its facility and add about 100 jobs over the next few years. ATK’s employee ranks will grow to approximately 1,200 workers by the end of this year.

ATK will be re-hiring many workers laid off in a 2009 force reduction. According to the Spokane Journal of Business, “The new hires should give ATK a total of about 1,200 workers by the end of 2010 at its plant on the east side of the Snake River.” The Journal also interviewed ATK Spokesman Jason Nash who explained: “We’ve definitely had a few good years at the plant there. There’s been an increased demand for sporting ammunition, which has allowed us to add to our employment base.”

Speer Brothers Brought Ammo Production to Lewiston
Here is an interesting historical footnote. Today’s large ATK operation in Idaho can be traced back to the companies founded by the Speer brothers. After settling in Lewiston in 1944, Vernon Speer started Speer Bullets. A few years later, in 1951, Vernon’s brother Dick (with partner Arvid Nelson) started Cascade Cartridges Inc., a producer of small-arms ammunition and primers. Yes, as you may suspect, Cascade Cartridges Inc. is now CCI, part of ATK’s family of companies, and one of the largest manufacturers of primers and loaded ammunition. Today, ATK’s Lewiston plant produces both Speer bullets and CCI-branded ammunition and primers. ATK acquired the plant in 2001. Vernon Speer died in 1979, and Dick Speer died in 1994.

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October 13th, 2010

Potterfields Donate $1 Million to National Wild Turkey Federation

Larry and Brenda Potterfield of MidwayUSA recently donated $1,000,000.00 to the National Wild Turkey Federation to support youth shooting programs, including the JAKES Take Aim program. The JAKES Take Aim program provides youths (ages 17 and under) with opportunities to try shooting in a safe, fun environment. With the big donation from the Potterfields, over the next four years, the NWTF aims to triple the annual number of youth shooting participants at JAKES events –- from 50,000 to 150,000.

“Thanks to the generosity of Larry and Brenda Potterfield, more young people will have the chance to try shooting sports and may discover a passion that they will enjoy for the rest of their lives,” said George C. Thornton, NWTF CEO.

Potterfields Donate $1 million to NWTF

Larry Potterfield, Founder and CEO of MidwayUSA, remarked, “Brenda and I believe in supporting youth programs that teach our next generation about shooting and shooting safety. The NWTF is doing a great job with our youth, who are the future of shooting, conservation, and the outdoor industry. We are proud to help them change the future.”

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