August 31st, 2011

Todd Jones Named New Acting BATFE Director

BATFEThe Department of Justice today announced the appointment of U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota B. Todd Jones to serve as Acting Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Jones will begin serving as ATF Acting Director on August 31, 2011.

A veteran of the Justice Department, Jones has served as U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota under two presidential administrations. He first served from 1998 to 2001. He was nominated again in 2009 by President Obama and has been in that role since being confirmed that year. During his several years as a federal prosecutor, has been the lead trial lawyer in many federal prosecutions involving drug trafficking, firearms, financial fraud and violent crime.

“As a seasoned prosecutor and former military judge advocate, U.S. Attorney Jones is a demonstrated leader who brings a wealth of experience to this position,” said Attorney General Eric Holder.

Jones Served as Lawyer in U.S. Marine Corps
Following admission to the Minnesota bar, Jones went on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he served as both a trial defense counsel and prosecutor in a number of courts martial proceedings. Jones holds a J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School.

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August 31st, 2011

Brianna Rachinski: Top Teenage Long Range High Power Shooter

by Lars Dalseide
Brianna RachinskiI first heard the name Brianna Rachinski on the night of the Long Range High Power Championship awards ceremony this year in Camp Perry, Ohio. Brianna’s name was called four separate times that night — evidence that this newcomer is a rising star. And thanks to long range legend Nancy Tompkins-Gallagher, I had the opportunity to interview Brianna once the Palma Team matches were complete.

Brianna, a 14-year-old from Ferndale, Washington, already has a storied shooting career. Not only did she take the top Junior awards for the “Doc” Aiken, Sierra Bullet and Canadian Cup matches, she was also the top overall junior in this year’s competition. “I entered an F-Class tournament for the first time earlier this year,” said Rachinksi with a devilish grin. “I won that too.”

Briana has been shooting since a very early age. Her father, a hunter, gave her a .22 at the age of six. He encouraged his daughter to keep shooting, practicing and winning. I asked Briana, “If your dad gave you your first .22 when you were six, does that mean he gave you your first BB gun when you were 4?” Then, with a perfectly innocent straight face she replied: “No. I was 3.” That’s all I needed to hear.

We congratulate Briana on her performance at Camp Perry, and wish her continued success. All you old guys in F-Class better watch out as well.

Story by Lars Dalseide, courtesy The NRA Blog.
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August 31st, 2011

Browning Pays Sales Tax on Guns (Offer Ends September 5)

Here’s a sweet offer from Browning. Purchase a Browning firearm at retail price from August 5, 2011 and September 5, 2011 and Browning will reimburse you up to 8% in U.S. funds for the sales tax. We like Browning’s reasoning for this promotion: “Uncle Sam has picked your pocket all year long. Now is the time for some [tax relief]”. To get your sales tax refund, fill out the Browning Tax Relief coupon and mail it in, along with a copy of your sales receipt. CLICK HERE for tax relief coupon. Participating Browning dealers should also have flyers and coupons available at their stores. NOTE: This offer is available only in the USA, and Buckmark and 1911-22 pistols are excluded.

Browning Tax Relief

What should you buy? Here are some suggestions:

X-Bolt Composite Stalker: Browning’s X-Bolt series is an affordable line of hunting rifles with adjustable triggers, 60°-lift bolts, and detachable rotary magazines. These guns have glass-bedded receivers and free-floating, hand-chambered barrels. Sixteen (16) different chamberings are offered, from .223 Rem all the way up to .338 Win Mag. Street price on the Composite Stalker is about $750.00.

Browning Tax Relief

T-Bolt Target Varmint: Browning makes a sweet, nice-handling rimfire varmint rifle with Browning’s unique, straight-pull T-Bolt action. This is offered in .22 LR, .22 Magnum, and 17 HMR. T-Bolts come in both right-hand or left-hand versions, with wood or synthetic stocks. Street prices on T-Bolt rifles range from about $500.00 to $650.00, depending on configuration.

Browning Tax Relief

Restrictions: Offer valid only on the consumer retail purchase of a new Browning firearm (offer excludes Buck Mark and 1911-22 pistols) purchased between August 5, 2011 and September 5, 2011. Documents must be postmarked no later than midnight, September 20, 2011. Browning employees and dealers etc., and members of their immediate families, are not eligible for this promotion. Limited to one offer per person. All purchasers must be U.S. citizens or legal residents.

Story tip by Edlongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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August 30th, 2011

More Results from World Benchrest Championship

2011 WBC benchrestHere’s a follow-up on the World Benchrest Championship held last week in Volmerange-Les-Mines, France. As you may know by now, Gene Bukys was the two-gun overall winner, finishing just .001 MOA (0.028mm) ahead of fellow American Mike Ratigan. Tony Boyer finished third in the Two-Gun Aggregate. At least three new world records were set at the event:

LV 100m: 1.51mm (Steven Williams, South Africa)
LV 200m: 2.27mm (Carlos Pacheco, France)
HV 200m: 4.21mm (Larry DaCosta, USA)

Team USA ‘A’ won the team two-gun aggregate with a 5.881 mm (0.212 MOA) Aggregate. The next four teams in order were: Team USA ‘B’, Italy, Australia, and France.

For each class and yardage, here are the event winners and runners-up:

100m Light Varmint
Vera Carter, 4.912 mm (0.193 inches) | Carlos Costavich, 5.160 mm
200m Light Varmint
Mike Ratigan, 8.872 mm (0.349 inches) | Andy Shifflett, 10.948 mm
100m Heavy Varmint
Jack Neary, 4.064 mm (0.160 inches) | Cristian Rando, 4.518 mm
200m Heavy Varmint
Tony Boyer, 9.764 mm ( 0.384 inches) | Gene Bukys, 9.990 mm

2011 WBC benchrest

To learn more about the 2011 WBC, visit the Federation Francaise de Tir website. There you’ll find Complete WBC Results and an extensive WBC Photo Gallery.

Story tip by Luc K., and photos courtesy Federation Francaise de Tir, © Crédit FFTir GDumery.
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August 30th, 2011

Marlin Hosts Fun Event to Promote Youth Shooting

Marlin Firearms recently hosted a “fun shoot” in West Virginia. The goal of the event was to introduce youngsters to the shooting sports in a safe and entertaining fashion. As shown in the video below, the event featured the “Marlin Man” on horseback, interactive targets, and junior-sized Marlin XT-22 rifles.

Marlin XT Youth Bolt-Action Rimfire Rifles
Marlin’s new XT Youth series are the first Marlin rifles designed specifically for younger shooters. Weighing just four pounds, these rifles have a 16″ barrel and measure 33″ overall. Both single shot and mag-fed versions are offered.

marlin xt 22 youth rifles

XT Youth series rifles feature a shorter length of pull, shorter trigger reach, smaller pistol grip and a raised comb, making it easier for young shooters to acquire and hold a proper sight picture. In addition, the bolt lift and cocking force on the XT Youth rifles has been reduced for easier ejection and faster chambering. In the video below, Karin, a grade-schooler, gives the Marlin XT a thumbs-up review.

About Marlin Firearms
Established in 1870, Marlin Firearms, now a Freedom Group company, manufactures and markets multiple brands including Marlin, Harrington & Richardson, New England Firearms and L.C. Smith. Marlin Firearms produces lever action, bolt action, and semi–automatic rifles.

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August 27th, 2011

Big Discounts on NRA Store Products Through August 31st

The NRA is running a big sale right now on 55 popular products, with discounts up to 50% on some items. The sale concludes on August 31st at midnight, so you still have a few days to take advantage of the savings. If you see something you like, remember that 100% of profits from the NRA store go to support NRA programs. To order, visit the NRA online store or call 1-888-607-6007. Here are some of the more attractive items we saw:

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August 27th, 2011

Weekend Sales at Creedmoor Sports

For its web customers, Creedmoor Sports is running a sale on Sierra Bullets and select Lapua cartridge brass. You can get 5% off a big 500-count box of Sierra Bullets, and save 10% on Lapua .260 Rem or .338 Lapua Magnum brass. Discounts are good through 11:59 pm, Sunday, August 28, 2011.

Sierra Bullets, 500-ct Box (Any Caliber)
Save 5% with Coupon Code BULLET 2011

Sierra Bullets

Lapua Brass — Weekend Special through 8/28/2011
.260 Rem Brass, $87.95 — marked down from $96.95
.338 Lapua Mag Brass, $229.95 — marked down from $254.95

Sierra Bullets

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August 26th, 2011

Breaking News — Bukys Wins World Benchrest Championship

Gene Bukys, reigning 2011 Supershoot Champ, racked up another prestigious title. Is this guy on a roll or what? We’ve just received news that Bukys won the Two-Gun Overall Title at the World Benchrest Championship (WBC) held in Volmerange-Les-Mines, France. James Mock reports: “Gene won the WBC Two-Gun Championship by outlasting Mike Ratigan (by .001 MOA) and Tony Boyer. Bukys and Boyer were also on the winning USA ‘A’ team. (Ratigan was on the USA ‘B’ team). Congratulations also go to all members of our three teams. Outstanding shooting was done by Larry Costa, Jack Neary, and Andy Shifflett. Our teams have ‘done us proud’.”

Eugene Gene Bukys 2011 WBC

Since there are only two classes at the WBC, Light Varmint and Heavy Varmint, Bukys’ Two-Gun title essentially makes Gene the overall WBC individual Champion, giving Gene bragging rights as the best shortrange benchrest shooter in the world. WBC matches were conducted at 100m and 200m, equivalent to 109.4 yards and 218.7 yards respectively. There is one final 200m HV 10-shot group match to be held Saturday. That will be followed by the Awards Ceremony and Closing Ceremony.

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August 26th, 2011

Shooters Buy Less Imported Ammo, But More Imported Guns

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) reports that the USD value of U.S. quarterly imports of all sporting arms and ammunition declined 19% in the second quarter compared to the same period in 2010. From April to June, imports were $273 million, down from $337.1 million as reported in the same quarter last year. However, the decline was mostly due to a huge 42% drop in ammo imports. Imported long-gun sales (in USD value) have actually risen substantially. Sales of imported rifles rose 26.3%, from $27.1 million to $34.2 million.The shotgun category increased 23.4%, from $38.3 million to $47.2 million. The muzzleloader category posted a 7% increase, from $6 million to $6.5 million. Bucking the trend, handgun imports declined 13.1%, from $109.5 million to $95.1 million.

Imported Ammunition Sales Decline Dramatically
Over the past year, ammunition imports declined a whopping 42.2%, from $151.2 million (in Q2, 2010) to $87.4 million (in Q2, 2011). Moreover, the sales of imported shotgun shells fell 48.7%, from $5 million to $2.5 million. Apparently, now that there is a good supply of domestically-produced ammo, shooters are buying American again. Why has this occured? Currency fluctuations may be one reason. The declining value of the U.S. dollar, combined with rising shipping costs, have caused the price of imported ammo (and reloading components) to increase substantially in the past year. That has made domestic ammo more competitive price-wise. That is good news for U.S. ammo-makers. For additional research information and historical import data, visit nssf.org/research.

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August 25th, 2011

Learn about Eye Dominance in August Shooting Sports USA

6.5 Creedmoor AnnealingThe August 2011 digital edition of Shooting Sports USA is available online — free for the reading. This issue contains a “must-read” expert symposium on the subject of Eye Dominance, as it affects both rifle and pistol shooting. No matter whether you have normal dominance (i.e. your dominant eye is on the same side as your dominant hand), or if you have cross-dominance, you’ll benefit by reading this excellent article. The physiology and science of eye dominance is explained by Dr. Norman Wong, a noted optometrist. In addition, expert advice is provided by champion shooters such as David Tubb, Lones Wigger, Dennis DeMille, Julie Golob, Jessie Duff, and Phil Hemphill.

6.5 Creedmoor Annealing

Development of the 6.5 Creedmoor Cartridge
Also in the August Edition of Shooting Sports is a feature on the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge. This story covers the origin of the cartridge and its performance both as a match cartridge and as a hunting round. Hornady Chief Ballistician Dave Emary explained: “the original intent of the cartridge was as an across-the-course match cartridge. We envisioned it as an off-the-shelf round that would produced the accuracy and ballistics to compete in all match disciplines right out of the box. At the same time we realized that the same characteristics would make an exceptional hunting cartridge with the right bullets.”

6.5 Creedmoor Annealing

6.5 Creedmoor Annealing6.5 Creedmoor Brass No Longer Washed After Annealing
Here’s an interesting update on Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor brass and loaded ammo. In a move to improve case quality and neck uniformity, Hornady recently changed the 6.5 Creedmoor production process, eliminating the case-washing step after annealing. So now you will see annealing coloration on 6.5 Creedmoor brass, just like on Lapua brass. Dennis DeMille of Creedmoor Sports wanted to improve the consistency/uniformity of 6.5 Creedmoor case-necks. At Dennis’ suggestion, Hornady conducted tests which showed that the “standard industry practice” of washing brass could potentially alter the necks in undesirable ways. Bottom line, unwashed annealed brass was determined to have an accuracy edge over washed brass. Looking at these results, Hornady decided to forgo the post-anneal washing process. As a result, the latest 6.5 Creedmoor brass now displays the distinctive coloration left by neck/shoulder annealing. Learn something new every day, eh?

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August 25th, 2011

Major New Peacemaker Shooting Facility Opens Soon in WV

A vast new shooting facility in West Virginia is slated to open by the end of August. The new Peacemaker National Training Center (NTC), when fully completed, will be the east coast’s largest shooting sports complex with a 1000-yard rifle range, a 300-yard practice rifle range, 18 “tactical bays”, pistol ranges, and several shotgun ranges. Plans are underway to equip the 1000-yard range with state-of-the-art electronic target systems.

Located west of Washington, DC, the Peacemaker NTC site is a 60-minute drive from Dulles Airport. The facility is situated in the scenic hills of Glengary, West Virginia, on the far eastern end of the state.

Preview the Peacemaker National Training Center Facilities

Peacemaker to Host 1K Benchrest Match and 3-Gun Nation Championship
The new Peacemaker NTC facility will host future matches for the Virginia 1000-Yard Benchrest Club, an IBS organization. Peacemaker’s directors have stated that the 1000-yard range will have electronic scoring capability, but it is unclear when the electronic targets will be put into place, and whether these will be used for 1K benchrest matches. Assuming the ranges are completed on schedule, Peacemaker will host Match 9 of the 3-Gun Nation series on November 10-12, 2011, followed by the 2011 3-Gun Nation Championship on November 13th. Over 250 multi-gun competitors are expected to attend.

Private Membership Fees Start at $400.00 per year
The facility is private membership facility, with limited public access. The basic membership fee for an individual is $400.00 per year plus a one-time $100.00 initial range improvement fee. NOTE: Membership registration is still open. CLICK HERE to download a membership application.

Actual and Planned Peacemaker National Training Center Range Facilities

Patriot Rifle Range: Electronic Target Systems and Hanging steel. Target set-ups at 600, 700, 800, 900, 1000 yards. 10 shooting lanes. Suited for F-Class, Benchrest, and High Power. Peacemaker says this will be “the only competition-capable electronic 1000-yard rifle range in the USA”.

Liberty Ranges: Tactical Rifle/Pistol/Shotgun facility, with 14-18 interconnected shooting ranges. All ranges are 50 yards deep, some will be 100 yards deep. Bianchi Cup systems (turning targets, movers), steel courses, dueling trees, reactive steel.

Independence Range: General sighting-in and practice range for Rifle and Pistol (Rifle 100 to 300 yards, Pistol 3 to 25 yards).

Homeplace Shotgun Ranges: Trap, Skeet, 5-Stand, Sporting Clays, FITASC.

Peacemaker plans to offer training classes for rifle, pistol, and shotgun. NRA-certified instructors with be at the facility at all times. To learn more about the Peacemaker National Training Center, visit www.peacemakernational.com. For information on membership, and other details, email info@peacemakernational.com, call 304-262-1986, or write PNTC at 782 Foxcroft Ave #123, Martinsburg, WV 25401. Get the latest updates on Range Availability on Peacemaker’s Facebook Page

Editor’s Note: While Peacemaker has already conducted some tactical and 3-Gun matches, it appears that many of the facilities are still “under construction”. Before you plunk down your money for membership, we recommend you talk to the Peacemaker staff and, if possible, visit the facility in person. If you’re interested in particular range features (such as the electronic target system or the Sporting Clays range), you’ll want to learn the exact dates when these will be ready for member use.

Story tip by EdLongrange. FNH photo courtesy 3-Gun Nation.
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August 25th, 2011

MidwayUSA Sales on Hornady and Speer Bullets

Now through the end of August, MidwayUSA is running an A-Max Bullet Sale, with 10% off Hornady’s popular A-Max polymer-tipped bullets. For example, 6mm (.243 Cal) 105gr BT A-Maxs are now just $19.79 per 100.

midwayusa bullet sale hornady barnes

In addition, MidwayUSA is currently offering huge discounts on select “special buy” Speer hunting bullets. Here are some examples of the big savings (up to 60% off normal retail price) good through 9/4/2011:

Speer Hot-Cor Bullets 243 Caliber, 6mm 105gr Spitzer Box of 100, Product #312950
Sale Price: $10.99, Reg. $21.99 — Save $11.00

Speer Hot-Cor Bullets 264 Caliber, 6.5mm 140gr Spitzer Box of 100, Product #717893
Sale Price: $14.49, Reg. $28.99 — Save $14.50

Speer Hot-Cor Bullets 270 Caliber (277 Diameter) 150gr Spitzer Box of 100, Product #476459
Sale Price: $13.79, Reg. $22.99 — Save $9.20

Speer Hot-Cor Bullets 7mm (284 Diameter) 175gr Mag-Tip Box of 100, Product #621527
Sale Price: $19.79, Reg. $33.99 — Save $14.20

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August 24th, 2011

Forum Member Builds 1600-Yard “Backyard” Range

Serious shooters dream of having a backyard range where they can practice, test loads, and shoot for fun with friends. For most of us, having even a 50-yard backyard range is impossible. And those lucky shooters who do have their own range can typically go out to 100 yards, but that’s it. It takes plenty of open land to set up even a 200-yard range, and then you still need the side of a mountain for a backstop, or many acres of additional clear land behind the berm, for safety reasons.

Utah Range

Mother of All Backyard Ranges
AccurateShooter Forum member J.R. (aka Huntinco) has put us all to shame. He is building the “mother of all backyard ranges” at a secret location in northern Utah. How long is J.R.’s range going to be? 500 yards? Nope — think WAY longer. J.R. has laid out a facility that is a full 1600 yards from firing line to the final target bay. Plus there are pits every 100 yards out to 1600 yards.

J.R.’s range is not just a strip of vacant land with a few target stands. The range will boast a full-featured shooting facility when it’s completed. J.R. is constructing a finished, covered “all-weather” shooting house with seven indoor shooting stations (and more benches outside). He explains: “I poured a 12×90 pad. I’m enclosing 45 feet and just putting a roof over the other 45 feet. On the enclosed part there are six, 6′-wide shooting stalls, with one on the end that’s 12′ wide. Shooting windows are 5′ wide and 4′ high. One small problem is that, the way the property lays out, only the 12′-wide stall can shoot 100 yards. All the rest will start at 200 yards.”

Utah Range

Interior Finishing Suggestions Are Welcome
J.R. hasn’t finished the interior of his shooting facility yet, so he is soliciting ideas as to how the inside should be laid out: “I need your input because I have never been to a range. I just shoot here on my place. Please help me with [your input] on the inside layout.”

Those of you who have suggestions for J.R., please place a comment here. And no, we won’t reveal where this beautiful range is being built. But we do give J.R. a hearty pat on the back for making his “dream range” a reality. CLICK HERE to view more photos.

UPDATE — Here are photos of the Shooting house, interior and exterior. Nice job J.R.!

Ultimate Shooting Range Backyard

Ultimate Shooting Range Backyard

Ultimate Shooting Range Backyard

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August 23rd, 2011

You Go Girl — Jessie Harrison Dominates Steel Challenge

jessie harrison

Jessie HarrisonNew Name, Same Game
Jessie Harrison (who formerly competed as Jessie Abbate) stormed through the Steel Challenge last weekend, winning multiple titles (including her fourth women’s Overall Win) in a truly dominant display of speed and accuracy. This was a gutsy performance by Jessie, who has faced tough family issues lately*.

This year marked the 30th Anniversary of the Steel Challenge, one of the most prestigious action pistol events in the country. The match, held August 18-21, 2011 in Piru, California, attracts the top handgunners in the world, who compete against the clock in multiple stages. All targets are steel plates.

In a dominating “three-peat” performance, Jessie Harrison won the Women’s Division of the Steel Challenge. This is the third year in a row that Jessie won the Women’s Overall Title. Her 2011 win now gives her FOUR Steel Challenge Overall titles. This year, Jessie also won the Rimfire Title, the Women’s Limited Title, and the Steel Master Title. Jessie, who shoots for Team Smith & Wesson, proved convincingly that she is the woman to beat in the speed-shooting game.

B.J. NorrisB.J. Norris Blazes in Men’s Division
Jessie’s Team Smith & Wesson team-mate B.J. Norris rolled over the competition in the men’s Open division, demonstrating both blistering speed and consistency. Like Jessie, Norris won multiple titles: Open Division, Rimfire Open, and Steel Master. B.J. shot an impressive 81.18 score to secure the Open Division win.

Former Team Glock shooter Dave Sevigny won the men’s Limited Class (iron sights) with a cumulative time of 90.51. Dave obviously has not suffered too much from his move away from Team Glock, which has lost many top shooters lately. The men’s Production Class winner was Mike Seeklander with a 99.73 score. Living legend Jerry Miculek once again showed he is the world’s greatest wheelgunner, winning the OSR (revolver) class.

*Jessie’s 45-year-old husband, William L. Abbate, a professional shooter, was recently arrested and charged with improper conduct with a 15-year-old female shooter whom he coached. READ News Story.
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August 23rd, 2011

Tuff 1 Rubberized Grip Sleeves Work on Rifles and Pistols

The Tuff 1 Grip Cover is a simple new accessory that may benefit tubegun shooters, AR owners, and pistol enthusiasts. Tuff 1 Grip Covers are made from a proprietary, grippy rubberized material that can stretch up to 200%. This elasticity allows the covers to easily fit all revolvers, semi-autos, and rifle or shotgun pistol grips. As you’d expect, Tuff 1 grip covers give you a more secure hold. Importantly, the material also helps absorb recoil (though not as much as Hogue grips). When fitted over a standard, hard-plastic AR grip, the Tuff 1 sleeve definitely provides a more comfortable, “high-traction” feel in the hand. On semi-auto pistols, Tuff 1 grip covers give a secure hold without the rough feel you get with stick-on skateboard tape.

Boa or Bad-Ass
Three surface patterns and four colors (Black, Olive Drab, Desert Tan, Hot Pink) are offered. We prefer the raised button “Boa Snake” pattern, but there is also a grid pattern with raised lines, and a skull pattern, for those “bad-ass” types. The $16.95 MSRP is the same for all colors and surface patterns. You can order from major vendors or directly from the Tuff 1 Online Store.

Tuff1 pistol grip

The one-size-fits-all Tuff 1 grip covers are easy to install. Simply roll the rubberized grip up like a sock, place it on the grip, then unroll it. (Watch installation video below). The Tuff 1 covers can be just as easily removed without harming the rubber.

Useful Product — But Consider Other Options
If you sweat a lot or shoot in wet climates, Tuff 1 grip covers provide a simple, low-cost upgrade. A Tuff 1 grip sleeve does markedly enhance the standard plastic AR15 pistol grip, which is hard, and slippery when wet. But then, for not much more money, you can select among a half-dozen or more aftermarket AR grips which will probably fit your hand better AND provide more cushioning.

For wood-handled wheelguns, we like the Tuff 1 covers in Boa or ‘Double-Cross’ pattern. The Tuff 1 grip sleeves provide better “traction” and cushion the hand a bit without changing grip geometry or making the grip overly thick in your hand. For a tubegun, we prefer the feel and ergonomics of a wood grip, such as those crafted by Doan Trevor (photo at right). These cost $75.00 from DoanTrevor.com or CompetitionShootingStuff.com. For $175.00, Doan also offers fully customized stippled grips, fitted to the shooter’s hand, and finished in satin or gloss.

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August 22nd, 2011

World Benchrest Championship (WBC) Starts August 23 in France

World Benchrest Championship France

The centerfire World Benchrest Championship (WBC) is being hosted in Volmerange-Les-Mines, France this year. Matches commence on Tuesday, the 23rd of August. Practice has been underway since August 18. The official WBC website includes an event schedule plus a list of this year’s WBC competitors. It appears that the number of shooters is down slightly this year, compared to the 170 participants who attended the 2007 WBC in Austria. However, it looks like there will be a record number of countries represented at this year’s Championship event, with first-ever attendees from nations such as Colombia and Ukraine. The WBC has truly become a “world” competition, attracting the “best of the best” from around the globe. The match will be held at the modern Eurostand facility, one of Europe’s best-equipped indoor/outdoor shooting ranges.

The three American squads attending the 2011 WBC will include many Benchrest legends:

Team USA ‘A': Tony Boyer, Larry Costa, Gene Bukys, Chris Harris
Team USA ‘B': Mike Ratigan, Jack Neary, Andy Shifflett, Wayne Campbell
Team USA ‘C': Larry Baggett, Robert Hammack, Dave Coots, Tim Oltersdorf

World Benchrest Championship France

World Benchrest Championship France

Story tip by Fergus Bailey. Photos courtesy Association Bench Rest France.
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August 22nd, 2011

DeMille Smashes Record in Springfield Rifle Match at Perry

Dennis DeMilleDennis DeMille, Gen. Manager of Creedmoor Sports, fired a rare 100-4X in the standing stage of the 2011 Springfield Rifle Match, winning the event and setting a new record in the process. DeMille’s 297-8X Aggregate score broke the previous record of 295-6X set by Douglas Armstrong last year. DeMille fired a 98-2X in slow-fire prone, and a 99-2X rapid-fire prone. DeMille then capped his record-setting match with his remarkable 100-4X in the final offhand stage. MSG Julia Watson, USMC, the only female competitor, placed second with a 293-4X Aggregate.

DeMille is Former National High Power Champion
A former U.S. Marine Rifle Team member, Dennis is no stranger to the podium at Camp Perry. Dennis won the NRA Nat’l High Power Championship in 2005 and the Service Rifle National Championship in 2003. This year Dennis proved this year that he still has what it takes. Congratulations to Dennis — Well done! After Dennis returned from Camp Perry, we asked him some questions about his 1903 Springfield rifle and his performance.

Interview with Dennis DeMille

Q: How does it feel to win an elite competition at age 46 compared to your other championships earlier in your career?

Dennis: Notwithstanding my freakish friend Carl Bernosky, as you get older, for a variety of reasons, winning becomes a little bit harder — in my case it’s poor vision. So of course each victory tastes a little sweeter and nothing is taken for granted.

Q: What were conditions like at the match this year?

Dennis: We had beautiful conditions that day — just a little warm.

Q. What ammo were you using?

Dennis: Hornady 168 grain .30-06, as issued at the Match.

Q: Was anything special done to accurize your rifle?

Dennis: No. This was the first match for this stock though. I think that might be why I shot two 9s in prone slow fire — it was still settling in. Nothing has been done to any part of the rifle to make it more accurate. The rifle is “as-is” from the CMP … complete with nasty trigger. Before I shoot it again though I am going to swap out the front sight blade for a fatter USMC type blade so I can see it [better].

Q. You nailed the standing, often considered the hardest stage. What advice can you give to shooters who want to improve their standing abilities?

Dennis: No secret there — snap-in, holding exercises, and a good mental program. In particular I recommend 20 one-minute holding exercises, with 30-second breaks in between each hold. That is the quickest and best way to identify a poor position (because it will be painful), and build a well-supported position.

Q: Does Creedmoor Sports have any specialty products for shooters of the 1903 Springfield or other vintage military rifles?

Dennis: We really don’t have many products specific to those rifles. But the beauty of those rifles and that course of fire is that there isn’t much you need to buy.

Dennis DeMille

Photos Courtesy Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP).
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August 22nd, 2011

Get Ready for Western CMP Games and Creedmoor Cup

Western CMP Games Creedmoor CupThe 8th Western CMP Games and Creedmoor Cup Matches will be held at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix, Arizona, on 15-23 October 2011. The Western CMP Games run 15-18 October while the Creedmoor Cup Matches follow on 19-23 October. This event typical draws hundreds of shooters who compete with a wide variety of rifles — Match Rifles, Service Rifles, Vintage Military Rifles, and Rimfire Sporters. All interested shooters, whether new or experienced, recreation-oriented shooters or national championship contenders are invited to participate in these unique, national-level competitions. CLICK THIS LINK to register for the match. This event is co-sponsored by the Civilian Marksmanship Program and Creedmoor Sports.

Western CMP Games

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August 21st, 2011

First Look: Sig Sauer P290 9mm Carry Pistol

Small, light-weight carry pistols and revolvers are the hottest selling handguns on the market right now. Ruger’s .380 ACP and 9mm carry guns have been hugely successful, generating revenues that have helped push Ruger’s stock price up 500% since 2009. Now Sig-Sauer is getting on the bandwagon. We had a chance to look at Sig’s new-for-2011, P290 compact 9mm carry pistol. Overall, our reaction was generally favorable. The P290’s fit and finish are excellent — as you’d expect from Sig. Keltec’s PF-9 compact 9mm seems downright junky by comparison to the Sig P290. And the machining and fit of the slide and barrel on the Sig seem superior to the hot-selling Ruger LC9. In a nutshell, here’s how the new Sig P290 stacks up to the competition — it is better crafted and more reliable than the Keltec PF-9, it is more reliable than the Ruger LC9 (which has had recall issues), and, with its optional integrated laser, it is a more complete package than the Kahr CM9 and PM9.

Sig Sauer p290

However, the P290 is not without its flaws. We wish the grip was a little longer — and other reviewers agree. Also the trigger pull, listed at “9.0 lbs. average”, is just too heavy in our opinion. We know that Double-Action-Only (DAO) carry pistols like this need high pull weights to satisfy the lawyers, but the P290 pull weight is extreme. Most people will have trouble getting best accuracy out of the gun because of the heavy trigger, which one tester measured at 12.5 pounds.

Sig Sauer p290

Sig Sauer p290SIG P290 Online Reviews
Shooting Illustrated Review
Tactical Wire Review
PoliceMag.com Review

Rich Grassi, Tactical Wire: “According to factory specifications, the trigger is supposed to average 9 pounds. The guns [we tested were] 1st Edition models and could have been underachievers. While some participants thought the triggers were a bit extreme, I found them manageable. The sample that arrived at headquarters on my return is an overachiever; my Timney scale ran out of weights at 10 pounds. Getting my old Brownells trigger pull gauge, I was able to get an average of around 12 ½ pounds(!) before bending the trigger hook! This is 12 ½ pounds to fire a gun that weighs just over a pound. You hold it still through a trigger stroke. I’ll watch.”

Paul Scarlata, PoliceMag: “The trigger pull was rather heavy with a definite staging about halfway through the stroke, although I assumed this would smooth out with use. My other concern was that the attenuated grip left the little finger of my shooting hand dangling in the air. Because of its short grip, frame recoil control was not what one would have hoped for and I actually found the pistol more comfortable to fire with an unsupported grip. [Sig informed me] that future plans call for the P290 to come with a spare eight-round magazine with a sleeve that approximates the external contour of the grip. Such magazines will provide a full, three-finger grip without compromising concealability[.]”

CONCLUSION: The Sig P290 is a well-designed, nicely-made pistol in the super-small 9mm carry pistol category. However, for this writer, I wouldn’t want to carry the gun unless the trigger pull could be reduced to a reasonable weight for a DAO application (the trigger pull on the Kahr PM9 is much better). I would also wait until the optional magazine with grip extension is available. In the meantime, when the situation calls for a very small, light carry gun, I’ll stick with my older S&W model 638 revolver. We do suspect that, despite its shortcomings, the P290 will attract many buyers based on Sig Sauer’s reputation for quality. But the P290 costs more than most other small, polymer-framed 9mms, and price may be the deciding factor for many buyers.

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August 19th, 2011

Got Targets? Save 20% with Creedmoor Sports Coupon Code

Official NRA TargetsThe National Matches at Camp Perry have wrapped up. That means it’s time to lay in a supply of practice targets so you can improve your skills during the off-season. Creedmoor Sports is now offering 20% off its inventory of targets and target pit supplies (spotters, spindles, and pasters). Creedmoor has a full line of official NRA High Power Targets, F-Class Targets, Smallbore Targets, Airgun Targets, and Pistol targets. You’ll find both full-size targets and replacement centers (which are much less expensive). To get your 20% discount on targets and target supplies, use Coupon Code TARGET11 during checkout.

IMPORTANT: The 20% off promo runs for a limited time — this offer is only good from August 19, 2011 through August 21, 2011, and the discounted prices apply to in-stock targets only (no discounted back-orders). So if you want to save 20%, order soon!

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