October 1st, 2011

Fall Fun at Pala Shooting Match in Southern California

Pala, California Multi-Stage Varmint Silhouette Shoot
About 24 miles east of Oceanside, California (near the Camp Pendleton Marine base) is the Pala Reservation. On that Native American land you’ll find a Casino Resort, plus an excellent shooting range. The first Sunday of every month, shooters come to Pala for the Varmint Silhouette Match. At five different yardages, ten steel “critter” targets are set as follows: 200 Meters – Field Mice (“pikas”); 300 meters – Crows; 385 meters – Ground Squirrels; 500 meters – Jack Rabbits; 600 yards – Prairie Dogs.

Pala Silhouette Match

There’s a North County Shootist Association Varmint Silhouette match this Sunday, October 2, 2011. You’ll need an accurate rifle, and 80-100 rounds of ammo. You can shoot either rested prone (F-Class style), from bipod, or from a portable bench with front pedestal and rear bag. Any rifle 6.5 caliber or under is allowed, with no weight restrictions. Muzzle brakes are permitted. There’s a one-hour sight-in period starting at 8:00 am, and the match starts at 9:00 am sharp. The folks at Pala run a tight ship, cycling multiple relays efficiently, so everybody gets to shoot 50 targets (10 each at five different yardages), and the show is usually completed by 1:00 pm. (Then if you want… head over to the Pala Casino for gambling fun, or a spa treatment.) CLICK HERE for Match Info. Your Editor has shot with the folks at Pala, so I can assure any first-time participants that this event is well worth attending. The Fun Factor is very high.

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October 1st, 2011

New ‘Chicks with Guns’ Book Challenges Stereotypes

Review by Bill Brassard for the NSSF
View ‘Chicks with Guns’ Photo Gallery

Portrait Photographer Lindsay McCrum’s new book, Chicks with Guns, is drawing welcome attention to the growing number of women who own firearms for target shooting, hunting, personal defense and collecting. [Editor: Over 15 Million American women are packing heat according to Msnbc.com.]

The book’s intent is described this way: “Because gun ownership and shooting cut across class, age, occupation, background and geography in America, guns are resolutely democratic. And the women depicted in ‘Chicks with Guns’ represent this variety. They reside in all regions of the country, come from all levels of society, and participate seriously in diverse shooting activities. From policewomen to hunters, ranchers to competition shooters, the collection of portraits in ‘Chicks with Guns’ defies stereotypes often associated with aspects of the popular culture of both guns and women.”

Chicks with Guns book

McCrum’s photographs tell a powerful story, just as these statistics do: Participation by women in target shooting has increased 46.5 percent from 2001 to 2010 and in hunting by 36.6 percent in the same period, according to the National Sporting Goods Association. In an NSSF survey of firearms retailers, 61% of respondents saw an increase in female customers in their store in 2010 over 2009.

Other evidence, too, such as the strong turnouts by women in concealed carry classes nationwide and in NSSF’s First Shots seminars, helps confirm this trend. (First Shots introduces newcomers to target shooting by providing both a classroom overview and supervised live-fire experience.) This is nothing new to the hunting and shooting community, but we think the compelling photographs in “Chicks with Guns” will bring the trend to life for those less familiar with our traditions and our pastimes.

Chicks with Guns book

Editor’s Comment: I wouldn’t rush out to buy this book for your coffee-table, though it might make a nice gift for a lady shooter in the family. I’ve looked through the book. The photography is professional, but overall, mostly static and uninspired. I’d give it a B+ grade. This book wouldn’t have received much media attention but for the somewhat controversial subject matter and the catchy title. Still, ‘Chicks with Guns’ presents female shooters in a positive light, and that’s a good thing.

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