August 17th, 2016

Whidden on Winning at Long Range: Part 1 — The Wind

Camp Perry John Whidden Wind Reading Long Range Championship

John Whidden of Whidden Gunworks won his fourth Long Range National Championship at Camp Perry this month. In this article, the first of a three-part series on Long Range competition, John shares his thoughts on wind strategies and keeping one’s composure in pressure situations. John tells us Camp Perry was very challenging this year: “The 2016 Long Range Championship will go down in my memory as one with quick wind changes that made it very easy to shoot a 9.”

How to Win at Long Range Shooting
(Or at least what worked at the 2016 National Championships)

by John Whidden, 2016 National Long Range Champion
The NRA Long Range National Championships at Camp Perry Ohio are now in the history books and the competitors are home and reflecting on what they could have done to improve their score. I think anyone who has ever competed always knows they could have done even better if they had changed this detail or that aspect. This is the case regardless of where a shooter places in the standings, even for the winners.

John Whidden National Long Range Championship Camp Perry 2016 Wind Reading

This year the winds were reasonably tough. We mostly have either headwinds or winds from the 2-3 O’clock positions with speeds often in the 9-11 mph range. The changes came quickly and we had to be on our toes. Fortunately the course of fire allows the shooters some options. For the 1000-yard matches, we typically have 33 minutes for preparation, an unlimited number of sighter shots, and then 20 shots for record. Many shooters will shoot about 3-5 sighters and complete the task in about 15 minutes.

The 2016 Long Range Championship was definitely a match where you had to fight for every point during the whole event.

In preparation for shooting by watching the wind, I realized that the quick changes were going to add to the difficulty. Given the conditions, I chose a strategy of choosing only one condition to shoot in and waiting during any changes away from my desired condition. This plan meant that I would have to be very patient and plan to use all of my 33 minutes allotted time if needed.

The sun was shining for most of the matches so we had mirage to look at. There are plenty of flags at Camp Perry and I was glad for them!

As the wind speeds get higher I think a shooter should study the appearance of the flags. Some people look at the flag, and some really LOOK at the flags. The difference is observing things like how many ripples are in the flag, how far the flag stands off the pole, the angle of the flag in a headwind or tailwind, and how high the tip of the flag is relative to where the flag is attached to the pole. These details make all of the difference.

Time Management and Patience
Patience in wind reading can be a virtue. Choosing a condition and being patient has probably yielded more success in my long range wind reading than any other method. It’s not the only way to go, but on a day when you have time available and patience on your side it can yield a win! It should be obvious now that keeping a timer and managing the available time along with the number of shots remaining is an important part of this.

John Whidden National Long Range Championship Camp Perry 2016 Wind Reading
John Whidden National Long Range Championship Camp Perry 2016 Wind Reading

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August 17th, 2016

Vista Outdoor Opens New Headquarters in Farmington, Utah

Vista Outdoor Public traded CCI Alliant Bushnell

On August 10th, Vista Outdoor Inc. (NYSE: VSTO), officially opened its new 33,000-square-foot Utah corporate headquarters to the public with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by state and local officials, community partners, members of the media, and employees.

“We are proud to call Farmington home,” said Vista Outdoor CEO Mark DeYoung. “We’re committed to being a strong partner for this community, and we value our relationships with the state, county and city leaders who helped make this headquarters a reality. We chose Utah because of its focus on outdoor recreation as an economic driver, the business-friendly environment, a talented workforce and balanced quality of life, as well as amazing geography and the availability of four seasons for outdoor recreation.”

Founded in 2015 when ATK (Alliant Techsystems*) spun off its sporting goods division from its aerospace business, Vista Outdoor is a leading global manufacturer of outdoor consumer products as well as firearms. Vista Outdoor’s 50 product brands include such well-known names as Bell Helmets, Blackhawk, Bushnell, CamelBak, CCI, Federal Premium Ammunition, and Savage Arms.

CLICK HERE for Vista Outdoor Brands. | CLICK HERE for Vista Outdoor Company History

Vista Outdoor Public traded CCI Alliant Bushnell

Building Constructed with Utah Wood and Stone
The new Headquarters building uses locally-sourced natural materials such as wood and stone in many design elements. The main lobby atrium includes a “living wall” made with live plants and a central staircase with an expansive view of the Wasatch Mountains, bringing the feeling of “outdoors” inside. The back lobby features a fireplace/campsite.

“Vista Outdoor and its brands are committed to conservation and environmental stewardship,” said DeYoung. “We believe in the responsible use of natural resources and in conserving the wild places where our employees and our consumers go to pursue their outdoor adventures.”

*Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK) came into being as an independent company in 1990 when Honeywell spun off its defense businesses to shareholders. ATK got into the ammo business in 2001 when it acquired Blount International. ATK grew with later acquisitions of Weaver Optics (2008), Blackhawk (2010), Savage Arms (2013), and Bushnell (2013).

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