February 22nd, 2019

Train with Champions at CMP Small Arms Firing Schools

SFC Brandon Green SAFS small arms school CMP marksmanship program

How would you like to get marksmanship training from the reigning High Power National Champion? Get yourself to Oregon this June and you can. SFC Brandon Green of the USAMU will be one of the instructors for the CMP Small Arms Firing School in Eagle Creek, Oregon in June. A three-time National High Power Champion, Brandon is one of the greatest marksmen on the planet. Yesterday he posted: “Three of us will be at the SAFS/junior clinic in Oregon. Come check it out!” If you can make it to Oregon June 8-9, we definitely recommend this class. It will be the only SAFS in the Western USA this year.

SFC Brandon Green SAFS small arms school CMP marksmanship program

Along with the June SAFS in Oregon, there will be eight other rifle SAFS programs this year at locations nationwide. Some of these will be held in connection with major matches, such as the Eastern CMP Games in April at Camp Butner.

CMP Rifle SAFS Locations and Dates:

1. Eastern Cup & Games Matches, April 30 | Camp Butner, NC
2. Douglas Ridge Rifle Club, June 8-9 | Eagle Creek, OR (Range Officer Class is Jun 7)
3. Fairfax Rod & Gun Club, June 22-23 | Manassas, VA
4. National Matches, July 27-28 | Camp Perry, Port Clinton, OH
5. Oak Ridge Shooting Assoc., August 24-25 | Oak Ridge, TN
6. Camp Ethan Allen, September 19 | Camp Ethan Allen Training Site, Jericho, VT
7. Fort Hill Rifle & Pistol, September 28-29 | Keyser, WV
8. Oklahoma Cup & Games Matches, October 10 | Oklahoma City Gun Club, OK
9. Talladega 600 Matches, November TBD | CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park, AL

Led by certified military and/or civilian instructors, SAFS programs offers high level training in a safe, supportive setting, with rifles and ammo provided. The school is structured toward teaching new shooters, so no past firearm experience is required, though intermediate and advanced marksmen are also welcome to participate. During the course, students will learn basic instruction and firing practices, competition skills and live range firing, as well as compete in a real M16 EIC Match.

CMP Provides Rifles and Ammo at Small Arms Firing Schools
At each SAFS, equipment, including rifles and ammunition, will be provided. Personal equipment, such as a shooting jacket or glove, will be permitted during the course as well. Participants are required to bring hearing protection and eye protection is strongly encouraged.

SFC Brandon Green SAFS small arms school CMP marksmanship program

For more information or ask additional questions, please contact Amy Cantu at acantu@thecmp.org or (419) 635-2141 ext 602. The Small Arms Firing School (SAFS) has been an instrumental source for individuals to delve into firearm safety and competition technique. The SAFS course has been a staple event in the National Matches at Camp Perry since 1918 and has expanded its outreach to other areas of the country through CMP’s Travel Games matches in recent years.

SFC Brandon Green SAFS small arms school CMP marksmanship program

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills No Comments »
February 22nd, 2019

Most Popular Hunting & Shooting Products — Survey Results

hunter rifle shooting survey Southwick Associates 2018
Hunting image courtesy NSSF Where to Hunt.

Sportsmen spend millions of dollars on hunting and recreational shooting equipment, but which brands are they buying? In 2018, Southwick Associates surveyed more than 20,000 hunters and recreational shooters to find the top brands in the market. The product preferences of hunters and recreational shooters were determined via HunterSurvey.com and ShooterSurvey.com online polls.

The top handgun maker was Smith & Wesson and the top handgun ammo brand was Federal. Those choices make sense. But some of the other choices were a bit surprising…

IMPORTANT COMMENT: Keep in mind these are just survey results. In many cases, the top choices are simply the cheapest options that sell the most. For example the top choice in reloading dies was Lee Precision. Lee makes some decent products (we like Lee decapping dies), but you won’t find many National Champions using Lee seating or sizing dies.

So assess the survey results with a “grain of salt”, understanding that these aren’t necessarily the best products when gauged by quality or performance. They are just the most popular among those surveyed. A Big Mac isn’t better than a filet mignon, but more Big Macs are purchased. You get the idea…

hunter rifle shooting survey Southwick Associates 2018

SURVEY Results — Most Purchased Hunting & Shooting Brands:


Top rimfire rifle brand: Ruger/Sturm Ruger

Top handgun brand: Smith & Wesson

Top handgun ammunition brand: Federal (including Fusion)

Top holster/ammo belt brand: Uncle Mikes

Top reflex/red dot sight brand: Vortex

Top laser rangefinder brand: Nikon

Top laser sight brand: Crimson Trace

Top scope mount brand: Leupold

Top reloading powder brand: Hodgdon

Top reloading bullets brand: Hornady

Top propellant/powder brand: Triple Seven

Top reloading dies brand: Lee Precision

Top gun cleaning brand: Hoppes

Top hunting knife brand: Gerber

Top game call brand: Primos

Top crossbow brand: Barnett

Top arrow brand: Easton

More than one hundred products are examined in the 2018 Hunting & Shooting Participation and Equipment Purchases Report (CLICK HERE). This in-depth resource covers buying preferences, including the percentage of sales occurring across different retail channels, brand purchased, price paid, and demographics for hunters and shooters buying specific products. Additional information tracked includes total days spent per activity, type of hunting / shooting activity, preferred species and where they hunt. In addition to the topline reports covering hunting and target shooting, annual reports are also offered for special segments including archery consumers, deer hunters, turkey hunters, and waterfowl hunters. To purchase a report or discuss custom research, email Nancy [at] SouthwickAssociates.com.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, News No Comments »
February 22nd, 2019

MV on the Box? Why You Still Need to Chron Factory Ammo

muzzle velocity applied Ballistics MV chronograph

Why You CANNOT Rely on the MV Printed on the Ammo Box!
When figuring out your come-ups with a ballistics solver or drop chart it’s “mission critical” to have an accurate muzzle velocity (MV). When shooting factory ammo, it’s tempting to use the manufacturer-provided MV which may be printed on the package. That’s not such a great idea says Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics. Don’t rely on the MV on the box, Bryan advises — you should take out your chrono and run your own velocity tests. There are a number of reasons why the MV values on ammo packaging may be inaccurate. Below is a discussion of factory ammo MV from the Applied Ballistics Facebook Page.

Five Reasons You Cannot Trust the Velocity on a Box of Ammo:

1. You have no idea about the rifle used for the MV test.

2. You have no idea what atmospheric conditions were during testing, and yes it matters a lot.

3. You have no idea of the SD for the factory ammo, and how the manufacturer derived the MV from that SD. (Marketing plays a role here).

4. You have no idea of the precision and quality of chronograph(s) used for velocity testing.

5. You have no idea if the manufacturer used the raw velocity, or back-calculated the MV. The BC used to back track that data is also unknown.

1. The factory test rifle and your rifle are not the same. Aside from having a different chamber, and possibly barrel length some other things are important too like the barrel twist rate, and how much wear was in the barrel. Was it just recently cleaned, has it ever been cleaned? You simply don’t know anything about the rifle used in testing.

2. Temperature and Humidity conditions may be quite different (than during testing). Temperature has a physical effect on powder, which changes how it burns. Couple this with the fact that different powders can vary in temp-stability quite a bit. You just don’t know what the conditions at the time of testing were. Also a lot of factory ammunition is loaded with powder that is meter friendly. Meter friendly can often times be ball powder, which is less temperature stable than stick powder often times.

3. The ammo’s Standard Deviation (SD) is unknown. You will often notice that while MV is often listed on ammo packages, Standard Deviation (normally) is not. It is not uncommon for factory ammunition to have an SD of 18 or higher. Sometimes as high as 40+. As such is the nature of metering powder. With marketing in mind, did they pick the high, low, or average end of the SD? We really don’t know. You won’t either until you test it for yourself. For hand-loaded ammo, to be considered around 10 fps or less. Having a high SD is often the nature of metered powder and factory loads. The image below is from Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting: Volume II.

muzzle velocity applied Ballistics MV chronograph

4. You don’t know how MV was measured. What chronograph system did the manufacturer use, and how did they back track to a muzzle velocity? A chronograph does not measure true velocity at the muzzle; it simply measures velocity at the location it is sitting. So you need to back-calculate the distance from the chrono to the end of the barrel. This calculation requires a semi-accurate BC. So whose BC was used to back track to the muzzle or did the manufacturer even do that? Did they simply print the numbers displayed by the chronograph? What kind of chronograph setup did they use? We know from our Lab Testing that not all chronographs are created equal. Without knowing what chronograph was used, you have no idea the quality of the measurement. See: Applied Ballistics Chronograph Chapter Excerpt.

5. The MV data may not be current. Does the manufacturer update that data for every lot? Or is it the same data from years ago? Some manufacturers rarely if ever re-test and update information. Some update it every lot (ABM Ammo is actually tested every single lot for 1% consistency). Without knowing this information, you could be using data for years ago.

CONCLUSION: Never use the printed MV off a box of ammo as anything more than a starting point, there are too many factors to account for. You must always either test for the MV with a chronograph, or use carefully obtained, live fire data. When you are using a Ballistic Solver such as the AB Apps or Devices integrated with AB, you need to know the MV to an accuracy down to 5 fps. The more reliable the MV number, the better your ballistics solutions.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Shooting Skills, Tech Tip 1 Comment »