April 24th, 2019

Resources and Mobile APP for NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits

NRA convention and annual meetings exhibit map show app

The 2019 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana, April 25-28, 2019. At this event, the NRA’s 148th annual convention, you’ll find 15 acres of guns and gear. There will be plenty to see and do — you can talk to hunting outfitters, attend seminars, dine at banquets, listen to top national political leaders, and enjoy country music concerts. If you’ve never been to an NRA Convention before, it’s worth going — just to see all the rifles, pistols, optics, and shooting accessories. Everything else is a bonus. The venue is the Indianapolis Convention Center at 100 South Capitol Ave., Indianapolis, IN 45225.

KEY THING #1 — List of Events

NRA convention and annual meetings exhibit map show app

The National NRA Foundation BBQ & Auction will be held Thursday, April 25 at 5:00 pm in the Lucas Oil Stadium. The NRA-ILA Leadership Forum take place April 26th also in the Lucas Oil Stadium. The Annual National Firearms Law Seminar, the largest gathering of Second Amendment attorneys in the country, runs Friday morning, April 26 at the Hyatt Regency. The NRA-ILA Banquet and Auction runs Friday night at the J.W. Marriott. The popular NRA Country Jam will be held April 26 from 8-10:00 PM. CLICK HERE for complete Event Schedule.

KEY THING #2 — Show Floor Plan

NRA convention and annual meetings exhibit map show app

Make the most of your time at the NRA Convention by finding your favorite exhibitors on this floor plan. Then you can map out an efficient plan for each day. The Floor Plan lists all exhibitor booths, and it shows food courts and restroom facilities.

KEY THING #3 — Exhibitor List

NRA convention and annual meetings exhibit map show app

Nearly 900 manufacturers, vendors, and guide services will have booths at the NRA Convention. To make the most of your time, and ensure that you get to see your favorite companies, check out the Exhibitor List, and then plan your schedule.

KEY THING #4 — FREE Mobile APP for NRA Convention

NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits POTUS President Trump Convention Indiana FREE Mobile App

If you plan to attend the 2019 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits, you should get the official Mobile APP. This will help you access Convention info quickly and easily. You can search for exhibitors, tag your favorites, request meetings, add notes, and map booth locations. Key APP features include: Event Floorplan, Searchable Directory of Exhibitors, Event and Seminar Schedule, New Products Info with Product Photos.

Click HERE for iOS APP | Click HERE for Android APP

KEY THING #5 — Map to Convention Center in Indianapolis, IN

The Indiana Convention center is in the heart of Indianapolis, so it’s easy to find. However, events are spread out over multiple facilities, so you’ll want to study this map when you get to your hotel.

KEY THING #6 — Pyramid Air Gun Range

NRA Annual Meetings Dallas Texas

Pyramyd’s Air Gun Range was a hit last year in Dallas and is set to be a top destination for the entire family at the 148th NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Indianopolis. With 16 stations and more than 200 hundred interactive targets, the range will provide shooters of all ages the chance to try out some of the newest and best airguns available. One NRA range officer noted: “If you see a long line there [at the Indiana Convention Center], odds are that it’s for the air gun range. We have boys and girls, moms and dads, everyone waiting to plink the day away.”

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April 24th, 2019

Tactical Tip: Head and Scope Position for Prone Shooting

Scope head position prone shooting Ryan Cleckner long range shooting handbook

In this video, former Army Ranger sniper team leader Ryan Cleckner explains how proper head and scope position is a critical component to accurate shooting. Ryan finds that some shooters place the scope too far forward or too far rearward. If the scope is too far back you may have issues with eye relief and stock reach to shoulder. If it is too far forward, you may have cheek-weld problems or get neck strain. Cleckner cautions: “When you are in a good prone position, you don’t want any strain in your neck muscles or back.”

In the video, Cleckner offers a simple method to check your scope position:

“To see if your scope is set up properly … close your eyes, lay your head on your gun, get completely comfortable, and only when you are set-up, then open your eyes. If you can’t see clearly through your scope, CHANGE something [such as comb height or scope position]”.

“When you open your eyes, if you see some scope shadow [i.e. the black ring around the edge of the scope picture], figure out which way you need to move your head to get rid of that shadow, and then make adjustments to either your position, the rifle, or the scope.”

Scope head position prone shooting Ryan Cleckner long range shooting handbook

“Very often you’ll open your eyes and realize you need to move further back or further forward. Instead of moving your position [or head], move the scope and get it set up properly.”

Tip on Viewing Your Reticle:
Cleckner: “Sometimes it can be difficult to focus between the target and the reticle, even with the parallax adjusted properly. I recommend you focus only on the reticle. Just like the front sight on a rifle or a handgun, that reticle is what you can control, and it’s what matters. Focus on a crisp, clear reticle, in a stable platform, and all that’s left is trigger control.”

Long Range Shooting Handbook — A Good Resource
Cleckner’s Long Range Shooting Handbook covers a wide range of topics important for precision marksmanship — both shooting skills and technical matters. You can view Sample Chapters from Ryan’s Book on Amazon.com. Cleckner’s book is designed as an intro to key concepts such as MOA vs. Mils, External Ballistics, and Environmental Effects. Included are personal tips and advice based on Cleckner’s years of experience as a sniper instructor and special operations sniper.

The Long Range Shooting Handbook is divided into three main categories: What It Is/How It Works, Fundamentals, and How to Use It. “What It Is/How It Works” covers equipment, terminology, and basic principles. “Fundamentals” covers the theory of long range shooting. “How to Use It” gives practical advice on implementing what you’ve learned, so you can progress as a skilled, long range shooter.

Ryan Cleckner was a special operations sniper (1/75 RGR) and he served as a U.S. Army sniper instructor. Currently he works as a firearms industry executive and practicing firearms attorney.

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April 24th, 2019

Fun Matches — Varmint Shoots and Groundhog Matches

Varmint Silhouette match

There are many centerfire rifle competitive shooting disciplines — High Power, F-Class, silhouette, short-range benchrest, long-range benchrest, and PRS (tactical) to name a few. But on any given spring or summer weekend in the USA, there are probably more “fun matches” happening than there are F-Class, registered benchrest, and PRS events combined.

Harold Seagroves hickory groundhog shoot
Harold Seagroves’ 3-time Hickory Ground Hog Match-Winning Rifle

At clubs across the country, varmint fun shoots (also known as “groundhog matches”) are becoming more popular every year. In these matches, usually shot from the bench, you engage paper targets, clay pigeons, steel “critter” silhouettes, or some combination of paper and reactive targets. Shooters like these matches because you can shoot a wide variety of rifles, you don’t have to spend a fortune to be competitive, and there is fun for the whole family. Rules are inclusive — you won’t be turned away because your rifle is two ounces overweight. A large percentage of the match fees usually go back to shooters in the form of cash prizes. And the level of camaraderie is high.

hickory groundhog shootInclusive Rules Welcome All Shooters
Forum member Danny Reever has explained the appeal of groundhog matches: “We don’t have a governing organization, or have to pay $50 a year membership just to compete in matches. Sure the rules vary from club to club, but you adapt. You build your rifle (or even pistol) to fall within the rules of either the clubs you shoot, or to fit all the clubs rules. If not there still is a class for you to compete in. If your factory rifle doesn’t conform to the rules, it can shoot in a custom class. If your custom doesn’t make weight for Light Custom (usually 17 pounds and under), you shoot it in heavy custom class. If you want to try your Tactical rifle or F-Class rig, bring it out there’s a class you can shoot it in. If you don’t like one club’s rules, you just don’t shoot there. It’s no big deal.

There are no National records, or Hall of Fame points — just individual range records. If you want to shoot in BIG matches (with big prizes), there is the Hickory Ground Hog Shoot among others. If competition isn’t your bag, many clubs offer mid-week fun matches that you can shoot just for fun. You shoot the same targets but with a more relaxed atmosphere with no time limits.

Groundhog varmint fun shoot summer family

The best part is you don’t have to shoot perfect at every yardage. You always have a chance because in this sport it really isn’t over until the last shot is fired. Typically ALL the entry money goes to the host club, with much of the cash returned back to the shooters via prizes. Junior shooters often shoot for free, or at a reduced rate. That lessens the burden on the family’s wallet (not a small thing in these economic times). The low entry cost also encourages young guys to get involved who don’t have $4000 custom rifles or the money to buy them.

St. Thomas Groundhog ShootMore Fun, Fewer Complications
There isn’t a sea of wind flags to shoot over or to put up and take down. If the range has a couple of flags so much the better, but after all it is a varmint match. No pits to spot shots and slow things down either. If you can’t see your hits through your rifle scope or spotting scope well you are in the same boat as everybody else. That’s what makes it interesting/ sometimes frustrating!

As for calibers, I’ve seen everything from .223 Rem to .338 Lapua and everything in between. Our range record at my club is held by Bill Slattery, who shot a 147 out of a possible 150 with a 22BR 13 months ago. That’s on a target with a 1.250 ten ring at 200/300/500 meters. That record will stand for awhile, and shows you that some very good shooting is done at groundhog matches.

The best part is it’s laid back, everyone gets along, there is no place for big egos here. We who shoot the Ground Hog Matches don’t begrudge the other organizations and shooting disciplines, or those that shoot in them, heck some of us cross over and compete in registered benchrest matches too. Life’s too short, live and let live is our motto so just come out and have fun!”

Fellow Forum members chimed in:

FdShuster: “I’ve competed in our local ground hog matches for several years now, have introduced a number of others to them, and we all enjoy them and more importantly, continue to learn from them. Distances are as close as 100 yards, (with a 5/8″ 10 ring) to as far as 500 meters. With a 2″ 10 ring. Wind, mirage, bullet trajectories, all make them a challenge, and unlike shooting for group, where the group can be anywhere on the paper, in this game they must be very small, but also in the 10 ring. With the different classes — Custom, Factory, Hunter — almost any rifle will fit in somewhere. And Danny is correct about the friendly attitudes. I’ve seen competitors go out of their way, and jeopardize their chances of winning, to help someone else who may have a problem on the line.”

Texas Fun ShootMike C: “Here in Texas, our version of groundhog matches involves shooting at clay pigeons at 400 yards. We use 60mm, 90mm, and 108mm clay pigeons attached to target boards. You have 10 shots to break 8 clays, with a seven-minute time limit. We have developed a good following at these matches. In past years, a Shooter of the Year Award was given based on the Aggregate score for three of our matches, which are held in Utopia, San Angelo, and Huntsville.”

40X Guy: “I would have to say upon finishing my first year ever of groundhog matches, that the average Joe can grab his Swift, or his 25-06, or his 22-250 and go rip some holes in paper. Everybody is having a good time and its a gathering of like-minded people who have all shot chucks at some point or another. Even if one does not win the match, you can look at your target and say “darn that chuck target has five holes in him at 400 yards and he’s dead” just as well as the next guy shooting a custom bench rifle. Everybody fits in and everybody, 8 to 80, is having fun! It is addictive and will drive you to spend your hard-earned currency for sure!”

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