November 24th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: Teen Queen — 18-Year-Old Rifle Ace Katie Ezell

Katie Ezell ohio state junior olympics smallbore air rifle shooting competition
Katie poses in high school graduation cap and gown with her Walther LG400 Alutec Air Rifle.

Hard work and tenacity do pay off. Smallbore/Air Rifle ace Katie Ezell is proof.

Story based on article by Serena Juchnowski, CMP Feature Writer
Hailing from Denver, North Carolina, Katie Ezell, 18, is a rising talent. Katie graduated Summa Cum Laude from High School in 2019 and now attends Ohio State University, where she competes on the OSU Rifle Team. At the age of 10, Katie’s parents introduced her to marksmanship, wanting their daughter to have hands-on instruction in firearm safety. Thus began a love affair that has only evolved since then.

“The first time I ever went shooting, I knew this was something that I would want to continue to do.”

One of Katie’s match rifles is a Walther LG400 Alutec Competition Air Rifle:
Katie Ezell ohio state junior olympics smallbore air rifle shooting competition

Since she was so young and unable to join the teenage pistol team at her club, Katie applied to the women’s team, which had no specific age restrictions, and proceeded to compete with those far older and more experienced. Katie accredits much of her competitive drive and how she handles match pressure to pursuing the competition venture at such a young age.

After pistol came skeet, in which Katie traveled to national and international competitions. Thinking about the future, Katie soon realized that a shooting scholarship would allow her to continue in the shooting sports while funding her education. Precision rifle appeared to be the best avenue for this, leading Ezell to move into rimfire sporter for four months before making the jump into precision air rifle.

Katie Ezell ohio state junior olympics smallbore air rifle shooting competition

Ezell cites her greatest accomplishment as “getting accepted to be on The Ohio State [University’s] rifle team after shooting for a year and a half”. While Ezell had been shooting for eight years, she had only been training and competing in precision rifle for 18 months when she was accepted onto the team, where she made her dream a reality.

Katie Ezell ohio state junior olympics smallbore air rifle shooting competition

After joining the Ohio State team, Katie’s first competition was the Junior Olympics, which added some extra pressure to the already prestigious event. This was not the only special part of the occasion. Katie’s father, a deployed military member, was in town, and this was the first time he could watch her compete in person, since his deployment makes attending matches difficult.

Katie Ezell ohio state junior olympics smallbore air rifle shooting competition
Katie Ezell at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center in 2018 for Winter Air Gun.

Katie notes that after she set the nervousness aside, she found herself excited and shot a personal best in smallbore. She had hoped to shoot better with her air rifle, but she knows that being part of a college team will help her to improve her skills.

Katie Ezell ohio state junior olympics smallbore air rifle shooting competition
Katie excels at Smallbore. Here she aims a .22 LR Walther rifle at the 2018 Nationals at Fort Benning, GA. She shot a personal best at the Junior Olympics.

With Coaching, Katie Has Achieved Personal Bests in Both Ari Rifle and Smallbore
Katie is nearing the end of her first semester at Ohio State and has surpassed her previous bests in Smallbore and Air Rifle. Her coach has changed some of Katie’s positions, and she is improving.

“Marksmanship has taught me a lot about self-control. If the shot does not look right, then I reject it and try again. I have learned that failure is okay….” Katie recognizes that failure can inspire one to do better and to learn. She advises competitors “to not be afraid to fail”. Katie started into precision shooting at a much later age than most, especially those who end up with a college shooting career. Though it took time, she learned to appreciate the experience and to not bury herself in expectations.

Katie Ezell ohio state junior olympics smallbore air rifle shooting competition

Walther LG400-E Expert with Electronic Trigger
The E-trigger ensures wear-free operation and exact trigger settings for many shots. The LED-indicator and the installed rechargeable battery ensure readiness to fire as well as easy and quick loading.

· Trigger pull weight can be reduced to 15 grams
· Wear-free operation and exact trigger settings over many years
· Choice between two-stage mode and direct trigger mode
· Realistic dry-firing conditions (dry-firing trigger)
· Rechargeable battery via mini-USB
· LED indicators for system readiness and battery charge level
· Automatic e-trigger turnoff when not in use

Credit The First Shot CMP Newsletter, story by Serena Juchnowski, CMP Feature Writer.

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November 24th, 2019

Polymer Reactive Targets — Better Than Steel?

polymer self-sealing reactive steel plastic plates targets KD knockdown

We love shooting reactive targets — the instant gratification of hearing the “clang” and seeing the target fall or spin is addictive. However, there are some significant downsides of steel targets. They are heavy/cumbersome to move around. With steel targets you must be careful with ricochets and bullet splatter. Finally, to keep them looking good, you have to re-apply surface paint time after time.

polymer self-sealing reactive steel plastic plates targets KD knockdownNewbold Targets sells self-sealing reactive polymer targets that work like steel, but have none of the major disadvantages. Seven times lighter than steel, they are easy to transport and set-up. Though they can “react” like steel, bullets pass right the self-sealing polymer, so you don’t have to worry about ricochets or bullet “splashback”. Finally, you never have to paint them.

polymer self-sealing reactive steel plastic plates targets KD knockdown

Newbold polymer targets come in bright colors that last the life of the target. They are affordable — small auto-reset polymer targets start at $1.49, KD-Pivot Silhouettes run $3.99 – $8.99, 3″ Rifle targets run $8.99 while the larger competition series Knock-Down “plates” (shown below) are $18.99 each. Dozens of different polymer targets are available. There are standing targets, hanging targets, and pivoting targets.

polymer self-sealing reactive steel plastic plates targets KD knockdown
Newbold’s KD Competition Series targets can be reset with a simple string.

Newbold offers a variety of self-sealing reactive targets, such as the KD-Pivot plate rack targets above, hanging targets, 3-Gun targets, and the 42″ popper targets shown in the video below. Many of the Newbold targets have reset systems — simply pull a lanyard and the targets pop back up.

Gunwriter Tom McHale has tested Newbold Polymer Targets and likes them: “There’s one more significant advantage over steel. You can shoot them at any distance, including point-blank range. Since the bullets pass through… there’s no fragmentation or splash as there is with steel targets.”

polymer self-sealing reactive steel plastic plates targets KD knockdown

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