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June 25th, 2022

Varmint Silhouette in Texas — Fun & Challenging Steel Match

Shooting USA TV show varmint silhouette Texas benchrest Travis Frazier John Scoutten

If you like accurate rifles and reactive targets, you’ll enjoy this 48-minute video from Shooting USA TV, which features long-range varmint silhouette competition in Texas, the Lone Star State. We have participated in these kind of matches on the West Coast — they are definitely a ton of fun. The sport combines the pure accuracy of benchrest competition with the fun of knocking down critter targets. These are smaller than standard silhouettes, so it’s quite a challenge to hit them at 300 yards and beyond.

In this episode, host John Scoutten competes with his 6.5 Creedmoor PRS rifle. He found that 1-MOA Coyotes offered plenty of challenge at 385 meters! Most shooters use benchrest-grade rifles with premium front rests.

Full 48-Minute Episode of Shooting USA featuring Texas Varmint Silhouette:

Steel Targets by Distance:
Mini Prairie Dogs — 200 Meters
3″x3″ Armadillos — 300 Meters
3″x5″ Coyotes — 385 Meters
5″x4″ Hogs — 500 Meters
Chickens (on Swingers) — 600 Yards
Pigs (on Swingers) — 750 Yards

Shooting USA TV show varmint silhouette Texas benchrest Travis Frazier John Scoutten

EDITOR: We strongly recommend you take the time to watch this Shooting USA feature — it shows some top-flight benchrest rifles, and also covers the origins of benchrest varmint silhouette in Pennsylvania. There are even some AccurateShooter Forum members on screen. John Scoutten also does nice job explaining the challenges of shooting this discipline with a PRS rig. We think any benchrest or tactical shooter will really enjoy watching this video.

Shooting USA TV show varmint silhouette Texas benchrest Travis Frazier John Scoutten

Travis Frazier, who created steel targets with Field & Cave Outfitters, says shooters love the reactive targets: “The most exciting thing is seeing your hits — these [targets] really go airborne”. Yep, that’s the best thing about Varmint Silhouette matches — hits deliver instant gratification. Travis designs and produces these steel targets.

This Texas match features multiple target shapes, 10 at each distance: Tiny Prairie Dogs at 200m, 3″x3″ Armadillos at 300m; 3″x5″ Coyotes at 385m; 5″x4″ Hogs at 500m; Chickens (on swingers) at 600 yards; and Pigs (on Swingers) at 750 yards. Competitors are allowed 10 rounds and 10 minutes to hit each set of targets.

Shooting USA TV show varmint silhouette Texas benchrest Travis Frazier John Scoutten

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June 24th, 2022

Inaugural CMP National Air Gun Matches at Camp Perry

CMP inaugural Air gun rifle national matches

2022 CMP National Air Gun Matches at Camp Perry

16-18 July 2022
Camp Perry, Port Clinton, Ohio

The inaugural CMP National Air Gun Matches will take place July 16-18, 2022 at the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center located on Camp Perry in Port Clinton, Ohio. CMP is excited to integrate a National Air Gun Competition into the National Match schedule. This year’s Air Gun championship will include training and a two-member team match on the first day, followed by two days of 60-shot competitions in air rifle and air pistol. A four-member team match will be included in the two days of 60-shot competitions.

REGISTER: If you want to compete, it’s still possible to REGISTER for the event.

Teen three peat GAI Gary Anderson Invitational air rifle match Katrina winnner

The inaugural National Air Gun Championship will be held as part of the 2022 Camp Perry National Matches. That schedule allows the CMP’s junior 3PAR National Championship, the Air Gun Championship, and the National Matches Smallbore events to all be fired consecutively, with the Air Gun events held at the Gary Anderson Competition Center at Camp Perry.

CMP inaugural Air gun rifle national matches

July 16 – Training & Two-Member Team Elimination Match

July 17 – Air Gun Match 1 Championship

July 18 – Air Gun Match 2 Championship & Final

Team Results: 4-Member Team Match will be based on scores fired in Match 1 and Match 2

Gary Anderson Competition Center
Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center at Camp Perry.

Information Links

Online Registration
2022 Air Gun Match Program PDF
CMP Air Rifle and Air Pistol Competition Rules
2022 – 2025 National Match Calendars

Additionally, the CMP has implemented new Distinguished Air Rifle and Air Pistol badge programs. Starting in 2022, Air Rifle and Air Pistol competitors of all ages, not just juniors, will be able to earn Excellence-In-Competition (EIC) credits for these badges in 60-shot National Matches Air Gun Championships, monthly matches, as well as in CMP-sanctioned Air Rifle and Air Pistol club matches. For additional information about the CMP Air Gun National Matches, contact Katie Harrington at kharrington@thecmp.org or call(419) 635-2141, ext. 731.

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June 24th, 2022

Legendary Indoor Accuracy — Secrets of the Houston Warehouse

houston warehouse 6ppc secrets
Kelbly Light Varmint PPC Rifle from Gunbroker.com.

From the late ’70s through 1983, a huge, concrete-walled warehouse in Houston was used for benchrest testing. Virgil King and Bob Fisher set up a bullet-catching backstop at the end of a 30-yard-wide, 325-yard-long fire lane that remained unobstructed even when the warehouse was in use. This allowed accuracy tests in virtually perfect “no wind” conditions. Over a six-year period, about 30 shooters were invited to test their rifles. The results were amazing, with numerous “zero groups” being shot in the facility. Many of the lessons learned in the legendary Houston Warehouse still help benchresters achieve better accuracy today.

Dave Scott wrote a superb article, the Secrets of the Houston Warehouse which appeared in a special issue of Precision Shooting Magazine. That issue has long been sold out, but, thankfully, Secrets of the Houston Warehouse is now on the web: CLICK HERE to READ Secrets of the Houston Warehouse.

Houston WarehouseDave Scott explains why the Warehouse was so unique:

“Over a period of six years, the levels of accuracy achieved in the Houston Warehouse went beyond what many precision shooters thought possible for lightweight rifles shot from sandbags and aimed shot-to-shot by human eye. For the first time, a handful of gifted, serious experimenters — armed with the very best performing rifles (with notable exceptions) — could boldly venture into the final frontiers of rifle accuracy, a journey made possible by eliminating the baffling uncertainties of conditions arising from wind and mirage. Under these steel skies, a shooter could, without question, confirm the absolute limits of accuracy of his rifle, or isolate the source of a problem. In the flawlessly stable containment of the Houston Warehouse … a very few exceptional rifles would display the real stuff, drilling repeated groups measuring well below the unbelievably tiny .100″ barrier. The bulk of rifles, however, embarrassed their owners.”

Scott’s article also reveals some interesting technical points: “One thing that IS important is that the bullet be precisely seated against the lands. T.J. Jackson reported this fact in the May 1987 issue of Precision Shooting. In a letter to the Editor, T.J. wrote, ‘…in all our testing in that Houston warehouse… and the dozens and dozens of groups that Virgil King shot in there ‘in the zeroes’… he NEVER fired a single official screamer group when he was ‘jumping’ bullets. All his best groups were always seated into the lands, or at the very least… touching the lands. Virgil said his practice was to seat the bullets so the engraving was half as long as the width of the lands. He noticed an interesting phenomenon with rifles that could really shoot: if the bullets were seated a little short and the powder charge was a bit on the light side, the groups formed vertically. As he seated the bullets farther out and increased the powder charge, the groups finally became horizontal. If he went still farther, the groups formed big globs. He said the trick is to find the midway point between vertical and horizontal. That point should be a small hole.”

You should definitely read the complete article, as it provides many more fascinating insights, including shooting technique, barrel cleaning, neck-turning, and case prep.

EDITOR: Will the lessons of the Houston Warehouse work elsewhere? Is this repeatable magic? We remind readers that what T.J. Jackson discovered worked for his barrels, his cartridge type, and his choice of bullets. Jumping bullets can definitely produce good results in other cartridge types with bullets such as Berger Hybrids. Still, the Houston results are intriguing. Any time someone shoots in the “zeros” one should pay attention to how that was achieved.

houston warehouse 6ppc secrets

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June 23rd, 2022

Pistols of Perry — Handgun Competitions at National Matches

Camp Perry National Matches EIC Rimfire Service Pistol .22 LR Competition NRA CMP

After the Opening Ceremony, the 2022 National Matches at Camp Perry officially commence on July 12th with the handgun Small Arms Firing School (SAFS) followed by M9 Pistol Excellence-In-Competition (EIC) pistol matches. The SAFS will be led by USAMU, Military Team, and CMP instructors. Following classroom instruction and practice on the range, SAFS participants will fire an M9 EIC Match with the goal of earning points towards the prestigious Distinguished Badge.

On July 13th, the .22 Rimfire 900 Aggregate, Team Matches, and Rimfire EIC matches will be held. In the past, these matches have been hugely popular — with 480+ Rimfire competitors from novices to experts.

Following the rimfire pistol matches, there will be centerfire Pistol Aggregate and Team Matches on July 14, followed by .45 Pistol Aggregate and Team matches the July 15. Then, on Saturday the 16th, the big President’s 100 Pistol Match, National Trophy Individual Match, National Trophy Pistol Team Matches, and GSSF Glock National Challenge will be held. There will be plenty of talent on the firing line. In recent years, over 90% of the top 50 Service Pistol shooters were Distinguished. The last pistol matches run on Sunday the 17th, with Pistol Games Awards at the end of the day.

2022 Nat’l Matches Calendar | Camp Perry Pistol Match Photos

Camp Perry National Matches EIC Rimfire Service Pistol .22 LR Competition NRA CMP

Camp Perry National Matches EIC Rimfire Service Pistol .22 LR Competition NRA CMP

Talented shooters stand shoulder to shoulder on the firing line…
Camp Perry National Matches EIC Rimfire Service Pistol .22 LR Competition NRA CMP

The license plate says it all — perfection at Perry is a 10X.
Camp Perry National Matches EIC Rimfire Service Pistol .22 LR Competition NRA CMP

There should be over 450 competitors in the .22 Rimfire EIC match.
Camp Perry National Matches EIC Rimfire Service Pistol .22 LR Competition NRA CMP

Camp Perry National Matches EIC Rimfire Service Pistol .22 LR Competition NRA CMP

It took decades of competition to acquire all those patches — that’s dedication to the sport.
Camp Perry National Matches EIC Rimfire Service Pistol .22 LR Competition NRA CMP

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June 22nd, 2022

2022 Steel Challenge on Shooting USA TV Today

2022 steel challenge talladega alabama world speed shooting championship pistol rimfire rifle

Bang Clang! The 2022 Steel Challenge World Speed Shooting Championship is featured on Shooting USA TV this week. The Shooting USA Steel Challenge episode runs June 22, 2022 on the Outdoor Channel. Show times are: Wednesdays, 9:00 PM Eastern and Pacific, 8:00 PM Central. After those broadcast times, you can watch the show via Vimeo on Demand for $0.99 per episode.

This past April, the fastest speed shooters in the nation showcased their skills at the Steel Challenge Championship at the CMP Talladega Marksmanship Complex in Alabama. The Steel Challenge course consists of multiple 5-target close-range stages. This discipline has been called “drag racing with guns”. Draw and shoot 5 steel targets with time as your score. The shooter with the lowest overall time wins.

There are multiple pistol and revolver classes, both rimfire and centerfire, iron sights and optics. Increasing in popularity (and speed) are the rimfire rifle and pistol-caliber centerfire rifle classes. There are 13 gun classes in total, the most for any shooting championship. In the centerfire handgun match, the fastest times are posted by competitors using enhanced open guns with compensators and red-dot optics.

Here is a full length Shooting USA Steel Challenge Episode from 2017:

Shooting USA Video covers Course of Fire, Firearms Classes, and Target Layouts (1:20)

Definitely watch the 4-minute video (above) produced by Shooting USA. It explains the classes, shows the stages, and illustrates ALL the different gun classes, pistol AND rifle. You can also see some of the world’s fastest shooters including Jessie Harrison (1:47, 3:44) and Max Michel (3:48). Be amazed by the speed of semi-auto rimfire rifles — five targets hit in under two seconds!

2021 steel challenge talladega alabama world speed shooting championship pistol rimfire rifle

Here is Jessie Harrison, the fastest lady pistol shooter on the planet. At the 2022 World Speed Shooting Championship, Jessie won the Ladies High Overall title plus the Steel Master award. Harrison is the first woman to claim the Steel Master award, given to the competitor with the best aggregate score for two centerfire divisions and one rimfire division. Below Jessie celebrates with Taurus team-mate K.C. Eusebio, who took the High Overall title and first place in the Open division. This was K.C.’s ninth World Speed Shooting Title.

2022 steel challenge talladega alabama world speed shooting championship pistol rimfire rifle

2021 steel challenge talladega alabama world speed shooting championship pistol rimfire rifle

The Steel Challenge was founded in 1981 by Mike Dalton and Mike Fichman, in Southern California. The two Mikes wanted an exciting alternative to paper targets and came up with the all-steel format. The Steel Challenge World Speed Shooting Championships have grown to one of the largest professional pistol competitions in America. In 2022, scores of competitors competed at the Talladega Marksmanship Park for glory and cash prizes. The Steel Challenge is governed by the Steel Challenge Shooting Association (SCSA) that consists of eight standardized stages with three types of steel targets: small circle, big circle, and square. Here is a steel challenge layout in Germany.

rimfire steel challenge outer limits germany

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June 20th, 2022

Prepare for Perry — Get Ready for the National Matches

Camp Perry CMP national match 2022 registration Ohio

How’d you like a memorable shooting experience at America’s most famous shooting range? Then register now to compete at the CMP National Matches, held at Camp Perry, on the shores of Lake Erie near Port Clinton, Ohio. Registration is still open for popular centerfire and rimfire competitions. While many of America’s best marksmen will be at Perry this summer, there are programs, such as the Rimfire Sporter series, for shooters of all experience levels. There is still time to register for pistol and rifle matches.

CLICK HERE to REGISTER for National Matches at Camp Perry »

The CMP National Matches will run from July 10 to August 13, 2022 at Camp Perry, Ohio. This major event attracts thousands of shooters over the course of the summer. The 2022 National Matches start with pistol competition and conclude with Long Range Rifle. The Full 2022 Nat’l Matches Calendar is available online.

National Matches Info

2022 National Match Calendar | National Match Program | Camp Perry MAP

CMP National Matches 2022 Camp Perry Ohio rimfire high power junior prone

CMP National Matches 2022 Camp Perry Ohio rimfire high power junior proneCMP National Matches
2022 REGISTRATION

Held annually at Camp Perry, the CMP National Matches include the CMP National Trophy Pistol and Rifle Matches, the Pistol and Rifle Small Arms Firing Schools, the National Games Rifle Matches, the National Smallbore Matches, and the National Long Range Matches. These matches are conducted by a partnership of the CMP and Ohio National Guard. Since their inception, the National Matches have become a huge, national shooting sports festival with well over 4,500 annual participants. Competitors range from beginners to many of the world’s best.

Registration for the 2022 CMP National Matches is still available, but don’t delay much longer.


National Matches Phases


National Matches Info

Good Gear for Camp Perry Competition — High Power and Smallbore
Here are some items that can benefit High Power and Smallbore shooters at the National Matches. All these items are available from Creedmoor Sports, which also sells excellent, customizable shooting coats. Through 11:59 pm on June 20th, FREE Shipping is available for $149+ orders with code DAD22.

Camp Perry CMP national match 2022 registration Ohio

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June 19th, 2022

Sunday Gunday: 3 Father/Son Duos — Bordens, Halls, Klemms

Jim Borden James Borden Rifles Accuracy Facebook
Photo shows Joseph (“Skeet”) Borden, with match rifle built by his son, Jim Borden.

On this Father’s Day 2022, we celebrate three pairs of fathers and sons who enjoyed competitive shooting together. This story can remind us how shooting together can help build life-long bonds between fathers and sons.

Jim Borden James Borden Rifles Accuracy FacebookJoseph Borden and Jim Borden
A while back, Jim Borden made a post on his Facebook Page that made us think about how shooting can build important connections between father and son. Jim recalled how he would go to Piedmont, North Carolina with his father every year for a shooting match: “17 years ago this weekend was the last time dad was able to make the trek to North Carolina for the annual Groundhog contest and the match at Piedmont. Loved the time we spent together. Dad shot competitive benchrest with me from 1980 until June 2001. He passed in August 2001.”

This prompted others shooters to respond with cherished memories of their own fathers:

“I’d give a year’s pay to have my Dad back for an hour, let alone a day. Spend all the time you can with them while they’re here”. — Kerry S.

“I think how lucky some folks are to look back in life and have fond memories of doing things with their parents that both enjoyed. I have missed my dad for 44 years and think of him every time I hunt, fish, trap or work on a household project. We did it all together.” — Bill McC.

Another poster explained how he now attends matches with his own young son:

“The time you spent with your father meant as much or more to him. Always cherish [those memories], as I know you will. Last year, I spent … over 400 hours with my then 10-year-old son going to rifle matches. This year will be similar. This photo was from today of my 11-year-old son.” — John C.

So here’s a message to all dads — take some time to introduce your sons (and daughters) to the joys of shooting. Spend quality time with your youngsters while you can. Time passes quickly, boys grow up into men. Ensure you enjoy a life outdoors together whenever you can.

About Jim Borden and Borden Accuracy
Jim began shooting high power silhouette and benchrest matches in the mid 1970s while working for a Fortune 500 company as an engineer. In the early 1980s he began building rifles for himself and then for others. Jim has a background as a gunsmith, machinist, registered mechanical engineer, engineering instructor, project manager, hunter, and benchrest competitor. In benchrest competitions he has set ten world records and won 11 National Championships thereby earning induction into the Benchrest Hall of Fame. Jim also served six terms as President of the International Benchrest Shooters (IBS).

Jim operates Borden Rifles/Borden Accuracy with his wife Joan, sons Jim Junior and John, daughter Andrea Mecca and son-in-law John (Mike) Mecca. Jim is also an outstanding photographer.

Jim Borden James Borden Rifles Accuracy Facebook

Jim Borden

Another Father/Son Duo — Sam Hall and Hunter Hall

Sam Hall is a multi-time IBS 600-yard Shooter of the Year, who holds many IBS mid-range records. It’s tough to beat Sam when he’s on his game. But it looks like Sam has a worthy challenger — his own son Hunter Hall, now 15. At age 12, Hunter won the North Carolina State 1000-yard Light Gun Group Title.

Hunter Hall Sam Hall IBS 6 BRDX

At a very young age, Hunter Hall showed an interest in his father’s shooting hobby. It turns out Hunter has the God-given talent for hitting the target. Yes there would be another champion in the Hall family. Here is Hunter, at age 12, winning the NC 1000-Yard Group title. Not bad for a kid not even in High School yet!

Hunter Hall Sam Hall Champion shooter father's day

Even at just 6 years of age, Hunter showed a keen interest in shooting. Back in 2012 Sam reported: “This weekend we practiced freehand shooting with his BB gun at cans. After that I was needing to zero my Light Gun and get started with a few loads at 100 yards. To my amazement my 6-year-old wanted to accompany me. I could not believe it when he wanted to shoot my competition rifle. I had just put a new barrel and scope on it and needed to zero it. After two shots to get it zeroed he hit a .25 inch dot at 100 yards. I let him do everything — loading it, ejecting rounds, and even working my Farley joystick rest.”

Ken Klemm and Ian Klemm — Father and Son F-TR Aces

Over the last 30 years, a family saga has been playing out in rural Wisconsin: a father fosters within his son the joy of competitive target shooting. It started in a basement shooting range of a small-town elementary school, shooting single-shot rimfire target rifles while cementing the fundamentals of sight alignment, breathing, trigger control, and safety. With a background of competitive smallbore shooting in school and the U.S. Navy, Ken Klemm coached his son, Ian, in a father/son indoor winter shooting league. Ian was determined to shoot as well or better than his Dad and would pursue that goal for the next 30 years. Even after his engineering career took him to the Washington DC area for defense-related work, Ian continued to compete with his Dad by mailing “postal match” targets back and forth for many years.

Father's Day Ian Ken Klemm
Father's Day Ian Ken Klemm
Father and son shooting together. Her Ian spots for his father Ken Klemm, who is shooting.

Ian has now risen to the pinnacle of his F-TR discipline. Ian Klemm has now won three National F-TR Championships in four years. Ian captured back-to-back titles in 2017 and 2018, winning at Lodi, WI in 2017, and Raton, NM in 2018. Ian also finished second at the 2019 Nationals. Ian put on another great performance to win the F-TR National title in 2020 under very challenging conditions.

Father's Day Ian Ken Klemm

Here is Ian with proud parents Karen and Ken Klemm after Ian won his Second Straight F-TR National Championship in 2018. Father Ken also competed at the 2018 F-Class Nationals, shooting great in both individual and team events.

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June 17th, 2022

Test Fore & Aft Rifle, Rest, and Bag Position for Best Accuracy

Benchrest stock

To get the best accuracy out of any benchrest rifle, you need to find the optimal position of front rest and rear bag. The important point to remember is that each rig is different. One gun may perform best with the front rest right at the tip of the forearm (Position ‘D’ in photo), while another gun will work best with the rest positioned much further back. This Editor’s own 6mmBR rifle has a laminated stock that is pretty flexy in the front. It shoots best with the front rest’s sandbag located a good 6″ back from the forearm tip (position ‘A’).

Here’s some benchrest advice that can help you reduce vertical and shoot tighter groups… without spending another penny. Many benchrest shooters spend a fortune on equipment and devote countless hours to meticulous handloading, but they never experiment with their rifle’s position/balance on the bags. This article explains why you should test your rifle in various positions. What you learn may surprise you (and improve your scores).

Next time you go to the range, experiment with the position of your rifle on the front rest, and try a couple different positions for the rear bag. You may find that the rifle handles much better after you’ve made a small change in the placement of your gun on the bags. Recoil can be tamed a bit, and tracking can improve significantly, if you optimize the front rest and rear bag positioning.

front rest Sally benchrest IBS
This competitor has the front rest positioned fairly far forward but not all the way out. Note the stop on the front rest — this limits forward stock travel.

A small change in the position of the forearm on the front rest, or in the placement of the rear bag, can make a big difference in how your gun performs.

Balance Your Gun BEFORE You Spend Hours Tuning Loads
In the pursuit of ultimate accuracy, shooters may spend countless hours on brass prep, bullet selection, and load tuning. Yet the same shooters may pay little attention to how their gun is set-up on the bags. When you have acquired a new rifle, you should do some basic experimentation to find the optimal position for the forearm on the front rest, and the best position for the rear bag. Small changes can make a big difference.

Joel Kendrick

Joel Kendrick, past IBS 600-yard Shooter of the Year, has observed that by adjusting forearm position on the front rest, he can tune out vertical. He has one carbon-fiber-reinforced stock that is extremely rigid. When it was placed with the front rest right under the very tip of the forearm, the gun tended to hop, creating vertical. By sliding the whole gun forward (with more forearm overhang ahead of the front sandbag), he was able to get the whole rig to settle down. That resulted in less vertical dispersion, and the gun tracked much better.

stock position benchrest forearm sandbag front rest
Fore/aft stock position is important even with very wide fore-ends.

Likewise, the placement of the rear bag is very important. Many shooters, by default, will simply place the rear bag the same distance from the front rest with all their guns. In fact, different stocks and different calibers will NOT behave the same. By moving the rear bag forward and aft, you can adjust the rifle’s overall balance and this can improve the tracking significantly. One of our shooters had a Savage 6BR F-Class rifle. By default he had his rear bag set almost all the way at the end of the buttstock. When he slid the rear bag a couple inches forward the gun tracked much better. He immediately noticed that the gun returned to point of aim better (crosshairs would stay on target from shot to shot), AND the gun torqued (twisted) less. The difference was quite noticeable.

A small change in the position of the forearm on the front rest, or in the placement of the rear bag, can make a big difference in how your gun performs. You should experiment with the forearm placement, trying different positions on the front rest. Likewise, you can move the rear bag back and forth a few inches. Once you establish the optimal positions of front rest and rear bag, you should find that your gun tracks better and returns to battery more reliably. You may then discover that the gun shoots smaller groups, with less vertical dispersion. And all these benefits are possible without purchasing any expensive new gear.

Rifle photo courtesy Johnson’s Precision Gunsmithing (Bakersfield, CA).

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June 17th, 2022

Updated 2022 NRA National Matches Calendar Released

Camp Atterbury 2022 nra national championships

Online registration for the 2022 NRA National Matches at Camp Atterbury is still available via the NRA Competitive Shooting Web Portal. Consisting of the NRA National Championships for Precision Pistol, Smallbore Rifle, and High Power Rifle, the NRA National Matches will kick off its second year in the Hoosier State on July 10 and conclude August 7. Also coming back after a hiatus is the NRA Extreme Long-Range (ELR) Championship. Click HERE to Register for 2022 NRA National Matches.

Updated 2022 National Matches Calendar
Here is the updated 2022 NRA National Matches calendar, which adds Indiana State Rifle and Pistol Association events occurring in conjunction with the NRA National Matches at Camp Atterbury, indiana. Click the link below or the calendar image to launch a printable, zoomable PDF that is easier to read.


CLICK HERE for large, full-screen PDF Version CALENDAR »

Camp Atterbury 2022 nra national championships

Camp Atterbury 2022 nra national championships

GET PROGRAMS for 2022 NRA National Matches HERE »

At the NRA National Championships, shooters from across the country can compete shoulder-to-shoulder, continuing traditions going back to the 19th century. To showcase the National Championships, NRA Publications has created a great 36-page 2021 NRA National Matches commemorative magazine. This provides complete coverage of the inaugural year at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. There are plenty of photos along with interviews with top shooters. CLICK HERE for related story.

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June 16th, 2022

How to Cure Vertical Stringing — Wisdom from Speedy Gonzalez

Speedy Vertical Stringing Tech tip

How to Reduce Vertical in Your Shot Groups

Vertical stringing is a common problem that all precision shooters will face sooner or later. In addition to ammo inconsistencies, many other factors can cause vertical stringing. Accordingly, it’s important that you analyze your gun handling and bench set-up systematically.

EDITOR: Folks, READ THIS ARTICLE! You WILL benefit. There are some VERY important insights here. You’ll learn ways to set up your gun better, and check for various technical issues. That can save you time at the range and save you money spent on expensive bullets and powder.

speedy gonzalez vertical stringing articleIn this article, Hall of Fame benchrest Shooter Speedy Gonzalez explains how to eliminate mechanical and gun-handling problems that cause vertical spread in your groups. Speedy’s article addresses the many human and the hardware factors that can cause vertical.

Speedy Gonzalez, noted shooter, gunsmith and member of the Benchrest Hall of Fame, offers these pearls of wisdom to help you eliminate vertical in your shot strings. Remember that vertical can result from myriad gear issues and gun-handling mistakes. Try to isolate one item at a time as you work to improve your groups.

BAGS and REST–VERY IMPORTANT

• Front Rest Wobble — You will get vertical if the top section of the front rest is loose. Unfortunately, a lot of rests have movement even when you tighten them as much as you can. This can cause unexplained shots.

• Rifle Angle — If the gun is not level, but rather angles down at muzzle end, the rifle will recoil up at butt-end, causing vertical. You may need to try different rear bags to get the set-up right.

vertical stringing shooting technique speedy gonzalez• Front Bag Tension–Vertical can happen if the front sand bag grips the fore-arm too tightly. If, when you pull the rifle back by hand, the fore-arm feels like it is stuck in the bag, then the front bag’s grip is too tight. Your rifle should move in evenly and smoothly in the sand bags, not jerk or chatter when you pull the gun back by hand.

• Sandbag Fill — A front sandbag that is too hard can induce vertical. Personally, I’ve have never had a rifle that will shoot consistently with a rock-hard front sandbag. It always causes vertical or other unexplained shots.

• Bag Ears — If the channel between the Rear Bag’s ears is not in line with the barrel, but is twisted left or right, this can affect recoil and vertical consistency. And take note — if the bag is off-axis quite a bit, you can also get horizontal stringing.

• Reliability — ALL your bench equipment must work flawlessly. If it doesn’t, get it fixed or get rid of it. We need all our attention on wind flags.

GUN HANDLING and BENCH TECHNIQUE

• Be Consistent — You can get vertical if your bench technique is not the same every shot. One common problem is putting your shoulder against the stock for one shot and not the next.

• Free Recoil — Free recoil shooters should be sure their rifle hits their shoulder squarely on recoil, not on the edge of their shoulder or the side of their arm.

• Head Position — Learn to keep your head down and follow-through after each shot. Stay relaxed and hold your position after breaking the shot.

• Eyes — Learn to shoot with both eyes open so you can see more of the conditions.

• Last Shot Laziness — If the 5th shot is a regular problem, you may be guilty of what I call “wishing the last shot in”. This is a very common mistake. We just aim, pull the trigger, and do not worry about the wind flags. Note that in the photo above, the 5th shot was the highest in the group–probably because of fatigue or lack of concentration.

• Last Shot Low — I hear a lot of discussion about low shots in a group and apparently this occurs a lot on the 5th shot. If your 5th shot that goes out most of the time, you can bet you are doing something at the bench.

• Seating — When possible, bring your own stool so that you can sit comfortably, at a consistent height, every time you shoot.

LOAD TUNING

• Find the Sweet Spot — A load that is too light or too heavy can cause vertical problems. When you’ve tuned the load right, you should see a reduction in vertical. Even 0.1 grain may make a difference, as will small changes in seating depth.

• Primers — If you’re getting vertical, and everything else looks fine, try another brand of primers. And remove the carbon from the primer pockets so the primers seat uniformly every time.

• Case Prep — When you chamfer the inside of your case necks make sure they are smooth enough that they don’t peel jacket material off when you seat the bullet. Bullets with J4 Jackets (like Bergers) and Lapua Scenar bullets seem more prone to jacket scratching or tearing than Sierra bullets.

• Shell Holders — Keep shell holders clean, in both your press and priming tool. I have seen so much dirt/crud in shell holders that the cases end up get sized crooked because the rim is not square to the die.

• Water in Cases — I see people walking around with case necks turned up in the loading block. A lot of the time there is condensation dropping from the roof of your loading area. If one drop of water gets in a case you are in trouble. How many times have you had a bad low shot when it has been raining and you have been walking around with your cases turned up in your block?

MECHANICAL and HARDWARE ISSUES

• Barrel Weight — A lot of rifles are muzzle-heavy. Some rifles have too heavy a barrel and this causes vertical, especially when shooting free recoil. Basically the gun wants to tip forward. The remedy is to trim or flute the barrel, or add weight in the rear (if you can stay within weight limits).

• Unbalanced Rifle — If the rifle is not balanced, it does not recoil straight, and it will jump in the bags. If the rifle is built properly this will not happen. Clay Spencer calls this “recoil balancing”, and he uses dual scales (front and rear) to ensure the rifle recoils properly.

• Firing Pin — A number of firing-pin issues can cause vertical. First, a firing pin spring that is either too weak or too strong will induce vertical problems. If you think this is the problem change springs and see what happens. Second, a firing pin that is not seated correctly in the bolt (in the cocked position) will cause poor ignition. Take the bolt out of rifle and look in the firing pin hole. If you cannot see the entire end of firing pin it has come out of the hole. Lastly, a firing pin dragging in bolt or shroud can cause vertical. Listen to the sound when you dry fire. If you don’t hear the same sound each shot, something is wrong.

• Trigger — A trigger sear with excessive spring load can cause problems. To diagnose, with an UNLOADED gun, hold the trigger in firing position and push down on sear with your thumb. If it is hard to push down, this will cause vertical problems.

• Stock Flex — Some stocks are very flexible. This can cause vertical. There are ways to stiffen stocks, but sometimes replacement is the best answer.

SCOPE ISSUES

• Lock Rings — This year alone I have seen nine lock rings on scopes that are not tight. Guess what that does to your group? Make sure yours are tight.

• Big Tubes Need Tension — We’ve observed that some 30mm scope rings are not getting tight enough, and scopes are slipping in the rings under recoil. This will cause point of aim movement.

• Windage Bases — If you’re using a conventional-style single dovetail with rear windage adjustment, make sure both sides of the windage screws are tight. This can induce both windage AND vertical issues since the rear ring is held down by the windage tension.

AWARENESS of CONDITIONS and READING WIND

• Basic Wind-Reading Rule–If you do not know how to read wind flags or are very inexperienced, try to shoot your group with the flags all going in one direction.

• Rate of Fire — The longer you wait between shots when a condition is changing, the more the condition change will affect your shots.

• Look Far and Wide — Learn to look at the whole field of flags, not just the row in front of you. Many times a change quite a ways out will cause shot to go out of your group well before that change shows up in front of your bench.

• Don’t Fear the Wind — When you realize that the wind is your friend you will become a much better benchrest shooter. By this I mean that wind skills can separate you from other shooters who have equally good equipment. To learn how to read the wind, you must practice in challenging winds, not only in good conditions.

• Watch Wind Direction AND Velocity — Pay attention to angle changes on flags. Even though you see the same windspeed indicators, angle changes make a big difference in your groups.

• Watch While You Wait — Between courses of fire, whenever possible, watch conditions on the range. That way you will be aware of any changes in conditions since your last group and you will be mentally prepared for the new condition.

SPECIAL ADVICE for HUNTING RIFLES

Kimber hunting rifle

• Clean That Barrel — Most hunting rifle barrels do not get cleaned enough. If you keep barrel clean it will shoot better for you. You should clean your barrel well after every 10 to 12 shots. If you’re lazy, just use Wipe-Out.

• First Shot Inconsistency — Most hunting rifles will not put the first shot (after cleaning) with the subsequent shots. So, after cleaning, if you have a rifle that tosses that first shot high or wide, then shoot one fouling shot before going hunting or before you shoot for group.

• Barrel Heat — Thin-contour “sporter” barrels WILL change point of impact as they heat up. When testing loads for your hunting rifle, take your time and don’t let the barrel get hot on you.


Copyright © 2022, Speedy Gonzalez and AccurateShooter.com, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction of any content without advanced permission in writing.
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June 15th, 2022

PRS 22 Rimfire Finale Featured on Shooting USA Today

PRS precision rimfire tactical NRL22 shooting usa tv smallbore .22 LR

Precision Rifle Series (PRS) 22 Finale on Shooting USA
This week Shooting USA showcases the first-ever PRS Rimfire Finale. This new rimfire discipline is akin to Precision Rifle Series (PRS) centerfire tactical competition, but shot with .22 LR rimfire rifles. The inaugural PRS Rimfire Finale drew nearly 150 competitors to Texas, where shooters could compete without the cost of expensive centerfire ammo and without the need for a 1000-yard range. SEE: PRS Rimfire Series Info.

Shooting USA SHOW TIMES: This Shooting USA Episode airs Wednesday, June 15, 2022 at 9:00 PM Eastern and Pacific; 8:00 PM Central. If you miss the regular broadcast, you can stream the show online at any time on Vimeo for $0.99 per episode.

PRS Rimfire Finale — Nearly 150 Shooters in Texas

PRS and NRL tactical matches are among the fastest-growing competitive shooting disciplines. And rimfire tactical disciplines are actually growing even faster (than centerfire PRS/NRL) because .22 LR ammo is much cheaper than centerfire ammo, and there are many more ranges where rimfire matches can be held. PRS Rimfire offers the same kind of fun without the high cost of centerfire ammo and/or countless hours spent hand-loading. Rimfire PRS also offers generally less expensive rifles, and a whole lot less recoil. That’s why PRS Rimfire (as well as NRL22) has become so popular. And in the first year of the PRS Rimfire series, the Finale drew close to 150 competitors. The Finale Match was held at the Triple C Shooting Facility in College Station, Texas.

PRS precision rimfire tactical NRL22 shooting usa tv smallbore .22 LR

The Triple C Shooting Facility hosted the First Annual PRS Rimfire Finale. At this excellent Texas venue, match directors set out 20 unique courses of fire. There were the standard props you’d expect to see at any Precision Rifle match — tractor tires, wire spools, concrete culverts, and even cross tie bunkers. And the target placements were certainly challenging. Many of the stages had cross-course target lay-outs. This makes wind-reading much more challenging, especially with the relatively slow, low-BC .22 LR cartridges used in PRS rimfire competition.

Tune in to Shooting USA TV tonight. You’ll enjoy the coverage of this popular PRS rimfire sport, which we expect to grow significantly in 2022 and beyond. Notably, the National Rifle League (NRL) now conducts many more NRL22 matches than NRL centerfire matches. And competitors of course are drawn by the fun/challenge of a tactical match with much lower ammo costs — $0.15-$0.25/rd vs. $1.00/rd or more (counting brass, primer, bullets, powder, and barrel wear). And there are many more viable venues, because you only need a 300-yard (max) range to conduct a rimfire tactical match.

PRS precision rimfire tactical NRL22 shooting usa tv smallbore .22 LR


Some images for this PRS Rimfire article are from the Central Region (TX) Finale Facebook Page

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June 12th, 2022

Sunday Gunday: Wounded Warrior, SGT Robert Evans, Earns Distinguished Rifleman Badge

SGT Robert Evans distinguished rifleman wounded warrior
At the 2013 Western CMP Games, SGT Robert Evans attained what many shooters seek their entire shooting careers — a Distinguished Rifleman Badge. Evans earned his DR badge with just one hand, after losing his right hand while serving in Iraq with the U.S. Army.

CLICK HERE to Read Full Story on CMP Website
Report based on story by Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer/Editor

SGT Robert Evans distinguished rifleman wounded warriorSGT Robert Evans: Defying the Odds, Single-Handedly
AFter joining the Army in 2003, SGT Robert Evans served two tours in Iraq, suffering a spinal injury on the first tour. On his second tour, his life changed forever. On May 31, 2007, Evans was commanding a Bradley Fighting Vehicle in Iraq. As the Bradley drove under an old Fedayeen guard shack, an IED on top of the guard shack detonated while Evans was reaching out of the turret. The blast amputated Robert’s right hand at the wrist.

Even as a young boy, Evans had always enjoyed shooting. He vowed to stay involved with the sport despite his injury: “I couldn’t give up shooting after I lost my hand. It’s always been too important to me,” he said. “No matter what is going on in my life, when the sights are aligned and the hammer is about to fall, nothing in the world matters at that second. It’s my nirvana.”

Evans worked his way back into the sport by starting in F-Class. The position allowed him to hold hard and pull the trigger, while also being able to use his optics. Then he got involved with J.J. O’Shea’s M1 for VETS Project. The project helps transition wounded combat veterans back into the world of shooting, with equipment arrangements, position training and mental preparations.

SGT Robert Evans distinguished rifleman wounded warrior

Working with the M1 for Vets group, Evans started shooting again. But there were challenges: “The first time I shot after my amputation, it was very frustrating,” he said. “I couldn’t hold still, and shooting left-handed was so foreign.” Being extremely right-eye dominant his entire life, the loss of his right hand caused him to relearn many things, including how to shoot. Learning how to reload and adjust for wind while slung up became a pain for Evans….

SGT Robert Evans distinguished rifleman wounded warrior

In 2008, after several months and rigorous hours of dry firing, Evans found himself crossing the threshold of Camp Perry — a dream he had waited to fulfill his entire life. He scored around 50 points standing, out of 100, on his first trip. Though not bad for someone with an amputation, that wasn’t enough for Evans. He wanted to become a Distinguished Rifleman.

SGT Evans during Team Match at 2013 CMP Western Games.
SGT Robert Evans distinguished rifleman wounded warrior

He began to realize his dream as he earned his first 10 points (towards Distinguished) at Camp Perry in 2012. It took him 15 months to LEG out. His next 6 points came at the 2013 Eastern Games in Camp Butner, NC, followed by 10 more points at the 2013 National Matches. There, hoping to “bronze out,” he managed to one-up himself to actually earn a silver medal.

Then came the 2013 Western Games at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix, AZ. Never giving up hope and remembering his long journey from the hospital bed to the firing line, he received his final 8 points. SGT Robert Evans had become a Distinguished Rifleman.

SGT Robert Evans distinguished rifleman wounded warrior

“There was a lot of pressure, speculation and competition as to who would be the first Combat Wounded Veteran to ‘go Distinguished’ within M1 for VETS,” he said. “I’m very proud to have earned my badge, but more importantly, I hope that more wounded veterans will realize that it is within their grasp. It’s not an impossibility anymore. I hope it motivates everybody to train a little harder and hold a bit tighter – not just wounded veterans. If I can do it, anybody can.”

Posted Courtesy of the Civilian Marksmanship Program, www.TheCMP.org
Author: Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer/Editor

Commentary by GS Arizona
Robert Evans’ inspirational effort is a fresh reminder of the value of marksmanship in creating a focused challenge and reward that can help our wounded warriors regain the confidence and motivation to succeed in all aspects of life.

Robert’s effort is very reminiscent of that of Karoly Takacs, a Hungarian pistol competitor who lost his right hand in a grenade accident in World War II. Determined to overcome the injury, Takacs taught himself to shoot left-handed after the war and earned gold medals in the 1948 and 1952 Olympic Games. Robert brings that Old World grit and determination into the modern day and into the context of our nation’s most historic and cherished award for marksmanship. Robert’s Distinguished badge will shine brightly as a beacon to those who face challenges in their lives and can find a path to renewal in the brotherhood of marksmen. We salute him for his efforts and for the inspiration he brings to us all.

Editor’s Note: GS Arizona is a Distinguished Rifleman, Distinguished Pistol Shot, Distinguished Smallbore Rifleman (NRA) and a dedicated student of shooting history.

A Special Message from SGT Evans

SGT Evans wanted to thank all those who were instrumental in helping him achieve his goal of “going distinguished”. has a long list of individuals to whom he owes his successes.

“I think it’s necessary to let our fellow competitors and enthusiasts know how important they’ve been to me and the rest of the M1 for VETS shooters. They are the ones who keep us going and make our world go round,” he said. “Without all of the support from the shooting community, organizations and businesses that have donated to M1 for VETS, it never would have happened. Thank you all so very much!”

“I’d really like to thank the CMP and everyone who has helped me. That’s the real reason I went Distinguished,” he said. “M1 for VETS is a fantastic organization, and I really can’t thank them enough for what they do. No matter where my shooting career takes me, I’ll always be thankful to them for teaching, mentoring and accepting me. They are a fantastic group of guys and the reason I had the opportunity to even try. I’d also like to thank John and May Marx … and Dick Whiting.”

distinguished rifleman sgt Evans
SGT Evans and his wife Karen after a Washington meeting with Senators Harry Reid and John Ensign.

“My mother, father and grandparents have always been there for me and are a constant source of encouragement,” he said. “And last, but certainly not least, my loving wife, Karen. She supports me no matter what I do and backs me up entirely. She’s my world and I can’t thank her enough for her support and loyalty. I love you, Karen.”

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June 12th, 2022

Getting Started in Precision Rifle Matches (Practical/Tactical)

65 Guys Ed Mobley Steve Lawrence PRS Precision Rifle Series Competition Tips

Our friends, Ed Mobley and Steve Lawrence, aka the “6.5 Guys”, have written an excellent article on getting started in practical/tactical competition. If you are new to the game, these tips can help you save money, progress faster, and have more fun. Here are article highlights, but we recommend you read the full story, 5 Tips for Attending Your First Precision Rifle Match, on www.65guys.com.

We often meet people who are new to long range precision shooting, and want to improve their knowledge and skill level. However, they aren’t sure if they are ready to sign up to compete in a match. They often ask, “What knowledge or skills are necessary to compete in a match?” Others may state, “I need to purchase this gear or that gear before I can attend a match”. For those guys who have a strong interest in precision rifle shooting, and who wish to chec out a precision rifle match, below are Five Tips to make it a positive experience.

TIP ONE: Make Plans and Commit to Go

First you need to start by finding a match to attend. This may entail a little bit of research and investigative work on your part to find what matches are scheduled in the next few months. We recommend starting with any match that may be within a reasonable driving distance. This may likely be a local “club” match, many of which are held on a regular basis. These make great venues because it will provide an opportunity to meet some of the regular attendees as well as shooters that are from your geographic area. Additionally, most of the smaller matches are a little more relaxed in terms of level of competitiveness.

Once you decide on the match you want to attend, do your homework. This means finding out if you need to pre-register or pre-pay the match fee. Commit to going by registering for the match and putting it on your schedule. Be sure to find other useful information for questions such as:

— What time should I arrive?
— Is there a mandatory safety briefing for new shooters at that venue?
— What is the travel time required to get to the match site?
— How many stages will there be?
— Is there a description of the stages available before the match?
— How many rounds should you bring?
— Are there special equipment requirements? (E.g. do you need chamber flags, is there a pistol stage?)

65 Guys Ed Mobley Steve Lawrence PRS Precision Rifle Series Competition Tips

TIP TWO: Bring What You Have

(Don’t Spend a Fortune at the Start)
Some new shooters often assume they need a custom match rifle or all of the miscellaneous shooting gear associated with long range precision shooting to compete in match. While having a Kestrel weather meter and a high quality laser range finder and other shooting accoutrements are invaluable kit, you will find other shooters at your first match that will provide you with the information and coaching you need to get on target.

In fact, the only gear you really need to bring is a scoped rifle with a bipod and ammo capable of consistently shooting within one MOA. Also, be sure to know the ballistic drops or have a ballistic drop table prepared for your rifle/ammo to dial the correct DOPE on your scope for different target ranges. Many of the other participants at the match will be willing to let you borrow a support bag, bipod, tripod or other gear if you need one — just ask. Don’t use the excuse of not having the right gear to delay getting out to a match!

One reason not to make a big initial investment in a new rifle and assorted gear before competing, is we’ve seen a number of people come into the sport and try it for a year and then make the decision to move on to something else.

TIP THREE: Be Prepared to Learn

As a new shooter at a match, there is no better opportunity to learn. We often look to our local club matches as a group ‘training’ session to prepare for the bigger matches. You will find competitors at all levels of skill and many of your fellow shooters will enthusiastically provide helpful advice once they learn you are new to the sport. Take advantage of the opportunity to ask questions if you would like ideas for how to engage a stage, but also be sure to do more listening than talking as you receive guidance and tips from more experienced competitors.

Watch and observe other shooters and how they approach and ‘game’ a specific stage or course of fire. You’ll begin to recognize which shooting positions work best for different scenarios, and maybe even come up with some new ones that no one has thought of before.

Seeing what the better shooters do is an invaluable instructional tool. You can use your smart phone’s video camera to record other shooters (with their permission). When you’re ready to shoot, ask another shooter to record your performance. Watching yourself will point out needed areas of improvement.

65 Guys Ed Mobley Steve Lawrence PRS Precision Rifle Series Competition Tips

After each match conduct an informal after action review and summarize for yourself the things that went well and what you should continue to do. You should also identify the specific shooting skills you should develop and make a plan to integrate the appropriate practice drills into your practice sessions. Finally, if you maintain a shooter’s data book or journal you’ll want to note things such as:

After Action Review – How you did, what went well, things you need to work on in practice.
Stage Observations – Successful methods used for specific courses of fire. Note barricades, positions used, specific gear used for stages.
Gear Observations – How your rifle/gear performed, what new items you should add to your “buy list”.

TIP FOUR: Be Safe and Have Fun

You’ve all heard a parent or teacher say, “It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye.” The same can be said of the shooting sports. Safe handling of firearms is the number one rule at any match, and comes before the FUN part in terms of importance.

Before all matches start there will always be some form of a mandatory safety briefing. Make sure you know, understand, and follow any unique safety protocols for the match you attend. Some matches require all rifles have chamber flags inserted and are stowed in bags/cases while not on the firing line — other matches may not. If you run afoul of any safety rules, you risk the chance of being disqualified from a stage or worse, the entire match.

65 Guys Ed Mobley Steve Lawrence PRS Precision Rifle Series Competition Tips

The second rule is simply have fun. This starts with having a good attitude throughout the day. Keep in mind that as a new competitor you should think of a match as a solid day of practice and training. If you blow a stage, use it as an opportunity to diagnose what you could have done differently or what you need to improve on — then smile and drive on.

Any day at the range or shooting is a good day. A match is an opportunity to hang out with like-minded people who are passionate about shooting and impacting targets far-far away. Life is great when you are doing what you enjoy!

TIP FIVE: Make Friends

There is no better way to meet lots of precision rifle shooters and make friends than at a match. The people that attend the tactical precision matches on a regular basis are those that have ‘fallen into the deep end of the pool’ and are really into the sport. As a result, they have become part of the local precision shooting community. As you strike up conversations at the match, find out if your new-found friends visit specific forum boards or social media outlets, or if there are other matches they attend.

Precision shooters tend to congregate and share information in different corners of the Internet. It will serve you well to meet some of the guys in person at matches and be able to connect a face to a screen name. As you develop your friendships and develop a level of trust, you will find opportunities become available to shoot with others in your local area, or get ‘read-in’ on a secret honey-hole of a spot to shoot long distance. Additionally, the local shooting community will often find it more convenient to sell or trade gear and equipment locally than deal with buyers/sellers that are out of state.

>> CLICK HERE to READ FULL ARTICLE on 65Guys.com

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June 10th, 2022

2022 NRA National Matches at Camp Atterbury — Full Schedule

NRA National Matches Calendar schedule 2022 summer Camp Atterbury Indiana

The NRA National Matches at Camp Atterbury Indiana are just a month away. The first event, the National High Power Rifle Matches, begins with Competitor Orientation on July 10, 2022. Then, after the Opening ceremony, the fun begins with Team Matches on July 11th. There is still time to register for one or more of the events. CLICK HERE to register.

GET Official 113-page NRA National Matches Program PDF »

Use the NRA Competition Registration Portal to sign up for these events:

National High Power Matches
July 10-29, 2022
Camp Atterbury, Indiana

PROGRAM
July 10 Packet Pick Up/Orientation
July 11 Team Matches
July 12-15 Across the Course (XTC)
July 16 Mid-Range Packet Pick Up & Squadded Practice
July 19 Mid-Range Team July 17-18 / 20-21 MR Course
July 24 Long Range Packet Pick Up
July 25-27 Long Range
July 26-27 Team Matches
July 28 Palma Individual Match
July 29 Palma Team

National Pistol Championships
July 17-23, 2022
Camp Atterbury, Indiana

PROGRAM
July 17 Registration
July 18 Un-squadded Practice
July 19 Revolver / .22 EIC
July 20 Prelim
July 21 .22
July 22 Center Fire
July 23 .45

National Smallbore Championships
July 25 – August 7, 2022
Camp Atterbury, Indiana

PROGRAM
July 25 3P Registration
July 26-27 3P Metric
July 28-29 3P Conventional
July 30 Prone Registration / Practice
July 31 – August 1 Conventional Prone Iron
August 2 Team/Spc Team
August 3 Pershing/Goodwill
August 4-5 Conventional Prone Any
August 6-7 Metric Prone

NRA Extreme
Long Range Championship
August 5-7, 2022
Camp Atterbury, Indiana

PROGRAM
August 5 Registration
August 6-7 Extreme Long Range

CLICK HERE to View Full Screen CALENDAR PDF »

NRA National Matches Calendar schedule 2022 summer Camp Atterbury Indiana

Camp Atterbury covered rifle range

The new covered range at Camp Atterbury was a big hit in 2021 during the Precision Pistol and Smallbore Rifle Championships. This was built with the help of the State of Indiana, Indiana National Guard, the NRA, and the Indiana State Rifle and Pistol Association.

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June 9th, 2022

Gas Gun Reloading Rules — USAMU Tips for ARs, Garands, M1As

Reloading for Service Rifles
SFC Lance Dement as featured in CMP’s First Shot Online.

The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) has published a great series of reloading “how-to” articles on its Facebook Page. This post covers key factors to consider when loading ammunition for Match Rifles and Service Rifles, with a particular focus on self-loading “gas guns”. Visit the USAMU Facebook Page regularly for other, helpful reloading and marksmanship tips.

We offer some “cardinal rules” to help new gas-gun handloaders with safety and efficiency. These address both Match Rifle and Service Rifle versions of the AR15, M1 Garand, M1A, and M110. However, they can also improve safe reloading for many other auto-loaders such as M1 Carbines, FALs, SIGs, etc. The author distilled these principles many years ago to help focus on the essential aspects of these rifles.

RULE ONE: Service Rifles Are Not Benchrest Rifles
Gas-guns require a relatively loose fit between ammunition and chamber (vs. bolt actions) for safe, smooth operation. Many techniques, such as neck sizing and keeping cartridge headspace quite tight, are popular in the extreme bolt gun accuracy realm. However, they are of little value with Service Rifles, and some could even be hazardous. Before adopting a specialized technique, seriously consider whether it is appropriate and beneficial in a gas-gun.

RULE TWO: Never Compromise Safety to Obtain Accuracy
Example: If choosing a brand of great, but ultra-sensitive match primers offers possibly better accuracy at the risk of slam-fires in your design of rifle, don’t do it! You are issued exactly two eyes and ten fingers (best-case scenario). Risking them trying to squeeze 0.25 MOA better accuracy out of an M1A, etc. simply isn’t worth it.

Reloading for Service Rifles

RULE THREE: Tailor the Precision to Your Individual Skill and Your Rifle’s Potential
This has been addressed here before, but bears repeating for newcomers. If you are struggling to break out of the Marksman Class, or using a CMP M1 “As-Issued,” then laboriously turning the necks of your 600-yard brass is a waste of time. Your scores will improve much faster by practicing or dry-firing. On the other hand, if the reigning champions anxiously check your scores each time you fire an event, a little neck-turning might not be so far-fetched.

Verifying Load Improvements — Accuracy hand-loading involves a wide variety of techniques, ranging from basic to rather precise. Carefully select those which offer a good return on investment for your time and labor. In doubt? Do a classic pilot study. Prepare ammo for at least three or four ten-shot groups with your new technique, vs. the same with your standard ammo. Then, pick a calm day and test the ammo as carefully as possible at its full distance (e.g. 200, 300, or 600 yards) to verify a significant improvement. A little testing can save much labor!


This video explains the procedure for ordering an M1 Garand from the CMP.

RULE FOUR: Be Your Own Efficiency Expert
Serious Service Rifle shooters generally think of ammunition in terms of thousands of rounds, not “boxes”, or even “hundreds”. Analyze, and WRITE DOWN each step in your reloading process. Count the number of times each case is handled. Then, see if any operations can be dropped or changed without reducing safety or accuracy. Eliminating just two operations saves 2000 steps per 1000 rounds loaded. Conversely, carefully consider any measurable benefits before adding a step to your routine.

RULE FIVE: In Searching for Greater Accuracy with Efficiency, Look for System Changes
For example, instead of marking your 300-yard rounds individually to differentiate them from your 200-yard ammo, would a simple change in primers work? If accuracy is maintained, using brass-colored primers for 200 and silver for 300 provides an indelible indicator and eliminates a step! Similarly, rather than spending hours selecting GI surplus brass for weight and neck uniformity, consider splurging on some known, high-quality imported match brass for your 600-yard loads. Results should be excellent, time is saved, and given limited shooting at 600 yards, brass life should be long.

RULE SIX: Check All Your Primers Before Packaging Your Loaded Ammo
This seems simple and even intuitive. However, many slam-fires (which were much more common when M1s and M1As were the standard) are due, at least in part, to “high” primers. Primers should be seated below flush with the case head. The USAMU has addressed this at length in a previous column, but each round should be checked for properly-seated primers before they are packaged for use.

Reloading for Service Rifles

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June 7th, 2022

CMP National Matches at Camp Perry — Program & Registration

CMP National Matches 2022 Camp Perry Ohio rimfire high power junior prone

The CMP National Matches will run from July 11 to August 13, 2022 at Camp Perry, Ohio. This major event attracts thousands of shooters over the course of the summer. The 2022 National Matches start with pistol competition and conclude with Long Range Rifle. The Full 2022 Nat’l Matches Calendar is available online. There is still time to register for pistol and rifle matches. We provide registration links below.

National Matches Info

2022 National Match Calendar | National Match Program | Camp Perry MAP

CMP National Matches 2022 Camp Perry Ohio rimfire high power junior prone

CMP National Matches 2022 Camp Perry Ohio rimfire high power junior proneCMP National Matches
2022 REGISTRATION

Held annually at Camp Perry, the CMP National Matches include the CMP National Trophy Pistol and Rifle Matches, the Pistol and Rifle Small Arms Firing Schools, the National Games Rifle Matches, the National Smallbore Matches, and the National Long Range Matches. These matches are conducted by a partnership of the CMP and Ohio National Guard.

Registration for the 2022 CMP National Matches is still available, but don’t delay much longer. Click the links below to register for particular disciplines.

Rifle Online Registration
Rifle Printable Registration PDF

Long Range Online Registration
Long Range Printable Registration PDF

Rimfire Sporter Online Registration
Rimfire Sporter Printable Registration PDF

2022 Pistol Online Registration
Pistol Printable Registration PDF

Smallbore Online Registration

Air Gun Online Registration

CMP National Matches 2022 Camp Perry Ohio rimfire high power junior prone

Junior Shooter Opportunities

The National Matches offers several options suitable for junior marksmen. A variety of matches and clinics (each supervised by CMP-trained professionals and staff members) are available to young rifle, pistol and air gun shooters, with safety guidelines. 2022 Camp Perry NM programs will include:

National Rimfire Sporter Match — specially designed for new and upcoming competitors.

National Matches Camps, Clinics and Schools — full of smallbore, rifle and pistol educational possibilities for youth at entry and advanced levels.

National Air Gun Events — fired at the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center at Camp Perry, Ohio, offering a mix of simple, fixed-position matches and open opportunities to accommodate young competitors learning marksmanship fundamentals in a controlled setting.


The 2022 CMP Games Matches will run August 5-8, 2022 as part of the National Matches at Camp Perry.

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June 5th, 2022

Improve Your Scores Through Enhanced Mental Preparation

Shooting Sports USA Brain mental game psychology cerebellum

Looking to improve your competition skills? The Shooting Sports USA website has scores of informative articles that can help your score higher at your next shooting tournament. You’ll find articles on wind reading, position shooting, match strategies, and much more.

One great Shooting Sports USA article, Shooting is 90% Mental, was penned by Chip Lohman (SSUSA’s former Editor). With the help of two very smart Ph.D types, Judy Tant and Mike Keyes, Lohman examines the mental processes involved in the shooting sports. Chip’s co-authors have impressive credentials. Dr. Judy Tant is a Clinical Psychologist and National Bullseye Pistol Champion. Dr. Michael J. Keyes, is a licensed Psychiatrist and former physician for the U.S. Shooting Team.

CLICK HERE to Read Full Article in Shooting Sports USA Online Magazine.

Visualization, Brain Function, and Muscle Memory

If you shoot competitively, this is definitely a “must-read” article. The authors examine how the brain functions under stress, how “visualization” can be used to improved performance, how “brain speed” can be enhanced through proper training, and how the brain stores learned routines into “muscle memory.” And that’s just for starters — the article gives many concrete examples of techniques top shooters have employed to improve their “mental game” and shoot higher scores.

Brain Speed and Trigger Control:
Shooting Sports USA Brain mental game psychology cerebellumResearch: Scientists believe that the newer frontal lobe may not be able to keep up with “deep” brain signals that transmit at nearly 300 mph. This is explained when athletes talk about “letting go”, rather than over-thinking the shot.

This conscious signal can take up to 0.3 seconds from recognizing the desired sight picture to moving the trigger finger — too long to capture the opportunity for a perfect shot. However, if the signal is initiated spontaneously in the cerebellum where such procedures are thought to be stored through repetition, the reaction speed is much quicker. Signals are processed by the “deep brain” almost twice as fast as the problem-solving frontal lobes.

Mental Preparation for Shooting Matches

Below are tips from Emil Praslick III, former USAMU coach. Considered one of the best wind readers on the planet, Praslick also was known for his ability to help his shooters master the “mental game”.

Emil Praslick III mental game coaching preparation

Thinking Your Way to Success
by Emil Praslick III
Why does it seem that the same small group of shooters wins the majority of the matches? What is the difference among shooters who are technically equal? Confidence. A confident shooter is free to execute his shots without the fear of failure, i.e. shooting a poor shot.

Negative thoughts (can’t, won’t be able to, etc.) will destroy a skilled performance. The mind’s focus will not be on executing the task, but on projecting fear and self-doubt. Fear is the enemy, confidence is the cure. How does a shooter on the eve of an important match … attain the confidence needed to perform up to his potential? A pre-competition mental plan can assist in acquiring that positive mental state. The plan can be broken down into a few phases.

Build a feeling of preparedness. Developing and executing a plan to organize your equipment and pre-match routine will aid you in feeling prepared on match day.

Avoid negative and stressful thoughts. Focusing on “winning” the match or shooting for a specific score (like making the “cut” or making the President’s 100) can cause undue stress. Good shooters focus on aspects that are within their control: their sight picture, their sight alignment, their position. Each shot should be treated as an individual event.

Train stage-specific tasks during your practice sessions. Instead of shooting matches or practice matches only, include some drills that focus on your problem areas. Training in this manner will assist your level of confidence.

As part of your pre-match routine, imagine yourself shooting perfect shots. Visualize getting into the perfect position, acquiring a perfect sight picture, and perfect trigger control.

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June 4th, 2022

Saturday at the Movies: Great Tech Advice from Keith Glasscock

Keith Glasscock winning wind youtube channel f-Class f-Open ES SD loading

Keith Glasscock is one of America’s greatest F-Class shooters, as well as a highly respected wind coach. A High Master, Keith finished second overall at the 2021 NRA F-Class Long Range Championship in F-Open division. He also finished second at the 2020 Nationals, tied with F-Open winner Pat Scully on points, but with fewer Xs. And he took second also at the 2019 Nationals. His consistency is unrivaled, which means he definitely knows the secrets of long range wind calling and loading ultra-accurate ammo.

Keith has a popular YouTube Channel with new content every week. On Keith’s Winning in the Wind channel, Keith offers 60+ informative videos on a wide range of topics including wind reading, reloading, component selection, load development, and training. For today’s Video Showcase, we offer four of our favorite Keith Glasscock videos. Each video has important points that can benefit any competitive rifle shooter, whether you shoot in local 100-yard fun matches or compete at the National Level in F-Class, LR Benchrest, Palma, or High Power.

How to Prepare for a Match

In this informative video, Keith explains how to prepare for a major medium- or long-range rifle competition, with a particular focus on F-Class. Keith explains how to prepare for weather conditions and “get the lay of the land” before the match. Even the day of the match, your can look and learn. As one viewer noted: “I’ve noticed some guys playing on their phones during matches. This is an important time to get in sync with wind patterns and fine tune your wind strategy.”

How to Find (and Fine-Tune) Seating Depth

This is Keith’s most popular video. Keith definitely knows how to maximize accuracy by finding the optimal seating depth for each particular barrel. He is achieving groups in the high Ones for three shots. That would be good for a short-range benchrest cartridge, but Keith is achieving that with a .284 Winchester which has much more recoil. If you shoot F-TR or F-Open or even PRS, you should watch this video.

How to Lower your ES/SD and Reduce Vertical at Long Range

This is Keith’s first video in a series on how to improve long range groups, precision, and accuracy by reducing velocity Extreme Spread (ES) and Standard Deviation (SD). To achieve the lowest ES you need to look at multiple processes, including precision powder weighing, careful seating, brass annealing, and primer selection. Another factor is bullet selection. Not all bullets of the same nominal caliber and weight class have exactly the same bullet diameter or shape. Sometimes you can get better accuracy AND lower ES by trying a different brand of bullet. We have found bullet diameters, of the same stated caliber, can vary by up to .0008″ (eight ten-thousandths). Some barrels like the fatter bullets, while other barrels may favor the skinny bullets.

How to Find Bullet-to-Rifling Touch Point

Before you even start to load for a new rifle you need to know the point at which the bullet in a loaded round will first touch the rifling. (This will be a base to ogive measurement on your round). Beyond that point you are “in the lands”. If you load shorter than that base-to-ogive length you are “jumping” your bullets. Some cartridge/bullet combos typically shoot best in the lands, while with other bullets and cartridges, jumping is the way to go. Additionally, with some disciplines it is wise to jump your bullets since you may have to unload a chambered round while on the firing line. In this video Keith shows a number of methods to determine “length to lands” with repeatable precision.

Field Test and Review of SEB Mini-X Coaxial Front Rest

While gear reviews are not the primary focus of Keith’s YouTube Channel, Keith does talk about products he likes and uses. In this video. Keith reviews the SEB Mini-X, the newest coaxial tripod rest from SEB Rests. The Mini-X offers fast, precise windage and elevation adjustment with the joystick control. The unit is much easier to pack and transport than a large, heavy front rest such as a SEB NEO or Farley. The latest Mini-X also has upgraded foot controls that make it easier to level the rest on uneven ground. For more info, see our SEB Mini-X Report.

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June 1st, 2022

Save 20% on Top-Quality Steel Targets June 1 and 2, 2022

action target father's days steel 20% off sale

Shooting steel targets is fun — both at close-range with pistols and rimfire, and at long range with centerfire rifles. If you’ve been thinking of getting some steel targets, here’s a great SAVINGS opportunity. Right now, as a June 2022 Pre-Father’s Day Deal, Action Target is offering a full 20% off ALL Steel Targets. That’s a great promo from one of the most respected metal target-makers on the planet.

IMPORTANT — Though this is listed as a Father’s Day SALE, the discount is only valid for TWO DAYS — June 1st and 2nd, 2022. So don’t hesitate. Use discount code FATHERS2022 during checkout on the ActionTarget.com website.

action target father's days steel 20% off sale

action target father's days steel 20% off saleAction Target posted: “Father’s Day is just around the corner, and we know Dads want steel shooting targets. So from June 1st-2nd, use coupon code FATHERS2022 and save 20% on all steel targets.”

If you shoot pistols, or rimfire rifle, this Dueling tree is a ton of fun. Shoot solo or two shooters can enjoy challenge matches on this PT Dueling Tree. With the 20% Off code you can save $93.20 off the regular $466.00 price. There are many other great steel targets, such as the rimfire plate rack or the full Steel Challenge Kit.

action target father's days steel 20% off sale

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May 29th, 2022

Trigger Technique — Become a Better Trigger-Puller

trigger show bix'n andy otm tactical

Do you occasionally get completely unexplained flyers, or have a shot land straight down at 6 O’Clock, right below your point of aim? That could be caused by poor or inconsistent trigger technique. How you pull the trigger can and does affect your accuracy.

Many gun enthusiasts start with pistols. When they later start shooting rifles they may carry over some not-so-good practices acquired from shooting handguns with heavy 4 to 6-pound trigger pulls. You may want to “re-learn” your trigger techniques to get better rifle results.

Shooting Sports USA has a good article on trigger technique that offers many useful tips. That article also has many helpful illustrations, including the one shown above. Another illustration shows different types of trigger shoes (straight vs. curved) and explains how each makes a difference: “With a lightly curved trigger, the shooter’s finger can contact the trigger either high or low according to preference. Higher contact will increase the resistance.” READ ARTICLE HERE.

The article analyzes common errors, such as pulling the trigger with the very tip of the finger rather than the pad of the index finger: “Using the tip of the finger can lead to lateral pressure on the trigger, which throws off the shot.”

The article also explains that you should check your trigger regularly to make sure it is functioning properly and is not out of adjustment: “Just like any other moving part, the trigger can suffer from wear. In such a precise mechanism, tiny amounts of wear can cause major problems.”

Gary Eliseo tubegun prone rifle
The ergonomics of the Eliseo Tubegun allow a nice, straight trigger pull.

Trigger Tips

Six Suggestions for Making your Trigger Control More Consistent.

1. If your triggers are adjustable, set the pull weight appropriate to the discipline. For a hunting rifle, you don’t want an ultra-light trigger pull. For High Power, you may want a two-stage pull, while on a Benchrest rifle you may prefer a very light trigger.

2. If you have a two-stage trigger, experiment with different combinations of First Stage and Second Stage.

3. Have a friend watch you as you pull the trigger, and maybe even take a close-up video as you pull the trigger. This can reveal a variety of flaws.

4. Practice dry-firing to see if flaws in trigger technique are causing gun movement.

5. As an experiment, try pulling the trigger with your middle finger. Ergonomically, the middle finger has a more straight alignment with the tendons in your hand. This exercise can help you identify alignment issues with your index finger.

6. For stocks with adjustable Length of Pull you may want to set the LOP differently for bench shooting vs. prone or F-Class shooting.

trigger show bix'n andy otm tactical

trigger show bix'n andy otm tactical

When Only the Best Will Do…
German-made Bix’N Andy triggers, available from BulletCentral.com, are among the very best you can buy. Available in both single-stage and two-stage, Bix’N Andy triggers are extremely precise, repeatable and smooth. The unique internal, friction-reducing roller ball system allows for extremely low reset force, yielding an ultra-crisp let-off. Bix’N Andy triggers can be fitted with a variety of trigger shoes according to shooter preference.

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