This article based on story by Jason J. Brown, EditorNRABlog.com
Americans are purchasing firearms at a historic rate, with more than 27 million NICS background checks performed in 2016, the closest indicator of gun sales in the U.S. Gun ownership is a great responsibility, entailing not only a well-formed understanding of the basic rules of gun safety while shooting, but at all times. Gun safety is never more important than inside your own home. Gun safety isn’t just for gun owners — it’s a critical skill for everyone.
The NRA’s Eddie Eagle GunSafe® program has taught more than 29 million American youth what to do if they find a unsecured gun. Adults should also know how to properly handle a gun, load and unload it, perform basic maintenance, and safely store it so unauthorized persons can’t access it.
In the Home Firearm Safety Course, students will also learn about gun parts, ammunition, basic gun cleaning and care, and provide hands-on training on how to safely unload select types of guns. Each participant receives the NRA Home Firearm Safety handbook, NRA Gun Safety Rules brochure, Basic Firearm Training Program brochure, and a course completion certificate.
The NRA’s network of more than 128,000 NRA Certified Instructors delivers the Home Firearm Safety Course at locations nationwide. To find a course near you or learn about other NRA Training programs, visit the NRA Training portal.
Shooting ranges have gone upscale with the development of the “Guntry Club”. This new kind of recreational/social facility combines a shooting range with Country Club style amenities. Imagine a high-tech indoor range with “Pro Shop”, restaurant, and maybe outdoor shooting facilities as well. In the past five years, more and more of these deluxe “Guntry Clubs” have opened nationwide.
This week GunVenture TV takes a look at some of the country’s finest gun clubs. First, join Tom Gresham and RECOIL Magazine’s Iain Harrison at one of the original “Guntry Clubs” — the Scottsdale Gun Club. You’ll tour the exclusive Titanium lounge before heading to the range for some full-auto fun with Sig Sauer’s John Hollister. Then, Tom visits a very high-end facility in Centennial, Colorado. The upscale Centennial Gun Club features a retail store, range, training center, and lounge.
Finally, GunVenture visits the Talladega Super-Speedway, where Ryan Gresham takes a lap on the famous track before visiting at the CMP’s impressive new Talladega Marksmanship Park, which boasts state-of-the-art electronic targets.
Here’s a CBS News report on upscale “Guntry Clubs”, luxurious facilities that target younger, more affluent patrons. Chip Reid reports on a high-end gun club in Manassas, Virginia: “This is not your Grandfather’s shooting range. Elite Shooting Sports is 65000 Square feet of bright lights, polished wood, flat-screen TVs, and state of the art equipment”.
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Here’s a really great video about firearms crafting produced by Beretta, a legendary Italian gun-maker. This movie, entitled “Human Technology”, is one of the best videos we’ve ever featured on this site. It’s that good. You’ll see an amazing blend of ultra-modern manufacturing technology along with old-world artisanship — “a mesmerizing meld of the high-tech and the traditional”. (Daniel Xu, Outdoor Hub.)
“Human Technology is a singular and symbolic movie, its cast entirely made up of Beretta workmen, thus illustrating the perfect synthesis between craftsmanship and technology,” Beretta writes. This artistic movie by Ancarani Studio illustrates all the aspects of the manufacturing of a high-end Beretta shotgun. This video is a study in contrast. The movements of robotic assembly machines are juxtaposed with the centuries-old craftsmanship of stock carvers. Beautifully filmed and edited, this video should amaze and entertain anyone who loves fine firearms. (Full-screen HD Recommended.)
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More new shooters. That’s what the shooting sports need to thrive. Today’s juniors are the future of our sport. Organized training programs teach youngsters safe firearms handling, marksmanship skills, and important life skills such as teamwork and goal attainment. One of the leading programs for young shooters is the Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC). Designed to promote and encourage safe, lifelong hunting, the program has served over 1.2 million participants since inception in 1985.
The NRA’s Youth Hunter Education Challenge program helps kids 18 and under to learn hunting, marksmanship, and safety skills. From rifle, bow, and muzzleloader shooting, to wildlife identification, map & compass orienteering and more, YHEC participants get hands-on training in eight skill areas. This is a great program for parents and kids who want to go on family hunts together.
Every year, the YHEC has a major national championship. Participants compete with a variety of firearms types (rifle, shotgun, muzzleloader), and do other skills challenges including archery and orienteering. This year’s YHEC National Championship takes place July 23-28, 2017 at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, New Mexico. CLICK HERE for More Information.
This is an excellent video. Well worth watching, with impressive aerial photography.
Along with the YHEC Championship, the Whittington Center hosts many major matches each year. Founded in 1973, the Center offers ranges for every kind of shooting discipline, a firearms museum, guided and unguided hunts, plus an adventure camp for younger shooters. The Whittington Center has comfortable, modern cabins and RV camping zones for extended stays.
Californians Buy Bulk Ammo Online While They Still Can
Californians are buying more ammunition, and in bigger, bulk quantities, according to data from online ammo retailer Wideners.com. In the two months since 2016’s General Election, Wideners.com’s online traffic from California is up a full fifty percent (50%). Nationwide traffic to the site has remained relatively static for the same period. And Widener’s sales are up dramatically for the most popular ammo types: 9mm Luger, .223 Rem (5.56×45), and .308 Win (7.62×51).
IMPENDING BAN on Mail-Order Ammo — Starting January 1, 2018, California gun owners will no longer be able to buy ammunition online. Only face-to-face ammo purchases will be allowed inside the state. Per Proposition 63, California will also require a background check for ammunition purchases, and ammo buyers must obtain a four-year purchaser’s license from the CA Department of Justice.
“There’s been a massive influx of California hunters and sport shooters who are stocking up in the wake of California’s new laws”, reports Anne Taylor of Widener’s. “There’s not just increased interest, it’s clear the gun owners who are buying are buying in bulk. We’ve seen our average order weight go up in the past couple months. We expect this sort of rush will continue through the rest of the year.”
“We heard from a lot of customers in late December and early January who were confused about Prop 63,” Taylor said. “Many people seemed to think the background checks would start immediately.”
Percent Increase in Sales by Municipality:
Los Angeles Metro Area – 395%
San Francisco Metro Area – 417%
San Diego Metro Area – 161%
Sacramento Metro Area – 449%
Anaheim Metro Area – 264%
San Jose Metro Area – 233%
Note: Data based on IP Address of computer used to make purchase comparing the two-month period before and after 2016’s General Election. Municipalities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles already restrict online ammo purchases.
The biggest sales increase has been observed with .223 Rem/5.56×45 rifle ammunition, the most common cartridge type used in AR-platform rifles. In fact, .223/5.56 ammo sales in the eight weeks following the 2016 election were TWICE as great as in the preceding eight weeks.
Biggest jump in ammo sales has been for .223/5.56 ammo suitable for ARs.
9mm ammo and .308 rifle ammo are also experiencing large gains from California buyers with increases of 60-80%. That’s notable becauses sales remain static in those calibers in the rest of the country. Overall, Widener’s sales data shows the average quantity purchased by Californians is up 20% in the two months following the 2016 election compared to the same time period before.
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Our friends at Targetshooter Magazine just returned from the IWA Outdoor Classics trade show in Germany. With 1455 exhibitors and over 45,530 attendees from around the globe, the IWA exhibition is a major event that rivals the USA’s SHOT Show in Las Vegas.
Here are some highlights from TargetShooter’s IWA Trade Show Report:
Perhaps this is a good place to start, with the latest long-range March offering, the High Master. This is a superb 10-60x56mm scope with a 34mm tube and ED glass. I predict that this scope will once again set the bar for the serious F-Class shooter. Obviously you can’t assess a scope like this at an exhibition, but I hope Target Shooter will have one soon for a proper test.
This year, Tikka decided it was time they got in on the act and staged a press seminar to launch their version – the T3x TAC A1. This one doesn’t go the full AR butt route but has a very nice folding stock and, in spite of this and a 24-inch barrel, keeps the weight down to a respectable 5.1 kg (11.24 lb). Tikka has a very large following and I suspect this one will be a great seller, especially in the 6.5 Creedmoor chambering with 10-shot magazine.
Another action which caught my eye was from a Canadian company called Ultimatum Precision. They had incorporated some really useful features into their ‘Rem footprint’ action and, being Canadian, it might be more accessible without all the American ITAR nonsense. It incorporates a three-lug, floating bolt-head design which means that caliber changes are a cinch, especially with the option of a barrel-nut fixing. It comes with a hard, black finish and will be offered in the usual bolt/port configurations.
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Want to go into retail? Here’s your chance! Gander Mountain Company (GMC) is going on the auction blocks. To facilitate a “going-concern sale” of the business, GMC has filed bankruptcy petitions in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Minnesota. Gander Mountain plans to put the business up for sale, and will solicit bids prior to an auction in late April 2017. The company expects to submit the winning bid to the Bankruptcy Court for approval in early May and anticipates a closing of the sale by May 15, 2017.
Here are highlights from Gander Mountain’s official statement about the Bankruptcy:
Gander Mountain [states that], to maximize the opportunity to achieve a “going-concern” sale of its business, it and certain of its subsidiaries have filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code.
This action is the result of an in-depth review of the company’s strategic options undertaken in recent months to preserve the value of the company and position it for long-term success. Like many retailers, Gander Mountain experienced challenging traffic patterns and shifts in consumer demand resulting from increased direct-to-customer sales by key vendors and accelerated growth of e-commerce.
The company’s strategic review yielded the following conclusions:
A narrowly focused and lower cost operating model is necessary to position the company for profitable growth;
The company does not have the financial capacity or time to reset its operations to fully implement the new model and, as a result;
The best available path forward is to sell the company on a going-concern basis.
The court’s protections will enable us to manage the sale process on an expedited basis while protecting the interests of our customers, employees and other stakeholders. Gander Mountain is in active discussions with a number of parties interested in a going-concern sale and expects to solicit bids prior to an auction … in late April 2017. The company expects to submit the winning bid to the Court for approval in early May and anticipates a closing of the sale by May 15.
The company generally expects to conduct normal business operations during the pendency of its restructuring. Employee pay will continue to arrive on time and in full, employee benefits will remain in place, retirement accounts are intact and protected. As a product of the company’s strategic review, 32 underperforming retail locations will begin a shutdown process in the next several weeks.
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Each day, on Facebook, the NRA National Firearms Museum showcases something special from the Museum collections. Earlier this month the Museum displayed a very special Beretta pistol — a gold-plated .32 ACP belonging to legendary airman Chuck Yeager.
This engraved, gold-washed Beretta Model 1935 pistol was presented in 1950 to Brigadier General Chuck Yeager, U.S.A.F., by the Cuban Minister of Defense. (This was before Castro seized power in 1959). Three years before receiving the gun, in 1947, Yeager — piloting the Bell XS-1 — was the first person to successfully break the sound barrier. Yeager was one of the legendary airmen profiled in the book (and Hollywood movie) “The Right Stuff”.
Though this historic, elaborately-engraved sidearm is a “one-of-a-kind” treasure, the Beretta Model 1935 was actually produced in great numbers. Chambered in .32 ACP, more than 500,000 Beretta Model 1935s were made over a 32-year time-span.
You can see hundreds of other interesting firearms on the National Firearm Museum website, www.NRAMuseums.com. Or, if you’re lucky, you can see the collections in person. The NRA now operates three Museum locations: the NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Virginia; the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum (at BassPro) in Springfield, MO; and the Frank Brownell Museum of the Southwest in Raton, NM.
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At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.
1. Whidden Gunworks — Barnard Actions on Sale (up to $445 Off)
Barnard makes great actions, many of which come complete with superb two-stage triggers. For a long-range competition rifle, a Barnard action is a very good choice. And now you can save up to $445.00 on Barnard Precision actions, most including triggers. Prices have been slashed on a wide selection of Barnard actions. For example the model PL is on sale for $970.00, marked down from $1395.00. This is a great opportunity to save. We’re all familiar with the Model P, but check out other models. Potential customers may want to review detailed descriptions and action specs on the Barnard Precision website, www.Barnard.co.nz. NOTE: This sale is limited to inventory on hand, the actions listed below:
Barnard Sale Tip by EdLongrange.
2. Cabela’s — SIG .45 ACP P220 40th Anniversary, $799.99
Every serious gun guy should own a .45 ACP and at least one SIG Sauer pistol. Now you can combine both those “must haves” with an accurate, ultra-reliable SIG P220. This week, the deluxe P220 40th Anniversary model with threaded muzzle as is featured as Cabela’s “Gun of the Week” special. We’ve checked around the web, and this special P220 sells elsewhere for $1060-$1099, so this $799.99 Cabela’s special truly is an exceptional deal, saving you hundreds. This Editor owns two SIG pistols; I can attest that SIG handguns offer class-leading accuracy and reliability.
You don’t need to spend big bucks for an effective spotting scope to view mirage. You can get the Kowa TSN-601 Angled Body for just $249.00 from B&H Photo. An eyepiece will run another $275.00 or so. Though relatively inexpensive, the TSN-601 is used by many top marksmen. This doesn’t have the resolution of the $1500+ spotters but this is find for viewing mirage and spotters.
4. Natchez — Special 5 Reloading Press Kit, $199.99
Looking for a great holiday gift for a family member getting started in metallic cartridge reloading? This RCBS Kit has everything a new reloader needs: single-stage press, powder measure, scale, powder trickler, priming tool, cartridge tray, “rocket” chamfer tool, case lube and more. This is an excellent entry-level reloading kit, on sale for just $199.99 at Natchez Shooters Supplies. We like the relatively compact Special 5 press for most reloading duties. Eventually you may want to add an additional, large heavy press, but this will get the job done. For the combined package, with all the tools one needs to hand-load quality ammo — this is a stunningly good deal at $199.99.
5. Amazon — Lyman Case Prep Xpress $103.99
The Lyman Case Prep Xpress lets you chamfer inside and out, brush your necks, clean/uniform primer pockets, and ream military crimps. On sale at Amazon.com with $103.99 Prime pricing, this is a good deal. Lyman’s Case Prep Xpress sells elsewhere for $130.00 or more. Here is a review from a Verified Purchaser: “The unit is quiet, sturdy, and the attachments do what they are supposed to do. It already has made a difference in my reloading speed, and most importantly, my comfort. I highly recommend this unit.” (Strafer, 4/7/14)
6. Amazon — Bushnell 1-4x24mm Scope for ARs, $119.99
The CMP and NRA now allow magnified optics (up to 4.5X max power) in service rifle matches. You can spend thousands on a high-end scope for your AR, but you just might find that a much cheaper optic will do the job. Consider the Bushnell 1-4x24mm riflescope with 0.1 Mil clicks and BDC reticle calibrated for .223/5.56 55-62 grain ammo. Right now at Amazon.com, you can get this 1-4x24mm Bushnell for just $111.99 with free shipping. That’s a steal — this scope sells elsewhere for up to $155.00. And actual scope owners tell us that this very affordable 1-4x24mm Bushnell holds its own vs. competitive optics costing 3-4 times as much.
7. Midsouth — 6.5mm 123gr Match Bullets, $20.49 per hundred
Do you shoot a mid-sized match cartridge, such as the 6.5×47 Lapua, or 6.5 Creedmoor? Then here’s a great deal. Right now you can get 123gr Nosler HPBT match bullets for just $20.49 per hundred. These are “factory seconds” with cosmetic blemishes, such as water spots. But they are otherwise fine bullets, and your targets will never notice the blemishes. Even if you currently shoot another brand of 6.5mm bullets, you should try these 123gr Noslers at just $20.49 per 100. That’s HALF the price of some other premium 120-130gr 6.5mm match bullets.
8. Midway USA — Vortex Viper 6.5-20x44mm Scope, $329.99
Here’s a great deal on a versatile Vortex Viper 6.5-20x44mm scope that can be used for target work, varmint hunting, or even tactical games. This scope features XD (low dispersion) glass, side-focus parallax, and a 30mm maintube. It offers 1/4-MOA clicks with 65 MOA of elevation adjustment and side-focus parallax control. Two reticle choices are offered: 1) Dead-Hold BDC, and 2) Mil-DOT. Backed by Vortex’s VIP Unconditional Lifetime Warranty, this Viper is on sale for just $329.99 at MidwayUSA, with free shipping.
9. NRA & MidwayUSA — NRA Life Membership, $600.00
Here’s the best deal going right now on an NRA Life Membership. This normally costs $1500.00, but if you CLICK HERE, you can get a life membership for just $600.00, thanks to an NRA/MidwayUSA promotion. You can also save on 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year NRA memberships. Note: This is a limited-time offer.
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Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke signs orders. Photo courtesy Ducks Unlimited.
On his first official day as the 52nd Secretary of the Department of Interior, Ryan Zinke issued his first two secretarial orders benefitting the sportsmen and outdoor communities. Zinke invited various members from the sportsmen’s community for the signing ceremony of the secretarial orders that help expand public land access, as well as opportunities to hunt, fish and recreate across the country.
“Today’s actions by Secretary Zinke are a clear indication that sportsmen and women around the country will have a voice at the Department of Interior,” said Ducks Unlimited CEO Dale Hall. “Providing places for all Americans to hunt, fish and recreate is vitally important, as hunters and anglers are North America’s greatest conservationists. I want to thank Secretary Zinke for his strong commitment and look forward to working with him in his new capacity at the Department of Interior.”
Order 3346 overturns the lead ammunition and fishing tackle ban on Fish and Wildlife Service lands, waters, and facilities, but does not apply to waterfowl hunting. Lead shot has been banned for waterfowl hunting since 1991, and Secretary Zinke’s orders do not affect waterfowl hunters on public lands. The second order, 3347, directs bureaus and agencies to immediately identify areas where recreation and fishing can be expanded. The order also requests the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council and Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council to provide recommendations on enhancing and expanding access on public lands and improving habitat for fish and wildlife.
Secretary Ryan Zinke, who hails from Montana, is an NRA member and an avid outdoorsman. He served as a U.S. Navy SEAL from 1986 to 2008, retiring at the rank of commander.
Secretary Zinke was confirmed with bipartisan support by the Senate on March 1, 2017 with a vote of 68 to 31. Before joining the Department of Interior, Zinke was elected to Congress in January 2014 after a 22-year career with the U.S. Navy. During his term as U.S. Representative from Montana, he has served as a member of the House Natural Resources Committee and has been a strong advocate of keeping public lands open to public use.
Photo by Lapua’s Adam Braverman. Lapua match ammo was used by many competitors.
The NCAA Rifle Championship was held at Ohio State University March 10-11, 2017. The team National Championship went to the powerful West Virginia University squad. The No. 2-ranked WVU Mountaineers rifle team claimed its fifth straight NCAA title in commanding fashion, shooting a championship-record 4723 Aggregate score at Ohio State’s French Field House. This was the Mountaineers’ nineteenth national championship, a remarkable record of excellence.
WVU shooters also secured top honors — the individual titles were both won by West Virginia freshman. Morgan Phillips won the small-bore titles on March 10, 2017. Milica Babic won the air rifle championship the next day.
The Mountaineers’ NCAA championship five-peat is the third in the sport since 1980. WVU previously won six straight titles from 1988-1993, and Alaska-Fairbanks won six straight from 1999-2004.
NCAA Rifle Championship Rules
The NRA Blog has listed some of the more important rules in effect for the NCAA Rifle Championship.
Modern Electronic Targets
The 2017 NCAA Championships used electronic targets, with monitors at each shooting station. That allows spectators to view the scoring in real time. For air rifle, shot at 10 meters, and smallbore, shot at 50 feet, all NCAA competitions using electronic scoring targets shall comply with USA Shooting Rule 6.3.2 and be at least ISSF Phase I approved.
Max Rifle Weight is 8kg (17.64 lbs)
The maximum weight for a complete smallbore rifle cannot exceed 8 kilograms. Previously, a maximum weight of 6.5 kilograms was imposed for female shooters, but as of this season, both men and women can use up to an 8 kg rifle. [Editor: That’s actually a pretty heavy rifle to hold off-hand in the standing stages — it approaches the weight of an F-TR rifle.]
Single Shot Only
NCAA shooters aren’t worried about magazine capacity. Only single shot rifles that must be manually loaded before each shot are permitted in competition. Additionally, only one rifle can be used in the Elimination, Qualification and Finals rounds of an event. The action, barrel and stock cannot be changed, but the shooter can swap detachable buttstocks or accessories (subject to 8kg weight limit).
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Ed Connors placed three consecutive shots all on target at 2160 yards for a sub-3/8 MOA group. Wow.
Amazing shooting — that’s how we’d describe what Ed Connors accomplished recently with his Speedy-built .338 Lapua Magnum LR rifle. Ed nailed a 3-shot group at 2160 yards that would be great at 1000 yards. Check out the target above. Now consider that the shooter was a full mile PLUS 400 yards away. That is truly remarkable accuracy.
At this distance, 2160 yards, one MOA is 22.61″. This three-consecutive-shot group, measuring about 8 inches, works out to less than 3/8 MOA. Think about that — most guys would be elated to shoot 3/8 MOA at two hundred yards. Ed did that at over two thousand yards!
That takes a great rifle, as well as great ammo. Ed says: “I believe in loading like a benchrest shooter to achieve these ultra long-range shots”.
Gunsmith Thomas “Speedy” Gonzalez writes: “Anytime you build a customer a rifle to work out beyond the 1000-yard mark you must work hand-in-hand with your customer and explain everything you are doing to ensure performance at distances most shooters never even contemplate (except in their dreams).
Ed was involved in all aspects of the projects from the reamer print to what we needed for both single-shot work and mag-fed function in timed competition. This was Ed’s very first work-out with his reborn Surgeon-actioned .338 Lapua Magnum. He did great to say the least!”
Pretty Darn Good at One Mile as Well…
While “tuning up” for his 2160-yard session. Ed also produced some very impressive results at one mile (1760 yards). Once he got “dialed in” he delivered three shots you can cover with the palm of your hand. That’s spectacular consistency at one mile.
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The year’s first Starlight 3-Gun Shootout, a unique night-time match, takes place March 10-11 at the Copperhead Creek Shooting Club near Marble Falls, Texas. When the sun comes down this Friday, March 10th, many of the world’s best 3-Gun shooters will add lights and lasers to their comp guns and compete for a trove of cash and prizes. This match is part of a series of night-time events to be held throughout the country in 2017.
Using laser sights and firearm-mounted lights, Starlight 3-Gun competitors will shoot seven stages over two nights, 4 stages Friday night and 3 stages Saturday. The Starlight 3-Gun Championship showcases spectator-friendly pyrotechnics and special effects. Match Director Chuck Anderson says “our goal isn’t just to create a challenging course of fire. We wanted to create a course of fire [with] lights, lasers, strobes, smoke and sound that would absolutely wow spectators, too.
The Starlight 3-Gun Match Series is the brainchild of Jim Shepherd, founder of the Outdoor Wire Digital Network. After Crimson Trace decided to “retire” its popular Midnight 3-Gun Invitational (M3GI) match in Oregon, Shepherd proposed taking the M3GI concept and growing it into a series of exciting night-time 3-gun events with eye-catching lighting effects.
Jim writes: “Shooting for speed and accuracy is challenging enough, but ‘doing it in the dark’ [is] far more impressive for spectators. Accuracy is part of the equation, but unlike precision shooting competitions, you’re racing the clock to shave tenths of seconds off your overall times.
We’ve described it as ‘drag racing with guns’. At the end of the competition, the lowest time wins. It’s a simple measurement system that makes it possible for spectators to actually know who’s leading the match at any given point. And that makes for engaged spectators. And that’s our goal — get people interested in shooting sports.”
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Sandy Froman is a past president of the National Rifle Association (NRA), only the second woman to ever hold that position. Froman grew up in a “gun-free” home in San Francisco, California but now lives in Arizona. Sandy, an attorney with a J.D. from Harvard Law School, is a staunch advocate of the Second Amendment and has promoted pro-Second Amendment legislation.
A member of the NRA Board of Directors since 1992, Froman served as second vice president for five years followed by two years as first vice president. In April 2005 she was elected NRA President. She completed her second term in April 2007 and currently serves as a member of the NRA Board of Directors. Froman was elected to The NRA Foundation’s Board of Trustees in 1992 and became The NRA Foundation’s first woman president. She helped establish the Foundation’s permanent endowment, which now exceeds $53 million.
Here are highlights of the Sandy Froman interview which first appeared in the NRA Foundation’s Traditions Journal, Quarter 4: 2016. These highlights appear courtesy the NRA Blog.
Women are the fastest growing segment in the shooting sports — Why is that?
Froman: Today, women have more responsibility for their day to day lives and the lives of their children than ever before. There are more women who work outside the home. There are more single women and many are single by choice. Women today have a heightened awareness of ordinary crime, of potential domestic violence, and of possible terrorism. Women are becoming more concerned about understanding their choices for personal safety and for defense of their families. This is why more women are buying guns. This is why more women are taking training. This is why more women are getting their concealed carry permits. It’s a change in the culture of our country that is reflected in women’s attitudes and their choices about firearms. I’m a big proponent of women-only firearms classes, but not because I don’t think women can compete with men-they actually compete very well. In an all-female class, women tend to ask different kinds of questions than they would in a co-ed class. Many women come to these classes because they have been a victim of a crime; they have been raped, they have been attacked, beaten, molested. They understand their physical vulnerability, and they want to do something about it. Once they master the basics of mental preparedness, gun handling and marksmanship, they quickly become more confident and go on to competing and hunting and teaching other women. I love seeing women teaching other women informally and supporting other women in the shooting sports.
What words of advice do you have for the future generation of shooters?
Froman: Exercise your Second Amendment rights. My dear friend and former NRA board member, the late David Caplan, warned that rights not exercised cease to exist. If you don’t go to the range and shoot, pretty soon there won’t be shooting ranges. There won’t be places to shoot. If there aren’t places to shoot, there won’t be guns. Guns will be collectibles — things under glass that future historians will talk about: “People actually used to shoot these things”. So I tell folks: Support ranges. Support your gun clubs and gun stores. Support The NRA Foundation. You know why the NRA is so successful? ““Each of us, one by one, together” — Wayne LaPierre says this all the time. You have to go out and do something if you want to be part of the solution.
When did you become a huntress?
Froman: When I was an officer of NRA, I met Larry and Brenda Potterfield of Midway USA. One afternoon on a break from a meeting, I went shoe shopping with Brenda. [Laughs] We were hunting for shoes! And this ties in with the Potterfields since they hosted the first Friends of NRA event in Columbia, Missouri, in 1992. Brenda and I got to know each other and she showed me photos of her family trips to Africa and the animals they hunted. I was intrigued by these pictures of this beautiful, intelligent, well-dressed woman in her hunting clothes with the exotic wild animals she had hunted. I was fascinated by this contrast-here was a cultured, sophisticated woman who loved hunting! Later Brenda invited me to her farm to go pheasant hunting. I had never shot an animal and so at first I wasn’t sure how I would feel about shooting a pheasant. Well, I shot my first pheasant, and I was immediately hooked on hunting. I was invited back to the Potterfield’s farm go wild turkey hunting with Brenda’s husband Larry. Soon after I went to one of the very first Women On Target hunts in Texas. It was a wild pig hunt, so I shot my first mammal. Hunting provides the excitement and satisfaction of being able to hunt animals and eat what you’ve harvested — and I’ve eaten everything I’ve hunted except for this one very nasty, old European mouflon sheep. After I downed the sheep, and asked my guide where I should take the meat for processing, he said, “Lady, you don’t want to eat this.” So hunting my own food has been truly an educational experience for a girl who grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area.
What role do you see the NRA playing in the next 10 years?
Froman: Broadening our base to include and grow the changing demographic of Americans — younger women and minorities. Critics say that NRA membership is only middle-aged white guys. If you look at our members and supporters you will see that is not true. While we still have our traditional membership base, the face of the NRA has changed dramatically over the past 10 years. A lot of new members are women and minorities, and the new members tend to be younger and less rural than in the past. Families are raising their kids to know that firearm ownership in America is part of our culture and we need to keep driving that.
Do you have a favorite quote?
Froman: One is by Judge Alex Kozinski of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, regarding the Second Amendment:
“The Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed – where the government refuses to stand for reelection and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees. However improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get to make only once.”
Here’s a very handy cartridge information sheet you will definitely want to save for future reference. Shown below is Page One of the Primer Size and Bullet Diameter Chart created by Graf & Sons. This chart shows the bullet diameter and primer size for more than 320 popular cartridges. The full three-page chart is available in PDF format for easy printing.
NOTE: If you have the PDF reader installed in your browser, the Graf’s Chart may open in a new tab when you click on the image above. To save the three-page PDF file to your computer or device, click the Floppy Disc icon that appears in the lower right (after the PDF file opens). Here is the direct link:http://www.grafs.com/uploads/technical-resource-pdf-file/12.pdf.
Note: There are a few issues which arise from brass sources. For example, if you are making 22 BR from Lapua brass, you’ll want a small rifle primer. And the 6.5 Creedmoor is not listed (it uses Large Rifle primers for most brass, but Small Rifle primers for Lapua brass). There are a couple other oversights, so we recommend that you double-check your brass before you buy a truckload of primers.
Resource Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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There are still some openings left for the June 2017 Williamsport 1000 Yard Benchrest School. “If you have been considering long range competition, come on out and learn from some of the top shooters in the game. This school will take years off of the typical learning curve.”– Eric Wolfgang, Original PA 1000 Yard Benchrest Club Secretary/Statistician.
Praise from a 1K Benchrest School Grad
Here’s a testimonial from a recent graduate: “I can attest to the knowledge that you gain. I went last year and loved it. Have renewed my membership in the Club and would love to go this year. I would love to take the course again. In the photo above I am in the back row, fourth from the right — sunglasses and blue shirt.” — Bob, Class of 2016
The 10th Annual Williamsport 1000-Yard Benchrest School will be held Saturday June 3 and Sunday June 4, 2017. There are still a few slots available for this year’s session. Classes, taught by top 1K shooters, are held at the Original Pennsylvania 1000-Yard Benchrest Club Range, one of the best 1K ranges in the country. See photos at: www.PA1000yard.com
Participants will learn all aspects of long-range benchrest shooting from some of the most skilled marksmen in the country. Much time is spent at the loading bench and on the firing line. Classes cover load development, precision reloading, bench skills, and target analysis. You don’t even need guns and ammo — all equipment and ammunition will be provided.
School instructors tell us: “This year’s benchrest school will be a 2-day weekend event. (There is also an optional ‘Meet and Greet’ gathering Friday evening). The school is a beginner class designed to teach the fundamental skills needed to be competitive at at 600 and 1000 yards. Saturday will be spent in class covering a range of topics including reloading ‘dos and don’ts’, load development and equipment handling. Sunday we will shoot an actual match to see what you’ve learned.”
Cost for the class is $375.00 including lunches on Sat/Sun and dinner on Saturday. Don’t hesitate if you want to attend the 2017 school. For more INFO email Ray McKinsey, Joe Saltalamachia, or Eric Wolfgang via this Club Contact Page.
This slideshow was produced by Sebastian Reist an alumnus of the 2009 Williamsport 1000-yard BR school. SEE: www.sreistphotography.com.
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Camp Perry photo. Starting this year, the High Power Championships will be held at Camp Atterbury, IN.
There are some big changes this year for the NRA National Rifle and Pistols Championships. The NRA High Power Rifle Championships will be held in Indiana (at Camp Atterbury), not at Camp Perry, Ohio. That’s new for 2017. The smallbore championships was moved a few years back to Camp Wa-Ke’-De Range in Bristol, Indiana. The Pistol Championships will remain at Camp Perry. So, when once all three Championships were held in the same historic place, Camp Perry, now they are in three locations. Some folks lament that change…
REGISTRATION OPEN for Championships
If you want to compete in any of the NRA National Championships, you can now register online. We provide links below for Highpower Rifle, Smallbore, and Pistol Event. When you register, you’ll need an identifier — NRA Member ID, NRA ID (15 digit number) or an NRA National Rifle and Pistol Championships Online Entry ID from a previous year’s entry. See the individual championship entry links listed below.
The IWA Outdoor Classics trade show, aka “Euro SHOT Show”, opened today, March 3rd, in Nuremberg, Germany. For the next four days (March 3-6), 1455 exhibitors will show their products at the Nuremberg Exhibition Centre. This is a hugely popular event — last year’s IWA Outdoor Classics trade show attracted 45,530 trade visitors from 115 countries, and attendance should be even higher this year. IWA is Europe’s biggest combined trade show for the hunting, shooting, and civilian/military security industries. And this year, IWA Outdoor Classics was coordinated with EnforceTac, a two-day Law Enforcment/Security trade show held in Nuremberg March 1-2, 2017.
IWA even features an indoor Archery Range. For many years, the Archery Range has been a popular gathering place where exhibitors and visitors can practice their skills and learn about the latest archery products up close and personal.
About the IWA Outdoor Classics Trade Show
What is now the IWA Outdoor Classics trade show began 44 years ago as Germany’s national product show for gunsmiths and gun retailers. That product show started modestly in 1973 with less than 100 exhibitors. Over the past four decades IWA Outdoor Classics has grown into a massive event, drawing the major players in the hunting, security, and shooting sports industries. In the firearm universe, the IWA event is second only to America’s SHOT Show in importance.
2016 IWA Show Highlights:
Photos courtesy NürnbergMesse.
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Lyman Products now has a full-featured website that is modern, easy-to-navigate, and mobile-friendly. The newly-updated Lyman website features bigger photos, simpler navigation, and a shopping cart system that allows visitors to buy products directly through the site. It is also much easier to find key information, such as user manuals and product demo videos. Here are some “shortcuts” to key resources now available on LymanProducts.com.
The intuitive website allows visitors to create accounts, wish lists and find dealers near them. It’s been organized to allow visitors to easily locate their favorite brands or find products within a specific category such as gun care or shooting and practice gear. An extensive FAQ has been built from the most common customer questions and the video gallery offers instruction on gun cleaning and a sneak peek at what’s new for 2017.
“With the huge array of Lyman products and brands, we knew we had to offer our loyal customers a better platform on which to learn about our many products and brands,” Elizabeth Friedmann, Lyman’s Marketing Services Manager.
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If you watch just one episode of Shooting USA TV this year, it should probably be this week’s hour-long SHOT Show Special. Tonight, March 1, 2017, enjoy a full hour of SHOT Show coverage. Jim Scoutten’s team of gun journalists work hard every January, bringing you highlights from the gun industry’s largest trade show. Jim, son John Scoutten, and other staffers prowled the 12 miles of aisles in the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas, visiting many of the 1,600+ exhibitors. This episode provides a “first look” at the new guns, optics, and gear introduced for 2017. Click HERE to learn more about this week’s SHOT Show episode.
2017 SHOT Show Highlights: Savage MSR Rifles, GA Precision Tempest Action, Smith & Wesson M&P 10 in 6.5 Creedmoor, Colt double-action Cobra, STI Match pistols and a whole lot more.
Shooting USA Hour AIR TIMES
Shooting USA’s SHOT Show Special will air for a full hour on Wednesday, March 1, 2016 on the Outdoor Channel. Here are the air times, but you should check your local schedule. Look for Shooting USA TV on the Outdoor Channel.
Wednesday Night Schedule:
Eastern Time – 9:30 PM; 1:00 AM (TH)
Central Time – 8:30 PM; Midnight (TH)
Mountain Time – 7:30 PM; 11:00 PM
Pacific Time – 6:30 PM; 10:00 PM
Here are some of the 50+ new products featured on the SHOT Show Special:
GA Precision Tempest Action
Colt Cobra Revolver
Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0
Savage MSR 10
M&P 10 6.5 Creedmoor
STI Int’l DVC Steel
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