October 27th, 2016

Jerry Miculek Carves a Pumpkin with a Barrett .50 BMG

Last October, the legendary Jerry Miculek won the Trijicon Shooting Challenge at the Rockcastle Shooting Center. That impressive victory earned Jerry big bucks — a $50,000 grand prize. By any measure, that’s some serious cash — mucho dinero.

To celebrate his Trijicon Challenge victory last October, Jerry Miculek decided to do some pumpkin carving — with a .50 BMG Barrett rifle.

Shooting the 30-lb rifle off-hand, Jerry blasted some serious holes in Mr. Pumpkin. Needless to say, the results were dramatic, if somewhat messy. Advancing the science of terminal ballistics, Jerry (not surprisingly) confirmed that “the 663-grain bullet did manage to penetrate the pumpkin all the way.”

Jerry Miculek earned $50,000 as the winner of the 2015 Trijicon Challenge.
Trijicon Challenge Miculek

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October 26th, 2016

Over 1500 to Attend “Shockwave” Outdoor Gun Show in Arizona

Shockwave in Desert III 2016 full auto peoria Arizona

Billed as “a gun show that you can shoot at”, Shockwave In The Desert takes place October 29 and 30 2016 at the Cowtown Range in Peoria, Arizona. The first Shockwave In The Desert was held in 2013 and drew 400 visitors. Now the unique Shockwave gathering has become one of the largest “hands-on” shooting events in the Western States. The third Shockwave In The Desert is expected to draw more than 1,500 attendees. Firearms fans turn out in droves for the chance to try out new firearms, including many select-fire machine guns.

Shockwave in Desert III 2016 full auto peoria Arizona

Shockwave In The Desert will take place on Saturday, October 29 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, October 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Cowtown Range is located at 10402 W. Carefree Hwy, in Peoria. Parking is free.

View Highlight Reel from 2015 Shockwave in the Desert Event: (NOTE: Loud Gunfire Sounds)

The event is open to the public. You can pre-order tickets at $10 for 1-day access or $16 for a 2-day pass. Admission on event day will cost $15 per person with no discount for multiple days.

Shockwave Line-Up of Hands-On Firearms Demonstrations
Bay 1: Mr. Silencer / Desert Design Development LLC (D3LLC)
Bay 2: AZ Armory / American Spirit Arms
Bay 3: Full Time Open Shooting Bay
Bay 4: We Plead The 2nd / KE Arms – Full Auto Rentals
Bay 5: Apex Tactical / Broken Arrow Tactical Training
Bay 6: Independence Training / KE Arms / Mini Gun
Long Range: Independence Training

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October 25th, 2016

IBS Match Report: 2016 200/300-Yard Score Nationals

IBS Score Nationals Orangeburg South Carolina 30BR Score Benchrest 200 300 H4198 National championships Paul Hammer

Earlier this month the International Benchrest Shooters (IBS) held its annual 200/300 Yard Score Nationals at the Mid-Carolina Gun Club in Orangeburg, South Carolina. The event was attended by 40 shooters from the Mid-Atlantic states. Despite sometimes tricky conditions the IBS competitors produced impressive results. Wayne France shot a great match to win the Grand Agg with 497-14X as well as take top honors at 300 yards (249-6X). Steve Hill won the 200-yard stage with a 250-10X, not dropping a point even in challenging conditions. Finishing a close second in the Grand Agg was bullet-maker Allie Euber with 497-11X. Third overall was Jim Cline with 496-10X.

IBS Score Nationals Orangeburg South Carolina 30BR Score Benchrest 200 300 H4198 National championships Paul Hammer

TOP TEN Grand Aggregate Results
IBS Score Nationals Orangeburg South Carolina 30BR Score Benchrest 200 300 H4198 National championships Paul Hammer

IBS 200/300 Yard Score Nationals, South Carolina, Oct. 14-16, 2016

Report by Paul Hammer, IBS Editor
I attended the 200-300 Yard IBS Score Nationals this year, being held for the first time at the Mid-Carolina Gun Club in Orangeburg, South Carolina. The Mid-Carolina Club is a well-established, multi-discipline shooting facility that offers Benchrest matches, as well as other types of rifle, pistol, skeet, and trap shooting. The well-designed Benchrest facility at the club is fairly new.

The Mid-Carolina Gun Club Benchrest range featured 20 benches, with a new and very nice covered area. There is plenty of room for the competitors to “set up shop” for reloading and do gun maintenance between relays. The Benchrest area even has its own office for weighing in the guns etc., and its own restrooms. The Benchrest area also has a modern PA system that permits the range officers to run the match safely and efficiently.

The Mid-Carolina Gun Club offered 20 concrete benches, sheltered from the sun.
IBS Score Nationals Orangeburg South Carolina 30BR Score Benchrest 200 300 H4198 National championships Paul Hammer

Mother Nature provided extra nice southern weather for everyone for the entire weekend, except for some persistent and tricky winds to keep the shooters on their toes. Friday was the first day of this exacting Benchrest shoot that gave the competitors time for practice and to set up the wind flags before the Saturday 200-yard event. And Saturday’s conditions proved that the wind flags would be necessary!

Shifting Conditions on Saturday Challenged Shooters
Saturday morning started out with lots of erratic shifting winds which tested the competitors’ wind-reading skills. The winds did subside later in the day, but not much, and after each relay shooters were talking about the one or two that “got away” from them.

Benchrest Score shooting is all about trying to “hit the dot” on 25 separate bullseye targets over five relays. The center “dot” is only about 1/16th of an inch in diameter, and if you hit it, the hits score an “X” for you. Perfect scores of 250 are the goal of top competitors in this exacting rifle competition. Hits on the Xs are what break the ties.

IBS Score Benchrest shooting is fun for young and old alike….
IBS Score Nationals Orangeburg South Carolina 30BR Score Benchrest 200 300 H4198 National championships Paul Hammer

Most score rifle shooters usually use a co-axial (Joystick-type) front rest that enables them to rapidly position their rifle for each shot, moving from target to target quickly and precisely.

“Blonde on Blonde” — Here’s a lovely blonde maple stock resting in a custom light-colored wood cleaning cradle box. Handsome gun, nice workmanship on the cleaning box.
IBS Score Nationals Orangeburg South Carolina 30BR Score Benchrest 200 300 H4198 National championships Paul Hammer

Rifles for Score Benchrest are usually built especially for the sport. The 30 BR is by far the most popular cartridge for this discipline. The 30 BR’s larger-diameter bullet hole gives the shooter a scoring edge over a 6mm or smaller caliber. Though the 6PPC is “King of the Hill” in group matches, the larger-caliber 30 BR rules the roost in Score competition.

Mr. Ronnie Long is one of the leading developers of the 30 BR and also an excellent riflesmith. Ronnie showed up Saturday morning for the match to see many of his friends. It was good to see him at the match! It is not surprising that many of the competitors use his rifles. I would also mention that the 30 BRs that Ronnie crafts are really works of art. Ronnie’s custom-built rifles display precision metal and beautiful stock work (many have exotic paint jobs), and of course they are very accurate!

Sunday’s 300-Yard match concluded the tournament. The competitors really seemed to enjoy this match, which gave them the opportunity to pursue perfection in shooting, and to learn from others. Many thanks to the Mid-Carolina Gun Club, whose members assisted with the targets and cooked some great meals. The Mid-Carolina Club proved an excellent host facility, delivering a well-run match and excellent meals for the competitors.

The Mid-South Club in South Carolina hosted this year’s 200/300 Score Nationals.
IBS Score Nationals Orangeburg South Carolina 30BR Score Benchrest 200 300 H4198 National championships Paul Hammer

If you’d like to try out the sport of Benchrest shooting then you’ll be welcome to join us at any of our matches. The IBS offers a variety of rifle-shooting disciplines: Group BR Matches, Score BR Matches, Mid-Range Matches, and Long-Range Matches. It’s a great way to learn a lot about rifle shooting and meet some nice folks too!

For complete match results from the 200/300 Nationals, visit the IBS Website. You’ll find full individual results, plus a full equipment list. Shown below is the the Top TEN equipment list (click to enlarge).

TOP TEN Equipment List — CLICK to VIEW Full-Screen:
Benchrest IBS Equipment list

While some competitors shoot, others reload — that’s the nature of the short-range Benchrest game.
IBS Score Nationals Orangeburg South Carolina 30BR Score Benchrest 200 300 H4198 National championships Paul Hammer

IBS Score Nationals Orangeburg South Carolina 30BR Score Benchrest 200 300 H4198 National championships Paul Hammer

IBS Score Nationals Orangeburg South Carolina 30BR Score Benchrest 200 300 H4198 National championships Paul Hammer

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October 25th, 2016

Sydnie the F-Class Prodigy — Small in Stature but Tall in Talent

Sidney Sydnie Lipski

This profile of a talented young female shooter was so popular when we first ran it last year, we decided to re-publish Sydnie’s story for those who may have missed it the first time. Believe it or not, young Sydnie won the first rifle match she shot, competing as an 8-year-old against adults. She now holds an NRA F-Class “Master” Classification. Here is her remarkable story…

Sydnie Lipski has grown up surrounded by the shooting sports in Michigan. Her father, Alan Lipski, is a gunsmith who began teaching her about rifles and shooting when she was just 3 years old. By the time she was 6, she had already started varmint hunting. At just 8 years of age, Sydnie won her first rifle match, competing against adults in an F-Open event. A year later, at 9 years old, Sydnie fired her first perfect score of 200-11X.

Sidney LipskiShe also earned her Expert Classification. She ended the season in second place for the IOSCO Sportsmen Club’s 3×600 Grand Aggregate. Now 12 years old, Sydnie now holds a “Master” Certification. She may be one of the youngest F-Class “Masters” in the nation. The specs for the rifle in the photos are listed below. However, Sydnie now has a new rifle, custom built to fit her.

Rifle Specifications:
Rifle: Custom 6XC built by Alan Lipski with blue-printed Model 700 Remington action.
Barrel: 1:8″-twist, 6mm Bartlein.
Stock: Custom wood stock by Alan Lipski.
Load: Norma brass, H4831SC powder, Tula primers, and Berger 6mm 105gr Match Hybrid Target bullets.
Alan reports: “Bergers are very forgiving and extremely accurate!”

Sidney Sydnie Lipski

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October 21st, 2016

Is the 300 Raptor the Ultimate .30-Caliber Magnum?

300 Raptor Allen Precision

With the success of the King of 2 Miles (KO2M) event and the growing popularity of extreme long range shooting, we’ve seen an increased interest in really big cartridges for really long range. One such wildcat cartridge is the 300 Raptor pioneered by Kirby Allen. This monster magnum can launch a 230gr bullet at 3350 fps. That delivers some serious ballistics at extreme long range.

300 Raptor Allen PrecisionKirby Allen of Allen Precision Shooting, www.apsrifles.com, has developed a .30-caliber, jumbo-sized magnum wildcat cartridge. The powerful 300 Raptor (center in photo) is based on Allen’s 338 Excalibur parent case (far right in photo), necked down to 30 Cal with shoulder moved forward to increase case capacity. Allen states: “This is the largest capacity and performance .30 caliber magnum on the market that can be used in a conventional sized receiver.”

Shoot 200s at 3600 fps
Performance of Allen’s new 300 Raptor is impressive. Allen claims that “200gr Accubonds can be driven to nearly 3600 fps, 230gr Berger Hybrids to 3350 fps, and the 240gr SMK to right at 3300 fps. These loads offered case life in excess of 6-7 firings per case and many of my test cases have over 8 firings on each case so they are not an overly hot load showing the potential of this big .30 caliber.”

To showcase the new cartridge, Allen built up a prototype rifle with a McMillan A5 stock, Raptor LRSS Action with extended tenon, and a Jewell trigger. The first 300 Raptor Rifle is currently on its second barrel, a new 30″, 3-groove 1:9″-twist Lilja in a custom APS “Raptor Contour”. This distinctive dual-fluted contour runs full-diameter almost to the end of the stock, and then steps down and tapers to the muzzle, where a beefy Medium 3-port ‘Painkiller’ Allen Precision brake is fitted.

300 Raptor Allen Precision

Story tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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October 17th, 2016

Guide to Gun Metals — What You Need to Know

Sweeney Guide to Gun Metal

4140, 4150, 316, 17-4, 6061, 7075-T6 — What is the significance of these numbers? No, they’re not winning lottery numbers. These are all designations for metals commonly used in firearm and barrel construction. 4140 and 4150 are carbon steels, with 4150 often used in mil-spec AR15 barrels. 316 and 17-4 are grades of stainless steel. 316 is “marine grade” stainless, while 17-4 has 17% chromium and 4% nickel. 17-4 is a harder steel used in barrels and receivers. 6061 and 7075-T6 are aluminum alloys. 6061 is “aircraft grade” aluminum, often used for rings and trigger guards, while 7075-T6 is a much stronger, heat-treated aluminum commonly used in AR15 uppers.

Sweeney Guide to Gun MetalYou can learn about all these metals (and more) in the online archives of RifleShooter magazine.

Written by Patrick Sweeney, RifleShooter’s Guide to Gun Metal summarizes the primary types of steel and aluminum used in gun and barrel construction. Sweeney explains the nomenclature used to define metal types, and he outlines the salient properties of various steel and aluminum alloys. This is a useful resource for anyone selecting components or building rifles. We recommend you print out the page, or at least bookmark it.

Metals by the Number
The number system for steel classification came from the auto industry. Sweeney explains: “The Society of Automotive Engineers uses a simple designating system, the four numbers you see bandied about in gun articles. Numbers such as 1060, 4140 or 5150 all designate how much of what [elements are] in them. The first number is what class—carbon, nickel, chromium, and so forth. The next three numbers [list other elements in the alloy]. 4140, also known as ordnance steel, was one of the early high-alloy steels. It has about 1 percent chromium, 0.25 percent molybdenum, 0.4 percent carbon, 1 percent manganese, around 0.2 percent silicon and no more than 0.035 percent phosphorus and no more than 0.04 percent sulphur. That leaves most of it, 94.25 percent, iron.”

Aluminum Alloys
Numbers are also used to differentiate different types of aluminum alloys. Sweeny writes: “Aluminum is used in firearms in two alloys: 7075 and 6061. 6061 is commonly referred to as ‘aircraft aluminum’ and has trace amounts of silicon, copper, manganese, molybdenum and zinc. 7075 is a much stronger alloy and has markedly larger amounts of copper, manganese, chromium and zinc.” 7075 Aluminum has significantly better corrosion resistance, and that’s why it is used for AR receivers. The “T6″ you often see appended to 7075 refers to a heat-treating process.

Aluminum (or “Aluminium” in the UK) is a chemical element in the boron group with symbol Al and atomic number 13. It is a silvery-white, soft, nonmagnetic, ductile metal. Aluminum is the third most abundant element, and the most abundant metal, in the Earth’s crust. (Wikipedia)

Aluminum alloy table chart Silicon Maganese Zinc Copper Magnesium

To learn more about the metals used in your firearms’ barrels, rings, receivers, and internal parts, read Sweeney’s article in RifleShooterMag.com. Taking the time to read the article from start to finish will expand your knowledge of metal properties and how metals are chosen by manufacturers and gunsmiths. CLICK to Read Guide to Gun Metal.

Story Tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions. Aluminum Alloy chart courtesy AluminiumDesign.net.
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October 14th, 2016

Registration Opens for 2017 SHOT Show in Las Vegas

SHOT Show 2017 Las Vegas hotel reservation registration

Think Vegas in January, baby — yes, we’re talkin’ about SHOT Show (Jan. 17-20, 2017). Registration for the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s 2015 SHOT Show is now open for all Attendees and Media. Register online now at Shotshow.org. The SHOT Show hotel booking system is also active. It’s a good idea to reserve rooms early to get the best rates. SHOT Show organizers have negotiated deeply discounted rates at dozens of Las Vegas hotels, with prices as low as $56 per night.

SHOT Show 2015 Las Vegas hotel reservation registration

Scheduled for January 17-20 in Las Vegas, the big gun industry convention is just three months away. While registering, attendees can add Industry Dinner tickets, enroll in SHOT Show University, and/or sign up for other educational offerings.

SHOT Show tip from EdLongrange. We welcome user submissions.
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October 13th, 2016

Santiago “Pays It Forward” in the Pits at Western CMP Games

Dennis Santiago CMP Games Western Ben Avery Volunteer

Sometimes a dedicated shooter just has to help out. That was the case for our friend Dennis Santiago, who drove from Southern California all the way to Phoenix, Arizona this past weekend to help with the CMP Games being held at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility.

Here’s a Facebook post from Dennis Santiago, reporting from Ben Avery:

Western Games Pit Monkey 2016
Competitive high-powered rifle shooting is very much a team sport. Though shot individually, it is the product of many things and many people working together. Sometimes circumstances are such that it means it’s your turn to help. That was the case this weekend. It was so good to see everyone. — Dennis

Pay It Forward
Definition of phrase: 1. Respond to a person’s kindness to oneself by being kind to someone else. E.g.: “I will take the support I have had and try to pay it forward whenever I can.”

We commend Dennis for his willingness to help staff this important shooting event. Likewise we commend all those persons who volunteer to help at shooting matches around the country. Without their commitment and dedication, the shooting sports could not thrive.

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October 11th, 2016

Berger Bullets Joins Nammo Group

Berger Bullets Nammo Press release Nammo group Lapua brass ammunition

Breaking News: Berger Bullets Joins Nammo Group

The Nammo Group, parent of Lapua and Vihtavuori, has announced the acquisition of Berger Bullets, one of the USA’s leading bullet makers. With Berger Bullets joining the Nammo Group, this teams America’s ultra-premium bullet-maker with what is arguably the world’s most respected cartridge brass and ammunition-maker. This is huge news. For competition shooters this may be a “marriage made in heaven”. Many top shooters, including champions like Bryan Litz and John Whidden, are already shooting Berger bullets in Lapua brass. This merger will make it easier for the two companies (Berger and Lapua) to optimize the performance of factory ammo, as well as to optimize brass for use with Berger match projectiles.

A spokesman for Lapua said that Lapua will continue to make bullets in Europe while Berger will conduct its regular operations in the USA: “Lapua will still make bullets, and it will be ‘business as usual’ for Berger at this time. There are no plans to change production sites to consolidate product lines. Berger will continue to operate as an independent business, just under the Nammo umbrella.” NOTE: This acquisition will be subject to regulatory approvals by U.S. governmental authorities.

On firearm industry analyst believes this merger is a “win-win” for both Berger and Nammo: “This will help Berger export more product to the European market while it will give Nammo a stronger connection to the huge U.S. firearms market, expanding Nammo’s North American customer base”. Nammo president/CEO Morten Brandtzæg concurred, stating: “Having Berger Bullets on board is the perfect match for Nammo. Their products, which are complementary to our other premium brands, will strengthen our group’s strategic position in the U.S. commercial ammunition market.” This acquistion WILL include Berger’s ABM Ammunition and J-4 Jackets product lines.

Here is the press release issued by the Nammo Group, which is headquartered in Norway and has 2,100 employees in 12 countries:

Berger Bullets Nammo Press release Nammo group Lapua brass ammunition


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October 11th, 2016

More Details on Berger Bullets Joining Nammo Group

On the heels of the announcement that Berger Bullets will join the Nammo group, the following information was posted on the Long Range Hunting Forum by Doc Beech of Applied Ballistics:

I would like to emphasize a couple of things before you read on. The [acquisition of Berger Bullets by Nammo] CHANGES NOTHING. Production will remain in the same facility, by the same people, to the same quality. Berger Bullets will remain the highest-quality bullets on the market. What this merger does, is it gives these companies [the opportunity] to work together, to provide the highest-quality ammunition.

Lapua is well known for its high-quality brass, VihtaVuori makes high-quality powder, and Berger makes high-quality bullets. When you put the three together, you have the possibility of unmatched, premium … factory ammunition. To be clear, this will not affect the quality or way that Berger bullets are produced.

Q & A about Berger Bullets Joining Nammo Group

Q. What are Nammo’s plans concerning Berger Bullets?
A. Nammo plans on operating Berger Bullets as a stand-alone brand with support from the Nammo Group in a number of areas. First, they would like to help Berger improve the availability of many of their bullets that are in high demand.

Q. Are you going to eliminate any specific bullets? In other words, do they need to stock up!
A. We have no immediate plans to discontinue any of our bullets. We will continue as a part of our normal business practice to discontinue bullets that have been replaced by a superior product or those that do not have a demand sufficient to warrant allocating time in our production schedule. This is just what we have always done as part of our process.

Q. Is Bryan Litz still going to be the ballistician for Berger Bullets?
A. Yes. Bryan is an important part of the Berger Bullet team and our plans definitely include keeping Bryan on as our lead ballistician.

Q. Is Eric Stecker going to remain in charge of Berger Bullets?
A. Eric Stecker will continue as President of Berger Bullets

Q. Are the same dealers going to carry Berger Bullets?
A. Yes, we have no plans to change the way we distribute Berger Bullets to the shooting community.

Q. Does this mean ABM Ammo will have direct access to components like powder and brass?
A. Yes.
Doc Beech – Applied Ballistics
www.abmediaresources.com – www.appliedballisticsllc.com

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October 11th, 2016

2016 GAP Grind — Biggest Precision Rifle Series Event Ever

GAP Grind 2016 George Gardner
Facebook photo by Mike Bowers

GAP Grind 2016 George GardnerThe 2016 GAP Grind, the biggest Precision Rifle Series event in history, was a huge success. Pro Class winner Jim See reports: “What a weekend! The GAP Grind was one of the best-run matches I have ever shot. George Gardner, Shannon Kay, and some of the best ROs in the sport ran 236 shooters [firing 200+ rounds of ammo each] in about 18 hours over two days. Bushnell Sports Optics and G.A. Precision were the title sponsors. Thank you for your efforts to host matches like the Pro-AM. Congrats to Nick Steder and Matthew Saban for the win on the Team portion of the event. I competed against many friends at this match, some shined and some struggled. All of them are top notch. Thanks guys for the help and support through-out the year.”

GAP Grind 2016 George Gardner

GAP Grind 2016 George Gardner
Ramia Whitecotton Facebook photo.

Jim See reports: “Day 2 had every shooter on his own point scoring, with the Amateurs getting coaching from their PRO — that’s such a great match format for learning. My Surgeon Rifle in 6.5×47 Lapua ran flawlessly with my Gen 2 Vortex Razor allowing Berger Bullets to find their mark. My new friend Clifton Reasor brought some of the new Game Changer bags to the match and I snagged one Saturday night. Great product and aptly named — this thing has earned a permanent place in my pack.”

GAP Grind 2016 George Gardner
Josh Temnnen Facebook photo

Charles R. added: “Shannon Kay & George Gardner did an outstanding job running the largest PRS match in history. The ROs and support staff were exceptional. So much greatness in this match…”

One stage required the use of “human support” by one’s team-mate. Here Shooting USA’s John Scoutten provides a strong shoulder for a female competitor.
GAP Grind 2016 George Gardner
Ramia Whitecotton Facebook photo.


There were some very young and very talented junior lady competitors at this year’s GAP Grind. These school-girls had fun and showed the big boys a thing or two.

GAP Grind 2016 George Gardner

George Gardner says this little lady (above) can shoot: “300-yard positional mover, 9 years old, 4 hits! This is what it’s all about people — GAP Grind Pro-Am!”

GAP Grind 2016 George Gardner

Mike R. says: “I couldn’t be more proud of my daughter (above) shooting the GAP Grind. She had a great time and did pretty well for her first huge match flying solo. The good news is she really likes shooting, the bad news is she really likes shooting! I’m looking forward to taking her to many more matches. Thanks Shannon Kay and George Gardner for letting her shoot the Grind. Thanks Alison T. for being her partner. She had a blast!” (photo by Mike R.)

2016 GAP GRIND Gallery

Enjoy the images from the 2016 GAP Grind. Photos, unless otherwise indicated, come from Ramia Whitecotton’s GAP GRIND 2016 photo album.

GAP Grind 2016 George Gardner

Here’s a “Dawn Patrol” shot from Bryan Sikes. He mastered this stage: “6:00 am cold bore…..nailed it!”
GAP Grind 2016 George Gardner

The Pipeline Stage was claustrophobic…
GAP Grind 2016 George Gardner

With 236 competitors, the firing lines at the 2016 GAP Grind were full.
GAP Grind 2016 George Gardner

The shooting platform offered a double-decker challenge…

GAP Grind 2016 George Gardner

Editor’s Comment: It’s great to see such a well-attended and well-run event. Many participants reported that this was probably the “best GAP Grind ever”. That said, we notice from the photos that many competitors did not use eye protection. For myriad reasons that should be obvious, we strongly encourage all competitive shooters, no matter what their discipline, to use quality eye protection whenever shooting firearms.

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October 5th, 2016

Export Control Reform Act Could Benefit Firearms Industry

export control reform act ITAR Department state commerce obama

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) hailed the recent bipartisan introduction of the Export Control Reform Act of 2016 in the U.S. House of Representatives, H.R. 6176, as well as the companion Senate bill, S. 3405, and called on Congress to pass this important legislation.

“The Export Control Reform Act of 2016 seeks to complete what the Obama administration itself began by transferring the export licensing and enforcement oversight of sporting and commercial firearms to the Commerce Department from the State Department,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. “We would especially like to thank the sponsors: House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.); Congressmen Henry Cuellar (D-Texas); Tom Marino (R-Penn.); Gene Green (D-Texas); and Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) for their timely bipartisan leadership as well as Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.) for sponsoring a companion bill in the Senate.”

In August 2009, with the support of the business community including NSS, the Obama administration launched the Export Control Reform (ECR) Initiative. The Initiative’s purpose is to both improve America’s global competitiveness by reducing unnecessary restrictions on exports of commercial items and enhance national security by focusing the State Department’s attention and resources on guarding truly sensitive defense items and technologies. As former Defense Secretary Robert Gates once said, the ECR Initiative’s purpose is “to build a higher fence around a smaller yard.”

The administration has transferred, or is in the process of transferring, to Commerce from State, export licensing responsibility for virtually all commercial, non-military items. The only remaining items yet to be transferred are sporting and commercial firearms and related products. While we have patiently waited for the administration to make ECR progress on our products, small manufacturers, component parts suppliers, distributors, and exporters in our industry, and even gunsmiths and individuals, have to continue to comply with unnecessary regulations and to pay an annual minimum registration fee of $2,250, regardless of whether they actually export. Under the State Department’s Cold-war era export licensing regime, American companies are unable to compete globally on a level playing field.

“Because the administration has not moved forward in a timely manner to complete its own ECR Initiative, it is now time for Congress to move forward with legislation complete the ECR and reduce unneeded and burdensome regulations while improving our global competitiveness, create American jobs and enhance national security,” Keane said. [Editor’s Note: One goal of the ECR initiative is to reduce the burden of ITAR compliance for gunsmiths who do not export any products. SEE ITAR Registration Requirements Report.]

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October 4th, 2016

Bass Pro Shops to Acquire Cabela’s for $5.5 Billion

Bass Pro Shops Acquires Buys Cabela's Retail Chain $5.5 Billion Merger

Bass Pro Shops plans to acquire popular outdoor retail chain Cabela’s (NYSE:CAB) in a $5.5 billion deal expected to close in the first half of 2017. The transaction will be completed through a cash-for-stock purchase by which Cabela’s shareholders will receive $65.50 per share, a premium of 19.2% over Cabela’s closing share price on September 30, 2016. After the merger, Bass Pro will continue to recognize Cabela’s CLUB points, and the branded credit cards will be serviced by Capital One. Details of the $5.5 billion-dollar buy-out are covered in the press release highlights below:

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. & SIDNEY, Neb. (Business Wire) — Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Incorporated (NYSE:CAB), two iconic American outdoor companies with similar humble origins, and with a shared goal to better serve those who love the outdoors, today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Bass Pro Shops will acquire Cabela’s for $65.50 per share in cash, representing an aggregate transaction value of approximately $5.5 billion.

In addition, upon closing Bass Pro Shops will commence a multi-year partnership agreement with Capital One, National Association, a wholly-owned national banking subsidiary of Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE: COF), under which Capital One will originate and service the Cabela’s CLUB, Cabela’s co-branded credit card, and Bass Pro Shops will maintain a seamless integration between the credit card program and the combined companies’ retail operations and deep customer relationships. All Cabela’s CLUB points and Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Rewards points will be unaffected by the transactions and customers can continue to use their credit cards as they were prior to the transaction.

Founded in 1961 by Dick, Mary and Jim Cabela, Cabela’s is a highly respected marketer of hunting, fishing, camping, shooting sports and related outdoor merchandise. Today, Cabela’s has over 19,000 “outfitters” operating 85 specialty retail stores, primarily in the western U.S. and Canada. Cabela’s stores, catalog business and e-commerce operations will blend seamlessly with Bass Pro Shops and White River Marine Group. Over the past 55 years Cabela’s has built a passionate and loyal base of millions of enthusiasts who shop both at its retail stores and online.

Bass Pro Shops, founded in 1972 by avid young angler Johnny Morris, is a leading national retailer of outdoor gear and apparel, with 99 stores and Tracker Marine Centers located primarily in the eastern part of the U.S. and Canada. Morris started the business with eight square feet of space in the back of his father’s liquor store in Springfield, Mo., the company’s sole location for the first 13 years of business. Johnny’s passion for the outdoors and his feel for the products and shopping experiences desired by outdoor enthusiasts helped transform the industry. Bass Pro Shops, which employs approximately 20,000 team members, has been named by Forbes as one of “America’s Best Employers.”

The Cabelas.com website features this message to customers from Cabela’s CEO Tommy Millner:

To Our Loyal Cabela’s Customers,

This morning, we announced that Cabela’s will merge with Bass Pro Shops and, upon closing of the transaction, will begin a multi-year partnership with Capital One whereby Capital One will exclusively service the Cabela’s CLUB Visa card.

We’re really excited about joining forces with Bass Pro Shops to create the truly premier retailer in outdoor sporting goods. We will be able to provide you with access to more locations and the greatest selection of outdoor recreation equipment and apparel in North America.

We have worked hard to ensure that this process is seamless to you. We currently expect to complete the transactions in the first half of 2017, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. Until closing, Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops will continue to operate as separate, independent companies, as they always have. Additionally, we will continue to honor and offer Cabela’s Gift Cards. Please know that we remain committed to upholding the trusted relationship we have built with you and are focused on providing the exceptional service and experiences you have come to expect from us.

For our CLUB members, following the closing of the transaction, we expect to operate the Cabela’s CLUB program without change or interruption. You will see no change to how you earn, save or use your points, and your point balance will not change.

Thank you for your continued support of Cabela’s.


Tommy Millner
Chief Executive Officer

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October 1st, 2016

15th Edition of Cartridges of the World Releases This Month

Cartridge of World Guide book

The new 15th Edition of Cartridges of the World is slated for release on October 24th, 2016, but you can pre-order now via Amazon.com. This massive 680-page reference contains illustrations and basic load data for over 1500 cartridges. If you load for a wide variety of cartridges, or are a cartridge collector, this book is a “must-have” resource. The latest edition (release date 10/24/2016) includes 50 new cartridges and boasts 1500+ photos. This important reference guide can be pre-ordered now through Amazon.com for $21.20. Order now and you’ll get the new 15th Edition hot off the press.

Cartridges of the World, the most widely-read cartridge reference book, has been totally updated, with a newly expanded, full-color 64-page color section featuring essays from some of today’s most prominent gun writers. The 15th Edition of Cartridges of the World includes updated cartridge specs, plus essays by leading writers on the topics of SAAMI guidelines, wildcatting, and new cartridge design trends. In scope and level of detail, Cartridges of the World is the most complete cartridge reference guide in print.

Cartridges of World Barnces 13th Edition

Cartridges of the World by author Frank C. Barnes was first published in 1965. The 15th Edition is edited by W. Todd Woodard, Editor of Gun Tests magazine and author of several firearms reference books. Frank Barnes (1918-1992) began collecting information on handgun cartridges at the early age of 12, thanks to his father, a police officer. Frank Barnes was an innovative cartridge designer, who invented the original 308 x 1.5″ Barnes, predecessor of the 30BR case.

Before Frank began a law enforcement career, he was a college professor. Frank was also a pilot, and a race-car driver. Learn more about Cartridges of the World (15th Ed.) at www.gundigest.com.

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September 29th, 2016

Mid-Range F-TR Nationals — Litz and Team Michigan Triumph

F-Class Mid Range Championship
Ballistics Guru Bryan Litz needed all of his wind-reading skills in Lodi, WI. Conditions were challenging!

Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics won his second straight Mid-Range F-TR National Championship this past weekend. Likewise the Michigan F-TR Team won its second Championship in a row. So it was a heck of a showing by the Michiganders overall. With a strong individual performance, Phil Kelley finished second with his fellow X-Men teammate James Crofts in third. The X-Men Team also garnered second-place in the F-TR Team event. Kelley told us: “It sure is fun to compete with the best in the business — to share the individual overall podium with Bryan Litz and James Crofts is an exciting honor.”

It was a bit cold in Lodi, Wisconsin, photo by K. McSparron.
F-Class Mid Range Championship

F-Class Goes High-Tech with Electronic Targets
This was the first-ever F-Class National Championship that used electronic Targets. Litz offers his perspective on the new E-Targets in the Q&A section below — Bryan is mostly positive about the E-Targets but he says there are still some minor bugs to be worked out.

Bryan, a sling-shooter at heart, has really taken to this F-TR game. He won both the Mid-Range and Long Range F-TR National Championships in 2015 and now he has one 2016 title in the bag. Bryan tells us: “Many thanks go out to all those who’ve supported me in winning my second F-TR Mid-Range National Championship. My serious pursuit of F-TR shooting began the day I called John Pierce and requested: ‘John, build me one like yours’. That rifle and others built by Pierce Engineering are at the top of the game. Thanks also to my many great team-mates on the Michigan and U.S. Rifle Teams who have taught me a lot about this sport. As always the competition was stiff and mother nature gave us some drastically different looks. The challenging weather, combined with the introduction of electronic targets to this sport at the national level, required shooters to be highly adaptable. Thanks to the match organizers and technical staff who did a great job.”

John Pierce (left) and Bryan Litz with his Championship-winning Pierce-built F-TR rifle (2014 photo).
F-TR National Championship

Litz Loads Vihtavuori N140 with 215gr Berger Hybrids in his .308 Win
Bryan told us: “Load data is always a common question and I keep no secrets –I’m running the same basic load I shot the past few years with the exception that I’m now burning 43.0 grains of Vihtavuori N140 instead of Hodgdon Varget in new Lapua brass with Fed 210M primers and 215 Berger Hybrids seated about 0.005″ off the riflings. This gets 2520 fps in a 28-inch barrel. I use this same load for both mid-range and long range.”

Team Competition — Michigan Wins F-TR Division with X-Men in Second
Michigan F-TR Team won its second consecutive Mid-Range National Championship. Congratulations to team-mates Al Barnhart, Doug Boyer, Bryan Litz, and John Roethlisberger. Al and Doug are experienced veterans but this is John’s first experience in a national-level event. Michigan actually fielded two teams in this event and the second squad also won a medal in one of the matches. Byran Litz noted that the Michigan F-TR Team “has been working hard to develop our shooters and many have made it onto the U.S. Rifle Team. We have many great sponsors including: Applied Ballistics, Berger Bullets, Bartlein Barrels, Marksmanship Training Center, Nightforce Optics, Pierce Engineering, and Vihtavuori Powder.” Bryan added: “I also thank Team X-Men for the spirited competition. You guys (James Crofts, Tracy Hogg, Phil Kelly, Ian Klemm, and Ken Klemm) are great and make these team matches very fun.”

Bryan Litz with Michigan F-TR team-mates Al Barnhart, John Roethlisberger, and Doug Boyer.
F-Class Mid Range Championship

Q & A with the Champ — Litz Talks Targets and Match Strategies

We asked Bryan how the new Electronic Target technology used in Lodi alters the F-Class game. As the Long Range Nationals are underway now, we also asked Bryan to comment on Mid-Range vs. Long Range strategies — what does he do different at 1000 yards vs. 600 yards.

1. How did you like the electronic targets? Did this require/allow a change in your shooting style or rhythm (e.g. can competitors shoot faster now with less wait time between shots)?

LITZ: I really like the E-Targets for many reasons. Not pulling pits is the biggest one but the E-Targets also bring a level of fairness that human pullers could never achieve in the sense that everyone gets the same speed ‘service’.

For the 2016 FCNC in Lodi, WI, all the targets are programmed with a 7-second delay which is equivalent to “very good” target service. The system actually shows your shot value immediately, but doesn’t plot the location of the shot for 7 seconds. So if you want to “machine gun” a shot following an X with the same hold, you can take your chances without knowing where the X was.

The E-Targets require some adaptation from regular pit service. For those with many years of experience on traditional targets, it’s just WEIRD that the target doesn’t go up and down or have a spotter in it. All the information you need is on the tablet. This isn’t better or worse, just different. Occasionally the tablets lose signal for a few seconds and it can be frustrating, but this is not different than when a puller missed a shot and you had to “call for a mark”. I think that very soon the connectivity issues will be fully resolved and the systems will operate flawlessly. I know it would be impossible to get all the shooters through on such a small range any other way. The E-Targets have enabled a medium-sized range like Lodi to host a National Championship.

Q: How is the mid-range F-TR game different than long-range F-TR competition?

LITZ: Usually Mid-Range is about consistent precision — not having any fliers and not dropping any points. Mid-Range matches are usually decided by a narrower point spread than long range. Conditions aren’t typically big enough to move you out of the 10 ring very much at mid-range. The first couple days of the 2016 Mid-Range Nationals was just like this. I won the first two days, dropping only 3 points in total. But then the wind picked up on Day 3 and it was totally different! It became more like a Long Range match with all the points falling like rain and [conditions] very difficult to read. Many more 8s and 7s appeared at 600 yards and the field really spread out. In the end I was able to hold onto my lead and win the tournament.

Q. Why the change to Vihtavuori N140 powder? Was it more available or were you seeing lower ES/SD?

LITZ: I’m seeing the same ES/SDs with VV N140 as what I was using before (Varget) and N140 may burn a little cleaner. Also availability has been improving on the Vihtavuori powders in recent years. We (the Michigan F-TR Rifle Team) are very fortunate to have Vihtavuori as a sponsor and look forward to winning many matches with Vihtavuori products.

Editor’s Note: If any readers have results for the F-Open Mid-Range Nationals, please post in the comments section below and we will update this story.

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September 28th, 2016

Western CMP Games & Creedmoor Cup Matches Coming Soon

CMP Western Games Games Creedmoor Cup Ben Avery

Ready for some action in Arizona? The 13th Annual Western CMP Games and Creedmoor Cup Matches will be held at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix, Arizona. The CMP Games run 7-11 October while the Creedmoor Cup Matches take place 12-16 October. All interested shooters are invited to participate in these prestigious, national-level competitions. NOTE: Registration for the Creedmoor Cup matches must be done online via www.creedmoorsports.com.

The CMP Western Games will include the Garand, Springfield, Vintage Military, Modern Military, Rimfire Sporter, Carbine, and Vintage Sniper matches. Along with the shooting matches, the CMP will offer a special CMP Games Match Clinic plus a Small Arms Firing School (Rifle). These training programs can benefit novices as well as experienced shooters. If you need to buy ammo or hardware, the CMP will operate a Sales Booth at Ben Avery all 4 days of Western Games.

Western CMP Games Entry Form | Western CMP Games Online Registration
Western CMP Games & Creedmoor Cup Program | Directions to Ben Avery Range

Creedmoor Cup Schedule and Events
The Creedmoor Cup Matches will begin on October 12th and conclude on October 16th. A great Bar-B-Q on Saturday is included with entry. This year’s Creedmoor Cup schedule includes the following events: High Power Rifle Clinic, Creedmoor Cup Match (2400 point aggregate), 4-Man Team Match, and Creedmoor EIC Match. The Special High Power Shooting Clinic will include lectures, demonstrations and dry-fire training by some of the world’s most talented service rifle marksmen.

CMP Games Creedmoor Cup Ben Avery

Western CMP Games Matches

  • Garand & Springfield Match Clinic
  • John C. Garand Match
  • Springfield Match
  • Vintage Military Rifle Match
  • Small Arms Firing School/M16 Match
  • Rimfire Sporter Match
  • Carbine Match
  • Vintage Sniper Match
  • Modern Military Rifle Match
  • Western Creedmoor Cup Events

  • High Power Rifle Clinic
  • Creedmoor Cup (2400 point aggregate)
  • 4-Man Team Match
  • Creedmoor EIC Match
  • To see a real pro shooting Service Rifle, check out the above video. That’s former National Champion (now Creedmoor Sports G.M.) Dennis DeMille, shooting 300-yard Rapids from the prone position. This was filmed at the 2010 Berger Southwest Nationals at Ben Avery. You’ll see Dennis adjusts his sights while looking through the spotter. Then watch how calm and steady Dennis stays from shot to shot. That comes with years of practice and training.

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    September 27th, 2016

    Remington Trigger Dispute Class Action Settlement Notice

    Remington trigger X-Mark connector settlement class action lawsuit

    If you have a Remington bolt-action rifle, you may qualify for a trigger upgrade, a voucher, or reimbursement of costs spent changing out your trigger mechanism.

    These benefits result from the settlement of a class action lawsuit which alleged that Remington trigger mechanisms with “trigger connectors” and X-Mark Pro® triggers could have accidental discharges without the trigger being pulled. The settlement involves two classes. The first class includes owners of firearms that utilize a trigger connector. The second class includes owners of firearms that utilize the X-Mark Pro trigger mechanism that is the subject of a voluntary safety recall. The settlement allows owners of Remington models 700, Seven, and related models to have their trigger replaced free of charge, among other benefits.


    The Settlement provides benefits to: Current owners of Remington Model 700, Seven, Sportsman 78, 673, 710, 715, 770, 600, 660, XP-100, 721, 722, and 725 firearms containing a Remington trigger mechanism that utilizes a trigger connector; Current owners of Remington Model 700 and Model Seven rifles containing an X-Mark Pro trigger mechanism manufactured from May 1, 2006 to April 9, 2014 who did not participate in the voluntary X-Mark Pro product recall prior to April 14, 2015; and Current and former owners of Remington Model 700 and Model Seven rifles who replaced their rifle’s original Walker trigger mechanism with an X-Mark Pro trigger mechanism.


    Settlement Class Members may be entitled to: (1) have their trigger mechanism retrofitted with a new X-Mark Pro or other connectorless trigger mechanism at no cost to the class members; (2) receive a voucher code for Remington products redeemable at Remington’s online store; and/or (3) be refunded the money they spent to replace their Model 700 or Seven’s original Walker trigger mechanism with an X-Mark Pro trigger mechanism.


    If you are in the affected class you can submit a claim form electronically by clicking the link below:


    Even if you do nothing you will be bound by the Court’s decisions. To keep your right to sue the Defendants yourself, you must exclude yourself from the Settlement Class by November 18, 2016. If you stay in the Settlement Class, you may object to the Settlement by November 18, 2016. For more info, or to make a claim, call 1-800-876-5940 or visit www.remingtonfirearmsclassactionsettlement.com.

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    September 27th, 2016

    CMP Hosts Talladega 600 in December, “A Southern Classic”

    Are you from a Northern state that’s snowbound in the winter? Looking for a fun December diversion (and a break from cold weather)? Then consider a trip to Talledega, Alabama. This December, the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) hosts the Second Annual Talladega 600, “A Southern Classic”, at the Talladega Marksmanship Park. This event for rifle, pistol, and shotgun shooters kicks off Tuesday, December 6, 2016, and concludes Sunday, December 11th. It should be fun for the whole family. For more info, visit the Talladega 600 Webpage.

    Competitors of all ages and skill levels are welcome at the Talladega 600. Events will include popular CMP Games Matches: Garand, Springfield, and Vintage Military Match, as well as the Vintage Sniper, Carbine and Rimfire Match. There will be a Small Arms Firing School with an M16 Match, the Congressional 30 (similar to President’s Rifle Match), the Dixie Double Highpower Match, and an EIC Rifle Match. Pistol events will include the .22 Rimfire EIC Pistol Match, the Service Pistol EIC Match, the As-Issued 1911 and the Military & Police Matches. Shotgunners can enjoy a Sporting Clays Shoot and a 5-Stand Shoot.

    Talladega 600 Match Schedule | Talladega 600 Online Registration

    Talladega Marksmanship Park
    The 500-acre CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park is one of the most impressive shooting venues in North America. Talladega boasts superb facilities and state-of the-art electronic target systems. Each rifle firing point is equipped with a modern KTS electronic target and scoring monitor. Located beside each shooter on the firing line, these monitors allows competitors to see shot locations and scores instantly — no more waiting for targets to pulled and then marked with with a spotter disc.

    Electronic Targets Vintage sniper Talladega CMP

    For spectators following the action, large monitors inside the comfortable 13,000-square-foot Clubhouse will display scores from the shooting matches as they are being fired. Scores are also viewable online through the CMP’s Competition Tracker.

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    September 26th, 2016

    How to Win in F-TR Competition — Tips from Mike and Stan

    F-TR shooting Competition Mike Miller Stan Pate

    F-TR Stan Pate SavageOver the past few years, participation in F-Class competition has grown dramatically. At the 2013 SHOT Show we had a chance to talk about F-TR competition with then-U.S. National F-TR Team members Mike Miller and Stan Pate, two of America’s top F-TR shooters. With the U.S. F-Class Nationals underway this week (in Lodi, Wisconsin), we are reprising this interview for readers who may have missed it the first time around. If you shoot F-TR (even if you’re a High Master), we think you’ll learn a few things from this interview.

    In this interview, Mike and Stan agreed to share their vast store of knowledge about long-range shooting. In a wide-ranging dialog, we discussed many topics of interest to F-Class shooters: position set-up, bipod shooting techniques (and hardware), gun-handling, and bullet selection. In addition, Mike and Stan offer some great advice on wind reading and precision reloading. These general tips will benefit all competitors, no matter what their discipline.

    Watch Video for Tips from past U.S. National F-TR Team Members Mike Miller and Stan Pate

    If you shoot F-TR or you are considering getting involved in this fast-growing shooting sport, definitely watch this 14-minute video interview from start to finish. Mike and Stan are true F-TR gurus whose knowledge of the F-TR game has been gleaned from years of top-level competition. If you shoot a .308 from a bipod, we guarantee you can learn much from Mike and Stan. If you follow their advice, we bet you’ll see your scores improve in future matches.

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    September 25th, 2016

    Join the Fun at the Texas Firearms Festival in October

    Texas Firearms Festival Liberty HIll Austin TX try buy

    You have to love Texas. While in other states (such as California) gun rights are under attack, in Texas, gun ownership is cherished and even celebrated…

    Proof is the Texas Firearm Festival (TXFF), a celebration of shooting where you can “try and buy” the latest guns and gear. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill gun show. At the Texas Firearms Festival, the biggest “hands on” firearm exhibition in North America, you can “test drive” dozens of new firearms from top manufacturers including: FN, Sig Sauer, STI, Walther Arms, Remington, Taurus, Blaser, Henry Repeating Arms, Bergara, Benelli, Wilson Combat and more.

    Texas Firearms Festival Liberty HIll Austin TX try buy

    The TXFF takes place October 14-16 at the Best of the West Shooting Range in Liberty Hill, Texas, just outside Austin. The Third Annual Texas Firearms Festival is a two-day event where firearms enthusiasts can try and buy guns and gear from leading manufacturers. Saturday and Sunday ammo is all free! And with some of Austin’s best food trucks and exhibits, the festival is great for the whole family.

    Here are video highlights from last year’s Texas Firearms Festival (loud volume):

    Texas Firearms Festival Highlights:

    • 20+ Dedicated Firearms Demonstration Try & Buy Bays.
    • Retail Village Showcasing the Best in Ammo and Accessories.
    • Full Auto Friday on Friday, October 14th for VIP Ticket Holders.
    • Ammunition Provided to Ticket Holders.

    Texas Firearms Festival Liberty HIll Austin TX try buy

    Texas Firearms Festival Liberty HIll Austin TX try buy

    Ticket Options and Prices
    The Festival isn’t free — but the price is more than reasonable considering the hours of fun you can have. A one-day pass, which includes the cost of ammo, is $79.00. A weekend pass for two full days of shooting is $119.00 (ammo included). There is also a $275.00 VIP Package which includes Full Auto Friday. And non-shooter tickets are available for $25.00. Purchase tickets at TexasGunFest.com/ticket.

    Texas Firearms Festival Liberty HIll Austin TX try buy

    Festival Location and Directions
    The Festival will be held at the Best of the West Shooting Range in Liberty Hill, Texas. The address is 19500 W. SH 29, Liberty Hill, TX 78642. For driving directions, use this interactive Google map:

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