December 21st, 2014

Ultimate Gifts: Technoframes Ammo and Handgun Display Units

What do you get for the shooter “who has everything”? How about a custom-crafted, laser-engraved ammo display case. Technoframes produces a series of ultra-sleek Ammo display units, and high-tech pistol racks. The CNC-machined display boxes, fitted to your choice of cartridge, look great. There are many varieties to choose from, including wood, metal, and plexiglass. We like the fact that many of the boxes are lockable.


Technoframes’ impressive billet-aluminum pistol racks, with magazine-style gun holders (fitted with Neodymium magnets in their bases) put ordinary plastic or wire-framed racks to shame.

Last but not least, Technoframes also makes a plexiglass-sided gun transport box and a double-tiered, two-pistol/six-magazine gun display box with removable inner tray. These units look like they were produced by “M” for James Bond.

Technoframe gun box

Technoframes is the world’s leading producer of high-end CNC-machined ammo and handgun storage solutions. Along with display cases, Technoframes offers Snap Caps and historical replica ammunition. For more info, visit Technoframes.com.

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December 20th, 2014

Quick History of Silhouette Shooting

The NRA Blog ran an feature on Silhouette shooting by NRA Silhouette Program Coordinator Jonathan Leighton. Here are selections from Leighton’s story:

NRA Silhouette Shooting
The loud crack from the bullet exiting the muzzle followed by an even louder ‘clang’ as you watch your target fly off the railing is really a true addiction for most Silhouette shooters. There is nothing better than shooting a game where you actually get to see your target react to the bullet. In my opinion, this is truly what makes this game so much fun.

Metallic Silhouette — A Mexican Import
Silhouette shooting came to this country from Mexico in the 1960s. It is speculated that sport had its origins in shooting contests between Pancho Villa’s men around 1914. After the Mexican Revolution the sport spread quickly throughout Mexico. ‘Siluetas Metalicas’ uses steel silhouettes shaped like game animals. Chickens up front followed by rows of pigs, turkeys, and furthest away, rams. Being that ‘Siluetas Metalicas’ was originally a Mexican sport, it is common to hear the targets referred to by their Spanish names Gallina (chicken), Javelina (pig), Guajalote (turkey) and Borrego (ram). Depending on the discipline one is shooting, these animals are set at different distances from the firing line, but always in the same order.

Before Steel There Was… Barbeque
In the very beginnings of the sport, live farm animals were used as targets, and afterwards, the shooters would have a barbeque with all the livestock and/or game that was shot during the match. The first Silhouette match that used steel targets instead of livestock was conducted in 1948 in Mexico City, Mexico by Don Gonzalo Aguilar. [Some matches hosted by wealthy Mexicans included high-ranking politicians and military leaders]. As the sport spread and gained popularity during the 1950s, shooters from the Southwestern USA started crossing the Mexican border to compete. Silhouette shooting came into the US in 1968 at the Tucson Rifle Club in Arizona. The rules have stayed pretty much the same since the sport has been shot in the US. NRA officially recognized Silhouette as a shooting discipline in 1972, and conducted its first NRA Silhouette Nationals in November of 1972.

Now There Are Multiple Disciplines
The actual sport of Silhouette is broken into several different disciplines. High Power Rifle, Smallbore Rifle, Cowboy Lever Action Rifle, Black Powder Cartridge Rifle, Air Rifle, Air Pistol, and Hunter’s Pistol are the basic disciplines. Cowboy Lever Action is broken into three sub-categories to include Smallbore Cowboy Rifle, Pistol Cartridge Cowboy Lever Action, and regular Cowboy Lever Action. Black Powder Cartridge Rifle also has a ‘Scope’ class, and Hunter’s Pistol is broken into four sub-categories. Some clubs also offer Military Rifle Silhouette comps.

Where to Shoot Silhouette
NRA-Sanctioned matches are found at gun clubs nation-wide. There are also many State, Regional, and National matches across the country as well. You can find match listings on the Shooting Sports USA website or contact the NRA Silhouette Department at (703) 267-1465. For more info, visit SteelChickens.com, the #1 website dedicated to Silhouette shooting sports.

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December 19th, 2014

Definitive Book for Black Rifle Gear-A-Holics

Kevin Muramatsu’s new book, Gun Digest Guide to Customizing Your AR-15, is a great resource for fans of AR-platform rifles. All the AR options you can imagine are covered: suppressors, premium barrels, adjustable stocks, free-float handguards, ergonomic grips, buffer systems, tactical lights and much more. Those planning an AR rifle build will find application-specific suggestions for 3-Gun, Service Rifle, High Power (Space Gun), Hunting, and Self-Defense use.

AR AR15 Armalite Black Rifle Book Gun Digest AR AR15 Armalite Black Rifle Book Gun Digest

Firearms expert Muramatsu offers advice on choosing the right stock/barrel/optics configuration for your particular game. He also discusses the wide variety of options for slings, grips, magazines and other accessories. With over 520 photos, the book includes a large photo gallery of customized ARs, and includes bonus coverage of the FAL and other “tactical” firearms. The Gun Digest Guide to Customizing Your AR-15 is available from Amazon.com for $22.22, and a Kindle eBook version is offered for $14.99. The book is also sold by Barnes & Noble, and most other major booksellers.

AR AR15 Armalite Black Rifle Book Gun Digest
Photo Courtesy Cabela’s Gun Sports

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December 18th, 2014

Boone and Crockett Club Rejects Scoring for Captive Game

Boone & Crockett Club Hunting fair chaseThe Boone and Crockett Club (B&C) has renounced the use of its name and scoring system in conjunction with hunting programs that use captive deer and elk. “With the growth of the deer breeding and shooting industry, and modern marketing and selling of ‘shooter bucks’ raised in captivity and graded and sold using B&C scores, it was time to make this unauthorized use of our scoring system more widely known,” said B&C club president William A. Demmer.

The Idaho Statesman agrees: “The Boone and Crockett Club has reinforced its heritage as a conservation organization by banning the use of its name and scoring system for captive deer and elk advertised for or killed in canned hunts. It’s the right call for the club and an important step to separate trophy, free-ranging big-game animals taken by hunters under fair-chase conditions from captive animals manipulated to grow large antlers and shot in a controlled, captive environment.”

For nearly 100 years Boone and Crockett’s record books and B&C scores have been considered the gold standard for evaluating and verifying the trophy quantity of wild, native North American big game taken under fair chase conditions. With this resolution, ratified at Boone and Crockett’s 127th annual meeting this month, B&C is taking a firm stand against captive game hunting programs:

The Boone and Crockett Club scoring system exists to document the successful conservation of wild game animals in North America. The Boone and Crockett Club objects to and rejects any use of or reference to the Boone and Crockett Club or its scoring system in connection with antlers/horns grown by animals in captivity.

Through this official resolution, the Club reaffirms that no one is authorized to exploit this standard by using the B&C scoring system, name or logo in connection with captive animals. The Club strictly opposes any attempt to legitimize the trophy quality of pen-raised animals or put and take shooting operations by associating either with the Boone and Crockett Club.

About Boone and Crockett Club Scoring
The Boone and Crockett Club’s records program was established in 1906 as a way of detailing species once thought headed for extinction. In response to public interest generated by B&C’s National Collection of Heads and Horns in the 1920s, and increased hunting by the general public, the Club established an official measurement and scoring system for trophy big game. The National Collection and the measurement system were initially conceived to record species of North American big game thought to be vanishing. Club Members and others in the scientific community soon recognized that the system was an effective means of tracking the success of new conservation policies. Today, the B&C scoring system is used to collect data on free-ranging big game. These data reflect successful conservation efforts, population health and habitat quality. Biologists compare and contrast records to improve local management strategies as well as state and federal wildlife policies.

Boone & Crockett Club Hunting fair chase

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December 17th, 2014

Man vs. Machine — Comparative Rifle Accuracy at 600 Yards

Man versus machine USAMU AR15 M16 High Power National Record

Can a human being, hand-holding a rifle, out-shoot a mechanical test rest? Who would win in this battle between man and machine? You might just be surprised. At 600 yards, with an AR-platform rifle, the results can be remarkably close, based on targets provided by the USAMU. When clamped in a test rig, a USAMU M16A2 produced a 200-18X group with handloads. The USAMU says this was “one of our better 20-shot groups at 600 yards, testing ammo from a machine rest”. Can a human do better?

Man versus machine USAMU AR15 M16 High Power National Record

Remarkably, a human soldier came very close to matching the group shot from the machine rest. The photo below shows a 20-shot group shot by a USAMU marksman with sling and iron sights, using USAMU-loaded ammunition. The score, 200-16X, was nearly the same. As you can see, the USAMU rifleman didn’t give up much to the machine rest, even at 600 yards!

Man versus machine USAMU AR15 M16 High Power National Record

In fairness, this was no ordinary human performance. The 200-16X score was a new National Record set in December, 1994. This was fired by PFC Coleman in an Interservice Match at Okeechobee, Florida. Nice shootin’ soldier!

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December 16th, 2014

Youngsters Learn Outdoor Skills at Texas Marksmanship Camp

Wondering what to give a niece, nephew, or one of the grand-kids this Christmas? Well how about giving them something special — a 5-day camping experience, hosted by Top Shot’s Dustin Ellermann. Dustin reports that: “Youth Marksmanship Camp 2015 Spring Break Dates have been announced, and folks are grabbing them up as Christmas presents. Visit Marksmancamp.com to learn more….”

Dustin Ellerman Marksmanship Camp Shooting Zavalla Texas Christian

Dustin Ellerman Marksmanship Camp Shooting Zavalla Texas Christian

At Camp His Way in Zavalla, Texas, Ellermann hosts weekend Marksmanship Camps for kids aged 9-13 and teens 14-18. The Christian-oriented camps focus on safety, marksmanship skills, and team building. Campers enjoy a host of fun skill-oriented activities: Airgun Shooting, Archery, Blowguns, Knife Throwing, Paintball Games, Slingshots, Tomahawk Throwing, and of course Rimfire Rifle Marksmanship with a variety of rifles. Spots are now available for three weekends in March 2015:

March 10-11, 2015 – Kids Marksmanship Camp, Ages 9-13
March 13-14, 2015 – Teen Marksmanship Camp, Ages 14-18
March 20-21, 2015 – Kids Marksmanship Camp, Ages 9-13

Dustin Ellerman Marksmanship Camp Shooting Zavalla Texas Christian

The Camp Weekend cost $270 for kids 9-13 and $300 for teens 14-18. This fee includes all ammo and equipment, meals and lodging, and a team t-shirt. CLICK HERE to reserve a spot this spring.

Dustin Ellerman Camp His Way

Notice the young campers always wear ear and eye protection when shooting firearms. That’s as it should be. We wish adult shooters, including benchrest, smallbore, High Power, and F-Class competitors, followed this important safety practice.

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December 14th, 2014

Need Official Targets? Here Are Your Options…

Target NBRSA IBS NRA shooting sources vendor printingAccurateShooter.com offers dozens of FREE, printable targets for target practice, load development, and fun shooting. We also offer a few of the most popular NRA Bullseye targets. One or more of these printable targets should work for most training purposes. However, some readers have asked: “Where can we get the real targets… exactly like the ones used in NRA, IBS, and NBRSA shooting matches?”

Sources for Official Shooting Competition Targets
Here are seven (7) sources for official match targets:
ALCO Target Company, American Target Company, Kruger Premium Targets, National Target Company, Orrville Printing, Pistoleer.com, and U.S. Target Company.

All these vendors carry nearly all the NRA High Power and Smallbore targets, including the new, smaller F-Class targets. Germany’s Kruger Targets sells all the important NRA targets, and international (ISSF) air rifle and smallbore targets too.

NRA Target IBS Hunter Rifle Target

Kruger Targets

Orrville Printing currently sell IBS targets for rimfire (50 yard) benchrest, short-range centerfire Benchrest (100, 200, 300 yards), Hunter BR Rifle (100, 200, 300 yards), plus the official 600-yard and 1000-yard IBS targets. National Target Company also has most of the IBS targets. NBRSA short-range, 600-yard, and 1000-yard benchrest targets are available directly from the NBRSA Business Office. Call (307) 655-7415 to order for the season.

Available Official Competition Targets
Vendor NRA High Power F-Class NRA Smallbore Air Rifle/Pistol IBS NBRSA Other
ALCO Target
Company
Yes, All No Yes Yes No No Archery, IDPA, IPSC, Police, Realistic, Shoot-N-C, Silhouette, Fun Targets, Pasters.
American Target
Company
Yes, All Yes Yes, All Yes No No USBR, Sight-in, Muzzle-Loading, Police Silhouette
Kruger Premium
Targets
Yes, All Yes Yes, All Yes No No IDPA, IPSC, Animal Shapes, ISSF, Sight-in, Fun Targets
National Target
Company
Yes, Nearly All Yes Yes, All Yes Yes* No IDPA, IPSC, FBI, Police Silhouette, Sight-in, Target Backers, Pasters
Pistoleer.com Yes Yes Yes, most and color training Yes Yes No Bianchi, FBI, IBS, IDPA, IPSC, Silhouette, Archery, Pasters
U.S. Target, Inc. Yes Yes Yes, All Yes No No Bianchi, FBI, Police Silhouette, IPSC, Realistic Silhouette, Varmint

ALCO Target Co., Ph: (626) 358-4814, 2048 Central Ave., Duarte, CA 91010
American Target Co., Ph: (877) 733-0433, 1328 South Jason St., Denver, CO 80223
Kruger Premium Targets (USA Sales), Ph: (503) 746-6816, 125 W. Main St., Hillsboro, OR 97123
National Target Co., Ph: (800) 827-7060, 3958-D Dartmouth Ct., Frederick, MD 21703
Orrville Printing Co., Ph: (330) 682-5066, 1645 N. Main St., Orrville, OH 44667
Pistoleer.com, Ph: (618) 288-4588, 12 Schiber Court, Maryville, IL 62062
U.S. Target Inc., Ph: (800) 746-6836, 16472 Common Rd., Roseville, MI 48066

NBRSA 600 yard Target NRA Air Rifle Target
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December 13th, 2014

Get FREE 2015 SHOT Show Mobile App

SHOT Show 2014 Mobile App iOS Apple Android smartphone iphoneHeaded to SHOT Show in January? Then you should download the FREE SHOT Show Mobile App. Available for iOS (Apple), and Android OS devices, this App will really make it easier to plan your SHOT Show schedule, and navigate the floor of the Sands Convention Center. (There’s even a web-based app for Blackberry and Windows devices.) Learn more about the App at SHOTmobile.com.

GET FREE Apple (iOS) App

GET FREE Android OS App

Handy Interactive Map
The App includes an interactive map that can direct you from your current location to your next destination. Arrange your meetings with a handy scheduling calendar. And you can search for any SHOT exhibitor by name or product category. In addition, the App lists major show events as well as important new products.

SHOT Show 2014 Mobile App iOS Apple Android smartphone iphone

The Free SHOT Show App lets you do some very cool things with your smartphone. You can contact exhibitors directly through the App to request appointments or callbacks. You can take notes while visiting a vendor’s booth or attending a seminar. Of course you can schedule your agenda, and see an entire day’s events in a glance. But perhaps the best function of all is the “Smart Route”. This allows you to create the most efficient point to point route from one booth location to another.

SHOT Show 2014 Mobile App iOS Apple Android smartphone iphone

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December 8th, 2014

Stocking Stuffers for Shooters — Eight Items Each Under $10.00

Christmas is coming up soon, so today we’re featuring a hand-picked collection of “stocking stuffers” for precision shooters. You can order most of these items online, and if you get your orders in soon, your selections should arrive before December 25th. So as not to bust your holiday budget, all of our selections are priced under $10.00. These items are handy tools that you’ll use over and over again at the range and/or at your loading bench (so you’re allowed to buy them for yourself, even after Christmas).

Gifts $1 to $5 


Surveyors Tape
$1.99
Hood quick estimator group size gauge
Hood Kwik Estimator
$2.50
Edmunds bifocal Magnifier
Bifocal 3X/6X Magnifier
$2.75
Sinclair Barrel Mirage Shade
Barrel Mirage Shade
$4.95

Surveyors’ Tape. Always watch the wind when you shoot. Inexpensive, Day-Glo Surveyors’ Tape (aka “Flagging Tape”), attached to a stake or target frame, makes a good wind indicator. It will flutter even in mild breezes, alerting you to both angle and velocity shifts. This should be part of every range kit. Don’t leave home without it.

Hood Kwik Estimator. Here’s a very handy tool to measure your 6mm groups. Bracket the group within the diverging lines of the Kwik Estimator and you’ll instantly get a good approximation of the actual group size. No more trips to the tool box for calipers. The inexpensive Kwik Estimator fits in a shirt pocket. (Thanks to Boyd Allen for this suggestion.)

Bifocal 3X/6X magnifier. This handy, inexpensive dual-power magnifier is always close at hand on our loading bench, because it helps with so many task. We use a compact magnifier to inspect bullet tips, to check brass chamfers, and inspect the internals of triggers and other parts. Priced at just $2.75, a magnifier like this (or the folding variety) is a “must-have” item for every hand-loader.

Sinclair Barrel Mirage Shade. For high-volume varminters, and competitors who shoot fast in warm weather, a mirage shield is absolutely essential. This prevents hot air rising off the barrel from distorting the image in your scope. The aluminum Sinclair shield can be trimmed to fit, and comes with stick-on Velcro attachments. Two lengths are available: 18″ for short BR barrels, and 24″ for longer barrels.

Gifts $6 to $10 


Dewey Crocogator
$6.50
Ballistol multi-purpose gun lube
Ballistol Aerosol Lube
$8.99
Sinclair Barrel Storage Bag
Sinclair Barrel Bag
$9.95

Sinclair Load Block
$9.99

Dewey Crocogator. The Crocogator tool, with knurled “teeth” at both ends, is simple, inexpensive, and compact. Yet nothing zips though primer-pocket gunk faster or better. Unlike some cutter-tipped primer pocket tools, the Crocogator removes the carbon quick and easy without shaving brass. One end is sized for large primer pockets, the other for small.

Ballistol Aerosol Lube. Ballistol is a versatile, non-toxic product with many uses in the reloading room. We have found it is ideal for lubricating cases for normal full-length sizing. It is clear, not gooey or chalky like other lubes. It is very, very slippery, yet is easy to apply and just as easy to wipe off. As you lube your cases, the Ballistol will also clean powder fouling off the case necks. For heavy-duty case forming and neck expansion, we’ll still use Imperial die wax, but for every-day case sizing, Ballistol is our first choice. It also helps prevent your dies from rusting and it even conditions leather. Ballistol is a favored bore cleaner for Black Powder shooters because it neutralizes acidic powder residues.

Santa Christmas Stocking giftsSinclair Barrel Bag. If you run a switch-barrel rig, or take spare barrels to a big match, this simple but effective barrel bag will protect your valuable steel. The bag is moisture-resistant vinyl on the outside with a soft, quilted interior to protect the barrel’s finish and delicate crown. There are two sizes: one for barrels up to 26 inches, the other for barrels up to 31 inches. Both sizes are priced at $9.95 per bag. That’s cheap insurance for those priceless barrels.

Sinclair ‘Poly’ Loading Block. We’ve tried wood and injection-molded loading trays, and we prefer Sinclair’s white polyethylene loading blocks. They featured chamfered holes properly sized for the particular case you reload. The blocks are heavy enough to be stable on the bench, and the “dishwasher-friendly” material is easy to clean. The standard Poly Loading Block holds 50 cases, while the Competition Loading Block holds 25 cases with a tray for empties. For a bit more money, there’s also a Heavy-Duty 50-case model with an extra-thick 1″ base.

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December 8th, 2014

2015 Guns & Gear in Shooting Industry New Product Showcase

SHOT Show Product Showcase 2015The free December Shooting Industry eZine includes a preview of the 2015 SHOT Show (pp. 50-51), detailing the week’s events and offerings at the industry’s mega trade show kicking off next month in Las Vegas. This December issue of Shooting Industry magazine also features Part I of the New Product Showcase (starting on page 56). This 20-page Showcase features hundreds of new product offerings including handguns, long guns, ammunition, optics, accessories and more. If you want a preview of products to be released in Vegas, check it out….

The December issue also features the Shooting Industry Buyer’s Guide, an industry-wide directory of product sources. This searchable, interactive directory lists manufacturers and distributors for all types of outdoor products, including guns, ammunition, optics, reloading tools, shooting accessories, archery equipment, knives, hunting gear and more.

SHOT Show Product Showcase 2015

This month’s edition of Shooting Industry also addresses trends in the shooting retail market. In “Dealers: Facing The Challenges,” Managing Editor Jade Moldé looks at issues such as high inventories and decreased consumer demand. One Arizona retailer said regulations are a constant concern: “The biggest challenge I see for 2015 is staying on top of all regulatory responsibilities and growing partnerships with those manufacturers who will offer the best support to the independent retailer.”

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December 7th, 2014

You Go Girl! Ten-year-old Angelina Bests Benchrest Big Boys

Angelina Benchrest girl phoenixYou have to love this story, supplied by our friend Lou Murdica. It seems that a petite little 10-year-old school girl finished fourth in a 100-Yard Benchrest match in Phoenix, beating some of the best in the business, including many Benchrest Hall of Famers. That’s right, shooting a remarkable 0.1612 Aggregate, little Angelina G. put a whupping on some very big names in the Benchrest game, including Lou Murdica himself. Angelina finished just .008 behind Hall of Famer Gary Ocock, beating other Benchrest superstars such as Bob Brackney, Lester Bruno, and Tom Libby. Angelina also beat legendary bullet-maker Walt Berger, but we’ll cut Walt some slack. Now in his 80s, Walt deserves praise for doing so well at the opposite end of the age spectrum.

Congratulations to Angelina on some great shooting in the Unlimited Class. Her five groups measured: 0.186, 0.172, 0.173, 0.121, 0.155. That’s impressive consistency. You go girl!

Angelina Benchrest girl phoenix

Point to ponder: If Angelina was shooting a Rail Gun, her rifle probably weighed more than she did.

Check out the big names who finished behind little Angelina.

Angelina Benchrest girl phoenix

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December 7th, 2014

A Date Which Will Live in Infamy…

December 7 1941 pearl harbor

On this day 73 years ago….

Thoughts on Pearl Harbor, by Dennis Santiago
When I think of December 7th, I remember it is the day my elders began the most difficult four years of their lives. I have seen in their eyes the fear, anger and resolve that come from experiencing what it was like to survive in territory occupied by the Empire of the Rising Sun. My mother had never heard of Pearl Harbor. For her, World War II began on the same day seeing the Japanese bomb a U.S. naval installation called Cubi Point, at the entrance to Manila Bay in the Philippine Islands.

My maternal grandfather never spoke of what horrors he had seen on the Bataan Death March or his years in the prison camps. When I look at my father, I think of my other grandfather’s memories of his son — my father — hanging off the side of a Japanese patrol boat in Subic Bay with an Arisaka pointed at him, forced to give up the catch needed to feed his family….

Time has passed but the poignancy has not faded. Each December 7th, I’m thankful my elders survived because I would not be here to muse about it, had they not. The echoes of their ordeal drive me deeply to make sure that such a thing will never happen again. Whether called the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere or some other name made up by the contemporaries of my day, the evil that lurks underneath those who believe their ideas justify the horrors they impose must always be confronted and defeated.

December 7 1941 pearl harbor
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