June 24th, 2017

CMP & Nat’l Matches Calendar: Camp Perry and Camp Atterbury

National Matches CMP Calendar Camp Perry Ohio
CLICK HERE to view larger version of this image.

CLICK HERE for 2017 National Matches Calendar (PDF).

The CMP National Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio commence with the First Shot Ceremony on Monday, June 26, 2017. That’s just two days away! With the NRA having moved the National High Power Rifle Championships away from Camp Perry to Indiana this year, the CMP has stepped into the breach, offering more matches in the first part of the June 2017 National Match Schedule.

In the opening week of the National Matches schedule, June 26-30, 2017, the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) will lead off with CMP Service Rifle and CMP Match Rifle events, called the CMP Cup Matches. The CMP Cup series includes: CMP Four-Man Team Match, CMP 800 Aggregate Matches, and CMP Excellence-in-Competition (EIC) Service Rifle Match. This will be followed by pistol events July 1-2, and July 9-13, 2017.

Camp Perry M1A Match

On July 14-25, the CMP conducts its second set of National Matches rifle events including the CMP National Trophy Rifle Matches, and CMP Rifle Games Events. Notable special events will include the President’s 100 Match (July 17), National Trophy Team Match (July 20), the CMP Garand Match and M1A Match (July 22), and the Vintage Sniper Match (July 24). The Sniper Match was the brainchild of Hornady’s Dave Emary. The competition was inspired by his father, a World War II scout sniper, who carried a rifle similar to the 1903A4 rifle builds found today on the Camp Perry firing line.

Hornady’s Dave Emary and “Gunny” R. Lee Ermey (right) at Vintage Sniper Match:
AccurateShooter.com CMP Vintage Sniper Rifle Match

Rimfire Sporter — Fun for the Whole Family
The CMP’s final event, the hugely popular National Rimfire Sporter Match, will be held on Saturday, July 29 (see below). For more information, visit the CMP 2017 National Matches website.

Watch Highlights from the 2016 National Rimfire Sporter Match:

Download CMP Rimfire Sporter Guidebook | View AccurateShooter’s Rimfire Sporter Page

National Rimfire Sporter Match Camp Perry 2016

NRA Events at Camp Atterbury, Indiana

Camp Atterbury Indiana Perry CMP Cup Matches Ohio NRA High Power

This year, NRA High Power events and major rifle championships will be held in Indiana, at Camp Atterbury. The American Rifleman website explains: “The High Power Rifle Championships have a new venue, exciting side matches and the opportunity to shoot at a mile. Preparations for the 2017 NRA National High Power Rifle Championships at Camp Atterbury (near Edinburgh, Indiana) are proceeding well. The Indiana National Guard is making improvements to firing lines, housing is open for reservations, and buildings have been selected for administrative needs[.] NRA and the Indiana National Guard are working hard to make this year at Camp Atterbury a memorable one.”

The championships will be conducted July 7 to 25, 2017, and they will include Across-the-Course (XTC), Mid-Range, and Long-Range matches, as well as classic trophy matches — such as the Leech Cup and the Wimbledon Cup… and, of course, Palma competition.

Match Schedules Adjusted to Allow Travel Time
The shooting schedule has been adjusted to give competitors time to travel between events held at different locations. Following the completion of the XTC matches, competitors will have a day to travel to Camp Perry, Ohio, should they wish to attend the Small Arms Firing School and shoot the Civilian Marksmanship Program National Trophy Matches. Similarly, Smallbore Prone competitors in Bristol, Indiana, will have a day of travel to arrive at Camp Atterbury to participate in the High Power Mid-Range and Long-Range Prone matches.

Camp Atterbury Indiana range High Power championship

High Power Rifle Championship (Camp Atterbury, IN — July 7-25, 2017)
Webpage: CLICK HERE for National High Power Rifle Championships INFO.
High Power Rifle Registration: https://competitions.nra.org/NationalMatches/
Updated Schedule: Updated Schedule for 2017 National High Power Rifle Championships
Program: 2017 NRA High Power Rifle Championship Program (PDF)

NRA National Championship Rifle Events in Indiana
The NRA has moved the National High Power XTC Rifle Championship, Mid-Range Championship, and Long Range Championship away from Camp Perry, Ohio, starting in 2017. Starting this summer, all these events will henceforth be held at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. That means if you want to compete in both CMP and NRA rifle matches, you would need to go two different venues, located 280 miles apart, in two different states.


Camp Wa-ke'-de range Bristol indiana IN championship

Smallbore Rifle Championship (Wa-Ke’-De Range, Bristol, IN — July 8-17, 2017)
Webpage: CLICK HERE for National Smallbore Rifle Championships INFO.
Smallbore Rifle Registration: https://compete.nra.org/smallboresignup/


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June 24th, 2017

New Logistics Center for Capstone Precision Group LLC

Nammo AS Lapua Berger Bullets Vihtavuori SK ammunition brass bullets powder Capstone Precision Group LLC Sedalia Missouri MO logistics center new

Some major players in the shooting world — Lapua and Berger Bullets, have joined forces under the Nammo AS umbrella. And now, along with Vihtavuori and SK, these businesses will be operated together as Capstone Precision Group, LLC. And Capstone will soon have a new facility in Missouri. A new 30,000-square-foot logistics center has been leased in Pettis County, outside Sedalia. From here, products will be sent to dealers and wholesalers throughout the USA. Capstone Precision Group will invest almost $1 million to launch the new facility.

Missouri’s Governor welcomed Capstone: “Capstone Precision Group’s decision to grow its business in Missouri is great news for families in rural Pettis County. This new distribution center means new quality jobs for hard working Missourians,” said Gov. Eric Greitens. “We’re grateful to Capstone Precision Group for recognizing that Missouri is open for business and our people are ready to work.” LINK: Missouri Department of Economic Development.

NEW Logistics Center for Capstone Precision Group
Nammo AS, an international aerospace and defense company headquartered in Norway, announced that the newly-formed Capstone Precision Group LLC will launch its U.S. logistics center in Pettis County, outside Sedalia. This facility will be the U.S. logistics center for Capstone Precision Group’s four commercial ammunition brands — Lapua, Berger, VihtaVuori, and SK. Additionally, ammunition, components, and smokeless powder will be imported from Finland and Germany and distributed in the U.S. and also exported, while projectiles from the company’s Mesa, Arizona, location will be shipped to Missouri for packaging and distribution.

(more…)

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June 21st, 2017

Tech Nightmare: CMP Electronic Target Problem at Camp Perry

KTS Electronic Targets failure Camp Perry Excellence Competition EIC

By Steve Cooper, CMP North General Manager & Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer
In disappointing fashion to all involved, the CMP [cancelled] its June 17 Excellence-In-Competition match when significant damage was done to the target system following the successful completion of standing and rapid-fire sitting stages at 200 yards by nearly 100 competitors.

KTS Electronic Targets failure Camp Perry Excellence Competition EIC
Nearly 100 competitors took to the firing line on Viale Range for Saturday’s EIC Rifle Match.

The CMP EIC match was the historic debut of the latest in scoring technology on the “big” ranges at the 101-year-old Ohio National Guard training site near Port Clinton. The match fired on Viale Range was a fill-in for a previously cancelled Ohio Rifle & Pistol Association event. CMP is in its second year of operating 10 electronic target lanes at 100 yards for rifle and five lanes for pistol at Camp Perry’s Petrarca Range. CMP also operates two 80-point electronic indoor airgun ranges at Camp Perry and Anniston, AL, respectively.

During the changeover from 200 to 300 yards at the Saturday event, multiple targets were damaged when newly-trained CMP target workers accidentally strained or tore several interconnecting cables on the target line while raising and lowering target carriers. Diagnostics showed several targets were showing errors, but CMP technicians believed many targets could be salvaged and some were repaired.

The loss cut the range from 35 to 19 serviceable targets. CMP staff and competitors agreed to shrink the size of the range, re-squadding shooters into more relays on the remaining working targets. After repairs were made, firing continued with the prone rapid-fire stage at 300 yards. When firing was complete, a handful of shooters received inconsistent information on their monitors. A re-fire was conducted for that group and many of the re-fire group still reported target errors.

KTS Electronic Targets failure Camp Perry Excellence Competition EIC
Members of CMP staff convene to discuss abnormalities during the 300-yard prone rapid-fire stage of the EIC Rifle Match. Moments later, the match was called off after it was determined too many targets were compromised by damaged cables in the Viale Range pits.

It became clear that the initial damage to the target communication system was worse than originally thought. Christie Sewell, CMP Programs Chief, explained to competitors that it was impractical to go any further and had no choice but to cancel the match. CMP offered refunds to all competitors or the option of crediting their entry fees to a future match. The match did not count toward the competitors’ EIC match total for 2017.

The Takeaway from this Experience – CMP is a Pioneer in the Electronic Target World
They say it’s easy to recognize pioneers — they’re the ones with arrows in their backs. It feels that way sometimes at the Civilian Marksmanship Program as we roll out the most sophisticated electronically-scored targets in the world to America’s bullseye rifle and pistol shooters. Sometimes we make mistakes and they cost us time, money and aggravation.

KTS Electronic Targets failure Camp Perry Excellence Competition EIC
Cables carry power + communications from target to target the length of the line. Many places between targets can trap and catch cables. The loss of 1 cable can take out 5 adjacent targets.

But we press on. And the competitors who understand our goals press on with us. We pull the arrows out of each other’s backs, cover shot holes with thick-skin pasters, learn from our mistakes and press on with our mission. That mission includes safety instruction, youth marksmanship fundamentals, growing the sport of bullseye target shooting and providing our competitors the best opportunity to maximize participation in this sport.

What Actually Went Wrong on Saturday
Those familiar with the KTS targets at the CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park know they are hard-wired and mounted to actuators that tilt the targets up and down for use on three different target lines. Shooters fire from a common covered firing line and fire distances of 200, 300 or 600 yards during open public sessions and matches without moving. Those targets are semi-permanent and fit into frames that are bolted to iron brackets mounted on a concrete deck.

(more…)

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June 21st, 2017

Barrel Cleaning TECH TIPS — Criterion’s Advice for Bore Cleaning

Editor: This article appears on the Criterion Barrels website. It provides good, conservative advice about barrel cleaning. Understand that cleaning methods may need to be adapted to fit the amount and type of fouling (and the particular barrel). In general, we do try to minimize brushing, and we follow the procedures Criterion recommends respecting the crown/muzzle. We have also had very good success using wet patches followed by Wipe-Out bore foam. Along with the practices outlined by Criterion below, you may want to try Wipe-Out foam. Just be sure to use a fitted cleaning rod bore guide, to keep foam out of the action recesses and trigger assembly.

Criterion Barrels Cleaning Clean Solvent rod guide Hoppes Wipe-Out

What is the Best Way to Clean a Rifle Barrel?

We are asked this question quite frequently alongside requests for recommended break-in procedures. Improper barrel cleaning methods can damage or destroy a barrel, leading to diminished accuracy or even cause a catastrophic failure. When it comes to barrel maintenance, there are a number of useful techniques that we have not listed. Some techniques may work better with different barrel types. This series of recommendations is designed to incorporate a number of methods that the Criterion Barrels staff has used successfully both in the shop and on their personal rifles. Please feel free to to list your own recommendations in the below comments section.

We recommend the use of the following components during rifle cleaning:

• Cloth patches (sized for the appropriate caliber)
• Brass jag sized properly for your bore
• One-piece coated cleaning rod
• General bore cleaner/solvent (Example: Hoppes #9)
• Copper solvent of your choosing (Example: Sweets/KG 12)
• Fitted cleaning rod bore guide
• Plastic AP brush or toothbrush
• Q-Tips
• Plastic dental picks
• CLP or rust preventative type cleaner

There are a number of schools of thought relating to the frequency in which a barrel should be cleaned. At minimum we recommend cleaning a barrel after each shooting session to remove condensation, copper, and carbon build-up. Condensation is the greatest immediate threat, as it can cause the barrel to rust while the rifle sits in storage. Copper and carbon build-up may negatively impact future barrel performance, increasing the possibility of a failure in feed or function. Fouling should be removed whenever possible.

The below tips will help limit the wear of different parts of your barrel during routine maintenance, helping extend the life of the barrel and improving its performance.

The Crown
The crown is the portion of the barrel where the bullet loses contact with the lands and grooves and proceeds to exit the firearm. The area most critical to accuracy potential is the angle where the bullet last touches the bore of the barrel.

Avoid damage to this area by using a plastic toothbrush and CLP type cleaner to scrub the crown from the exterior of the barrel. Even the most minimal variation in wear to the crown will negatively impact barrel performance, so be careful to avoid nicking or wearing away this part of the barrel.

Reducing Cleaning Rod Wear to the Crown
When running a patch through the barrel, place the muzzle about a ¼” from a hard surface that runs flat at a perpendicular angle to the cleaning rod’s direction of travel, like a wall or the edge of a work bench (pictured). When the jag impacts the hard surface, retract the cleaning rod and remove the patch.

By withdrawing the jag prior to its exit from the barrel, you are limiting the possibility of the brass dragging upon the crown if the rod is at all bent or misaligned. The soft cloth patch will continue to serve as the point of contact between the jag and the barrel, minimizing potential wear.

If possible, insert the rod through the chamber, pushing it forward toward the muzzle. Some rifles, such as the M1 Garand or M14, will require you to insert the cleaning rod through the muzzle. In these situations the use of a cleaning rod guide is recommended to limit the friction placed upon the crown.

Avoid using cleaning rod segments for scraping carbon from the recessed muzzle of an AR-15 barrel. We used this trick in the Marine Corps to impress the armorers and NCO’s with the cleanliness of our muzzles, but it likely played a significant role in reducing the service life of the rifle barrel in question.

Use a Q-Tip soaked in solvent to remove any copper or carbon residue from the recessed muzzle of an AR-15 barrel. A little bit of remaining carbon on the face of the muzzle will not negatively affect bullet travel so long as the crown edge remains consistent around the circumference of the bore.

The Lands and Grooves
This portion of the barrel may experience reduced efficiency due to copper fouling and cleaning rod damage. If copper fouling takes place during the initial break-in of the rifle, make sure to check our barrel break-in article.

For regular maintenance we suggest using a single piece coated cleaning rod rather than the traditional segmented rod or bore snake. While segmented rods and bore snakes may be convenient for field use, the corners between the segments may bow out and catch on the lands, scraping along the length of the rifling. Residual grit and particles from expended cartridges may also get caught between segments, resulting in an abrasive surface working its way down the length of the barrel. Most bore snakes will remove significant amounts of carbon fouling, but may fall short in the removal residual carbon buildup and copper fouling during deep cleaning. Good rods can be sourced from multiple manufacturers, but we have found good results using both Pro-Shot and Dewey brand products.

General cleaning requires the use of patches rather than nylon or brass bore brushes. Brass brushes may be required when aggressive cleaning is required, but can lead to unnecessary wear on the barrel if used frequently. This is not due to the nature of the soft brushes themselves, but from the abrasive particles of grit that become embedded in the material that is being run repeatedly through the bore. We recommend the use of bore guides when cleaning from both the muzzle and breech. These bore guides will help serve to protect the crown and throat from cleaning rod damage.

If significant resistance develops while running the cleaning rod through the bore, no attempt should be made to force it in further. Back the rod out and inspect the barrel to determine the cause of the resistance. The jag may be pushing between a bore obstruction and the rifling, digging a divot into the barrel before pushing the obstruction back through the muzzle. One way to minimize the risk of a stuck rod is by utilizing a slightly smaller patch during the initial push.

The process of cleaning the length of the rifling is relatively straightforward:

1. Check to make sure the rifle is safely unloaded.
2. Carry out any necessary disassembly procedures prior to cleaning.
3. Remove bolt (if possible) and insert fitted cleaning rod bore guide in action.
4. Soak a patch in bore solvent (similar to Hoppes #9).
5. Center and affix the patch on the brass jag, inserting it into the chamber end of the barrel. A misaligned patch may cause the jag to damage the lands of the rifling, so make sure the patch is centered on the jag.
6. Run the patch the full length of the barrel, retracting it upon reaching the end of the muzzle.
7. Let the solvent sit for a minute.
8. Continue to run patches through the bore until carbon residue is minimized.
9. Run a dry patch through the bore to ensure carbon residue has been removed.
10. Soak a patch in copper solvent (Sweet’s or KG-12).
11. Run the patch through the bore, leaving it to sit for 3-5 minutes (do not let solvent sit for more than 15 minutes.*)
12. Repeat this process until no blue residue remains on the patches.
13. Run a patch of Hoppes #9 and a dry patch through the bore to neutralize the copper solvent.
14. Inspect the barrel prior to reassembling the rifle, verifying that no bore obstructions remain.

*Please note that some ammonia-based copper solvents may prove to be corrosive if left sitting in the barrel for an extended period of time. It is essential that these solvents be removed within 15 minutes to avoid ruining the bore.

The Chamber
Proper cleaning of the chamber is a critical component of a general cleaning procedure. Carbon rings can build up near the neck and throat of the chamber wall, leading to feeding malfunctions and pressure spikes inside the chamber.

The chamber can be the trickiest part of the barrel to effectively clean, due to its fluctuation in size and the awkward ergonomics often required to remove carbon residue. Numerous chamber specific devices have been created to address this problem, and while some should be avoided (steel chamber brushes), others can be used to great effect (cleaning stars and plastic dental picks). The simplest approach to cleaning a chamber is to apply solvent to a couple patches, and use the cleaning rod to spin the wadded up patches inside the confines of the chamber. This should aid in removing any excess carbon. A Q-Tip can be used to reach portions of the chamber unreached by patches.

The Barrel Exterior
While the condition of the crown, rifling, and chamber are essential to firearm performance, the finish of the exterior should also be cleaned after handling. Condensation, humidity, direct water contact, and salt residue from skin contact can cause rust or corrosion. An application of anti-corrosion products is recommended when placing a firearm into deep storage for an extended period of time. [Editor: AccurateShooter.com recommends Corrosion-X or Eezox, but other products work well too.]

Finding Cleaning Components
While most cleaning components can be found at your local gun shop, some specialty items may need to be sourced through online retailers such as Brownell’s. Criterion utilizes both Dewey and Pro-Shot brand cleaning components during our day-to-day operations.

Do you have any rifle cleaning tips or tricks not mentioned in the above article? We’d love to hear about them. You can post your comments below.

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June 19th, 2017

“This is My Rifle” — 74-Year-Old Marine Reunited with M1 Garand

Pat Farmer USMC Marine Corps M1 Garand CMP Camp Matthews
After 56 years Pat Farmer was reunited with the M1 Garand he used while serving his country.

By Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer
Pat Farmer hadn’t felt the weight in his hands in 56 years. After five decades, the memories flooded back as his fingertips grazed the wood of the stock and gripped it tightly. It was a piece of his personal history, and the history of his country… and now, it’s a relic he’ll be able to keep for the rest of his life.

“I had never dreamed it would be in the CMP (Civilian Marksmanship Program) warehouse,” he said. “I had just hoped to possibly start a search beginning with the CMP.”

The 74-year-old from Jacksonville, NC, is a retired veteran who served 26 years in the armed forces. He was raised on a farm in Nebraska where he became familiar with guns at an early age. As a teen, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps during his senior year in high school through a delay program. On August 30, 1960, he left for the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, California, to attend boot camp — where he celebrated his 18th birthday.

Pat Farmer USMC Marine Corps M1 Garand CMP Camp Matthews

Upon arrival he was issued M1 Garand #4305638. The firearm soon became a close companion as he spent countless hours with it on the “Grinder” — a Marine Corps term for a deck or parade ground used for drill and formations.

Reunited with M1 Garand after 56 Years
On May 8, 2017, Pat Farmer was reunited with M1 Garand #4305638 thanks to the CMP. Bringing it back to life, Pat began to fieldstrip the rifle. As he got to the trigger housing of the gun, he found something that he couldn’t believe – tape with his name and markings on it. It read, “Farmer 20/8L.” Pat believes it was his 500-yard “dope” – twenty clicks elevation, eight clicks left windage.

Pat Farmer USMC Marine Corps M1 Garand CMP Camp Matthews

“Fifty-six years ago, we drilled and did the manual of arms with M1s as if they were matchsticks. It seems much heavier now!” Farmer added with a laugh.

Pat was eventually selected for aviation school after infantry training and shot on the rifle team while attached to a Reserve unit. He went on to shoot expert rifle at the Camp Mathews rifle range*. “It was some of the best and most rewarding years of my life,” he said.

Many years later, Pat one day went through an old locker box and found his custody receipt from Jan. 27, 1961, when he turned in his boot camp rifle before transferring to aviation school. Curiosity set in as he wondered whatever became of M1 Garand #4305638 – and the idea of finding it overcame him.

“I had purchased a few rifles from the old DCM and also CMP, so on a whim I decided to contact CMP to see if my old M1 had ever passed through their system,” he explained. Here’s the story of what happened and the years of waiting…

(more…)

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June 17th, 2017

Air Gun Opportunities During Camp Perry National Matches

Gary Anderson Competition Center CMP Camp Perry

Story based on report by Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer
Headed to Camp Perry this summer? Then consider doing some airgunning while you’re there. More shooting equals more fun right? Camp Perry centerfire competitors can participate in air rifle/air pistol events throughout the month of July. The air gun matches are held inside the modern air-conditioned Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center. This facility has modern electronic targets with monitors at each shooting station. Large LED view screens show scores to spectators.

Gary Anderson Competition Center CMP Camp Perry

The Gary Anderson Competition Center range consists of 80 firing points – each equipped with new electronic targets, installed in November 2016. The high-tech Kongsberg Target System (KTS) targets are powered by OpticScore technology, which are scored optically by internal LED lights. Monitors at each firing point instantly display scores, and button functions with an LED lighted screen allow ease of use for individuals of all ages and experience levels.

Gary Anderson Competition Center CMP Camp Perry

Events at the CMP air range include 30 and 60 Shot Air Pistol, 30 and 60 Shot Air Rifle, 20 Shot Standing and 20 Shot Novice Prone. For an extra challenge and maybe even a little spending money, Top Center Shot cash prizes will be awarded during the 20 Shot Standing, 30 Shot Air Pistol and 30 Shot Air Rifle competitions. Additionally, an AiR-15 Challenge and Top 20 Shoulder-to-Shoulder competition with CMP National Match AR-15 style air rifles will be held.

AiR-15 Match Rifle Based on Anschütz 8001
Creedmoor Sports offers an AR-style air rifle built around an Anschütz 8001 barreled action. This rifle was designed in conjunction with the development of the CMP’s National Match Air Rifle shooting discipline.

AiR-15 Match Rifle

Air Gun Range Open to Public Between Scheduled Matches
The Air Gun Range will be open for public “fun shooting” this July, between scheduled matches. Camp Perry visitors are invited to visit the Competition Center and “give it a shot”. Loaner air rifles and air pistols will be available, along with help from trained CMP staff members.

Gary Anderson Competition Center CMP Camp Perry

CMP staff members are also on hand to answer questions. The facility also has a CMP store where guests may purchase shirts, mugs, and other items. CLICK HERE for more information about the National Match Air Gun events

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June 16th, 2017

NSSF Programs Promote Firearms Safety

NSSF Safety message Videos

June is National Safety Month. In summer, when children are home from school and more likely to be unattended, it’s especially important to store firearms securely. The No. 1 way to help prevent accidents is to securely store your firearms when they’re not in use. The NSSF says: “Whether you own a gun or not, firearm safety is your responsibility. Take a moment to watch the videos below on how to safely handle and store firearms.” Along with these videos, the NSSF’s Project ChildSafe program offers a host of gun safety materials on its resources webpage.

Firearm Safety: First, Last, Always

There are “10 Commandments” to firearm safety and the first four are the big ones. Remember, while at the shooting range or anywhere you handle a firearm, safety always comes first.

This is a Good Video that Covers the Key Principles of Gun Safety. Worth Watching:

Storing a Gun Safely and Securely

For those who do have a gun in the home, now is also good time to review some gun storage options that fit your lifestyle. For more information on storing your firearms safely and securely, visit ProjectChildSafe.org.


Project ChildSafe’s 3rd Annual Friends and Family Campaign

Share Project ChildSafe resources, messages and gun safety tips for your chance to win prizes from NSSF partners. Enter HERE!

Spread the message of firearm safety with your friends and family

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June 13th, 2017

Sun, Skin, and Cancer — Why You Must Be Careful

MOHS skin cancer Basal cell surgery melanoma sun exposure UV rays
Cancer statistics from Wikipedia Skin Cancer article.

As you read this, your Editor is NOT sitting at a keyboard writing fun new stories for you. Instead, I will be strapped to an operating table getting a chunk of my face removed. This will be my fourth Mohs skin cancer surgery in two years. It ain’t fun. The last Mohs micrographic procedure left me with a 3.5″ scar on my face.

skin cancer basal cell carcinoma

I hope this story shakes you guys up a little. I want every guy reading this to get serious about sun exposure. Those UV rays can be deadly…

SKIN CANCER Statistics
More than 3.5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed annually in the USA, making skin cancer America’s most common form of cancer. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer at some point in their lives. Globally, skin cancer will kill 80,000+ people this year.

MOHS skin cancer Basal cell surgery melanoma sun exposure UV raysThis is a message to my friends in the shooting community — be careful with your skin. I wasn’t careful enough and now I have skin cancers. When the Doctor says the “C” word, trust me, it’s a scary thing. I have band-aids on my cheek and my chest in the photo above (from two years ago) after being diagnosed with multiple basal cell carcinomas (the band-aids cover biopsy sites).

So far I’ve had one basal removed on my face, one on my arm, and another on my ear. Today I will have another basal cancer removed from my face. At least they are just basal cell cancers. The worst kind of skin cancers, melanomas, can be fatal if not detected very early.

An Ounce of Prevention — How to Protect Your Skin
Fellow shooters, my message to you is: Protect your skin… and see a dermatologist regularly. If you are over 40 and have spent a lot of time outdoors, I suggest you see a skin doctor every year.

As gun guys (and gals) we spend a lot of time outdoors, much of it in bright sunlight. When working and playing outdoors, you should always try to minimize the risk of skin damage and possible skin cancers. Here are some practical tips:

  • 1. Wear effective sunscreen. Get the kind that still works even if you sweat.
  • 2. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and quality sunglasses with side protection.
  • 3. Protect your arms and neck. It’s smart to wear long-sleeve shirts with high collars. There are “breathable” fabrics that still offer good sun protection.
  • 4. Stay in the shade when you can. Direct sunlight is more damaging to your skin.
  • 5. When testing loads or practicing you can make your own shade with an umbrella fixed to a tripod or scope stand. This has the added benefit of keeping you (and your ammo) cool.
  • 6. Do a “field survey” of your skin every few weeks. Have your spouse or “significant other” inspect your back and the backside of your legs.

skin cancer basal cell carcinoma

What to Look For — How to Spot Possible Skin Cancers
Here is an illustration that shows various types of skin cancers. But understand that an early basal cell carcinoma can be much, more subtle — it may just look like a small, pale pink spot. Also, if you have a scab that flakes off and re-appears, that might be a cancer. In the case of the first basal cell cancer on my face, I initially thought it was just a shaving abrasion. The skin was just slightly pinkish, with a little scab that would form and come back. But after a couple months, it never got any better. That’s what prompted me to see the doctor. And I’m glad I did….

skin cancer basal cell carcinoma

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June 13th, 2017

Marksmanship Mantras — How Do You Get Motivated?

shooting training applied ballistics bryan litz

Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics“Shoot Like a Champion”. Bryan Litz, author of Applied Ballistics for Long-Range Shooting, says he often sees notes like this tucked in shooter’s gear (or taped to an ammo box) at matches. What “marksmanship mantras” do you use? Do you have a favorite quote that you keep in mind during competition?

On the Applied Ballistics Facebook Page, Bryan invited other shooters to post the motivating words (and little reminders) they use in competition. Here are some of the best responses:


    “Shoot 10s and No One Can Catch You…” — James Crofts

    “You Can’t Miss Fast Enough to Win.” — G. Smith

    “Forget the last shot. Shoot what you see!” — P. Kelley

    “Breathe, relax, you’ve got this, just don’t [mess] up.” — S. Wolf

    “It ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings.” — J. McEwen

    “Keep calm and shoot V-Bull.” — R. Fortier

    “Be still and know that I am God[.]” (PS 46:10) — D.J. Meyer

    “Work Hard, Stay Humble.” — J. Snyder

    “Shoot with your mind.” — K. Skarphedinsson

    “The flags are lying.” — R. Cumbus

    “Relax and Breathe.” — T. Fox

    “Zero Excuses.” — M. Johnson

    “SLOW DOWN!” — T. Shelton

    “Aim Small.” — K. Buster

    “Don’t Forget the Ammo!” (Taped on Gun Case) — Anonymous

PARTING SHOT: It’s not really a mantra, but Rick Jensen said his favorite quote was by gunsmith Stick Starks: “Them boys drove a long ways to suck”. Rick adds: “I don’t want to be that guy”, i.e. the subject of that remark.

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June 12th, 2017

Glock “Follow the Four” Gun Safety Campaign

Glock gun safety social media facebook campaign

In order to promote gun safety, Glock has launched a program to promote the four basic rules of gun handling. Called Follow the Four, Glock’s social media campaign asks shooters nationwide to “take the pledge”, agreeing to follow the Four Rules of gun safety. This year’s #FollowTheFour movement coincides with June National Safety Month and will run from June 1, 2017 through June 30, 2017.

This video with R. Lee ‘Gunny’ Ermey Explains the Safety Campaign

Glock asks those who make the safety pledge to spread the word via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with hashtag #FollowTheFour. Those who take the pledge and promote the message via social media will be entered to win a Glock pistol. Visit Glock.com/safetyplege page to take the pledge and learn more about the Glock give-away.

Glock gun safety social media facebook campaign

Spread the Word, But Maintain Your Privacy
You don’t have to post an actual photo of yourself to enter the contest. In fact we recommend that you do NOT post a recognizable image of yourself. We advise gun owners to maintain their privacy whenever possible. This is doubly important in states with oppressive firearms regulations such as California. Here are social media posts that do not reveal the poster’s identity.

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June 10th, 2017

MilSurp Gold — The $27,556 XM-3 Sniper Rifle

Sniper Rifle DARPA XM-3 XM3 CMP Auction Iraq War

Would you pay over twenty-seven grand for a slightly-used Rem 700 bolt-action rifle and Nightforce scope? Well somebody did just that recently, paying the princely sum of $27,556.00 for a DARPA XM-3 Sniper Rifle system in a CMP Auction. In fairness the buyer did get a case, a PVS22 Night Vision Device (NVD), and some other accessories. Created for the USMC, only fifty-two (52) XM-3s were ever made, so this is a pretty rare rifle. But, honestly, is this thing really worth $27,556? What do you think?

Sniper Rifle DARPA XM-3 XM3 CMP Auction Iraq War

This XM-3 system was recently sold by the CMP at auction (SEE Auction Photos). There was plenty of interest in this item, with 111 total bids for the rifle, case and accesories. Here is the CMP Auction product description:

DEFENSE ADVANCED RESEARCH PROJECT AGENCY (DARPA) XM-3 Sniper Rifle S6533990

These XM-3 sniper rifles used by the United States Marine Corps. In mid-2005, DARPA worked with Lt. Col. Norm Chandler’s Iron Brigade Armory (IBA) to field items to expeditionary units in Afghanistan. Since they already had a great working relationship, DARPA contracted IBA to build and test lightweight sniper rifles that incorporated the improvements the snipers desired in combat. The mission was to be lighter and smaller than the existing M40s, while having better accuracy, clip-on night vision that did not require re-zero, better optics, and better stock, and it had to be suppressed. The barrel had to be short enough to allow maneuverability yet long enough to deliver a 10” group at 1,000 yards. If the barrel was too heavy, maneuverability would decrease, yet if the barrel was too light it would only be able to shoot a few rounds before the groups started to shift due to barrel temperature. IBA tested a number of barrel lengths, ranging from 16 to 20 inches and in different contours. Each rifle with a different length was assigned an XM designator starting with XM1 through XM3. In each case, everything on the prototype rifles was kept the same except the barrel.

During the final phases of testing it was found that the 18” barrels had no issues keeping up with their longer 20” brethren. The final barrel length was set at 18.5”, and the contour was a modified #7. The straight taper on the barrel was only 2” vs. 4” and the overall diameter at the muzzle was .85” vs. .980”. This helped reduce a lot of the rifle’s weight while not negatively affecting accuracy or effective range. A number of the groups at 1,000 yards were < 1 MOA. The Marines of I-MEF were the first to field test the rifles at Camp Pendleton. Shortly after I-MEF took receipt of the XM-3s, the first units in II-MEF took receipt of theirs. By mid-2006 there were dozens of XM-3s in Iraq. There were 52 XM-3s made. More info on the XM-3 Sniper Rifle can be found at SteveReichertTraining.com.

Sniper Rifle DARPA XM-3 XM3 CMP Auction Iraq War

Also included: Scope SN P06798; Sniper Data Book with some firing information; PVS22 Night Vision Device SN 2936D (NVDs function); appears complete tool/cleaning kit with cleaning rod; sling; suppressor case and wrap (SUPPRESSOR IS NOT INCLUDED!); bipod; cold bore shot target; instructions; iM3200 Storm case.

Sniper Rifle DARPA XM-3 XM3 CMP Auction Iraq War

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June 9th, 2017

Trigger Tour — Savage’s Traveling Rifle Road Show

Savage Trigger Tour test drive program road show

Well it’s about darn time. FINALLY a major gun-maker is bringing the guns to the people — with a traveling road show that lets potential customers sample a variety of rifles. Smart idea, and we hope other manufacturers follow Savage’s lead. The 2017 Savage Trigger Tour is a series of free, open-to-the-public events hosted at ranges across the country. The Trigger Tour showcases several different models, all outfitted with Bushnell optics and fueled by Federal Premium and CCI ammunition. Savage Arms staffers will be on hand to answer firearms questions and help customers.

Firearms types will vary with location. The available Savage rifles may include these popular new offerings: 10 BA Stealth (.308 Win/6.5 CM), MSR 15 (AR15 platform), MSR 10 (AR10 platform), A22 .22 LR Rimfire, A17 Target Sporter 17HMR.

The Savage Arms Trigger Tour runs from June through October, starting with events in Louisiana, Arkansas, and Minnesota. Other planned locations are: Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota. CLICK THIS LINK for specific dates and locations. NOTE: Locations and dates may change or be added.

Savage Trigger Tour test drive program road show

One popular rifle shooters can test is Savage’s model 10 BA Stealth, chambered in 308 Win. or 6.5 Creedmoor. Suitable for PRS factory-class comps, this rifle features a lightweight, modular chassis with adjustable rear section. The 6.5 Creedmoor version of the 10 BA Stealth has shown good accuracy in Defender Blog Field Tests.

Savage Trigger Tour test drive program road show

Savage’s new AR15-Platform MSR 15 Recon could also be on hand. Chambered in .223 Wylde, the MSR 15 Recon offers a high-performance 16-inch barrel with 5R button rifling and zero-tolerance headspace. The Trigger Tour will also feature the MSR 15’s big brother, the new MSR 10 Hunter. Available in 308 Win. or 6.5 Creedmoor, this purpose-built, compact AR-10 platform is designed for deer hunting and general field use.

Savage Trigger Tour test drive program road show

Trigger Tour events might also feature Savage’s popular A-Series semi-auto rimfire rifles. The A22 features a straight-blowback .22 LR action, user-adjustable AccuTrigger, thread-in headspace, button-rifled barrel, and composite stock. The A17 Target Sporter Thumbhole features a unique delayed-blowback action that delivers safe, reliable performance with standard 17 HMR loads.

For more information, including specific dates and locations of Savage Arms Trigger Tour stops, please visit www.savagearms.com/events.

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June 9th, 2017

NSSF Hosts Suppressor Demonstration for News Media

NSSF Suppressor News Media Demonstration demo Manassas Class III Regulation

Last month, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) hosted a suppressor demonstration at Elite Shooting Sports in Manassas, Virginia. Sig Sauer and Daniel Defense suppressor experts were presenters. Olin Corporation supplied ammunition.

The Daniel Defense representative noted that suppressors do not render a firearm silent (despite what Hollywood movies might show). The sound level of an un-suppressed AR15 firing is 165-175 dB. With a suppressor in place, the sound level for the same 5.56 rifle drops to around 135-140 dB. That is a significant noise reduction, but the rifle is still producing a noise louder than a jack-hammer (and hearing protection is still recommended). Watch the video below to learn other important facts about firearm suppressors.

NSSF Hosts Suppressor Demonstration for News Media

The objective of the NSSF demo was to give the news media more accurate information about hearing protection devices. In addition, the NSSF wanted to correct many popular misconceptions about suppressors. Mainstream media reports about sound suppressors are typically inaccurate, incomplete, and misinformed. For example, most media stories fail to acknowledge that suppressors are legal throughout Europe, and widely used by European hunters and target shooters. If you were to believe the typical news report on suppressors, silencers are evil and dangerous. The NSSF demo was designed to replace ignorance with facts.

NSSF Suppressor News Media Demonstration demo Manassas Class III Regulation

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June 8th, 2017

Ruger Mark IV Rimfire Pistol Recall

Ruger Mark 4 IV rimfire pistol handgun 22 LR semi-auto recall notice Safety

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (RUGER) is recalling Mark IV pistols (including 22/45 models) manufactured prior to June 1, 2017. The reason for the recall is the potential of unintentional discharges if the safety is not used properly. Mark IV owners should visit Ruger.com/MarkIVRecall to determine if their pistol is subject to the recall, which affects a “small percentage of Mark IV pistols”. Ruger strongly recommends that consumers not use affected Mark IV pistols until a safety retrofit has been installed.

Ruger Mark IV Recall Information Video:

Here is Ruger’s official Recall Announcement (emphasis added):

Ruger recently discovered that the pistols have the potential to discharge unintentionally if the safety is not utilized correctly. In particular, if the trigger is pulled while the safety lever is midway between the “safe” and “fire” positions (that is, the safety is not fully engaged or fully disengaged), the pistol may not fire when the trigger is pulled. However, if the trigger is released and the safety lever is then moved from the mid position to the “fire” position, the pistol may fire at that time.

Although only a small percentage of Mark IV pistols appear to be affected and the Company is not aware of any injuries, Ruger is firmly committed to safety and would like to retrofit all potentially affected pistols with an updated safety mechanism.”

As a responsible manufacturer, Ruger wants to make its customers aware of this FREE safety upgrade. All Mark IV pistols with serial numbers beginning with “401” (2017 models) or “WBR” (2016 models) are subject to the recall.

Ruger Mark 4 IV rimfire pistol handgun 22 LR semi-auto recall notice Safety

Mark IV owners should visit the Ruger Mark IV Recall website… to look up the serial number of their Mark IV and verify if it is subject to the recall, sign up for the recall, and obtain additional information.

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June 3rd, 2017

The Wind Hack — Quick Way to Calculate Crosswind Deflection

Applied Ballistics Crosswind Estimation Wind hack G7 BC

Applied Ballistics Wind Hack

Any long range shooter knows that wind is our ultimate nemesis. The best ways of overcoming wind are to measure what we can and use computers to calculate deflection. The Applied Ballistics Kestrel is a great tool for this. As good as our tools may be, we don’t always have them at our fingertips, or they break, batteries go dead, and so on. In these cases, it’s nice to have a simple way of estimating wind based on known variables. There are numerous wind formulas of various complexity.

Applied Ballistics Crosswind Estimation Wind hack G7 BC

The Applied Ballistics (AB) Wind Hack is about the simplest way to get a rough wind solution. Here it is: You simply add 2 to the first digit of your G7 BC, and divide your drop by this number to get the 10 mph crosswind deflection. For example, suppose you’re shooting a .308 caliber 175-grain bullet with a G7 BC of 0.260 at 1000 yards, and your drop is 37 MOA. For a G7 BC of 0.260, your “wind number” is 2+2=4. So your 10 mph wind deflection is your drop (37 MOA) divided by your “wind number” (4) = 9.25 MOA. This is really close to the actual 9.37 MOA calculated by the ballistic software.

WIND HACK Formula

10 mph Cross Wind Deflection = Drop (in MOA) divided by (G7 BC 1st Digit + 2)

Give the AB wind hack a try to see how it works with your ballistics!

Some Caveats: Your drop number has to be from a 100-yard zero. This wind hack is most accurate for supersonic flight. Within supersonic range, accuracy is typically better than +/-6″. You can easily scale the 10 mph crosswind deflection by the actual wind speed. Wind direction has to be scaled by the cosine of the angle.

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June 2nd, 2017

Accuracy International — Factory Tour Video from the UK

accuracy international suv AT

accuracy international suv ATWho wouldn’t like a look inside the Accuracy International (AI) factory in England? Thanks to The Telegraph, a British media outlet, you can do just that. The Telegraph got its cameras inside AI’s production facility “at a discreet location on the outskirts of Portsmouth”.

Accuracy International is perhaps the most noted manufacturer of bolt-action sniper rifles in the Western world. AI was founded in the 1980s by Dave Caig, Malcolm Cooper, and Dave Walls, three competitive rifle shooters. The company took its name from Cooper’s shop: Accuracy International Shooting Sports. The first project was a smallbore target rifle for civilians. Then the trio decided to build a 7.62×51 sniper rifle, inspired by a UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) competition to replace the venerable L42A1.

Video Showcases Accuracy International’s Products and Production Facilities

Working in a garage workshop, Walls and his partners combined their knowledge of target shooting with input from active military personnel to create the first AI sniper rifle, the L96A1. This ground-breaking design won the MoD contract and immediately proved successful in the field. In an interview with The Telegraph, Walls explained: “The company’s early success was based on not just the what the founders knew from target shooting but also what they learnt from the users, the military users. They went out and they sought inputs from those users, and based on that they designed their very first sniper rifle, and it was very successful.” Today Accuracy International continues to make rugged, versatile, and ultra-accurate sniper rifles for military, law enforcement, and private use.

This Accuracy International AT (on gimbaled mount) is not your average SUV Accessory.
accuracy international suv AT

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June 1st, 2017

Arizona Scorpions Junior High Power Team Prepares for Perry

Scorpion Junior High Power Rifle Team Arizona Scorpions

Story based on report by Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer
The Arizona Scorpions Junior High Power Rifle Team has earned a great reputation at major matches. These young folks can shoot. Year after year, the Scorpions have ranked among the top Junior teams in the nation. Since 1983, the team has earned six Minuteman Trophies — awarded to the top junior team in the CMP’s National Trophy Rifle Team Match. The team has also taken home 14 Junior Infantry Team Trophy National Champion titles since 1988. Sponsored by the Arizona State Rifle & Pistol Association (AZRPA), the team is headed to Camp Perry this year with lofty goals.

At last year’s National Matches, three AZ Scorpions (Zac Clark, Sarah Nguyen and Kade Jackovich) placed among the Top 20 junior competitors during the CMP’s National Trophy Individual match. What’s more, four Scorpions teams placed in the Top 25 at the National Trophy Junior Team event. A six-person AZ Scorpions team also beat out 14 other junior teams to earn the top place and 13th overall in the difficult Infantry Team Match (Rattle Battle).

Scorpion Junior High Power Rifle Team Arizona Scorpions

Look for the AZ Scorpions and other junior High Power teams at this year’s National Matches, firing throughout the month of July at Camp Perry! Registration is open for the 2017 National Matches. CLICK HERE for more information.

Scorpions Shooters Go Distinguished at a Young Age
Many Scorpions juniors are on their way to earning their Distinguished Rifleman Badge. Recently, Scorpions juniors Zac Clark and Sarah Nguyen took first and second, respectively, during the 2017 Desert Sharpshooters Excellence In Competition (EIC) Service Rifle Match in March, which helped the pair move closer towards their individual Distinguished Rifleman Badges. Clark and Nguyen also took the top two places during the 2016 Creedmoor Cup Match in Phoenix in October.

Scorpion Zade Jackovich earned a spot on the coveted President’s 100 team after an outstanding performance during the President’s Rifle Match in 2015. Zade earned his final EIC points during the National Trophy Individual Match, so he could take the stage to be pinned with a Distinguished Badge.

Scorpion Junior High Power Rifle Team Arizona Scorpions

Scorpions Team Members Earn Military Academy Appointments
Nguyen, recently received an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy, class of 2021, and is the fourth Scorpion to do so. Other talented Scorpions “alumni” include Tyler Rico, who fired on the team from 2007 to 2012, and became the youngest marksman to earn the Distinguished Rifleman Badge when he was 13 years old. He has also held several National Records, among other accomplishments, and went on to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy. In total, four members of the team earned shooting scholarships to military academies in 2012, including spots at West Point and the Naval Academy.

To learn more about the AZ Scorpions Junior High Power Team, visit ArizonaJuniorHP.com and the team’s Facebook Page.

This video shows Scorpions Team Members in Action at Ben Avery Range in February 2017.

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May 31st, 2017

Women and Firearms — Growing Numbers of Female Shooters

Women NRA Gun Firearms statistics infographic 2016

Did you know that American women are the fastest-growing segment of gun owners? Whether it’s for self-protection, hunting, or target shooting, women are showing more interest than ever in owning firearms. Moreover, women are taking steps to train and educate themselves, and to get involved in hunting, recreational shooting, and firearms competition. This is now a significant trend — women are becoming an important and vital part of the shooting community. Nearly one-quarter (23%) of American women now own at least one firearm.

The numbers of women participating in the shooting sports has grown dramatically in recent years. in fact, in the decade from 2001 to 2010, the number of female target shooters has risen 43.5%:

Women NRA Gun Firearms statistics infographic 2016

Women and Firearms Infographic (CLICK HERE):

Women NRA Gun Firearms statistics infographic 2016

Story and images courtesy NRABlog.com.

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May 30th, 2017

Cartridges of the World — Great 680-Page Resource

Cartridges of World Barnes 15th Edition

Cartridges of the World (15th Edition), belongs in every serious gun guy’s library. 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 printed reference guide is $27.89 at Amazon.com, while a Kindle eBook version costs $19.99.

The 15th Edition of Cartridges of the World includes cartridge specs, plus tech articles on Cartridge identification, 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 the World now includes a 64-page full-color section with feature articles, including an interesting feature on the .300 Win Mag.

Cartridges of World Barnes 15th Edition

Cartridges of World Barnes 15th Edition

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May 29th, 2017

Honor Our Fallen Warriors on this Memorial Day

Arlington Cemetery Old Guard Flags Graves
Flags placed in Arlington National Cemetery by members of the 3rd Infantry Regiment, the “Old Guard”.

Memorial Day 2010

Today, Memorial Day, Americans will honor the sacrifices of military men and women who paid the ultimate price in their service to our nation. More than 1.2 million American men and women have died in military service during wartime.

memorial day 2017 battle death number statistics
Source: Prospect.org project based on U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs data.

“The fallen warriors we honor on Memorial Day cherished liberty and freedom enough to lay down their lives to preserve our way of life,” said past Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “We owe them eternal gratitude and we must pass those sentiments on to future generations.”

Memorial day

What Is Memorial Day?
Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the men and women who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. The holiday, which is celebrated every year on the last Monday of May, was formerly known as Decoration Day and originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the war. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service.

On Memorial Day, the United States flag is traditionally raised to the top of the staff, then solemnly lowered to half-staff position until noon, when it is raised again to full-staff for the rest of the day. The half-staff position is to remember the more than 1.2 million men and women who have given their lives for this country.

Six Things Every American Should Know About Memorial Day.

Memorial Day
Flags and flower leis adorn each grave in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in observance of Memorial Day, 1991. (U.S. Navy photo by OS2 John Bouvia, released).

Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.

Memorial Day Decoration Day

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