Earlier this month, U.S. Representative Bonnie Coleman (D-N.J.) introduced a new bill, H.R. 2283, that would restrict online ammo sales. Coleman’s legislation, dubbed the “Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act of 2015″, would not ban online sales outright, but it would impose many restrictions and set up a Federal tracking system to “watch” ammo buyers. While H.R. 2283 would not cap the quantity of ammo someone could purchase, the legislation would impose numerous barriers to sale. Most notably, buyers would have to supply identification in person before the product could be shipped.
Cheaper Than Dirt (CTD), a major online vendor of ammo and gun supplies, says that, under H.R. 2283, ammo would have to be sent to a registered dealer, rather that directly to the buyer. The “Devil is in the Details” says analyst David Dolbee, writing in the CTD Shooters’ Log:
ID Required for Ammo Purchases
If passed and signed into law, H.R. 2283 would force you to submit a photo ID, in-person, every time you made an ammunition purchase. Because you cannot show ID in person online, your order would have to be shipped to an ‘authorized dealer’. Essentially, this would mean your ammunition would be received by a local gun store and have its receiving fee tacked on.
Bill Would Create Federal ‘Watch-List’ of Ammo Purchasers
Another provision of H.R. 2283 states anyone purchasing more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition in a five-day period would be reported to the U.S. Attorney General. The bill does not specify how the information would then be used. However, the data would be stored in a database maintained by the Department of Justice. Perhaps the government has failed at a national gun registry, but this is an attempt to compile a list in other ways? H.R. 2283 would also require all ammunition sellers to be federally licensed. How this would affect your ability to reload a few rounds and sell them to your buddy or split a group-buy … is unknown.”
This Texas Rifle Association (TXRA) Long Range Championship was a match to remember. Despite rain threats, organizers decided to hold the match. On Friday, against the advice of the weather forecasters, the team match was held. The weather held out long enough to complete the match but over four inches of rain fell Friday night. This made for an interesting weekend as competitors had to park at the 300-yard line and shooters and gear had to be trailered to the 1,000-yard line.
Mann Shoots 600-31X
On Saturday, Day 1 of the individual matches, some very impressive scores were shot at 1,000 yards under heavy cloud cover and very light wind. In F-Open, David Mann shot a stellar 600-31X, followed by Erik Cortina with 599-39X, Matt Davis with a 598-34X, and Mark Walker with a 598-24X. Mann’s 600-31X was one of the best strings ever fired at 1000 yards on the small F-Class target.
In F-TR, the stage was also set for a race to the finish line. Jade Delcambre from Lousiana and Ray Weaver from Texas were tied down to the X count with a 592-26X after Day 1. In the Palma category, Stacey Tamulinas shot a 600-35X and set up a clear lead over the rest of the field with his perfect score.
Kenny Porter went on to win the Match/Any rifle championship, Stacey Tamulinas won the Palma Championship, Johnny Ingram won the F-TR Championship, and Erik Cortina won the F-Open Championship. Here is Erik’s “insider’s report” from the last relay of the last day, when he came from behind to win the F-Open Division:
Report By Erik Cortina
It was the last string of the day as the F-Open shooters came to the line to figure out who would prevail. There were some things that shooters had to overcome. The winds were up and due to Friday’s rain, the impact berm was wet and shooters had dug “rabbit holes” and target pullers were having a hard time spotting hits in the 10 or X ring. I knew Matt Davis was ahead of me by one point and David Mann and Mark Walker were behind me by one or two points.
I only had four sighters and 20 shots for record, so during prep, I made sure all my record shots had primers in them. Prep time was over and it was time to shoot. I took my four sighters and went for record. I had to call for a mark a few times but I knew that the only time they missed a mark is if it was a 10 or an X, so it kept me calm. When I started my record string, I was holding one ring left of center, and when I finished my string, I was holding FIVE rings left of center, which means the wind had picked up substantially. When all the smoke cleared, I had dropped two points, one of which I called. I was relieved that I only dropped two points, but I knew that all I had to do is tie Matt because I had the highest X count. After the smoke settled, I was lucky enough to come out on top over many other great shooters. Winning the TSRA LR Championship is a great accomplishment for me because it is such a great match and I have been wanting to win it for a long time.”
Here are some “Young Guns” at the TSRA LR Championship. Young shooters are the future of our sport.
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Flags placed in Arlington National Cemetery by members of the 3rd Infantry Regiment, the “Old Guard”.
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 one million American men and women have died in military service during wartime, including more than 664,000 battle deaths.
Above image is a screen-shot from www.Tracking-Point.com.
TrackingPoint, the Texas-based maker of expensive “Precision-Guided Firearms” with laser target tagging, has announced that the company is no longer accepting orders due to “financial difficulty”. Here is Tracking Point’s official statement, as posted on its website:
“Due to financial difficulty TrackingPoint will no longer be accepting orders. Thank you to our customers and loyal followers for sharing in our vision.”
This video shows how the TrackingPoint system works:
Expensive System Doesn’t Read the Wind
Why has TrackingPoint stumbled? Some speculate that TrackingPoint’s products are simply too expensive for the general sporting market. (A TrackingPoint AR10-type .308 rifle retails for $14,995, while a bolt-action .338 TP costs a whopping $49,995!) Additionally, though the TrackingPoint hardware incorporates sophisticated laser target designation technology, the shooter must still call the wind and enter wind values. If the shooter badly mid-judges wind speed or angle, he WILL miss his target at long range, even with all the advanced technology. For this reason, some analysts believed TrackingPoint promised more than it could deliver in the real world. Doubtless TrackingPoint was hoping to secure large, lucrative defense orders, but those have yet to materialize. The wind-calling issue, and concerns over battery life, have emerged as barriers to adoption by defense agencies.
Surprise Development after Recent Positive Reports
Curiously, Tracking Point’s announcement that it will not accept new orders follows positive reports issued earlier this year. A February 24, 2015 PRNewswire post stated: “[Y]ear-on-year unit growth was 281% and year-on-year bookings dollars grew 107%. The company believes it is the fastest-growing gun company in the world.” In a February 2015 financial release, TrackingPoint reported “growing demand and interest in its Precision-Guided Firearms from the defense sector. Testing performed at the U.S. Department of Defense’s Yuma, Arizona proving grounds has shown that a typical Soldier performed significantly better than the military’s elite marksmen when using TrackingPoint’s Precision Guided Firearms.”
“We have made a very large investment in Research and Development over the last 3 years. Our core technology is now foundationally mature, putting us in a position to lower operating costs,” said Frank Bruno, who took over as TrackingPoint CEO this year.
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Sweet Home Alabama, indeed! Now THIS is how we like to see federal funds used (rather than squandered in programs that don’t benefit anyone). Check out the impressive new Talladega range above. Very soon you’ll be able to compete there. In exactly two weeks, the brand new, 500-acre CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park hosts its first-ever shooting tournament, a D-Day Memorial Match on 6-7 June. The CMP will also hold a dedication ceremony on June 6.
The Where To Shoot Mobile App quickly locates shooting ranges near you, drawing on North America’s most comprehensive directory of shooting ranges. Users can search by current location, state, or zip code. Once you locate a range, you can view activities offered along with a summary of range facilities. You can even get driving directions.
Minnesota and Vermont could soon become the 40th and 41st states to legalize the ownership of firearm suppressors. The Minnesota Legislature recently approved legislation (SF 878), which among other things would legalize the ownership of suppressors and their use for hunting. Additionally, late last week, the Vermont Senate added an amendment to a hunting bill (H. 5) to legalize the ownership and possession of suppressors. If you are a resident of either of these states, the NSSF requests that you contact your governor in support of these bills. Suppressors are currently legal to use and possess in 39 states, while 35 states currently allow suppressor use for hunting.
Currently, suppressor ownership is legal in 39 states, provided the owners comply with federal paperwork requirements (and pay a tax for each unit). This graphic shows where silencers are legal to own, and where they may be used for hunting:
Map created by American Silencer Institute (ASA).
Approximately 27,000 suppressors, also called “silencers” or “sound moderators”, are sold in the United States every year. That may surprise you because the main-stream media often incorrectly report that suppressors are illegal. In fact, suppressors are legal to own in 39 states, provided that the devices are acquired in compliance with federal and state laws (which are explained below). In most of those 39 states, owners of legally-acquired suppressors may use their “cans” for hunting.
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Here’s a smart new product that offers security with rapid access, using RFID (radio frequency identification) technology. The NRA Quick Vent Safe holds a handgun, keys, flashlight, or valuables. Using a coded RFID fob or card, you can instantly open the Vent Safe with a wave of your hand.
The Fullbore (Palma) World Championships will be held at Camp Perry, Ohio this summer. The American squad arrived a bit early — for a few days of team practice. Our friend Anette Wachter (aka 30 Cal Gal) is in Ohio with Team USA and she posted some photos on Facebook. Skies were gray, but that didn’t deter the American shooters who practiced their shooting under the watchful eyes of top wind coaches.
Take a look at the photo above. How many ace American shooters can you spot? Here’s one hint — pulling the black wheeled case is John Whidden, past U.S. Long-Range National Champion.
At right is the first bit of Team USA swag. Anette says there is more to come — team shirts and jackets were sized and ordered for all the U.S.A. shooters and coaches.
1000 yards? Heck, for these KO2M guys, that’s just a warm-up — they plan to shoot out to 2500 yards and beyond. A new ultra-long-range event will be held this summer in New Mexico at the NRA Whittington Center. The King of Two Miles (KO2M) match will be held on July 1-2, 2015, right before the Fifty Caliber Shooters Assocation (FCSA) 1000-yard World Championships. If you like hurling big projectiles at very long ranges, Whittington is the place to be in July. The KO2M event is “wide-open” — any caliber is allowed and rifle size/weight is limited only by the shooter’s ability to lift the gun himself. Rifles will be shot prone with bipod.
Two Miles (Well Not Quite)
The name of the event is a bit of a misnomer, as the max range will be roughly 2500 yards. That’s WAY less than a full two miles (3520 yards). KO2M organizers do plan to go all the way out to two miles in the future, but they say their target and spotting technology isn’t up to that yet. Accordingly, the 2015 course of fire will include steel and electronic targets placed at known distances from 1000 to roughly 2500 yards. Next year, hopefully, the max range will be extended to over two miles, but, for now: “Current optical systems do not allow that.”
PMA Tool offers Euro-style, black-on-white, oval stickers that look cool on your car, truck, SUV, RV, or camping trailer. As PMA says: “Let your shooting buddies know what you shoot, while leaving your non-shooting neighbors scratching their heads.” Place the stickers in the corner of a rear window or slap ‘em on a bumper. They also look nice on a range box or plastic rifle case.
There are currently five cartridge sticker versions,”5.56″, “7.62”. “6BR”, “PPC”, and “Dasher”, priced at $5.95 per sticker. There is also a “PMA sticker”. PMA Tool may produce stickers for other chamberings if there is sufficient demand. What other cartridge types would you like to see? Perhaps generic “6mm”, “6.5mm”, and “7mm” stickers?
“Shooting Chrony” is a product name. “Shooting Chrony” should not describe (post-mortem) what you have been doing to your chronograph. Sooner or later all of us may make a mistake, and ventilate our chronograph. With luck, the bullet just “wings” your chronograph, and the damage is minor. But if you hit the unit smack dab in the middle, you may have to retire your chrono for good.
A while back, Forum member Jeff M. (aka “JRM850″) experienced a “low blow” that put his Shooting Chrony out of commission. With tongue firmly in cheek, Jeff started a Forum thread entitled Chronograph Not Picking Up Shots in Bright Sunlight Anymore. Looking at the photo below, the problem is obvious.
This was Jeff’s first chrono kill in 23 years of use, so we shouldn’t be too critical. Jeff explained: “I didn’t realize a friend was shifting from a 300-yard target to 100 yards.” The agent of destruction was a low-traveling 58gr V-Max running at 3415 fps. What happened? Well, when one is shooting at 300 yards, the trajectory will be higher than at 100 yards. We should say, however, that this may have been a low shot, or the 100-yard aiming point may have been placed lower to the ground (closer to the bottom of the target frame), as compared to the 300-yard aiming point.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) this week learned that United Parcel Service (UPS) has apparently changed its policy regarding the shipment of firearms suppressors. According to the NSSF, a new policy is in effect at UPS facilities nationwide. This new policy states that UPS will no longer ship suppressors, even between Federal licensees.
NSSF representatives are now trying to find out why UPS has changed its shipping policies:
“NSSF is working with UPS executives to determine what prompted the enforcement of this unwarranted policy. We are unaware of any thefts or losses that would explain the shipping company’s sudden decision to enforce a prohibition against shipment. NSSF will keep you apprised of developments. Separately, NSSF is also working with the U.S. State Department to achieve a change of policy to allow export of suppressors.”
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Well it looks like Gunbroker.com may (finally) have some competition. A new gun auction site, eGunner.com, has just been launched by Bud’s Gun Shop, a major retailer. eGunner.com was created to help gun stores sell their firearms inventory. But the site is not limited to commercial dealers. Private gun sellers can also list pistols, rifles, shotguns, and other shooting hardware.
Flat Fee Listings — Pay $10 or $15 When Gun Sells
eGunner.com has a very simple fee structure. It cost nothing to list an item for sale. There is a flat fee at the close of a successful auction: $10 for guns under $500 and $15 for guns $500 and up.
For many riflemen, reading the wind is the toughest challenge in long-range shooting. Wind speeds and directions can change rapidly, mirage can be misleading, and terrain features can cause hard-to-predict effects. To become a competent wind reader, you need range-time and expert mentoring. In the latter department, Frank Galli, founder of Sniper’s Hide, has just released a new digital resource: Wind Reading Basics for the Tactical Shooter.
Wind Reading Basics is much more than an eBook — it has charts, instructions for ballistic calculators, and even embedded videos. Galli explains: “We break down the formulas, walk you through using a ballistic computer, and give you all the information in one place. From videos, to useful charts, we make it simple to get started. It’s all about having a plan, and we give you that plan.”
Galli’s Wind Reading Basics, priced at $11.99, can be downloaded from iTunes for iPads, iPhones and iOS compatible devices. Here are sample sections from the eBook (which includes videos):
The Remington 700 is the most popular bolt-action rifle in America, at least according to Gunbroker.com sales figures for new and “previously-owned” rifles. So, chances are that you (or a close family member) may have a Rem 700 of some vintage sitting in the gunsafe. But do you have a copy of the latest Remington 700 product manual in digital PDF format? Probably not. And do you have the official Rem 700 factory target? Again, probably not.
In the not-too-distant future, U.S. military snipers may be able to steer bullets right to the target, thanks to DARPA, the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency. Believe it or not, DARPA has developed a guided .50-caliber projectile fired from a conventional rifle action. DARPA’s Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO) system combines a maneuverable bullet and a real-time guidance system to track and steer the projectile to the target. Inside EXACTO bullets are optical guidance systems, aero-actuation controls, and multiple sensors. The top-secret technology permits the trajectory of the bullet to be altered in flight, allowing the bullet to move left or right, or even fly in an arc around an obstacle.
Have shortages of .22 LR rimfire ammunition (and high .22LR ammo prices) caused shooters to switch to airguns? Unlike rimfire ammo, pellets are readily available and inexpensive. Moreover, air is free, most airguns can be safely fired indoors, and premium air rifles are surprisingly accurate out to 25m or so. Given those factors, one might think many sportsmen would shift from .22 LR shooting to airgun shooting, at least for plinking and short-range target work. But it looks like there has NOT been a significant exodus from the rimfire ranks. According to a recent survey, 75% percent of shooters have NOT done more air rifle shooting due to shortages of .22 LR rimfire ammo. Click link below to see survey.