September 2nd, 2014
Our friend Chip Lohman, Editor of NRA’s Shooting Sports USA magazine, has authored an important new book, NRA the Rest of the Story. It’s about the NRA, but it is definitely NOT a political treatise. Rather it examines all the myriad things the NRA does — from safety seminars for kids to running the National Matches at Camp Perry.
Chip explains the “mission” of his new book: “Having worked in NRA’s Youth Program Division and now within the shooting sports community, I’ve wanted to help offset misconceptions in the news about our sport and the people that make it special. By creating a short, inexpensive book that can be passed along by a friend, perhaps some balance can be added to misleading media ‘sound bites’ about the shooting sports and firearms.”
Share the Book
Chip hopes shooting sports enthusiasts will “pass the book along for others to read, especially those who may be on the fence about firearms. For every book sold, I can give two away.”
“From a multi-faceted man (Marine, teacher, sailor, and editor) comes this many-sided little book that sparkles with bits of information about the NRA’s history and current mission. No polemics, just useful nuggets of data that the publics would be unlikely to encounter otherwise.
This book will not change the minds of dedicated anti-gunners, but it could make the difference in the hands people who want to get the story right, but are too busy to do the research themselves.
– Dr. Judy Tant, National Pistol Champion
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August 26th, 2014
Big Victory for California Gun Owners!
California’s 10-day waiting period for gun purchases was ruled unconstitutional by a Federal judge on August 25, 2014 in a significant victory for Second Amendment civil rights. The laws were challenged by California gun owners Jeffrey Silvester and Brandon Combs, as well as two gun rights groups, The Calguns Foundation, and Second Amendment Foundation. The decision was issued in the case of Silvester v. Harris.
Ruling is Limited in Scope
The Court’s decision does not toss out California’s 10-day waiting period completely. However, the Court did rule that the 10-day rule is invalid for those who already lawfully possess firearms and have satisfied background checks. The full decision can be read at http://bit.ly/silvester-v-harris-decision
Federal Court Decides 10-day Waiting Period Laws Violate 2nd Amendment Rights
The ruling was made by the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of California. In his decision, Federal District Judge Anthony W. Ishii, a Clinton appointee, found that “the 10-day waiting periods of Penal Code [sections 26815(a) and 27540(a)] violate the Second Amendment” as to certain classes of citizens, and “burdens the Second Amendment rights of the Plaintiffs.”
Specifically the Court held that the 10-day waiting period was invalid for citizens who already held a CCW license and had passed background checks. The Court did NOT hold the the 10-day period was invalid for new purchasers who had not already been vetted. Specifically, Judge Ishii held that: “Penal Code §26815(a) and § 27540(a)’s 10-day waiting periods impermissibly violate the Second Amendment as applied to those persons who already lawfully possess a firearm as confirmed by the AFS, to those who possess a valid CCW license, and to those who possess both a valid COE and a firearm as confirmed by the AFS system, if the background check on these individuals is completed and approved prior to the expiration of 10 days.”
“This is a great win for Second Amendment civil rights and common sense,” said Jeff Silvester, the named individual plaintiff. “I couldn’t be happier with how this case turned out.”
Under the court order, the California Department of Justice (DOJ) must change its systems to accommodate the unobstructed release of guns to gun buyers who pass a background check and possess a California license to carry a handgun, or who hold a “Certificate of Eligibility” issued by the DOJ and already possess at least one firearm known to the state.
“California gun owners are not second-class citizens and the Second Amendment doesn’t protect second class rights,” noted plaintiff Brandon Combs, also CGF’s executive director. “This decision is an important step towards restoring fundamental individual liberties in the Golden State.”
“This ruling clearly addressed the issue we put before the court,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “We are naturally delighted with the outcome.”
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August 26th, 2014
As the majority of states now allow concealed carry (under “shall issue” or similar doctrines), there are more Americans armed with carry guns than ever before. And now there’s a new resource that lets CCW holders keep track of the value of their totable weapons.
A Guide Book of Carry Gun Values covers all types of carry handguns from derringers up to full-frame semi-autos and large relovers. This full-color book offers accurate pricing estimates along with handgun specifications, production history, and market information.
This resource features the Red Book Code™, a universal system of identifying and organizing firearms on the secondary market. Additionally, since wear is a huge factor in determining a firearm’s value, the book offers a firearm condition grading scale, rating guns at NIB (New in Box), Mint, Excellent, VG+ (Very Good Plus), Good, Fair, and Poor.
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August 22nd, 2014
Michelle Gallagher, the 2014 NRA National Long-Range Champion, has been named Head Coach of the United States F-Class Open Rifle Team for the 2017 F-Class World Championships. Congrats to Michelle, a great person, and a heck of a competitor. The official announcement, from F-Open Team Captain Rick Jensen, is provided below.
By Rick Jensen
The United States F-Class Open Rifle Team is very excited to announce that Michelle Gallagher will be our Head Coach for the 2017 World Championship Team!
Michelle is no stranger to competitive shooting. As many of you know, she grew up shooting smallbore and Palma with her family at ranges from Phoenix to Camp Perry, Ohio and about everywhere in between. Then, in 2009 she decided to give F-Class a try. It didn’t take her long to begin making a name for herself within the sport. That year at Bisley, she along with her mom, Nancy Tompkins, coached the 4 Man U.S. F-Open Team to a win at The Rutland Cup World Championship Match. Michelle has also had a great deal of success here at home in our US F-Class Nationals. She coached The Long Shots into back-to-back National Championships in 2011 and 2012. Then last year at the 4th FCWC she topped off many accomplishments with yet another World Championship win while coaching The Spindle Shooters in Raton, NM.
Michelle brings with her a wealth of shooting knowledge and coaching experience, but what really sets her apart is her winning attitude and personality. We have been fortunate to be on many teams with her as our coach, and we can honestly say we have enjoyed each one of them. Somehow she even makes losing tolerable; although, that doesn’t seem to happen very often. She is truly a joy to be around and we look forward to working with her for many years to come.
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August 19th, 2014
Anschütz now has its own importation hub in the USA. This new facility, located in Trussville, Alabama, will operate as a direct extension of the parent company, J.G. ANSCHÜTZ GmbH & Co.KG of Germany. Having its own importation facility will help Anschütz supply rifles to the American market more efficiently. Steven Boelter, President of Anschütz North American (NA) operations, tells us that that the new Alabama facility will allow Anschütz to import a wider range of products and carry a larger standing inventory. That’s good for rimfire and air rifle customers.
The new importation/distribution center will soon be supported by an in-house Anschütz service center that will handle warranty repairs and custom upgrades. This will offer Anschütz after-sales service for all company products, as well as warranty support, repairs, spare parts, and tech info. (This new service center will operate as an adjunct to other existing target and air rifle service centers within the USA.) Learn more about the soon-to-be launched service center at www.anschutznorthamerica.com.
Anschütz NA does not sell directly to consumers, but if you are interested in a particular Anschütz product, you can contact the Anschütz’s staff in Alambama. They will answer your questions or connect you with a current Anschütz dealer. The established Anschütz distribution chain and main dealer network in the US will continue to operate as before.
Anschütz North America
7661 Commerce Lane
P.O. Box 129
Trussville, AL 35173-2837
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August 18th, 2014
Have you considered becoming an NRA Life Member, but couldn’t swing the substantial $1000.00 cost? Well, right now you can get an NRA Life Membership for half price.
Now through August 20, 2014 the NRAstore is offering life memberships for just $495.00. Think about that — for the next three days (through August 20th) you can save $505.00 on an NRA Life Membership, making this more affordable than ever.
Remember, the clock is ticking! This $495.00 NRA LIfe Membership Offer is only good through Wednesday, August 20th, so don’t hesitate if you are interested — you snooze, you loose.
Big Savings on 1-Year, 3-Year, or 5-Year Memberships Too
If you are not ready to become an NRA Life Member, you can also get a significant discount on 1-Year, 3-Year, or 5-Year NRA memberships. You can save $10 on a one-year membership, save $15 on a three-year membership, or save $35.00 on a five-year membership. NOTE: This offer runs through 8/20/2014. CLICK HERE for 1-Year, 3-Year, and 5-Year Membership Sale.
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August 18th, 2014
On September 13-20, 2014, the NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championship will held at the Whittington Center in Raton, NM. Top Black Powder Cartridge Rifle (BPCR) shooters from around the country will visit Raton to test their skills during a week-long event with targets set from 200 to 1000 yards. The event kicks off with Mid-Range matches at 200 to 600 yards. On the firing line you’ll see many handsome, custom-built BPCRs (Sharps, Ballards, Browning High Walls, Rolling Blocks) with exquisite wood, hand-checkering, and color-case-hardened receivers.
The 800-1000 yard Creedmoor matches will be held Friday and Saturday, September 19-20. Interestingly, for safety reasons, there are minimum bullet weight and muzzle velocity requirements for the Creedmoor matches. These BPCR shooters launch some seriously heavy projectiles downrange:
||Minimum Bullet Weight (Grains)
||Minimum Bullet Velocity (FPS)
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August 15th, 2014
This week the Canadian F-Class Championships (and Americas Match) are being held at the Connaught Range outside Ottawa, Ontario. Conditions have been nasty, with rain and blustery winds. This has been a humbling experience for our American shooters, many of whom are experiencing Connaught for the first time.
After the first day, James Crofts, 2012 USA National F-TR Champion, told us: “I was very humbled today at the Connaught ranges. I’m down 19 for the day. Shot a 900 meter match with 9.5 minutes of wind and held another 1.5. Tomorrow is another day.”
American Phil Kelley provides an in-depth report for the first two days:
“Day 2 Canadian Nationals — Humility remains the biggest lesson being learned in Canada. Rain, wind, rain, wind and more rain sums up the day. But there is something about it that is a lot of fun. The Americans overall did much better today versus those of the home country. Jim and I shot fairly well all day although I dropped about four more than I should during a weird portion of the last match. Jim dropped 15 today, I dropped 21. Scores are high given the conditions. This sport has stepped up another notch. [There is an] amazing level of competition at this match.”
“Very different conditions for every relay. So far at 900m you automatically dial in about 6 min to get on paper. Then be ready to add from there. It WILL rain to pour at some point during each relay and don’t even think about them not shooting. Starting to figure things out but too late for this tournament. Great experience for future tournaments though. Final two individual matches tomorrow and a couple of team events. The big Americas Match is Saturday. Can’t wait. Ammo and rifle are outstanding. Just have to educate the shooter a little more.”
“Day One Canadian Nationals — Well, new ranges have a way of humbling you. A day full of different conditions. Rain, sun, clouds and wind, wind, major wind! Shot very well in two matches, but the 900m (1000-yard) match was something else. I knew I was experiencing something new with these heavy ‘Bisley’ flags when I started sighters with 4 min left on and shot a 2 right, then 6.5 minutes left to only get a 3 right then 7.5 min left on and hold 2.5 min more left to get a 5 on 1st shot for record. Wow! It took me several shots to get over that thought and unfortunately several 3s followed to drop 12 for the string. Still not bad, dropped 17 for the day. Leader Alan Barnhart dropped 8 (outstanding). Al [and] several Canadians had good days as one would expect. Awesome range. Cool new conditions. I’ve heard of these international ranges shooting no matter the weather, with big numbers dialed in for wind. Awesome to experience it. Always an honor to shoot with the great Mid Tompkins calling the shots.”
It looks like the waiting was worth it, Shiraz Balolia (right) and Will Chou (left) were winners…
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August 12th, 2014
Report by Jeff Stover, IBS President
Photos by Vera Carter
Smooth. Efficient. Well-run. Lots of small groups. Those words pretty much spell out the 45th annual IBS Group Nationals at Fairchance, PA. Match Director Bill Reahard and his crew put on a great show that consists of six days of competition from Monday through Saturday. Bill and his team spent days getting their southwestern Pennsylvania range ready for the nearly 80 shooters who attended. Fairchance is no stranger to big matches as the club has hosted previous Nationals and World Team qualifiers.
IBS 2014 Group Nat’l Championship RESULTS (web-page)
IBS 2014 Group Nat’l Championship RESULTS (XLS spreadsheet)
Six Days of Competition in Four Classes
Some say that the IBS Group Nationals is a marathon. Six days of competition at both 100 and 200 yards with four classes of rifles: Light Varmint (10.5 lb.); Sporter (10.5 lb. – 6mm min caliber); Heavy Varmint (13.5 lb.) and Heavy Bench (known as ‘Unlimited’ in NBRSA-land). The first three classes are simply known as the “bag guns”. Most competitors use a 10.5-lb. rifle in 6PPC and compete in all three classes. The Heavy Bench (HB) class requires 10-shot groups as opposed to 5-shot groups for the bag guns. There is no prohibition to shooting your 10.5 lb. rifle in HB, but bag guns are simply outclassed by the rail guns, especially for 10-shot groups.
All 100-yard targets were shot the first three days followed by three days at 200 yards. It is done in this sequence to require only one change of wind flags.
Natalie from the Target Crew during the Powder-Puff match.
The week delivered pretty typical mid-Atlantic August weather: hazy sun with 80% humidity in the morning dropping to 50% as the temperature warmed. Fairchance is sometimes known to offer strong crosswinds that challenge the best of shooters. This week, however, the breezes were light to moderate and switchy. A shooter on his game with a well-tuned rifle could assemble a string of good groups. There were many ‘Teen Aggs’ (sub-.200 five target averages) shot this week.
Musical Chairs at the Group Nationals
IBS Nationals competition requires ‘full rotation’. That means that every time a shooter goes to the line for the next match target, he or she must move a requisite number of benches to the right. At the end of the day a shooter will shoot across the full width of the line. Some ranges offer unique properties that render some parts of the range harder or easier to shoot small groups. Bench rotation is important to even out those factors.
View looking down-range. This is a beautiful place to shoot.
Monday morning saw the Heavy Bench (HB) shooters hauling the big rail guns to the line. Bill Symons led the way at 100 yards with the only ‘Teen Agg’ in HB, a fine .1972. The 200-yard stage for HB would not be held until Saturday morning.
On Tuesday the bag guns came out for Light Varmint (LV) and Sporter (SP). Conditions allowed for quite a few very good groups. When the top five are under .1900 you know two things — Nationals competitors brought their “A Game” and the conditions were manageable. Sporter was not too much different as the first four were in the ‘teens. Ohio’s Jeff Gaidos led the way in LV with a .1714. In SP, Wayne Campbell from Virginia won with a .1902.
Sporter 100 “Top Guns” (L to R): Charles Miller, Steve Lee, Al Auman, Wayne Campbell, Larry Costa.
Wednesday was reserved for Heavy Varmint (HV) at 100 yards. Steve Lee worked his magic with a .1742. Reportedly, he was using some new Bart’s bullets on new Bart’s jackets. Steve shot well all week. Those new bullets certainly contributed to his success.
Wednesday afternoon saw the moving of flags for the 200-yard stage of the competition. The SP and LV 200 yard targets were Thursday’s course of fire. In LV, Hal Drake shot a .2045 Aggregate which edged Larry Costa’s .2076. At 200 yards the Aggregates are measure on MOA. Therefore, Hal’s .2045 Aggregate translates to an average 200 yard target measurement of .409”. The afternoon was reserved for SP targets. Wayne Campbell shot a .2250 to win the afternoon’s contest.
On Friday, a single Aggregate of five record targets were shot for Heavy Varmint (HV) at 200 yards. Harley Baker had his mojo working with a tiny .1674 Aggregate — not far off from the IBS record. On Friday afternoon many of the awards for the bag guns were given out. Saturday was reserved for HB 200. Since some of the bag gun shooters do not shoot a rail gun a number of competitors left Friday afternoon. The rail guns came out to contest 200 yards on the last day of the Nationals. The winner was Jack Neary who shot a .2324 Aggregate to edge Steve Lee’s .2361.
IBS 2014 Group Shooting National Championships — Top Fives
About the IBS Awards at the Group Nationals
The IBS recognizes winners as follows: Range Aggregates for each of the four classes of rifles; Grand (100 and 200) Aggregates in each of the four classes; 2-Gun (all HV and LV targets in 100 & 200); 3-gun (HV, LV, SP in 100 & 200) and 4-gun (HV, LV, SP and HB in 100 & 200). For the multi-gun competition, Florida’s Larry Costa won both the 2-Gun and 3-Gun titles. In the 4-gun, however, it was Michigander Bill Symons who took the 4-Gun title with an excellent .2332.
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August 12th, 2014
Shooting Sports USA, the NRA’s monthly journal for target shooting enthusiasts, is celebrating more than 100 years of reporting on competition shooting. The magazine features shooting news, technical articles, product reviews, and an annual calendar of 15,000 matches. Articles examine a breadth of topics, from tournament results to shooting techniques, and cater to shooters of all ages and experience levels.
American Rifleman and American Hunter are the high profile NRA magazines. But avid competitors turn to Shooting Sports USA for news on competitive shooting. Now in it’s 100th year of publication, Shooting Sports USA is a great resource, and it’s FREE. That’s right, the digital version of Shooting Sports USA is free to read online. Check it out:
CLICK HERE to Read FREE August issue.
CLICK HERE for FREE digital subscription to Shooting Sports USA.
Origins of Shooting Sports USA
The progenitor of Shooting Sports USA was originally an insert in Arms and the Man (which later became the American Rifleman). The rising popularity of competitive shooting led to the creation of a new magazine in 1947 named NRA Tournament News. In 1976 the magazine was renamed American Marksman and began publishing more articles oriented toward the competitive shooter. The magazine again changed its name in 1988 to Shooting Sports USA, and it remains today one of the leading competition shooting journals in the USA.
“Anyone who has an interest in competitive shooting, from beginners to professionals, can find something to like in the pages of Shooting Sports USA,” said Managing Editor Chip Lohman. “From covering the sport’s history to tips on improving accuracy, our magazine is dedicated to helping shooters across the United States enjoy their sport.”
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August 6th, 2014
Berger Bullets has improved its online stability calculator. Tests have shown that bullets can suffer from reduced BC if the bullet rpm (spin rate) is less than optimal, even if barrel twist rate is otherwise fast enough to stabilize bullets in flight. Now, the improved, free Stability Calculator can determine if you need a faster-twist barrel to enjoy the best BC from your bullets.
CLICK HERE for FREE Berger Twist Rate Stability Calculator
By Bryan Litz, Chief Ballistician for Berger Bullets
We’re happy to announce a major upgrade to our Twist Rate Stability Calculator which is free to use on the Berger Bullets webpage. The old stability calculator was pretty basic, and would simply return a gyroscopic stability number based on your bullet, twist rate, and atmospheric conditions. This was used to determine if your barrels twist rate was fast enough to stabilize a particular bullet or not, based on the Gyroscopic Stability Factor (SG) being greater than 1.4.
Stability and BC — How Bullet RPM Affects Ballistic Coefficients
The new calculator still calculates SG, but also goes much further. In addition to calculating stability, the upgraded calculator can also tell you if your stability level is harming the effective BC of your bullets or not. Extensive testing has proven that bullets fired with stability levels between 1.2 and 1.5 can fly with excellent precision (good groups), but suffer from a depressed BC, sometimes as much as 10%. Shooting the bullets from faster twist rate barrels allows for the bullets to fly better and realize their full BC potential.
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August 3rd, 2014
Story based on report by Lars Dalseide for NRA Blog
An epic mother-daughter duel came down to a single X, with Michelle Gallagher besting her mom, Nancy Tompkins, by the slimmest of margins. To accomplish that feat, and win the Long Range National Championship, Michelle had to shoot a superb final match at 1000 yards, not dropping a point. Congratulations to Michelle, for her impressive win.
Finishing with 1096-66X, Gallagher took the LR title with Tompkins (1096-65X) in second and SSG Brandon Green (1096-59X) in third. Thomas Colyer was forth with 1096-56X. Remarkably, the top four shooters all finished with the same point total, only separated by X count!
Michelle (Left) is ‘all smiles’ with sister Sherri Jo Gallagher (Right), a former National Champion.
900-Yard Phase Cancelled By Lightning Storm
Michelle Gallagher shot a perfect 300-19X in Saturday’s Palma Match to win the 2014 National Long Range Rifle Championship. Beginning the day two points down, Gallagher racked up fifteen 10s at 800 yards along with another fifteen 10s at 1,000. Though Palma traditionally includes a 900-yard phase as well, that portion of Saturday’s match was cancelled due to the morning’s lightning storm.
“Talk about an exciting finish,” said High Power Rifle Match Director Sherri Judd. “She hung in there after dropping a few points in the early rounds and finished strong.”
“After finishing at 1,000, I knew it was going to be close by I had no idea it would be that close,” Gallagher said.
NRA 2014 National High Power Rifle Long Range Championships
Other notable performances were turned in by Waylon Burbach, James (Jim) O’Connell, and SFC Joel Micholick. Burbach, as a Junior, shot a superb 1091-55X to beat all but six of the 282 competitors. Jim O’Connell, as a Grand Senior, proved he still has what it takes, finishing sixteenth overall with 1086-52X. “Man, that old guy can shoot!” was often heard on the firing line. Micholick proved the capability of the AR platform, recording a 1074-34X with his iron-sighted M110 to be the top Service Rifle shooter.
CLICK HERE for Complete Long Range Championships Results
|1. Michelle Gallagher
||6. Philip Crowe
|2. Nancy Tompkins
||7. Waylon Burbach
|3. SSG Brandon Green
||8. Norman Crawford
|4. SSG Thomas Colyer
||9. SGT Eric Smith
|5. SSG Shane Barnhart
||10. John Whidden
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