November 21st, 2017

With Increased Production, Rimfire Ammo Prices Drop

Rimfire Ammo prices ammunition .22 LR supply CCI Lewiston
Image by Dean Weingarten, GunWatch Blog.

It’s the “good old days” again for rimfire ammo buyers. A new 37,000-square-foot CCI rimfire production facility is running in Lewiston, Idaho. And demand has dropped. That all translates to greater .22 LR ammunition availability, and much lower prices. You can now find “big name” American-made .22 LR at $2.20/box levels — that’s just 4.4 cents per round. See AMMO PRICES HERE.

Dean Weingarten explains: “The new .22 rimfire plant in Lewiston, Idaho, is online. Vista Outdoor, which owns the CCI and Federal brands, has increased rimfire production for both brands by 20 percent (20%). And demand is dropping. With end of the Obama administration, the .22 ammunition bubble is deflating. Most stores have ammunition available. Prices are coming down.”

From the Lewiston Tribune, November 10th, 2017:

Vista Outdoor recently debuted a new, 37,000-square-foot, $35 million rimfire ammunition plant near the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport, which has resulted in what company officials describe as a “very satisfying” reduction in the time needed to complete an order.

Vista Outdoor has reduced ammunition prices to maintain market share as its customers work through stockpiles they amassed under the administration of Barack Obama — when they feared new regulation that never came to pass: “We’re the market leader in rimfire. Brand preference in ammunition tends to be somewhat sticky. It took us a long time to gain our market share. … We are loathe to cede that during a period of challenging pricing because it’s going to be very difficult to get that back.”

The Ammo Supply and Demand Cycle

Commentary by Dean Weingarten, GunWatch Blog
The ammunition manufacturers, such as Vista Outdoors, do not want to lower prices. As with any manufacturer, life is easy and smooth when both prices and demand are high. But the market does not guarantee that prices and demand will remain high. Only force, in the form of government granted monopolies, or collusion, as with the OPEC cartel, can do that. Neither of those things exist in the United States, where a mostly free market in ammunition is enforced.

The CCI and Federal brands have an enviable reputation for reliability and quality. They have customer loyalty because of that. [But there is pressure from the competition…]

.22 LR 22LR rimfire ammunition ammo best price

Aguila Nearly Doubled Production, Resulting in Lower Prices
Market competition works. Aguila of Mexico saw opportunity and increased its production before Vista Outdoors did. Aguila almost doubled its production to capture some of the increasing American market. That is reflected in the availability and price structure seen today. Aguila’s brands are at the lowest price point in the market. Vista has to reduce prices to keep market share. Federal low price brands are in direct competition with Aguila. The lowest prices are now at 3.7 – 4 cents per round.

Prices are going to continue to fall. If you look at the prices on the old Remington box, it was purchased on sale at less than two cents per round. I will not be surprised if we see prices at or below two cents per round, at sporadic sales, before the end of President Trump’s term.

Shopping TIP: For Rock-Bottom Prices Check Estate Sales
For those looking for even lower prices, look for estate sales. Prices of ammunition at estate sales are going to be in the basement. Because of liability, gun stores will not buy ammunition back from private owners. Many people who inherit ammunition are afraid of it, know nothing about guns, and want to get rid of it. I have heard of thousands of dollars of ammunition being turned in to police to be destroyed.

See Rimfire Ammo Production at CCI Factory

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 6 Comments »
November 21st, 2017

Minute of Angle (MOA) Explained by Informative Video

one minute of angle

This popular video, viewed over 1.1 million times on YouTube, provides a clear explanation of Minute of Angle (MOA) and how that angular measurement is used. Among novice shooters, there is much confusion over this term. In this NSSF Video, Ryan Cleckner, a former Sniper Instructor for the 1st Ranger Battalion, defines the term, “Minute of Angle” (MOA) and explains how you can adjust for windage and elevation using 1/4 or 1/8 MOA clicks on your scope. This allows you to sight-in precisely and compensate for bullet drop at various distances.

For starters, Ryan explains that, when talking about angular degrees, a “minute” is simply 1/60th. So a “Minute of Angle” is simply 1/60th of one degree of a central angle, measured either up and down (for elevation) or side to side (for windage). At 100 yards, 1 MOA equals 1.047″ on the target. This is often rounded to one inch for simplicity. Say, for example, you click up 1 MOA. That is roughly 1 inch at 100 yards, or roughly 4 inches at 400 yards, since the target area measured by 1 MOA increases in linear fashion with the distance.

Story sourced by Edlongrange.
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November 19th, 2017

Drilled by Dasher — Spectacular 600-Yard Target Shot in Oregon

Tri-Valley Gun Club TVGC Portland Oregon

Take a look at that group. That would be pretty nice for 200 yards. But this group was shot at 600 yards in competition by Fred Dobson at a recent NBRSA match in Oregon. The X-Ring is 1.2″ in diameter. Perfectly centered for a 50-5X, this Light Gun target should be a new NBRSA Score record, pending approval. The previous Score record was Ken Schroeder’s 50-4X.

Tri-Valley Gun Club TVGC Portland OregonFred’s 600-yard group is also amazingly small. Using On-Target Software, we measured Fred’s five-shot group at 0.738″, which is a tiny 0.118 MOA at 600 yards.

NOTE: This is NOT an official measurement. The actual 5-shot group size might be larger or smaller, though it won’t be an NBRSA GROUP record. The current NBRSA 600-yard Light Gun group size record is 0.5823″ set by Robert Hoppe way back in 2008. But Fred’s 50-5X target should, indeed, be a new SCORE record.

Forum member “Jet” reports: “The Tri-County Gun Club just south of Portland, Oregon hosted its second NBRSA 600-guard match 11/18/2017. Twenty-one shooters brought rifles to the line. Fred Dobson shot the 50-5X target shown here.”

Congrats to Fred. Forum member KVD posted: “That’s truly fine shooting — something to be proud of. Seems like the bar gets boosted higher and higher every time there is a sanctioned match.”

Load Specifications
Cartridge: 6mm Dasher
Bullet: Precision Ballistics 105 gr
Powder: Hodgdon Varget
Primer: CCI 450

Equipment Specifications
Action: Kelbly
Barrel: Bartlein 1:7.5″ twist
Stock: McMillan MBR

Tri-County Gun Club TVGC Portland Oregon
TCGC 600-yard Range. This range uses the same target holders as the 300-yard line of the 200–300 yard range, which is closed when the 600-yard range is in use. Raised platform is for prone shooting.

About the Tri-County Gun Club in Oregon
Tri-county Gun Club TVGC Portland Oregon

Tri-County Gun Club is one of the premiere shooting clubs in the Pacific Northwest. The 230-acre private facility is located in Sherwood, Oregon just 15 minutes from downtown Portland. TCGC offers a wealth of ranges, competitions, and social activities for shooters of all ages, interests, and skill levels.

Article Tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
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November 19th, 2017

Super-Slow-Motion Firearms Highlight Reel

Bullet theory films slow motion slo-mo ultra high speed camera video

Here’s an stunning highlight reel created by Bullet Theory Films, a Los Angeles-based production company that specializes in capturing action that is too quick for the human eye to see. Using ultra-high-speed cameras, these talented film-makers have captured blindingly fast phenomena — things that happen in micro-seconds. The resulting video imagery can be used for R&D, scientific analysis, product marketing, or (of course) entertainment.

We recommend you watch this video full-screen in High-Definition:

This impressive slo-mo “sizzle reel” features many notable sequences, including:

00:18: .45 ACP leaving m1911 muzzle
00:27: Rifle bullet penetrating barrier with explosive ejecta
00:33: M1A cycling 7.62×51 cartridges
00:38: Pistol bullet disintegrating on steel
00:40: Huge muzzle flame from 12ga shotgun and lead shot on steel
00:45: 5.56 bullet in ballistics gelatin with secondary explosion
01:07: Handgun flame ring from muzzle
01:11: Massive shotgun blast with slug in midair

About the Film-Makers
Bullet Theory Films Co-Founders Matt Novello and Matt Drake first met on the set of History Channel’s highly successful competition reality show TOP SHOT. Throughout five seasons, the show set a benchmark in the art of capturing firearms and live ammunition in action, which has yet to be surpassed.

Utilizing the latest digital high speed technology, Bullet Theory Films offers a full range of production services; from concept development, to the final delivery of your vision. For more information, visit BulletTheoryFilms.com.

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November 18th, 2017

TSA Tips for Traveling Safe During the Holiday Season

Tom McHale flying with firearms guns TSA
Airport photo by Politikaner under Creative Commons License.

Thanksgiving is almost here. We know many readers will soon be traveling to spend the holiday with family members. If you will be flying with firearms this November, you should read this article. You need to familiarize yourself with current Federal Regulations on gun transport before you get anywhere near an airport. Thankfully, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has a web page that states the important requirements for airline passengers traveling with firearms* and/or ammunition.

You’ll want to visit the TSA Firearms and Ammunition webpage, and read it carefully. In addition, before your trip, check the regulations of the airline(s) with which you will fly. Some airlines have special requirements, such as weight restrictions.

Here are the TSA’s key guidelines for travel with firearms:

Tom McHale flying with firearms guns TSA

More Airline Travel Tips from Tom McHale
Tom McHale has written an excellent article for the Beretta Blog, Ten Things You Need to Know about Flying with Guns. We suggest you visit the Beretta Blog to read this informative story. Here are two of Tom McHale’s Travel Tips:

Weigh your gun case and ammunition
Most airlines will allow up to 11 pounds of ammunition. And, like any luggage, you will be charged more for any baggage weighing more than 50 pounds. This sounds like a lot, but when traveling to the Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun competition last year, my case with shotgun, rifle, pistol and ammunition tipped the scale past the 50 pound mark.

Pack ammo in the same locking case
This is another area that’s misunderstood and full of internet myth. Your ammo just needs to be stored in some type of safe container and not loose. Technically, you can keep ammunition in magazines, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It meets the letter of the law storage requirement, but too many airline and TSA agents will give you grief. Use a plastic ammo box or original cardboard packaging and you’ll be fine carrying that in the same lockable case as your gun.

Tom McHale flying with firearms guns TSA

*SEE United States Code, Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 44. A “firearm” is defined as: any weapon (including a starter gun) which will, or is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; the frame or receiver of any such weapon; any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; and any destructive device. As defined by 49 CFR 1540.5 a loaded firearm has a live round of ammunition, or any component thereof, in the chamber or cylinder or in a magazine inserted in the firearm.

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November 18th, 2017

Wild Game Recipes for Thanksgiving from NRABlog.com

Thanksgiving recipes NRABlog.com

Looking for culinary inspiration for your holiday gatherings? The NRA Blog offers three special (and delicious) Wild Game Recipes for your family feasts: Honey Mustard Planked Wild Turkey Breast, Mushroom-Stuffed Wild Boar Roast with Black Truffle Sauce, and BBQ Brined Pigeon. These recipes come from some of the country’s best chefs, and they all seem mouth-watering. You’ll find a full list of ingredients plus step-by-step cooking tips.

One of the many advantages to hunting is the assortment of game you can gather that lasts for an extended period of time. Just because it’s Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you have to stick with a whole turkey from the store and a ham hock.

We have three unique spins on wild game recipes that will suit your dining table perfectly. Even if you’re one of those hunters who enjoys a quick hunt the morning of Thanksgiving, these recipes will make your holiday more delicious than ever. — NRABlog.com

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November 17th, 2017

Mobile App Locates FFLs Nationwide

FFL location app iOS

FFL Finder AppNeed to find an FFL near you (or near a destination to which you’ll be traveling)? Then check out this handy FFL Finder App from Huntgeek.com. This easy-to-use, inexpensive Mobile App locates FFLs throughout the country. FFL Finder sells for 99 cents ($0.99) for Apple iOS or Android OS.

CLICK HERE for Apple iOS App »

CLICK HERE for Android OS App »

This App helps sellers as well as buyers. When you sell a firearm to a resident of another State, Federal law requires the shipment to be received and logged by an FFL. This App helps you quickly identify a reputable FFL near your purchaser. It can also help you identify a gunsmith FFL if you are away from home on a hunting trip: “Great app to find gun shops when you travel outside your home area.”

With FFL Finder, you instantly get mapped results of FFL holders near your location (via GPS) or by selecting an area on a map. You can quickly find a variety of nearby FFLs you can contact to compare their transfer rates and policies. If you need to ship a gun out of state, the program quickly finds an FFL who can receive the firearm. And if you are traveling away from home for a match, or a hunting trip, the App can find locations where you can obtain ammo, supplies, and replacement parts. That’s reassuring. Imagine you are traveling and your firearm breaks, or your optics fail, so you need spare parts or a new scope immediately. The FFL Finder App can help you source what you need.

FREE Gunbroker FFL Directory
Gunbroker also offers a FREE online directory of FFLs nationwide. Visit the GunBroker FFL Dealer Network webpage, and then search by State and/or Zip Code.

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November 15th, 2017

Register Now for 2018 SHOT Show in Las Vegas

SHOT Show 2017 Las Vegas hotel reservation registration

Think Vegas in January, baby — yes, we’re talkin’ about SHOT Show (Jan. 23-26, 2018). Registration for the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s 2018 SHOT Show is now open for all Attendees, Exhibitors, and Media. Register online now at Shotshow.org. The SHOT Show hotel booking system is also active. It’s a good idea to reserve rooms early to get the best rates. SHOT Show organizers have negotiated deeply discounted rates at dozens of Las Vegas hotels, with prices as low as $56 per night. However, some of the most popular affiliated hotels are already sold out. And sometimes you can get better deals through websites such as Priceline and Trivago.com.

SHOT Show 2018 Las Vegas hotel reservation registration

Scheduled for January 23-26 in Las Vegas, the big gun industry convention is just two months away. While registering, attendees can enroll in SHOT Show University, and/or sign up for other educational offerings. Sorry, the Industry Dinner is already sold out.

SHOT Show is NOT open to the general public. To attend you need to have an affiliation with a gun industry company, retailer, or media outlet. That said, thousands of non-professionals attend each year, receiving credentials from gun shops, parts distributors, retailers and the like.

SHOT Show tip from EdLongrange. We welcome user submissions.
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November 14th, 2017

Consider Bore-Stores for Winter Storage of Fine Firearms

Bore-Store Gun Sacks

Wintertime, the season of cold and damp, is right around the corner. There’s already snow on the ground in some parts of the country. If you want your fine firearms to remain pristine and rust-free through the winter months, it’s wise to protect then while they are stored in a safe. You should protect blued surfaces with a rust-blocker. In addition, we recommend storing guns in protective sleeves. Our take on Bore-Store Gun sleeves is simple: They work great, so buy them and use them — for ALL your valuable firearms.

These thick, synthetic-fleece sacks cushion your guns, preventing nicks and scratches. The breathable fabric wicks away moisture, and the fibers are coating with corrosion inhibitors. I personally use Bore-Stores for in-safe storage with all my guns, and I have never had one of my guns rust inside a Bore-Store, even when I lived a stone’s throw from the ocean.

Bore-Stores are offered in a wide range of sizes, so you can find something to fit everything from a Snub-nosed revolver to a 32″-barrelled 50 BMG. Rifle-size Bore Stores can be purchased for $12.00 – $21.00 from Brownells. For long F-Class or tactical rifles, we recommend the 10″x52″ Scoped Shotgun Bag, Brownells item 132-000-003. You can also order direct from the Bore-Store manufacturer, Big Spring Enterprises, www.BoreStores.com. Big Spring will also craft custom sizes on request.

Consider Military-Style, Triple-Layer Bags for Long-Term Storage
While we prefer Bore-Stores for regularly-used guns, if you have heirloom firearms that will be kept in storage for very long periods without seeing any use, you may want to grease them up and place them in the thin, but rugged three-layer storage bags sold by Brownells. The bags are made from a three-layer laminate of polyester, aluminum, and polyethylene film, with a shiny silver exterior. Though the laminate is thin, the Brownells storage bags are puncture-resistant, and have a 0% moisture transmission rating so moisture can’t get inside. These bags are also resistant to petroleum-based chemicals and they won’t break down even in contact with soil or moisture.

3-layer Brownells storage bagHere’s one VITAL bit of advice for using these bags. Be absolutely sure, before you seal up the bags, that your guns are DRY and that all metal surfaces have been coated with an effective anti-corrosive, such as BoeShield T9 or Eezox. Brownells’ storage bags are inexpensive. A three-pak of 12″x 60″ rifle sacks (item 083-055-003WB) costs just $22.99 — under eight bucks a gun. That’s cheap insurance for rifles and shotguns that may cost thousands of dollars.

Get Your Guns Out of Foam-lined Cases — They Are Rust Magnets
Just about the worst thing you can do in the winter (short of leaving your rifle outside in the rain) is to store firearms in tight, foam-padded cases. The foam in these cases actually collects and retains moisture from the air, acting as the perfect breeding ground for rust.

Foam-lined hard caseRemember, those plastic-shelled cases with foam interiors are for transport, not for long-term storage. Don’t repeat the mistake of a wealthy gun collector I know. He stored four valuable Colt Single Action Army (SAA) revolvers in individual foam-padded cases, and locked these away in his gun safe. A year later, every one of his precious SAAs had rusted, some badly.

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November 13th, 2017

CMP Travel Games — Big Changes for 2018

CMP Travel Games electronic targets Creedmoor Cup

Report based on story By Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer
The CMP Travel Games will see some big changes in 2018. The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) has revamped its 2018 Travel Games schedule by adding matches and establishing its own Classification System. Starting in 2018, ALL additional Travel Games matches will be held on Electronic Targets, the CMP will take over the Creedmoor Cup Matches, and all matches will now follow CMP High Power Rifle Competition Rules. Moreover, all the Individual Service Rifle Matches will now count towards the new CMP Classification System.

CMP Travel Games schedules have been updated to accommodate the latest additions. CLICK HERE for New Schedules and more INFO.

Electronic Targets to Be Used for Additional Travel Games Matches
In 2018, the CMP will take over the Creedmoor Cup Matches and add new events to the CMP Oklahoma and New England Games. All additional matches will use the CMP’s Electronic Target System. This shows shot location instantly on monitors next to each shooter. The Electronic Targets also eliminate the need for pit duty, so matches run more quickly and there is less work for competitors.

CMP Travel Games

CMP Travel Games electronic targets Creedmoor Cup

New Events Added to the CMP Travel Games
Additional matches added to the Travel Games include Excellence In Competition (EIC) events that will count towards the Distinguished Rifleman Badge. All regular CMP events, such as the Small Arms Firing School, various vintage rifle competitions, Vintage Sniper Match, Rimfire Match, Carbine Match, and pistol matches (except Western), will still be included on the Travel Games schedule.

Oklahoma CMP Travel Games
File photo from 2015 Oklahoma CMP Games. Check schedule for 2018 dates.

Match Changes for CMP 2018 Travel Games:

  • Oklahoma CMP Cup & CMP Games Matches — two 80-Shot (800 Aggregate) Matches and a 4-Man Team Match.
  • Eastern CMP Cup & CMP Games Matches — The three Creedmoor 80 Shot Matches will now be changed to three 80-Shot CMP Cup Matches (800 Aggregate). A 4-Man Team Match and EIC Rifle Match will still be fired.
  • New England CMP Cup & CMP Games Matches — two 80-Shot (800 Aggregate) Matches and a 4-Man Team Match.
  • Western CMP Cup & CMP Games Matches — The three Creedmoor 80-Shot Matches will now be changed to two 100-Shot (1000 Aggregate) Matches. A 4-Man Team Match and EIC Rifle Match will still be fired.

CMP Travel Games

(more…)

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November 11th, 2017

Veterans Day — November 11th — Honor All Who Served

Memorial Veterans Day Vet Army Navy Marines WWII

On that day, let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting and enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain.

– 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Veterans Day proclamation.

On the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month of 1918, bugle calls signaled the ‘cease fire’ ending the First World War. (The official Armistice was signed earlier that morning.) To those who endured it, WWI was the “Great War”, “the War to End All Wars.” Tragically, an even greater conflict consumed the world just two decades later.

Today, 99 years after the end of WWI, Americans mark the anniversary of the WWI Armistice as “Veterans Day”. In Canada it is known as Remembrance Day. On this solemn occasion we honor all those who have served in the military in times of war and peace.

Memorial Veterans Day Vet Army Navy Marines WWII

While more WWII veterans pass away each year, there are still over 21.8 million veterans in the United States. Take time today to honor those soldiers, sailors, and airmen who have served their nation with pride. Today we remember that… “All gave some, and some gave all.”

Former Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James Peake asked Americans to recognize the nation’s 21.8 million living veterans and the generations before them who fought to protect freedom and democracy: “While our foremost thoughts are with those in distant war zones today, Veterans Day is an opportunity for Americans to pay their respects to all who answered the nation’s call to military service.”

On Veterans Day we especially need to remember the seriously wounded combat veterans. These men and women summon great courage every day to overcome the lasting injuries they suffered in battle. Some of these soldiers have lost limbs, yet volunteered to return to combat duty. That is dedication beyond measure.

CLICK HERE for List of Regional Veterans Day Ceremonies.

National Veterans Day Ceremony
The Veterans Day National Ceremony is held each year on November 11th at Arlington National Cemetery. The ceremony commences precisely at 11:00 a.m. with a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns and continues inside the Memorial Amphitheater with a parade of colors by veterans’ organizations. The ceremony is intended to honor and thank all who served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Major regional ceremonies and events are also held throughout the country.

Memorial Veterans Day Vet Army Navy Marines WWII

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November 11th, 2017

Oregon Wilderness Camp Serves Recent Combat Veterans

Camp Divide Oregon Veteran Wilderness Camp

Finding Peace On The Other Side Of War
NRA Blog Story by Catherine Parks, Divide Camp Volunteer

For combat veterans there is a great divide between life pre-war and life post-war. Soldiers prepare, train and are equipped to go to a war zone, but, upon returning home, physically and psychologically injured veterans struggle to assimilate back into a normal life. Divide Camp, located in northeastern Oregon, honors the service of post 9-11 combat veterans through small-group outdoor adventures. The non-profit camp offers hunting, fishing, and other recreational activities. Learn More HERE.

Divide Camp provides lodging, home-cooked meals and transportation at no charge to the veterans served. The camp features 40 acres of remote forestland, six cabins, a shop and an outdoor picnic shelter. In 2014, The NRA Foundation funded its first grant to Divide Camp — $15,000 for an Action Trackchair — to allow amputee veterans to traverse the mountain terrain.

Camp Divide Oregon Veteran Wilderness Camp

Another grant in 2015 funded pistol range construction, safety gear and targets. Initial range work for a competition 3-D archery course shootable from a Trackchair began with funding from an NRA Foundation grant in 2016.

Camp Divide Oregon Veteran Wilderness Camp

How Divide Camp Helps Rebuild Lives
Army veteran Jose Martinez stepped on an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan. Following numerous surgeries and months of therapy, Jose was fitted with prosthetics, which allowed him to walk. Still, extreme depression set in and two suicide attempts followed. On his first day at Divide Camp, Jose used the new all-terrain wheelchair to hunt. “I missed the first couple of times, but my friends didn’t give up on me and Divide Camp didn’t give up on me, and I got one the next morning,” Jose said. “Elk hunting was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. How many amputees in California can say they shot an elk?” Jose stayed in a new cabin built to accommodate veterans with disabilities.

Just being in nature is an amazing healer
Julie Wheeler, Divide Camp executive director, has served as a critical incident stress worker to help others prevent post-traumatic stress disorder. She is familiar with what happens when people are exposed to high stress and trauma. “I know it takes a long time to overcome,” Julie said. “I think they need help beyond what’s provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs, which is drugs and therapy. Just being in nature is an amazing healer.”

Read Full Story on NRABlog.com »

Camp Divide Oregon Veteran Wilderness Camp

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November 10th, 2017

Program Helps Hunters Donate Food for the Needy

NRA hunters for hungry food donations venison deer meat

We support Hunters for the Hungry, a program that feeds needy families in the USA. Hunters for the Hungry (HFTH) is an NRA program that gives back to communities by supplying meals throughout the country. The NRA works closely with state agencies that supervise meat donations. Since the program’s inception, Hunters for the Hungry has brought millions of pounds of venison to homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and food banks across the United States. This program has been in place for 24 years. In 2013, HFTH affiliates donated 2.6 million pounds of meat, equating to 10.3 million meals.

NRA hunters for hungry food donations venison deer meat

Hunt and Help Others
Many American hunters are able to harvest more than they can eat or share with friends and family. Through Hunters for the Hungry you can help share your bounty with those in need.

NRA hunters for hungry food donations venison deer meat

Donation Rules and Regulations
All donated game must be field dressed and legally harvested. Note that each state has different rules and regulations for donations, please check with your local drop off location prior to donating.


Questions? READ Hunters for the Hungry FAQ »

To learn more about Hunters for the Hungry, call (800) 492-4868 (option3) or email hservices@nrahq.org for more information.

Many hunters work with organizations dedicated to the cause of helping the hungry, such as Hunters for the Hungry, Farmers & Hunters Feeding the Hungry, Hunt to Feed, and Buckmasters, among others. The game meat satisfies shelters’ need for nutritious food items. Dave Williams, who manages food resources for a Georgia food bank, said that “Deer venison is such a low-fat, high-protein item, agencies greatly appreciate getting it.” Another recent news report pointed out that one deer can feed up to 200 people. Ground venison is a versatile food, with cooks using it in pasta sauces, chili, tacos, meatloaf, burgers and other dishes.

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November 8th, 2017

Dave Emary Retires as Hornady Senior Ballistician

Hornady 17 HMR 6.5 Creedmoor Superformance David Dave Emary Retire retirement senior ballistician

Dave Emary is concluding his 24-year career at Hornady. Although retiring from full-time duties, Emary will continue with Hornady as a consultant. AccurateShooter.com wants to acknowledge Dave’s decades of important work in the gun industry. Brilliant, dedicated, and forward-thinking, Dave has been one of the top minds in our industry for many years. He will be missed. He can claim credit for many of the most important innovations in cartridge and bullet design in recent decades.

Ask Dave Emary what he liked best about his job as senior ballistics scientist at Hornady, and he’d tell you that it was finding better ways to do things. “At the heart of me, I’m a tinkerer,” Emary said.

To borrow an expression from aeronautics, this Air Force veteran is inclined to “push the envelope,” to think outside the box. “I’m not one willing to just go with the status quo,” Emary said.

Over his 24-year tenure with the company, Emary helped accomplish some of the biggest breakthroughs at Hornady. Although Emary said he was merely in the right place at the right time, the list of projects he influenced in one way or another is a long one.

Dave Emary the Innovator
Fans of Hornady products will quickly recognize the names of ammunition lines such as Critical Defense®, Precision Hunter™ and LEVERevolution®, or cartridges like the 6.5 Creedmoor and 17 HMR, but those are just a few of the dozens Emary worked on after being hired as bullet/ammo lab manager in 1994. For his groundbreaking work, Emary was honored as one of Outdoor Life’s Top 25 for Innovation in 2007.

Emary came by his interest in ballistics naturally, growing up on a farm near Wakeman, Ohio, where he began shooting when he was 10 years old. His dad had a .22, and he shot a lot of small game, rocks and other targets of opportunity.


In this 2008 video, Dave Emary talks about the “new” 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge.

Hornady 17 HMR 6.5 Creedmoor Superformance David Dave Emary Retire retirement senior ballistician

Father And Son at the Vintage Sniper Match

Dave Emary was a key figure in starting the CMP’s Vintage Sniper Rifle Match. Dave was instrumental in bringing the new match to fruition and he says his father was his inspiration. Below, Dave Emary and his father Robert reflect on the success of the first Vintage Sniper Rifle Team Match held at Camp Perry.

Vintage Sniper David Emary Dave Hornady

Robert Emary (above right) was a decorated World War II scout sniper who parachuted into Holland after the Normandy Invasion and fought all the way to the Eagle’s Nest. (Photo: CMP The First Shot)

Vintage Sniper David Emary Dave Hornady
Dave Emary was a competitive shooter. This photo shows Dave (left) and “Gunny” R. Lee Ermey (right) shooting the Vintage Sniper Team Match at Camp Perry. (Photo: NRA Blog)

Q and A with Dave Emary

There is an interesting interview with Dave Emary on the Hornady Blog. Dave shares some insider knowledge on how new cartridge types are developed and SAAMI/CIP standardized. And Dave also comments on his favorite new and old cartridges:

Q: Which Hornady rounds have you helped design?

A: This list gets pretty long, Light and Heavy Magnum, A-MAX Match bullets, V-MAX bullets and the Varmint Express line, 450 Marlin, 17 HMR, 204 Ruger, 17 M2, LEVERevolution bullets and ammunition, 308 and 338 Marlin Express, Ruger Compact Magnums, Critical Defense bullets and ammunition line, 6.5 Creedmoor, Critical DUTY bullets and ammunition, Superformance propellants and ammunition. There’s probably some I’ve forgotten.

Q: What is your personal favorite caliber and why?

A: I love the 6.5 Creedmoor. It provides exceptional accuracy along with being very easy and comfortable to shoot. The external and terminal performance offered by 6.5 mm bullets for the ease of shooting is unmatched. At this point in time it is the only bolt action hunting rifle I own. I occasionally pick it up rather than my lever guns to go hunting. It almost seems unfair hunting with it because of how accurate and flat it shoots and how effective it is.

Hornady 17 HMR 6.5 Creedmoor Superformance David Dave Emary Retire retirement senior ballistician

Q: Which historic calibers do you admire and which is the greatest in your view?

A: It’s hard to look past the .303 British and 8×57 because of their tremendous historic significance. I would also rate the .30–06 in with the previous two. The other cartridge I think really started the present day commercial sporting ammunition designs is the 30–30 Winchester. It was one of the first high velocity, smokeless, commercial offerings and lead the way for cartridge development that eventually far eclipsed it.

Dave Emary’s Background — Physics, Astronomy, Air Force Service, and Ballistics
After earning his Bachelor of Science in physics from Bowling Green State University, Dave worked for a year at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array in New Mexico before joining the U.S. Air Force. In the Air Force, he earned a second bachelor’s degree, in aeronautical/astronomical engineering. He served for six years, rising to the rank of captain.

After the Air Force, Emary worked at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology’s Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center (EMRTC), the largest ordnance-testing facility in the U.S. outside the government. “That’s where I really got into the ballistics side of things,” Emary said. Among other things, research by Emary and his colleagues led to the development of the electromagnetic railguns now being used by the U.S. Navy that launch projectiles at 4,500 mph.

From there, he went to work for St. Marks Powder in Florida, the nation’s largest gun propellant producer. There, his work caught the attention of Steve Hornady, who offered Emary a job. “Dave had built a reputation as an innovative thinker and problem solver, and I wanted those qualities for our team,” Hornady said.

Dave Emary Returns to EMRTC as Engineering Director
Although he has retired from Hornady, Dave Emary will still use his skill set and vast ballistics knowledge in a new job at a familiar place — as Director of Engineering at the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center. EMRTC is internationally recognized in explosives research and testing. For Emary, it’s just his way of easing into retirement.

“I feel incredibly blessed to have been able to be a member of this industry, Hornady Manufacturing and to have been afforded the opportunities I have been given,” Emary said. “I thank the Lord every day for the success I have had, which has been enormously aided by many other people.” — Dave Emary

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November 2nd, 2017

Criterion Barrels AR15 Ammo Accuracy Comparison

Criterion Barrels AR-15 AR16 ammo ammunition comparison test
To determine group sizes, Extreme Spread (center to center) and Average to Center measurements were calculated with OnTarget software.

Criterion Barrels has published an interesting Ammo Comparison Test, shooting seven (7) different varieties of .223 Rem ammunition out of an AR15 fitted with Criterion Barrel. Each ammo type was chronographed (10-shot string), then five-shot groups were shot at 100 yards. Along with handloads (69gr Sierra MK + Varget), six (6) types of commercial ammo were tested:

PREMIUM Type Ammo:
Federal Gold Medal Match (69gr SMK)
Creedmoor 75gr HPBT
Prime 77gr OTM (Open Tip Match)

BULK Type Ammo:
Federal American Eagle XM193 (55gr FMJ)
Wolf Gold (55gr FMJ)
Wolf Polyformance Steel Case (55gr FMJ)

The results are quite interesting. The Federal GMM actually shot the best, beating “untailored” handloads. Basic accurizing efforts and a much better rest set-up showed significant benefits with most ammo types (but not the bulk Wolf Ammo). As you would expect, the more expensive ammo shot best: “Chart 1.2 [below] showcases the average [after accurizing] five round group sizes with each type of ammunition at 100 yards, while Chart 1.3 lists the price per round of each ammunition type. It becomes immediately evident by reviewing these two graphs that there is an inverse relationship between group size and factory ammunition price.”

READ Full Criterion Barrels AR15 AMMO Comparison Test »

Criterion Barrels AR-15 AR16 ammo ammunition comparison test

Accurizing Improvements — Better Scope, Better Rests, Accu-Wedge
As you would expect, some basic accurizing efforts improved accuracy with the better ammo. The accurizing process included: 1) Swapping to a Vortex Viper PST Gen 1 6-24x50mm optic; 2) Adding an Accu-Wedge; 3) Improving fitment during reassembly, and 4) Switching from Harris bipod to a Sinclair Front Rest and Edgewood rear bag for added stability.

Criterion Barrels AR-15 AR16 ammo ammunition comparison test

If you shoot an AR15, or even shoot a .223 Rem bolt gun with factory ammo, you should probably read this test in full. Criterion put a lot of time into the testing, and experimented with a variety of AR options showcased in a series of YouTube videos. SEE: Accurizing the AR-15 Video Playlist.

READ Full Criterion Barrels AR15 AMMO Comparison Test »

Test Commentary by Criterion Barrels

“What kind of accuracy can I expect from my Criterion AR-15 barrel?”

It’s a fairly easy question to ask, but formulating an educated response can prove to be a very arduous task. While many barrel manufacturers will offer a 1 MOA guarantee with their products, very few explain what this 1 MOA group entails. Is it a three-round group, a five-round group, a 10-round group, or some other pre-determined quantity? Is it fired off of a bench rest, a bipod, or some other fixture? What ammunition should be used in this testing to verify 1 MOA capability?

In our recent “Accurizing the AR-15” video series we outlined a number of internal rifle build variables that come into play when it comes to AR-15 performance. Headspace, component selection, and assembly methods will all have an impact on group sizes.

While external variables such as the shooter and environmental conditions will also play a role in group size, there is one additional internal factor in rifle performance that we have not yet described in detail: Ammunition selection. All other factors considered, poor quality ammunition will likely be a limiting factor in high-performance rifle accuracy.

To put this theory to the test, we sourced six different types of factory ammunition and a hand load previously worked up for a different rifle build. That particular load recipe was not tailored to accommodate this specific rifle barrel. The results of tailoring a hand load to an individual rifle barrel will be outlined in a future article.

Prior to our “Accurizing the AR-15” video series we went about establishing a benchmark for how these seven different loads performed in our rifle build. These “Before” groups were fired off a rifle supported by a Harris bipod featuring a Vortex Viper PST Gen 1 2.5-10×32 FFP through our SPRECCE rifle build.

Improvements made prior to shooting the “After” groups include an optics swap (to a Vortex Viper PST Gen 1 6-24×50 SFP), the addition of an Accu-Wedge, improved fitment during reassembly, and a switch from a bipod to a Sinclair front benchrest assembly and Edgewood rear bag for added stability. Component and assembly details can be found in our recent YouTube video series.

The ammunition selected for this test varies widely in price and quality. Each load utilized in this article was tested with a Magnetospeed V3 chronograph for extreme spread (ES) and standard deviation (SD) over a ten-round course of fire.

Each individual load was also accuracy tested both before and after the rifle was accurized. Accuracy was tested by firing three groups of five rounds with each load from 100 yards, with time allotted to allow the barrel to cool between each string of fire.

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November 2nd, 2017

Theodore Roosevelt Collection at NRA Museum

Story by Lars Dalseide for NRAblog.
Back in 2012, the National Firearms Museum received a shipment from Sagamore Hill — the ancestral home of President Theodore Roosevelt. While Sagamore Hill undergoes renovation, the National Parks Service was kind enough to lend a portion of the estate’s collection to the NRA Museum. That collection was put on display under the exhibit named Trappings of an Icon.

“Basically it tells you about the life of Theodore Roosevelt,” explains Senior Curator Phil Schreier (in photo above in coat). “Hunter, Statesman, Soldier. In the first case we had two firearms from his hunting career. First an 1886 Winchester rifle known as the tennis match gun because he used winnings from a tennis match to purchase the gun.”

The second firearm on display was a suppressed Winchester model 1894 rifle. This was favorite of the President’s when clearing the grounds of the local, pesky critters. Schreier explains: “Archie Roosevelt wrote that his father liked to shoot varmints around Oyster Bay with this gun so he wouldn’t disturb the Tiffany and Du Pont families that lived near by.”

President Theodore Roosevelt was a strong supporter of marksmanship competitions. In fact President Theodore Roosevelt could be called a “founding father” of the NRA National Matches*. Teddy Roosevelt believed that, to assure peace, America needed to be prepared to fight. At the 2011 NRA National Championships, Dr. Joseph W. Westphal, Under Secretary of the U.S. Army, echoed the views of Roosevelt: “The first step in the direction of preparation to avert war, if possible, and to be fit for war, if it should come, is to teach men to shoot.”

Theodore Roosevelt also has a strong connection to the “President’s Match” fired every summer at Camp Perry. The President’s Match was patterned after an event for British Volunteers called the Queen’s Match started in 1860 by Queen Victoria and the NRA of Great Britain. The tradition of making a letter from the President of the United States the first prize began in 1904 when President Roosevelt personally wrote a letter of congratulations to the winner, Private Howard Gensch of the New Jersey National Guard.

*In February 1903, an amendment to the War Department Appropriations Bill established the National Board for the Promotion of Rifle Practice (NBPRP). This government advisory board became the predecessor to today’s Corporation for the Promotion of Rifle Practice and Firearms Safety, Inc. that now governs the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP). The 1903 legislation also established the National Matches, commissioned the National Trophy and provided funding to support the Matches. This historic legislation grew out of a desire to improve military marksmanship and national defense preparedness. President Theodore Roosevelt, Secretary of War Elihu Root and NRA President General Bird Spencer were among the most important supporters of this act.

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November 1st, 2017

End of Year Rebate Programs — Save BIG

Gun gear reloading rebate optics burris

There a number of good rebate programs going on right now, but many of them conclude at the end of the year. To take advantage of these deals you’ll need to start your shopping. Here are some current Rebate Programs for rifles, ammunition, loading equipment, and shooting accessories. You can save up to $175.00 with these Rebate offers. The savings can be huge. For example, you can save $175.00 on the purchase of any RCBS product costing more than $499.99.

2017 Rebate Savage Hornady Federal Burris Midsouth

RCBS Buy Green Get Green
Start Date: November 1, 2017
End Date: December 31, 2017
Postmarked By Date: January 31, 2018
View RCBS Products Here (All RCBS Products Qualify)
Online Rebate Entry Page
Get Rebate Form Here

2017 Rebate Lyman Federal Hornady Midsouth

Lyman Fall Rebates
Start Date: October 15, 2017
End Date: December 31, 2017
Postmarked By Date: January 31, 2018
Shop Qualifying Items Here
Get Rebate Forum Here

Lyman Rebate products

2017 Rebate Savage Hornady Federal Burris Midsouth

Save on a Savage
Start Date: September 1, 2017
End Date: December 31, 2017
Postmarked By Date: January 31, 2018
View Qualifying Rifles Here
Get Rebate Form Here

Hornady 2017 Rebate Get Loaded

Hornady Get Loaded
Start Date: January 1, 2017
End Date: December 31, 2017
Postmarked By Date: February 15, 2018
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2017 Rebate Weaver Hornady Federal Midsouth

Weaver Optics Rebate
Start Date: October 01, 2017
End Date: November 30, 2017 (NOTE this Expires at end of NOVEMBER!)
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2017 Rebate Hornady Federal Burris Midsouth

Federal Ammunition
Start Date: July 15, 2017
End Date: December 31, 2017
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2017 Rebate Hornady Federal Burris Midsouth

Federal Ammunition
Start Date: July 01, 2017
End Date: December 31, 2017
Postmarked By Date: January 31, 2018
Shop Qualifying Items Here
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November 1st, 2017

Trends: Significant Rise in Female Gun Ownership in USA

Lady Shooter Jessie Duff Corey Cogdell

Report based on story in NRABlog.com.

One of the most important trends in the shooting world is the rise in the number of females who own firearms. We know women can shoot — just look at champions such as Nancy Tompkins, Trudie Fay, Michelle and Sherri Gallagher, and Jessie Duff.

The number of female shooters and female gun owners have risen steadily in recent decades. According to a Gallup poll conducted in 2005, only 13 percent of women were female gun owners, but by 2011, that number rose to 23 percent. That’s a 77 percent increase in seven years.

Additionally, shooting ranges across the country have seen a 51.5 percent increase in the number of women who participate in target practice, and 41.8 percent increase in the number of women who participate in hunting activities over the past ten years (Source: National Sporting Goods Assn. cited in New York Times.)

Lady Shooter Jessie Duff Corey Cogdell

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October 30th, 2017

2018 NRA National Match Schedule Released

2018 NRA National Match schedule Camp Perry F-Class High Power Smallbore Camp Atterbury

Mark your calendars boys and girls — here is the complete 2018 NRA National Match schedule. This includes the National High Power Championship, National F-Class Championship, Fullbore (Palma) Championship, and a 15 more major national events.

2018 NRA National Match schedule Camp Perry F-Class High Power Smallbore Camp AtterburyThe 2018 NRA Championship season kicks off with the Intercollegiate Pistol and Rifle Championships at Fort Benning (GA). Then comes the NRA Bianchi Cup, followed by the National High Power Matches at Camp Atterbury (IN), the National Pistol Championships at Camp Perry (OH), the National Smallbore Championships in Bristol (IN), the National HP Silhouette Championships in Raton (NM), the NRA World Shooting Championship in Glengary (WV), the National F-Class Championship in Raton (NM), and many more major events throughout the summer and fall.

The complete 2018 NRA National Match schedule is as follows:

EVENT / DATE / LOCATION

Intercollegiate Pistol Championships / March 17-20, 2018 / Fort Benning, Georgia

Intercollegiate Rifle Club Championships / March 23-25, 2018 / Fort Benning, Georgia

NRA World Action Pistol Championship / May 19-20, 2018 / Hallsville, Missouri

NRA Bianchi Cup / May 23-25, 2018 / Hallsville, Missouri

National Muzzle Loading Championship / June 9-17, 2018 / Friendship, Indiana

National Air Gun Championship / June 14-19, 2018 / Bloomington, Illinois

National High Power Matches / July 5-24, 2018 / Camp Atterbury, Edinburgh, Indiana

Camp Perry Pistol championship F-class

National Pistol Championships / July 9-13, 2018 / Camp Perry, Ohio

National Silhouette Smallbore Championships / July 16-18, 2018 / Raton, New Mexico

National Smallbore Championships / July 19-30, 2018 / Wa-Ke’-De Range, Bristol, Indiana

National Smallbore championship Bristol Indiana wa-ke'-de

National Silhouette High Power Championships / July 19-21, 2018 / Raton, New Mexico

National Silhouette Championship Lever Action Rifle / July 24-27, 2018 / Raton, New Mexico

National Silhouette Black Powder Cartridge Rifle / July 30-Aug. 3, 2018 / Raton, New Mexico

Fullbore Prone National Championship / September 8-14, 2018 / Raton, New Mexico

NRA World Shooting Championship / September 13-15, 2018 / Glengary, West Virginia

National F-Class Championship / September 16-23, 2018 / Raton, New Mexico

National Police Shooting Championship / September 24-26, 2018 / Albuquerque, New Mexico

National Silhouette Black Powder Target Rifle / October 1-7, 2018 / Raton, New Mexico

Black Powder Target Rifle Championship

How to Get More Information about NRA Championships
CLICK HERE for more information about NRA Competitive Shooting, including MATCH INFO and program rules. Visit Shooting Sports USA Magazine online at www.SSUSA.org for shooting news, competitor profiles, and match reports.

Permalink Competition, News 2 Comments »
October 29th, 2017

Rise of the Railguns — Potential Records Set at IBS Match

Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California
Gary Ocock let the event’s youngest competitor, 12-year-old Gavin Lichtenwalter, shoot Gary’s new Railgun for the last three matches on Sunday afternoon. The day before Gary shot what should be a new IBS 100-yard, five-shot HB group record. Photo credit: Ben Zentner

Heavy Benchrest (Unlimited) rifles, also known as “Railguns”, are the most accurate competition firearms ever invented. And these amazing examples of shooting technology showed their capability recently, with potentially four (4) new records being set at an IBS Heavy Benchrest Invitational match in Visalia, California. If you are curious about the most accurate rifles on the planet, then read on…

2017 Visalia Invitational — IBS Heavy Benchrest Match

Report by Boyd Allen, IBS Exec. Vice President
There was some amazing shooting at a recent Invitational Heavy Benchrest match* held in Visalia, California on October 21-22, 2017. No less than FOUR new Heavy Benchrest (HB) records may have been set. Three individual targets were submitted for the 100-yard HB five-shot group record, a .039 by Gary Ocock (photo below), along with two targets by Jim Nicolas, a .040 and .041.

Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California

Multiple Aggregate records (at both 100 and 200 yards) may also have been set. Larry Boers shot a 100-yard, five-target 0.1232 Aggregate that will be submitted for the IBS HB 100-yard, five-shot group Agg record. And Gary Ocock may have set two additional HB Agg records. Gary’s five-target 200-yard Agg (0.1310) is a potential new five-shot-per-target record, as is his ten-target Grand Agg (0.1480) (that covers 100 AND 200 yards, five targets per yardage, ten targets total).


CLICK HERE for Complete Match Results (PDF) »

Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California

Top Guns Come to IBS Match in California
This California match attracted some of the best Railgun pilots in the game today. On the firing line were three current NBRSA Unlimited record holders: Larry Boers (one record), Steve Kostanich (two records), and Gary Ocock (three current NBRSA UNL records, plus one HV). All three shot well enough in this match that their targets are being submitted to the IBS for consideration as Group, Aggregate, or Grand Aggregate records. NOTE: The “Heavy Benchrest” IBS category is equivalent to “Unlimited” under NBRSA rules. CLICK HERE for Complete Match Results.

Top Shooters for the Match included: Larry Boers (Two Gun, HB GrAgg1, HB 100-yd); Gary Ocock (HB 200-yd and HB GrAgg2); Francis Lee (HB 200-yd).

Two-Gun Overall Results
Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California
Note: The computer software shows the results for one Grand Agg as “Heavy Varmint”. In fact the SAME HB Railguns were used for both Grand Aggs, so the “Two-Gun Agg” is actually a pair of HB Aggs.

Top Equipment List
Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California

Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California
Saturday Winners: George Lozano, Larry Boers, Lawrence Weisdorn, Gary Ocock, Joe Stanovich, and Jim Nicolas. Photo by: Dan Lutke.

Conditions: It rained on Friday, but Saturday and Sunday were sunny and slightly cool at first and perfect after that. Saturday at 10:00 am it was 62°, 64%, and the wind was light, increasing slightly later in the day. Sunday’s conditions were similar with a slightly higher wind speed, but still light. The wind was from the West at 3-10 mph, generally stronger closer to the firing line than down range. This normally is more of a picker’s range than a runner’s venue. However, there was some “running” of groups this weekend since rail guns are particularly suited for that style of shooting.

Hall of Famer Helps Young Novice
Along with the seasoned veterans, there was a new competitor, a 12-year-old shooting his very first match. As with life, there were highs and lows. Young Gavin started out with an equipment failure — the rifle he brought wasn’t working, so shooter Bob Hatley let Gavin borrow Bob’s bag gun. Then Gavin got some expert assistance from one of the world’s best — Hall of Famer Gary Ocock. Gary let Gavin shoot the last three 200-yard matches with Gary’s new integral block, Jay Young-built Railgun, one of the most accurate firearms on the planet. Gary shot this rig on relay #1 and let Gavin shoot it in relay #2. How many of us will ever get this kind of opportunity, much less a first time 12-year-old competitor? It’s like a school kid getting to drive an Indy-winning race car.

Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California
This photo shows Gavin with family and friends: Grandmother Mary Oulrey, father Mark Lichtenwalter (second from left), grandfather Gary Oulrey (far right). Bob Hatley (extreme left) stepped up to share his bag rifle with Gavin, and Gary Ocock (right of Gavin) let Gavin shoot his Railgun. Note Gavin is wearing Gary’s Hall-of-Fame jacket.

The Facility at Visala — Dale Wimp Rifle and Pistol Range
The Visalia Range has a covered firing line with 28 fixed, monolithic steel-reinforced concrete benches. The direction of fire is north. The cover extends well past the front of the benches as does the concrete. There are covered loading areas both at the level of the benches, directly behind them, and one level up farther to the rear. The firing line and range are below the level of the surrounding land, having been excavated in flat ground with the material from the excavation surrounding the range on three sides, higher in the back, forming an impact berm. A major construction project is about to be finished that will extend the range to 300 yards, and provide a new 10-station, 25-yard pistol range.

Surrounded by fields, the Visalia Range is located in California’s Central Valley, a rich agricultural area.
visalia benchrest shooting range unlimited benchrest railgun heavy gun

Notables on the Visalia Firing Line

Three of the competitors at the match deserve special mention because of their recent accomplishments in the world of Benchrest shooting and the interesting equipment they had on display.

Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California

Jim Nicholas was on fire on Saturday. During Saturday morning’s 100-yard Aggregate he shot a .040 in the fourth match, and a .041 in the fifth. Both targets and the .039 that Gary Ocock shot were sent in to be measured for a record. All are substantially smaller than the current record, Hap Zeiser’s .063. In the photo above, note the tuner. Jim adjusted a little less than 8 degrees just before he shot .040 in the fourth match and .041 in the fifth. That must have been the “sweet spot”. Jim’s blue Railgun, built by Craig Kinsler, features a barrel block that is integral with the rig top. This is like the new Jay Young Railgun Ocock shoots.

Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California

Larry Boers owns the NBRSA Unlimited, 100-yard 10-shot group record (.097). This makes the fourth time that he has won the Two-Gun Overall for this match. Larry is not just a trigger-puller — he makes his own bullets and chambers his own barrels. This year he shot a bullet he still lists under his bullet-making mentor’s name (Del Bishop) a 65 grain, double radius 5/9 FB made from J4 .790 jackets, out of a Nemi point die. Del originally made the bullet and the story is that Nemi at first refused to make the die because he was sure that it wouldn’t shoot well. Later, after some cajoling by Del, he made it, tried a few and excitedly called Dell to tell him just how good the bullets shot. Larry set his record shooting a .750 jacket short BT (.040) bullet from the same die.

Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California

Steve Kostanich, a long-time competitor and highly-respected gunsmith from Washington State, recently received official confirmation that he will go in the record books with a pair of 10-shot Unlimited NBRSA world records. The first record is a 10-shot 200-yard 0.1839 Aggregate, while the second is Steve’s 100-200 yard 0.1951 Grand Aggregate.

Parting Shot — This is what happens when you set your Wind Flag stand too high.

Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California


* Course of Fire: This was a two-day Heavy Benchrest (aka HB or “Unlimited”) weekend match with targets at 100 and 200 yards, five shots per target. Saturday all shooting was at 100 yards. Sunday all shooting was at 200 yards. There were two (2) Grand Aggregates. One Grand Agg combined Saturday morning (100) with Sunday afternoon (200). The Second Grand Agg combined Saturday afternoon (100) and Sunday morning (200). The match had two HB Grand Aggs because only one class of gun (Heavy Benchrest or “Unlimited”) was shot. The computer software shows the results for one Grand Agg as “Heavy Varmint”, but all matches were for Heavy Benchrest (Unlimited) guns. NOTE: Some competitors did shoot bag guns as these are allowed under HB/Unlimited rules.

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