April 24th, 2019

Tactical Tip: Head and Scope Position for Prone Shooting

Scope head position prone shooting Ryan Cleckner long range shooting handbook

In this video, former Army Ranger sniper team leader Ryan Cleckner explains how proper head and scope position is a critical component to accurate shooting. Ryan finds that some shooters place the scope too far forward or too far rearward. If the scope is too far back you may have issues with eye relief and stock reach to shoulder. If it is too far forward, you may have cheek-weld problems or get neck strain. Cleckner cautions: “When you are in a good prone position, you don’t want any strain in your neck muscles or back.”

In the video, Cleckner offers a simple method to check your scope position:

“To see if your scope is set up properly … close your eyes, lay your head on your gun, get completely comfortable, and only when you are set-up, then open your eyes. If you can’t see clearly through your scope, CHANGE something [such as comb height or scope position]”.

“When you open your eyes, if you see some scope shadow [i.e. the black ring around the edge of the scope picture], figure out which way you need to move your head to get rid of that shadow, and then make adjustments to either your position, the rifle, or the scope.”

Scope head position prone shooting Ryan Cleckner long range shooting handbook

“Very often you’ll open your eyes and realize you need to move further back or further forward. Instead of moving your position [or head], move the scope and get it set up properly.”

Tip on Viewing Your Reticle:
Cleckner: “Sometimes it can be difficult to focus between the target and the reticle, even with the parallax adjusted properly. I recommend you focus only on the reticle. Just like the front sight on a rifle or a handgun, that reticle is what you can control, and it’s what matters. Focus on a crisp, clear reticle, in a stable platform, and all that’s left is trigger control.”

Long Range Shooting Handbook — A Good Resource
Cleckner’s Long Range Shooting Handbook covers a wide range of topics important for precision marksmanship — both shooting skills and technical matters. You can view Sample Chapters from Ryan’s Book on Amazon.com. Cleckner’s book is designed as an intro to key concepts such as MOA vs. Mils, External Ballistics, and Environmental Effects. Included are personal tips and advice based on Cleckner’s years of experience as a sniper instructor and special operations sniper.

The Long Range Shooting Handbook is divided into three main categories: What It Is/How It Works, Fundamentals, and How to Use It. “What It Is/How It Works” covers equipment, terminology, and basic principles. “Fundamentals” covers the theory of long range shooting. “How to Use It” gives practical advice on implementing what you’ve learned, so you can progress as a skilled, long range shooter.

Ryan Cleckner was a special operations sniper (1/75 RGR) and he served as a U.S. Army sniper instructor. Currently he works as a firearms industry executive and practicing firearms attorney.

Permalink - Videos, Optics, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
April 24th, 2019

Fun Matches — Varmint Shoots and Groundhog Matches

Varmint Silhouette match

There are many centerfire rifle competitive shooting disciplines — High Power, F-Class, silhouette, short-range benchrest, long-range benchrest, and PRS (tactical) to name a few. But on any given spring or summer weekend in the USA, there are probably more “fun matches” happening than there are F-Class, registered benchrest, and PRS events combined.

Harold Seagroves hickory groundhog shoot
Harold Seagroves’ 3-time Hickory Ground Hog Match-Winning Rifle

At clubs across the country, varmint fun shoots (also known as “groundhog matches”) are becoming more popular every year. In these matches, usually shot from the bench, you engage paper targets, clay pigeons, steel “critter” silhouettes, or some combination of paper and reactive targets. Shooters like these matches because you can shoot a wide variety of rifles, you don’t have to spend a fortune to be competitive, and there is fun for the whole family. Rules are inclusive — you won’t be turned away because your rifle is two ounces overweight. A large percentage of the match fees usually go back to shooters in the form of cash prizes. And the level of camaraderie is high.

hickory groundhog shootInclusive Rules Welcome All Shooters
Forum member Danny Reever has explained the appeal of groundhog matches: “We don’t have a governing organization, or have to pay $50 a year membership just to compete in matches. Sure the rules vary from club to club, but you adapt. You build your rifle (or even pistol) to fall within the rules of either the clubs you shoot, or to fit all the clubs rules. If not there still is a class for you to compete in. If your factory rifle doesn’t conform to the rules, it can shoot in a custom class. If your custom doesn’t make weight for Light Custom (usually 17 pounds and under), you shoot it in heavy custom class. If you want to try your Tactical rifle or F-Class rig, bring it out there’s a class you can shoot it in. If you don’t like one club’s rules, you just don’t shoot there. It’s no big deal.

There are no National records, or Hall of Fame points — just individual range records. If you want to shoot in BIG matches (with big prizes), there is the Hickory Ground Hog Shoot among others. If competition isn’t your bag, many clubs offer mid-week fun matches that you can shoot just for fun. You shoot the same targets but with a more relaxed atmosphere with no time limits.

Groundhog varmint fun shoot summer family

The best part is you don’t have to shoot perfect at every yardage. You always have a chance because in this sport it really isn’t over until the last shot is fired. Typically ALL the entry money goes to the host club, with much of the cash returned back to the shooters via prizes. Junior shooters often shoot for free, or at a reduced rate. That lessens the burden on the family’s wallet (not a small thing in these economic times). The low entry cost also encourages young guys to get involved who don’t have $4000 custom rifles or the money to buy them.

St. Thomas Groundhog ShootMore Fun, Fewer Complications
There isn’t a sea of wind flags to shoot over or to put up and take down. If the range has a couple of flags so much the better, but after all it is a varmint match. No pits to spot shots and slow things down either. If you can’t see your hits through your rifle scope or spotting scope well you are in the same boat as everybody else. That’s what makes it interesting/ sometimes frustrating!

As for calibers, I’ve seen everything from .223 Rem to .338 Lapua and everything in between. Our range record at my club is held by Bill Slattery, who shot a 147 out of a possible 150 with a 22BR 13 months ago. That’s on a target with a 1.250 ten ring at 200/300/500 meters. That record will stand for awhile, and shows you that some very good shooting is done at groundhog matches.

The best part is it’s laid back, everyone gets along, there is no place for big egos here. We who shoot the Ground Hog Matches don’t begrudge the other organizations and shooting disciplines, or those that shoot in them, heck some of us cross over and compete in registered benchrest matches too. Life’s too short, live and let live is our motto so just come out and have fun!”

Fellow Forum members chimed in:

FdShuster: “I’ve competed in our local ground hog matches for several years now, have introduced a number of others to them, and we all enjoy them and more importantly, continue to learn from them. Distances are as close as 100 yards, (with a 5/8″ 10 ring) to as far as 500 meters. With a 2″ 10 ring. Wind, mirage, bullet trajectories, all make them a challenge, and unlike shooting for group, where the group can be anywhere on the paper, in this game they must be very small, but also in the 10 ring. With the different classes — Custom, Factory, Hunter — almost any rifle will fit in somewhere. And Danny is correct about the friendly attitudes. I’ve seen competitors go out of their way, and jeopardize their chances of winning, to help someone else who may have a problem on the line.”

Texas Fun ShootMike C: “Here in Texas, our version of groundhog matches involves shooting at clay pigeons at 400 yards. We use 60mm, 90mm, and 108mm clay pigeons attached to target boards. You have 10 shots to break 8 clays, with a seven-minute time limit. We have developed a good following at these matches. In past years, a Shooter of the Year Award was given based on the Aggregate score for three of our matches, which are held in Utopia, San Angelo, and Huntsville.”

40X Guy: “I would have to say upon finishing my first year ever of groundhog matches, that the average Joe can grab his Swift, or his 25-06, or his 22-250 and go rip some holes in paper. Everybody is having a good time and its a gathering of like-minded people who have all shot chucks at some point or another. Even if one does not win the match, you can look at your target and say “darn that chuck target has five holes in him at 400 yards and he’s dead” just as well as the next guy shooting a custom bench rifle. Everybody fits in and everybody, 8 to 80, is having fun! It is addictive and will drive you to spend your hard-earned currency for sure!”

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
April 22nd, 2019

ELR Euro-Style — King of 2 Miles in France 2019

King of 2 Miles France Paul Phillips Team BCM Target shooter magazine

The King of 2 Miles (KO2M) event has gone global. This past weekend, in France, talented long-range marksmen competed at the first-ever Euro version of K02M. The King of 2 Miles in France was conducted April 20-22, 2019 at Camp de Canjuers, a French military zone in Southern France, west of the city of Nice.

The Finals targets were placed at 2657, 3038, and 3576 yards. The longest distance is a bit more than two statute miles (2.0318 miles to be precise), so this was a genuine two-mile competition. During the Finals, conditions were extremely tough, with heavy winds. Hitting the Finals first target (at 2657 yards) on a cold bore proved impossible for most of the shooters. But French shooter (and new King) Bruno Put prevailed, scoring two hits at 2657, and one each at 3038 and 3576.

King of 2 Miles France Paul Phillips Team BCM Target shooter magazine
K02M in France winner Bruno Put (center) with his match-winning rifle. We are told this is chambered in .375 Snipe-Tac, a .408 CheyTac case necked down to .375 caliber and shoulder blown out to 35°.

King of 2 Miles France Results:
King of 2 Miles France Paul Phillips Team BCM Target shooter magazine
Click chart photo above to see large version.

Frenchman Bruno Put Wins K02M France
Hail to the King! We congratulate Bruno Put, the new King of 2 Miles in France. Bruno dominated the Finals, scoring hits at all three distances to finish with 25,368 points. He got two hits at 2657 and one each at 3038 and 3576. We are told Bruno was shooting a .375 Snipe-Tac rifle with Warner 361gr Flatline bullets in Peterson brass (according to sources). Conditions were challenging and Bruno was the only finals competitor to score hits at 3038 yards and 3576 yards. Paul Phillips got one hit at 2657 yards, but no other competitor (except Bruno) managed ANY hits in the Finals. K02M founder Eduardo reported: “We had very difficult conditions with fish-tailing winds that complicated hugely the shooting. But even in these conditions Bruno Put was able to reach the 2 miles target.”

King of 2 Miles France Paul Phillips Team BCM Target shooter magazine

King of 2 Miles France Paul Phillips Team BCM Target shooter magazine

King of 2 Miles France Paul Phillips Team BCM Target shooter magazine
Benjamin San Marco during qualifying stages at Camp de Canjuers. Photo by Target Shooter Magazine.

For those who’ve attended the North American K02M at Raton, New Mexico, there was a familiar face in France — Paul Phillips of the Global Precision Group and Team Applied Ballistics. Paul finished second overall, with a Finals score of 19,954 points.

Paul was shooting on the three-man Team BCM squad with two Italians, Gian Molina, and Gianfranco Zanoni. The trio did great in the prelims, placing first (Molina), third (Phillips), and fifth (Zanoni). All three team members made the Finals — a very impressive collective performance. Their final places were Phillips 2nd overall, Molina 3rd, and Zanoni 6th.

King of 2 Miles France Paul Phillips Team BCM Target shooter magazine

Paul reported: “After a long day of shooting, the top ten qualifiers [moved on to] the Finals. Due to inclement weather rolling in, [match directors held] all qualifiers in one day. The wind was pretty much a tail wind all day which benefited the faster shooters greatly.”

Many leading companies have helped Paul Phillips and his team: Applied Ballistics LLC, Bartlein Barrels, Barrett, BAT Machine, Bullet Central, CROSSTAC, Cutting Edge Bullets, Edgewood Bags, Garmin, Holland’s, Kryptek, McMillan Fiberglass Stocks, Nightforce Optics, Peterson Cartridge Co., Vihtavuori Powders.

King of 2 Miles France Paul Phillips Team BCM Target shooter magazine
March Scopes Europe and GS Precision products on display. Target Shooter Magazine photo.

Camp de Canjuers in France

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills 6 Comments »
April 19th, 2019

Wind Wizardry for Varminters — Keep the Wind at Your Back

Varmint Hunting varmint safari wind war wagon trailer longmeadow game resort
This impressive war wagon hauls varmint hunters around the Longmeadow Game Resort in Colorado.

When you’re on a varmint expedition in the Western states you can bet, sooner or later, you’ll encounter serious winds. Here’s some advice on how to minimize the effects of cross-winds on your shooting, and easily improve your percentage of hits. In essence, you want to use your ability to change shooting positions and angles to put the wind behind you.

A benchrest or High Power shooter must operate from a designated shooting position. He must stay put and deal with the wind as it moves across the course, from whatever direction it blows. By contrast, a varmint hunter can move around and choose the spot that provides the most favorable wind direction. In most cases you’ll get the best results by moving your shooting position so the wind is at your back. This will minimize horizontal wind drift. Once you’re in position, use wind flags to direct your fire in line with the prevailing winds. A varminter who calls himself “Catshooter” explains:

The String of Death
I remember the first time I was on a dog town in the Conata Basin, in the Badlands area of southwestern South Dakota. Along with two other guys, I drove out for 21 days of shooting, and I never saw wind like that before. If all four tires of our vehicle were on the ground, the weather man said these were “mild wind conditions”.

After the first four or five days, we got smart. We would park the truck on the up-wind side of the town so the wind was at our back. Then we took a piece of string on a 3-foot stick, and set it in front of the shooters, and let the string point at the mounds that we were going to shoot.

For the rest of the trip, we didn’t have to deal with wind drift at all. We just shot the dogs that the string pointed to. We started calling our simple wind pointer the “String of Death”.

We were hitting dogs at distances that I would not repeat here (with benchrest grade rifles). After the first time out, I always took a wind rig like that.

Photos by Chris Long, taken during Chris’s Wyoming Varmint Hunt with Trophy Ridge Outfitters.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, Shooting Skills 3 Comments »
April 16th, 2019

Applied Ballistics Spring Seminar — Register Now and Save

Applied Ballistics Snowbird utah spring seminar ELR

The Applied Ballistics 2019 Spring Seminar will be held at Snowbird Resort in Utah on June 1-2, 2019. The Seminar Fee is $625.00. However, now through April 21st you can use Code ABWIRE for $75 off registration. Note — Seminar fees do NOT include lodging! However, through May 4, 2019, attendees can reserve rooms at the Center-Cliff Lodge at the special seminar rate of $145.00 per night plus tax.

CLICK HERE to Register for $550 with Code ABWIRE

Primary speaker Bryan Litz will present material from his books, the Applied Ballistics Lab, and his experience shooting in various disciplines. Additional speakers addressing ballistics and long-range shooting topics will include Nick Vitalbo, Doc Beech, Alan Barnhart, Mitchell Fitzpatrick and other industry experts.

Seminar attendees will receive multiple Applied Ballistics products, all included in the registration fee:
1) Full library of Applied Ballistics Books and DVD set, valued at $275.
2) Applied Ballistics Analytics software, valued at $200.
3) Binder including hand-outs, articles, and worksheets.

Applied Ballistics Snowbird utah spring seminar ELR

Seminar Topics Will Include:

1. Trajectory Buildup – Baseline Trajectory, Gravity Drop, Vacuum Trajectory, and Aerodynamic Drag

2. Trajectory Features – Zeroing, Point Blank Range, Danger Space, and Uphill/Downhill Effects.

3. Sights – Tall Target Test (Sight Scale Factor and Cant), Aperture Sights, Turrets vs. Holding Reticles, and Extreme Adjustment for ELR.

4. Drag Modeling – What is a drag model, how is drag measured, how is a drag model used, and standard drag models.

5. Ballistic Coefficients – What is a BC, G1 and G7, Curve Fitting Challenges (averaged BCs, segmented BCs), and Estimating BCs.

6. Wind – Nature of wind, Mechanism of wind deflection (velocity scaling, lag time, wind deflection), near vs. far wind, wind measurement, terrain and vertical wind, competition Wind strategies, Wind coaching.

7. Basic Stability – Gyroscopic Stability Factor, Twist Rate Effects (muzzle velocity, precision, and BC).

8. Advanced Stability – Gyroscopic vs Dynamic Stability, Limit Cycle Yaw, Twist rate and Stability Effects in Transonic Flight, and Spin Decay.

9. Secondary Effects – Spin Drift, Coriolis, Aerodynamic Jump, Secondary Effects in Ballistic Solvers.

10. ELR Shooting – Transonic effects, Secondary Effects, Critical Nature of (Ranging, MV Measurement, Drag Modeling, Wind), Equipment Currently Being Used and Bullet Selection.

Applied Ballistics Snowbird utah spring seminar ELR

11. WEZ Analysis – What is WEZ, Confidence Environments, Precision (Wind, Range, MV), Accuracy (Sights, Trajectory Modeling, Secondary Effects, Calibration (Trueing)).

12. Ballistic Solvers – Components (Interface, Solver/Simulation, Model), Potential Accuracy, and walk-through of use with technical explanation of inputs.

13. Other Topics – Technology, Laser RangeFinders, Non-Linear Divergence, and Much More.

Permalink Shooting Skills, Tech Tip No Comments »
April 14th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: Corbin Shell’s ELR Record-Setting .416 Barrett

ELR Central Extreme Long Range Record Cold Bore Corbin Shell Georgia Krieger BAT Dixie Gunworks Sightron

Today’s Sunday GunDay story features Corbin Shell’s remarkable, record-setting .416 Barrett. With a 40″ Krieger barrel secured in a massive barrel block, this is definitely a big boomer!

ELR Central Extreme Long Range Record Cold Bore Corbin Shell Georgia Krieger BAT Dixie Gunworks Sightron

Last month, Forum member Corbin Shell set a new Extreme Long Range (ELR) record. With no sighters or warm-up shots, Corbin put three (3) shots on a 36″ x 36″ steel plate at 2118 yards, establishing a new Cold Bore ELR World Record. The range was verified with three rangefinders and witnessed by 20+ awestruck shooters. Applied Ballistics reports: “There is a new official ELR World Record. 2118 yards. 3 for 3 cold bore.” This was also recognized as a record by the FCSA (Fifty Caliber Shooting Association).*

ELR Central Extreme Long Range Record Cold Bore Corbin Shell Georgia Krieger BAT Dixie Gunworks Sightron

This record was set at the ELR Southeast Shootout held at the Arena Training Facility in Blakely, Georgia, on March 2, 2019. The World Record attempt was made in compliance with all ELR Central Rules.

ELR Central Extreme Long Range Record Cold Bore Corbin Shell Georgia Krieger BAT Dixie Gunworks Sightron
Corbin Shell (on right) stands next to Joe Burdick, match director. That’s three hits on 36″ x 36″ plate.

ELR Ain’t Cheap — $6.55 Cost per Shot
Corbin told us: “Each round fired cost approximately $6.55. The breakdown is as follows: bullet $3.05, powder $0.80, primer $0.50, cartridge case $1.00 (based on five firings), barrel wear $1.20 per shot based on 1000 rounds of barrel life. Hitting steel at distance: PRICELESS!”

ELR Record .416 Barrett Rifle Components

ELR Central Extreme Long Range Record Cold Bore Corbin Shell Georgia Krieger BAT Dixie Gunworks Sightron

Action: BAT .50 caliber EX, multi-flat, with hard coat finish, extra CheyTac bolt.
Barrel: Krieger cut-rifled, .416 caliber, 40″ finish length, 1:9″ twist.
Barrel Block: Doyle Anglin Dixie Gunworks, integral Picatinny rail.
Muzzle Brake: Ryan Pierce 5-port magnum.
Stock: Designed and fabricated by Doyle Anglin, Dixie Gunworks. Obeche laminate, Indian Blanket color scheme. 48″ long excluding butt hardware.
Butt and Cheekpiece Hardware: Master Class/Alex Sitman, extended rods.
Scope: Sightron SIII 6-24x50mm MOA reticle item #25127. 100 MOA elevation/windage.
Bipod: Duplin Rifles by Clint Cooper. Weight: One pound, 2 ounces.
Gunsmith: Rifle builder was Doyle Anglin, Dixie Gunworks, Winder, GA.

ELR Central Extreme Long Range Record Cold Bore Corbin Shell Georgia Krieger BAT Dixie Gunworks Sightron

ELR Record .416 Barrett Load

Projectiles: Cutting Edge Bullets 550gr Lazers
Powder: Vihtavuori 20n29
Primers: RWS Large
Cartridge Brass: Barrett .416

ELR Central Extreme Long Range Record Cold Bore Corbin Shell Georgia Krieger BAT Dixie Gunworks Sightron

If you want to learn more about this record-setting rifle, Corbin has prepared a 6-page project history describing all the components and explaining how the rifle was constructed. This Build Document also contains a wealth of information about loading for the .416 Barrett cartridge.

Conditions During Record:
Corbin tells us: “This was shot in Blakely, Georgia at the Arena Training Facility in good Ole dense Southern air. Here are the atmospheric conditions when I shot: 70 degree temperature, 29.70-29.80 inches of mercury, 82% humidity, 1211 Density Altitude (DA).”

ELR Central Extreme Long Range Record Cold Bore Corbin Shell Georgia Krieger BAT Dixie Gunworks Sightron

Corbin noted that the unique barrel block with rail helps with ELR Optics: “This custom-made barrel block is drilled length wise to reduce weight. It incorporates an integral Picatinny rail which… facilitates mounting of … the Tacom Charlie/Delta TARAC prism system, without the need to bridge mount.” Charlie/Delta TARAC units effectively offset the view that comes into the scope, providing up to 625 MOA elevation.

ELR Cold Bore Shot Record Rules
Congratulations to the new ELR World Record Holder Corbin Shell. The record now stands at 2118 yards. This record was shot under a very specific set of rules established by ELR Central and industry leaders. For more ELR record information, go to ELRCentral.com. All ELR World Record results can be seen on the ELR Central’sEvent Results Page.


* Prior to Corbin Shell’s GA record, David Tubb shot a 2200-yard, 3-shot group that has been recognized as a FCSA record. However, because David had made a same-day attempt, within minutes, with a different rifle, this did not comply with the ELR Central Rules. So, at this time only Corbin Shell is recognized as the ELR Central World Record Holder.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Gunsmithing, News, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
April 14th, 2019

Gary Anderson’s TEN LESSONS — How to Compete and Win

John Whidden high power national championship
The photo shows John Whidden, 5-time National Long Range HP Champion (2007, 2008, 2010, 2016, 2017). John exemplifies the traits of a great competitor — he is always positive, he knows how to handle pressure, and he always looks for ways to improve.

DCM CMP Gary AndersonIn the archives of On The Mark magazine, DCM Emeritus Gary Anderson, an Olympic Gold medal-winning shooter in his younger years, offers sage advice for competitive shooters.

In his article Ten Lessons I Wished I Had Learned as a Young Shooter, Anderson provides ten important guidelines for everyone involved in competitive shooting. Here are the Ten Lessons, but you should read the full article. Anderson provides detailed explanations of each topic with examples from his shooting career.

READ Full Article by Gary Anderson in On the Mark.

LESSON 1 – NATURAL ABILITY WILL NOT MAKE YOU A SHOOTING CHAMPION.
(You also need hard work, training effort and perseverance.)

LESSON 2 – ANGER IS THE ENEMY OF GOOD SHOOTING.
(The key to recovering from a bad shot is to stay cool, no matter what happens.)

LESSON 3 – BAD SHOTS CAN TEACH YOU MORE THAN GOOD SHOTS.
(Today, error analysis is one of the most powerful tools for improving scores.)

LESSON 4 – NEVER GO WITHOUT A SHOT PLAN.
(A shot plan is a detailed breakdown of each of the steps involved in firing a shot.)

LESSON 5 – PRACTICE IN BAD CONDITIONS AS WELL AS GOOD CONDITIONS.
(Most competitions are fired in windy conditions or where there are plenty of distractions.)

LESSON 6 – CHAMPIONS ARE POSITIVE, OPTIMISTIC PEOPLE.
(Negative shooters expect bad results; positive shooters expect to train hard to change bad results.)

LESSON 7 – IT’S NOT ABOUT WHETHER YOU WIN OR LOSE.
(It’s about how hard you try to win.)

LESSON 8 – YOUR DOG WON’T BITE YOU AFTER SHOOTING A BAD SCORE.
(Hopefully your coach, parents and friends won’t bite you either.)

LESSON 9 – YOUR PRESS CLIPPINGS CAN HURT YOU OR HELP YOU.
(Winning can go to our heads. We start thinking we are so good we don’t have to work hard any more.)

LESSON 10 — YOU NEVER SHOT YOUR BEST SCORE.
(Great champions are always looking for ways to improve.)

USAMU shooters on the firing line at the Wa-Ke’-De outdoor range in Bristol, IN.
smallbore national championships Wa-ke-de
Photo courtesy USAMU.

About Gary Anderson
DCM CMP Gary AndersonGary Anderson served as the Director of the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) from 1999-2009, and is now DCM Emeritus. As a Nebraska farmboy, Gary grew up hunting and shooting. Dreams of winning an Olympic Gold Medal in shooting led Gary to the U.S. Army. In 1959, he joined the elite U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit. Just two years later, he won his first national championship.

At the 1962 World Shooting Championships in Egypt, Anderson stunned the shooting world by winning four individual titles and setting three new world records. At the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, Gary won the 300m free-rifle Gold Medal, setting a new world record in the process. At the 1966 World Shooting Championships in Germany, Anderson won three additional world titles. At the 1968 Olympics, Gary won a second gold medal in the 300m free-rifle event.

After his “retirement” from international competition, Gary competed in the National High Power Championships, winning the President’s National Trophy in 1973, 1975 and 1976. Over his competitive career, Anderson won two Olympic Gold Medals, seven World Championships, and sixteen National Championships. He is unquestionably one of the greatest American marksmen ever.

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
April 12th, 2019

How To Read Mirage — Expert Advice with Diagrams

South Texas Mirage Reading article

This was one of our 25 Most Popular Articles in 2017. We’re repeating it for those of you who may have missed it the first time around. Diagrams from SouthTexasShooting.org.

South Texas marksmanship trainingThere is an excellent article about Mirage on the South Texas Marksmanship Training Center (STMTC) website. This article explains what causes mirage and how mirage can move the perceived aiming point on your target. Most importantly, the article explains, in considerable detail, how you can “read” mirage to discern wind speeds and wind directions.

Mirage Is Your Friend
While hot days with lots of mirage can be frustrating, mirage can reveal how the wind is flowing (and changing). If you learn how to recognize and read mirage patterns, you can use that information to shoot higher scores. That’s why many leading long-range shooters tell us: “Mirage is your friend.” As the STMTC article explains: “A mirage condition is not a handicap, since it offers a very accurate method of perceiving small wind changes[.]”

CLICK HERE to Read Complete Mirage Article

Mirage Illustrated with Diagrams
With simple but effective graphic illustrations, this is one of the best explanations of mirage (and mirage reading) we have found on the internet. This is a “must-read” for any serious competitive shooter. Here is a brief sample from the article, along with an illustration. NOTE: the full article is six times longer and has 8 diagrams.

South Texas Mirage Wind Diagram displacement

The term “mirage” as used by the shooter does not refer to a true mirage, but to heat waves and the refraction of light as it is bent passing through air layers of different density. Light which passes obliquely from one wind medium to another it undergoes an abrupt change in direction, whenever its velocity in the second medium is different from the velocity in the first wind medium; the shooter will see a “mirage”.

The density of air, and therefore its refraction, varies with its temperature. A condition of cool air overlaying warm air next to the ground is the cause of heat waves or “mirage”. The warm air, having a lower index of refraction, is mixed with the cooler air above by convection, irregularly bending the light transmitting the target image to the shooter’s eye. Figure 1 shows (greatly exaggerated) the vertical displacement of the target image by heat waves.

South Texas Mirage Reading article

Heat waves are easily seen with the unaided eye on a hot, bright day and can be seen with spotting scope on all but the coldest days. To observe heat waves, the scope should be focused on a point about midway to the target. This will cause the target to appear slightly out of focus, but since the high power rifle shooter generally does not try to spot bullet holes, the lack in target clarity is more than compensated by clarity of the heat waves.

Story tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink - Articles, Optics, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
April 8th, 2019

NSSF Video Shows Sitting, Kneeling, and Standing Positions

When hunting or when competing in a field tactical match, you need to be able to shoot from a variety of positions. While the prone position is normally the most stable, hunters (and tactical marksmen) will encounter situations that demand the ability to shoot from a higher position.

In this NSSF Video, Ryan Cleckner, a former Sniper Instructor for the 1st Ranger Battalion, explains how to shoot from sitting, kneeling, and standing positions. Cleckner demonstrates both rested and non-rested variations of these three positions. Cleckner explains: “When you’re out hunting, often times you’re going to have grass or obstacles in your way, so [prone is] not practical — you’re going to have to get higher up off the ground. However, the problem with getting higher off the ground is that you are less stable. As a rule, the closer we are to the ground, the more stable we are… so we are going to [encounter] problems as we get taller up. I’m going to teach you some tricks to get you as stable as possible….”

Cleckner demonstrates the proper kneeling/sitting/standing body positions and he shows how to use your sling for extra support. This video also demonstrates the use of “field expedient” rests that provide a front support point for the rifle. Both hunters and field tactical shooters should find this 7-minute video very informative, and well worth watching.

Permalink - Videos, Shooting Skills No Comments »
April 6th, 2019

Improve Your Shooting Skills with Multi-Discipline Training

Michelle Gallagher Cross Training

Guest Article By Michelle Gallagher, Berger Bullets
Let’s face it. In the world of firearms, there is something for everyone. Do you like to compete? Are you a hunter? Are you more of a shotgun shooter or rifle shooter? Do you enjoy running around between stages of a timed course, or does the thought of shooting one-hole groups appeal to you more? Even though many of us shoot several different firearms and disciplines, chances are very good that we all have a favorite. Are we spreading ourselves too thin by shooting different disciplines, or is it actually beneficial? I have found that participating in multiple disciplines can actually improve your performance. Every style of shooting is different; therefore, they each develop different skills that benefit each other.

How can cross-training in other disciplines help you? For example, I am most familiar with long-range prone shooting, so let’s start there. To be a successful long-range shooter, you must have a stable position, accurate ammunition, and good wind-reading skills. You can improve all of these areas through time and effort, but there are other ways to improve more efficiently. Spend some time practicing smallbore. Smallbore rifles and targets are much less forgiving when it comes to position and shot execution. Long-range targets are very large, so you can get away with accepting less than perfect shots. Shooting smallbore will make you focus more on shooting perfectly center shots every time. Another way to do this with your High Power rifle is to shoot on reduced targets at long ranges. This will also force you to accept nothing less than perfect. Shoot at an F-Class target with your iron sights. At 1000 yards, the X-Ring on a long range target is 10 inches; it is 5 inches on an F-Class target. Because of this, you will have to focus harder on sight alignment to hit a center shot. When you go back to the conventional target, you will be amazed at how large the ten ring looks.

Michelle Gallagher Cross Training

Also, most prone rifles can be fitted with a bipod. Put a bipod and scope on your rifle, and shoot F-TR. Shooting with a scope and bipod eliminates position and eyesight factors, and will allow you to concentrate on learning how to more accurately read the wind. The smaller target will force you to be more aggressive on your wind calls. It will also help encourage you to use better loading techniques. Nothing is more frustrating than making a correct wind call on that tiny target, only to lose the point out the top or bottom due to inferior ammunition. If you put in the effort to shoot good scores on the F-Class target, you will be amazed how much easier the long-range target looks when you return to your sling and iron sights. By the same token, F-Class shooters sometimes prefer to shoot fast and chase the spotter. Shooting prone can help teach patience in choosing a wind condition to shoot in, and waiting for that condition to return if it changes.

Benchrest shooters are arguably among the most knowledgeable about reloading. If you want to learn better techniques about loading ammunition, you might want to spend some time at benchrest matches. You might not be in contention to win, but you will certainly learn a lot about reloading and gun handling. Shooting F-Open can also teach you these skills, as it is closely related to benchrest. Benchrest shooters may learn new wind-reading techniques by shooting mid- or long-range F-Class matches.

Michelle Gallagher Cross TrainingPosition shooters can also improve their skills by shooting different disciplines. High Power Across-the-Course shooters benefit from shooting smallbore and air rifle. Again, these targets are very small, which will encourage competitors to be more critical of their shot placement. Hunters may benefit from shooting silhouette matches, which will give them practice when shooting standing with a scoped rifle. Tactical matches may also be good, as tactical matches involve improvising shots from various positions and distances. [Editor: Many tactical matches also involve hiking or moving from position to position — this can motivate a shooter to maintain a good level of general fitness.]

These are just a few ways that you can benefit from branching out into other shooting disciplines. Talk to the other shooters. There is a wealth of knowledge in every discipline, and the other shooters will be more than happy to share what they have learned. Try something new. You may be surprised what you get out of it. You will certainly learn new skills and improve the ones you already have. You might develop a deeper appreciation for the discipline you started off with, or you may just discover a new passion.

This article originally appeared in the Berger Bulletin. The Berger Bulletin blog contains the latest info on Berger products, along with informative articles on target shooting and hunting.

Article Find by EdLongrange.

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Shooting Skills No Comments »
April 3rd, 2019

After Action Report — Gem State Stand Off Practical Rifle Match

Idaho NRL tactical Gem State Stand Off precision tactical competition match vu pham 6.5 Creedmoor 6mm Dasher
Vu Pham takes a shot at the Snake River Sportsman Range in Oregon. Click image for full-screen version.

Vu Pham recently attended a great practical/tactical match, the Gem State Stand Off. This NRL-sanctioned match drew 113 shooters, including many of the best PRS/NRL competitors in the country. Vu says this was a great event: “The 220-round, 22-stage course of fire was fun, yet challenging. Every stage had a two-minute par time requiring 10 rounds fired at multiple targets. 113 competitors fired about 24,000 rounds without a single target failure.”

2019 Idaho Gem State Stand Off AAR
Target Distances: 300 to 1200 yards
22 stages/220 round Course of Fire
113 Competitors

Match Directors: Nate Lauerman & Seth Howard
Range Officers: 21 Precision Rifle Shooters of Idaho
Event Date: March 23rd & 24th, 2019
Location: Snake River Sportsman Range in Vale, Oregon

“With technological advances in equipment, training, and ballistics, plus increased opportunities for competitors to fine-tune their skills, Practical Precision Rifle competition has become a perfectionist sport. The constant evolution of this discipline never ceases to amaze me. With competitors and manufacturers constantly pushing to gain an edge… there is no shortage of innovation.” — Vu Pham

Gem State Stand Off — After Action Report

Report by Vu Pham, NorCal Practical Precision Rifle Club
I was fortunate enough to snag a last-minute slot for the 2019 Gem State Stand Off hosted by the Precision Rifle Shooters of Idaho Club (PRSID). This is one of 17 National Rifle League events where competitors will battle for points hoping to secure a slot for the 2019 NRL Championship. The Snake River Sportsman Range is a beautiful venue in Vale, Oregon, near the Idaho border.

Idaho NRL tactical Gem State Stand Off precision tactical competition match vu pham 6.5 Creedmoor 6mm Dasher
The digital display carries ballistics info and elevation/windage tables from Vu Pham’s Kestrel. He says the unit really helps his performance.

Idaho NRL tactical Gem State Stand Off precision tactical competition match vu pham 6.5 Creedmoor 6mm Dasher
From the hills looking down-range. Click image for full-screen version.

Hardware Report — Top PRS/NRL Gear for 2019

Modern Precision Rifle Comp Gear — Stocks and Chassis Systems
The traditional rifle stock we know has now moved to more modular and customizable designs. One product that caught my eye is the new XLR Industries Envy JV Heavy Fill Chassis system. After seeing a lot of competitors use them with good results, I think I will be giving one a try soon. Not being able to borrow a piece of gear because the entire squad is running ARCA can be a drag. Picatinny forearm rails have gone the way of the dinosaur with ARCA Swiss becoming the standard for attaching accessories.

Idaho NRL tactical Gem State Stand Off precision tactical competition match vu pham 6.5 Creedmoor 6mm Dasher

Those like myself who may not want to give up their traditional-style stocks do have the option of modifying their existing stock with a universal ARCA rail from Henderson Precision. That company makes a variety of rails that fit a number of stock platforms.

Idaho NRL tactical Gem State Stand Off precision tactical competition match vu pham 6.5 Creedmoor 6mm Dasher

Rifle Support Options — Bags and Tripods
Tripods are also used a lot as front and rear support by the majority of the field as well. Support bags now come in every shape, size, weight, and material imaginable. Even the fundamentals of driving your rifle is being challenged by the evolution of “free recoil”. Instead of counting the number of hits for the day, the top echelon shooters count the number of shots they dropped.

Calibers of Choice — Small is Big — the 6mms Dominate
6mmBR Improved cartridges (6mm Dasher, 6BR Ackley) and mid-sized 6mms (such as 6mm Creedmoor) dominate the field. In addition we are seeing some guys running the 22 BR and 22 BRA, which work surprisingly well. [Editor: Run the ballistics with a .22 Cal 80-grainer and you’ll see why.]

Wind Monitoring and Ballistics
Kestrel Environmental Meters with Applied Ballistics are “must haves”. I have found my Really Right Stuff tripod and Vortex 12×50 Razor binoculars extremely useful for locating targets and going through the target shooting order before it was my turn to shoot. Watching what the wind and competitor’s rounds are doing before you are on the gun is a huge benefit.

Great Match with Great Shooters

Tough Competition with a Field of Ace Practical Marksmen
The field of competitors at this match was stacked. I heard there were 20 competitors in attendance who have won national-level PRS or NRL events. 20 top-echelon competitors mixed in with a solid field of shooters made it a tough for anyone looking to finish at the top.

(more…)

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Shooting Skills, Tactical 1 Comment »
April 1st, 2019

NRA Approves E-Class Competition — F-Class on a Budget

F-Class E-Class E-Open claming rules cost limit high power NRA

First there was F-Class, and now there will be E-Class, the “E” standing for “Economy”. The NRA Competitive Shooting Division has just approved a new form of rifle competition starting in 2020: E-Class. Unlike F-Class, E-Class will have tight rifle and gear cost controls. This is a clear response to rising F-Class costs, which have spiraled out of control. The first major E-Class National event will be a preview match held this summer at Camp Atterbury in Indiana.

READ NRA Proposed NRA E-Class Rules HERE »

The NRA’s sanctioning of E-Class competition makes sense. Let’s face it, top-level F-Class competition, both F-TR and F-Open, has become just too expensive. A modern F-Open rifle capable of winning a championship can now cost $9000.00 or more, including rest, premium trigger, and optics. Under the NRA’s new E-Class Rules, rifles can cost no more than $2000.00 total, including optics and rest (E-Open) or bipod (E-TR). In addition, new E-Class rules will recognize a special division, called E-Factory, that is limited to factory rifles, such as the Savage F-Class rig and Ruger Precision Rifle. Factory Class will be restricted to .223 Remington to keep costs down.

COST COMPARISON — F-Open, E-Open, and E-Factory

F-Open (Current High End)
Action: $1500
Barrel (chambered): $700
Stock: $1600
Trigger: $450
Optics: $3000 (10-50X)
Front Rest: $1300
Rear Bag: $200
Total: $8750.00

E-Class Open
Action: $400
Barrel (Rem/Age Pre-Fit): $370
Stock: $200 (Stocky’s)
Optics: $500
Trigger: $0 (factory)
Front Rest: $200
Rear Bag: $50
Total: $1720.00

E-Class Factory Division
Complete Rifle RPR: $1200
Barrel: Included
Stock: Included
Optics: $400
Trigger: Included
Bipod: $100
Rear Bag: $50
Total: $1750.00

Under the new E-Class rules, TOTAL Cost for an E-Open or E-TR Rifle is limited to $2000.00, including optics, front rest or bipod, and rear bag. There are specific gear limits. Scope maximum is $500.00. Front rest or bipod is limited to $200.00. In the chart above you see how an E-Open rifle could be built for under $1800 with a factory action (such as Howa or Savage) and a $400.00 optic. In the third column we’ve priced out an E-Factory rifle, based on a Ruger Precision Rifle, at $1750.00.

F-Class E-Class NRA competition
A top-of-the-line F-Open set-up like this can cost more than $8000.00 with custom stock, high-end optic, and coax front rest. All new E-Class rifles must cost less than $2000 including rests and scope.

Either way these E-Class rigs cost ONE-FIFTH of the Top-of-the-line $8750.00 F-Open Rig. That’s a huge savings, that will allow more shooters to enjoy competitive shooting. E-Class combines the fun challenge of the F-Class course of fire, with a vastly lower investment. With the rising costs of taxes, food, fuel, and everything else, it’s high time we get serious about the money we throw away on competition rifles. We know the wives will approve!

F-Class E-Class E-Open claming rules cost limit high power NRA

Keeping on Lid on Expenses

In the Wings — Controls on Ammo Costs as Well
Shooters know that the price of the rifle, optics, and rests is only part of the cost equation. The price of ammunition is also significant. Currently, in F-Open, competitors can easily pay $1.00 per round just for the expendables — bullets, powder, and primer. Add in the cost of premium .284 Win brass and the cost per shot goes up significantly. One competitor lamented “Shooting a match these days really empties your wallet. I cringe every time I pull the trigger, knowing what it costs.”

Therefore, the NRA is considering E-Class ammo restrictions. Starting in 2021, E-Factory class competitors would be required to shoot recycled bulk brass and blem bullets. Bulk Lake City 5.56 brass will be offered by ARMorAlly.com, and blem bullets will be offered by Midsouth Shooters Supply. Purists may complain about using surplus brass, but it only costs $93 for 500 cases! That’s a huge savings.

F-Class E-Class E-Open claming rules cost limit high power NRA

The Final Step — Claiming Rules for E-Class
As in every competitive endeavor, there may be temptation to bend or even break the rules. Predictably, some E-Class competitors may try to substitute more expensive components, such as high-cost triggers, or modified actions. To prevent this, the NRA plans to impose claiming rules for E-Class matches. This means that any rifle that captures first or second place in a major match can be claimed by another competitor for the fee of $2000.00. This procedure may seem radical but it is used in other sports to ensure parity among the competitors. If a shooter wins with a “cheater” $5000.00 rifle, he can be forced to sell it to a competitor for $2000.00.

Photos courtesy Bankstown-Chatswood Rifle Clug, Australia.

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills 17 Comments »
March 29th, 2019

Breath Better… To See Better (and Shoot Higher Scores)

Vision Eye Target Scope Relaxation Oxygen Target

Do you find that the crosshairs in your scope get blurry after a while, or that you experience eye strain during a match? This is normal, particularly as you get older. Focusing intensely on your target (through the scope or over iron sights) for an extended period of time can cause eye strain. Thankfully, there are things you can do to reduce eye fatigue. For one — breathe deeper to take in more oxygen. Secondly, give your eyes a break between shots, looking away from the scope or sights.

In our Forum there is an interesting thread about vision and eye fatigue. One Forum member observed: “I have noticed recently that if I linger on the target for too long the crosshairs begin to blur and the whole image gradually darkens as if a cloud passed over the sun. I do wear contacts and wonder if that’s the problem. Anyone else experienced this? — Tommy”

Forum members advised Tommy to relax and breath deep. Increase oxygen intake and also move the eyes off the target for a bit. Closing the eyes briefly between shots can also relieve eye strain. Tommy found this improved the situation.

Keith G. noted: “Make sure you are still breathing… [your condition] sounds similar to the symptoms of holding one’s breath.”

Phil H. explained: “Tom — Our eyes are tremendous oxygen hogs. What you are witnessing is caused by lack of oxygen. When this happens, get off the sights, stare at the grass (most people’s eyes find the color green relaxing), breath, then get back on the rifle. Working on your cardio can help immensely. Worked for me when I shot Palma. Those aperture sights were a bear! The better my cardio got the better and longer I could see. Same thing with scopes. Try it!”

Watercam concurred: “+1 on breathing. Take a long slow deep breath, exhale and break shot. Also make sure you take a moment to look at the horizon without looking through rifle or spotting scope once in a while to fight fatigue. Same thing happens when using iron sights.”

Arizona shooter Scott Harris offered this advice: “To some extent, [blurring vision] happens to anyone staring at something for a long time. I try to keep vision crisp by getting the shot off in a timely fashion or close the eyes briefly to refresh them. Also keep moisturized and protect against wind with wrap-around glasses”.

Breathing Better and Relaxing the Eyes Really Worked…
Tommy, the shooter with the eye problem, said his vision improved after he worked on his breathing and gave his eyes a rest between shots: “Thanks guys. These techniques shrunk my group just a bit and every little bit helps.”

Read more tips on reducing eye fatigue in our Forum Thread: That Vision Thing.

To avoid eye fatigue, take your eyes away from the scope between shots, and look at something nearby (or even close your eyes briefly). Also work on your breathing and don’t hold your breath too long — that robs your system of oxygen.

eye vision Vince Bottomley

Permalink Shooting Skills, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
March 27th, 2019

Accuracy vs. Precision — Litz Explains the Difference

Applied Ballistics Rounds on Target DVD accurateshooter.com

The NSSF has posted a video featuring Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics. Bryan also serves as Chief Ballistician for Berger Bullets and ABM Ammo. In this short video, Bryan explains the importance of ballistics for precision shooting at long range. Bryan covers key elements — drop, wind drift, angle correction and more. And Bryan also explains the key difference between Accuracy and Precision.

The principles Bryan discusses are covered (in greater detail) in the Putting Rounds on Target instructional DVD set. This 3-Disc collection boasts a total run-time of 3 hours and 37 minutes. The three DVDs, with many graphics and video segments, deliver as much information as a weekend shooting seminar… at a fraction of the cost. The 3-DVD set sells for $44.95.

Applied Ballistics Rounds on Target DVD accurateshooter.com

Disc 1

• Accuracy & Precision
• Tall Target Test
• Chronographs & Statistics
• Ballistic Coefficient
• Trajectory Terms
• Run Time: 1 hour, 4 min

Disc 2

• Primary Elevation (Wind)
• Secondary Effects
• Using Ballistics Solvers
• Short & LR Equipment
• Run Time: 1 hour, 11 min

Disc 3

• On The Range: .308 Win
• On The Range: .284 Win
• On The Range: .338 LM
• Extended Range Shooting
• One Mile Shooting
• Run Time: 1 hour, 22 min

DVD Applied Ballistics Bryan Litz Shooting F-Class .284 Win .338 LM

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Shooting Skills, Tech Tip No Comments »
March 26th, 2019

Angular Measurement — Mil vs. MOA — What You Need to Know

Mil MOA reticle ranging PRS tactical minute angle precision rifle series
Visit PrecisionRifleBlog.com for a discussion of MIL vs. MOA.

Many guys getting started in long range shooting are confused about what kind of scope they should buy — specifically whether it should have MIL-based clicks or MOA-based clicks. Before you can make that decision, you need to understand the terminology. This article, with a video by Bryan Litz, explains MILS and MOA so you can choose the right type of scope for your intended application.

This March-FX 5-40x56mm Tactical FFP scope features 0.05 MIL Clicks.
Mil MOA reticle ranging PRS tactical minute angle precision rifle series

You probably know that MOA stands for “Minute of Angle” (or more precisely “minute of arc”), but could you define the terms “Milrad” or “MIL”? In his latest video, Bryan Litz of Applied Ballitics explains MOA and MILs (short for “milliradians”). Bryan defines those terms and explains how they are used. One MOA is an angular measurement (1/60th of one degree) that subtends 1.047″ at 100 yards. One MIL (i.e. one milliradian) subtends 1/10th meter at 100 meters; that means that 0.1 Mil is one centimeter (1 cm) at 100 meters. Is one angular measurement system better than another? Not necessarily… Bryan explains that Mildot scopes may be handy for ranging, but scopes with MOA-based clicks work just fine for precision work at known distances. Also because one MOA is almost exactly one inch at 100 yards, the MOA system is convenient for expressing a rifle’s accuracy. By common parlance, a “half-MOA” rifle can shoot groups that are 1/2-inch (or smaller) at 100 yards.

What is a “Minute” of Angle?
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 (four clicks on a 1/4-MOA scope). That is roughly 1 inch at 100 yards, or roughly 4 inches at 400 yards, since the target area measured by an MOA subtension increases with the distance.

one MOA minute of angle diagram

MIL vs. MOA for Target Ranging
MIL or MOA — which angular measuring system is better for target ranging (and hold-offs)? In a recent article on his PrecisionRifleBlog.com website, Cal Zant tackles that question. Analyzing the pros and cons of each, Zant concludes that both systems work well, provided you have compatible click values on your scope. Zant does note that a 1/4 MOA division is “slightly more precise” than 1/10th mil, but that’s really not a big deal: “Technically, 1/4 MOA clicks provide a little finer adjustments than 1/10 MIL. This difference is very slight… it only equates to 0.1″ difference in adjustments at 100 yards or 1″ at 1,000 yards[.]” Zant adds that, in practical terms, both 1/4-MOA clicks and 1/10th-MIL clicks work well in the field: “Most shooters agree that 1/4 MOA or 1/10 MIL are both right around that sweet spot.”

READ MIL vs. MOA Cal Zant Article.

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Shooting Skills 6 Comments »
March 24th, 2019

SCATT MX-02 Training System Works for Centerfire Shooters

SCATT MX-02 training digital camera sensor target

The SCATT MX-02 is an electronic shooter training system that is capable of operating outdoors with live, centerfire ammunition, at distances from 25 yards to 600 yards. Tony Chow tested this product for AccurateShooter.com. As fitted to his AR-15 Service Rifle, Tony concludes this is a very useful tool that can help High Power competitors refine their technique and shoot higher scores. CLICK HERE for Full 3000-word Review.

How the SCATT MX-02 Works
The SCATT sensor mounted on the end of the barrel has a digital camera that recognizes the black bullseye in the target, even in broad daylight outdoors. Using the bullseye as a reference, the SCATT software tracks the movement of the muzzle relative to the center of the target. The unit can plot these movements as a continuous trace, which appears on a monitor as a squiggly, colored line. By sensing the exact moment of shot release, the SCATT can also interpolate relative shot placement (for a single shot or series of shots) — but this is not the same as an electronic target which actually records the exact shot impact location on the target.

SCATT MX-02 training digital camera sensor target

Some time ago, we reviewed this product from the perspective of a smallbore competitive shooter. (Read Previous Review.) Here we test SCATT MX-02 again, this time on an AR-15 service rifle, in order to assess its suitability for the High Power competition community.

We put the MX-02 through its paces in all three High Power shooting positions and in various environmental conditions. We wanted to find out whether the system can reliably operate in the harsher outdoor settings and withstand the recoil of a centerfire rifle. We also wanted to assess whether it provides added values for High Power shooters over older generation of electronic trainers such as SCATT’s own venerable WS-01.

On both counts, we came away impressed. The SCATT MX-02 stood up to centerfire recoil after hundreds of shots and was able to consistently recognize the often less-than-pristine High Power target faces. Both indoors and outdoors, the MX-02 acts as SCATT should and dutifully captures useful aiming traces and other data. It does that even during outdoor live-fire sessions, where shooter performance often differs from indoor dry-firing due to the sensation of recoil and environmental factors.

SCATT Rapid Fire Results (paper target on left, screen on right).
Scatt MX-02 shooting trainer camera

In particular, SCATT MX-02 allows shooters to effectively troubleshoot and improve their rapid-fire performance, a service that no previous-generation trainers are capable of providing. The unit isn’t perfect — the SCATT MX-02 had some mounting issues with small-diameter barrels, but a cardboard shim provided a quick and effective solution.


CLICK HERE for Full SCATT MX-02 Review »

Overall, performance was impressive. In most realistic training conditions that High Power shooters experience, the system performed well. We can certainly recommend SCATT MX-02 as an extremely valuable tool for High Power competitors looking to take their performance to the next level.

For more information or to order SCATT products, including the MX-02, visit ScattUSA.com or call toll-free: 1-855-57-SCATT (72288).

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Shooting Skills No Comments »
March 23rd, 2019

Five FREE Printable Precision Shooting Targets

AccurateShooter Free downloadable print targets shooting paper PDF

AccurateShooter.com offers a cool page with over 50 FREE downloadable targets. You’ll find all types or FREE targets — sight-in targets, varmint targets, rimfire targets, bullseye targets, tactical targets, load development targets and more. CLICK HERE for all our free targets, including our LOAD DEV target.

OK, if all that isn’t enough, we just found four new targets that we really like, plus our fan favorite “bughole” target.

Load Development and OCW Target

AccurateShooter Free downloadable print targets shooting paper PDF
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD TARGET

This is a nicely-designed six-bull grid target. Use this for load development or accuracy testing. Set your scope so you can aim at the orange diamonds while your shots impact in the box above. This target has a visible background grid so it is easy to estimate your group size. You’ll find other load development targets in this Shooters’ Forum Thread.

Five Diamond Grid Target

AccurateShooter Free downloadable print targets shooting paper PDF
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD TARGET

Twin Row Target Circles for Load Development

AccurateShooter Free downloadable print targets shooting paper PDF
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD TARGET

This target was created using Open Office (Draw) by Forum member TwoBoxer for 100-yard load development and practice. He tells us: “The color, size of the center dot, crosshair lines, etc. were varied to work with my scope and magnification at 100 yards. I expect the group POI to move as elements of the load are varied. So concern about obliterating the aim point is minimal, and needs to be controlled by how you zero the rifle in any case.”

Poker Target — Get the Best Hand

Dots Target
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD TARGET

With this playing card-themed target, each shooter takes five shots and the one with the highest hand wins. You can also shoot for four-of-a-kind, against the clock, fastest four (without a mistake) wins.

Fly Shoot Target — Can You “Bug-Hole”?

Dots Target
CLICK HERE to DOWNLOAD TARGET

Go for true “bug-holes” with our Fly Shoot Target. You can shoot all the flies first, then go for the smaller black dots. Watch out for the bio-hazard rings!

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, Shooting Skills No Comments »
March 21st, 2019

Proper Sight Picture with Various Types of Sighting Systems

NRA sight picture alignment video

As part of the NRA Mentor Program, the NRA offers a helpful video about using sights. This covers all types of sighting systems — blade sights, aperture sights, V-notch sights, red dot sights, shotgun bead sights, and telescopic sights with reticles. For new shooters, this video can be helpful — it explains sight basics in very clear and comprehensible terms. And even for experienced shooters, this can provide some helpful tips on sight alignment, particularly when shooting pistols.

Additional information about using sights is contained in the NRA’s free Guide for New Shooters. This helpful 14-page digital publication provides the key firearms safety rules, explains range etiquette, and even has a section on gun cleaning. CLICK HERE to download Guide for New Shooters.

NRA sight picture alignment video

Training With Lasers — Trigger Control
Training with laser sights helps diagnose and improve trigger control errors by showcasing the importance of “surprise break” and follow-through. Working with gun-mounted lasers, which put a red or green dot right on the target, can quickly diagnose errors such as recoil anticipation, jerking the trigger, and breaking the wrist. This video shows how handgunners can use pistol-mounted lasers to correct bad habits and shoot more consistently.

Permalink - Videos, Handguns, Shooting Skills No Comments »
March 19th, 2019

We’re Gobsmacked — Google Invites Gun Book Author to Talk

Chris Cheng shoot to win book interview

Chris Cheng, Top Shot TV Season 4 Champion, worked at Google from 2007-2012. A self-taught amateur turned pro, he beat 17 competitors to win the title of Top Shot, a $100,000 grand prize, and a professional marksmanship contract with Bass Pro Shops. After his Top Shot success, Cheng left Google to pursue a new career in the firearms industry. He is the author of Shoot To Win, now in its Second Edition (2018). The book is available from Amazon for $19.99 (or $14.99 Kindle). You can also get an eBook version for $14.95 through Google Play with a free sample.

What is pretty remarkable, given the current state of “political correctness” in our nation is that Google invited Cheng to discuss his book at a Google Authors event. Here is the video of that interview.

Chris explains: “Google invited me back to discuss the 2nd Edition of my book Shoot to Win and it was an honor to become a two-time Google @Authors talk guest.

Given the political climate and anti-conservative accusations levied on Google and other tech companies it was notable I got invited. But more notable was that Google employees voted on authors they wanted to come speak and my name floated to the top. It goes to show that Google is trying to balance things out and bring more divergent perspectives and increase intellectual diversity.

In the talk we discussed sacrifice, hard work, and the focus required to win at life. We also discussed my advocacy for gun rights, gay rights, and freedom and how there are folks who want gay people and gun people to not exist on this Earth.

The only way we’re going to find our way out is if we have more respectable, civil dialogue to find solutions. It isn’t about agreeing on everything, but finding common ground and moving quickly where we agree.”

Chris Cheng shoot to win book interview

After winning the Top Shot Season 4 title, Chris Cheng left his job at Google to pursue a new career in the firearms industry. Cheng now travels the country speaking professionally and sharing his passion for the shooting sports. He is a Certified Pistol, Rifle, and Shotgun Instructor. Cheng also serves as a Member of the NSSF’s Outreach and Inclusion Committee where he represents LGBT and Asian interests.

Permalink - Videos, Handguns, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
March 17th, 2019

Like Father Like Son — Emil Praslick IV Shoots First Rifle Match

father son emil praslick iii iv 3 4 f-tr .223 rem factory ammo x-count USAMU

Here’s a great “feel-good” story. You’ve probably heard of Emil Praslick III. He’s considered one of the best rifle coaches and wind readers on the planet. Now retired from the military, SFC Praslick served with the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) as coach and instructor for many years. He also coached many USA rifle teams in international competition.

father son emil praslick iii iv 3 4 f-tr .223 rem factory ammo x-count USAMU

Well Emil has a son, who carries on the family lineage as Emil Praslick IV (EPIV). Young Emil just shot his first rifle competition, an F-TR event. Remarkably, the young man, just 12 years old, Beat “pops” in the final match of the day by four Xs. Well done!

Father Emil reports: “Took my son, Emil IV, who just turned 12, to his first rifle match today. He shot F-TR at 600 yards with a .223 Rem bolt rifle, factory 77 grain ammunition, and bipod. He had a blast, and in the last match, beat his old man by 4 Xs shooting the same setup. Great day, today.” Referring to EPIV, father Emil added: “He’s got the bug! If I start hand-loading for that rifle, he might be dangerous!”

Here are some comments from Facebook friends:

“Literal chip off the old block! Well done EPIV and his coach, EPIII” — Kelly H.

“That’s awesome!” — SFC Brandon Green (USAMU), 3-time Nat’l High Power Champion

“You are learning a new phase to your coaching playbook. One that has the potential for the very best memories. Good on you and best wishes!” — Kent Reeve

“I think you will find Emil, that shooting with your kids, and watching them ‘get it’ and their performance improve match to match, will be more satisfying than anything else you’ve ever done on a range. For you especially that will be significant, but I think that it will still hold true.” — Lance E.

“Good shooting young man. [Father] Emil… better get used to being beat by those young eyes. Been in your shoes.” — Tracy Hogg

“Emil… Tell your son you hate reloading. Teach him how and then tell him if he doesn’t have enough ammo he can’t shoot because you don’t have enough time to load your own and ammo is too expensive to buy! Congratulations and thank you for helping Amanda so much!” — Paul Elsenboss (father of USAMU shooter Amanda Elsenboss)

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills No Comments »