June 23rd, 2018

Wind-Reading Tips from Champion Shooters

Shooting Sports USA

The digital archives of Shooting Sports USA magazine (SSUSA) features an Expert Forum on Wind Reading. This outstanding article on wind reading starts off with a section by ballistics guru Bryan Litz, author of Applied Ballistics for Long-Range Shooting. Then four of the greatest American shooters in history share their personal wind wisdom. Lanny Basham (Olympic Gold Medalist, author, Winning in the Wind), Nancy Tompkins (Past National HP Champion, author, Prone and Long-Range Rifle Shooting), David Tubb (11-Time Camp Perry National Champion), and Lones Wigger (Olympic Hall of Fame) all offer practical wind-reading lessons learned during their shooting careers.

CLICK HERE for Full Article in Shooting Sports USA Archive

CLICK HERE to Download Article Issue in Printable PDF Format.

Whether you shoot paper at Perry or prairie dogs in the Dakotas, this is a certified “must-read” resource on reading the wind. Here is a sample selection from the article:

Shooting Sports USA



Visit www.SSUSA.org

Shooting Sports USA magazine (SSUSA) has a modern, mobile-friendly website with tons of great content. Log on to www.ssusa.org. There you’ll find current news stories as well as popular articles from the SSUSA archives. The SSUSA website also includes match reports, gear reviews, reloading advice, plus expert marksmanship tips from the USAMU.

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June 21st, 2018

USA Olympians Demonstrate the Kneeling Position

Amanda Furrer USA Shooting

Bob Foth Paralympic coachWatch the video below to learn about the kneeling position, as explained by National Paralympic Coach Bob Foth and 2012 Olympian Amanda Furrer. Three-time Olympian and Silver Medalist Bob Foth details the proper techniques (both body position and gun-handling) for kneeling position shooting. Putting Foth’s coaching tips into practice, three-Position smallbore shooter Amanda Furrer demonstrates how to properly shoot from a kneeling position using a .22LR match rifle.

Amanda, a member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic team, shows how to set up the right body position when kneeling, how to support the rifle, and how to relax breathing to steady the shot. This takes practice, but remarkable accuracy can be achieved from the kneeling position by top-level shooters. This is a great video, well worth watching.

The video uses superimposed graphics and diagrams to show rifle hardware/sights, and key aspects of the head position, sling set-up, and hold. If you are a position shooter, this is a “must-watch” video. Narrated by Olympian Bob Foth, it is very informative.

Watch Kneeling Position Video

As a member of the U.S. Olympic Team, Amanda Furrer competed in the Womens 3P 50m event at the 2012 Olympics, finishing 15th. Amanda first started shooting at 11 years old with the Spokane Junior Rifle Team. Shooting is a family sport and all compete and shoot guns together. Furrer’s father shoots tactical matches and her mom shoots pistols. Amanda qualified for the national team as a member of the 2007 Pan American Team at the age of 16. She won bronze in the 2011 National Championships. Amanda is currently a student at Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business, majoring in Finance and competing on the Rifle Team.

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June 20th, 2018

Novice Shooters Deserve Accurate Rifles Too…

6-6.5x47 Benchrest

On some internet shooting forums, self-declared “experts” advise new rifle shooters to stick to low-end factory rifles. These “experts” (many of whom don’t own a single really accurate rifle), claim that it will take years for a new shooter to learn how to shoot a rifle accurately. So, the argument goes, the accuracy offered by a precision-chambered rifle, with a custom barrel, is “wasted” on a new shooter.

We disagree with that viewpoint, at least when it comes to rifles shot from a rest. We’ve seen relatively new shooters, with help from a skilled mentor, do remarkably well with precision rifles right from the start. With a good bench gun, many new shooters can shoot well under 1 MOA on the first day. Certainly it takes time for a complete novice to learn how to handle the gun and to work the trigger smoothly. However, this editor has personally seen some inexperienced shooters try their hand at benchrest shooting, and within few month they are doing very well indeed at club shoots.

Accurate Rifles Reward Progress As Novices Build Skills

For bench shooting, we think a highly accurate rifle is a much better training device for a new shooter than a typical, cheap factory sporter. With a gun capable of 1.5-2.0 MOA at best, you can never really determine if a “flyer” is you or the gun. Conversely, when a novice shoots a gun that can put 5 shots through one ragged hole, if a shot goes way high or low, the shooter knows his aim, trigger control, or gun-handling is to blame. He (or she) can then correct the problem. And when the shooter does everything right, he or she will see a nice tight group on the target. The accurate rifle provides more meaningful feedback and it rewards progress. That helps the novice become a better shooter in a shorter period of time.

6-6.5x47 Benchrest

A while back, Forum Member Preacher and his “bunny hugger” niece from California proved this point. The young lady, with almost no shooting experience, took Preacher’s 6-6.5×47 and shot a sub-quarter-MOA, 3-shot group at 350 yards. Don’t tell her she needs to stick to a cheap factory rifle. Preacher reports: “My niece flew in from the west coast and came up to visit. When she saw a few of my full-blown varmint rifles, she wanted to shoot one. She did a super job even if she IS a ‘bunny hugger’. She pulled the 1.5 ounce Jewell on a few fired cases to check out the trigger pull and then got in behind the gun and put three shots into a 350-yard target with a one-inch circle.” We measured her group at 0.822″ (0.224 MOA). Don’t tell Preacher that accuracy is “wasted” on novices. He joked: “I sure don’t want her shooting at me ….”

Rifle Features BAT Action, Krieger Barrel, and Russo Laminated Stock:

6-6.5x47 Benchrest

For those who are interested, Preacher’s rifle features a BAT 3-lug action, 30″ Krieger 7.5-twist heavy contour barrel, and Russo stock (with clear coat by Preacher). Chambered in 6-6.5×47 Lapua, this gun “shoots the 108gr Bergers very well” according to Preacher. Yep, we agree with that — even when a novice “bunny-hugger” does the trigger-pulling.

Permalink - Articles, Shooting Skills, Tech Tip 10 Comments »
June 19th, 2018

Quick History of Silhouette Shooting

Silhouette Centerfire high power history formation Mexico Ram Pig Chicken livestock

The NRA Blog ran an feature on Silhouette shooting by NRA Silhouette Program Coordinator Jonathan Leighton. Here are selections from Leighton’s story:

NRA Silhouette Shooting
The loud crack from the bullet exiting the muzzle followed by an even louder ‘clang’ as you watch your target fly off the railing is really a true addiction for most Silhouette shooters. There is nothing better than shooting a game where you actually get to see your target react to the bullet. In my opinion, this is truly what makes this game so much fun.

Metallic Silhouette — A Mexican Import
Silhouette shooting came to this country from Mexico in the 1960s. It is speculated that sport had its origins in shooting contests between Pancho Villa’s men around 1914. After the Mexican Revolution the sport spread quickly throughout Mexico. ‘Siluetas Metalicas’ uses steel silhouettes shaped like game animals. Chickens up front followed by rows of pigs, turkeys, and furthest away, rams. Being that ‘Siluetas Metalicas’ was originally a Mexican sport, it is common to hear the targets referred to by their Spanish names Gallina (chicken), Javelina (pig), Guajalote (turkey) and Borrego (ram). Depending on the discipline one is shooting, these animals are set at different distances from the firing line, but always in the same order.

Before Steel There Was… Barbeque
In the very beginnings of the sport, live farm animals were used as targets, and afterwards, the shooters would have a barbeque with all the livestock and/or game that was shot during the match. The first Silhouette match that used steel targets instead of livestock was conducted in 1948 in Mexico City, Mexico by Don Gonzalo Aguilar. [Some matches hosted by wealthy Mexicans included high-ranking politicians and military leaders]. As the sport spread and gained popularity during the 1950s, shooters from the Southwestern USA started crossing the Mexican border to compete. Silhouette shooting came into the US in 1968 at the Tucson Rifle Club in Arizona. The rules have stayed pretty much the same since the sport has been shot in the US. NRA officially recognized Silhouette as a shooting discipline in 1972, and conducted its first NRA Silhouette Nationals in November of 1972.

Now There Are Multiple Disciplines
The actual sport of Silhouette is broken into several different disciplines. High Power Rifle, Smallbore Rifle, Cowboy Lever Action Rifle, Black Powder Cartridge Rifle, Air Rifle, Air Pistol, and Hunter’s Pistol are the basic disciplines. Cowboy Lever Action is broken into three sub-categories to include Smallbore Cowboy Rifle, Pistol Cartridge Cowboy Lever Action, and regular Cowboy Lever Action. Black Powder Cartridge Rifle also has a ‘Scope’ class, and Hunter’s Pistol is broken into four sub-categories. Some clubs also offer Military Rifle Silhouette comps.

Here is a rimfire silhouette match conducted by the Sporting Shooters’ Assn. of Australia.
Silhouette Centerfire high power history formation Mexico Ram Pig Chicken livestock

Where to Shoot Silhouette
NRA-Sanctioned matches are found at gun clubs nation-wide. There are also many State, Regional, and National matches across the country as well. You can find match listings on the Shooting Sports USA website or contact the NRA Silhouette Department at (703) 267-1465. For more info, visit SteelChickens.com, the #1 website dedicated to Silhouette shooting sports.

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills 12 Comments »
June 17th, 2018

Don’t Waste Money on Tacti-Cool Hardware Says Larry Vickers

Training tactical tacti-cool accessories Larry Vickers AR15 Black rifle

Larry Vickers is a respected firearms trainer who has served with the U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF). In the course of teaching classes he’s learned that many gun owners waste money on impractical gun accessories. In a well-reasoned Ammoland.com article, “Don’t Be a Tacti-Cool Fool”, Vickers examines today’s trend of over-accessorizing firearms, particularly AR-platform rifles. Vickers doesn’t mince words… he states that too many people are spending too much money on poorly-designed hardware that may be “useless” at best.

Equipment Selection Advice from Larry Vickers

Every class I teach I see and hear students talking about the realization that some things about their gear and shooting in general just doesn’t add up on the range. Everything looks good in a Brownells Catalog but a significant amount of the parts and accessories offered on the market today are: a) useless; b) poorly designed; c) of questionable value; or d) downright dangerous.

No one is better at taking fully-functional, factory-made firearms and turning them into junk than a certain segment of the American gun-buying public.

Some people really don’t apply the common sense approach of not messing with what is potentially a life-saving tool. Sadly some of those same people will get on the Internet and talk bad about how the firearm they modified no longer functions and therefore is junk. Or they will recommend to fellow shooters the same parts and modifications they have used to turn their gun into, at best, a range toy.

Some of this shows up in my classes and usually by lunch on the first day the obvious flaws of the equipment at hand become apparent for everyone in the class, most of all to the owner of said equipment. It may have cost the shooter some money but in turn he learned a serious life lesson –be careful what you read on the Internet about firearms modifications and there is no substitute for shaking out your equipment at the range in a structured class.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you’ll learn more about guns and shooting in one class than you could in a month on the Internet.

READ about guns, gear, and shooting on the Internet. LEARN about guns, gear, and shooting on the range during well-thought-out and useful training. This approach is proven and consistently produces results and shooter confidence.

Training tactical tacti-cool accessories Larry Vickers AR15 Black rifle

Larry Vickers
Master Sergeant (Retired)
U.S. Army SOF Combat Veteran
http://vickerstactical.com

Larry Vickers is a retired U.S. Army Special Operations Forces veteran with 20+ years of service. Vickers served in Panama, the Middle East (Desert Storm), Somalia, Bosnia, and other locations. During his time with Delta Force, Vickers worked on weapons R&D, and served as a combat marksmanship instructor training new operational members of Delta.

Permalink Shooting Skills, Tactical 4 Comments »
June 16th, 2018

Ladies Shooting Camps Offered by Babes with Bullets

Babes with bullets training shooting rifle pistol camp female instructors

There’s no question that females can shoot as well as men. In fact, quite a few shooting instructors have told us that women progress faster than men because females are better listeners. Also ladies are less likely to let egos interfere with the training process. Competitive shooting is one of the few sports where ladies compete directly with guys, and the women are fully capable of winning it all. Just ask Nancy Tompkins and her daughter Sherri Gallagher — both past National High Power champions.

To help female shooters improve their game, the Babes with Bullets (BWB) group offers a series of ladies-only shooting seminars around the country. There are both rifle programs and handgun programs. At these camps, BWB supplies all the equipment — including the firearms. The seminar “tuition” covers all expenses — instructor salaries, range fees, lunches, loaner guns, ammo, targets, and other required equipment.

Babes with Bullets Rifle and Handgun Camp

The BWB Rifle and Handgun Camp is for advanced beginner and intermediate shooters. Taught by an all-female team of national and world shooting sports champions, the three-day Handgun Rifle Camp is a wonderful fit for women looking to improve their handgun and holster skills while also learning more about handling a .22 or .223 caliber modern sporting rifle (MSR).

Babes with bullets training shooting rifle pistol camp female instructors

Camp fees cover instructors, range fees, lunches at the range, complementary loaner guns and other equipment. Registration is open for the upcoming Babes with Bullets Handgun Rifle Camp, October 19-21, 2018 at the CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park, Talladega, Alabama.

Babes with Bullets Handgun Camps

Whether an experienced shooter or a newbie to the firearms scene, the Babes with Bullets Handgun Camp is a great place for women to develop and improve their marksmanship skills. Taught by an all-female team of national and world shooting sports champions, these three-day handgun camps are designed to teach women to handle and operate a handgun safely and confidently. Camp fees cover instructors, range fees, lunches at the range, complementary loaner guns and other equipment.

Babes with bullets training shooting rifle pistol camp female instructors

Registration is open for the following BWB Handgun Camps:

July 6-8, 2018 at Buffalo Chip Range, Sturgis, SD
July 20-22, 2018 at Birchwood Recreation & Shooting Park, Chugiak, AK
Sept. 14-16 at Cardinal Shooting Center near Columbus, OH
Nov. 2-4, 2018 at Fresno Rifle & Pistol Club, Fresno, CA

Babes with Bullets Diamond Camp (Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun)

The Diamond Camp — the ultimate Babes camp experience — features expert handgun, rifle, and shotgun training, combined with great luxuries: a celebrity chef, a masseuse, yoga instruction, hosted bar. Plus each of the 10 campers receives aa gift certificate for a Thompson Center bolt action rifle. Taught by an all-female team of national and world shooting sports champions, the four-day Diamond event is perfect for novice through advanced shooters who want a luxurious holiday along with their firearms training. It’s pricey at $2800, but comparable with a deluxe hunting lodge.

Babes with bullets training camp rifle pistol shotgun diamond camp
The 2018 BWB Diamond Camp features a Celebrity Chef, Massage, Yoga instruction, and more.

This year’s Diamond Camp will be based at the Wild Game Inn, in Darby, Montana, about 90 minutes from the Missoula Airport. The Inn offers ATV rides, fishing, hiking, skeet shooting, and more. Camp will start the afternoon of Wednesday, August 15, with range mornings on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

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June 13th, 2018

Great Video Series for Hunters and Long Range Shooters

Thomas Haugland long range shooting hunting hunter norway

There an excellent YouTube channel, THLR.NO, that offers videos for long-range hunters and marksmen. The channel’s creator, Thomas Haugland, is a serious, knowledgeable shooter, who takes his rifles out into the field, in all conditions. The THLR.NO channel offers solid advice on scopes, reticles, wind-reading, field positions, and much more. Haugland’s team puts a wide variety of gear through serious field tests — every thing from suppressors to packs to the latest electro-optical hardware. In addition the THLR.NO channel provides good advice on stalking techniques and hunting skills. Here are some recent videos that can help any rifleman.

How to Shoot Better with a Hunting Rifle

This “must-watch” video has great practical advice for hunters. It illustrates proper hand-hold and head position, and shows how to stay steady when breaking the shot. Even competition shooters can learn a few things. One viewer notes: “This was very informative. The footage through the scope showing how one’s position moves the sight alignment was particularly helpful.”

How to Gauge Wind Speed and Hold Off Using Reticles

This field video shows how to observe natural indicators — trees and vegetation — to estimate wind velocity. Then it shows how to calculate hold-offs using the reticle hash-marks. Thomas shoots a fast-cycling Blaser R93 rifle with Norma 6XC ammunition.

Thomas Haugland long range shooting hunting hunter norway

Thomas Haugland long range shooting hunting hunter norway

If you like these three videos, there are hundreds more on the THLR.NO YouTube channel. In addition, there is an excellent long-format video, Longrange Shooting 2, available on DVD or Vimeo on Demand. This impressive outdoors video features Thomas Haugland and Ulf Lindroth. Here is a preview:

Watch Longrange Shooting 2 on Vimeo:

Longrange Shooting 2 from Lindroth & Norin on Vimeo.

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
June 11th, 2018

What You Need to Get Started in PRS Competition

PRS Precison Rifle Series getting started equipment list

Report by Craig Arnzen, Area419.com
It’s easy to think about shooting your first precision rifle match and worry about all of the gear and trinkets that you may need to make it through. In reality, the old rules apply — keep it simple.

We wanted to put together for you a no-nonsense list of the Top Five Gear Items you need for your first match. This list focuses on the “must-have” items you’ll need for PRS-Style competitions.

PRS Precison Rifle Series getting started equipment list support bag dope scope

1. A Rifle (That is Reliable and Sub-MOA Accurate)

Your rifle is the most obvious piece of kit, but we can give you a little more information. Most of the guys you’ll find out there are shooting 6.5 Creedmoor. Yeah, there are guys using .308 Wins and 6mm Dashers, but the 6.5 Creedmoor makes up more than half of the rounds shot in PRS competition, when looking at both national and club matches. Your comp rig needs to be mag-fed and shoot better than 1 MOA. It DOESN’T need to be better than 0.5 MOA (half-MOA). With most targets being 2-3 MOA in size, a half-MOA gun will do just fine. More accuracy is better of course, but you don’t need an exotic quarter-MOA rig to win.

[Editor’s NOTE: PRS does offer a Gas Gun division, but most guys start out with a bolt-action rifle, which will be less maintenance-intensive than an AR-platform rig.]

PRS Precison Rifle Series getting started equipment list support bag dope scope

Muzzle brakes, like our Area 419 Hellfire, are also very popular as much of the PRS game is recoil management. If you can’t see your misses, you’re sure to have more of them.

The rifle also needs an optic with repeatable clicks and a reticle with Mil- or MOA-based hashmarks. The clicks can be either Mil system or MOA system (Mil is more common), so long as the click values match the reticle (i.e. you don’t want 1/4-moa clicks with a Mil-marked reticle). How much power do you need? Anything that zooms in the mid-teens will suffice. I could shoot a match with a fixed 12X scope and not feel disadvantaged. We love the Kahles K624i, if you’re looking for a suggestion.

Oh, and you’ll want a bipod — but the choice in bipod deserves a whole separate article by itself. Nothing wrong with starting out with a Harris swivel. Then you might look at different bipods on other competitors’ rifles for comparison.

2. Ammunition — Factory Ammo and Hand-loads

Good ammo is important, but as we discuss above, 0.5 MOA is good enough. Also, speed is great but it matters FAR less than you’d think. Drop can be calculated with precision, and distances are normally known, so a slightly flatter trajectory doesn’t really matter. Wind matters, but the difference you’ll find when eeking out that last 50 fps is very, very small.

PRS Precison Rifle Series getting started equipment list support bag dope ammo ammunition
Federal, Hornady, and Prime all make quality ammo that is widely used by shooters from local to national matches. Facebook photo by CReece.

Precision Handloads
If you want to run down the rabbit hole of finding that perfect ammo that shoots in the “twos” (0.2 MOA), get yourself an AutoTrickler and some of our billet aluminum accessories — you’ll love the setup.

3. A Versatile Support Bag

There are countless bag options. But there is ONE bag you’ll see everywhere, and for good reason. The Game-Changer from Armageddon Gear is aptly named. Many shooters use it as a barricade bag as well as a rear bag, meaning a guy could get away with using only this bag for an entire match. If you need another bag when you get there, ask someone in your squad, they’ll share. I promise.

PRS Precison Rifle Series getting started equipment list support bag Gamechanger Game-changer Armageddon Gear dope scope

4. DOPE (Reliable Ballistics Info)

We’re not talking the kind of Dope you may find in a match outside Denver — we are talking about the kind that feeds you ballistic solutions. The software-enabled Kestrel is a very common item on the range, but you’ll also see lots of guys using mobile Apps such as Shooter or Applied Ballistics Mobile, and they have great results.

It’s also handy to have an armband or an item like the Hawk Hill data card holder for stages with various targets at differing ranges. Once the RO says “engage” and your mind stops working, you’ll appreciate having it written down.

5. Hearing Protection

PRS Competitors shoot with brakes and sometimes in enclosed spaces. That’s why you need serious hearing protection. We recommend NRR 33 earplugs, doubled up with Electronic Muffs to hear range commands. I have used the 33 dB NRR Mack’s foamies at matches for most of the last year, and the Howard Leight NRR 33 Max-1s are also very effective. The budget-priced (under $50) Howard Leight Impact Sport Electronic muffs work well, but premium electronic muffs may be more comfortable.

PRS Precison Rifle Series getting started equipment list support bag Gamechanger Game-changer Armageddon Gear dope scope

Growing in popularity are high-tech, in-ear digital units like the ESP Stealth. I have a set of linked ESP Steaths on the way and hope to evaluate them soon. These are supposed to be very good, but the ESP Stealths cost $2100.00 per pair!

Think we missed something? Have more questions? Let us know.

Contact: Team@Area419.com

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Shooting Skills, Tactical 6 Comments »
June 5th, 2018

Wheelgun Fever — Why Our Favorite Handgun is Not a Glock…

Smith Wesson model 617 .22 LR Revolver handgun
S&W Model 617 now has a 10-round cylinder, but early models were six-shooters.

While Accurateshooter.com concentrates on high-accuracy rifles, we know that many of our readers enjoy handguns. We are often asked “What is your favorite handgun — Glock? HK? SIG Sauer?” The answer to that question may be surprising. This Editor’s favorite handgun, at least the one that gets shot most often, is a rimfire revolver — that’s right, a wheelgun.

This Editor’s first really accurate handgun was a .22 LR Smith & Wesson Model 617 that could easily stack ten shots in a dime at 10 yards. It remains my favorite and most-used handgun. What can we say about the Model 617? The single-action trigger pull is superb, and the accuracy surpasses most any semi-auto rimfire pistol, except for a few, very expensive target pistols. We like the 6″ version for the longer site radius, but the 4″-barrel 617 is also very accurate, and it balances better.

Smith & Wesson 617

We strongly recommend that new pistol shooters start off with a .22 LR rimfire handgun. The .22 LR cartridge is accurate but has very low recoil, less “bark” than a centerfire, and very little smoke and muzzle flash. New shooters won’t have to fight muzzle flip, and won’t develop a flinch from the sharp recoil and muzzle blast common to larger calibers. With the .22 LR, the trainee can focus on sight alignment, breathing, and trigger pull.

Smith & Wesson Model 617 Video Reviews
Here are three video reviews of the Smith & Wesson Model 617, both 4″-barrel and 6″-barrel versions. All three videos demonstrate the 617’s great accuracy. The reviewers concede that this handgun is pretty expensive, but all agree that the Model 617 will last a lifetime, and hold its value.

Hickok 45 Demos “Wonderful revolver”, a 4″ Model 617. See also Hickok 45 m617 Part 2:

Popular YouTube Host 22 Plinkster Tests Model 617 with 6″ Barrel:

22 Plinkster loves the Model 617, “one of his favorite revolvers in the whole entire world — a great choice”. He reports it “shoots straight [and] functions pretty much flawlessly” with nearly any .22 LR ammo. In this video, 22 Plinkster tests a wide variety of rimfire ammo types including CCI .22 LR Std Velocity, .22 Shorts, .22 LR Shotshells, .22 Stingers, .22 Super Colibri, and .22 LR tracers.

This Video Features the Smaller 4″-Barrel Model 617:

Other Rimfire Revolvers — from Ruger and S&W

If you’re considering a rimfire revolver but would like to see other options, read our Buyers Guide to Rimfire Revolvers. Along with the S&W Model 617, this covers the Ruger GP100 10-shot (5″ bbl), Ruger LCRx 8-shot (3″ bbl), Classic S&W Model 17 6-shot (blued 6″ bbl), and S&W Model 63 (3″ bbl).

TOP FIVE Reasons to Own a Rimfire Revolver:

1. Rimfire .22 LR Ammunition is once again plentiful and affordable. The revolver can shoot all kinds of rimfire ammo — even 22 Shorts.

2. A good, full-size .22 LR revolver will be MORE ACCURATE than the vast majority of semi-auto rimfire handguns. It will shoot all types of .22 rimfire ammo with no cycling issues. With no magazines to jam, a good wheelgun will also be more reliable than most self-loading rimfires.

3. A rimfire revolver can shoot tens of thousands of rounds, with just routine maintenance. The gun can last a lifetime and then be passed on to your kids.

4. On a S&W revolver, it is very easy to tune the pull weight. You can have a safe double-action pull with a very light, crisp single-action release.

5. It is easy to change grips and sights to suit your preference. You can also easily mount a scope on the top-strap.

Recommended .22 LR Revolver Training Targets

The .22 LR cartridge makes small bullet holes in paper. These can be hard to see if you’re shooting at large, black bulls-eyes, particularly at an indoor range. Also, when shooting rimfire, you’ll go through ammo quickly. For that reason we recommend targets with bright-colored, multiple aiming points.

Pistol plinking practice Rad fluorescent target fun

Pistol plinking practice Rad fluorescent target fun

The 19″x25″ Sight-Seer target (left) is great for pistol practice. It features eight red bulls on a 1″-square grid. Ultra bright fluorescent red inks, printed on heavy, 60-lb vellum paper, are highly visible, even indoors. You can use a classic Six O’Clock hold with this target, putting the bottom of each circle on top of your revolver’s front sight.

The smaller, 8.5″x11″ Sinclair Fluorescent Sight-In Target (right) also works well. It has four small diamonds surrounding a large center diamond overlaid on a 1-inch grid. Diamonds and grid are printed in fluorescent red/orange on white, heavy-grade paper so your shots print nice and clean.

Recommended .22 LR Ammo Box

smith wesson model 617 mtm ammo caddy carrier box plastic

When we go to the range with rimfire handguns or rifles we bring this handy $9.99 MTM ammo caddy. The compact carry case will hold boxed ammo, plus you can lay out your ammo in 10-round rows. This makes it easy to fill the 10-Rd cylinder on your Model 617. This ammo case is offered in both blue (as shown), or red.

Permalink - Videos, Handguns, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
June 4th, 2018

Get Physical — Strength and Cardio Training for Shooters

In the archives of The First Shot (the CMP’s Online Magazine), SGT Walter E. Craig of the USAMU discusses physical conditioning for competitive shooters, particularly High Power competitors. Fitness training is an important subject that, curiously, is rarely featured in the shooting sports media. We seem to focus on hardware, or esoteric details of cartridge reloading. Yet physical fitness also matters, particularly for High Power shooters. In his article, Craig advocates: 1) weight training to strengthen the Skeletal Muscle System; 2) exercises to build endurance and stamina; and 3) cardiovascular conditioning programs to allow the shooter to remain relaxed with a controlled heart beat.

SGT Craig explains: “An individual would not enter a long distance race without first spending many hours conditioning his/her body. One should apply the same conditioning philosophy to [shooting]. Physical conditioning to improve shooting skills will result in better shooting performance…. The objective of an individual physical training program is to condition the muscles, heart, and lungs thereby increasing the shooter’s capability of controlling the body and rifle for sustained periods.”

CLICK HERE to READ FULL FITNESS ARTICLE

In addition to weight training and cardio workouts (which can be done in a gym), SGT Craig advocates “some kind of holding drill… to develop the muscles necessary for holding a rifle for extended periods.” For those with range access, Craig recommends a blind standing exercise: “This exercise consists of dry-firing one round, then live-firing one round, at a 200-yard standard SR target. For those who have access only to a 100-yard range, reduced targets will work as well. Begin the exercise with a timer set for 50 minutes. Dry-fire one round, then fire one live round and without looking at the actual impact, plot a call in a data book. Continue the dry fire/live fire sequence for 20 rounds, plotting after each round. After firing is complete, compare the data book to the target. If your zero and position are solid, the plots should resemble the target. As the training days add up and your zero is refined, the groups will shrink and move to the center.”

Brandon GreenFitness training and holding drills help position shooters reach their full potential.

Training for Older Shooters
Tom Alves has written an excellent article A Suggested Training Approach for Older Shooters. This article discusses appropriate low-impact training methods for older shooters. Tom explains: “Many of the articles you will read in books about position shooting and the one mentioned above are directed more toward the younger generation of shooters in their 20s. If you look down the line at a typical high power match these days you are likely to see quite a few folks who are in their middle 30s and up. Many people in that age range have had broken bones and wear and tear on their joints so a training program needs to take that into account. For instance, while jogging for an extended period for heart and lung conditioning may be the recommended approach for younger folks, it may be totally inappropriate for older people.”

READ FULL ARTICLE by Tom Alves

Permalink - Articles, Shooting Skills 3 Comments »
June 2nd, 2018

Key INFO for 2018 National Matches at Camp Atterbury, Indiana

NRA National Matches Camp Atterbury Indiana High Power Service Rifle

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

This year, as in 2017, the NRA National High Power Matches will be held at Camp Atterbury in Indiana (no more Camp Perry). The Rifle National Matches, scheduled for July 5-24, will include the High Power Championship, the Long Range Championship, and the Mid-Range Championship, along with other special events. The National Matches attract many of North America’s top marksmen every year. While some competitors miss the Camp Perry experience, we have heard very positive feedback about Camp Atterbury from those who have actually shot there. They like the venue and the ranges.

Get Nat’l Match High Power Program HERE | See Nat’l Match Fee Schedule HERE

NRA National Matches Camp Atterbury Indiana High Power Service Rifle

IMPORTANT: If you want to compete at the National High Power Matches you need to register soon. Entries must be received by Saturday, June 18 for online submissions, and Wednesday, July 2 (by 2:00 p.m.) for on-site and mail-in entries.* For online entry, please visit www.nmentry.com and follow the instructions there. Entry via mail must be made on the appropriate entry card, and be accompanied by full entry fees. To receive an entry card via mail, please email comphelp@nrahq.org. All entries are processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Mailing address for entries is: Camp Atterbury, P.O. Box 5000, Edinburgh, IN 46124 ATTN: NRA. Please note, the postmark will NOT be used to determine whether or not an entry makes the deadline.

NRA National Matches Camp Atterbury Indiana High Power Service Rifle
This article was prepared with information from the NRA and Shooting Sports USA.

How is Camp Atterbury as a match venue? Very good. Here is a report from a 2017 Nat’l Match competitor, as posted on Facebook:

Just got back from U.S. Nationals at Camp Atterbury … Here are my observations:

1. The range was outstanding. Facing the south wasn’t a problem.
2. On-base accommodations were great and inexpensive.
3. The base is only 45 min from Indianapolis International Airport.
4. The base is close to towns with restaurants and shopping.
5. The transportation to and from the pits [was in] air conditioned vans.
6. By all accounts the event ran smoothly.

NRA National Matches Camp Atterbury Indiana High Power Service Rifle
Long Range competitors at 2017 NRA National High Power Rifle Championships.

National Matches at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, 2018 Schedule:

Monday, July 2: NRA Range Personnel Arrive
Tuesday, July 3: NRA Orientation
Thursday, July 5: High Power Rifle Packet Pickup
Friday, July 6: Whistler Boy Junior Team, 2nd Amendment Team Match, NRA Awards Ceremony, Competitor Meeting
Saturday, July 7 – Wednesday, July 11: NRA High Power Rifle (awards ceremony on concluding day)
Thursday, July 12: Long Range Packet Pickup and Competitor Meeting
Friday, July 13 – Monday, July 16: NRA Long Range (awards ceremony on concluding day)
Tuesday, July 17: NRA Long Range Palma, Palma Team Awards Ceremony
Wednesday, July 18 – Saturday, July 21: NRA Mid Range Individual
Sunday, July 22: NRA Mid Range Teams, Mid Range Awards Ceremony
Monday, July 23: Range Clean Up/Clear Out

For a more detailed calendar, with event times, view the Nat’l Matches High Power Program PDF.

NRA National Matches Camp Atterbury Indiana High Power Service Rifle
2017 marked the first year the NRA National High Power Championships were held in Indiana at Camp Atterbury. Previously they took place at Camp Perry in Ohio.

Competitor Badges and Info Packets
All competitors must pick up a packet for their particular discipline on the dates listed below. Without exception, an ID badge for each team member must be provided before packets will be issued.

Thursday, July 5: NRA High Power 9:00 a.m.
Wednesday, July 11: One Mile Shot 9:00 a.m.
Thursday, July 12: NRA Long Range 1:00 p.m.
Tuesday, July 17: NRA Mid-Range 9:00 a.m.

Lodging at Camp Atterbury and Nearby
There is on-base lodging — rooms and cabins will be available to all competitors 18 and over. To book a room, or for any questions about lodging, please call (812) 526-1128. Camp Atterbury lodging includes suites and standard rooms as well as the MWR Campground and the MWR Cabins. Lodging is controlled by the Camp Atterbury Lodging Office, not by the NRA. Entry fees DO NOT include lodging costs. There are also a number of hotels nearby, including Charwood Suites. Nearby campground Johnson County Park also offers special rates for High Power competitors.


*Four exceptions to this rule are: Whistler Boy and 2nd Amendment (High Power; by mail or onsite) which will be accepted until Thursday, July 5, and Enlisted Men’s and Rumbold and RNDC (High Power; by mail or onsite) which will be accepted until Friday, July 6.

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May 31st, 2018

University Students Attend Small Arms Firing School at Butner

Small Arms Firing School SAFS USAMU Liberty University Camp Butner North Caroline Virginia AR15

For the shooting sports to survive, and thrive, we need to bring new shooters into the game. It’s vital that young people get involved in compeitive shooting at an early age. It’s equally important that novice shooters get instruction and encouragement from skilled mentors.

Thankfully the Civilian Marksmanship Program is providing that kind of knowledgeable skills training through programs conducted throughout the country. Recently, at Camp Butner (North Carolina), the CMP offered a Small Arms Firing School (SAFS) taught by U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) experts. The USAMU trainers had a chance to teach members of the Liberty University Shooting Team. Here is the CMP’s report on the successful SAFS:

Liberty University Rifle Team Attends CMP’s Small Arms Firing School
Story based on report by Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer
On a beautiful, sunny morning in North Carolina, over 40 bright-eyed students of all ages set foot on the grounds of Camp Butner Training Facility to take part in a century-old tradition that has trained thousands of new marksmen around the country — the Small Arms Firing School (SAFS). The class was held during the CMP’s Eastern Travel Games at the end of April.

Small Arms Firing School SAFS USAMU Liberty University Camp Butner North Caroline Virginia AR15

Attending the SAFS were student-athletes of Liberty University, a private institution in Virginia. This year the school launched a new program with four shooting teams: rifle, pistol, shotgun, and three-gun. Among the Liberty University Flames and Lady Flames rifle team member are some accomplished shooters, but others are relatively inexperienced.

Small Arms Firing School SAFS USAMU Liberty University Camp Butner North Caroline Virginia AR15
Susie Krupp of the Liberty Lady Flames team was the High Non-Distinguished competitor of the event, earning her introductory EIC points.

The SAFS course is a combination of classroom education and hands-on competition and safety instruction on the firing line. At the conclusion, students fire a true M16 rifle match, with the chance to receive Excellence-in-Competition (EIC) points towards earning a Distinguished Rifleman Badge – a prestigious achievement. All equipment is provided by the CMP — even the rifles.

Small Arms Firing School SAFS USAMU Liberty University Camp Butner North Caroline Virginia AR15

This year members of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) trained students. Here SSG Amanda Elsenboss offers pointers to a Liberty University Service Rifle shooter. The USAMU video below features SSG Elsenboss, who has served in the U.S. Army for 8.5 years.

Executive director and head coach of the Liberty University shooting sports program, Dave Hartman, was impressed by the SAFS event and grateful for the education his team received. The university is already looking forward to next year’s Eastern Games: “What’s beautiful about this event is that our competitors can come to this event without any prior knowledge, they don’t need to have a rifle. They go through the classroom portion, and they learn a vast amount of information. And having the USAMU here was fantastic.”

Small Arms Firing School SAFS USAMU Liberty University Camp Butner North Caroline Virginia AR15

(more…)

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May 26th, 2018

Pistol Instructor Offers Critic A Slice of Humble Pie

Smith Wesson pistol accuracy Grutter M&P 45 .45 ACP Winchester ammo
Shown is the Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm model. The M&P 45 is the same except for chambering.

You’ll hear some shooters complain loudly about the (perceived) lack of accuracy of their handguns. Well, sometimes the problem IS the gun, but other times the problem is “driver error”. At the range, we often hear guys blame their gun for poor accuracy, when in fact the real problem is lack of operator skill. This saga, posted recently on Facebook, is a case in point.

Here’s the story. A gentleman attending an armorer’s course at Smith & Wesson was loudly dissing a S&W M&P 45, claiming it could not shoot. Very loudly he tells the instructor, “the M&P 45 one of our officers is carrying is sh*t”. He then trash-talks the gun, saying that both he and his officer couldn’t get the gun to shoot decent groups, either with FMJ or duty ammo.

Well it seems that Gregory Grutter, S&W’s Chief Firearms Instructor, happened to overhear these vociferous complaints, so Grutter asked to test-fire the M&P 45 pistol. Grutter put a couple of his business cards up at 15 yards, then shot one with Winchester Ranger SXT and the other with Winchester White Box ammo. Grutter’s best group was about half an inch, measured with OnTarget. Check it out:

Smith Wesson pistol accuracy Grutter M&P 45 .45 ACP Winchester ammo

We’re told that, after hearing the litany of complaints, Grutter walked over to the loud-mouthed grumbler and asked: “Hey Sir, can I shoot it?

“Have at it, I don’t want that POS back!” said Mr. Negative.

Kharma time baby… In Grutter’s hands the M&P performed superbly. Here are Grutter’s two 5-shot groups, each shot at 15 yards with the .45 ACP Smith & Wesson pistol. Pretty darn impressive:

Smith Wesson pistol accuracy Grutter M&P 45 .45 ACP Winchester ammo

After seeing this, the complainer asked: “Why did you shoot your cards — Ain’t got no targets?”

Grutter smiled and replied: “Nah… in case you or your officer want to learn how to shoot [this way] you will have the numbers to call.” Badda Bing!

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May 23rd, 2018

Accuracy Vs. Precision — They Are Not the Same Thing

Applied Ballistics Accuracy Precision
This image is from Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting, Volume 2.

The next time a shooter comes up to you at the range, and says: “My rifle shoots one-third MOA all day long”, challenge him to put a first-round hit on a 1/2 MOA plate at 1000 yards. There’s a difference between shooting small groups at close range (Precision) and “on-target” Accuracy at long range.

Article by Applied Ballistics, LLC
Just how much better is a 0.5 MOA rifle vs. a 1 MOA rifle? Is it worth chasing quarter-MOA if you have half-MOA rifle? This is an important question. If you look across Facebook you will find scores of shooters posting 1/3-MOA or 1/4-MOA shot groups [usually at 100 yards]. Some of those guys are spending countless hours trying to chase that golden quarter-MOA group.

Don’t take this statement the wrong way, having a good, consistent rifle is a key to success. But accuracy is extremely important to long range shooting. Having a precision (0.5 MOA) rifle, but not having put the time in to practice accuracy (hitting a 0.5 MOA plate first shot at 1000 yards) is counter-productive. [Editor: By this, we mean that you can have a rifle capable of shooting small groups at 100 yards, but you won’t see that gun’s full potential unless you can practice and perfect the skills of long-range shooting. Successful long range shooting demands more than precision alone.]

What if, your goal was to produce 5-shot, sub-half-MOA groups at 1000 yards instead of 100 yards? Think about how much more you would be including in the learning process, especially that all-important factor: managing the wind! Here is a good article that talks about Precision vs. Accuracy: Hitting Targets at Long Range.

This is not intended to say that precision is not important; rather it is intended to show that balance is important. You can use WEZ to do your own studies on this very subject, and it might be surprising to the shooter just how much you don’t gain by chasing precision over accuracy. Two books which cover this subject really well are Accuracy and Precision for Long Range Shooting and Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting Vol 2.

Here’s a stunning combination of Precision (small group) WITH accuracy (centered on target). Yep that’s ten shots at 1000 yards, all in the middle of the target:
Scott Nix Dasher Record

Video Demonstrates Amazing 1000-Yard Accuracy AND Precision

Watch the video. You can see the group form up, shot by shot. It’s pretty amazing. Scott’s first shot (at the 45-second mark of the video) was right in the X-Ring, and four of Scott’s first five shots were Xs. That’s drilling them!

Comments

“Accuracy with precision is the route for me. It is not an either/or game. If I have a precision rifle (0.25 MOA or less) and I practice to be accurate, then high scores will be the result — Jim Borden

“I would agree for PRS, hunting, and to a certain extent F-Class. However, for 1000-yard IBS benchrest competition, 0.5 MOA groups in good conditions will almost always loose the relay.” — James B

“Another thought is that [at 1000 yards] a 1 MOA gun with single-digit standard deviations [may] out shoot a 0.5 MOA rifle with standard deviations of 20+ fps.” — Beard Owens

“Both… you need both: Accuracy AND Precision. I competed in varmint matches — we shot small silhouettes at 600 yards. I started with a factory .260 Rem rifle that was 0.8 MOA on a good day. I typically hit 8-9 of 20 targets, but rarely nailed the small chickens — which had a hit zone just 4″ in diameter. I then started using a semi-custom 6mmBR rifle that could reliably deliver 1/4 MOA at 100 yards (honest). My hit count on the silhouettes zoomed to 15-18, and suddenly the chickens were going down. In that game — small targets at 600 yards — there was no substitute for precision.” — Paul McM

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May 23rd, 2018

Field Skills: Reading the Wind When Hunting

On LongRangeHunting.com, you’ll find a good article by Shawn Carlock about wind reading. Shawn is a veteran law enforcement marksman and a past USPSA national precision rifle champion. Shawn offers good advice on how to estimate wind speeds and directions using a multitude of available indicators — not just your wind gauge: “Use anything at your disposal to accurately estimate the wind’s velocity. I keep and use a Kestrel for reading conditions….The Kestrel is very accurate but will only tell you what the conditions are where you are standing. I practice by looking at grass, brush, trees, dust, wind flags, mirage, rain, fog and anything else that will give me info on velocity and then estimate the speed.”

Shawn also explains how terrain features can cause vertical wind effects. A hunter on a hilltop must account for bullet rise if there is a headwind blowing up the slope. Many shooters consider wind in only one plane — the horizontal. In fact wind has vertical components, both up and down. If you have piloted a small aircraft you know how important vertical wind vectors can be. Match shooters will also experience vertical rise when there is a strong tailwind blowing over an up-sloping berm ahead of the target emplacements. Overall, Shawn concludes: “The more time you spend studying the wind and its effect over varying terrain the more successful you will be as a long-range shooter and hunter.”

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May 19th, 2018

How to Zero A Hunting Rifle in Four Shots

hunting zero zeroing sight-in easy NSSF boresighting
Photo courtesy Vortex Optics.

Here’s a simple procedure that lets you get a solid zero for a hunting rifle in just four shots. Of course you probably want to fire a few more rounds to confirm your zero before you head off to your hunting grounds, but this will let you get on-target with a minimum amount of time and ammo expended. (This assumes your scope is securely mounted, and the bases are not drastically out of alignment.)

QUICK-TIP: The Key to this procedure is Dialing to Shot One Point of Impact (POI). Re-aim at center of target after SHOT ONE. Then with the rifle motionless, use the turrets to put the middle of the cross-hair on the first shot location.

1. First, remove the bolt and boresight the rifle. Adjust the position of the rifle so that, looking through the bore, you can see the center of the target with your eyes. Secure the rifle in the rests to maintain its position as boresighted. Then, without moving the rifle, center the reticle. That should get you on paper. With the rifle solidly secured in front and rear rests or sandbags, aim at the center of a target placed at your zeroing distance (50 or 100 yards). Confirm there are no obstructions in the barrel! Then load and fire SHOT ONE. Then, return the gun to the exact position it was when you pulled the trigger, with the cross-hair centered on the target as before.

2. Locate, in the scope, where your first bullet landed on the target. Now, while you grip the rifle firmly so it doesn’t move, have a friend adjust the turrets on your scope. While you look through the scope, have your friend turn the windage and elevation turrets until the cross-hairs, as viewed through the scope, bisect the first bullet hole on the target. In other words, use the turrets to move the center of the reticle to the actual position of shot number one. IMPORTANT: Dial the crosshairs to the hole — don’t move the rifle.

Watch NSSF Zeroing Video showing method of moving reticle to Shot 1 Point of Impact.

3. After you’ve adjusted the turrets, now re-aim the rifle so the cross-hairs are, once again, positioned on the target center. Keep the rifle firmly supported by your rest or sandbag. Take the SECOND SHOT. You should find that the bullet now strikes in the center of the target.

3-Shot Zero

4. Take a THIRD SHOT with the cross-hairs aligned in the center of the target to confirm your zero. Make minor modifications to the windage and elevation as necessary.

5. Finally, shoot the rifle from a field rest (shooting sticks, bipod, or rucksack) as you would use when actually hunting. Confirm, with SHOT FOUR, that your zero is unchanged. You may need to make slight adjustments. Some rifles, particularly those with flexy fore-arms, exhibit a different POI (point of impact) when fired from a bipod or ruck vs. a sandbag rest.

If you recently cleaned your rifle, you may want to fire two or three fouling shots before you start this procedure. But keep in mind that you want to duplicate the typical cold bore conditions that you’ll experience during the hunt. If you set your zero after three fouling shots, then make sure the bore is in a similar condition when you actually go out hunting.

Permalink Optics, Shooting Skills, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
May 17th, 2018

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.

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May 15th, 2018

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.

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May 11th, 2018

Six Tips for Novice Handgun Shooters

Birchwood Casey Target Spots neon day-glow
OK this is no novice. But even champion pistol shooter Jessie Harrison, Captain of Team Taurus, had to start with the basics. Jessie says that safety should always be your number one priority.

At AccurateShooter.com, our primary focus is precision target shooting with rifles. But it’s definitely fun to shoot pistols too, and we bet most of our regular readers own handguns. Here are six tips for shooting safely and accurately with handguns. These pointers will help you advance your skills and have more fun with your pistols and revolvers.

1. Make Sure Safety Is Number One

Whether you own one gun or one hundred, gun safety must always be your main priority. In this video, Smith & Wesson Team Captain Julie Golob covers the basics of gun safety.

2. Start with a .22 LR Handgun

Pistol Shooting Tips Target Mentor safety training

We strongly recommend that new pistol shooters start off with a .22 LR rimfire handgun. The .22 LR cartridge is accurate but has very low recoil, less “bark” than a centerfire, and very little smoke and muzzle flash. New shooters won’t have to fight muzzle flip, and won’t develop a flinch from the sharp recoil and muzzle blast common to larger calibers. With the .22 LR, the trainee can focus on sight alignment, breathing, and trigger pull. When he or she has mastered those skills, move on to a .38 Special or 9mm Luger (9x19mm).

What gun to use? We recommend the 10-shot Smith & Wesson Model 617. Shooting single action, slow-fire, this is ideal for training. Shown above is the 4″-barrel Model 617version which balances well. There is also a 6″-barrel version. It has a longer sight radius, but is a little nose-heavy. Both are great choices. They are extremely accurate and they boast a very clean, precise trigger.

browning buck mark buckmark stainless udx rimfire .22 LR pistol

If you prefer a semi-auto .22 LR pistol, we recommend the Browning Buck Mark series. Buck Marks are very accurate and very reliable. This rimfire pistol is available in a variety of models starting at under $350.00. Like the S&W Model 617, a good Buck Mark will serve you for a lifetime.

5. Use Quality Targets with Multiple Aim Points

Birchwood Casey Target Spots neon day-glow

Birchwood Casey Target Spots neon day-glowIt’s common for new pistoleros to start shooting at cans or clay birds at a public range. That can be fun, but it’s better to start with proper targets, placed at eye level, at 7-10 yards. We like to use targets with large, brightly colored circles. Focus on putting 5 shots in a circle. We recommend targets that have multiple bullseyes or aiming points — that way you don’t have to constantly change your target. There are also special paper targets that can help you diagnose common shooting problems, such as anticipating recoil. EZ2C makes very good targets with bright, red-orange aim points. You can also use the bright orange Birchwood Casey stick-on Target Dots (right). These come in a variety of diameters. We like the 2″ dot at 10 yards.

3. Shoot Outdoors If You Can

Pistol Shooting Tips Target Mentor safety training

We recommend that new pistol shooters begin their training at an outdoor range. There are many reasons. First, the light is better outdoors. Indoor ranges can be dark with lots of shadows, making it harder to see your target. Second, sound dissipates better outdoors. The sound of gunfire echoes and bounces off walls indoors. Third, an outdoor range is a more comfortable environment, particularly if you can get out on a weekday morning. Indoor ranges, at least in urban areas, tend to be crowded. Many also have poor ventilation. If you can make it to an outdoor range, you’ll be happy. Many outdoor ranges also have some steel pistol targets, which offer a fun alternative to paper. When shooting steel however, we recommend polymer encased or lead bullets to avoid ricochets.

5. Find a Good Mentor and Watch Some Videos First

Pistol Shooting Tips Target Mentor safety training
Photo courtesy AV Firearms Training.

Too many new pistol shooters try to move right to rapid fire drills. It’s better to start slow, practicing the basics, under the guidance of a good mentor. If you belong to a club, ask if there are certified instructors who will help out. This Editor learn pistol shooting from a seasoned bullseye shooter, who got me started with a .22 LR revolver and very close targets. Over the course of a few range sessions we progressed to farther targets and faster pace. But the fundamentals were never forgotten. When starting your pistol training, it’s wise to view some instructional videos. Top Shot Champion Chris Cheng hosts an excellent Handgun 101 Series produced by the NSSF. We’ve linked one of these Handgun 101 videos for Tip #6.

6. SLOW DOWN — This Is Not a Race

When you learned to ride a bicycle, you started slow — maybe even with training wheels. The same principle applies to pistol shooting. When you get started with handguns, we recommend you shoot slowly and deliberately. Start with the handgun unloaded — just work on your sight alignment and breathing. With snap caps in place, try some dry-firing drills. Then progress to live fire. But be deliberate and slow. With the target at 20 feet, see if you can get three successive shot-holes to touch. Believe it or not, many common pistols are capable of this kind of accuracy (but you won’t see many shooters at indoor ranges who pursue that kind of precision). Once you master your form and accuracy, then you can work on your speed.

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May 10th, 2018

That’s Entertainment — Download Shooting USA Podcasts

Shooting USA Podcast podbean SHOT Show NRA Jerry Miculek Scoutten Timney Julie Golob NRA Board of Directors

Can’t get enough gun content on your home computer? Now you can stream informative audio broadcasts to your mobile device. In addition to its popular weekly TV shows, Shooting USA now offers podcasts on gun topics. These podcasts feature interviews with ace shooters, notable gunsmiths, and leading firearms industry executives. There are now 123 Shooting USA Podcast episodes available for streaming. Or you can download a podcast to your mobile device for later listening. All Shooting USA Podcast content is free. Use these links to access all Shooting USA Podcasts (123 audio shows):


Get All Podcasts on Podbean | Get All Podcasts on iTunes

Now you can listen to timely and entertaining Shooting USA Podcasts, hosted by Jim and John Scoutten. They are available on both Podbean and iTunes.

Here are four (4) of our favorite Shooting USA Podcasts. These include interviews with legendary shooter Jerry Miculek, and ace pistolero Max Michel, perhaps the fastest handgunner on the planet. Click each graphic to launch the PodBean player page for that Podcast.

ShootingUSA Podcast Sig Sauer Max Michel 1911 pistol action shooting

Watch Max Michel Speed Drill (This Guy is Blazing Fast!)

Julie Golob NRA Board of Directors

Jerry Miculek Pistol Revolver podcast

ShootingUSA Podcast Timney triggers


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