February 14th, 2019

Young 3-Gun Sensation Cheyenne Dalton

Cheyenne Dalton cute shooter 3-Gun Lyman Rimfire Challenge

One of America’s top young 3-gun shooters is a talented young lady from Missouri, Cheyenne Dalton. Now in her final year of High School, 17-year-old Cheyenne has been a top competitor in Rimfire Challenge events, as well as 3-gun matches and USPSA comps. Read more about Cheyenne in Shooting Sports USA.

Cheyenne Dalton cute shooter 3-Gun Lyman Rimfire ChallengeCheyenne’s skills have earned her support from leading companies including Lyman Products and Volquartsen. Lyman recently announced it would sponsor Cheyenne, a rising star in the shooting world. Dalton, who has been shooting competitively for 6 years, said her main goal is to introduce as many women and girls as she can to shooting sports. Dalton has helped promote the shooting sports through social media. Along with shooting tips, Cheyenne’s social media pages cover fishing, bluegrass music, and personal motivation. Cheyenne was even in a 2016 New Yorker article titled “The Gun Owners of the Parkland Generation.”

Dalton is a two-time Ladies Limited Rimfire World Champion, a one-time Junior Limited Rimfire World Champion, a Wyoming state games gold medalist in rimfire, and a High Lady Alabama state Rimfire Champion. Most recently, she was featured in the Fall 2018 edition of Recoil Magazine. Dalton will join the shooting team at Missouri Valley College in the Fall of 2019.

Cheyenne shows off her impressive 3-Gun speed and accuracy in this action video:

Junior 3-Gun sensation Cheyenne Dalton talks with Shooting USA at the NRA Show in Louisville:

Cheyenne Dalton cute shooter 3-Gun Lyman Rimfire Challenge

This outstanding video showcases Cheyenne’s musical talents as well as her shooting skills. Cheyenne is really a remarkable young lady, with a great work ethic.

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February 9th, 2019

Basics of Pistol Shooting — 11 Online Lessons

nra pistol basic shooting training course
This 12″ Bullseye Pistol Diagnostic Target helps improve handgun marksmanship. The target diagnoses common problems based on shot impact zones. While this target is designed for righties, left-handed shooters can use the target too. Just observe the opposite tips.

Do you know someone who wants to get started in pistol shooting? Here’s a helpful resource. The NRA now offers its Basics of Pistol Shooting Course in an online format. That makes it easy to cover the “classroom” phase of the course on your own time. The $60.00 online course includes 11 step-by-step lessons (to be followed by live range training). CLICK HERE to enroll in online Pistol Training Course.

nra pistol basic shooting training course

Train Online, Then Register for a Range Session
For the NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting course, Phase 1 is conducted in an online environment, completed on your own time (cost is $60.00, non-refundable). After successfully completing the online exam, students can register for Phase 2, the instructor-led training session. Phase 2 is conducted at your local range with an NRA-Certified Instructor. NOTE: There will normally be an additional fee for Phase 2. You must successfully complete BOTH Phase 1 and Phase 2 in order to receive your NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting course certificate.

nra pistol basic shooting training course

Designed and developed by experts to accommodate busy schedules, the web-based course takes a blended learning approach to firearms training with both online and physical components. Students have 90 days to work through 11 online lessons before registering for Phase 2, the NRA Certified Instructor-led phase at a local range.

“Thanks to our online courses and network of more than 125,000 NRA Certified Instructors, it has never been easier to learn basic firearm skills,” said Kyle Weaver, NRA General Operations Exec. Director. The NRA offers other online training courses at Onlinetraining.nra.org. These offerings include a Range Safety Office (RSO) course, and a Range Development and Operations course.

Know someone getting started with handguns? Here is a useful video focusing on safety:

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Shooting Skills No Comments »
February 7th, 2019

Hundreds of Young Shooters Compete at JROTC Match in Arizona

JROTC CMP youth marksmanship regional CMP shooting match OptiScore electronic targets
CMP file photo from previous JROTC match.

There’s a huge shooting match happening right now at the Rawhide Event Center in Chandler, Arizona. This is an important event because it showcases young competitors who will be the future of our sport. This week, February 7-9, 2019, hundreds of coaches, competitors, and spectators take part in the 2019 JROTC Western Regional Air Rifle Championships in Arizona.

JROTC CMP youth marksmanship regional CMP shooting match OptiScore electronic targets

The three-position (3P) event showcases high school Junior ROTC athletes from around the country. Competitors will use precision air rifles (similar to those used in the Olympics) as well as more conventional (and much less expensive) sporter air rifles in prone, standing, and kneeling. High-pressure air drives pellets at the state-of-the-art electronic targets. These LED equipped targets score the shots instantly using optical sensors. Shot locations and scores are then transmitted to monitors at each shooting station, with group results shown on overhead screens.

JROTC CMP youth marksmanship regional CMP shooting match OptiScore electronic targets

Along with this Arizona JROTC event, other Regional matches will be held at the CMP’s indoor air gun ranges in Anniston, Alabama, and Camp Perry, Ohio. Following the Regionals, the JROTC Nationals take place in Alabama in March, 2019.

JROTC CMP youth marksmanship regional CMP shooting match OptiScore electronic targets

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February 6th, 2019

Splatter-Mania — Not-Your-Average Splatter Halo Targets

splatterburst target neo halo yellow
Splatterburst 1″ circles, 62 per sheet, 10-pk $8.99. These can be pasted on other paper backers.

We’ve all seen conventional splatter targets with a single large black bullseye. When a shot hits the target, a halo (usually neon yellow) appears around the bullet hole. This makes it easier to see your shot placements indoors, or at long range outdoors. Today we feature a variety of other targets that also offer the cool halo/splatter effect. We’ve found grids, multiple bull targets, sheets with 62 one-inch circle pasters, handgun training targets, and even white background splatter targets (that produce black halos). Try out some of these targets for fun (kids love plinking with splatter targets).

Shoot-N-C 12″x12″ Sight-In Grid, 5-pk $10.56

Shoot-N-C Handgun Training Target, 5-pk $7.99

splatterburst target neo halo yellow

Splatterburst 12″x12″ sight-in target, 10-pk $11.01

splatterburst target neo halo yellow

Splatterburst 3″ circles, 9 per sheet, 10-pk $8.99

Shoot-n-c splatter burst grid target

Shoot-N-C 12″ Grid Sight-in, 10-pk, $6.75
(black shot halos)

Shoot-n-c splatter burst grid target

Shoot-N-C 8″ White bullseye, 10-pk, $6.75
(black shot halos)

This Video Shows Black Shot Halos on White Background Target:
Ever Seen BLUE Splatter Targets?
Check Out These Big Dawg Targets…

splatterburst target neo halo blue big dawg

Big Dawg 4″ circles, 5 per sheet, 50-pk $22.99

splatterburst target neo halo yellow

Big Dawg 18″x24″ Silhouette, 10-pk $19.99

shoot n c silhouette handgun splatter target

Shoot-N-C Combo Pack, Bad Guy and Pistol Trainer, 5-pk, $14.99

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February 5th, 2019

Three-Position 10m Air Rifle — Popular Sport for Young Shooters

Three Position 3p air rifle airgun precisision competition CMP

Three Position 3p air rifle airgun precisision competition CMPThree-Position (3P) Air Rifle Shooting is the most popular and fastest-growing form of shooting sports competition for junior shooters (High School age and younger). The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) conducts two different 3P Air Rifle events. Precision Air Rifle is modeled after Olympic-style shooting and allows the use of specialized target rifles and equipment. Sporter Air Rifle is designed for new competitors or those who desire to compete with a minimum of equipment and expense.

In both types of shooting, competitors fire at targets at a distance of 10 meters in three different positions, prone, standing and kneeling. Three-Position Air Rifle provides young competitors with competitive shooting sports opportunities that can be offered on a wide variety of easily accessible or easily constructed ranges, with equipment that is commonly available at affordable costs.

The CMP actively promotes Three-Position Air Rifle shooting as a premier youth marksmanship competition by providing low-cost equipment and pellets as well as training materials and competition activities. In addition, other air gun events for juniors and adults are hosted by CMP throughout the year. CMP facilities have Open Public Shooting evenings, and matches for air rifle and air pistol take place at the CMP Marksmanship Centers.

CLICK HERE to Download this illustration of Olympic Shooter Ivana Maksimovic as a POSTER.

Three Position 3p air rifle airgun precisision competition CMP

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February 3rd, 2019

Register for 2019 Williamsport 1000-Yard Benchrest School

Williamsport 1000 Yard Benchrest School Class

Williamsport benchrest schoolWant to learn long-range benchrest skills from the best in the business? Then head to Williamsport, PA this June. The registration period for the 2019 PA 1000 Yard Benchrest School is now open. This year’s session will be held Saturday and Sunday, June 8-9, 2019, with a “Meet and Greet” on Friday night, June 7. Classes, taught by top 1K shooters, are held at the Original Pennsylvania 1000-Yard Benchrest Club Range, one of the best 1000-yard ranges in the country. The school will be limited to 24-30 students with one instructor for every two students.

CLICK HERE for 2019 Williamsport 1K Benchrest School Application
(MS Word Document)

Williamsport 1000 Yard Benchrest School Class

Williamsport Shooting School Benchrest 1000 Yard

Praise from a 1K Benchrest School Grad
Here’s a testimonial from a recent graduate: “I can attest to the knowledge that you gain. I went last year and loved it. Have renewed my membership in the Club and would love to go this year. I would love to take the course again. In the photo above I am in the back row, fourth from the right — sunglasses and blue shirt.” — Bob, Class of 2016

Participants will learn all aspects of long-range benchrest shooting from some of the most skilled marksmen in the country. Much time is spent at the loading bench and on the firing line. Classes cover load development, precision reloading, bench skills, and target analysis. You don’t even need guns and ammo — all equipment and ammunition will be provided.

School instructors tell us: “This year’s benchrest school will be a 2-day weekend event. (There is also an optional ‘Meet and Greet’ gathering Friday evening). The school is a beginner class designed to teach the fundamental skills needed to be competitive at at 600 and 1000 yards. Saturday will be spent in class covering a range of topics including reloading ‘dos and don’ts’, load development and equipment handling. Sunday we will shoot an actual match to see what you’ve learned.”

After taking this class, you might be the guy who shoots an amazing 100-8X at 1000 yards like this:
Williamsport 1000 yard training class

Cost for the class is $475.00 including lunches on Sat/Sun and dinner on Saturday. Act soon if you want to attend the 2019 school — the program fills quickly. The classroom is limited to only 24 (possibly 30) students and instruction is one instructor per two students. A one year membership is included with the cost of the school.

If you have any questions regarding the school send email to: amurtagh6mm [at] gmail.com.

Andy Murtagh
Vice President and Public Relations Officer
Original PA 1000 Yard Benchrest Club

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
February 2nd, 2019

Wind Reading Resource — The Wind Book for Rifle Shooters

wind reading book Camp Perry Miller Cunningham

“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

Readers often ask us: “Is there a decent, easy-to-comprehend book that can help my wind-reading?” Many of our Forum members have recommended The Wind Book for Rifle Shooters by Linda Miller and Keith Cunningham.

New Hardback Edition Releases February 19th
A NEW hardback edition of The Wind Book will released on February 19, 2019. This 152-page book, first published in 2007, is a very informative resource. But you don’t have to take our word for it. If you click this link, you can read book excerpts and decide for yourself. When the Amazon page opens, click the book cover (labeled “Look Inside”) and another screen will appear. This lets you preview the first few chapters, and see some illustrations. Along with the new hardback edition ($21.99) Amazon offers a Kindle (eBook) edition for $14.99.

Other books cover wind reading in a broader discussion of ballistics or long-range shooting, such as Applied Ballistics for Long-Range Shooting by Bryan Litz. But the Miller & Cunningham book is ALL about wind reading from cover to cover, and that is its strength. The book focuses on real world skills that can help you accurately gauge wind angle, wind velocity, and wind cycles.

All other factors being equal, it is your ability to read the wind that will make the most difference in your shooting accuracy. The better you understand the behavior of the wind, the better you will understand the behavior of your bullet. — Wind Book for Rifle Shooters

wind reading book Camp Perry Miller Cunningham

The Wind Book for Rifle Shooters covers techniques and tactics used by expert wind-readers. There are numerous charts and illustrations. The authors show you how to put together a simple wind-reading “toolbox” for calculating wind speed, direction, deflection and drift. Then they explain how to use these tools to read flags and mirage, record and interpret your observations, and time your shots to compensate for wind. Here are two reviews from actual book buyers:

I believe this is a must-have book if you are a long-range sport shooter. I compete in F-Class Open and when I first purchased this book and read it from cover to cover, it helped me understand wind reading and making accurate scope corrections. Buy this book, read it, put into practice what it tells you, you will not be disappointed. — P. Janzso

If you have one book for wind reading, this should be it. Whether you’re a novice or experienced wind shooter this book has something for you. It covers how to get wind speed and direction from flags, mirage, and natural phenomenon. In my opinion this is the best book for learning to read wind speed and direction. — Muddler

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February 1st, 2019

Varminters’ Debate — Cranking Elevation or Holding Over/Under

Varmint hunter 22 BR elevation scope hold-over

Leuopold Varmint Hunters' ReticleA varmint shooter’s target is not conveniently placed at a fixed, known distance as it is for a benchrester. The varminter must repeatedly make corrections for bullet drop as he moves from closer targets to more distant targets and back again. Click HERE to read an interesting Varmint Forum discussion regarding the best method to adjust for elevation. Some shooters advocate using the scope’s elevation adjustments. Other varminters prefer to hold-over, perhaps with the assistance of vertical markers on their reticles. Still others combine both methods–holding off to a given yardage, then cranking elevation after that.

Majority View–Click Your Scope
“I zero at 100 yards — I mean really zero as in check the ballistics at 200 and 300 and adjust zero accordingly — and then set the scope zero. For each of my groundhog guns I have a click chart taped into the inside of the lid of the ammo box. Then use the knobs. That’s why they’re there. With a good scope they’re a whole lot more accurate than hold-over, with or without hash marks. This all assumes you have a good range finder and use it properly. If not, and you’re holding over you’re really just spraying and praying. Try twisting them knobs and you’ll most likely find that a 500- or 600- or 700-yard groundhog is a whole lot easier than some people think.” — Gunamonth

IOR Scope elevation knob one revolution

“I have my elevation knob calibrated in 100-yard increments out to 550. Range-find the critter, move elevation knob up…dead critter. The problem with hold-over is that it is so imprecise. It’s not repeatable because you are holding over for elevation and for wind also. Every time you change targets 50 yards, it seems as if you are starting over. As soon as I got completely away from the hold over method (I used to zero for 200), my hit ratios went way up.” — K. Candler

“When I first started p-dog shooting, I attempted to use the hold-over method with a 200-yard zero with my 6mm Rem. Any dog much past 325-350 yards was fairly safe. I started using a comeups table for all three of my p-dog rifles (.223 Rems and 6mm Rem). 450-yard hits with the .223s are fairly routine and a 650-yard dog better beware of the 6mm nowadays. An added benefit (one I didn’t think of beforehand) with the comeups table (elevation only), is that when the wind is blowing, it takes half of the variables out of the equation. I can concentrate on wind, and not have to worry about elevation. It makes things much more simple.” — Mike (Linefinder).

“I dial for elevation and hold for wind. Also use a mil-dot reticle to make the windage holds easier. For windage corrections, I watch for the bullet strike measure the distance it was “off” with the mil-dot reticle, then hold that much more the other way. Very fast once you get used to it.” — PepeLP

Varmint Hunting ScopeMinority View–Hold-Over is Better
“I try to not touch my knobs once I’m zeroed at 200 meters. Most of my varmint scopes have duplex reticles and I use the bottom post to put me on at 300 meters versus turning knobs. The reason I try to leave my knobs alone is that I have gone one complete revolution up or down [too far] many times and have missed the varmint. This has happened more than once and that is why I try not to change my knobs if at all possible.” — Chino69

“I have been using the hold over method and it works for me most of the time but the 450 yards and over shots get kinda hard. I moved to a 300 yard zero this year and it’s working well. I do want to get into the click-up method though; it seems to be more fool-proof.” — 500YardHog

Compromise View–Use Both Methods
“I use both [methods] as well — hold over out to 250, and click up past that.” — Jack (Wolf)

“I use the target knobs and crank-in elevation. I also use a rangefinder and know how far away they are before I crank in the clicks. I have a scope with drop dots from Premier Recticle and like it. No cranking [knobs] out to 600.” –Vmthtr

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, Optics, Shooting Skills No Comments »
January 31st, 2019

Have AirGun, Will Travel — Pyramyd Air’s “Range in a Box”

Pyramyd Air Range Box disabled shooter marksmanship training

The NRA and Pyramyd Air are bringing AirGun shooting to the people in 2019. The Range in a Box program presented by Pyramyd Air provides temporary air gun ranges to approved clubs and organizations free of charge to facilitate basic firearm safety training and “fun shoot” types of events for people with disabilities. The traveling Range in a Box includes backstops, air guns, tripods — essentially all that participants need, except pellets and paper targets.

Pyramyd Air’s Range in a Box provides nearly everything needed to set up a temporary air gun range, including air rifles, air pistols, the portable range, rifle rests, and reactive targets. The key components are: seven T-200 Sporter Rifles; three Air Venturi Pistols; one large Crosman Portable Range (24 feet long by 8 feet wide; three Ultimate Tripod rifle rests from McFadden Machine Company; and various reactive target systems from Pyramyd Air. Shipping to and from the event location is also provided at no cost to the user. Consumable materials such as air and tanks, pellets, and paper targets are not included.

Pyramyd Air Range Box disabled shooter marksmanship training

Range in Box disability disabled Crosman Pyramyd Air airgun air rifleThis resource is intended for use by any organization planning an event to include people with disabilities — the most common participants being veterans’ groups, rehabilitation facilities and gun clubs. To get started, you can contact the NRA Adaptive Shooting Program at adaptiveshooting@nrahq.org or visit adaptiveshooting.nrahq.org to print the application and user agreement. Each organization may use the Range in a Box two times to establish the viability of such an event and is then encouraged to apply for grants through The NRA Foundation to purchase its own equipment.

The NRA Adaptive Shooting Program strives to remove barriers that prevent interested groups from hosting more events for people with disabilities by merging the resources of industry partners such as Pyramyd Air with the commitment of the community to spread firearm safety training to a very deserving segment of the population. For more information, visit: adaptiveshooting.nrahq.org.

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January 30th, 2019

Great American Outdoor Show in Pennsylvania, February 2-10

SHOT Show is just behind us, and now another big firearms and hunting exposition is about to start. The NRA Great American Outdoor Show runs February 2-10, 2019 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (at the PA Farm Show Complex). This is the Largest consumer outdoor recreation show in the world. Over 200,000 attendees are expected to visit the show’s nine exhibit halls, where 1,100+ exhibitors and 400+ outfitters will showcase their products and services.

Great American Outdoor show Harrisburg Pennsylvania PA February hunting fishing

Great American Outdoor Show Pennsylvania1,100+ Exhibitor Booths
New Firearms from Leading Gun-Makers
400+ Outfitters and Charterers
200+ Outdoor Seminars
Country Music Concerts

Attendees can visit over 1,100 exhibitor booths featuring firearms, hunting gear, camping equipment, fishing tackle, archery products, and even boats and RVs. The booths cover 650,000 square feet of exhibit hall space! In addition, the giant Outfitter Hall at the Great American Outdoor Show, one of the largest in the country, hosts over 400 outfitters, boat captains, and charterers.

Over 200 Seminars Hosted by Outdoor Experts and Noted Guides
The 2017 Great American Outdoor Show will feature 216 seminars from leading outdoors experts, covering hunting, stalking, trapping, long range shooting, rifle accurizing, field dressing, venison processing, bow-hunting, fishing techniques, and much more. This year’s notable presentations will include:

  • Abner Druckenmiller — Becoming an Ultimate Predator Hunter
  • Cole McCullough — Advanced Long Range Field Shooting
  • Bobby Hart – Improving Rifle Accuracy
  • Kristy Titus – Positional Shooting and Elk Calling
  • Alan Probst – Coyote Trapping Techniques
  • Rick Fetrow – Venison Processing
  • Barry Wensel – Hunting Whitetails

Hunting gear father son hunter hunting
Father and son deer hunting photo courtesy SportsmansGuide.com.

Great Outdoor Show Highlights
There will be themed exhibitor halls for Archery, Boats, Fishing, Hunting Outfitters, Outdoor Products, RVs, and the Shooting Sports.

More than 1,100 exhibitors will display more than a million outdoor and shooting-related products.

More than 400 hunting outfitters and fishing charter captains from all over the world in attendance.

Special events include the NRA Country Concert, fundraising dinners, speaking events, archery competitions, celebrity appearances, seminars and demonstrations, kids’ activities and more.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
January 27th, 2019

Rapid-Fire Rifle Competition — Stangskyting in Scandinavia

stangskyting rifle match norway sweden scandinavia

How fast can you shoot a bolt-action rifle? We doubt you can out-pace the ace “Stangskyting” shooters from Scandinavia. Some of these guys can run more than two rounds per second, including mag changes! That’s impressive. Bulletin reader C. Lemmermann from Denmark told us: “In Scandinavia we have this competition called ‘Stangskyting’. It’s similar to the ‘Mad Minute’ but we only have 25 seconds to hit the target [at] 200-300m distance with a 6.5×55 [target rifle].” In the Stangskyting video below a shooter named Børklop puts 16 rounds on target in just 25 seconds. (He starts with a round in the chamber and cycles through three, 5-round magazines).

Børklop’s performance, with just a sling and iron sights, is impressive. He’s shooting a Sauer 200 STR target rifle with 5-round magazine. Note that Børklop manipulates the Sauer’s bolt with his thumb and index finger, while pulling the trigger with his middle finger. As good as Børklop is, some Stangskyting competitors are even better. Roy Arne Syversrud from Oslo, Norway tells us: “The best shooters in Norway can do 21 shots in 25 seconds, changing the mag three times.”

Here’s another Stangskyting video. Check out the speed with which John Olav Ågotnes works that action — simply amazing!

This Guy Could Break the “Mad Minute” Record
Børklop’s rate of fire, 16 rounds in 25 seconds, is the equivalent of 38.4 rounds in 60 seconds. That’s a notable number because the record for the “Mad Minute”, a British Army marksmanship drill, is 38 rounds in one minute. That record was set in 1914 by Sergeant Instructor Alfred Snoxall, and still stands. So as you watch Børklop, keep in mind that Snoxall shot that fast for a full minute with a Lee-Enfield nearly 100 years ago!

Børklop has an average cycling time of 1.56 seconds per shot, starting with a round in the chamber. To beat the record of 38 rounds, he would need to make seven mag changes in sixty seconds. All those mag swaps could reduce his average time per shot, making it difficult to achieve 38 hits in a minute. But, if Børklop could use 10-round mags with his Sauer STR, this guy has the skills to break the record.

Sauer 200 STR Target Rifle

To emphasize the capabilities of the WWI-era British shooter who set the record, Snoxall shot as fast as Børklop does, but Snoxall reloaded with stripper clips. Snoxall’s SMLE (Lee-Enfield) rifle also had relatively crude open sights and the stock was far less ergonomic than Børklop’s Sauer STR stock.

Here’s another Stangskyting video showing John Ågotnes shooting rapidfire with his Sauer 200 STR (Scandinavian Target Rifle) chambered in 6.5×55. By our count, Ågotnes manages 17 shots within the 25-second time period. That rate of fire (17 in 25 seconds) equates to 40.8 rounds in one minute!

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January 22nd, 2019

Mental Game — Thinking Your Way to Success

praslick emil usamu mental training game marksmanship

SFC Emil Praslick III is now retired from the U.S. Army, but he left a great legacy as one of the USAMU’s greatest coaches and team leaders. A highly-respected wind expert, Praslick also was known for his ability to help his shooters master the “mental game”, which is so important at the highest levels of competition. Here is an article from the CMP Archives in which Praslick explains how to focus your mind to achieve greater success.

Thinking Your Way to Success by SFC Emil Praslick III (Ret.)
Why does it seem that the same small group of shooters wins the majority of the matches? Within the Army Marksmanship Unit’s Service Rifle Team, the same effect applies. On a team filled with uncommonly talented shooters, the same two or three are consistently at the top of the final results bulletin. What is the difference among shooters who are technically equal? Confidence. A confident shooter is free to execute his shots without the fear of failure, i.e. shooting a poor shot.

Negative thoughts (can’t, won’t be able to, etc.) will destroy a skilled performance. The mind’s focus will not be on executing the task, but on projecting fear and self-doubt. Fear is the enemy, confidence is the cure.

Emil Praslick III

How does a shooter on the eve of an important match (the President’s or NTI, for example) attain the confidence needed to perform up to his potential? A pre-competition mental plan can assist in acquiring that positive mental state. The plan can be broken down into a few phases.

Build a feeling of preparedness. Developing and executing a plan to organize your equipment and pre-match routine will aid you in feeling prepared on match day.

Avoid negative and stressful thoughts. Focusing on “winning” the match or shooting for a specific score (like making the “cut” or making the President’s 100) can cause undue stress. Good shooters focus on aspects that are within their control: their sight picture, their sight alignment, their position. Each shot should be treated as an individual event.

Train stage-specific tasks during your practice sessions. Instead of shooting matches or practice matches only, include some drills that focus on your problem areas. Training in this manner will assist your level of confidence.

As part of your pre-match routine, imagine yourself shooting perfect shots. Visualize getting into the perfect position, acquiring a perfect sight picture, and perfect trigger control.

Emil Praslick mental game advice

Let a feeling of calm and well-being wash over you. Spend a few minutes alone thinking positive thoughts. Many shooters use their favorite music to help build the mood.

Once you develop your pre-competition mental plan, stick with it. Through your training you will develop the physical skills to shoot higher scores. The confidence you will need to apply them in match conditions will grow as you develop into a complete shooter; both physically and mentally.

Click HERE for More USAMU Shooting Tips

The USAMU’s article archives are a great resource for competitive shooters. Click HERE for more excellent instructional articles by Emil Praslick and other USAMU Coaches and shooters. You’ll find articles on Wind-Reading, Fitness, Equipment, Shooting Positions, Shooting Techniques, Match Strategies and much more.

Permalink - Articles, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
January 14th, 2019

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.

Permalink - Articles, Shooting Skills 5 Comments »
January 12th, 2019

“Mirage Is Your Friend” — How Mirage Can Reveal the Wind

South Texas Mirage Reading article
Diagram from SouthTexasShooting.org.

Mirage as a Wind Indicator

Read FULL ARTICLE in Midsouth Shooters Blog

by Glen Zediker
Most good shooters use mirage as their leading indicator to spot changes in the wind. With well-designed stand, the scope can be set it up where you can see the wind with the left eye and see the sight with the right without anything more than a visual focus shift. That gets the shooter back on the trigger with the least chance of missing another change. In the photo below e you can see 11-time National High Power Champion David Tubb using a spotting scope set up for his left eye.

wind mirage spotter spotting scope
David Tubb sets up his spotting scope so he can easily see through it with his LEFT eye, without shifting his head and body position.

There are resources that give clues or evidence of wind direction and strength: wind flags, observation of grass and trees, and mirage.

Almost always I use mirage as my leading indicator. Mirage (heat waves) is always present but you’ll need a scope to read it. For 600 yards I focus my scope about halfway to the target. Mirage flows just like water and the currents can be read with respect to wind speed as well, but it’s not clearly accurate beyond maybe a 15 mph speed. The thing is that mirage shows changes, increases or decreases, and also direction shifts, really well.

A couple more things about mirage flow: when mirage “boils,” that is appears to rise straight up, either there’s no wind or the scope is dead in-line with wind direction. And that’s a quick and accurate means to determine wind direction, by the way, move the scope until you see the boil and note the scope body angle. Here’s another tip — the boil can predict when a “fishtail” wind is about to change, a boil precedes a shift.

wind mirage spotter spotting scope

You don’t need to spend big bucks for an effective spotting scope to view mirage. You can get the Vortex 20-60x60mm Diamondback angled spotting scope for just $399.99 from Midsouth. That’s complete with 20-60X zoom eyepiece. Though inexpensive, the Vortex Diamondback is popular with many competitive shooters and hunters. No, it doesn’t offer the sharpness of an 80mm Kowa Prominar or Swarovski spotting scope, but you’ll pay $2400+ just for the body of those high-end optics.

Choice of EyePiece — Wide-Angle LERs Work Well
I use a long-eye-relief 20X to 25X wide-angle eyepiece. That setup shows the flow best. And pay attention to where the wind is coming from! See what’s headed your way, because what’s passed no longer matters. That’s true for any indicator. Right to left wind? Read off the right side of the range.

Once I get on target then all I am doing is watching for changes. It’s really uncommon to make a big adjustment between shots. The fewer condition changes you are enduring, the easier it is to keep everything on center. That’s why I shoot fast, and why I start at the low point in a wind cycle.

sighters spotting scope mirageMaking Corrections with Limited Sighters
Here’s a Tip for NRA High Power matches where only two sighters are allowed: “Make a full correction off the first sighting shot location! Even if there are minor changes afoot, that’s how to know how well you assessed condition influence pre-shot. Don’t second-guess. After the second sighter you should be on target and then simply watching for changes. Pay attention, correlate visible cues to the results of prior shots, and if in doubt, click into the wind.”

Information in this article was adapted from material in several books published by Glen Zediker and Zediker Publishing. Glen is an NRA High Master who earned that classification in NRA High Power Rifle using an AR15 Service Rifle. For more information and articles visit ZedikerPublishing.com.

Permalink - Articles, Optics, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
January 11th, 2019

Get FREE Official AccurateShooter.com Precision Targets

FREE Accuracy Precision Rifle Shooting Target
Right-Click target image to download printable PDF.

We created the above target a decade ago. Since then it has been used by tens of thousands of shooters. It has proven very popular as a load development target, since all your load data fits neatly in the boxes under each target. In fact this target is being employed by both rifle-makers and barrel-makers (including Criterion) to test their products. The target was designed for aiming efficiency. The diamonds have 1/2″ sides and you can align your cross-hairs on the horizontal and vertical lines. It is a clean design that is easy to see even at 200 yards with a 20X scope. When we test, we usually crank in a little elevation, setting the point-of-impact higher, so that our shots fall in the gray circles. That way you leave the squares intact for precise aiming.

We also use these two targets for load development and precision practice. The circle dot target can also be used for informal rimfire competition at 50 yards.
Right-Click Each Target to Download Printable PDFs.

FREE Accuracy Precision Rifle Shooting Target FREE Accuracy Precision Rifle Shooting Target


GET 50 More FREE Targets on AccurateShooter Target Page »

Printing Targets card stock heavy paper benchrestHow to Print Your Targets
Most of us have access to a printer at home or at work. That means you can print your own targets. You’ll find hundreds of free target designs online, including dozens of downloadable targets on our AccurateShooter.com Target Page. If you’re feeling creative, you can design your own target with a computer drawing program such as MS Paint.

Paper Stock Is Important
If you want your self-printed targets to show shots cleanly (and not rip when it gets windy), you should use quality paper stock. We recommend card stock — the kind of thick paper used for business cards. Card stock is available in both 65-lb and 110-lb weights in a variety of colors. We generally print black on white. But you might experiment with bright orange or yellow sheets. Forum Member ShootDots report: “They sell cardstock at Fed-Ex Kinko! I use either Orange or Yellow. That makes it easy to see the bullet holes clearly.” On some printers, with the heavier 110-lb card stock, you will need to have the paper exit through the rear for a straighter run.

Printing Targets card stock heavy paper benchrest

Here are some Target-Printing Tips from our Forum members:

“Staples sells a 67-lb heavy stock that I have settled on. I use the light grey or light blue, either of these are easy on the eyes on bright days. I have used the 110-lb card stock as well and it works fine. It’s just a little easier to print the lighter stuff.” (JBarnwell)

“Cardstock, as mentioned, works great for showing bullet holes as it doesn’t tear or rip like the thin, lightweight 20-lb paper. I’ve never had a problem with cardstock feeding in the printer, just don’t stick too many sheets in there. If I need three targets, I load only three card stock sheets”. (MEMilanuk)

“20-lb bond works pretty well for me if I use a spray adhesive and stick the entire back of the paper’s surface to the backer board.” (Lapua40X)

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
January 2nd, 2019

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

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
December 30th, 2018

See Bullet Holes at 500+ with White Background Splatter Targets

shoot-n-c sight-in-target white black halo

Do you have trouble seeing your bullet holes (on paper) when shooting past 400 yards? That’s a common issue even with premium ($1600+) high-magnification scopes. Here’s a target that solves that problem. A hit creates a larger black circle that’s much more visible than a plain bullet hole, making this target ideal for use at longer range (500 yards and beyond).

The 12″ square Birchwood Casey white background Sight-In Target displays a black “halo” around each hit (like the yellow circle on a conventional Shoot-N-C). Larger than bullet diameter, the “halos” can be easily seen with a high-magnification scope at long range (see video below). The self-adhesive target features four diamonds with contrasting red box centers. For precise aiming, you can position your cross-hairs to align with the corners of the boxes. Or, you can put a target dot sticker in the middle.

This video shows Black Shot Halos on white background:

White splatter targetWhile we envision using this target with optics at long range, Birchwood Casey says that open sights show up well against the white background, making these targets well-suited for indoor ranges or use in low light conditions.

This white background grid target has five aiming points and a 1-inch grid overlay for quick and easy sight adjustments. It comes with target pasters that allow shooters to cover up bullet holes and continue using the target for added value. The White/Black Shoot-N-C 12″ Sight-In Targets come in packs of five with 75 target pasters for around $10.50 on Amazon. If you prefer circle targets, there is also an even larger 17.5″ Shoot-N-C target with one large bull with red diamond center (photo right).

High-Viz Option — Yellow on Black Grid with Yellow Halos

If you prefer seeing ultra-high-contrast yellow/green “halos” for your hits, Birchwood Casey also makes adhesive grid targets with five yellow-edged diamonds. Red circles provide precise aiming points in the middle of each box. You can quickly estimate group size or dial-in your zero using the hi-viz yellow 1″ grid lines. These yellow-on-black targets are available in three sizes: 8″ square, 12″ square, and 17.5″ square. These yellow-on-black grid targets start at $6.80 for an 8″ five-pack.

shoot-n-c sight-in-target white black halo

Permalink Gear Review, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
December 26th, 2018

NRA Womens Wilderness Escape Events in 2019

Women's wilderness escape 2018 Oregon Leupold Kristy Titus

The NRA’s Women’s Wilderness Escape (WWE) program, in partnership with Leupold and Kristy Titus of Pursue the Wild, will offer a special ladies-only firearms training course next June in Central Oregon. This Leupold Academy Rifle & Pistol course will cover both rifles and pistols. The curriculum includes two days of scoped rifle instruction and one day of basic optical-sighted defensive pistol instruction. Leupold instructors will lead the course, teaching participants to master both firearm platforms. Kristy Titus, a skilled huntress and outdoor guide, will be in attendance to help mentor the participants.

This women’s-only event runs three days from June 3-7. It will be held outside Redmond in scenic Central Oregon. All women over 18 are welcome to attend. The $1,200 registration fee includes all firearms, ammunition, targets, classes, activities, ground transportation, lodging and most meals.

Along with this Leupold-directed event in Oregon, there will be three other WWE events in 2019.

NRA Women’s Wilderness Escape Program — All 2019 Offerings
The NRA Wilderness Escape program provides opportunities for women ages 18 and older of all different skills levels to explore and learn about shooting, hunting and the outdoors with skilled NRA-Certified Instructors and outdoor specialists.

1. Leupold Academy Women’s Only Rifle & Pistol Course — June 3-7, 2019 (Registration: $1200)

2. Weekend of Sporting Clays at Seven Springs Resort – June 21-24, 2019 (Registration: $995)

3. NRA – Sig Sauer MPX Carbine Class – September 14-15, 2019 (Registration: $875)

4. Rifle, Shotgun, and Pistol Week at NRA Whittington Center – October 7-12, 2019 (Registration: $1,600)

NRA Whittington Center
View from NRA Whittington Center

For more information about NRA Women’s Wilderness Escape events or to register, visit WWE.NRA.org, call (800) 672-7435 option 5, or email wwe@nrahq.org.

Kristy Titus hunter hunting video bipod shooting position

Kristy Titus Offers Hunting Tips

As part of NRA Women TV, hunting guide Kristy Titus hosts a series of videos that explain important strategies and shooting skills for hunters. Titus is a certified instructor who has hunted around the globe. She grew up in the outdoors, running pack mules in Oregon with her father. In these videos, Kristy discusses demonstrates field positions that can be employed during a hunt. She also explains preparation for a hunt, including fitness training.

“When it comes to bolt-action rifle fit, there is no ‘one size fits all’,” says Titus. “When picking out your rifle [consider options] after the purchase to ensure you are as comfortable as possible.”

Kristy Titus hunter hunting video bipod shooting position

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
December 24th, 2018

FREE State-Approved Online Hunter Education Courses

hunter education online NRA

The NRA now offers FREE officially-approved Hunter Education Courses in online format. These allow you to fulfill many basic requirements for game tags and hunting licenses. The online courses can be conveniently completed wherever you have a web connection, saving you time and money. Currently, there are online Hunder Education Courses for seven (7) states*:

Connecticut
Florida
New Mexico
Oklahoma
Oregon
Texas
West Virginia

hunter education online NRA

Additional State Requirements — Field Days
The requirements and prerequisites for each course vary from state to state. Some states require officially-issued identification numbers before starting. Other states require additional “hands-on” instruction. For example, Florida mandates a Skills Day session, Oregon requires a separate Field Day qualification, and West Virginia has a mandatory Hands-on / written portion for hunter certification. For more information, visit the NRA Hunter Safety Education Page.

hunter education online NRA

hunting safety hunter education
Photo courtesy
Horn Fork Guides Ltd. in Colorado.

* The NRA plans to add online Hunter Education Courses for more states in the months ahead.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
December 19th, 2018

Introduce Someone to Shooting — NSSF +ONE Mentor Program

Shooting Sports hunting new join mentor movement +1 +one plus one

Editor’s Comment: For the shooting sports to thrive, we need to add new participants — get new people involved in marksmanship and competitive shooting. Unless we add new shooters, we can expect more range closures, and more political attacks on our gun rights. The NSSF is starting a “Plus One” (+ONE) campaign to help build the ranks of shooters. The idea is basic — make a commitment to act as a MENTOR and encourage at least ONE new person to get involved. We think this is a worthwhile objective. As the NSSF says: If just one in three of America’s recreational shooters adds one new person to the shooting sports, we’ll secure a strong future for generations to come.”

The +ONE Movement — The Mission

In response to studies showing millions of people want to know more about hunting and target shooting, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has announced a new mentorship initiative called the +ONE Movement. “We all know that getting involved in hunting and the shooting sports can be a challenge for people who have never gone before,” said NSSF President Joe Bartozzi. “Having a mentor at your side makes it much easier for someone to get started. With the +ONE Movement, we’re challenging every hunter and target shooter in America to introduce at least one new person to the sports we love.”

Shooting Sports hunting new join mentor movement +1 +one plus one

A major barrier for people wanting to learn about hunting and target shooting is that basic knowledge of these pastimes is not passed down from adults to youth as commonly as it once was. That’s where mentoring programs can make a huge difference. Watch this video to learn how you can become a shooting sports mentor:

This Video Explains How to Get New Shooters Involved:

Learn more abou the NSSF’s +ONE Movement at LetsGoShooting.org and LetsGoHunting.org. Those sites offer how-to articles and videos, along with tips on getting folks involved in the shooting sports (and hunting). But honestly, the websites are only an invitation. For this program to succeed, each of us needs to make a commitment to mentoring a new shooter in 2019.

MENTORS — SHARE THESE TIPS WITH YOUR +ONE INVITEES
1. Always Keep the Muzzle Pointed in a Safe Direction:
Simply put: Never point a gun at anything you don’t intend to shoot—even when dry firing.

2. Keep Firearms Unloaded When Not in Use:
Never load a gun until you are ready to shoot. When not in use, store firearms and ammo separately.

3. Don’t Rely on a Gun’s Safety:
Treat every gun as though it can fire at any time. Safeties are mechanical devices that can become inoperable without your knowing.

4. Be Sure of Your Target and What’s Beyond It:
No target is so important that you can’t take the time before pulling the trigger to be certain of where your shot will stop.

5. Use the Correct Ammunition:
Using improper or incorrect ammunition can destroy a gun and cause serious personal injury. Always double-check your ammo.

6. If the Gun Fails to Fire, Handle with Care:
If nothing happens when you pull the trigger, keep the muzzle pointed downrange, unload the gun, and dispose of the faulty cartridge.

7. Always Wear Eye and Ear Protection:
Exposure to a firearm’s report can damage hearing; adequate vision protection is essential at all times while shooting.

8. Be Sure the Barrel is Clear of Obstructions:
Before loading a firearm, open the action, check that there’s no ammo in the chamber or magazine, and make sure the barrel is clear.

9. Don’t Alter or Modify a Gun, and Service Regularly:
Any alteration or change made to a firearm after manufacture can make the gun dangerous. Also, follow the manufacturer’s service recommendations.

10. Learn the Mechanical and Handling Characteristics of the Gun:
Every firearm is different. Never handle a gun without first familiarizing yourself with it and the way it works.

Many people who may not be interested in target shooting or competitive shooting may find hunting appealing. Bring new people into the ranks of hunters will also help protect our gun rights.

Shooting Sports hunting new join mentor movement +1 +one plus one

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