The NRABlog recently polled seven prominent lady shooters, asking them for tips for other lady shooting sports enthusiasts, particulary new shooters. Top female competitors such as 2016 Bianchi Cup Winner Tiffany Piper and Team S&W Co-Captain Julie Golob offer good advice on competitive shooting as well as using firearms for self-defense. Read the full article here.
Here Are Some of the Top Tips from Leading Ladies:
Tiffany Piper (Action Pistol): The best piece of advice I would give is practice makes perfect. In New Zealand, we barely get enough range time with our noise restrictions so muscle memory and technique are key.muscle memory and technique are key. Study up on shooting techniques, watch YouTube videos of other professional women shooters, and try out what you see. Don’t get intimidated thinking it’s a male’s sport[.]”
Julie Golob (Team S&W, 3-Gun and Pistol): “If something isn’t clear, just ask about it! Shooters are some of the best people you’ll ever meet, but we can be confusing and use a lot of shooter slang and lingo. When in doubt, ask!”
Tori Nonaka (Team Glock): “I always recommend to new shooters to first concentrate on the basics of gun safety. That way they will be more comfortable when they next learn about the particular gun…. Their confidence will grow as they familiarize themselves with their specific weapon. Then, it’s all about practice at the range.”
Corey Cogdell (Olympic Trap Shooter): “It’s empowering for women to know how to use a firearm in a sporting atmosphere as well as for self-defense. So if you are new to firearms, check out your local gun club and take a lesson! There you’ll find instructors and other shooting sports enthusiasts who will be more than willing to help you.”
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When you’re on a varmint expedition in the Western states you can bet, sooner or later, you’ll encounter serious winds. Here’s some advice on how to minimize the effects of cross-winds on your shooting, and easily improve your percentage of hits. In essence, you want to use your ability to change shooting positions and angles to put the wind behind you.
A benchrest or High Power shooter must operate from a designated shooting position. He must stay put and deal with the wind as it moves across the course, from whatever direction it blows. By contrast, a varmint hunter can move around and choose the spot that provides the most favorable wind direction. In most cases you’ll get the best results by moving your shooting position so the wind is at your back. This will minimize horizontal wind drift. Once you’re in position, use wind flags to direct your fire in line with the prevailing winds. A varminter who calls himself “Catshooter” explains:
The String of Death
I remember the first time I was on a dog town in the Conata Basin, in the Badlands area of southwestern South Dakota. Along with two other guys, I drove out for 21 days of shooting, and I never saw wind like that before. If all four tires of our vehicle were on the ground, the weather man said these were “mild wind conditions”.
After the first four or five days, we got smart. We would park the truck on the up-wind side of the town so the wind was at our back. Then we took a piece of string on a 3-foot stick, and set it in front of the shooters, and let the string point at the mounds that we were going to shoot.
For the rest of the trip, we didn’t have to deal with wind drift at all. We just shot the dogs that the string pointed to. We started calling our simple wind pointer the “String of Death”.
We were hitting dogs at distances that I would not repeat here (with benchrest grade rifles). After the first time out, I always took a wind rig like that.
When a rifle isn’t shooting up to it’s potential, we need to ask: “Is it the gun or the shooter?” Having multiple shooters test the same rifle in the same conditions with the same load can be very revealing…
When developing a load for a new rifle, one can easily get consumed by all the potential variables — charge weight, seating depth, neck tension, primer options, neck lube, and so on. When you’re fully focused on loading variables, and the results on the target are disappointing, you may quickly assume you need to change your load. But we learned that sometimes the load is just fine — the problem is the trigger puller, or the set-up on the bench.
Here’s an example. A while back we tested two new Savage F-Class rifles, both chambered in 6mmBR. Initial results were promising, but not great — one gun’s owner was getting round groups with shots distributed at 10 o’clock, 2 o’clock, 5 o’clock, 8 o’clock, and none were touching. We could have concluded that the load was no good. But then another shooter sat down behind the rifle and put the next two shots, identical load, through the same hole. Shooter #2 eventually produced a 6-shot group that was a vertical line, with 2 shots in each hole but at three different points of impact. OK, now we can conclude the load needs to be tuned to get rid of the vertical. Right? Wrong. Shooter #3 sat down behind the gun and produced a group that strung horizontally but had almost no vertical.
Hmmm… what gives?
Shooting Styles Created Vertical or Horizontal Dispersion
What was the problem? Well, each of the three shooters had a different way of holding the gun and adjusting the rear bag. Shooter #1, the gun’s owner, used a wrap-around hold with hand and cheek pressure, and he was squeezing the bag. All that contact was moving the shot up, down, left and right. The wrap-around hold produced erratic results.
Shooter #2 was using no cheek pressure, and very slight thumb pressure behind the tang, but he was experimenting with different amounts of bag “squeeze”. His hold eliminated the side push, but variances in squeeze technique and down pressure caused the vertical string. When he kept things constant, the gun put successive shots through the same hole.
Shooter #3 was using heavy cheek pressure. This settled the gun down vertically, but it also side-loaded the rifle. The result was almost no vertical, but this shooting style produced too much horizontal.
A “Second Opinion” Is Always Useful
Conclusion? Before you spend all day fiddling with a load, you might want to adjust your shooting style and see if that affects the group size and shape on the target. Additionally, it is nearly always useful to have another experienced shooter try your rifle. In our test session, each time we changed “drivers”, the way the shots grouped on the target changed significantly. We went from a big round group, to vertical string, to horizontal string.
Interestingly, all three shooters were able to diagnose problems in their shooting styles, and then refine their gun-handling. As a result, in a second session, we all shot that gun better, and the average group size dropped from 0.5-0.6 inches into the threes — with NO changes to the load.
That’s right, we cut group size in half, and we didn’t alter the load one bit. Switching shooters demonstrated that the load was good and the gun was good. The skill of the trigger-puller(s) proved to be the limiting factor in terms of group size.
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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.”
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.
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 Stanskyting video showing John O. 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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Report based on story by Kyle Jillson for NRA Blog
Summer is the time of year to get outside and have fun with family and friends. A great way to enjoy shooting with friends and family members is to attend a Brownells/NRA Day. These fun events will be held throughout the summer, at locations across the USA. These events are designed for all ages — from youngsters to senior citizens. The activities appeal to all skill levels, from first-time shooters to seasoned competitors.
Brownells/NRA Day events are fun affairs, where participants can try out a variety of different shooting disciplines. Events are always a big hit and you won’t find people as friendly and helping anywhere else. Below is a complete list of upcoming July events. There are a variety of events, including Basic Firearms Training, Youth “SportsFest”, 3-Gun Experience, Hunter’s Event, Competition, and Shotgun. For more information on any scheduled event, visit the Brownells/NRA Day website.
Summer is here, so it’s time to focus on fun and games. Here are three speciality targets with game themes: Dartboard, Billiards Table, and Bowling Alley. Each target features multiple bullseyes. Shoot the dartboard like a regular game or make up your own sequence. For the billiards target you can shoot the bulls, or the balls, or both. Click any target to load FREE higher-resolution PDF files which you can download. Then print the targets and take them to the range for a fun shooting session. A big thanks to our friends at NRABlog.com for creating these colorful “fun & games” targets. Enjoy!
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Got a spare weekend in July? Then head to Camp Perry, Ohio for the National Rimfire Sporter Match. The CMP invites shooters of all ages to this fun event to be held Saturday, July 9, 2016 at Camp Perry. On Friday, July 8th, a free instructional Rimfire Sporter Clinic will be held in the afternoon. If you’ve never participated in a Rimfire Sporter Match, you should give it a try. One of the most popular events at Camp Perry, the Rimfire Sporter Match attracts hundreds of shooters from 8 to 80 years, novices as well as experienced competitors. It is a great game for shooters who “just want to have fun” without spending a small fortune on rifle, optics, gear and ammo.
Rifles used during the competition may be manually operated or semi-automatic and supported with sights or a sling. Competitors will complete slow fire prone, rapid fire prone, slow fire sitting or kneeling, rapid fire sitting or kneeling, slow fire standing and rapid fire standing shot sequences. For more info about the Rimfire Sporter Match (and entry forms), CLICK HERE.
The CMP Rimfire Sporter Rifle Match is an inexpensive, fun-oriented competition using .22 caliber sporter rifles (plinking and small game rifles). To compete, all you need is a basic rifle, safety gear, and ammunition. No fancy, high-dollar rifles are required. Many junior and senior clubs make the National Rimfire Sporter Match an annual tradition — bringing together marksmen of all ages.
Three different classifications of rifles will be used during the competition: “O Class” for open-sighted rifles, “T Class” for telescope-sighted rifles and the recently-added “Tactical Rimfire” class. Awards are offered to High Juniors, High Seniors, High Women as well as Overall winners will be named for each class.
The CMP will host a FREE instructional Rimfire Sporter Clinic on Friday, July 8 from 4-6 pm in the afternoon. This Clinic will cover rules, Course of Fire, safety instructions, and competition procedures. This FREE CLINIC will include demonstrations and presentations by qualified members of the CMP. Competitors with no previous Rimfire Sporter Match experience are strongly encouraged to attend.
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The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil are coming up soon. The Rio Olympic Games will include rifle, pistol, and shotgun competitions. Shooting events will be held in Brazil’s ultra-modern Olympic Shooting Center, originally created for the 2007 Pan-American Games at a cost of $53.5 million. Perhaps the most challenging Olympic rifle discipline is the 50m three-position (3P) smallbore match. In this article, American Olympian Matt Emmons provides expert tips on three-position shooting.
Here Matt Shows the Kneeling Position. The other two positions are Standing and Prone.
Matt Emmons will compete in the Three-Position Event at the Rio Olympics, seeking his fourth Olympic medal. Rio marks Matt’s fourth Olympic appearance — he has competed on the U.S. National Team since 1997, medaling in three Olympic games: Gold in 2004 in Men’s 50m Prone; Silver in 2008 in Men’s 50m Prone; and Bronze in 2012 in Men’s 50m 3X40. Although his specialty is Men’s 3-Position rifle, Emmons’ World Championship and Olympic Gold are in Men’s 50m Prone. He usually shoots an Anschütz or Bleiker .22LR rifle, with Eley Tenex ammo.
Here are shooting tips from Matt, courtesy Anschütz. Click image below to launch a large PDF file. Right-click the image and “save as” to download the poster-sized PDF.
CLICK Photo to Load Large PDF File
Three Sets of Hardware for Three Positions
You may be surprised to find that Matt often totes three complete sets of rifle parts to important matches — three buttplates, three cheekpieces, and three Centra sights with adjustable irises. Matt told Shooting Sports USA that he travels with “three sets for three positions. Our final is so fast that I need three sets of everything to allow a fast change-over between positions.” Matt carries his gear in an an Anschütz sport bag: “It’s similar to the big Ogio duffels with wheels, but lighter. I’ve worked with AHG/Anschütz for many years and I like their bag because all of my junk fits in it.”
Emmons, who will be competing in Rio this upcoming August, also carries something for good luck: “My wife Katy gave me a little figurine of a Czech fairytale character a long time ago for good luck and I always have it with me when I shoot.”
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Shooting really well with a lightweight bipod requires good technique. One thing you want to do with most field-style bipods is to “pre-load” the bipod with forward pressure. In a helpful “how-to” article, Accuracy-Tech Blog Editor Rich offers some good advice on bipod technique, explaining how to pre-load your bipod before each shot. Hunters and practical/tactical shooters may want to read this article.*
Rich explains: “The purpose of loading a bipod is to take any and all slack out of the shooter and rifle system. If the shooter … doesn’t have a solid position behind the rifle it will jump around more.” With good technique and a solid position, Rich explains, you should be able to tame the recoil pulse and eliminate the dread “bipod hop” which can force you to re-establish your position.
Rich offers two methods to load the bipod before each shot:
“Method number one is to get into position behind the gun, bring the stock up to your shoulder and relax. Then slowly, pressing off the tips of your big toes with your feet, shimmy your entire body as a unit forward slightly against the rifle. You don’t want to move it, you just want to put a little pressure against it.”
“The second method is to get into position, and then lift your chest up off the ground with the muscles in your back. You want to do a little sea otter impression here. As you lift your trunk up slightly, pull the rifle stock up into your shoulder pocket. Then as you relax push the gun forward in front of you but stop short of removing all the forward pressure against the rifle. If you push too far it won’t have any pressure against it. You don’t have to make large movements here, just a small lift, pull the rifle in, then relax back against the gun.”
Here’s a video of Rich shooting from bipod. You can see how his Atlas Bipod is pre-loaded. Watch how the gun recoils with no “bipod hop”. Rich shows very good form on the gun with smooth follow-though. Regarding follow-through, Rich says: “Don’t slap the trigger, don’t play gopher head[.] You want to remain motionless behind the rifle until the recoil impulse is over. If you lift your head between shots on the same target, you are hurting your chances of making a hit on subsequent shots.”
* The techniques recommended here are for lightweight, field-type bipods such as the Harris and Atlas models. You may want to use a completely different technique with large, wide-track F-TR and joystick bipods, allowing them to slide backwards on their sled feet during recoil.
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Can a human, with a sling, shoot as well as a mechanical rest? The answer is “yes” (at least once in a great while) IF that sling shooter can deliver a record-breaking performance. Here’s an interesting tale of man vs. machine from our archives…
The USAMU posed an interesting challenge — could one of their shooters match the performance of a mechanical rest? Who would win in this battle between man and machine? You might just be surprised. At 600 yards, with an AR-platform rifle, the results can be remarkably close, based on targets provided by the USAMU. When clamped in a test rig, a USAMU M16A2 produced a 200-18X group with handloads. The USAMU says this was “one of our better 20-shot groups at 600 yards, testing ammo from a machine rest”. Can a human do better?
Remarkably, a human soldier came very close to matching the group shot from the machine rest. The photo below shows a 20-shot group shot by a USAMU marksman with sling and iron sights, using USAMU-loaded ammunition. The score, 200-16X, was nearly the same. As you can see, the USAMU rifleman didn’t give up much to the machine rest, even at 600 yards!
In fairness, this was no ordinary human performance. The 200-16X score was a new National Record set in December, 1994. This was fired by PFC Coleman in an Interservice Match at Okeechobee, Florida. Brilliant Performance.
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Report based on Story by Kyle Jillson inNRAblog.
Air Rifle Shooters — Do you dream of winning the NRA Indoor National Championships or competing in the Olympics some day? All that may be a few years off, but you can work on becoming an NRA Distinguished Shooter in Sporter and Precision Air Rifle right now…
Making Distinguished in Air Rifle shooting is a goal that can be accomplished by a skilled, dedicated shooter in a few seasons. The discipline you learn along the way will help your overall accuracy with just about any gun. Two separate medallions and lapel pins can be earned by each individual who successfully completes the requirements for both 3-Position Precision and Sporter. Shooters who earn both awards will also receive a Double Distinguished pin.
Are you fed up with all the “Tacticool” nonsense? Do you wonder about guys who are more into “macho” fashion statements than actually learning effective gun-handling skills? Are you tired of the whole “tactical lifestyle” silliness? Well so is respected firearms trainer David Spaulding. In this refreshingly frank and candid video, Dave speaks the “plain truth” about firearms training, pistols in particular.
Great “No-BS” Video — David Spaulding Calls Out Firearms Training Nonsense:
David explains that you don’t need to dress up like a Spec Ops Warrior. You don’t need a beard and you don’t need to wear tactical pants and combat boots. Jeans and sneakers work just fine.
David also says that too many people are caught up in hardware “one-upsmanship”. Get the pistol that works best for you — it doesn’t matter if it’s not the one used by Delta Force. Likewise, get the holster that fits YOU best, even if it’s not on the cover of Guns & Ammo magazine.
Most importantly, David says that, to be truly proficient with any firearm, you must TRAIN with that firearm in real life. Surfing the web won’t substitute for actual training time, David says. AccurateShooter.com agrees wholeheartedly — while this website provides a wealth of info on reloading, marksmanship, and other topics, you still need to get out to the range and train. There is no substitute for actual trigger time, preferably under the guidance of a competent mentor or instructor.
“The fact remains [that] if you really understood the psychological and financial trauma that occurs to someone when they take a life, you won’t want to do it. So the fascination with war-fighting, and gear, and killing people just does not make sense.
I’ll have people that contact me and say ‘What kind of trousers were you wearing?’ Who cares! They’re [just] a pair of pants…” — David Spaulding
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Story based on article by Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer
This story is about two shooters who have shown dedication, courage, and the ability to overcome physical limitations. 18-year-old Taylor Farmer has cerebral palsy. Her mentor and shooting coach, Greg Drown, has multiple sclerosis. But working together, Taylor has shown amazing abilities in competitive shooting. Taylor hopes someday to compete for the USA as a paralympic shooter in the Olympics.
Taylor Farmer was born to persevere. Her entire life, cerebral palsy (a neurological condition that limits muscle coordination) has forced her to work harder than others to achieve her goals. The effects of the disease on her body cause her to walk with crutches and to use a wheelchair for longer distances — but that hasn’t slowed her down.
As a teenager, Taylor began shooting rifle with her dad and her older brother. She never let the cerebral palsy get in the way of her desire to shoot. “I didn’t really think of it as being a challenge. I just wanted to do it…” she said.
Taylor built her marksmanship skills shooting rimfire rifles with a junior 4-H club. Her 4-H coach, Mary Ann Miller, recognized Taylor’s talent and introduced her to Greg Drown, a past State Champion shooter. That was the beginning of a great partnership…
Shooting Champion Doesn’t Let Multiple Sclerosis Stop Him
Greg Drown, 56, was a member of the Ohio State University Rifle team from 1980-1984, serving as team captain and earning numerous shooting honors. He competed in the 1984 Olympic Team Tryouts in Los Angeles and has been a State Champion in Three Position Air Rifle and Smallbore Prone. But a greater challenge lay ahead…
From 1995-2000, Greg gradually developed multiple sclerosis, a disabling condition of the central nervous system. His disease placed him in a wheelchair, but his determination kept him moving further into his shooting career (and winning a slew of gold medals and championships).
“It was a daunting task to re-learn the positions, not to mention shooting out of a chair with an attached table,” he said. “I had my trials and tribulations, but it took three or four years to become competitive again.” With determination, Greg reached the pinnacle of his career by winning the 2009 3P Any Sight Para National Championship at Camp Perry. He also made it to a Para World Cup in 2011.
Greg and Taylor Work Together
In September 2015, Greg and Taylor connected for the first time during the Ohio Day at the Range at Camp Perry. This event, held annually at the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center, is conducted for children and adults with disabilities and their families.
“I grabbed a sporter rifle off the rack and Taylor began shooting off the foam rests,” Greg said. “She consistently put 20 or so shots in the 10 ring.”
Taylor then asked Greg if she could get rid of the rest and shoot out of the adapted standing position while seated in her wheelchair. To Greg’s amazement, she continued to put shot after shot in the 9 and 10 ring — all without a coat and glove.
Ernie Bishop, USA dealer for SEB Rests, offered this story about teaching a young boy how to shoot — passing on the heritage of marksmanship to the next generation. Ernie was working with an 8-year-old novice. With Ernie showing him the ropes, the young man was able to make hits at 1440 yards!
Teaching a Young Man about Long-Range Shooting, by Ernie Bishop
I was able to do some coaching with an eight-year-old boy shooting distance with a Savage 6.5-284 rifle (factory 1:9″-twist barrel), 3-12X Huskemaw scope, and MAC brake. Chuck McIntosh was helping as well. I can’t wait to see how this young man develops as a shooter. It was a real pleasure coaching him.
We ended the day’s shooting session with the young man making multiple connections at 1440 yards with the Savage rifle (top photo). We were very proud of this young man. During our session, the young shooter also fired a suppressed 300 Remington Ultra Magnum. The boy made managed a first-shot connection at 500 yards on a 5″ square target.
Click for Full-screen Photo
The next day I brought a couple of Specialty Pistols for our young marksman to play with. The photo shows a rear grip XP-100 with McRee chassis, chambered in .284 Winchester for 168gr SMKs. The young man went out to 850 yards with this after he got bored with 10″ targets at 400 and 500 yards (he never missed at 400 and 500!).
Click for Full-screen Photo
We ended up having switchy winds, which made things more difficult, but still fun. We also shot at 750 yards with the 6.5-284 bench pistol.
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In an article for the CMP Online Magazine, SSG Tobie Tomlinson of the USAMU Service Rifle Team explains the various sight alignments employed by iron sights shooters. Tobie writes: “There are a myriad of sight picture options that shooters have used to great effect over the years. The sight picture that allows you to consistently shoot the smallest group, with a minimal shift in zeros, is the correct one. Remember, for any shooter to be successful, consistent sight picture must be complemented by front sight focus and sight alignment.” CLICK HERE to read FULL ARTICLE
The front sight is placed directly in the center of the target. A center hold is great in different light conditions. On a bright day the target appears small. On a dark day the target appears large. In [any] light conditions the center of the target is always in the center. A shooter who has problems with elevation shots in various light conditions may benefit from a center hold.
6 O’Clock Hold
With the 6 O’Clock hold the front sight is placed at the bottom of the aiming black. For many shooters, this hold allows precision placement of the front sight. The ability to accurately call your shots will come with time and experience. Light changes, which alter the appearance of the target, may affect shooters who utilize the 6 O’Clock hold.
Sub 6 Hold
The sub 6 is just like the 6 O’Clock hold, only there is a small line of white between the front sight and the aiming black. Many shooters have a problem determining the exact 6 O’Clock position with their front sight, but by using a sub 6 or line of white they may be able to better estimate their hold.
With the frame hold, just like with the other holds, the front sight is in the center of the rear sight. The front sight can then be placed at the 6 or 12 O’Clock position on the frame when there is no visible aiming point. This hold is typically reserved for foul weather and poor light conditions. By placing the front sight at the top or bottom of the frame, a shooter may hold better when there is little target to see. It can be difficult to hold a tight group this way, but it may add more hits in bad conditions. This technique is normally applied when shooting longer ranges such 600 or 1000 yards.
After the success of its winter Ballistics seminar in Michigan, Applied Ballistics has taken its show on the road. Right now Bryan Litz and his team are running a seminar in Texas, and there will be two (2) more seminars this year — one in Michigan and one in North Carolina. These seminars cover a wide range of topics, with the primary focus on basic to advanced ballistics principles as applied to long-range shooting. Bryan uses a multi-media approach: “Everyone learns in different ways — some by reading, others process graphics better. The Applied Ballistics seminars offer a chance to engage industry professionals directly in person, and to ask your questions directly, in live conversation. This format is the best way for many shooters to learn the science of accuracy.”
AUDIO FILE: Bryan Litz Reports from the Ballistics Seminar in Texas on May 23rd. (Sound file loads when you click button).
To learn about upcoming seminars, watch a preview video, or get more information, CLICK THIS LINK. NOTE: If you want to get involved, places still remain for the summer and fall seminars. SEE Registration links below:
Full House in Texas — Ballistics Seminar is a Big Success
As you can see, this week’s seminar has been hugely popular, with over 130 shooters in attendence. Bryan Litz tells us: “Engagement at the Dallas seminar is great. With so many participants (130+), there’s a lot to discuss! Our content covers a lot of the aspects of long range ballistics, and the guys take the conversation into various applications such as hunting, competition shooting, and Military/LE applications as well. On Day One we covered basic and advanced trajectory features, Ballistic Coefficients, and laser rangefinder performance — all before lunch. In the afternoon we discussed wind from academic and practical standpoints. The afternoon session included a briefing by former USAMU team coach Emil Praslick, one of the best wind coaches in the world. After dinner there were informal break-out sessions with myself and guest speakers. Day Two (Tuesday) will be just as full — we’ll cover a lot of ground.”
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Every summer weekend, there are probably 400 or more club “fun matches” conducted around the country. One of the good things about these club shoots is that you don’t have to spend a fortune on equipment to have fun. But we’ve seen that many club shooters handicap themselves with a few common equipment oversights or lack of attention to detail while reloading. Here are SIX TIPS that can help you avoid these common mistakes, and build more accurate ammo for your club matches.
1. Align Front Rest and Rear Bags. We see many shooters whose rear bag is angled left or right relative to the bore axis. This can happen when you rush your set-up. But even if you set the gun up carefully, the rear bag can twist due to recoil or the way your arm contacts the bag. After every shot, make sure your rear bag is aligned properly (this is especially important for bag squeezers who may actually pull the bag out of alignment as they squeeze).
Forum member ArtB adds: “To align my front rest and rear bag with the target, I use an old golf club shaft. I run it from my front rest stop through a line that crosses over my speed screw and into the slot between the two ears. I stand behind that set-up and make sure I see a straight line pointing at the target. I also tape a spot on the golf shaft that indicates how far the back end of the rear bag should be placed from the front rest stop. If you don’t have a golf shaft, use a wood dowel.
2. Avoid Contact Interference. We see three common kinds of contact or mechanical interference that can really hurt accuracy. First, if your stock has front and/or rear sling swivels make sure these do NOT contact the front or rear bags at any point of the gun’s travel. When a sling swivel digs into the front bag that can cause a shot to pop high or low. To avoid this, reposition the rifle so the swivels don’t contact the bags or simply remove the swivels before your match. Second, watch out for the rear of the stock grip area. Make sure this is not resting on the bag as you fire and that it can’t come back to contact the bag during recoil. That lip or edge at the bottom of the grip can cause problems when it contacts the rear bag. Third, watch out for the stud or arm on the front rest that limits forward stock travel. With some rests this is high enough that it can actually contact the barrel. We encountered one shooter recently who was complaining about “vertical flyers” during his match. It turns out his barrel was actually hitting the front stop! With most front rests you can either lower the stop or twist the arm to the left or right so it won’t contact the barrel.
3. Weigh Your Charges — Every One. This may sound obvious, but many folks still rely on a powder measure. Yes we know that most short-range BR shooters throw their charges without weighing, but if you’re going to pre-load for a club match there is no reason NOT to weigh your charges. You may be surprised at how inconsistent your powder measure actually is. One of our testers was recently throwing H4198 charges from a Harrell’s measure for his 30BR. Each charge was then weighed twice with a Denver Instrument lab scale. Our tester found that thrown charges varied by up to 0.7 grains! And that’s with a premium measure.
4. Measure Your Loaded Ammo — After Bullet Seating. Even if you’ve checked your brass and bullets prior to assembling your ammo, we recommend that you weigh your loaded rounds and measure them from base of case to bullet ogive using a comparator. If you find a round that is “way off” in weight or more than .005″ off your intended base to ogive length, set it aside and use that round for a fouler. (Note: if the weight is off by more than 6 or 7 grains you may want to disassemble the round and check your powder charge.) With premium, pre-sorted bullets, we’ve found that we can keep 95% of loaded rounds within a range of .002″, measuring from base (of case) to ogive. Now, with some lots of bullets, you just can’t keep things within .002″, but you should still measure each loaded match round to ensure you don’t have some cases that are way too short or way too long.
5. Check Your Fasteners. Before a match you need to double-check your scope rings or iron sight mounts to ensure everything is tight. Likewise, you should check the tension on the screws/bolts that hold the action in place. Even on a low-recoiling rimfire rifle, action screws or scope rings can come loose during normal firing.
6. Make a Checklist and Pack the Night Before. Ever drive 50 miles to a match then discover you have the wrong ammo or that you forgot your bolt? Well, mistakes like that happen to the best of us. You can avoid these oversights (and reduce stress at matches) by making a checklist of all the stuff you need. Organize your firearms, range kit, ammo box, and shooting accessories the night before the match. And, like a good Boy Scout, “be prepared”. Bring a jacket and hat if it might be cold. If you have windflags, bring them (even if you’re not sure the rules allow them). Bring spare batteries, and it’s wise to bring a spare rifle and ammo for it. If you have just one gun, a simple mechanical breakdown (such as a broken firing pin) can ruin your whole weekend.
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The annual NRA convention kicks off today in Louisville, Kentucky. One of the most enjoyable things to do at the show is shooting airguns. For the 7th consecutive year, the NRA Competitive Shooting Division and Pyramyd Air will operate an Airgun Range during the NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits. You’ll find the Pyramyd Air Airgun Range at Kentucky Exposition Center Booth #2684. The range opens at 2:00 pm on Thursday, May 19th and operates through Sunday, May 22nd.
Pyramyd Air Airgun Range Schedule, May 19-22, 2016:
Thursday, May 19:
2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 21:
8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Friday, May 20:
8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 22:
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
“Pyramyd Air is thrilled to sponsor the Airgun Range again this year [as] we are also celebrating our 20th Anniversary,” said Pyramyd Founder/CEO Joshua Ungier. The Airgun Range in Booth #2684 is open to all ages (minors must be accompanied by an adult). The firing line is supervised by NRA Certified Instructors. The range is stocked with airguns appropriate for all ages along with ammo and interactive targets. Products from Air Arms, AirForce, Ataman, Air Venturi, Beeman, BSA, Crosman, Evanix, Gamo, Sam Yang, Sig Sauer, Stoeger and Umarex will be available at the Airgun Range.
Pyramyd Air Celebrates 20th Year in Business
May, 2016 marks the 20th anniversary of Pyramyd Air. In the past two decades, Pyramyd Air has grown from a 3-person basement operation into a multi-million-dollar company with 60+ employees. Pyramyd Air is now the largest online airgun retailer in the world.
Twenty years after purchasing his first shipment of air rifles from England, Pyramyd Air CEO Joshua Ungier recalls the struggles of entrepreneurship: “In order to expand I needed a lot more money, so naturally I went to the bank seeking a loan. When I told the bank manager what I needed the money for he simply stared at me. At that point I knew it was futile and I would need to find a different way.” Ungier approached his wife, and after borrowing from her, he outgrew his basement and moved to a small warehouse. “Within a few years I moved to a larger warehouse, then another. Twenty years and 60,000 square feet later, we’re a far cry from my basement,” Ungier said with pride.
“Building an environment that provides good lives for my people and their families has been an honor,” says Ungier. “We value the voice of our customers and strive to provide them with superior customer service, provocative products, and a staff of experts that provide a resource of knowledge that is second to none regarding every single product we carry.”
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There are two segments on Shooting USA this week that are well worth watching. On Wednesday (May 18, 2016), Shooting USA features a lengthy segment on the Bushnell Brawl tactical match. This is followed by an “Impossible Shoots” episode featuring top USAMU shooter SSG Daniel Horner.
This Wednesday, May 18th, Shooting USA TV features the Bushnell Brawl, a tactical competition that draws top long-range shooters from the military, law enforcement and the civilian shooting communities. The match is held at the famed Rifles Only range in Kingsville, Texas. The Brawl is a one-of-a-kind physical and mental challenge that tests each shooter’s ability to read wind, figure ballistics, and adapt to difficult shooting scenarios. There is even a helicopter stage.
Shooting from a helicopter, shooting off of a wire, and shooting from the physically demanding maze called the Mouse Trap. These are just a few of the unique courses of fire at the Bushnell Brawl, part of the PRS series. Over the course of two days, competitors tackle more than a dozen stages, and this year Bushnell hosted a special one-day event for the new PRS Production Class. This new division should attract new shooters by limiting the cost of equipment — making PRS competition affordable.
New PRS Production Division — Lowering the Cost of Entry
The Production Division is a new PRS classification. Under Production Division rules, the rifle and scope must cost under $3,000, combined. All other accessories, such as bipod, rear bag, and the sling, can be added at the shooter’s own discretion. By lowering the cost of entry, PRS organizers hope to get more shooters involved: “There’s a lot of gear out there that’s not that expensive that you can use to get into this and start to play the game,” says Production Division Match Director Jacob Bynum.
Shooting USA’s Impossible Shots — Threading the Needle
This time, SSG Daniel Horner has combined with the Army Marksmanship Unit Gunsmiths to set up the ultimate Impossible Shot. Horner attempts to send one bullet through two barrels to pop a balloon.
This challenge is definitely demands the ability to “thread the needle”. In other trick shot challenges this week, Randy Oitker switches to a crossbow to set up his Annie Oakley-style, over the shoulder challenge. Julie Golob is your guide to some of the most amazing exhibition shots ever seen.
Shooting USA Hour on Wednesday Nights
Eastern Time – 3:00 PM, 9:00 PM, 12:30 AM Th
Central Time – 2:00 PM, 8:00 PM, 11:30 PM
Mountain Time – 1:00 PM, 7:00 PM, 10:30 PM
Pacific Time – 12:00 Noon, 6:00 PM, 9:30 PM
Also on Saturdays Prime Time:
Eastern Time – 12:30 AM
Central Time – 11:30 PM
Mountain Time – 10:30 PM
Pacific Time – 9:30 PM
The NRA will debut a new long range training program this summer at the Peacemaker National Training Center in West Virginia. Registration is now open for the National Rifle Association’s Precision Long Range School. Three summer sessions will be offered: July 2-3, August 13-14, and September 3-4, 2016. Price is a painful $1900.00 per two-day session. That does include guns, ammo and instruction, but NOT lodging. (Think about that — for $1900.00 you can buy a pretty nice rifle and practice on your own. Likewise that $1900.00 will buy a very high-quality scope.)
The NRA Precision Long Range School is designed to teach students how to hit very small targets out to (and beyond) 1,100 yards, and how to make hits on the first shot. Sessions will be lead by some of the nation’s best long range instructors and students will be provided with top-of-the-line guns, ammo, optics, and all necessary gear.
This unique school covers a spectrum of long range shooting disciplines. Students will learn long-range competition “best practices”, tactical long-range methods, and long-range hunting techniques. This school will be taught in MILS. Specific techniques covered will include: Dialing, Holding Off, Target Transition, Advanced Long Range Marksmanship, Suppressor Usage, and Long Range Speed Shooting.
The school will also cover Advanced External Ballistics, Advanced Wind Reading, and Applied Ballistics Software Usage. For these subjects, seminar-style instruction will be combined with range practice to put learned skills into practice at long range.
The NRA Precision Long Range School will provide top-quality hardware to participants: Surgeon rifles built on Modular chassis systems, chambered for the .260 Remington cartridge. These rifles will be fitted with Nightforce ATACR MIL-R optics and AWC Silencers suppressors. The Top-of-the line Swarovski spotting scopes and range-finding binoculars will be employed, along with Kestrel wind meters with Applied Ballistics software. Nexus-brand .260 Rem ammo completes the package available to Long Range School attendees.
To register, or obtain more information about the NRA Precision Long Range School, visit the Long Range School Webpage or call (844) 672-6883.
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