Old Gun… New Gadget. Our friend Dennis Santiago has been practicing with his trusty old Springfield, in preparation for the CMP Western Games in Phoenix. To help improve his off-hand hold, Dennis has been using a laser training device that plots shot location on a laptop computer. Here’s a report from Dennis on his laser-enabled dry-fire practice:
Laser Dry-Fire Practice with Vintage Rifle
Something old, something new. Take a M1903A3 Springfield, put a laser in its nose, and practice your off-hand shooting until staying on focus with the front sight throughout the shot process becomes a reflex.
If the last thing you see is the front sight, the shot is in. If the last thing you see is the bull, it’s out. Simple as that. If you had told someone in the 1920s or 1930s that this much tech would one day be available to aid in training … come to think of it, it’d have made real riflemen smile.
Here is the receiving end of the laser beam:
About the Hardware and Software
Dennis was using the BeamHit 190 series Personal Marksmanship Training System. This interactive dry-fire training system uses a laser detecting device to transmit hits directly to a computer in real time. The BeamHit 190 software allows shooters to choose from multiple targets and even create timed scenarios. You can save strings of fire for later review directly on the connected computer. The included software is compatible with Windows 98, ME, 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7. It seems like the system Dennis used is out of production, though EoTech still offers a 190-3 system through Amazon.com. The BeamHit 190 system has been replaced with the simpler Insight/Beamhit MDM1001 Portable Target System. This is less sophisticated and does not require a connected computer.
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Many of us dream of taking and making a shot at one mile (1760 yards). Well Top Shot Champion Dustin Ellermann pushed the envelope even farther during a recent ultra-long-range session at the NRA’s Whittington Center in New Mexico. On his Facebook page, Dustin wrote: “I earned the ‘One Mile+ Shot’ mancard this week with 1MOA Solutions. We reached out to 2,100 yards with the Barrett M99 .50 BMG out in the hills of the Whittington Center. You can see the target area marked in the center of the photo. This is a locked-down mountain range, with 30,000 acres.”
Bullet flight time was 3.7 seconds, drop was 94 MOA, velocity at target was only 1,100 fps. The 7,500′ elevation and a 5 degree down-slope helped the ballistics. Dustin reports: “About six seconds after impact you would hear the ‘ding’.” [Editor’s note: Yes it really takes roughly six seconds for sound to travel 2100 yards. The speed of sound at 7500′ elevation* is 1053.61 fps, or roughly 351.20 yards per second. The distance-to-target of 2100 yards divided by 351.2 works out to a 5.98 second time delay.]
One of Dustin’s friends commented: “We rarely think about what the bullet does after it exits, but seeing the 60% drop in velocity [over the trajectory] and how long it was actually in flight (3.7 seconds) makes these types of shots so amazing! Congrats to you making the One Mile + club!”
*This is with temperature corrected -30° F below standard at sea level.
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Applied Ballistics has created a new series of YouTube videos about precision long range shooting. Featuring ace long-range shooter and professional ballistician Bryan Litz, these videos address various topics of interest to long-range marksmen. In this week’s video, the second in the series, Bryan Litz examines the most common causes of ballistics shooting errors at Long Range.
Watch Applied Ballistics Video about Common Mistakes in Long Range Shooting:
Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics often hears the question: “What are the main reasons people miss their target at long range?” To answer that question, in this video, Bryan explains the most important variables in Long Range shooting. Bryan says: “Probably the number one thing is range — you have to have a [precise] range to your target because your bullet is dropping, and to hit the target you need to correct for bullet drop.” Distance may be indicated on the target bay (or berm), but for open ranges you should ascertain distance-to-target with a quality laser rangefinder. Even when the distance to target is shown with a sign or marker, you may want to confirm the distance with your rangefinder. (You may be surprised — we’ve seen marked target distances at commercial ranges off by 25+ yards!) Bryan says: “Get a good laser range to the target and you’ll be within a couple yards”.
After distance to target, the most important variable is the wind. This is the most challenging factor because the wind is constantly changing. Bryan explains: “After 300 or 400 yards, the wind [will] move your shots off the target if you don’t correct for it. The best way to account for the wind is to measure it at your location with a Kestrel. The Kestrel can give you the speed and direction of the wind at your location, which can baseline your wind call for your long-range shot.” Bryan acknowledges that there will still be variables: “The wind isn’t always blowing the same downrange as at your location… and the wind is always changing”. Bryan notes that you need to account for variances in wind between the time you gauge the wind angle and velocity and the time you actually you take your shot.
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Three-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.
The NRA’s Shooting Sports USA has a “new and improved” website. The new mobile-friendly format makes it easy to access current articles as well as locate interesting archived stories.
One great recent Shooting Sports USA article, Shooting is 90% Mental, was penned by Chip Lohman (SSUSA’s former Editor). With the help of two very smart Ph.D types, Judy Tant and Mike Keyes, Lohman examines the mental processes involved in the shooting sports. Chip’s co-authors have impressive credentials. Dr. Judy Tant is a Clinical Psychologist and National Bullseye Pistol Champion. Dr. Michael J. Keyes, is a licensed Psychiatrist and former physician for the U.S. Shooting Team.
If you shoot competitively, this is definitely a “must-read” article. The authors examine how the brain functions under stress, how “visualization” can be used to improved performance, how “brain speed” can be enhanced through proper training, and how the brain stores learned routines into “muscle memory.” And that’s just for starters — the article gives many concrete examples of techniques top shooters have employed to improve their “mental game” and shoot higher scores.
Brain Speed and Trigger Control:
Research: Scientists believe that the newer frontal lobe may not be able to keep up with “deep” brain signals that transmit at nearly 300 mph. This is explained when athletes talk about “letting go,” rather than over-thinking the shot. This conscious signal can take up to 0.3 seconds from recognizing the desired sight picture to moving the trigger finger—too long to capture the opportunity for a perfect shot. However, if the signal is initiated spontaneously in the cerebellum where such procedures are thought to be stored through repetition, the reaction speed is much quicker. Signals are processed by the “deep brain” almost twice as fast as the problem-solving frontal lobes.
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It’s great to see young people get involved in the shooting sports and achieve success through dedication, practice, and team-work. We congratulate the Pennsylvania Junior Team which took first place in the 6-man and 2-man Junior team matches this year at Camp Perry. Special kudos go to this year’s High Junior, PA team member Matt Lovre, shown at right.
The winning 6-Man Pennsylvania squad included Jack Graw, Joe Hendricks, Kevin Kerin, Matt Lovre, Alexander Thomas and Wyatt Thomas. Alexander Thomas reports: “Great day, great coach, [Berger] bullets flying true. Conditions were tough, but team members held together to shoot awesome scores and take the number 1 spot at Nationals!”
The Pennsylvania Junior Team’s match load featured .22 cal Berger 77gr OTM bullets pushed by Alliant Reloder 15 powder. The team’s AR-platform rifles were smithed by Dead Center Sports with White Oak upper receivers and Geissele triggers.
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One Pistol, Two Barrels, Two Playing Cards — here’s a trick shot we just had to share. The talented Kirsten Joy Weiss does something we’ve never seen before, splitting TWO (2) playing cards with a unique, twin-barreled 1911-style pistol. Watch the video to see Kirsten pull off this double-barreled doozy of a trick, firing two bullets at the same time.
It took a few tries, but Kirsten makes the shot at the 3:14 time-mark:
Kirsten was enthusiastic about this unique trick: “Splitting two cards with two bullets fired at once? The double-barreled 1911 was just begging for a trick shot application. Arsenal Firearm’s 2011 A1 twin-barrel, 1911-style pistol is a heavy monster to wrangle, but a lot of fun to shoot!”
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How good are the best High Power position shooters? Pretty amazing actually. Here are some targets from the 2015 NRA High Power Championship at Camp Perry. Shown above is a 100-10X (literally a perfect score) at 200 yards. This was shot sitting, rapid-fire by 11-time National High Power Champion Carl Bernosky. That’s impressive to say the least. As one Facebook fan noted: “Not bad for an old codger with a bad back….”
File photo of Carl Bernosky from previous competition.
The target below is a 100-0X, shot rapid-fire prone by an unknown sling shooter. That may not seem that impressive at first, but this was fired from THREE HUNDRED yards. It takes a mighty solid hold to produce a nice 10-shot cluster like that without dropping a point.
To put these impressive performances in perspective, Lapua’s Kevin Thomas reports: “For those who aren’t familiar with these targets, the center X-Ring on both of these targets is 3 inches across. The 10-Ring is 7 inches across [including line], roughly the size of a small sandwich plate.”
Target Photos from Facebook by Aaron Perkins.
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Dennis DeMille is a past Camp Perry National Champion, and he still one of the nation’s top Service Rifle shooters. Since retiring from the U.S. Marine Corps, Dennis has served as the General Manager of Creedmoor Sports. Some years back we had the chance to interview Dennis at the old Creedmoor offices in Oceanside, California. With his decades of competitive experience, Dennis has a wealth of knowledge. In this 3-minute interview, Dennis shares insights into the High Power shooting game. He discusses the most effective ways to train for competition, the fundamentals of good marksmanship, and how to recognize and perfect your natural point of aim. Dennis also offers solid advice on how to get the best “bang for your buck” when choosing shooting accessories for High Power and Across the Course competition.
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This week, many of the world’s top marksmen have been competing at the National Long Range High Power Rifle Championships, held 29-31 July, 2015 at Camp Perry. The distances are great (1000 yards maximum) as are the challenges — the fickle winds blowing off Lake Erie can be unpredictable.
This year is extra special. The USA hosts the World Fullbore Long Range Championships next week at Camp Perry. The World Championships are held every four years, but any country may only host the event every 25 years. That means the next Fullbore Worlds in the USA could not take place before 2040. This year, teams from 11 countries will compete for national honors (and serious bragging rights). Many top international shooters have already arrived, and they are using the NRA Long Range High Power Championships as a “prelim” for the Fullbore Worlds next week.
Ace ISSF 300m shooter Reya Kempley shoots a hybrid rig with a Stolle Panda Action in an Anschütz smallbore-type metal stock.
Here’s the same rifle, as fitted with hand rest for position shooting. CLICK to Zoom:
British Palma Shooter David Luckman hung tough after suffering a dissappointing 8 (low right) on his first record shot. After serving up that 8 at 4 o’clock, David fought back, shooting all tens and Xs for the rest of his 10-shot string. (Orange stickers show record shots — the yellow dots mark sighters.) David doesn’t crack under pressure — he won the 2012 Long Range Championship at Camp Perry, and he is the reigning ICFRA World Long Range Fullbore (Palma) Rifle Champion.
Those targets are placed a long way off. Now imagine trying to shoot half-MOA with iron sights.
Past Long-Range Champion John Whidden shows good form. John runs a centerfire action in an Anschütz metal smallbore stock. He smithed this rig himself. John favors the ergonomics and adjustability of the Anschütz stock. He also really likes the small-diameter, rounded forearm on this design. “This stock suits me really well”, John told us.
This competitor has an Eliseo (Competition Machine) Tubegun in Patriotic Stars and Stripes Livery.
This U.S. Marine Corps shooter campaigned a classic “Battle Rifle” in the LR Championship, firing a semi-auto version of the M14. It looks like he named the rifle “Lucy”.
Photos from 2015 NRA Long Range High Power Rifle Championships courtesy NRABlog.com.
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Larry Vickers is a respected firearms trainer who has served with the U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF). In the course of teaching classes he’s learned that many gun owners waste money on impractical gun accessories. In his recent Ammoland.com article, “Don’t Be a Tacti-Cool Fool”, Vickers examines today’s trend of over-accessorizing firearms, particularly AR-platform rifles. Vickers doesn’t mince words… he states that too many people are spending too much money on poorly-designed hardware that may be “useless” at best.
Equipment Selection Advice from Larry Vickers
Every class I teach I see and hear students talking about the realization that some things about their gear and shooting in general just doesn’t add up on the range. Everything looks good in a Brownells Catalog but a significant amount of the parts and accessories offered on the market today are: a) useless; b) poorly designed; c) of questionable value; or d) downright dangerous.
No one is better at taking fully-functional, factory-made firearms and turning them into junk than a certain segment of the American gun-buying public.
Some people really don’t apply the common sense approach of not messing with what is potentially a life-saving tool. Sadly some of those same people will get on the Internet and talk bad about how the firearm they modified no longer functions and therefore is junk. Or they will recommend to fellow shooters the same parts and modifications they have used to turn their gun into, at best, a range toy.
Some of this shows up in my classes and usually by lunch on the first day the obvious flaws of the equipment at hand become apparent for everyone in the class, most of all to the owner of said equipment. It may have cost the shooter some money but in turn he learned a serious life lesson –be careful what you read on the Internet about firearms modifications and there is no substitute for shaking out your equipment at the range in a structured class.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you’ll learn more about guns and shooting in one class than you could in a month on the Internet.
READ about guns, gear, and shooting on the Internet. LEARN about guns, gear, and shooting on the range during well-thought-out and useful training. This approach is proven and consistently produces results and shooter confidence.
Larry Vickers is a retired U.S. Army Special Operations Forces veteran with 20+ years of service. Vickers served in Panama, the Middle East (Desert Storm), Somalia, Bosnia, and other locations. During his time with Delta Force, Vickers worked on weapons R&D, and served as a combat marksmanship instructor training new operational members of Delta.
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On his Firearm User Network website, our friend John Buol has published a series of resources for M1 Garand shooters. Buol says these informational articles and videos should benefit all Garand shooters: “Some are appropriate for pure beginners, while some a bit more advanced. None are very advanced.” The links were compiled with the help of John Tate.
Rifle Marksmanship with the M1 Garand Rifle
The film was made in 1942/43 for the War Department. It shows shooting positions and holding techniques for the M1 Garand. This informative video will help both novice Garand shooters as well as experts seeking a “refresher course”. The film focuses on the M1 Garand but the techniques can be applied to any rifle. The narration sounds a bit “corny” by today’s standards, but focus on the techniques shown and you’ll learn plenty.
Recommended M1 Garand Manual
Among the many M1 Garand manuals available, we recommend the CMP’s U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, M1: ‘Read This First’ Manual. This booklet covers take-down, reassembly, cleaning, lubrication, and operation. The manual is included with CMP rifles and is also available for just $3.00 from the CMP eStore. The author of Garand Tips & Tricks says: “It’s one of the best firearms manuals I’ve seen and I highly recommend it.”
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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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“SCATT” — if you’re an Olympic Class air rifle or smallbore competitor you know what SCATT means. The Russian-made SCATT is a marksmanship training system with an electro-optical sensor that fits on the end of a barrel. The sensor “sees” the target and then tracks your muzzle movement relative to the center of the target, recording a “trace” that can be displayed on a computer. The latest SCATT MX-02 unit works for live-fire training as well as dry-fire training. To learn more about the SCATT electronic trainers, visit SCATTUSA.com.
Pro shooter Kirsten Joy Weiss demonstrates the SCATT MX-02 electronic training system:
The system traces and records valuable information such as hold pattern, shot hold duration, follow-through, recoil pattern, and much more. The latest SCATT MX-02 systems can be used both indoors and outdoors up to 300 meters (and possibly more). READ FULL SCATT MX-02 TEST HERE.
SCATT traces reveal muzzle movements during the aiming process.
Kirsten Joy Weiss, a top-level competitive position shooter, has tested the latest SCATT MX-02 training systtem. She put the MX-02 through its paces, and then produced an informative video that shows how it works. Click on the video above to see Kirsten use the MX-02 with her Anschütz rifle and other guns.
Kirsten was impressed with the SCATT MX-02 she tested:
“We live with tech woven into our every day, so if you had the chance to work with a computer to make you a better shooter — would you? Can a computer train you as well as your favorite coach or, dare to say, better than a human?”
Weiss says it’s like having a little coach with you recording your every move. “If R2D2 had a cousin who knew how to shoot,” Weiss quips, “his name would be the MX-02″.
The SCATT MX-02 can also be used with target pistols.
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When shooting at long range, two heads (and two sets of eyes) can be better than one. Teaming up with a buddy who acts as a spotter can speed up your long-range learning process. You can focus 100% on the shot, while your buddy calls the wind and spots your hits and misses.
The NSSF has created a short video that shows how shooter and spotter can work as a team. In the video, the NSSF’s Dave Miles works with Rod Ryan, owner of Storm Mountain Training Center in Elk Garden, WV. As the video shows, team-work can pay off — both during target training sessions and when you’re attempting a long shot on a hunt. Working as a two-person team divides the responsibilities, allowing the shooter to concentrate fully on breaking the perfect shot.
The spotter’s job is to watch the conditions and inform the shooter of needed wind corrections. The shooter can dial windage into his scope, or hold off if he has a suitable reticle. As Rod Ryan explains: “The most important part is for the shooter to be relaxed and… pay attention to nothing more than the shot itself.” The spotter calls the wind, gives the information to the shooter, thus allowing the shooter to concentrate on proper aim, gun handling, and trigger squeeze. Rod says: “The concept is that the spotter does all the looking, seeing and the calculations for [the shooter].”
Spotter Can Call Corrections After Missed Shots
The spotter’s ability to see misses can be as important as his role as a wind-caller. Rod explains: “If you shoot and hit, that’s great. But if you shoot and miss, since the recoil pulse of the firearm is hitting your shoulder pretty good, you’re not going to be able to see where you missed the target. The spotter [can] see exactly where you missed, so I’ll have exactly an idea of how many [inches/mils it takes] to give you a quick secondary call so you can get [back on target].”
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Watch the video below to learn about the kneeling position, as explained by National Paralympic Coach Bob Foth and 2012 Olympian Amanda Furrer. Three-time Olympian and Silver Medalist Bob Foth details the proper techniques (both body position and gun-handling) for kneeling position shooting. Putting Foth’s coaching tips into practice, three-Position smallbore shooter Amanda Furrer demonstrates how to properly shoot from a kneeling position using a .22LR match rifle.
Amanda, a member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic team, shows how to set up the right body position when kneeling, how to support the rifle, and how to relax breathing to steady the shot. This takes practice, but remarkable accuracy can be achieved from the kneeling position by top-level shooters. This is a great video, well worth watching.
The video uses superimposed graphics and diagrams to show rifle hardware/sights, and key aspects of the head position, sling set-up, and hold. If you are a position shooter, this is a “must-watch” video. Narrated by Olympian Bob Foth, it is very informative.
Watch Kneeling Position Video
As a member of the U.S. Olympic Team, Amanda Furrer competed in the Womens 3P 50m event at the 2012 Olympics, finishing 15th. Amanda first started shooting at 11 years old with the Spokane Junior Rifle Team. Shooting is a family sport and all compete and shoot guns together. Furrer’s father shoots tactical matches and her mom shoots pistols. Amanda qualified for the national team as a member of the 2007 Pan American Team at the age of 16. She won bronze in the 2011 National Championships. Amanda is currently a student at Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business, majoring in Finance and competing on the Rifle Team.
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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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Could you hit a buffalo at 1.27 miles (2240 yards) … with iron sights? Impossible as that may seem, that’s exactly what Ernie Jimenez did last month at the North Springs Shooting Range in Price, Utah (elevation 5,627′). Shooting a milsurp Swiss K31 rifle chambered for the 7.5×55 Swiss round, Jimenez placed four hits on a three-foot-high, bison-shaped steel target placed a staggering 2240 yards from the firing line. Not bad for a rifle which Jimenez acquired many years ago for just $99.00. Of course he did have plenty of misses along the way (and Ernie even managed to hit the plate shielding his camera).
This video is set to start half-way through, when the shooter starts making hits:
Some folks say you haven’t really mastered marksmanship unless you can hit a target when standing tall ‘on your own hind legs’. Of all the shooting positions, standing can be the most challenging because you have no horizontally-solid resting point for your forward arm/elbow. Here 10-time National High Power Champ Carl Bernosky explains how to make the standing shot.
Carl Bernosky is one of the greatest marksmen in history. A multi-time National High Power Champion, Carl has won ten (10) National High Power Championships in his storied shooting career, most recently in 2012. In this article, Carl provides step-by-step strategies to help High Power shooters improve their standing scores. When Carl talks about standing techniques, shooters should listen. Among his peers, Carl is regard as one of the best, if not the best standing shooter in the game today. Carl rarely puts pen to paper, but he was kind enough to share his techniques with AccurateShooter.com’s readers.
If you are position shooter, or aspire to be one some day, read this article word for word, and then read it again. We guarantee you’ll learn some techniques (and strategies) that can improve your shooting and boost your scores. This stuff is gold folks, read and learn…
How to Shoot Standing by Carl Bernosky
Shooting consistently good standing stages is a matter of getting rounds down range, with thoughtfully-executed goals. But first, your hold will determine the success you will have.
1. Your hold has to be 10 Ring to shoot 10s. This means that there should be a reasonable amount of time (enough to get a shot off) that your sights are within your best hold. No attention should be paid to the sights when they are not in the middle — that’s wasted energy. My best hold is within 5 seconds after I first look though my sights. I’m ready to shoot the shot at that time. If the gun doesn’t stop, I don’t shoot. I start over.
2. The shot has to be executed with the gun sitting still within your hold. If the gun is moving, it’s most likely moving out, and you’ve missed the best part of your hold.
3. Recognizing that the gun is sitting still and within your hold will initiate you firing the shot. Lots of dry fire or live fire training will help you acquire awareness of the gun sitting still. It’s not subconscious to me, but it’s close.
4. Don’t disturb the gun when you shoot the shot. That being said, I don’t believe in using ball or dummy rounds with the object of being surprised when the shot goes off. I consciously shoot every shot. Sometimes there is a mistake and I over-hold. But the more I train the less of these I get. If I get a dud round my gun will dip.* I don’t believe you can learn to ignore recoil. You must be consistent in your reaction to it.
5. Know your hold and shoot within it. The best part of my hold is about 4 inches. When I get things rolling, I recognize a still gun within my hold and execute the shot. I train to do this every shot. Close 10s are acceptable. Mid-ring 10s are not. If my hold was 8 inches I would train the same way. Shoot the shot when it is still within the hold, and accept the occasional 9. But don’t accept the shots out of the hold.
6. Practice makes perfect. The number of rounds you put down range matter. I shudder to think the amount of rounds I’ve fired standing in my life, and it still takes a month of shooting standing before Perry to be in my comfort zone. That month before Perry I shoot about 2000 rounds standing, 22 shots at a time. It peaks me at just about the right time.
This summarizes what I believe it takes to shoot good standing stages. I hope it provides some insight, understanding, and a roadmap to your own success shooting standing.
— Good Shooting, Carl
* This is very noticeable to me when shooting pistol. I can shoot bullet holes at 25 yards, but if I’ve miscounted the rounds I’ve fired out of my magazine, my pistol will dip noticeably. So do the pistols of the best pistol shooters I’ve watched and shot with. One might call this a “jerk”, I call it “controlled aggressive execution”, executed consistently.
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If you have an interest in historic arms, or just enjoy a diversion from the world of precision centerfire rifles, muzzle-loaders can be fun. There are also many states where hunters with muzzle-loaders enjoy a longer (and/or earlier) hunting season.
If you want to learn more about muzzle-loaders, the NRA and the National Muzzleloading Rifle Association have created an excellent new book, the NRA How-To-Series on Muzzleloading. This 132-page handbook ($12.00) covers muzzleloading safety, fundamentals of muzzleloader shooting, black powder basics, shooting positions, cleaning, storage and more. The “how-to” guide covers rifle, pistol, and shotgun muzzle-loaders.
The How-To book is a good starter publication for anyone interested in muzzle-loaders. Along with the book, the NRA recommends that novices attend a muzzleloading course to learn safe shooting practices from qualified instructors.
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