May 24th, 2016

Applied Ballistics Seminar — Report from Dallas, Texas

Applied Ballistics Seminars Shooting Training Bryan Litz

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:

SUMMER: Tustin, Michigan, July 18-19, 2016 | INFO and Registration
FALL: Sophia, North Carolina, November 3-4, 2016 | INFO and Registration

Applied Ballistics Seminars Shooting Training Bryan Litz

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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May 20th, 2016

How to Succeed at Club Matches — Six Tips

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.

Benchrest rear bag1. 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.

Scope Ring5. 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.

Permalink Competition, Reloading, Shooting Skills 5 Comments »
May 19th, 2016

Pyramyd Air Runs Airgun Range & Celebrates 20 Years in Business

air gun airgun range pyramyd air NRA Louisville annual meetings convention

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 Airgun Range NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits

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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May 17th, 2016

Check Out Shooting USA TV This Wednesday Night, May 18th

ShootingUSA Bushnell brawl Impossible Shots

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.

ShootingUSA Bushnell brawl Impossible ShotsThis 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.

ShootingUSA Bushnell brawl Impossible Shots

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

Impossible Shots — Wednesday Nights

Eastern: 10:30 PM
Central: 9:30 PM
Mountain: 8:30 PM
Pacific: 7:30 PM

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May 11th, 2016

NRA to Offer Precision Long Range Shooting School

NRA Long Range Precision Shooting School

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.

NRA Long Range Precision Shooting School

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.

Permalink Shooting Skills, Tactical 5 Comments »
May 9th, 2016

How to Hold a 1911 Correctly — Tips from Todd Jarrett

Todd Jarrett

Todd Jarrett is one of the world’s best handgun shooters. A multi-time World Champion, Todd knows a thing or two about semi-auto pistols, particularly 1911s and 1911-based raceguns. Jarrett holds four World titles, nine National titles and has won more than 50 Area championships, as well as many other action shooting events. Jarrett is the only USPSA Triple Crown Winner and he holds four USPSA National titles: Open, Limited, Production, and Limited-10. Jarrett revealed in an interview that between 1988 and 2001 he shot about 1.7 million rounds during practice: “I had a gun in my hand for two hours every day for 10 years to develop my skill level”.

In the video below, Todd explains how to get the proper grip on your handgun, and how to employ a proper stance. We’ve watched many videos on pistol shooting. This is one of the best instructional videos we’ve seen. Todd explains, in easy-to-understand terms, the key elements of grip and stance. One very important point he demonstrates is how to align the grip in your hand so that the gun points naturally — something very important when rapid aiming is required. If you watch this video, you’ll learn valuable lessons — whether you shoot competitively or just want to have better control and accuracy when using your handgun defensively.

Related Article: Thumbs-Forward Shooting Grip for 1911s
“Shooting semiautomatic pistols using the thumbs-forward method really becomes useful … where speed and accuracy are both needed. By positioning the thumbs-forward along the slide (or slightly off of the slide) you are in essence creating a second sighting device: wherever your shooting thumb is pointing is where the pistol is pointing. This makes it incredibly fast to draw the pistol, get your proper grip, and press forward to the target without needing to hunt around for the front sight.” — Cheaper Than Dirt Blog, 9/13/2010.

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May 6th, 2016

SCATT MX-02 Electronic Trainer Product Test and Review

SCATT MX-02 MX02 rifle trainer lens
by Tony Chow
In recent years, the use of electronic trainer systems has revolutionized training in all disciplines of position shooting. By capturing (and illustrating) key performance variables like the steadiness of a shooter’s hold, accuracy of aiming, and the timeliness of trigger release, these devices can offer tremendous insights into the strengths and weakness of a shooter’s position and technique, making high-level marksmanship training less voodoo and more of a science.

Until now, electronic trainers all suffered from one critical limitation: the inability to be used outdoors in live fire training. Now, however, SCATT has introduced the next-generation MX-02 electronic trainer, a product that can finally support outdoor live firing in broad daylight, as well as dry firing indoors. In addition, the MX-02 is the first electronic trainer to support centerfire rifles. It goes without saying that, when we at AccurateShooter.com were offered an MX-02 test unit to review, we jumped at the opportunity.

SCATT MX-02 MX02 rifle trainer lens

READ FULL REVIEW of SCATT MX-02 Electronic Trainer

How the SCATT MX-02 Works
The SCATT sensor mounted on the end of the barrel has a digital camera that “sees” the black bullseye in the target, even in broad daylight outdoors. Using the bullseye as a reference, the SCATT software tracks the movement of the muzzle relative to the center of the target. The unit can plot these movements as a continuous trace, which appears on a monitor as a squiggly, colored line. Data points from the trace are also available in a tabular spreadsheet format. This allows the shooter to “crunch the numbers”, revealing strengths and weaknesses in his gun-handling and aiming technique.

In our testing, we confirmed that, like SCATT’s earlier indoor-only WS-01, the MX-02 offers excellent support for indoor dry-fire training, which will continue to be the primary means through which position shooters sharpen their fundamental skills. Since the new SCATT uses the same familiar Windows software for data capture and analysis as its predecessors, shooters and coaches upgrading to MX-02 will have no learning curve to overcome, and newcomers to the SCATT platform can tap into the wealth of institutional knowledge accumulated over the years by the shooting community on how to interpret shot data.

It’s in the support for outdoor live firing, however, that SCATT MX-02 distinguishes itself from its predecessors and the competition. Shot trace data captured by MX-02 during live firing turned out to be every bit as valuable (and revealing) as we had hoped. The ability to correlate SCATT tracing with real shots on target gave us a better understanding of the shooting process, and helped the reviewer, already a high-level smallbore prone shooter, uncover a significant problem in his shooting. SCATT MX-02’s outdoor capability is therefore an invaluable feature, particularly for experienced shooters aspiring to world-class performance.

SCATT MX-02 MX02 rifle trainer lens

SCATT MX-02 MX02 rifle trainer lens

In summary, SCATT MX-02 is an outstanding product that delivers on its promises. We heartily recommend it, both for first-time users of electronic training aids, and also for those shooters who may wish to upgrade their current electronic training system. The MSRP for SCATT MX-02 is $1,799, $500 more than its predecessor, the SCATT WS-01, which is still available. In my view, the $500 premium for the MX-02 is justified by the MX-02’s enhanced capabilities, making it a better long-term investment.

Our complete, 3600-word MX-02 review of the SCATT MX-02 can be accessed through the link below. This full review contains many more photos plus detailed field test results. For the time being, the review only covers our experience with the product in smallbore shooting. An upcoming addendum to the review will include test results from centerfire shooting. Those attending SHOT Show in Las Vegas next week can examine SCATT MX-02 in person. SCATT will have the MX-02 on display at Booth 111.

READ FULL REVIEW of SCATT MX-02 Electronic Trainer

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

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April 30th, 2016

Check Out the Legendary .009″ Group By Mac McMillan

Mac McMillan .009 benchrest record group nbrsa

Mac McMillan .009 benchrest record group nbrsa.009″ — The Record That Stood for 40 Years.
In 1973 Mac McMillan shot an amazing 100-yard, .009″ five-shot group in a benchrest match. The .009″ group was measured with a 60x microscope for verification. Mac McMillan shot the group using a handbuilt prototype McMillan rifle with an early McMillan stock.

Mac’s .009″ group was the “Holy Grail” of rifle accuracy. This .009″ record was considered by many to be unbreakable, a record that would “stand for all time”. Well, it took 40 years, but someone finally broke Mac’s record with an even smaller group. In 2013, Mike Stinnett shot a .0077″ five-shot group using a 30 Stewart, a .30 caliber wildcat based on the 6.5 Grendel. Stinnett’s .0077″ group now stands as the smallest 100-yard group ever shot in registered benchrest competition.*
Read About .0077″ group HERE.

Stinnett’s success doesn’t diminish the significance of Mac McMillan’s .009″ group in the history of benchrest competition. For four decades Mac’s group stood as the ultimate standard of rifle accuracy*. For those of you who have never seen Mac McMillan’s .009″ group, here it is, along with the NBRSA World Record certificate. The target now hangs in the McMillan Family Museum.

Mac McMillan .009 benchrest record group nbrsa

*Somebody else might claim a smaller group, but unless moving backers or electronic targets were used, it cannot be verified. Moving target backers are used at registered benchrest matches to ensure that five (5) shots are actually fired in each group. That eliminates any doubt.

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills 6 Comments »
April 27th, 2016

How to Shoot Standing — HP Champion Carl Bernosky Explains

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…


Carl Bernosky High PowerHow 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.

Carl Bernosky High Power5. 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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April 22nd, 2016

How Quick Are You? Take the Reaction-Time Test

reaction time test

Precision rifle shooters don’t have to hit a big-league fastball, or launch a top-fuel dragster in the blink of an eye. Nonetheless, reaction times are important in our sport — both for competitive shooters and hunters. Want to catch that prairie dog before he slips down his hole? You’ll need to be quick. Want to win at short-range benchrest? Then you’ll need to watch your windflags and respond quickly to a change. Miss a major wind-shift and you could ruin your whole weekend.

Here’s a fun test of reaction times from HumanBenchmark.com. The way it works is that, after clicking “Start”, you wait until the background color changes from red to green. The instant you see green, immediately click your mouse. The average (median) reaction time is 215 milliseconds. Hint: If you keep your finger “preloaded” in contact with your mouse button you can shave some milliseconds — but don’t “jump the gun”.


CLICK HERE to Take Reaction Time Test…

reaction time test

Tips for Faster Times
Here are three tips to speed up your reaction times:

1) Respond to the color change (by itself), rather than wait to read the word “CLICK!” after the box shifts to green.
2) Try focusing at the corner of the box, rather than the center. This may help you react “without thinking”.
3) Have your index finger “poised and ready” over the left button–you can shave milliseconds by very slightly depressing the button before you actually click.

Permalink Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
April 20th, 2016

Improve Your Shooting Skills with Multi-Discipline Training

Michelle Gallagher Cross Training

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

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

Michelle Gallagher Cross Training

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

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

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

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

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

Article Find by EdLongrange.

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April 17th, 2016

Brain Trust: Emil Praslick Offers Advice on Wind Reading

Emil Praslick USAMUTo succeed in long-range shooting matches, given the high level of competition these days, you’ll need solid wind-reading abilities. We’ve found an article by SFC Emil Praslick III, retired USAMU Service Rifle coach and U.S. Palma Team Coach, that can help you make better wind calls in competition.

Emil Praslick, now retired from the U.S. Army, is considered one of the best wind gurus in the United States, if not the world. During his service with the USAMU he authored an excellent two-part article on wind reading that is available on the CMP (Civilian Marksmanship Program) website. Both articles contain helpful illustrations, and are “must-read” resources for any long-range shooter–not just Service Rifle and Highpower competitors.

Click to Read Articles:

Reading the Wind (Part One) | Reading the Wind (Part Two)

Part One covers basic principles, tactics, and strategies, with a focus on the 200-yard stages. Emil writes: “There are as many dimensions to ‘wind reading’ as there are stages to High Power competition. Your tactical mindset, or philosophy, must be different for the 200 and 300 yard rapid-fire stages than it would be for the 600 yard slow-fire. In the slow-fire stages you have the ability to adjust windage from shot to shot, utilizing the location of the previous shot as an indicator. Additionally, a change to the existing conditions can be identified and adjusted for prior to shooting the next shot.”

In Part Two, Praslick provides more detailed explanations of the key principles of wind zeros, wind reading, and the “Clock System” for determining wind values: “The Value of the wind is as important as its speed when deciding the proper windage to place on the rifle. A 10 MPH wind from ’12 o-clock’ has No Value, hence it will not effect the flight of the bullet. A 10 MPH wind from ‘3 o’clock’, however, would be classified as Full Value. Failure to correct for a Full Value wind will surely result in a less than desirable result.”

USAMU Praslick wind clock

Praslick also explains how to identify and evaluate mirage:

Determine the accuracy of the mirage. Mirage is the reflection of light through layers of air that have different temperatures than the ground. These layers are blown by the wind and can be monitored to detect wind direction and speed.

Focus your scope midway between yourself and the target, this will make mirage appear more prominent. I must emphasize the importance of experience when using mirage as a wind-reading tool. The best way to become proficient in the use of mirage is to correlate its appearance to a known condition. Using this as a baseline, changes in mirage can be equated to changes in the value of the wind. Above all, you must practice this skill!

Click HERE for more excellent instructional articles by Emil Praslick and other USAMU Coaches and shooters.

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April 10th, 2016

Joystick Bipod Shooting Tips by Joy-Pod Inventor Seb Lambang

SEB Coax Joypod joystick bipod joy-Pod

Do you shoot with a SEB joystick-equipped bipod, or are you considering acquiring a “Joy-Pod” for your F-TR rifle? Then you should read this article. Here Sebastian (“Seb”) Lambang, the inventor and builder of the SEB joystick bipod, offers tips on shooting with this impressive piece of engineering. Seb explains some techniques that can help with tracking and getting back on target. You can ask SEB questions about his Joy-Pod in this Shooter’s Forum Thread.

Joy-Pod Shooting Tips by Seb Lambang

1. Be sure that the rear bag is settled before starting to shoot. Tap your stock into the bag. Then move your rifle back and forth, while checking your reticle. If it tracks straight, vertically perfect, and comes back to the original point of aim, it’s fine. If not, re-adjust.

2. If you use the Pod-Pad, be sure it is fully settled before starting to shoot. Tap the top where the feet rides on using your palm — you wan to create a flat top. To be sure the Pod-Pad does not move or slide, remove any gravel or pebbles under the pad — these can act as roller bearings.

SEB Coax Joypod joystick bipod joy-Pod
Photo Courtesy Busselton Rifle Club, Australia.

3. Be sure your shooting mat is NOT springy or spongy. This is very important. Use a proper mat, or cut it if possible so your rear bag rests directly on the ground. Use a heavy rear bag. You can use a sand-filled doughnut (not a rigid spacer) to stabilize the bag on uneven ground. These doughnuts are relatively inexpensive and really work.

4. Be sure your whole body position is correct, so your shoulder is square. “Follow” the recoil with your shoulder, don’t push “against” it. Don’t move too much. Don’t make unimportant movements during your shooting string. Always be as consistent as you can in all things — how you hold the rifle, even how you breathe before taking the shot.

This young lady shooter is using a first generation Joy-Pod. The newer versions have flat, ski-like feet.
SEB Joy-Pod

5. Be sure your rifle and rear bag are aligned. You want the slot between the ears of the bag perfectly aligned with your barrel. (You can use a yardstick or a piece of string to help with the alignment).

SEB Coax Joypod joystick bipod joy-Pod

6. Use a heavy rear bag. The heavier and the more stable, the better.

7. It does not matter (from my own experience) whether you light-hold the joystick or leave the joystick in the air when you shoot (see Darrell Buell video — he shoots “hands off”). I believe the bullet already exits the muzzle before the joystick moves in your fingers. I lightly hold the joystick myself, just as I would hold a billiard stick.

Watch Darrell Buell shooting his .375 CheyTac equipped with a counter-balanced Joy-Pod. Note how the gun comes straight back, and how Darrell can release the joystick before breaking the shot.

SUMMARY — When It All Comes Together
If everything is set up right, and done correctly, your rifle will track beautifully straight and your reticle will come back or very close to the original point of aim, every time. If you have to change the Joy-Pod, rear bag, or your body position after a shot, there could still be something wrong with your set-up, alignment, or body position. When everything is right, you can also see your own score in the scope after every shot you make (after initial recoil). You also should not have to change the bipod’s setting, the height, the cant etc., at all. You only need to adjust for the current condition with the joystick, the joystick will do it all. That’s why we call our bipod the JOY-Pod.

SEB JOY-POD Joystick Bipod, and POD-PAD
Weighing in at just 18 ounces (510 grams), the Gen 2 Joy-Pod is unlike any other bipod on the market. Designed specifically for weight-restricted shooting classes, the Joy-Pod offers smooth and precise joystick-controlled aiming. The Gen 2 model offers up to 14 degrees of cant and an improved design that functions with up to 50 pounds of rifle weight. Each Joy-Pod comes with a Weaver rail adapter. The optional Pod-Pad accessory is designed expressly for the Joy-Pod. It works filled or unfilled with the Joy-Pod’s sleds to bring you back to your shooting position easily. CLICK HERE for more information, or visit SebRests.com.

.308 Win Tactical Rifle fitted with Joy-Pod on Pod-Pad. CLICK HERE for Video.
SEB Coax Joypod joystick bipod joy-Pod

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April 8th, 2016

Show Off your “Wallet Groups” with Shoot’n Aces Cards

Bell & Carlson stocks shooting card Shoot'n Aces playing target cards

Want to show off some groups you’ve shot? Or keep a handy pack of mini-targets in your range kit? Then check out this unique product from stockmaker Bell & Carlson. Shoot’n Aces cards feature a 1-inch black square aiming box with a 1/2-inch inner square. These cards are normal poker-playing-card size, 3.5″ high x 2.5″ wide (89 × 64 mm). Shoot’n Aces cards come 56 to a pack. Carry a few extras in your wallet or a pack in your vehicle glove compartment and you’ll always have a precision target to shoot at the range. Cards can be stapled or taped to target stands.

Bell & Carlson stocks shooting card Shoot'n Aces playing target cards

Bell & Carlson stocks shooting card Shoot'n Aces playing target cardsSniper Central says these cards work well as targets: “The bold square is easy to pick up with the inner white portion making a nice aiming point. The material of the cards is the same as normal playing cards and the bullets make a very nice hole when passing through.” The sharp edges of the bullet holes makes it easy to measure group sizes with precision.

Each pack of Shoot’n Aces contains 56 premium-quality target cards. If you want some, order Bell & Carlson item SA-2006. This is a set of four (4) card-packs with 56 cards per pack (224 cards total) priced at $20.00 (i.e. $5.00 per pack).

Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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April 7th, 2016

Nielsen-Kellerman Launches New Ballistics Website

Kestrel Ballistics Website Nielsen-Kellerman

Nielsen-Kellerman (NK), makers of Kestrel® Weather Meters, has launched a new website, www.KestrelBallistics.com. The new mobile-friendly site features a Schoolhouse section with a wide range of information for long-range shooters of all skill levels. There you’ll find “How-To” guides and technical articles by respected ballistics and firearms experts. Along with the Schoolhouse, and a resource section offering free downloads of technical manuals, NK’s new Ballistics website will feature a webstore where customers can purchase long-range shooting accessories such as scopes, range finders, weather vanes, and Kestrel weather/ballistics meters. Along with Kestrel products, the eStore will offer Bushnell optics, MagnetoSpeed chronographs, and Accuracy 1st Ballistic Solvers.

The Schoolhouse resource offers articles from Kestrel’s own experts as well as Kestrel’s industry partners Applied Ballistics and Accuracy 1st. The purpose of the Schoolhouse section is to provide up-to-date information about industry advances and new techniques, as well as to provide comprehensive, detailed “how-to” guides for owners of Kestrel Weather Meters and Ballistics Calculators. Shown below is the Schoolhouse section that explains how to set up a Kestrel.

Click Image to Visit Information Page
Kestrel Ballistics Website Nielsen-Kellerman

CLICK HERE to Download 10-Step Kestrel Guide as PDF

“As Kestrel has progressed in the long-range shooting space, we have seen that there is a real thirst for knowledge among long-range shooters. Just as we never ship a product without ensuring that it will provide accurate, reliable information, we will ensure that KestrelBallistics.com only contains articles, advice and products that customers can rely on. We are truly enjoying expanding our customer offering in this area.” stated Nielsen-Kellerman CEO, Alix James. NK’s new Ballistics site provides information and resources that can benefit all long-range shooters, whether they are primarily interested in hunting, competitive, or tactical shooting.

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April 7th, 2016

First-Ever Fantasy Shooting Camp is a Big Success

Las Vegas NSSF Fantasy Shooting Camp Jerry Miculek Jessie Duff

Baseball and car racing have their fantasy camps, and now the shooting sports has its own successful version following the inaugural NSSF Shooting Sports Fantasy Camp last week in Las Vegas. Sold out just days after being announced, the Shooting Sports Fantasy Camp attracted 30 shooters from across the country. The big draw was the opportunity to work with top shooting champions Jessie Duff, K.C. Eusebio, Julie Golob, Jerry and Kay Miculek, and Dianna and Ryan Muller. The NSSF made sure that “fantasy” wasn’t just a catchphrase. Not only were Camp guests provided personalized instruction by top shooting pros, but the Fantasy Camp included a three-night stay at the luxurious Las Vegas’ Aliante Hotel + Casino + Spa, all meals from arrival to departure, as much ammo as Campers could send downrange for the weekend, a bevy of new guns to try, evening cocktail receptions, plus a swag bag full of shooting gear.

“It was awesome,” said camper Georgiann Pharis. “[This] far exceeded any expectations I ever had.” And she added, “When [the pros] ride to the range on the bus with you, that says a lot to me. They’re not above you. They’re here on our level showing us how to get to their level. That’s a big plus.”

Jessie Duff Was One of the Fantasy Camp Instructors
Jessie Duff Fantasy Shooting Camp

Industry Sponsorship Support
“We knew when this event sold out immediately that we were onto something big,” said Chris Dolnack, NSSF Senior VP and Chief Marketing Officer. “We are always looking for ways to connect the industry with our customers, to show the public that shooting sports are on par with other major league sports[.]”

This first-ever fantasy camp was made possible through the support of many companies: SIG SAUER, Ruger, Taurus, PolyCase Ammunition, Hornady Ammunition, Winchester Ammunition, Federal Premium Ammunition, Kahr Firearms Group, HIVIZ Sight Systems, FIME Group/Arex, and LWRCI.

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April 5th, 2016

Scouting on Target — The Marksmanship Merit Badge

Boy Scout Merit Badge American Rifleman

Last year 43,196 young Americans earned a very special marksmanship distinction. Can you guess what that was? Here’s a hint — the award helps a young person become an Eagle Scout. That’s right, last year 43,196 Boy Scouts earned the Marksmanship Merit Badge for rifle shooting. This is one of the toughest badges to earn, according to Scouting leaders, but it is still one of the most popular badges among Scouts — it fact it is the second most earned elective merit badge. Since 1910, over 350,000 Scouts have earn Rifle Shooting Merit Badges. Millions more have participated in Boy Scout Shooting programs. Merit badges are offered for both Rifle Shooting and Shotgun shooting.

Mark Keefe, editor of the American Rifleman explains: “According to Scouting magazine, the Rifle Shooting Merit badge was number two of the non-required badges earned by all Boy Scouts cross country last year with 43,196 Rifle Shooting merit badges sewn on sashes. Since 2009, again according to Scouting, nearly 350,000 Rifle Shooting merit badges have been earned. That’s a lot of merit badges — and a lot of .22 Long Rifle downrange.”

Boy Scout Merit Badge American Rifleman

The Marksmanship Merit Badge has been offered by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) since the first Boy Scout Handbook in 1910. Keefe explains: “Back in 1910 to earn the ‘Marksman’ Badge of Merit, you had to ‘Qualify as a marksman in accordance with the requirements of the National Rifle Association.’ And NRA and the BSA of have had a strong partnership for more than a century, and both organizations remain committed to teaching firearms safety and marksmanship.”

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March 30th, 2016

Audio INFOtainment — Firearms Podcasts

gun firearms network radio podcast

Ever find yourself sitting in an airport, bored out of your gourd? Well here’s how to make good use of your time — listen to a gun-centric Podcast. There are a number of interesting Podcasts for shooters and firearms fans. A Podcast is like an old-fashioned radio show, but delivered over the internet. You can listen “live” or save the Podcast file for later review. That’s great when you’re on an airplane and don’t have a web connection. Download some Podcasts to your smartphone before you get to the airport and then you can play them back during your flight.

Our friends at the NRA Blog have researched Podcasts for fans of the shooting sports. It turns out that Podcasts are more popular than ever: “The Great Podcast Renaissance is upon us! Podcasts have been around for about 10 years now. It’s easier now than ever for anyone and everyone to make their own podcast, which is why the number of podcasts and variety of show topics have greatly increased.”

Here are some Podcasts we like:

1. Gun Girl Radio

Julie Golob gun girl radio podcast
Photo courtesy NRAFamily.org.

The Gun Girl Radio Podcast is hosted by our friends Julie Golob and Randi Rogers, both top action shooting competitors. Julie served with the U.S. Army before embarking on her professional shooting career. Randi has been a champion in various shooting disciplines including Cowboy Action and 3-Gun.

2. The Firearms Radio Network

Firearm Radio Network

With more than a dozen different podcasts, the Firearms Radio Network (FRN) offers a large range of audio programming. Whether you’re a tactical shooter, or a handgunner, or a hunter, you’ll find something of interest. This network also offers a regular podcast dedicated to hand-loading. Here are some of our favorite FRN podcasts:

Firearm Radio Network

3. Tom Gresham’s GunTalk

Firearm Radio Network

Tom Gresham’s GunTalk is the only nationally-syndicated radio talk show about firearms, shooting and gun rights. It is available as a live radio broadcast as well as recorded podcasts. Each week Tom host notable guests from the firearms industry and shooting sports.

4. Hunt Talk Radio

Firearm Radio Network

Randy Newberg’s Hunt Talk Radio covers hunting politics, access to public lands, and conservation topics. Expert hunters and guides join Randy each week, sharing their field skills and stalking tips.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
March 25th, 2016

Easter Special on Nathan Foster Hunting and Shooting Books

Book Bundle

There’s a chap in New Zealand who has produced some of the most valuable (and well-researched) books on hunting you can buy. Nathan Foster’s Long Range Hunting series of books is a gold mine for rifle shooters seeking verified, first-hand knowledge of the performance of hunting cartridges, plus expert “how-to” advice on field skills, stalking, marksmanship, and ballistics.

Right now, Foster’s company, Terminal Ballistics Research (TBR), is offering Easter Special discounts on its most popular book titles. For starters, as a Easter weekend promotion, you can get 15% off the Practical Guide To Long Range Shooting in paperback or eBook format. This book is chock-full of information that will benefit competition marksmen as well as long-range hunters. You’ll find good advice on use of BDC and Mil-dot reticles, plus extensive sections on ballistics.

Book Bundle

Other TBR books by Nathan Foster are on sale as well:

Tools Book Bundle

Save 10% on the Two-Book Tools Bundle, which combines The Practical Guide to Long Range Hunting Rifles and The Practical Guide to Long Range Hunting Cartridges. USA paperback book price is just $53.95 for the package.

Book Bundle

Skills Book Bundle

Save 15% on the Three-Book Skills Bundle, which combines The Practical Guide to Long Range Shooting, Bolt Action Rifle Accurizing & Maintenance, plus The Practical Guide to Reloading. All three titles are $89.95 in paperback format, or $76.50 in eBook format.

Book Bundle

CLICK HERE for Other Nathan Foster Hunting & Shooting Books
CLICK HERE for Nathan Foster Hunting/Shooting Videos on YouTube

Book Bundle

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March 25th, 2016

NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting Course Now Available Online

nra pistol basic shooting training course

Do you know someone who wants to get started in pistol shooting? Here’s a new opportunity. The NRA now offers its Basics of Pistol Shooting Course in an online format. That makes it easy to cover the “classroom” part 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.

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. You must successfully complete 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. “America has more first time gun owners than ever and the NRA remains dedicated to being the number one provider of firearm training,” said Executive Director of NRA General Operations, Kyle Weaver. “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.” 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.

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