August 9th, 2017

Talented Yank Shines at Canadian Silhouette Championship

Erich Mietenkorte Silhouette Rifle Canada Canadian Championships

American Silhouette shooter Eric Mietenkorte delivered a superb performance at the recent Canadian National Silhouette Championships in Fort Steel, British Columbia. Eric recorded a 1-2-3 Trifecta with 1st Place in Master Standard Rifle, 2nd Place in Master Hunter Rifle, and 3rd place in Master Smallbore Hunter. Eric is coming home with quite the trophy harvest. Other top shooters included Team Lapua members Mark Pharr and Cathy Winstead-Severin.

Erich called this a “target rich environment”…
Erich Mietenkorte Silhouette Rifle Canada Canadian Championships
Erich Mietenkorte Silhouette Rifle Canada Canadian Championships

Eric tells us: “The Canadian National Championships are all wrapped up. Thanks to the Bull River Shooters Association (B.R.S.A.) for hosting an incredible event! What a great [week] of shooting! Such a beautiful range with the nicest people! It was great seeing old friends and making new ones. [There were] definitely some challenging wind and mirage conditions, but lots of great shooting, and I even took home some hardware.” Erich has posted these photos from the event.

Erich Mietenkorte Silhouette Rifle Canada Canadian Championships

Erich was quick on the trigger shooting pigs at 300 meters. He says “I love hearing that clang from hitting the steel.” Click speaker icon to hear audio.

6.5mm Chamberings Favored for Centerfire (High Power) Silhouette
The 6.5mm caliber seems to be the “sweet spot” for High Power Silhouette shooters. Erich says: “I use the .260 Bobcat (6.5×250) wildcat. Most still use the .260 Remington and 6.5×47 Lapua.” Other popular chamberings for High Power Silhouette include the 6.5 Creedmoor, 6mmBR, 6mm Dasher, 6×47 Lapua, and 7mm-08.

One wicked cool paint job — the Fighter Plane graphics on Erich’s smallbore rifle drew admiring glances.

Erich Mietenkorte Silhouette Rifle Canada Canadian Championships

Here Erich spots for fellow American shooters Mark Pharr and Cathy Winstead-Severin of Team Lapua.

Erich Mietenkorte Silhouette Rifle Canada Canadian Championships

The Cranbrook Daily Townsman News did a nice story on the Championships, complete with this informative video.

Fort Steel in British Columbia is a beautiful venue. Stunning scenery all around…

Erich Mietenkorte Silhouette Rifle Canada Canadian Championships

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August 9th, 2017

Range Etiquette — Proper Practices to Follow at Gun Ranges

Gun Range Safety etiquette NRA Blog Eye Ear Protection Rules

There are important safety and behavior rules you need to follow at a gun range. Sometimes bad range etiquette is simply annoying. Other times poor gun-handling practices can be downright dangerous. The NRA Blog has published a useful article about range safety and “range etiquette”. While these tips were formulated with indoor ranges in mind, most of the points apply equally well to outdoor ranges. You may want to print out this article to provide to novice shooters at your local range or club.

8 Tips for Gun Range Etiquette

Story by Kyle Jillson for NRABlog
Here are eight tips on range etiquette to keep yourself and others safe while enjoying your day out [at the range]. Special thanks to NRA Headquarters Range General Manager Michael Johns who assisted with this article.

1. Follow the Three Fundamental Rules for Safe Gun Handling
ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.

This NSSF Video Covers Basic Gun Range Safety Rules:

2. Bring Safety Gear (Eye and Ear Protection)
Eye and Ear protection are MANDATORY for proper safety and health, no matter if “required” by range rules or not. It is the shooter’s responsibility to ensure proper protection is secured and used prior to entering/using any range. Hearing loss can be instantaneous and permanent in some cases. Eyesight can be ruined in an instant with a catastrophic firearm failure.

Gun Range Safety etiquette NRA Blog Eye Ear Protection Rules

3. Carry a Gun Bag or Case
Common courtesy and general good behavior dictates that you bring all firearms to a range unloaded and cased and/or covered. No range staff appreciates a stranger walking into a range with a “naked” firearm whose loaded/unloaded condition is not known. You can buy a long gun sock or pistol case for less than $10.

4. Know Your Range’s Rules
Review and understand any and all “range specific” rules/requirements/expectations set forth by your range. What’s the range’s maximum rate of fire? Are you allowed to collect your brass? Are you required to take a test before you can shoot? Don’t be afraid to ask the staff questions or tell them it’s your first time. They’re there to help.

5. Follow ALL Range Officer instructions
ROs are the first and final authority on any range and their decisions are generally final. Arguing/debating with a Range Officer is both in poor taste and may just get you thrown out depending on circumstances.

6. Don’t Bother Others or Touch Their Guns
Respect other shooters’ privacy unless a safety issue arises. Do NOT engage other shooters to correct a perceived safety violation unless absolutely necessary – inform the RO instead. Shooters have the right and responsibility to call for a cease fire should a SERIOUS safety event occur. Handling/touching another shooter’s firearm without their permission is a major breech of protocol. Offering unsolicited “training” or other instructional suggestions to other shooters is also impolite.

7. Know What To Do During a Cease Fire
IMMEDIATELY set down your firearm, pointed downrange, and STEP AWAY from the shooting booth (or bench). The Range Officer(s) on duty will give instructions from that point and/or secure all firearms prior to going downrange if needed. ROs do not want shooters trying to “secure/unload” their firearms in a cease fire situation, possibly in a stressful event; they want the shooters separated from their guns instantly so that they can then control the situation as they see fit.

8. Clean Up After Yourself
Remember to take down your old targets, police your shooting booth, throw away your trash, and return any equipment/chairs, etc. Other people use the range too; no one wants to walk up to a dirty lane.

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August 5th, 2017

How to Aim True at the F-Class World Championships

F-Class Aiming Long Range Score Shooting
The movie “The Patriot” gave us the phrase “Aim small, miss small”. While that’s a good mantra, aiming strategies for long-range competition are a bit more complicated, as this article explains…

The The F-Class World Championships (FCWC) in Canada are just one week away. This August 11-17, the world’s top F-Class shooters will gather at the Connaught Ranges outside Ottawa, Ontario. Here are some tips that can help F-TR and F-Open shooters aim more precisely, and achieve higher scores. F-Class ace Monte Milanuk reviews reticle choices and strategies for holding off.

In our Shooters Forum, one newcomer wanted some advice on selecting a reticle for F-Class optics. He wondered about the advantage of Front (first) Focal Plane (FFP) vs. Second Focal Plane scopes and also wondered if one type of reticle was better for “holding off” than others.

In responding to this question, Forum regular Monte Milanuk provided an excellent summary of aiming methods used in F-Class. For anyone shooting score targets, Monte’s post is worth reading:

Aiming Methods for F-Class (and Long-Range) Shootingby Monte Milanuk

600-yard F-Class TargetF-Class is a known-distance event, with targets of known dimensions that have markings (rings) of known sizes. Any ‘holding off’ can be done using the target face itself. Most ‘benefits’ of Front (first) focal plain (FFP) optics are null and void here — they work great on two-way ranges where ‘minute of man’ is the defining criteria — but how many FFP scopes do you know of in the 30-40X magnification range? Very, very few, because what people who buy high-magnification scopes want is something that allows them to hold finer on the target, and see more detail of the target, not something where the reticle covers the same amount of real estate and appears ‘coarser’ in view against the target, while getting almost too fine to see at lower powers.

Whether a person clicks or holds off is largely personal preference. Some people might decline to adjust their scope as long as they can hold off somewhere on the target. Some of that may stem from the unfortunate effect of scopes being mechanical objects which sometimes don’t work entirely as advertised (i.e. one or two clicks being more or less than anticipated). Me personally, if I get outside 1-1.5 MOA from center, I usually correct accordingly. I also shoot on a range where wind corrections are often in revolutions, not clicks or minutes, between shots.

Some shooters do a modified form of ‘chase the spotter’ — i.e. Take a swag at the wind, dial it on, aim center and shoot. Spotter comes up mid-ring 10 at 4 o’clock… so for the next shot aim mid-ring 10 at 10 o’clock and shoot. This should come up a center X (in theory). Adjust process as necessary to take into account for varying wind speeds and direction.

John Sigler F-Class

600-yard F-Class TargetOthers use a plot sheet that is a scaled representation of the target face, complete with a grid overlaid on it that matches the increments of their optics — usually in MOA. Take your Swag at the wind, dial it on, hold center and shoot. Shot comes up a 10 o’clock ‘8’… plot the shot on the sheet, look at the grid and take your corrections from that and dial the scope accordingly. This process should put you in the center (or pretty close), assuming that you didn’t completely ignore the wind in the mean time. Once in the center, hold off and shoot and plot, and if you see a ‘group’ forming (say low right in the 10 ring) either continue to hold high and left or apply the needed corrections to bring your group into the x-ring.

Just holding is generally faster, and allows the shooter to shoot fast and (hopefully) stay ahead of the wind. Plotting is more methodical and may save your bacon if the wind completely changes on you… plotting provides a good reference for dialing back the other way while staying in the middle of the target. — YMMV, Monte

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August 4th, 2017

Silhouette Star — The Amazing Cathy Winstead-Severin

Team Lapua Cathy Winstead-Severin Silhouette Champion Championships Ridgway PA USA Canada
Photos courtesy Lapua and Adam Braverman

2017 USA Smallbore Silhouette Champion | 2017 USA High Power Silhouette Champion
2017 Canada Smallbore Silhouette Champion

We don’t know if there is an official “Lady Rifle Shooter of the Year”, but we would nominate Silhouette shooter Cathy Winstead-Severin, based on her amazing shooting so far this summer. Cathy has delivered some truly dominant performances recently. In mid-July, competing at the Ridgway Rifle Club in PA, Team Lapua’s Cathy Winstead-Severin won the 2017 Hunter Rifle NRA Smallbore Silhouette Championship. Cathy scored 110/120 to win her 20th NRA National Silhouette title. Then Cathy went on to win both the Standard and Hunter High Power Rifle Silhouette National Championships.

With those victories, Cathy completed a clean sweep of Smallbore (Rimfire) AND High Power (Centerfire) awards — a stunning achievement. Cathy was using Lapua cases, VihtaVuori powder, and a combination of Lapua and Berger bullets to win her 21st and 22nd National Silhouette Titles.

Team Lapua Cathy Winstead-Severin Silhouette Champion Championships Ridgway PA USA Canada

More Glory Across the Border — Cathy Wins in Canada Too!
Less than three weeks after her wins at the USA National Silhouette Championships, Team Lapua’s Cathy Winstead-Severin ventured north and won the Canadian NFA National Smallbore Silhouette Championship. After the match she also hosted a very informative clinic for other shooters. Congratulations Cathy Winstead-Severin. You have our vote for Lady Shooter of the Year. We also thank Team Lapua for providing support for major Silhouette Championship events.

Team Lapua Cathy Winstead-Severin Silhouette Champion Championships Ridgway PA USA Canada

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July 29th, 2017

Rifle Shooting 101: Key Skills Explained in USAMU Video Series

USAMU Basic Riflemans Course SFC Brandon Green High Power Shooting Training

The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) has produced an excellent series of videos, which collectively cover the Basic Rifleman’s Course. If you are getting started in high power shooting, or want to improve your position shooting skills, this series is well worth watching. And these videos are not just for service rifle shooters — even bench shooters can benefit from these videos, particularly Part 5, which explains how to estimate wind speed and direction. The lead instructor for these videos is SFC Brandon Green, the 2015 National High Power Champion, and Service Rifle Champion at the 2017 CMP Trophy Matches. When SFC Green talks, you should listen. This man is one of the greatest marksmen in the nation’s history.

Part 5 — Wind and Weather Estimation (Very Useful for All Shooters)


Note: This video includes a hit location “target analysis” in the first 6 minutes.

Part 4 — Minute of Angle Explained

Part 3 — Ballistics and Zeroing

Part 2 — Positions, Sight Alignment, and Natural Point of Aim (Very Useful)

USAMU Basic Riflemans Course SFC Brandon Green High Power Shooting Training

Part 1 — Aiming and Sight Picture

SFC Brandon Green 2017 CMP Camp Perry USAMU Service Rifle
SFC Brandon Green (left above) set four new National Records at Camp Perry this year.
Story tip from Precision Shooting Journal on Facebook.

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July 29th, 2017

NSSF Names August as National Shooting Sports Month

August 2017 National Shooting Shoot sports month celebration

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has declared August to be National Shooting Sports Month, a time to celebrate one of America’s great pastimes — target shooting — and to encourage newcomers and experienced shooters to head to the range.

An estimated 50 million Americans participate in target shooting sports, and millions more have expressed interest in learning about rifle, shotgun, and handgun shooting, according to NSSF research.

With a theme of (hashtag) #LetsGoShooting, this coast-to-coast celebration spotlights the fun and enjoyment of target shooting. Newcomers can take their first shots, and experienced shooters can invite someone new to the range or help an erstwhile shooter rediscover the fun of target shooting.

August 2017 National Shooting Shoot sports month celebration

What Shooters Can Do to Promote National Shooting Sports Month:
The NSSF says: “As shooters, you serve a critical role in the continued growth of gun ownership and shooting sports participation. We urge you to join us this August for National Shooting Sports Month.” There are a variety of ways you can help this August:

— Introduce a family member, friend, or group of friends to the shooting sports by taking them to a local range that’s hosting an event.

— Spread the word to family/friends and encourage them to get out to the range in August.

— Encourage the ranges and retailers near you to host an event this August and add them to the official events calendar at www.ShootingSportsMonth.org.

August 2017 National Shooting Shoot sports month celebration

“With so much going on in people’s lives today, the shooting sports offer an opportunity to tune out distractions, learn a new skill, socialize and share their experiences,” said NSSF President and CEO Steve Sanetti. “It’s important to remember to pass on our traditions and to reflect on our unique freedoms that make participating in them possible.”

Find Shooting Sports Events Near You
The NSSF’s ShootingSportsMonth.org website offers a comprehensive, searchable database. This lets you search by state, to find ranges, events, and sales promotions near you. Search for activities, and learn more at www.ShootingSportsMonth.org.

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July 26th, 2017

CMP Rimfire Sporter Match at Camp Perry July 29th

CMP rimfire sporter match Camp Perry 2017 smallbore rifle

If there is a single CMP event at Camp Perry every summer that offers the highest level of shooter satisfaction, the most diverse group of competitors, and the lowest cost of entry, that would have to be the annual Rimfire Sporter Match. This year’s match will be held on Saturday, July 29, 2017, the very last day of the National Match Schedule at Camp Perry.

Each year, the Rimfire Sporter Match attracts hundreds of shooters to the shore of Lake Erie at Camp Perry. The CMP National Rimfire Sporter Rifle Match offers shooters a recreation-oriented competition where they use affordable, smallbore sporter rifles with either scopes or iron sights. All you need are a .22 LR rifle, sling, and ammo.*

Rifles may be manually operated or semi-automatic, in three classes: the standard “O Class” for open-sighted rifles, “T-Class” for telescope-sighted rifles, and the “Tactical Rimfire” Class. Firing is done at 50 and 25 yards on a target with a 1.78″ ten-ring. The target is simple enough for a beginner to hit, yet challenging enough that only one competitor in the history of the match has ever fired a perfect 600 score. Here’s the young man who did that, Samuel Payne:

CMP rimfire sporter match Camp Perry 2017 smallbore rifle

Download CMP Rimfire Sporter Guidebook | View AccurateShooter’s Rimfire Sporter Page

National Rimfire Sporter Match Camp Perry 2016

Rimfire Sporter Equipment

*Competitors must supply their own quality ammunition for this match. Lapua has graciously donated 50 rounds of Lapua .22 LR ammunition for each competitor in the National Rimfire Sporter Match, but this ammunition is a gift from Lapua and is not enough to shoot the entire match. Competitors will need a total of 60 rounds to fire the Rimfire Sporter Match plus any sighters or range alibis.

Getting Ready for the 2017 Rimfire Sporter Match

Preparing for the Match: You need to bring your own .22 cal. Rimfire rifle(s) and ammunition. Special target shooting equipment, shooting jackets, or shooting gloves are not permitted, but feel free to bring a spotting telescope and ground cloth or shooting mat. You will be shooting on a grass firing point. Competitors are strongly urged to you wear hearing and eye protection.

A free Shooters’ Clinic will be held Friday the 28th from 4:00-6:00 pm. The Clinic covers Rimfire Sporter rules, safety instructions, course of fire, and competition procedures. The Clinic will also demonstrate the firing positions, use of the sling, as well as slow and rapid-fire techniques. Shooters who have not previously attended a CMP Rimfire Sporter Match are strongly encouraged to attend.

Rimfire Sporter Course of Fire

Competitors will complete slow fire prone, rapid fire prone, slow fire sitting or kneeling, rapid fire sitting or kneeling, slow fire standing, and rapid fire standing shot sequences. To learn more about the National Rimfire Sporter Match, CLICK HERE.

National Rimfire Sporter Match Camp Perry 2016

National Rimfire Sporter Match Camp Perry 2016

Three different classifications of rifles can be used in Rimfire Sporter competition: “O Class” for open-sighted rifles, “T Class” for telescope-sighted rifles and the recently-added “Tactical Rimfire” class. Awards are offered to High Juniors, High Seniors, High Women as well as Overall winners are named for each class.

National Rimfire Sporter Match Camp Perry 2016

National Rimfire Sporter Match Camp Perry 2016

National Rimfire Sporter Match Camp Perry 2016

Do you want to see more match photos? CLICK HERE to view the CMP Zenfolio Archive with 500+ photos from 2016 National Rimfire Sporter Match.

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July 25th, 2017

‘Sights, Wind and Mirage’ in Shooting Sports USA Archives

Wind Reading Quadrant High Power

Vand Zande wind readingIn the digital archives of Shooting Sports USA, we’ve found some great features that deserve a second look. A few years back, Shooting Sports USA published Sights, Wind and Mirage, an outstanding article that explains how to judge wind speed/direction and adjust your sights accordingly. Authored by highly respected shooter Ernest (Ernie) Vande Zande, this article is a definite “must-read” for all competitive rifle shooters — even those who shoot with a scope rather than irons. Vande Zande’s discussion of mirage alone makes the article well worth reading. Highly recommended.

CLICK HERE to Read “Sights, Wind and Mirage”
by Ernie Vande Zande

Invaluable Insights from a World-Class Shooter
The article covers a wide variety of topics including Wind Reading, Mirage, Effects of Sight Canting, Quadrant Shooting, and Sight Adjustment Sequencing. Vande Zande offers many jewels of insight from his decades of experience shooting and coaching in top level tournaments. U.S. Shooting Team Leader at the 1996 Olympics, Vande Zande has set more than 200 records in National and International competition. He was the Smallbore Rifle Prone Champion at Camp Perry in 1980. An International Distinguished shooter, Ernie has been on nine Dewar teams and he was a member of the USAR Shooting Team from 1982. No matter what your discipline, if you are a competitive rifle shooter, you should CLICK HERE to read Sights, Wind, and Mirage.

Vand Zande wind reading

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July 22nd, 2017

National Trophy Infantry Team Match at Camp Perry

NTIT National Trophy Infantry Team Match Rattle Battle USAMU
NTIT National Trophy Infantry Team Match Rattle Battle USAMU
NTIT National Trophy Infantry Team Match Rattle Battle USAMU

In an impressive performance, the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit’s Service Rifle Team won the National Trophy Infantry Team (NTIT) Match on July 20th at Camp Perry, Ohio. In this match, also known as the “Rattle Battle”, six-member teams shoot at 200, 300, 500 and 600 yards with time limits — 384 rounds total. To win this match, the six shooters must work like a finely-tuned machine. This is a popular match with spectators as there is plenty of action in a short time span.

NTIT National Trophy Infantry Team Match Rattle Battle USAMU

This year, the USAMU-Barnhart Team won the title with a score of 1439. The record for this match is 1466, set by the USAMU-Remily Team in 1996. 2017 Team Barnhart members included: SFC Shane Barnhart (coach), SFC Evan Hess (captain), SFC Brandon Green, SFC William Pace, SSG Cody Shields, SGT Joseph Peterson, SPC Lane Ichord, and PVT Forrest Greenwood. The second place USMC team scored a 1406. (U.S. Army photos by Michelle Lunato/released).

NTIT National Trophy Infantry Team Match Rattle Battle USAMU

The National Trophy Infantry Team Match (NTIT) was first fired in 1922 and is part of the the CMP’s annual National Rifle Matches at Camp Perry. The NTIT is sometimes called the “Rattle Battle” because it emphasizes extremely fast, accurate fire.

NTIT National Trophy Infantry Team Match Rattle Battle USAMU

NTIT National Trophy Infantry Team Match Rattle Battle USAMU

NTIT National Trophy Infantry Team Match Rattle Battle USAMU

NTIT National Trophy Infantry Team Match Rattle Battle USAMU

Our friend Grant U., who runs the Precision Shooting Journal on Facebook, says the NTIT is a special match, a real “crowd-pleaser: “The National Trophy Infantry Team Match (Rattle Battle)… was always one of my favorite team events. It takes a hell of a lot more planning, practice, and precision than one might expect. You get one shot at it and the entire team had better be running on all cylinders because there are no alibis. Each team of six shooters is allocated 384 rounds and when the teams fire at 600 and 500 yards, it sounds like a war.”

NTIT National Trophy Infantry Team Match Rattle Battle USAMU

NTIT National Trophy Infantry Team Match Rattle Battle USAMU

NTIT National Trophy Infantry Team Match Rattle Battle USAMU

PHOTOS courtesy U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit. See more on USAMU Facebook Page.
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July 21st, 2017

Vintage Sniper Rifle Match at Camp Perry July 24th

Vintage Sniper Rifle Match

This upcoming Monday, July 24th, the CMP hosts the Vintage Sniper Rifle Match at Camp Perry. One of the most popular vintage rifle matches held each summer at Perry, this is a two-man team competition using scoped rifles of WWI and WWII Vintage. Many competitors use some version of the M1903 Springfield, but you’ll also see scoped M1 Garands, K31s, Mausers, and even a Lee-Enfield or two.

Vintage Sniper Rifle Match

Two-person teams will fire 10 rounds in 20-second intervals from scoped vintage military rifles set on sand bags. One team marksman shoots from the prone position at 300 and 600 yards, while the other serves as a spotter to relay shot position. Marksman and spotter switch positions on the firing lines, allowing each teammate to play both roles. Scores are then combined for an Aggregate team total.

Two M1 Garands, fitted with scopes and lace-on cheekpads.
Vintage sniper rifle team match camp perry

Who can identify this rifle, with its unusual scope mount?
Vintage sniper rifle team match camp perry

Our friends at Criterion Barrels have written an interesting article about last year’s Vintage Sniper Rifle Match. It you want an “insider’s perspective” on the 2014 Match, plus Vintage Sniper gunsmithing tips, read this article. Here are some highlights:

About the Match and the Rifles
The Vintage Sniper Match was the brainchild of Hornady’s Dave Emary. The competition was inspired by his father, a World War II scout sniper, who carried a rifle similar to the 1903A4 rifle builds that can be found today on the Camp Perry firing line. Bob Schanen worked alongside Dave and the CMP staff in establishing the various competition rules prior to the first official Vintage Sniper Match in 2011. The match developers made a point to offer some level of flexibility in rifle configuration, allowing specific types of non-issue optics and rifle rebuilds. This helped make the match more inclusive.

Hornady’s Dave Emary and “Gunny” R. Lee Ermey (right):
AccurateShooter.com CMP Vintage Sniper Rifle Match

Bob Shanen has two vintage sniper competition rifles. Both builds are based off of the USMC Model 1941 sniper rifle, a design similar to the M1903A1 National Match rifle. Bob’s rifles both carry 8x Lyman Junior Target Spotter scopes with a thin crosshair reticle. Bob attributes a large part of his rifle’s accuracy to the Criterion M1903 match-grade barrels installed on each rifle by Rick Humphreys, a Milwaukee area gunsmith. These tack-driving barrels are capable of half-MOA accuracy.

Camp Perry — The Venue
The hallowed grounds of Camp Perry have hosted some of the nation’s finest shooters each summer for more than a century. Some of the world’s greatest marksmen have accomplished remarkable feats on the ranges of this lakeside military outpost. Located on the coast of Lake Erie, Camp Perry is positioned just outside of the scenic town of Port Clinton, Ohio. It is our firm belief that every shooter should make the pilgrimage to the Camp Perry at least once in their lifetime. If not participating in an event, visitors should at least make an attempt to meet the competitors, witness the wide selection of firearms used by participants, and pay a visit to the various vendors on base.

Photos from Garand Thumb Blog and NRA Blog.

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July 19th, 2017

Smallbore National Championships — SSUSA.org Report

smallbore national championships Wa-ke-de
Photo courtesy Shooting Sports USA.

The NRA National Smallbore Championships (Conventional and Metric) took place July 8-17 at the Wa-Ke’-De Range in Bristol, Indiana. The NRA’s Shooting Sports USA website has extensive coverage of the event written by correspondent Hap Rocketto.

CLICK HERE to Read Full Report on SSUSA.org »

In team competition, the USAMU shooters dominated: “The [conventional] paper team match was an AMU runaway — they carded a 4766-338X to have a 30-point pad on the second place Coast to Coast Team’s 4736-267X effort. The Illinois State Association finished third with a 4679-210X.”

USAMU shooters on the firing line at the Wa-Ke’-De outdoor range in Bristol, IN.
smallbore national championships Wa-ke-de
Photo courtesy USAMU.

There were some great individual performances. In early prone competition, three shooters didn’t drop a point: “The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit’s (AMU) Patrick Sunderman… opened the tournament with a 400-38X. Mike McPhail, perhaps one of the best prone shooters in world, followed up with a score of 400-37X and … civilian Daniel Martz closed out the top three with his 400-36X.” Later, in kneeling position, McPhail shot his second perfect score of the day, 400-30X, to win the kneeling match.

Iron Man Competition
There was a special “Iron Man” title for the best performance over the entire 8-day cycle. Rocketto writes: “The final prone match, 40 shots on the metric target with any sights, was the deciding factor in the Iron Man competition when McPhail beat George Norton by four points. Over eight days, McPhail shot a 9504-711X, Norton 9501-655X, and last year’s Iron Man Sunderman scored 9478-640X.” Overall the Army swept the top three places.

The Iron Man podium: SFC Mike McPhail (Center), SSG George Norton, & SPC Patrick Sunderman.
2017 National Smallbore championship Iron Man

The last shot of the any sight metric position championship marked the end of the 2017 NRA National Smallbore Championships. The target frames have been stacked away until next year — when smallbore rifle shooters will again converge upon the Wa-Ke’-De Range in Bristol, Indiana.

Men and women now compete on equal terms at the National Smallbore Championship, gunning for the same honors in “gender-neutral” classifications.
Small Bore Rifle Championship NRA women category gender neutral
Photo courtesy Shooting Sports USA.

Camp Wa-ke'-de range Bristol indiana IN championship

Smallbore Rifle Championship (Wa-Ke’-De Range, Bristol, IN — July 8-17, 2017)
Webpage: CLICK HERE for National Smallbore Rifle Championships INFO.

The Key to 3P — Beginner’s Guide to Smallbore Position Shooting

Would you like to try smallbore position shooting? Here are some tips from one of the best 3P shooters on the planet, Olympian Matt Emmons. Matt Emmons Anschutz 3P three position shooting tipsMatt Emmons competed in the Three-Position Event at the Rio Olympics his fourth Olympic appearance. Matt has competed on the U.S. National Team since 1997, medaling in three Olympic games: Gold in 2004 in Men’s 50m Prone; Silver in 2008 in Men’s 50m Prone; and Bronze in 2012 in Men’s 50m 3X40. Although his specialty is Men’s 3-Position rifle, Emmons’ World Championship and Olympic Gold are in Men’s 50m Prone. He usually shoots an Anschütz or Bleiker .22LR rifle, with Eley Tenex ammo.

Here are shooting tips from Matt, courtesy Anschütz. Click image below to launch a large, full-screen PDF file.

CLICK Photo to Load Large PDF File
Matt Emmons Anschutz 3P three position shooting tips

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July 16th, 2017

Improve Your Marksmanship with USAMU Pro Tips

USAMU Shooting USA Pro tips

The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU), in cooperation with Shooting USA TV, has created a series of instructional Pro Tip pages covering a wide range of shooting disciplines. All totaled, there are more than 50 USAMU Pro Tips. Most relate to rifle marksmanship but there are also numerous tips for shotgunners and pistol shooters. Each Pro Tip entry includes multiple photos and 6-15 paragraphs, in an easy-to-follow format. Many Pro Tips also include an instructional video produced by Shooting USA. Here are three Pro Tip videos, and links to seven more Pro Tip web pages.

USAMU TOP TEN PRO TIPS

1. Reading the Wind with SGT Sherri Gallagher.
Apart from gravity, wind has the most pull on the bullet as it travels down range. Being able to accurately read the wind and mirage will greatly enhance your performance on the rifle range. National Champion, SGT Gallagher gives you some of her tips.

2. Angle Shooting with SFC (Ret.) Emil Praslick.
SFC Praslick shows you how to determine the angle to your target, and then how to include that to change your data necessary to hit your target on the first shot.

3. Rifle Grip, Stance and Body Position for 3-Gun with SFC Daniel Horner.
Professional 3-gun marksman SFC Daniel Horner, U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU), give tips on how to properly handle a semi-automatic rifle, including grip, stance and body position.

4. Service Rifle Positions (with SFC Brandon Green)

5. Rifling and Twist Rate (with SFC Ret. Emil Praslick)

6. Setting the Right Zero (with SPC Ty Cooper)

7. Practice Drills (with SFC Lance Dement)

8. Using the Sling

9. Getting Your AR Zeroed

10. 3-Gun Rifles By Division (with SFC Daniel Horner)

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July 14th, 2017

Boy Scouts Of America Team up with Vista Outdoor Brands

Boy Scouts America Vista Outdoors Savage Arms merit badge rifle camelbak Bell helmet

Vista Outdoor Inc. (“Vista Outdoor”) (NYSE: VSTO) has entered into a wide-ranging partnership with the Boy Scouts of America. Vista Outdoor is now the official conservation sponsor of the Scouts, while Vista Outdoor brands Federal Premium, CCI, Savage, Gold Tip, CamelBak and Bell have become official partners with the Scouts for Shooting Sports, Archery, Hydration and Wheeled Safety.

Boy Scouts America Vista Outdoors Savage Arms merit badge rifle camelbak Bell helmetRyan Bronson, Vista Outdoor’s Director of Conservation stated: “This historic partnership will help … support over 2 million Scouts in their ability to enjoy the outdoors and be responsible citizens. Vista Outdoor and its brands have a long history of working with the Boy Scouts, and this partnership is the next logical step.”

“Scouting takes young people on adventures and lessons of character and leadership in the most remarkable class room imaginable – the outdoors,” said Brad Farmer, Assistant Chief Scout Executive leading the Office of Development for the Boy Scouts of America. “We are honored to partner with Vista Outdoor, an organization that shares our respect for the outdoors and long-lasting commitment environmental stewardship. In Scouting, we learn to leave no trace so that others can have the opportunity to experience the outdoor classroom as we have for generations.”

Boy Scouts America Vista Outdoors Savage Arms merit badge rifle camelbak Bell helmet

As the official conservation sponsor, Vista Outdoor is the presenting sponsor of the “Conservation Trail” at this year’s 2017 National Jamboree. In addition to the conversation sponsorship, Vista Outdoor brands became official partners of the Scouts in the following roles:

• Savage, Federal Premium, and CCI – official Shooting Sports Partners
• Gold Tip – official Archery Partner
• CamelBak – official Hydration Partner
• Bell – official Wheeled Safety Partner

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July 12th, 2017

SFC Brandon Green Wins CMP 2400 Agg Title at Camp Perry

Story based on Report by Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer
SFC Brandon Green, 32, of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, fired a score of 2368-97X to earn the championship title in the 2400 Aggregate Rifle event held during the inaugural Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) Cup Matches. The 2400 Aggregate award goes to the top shooter in the three combined 800 Aggregates. The 2015 National High Power Champion, SFC Green is a gifted competitor who has excelled in multiple rifle disciplines. In addition to Service Rifle and High Power events, Green has competed in PRS and tactical matches.

National Matches CMP Calendar Camp Perry Ohio
CLICK HERE to view larger version of this image.

CLICK HERE for 2017 National Matches Calendar (PDF).

SFC Brandon Green

Even before joining the USAMU Green was an ace marksman. As a junior, he earned Distinguished Air Rifle Badge #1. “I’ve been very fortunate to get support from friends, family and the ROTC programs in high school, and of course from the CMP and NRA as well, which kind of catered to someone like myself, coming in as a junior and shooting all the way up through the High Power sports,” said Green. “I’ve also been lucky enough to gain so many opportunities from being a part of the Army and the USAMU. It’s been a long learning journey, but it’s been a good one.”

The CMP Cup Matches, which kicked off the 2017 National Matches at Camp Perry, were introduced as an extra series of elite match and service rifle competitions. The schedule included a 4-Man Team Match, three consecutive days of 800 Aggregate matches, and an EIC Service Rifle Match.

CMP Matches
4-Man Team Match kicked off a week of events fired entirely on the CMP’s electronic High Power targets.

The CMP Cup Series week marked a new era at Camp Perry, with the first successful competitions fired on the base’s ranges using CMP’s mobile electronic targets. Over 36,000 rounds were sent downrange, with less than 50 questioned by competitors throughout the week. For many, the Cup Matches provided an initial look at the CMP’s target system.

Also making marks in the 2400 Aggregate match during CMP Cup Week was SSG Amanda Elsenboss, 28, of the Army Marksmanship Unit, who earned the High Woman Award, as well as Serena Juchnowski, 18, of Richfield, OH, who snagged the High Junior credit. Paul Terrence, 65, of Cleveland, OH, was named the High Senior of the event.

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July 11th, 2017

Gary Anderson’s Ten Lessons for Competitive Shooters

DCM CMP Gary AndersonIn the archives of On The Mark magazine, DCM Emeritus Gary Anderson, an Olympic Gold medal-winning shooter in his younger years, offers sage advice for competitive shooters.

In his article Ten Lessons I Wished I Had Learned as a Young Shooter, Anderson provides ten important guidelines for everyone involved in competitive shooting. Here are the Ten Lessons, but you should read the full article. Anderson provides detailed explanations of each topic with examples from his shooting career.

READ Full Article by Gary Anderson in On the Mark.

LESSON 1 – NATURAL ABILITY WILL NOT MAKE YOU A SHOOTING CHAMPION.
(You also need hard work, training effort and perseverance.)

LESSON 2 – ANGER IS THE ENEMY OF GOOD SHOOTING.
(The key to recovering from a bad shot is to stay cool, no matter what happens.)

LESSON 3 – BAD SHOTS CAN TEACH YOU MORE THAN GOOD SHOTS.
(Today, error analysis is one of the most powerful tools for improving scores.)

LESSON 4 – NEVER GO WITHOUT A SHOT PLAN.
(A shot plan is a detailed breakdown of each of the steps involved in firing a shot.)

LESSON 5 – PRACTICE IN BAD CONDITIONS AS WELL AS GOOD CONDITIONS.
(Most competitions are fired in windy conditions or where there are plenty of distractions.)

LESSON 6 – CHAMPIONS ARE POSITIVE, OPTIMISTIC PEOPLE.
(Negative shooters expect bad results; positive shooters expect to train hard to change bad results.)

LESSON 7 – IT’S NOT ABOUT WHETHER YOU WIN OR LOSE.
(It’s about how hard you try to win.)

LESSON 8 – YOUR DOG WON’T BITE YOU AFTER SHOOTING A BAD SCORE.
(Hopefully your coach, parents and friends won’t bite you either.)

LESSON 9 – YOUR PRESS CLIPPINGS CAN HURT YOU OR HELP YOU.
(Winning can go to our heads. We start thinking we are so good we don’t have to work hard any more.)

LESSON 10 — YOU NEVER SHOT YOUR BEST SCORE.
(Great champions are always looking for ways to improve.)

DCM CMP Gary Anderson

About Gary Anderson
DCM CMP Gary AndersonGary Anderson served as the Director of the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) from 1999-2009, and is now DCM Emeritus. As a Nebraska farmboy, Gary grew up hunting and shooting. Dreams of winning an Olympic Gold Medal in shooting led Gary to the U.S. Army. In 1959, he joined the elite U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit. Just two years later, he won his first national championship.

At the 1962 World Shooting Championships in Egypt, Anderson stunned the shooting world by winning four individual titles and setting three new world records. At the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, Gary won the 300m free-rifle Gold Medal, setting a new world record in the process. At the 1966 World Shooting Championships in Germany, Anderson won three additional world titles. At the 1968 Olympics, Gary won a second gold medal in the 300m free-rifle event.

DCM CMP Gary AndersonGary retired from active international competition after the 1969 World Championships in Spain, where he set a 50m, three-position world record. After his “retirement” from international competition, Gary competed in the National High Power Championships, winning the President’s National Trophy in 1973, 1975 and 1976. Over his competitive career, Anderson won two Olympic Gold Medals, seven World Championships, and sixteen National Championships. No American has ever won more major shooting titles.

Gary’s influence on shooting sports extends beyond the United States. Gary has attended eleven Summer Olympic Games, three as a competitor and eight as technical delegate or a jury member. Gary is the first American ever elected as Vice President of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF), and still serves in that capacity. In 2012, Gary received the International Olympic Committee’s highest honor, the Olympic Order.

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July 6th, 2017

Training for Long Range Shooting

Bryan Litz Video Long Range Training

In this video, Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics focuses on training. Bryan says that training is key for success in Long Range shooting: “Training in the sense that you want to want to refine your fundamentals of marksmanship — your sight alignment, your trigger control. You should practice those things enough that they become second nature and you don’t have to think about them. Keep in mind, it’s not just good enough to train, you have to learn how to train. You need to learn how to practice effectively, to get the most out of everything you do.”

Bryan says that success in Long Range shooting is not just about the hardware. It’s what’s between your ears that really counts: “The most important element in Long Range shooting is your knowledge — your understanding and practice of fundamentals of marksmanship, as well as your understanding of ballistics. You have to be able to fire the rifle, execute good shots that will put your rounds on target, but you also need to make intelligent sight corrections that will accurately account for the effects of gravity drop, and wind deflection, to center your group on those targets”.

Litz Competition Shooting Tips

Competition TIP ONE. Improving your scores in long range competition is a constant process of self-assessment. After each match, carefully analyze how you lost points and make a plan to improve. Beginning shooters will lose a lot of points to fundamental things like sight alignment and trigger control. Veteran shooters will lose far fewer points to a smaller list of mistakes. At every step along the way, always ask yourself why you’re losing points and address the issues. Sometimes the weak links that you need to work on aren’t your favorite thing to do, and success will take work in these areas as well.

Competition TIP TWO. Select your wind shooting strategy carefully. For beginners and veterans, most points are typically lost to wind. Successful shooters put a lot of thought into their approach to wind shooting. Sometimes it’s best to shoot fast and minimize the changes you’ll have to navigate. Other times it’s best to wait out a condition which may take several minutes. Develop a comfortable rest position so you have an easier time waiting when you should be waiting.

Competition TIP THREE. Actively avoid major train wrecks. Sounds obvious but it happens a lot. Select equipment that is reliable, get comfortable with it and have back-ups for important things. Don’t load on the verge of max pressure, don’t go to an important match with a barrel that’s near shot out, physically check tightness of all important screws prior to shooting each string. Observe what train wrecks you and others experience, and put measures in place to avoid them.

Bryan Litz Tips

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June 30th, 2017

IBS Match Report: Bud Pryor Memorial 100/200/300 Score Shoot

Bud Pryor Memorial Benchrest 30BR Score Shoot Match Thurmont Frederick Sportsman's Club Maryland IBS MD

23rd Annual Bud Pryor Memorial Match, June 10-11, 2017
Match Report by Josh Shrum
For 23 years now, Benchrest Score shooters have flocked to the Thurmont Conservation & Sportsman’s Club outside of Frederick, Maryland for “The Bud”. This year, competitors from as far south as Georgia and as far north as Vermont came to try their hand against the always-challenging conditions of “The Bud”. Traditionally held in mid-June’s tricky conditions, the Bud Pryor Memorial is an event to challenge even the most skilled Benchrest competitor.

Bud Pryor Memorial Benchrest 30BR Score Shoot Match Thurmont Frederick Sportsman's Club Maryland IBS MD

Day One started with the 100-Yard Aggregate, which pretty much set the tone for what was to come all weekend long. Of the 33 shooters competing in the Varmint For Score (VFS) class, thirteen shooters dropped at least one point at 100 yards. “The Bud” had begun.

100-Yard Winner Wayne France
Bud Pryor Memorial Benchrest 30BR Score Shoot Match Thurmont Frederick Sportsman's Club Maryland IBS MD

By the end of the 100-Yard Agg, five competitors finished with top scores of 250-21X, with Wayne France taking the win under Creedmoor tie-breaker rules. Wayne would continue to shoot well for the entire weekend, finishing in the Top 10 at 200 and taking second (by Creedmoor) at 300, shooting his Lederer-barreled BAT in a Dixie stock. Wayne does his own gunsmithing, makes his own bullets, and shoots his own cartridge design. He is truly a “Do-It-Yourselfer”.

200-Yard winner Ronnie Milford checking conditions…
Bud Pryor Memorial Benchrest 30BR Score Shoot Match Thurmont Frederick Sportsman's Club Maryland IBS MD

Ronnie Rocks at 200, with an Impressive X-Count
Georgia shooter Ronnie Milford won the 200-Yard Agg with an impressive 250-13X. Ronnie was one of only six shooters to finish “clean” at 200, as traditional Bud weather was punishing even the smallest errors in judgment by shooters. Built by gunsmith Doyle Anglin, Ronnie’s Lederer-barreled Panda beat the field at 200 yards by three Xs, a significant margin. The next three shooters (places 2-4 at 200 yards) all shot 250-10X. Interestingly, Ronnie was shooting Accurate LT-30 powder, not the more widely used Hodgdon H4198 or Vihtavuori N130.

Of special note, Mrs. Carol Grosbier came on Saturday to visit during the match. Nearly every single shooter there stopped by to visit and offer their condolences on the passing of her husband Dick Grosbier, former IBS Vice President and Webmaster. It was great to see Carol and everyone’s actions showed just how great of a community of shooters the sport of Benchrest has.

The longest challenge, the 300-Yard Agg, was shot on Day Two. While conditions were not quite as “tough” as the previous day, they were anything but forgiving. High heat and gusting winds kept shooters on their toes as they strove for victory at 300 yards. A mere seven shooters would manage to stay clean through the first match, and only Maryland shooter Dewey Hancock managed to stay clean through Match Two. Dewey would go on to win the 300-Yard Agg shooting a 248-3X, beating 100-Yard winner Wayne France by Creedmoor and edging out Joey Whittington’s score of 248-2X. Dewey’s Goodling-built rifle uses a BAT action, Krieger barrel, and sits in a beautiful Roy Hunter stock.

Bud Pryor Memorial Benchrest 30BR Score Shoot Match Thurmont Frederick Sportsman's Club Maryland IBS MD

Dewey Hancock Wins with Strong Performances at 100, 200, and 300
Dewey Hancock’s excellent performance at 300, coupled with his second-place finish at 200 and his Top Ten finish at 100 put him on the throne. Hancock won the Grand Aggregate for the 23rd Annual Bud Pryor with a score of 748-31X. Just one point behind, Wayne France took second with a score of 747-31X. Joey Whittington took third with 746-35X.

Hunter Class was contested by both K.L Miller and Brian Fitch (Brian competed in both VFS and Hunter) with K.L Miller taking the Grand Aggregate in Hunter with a 723-11X while Brian posted a 717-11X. Mark Ukishima shot the events only Factory Class gun. It was great to have so many different classes contested at this year’s Bud Pryor.

Bud Pryor Memorial Benchrest Score Shoot Match Thurmont Maryland IBS MD

TOP 10 EQUIPMENT LIST:
Bud Pryor Memorial Benchrest 30BR Score Shoot Match Thurmont Frederick Sportsman's Club Maryland IBS MD

Bud Pryor Memorial Benchrest 30BR Score Shoot Match Thurmont Frederick Sportsman's Club Maryland IBS MD

Bud Pryor Memorial Benchrest 30BR Score Shoot Match Thurmont Frederick Sportsman's Club Maryland IBS MD

About the Bud Pryor Memorial Match
Bud Pryor Memorial Maryland Score Benchrest MatchBud Pryor was a fine gentleman who started shooting IBS matches in 1983. He was a machinest turned gunsmith who made friends and got many people started in shooting IBS registered matches over the next few years. Bud and Dick Grosbier ran the first IBS match at the Thurmont range in April 1983. CLICK HERE to see vintage photos of the 1983 match.

After Bud’s untimely passing a few years later, the club decided to put on a big match and dedicate it to him. As Thurmont is one of the few ranges around with 100/200/300 yard capabilities, we decided to put on a 3-yardage Grand Aggregate match. This was not as simple as it seems, since the three-yardage 100/200/300 was not an IBS-recognized Aggregate. After an agenda item was approved at an IBS winter meeting, 100/200/300 records were set at Thurmont. Over the years, most records have stayed at this scenic range. There are a total of four IBS ranges now holding 100/200/300 yard matches.

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June 28th, 2017

Modern-Day Annie Oakley — Kirsten Joy Weiss

Kirsten Weiss trick shot Annie Oakley NRA All access

Our friend Kirsten Joy Weiss was featured in a recent episode of NRA All Access. The show covers Kirsten’s development as a competitive shooter, and her success as a trick-shot artist with her own popular YouTube channel. Here’s the All Access segment featuring many of Kirsten’s most famous trick shots.

During the video Kirsten also talks about her background in shooting and how she wants to be a good ambassador for the shooting sports, “spreading the positive reality of shooting”. Kirsten explains: “The fun challenge and joy of shooting is important to me because I really wanted to be a positive example. So when the media says the ‘guns are a bad thing and nobody does anything good with guns’, they can say ‘Well, what about her [Kirsten]’?”

Kirsten: “I think that it’s important for young girls to have somebody that they can look up to… I feel responsibility to show young shooters coming up, especially females, that you can respect yourself and shoot a gun as well.”

Kirsten Joy WeissA gifted “natural” shooter, Kirsten started shooting fairly late — at age 16. Despite her relatively late start, she learned very quickly, and managed to earn a place on the University of Nebraska shooting team. That literally opened up a new world for Kirsten: “During the course of my career, I’ve had a lot of success. I’ve gone to World Cups… in Zagreb, Croatia, in Munich, Germany. I’ve won National Championships, and got on to the U.S. Olympic short list, so it’s been a good career.”

Kirsten tells us: “A lot of people don’t think of shooting as a sport, but it absolutely is, and I would even go so far as to say that it is an art form.” We don’t know if this is art, sport, or magic, but very few shooters have the skill or flexibility to make this upside-down shot…

Kirsten Weiss trick shot Annie Oakley NRA All access

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June 28th, 2017

Fun Targets for Summer Shooting Sessions

splatter target Midsouth birchwood casey

When it comes to shooting targets, “Variety is the spice of life”. Shooting the same old target over and over again can get boring. We like to shoot a variety of targets. And we have to admit, the arrival of a new set of colorful targets in the mailbox has been known to motivate us to grab our guns and gear and head to the range.

Midsouth Shooters Supply has slashed prices on Birchwood Casey and Champion targets, both the splatter variety and conventional types. Here are some of our favorite fun-shooting targets. They are all inexpensive to buy. You can even get free shipping if you combine a target purchase with a larger order. Midsouth just announced $9.00 flat-rate shipping with orders of $99.00 or more.

splatter target Midsouth birchwood casey

And here are a couple of FREE fun targets, courtesy the NRA Blog:

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June 24th, 2017

If You’re Not Using Wind Flags You’re Throwing Away Accuracy


Forest of Windflags at World Benchrest Championships in France in 2011

There’s a simple, inexpensive “miracle device” that can cut your groups in half. If you’re not using this device, you’re giving away accuracy. The “miracle device” to which we refer is a simple wind indicator aka “windflag”. Using windflags may actually improve your accuracy on target much more than weighing charges to the kernel, or spending your life savings on the “latest and greatest” hardware.

Remarkably, many shooters who spend $3000.00 or more on a precision rifle never bother to set up windflags, or even simple wood stakes with some ribbon to show the wind. Whether you’re a competitive shooter, a varminter, or someone who just likes to punch small groups, you should always take a set of windflags (or some kind of wind indicators) when you head to the range or the prairie dog fields. And yes, if you pay attention to your windflags, you can easily cut your group sizes in half. Here’s proof…

Miss a 5 mph Shift and You Could DOUBLE Your Group Size

The table below records the effect of a 5 mph crosswind at 100, 200, and 300 yards. You may be thinking, “well, I’d never miss a 5 mph let-off.” Consider this — if a gentle 2.5 mph breeze switches from 3 o’clock (R to L) to 9 o’clock (L to R), you’ve just missed a 5 mph net change. What will that do to your group? Look at the table to find out.

shooting wind flags
Values from Point Blank Ballistics software for 500′ elevation and 70° temperature.

Imagine you have a 6mm rifle that shoots half-MOA consistently in no-wind conditions. What happens if you miss a 5 mph shift (the equivalent of a full reversal of a 2.5 mph crosswind)? Well, if you’re shooting a 68gr flatbase bullet, your shot is going to move about 0.49″ at 100 yards, nearly doubling your group size. With a 105gr VLD, the bullet moves 0.28″ … not as much to be sure, but still enough to ruin a nice small group. What about an AR15, shooting 55-grainers at 3300 fps? Well, if you miss that same 5 mph shift, your low-BC bullet moves 0.68″. That pushes a half-inch group well past an inch. If you had a half-MOA capable AR, now it’s shooting worse than 1 MOA. And, as you might expect, the wind effects at 200 and 300 yards are even more dramatic. If you miss a 5 mph, full-value wind change, your 300-yard group could easily expand by 2.5″ or more.

If you’ve already invested in an accurate rifle with a good barrel, you are “throwing away” accuracy if you shoot without wind flags. You can spend a ton of money on fancy shooting accessories (such as expensive front rests and spotting scopes) but, dollar for dollar, nothing will potentially improve your shooting as much as a good set of windflags, used religiously.

Which Windflag to buy? Click Here for a list of Vendors selling windflags of various types.

Aussie Windflag photo courtesy BenchRestTraining.com (Stuart and Annie Elliot).

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