November 24th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: Teen Queen — 18-Year-Old Rifle Ace Katie Ezell

Katie Ezell ohio state junior olympics smallbore air rifle shooting competition
Katie poses in high school graduation cap and gown with her Walther LG400 Alutec Air Rifle.

Hard work and tenacity do pay off. Smallbore/Air Rifle ace Katie Ezell is proof.

Story based on article by Serena Juchnowski, CMP Feature Writer
Hailing from Denver, North Carolina, Katie Ezell, 18, is a rising talent. Katie graduated Summa Cum Laude from High School in 2019 and now attends Ohio State University, where she competes on the OSU Rifle Team. At the age of 10, Katie’s parents introduced her to marksmanship, wanting their daughter to have hands-on instruction in firearm safety. Thus began a love affair that has only evolved since then.

“The first time I ever went shooting, I knew this was something that I would want to continue to do.”

One of Katie’s match rifles is a Walther LG400 Alutec Competition Air Rifle:
Katie Ezell ohio state junior olympics smallbore air rifle shooting competition

Since she was so young and unable to join the teenage pistol team at her club, Katie applied to the women’s team, which had no specific age restrictions, and proceeded to compete with those far older and more experienced. Katie accredits much of her competitive drive and how she handles match pressure to pursuing the competition venture at such a young age.

After pistol came skeet, in which Katie traveled to national and international competitions. Thinking about the future, Katie soon realized that a shooting scholarship would allow her to continue in the shooting sports while funding her education. Precision rifle appeared to be the best avenue for this, leading Ezell to move into rimfire sporter for four months before making the jump into precision air rifle.

Katie Ezell ohio state junior olympics smallbore air rifle shooting competition

Ezell cites her greatest accomplishment as “getting accepted to be on The Ohio State [University’s] rifle team after shooting for a year and a half”. While Ezell had been shooting for eight years, she had only been training and competing in precision rifle for 18 months when she was accepted onto the team, where she made her dream a reality.

Katie Ezell ohio state junior olympics smallbore air rifle shooting competition

After joining the Ohio State team, Katie’s first competition was the Junior Olympics, which added some extra pressure to the already prestigious event. This was not the only special part of the occasion. Katie’s father, a deployed military member, was in town, and this was the first time he could watch her compete in person, since his deployment makes attending matches difficult.

Katie Ezell ohio state junior olympics smallbore air rifle shooting competition
Katie Ezell at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center in 2018 for Winter Air Gun.

Katie notes that after she set the nervousness aside, she found herself excited and shot a personal best in smallbore. She had hoped to shoot better with her air rifle, but she knows that being part of a college team will help her to improve her skills.

Katie Ezell ohio state junior olympics smallbore air rifle shooting competition
Katie excels at Smallbore. Here she aims a .22 LR Walther rifle at the 2018 Nationals at Fort Benning, GA. She shot a personal best at the Junior Olympics.

With Coaching, Katie Has Achieved Personal Bests in Both Ari Rifle and Smallbore
Katie is nearing the end of her first semester at Ohio State and has surpassed her previous bests in Smallbore and Air Rifle. Her coach has changed some of Katie’s positions, and she is improving.

“Marksmanship has taught me a lot about self-control. If the shot does not look right, then I reject it and try again. I have learned that failure is okay….” Katie recognizes that failure can inspire one to do better and to learn. She advises competitors “to not be afraid to fail”. Katie started into precision shooting at a much later age than most, especially those who end up with a college shooting career. Though it took time, she learned to appreciate the experience and to not bury herself in expectations.

Katie Ezell ohio state junior olympics smallbore air rifle shooting competition

Walther LG400-E Expert with Electronic Trigger
The E-trigger ensures wear-free operation and exact trigger settings for many shots. The LED-indicator and the installed rechargeable battery ensure readiness to fire as well as easy and quick loading.

· Trigger pull weight can be reduced to 15 grams
· Wear-free operation and exact trigger settings over many years
· Choice between two-stage mode and direct trigger mode
· Realistic dry-firing conditions (dry-firing trigger)
· Rechargeable battery via mini-USB
· LED indicators for system readiness and battery charge level
· Automatic e-trigger turnoff when not in use

Credit The First Shot CMP Newsletter, story by Serena Juchnowski, CMP Feature Writer.

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November 23rd, 2019

Over-Shooting the Berm Is All Too Easy — Five Degrees of Doom

Gun Angle long range

In our Shooters’ Forum, there was an discussion about a range that was threatened with closure because rifle over-shoots were hitting a farm building over two miles from the firing line. One reader was skeptical of this, asking “how’s that possible — were these guys aiming at the stars?” Actually, you may be surprised. It doesn’t take much up-angle on a rifle to have a bullet land miles down-range. That’s why it’s so important that hunters and target shooters always orient their barrels in a safe direction (and angle). Shooters may not realize how much a small tilt of the barrel (above horizontal) can alter a bullet’s trajectory.

How many degrees of muzzle elevation do you think it would take to hit a barn at 3000 yards? Ten Degrees? Twenty Degrees? Actually the answer is much less — for a typical hunting cartridge, five to seven degrees of up-angle on the rifle is enough to create a trajectory that will have your bullet impacting at 3000 yards — that’s 1.7 miles away!

Gun Angle long range

Five degrees isn’t much at all. Look at the diagram above. The angle actually displayed for the up-tilted rifle is a true 5.07 degrees (above horizontal). Using JBM Ballistics, we calculated 5.07° as the angle that would produce a 3000-yard impact with a 185gr .30-caliber bullet launched at 2850 fps MV. That would be a moderate “book load” for a .300 Win Mag deer rifle.

Here’s how we derived the angle value. Using Litz-derived BCs for a 185gr Berger Hunting VLD launched at 2850 fps, the drop at 3000 yards is 304.1 MOA (Minutes of Angle), assuming a 100-yard zero. This was calculated using a G7 BC with the JBM Ballistics Program. There are 60 MOA for each 1 degree of Angle. Thus, 304.1 MOA equals 5.068 degrees. So, that means that if you tilt up your muzzle just slightly over five degrees, your 185gr bullet (2850 fps MV) will impact 3000 yards down-range.

Figuring Trajectories with Different Bullets and MVs
If the bullet travels slower, or if you shoot a bullet with a lower BC, the angle elevation required for a 3000-yard impact goes up, but the principle is the same. Let’s say you have a 168gr HPBT MatchKing launched at 2750 fps MV from a .308 Winchester. (That’s a typical tactical load.) With a 100-yard zero, the total drop is 440.1 MOA, or 7.335 degrees. That’s more up-tilt than our example above, but seven degrees is still not that much, when you consider how a rifle might be handled during a negligent discharge.

Think about a hunter getting into position for a shot. If careless, he could easily touch off the trigger with a muzzle up-angle of 10 degrees or more. Even when shooting from the bench, there is the possibility of discharging a rifle before the gun is leveled, sending the shot over the berm and, potentially, thousands of yards down-range.

Hopefully this article has shown folks that a very small amount of barrel elevation can make a huge difference in your bullet’s trajectory, and where it eventually lands. Nobody wants to put holes in a distant neighbor’s house, or worse yet, have the shot cause injury. Let’s go back to our original example of a 185gr bullet with a MV of 2850 fps. According to JBM, this projectile will still be traveling 687 fps at 3000 yards, with 193.7 ft/lbs of retained energy at that distance. That’s more than enough energy to be deadly.

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November 21st, 2019

Practical Tactical — Video Training Series with Ryan Cleckner

practical PRS NRL shooting tactical rifle videos ryan cleckner

Former Army Ranger sniper instructor Ryan Cleckner is the author of the best-selling Long Range Shooting Handbook. Cleckner hosts a series of videos that cover shooting techniques appropriate for tactical and PRS-type disciplines. Here are five short videos that cover various aspects of shooting techniques and rifle set-up. We think PRS/NRL competitors (and long-range hunters) can benefit from these videos.

“Consistency is the key to accuracy. You need to think about a system of how you’r going to shoot that is not only comfortable, but [is] repeatable when you’re shooting.” — Ryan Cleckner

In this first video, Cleckner explains proper scope position. Ryan finds that some shooters place the scope too far forward or too far rearward. If the scope is too far back you may have issues with eye relief and stock reach to shoulder. If it is too far forward, you may have cheek-weld problems or get neck strain.

Cleckner offers a simple method to check your scope position: “To see if your scope is set up properly … close your eyes, lay your head on your gun, get completely comfortable, and only when you are set-up, then open your eyes. If you can’t see clearly through your scope, CHANGE something [such as comb height or scope position]”. “When you open your eyes, if you see some scope shadow [i.e. the black ring around the edge of the scope picture], figure out which way you need to move your head to get rid of that shadow, and then make adjustments to either your position, the rifle, or the scope.”

Cleckner prefers shooting off a bag when in the prone position, when that is practical. The bag provides a more stable support than a small Harris-type bipod, doesn’t require pre-loading the rifle, and there is less bounce or hop on recoil.

Former Army Ranger sniper team leader Ryan Cleckner explains how important it is to keep your rifle straight up and down when long-range precision shooting. Cleckner demonstrates with an AR-10 modern sporting rifle how slight cant to your rifle can cause a miss over long distances.

Here Cleckner covers some of the basic points of trigger control on tactical-style rifles. These basic principles apply to both single-stage and two-stage triggers. NOTE: For benchrest rigs, with ultra-light pull weights, more refined techniques may be appropriate.

In tactical events, when you’re shooting on the clock and loading from a detachable magazine, you should manipulate the bolt smoothly but strongly. Here Cleckner demonstrates how to cycle a tactical-type rifle. He says, “You should be running the bolt on your rifle with authority. Run it like you mean it!” NOTE: Completely different techniques are appropriate for custom benchrest rifles that manually feed.

Long Range Shooting Handbook — A Good Resource
Cleckner’s Long Range Shooting Handbook covers a wide range of topics important for precision marksmanship — both shooting skills and technical matters. You can view Sample Chapters from Ryan’s Book on Amazon.com. Cleckner’s book is designed as an intro to key concepts such as MOA vs. Mils, External Ballistics, and Environmental Effects. Included are personal tips and advice based on Cleckner’s years of experience as a sniper instructor and special operations sniper.

The Long Range Shooting Handbook is divided into three main categories: What It Is/How It Works, Fundamentals, and How to Use It. “What It Is/How It Works” covers equipment, terminology, and basic principles. “Fundamentals” covers the theory of long range shooting. “How to Use It” gives practical advice on implementing what you’ve learned, so you can progress as a skilled, long range shooter.

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November 15th, 2019

PRS 101: Getting Started in Practical/Tactical Competition

65 Guys Ed Mobley Steve Lawrence PRS Precision Rifle Series Competition Tips

Our friends, Ed Mobley and Steve Lawrence, aka the “6.5 Guys”, have written an excellent article on getting started in practical/tactical competition. If you are new to the game, these tips can help you save money, progress faster, and have more fun. Here are article highlights, but we recommend you read the full story, 5 Tips for Attending Your First Precision Rifle Match, on www.65guys.com.

We often meet people who are new to long range precision shooting, and want to improve their knowledge and skill level. However, they aren’t sure if they are ready to sign up to compete in a match. They often ask, “What knowledge or skills are necessary to compete in a match?” Others may state, “I need to purchase this gear or that gear before I can attend a match”. For those guys who have a strong interest in precision rifle shooting, and who wish to chec out a precision rifle match, below are Five Tips to make it a positive experience.

TIP ONE: Make Plans and Commit to Go

First you need to start by finding a match to attend. This may entail a little bit of research and investigative work on your part to find what matches are scheduled in the next few months. We recommend starting with any match that may be within a reasonable driving distance. This may likely be a local “club” match, many of which are held on a regular basis. These make great venues because it will provide an opportunity to meet some of the regular attendees as well as shooters that are from your geographic area. Additionally, most of the smaller matches are a little more relaxed in terms of level of competitiveness.

Once you decide on the match you want to attend, do your homework. This means finding out if you need to pre-register or pre-pay the match fee. Commit to going by registering for the match and putting it on your schedule. Be sure to find other useful information for questions such as:

— What time should I arrive?
— Is there a mandatory safety briefing for new shooters at that venue?
— What is the travel time required to get to the match site?
— How many stages will there be?
— Is there a description of the stages available before the match?
— How many rounds should you bring?
— Are there special equipment requirements? (E.g. do you need chamber flags, is there a pistol stage?)

65 Guys Ed Mobley Steve Lawrence PRS Precision Rifle Series Competition Tips

TIP TWO: Bring What You Have

(Don’t Spend a Fortune at the Start)
Some new shooters often assume they need a custom match rifle or all of the miscellaneous shooting gear associated with long range precision shooting to compete in match. While having a Kestrel weather meter and a high quality laser range finder and other shooting accoutrements are invaluable kit, you will find other shooters at your first match that will provide you with the information and coaching you need to get on target.

In fact, the only gear you really need to bring is a scoped rifle with a bipod and ammo capable of consistently shooting within one MOA. Also, be sure to know the ballistic drops or have a ballistic drop table prepared for your rifle/ammo to dial the correct DOPE on your scope for different target ranges. Many of the other participants at the match will be willing to let you borrow a support bag, bipod, tripod or other gear if you need one — just ask. Don’t use the excuse of not having the right gear to delay getting out to a match!

One reason not to make a big initial investment in a new rifle and assorted gear before competing, is we’ve seen a number of people come into the sport and try it for a year and then make the decision to move on to something else.

TIP THREE: Be Prepared to Learn

As a new shooter at a match, there is no better opportunity to learn. We often look to our local club matches as a group ‘training’ session to prepare for the bigger matches. You will find competitors at all levels of skill and many of your fellow shooters will enthusiastically provide helpful advice once they learn you are new to the sport. Take advantage of the opportunity to ask questions if you would like ideas for how to engage a stage, but also be sure to do more listening than talking as you receive guidance and tips from more experienced competitors.

Watch and observe other shooters and how they approach and ‘game’ a specific stage or course of fire. You’ll begin to recognize which shooting positions work best for different scenarios, and maybe even come up with some new ones that no one has thought of before.

Seeing what the better shooters do is an invaluable instructional tool. You can use your smart phone’s video camera to record other shooters (with their permission). When you’re ready to shoot, ask another shooter to record your performance. Watching yourself will point out needed areas of improvement.

65 Guys Ed Mobley Steve Lawrence PRS Precision Rifle Series Competition Tips

After each match conduct an informal after action review and summarize for yourself the things that went well and what you should continue to do. You should also identify the specific shooting skills you should develop and make a plan to integrate the appropriate practice drills into your practice sessions. Finally, if you maintain a shooter’s data book or journal you’ll want to note things such as:

After Action Review – How you did, what went well, things you need to work on in practice.
Stage Observations – Successful methods used for specific courses of fire. Note barricades, positions used, specific gear used for stages.
Gear Observations – How your rifle/gear performed, what new items you should add to your “buy list”.

TIP FOUR: Be Safe and Have Fun

You’ve all heard a parent or teacher say, “It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye.” The same can be said of the shooting sports. Safe handling of firearms is the number one rule at any match, and comes before the FUN part in terms of importance.

Before all matches start there will always be some form of a mandatory safety briefing. Make sure you know, understand, and follow any unique safety protocols for the match you attend. Some matches require all rifles have chamber flags inserted and are stowed in bags/cases while not on the firing line — other matches may not. If you run afoul of any safety rules, you risk the chance of being disqualified from a stage or worse, the entire match.

65 Guys Ed Mobley Steve Lawrence PRS Precision Rifle Series Competition Tips

The second rule is simply have fun. This starts with having a good attitude throughout the day. Keep in mind that as a new competitor you should think of a match as a solid day of practice and training. If you blow a stage, use it as an opportunity to diagnose what you could have done differently or what you need to improve on — then smile and drive on.

Any day at the range or shooting is a good day. A match is an opportunity to hang out with like-minded people who are passionate about shooting and impacting targets far-far away. Life is great when you are doing what you enjoy!

TIP FIVE: Make Friends

There is no better way to meet lots of precision rifle shooters and make friends than at a match. The people that attend the tactical precision matches on a regular basis are those that have ‘fallen into the deep end of the pool’ and are really into the sport. As a result, they have become part of the local precision shooting community. As you strike up conversations at the match, find out if your new-found friends visit specific forum boards or social media outlets, or if there are other matches they attend.

Precision shooters tend to congregate and share information in different corners of the Internet. It will serve you well to meet some of the guys in person at matches and be able to connect a face to a screen name. As you develop your friendships and develop a level of trust, you will find opportunities become available to shoot with others in your local area, or get ‘read-in’ on a secret honey-hole of a spot to shoot long distance. Additionally, the local shooting community will often find it more convenient to sell or trade gear and equipment locally than deal with buyers/sellers that are out of state.

>> CLICK HERE to READ FULL ARTICLE on 65Guys.com

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November 13th, 2019

Home Defense: Shotgun vs. Pistol — What’s Your Best Option?

Home defense shotgun NSSF Clint Thunder Ranch
Shotgun Photo from Superior Security Concepts.

Shotgun vs. Handgun — which is better for home defense? That’s a question that inspires strong opinions on both sides. We think the best answer may be “both”. There are some situations where a pistol is most handy, while there are other situations where the power (and lethality) of the shotgun clearly wins out. Some would argue that the shotgun offers an “intimidation” factor that may better resolve a threat without a shot being fired.

The NSSF, in cooperation with Thunder Ranch Training Center, has created an interesting video that examines the Shotgun vs. Handgun debate. As the Cheaper Than Dirt Blog notes: “The primary argument against the shotgun is a longer length leading to less maneuverability. On the other hand, the pistol offers better maneuverability, but lacks the stopping power of a shotgun”. Moreover, the pistol may be less accurate, according to some critics. This NSSF video looks at the question from a logical standpoint — making some surprising points.

As you can see in this still frame from the video, the shooting stance of the pistol shooter (Clint) is NOT much more compact than that of the two shotgunners (compare actual muzzle positions). So a shotgun may actually be more handy inside a home than some people realize. Clint concludes that the gun selection debate “is all very easily solved by only one question: ‘If someone was going to run across a bedroom at you and they had a big knife, would you rather shoot him one time with a pistol or one time with a shotgun?’ When you answer the question you figure out why this [shotgun length] doesn’t really bother us. We simply take these [shotguns] and use them in a slightly different manner…”

Home defense shotgun NSSF Clint Thunder Ranch

In this video, Thunder Ranch Director Clint Smith explains why the overall length of a shotgun, as held in firing position against the shoulder, is not really that much greater than the “shooting stance length” of a handgun held in a proper firing position (with arms extended). Accordingly gun length/size should not be the deciding factor when choosing a firearm for home defense.

Whatever Weapon You Choose — Train with It
Fundamentally, you should use the firearm that is 100% reliable, and with which you have trained regularly. Mastery of a defensive firearm — whether shotgun or handgun — needs to be second-nature. You should be able to operate all the controls (safety, pump, decocker, slide, bolt handle etc.) by “instinct” based on hours of training. Likewise you should know how to operate the light/laser if your defensive firearm is so equipped. Importantly, you should be able to reload in darkness, and clear malfunctions without panicking.

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November 12th, 2019

See Bullet Holes at 500+ with White Background Splatter Targets

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

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

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

This video shows Black Shot Halos on white background:

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

This white background grid target has five aiming points and a 1-inch grid overlay for quick and easy sight adjustments. It comes with target pasters that allow shooters to cover up bullet holes and continue using the target for added value. The White/Black Shoot-N-C 12″ Sight-In Targets come in packs of five with 75 target pasters for around $7.00 on Amazon. If you prefer circle targets, there is also an even larger 17.5″ Shoot-N-C target with one large bull with red diamond center (photo right).

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

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

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

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November 8th, 2019

Hunter’s Library — Ten Great Books About Hunting

Favorite Hunting books Hemingway Roosevelt Leopold Hunter Amazon.com

Recommended Books about Hunting
There’s no shortage of good hunting-related reading material. Here are some of the best books written about hunting. You can find all these titles on Amazon.com. Many are offered in eBook format as well as printed versions. Click on the link(s) below to preview a sample from each book.


Favorite Hunting books Hemingway Roosevelt Leopold Hunter Amazon.comHemingway on Hunting by Ernest Hemingway.

A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold.

Beyond Fair Chase: The Ethic and Tradition of Hunting by Jim Posewitz.

Meditations on Hunting by Jose Ortega y Gasset.

Ranch Life and the Hunting Trail by Theodore Roosevelt.

Greatest Hunting Stories Ever Told by Lamar Underwood (Editor).

It’s Only Slow Food Until You Try to Eat It by Bill Heavey.

The Beginner’s Guide to Hunting Deer for Food by Jackson Landers.

American Hunter: How Legendary Hunters Shaped America by Willie Robertson and William Doyle.

Whitetail Nation: My Season in Pursuit of the Monster Buck by Peter Bodo.

hunting books amazon

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, Shooting Skills No Comments »
November 7th, 2019

Learn about Hunting, Optics, and More with Leupold Podcasts

Leupold Stevens Core Insider Podcast audio hunting shooting radio show

With days growing shorter and winter on its way — here is a great audio “infotainment” resource to help fill those long winter nights. Leupold now offers podcasts, 40-75 minutes in length, on a variety of topics of interest to hunters and precision shooters. A podcast is like a radio show that is available 24/7, at your convenience. When you want to “tune in”, via your home computer or mobile devices, just visit the Leupold Podcast Page.

CLICK HERE for All Leupold Core Insider Podcasts »

One of the newest gun-oriented podcasts comes from optics-maker Leupold & Stevens (“Leupold). Oregon-based Leupold recently launched its “Core Insider” podcast series. These podcasts will deliver optics info, industry intel, tech tips, hunting advice, and tactical training guidance. Leupold’s Core Insider podcasts stream via iTunes and Spotify, and can also be accessed directly from Leupold.com. From the Leupold Podcast Home Page, you can either stream the podcasts live or download for later listening.

Premiering at SHOT Show 2018, the Leupold Core Insider Podcasts cover a wide variety of shooting and hunting topics. One early episode features Leupold team members Kyle Lamb and Buck Doyle discussing long-range shooting, while recent Episode 55 explains how Binoculars and Rangefinders function. There are now 56 Leupold Podcasts available online for FREE.

Episode 2, Long-Range Shooting. Click to launch Leupold Ep. 2 Podcast Page:

Leupold Stevens Core Insider Podcast audio hunting shooting radio show

Episode 55, How Binoculars and Rangefinders Work. Click to launch Leupold Ep. 55 Podcast Page:

Leupold Stevens Core Insider Podcast audio hunting shooting radio show

Among the regular Core Insider Podcast hosts is Leupold’s president and CEO, Bruce Pettet. “Our consumers are some of the most dedicated hunters and shooters in this industry – just like so many Leupold team members, both here in Oregon and across the nation,” Pettet said. “We want to reach out to our audience directly and deliver the kind of content they’ve been asking for…”

There are fifty-six (56) current Leupold Core Insider Podcasts. If you can’t access all 56 from the Leupold website, try the Apple Podcasts Page. Here are ten of our favorite episodes. Click links below to access:

Leupold Stevens Core Insider Podcast audio hunting shooting radio showEpisode 56: Hunting Elk in Utah with Wild Country Outfitters
Episode 54: How to Select a Riflescope for Your Budget
Episode 52: Randy Newberg’s Top 5 Glassing Tips
Episode 44: Understanding Rangefinder Technology, Myths, and More
Episode 41: Precision Rifle Competition Shooting with Jon Pynch
Episode 37: Q&A with Leupold Technical Service
Episode 36: The Art of Wild Game Cooking
Episode 26: Understanding Your Shooting System 101
Episode 7: Predator Hunting with Jeff Thomason
Episode 6: Trendsetters — Women Who Hunt

Access Leupold Core Insider podcasts from iTunes or Spotify. You can also get Core Insider podcasts on Leupold.com. Core Insider videos can be found at YouTube.com/LeupoldOptics.

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November 5th, 2019

IBS 600-Yard Nationals in Minnesota — Winter Arrives Early

IBS 600-yard 600 Nationals Championship benchrest shooters international Minnesota MN 2019

The 2019 IBS 600-Yard Nationals took place October 12-13th at the Gopher Rifle and Revolver Club (GRRC.org) in Harris, Minnesota. It was a challenging event, given the cold and stormy conditions. Nonetheless many of the nation’s top shooters shot very well, and some young newcomers had strong showings. The real star of the match was new 600-Yard National Champion Jason Wolf. He delivered a masterful performance, winning the 2-Gun Overall, Light Gun Overall, and Heavy Gun Overall.

Click HERE for Full Match Results and Equipment List (PDF) »

IBS 600-yard 600 Nationals Championship benchrest shooters international Minnesota MN 2019

IBS 600-yard 600 Nationals Championship benchrest shooters international Minnesota MN 2019
Dave Holland, past GRRC Bench Director and Host of 2010 IBS 1000-Yard Nationals.

Match Report by Kent Bratten

MD, IBS 2nd Vice President and Awards Chairman
There was some scrambling before and during the Nationals due to the weather. Gopher Rifle and Revolver Club is a large, multi-discipline range set among marshes and woods just off I-35, about 40 miles north of a large metropolitan area in Minnesota. Because of the topography, winds and mirage can often be tricky.

IBS 600-yard 600 Nationals Championship benchrest shooters international Minnesota MN 2019
IBS 600-yard 600 Nationals Championship benchrest shooters international Minnesota MN 2019

Due to the forecasted poor weather, a large circus-tent style cover was rented in place of the usual canvas/pole type temporary structure (see AcccurateShooter’s article on the 2010 1000-yard Nationals at Harris). It is likely the clean-up crew would still be picking up the pieces if that structure had been used.

IBS 600-yard 600 Nationals Championship benchrest shooters international Minnesota MN 2019

Course of Fire for IBS 600-Yard Nationals
The event was run with the same format as the 2018 IBS 600-Yard Nationals in St. Louis. The course of fire was Light Gun (total weight 17 lbs. max) on Saturday and Heavy Gun (no weight limits) on Sunday. Each of the 63 competitors shot eight (8) targets daily in four relays. Saturday evening Vapor Trail Bullets hosted a banquet, at which time the Light Gun titles were awarded, along with a large prize table drawing afterwards. Sunday was Heavy Gun and had 61 shooters (two dropping out due to a family emergency). Despite no further snow and no ferocious winds, conditions were hardly ideal as it was still cold in the morning with swirling winds throughout the day. Hence on neither day did the group averages drop below two inches and there were only a handful of perfect scores.

IBS 600-yard 600 Nationals Championship benchrest shooters international Minnesota MN 2019

Formidable Performances Even in Tough Conditions
Despite the conditions and several DQs on Day One, the top guns still put on a very good performance. Scotty Powell of North Carolina won the Light Gun Group and Chris Nichols, also from North Carolina, won the Heavy Gun Group award. Jason Wolf of South Dakota was the big winner, taking home the Light Gun Score, Light Gun Overall, Heavy Gun Overall, and the 2-Gun Overall titles. Jason’s performance was superb. Along with his LG, HG, and 2-Gun titles, Jason shot the smallest group of the match, a stunning 0.673″ in Heavy Gun. He also placed second in Heavy Gun Group Agg, just 0.166″ off the best, while finishing third in Light Gun Group Agg, .340″ from the top. All in all, it was a dominant showing by the South Dakotan.

IBS 600-yard 600 Nationals Championship benchrest shooters international Minnesota MN 2019

IBS 600-yard 600 Nationals Championship benchrest shooters international Minnesota MN 2019
Robby Vick smiling despite the cold. But did you really need the fan Robby?

Snow Flurries and Other Shooting Challenges
After the match, we interviewed most of the Top Ten shooters. We covered topics such as as strategies for bad conditions and their previous shooting experience. Several mentioned having trouble seeing the marks on the white-painted steel sighting plates. And, because of snow flurries, some could only see the last round hit (last sighter), about 5-10 seconds before their record target came up. Accordingly, many competitors depended on the tracking ability of their rifles and maintaining their point of aim throughout the record period. As for shooting backgrounds, many of the Top 10 enjoyed long range hunting and varminting — especially prairie dog adventures. Some had started out with rimfire bench competition, some began with short range IBS matches, while others already shoot long distance (1000-Yard) IBS matches and F-Class. For all those interviewed, the result was pretty much the same. After starting in competitive shooting, they had gotten hooked on precision, and sought to push their skills to the limit.

IBS 600-yard 600 Nationals Championship benchrest shooters international Minnesota MN 2019

Possible New Trends in Equipment — Wider Stocks
The Top 10 Equipment Lists show the favorite actions (BAT), bullets (Vapor Trail and Bart’s) and scopes (Nightforce) with a sprinkling of different barrels and stocks. We note there does seem to be a trend towards wider stocks. When we reviewed the Top 20 List (about 30% of the pool) we noted a growing number of stocks with wider fore-ends (4 inches or more), especially the Wheeler/McMillan Tracker. As for chamberings, the 6 BRA (6mmBR Ackley Improved) seems to be very popular, but is not dominant over the 6 Dasher yet.

IBS 600-yard 600 Nationals Championship benchrest shooters international Minnesota MN 2019

IBS 600-yard 600 Nationals Championship benchrest shooters international Minnesota MN 2019

IBS 600-yard 600 Nationals Championship benchrest shooters international Minnesota MN 2019
Junior Champ Andrew Powers, setting up. Beside him is his grandfather, Johnny.

IBS 600-yard 600 Nationals Championship benchrest shooters international Minnesota MN 2019

COMMENTARY from Match Director Doc Bratten
It was a somewhat hair-raising experience leading up to the Nationals, with the bad forecast followed by a two-day period before the match when high winds made practice difficult. A major concern was that the weather would worsen and cause a major delay or cancellation. But, like the D-Day invasion of 1944, prayers for a break in the weather were answered. We also had an unexpected shortening of staff. But the Nationals team still did a wonderful job of running the line and everyone chipped in with putting up the “mess tent”, line cover, and helping in the target review area. Also hats off to the target crew and scorers in the Red Shed. With the snow and wind, it could not have been easy working with those targets and drying them after.

IBS 600-yard 600 Nationals Championship benchrest shooters international Minnesota MN 2019
Into the quagmire to look at targets…

We are very grateful to all our IBS sponsors, whose generosity ensured rich prize tables for both the Hawk’s Ridge 1000-Yard Nationals and here in Minnesota. I would especially like to thank Sally and Jim Bauer of Vapor Trail Bullets for sponsoring the Awards Banquet. We very much appreciated the Grand Prizes supplied by Alex and Matt Findley of AMP Annealing, David Dorris (and Ms. Krag) of BenchSource, Alex Wheeler of Wheeler Accuracy and Bart Sauter of Bart’s Bullets. The full list of IBS 600-yard and 1000-yard Nationals sponsors can be found on the IBS Website.

IBS 600-yard 600 Nationals Championship benchrest shooters international Minnesota MN 2019

Finally, we extend a very special thanks to our friends at Gunstop Reloading and Gunstop of Minnetonka gun sales for their trophy donations. We also thank Dave Newell, Past President at GRRC, current Club newsletter editor, and exceptional wedding photographer, for his great photos of the match.

CLICK HERE to View 90+ photos from 600-Yard Nationals »

IBS 600-yard 600 Nationals Championship benchrest shooters international Minnesota MN 2019
Great BBQ lunches were provided by Rick of Dickies. Vapor Trail Bullets sponsored the Awards banquet.

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November 3rd, 2019

Download FREE Turkey Target for November Fun

Varmint Turkey Free Targets Thanksgiving

Halloween 2019 is history, so it’s time to start thinking about Thanksgiving — Turkey Day. What better way to celebrate the occasion than to blast away at some bearded gobblers (of the paper variety). Here’s our custom Turkey Target, ready for family fun. This special Turkey Bullseye Target was created by our friend and Forum member Pascal (aka “DesertFrog”). CLICK HERE for FREE Turkey Target.

Get a Full Set of Animal Targets
For your convenience, we’ve packaged the Turkey Target along with five (5) other varmint/animal-themed targets. These are all offered in .pdf (Adobe Acrobat) format for easy printing.

CLICK HERE to download all SIX targets in .Zip archive.

Varmint Turkey Free Targets Thanksgiving

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November 2nd, 2019

Do You REALLY Know MilliRadians? Intro to Mils and Mildots

mildot ranging milliradian Milrad

We first ran this article in 2012, and it was very well received. Since then, many Forum members have requested an explanation of MILS and mildots, so we decided to run this feature again…

1 Milliradian (Milrad or ‘Mil’) = 1/1000th of a radian | 1 Milliradian = 0.0573 degrees.

Mildot scope reticleIn this NSSF Video, Ryan Cleckner, a former Sniper Instructor for the 1st Ranger Battalion, defines the term “MilliRadian” (Milrad) and explains how you can use a mildot-type scope to range the distance to your target. It’s pretty simple, once you understand the angular subtension for the reticle stadia dots/lines. Cleckner also explains how you can use the milrad-based reticle markings in your scope for elevation hold-overs and windage hold-offs.

Even if you normally shoot at known distances, the hold-off capability of milrad-reticle scopes can help you shoot more accurately in rapidly-changing wind conditions. And, when you must engage multiple targets quickly, you can use the reticle’s mil markings to move quickly from one target distance to another without having to spin your elevation turrets up and down.

WEB RESOURCES: If you want to learn more about using Milliradians and Mildot scopes, we suggest the excellent Mil-dot.com User Guide. This covers the basics you need to know, with clear illustrations. Also informative is The Truth about Mil Dots by Michael Haugen. Mr. Haugen begins with basic definitions: 360 degrees = 2 x Pi (symbol π) Radians. That means 1 Radian is about 57.3 degrees. 1 Milliradian (Milrad or ‘Mil’) = 1/1000th of a radian. Thus 1 Milliradian = .0573 degrees.

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October 28th, 2019

Gun Humor — Wisecracks Heard at the Range

Accurateshooter.com Range Humor joke funny quote

Shooting can be a frustrating sport at times, prompting shooters to say some funny things in the heat of the moment. Here’s a collection of humorous range riposts, supplied by Shooters’ Forum members (who are listed after each quote). Enjoy. (CLICK HERE for full Forum Funny Saying Thread).

“I paid to use all of the target and I’m getting value for money on all of the real estate!” (Macropod)

“How did I do?” “Well the gun went off and nobody got hurt, we can build on that….” (Mr. Majestic)

“Treat that trigger likes it’s your first date, not like you’ve been married to it for 20 years.” (Jet)

“It’s a good thing broad sides of barns aren’t at many shooting ranges.” (Rocky F.)

“At 65 years of age, 1000-yard benchrest is better than sex, because a relay lasts 10 minutes!” (The Viper)

Accurateshooter.com Range Humor joke funny quote

“If you chase the wind, it will always win.” (Boltline13)

“It’s not the arrow, it’s the Indian.” (Rocky F.)

“It was an 0.2″ group! Well, err, except for that flyer….” (Dsandfort, photo by RyanJay11)

“I can’t understand it. That load worked good in my other barrel”. (Hogpatrol)

“You bakin a biscuit?” Said to me as I was sitting at the bench ready to shoot with a cartridge in the chamber of a hot gun, taking longer than necessary. (Ebb)

“Shooting groups is easy. Just put the last three between the first two.” (Uthink)

Accurateshooter.com Range Humor joke funny quote

“There is no Alibi for Stupid” (Seen at Berger SWN — Erik Cortina)

Shooter 1: “Hey you cross-fired on my target!” Shooter 2: “Well you cross-fired on mine first.”
Shooter 1: “Yeah but you could have at least shot an X like I did on yours.” (At Raton — Rocky F.)

“I had a bughole going and my second shot dropped straight down!” (JDMock)

“The nut came loose on the end of my stock.” (TXDan)

Quoting James Crofts: “That’s a pretty eight.” (REastman)

“I almost shot a record.” (Jay Christopherson)

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October 25th, 2019

Become a Range Safety Officer — The World Needs More RSOs

Range Safety Officer Course Online NRA Training

A few good men (and women) — that’s what the shooting sports need these days. We need skilled, trained personnel to serve as Range Safety Officers (RS0s). Without RSOs, there would be no shooting matches — no F-Class, no High Power, no Smallbore Matches — you get the idea. Thankfully there are now ways to get requisite RSO training without costly travel far from home.

The NRA now offers an online training course for its Range Safety Officer (RSO) program. The online course teaches the skills needs to conduct and supervise safe shooting activities and range operations. Online RSO Course students can access the electronic course materials for 90 days. You can complete the course in multiple sessions. The program will save your progress so you can return later.

NRA RSO Course OnlineThe Online RSO Course consists of SIX LESSONS:

• Introduction to the NRA Basic Range Safety Officer Course
• The Role of the NRA Range Safety Officer and
Range Standard Operating Procedures
• Range Inspection and Range Rules
• Range Safety Briefing
• Emergency Procedures
• Firearm Stoppages and Malfunctions

Who Can Take the Course?: The Online RSO Course is available to anyone who currently possess a valid NRA Firearms Instructor certification or NRA Coach appointment. Course cost is $125.00. Individuals without a trainer rating must attend the in-person Range Safety Officer course consisting of both classroom time and practical exercises on a range.

Range Safety Officer Course Online NRA Training

NRA RSO Course OnlineCertification Procedure: Students must complete all six lessons and a short electronically administered test in order to become a certified Range Safety Officer. Once the test has been passed, newly certified Range Safety Officers will receive an electronic completion certificate that can be printed or saved to a computer.

The NRA RSO program was developed in response to the demand for a nationally-recognized range safety officer certification. More than 54,000 NRA Range Safety Officers are involved in aspects of target shooting, training, and range supervision around the USA.

Berger SW Nationals
Range Safety Officer supervises the line at Berger SW Nationals. Without dedicated RSOs, we could not have matches like these.

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October 25th, 2019

Eye in the Sky — Drone View of 1122-Yard Shooting Session

Texas .223 Rem Drone Video 1000 Yards Gorilla Ammo

Many of our readers have never had a chance to shoot much past 600 yards. How far away does a 1000-yard+ target really seem to the naked eye? Well this short video answers that question. Gorilla Ammo, the video’s producers, used a camera-carrying aerial drone to fly downrange from the firing line all the way out to 1122 yards (and back again). Watch the drone footage at 0:00-0:07 and especially 0:48-1:03. The “bird’s-eye view” really gives you a sense of the distance. The “fly-back” at 0:48-1:03 time-mark is what makes this video worth watching.

The video features prone shooting at steel targets placed at 750 and 1122 yards. We do apologize for the lame, “oh so serious” voice-over which attempts to make this rather ordinary range session seem like some kind of life-changing experience. (Frankly, you may just want to turn the sound off — it’s that annoying.) It’s really not that big a deal to hit steel at 750 yards with a quality AR-15, chambered in .223 Rem, shooting Sierra 77 grain MatchKings.

Texas .223 Rem Drone Video 1000 Yards Gorilla Ammo

Hitting Steel at 1122 Yards with 2540 FPS Ammo Can Be Challenging
The 1122-yard hits are a bit more impressive. Gorilla Ammo lists a relatively sedate 2540 fps Muzzle Velocity for its .223 Rem 77gr SMK ammunition. According to JBM Ballistics, at 1125 yards, that 2540 fps load has 68.3 MOA of drop from a 100-yard zero (firing at sea level and 80° F ambient). Morever the bullet goes trans-sonic around 750 yards (losing stability) and is traveling just 933 fps at impact. And the wind’s the killer — at 1125 yards, with this bullet/load, a mere 2 mph, full-value wind change can move the Point of Impact over three feet!

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October 20th, 2019

Celebrate Halloween with Printable Orange/Black Spooky Targets

free halloween spooky target pumpkins
Click above image for full-size version.

Halloween is a week and a half away. We’re already seeing some of the decorations in the neighborhood. To celebrate this October event, the folks at the NRA Blog have created a series of “spook-tastic” Halloween targets. Writer Kyle Jillson says, “In addition to stocking up on candy and finding great costumes, we thought you might like to have some fun at the range, so we created these spooky targets for you to use.” Shooting these targets is less expensive (and way less messy) than shooting at real pumpkins…

Just click an image to launch its full-size version. You can then download the target and print it out on regular 8.5″x11″ paper. Now you have fun Halloween-themed targets to bring to the range this month.

Pumpkin Patch Target | Pumpkin Antler Target | Turkey Target | Pig Witch Target

CLICK EACH Target to Download Full-Size Version

free halloween spooky target pumpkins

free halloween spooky target pumpkins free halloween spooky target pumpkins
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October 17th, 2019

Scandinavian Bolt-Action Speed Shooting — Stangskyting

stangskyting rifle match norway sweden scandinavia

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

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

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

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

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

Sauer 200 STR Target Rifle

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

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

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October 15th, 2019

Wind Wisdom from Experts Bryan Litz and Emil Praslick III

Wind reading coaching bryan litz Ben Avery Phoenix wind video

Wind effects are complex. In trying to access wind speeds and angles, you’ll want to watch multiple indicators — mirage, dust, wind-flags, grass movement, and more. You’ll also need to be concerned about wind cycles. In the video below, Bryan Litz talks about variable wind speed along a bullet’s flight path. A respected ballistics guru, Bryan is the founder of Applied Ballistics and a designer of Berger’s Hybrid Match projectiles. He is also a past F-TR National Champion and a High Master Palma ace.

In this video, Bryan discusses how wind effects can vary in intensity at different points along the bullet’s flight path to the target. Sometimes the firing line is sheltered, and the strongest winds come into effect in the middle of the trajectory. Bryan concludes: “Wind matters everywhere … but the best thing you can do is try to get a handle on the wind [velocity and angle] where you are. That may or may not represent the wind down-range — that’s when you have to look downrange and make a judgment[.]”

Litz Competition Tip: 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.

More Wind Tips from Wind Wizard Emil Praslick
In these two short videos, Emil Praslick III, former coach of the USAMU and USA National long range teams, explains how to find the wind direction and how to confirm your no-wind zero. Praslick is widely considered to be one of the best wind coaches in the USA.

When Winds Are EXTREME — Near Gale Force at Ben Avery

This video shows INSANE winds at NBRSA 100/200 Benchrest Nationals. This was filmed at the Ben Avery Range in Phoenix, AZ during the recent NBRSA 100/200 yard National Championships. Extreme to say the least. Based on what we’re seeing here, there are 20-25 mph crosswinds, with gusts to 35 mph — near Gale Force. Video by Hall-of-Fame Benchrest competitor Gene Bukys.

Texas gunsmith Mike Bryant reports: “This video shows the Unlimited Class 200 at the Nationals in Phoenix. I had three 10-shot groups in the low 2″ range with a 2.228″ being my big group and was glad they weren’t bigger. Thursday and Friday were the worst of the windy days. Unfortunately those were the days for the UL 200 and it was about as windy through most all of the Sporter 200.”

Excellent Wind Reading Resource

The Wind Book for Rifle Shooters covers techniques and tactics used by expert wind-readers. The authors provide a wind-reading “toolbox” for calculating wind speed, direction, deflection and drift. They explain how to read flags and mirage, record and interpret your observations, and time your shots to compensate for wind. Here are two reviews:

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

If you have one book for wind reading, this should be it. It covers how to get wind speed/direction from flags, mirage, and natural phenomenon. This is the best book for learning to read wind speed and direction. — Muddler

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October 12th, 2019

Oklahoma CMP Games Are Underway This Weekend

CMP Oklahoma Games

The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) Oklahoma Games are happening this weekend at the Oklahoma City Gun Club. Events started on October 7th and run through Sunday the 13th with the final event — the popular Vintage Sniper Team Match. If you’re anywhere near OK City you might want to check out the action. There are Vintage Military Matches today, along with Rimfire Sporter competition and EIC pistol matches. The CMP’s Oklahoma Games are not just for seasoned competitors. There will be a Small Arms Firing School plus a New Shooter Clinic for those who have never fired in a CMP Games match.

CMP Games - Oklahoma

Oklahoma CMP Games Resources

Previously held in April, the CMP Oklahoma Games will feature the popular M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, Springfield, Vintage/Modern Military, Rimfire Sporter, and Vintage Sniper Rifle matches. Pistol matches, such as the As-Issued 1911, Military & Police Service Pistol and .22 Rimfire Pistol will also be held throughout the week. The CMP Cup Matches will again be held at this Travel Games event. This include two days of invididual competition, followed by a 4-Man Team Match, and EIC Service Rifle Match.

Electronic Targets Allow Faster Relays and No Pit Duty!
High Power competitions will be fired on CMP Targets, an electronic target system that plots shot placement in real time, and eliminates the need for pit duty — allowing quicker matches with less physical labor. Shot locations/scores appear on remote monitors placed at each shooting location.

CMP Oklahoma Games

Along with competitive matches, a rifle Small Arms Firing School (SAFS) was held. Both beginning and experienced marksmen were trained in the classroom and on the firing line, with the help of CMP staff and certified instructors. SAFS attendees learned rifle handling, shot technique and safety, followed by firing in an actual M16 EIC match.

CMP Oklahoma Games

VINTAGE SNIPER MATCH — Sunday October 13th
The last event of the 2019 Oklahoma Games is the Vintage Sniper Team Match. Competitors must use Korean War or earlier, as-issued military sniper rifles or replicas of those rifles. Optics must also be original issue or replica scopes from the same period. The CMP Games Rules lists the approved rifles and optics.

Camp Perry Vintage Sniper match Oklahoma

The course of fire is designed to reproduce the conditions under which skilled long-range military riflemen operated. Two riflemen work together as a team. During the match, each team member functions alternately as a shooter or a spotter. After one team member finishes firing, they switch roles and the other team member fires. Firing is done at distances of 300 and 600 yards from the prone position. Shooters may use either a sling or sand bag support, but not both. Wind doping is critical and firing must be done quickly; targets are exposed for each shot for only 20 seconds and then withdrawn for 20 seconds.

About the CMP Travel Games
The CMP Travel Games are regional competitions held in different corners of the country throughout the year, featuring exclusive CMP rifle and pistol outdoor events. A common part of the CMP schedule for the last decade, the Games are centered around recreation-oriented competition and educational activities that are designed to accommodate experienced marksmen as well as those just beginning the sport.

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October 10th, 2019

How to Succeed at Club Matches — Six Tips

During shooting season, 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 6 Comments »
October 8th, 2019

Kirsten “Carves” Halloween Pumpkin with Volquartsen .22 LR

Halloween Pumpkin Kirsten Joy Weiss carving Volquartsen

October is Halloween month, so we thought we’d share the seasonal spirit with our readers. In this video, our friend Kirsten Joy Weiss shows off her impressive trick-shot skills. To help celebrate the gouls/goblins holiday, Kirsten “carved” a pumpkin using her semi-auto Volquartsen .22 LR rifle. Kirsten had to send a lot of rimfire rounds into her orange friend. It turns out the little .22-caliber bullets worked better on exit than entry — Mr. Pumpkin’s posterior side was more impressive than his front. But overall, the effort turned out very well indeed, as you can see. Nice job, Kirsten.

On inspection, Kirsten found that the most impressive Jack ‘O Lantern face appeared on the reverse side of her pumpkin. The “exit wounds” were better than the entry holes.
Halloween Pumpkin Kirsten Joy Weiss carving Volquartsen

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