Shoot like a girl? That’s a source of pride at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The Nebraska Huskers womens’ shooting team, Nebraska Rifle, has a strong tradition of excellence. Led by Coach Stacy Underwood, the Huskers are ranked among the top teams in the country. In the past 10 years, the Huskers have earned four Top-5 finishes in the NCAA Championships, and Nebraska has had over 30 All-American selections, as well as individual national champions.
This video spotlights some of the current members of 2013-14 Nebraska Rifle Team: Alexandrea Lorentz, ReAnn Wilson, Magdalena Mical, Lauren Phillips, Rachel Martin, Denise Martin, Sunny Russell, Marissa Major, Jaycee Carter, and Kelsey Hansen.
Nebraska Rifle Team Member Kelsey Hansen
The 2014 season is going well for the Nebraska Team. Just this past weekend the No. 8-ranked Huskers completed a sweep of two matches against Air Force, scoring a 4,679-4,671 win over the Falcons. Follow the team via the Nebraska Rifle News Page
Here is a more detailed video that shows the Nebraska Training Range, complete with electronic targets. This is one of the most advanced collegiate shooting facilities in the nation.
Getting to Know Coach Stacy Underwood
Q: What is your coaching philosophy?
A: Rifle is the only NCAA sport where you compete against yourself without awareness of how your fellow competitors are doing, until you’re finished. Only then are scores compared. So my athletes have to be totally self-contained — in motivation, discipline, and focus.
Even more, my athletes have to be supremely calm. A minute waver of even hundredths of a millimeter at the rifle barrel end can throw a shot way off a center target that’s the size of a pin head at 10 meters away. Very slight differences in breathing, heart rate, pulse strength, and muscle twitch amplify that waver.
Finally, rifle is a sport of slight differences. A perfect individual match score is 1200 points. A perfect team score is 4800 points. Perform at 96 percent of perfection and you’ll be marginally competitive. Perform at 98 percent of perfection and you’ll be setting NCAA records. It’s in that two percentage point spread that you find greatness in rifle.
So, given these rigors, I’ve organized my coaching philosophy around the idea of “just 1 percent more”. I’m asking each team member to give just 1 percent more in all areas- academics, personal development and performance.
Sounds simple, but think about what’s involved. Every team member has to deliver. To deliver, they’ll have to organize all the areas of their lives so they’re always ready mentally and physically. Any issues that come up can be referenced by “what will get us just 1 percent more”. They can learn from each other what works. Their lives – mind and body – will be in sync and at peace. That will give them calm. So my efforts will focus on helping each one achieve their goal. I expect great individual surprises, and from that, a great team result.
Photos courtesy NU Media Relations.
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Here’a a new twist. Earlier this month a CMP Air Rifle match, the Bass Pro 600, was held inside a shopping mall. This match featured a junior 3×20 match, as well as a 60-shot standing competition. The Tracker Boat section of the Bass Pro Shop of Leeds, Alabama was adapted to hold the CMP’s mobile range, so the young shooters could showcase their air rifle skills indoors. Some 24 electronic targets were set up in the boat garage, between permanent artificial swamp trees that decorate the area. Competitors traveled from several states to shoot in this unique indoor match, held January 4th and 5th. “The Bass Pro 600 is such a unique idea that many competitors travel to shoot in the event just for the novelty of the venue,” said James Hall, CMP program outreach supervisor.
Shoppers at the store could actually watch the young competitors in action. On Saturday, 42 junior competitors fired in a three-position match, while the store’s music played and shoppers stopped by to watch. Spectators were drawn over to the boating area, with 60-inch big-screen TVs displaying the scores in real-time.
Bass Pro patrons were also allowed to try their hand at air rifle shooting using a SCATT electronic training system, right beside competitors on the line. The photo below shows the trace captured by the SCATT machine. This tracks muzzle movement, helping shooters to steady their aim and chose the right moment to break the shot.
This is the second year the Bass Pro Shop in Leeds has opened its boating area for a CMP match. The success of these events have inspired many young shooters to attend the open range nights at the CMP Marksmanship Center in nearby Anniston, Alabama.
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Ana Pereira, from Portugal, is a Field Target World Champion. In the three videos below, Ana explains her sport and interviews other Field Target shooters. Field Target competitors shoot air rifles from a variety of positions over a multi-station field course. Targets are typically placed 9m to 50m distant (minimum distance rules vary country-by-country). Targets are usually small animal shapes that fall down when hit. There are a variety of air gun classes for Field Target, with the most exotic pre-charged pneumatic rifles costing many thousands of dollars.
Watch Interview with Ana Pereira
Field Target Shooters use very high-magnification scopes fitted with large side-wheels that control the parallax. The shooters use the parallax control to range the distance to the target and then adjust their elevation accordingly. In the video below, featuring the Steyr LG110 Field Target Air Rifle, you can see how the large side wheels are used for distance-ranging.
In the United Kingdom, most shots may be taken in any stance, but the seated position is the most popular due to its stability (and often one must shoot over logs or tall grass, so the prone position is not practical). Most competitors carry a small beanbag or cushion to sit on while shooting. It may also be used under the knee or to support the ankle during kneeling shots.
Targets are shot from “gates” in a firing line, and are divided into “lanes” of two targets each. Targets are often placed at about the same height as the shooter, but it is not uncommon for them to appear high up banks or in trees, or down steep slopes. The hit zone of a target is circular, usually 40–45 mm in diameter, although “reducer” targets as small as 25 mm may be employed for closer-range shots.
Ana Periera Interviews Springer Class World Champion Heli Jalakas in Estonia.
This Video Also Shows Shooting Sequences from International Competition:
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Looking for a gift for a young shooter in the family? Perhaps a niece or nephew, grandson or grand-daughter? Then head over to the Pyramyd Air website. Pyramyd, the nation’s largest retailer of air rifles and air pistols, has a huge selection of airguns that can provide the perfect introduction to the shooting sports for a youngster. And right now, Pyramyd is running a 12 Deals of Christmas Special, with new bargains every day through December 15th. Pyramyd also offers FREE Shipping on orders over $150.00. That all adds up to impressive savings on gift items for this holiday season.
Pyramyd offers a vast collection of air rifles, from $35.00 Red Ryder BB guns to $3700.00 Olympic-class air Rifles from Anschutz and Feinwerkbau.
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Are you thinking, “Snow’s on the ground, winter’s here, I won’t be competing until spring.” Well think again — there are opportunities to compete indoors during these cold months.
The 2014 NRA National Indoor Rifle & Pistol Championships start January 1, 2014. There will be indoor matches around the country with a variety of disciplines including Air Pistol, Rimfire Pistol, Air Rifle, and Rimfire Rifles. There is even a BB gun class for Juniors. The Indoor Championships involve multiple sectional tournaments, held in a variety of states from January through mid-April. This is like a super-duper postal match. Your results are sent to the NRA where they’re compared to other shooters. Winners are determined in late May. It’s a fun way to compete with many other shooters and it’s easy to get involved. There will be nearly 300 sectionals in 2014, so you’ll probably find an event close to home. Here are dates for 2013:
For more information contact these NRA staffers: Dian Bullock, (703) 267-1482 (Rifle); Ann Boyd, (703) 267-1452 (Pistol); Tori Croft, (703) 267-1473 (Collegiate).
The 50m Free Pistol is one of the events in the NRA National Indoor Championship. It takes skill — the pistol is shot one-handed, with iron sights, and the Ten-Ring is only 50mm (about 1.97″) in diameter. A competitive world-class score is 560 or better out of 600 possible points. Learn more about this challenging discipline in this USA Shooting video:
With the price of reloading components rising and .22 LR rimfire ammo being difficult to obtain, more shooters are looking at air rifles for training and competition. With air rifles, the propellant is free, and pellets are cheap and readily available from local stores or web vendors such as Pyramyd Air.
UPDATE: The 2013 Extreme Benchrest Event is being held November 8-10 at the Quail Creek Gun Club. Friday the 9th was an open shooting day. The actual competition starts Saturday November 10th. You can still show up and compete if you register before 10 a.m. on Saturday. A variety of matches (benchrest, field target, silhouette, and pistol) will be held over the weekend.
The video below shows a very popular air rifle match — the Extreme Benchrest Event held at the Quail Creek Gun Club, in Green Valley, Arizona (south of Tucson). Many types of shooting took place over a full weekend. A 25m benchrest match was followed by the popular steel silhouette speed match (shot from the bench). Both indoor and outdoor pistol matches were held. There was even a “Extreme” Benchrest match, with bullseye targets placed at 75 yards (that offered plenty of challenge). This is very nicely made video, well worth watching. Enjoy!
GREAT Video of Extreme Benchrest AirGun Event In Arizona
Though you won’t experience the recoil, blast, and noise of centerfire shooting, air rifle shooting still offers the challenge of hitting the target, just like any other shooting sport. With an air rifle you save money and there are fewer regulations (no FFL is required for an air rifle purchase). Modern air rifles can be very accurate. The top-of-the-line air rifles are not kids toys — these are sophisticated, finely-machined systems capable of surprising accuracy. And you won’t lack for competition opportunities. Around the country there are air rifle matches for both position shooters and benchrest competitors.
Video Find by Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
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Imagine if thousands of junior shooters, from all around the country, could somehow compete in one giant, mega-match hosted at hundreds of different locations, with the scores all tallied together? Juniors in Maine could compete with young marksmen in Montana, or Florida (or any of the other 50 states). Sound like a pipe dream? Well such a program really exists. It’s called the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) Postal Match, a 10-meter, three-position air rifle competition.
The CMP Postal Match allows juniors from all 50 states to compete from the convenience of their home ranges. The top shooters later compete shoulder-to-shoulder at regional and national matches. The CMP Postal Match is open to all junior programs, including all JROTC, 4-H, Boy Scouts and junior clubs. Participants must be school age (not yet graduated from high school), and all team participants must be from the same school or club.
Here’s How the CMP Postal Match Works:
Shooters must register with the CMP before January 24, 2014.
Registered shooters will receive official CMP targets by mail ($5.00 per shooter).
Targets must be mailed back to CMP for scoring, to be received no later than 2/4/2013.
At its scenic Bloomfield, New York facility, Crosman hosted the largest regional competition sanctioned by the American Field Target Association (AFTA) and the 2013 edition of the Northeast Regional Field Target Championship (NRFTC). Over one hundred competitors (and three international teams) participated in the two-day rifle match, single day pistol match, and Quigley Bucket Challenge.
The big draw was Team USA as they prepare to attend the World Field Target Federation Championship in Germany in August. Nine members of the 15-member team were on hand including past NRFTC champions Hector Medina, Greg Sauve and Harold Rushton. They were joined by five shooters of Team Venezuela and when a few Canadian participants formed Team Canada, the international side match was on. Scores were based on the team aggregate and after Day 1 it was Team USA (41.33) leading Team Canada (38.83) and Team Venezuela (36.80). Anchored by Rushton, Sauve, and Ray Apelles, Team USA took the weekend with an aggregate score of 88.66. Team Canada finished with 78.66, and Team Venezuela posted a 72.60.
Quigley Bucket Challenge
Always a favorite pre-event competition, the Quigley Bucket Challenge is a re-creation of the dramatic scene in the film Quigley Down Under in which Tom Selleck’s character must shoot a bucket at 700 yards. Scaled for airguns, this equates to a 1.75″ target placed at 55 yards. Shooters must use a 6.5 ft-lb. rifle using only open / iron / non-magnified sights. The Quigley had 45 shooters try five shots apiece. Just eight hit the bucket and after two over-times, Greg Sauve was the only shooter to repeat the feat, thereby winning the Challenge.
Tech Talk: Why the Big Side-Wheels on the Scopes?
Field Target rifles shoot pellets propelled by compressed air. These light-weight, low-BC projectiles drop very quickly, with a looping trajectory. In order to hit targets at distances out to 50 yards or so, you have to adjust your scope to compensate for pellet drop. But you can’t set the scope correctly without knowing the precise range to the target. This is the function of the big wheels on the side of the scope. Field Target Competitors use the parallax adjustment on high-magnification scopes to determine target range. The big wheel allows quick, yet precise parallax adjustment. Markings on the wheel show the shooter the scope settings required for the distance “dialed-in” via the over-size parallax wheel.
The 2013 World Rimfire and Air Rifle Benchrest Federation (WRABF) European and World Cup Championships will take place August 3-16 at the Plzen International Shooting Range in the Czech Republic. Top smallbore and air rifle benchresters from 19 countries will compete, along with junior squads from six nations. With over 130 registered competitors, this should be the biggest WRABF Championship event ever held.
The Championships run for 13 days in August, starting with two official practice days on August 3-4. Then Air Rifle benchrest matches will be held August 5-7. Rimfire 25m matches are slated for August 8-11, followed by 50m matches August 12-15. Awards presentations will be made on August 16th, then all the shooters head for home.
Team Italy created a handsome banner especially for the WRABG Championships:
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There is a new digital magazine for Rimfire and Air Rifle Benchrest enthusiasts, The Benchrest Shooter. You can download the premier, Summer 2013 edition for free. This initial trial version of the digital magazine is free to all member states of the WRABF and ERABSF, allowing readers to preview the type of articles planned for future editions. Here is a link for a free download:
The free download links will be valid for the next two weeks — so grab this issue while you can. Future editions will be by paid subscription only. The magazine’s creators plan to produce four (4) issues of The Benchrest Shooter eZine per year, costing $3.50/ €3 per issue (based on an annual subscription price of $14/ €12). Articles in future issues will include:
Review of the Plzen World Championships
Product reviews — airline cases, rifles, components, rests, etc.
Plans for building your own front rest
Barrel tuners — how to choose one and how to use one
Country profiles and the international community
The editors of The Benchrest Shooter encourage air rifle and rimfire benchrest competitors to get involved: “The magazine in many respects is about you, your countries, the sport, development of equipment, and sharing ideas. [We] hope that people would submit articles about such ideas and products for future issues. The magazine can supply a great more detail than a forum for instance. All advertising supports WRABF and ERABSF sponsorship. The first year is a trial to see if the new eZine will be cost-effective.”
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The USA Shooting National Championships for Rifle and Pistol will be held June 3-9, at the home of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) in Fort Benning. More than 500 competitors will vie for national titles in rifle and pistol disciplines. This year’s National Championships serves as a World Cup selection match with the top-three finishers in each Olympic event open class earning a berth in the upcoming World Cup in Granada, Spain in July.
Many talented athletes will visit Fort Benning next week, including 2012 Olympian and Prone National Champion Michael McPhail and Olympic and USAMU teammate Eric Uptagrafft. 2012 Olympians Jason Turner and Keith Sanderson will be returning to defend their titles in Men’s 10m Air and 25m Rapid Fire Pistol. On the women’s side, 2012 Olympian Sarah Scherer looks to repeat as National Champion in 10m Air Rifle. Other standouts include National Rifle Team members Emily Holsopple, Sarah Beard, and Amy Sowash.
More information can also be found on the USA Shooting website (USAShooting.org) by clicking on the ‘Match Information’ link located under the ‘Events’ tab. Look for scores on USA Shooting’s match results page following each competition. Photos will be posted on USA Shooting’s Flickr photo gallery.
The nation’s best young air rifle marksmen put on an impressive display at the National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships (NJOSC) on April 16th in Colorado Springs. A trio of Wildcats, a pair of Nanooks, a Falcon, a Mountaineer, and a home-schooled 17-year-old all battled for the National Title in the Men’s 10m Air Rifle Final.
The Univ. of Kentucky’s Connor Davis emerged victorious among a talent-rich NJOSC Air Rifle final that featured five USA Shooting National Junior Team members. Davis earned a 1.5-point victory over University of Alaska-Fairbanks rifle shooter Ryan Anderson while 2012 champ and U.S. Air Force cadet Tyler Rico took the bronze medal. Kentucky freshman Davis was joined in the final by Wildcat teammates Cody Manning and Elijah Ellis who finished fourth and sixth respectively. The surprise of the match was 17-year-old Mark Matheny. The home-schooled shooter from Delaware shot well to finish fifth overall and as the high J2 (15 to 17-year-old) competitor.
Davis’ victory affirms his fast-rise in the sport and backs up his fourth-place finish at the recent NCAA Rifle Championships. “Connor has great spirit and a work ethic to be envied,” said Amy Sowash, a National Development Team athlete and Univ. Kentucky Rifle Assistant Coach. “As a native Kentuckian, we are so proud he represents [Univ. of Kentucky]. He lives on the range and thrives on the excitement of competition, which I think is his greatest strength.”