October 20th, 2017

13,000 More Crossman Air Rifles for Army JR0TC Program

crossman challenger pcp air rifle u.s. army jrotc trainer contract

Crosman, the world’s largest airgun manufacturer, has again been awarded the contract to supply Sporter Class air rifles for the U.S. Army JROTC program. The Army will purchase more than 13,000 Crosman Challengers, adding to the more than 4,000 rifles the Army purchased in 2016. The Challenger air rifles will be built at Crosman’s headquarters in Bloomfield, New York.

The Challenger PCP (pre-charged pneumatic) Air Rifle is the preferred .177 sporter class air rifle for competitive marksmanship programs throughout the country, including the Marine Corps JROTC, Army JROTC, Air Force JROTC, Navy JROTC, American Legion, and 4-H. The Challenger is a three-position competition rifle that features a fully adjustable stock, a two-stage, adjustable match grade trigger, a hooded front aperture sight, a micro click, adjustable diopter rear sight, a patented ambidextrous pull bolt, and a floating Lothar Walther™ barrel.

“The Crosman Challenger has long been the preferred air rifle for coaches from a variety of marksmanship programs,” said Jennifer Lambert, VP Marketing & Product Development for Crosman. “We’re proud that the Army JROTC chose to continue our partnership and we can’t wait to see what new championships and records their cadets will achieve.”

In addition to airguns, Crosman sells Lasermax optics and laser aiming devices, and Centerpoint archery products. Crosman is a subsidiary of Compass Diversified Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CODI).

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills No Comments »
August 26th, 2017

Great Resource for Airgunners — Air Rifle Buyer’s Guide

Air Rifle book olympic

We like air rifles both for fun shooting and for competition. However, so many options are now available that is easy to get over-whelmed with the choices. Thankfully, there is a good book that helps air rifle shooters make informed decisions about air guns and gear. Steve Markwith’s new title, Air Rifles: A Buyer’s and Shooter’s Guide offers a wealth of useful information. This 154-page paperback book is now available for $12.95. The book is also offered as a FREE Kindle download for Amazon Prime and Kindle Unlimited members. Check it out — you may be able to get the book for free.

Steve Markwith Air Rifle Pneumatic airgun book Amazon.com Free downloand

This is a very informative book explaining the ins and outs of air rifles, their capabilities and limitations. I highly recommend this book to anyone considering purchasing an air rifle for marksmanship practice or small game hunting.” – L. Stanek, Verified Amazon Reviewer

Read Free Sample Chapters Online
If you go to Amazon.com and click on the cover of this book, you can view a FREE preview with extensive samples from many chapters. The book covers all the most important types of air rifle systems, both pre-charged pneumatics and other self-charging guns. Markwith reviews the wide variety of pellets available, offering suggestions for particular applications. You’ll also find a useful discussion of Airgun Power, Range, and Accuracy. This will help you pick the right air rifle for your application.

Markwith explains the many attractions of airguns. They are not considered firearms (in most jurisdictions) so they can be purchased at local shops or mail-order outlets without FFL fees or background checks. You’ll find a huge online selection of airguns at PyramydAir.com that can ship direct to you — no FFL required. Air rifles are also quiet and very inexpensive to shoot. While .177 and .22 caliber air rifles are most common, there are also larger-caliber airguns offered for hunting or special applications.

Steve Markwith Air Rifle Pneumatic airgun book Amazon.com Free downloand

Permalink Gear Review, News 1 Comment »
May 16th, 2017

Pyramyd Air Birthday Sale — 20% Off and Free Shipping

Pyramid Air Rifle arigun sale 20% off

We like airguns — they’re fun, quiet, and cheap to shoot (compressed air is cheaper than gunpowder and primers). Now’s a great time to purchase a new air rifle, or get airgunning tools and accessories. Now through 3:00 am on May 17th, Pyramyd Air, the USA’s leading airgun retailer, is offering 20% off airguns, optics, and accessories from over 50 name brands. You’ll find a huge selection of airguns on sale — from $50 BB Guns to $3500 Olympic-grade air rifles. Along with the 20% off discount, Pyramyd Air is offering FREE Shipping with orders over $150.00. But act soon — these offers expire at 3:00 am EST on May 17, 2017. To get 20% off, use Promo Code 17-BDAY.

Leading brands now 20% off include: Air Venturi, Benjamin, Beretta, Browning, Colt, Crossman, CZ, Gamo, Remington, Ruger, SIG, Smith & Wesson, Swissarms, Umarex, Walther and more. Here’s one of the Walther air rifles on sale, the handsome German-crafted MaximaThor model. Designed for varmint hunting, this air rifle features a Lothar Walther barrel threaded for a silencer, plus an 8-round rotary magazine. In 22-caliber it delivers 44 ft-lbs of energy at 1260 fps.

Pyramid Air Rifle arigun sale 20% off

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September 28th, 2016

Big Turn-Out for Pyramyd Air Cup Airgun Competition in Ohio

Pyramyd Air Field Target GunSlynger air rifle airgun match

The third annual Pyramyd Air Cup attracted nearly 100 amateur and professional shooters from around the nation, making it the best-attended AAFTA Grand Prix Field Target event in the USA this year. Hosted September 9-11 at the Tusco Rifle Club in New Philadelphia, Ohio, the Pyramyd Cup featured multiple airgun shooting disciplines including Field Target, the rapid-fire GunSlynger benchrest event, and the PayDay Challenge. Watch this video to see all the events:

Reigning AAFTA National Champion Ken Hughes stated: “What a weekend! The Field Target courses were challenging, and the wild, rapid-fire style of the Gunslynger event was difficult in its own right. It was great getting to meet new airgun buddies and check out the new gear from the many vendors in attendance. I really enjoyed the PA Cup!”

Pyramyd Air Field Target GunSlynger air rifle airgun match

Field Target Discipline Is Challenging
“Field Target is one of the most difficult shooting disciplines out there,” says Pyramyd Air Cup Match Director, Tyler Patner. “Combine the multiple skills required to rise to the top of your game, with the myriad of factors you take into account at each lane, and you’ve got a challenging sport.”

Pyramyd Air Field Target GunSlynger air rifle airgun match

Pyramyd Air Field Target GunSlynger air rifle airgun match

“Targets are small, metal silhouettes of animals that consist of a kill zone and a colored paddle,” explains Patner. “Placed at unknown distances from between 10 yards to as far as 55 yards, the targets have kill-zones ranging in size from 3/8 inch to 1 1/2 inches. When the pellet passes through the kill zone and hits the paddle, the target falls and you’re awarded a point. It’s a game of precision and practice. You range-find with your scope, dope for distance, take the wind into account, and then you have to execute. There are different restrictions based upon your selected class, but the challenges remain the same. Wind-doping, range-finding, and remaining mentally tough over the entire course of fire are the biggest hurdles competitors face.”

Pyramyd Air Field Target GunSlynger air rifle airgun match

Pyramyd Air Field Target GunSlynger air rifle airgun match

Huge Prize Table for Competitors
Competition prizes were donated by many airgun and optics manufacturers including: AirForce Airguns, Air Arms, Beeman, Crosman, Birchwood Casey, Diana, Feinwerkbau, H&N, Hawke Sport Optics, JSB, Leapers, Plano, Predator, Umarex, UTG, and Walther. “You’d be hard-pressed to find an airgun competition with a better selection of prizes for its winners,” says says Pyramyd Air CEO, Joshua Ungier. “Our winner’s packages help assure shooters that if they’re limited to traveling to only one competitive shooting event, they recognize the Pyramyd Air Cup as the industry’s premier event.”

For more info, and complete match results for all events, visit the Pyramyd Air Cup Match Recap Page.

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July 1st, 2016

Crosman All-American Field Target Championship Next Weekend

Field Target Championship Crosman Rush New York

The largest field target event in the country comes to upstate New York next weekend. On July 8-10, the Crosman All-American Field Target Championship (CAAFTC) will be held at the Rochester Brooks International Skeet and Trap Club in Rush, New York. 0ver 100 air rifle and air pistol competitors will participate in the event hosted by Crosman Corporation. This event attracts top Airgunners from across the nation (and some foreign countries). Along with regular Field Target matches, there will be specialty side matches, plus a factory tour. The event is free to the public.

Field Target Championship Crosman Rush New York

The CAAFTC is sanctioned by the American Airgun Field Target Association and is a featured AAFTA Grand Prix event. The 120-shot match has competitive rifle divisions based on allowable gun and support equipment. Here are the main air rifle classifications:

Hunter Division – rifle fires at a maximum 20 foot pounds of energy (FPE), shooter may use a non-attached bipod, non-restrictive clothing, and sitting stool.
Open Division - maximum 20 FPE maximum rifle, shooter may wear a body harness, no bipod, 6″ maximum height seat.
World Field Target Federation (WFTF) – similar to Open but shooters compete according to international standard of maximum 12 fpe for rifles.
Freestyle Division – 20 FPE maximum rifle, no other restrictions. (This is new for 2016).

The pistol competition includes similar divisions based on shooting styles. Both rifle and pistol divisions include sub-classes based on the air rifle powerplant: piston driven or precharged pneumatic.

“If you want to see some of the country’s finest airgun shooters, this is the hottest event of the summer and it’s free for the public,” says Chip Hunnicutt, Marketing Manager for Crosman. “Alongside the world-class shooters, we’ll have enthusiasts simply having a good time and even parents bringing their kids for some good fun outdoors.”

The weekend begins on Friday, July 8th with the PyramydAir Gunslynger match at noon followed by the Quigley Bucket Challenge at 2:00 pm. A facility tour will be available at 1:00 pm at Crosman’s world headquarters located at 7629 Routes 5 & 20 in Bloomfield. The first round of the rifle match begins Saturday at 9:00 am.

Field Target Championship Crosman Rush New York

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.

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June 23rd, 2016

American Airgunner Returns for 8th Season on Pursuit Channel

American Airgunner television 2016 tv pursuit channel

American Airgunner returns next week for its eighth season on the Pursuit Channel. On Friday, July 1st, American Airgunner kicks off its 2016 season at 8:30 pm Eastern time. This year American Airgunner will cover the many airgun competition disciplines, take viewers on airgun hunts, and spotlight the latest in airgun hardware and technology. If you enjoy shooting air rifles, you should definitely tune in….

Watch American Airgunner 2016 Preview Sizzle Reel

“American Airgunner is an incredibly popular show that epitomizes the outdoors through entertaining and educational storytelling,” said Rusty Faulk, CEO of Pursuit Channel. “It consistently ranks among the top shows in our line-up and is among the best-produced in all of outdoor television.”

This year, host Rossi Morreale interviews new guests, shoots new air guns, travels to new places, and incorporates new “explosions”. Along with a variety of airgun competition disciplines, this season will feature airgun hunting, including a successful turkey hunt in California. Host Morreale bagged his first wild turkey with a .22 caliber Umarex Octane air rifle. In the following video, Morreale compares .22 air rifles with .22 LR rimfire rifles. The results may surprise you…

Feature: How Does a .22 LR Rimfire Rig Compare to a .22 Pellet Airgun?

American Airgunner Broadcast Times
American Airgunner airs on Wednesdays at 4:30 pm Eastern, Fridays at 1:30 am and during primetime on Friday evening at 8:30 pm Eastern/5:30 pm Pacific. Pursuit Channel can be found on DirecTV Ch. 604, and DISH Network Ch. 393 and via Roku and Chromecast. Check your local listings for additional channel information.

Permalink - Videos, News 1 Comment »
October 31st, 2015

New Comprehensive Guide to Air Rifles by Steve Markwith

Steve Markwith Air Rifle Pneumatic airgun book Amazon.com Free downloand

We like air rifles both for fun shooting and for competition. However, so many options are now available that is easy to get over-whelmed with the choices. Thankfully, there is a good book that helps air rifle shooters make informed decisions about air guns and gear. Steve Markwith’s new title, Air Rifles: A Buyer’s and Shooter’s Guide offers a wealth of useful information. This 154-page paperback book is now available for $12.95. The book is also offered as a FREE Kindle download for Amazon Prime and Kindle Unlimited members. Check it out — you may be able to get the book for free.

Read Free Sample Chapters Online
If you go to Amazon.com and click on the cover of this book, you can view a FREE preview with extensive samples from many chapters. The book covers all the most important types of air rifle systems, both pre-charged pneumatics and other self-charging guns. Markwith reviews the wide variety of pellets available, offering suggestions for particular applications. You’ll also find a useful discussion of Airgun Power, Range, and Accuracy. This will help you pick the right air rifle for your application.

Markwith explains the many attractions of airguns. They are not considered firearms (in most jurisdictions) so they can be purchased at local shops or mail-order outlets without FFL fees or background checks. You’ll find a huge online selection of airguns at PyramydAir.com that can ship direct to you — no FFL required. Air rifles are also quiet and very inexpensive to shoot. While .177 and .22 caliber air rifles are most common, there are also larger-caliber airguns offered for hunting or special applications.

Steve Markwith Air Rifle Pneumatic airgun book Amazon.com Free downloand

“This is a very informative book explaining the ins and outs of air rifles, their capabilities and limitations. I highly recommend this book to anyone considering purchasing an air rifle for marksmanship practice or small game hunting.” – L. Stanek, Verified Amazon Reviewer

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June 3rd, 2015

Wind Flags in Slow Motion — You’ll Be Surprised


Photo of Aussie Wind Flags courtesy BRT Shooters Supply.

Our Aussie friend Stuart Elliot of BRT Shooters Supply recently filmed some interesting videos at the QTS range in Brisbane, Australia. Stuart told us: “I was shooting in an Air Gun Benchrest match here in Brisbane, Australia. I finished my target early and was awaiting the cease fire and took a short, slow-motion video of windflag behavior.” You may be surprised by the velocity changes and angle swings that occur, even over a relatively short distance (just 25 meters from bench to target).

Here are windflags in slow motion:

The flags show in the videos are “Aussie Wind Flags”, developed by Stuart Elliot. These are sold in the USA by Butch Lambert, through Shadetree Engineering.

(more…)

Permalink - Videos, Competition 3 Comments »
March 19th, 2015

A Top Choice in Air Rifles Tested

With the high price of reloading components, and the limited availability of .22 LR rimfire ammo, perhaps it’s time to consider an air rifle. Modern air rifles can be very accurate, and, the last time we checked, air was still free (the government hasn’t figured out how to tax air yet).

Air Arms S510 Xtra air rifle airgun Field Target

In the world of air rifles, you’ll find a huge range of products, from low-cost plinkers to $5000.00+ Olympic-class position rifles. If you’re looking for a high-quality air rifle in the $1200.00 range, consider the Air Arms S510 Xtra FAC. This versatile rifle received exceptionally high marks from Hard Air Magazine (HAM), a specialty website for air gunners. HAM’s editors gave the Air Arms S510 a 93% total score, the highest score of any air rifle the magazine has tested to date. Accuracy was outstanding with the heavier pellets in the standard HAM test range. HAM tested a .22 caliber version, but Air Arms also offers the S510 in .177 or .25 caliber. The .177 version is suitable for Field Target Competition.

CLICK HERE to Read Full Air Arms S510 Review. (Very Comprehensive).

Air Arms S510 Xtra air rifle airgun Field Target

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March 20th, 2014

Registration Opens for USA’s Most Popular Field Target Regional

Now in its fifth year, the Northeast Regional Field Target Championship (NRFTC) is the country’s largest regional championship with nearly 100 shooters participating in nine shooting disciplines. Open to professionals, amateurs and families, the NRFTC offers a challenging yet forgiving shooting course in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of New York. The event will be held on the Crosman Corporation campus in Bloomfield, NY from July 11-13, 2014. NOTE: Pre-registration closes June 1 when the match fees increase from $50 to $60.

CLICK HERE for Online Registration, Event Rules, and Lodging Options..

“Spots are limited, so please register soon,” says Mark DeBoard, Shooting Services Manager for Crosman. “Field target is a fun event for all skill levels. Participants will benefit by shooting alongside members of Team USA and other [top shooters] from across the country.

Field Target New York

The event runs under American Airgun Field Target Association rules. Field target competitors attempt to knock down a variety of steel targets set at distances ranging from 15 to 50 yards. “Shooting is truly a level playing field, making it a great family experience. Age, height, and weight don’t offer any advantages, so we see both adults and youth performing at high levels,” says DeBoard.

field target

Field Target Competition Explained — Video from 2013 World Championship

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February 17th, 2013

Free iPhone and Android Airgun Apps from Pyramyd Air

Pyramyd Air Airgun AppPyramyd Air, the leading online airgun retailer, has developed two smart phone Apps for airgun shooters and airsoft shooters. Pyramyd’s FREE Air Wizard App is offered for both Apple iPhones (go to: iTunes Store) and Android OS phones (go to: Android App Market).

Pyramid Apps Calculate Projectile Energy, and Do Conversions
The Air Wizard Apps calculate muzzle energy (based on projectile weight and observed velocity). The Apps can do a host of conversions: foot-pounds to joules, joules to foot-pounds, grams to grains and grains to grams, pounds to pounds and ounces, feet to yards, yards to feet, meters to yards, yards to meters, Fahrenheit to Celsius, Celsius to Fahrenheit, FPS (feet per second) to MPS (meters per second) and MPS to FPS. Most of these calculations work for all gun types — airguns, firearms and airsoft.

Pyramid Air Airgun App

Special Functions for Airsoft Guns
For airsoft guns, the Apps offer additional computations including determining joules, meters per second (MPS), feet per second (FPS), kilometers per hour and battery time for auto-electric guns (AEG).

Additional Air Rifle Information from Pyramyd Air
Pyramyd Air provides professional product videos from Airgun Reporter Paul Capello. Pyramyd’s Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier writes a highly respected daily Blog, the Pyramyd Air Report. Pyramyd also provides instructional videos through its online Airgun Academy.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News No Comments »
September 24th, 2012

Air Guns are Fun! SoCal Regional Air Rifle Benchrest Match

Open Grove Range in Southern California recently hosted an air rifle benchrest match. The Open Grove (SoCal) Regional was conducted in conjunction with the World Postal Championship and U.S. Air Rifle Benchrest nationwide standings, under World Rimfire and Air Rifle Benchrest Federation (WRABF) rules. All shooters competed for individual placements and SoCal Regional standings for this one event. In addition, three SoCal team members, Linzie Boise, Jim Herrick, and John Carter, would have their combined three-person match scores entered into World Postal Match team competition standings. It sounds more complicated than it really was. For most of the shooters this match was all about having fun with good friends. The cost was low, the fun factor was high, and, at the end of the day, everyone left with a big smile. CLICK HERE to View Match Photo Gallery (170 hi-rez pictures).

Open Grove Air Rifle Benchrest

WATCH Match Video with Shooter Interviews

There were two competition classes: Light Varmint (LV) and Heavy Varmint (HV). Light Varmint class is for rifles weighing no more than 10.5 pounds, with a power limit of 12 foot-lbs-energy (FPE) max power. The Heavy Varmint class allows 15 pounds max weight, with a max power limit of 20 FPE. Any scope magnification is allowed. Unlike ARA rimfire benchrest, you can’t use a one-piece rest; a two-piece set-up (with front rest and rear bag) is required. For more information on Air Rifle Benchrest rules and classifications visit www.wrabf.com and usairriflebenchrest.com.

Open Grove Air Rifle Benchrest

Hardware and Course of Fire
The rifles used at SoCal Regional are pre-charged using compressed air tanks. The rifles were chambered for either .177 or .22 caliber pellets. While some of the rifles were dedicated benchrest rigs, many were converted/adapted Field Target Rifles. The large side-focus-parallax wheels you see on some of the rifles are used for ranging in Field Target competition. The targets were set at 25 meters. Each target has 25 record bulls. The time limit was 30 minutes per target. Winners were determined based on the Overall Aggregate from the combined scores of three, 25-bull targets. Trophies were awarded to top shooters in HV and LV classes, and the Overall winner.

Open Grove Air Rifle Benchrest

Comments from Match Director
After seven years as a rimfire benchrest shooter, I found a new passion with these air rifles. The cost involved will vary depending on where one wants to start. The sport right now is developing quickly with barrel manufacturers, custom action builders, and stock makers all getting involved. For Open Grove Benchrest, this event was a huge success in attracting different levels of competitors from first-time shooters to Benchrest regulars. We hope this will be a turning point for attracting new shooters to the sport. We tried to make this a fun family event. People really did seem to enjoy themselves. After the last relay, all the shooters were treated to a lunch. Then we gave out door prizes and awarded trophies to the winners.

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April 9th, 2012

New High Impact .177 and .22 Pellets from Gamo

Here’s a interesting new ammo option for air rifle shooters. Gamo Outdoor USA has introduced new Bone Collector® lead pellets featuring dome tips and grooved skirts. Gamo claims that the rounded nose and grooved skirt makes these pellets more aerodynamic (with a higher ballistic coefficient), so they retain more energy at longer distances. That’s good news for Airgun varmint hunters. The .177 pellet weighs 7.56 grains while the larger .22-caliber version weighs 15.43 grains. Gamo claims that the high weight-to-caliber ratio and higher BC gives Bone Collector® pellets “more terminal penetration than standard lead pellets” and a stable flight trajectory. MSRP is $8.95 per tin (150 pellets/tin in .177 and 100 pellets/tin in .22). Whether the Bone Collector pellets really live up to the marketing hype remains to be seen, but it’s still good to see some new offerings among pellet-makers.

Dome Top Gamo Bone Collector Pellets

RWS Superdome pellet .22Nothing New Under the Sun?
While Gamo is claiming that its domed and skirted pellet design is an innovative new aerodynamic design, sharp-eyed Bulletin reader Julio from the UK points out the the Gamo Bone Collector is a dead-ringer for the RWS Superdome pellet, which has been available for quite some time. Check out the photos and you’ll see the similarity.

The RWS Superdome is available in three sizes: .177, .22, and .25. The Gamo Bone Collector pellets are a bit heavier in .22 caliber: Gamo’s .22-cal Bone Collector is 15.43 grains compared to 14.5 for the .22-cal Superdome. But the RWS .177-cal Superdome is 8.3 grains compared to 7.56 grains for the bone Collector. And Gamo has nothing to match the jumbo 31.0 grain .25-caliber Superdome.

RWS Superdome pellet .155

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product 2 Comments »
March 11th, 2012

TCU Wins 2012 NCAA Rifle Championship (Smallbore + Air Rifle)

TCU Wins NRA National Rifle ChampionshipThe TCU rifle team used a dominating effort in air rifle to erase a five-point deficit to claim its second national championship in the last three seasons. TCU’s top-scoring Air Rifle shooter, Sarah Scherer, finished third in the air rifle individual finals, which was won by another lady shooter, West Virginia Mountaineer Petra Zublasing. Congrats to Petra!

In addition to the Team National Championship, the Frogs took home the air rifle title after firing a 2,353, topping West Virginia’s team score of 2,350. Kentucky finished the smallbore competition on day one in first place, but the KY Wildcats couldn’t hold off the TCU squad. TCU’s “Horned Frogs” fired a 2,353 in air rifle to record an impressive 4,676-4,661 overall victory over the defending champion Wildcats. Alaska-Fairbanks took third place overall in the team competition behind TCU and Kentucky.

Final NCAA Rifle Championship Team Rankings:

1. Texas Christian University (TCU)
2. Univ. of Kentucky
3. Univ. of Alaska – Fairbanks
4. U.S. Military Academy (West Point)
5. Univ. of Texas El Paso (UTEP)
6. West Virginia Univ.
7. Jacksonville State Univ.
8. Univ. of Nevada – Reno
Permalink Competition, News 1 Comment »
March 2nd, 2012

New Nikon 3-9x40mm EFR Scope for Rimfire and Airgun Rifles

If you’re an airgun or rimfire shooter, you need a scope with the ability to focus at short distances, since you’ll typically be shooting at targets from 10 yards to 55 yards (50m). Scopes used for centerfire shooting may not be able to focus sharply at these close ranges. That’s why various manufacturers have developed EFR (Extended Focus Range) scopes.

Add Nikon to the list of EFR scope-makers. Nikon just introduced the ProStaff Target EFR 3-9x40mm riflescope featuring an adjustable objective lens that can focus from 10 meters to infinity. That’s right, Nikon’s affordable ($189.95) new 3-9X EFR scope goes all the way down to ten meters (about 33′). That makes it very useful for Airgun and BB gun shooters.

The waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof EFR boasts Zero-Reset turrets with 1/4-inch adjustments at 50 yards (i.e. 1/2″ at 100 yards). Make note of that — if you are shooting mostly at 100 yards and beyond, you don’t want this scope — it really has been set-up for the short stuff. Total adjustment at 100 yards is 80 MOA; that give you an adjustment range of about 40″ at 50 yards. Nikon’s new ProStaff 3-9x40mm Target EFR scope comes with a matte finish, and retails for just $189.95.

Nikon EFR 3-9x40 rifle scope

Like all Nikon riflescopes, the Target EFR is optimized for use with Nikon’s Spot On™ Ballistics program. The Spot On program can be purchased for iPhone, iPad and Android or utilized for free at nikonhunting.com/spoton.
Permalink New Product, Optics No Comments »
March 1st, 2012

New Orion Scanning System Approved for NRA Airgun Comps

Orion Scoring SystemLooks like the days of manual target scoring are numbered — at least for airgun shooters. Effective April 23, 2012 (after this year’s Sectionals) the NRA will accept targets digitally scanned and scored with the new Orion Scoring System. Produced by Shooter’s Technology in Virginia, the Orion System exceeds the accuracy standards set by the ISSF, and routinely scores shots within .04mm. Currently the Orion scoring system can work with 5m BB gun targets, 10m Air Rifle Targets, 10m Air Pistol Targets, and 50-foot smallbore (.22LR Rimfire) targets.

50m Smallbore Capability in Development
Orion is working hard on more powerful software that will be able to score 50m smallbore targets — but that’s still many months away.

The makers of the Orion Scoring System claim it can score targets faster, more accurately, and more reliably than scoring by hand using calipers and target plugs. Orion 2.0 will score a 12-bull air rifle target in about 5 seconds — that’s up to five times faster than manual methods. Single-shot accuracy is consistently between .04mm and .10mm, even for low velocity sporter air rifles. Multiple-shot accuracy (when two or more shots overlap on a target) is between .10mm and .25mm.

Orion Scoring System

The Orion Scoring System is a new technology that automates the scoring process. Shooters fire at specially-designed paper targets sourced from Orion. Once each stage of the match is completed, targets are collected and then digitized using commercial scanners. The Orion software reads the target image files, and scores each shot using an image processing algorithm.

Orion’s Dr. Erik Anderson explains how the system works: “Orion’s scoring process uses a computer vision algorithm known formally as ‘Visual Image Scoring’ (VIS). VIS works in a three-step process. First, VIS calculates the precise center of the aiming bull by extrapolating and using the edge of the aiming bull. Second, VIS locates the center of each shot using a similar process using data from the shot hole edge. Finally, the distance between these two locations, called the radial distance, is used to determine the score value. A key to Orion’s accuracy is using the complete shot hole edge. In comparison, manual methods of scoring only look at the inner most edge point and thus have a limited amount of data to determine the shot value.” Anderson says the Orion Scoring System can be as accurate as very expensive electronic targets, though the Orion requires a much smaller investment in hardware. The only special equipment a shooting club needs is a decent flatbed scanner for the targets. Orion says: “most flat-bed scanners manufactured in the last five years are likely to work with Orion.” Another advantage of the Orion System over electronic targets is that a physical copy of the target exists. The match results won’t disappear if someone fries a computer hard-drive.

Orion Scoring System

Orion Match Management and Score Publishing Functions
The Orion Scoring System can generate ranked results and instantly post them online. Once a shooting facility links up to Orion’s Online Results Center, match results (and target scores) can be uploaded for later viewing on the web. If the range lacks a web connection, the Orion score data can be captured on a thumb drive and moved to a computer hooked up to the web.

How Accurate is Orion?
Orion is designed to meet or exceed the accuracy requirements set by the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF):

Air Rifle: 0.125mm radial error
Air Pistol: 0.40mm radial error
50ft Rifle: 0.122mm radial error

How Fast is Orion?
The time it takes to score a set of targets depends on scanner speed and computer processing power. On a dual-core 2.6GHz machine, with Canon DR-6010C scanner, Orion will score:

An air rifle 3×20 set of targets in 1 minute 25 seconds
A smallbore 3×40 set of targets in 1 minutes 55 seconds
A 60 shot air pistol course in 2 minutes 30 seconds

Orion is available from three sources: Shooter’s Technology, the makers of the Orion Scoring System, Gold Medal Shooting, and 10.9.com. Orion is licensed on an annual basis. The first year license fee is $398. The fee for the second year (and each subsequent year) is $78. Separate licenses are required for air rifle, air pistol and 50-foot pistol. Both the National Three Position Air Rifle Council and USA Shooting have approved Orion-based scoring for airgun matches.

Story based on report by Kyle Jillson in The NRA Blog.
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September 14th, 2011

Discounts And Close-Out Specials at Pyramyd Air

For the next week (through September 20, 2011), Pyramyd Air is offering 10% off nearly its entire inventory of airguns and shooting accessories. To get your 10% savings simply enter code “AirgunsSep14-2011″ (without the quotes), during check-out. NOTE: This offer cannot be combined with free shipping offers.

Big Discounts on Close-Out Air Rifles
In addition, Pyramyd Air has deeply discounted some “close-out” air rifles, with prices up to 40% off. Here are some of the best deals:

Air Arms S400 MPR

Air Arms S400 MPR Left-Hand 10m Rifle: Now $795.95, reduced from $1050.00
This gun delivers 7 joules (5.16 ft-lbs) to meet international 10m match rules. The match trigger adjusts for first-stage length and second-stage pull weight, and the trigger shoe can be moved up or down and forward or back. The gun has an adjustable cheekpiece and spacers can be added to increase LOP. The gun comes complete with front and rear match sights.

Hammerli Pneuma

Hammerli Pneuma PCP Air Rifle: Now $299.95, reduced from $556.30
Very powerful .177 hunting rifle with unique thumbhole stock & removable air tank with built-in pressure gauge. Integrated rail accepts Weaver or 11mm mounts.

Evanix Blizzard

Evanix Blizzard S10 Long: Now $599.99, reduced from $850.00
Powerful air rifle for hunting with 320cc air reservoir (2,900 psi). Right-hand or Left-hand stocks available (for same price). Built-in air pressure gauge (manometer). Two-stage trigger adjusts for LOP and position (3 positions). (Scope not included).

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July 5th, 2011

Restrictive Gun Laws Blocked in New York and California

Proposed gun laws based on flawed technology were recently defeated in New York and California. In New York, A1157, a micro-stamping bill, was effectively halted in the New York State Senate. Meanwhile, across the country in California, the California Assembly Public Safety Committee voted down SB 978, a bill that would have required all air rifles to be brightly colored.

Micro-Stamping Blocked in New York Again
In New York, A1157, which earlier this year passed the General Assembly, failed to be voted on in the New York State Senate. This marks the fourth straight year that microstamping has been defeated in the Empire State. The proposed legislation would have required micro-stamping of handguns. This technology has not yet been perfected and it can easily be defeated by criminals. Requiring microstamping of all new handguns would force manufacturers to invest in very expensive machinery (or go out of business). Increased manufacturing costs would be passed on to the firearms consumer. To learn more about microstamping, read the NSSF Microstamping Fact Sheet.

Microstamping New York

Law Restricting Airguns Defeated in California
Last week, the California Assembly Public Safety Committee defeated SB 798, a bill that would have mandated that all airsoft and airguns (included Olympic-grade pneumatic air rifles) be brightly colored. In theory, this would help police officers distinguish airguns from actual firearms. In fact, because anyone can spray paint a firearm a bright color, this law would have jeopardized the safety of the public and especially police officers. AB 798 was defeated in large part because of opposition from law enforcement groups who understood the risk of criminals painting real firearms to disguise the weapons’ lethality. AB 798 is one more example of “feel good” legislation that would do more harm than good.

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January 18th, 2011

MEDIA Day — Some Interesting New Products

Media Day at the Boulder City, Nevada range was a blast — literally. We had a chance to sample some big .338 Lapua Magnum rifles from Barrett and Sako. The recoil on the Sako TRG42 was epic, as it lacked a muzzle brake, and the front sandbag did nothing to tame rearward movement. We’ll provide more info on the TRG42 (and its new folding stock) later this week.

New Tikka T3 Sporter — Master Sporter Reborn
Tikka unveiled an interesting new T3 Sporter, fitted out in a handsome laminated position stock. This seems to be the successor to Tikka’s popular (but long since discontinued) Master Sporter series. We only hope Beretta, Tikka’s parent company, will eventually offer a wider selection of calibers — right now Beretta only plans to sell .223 Rem and 22-250 versions in the USA.

New Tikka T3 Sporter
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MRAD is Impressive — and Brutally Expensive
Barrett’s new MRAD “adaptible” rifle was an impressive beast — as it should be at $6000.00 per unit. It did display some very clever engineering that allows a user to switch barrels and even change calibers with no gunsmithing. Check out the video for a review of the many unique features of the MRAD.

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Crosman’s Computer-Controlled Airgun
Perhaps the most innovative (or at least technologically advanced) rifle on display wasn’t officially a “firearm” at all. Crosman’s new Benjamin Rogue, pneumatic varmint rifle actually has a microprocessor-controlled “fire control” system. Yes this state-of-the-art airgun actually has an internal computer that monitors the available air pressure, and sets the output level according to the bullet weight and desired velocity. This is no Daisy B-B gun — the Rogue is big and bulky. But it also delivers the hitting power of a 38 Special, all without a single kernel of gunpowder. Crosman’s Rogue will launch a 145gr polymer-tipped Nosler bullet at 850 fps. Just run the numbers and you’ll find the Rogue delivers as much terminal energy as many centerfire pistol cartridges.

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Polymer Cartridge Casings from PCP
A Florida-based company, PCP Ammunition, unveiled a truly revolutionary product — polymer-cased ammo. The “cartridges” have a metal rim/base section (like shotgun shells) but nearly all the cartridge body is a tan-colored high-strength polymer. No, this product won’t do reloders much good, but it could be a huge “hit” with the military, as a polymer case is at least 25% lighter than brass. PCP Reps claimed that PCP’s plastic-bodied ammo can withstand loads that would be considered “full presure” in conventional brass. Stay tuned for further updates.

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July 14th, 2010

Special Forces Sgt. Assists Veterans Despite His Own Injuries

This profile of disabled veteran Dwight Hayes (Sgt. U.S. Army, retired) first appeared in the NRA Blog. While competing in the Airgun match at the National Veterans Wheelchair Games in Colorado, Hayes was interviewed by NRA correspondent Lars Dalseide. Hayes’ strong will and his determination to serve others provides an inspiration for all of us.

Dwight Hayes Special ForcesSgt. Dwight Hayes — Overcoming Adversity by Lars Dalseide
Dwight Hayes is a regular at the Bracken Rifle & Pistol Range in San Antonio, Texas. With his Lone Star cap snugly in place, he goes to the range to work on guns, organize shoots, and gather with friends. It’s a long way from his time as a Special Forces Weapons Sergeant at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, but it’s time well spent.

“If you’re in San Antonio, Bracken is the place to be,” said Hayes. “Bracken and the folks at Alamo Mobility have been great to us disabled vets.” Working with disabled veterans is of great importance to Dwight. It’s an attitude he developed while hospitalized after a failed High Altitude Low Opening, or HALO, jump. Having more than a hundred such jumps under his belt, this one should have been all but routine.

Dwight Hayes Special Forces“I broke one of my rules,” smiled Hayes, adding: “Gotta stick to the rules.”

So what are the rules?

“During a HALO jump, you’re okay if you can see the road. If you see the cars, you’re still okay. If you can make out the color of the car, you’re still okay. If you can tell the difference between a Ford and a Chevy, you’re still okay. If you can make out the gender of the driver, you’re still okay. But if you can make out the license plate, then you’re in trouble.”

Before there’s a chance to react, Dwight rocks his wheelchair with laughter and slaps my back. Apparently the story is a standard. “They love that one back at Audie Murphy.”

Hayes refers to the Audie Murphy Veterans Memorial Hospital back in San Antonio. According to Hayes, they have one of the best Spinal Cord Injury Centers in the country. It’s also where he spent two years recovering from his failed HALO jump. Now he goes there to comfort those new to the ward.

Dwight Hayes Special Forces“I know what it’s like,” Hayes said. “I know all about time alone, watching the walls, sitting in an empty hospital. I go there and get them out.”

With assistance from Audie Murphy and the Paralyzed Veterans of America, Hayes and other vets do their best to take the patients out into field. Everything from deep sea fishing to time on the range (sponsored by Winchester) to hunting trips.

“They even have a deer lease,” said Hayes. “Got a doe and an eight-point buck last season.”

The main lesson he tries to pass on is perseverance. He shares this through the story of his injury, his rehabilitation, and his twenty-five years in the U.S. Army. “The injury occurred eighteen years in,” Hayes explained. “I was able to serve a full twenty-five because I successfully petitioned for reinstatement after demonstrating that I could still do my job. Maybe, some of the kids at Audie will hear that and know they can still be productive too.” And that, too, will be time well spent.

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