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
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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.
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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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June 14th, 2010

New Mexico Hosts Nat’l Jr. Air Gun Championships June 23-26

The 2010 NRA National Junior Air Gun Championships and Training Summit will be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico from June 23-26, 2010. The competition will take place at the Albuquerque Convention Center. The event is open to ALL junior shooters under the age of 21, who are placed in Sub-Junior, Intermediate Junior, or Junior classes according to age. There are three equipment divisions: Sporter Air Rifle, Precision Air Rifle, and Air Pistol. Participants may shoot as individuals or as part of a four-person team. There are four team categories: School Team, Military Scholastic, Local club, or State Association. CLICK HERE for Rifle Match Program and Schedule.

National Junior Air Rifle Champsionship

This year 150 junior shooters from 15 states will travel to Albuquerque to compete and participate in the Training Summit. Open to shooters, coaches, and parents, the Training Summit offers informational seminars on a variety of topics including mental and physical conditioning, sports nutrition, position training, and collegiate shooting opportunities. “We’re excited to bring this year’s National Junior Air Gun Championship and Training Summit to Albuquerque,” said Jessica McClain, NRA Air Gun Coordinator. “We have competitors traveling from all across the country to see how they measure up to other air gun shooters on a national level.”

National Junior Air Rifle Champsionship

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May 12th, 2010

National Match Air Rifle Update from CMP

National Match Air RifleCMP efforts to develop the new National Match Air Rifle (NMAR) shooting discipline continue to advance. The CMP has created a new 30-shot NMAR Sporter-Garand Course especially for new and recreation-oriented shooters (as well as cross-over military rifle shooters). A special NMAR webpage is now posted on the CMP website to provide a handy, complete source of updated information. A revised edition of the CMP Guide to National Match Air Rifle with the latest rule changes was recently released and can be downloaded from the CMP website. The National Matches Air Gun Events Program featuring a month of daily NMAR opportunities during the National Matches has also just been released.

National Match Air RifleGeneral Information for NMAR Competitors
Download the CMP Guide to National Match Air Rifle (PDF) for additional details. This 20-page booklet contains NMAR Rules, Courses of Fire, Firing Procedures and Range Commands, Safety Definitions and Regulations, and Range Officer Commands along with information on how to get started in NMAR and how clubs can run NMAR Matches.

A new Sporter-Garand Course has been added. This course of fire closely duplicates the popular 30-shot John C. Garand Course that is fired outdoors (with as-issued military rifles). The Sporter-Garand Course is fired with Sporter Class rifles only. All three stages of this course are fired on the AR-SR (200-yard reduced) target. This new course is designed expressly for new and inexperienced shooters and for Military Rifle shooters who want a rifle event that duplicates what they will shoot outdoors.

NMAR Rules and Guide Updated
A few rule changes were recently adopted after experiences from earlier NMAR matches were evaluated. The latest NMAR rules that are listed in the CMP Guide to National Match Air Rifle (PDF), on the CMP website. Front sight inserts in Sporter Class rifles can now be either posts or rings (apertures). It turned out that so many shooters, especially juniors, were coming to NMAR matches with aperture experience only so the change was adopted.

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January 25th, 2010

SHOT Show Report: Adjustable barrel weights from AirForce

For decades rimfire shooters have used muzzle weights and various types of tuners to optimize barrel harmonics. Just in the last few years have tuners started to appear on centerfire bench guns. And for centerfire rifles, partly by reason of benchrest rules, most of the tuning systems are fairly heavy metal cylinders placed at the end of the muzzle.

AirForce flexi-weight

AirForce flexi-weightIt is well-established that mid-barrel tuners can work on rimfire rifles, and we also know that certain types of materials (such as rubber, cork, and Delrin) can have beneficial damping effects on both rimfire and centerfire barrels. Given these facts, we were quite interested in the new Flexi-Weight System introduced by AirForce Airguns at the 2010 SHOT Show.

The Flexi-Weight system consists of a cluster of 3 to 6 metal weights, held in place by a rubber O-ring. Multiple Flexi-Weight clusters can be installed on a single gun and the fore-to-aft position is easily adjusted. The shooter can simply slide a Flexi-Weight cluster back and forth along the barrel until he finds the optimal position.

We have no idea whether Flexi-Weights can improve accuracy on a centerfire rifle, but it’s worth a try. Flexi-weights are affordable ($29.95 for a set of five, 48 gram weights) and you can slip them on your barrel without cutting threads or making any other permanent modifications. The weights are designed to fit a 1.25″ diameter tube. For more info, visit Airforceairguns.com or call (877) 247-4867. Airforce Airguns is a U.S. company based in Fort Worth, Texas.

AirForce flexi-weight

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