May 18th, 2019

World’s Best Handgunners Compete at Bianchi Cup Next Week

NRA Bianchi Cup Missouri Hallsville Green Valley Dough Koenig Jesse Harrison Duff
Jessie Harrison is a multi-time Bianchi Cup Ladies’ Division Champion.

The world’s top pistoleros head to Missouri next week to compete in the 2019 NRA Bianchi Cup, the USA’s most prestigious action pistol match. Also known as the NRA National Action Pistol Championship, this year’s Bianchi Cup event runs May 22-24, 2019 in Hallsville, Missouri at the Green Valley Rifle & Pistol Club. There will be Competitor Registrations Tuesday and Wednesday May 21-22, along with a Multi-Gun Aggregate on Wednesday. Then Championship competition begins at 8:00 am on Thursday, May 23rd.

NRA Bianchi Cup Missouri Hallsville Green Valley Dough Koenig Jesse Harrison Duff

READ Full 2019 Bianchi Cup Program HERE »

Due to the high accuracy required in each stage of the Bianchi Cup, the tournament is widely considered one of the most difficult handgun championships on the planet. To finish on top, you have to be near-perfect. Ace shooter Carl Benosky explains: “To Win a Bianchi Cup you’ve got to be consistent. You’ve got to shoot good ALL the time… you can’t make any mistakes.”

Over the past 30+ years the Bianchi Cup has become the richest handgun event in the world, with cash and prizes for the best scores on four stages of fire for both revolver and semi-auto pistol divisions.

At the Bianchi Cup, each round is the aggregate of the four (4) fired events: Practical, Barricade, Falling Plate, and Moving Target Events. Each of the four events requires 48 shots to complete. 480 points possible on each event. Three of the four are scored on the NRA tombstone P1 target. You must hit in the 10-ring or inner X-Ring on EVERY shot to shoot a “clean” 1920.

Bianchi Cup pistol target tombstone silhouette doug koenig

27 Years ago Doug Koening, who has won the Bianchi Cup 18 times, set the standard with a 1920 score. Since then, every Open shooter knows that he or she must “clean” this match (i.e. score a “1920”) to have a chance to take the title of “Champion”. The X-Count is the tie-breaker.

18-Time Bianchi Cup Winner Doug Koenig
NRA Bianchi Cup Missouri Hallsville Green Valley Dough Koenig Jesse Harrison Duff

Women of the Bianchi Cup

NRA Bianchi Cup Missouri Hallsville Green Valley Dough Koenig Jesse Harrison Duff

Bianchi Cup Family Affair — Chris Cerino Family in 2015

Permalink Competition, Handguns, News No Comments »
May 1st, 2019

Brawl at Rifles Only on Shooting USA TV This Week

ShootingUSA Bushnell brawl Impossible Shots

Today, May 1st, 2019, Shooting USA TV features The Brawl at Rifles Only, a tactical competition that draws top long-range shooters from military, law enforcement and civilian shooting communities. The match is held at the famed Rifles Only range in Kingsville, Texas. The Brawl is a one-of-a-kind physical and mental challenge that tests shooters’ abilities to read wind, figure ballistics, and adapt to difficult shooting scenarios. There is even a helicopter stage. This Shooting USA episode airs on the Outdoor Channel at 9:00 pm Eastern and Pacific, 8:00 pm Central.

ShootingUSA Bushnell brawl rifles only Impossible Shots

Helicopter Stage at 2014 Brawl in Texas:

Shooting from a helicopter, shooting off of a wire, and shooting from the physically demanding maze called the Mouse Trap. These are just a few of the unique courses of fire at the Bushnell Brawl, part of the PRS series. Over the course of two days, competitors tackle more than a dozen stages. In addition, Bushnell hosted a special one-day event for the new PRS Production Class. This new division should attract new shooters by limiting the cost of equipment — making PRS competition more affordable.

This image is from The Brawl Barricade Stage (CLICK HERE to Watch Barricade Video):
Bushnell Brawl PRS tactical texas barricade

PRS Production Division — Lowering the Cost of Entry

The Production Division is a new PRS classification. Under Production Division rules, the rifle must not exceed $2000.00, and rifle + scope combined must not exceed $4000.00. All other accessories, such as bipod, support bag, and the sling, can be added at the shooter’s own discretion. Even with these cost limits, you can put together a great rig: “There’s a lot of gear out there that’s not that expensive,” says Production Division Match Director Jacob Bynum. For example, you can get the new Howa KRG Bravo in 6.5 Creedmoor for $1034.99. Then use Brownells CODE V2F to save 10% for a net price of $941.50 with Free Shipping. NOTE this is a 1-DAY Special 10% OFF Code (check for other discount codes in the future). With an $800 Nikon FX1000 FFP MRAD optic, and $109 Game Changer Bag, you’re good to go for well under $2000.00 complete. Here’s the Howa KRG Bravo:

Howa 1500 krg bravo tactical rifle

Shooting USA Hour on Wednesday Primetime

9:00 PM Eastern and Pacific
8:00 PM Central Time

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Tactical 1 Comment »
October 25th, 2018

PRS Basics — Getting Started in the Precision Rifle Series

Tactical Competition Precision Rifle Series

Many of our readers are thinking of trying out PRS-type competition. Tactical matches are becoming more popular every season. Along with F-Class, tactical/practical disciplines are the fastest-growing forms of competitive rifle shooting. Rich Emmons, one of the founders of the Precision Rifle Series (PRS), has written an insightful article about getting started in the tactical game. This will help PRS novices pick the right equipment and understand the game. Here are highlights from Emmon’s “PRS — Intro to Competition” article, originally published on the PRS website. You may also want to read the current PRS FAQ Page.

Precision Rifle Series — Intro to Competition

by Rich Emmons, PRS President
Tactical Shooting with a precision rifle is not like other disciplines, there is no set course of fire or format. That is what makes it so fun!

GAP Grind PRS series
Photo from Ramia Whitecotton’s GAP GRIND 2016 photo album.

First, you have to ask yourself what do you want to accomplish. When I was introduced to long range shooting, immediately a light turned on for me, once I saw how easy it was to hit 300–600 yard targets. What I quickly learned from my first competition and the many that followed was there is so much to learn and shooting in competition put everything you thought you knew to the test. So back to the question: “What do YOU want to accomplish?”. The reality is you may not know yet, you just think it is cool to have a bad ass rifle and scope that can make almost any shot. Now if you’ve got that rifle and scope, it’s time to take it to the next level.

Watch PRS 2016 Championship

Getting Started — What to Expect
If you’re reading this, you have probably already have been bitten by the long range shooting bug. It can seem quite intimidating to just jump in with a new bunch of shooters you don’t know and shooting lingo you don’t quite understand yet. But here is the key — show up and shoot! I guarantee you if you show up to a match as a new shooter, other experienced shooters will guide you along and give you help on anything you need.

AUDIO: Click Button to hear Rich Emmons Talk about the Precision Rifle Series.

Now, a couple things you should just expect. You’re not as good as you think you are. Don’t expect to come into your first match and beat all the veterans. That just doesn’t happen unless you have had some really good coaching or other shooting competition experience to get you ready for this type of competition. If possible, find a local rifle club that has monthly long range matches, or any type of match will help prepare you for a larger PRS event. Getting involved with a rifle club and starting out shooting monthly matches is definitely the way to jump into competition shooting.

PRS equipment gear AREA 419 gear changer bag

The Gear You Need
The first question that many ask is: “What kind of rifle/caliber/scope do I need?” The easiest answer to this is, the best you can afford. It’s no secret the gear is expensive. It took me several years of buying sub-par gear and eventually trading up to figure this out. Now, a guy can get a real sense of pride of doing it on the cheap, or with a factory rifle. I’ve seen many old Savage 10FPs take down custom rigs that cost 10 times as much. And if that’s all you can afford, then eventually you will learn the limitations of yourself or your gear. As for choice of cartridge/caliber, the respected Precision Rifle Blog has analyzed four years worth of match results from the best tactical shooters in the nation. CLICK HERE to read a PRB article that reveals what the “top guns” use.

Tactical Competition Precision Rifle Series

Craig Arnzen of Area 419 has created a useful article reviewing the gear PRS shooters need, including support bags, hearing protection, and other key accessories such as muzzle brakes. This helpful article also covers factory ammunition options.

Area 419 Game Changer bag PRS tactical matches

Making Good Ammo
Producing quality reloads is something you have to master. It’s not hard at all, you just have to pay attention to detail, and eventually you are going to do something stupid like mis-priming your brass, or skip a row of brass when dumping your powder. Everybody has their own horror story of some reloading failure that cost them a stage or even a match. So load to perfection, work with your rifle to find what load it likes the best, then start your practice.

Tactical Competition Precision Rifle Series

Practice Makes Perfect
You want to become ONE with your rifle, learning everything you can about its functionality. Getting comfortable with the operation of your rifle is key. Learn the feel of your trigger, dry-firing until you wear the paint off your bolt handle. Learn how the rifle works best — pay attention to little things like the sound and feel of the bolt feeding a round from the mag (or when it doesn’t). Learn how to remove a jammed round quickly, learn how to reload a magazine quickly. Learn to scan across a field and find targets in a quick manner, seeing the targets with your eye and coming into the scope on target. These are some of the basic practices that separate the new shooters from the seasoned ones.

Tactical Competition Precision Rifle Series

Tactical Competition Precision Rifle Series

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills, Tactical No Comments »
October 19th, 2018

National Rifle League Championship This Weekend in Oregon

National Rifle League NRL Vale Oregon Idaho Precision Rifle Shotoers of Idaho PRSID

It the world of practical/tactical competition there are now two major sponsoring organizations — the Precision Rifle Series (PRS) and the National Rifle League (NRL). The PRS has the most matches (and greater name recognition), but the NRL is definitely on the rise with some great events at sites around the country. This weekend, October 19th-21st, the NRL conducts its 2018 NRL National Championship at the Snake River Sportsman Range in Vale, Oregon. The 2018 NRL Championship will be hosted by the Precision Rifle Shooters of Idaho (PRSID).

National Rifle League NRL Vale Oregon Idaho Precision Rifle Shotoers of Idaho PRSID

This is the final 2-day, National-level match of the NRL’s second season. The event will feature the season’s Top Competitors, plus Ladies, “Young Guns”, and special invitees. NRL President Travis Ishida told us: “The NRL is excited to have the opportunity to bring professional-level events to shooters across the nation. Our Championship is a culmination of a season’s hard work from everyone involved to find out who the best precision rifle competitor in the nation is. This match is going to be epic!”

National Rifle League NRL Vale Oregon Idaho Precision Rifle Shotoers of Idaho PRSID

CLICK HERE for NRL 2018 Championship Event Information »

NRL 2017 Championship Teaser Reel

NRL New Mexico NMLRS Event

NRL Mile-High Shoot-Out

2018 NRL Test The Best Oktoberfest Championship

Match Directors: Nate Lauerman / Jack Wilson
Event Cost: $275.00
Dates: October 19, 20, 21 (2018)
Round Count: 200 plus extra for sight-in/zero
Location: Snake River Sportsman range in Vale, Oregon
3600 Lytle Blvd, Vale, OR 97918

Precision Rifle Shooters of Idaho hosts the 2018 NRL Test the Best Oktoberfest Championship match. This match will determine the 2018 NRL Champion. Competitors who competed in the 2018 NRL season and received qualifying scores are invited to this match.

The closest airport is Boise, Idaho, 77 miles to the Southeast. Participants can stay at the Clarion Hotel in Ontario, Oregon, 20 miles from the Championship venue, the Snake River Sportsman Range. The Clarion offers discounted rates for NRL competitors.

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
September 7th, 2018

Past PRS Champion Showcases Barricade Skills in New Video

PRS Tactical precision Dave David Preston 2015 National Champion POV video barricade stage

Report by Craig Arnzen, Area 419
As the PRS and other tactical/practical competitions continue to grow, a guy tends to wonder, just how good are the top competitors? And what are they actually doing (and viewing) as they complete a stage? Well, a great video from the new Long Range Precision Shooters YouTube Channel let us see what the best in the sport see through their scopes when they shoot.

This video features Dave Preston, 2015 National Champion and perennial powerhouse, shooting the PRS Skills barricade. Dave Preston is widely considered the best in the nation running this PRS stage. Dave nearly always shoots 100% with the fastest recorded time. In this video you’ll see him successfully engage all eight shots in under 43 seconds — that’s crazy fast. This includes a POV sequence (4:35 time-mark) showing the actual view through Dave’s scope as he completes the stage.

Watch this video! Dave offers excellent advice on gun-handling and body positioning for barricades. Listen to what he says and you WILL shoot better.

This video features the PRS Skills Barricade, an 8-round, 4-position stage featured at the majority of PRS matches throughout country. It’s called a “Skills Stage” as it is run the same way at every national match and gives shooters the ability to compare skill levels based on hit percentage and speed.

The target is a 10″ plate at 400 yards. There are four different positions, with two shots each. Most people run this stage in about 70 seconds, some in the mid-60s, the greats in the high 50s, and Dave does it in the low 40s… mighty impressive!

PRS Tactical precision Dave David Preston 2015 National Champion POV video barricade stage

The Right Gear Aids Stability and Lets You Shoot Faster
Let’s also take a look at two pieces of gear that really helped Dave Preston get stable and shoot fast.

1. BARRICADE BAG — To Get Stable, Really Stable
In the video Dave is using a Solo Sac from Short Action Precision This bag was designed by USMC Solomon Mansalala, and $5 of every purchase goes to help the Marine Scout Snipers buy gear. It’s a very soft/dense bag and is popular at matches.

PRS Tactical precision Dave David Preston 2015 National Champion POV video barricade stage

The other bag that sees a LOT of use, and is far and away the most used, is the patented Gamechanger Bag from Reasor Precision Solutions and Armageddon Gear.

2. MUZZLE BRAKE — To Make Your Follow-Up Faster
You’ll notice that in the video the rifle is very steady through firing, even though he is not applying a lot of pressure to the rifle. Dave is using a Hellfire Muzzle Brake from Area 419. Combined with the soft-recoiling 6mmBR cartridge he is able to spot his impacts and make adjustments, and can also make very fast follow-up shots as his rifle hasn’t bounced way off target.

PRS Tactical precision Dave David Preston 2015 National Champion POV video barricade stage

More Long Range Precision Shooters Videos Coming Soon
I think this series from Long Range Precision Shooters (LRPS) will be a good one. They already have a couple more videos ready to release including one with 2018 King of 2 Miles Champion Robert Brantley. CLICK HERE for the LRPS YouTube Channel.

This TECH TIP brought to you by Area 419
Oven anneal annealing Alpha Munitions Craig Arnzen Area419.com

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Shooting Skills, Tactical 1 Comment »
November 8th, 2017

Shooting USA TV Features Bianchi Cup Competition

2017 NRA Bianchi Cup Columbia MO Action Pistol Championship
Match pistol photo courtesy Clark Custom Guns.

Bianchi Cup Pistol MatchThis week’s edition of Shooting USA, which airs Wednesday, November 8, features the NRA Bianchi Cup. This competition is one of the most prestigious and popular events in the world of handgun shooting. Officially, the annual competition in Columbia, Missouri is known as the National Championship of NRA Action Pistol. But to everybody, world-wide, it’s the Bianchi Cup, the trophy named for one of the founders, John Bianchi. In the past 30 years the match has become the richest handgun tournament in the world, with cash and prizes for the best scores on four stages of fire. Shooting USA will spotlight top male and female Bianchi Cup competitors in both wheelgun and and semi-auto pistol divisions. Along with North American shooters, the Bianchi Cup draws top handgun competitors from around the globe. Shooting USA airs Wednesday nights, on the Outdoor Channel, at 9:30 pm, and 1:30 am (Thursday) — East Coast Times.

CLICK HERE to Preview Bianchi Cup Episode on Shooting USA »

John Scoutten and S&W shooter Julie Golob report the action from the Bianchi Cup. This year shooters from as far away as Australia, New Zealand, and Japan traveled to Columbia, Missouri in search of the perfect 1920 match score. Each round is the aggregate of the four (4) fired events: Practical, Barricade, Falling Plate, and Moving Target Events. Each of the four events requires 48 shots to complete. 480 points possible on each event. Three of the four are scored on the NRA tombstone P1 target. You must hit in the 10-ring or inner X-Ring on EVERY shot to shoot a “clean” 1920.

Bianchi Cup Pistol Doug Koenig 2017

27 Years ago Doug Koening set the standard with a 1920. Since then, every Open shooter knows that he or she must “clean” this match (i.e. score a “1920”) to have a chance to take the title of “Champion”. The X-Count is the tie-breaker.

Bianchi Cup Pistol Doug Koenig 2017
Here are the top four women shooting the Practical Event during the Colt Championship Final. From top: 2017 Bianchi Women’s Champion Cherie Blake, third place SFC Katie Bahten, second place Anita Mackiewicz, and fourth place Jessie Duff. Shooting Sports USA Photo

This Bianchi Cup Preview, filmed a few seasons back, offers the perpective of newcomers to the game…

Bianchi Cup — Classic Course of Fire
The MidwayUSA/NRA Bianchi Cup is a combination of Speed and Accuracy. Competitors shoot from both standing and prone positions and are also required to shoot with both strong and weak hands at various stages. Stages may combine stationary and moving targets. As conceived by former police officer and holster-maker John Bianchi, the Bianchi Cup originated in 1979 as a Law Enforcement Training match. The Course of Fire consists of four separate matches:

  • The Practical Event: From the appropriate shooting line, the shooter fires at distances from 10 yards to 50 yards under varying time limits.
  • The Barricade Event: From within shooting boxes and behind barricades, a shooter fires at targets on either side of the barricade at different distances and under varying time limits.
  • The Falling Plate Event: From the appropriate shooting line, the shooter fires at 8 inch round steel plates arranged in banks of six at distances from 10 to 25 yards under varying time limits.
  • The Moving Target Event: From within shooting boxes at distances ranging from 10 to 25 yards, the shooter fires at a target moving from left to right with the target being exposed for only 6 seconds.

Due to the high accuracy required in each stage of the Bianchi Cup, the tournament is widely considered one of the most difficult handgun championships on the planet.

Bianchi Cup Revolver

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Handguns No Comments »