September 1st, 2012

World Action Pistol Championship in Germany September 12-16

Story based on report by Lars Dalseide for NRAblog
world action shooting championships germanyThe 8th Annual NRA World Action Pistol Championship (WAPC) takes place September 12-16 in Phillipsburg, Germany. The event will be held at Schießanlage Philippsburg (Shooting Philippsburg), Germany’s largest indoor/outdoor Shooting Range. Located roughly 23 miles from Heidelberg in the Bavarian countryside, the Phillippsburg Range has previously hosted German and European shooting Championships.

The 8th Annual WAPC is a Bianchi Cup-style event with individual and team World Championships up for grabs with four firearms classes: Open Class, Open Modified Class, Metallic Sights Class, Production Class. There are also separate titles awarded for Aggregate World Champion, Revolver World Champion, Ladies World Champion, Senior World Champion, and Junior World Champion. Competitors will include ace American shooters Doug Koenig, Bruce Piatt, Jessie Duff, Julie Golob and Louis Surgi.

Representing the NRA in Germany will be Competitive Shooting Director Dennis Willing, NRA National Pistol Manager Tom Hughes, and other NRA personnel. Dennis and his crew will spend five days in Phillippsburg covering the event. Hughes is happy to make the trip. They are going to hold a Bavarian style barbeque,” said Hughes. “When I was stationed in Germany, I never had the opportunity to attend one of those so I’m looking forward to it.” To learn more about the 8th Annual NRA World Action Pistol Championship, visit the WAPC website at www.8wapc.com.

CLICK HERE for 8th WAPC Registration Page | CLICK HERE for Lodging Information

World Action Pistol Championship

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
June 30th, 2012

Walther Goes It Alone — Ends Distribution Deal with S&W

German gun-maker Walther will be selling its own firearms in the USA, starting in 2013. Previously, Smith & Wesson distributed Walther firearms and accessories in the United States. Walther has decided to handle the marketing, distribution, sales, and servicing of its firearms in the USA through the newly-formed Walther Arms Inc., a subsidiary of the PW Group of Arnsberg, Germany. (PW owns both CARL WALTHER GmbH Sportwaffen and Umarex.) Starting January 1, 2013, Walther sales and marketing will be handled by Walther Arms Inc., with the exception of the Walther P22 and PK380 models, which Smith & Wesson will continue to sell and distribute through April 30, 2013.

Walther GmbH Smith Wesson

Walther GmbH Smith WessonWalther Will Continue to Build M&P22 Pistol
and Umarex Licenses Smith & Wesson Name

Though Walther will now import and distribute its own guns, Smith & Wesson will continue to manufacture the PPK for Walther Arms, Inc. and CARL WALTHER GmbH will continue to manufacture the M&P22 handgun for S&W. Additionally, Umarex will continue to license the Smith & Wesson brand for airgun products. “We are extremely thankful for the relationship we have had and will continue to have with the quality organization of Smith & Wesson,” said Wulf-Heinz Pflaumer, President of the PW Group, who added: “Smith & Wesson has been an outstanding partner.”

New Walther Arms Inc. Enterprise Will Be Based in Arkansas
Walther Arms will begin operations sharing a corporate campus in Fort Smith, Arkansas with Umarex USA, another company in the PW Group. “The new U.S.-based Walther Arms Inc. allows a more direct influence from the U.S. consumer’s wants and needs into our product development.” said Karl Heinz-Luther, V.P. of Sales & Marketing, CARL WALTHER GmbH. The President & CEO of Walther Arms will be Adam J. Blalock, who will also remain as President & CEO of Umarex USA. Blalock stated: “We will have a dedicated team focused on meeting the needs of U.S. consumers. We are very thankful for the many loyal Walther customers and we’re excited for the opportunity to serve them.” For more information visit www.carl-walther.de.

Permalink New Product, News No Comments »
February 15th, 2012

Merkel RX Helix Straight-Pull Rifle — Teutonic Tour De Force

One of the most innovative rifles we tried at Media Day in January was the Merkel RX Helix, a very impressive piece of rifle engineering. Merkel claims the RX Helix is the fastest-cycling centerfire bolt action in the world. We can’t confirm that claim, but the Helix certainly cycles faster than any other centerfire bolt-gun this Editor has ever tried. (Yes, a Fortner biathlon action can be worked more rapidly, but that’s a rimfire). Both Jason and I really liked Merkel’s RX Helix. It balances well, the action is smooth, the wood is gorgeous, and the overall design thinking that went into this $3795.00 (MSRP) take-down rifle is very impressive. The Helix’s universal-sized action lets you shoot anything from a .222 Rem to a .300 Win Mag with the same gun. And — get this — you can really swap barrels (and change bolt heads) in under one minute with no tools, employing a dead-simple bolt-release lever concealed under the push-button-released removable forearm.

Merkel RX Helix rifle

Merkel RX Helix rifle

Merkel RX Helix rifleRotary 7-Lug Bolt
While the RX Helix is a straight-pull rifle, it retains the strength and safety of a rotary bolt head with seven locking lugs that seat in a barrel extension. Unlike a Blaser, the RX Helix has a fully-enclosed action housing. That’s an important safety feature. Moreover, since the RX Helix employs a closed action, the bolt body doesn’t travel outside that action. This means the shooter can maintain his cheekweld with an eye on the target as he cycles the bolt.

The RX Helix’s linear (back and forth) bolt-handle motion is transmitted to the bolt head through a 1:2 ratio “transmission” gearing system. This allows smooth and fast cycling without the rotational or tipping movement found on other straight-pull, bolt-action rifles, such as the Blaser.

Merkel RX Helix rifle

The Merkel linear-movement action cycles exceptionally fast, which allows for faster follow-up shots — a good thing if you’re hunting dangerous game. The RX Helix features a manual cocking lever on the tang and a direct trigger system. And here’s good news for southpaws — though Merkel does not make a dedicated left-hand version, lefties can very easily use their right hand to work the bolt while maintaining cheekweld. That may sound awkward, but with practice, it’s actually pretty efficient.

Merkel RX Helix rifle

Fast, Easy Disassembly and Barrel Exchanges
The video below shows how the Helix can be disassembled (for cleaning or transport) in a matter of seconds WITHOUT TOOLS. The forearm slips off with the push of a button. A short lever on the left side of the action holds the barrel. Simply rotate the lever and the barrel (with bolt head) slips off. That’s it — in 30 seconds the rifle is apart, and you don’t even need an allen wrench as with a Blaser.

The RX Helix has a universal action length that covers calibers from .222 Rem to .300 Win Mag. Changing calibers (or chamberings) takes less than a minute with the appropriate barrel, bolt-head and magazine. Weaver rails are integrated into the action, and iron sights with three-dot rear and one-dot front fiber-optic inserts are standard.

Merkel RX Helix rifle

The RX Helix is available with a standard black finish as well as four levels of design—Arabesque, Wild Boar, Spirit, and Deluxe. An all-carbon-fiber version is also available either with or without a carbon-wrapped barrel. The RX Helix comes in a wide range of popular calibers including .222 Rem, .223 Rem, .243 Win, 6.5×55 SE, .270 Win, 7×64, .308 Win, .30-06 Sprg., 8×57 IS, 9.3×62, 7mm Rem Mag and .300 Win Mag. Barrel lengths vary according to caliber, and barrels, bolt-heads and magazines are available for caliber changes. MSRP for the standard black rifle with Grade 2 wood is $3,795.00.

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting, New Product 19 Comments »
May 19th, 2011

German Technology in Giant High-Tech Shooting Facility

Ulm Germany Shooting RangeAt most American shooting facilities, you’re lucky to have running water and an electrical hook-up. Those Germans, with their penchant for advanced engineering, have created an amazingly high-tech (and even luxurious) indoor shooting facility that is truly state-of-the art. The NRA is proud of its modern indoor range in Fairfax, Virginia, but the NRA range can’t hold a candle to the advanced Müller Schiess Zentrum facility in Ulm, Germany. This vast complex features an indoor benchrest range with video monitors, a full-sized trap/skeet hall, pistol ranges, and a “running game” hunting simulator that actually displays (in 3D view) the placement of your bullet strike in the moving animal prey. On top of this, the Müller Schiess Zentrum Ulm (MSZU) has a cafe, a restaurant, and a large shopping/retail facility.

Ulm Germany Shooting Range

We still prefer shooting outdoors, but for a country like Germany, where long, cold winters limit the opportunities for outdoor shooting, a deluxe indoor facility like this makes sense. German reader JPeelen adds: “The problem in Germany is not [just] the weather but density of population. Noise problems led to the closure of many outdoor ranges. Ulm is unique because it offers a 300 meter indoor range, not just 100 meters[.]” Overall, you have to hand it to the Germans for “raising the bar” to a whole new level. View the Müller Schiess Zentrum’s amazing facilities in the video below. The editor of The Firearm Blog wrote: “I have seen the future… and it is in Germany. If you don’t do anything else today, just make sure you watch this video.”

YouTube Preview Image
Permalink - Videos, Competition, News 6 Comments »
March 29th, 2011

American Tracy Barnes Wins World Biathlon Shoot-Out

Tracy Barnes of Durango, Colorado beat the very best biathletes in the world in the Shoot-Out phase the Veltins World Team Challenge in Schalke, Germany. The World Team Challenge, held annually in the Veltins Arena, is the equivalent of the SuperBowl of Biathlon. Tracy grabbed top honors in the prestigious Shoot-Out event, a shooting competition for the top 20 biathletes in the world. In this invitation-only event, 10 women competed head-to-head in a four-stage shooting event duplicating the format for a regular biathlon race (two prone, two standing). In the final round of competition, the top three ladies from the preliminary round face off with the top three men from the mens’ first round. Tracy came in 1st for the women’s round AND 1st in the final competition!

Veltins World Team Challenge Shoot-Out

Laser Rifles Used in Shoot-Out
This year, the athletes and the 50,000 spectators at the Veltins Soccer Stadium had to adjust to something new — this was the first time that laser-rifles replaced the traditional .22-caliber rifle. The athletes received their laser-rifles on Saturday and had only one day to practice before the World Team Challenge. Tracy and her U.S. teammate Tim Burke finished 9th in the pairs mass start and 10th in the pursuit race held the same day. Tracy’s personal support team (her husband Gary and her Dad) accompanied her to Germany for this major biathlon event. [Editor’s note: While we don’t want to diminish Tracy’s accomplishment in any way, we think it is unfortunate that event organizers mandated laser guns instead of .22 LR rimfire rifles. Biathlon started as a military training competition. To change from actual shooting to “lasering” is a step in the wrong direction in our opinion.]

Lanny Barnes Stars in Mammoth Lakes Biathlon Festival
Meanwhile, back in the USA, Tracy’s twin sister Lanny Barnes traveled to Mammoth Lakes, California on friday to help with biathlon clinics for several hundred new biathletes ages 10+ and competed in a race at a new biathlon course in Mammoth Lakes on Sunday. Due to the town receiving close to 10ft of snow during the week, flights were canceled and Lanny wasn’t able to make it in for the clinic. She helped with the kids, adults, wounded warrior, and disabled skier biathlon race on Saturday and competed in an elite race on Sunday. She won the race on Sunday that was filmed by Versus and Outdoor Channel and American Trigger Sports Network. Tracy was impressed by Mammoth Lakes — she says it is evolving into one of the best high-altitude biathlon venues in the country. With over 200+ volunteers that dug out the range buried by mountains of snow, the Mammoth Lakes crew put on one of the most professional and exciting biathlon events ever run in the United States.

Mammoth Lakes Biathlon

Twin Biathletes Continue Training for Next Winter Olympics
The twins ended their seasons after those two events and will now take a two week break before starting up their training again for the 2011/2012 season. With three short years until the next Winter Oympics, the twin will be training hard in hopes of winning gold in Sochi, Russia in 2014.

Photos provided courtesy Tracy and Lanny Barnes, rights otherwise reserved by copyright holders.
Permalink Competition, News 6 Comments »
March 13th, 2011

IWA ‘Euro SHOT Show’ Underway in Germany

IWA Trade Show GermanyThe IWA & OutdoorClassics trade show is underway right now in Nuremberg, Germany. The show, which opened its doors on Friday, March 11, concludes Monday, March 14th in the Nuremberg Exhibition Center. After SHOT Show in America, this is the second largest gun/hunting/outdoor sports trade fair in the world. In 2010, 1,141 exhibitors from 55 nations presented their products and services to 32,214 trade visitors from more than 102 countries. Nearly 60% of visitors come from countries other than Germany, making IWA & OutdoorClassics a truly multinational industry gathering.

You can watch videos from the 2011 IWA show using this player. You can also access videos from previous years. To enlarge the videos to full screen, click the little icon with arrows at four corners.

You can read more about the IWA show in the IWA NEWS Daily. These digital journals, produced each show-day in PDF format, contain interesting articles and showcase many new products at the show. It’s worth scanning the IWA NEWS just to check out the latest advertisements from European manufacturers. You’ll find some cool products we otherwise never see on this side of the Atlantic.

CLICK LINKS to download IWA NEWS Daily

Permalink New Product, News No Comments »
March 9th, 2011

RWS Brass Coming to Huntington’s in April

Huntington Die Specialties (Huntington) has acquired a large selection of the hard-to-get RWS brass for 29 different cartridge types. German-made RWS brass, renown for its superb quality, is very, very hard to obtain in the USA. While the quantities to be imported are limited, this is NOT vapor-ware. The brass is “on the boat” right now and Huntington’s hopes the RWS brass will clear customs in the USA by mid-April. We asked Fred Huntington how he managed to bring in supplies of RWS brass, when other American vendors have tried for years to import the prized brass without much success. Fred revealed: “We acquired this through a third party in Europe. RWS would not sell directly to us in the USA.”

RWS Brass Inventory List — Quantities Very Limited
Here are the calibers that will be available in mid to late-April, 2011. NOTE: Prices are subject to change! If you want RWS cases for any of the calibers listed, you should place your orders promptly. Quantities range from a few hundred to a few thousand cases per caliber. To order, visit the Huntington website, or call 1-866-735-6237, or (530) 534-1210.

Story sourced by Edlongrange.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 4 Comments »
December 14th, 2010

NRA Licenses Germany’s Krüger to Produce Official NRA Targets

The NRA has licensed Krüger Schießscheiben (Krüger) to produce official NRA targets for use in Europe and worldwide. Krüger, a family-run company based in Dillingen/Saar, Germany, was the smart choice. Since 2004, Krüger has been the official target supplier of the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF). Krüger currently produces targets for a wide variety of disciplines: air pistol, air rifle, running target, 300m centerfire, and both rimfire and centerfire benchrest. Krüger also makes archery targets.

Kruger targetsMike Krei, the NRA’s director of competitive shooting, announced: “The Krüger Target Company and the NRA have signed a five year license agreement that allows Krüger to produce many of the targets used in NRA competitions. Company owner Mr. Andreas Krüger and Sales Manager Joachim Seibold flew in from Germany to work out the contract and now they will be manufacturing NRA targets both nationally and internationally”.

Browse Wide Selection of Krüger Targets
While Krüger specializes in competition targets, it also produces a large selection of fun targets and hunting targets as well. These can all be ordered through Krüger’s website (or via catalog), and yes, the targets can be shipped from Germany to the USA. Click on the catalog cover at left to download the current English-language Krüger Targets catalog as a 56-page PDF file (5.6 MB).

Here are some of the fun targets produced by Krüger. Click on the small images to see a larger version. After viewing, click browser “Back” button to return to this page. NOTE: These are NOT hi-rez images to be down-loaded and reprinted. However, Krüger’s fun targets may give you some ideas for creating your own specialty and holiday targets. See more targets on Krüger’s website, www.best-targets.com.

Krüger Fun Targets — Click to View

NOTE: After viewing larger target image, click browser “Back” button to return to this page.

Permalink Competition, News 3 Comments »
August 5th, 2010

Richmond Ties Record in Winning Double-Trap Championship

Joshua Richmond, USAMUAt the 50th ISSF World Shooting Championship in Munich, American Joshua Richmond shot a perfect 50 in the finals to win the Double Trap World Championship. Shattering 50 out of 50 targets in the final stage, Richmond hit 196 total targets overall (out of 200 possible), equaling the current ISSF World Record record set last year. That record was set by China’s Hu Binyuan, who took the bronze in Munich, after Russia’s Vasily Mosin captured the Silver Medal in a tie-breaker shoot-off. Richmond’s victory secured an important Olympic Quota Place for Team USA. Josh is currently a member of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) at Ft. Benning, Georgia.

You can watch Richmond’s amazing record-tying performance on the ISSF-Sports.org website. CLICK this LINK, then select “Final Double Trap Men” on the Right.

Joshua Richmond World Championship

After Richmond’s final match he was surrounded by his American team-mates, who celebrated the first Olympic Quota won by the US Shotgun Team in this World Championship. Richmond told the ISSF press team: “It feels simply great! To win a World title, equaling the world record and securing Olympic Quota place… I still don’t know how I made it! I [was] Junior World Champion in 2005… to win a title in the open category five years later is a dream come true!”

Top photo courtesy USAShooting.com

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
January 26th, 2010

SHOT Show Report: Schmidt & Bender 12.5-50x56mm Finally Available in USA

It’s big, it’s bright, and yes, it’s finally here in America. We’re talking about the Schmidt & Bender 12.5-50x56mm PM II/P scope, perhaps the most impressive long-range riflescope we saw at SHOT Show 2010. We first profiled this scope in April 2007, so it’s been a very long wait, but reasonable quantities of the big 12.5-50X PM II have finally reached American shores in reasonable quantities. The suggested retail price is a jaw-dropping $3199.00, but when you consider the whole package — clarity, sharpness, image contrast, color fidelity, click options, reticle options, ruggedness, and warranty policy — the S&B 12.5-50×56, has few, if any, rivals among ultra-high magnification scopes. This is a great scope, make no mistake about it, even if does cost as much as a custom-built rifle. Jason and I both agreed that, if there was one item we’d like to carry home from SHOT Show and mount on our rifles, it would be the S&B 12.5-50x56mm. This scope is as bright at 50X as other quality scopes at 40X.

YouTube Preview Image

The 12.5-50x56mm is is available with 1/4 MOA clicks, 1/8 MOA clicks, or mil-based clicks, and with normal or double-turn turrets. NOTE: S&B also sells a 12.5-50×56 version optimized for 10m-70m Field Target shooting. It has a silver finish and “Big Wheel” side parallax control.

Schmidt & Bender 12.5-50x56 scope

CLICK HERE for Schmidt & Bender 12.5-50×56 Rifle Specifications.

New Features on 5-25x56mm PM II
In addition to the 12.5-50x56mm long-range scope, Schmidt’s engineers showed us the popular 5-25x56mm PM II sporting a new “desert tan” ceramic coating. (CLICK HERE for large photo.) For 2010, this scope features new turret options that provide extra feedback and security for the shooter. First, either or both turrets can be locked in place by pushing down on the turret sleeve. Just pull up to unlock. Second, a pop-up cap confirms when the elevation knob is on the second revolution. That makes easier to use the scope at night. Finally, every 10th click of knob rotation is a heavy, tactile “clunk”. This does help track your revs and is especially useful with mil/cm-based turrets. S&B offers a wide selection of reticles, and you can choose between either first focal plane (FFP) or second focal plane (SFP) options.

YouTube Preview Image
Permalink News 1 Comment »
January 13th, 2010

Blaser Unveils new R8 Rifle with Detachable Magazine

Blaser, popular German builder of deluxe straight-pull hunting rifles, has released a new rifle with a unique, to say the least, detachable magazine system. The magazine is integrated with what would be the trigger guard/bottom metal on a conventional rifle. Pull out the R8’s magazine and the trigger guard and trigger shoe come with it — it’s all one unit.

Blaser R8 rifle

This short video illustrates how the unique magazine/trigger works:

YouTube Preview Image

Presumably, combining the external trigger linkage with the magazine offers a safety advantage. This way, if you have a round still in the chamber, even after removing the magazine, you can’t pull the trigger to fire the round. Blaser states: “When removing the magazine, the R8 automatically de-cocks and once the magazine is removed, the cocking slide cannot engage anymore. Today, this is a very important safety feature securing the rifle against misuse by unauthorized persons.” It sounds like a good idea, but we wonder how practical this system is. Murphy’s law dictates that some hunter will travel half way around the world for his “hunt of a lifetime” only to find he forgot his magazine and now he has a rifle without a trigger. Most conventional rifles with detachable magazines can still be used as single shots even without the magazine.

Blaser R8 rifle

The one real advantage we see to the R8 design is that the whole action/receiver is extremely short, allowing a more compact rifle length. Blaser claims: “The design of the R8 magazine above the trigger allows the overall length of the rifle to be 9 cm (3.5 inches) shorter than conventional bolt action rifles.” Another nice thing about the R8 is that the trigger pull is crisp and light right out of the box. The Blaser R8’s trigger breaks at just 1 5/8 pounds, and lock time is extremely fast. And the R8’s cocking mechanism is something new. According to Blaser, the R8 does not rely on a spring to reset the trigger after firing. Instead it uses a “desmodromic trigger mechanism” for improved reliability in wet or dusty conditions. (For those of you who don’t ride desmo-valved Ducati motorcycles, a “desmodromic” design typically employs a rocker arm and cam lobe to achieve reset.)

All the interesting new features of the Blaser R8 are illustrated on Blaser’s German website via an interactive Product Gallery. CLICK HERE to view the Product Gallery.

Blaser R8 rifle

Starting in February 2010, the Blaser R8 will be available from Blaser dealers in a variety of models: Professional, Jaeger, Luxus, Attaché, Baronesse, Safari PH and Safari Luxus. In addition a custom-engraved R8 Custom class model will be offered. For more information, visit Blaser-usa.com.

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting, New Product 4 Comments »
June 3rd, 2009

Leica Introduces New ER Riflescopes

Leica is famous for its rangefinders, spotting scopes, and binoculars (and of course cameras). Now Leica is moving into the riflescope market. Leica has announced two new “ER” scopes for hunters. Initially, Leica will offer 2.5-10×42 and the 3.5-14×42 models. Both have 30mm maintubes, quarter-MOA clicks, and AquaDura lens coatings. Notably, both scopes have a long (10 cm/3.9″) eye relief. This extended eye relief allows the scopes to be mounted well forward so a shooter need not worry about recoil, even when shooting large magnum calibers.

Leica ER rifle scopes

SWFA has followed the development of the new Leica ER scopes. SWFA believes the Leica ERs will be some of the finest hunting scopes on the market, good enough to rival the Swarovski Z6, and Zeiss Victory series. Leica will offer five reticles, shown below. In addition, you can order the ER scopes with a neutral fast reticle adjustment (ASV), that adjusts the the impact point to different distances. Leica plans to start shipping its new ER scopes in October 2009. SWFA is listing the 2.5-10×42 at $1899.00 and the 3.5-14×42 at $1999.00, but those prices are subject to change.

Leica ER rifle scopes

Permalink New Product, Optics 1 Comment »