January 20th, 2012

Vince Does Vegas — A Brit’s View of SHOT Show

vince bottomley target shooterVince Bottomley, editor of Target Shooter online magazine, is one of the UK’s best shooters. Vince has excelled in both “point-blank” benchrest and long-range target shooting (F-Class and Benchrest). We had a chance to chat with Vince while he attended Media Day and SHOT Show in Las Vegas. During his SHOT Show sojourn, Bottomley enjoyed a week of American firearms freedom. On Media Day, Vince sampled a wide selection of firearms now banned in Britain, including black rifles, full-auto AKs, and assorted handguns. Vince even got to shoot his favorite Smith & Wesson 586 revolver under the tutelage of legendary wheelgunner Jerry Miculek. Watch the video below for a Brit’s take on SHOT Show, and the Second Amendment freedoms we take for granted here in America. Vince also chats about his work on the Target Shooter web site.

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January 9th, 2012

NBC Sports Launches ‘Hot Shots’ Show with Shooting Legends

With the success of Top Shot on the History Channel, and other shooting-themed television shows, it seems Hollywood has finally discovered the audience appeal of shooting sports. Now NBC is stepping into the fray with a vengence, launching Hot Shots on the new NBC Sports Outdoor Network (which replaced the Versus Network on January 2, 2012.) Hot Shots airs Sundays at 8:00. The first episode debuted January 8, 2012.

Hot Shots Television
Hot Shots Television

NBC Sports Network has assembled some of the best shooters on the planet for its new Hot Shots program: Jerry Miculek, K.C. Eusebio, Patrick Flanigan, and Randy Oitker. Miculek, an expert with rifle, pistol, and shotgun, has won 14 International Revolver Championships and is a top 3-Gun competitor. Our Friend K.C., formerly with the USAMU, was the youngest USPSA Grandmaster at the age of 12. Patrick is a world-class shotgunner who has re-defined the world of exhibition shooting. Randy is a true phenom with bow and arrow, having won over 17 National Pro Archery titles.

Every Sunday morning at 9 AM eastern, NBC Sports Network (previously known as the Versus Network) follows these four men across the nation as they compete in their respective fields. On NBC’s Hotshots website, the show’s Emmy-winning producer Brian Speciale explains: “You don’t have to be a gun nut to understand what we’re doing. We want you to get to know these guys, see their ups and downs, the personal struggle and sacrifice that’s molded them into champions.”

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December 8th, 2011

Miculek Stars in Practical Rifle Instructional DVDs

Legendary pistol and 3-Gun shooter Jerry Miculek stars in a great instructional DVD set from Brownell’s. The 3-Disc DVD set, “Jerry Miculek Practical Rifle”, shows Jerry working his magic with AR-platform carbines. This DVD set is available from Brownells.com (item 100-004-974) and from Jerry’s website.

The Jerry Miculek Practical Rifle DVDs cover every aspect of shooting the AR-15 in multi-gun matches — from the basics of stance, grip, trigger control, all the way to advanced shooting techniques. Specific topics covered include: 1) Setting up your rifle; 2) Stance grip and trigger technique; 3) Acquiring targets more quickly; 4) Shooting on the move; 5) Shooting multiple and moving targets; 6) Shooting behind cover; 7) Reloads and malfunction drills. Along with the instructional demos, the DVD provides basic and advanced drills that viewers can use to improve their shooting speed and accuracy.

The Miculek Practical Rifle DVD comes in a 3-Disc set. Disc One covers gun set-up and hardware selection (trigger, barrel, optics). Disc Two covers shooting technique — stance, position, weight distribution, target acquisition and other gun-handling skills. Disc Three is the “Application” — Jerry shoots typical courses of fire, showing how to engage various types and locations of targets with maximum efficiency.

Jerry Miculek Multi-Gun DVD
Photo courtesy ShootingUSA, which offers Jerry Miculek’s Pro Tips as streaming videos.

We predict serious multi-gun shooters will add this DVD set to their libraries. Produced entirely at Brownell’s studios in partnership with Jerry Miculek’s Bang Inc., the complete 3-Disc set runs 2 hours and 17 minutes. Each Disc features multiple camera angles (including “shooters’ eye view” through the optic), slow motion footage, and animated illustrations.

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November 25th, 2011

Eight 3-Gun Nation Shooters Remain in Quest for $50K Top Prize

Story by Chad Adams for 3GunNation.com Blog
Eight Multi-Gun Competitors will be competing for the $50,000 top prize at the 3-Gun Nation (3GN) Championship in Las Vegas on January 18, 2012 (during SHOT Show Week). Eight competitors punched their tickets to Las Vegas for the 3-Gun Nation Finale by winning elimination matches held at Peacemaker National Training Center (Glengary, WV) earlier this month. The winner of the 3GN Shoot-Off Finale will receive a huge payday — $50,000 from Leupold Tactical Optics and NBC Sports.

3-Gun NationRustin Bernskoetter, Taran Butler, Jeff Cramblit, Mark Hanish, Tyler Payne, Phil Strader,Tommy Thacker, and Mike Voigt all qualified for the 3GN Shoot-Off Finale via wins during the elimination round. Thacker was paired against current 3GN Champion Dan Horner of the USAMU. Horner finished the course faster, but the young soldier later conceded the match to Thacker after footage showed that Horner had failed to knock down one of the targets. In another notable one-on-one 3GN elimination at Peacemaker NTC, our buddy Taran Butler knocked off legendary Jerry Miculek. Anytime Jerry Miculek doesn’t make it into the finals, you know the competition is tough.

The road to the 3GN Championship began last September, as competitors have compiled series points at major 3-gun matches across the country. The top 64 competitors were invited to compete in the 3GN Championship Match (at Peacemaker NTC), a one-day Tactical Optics event that featured four stages of fire—each with all three guns.

Taran Butler 3-Gun Nation

In what most are calling the deepest 3-gun field ever assembled, the top 16 advanced into the Shoot-Off elimination round. Now the Las Vegas eight will compete for the highest cash payout in the history of the sport, with $50,000 going to the 3-Gun Nation Champion, courtesy of Leupold and NBC Sports. To learn more about 3-Gun competition, watch the video below in which Jerry Miculek, Mike Voigt, and Maggie Reese discuss the 3-Gun Nation shoot-off and the struggles of head-to-head competition.

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August 1st, 2011

2011 Masters Tournament Raises $37K for First Shots Program

Top firearms industry executives and pro shooters participated in the Ninth Annual Shooting Industry Masters, held July 22-23 in Park City, Kentucky. A record-breaking 370 competitors raised $37,000 for NSSF’s First Shots program. This brings the amount raised by the Masters for First Shots to $94,000 in three years. The Masters, held at the Rockcastle Shooting Center, Park Mammoth Resort, is owned and operated by FMG Publications. The leading male and female pro shooters were Jerry Miculek (Team Smith & Wesson) and Tasha Hanish (Team FNH).

“We had nearly 500 people each day participating in the event, with competitors and volunteers combined,” said Randy Molde, match chairman. “It was exciting to see so many folks who are used to sitting behind desks all day out enjoying the sport they help make better. We’re thankful they chose to spend the weekend with us to support First Shots.”

The Masters is a handgun, rifle, shotgun competition divided into two classifications: Industry and Open. The Industry class is for new to intermediate shooters, while the Open class is for professional and advanced shooters, many of whom compete on the USPSA and 3-Gun Nation circuits. Regardless of class, scores are not published. This helps maintain the traditional, no-pressure, fun atmosphere of the Masters.

2011 Shooting Industry Masters Top Shooters and Teams
Open Class Industry Class

High Team: Open Class – Team JP Enterprises, Tony Holmes, Kurt Miller, Don Bednorz, Trapr Swonson and John Paul.

High Shooter: Open Class – Jerry Miculek, Team Smith & Wesson 1

High Lady: Open Class – Tasha Hanish, Team FNH

High Team: Industry Class – Team Sierra Bullets, Darren Leskiw, Tommy Todd, Matt Reams and Mark Walker

High Shooter: Industry Class – Jens Krogh, Team Benelli 1

High Lady: Industry Class – Katie Harris

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May 24th, 2011

International Revolver Championship June 2-5 in California

International ICORE Revolver ChampionshipMany of the world’s best wheelgunners will be in California the first week in June. The 20th Annual Smith & Wesson Int’l Revolver Championship (IRC) takes place June 2-5 at the Hogue Action Pistol Range in San Luis Obispo, CA. This is the 12th consecutive season that San Luis Obispo Sportsmen’s Assn. hosts the IRC, the highlight of the ICORE revolver shooting season. Nearly 200 ace revolver shooters, from the USA as well as 6 foreign countries, are expected to compete. According to Ron Joslin, IRC match director: “This is the highlight of our competition season. It’s where everybody in ICORE comes together to determine who is the best. This is our Superbowl, and it’s been that way for [two decades] now.”

The man to beat in Open Class will be legendary pistolero Jerry Miculek of Team Smith & Wesson. Jerry has won every IRC in which he has competed. When it comes to wheelguns, Miculek is the fastest man on the planet. Also competing will be past Ladies Open Division winner Julie Golob, and past Limited Division Champion John Bagakis.

Along with the adult classifications, the IRC features divisions for Junior shooters. The junior events are always crowd-pleasers. Some of these youngsters are definitely future champions in the making. The video below shows the 2009 IRC Junior Shoot-Off for the overall Junior Title.

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August 23rd, 2010

K.C. Eusebio and Jessie Abbate Win 2010 Steel Challenge

K.C. EusebioK.C. Wins A Tough Match on Home Turf
K.C. Eusebio, who grew up in Southern California, returned to his home turf to capture the Men’s Championship at the 2010 Steel Challenge this weekend in Piru, CA. This was K.C.’s third overall win at the Steel Challenge. Trailing Team Glock’s Dave Sevigny for much of the match, K.C. pulled ahead in the final three stages to capture the Overall title, his third Steel Challenge Championship, with an 80.27 second total time. Right behind was Sevigny at 82.84. That was an impressive performance considering Dave was running a modified Glock against “full-race” 1911 customs, some of which cost $3500 or more. Even more amazing was the legendary Jerry Miculek, who finished third shooting a Smith & Wesson revolver with iron sights. Jerry’s total time was 83.88.

1911 racegun Steel Challenge

Jessie Abbate Steel ChallengeJessie Abbate Wins 3rd Steel Challenge
In the womens’ Division, new Team Smith & Wesson shooter Jessie Abbate of Georgia won her second consecutive womens’ Steel Challenge Championship, and the third in her career. In addition to winning the overall title, Abbate won the Ladies Steel Master title which represents the best combined score of the Open, Limited, and Rimfire events. Jessie won the Rimfire event on Day 1, having the best time on all but one of the eight stages. After that Jessie was locked in a tough battle with her S&W teammate Julie Golob, who captured the Limited Event on Friday (Day 2). In a video interview with AccurateShooter.com, Abbate confessed to being “off her mental game” on Day 2, but she pulled it all together on Saturday (Day 3), capturing the Ladies Overall and Steel Master titles. Kay Miculek, a seven-time Women’s World Speed Shooting Champion, finished second. Watch the video below for a lengthy interview with Jessie.

Young Guns Rise to the Top
This 2010 Steel Challenge showcased rising young stars. K.C. Eusebio recently left the USAMU to enroll in college. Though he no longer has the time or resources to train and compete as often as he could with the USAMU, K.C.’s skills haven’t declined. A past winner of the Steel Challenge, K.C. was fast on all stages and he even nailed a new world record on the Speed Option stage. K.C. rose to the challenge in this match, outshooting defending Steel Challenge champ Max Michel, who had not lost a match all year. We talked at some length with K.C.’s father, who was happy to have a chance to be with his son again: “K.C. left the Army because he wanted to complete his college education. He’s doing that in Georgia, so we still don’t get to see him that much. But it is great to see K.C. shooting in California again, and winning again.”

NOTE: The video has loud gunshot noise. Turn down your speakers if at work.
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Oregon Teen Wins Rimfire Event
Another up-and-comer in the mens’ ranks is 17-year-old Ryan Leonard from Oregon. Ryan took the rimfire title, beating all the older sponsored pros in the process. Ryan finished tenth overall (among all competitors) to win the Junior World Speed Shooting title. Ryan has speed to burn and exceptional accuracy. Ryan actually prefers centerfire handgunning, but he obviously knows how to get the most out of the low-recoil rimfire pistols (Ryan shoots a modified Ruger MKII). When asked for his secret of success, Ryan smiled and said: “Don’t miss — Shoot the best you can, but don’t miss.” Ryan is a gifted student-athlete, currently taking college courses while completing his high school education. We expect Ryan to be a major player in the speed-shooting game in the years ahead. He is skilled, dedicated, and gifted with exceptionally fast reflexes.

J.J. Racaza Max Michel Steel ChallengeFrom Top Shot to the Steel Challenge
If there was a crowd favorite among all the competitors it might be J.J. Racaza who was one of the strongest competitors on the History Channel’s popular new Top Shot TV show. A blazing fast shooter who exhibited the ability to learn new skills quickly (such as archery and knife-throwing), many viewers favored J.J. to win the whole competition. He was the most consistent performer on the “Blue Team” throughout the show.

J.J. was among the last three competitors on Top Shot, but lost in a shoot-out where the three finalists got to choose their weapons and targets. J.J. told us this involved a great deal of strategy, because each pistol and rifle used on the show had quirks that the competitors had to log into memory: “You needed to know the dope on each gun. One rifle, for example, shot 6″ low at 100 yards, while one of the pistols shot low left. You had to recall those things or you didn’t have a chance.” A true competitor, J.J. was disappointed that he didn’t win the $100K Top Shots prize, but he said that the experience was memorable: “I walked away … empty-handed but I walked with a lot of lessons, and a lot of friends too.”

Jessie Abbate Julie Golob Steel Challenge

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August 2nd, 2010

Shooting USA and Impossible Shots Worth Watching This Week

We recommend you tune in to the Outdoor Channel this Wednesday, August 4th, for Shooting USA and its sister show, Impossible Shots. This week Shooting USA features an in-depth product special from SHOT Show 2010 in Las Vegas. On Impossible Shots (note new air times), Jerry Miculek demonstrates 3-Gun shooting (AR carbine, shotgun, pistol), while famed trick-shooter Bob Munden attempts a 600-yard offhand shot with a .44 magnum revolver. Both the Impossible Shots and Shooting USA episodes are well-worth watching. Anytime you get to see Miculek work his magic on the 3-gun range, it’s time well spent. The video below highlights this week’s Shooting USA and Impossible Shots broadcasts.

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New Broadcast Times for Shooting USA and Impossible Shots
There are new broadcast times for the two shows. Shooting USA airs Wednesdays at 4:00 pm, 8:30 pm and 12:00 midnight EST. Impossible Shots is broadcast Wednesdays at 2:00 pm, 10:30 pm EST, and on Saturdays at 3:00 pm EST. For other time zones, check your local listings.

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