May 11th, 2018

Six Tips for Novice Handgun Shooters

Birchwood Casey Target Spots neon day-glow
OK this is no novice. But even champion pistol shooter Jessie Harrison, Captain of Team Taurus, had to start with the basics. Jessie says that safety should always be your number one priority.

At AccurateShooter.com, our primary focus is precision target shooting with rifles. But it’s definitely fun to shoot pistols too, and we bet most of our regular readers own handguns. Here are six tips for shooting safely and accurately with handguns. These pointers will help you advance your skills and have more fun with your pistols and revolvers.

1. Make Sure Safety Is Number One

Whether you own one gun or one hundred, gun safety must always be your main priority. In this video, Smith & Wesson Team Captain Julie Golob covers the basics of gun safety.

2. Start with a .22 LR Handgun

Pistol Shooting Tips Target Mentor safety training

We strongly recommend that new pistol shooters start off with a .22 LR rimfire handgun. The .22 LR cartridge is accurate but has very low recoil, less “bark” than a centerfire, and very little smoke and muzzle flash. New shooters won’t have to fight muzzle flip, and won’t develop a flinch from the sharp recoil and muzzle blast common to larger calibers. With the .22 LR, the trainee can focus on sight alignment, breathing, and trigger pull. When he or she has mastered those skills, move on to a .38 Special or 9mm Luger (9x19mm).

What gun to use? We recommend the 10-shot Smith & Wesson Model 617. Shooting single action, slow-fire, this is ideal for training. Shown above is the 4″-barrel Model 617version which balances well. There is also a 6″-barrel version. It has a longer sight radius, but is a little nose-heavy. Both are great choices. They are extremely accurate and they boast a very clean, precise trigger.

browning buck mark buckmark stainless udx rimfire .22 LR pistol

If you prefer a semi-auto .22 LR pistol, we recommend the Browning Buck Mark series. Buck Marks are very accurate and very reliable. This rimfire pistol is available in a variety of models starting at under $350.00. Like the S&W Model 617, a good Buck Mark will serve you for a lifetime.

5. Use Quality Targets with Multiple Aim Points

Birchwood Casey Target Spots neon day-glow

Birchwood Casey Target Spots neon day-glowIt’s common for new pistoleros to start shooting at cans or clay birds at a public range. That can be fun, but it’s better to start with proper targets, placed at eye level, at 7-10 yards. We like to use targets with large, brightly colored circles. Focus on putting 5 shots in a circle. We recommend targets that have multiple bullseyes or aiming points — that way you don’t have to constantly change your target. There are also special paper targets that can help you diagnose common shooting problems, such as anticipating recoil. EZ2C makes very good targets with bright, red-orange aim points. You can also use the bright orange Birchwood Casey stick-on Target Dots (right). These come in a variety of diameters. We like the 2″ dot at 10 yards.

3. Shoot Outdoors If You Can

Pistol Shooting Tips Target Mentor safety training

We recommend that new pistol shooters begin their training at an outdoor range. There are many reasons. First, the light is better outdoors. Indoor ranges can be dark with lots of shadows, making it harder to see your target. Second, sound dissipates better outdoors. The sound of gunfire echoes and bounces off walls indoors. Third, an outdoor range is a more comfortable environment, particularly if you can get out on a weekday morning. Indoor ranges, at least in urban areas, tend to be crowded. Many also have poor ventilation. If you can make it to an outdoor range, you’ll be happy. Many outdoor ranges also have some steel pistol targets, which offer a fun alternative to paper. When shooting steel however, we recommend polymer encased or lead bullets to avoid ricochets.

5. Find a Good Mentor and Watch Some Videos First

Pistol Shooting Tips Target Mentor safety training
Photo courtesy AV Firearms Training.

Too many new pistol shooters try to move right to rapid fire drills. It’s better to start slow, practicing the basics, under the guidance of a good mentor. If you belong to a club, ask if there are certified instructors who will help out. This Editor learn pistol shooting from a seasoned bullseye shooter, who got me started with a .22 LR revolver and very close targets. Over the course of a few range sessions we progressed to farther targets and faster pace. But the fundamentals were never forgotten. When starting your pistol training, it’s wise to view some instructional videos. Top Shot Champion Chris Cheng hosts an excellent Handgun 101 Series produced by the NSSF. We’ve linked one of these Handgun 101 videos for Tip #6.

6. SLOW DOWN — This Is Not a Race

When you learned to ride a bicycle, you started slow — maybe even with training wheels. The same principle applies to pistol shooting. When you get started with handguns, we recommend you shoot slowly and deliberately. Start with the handgun unloaded — just work on your sight alignment and breathing. With snap caps in place, try some dry-firing drills. Then progress to live fire. But be deliberate and slow. With the target at 20 feet, see if you can get three successive shot-holes to touch. Believe it or not, many common pistols are capable of this kind of accuracy (but you won’t see many shooters at indoor ranges who pursue that kind of precision). Once you master your form and accuracy, then you can work on your speed.

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November 1st, 2017

Trends: Significant Rise in Female Gun Ownership in USA

Lady Shooter Jessie Duff Corey Cogdell

Report based on story in NRABlog.com.

One of the most important trends in the shooting world is the rise in the number of females who own firearms. We know women can shoot — just look at champions such as Nancy Tompkins, Trudie Fay, Michelle and Sherri Gallagher, and Jessie Duff.

The number of female shooters and female gun owners have risen steadily in recent decades. According to a Gallup poll conducted in 2005, only 13 percent of women were female gun owners, but by 2011, that number rose to 23 percent. That’s a 77 percent increase in seven years.

Additionally, shooting ranges across the country have seen a 51.5 percent increase in the number of women who participate in target practice, and 41.8 percent increase in the number of women who participate in hunting activities over the past ten years (Source: National Sporting Goods Assn. cited in New York Times.)

Lady Shooter Jessie Duff Corey Cogdell

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June 26th, 2017

Top 50 Female Competitive Shooters — the SSUSA.org List

Top 50 Fifty female lady competitive Shooters

While the majority of competitive shooters are male, some of the very best shooters are female. Competitive shooting is one sport where men and women do compete head-to-head at the highest level. You won’t see that in tennis, or cycling, or basketball, but in shooting, it’s not unusual to see a talented lady on top of the podium. There still are gender-based classifications in some shooting disciplines, but in F-Class, NRA High Power, and Benchrest women can and do compete on a par with men. These talented ladies have proven themselves capable of winning National and International Championships against all comers.


Top 50 Women in Competitive Shooting on Shooting Sports USA »

To celebrate the skills and talent of lady shooters, Shooting Sports USA recently created a great article showcasing 50 of the most talented female shooters in the USA. This list includes Olympic gold medalists (in shotgun and air rifle), Pistol champions, Palma rifle shooters, PRS competitors, and 3-gun specialists. Here are some of the 50 notables from the list. CLICK HERE to see the whole list.

Kim Rhode Shotgun Top 50 Lady ShootersKim Rhode: One of a few household names on this list, Kim Rhode and her Olympic bronze medal performance in Rio last year made her a six-time Olympic medal recipient. Kim has won an Olympic medal on five continents. Additionally she won the Women’s Skeet Final at the 2016 ISSF Shotgun World Cup Final in Rome, Italy. She plans to “definitely [go] for Tokyo in 2020. If Los Angeles gets the bid for the next one, (even if they don’t) I’ll probably go to the 2024 Olympic Games. There’s no reason for me to stop at this point.” Kim was recently elected to the NRA Board of Directors. Editor: Kim is a once-in-a-generation shooter; we support her work with the NRA.

Ginny Thrasher Top 50 Lady ShootersGinny Thrasher: This Olympic gold medalist needs little introduction. Quietly arriving on the scene after years racking up smallbore and air rifle victories, Ginny Thrasher arrived at West Virginia University and made history. Not only did she win the smallbore championship at NCAA in 2016, but her performance at the Rio 2016 Olympics started a media frenzy. Winning the first U.S. Gold Medal of the Games will do that. Prior to glory on the international stage, Ginny was winning NRA smallbore championships as a member of Northern Virginia’s own Junior Acorns team.

Lena Miculek Top 50 Lady ShootersLena Miculek: The daughter of master shooter Jerry Miculek, Lena burst onto the competitive shooting scene in 2005 with five consecutive Sportsman’s Team Challenge Junior national titles. Moving on to 3-gun, by 2015 she had an astonishing 89 percent win rate. Lena was the 2016 NRA World Shooting Ladies Champion. Recently, she traveled to Russia to compete at the inaugural IPSC World Rifle Championship, along with her mother Kay Miculek, Ashley Rheuark, and Maggie Reese. Lena and Team USA’s women’s team won Gold in the women’s Open division, and Lena won a second Gold Medal as the Ladies Open Division Individual Champion.

Lanny Tracy Barnes Top 50 Lady Shooters

Lanny and Tracey Barnes: Both highly decorated Olympic biathletes, the identical Barnes twins have been on the World Cup circuit for over a decade. At the age of 18, they made their first World Junior Championship team and medaled in the World Junior Championships the next year. Lanny competed in the 2006 and 2010 Olympics, and Tracy competed in the 2006 and was an alternate in 2010. Lanny posted the best U.S. finish in 16 years in 2010 with perfect shooting. These days, the twins compete in 3-gun and Sportsman’s Team Challenge—and also are serious hunters.

Kirsten Joy Weiss Top 50 Lady ShootersKirsten Joy Weiss: Before making great trick-shot videos on YouTube, Kirsten Weiss was a smallbore rifle champion, winning high lady and second place overall at the NRA 3-position smallbore nationals in 2012. Remarkably, Kristen shot the any sight match with iron sights, while many of her fellow shooters were using scopes. For those new to rimfire, Weiss says, “It is almost always better to start with iron sights rather than a scope. Scopes can be a crutch, but interestingly enough they can also help in developing bad habits if your fundamental marksmanship skills aren’t developed yet.”

Nancy, Sherri, and Michelle — The Tompkins/Gallager Clan

There are three more ladies, champions all, who should be included in the Top 50 list. We would definitely add Nancy Tompkins, and daughters Sherri Gallagher and Michelle Gallagher to this list. Nancy and Sherri are the only two women in history to have won the National High Power championship. Michelle Gallagher has won the Long Range National championship and she also serves as the coach of the U.S.A. F-Open team at the 2017 F-Class World Championships. Nancy Tompkins has rightly been called the “First Lady of American Shooting” and rightly so. You won’t find a nicer person, or a more talented shooter. Sherri, currently with the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute Team, was an ace shooter with the USAMU squad who earned U.S. Army’s Soldier of the Year honors in 2010.

Accurateshooter.com Nancy Tompkins Sherri Jo Gallagher Michelle Gallagher

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May 31st, 2017

U.S. Steel Nationals Featured on Shooting USA

Shooting USA Steel Nationals Florida Max Michel Jessie Duff
Jessie Duff won her 8th Ladies Class Title at the 2017 U.S. Steel Nationals in Daytona, Florida.

It’s drag racing with guns! Draw your gun then shoot five steel targets as fast as humanly possible. The U.S. Steel Nationals is the fastest action pistol sport on the planet. Splits are blazing fast — in the top tier of shooters, standings are settled by hundredths of a second. The Steel Nationals has recently has also expanded to include rimfire firearms, and that’s lowered the cost of competing. In this week’s episode of Shooting USA, John Scoutten and Tony Pignato have the highlights of the final round of the 2016 U.S. Steel Nationals, held in Daytona, Florida.

Watch Full Episode of Shooting USA

Air Times by Time Zone
Eastern Time: Tuesday 3:00 PM; Wednesday 9:30PM, 1:00 AM
Central Time: Tuesday 2:00 PM; Wednesday 8:30 PM, Midnight
Mountain Time: Tuesday 1:00 PM; Wednesday 7:30 PM, 11:00 PM
Pacific Time: Tuesday Noon; Wednesday 6:30 PM, 10:00 PM

The show airs tonight on the Outdoor Channel on cable TV. If your cable service doesn’t include the Outdoor Channel, you can watch the entire episode on your computer or mobile device right here. Just click the above video to start the 47-minute show.

Shooting USA Steel Nationals Florida Max Michel Jessie Duff

Pro Shooter Experience in Las Vegas
Along with the U.S. Steel Nationals Coverage, this week’s episode features the Pro Shooter Experience (PSE) in Las Vegas (starting at 32:22 in video above). Participants enjoy three days of training with three world Champions: Max Michel, JJ Racaza, and Travis Tomasie.

Shooting USA Steel Nationals Florida Max Michel Jessie Duff

Max explains: “The whole premise was to get three world champion shooters together [who are] great ambassadors of the game, and really give back…” Max and Travis are both former USAMU shooters with multiple championship wins. JJ is one of the fastest pistoleros on the planet. The PSE features 1-on-1 training sessions, shooting competitions, speed drills, and some very impressive shooting by the pros.

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April 7th, 2017

Jessie Duff — Best Lady Action Pistol Shooter Ever

Jessie Duff Steel Pistol Champion

The name Jessie Duff is synonymous with handgunning excellence. Winner of over 60 major Pistol Championships, Jessie is arguably the best female action pistol shooter in history. Jessie demonstrated her talent recently with another big victory. Jessie took top honors (again) at the 2017 U.S. Steel Nationals. She won her 8th Ladies Open National title, and also finished as High Lady Rimfire Optics plus 3rd overall Single Stack. Congratulations to Jessie and the other divisional winners.

Here’s Jessie shooting the “Roundabout” Stage at the 2017 U.S. Steel Nationals:

Jessie Duff — The First-Ever Female Grand Master
In 2013, Jessie Duff became the first woman in history to earn the vaunted title of USPSA Grand Master (GM), the highest rating conferred by the U.S. Practical Shooting Association (USPSA). To earn this prestigious ranking, Duff had to maintain an average above 95% in shooting classification courses, something never before achieved by a lady shooter.

“I am honored to have earned the designation of Grand Master with USPSA” said Duff. “This is something I have been working toward my entire shooting career and I’ve come this far thanks to a lot of hard work and a lot of support,” she added.

Duff has “raised the bar” for female shooters across the country. As female participation in shooting sports has grown, Duff’s accomplishments and continued success have blazed a path for women in competitive action shooting. “Jessie is one of the best shooters in the world,” said USPSA Executive Director Kim Williams. “USPSA is proud to announce her historic record as the first woman to ever reach this ranking in Practical Shooting,” added Williams.

Jessie Duff Steel Pistol Champion

Jessie Won Rimfire High Lady Title Shooting “Bulk Pack” Eley Ammo
For her rimfire stages at the 2017 U.S. Steel Nationals, Jessie used ELEY Contact .22 LR ammo, which is now available in 300-round bulk “REC Paks”. ELEY Contact is a 42 grain 1090 fps subsonic round engineered to perform in all rimfire semi-auto firearms.

Eley contact Rimfire Ammo 22 lr

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September 2nd, 2016

Max and Jessie Win World Speed Shooting Championships

Max Michel WSSC San Luis Obispo Jessie Duff

The 2016 World Speed Shooting Championships (WSSC) were held August 25-27 at the Hogue Action Pistol Range in San Luis Obispo, California. This prestigious U.S. Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) match attracted 125 competitors from around the world, who competed in eight precisely-configured Steel Challenge stages. At the WSSC, it’s all about speed — getting hits on steel in the shortest possible time. And no one on the planet is better at that than Max Michel Jr., King of the Steel Challenge.

This year, Max Michel captured another World Championship title, finishing 0.85 seconds ahead of second place K.C. Eusebio, with B.J. Norris placing third. This was Max’s fourth straight WSSC title and his seventh overall. We’d call that dominance. At this year’s competition, Max logged a best-ever overall score of 74.84, while setting a new world record on the final stage (Outer Limits). Max now owns the overall course world record and seven (of eight) stage world records.

Max Michel WSSC San Luis Obispo Jessie Duff

Not to be outdone by Max, Taurus® Team Captain Jessie Duff took her sixth consecutive Ladies Open WSSC Title, and Duff won the Overall Single Stack World Speed Shooting Championship as well. As in years past, Jessie dominated the Women’s Division, but she was most proud of her Single Stack Overall Victory: “To win an overall championship title has been a dream of mine since I started shooting, something I’ve spent all my time working towards. I couldn’t be more proud to win the overall Single Stack title with my Taurus, allowing them to share in this victory with me!”

With a 30-year heritage, the WSSC Steel Challenge Match draws the world’s top speed shooters — both men and women. The three-day match is unique in that competitors shoot different guns each day: Rimfire on Thursday, Iron Sights on Friday, and the full-boogie Open guns on Saturday. The stages are precisely set up with exact Steel Challenge target spacing and distances. That creates an equal playing field at all WSSC events so stage record times can be set at any WSSC venue.

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May 23rd, 2016

America’s Top Pistol Shooters Will Compete at 2016 Bianchi Cup

2016 Bianchi Cup Columbia Missouri

The nation’s top pistoleros are headed to Missouri this week to compete in the 2016 NRA Bianchi Cup, the most prestigious action pistol match of the year. The 2016 Bianchi Cup event, also known as the National Action Pistol Championship, will be held May 24-28, 2016 in Columbia, Missouri at the Green Valley Rifle & Pistol Club.

Ace Shooter Jessie Duff (from Bianchi Photo Archive)
Bianchi Cup 2015 Missouri

Something is new this year — a second “Championship” Round. There will be no multi-gun aggregate match. Instead, the 2016 NRA Bianchi Cup will feature a new format to determine the overall champion. After completion of the match’s 192-shot, 1920-point aggregate, the top 36 competitors will fire an additional 192-shot Championship Round. Scores from the Championship Round will combined into an overall Aggregate to determine each category’s champions.

Check out this “Sizzle Reel” from the 2013 NRA Bianchi Cup:

About the Bianchi Cup
The Bianchi Cup is the NRA National Action Pistol Championship, a major tournament held every May in Columbia, Missouri. The premier action pistol championship, the Bianchi Cup boasts the largest purse of any tournament on the action pistol calendar. The Bianchi Cup is the only major shooting tournament that has retained its original Course of Fire since its inception. 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

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June 30th, 2015

Season 4 of NRA All Access Television Begins July 1st

Jessie Duff NRA All Access Television Outdoor Channel
One episode features target shooting with an Eliseo Tube Gun.

Season 4 of the NRA All Access television series kicks off July 1st, on the Outdoor Channel. This season the popular show will feature many competitive disciplines, including 3-Gun, High Power, Vintage Rifle, Action Pistol, and Trap/Skeet. The show also includes many hunting segments. In addition, NRA All Access will feature inspirational profiles on shooters who have overcome handicaps. Watch the Season 4 Premiere Wednesday, July 1 at 7:00 pm ET on the Outdoor Channel.

(more…)

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March 19th, 2015

Terminal Ballistics — Video Explains Basic Principles

Terminal External Ballistics Exterior, Temporary Cavity Permanent Cavity

You’ve probably heard the term “Terminal Ballistics”. But do you really know what this refers to? Fundamentally, “Terminal Ballistics” describes the behavior of a projectile as it strikes, enters, and penetrates a target. Terminal Ballistics, then, can be said to describe projectile behavior in a target including the transfer of kinetic energy. Contrast this with “External Ballistics” which, generally speaking, describes and predicts how projectiles travel in flight. One way to look at this is that External Ballistics covers bullet behavior before impact, while terminal ballistics covers bullet behavior after impact.

The study of Terminal Ballistics is important for hunters, because it can predict how pellets, bullets, and slugs can perform on game. This NRA Firearm Science video illustrates Terminal Ballistics basics, defining key terms such as Impact Crater, Temporary Cavity, and Primary Cavity.

Terminal External Ballistics Exterior, Temporary Cavity Permanent Cavity

External Ballistics, also called “exterior ballistics”, is the part of ballistics that deals with the behavior of a non-powered projectile in flight.

Terminal Ballistics, a sub-field of ballistics, is the study of the behavior and effects of a projectile when it hits its target.

Terminal External Ballistics Exterior, Temporary Cavity Permanent Cavity

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November 6th, 2014

Video Reveals Bio-Mechanics of Position Shooting

Science Shooting 3P Position Jamie Gray

Here’s an interesting video about three-position shooting. Produced by GOnra Media, this video demonstrates rifle hold and body alignment for prone, standing, sitting, and kneeling positions. Olympic Gold Medalist Jamie Gray demonstrates the proper stance and position of arms and legs for each of the positions. Ideally, in all of the shooting positions, the shooter takes advantage of skeletal support. The shooter should align the bones of his/her arms and legs to provide a solid foundation. A shooter’s legs and arms form vertical planes helping the body remain stable in the shooting position.

Olympic Gold Medalist Jamie Gray Demonstrates Shooting Positions

Science Shooting 3P Position Jamie Gray

Science Shooting 3P Position Jamie Gray

Science Shooting 3P Position Jamie Gray

Science Shooting 3P Position Jamie Gray

Images are stills from GOnraMedia video linked above.

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September 22nd, 2014

Pistol Champ Jessie Duff Profiled in Weatherby Video

To understand the heart and mind of a champion, watch this video profiling Jessie Duff, a 27-time world pistol shooting champion. Jessie is one of the hardest-working athletes in the shooting game. Jessie is America’s “leading lady” — perhaps the winningest female pistol shooter in the game today. The drive and dedication that has made Jessie a success are revealed in this video from Weatherby.

Jessie Duff WeatherbyJessie Duff’s Will to Win
Jessie explains how hard work brings titles: “To prepare for a championship, I’m on the range constantly.

My office is the gun range — that’s where I do my work.

I travel the country pullin’ the trigger, makin’ brass, smelling gunsmoke. I have to make sure that I’m in control because… there is no other person on the line with me, helping pull the trigger.

I have to pay attention to my foot placements, my set-ups, my positions, gettin’ the gun clean out of the holster, my reloads. I can’t think about it when I’m shooting. I can’t think about these small things. I have to focus on the sights and pulling the trigger. It’s just me and the gun.

[When] I step out on to the range, I simply have to be perfect — I have to be the best… I won’t settle for anything less.”

First-Ever Female Grand Master
Jessie Duff is the first woman in history to earn the title of USPSA Grand Master (GM), the highest rating conferred by the U.S. Practical Shooting Association (USPSA). To earn this prestigious ranking, Duff had to maintain an average above 95% in shooting classification courses, something never before achieved by a lady shooter. Jessie finished 2013 with a 95.39% average.

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August 9th, 2014

“Firearm Science” Video Shows the Process of Zeroing Rifle

Most of us can figure out how to zero our rifles at 100 yards. But do you know how to get a solid zero at long range — as far as 1000 yards? You need to know your ballistics, otherwise you may waste a lot of ammo “sprayin’ and prayin'”. You definitely need to know your exact muzzle velocity, within a few FPS. This is not as simple as it seems, because it is not uncommon for chronograph results to be off by 10 to 20 fps or more, just through calibration error. Accordingly, you may want to test with a pair of chronos and record the results from each (you may be surprised at the variances).

scope turret elevation nightforceVideo Illustrates Zeroing Process
The process of zeroing rifles for long range is covered in a new “Firearm Science” video from the NRA. This video features George Reinas, a popular competitor on the Top Shot TV Show. George demonstrates how to adjust his scope to compensate for bullet drop at long range. Our friend Dennis Santiago was involved in the making of this video, which was filmed at the Burbank Rifle & Revolver Club in Southern California. The video is narrated by the talented Jessie Duff, one of America’s best action shooters.

scope turret elevation nightforceWhen zeroing at long range, you should first consult a good ballistics program. Select your baseline zero distance (such as 100 yards), then plug in the MV along with salient environmental factors: Altitude, Air Pressure, Temperature, Humidity. After you enter bullet BC, your ballistics program will calculate the drop to the target, expressed in MOA or Mils. Some programs will actually list the number of clicks up from your current zero.

You can print out the data from your ballistics solver as a “drop chart” that can be attached to your rifle stock. If you shoot at various altitudes you may need multiple drop charts.

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June 21st, 2014

NRA All Access TV Show Kicks Off Second Season in July

The popular NRA All Access TV show is coming back for a second season on Outdoor Channel starting July 2. If you liked Season One, you’ll definitely enjoy Season Two. Hosts Matt and Jessie Duff return, with some great new feature stories (and a lot of shooting footage). Ace shooter Jessie Duff reports: “We have a lot of great episodes this season and haven’t even scratched the surface of NRA’s programs.” NOTE: NRA All Access is moving to a new time slot, Wednesdays at 10:30pm ET/PT.

Check out the Season Two sizzle reel for a sneak peek of upcoming episodes:

="Jessie

Here’s a fun Season One highlight, with Matt and Jessie on the West Coast:

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May 22nd, 2014

35th Annual Bianchi Cup Kicks Off in Columbia, Missouri

The Bianchi Cup is underway. A record-setting 295 competitors are competing in the 35th anniversary of the NRA Bianchi Cup, which runs May 21-24 at the Green Valley Rifle & Pistol Club outside Columbia, Missouri. The first day at the 2014 MidwayUSA & NRA Bianchi Cup has just wrapped up and there’s plenty of shooting left. Scores are low and it’s still – theoretically – anyone’s game.

2014 Bianchi Cup Columbus, Missouri

Story based on report by Kyle Jillson for NRABlog.com.
The richest and most prestigious handgun shooting tournament in the world, the NRA Bianchi Cup draws skilled pistol shooters from all over the globe. They come for glory… and the loot. This year there will be $500,000 worth of cash and prizes up for grabs.

2014 Bianchi Cup Columbus, Missouri

This event was founded in 1979 by former police officer and holster maker John Bianchi. Success in the Bianchi Cup requires a perfect balance of speed and accuracy. The 192-shot championship allows a maximum aggregate of 1920 points across four timed events: Practical, Barricade, Moving Target and Falling Plate. In addition to being grouped by age, gender, and shooting skill, competitors may opt to shoot in the Open, Metallic, or Production divisions.

2014 Bianchi Cup Columbus, Missouri

2014 Bianchi Cup Columbus, Missouri

Last year’s Open champion, Doug Koenig, is looking to notch his 16th Overall Title and his strong start at the Practical Event is a good first step. Among the other defending champions, past Ladies champion Jessie Duff (photos below) is eyeing a fourth title. National Police Shooting Championship legend Robert Vadasz hopes to earn a sixth Bianchi Cup title in the Metallic Sight Division.

2014 Bianchi Cup Columbus, Missouri

2014 Bianchi Cup Columbus, Missouri

Special Prizes for First-Time Bianchi Competitors
Shooters making their first appearance at the Bianchi Cup will be eligible for a special award from title sponsor MidwayUSA. The top three first-time men, women, and juniors will receive cash prizes of $2,500 for first place, $1,500 for second, and $750 for third.

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March 12th, 2014

The Science of Shooting Revealed in Fascinating NRA Videos

pistol shooting science Jessie Duff NRANRA Media recently released a series of informative videos about the Science of Shooting. These videos feature high production values, with super-slow motion segments, as well as helpful computer graphics to illustrate the principles covered.

The videos are narrated by our friend Jessie Duff, a top action pistol shooter (and the first women ever to achieve USPSA Grand Master status). Jessie is assisted by talented shooters such as Top Shot Season 4 Champion Chris Cheng.

There are eight (8) videos in the Firearm Science Video Series. Here are two videos, with links to the rest below.

RECOIL — The Physics of Recoil Explained

While this video focuses on handguns, the principles involved apply to all firearms. The force of recoil is affected by the mass of the firearm, and by the speed and weight of the projectile. On a revolver, as shown in the video, there are various phases of recoil. Grip, and “compensation” porting can change the perceived force of recoil (though the energy is constant for any given ammunition specification).

VELOCITY — Calculating the Speed of a Bullet

This video shows a conventional chronograph with front and rear light sensors. The bullet first trips the front sensor and then the rear sensor as it flies over the unit. The difference in sensor time is used to calculate bullet speed. This is not the only kind of chrono in common use today. The popular MagnetoSpeed chrono works by tracking the bullet as it passes over two magnetic sensors mounted on a bayonet-style fixture on the barrel. Steinert Sensing Systems offers an Acoustic Chronograph that works by measuring the bullet’s supersonic shock-wave. This system has a much larger “sweet spot” than most optical chronographs. Last (but certainly not least) is the brand new Doppler Radar chronograph from MyLabradar.com. This can measure the speed of a bullet without the need to send the round directly over sensors.

pistol shooting science Jessie Duff NRA Ballistic Pendulum

Interestingly, this video also explains how, in the days before electric lamps, digital processors, and radar, scientists used a mechanical “Ballistic Pendulum” to calculate bullet velocity using Newtonian physics. The Ballistic Pendulum was first used in the mid 1700s. We have come a long way since then.

Other Firearm Science Videos

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January 23rd, 2014

Fastest Pistol Shooter on Earth Reveals His Training Techniques

At the SIG Sauer booth at SHOT Show, we had a chance to interview Max Michel, Sig Sauer’s Pistol Team Captain. Winner of multiple speed shooting world championships, Max is widely considered to be the fastest pistol shooter alive. How fast? Watch the video below. Max puts 18 shots on three targets with two (2) reloads, in a total of 4.79 seconds. That’s right, drawing from holster, he sends 18 rounds in under five seconds, with two mag changes in the process. That works out to a rate of fire of 225 rounds per minute — faster than a 19th-century Gatling Gun.

Max Michel on Fire — 18 rounds with 2 Mag Changes in Under 5 Seconds:

How did Max manage that incredible speed run? “I ate my Wheaties that morning”, Max joked. But in fact, Max acquired his amazing shooting skills the hard way — through years of dedicated practice. We asked Max about the kind of training required to attain “world-class” speed (and accuracy) with a handgun. It has taken him decades to reach this level of perfection. Max started shooting competitively while in elementary school (at age 8 or 9). He recalls coming home from school and dry firing for hours. He has spent thousands of hours practicing over the past two decades. Interestingly however, Max does most training drills at half speed. Watch the video to learn why Max trains at half speed:

Train to Win — Max Michel Reveals His Training Strategies:

At age 32, Max Michel is a legend within the world of competitive shooting. A four-time World Speed Shooting Champion, six-time USPSA National Champion, and three-time US National Steel Champion, Max is a dominant force in pistol shooting sports. Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, Max began shooting when he was just 5 years old. In 1999 Max joined the USAMU’s Action Pistol Team and served in the U.S. Army for 10 years as an Army shooter and trainer. Today, Max is recognized worldwide as a top-tier athlete and instructor.

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December 17th, 2013

Jessie Duff Becomes First-Ever USPSA Female Grand Master

Jessie Duff USPSAYou go girl! Jessie Duff is the first woman in history to earn the title of USPSA Grand Master (GM), the highest rating conferred by the U.S. Practical Shooting Association (USPSA). To earn this prestigious ranking, Duff had to maintain an average above 95% in shooting classification courses, something never before achieved by a lady shooter. Jessie finished the year with a 95.39% average.

2013 was a banner year for Duff, who scored Open, Limited, and Single Stack Division wins at the USPSA National Championships. Duff also took multiple wins in the Steel Challenge World Championships, Steel Challenge Nat’l Championships, and Arkansas Sectional Championships.

“I am honored to have earned the designation of Grand Master with USPSA” said Duff. “This is something I have been working toward my entire shooting career and I’ve come this far thanks to a lot of hard work and a lot of support,” she added.

Jessie Duff USPSA

Duff, one of the most accomplished competition shooters in the world, has “raised the bar” for female shooters across the country. As female participation in shooting sports has grown, Duff’s accomplishments and continued success have blazed a path for women in competitive action shooting. “Jessie is one of the best shooters in the world,” said USPSA Executive Director Kim Williams. “USPSA is proud to announce her historic record as the first woman to ever reach this ranking in Practical Shooting,” added Williams.

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May 22nd, 2013

35th Annual Bianchi Cup Championship Commences

2013 Bianchi CupThe 2013 35th Annual NRA Bianchi Cup National Championship kicks off today, May 22nd in Columbia, Missouri, and runs through May 25th. This prestigious event draws shooters from all over the world. Along with the USA, competitors have come from Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, and Switzerland.

Categories include: Open Division, Metallic Sights, Service Pistol, and Revolver. In addition there be awards for the top shooters in specific classes: Law enforcement, Women, Junior, International, Newcomer, Senior, Grand Senior. One of the favorites in the Women’s Division this year is Jessie Duff, shown competing with one of her Bianchi Cup custom rigs. Jessie’s pistol sports special brackets to help steady the gun during barricade shots.

2013 Bianchi Cup Program | Bianchi Cup Info Guide

Bianchi Cup — Classic Four-Stage 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.

2012 Interview with John Bianchi

Photo courtesy the NRA Blog
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May 8th, 2013

Bianchi Cup Preview and Jessie’s New 9mm 1911

Jessie Duff 9mm pistolThe 35th Annual Bianchi Cup is happening soon. The 2013 MidwayUSA/NRA Bianchi Cup Championship will take place in Columbia, MO, May 22-25. This major event draws shooters from all over the world. Along with the USA, competitors have come from Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Netherlands, and Switzerland. Firearm categories include: Open Division, Metallic Sights, Service Pistol, and Revolver. In addition there be awards for the top shooters in specific classes: Law enforcement, Women, Junior, International, Newcomer, Senior, Grand Senior.

One of the favorites this year is Jessie Duff, shown below competing with one of her Bianchi Cup custom rigs. Jessie’s pistol sports special brackets to help align and steady the gun during the barricade shots.

CLICK for 2013 NRA Bianchi Cup Info Guide

Jessie Duff 9mm pistol

Jessie Duff 9mm pistol

Slick Modified 9mm Model 1911 for Jessie
If you’re curious about the hardware used by top shooters in other action pistol events, here is Jessie Duff’s new Taurus PT1911 9mm single-stack, set up for Open Division. Note the extended, tri-port compensator attached up-front, and the large cut-out on top of the forward part of the slide. That cut-out is for weight reduction and improved balance. Interestingly, the rear of the slide is milled flat where the rear sight would be on a conventional model 1911. Jessie relies on her Leupold DeltaPoint red dot sight to get on target, so the pistol doesn’t need front or rear iron sights.

Jessie Duff 9mm pistol

Jessie Duff 9mm pistol

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September 24th, 2012

Koenig and Duff Win at World Action Pistol Championships

World Action Pistol Championship

World Action Pistol ChampionshipsTwo familiar names topped the Open Division at the 8th NRA World Action Pistol Championship in Phillipsburg, Germany, which concluded September 16th. Doug Koenig won the Mens Open Division with a 1916-184 tally, finishing ahead of fellow Americans Kevin Angstadt (1916-171), and Bruce Piatt (1916-167). Among lady shooters, Jessie Duff scored an impressive come-from-behind victory to capture the Womens Open title with a 1900-151 score, edging USA team-mate Helen Jeavons (1899-131) by one point. Team USA’s Troy Mattheyer won the Metallic Division.

The host German Team also did well, winning titles in the Open Modified, Production, and Revolver Divisions. In fact, Germany’s Christoph Geppert (1912-159), Roman Hauber (1897-148), and Frank Reiche (1896-124) finished 1-2-3 among the wheelgunners.

CLICK HERE for Complete World Action Pistol Championships Results

Jessie Wins Ladies’ Open Title
Jessie explained how she pulled out a gritty, come-from-behind win: “Dropping 12 points in the Practical event and being four points behind the leader, I was feeling rather defeated right out of the gate. I still had another event to shoot that day. After a short time to gather my thoughts, I decided I didn’t come to Germany to give up, and would give the rest of the match everything I had! My next two events were plates and barricade, and approached them with a clear mind and positive attitude, and cleaned them both.”

The last day of the event Jessie, sponsored by Taurus, was still four points behind the leader. With the “Mover” still to shoot, she knew she had to turn in her best performance to stay in the hunt for the championship. “I realized, I had given it everything I had, and that’s what I asked of myself. I couldn’t change anything now, and whichever way the title goes, I would be happy. When they brought our targets over to be scored officially, is when I realized I had pulled ahead by one point and won the Bianchi World Cup!”

USA ‘A-Team’ Wins Team Event
Team USA A, composed of Kevin Angstadt, Jerrold Della Bella, Doug Koenig, and Bruce Piatt, won the Team Open title with a combined score of 7652-658. Germany’s Team BDMP finished second with 7614-607. USA Team B (shown below) scored 7573-566 to finish third. In the two-person team comps, Rob Leatham and Kyle Schmidt combined for a Mens’ Production division win, while Americans Helen Jeavons and Vera Koo won the Ladies’ Team Event.

World Action Pistol Championship

Photos courtesy Julie Golob, D. Brandenburger, and Jessie Duff.
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