September 10th, 2019

Teaching New Shooters — CMP Training Resources

The CMP (Civilian Marksmanship Program) offers a wide variety of resources for novice shooters and juniors. These materials help novices learn basic marksmanship skills and get started in competition. Some resources can be downloaded from the CMP website, while others are available for purchase from the CMP E-Store. In addition, The CMP maintains a Coaching Resources webpage with dozens of informative articles. Here are some of the CMP articles you can find online:

teaching shooting positions youth junior

Videos

These short marksmanship trainging videos cover the basics of the Kneeling, Standing, and Prone postions. (NOTE: these are live links — videos will launch when you click.)

Power Point Presentations

Right-click and “save as” the links below to download these Powerpoint presentations to your computer. These can be used in a classroom/seminar setting, or can be reviewed by shooters on their own. NOTE: Clinking a link will initiate the download to your default download folder!

CMP PRINT RESOURCES

Coaching Young Rifle Shooters
Gary Anderson, DCME, has authored a great book on instructing junior shooters. This full-color, 200-page treatise is probably the most comprehensive marksmanship coaching guide in print. The author, Gary Anderson, knows something about high-level competition — over his illustrious career he captured two Olympic gold medals, won seven World Championships, set six world records, and held 16 national titles. In this book, Gary provides coaches with all the tools and techniques needed to help young shooters (and novices) improve their skills. Packed with useful illustrations, this 200-page book sells for $19.95 plus S&H through the CMP E-Store.

USAMU Service Rifle Marksmanship Guide
and USAMU Advanced Pistol Guide

These illustrated books, written by U.S. Army Marksmanship Team personnel, provide detailed instructions on the basic and advanced skills of High Power service rifle shooting and service pistol and bullseye pistol target shooting. The books cost $6.95 each through the CMP E-Store.

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July 12th, 2019

Shooting Brain Trust — Wind Wisdom of Emil Praslick III

Berger Bullets Applied Ballistics Wind Reading Zero direction speed windy

Emil Praslick III is widely recognized as one of the greatest wind wizards on the planet — a master at identifying wind value and direction, and predicting wind cycles. As coach of the USAMU and top civilian teams, Emil has helped win many high-level championships. In the three videos we feature today, Emil, who works with Capstone Precision Group (Berger, Lapua, SK, Vihtavuori) and Team Applied Ballistics, explains how to determine wind direction and velocity using a variety of indicators. Praslick, now retired from the U.S. Army, was an 18-time National and 2-time World Champion coach with the USAMU.

Video ONE: Wind Theory Basics — Understanding “Wind Values”

In this video from UltimateReloader.com, Emil explains the basics of modern wind theory. To properly understand the effect of the wind you need to know both the velocity of the wind and its angle. The combination of those variables translates to the wind value. Emil also explains that the wind value may not be constant — it can cycle both in speed and velocity. Emil also explains some of the environmental conditions such as mirage that can reveal wind conditions.

Emil Praslick III Berger SWN Wind calling reading

Video TWO: Determining the Direction of the Wind

Key Point in Video — Find the Boil
Emil explains how to determine wind direction using optic. The method is to use spotting scope, riflescope, or binoculars to look for the “Boil” — the condition in mirage when the light waves rising straight up. The wind will generate that straight-up, vertical boil in your optics when it is blowing directly at you, or directly from your rear. To identify this, traverse your scope or optics until you see the boil running straight up. When you see that vertical boil, the direction your optic is pointing is aligned with the wind flow (either blowing towards you or from directly behind you).

Video THREE: The No Wind Zero Setting

In this second video, Emil defines the “No-Wind Zero”, and explains why competitive shooters must understand the no-wind zero and have their sights or optics set for a no-wind zero starting point before heading to a match. In order to hit your target, after determining wind speed and direction, says Emil, “you have to have your scope setting dialed to ‘no wind zero’ first.”

Emil Praslick III KO2M

Coach of Champions — Emil Praslick III
SFC Emil Praslick III, (U.S. Army, retired) works with Berger Bullets and Applied Ballistics. Emil served as the Head Coach of the U.S. National Long Range Rifle Team and Head Coach of the USAMU for several years. Teams coached by Emil have won 33 Inter-Service Rifle Championships. On top of that, teams he coached set 18 National records and 2 World Records. Overall, in the role of coach, Praslick can be credited with the most team wins of any coach in U.S. Military history.

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July 10th, 2019

Click No Bang — Dry-Fire Training with Kirsten Joy Weiss

kirsten weiss dry fire anschutz smallbore

Kirsten Joy Weiss has created a useful video about Dry-Fire practice. Dry-Fire is a method of training without a live round in the chamber. Dry-Firing is effective, Kirsten explains, because “it eliminates all the extra noise and messages that you get when you fire a live round. Without recoil, without the sound of a shot going off etc., all you hear is the click of the trigger. This allows you to focus on your sight picture and your trigger press.” This the lastest installment in Kirsten’s ‘How to Shoot Awesomely’ series. Kisten says: “I hope it helps you, and keep on aiming true!”

kirsten weiss dry fire anschutz smallbore

Dennis DeMille High PowerThe Benefits of Dry-Fire Training
If you are not doing Dry-Fire practice yet, then it’s time to start. Dry-Fire training is essential to the sling disciplines, and very useful for F-Class. Dennis DeMille, a national Service Rifle Champion, told us that, for every minute he spent in actual competition, he would spend hours practicing without ammunition. While in the USMC, Dennis would practice in the barracks, working on his hold and dry-firing:

“The most important thing is to spend time off the range practicing. Most of what I learned as a High Power shooter I learned without ammunition — just spending time dry firing and doing holding exercises. Holding exercises will really identify the weak parts of your position. The primary purpose of dry firing is to get you used to shooting an empty rifle. If you can shoot a loaded rifle the same way you shoot an empty rifle then eventually you will become a High Master.”

Dry-Fire Training Can Benefit Benchrest Shooters
What about benchrest? Well, we’ve found that Dry-Fire sessions can even benefit benchresters — it can help reveal flaws in your trigger technique, or inconsistencies in the way you address the rifle from shot to shot. With the gun set up with your front rest and rear bag, if you see the scope’s cross-hairs wiggle a lot when you pull the trigger, you need to work on your technique. Also, dry-fire practice can help you learn to work the bolt more smoothly so you don’t disturb the gun on the bags.

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May 10th, 2019

Fundamentals — Sight Alignment and Trigger Control

Marksmanship Fundamentals iron sights USAMU

This video from the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit focuses on two key fundamentals of marksmanship: 1) Sight Alignment; and 2) Trigger Squeeze. This video can assist any Service Rifle or metallic sights shooter. The USAMU instructor explains: “You’ve probably heard a lot about fundamentals — Breathe, Relax, Aim, Squeeze… Well that gives a shooter a lot to think about. Here we teach two main firing tasks: 1) align the sights, and 2) squeeze the trigger without moving the rifle. This allows the shooter a much more simplified format.”

The following tips are transcribed from the video:

Task One: Sight Alignment
Sight alignment is the process of putting the tip of the front sight post, the rear aperture, and the shooter’s eyeball all on the same plane. It’s very important to maintain the tip of the front sight post centered in the rear aperture. Just .002″ of deviation can cause a miss at 300 meters. Allow your eye to do its job. While firing, the focus should remain on the tip of the front sight.

Task Two: Trigger Control
Your second firing task is [to] fire the rifle without moving it. This is done through proper trigger control. You’ve probably heard a lot of words about trigger control — “surprise break”, “snatch”, “pull”, “squeeze”… well we teach one thing here: “smooth”. No matter the speed at which I engage the trigger, it’s always going to be smooth. Imagine trying to pull the trigger straight through the rear of the buttstock, holding it to the rear while the gun recoils. It’s important to constantly engage the trigger, never letting your trigger finger disengage from the trigger while firing. This is achieved through natural trigger finger placement.

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February 22nd, 2019

Train with Champions at CMP Small Arms Firing Schools

SFC Brandon Green SAFS small arms school CMP marksmanship program

How would you like to get marksmanship training from the reigning High Power National Champion? Get yourself to Oregon this June and you can. SFC Brandon Green of the USAMU will be one of the instructors for the CMP Small Arms Firing School in Eagle Creek, Oregon in June. A three-time National High Power Champion, Brandon is one of the greatest marksmen on the planet. Yesterday he posted: “Three of us will be at the SAFS/junior clinic in Oregon. Come check it out!” If you can make it to Oregon June 8-9, we definitely recommend this class. It will be the only SAFS in the Western USA this year.

SFC Brandon Green SAFS small arms school CMP marksmanship program

Along with the June SAFS in Oregon, there will be eight other rifle SAFS programs this year at locations nationwide. Some of these will be held in connection with major matches, such as the Eastern CMP Games in April at Camp Butner.

CMP Rifle SAFS Locations and Dates:

1. Eastern Cup & Games Matches, April 30 | Camp Butner, NC
2. Douglas Ridge Rifle Club, June 8-9 | Eagle Creek, OR (Range Officer Class is Jun 7)
3. Fairfax Rod & Gun Club, June 22-23 | Manassas, VA
4. National Matches, July 27-28 | Camp Perry, Port Clinton, OH
5. Oak Ridge Shooting Assoc., August 24-25 | Oak Ridge, TN
6. Camp Ethan Allen, September 19 | Camp Ethan Allen Training Site, Jericho, VT
7. Fort Hill Rifle & Pistol, September 28-29 | Keyser, WV
8. Oklahoma Cup & Games Matches, October 10 | Oklahoma City Gun Club, OK
9. Talladega 600 Matches, November TBD | CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park, AL

Led by certified military and/or civilian instructors, SAFS programs offers high level training in a safe, supportive setting, with rifles and ammo provided. The school is structured toward teaching new shooters, so no past firearm experience is required, though intermediate and advanced marksmen are also welcome to participate. During the course, students will learn basic instruction and firing practices, competition skills and live range firing, as well as compete in a real M16 EIC Match.

CMP Provides Rifles and Ammo at Small Arms Firing Schools
At each SAFS, equipment, including rifles and ammunition, will be provided. Personal equipment, such as a shooting jacket or glove, will be permitted during the course as well. Participants are required to bring hearing protection and eye protection is strongly encouraged.

SFC Brandon Green SAFS small arms school CMP marksmanship program

For more information or ask additional questions, please contact Amy Cantu at acantu@thecmp.org or (419) 635-2141 ext 602. The Small Arms Firing School (SAFS) has been an instrumental source for individuals to delve into firearm safety and competition technique. The SAFS course has been a staple event in the National Matches at Camp Perry since 1918 and has expanded its outreach to other areas of the country through CMP’s Travel Games matches in recent years.

SFC Brandon Green SAFS small arms school CMP marksmanship program

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December 2nd, 2018

Review Shooting Fundamentals with Ryan Cleckner Video

Still Tac30 action tactical rifle Ryan Cleckner book
Photo by Forum member GAT. Chambered in 6-6.5×47 Lapua, this rifle features a Stiller TAC30 action, Krieger barrel, Harrells brake, Konohawk Stock, and Sightron SIII 6-24x50mm scope.

Ryan Cleckner has created many good shooting videos for the NSSF, such as his excellent Understanding MOA Video. Ryan is noted for his ability to explain complex topics in an easy-to-comprehend manner. This video, covering the fundamentals of shooting, has been viewed over 1.6 million times. It’s worth watching, particularly for guys getting started in PRS/practical competitions.

In this video, Ryan Cleckner reviews proper technique for rifle shooters. A stable platform, sight alignment, sight picture, and trigger control are key fundamentals to shooting properly. This is basic stuff, but Cleckner presents it in a clear, logical fashion. This is a good video for novice shooters.

Tip on Viewing Your Reticle:
Cleckner: “Sometimes it can be difficult to focus between the target and the reticle, even with the parallax adjusted properly. I recommend you focus only on the reticle. Just like the front sight on a rifle or a handgun, that reticle is what you can control, and it’s what matters. Focus on a crisp, clear reticle, in a stable platform, and all that’s left is trigger control.”

Tip on Trigger Control:
Cleckner: “Trigger control is pretty straightforward, as long as you think about it as a continuous process, and not just one thing that happens. I like to think about it as drawing a line in the dirt. I like to think about this constant pressure that I’m adding as I draw this line straight back, and then… continuing to draw that line even as the rifle goes off. That’s the good follow-through you’ll need.”

Long Range Shooting Handbook — A Good Resource
Cleckner has authored a book, the Long Range Shooting Handbook, which expands on the topics covered in the above video. You can view Sample Chapters from Ryan’s Book on Amazon.com.

Ryan Cleckner’s new book is designed as an intro to important fundamental concepts such as MOA vs. Mils, External Ballistics, and Environmental Effects. Included are personal tips and advice based on Cleckner’s years of experience as a sniper instructor and special operations sniper.

The Long Range Shooting Handbook is divided into three main categories: What It Is/How It Works, Fundamentals, and How to Use It. “What It Is/How It Works” covers equipment, terminology, and basic principles. “Fundamentals” covers the theory of long range shooting. “How to Use It” gives practical advice on implementing what you’ve learned, so you can progress as a skilled, long range shooter.

As a long-range shooting expert, Ryan Cleckner has impressive credentials. Cleckner was a special operations sniper (1/75 RGR) with multiple combat deployments, and he has served a U.S. Army sniper instructor. Currently he works as a firearms industry executive and attorney.

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November 23rd, 2018

Get Outdoors and Experience the Joy of Shooting…

Mortality life expectancy carpe diem
This photo is one of Nightforce’s series of picturesque “Gunscapes”. SEE MORE HERE.

With all the commercialization and buying frenzy associated with Black Friday/Cyber Monday, we should remember the real reasons most of us enjoy the shooting hobby. Many of us like shooting because it gets us outdoors, away from work pressures. Shooting gives us a chance both to enjoy solitude as well as have fun with friends and family in the outdoors. For this editor, a solo trip to the range in mid-week was often the perfect antidote to job stress. Going to a scenic venue and sending a few shots downrange was satisfying. And getting out of the hustle and bustle of the city did indeed calm the soul.

Talented 3-position shooter (and trick-shot artist) Kirsten Joy Weiss says that any day at the range is “always a good day”. Here is her photo to prove it. If that shot doesn’t motivate you to spend a day outdoor with rifles, we’re not sure what will. Here’s hoping you’ll have a chance to get in another few days of shooting this season before the snow falls. This Editor hopes to test some rimfire ammo this weekend…

“Always a good day…” — Kirsten Joy Weiss

kirsten joy weiss sharp shots

kirsten joy weiss sharp shots

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November 21st, 2018

Download Classic Shooting and Marksmanship Books for Free

download free gun books

Free Classic Shooting BooksIn today’s economy, Free is good. Here’s a list of classic, older shooting books that can be downloaded for FREE from Google Books. This list includes many classic treatises on marksmanship that still have value for today’s competitive shooters. In addition, we’ve included illustrated firearm histories, such as Townsend Whelen’s fascinating book, The American Rifle, and The Gun and its Development (9th Ed.), by William Wellington Greener.

In the list below, the title link will take you to the Google Books page for each book. You can read the entire book online, or you can download it to your computer as a PDF file* and save it (or print it). You can also create your own Google Library and save the books there for access from any computer.

The Bullet’s Flight From Powder to Target, Franklin W. Mann, 1909, 384 pages.

Irish Riflemen in America, Sir Arthur Blennerhassett Leech, 1875, 216 pages.

The American Rifle, Townsend Whelen, 1918, 637 pages.

Suggestions to Military Riflemen, Townsend Whelen, 1909, 243 pages.

Modern Rifle Shooting From the American Standpoint, W. G. Hudson, 1903, 155 pages.

Manual for Rifle Practice: Including Suggestions for Practice at Long Range, George Wood Wingate, 1879, 303 pages.

How I Became a Crack Shot — With Hints to Beginners, W. Milton Farrow, 1882, 204 pages.

Cartridge Manufacture, Douglas Thomas Hamilton, 1916, 167 pages.

Description and Rules for the Management of the United States Rifle, Caliber .30, Model of 1903, United States Army Ordnance Dept., 1904 (5th rev. 1914), 72 pages.

Springfield 1903 rifle U.S. Army

*To download a book, first click the title from the list above. Then, once you’re at the Google book site, look for the icon that looks like a gear in the upper right-hand corner. Click that and a pull-down menu will appear. Select “Download PDF” from the menu — this will bring up a security question to make sure you are a human. Respond to the security question correctly and your normal download prompt will appear. Choose a location to hold your new e-book, and click “save”.
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September 27th, 2018

Practical Shooting Skills for Hunters — Field Rests

Thomas Haugland HuntingHunting season is here — and we know many of our readers will soon head to the woods in pursuit of deer, elk, or other game. To make a good shot, it’s wise to rest your rifle when possible. In this video, methods for stabilizing a rifle in the field are demonstrated by Forum member Thomas Haugland, who hails from Norway. Thomas focuses on practical field shooting skills for hunters. In this video, Thomas (aka ‘Roe’ on Forum and Sierra645 on YouTube) shows how to verify his zeros from bipod and then he demonstrates improvised field rests from the prone, kneeling, and sitting positions.

Thomas explains: “In this video I focus on basic marksmanship techniques and making ready for this year’s hunt. As a last check before my hunting season, I got to verify everything for one last time. My trajectory is verified again, the practical precision of the rifle is verified. I also practice making do with the best [improvised] rest possible when an opportunity presents itself. After getting knocked in the face by a 338LM rifle during a previous filming session, I had to go back to basics to stop [flinching]. I include some details from bipod shooting that hopefully some hunters will find useful. Fingers crossed for this years season, good luck!”

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August 16th, 2018

Union Volunteers Help Construct Boy Scout Ranges in Oregon

Range Construction Camp Meriwether Oregon Union Volunteers

This is a “feel-good” story about volunteers who helped build three modern ranges at the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Camp Meriwether facility in coastal Oregon.

For the shooting sports to survive and thrive, we need to train new shooters, particular young boys and girls. Many of us learned to shoot in the Boy Scouts. Now, through the efforts of Union volunteers, thousands of Scouts will enjoy quality marksmanship training at Camp Meriwether. Sixteen skilled volunteers have helped construct a 24-lane rifle range, a 24-lane archery range, and a 10-station shotgun range. An official dedication ceremony is planned later this summer.

Range Construction Camp Meriwether Oregon Union Volunteers
Range Construction Camp Meriwether Oregon Union Volunteers

Union volunteers teamed with the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance to help complete an ambitious shooting range-expansion project at the 790-acre Camp Meriwether in Oregon. Sixteen volunteers from the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers (RWAW) Local 49 and Laborers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA) Locals 737 and 296 donated 260 hours of skilled labor to help complete the $800,000 project, which added three new ranges to the popular Boy Scout camp.

Archery and shooting sports (airgun, rifle, and shotgun) are among the Boy Scout’s most popular activities. Yet for years, Camp Meriwether’s facilities were limited to just eight rifle shooting stations, eight archery stations, and two shotgun stations.

In 2013, the BSA Cascade Pacific Council decided to expand Meriwether’s facilities with new 24-lane rifle range, 24-lane archery range, and 10-station shotgun range. After years of planning and site prep, the project’s final phase began in 2018. This spring and summer, union volunteers assisted in the framing, sheeting, and underlayment for the three new range structures, which triple the camp’s capacity to teach scouts marksmanship.

Range Construction Camp Meriwether Oregon Union Volunteers

“The involvement of skilled trade volunteers is so important when a BSA camp takes on a major project,” said Frank Reigelman, BSA’s team lead for outdoor programs and properties. “Kids from southern California to Washington get together here to learn about the outdoors and experience activities like archery, trapshooting, and riflery,” added USA project leader Travis Hopkins, of RWAW Local 49. “This teaches them pastimes they can enjoy for a lifetime.”

Union Sportsmen’s Alliance CEO Scott Vance added: “The Boy Scouts of America will use these new ranges to teach thousands of youths safe and responsible firearms and archery skills each season for years to come.”

About Camp Meriwether
Located in rugged wilderness along the Pacific coast near Cloverdale, Oregon, 790-acre Camp Meriwether, the flagship of the BSA’s Cascade Pacific Council, can accommodate more than 500 campers each day. Acquired in 1926, Camp Meriwether is one of the few Boy Scout camps fronting the ocean — it boasts two miles of private beach.

Range Construction Camp Meriwether Oregon Union Volunteers

Camp Meriwether includes Lake Chamberlain, a fresh-water lake for swimming and boating, a trading post, a .22 rifle range, a shotgun range, an archery range, a black powder range, scoutcraft, and an ecology study center. For experienced campers, Meriwether offers high adventure hikes and a rock climbing program on a 44′ tower.

Range Construction Camp Meriwether Oregon Union Volunteers

Click Video to see Camp’s Beaches, Facilities, and Adventure Programs:

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July 8th, 2018

NSSF Grants Help Support Boy Scouts Shooting Programs

Boy Scouts Merit Badge NSSF Grant Progrm

Comment: If we want the shooting sports to survive (and thrive), we need to bring young shooters into this sport. Many of our readers, as well as this Editor, got started in shooting through the Boy Scouts. I shot rimfire rifles at scout camps and earned my Marksmanship Merit Badge. AccurateShooter.com strongly supports the Scouts, and we commend the NSSF for providing grants to regional BSA Councils. This article explains how regional BSA Councils can apply for funding.

Boy Scouts Merit Badge NSSF Grant Progrm

BSA Boy Scouts Council Rifle Shooting Grants NSSFThe National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has kicked off its annual grant program for the Boy Scouts of America Councils. Through this partnership, BSA Councils can receive a portion of $100,000 in NSSF grant funds to develop or expand their troop activities in target shooting and marksmanship. Target shooting programs continue to rank among Scouting’s most popular activities, teaching firearms and range safety, teamwork building and fundraising skills.

2018 marks NSSF’s eighth year supporting the BSA Council Grant Program, underscoring the time-honored practices of firearms safety, marksmanship training and shooting sports participation with the Boy Scouts. Additionally, the BSA’s recent decision to allow young females to join its ranks, though controversial, does provide an entirely new audience for BSA marksmanship training.

“Safety and marksmanship training through the Boy Scouts is a time-honored introduction to the shooting sports. We’re looking forward to increased participation from Scouts pursuing [merit] badges in these activities and then taking those new skills afield for a lifetime of enjoyment”, said Zach Snow, NSSF Range Services Director.

How Scouting Groups Can Apply for Grants

BSA Councils should review the grant guidelines and application procedures on the NSSF Website. Councils awarded NSSF funds must use those grants to purchase shooting sports equipment/supplies from NSSF Member Retailers. Qualifying purchases include: ammunition, eye and ear protection, firearms, targets, and shooting vests.

BSA Councils should Download the Application PDF and Grant Worksheet (Details Below).

(more…)

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May 6th, 2018

How to Shoot Better — Video Training with Kirsten Joy Weiss

Kirsten Weiss marksmanship tips video training trainer

Kirsten Weiss knows a thing about accuracy. She won the 2012 NRA Three-Position Women’s Smallbore Championship, while finishing as the National Overall Woman Champion. She used to shoot with the American team in top-level World Cup competition. Kirsten started shooting fairly late — at age 16. Despite her relatively late start, she earned a place on the University of Nebraska shooting team. That literally opened up a new world for Kirsten: “During the course of my career, I’ve had a lot of success. I’ve gone to World Cups… in Zagreb, Croatia, in Munich, Germany. I’ve won National Championships, and got on to the U.S. Olympic short list, so it’s been a good career.”

In these three videos, Kirsten offers key tips on accurate shooting. In the first video she explains how to get and maintain the proper cheek weld on your rifle. In the second, Kirsten talks about canting error — how having inconsistent side-to-side tilt on your rifle. In the third video, Kirsten explains the importance of proper trigger placement.

Kirsten Weiss smallbore 3P anschutz .22 LR

Proper Cheek Weld

No matter what your discipline — smallbore, silhouette, High Power, F-Class, or even PRS — it’s vital to have a consistent cheek weld for every shot. You want your head to be in the same position on the stock each time.

In this video, Kirsten explains how to find the best position for your head on the stock, which may require adjusting the cheekpiece. Then Kirsten demonstrates how to maintain consistent cheek weld shot after shot.

Consistent Rifle Cant (Tilt from Centerline)

Kirsten says most training manuals don’t explain rifle cant: “You won’t find this shooting technique just anywhere. Most shooters don’t even think about it — and they’re missing out. Proper Rifle Cant or Gun Cant (also known as cant error or even scope cant) is a complicated topic, but I’ll explain it simply — and how to simply avoid cant error.”

Want to know how to actually aim a gun right? This accuracy tip covers a crucial aspect of marksmanship. If you cant your rifle inconsistently from shot to shot, the point of impact will change, even with “perfect aim”. This is another episode in Kirsten’s How to Shoot Awesomely video series.

Proper Trigger Finger Technique

Kirsten tells us: “Finger placement on the trigger might not seem like a big deal, but it actually is. The reason for this is because, depending on where your index finger is placed on the trigger, [this] translates to different muscle interactions with the gun.” Watch this video to see Kirsten demonstrate proper finger placement (and explain problems caused by improper finger positioning).

When you pull the trigger, you only want to engage the last section of your finger, in order to avoid unwanted muscle engagement and to achieve a smooth shot. Remember there is a “sweet spot” between the crease (first joint) and the tip of the finger. If you position the trigger in that “sweet spot”, you should see an increase in your accuracy. Don’t make the mistake of putting the trigger in the crease of your finger, as shown below.

Kirsten Joy Weiss shooting tip marksmanship

Watch more videos on Kirsten’s YouTube Channel »

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March 17th, 2018

NRA Intercollegiate Shooting Club Championships at Fort Benning

NRA intercollegiate championships
Note how men and women compete on the same firing line. Photos courtesy NRA Blog.

Starting today, St. Patrick’s Day, many of the nation’s top young shooters will be at Fort Benning, Georgia at the 2018 NRA Intercollegiate Rifle and Pistol Shooting Club Championships. Hosted by the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU), the event runs March 17-25, 2018, with pistol matches first, followed by rifle competition. More than 100 marksmen (and women) from collegiate shooting programs across the USA will compete for individual and team honors.

NRA intercollegiate championships

Story based on Report in NRA Blog
The NRA Intercollegiate Pistol Championships (March 17-20), will determine the National Collegiate Individual and Team Champions in Free Pistol, Standard Pistol, Open Air Pistol, Women’s Air Pistol and Women’s Sport Pistol disciplines. Competitors have qualified based on scores fired in the annual NRA Intercollegiate Pistol Sectionals.

NRA intercollegiate championships

Once the Pistol Championships wrap up, the NRA Intercollegiate Rifle Club Championships run March 23-25. This year brings back the reigning champions of the University of Akron to defend their title. Throughout the rifle championship, all participants and coaches will also have an opportunity to participate in Smallbore Rifle and Air Rifle competitions and training summits.

NRA intercollegiate championships

Visit the NRA Blog and Shooting Sports USA for coverage of the NRA Intercollegiate Pistol and Rifle Club Championships. To learn more about the NRA’s Collegiate programs, visit Collegiate.NRA.org.

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January 21st, 2018

Handgun Marksmanship — Diagnosing Pistol Accuracy Problems

NSSF Chris Cheng Pistol Accuracy Handgun Shooting Skills

Over the past year, this was one of the TOP TEN most-read Daily Bulletin articles. We are reprising it today for readers who may have missed it the first time around…

When shooting pistols do your shots normally land smack dab in the middle of the target? If not, you may have some technique problems that are causing your shots to move off center. Top Shot Champion Chris Cheng has produced a good video for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) that helps handgunners diagnose accuracy issues. By shooting 3-shot groups and looking at the pattern and location of the shots, you can see what you’re doing wrong (or right). Here are some examples. Note, this process works best for shooters whose shots fall typically in one target zone. If your shots are all over the target, your form is inconsistent and problems will be harder to diagnose.

1. Low Left — Jerking Trigger: Here we see three (3) shots at the 7 O’clock position. This shows that the shooter is jerking the trigger, meaning that the shooter is pulling the trigger too quickly and therefore forcing the barrel to drop when breaking the shot. This is a very common problem, particularly with novices who are reacting to the noise/recoil of the pistol.

NSSF Chris Cheng Pistol Accuracy Handgun Shooting Skills

2. 9 O’Clock — Too Little Trigger Finger: If we see three (3) shots at the 9 O’clock position, what this can be indicative of too little trigger finger on the trigger. And therefore with every shot, the shots are getting pushed to the left. Try moving your trigger finger on to the pad of your index finger. Also try dry firing drills.

NSSF Chris Cheng Pistol Accuracy Handgun Shooting Skills

3. High Left — Anticipating Recoil: In this next example, we see three shots around the 11 O’clock position. What could be happening here is that the shooter is anticipating the recoil, and is actually lifting the gun up when he shoots. We recommend slowing down, working on your breathing, and, again, do dry-firing drills.

NSSF Chris Cheng Pistol Accuracy Handgun Shooting Skills

4. 3 O’Clock — Too Much Trigger Finger: Finally, if you see three (3) shots at the 3 O’clock position, this can indicate that there is too much trigger finger on the trigger. Therefore when the shot breaks the shooter is pulling each shot to the right. Note: Each of these descriptions is for a RIGHT-handed shooter. If you are a left-handed shooter you’ll want to reverse those descriptions.

NSSF Chris Cheng Pistol Accuracy Handgun Shooting Skills

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December 2nd, 2017

Marksmanship Fundamentals: Finger Placement on Trigger

kirsten joy weiss trigger placement shooting skills

You can spend thousands on a fancy new rifle, but all that expensive hardware won’t perform at its best if you have poor trigger technique. One key element of precision shooting is trigger control. Our friend Kirsten Joy Weiss has produced a good video that shows how to refine your trigger technique for better accuracy. In this video, Kirsten talks about the actual placement of a shooter’s index finger on the trigger. It is important to have the finger positioned optimally. Otherwise you can pull the shot slightly left or slightly right.

Kirsten tells us: “Finger placement on the trigger might not seem like a big deal, but it actually is. The reason for this is because, depending on where your index finger is placed on the trigger, [this] translates to different muscle interactions with the gun.” Watch this video to see Kirsten demonstrate proper finger placement (and explain problems caused by improper finger positioning).

When you pull the trigger, you only want to engage the last section of your finger, in order to avoid unwanted muscle engagement and to achieve a smooth shot. Remember there is a “sweet spot” between the crease (first joint) and the tip of the finger. If you position the trigger in that “sweet spot”, you should see an increase in your accuracy. Don’t make the mistake of putting the trigger in the crease of your finger, as shown below.

kirsten joy weiss trigger placement shooting skills

Effects of Incorrect Finger Placements
You want to place the trigger shoe between the end of your finger and the first joint. If you place the trigger on the very tip of you finger you’ll tend to push the rear of the rifle to the left when engaging the trigger, causing shots to go right (for a right-handed shooter). On the other hand, if you put the trigger in the crease (first joint), you’ll tend to bring the rear of the rifle to the right, causing shots to fall left. This is illustrated below for a right-handed shooter.

kirsten joy weiss trigger placement shooting skills

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November 15th, 2017

Pistol Fundamentals Explained — Infographic and Video

pistol fundamentals NRA marksmanship sight alignment
Photo courtesy St. Bernard Indoor Shooting Center.

Do you enjoy shooting pistols for sport, or perhaps you carry a handgun for self-defense? If you’re like most of us, you might benefit from a “refresher course” on the fundamentals of handgun shooting. The NRA has created a useful Infographic that covers important basics of handgun marksmanship — key things such as Sight Alignment and Trigger Control. Here are the first two (2) lessons. Click the link below to see all SIX (6) training topics: Sight Alignment, Sight Focus, Trigger Control, Breath Control, Hold Control, and Follow-Through.

CLICK HERE for FULL INFOGRAPHIC with SIX LESSONS

pistol fundamentals NRA marksmanship sight alignment

VIEW ALL Six Handgun Fundamentals

Video Shows Sight Alignment, Grip, Stance, Trigger Control and More
In this USAMU video, SGT Shane Coley talks about the basics of sight alignment and trigger control. But then SGT Coley talks about other important control factors such as grip, arm position, and body stance. For rapid-fire shooting, you need to have a good arm and body positioning to control recoil and get back on target quickly. This video is a valuable complement to the NRA Infographic because it demonstrates all the important pistol fundamentals during live fire, at the range.

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October 28th, 2017

Fathers and Sons Compete at Talladega Marksmanship Park

Talladega Marksmanship Park father son shooting competition
Terry Mathy (right) watched as his father Dusty (left) fired on electronic targets for the first time.

Here’s a “feel-good” account of father and son duos who competed this year at the CMP’s modern Talladega Marksmanship Park. It’s great to see fathers introduce their children to the shooting sports, and carry on the tradition of marksmanship from generation to generation.

“In my opinion, there is no better way to teach responsibility, self-discipline, integrity and to build trust. There are so many lessons in shooting sports, and in hunting, which apply to other areas of life. It’s also an opportunity to build an understanding of the freedoms we enjoy, why we have those freedoms and why we must act responsibly to preserve them.”

“It makes me proud when others approach us at the range and compliment [my son] Terry on his safety and etiquette. There are no stronger bonds between father and son than those formed in the woods, on the water, and at the range.” — Dusty Mathy

Through the Eyes of Father and Son: The Affinity of Marksmanship
Report based on story by Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer

The Talladega Marksmanship Park is a major draw for marksmen around the country. Just ask father/son duo Dusty and Terry Mathy. Back in June 2017, SSG Dusty Mathy (U.S. Army) visited Talladega for the first time. Dusty brought along all four members of his family: wife Rachel, son Terry (9) and daughter Olivia (8). The Mathy family traveled all the way from their Kansas home to attend the Talladega D-Day matches.

Talladega Marksmanship Park father son shooting competition
During the D-Day event, father Dusty Mathy earned a medal for his Carbine Match performance and posed with his son, Terry (left).

During the D-Day match, father Dusty took his first shots on outdoor electronic High Power targets, an experience he won’t soon forget: “That alone was worth the trip… Shooting an entire EIC match, start to finish in about 90 minutes, with no pit duty, [was] priceless.” Son Terry helped out by recording scores: “I marked my Dad’s shots in the data book, and looking at the electronic targets saved time. The match was much faster, and it was easy to see how my dad was doing. And easy to mark his shots.”

Talladega Marksmanship Park father son shooting competition
Talladega Marksmanship Park in Alabama is a 500-acre facility featuring modern electronic target systems with monitors at each shooting station.

For Dusty and Terry, marksmanship is more than putting shots through a target — it’s a way of building character and … enjoying life together. When Terry was 7, the two shot at their first Project Appleseed event, where they learned about American history as well as marksmanship. Now the father and son regularly shoot at a local 300-yard Vintage Sniper Match using Terry’s .223 Savage Axis in Open class. Terry’s skills continue to improve each time he fires — his personal best so far is 97-3X.

During the week the Mathy family visited the South CMP Store in Anniston and took a tour of the CMP’s impressive armory. The family also attended the barbeque the CMP hosts as a “thank you” for competitors and guests. “It was outstanding,” said Dusty of his family’s experience. “We met some really great people at the matches. Rachel and Olivia really appreciated the relaxing environment in the Club House and being able to sit at the little covered bleachers during the matches.”

The Lewis Father and Son Team at Talladega
There was another father and son team at the Talladega during the D-Day event in June 2017. LTC Jerry Lewis and his son Josh Lewis (16) of Fayetteville, Georgia, both attended and competed in the Talladega D-Day event together. Though still in high school, Josh is an accomplished marksman who learned his skills from his father, a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. military.

Talladega Marksmanship Park father son shooting competition
Josh Lewis shoots M1 Garand (.30-06 Sprg) while his father Jerry Lewis tallies the score.

Talladega Marksmanship Park father son shooting competition
Jerry and Josh Lewis are another example of family teams who enjoy Talladega’s competitions and deluxe shooting facilities. There are shotgun and pistol ranges along with the rifle range.

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May 5th, 2017

NSSF Offers Grants to Boy Scouts of America Councils

BSA Boy Scouts Council Rifle Shooting Grants NSSFThe National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) is pleased to announce the launch of its annual grants partnership with the Boy Scouts of America Councils. Through this partnership, BSA Councils can receive a portion of $100,000 in NSSF-provided grant funds to develop or expand their troop activities in target shooting and marksmanship. Target shooting programs continue to rank among Scouting’s most popular activities, teaching firearms and range safety, teamwork building and fundraising skills.

“This seventh year of supporting the BSA Council Grant Program … brings with it a new level of excitement,” said Zach Snow, NSSF Director, Range Services. “Safety and marksmanship training through the Boy Scouts is a time-honored introduction to the shooting sports. We’re looking forward to increased participation from Scouts pursuing [merit] badges in these activities and then taking those new skills afield for a lifetime of enjoyment.”

How Scouting Groups Can Apply for Grants
BSA Councils wishing to apply for grants should visit the grant guidelines and application procedures at nssf.org/bsagrant. Councils awarded funds through NSSF’s BSA Grant Program must use those grants to purchase of equipment and supplies for their shooting sports activities from an NSSF Member Retailer. The full list of these retailers is available at nssf.org/retailers/find. Examples of qualifying purchases are: ammunition, eye and ear protection, firearms, targets and shooting vests. For more information on this special program and qualifications, contact NSSF’s Zach Snow at zsnow@nssf.org or 203-426-1320 ext. 224.

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December 16th, 2016

Holiday GIFT Picks — Top 10 DVDs and Free Shipping

David Tubb Jim Hill High Power DVD instruction video CD

Today, December 16th, 2016, Creedmoor Sports is offering FREE SHIPPING on ALL orders within the Continental USA. Orders must be placed by 11:59 PM EST, on Friday, December 16. And now through January 2, 2017, Creedmoor is offering holiday sale prices on a host of products, including match ammo, shooting coats, gun cases, gloves, spotting scopes, shooting mats, eyewear, and much more.

In its Holiday Shopping Catalog, Creedmoor has also cut prices on its best-selling instructional DVDs. You can save up to $9.50 per disc, with typical savings of 20% or more. Serious High Power rifle competitors can definitely benefit from these informative DVDs which combine instruction with photos, video, and interviews. Here are three highly recommended DVDs, the first from Triple-Distinguished Marksman Jim Hill and the other two from 11-Time National High Power Champion David Tubb. You can ORDER these DVDs Online.

David Tubb Jim Hill High Power DVD instruction video CD

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December 10th, 2016

Marksmanship Camps for Youngsters — Openings Available

Dustin Ellermann Marksmanship Camp Shooting Zavalla Texas Christian

Top Shot Champion Dustin Ellermann is not just a great shooter. He also directs a Christian-oriented youth program in Texas. In the spring of 2017, Dustin’s Camp His Way team will be offering weekend marksmanship camps for youngsters and teens. Dustin tells us that there are still a few spots available for the Kids’ Camps on February 25-26 and March 25-26, as well as the Teen Camp on March 11-12, 2017. These two-day Camps make a great holiday gift for youngsters. The programs are conducted at Camp His Way outside of Zavalla, Texas. For more information, visit Marksmancamp.com.

Dustin Ellerman Marksmanship Camp Shooting Zavalla Texas Christian

These weekend Marksmanship Camps are specially designed for kids aged 9-13 and teens 14-18. The Christian-oriented two-day camps focus on safety, marksmanship skills, and team building. Campers enjoy a host of fun skill-oriented activities: Airgun Shooting, Archery, Blowguns, Knife Throwing, Paintball Games, Slingshots, Tomahawk Throwing, and of course Rimfire Rifle Marksmanship with a variety of rifles. The Rimfire Rifle Marksmanship program features Volquartsen Custom Rifles, S&W M&P 15-22s, Ruger 10/22s, Savage bBolt Actions, and Henry Lever Actions.

Dustin Ellerman Marksmanship Camp Shooting Zavalla Texas Christian

The Kids’ (ages 9-13) Marksmanship Weekends cost $270. Teen (ages 14-18) Camps are $300.00. These fees include all ammo, equipment, meals, lodging, team t-shirt, and one adult guest spectator. Parents are welcome to attend and spectate, but participation in marksmanship activities is limited to the kids at this time. CLICK HERE to reserve a spot — a few openings are still available.

Dustin Ellerman Camp His Way

Notice the young campers always wear ear and eye protection when shooting firearms. That’s as it should be. We wish adult shooters, including benchrest, smallbore, High Power, and F-Class competitors, followed this important safety practice.

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