December 3rd, 2015

Get Sierra Foam-Backed Counter Mat for $6.00

Sierra Bullets foam counter mat free

Six bucks — that’s less than the price of a burger and fries these days. But for the same small sum you can get something that will last a lot longer — a Sierra Counter Mat that displays the entire line of Sierra Bullets from .20 caliber up to .458 caliber. Right now Sierra is offering its foam-backed 16 ¼” x 21 ½” counter mat for just $6.00 (plus S&H). This displays over 160 bullet types (including 10 new bullets), complete with specifications, BCs and product codes. You can order online from the Sierra website or call 1-888-223-3006. Note, the last shipping day for 2015 will be Friday, December 18th.

This is a handy item for your reloading room or workshop. The mat provides a comfortable, non-marring surface for working on your rifles and pistols. It will also, to some degree, provide a barrier to oils and solvents, protecting your bench top.

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April 16th, 2013

CMP On the Mark Magazine Provides Important Safety Tips

On the Mark CMP Magazine junior shootersThe latest edition of the CMP’s On The Mark magazine contains a good article on firearms safety. While this story was written primarily for junior shooters, it offers good advice for shooters of all ages and skill levels. Here are some of the key recommendations:

1. Self-Discipline and Focus. Gun safety is not a matter of learning safety rules and then assuming you will always be safe with guns. Gun safety requires that you consciously practice safe muzzle control, check for open actions and keep your fingers outside of the trigger guard every time you handle a gun. That requires self-discipline and focus. You must discipline yourself to always pay attention to safety — for yourself and for those around you.

2. Everyone Is a Safety Officer. In an emergency when a safety hazard occurs or when someone in your presence does something unsafe with a gun, you can and must become an “Emergency Safety Officer.” If you see someone close the action on a gun or fail to open the action of a gun while handling it, it is necessary for you to step in and make sure the action is opened.

On the Mark CMP Magazine junior shooters3. MAT — Muzzle, Action, Trigger. An easy way to remember the Rules for Safe Gun Handling is to use the key word MAT. MAT stands for Muzzle-Action-Trigger. Whenever you handle a rifle always start by controlling the MUZZLE. Next think about the ACTION — when handling any rifle or firearm, the action must be open with a CBI (Clear Barrel Indicator), ECI (Empty Chamber Indicator) or OBI (Open Bolt Indicator) inserted. Finally remember “T” for TRIGGER. Keep your finger off of the trigger until after placing the gun in the shooting position and preparing to fire a shot. It is especially important to keep the finger outside of the trigger guard when loading the gun and placing it in the shooting position.


Other CMP Safety Instruction Resources:

  • Junior Shooter’s Guide to Air Rifle Safety, NLU # 741. This 20-page booklet is written for
    junior air rifle shooters, but it provides safety rules, procedures and guidelines that can be
    used by youth or adult shooters in any range firing situation.
  • CMP Rifle Safety Guide, NLU #744. This 32-page booklet is written for owners of CMP rifles. This guide includes safe gun handling rules and safety guidelines, explains how the rifle operates, range safety rules, how to deal with special problems, tips for accurate shooting, proper care of your rifle and CMP Programs for new rifle owners.
  • Rifle Safety & Marksmanship Training CD-ROM, Item # 772. This CMP produced CDROM is designed for use by coaches, instructors and youth who are teaching or learning target rifle shooting. It presents a complete basic rifle marksmanship course plus an impressive array of additional resources. Order through the CMP eStore.

How to Receive On The Mark
On The Mark is published quarterly by the Civilian Marksmanship Program. A typical issue of On The Mark includes 16-24 pages of new junior shooting program information as well as news about junior events, instructional tips and coaching information. One free On The Mark subscription is provided to each CMP-affiliated junior club, JROTC unit with marksmanship programs, and 4-H Shooting Sports Club. Individual subscriptions to On The Mark are available for $8.00 per year. To subscribe, download the OTM Order Form.

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March 3rd, 2013

MidwayUSA Pro Series Competition Shooting Mat for $49.99

The MidwayUSA Pro Series Competition Shooting Mat is now on sale for just $49.99, through the end of March, 2013. That’s 51% off the regular $102.99 price. This mat is bigger and better than MidwayUSA’s original shooting mat, with many enhancements. The Pro Series mat measures a full 73.5″ x 35.5″ and the padding is thicker. There is a zippered pocket on the front extension flap to hold ammo or log book. The rubberized contact areas are tan now (rather than black) so they don’t get so hot in the sun. And the designers added webbing “pockets” for bipod feet so you can pre-load the ‘pod with forward pressure. MidwayUSA has done a good job improving a mat that was already a good deal for the money. At $49.99 on sale (through 3/31/2013), this Pro Series mat is a great deal.

MidwayUSA pro series shooting mat

MidwayUSA pro series shooting mat

MidwayUSA Buyer Reviews:

Five Stars: Great upgrades to the original. It’s bigger in every direction, and the padding is twice as thick. The new knee and elbow pads won’t get as hot as the black material on the old one did, and the new material is “grippier” than the old stuff too. The bi-pod stop is a nice touch if you shoot F-T/R. — Bob M., Missouri, 10/6/2010.

Five Stars: As a competitive shooter my mat is important. The mat I replaced had been with me for about twenty years. It had been with me through the famous weather at Camp Perry, the winds and sand of Grayling 1000 yard matches. My Midway mat arrived shiny and new, full of stuffing, stiff and green. At my next match I found I liked the feel of the mat, it has handles! The rocks and sand on the firing line were not as sharp. The rubber is well-placed. It has proven to be rugged and quite up to the task. I am seeing more Midway mats at matches. A good thing. — Tom, Michigan, 12/26/2012.

Four Stars: I purchased this mat for a 2-day Appleseed event this fall. Good overall quality and more than wide and long enough for my frame. The only drawback and reason for me giving it 4 stars instead of 5 is that the padding is insufficient when placed on top of a rocky surface. I wasn’t looking for a sleeping mat mind you, but you feel every single rock underneath the mat when shooting prone (especially on the elbows), kneeling and when transitioning between positions. Best to use another pad underneath if you are using it on a rocky surface. Most of the other mats out there have the same drawbacks so this is still a great choice at a very decent price. — Chris S., Illinois, 1/6/2013.

Five Stars: This is a great mat for the money. It’s larger, thicker, and stickier than my old one. I could use larger knee area friction pads, but that’s the only complaint. The elbow area is huge and that’s what’s best. Much cooler in the sun, too. Rolls up and rolls out easy. The double-adjustable carry strap has built in loops I use for carrying a rolled up foul weather cover. The fold-out front fly is large and useful. This is a good looking, hard working mat. — Steve R., Illinois, 10/11/2010

This product has 4.3 star average with 53 user reviews.

Permalink Hot Deals, New Product 1 Comment »
December 8th, 2012

Good Deal: MidwayUSA Competition Shooting Mat for $29.99

The MidwayUSA Competition Shooting Mat is on sale for just $29.99, forty bucks off the regular $69.99 price. The $29.99 sale price is good now through December 31, 2012. Sized 67″ Long x 27″ Wide, this mat rolls up into a 6.5-inch diameter “sausage” for transport or storage. While we prefer a wider mat (with more room for ammo boxes and shooting accessories), this mat has many nice features. Grommets on the corners allow the mat to be staked down in high winds. The mat has rubberized elbow and knee pads, and it comes with both a carry handle and a convenient shoulder strap.

prone shooting mat

This would be a useful, inexpensive holiday gift for a junior shooter, or anyone who needs a basic mat for High Power, tactical, or F-Class competition.

  • Material: 600 Denier PVC Coated Polyester
  • Unrolled Dimensions: 67″ Long x 26-3/4″ Wide (not including front flap)
  • Rolled Dimensions: 6-1/2″ Diameter x 26-3/4″ W
  • Elbow Pad Dimensions: 22-1/2″ Long x 25-1/2″ Wide
  • Knee Pad Dimensions: 12-1/2″ Long x 7″ Wide
  • Front Flap Dimensions: Tapers from 27″ to 48-1/2″ wide extending 11-1/2″ from front of mat
  • Padding Thickness: Roughly .25″ thick, plus .335″ thick at the elbow and knee pads
Permalink Hot Deals 1 Comment »
July 16th, 2010

50% Off on Neoprene Gun Mats with Printed Diagrams

Now through July 25, 2010, GunMats.com is running a 50% off sale on printed mats used for gun cleaning and servicing. These mats are made from wetsuit-like neoprene sandwiched between fabric layers. One side of each mat is printed with an exploded diagram of a particular firearm. You can choose from a variety of designs, including handguns, rifles, and shotguns. Handgun mats are 11″x17″ and cost $6.50 (on sale) while the rifle mats measure 12″x36″ and cost $12.00 (on sale).

Handgun mats are offered for 8 handguns, including 1911, Browning High Power, Colt Python, Sig 220, Sig P225, Glock, HK USP, and Springfield XDM. Long gun mats include: AK47, AR15, Ruger 10/22, Rem 700, SKS, Winchester ’94, plus Mossberg and Rem 870 scatterguns.

neoprene gun rifle ma

Inexpensive Work Mat from Brownells.com
If you just need a durable work-mat and don’t care about the printed diagrams, Brownells.com offers an 8.75″ x 16.5″ plain black neoprene work mat for just $7.99. The Brownell’s mat is item 084-000-228, found on page 292 of Brownell’s catalog.

Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product 3 Comments »
February 3rd, 2010

New Combo Shooting Mat and Rifle Carry Case

Many of our readers have been looking for a folding shooting mat that does double duty as a rifle case. Well, the NRA just released such a combo mat/carry case that appears to have all the needed capabilities. In carry mode, the case is 48″ long by 13″ wide. The rifle is stowed in a padded center section, and held in place with velcro straps. A center handle lets you carry the bag like a suitcase, or optional shoulder straps allow backpack-style carry. These straps stow away in a zippered compartment when not in use.

Shooting mat carry case

When you arrive at the range, just open up the bag and you have a 3 foot wide by 6 foot long shooting mat with rubberized “elbow” contact zones. In shooting position you’ll find a convenient pouch for ammo on the right, and a place for your log-book on the left. Constructed of tough, 600D polyester with heavy-duty silent zippers, the NRA Mat includes four multi-position pouches: a 9″ x 8″ clear map / document pouch, a 10″ x 10″ zippered ammo pouch with 20 cartridge loops, a 9½” x 10″ exterior MOLLE pouch, and a 9″ x 18″ utility / strap pouch. The front exterior has MOLLE loops to attach additional pouches.

The NRA combo carry case/shooting mat costs $99.95, in either “coyote” tan or black. We think thats a pretty good price considering that a quality roll-up mat by itself can cost $80.00 or more and you still need a rifle case. This mat would be a good choice for F-Class shooters, and for long-range High Power shooters, provided their rifle is less than 45-46″ overall. Measure your gun before you order this product from the NRA Store.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 3 Comments »
January 10th, 2009

Shooting Mats for Bipod and Prone Shooters

We’ve been doing a lot of bipod shooting lately with the Anschütz 64R Biathlon rifle we’ve received for testing. (Great little rifle by the way — accurate, ergonomic, versatile. It’s a definite winner for the Rimfire Tactical game.)

Anschutz 64R biathlon rifle

rifle shooting mat padShooting off the ground with bipod has taught us the importance of a good, comfortable shooting pad, with non-slip areas for the ‘pod legs and sufficient length (and thickness) to cushion our middle-aged hips and knees. Creedmoor Sports offers a high-quality Shooting Pad for $75.00. This mat, popular on the High Power rifle range, has a waterproof vinyl bottom and a marine finished top with extended textured non-slip pads for elbow placement. Interior jute padding provides ample protection for the shooter in the shooting position. The Creedmoor pad measures 29.5″ X 68″.

ChampionShooters.com offers a similarly-sized shooting mat with some additional features. The 27″x72″ Champion Deluxe Roll-up Mat is soil-resistant canvas with a vinyl waterproof bottom. It has a 25″ X 21″ rubberized section added to the shooting area. To provide additional protection there are leg flaps on either side at the bottom, together with a dust flap in the front. This pad weighs 8 lbs. and costs $74.00.

rifle shooting mat pad

Desired Upgrades for F-Class Shooting
For F-Class shooting, one thing we’d like to see from the pad manufacturers is a second no-slip, rubberized section in the middle of the mat for the rear sand-bag. We’ve seen some pads that have been modified with a rubber-covered aluminum plate in the middle of the mat for the rear sandbag. That provides great stability for the rear bag, but a hard plate demands that you fold the mat, rather than roll it up.

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