August 25th, 2018

World Shooting Championship in South Korea Aug. 31 – Sept. 15

South Korea World Championships

The Int’l Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Shooting Championship commences next Friday in South Korea. Along with pistol and shotgun aces, the world’s top air rifle, smallbore rifle, and 300m centerfire shooters will vie for glory and Olympic placements. Twenty Olympic quotas will be up for grabs in the rifle events and Team USA should secure some spots, along with some trophies in South Korea. The 52nd World Championship run August 31 through September 15 in Changwon, South Korea.

See World Championship U.S. Team preview in the latest edition of USA Shooting News. CLICK HERE for complete schedule of events at the ISSF World Championship. This Championship Finals will be broadcast live via Livestream.com/ISSF.

South Korea World Championships

Top USA Rifle Competitors at the ISSF World Championship

Three-time Olympic medalist Matt Emmons will make his sixth World Championship appearance in Changwon where he will shoot Men’s Three-Position Rifle and Prone Rifle. Emmons will also shoot the Men’s Prone Rifle event in which he won gold in 2002, bronze in 2010 and bronze as a Junior in 1998.

Emmons’ two-time Olympic teammate Michael McPhail of the USAMU will also shoot Men’s 50m Prone Rifle. In addition he will compete in Three-Position events. Notably, McPhail will also shoot centerfire at 300 meters. At the 2014 World Championship, McPhail won bronze in Men’s 300m Prone Rifle, which he will once again compete in Changwon.

South Korea World Championships

For Sarah Beard, Changwon marks her third World Championship appearance. She’ll have lots of chances at medals as she’ll be shooting 3P rifle, Air Rifle Mixed Team event, Prone, 300m Three-Position and 300m Prone Rifle. Beard won silver in 2010 in Junior Women’s Prone Rifle in Munich, Germany.

Mindy Miles was the top finisher in Women’s Air Rifle selection for this World Championship. Mindy recently finished a superb collegiate career at TCU that included four of the 10-best Air Rifle scores in the 2017-2018 NCAA season, including a perfect 600 score.

Click Photo to Load Large PDF Matt Emmons Poster
Matt Emmons Shooting tips

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June 8th, 2018

USA Shooting National Championships at Fort Benning

USA Shooting national championships fort benning georgia ISSF smallbore air rifle pistol

More than 200 shooters from around the country will make their annual pilgrimage to the home of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit this weekend as the week-long USA Shooting National Championships for Rifle and Pistol kick off Sunday in Fort Benning, Georgia. The National Championships start Sunday, June 10 and run through June 16. This event is free and open to the public.

Click HERE for USA Shooting National Championships Schedule of Events PDF »

This year’s National Championship will also be the first Nationals where the new ISSF shooting format will be in place, with men and women taking the same number of record shots in competition.

USA Shooting national championships fort benning georgia ISSF smallbore air rifle pistol

National titles and slots on the National/National Junior/National Paralympic Teams will be up for grabs as athletes compete in individual Olympic and Paralympic events in Rifle and Pistol disciplines, as well as Men’s and Women’s 50m Prone Rifle, Men’s 25m Center Fire and Standard Pistol and Men’s 50m Free Pistol. This match will also serve as the selection match for the 2018 International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Championships to be held August 31 – September 15 in Changwon, South Korea. Shooters who’ve already earned slots on the World Championship Team will be looking to Nationals as as a tune-up prior for the Worlds.

USA Shooting national championships fort benning georgia ISSF smallbore air rifle pistol

Among the notable Rifle athletes who will be competing in Fort Benning are three-time Olympic medalist Matt Emmons, 2016 Olympic gold medalist Ginny Thrasher, and two-time Olympian Michael McPhail of the USAMU. Emmons and Thrasher posted the top finishes for American Rifle athletes this year on the ISSF circuit. Emmons just missed the podium at the April 2018 World Cup in Changwon, finishing fourth in Men’s Three-Position Rifle. Thrasher finished fifth in Women’s Air Rifle at the World Cup in Fort Benning just three weeks ago.

Ginny Thrasher USA Shooting National Championships Fort Benning

Paralympic Competition Draws Shooters from Many Nations

In addition to the National Championships, this event is also a World Shooting Para Sport-sanctioned (WSPS, formerly IPC) match so Paralympic athletes from the U.S., Ireland, Canada, Ukraine and Columbia will also compete in this match across the Paralympic Rifle and Pistol events.

USA Shooting National Championships Fort Benning

USA Shooting National Championships Fort Benning

Archive photos courtesy NRA Competitive Shooting.

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July 19th, 2017

Smallbore National Championships — SSUSA.org Report

smallbore national championships Wa-ke-de
Photo courtesy Shooting Sports USA.

The NRA National Smallbore Championships (Conventional and Metric) took place July 8-17 at the Wa-Ke’-De Range in Bristol, Indiana. The NRA’s Shooting Sports USA website has extensive coverage of the event written by correspondent Hap Rocketto.

CLICK HERE to Read Full Report on SSUSA.org »

In team competition, the USAMU shooters dominated: “The [conventional] paper team match was an AMU runaway — they carded a 4766-338X to have a 30-point pad on the second place Coast to Coast Team’s 4736-267X effort. The Illinois State Association finished third with a 4679-210X.”

USAMU shooters on the firing line at the Wa-Ke’-De outdoor range in Bristol, IN.
smallbore national championships Wa-ke-de
Photo courtesy USAMU.

There were some great individual performances. In early prone competition, three shooters didn’t drop a point: “The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit’s (AMU) Patrick Sunderman… opened the tournament with a 400-38X. Mike McPhail, perhaps one of the best prone shooters in world, followed up with a score of 400-37X and … civilian Daniel Martz closed out the top three with his 400-36X.” Later, in kneeling position, McPhail shot his second perfect score of the day, 400-30X, to win the kneeling match.

Iron Man Competition
There was a special “Iron Man” title for the best performance over the entire 8-day cycle. Rocketto writes: “The final prone match, 40 shots on the metric target with any sights, was the deciding factor in the Iron Man competition when McPhail beat George Norton by four points. Over eight days, McPhail shot a 9504-711X, Norton 9501-655X, and last year’s Iron Man Sunderman scored 9478-640X.” Overall the Army swept the top three places.

The Iron Man podium: SFC Mike McPhail (Center), SSG George Norton, & SPC Patrick Sunderman.
2017 National Smallbore championship Iron Man

The last shot of the any sight metric position championship marked the end of the 2017 NRA National Smallbore Championships. The target frames have been stacked away until next year — when smallbore rifle shooters will again converge upon the Wa-Ke’-De Range in Bristol, Indiana.

Men and women now compete on equal terms at the National Smallbore Championship, gunning for the same honors in “gender-neutral” classifications.
Small Bore Rifle Championship NRA women category gender neutral
Photo courtesy Shooting Sports USA.

Camp Wa-ke'-de range Bristol indiana IN championship

Smallbore Rifle Championship (Wa-Ke’-De Range, Bristol, IN — July 8-17, 2017)
Webpage: CLICK HERE for National Smallbore Rifle Championships INFO.

The Key to 3P — Beginner’s Guide to Smallbore Position Shooting

Would you like to try smallbore position shooting? Here are some tips from one of the best 3P shooters on the planet, Olympian Matt Emmons. Matt Emmons Anschutz 3P three position shooting tipsMatt Emmons competed in the Three-Position Event at the Rio Olympics his fourth Olympic appearance. Matt has competed on the U.S. National Team since 1997, medaling in three Olympic games: Gold in 2004 in Men’s 50m Prone; Silver in 2008 in Men’s 50m Prone; and Bronze in 2012 in Men’s 50m 3X40. Although his specialty is Men’s 3-Position rifle, Emmons’ World Championship and Olympic Gold are in Men’s 50m Prone. He usually shoots an Anschütz or Bleiker .22LR rifle, with Eley Tenex ammo.

Here are shooting tips from Matt, courtesy Anschütz. Click image below to launch a large, full-screen PDF file.

CLICK Photo to Load Large PDF File
Matt Emmons Anschutz 3P three position shooting tips

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August 5th, 2016

Olympic Shooting Sports Schedules and Coverage

The 2016 Rio Olympic Games kick off today with the Opening Ceremony. Shooting sports will be a part of these Olympics with competitions for rifle, pistol, and shotgun. From August 6 though August 14, Olympic shooters will compete in Brazil’s ultra-modern Olympic Shooting Center, originally created for the 2007 Pan-American Games at a cost of $53.5 million.

CLICK HERE for USA Shooting Olympic Preview with Team Profiles

SFC Michael McPhail Team USA
SFC Michael McPhail, shown above, is currently ranked #1 in the world in the smallbore 50m prone rifle discipline. He’s one of the favorites to win Gold in 2016.

2016 Olympic Media Coverage — TV and Internet
There will be some broadcast television coverage of shooting events. But the best way to follow the shooting matches is through streaming on the internet. NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports App will live stream 4,500 total hours of Olympics coverage — covering every event. Each day you can click the NBC Live Stream Schedule for Shooting Sports Events to see what’s running. CLICK HERE for complete shooting sports schedule.

With Rio just one hour ahead of the Eastern Time zone, Americans will enjoy great “real-time” coverage of the 2016 Summer Games. NBCUniversal will present 2,084 hours of Olympic programming across 11 affiliated TV and Cable networks.

Olympic Shooting Event Schedule

Note: All times are listed in Eastern Standard Time, one hour AFTER Rio Local Time. These are events with USA competitors.

Friday, August 5
7:00 pm Opening Ceremony

Saturday, August 6
7:30 am – 10m Air Rifle Women
9:30 am – Finals 10m Air Rifle Women
12:00 pm – 10m Air Pistol Men
2:30 pm – Finals 10m Air Pistol Men

Sunday, August 7
8:00 am – 10m Air Pistol Women
8:00 am – Trap Women
10:00 am – Finals 10m Air Pistol Women
2:00 pm – Finals Trap Women

Monday, August 8
8:00 am – 10m Air Rifle Men
11:00 am – Finals 10m Air Rifle Men

Tuesday, August 9
8:00 am – 25m Pistol Women Precision Stage
11:00 am – 25m Pistol Women Rapid Stage
2:30 pm – Finals 25m Pistol Women

Wednesday, August 10
8:00 am – 50m Pistol Men
8:00 am – Double Trap Men
11:00 am – Finals 50m Pistol Men
2:00 pm – Finals Double Trap Men

Thursday, August 11
8:00 am – 50m Rifle 3-Position Women
11:00 am – Finals Rifle 3-Position Women

Friday, August 12
8:00 am – 50m Rifle Prone Men
8:00 am – Skeet Women
9:30 am – Skeet Men Day 1
10:00 am – Finals 50m Rifle Prone Men
11:15 am – 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Men Stage 1
2:00 pm – Finals Skeet Women

Saturday, August 13
8:00 am – 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Men Stage 2
8:30 am – Skeet Men Day 2
11:30 am – Finals 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Men
2:00 pm – Finals Skeet Men

Sunday, August 14
8:00 am – 50m Rifle 3-Position Men
12:00 pm – Finals 50m Rifle 3-Position Men

You’ll find more information on Team USA and Olympic Shooting Competition on these websites:

usashooting.org
nbcolympics.com/shooting
teamusa.org

issf-sports.org
Rio2016.com
olympic.org

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June 6th, 2016

Olympic Preview: Matt Emmons Demonstrates Three Position

Rio Brazil Olympic Shooting Center Deodoro Park

The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil are coming up soon. The Rio Olympic Games will include rifle, pistol, and shotgun competitions. Shooting events will be held in Brazil’s ultra-modern Olympic Shooting Center, originally created for the 2007 Pan-American Games at a cost of $53.5 million. Perhaps the most challenging Olympic rifle discipline is the 50m three-position (3P) smallbore match. In this article, American Olympian Matt Emmons provides expert tips on three-position shooting.

Here Matt Shows the Kneeling Position. The other two positions are Standing and Prone.

Matt Emmons Anschutz 3P three position shooting tipsMatt Emmons will compete in the Three-Position Event at the Rio Olympics, seeking his fourth Olympic medal. Rio marks Matt’s fourth Olympic appearance — he has competed on the U.S. National Team since 1997, medaling in three Olympic games: Gold in 2004 in Men’s 50m Prone; Silver in 2008 in Men’s 50m Prone; and Bronze in 2012 in Men’s 50m 3X40. Although his specialty is Men’s 3-Position rifle, Emmons’ World Championship and Olympic Gold are in Men’s 50m Prone. He usually shoots an Anschütz or Bleiker .22LR rifle, with Eley Tenex ammo.

Here are shooting tips from Matt, courtesy Anschütz. Click image below to launch a large PDF file. Right-click the image and “save as” to download the poster-sized PDF.

CLICK Photo to Load Large PDF File
Matt Emmons Anschutz 3P three position shooting tips

Three Sets of Hardware for Three Positions
You may be surprised to find that Matt often totes three complete sets of rifle parts to important matches — three buttplates, three cheekpieces, and three Centra sights with adjustable irises. Matt told Shooting Sports USA that he travels with “three sets for three positions. Our final is so fast that I need three sets of everything to allow a fast change-over between positions.” Matt carries his gear in an an Anschütz sport bag: “It’s similar to the big Ogio duffels with wheels, but lighter. I’ve worked with AHG/Anschütz for many years and I like their bag because all of my junk fits in it.”

Emmons, who will be competing in Rio this upcoming August, also carries something for good luck: “My wife Katy gave me a little figurine of a Czech fairytale character a long time ago for good luck and I always have it with me when I shoot.”

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January 2nd, 2015

Concentration — Matt Emmons Explains How to Stay Focused

Writing for the ELEY Bulletin, USA Olympic Gold Medalist Matt Emmons provides rock solid advice for anyone involved in competitive shooting. Matt talks about dealing with pressure, and how to maintain concentration and focus. Matt says two keys to maintaining focus are practice and imagination….

Matt Emmons USA Shooting Olympics Eley

Sports Shooting Psychology – Concentration

Concentration – staying focused in stressful competition situations
There are books… totally devoted to concentration, so I what I am about to write is only my opinion and take on the subject matter. There are so many aspects to the game of shooting, whether it be rifle, pistol, or shotgun. At the same time, one of the constants is concentration. Concentration is one of the things that allows you to be your best and keeps you in the “zone” when you are performing extremely well. It’s also a piece of the puzzle that has often disappeared when things go awry.

Matt Emmons Eley OlympicsSo how do you concentrate when the pressure is on? The exact recipe will be slightly different for different people, of course. Two important things for anyone, however, are practice and a great imagination! If you never practice focusing intently on anything, or especially during training, you will never learn to do it when you really want to. You must practice every situation that could occur during an important competition and practice what you will do so that you can continue to be your best. That means imagining and practising what you will do in the biggest match of your life when things are going incredibly well. How will you react? How will you work with it so that you continue to perform beautifully?

What will you do if you are in that same biggest match of your life and something goes wrong? How will you keep your poise, get back on track, and do what you’re capable of to achieve your goal? The answer depends on you. A great shooter needs to have a great imagination and needs to be able to look deep inside themselves to know how they might react in every different situation. If something doesn’t feel comfortable or there is nervousness, that means the athlete needs to work on preparing for it in training so that if the situation happens in a competition, there will be no lapse in concentration. There is a plan and it has be rehearsed so that it flows effortlessly.

I certainly can’t recommend any “quick fixes” to help anyone concentrate better. That doesn’t really exist. A couple things that always help in stressful situations, however, are these:

Breathe!! Stop and take a few slow, deep breaths to slow the heart down. You’ll be surprised how much this can help.

Keep your thoughts rational and focused on things you can control. Any worries about “what if’s” or things out of your control are completely useless and will only take your concentration off of what you’re trying to do.

Stay in the moment! Good or bad, the past is done! You cannot change it. If the past was great, enjoy it for a moment and move on to now. If it was bad, learn what you can from it and move forward. The future is what you create. Every future moment is this current moment. Enjoy and make the best of this current moment and the future moments will come by themselves. Make the current shot the best shot you can possibly make, enjoy it then repeat on the next one.

Picture what you want to see happen. Imagine a short video of the “your perfect shot” and play it over and over again in your head. Keep it short, keep it simple.

– Lastly, no matter whether it’s your club championship or the Olympic Games, remember why you are shooting. Hopefully you are in that particular moment because you love the game. At the heart, that is why we play any game – because we enjoy it! Never forget that no matter how stressful any competition might be. Aligning the sights and making a great shot is a whole lot of fun to do wherever and whenever you do it.

Good luck and great shooting — Matt Emmons

About ELEY Ammunition
Established in 1828, ELEY now produces some of the most consistently accurate .22 LR rimfire ammunition in the world. Countless championship medals have been earned with ELEY rimfire ammo, and most current smallbore ISSF world records were set with ELEY ammo. ELEY maintains a large production and testing facility in Birmingham, West Midlands, in the UK. ELEY employs a team of specialists (including many Six Sigma qualified engineers) with extensive knowledge of internal and external ballistics, powder dynamics, and advanced production methods. ELEY has always been at the forefront of the ammunition industry, pushing technological boundaries which have resulted in patented new methodologies and techniques.

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July 13th, 2012

NSSF Donates $100,000 to USA Shooting Team

$100,000 donation NSSFThe National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), a longtime USA Shooting sponsor, has donated $100,000 to help support the USA Shooting Team and shooter development programs. This large donation will help the USA Shooting Team at the London Olympics and help support USA Shooting’s ongoing operations.

In April, the NSSF visited USA Shooting’s Colorado training center and interviewed marquee USA Shooting athletes and coaches. These video interviews, hosted on the NSSF’s YouTube Channel, feature noted Olympians, who provide useful tips on target shooting. In the video below, Olympic shooter and Team USA member Matt Emmons explains how to shoot a rifle from the kneeling position:

NSSF Previously Provided Funds for USA Shooting’s Electronic Targets
The NSSF has been a valuable contributor to USA Shooting for many years now. NSSF funds helped USA Shooting purchase electronic targets for its indoor ranges in Colorado Springs. In addition, the NSSF showcases USA Shooting Programs at the annual SHOT Show. This provides valuable exposure for USA Shooting’s talented shooter-athletes.

“The firearms and ammunition industry takes great pride in being a longtime sponsor of the USA Shooting Team,” said NSSF Managing Director of Business Development Randy Clark. “From its introductory junior programs to its elite athletes who soon will be representing our country in London at the Summer Olympic Games, USA Shooting broadens awareness of the challenging and fun sport of target shooting.”

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February 27th, 2012

Four Air Rifle Shooters Nominated to 2012 U.S. Olympic Team

Based on their showings in 10m Air Rifle Olympic trials, four athletes have been nominated to the U.S. Olympic Team. The Men’s 10m Air Rifle nominees are two-time Olympic medalist Matt Emmons and 2011 Pan American Games silver medalist Jonathan Hall. The two women nominated to the U.S. Olympic Team are Sarah Scherer and 2008 Olympian Jamie Gray. Olympic Team selection was based on the aggregate of four courses of fire and two best finals. All athletes nominated to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team must now be approved by the U.S. Olympic Committee.

U.S. Olympic Airgun

Matt Emmons, already nominated for Men’s 50m Rifle Three Position, led the selection with a total of 2587.7 points. Matt note: “I’m happy to earn another nomination to the team and shoot another event at the Olympics. At the same time, I know the scores that I shot throughout Trials are not going to be competitive at the Games and I know what I need to do to get there.” Close behind Emmons, Jon Hall finished the 2012 Trials with 2586.7 total points. Hall, a senior at Columbus State University in Georgia, finished third in the 2008 U.S. Olympic Airgun Trials, barely missing the team in 2008. Hall said that making the 2012 Olympics team is “a relief and an exciting moment — I’ve been working towards this my whole life.”

In Women’s 10m Air Rifle, 21-year-old Sarah Scherer and 2008 Olympian Jamie Gray received nominations to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team. Scherer is now the second member of her family to earn an Olympic berth. Scherer’s brother, Stephen, was a member of the 2008 Team, and passed away in 2011. “Honestly, thank you Lord. Without him I could not have made it through this match,” said Scherer who battled a severe head cold throughout the weekend. “The only thing that I had left in my shooting that was still me was my focus and concentration. I couldn’t hear or see as well as normal and my heart rate was all over the place. I’m just so thankful that I made it through.”

Gray, already nominated to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team for Women’s 50m 3P Rifle, is “looking forward to shooting two events [in London].” Jamie, the wife of USAMU SSG Hank Gray, will continue her training at the USAMU’s ranges in Fort Benning, GA, as well as the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado.

Airgun Course of Fire Explained
In airgun competition, male and female competitors shoot 60 and 40 shots respectively during a single course of fire at electronic targets 10m (32.8 feet) down range. The maximum number of points available is 600 for men and 400 points for women with 10 being the highest score possible per shot. Athletes qualify for the finals by placing in the top eight after an aggregate match score. The final for both events consists of ten shots. The scoring in the finals is unique because decimals are counted, so the maximum number of points a competitor can earn is 109 points with 10.9 being the highest score possible per shot.

In related news, two 10m air pistol shooters secured Team nominations at the Olympic Trials held at Port Clinton, Ohio this past weekend. Now set to compete with Team USA are three-time Olympian SFC Daryl Szarenski, and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Jason Turner. SFC Szarenski is the 2011 Pan-American Games Men’s 10m Air Pistol gold medalist. Daryl came into the weekend with an 18-point advantage over his nearest competitor and finished atop the standings with 2537.4 total points.

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March 7th, 2011

After Battling Cancer, Matt Emmons Is Named USA Shooting Athlete of the Month

When Olympian Matt Emmons wasn’t on the firing line at the 2010 International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup Final in October, the shooting community took note. Emmons was in New York battling thyroid cancer and recovering from a surgery that removed his entire thyroid. After his surgery, Emmons competed in the 2010 USA Shooting Winter Airgun Championship and reached the podium each day in Men’s 10m Air Rifle.

In February, Emmons won the 2011 Rocky Mountain Rifle Overall Championships. With that gutsy performance, Emmons served notice that he is back, and he’s the man to beat. Emmons set a new USA Shooting National Record with 1188 points in Men’s 50m Rifle 3P qualifier. Moreover, Emmons finished the three-position match with a 19.6 point margin over the silver medalist. His final score was 1188 points in day one, 1179 points in day two and 101.6 points in the final for a total of 2468.6 points. He also topped the competition in Men’s 50m Rifle Prone with 1303.6 total points. Emmons also took gold in the Men’s 10m Air Rifle event with 1295.3 total points.

Emmons was named the match’s Overall Champion after winning all three events in the Rocky Mountain Rifle Championships and finishing an impressive 27 points ahead of the next competitor. National Rifle Coach Major Dave Johnson said, “Emmons continues to build towards the spring World Cups; he’s had an incredible tournament and has worked very hard in recovery.” Performances such as Emmons’ deserve to be recognized, which is why Matt Emmons is the ELEY/USA Shooting Athlete of the Month. We congratulate Emmons and wish him continued success as he prepares for his first ISSF World Cup of the season in Sydney, Australia, March 21 to 30.

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