Next week the NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championship will be held at the Whittington Center in Raton, NM. From July 19-24, top Black Powder Cartridge Rifle (BPCR) shooters from around the country will test their skills during a week-long event with targets set from 200 to 1000 yards. On the firing line you’ll see many handsome, custom-built BPCRs (Sharps, Ballards, Browning High Walls, Rolling Blocks) with exquisite wood, hand-checkering, and color-case-hardened receivers.
The Black Powder Championship starts with mid-range matches from 200 to 600 yards. Then competitors set their sights for long range, with 800-1000 yard Creedmoor matches at the end of the week. Interestingly, for safety reasons, there are minimum bullet weight and muzzle velocity requirements for the Creedmoor matches. These BPCR shooters launch some seriously heavy projectiles downrange:
Minimum Bullet Weight (Grains)
Minimum Bullet Velocity (FPS)
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There are important safety and behavior rules you need to follow at a gun range. Sometimes bad range etiquette is simply annoying. Other times poor gun-handling practices can be downright dangerous. The NRA Blog has published a useful article about range safety and “range etiquette”. While these tips were formulated with indoor ranges in mind, most of the points apply equally well to outdoor ranges. You may want to print out this article to provide to novice shooters at your local range or club.
8 Tips for Gun Range Etiquette
Story by Kyle Jillson for NRABlog
Here are eight tips on range etiquette to keep yourself and others safe while enjoying your day out [at the range]. Special thanks to NRA Headquarters Range General Manager Michael Johns who assisted with this article.
1. Follow the Three Fundamental Rules for Safe Gun Handling
ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.
This NSSF Video Covers Basic Gun Range Safety Rules:
2. Bring Safety Gear (Eye and Ear Protection)
Eye and Ear protection are MANDATORY for proper safety and health, no matter if “required” by range rules or not. It is the shooter’s responsibility to ensure proper protection is secured and used prior to entering/using any range. Hearing loss can be instantaneous and permanent in some cases. Eyesight can be ruined in an instant with a catastrophic firearm failure.
3. Carry a Gun Bag or Case
Common courtesy and general good behavior dictates that you bring all firearms to a range unloaded and cased and/or covered. No range staff appreciates a stranger walking into a range with a “naked” firearm whose loaded/unloaded condition is not known. You can buy a long gun sock or pistol case for less than $10.
4. Know Your Range’s Rules
Review and understand any and all “range specific” rules/requirements/expectations set forth by your range. What’s the range’s maximum rate of fire? Are you allowed to collect your brass? Are you required to take a test before you can shoot? Don’t be afraid to ask the staff questions or tell them it’s your first time. They’re there to help.
5. Follow ALL Range Officer instructions
ROs are the first and final authority on any range and their decisions are generally final. Arguing/debating with a Range Officer is both in poor taste and may just get you thrown out depending on circumstances.
6. Don’t Bother Others or Touch Their Guns
Respect other shooters’ privacy unless a safety issue arises. Do NOT engage other shooters to correct a perceived safety violation unless absolutely necessary – inform the RO instead. Shooters have the right and responsibility to call for a cease fire should a SERIOUS safety event occur. Handling/touching another shooter’s firearm without their permission is a major breech of protocol. Offering unsolicited “training” or other instructional suggestions to other shooters is also impolite.
7. Know What To Do During a Cease Fire
IMMEDIATELY set down your firearm, pointed downrange, and STEP AWAY from the shooting booth (or bench). The Range Officer(s) on duty will give instructions from that point and/or secure all firearms prior to going downrange if needed. ROs do not want shooters trying to “secure/unload” their firearms in a cease fire situation, possibly in a stressful event; they want the shooters separated from their guns instantly so that they can then control the situation as they see fit.
8. Clean Up After Yourself
Remember to take down your old targets, police your shooting booth, throw away your trash, and return any equipment/chairs, etc. Other people use the range too; no one wants to walk up to a dirty lane.
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Why are there 7000 records? Start with the fact that there are a host of different NRA disciplines: Air Pistol, Action Pistol, High Power Rifle, Smallbore Rifle, Fullbore, just to name a few. Within each discipline there may be records for metallic sight, any sight, rapid fire, slow fire, prone, standing, and other variations. And then there may be separate records for indoor, outdoor, distance, and number of shots fired. Then add team records on top of the individual records. Finally, there are separate records for all the NRA classifications: Open, Civilian, Service, Woman, Junior, Senior, Police, and so on….
The task of validating and registering so many different records is daunting. And the work never stops. Consider this — the NRA sanctions 11,000 tournaments each year. This means that new record claims are being submitted throughout the year.
Save 20% on NRA Gear and get $500 Life Memberships — those are great offers. Here are the specifics. First, the NRA is running a big sale in its online store — get 20% off ALL items now through the end of the month (6/30/2016). Here are four products we like from the NRA Store. There are many other items you may want to consider. To take advantage of the 20% OFF pricing on ALL merchandise, use Promo Code “16SUMMER” during online check-out.
NRA Tactical Handgunner Backpack — $119.95
Traveler’s Guide to the Firearm Laws of the 50 States — $14.95
NRA Tactical Tri-Fold Gun Cleaning Mats — $19.95
NRA Performance Hoodie — $29.95 (Sale)
NRA Life Membership $500 — Offer Ends 7/31/2016
In addition, if you are considering getting an NRA Life membership, now is the time to buy. You can get a Life Membership for $500.00. That’s $1000.00 off the regular $1500.00 price. You heard us right — save a thousand bucks on an NRA Life Membership. This offer is good through July 31, 2016. And with each lifetime membership, you get your choice of one of four print magazines: American Hunter, American Rifleman, Shooting Illustrated, or America’s First Freedom.
Sale TIP from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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Report based on story by Kyle Jillson for NRA Blog
Summer is the time of year to get outside and have fun with family and friends. A great way to enjoy shooting with friends and family members is to attend a Brownells/NRA Day. These fun events will be held throughout the summer, at locations across the USA. These events are designed for all ages — from youngsters to senior citizens. The activities appeal to all skill levels, from first-time shooters to seasoned competitors.
Brownells/NRA Day events are fun affairs, where participants can try out a variety of different shooting disciplines. Events are always a big hit and you won’t find people as friendly and helping anywhere else. Below is a complete list of upcoming July events. There are a variety of events, including Basic Firearms Training, Youth “SportsFest”, 3-Gun Experience, Hunter’s Event, Competition, and Shotgun. For more information on any scheduled event, visit the Brownells/NRA Day website.
At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.
1. Cabelas.com — Nikon Scope, Rings and Wind Meter, $249.99
Here’s a great deal if you have a hunting rifle chambered in .308 Win or .223 Rem. Right now, for under $250.00, you can get a Nikon scope, a set of cantilevered rings, plus a Wind Meter that plugs into your smart-phone. The $249.99 P-308 Package features a 4-12x40mm Nikon Scope with BDC reticle calibrated for.308 Win. Likewise the $199.99 P-223 Package offers a 3-9x40mm Nikon Scope with BDC reticle calibrated for the .223 Remington. These cantilevered rings work well with AR-platform rifles.
If you are serious about your precision firearms, you need one of these. We use the Lyman Electronic Trigger Pull Gauge to test the triggers on all our match and varmint rifles. The unit is precise and repeatable. Once you try one of these you won’t want to go back to crude spring trigger gauges. Amazon.com offers this unit for $51.87 with free shipping for Prime members. Walmart also has it for $51.87 with free shipping or free in-store pickup.
3. Natchez — Dewey Cleaning Rods 36″ or 44″, $19.99
Natchez is running a great special right now on quality Dewey Cleaning Rods. These bearing-equipped rods are very well made and can last for many seasons. This editor has a couple Dewey rods that are still going strong after 12 years. For just $19.99, you can get either a 36″ or 44″ coated Dewey rod. NOTE: Select “.22-.26 cal” from the pull-down menu (the other options are for short pistol rods). It’s hard to beat a quality cleaning rod for under twenty bucks. Credit Boyd Allen for finding this bargain.
This 10-50X Sightron isn’t as good as a Nightforce 15-55X Competition scope, but it is definitely good enough to win long-range benchrest and F-Class matches. At $965.69, the Sightron is nearly $1400 cheaper than the 15-55X Nightforce. It is even $450 cheaper than the old 12-42x56mm NF Benchrest scope. On a value-for-money basis, then, the Sightron 10-50x60mm makes sense for competitors on a budget. The money you save (compared to a 15-55X NF) will pay for a BAT or Kelbly action, with money left over.
5. Cabela’s — Lyman Turbo Sonic 1200, $69.99
Looking for a reliable ultrasonic cleaning unit at a rock-bottom price? Here’s a very good deal — this new Lyman 1200 sells elsewhere for up to $110.00. This machine will hold up to 350 9mm cases, and clean them in 10-15 minutes. The see-through cover lets you view the progress in the 6.5″L x 5.4″W x 2.6″D heated tank. Select four different dwell times with handy touch controls.
6. Southern Shooters — 17 HMR Ruger American Rimfire
With ballistics far superior to a .22 LR, the 17 HMR is ideal for Prairie Dogs and small varmints out to 180 yards or so. Now you can get a reliable, name brand 17 HMR rifle for a very attractive price. That’s right, Southern Shooters is selling the 17 HMR Ruger American Rimfire, with 22″ barrel, for just $252.63. FFL required. For other vendors with this rifle, CLICK HERE.
7. Brownells — Ten Magpul 30-Round PMags for $99.99
Need high-capacity magazines for 3-Gun competition or a tactical match? Then check out this great Magpul deal from Brownells.com. Right now you can get TEN (10) high-quality Magpul PMags for $99.99. These GEN M2 MOE PMags are excellent .223/5.56 AR15 magazines that set the industry standard for functionality, reliability, and durability.
8. NRA — Free Duffle Bag with $25.00 NRA Membership
The NRA Convention runs this week in Louisville, KY — so there’s no better time to become an NRA member. Plus, if you join right now you can get a free duffle bag, in either black or camo fabric. In addition, the regular NRA Membership is discounted from $40.00 to $25.00. With your NRA Annual membership you also get your choice of four (4) print magazines: American Rifleman, American Hunter, Shooting Illustrated, or America’s 1st Freedom.
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The NRA has released new, updated versions of Competition Rules, with changes that have been adopted for 2016. There are quite a few minor changes affecting rifle competitors in High Power, Service Rifle, Prone AR Platform Rifle, F-Class, and Smallbore Disciplines. There are also new rules for matches with Electronic Targets.
Guys — take heed — NRA firearms insurance requires activation!! Coverage is not automatic. If you do not activate your insurance, you can’t claim coverage. Activate Now. The article below explains how….
Are you an NRA member? Think you have $2500 ArmsCare insurance coverage for your firearms, as a benefit of membership? Well there’s a catch. If you fail to ACTIVATE your NRA insurance, your claim will almost certainly be rejected if you suffer a loss. The NRA insurance webpage states:
“One of the benefits of NRA membership is your eligibility for $2,500 in ArmsCare Firearms Insurance. There’s no cost to you for this insurance, but you do have to activate it.”
Many NRA members are not aware of the activation requirement. That’s not surprising, as there’s no mention of this in many NRA membership solicitations. While the activation clause is disclosed in printed materials mailed to members, we bet that a large percentage of NRA members are not aware that their NRA insurance is essentially useless until “activated”. Just signing up for an NRA membership (and paying the dues) is not enough. You must activate the insurance or your claims can be rejected. Even if you have been a dues-paying NRA member for decades, you need to activate your insurance.
This is the real deal. Forum members (with current, active NRA memberships) have had recent gun loss claims rejected because they had not “activated” their NRA insurance. Don’t suffer the same fate. If you are an NRA member, you should activate your ArmsCare insurance right now. Don’t delay. Your NRA ArmsCare insurance won’t become effective until you activate it!
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The NRA will debut a new long range training program this summer at the Peacemaker National Training Center in West Virginia. Registration is now open for the National Rifle Association’s Precision Long Range School. Three summer sessions will be offered: July 2-3, August 13-14, and September 3-4, 2016. Price is a painful $1900.00 per two-day session. That does include guns, ammo and instruction, but NOT lodging. (Think about that — for $1900.00 you can buy a pretty nice rifle and practice on your own. Likewise that $1900.00 will buy a very high-quality scope.)
The NRA Precision Long Range School is designed to teach students how to hit very small targets out to (and beyond) 1,100 yards, and how to make hits on the first shot. Sessions will be lead by some of the nation’s best long range instructors and students will be provided with top-of-the-line guns, ammo, optics, and all necessary gear.
This unique school covers a spectrum of long range shooting disciplines. Students will learn long-range competition “best practices”, tactical long-range methods, and long-range hunting techniques. This school will be taught in MILS. Specific techniques covered will include: Dialing, Holding Off, Target Transition, Advanced Long Range Marksmanship, Suppressor Usage, and Long Range Speed Shooting.
The school will also cover Advanced External Ballistics, Advanced Wind Reading, and Applied Ballistics Software Usage. For these subjects, seminar-style instruction will be combined with range practice to put learned skills into practice at long range.
The NRA Precision Long Range School will provide top-quality hardware to participants: Surgeon rifles built on Modular chassis systems, chambered for the .260 Remington cartridge. These rifles will be fitted with Nightforce ATACR MIL-R optics and AWC Silencers suppressors. The Top-of-the line Swarovski spotting scopes and range-finding binoculars will be employed, along with Kestrel wind meters with Applied Ballistics software. Nexus-brand .260 Rem ammo completes the package available to Long Range School attendees.
To register, or obtain more information about the NRA Precision Long Range School, visit the Long Range School Webpage or call (844) 672-6883.
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The NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits extravaganza is just over one month away. This year, the NRA will hold its annual gathering May 19-22 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville. This is a huge event with over 750 exhibitors in a 500,000 square-foot facility. The Exhibit Hall opens at 9:00 am on May 20th (Friday Morning).
This year’s NRA convention will feature a variety of special events, starting with the NRA Foundation Banquet on Thursday night, May 19th. The ever-popular NRA Country Jam kicks off at 6:00 pm on Friday, May 20th at Louisville’s Belvedere at Waterfront Park. The official NRA Members Meeting will be held Saturday morning at 10:00 in Freedom Hall at the Exposition Center. NRA leaders Wayne LaPierre, Chris W. Cox, and Allan Cors with address the membership. Many other seminars will be hosted over the course of the weekend. Purchase Event Tickets.
Kruger of Germany produces match targets for the ISSF and major World Championships. Kruger’s quality control is second to none. Now officially-licensed NRA targets are available from Kruger Premium Targets in the USA. With elite competitions being decided by thousandths of an inch in shot placement, shouldn’t your club use the best-quality targets available? Kruger targets are made from premium-grade paper to permit precise, reliable measurements. For example, to ensure that target holes do not have irregular edges, Kruger’s NRA Air Rifle and Air Pistol targets are printed on machine-smoothed 210 gram board made from short-fiber materials. Mike Krei, Director of the NRA’s Competitive Shooting Division, has stated: “It is generally accepted that Kruger has the best heavy pulp target paper in the world and that directly relates to the excellent clean bullet holes which are essential for precise scoring.”
Kruger offers the full array of official NRA air rifle, air pistol, international pistol, and smallbore targets. In addition, Kruger sells photo-realistic Animal Targets, plus a cool series of Fun Targets for plinking and informal practice. Kruger targets can be ordered online through www.Kruger-US-Targets.com or you can call Kruger’s USA distributor, MK Tactical, at (503) 746-6816. MK Tactical is located in Hillsborough, OR.
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At its upcoming Annual Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, the National Rifle Association (NRA) will launch a new activities program for Millennials — young Americans in their 20s and early 30s. The new MRA (Millennial Rifle Activities) program will include a series of special events for Millennials held throughout the nation. These MRA “gatherings” will be unique among NRA competition disciplines. First, all participants in MRA events will receive a participation badge or trophy for showing up. Second, though shooting at targets will be encouraged, no actual gun-handling is required. Millennial participants can choose to watch instead. Finally, for those who do choose to shoot at MRA events, scoring will optional. Actual scores will be kept confidential, and there will be no published rankings. “At MRA events”, promises an NRA news release, “all participants will be winners.”
The NRA’s new MRA activities program targets “Millennials” — the young Americans raised on video games and the internet. If you’re not familiar with the term “Millennials”, this refers to Americans born between 1980 and 2000. They represent “the first generation that grew up with the internet and the first to have truly incorporated technology into their daily lives.” READ More.
Scoring Optional at Millennials Matches
Creating a competition program for Millennials has been challenging. With short attention spans, Millennials are easily distracted and they lack motivation to prepare or practice. Very self-absorbed, Millennials were raised on “instant gratification” and see themselves as entitled. These personality traits seem to run contrary to the focus, self-discipline, and mindset required for serious competition. Accordingly, the NRA has taken a whole new approach to MRA matches — scores won’t count and the focus will be on participation. Said one member of the NRA Competition Committee: “These were the kids who got ‘participation trophies’ for playing soccer. We are offering the same kinds of rewards. At our Millennial Matches you’ll be acknowledged just for showing up. Scoring will be optional. The emphasis is not on winning, but on participating.”
An NRA spokesman told us: “We’ve done a lot of research into the Millennial group. This demographic is very different than older generations. They expect to be rewarded for participation and they don’t want to be judged by objective standards, such as numeric scores. We’ve also learned that they like to do activities on the spur of the moment and without preparation. That’s why actual shooting will be optional at MRA events. We expect that many participants will arrive completely unprepared — without a gun or ammo. But they can still participate, and be acknowledged… and that’s what it’s all about. We want to get more Millennials involved, whether they actually shoot or not.”
NRA Millennials Outreach Follows Success of NRA Programs for Women
The NRA’s outreach programs have enabled the organization to grow its membership base successfully. For example, in recent years the NRA has significantly expanded the ranks of female members. The NRA now offers a wide variety of programs expressly for women, including self-defense training and women’s wilderness retreats. The NRA also maintains a media channel for women, NRAwomen.tv. This broadcast/web channel promotes women’s activities and recognizes top female shooters.
Millennials Create Unique Challenges for Match Directors
Dennis Santiago is a seasoned match director with decades of experience running NRA matches. He said that finding a formula for the new Millennials Match “gatherings” has been a challenge: “Designing a competitive course of fire for the new MRA Millennials discipline is not as easy as you would think. Millennials have short attention spans and it is difficult to draw them away from their digital devices. You have to come up with range commands that can attract their attention. We are thinking of sending commands via Twitter, or possibly streaming match instructions over Spotify.”
Dennis also noted that a shooting competition with “optional scoring” is something new and different for the NRA. “The concept of recording and reporting scores was hotly debated. Ultimately we decided to make scoring optional. We concluded that mandatory scoring would probably discourage participation by Millennials. To a generation that has been rewarded for simply showing up, we wanted to create a ‘safe space’ and a non-threatening environment for this new class of competitor.”
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Train Online, Then Register for a Range Session
For the NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting course, Phase 1 is conducted in an online environment, completed on your own time (cost is $60.00, non-refundable). After successfully completing the online exam, students can register for Phase 2, the instructor-led training session. Phase 2 is conducted at your local range with an NRA Certified Instructor. You must successfully complete Phase 1 and Phase 2 in order to receive your NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting course certificate.
Designed and developed by experts to accommodate busy schedules, the web-based course takes a blended learning approach to firearms training with both online and physical components. Students have 90 days to work through 11 online lessons before registering for Phase 2, the NRA Certified Instructor-led phase at a local range. “America has more first time gun owners than ever and the NRA remains dedicated to being the number one provider of firearm training,” said Executive Director of NRA General Operations, Kyle Weaver. “Thanks to our online courses and network of more than 125,000 NRA Certified Instructors, it has never been easier to learn basic firearm skills.” The NRA offers other online training courses at Onlinetraining.nra.org. These offerings include a Range Safety Office (RSO) course, and a Range Development and Operations course.
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Report based on story byNRABlog.com
Starting this summer, the NRA National Smallbore Rifle Championships will no longer feature a separate “High Women” award. From now on, men and women will compete shoulder to shoulder in the same category — every shooter will be scored in a single group regardless of gender. (There will still be age-based categories; also men and women have always been eligible to win match top honors regardless of gender).
The reason for this change is, quite simply, that ladies can shoot as well as men (or better in many cases). Consequently, there is no need for a separate class for women: “There is a high degree of parity between men and women shooters in the smallbore championships,” said H.Q. Moody, national manager of NRA’s Rifle Department. Moody explained: “Women are rightly viewed as equals in today’s America. Shouldn’t our championships reflect that attitude as well? Our smallbore committee has discussed making the championships gender equitable for many years now and finally felt it was the right time to implement the change.”
Men and women will now compete on equal terms at the National Smallbore Championship, competing for the same honors in “gender-neutral” classifications.
This change was officially adopted this past January at the NRA Board of Directors winter meetings. It only affects the NRA National Smallbore Rifle Championships for now, but a positive reception could see “gender-neutrality” spread to regional matches and below, and maybe even other NRA disciplines.
History of Women’s Classfication in Smallbore Competition
The women’s category was first introduced to the smallbore championships nearly 70 years ago. Back then, military shooters were dominating the field so convincingly that several new categories were created to recognize the accomplishments of civilian shooters. This move saw the creation of not just the Woman category, but also Junior and Senior. The latter two have since expanded even further (e.g. Grand Senior, Intermediate Junior) to accommodate the skill discrepancies within levels and they make perfect sense to have; junior shooters are generally more inexperienced and many seniors are affected by physical limitations.
But the same can no longer be said of the women’s category. While military shooters still do very well nowadays, the proliferation of female service members has seen quite a few woman match winners. There are also a number of extraordinary female civilian shooters who finish near the top of each year’s overall standings. For instance, women shooters placed first in each of the two aggregate matches that determined last year’s Conventional 3-Position Champion.
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Appeals Court Remands Decision for ‘Strict Scrutiny’ of Second Amendment Issue.
Earlier this week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit overturned a Federal District Court decision finding the 2013 State of Maryland Firearm Safety Act (FSA) to be constitutional under “intermediate scrutiny” review. In the Case of Kolbe v. Maryland, the Appellate Court held that Maryland’s FSA should, as a matter of law, be subject to “strict scrutiny” under the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Kolbe v. Maryland case was filed to challenge Maryland’s 2013 ban on so-called assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), which helped challenge the Maryland law, explained that this bodes well for those seeking to nullify portions of Maryland’s 2013 FSA which imposed broad restrictions on firearms including semi-automatic rifles. The NSSF reports:
The [Appellate Court] vacated the District Court’s denial of the plaintiffs’ claims and remanded the case to the lower court, ordering that it apply the appropriate strict standard of review.
Writing for the three-judge appellate court panel that heard the case, Kolbe v. Maryland, Chief Judge William B. Traxler wrote: “In our view, Maryland law implicates the core protection of the Second Amendment — ‘the right of law-abiding responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home, District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570,635 (2008), and we are compelled by Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago, 561 U.S. 742 (2010), as well as our own precedent in the wake of these decisions to conclude that the burden is substantial and strict scrutiny is the applicable standard or review for Plaintiffs’ Second Amendment claim.”
“We are greatly heartened by the Fourth Circuit panel’s ruling today,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “As this important case goes forward, NSSF will continue to work with our co-plaintiffs to ensure that our citizens’ Second Amendment rights are protected and that the lawful commerce in firearms is restored in support of this constitutional protection.”
Response from NRA Institute for Legislative Action
Chris W. Cox, the executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, issued the following statement in reaction to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Kolbe v. Maryland: “The Fourth Circuit’s ruling is an important victory for the Second Amendment. Maryland’s ban on commonly owned firearms and magazines clearly violates our fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense. The highest level of judicial scrutiny should apply when governments try to restrict our Second Amendment freedoms.”
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Here’s an AR configuration suited to the new AR Mid-Range Prone Discipline: Moderate-length barrel, Harris Bipod, Leupold Mark AR MOD 1 4-12x40mm scope. Photobucket image by Ingo1978.
The NRA has created a new mid-range, target-shooting discipline for AR owners. The provisional rules for the new AR Mid-Range Prone Competition will allow calibers from .22 up to .308. Rifle weight will be limited to 14 pounds. Competitors may use Harris (or similar) compact, “tactical” bipods, and optics up to 12-power will be allowed (but iron sights can also be used). The goal of this new competition is to get the many AR owners to the range to compete.
The NRA’s Information Sheet for the new mid-range discipline explains: “These rifles are of the ‘AR-Platform’ variety, semi-automatic, chambered in any caliber from .223 cal./5.56mm. up to and including .308 cal./7.62mm. The courses of fire will be the same courses of fire currently used for other NRA Mid-Range (Prone) High Power Competition (300, 500, and 600 yards) and are designed to be fired concurrently with other forms of Mid-Range competition. The targets will be the same targets that are used for Service Rifle, Match Rifle, and Palma Rifle Mid-Range Prone competition. Mid-range telescopic sights will be allowed, but not required. Because this is prone competition, shooters may use tactical front rests such as Harris-type bipods and limited rear rests of the type one might find used in military or police tactical situations.”
A very prominent NRA member who works with the Competition Committee recently posted this explanation of the new AR discipline on our Forum:
NRA Mid-Range (Prone) Tactical Rifle (AR)
For those clubs and match directors who have members with ARs who want to shoot Mid-Range Prone but who don’t want (or can’t afford) to shoot traditional “sling” or F-Class, we have a new opportunity to get those ARs out of the closet and onto the range with very little in the way of additional costs:
It’s called Mid-Range Tactical Rifle (AR). A copy of the description and the Rules (Provisional) are attached as a PDF file and should be published by the NRA very soon. CAUTION — these are NOT official — but I think they are accurate:
In brief, here’s how it works:
1. The event will be fired concurrently with any other Mid-Range event, alongside of F-Class and “sling” divisions.
2. The Event will be fired on the “sling targets”.
3. AR Rifle General Standards:
Calibers: 223/5.56 up to and including .308/7.62mm
Weight: Overall weight not more than 14 pounds
Support: Harris-type “tactical bipod” (no large F-Class bipods).
Optics: Scope not more than 12X
Barrel: Not more than 20″
Trigger: Trigger pull not less than 4.5 pounds
4. This is NOT F-Class — this is designed to be closer to “tactical”. F-Class competition gear is generally illegal; competition stocks are generally illegal. [The event] is designed to attract more law enforcement and/or military (maybe local National Guard?) and other “tactical shooters” out to the range shooting for precision. For more info, check out the attached PDF file.
You’ll find a discussion of this new AR Mid-Range discipline in our Shooters’ Forum, HERE: AR Mid-Range Match Forum Thread. Here are some interesting comments from that thread:
“Opening up mid-range matches for ARs is a great idea. I’m not an AR guy myself, but I have lots of shooting friends who are. They tend to have a lot of ideas what their guns are capable of out to 600 yards, but most don’t take many opportunities to shoot them at those ranges, and none of the existing High Power disciplines are very appealing. Until now. I hope it doesn’t become an equipment race. A 185/200 is a respectable score even with a 12″ 10 ring. I hope everyone is supportive — helping get these guys on the paper and providing positive feedback even for scores that seem modest by F-Class standards.” — Comment by Berger.Fan222
“It looks like the recommended targets will be the same as conventional shooters use (i.e. ~1 MOA X-ring). Given the specifications for rifles/bipods/scopes/etc., I think this would be an appropriate level of difficulty to start. It will be challenging, particularly at 600 yards, but by no means impossible. Of course, at 600 yards, anyone shooting an AR15 (.223/5.56) will be at a disadvantage to ballistically-superior calibers unless they come up with a good way to load 80+ grain bullets that will mag-feed. Personally, I’d like to see this limited strictly to .223 ARs. Almost everyone has one and the mag feed requirement would really keep things even across the board. The inclusion of other calibers will allow this to become a ‘caliber race’ in that .223 will have a very hard time keeping up with other, better calibers at 600 yards.” — Comment by gstaylorg
“Looks like a great new addition. The PDF document says rule 7.20 for course of fire which is mid-range slow fire. I believe all slow fire is currently ‘one round loads’. The PDF explicitly states 10-, 20- or 30-round magazines and no sleds. Does anyone know if this new discipline would be fired from magazine or one-round loads? Shooting from magazine would be keeping with the ‘tactical’ aspect and enforcing mag-length loads. But it does not seem to jive with the ‘one round load’ currently stipulated for slow fire?” — Comment by Highpower-FClass
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The NRA Blog has published a nice set of super-sized playing card targets. These boast a variety of aiming points (large and small) so they work well for rifles as well as pistols. On the Queen of Diamonds, aim for the large bull-style designs in the “red zone” or aim for the smaller dots on the periphery. For a real challenge, try to shoot each one of the 26 small red diamonds in the curved, central white stripes.
On the Five of Clubs target, you can aim for the smaller club symbols, or shoot for the orange, purple, and green “dripping paint” bulls in the large, central club. The Ace of Spades target offers a colored bullseye in the center, plus a very small bullseye in the letter “C”. Last but not least, the Eight of Hearts is a perfect choice for a trip to the range on February 14th, Valentine’s Day.
Click Any Image to Download Printable PDF Target:
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The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has responded to President Obama’s proposed Executive Actions concerning gun ownership and firearms transfers. The NSSF stated: “We all share the goal of reducing the intentional misuse of guns and enhancing the safety of our communities. As the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) will carefully review all aspects of the executive actions that President Obama announced today. Much remains to be spelled out. In the interim we have some initial reactions:”
We support further resources being allocated to staffing and increasing operational hours for the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to make the system more efficient and responsive.
We represent Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs). The criteria for what will constitute being “engaged in the business” going forward needs considerable clarification and raises questions about enforceability.
The number of firearms lost or stolen while in transit to or from FFLs is less than 0.15 percent of the number manufactured and imported in a given year. In these rare occurrences, FFLs already actively participate in ATF’s long-standing voluntary reporting program and FFLs and common carriers work closely with ATF to investigate them. Proposals to make a shipping FFL responsible for tracking and reporting firearms no longer in their inventories, after the legal title has been transferred to the purchaser, are misdirected, as the receiving FFL is in the best position to know if it receives its shipment.
We have long called for the effective enforcement of the numerous laws already on the books regarding the criminal misuse of firearms and would encourage the administration to carry through on this directive.
NSSF has been working actively since early 2013 through our FixNICS initiative to encourage states to report all appropriate adjudicated mental health records to NICS and has succeeded in getting legislation passed in more than a dozen states. We welcome the administration’s attention to this issue.
With regard to the development of “smart-gun” technology, the industry has never opposed its development. How additional government research into this technology would advance it is unclear. Law enforcement agencies and consumers themselves will have to make the determination whether acquisition of firearms with this technology “would be consistent with operational needs,” as the White House itself states. We would continue to oppose mandates for this technology, particularly since there are well proven existing methods to secure firearms, and firearms accidents are at historic low levels.
NSSF will have additional responses in the days, weeks and months ahead, especially as federal departments and agencies begin the work of carrying out the executive orders.
Competitive shooting is one of the few sports where people with physical disabilities and handicaps can compete side-by-side with their able-bodied counterparts. The NRA’s Disabled Shooting Services Program helps disabled shooters participate in NRA rifle and pistol competitions. The NRA’s Special Authorization Card allows disabled competitors to shoot from a modified position or wheelchair based on the type of disability or handicap.
Jessi McClain, NRA Disabled Shooting Services Coordinator explains how allowances are made: “Physical limitations may prevent a shooter from getting into a certain position to compete. For example, a paraplegic person can’t shoot from the standing position, so [he] would use an adaptive shooting position to compete”.
To obtain a Special Authorization Card, competitors can download two forms online. The first is to be completed by the shooter, and the second by his/her doctor. Forms can then be sent to NRA Headquarters along with pictures of the modified shooting position and/or adaptive device being used to compete. The Manager of the specific shooting discipline (rifle, pistol, air gun, etc.) then reviews the request. If approved, a temporary card good for one year is issued. For juniors, Special Authorization Cards are issued for several years at a time so that re-evaluations can be completed as children’s bodies change.
The medical waiver application is fairly simple and consists of two documents. The first form, the Competitor Application, should be filled out by the shooter. The second document is a Medical Form that must be completed by the competitor’s physician.
Once received, the applications are reviewed by the NRA. After approving the application, the competitor will receive a card authorizing him/her to use the adapted position or equipment. The Authorization Card must be shown to the Match Director prior to the start of any competition.
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A Life Membership in the NRA normally costs $1000.00. But now, for a limited time, you can purchase a Life Membership for $500.00. That’s 50% OFF the regular price, and a $500.00 savings. In addition, consider that the NRA plans to raise the Life Membership fee to $1500.00 next year. If you have ever considered becoming a Life Member of the NRA, here’s your opportunity to do so, while saving hundreds in the process. CLICK HERE for $500.00 NRA Life Membership OFFER.
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