September 15th, 2014

Training Tip: Shooter and Spotter Working as a Team

When shooting at long range, two heads (and two sets of eyes) can be better than one. Teaming up with a buddy who acts as a spotter can speed up your long-range learning process. You can focus 100% on the shot, while your buddy calls the wind and spots your hits and misses.

Shooting Spotter training video NSSF

The NSSF has created a short video that shows how shooter and spotter can work as a team. In the video, the NSSF’s Dave Miles works with Rod Ryan, owner of Storm Mountain Training Center in Elk Garden, WV. As the video shows, team-work can pay off — both during target training sessions and when you’re attempting a long shot on a hunt. Working as a two-person team divides the responsibilities, allowing the shooter to concentrate fully on breaking the perfect shot.

The spotter’s job is to watch the conditions and inform the shooter of needed wind corrections. The shooter can dial windage into his scope, or hold off if he has a suitable reticle. As Rod Ryan explains: “The most important part is for the shooter to be relaxed and… pay attention to nothing more than the shot itself.” The spotter calls the wind, gives the information to the shooter, thus allowing the shooter to concentrate on proper aim, gun handling, and trigger squeeze. Rod says: “The concept is that the spotter does all the looking, seeing and the calculations for [the shooter].”

Shooting Spotter training video NSSF

Spotter Can Call Corrections After Missed Shots
The spotter’s ability to see misses can be as important as his role as a wind-caller. Rod explains: “If you shoot and hit, that’s great. But if you shoot and miss, since the recoil pulse of the firearm is hitting your shoulder pretty good, you’re not going to be able to see where you missed the target. The spotter [can] see exactly where you missed, so I’ll have exactly an idea of how many [inches/mils it takes] to give you a quick secondary call so you can get [back on target].”

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September 6th, 2014

NSSF Video Provides Helpful Scope Mounting Advice

Rifle scope mountingThe National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has created a video with helpful tips on mounting scopes, and adjusting the position of scopes to suit the shooter. This video, hosted by Ryan Cleckner, a former U.S. Army Sniper instructor, is aimed primarily at “hard-holders” who shoot prone. The video should prove useful for tactical shooters, varmint hunters, and F-Class shooters. Ryan does explain that, if you plan to use your rifle in standing, sitting, and prone positions, you need to set the scope in a “happy medium” position that provides sufficient eye relief in all shooting positions.

Ryan has an interesting method for leveling a rail-mounted, flat-bottomed scope (i.e. one with a flat surface under the turret housing). He simply inserts a small metal bar between rail and scope, and aligns the straight edges along the bottom of the scope turret housing with the flats on the rail (see photo). Watch how he does this on the video — it’s pretty clever. One other highlight of the video is the segment where Ryan shows how to adjust the ocular on his Leupold scope to provide the best (sharpest) image of the reticle. Ocular/reticle adjustment is covered in minutes 11:00-13:00 of the video.

YouTube Preview Image

The video has some faults. Some of the advice, such as “always mount the scope as low as possible” is counter-productive for benchrest shooters who want to keep their heads OFF the stock. In addition, Ryan does not explain that, with a variable power scope, proper eye relief may change considerably with the level of magnification. If you have an 8-32X scope, for example, you can set everything up perfectly for 8X magnification, only to find that you need a LOT more eye relief at 32X. We recommend positioning the scope so it provides sufficient eye relief at the highest magnification you regularly use.

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August 7th, 2014

Rimfire Challenge World Championship to Be Held in Arkansas

The 2014 NSSF Rimfire Challenge World Championship (RCWC), will be held October 3-5, 2014, at the Old Fort Gun Club in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Competitors will be challenged with a variety of rimfire stages for both pistol and rifle. “Old Fort Gun Club’s experience running organized competition makes them a perfect fit for hosting the biggest Rimfire Challenge event of 2014,” said Zach Snow, Shooting Promotions Manager with NSSF. This past April, Old Fort ran a hugely successful Rimfire Challenge Regional Match with 125 shooters.

old fort gun club rimfire challenge

The NSSF Rimfire Challenge program was developed to introduce newcomers to competition target shooting by providing individuals and families with a safe, fun, and exciting first-time experience using .22-caliber handguns and rifles and steel targets. Formerly known as the Ruger Rimfire Challenge, the NSSF assumed administrative responsibilities for the fast-growing program in 2014.

Online competitor registration is available now for the Rimfire Challenge World Championships. Shooter participation is limited to 200, so competitors are urged to sign up now.

Rimfire Challenge World Championship Online Registration Form | RCWC Event Schedule

old fort gun club rimfire challenge

“We are definitely looking forward to hosting the Worlds,” said Bill Striplin, President of Old Fort Gun Club. “We think the layout of our shooting bays and their close proximity to one another will be a great thing for these new shooters. Our range setup helps a big match like this flow smoothly from stage to stage, and that really helps make a long day on the range as stress-free as possible.”

old fort gun club rimfire challenge

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July 3rd, 2014

Free Targets — NSSF Rimfire Challenge Grants for Shooting Clubs

Free Steel. Sound good? How’d you like a fat grant to purchase steel targets for your shooting club? Here’s how that can happen. Shooting facilities willing to host NSSF Rimfire Challenge events can take advantage of the NSSF Rimfire Challenge Steel Target Grant Program being offered in partnership with Action Target. The steel target grant package is valued at $2100, and these targets can be used for other types of matches as well. CLICK HERE for grant application guidelines and information.

Rimfire Challenge

NSSF will be able to offer 30 steel target grants to shooting ranges willing to host a minimum of four NSSF Rimfire Challenge events per year. The steel target package is valued at $2,100. “We believe in supporting shooting sports, and this grant program is a great way for us to do that,” said Action Target’s portable target specialist Chad Burdette.

Who May Apply
Any shooting range that hosts NSSF Rimfire Challenge events open to the public at least 4 times a year (NSSF encourages ranges to host events on a monthly basis). NSSF range members shall be given priority. A total of thirty (30) steel target grant packages will be available.

Rimfire Challenge

Rimfire ChallengeWhat’s in the Target Package
Packages will consist of 12 targets, enabling match directors to set up two Rimfire Challenge stages. Each grant package will include the following 12 targets:

3 – 8″ Circles
4 – 10″ Circles
4 – 12″ Circles
1 – 18″ x 24″ Rectangle

Grant recipients will have the option of choosing either the Evil Roy target stand or the PT Static stand and foot package (choice of 1’, 2’, 3’ or 4’ stand height).

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June 16th, 2014

SHOT Show Will Stay at Sands Convention Center Through 2020

Grim news — SHOT Show will be held at the Sands Expo through year 2020. That means six (6) more years* at this “dog” of a facility infamous for its inadequate parking, confusing floor plans, and nightmarish ingress/egress through the Venetian hotel. Then there are the wonderful food courts (NOT). Oh and it’s hard not to think about the scores of people who get sick every year attending SHOT Show at the Sands. If you have been there, you know what we’re talking about. So SHOT Show fans, steel yourselves for six more years of the same sad situation.

Previously, NSSF, the show’s organizer, had agreed to keep SHOT Show at the Sands through 2017. That was bad enough. Now they’ve contracted for even more years at this place. That makes for six additional years of headaches, confusion, disorientation, and general discontent. Oh well…

Sands Expo Shot Show 2020

Anyway, to our great dismay, here is the official notice:

Sands Expo Shot Show 2020LAS VEGAS-The National Shooting Sports Foundation and Sands Expo and Convention Center have followed up the 2014 record-setting Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT Show) by adding another two years to their agreement.

Under the new terms, the SHOT Show will be presented at the Sands Expo through 2020.

The 2014 SHOT Show, which ran Jan. 14-17, attracted more than 67,000 in total attendance, an all-time high, and was the fifth consecutive SHOT Show held at Sands Expo. NSSF had previously announced, in February, that it was extending its stay at the venue through 2017.

“We’re pleased with the multi-million dollar investment that the Sands Expo has made in order to meet SHOT Show’s needs,” said Chris Dolnack, NSSF Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “The 2014 SHOT Show was the highest rated by both attendees and exhibitors alike, and we want to continue to build on our success here in Las Vegas.”

SHOT Show is the fifth largest trade show in Las Vegas and the largest trade show of its kind in the world.

“As one of the largest events we host at Sands Expo, it has been exciting to watch SHOT Show grow every year,” said Ashlyn LaPorte, Sands Expo Executive Director of Event Management. “We are proud of the partnership that has developed between our venue and show management, and look forward to continuing this relationship through the rest of the decade.”

The Sands Expo and Convention Center houses more than 2 million square feet of meeting and event space. The SHOT Show generates more than $73 million for the Las Vegas economy.

*The press release says “the SHOT Show will be presented at the Sands Expo through 2020″. In the English language, “through” is inclusive; e.g. “Monday through Friday” includes Friday. But then the release says the current contract, which runs through 2017, has been extended by “two years”. That would push the contract out to 2019, not 2020. Maybe you can figure this out… it doesn’t make sense to us. But then having SHOT Show at the Sands in the first place doesn’t make any sense to us at all.

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May 28th, 2014

NSSF Answers Tough Transfer Questions

FFL license holders questions and answers about transfersThe National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) recently launched a Q & A Page about FFL transfers and other FFL-related matters. The NSSF’s experts provide answers to common questions to ensure that neither FFLs nor their customers get caught in regulatory traps. Here are some of the recent questions and answers:

1. May an FFL Transfer a Firearm by Way of a “House Call”?

Q: I have an elderly customer who cannot leave his home. I have a gun in my store that he wants to buy. Can I go to his house, have the Form 4473 completed, call for a background check and deliver the gun to him, providing that all the background checks clear?

A: Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) are required to conduct business from their licensed “business premises.” The Form 4473, Part 1, is for an over-the-counter transaction. The buyer must appear in person at the FFL premises. Licensees may not conduct firearms transactions from locations other than their licensed premises, with the exception of gun shows or other events dedicated to the sporting use of firearms and held in the state where the FFL’s premises is located. An FFL who locates purchasers by other means must complete the transaction and all required paperwork at the business premises indicated on the FFL’s license.

2. Can the Spouse of a Transferee (Buyer) Pick Up a Firearm?

Q: A customer filled out a Form 4473 on a shotgun. The NICS background check reply was delayed, but the following day NICS approved the purchase. The customer could not get back to my store during open hours, however, so he sent his wife to pick it up. May I transfer the shotgun to her?

A: The shotgun may not be transferred to the customer’s wife, as she is not the intended transferee. The customer must return to the store himself and complete the ATF Form 4473 to receive the firearm. He must recertify that his answers in section A are still true, correct and complete by signing and dating Section C on the ATF Form 4473.

3. What Is the Procedure for an Older Firearm with No Serial Number?

Q: I have received a firearm on trade. It was made before 1968 and has no serial number. I must note the physical markings on the firearm in my records. What do I do in this case?

A: Unfortunately, marking requirements that existed before 1968 did not apply to all firearms. Many of the firearms manufactured and imported prior to 1968 bear no serial numbers or other markings. Licensees who receive these firearms should note in each descriptive column in the acquisition record the physical markings that appear on the firearms. If no serial number was placed on the firearm, it should be specifically noted that “Firearm has no serial number” or recorded “NSN.” Remember, however, it is illegal to remove or alter a firearm’s serial number, and a licensee should report such a firearm to the nearest ATF office. Refer to the ATF P 3317.2, Safety and Security Information for Federal Firearms Licensees.

4. What Should Be Done if an FFL Finds a Firearm That Was Previously Reported Lost?

Q: I’ve reported a lost firearm. I’ve done all the necessary paperwork and notifications. Now, I’ve found the firearm. What is my course of action?

A: FFLs who report a firearm as missing and later discover its whereabouts should advise the ATF, as well as their local law enforcement agency, that the firearms have been located. The ATF can be contacted at 888-930-9275. In addition, once the firearms are located, they must be re-entered into the Acquisition and Disposition (A&D) record as an acquisition entry.

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May 20th, 2014

NSSF Provides Grants for Collegiate Target Shooting Programs

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) will award $100,000 in grants to public and private colleges for start-ups of new target-shooting clubs and teams. Up to $10,000 will be awarded to each qualifying school. Schools receiving grants range from large universities to community colleges. In the last grant session, 20 colleges received program start-up funding, including the University of Colorado at Boulder, North Idaho College, Slippery Rock University, Concordia College, Middlebury College and Wichita State University, to name several.

NSSF College GrantsThe grants are provided through NSSF’s Collegiate Shooting Sports Initiative, which has assisted more than 75 schools with building competitive and recreational shooting programs through more than $1 million in support. The program is credited with helping to spur growth in collegiate target shooting across the country.

Successful target shooting programs have developed from modest beginnings — sometimes involving just several enthusiastic students, a dedicated coach and the NSSF grant. “Students and coaches provide the passion, NSSF provides the seed funding,” said NSSF Manager of Shooting Promotions Zach Snow.

Visit www.nssf.org/college to learn about grant opportunities for college shotgun, rifle or pistol teams/clubs. The NSSF also offers a PDF Brochure on Establishing a Collegiate Shooting Program. This includes sample By-laws and Rules.

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April 6th, 2014

NSSF Takes Over Rimfire Challenge Program

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has taken over the Ruger Rimfire Challenge program. Now called the NSSF Rimfire Challenge, the program retains the format that has made it so popular. This remains a two-gun timed competition with rimfire rifles and pistols. Shooters engage steel targets at relatively close distances. The matches are for young and old alike, all skill levels, with mentoring by experienced shooters. The emphasis is on fun and safety.

NSSF Rimfire Challenge

The use of .22 caliber pistols, revolvers and rifles make the Rimfire Challenge more affordable than most centerfire matches. “The affordability of this program is something that participants really like and keeps them coming back,” said Zach Snow, NSSF’s Manager of Shooting Promotions. “Event fees are affordable as well.”

For participants, NSSF Rimfire Challenge offers categories for everyone — Open and Limited Divisions, plus Special Recognition competitions. To learn more about on program equipment, rules, courses of fire, scheduled matches and the first NSSF Rimfire World Championship, visit NSSF.org/Rimfire.

    NSSF Rimfire Challenge Basics

  • This is a two-gun event so you need a rifle and a handgun (which can be either a semi-auto pistol or revolver).
  • Bolt-action rifles and lever-action rifles are allowed, but self-loading (semi-auto) rifles are most popular because they can shoot quickly.
  • It is suggested that your firearms hold at least ten rounds each, as there is no reloading allowed during the actually stages.
  • It is a good idea to have five (5) magazines per gun (5 each for rifle and pistol). That way you don’t have to reload between stages. If you have a 10-shot revolver, you can reload manually, or use speed loaders.
  • At Rimfire Challenge Matches, each competitor get five (5) runs through each target stage.
  • Eye and ear protection is required on the range at all times. This is true for spectators as well as competitors.

NSSF Rimfire Challenge Courses of Fire | NSSF Rimfire Challenge Rulebook

Many different stage designs can be employed at Rimfire Challenge matches. Here are two examples from the NSSF Rimfire Challengs Suggested Courses of Fire:

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April 2nd, 2014

Guns and Ammo Contribute $38 Billion Per Year to U.S. Economy

economy ammunition industry NSSFGuns and ammo are big business in the United States — really big business. Guns and ammo now represent a $38 billion-dollar per year segment of the U.S. economy.

According to the NSSF, the total economic impact of the firearms and ammunition industries in the United States increased from $19.1 billion in 2008 to $37.7 billion in 2013, a 97% increase, while the total number of full-time equivalent jobs rose from more than 166,000 to more than 245,000, a 48% increase in that five-year period. These figures are based on a new report release today (April 2, 2014) by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).

NSSF President/CEO Steve Sanetti states: “We have seen dramatic, unprecedented during peacetime growth in the firearms and ammunition industry that is the direct result of consumer demand for our products in the last five years. While our nation’s overall economic recovery has been slow since 2008, our industry has been a true bright spot, increasing our direct workforce by nearly half, adding jobs that pay an average of more than $47,700 in wages and benefits. Supplier and induced jobs* were also increased by about half since 2008, even as we increased federal tax payments by 93 percent, Pittman-Robertson excise taxes that support wildlife conservation by 83 percent and state business taxes by 77 percent.”

guns economic impact NSSF

The Firearms and Ammunition Industry Economic Impact Report (2013) provides a state by state breakdown of job numbers, wages and output covering direct, supplier and induced employment, as well as federal excise taxes paid. Access the full report here.

* Induced jobs are those created by the economic impact made by the industry.

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March 7th, 2014

Legal Battle to Preserve Traditional Ammunition

Hunting and the shooting sports are under attack from forces trying to ban all ammunition containing lead. A coalition of anti-hunting groups has been trying to get the EPA to ban traditional ammo with lead in the bullets. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has been leading efforts to fight back, and protect your ability to use traditional rifle, pistol, and shotgun ammunition.

NSSF, the NRA, Safari Club International (SCI) and the Association of Battery Recyclers (ABR) have filed a joint brief supporting the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rejection of a second attempt by a Center for Biological Diversity (CBD)-led coalition of anti-hunting groups to ban traditional ammunition. The CBD’s first attempt to ban the use of lead ammunition for hunting was denied by EPA in 2010 on the grounds the agency did not have the authority to regulate ammunition under the Toxic Substances Control Act. This decision was subsequently upheld by a Washington, D.C., federal court that dismissed CBD’s challenge. In 2012, the CBD and 100 other organizations filed a second, nearly identical submission that EPA rejected. CBD again sued and the case again was dismissed by the same federal court. The intervenors (NSSF, NRA, SCI, and ABR), have filed legal briefs arguing that CBD should not be able to circumvent procedural and jurisdictional requirements by resubmitting virtually the same petition less than two years after the submission of the first one. NSSF argues that CBD’s repetitive petitions and lawsuits constitute an abuse of administrative and judicial resources.

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February 3rd, 2014

Firearms Industry Challenges California Micro-Stamping Law

On January 9, 2014, the NSSF and SAAMI filed suit seeking to invalidate and enjoin California’s micro-stamping statute, which was codified in 2007, but not implemented until late in 2013. In the commentary below, NSSF Senior VP and General Counsel Lawrence G. Keane explains the reasons gun industry groups have filed suit to enjoin California’s micro-stamping requirement.

Manufacturers Now Acting — Second Amendment Rights Are in the Balance
by Larry Keane

It was inevitable given the unconstitutional and unworkable governmental overreach now under way in the State of California. Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger & Co., two of the most recognized names in American firearms manufacturing, have confirmed that they are being forced to stop selling new or improved models of semiautomatic handguns in California because it is simply impossible to comply with the state’s microstamping law. That law became effective last year and applies to all new models of pistols introduced to the California market. Read the Smith & Wesson Statement. Sturm, Ruger & Co. also said it will stop new sales there.

Microstamping New York

On Jan. 9, the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) filed a lawsuit on behalf of our respective members against the State of California in Fresno Superior Court challenging the state’s microstamping law. NSSF and SAAMI are seeking to invalidate and enjoin enforcement of provisions of state law enacted in 2007, but not made effective until May 2013, requiring that all semiautomatic pistols sold in the state not already on the California approved handgun roster contain unproven and unreliable microstamping technology.

Under this law, firearms manufacturers would have to micro laser-engrave a gun’s make, model and serial number on two distinct parts of each gun, including the firing pin so that, in theory, this information would be imprinted on the cartridge casing when the pistol is fired.

As I said when we announced this important legal challenge, there is simply no existing microstamping technology that will reliably, consistently and legibly imprint the required identifying information by a semiautomatic handgun on the ammunition it fires. The holder of the patent for this technology himself has written that there are problems with it and that further study is warranted before it is mandated. A National Academy of Science review, forensic firearms examiners and a University of California at Davis study reached the same conclusion and the technical experts in the firearms industry agree.

Manufacturers can not comply with a law the provisions of which are invalid, that cannot be enforced and that will not contribute to improving public safety. As a result, NSSF and SAAMI are seeking both declaratory and injunctive relief against this back-door attempt to prevent the sale of new semiautomatic handguns to law-abiding citizens in California.

In 2007, over our industry’s strenuous objections, California Assembly Bill 1471 was passed and signed into law requiring microstamping on internal parts of new semiautomatic pistols. We had called for a federal study of microstamping rather than a one-state mandate for this flawed, unreliable and easily defeated technology.

The legislation provided that this requirement would only became effective if the California Department of Justice certified that the microstamping technology is available to more than one manufacturer unencumbered by patent restrictions. The California legislature subsequently reorganized certain statutes concerning the regulation of firearms, including the microstamping law in 2010. On May 17, 2013, Attorney General Kamala D. Harris provided such certification despite the fact that peer-reviewed research proved microstamping does not work.

We predicted in 2007 that the passage of AB 1471 would lead to a de facto semiautomatic handgun ban. Now that the law has become effective, that ban has begun to roll forward.

See the NSSF Fast Facts on Microstamping for additional background.

The eyes of the nation are now turning to California. The national media has begun to take notice. This situation is not only about a consumer’s right to select the handguns with the latest features, or the aforementioned inability of manufacturers to comply with an unworkable law, the Constitutional, Second Amendment stakes are very high. You will want to stay tuned.

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February 2nd, 2014

NSSF’s Where To Shoot App Tops 100,000 Downloads

Range Locator Where to Shoot AppThe NSSF’s Where To Shoot mobile App has topped 100,000 downloads. The app, which rose to No. 4 on the Apple App Store’s list of free sports Apps, has been a hit with target shooters and gun owners. It is available FREE for both iOS (Apple) and Android devices.

The Where To Shoot App quickly and easily locates shooting ranges near you, drawing on North America’s most comprehensive directory of shooting ranges. Users can search by current location, state, or zip code and find specifics about each range, including shooting activities offered and contact information. Once you’ve location a place to shoot, the App helps you get directions to the range. The App also includes video tips for shooters, news, and firearm-safety information.

CLICK HERE for Apple iPhone and iPad App.

CLICK HERE for FREE Android App.

The app is modeled after NSSF’s popular WhereToShoot.org® website and is updated frequently with range information in every U.S. state and Canadian province. New tips for hunters and shooters are also added regularly. Download the app via the links above or by visiting wheretoshoot.org on your mobile device.

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