July 13th, 2018

NSSF Safety Video: “How to Talk to Your Kids”

Gun Safety Julie Golob NSSF Video

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has produced a very useful educational resource, a video explaining “How to Talk to Your Kids about Firearm Safety”. The video, starring champion shooter Julie Golob, encourages parents to have “the talk” about firearm safety with their kids sooner rather than later, and provides tips for how to have a helpful discussion.

“As a mother, I know full well how challenging this conversation can be,” Golob said. “It’s crucial that parents set an example and teach their kids about firearm safety so children don’t learn about guns solely from what their friends say or what they see on video games and TV.”

“Too often, children don’t know what to do if they find a gun,” said Steve Sanetti, President and CEO of NSSF, which developed and sponsors the Project ChildSafe firearm safety education program. “This video opens a door for honest conversation and empowers parents to be the authority on gun safety for their kids, whether they have guns in their homes or not.”

The “How to Talk to Your Kids about Firearm Safety” video was created as a resource to start positive and constructive conversations by encouraging discussion rather than lecture, and helps parents responsibly demystify the subject of guns. For more information, visit Projectchildsafe.org.

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July 8th, 2018

NSSF Grants Help Support Boy Scouts Shooting Programs

Boy Scouts Merit Badge NSSF Grant Progrm

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

Boy Scouts Merit Badge NSSF Grant Progrm

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

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

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

How Scouting Groups Can Apply for Grants

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

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

(more…)

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June 28th, 2018

Avoid Canting Your Rifle to Improve Your Long Range Shooting

rifle level canting shooting rifle Ryan Cleckner

In a helpful NSSF video, Ryan Cleckner explains why you normally should avoid canting your rifle — rotating it clockwise or counter-clockwise. Cleckner explains that canting the rifle in one direction or another will change the point of impact: “When you rotate the rifle, not only does the [POI move] in the direction that you’re rotated, [but] it also loses some of its elevation as it rolls down.” This, Cleckner explains, can make you miss on one side or the other:

Cant to the Left — You’re going to miss low and left.
Cant to the Right — You’re going to miss low and right.

rifle level canting shooting rifle Ryan Cleckner

In this video, starting at the one-minute mark, Cleckner shows the effect of rifle canting when engaging a 600-yard target. A few degrees of cant (either to the left or to the right), moves the shot POI completely off the steel silhouette target. The POI change occurs mainly because you are lowering (and laterally shifting) the scope sight-line relative to the bore axis, effectively changing your zero.

David Tubb has explained: “Every 1 degree you are off on a cant, is about six inches of difference laterally at 1000 yards”.

Position Shooting with Sling — Rifle Cant Considerations
Cleckner’s discussion assumes that the scope or sights are set to hit center with the rifle level and plumb. That works for most situations when shooting prone off bipod, front mechanical rest, or front sandbag. However, many sling shooters, including David Tubb and John Whidden, do tilt or cant their rifles slightly inward because this allows a more comfortable hold with sling, or allows better eye-to-sight alignment. Holding the rifle at an angle can work — but the angle of cant must be consistent for every shot. Canting the rifle is not a sin by itself. However, after you confirm your zero on your target, the degree of cant must be the same for EVERY shot. You must maintain that exact same degree of rotation on each shot or you will experience the shot POI movement Cleckner illustrates. Consistency is the key.

John Whidden
John Whidden, 5-time Nat’l Long Range Champion, holds a Palma rifle. John now shoots a match rifle with an Anschutz stock which he holds more upright, but still with some counter-clockwise cant. John also installed his iron sights at an angle so that the adjustments are correct (and plumb) even with his canted hold: “While it may not be obvious in the picture, the sights on my rifle are set up so that they’re straight vertical and horizontal while I hold the rifle canted. Making sure your adjustments (scope or sights) are vertical and horizontal is a critical piece of the pie.”

Inexpensive Dual-Diameter Scope-Mounted Bubble Level
The best way to avoid inconsistent rifle canting is to use a bubble level fitted to rail or scope. One very affordable and versatile product is the Jialitte Scope Bubble Level. This features a 30mm milled inside diameter, plus an inner insert ring so it will also fit 1″-diameter main tubes. The Jiaalitte unit is nicely radiused, and has a low profile in the middle. User reviews have been very positive. You could easily pay $35.00 or more for a 30mm scope level. This costs just $11.99.

Scope Optic bubble level 30mm 1

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June 26th, 2018

Training Tip: Shooter and Spotter Working as a Team

Shooting Spotter training video NSSF

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.

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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June 5th, 2018

NSSF Answers Tough Firearms Transfer Questions

FFL license holders questions and answers about transfersThe National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has published 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. Purchase of Firearm by Parent for Child.

Q: May a parent or guardian purchase firearms or ammunition as a gift for a juvenile (under 18 years of age)?

Yes. However, possession of handguns by juveniles (less than 18 years of age) is generally unlawful. Juveniles generally may only receive and possess handguns with the written permission of a parent or guardian for limited purposes (e.g., employment, ranching, farming, target practice or hunting), and that permission slip must be carried by the juvenile while possessing the handgun. [18 U.S.C. 922(x)]

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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 31st, 2018

Secretary Zinke Creates Hunting and Shooting Sports Council

Zinke Secretary Interior Hunting Shooting Sports Council Department NSSF Boone Crockett
Utah Monument photo by DOI. Inset graphic from Ammoland.com, DOI source.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has announced the newly-appointed members of the Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council (HSSCC). The Council, established on January 9, 2018, is intended to provide the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture with advice regarding the establishment and implementation of existing and proposed policies and authorities with regard to wildlife and habitat conservation. The Advisory Council will meet at least twice a year.

The Council will also examine ways to benefit wildlife resources; encourage partnership among the public, the sporting conservation organizations, state, tribal, territorial, and federal government; and benefit recreational hunting and recreational shooting sports.

“We have assembled here some of the best conservationists in America,” Secretary Zinke said. “Over a century ago, Teddy Roosevelt established the American conservation ethic — best science, best practices, greatest good, longest term. These sportsmen carry on the American conservation ethic in the modern day. Bringing these experts together will be key to ensuring the American tradition of hunting and shooting, as well as the conservation benefits of these practices, carries on.”

Departement interior DOI Hunting sShooting Conservation Council
Secretary Ryan Zinke (left) believes we can learn important conservation lessons from President Theodore Roosevelt (right), an avid hunter.

“America’s hunters and recreational shooters have a champion in Secretary Ryan Zinke,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “Zinke is fighting for our sportsmen and women to have greater access to our public lands. I am pleased to work with the Trump Administration’s new Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council to make it easier for Americans to enjoy our public lands.”

“Comprised of national leaders throughout the hunting and recreational shooting communities, the HSSCC is widely regarded as one of the most effective and productive federal advisory committees across the federal government,” said Lawrence Keane, NSSF Senior V.P. and General Counsel.

Departement interior DOI Hunting sShooting Conservation Council
Julie Golob Photo Courtesy Shooting Sports USA.

“What an exciting time for our hunting and shooting sports! This Shooting Sports Council is yet another way Secretary Zinke and staff is making the expansion of our great American heritage a priority,” said Smith & Wesson Pro Shooter Julie Golob.

“President Trump and Sec Zinke continue to make major positive structural changes to America’s land and wildlife conservation systems,” said Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife Founder Don Peay. “This new Council, made up of the most accomplished hunter/conservationists in North America, will assist in revitalizing conservation of our nation’s natural treasures for generations!”

Zinke Secretary Interior Hunting Shooting Sports Council Department NSSF Boone Crockett

“I am very pleased and honored to be appointed to this Council by Secretary Zinke,” said Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Chief Conservation Officer Blake Henning. “I look forward to representing the interests of big game and big game hunters as this Council does important work.”

“I am honored to be asked by Secretary Zinke to serve on the federal advisory council,” said Bob Model, Chairman of the Boone and Crockett Club. “Sportsmen and women are vital stakeholders in federal land management.”

Members of the Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council are listed below
MEMBER NAME ORGANIZATION
Mike Budzik Retired Chief of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Chris Cox Executive Director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)
Jeff Crane President of Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF)
John Devney Vice President of U.S. Policy for Delta Waterfowl
Dan Forester Vice President and Chief Conservation Officer, Archery Trade Association
Ward “Trig” French Chairman of the Hunter’s Leadership Forum
Julie Golob World and National Shooting Champion, Team Smith & Wesson
John Green CEO of Crossroads Strategies and Board Member of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation
Dale Hall CEO of Ducks Unlimited and former Director of the USFWS
Blake Henning Chief Conservation Officer for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Graham Hill Principal and Founding Partner, Ice Miller Strategies LLC. NRA Board of Directors member
Larry Keane Senior V.P. for Governmental and Public Affairs, Asst. Sec. and General Counsel for National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF); General Counsel, Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers Institutes (SAAMI)
Bob Model Former President of the Boone & Crockett Club; President/CEO of Mule Deer Foundation; previous Deputy Director of Utah’s Div. of Wildlife Resources
Collin O’Mara President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation
Donald Peay Founder and Former CEO of Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife (SFW)
Eva Shockey Co-Host of Jim Shockey’s Hunting Adventures on Outdoor Channel
David Spady President of the Liberty and Property Rights Coalition

(more…)

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May 30th, 2018

Economic Impact of Firearms Industry, State by State

economic impact firearms gun industry state NSSF
For this chart, HowMuch.net analyzed data from the NSSF’s 2017 Firearms and Ammunition Industry Economic Impact Report to estimate gun industry output and jobs in each state.

The firearms industry is an important element of our nation’s economy. Manufacturing products for shooting, hunting, and LEO/military applications employs hundreds of thousands of workers and contributes billions of dollars to America’s GNP. The mainstream media demonizes firearms and attempts to ridicule gun-owners, but the fact remains that guns and ammo are an important part of American culture and a key element of our economy.

Guns America recently published an article showing the economic impact of the firearms industry on a state-by-state basis. This features a “money map” of the USA created by HowMuch.net based on data from the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The number one state is Texas, with $3.83 Billion of economic impact and 23,070 jobs. That may not surprise you, as many quality companies such as Shilen are based in the Lone Star state. However, you may be surprised by the number two state, California, given that jurisdiction’s liberal legislature, and anti-gun policies. But there are still plenty of guns, shooting accessories, and ammo produced in California, generating $3.64 Billion in firearms industry economic activity and over 20,000 jobs. Given that job number, perhaps California’s politicians should think twice before they enact more misguided anti-gun laws.

Weatherby Wyoming move California taxes
Weatherby is relocating from California to Wyoming, citing California’s high corporate taxes and hostile business regulations.

Here are Top Ten States, ranked in order:

1. Texas: $3.83B and 23,070 jobs
2. California: $3.64B and 20,610 jobs
3. Minnesota: $2.43B and 11,650 jobs
4. Florida: $2.39B and 14,850 jobs
5. Illinois: $2.18B and 10,681 jobs
6. North Carolina: $1.98B and 11,427 jobs
7. Pennsylvania: $1.94B and 12,436 jobs
8. Massachusetts: $1.86B and 7,116 jobs
9. New York: $1.84B and 8020 jobs
10. Ohio: $1.61B and 11,772 jobs

Ranking third overall is Michigan with $2.43 Billion in economic activity, followed by Florida close behind in fourth place with $2.39 Billion. The NSSF’s data reveals some surprising trends, notes Guns America: “While pro-gun states like Texas ($8.83B) boast a large firearms industry that employs thousands of people, states with stricter firearms regulations like California ($3.64B), Minnesota ($2.43B), Illinois ($2.18B), and Massachusetts ($1.86B) also incorporate relatively large gun industries.”

Looking at that list, it is noteworthy that, along with California, another anti-gun state, New York, has made the Top Ten. New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo has attacked the firearms industry and the NRA, and the N.Y. State Department of Financial Services has pressured Banks and Insurance companies to stop doing business with gun industry firms. One wonders if Governor Cuomo and his minions have considered the full consequences of their anti-gun activism. Guns America observes: “it is notable that gun makers can survive at all in states like New York, California, and Massachusetts. Attacking firearm makers and sellers is one of the most common anti-gun tactics, but some companies still manage to scrape by despite increasing regulations and public hostility.”

Remington Arms factory New York

Though it has moved much of its production to Alabama, Remington retains production facilities in New York state. The Remington enterprise was founded in 1816 by Eliphalet Remington in Ilion, New York, as E. Remington and Sons. Remington is America’s oldest gun maker and is still the largest U.S. producer of shotguns and rifles.

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May 9th, 2018

Elements of Long Range Shooting Video Series

Bryan Litz Elements Long Range Shooting NSSF Ballistics Coeffecient Atmospherics

Want to learn more about Long Range Shooting? Check out the “Elements of Long Range Shooting” videos from the National Shooting Sport Foundation (NSSF). In this multi-part series, Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics covers a variety of topics of interest to precision shooters. Today we feature three of these videos. There are five other videos in this series. Watch the entire 8-video “Elements of Long Range Shooting” series on the NSSF YouTube Channel.

Litz NSSF Video Elements long range shooting Raton NM ELR

Atmospherics and Density Altitude

Bryan Litz explains: “An important element in calculating an accurate firing solution for long-range shooting is understanding the effects of atmospherics on a projectile.” Atmospherics include air pressure, air temperature, and humidity. Bryan notes: “Temperature, pressure, and humidity all affect the air density… that the bullet is flying through. You can combine all those factors into one variable called ‘Density Altitude’.” Density Altitude is used by the ballistic solver to account for air density variables that affect bullet flight.

Bullet Ballistic Coefficients

A bullet’s ballistic coefficient (BC) basically expresses how well the bullet flies through the air. Higher BC bullets have less aerodynamic drag than lower BC projectiles. You will see BCs listed as either G1 and G7 numbers. These correspond to different bullet shape models. Generally speaking, the G7 model works better for the long, boat-tail bullets used for long-range shooting. Notably, a bullet’s drag is NOT constant in flight. The true BC can vary over the course of the trajectory as the bullet velocity degrades. In other words, “BC is dynamic”. That said, you can make very accurate drop charts using the BCs provided by major bullet-makers, as plugged into solvers. However, long-range competitors may want to record “real world” drop numbers at various distances. For example, we’ve seen trajectories be higher than predicted at 500 yards, yet lower than predicted at 1000.

Ballistics Solvers — Many Options

Bryan Litz observes: “When we talk about the elements of long range shooting, obviously a very important element is a getting a fire solution, using a ballistic solver. There are a lot of ballistic solvers out there… Applied Ballistics has smartphone Apps. Applied Ballistics has integrated the ballistic solver directly into a Kestral, and the same solver runs (manually) on the Accuracy Solutions Wiz-Wheel. The point is, if it is an Applied Ballistics device it is running the same solutions across the board.”

About Bryan Litz
Bryan began his career as a rocket scientist, quite literally. He then started Applied Ballistics, the leading company focusing on ballistics science for rifle shooting. A past F-TR Long-Range National Champion and Chief Ballistician for Berger Bullets, knows his stuff. His Applied Ballistics squad was the winning team at the 2017 King of 2 Miles event, and Applied Ballistics recently received a major U.S. defense contract to to execute Phase 1 of the Extreme Sniper Strike Operations (ESSO) project.

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May 5th, 2018

NSSF Expels Dick’s Sporting Goods from Organization

Dick's sporting good NSSF shooting sports foundation expelled expel

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industries, Board of Governors today unanimously voted to expel Dick’s Sporting Goods from membership for conduct detrimental to the best interests of the Foundation.

Dick’s Sporting Goods recently hired a Washington D.C.-based government affairs firm, for “[l]obbying related to gun control.” Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Edward W. Stack announced earlier this year the retail chain would end sales of modern sporting rifles, voluntarily raise the age to 21 to purchase firearms in their stores and called for more restrictive legislation. Dick’s later announced they would destroy the remaining modern sporting rifle inventory. NSSF responded that business decisions should be individually made, but was nonetheless disappointed and the decision does not reflect the reality of the vast majority of law-abiding gun owners.

Dick's sporting good NSSF shooting sports foundation expelled expel

Dicks sporting goods modern sporting rifle AR15 gun bank age 21

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April 24th, 2018

Rimfire Challenge Worlds on Shooting USA TV This Week

NSSF Rimfire Challenge World Championship Cavern Cove Alabama

The Rimfire Challenge is just about the most fun you can have with .22 LR pistols and rifles. This week Shooting USA TV features the 2017 Rimfire Challenge World Championship hosted at the Cavern Cove Rimfire Range in Woodville, Alabama. This major match attracts hundreds of competitors from around the nation. It’s fast and fun with instant feedback from ringing plates indicating hits. The Rimfire Challenge Championship is family-friendly event that’s great for all skill and experience levels.

Shooting USA TV Airs Wednesday Night on the Outdoor Channel:
9:00 PM Eastern and Pacific; 8:00 PM Central

NSSF Rimfire Challenge World Championship Cavern Cove Alabama

The 2017 Rimfire Challenge World Championship brought 350 competitors to Alabama from as far as California and Washington State to shoot .22 LR rimfire pistols and rifles on 14 challenging stages, all with steel plate targets. The Challenge is designed to attract first-time competitors. “Our mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. And to see all these young kids out here with their parents and their families all shooting together and enjoying the shooting sports. That’s what it’s all about, ” says Tisma Juett with the NSSF.

NSSF Rimfire Challenge
Photo Courtesy Rockford Sportsmans Club.

The Challenge offers plenty of action, with fourteen (14) stages of fire — each with a wide variety of steel plates. There is no set pattern or design, so each stage is different. You need to be fast AND accurate — you get penalty points for missing any plates. Scores are based on time for each stage, with add-ons for penalties. As with most action shooting games — it’s always best to shoot “clean” (no misses), even if you slow down a little bit.

At the 2016 NSSF Rimfire Challenge Championship Smith & Wesson was on hand with demo rifles and pistols. See the action in the S&W-produced video above. Competitive shooting is one activity in which entire families, both oldsters and youngsters, can come together in a supervised setting to enjoy the spirit and camaraderie of competition.

NSSF Rimfire Challenge Basics
The Rimfire Challenge is a two-gun event so you need a rifle and a handgun (which can be either a semi-auto pistol, or revolver). There are two divisions: 1) Open — Any firearm (pistol or revolver in handgun class) with scopes, optical sights, light gathering scopes, battery powered optics or lasers; and 2) Limited — Pistols and rifles with iron sights, adjustable metallic sights, and/or fiber optic. Bolt-action rifles and lever-action rifles are allowed, but self-loading (semi-auto) rifles are most popular because they can shoot quickly.

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

NSSF Rimfire Challenge

Rimfire Rifle of Choice: S&W M&P 15-22
If you want to shoot both Limited and Open class, a very good rifle choice rifle is the Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22. The feel, weight, and controls will be familiar to any AR owner. These 15-22s have been refined over the years and now are very reliable. Shoot it in Limited Class with the standard iron sights. Then fold down the sights and attach a 1-4X optic to shoot Open Class.

NSSF Rimfire Challenge M&P 15-22 smith Wesson

Rimfire Challenge Organizational Change for 2018
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) announced that, starting in January, 2018, the NSSF Rimfire Challenge will be transitioned to a new organization: the Rimfire Challenge Shooting Association. Originally developed by Ruger’s Ken Jorgenson, TV host Michael Bane and the late Nelson Dymond, the program was first known as the Ruger Rimfire Challenge. NSSF took over the the program in 2014, changing its name to the NSSF Rimfire Challenge. The new organization will be led once again by Ken Jorgensen and Michael Bane.

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April 17th, 2018

The Sky Is Not Falling — Firearms Industry Economic Report 2018

Firearms industry economic report 2018 NSSF

While the mainstream media attacks gun owners and blue state politicians demand new anti-gun legislation, the fact remains that the firearms industry is more important to the American economy than ever. CNN and MSNBC won’t tell you that the American firearms industry is very healthy, enjoying huge growth in the last decade.

In fact, Americans are buying more guns than ever, and spending more money on firearms accessories and ammunition, according to a National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) report.

The total economic impact of the firearms and ammunition industry in the United States increased from $19.1 billion in 2008 to $51.4 billion in 2017, a 169 percent increase. In addition, the total number of full-time equivalent firearms industry jobs rose from approximately 166,000 in 2008 to almost 310,000 in 2017, an 87 percent increase.

On a year-over-year basis, the industry’s economic impact rose from $51.3 billion in 2016 to $51.4 in 2017, ticking higher even while the industry came off-peak production years. Total jobs increased from approximately 301,000 to almost 311,000, a 3 percent increase in the same period.

Firearms Industry Tax Receipts Fund Conservation Programs
“Our industry is proud to be one of the truly bright spots in our economy as an unprecedented number of Americans have chosen to exercise their fundamental right to keep and bear arms and to safely enjoy the shooting sports,” said Stephen L. Sanetti, NSSF President and CEO.

“We have increased our direct workforce by more than 7,000 in the past year alone, adding jobs that pay an average nearly $50,000 in wages and benefits. In addition, since 2008 we increased federal tax payments by 144 percent, Pittman-Robertson excise taxes that support wildlife conservation by 104 percent, and state business taxes by 121 percent.”

The Firearms and Ammunition Industry Economic Impact Report: 2018 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.

NSSF 2018 Firearms Industry Economic Impact Report »

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January 17th, 2018

Understanding Milliradians (Mils) and Mil-Dot Scopes

mildot ranging milliradian Milrad

We first ran this article in 2012, and it was very well received. Since then, many Forum members have requested an explanation of MILS and mildots, so we decided to run this feature again…

Mildot scope reticleIn this NSSF Video, Ryan Cleckner, a former Sniper Instructor for the 1st Ranger Battalion, defines the term “MilliRadian” (Milrad) and explains how you can use a mildot-type scope to range the distance to your target. It’s pretty simple, once you understand the angular subtension for the reticle stadia dots/lines. Cleckner also explains how you can use the milrad-based reticle markings in your scope for elevation hold-overs and windage hold-offs.

Even if you normally shoot at known distances, the hold-off capability of milrad-reticle scopes can help you shoot more accurately in rapidly-changing wind conditions. And, when you must engage multiple targets quickly, you can use the reticle’s mil markings to move quickly from one target distance to another without having to spin your elevation turrets up and down.

WEB RESOURCES: If you want to learn more about using Milliradians and Mildot scopes, we suggest the excellent Mil-dot.com User Guide. This covers the basics you need to know, with clear illustrations. Also informative is The Truth about Mil Dots by Michael Haugen. Mr. Haugen begins with basic definitions: 1 radian = 2 PI; 1 Milliradian (Milrad or ‘Mil’) = 1/1000th of a radian; 1 Milliradian = .0573 degrees.

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January 3rd, 2018

SHOT Show Navigation — How to Find Your Way in Vegas

Shot Show 2018 Las Vegas Sands Convention Center
SHOT Show 2018 runs January 23-26 at the Sands Expo Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Head to SHOT Show in Las Vegas in three weeks? Then you need to start your planning now. You’ll want to locate the companies you want to visit, and plan your booth-visiting route to make best use of your time. Thankfully, SHOT Show’s organizers offer an interactive SHOT Show Planner that lets you look up the exhibitors and plot their locations in the Sands EXPO Center. SEE Floor Plan.

The SHOT Show’s Interactive Floor Plan offers an easy-to-use Vendor Mapping feature. Simply enter the company name in the search field in the upper left. Then the Planner will locate the vendor’s booth(s) on the map and highlight the location for you. Easy-Peasy.

Shot Show 2018 Las Vegas Sands Convention Center

Getting to the SHOT Show Building

SHOT Show 2018 is held in the Sands Expo Convention Center, attached to the Venetian Hotel. If you don’t want to walk through the disorienting maze of that badly designed, over-priced hotel, you can enter through the Sands Avenue street entrance (taxi-cab stand). Word to the wise — avoid the SHOT Show shuttle buses if you can — riding them is a great way to catch a bad cold from other passengers who are sick.

On this interactive map you can use your mouse to re-center and zoom in/out.

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December 20th, 2017

Sportsmen Tell Santa What They Want for Christmas

What did you really want for Christmas? A new rifle? Maybe a new reloading press? A poll of sportsmen and firearm owners by Southwick Associates’ HunterSurvey.com / ShooterSurvey.com asked, “What hunting or target shooting gear are you most hoping to receive this holiday season?” Respondents could select three items from a long list of products. The most-wished-for items were in the Hunting Apparel category, with 22.3 percent of respondents asking Santa for new hunting duds. A new Handgun was second-highest on the list, followed by a Trail Camera at #3, Ammunition at #4, and a Laser Rangefinder at #5. How do your choices stack up against the survey responses?

Note, the totals of all selections exceeds 100% because survey participants could elect three total choices. Also, since this 2012 survey was specifically directed at hunters (rather than just firearm owners), a number of responses relate to bows and archery equipment.

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December 16th, 2017

Giving Firearms as Gifts — What You Need to Know

firearm gun gift law rules NSSF
Image Courtesy NSSF. This story is based on a recent NSSF Article.

‘Tis the season of gift-giving (and Christmas Day is nearly here). As hunters, shooters, collectors or just plain plinkers, it’s a natural instinct to want to share our enjoyment of firearms with others. What better way to do that than to make a gift of a firearm to a family member, close friend or relative?

The first thing to remember if you’re thinking about giving someone a gun is that … it’s a gun! You already know that ownership of a firearm brings with it some serious legal and ethical obligations that other consumer products don’t. So let’s look at some questions you may have about giving a firearm as a gift.

firearm gun gift law rules NSSF
Image Courtesy NSSF

ATF Firearms gun giftsThe first question you have to ask is whether the intended recipient can legally own the firearm where he or she lives. With more than 20,000 different gun laws on the books, even the kinds of firearms that law-abiding citizens can own vary from place to place. For example, juveniles (under age 18) generally speaking are precluded by law from possessing a handgun. Check out the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) website for an overview of local laws and, whatever you do, don’t forget that you can never under any circumstances transfer a firearm to someone you know — or have reasonable cause to believe — legally can’t own one. That’s a federal felony, so be careful.

There’s no federal law that prohibits a gift of a firearm to a relative or friend who lives in your home state. Abramski v. United States, a recent Supreme Court decision involving a “straw purchase” of a firearm did not change the law regarding firearms as gifts. The following states (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington State) and the District of Columbia require you to transfer a firearm through a local firearms retailer so an instant background check will be performed to make sure the recipient is not legally prohibited from owning the gun. Maryland and Pennsylvania require a background check for private party transfer of a handgun. There are exceptions, so it’s important to check the law of your state or ask your local firearms retailer.

ATF Firearms gun giftsConsider a Gift Card Instead of Direct Gift
The ATF recommends that if you want to give someone a new firearm, rather than going to a gun store and buying the gun on your own, consider instead purchasing a gift certificate/card from your favorite gun retailer. Then give that gift card as the present. That way the recipient can choose the exact gun he or she wants, and there’s no question about who is “the actual buyer of the firearm,” which is a question any purchaser must certify on the Federal Form 4473 at the time of purchase. The Gift Card option avoids any “straw purchaser” issues.

Intra-Family Transfers and Antique Arms
What if you want to give “Old Betsy,” your favorite old deer rifle, to your son or daughter as a college graduation gift? Again, in most states, there’s no law that says you can’t, but some states require even intra-family transfers to go through a licensed dealer. Remember, you can never transfer a firearm directly to another person who is a resident of a different state. In that case, you must transfer the firearm through a licensed dealer in the state where the person receiving the gift resides. Using a gift certificate from a firearms retailer near where the recipient lives might be a good solution. Pre-1898 antique firearms are generally exempt from the dealer requirement. [But check with the laws in your jurisdiction]. Be safe and check with your dealer or local law enforcement before you hand over your prized possession.

Regulations on Firearms Shipping to Third Parties
When you intend to transfer a gun, there are important rules on interstate shipping*. Generally speaking, you can only ship a handgun by common carrier (but not U.S. Mail) and a long gun by U.S. Mail or common carrier to a federally licensed dealer, but not to a non-licensed individual. With all carriers, federal law requires you to declare that your package contains an unloaded firearm. To be safe, always consult your carrier in advance about its regulations for shipping firearms. Also check your state laws on transfers.


*Different rules may apply to shipping to parties IN-STATE or shipping firearms to yourself in temporary care of others. Always consult your own state laws, but here are some FAQs copied directly from the ATF.GOV website:

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November 25th, 2017

Gun Industry Jobs Listed on NSSF Website

NSSF gun industry jobs employment center openings hire work

Firearms Industry JobsA number of interesting jobs in the firearms industry have become available in recent weeks. The NSSF maintains a regularly-updated listing of employment opportunities with gun-makers and shooting sports organizations. On the NSSF’s job board right now there are financial openings, account manager positions, engineering jobs, sales and marketing positions, and media/digital markeing opportunities. Here are some of the jobs we found this week posted on the NSSF Website. CLICK HERE to visit the NSSF Career Center with all current listings.

Firearms Industry Jobs — Current Openings

Financial Manager — Middletown, Pennsylvania
IWI US, 5 Days Ago

Director of Sales — Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
IWI US, Inc. 1 Week Ago

Sales Representative — Phoenix, Arizona
Davidson’s, 1 Week Ago

Design/Mechanical Engineer — Phoenix, Arizona
Overwatch Precision, 1 Week Ago

Mechanical Engineer — Chicagoland, Illinois
United Tactical Systems, 1 Week Ago

Media Relations Manager/Sr. Copy Writer — Newington, New Hampshire
Sig Sauer, 2 Weeks Ago

Digital Marketing Manager/Director — Lebanon, New Hampshire
Sig Sauer, 2 Weeks Ago

Channel Manager-LEO — Fort Smith, Arkansas
Walther Arms, 2 Weeks Ago

National Accounts Manager — Fort Smith, Arkansas
Walther Arms, 2 Weeks Ago

Dealer Support Representative — Fort Smith, Arkansas
Walther Arms, 2 Weeks Ago

Account Manager — Kalispell, Montana
Kimber Mfg., 2 Weeks Ago

Operations Manager — Minden, Nevada
Franklin Armory, 3 Weeks Ago

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November 21st, 2017

Minute of Angle (MOA) Explained by Informative Video

one minute of angle

This popular video, viewed over 1.1 million times on YouTube, provides a clear explanation of Minute of Angle (MOA) and how that angular measurement is used. Among novice shooters, there is much confusion over this term. In this NSSF Video, Ryan Cleckner, a former Sniper Instructor for the 1st Ranger Battalion, defines the term, “Minute of Angle” (MOA) and explains how you can adjust for windage and elevation using 1/4 or 1/8 MOA clicks on your scope. This allows you to sight-in precisely and compensate for bullet drop at various distances.

For starters, Ryan explains that, when talking about angular degrees, a “minute” is simply 1/60th. So a “Minute of Angle” is simply 1/60th of one degree of a central angle, measured either up and down (for elevation) or side to side (for windage). At 100 yards, 1 MOA equals 1.047″ on the target. This is often rounded to one inch for simplicity. Say, for example, you click up 1 MOA. That is roughly 1 inch at 100 yards, or roughly 4 inches at 400 yards, since the target area measured by 1 MOA increases in linear fashion with the distance.

Story sourced by Edlongrange.
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November 15th, 2017

Register Now for 2018 SHOT Show in Las Vegas

SHOT Show 2017 Las Vegas hotel reservation registration

Think Vegas in January, baby — yes, we’re talkin’ about SHOT Show (Jan. 23-26, 2018). Registration for the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s 2018 SHOT Show is now open for all Attendees, Exhibitors, and Media. Register online now at Shotshow.org. The SHOT Show hotel booking system is also active. It’s a good idea to reserve rooms early to get the best rates. SHOT Show organizers have negotiated deeply discounted rates at dozens of Las Vegas hotels, with prices as low as $56 per night. However, some of the most popular affiliated hotels are already sold out. And sometimes you can get better deals through websites such as Priceline and Trivago.com.

SHOT Show 2018 Las Vegas hotel reservation registration

Scheduled for January 23-26 in Las Vegas, the big gun industry convention is just two months away. While registering, attendees can enroll in SHOT Show University, and/or sign up for other educational offerings. Sorry, the Industry Dinner is already sold out.

SHOT Show is NOT open to the general public. To attend you need to have an affiliation with a gun industry company, retailer, or media outlet. That said, thousands of non-professionals attend each year, receiving credentials from gun shops, parts distributors, retailers and the like.

SHOT Show tip from EdLongrange. We welcome user submissions.
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October 28th, 2017

Shooting Range Safety & Etiquette — NSSF Video

Safety Video NSSF Indoor Range Etiquette

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has created a new Range Safety and Etiquette video. This 8.5-minute video is intended to promote safe practices, especially at indoor ranges. In the video, the moderator list the basic rules of gun safety, before covering key range etiquette topics such as range officer commands, how to uncase your firearm on the range when you first arrive, and what to do if a firearm is accidentally dropped. There are also safety tips specific to handling both semi-automatic handguns and revolvers.

Basic Gun Safety Rules — Uncasing Firearms Safely — Basic Range Etiquette

Safety Video NSSF Indoor Range Etiquette

BAD RANGE BEHAVIOR — What NOT to Do at the Range
Based on decades of shooting, indoors and outdoors, here are the five most problematic behaviors we’ve seen at indoor ranges.

1. Loading weapons BEHIND the firing line and then “sweeping” other individuals while approaching the indoor shooting bay.

2. Turning the handgun sideways while trying to clear a malfunction or insert/remove a magazine. This will point the muzzle at a fellow shooter. Or, after shooting a gun, the shooter fails to clear the weapon and then places the gun on a bench, chair, or range bag near the shooting station with the muzzle in an unsafe position.

3. Reacting unpredictably when firing a high recoil handgun. We’ve seen people take a second shot by accident with the muzzle way off target.

4. Not obeying range commands — in particular continuing to shoot during called cease-fires.

5. Poorly aimed shooting that hits target frames or carriers, causing ricochets.

Why This NSSF Video is Important
“More than ever, NSSF is focused on helping our industry better engage their customers. Paramount to that is ensuring all shooters have a pleasant and safe experience every time they head to the range for a practice session,” explained Zach Snow, NSSF Director, Shooting Range Services. “This is particularly important for those coming to firearms ownership and the shooting sports for the first time, and this video will go far to making that first time on the range safe and fun for everyone.”

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October 10th, 2017

Hunting 101 — Checklist for Hunting Safety

Hunting Safety Checklist family safe hunter
Elk Hunt with Horn Fork Guides, Ltd., in Colorado.

Are you a safe hunter? Go through this checklist to find out. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has created a helpful Safety Checklist for hunters. This Hunting Safety Checklist was produced as part of the NSSF’s “Hunt S.A.F.E.” campaign which encourages hunters (and all firearm owners) to secure their firearms when not in use, and to focus on safe firearm handling and storage. The Hunting Safey Checklist helps hunters follow good, safe practices in the field and at home.

colorado elk hunting winter hunter
Elk photo courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

“Hunting is a time-honored tradition for many Americans, and the hunting season brings a wave of excitement and activity for all enthusiasts,” said NSSF President and CEO Steve Sanetti. “It’s also a good time of year to remind firearm owners about … safe and responsible gun handling and storage.”

Download NSSF Hunting Safety Checklist for Families

Hunting Safety Checklist family safe hunter

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