Welcome to the wacky world of Municipal Anti-Gun Ordinances. San Francisco and Los Angeles have city-specific magazine bans and gun storage requirements, and now it appears that Seattle may target gun owners with new “sin taxes” on firearms and ammunition.
$25 Per Gun and Five Cents Per Round
The Seattle City Council will soon vote on a new local law that will add a $25.00 surcharge to every new gun purchase. In addition, the proposed Seattle City Ordinance will add a $0.05 (five cent) fee to each and every centerfire round sold in Seattle. Rimfire .22LR rounds will be taxed $0.02 per round.
The stated purpose for the new Gun and Ammo Tax is to raise money to combat crime, according to Seattle City Council President Tim Burgess, author of the Gun Tax ordinance. Burgess told local KING-5 TV reporters that this is essentially a “Sin Tax” on guns and ammo: “We’ve been working on this for several years. Sure, I wish we would have done this 20 years ago, but we know what the problem is. We tax cigarettes and alcohol and even wood-burning stoves for public health purposes. Why not guns and ammunition?”
While supporters of the Gun and Ammo Tax, including Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, claim the new city tax would raise over $300,000 to fight crime, in reality this measure is more about getting rid of guns that it is about making Seattle safe. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has opposed the Seattle Gun and Ammo Tax, stating: “[This ordinance] will have no effect on decreasing gun violence. It is designed to place a huge burden on legitimate firearms retailers and law-abiding gun owners. Additionally, the proposed ordinance is a gross violation of Washington’s firearms preemption statute.”
Daniel Xu, writing in OutdoorHub.com notes that gun buyers already pay Excise Taxes with each purchase: “However, unlike the [Federal] Pittman-Robertson Excise Tax, which retains funds for conservation and habitat-protection efforts, the funds collected by the ordinance will go entirely back into the city for ‘gun violence research and prevention programs’. City leaders have yet to specify… how the funds will be spent.”
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].”
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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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…
In 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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Looking for work in the gun industry? The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has you covered. NSSF recently launched a new online job resource to help job seekers locate potential employers. With an active nationwide database of job opportunities, this new, improved platform replaces the NSSF’s previous job posting service, which was pretty basic. The new NSSF Jobs Site site offers robust search features, plus a modern, mobile-friendly interface. It’s easy to upload your Resumé, and the Job Alert feature can send you new listings via email as soon as they post. Using “advanced search” you can filter job offerings by location, category, or experience/education requirements. Visit jobs.nssf.org for current employment opportunities in the shooting, hunting and outdoor industry.
Team Smith & Wesson shooter Julie Golob has a message for Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 10th). Julie writes: “While some are using Mother’s Day week to push a gun control agenda, I’d like to encourage moms to ‘Take a Moment’. Talk to your kids about firearms safety. Help them learn what to do around firearms and have an open, honest discussion about guns and gun safety.
I truly believe that, no matter if you are pro-gun or anti-gun, everyone should know and understand the basic rules of firearm safety. It is equally important for parents to have the discussion about guns and what to do if your child finds one. Both the NSSF’s Project ChildSafe and the NRA’s Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program are excellent. They offer resources for parents, educators, and child care providers to help ensure kids stay safe.
In this video, Julie 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. Sherra Scott, a mom and a certified NRA instructor, agrees with Julie: “Whether you have firearms in your home or not, if you have children in your life, please watch this video and talk WITH them about firearm safety and what to do if they come into contact with a firearm.”
Add the Washington Post to the growing list of sources that credit President Obama with being the best salesman for firearms and ammunition that the country has seen since Samuel Colt. Using a simple linear trend analysis based on NSSF-supplied data, Washington Post writer Philip Bump calculated that the U.S. firearms industry has enjoyed a $9 to $10 billion increase in sales of guns and ammo during President Obama’s terms in office. CLICK HERE for full story in Washington Post.
Take a look at this chart — it shows a huge increase in sales of long guns, handguns, and ammunition during the Obama presidency. (NOTE: There is a decline at the extreme right of the chart because 2014 data only goes through the third quarter of the year.) You can seen why there have been shortages of ammunition. Look at the huge spike in ammo sales (orange zone) over the past six years. This may explain why some retailers ironically refer to the nation’s top elected official as “President ObAMMO”.
By comparing past industry sales numbers with figures for the past six years, the Washington Post calculates that the firearms industry has enjoyed a remarkable period of growth: “If you calculate out the difference between what might have been expected and what was, it’s about a $10 billion increase [in sales]”. We’ve seen evidence that things are cooling off, but according to the Washington Post: “The $9 to $10 billion in increase under Obama will keep growing, through the end of 2016. At which point gun manufacturers will probably be sad to see Obama go — even if gun buyers are not.”
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The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is seeking to ban commonly-used 5.56 M855 “green tip” ball ammunition as “armor piercing ammunition” and is seeking public comment on the proposal. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) urges target shooters and gun owners to contact ATF to oppose this proposed ban.
For decades, under the “sporting purposes” doctrine, commonly-available “green tip” M855 and SS109 rifle ammunition has been exempt from federal law banning armor-piercing ammunition. There is no question that this 5.56 ball ammo has been widely used by law-abiding American citizens for sporting purposes.
Winchester-brand 5.56X45 62gr NATO M855 FMJ Ammunition
The NSSF has an online form that makes it easy to voice your opinion on the proposed ban on 5.56 ball ammo. This form will direct your comments to Congress and/or the ATF. Click the button at right to navigate to the NSSF online form.
Commentary by Jim Shepherd, The Shooting Wire
Should the ATF reclassify surplus (and widely used) M855 and SS109 ammunition as armor-piercing, it would then be illegal for consumer consumption. This weekend, we received word that apparently many gun owners didn’t find this to be a compelling reason to record their objections with the federal government. With only a few days remaining in the ATF’s solicitation of comments, fewer than 6,000 shooters have registered their displeasure with the proposal.That, as one of my least-favorite instructors used to say, is simply unacceptable.”
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The number of women target shooters, hunters, and gun owners has increased dramatically since the start of the new millennium. Consider this, women now comprise 19% of hunters. That’s an 85% increase since 2001. Women are also more important as a purchasing segment of the the shooting market. Women gun owners spend nearly $1300.00 per year on guns and shooting accessories, $870 of that on firearm purchases. That number has gun-makers paying attention — even if some of you guys spend more than that each year just on powder!
Jessie Duff, sponsored by Taurus and Weatherby
Women are definitely becoming a more important segment of the hunting/shooting world. This is a good thing. The larger the “fan base” for the shooting sports, the less political pressure there will be to close ranges and restrict the activities of target shooters and hunters.
Click either image to see a full-size “Girl Power” Infographic.
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More guns, fewer fatal accidents — that’s the “take-away” from a report recently published by the National Shorting Sports Foundation (NSSF). We’re pleased to see that efforts to increase firearms safety are working. Even though the ranks of gun-owners have grown dramatically, the rate of unintentional firearms fatalities (per 100,000 persons) has dropped to an all-time low.
There has been a huge decrease in accidental gun-related fatalities over the last century (measured as a percentage of the population). NSSF reports: “The 2012 Center for Disease Control and Prevention WISQARS accidental fatality data shows the lowest number of unintentional firearm-related fatalities per year ever reported (going back to 1903)”. As Dean Weingarten of Gun Watch explains: “The accidental fatal firearm rate has dropped by 94% since we started keeping statistics, even though the total number of firearms per capita has likely at least doubled. You need to look at the rates — accidental firearm fatalities per 100,000 population — to see the stunning reduction in the last century.”
Only 0.4% of unintentional fatalities now involve firearms. The biggest killer, to our surprise, is poisoning, which accounts for 28.4% of accidental deaths. Motor vehicles, not unexpectedly, rank second at 27.3% (see chart below). Even suffocation, at 4.9%, accounts for 12 times more unintentional deaths than firearms.
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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By Bill Brassard for NSSF
The holidays are just around the corner. 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.
The first question you have to ask is whether the intended recipient can legally own the firearm where he or she lives. 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.
Though there’s no federal law that prohibits a gift of a firearm to a relative or friend that lives in your home state, some states — California for example –require you to transfer the gun through a local firearms dealer so an instant background check will be performed to make sure the recipient is not legally prohibited from owning the gun.
The ATF recommends that if you want to give someone a new firearm, rather than going to a gun store, buying it on your own and giving it to, say your father, consider instead purchasing a gift certificate from that retailer and giving it to Dad as his present. That way he’ll get the exact gun he 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.
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.
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 inter-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.
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The FBI released its annual Crime in the United States report on November 10, 2014. This study revealed that, in 2013, the USA violent crime rate fell another 5.1 percent from 2012, so it is now at its lowest level since 1978. Moreover, the murder and manslaughter rate fell 4.4 percent, dropping to the lowest level since 1968.
This is very good news. From a public policy perspective, this is very important data that should help inform decision-making. The NSSF urges gun-owners to cite these statistics when unreasonable or irrational new gun control laws are proposed.
More Guns, Less Crime
While the crime rate has been dropping steadily for more than 20 years, the number of firearms in the hands of law-abiding Americans has been rising dramatically. So, statistics prove that we really have witnessed “more guns, less crime”. Earlier this year, the NSSF released a video that demonstrates this point very effectively:
63% of Americans Believe Gun in Home Increases Safety
A new Gallup survey released last week that found 63 percent of Americans believe that having a gun in the house makes it a safer place, a doubling of that number since 2000. The fact that more than six out of ten Americans have reached this conclusion demonstrates that the majority of Americans appreciate their Second Amendment rights to defend home and family.
What Counts as “Violent Crime”?
In the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Violent crimes are defined in the UCR Program as those offenses which involve force or threat of force.
Long-Term USA Crime Trends
In 2013, an estimated 1,163,146 violent crimes occurred nationwide, a decrease of 4.4 percent from the 2012 estimate. When considering 5- and 10-year trends, the 2013 estimated violent crime total was 12.3 percent below the 2009 level and 14.5 percent below the 2004 level. There were an estimated 367.9 violent crimes per 100,000 inhabitants in 2013, a rate that declined 5.1 percent when compared with the 2012 estimated rate.
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Around the nation, Tuesday, November 4 is Election Day. There are dozens of key Congressional seats up for grabs this year. In addition, important gun issues are on the ballot in many states. Remember, every vote counts — you can’t complain about local, state, and federal policies if you don’t bother to vote. We hope all our readers take the time to visit their local polling places tomorrow.
If you want to learn more about the upcoming election, and research the positions of candidates on gun rights issues, visit the NSSF’s GUNVOTE website. This resource highlights key U.S. Senate and House of Representatives races. The NSSF Election Guide allows you to browse state-by-state. There’s also a handy page with links to directories of local polling places for every state. So — do your homework and cast your vote tomorrow!
State Elections — Time of Reckoning for Hickenlooper?
In addition, the GUNVOTE site covers important Gubernatorial contests around the country. Here is a video about the Colorado Governor’s race. In 2013, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed tough anti-gun measures into law and has been trying to explain himself ever since. On Election Day, Colorado voters will decide whether Gov. Hickenlooper deserves another term in office.
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Looking for a shooting range near you? There’s a new mobile App for that. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has released an all-new Where To Shoot mobile App that locates shooting ranges. This App is offered for Android devices as well as Apple iPhones and iPads.
Available for free in the Apple App Store and Google’s Android App Store, Where To Shoot puts North America’s most comprehensive directory of shooting ranges in the palm of your hand. It also includes video tips for shooters, news and firearm-safety information.
Users can search by current location or zip code and find specifics about each range, including shooting activities offered, accessibility and contact information. The app also makes it easy to get directions to the range.
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.
This is the kind of shooting match we like to see — with competitors of all ages having fun without having to shell out gobs of hard-earned money. More than 170 shooters competed at the NSSF Rimfire Challenge World Championship, held this past weekend (October 3-5) at the Old Fort Gun Club in Fort Smith, Arkansas. (Notably, that is ten more competitors than attended the much-ballyhooed Trijicon World Shooting Championships last month.) And, for many competitors, the Rimfire Challenge was very much a family affair — with mom, dad, and the kids all joining in the fun.
Kids Having Fun — Youth Competitors at NSSF Rimfire Challenge World Championship.
Rimfire Challenge attendance was up 60 percent this year compared to 2013. Shooters ranged in age from seven years to 83 years, with a big turn-out of junior (age 13-17) and youth (12 and under) shooters. “We are extremely pleased at the caliber of sportsmanship and camaraderie shown at Old Fort Gun Club this weekend,” said Zach Snow, NSSF Manager of Shooting Promotions. “Entire families traveled from all across the country to be here. It’s exactly this kind of supportive and family-friendly atmosphere that makes the Rimfire Challenge what it is: fun for everyone.”
B.J. Norris walked away with the top prize of World Champion. Shooting in the Open Division, Norris’ total time over the more than a dozen stages was 161.11 seconds. In second place overall was young Caleb Partch of Missouri. Caleb also won the Junior Open Division. Wayne Seale was the top Limited Division Shooter. Top Lady Shooters were Cassie Beahr of Iowa (Open) and Cheyenne Dalton (Limited and Junior). CLICK HERE for complete match results.
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The shooting sports are thriving in the USA. Target shooting participation levels have increased 19% over a recent 4-year period, from 34.4 million shooters in 2009 to 40.8 million in 2012. That means 6.4 million more Americans are shooting. By contrast, golf and some other hobby activities have seen their participant base decline by millions. Despite pressures to close shooting ranges and the high cost of ammunition and reloading components, more people than ever before are enjoying target shooting. The increase in target shooting has been driven by an influx of new shooters.
Demographic Changes in Ranks of Target Shooters
Compared to those who took up shooting 20 or 30 years ago, these new shooters represent a generational change. Newcomers — defined as those who have taken up target shooting in the last five years — are trending younger and female. Also, more new shooters are city and suburban dwellers (compared to older shooters who typically live in rural areas). In these ways, the demographic profile of new shooters is different than that of established participants.
Although they may be different in age, gender, and geo-location, newcomers share one important thing with established participants — their passion for firearms ownership and the shooting sports. The traditional pastimes of handgun, rifle and shotgun target shooting continue to have a broad appeal to new generations of Americans.
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Think Vegas in January, baby — yes, we’re talkin’ about SHOT Show (Jan. 20-23, 2015). Registration for the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s 2015 SHOT Show is now open for all attendees. Register 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 $45 per night.
Scheduled for January 20-23 in Las Vegas, the big gun industry convention is just four months away. While registering, attendees can add Industry Dinner tickets, enroll in SHOT Show University, and/or sign up for other educational offerings. Registration for members of the press will open later this week.
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The 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.
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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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.
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.
“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.”
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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.
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.
What’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: