October 7th, 2014
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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September 24th, 2014
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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September 19th, 2014
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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September 15th, 2014
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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September 6th, 2014
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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August 7th, 2014
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.
Rimfire Challenge World Championship Online Registration Form | RCWC Event Schedule
“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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July 3rd, 2014
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:
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
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…
Anyway, to our great dismay, here is the official notice:
LAS 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
The 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
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.
The 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
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.
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
NSSF Rimfire Challenge Courses of Fire | NSSF Rimfire Challenge Rulebook
- 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.
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 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.”
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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