April 16th, 2017

Winning Wheelgun — The Colt That Won 5 Olympic Gold Medals

A.P. Lane Pistol Wizard Colt Revolver Olympics

A.P. Lane Pistol Wizard Colt Revolver OlympicsA.P. Lane’s Gold Medal-Winning Colt Revolver
This Colt Officer’s Model revolver, factory-fitted with a skeletonized hammer, belonged to legendary Olympic shooter A. P. Lane, who was known as the “Pistol Wizard”. Lane used this Colt Revolver to win FIVE Olympic Gold Medals — three in 1912 and two in 1920.

A.P. Lane was one of the greatest pistol shooters of his generation. He shot scores that were typically 25-50 points higher than those of his competitors. And he exhibited true Corinthian spirit. At the 1912 Olympics, Lane shared his match ammunition with another competitor who used that ammo to capture the Silver Medal (Lane won the Gold).

This revolver, factory-fitted with a skeletonized hammer, was used by American A.P. Lane in winning five Olympic Gold Medals in the 1912 and 1920 Olympic Games. It’s a .38 caliber, Officer’s Model centerfire revolver from the early 20th century. Olympian A.P. Lane’s Gun can be found in Gallery 13, Firearm Traditions for Today, at the NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Virginia. The Museum exhibit includes a panoply of Lane pieces – his revolver, his five Gold Medals, and the five Olympic certificates that went along with them.

Click Photo to See Full-Size Image
A.P. Lane Pistol Wizard Colt Revolver Olympics

Watch Video History of the A.P. Lane Revolver

A.P. Lane Pistol Wizard Colt Revolver Olympics

A.P. Lane Pistol Wizard Colt Revolver Olympics

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March 6th, 2017

CMP Ranges Get Gifts of Pardini Air Rifles and Pistols

Pardini air rifle pistol for CMP Marksmanship
The CMP’s ranges in Ohio and Alabama each received two Pardini air pistols plus an Olympic-grade Pardini GPR1 air rifle. The GPR1 was designed in collaboration with Niccolo Campriani, a three-time air rifle Olympic gold medalist.

Pardini USA has generously donated new air rifles and air pistols to the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s (CMP) air gun ranges. The Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center at Camp Perry, Ohio, and the South Competition Center in Anniston, Alabama, both received a precision Pardini GPR1 air rifle and two handsome Pardini K12 air pistols.

These fine Pardini air guns are available for demonstration and use by the public during the CMP’s Marksmanship Nights, held every Tuesday and Thursday evening from 5 pm to 8pm in Ohio, and from 4 pm to 7 pm in Alabama. Shooters of all skill levels are welcome to participate. To learn more about CMP Marksmanship Nights, visit the CMP’s Competition Center Webpage.

Pardini air rifle pistol for CMP Marksmanship
The air guns are specially engraved, “To the CMP from G.P. Pardini”.

These Pardini air guns found a home at the CMP’s ranges thanks to Vladimir Chichkov, a partner at Pardini USA LLC. “I would like to thank Vladimir Chichkov for taking the time to introduce me to Pardini USA rifles and pistols last year during the National Rifle and Pistol Matches,” said Lue Sherman, a CMP staff member at Camp Perry. “I think having these in our ranges, especially at Camp Perry where those who attend the National Matches will be able to witness the guns for themselves, will be great for both the CMP and Pardini USA.”

Pardini air rifle pistol for CMP Marksmanship

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December 29th, 2016

Six Great Guidebooks for Pistol Shooters

Pistol Marksmanship training book

One of our Forum members asked: “Are there any good books on pistol marksmanship? I’m looking for a book that covers techniques and concepts….” Here are our recommendations — six titles that can make you a better pistol shooter. These books run the gamut from basic handgun training to Olympic-level bullseye shooting.

Pistol Marksmanship training book 1911 race gunGood Guidebooks for Pistol Shooters
There are actually many good books which can help both novice and experienced pistol shooters improve their skills and accuracy. For new pistol shooters, we recommend the NRA Guide to the Basics of Pistol Shooting. This full-color publication is the designated student “textbook” for the NRA Basic Pistol Shooting Course.

Serious competitive pistol shooters should definitely read Pistol Shooters Treasury a compilation of articles from World and National Champions published by Gil Hebard. You could work your way through the ranks with that book alone even though it is very small. It is an excellent resource.

If you’re interested in bullseye shooting, you should get the USAMU’s The Advanced Pistol Marksmanship Manual. This USAMU pistol marksmanship guide has been a trusted resource since the 1960s. Action Shooters should read Practical Shooting: Beyond Fundamentals by Brian Enos, and Ben Stoeger’s new-for-2013 Practical Pistol Book. Brian Enos is a well-known pistol competitor with many titles. Ben Stoeger is a two-time U.S. Practical Pistol shooting champion and a member of the USA Team at the 2011 World Pistol Championships. Last but not least, Julie Golob’s new Shooting book covers pistol marksmanship, along with 3-Gun competition. Julie holds multiple national pistol shooting titles.

Permalink Handguns, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
December 22nd, 2016

Personalized Precision — The Modern Smallbore Match Rifle

Anschutz 1913 rifle smallbore

Report based on Lars Dalseide story in NRAblog

Anschutz smallbore position rifleHigh-Tech Rimfire Rigs
If you watched the smallbore position and prone shooters at the 2016 Brazil Olympic Games, you couldn’t help but notice the exotic rifles competitors were shooting. There were wood stocks, metal stocks, factory-built rifles and customized specials. Why are there are so many different design features and stock types? To answer this question, the NRAblog’s editors called on Jessie McClain of the NRA Competitive Shooting Division.

“The customized rifles, like the Anschütz you showed me, can make a real difference in a shooter’s performance,” explained McClain. “I went from a decent shooter to making the varsity shooting team my freshman year because of the rifle.” As Jessie explained, one new feature out there is the adjustable stock, which she called the Porsche of the shooting world. Fully adjustable from the butt plate to the check piece to the hand stop and risers and bolt knobs, this component is fully customizable to the athlete … which can be a huge advantage. “Every person is different … a customizable rifle fits anyone. A rifle team can purchase four of these and field a shooting team for years.”

Anschutz 1913 rifle smallbore

The Modern Anschütz Position Rifle
Smallbore match rifle makers are using modern materials in response to the need for greater adjustability (and enhanced accuracy). One of the popular new designs is the Anschütz model 1913 position rifle with a “1918 ALU Precise” brushed aluminum stock. This looks like it has been crafted in an aircraft plant.

Anschutz 1913 rifle smallbore

Story by Lars Dalseide, courtesy the NRA Blog.
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September 21st, 2016

The Bio-Mechanics of Shooting — Skeletal Support

Science Shooting 3P Position Jamie Gray

Have you ever wondered how Olympic-class position shooters hold their aim so steady? Those bulky shooting coats help, but there is a lot of bio-mechanics involved also. Top shooters employ their body structure to help support the weight of their rifles, and to steady their aim. This interesting video, produced by GOnra Media, demonstrates rifle hold and body alignment for prone, standing, sitting, and kneeling positions. Olympic Gold Medalist Jamie Gray demonstrates the proper stance and position of arms and legs for each of the positions. Ideally, in all of the shooting positions, the shooter takes advantage of skeletal support. The shooter should align the bones of his/her arms and legs to provide a solid foundation. A shooter’s legs and arms form vertical planes helping the body remain stable in the shooting position.

Olympic Gold Medalist Jamie Gray Demonstrates Shooting Positions

Science Shooting 3P Position Jamie Gray

Science Shooting 3P Position Jamie Gray

Science Shooting 3P Position Jamie Gray

Science Shooting 3P Position Jamie Gray

Jamie Gray, London 2012 Gold Medalist in Women’s 3 X 20, has retired from top-level competitive shooting. However, Jamie remains involved in the shooting sports as a Public Relations/Marketing representative for ELEY, a leading maker of rimfire ammunition. Jamie also works with shooting clubs and educational institutions to promote smallbore target shooting.

Images are stills from GOnraMedia video linked above.
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August 5th, 2016

Olympic Shooting Sports Schedules and Coverage

The 2016 Rio Olympic Games kick off today with the Opening Ceremony. Shooting sports will be a part of these Olympics with competitions for rifle, pistol, and shotgun. From August 6 though August 14, Olympic shooters will compete in Brazil’s ultra-modern Olympic Shooting Center, originally created for the 2007 Pan-American Games at a cost of $53.5 million.

CLICK HERE for USA Shooting Olympic Preview with Team Profiles

SFC Michael McPhail Team USA
SFC Michael McPhail, shown above, is currently ranked #1 in the world in the smallbore 50m prone rifle discipline. He’s one of the favorites to win Gold in 2016.

2016 Olympic Media Coverage — TV and Internet
There will be some broadcast television coverage of shooting events. But the best way to follow the shooting matches is through streaming on the internet. NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports App will live stream 4,500 total hours of Olympics coverage — covering every event. Each day you can click the NBC Live Stream Schedule for Shooting Sports Events to see what’s running. CLICK HERE for complete shooting sports schedule.

With Rio just one hour ahead of the Eastern Time zone, Americans will enjoy great “real-time” coverage of the 2016 Summer Games. NBCUniversal will present 2,084 hours of Olympic programming across 11 affiliated TV and Cable networks.

Olympic Shooting Event Schedule

Note: All times are listed in Eastern Standard Time, one hour AFTER Rio Local Time. These are events with USA competitors.

Friday, August 5
7:00 pm Opening Ceremony

Saturday, August 6
7:30 am – 10m Air Rifle Women
9:30 am – Finals 10m Air Rifle Women
12:00 pm – 10m Air Pistol Men
2:30 pm – Finals 10m Air Pistol Men

Sunday, August 7
8:00 am – 10m Air Pistol Women
8:00 am – Trap Women
10:00 am – Finals 10m Air Pistol Women
2:00 pm – Finals Trap Women

Monday, August 8
8:00 am – 10m Air Rifle Men
11:00 am – Finals 10m Air Rifle Men

Tuesday, August 9
8:00 am – 25m Pistol Women Precision Stage
11:00 am – 25m Pistol Women Rapid Stage
2:30 pm – Finals 25m Pistol Women

Wednesday, August 10
8:00 am – 50m Pistol Men
8:00 am – Double Trap Men
11:00 am – Finals 50m Pistol Men
2:00 pm – Finals Double Trap Men

Thursday, August 11
8:00 am – 50m Rifle 3-Position Women
11:00 am – Finals Rifle 3-Position Women

Friday, August 12
8:00 am – 50m Rifle Prone Men
8:00 am – Skeet Women
9:30 am – Skeet Men Day 1
10:00 am – Finals 50m Rifle Prone Men
11:15 am – 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Men Stage 1
2:00 pm – Finals Skeet Women

Saturday, August 13
8:00 am – 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Men Stage 2
8:30 am – Skeet Men Day 2
11:30 am – Finals 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Men
2:00 pm – Finals Skeet Men

Sunday, August 14
8:00 am – 50m Rifle 3-Position Men
12:00 pm – Finals 50m Rifle 3-Position Men

You’ll find more information on Team USA and Olympic Shooting Competition on these websites:

usashooting.org
nbcolympics.com/shooting
teamusa.org

issf-sports.org
Rio2016.com
olympic.org

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April 16th, 2016

Rio’s Remarkable Olympic Shooting Center

Shooting Competition Rio Brazil 2016 Shooting Center

The 2016 Summer Olympic Games will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Marksmanship will be an important part of the Rio Olympics. Nearly 400 top shooters from around the world will compete in rifle, pistol, and shotgun events. The shooting competitions will take place in a large, modern sports complex originally created for the 2007 Pan-American Games at a cost of $53.5 million. This complex, located within the Deodoro Olympic Park in Rio, offers roughly 30,000 square meters of improved areas on the 125,000 square meter site. Brazil’s Olympic Shooting Center (also known as the National Shooting Center) is an impressive facility. In size, scale, cost, and capabilities, Rio’s Shooting Center is without rival in the Southern Hemisphere.

Video Showcases Brazil’s Modern Olympic Shooting Center:

Visit RIO 2016 Olympics Shooting Webpage

ISSF World Cup Underway at Shooting Center Now
If you want to learn more about the Olympic Shooting Center in Rio, there is an good article on the Shooting Sports USA website. This covers the history of Brazil’s Olympic shooting teams, and explains what competitors can expect this summer. Right now the Olympic Shooting Center is being used for the ISSF World Cup.

2016 Olympic Dress Rehearsal
“The 2016 Olympic Games this August will be one of the largest sporting events ever held. There will be another contest this year in the wonderful city of Rio de Janeiro that will function as a ‘dress rehearsal’ for the big show. On April 14-25, the Olympic Shooting Center will host the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup. During the 11-day competition, 700 athletes from dozens of countries will showcase their skills at the biggest shooting sport event in Brazil before the Olympics.” — Read more at Shooting Sports USA

Shooting Competition Rio Brazil 2016 Shooting Center

Shooting Competition Rio Brazil 2016 Shooting Center

Shooting Center Photos from video by BCMF Arquitetos.

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April 3rd, 2016

Champions All — World’s Best Rifle, Pistol, and Shotgun Shooters

Issf shooting champions skeet trap pistol air rifle smallbore

Got a minute — one minute and six seconds to be precise? Then you should watch this excellent “trailer” video from the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) TV channel. You’ll see virtually all the major Olympic/International shooting disciplines. Even if you’re not a skeet/trap shooter you’ll enjoy the clips of shotgun champions at the top of their game. And the footage of position rifle shooters reveals the intense concentration required in that discipline. We really enjoyed this short clip. The MTV-style editing and soundtrack holds your attention, and the cameramen did a great job of capturing the exact moments when shooters took the winning shot. Enjoy.

Great Video — Highly Recommended — Shows Rifle, Pistol, and Shotgun Champions…

Issf shooting champions skeet trap pistol air rifle smallbore

Issf shooting champions skeet trap pistol air rifle smallbore

Issf shooting champions skeet trap pistol air rifle smallbore

Issf shooting champions skeet trap pistol air rifle smallbore

Issf shooting champions skeet trap pistol air rifle smallbore

Issf shooting champions skeet trap pistol air rifle smallbore

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March 13th, 2016

Gary Anderson’s Ten Lessons for Competitive Shooters

DCM CMP Gary AndersonIn the archives of On The Mark magazine, DCM Emeritus Gary Anderson, an Olympic Gold medal-winning shooter in his younger years, offers sage advice for competitive shooters.

In his article Ten Lessons I Wished I Had Learned as a Young Shooter, Anderson provides ten important guidelines for everyone involved in competitive shooting. Here are the Ten Lessons, but you should read the full article. Anderson provides detailed explanations of each topic with examples from his shooting career.

READ Full Article by Gary Anderson in On the Mark.

LESSON 1 – NATURAL ABILITY WILL NOT MAKE YOU A SHOOTING CHAMPION.
(You also need hard work, training effort and perseverance.)

LESSON 2 – ANGER IS THE ENEMY OF GOOD SHOOTING.
(The key to recovering from a bad shot is to stay cool, no matter what happens.)

LESSON 3 – BAD SHOTS CAN TEACH YOU MORE THAN GOOD SHOTS.
(Today, error analysis is one of the most powerful tools for improving scores.)

LESSON 4 – NEVER GO WITHOUT A SHOT PLAN.
(A shot plan is a detailed breakdown of each of the steps involved in firing a shot.)

LESSON 5 – PRACTICE IN BAD CONDITIONS AS WELL AS GOOD CONDITIONS.
(Most competitions are fired in windy conditions or where there are plenty of distractions.)

LESSON 6 – CHAMPIONS ARE POSITIVE, OPTIMISTIC PEOPLE.
(Negative shooters expect bad results; positive shooters expect to train hard to change bad results.)

LESSON 7 – IT’S NOT ABOUT WHETHER YOU WIN OR LOSE.
(It’s about how hard you try to win.)

LESSON 8 – YOUR DOG WON’T BITE YOU AFTER SHOOTING A BAD SCORE.
(Hopefully your coach, parents and friends won’t bite you either.)

LESSON 9 – YOUR PRESS CLIPPINGS CAN HURT YOU OR HELP YOU.
(Winning can go to our heads. We start thinking we are so good we don’t have to work hard any more.)

LESSON 10 — YOU NEVER SHOT YOUR BEST SCORE.
(Great champions are always looking for ways to improve.)

DCM CMP Gary Anderson

About Gary Anderson
DCM CMP Gary AndersonGary Anderson served as the Director of the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) from 1999-2009, and is now DCM Emeritus. As a Nebraska farmboy, Gary grew up hunting and shooting. Dreams of winning an Olympic Gold Medal in shooting led Gary to the U.S. Army. In 1959, he joined the elite U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit. Just two years later, he won his first national championship.

At the 1962 World Shooting Championships in Egypt, Anderson stunned the shooting world by winning four individual titles and setting three new world records. At the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, Gary won the 300m free-rifle Gold Medal, setting a new world record in the process. At the 1966 World Shooting Championships in Germany, Anderson won three additional world titles. At the 1968 Olympics, Gary won a second gold medal in the 300m free-rifle event.

DCM CMP Gary AndersonGary retired from active international competition after the 1969 World Championships in Spain, where he set a 50m, three-position world record. After his “retirement” from international competition, Gary competed in the National High Power Championships, winning the President’s National Trophy in 1973, 1975 and 1976. Over his competitive career, Anderson won two Olympic Gold Medals, seven World Championships, and sixteen National Championships. No American has ever won more major shooting titles.

Gary’s influence on shooting sports extends beyond the United States. Gary has attended eleven Summer Olympic Games, three as a competitor and eight as technical delegate or a jury member. Gary is the first American ever elected as Vice President of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF), and still serves in that capacity. In 2012, Gary received the International Olympic Committee’s highest honor, the Olympic Order.

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December 31st, 2015

SFC McPhail Aims for Olympic Gold in 50m Prone Rifle

Shooting Olympics prone smallbore 50 meter 50m ISSF World Cup Team USA
SFC Michael McPhail, shown above, is currently ranked #1 in the world in the smallbore 50m prone rifle discipline. He’s one of the favorites to win Gold in 2016.

Shooting Olympics prone smallbore 50 meter 50m ISSF World Cup Team USAAs the 2015 international shooting season comes to a close, the USAMU shooting teams are preparing for the 2016 Olympic trials and a chance to compete in the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro next summer. One USAMU marksman who has already secured a berth for the 2016 Olympics is SFC Michael McPhail of Darlington, Wisconsin.

SFC Michael McPhail, ranked number one in the world in men’s 50-meter rifle prone, already won his spot on the U.S. Olympic team by virtue of his performances in 2015 ISSF World Cup events. McPhail, of Darlington, Wisconsin, won the ISSF World Cup Finals in Munich this September. McPhail also won back-to-back gold medals at the ISSF World Cup events at Fort Benning, GA and Munich, Germany, held in May and early June of 2015.

Michael McPhail Secures Olympic Team Nomination with World Cup Finals Triumph
Shooting Olympics prone smallbore 50 meter 50m ISSF World Cup Team USA

McPhail said for anyone who wants to participate in the Olympics, the Army provides superior coaching, training, equipment and ammunition. “For a kid who shoots and their goal is to make the Olympics, the Army Marksmanship Unit is the place to go,” McPhail said.

SFC Jason Parker, International Rifle and Pistol Teams coach noted that: “Sergeant First Class McPhail has had a fantastic year. He has a great potential for medaling in the Olympic Games.”

With one seat already taken by McPhail for men’s 50-meter rifle prone, two other USAMU Soldiers are Parker’s top picks for the second and final seat. They are SFC Eric Uptagrafft and SSG George Norton. “Sergeant First Class Uptagrafft is another top contender for making the United States Olympic Team,” Parker said. “In the past, he has won multiple world class medals, he has been to two Olympics already, and he is one of our top shooters. He will be trying to get that last spot in the prone, and I wouldn’t count him out of anything.”

For more information on the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, visit www.USAMU.com.

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August 23rd, 2015

Three-Position 10m Air Rifle — Popular Sport for Young Shooters

Three Position 3p air rifle airgun precisision competition CMP

Three Position 3p air rifle airgun precisision competition CMPThree-Position (3P) Air Rifle Shooting is the most popular and fastest-growing form of shooting sports competition for junior shooters (High School age and younger). The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) conducts two different 3P Air Rifle events. Precision Air Rifle is modeled after Olympic-style shooting and allows the use of specialized target rifles and equipment. Sporter Air Rifle is designed for new competitors or those who desire to compete with a minimum of equipment and expense.

In both types of shooting, competitors fire at targets at a distance of 10 meters in three different positions, prone, standing and kneeling. Three-Position Air Rifle provides young competitors with competitive shooting sports opportunities that can be offered on a wide variety of easily accessible or easily constructed ranges, with equipment that is commonly available at affordable costs.

The CMP actively promotes Three-Position Air Rifle shooting as a premier youth marksmanship competition by providing low-cost equipment and pellets as well as training materials and competition activities. In addition, other air gun events for juniors and adults are hosted by CMP throughout the year. CMP facilities have Open Public Shooting evenings, and matches for air rifle and air pistol take place at the CMP Marksmanship Centers.

CLICK HERE to Download this illustration of Olympic Shooter Ivana Maksimovic as a POSTER.

Three Position 3p air rifle airgun precisision competition CMP

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August 18th, 2015

Trends: Significant Rise in Female Gun Ownership in USA

Lady Shooter Jessie Duff Corey Cogdell

Report based on story in NRABlog.com.

One of the most important trends in the shooting world is the rise in the number of females who own firearms. We know women can shoot — just look at champions such as Nancy Tompkins, Trudie Fay, Michelle and Sherri Gallagher, and Jessie Duff.

The number of female shooters and female gun owners have risen steadily in recent decades. According to a Gallup poll conducted in 2005, only 13 percent of women were female gun owners, but by 2011, that number rose to 23 percent. That’s a 77 percent increase in seven years.

Additionally, shooting ranges across the country have seen a 51.5 percent increase in the number of women who participate in target practice, and 41.8 percent increase in the number of women who participate in hunting activities over the past ten years (Source: National Sporting Goods Assn. cited in New York Times.)

Lady Shooter Jessie Duff Corey Cogdell

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February 8th, 2015

Great ISSF Video Shows Rifle, Pistol, Shotgun Sports

Got a minute — one minute and six seconds to be precise? Then you should watch this excellent “trailer” video from the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) TV channel. You’ll see virtually all the major Olympic/International shooting disciplines. Even if you’re not a skeet/trap shooter you’ll enjoy the clips of shotgun champions at the top of their game. And the footage of position rifle shooters reveals the intense concentration requied in that discipline. We really enjoyed this short clip. The MTV-style editing and soundtrack holds your attention, and the cameramen did a great job of capturing the exact moments when shooters took the winning shot. Enjoy.

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January 24th, 2015

Bleiker — Don’t Ask the Price…

You don’t want to inquire about the price of a Bleiker competition rifle. As the expression goes, “If you have to ask, you can’t afford it”. At the Pardini USA booth at SHOT Show we saw a pair of black beauties — two “full-race” Bleikers, one a smallbore match rifle (.22 LR) and the other a 300m position rifle chambered in 6mmBR Norma. The combined price for the two rifles was a jaw-dropping $20,100.00. Yep, over $20K for the two. The 6mmBR rig was $10,200 while the smallbore rifle was $9,900.00.

Bleikers command such high prices because they win. At recent ISSF 300m and Smallbore Championships, Bleikers have been used by many of the medal winners. A gun is worth $10K if it can really put you on the podium or, better yet, deliver a world championship.

You are looking at $20,100 of Competition Rifles here. (Click Image for full-screen version.)
Bleiker 300m rifle smallbore championship

Take a look at this slick feature on the 300m gun. The adjustable cheek-pad automatically tilts up (for clearance) when you retract the bolt. That’s clever Swiss Engineering.

Bleiker 300m rifle smallbore championship

Bleiker 300m rifle smallbore championship

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January 2nd, 2015

Concentration — Matt Emmons Explains How to Stay Focused

Writing for the ELEY Bulletin, USA Olympic Gold Medalist Matt Emmons provides rock solid advice for anyone involved in competitive shooting. Matt talks about dealing with pressure, and how to maintain concentration and focus. Matt says two keys to maintaining focus are practice and imagination….

Matt Emmons USA Shooting Olympics Eley

Sports Shooting Psychology – Concentration

Concentration – staying focused in stressful competition situations
There are books… totally devoted to concentration, so I what I am about to write is only my opinion and take on the subject matter. There are so many aspects to the game of shooting, whether it be rifle, pistol, or shotgun. At the same time, one of the constants is concentration. Concentration is one of the things that allows you to be your best and keeps you in the “zone” when you are performing extremely well. It’s also a piece of the puzzle that has often disappeared when things go awry.

Matt Emmons Eley OlympicsSo how do you concentrate when the pressure is on? The exact recipe will be slightly different for different people, of course. Two important things for anyone, however, are practice and a great imagination! If you never practice focusing intently on anything, or especially during training, you will never learn to do it when you really want to. You must practice every situation that could occur during an important competition and practice what you will do so that you can continue to be your best. That means imagining and practising what you will do in the biggest match of your life when things are going incredibly well. How will you react? How will you work with it so that you continue to perform beautifully?

What will you do if you are in that same biggest match of your life and something goes wrong? How will you keep your poise, get back on track, and do what you’re capable of to achieve your goal? The answer depends on you. A great shooter needs to have a great imagination and needs to be able to look deep inside themselves to know how they might react in every different situation. If something doesn’t feel comfortable or there is nervousness, that means the athlete needs to work on preparing for it in training so that if the situation happens in a competition, there will be no lapse in concentration. There is a plan and it has be rehearsed so that it flows effortlessly.

I certainly can’t recommend any “quick fixes” to help anyone concentrate better. That doesn’t really exist. A couple things that always help in stressful situations, however, are these:

Breathe!! Stop and take a few slow, deep breaths to slow the heart down. You’ll be surprised how much this can help.

Keep your thoughts rational and focused on things you can control. Any worries about “what if’s” or things out of your control are completely useless and will only take your concentration off of what you’re trying to do.

Stay in the moment! Good or bad, the past is done! You cannot change it. If the past was great, enjoy it for a moment and move on to now. If it was bad, learn what you can from it and move forward. The future is what you create. Every future moment is this current moment. Enjoy and make the best of this current moment and the future moments will come by themselves. Make the current shot the best shot you can possibly make, enjoy it then repeat on the next one.

Picture what you want to see happen. Imagine a short video of the “your perfect shot” and play it over and over again in your head. Keep it short, keep it simple.

– Lastly, no matter whether it’s your club championship or the Olympic Games, remember why you are shooting. Hopefully you are in that particular moment because you love the game. At the heart, that is why we play any game – because we enjoy it! Never forget that no matter how stressful any competition might be. Aligning the sights and making a great shot is a whole lot of fun to do wherever and whenever you do it.

Good luck and great shooting — Matt Emmons

About ELEY Ammunition
Established in 1828, ELEY now produces some of the most consistently accurate .22 LR rimfire ammunition in the world. Countless championship medals have been earned with ELEY rimfire ammo, and most current smallbore ISSF world records were set with ELEY ammo. ELEY maintains a large production and testing facility in Birmingham, West Midlands, in the UK. ELEY employs a team of specialists (including many Six Sigma qualified engineers) with extensive knowledge of internal and external ballistics, powder dynamics, and advanced production methods. ELEY has always been at the forefront of the ammunition industry, pushing technological boundaries which have resulted in patented new methodologies and techniques.

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November 6th, 2014

Video Reveals Bio-Mechanics of Position Shooting

Science Shooting 3P Position Jamie Gray

Here’s an interesting video about three-position shooting. Produced by GOnra Media, this video demonstrates rifle hold and body alignment for prone, standing, sitting, and kneeling positions. Olympic Gold Medalist Jamie Gray demonstrates the proper stance and position of arms and legs for each of the positions. Ideally, in all of the shooting positions, the shooter takes advantage of skeletal support. The shooter should align the bones of his/her arms and legs to provide a solid foundation. A shooter’s legs and arms form vertical planes helping the body remain stable in the shooting position.

Olympic Gold Medalist Jamie Gray Demonstrates Shooting Positions

Science Shooting 3P Position Jamie Gray

Science Shooting 3P Position Jamie Gray

Science Shooting 3P Position Jamie Gray

Science Shooting 3P Position Jamie Gray

Images are stills from GOnraMedia video linked above.

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October 15th, 2014

Blast from the Past: Tokyo Gold, 50 Years Ago Today

50 years ago today, October 15, 1964, Gary Anderson (now CMP Director Emeritus) celebrated his Gold Medal victory at the Tokyo Olympics. Gary earned Olympic Gold for winning the 300m rifle event. A few days later, Gary’s team-mate, Lones Wigger, won a gold medal for the USA in 50m rifle competition.

Gary Anderson Lones Wigger Tokyo Olympics

Gary Anderson Lones Wigger Tokyo Olympics

Gary Anderson Lones Wigger Tokyo Olympics

Photos from CMP Archives. Follow the CMP on Facebook.
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October 7th, 2014

How to Shoot Great Under Pressure — Tips from Lones Wigger

The digital archives of Shooting Sports USA feature an interview with Olympic smallbore shooter Lones Wigger. This constitutes the third and final part in a series by Jock Elliott on pressure during a match and the methods top shooters use to handle their nerves. Read Part I | Read Part II.

Shooting Sports USA

The Fine Art of Not Cracking Under Pressure – Part III

by Lones Wigger, Smallbore Rifle Olympic Medalist

lones wiggerIt’s pretty complicated — this subject of dealing with pressure. I’m a precision shooter and have learned to excel in that discipline. You’ve got to learn to shoot the desired scores at home and in training. And once you’re capable of shooting the scores, you may not shoot the same way in the match because of the match pressure. As a result, it takes 3-4 years to learn how to shoot, and another 3-4 years to learn how to win — to deal with the match pressure. It takes several more years to learn how to do it when it counts.

To win, there are several things you have to learn how to do. You have to do it from within. You have to learn how to train just as if you were in a big competition. You work on every shot. You have got to learn to treat it just like a match — to get the maximum value out of every shot. You have got to use the same technique in practice and in training. A lot of shooters have a problem because they change their technique from practice to the match. In competition, you work your ass off for every shot. You have to approach the training the same way.

A second way to combat pressure is to shoot in every competition you can get into so that you become accustomed to it.

Do Everything Possible to Prepare
The third technique is preparation. Before you are going to shoot in a big competition, train hard to do everything you can to raise your scores. So when you’re in the match, you know that you have done everything humanly possible to get ready for the competition. If you have self-doubt, you will not shoot well. You have to have the will to prepare to win.

When Gary Anderson was a kid, he couldn’t afford a gun or ammunition. He had read about the great Soviet shooters. With his single shot rifle, he would get into position, point that gun and dry fi re for hours at a time in the three different positions. He had tremendous desire. He wanted to win and he did whatever he could to get there. When he finally got into competition, he shot fantastic scores from the beginning.

Visualize Winning to Train the Subconscious Mind
A little bit of psychology: You picture in your mind what you want to do. You have to say, OK, I’m going to the Olympics and perform well. Picture yourself shooting a great score and how good it feels. You are training your subconscious mind. Once you get it trained, it takes over. A coach taught me to visualize the outcome, and it worked. Eventually you train your subconscious and it believes you can win. At first I didn’t know about teaching the subconscious to take over, but now I do it all the time. And it certainly worked for me at the 1972 Olympics. What it really takes is training and doing the same thing in training as at a match. If you are “just shooting,” you are wasting your time. READ MORE….

CLICK HERE to READ FULL ARTICLE featuring interviews with Brian Zins, Bruce Piatt, Carl Bernosky and Ernie Vande Zande. (Article take some time to load.)

Story courtesy The NRA Blog and Shooting Sports USA.
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August 11th, 2014

The Revolver That Won Five Olympic Gold Medals

A.P. Lane Pistol Wizard Colt Revolver Olympics

A.P. Lane Pistol Wizard Colt Revolver OlympicsA.P. Lane’s Gold Medal-Winning Colt Revolver
This Colt Officer’s Model revolver, factory-fitted with a skeletonized hammer, belonged to legendary Olympic shooter A. P. Lane, who was known as the “Pistol Wizard”. Lane used this Colt Revolver to win FIVE Olympic Gold Medals — three in 1912 and two in 1920.

A.P. Lane was one of the greatest pistol shooters of his generation. He shot scores that were typically 25-50 points higher than those of his competitors. And he exhibited true Corinthian spirit. At the 1912 Olympics, Lane shared his match ammunition with another competitor who used that ammo to capture the Silver Medal (Lane won the Gold).

This revolver, factory-fitted with a skeletonized hammer, was used by American A.P. Lane in winning five Olympic Gold Medals in the 1912 and 1920 Olympic Games. It’s a .38 caliber, Officer’s Model centerfire revolver from the early 20th century. Olympian A.P. Lane’s Gun can be found in Gallery 13, Firearm Traditions for Today, at the NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Virginia. The Museum exhibit includes a panoply of Lane pieces – his revolver, his five Gold Medals, and the five Olympic certificates that went along with them.

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A.P. Lane Pistol Wizard Colt Revolver Olympics

Watch Video History of the A.P. Lane Revolver

A.P. Lane Pistol Wizard Colt Revolver Olympics

A.P. Lane Pistol Wizard Colt Revolver Olympics

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April 3rd, 2014

Pistol Guy Shocks ISSF Ranks by Medaling in Smallbore Rifle

This week’s big story from the ISSF World Cup in Fort Benning involves a lanky Army Reserve Marksman from Montana, Nick Mowrer. The shooting world was shocked when this “pistol guy” (a 50m Free Pistol shooter for the 2012 USA Olympic Team) took a bronze medal in a World Cup rifle competition. Yes, we said “rifle”. And get this — in the process of earning that World Cup bronze medal, Nick racked up enough points to become a triple distinguished marksman (three disciplines).

In the highest level of ISSF competition, it is very unusual for a pistol shooter to even compete in a rifle match. It is unheard-of that a pistol shooter would actually earn a medal. That is like an Olympic 100m spinter also medaling in the Marathon. It just doesn’t happen.

USAR Team shooter Nick Mowrer pulled off this remarkable accomplishment at the 2014 ISSF World Cup at Fort Benning. It’s not known whether a pistol specialist has ever earned a World Cup medal in rifle competition. In fact none of the experts from USA Shooting can recall another shooter who has even competed in both rifle and pistol categories at the same World Cup event. It appears Mowrer made history with his smallbore rifle Bronze medal. Competitive pistol shooters aren’t supposed to be good rifle shooters as well. Mowrer’s bronze-medal-winning performance has changed that view.

Cross-Training Works Well Mowrer Says
Will we see more pistoleros “cross the aisle” and shoot rifle? Only time will tell. But Mowrer believes that “cross-training” with both rifle and pistol has improved his overall marksmanship skills: “I have used prone smallbore (rifle) as cross training for pistol for years now and I am very excited to have the unique opportunity to represent the USA not only in pistol but rifle as well. I shoot multiple events, not only prone, but the reason is just the same; I use other shooting disciplines to be able to compete in more matches and gain more experience that I am able to then use in my pistol shooting! It also keeps shooting fun and exciting.” Read related USAR story.

Mowrer’s medal at Fort Benning has caused a stir among top-level World Cup shooters. The reigning Olympic gold medalist in Women’s 3-P rifle, Jamie Gray, recently posted:

“Today is an amazing day…our Olympic Pistol Shooter Nick Mowrer broke into the medals in Men’s Prone [rifle event]! Couldn’t be more excited for him and obviously his amazing shooting abilities! Nick… [took] a Prone Rifle Bronze, nothing more to say than AWESOME!”

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