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.
January 24th, 2015
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.
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.
January 2nd, 2015
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….
Sports Shooting Psychology – Concentration
Concentration – staying focused in stressful competition situations
So 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
November 6th, 2014
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
Images are stills from GOnraMedia video linked above.
October 15th, 2014
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.
October 7th, 2014
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.
The Fine Art of Not Cracking Under Pressure – Part III
by Lones Wigger, Smallbore Rifle Olympic Medalist
It’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
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
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.
August 12th, 2014
In 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.
LESSON 1 – NATURAL ABILITY WILL NOT MAKE YOU A SHOOTING CHAMPION.
LESSON 2 – ANGER IS THE ENEMY OF GOOD SHOOTING.
LESSON 3 – BAD SHOTS CAN TEACH YOU MORE THAN GOOD SHOTS.
LESSON 4 – NEVER GO WITHOUT A SHOT PLAN.
LESSON 5 – PRACTICE IN BAD CONDITIONS AS WELL AS GOOD CONDITIONS.
LESSON 6 – CHAMPIONS ARE POSITIVE, OPTIMISTIC PEOPLE.
LESSON 7 – IT’S NOT ABOUT WHETHER YOU WIN OR LOSE.
LESSON 8 – YOUR DOG WON’T BITE YOU AFTER SHOOTING A BAD SCORE.
LESSON 9 – YOUR PRESS CLIPPINGS CAN HURT YOU OR HELP YOU.
LESSON 10 — YOU NEVER SHOT YOUR BEST SCORE.
August 11th, 2014
A.P. Lane’s Gold Medal-Winning Colt Revolver
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.
Watch Video History of the A.P. Lane Revolver
April 3rd, 2014
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
February 14th, 2014
If you’ve been following the Winter Olympics in Sochi, no doubt you’ve been watching Biathlon events. This combination of Nordic-style skiing and precision shooting is hugely popular in Europe. Biathlon requires great physical fitness levels, superior marksmanship skills, and of course, a very accurate .22 LR rifle.
This video shows biathletes at previous winter Olympics. Note how the straight-pull actions allow competitors to shoot rapidly without breaking their position (at the 1:00″ mark, the shooter takes five shots in ten seconds). Target racks are located 50m from the firing line. The targets, which flip from black to white when hit, are 45mm (1.8″) in diameter for prone, and 115mm (4.5″) in diameter for standing.
Watch Olympic Biathlon Competition (Archive Footage)
Biathlon rifles are sophisticated. The top competitors use rigs with slick, straight-pull actions, integrated magazine carriers, and ergonomic stock designs that work well for both prone and standing positions. The advanced slings use “bungee cords” to allow rapid deployment from on-the-back carry position (while skiing) to the shooting position.
One of the most popular Biathlon rifles is the Anschütz model 1827F Fortner. This features a straight-pull action with a two-stage trigger typically adjusted to 550 grams (19 ounces). The sprint version of the model 1827F weighs just 3.7 kg (8.16 pounds). Remarkably, even the magazines are optimized for “high-speed, low-drag” performance: “Shortened 5-shot magazines were laterally incorporated into the stock to reduce the surface on which the wind can act. Non-slip magazine bottoms make the handling of the loading process easier. An additional magazine release lever on the side makes an even faster exchange of the magazines possible.” (Anschütz brochure).
March 27th, 2013
Original story by Marco Dalla Dea for ISSF.
You Provide the Running Shoes — ISSF Provides the Air Rifles
ISSF President Olegario Vazquez Raña adds: “We are developing ISSF TARGET SPRINT under the rubric of Sport for All, a program now being strongly promoted by the IOC. We were looking for a new event that combines marksmanship and fitness, can be staged outdoors, and is accessible to everybody.”
ISSF TARGET SPRINT Competition this May
Participation is open and more than 40 athletes have already registered to compete. World Cup participants who are interested in trying TARGET SPRINT are invited to bring their running shoes and clothing to Munich and give it a try.
December 7th, 2012
In November, the ISSF Administrative Council approved new ISSF rules calling for major changes in ISSF and Olympic Shooting Sports events. Starting in 2013, all Finalists will start with zero scores and there will be elimination rounds, ending with a final two-shooter duel for the Gold medal (the loser of the duel gets Silver). The new Finals procedure represents the ISSF’s first major format change since the introduction of finals in 1986. The new Finals format will be used in all 2013 ISSF Championships.
This rules were changed to make shooting events more “spectator-friendly”, attract media coverage, and engage a larger fan base. It is hoped that the new format, ending in a duel, is more appealing and easily understandable. The new ISSF rules contain new Finals formats for all Olympic shooting events mandating that ALL finalists start from zero. This means that qualification scores will not be carried into the Final anymore, making the scoring system immediately understandable for spectators. Furthermore, all Finals feature eliminations, and end with duels between the two best athletes to decide the gold and silver medals. The new 2013 Rules have been published on the ISSF website, ISSF-sports.org.
Other Shooting Rule Changes to Be Implemented