Ruger has created a series of videos showcasing Metallic Silhouette, IDPA, SCSA (Steel Challenge), and USPSA shooting events. Log on to Ruger’s Beginner’s Guide to Shooting Competitions webpage to see informative videos on each of these popular sports. Below you can find the Video on Metallic Silhouette and the Video on SCSA Steel Challenge pistol competition. Silhouette is a great family sport and the Steel Challenge is the ultimate pistol speed-shooting event.
INTRO to RIMFIRE RIFLE METALLIC SILHOUETTE Competition
INTRO to STEEL CHALLENGE Pistol Competition
Ruger also offers many other cool videos, both on its Video Webpage and on Ruger’s YouTube Channel. On YouTube, you’ll find a great four-part Tactical Carbine video series, hosted by Dave Spaulding, winner of the 2010 Trainer of the Year award by Law Officer Magazine. Spaulding also hosts a set of Ruger videos on defensive handgun use. For novice handgunners, Ruger offers Beginner Shooting Tips with video segments covering each of these topics:
Firearm Safety Rules
Body Position Stance
Gripping the Handgun
Loading and Unloading
Shooting to Slidelock
I have been looking for a bag that can securely carry a large spotting scope as well as chronograph hardware, wind meter, and camera gear — all the extra stuff I typically take to the range in addition to the essential cleaning and shooting products that go in my regular range kit. The folks at Grizzly Industrial told me to check out their new 20″ Range Bag by Bald Eagle. These 20″ Range Bags, are very versatile and well-made. With eyepiece removed, my jumbo-sized Pentax PF-100ED spotting scope fit perfectly inside the padded central compartment. At the same time I could haul ALL the peripherals for my PVM-21 chronograph, plus a camera, wind meter, spare Pentax eyepiece, AND a netbook computer. Without the netbook, there is room for four pistols along the side channels. If you don’t need to pack a large spotting scope, the main compartment could easily hold 3 more pistols in Bore-Store socks, plus holsters, ammo boxes, and earmuffs.
Watch the video to see how much stuff will fit in this bag. NOTE: If you carry a tripod or windflag stand using the straps under the case lid, be sure to position the foam padding carefully to prevent any direct contact with a spotting scope in the main compartment. Overall, the 20″ Range Bag is a remarkably capable gear-hauler. With the nicely-padded interior it will safely carry expensive items such as laser rangefinders, and binoculars. There is also a slash pocket on the rear side (not shown in video) that will hold thin items such as target stickers and shooting log-books. The 20″ Range Bag is offered in four (4) different colors: Red, Black, Green, and Camo. Price is $59.95 for solid colors and $61.95 for camo.
Smaller, 15″ Range Bag Offered Also
Grizzly also sells more compact, 15″-wide Bald Eagle Range Bags. There are six (6) color choices for the 15″ Range Bag: Red, Black, Navy Blue, Green, Hot Pink (for ladies), and Camo. Solid colors cost $45.00, while the Camo Bag costs a couple dollars more ($46.95). If you don’t need to haul a spotting scope, you may prefer the smaller version. The 15″ version still offers lot of carrying capacity — it’s big enough to hold ammo, muffs, target stickers, and much more.
REVIEW Disclosure: Grizzly Industrial provided the 20″ Range Bag for testing and evaluation.
The NRA Blog ran an feature on Silhouette shooting by NRA Silhouette Program Coordinator Jonathan Leighton. Here are selections from Leighton’s story:
NRA Silhouette Shooting
The loud crack from the bullet exiting the muzzle followed by an even louder ‘clang’ as you watch your target fly off the railing is really a true addiction for most Silhouette shooters. There is nothing better than shooting a game where you actually get to see your target react to the bullet. In my opinion, this is truly what makes this game so much fun.
Metallic Silhouette — A Mexican Import
Silhouette shooting came to this country from Mexico in the 1960s. It is speculated that sport had its origins in shooting contests between Pancho Villa’s men around 1914. After the Mexican Revolution the sport spread quickly throughout Mexico. ‘Siluetas Metalicas’ uses steel silhouettes shaped like game animals. Chickens up front followed by rows of pigs, turkeys, and furthest away, rams. Being that ‘Siluetas Metalicas’ was originally a Mexican sport, it is common to hear the targets referred to by their Spanish names Gallina (chicken), Javelina (pig), Guajalote (turkey) and Borrego (ram). Depending on the discipline one is shooting, these animals are set at different distances from the firing line, but always in the same order.
Before Steel There Was… Barbeque
In the very beginnings of the sport, live farm animals were used as targets, and afterwards, the shooters would have a barbeque with all the livestock and/or game that was shot during the match. The first Silhouette match that used steel targets instead of livestock was conducted in 1948 in Mexico City, Mexico by Don Gonzalo Aguilar. [Some matches hosted by wealthy Mexicans included high-ranking politicians and military leaders]. As the sport spread and gained popularity during the 1950s, shooters from the Southwestern USA started crossing the Mexican border to compete. Silhouette shooting came into the US in 1968 at the Tucson Rifle Club in Arizona. The rules have stayed pretty much the same since the sport has been shot in the US. NRA officially recognized Silhouette as a shooting discipline in 1972, and conducted its first NRA Silhouette Nationals in November of 1972.
Now There Are Multiple Disciplines
The actual sport of Silhouette is broken into several different disciplines. High Power Rifle, Smallbore Rifle, Cowboy Lever Action Rifle, Black Powder Cartridge Rifle, Air Rifle, Air Pistol, and Hunter’s Pistol are the basic disciplines. Cowboy Lever Action is broken into three sub-categories to include Smallbore Cowboy Rifle, Pistol Cartridge Cowboy Lever Action, and regular Cowboy Lever Action. Black Powder Cartridge Rifle also has a ‘Scope’ class, and Hunter’s Pistol is broken into four sub-categories. Some clubs also offer Military Rifle Silhouette comps.
Where to Shoot Silhouette
NRA-Sanctioned matches are found at gun clubs nation-wide. There are also many State, Regional, and National matches across the country as well. You can find match listings on the Shooting Sports USA website or contact the NRA Silhouette Department at (703) 267-1465. For more info, visit SteelChickens.com, the #1 website dedicated to Silhouette shooting sports.
Why are there 7000 records? Start with the fact that there are a host of different NRA disciplines: Air Pistol, Action Pistol, High Power Rifle, Smallbore Rifle, Fullbore, just to name a few. Within each discipline there may be records for metallic sight, any sight, rapid fire, slow fire, prone, standing, and other variations. And then there may be separate records for indoor, outdoor, distance, and number of shots fired. Then add team records on top of the individual records. Finally, there are separate records for all the NRA classifications: Open, Civilian, Service, Woman, Junior, Senior, Police, and so on….
The task of validating and registering so many different records is daunting. And the work never stops. Consider this — the NRA sanctions 11,000 tournaments each year. This means that new record claims are being submitted throughout the year.
Forum member Eric has built an innovative specialty pistol for long-range benchrest. The gun is chambered in 6.5-284 and built for IBS 1000-yard shooting. Eric originally built the gun with a 3″-wide fore-end, then decided to go with a 6″-wide offset design since the IBS no longer restricts Light Gun Forearms to three inches. Eric explained: “After building the 3″-wide stock I looked at the IBS 1000-yard benchrest rules and found out that there was not a width limit and rails were allowed for a Light Gun stock. I set out to design a 6″ version. I was thinking it should be offset also to help control torque and track straighter. I had a new 6.5mm, 1:8.5″ twist, 1.250″ HV-contour Krieger barrel. I chambered the barrel for 6.5-284 and bedded the stock.”
Eric feeds his pistol Sierra 142gr MatchKings with a load of 51.0 grains of H4831sc. Estimated muzzle velocity with this load is 2900 fps — respectable speed from the short barrel. The gun tracks remarkably well, with very little torque effect, as you can see in the video below.
After initial testing, Eric added a muzzle brake to the barrel. This tamed the recoil considerably. To learn more about Eric’s long-range 6.5-284 pistol, visit our Shooters Forum and READ this POST. To see more videos of the pistol in action (with muzzle brake), visit Eric’s PhotoBucket Album.
The Smith & Wesson Model 41 is an American classic — one of the great, iconic .22LR target pistols. Accurate, well-balanced and built-to-last, model 41s have been in production for over 50 years. The Model 41 remains one of the most accurate pistols ever produced by Smith & Wesson. Now the Model 41 has been updated for the 21st Century, with the introduction of a new Performance Center “optics-ready” version. The new Model 41 PC has an integral Picatinny Rail mount for optics, plus adjustable target sights, with a distinctive skeletonized and removable front blade sight.
This full-size, 10-shot .22LR pistol features a carbon steel frame and slide along with a 5.5-inch barrel. Measuring 10.5 inches in overall length, the Model 41 PC has an unloaded weight of 41 ounces.
Across the top of the slide, the Performance Center Model 41 sports an integral Picatinny-style equipment rail for easy installation of optics. Other standard features include an external thumb safety on the left side of the frame, custom wood target grips, and a blued finish. The Performance Center Model 41 is covered by Smith & Wesson’s lifetime service policy. To learn more about the optics-ready Model 41 PC and other new Performance Center guns, visit www.smith-wesson.com
Lars Dalseide, editor of the NRAblog, found a cool new product for pistol shooters and 3-Gun competitors. The new NRA Handgunner Backpack provides a convenient transport solution for your pistols, magazines, and assorted range gear. This product offers all the carrying capacity of a large range bag, in a design that, when worn on your back, leaves your hands free to haul long-gun cases, target frames, spotting scopes, or other bulky hardware. Measuring 17″ wide, 22″ high and 9″ deep, the pack has plenty of room for your gear.
Quad-Pistol Gear Hauler
The cleverly-designed Handgunner Backpack carries up to four pistols. Undo the zipper, slide out the compartment, place your pistols in one of the four foam gun cradles. Store your magazines in a zip-up side pocket with six (6) individual mag sleeves. There are also specially designed compartments for ammo boxes, muffs, protective eyewear, target stapler, and more. You’ll find handy embroidered patches showing the right spot for each gear item.
Lars tells us this pack is comfortable and sturdy. The shoulder staps and the rear back panel feature moisture-wicking padding. To keep the rain out, the pack comes with a waterproof cover. And the pack won’t collapse when you set it on a bench — it is designed to stand up on its own.
We’re impressed with the design and features of this pack. A lot of smart thinking went into its design. As you might expect though, because the Handgunner Backpack has so many features, it’s not cheap. This specialized backpack sells for $119.95 at the the NRA Online Store. We don’t think that’s too much, considering what this pack can do. This could be a sweet Xmas gift for the pistolero or 3-Gun shooter in the family. If you are running a shooting match, the Handgunner Backpack would make a great prize — way more useful than a walnut plaque.
Last week we posted an essay by Randi Rogers, one of the top female speed-shooters in the world. Randi wrote about the strategies she uses to mentally prepare for a big match. Apparently Randi’s methods for success really do work — Randi just won not one but TWO titles at the recent 2012 USPSA Championships held in Las Vegas. Shooting for Team Comp-Tac, Randi won BOTH the Ladies Production and Ladies Limited-10 titles at the 2012 USPSA Nationals. Rogers’ dual victories represent the second time in her career that she has won both major national titles at the USPSA Nationals.
The U.S. Practical Shooting Association’s (USPSA) Production/Limited/Revolver Nationals took place October 14-16, followed by the the USPSA’s Open/Limited-10 Nationals October 18-20. Both events were hosted at the Desert Sportsmen’s Club in Las Vegas. In the Production championship Rogers posted a record finish to win the Ladies title by 124 points. It was the third time Rogers has won the USPSA Ladies Production National Championship. Rogers then went on to take the Ladies Limited-10 title by 115 points. This was also the third time that Rogers has won the Ladies Limited-10 national title.
“Shooting USPSA is a high-adrenaline, intense shooting sport with lots of physical, mental, and shooting challenges. This year’s matches were particularly challenging with a large number of moving targets, and four standards stages in each match. After six long days of intense competition, I couldn’t be happier with the results,” said Rogers. Though she competes mostly with pistols, Randi also excels with carbines and shotguns, having won the Cowboy Action Ladies’ World Championship multiple times.
Video of Randi at USPSA Nationals (Stage 5, Production Division)
Need help with your handgunning? Check out the NRA’s Basics of Pistol Shooting DVD. This $19.95 DVD covers the purchase, handling, cleaning, and storage of both revolvers and semi-automatic pistols along with marksmanship fundamentals. Computer animations provide an inside look at how revolvers and semi-automatics function. The Basics of Pistol Shooting DVD is intended for anyone interested in learning how to safely operate, clean and select a pistol for a variety of activities.
Produced as a training aid for NRA’s Basic Pistol and/or FIRST Steps Pistol Courses, the 60-minute DVD provides useful information for all handgun owners, not just novices. We also recommend that NRA Certified Pistol Instructors watch the DVD to familiarize themselves with the most current training methods and safety procedures. The DVD can be ordered through the NRA Program Materials Center or by calling 1-800-336-7402.
MGM Targets is sponsoring an action pistol shooting program for Junior shooters. The MGM Junior Shooter Camp runs July 21-23 at the Parma Rod and Gun Club in Idaho. The 3-day Junior Shooter Camp offers firearm training and competition for up to 60 junior shooters. Instruction and training will be provided by top shooters from the U.S. military, law enforcement, and competitive shooting disciplines. The list of past instructors includes: World Speed Shooting Champion, Max Michel, regional, state and national Champion, Phil Strader, IDPA and USPSA Ladies Champion, Randi Rogers, World Champions B.J. Norris, Matt Burkett and Manny Bragg as well as others.
Price for the program is $260, and students must have a reliable gun, holster, belt, 3+ magazine pouches, at least four working magazines, and 1500 rounds of loaded ammunition. The requirements are simple: The participant must be an active member of USPSA, IDPA, or SASS, must have competed in at least 4 pistol matches, and must possess good handgun handling skills already. This is not a beginner’s firearms safety class.
Graciously hosted by The Parma Rod and Gun Club, the Junior Camp is made possible by sponsors who provide funding, and a great array of prizes, some valued at over $500. Generous sponsors include MGM Targets, Leupold, Warne Scope Mounts, Colt Rifles and more. Most of the cost of the program is covered by MGM Targets.
If you have a laser fitted to one of your firearms, here’s a new training gizmo that can help you practice your aiming and target acquisition. The new LaserLyte Laser Trainer Target can register and display “hits” on its large bullseye display using 62 laser-activated LED lights. Under normal conditions, this laser-activated target can register shots up to 50 yards away. The $150.00 (street price) Laser Trainer Target is good for about 6,000 “shots”, drawing power from three (3) AA batteries. The unit is fully independent — there is no hook-up to a computer or separate processing pack.
Though it may appear smaller in the photos, the Laser Trainer Target is about the size of a school textbook: 9.5″ H x 6.25″ W x 2.0″ D, with a target area roughly five inches in diameter. The device can be used inside or outside, but you’ll probably get best results indoors. The Laser Trainer target can function with all user-activated lasers, such as grip lasers, front rail lasers, in-chamber “laser cartridges”, and even laser boresights (so long as they can be activated by trigger movement).
Fun to use and easy to deploy, the LaserLyte Trainer Target was named a 2012 Golden Bullseye Award Winner by American Rifleman magazine. MSRP is $219.95 but “street price” is WAY lower. These units sell at WalMart for $149.99. That makes it affordable. Of course you don’t experience the noise and recoil of actual shots with the LaserLyte Target Trainer, but the device can easily pay for itself, if you compare the cost of batteries vs. live ammo. These days, 1000 rounds of 9mm ammo cost $220.00 or more.
WARNING — UNLOAD FIREARM FIRST: When Training with the LaserLyte Training Target and a firearm fitted with a laser-emitting device or laser sight, always remove and unload the magazine and then double-check to ensure the chamber is empty, and the gun is unloaded. If there is a live round in your gun, not only can you destroy your target device, but the round could cause injury or death to someone downrange.
This 8-minute video, filmed at the Ojai Valley Gun Club in California, shows a 200m metallic silhouette match for handguns. Noted IHMSA shooter Jim Harris describes the course and shooters demonstrate their technique. With these iron-sight, single-shot centerfire pistols, when shooting “freestyle”, most shooters prefer the lying down, feet-first Creedmoor position. This allows them to steady their pistols along the side of the front leg. In the 1800s, long-range rifle shooters also commonly used a Creedmoor position, sometimes resting the barrel on the toes of their boots.
In this second video, Jim compares two “Unlimited” pistols, one in 6.5 BR and the other in 7mm BR. Jim explains the pistols’ features and chamberings. Then the video offers a “shooter’s eye” view of Jim and Scott Mann firing the pistols at half-size pig silhouettes. Watch Jim and Scott both “clean” all five of their respective targets at 100m.
Shown below is an Anschütz Model 1416 MSP E Silhouette pistol, similar to the custom pistols you’ll see in the video. The Anschütz 6836 rear sight was specifically developed for handgun silhouette competition. The folding rear sight cover and anti-glare front sight tube greatly improve the sight picture. This 4.1-lb, single-shot pistol has a trigger pull weight of about 300 grams, roughly 10 ounces.
Jim Harris (“Gunzorro”) has posted many other shooting videos, which you’ll find on the “related videos” section of the YouTube page to which we’ve linked. Jim Harris has won several NRA National and IHMSA International championships in metallic handgun silhouette competition. He is also active in High Power Rifle Silhouette and Black Powder Cartridge Silhouette. In the silhouette arena, he helped popularize the 6.5BR, 6.5PPC, 6.5TKS (improved BR), .260 Remington and .22 PPC, and pioneered the use of Vihtavuori powders in the mid-90s. Jim is also a successful professional freelance photographer, specializing in commercial photography and architecture. Contact Jim at JimHarrisPhotography.com.