July 13th, 2014
In the real world of self-defense, you can’t stand still like a bullseye target shooter*. You may need to move to cover, go to the aid of a family member, or otherwise move while being able to shoot. We’ve seen a variety of “move and shoot” drills, but most involve walking a few steps, then stopping, then moving again.
Here’s a drill that raises the degree of difficulty to another level entirely. In this video, instructor Dave Harrington engages 24 targets (one with a double-tap), while striding briskly (and continuously) on a powered treadmill. That’s right, Harrington stays on the treadmill for nearly a minute, and goes 25 for 25 with two (2) mag changes. (Shots 7 and 8 are a silhouette double-tap, for a total of 25 shots.) Harrington makes it look easy. But do you think you pull this off with no misses?
Shooting from Treadmill — Firing Sequence Starts at 1:20
Our friend Dennis Santiago, who also is a firearms instructor, says Harrington’s treadmill drill is no mean feat: “OK, this I am impressed by. This is not easy.” Another viewer commented: “That, I assure you, is a whole lot harder than it looks to run it clean like [Harrington] did.” As Harrington notes, a treadmill “is extremely unforgiving … you either possess the skill or the treadmill will take you to school.”
*That’s no knock on our bullseye shooters. They are very skilled. However, self-defense is a different challenge altogether.
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July 13th, 2014
Report based on story by Lars Dalseide for NRA Blog
This afternoon, SSG Patrick Franks of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit walked off the Rodriguez range as the new NRA National Pistol Champion. This is his first-ever National Pistol Championship — and it didn’t come easy. With a final score of 2649-147X, Patrick’s victory was by a slim margin.
“He won by 16 Xs,” said Match Director Tom Hughes. “I can’t remember one ever being this close.”
2014 has been a great year for Patrick Franks. “This year was my first 1st-place win at Interservice (the 55th Interservice Pistol Championships at Fort Benning),” said Franks. “A lot of our team matches at Interservice and at Canton were milestone performances and looking back at those I just kept going with it while I’m here.”
“I thought I was shooting pretty well,” Franks continued. “Good for my average, good for being up here. Just tried concentrating on the team matches and ended up coming out better than I expected. Just enough.”
The USAMU Pistol Team enjoyed a clean sweep of the individual matches, won the .45 caliber team match, and secured the overall Team title. Congratulations to SSG Patrick Franks on winning his first National Pistol Championship, to SFC James Henderson for taking second, and to SGT Greg Markowski for taking third. (Markowski also won the Revolver Match). 13-time NRA Pistol Champion Brian Zins, a few weeks out of hip surgery, finished 10th.
Here are photos from the CMP Photo Gallery for the 2014 National Trophy Pistol Matches at Camp Perry.
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July 12th, 2014
Story by Lars Dalseide for NRA Blog
Port Clinton, Ohio – If you’ve never attended a match held by the National Rifle Association then you don’t know what you’re missing. The sights and sounds are enough to overwhelm the tamest of firearm enthusiasts, driving one to ask … why the hell am I watching and not shooting in this thing?!
This year that question can be answered with a simple it’s too late. But next year? That is definitely a possibility. So pick up that pistol, head down to the range, and get that trigger finger in shape for 2015.
Until then, here’s a look at what you’re missing:
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June 30th, 2014
While AccurateShooter.com focuses on rifles, we know that a large percentage of our readers own handguns, with 1911-style pistols being particular favorites. For you 1911 owners, here are six short videos from Brownells showing how to customize a 1911-style pistol with after-market upgrades.
How to Accessorize Your 1911
Video Tip from Edlongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
This six-part series by Brownells provides step-by-step instruction on how to accessorize your 1911. The videos cover changing out the mainspring housing, magazine release, slide release, hammer, guide rod, and installing a group gripper.
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May 13th, 2014
If you shoot a pistol, you should watch this video. It covers the key fundamentals of handgun shooting: stance, arm position, grip, sight alignment, and trigger control. This excellent video features USAMU shooter SGT Shane Coley.
Arm/Elbow Position: You should not lock your elbows says SGT Coley: “Because my elbows are slightly bent, it allows the recoil to transfer into my shoulders, down my core, into my legs and to the ground, allowing me to maintain a flat-shooting gun … on multiple targets.”
Grip (Hand Position): SGT Coley explains how to divide the support between both hands: “In terms of grip pressure, I’m applying about 60% to my support hand, and 40% to my strong hand. This is because I need to maintain dexterity with my strong hand to operate the trigger at high rates of speed.”
Trigger Control: The placement of your finger on the trigger blade itself is very important notes Coley: “Putting too much (or not enough) of your finger on the trigger can cause you to pull or push your shots. When you squeeze the trigger, make sure to squeeze it all the way to the rear, in one smooth motion. A quick dry-fire drill to help you with this is to take an empty piece of brass and place it on the front of your slide. Aim at the target, and with the proper trigger control, you should be able to break the shot without the piece of brass falling.”
On the web, you’ll find hundreds of pistol shooting videos — some good, some not helpful at all. In some of those “not helpful” videos the featured shooter has bad habits, or more often than not, he exhibits poor accuracy on target. You won’t find those kinds of shortcomings in this USAMU-sponsored video. SGT Coley doesn’t make foolish mistakes, nor does he exhibit bad habits when shooting. And his accuracy is outstanding. When you look for a pistol trainer — stick to someone like SGT Coley, who has solid fundamentals, the complete skill set, and superior accuracy. A trainer can’t teach a skill that he doesn’t understand himself.
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May 7th, 2014
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.
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April 29th, 2014
This Wednesday, April 30th, Shooting USA will feature STI International, an employee-owned company based in Georgetown, Texas. STI builds great pistols. In fact, STI has claimed more modern-era national pistol titles than any other manufacturer. This week’s episode of Shooting USA will provide an inside look at STI, showing how STI’s match-winning handguns are crafted and assembled.
STI International’s SteelMaster is a shorter, lighter race pistol optimized for faster target acquisition and faster follow-up shots. With a STI 2011 frame, 4.15″ classic slide, STI Recoilmaster, and Trubor compensated barrel system, the SteelMaster delivers the advantages of a full-size race pistol in a smaller, lighter, faster reacting, and less violent package. And unlike many other compensated pistols, the SteelMaster runs factory ammo without a hiccup.
The Steelmaster’s shorter Trubor barrel system and shorter slide combine to decrease slide cycle time allowing the shooter to achieve faster follow-up shots. The slide has lightening cuts front and rear to reduce weight, and “Sabertooth” serrations. With an overall weight of 38.9 oz, the SteelMaster is significantly lighter than full-size race pistols. MSRP for the STI Steelmaster is $3,048.00 with one magazine.
STI International Edge
Integrating patented 2011 technology with classic 1911 design, the STI International Edge is a high capacity pistol that carries John Browning’s design into the 21st Century. Since its introduction in late 1997, the STI Edge has become the standard for USPSA/IPSC Limited Division competition. Built on the STI Modular Steel 2011® frame with polymer grip, the Edge delivers the traditional features of a 1911 with the benefit of high capacity magazines. The Edge frame preserves the 17° grip angle (like the original 1911). The design allows for double stack magazines without over-sizing the grip.
Along with its distinctive full-length dust-cover frame, the STI Edge features traditional front and rear cocking serrations. The Edge comes standard with a stainless, high-rise, knuckle-relief grip safety, stainless ambi-thumb safeties, and a stainless, fully-supported and ramped bull barrel. The Edge costs $2,180.00 with one 126mm magazine.
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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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March 31st, 2014
Brian “Gunny” Zins, 12-Time NRA National Pistol Champion, has authored an excellent guide to bullseye pistol shooting. Brian’s Clinic on the Fundamentals recently appeared in The Official Journal of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association. The CMP scanned the story so you can read it online. CLICK HERE to read full article.
Top Tips from Brian Zins:
Trigger Movement: If trigger control is ever interrupted in slow fire the shot needs to be abored and the shot started over.
Relationship between Sight Alignment and Trigger Control: Often when the fundamentals are explained these two are explained as two different acts. Well, truth be told it’s really kind of hard to accomplish one without the other. They have a symbiotic relationship. In order to truly settle the movement in the dot or sights you need a smooth, steady trigger squeeze.
Trigger Finger Placement: Where should the trigger make contact on the finger? The trigger should be centered in the first crease of the trigger finger. Remember this is an article on Bullseye shooting. If this were an article on free pistol or air pistol it would be different.
Proper Grip: A proper grip is a grip that will NATURALLY align the gun’s sights to the eye of the shooter without having to tilt your head or move your or move your wrists around to do that. Also a proper grip, and most importantly, is a grip that allows the gun to return to the same position [with sights aligned] after each and every shot. The best and easiest way to get the proper grip, at least a good starting postion… is with a holster. Put your 1911 in a holster on the side of your body[.] Allow your shooting hand to come down naturally to the gun.
In recent years, Brian “Gunny” Zins has been shooting 1911s crafted by Cabot Guns.
Brian “Gunny” Zins currently holds 25 National Records.
Brian “Gunny” Zins
NRA Nat’l Pistol Champion: 1996, 1998, 2001, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013
NRA .22 LR Nat’l Champion: 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010
NRA Centerfire Nat’l Champion: 1992, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006
NRA .45 Nat’l Champion: 1996, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2009
NRA Regular Service Nat’l Champion: 1996, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
NRA Civilian Nat’l Champion: 2008, 2009, 2010
NRA Nat’l Trophy Individual: 1998, 2003
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March 12th, 2014
NRA Media recently released a series of informative videos about the Science of Shooting. These videos feature high production values, with super-slow motion segments, as well as helpful computer graphics to illustrate the principles covered.
The videos are narrated by our friend Jessie Duff, a top action pistol shooter (and the first women ever to achieve USPSA Grand Master status). Jessie is assisted by talented shooters such as Top Shot Season 4 Champion Chris Cheng.
There are eight (8) videos in the Firearm Science Video Series. Here are two videos, with links to the rest below.
RECOIL — The Physics of Recoil Explained
While this video focuses on handguns, the principles involved apply to all firearms. The force of recoil is affected by the mass of the firearm, and by the speed and weight of the projectile. On a revolver, as shown in the video, there are various phases of recoil. Grip, and “compensation” porting can change the perceived force of recoil (though the energy is constant for any given ammunition specification).
VELOCITY — Calculating the Speed of a Bullet
This video shows a conventional chronograph with front and rear light sensors. The bullet first trips the front sensor and then the rear sensor as it flies over the unit. The difference in sensor time is used to calculate bullet speed. This is not the only kind of chrono in common use today. The popular MagnetoSpeed chrono works by tracking the bullet as it passes over two magnetic sensors mounted on a bayonet-style fixture on the barrel. Steinert Sensing Systems offers an Acoustic Chronograph that works by measuring the bullet’s supersonic shock-wave. This system has a much larger “sweet spot” than most optical chronographs. Last (but certainly not least) is the brand new Doppler Radar chronograph from MyLabradar.com. This can measure the speed of a bullet without the need to send the round directly over sensors.
Interestingly, this video also explains how, in the days before electric lamps, digital processors, and radar, scientists used a mechanical “Ballistic Pendulum” to calculate bullet velocity using Newtonian physics. The Ballistic Pendulum was first used in the mid 1700s. We have come a long way since then.
Other Firearm Science Videos
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February 2nd, 2014
“Buy One, Get One Free” usually applies to things like cans of soup, or maybe, at best, amusement park tickets. So when a major gun manufacturer offers a “Buy one, get one free” offer on firearms, we sit up and take notice.
Here’s the deal: if you buy any one of six select Sig Sauer centerfire handguns, Sig will give you a free 1911-22 .22LR rimfire pistol. That’s right — buy the centerfire handgun, and get the rimfire pistol tossed in for free. The Sig models that qualify are: 1911 Ultra TT, 1911 Compact C3, 1911 Carry Nightmare, 1911 Tacops, 1911 Spartan, and 1911 Stainless. To take advantage of this offer, contact a participating Sig Sauer dealer. For more information on the qualifying products, visit SigSauer.com.
This deal is good through April 30, 2014 but the offer is limited to participating dealers. Also, “FREE” is not completely free for the 1911-22. Transfer fees, taxes, and all other transaction costs are the customer’s responsibility. SIG also states that: “Offer subject to on-hand inventory and not necessarily model depicted.” So, if this “two guns for the price of one” offer strikes your fancy, you should act quickly to ensure you get the model you want.
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December 2nd, 2013
There are many different systems for storing handguns in a gun safe: coated wire racks (with U-shaped baskets), wood racks, plastic racks, rotary racks, door-mount brackets, door-mount holsters, and vertical shelving units. The rotary racks take up a lot of vertical space (and have a fairly large footprint), while the wire racks use up considerable horizontal space for their capacity.
If you’re looking for the most space-efficient, in-safe handgun storage system, consider the clever Handgun Hangers from Gun Storage Solutions. These vinyl-coated, wire hangers organize handguns below the shelf, freeing up storage space above the shelf. You simply slide each hanger on the shelf and then slip your pistol’s barrel over the lower rod. Handgun Hangers are intended for guns with an overall length of 10 inches or shorter. They will fit shelves that are at least 11 inches deep and 5/8-1 inch in thickness. Handgun Hangers will hold handguns .22 caliber and up, though the fit is a bit snug on .22s. A four-pack of Handgun Hangers costs $19.95.
WARNING — Always Make Sure Handgun is UNLOADED when using Handgun Hangers!!
Gun Storage Solutions also offers an Over-Under Hanger that holds two handguns — one above the shelf, and one below. A two-pack of Over-Under Hangers (capable of holding four handguns) costs $17.22. This may be a good solution for you. This editor personally prefers the standard model, so I can use the upper surface of the shelve to hold odd-shaped items such as cameras, binoculars, and miscellaneous valuables.
Magnetic Gun Caddy for Safe Doors or Walls
Many gun owners like to mount handguns on the inside door panel of their gun safes. If this doesn’t interfere with your long gun storage, this can be a smart solution. Most of the door-mount units require special holsters or a series of peg-board style hangers. That may not work if the exposed inside of your door is bare metal. Here’s a smart solution from Benchmaster. The new two-pistol Magnetic WeaponRAC has four magnetic strips that allow the $24.99 two-gun caddy to mount directly to a metal door surface or the inner side-walls of your safe. If your safe door and walls are carpet-lined, there is also a two-pistol WeaponRAC Caddy with Velcro Mounts. A single-pistol caddy is also offered in both magnetic and Velcro versions.
Editor’s Comment: If you only have 3 or 4 handguns, you may want to avoid racks altogether. Our preferred solution for 3-4 handguns is to place each gun in a synthetic fabric BoreStores sack and then line them up on the end of the top shelf in the safe. The silicone-treated BoreStores sacks wick away moisture and provide vital cushioning for the gun. This works fine for a small collection. If you have lots of wheelguns and pistols, however, look into the Handgun Hangers — they really are a space-saving solution.
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