Thomas Haugland, a Shooters’ Forum member from Norway, is a long-range target shooter and hunter. He has created an interesting video showing how to gauge wind velocities by watching trees, grass, and other natural vegetation. The video commentary is in English, but the units of wind speed (and distance) are metric. Haugland explains: “This is not a full tutorial, but rather a short heads-up to make you draw the lines between the dots yourself”. Here are some conversions that will help when watching the video:
.5 m/s = 1.1 mph | 1 m/s = 2.2 mph | 2 m/s = 4.5 mph
3 m/s = 6.7 mph | 4 m/s = 8.9 mph | 5 m/s =11.2 mph
This story is not (directly) about guns and ammo, or reloading gear, or any of the little details of our sport. It, instead, is about life… and, sadly, about death. As you may know by now, Tom Clancy died this week at age 66. Clancy created a new fiction genre that entertained millions — the “military techno-thriller”. Tom was a damn fine writer, and like you and me, he was also a true “gun guy”. He will be missed.
Tom Clancy’s unexpected passing was a “wake-up call” for your Editor. I turn 58 this month. That number is not much less than 66, the number of years Clancy got to spend on our blue planet. This got me to thinking, “What if I only had ten more years to live — how would I want to live my life? What really counts the most? What things would I do differently? What dreams would I pursue?”
From the demographics of this website, I know we have thousands of readers in their 50s, 60s, and 70s. Hopefully we will all live long, happy, and fruitful lives. But it’s not a bad idea to consider that we are all mortal, and the clock is ticking. Consider this — in the United States, the average male life expectancy is 76 years*. Using that number as a benchmark, I personally may have another 18 years to enjoy life and to do the things I love — shooting, traveling, sailing, camping, listening to music, being with friends and family. Breaking that down into months, I have 216 more months to do fun and rewarding stuff. Just 216 months — that’s a real number my brain can comprehend all too well. If I live an average lifespan, that means I also only have 939 more weekends to do all that I want to do. With less than 1000 weekends remaining, I don’t want to waste a single one. Here’s a chart that shows how many more weekends you may have, based on your current age:
Living a Life with More Good Times, and Fewer Regrets
Recently, a group of men, very near the end of their lives, were surveyed. They were asked if they would do things differently if they could live their lives over again. The vast majority of these men gave surprisingly similar responses, which fit into five “Life Lessons”. These “Top 5 Regrets of the Dying” were reported in a story by Bronnie Ware, writing for the AARP online magazine. Ware writes: “When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced.” Here are the five regrets most often mentioned by older men:
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
“This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. ”
Lesson: Don’t wait to follow your dreams. Be true to yourself.
2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
“This came from every male patient [surveyed]. All of the men… deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.”
Lesson: Don’t let your work crowd out other important aspects of life.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
“Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming.”
Lesson: Express yourself truthfully. Don’t suppress your feelings for decades.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
“There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort they deserved. Many [were] so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years.”
Lesson: Take an interest your friends’ lives; keep bonds of friendship strong.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
“This is a surprisingly common [regret]. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice.”
Lesson: Affirmatively pursue the things that bring you happiness. Don’t just stick to old habits.
Turn Off the Computer, and Do Something Memorable with Your Friends Today
How does this all apply to our shooting hobby? Well, if (like me) you are middle-aged (or older), go have some fun this weekend! Load up your rifle and get to the range. Don’t put off doing the things that make you happy. Call those old buddies you may not have seen in a long time. Renew friendships. Get out into nature. And start figuring out how you can live your dreams. As the saying goes, “Time waits for no man”.
*One of our readers pointed out that the numbers actually work out better than this, because once a man survives to later life, men of his surviving age cohort enjoy a projected lifespan longer than the average projected lifespan from birth. For example, using actuarial tables, a man born exactly 60 years ago (still alive today), has a calculated life expectancy of 23.4 years… meaning he would live to age 83.4 years, on average. CLICK HERE to see actuarial-predicted longevity based on your birthdate.
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June 15th, 2013 is National Take Your Daughter to the Range Day. This is a great way to spend “quality time” with your daughter, and teach her the basics of firearms safety. At ranges nationwide, girls six and up will be able to try out a rifle, pistol, or shotgun. This event introduces young women to a sport that may become a life-long hobby, continuing a shooting tradition that helped make this country great.
Event co-founder and firearms instructor, Lynne Finch, believes it’s time to tear down the stereotypes and get those young ladies out to the range where they belong. “Boys learn to shoot in Scouts or with their Dads. Often, the girls are left behind because shooting isn’t ‘girly.’ Well, we can, and do shoot, and well. Learning to shoot gives young women confidence, helps to build self-esteem, and introduces them to a sport they can participate in their whole lives.”
The inaugural Take Your Daughter to the Range Day was held June 9, 2012, with 37 ranges in 15 states participating. The event is held each year on the third Saturday in June. Lynne Finch got the idea for the event after reading Julie Golob’s Book SHOOT, learning how Golob grew up going to the range with her father. Finch also learned from many other women how much they enjoyed going to the range with their parents during their youth. Sponsor support has made this event possible. 2013 Contributing Sponsors include: Brownells, Midway USA, Henry Rifles, Charter Arms, Front Sight Firearms Training Institute, and other organizations.
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SHOT Show 2013 kicks off in two weeks in Las Vegas. One of our top priorities is to talk with the bullet makers from Berger, Hornady, Lapua, and Nosler.
At SHOT Show 2012 we chatted with Berger Ballistician Bryan Litz about Berger’s popular line of Hybrid bullets. Berger now offers a wide range of Hybrids in multiple calibers and weights. In fact, for .30-Caliber shooters, Berger now offers six different Hybrid match bullets, with weights from 155 grains up to 230 grains. New .338 Cal Tactical Hybrids were released in 2012 and big .375 Cal, and .408 Cal Hybrids are in the works (read more below).
Bryan tells us: “The hybrid design is Berger’s solution to the age old problem of precision vs. ease of use. This design is making life easier for handloaders as well as providing opportunities for commercial ammo loaders who need to offer a high performance round that also shoots precisely in many rifles with various chamber/throat configurations.”
For those not familiar with Hybrid bullets, the Hybrid design blends two common bullet nose shapes on the front section of the bullet (from the tip to the start of the bearing surface). Most of the curved section of the bullet has a Secant (VLD-style) ogive for low drag. This then blends in a Tangent-style ogive curve further back, where the bullet first contacts the rifling. The Tangent section makes seating depth less critical to accuracy, so the Hybrid bullet can shoot well through a range of seating depths, even though it has a very high Ballistic Coefficient (BC).
In the video we asked Bryan for recommended seating depths for 7mm and .30-Caliber Hybrid bullets. Bryan advises that, as a starting point, Hybrid bullets be seated .015″ (fifteen thousandths) off the lands in most barrels. Watch the video for more tips how to optimize your loads with Hybrid bullets.
Berger is Developing New Large-Caliber and Hunting Hybrids
In related news, Berger announced that it will be offering a series of .338-caliber Hybrids. First Berger is reintroducing the Gen 1 .338 Cal, 300gr Hybrid bullet in Berger’s Hunting line. Berger will also be making a 250gr Hybrid Hunting bullet using the same type of jacket as the original Gen 1 300gr Hybrid bullet. In addition, Berger has released a .338 Cal 250gr Match Hybrid OTM Tactical bullet, along with a 300gr Match Hybrid OTM Tactical projectile.
More big bullets are on the drawing board. Our source says “.375 Caliber and then .408 Caliber are the next new calibers to be made at Berger”. These are in the design phase, and Berger needs to build a new machine, so the .375s and .408s will not be available until 2013 at the earliest.
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Shooting is hugely popular in Norway. Each summer, the Norwegian National Rifle Championship draws 4,000-6,000 participants — an amazing number considering the population of Norway totals just 4.9 million. In Norway, as in Finland (home of Lapua), kids often get started in competitive shooting as early as age 6. In this video, you’ll see four Norwegian kids, Torje (age 8), Anders (age 7), Tonje (age 9), and Mari (age 15) trying out an Izhmash Biathlon rifle.
You’ll be impressed by the steady shooting skills of the youngsters, particularly 8-year-old Torje. He’s a future champion in the making we think.
Here’s another video with 15-year-old Mari, showing her rock-solid form with an Olympic-grade Izmash, using a quick-release arm sling. Note how steady she holds the rifle. This girl can shoot!
The rifles in the videos are both toggle-bolt Izhmash Biathlon guns, made in Russia. Like the German Fortner straight-pull action (used by Anschütz), the Izhmash toggle bolt action allows extremely rapid bolt-cycling. Shooters can quickly eject and reload without disturbing their shooting position or sight picture. The rifle in the first video sold in the USA last year for about $1560.00. That sounds expensive, but it is half the price of an Anschütz Fortner biathlon rifle. Check with AltiusGuns.com for current pricing and availability. The Izhmash Biathlon is offered in two models, the Biathlon 7-4 for adult men and the more compact Biathlon 7-3 for women and juniors. FYI, while the Izhmash 7-3 and 7-4 have not been imported in recent months, MT Guns still has a few LEFT-HAND model 7-4 Biathlon rifles in inventory. Southpaws, if you want one, call MT Guns at (805) 680-0201 before they’re all gone.
Top Shot fans, mark you calendars. The fourth season of Top Shot on the History Channel begins in one week. The Season 4 premiere airs Tuesday, February 14 (Valentine’s Day) at 10:00 PM Eastern. The selection of firearms (and other weapons) should be even more interesting this season. And, with a bigger budget to play with, Top Shot’s producers are ramping up the level of challenges. Season 4 begins with the biggest twist in Top Shot history: two competitors are sent packing immediately after a surprise shoot-off in the opening minutes of the first episode. Later, two shooters get a taste of WWII combat as they fire an M1 Carbine from a motorcycle sidecar and attempt to stay in the game. Colby Donaldson returns as host.
Here are Video Profiles of Three Season 4 Competitors (others at link below):
Michelle Viscusi (U.S. Army Nat’l Guard MP, serving with the Border Patrol)
The popular Friends of NRA TV show, hosted by Jessie Harrison and Matt Duff, launched its second season this past Sunday. In Season 2, Matt and Jesse return for a new year’s worth of adventures that take them across the United States. See Season 2 highlights in the video below:
In this fast-paced TV series Matt and Jesse travel around the country. Along the way they hunt, fish, shoot, and show how Friends of NRA fund-raising efforts help local, state, and national shooting programs. In this entertaining series, the hosts try out new outdoor activities each week — from hog-hunting to tarpon-fishing. Friends of NRA airs on the Outdoor Channel Sundays at 10:00 PM EST.
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Hot ladies and firearms — that’s a combination that’s worked for Hollywood, so why not Las Vegas? A new up-scale indoor shooting facility, Machine Guns Vegas, opens for business next month on the Las Vegas Strip. What sets this apart from your typical gun range are the luxurious appointments, the million-dollar gun arsenal, and, of course, the gorgeous Shoot Hostesses (aka Range Mistresses).
Occupying a spot behind the Mirage Hotel on Las Vegas’ central strip, Machine Guns Vegas will be America’s first-ever “ultra gun lounge”. The 10,000-square-foot, $5 million facility will feature plush furniture, large flat-screens TVs, iMacs, with private areas for parties.
The idea was cooked up by Genghis Cohen, who created the exotic Tabu club at the MGM Grand Hotel. Cohen told the UK’s Daily Mail that: “Machine Guns Vegas has changed everything. We’re the first luxury, dedicated gun lounge in the world.” Cohen added: “The world is now ready for a Gun Lounge [where] stunning ‘Gun-Girls’ trained in gun-handling [will] look after VIP guests.” Options will include full-auto Tommy Guns and M60s. But don’t worry — alcohol is not allowed on the premises and “all Machine Guns Vegas girls are certified Range Safety Officers through the National Rifle Association.” In addition, Machine Guns Vegas will have some serious firearms experts (with military experience) on staff.
Machine Guns Vegas Director of Training Michael Heck (a former Las Vegas Metro police officer) explains: “”We’re going to do something a little more high-end here, where the shoot club meets the nightclub. It’s Vegas… we’re trying to put the sin back in Sin City,”
This will be no ordinary gun range. Heck reveals: “On the front end, you’re going to see a sales host that may have been on the pages of Playboy last year, and now she’s our sales host. She’s thoroughly familiar with the firearms industry. By the time you make it out on the range, you’re probably going to be greeted by range masters that have done two or three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
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The best thing that can be done for the future of sport shooting in America is to recruit more female and junior participants. Young people are the future of the sport. Involving women in shooting can help reverse a “gender gap” in voting patterns that has favored anti-gun politicians. The more we can get women to enjoy shooting and adopt a positive attitude towards firearms, the harder it will be for anti-gun forces to marshal support for restrictive new laws.
Junior Womens’ Programs
Young women have the chance to participate in many specialized shooting programs for juniors, including the Youth Hunter Education Challenge, NRA Day events, CMP Junior leagues, and the Winchester/NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program. The NRA Foundatrion also offers a Women’s Wildlife Management/Conservation Scholarships. This women’s scholarship, from the Women of the NRA, is a renewable, one-year, $1,000 scholarship available to full-time college juniors or seniors with a minimum grade point average of 3.0, majoring in wildlife management/conservation.
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Great Location for Family Getaway
This Editor has often competed at the Morro Bay shooting range facility. This is a great venue for a weekend getaway. The range is close to the ocean, with affordable hotels and good camping facilities nearby. You can bring the whole family. There’s plenty for them to see and do.
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The Editors of AccurateShooter.com and a pantheon of legendary shooters have collaborated on a new book, Voodoo Accuracy, destined to become the definitive print resource for precision shooting. This new 666-page, full-color treatise compiles the wisdom of today’s greatest Hall of Fame and National Champion shooters. With the Voodoo knowledge of the world’s ‘top guns’ in your grasp, you can and will shoot more accurately no matter what your discipline.
Why do Voodoo? Sure you can spend hours, days, months, heck even a lifetime measuring stuff with calipers and trickling individual powder kernels, but you’re not going to win the big matches without access to the closely-guarded Voodoo secrets of the world’s master marksmen. Remember, there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your reloading manuals!
For the first time ever, Voodoo Accuracy reveals the hidden shooting secrets of the greatest trigger-pullers of all time. Now you too can shoot like a legend! Find out how to win matches without ever practicing! Apply Voodoo reloading techniques with startling results! Voodoo Accuracy contains chapters on all major forms of competitive shooting, from 25m air rifle benchrest to ultra-long range tactical competitions. Whatever your sport — point-blank benchrest, High Power, F-class, Silhouette, Palma, Multi-Gun, Biathlon, 1000-yard Benchrest — you’ll find invaluable Voodoo insights that will transform your shooting abilities overnight. We guarantee it!
Voodoo Accuracy Chapter Highlights:
● Extreme Wind Calling — How to dope a hurricane.
● Barrel Break-In — Sure-fire 50-step, 1000-round method.
● Ogive Talkin’ — More incomprehensible Ballistology by Bryan Litz.
● Point-Blank Pointers — Feng Shui and the placement of Wind Flags.
● Why Weigh Charges? — How to throw perfect charges blind-folded.
● Powder Blending Basics — Have a BLAST with the Mix-Master method.
● For FTR, Size Matters — Six-foot-wide, servo-adjusting bipods by Danny Biggs.
● Hall of Fame Headgear — The effect of dorky hats on Group Size, by Tony Boyer.
● Barrel Tuning — Voodoo Methods demonstrated (results guaranteed non-repeatable).
● Tactical Gearfinder — Be the first on your block with the latest, overpriced Tacticool accessories.
● .30-06 — THE solution to everything, including the economy and Global Warming, by G. Salazar.
● Voodoo Annealing — How to anneal by instinct (worrying about time and temperature is for sissies).
Here’s a sample from our chapter on the Joys of Abrasives: “We all learned as kids that shiny is good. Well it is. And more shiny is even better. Why settle for a bore that has anything less than a mirror finish? Just do a quick high-pressure bead-blast down your bore, followed by few thousand strokes with JB, and your bore will be perfectly slick and shiny. And you won’t have to waste any more time with those annoying lands and grooves that trap carbon and copper. They’re gone for good! Polish your bore to a mirror finish for the ultimate in barrel cleanliness.”
Order Your Own Copy of Voodoo Accuracy Voodoo Accuracy comes in a handsome, large-format hardback edition for $49.99. There is also a special, limited-run letterbox edition signed by Hall of Famers so legendary we can’t even mention their names here. The letterbox edition, limited to 250 copies, will cost $299.99. Think that’s too much? Well who can put a price on perfection? We guarantee that if you buy Voodoo Accuracy you’ll win early and often, feeding your self-esteem while reducing your shooting rivals to whimpering, broken shells of their former selves. Remember, as Charlie Sheen said, it’s all about “Winning”! If you want to run with the Big Dogs, and strut your stuff on top of the podium, order your copy of Voodoo Accuracy today!
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The History Channel’s new Top Shot television series is half-way through its summer season run. It has attracted millions of viewers already and has been renewed for a second season. The show has been fairly controversial among the “real gun guys” who have tuned in. Some folks say that any show which portrays the shooting sports in a positive light and helps broaden interest in shooting is a good thing. Others have complained that Top Shot has too little actual shooting and too much “Survivor”-style inter-personal drama. This Editor has watched all the episodes so far. I think the last two shows, which featured AR15s and Kentucky rifles, certainly showcased the competitors’ rifle skills.
In any event, Top Shot has garnered a large-enough TV audience that it will be renewed for next year. The show’s production company, Pilgrim Films & Television, has issued a “casting call” for new cast members for Top Shot’s second season. Below is the casting announcement, with links to application forms. Note the DEADLINE: Candidates must apply on or before August 12, 2010!
History Channel Now Casting for Season 2 of Top Shot!
If you are skilled with a pistol, rifle or any other firearm, you could win $100,000 in prizes on season 2 of History Channel’s hit competition show TOP SHOT. Producers are looking for anyone with mind-blowing shooting skills and a big personality to take on exciting physical challenges with multiple guns and mystery projectile weapons.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a professionally trained shooter or a self-taught, average Joe (or Jane!). As long as you’re in good physical shape, have mastered a firearm and can adapt to new weapons and demanding physical situations, you could be America’s next “Top Shot”. Applicants must be at least 21 years of age, a resident or citizen of the United States and reasonably proficient with shooting and marksmanship.
To apply, email TopShotCasting@gmail.com with your name, city/state, phone number, a recent photo of yourself and a brief explanation of why you should be on the show.
Deadline to apply is August 12, 2010. For more info, visit www.PilgrimFilms.tv and click on “CASTING” or call 818-478-4570. You can get a head start on the casting process by downloading a casting application and eligibility requirements form below: