May 15th, 2016

NRA Competition Rule Changes for 2016

2016 NRA Competition Rules

The NRA has released new, updated versions of Competition Rules, with changes that have been adopted for 2016. There are quite a few minor changes affecting rifle competitors in High Power, Service Rifle, Prone AR Platform Rifle, F-Class, and Smallbore Disciplines. There are also new rules for matches with Electronic Targets.

You can read a detailed Summary of the Rule Changes on the Shooting Sports USA Website. Discipline by discipline, this SSUSA article lists the text of the new/modified rules.

You can download the updated rules, discipline by discipline, on the NRA Rulebook Page: http://rulebooks.nra.org. Bound copies of NRA Rule Books may be ordered online from the NRA Store: http://materials.nrahq.org.

NRA Official Rule Books

Discipline PDF Rule Book With Updates
Action Pistol Download the NRA Action Pistol Rule Book
Action Pistol Rule Changes
BB Gun Download the NRA BB Gun Rule Book
BB Gun Rule Changes
Black Powder Target Rifle Download the NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Rule Book
Black Powder Target Rifle Rule Changes
Precision Pistol Download the NRA Precision Pistol Rule Book
Precision Pistol Rule Changes
High Power Rifle Download the NRA High Power Rifle Rule Book
High Power Rifle Rule Changes
High Power Sporting Rifle Download the NRA High Power Sporting Rifle Rule Book
High Power Sporting Rifle Rule Changes
International Fullbore Rifle Prone Download the NRA International Fullbore Rifle Prone Rule Book
International Fullbore Rifle Prone Rule Changes
Int’l Pistol (Includes Air Pistol) Download the NRA International Pistol Rule Book
International Pistol Rule Changes
Muzzle Loading Rifle, Pistol, Shotgun Download the NRA Muzzle Loading Rule Book
Muzzle Loading Rule Changes
Police Pistol Combat Download the NRA Police Pistol Combat Rule Book
Police Pistol Combat Rule Changes
Precision Air Rifle Position Download the NRA Precision Air Rifle Rule Book
Precision Air Rifle Rule Changes
Silhouette Pistol Download the NRA Silhouette Pistol Rule Book
Silhouette Pistol Rule Changes
Silhouette Rifle Download the NRA Silhouette Rifle Rule Book
Silhouette Rifle Rule Changes
Smallbore Rifle Download the NRA Smallbore Rifle Rule Book
Smallbore Rifle Rule Changes
Sporter Air Rifle Position Download the NRA Sporter Air Rifle Rule Book
Sporter Air Rifle Rule Changes
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May 6th, 2016

SCATT MX-02 Electronic Trainer Product Test and Review

SCATT MX-02 MX02 rifle trainer lens
by Tony Chow
In recent years, the use of electronic trainer systems has revolutionized training in all disciplines of position shooting. By capturing (and illustrating) key performance variables like the steadiness of a shooter’s hold, accuracy of aiming, and the timeliness of trigger release, these devices can offer tremendous insights into the strengths and weakness of a shooter’s position and technique, making high-level marksmanship training less voodoo and more of a science.

Until now, electronic trainers all suffered from one critical limitation: the inability to be used outdoors in live fire training. Now, however, SCATT has introduced the next-generation MX-02 electronic trainer, a product that can finally support outdoor live firing in broad daylight, as well as dry firing indoors. In addition, the MX-02 is the first electronic trainer to support centerfire rifles. It goes without saying that, when we at AccurateShooter.com were offered an MX-02 test unit to review, we jumped at the opportunity.

SCATT MX-02 MX02 rifle trainer lens

READ FULL REVIEW of SCATT MX-02 Electronic Trainer

How the SCATT MX-02 Works
The SCATT sensor mounted on the end of the barrel has a digital camera that “sees” the black bullseye in the target, even in broad daylight outdoors. Using the bullseye as a reference, the SCATT software tracks the movement of the muzzle relative to the center of the target. The unit can plot these movements as a continuous trace, which appears on a monitor as a squiggly, colored line. Data points from the trace are also available in a tabular spreadsheet format. This allows the shooter to “crunch the numbers”, revealing strengths and weaknesses in his gun-handling and aiming technique.

In our testing, we confirmed that, like SCATT’s earlier indoor-only WS-01, the MX-02 offers excellent support for indoor dry-fire training, which will continue to be the primary means through which position shooters sharpen their fundamental skills. Since the new SCATT uses the same familiar Windows software for data capture and analysis as its predecessors, shooters and coaches upgrading to MX-02 will have no learning curve to overcome, and newcomers to the SCATT platform can tap into the wealth of institutional knowledge accumulated over the years by the shooting community on how to interpret shot data.

It’s in the support for outdoor live firing, however, that SCATT MX-02 distinguishes itself from its predecessors and the competition. Shot trace data captured by MX-02 during live firing turned out to be every bit as valuable (and revealing) as we had hoped. The ability to correlate SCATT tracing with real shots on target gave us a better understanding of the shooting process, and helped the reviewer, already a high-level smallbore prone shooter, uncover a significant problem in his shooting. SCATT MX-02’s outdoor capability is therefore an invaluable feature, particularly for experienced shooters aspiring to world-class performance.

SCATT MX-02 MX02 rifle trainer lens

SCATT MX-02 MX02 rifle trainer lens

In summary, SCATT MX-02 is an outstanding product that delivers on its promises. We heartily recommend it, both for first-time users of electronic training aids, and also for those shooters who may wish to upgrade their current electronic training system. The MSRP for SCATT MX-02 is $1,799, $500 more than its predecessor, the SCATT WS-01, which is still available. In my view, the $500 premium for the MX-02 is justified by the MX-02’s enhanced capabilities, making it a better long-term investment.

Our complete, 3600-word MX-02 review of the SCATT MX-02 can be accessed through the link below. This full review contains many more photos plus detailed field test results. For the time being, the review only covers our experience with the product in smallbore shooting. An upcoming addendum to the review will include test results from centerfire shooting. Those attending SHOT Show in Las Vegas next week can examine SCATT MX-02 in person. SCATT will have the MX-02 on display at Booth 111.

READ FULL REVIEW of SCATT MX-02 Electronic Trainer

For more information or to order SCATT products, including the new MX-02, visit ScattUSA.com or call toll-free: 1-855-57-SCATT (72288).

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April 20th, 2016

Improve Your Shooting Skills with Multi-Discipline Training

Michelle Gallagher Cross Training

Guest Article By Michelle Gallagher, Berger Bullets
Let’s face it. In the world of firearms, there is something for everyone. Do you like to compete? Are you a hunter? Are you more of a shotgun shooter or rifle shooter? Do you enjoy running around between stages of a timed course, or does the thought of shooting one-hole groups appeal to you more? Even though many of us shoot several different firearms and disciplines, chances are very good that we all have a favorite. Are we spreading ourselves too thin by shooting different disciplines, or is it actually beneficial? I have found that participating in multiple disciplines can actually improve your performance. Every style of shooting is different; therefore, they each develop different skills that benefit each other.

How can cross-training in other disciplines help you? For example, I am most familiar with long-range prone shooting, so let’s start there. To be a successful long-range shooter, you must have a stable position, accurate ammunition, and good wind-reading skills. You can improve all of these areas through time and effort, but there are other ways to improve more efficiently. Spend some time practicing smallbore. Smallbore rifles and targets are much less forgiving when it comes to position and shot execution. Long-range targets are very large, so you can get away with accepting less than perfect shots. Shooting smallbore will make you focus more on shooting perfectly center shots every time. Another way to do this with your High Power rifle is to shoot on reduced targets at long ranges. This will also force you to accept nothing less than perfect. Shoot at an F-Class target with your iron sights. At 1000 yards, the X-Ring on a long range target is 10 inches; it is 5 inches on an F-Class target. Because of this, you will have to focus harder on sight alignment to hit a center shot. When you go back to the conventional target, you will be amazed at how large the ten ring looks.

Michelle Gallagher Cross Training

Also, most prone rifles can be fitted with a bipod. Put a bipod and scope on your rifle, and shoot F-TR. Shooting with a scope and bipod eliminates position and eyesight factors, and will allow you to concentrate on learning how to more accurately read the wind. The smaller target will force you to be more aggressive on your wind calls. It will also help encourage you to use better loading techniques. Nothing is more frustrating than making a correct wind call on that tiny target, only to lose the point out the top or bottom due to inferior ammunition. If you put in the effort to shoot good scores on the F-Class target, you will be amazed how much easier the long-range target looks when you return to your sling and iron sights. By the same token, F-Class shooters sometimes prefer to shoot fast and chase the spotter. Shooting prone can help teach patience in choosing a wind condition to shoot in, and waiting for that condition to return if it changes.

Benchrest shooters are arguably among the most knowledgeable about reloading. If you want to learn better techniques about loading ammunition, you might want to spend some time at benchrest matches. You might not be in contention to win, but you will certainly learn a lot about reloading and gun handling. Shooting F-Open can also teach you these skills, as it is closely related to benchrest. Benchrest shooters may learn new wind-reading techniques by shooting mid- or long-range F-Class matches.

Michelle Gallagher Cross TrainingPosition shooters can also improve their skills by shooting different disciplines. High Power Across-the-Course shooters benefit from shooting smallbore and air rifle. Again, these targets are very small, which will encourage competitors to be more critical of their shot placement. Hunters may benefit from shooting silhouette matches, which will give them practice when shooting standing with a scoped rifle. Tactical matches may also be good, as tactical matches involve improvising shots from various positions and distances. [Editor: Many tactical matches also involve hiking or moving from position to position — this can motivate a shooter to maintain a good level of general fitness.]

These are just a few ways that you can benefit from branching out into other shooting disciplines. Talk to the other shooters. There is a wealth of knowledge in every discipline, and the other shooters will be more than happy to share what they have learned. Try something new. You may be surprised what you get out of it. You will certainly learn new skills and improve the ones you already have. You might develop a deeper appreciation for the discipline you started off with, or you may just discover a new passion.

This article originally appeared in the Berger Bulletin. The Berger Bulletin blog contains the latest info on Berger products, along with informative articles on target shooting and hunting.

Article Find by EdLongrange.

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March 25th, 2016

Rimfire Barrel Cleaning — ELEY’s Recommended Methods


Here’s a record-setting rimfire benchrest rifle owned by our friend Joe Friedrich.

Eley rimfire barrel cleaning with felt oilThe experts at ELEY Limited, top rimfire ammo-maker, have posted a helpful guide to cleaning rimfire barrels. We reprint highlights of the article below, but we suggest you read the full article on the Eley website: How to Clean Your Rifle the ELEY Way.

Editor’s Comment: This is not the only way to clean a rimfire barrel. There are other procedures. This is the method recommended by ELEY based on decades of experience with the top smallbore shooters in the world, including many Olympic Gold Medalists. Some shooters have been very successful cleaning less frequently, or using different types of solvents. The ELEY method is a good starting point.

Rimfire Barrel Cleaning

1. Clean the extension tube with a 12 gauge brush and felt or tissue moistened with solvent.

ELEY-how-to-clean-your-rifle-cleaning-step-1

2. Smoothly insert a cleaning rod guide into the receiver.

ELEY-how-to-clean-your-rifle-cleaning-step-2-cleaning-rod-guide

3. Apply a dry felt to the cleaning rod adapter and push it through the barrel to the muzzle in one slow steady movement. As the felt is dry it may feel stiff.

ELEY-how-to-clean-your-rifle-cleaning-step-3-apply-dry-felt ELEY-how-to-clean-your-rifle-cleaning-step-3-apply-dry-felt-through-the-barrel

4. Remove the soiled felt and pull back the cleaning rod.

ELEY-how-to-clean-your-rifle-cleaning-step-4-remove-felt

(more…)

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March 10th, 2016

IWA Outdoor Classics Trade Show Wrap-Up from Germany

IWA Outdoor Classics Trade Show 2016 Nuremberg Germany Safari
Photo courtesy NürnbergMesse.

The 2016 IWA Outdoor Classics trade show (aka “Euro SHOT Show”) is now history. The IWA event increases in popularity each year. In 2016 there were 1457 exhibitors with nearly 5000 products on display. The final 2016 attendance count is not complete but there were probably close to 44,000 visitors at the IWA show in Nuremberg, Germany. Last year, in 2015, there were 41,748 trade visitors from 122 countries. The video below shows highlights of the 2015 IWA Outdoor Classic event:

IWA Outdoor Classics 2016 Wrap-Up Video

Many interesting new products were showcased at IWA this year. Here are some of the more innovative or noteworthy guns and shooting accessories on display in Nuremberg:

Anschutz 54.30 Smallbore Action and Rifle

CK Technology Bullet Traps Rubber granular

The new Anschutz 54.30 smallbore target barreled action features a threaded receiver and barrel — a change from the past (when barrels were pressed and pinned). The new 54.30 action has many other important design improvements. The loading port was moved 30mm rewards and was reduced in size by 18%, resulting in a more rigid receiver. The closer location of the loading port is more ergonomic, allowing less movement when in position. The weight of the firing pin was reduced, resulting in a velocity increase of the firing pin and a shorter lock-time. Anschutz also claims that a newly-designed barrel chamber improves overall accuracy. The new 54.30 match action can be installed into all available stocks which fit Anschutz round match actions such as the 1907 or 1913.

Dentler Basis Vario — Modular Rifle Scope Mounting System

Dentler VARIO basis modular scope mounting system

Dentler has introduced an interesting modular scope mounting system that allows you to quickly switch optics while retaining zero. The system offers many variations for scope height, optic type, and fore-aft position. Dentler claims this system offers 100% repeatable zeroes. Watch the video to see how the BASIS VARIO mounting system works.

CK Technology — Granular Rubber Bullet Trap

CK Technology Bullet Traps Rubber granular

This is a smart use of recycled rubber materials. CK Technology of Belgium has created a new bullet trap that uses small rubber beads to capture bullets. The granular bullet trap is made of rubber granulates placed on an inclined galvanized steel plate. It offers many advantages compared to traditional steel bullet traps– most importantly there is less pollution, reduced noise, and most importantly, bullets are captured intact so there are no ricochets. This system works for up to .50 caliber bullets, and can be installed indoors or outdoors. The CK bullet trap takes up less space than a conventional steel bullet trap — an advantage for indoor ranges.

SIUS AG — Color Touch-Screen Electronic Scoring Display

SIUS Touch Screen controller

SIUS AG is a leader in electronic scoring technology, and the new SA951 control/display unit represents the state of the art. The latest generation SA951 is designed for all types of pistols and rifles, centerfire, rimfire, and airguns. SIUS states the the SA951 is currently the only unit with ISSF Phase III approval for all types of firearms and airguns. The SA951 features a sharp 10.5-inch color touchscreen that permits the competitor to see his/her targets and easily navigate a variety of functions — all with the touch of a finger. Using the control menu and selecting programms and screens is easy, quick and intuitive. The control unit can also be operated via the remote control or the proven barcode scanner. This allows users the same kind of operation as with predecessor models SA931/SA941.

Korth Super Sport Revolver

Korth Super Sport Revolver Bianchi Cup

This is one serious wheelgun. The new Korth Super Sport Revolver is big and beefy with Picatinny-type rails on top and on both sides of the barrel. Chambered for .357 Magnum, this gun was designed for used in action matches such as the Bianchi Cup. Weighing a hefty 3.64 pounds (1.652 kg), the Korth Super Sport is over 11 inches long, without compensator. This gun has many innovative features, including: externally adjustable hammer spring, externally adjustable double-action cycle (with pressure point wheel), adjustable iron sights, and quick-change cylinder (for caliber change to .38 Special or 9mm Para). Here’s video of the gun being shot at the SHOT Show Media Day event in January.

Svensk Jaktvision PhoneCam Holder

Jaktvision svenks smartphone phonecam holder

Svensk Jaktvision of Sweden offers a handy product that mounts a smartphone above your rifle-scope. This product is designed for hunters who want to record their experience in the wild. But the system is also useful for marksmanship training. The top-mounted smartphone screen allows a coach/instructor to see how the rifle moves in the hands of the trainee. Watch the video to see how the Jaktvision PhoneCam holder can be employed in the field.

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February 26th, 2016

Registration Opens for 2016 National Matches at Camp Perry

Camp Perry Championships Shawn McKenna
Shawn McKenna Photo.

NRA National Championship Camp PerryOnline registration is officially open for the 2016 NRA National Rifle and Pistol Championships at Camp Perry, Ohio. Held July 11 through August 9, 2016, the National Matches attract the nation’s finest civilian and military marksmen who will participate in a month of competitive shooting on the shores of Lake Erie. From pistol, to smallbore rifle, high power rifle, and long range high power rifle (including F-Class), the national matches have something for just about every serious shooter.

Shooters may now register to compete in this summer’s 2016 NRA National Rifle and Pistol Championships at Camp Perry, Ohio. Championship will be held in NRA’s Pistol, High Power, Mid-Range, and Long Range disciplines. Click the links below for the 2016 NM Calendar and NM Registration Form:

2016 National Championships Calendar | 2016 National Championships Registration Form

Camp Perry National Championships NRA

Smallbore Championships Will Be Held in Bristol, Indiana
As usual, the pistol, High Power, and High Power Long Range Championships will be held at Camp Perry, Ohio, on the shores of Lake Erie. However, the NRA National Smallbore Position Championships and Smallbore Prone Championships will be held at the Chief Wa-Ke-De Range in Bristol, Indiana. This year’s Smallbore Championships are scheduled for July 10 through July 18th.

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February 24th, 2016

NRA Smallbore Championships Go “Gender Neutral”

Small Bore Rifle Championship NRA women category gender neutral

Report based on story by NRABlog.com
Starting this summer, the NRA National Smallbore Rifle Championships will no longer feature a separate “High Women” award. From now on, men and women will compete shoulder to shoulder in the same category — every shooter will be scored in a single group regardless of gender. (There will still be age-based categories; also men and women have always been eligible to win match top honors regardless of gender).

The reason for this change is, quite simply, that ladies can shoot as well as men (or better in many cases). Consequently, there is no need for a separate class for women: “There is a high degree of parity between men and women shooters in the smallbore championships,” said H.Q. Moody, national manager of NRA’s Rifle Department. Moody explained: “Women are rightly viewed as equals in today’s America. Shouldn’t our championships reflect that attitude as well? Our smallbore committee has discussed making the championships gender equitable for many years now and finally felt it was the right time to implement the change.”

Men and women will now compete on equal terms at the National Smallbore Championship, competing for the same honors in “gender-neutral” classifications.
Small Bore Rifle Championship NRA women category gender neutral
Photo courtesy Shooting Sports USA.

This change was officially adopted this past January at the NRA Board of Directors winter meetings. It only affects the NRA National Smallbore Rifle Championships for now, but a positive reception could see “gender-neutrality” spread to regional matches and below, and maybe even other NRA disciplines.

History of Women’s Classfication in Smallbore Competition
The women’s category was first introduced to the smallbore championships nearly 70 years ago. Back then, military shooters were dominating the field so convincingly that several new categories were created to recognize the accomplishments of civilian shooters. This move saw the creation of not just the Woman category, but also Junior and Senior. The latter two have since expanded even further (e.g. Grand Senior, Intermediate Junior) to accommodate the skill discrepancies within levels and they make perfect sense to have; junior shooters are generally more inexperienced and many seniors are affected by physical limitations.

Small Bore Rifle Championship NRA women category gender neutral

But the same can no longer be said of the women’s category. While military shooters still do very well nowadays, the proliferation of female service members has seen quite a few woman match winners. There are also a number of extraordinary female civilian shooters who finish near the top of each year’s overall standings. For instance, women shooters placed first in each of the two aggregate matches that determined last year’s Conventional 3-Position Champion.

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February 4th, 2016

Rimfire Training Can Benefit F-Class Competitors

rimfire practice Berger SWN

The 2016 Berger Southwest Nationals event is less than a week away. If you need some last-minute practice before this match and you don’t have the time (or money) to load a couple hundred rounds of centerfire ammo, consider rimfire practice. Past F-TR National Champion James Crofts attributes much of his success to plenty of trigger time with his rimfire training rifle.

Rimfire Training for F-Classers

2014 and 2012 U.S. National F-TR Champion James Crofts is one of America’s top F-Class shooters. A member of the 2013 World Championship-winning F-TR Team USA squad, James knows a thing or two about long-range shooting, that’s for sure. But you may be surprised to learn how James sharpens his shooting skills at relatively short distances. You see, James often practices with a .22 LR rimfire rifle at distances from 50 to 200 yards. James tells us: “Shooting my F-Class rimfire trainer saves me money and improves my shot process and wind-reading abilities.”

Remington rimfire 40X barreled action in PR&T LowBoy stock with PT&G bolt.
James Crofts F-TR Rimfire .22 LR

Rimfire Training Teaches Wind-Reading Skills by James Crofts
Training with the rimfire is extremely useful and can be done from 25 yards out to 200 yards. I am lucky and can shoot 50 yards right off my back deck. That is far enough that any miscue on rifle handling will show up on the target. I use a two dry-fire to one actual shot routine for my practices. This gives me much more positive reinforcement without any negative reinforcement.

Wind reading is extremely important with a .22 LR rifle. I use a set of smallbore flags to aid my wind calls. The smallbore flags are a must and force you to look at the flags and mirage on each and every shot. If you think the flags at Camp Butner move a lot, try smallbore flags around tall pine trees.

James Crofts F-TR Rimfire .22 LR
James Crofts — Photo by Kent Reeve.

Rimfire Training Is Cost-Effective
Rimfire ammunition is much less costly than centerfire ammo. Though .22 LR prices have risen in recent years (and rimfire ammo is harder to find), even now I can get a 500-round brick of .22 LR ammo for less than $75.00. That works out to fifteen cents a round. That’s a fraction of the cost of handloading .308 Win match ammo. Heck, you can pay 40 cents a piece for match-grade .308-cal centerfire bullets. Then you have to figure in brass, primers, and powder.

James Crofts F-TR Rimfire .22 LR

My CMP 40X Rimfire F-TR LowBoy Clone
My quest into the .22 LLR rimfire field started with an email from the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) announcing Rem 40X stripped barreled actions for sale. I thought, “Hmmm… Could one of those little 40X barreled actions be turned into a F-Class training rifle?” My gunsmith Ray Bowman of Precision Rifle & Tool was brought in at this point.

After conferring with Ray, it was decided that he could indeed turn this into a F-Class training rifle. Ray contacted Dave Kiff of PT&G and ordered a new bolt for the Remington 40X rimfire action. Next was the stock decision. I decided to go with a PR&T Low Boy F-Class stock — this is an exact clone of the stock for my .308 Win F-TR competition rifle. Then a Jewell trigger was acquired to complete the components. Ray built this just like he would any custom rifle, other than using the stock barrel. The project turned out awesome. The rifle was a hammer from the beginning even with the stock barrel.

James Crofts F-TR Rimfire .22 LR

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January 6th, 2016

Click No Bang — Dry-Fire Training with Kirsten

kirsten weiss dry fire anschutz smallbore

Kirsten Joy Weiss has created a useful video about Dry-Fire practice. Dry-Fire is a method of training without a live round in the chamber. Dry-Firing is effective, Kirsten explains, because “it eliminates all the extra noise and messages that you get when you fire a live round. Without recoil, without the sound of a shot going off etc., all you hear is the click of the trigger. This allows you to focus on your sight picture and your trigger press.” This the lastest installment in Kirsten’s ‘How to Shoot Awesomely’ series. Kisten says: “I hope it helps you, and keep on aiming true!”

kirsten weiss dry fire anschutz smallbore

Dennis DeMille High PowerThe Benefits of Dry-Fire Training
If you are not doing Dry-Fire practice yet, then it’s time to start. Dry-Fire training is essential to the sling disciplines, and very useful for F-Class. Dennis DeMille, a national Service Rifle Champion, told us that, for every minute he spent in actual competition, he would spend hours practicing without ammunition. While in the USMC, Dennis would practice in the barracks, working on his hold and dry-firing:

“The most important thing is to spend time off the range practicing. Most of what I learned as a High Power shooter I learned without ammunition — just spending time dry firing and doing holding exercises. Holding exercises will really identify the weak parts of your position. The primary purpose of dry firing is to get you used to shooting an empty rifle. If you can shoot a loaded rifle the same way you shoot an empty rifle then eventually you will become a High Master.”

Dry-Fire Training Can Benefit Benchrest Shooters
What about benchrest? Well, we’ve found that Dry-Fire sessions can even benefit benchresters — it can help reveal flaws in your trigger technique, or inconsistencies in the way you address the rifle from shot to shot. With the gun set up with your front rest and rear bag, if you see the scope’s cross-hairs wiggle a lot when you pull the trigger, you need to work on your technique. Also, dry-fire practice can help you learn to work the bolt more smoothly so you don’t disturb the gun on the bags.

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December 27th, 2015

Marksmanship Fundamentals: Finger Placement on Trigger

kirsten joy weiss trigger placement shooting skills

You can spend thousands on a fancy new rifle, but all that expensive hardware won’t perform at its best if you have poor trigger technique. One key element of precision shooting is trigger control. Our friend Kirsten Joy Weiss has produced a good video that shows how to refine your trigger technique for better accuracy. In this video, Kirsten talks about the actual placement of a shooter’s index finger on the trigger. It is important to have the finger positioned optimally. Otherwise you can pull the shot slightly left or slightly right.

Kirsten tells us: “Finger placement on the trigger might not seem like a big deal, but it actually is. The reason for this is because, depending on where your index finger is placed on the trigger, [this] translates to different muscle interactions with the gun.” Watch this video to see Kirsten demonstrate proper finger placement (and explain problems caused by improper finger positioning).

When you pull the trigger, you only want to engage the last section of your finger, in order to avoid unwanted muscle engagement and to achieve a smooth shot. Remember there is a “sweet spot” between the crease (first joint) and the tip of the finger. If you position the trigger in that “sweet spot”, you should see an increase in your accuracy. Don’t make the mistake of putting the trigger in the crease of your finger, as shown below.

kirsten joy weiss trigger placement shooting skills

Effects of Incorrect Finger Placements
You want to place the trigger shoe between the end of your finger and the first joint. If you place the trigger on the very tip of you finger you’ll tend to push the rear of the rifle to the left when engaging the trigger, causing shots to go right (for a right-handed shooter). On the other hand, if you put the trigger in the crease (first joint), you’ll tend to bring the rear of the rifle to the right, causing shots to fall left. This is illustrated below for a right-handed shooter.

kirsten joy weiss trigger placement shooting skills

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November 9th, 2015

NRA Smallbore Nationals Move Permanently to Indiana

Wa-Ke-De Range Indiana smallbore championship

Report based on Story in NRABlog.
It’s official — Indiana is IN and Ohio is OUT. The Chief Wa-Ke-De Range in Bristol, Indiana, is now the permanent home of the NRA National Smallbore Rifle Championships. The Smallbore Championships will no longer be contested at the historic Camp Perry facility on the shores of Lake Erie near Port Clinton, Ohio. After the Smallbore Nationals were relocated to Indiana for the past two years to facilitate the 2015 World Long Range Championships, many competitors expected a return to Camp Perry. However, the NRA Smallbore Committee has decided to make Bristol, Indiana the permanent venue for the Smallbore Championships.

Situated about three hours west of Camp Perry, the Wa-Ke-De Range has some advantages over the Camp Perry facility. First, the 100-point firing line is covered in asphalt instead of grass. In addition, the range sits in a large grove of trees that provide a beautiful setting and shelter from the wind — practically the opposite of Camp Perry’s notorious wind and open fields.

Despite this, many smallbore competitors wished for the Nationals to return to Camp Perry. One poll of shooters ran roughly 3:1 in favor of returning to Perry. On his personal website, Bill Dutton has posted an Open Letter to the NRA which states many reasons why the Smallbore Championships should be returned to Camp Perry. Among other things, Bill notes: “The facilities are perfect for a large Regional but The Chief Wa-Ke’-De Rifle Range lacks the grand scale which a Camp Perry provides. Competitors and parents look forward to browsing vendor row at Camp Perry in order to replenish supplies for the coming season… in addition to trying out the latest shooting equipment. The nearest hotel [was] in Elkhart, about 15 minutes away. Camp Perry has sufficient onsite lodging for hundreds of competitors and their families. I personally had a bill for $1,400 for the hotel I and my daughter stayed in. Compared to a Hut at Camp Perry where four people can sleep for $12.50 per night, translating to equivalent cost of $175 per person for two weeks.”

View Photo Gallery from 2014 Smallbore Championships

2016 Championships Scheduled for July 10-18, 2016
The 2016 Smallbore Championships will be held 10-18 July, 2016, with registration opening on April 1, 2016. As before, the Metric and Conventional Position Championships will fall under the umbrella of the NRA Smallbore 3-Position Championship. Note: The Metric Prone Championship was removed but the 50-yard match was added to the NRA Smallbore Prone Championship. From these two main championships (3-Position and Prone), an overall NRA National Smallbore Rifle Champion will be crowned.

Team championships in both position and prone will still be awarded. 3-Position team matches will be shot as “paper matches,” meaning the scores will be taken from a shooter’s individual performance in the 3-Position Championship. Prone team matches will still be shot on their own and will be held following each day’s individual prone matches.

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October 18th, 2015

Idaho Teen Wins NSSF Rimfire Challenge World Championship

Rimfire Challenge Championship

Here’s a feel-good story about a talented young man from Idaho. Sixteen-year-old Kolby Pavlock of Kuna, Idaho, won the NSSF Rimfire Challenge World Championship, held October 9-11 at the Old Fort Gun Club in Fort Smith, Arkansas. In winning the overall title (not just the junior class) Kolby out-shot many seasoned adult competitors, proving that youth and skill can in fact overcome “old age and treachery”, at least in this fun rimfire discipline. Kolby is blazing fast, as you can see in this video from the 2015 Idaho NSSF Rimfire Challenge Match. Check out the jaw-dropping speed at 1:20 time-mark.

Watch 16-year-old Kolby Pavlock in NSSF Rimfire Competition:

The 2015 Rimfire Challenge Championship was a great success. A record 200 competitors of all ages and skill levels took part. (By comparison only 150 or so shooters competed in the much-ballyhooed “NRA World Shooting Championship”). For many competitors, the Rimfire Challenge was very much a family affair — with mom, dad, and the kids all joining in the fun.

Fun and very affordable, the NSSF Rimfire Challenge appeals to all ages and skill levels. Here are youth competitors from last year’s Championship at the Old Fort Gun Club in Arkansas:
Rimfire Challenge Championship

NSSF took over the Rimfire Challenge in 2014, replacing Ruger as the sponsoring organization. This popular competition is growing fast — in 2015, more than 400 Rimfire Challenge events were held across the country. The matches are designed to encourage family participation in a friendly, supportive atmosphere. Complete results from the world championship event will be posted at www.nssf.org/rimfire/championship.

Rimfire Challenge Championship

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August 12th, 2015

MTM Fitted Rimfire Box Holds .22-Cal and .17-Cal Rounds

rimfire box mtm ammo

For centerfire ammo, you can choose from dozens of flip-top boxes, storage bins, or milsurp-style ammo cans. For rimfire ammo, there are not so many good choices. Our preferred rimfire ammo carrier is the MTM SB-200 Small-Bore Fitted Ammo Box. This flip-top plastic box holds 100 rimfire rounds in 10×5 black grids on the left and right. In the center is a storage area that will hold another 100 rounds in factory boxes. MTM’s SB-200 box was recently re-designed so it will now hold 17 HMR rounds, as well as 17 Mach 2, 22 short, 22 Win Mag Rimfire, and of course 22 Long Rifle (.22LR)

MTM Case-Gard 200 Round Smallbore Box
This is really the only product of its kind on the market. It allows you to conveniently and securely hold 200 rimfire rounds, and also segregate your ammo by brand or bullet type. These boxes fit all types of popular rimfire ammunition. The vertical clearance of the lid is sufficient to hold the longer .22 WMR Rounds, and 17 HMR (as well as .22 LR naturally). The lid fits securely so you don’t have to worry about your rimfire ammo spilling out on the way to the range.

If you don’t have one of these boxes yet, we recommend you order one or two. They cost less than $15.00 and are available in Blue or “Rust” (a brick color).

rimfire box mtm ammo rimfire box mtm ammo

Bottom image courtesy Mountain High Trading Company eBay store.

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August 11th, 2015

High-Tech SCATT MX-02 Training System for Dry Fire and Live Fire

SCATT MX-02 MX02 rifle trainer lens
by Tony Chow
In recent years, the use of electronic trainer systems has revolutionized training in all disciplines of position shooting. By capturing (and illustrating) key performance variables like the steadiness of a shooter’s hold, accuracy of aiming, and the timeliness of trigger release, these devices can offer tremendous insights into the strengths and weakness of a shooter’s position and technique, making high-level marksmanship training less voodoo and more of a science.

Until now, electronic trainers all suffered from one critical limitation: the inability to be used outdoors in live fire training. Now, however, SCATT has introduced the next-generation MX-02 electronic trainer, a product that can finally support outdoor live firing in broad daylight, as well as dry firing indoors. In addition, the MX-02 is the first electronic trainer to support centerfire rifles. It goes without saying that, when we at AccurateShooter.com were offered an MX-02 test unit to review, we jumped at the opportunity.

SCATT MX-02 MX02 rifle trainer lens

READ FULL REVIEW of SCATT MX-02 Electronic Trainer

How the SCATT MX-02 Works
The SCATT sensor mounted on the end of the barrel has a digital camera that “sees” the black bullseye in the target, even in broad daylight outdoors. Using the bullseye as a reference, the SCATT software tracks the movement of the muzzle relative to the center of the target. The unit can plot these movements as a continuous trace, which appears on a monitor as a squiggly, colored line. Data points from the trace are also available in a tabular spreadsheet format. This allows the shooter to “crunch the numbers”, revealing strengths and weaknesses in his gun-handling and aiming technique.

In our testing, we confirmed that, like SCATT’s earlier indoor-only WS-01, the MX-02 offers excellent support for indoor dry-fire training, which will continue to be the primary means through which position shooters sharpen their fundamental skills. Since the new SCATT uses the same familiar Windows software for data capture and analysis as its predecessors, shooters and coaches upgrading to MX-02 will have no learning curve to overcome, and newcomers to the SCATT platform can tap into the wealth of institutional knowledge accumulated over the years by the shooting community on how to interpret shot data.

It’s in the support for outdoor live firing, however, that SCATT MX-02 distinguishes itself from its predecessors and the competition. Shot trace data captured by MX-02 during live firing turned out to be every bit as valuable (and revealing) as we had hoped. The ability to correlate SCATT tracing with real shots on target gave us a better understanding of the shooting process, and helped the reviewer, already a high-level smallbore prone shooter, uncover a significant problem in his shooting. SCATT MX-02’s outdoor capability is therefore an invaluable feature, particularly for experienced shooters aspiring to world-class performance.

SCATT MX-02 MX02 rifle trainer lens

SCATT MX-02 MX02 rifle trainer lens

In summary, SCATT MX-02 is an outstanding product that delivers on its promises. We heartily recommend it, both for first-time users of electronic training aids, and also for those shooters who may wish to upgrade their current electronic training system. The MSRP for SCATT MX-02 is $1,799, $500 more than its predecessor, the SCATT WS-01, which is still available. In my view, the $500 premium for the MX-02 is justified by the MX-02’s enhanced capabilities, making it a better long-term investment.

Our complete, 3600-word MX-02 review of the SCATT MX-02 can be accessed through the link below. This full review contains many more photos plus detailed field test results. For the time being, the review only covers our experience with the product in smallbore shooting. An upcoming addendum to the review will include test results from centerfire shooting. Those attending SHOT Show in Las Vegas next week can examine SCATT MX-02 in person. SCATT will have the MX-02 on display at Booth 111.

READ FULL REVIEW of SCATT MX-02 Electronic Trainer

For more information or to order SCATT products, including the new MX-02, visit ScattUSA.com or call toll-free: 1-855-57-SCATT (72288).

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July 7th, 2015

USA Olympians Demonstrate the Kneeling Position

Amanda Furrer USA Shooting

Bob Foth Paralympic coachWatch the video below to learn about the kneeling position, as explained by National Paralympic Coach Bob Foth and 2012 Olympian Amanda Furrer. Three-time Olympian and Silver Medalist Bob Foth details the proper techniques (both body position and gun-handling) for kneeling position shooting. Putting Foth’s coaching tips into practice, three-Position smallbore shooter Amanda Furrer demonstrates how to properly shoot from a kneeling position using a .22LR match rifle.

Amanda, a member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic team, shows how to set up the right body position when kneeling, how to support the rifle, and how to relax breathing to steady the shot. This takes practice, but remarkable accuracy can be achieved from the kneeling position by top-level shooters. This is a great video, well worth watching.

The video uses superimposed graphics and diagrams to show rifle hardware/sights, and key aspects of the head position, sling set-up, and hold. If you are a position shooter, this is a “must-watch” video. Narrated by Olympian Bob Foth, it is very informative.

Watch Kneeling Position Video

As a member of the U.S. Olympic Team, Amanda Furrer competed in the Womens 3P 50m event at the 2012 Olympics, finishing 15th. Amanda first started shooting at 11 years old with the Spokane Junior Rifle Team. Shooting is a family sport and all compete and shoot guns together. Furrer’s father shoots tactical matches and her mom shoots pistols. Amanda qualified for the national team as a member of the 2007 Pan American Team at the age of 16. She won bronze in the 2011 National Championships. Amanda is currently a student at Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business, majoring in Finance and competing on the Rifle Team.

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June 7th, 2015

Online Registration Still Open for National Matches

2012 Nat’l High Power Champ Carl Bernosky. Photo courtesy NRABlog.com

 2014 NRA National Rifle and Pistol Championships at Camp Perry, Ohio

Report based on story by Kyle Jillson for NRABlog.com
It’s not too late — you can still sign up for your spot in this summer’s NRA National Rifle and Pistol Championships. Register online now to participate in the 2015 NRA National Rifle & Pistol Championships which will be held July 6 – August 14, 2015.

Pistol and High Power Rifle REGISTRATION | Smallbore Rifle Championships REGISTRATION

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May 4th, 2015

600-50X! Teen Shoots First-Ever Perfect Rimfire Sporter Score

Rimfire sporter match new record 600-50x Sam Payne
Sam Payne (far left) shot the first-ever “clean” 600-50X score in the CMP Rimfire Sporter Match.

15-year old Sam Payne of Kingston, GA, made history during the Rimfire Sporter Match at the Eastern CMP Games. Sam shot a stunning 600-50X in the T-Class, the first person to clean the Rimfire Sporter Match Course of Fire. (The total possible is 600-60X.) Congratulations to Sam! Full results from CMP Eastern Games can be viewed on the CMP Competition Tracker Site.

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May 3rd, 2015

Read FREE May Edition of Shooting Sports USA

Shooting Sports USA Camp Perry eZine Magazine Free

You can read the latest May 2015 edition of Shooting Sports USA for free. This issue covers the 2015 NRA Intercollegiate Rifle Club Championship and includes an exclusive interview with 2015 NCAA Smallbore Rifle Champion Rachel Martin. If you like classic target rifles, you should definitely read the “Yesterday’s Rifle” article. This recounts America’s program to develop a winning Smallbore Rifle for the 1924 Paris Olympics. The full May 2015 issue of Shooting Sports USA is embedded below.

If you want to read the May issue in a larger, dual-page format, CLICK THIS LINK.

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April 25th, 2015

16-Year-Old Girl Dominates National Junior Olympics

lizmarsh

Elizabeth Marsh — remember the name. This girl’s got game, as the 16-year-old Arkansas native proved at the 2015 National Junior Olympic Championships (NJOSC). In a superb performance, young Elizbeth won BOTH the Air Rifle and Smallbore Events in the Ladies’ Division at NJOSC. Remarkably, her finals score beat the current Junior World Record.

Elizabeth first claimed top honors in Air Rifle, then she won the Smallbore event with a dominating performance. She shot a world-class Smallbore Final, besting her nearest opponent by 12.1 points. In fact, her Finals score of 459.3 is 3.5 points better than the current Junior World Record (455.8) set by China’s Ruijiao Pei at last year’s World Championship.

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April 23rd, 2015

How to Clean Your Rimfire Rifle Barrel the ELEY Way

Eley rimfire barrel cleaning with felt oilThe experts at ELEY Limited, top rimfire ammo-maker, have posted a helpful guide to cleaning rimfire barrels. We reprint highlights of the article below, but we suggest you read the full article on the Eley website: How to Clean Your Rifle the ELEY Way.

Editor’s Comment: This is not the only way to clean a rimfire barrel. There are other procedures. This is the method recommended by ELEY based on decades of experience with the top smallbore shooters in the world, including many Olympic Gold Medalists. Some shooters have been very successful cleaning less frequently, or using different types of solvents. The ELEY method is a good starting point.

Rimfire Barrel Cleaning

1. Clean the extension tube with a 12 gauge brush and felt or tissue moistened with solvent.

ELEY-how-to-clean-your-rifle-cleaning-step-1

2. Smoothly insert a cleaning rod guide into the receiver.

ELEY-how-to-clean-your-rifle-cleaning-step-2-cleaning-rod-guide

3. Apply a dry felt to the cleaning rod adapter and push it through the barrel to the muzzle in one slow steady movement. As the felt is dry it may feel stiff.

ELEY-how-to-clean-your-rifle-cleaning-step-3-apply-dry-felt ELEY-how-to-clean-your-rifle-cleaning-step-3-apply-dry-felt-through-the-barrel

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