A number of interesting jobs in the firearms industry have become available in recent weeks. The NSSF maintains a regularly-updated listing of employment opportunities with gun-makers and shooting sports organizations. On the NSSF’s job board right now there are tech and engineering offerings, PR and marketing positions, and Sierra Bullets and Nosler are even looking for Ballisticians. Here are some of the jobs we found this week posted on the NSSF Website. CLICK HERE for a complete listing (many more jobs).
This past weekend, top pistol shooters from 28 states, one U.S. territory and three foreign nations competed at the 2013 Smith & Wesson IDPA Indoor National Championships in Springfield, Massachusetts. Robert Vogel successfully defended his Stock Service Pistol division title for the sixth straight year. Second place in the SSP division went to Rob Tate who claimed first Master and the High Military Veteran title.
In another impressive performance, our friend Randi Rogers won the High Lady title for the fifth year in a row. You go girl! Randi Rogers also claimed second Master. High International title went to Luis Ricardo Zanotti of Venezuela.
Vogel Dominates SSP Division
Vogel, the first IDPA shooter to claim the sport’s Distinguished Master classification in all three pistol divisions, won all but two stages in the championship to outpace his nearest competitor by nearly 30 seconds and finish with a final time of 154.37. That’s dominance. In addition to winning the SSP title, Vogel earned High Law Enforcement and High Industry honors.
“Bob Vogel is riding an incredible win streak in IDPA that extends back to the 2007 IDPA Nationals.” said Joyce Wilson, executive director of IDPA.
At Media Day, we had a chance to try out a new Smith & Wesson Pro Series C.O.R.E. pistol in 9mm. Despite the wicked cold weather, we enjoyed shooting this pistol. It is accurate, comfortable, and has a decent trigger.
This M&P variant features a slide that has been milled to fit modern, compact red-dot optics. Six optic types will fit: Trijicon RMR, Leupold Delta Point, Jpoint, Doctor, C-More STS, Insight MRDS The slide cut positions the red dot optic (a Trijicon on our test gun) so that the conventional iron sites are still usable below the red-dot. That’s smart, because the front blade sight can still be used to steer the gun towards the target, and then, as you bring the muzzle down on target, the red dot appears. This is a very fast, efficient system.
This C.O.R.E. model, like other M&P series pistols, has a comfortable, ergonomic grip-shape that is far superior to the grip on Glock handguns in this reporter’s opinion. I also like the grip better than the blocky grip on my older H&K polymer .45 ACP. Grip angle feels “just right” (unlike the Glock), and the corners are rounded (an improvement on the blocky HK). Plus the M&P has three (3) optional backstraps, so the user can “fine-tune” the grip to his or her hand. For 2013 the stipling on the backstraps has been modified for better grip and comfort.
This is a nice, intelligent upgrade on a gun which was already very good. And even with the special “optics ready” slide, the gun remains affordable with a $729.00 MSRP (not counting optics).
The Smith & Wesson Model 41 is an American classic — one of the great, iconic .22LR target pistols. Accurate, well-balanced and built-to-last, model 41s have been in production for over 50 years. The Model 41 remains one of the most accurate pistols ever produced by Smith & Wesson. Now the Model 41 has been updated for the 21st Century, with the introduction of a new Performance Center “optics-ready” version. The new Model 41 PC has an integral Picatinny Rail mount for optics, plus adjustable target sights, with a distinctive skeletonized and removable front blade sight.
This full-size, 10-shot .22LR pistol features a carbon steel frame and slide along with a 5.5-inch barrel. Measuring 10.5 inches in overall length, the Model 41 PC has an unloaded weight of 41 ounces.
Across the top of the slide, the Performance Center Model 41 sports an integral Picatinny-style equipment rail for easy installation of optics. Other standard features include an external thumb safety on the left side of the frame, custom wood target grips, and a blued finish. The Performance Center Model 41 is covered by Smith & Wesson’s lifetime service policy. To learn more about the optics-ready Model 41 PC and other new Performance Center guns, visit www.smith-wesson.com
There are many benefits to shooting with both eyes open especially when shooting shotguns and handguns, but training yourself to do it can be challenging for some. For many, it is a struggle to fight the natural instinct to close one eye. So how do you train yourself to kick that habit?
How to Train to Keep Both Eyes Open
The first step is to determine if you can see the sights with both eyes. If you can’t get a clear sight picture on target with both eyes open, or if you see two front sights or some other strange configuration that is nearly impossible to decipher, then shooting with both eyes open may not work for you. It’s not the end of the world. It’s more important that you acquire a proper sight picture and hit your target.
If you are a competition shooter that struggles with this you can get a little help from some frosted tape. In most cases it; just a matter of determining your eye dominance and placing a piece of tape on your eye protection on the lens in front of your non-dominant eye. The tape blocks this eye from seeing the sights, but still allows you full access to your peripheral vision.
An effective way to prevent yourself from closing an eye is to spend a good amount of time dry firing. (Dry fire means NO AMMO!) Practice acquiring the sights with both eyes open. Start with the firearm at low ready with both eyes on the target. Bring the gun up to your line of sight and acquire the proper sight picture on your target. The repetition of presenting the gun will help train you to keep those eyes open when you transition to live fire. As with any habit, you’ll need to train yourself to stop — this means more than just a few times dry firing.
When you hit the shooting range, you may find that despite all that dry-fire practice, you still close an eye. It might be a matter of sympathetic reaction to recoil. Using .22 caliber, airsoft guns and light loads can help you transition to larger calibers and full power ammunition. Just as you had to concentrate keeping both eyes open in dry fire, it’s likely you will have to do the same during your live fire training as well.
A number of interesting jobs in the firearms industry have become available in recent weeks. The NSSF maintains a regularly-updated listing of employment opportunities with gun-makers and shooting sports organizations. On the NSSF’s job board right now there are gunsmith openings, engineering offerings, sales and marketing positions, and even high-level legal and executive career opportunities. Here are some of the jobs we found this week posted on the NSSF Website. CLICK HERE for a complete listing (many more jobs).
Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. (NASDAQ:SWHC) on Thursday reported record fourth-quarter and full-year financial results. Fourth-quarter sales were up 28 percent compared to the same period last year. Full fiscal year sales were up 20 percent compared to the previous year. Said James Debney, president and CEO, “Our objective in fiscal 2012 was to streamline the company and focus on our position as a leading, pure-play firearm company. We are very pleased with our results, which include record annual and fourth quarter net sales and profits.” On Friday, July 6th, Smith & Wesson (SWHC) traded at $8.80 per share, up from a 52-week low of $2.29. That $6.51 per share increase represents a whopping 284% net gain in one year! If you had invested in either S&W a year ago, you’d be sitting pretty right now.
German gun-maker Walther will be selling its own firearms in the USA, starting in 2013. Previously, Smith & Wesson distributed Walther firearms and accessories in the United States. Walther has decided to handle the marketing, distribution, sales, and servicing of its firearms in the USA through the newly-formed Walther Arms Inc., a subsidiary of the PW Group of Arnsberg, Germany. (PW owns both CARL WALTHER GmbH Sportwaffen and Umarex.) Starting January 1, 2013, Walther sales and marketing will be handled by Walther Arms Inc., with the exception of the Walther P22 and PK380 models, which Smith & Wesson will continue to sell and distribute through April 30, 2013.
Walther Will Continue to Build M&P22 Pistol and Umarex Licenses Smith & Wesson Name
Though Walther will now import and distribute its own guns, Smith & Wesson will continue to manufacture the PPK for Walther Arms, Inc. and CARL WALTHER GmbH will continue to manufacture the M&P22 handgun for S&W. Additionally, Umarex will continue to license the Smith & Wesson brand for airgun products. “We are extremely thankful for the relationship we have had and will continue to have with the quality organization of Smith & Wesson,” said Wulf-Heinz Pflaumer, President of the PW Group, who added: “Smith & Wesson has been an outstanding partner.”
New Walther Arms Inc. Enterprise Will Be Based in Arkansas
Walther Arms will begin operations sharing a corporate campus in Fort Smith, Arkansas with Umarex USA, another company in the PW Group. “The new U.S.-based Walther Arms Inc. allows a more direct influence from the U.S. consumer’s wants and needs into our product development.” said Karl Heinz-Luther, V.P. of Sales & Marketing, CARL WALTHER GmbH. The President & CEO of Walther Arms will be Adam J. Blalock, who will also remain as President & CEO of Umarex USA. Blalock stated: “We will have a dedicated team focused on meeting the needs of U.S. consumers. We are very thankful for the many loyal Walther customers and we’re excited for the opportunity to serve them.” For more information visit www.carl-walther.de.
While serving as a U.S. Army Blackhawk pilot, Trevor Baucom lost the use of his legs after a serious helicopter crash in Afghanistan. Through hard work and dedication, Trevor has overcome his disabilities to become the first-ever sponsored shooter who competes from a wheelchair.
Trevor Baucom’s story is the focus of this week’s episode of Shooting USA, which airs tonight, June 13th, on the Outdoor Channel. This episode covers Baucom’s journey from a Blackhawk pilot/flight leader flying assault missions, to become the shooting industry’s first professionally-sponsored disabled shooter.
While serving with the Army’s 5th Battalion, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade in Afghanistan, Baucom was paralyzed (from the waist down) in a helicopter crash. He was then medically discharged after 13 years of distinguished service. During his rehabilitation process, Baucom got involved in the shooting sports (Read Full Story). In short order, Baucom showed remarkable results, and now he is a sponsored member of Team Smith & Wesson. The first pro shooter who competes from a wheelchair, Baucom has also earned sponsorship from Atlanta Arms and Ammo, Ithaca Gun Company, Safariland, and Nevco Targets.
Baucom now serves as an inspiration for other wounded warriors as well as all disabled shooters. Trevor has competed in the Bianchi Cup, NRA Action Pistol events, the USPSA-operated Steel Challenge, and the IDPA Indoor Nationals. More shooting sports are on his schedule in the months ahead, including Trap and Sporting Clays, and NRA Bullseye Competition. Through this Shooting USA “Special Edition”, viewers will witness the positive impact Baucom has had on those around him. From Baucom’s return to the air as part of a special honor flight at Fort Campbell, KY, to his first competition at the NRA Bianchi Cup, this story gives credence to the “never-say-quit” attitude that is the hallmark of every United States serviceman and servicewoman. Watch Baucom’s passage from combat veteran to professional shooter today, June 13th on the Outdoor Channel. The show airs at 3 pm, 8 pm, and midnight EST.
Jim Scoutten Explains the Back-Story
To learn more about Trevor Baucom, read The Story Behind Trevor’s Story by Jim Scoutten. Jim explains: “The credit for this story really goes to an accident of our office / studio location. We share a large office-warehouse building with a high-end physical therapy company. That’s where Chief Warrant Officer Trevor Baucom was heading in his wheelchair when we first struck up a conversation. I invited Trevor and his flying buddy, Apache Pilot CW3 Jeff Lamprecht, who had driven Trevor down from Clarksville, TN, in to tour our studio and offices and have a look at our inventory of firearms.” READ MORE…
The major American gun-makers are the darlings of Wall Street right now. Smith & Wesson (SWHC) recently traded at $8.60 per share, a 52-week high, up from a 52-week low of $2.29. That’s a whopping 376% increase in stock price in one year! (Current SWHC price is $8.32.) Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc. (RGR) traded today as high as $51.87, up from a 52-week low of $18.65 per share. That represents a 278% gain since this time last year. If you had invested in either S&W or Ruger a year ago, you would be sitting pretty right now. Check out SWHC’s stock price trends for the past 52 weeks:
Election-Year Fears Drive Gun Sales
What is driving the rising prices of gun-maker equities? Experts say the main factor is fear — Americans are afraid that, if President Obama is re-elected, he will force through tough new gun laws. That, in turn, is driving increased gun sales, which is good for the gun makers. With increased gun sales, revenues are up and profits are up — and that’s what Wall Street likes to see. S&W got a boost recently when a Wedbush stock analyst Rommel Dionisio re-confirmed S&W’s “Outperform” stock rating, and raised the target price from $7.00 to $10.00. Mr. Dioniso explained that gun sales are starting to rise dramatically because Americans are worried that President Obama will tighten gun laws if he earns a second term.
Other Wall Street “experts” are singing the same tune. Writing on the Motley Fool website, Wall Street reporter Bobbie Johnson opined: “The sales of handguns and ammunition has been on the slow rise over the last few years but the last few months have shown much higher sales. Retailers say it’s due to the upcoming presidential election while others speculate that it is simply the massive uncertainty rippling across our country and others. The industry saw an uptick in sales in the months prior to President Obama’s election in 2008 which was based on the presumption of tougher gun regulations. The general consensus is that more regulations will come into play should the President be re-elected.”
Celebrating its 15th year, the IDPA Indoor National Championships will take place at the Smith & Wesson Shooting Sports Center in Springfield, MA, Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 23-25, 2012. The Indoor Nationals, as it is known, is one of the three major championships on the annual International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) shooting calendar. This event draws hundreds of top competitive shooters from across the nation. CLICK HERE to view image galleries from the 2011 IDPA Indoor Nationals in Massachusetts.
Registration Opens Next Sunday, December 18th
The 2012 championships will feature 12 stages and a minimum round count of 153. Online registration for the IDPA Indoor National Championships opens at 6:00pm ET on Sunday, December 18, 2011. Additional information on the 15th Annual Smith & Wesson IDPA Indoor National Championships is available online. Below is a video by Team S&W Captain Julie Golob on the 2011 IDPA Indoor Nationals. Bad weather delayed Julie’s arrival, but the video shows many other top competitors, such as fellow Team S&W squad member Jerry Miculek, in action. Team S&W dominated last years event, winning five National titles.
Editor’s Note: Sometimes proven old designs are just as good as the latest technology. In the capable hands of Robert Vadasz, the scratched and well-used 11-year-old Smith & Wesson revolver shown below has won three PPC National Championships and the 2011 National Police Shooting Championship (multiple guns used). Here’s a profile of a great shooter and his trusty old wheelgun.
Story by Lars Dalseide, for The NRA Blog
When I first approached U.S. Border Patrol Agent Robert Vadasz about profiling the guns he used to win the 2011 National Police Shooting Championship — his third in four years — he had just completed the final stage of the Revolver 1500 Match. A match that he won with a score of 1490-117X. A match in which he used his Bob Jones PPC revolver.
“It’s a .38 Special Smith & Wesson,” said Vadasz. “My Bob Jones PPC revolver. The very first competition gun that I ever had built … probably back in 2000″. Fitted with Hogue Monogrip, the .38 hasn’t been tinkered with since the day it arrived. “Exact same gun,” said Vadasz. “It’s never been worked on. It’s never been changed. I won all three of my PPC National Championships with this gun. It’s real special to me.”
In a 2001 NRA Law Enforcement Division Newsletter, gunsmith Bob Jones talked about his work on PPC pistols: “I started working on pistols in the Navy, and it kind of stuck — it was something I really enjoyed doing,” said Bob, thinking back to his days as a Naval armorer who tinkered with .45s.
Bob’s typical modifications to a Smith & Wesson revolver include fitting a Shilen barrel, bobbing the hammer (cutting off the cocking spur), adding an Aristocrat Sight Rib, tuning and smoothing the trigger, and installing a trigger stop. The Shilen barrel increases accuracy, adds some additional weight for stability, and its increased size (and surface area) helps with heat dissipation.