September 14th, 2017

Double-Decker Indoor Shooting Ranges

Double-Decker Florida Shooting Range Lotus

Bet you’ve never seen anything like this before — a “double-decker” indoor shooting range. Lotus Gunworks of Jensen Beach, Florida, operates a super-sized twin-lvel indoor shooting range featuring a two-story-high steel funnel bullet trap. Nicknamed the Lotus 8/11 for the number of steel panels used to create it (eight panels on the bottom slope and 11 panels on the top slope), this version of Action Target’s Total Containment Trap is the first of its kind. “No one has ever seen a range like this before” noted Lotus Gunworks’ Robbie Abell.

Abell came up with the two-story concept when it became clear that the new Lotus building in Jensen Beach was not wide enough for two side-by-side ranges AND a gun store. Necessity was the mother of invention… Lotus wanted at least two ranges, so the only option was to make a double-decker range where both levels shot into the same bullet trap.

Indoor ranges require ventilation to remove potentially hazardous dust and lead particles. The sheer size of the double-decker range presented a unique challenge, but Carey’s Small Arms Range Ventilation installed a system that can completely replace all the range air every 80 seconds.

Other Multi-Level Shooting Ranges

While the Lotus Range may have the first two-story bullet trap, it’s not really the first-ever double-decker indoor shooting range. Other multi-level ranges exist, they just don’t have the giant bullet trap. In fact, some of the multi-level ranges in Europe are bigger and even more sophisticated.

Brünig Indoor facility — Multi-Level Range Underground
Switzerland boats a popular shooting facility built completely underground. The large, deluxe Brünig Indoor facility includes a 300m underground range with multi-level shooting stations.

Brünig Indoor shooting range Tunnel Switzerland

This video shows centerfire rifle practice on the upper level of one of Brünig Indoor’s shooting tunnels:

Dutch Double-Decker Range
Here’s a Dutch Double-Decker Range. Check out Schietsportvereniging (SSV) Katwijk, a great twin-level range in Holland featuring electronic targets with displays at each shooting station (on both levels):

Holland SSV Katwijk

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January 17th, 2017

Bodacious Black Bleikers — $20K Worth of Swiss Perfection

Bleiker 300m rifle smallbore championship
You are looking at $20,100 of Competition Rifles here. (Click Image for full-screen version.)

Don’t inquire about the price of a Bleiker competition rifle. As the expression goes, “If you have to ask, you can’t afford it”. At the Pardini USA booth at SHOT Show we saw a pair of bodacious black beauties — two “full-race” Bleikers, one a smallbore match rifle (.22 LR) and the other a 300m position rifle chambered in 6mmBR Norma. The combined price for the two rifles was a jaw-dropping $20,100.00. Yep, over $20K for the two. The 6mmBR rig was $10,200 while the smallbore rifle was $9,900.00.

Bleikers command such high prices because they win. At recent ISSF 300m and Smallbore Championships, Bleikers have been used by many of the medal winners. A gun is worth $10K if it can really put you on the podium or, better yet, deliver a world championship.

Bleiker 300m rifle smallbore championship
Take a look at this slick feature on the 300m gun. The adjustable cheek-pad automatically tilts up (for clearance) when you retract the bolt. That’s clever Swiss Engineering.

Bleiker 300m rifle smallbore championship

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January 24th, 2015

Bleiker — Don’t Ask the Price…

You don’t want to inquire about the price of a Bleiker competition rifle. As the expression goes, “If you have to ask, you can’t afford it”. At the Pardini USA booth at SHOT Show we saw a pair of black beauties — two “full-race” Bleikers, one a smallbore match rifle (.22 LR) and the other a 300m position rifle chambered in 6mmBR Norma. The combined price for the two rifles was a jaw-dropping $20,100.00. Yep, over $20K for the two. The 6mmBR rig was $10,200 while the smallbore rifle was $9,900.00.

Bleikers command such high prices because they win. At recent ISSF 300m and Smallbore Championships, Bleikers have been used by many of the medal winners. A gun is worth $10K if it can really put you on the podium or, better yet, deliver a world championship.

You are looking at $20,100 of Competition Rifles here. (Click Image for full-screen version.)
Bleiker 300m rifle smallbore championship

Take a look at this slick feature on the 300m gun. The adjustable cheek-pad automatically tilts up (for clearance) when you retract the bolt. That’s clever Swiss Engineering.

Bleiker 300m rifle smallbore championship

Bleiker 300m rifle smallbore championship

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May 18th, 2012

Portable Electronic Targets at Peacemaker Training Center

NRA Electronic Target ShotResponseTomorrow, May 19, you can try out the electronic targets used in the Olympics at the Peacemaker National Training Center in Gerrardstown, WV. The event is a part of the NRA’s effort to increase awareness of Electronic Target Systems and their use for recreational shooting. Provided by ShotResponse (a dealer for the Swiss SIUS AG company), the electronic targets instantly record and score every shot fired down-range. The new NRA Portable Box Target provides a 4′ x 4′ scoring zone (with multiple target options) and remote display at the shooter’s location. The wireless version works out to 1,000 yards without a signal repeater.

Next Target Demo in Williamsport, PA
The next demonstration of the SIUS electronic targets will be September 8, 2012 at the Original Pennsylvania 1000 Yard Benchrest Club, in Williamsport, PA. CLICK HERE to learn more about the Williamsport event this fall. If your club is interested in hosting an electronic target event in the future, contact NRA Range Services at (877) NRA-RANGE or email range@nrahq.org.

NRA Electronic Target ShotResponse

About the Equipment
The SIUS Portable Bullet Sensor (PBS) is a Portable Single Lane RF (wireless) automatic electronic precision target scoring system. SIUS PBS employs Acoustical Projectile Locating (detection). Accuracy is 1 – 2mm at the target center and 5 – 7mm at outer scoring zones. Any small arms firearms from .22-caliber to .308 caliber can be used with the system. It works with both subsonic and supersonic projectiles. The ShotResponse NRA Box targets with multiple target “skins”, including standard bullseye targets along with deer and boar hunting targets. There are 12 different Target Facings with Firing Exercise Software plus the Rifle Grouping/Zeroing Exercise.

The PBS system consists of a collapsible Precision Target with an RF (wireless) Battery Pack, a Target carrying/shipping case and a Shooter’s RF Wireless Control Unit/Monitor with Keypad, Battery Pack, Carrying/Shipping Case and a Laptop computer for downloading and printing of firing data. This portable system employs technology developed by SIUS, the official supplier of electronic targets for the Olympic Games and ISSF competition. CLICK HERE for SIUS video.

The video below shows a variety of SIUS/ShotResponse indoor and outdoor electronic targets in use. There are systems for airguns and pistols as well as rimfire and centerfire rifles.

Photos courtesy ShotResponse and The NRA Blog.
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September 22nd, 2010

Swiss Shooting Traditions — A Nation of Riflemen

Swiss feldschiessenIn Switzerland, universal military training is required of young men, and after military service, Swiss men retain their military weapons, including assault rifles, in their homes. In addition, target shooting remains a hugely popular activity among the Swiss. Though it has a population of just 7,000,000, Switzerland boasts over 2,000 rifle ranges. Each year, close to 200,000 Swiss participate in the Eidgenössisches Feldschiessen (annual shooting skills exercise). A several hundred-year-old tradition, the Feldschiessen (aka Tiro Federale in Campagna) is the largest shooting event in the world.

Shooting service rifles at 300m is typical at many Feldschiessen matches. Some Swiss ranges boast the latest high-tech equipment. At one of the popular ranges, 400 electronic targets served thousands of shooters. And get this — the Swiss government provides free ammunition at each year’s Feldschiessen. Contrast that with California — which recently passed legislation requiring citizens to provide thumbprints and personal data just to purchase ammo. Switzerland views armed citizens as a vital national asset. California views shooters as a pariah class that should be eliminated.

Swiss feldschiessen

Swiss Gun-Control Advocates Call for Change
Despite the popularity of shooting in Switzerland, and the nation’s tradition of maintaining an armed citizenry, there are groups seeking to restrict gun ownership and require that military arms be removed from homes and stored in military barracks. Both sides of the issue are covered in a video report from World Radio Switzerland. You should definitely watch the video. In it, Marc Heim, a Swiss citizen, explains that the Swiss government seeks to maintain “a very high state of readiness for the Swiss military and population. The [goal] has always been that, within 24 to 48 hours, Switzerland could mobilize a pretty large army.” Heim still has the Stgw 57 (7.5×55) rifle he trained with, as well as the rifles used by his father, and grandfather before him. Heim’s young son, in his 20s, keeps a modern, fully-automatic Sig 550. That is the rifle Marc Heim and his son would take to the Feldschiessen.

Swiss feldschiessen

CLICK HERE for Story and VIDEO on Swiss Gun Tradition (Highly Recommended)

Reasons for Armed Citizenry in Switzerland
Marc Heim believes that it is important for Switzerland to retain a “citizen army”. His belief was strengthened after he visited a Holocaust museum: “That’s when it all hit me… I want to be free and never in a situation where they could just march us off to ovens or prisons… or just take away our freedom. The key to freedom is the ability to be able to defend yourself, and if you don’t have the tools to do that then you are at the mercy of anyone who wants to put you away. And the tools for that are guns.”

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August 11th, 2010

300m Results at ISSF World Championships — Watch Videos

ISSF World Championships MunichIn international 300m competition the top shooters use high-tech rifles shooting some of our favorite cartridges: 6mmBR, 6XC, and 6.5×47 Lapua. These chamberings all possess superb inherent accuracy, allowing great scores even when shooting with iron sights. This week, both men and women have been competing in prone and three-position 300m events. The level of competition has been high — Bettina Bucher of Switzerland tied the womens’ 599 score record in winning the women’s 300m prone event, and the 600-point mens’ record score has been tied twice in prone matches, once by France’s Josselin Henry, shooting factory 6.5×47 Lapua ammo. To see Bettina Bucher and Josselin Henry in action, visit the ISSF-Sports.org website. There you’ll find complete match results, as well as photos and videos of the action.

ISSF 300m world championship

Right now there are three short videos covering 300m competition. CLICK HERE to access the videos. When the page displays, go to the scrolling menu (on right) and select: “300m Rifle Prone Women”, or “300m Standard Rifle Men”, or “300m Rifle Prone Men”. The video on the 300m prone womens’ competition features Switzerland’s Bettina Bucher who tied a World Record in the event. Note, in the 300m mens Standard Rifle highlights video, the American announcer incorrectly names the winner of the 300m Standard Rifle event as “Henry Josselin”. She got it backwards.

Josselin Henry Wins 300m Standard Rifle Event, But Three Shooters DQ’d
Marco Dalla Dea of the ISSF Media team reports that France’s Josselin Henry won today’s 300m Standard Rifle event, becoming the new world champion with a total score of 587 points. The French shooter, who had equaled the 300m Rifle Prone Men world record of 600 points two days ago, had never won an ISSF medal in this event before. Tomorrow, the 28-year old shooter from Paris will compete in the 300m rifle Three-Position event.

Three competitors were disqualified in the 300m mens’ Standard Rifle Finals. There are strict rules on the geometry and features of a “Standard Rifle”, in contrast to “Free Rifle” class which is pretty much “anything goes”. One shooter was DQ’d for an illegal front sight extension, another was tossed for having an “anatomical” grip, and a third shooter was sent packing because his buttplate had too much curve. In the standing position, a hook-style buttplate extension can provide a significant advantage. This hook configuration is allowed on Free Rifles only.

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May 29th, 2010

Swiss Stamp Celebrates Markmanship Competition

Swiss Rifle stampIn some nations which have imposed draconian regulations on firearms, a match rifle is the last thing you’d expect to see on a postal stamp. That’s not the case with the Swiss. Switzerland is a “nation of marksmen”.  When young, all Swiss men receive military training, and then, after active duty, male citizens remain “on call” in a reserve status — retaining their rifles. Not surprisingly, target shooting is a hugely popular activity throughout Switzerland.

Though it has a population of just 7,000,000, Switzerland boasts over 2,000 rifle ranges. Each year, close to 200,000 Swiss participate in the Eidgenössisches Feldschiessen (annual shooting skills exercise). A several hundred-year-old tradition, the Feldschiessen (aka Tiro Federale in Campagna) is the largest shooting event in the world. The Swiss government actually provides free ammunition for Feldschiessen competitors.

To mark the importance (and popularity) of target shooting, Switzerland recently introduced a new stamp. Remarkably, on the right side of each stamp, in the middle of the bullseye, a small hole is actually punched through the paper! That’s Swiss attention to detail. A sheet of these stamps can be purchased from Swiss Post for 20 Swiss Francs (about $17). Shipping worldwide is free.

Swiss Rifle stamp

Photos and original story concept courtesy The Firearm Blog.

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