September 19th, 2012

U.S. F-Class Team Wins Stars & Stripes Challenge Match

Congrats to the U.S.A. F-Class Team which triumphed in the 2012 Stars & Stripes Challenge Match held September 16 at Raton, New Mexico. The showcase event in the Stars & Stripes Match is a team competition with 8-man national teams. Team USA finished first with a 3443-107X combined score. In second place was the South Africa Protea Team with 3428-88X. Team Australia came in thirds with 3398-81X, and Team Canada scored 3364-63X to secure fourth place. In the photo below, Team USA members celebrate their victory. Shown (left to right) are: Charles Ballard, Larry Taite, Laura Perry, John Weil, Trudie Fay, Shiraz Balolia (Captain), Bob Mead, Rick Hunt, Jeff Rorer, Darrell Buell, Jim Murphy and Larry Bartholome.

U.S. F-Class Team Stars and Stripes

U.S. F-Class Team Stars and Stripes

U.S. F-Class Team Stars and Stripes U.S. F-Class Team Stars and Stripes

Along with the signature National Team Event, the Stars & Stripes event featured 4-person team matches for both F-Open and F-TR divisions. Winner of the F-Open 4-person event, with a 1757-65X score, was Team Long Shots, captained by Mark Walker and coached by Michelle Gallagher. Team shooters were: David Baily, David Gosnell, Ken Dickerman, and Mark Walker. Finishing first in the 4-person F-TR team event was Team Misfits, coached and captained by Lige Harris. Lige also shot on the team, along with Leslie Jones, Tom Jones, and John Kills. Team Misfits scored 1710-34X to secure a 16-point victory over F-TR runner-up U.S. Development Team #4.

CLICK HERE for Complete Stars & Stripes Challenge Match Results.

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August 23rd, 2012

USA Shooters Get Ready for Paralympics in London

The 2012 Paralympic Games run August 29 – September 9, 2012. The 277 American athletes named to the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Team will compete in 19 sports contested throughout the 11 days of competition. Among the events will be target shooting. Profiles of Team USA’s Paralympic atheletes, including pistol shooter Eric Hollen and rifle shooter SFC Josh Olson, are provided in the official 2012 U.S. Paralympic Team Media Guide. This handy guide to the Paralympics can be downloaded for free.

CLICK HERE to download Paralympic Team Guide

Eric Hollen — Paralympic Pistol Shooter
Hollen, a former U.S. Army Ranger in the 2/75 Ranger Regiment, suffered a life-altering injury on his horse farm in Tennessee. Getting involved in competitive pistol shooting has helped Hollen adjust to life after his injury. Showing great determination, Hollen is now one of the top paralympic pistol shooters in the world. At the IPC World Cup Sydney, he won a Silver Medal in Air Pistol and a Bronze Medal in Free Pistol. Hollen is looking forward to the challenge in London: “This has been 10 years in the making and it’s an awesome opportunity to represent my country. I shoot with the best able-bodied athletes in the world here at the U.S. Olympic Training Center and I have the opportunity to now go and win my matches and that’s what I’m setting out to do.” Hollen will compete in the Men’s P1 10-meter Air Pistol event on August 30th. On September 6th, he’ll compete in the 50-meter free Pistol event.

USAMU Rifle Marksman SFC Josh Olson
While on patrol with his unit (101st Airborne Div., 3rd Brigade 1/187) in Iraq in 2003, SFC Josh Olson was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade resulting in the loss of his right leg from the hip down. After spending 18 months at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Olson was assigned to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit in Fort Benning, Georgia. Olson has been a member of the Paralympic National Team for five years, but this will be the first time Olson competes at the international Paralympic Games. Olson will begin competition on Saturday, September 1 in the 10-meter Air Rifle Prone event followed by the Smallbore (.22 caliber) 50-meter Rifle Prone on Tuesday, September 4. In the video below, you can learn more about Olson’s background and courageous process of rehabilitation.

Watch Video Interview with SFC Josh Olson

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July 13th, 2012

NSSF Donates $100,000 to USA Shooting Team

$100,000 donation NSSFThe National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), a longtime USA Shooting sponsor, has donated $100,000 to help support the USA Shooting Team and shooter development programs. This large donation will help the USA Shooting Team at the London Olympics and help support USA Shooting’s ongoing operations.

In April, the NSSF visited USA Shooting’s Colorado training center and interviewed marquee USA Shooting athletes and coaches. These video interviews, hosted on the NSSF’s YouTube Channel, feature noted Olympians, who provide useful tips on target shooting. In the video below, Olympic shooter and Team USA member Matt Emmons explains how to shoot a rifle from the kneeling position:

NSSF Previously Provided Funds for USA Shooting’s Electronic Targets
The NSSF has been a valuable contributor to USA Shooting for many years now. NSSF funds helped USA Shooting purchase electronic targets for its indoor ranges in Colorado Springs. In addition, the NSSF showcases USA Shooting Programs at the annual SHOT Show. This provides valuable exposure for USA Shooting’s talented shooter-athletes.

“The firearms and ammunition industry takes great pride in being a longtime sponsor of the USA Shooting Team,” said NSSF Managing Director of Business Development Randy Clark. “From its introductory junior programs to its elite athletes who soon will be representing our country in London at the Summer Olympic Games, USA Shooting broadens awareness of the challenging and fun sport of target shooting.”

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June 16th, 2012

Meet the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Rifle Competitors

The rifle shooters who will represent the United States at the 2012 London Olympics are currently profiled on the RifleShooter magazine website. Log on to RifleShooterMag.com to read about Team USA’s Olympians who will be competing in Air Rifle and Smallbore (.22LR Rimfire) events in London next month. The Olympic selection process recently concluded, and we now know the talented men and women who made the cut. CLICK HERE to read bios of individual athletes.

U.S. Olympic Rifle Shooters Team USA


Men’s Rifle Team

Matt Emmons, 50m 3P
10m Air Rifle

Jonathan Hall, 10m Air Rifle

Michael McPhail, 50m Prone

Josh Olson, Paralympic R3, R6

Jason Parker, 50m 3P

Eric Uptagrafft, 50m prone


Women’s Rifle Team

Jamie Beyerle Gray, 50m 3P
10m Air Rifle

Amanda Furrer, 50m 3P

Sara Scherer, 10m Air Rifle
Story find by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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May 20th, 2012

.284 Shehane for Long-Range Competition

7mm has become the caliber to beat in F-Class open division. The dominant performances of UK shooters with 7mm cartridges at the 2009 F-Class World Championship, following the South African team’s success with 7mms at the previous Worlds, has shown the strength of 7mm chamberings for long-range competition. After losing to the Team Britain, the U.S. F-Open Team decided to switch to a 7mm for the next World Championship. While most of Britain’s top F-Class shooters were using WSM-based 7mm cartridges, you don’t need a short magnum to enjoy the wind-bucking abilities of a 7mm.

High-BC 7mm BulletsWith a standard .284 Winchester, or better yet, a .284 Improved, you can drive the high-BC Berger 180gr bullets to competitive velocities. A .284 Improved will shoot well inside a 6.5-284, and you’ll probably get 40-60% longer barrel life (at least 2000 rounds vs. as little as 1200).

The straight .284 Win is a good cartridge, but in most barrels, it can’t push the 180s at 2900-2950 fps velocity levels*. A lot of barrels will top out at about 2850. That’s where the .284 Shehane comes into play. The .284 Shehane is a slightly modified wildcat that retains the same 35° shoulder as the parent case. However, by blowing the sidewalls out 0.010″, the .284 Shehane picks up about 3.3 grains of extra case capacity. That enhancement makes a BIG difference. The extra boiler room is enough to drive the 180s at 2900-2950 fps with H4831sc. With N560 or Reloder 17 you can go even faster.

Scotland’s Grant Taylor used the .284 Shehane to finish 3rd overall in the 2009 individual F-Class World Championships at Bisley, England. Grant reports: “I have a .284 Shehane and it’s very accurate with superb vertical spreads at 1000 yards. I have to thank Jim Hardy for putting me onto the caliber, it has awesome accuracy. I’m getting 2930-2950 fps with spreads in the 3-5 fps range. I use Hodgdon H4831sc powder, CCI BR2 primers, and pointed 180gr Bergers.”

7mm .284 Winchester Shehane

Forum member Jim Hardy has shot the .284 with great success. He tells us: “In my humble opinion, the .284 Shehane is the best balanced long range round there is — bar none. I (perhaps_ have shot more of this chambering than anyone else, and it has proven better than I ever expected. Here is why:

You have to shoot a 30 Cal magnum with a 240gr bullet to equal the performance of most 7mm chamberings with the 180 Berger VLD. With the .284 Shehane, you have a .308 bolt face, medium action, and Lapua brass. You use less powder than the 7 mags, and have great accuracy and ballistics even while fire-forming. The .284 Shehane shoots inside the 6.5 AND the straight 284, the 300 WSM, and the 300 Win Mag with less recoil. The .284 Shehane offers twice the competitive barrel life of the 6.5-284, an easy 2950 fps with H4831 SC, [and it] can run 3000+ with N560 and Reloder 17, which is right there with the 7mm WSM. What is not to love about the 284 Shehane? It is a no-brainer for long range — F-Class or Prone or 1000-yard Benchrest.”

*Some exceptional barrels chambered in straight .284 Win can reach 2900 fps with the 180s. Ryan Pierce, who recently set a 450-24X Pending F-Open record, has a 32″ Brux barrel that is delivering 2900 fps with the straight .284. However, Ryan acknowledges that his velocities are not typical: “A lot of .284 Win barrels top out at around 2850 fps with the 180s.”

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May 11th, 2012

American Ladies Win Silver in Pre-Olympic Air Rifle Competition

USA Shooting 10m Air Rifle HanoverResults from a recent international air rifle competition bode well for Team USA’s prospects at the 2012 London Olympic Games. In the women’s 10m Air Rifle event, a talented trio of young American lady shooters won the team silver medal at the International Shooting Competition of Hanover (Germany). Congrats to the three Hanover Silver Medalists: Amanda Furrer (393), Emily Holsopple (389), and Amy Sowash (393).

Good luck ladies on your quest for Gold in London this summer! The Olympic Games kick off Friday, July 27, 2012. Olympic shooting matches will be held 28 July through 5 August at the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich. 390 shooter-athletes will take part. Rifle events will include 10m air rifle (men, women), 50m three-position rifle (men, women), and 50m rifle prone (men only).

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March 31st, 2012

U.S. F-Class Open Development Team Announced

After a series of try-outs, 28 shooters have been selected to the U.S. F-Class Open Development Team. From this select group of 28 shooters, F-Open Team USA squads will be filled for future international team matches. After further try-outs, the top 18 (16 + 2 alternates) will be selected for the final F-Open team that represents the United States in the next World F-Class Championship in 2013.

F-Class Open USA Development Team

The idea behind the Development Team is that having a larger group of qualified individuals to draw from makes it easier to field a strong team at any given time. Not everyone can travel at the same time — particularly to international matches. From the 28 current Development Team members, a final 18-shooter team will be chosen prior to the 2013 World Championships at Raton, New Mexico.

The U.S. F-Open Development Team — Officers, Coaches, Shooters

Captain: Shiraz Balolia
Vice Captain: Bryan Otey
Head Coach: Bob Mead
Coaches: Emil Praslick, Rick Hunt, Trudie Fay

Shooters
(sorted by first name)
Bob Bock (Senior)
Charles Ballard
Charles Clark
Danny Biggs
David Gosnell
David Mann
Dean Morris
Doc Bock
Don Nagel
Emil Kovan
Erik Cortina
Herb Edwards
Jim Fowler
Jim Murphy
John Brewer
John Dunbar
John Gaines
John Myers
Ken Dickerman
Kenny Adams
Larry Bartholome
Larry Taite
Mark Walker
Rick Jensen
Ron Herms
Ryan Pierce
Tony Robertson
Walter Lange

The Try-Out Process for the F-Class Open Development Team
The U.S. F-Class Open Rifle Team held nine try-outs throughout the country in six different cities over the course of the last two years. These shooters had to prove themselves multiple times shooting at 1000 yards. The shooters were tested on their ability to shoot under a coach and hold vertical. Each and every shooter had to meet minimum standards. The process was very transparent with all shooters being able to view other shooters’ scores and targets.

F-Class Open USA Development Team

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January 6th, 2012

Members of 2013 F-T/R Team USA Selected

This Report was submitted by Darrell Buell, F-T/R Team USA Captain

The F-Class World Championships are just over a year and a half away. In the past four years, much has changed in the F-T/R game. Most noticeably, participation has increased greatly. We had 60 shooters at the 2011 Nationals in Lodi compared to 19 shooters in 2007. The level of competition has risen as well. There was a mere 3% spread in scores for the top 30 places this year. That’s tighter than it has ever been since I started keeping statistics. The top 15 spots had only a 2% score spread!

F-T/R Team USA Selection Process
With many more shooters and a higher level of competition, selecting the 2013 American F-T/R team was especially difficult. There were many qualified applicants to choose from. The selection criteria have not changed over the years. All of the 40+ applicants’ qualifications were dumped into a matrix to get sorted. The initial sort was done by examining the best data I have that compares all of the shooters side by side, i.e. Nationals scores. More weight was given to those times when I could compare shooter vs. shooter on the same relay, when they were facing the exact same conditions. From there, we used modifiers for International Team experience, and other factors. 50 million calculations later, a ranking was developed. This ranking was used to set the Roster List below.

USA F-T/R Team Roster:

Team Staff:

Captain: Darrell Buell
Vice Captain: Mike Miller
Head Coach: Mid Tompkins
Coach: Steve Cunico
Adjutant: Kathy Buell

Team Members:
Jeff Rorer
John Hayhurst
John Chilton
Chris Ozolins
John Weil
Dale Carpenter
Derek Rodgers

Team Members (cont’d):
Philip Kelley
Warren Dean
Brad Sauve
Paul Phillips
Monte Milanuk
Lane Buxton
Sierra Scott

As with past Teams, this roster will be used for the next four (4) years for International Competitions of every description. These events include (but are not limited to): 2013 F-Class World Championships in Raton, NM; 2013 South African International Matches in Bloemfontein; 2013 Stars & Stripes Challenge 2013; Creedmoor Cup; USA vs. Europe, and others.

Reserve Team Spots
The sharp-eyed will notice that I may seem to be a couple of shooters short. I am reserving a couple of spots to be named after the 2012 Nationals in Raton, in case other shooters are absolutely on fire this year, and would be good additions to the Team.

F-T/R Team USA Sponsors
As with past Team campaigns, the financial challenges (especially for the travel) will be considerable. I am absolutely committed to taking the very best Team I can field, regardless of finances. To this end, some outstanding sponsors are helping take some of the burden off the individuals: Berger Bullets, Nightforce Optics, Surgeon Rifles, Hodgdon Powder, Lapua, Kowa, and Redding Reloading. Many thanks to these and other sponsors for their continuing support.

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April 4th, 2011

Olympic Quotas Earned and Team USA Strikes Gold in Sydney

The 2011 ISSF Combined World Cup shooting competitions were held in Sydney, Australia on March 21-31. In Sydney, the world’s top shooters vied for coveted Olympic “Quotas” that would secure eligibility to compete at the 2012 London Olympic Games. 34 Olympic Quotas were awarded during the course of the 15 ISSF pistol, rifle and shotgun events in Sydney. Lead by its shotgunners, Team USA performed superbly in Australia, finishing with 8 total medals, including 3 Golds, more than any other country. China finished second in the medal count.

American Medal Winners:
Gold: Jamie Beyerle (Lebanon, PA), Women’s 50m Rifle Three Position
Gold: Kim Rhode (El Monte, CA), Women’s Skeet
Gold: Jon Michael McGrath (Tulsa, OK), Men’s Skeet
Silver: Matt Emmons (Browns Mills, NJ), Men’s 50m Rifle Three Position
Silver: Amy Sowash (Richmond, KY), Women’s 50m Rifle Three Position
Silver: SFC Eric Uptagrafft (Phenix City, AL), Men’s 50m Rifle Prone
Silver: Staff Sergeant Joshua Richmond (Hillsgrove, PA), Men’s Double Trap
Silver: Caitlin Connor (Winnfield, LA), Women’s Skeet

John McGrathYoung Americans Win Gold
The United States fielded one of the youngest teams in Australia. But the young shooters more than held their own. Team USA rifle shooter Jamie Beyerle dominated the Women’s 50m three-position event, to win Gold with a total of 685.3 points. Beyerle’s fellow American Amy Sowash finished second. Beyerle shot great in windy conditions that bothered many of her rivals. You can watch Jamie shoot in the first video linked below.

Another gold-medal performance was turned in by 18-year-old skeet shooter John McGrath, the current ISSF Junior World Champion. McGrath qualified for the Men’s Skeet Final by hitting 124 of 125 targets, and then “cleaned” all his 25 Final targets. In an exciting finish, McGrath took the Skeet Gold Medal by beating 2007 World Champion Georgios Achilleos of Cyprus in a shoot-off.

Highlights of the 2011 ISSF Shooting World are now available on the ISSF’s YouTube Channel. Linked below are videos of the Women’s 50m 3-Position Highlights and Men’s Prone 50m Air Rifle event. You can also visit www.ISSF-Shooting.org for the complete tournament results, interviews with shooters, and the latest international shooting news.

Women’s 50m 3-Position (Featuring Jamie Beyerle)
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Men’s 50m Prone
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Thanks to JoeF for sourcing this story.
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