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May 17th, 2008

Fun Shoots: Host a Multi-Gun Event at Your Club

One key issue affecting all shooting sports is how to attract new shooters, particularly juniors. Young people represent the future of the sport, and unless we can get them involved, there will be fewer shooting opportunities for all. Gun manufacturers will see their sales decline and more ranges will be closed, both due to lack of revenue and political pressures. The closing of shooting ranges is a major problem in many areas of the country, particularly in California and other regions where anti-gun politicians and land developers are aggressively working to shut ranges down.

Ojai 7-gun youth shooting

One great way to draw new shooters into the fold (particularly youngsters and ladies) is to host an event at your club where novices can try multiple disciplines. This is a user-friendly, low-cost way for newcomers to try different types of firearms in a supervised setting. Every year, the Ojai Valley Gun Club (OVGC) in California hosts a 7-Gun Shoot open to the public. OVGC’s 7-Gun Shoot took place on April 26th, and was a huge success, with 125 new shooters coming to the range for a day of fun, followed by a tri-tip barbecue. Participants ranged from 6 to 89 years of age. For a fee of just $10.00, visitors (of any age) could try seven different types of arms, under the guidance of club members who provided assistance and safety instruction. Guns and ammo were furnished by club members, and hearing and eye protection were offered for a nominal fee.

CMP walther air rifle

The 7-Gun Shoot offered a smorgesbord of shooting options: Air Rifle, Small-bore Pistol, Small-bore Rifle, Full-bore Rifle (.223 and .308), Centerfire Handgun, Black-Powder Rifle, and Shotgun (Trap). OVGC even offered an archery clinic, which was very popular with both kids and adults. A full troop of boy scouts attended the 7-Gun Shoot, and there were many families with husband, wife and kids. Participants were issued scorecards covering all 7 disciplines, and prizes were awarded to the highest aggregate totals for junior boy, junior girl, adult women, and adult men. Among the visiting couples, it was not unusual for the wives to outscore the husbands. One lady who came to the 7-Gun Shoot with her husband had never fired a long-gun before, yet she managed a perfect score with air rifle and an impressive 4 for 5 on the trap (shotgun) course.

Uberti Sharps black powder rifle

Even many veteran shooters took the opportunity to try out new disciplines. Handgunners tried out the rifle course and some hard-core trap shooters enjoyed knocking down steel targets with replica black powder rifles. There’s nothing quite like the boom and smoke of the “Holy Black”. The day concluded with a great 4-course all-you-can-eat barbeque, ($8.50 per head), followed by a raffle of shooting and camping accessories. Overall, the event was a great success. The young people seemed to have the best time of all, and more than a few of the Scouts said the 7-Gun Shoot was one of their favorite annual troop activities.

OVGC signed up a number of new members during the shoot, but more importantly, the club gave scores of novices, young and old, the chance to have fun and get hooked on shooting sports. If you are interested in developing a similar program, visit where you can email the organizers.

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May 17th, 2008

Use Wash Bottles to Apply Solvents

rifle bore cleaner bottleUsing wet patches or wet brushes is an inefficient way to really saturate the tight bores of 17s, 20s, and 22s. Even with a cotton bore mop, most of the solvent will be squeezed out before it gets to the end of the bore, where most copper fouling occurs. Here’s a simple solution. Get a small plastic “wash bottle” and fill it with your preferred solvent. Then stick the tapered nozzle right in the chamber. The tapered end will press fit in the throat, sealing off the chamber. With the barrel slightly nose-down, give the bottle a couple good squirts until the solvent mists out the muzzle. In just a few seconds, this will put more solvent in the bore than a half-dozen wet patches. Alternatively, plug the chamber and squirt solvent in from the muzzle. It’s also much easier to saturate a bore brush (without spilling solvent on your stock), by using the wash bottle. You can get these bottles from or lab supply stores.

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May 17th, 2008

Bore-Store Protective Bags on Sale

MidwayUSA has Bore-Store synthetic fleece rifle storage bags on sale. We can say, unequivocally, that Bore-Stores are a great product. Every gun in this editor’s safe rests in a Bore-Store. Bore-Stores cushion your guns against dings and scratches while the breathable fabric wicks away moisture and fights rust with a special anti-corrosion coating. The fabric is coated with pure silicon and an extra rust-inhibiting chemical. Bore-Stores are relatively inexpensive and last forever. Unlike cotton, wool, leather or canvas bags, the fibers do not absorb and retain moisture. You really can’t beat them for storage in a safe because they cushion the gun as well as fight rust and aluminum corrosion.

MidwayUSA has the full line of Bore-Store cases on sale. We’ve found that the latest examples run on the roomy side, so the 46″ scoped rifle case, item SRC-1, will fit guns up to 48″ overall, with plenty of clearance for a big scope. The 46″ case is now $9.99 marked down from $11.49. The 40″ Scoped Rifle Case, item SRC-3 ($9.49 on sale), will fit most short-range BR guns up to 42″ in length. There are also models for shotguns, carbines, and pistols.

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