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July 31st, 2011

RCBS Launches Updated Website with Many New Features

RCBS has launched a completely updated website. The new site features videos, a Step-by-Step Reloaders Guide, a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section, a Glossary of Reloading Terms, a list of current Promotions and Rebates, a comprehensive parts inventory, plus all the RCBS product info you’d expect. Users can also download the 2011 RCBS Product Catalog. Along with its updated main site, RCBS has launched a companion reloading forum site, There you can post pictures and videos, share reloading recipes, and discuss reloading techniques.

Much good information is to be gleaned from the reloading videos available on Hosted by RCBS Gen. Manager Allen Jernigan, these clips cover important reloading procedures, such as case prep, cartridge priming, and how to measure case run-out (eccentricity). Click the image below to go to the RCBS Video Archive.

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July 31st, 2011

Get FREE Shipping with Sinclair and Brownells Discount Codes

If you’re planning to make a big purchase at Sinclair International or Brownells, we’ve got the latest discount coupons here. These can easily save you 10 to 20 bucks, depending on the size and weight of your order. During check-out, use code DF9 at, and use code DEG at These codes entitle you to FREE ground shipping on orders of $150.00 or more.

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July 30th, 2011

SSG Michael McPhail Wins Smallbore National Championship

Congratulations to USAMU member SSG Michael McPhail, winner of the 2011 Smallbore Rifle Prone Championship. SSG McPhail won three matches and took the 1st Daily 1200 Aggregate as he shot consistently throughout the week to finish with 4796-401X. Coming in second place overall was Mark Delcotto with a 4796-380X and CPT Christopher Abalo, SSG McPhail’s teammate on the AMU, finished third with a 4795-388X.

With so many talented shooters participating in the championship, SSG McPhail’s commanding X-score ended up as the deciding factor as his point total of 4796 was matched by two other shooters, Mark Delcotto (Civilian Champion), and Paul Nordquist (Any Sight Champion). McPhail shared credit for his victory: “I’d like to thank the commander of the AMU, all the solders and support staff at AMU — coaches, other shooters, my teammates — and also the NRA and the volunteers. Without the volunteers this match would never even happen.”

Held July 24-29, the Smallbore Rifle Prone Championships are a part of the NRA National Rifle and Pistol Championships held at Camp Perry, Ohio each year. Comprised of a Metallic Sight and Any Sight championship, competitors take 480 shots over the course of 12 matches from distances of 50 meters and 100 yards to determine who will take home the Critchfield Trophy.

Special Category Winners
Paul Nordquist shot a 4796-371X to match McPhail’s point total and secure the title of Any Sight Only Champion. Renowned shooter Nancy Tompkins won the High Woman award with a 4794-375X. Reya Kempley shot second (among women) with a 4794-352x and Sarah Beard of Texas Christian University took third with a 4790-351x. Kempley also won the Metallic Sight Championship with her aggregate of 2400-182x.

Civilian Champion: Mark Delcotto – 4796-380X
Any Sight Only Champion: Paul Nordquist – 4796-371X
Woman Champion: Nancy Tompkins – 4794-375X
Senior Champion: Peter Church – 4791-352X
Intermediate Senior Champion: Larry Parker Sr. – 4788-349X
Collegiate and Junior Champion: Sarah Beard – 4790-351xX
Intermediate Junior Champion: Katie Bridges – 4784-340X
Sub-Junior Champion: Sammy Richardson – 4751-270X
Service Champion: SSG Michael McPhail, USA – 4796-401X
High Visitor: Keigh Ridgeway – 4785-340X

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July 30th, 2011

NSSF Awards $435,000 in Grants to Shooting Ranges

With interest growing nationwide in target shooting and owning firearms for home and personal defense, the need for top-notch shooting ranges has never been greater. Recognizing this, in 2011 the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry, has awarded $435,000 in grants to 22 ranges nationwide.

The NSSF Range Grant Program assists qualifying shooting ranges in their efforts to introduce newcomers, re-activate lapsed shooters, encourage active shooters to try another shooting discipline, and promote shooting sports activities among all age groups. For the 2011 funding period, NSSF received 64 proposals requesting $2.8 million in grants — an all-time high. Since it was started in 2008, the NSSF Range Grant Program has granted $1.17 million to 46 ranges nationwide.

“We saw a lot of growth in the applications for range grants this year,” said Melissa Schilling, NSSF manager of recruitment and retention. “We believe range operators nationwide are beginning to understand what a great opportunity this is[.]” The NSSF seeks to create “models of success”, so that effective grant-assisted pilot programs can be adopted by other facilities. CLICK HERE for case studies of programs that have received funding in prior years.

Shooting Facilities that Received 2011 Grants:
Center Target Sports, Inc., Post Falls, ID
Central Oregon Sporting Clays & Hunting Preserve, Redmond, OR
Clark County Shooting Park, Las Vegas, NV
Colorado Rifle Club, Littleton, CO
Desoto Rifle & Pistol Club, Germantown, TN
Greene County Fish & Game Assoc., Xenia, OH
Handgunners, Inc., Burlington, NC
Herminie #2 Game Association, West Newton, PA
Jentoe Corp.-A&S Indoor Pistol Range, Youngwood, PA
Lead Valley Range, Inc., Deer Trail, CO
Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks Foundation, Jackson, MS
Norco Running Gun IPSC Club, Norco, CA
Pocono Pistol Club, Stroudsburg, PA
ProShots Indoor Range & Training, Rural Hall, NC
Red Bluff Lodge, Allendale, SC
Red River Regional Marksmanship Center, West Fargo, ND
Riverside Range, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
San Luis Obispo Sportsmen’s Association, Morro Bay, CA
Targething Pro Shop, Garrettsville, OH
The Shooter’s Depot, Chattanooga, TN
Tri-State Shooters Club, Inc., Rosholt, SD
Walla Walla Gun Club, Walla Walla, WA

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July 29th, 2011

MidwayUSA Blemished Bullet Sale — Big Savings

MidwayUSA saleMidwayUSA is running a major sale on blemished bullets right now. The sale price for some of these “blems” is HALF what the bullets normally cost. For most varieties, you’ll save at least 40% off regular retail. With blemished bullets, there are normally no functional defects that degrade accuracy or performance. However, the jackets may be tarnished or have water spots, or other appearance problems. Below are some of the varieties on sale. Match shooters should check these deals: 6mm 105gr BTs for $14.09/100, and 6.5mm 140gr tipped BTs, for $20.59/100.

.243 Caliber, 6mm (.243 Diam.) 105gr HPBT Match, Box of 100
Product #146046
Reg Price: $23.49
Sale Price: $14.09 — Save $9.40

.243 Caliber, 6mm (243 Diam.) 95gr Poly-Tip Spitzer BT, Box of 100
Product #468298
Reg Price: $28.49
Sale Price: $14.19 — Save $14.30

..264 Caliber, 6.5mm (.264 Diam.) 140gr Poly-Tipped BT Match, Box of 100
Product #174000
Reg Price: $29.49
Sale Price: $20.59 — Save $8.90

.284 Caliber, 7mm (.284 Diam.) 162gr Polymer Tip Spitzer BT, Box of 100
Product #850675
Reg Price: $30.99
Sales Price: $21.69 — Save $9.30

.284 Caliber, 7mm (.284 Diam.) 139gr Expanding BT, Lead-Free Box of 50
Product #181752
Reg Price: $31.99
Sale Price: $15.99 — Save $16.00

.270 Caliber (.277 Diam.) 130gr Bonded Spitzer BT with Cannelure, Box of 100
Product #850233
Reg Price: $46.49
Sale Price: $23.19 — Save $23.30

.30 Caliber (.308 Diam.) 180 Grain Bonded Spitzer Boat Tail, Box of 100
Product #515690
Reg Price: $50.99
Sale Price: $25.49 — Save $25.50

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July 29th, 2011

Schmidt & Bender Wins $34 Million U.S. Military Scope Contract

There are many quality rivals in the high-end tactical optics market, but it appears that Schmidt & Bender remains “top dog”, at least for the U.S. Special Forces community. Schmidt & Bender, was awarded a $34,209,500 firm-fixed-price contract for precision sniper rifle dayscope, mounting rings, spare parts, repairs and upgrades. The scope will be a special version of S&B’s 5-25x56mm PMII. It’s not clear how many scope units are to be delivered under the contract, which had five bidders. The Naval Surface Warfare Center is the contracting activity (N00164-11-D-JQ31), and the contract is expected to be completed by June 2016. The scopes will be built in Biebertal, Germany.

Schmidt & Bender SOCOM 5-25x56 PMII Dayscope

This is a special military version of the Schmidt & Bender 5-25x56 PMII. It will be provided in two versions, one with click values in centimeters and a Horus reticle, and a second with 1/4 MOA click values and a H2CMR reticle.

S&B Sniper Rifle Dayscopes to Be Used by Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines
The S&B precision sniper rifle dayscopes will be used by Special Forces for the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. The precision sniper rifle dayscope consist of several configurations that are required for use on existing and future sniper rifles. The configurations are tailored to the sniper’s training regimen, the weapon system effective range, and the weapon system caliber. The precision sniper rifle dayscope will be used around the world in extreme and adverse conditions including underwater, surf-zone, desert, arctic, jungle and urban environments. One reason S&B PMIIs were selected is this model has passed rigorous immersion testing. The 5-25×56 PM II was certified to show zero leakage after spending 10 hours in sea water at a depth of 25 meters (82 feet).

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July 29th, 2011

Heavy Caldwell Pedestal Rest on Sale at Cabela’s for $129.99

Caldwell Rock RestIf you have a limited budget, but you need a solid, heavy front pedestal rest, the Caldwell Rock BR 1000 will probably fit the bill. It’s not as sophisticated as a SEB or a Farley, but then it sells for a fraction of the price of those high-end joystick rests. And right now, the BR 1000 is on sale at a big discount. has the Caldwell Rock BR 1000 front rest on sale for just $129.99. That’s a great price. MidwayUSA sells a similar (but lighter) Rock front rest for $169.99 (item #348661).

This BR 1000 rest has a heavy, slingshot-style base. It is very stable (even with magnum calibers). The two-stage elevation adjustment reaches up to 11-1/2″. The rest comes complete with two three-lobe front bags, and the rest will accept other Caldwell Deluxe bags. Some guys toss the Caldwell bags and run a Protektor leather front bag. If you need a sturdy rest that will work with heavy recoiling rifles, it is hard to beat the Rock BR 1000 for the price.

Caldwell Rock Rest

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July 28th, 2011

Cabela’s Offers $5.00 Shipping Promo

If you’re planning to purchase some heavy items, or large quantities of ammo or reloading gear, you should check out this current promo. Now through August 2, 2011, Cabela’s is offering $5.00 flat-rate shipping for all orders of $150.00 or more. Use Promo Code 8WYOUSAVE at check-out. Here’s the fine print: this does not apply to hazmat fees, firearms are excluded, and there may be additional shipping charges for very heavy items.

Cabela's promo

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July 27th, 2011

All-Female Team Competes in Randle Trophy Match

The Randle Trophy match is smallbore international postal match with women competitors only. The Randle Trophy match was shot July 26th at Camp Perry immediately after the Dewar Trophy match. The course of fire for the match is a Dewar Course, where each shooter fires 20 shots at both 50 and 100 yards in the prone position. Below is a slide show with photos of the match.

Started in 1952 for International Women’s Team Competition in memory of former NRA President Thurman Randle, participating teams must be from an English-speaking country and field a team of 10 firing members, two alternate shooters, a captain, and a coach. Earning a position on the U.S. team is not easy, members must be one of the 12 top-scoring shooters in the Metallic Sight Aggregate competition at Perry to be invited. Below are the talented members of the 2011 Randle Trophy Team.

Randle Team 2011

Story by K. Jillson, courtesy the NRA Blog.
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July 27th, 2011

Steiner Offers Rebates on Binoculars

This Editor has used Steiner binoculars in the field. I believe Steiner’s standard-size models are excellent optics for the price. And now that price is even more attractive. Starting August 1, 2011 and running through Dec. 31, 2011, Steiner is offering rebates on binoculars. Rebates range from $25 to $100, depending on the model. To get your rebate, purchase a qualifying product through an authorized dealer, then (no later than 1/31/2012) mail in a rebate certificate along with sales receipt and UPC barcode. Checks will be received from Steiner within eight to 10 weeks of receipt.

Qualifying Steiner Binoculars and Rebates

10×50 Nighthunter XP, 12×56 Nighthunter XP, 7×50 Commander XP C, 8×44 Peregrine XP and 10×44 Peregrine XP.

8×42 Nighthunter XP, 10×42 Nighthunter XP, 8×56 Nighthunter XP and 10×56 Nighthunter XP.

8×42 Merlin, 10×42 Merlin, 10×50 Merlin, 7×30 Navigator Pro C, 7×50 Observer C, 7×50 Commander XP and the 10×50 Military/Marine.

8×32 Merlin.

8×30 Military/Marine, 8×30 Predator Pro, 12×40 Predator Pro, 8.5×26 Wildlife Pro, 10.5×28 Wildlife Pro, 8×30 Wildlife Pro CF, 8×30 Safari Pro, 7×50 Marine, and the 8×30 Navigator.

8×22 Predator Pro X, 10×26 Predator Pro X, 8×42 Predator Xtreme and the 10×42 Predator Xtreme.

Steiner 8×30 Military/Marine — Field Report
In May, your Editor was in New Mexico, on a prairie dog expedition. While in the field, I used Steiner 8x30mm Military/Marine binoculars to spot the critters. I came away very impressed with these Steiners. The glass is bright and super-sharp. These binoculars offer both right and left diopters. And Steiner’s rapid focus system really works! You don’t have to constantly fiddle with focus — everything past about 20 yards is in sharp focus all the time. I could see blades of grass and other details better with the 8X Steiners than with the 20X Leupold on my rifle. After three days in the prairie dog fields I can recommend the Steiner 8×30 M/Ms without hesitation. As Steiner owner Steve West recently posted on Steiner’s facebook page regarding his Steiner Predator Extremes: “They are as good as advertised. The best value in binoculars today… German optics for American blue collar prices. Can’t beat that deal.”

Steiner 8×30 Military/Marine Binocs are Just $229.99 has the Steiner 8×30 Military/Marine for just $229.99, with free shipping. The rebate (avail. August 1st) knocks the price down to $199.99. That’s a great deal! The 10×50 Steiner Military/Marine is also offered on It has more magnification and better low-light performance. However, it currently runs about $499.00, or $449.99 after rebate. Even with the $50.00 rebate, the 10×50 is twice as expensive as the 8×30. For value, the 8×30 is the smart choice.

Disclosure: receives a small percentage
of the purchase price of direct-link sales on
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July 26th, 2011

Potterfield Receives 2011 Shooting Industry Award

Larry Potterfield awardAt the 20th Annual Shooting Industry Academy of Excellence awards (held last week in Kentucky), Larry Potterfield of Midway USA received the prestigious Shooting Industry Award for 2011. Potterfield was honored for his efforts to promote the shooting sports. In 2010, Potterfield donated more than $4,000,000 to youth shooting sports organizations and firearms training programs. We congratulate Mr. Potterfield. It’s great to see a successful businessman give back to the sport so generously.

After receiving the Shooting Industry Award, Potterfield stated: “This award is a great validation, from our peers, that Brenda and I are on the right track in supporting the youth shooting movement in the United States. Tomorrow’s leaders are in 4H, Boy Scouts, and the youth programs of the Key Conservation Groups; and they’re attending high schools and colleges. Our passion is to help fund programs that allow more kids to pull the trigger more times. The Scholastic Shooting Trust Fund, which provides funds for high school and college shooting teams, is our favorite charity.”

Hornady is Manufacturer of the Year
Hornady was named Manufacturer of the Year for service, support, and commitment to customers at all levels. Hornady’s new Superformance Varmint Ammo also earned “Ammunition of the Year” honors.

Ruger was a double winner as a gun-maker. Ruger’s new LC9 pistol was named “Handgun of the Year”, while the Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle (M77-GS) received the coveted “Rifle of the Year” award.

Ruger Scout Rifle

Leupold also won two awards. The Leupold VX-R 3-9x40mm riflescope was named Optic of the Year and Leupold’s RX-1000i TBR Laser Rangefinder was named Hunting Product of the Year.

Awards were determined by the votes of the 500-member Academy of Excellence, which includes manufacturers, distributors, executives, storefront dealers and outdoor writers. “Each award recipient and nominee deserves accolades for their commitment to excellence in design and service,” said Randy Molde, Academy director.

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July 25th, 2011

Theodore Roosevelt Remembered at Camp Perry

Former President Theodore Roosevelt was the “founding father” of the NRA National Matches*. Teddy Roosevelt believed the world was a dangerous place. To assure peace, Roosevelt believed that America needed to be prepared to fight. At the Opening Ceremony of the 2011 NRA National Championships, Dr. Joseph W. Westphal, Under Secretary of the U.S. Army, echoed the views of Roosevelt, who believed “The first step in the direction of preparation to avert war, if possible, and to be fit for war, if it should come, is to teach men to shoot.”

“Though the world has changed considerably in the last century, it is just as unsettled as it was when President Roosevelt established this competition in 1903,” Dr. Westphal said. Roosevelt, who served as an Army colonel during the Spanish-American War, witnessed firsthand how unprepared U.S. soldiers were victimized in battle. Despite winning the conflict, the U.S. suffered disproportionate casualties due to the lack of firearms training.

In his speech at Camp Perry, Dr. Westphal observed that President Roosevelt was a strong advocate of marksmanship training:

“Reflecting with regret on the casualties the U.S. took in the Spanish-American War, President Roosevelt said: ‘The great body of our citizens shoot less as time goes on. We should encourage rifle practice among schoolboys and indeed among all classes as well as in the military services, by every means of our power. Thus and not otherwise may we be able to assist in preserving peace in the world. The first step in the direction of preparation to avert war, if possible, and to be fit for war, if it should come, is to teach men to shoot.’ “

Westphal Invokes History
at Camp Perry Ceremonies

Westphal cautioned that we should not forget the lessons of the past: “So I bring these old historic notes of long-forgotten battles, not because they are curiosities, but because they remind us of why Americans began gathering here over a century ago. It was because they knew the terrible consequences of not being ready for war. In establishing the National Matches at Camp Perry, they promoted the importance of marksmanship in the nation’s defense.”

“Today the Civilian Marksmanship Program trains some 400 marksmanship instructors a year. In addition, 200,000 to 300,000 young people and adults receive training in marksmanship and firearms safety through clubs and junior ROTC,” Westphal said. “The thousands of competitors who will take part in these matches follow on the heels of millions who have benefited directly … from the marksmanship training and safety programs promoted here.”

*In February 1903, an amendment to the War Department Appropriations Bill established the National Board for the Promotion of Rifle Practice (NBPRP). This government advisory board became the predecessor to today’s Corporation for the Promotion of Rifle Practice and Firearms Safety, Inc. that now governs the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP). The 1903 legislation also established the National Matches, commissioned the National Trophy and provided funding to support the Matches. This historic legislation grew out of a desire to improve military marksmanship and national defense preparedness. President Theodore Roosevelt, Secretary of War Elihu Root and NRA President General Bird Spencer were among the most important supporters of this act.

Story based on report by Steve Cooper in CMP First Shot Online Magazine.

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