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April 4th, 2012

Kelly Bachand Returns to Top Shot as 1500-yard Shooting Coach field tester Kelly Bachand returns to Top Shot on the History Channel next week. Kelly is one of two “alumni experts” tasked with helping competitors attempt a 1500-yard shot. Along with fellow Top Shot alumnus George Reinas, Kelly guides Season 4 competitors through the longest-range marksmanship challenge ever undertaken on the Top Shot series. The show will air Tuesday, April 10th at 10:00 pm. Kelly tells us: “OK — I can finally talk about it! I’ll be on Top Shot again [next week]. I’ll be there trying to teach the shooters how to read wind so they can make a 1500-yard shot.” We asked Kelly if he was going to get one of those $2K Bass Pro gift cards for his efforts. Unfortunately the answer was ‘no': “No gift cards….Yeah I wish they gave me four of them to make up for all the elimination challenges in Season One!”

Kelly instructs this season’s competitors in the skills needed to make a hit at 1500 yards. At right, you’ll see Kelly doing something he’s becoming very familiar with — looking through a spotting scope. At the World Long Range Championships in Australia, Kelly’s spotting skills helped keep the USA Young Eagles in the center to win both Gold and Silver. The teaser for next week’s Top Shot episode shows competitors using an Accuracy Int’l AX 338 to engage a target 1500 yards away. To make shots at that distance successfully, you need to have rock-solid fundamentals, wind-reading abilities, and ballistics info. Tune in next Tuesday to see how Kelly works with competitors trying to make the longest shot ever attempted on Top Shot.

AI AX338 Bachand

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April 4th, 2012

Gun-Maker Stock Prices Rise with Uncertainty over 2012 Election

Smith Wesson Stock Price 2012 logo
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:

Smith Wesson Stock Price 2012 Election

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.”

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April 4th, 2012

Video Intro to Handgun Silhouette

This 8-minute video, filmed at the Ojai Valley Gun Club in California, shows a 200m metallic silhouette match for handguns. Noted IHMSA shooter Jim Harris describes the course and shooters demonstrate their technique. With these iron-sight, single-shot centerfire pistols, when shooting “freestyle”, most shooters prefer the lying down, feet-first Creedmoor position. This allows them to steady their pistols along the side of the front leg. In the 1800s, long-range rifle shooters also commonly used a Creedmoor position, sometimes resting the barrel on the toes of their boots.

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In this second video, Jim compares two “Unlimited” pistols, one in 6.5 BR and the other in 7mm BR. Jim explains the pistols’ features and chamberings. Then the video offers a “shooter’s eye” view of Jim and Scott Mann firing the pistols at half-size pig silhouettes. Watch Jim and Scott both “clean” all five of their respective targets at 100m.

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Shown below is an Anschütz Model 1416 MSP E Silhouette pistol, similar to the custom pistols you’ll see in the video. The Anschütz 6836 rear sight was specifically developed for handgun silhouette competition. The folding rear sight cover and anti-glare front sight tube greatly improve the sight picture. This 4.1-lb, single-shot pistol has a trigger pull weight of about 300 grams, roughly 10 ounces.

Jim Harris (“Gunzorro”) has posted many other shooting videos, which you’ll find on the “related videos” section of the YouTube page to which we’ve linked. Jim Harris has won several NRA National and IHMSA International championships in metallic handgun silhouette competition. He is also active in High Power Rifle Silhouette and Black Powder Cartridge Silhouette. In the silhouette arena, he helped popularize the 6.5BR, 6.5PPC, 6.5TKS (improved BR), .260 Remington and .22 PPC, and pioneered the use of Vihtavuori powders in the mid-90s. Jim is also a successful professional freelance photographer, specializing in commercial photography and architecture. Contact Jim at

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