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September 8th, 2013

NSSF Study Profiles Next Generation of Target Shooters

NSSF Target Shooting Report urban female junior shootersAre target shooters a dying breed? Apparently not according to a new NSSF study. Remarkably, 20% of all target shooters began participating in the past five years. That’s great news. The next generation of target shooters is more diverse and more urban than ever before — and there are more females getting involved in target shooting — a lot more. 37% of new target shooters are female, a big number compared to older generations. The NSSF’s newly-commissioned study shows that, in years ahead, our shooting ranges will see more lady shooters and more participants who come from urban/suburban areas (as opposed to rural communities).

The NSSF report shows that one-fifth of target shooters in America first started participating in the shooting sports between 2008 and 2012. That means 20 percent of all target shooters began participating in the past five years. That’s promising news.

Here Are Some Key Findings:

  • Younger: 66 percent of new shooters fall into the 18-to-34-year-old category compared to 31 percent in the same age category for established shooters.
  • Female: 37 percent of new target shooters are female compared to 22 percent of established target shooters.
  • Urban: 47 percent of new target shooters live in urban/suburban settings versus 34 percent of established target shooters.

NSSF Target Shooting Report urban female junior shooters

Introducing New Shooters to the Sport — Tips from a Champion
In this video, Champion pistol shooter Doug Koenig offers advice on how to introduce newcomers to the shooting sports. With new shooters, Doug says you need to keep the experience safe and fun. Start with low-recoil firearms and use reactive targets to increase the “fun factor”.

Koenig’s Tips for Successful Range Sessions with New Shooters
1. Start off a new shooter with an airgun or a .22 LR. “You don’t want to start them out with the biggest, loudest firearm you have in your collection.”

2. Make sure the shooting is fun. “Use [reactive] targets — steel targets, knock-down targets, clay pigeons sitting on the bank — anything reactive, something they can see happen.” You want to keep people interested, keep them excited.

3. Remember the reason we go to the range — to have a good time. Don’t overload newcomers with stress. “Keep it fun, keep it safe, and keep everything in perspective.” Remember that [newcomers] “are the future of the shooting sports for all of us.”

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September 8th, 2013

Gun Trader’s Guide (35th Edition) Just Released

Gun Trader 35th EditionThe new, 35th Edition of the Gun Trader’s Guide has just been released. This fully-illustrated resource features current market values for thousands of rifles, pistols, and shotguns. This 35th Edition, now with over 1000 photographs, boasts one hundred new entries since last year’s edition. Along with the Blue Blue of Gun Values, the Gun Trader’s Guide is one of the two definitive resources on gun prices. If you buy or sell firearms, the Gun Traders’ Guide is a must-have item that will pay for itself. Over two million copies of the Gun Trader’s Guide have been sold to date. Order soon to be one of the first to own the new 35th Edition. Amazon’s price is $22.97.

New this year is a Kindle Edition of the Gun Trader’s Guide to Rifles. Packed with 608 pages of material, this eBook edition of the Guide can be viewed on a Kindle, iPad, laptop, or your home computer. Introductory price is just $16.47, with release slated for September 13, 2013. You can pre-order now via

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You can order the Gun Trader’s Guide, the Blue Book of Gun Values and other popular firearms and shooting books through the AccurateShooter Bookstore. To save you time, we’ve collected the best books on shooting, reloading, hunting, and gunsmithing all in one location. Ordering, secure billing, and shipping are all handled efficiently by

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September 8th, 2013

"Miracle Device" Cuts Groups in Half — Guaranteed

Well, yes, that headline is a come-on. But there’s truth in the promise. The “miracle device” to which we refer is a simple wind indicator aka “windflag”. Remarkably, many shooters who spend $3000.00 or more on a precision rifle never bother to set up windflags, or even simple wood stakes with some ribbon to show the wind. Whether you’re a competitive shooter, a varminter, or someone who just likes to punch small groups, you should always take a set of windflags (or some kind of wind indicators) when you head to the range or the prairie dog fields. And yes, if you pay attention to your windflags, you can easily cut your group sizes in half. Here’s proof…

Miss a 5 mph Shift and Double Your Group Size
The table below records the effect of a 5 mph crosswind at 100, 200, and 300 yards. You may be thinking, “well, I’d never miss a 5 mph let-off.” Consider this — if a gentle 2.5 mph breeze switches from 3 o’clock (R to L) to 9 o’clock (L to R), you’ve just missed a 5 mph net change. What will that do to your group? Look at the table to find out.

shooting wind flags
Values from Point Blank Ballistics software for 500′ elevation and 70° temperature.

Imagine you have a 6mm rifle that shoots half-MOA consistently in no-wind conditions. What happens if you miss a 5 mph shift (the equivalent of a full reversal of a 2.5 mph crosswind)? Well, if you’re shooting a 68gr flatbase bullet, your shot is going to move about 0.49″ at 100 yards, nearly doubling your group size. With a 105gr VLD, the bullet moves 0.28″ … not as much to be sure, but still enough to ruin a nice small group. What about an AR15, shooting 55-grainers at 3300 fps? Well, if you miss that same 5 mph shift, your low-BC bullet moves 0.68″. That pushes a half-inch group well past an inch. If you had a half-MOA capable AR, now it’s shooting worse than 1 MOA. And, as you might expect, the wind effects at 200 and 300 yards are even more dramatic. If you miss a 5 mph, full-value wind change, your 300-yard group could easily expand by 2.5″ or more.

Forest of Windflags at World Benchrest Championships in France in 2011

If you’ve already invested in an accurate rifle with a good barrel, you are “throwing away” accuracy if you shoot without wind flags. You can spend a ton of money on fancy shooting accessories (such as expensive front rests and spotting scopes) but, dollar for dollar, nothing will potentially improve your shooting as much as a good set of windflags, used religiously.

Which Windflag to buy? Click Here for a list of Vendors selling windflags of various types.

Aussie Windflag photo courtesy (Stuart and Annie Elliot).

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