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December 5th, 2021

Sunday Gunday: Let Santa Bring You a CMP M1 Garand

CMP marksmanship program M1 Garand store order rifle vintage .30-06

We think every serious vintage rifle collector should acquire an M1 Garand at some point. If you ordered from the CMP this fall, perhaps you may find an historic M1 Garand under your Christmas tree this year. The CMP has, in the past couple of years, received over 90,000 Garands from overseas arsenals, so there are plenty to be had currently. This article explains how to order an M1 Garand from the CMP, and how to select the right grade for your needs and budget.

How to Order an M1 Garand from the CMP
To purchase an M1 Garand through the CMP, you must be an adult U.S. Citizen, and a member of an affiliated organization who has participated in a “Marksmanship Activity”. This basically means you need to join a gun club and participate in a clinic or match. Proof of club membership and citizenship is mandatory for all ages. However, the marksmanship requirement is waived for those over 60 years of age. Garands must be ordered by mail or through official CMP Auctions. CLICK HERE to Start Order.

Garand Turkish Turkey Philippines

CLICK HERE for Garand Ordering Information | CLICK HERE for Eligibility Requirements

CLICK HERE for Garand Grading Information

CMP Civilian Marksmanship Program M1 Garand Christmas Rifle
This handsome M1 Garand was built with a CMP barreled action fitted to an aftermarket figured Walnut stock. That’s not war-worn GI wood.”

Here are two videos that explain the procedure for ordering an M1 Garand from the CMP. Along with mail-order sales, the CMP has brick-and-mortar stores where M1 Garands can be inspected and purchased and then transferred via your FFL (in compliance with state law). The three CMP stores are located in Anniston, Alabama; Talladega, Alabama; and Port Clinton (Camp Perry), Ohio.

CMP marksmanship program M1 Garand store order rifle vintage .30-06

M1 Garand Barreled Actions and Aftermarket Barrels

CMP Civilian Marksmanship Program M1 Garand Christmas Rifle

Along with complete M1 Garand rifles, the CMP also offers barreled actions. This can save you money, and also makes sense if you are looking to create a rifle with high-grade wood, or you want to bed the action for improved accuracy. You can order an M1 Garand barreled action, as well as complete M1 Garand rifles, from the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP). The eligibility requirements and ordering process will be the same for a barreled action as for a complete rifle.

If you already have an M1 Garand, but need a new barrel, you can order a pre-chambered Criterion barrel in .30-06 Springfield. Criterion tell us: “This is a direct replacement barrel for the M1 Garand rifle, manufactured to Mil-spec print #6535448. It has the original G.I. contour and Parkerized finish. Receiver threads are timed, all milling cuts are made, and all M1 Garand barrels are hand-lapped.” NOTE: Each barrel is .010 short-chambered and should be headspaced by a qualified gunsmith. These Criterion .30-06 replacement barrels, priced at $259.95, are legal for use in Service Rifle and John C. Garand matches.

m1 Garand Rifle Barrels CMP Criterion

If you want to re-chamber your M1 Garand to .308 Winchester, the CMP eStore sells brand new Criterion-made barrels in .308 Win for $199.95. These authentic-profile barrels are chambered and headspaced within .010″ of finished size, with final fitting to be done by a competent gunsmith. The barrels are also externally Parkerized to match your vintage M1 Garand.

New Criterion M1 Garand (.308 Win) RIFLE Barrel, 4140 Chrome Moly Steel
Item: 065CRI/308 | Price $199.95

How to Maintain the M1 Garand Rifle

Once you have an M1 Garand in your collection, you’ll want to keep it in tip-top condition so it works flawlessly for vintage military matches and fun shooting. Below we’ve linked two good SSUSA articles on M1 Garand maintenance. Following that you’ll find two excellent videos covering M1 Garand Disassembly, Cleaning, and Lubrication. Finally there are links to recommended print manuals for the M1 Garand.

M1 Service and Maintenance
Shooting Sports USA (SSUSA) published an excellent article on Service and Maintenance of M1 Garand Rifles. This offers some smart tricks, such as using smoke from burning masking tape to darken the front sight post. There is also an older SSUSA article that covers basic cleaning and servicing and also explains how to upgrade the performance of your Garands. READ Article HERE.

M1 Garand maintenance procedures

As a resource for Garand owners, SSUSA recommends GarandGear.com: “[At] Garand Gear you’ll find USGI spec parts, tools, gauges, clips and a few Garand accessories. They also have some interesting freebies, most notably a direct analysis of M1 gas port pressures produced by different brands of commercial .30-06 ammunition, showing which ones exceed M2 Ball pressure, as well as the pressures produced by ammo manufactured specifically for the M1 Garand, such as Hornady’s M1 Garand Match and Federal’s American Eagle M1 Garand. Here you’ll also find free, downloadable and printable PDF copies of War Department M1 Garand maintenance manuals TM9-1275 and TM9-1005.”

m1 Garand Rifle Barrels CMP Criterion

M1 Garand Disassembly, Cleaning, and Lubrication

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December 5th, 2021

Ten Great Gun Books — December Book Buyers Guide

Gun firearms books christmas gifts reader guide book resource paperback hardcover

Christmas is just 20 days away. If you are looking for a great gift for a shooting buddy, books have always been popular holiday gifts. Here are some recommended titles that should please the serious shooters and firearms enthusiasts on your shopping list. For shooting clubs, books also make great end-of-season member awards. Most of us would rather have a useful book than one more piece of wood to toss in a box in the closet. Check out these ten titles — for yourself or your shooting buddies.

Here Are TEN BOOKS Recommended for Serious Shooters:

Modern Advancements in LR Shooting, Vol. II
by Bryan Litz, $27.99 (Kindle), $45.95 (Hardcover)

If you’re a serious long-range shooter, consider adding this book to your library. Relying on extensive ballistics testing, Modern Advancements Volume II is a great successor to Volume I that contains some fascinating research results. UK gun writer Laurie Holland notes: “Volume II of the Modern Advancements series is as fascinating as Volume I and if anything even more valuable given a series of ‘mythbusters’ tests including: case fill-ratio, primer flash-hole uniforming, neck tension, annealing, and much more. The work also addresses that perennial discussion of a bullet ‘going to sleep’ and shooting smaller groups (in MOA) at longer distances than 100 yards.” The amount of testing done for this Volume II work, with a staggering amount of rounds sent downrange, makes this book unique among shooting resources. There is a ton of “hard science” in this book — not just opinions.

Nancy Tompkins Long Range book Prone and Long Range Rifle Shooting
by Nancy Tompkins, $45.00, (Hardcover, 2d Edition).

Nancy Tompkins is one of the greatest long-range shooters in American history. She has won five National Long-range Championships. Tompkins’ treatise is a must-read for serious Palma, F-Class, and High Power shooters. The revised Second edition includes F-Class equipment and techniques, and newly updated information. Color pictures. Topics include Mental & Physical training, Reading Wind & Mirage Shooting Fundamentals, International Competition, and Loading for Long Range. Nancy Tompkins is a 4-time winner of the National Long Range Championships, and has won countless other major events. Nancy has been on six Palma Teams (as both a shooter and a coach).

Miller Cunningham Wind Book The Wind Book for Rifle Shooters
by Linda Miller & Keith Cunningham, $14.99 (Kindle), $18.68 (Hardback).

The new, 2020 Edition of The Wind Book was released a few months ago. The updates make this very helpful 144-page book even better. The Wind Book for Rifle Shooters by Linda Miller and Keith Cunningham, first published in 2007, is a very informative resource. But you don’t have to take our word for it. If you click this link, you can read book excerpts on Amazon.com. This lets you preview the first few chapters, and see some illustrations. Other books cover wind reading in a broader discussion of ballistics or long-range shooting. But the Miller & Cunningham book is ALL about wind reading from cover to cover, and that is its strength. The book focuses on real world skills that can help you accurately gauge wind angle, wind velocity, and wind cycles. Readers have praised the book, earning it 93% 4- and 5-star reviews on Amazon.

Tony Boyer Book rifle accuracy benchrest Long Range Shooting Handbook
by Ryan Cleckner, $9.99 (Kindle), $23.22 (Softcover),

Ryan Cleckner is noted for his ability to explain complex topics in an easy-to-comprehend manner. Now Cleckner has authored a book, the Long Range Shooting Handbook, which expands on the topics covered in Cleckner’s popular NSSF video series. The Long Range Shooting Handbook is divided into three main categories: What It Is/How It Works, Fundamentals, and How to Use It. “What It Is/How It Works” covers equipment, terminology, and basic principles. “Fundamentals” covers the theory of long range shooting. “How to Use It” gives practical advice on implementing what you’ve learned, so you can progress as a skilled, long range shooter. You can view Sample Chapters from Ryan’s Book on Amazon.com.

Winning in Mind Bassham book With Winning in Mind (3d. Edition)
by Lanny Bassham, $9.99 (Kindle), $16.95 (Softcover)

Visualization is a process of mental preparation that is done before you get to the range. Many of the greatest shooting champions have used this technique to get ready for big matches, and to optimize their performance during record fire. If you want to enhance your “mental game” through pre-match visualization, we strongly recommend Lanny Bassham’s book, With Winning in Mind. As a competitive smallbore 3P shooter, Bassham developed a mental management system. Using this system, Lanny Bassham won 22 world individual and team titles, set four world records, and captured an Olympic Gold Medal in Montreal in 1976. His techniques have been embraced by professional and Olympic athletes in many sports. With Winning in Mind covers a complete system of “mental management” techniques used by Olympians and elite champions.

Practical Shooter’s Guide
by Marcus Blanchard, $9.99 (Kindle), $19.99 (Softcover)

Thinking of getting started in the Practical/Tactical shooting game? Looking for ways to be more stable when shooting from unconventional positions? Then you may want to read Marcus Blanchard’s Practical Shooter’s Guide (A How-To Approach for Unconventional Firing Positions and Training). Unlike almost every “how to shoot” book on the market, Blanchard’s work focuses on the shooting skills and positions you need to succeed in PRS matches and similar tactical competitions. Blanchard provides clear advice on shooting from barricades, from roof-tops, from steep angles. Blanchard says you need to train for these types of challenges: “I believe the largest factor in the improvement of the average shooter isn’t necessarily the gear; it’s the way the shooter approaches obstacles and how they properly train for them.”

Tony Boyer Book rifle accuracy benchrest The Book of Rifle Accuracy
by Tony Boyer, $42.50 (Hardcover).

Tony Boyer, the most successful shooter in the history of short-range benchrest competition, shares match-winning tips in this 323-page book. The book covers all aspect of the benchrest discipline: loading, windflags, rest set-up, addressing the rifle, and match strategies. This is a high-quality publication, filled with valuable insights. Every serious benchrest shooter should read Tony’s book. Boyer has dominated registered benchrest in a fashion that will never be duplicated, having amassed 142 U.S. Benchrest Hall of Fame points. The next closest shooter, Allie Euber, has 47 Hall of Fame points. This handsome, full-color book is 323 pages long, with color photos or color illustrations on nearly every page.

David Tubb High Power Rifle The Rifle Shooter
by G. David Tubb, $15.00 (On Sale Now)(Softcover)

This book by 11-time National High Power Champion David Tubb focuses on position shooting and High Power disciplines. Section One covers fundamentals: position points, natural point of aim, breathing, triggering mechanics and follow-through, sling selection and use, getting started, getting better, avoiding obstacles. Section Two covers mechanics of offhand, sitting, and prone positions. Section Three covers shooting skills, including wind reading and mental preparation. Section Four covers the technical side of shooting, with extensive discussions of rifle design, load development, reloading barrel maintenance, and rifle fitting. We consider this book a “must-read” for any sling shooter, and there is plenty of good advice for F-Class shooters too.

Cartridges of World 16th Edition Coaching Young Rifle Shooters
by Gary Anderson, $20.95 (Softcover)

Gary Anderson’s book, Coaching Young Rifle Shooters, is an excellent, fully-illustrated guide for training young shooters. This 187-page, full-color book is the most comprehensive instructional guide of its kind now in print. Anderson created this resource for coaches and parents who work with beginning and intermediate junior rifle shooters. Anderson’s guidebook provides coaches with the tools needed to develop young shooters and improve their marksmanship skills. Gary Anderson is the Director of Civilian Marksmanship (DCM) Emeritus. In his 11 years of international competition, Gary won two Olympic gold medals, seven World Championships, and 16 national titles.

Bullseye Midnd Raymond Prior Creedmoor Sports Bullseye Mind
(Mental Toughness for Sport Shooting)
by Dr. Raymond Prior, $15.95 (On Sale now) (Softcover).

Having a Bullseye Mind means thinking in ways that create confidence and consistency, even under pressure. A “must-read” for competitive shooters, Bullseye Mind is a mental training book written specifically for the shooting sports. The book is well-organized, with handy highlighted lists and key “talking points”. Each chapter concludes with examples from a world-class shooters such as: Matt Emmons, 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist; Vincent Hancock, 2-time Olympic Gold Medalist; Jamie Corkish, 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist; Petra Zublasing, 2014 World Champion/ISSF Shooter of the Year; and Nicco Campriani, 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist, 2010 World Champion. This book has earned rave reviews from competitive shooters who found it really helped their “Mental Game”. One recent purchaser states: “This book is as though you had a coach in your back pocket…”

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December 4th, 2021

PRS Ace Austin Orgain Wins Top PRS Honors Two Years in a Row

PRS golden bullet proof research austin orgain winner
Austin Orgain was the top finisher in the 2021 Precision Rifle Series season, winning the Golden Bullet award for the second year in a row, as the Pro Class Open Points Series Champion.

PRS competitor Austin Orgain took home the Precision Rifle Series Pro Series Golden Bullet award for the second year in a row. With his many wins and top 5 performances, Austin is now ranked #1 in the PRS Bolt Gun Series PRO Division. Austin took top Pro Division honors at the PRS Series Finale held Nov. 6-7, 2021 at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, New Mexico. Some 200 of America’s top PRS shooters competed in the challenging Finale.

PRS golden bullet proof research austin orgain winner
Orgain’s PRS match rifle features a PROOF Research steel competition contour .243 1:7.5″-twist cut-rifled barrel chambered for the 6mm Dasher. Note the left bolt action.

Remarkable Record in PRS in 2020 and 2021
Austin Orgain has shot 61 total PRS matches, of which 47 are Pro Series matches. Orgain’s best Pro Series finish was at the 2021 PRS PRO Series Finale match where he finished first (#1) out of 214 shooters. Orgain has won his last three matches straight, for a fantastic finish to 2021:

Winner: November 6, 2021 — 2021 PRS PRO SERIES FINALE Raton, New Mexico
Winner: September 18, 2021 — BOX CANYON SHOWDOWN AG Qualifier, Medicine Lodge, Kansas
Winner: August 28, 2021 — OKIE SUMMER SHOWDOWN, Ninnekah, Oklahoma

PROOF Research’s cut-rifled barrels are designed for extreme accuracy, performance, and reliability under any environmental condition. Orgain commented, “The consistency and accuracy that I see from PROOF barrel to barrel makes my job so much easier. Break one in, load the same charge, and go hammer.” The Competition Contour barrel and all of PROOF Research’s barrels are single-point, cut-rifled, lead-lapped, and thoroughly inspected at multiple quality-control stations.

About PROOF Research
Headquartered in Columbia Falls, Montana, PROOF Research maintains research and manufacturing centers in Montana and Ohio. PROOF Research has developed next-generation composite materials for carbon fiber barrels, premium hunting rifles, and weapon systems. PROOF Research’s goal is to make reduced weight, durability, and match-grade accuracy a reality.

Proof Research Carbon-wrapped barrel
While Austin Orgain shoots with an all-steel barrel, PROOF Research produces advanced carbon-wrapped barrels offering significant weight savings.

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December 3rd, 2021

Great Resource for Vintage Military Rifle Shooters

Gary Anderson CMP Director shooting vintage military rifle training book

CMP Guide to Target Shooting with Vintage Military Rifles
The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) now offers VMR: Target Shooting With Vintage Military Rifles, an instructional guide by Gary Anderson, Director of Civilian Marksmanship Emeritus. Gary himself was a world-class marksman who earned two Olympic Gold medals in rifle shooting.

The CMP says this 284-page illustrated book is “likely the most comprehensive manuscript ever written about the methods of training and competing with popular American and foreign vintage military rifles.” Fans of vintage military rifles will likely find this 18-chapter book “to be the most complete coverage of the topic, from a competitor’s and historian’s point of view”, said Christie Sewell, CMP Programs Chief. The book is up-to-date, having been released in early 2021.

Anderson definitely has the credentials — he won Olympic Gold Medals in Tokyo and Mexico City in the 1960s. Gary also set multiple U.S. and international records. The originator of the CMP’s competitive vintage rifle program, Anderson set out to present a detailed manual covering all aspects of shooting vintage military rifles. The book covers 1903 Springfield, U.S. Krag, 1917 U.S. Enfield, M1 Garand, M1 Carbine and many more, including rifles from “across the pond.”

Target Shooting With Vintage Military Rifles Topics:

Origins and Fundamentals of Marksmanship
Operation, Cleaning, Loading & Unloading
Sight Adjustment, Zeroing & Fine Tuning
Highpower Rifle Match Procedures
Firing Rifles in Competition

Prone, Sitting and Standing Position Building
Using a Scorebook/Databook
Strategies for Improvement
Critical Value of the Sling
Rifle and Range Safety

Gary Anderson CMP Director shooting vintage military rifle training book

Purchase Online at CMP E-Store (When Available)
This informative Gary Anderson book is sold through the CMP E-Store for $29.95. You can also print out and submit the CMP Publications order form (order item NLU # 792, $29.95). The CMP stores in Alabama and Ohio also carry this Gary Anderson book. Unfortunately it is currently back-ordered on the E-Store.

Gary Anderson CMP Director shooting vintage military rifle training book

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December 1st, 2021

Sand Bag Filling — How to “Tune” Rear Bags for Better Results

This discussion of rear bag designs and fill levels may offer some new insights for many readers. By “tuning” your rear bag you can reduce hop on shot-firing and help your rifle track better. All that can translate to better scores, particularly with large-caliber rifles.

Tuning Your Rear Sand Bags

Over the years, noted gunsmith and a Benchrest Hall-of-Fame inductee Thomas ‘Speedy’ Gonzalez has learned a few things about “tuning” rear sandbags for best performance. On his Facebook page, Speedy recently discussed how sand bag fill levels (hard vs. soft) can affect accuracy. Speedy says you don’t want to have both your front and rear sandbags filled up ultra-hard. One or the other bag needs to have some “give” to provide a shock-absorbing function (and prevent stock jump). And you want to tune your fill arrangements to match your shooting style. Free recoil shooters may need a different fill levels than bag squeezers (who a softer bag but harder ears).

SAND BAGS & HOW TO FILL THEM by Speedy Gonzalez

I was asked several times by competitors at the S.O.A. Matches and F-Class Nationals as to how I fill my sand bags for benchrest competition. Here is a copy of a reply I gave several years ago:

Back in the old days, Pat McMillan told me: “You can not have two bags filled so hard that you gun bounces on them in the process of firing round at your target, especially if you have a rig with a very flexible stock. The bags must be set up in a manner for them to absorb the initial shock of the firing pin moving forward and igniting the primer.

Then [they must] maintain their shape and absorb the second shock wave as well the rearward thrust and torque of the rifle. What happens to the rifle when this is not done? Well let me tell you. The rifles have a very bad tendency to jump and roll in the bags. This causes many of those wild, lost shots that one can’t explain.”

Here’s some Good General Advice for Bag Set-up:

1. You should not have TWO hard bags [i.e. both front AND rear] in your set-up.

2. Heavy sand magnifies these phenomena.

3. If you are a bag squeezer, pack ears hard and leave bag pliable enough to squeeze for the movement required. You may pack front bag as hard as rules permit.

4. Free recoil shooters pack both bags firm, but not so hard as to allow stock jump. Especially if you have a stock with a very flexible forearm.

5. We use play-ground sand, also know as silica sand. I sift mine to get any large impurities out then mix it with 25% to 50% with Harts parakeet gravel to the desired hardness that I am looking for. The bird gravel keeps the sand from packing itself into that solid as a brick state.

Speaking of bricks — another thing that happens when shooters employ that heavy zircon sand is the ears form a low spot under them from recoil and then tend to rock back and forth with the rifle causing many low shots to crop up. Edgewood makes an Edgewood/Speedy rear bag specially reinforced under the ears to eliminate this scenario.

Show below are the latest SEB Bigfoot Bags. Note that the bags sit perfectly flat — there is no bulge on the bottom even though the bags are “packed to the brim with sand”.

SEB Bigfoot Rear Bag sandbag Sebastian Lambang

General Thoughts about Bag Construction and Ear Materials
I do not like the solid double-stitched leather bottoms. While this seems like a good idea, I see more shooters have problems because of them. They tend to slide around the bench and or slide with the rifle on recoil. The standard Protektor with Cordura rabbit ears and an Otto ring bag with a Cordura front would be what I would suggest to the new shooter or one of the Edgewood / Speedy rear bags, these mimic the “Donut” and feature a ring of leather around the bottom circumference that keep the bottom from rocking on the bench or ground[.]

One last note –If you use the Cordura bags, keep them sprayed with a good silicon spray or “Rain-Ex”. This keeps them from getting sticky. — Speedy

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November 29th, 2021

A Worthwhile Wildcat — the 6mm-223 for XTC Competition

6mm 223 sinclair

Intro: Ron Dague wanted a new gun that was similar to his trusty .223 Rem rifle, but which fired 6mm bullets. There is a superb choice of bullets in this caliber, and Ron found that the 95gr Berger VLD could be driven to a healthy 2604 FPS by the small .223 Rem case. This 6mm wildcat based on the common .223 Remington offers excellent accuracy and very low recoil — something very important in the cross-the-course discipline. In addition, Ron’s 95gr load with Alliant Reloder 15 delivered an ES of just 4 fps over ten shots. That exceptionally low ES helps achieve minimal vertical dispersion at 600 yards.

6mm 223 Across the course McMilland stock Ron Dague Sinclair InternationalBy Ron Dague, Sinclair Reloading Tech
From Sinclair’s GunTech Articles Archive

I have watched a change in thinking for NRA High Power across the course in match rifles and calibers. There are several [popular chamberings]: 6mm AR, 6.5 Grendel, 6XC, and 6.5 Creedmoor. I have seen these rifles perform and all have done very well.

When I started this project I was looking for a cartridge that shoots and feeds well from a magazine[.] I had shot the .223 Rem in my 722 Remington and knew it had fed well so I chose the .223 Remington necked up to 6mm.

The 6mm-223 gives me what I have in the standard .223 only with a better selection of bullets. I wanted a better 600-yard bullet with a higher BC than provided by the 80 and 82 grain bullets. I also wanted a 600-yard line bullet with a .500 or better B.C. for those shots that should be 10 ring or better but seem to find the 9 ring no matter how well I held and broke the shot.

6mm 223 sinclairPutting the 6mm-233 Project Together
My project started with ordering a 6mm barrel from Bartlein with a 1-8″ twist. I called Pacific Tool and ordered the 6mm-223 reamer. I found a used Remington 700 action at a local gun shop and already had a Remington 40X stock. I then started putting the gun together.

I already had a .223 Remington match rifle, and I wanted the 6mm-223 to be as close to the same as I could make it. I installed the barreled action in a wood 40X stock to work up load data and work out any magazine feeding issues. While I was working on that, I looked for a McMillan Baker Special stock and finally found one to finish this project. I bedded the action and stock, then took the rifle to the range to check zeros on the sights and scope. I was surprised that I didn’t have to change anything on the sights. I thought changing the stock would cause sight changes. The thought went through my head, “Maybe the 40X stock isn’t all that bad”.

Here’s line-up of 6mm bullets. The Berger 95gr VLD is in the middle.
berger 6mm bullet hornady sierra line up 6mm 233

I took the new rifle to the first match of the year, a National Match Course match, and my off-hand score was 83, rapid sitting 95, rapid prone 95, and slow fire prone 197 — for total aggregate 470. This may not be my best work, but on match day the wind was blowing about 15 mph and the temp was around 40° F, with rain threatening. This was a reduced course of fire — we shot at 200 and 300 yards on reduced targets.

I used 70gr Berger bullets for this match, loaded in Remington brass with 25 grains of VihtaVuori N540 and Federal 205M primers. When I worked up loads for this rifle, N540 gave the best accuracy with the best extreme spread — 2,950 fps with an extreme spread of 20 fps on a 10-shot string. The load for 600 yards was with a 95gr Berger VLD bullet, with 23.0 grains of Reloder 15, Lapua cases, and the same Federal 205M primers. This load is 2,604 fps, with an extreme spread of 4 fps over a 10-shot string. I’ve shot this load at several 3×600 yard matches, and the accuracy has proven to be very good. At the last 3×600 match, my scores were as follows: 199-10x and 198-11X with scope, and 193-10X with iron sights. Best 600-yard score so far with iron sights was 198-12X.

6mm-223 Rem Rifle Specifications: 700 BDL action and floor plate, Bartlein 6mm 1:8″ twist, McMillan Baker Special stock in Desert Camo, Centra front and rear sights, Ken Farrell bases with stripper clip guide, Sinclair hand stop, and Jewell trigger. Gunsmith Neil Keller helped me with the metal work and instructed me on the action work and rebarreling.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Reloading 3 Comments »
November 28th, 2021

Position Shooting — Tips from Olympic Shooter Matt Emmons

Matt Emmons smallbore air rifle Olympic Games gold medal position shoooting
Rio 2016 World Cup Photo Courtesy ISSF and Team USA.

Would you like to try position shooting? Here are some tips from one of the best 3P shooters on the planet, Olympian Matt Emmons.

Matt Emmons Anschutz 3P three position shooting tipsMatt Emmons is one of the USA’s top smallbore rifle competitors in recent decades. Emmons has competed on the U.S. National Team since 1997 and he has represented the USA in various rifle events at four Olympics Games — 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016. Matt earned multiple Olympic medals: Gold in 2004 in Men’s 50m Prone*; Silver in 2008 in Men’s 50m Prone; and Bronze in 2012 in Men’s 50m 3X40. Although his specialty is Men’s 3-Position rifle, Emmons’ World Championship and Olympic Gold are in Men’s 50m Prone. He usually shoots an Anschütz or Bleiker .22LR rifle, with Eley Tenex ammo.

Here are shooting tips from Matt, courtesy Anschütz. Click image below to launch a large PDF file. Right-click the image and “save as” to download the poster-sized PDF.

Here Matt Shows the Kneeling Position. The other two positions are Standing and Prone.

CLICK Photo to Load Large PDF File
Matt Emmons Anschutz 3P three position shooting tips

Three Sets of Hardware for Three Positions
You may be surprised to find that Matt often totes three complete sets of rifle parts to important matches — three buttplates, three cheekpieces, and three Centra sights with adjustable irises. Matt told Shooting Sports USA that he travels with “three sets for three positions. Our final is so fast that I need three sets of everything to allow a fast change-over between positions.” Matt carries his gear in an an Anschütz sport bag: “It’s similar to the big Ogio duffels with wheels, but lighter. I’ve worked with AHG/Anschütz for many years and I like their bag because all of my junk fits in it.”


*Emmons’s gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics in the prone position came while using a borrowed rifle. In April 2004, just prior to the Olympic Team Trials, Emmons discovered his rifle had been severely sabotaged in the supposedly secure locker room at the United States Olympic Training Center. The precisely tuned barrel and action were heavily damaged by what appeared to be a screwdriver. “I unpacked my gun and I noticed that something wasn’t right,” Emmons said. “Sure enough, somebody had done something to it. I shot it and I couldn’t get the shell out. I said, ‘Something’s wrong here’.” Emmons said it could not have been an accident: “Oh no, no,” Emmons said. “Somebody took a screwdriver and went in.” Emmons went on to the 2004 Summer Olympics, and his gold medal in the prone position event, using his former University of Alaska Fairbanks teammate, Amber Darland’s .22 rifle. He never found out who the saboteur was, but said “I’d like to know so I could shake their hand and say thanks.”

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November 21st, 2021

Sunday Gunday: British Blue Beauty — F-Open 7mm-270 WSM

Ian Boxell UK F-Class rifle 7mm 270 WSM color

For today’s Sunday Gunday feature, we present a splash of color — the beautiful blue 7mm-270 WSM of Forum member Ian B. (aka “Elwood”) from Great Britain. A very knowledgeable guy, Ian has been one of the UK’s top F-Class shooters. And he’s the proud owner of a very “Flash” F-Class rig.

About the Shooter — Ian’s Background
Ian tells us: “I started shooting F-Class Open [many] years ago when a good friend invited me to Bisley to shoot with the Dorset Riflemen. I found it very enjoyable and a real challenge. The next year I attended the GB F-Class league’s Introduction to F-Class course, and soon afterwards started to compete in the GB F-Class league, while still shooting once a month with the Dorset Riflemen. In this short time frame, I’ve managed to finish 8th in the league last year, 12th in the Europeans, and I was a part of the GB squad that won the team event at the European Championship. I was then selected for the GB F-Open World Championship Team. Unfortunately, due to work commitments, I have had to withdraw.”

Ian Boxell UK F-Class rifle 7mm 270 WSM color

Ian’s Beautiful Blue 7mm-270 WSM F-Class Rifle

Report by Ian B. (aka “Elwood”)
Having spent my first year competing with a magazine-fed 7mm WSM tactical/sporting rifle (Surgeon action and AICS mag) and doing reasonably well with it, I then moved on to a .284 Shehane (.284 Winchester Improved). I love the Shehane and still use it but … I wanted something for those windy long-range days and so there was only one logical choice, the 7 WSM. This time I chose a 7mm-270 WSM as I quite enjoy case prep (just kidding). Actually, there’s not much to do really. The quality of Norma brass is well known and the Norma 270 WSM brass is quite easy to obtain in the UK.

Ian Boxell UK F-Class rifle 7mm 270 WSM color

The action is a Right Bolt, Left Port (RBLP) Stolle Panda F-Class action, with Jewell trigger. There wasn’t any particular reason behind the RBLP configuration — it was more of a case of that’s what I could get at the time. I had a 1.250″-diameter, straight-profile Bartlein barrel finished at 32 inches and chambered for the Berger 180gr VLD with a .313″ neck diameter. All my metal work and quite a bit of the wood work is done by the excellent Neil McKillop of McKillop Engineering. As with all top gunsmiths, Neil is meticulous to a point of obsessiveness and he’s the name behind quite a few winning rifles including several used by the GB Open and F-TR teams. Neil also inletted the stock from a blank and did the bedding for the action and the front bag runners.

Ian Boxell UK F-Class rifle 7mm 270 WSM color

Loading for the 7mm-270 WSM
I have one “tried and tested” load: 7mm Berger 180gr VLDs, seated .020″ into the lands, Vihtavuori N165 powder and CCI BR2 primers. This load is supremely accurate, but at 2990 FPS it’s a bit slow. To get more speed, I’m currently testing H1000 with good results, but it looks like I may have a slow barrel. I have another Bartlein barrel chambered and ready to screw on when the weather gets warmer. If that new barrel shoots well, the current barrel will probably be used as a practice barrel.

Loading Procedure
I do full case prep, neck-turning, uniforming primer pockets after the first firing, chamfering necks inside and out, and removing burrs around flash holes. Even the best brass sometimes suffers from imperfect quality control. I try to use Redding dies if possible, and will use bump dies, neck bushing dies, and competition seating dies.

I use an RCBS ChargeMaster 1500 to throw a charge just slightly under my desired weight and then trickle-up to final weight using the superb Dandy trickler and a Gem Pro 250 scale.

I anneal every other firing using a Bench-Source machine. Before this I used a Ken Light and also did them by spinning them in a drill. Never again will I do that after using the Bench-Source. After I have annealed, I always run a nylon brush wrapped in 0000 wire wool into the neck to remove any debris.

I keep to the same lot numbers of primers, powders, and bullets. Even the Bergers can vary from lot to lot — I have two different lots of 7mm 180gr VLDs that vary .020″ from bullet base to the ogive. I trim and point my bullets. Pointing may be a mental thing — I had a fantastic shoot while using trimmed and pointed bullets so I do it all the time now. ( A fellow GB team shot refers to them as “Pointless Dies” — I have witnessed him shoot a 99-14V at 1000 yards with bullets that weren’t trimmed or pointed). My next move will be to start measuring bearing surface…where does it all end?

Custom Wood Stock Was Modified by Ian and Treated to a Fancy Paint Job
The stock is a custom-made design crafted by Joe and Simon West of Joe West Rifle Stocks. I had several modifications done to one of their existing stock designs. Having done a lot of my shooting with the AICS, I was quite used to a thumbhole stock, so thought I would try one in F-Class. I told Simon what I wanted and he sent me down a prototype made from very inexpensive Tulip wood. We had a few discussions and then made some more mods..

I made two main changes to the stock. First, I removed the lip at the bottom of the pistol grip because I felt I might rest my hand on this and possibly disturb the rifle. Second, I had the protruding pistol grip base removed so that the bottom of the stock was completely flat like the Precision Rifle & Tool F-Class stock. Simon also made the finger grips to fit my hand and flattened them off to allow for a bit more movement. The stock was then sent to Hydro Graphics in the UK to have a custom exterior finish. The paint color is a Marbleized Candy Oriental Blue. As always, Hydro Graphics did a great job.

Ian Boxell UK F-Class rifle 7mm 270 WSM hydro-dip color

Ian Boxell UK F-Class rifle 7mm 270 WSM hydro-dip colorOptics and Rings
The scope is the excellent 5-50x56mm March with the MTR-2 reticle — far and away the best reticle I have used for F-Class. March makes great optics. During the 2012 European individual F-Class event, using another March (my 8-80x56mm), I could see my shooting partner’s impacts in the white V-Bull at 800 yards! And just recently at a club match I called two V-Bulls at 900 yards using the 8-80X (not at full power). Granted the light has to be perfect to be able to do this, but my highest praise for the Deon Optics glass is that it rivals that of Schmidt & Bender. Having owned both March and S&B scopes and compared them side-by-side, I feel that I can make this statement fairly.

UK-based Third Eye Tactical made the nice, 34mm rings. The UK is now producing some excellent products. We now have UK-made custom actions, rings, rails, stocks and more. It would be nice to think we could have a 100% British-made rifle, and not rely completely on USA-made products. I think all we need is the trigger? But I can’t see there ever being a UK-made scope!

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November 18th, 2021

Talented Ladies Compete at Talladega 600 Event

Talladega 600 High Power AR15 highpower rifle match marksmanship park 2021

The popular Talladega 600 Match is running this week (November 15-21, 2021) at the CMP’s Talladega Marksmanship Park in Alabama. Our friend Paula Crenshaw is at Talladega this week, shooting the match both as an individual and as a member of a Women’s Team. Paula says there are quite a few lady shooters at the event. Here are some images from the match. Paula, who holds the Distinguished Badge, is a member of the CMP Board of Directors.

Talladega 600 High Power AR15 highpower rifle match marksmanship park 2021

Talladega 600 High Power AR15 highpower rifle match marksmanship park 2021

Talladega 600 High Power AR15 highpower rifle match marksmanship park 2021
The 4-member women’s team included Paula Crenshaw, Meredith Grant, Ashley Kennedy-Foster, and Jeannie Redicker. Ashley and Jeannie are in the photo above shooting prone. This foursome finished 4th in the team match.

Notably, in the Congressional 30 match, five women made the top 30: Haley Robinson (4th); Paula Crenshaw (15th); Ashley Kennedy-Foster (24th); Jeannie Redicker (26th); and Rachael Miller-Lansdown (29th). The Congressional 30 Overall Winner was James Fox while the High Junior was Anton Van Hoven.

The Talladega 600 includes a wide variety of popular CMP Matches:
BENCHREST GARAND MATCH
RIFLE MARKSMANSHIP 101/M16 MATCH
PISTOL MARKSMANSHIP 101/M9 MATCH
GARAND/SPRINGFIELD/VINTAGE/MODMIL MATCH
CONGRESSIONAL 30
RIFLE EIC MATCH
4-MAN TEAM MATCH
CARBINE MATCH
RIMFIRE SPORTER BENCHREST MATCH
HIGH POWER DIXIE DOUBLE MATCH
VINTAGE SNIPER TEAM MATCH
RIMFIRE SPORTER MATCH
M1A MATCH
CMP MATCH PISTOL 2700
CMP AS-ISSUED 1911 PISTOL MATCH
MILITARY & POLICE PISTOL MATCH
CMP .22 RIMFIRE PISTOL EIC MATCH
EIC PISTOL MATCH

Additional events include versions of prestigious National Trophy Matches, such as the Congressional 30 (with the same Course of Fire as the President’s 100 Match) and the Dixie Double High Power Match (mirrored off of the Hearst Doubles Match).

Talladega 600 alabama november 2021

Electronic Targets Speed Up Matches at Talladega
Kongsberg target systems are used at the Talladega Marksmanship Park. Each firing point of the 500-acre facility is equipped with a state-of-the-art KTS electronic target and scoring monitor. This speeds up relays and eliminates the need for competitors to do pit duty to pull and mark targets. Located beside the shooter on the firing line, each monitor allows the competitor to see his/her shot location and score immediately.

Talladega 600 alabama november garand GSMM 2021

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November 17th, 2021

Rebate Case Rims to Shoot Bigger Brass in PPC Actions

30BR 6 PPC rim rebated Butch Lambert

Many short-range Benchresters have thought about converting their 6 PPC to shoot a 30BR for score matches, or a Dasher for mid-range (or even 1000-yard) games. That way you have a rifle that does double duty, giving you the most bang for your buck. Though an action with a PPC bolt won’t normally work with 30BR/6BR/Dasher cases with their larger .308-class rim (0.4728″ diameter), there is a pretty easy solution that allows you to cycle these bigger cartridges with a 6PPC-style bolt (designed to fit .220 Russian rims).

“Rebating case rims … lets you shoot a 30BR in score matches using your PPC action. All you need is a new barrel. This saves buying another bolt, receiver, or rifle.” — Butch Lambert

Butch Lambert of ShadeTree Engineering provided this tip. Butch notes that many 6 PPC benchrest group shooters also enjoy shooting in score matches. But to be really competitive in the BR for score game, that means shooting a 30BR, which has a wider, .308-class rim (0.4728″ diameter). Likewise, if you want to compete in 600-yard registered BR events or in varmint matches, you probably want to run a bigger case, such as the 6BR, 6mm Dasher, or 6-6.5×47. Those cartridges also have the larger 0.4728″ rims.

30Br Butch Lambers 6 PPC

Rebate Your 30 BR Rims
To convert a PPC-boltface action to shoot bigger cases you can spend a ton of money to buy a new bolt. That can cost hundreds of dollars. The simpler solution is to turn down the diameter of the larger cases on a lathe. Butch explains: “We’ve seen plenty of interest in rebating case rims. This lets you shoot a 30BR in score matches using your PPC action. All you need is a new barrel. This saves buying another bolt, receiver, or rifle if you have a PPC boltface. Anyone who has access to a lathe can do this job pretty easily. Yesterday I turned 150 case in about an hour.”

At right is the lathe form tool Butch uses to rebate the case rims.

Cutting Head for Rebating Rims

Editor’s Note: Butch Lambert (and his wife) recently returned from the hospital. We send our best wishes to the Lamberts for a full recovery and happier times in the days ahead.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
November 16th, 2021

Adaptive Defensive Shooting Summit on Shooting USA This Week

adaptive shooting summit SIG Sauer academy shooting usa

This Wednesday, November 17, Shooting USA will feature the Adaptive Defensive Shooting Summit (ADSS) held September 10-11, 2021 at the SIG Sauer Academy in Epping, New Hampshire. Camp Freedom and SIG Sauer teamed up with Trevor Baucom for the third year of this accessible shooting event, designed for people with disabilities. The ADSS helps adaptive shooters train and learn at a world class facility. For persons with disabilities, including injured military and law enforcement members, the ADSS Summit provides the opportunity to learn new skills and adapt to challenges.

This hour-long episode will be broadcast on the Outdoor Channel Wednesdays at 9:00 pm Eastern/Pacific, and 8:00 pm Central. The entire episode can also be streamed later online for a small fee.

adaptive shooting summit SIG Sauer academy shooting usa

Adaptive Shooting Programs

Adaptive Shooting Team USA matt matthew schwartzkopf

Marksmanship is one of the few sports where physically-challenged persons can compete at the highest level — with some provisions for wheelchair access and mobility. For example, in the world of F-Class competition, Matt Schwartzkopf is one of the best in the nation. Matt, a rangemaster at Ben Avery in Arizona, is a double amputee (below the knee). He hasn’t let that challenge stop him. He has been a Top-10 finisher at major F-Class matches, and was chosen to shoot with F-TR Team USA.

Adaptive Shooting Team USA matt matthew schwartzkopf

NRA Resources for Adaptive Shooting Events

Adaptive Shooting Team USA matt matthew schwartzkopf

The NRA Adaptive Shooting Program also provides information for organizations planning an event to include person with disabilities. Events may be organized by veterans’ groups, rehabilitation facilities, and gun clubs. For more information visit AdaptiveShooting.NRA.org.

Adaptive Shooting Team USA matt matthew schwartzkopf

Making Ranges Suitable for Disabled Shooters
The NRA Club Connections magazine has a feature on Adaptive Shooting. This article explains how range owners can make their lines of fire more accessible with the addition of a simple mat.

Adaptive Shooting

NRA’s Hunter Services and Adaptive Shooting Programs have maintained a list of organizations offering people with disabilities outdoor opportunities. Now available in a searchable database, any adaptive shooter can easily choose from adventures such as guided whitetail hunts, chartered fishing trips, and accessible hiking trails anywhere across the country. To find a program, visit the NRA Adaptive Shooting Program’s Hunting/Fishing Trip Database.

Adaptive Shooting Programs in the United Kingdom

Across the pond, the National Rifle Association of the United Kingdom (NRAUK) also has adaptive shooting programs. The NRA.ORG.UK website has a wealth of information for disabled shooters.

Adaptive Shooting Team USA matt matthew schwartzkopf

The NRAUK states: “There are many different types of target shooting available… in Great Britain. Some of them are readily accessible to disabled people, others less so. Also, shooting clubs and facilities do not all cater for every discipline; some only offer one, whilst larger complexes can cater for many of them.”

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November 15th, 2021

Coaching Young Rifle Shooters — Gary Anderson Book

Gary Anderson Coaching Juniors Training Manual CMP

Young shooters are the future of our sport. We need to encourage young people to try shooting and develop an interest in marksmanship at a young age. Thankfully one of America’s legendary shooters, DCM Emeritus Gary Anderson, has created a great training resource, published by the CMP.

Gary Anderson’s book, Coaching Young Rifle Shooters, fills an important need. Anderson, one of the most successful American marksmen in history, has created a fully-illustrated guide to help parents and coaches train young shooters. This 187-page, full-color book is the most comprehensive instructional guide of its kind currently in print. In his training guidebook, Gary provides coaches with the tools needed to develop young shooters and improve their skills. In his 11 years of international competition, Gary won two Olympic gold medals, seven World Championships, and 16 national titles.

Gary Anderson Coaching Book

Coaching Young Rifle Shooters
By Gary Anderson

Instructional and teaching guide for coaches and parents who work with beginning and intermediate junior rifle shooters.

187 pages, full color.
Fully Illustrated.
$20.95 plus S&H

CMP Store
Item NLU 758

Order through the CMP E-Store.

About Gary Anderson
DCM CMP Gary AndersonGary Anderson served as the Director of the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) from 1999-2009, and is now DCM Emeritus. At the 1962 World Shooting Championships in Egypt, Anderson won four individual titles and set three new world records. At the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, Gary won the 300m free-rifle Gold Medal, setting a new world record in the process. At the 1966 World Shooting Championships in Germany, Anderson won three additional world titles. At the 1968 Olympics, Gary won a second gold medal in the 300m free-rifle event.

Gary retired from active international competition after the 1969 World Championships in Spain, where he set a 50m, three-position world record. After his “retirement” from international competition, Gary competed in the National High Power Championships, winning the President’s National Trophy in 1973, 1975 and 1976. Over his competitive career, Anderson won two Olympic Gold Medals, seven World Championships, and sixteen National Championships. No American has ever won more major shooting titles.

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November 14th, 2021

Sunday GunDay: CZ 457 Rimfire — Pursuit of Accuracy Channel

pursuit accuracy youtube channel joshua thomas
Pursuit of Accuracy’s Josh Thomas has done well with his upgraded CZ 457 precision rimfire rifle. Shown above are Open Division trophies he won in the 2021 season.*

Interested in the Rimfire Precision game — NRL22 and PRS Rimfire? Then this article is for you. Today we feature the CZ 457 of Joshua Thomas, the talented host of the Pursuit of Accuracy YouTube Channel. Josh loves his CZ 457, which has been upgraded with a Lilja barrel and Timney trigger. Josh tells us: “You don’t need to spend $3000 on a precision rimfire — you can win with a $700 CZ. Here’s how….”

Rimfire Precision Report by Joshua Thomas, PursuitofAccuracy.com
In the precision .22 LR market, the CZ 457 offers stellar performance for the price. For $400 to $1000 you can pick one of many CZ 457 models that will suit your needs and shooting style. Every model offers the same exact receiver and trigger assembly. I have found both standard 457 and the “match chamber” 457 barrels to be accurate and extremely well-made. There are lots of aftermarket choices for the rifle that make it easy to get exactly what you are looking for out of your rifle — triggers, stocks, chassis sytems, barrels, bolt knobs, scope rails, and more.

pursuit accuracy youtube channel joshua thomas

Best Features of the CZ 457
The CZ 457 may be the most modular precision rimfire on the market. You can swap barrels and magazines easily. The interchangeable barrel feature is by far the best feature of the CZ 457. Want to shoot .22 WMR for varmint hunts then transition to a .22 LR for precision shooting? No problem — five minutes and four screws are all you need. The CZ 457 is also an excellent value — it’s WAY better than a 10/22 but a fraction of the cost of high-end custom rimfire rigs. [Editor: Josh does own a Vudoo V22, but he says with a barrel upgrade the CZ 457 offers very similar performance at a fraction of the cost].

With his CZ 457 Josh drives nails at 100 yards. But it did take multiple shots.

pursuit accuracy youtube channel joshua thomasCZ 457 VPT MTR Equipment List
Barrel: Lilja 1:16″-twist, 21″, .920″ straight taper
Scope: Athlon Cronus BTR Gen II 4.5-29x56mm
with Mil APRS1 Reticle
Rings: Athlon 34mm Low height rings
Scope Base: Area 419 +30 MOA base
ARCA Swiss Rail: Area 419 14″ weighted
ARCA Clamp: RRS ARCA clamp (Atlas)
Trigger: Timney 457 Curved Shoe (5 oz.)
Magazine and extensions: Anarchy Outdoors
Dope Card: Coletac Cheatsheet
Cheek Rest: Victor Titan universal cheek rest
Bipod: Atlas BT46-NC

CZ 457 Accuracy — What Can It Deliver?
I have done extensive testing with my CZ 457 using both factory and aftermarket barrels. You can expect the stock barrel to group most match ammunition around 0.3″ at 50 yards. This can obviously vary but this is a good general standard. Aftermarket barrels, such as the Lilja, are capable of shrinking those average group sizes down to 0.2″ or lower. I have personally shot a few 0.1″ groups with my Lilja at 50 yards with ELEY Match ammunition. While this doesn’t sound like a huge difference at 50 yards that variance between the factory barrel and the Lilja grows the further out you go.

pursuit accuracy youtube channel joshua thomas

Upgrade Strategies for the CZ 457
As I’ve noted, the CZ 457 is easily upgraded. But first buyers need to make an initial decision. Do they want to build a CZ 457 or just slowly upgrade as they go? If a buyer wants the best performing rifle he/she can start with the cheapest 457 model they can find. Remember all CZ 457s have the same receiver assembly. Then buy a Timney trigger, buy a Lilja custom barrel (e.g. .920″ straight taper), and upgrade to your choice of stock or chassis. I recommend a Manners stock if you don’t already have a different preferred aftermarket chassis.

For those looking to upgrade as they go on a tighter budget I would recommend the YoDave trigger kit — basically a spring change. With the YoDave upgrade my trigger averaged around 9-10 ounces. Next I would buy the Lilja barrel, then a stock later.

Ammo Selection for the the CZ 457 — Why Comparison Testing Is Important
Every gun and barrel is different, so you so should always lot test your gun with various ammo types and lots. If you’re serious about rimfire accuracy, then lot testing is a must, whether at your own rage or a testing center. There is no replacement for starting with a good lot of ammunition your rifle likes. A lot of guys want to buy various ammo in small quantities than use a tuner or sorting to get the ammo consistent. If you compare how much ammo you’re wasting in that endeavor it’s much more cost effective to lot test FIRST and buy a case of what your rifle likes.

Lot Testing Ammo — What You Will Discover

Improving Results for Your Rimfire Rifle
To get the best results from your CZ 457 rifle, first check your action torque — that’s something many rimfire precision shooters overlook. Then collect as much data as you can. From a cold bore find out how long it takes to foul-in, and determine the round count for the best accuracy. And learn how many rounds you can shoot before you need to clean (this will vary from gun to gun).

Also work on your gun handling. With a rimfire, good follow-through is vital because of the “long barrel dwell time” of the rimfire bullet. (A rimfire bullet, since it runs 1000-1100 fps vs. 2800-3200 fps for a centerfire bullet, spends much more time inside the barrel). Follow-through is huge in 22s as far as accuracy goes. For my rifles I try to keep a relatively light but constant pressure on the butt/comb.

Comparison — CZ 457 vs. Vudoo V22 vs. Ruger Precision Rimfire

Editor: Josh owns a top-tier Vudoo V22 as well as CZ 457 rifles. In this video, he tests his Lilja-barreled CZ 457 head-to-head vs. the much more expensive Vudoo V22. The results may surprise you.

pursuit accuracy youtube channel joshua thomas
Here is the Vudoo V22 with F3R Machine +20 MOA mount.

In this video Josh compares the Ruger Precision Rimfire to a CZ 457 AT-ONE .22 LR. Josh reports: “We show accuracy at 100 yards and talk about the advantages and disadvantages to each rifle. If you are looking for your next .22 LR purchase check out the video and see which rifle comes out on top for you.”

Favorite Accessories: Timney Trigger, Area 419 scope base and ARCA rail
The Timney trigger is the best aftermarket trigger available for the 457 currently. Mine averaged 5-6 ounces and is extremely crisp. It’s a great trigger for Benchrest or PRS/NRL style shooting. The Area 419 Scope Base has the best fit and finish in the market with no close seconds, in my opinion. It is available a +15, +30, and +50 MOA versions. This can allow rimfire competitors to reach 400+ yards without needing to hold over. That’s roughly 20 Mils of elevation travel at 400 yards.

The Area 419 ARCA rail is another best in class in my opinion. The 14″ universal weighted ARCA rail really helps for for PRS / NRL style shooting. The rail’s weight helps the rifle settle into the support bags, and helps to steady the reticle for cleaner shots off of barricades and props.

Upgrades — Installing and Headspacing a Lilja Barrel

One advantage of the CZ 457 platform is the ease with which the barrel can be upgraded. In this video, Joshua installs and headspaces a Lilja .22 LR match barrel onto his daughter’s CZ 457 AT-ONE rifle. The video shows the process for setting headspace.

Josh explains: “Different rimfire ammunition manufacturers use different rim thickness for their ammunition. CCI, Lapua, and SK have a thicker rim thickness than that of ELEY. I like to start at the standard of .043″ for headspace and work my way in .001″ at a time. I’m working my way in looking at accuracy changes, extraction reliability, and the feel of the bolt close. I have found that this will vary barrel to barrel as the chambers are slightly different. For the Lilja I have found .041″ was best for Lapua, SK, and CCI while .039″ was what worked best for ELEY.

Always follow the barrel manufacturer’s directions and work in small increments. Lilja provides instructions on how to set your headspace, and how to make the required measurements to achieve this. I believe Lilja currently is the only barrel manufacturer that is offering a barrel for the CZ 457 for which the end user can easily set the headspace themselves.”

Reactive Targets — Why They Are Fun to Shoot and Good for Training
I love to shoot small steel swinger targets. Reactive targets give the shooter instant positive feedback that what they have done is correct or working. These can be great training tools for both the novice shooter and the expert shooter. However I recommend competitive shooters use smaller reactive targets so they don’t get over-confident with big plates. I like to stick to 1-2 MOA size targets in relation to the distance.

If the rifle is capable of 1″ groups at 150 yards I will use a 2″ – 3″ target as I’m usually shooting these from a field position and not a bench. This allows for small errors on my part and wind calls without making it so easy a bad shot hits.

About the Pursuit of Accuracy Video Channel

pursuit accuracy youtube channel joshua thomas

Mission Statement: We push the boundaries of rimfire accuracy through education and a shared learning experience with our audience. We claim no professional status … we are simply a small team of dedicated marksmen attempting to redefine the generally-accepted limits of what can be done with .22 LR rifles. We remain committed to our viewers and community. We do not conduct paid reviews. We feel this must be the standard as the trust and honesty we share with our viewers is simply worth more than any paid product review.

Q: What is the biggest challenge in creating videos?
Josh: The biggest challenge with creating rimfire content is dealing with changing environmentals. Not only does all the preparation to film need to be completed but the weather must also cooperate. It’s nearly impossible to demonstrate the accuracy of a platform with a varying amount of wind affecting bullet flight.

pursuit accuracy youtube channel joshua thomas

Q: How has making videos has helped your shooting and your knowledge of rifles?
Josh: Creating content for YouTube has pushed me to shoot nearly every single day of the week. The increased time behind the trigger and the opportunity to see my mistakes on camera afterwards create a unique learning environment. I have thousands of people seeing my mistakes and quickly pointing them out to me. The amount that I have learned in the last seven months of daily rimfire shooting has proven to me I didn’t know nearly as much as I thought I did! You can always keep learning and improving.

Joshua also competes with his daughter. The young lady is a talented shooter and has actually outscored her father on occasion:

Q: What you like most about making rimfire marksmanship videos?
Josh: Making videos for YouTube constantly pushes me to rise to challenges I would have never thought achievable with .22 LR rifles. My audience is attentive and well-informed. That makes me bring my best game to the range every time I have the camera in hand.


* Trophies for 2021 Open Division Precision Rimfire matches: Large IPSC plate for 2nd overall in VOD 2021 series; Small IPSC plate for 2nd overall VOD series finale; State of NC trophy for VOD rimfire 3rd overall; Gray griffon trophy for Liberty Precision rimfire 4th overall; Small IPSC dark plate for Top MIL/LEO in Frontline Defense Match.

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November 14th, 2021

Train Indoors This Winter with Creedmoor Air Gun Range Kits

Creedmoor sports air rifle airgun practice indoor range curtain targets

Air Rifle Range BackstopAfter Thanksgiving, many Eastern and snow-belt shooting ranges will halt operations for the winter. If you’re an avid rifleman who enjoys shooting regularly, the dark days of winter can bring withdrawal pains. The closure of outdoor ranges can mean months of forced inactivity… unless you have an all-weather indoor shooting solution — such as this unique airgun target backer system from Creedmoor Sports.

Some clubs maintain their own indoor air rifle ranges where you can continue to shoot and train throughout the winter. If there are no such facilities nearby, Creedmoor Sports offers a great solution for those who want to shoot indoors — even in your own basement or garage.

Creedmoor’s patented Air Gun Range provides a target holder and a curtain-type backstop capable of stopping pellets with a muzzle velocity up to 600 fps. The target boxes can be positioned at various heights for prone, kneeling, and standing. Creedmoor says the hardened steel target boxes provide 100% containment for any pellet passing through the target.

The Creedmoor Air Gun Range is offered as a one-station range for $450.00, a 3-station configuration for $1672.00, or as a 6-point firing point for clubs for $3344.00. For personal use, the one-station range is what you want — and it’s affordable at $450.00. The one-station range measures 84″ high x 30″ wide when assembled.

Creedmoor Sports Air Rifle Range Backstop

Creedmoor Air Gun Ranges Are Used by CMP, Colleges, and U.S. Military
Creedmoor’s Air Gun Range is a proven, heavy-duty product — the only Air Rifle target system ever tested and approved by the U.S. Military. This system is now being used in more than 800 schools nationwide, as well as the CMP shooting facility in Alabama. The 3-station range easily dis-assembles for transport and storage, fitting inside a 34″ x 10″ x 8″ carry duffle.

Creedmoor Sports Air Rifle Range Backstop

Creedmoor Sport Air Gun Range User Manual »

The Portable Air Gun Range comes with a durable curtain/backstop that sets up quickly and easily. Velcro edging allows multiple curtains to be joined together. The curtain provides ample stopping power for air pellets. However, this is NEVER to be used with rimfire or centerfire rounds, or even high-energy pneumatic hunting rifles. This is for standard airguns only. That could be a $100 Crosman, or a $3600 Model 9003 S2 Anschutz, as shown below:

Air Rifle anschutz

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November 10th, 2021

Big Talladega 600 Match Next Week, November 15-21

Talladega 600 alabama november 2021

One of the biggest combined vintage military, service rifle, High Power, and pistol matches of the year, the CMP’s Talladega 600 takes place next week at the Talladega Marksmanship Park in Alabama. The event has been designed to appeal to rifle and pistol enthusiasts alike, providing a wide variety of marksmanship opportunities for competitors from around the country. Informational clinics, including the GSM Master Instructor Course and a Rifle Marksmanship 101 (with M16 EIC Match), offer an educational experience for both new and advanced marksmen.

Talladega 600 PROGRAM | REGISTRATION | MATCH SCHEDULE

Talladega 600 alabama november 2021

Talladega 600 alabama november 2021

The Talladega 600 will include a wide variety of popular CMP Matches:
BENCHREST GARAND MATCH
RIFLE MARKSMANSHIP 101/M16 MATCH
PISTOL MARKSMANSHIP 101/M9 MATCH
GARAND/SPRINGFIELD/VINTAGE/MODMIL MATCH
CONGRESSIONAL 30
RIFLE EIC MATCH
4-MAN TEAM MATCH
CARBINE MATCH
RIMFIRE SPORTER BENCHREST MATCH
HIGH POWER DIXIE DOUBLE MATCH
VINTAGE SNIPER TEAM MATCH
RIMFIRE SPORTER MATCH
M1A MATCH
CMP MATCH PISTOL 2700
CMP AS-ISSUED 1911 PISTOL MATCH
MILITARY & POLICE PISTOL MATCH
CMP .22 RIMFIRE PISTOL EIC MATCH
EIC PISTOL MATCH

Additional events include versions of prestigious National Trophy Matches, such as the Congressional 30 (with the same Course of Fire as the President’s 100 Match) and the Dixie Double Highpower Match (mirrored off of the Hearst Doubles Match).

Online REGISTRATION

Match Program

Download an Entry Form

Match Schedule

Live Targets

Area ACCOMODATIONS

This video has interesting aerial drone footage of the Talladega Marksmanship Park

2021 Talladega 600 CMP georgia marksmanship park
Two Benchrest matches will be held during the Talladega 600 — a Benchrest Garand Match and a new Rimfire Sporter Benchrest Match.

Pistol Matches Are Always Popular
Many participants enjoy the Talladega 600 because they can compete with pistols between rifle matches. More Guns = More Fun. The Talladega 600 includes .22 Rimfire EIC and Service Pistol EIC matches, along with As-Issued 1911 and Military & Police pistol matches.

2021 Talladega 600 CMP georgia marksmanship park

Advanced Electronic Target Systems — So No Pit Duty Required

Talladega 600 alabama november garand GSMM 2021

Kongsberg target systems are used at the Talladega Marksmanship Park. Each firing point of the 500-acre facility is equipped with a state-of-the-art KTS electronic target and scoring monitor. This speeds up relays and eliminates the need for competitors to do pit duty to pull and mark targets. Located beside the shooter on the firing line, each monitor allows the competitor to see his/her shot location and score immediately.

Talladega 600 alabama november garand GSMM 2021

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November 9th, 2021

Slick Folding Base for LabRadar from Arkco Machine

labradar base unit arkcomatt stainless folding

High-Quality Portable Base for LabRadar Chronograph

If you currently own a LabRadar, or plan to buy one soon, there’s a smart new accessory you should consider buying. Matt Owens of ArkcoMachine.com offers a great, compact Quad Base for the LabRadar that works better than the flat, orange baseplate offered by the manufacturer.

Matt, aka “Arkcomatt”, explains: “These are machined from aluminum and put together with stainless steel screws. The rubber feet are held on with screws also. No more coming off. The legs have nylon washers between them and the base for smooth operation. The screws are torqued and thread locker applied. One of the best things is, with the standard attachment, it will fit in the case with the unit. No more having to take apart! Just fold the legs. It takes up less room on the bench and allows you to get it closer to the rifle. It is very stable and holds up very well in high winds.” ORDER BASE HERE.

labradar base unit arkcomatt stainless folding

labradar base unit arkcomatt stainless folding

arkcomatt swivel mount labradar quad baseArkco Machine’s folding Quad Base costs $89.95. The base offers better stability than the LabRadar factory mount, and is also easier to transport because it folds. This makes your LabRadar easier to deploy on a bench or when shooting prone.

Arkco Machine now offers handy swivel (ball) mounts for mounting your LabRadar to Arkco’s Quad Base. Choose either the Quick-Release Heavy-Duty Swivel Mount ($24.95, see photo at right) or the basic Light-Duty Ball Mount, just $10 (shown below). We like the Heavy-Duty unit because it can also be used for spotting scopes.

Arkco Machine also offers stainless spike feet for use when prone shooting. The spikes (shown below) screw in the same holes as the rubber feet.

labradar base unit arkcomatt stainless folding

Forum Member Praise Arkco Machine’s LabRadar Folding Base:
You can read user reviews of the LabRadar Quad Base in this Forum Thread.

Bullet-maker Bart Sauter has one of these bases now and he endorses it: “These bases are great for the LabRadar. Stable and compact — completely grab and go!”

Forum member Peterson1 agrees: “This is more stable than the Labradar base for my use–off a concrete BR bench, yet takes up less space. Also easier/quicker to set unit up and aimed at target. Never take the unit off for transport in LabRadar case. Only negative — you can’t trade in the factory LabRadar base toward purchase of this base. So buy smart the first time!”

Forum Member SkiUtah02 uses the base with optional spiked feet: “Met up with Matt at the Sierra Cup and bought my base with … spikes for the feet to put into the ground. Just had a chance to test it today and it worked great. I removed the rubber feet, and screwed in the four spiked feet, added a threaded-rod-coupling nut onto the bolt so that I could mount an old photography lighting stand swivel head to the base! Worked perfectly. Thanks Matt!”

labradar base unit arkcomatt stainless folding

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November 8th, 2021

Mental Training for Shooting Sports — Recommended Resources

marksmanship training mental game chip lohman

To win in competitive shooting you need an accurate rifle, excellent ammo, good sights/optics, and good physical fitness. But in addition, there is the “mental game”. You need to be mentally prepared for the match. You should be focused yet relaxed, and be able to deal with stresses from a bad shot or rapid wind change. Experts say you also want to visualize the perfect shot.

One great Shooting Sports USA article, Shooting is 90% Mental, was penned by Chip Lohman (SSUSA’s former Editor). With the help of two very smart Ph.D types, Judy Tant and Mike Keyes, Lohman examines the mental processes involved in the shooting sports. Chip’s co-authors have impressive credentials. Dr. Judy Tant is a Clinical Psychologist and National Bullseye Pistol Champion. Dr. Michael J. Keyes, is a licensed Psychiatrist and former physician for the U.S. Shooting Team. CLICK HERE to read article.

Recommended Books to Focus Your Mental Game and Improve Your Shooting
Along with the article above, there are a number of good books than can help you improve your mental game and perform better in competition. Here are seven recommended books that can help your mental game and shooting skills. These are available from Creedmoor Sports and Amazon.com.

Mental Game Books at Creedmoor Sports

Sport Psychology and Competition: The Psyche of the Shot
This book is a guide to systematically preparing for shooting matches. It contains 1,000 pictures, 200 exercises, and a 6-week training plan.

The Bullseye Mind
Bullseye Mind is the first mental training book written specifically for sport shooters.

Mental Training in Shooting

Mental Training in Shooting
Mental training in Shooting” is a practical book packed with good, straightforward advice about techniques and mental preparation.

Mental Game and Marksmanship Books on Amazon

Mental Preparation for Shooting Matches

Advice from Emil Praslick
Along with these books we offer some smart advice from Emil Praslick III, former USAMU coach. Considered one of the best wind readers on the planet, Praslick also was known for his ability to help his shooters master the “mental game”. Here is an article from the CMP Archives in which Praslick explains how to focus your mind to achieve greater success.

Emil Praslick

Thinking Your Way to Success
by Emil Praslick
Why does it seem that the same small group of shooters wins the majority of the matches? What is the difference among shooters who are technically equal? Confidence. A confident shooter is free to execute his shots without the fear of failure, i.e. shooting a poor shot.

Negative thoughts (can’t, won’t be able to, etc.) will destroy a skilled performance. The mind’s focus will not be on executing the task, but on projecting fear and self-doubt. Fear is the enemy, confidence is the cure. How does a shooter on the eve of an important match … attain the confidence needed to perform up to his potential? A pre-competition mental plan can assist in acquiring that positive mental state. The plan can be broken down into a few phases.

Build a feeling of preparedness. Developing and executing a plan to organize your equipment and pre-match routine will aid you in feeling prepared on match day.

Avoid negative and stressful thoughts. Focusing on “winning” the match or shooting for a specific score (like making the “cut” or making the President’s 100) can cause undue stress. Good shooters focus on aspects that are within their control: their sight picture, their sight alignment, their position. Each shot should be treated as an individual event.

Train stage-specific tasks during your practice sessions. Instead of shooting matches or practice matches only, include some drills that focus on your problem areas. Training in this manner will assist your level of confidence.

As part of your pre-match routine, imagine yourself shooting perfect shots. Visualize getting into the perfect position, acquiring a perfect sight picture, and perfect trigger control.

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November 7th, 2021

How Speedy Are You? Take the Reaction-Time Test

reaction time test

Precision rifle shooters don’t have to hit a big-league fastball, or launch a top-fuel dragster in the blink of an eye. Nonetheless, reaction times are important in our sport — both for competitive shooters and hunters. Want to catch that prairie dog before he slips down his hole? You’ll need to be quick. Want to win at short-range benchrest? Then you’ll need to watch your windflags and respond quickly to a change. Miss a major wind-shift and you could ruin your whole weekend.

Here’s a fun test of reaction times from HumanBenchmark.com. The way it works is that, after clicking “Start”, you wait until the background color changes from red to green. The instant you see green, immediately click your mouse. The average (median) reaction time is 215 milliseconds. Hint: If you keep your finger “preloaded” in contact with your mouse button you can shave some milliseconds — but don’t “jump the gun”.


CLICK HERE to Take Reaction Time Test…

reaction time test

Tips for Faster Times
Here are three tips to speed up your reaction times:

1) Respond to the color change (by itself), rather than wait to read the word “CLICK!” after the box shifts to green.
2) Try focusing at the corner of the box, rather than the center. This may help you react “without thinking”.
3) Have your index finger “poised and ready” over the left button–you can shave milliseconds by very slightly depressing the button before you actually click.

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November 6th, 2021

For Winter Training — Mantis Training Systems

mantis X10 pistol rifle ar ar15 traning tracking system

Winter is coming soon. For many Americans that means indoor training if they want to maintain their shooting skills. Even if you can shoot outdoors all year long in your location, it makes sense for position shooters to work on their rifle holds. The Mantis systems help with that. These advanced smart devices record and plot the movement of your firearm as you aim and then break the shot. There are systems for both dry-fire and live-fire training, starting at $99.99. Considering the cost of bullets these days, and the difficulty of finding primers, it makes sense to increase your dry-fire training.

Mantis X2 for Dry-Fire, $99.99

Mantis X2 dry fire monitor system
Mantis X2 dry fire monitor system

Built for dry-fire use only, the Mantis X2 ($99.99) provides real-time, shot-by-shot feedback for both pistol and rifle users. You can track multiple training sessions with data-driven insights, and monitor your progress. This unit has earned high user reviews such as: “As a new gun owner the Mantis X is a game changer for me. I have not been able to get to the range during the lockdowns and being able to practice at home [is great].” And another: “Easy to install[.] The App is free and easy to use.”

The Mantis X2 is a good value. The manufacturer states: “There is nothing at this price point that will give you this level of feedback for dry fire.” There are actually four Mantis models: X2 ($99.99), X3 ($169.99), X7 Shotgun ($199.99) and X10 Elite ($249.99). The X3 adds live fire functionality. MORE INFO HERE.

Mantis X10 Elite– Advanced Training System

mantis X10 pistol rifle ar ar15 traning tracking system

The advanced Mantis X10 Elite ($249.99) is 50% lighter and 40% smaller than the original Mantis, with three times the battery life and four times the data transfer rate. This new quick-detach X10 system offers all X2 and X3 functions PLUS recoil analysis and software support for all shooting sports (pistol, rifle, shotgun, archery). Collecting thousands of data points per second, the X10 works with dry fire, live fire, airsoft/CO2, and simulated firearm systems.

Mantis Blackbeard Trigger Reset System for AR-Platform Rifles

mantis blackbeard ar ar15 trigger reset device

If you compete with an AR-platform rifle, you can definitely benefit from the Mantis Blackbeard system, a drop-in Bolt Carrier + Magazine replacement that works with your existing trigger. Using electromechanical wizardry, the $199.00 Blackbeard quickly resets the hammer between each shot, so you can stay in position through multiple practice shots. Installation takes less than a minute — remove the bolt carrier group, drop in the red upper unit, place the red Mantis magazine and you’re good to go. All Blackbeards now support both direct impingement and piston-driven ARs. Guys we know say that a few sessions with this system delivered marked improvement in their service rifle scores.

Mantis X3 for Live-Fire or Dry-Fire, Rifle and Pistol

The Mantis X3 collects thousands of data points per second and analyzes your shooting in real-time. For both pistols and rifles, the X3 works with dry fire and live fire. It will also work with airsoft/CO2/compressed air, and simulated firearm systems. Priced at $169.99, the Mantis X3 mounts to standard universal accessory rails. (No Picatinny rail? Creedmoor Sports sells adapters). The X3 is part of the second generation of Mantis Shooting Performance Systems.

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November 4th, 2021

Access 12 Years of Shooting Sports USA Articles — All FREE!

Shooting Sports USA competitive shooting high power marksmanship archive SSUSA

Enjoy the Shooting Sports USA Archives
With winter coming, many Americans will soon be spending more time indoors at home. For some folks that means long sessions in front of the boob tube. Here’s a better idea — there’s a vast resource of great gun-related content available online for FREE. Check out the Shooting Sports USA Articles Archive. SSUSA maintains a vast digital library with hundreds of articles going back to June 2009.

Shooting Sports USA competitive shooting high power marksmanship archive SSUSAIt’s easy to find back issues of Shooting Sports USA magazine. Here’s how: First, navigate to the SSUSA Online Issue. Then click on the “ARCHIVES” icon in the upper right area (indicated with red arrow). When you click on “ARCHIVES”, a window will open with a selection of Shooting Sports USA magazine covers/dates in a vertical column. The most recent issue (November 2021) will appear at the top. You can then scroll down — use the vertical scroll bar to go from November 2021 (the latest issue) all the way back to June 2009. Click any issue cover to read.

Shooting Sports USA competitive shooting high power marksmanship archive SSUSA
The June 2020 issue features a Palma rifle built with Eliseo Tubegun Chassis System.

How to Find and Save Articles
To search back issues, select “MORE OPTIONS” from the toolbar (top left). Then click the “SEARCH” button. When that opens, select either “Search Archives” for ALL back issues or “Search Only this Issue”. When you’ve made your choice, enter your search term(s). For example, you can search for “Camp Perry” or “Palma” or “F-Class Championship”. You can also save any archived issue as a PDF for viewing offline. Just click “SAVE” to download the article you’re currently viewing/reading.

Shooting Sports USA competitive shooting high power marksmanship archive SSUSA

Read Sample Articles
Here are a couple of our favorite SSUSA feature stories from recent years. There are hundreds of other informative articles worth reading.

Wind-Reading Tips from Champion Shooters »

Shooting Sports USA Wind Reading tips

How to Clean and Maintain Match Barrels »

Shooting Sports USA Barrel Maintenance Clean Bore Scope

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