August 10th, 2020

America’s Shooting Sports Heritage — NRA Perpetual Trophies

Leech Cup Wimbledon Trophy Cup NRA SSUSA.org
Stunners in silver. Above are the NRA Leech Cup (left) and Wimbledon Cup (right).

Shooting Sports USA has a fascinating article about the Perpetual Trophies awarded in national-level NRA matches. The story recounts the history behind the elaborate trophies, some from the 1870s. SSUSA’s Jennifer Pearsall writes: “The pieces of wood, stone and precious metal … are more than just instant recognition of achievement. They are the link of the American shooter’s present to his or her patriotic past. As you read this legacy of the NRA ranges, their founders, and the long list of cups, bowls, and plaques, realize that the history of competitive shooting is undeniably a significant part of the foundation of this country”. Read Full Trophy Story HERE.

The NRA was co-founded by Col. William Church and Gen. George Wood Wingate (ranked Captain at the time). Both Church and Wingate hoped to improved the marksmanship skills of American soldiers. One of the newly-formed NRA’s first actions was to issue: “An Act to Establish a Rifle Range and Promote Skill in Marksmanship”. That led to the opening of the famed Creedmoor Range, with a special inaugural match in June of 1873.

Many of the awards presented in the first NRA matches were cash or firearms. Some of these firearms were heavily embellished works of art. In the very first match, a member of the 22nd New York Regiment took home a gold-mounted Winchester Model 1866 valued at $100 — big money for the time.

Leech Cup Wimbledon Trophy Cup NRA SSUSA.org
In the 1870s shooting competitions were social as well as sporting events. Ladies and gentlemen came to watch and cheer the winners. This illustration, originally from Harpers Weekly, portrays the shooters and the viewing gallery at the 1876 Grand Centennial Championship—the “Palma” Match.

The Leech Cup — A Gift from Ireland
The Leech Cup was created for the first meeting of the American and Irish shooting teams. The elaborate cup was presented by Major Arthur Leech, captain of the the Irish team, to the Amateur Rifle Club of New York. This masterpiece of Irish silversmithing was later given to the NRA in 1901 by the New York Club. Today, the Leech Cup is the oldest trophy offered in overall NRA competitive target shooting, awarded through the National High Power Long Range Championships.

Michelle Gallagher with Leech Cup in 2013.
Leech Cup Wimbledon Trophy Cup NRA SSUSA.org

The Wimbledon Cup
The Wimbledon Trophy was a gift from the NRA of Great Britain. It was given, as a gesture of sportsmanship, after the the U.S. Team was denied the ability to compete in England’s Elcho Shield match, then limited to Britain, Scotland, and Ireland. To maintain friendly competitive relations, the British presented the Americans with a large, engraved, lion-footed tankard trophy to be awarded each year to the Champion U.S. long-distance rifleman.

Wimbledon Trophy Cup NRA SSUSA.org

Palma Trophy Facts Team Match National Camp Perry Tiffany'sThe Palma Team Trophy
Originally named the Centennial Trophy, in honor of the Centennial celebration of the independence of the United States of America, the Palma Trophy was commissioned from Tiffany’s at a cost of $1,500. The trophy was a full-sized replica of a Roman Legion standard, executed in bronze with silver and gold inlay. On the banner of the standard was the legend, “In the name of the United States of America to the Riflemen of the world”. Above the banner was an eagle, bearing in its talons a wreath of palm leaves and a plaque on which was the single word, “PALMA”, the Latin word for palm tree, which was used by the Romans to signify victory, or the ultimate in excellence.

Because the word Palma was so easily seen, the trophy soon became known as the “Palma Trophy”, and by 1878 was referred to officially by that name. The original seven and one-half foot trophy is now lost, having not been seen since at least 1954. Serving in its place is a copy which was commissioned by Dr. Herbert M. Aitken of Eau Claire, WI. The copy was made from the original Tiffany blue-prints at a cost of $32,500. Dr. Aitken has given this copy of the Palma Trophy to the NRA for use in the Palma Match. The trophy is retained by the winning team until the next Palma Match.

In 2008, the Palma Trophy was returned to the NRA, and it was decided that the trophy, once refurbished, will travel to the host nation for the match every four years, then returned to the NRA for safekeeping.

The first competition for the Palma Team was a challenge match for which the British Commonwealth nations were invited. The match was fired in 1876 at the old Creedmoor Range on Long Island as part of the Centennial celebration of the United States. Teams representing Scotland, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and the United States took part. The match is currently fired on a four-year interval.

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August 9th, 2020

Mac McMillan’s Legendary .009″ Group — Lookee Here

Mac McMillan .009 benchrest record group nbrsa

Mac McMillan .009 benchrest record group nbrsa.009” Group Record Stood for 40 Years
In 1973 Mac McMillan shot an amazing 100-yard, .009″ five-shot group in a benchrest match. The .009″ group was measured with a 60x microscope for verification. Mac McMillan shot the group using a handbuilt prototype McMillan rifle with an early McMillan stock.

Mac’s .009″ group was the “Holy Grail” of rifle accuracy. This .009″ record was considered by many to be unbreakable, a record that would “stand for all time”. Well, it took 40 years, but someone finally broke Mac’s record with an even smaller group. In 2013, Mike Stinnett shot a .0077″ five-shot group using a 30 Stewart, a .30 caliber wildcat based on the 6.5 Grendel. Stinnett’s NBRSA record .0077″ group now stands as the smallest 100-yard group ever shot in registered benchrest competition.*

Read About .0077″ group HERE.

Stinnett’s success doesn’t diminish the significance of Mac McMillan’s .009″ group in the history of benchrest competition. For four decades Mac’s group stood as the ultimate standard of rifle accuracy*. For those of you who have never seen Mac McMillan’s .009″ group, here it is, along with the NBRSA World Record certificate. The target now hangs in the McMillan Family Museum.

Mac McMillan .009 benchrest record group nbrsa

*Somebody else might claim a smaller group, but unless moving backers or electronic targets were used, it cannot be verified. Moving target backers are used at registered benchrest matches to ensure that five (5) shots are actually fired in each group. That eliminates any doubt.

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August 6th, 2020

Hot Rod Ruger — Customized Purple RPR in 6.5 Creedmoor

Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor Purple Hot Rod
Check out that bolt assembly. It features a fluted stainless bolt body, laser-engraved Titanium shroud, and Titanium dragon-scale bolt knob with polished stainless handle.

You haven’t seen a Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR) like this before. Forum member TerryH has customized his Second-Gen 6.5 Creedmoor RPR with a wicked purple finish, snazzy stainless/titanium bolt, and slick HDPE (polymer) bag-riders front and rear. The mods on this Hot Rod Ruger don’t stop there. Terry added a Seekins hand rail, Timney trigger, ergonomic grip, and more…

For his Hot Rod Ruger, Terry has the right skill set, learned on the job: “I work in a body shop and have pretty much custom-painted all my stuff for many years. For this 6.5 CM RPR, colors of choice are House of Kolor PBC-65 Passion Purple and black covered with Cerakote MC-161 matte clear.” Terry even painted his Bald Eagle rest purple to match his Hot Rod RPR.

Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor Purple Hot Rod

Terry reports: “I’m shooting an RPR in 6.5 CM. It has a Patriot Valley Arms 26″ barrel. Josh at PVA is making a thread protector for me so I can remove the Mad Scientist brake. The butt stock has a V-Tab adjustable butt plate and Wiebad check rest pad. Glass is a currently a Vortex Gen I PST 6-24x50mm but I have a Golden Eagle on layaway”. To learn more about this rifle or ask TerryH questions about the build, visit this Shooters’ FORUM THREAD.

Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor Purple Hot Rod

Ruger Precision Rifle Modifications:
Chassis and Handguards Painted Passion Purple
Patriot Valley Arms 26″ Barrel with Brake
Timney Trigger with Ambi Safety
Custom HDPE (Polymer) Bag-Riders front and Rear
V-Tab adjustable butt plate and Wiebad cheek-pad
Seekins Rail

Good Accuracy with Factory Ammunition
Terry reports: “The RPR is shooting .3 MOA @ 100 with factory Fed American Eagle 140s.” Terry plans to start handloading for the rifle with the goal of shooting F-Class matches next year: “I’ve successfully shot steel out to 1140 yards on the range but [I don’t know] if that will actually translate well in a match. I’m committed to practicing as much as I can and starting to shoot some matches in 2018.”

Front and Rear Bag-Riders with Protektor Rear Bag and Upgraded Bald Eagle Rest
Terry has engineered a slick set-up for F-Open competition and load testing. Up front is a Bald Eagle rest upgraded with windage knob mod, stainless F-Class feet, and longer adjusters. Terry also “changed the hardware to all stainless and added a couple of levels”. In the rear, Terry runs a Protektor Doctor rear bag with 1″ ear spacing.

Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor Purple Hot Rod

Impressive additions are the custom HDPE bag-riders Terry crafted himself: “I realized that the butt stock wasn’t going to cut it on the rear bag and even though I got the 2 1/4″ front bag and the Seekins rail is 2″ wide and flat that it wasn’t as stable or smooth as I’d like.” So Terry made his own front and rear bag-riders from HDPE, a material similar to Delrin. Currently the front unit is 2.25″ wide, but Terry will be changing that to a 3″-wide front sled: “I decided that I’d get a 3″-wide front bag and mill a new front bag-rider. I’m going to recess the center to fit around the hand guard and I’ll mill a recess on the bottom of that one.”

Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor Purple Hot Rod

Shown below is the Hot Rod Ruger before Terry added the HPDE Bag-Riders front and rear. Terry says the rifle now handles much better with the bag riders, and he plans to upsize the front sled to 3″ width.

Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor Purple Hot Rod

Bling’s the Thing. Below is the Hot Rod Ruger’s bolt assembly. It features a custom flat-fluted bolt shaft, laser-engraved Titanium shroud and Titanium dragon-scale knob with polished stainless handle. Terry confesses: “I simply can’t resist anything shiny!”

Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor Purple Hot Rod

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August 5th, 2020

Rimfire Challenge and New Products on Shooting USA This Week

Shooting USA rimfire challenge worlk, Arkansas

There’s a good episode of Shooting USA TV this week, featuring the Rimfire Challenge World Championships. This major match attracts hundreds of competitors from around the nation. It’s fast and fun with instant feedback from ringing plates indicating hits. The Rimfire Challenge Championships is family-friendly event that’s great for all skill and experience levels. This week Shooting USA will also feature two dozen new-for-2020 products, including new pistols, rifles, shotguns, optics, holsters, and more.

Shooting USA airs Wednesday 9:00 PM Eastern and Pacific, 8:00 PM Central on Outdoor Channel. You can also watch Shooting USA any time online via Vimeo.com.

The Rimfire Challenge World Championships

The Rimfire Challenge is just about the most fun you can have with .22 LR pistols and rifles. The Rimfire Challenge Championship drew 250 competitors to the Old Fort Gun Club in Arkansas. The competition is similar to the Steel Challenge, but a lower cost, family-friendly rimfire only event. And the steel target set up is different each time, with competitors only knowing how many targets to shoot, and in what order, when they step to the shooting box.

Shooting USA new products rifmire challenge

This Rimfire Challenge Championship featured 16 stages — 8 for pistol, 8 for rifle. On each stage, shooters engage 5, 6, or 7 targets, in five separate strings of fire, with the best four runs counting for record.

NSSF Rimfire Challenge Basics
The Rimfire Challenge is a two-gun event so you need a rifle and a handgun (either a semi-auto pistol, or revolver). There are two divisions: 1) Open — Any firearm (pistol or revolver in handgun class) with scopes, optical sights, light gathering scopes, battery powered optics or lasers; and 2) Limited — Pistols and rifles with iron sights, adjustable metallic sights, and/or fiber optic. Bolt-action rifles and lever-action rifles are allowed, but self-loading (semi-auto) rifles are most popular because they can shoot quickly.

rimfire Challenge

Many different stage designs can be employed at Rimfire Challenge matches. Shown above are two examples from the Rimfire Challenge Suggested Courses of Fire.

New-for-2020 Products Also Featured this Week

Shooting USA has assembled many of the new products which were to be unveiled at the NRA Annual Meetings in Nashville, Tennessee. Unfortunately that Nashville NRA event was cancelled due to the pandemic (there will be a smaller NRA Meeting in St. Louis, MO in September). Jim and John Scoutten review two dozen products that were going to be showcased at the NRA event in Nashville. Here are four of the new products reviewed this week:

Shooting USA new products rifmire challenge

Shooting USA new products rifmire challenge
Shooting USA is available On Demand via Vimeo.com. Watch a single episode for $0.99, or get a full-month subscription for $3.99 and watch as many shows as you like with limited commercial interruptions.

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August 5th, 2020

Home Range Appreciation Series — Filling the Nat’l Matches Void

CMP Home Range Appreciation shooting match high power smallbore pistol 2020

In July and August we should be talking about the CMP Games at Camp Perry (Ohio) and the National Matches at Camp Atterbury (Indiana). Instead, all these events have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Thankfully, the CMP is organizing a local match series that can provide some competitive fun in summer 2020.

To fill the void of the unfortunate withdrawal of the 2020 National Matches from the annual schedule, the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) have prepared a solution that will allow competitors to compete with one another during the summer months at their local ranges.

The CMP has created special series of matches for Summer 2020 — the “Home Range Appreciation Series”, a collection of High Power rifle, pistol, smallbore rifle, air rifle and pistol competitions, shot at local facilities, and open to both adult and junior athletes. Scores from all the CMP-sanction home range matches will be complied together, and all participants will receive a commemorative t-shirt and coin. In addition, sponsors will provide awards such as gift certificates, memorabilia, and ammunition.

CLICK HERE for Program General INFO, Rules, Event List »

Home Range Shooting Matches are Underway
Since early June, scores have been pouring in weekly for the CMP’s (CMP) Home Range Appreciation Series of events. Introduced to supplement the cancelled 2020 National Matches in Ohio and Indiana, clubs from Texas, Mississippi, Wyoming, New York and several other states have conducted an assortment of rifle, pistol, smallbore and air rifle competitions at their local ranges.

CMP Home Range Appreciation shooting match high power smallbore pistol 2020

One Home Range event was held at Hornell Sportsman’s Club in New York. “Thanks, CMP, for opening the Home Series,” said the Club’s CMP match coordinator, Joe Menichino. “We are all disappointed that the Perry matches were cancelled, and this series gives us a chance to shoot and compete.”

GENERAL INFORMATION
Each local match will be sanctioned by a CMP Affiliated club. All matches MUST be fired by September 8 and results received by September 14, 2020. All results will be final on October 1, 2020. A list of matches will be posted on the CMP website. Participants may fire in more than one event of the same discipline, but only the scores of the first event will be recorded, with the exception of the White Oak 1600 Aggregate which is two 800 Aggregate matches. This event maybe fired at different locations for competitors to complete their two 800 Aggregate matches.

SAFETY and HEALTH CONSIDERATIONS
The CMP reminds clubs to follow all state and local health guidelines and health advisories. Recommended range health practices include: limiting/spacing the number of participants who congregate for safety briefings, spacing out firing points, leaving empty firing points between shooters, ensuring participants wear masks, washing hands frequently, providing disinfectant wipes, and continuously cleaning common surfaces such as shooting benches and equipment.

  • List of Rifle and Pistol Ranges Hosting Home Range Series
  • List of Air Rifle and Smallbore Ranges Hosting Home Range Series
  • Home Range Club Sanction Application Form
  • Home Range Series Match Results
  • For questions on Rifle, Pistol or Games Matches, contact Christina Roguski at croguski [at] thecmp.org or (419) 635-2141, ext. 714. For questions about Smallbore Matches, contact Brad Donoho at bdonoho [at] thecmp.org or (419) 635-2141, ext. 730. For Air Rifle match questions, contact Katie Harrington at kharrington [at] thecmp.org or (419) 635-2141, ext. 731.

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    August 1st, 2020

    Young People Nationwide Compete in SASP Nat’l Championship

    Scholastic Action Shooting Program SASP

    The sound of bullets ringing steel were heard all over the country over a three week period in July, during the 2020 Scholastic Action Shooting Program (SASP) National Virtual Championship. Over 248,000 rounds were sent down range as SASP athletes competed from their home ranges around the country. Photo and match results were posted on social media. Scores were then tallied and compared among hundreds of entrants. The ability to compete at Nationals from their home range gave teams all over the country the opportunity to finish the season as a team, competing for the national title.

    Just last year, the SASP National Championship surpassed the Glock Shooting Sports Foundation (GSSF), to become the largest Action Shooting Match in history. Despite a heavily altered 2020 season, the SASP community continued to break records for participation with 1,656 event entries for the 2020 SASP National Championship.

    Scholastic Action Shooting Program SASP

    “Virtual” Championship Held at Multiple Locations throughout the USA
    Traditionally held at the Cardinal Shooting Center in Marengo, Ohio, the 2020 SASP Nationals were instead conducted in a multi-location “virtual” format. This arrangement was made “in order to protect the safety of our athletes, coaches, and familie” according to SASP National Director, Rick Leach. “The nature of our sport puts athletes and range officers in close proximity, which we could not in good conscious do with thousands of athletes in Ohio this year. We received hundreds of photos and videos from teams competing in Nationals from their home range.”

    You can see SASP 2020 National Championships Results online. Just select the firearm category and class of shooters. For example, here are Centerfire Pistol Men’s results for all categories. Click image to zoom.

    Scholastic Action Shooting Program SASP

    “This year we saw participation grow to states that are not always able to make the journey to Ohio each year for Nationals,” said SASP Director of Development, Kelvin Walton. “Although the spectacle of teams converging on the Cardinal Center to compete is part of the Nationals experience, the SASP community made the most out of an unusual season.”

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    July 26th, 2020

    Sunday GunDay: Sharpshootin’ Shannon — Talented 11-Year-Old

    Shannon Moriarty high power service rifle airgun Walther Anschutz

    11-year-old Shannon Moriarty is one of the youngest High Power Service Rifle competitors in the USA, having just started High Power competition last year. She shoots almost weekly with her dad, Christopher Moriarty, at matches in Maryland, her home state, as well as neighboring states. She also shoots .22 LR smallbore with an Anschutz M64 1903, and has recently started competitive air rifle shooting with a Walther LG 400. She is truly a young “phenom”. Before even reaching her teen years, she has earned NRA Across-the-Course Master and CMP Master Classifications in High Power divisions.

    Shannon shot this 100-5X today in a team match at Reade Range in PA. Way to Go Girl!
    Shannon Moriarty high power service rifle airgun Walther Anschutz

    A year and a half after her first-ever High Power match, Shannon Moriarty of Maryland has made significant strides in her scores, experiences, and level of competition. At only 11 years old, she is an inspiration for young shooters. Shannon has gathered success from a combination of natural talent and hard work through dry-fire training and now cross-training with air rifle.

    CMP Profile on Shannon Here: Training with Maryland Junior Shannon Moriarty

    Shannon Moriarty high power service rifle airgun Walther Anschutz
    Just 11 years old, Shannon already shows great standing form in Service Rifle competition.

    Shannon Moriarty high power service rifle airgun Walther Anschutz
    Here is Shannon shooting smallbore prone with her Anschutz M64 1903 Target.

    Two Talented Ladies — Champion Shooter and Future Champion?

    Shannon Moriarty high power service rifle airgun Walther Anschutz

    Shannon says that SSG Amanda Elsenboss, of the USAMU (former) and All-Guard (current) Teams, is her marksmanship inspiration and role model. Elsenboss was the 2019 NRA High Power Long Range Champion. Elsenboss helped Shannon progress in Service Rifle competition by giving Shannon an expensive match trigger that Amanda had won in a competition. Elsenboss was Shannon’s original Small Arms Firing School Coach at the CMP Eastern Games when Shannon first started shooting High Power. She is the person Shannon looks up to most in the shooting world.

    “Amanda Elsenboss was scoring me”, Shannon said. “After I finished the match, I was putting away my gear at the truck. Amanda walked over and gave me a brand new Geissele trigger which she won during the NTI for High Woman in 2015″. Elsenboss then told Shannon: “You can have this trigger which I got for winning high woman. Once you win yourself one, you can give this one back to me”.

    Shannon has set several goals for her marksmanship career. These include a spot on the President’s 100 at the National Matches, High Master classification, and earning a Distinguished Badge. She also wants to fire a perfect score at 600 yards, something she watched Elsenboss do.

    Dry Fire Training with SCATT System

    Shannon Moriarty high power service rifle airgun Walther Anschutz

    To improve her position shooting, Shannon uses the SCATT Dry Fire Training system. This tracks muzzle movement during the entire aiming cycle. A trace appears on a screen. Shannon’s father Chris posted: “Shannon [often does] SCATT training first thing in the morning. She’s holding the aiming black so far. Can’t think of too many 11-year-olds that would be excited to practice — this is absolutely a lot of work!”

    Shannon Shoots with Father Christopher Moriarty as a Team

    Shannon Moriarty high power service rifle airgun Walther Anschutz

    Shannon got her start in shooting watching her father Christopher at matches. Now she often shoots side-by-side in matches. He also coaches her in team matches. Above you can see Shannon competing with her father in a two-person Vintage Sniper Match. Dad posted: “This pic is cool — we’re shooting a Springfield 1903 A4 USMC sniper rifle, 2X scope, .30-06 at 600 yards in Vermont. We’ll be doing this again!”

    Shannon Moriarty high power service rifle airgun Walther Anschutz

    Shannon Moriarty high power service rifle airgun Walther Anschutz
    Father and daughter “Pair Firing” at 200 yards.

    Shannon Moriarty high power service rifle airgun Walther Anschutz

    CLICK HERE to see Shannon shoot a 300-yard rapid fire prone relay at the 2019 CMP New England Games, CMP Cup match in Jericho, Vermont. NOTE: You will be directed to Facebook to watch.

    Triple-Threat Shannon — HP Service Rifle, Smallbore, Air Rifle

    Shannon Moriarty high power service rifle airgun Walther Anschutz

    Shannon also competes in rimfire matches with an Anschutz M64 1903 Target Rifle, and has recently started training with a Walther LG 400 Alutec Expert Air Rifle. She says the Air Rifle work has improved her hold and trigger control.

    Shannon Moriarty high power service rifle airgun Walther Anschutz

    Chris notes: “Here is Shannon with her Precision Air Rifle. This should take her through the next few years in 10 Meter Air. It is a Walther LG 400 Alutec Expert with inside/outside sights. I’m very excited for her to begin training with it. I’m also really looking forward to watching her progress in this discipline. I wonder what she’ll name it? Her service rifle is named ‘Cameron’….”

    Mom Frames Shannon’s First Clean 300-Yard High Power Target

    Shannon Moriarty high power service rifle airgun Walther Anschutz

    Shannon’s mother framed Shannon’s first 300-Yard Rapid Fire CLEAN — 100-5X! This will get hung in her room. This was shot at Camp Butner, NC using her new Krieger barrel from Krieger Direct. And guess what, Shannon shot another 100-5X at 300 yards today, July 25, 2020. Look at the top of the page. Not many 11-year-olds can shoot like this!

    Krieger Barrels is Now Sponsoring Shannon Moriarty
    Shannon Moriarty is now sponsored by Krieger Barrels. Chris Moriarty stated: “Krieger marketing reached out to [us] to offer their assistance and sponsorship to Shannon in her High Power rifle journey! Thank you so much Krieger and Mr. Todd House.”

    Krieger sponsor Shannon Moriarty

    Shannon Moriarty high power service rifle airgun Walther Anschutz
    Gary Andersen, DCM Emeritus, knows a few things about marksmanship. Here he congratulates young Shannon Moriarty at a CMP Match.

    Training with the SCATT System — How It Works

    This text from Training with Maryland Junior Shannon Moriarty:

    Shannon has followed a strict training regimen[.] She attributes a lot of her success to her heavy usage of the SCATT system – an electronic training tool that uses computer software to monitor hold, follow-through, focus, and other shot elements. Shannon shoots 30 shots standing, plus sighters, with a SCATT trainer three times a week, every week. She sometimes practices prone shooting too.

    “There’s a feature in SCATT system for acoustic signaling for blind shooting and biofeedback. When using this feature, there is a very high frequency tone when you go into one of the rings”. Shannon and her father, Chris, set this tone to sound when they are holding in the ten ring. “The goal is to shoot a 10 or an X and then keep it there for three seconds”, Shannon says. “And the tone should still be on for those three seconds.”

    Though it is easier to shoot with the tone, the reason for using it is to help improve and learn trigger squeeze and follow-through. Shannon usually shoots 10 shots without the tone, preceded and followed by a 10-shot string with the tone.

    The use of the SCATT system makes it possible for Shannon to train during the winter months and during the school year, when it can be hard to get to a range. The system allows her to continue to train at home but with more information than dry-firing alone provides.

    Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
    July 25th, 2020

    Experiment with Fore and Aft Rifle Position on Rest and Bag

    Benchrest stock

    To get the best accuracy out of any benchrest rifle, you need to find the optimal position of front rest and rear bag. The important point to remember is that each rig is different. One gun may perform best with the front rest right at the tip of the forearm (Position ‘D’ in photo), while another gun will work best with the rest positioned much further back. This Editor’s own 6mmBR rifle has a laminated stock that is pretty flexy in the front. It shoots best with the front rest’s sandbag located a good 6″ back from the forearm tip (position ‘A’).

    Here’s some benchrest advice that can help you reduce vertical and shoot tighter groups… without spending another penny. Many benchrest shooters spend a fortune on equipment and devote countless hours to meticulous handloading, but they never experiment with their rifle’s position/balance on the bags. This article explains why you should test your rifle in various positions. What you learn may surprise you (and improve your scores).

    Next time you go to the range, experiment with the position of your rifle on the front rest, and try a couple different positions for the rear bag. You may find that the rifle handles much better after you’ve made a small change in the placement of your gun on the bags. Recoil can be tamed a bit, and tracking can improve significantly, if you optimize the front rest and rear bag positioning.

    front rest Sally benchrest IBS
    This competitor has the front rest positioned fairly far forward but not all the way out. Note the stop on the front rest — this limits forward stock travel.

    A small change in the position of the forearm on the front rest, or in the placement of the rear bag, can make a big difference in how your gun performs.

    Balance Your Gun BEFORE You Spend Hours Tuning Loads
    In the pursuit of ultimate accuracy, shooters may spend countless hours on brass prep, bullet selection, and load tuning. Yet the same shooters may pay little attention to how their gun is set-up on the bags. When you have acquired a new rifle, you should do some basic experimentation to find the optimal position for the forearm on the front rest, and the best position for the rear bag. Small changes can make a big difference.

    Joel Kendrick

    Joel Kendrick, past IBS 600-yard Shooter of the Year, has observed that by adjusting forearm position on the front rest, he can tune out vertical. He has one carbon-fiber-reinforced stock that is extremely rigid. When it was placed with the front rest right under the very tip of the forearm, the gun tended to hop, creating vertical. By sliding the whole gun forward (with more forearm overhang ahead of the front sandbag), he was able to get the whole rig to settle down. That resulted in less vertical dispersion, and the gun tracked much better.

    stock position benchrest forearm sandbag front rest
    Fore/aft stock position is important even with very wide fore-ends.

    Likewise, the placement of the rear bag is very important. Many shooters, by default, will simply place the rear bag the same distance from the front rest with all their guns. In fact, different stocks and different calibers will NOT behave the same. By moving the rear bag forward and aft, you can adjust the rifle’s overall balance and this can improve the tracking significantly. One of our shooters had a Savage 6BR F-Class rifle. By default he had his rear bag set almost all the way at the end of the buttstock. When he slid the rear bag a couple inches forward the gun tracked much better. He immediately noticed that the gun returned to point of aim better (crosshairs would stay on target from shot to shot), AND the gun torqued (twisted) less. The difference was quite noticeable.

    A small change in the position of the forearm on the front rest, or in the placement of the rear bag, can make a big difference in how your gun performs. You should experiment with the forearm placement, trying different positions on the front rest. Likewise, you can move the rear bag back and forth a few inches. Once you establish the optimal positions of front rest and rear bag, you should find that your gun tracks better and returns to battery more reliably. You may then discover that the gun shoots smaller groups, with less vertical dispersion. And all these benefits are possible without purchasing any expensive new gear.

    Rifle photo courtesy Johnson’s Precision Gunsmithing (Bakersfield, CA).

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    July 25th, 2020

    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.
    $19.95 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.

    Permalink - Articles, Competition, Shooting Skills No Comments »
    July 21st, 2020

    Burris Signature Zee Rings — Great Value, Great Performance

    Burris Signature Zee rings

    Burris Signature Zee ringsMore and more folks are using Burris Signature Rings these days. These unique rings feature polymer inserts. That allows you to pre-load some elevation in your scope set-up, or you can center-up the windage. Additionally, the polymer inserts hold your scope securely without leaving marks on the tube. Lastly, some folks believe that Signature rings may offer advantages for benchrest competition. Rodney Wagner shot a world-record 600-yard group using Burris Signature Zee Rings (“Zee” denotes the Weaver-rail model). James O’Hara set multiple IBS 1000-yard records using Burris Signature Zee Rings. James will tell you he thinks “all his guns seem to shoot best with these rings”.

    IBS World Record Set with Signature Zee Rings
    Are Signature Zees good enough for competition? Absolutely. Some folks scoff at these Burris rings, given their low price. A set of 1″-diameter Sig Zees cost just $36.40 at Midsouth. But consider this, in 2013 Rodney Wagner shot the then-smallest 600-yard group in history, a 0.336″ 5-shot stunner, using Signature Zee Rings on his IBS Light Gun. It took five years for a smaller 600-yard group to be shot, a 0.311″ by bullet-maker Bart Sauter, using his IBS Heavy Gun. (See IBS 600-yard Records.) Here’s Rodney with his record-setting rifle, fitted with affordable Signature Zee 30mm rings.

    Signature Zee Rings Burris

    Vendors Have Burris Signature Rings in Stock Now
    Various models of Burris Signature Rings are available from many online vendors. NOTE: You may have to check with more than one seller to get the exact size, height, and model you prefer. But right now these vendors have pretty good selections of Signature Zees, including the hard-to-find 30mm High and Extra High models. If you check all three sellers, you’ll probably find what you need.

    Midsouth Shooters Grafs.com Amazon.com

    Signature Zee Rings Burris

    Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Optics No Comments »
    July 19th, 2020

    Mystery Malfunction and Then Kaboom! What is Your Call?

    AR kaboom detonation over charge ammo 3-Gun

    What happens when a round goes off unsafely in an AR? Watch this video and see. At about the 00:40 time-mark the shooter has a malfunction (click no bang), with a round. He then removes the magazine, and clears the chamber (we think). On the next round, at 00:53 you hear a “Bang” and see a big puff of smoke coming out of the upper receiver (see photo at right). This has been called a “detonation” by the video-maker, but we’re not 100% sure what happened. What do you guys think? Watch the video carefully, and state your conclusions in the comment section if you wish.

    What Caused this Malfunction? Watch Video…

    In any event, the shooter is fortunate his upper did not completely fracture, launching shrapnel into his face or other body parts. This could have turned out much worse. Here are screen-shots from the video, showing details of the gun after the accident, along with the recovered brass case, which separated near the case-head.

    AR kaboom detonation over charge ammo 3-Gun

    AR kaboom detonation over charge ammo 3-Gun

    AR kaboom detonation over charge ammo 3-Gun

    AR kaboom detonation over charge ammo 3-Gun

    AR kaboom detonation over charge ammo 3-Gun

    AR kaboom detonation over charge ammo 3-Gun

    Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Competition, Tech Tip 6 Comments »
    July 16th, 2020

    Sniper’s Hide Cup 2020 — Tac Match in Pacific NW Backcountry

    Sniper's Hide Cup colville washington frank galli facebook

    The Sniper’s Hide Cup competition went forward this year, despite challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. The event took place June 20-21, 2020 in Colville, WA. This was a backcountry match, set in beautiful green mountain scenery. Here are images from the 2020 SH Cup as posted on the Sniper’s Hide Facebook Page. Congrats to Frank Galli (aka “Lowlight”), founder of Sniper’s Hide, and all the participants in the event. Looks like a great two days of shooting.

    Sniper's Hide Cup colville washington frank galli facebook

    Sniper's Hide Cup colville washington frank galli facebook

    Sniper's Hide Cup colville washington frank galli facebook

    Sniper's Hide Cup colville washington frank galli facebook

    Sniper's Hide Cup colville washington frank galli facebook

    The Everyday Sniper Episode 260: Sniper’s Hide Cup 2020

    After the 2020 SH Cup event, Frank Galli hosted an informative podcast:

    Topics include: Stages, Targets, Equipment, Mindset, First-Time Competitors
    Frank: “I’m back from the Sniper’s Hide Cup in Colville, Washington. I’ll be breaking down some lessons learned and give you my observations from the field and competitors with whom I spoke. [We cover] the experience of attending a match and helping new shooters — the juniors, the first time competitors, and how you work with them. Thanks for listening, sharing, and commenting on the Everyday Sniper Podcast.”

    Sniper's Hide Cup colville washington frank galli facebook

    Sniper's Hide Cup colville washington frank galli facebook

    Permalink - Articles, Competition, News, Tactical No Comments »
    July 9th, 2020

    Practice Marksmanship at Home with Creedmoor’s Air Gun Range

    Creedmoor sports air rifle airgun practice indoor range curtain targets

    Air Rifle Range BackstopWith the COVID-19 Pandemic, many shooting ranges remain closed or severely restricted. And in some cities there are still stay-at-home orders in place. If you’re an avid rifleman who enjoys shooting regularly, the Pandemic lock-down can bring withdrawal pains. The closure of outdoor ranges can mean months of forced inactivity, unless you have indoor shooting solution — such as this indoor airgun target backer system from Creedmoor Sports.

    If you cannot practice at a nearby public range, Creedmoor Sports offers a great solution for those who want to shoot indoors — even in your own basement or garage.

    Creedmoor’s patented 10m 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 10M Air Gun Range is sold as a one-station range for $425.00 (item AGR-SINGLE), a 3-station configuration for $1614.00 (item AGR), or as a 6-point firing point for clubs for $3228.00.) For personal use, the one-station range is what you want — and it’s affordable at $425.00.

    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. The one-station range measures 84″ high x 30″ wide when assembled.

    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 $3600.00 Model 9003 S2 Anschutz:

    Air Rifle anschutz

    Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Shooting Skills No Comments »
    July 8th, 2020

    IBS 2020 1000-Yard National Championships Moved to Missouri

    Vapor Trail Valley Range Missouri IBS 2020 1000 yard 1K National Championships

    Important news for 1000-yard benchrest competitors! The 2020 IBS 1000-yard National Championships will be held September 5 and 6, 2020 at the Vapor Trail Valley Range in Missouri. Take note — the IBS 1K Nationals were originally going to be held at the Hawks Ridge Range in North Carolina. So the event has moved from NC to Missouri, and will be held later in the year. This change was done because of uncertainties over COVID-19 public health policies/retrictions in North Carolina. Also, moving the Nationals to early fall gives more time to organizers to plan the event.

    Vapor Trail Valley Range Missouri IBS 2020 1000 yard 1K National Championships

    Forum member David 0306 from North Carolina observed: “As many of you have probably already heard, the 2020 1000-yard IBS Nationals has been cancelled for Hawks Ridge Gun Club in North Carolina. [Due to] uncertainty of what phase the NC Governor will have the state in, and the possibilities of going back into a stay-at-home order, the board at Hawks Ridge decided it was in the best interest of the shooters to cancel and allow another club to host the Nationals if possible. This will also help with travel plans, and getting time off from work. What I do know is Vapor Trail Valley has stepped up to the plate and has agreed to host the Nationals. Thank You Vapor Trail Valley and IBS shooters for your help and support through these difficult times.”

    Vapor Trail Valley Range Missouri IBS 2020 1000 yard 1K National Championships

    Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
    July 8th, 2020

    How to Shoot DOTS — Insanely Small Groups at 200 Yards

    200 yard benchrest group charles huckeba australia tiny group 6 PPC

    This site is for and about accurate shooters. So today we feature the short-range group Benchrest game, where it’s all about shooting tiny groups in the ones and even “zeros”. Seeing the tiny groups 6 PPC aces produce, it’s easy to think the precision is all about the equipment. But there is a lot more involved. A talented human still has to watch the flags, run the gun properly, and tune his loads for the conditions. Here are some tips from one of the world’s best benchresters, Charles Huckeba.

    Texan Charles Huckeba was the top individual shooter at the 2013 World Benchrest Championships (WBC) held near Sydney Australia in October 2013. In this video, 2013 WBC Two-Gun Overall winner Charles shoots a 1/8th MOA group at 200 yards — “a little bitty dot” as a fellow Team USA shooter observes. That’s impressive. If you can describe Huckeba’s style in a nutshell it would be “smooth, consistent, and rapid but not hurried”.

    Charles also employed some unusual hardware. In the video, take a close look at the joystick on the Farley Coaxial front rest. There’s no knob at the end. In its place is a small, wood ammo caddy. Charles removed the standard knob from the handle of his Farley rest and replaced it with a home-made wood block that holds cartridges for the record target. The 10.5-lb Light Varmint rifle is chambered in 6PPC with a BAT Machine Action and a composite wood and carbon-fiber stock.

    Watch Charles Huckeba Shoot 1/8 MOA, 200-yard group at World Benchrest Championships

    Here is the actual 200-yard, 5-shot group Charles shot in the video. Photo (by Stuart Elliot) taken through the lens of Huckeba’s 50X March scope (reticle has 1/16th MOA Dot).
    200 yard benchrest group charles huckeba australia
    200 yard benchrest group charles huckeba australia

    Analyzing the Fine Points — What Makes Huckeba So Good

    Short-range benchrest shooter Boyd Allen saw some interesting things in Huckeba’s WBC performance, as captured on video. Boyd noticed Huckeba’s smooth gun-handling and efficient loading. But Boyd also spied some interesting equipment, including an innovative joystick “handle-caddy”.

    1. Low Friction Bags — When Huckeba slid his rifle, there was very little apparent friction. The front bag features the new 3M material (ScotchLite) on the sliding surfaces. The rear Protektor bag has ears of the same low-friction material.

    2. Pause Before Chambering — While he was watching the flags and deciding when to start firing, Charles kept his first round in the action, but out of the barrel’s chamber, probably so as not to heat the cartridge and change the round’s point of impact.

    Charles Huckeba PPC World Benchrest joystick handle3. Ammo Caddy on Joystick Arm – Charles shoots a Right Bolt/Left Port action, so he pulls his rounds with his left hand. Note that Huckeba’s record rounds rest in a small, wood ammo caddy attached to the end of the joystick shaft. Look carefully, you’ll see the wood ammo block in place of the normal black ball at the end of the joystick. That allows Charles to pull shots with the absolute minimum of hand movement. Ingenious! Huckeba is very fast, with a great economy of motion. I believe that because his ammo was literally at hand, Charles was better able to keep his focus on aiming and the flags.

    4. Smooth-Cycling BAT Action — Note how smoothly Huckeba’s action operates. When Charles lifts the bolt handle (to extract a round and cock the firing pin), this does not disturb the rifle. Likewise, as he closes the bolt, the gun doesn’t wobble. The smooth action allows Charles to hold point of aim even when shooting relatively quickly. Huckeba’s BAT action is chrome-moly steel. Some shooters believe this metal makes for a smoother action than stainless steel or aluminum.

    5. Long-Wheelbase Stock — The wood and carbon fiber stock is light, long, and stiff. Yet, importantly, the stock is also well-damped. The longer-than-average stock length (with extended forearm) seems to help the gun track well without jumping or rocking. The longer forearm allows a longer “wheelbase”, effectively shifting the weight distribution rearward (less weight on the front, more weight on the rear). This places a greater share of the gun’s weight on the rear bag, as compared to a more conventional benchrest stock. Huckeba’s stock, built by Bob Scoville, is at the cutting edge of short-range benchrest design. Its light-weight balsa wood and carbon fiber construction provides a combination of stiffness and vibration damping that allows its relatively long fore-end to be fully utilized to increase the weight on the rear bag (always an issue with 10.5-pound rifles).

    To learn more about this benchrest stock design, read the comments by stock-builder Bob Scoville in our PPC with Pedigree story in our Gun of the Week Archives. Bob observed:

    “There is a lot more to the structure of the stocks than meets the eye. The carbon fiber skin with which I cover the stocks creates a light, tough exterior surface. However, this contributes very little to the overall performance of the stocks. The real strength and stiffness is the result of an internal beam utilizing balsa core/carbon fiber technology.

    This type construction can be found in aircraft, race cars, powerboats, and sailboats. It is interesting to note, balsa has the highest strength to weight ratio of all woods and carbon fiber is one of the lowest stretch (modulus of elasticity) relative to weight of all materials. The marriage of these two materials is common in the high-performance world. Additionally, balsa is used commercially for vibration dampening and sound reduction.”

    Video find by Boyd Allen. Video by Stuart Elliot of BRT Shooters Supply, Brisbane, Australia.
    Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition 4 Comments »
    July 7th, 2020

    Great Videos by Kirsten Weiss Teach Shooting Skills

    Kirsten Weiss marksmanship tips video training trainer

    Kirsten Weiss knows a thing about accuracy. She won the 2012 NRA Three-Position Women’s Smallbore Championship, while finishing as the National Overall Woman Champion. She used to shoot with the American team in top-level World Cup competition. Kirsten started shooting fairly late — at age 16. Despite her relatively late start, she earned a place on the University of Nebraska shooting team. That literally opened up a new world for Kirsten: “During the course of my career, I’ve had a lot of success. I’ve gone to World Cups… in Zagreb, Croatia, in Munich, Germany. I’ve won National Championships, and got on to the U.S. Olympic short list, so it’s been a good career.”

    In these three videos, Kirsten offers key tips on accurate shooting. In the first video she explains how to get and maintain the proper cheek weld on your rifle. In the second, Kirsten talks about canting error — how having inconsistent side-to-side tilt on your rifle. In the third video, Kirsten explains the importance of proper trigger placement.

    Kirsten Weiss smallbore 3P anschutz .22 LR

    Proper Cheek Weld

    No matter what your discipline — smallbore, silhouette, High Power, F-Class, or even PRS — it’s vital to have a consistent cheek weld for every shot. You want your head to be in the same position on the stock each time.

    In this video, Kirsten explains how to find the best position for your head on the stock, which may require adjusting the cheekpiece. Then Kirsten demonstrates how to maintain consistent cheek weld shot after shot.

    Consistent Rifle Cant (Tilt from Centerline)

    Kirsten says most training manuals don’t explain rifle cant: “You won’t find this shooting technique just anywhere. Most shooters don’t even think about it — and they’re missing out. Proper Rifle Cant or Gun Cant (also known as cant error or even scope cant) is a complicated topic, but I’ll explain it simply — and how to simply avoid cant error.”

    Want to know how to actually aim a gun right? This accuracy tip covers a crucial aspect of marksmanship. If you cant your rifle inconsistently from shot to shot, the point of impact will change, even with “perfect aim”. This is another episode in Kirsten’s How to Shoot Awesomely video series.

    Proper Trigger Finger Technique

    Kirsten tells us: “Finger placement on the trigger might not seem like a big deal, but it actually is. The reason for this is because, depending on where your index finger is placed on the trigger, [this] translates to different muscle interactions with the gun.” Watch this video to see Kirsten demonstrate proper finger placement (and explain problems caused by improper finger positioning).

    When you pull the trigger, you only want to engage the last section of your finger, in order to avoid unwanted muscle engagement and to achieve a smooth shot. Remember there is a “sweet spot” between the crease (first joint) and the tip of the finger. If you position the trigger in that “sweet spot”, you should see an increase in your accuracy. Don’t make the mistake of putting the trigger in the crease of your finger, as shown below.

    Kirsten Joy Weiss shooting tip marksmanship

    Watch more videos on Kirsten’s YouTube Channel »

    Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Competition, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
    July 5th, 2020

    Size Matters — Big Gun Cases for Long-Barreled Rifles

    large rifle transport case nylon SKB Pelican Plano Bulldog

    Modern F-Class and Palma Rifles are long. With barrels up to 32″ in length these big rigs won’t fit in your average gun case — either fabric covered or hard shell. Likewise, it seems like PRS rifle are getting longer each season, as competitors find longer barrels provide greater velocity and heavier rifles have more stability, allowing shooters to see hits better.

    So, if you have a rifle that measures over 48″ in length, you have two options for transport — first separate the stock from the barreled action, or get a very large carry case that allows extended length rifles to be transported. This article reviews hard and soft rifle cases options for long-barreled rifles.

    Large Hard Shell Rifle Cases (at least 50″ Interior)

    What to Look For in Hard Rifle Carry Cases
    When you are considering a large rifle case you, first measure your rifle and make sure it will fit within the INTERIOR dimensions. With some rifles you can make more clearance by removing or adjusting the buttplate system. Then consider the duties. If you will be traveling by commercial airline, you definitely need a hard case — no way around that. Will you be carrying one rifle or two — that will dictate the case you buy. For max flexibility you’ll want foam like the SKB so you can have various rifles. For max security during transport, however, it makes sense to have dense foam that is customized to fit your rifle.

    SKB Double Rifle Case, 56″

    skb double rifle case 56

    Expensive but built like a tank — that describes SKB Cases. These high-quality hard sided cases are ideal for airline transport, with very tough exteriors, great padding, and strong hinges. The SKB model 2SKB5009 Double Rifle Case is an excellent choice for carrying two rifles long distances. This has a very tough exterior with a metal middle frame for extra strength. Priced at $304.99, this case has exterior dimensions: 56″ L x 16.5″ W x 9.5″ H. This photo shows the case carrying both an M1A and an M1 Garand. NOTE: The foam is not really customizable. This is not the best choice if you plan to carry a single rifle and a spotting scope and a second barrel.

    Pelican Vault Series Rifle Cases

    firearms gun transport case all weather waterproof airline approved

    Pelican Products, known for premium hard-shell transport cases also offers a more affordable VAULT series of cases. Pelican’s VAULT cases offer durability and security at a lower price point. VAULT cases range in price from $39.99 to $199.95 and are backed by a 1-year guarantee. The VAULT rifle cases all feature wheels, easy-to-use push-button latches, and four stainless steel lock hasps for security. There is also a brightly colored Hi-Viz strip on the front of Pelican’s VAULT cases. This will make it easier to spot your case at airport baggage areas. At around $200.00, the model V800 double-rifle case features a 53″ x 16″ x 6″ interior. That’s long enough for F-Class rifles and tactical rigs with brakes. The model V770 single-rifle case is 50″ × 10″ × 6″ inside. That’s still big enough for most hunting, varmint, and benchrest rifles.

    Plano Two-Gun Tactical Case

    firearms gun transport case all weather waterproof airline approved

    This Plano two-gun case is Amazon’s #1 Best Seller in wheeled, heavy-duty firearms cases. This is offered in three sizes: 36″, 42″, and 52″. We like the biggest 52″ version, ($115.99 on Amazon), as it is long enough inside to fit most scoped match rifles. Alternatively, if you have a really long F-Class, ELR, or Palma rig, you can detach the barreled action from the stock, and run the two sections in the shorter 42″ case. The big case lets you easily carry TWO scoped hunting rifles. That’s great because this case is strong enough for airline travel, meeting FAA requirements for checked baggage. This Plano case offers a good balance between strength and weight, all for a reasonable cost.

    Large Soft Rifle Cases (at Least 50″ Interior)

    What to Look For in Soft Rifle Carry Cases
    With soft cases, look at the quality of zippers, slings, and shoulder straps. It’s nice to have pockets, but remember most of your accessories (spotting scopes, stands, bipods, rear bags etc.) will be carried separately, so the pockets may not really be that critical. Consider the fabric — is it waterproof? That’s important if you live in a wet region such as Oregon or Washington.

    Champions Choice Deluxe 58″ Rifle Case, $72.00

    Champion's Choice extra long palma rifle case 58

    Many of our readers shoot Palma, F-Class, and ELR rifles with long barrels (up to 35″). It’s difficult to find high-quality, well-padded cases that fit very long rifles. Champion’s Choice offers just such a product, the 58″ Deluxe Soft Rifle Case. With thick 1″ padding on each side, big pockets, and backpack straps, this black/blue/white gun case has earned rave reviews from our Forum members. There’s plenty of room for big scopes, and it even comes with an internal tube to hold your cleaning rod.

    Bulldog 54″ Long Range Rifle Case, $106.99

    large rifle transport case nylon SKB Pelican Plano Bulldog

    Highly rated by buyers, Bulldog Long Range Rifle Case fits rifles up to 52.5″ long. Priced at $106.99 at Guncases.com, the Bulldog LR has many impressive features, and is one of the best soft cases you can buy for long match rifles. This versatile case boasts a tough 600-dernier water-resistent outer shell, plus quilted inner lining with Velcro tie downs. There are two zippered center pockets plus an external zippered pocket at front for suppressor storage. The main compartment zippers are lockable.

    Creedmoor Sports 52″ Nylon Case for Match Rifles, $76.95

    Creedmoor Sports 52

    Creedmoor Sports 5252″ Creedmoor Sports Soft Case
    At the request of many High Power shooters, Creedmoor Sports has created a high-grade 52″x10″ softcase. That’s tall and long enough to fit a Tubb 2000, or AR-based spacegun with long barrel. The Creedmoor case is one quality offering, with nice 1″ thick close-cell foam padding plus tough Cordura nylon on the outside and nylon pack cloth on the inside. Both materials are urethane-coated for water proofing. Another nice feature are the integral backpack straps (see photo left). These free your hands to carry rests, spotting scopes or other gear.

    The Creedmoor 52″x10″ case comes in Forest Green ($76.95, N152A), and Royal Blue ($76.95, N152C). Creedmoor also offers a similar, slightly smaller 48″x12″ case for Service Rifles in Green or Blue.

    Savior 2-Gun Backpack Rifle Cases, 51″ or 55″

    rifle cases sale

    Savior double rifle cases come in sizes from 36″ to 55″ in an assortment of colors. A great choice for long PRS and match rifles, the biggest Savior Gun Case (55″ model) can hold two rifles up to about 53.5″ OAL. Multiple colors and five lengths are available: 36″, 42″, 46″, 51″, 55″. The big 55″ case is $96.99 at Amazon while the 51″ version is $91.99. With comfortable shoulder straps, these cases can hold TWO rifles and just about all the accessories you’d want to pack.

    Extreme 52″ Midsouth Gun Case (Budget Option)

    Extreme 52

    For those on a tight budget, Midsouth Shooters Supply offers an Extreme 52″ padded gun case for just $30.16. This thickly-padded case is high enough in the center to fit most scoped rifles — even with big Nightforce scopes. Made by Bulldog Cases, the all-black Extreme 52″ case features a soft faux-fur inner lining, an external accessory pocket, and a removable shoulder strap.

    Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Hot Deals, Tactical, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
    July 5th, 2020

    Sight Picture Options for Iron Sights

    Iron sights picture metallic sights USAMU

    In an article for the CMP Online Magazine, SSG Tobie Tomlinson of the USAMU Service Rifle Team explains the various sight alignments employed by iron sights shooters. Tobie writes: “There are a myriad of sight picture options that shooters have used to great effect over the years. The sight picture that allows you to consistently shoot the smallest group, with a minimal shift in zeros, is the correct one. Remember, for any shooter to be successful, consistent sight picture must be complemented by front sight focus and sight alignment.” CLICK HERE to read FULL ARTICLE

    Center Hold
    The front sight is placed directly in the center of the target. A center hold is great in different light conditions. On a bright day the target appears small. On a dark day the target appears large. In [any] light conditions the center of the target is always in the center. A shooter who has problems with elevation shots in various light conditions may benefit from a center hold.

    6 O’Clock Hold
    With the 6 O’Clock hold the front sight is placed at the bottom of the aiming black. For many shooters, this hold allows precision placement of the front sight. The ability to accurately call your shots will come with time and experience. Light changes, which alter the appearance of the target, may affect shooters who utilize the 6 O’Clock hold.

    Sub 6 Hold
    The sub 6 is just like the 6 O’Clock hold, only there is a small line of white between the front sight and the aiming black. Many shooters have a problem determining the exact 6 O’Clock position with their front sight, but by using a sub 6 or line of white they may be able to better estimate their hold.

    Frame Hold
    With the frame hold, just like with the other holds, the front sight is in the center of the rear sight. The front sight can then be placed at the 6 or 12 O’Clock position on the frame when there is no visible aiming point. This hold is typically reserved for foul weather and poor light conditions. By placing the front sight at the top or bottom of the frame, a shooter may hold better when there is little target to see. It can be difficult to hold a tight group this way, but it may add more hits in bad conditions. This technique is normally applied when shooting longer ranges such 600 or 1000 yards.

    CLICK HERE for more articles from The FIRST SHOT, CMP Online Magazine.

    Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
    July 2nd, 2020

    Amazing Pistol Accuracy — 50 Yards with .45 ACP, One-Handed

    NRA slow fire pistol target 50 yards

    How accurate can a .45 ACP pistol be, in the hands of an expert marksman? Take a look at that target. This was shot off-hand (no rest) with ONE HAND at FIFTY (50) Yards. That’s TEN shots at 50 yards all inside the 3.36″ 10-Ring with eight shots in the 1.695″ diameter X-Ring.* We bet most folks would have trouble matching that with a scoped rifle shot standing.

    NRA slow fire pistol target 50 yardsAmazing Handgun Accuracy at 50 yards
    This remarkable feat of precision pistol shooting — a 100-8X group at 50 yards — was accomplished this week by PFC Jason Gregoire, a talented young USAMU pistol marksman. And yes, that was done shooting one-handed!

    On its Facebook Page the USAMU posted: “Check out this impressive target by PFC Jason Gregoire of the USAMU Service Pistol Team! This was shot one-handed, with a .45 pistol, and at 50 yards during the Centerfire Match in Columbus, Ohio [on 7/1/2020]. The score was 100-8X. Now that is some marksmanship!”.

    NRA slow fire pistol target 50 yards

    How to Improve Your Pistol Skills

    Want to improve your bullseye pistol shooting skills? Then watch a series of videos hosted by Brian “Gunny” Zins, a 12-time National Pistol champion, and retired U.S.M.C. Gunnery Sergeant. Here is one the Fundamentals of Bullseye Pistol Shooting videos that Zins produced with the NRA and Shooting Sports USA.

    12-time National Pistol Champion Brian Zins Explains Aiming and Trigger Control.

    Pistol Competitors (.45 ACP) at 2019 NTT Match at Camp Perry, Ohio.
    .45 Acp pistol camp perry

    * This 10-shot group was shot on the NRA B-6 50-yard Pistol Target. Here are the ring dimensions as stated in the NRA Precision Pistol Rules (p. 15):

    NRA slow fire pistol target 50 yards

    Permalink Competition, Handguns, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
    July 1st, 2020

    GAP Grind and World Shooting Championship on Shooting USA TV

    GAP Grind G.A. Precision Precision PRS CMP Western Games

    Shooting USA will broadcast a great episode today, January 15, 2020. There are three segments worth watching. First the TV show spotlights the popular GAP Grind, a Pro-Am PRS event at the K&M Precision complex in Tennessee. Then this episode covers the NRA World Shooting Championship (WSC) in Virginia. This unique Pro-Am event challenges shooters with a dozen stages, employing a wide variety of pistols, rifles, and shotguns supplied by the manufacturers. The WSC offers huge rewards — over $250,000 in cash and prizes! Finally, there is a historical feature on the Spencer Rifle this week.

    SHOW TIMES: This Shooting USA Episode airs July 1, 2020 (Wednesday) at 9:00 PM Eastern and Pacific; 8:00 PM Central.

    PART ONE– 2019 GAP Grind Feature on Shooting USA

    Lots of Action, with 20+ Stages
    The GAP Grind is a challenging, “high tempo” match with minimal down-time between stages. Over the course of 20+ stages, competitors will fire 200+ shots at a variety of steel, paper, moving, and reactive targets out to 1,200 yards. Targets vary in size/difficulty based on the shooter’s position, distance, and time allotted. Most stages include “stressors” — i.e. time limits or required movement(s).

    The GAP Grind is held at the impressive K&M Shooting Complex:

    The GAP Grind attracts over 300 competitors — half experienced shooters and the other half newcomers to the sport. The key to growing the shooting sports is attracting new shooters. The best way to bring in “new blood” seems to be the Pro-Am type format. At the GAP Grind, experienced shooters share their knowledge and guide the new shooters through the competition.

    GAP Grind G.A. Precision Precision PRS CMP Western Games

    Shooting USA TV gap grind
    Josh Temnnen Facebook photo.

    GAP Grind Hardware
    You’ll find the latest and greatest PRS hardware at the GAP Grind. Notable in 2019 was the fact that many top competitors “stepped down” from the 6.5/6mm Creedmoor to the smaller, more efficient 6mm Dasher, 6BRA and other 6mm cartridges. The Dasher offers excellent accuracy with less recoil than the 6.5 Creedmoor. Also, many top shooters are now running Kahles optics. Photo by Shelley Giddings.

    Giddings GAP Grind

    PART TWO — NRA World Shooting Championship

    WSC World Shooting Championship WV Peacemaker Glengary

    In 2019, its sixth consecutive year, the NRA World Shooting Championship (WSC) returned to the Peacemaker National Training Center in Glengary, West Virginia. One of the nation’s biggest Pro-Am events, the WSC attracted many of the USA’s top professional shooters, along with talented amateurs. [NOTE: This year’s 2020 WSC has been cancelled due to COVID-19.]

    This unique 3-day multi-gun match, held Sept. 18-21, 2019 tested competitors’ skills across twelve challenging stages involving nearly every major shooting discipline for rifles, shotguns, and pistols. Stages included fan favorites like 3-Gun, High-Power Silhouette, Cowboy Action, and more. For more information on the match, check out wsc.nra.org or email NRAhighpower@nrahq.org.

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