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June 13th, 2024

Important Tips for Pistol Training at Indoor Gun Ranges

NSSF indoor range survey pistol shooters Southwick Associates range report
Photo courtesy Silver Eagle Group Shooting Range, Northern Virginia.

Pistol shooting is fun — that’s reason enough to head to an indoor range. In addition, all CCW permit holders should definitely practice regularly. For many people, indoor shooting can be done in the evening, after work, relatively close to home. Indoor ranges are most convenient for those who live near urban centers, where the biggest threats to public safety currently exist. This article talks about indoor firearms training and the proper procedures you should follow at indoor ranges.

This Video Covers Basic Gun Range Safety Rules and Etiquette

FIVE IMPORTANT SAFETY PROCEDURES for Indoor Ranges

1. Follow the Three Fundamental Rules for Safe Gun Handling
ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction. ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot. ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.

2. Follow ALL Range Officer Instructions
ROs are the first and final authority on any range and their decisions are generally final. Arguing with a Range Officer may just get you thrown out.

3. Don’t Bother Others or Touch Their Guns
Respect other shooters’ privacy unless a safety issue arises. Do NOT engage other shooters to correct a perceived safety violation unless absolutely necessary – inform the RO instead. NEVER handle or touch another shooter’s firearm without their permission!

4. Know Your Range’s Rules
Review and understand any and all range rules and requirements/expectations. For example, what is the range’s maximum rate of fire? Are you allowed to collect your brass?

5. Know What To Do During a Cease Fire
IMMEDIATELY set down your firearm, pointed downrange, and STEP AWAY from the shooting booth (or bench). Range Officers do not want shooters trying to “secure/unload” their firearms in a cease fire situation — they want the shooters separated from their guns instantly.

NSSF indoor range survey pistol shooters Southwick Associates range report

BAD RANGE BEHAVIOR — Five Things NOT to Do at the Range

Here are the five worst behaviors we’ve seen at indoor ranges. These behaviors are both dangerous and inconsiderate. Any one of these behaviors can get you permanently banned from an indoor range.

1. Sweeping other individuals after loading a weapon behind the firing line is very bad. All your weapons should be empty until you reach your shooting station.

2. Turning the handgun sideways while trying to clear a malfunction or insert/remove a magazine. This will point the muzzle at a fellow shooter. Or, after shooting a gun, the shooter fails to clear the weapon and then places the gun somewhere near the shooting station with the muzzle in an unsafe position.

3. Reacting unpredictably when firing a high recoil handgun. We’ve seen people take a second shot by accident with the muzzle way off target.

4. Not obeying range commands — in particular continuing to shoot during called cease-fires.

5. Poorly aimed shooting that hits target frames or carriers, causing ricochets.

Double-Up on Hearing Protection When Shooting Indoors
When shooting indoors we recommend quality muffs with earplugs underneath, offering double protection. When inside an enclosed range, with other shooters blasting away right next to you, you really need effective hearing protection. But you also need to hear range commands and be able to communicate. That’s why we recommend electronic muffs with plugs underneath.

indoor range survey results NSSF

For indoor pistol shooting, we like the Howard Leight Impact Pro Muffs. These offer an impressive 30 dB Noise Reduction Rating (NRR). In addition, the electronic functionality allows you to hear all range commands clearly. These muffs are a good value. These are on sale now at Amazon for just $38.97 (#ad). You can also get these NRR 30 muffs bundled with protective safety eyewear for $55.72 on Amazon (#ad).

Howard Leight Impact Pro Electronic Muffs NRR 30

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June 12th, 2024

Precision Reloading for Competition Pistols — Tips from USAMU

USAMU Service Pistol Handgun Tip Advice Reloading
SSG Greg Markowski of the USAMU at Camp Perry, Ohio.*

USAMU Service Pistol Handgun Tip Advice Reloading

The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) fields pistol teams as well as rifle and shotgun competition squads. Consequently the USAMU’s Reloading Shop loads tens of thousands of pistol rounds every year. In this article, the USAMU’s handgun experts talk about reloading for handguns — with smart tips on how to achieve superior accuracy with 100% reliability. This article, which offers important insights on COAL, primers, crimps and more.

This video shows .45 ACP centerfire pistol competitors at Camp Perry

USAMU Service Pistol Handgun Tip Advice Reloading

Precision Pistol Reloading — Recommended Methods

Optimize the Taper Crimp
One often-overlooked aspect of handloading highly-accurate pistol ammunition is the amount of crimp and its effect on accuracy. Different amounts of taper crimp are used with various handloads to obtain best accuracy. The amount is based on bullet weight, powder burn rate and charge, plus other factors. It is not unusual for our Shop to vary a load’s crimp in degrees of 0.001″ and re-test for finest accuracy.

USAMU Service Pistol Handgun Tip Advice ReloadingUse Consistent Brass
Brass is also important to pistol accuracy. While accurate ammunition can be loaded using brass of mixed parentage, that is not conducive to finest results, particularly at 50 yards. It is important for the serious competitor/handloader to use brass of the same headstamp and ideally one lot number, to maximize uniformity. Given the volumes of ammunition consumed by active pistol competitors, using inexpensive, mixed surplus brass for practice, particularly at the “short line” (25 yards), is understandable. However [at 50 yards], purchasing and segregating a lot of high-quality brass to be used strictly for slow-fire is a wise idea.

Importance of Uniform COAL
Uniformity of the Case Overall Length (COAL) as it comes from the factory is also important to achieving utmost accuracy. More uniform case lengths (best measured after sizing) contribute to greater consistency of crimp, neck tension, ignition/burn of powder charge, and so on. Cartridge case-length consistency varies from lot to lot, as well as by maker. Some manufacturers are more consistent in this dimension than others. [Editor’s note: It is easy to trim pistol brass to uniform length. Doing this will make your taper crimps much more consistent.]

Primers and Powders — Comparison Test for Accuracy
Pay attention to primer brands, powder types and charges. Evaluating accuracy with a Ransom or other machine rest at 50 yards can quickly reveal the effect of changes made to handload recipes.

Bullet Selection — FMJ vs. JHP
Bullets are another vital issue. First, there is the question of FMJ vs. JHP. A friend of this writer spent decades making and accuracy-testing rifle and pistol bullets during QC for a major bullet manufacturer. In his experience, making highly-accurate FMJ bullets is much more difficult than making highly-accurate JHPs, in large part due to the way the jackets are formed. Small die changes could affect accuracy of FMJ lots dramatically. The CMP now allows “safe, jacketed ammunition” in Excellence-in-Competition (EIC) Service Pistol matches, although wadcutter ammunition is prohibited. Thus, the option to use very accurate JHP designs simplifies the life of CMP Service Pistol shooters in pursuit of the prestigious Distinguished Pistol Shot badge.

Hopefully, these tips will be helpful to any pistol shooters interested in accurate handloads, not just “Bullseye” shooters. Small tweaks to one’s normal routine can pay big dividends in improved accuracy and make practice and competition more rewarding. Stay safe, and good shooting!

TOP IMAGE: SSG Greg Markowski, a shooter/instructor with the USAMU, fires his pistol during the 2018 Civilian Marksmanship Program’s National Pistol Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio. At that event, Markowski claimed the General Mellon Trophy, General Patton Trophy and the General Custer Trophy. U.S. Army photo by Maj. Michelle Lunato/released by Defense Visual Information Distribution Service.

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June 11th, 2024

Guntry Clubs — Shooting Centers with Upscale Amenities

Guntry Club Greshame GunVenture Televison Iain Harrison Sig Sauer

Shooting ranges have gone upscale with the development of the “Guntry Club”. This new kind of recreational/social facility combines a shooting range with Country Club style amenities. Imagine a high-tech indoor range with “Pro Shop”, restaurant, and maybe outdoor shooting facilities as well. In the past five years, more and more of these deluxe “Guntry Clubs” have opened nationwide.

An episode of GunVenture TV featured some of the country’s finest gun clubs. Tom Gresham and RECOIL Magazine’s Iain Harrison checked out of the original “Guntry Clubs” — the Scottsdale Gun Club. Then, Tom visited a high-end facility in Centennial, Colorado. The upscale Centennial Gun Club features a retail store, range, training center, and lounge.

Guntry Club Greshame GunVenture Televison Iain Harrison Sig Sauer

Here’s a CBS News report on upscale “Guntry Clubs”, luxurious facilities that target younger, more affluent patrons. Chip Reid reports on a high-end gun club in Manassas, Virginia: “This is not your Grandfather’s shooting range. Elite Shooting Sports is 65,000 Square feet of bright lights, polished wood, flat-screen TVs, and state of the art equipment”. Unfortunately for private shooters, this range closed to the general public in April 2023. Prince William County has agreed to purchase the Elite Shooting Sports facility as its new law enforcement training center, county officials announced Tuesday night.

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June 10th, 2024

Shocking Stuff — Pistol Competitor Nearly Kills Range Worker

RSO Range Safety violation

Here is a video every shooter should watch. It reminds us that our sport demands 100% attention. Lose track of individuals down-range and the results could be tragic. This video will give you chills (starting at about the 0:25 mark). We need to remember to follow all the firearms safety rules, and apply them all the time. At the range, all it takes is one brief moment of inattention to create a life-threatening situation. Never assume the downrange area is safe. Use your own eyes and ears.

This video shows a competitor shooting a stage at an action pistol match. He starts when instructed by the Range Safety Officer (RSO). But unbeknownst to both RS0 and competitor, a volunteer is downrange working on targets. Watch carefully. At 0:27 the shooter sweeps left to right, engaging a paper silhouette target to his right. Then, at 0:30, as he begins a mag change, his head turns downrange. A few yards away is a white-shirted range worker! The shooter yells “Hey what’s going on?!”

What’s going on indeed… The RSO should have ensured that nobody was downrange before the shooter even stepped up to the firing line. If other competitors standing to the side had been alert, they might have seen the worker changing targets and called for a halt. And the target-worker himself — even if he was wearing earmuffs, he should have noticed that live fire had commenced just yards away…

We also have to wonder about the stage design. This set-up made it very difficult to see downrange. The white panels (see 0:10-0:20) definitely hid the target worker from view. In hindsight, given the way the stage was laid out, this was truly an “accident waiting to happen”. It’s fortunate that no one got injured in this incident. But this chilling video provides a lesson to all shooters — “Safety First”.

How could this “near-fatality” have been averted? Post your comments below.

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June 7th, 2024

Brownells Marks 85th Anniversary with Special Promotions

brownells 85th anniversary sale discount free shipping 15% off

Brownells, a cornerstone of the firearms community since 1939, celebrates its 85th anniversary this month. To mark this special occasion, Brownells has announced exclusive sales and promotions, offering customers discounted deals and opportunities to join in the celebration.

15% OFF Savings | FREE Shipping $85+ | No FFL Fee on Firearms

A Legacy of Innovation and Commitment
Founded by Bob Brownell in 1939, Brownells has grown from a small family business into a leading supplier for gun owners, hunters, and gunsmiths. Over the decades, Brownells has maintained its commitment to quality and customer satisfaction, always staying true to the values instilled by its founder. For a journey through Brownells’ rich history and significant milestones, visit the History of Brownells timeline page. To mark this special anniversary, Brownells has major promotions, plus thousands of items on sale.

brownells 85th anniversary sale discount free shipping 15% offSpecial Anniversary Offers
To mark this historic milestone, during June 2024 Brownells is offering month-long deals:

15% Off Brownells Branded Products:
Enjoy major 15% OFF savings on our extensive range of high-quality products.
Free Shipping on Orders of $85 or More:
Take advantage of free shipping for qualifying orders. This can save you $20, $30 or more!
No FFL Fee and Flat-Rate Gun Shipping:
Gun sales have no seller FFL Fee plus flat-rate shipping on firearms.

Pete Brownell Reflects on the Legacy
“As we celebrate our 85th anniversary, we reflect on the remarkable journey that began with my grandfather, Bob Brownell. He was a visionary gunsmith and writer who understood the importance of sharing knowledge and providing quality tools to the firearms community. His mission to professionalize the gunsmithing trade laid the foundation for what Brownells has become today. Our commitment to innovation, education, and customer satisfaction continues to drive us forward. We are proud to honor his legacy and look forward to serving the next generation of firearms enthusiasts and professionals.” — Pete Brownell

To learn more from Pete about Brownell’s history, CLICK HERE to watch Video Interview.

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June 7th, 2024

Illustrated Firearms History Book with 1700 Color Photos

Illustrated History of Fireams NRA museum 320 page 1700 photos

Looking for a superb illustrated coffee table book about guns? Yes there is such a thing, a great book we highly recommend — The Illustrated History of Fireams (2nd Edition). This full-color 320-page hardcover book features more than 1,700 photos compiled by NRA Museums curators Jim Supica, Doug Wicklund, and Philip Schreier. This Second Edition includes 300 photos more than the original, plus dozens of new profiles of important persons who influenced firearms development.

This follow-up to the best-selling original NRA Museums book is loaded with great images, historical profiles, and technical data on old, new, and currently-manufactured firearms that have changed history. Covering the earliest matchlocks to modern match-grade superguns and everything in between, The Illustrated History of Firearms provides a fascinating education on how guns evolved, where they originated and how they worked.

The Illustrated History of Firearms, 2nd Edition

– Authored by the experts at the NRA Firearms Museums

– Published by Gun Digest Books

– 9 ½ x 11 1/2 inches, hardcover with dust jacket

– 1,700 full-color photos

– 320 Pages

– Price: $39.99 (MSRP); $31.61 on Amazon

The Illustrated History of Firearms, 2nd Edition is available from Amazon direct for $31.61. Amazon also lists lightly used versions of the book starting at $22.00 (plus $3.99 shipping) from a variety of other book vendors. You’ll also find the book at major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble, but it’s probably easier to purchase online.

Illustrated World Encyclopedia of Guns

If you like big, illustrated hardback gun books, there’s a second title we recommend: The Illustrated World Encyclopedia of Guns.

This hefty 516-page book covers “Pistols, Rifles, Revolvers, Machine And Submachine Guns Through History”. This major resource is illustrated with 1100 photographs, and covers the whole spectrum of guns.

Priced at $29.77 on Amazon, this book would make a great gift for a gun collector, and could be a nice addition to a local gun club library. The Illustrated World Encyclopedia of Guns has proven very popular with buyers, earning 83% five-star ratings on Amazon among verified purchasers.

Illustrated world encyclopedia of guns book amazon 1100 photos

Historic American Arms — Teddy Roosevelt’s Lever Guns
These two lever action rifles, owned by President Theodore Roosevelt, are part of the NRA Museum collection. First is a Winchester 1886 rifle known as the tennis match gun because Roosevelt used winnings from a tennis match to buy it. Below that is a suppressed Winchester model 1894 rifle. Roosevelt liked to shoot varmints around Oyster Bay (Long Island, NY) with this gun so he wouldn’t disturb his neighbors — the Tiffany and Du Pont families.

Roosevelt NRA Museum lever gun suppress 1886 1894
Roosevelt NRA Museum lever gun suppress 1886 1894

About the NRA Museums
The NRA opened the original National Firearms Museum at its Washington DC Headquarters in 1935. In 2008 the Francis Brownell Museum of the South West opened at the NRA’s Whittington Center in Raton, NM. Then, in 2013, the National Sporting Arms Museum opened at the Bass Pro Shops store in Springfield, MO. Every year, at these three museum facilities, over 350,000 persons visit to see the impressive exhibits and many of America’s most famous firearms. For more information, visit www.NRAMuseum.org.

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June 6th, 2024

Zombies in the Heartland 3-Gun Match — 2024 Results with Video

2024 hornady zombies heartland match 3-Gun jerry miculek

Hornady Hosts 12th Annual Zombies in the Heartland 3-Gun Match
Over 450 zombie hunters descended on Grand Island, Nebraska, May 31 through June 2, 2024, to battle the “undead” during the 12th annual Zombies in the Heartland 3-Gun Match hosted by Hornady and the Heartland Public Shooting Park. Shooters from all over the country armed with handguns, shotguns, and rifles, tested their talent in 10 zombie-themed stages. Specifically developed reactive zombie targets kept everyone engaged and entertained.

The Heartland Zombies match is a veritable theme park for shootists, with many fun stages and innovative targets. Many unique, reactive zombie targets have been developed specifically for this match. The use of paper targets has been minimized — so it’s mostly “bang and clang”. Rifles, pistols and shotguns are used on most stages. There were also fun side-matches. Watch the video above to see this year’s action.

2024 hornady zombies heartland match 3-Gun jerry miculek

2024 Zombies in the Heartland Match Division Winners

Open: Nate Schmidt
Tactical: Ryan Calhoon
PCC: Jay Carillo
Lady: Dianna Muller
Junior: Blake Wilkes
Amateur: Kyle Nordstrom
Super Senior: Jerry Miculek
Senior: Terry Lauwers
Military: Taylor Clemens
LE: Jim Holtmeyer

For complete results visit Practiscore.com/results/new/246177

“A special thanks to the Heartland Public Shooting Park staff for their preparedness in dealing with inclement weather,” said Jeremy Millard, Hornady Engineer and Match Director.

2024 hornady zombies heartland match 3-Gun jerry miculek
2024 hornady zombies heartland match 3-Gun jerry miculek
2024 hornady zombies heartland match 3-Gun jerry miculek
2024 hornady zombies heartland match 3-Gun jerry miculek

To see more photos, visit the Hornady Zombies in the Heartland Facebook page.

2024 hornady zombies heartland match 3-Gun jerry miculek

2024 hornady zombies heartland match 3-Gun jerry miculek
2024 hornady zombies heartland match 3-Gun jerry miculek

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June 4th, 2024

Handgun Training Videos from SIG Sauer — Skills and Safety

Shooter's Edge handgun training Sig Sauer Academy

Do you know someone who recently purchased his/her first handgun and is getting started in the shooting sports? Or do you need to brush up your own pistol skills? Then check out a FREE video training series from the SIG Sauer Academy: Shooter’s Edge — Learning to Shoot.

Here is the Second Video from the Shooter’ Edge series, covering Basic Rules of Firearms Safety:

This video series features foundational handgun classes at the SIG Sauer Academy in New Hampshire. The ten-episode series takes viewers into the classroom and onto the range as the instructors walk through the fundamentals of handgun safety, shooting techniques, practice and training exercises, along with instruction in equipment options and handgun selection. The series was shot on location during several of the Academy’s introductory classes.

Click Below to Access Full Video Series on SigSauer.com:

Shooter's Edge handgun training Sig Sauer Academy

The Shooter’ Edge Series includes the following episodes: Learn to Shoot at SIG Sauer Academy; Basic Rules of Safety; Types of Handguns and Ammunition; Foundational Shooting Techniques; How to Practice and Train Effectively; Choosing the Right Gun; Equipment and Its Purpose; Holsters — Presentation and Recovery; Magazines — Loading and Unloading; and What Happens After Learning to Shoot.

The entire 10-episode series is available on the SIG Sauer Academy YouTube Channel and the SIG Sauer Academy Website.

Shooter's Edge handgun training Sig Sauer Academy

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June 4th, 2024

Choosing a Handgun — Smart Tips for Pistol Purchasers

Winchester Blog Becky Yackley pistol purchase handgun training

Are you in the market for your first handgun, for target use or for self-defense? The Winchester Blog has a good article for handgun buyers. This story, “Things You Should Know When Purchasing Your First Pistol”, provides many smart tips that can help you choose the right handgun, and save money in the process. In addition, the article explains how to train with your new pistol and handle it safely. READ Full Article.

If possible, you should test a variety of different pistols, to determine which works best for you. Check the feel, the ergonomics, the sight picture, and the controls. And, if possible, test the pistols with live-fire at a range which rents samples.

How do you know if your choice is right for you?
Once you’ve narrowed down choices, try to get time shooting the pistol(s) you are considering. You can usually rent guns at commercial ranges. This is an excellent way to “try before you buy.” NSSF has a list of places to shoot[.] When looking for a range that rents firearms, an online search and then a phone call to confirm what options are available is a solid plan. If you have friends and family who own a model you are interested in, ask if they will go to the range with you so that you can try it.

Take pistols for a test drive
First, dry-fire and manipulate the pistol. Can you easily lock the slide open? Are the sights suited to your vision? Then, fire a magazine or two of ammo [in a supervised range facility]. — Winchester Blog

The Winchester Blog article lists techniques that can help you get the “feel” for a particular firearm:

1. Practice the 4 Rules of Firearm Safety and make sure the gun is empty.

2. [After confirming the gun is empty] manipulate the slide, safety, magazine release, and dry-fire.

3. Perform a dry or empty magazine change — make sure you can hit the release and also reload a new magazine easily.

4. Perform a draw, or if you’re at a range where that is not allowed, simply pick the pistol up off the table and bring it up to your eye level and align the sights. Do this a few times. Can you acquire the sights quickly?

5. How does the backstrap fit your hand? Can you get both hands on the gun with enough “purchase” that you can really grip it well?

READ Full Winchester Blog Pistol Purchase Article »

This Winchester Blog article is by Becky Yackley. Becky has competed in 3-Gun, Bianchi pistol, Service Rifle, NCAA air rifle, smallbore and air pistol events around the world since 1989.

Smith wesson model 617 .22 LR revolver 22LR

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June 1st, 2024

Have Fun with Pistol Competitions — IDPA Match Basics

IDPA Practical Pistol Concealed carry handgun competition

Most of our readers are rifle guys, but it’s fun to shoot a pistol match now and then. You don’t need a lot of equipment, and if you shoot IDPA (Int’l Defensive Pistol Assn.) matches, you can really win with a $400 pistol and $25.00 worth of bulk 9mm ammo. That’s a bargain compared to what you’ll spend on a competitive PRS or F-Class rig and custom hand-loads.

If you want to get into the IDPA game, Shooting Sports USA has a good article that explains the basic rules and classifications. IDPA is not your grandad’s bullseye pistol match. There is movement and action. Stages are timed, and competitors engage targets from cover if available. Singled-handed shooting is sometimes required, as is shooting while moving. You can compete with pretty much any handgun suitable for self-defense — but no $4000 Raceguns with fancy optics. The fact that you can be 100% competitive without spending a ton of money is what makes IDPA so popular.

Shooting Sports USA polled IDPA shooters at the 2016 IDPA Nationals to determine their favorite gun brands and models. The #1 choice was the 9mm Glock 34 for the SSP (Standard Service Pistol) and ESP (Enhanced Service Pistol) Classes. Next most popular was the Smith & Wesson M&P Pro. We expect in 2024 many competitors are now using SIGs and Walthers, while Glock usage has declined.

IDPA Practical Pistol Concealed carry handgun competition
IDPA Gun Chart from Shooting Sports USA.

IDPA targetAlong with SSP and ESP, there are three other main IDPA classes: Custom Defensive Pistol (CDP) for .45 ACPs (mostly 1911 types), Concealed Carry Pistol (CCP), and Revolver (REV). All classes have a minimum power factor. Scores are based on time and shot placement on the IDPA target.

IDPA Scoring System
The official IDPA Target (right) has multiple scoring zones. If you don’t hit the target’s center mass zone or head zone (both appear green in illustration), you drop one or three points. Here’s the formula: Score (in seconds) = Time + Points Down + Penalties. In IDPA, “points down” (and penalties) are added to your time. If you hit the outer edge of the target, you get 3 points down. Nearer center can be 1 point down. Center hit or head shot is 0 points down. See IDPA Scoring for Dummies.

IDPA glock 34 pistol carry match

Five Tips for New IDPA Shooters

This Editor got his start in competitive shooting with local IDPA matches. I shot a 9mm Glock 34, and a 9mm SIG Sauer P226, and even did one match with a .38 Spl S&W Snubbie. I eventually settled on the SIG P226, as it fit my hand better than the Glock, was more accurate, and was every bit as reliable. The P226 also pointed better than the Glock for me — something that helps with target acquisition. Here are FIVE TIPS for new IDPA competitors:

1. Dry-Fire Practice at Home
You can improve your grip and sight acquisition dramatically with 30 minutes of dry-firing every week. Get some quality snap caps and go to it. One tip — don’t do this in your back-yard if the nosy neighbors can see. We had one friend who was dry-firing in his yard and got an unexpected visit from the local police (with guns drawn). That can turn out badly to say the least…

2. Practice One-Handed Shooting (Both Strong-Hand and Weak-Hand)
Most of the worst misses I saw during IDPA matches were during stages requiring one-handed shooting. A lot of pistol shooters have spent all their time shooting two-handed. That’s the best technique, but in an IDPA match, you may be required to shoot one-handed on some stages. If you’re a righty, shooting with the left hand only will feel really weird, and your accuracy will be poor unless you practice. We suggest starting your one-handed training with a rimfire pistol, then transition to your centerfire pistol.

3. For 9mm, Don’t Bother to Hand-load Your Ammo
This may seem like sacrilege, but if you’re only shooting one match a month, it’s probably not worth the time and money to reload 9x19mm. I did reload my 9mm ammo on a progressive for a couple years. After looking at money and time, I just started buying commercial 9mm ammo which worked fine. I was only saving a few cents per round by reloading, and that wasn’t worth the time invested.

4. Get a Good Holster That Fits Right
In IDPA matches you normally draw from holster during the match. I saw a lot of people struggle because they had Kydex holsters that would not release easily, or leather holsters that fit too tight or rocked during draw. Try a few different brands at the local store.

5. Be Smooth, Be Calm, and AIM Your Shots
Many folks come into IDPA thinking it’s all about speed. But there are score zones on the official IDPA target, so you need to focus and AIM. Don’t just “run and gun”. If you stay calm, align your sights in the center of the target for EVERY shot, you will end up with a higher score with fewer “points down”. Speed will come with time. It is better to make sure each one of your shots is a hit.

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May 31st, 2024

Doug Koenig Wins His 20th Bianchi Cup Championship

doug koening 2024 bianchi cup winner championship green valley missouri

Congratulations to Team Vihtavuori member Doug Koenig on winning the 2024 CMP Bianchi Cup Championship, one of the world’s most prestigious pistol tournaments. Koening took the 2024 title with an impressive 1920-183X Grand Aggregate. Koenig’s 2024 Bianchi Cup title marked a major milestone. This was Koenig’s 20th time winning the prestigious pistol championship. To learn more about Doug’s accomplishments, visit KoenigShooting.com.

doug koening 2024 bianchi cup winner championship green valley missouri

The 2024 CMP Bianchi Cup was hosted by the Green Valley Rifle & Pistol Club in Hallsville, Missouri on May 21-24, 2024. For the second year, the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) governed the international competition. In partnering with Green Valley, the CMP seeks to grow the event with more shooters and new divisions. The Bianchi Cup, known as the gold standard in action pistol shooting, has a 40+ year history and attracts the world’s leading competitive pistol shooters.

Koenig, who loads his pistol ammo with Vihtavuori N320 powder, was in a tight race with fellow Team Vihtavuori member Bruce Piatt. Piatt finished in a close second place, followed by SSG Walter Johnson, SSG Anthony Heinauer, and Benito Martinez. The top finishers were only separated by a mere 5 bullseyes.

These two videos show Doug Koenig in action in past years at the Bianchi Cup Range.

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May 30th, 2024

CMP Pistols at Perry — 2024 Nat’l Matches, Rimfire & Centerfire

Camp Perry National Matches EIC Rimfire Service Pistol .22 LR Competition NRA CMP

There will be major rimfire and centerfire pistol competitions at the 2024 CMP National Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio. Hundreds of shooters will participate in these popular individual and team events, which commence in mid-July.

CLICK HERE for CMP National Pistol Matches INFO PAGE »

The rimfire/centerfire pistol competitions begin on July 15, 2024 with the handgun Small Arms Firing School (SAFS) followed by M9 Pistol Excellence-In-Competition (EIC) pistol matches. The SAFS will be led by USAMU, Military Team, and CMP instructors. Following classroom instruction and practice on the range, SAFS participants will fire an M9 EIC Match with the goal of earning points towards the prestigious Distinguished Badge.

On July 17, the .22 Rimfire 900 Aggregate, Team Matches, and Rimfire EIC matches will be held. In the past, these matches have been hugely popular — with 480+ Rimfire competitors from novices to experts.

Following the rimfire pistol matches, there will be centerfire Pistol Aggregate and Team Matches on July 18, followed by .45 Pistol Aggregate and Team matches on July 19. Then, on Saturday the 20th, the big President’s 100 Pistol Match, National Trophy Individual Match, National Trophy Pistol Team Matches, and GSSF Glock National Challenge will be held. There will be plenty of talent on the firing line. In recent years, over 90% of the top 50 Service Pistol shooters were Distinguished. The last pistol matches run on Sunday the 21st, with Pistol Games Awards at the end of the day.

This video shows .45 ACP centerfire pistol competitors at Camp Perry

2024 Nat’l Matches Calendar | 2024 Camp Perry Pistol Schedule

Camp Perry National Matches EIC Rimfire Service Pistol .22 LR Competition NRA CMP

Interested in competing in the Camp Perry Pistol Matches this summer with either a .22 LR Rimfire pistol or centerfire pistol? It’s not too late to register. CLICK HERE for Pistol Match Online Registration.

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Camp Perry National Matches EIC Rimfire Service Pistol .22 LR Competition NRA CMP

Talented shooters stand shoulder to shoulder on the firing line…
Camp Perry National Matches EIC Rimfire Service Pistol .22 LR Competition NRA CMP

There should be over 450 competitors in the .22 Rimfire EIC match.
Camp Perry National Matches EIC Rimfire Service Pistol .22 LR Competition NRA CMP

Camp Perry National Matches EIC Rimfire Service Pistol .22 LR Competition NRA CMP

It took decades of competition to acquire all those patches — that’s dedication to the sport.
Camp Perry National Matches EIC Rimfire Service Pistol .22 LR Competition NRA CMP

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