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March 22nd, 2023

2023 F-Class World Championships Start Soon in South Africa

F-Class F-TR F-Open world championship South Africa 2023 de Wet Range Blomfontein Berger bullets

The 2023 F-Class World Championships will commence soon in South Africa. The 2023 F-Class World Championships are being held at the General Christiaan de Wet Shooting Range in Blomfontein, South Africa from March 26th through April 1st. Competitors from around the globe will compete in both F-Class Target Rifle (F-TR) and F-Open divisions battling for the prestigious title of World Champion.

Team USA will be competing in both divisions for a full week. The team includes past American champions and Southwest Nationals winners. Berger, manufacturer of high quality bullets and ammunition for competitive long-range shooters and sportsman, is a leading sponsor of the 2023 United States F-Class Team competing at the 2023 F-Class World Championships in South Africa.

F-Class F-TR F-Open world championship South Africa 2023 de Wet Range Blomfontein Berger bullets

The U.S. F-Open and F-TR teams are comprised of over 60 members coming from 25 different states. The team members have spent over five years preparing for this major event. Lead by Captains Dan Bramley and Phil Kelley, the teams are sure to make an impact. Three members of Team Berger — James Crofts, Trudie Fay, and Matt Schwartzkopf — are serving as coaches for US F-TR team. Team Lapua’s own Erik Cortina will be competing as part of the F-Open team.

“We are honored to have the opportunity to support United States F-Class Teams on their quest to be crowned international champions”, commented Geoff Esterline, Director of Marketing at Berger Bullets.

Team USA will also be supported by Lapua, maker of top brass and bullets. “We’re proud to support the United State F-Class Teams as they compete in South Africa at the World Championships”, commented Adam Braverman, V.P. of Sales & Marketing at Capstone. “We’ve watched the team over the last five years come together, practice, make it through delays due to COVID and still remain strong.”

F-Class F-TR F-Open world championship South Africa 2023 de Wet Range Blomfontein Berger bullets

USA F-TR Team Will Use Berger 200.2X Hybrid Target .30-Cal Bullets
F-Class Target Rifle (F-TR) category has strict requirements for a “ready-to-go” rifle weighing no more than 18 pounds. Chambers are required to be unmodified and use a standard .308 Win/7.62 NATO or .223 Rem/5.56 NATO cartridge. For competition, the U.S. F-TR team utilizes Berger’s .30 caliber 200.20X Hybrid Target, and 215 grain Hybrid Target bullets.

USA F-Open Team Will Use Berger 7mm 184gr and 180gr Hybrid Target Bullets
The F-Open category has requirements of a rifle weighing no more than 22 pounds and chambered in any caliber .35 and under. Rifles are fired in the prone position from the shoulder with an adjustable front rest and rear sandbag. Berger’s 7mm 184 grain Hybrid Target bullet is a favorite among F-Open competitors and is the official bullet of the U.S. F-Class F-Open team. The team also competes with Berger’s 7mm 180 Grain Hybrid Target bullet.

This video shows a match at the Genl De Wet Range in South Africa a decade ago:

2023 F-Class World Championships Program »

Genl De Wet Range Information | Travel Information Page | F-Class World Championship Entry Page

About Berger and Lapua
Berger manufactures precision projectiles and match-grade ammunition for Target, Hunting, and Tactical applications in Mesa, AZ. For 100 years, Lapua has been producing the highest-quality cartridges and components for civilian and professional use. Berger and Lapua are both part of the Capstone Precision Group, exclusive U.S. distributor for Berger, Lapua, Vihtavuori and SK-Rimfire products. For more information, visit and

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March 19th, 2023

GRID Targets For Load Development and Accuracy Testing

sight=in target amazon EZ-AIM shoot-n-cee box to bench grid bullseye offers a dozens of free, printable targets in our Target Collection. However, we know that sometimes shooters may prefer a commercially-printed specialty target. These may offer unique designs, hi-viz colors, splatter effect, or special functions (such as scope checking). Here are a variety of excellent commercial grid targets you can buy via Amazon or the target-maker’s website.

EZ-AIM 12″x12″ Grid with Orange Bullseyes — $6.99 for 13-pack

sight=in target amazon EZ-AIM

We like this EZ-Aim Sight-in Grid Target for sighting-in, load development. and general practice. The full 12″x12″ target is covered with a precise black-lined grid on white background. There is a large center orange bullseye, plus four additional bulls, one in each corner. Right now this target is a bargain. You can get a 13-pack of targets for just $6.99.

Freedom Targets — Bullseye Sight-In Grid Target, 25 for $12.95

freedom gun target bullseye bull grid target

Here’s a great Bullseye Sight-in Grid Target. This target provides a central bull on a 1″ grid pattern. There 8 additional small orange dot aim points, plus helpful numbers on the central vertical and horizontal lines. The outer four orange aim points are set inside heavier black lines to help align your scope crosshairs. This target is nicely printed, with sharp lines and bright orange circles. You get a pack of 25 targets for $12.95 — that’s $0.52 per target.

Birchwood Casey Grid — Black on White Splatter, 10 for $11.07

Sight-in 12

We’ve all seen conventional splatter targets with a black bullseye or grid. When a shot hits the target, a halo (usually neon yellow) appears around the bullet hole. Here is another kind of splatter target that creates a black circle on a white background. This can be very effective for spotting your hits at long range. This Birchwood-Casey White Grid Target is $11.07 for a 10-pack. These Shoot-N-C Sight-In Targets have a self-adhesive backing, making for easy put up and take down. In addition, the target pack comes with corner pasters to cover holes or use as additional aim points.

High-Viz Option — Yellow on Black Grid with Yellow Halos

If you prefer seeing ultra-high-contrast yellow/green “halos” for your hits, Birchwood Casey also makes adhesive grid targets with five yellow-edged diamonds. Red circles provide precise aiming points in the middle of each box. You can quickly estimate group size or dial-in your zero using the hi-viz yellow 1″ grid lines. These yellow-on-black targets are available in three sizes: 8″ square, 12″ square, and 17.5″ square. These yellow-on-black grid targets start at $7.60 for an 8″ six-pack.

shoot-n-c sight-in-target white black halo

B-2-B Precision LR Load Dev & Scope Tracking Target — 3 for $22

Box 2 Bench Precision B2B target dots Milrad Mil Scope checking target

Here is one BIG target that handles a myriad of important tasks at the range: Zeroing, Load Development, Click Value Verification, and Click Tracking Repeatability Tests. Box to Bench Precision (B2B) offers the most versatile (and biggest) precision targets ever developed. With precise grid geometry, and razor-sharp printing, B2B’s targets are probably the most advanced shooting targets ever created.

B2B’s 100 Yard Long Range Load Development and Scope Tracking Target performs many functions. This big, 30″ x 23.5″ target has specific aiming points for various tasks. In the upper left, there are 11 small orange circles for precision load testing. Over on the upper right are 7 more small, orange circles for doing a Seating Depth Comparison test. The bottom half of the target has larger black-on-white circles that serve multiple functions. Use the corner circles to do a “Box Test” to confirm scope tracking. On the bottom row is one B/W circle to confirm zero and another to use for velocity testing. There’s another great feature on this target — running up the center of the target is a tall line that shows elevation in both MILs and MOA. That helps you confirm the TRUE click values of your optic. Get a precision 100-yard 3-Pack for $22.00, or the 100m version 3-Pack for $13.00.

This content Copyright 2023. Any republication on any other site is a violation of Federal Copyright laws and gives rise to penalties and damages.

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March 18th, 2023

Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation (SSSF) Seeks Director

SSSF scholastic shooting foundation executive director foundation job hiring opening

Are you looking for a job that will help bring new participants into the shooting sports, and thereby help protect the Second Amendment? Would you like to see American shooting teams and marksman on the podium at the Olympics and major shooting matches worldwide? Would you like to help schools maintain their shotgun, air rifle, and air pistol shooting teams? Then here is your opportunity — the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation (SSSF) is seeking a Foundation Director. This is a key position, offering a salary of $80,000 to $90,000 per year with competitive benefits. Remote working is allowed, so candidates from throughout the nation are eligible.

CLICK HERE for NSSF Foundation Director Job Opening Details »

The Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation (SSSF) is now looking to hire a new Foundation Director — a business leader skilled in driving organizational success. For consideration please send your resume, cover letter, and salary requirements in a PDF format to SSSF Board Chair, Ed Fitzgerald at Send the communication Attn: Ed Fitzgerald, SSSF Board Chairman.

SSSF scholastic shooting foundation executive director foundation job hiring opening

The SSSF Foundation Director should provide executive leadership that supports and guides the organization’s mission as defined by the Board of Directors. The Foundation and the Programs have collective revenues exceeding $4 million and 17 employees dispersed across the United States with corporate headquarters based in San Antonio, Texas. A successful candidate will oversee the day-to-day operations of the Foundation and ensure its overall successful long-term operations and mission success. The Foundation Director will interface regularly with the National Directors of programs.

A successful candidate will manage foundation staff, overseeing human resources, staff development, performance management, compensation, and benefits. The individual will have overall administrative management responsibility for the Foundation and two administrative direct reports. The Foundation Director will work alongside two National Directors and will help administer SCTP and SASP programs.

Candidates should have experience in nonprofit, foundation, government, academic, or other complimentary industry positions. Here is a partial list of the stated qualifications for the position:

— 7-10 years serving in a significant strategic nonprofit role is desired or a Masters Degree is preferred in any of the following fields: business administration, nonprofit management, finance, marketing, and communications.

— Five years of prior experience as a senior or executive leader with an emphasis in operations, finance, and people management.

— Strong business and financial acumen to work with auditing firms for annual audits and 990 prep and a history of providing visionary leadership at a senior level.

— Proven experience working with and leading a nonprofit Board and working with diverse groups of people including board members, employees, and donors.

CLICK HERE for FULL Foundation Director Qualification List.

SSSF scholastic shooting foundation executive director foundation job hiring opening

About the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation
The Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation (SSSF) is 501(c)(3) public charity responsible for all aspects of the Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) and Scholastic Action Shooting Program (SASP) across the United States. SSSF serves as the primary feeder/pipeline for organized, sanctioned shooting organizations and teams, like USA SHOOTING, TEAM USA, and the NGBs (NSSA, NSCA, ATA). SSSF is an educational-athletic organization dedicated to providing shooting-sports education and opportunities to school-age youths around the United States.

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March 17th, 2023

Get FREE St. Patrick’s Day Targets — Shamrock and Pot of Gold

Free downloadable pot of gold Ireland St Patricks day shamrock target NRA

Today, March 17th, is St. Patrick’s Day. With the current rampant inflation, Biden’s anti-gun Executive Orders, and the war in Ukraine, it may be hard to feel lucky in 2023, but at least you can collect some lucky targets. Here are two free Irish-themed targets to provide some fun and a bit of challenge. Shoot these Shamrocks or the Pot of Gold and see if you have the “luck of the Irish”.

To help celebrate this traditional day of Irish pride, the NRA has created two (2) fun targets you can download, print, and shoot. Try out these free targets. Click each Irish target photo below to open a high-rez PDF file you can download and print.

The first target features a large four-leaf clover in the middle, with 17 other smaller three-leaf shamrocks around the outside. With five black bulls-eyes in the center graphic, that gives you a total of 22 aiming points for shooting fun. For added challenge we suggest you set this Shamrock Target at 100 yards for rimfire rifle and 200 yards for a centerfire gun.

CLICK Below for Big Shamrock 4-Leaf Clover PDF Target

Free downloadable pot of gold Ireland St Patricks day shamrock target NRA

The second target offers the legendary Pot of Gold at the end of the rainbow. Along with a big bullseye on the pot, there are 15 shamrocks in gold circles, plus five small gold, diamond-shaped nuggets with tiny bullseyes. Those small red dots will be a challenge even at 100 yards. You’ll need a half-MOA (or better) rifle to “clean” this Pot of Gold Target, hitting the tiny red dots on the diamond nuggets.

CLICK Below for Big Pot of Gold PDF Target

Free downloadable pot of gold Ireland St Patricks day shamrock target NRA

Whether you’re Irish or not, these targets will hopefully bring you a bit of luck. Click each image above to open a high-rez PDF file that you can print out. Then, this St. Patty’s day, wear your green, grab your gear, and head to range for some fun shooting.

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March 16th, 2023

Shoot Like a Champion — How to Drill Tiny 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.
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March 12th, 2023

Sunday GunDay: Hunt to Remember with .30-06 Tikka T3 Lite

Colton Reid deer hunt hunting utah Tikka t3 rifle .30-06 springfield stalking Leica geovid LRF rangefinder buck

A Hunt to Remember

by Colton Reid
In hunting, great opportunities are a rare and precious thing. Their scarcity and the difficulty in distilling clear lessons from those opportunities is what makes hunting one of the most challenging and yet most rewarding activities I have ever pursued. As Tom Hanks succinctly stated in A League of Their Own, “The hard is what makes it great.” But, in my recent hunt in Utah’s high country I was given not only a chance at some of the biggest deer in my life, but also two opportunities to harvest a trophy buck after a heartbreaking series of hard lessons learned.

About the Gear — Tikka T3 Lite in .30-06, SWFA Scope, Leica GeoVid LRF Binoculars
Colton was using a Tikka T3 Lite* chambered for the .30-06 Springfield. The scope was an SWFA Super Sniper 3-15x42mm with 0.1 MRAD clicks. Colton painted the Tikka rifle and scope himself with a combination of colors for camouflage. The cheek pad is a piece of balsa wood Colton sanded to correct height and covered with a SKD tactical PIG rifle stock pack. For spotting and ranging Colton employed a set of Leica Geovid 10×40 LRF binoculars. Carry bags were from Badlands.

Colton Reid deer hunt hunting utah Tikka t3 rifle .30-06 springfield stalking Leica geovid LRF buck

Ammunition: For this hunt, Colton handloaded his .30-06 ammunition with Lapua brass and Sierra 165gr SBT GameKing bullets. Drop was approximately 13″ at 300 yards.

October Hunt in Utah’s Central Mountain Range

Colton Reid deer hunt buck hunting utah Tikka t3 rifle .30-06 springfield stalking Leica geovid LRF

In late October I traveled to Utah’s central mountain range for one week trip in pursuit of mule deer. I have never hunted this area before and, to add difficulty, there were several snowstorms expected throughout the week. Simply stated, I was in for a tough hunt. Given the newness of the area and no opportunity to scout pre-season, my strategy was to spend the first couple of days hiking slowly between various vantage points to locate the best animal activity. I saw several mature bucks during this period, but none that I chose to harvest. On day three, my efforts were rewarded with one of those rare opportunities.

Colton Reid deer buck hunt hunting utah Tikka t3 rifle .30-06 springfield stalking Leica geovid LRF
This buck was sighted early in the hunt in a family group of does. This image was taken through my Swarovski spotting scope. The buck was about 150 yards away.

Six inches of snow covered the ground. A storm had crept in the night before and began to color a forest of green and brown pines in a picturesque winter white. Snow was still falling as I started my morning hunt in a new area. The temperature, now in the low teens, was a constant reminder to keep my layers on and jacket zipped. I started my hike down a rugged ridgeline road, and periodically peeked through the adjacent pine trees to glass a hillside across a small valley. After several instances of stopping to glass with my Leica Geovid 10×40 LRF binoculars, I spotted a monster grazing the exposed grass at the edge of a group of bare poplar trees. At 1100 yards I could easily tell this was a nice 4×4+ buck.

Colton Reid deer buck hunt hunting utah Tikka t3 rifle .30-06 springfield stalking Leica geovid LRF

I sat and watched him for several minutes and noticed he was grazing near a group of does that were slowly moving down their hillside and towards the base of mine. The buck, however, was slowly moving up and to the right. If he continued this path he would soon be around the corner of his hill where I could not see. Concerned that he would move out of sight, I decided to attempt a speedy stalk in the hopes of cutting him off. My first mistake. Gathering up my gear, and not knowing the terrain, I took the most direct path I could see. My second mistake. The hope was a direct path would put me into an equivalent altitude on his hillside, where I could make an ethical and successful shot. At least, that was the plan.

As I descended the hillside, I soon realized that the does I spotted were funneling directly towards me. To avoid spooking them I began to traverse the hillside at my current elevation and move to an area that completely changed my site picture of the hillside and where I saw the buck. Great, I had “solved” one problem and created another.

In this new area, I proceeded to again move down my hill and up the buck’s hillside in the hopes of reaching my previously planned location. But, I had no idea what was in front of me. I could not see this “new” area when glassing on the ridge. And now I was close enough to the buck’s area that spooking another deer would likely push the buck. So I had to go slow, and waste time I didn’t think I had.

Moving along the hillside I eventually spotted the poplars that marked where I had seen the buck last. 600 yards away, the trees now obscured the area where the buck had been feeding. Seemingly my only option, I pressed on through the snow. As I reached the 400-yard mark I spotted a young buck and doe less than 50 yards in front of me. I was now faced with a choice to proceed forward and spook these two deer in front of me or move downhill around them and try to climb up directly below where I spotted the big one. I chose the latter. Mistake number 3. Once I moved 100 yards below the young buck and doe, I traversed sidehill directly below where I had spotted the 4×4+ and started my climb.

Colton Reid deer buck hunt hunting utah Tikka t3 rifle .30-06 springfield stalking Leica geovid LRF
This buck was spotted among trees early in the hunt. Scroll down to see the larger buck that Colton took on Day 3 of his Utah adventure.

Creeping up to the edge of the poplar trees I saw lots of fresh sign and decided to load a round in the chamber. I couldn’t see very far in front of me due to the snow and slope of the hill, but it seemed I was close. Moving further into the trees I saw nothing but bare trunks and a snow-covered ground. A feeling of disappointment and frustration washed over me. I had missed my window. Without thinking I let my guard down and stood up, mistake number 4. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a blur of brown and white bound away through the trees, only catching glimpses a white rump and large antlers as the buck moved out of the poplar trees and around the corner where I lost sight of him. I was heartbroken. Exhausted and defeated I started back toward the ridge.

Colton Reid deer buck hunt hunting utah Tikka t3 rifle .30-06 springfield stalking Leica geovid LRF
In the higher elevations there was snow everywhere. Winter wonderland in October Utah.

My long hike back to the road gave me time to think. I walked along the ridge of the hill where I spotted the buck and found that this location intersected with the road. As I trudged up the road to my truck, I learned that simply following the road would have given me a good vantage point of the poplar trees and obscured me from view until I reached the ridgeline of the buck’s hill. If only I had known this before!

The whole night I replayed the events in my head. Where did I go wrong? What could I have done better? I decided that my best way to learn from it and that the first hasty decision put me in a tough situation from which I made more poor decisions. If I had sat and watched the deer bed, I would have had more time to figure out an easier stalking route (like the road!) to get a clean and ethical shot above the animal. And since I saw lots of sign in that area, I decided to give it a second try the next day.

Colton Reid deer buck hunt hunting utah Tikka t3 rifle .30-06 springfield stalking Leica geovid LRFThe next morning, I was back on the road and stopping at periodic vantage points to glass across the valley. The whole time I was thinking “will I really get a second bite at the apple”?

When I started to glass at the first opening, I slowly and methodically scanned the poplars where I had seen deer the day before and caught a glimpse of a brown spot moving through the trees. I pulled out my tripod for more stability and focused on where I had seen movement.

Lo and behold a nice buck was limping along the trees toward a small grass patch. Yes limping. Having the failure of yesterday’s stalk very fresh in my head I decided to wait until I saw the buck stop moving. After some slow grazing, the buck bedded at the base of a large tree just above his grazing area. Now was the time to move above him.

Because the buck was moving slowly from his limp, I figured I had time to work my way around to the ridgeline that would offer me an ethical shot. Again, learning from yesterday’s failures, I walked along the ridgeline road and periodically glassed the area where the buck was bedded.

During these periodic checks I was not able to see the buck, but there was no reason to think the buck had moved. It also offered several advantages: I refreshed my site picture as I moved to different positions, I checked my range to the poplars, and I found the location and range to where I wanted to shoot. While I walked, I noticed a storm rolling in that would soon be make this stalk much harder. I continued along the road until I found the ridge of the buck’s hill intersected, and I turned to make my way towards the buck.

colton reid deer buck hunt utah hunting tikka t3 .30-06
Click Photo for large, full-frame image of stalking path.

Walking through the trees and slightly below the ridgeline I moved to a spot perpendicular to where the buck should be bedded and crept toward the ridgeline. As I crested the ridge I moved carefully from tree to tree, checking the wind was anywhere but behind me and used my binoculars at each stop to relocate the buck. As I approached a large grassy opening between my trees and the poplars, I spotted him bedded down right where I saw him lay down. He was 330 yards away, but I didn’t have a good angle for a clean vital shot. Where I stood the trees were thinning and I had no intention of blowing my stalk by being seen in the last 30 yards. Dropping to the ground I took off my backpack and army crawled in the snow to a downed log where I could rest my rifle for a shot.

Colton Reid deer buck hunt hunting utah Tikka t3 rifle .30-06 springfield stalking Leica geovid LRF
For this Utah hunt, Colton’s bullet choice was the Sierra 165gr SBT GameKing. In this photo, the cartridge in the Tikka magazine has a 168gr Barnes all-copper TSX bullet.

I checked my range and angle — 301 yards and a 5-degree decline from me to the target. No significant wind in any direction. I had sighted in my rifle at 1000 feet above sea level in 75 degree weather and was now at 9500 feet with the temperature a bone-chilling cold. Instead of the 1.1 MRAD dope I estimated 1 MRAD and held directly over vitals. With slow steady breaths I calmed my heartrate, took a deep breath, exhaled halfway and held. A smooth squeeze of the trigger and the rifle roared. Maintaining my sight picture, I re-acquired the buck and cycled the bolt. He was on his side making a last attempt to run. Like a dog chasing a rabbit in his sleep. 20 seconds later and his chase had ended.

When I moved my head from behind the scope, I noticed snow steadily falling all around me. The storm had held until the job was done. As if my rifle was the signal for the heavens to let loose. To say that I was happy in this moment is a gross simplification of what this experience meant to me. I was happy with my success, I was thankful for the opportunity, I was sad at the loss of life of such a majestic creature, I was proud of having learned my lesson from the day before and having executed the best stalk of my life, while also harvesting the biggest buck of my life. My hunt was successful. My hunt was over. And now, the real work had started.

Colton Reid deer buck hunt hunting utah Tikka t3 rifle .30-06 springfield stalking Leica geovid LRF

Arriving at the downed deer I checked for life. He had passed. My shot went directly through the buck’s heart, and he had lost most of his blood in the first 15 seconds. As ethical as it gets. The storm was starting to really gain momentum now, so I had to choose to either quarter the deer and hang it for tomorrow or gut it and drag it to the road, which was approximately a mile away. With the snow blanket from previous storms, I decided it would be easiest to drag the deer using my body harness (Muddy Deluxe Deer Drag Harness).

The drag back to the road reminded me of grandpa’s route to school: 20 miles in the snow and uphill both ways. The drag was tough. Each incline felt like I was climbing vertically with a 100-lb. pack. Fortunately, the snow helped the body slide and I made it to my truck in about an hour.

My drive back to camp was dead quiet. I tried to soak in the experience as much as I could. To fully appreciate the opportunity, I had been given. The sacrifice my family had made so that I could be here.

And as Vince Lombardi once noted: “Any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle — victorious.”

Colton Reid deer fire snow buck hunt hunting utah Tikka t3 rifle .30-06 springfield stalking Leica geovid LRF

* Colton Reid has the Tikka T3 Lite, which has been superseded by the T3X LITE, which has some enhanced features. The notable T3X LITE upgrades are covered in this Tikka Product Video.
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Permalink - Articles, Hunting/Varminting, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
March 11th, 2023

Enjoy Local Fun Matches and GroundHog Shoots

Varmint Silhouette match

There are many centerfire rifle competitive shooting disciplines — High Power, F-Class, silhouette, short-range benchrest, long-range benchrest, and PRS (tactical) to name a few. But on any given spring or summer weekend in the USA, there are probably more local “fun matches” happening than there are F-Class, registered benchrest, and PRS events combined.

Harold Seagroves hickory groundhog shoot
Harold Seagroves’ 3-time Hickory Ground Hog Match-Winning Rifle

At clubs across the country, varmint fun shoots (also known as “groundhog matches”) are becoming more popular every year. In these matches, usually shot from the bench, you engage paper targets, clay pigeons, steel “critter” silhouettes, or some combination of paper and reactive targets. Shooters like these matches because you can shoot a wide variety of rifles, you don’t have to spend a fortune to be competitive, and there is fun for the whole family. Rules are inclusive — you won’t be turned away because your rifle is two ounces overweight. A large percentage of the match fees usually go back to shooters in the form of cash prizes. And the level of camaraderie is high.

hickory groundhog shootInclusive Rules Welcome All Shooters
Forum member Danny Reever has explained the appeal of groundhog matches: “We don’t have a governing organization, or have to pay $50 a year membership just to compete in matches. Sure the rules vary from club to club, but you adapt. You build your rifle (or even pistol) to fall within the rules of either the clubs you shoot, or to fit all the clubs rules. If not there still is a class for you to compete in. If your factory rifle doesn’t conform to the rules, it can shoot in a custom class. If your custom doesn’t make weight for Light Custom (usually 17 pounds and under), you shoot it in heavy custom class. If you want to try your Tactical rifle or F-Class rig, bring it out there’s a class you can shoot it in. If you don’t like one club’s rules, you just don’t shoot there. It’s no big deal.

There are no National records, or Hall of Fame points — just individual range records. If you want to shoot in BIG matches (with big prizes), there is the Hickory Ground Hog Shoot among others. If competition isn’t your bag, many clubs offer mid-week fun matches that you can shoot just for fun. You shoot the same targets but with a more relaxed atmosphere with no time limits.

Groundhog varmint fun shoot summer family

The best part is you don’t have to shoot perfect at every yardage. You always have a chance because in this sport it really isn’t over until the last shot is fired. Typically ALL the entry money goes to the host club, with much of the cash returned back to the shooters via prizes. Junior shooters often shoot for free, or at a reduced rate. That lessens the burden on the family’s wallet (not a small thing in these economic times). The low entry cost also encourages young guys to get involved who don’t have $4000 custom rifles or the money to buy them.

St. Thomas Groundhog ShootMore Fun, Fewer Complications
There isn’t a sea of wind flags to shoot over or to put up and take down. If the range has a couple of flags so much the better, but after all it is a varmint match. No pits to spot shots and slow things down either. If you can’t see your hits through your rifle scope or spotting scope well you are in the same boat as everybody else. That’s what makes it interesting/ sometimes frustrating!

As for calibers, I’ve seen everything from .223 Rem to .338 Lapua and everything in between. Our range record at my club is held by Bill Slattery, who shot a 147 out of a possible 150 with a 22BR 13 months ago. That’s on a target with a 1.250 ten ring at 200/300/500 meters. That record will stand for awhile, and shows you that some very good shooting is done at groundhog matches.

The best part is it’s laid back, everyone gets along, there is no place for big egos here. We who shoot the Ground Hog Matches don’t begrudge the other organizations and shooting disciplines, or those that shoot in them, heck some of us cross over and compete in registered benchrest matches too. Life’s too short, live and let live is our motto so just come out and have fun!”

Fellow Forum members chimed in:

FdShuster: “I’ve competed in our local ground hog matches for several years now, have introduced a number of others to them, and we all enjoy them and more importantly, continue to learn from them. Distances are as close as 100 yards, (with a 5/8″ 10 ring) to as far as 500 meters. With a 2″ 10 ring. Wind, mirage, bullet trajectories, all make them a challenge, and unlike shooting for group, where the group can be anywhere on the paper, in this game they must be very small, but also in the 10 ring. With the different classes — Custom, Factory, Hunter — almost any rifle will fit in somewhere. And Danny is correct about the friendly attitudes. I’ve seen competitors go out of their way, and jeopardize their chances of winning, to help someone else who may have a problem on the line.”

Texas Fun ShootMike C: “Here in Texas, our version of groundhog matches involves shooting at clay pigeons at 400 yards. We use 60mm, 90mm, and 108mm clay pigeons attached to target boards. You have 10 shots to break 8 clays, with a seven-minute time limit. We have developed a good following at these matches. In past years, a Shooter of the Year Award was given based on the Aggregate score for three of our matches, which are held in Utopia, San Angelo, and Huntsville.”

40X Guy: “I would have to say upon finishing my first year ever of groundhog matches, that the average Joe can grab his Swift, or his 25-06, or his 22-250 and go rip some holes in paper. Everybody is having a good time and its a gathering of like-minded people who have all shot chucks at some point or another. Even if one does not win the match, you can look at your target and say “darn that chuck target has five holes in him at 400 yards and he’s dead” just as well as the next guy shooting a custom bench rifle. Everybody fits in and everybody, 8 to 80, is having fun! It is addictive and will drive you to spend your hard-earned currency for sure!”

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March 10th, 2023

Free Targets for Springtime Shooting Fun

shooting paper printable fly flies target

With April just two days away, we are well into the “swing of spring”. Here are six “fun and games” targets that can provide some fun springtime shooting opportunities, both indoors and outdoors. While each requires good conventional marksmanship skills — hitting a small aiming point — there are other strategies involved, such as playing darts or hitting the right combination of poker cards. Most of us started shooting as kids, just plinking for fun. Here’s an opportunity to be like a kid again — to spend a day at the range just having fun with friends and family members.

Dartboard Target with Colored Rings

shooting paper printable dartboard shooting target

This printable Dartboard Shooting Target has the numbers inside the outer dartboard ring to allow a larger target. With this target you can shoot for the center bull, or actually play pub-style dart games, aiming for numbers and particular rings. If you don’t know how to play traditional dart games, visit for complete darts rules. One popular game is “Around The World”. The object is to hit the numbered zones, starting with number 1. Then you try for 2, 3, and so on. After hitting all the numbers 1 through 20, then hit the bullseye to win. CLICK HERE for Other Dart Board Color combinations.

Atomic Target — Aim for Protons, Neutrons, and Electrons

atomic neutron electronic fun shooting target PDF

The Atomic Target was originally created as a contest for our readers. The design is by Michael Forester of Auckland, New Zealand. First aim for the bigger green and red neutrons and protons, then try your luck with the smaller, more challenging blue electrons. You can also use the four black and yellow Atomic warning symbols as bullseye targets.

Poker Target — Get the Best Hand

Dots Target

Poker players will enjoy this target. With this playing card-themed poker cards target, each shooter takes five shots and the one with the highest hand wins. You can also shoot for four-of-a-kind, against the clock, fastest four (without a mistake) wins.

Slot Machine Jackpot Target

Slot machine jackpot free shooting target

Enjoy a little Las Vegas-style fun on your next trip to the range. This cool Slot Machine Target has four sets of slot machine patterns each with three rows of three symbols. Connect three in a row to win — and hit the Jackpot! This is one of many colorful, free targets available from

Flies in Circles Target

shooting paper printable fly flies target

Now you can boast to your buddies that you hit a fly on your target — 16 times. On this target, 16 flies with bright red eyes are arranged in a inside circles, 16 to a page. There are various ways to use the fly targets. Some shoot to hit the head only — so aim for those red eyes. There are 11 other variations of this Fly Target available on the Targets.WS website.

Tic-Tac-Toe Fun Game Target

shooting paper printable fly flies target

This Tic-Tac-Toe Shooting Game Target lets you challenge your shooting buddies at the range. One player can shoot the red triangles, while the other shoots the white zones, taking turns. You proceed just like a regular Tic-Tac-Toe game, alternating shots, with the goal of getting three of the same color in a row. This is a fun game for a parent and a young family member. You’ll find other fun targets on

Special BONUS — Load Development Target

FREE Accuracy Precision Rifle Shooting Target
Right-Click target image to download printable PDF.

Our Load Development Target has been used by tens of thousands of shooters. It has proven very popular, since all your load data fits neatly in the boxes under each target. In fact this target is being employed by both rifle-makers (Bergara) and barrel-makers (including Criterion) to test their products. The target was designed for aiming efficiency. The red diamonds have 1/2″ sides and you can align your cross-hairs on the horizontal and vertical lines. It is a clean design that is easy to see even at 200 yards with a 20X scope. NOTE: When we test, we usually crank in a little elevation, setting the point-of-impact higher, so our shots fall in the gray circles. That way you leave the red diamonds intact for precise aiming.

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March 9th, 2023

F-Class Ace Shoots Sling — With Help From Former USAMU Coach

Jay Christopherson sling shooting service rifle Emil Praslick USAMU
The prone position demonstrated by two talented Service Rifle shooters. At top is SFC Brandon Green, multi-time High Power National Champion. Below is Tony Chow, a gifted match shooter. NOTE: Current Service Rifle rules allow the use of optics up to 4.5X.

Jay Christopherson, 2020 Southwest Nationals F-Open Champion, is one of the nation’s best F-Class shooters. When shooting F-Class, Jay uses a SEB Mini front rest and a large rear sandbag to support his big 22-lb F-Open rifle. Though he loves F-Class, Jay was also interested in Service Rifle competition where no external supports are allowed. You hold the rifle with your arms and a sling. Some Service Rifle competitions involve three position (Standing, kneeling/sitting, and prone), while others are prone only. Even in the prone position, the sling is a vital accessory.

Jay Christopherson sling shooting service rifle Emil Praslick USAMU

Jay dramatically improved his Service Rifle “hard-holding” technique by enlisting the help of Emil Praslick III, former U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) rifle coach. Emil’s guidance and advice resulted in an immediate increase in Jay’s scores on target, as recorded by his ShotMarker electronic target system. Jay noted: “These targets show the difference between hacking it on your own, and spending an hour with someone who knows what they are doing and can tell you that you are doing it wrong.” These targets show Jay’s “before and after” Service Rifle results shooting slung up prone at 600 yards:

Service Rifle, Prone with Sling at 600 Yards

Here is Jay’s target BEFORE training with Emil Praslick — a 194-3X with lots of vertical.

Jay Christopherson sling shooting service rifle Emil Praslick USAMU

And here is Jay’s improved target AFTER putting Praslick’s advice to work — impressive 199-8X with significantly less vertical.

Jay Christopherson sling shooting service rifle Emil Praslick USAMU

You can see on this second target much improved vertical. All 20 shots were in a vertical range much smaller than the vertical height of the 10-Ring. Had shot 16 not gone wide left, this would have been a 200. Shot 16 was OUT of the 10-Ring to the left, but note that vertically it has almost perfect elevation.

Jay stated: “I was pretty amazed at not only the difference on the target, but how much difference the changes Emil suggested made to how my hold felt. The entire feel was different and a ton less stress in my neck and arms compared to what I was feeling before. I was actually feeling pretty good about that 194 yesterday, because I hadn’t slung up in two years and that was my highest score (by one point) after doing some load fixing. But having someone explain what you are doing wrong and why makes a world of difference.

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March 7th, 2023

Register for 2023 CMP National Matches at Camp Perry

CMP Camp Perry 2023 national match registration

Registration for the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) 2023 National Trophy Pistol and Rifle Matches at Camp Perry is now open! Held annually at Camp Perry in Ohio, the National Matches include the CMP National Trophy Pistol and Rifle Matches, the Pistol and Rifle Small Arms Firing Schools, the National Games Rifle Matches, the National Smallbore Matches and the National Mid-Range and Long Range Matches. These matches are conducted by a partnership of the CMP and Ohio National Guard.

CMP Camp Perry 2023 national match registration

Since their inception over a century ago, the National Matches have become a major shooting sports festival with over 4,500 annual participants. Held at the Camp Perry Nat’l Guard Training Base, the National Matches now include both indoor and outdoor events. Adult and junior athletes are welcome.

CLICK HERE for CMP Camp Perry National Matches INFO PAGE »

High Power Rifle Registration Page

Smallbore Prone and 3P Rifle Registration Page
Rimfire Sporter Registration Page

Airgun Registration Page

SEE the full 2023 National Matches schedule and other event info on the CMP website.

Story based on report by Ashley Dugan, CMP Staff Writer
The National Matches is comprised of the CMP National Trophy Pistol and Rifle Matches, National Games Matches, National Smallbore Matches, National Air Gun Championships and the National Mid-Range and Long Range Matches. The month-long series also includes a variety of educational clinics for marksmen and women at all experience levels. All events are open to the public and spectators are welcome.

Rimfire Sporter Rifle Match
The first event of the 2023 National Matches will be the Rimfire Sporter Rifle Match. One of the most popular annual Camp Perry events, the Rimfire Sporter Rifle match features .22 LR competition in open sights (O-Class), telescopic (T-Class) and tactical/unlimited (TU) classes, fired at 25 and 50 yards. A CMP Rimfire Clinic will be held prior to the match.

Rimfire Sporter Match Camp Perry CMP
Rimfire Sporter Match Camp Perry CMP

High Power, Service Rifle, and Vintage Rifle Competition
The National Trophy Rifle series includes prestigious matches like the President’s Rifle, Hearst Doubles, Rattle Battle, National Trophy Individual, and National Trophy Team events. For juniors, a special paired Junior Team Match is also on the schedule. The CMP’s High Power (HP) Rifle Championship series will include a 4-man team event and three 80-shot matches and will be fired on electronic targets.

CMP Camp Perry 2023 national match registration

The CMP offers many vintage and modern military rifle events during the National Games Matches portion, including the John C. Garand, Springfield, and Vintage Sniper matches.

CMP Camp Perry 2023 national match registration vintage military rifle
CMP Camp Perry 2023 national match registration vintage military rifle

Mid-Range and Long Range Rifle Matches (Multiple Rifle Classes)
A Mid-Range 600-yard event will be held, along with Long Range matches open to Match Rifle, Service Rifle, Palma Rifle, F-Open, F-TR or AR Tactical categories. The Long Range matches will be fired on Camp Perry’s 1000-yard Viale Range.

Smallbore Rifle and Air Rifle Matches
For 2023, the National Smallbore and National Air Gun schedules have been combined to allow competition in both disciplines. Anticipated events for both smallbore and air rifle include a 3-member elimination team event as well as an Aggregate for those firing in air rifle and three-position smallbore matches. NOTE: For the first time, all National Smallbore events will be fired on electronic targets!

CMP Camp Perry 2023 national match registration

For air rifle or air pistol competitors – check out the National Air Gun Matches, held on the electronic target range within the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center. This series features training, followed by two days of 60-shot competitions.

CMP Camp Perry 2023 national match registration air rifle pistol

Pistol Matches — Traditional and Modern Formats
This year’s National Pistol events will again include a mix of traditional matches along with a series of 900 Aggregate matches for .22, .45 and Center Fire Pistol. The 2023 Pistol matches will also see enhancements to the ranges, with target lines set at 25 and 50 yards to eliminate moving between strings.

camp perry 2023 national matches pistol

Small Arms Firing Schools and Junior Camp
Small Arms Firing Schools (SAFS) will be held for HP rifle, smallbore, and pistol. All firearms and ammo are provided for the live-fire portion of the clinic. And a 5-day CMP National Matches Junior Camp will be open for young air rifle and smallbore competitors. Other clinics include the CMP/USMC Junior Rifle Clinic and the CMP Advanced Highpower Clinic.

Housing on Base and at Nearby Hotels
Housing for the National Matches is available on the Camp Perry grounds. On-base accommodations include four-person huts, cottages, barracks, RV spaces, and camp sites. There are also numerous hotels in the nearby Port Clinton, Fremont, and Sandusky areas. CLICK HERE for hotel lodging information.

If you have questions or need assistance, please contact the CMP at (419) 635-2141 or email

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March 7th, 2023

How to Evaluate Flyers During Load Development

Sierra Bullets Reloading Flier Flyer load development groups

by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Gary Prisendorf
Occasionally someone will ask, “Why did I get a flyer that didn’t go in with the rest of my group?” If I had an answer that would stop flyers from happening, I would be rich.

There are many reasons why this can happen. Everything from gripping a forearm differently to variations in the brass casing, the list goes on and on. Most of the time the flyer is usually shooter induced and sometimes what you may think is a flyer, is just part of your group. There are a lot of shooters, that go out and test a load and they may shoot a 3/8” group at 100 yards and think that load is good. But I have seen far too many times that you can shoot another group, same load, same rifle and the next time you may get a 1 ¼” group.

Sierra bullets load development flyer group measurement target

The total opposite can also occur. You may shoot a 1 ¼” group and turn around and follow it with a 1/2″ group without changing anything. If you only shot the one group, you might decide that load wasn’t any good and move on to something else without really knowing what that load was capable of.

To really determine how a particular load is performing we need to shoot multiple groups and take an average of the group sizes to really see what that rifle/load combination is really capable of.

I suggest shooting a minimum of three 5-shot groups and averaging the group sizes before deciding if the load is acceptable or not. Obviously the more rounds you shoot for a group and the more groups that you shoot, you will get a much better representation of what that particular combination can do.

Now I’m not saying to go out and shoot 30 groups with 50 rounds in each group to determine how well your load is shooting. That would be a bit pointless, in some cases it would be time to re-barrel your rifle before your load development was finished.

In most cases, I feel that three to five, 5-shot groups will give you a pretty good representation of how a load will perform in that specific firearm.

Sierra Bullets reloading advice tips information

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March 3rd, 2023

Shooting Industry Magazine — Fifth Annual Woman’s Issue

Shooting Industry Magazine woman's issue females training ladies

The March 2023 issue of Shooting Industry Magazine was just released. This special 5th Annual Woman’s Edition focuses primarily on lady shooters and gun owners. There are some very interesting articles about products for women and increased female participation in the shooting sports. CLICK HERE to access the full March 2023 issue for FREE.

Women have become increasingly important in the shooting sports world. The NSSF notes that nearly 5 million Americans purchased a firearm for the very first time in 2020, and of that figure, 40% were women! If trends continue, nearly half of all gun sales will be to women. And the age span for lady shooters is significant — in Shoot Like A Girl’s Annual Report, of their 3,457 guests who participated in 2022, 67% were over 40 years old, and 17% were over 60 years old.

Shooting Industry Magazine woman's issue females training ladies
Gun shop owner and instructor Ava Flandell states: “In my experience, female-taught classes fill up much quicker than those taught by men, especially when it comes to entry-level classes.”

CLICK HERE for the four March 2023 Shooting Industry lead stories about women and the firearms trade. And CLICK HERE for dozens of other articles about firearms Products for Women.

Shooting Industry Magazine woman's issue females training ladies

In this NSSF video, Kay Miculek and Babes with Bullets camp director Deb Ferns explain eye dominance. First they explain how to identify one’s dominant eye. Then Kay — a cross-dominant-eye target shooter — explains how cross-dominant individuals can maintain a proper sight picture.

Access Full Archive of Articles about Gun Products for Women »

Shooting Industry Magazine woman's issue females training ladies

One notable female-centric shooting organization is A Girl & A Gun Women’s Shooting League (AG&AG). This year’s major AG&AG event will be held April 27-30, 2023 in Grand Junction, Colorado. There will be workshops, live-fire training, fun matches, and other active.

girl and gun conference Shooting Industry Magazine woman's issue females training ladies

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March 3rd, 2023

Birchwood Casey Donates 10,000 Targets to First Shots Program

Birchwood casey targets shoot-n-c

Here’s an positive report about a major gun industry company giving back to the shooting sports community. Birchwood Casey, part of GSM Outdoors, has shown its support for the First Shots introduction-to-target-shooting program by donating 10,000 Shoot-N-C targets. Those targets will help thousands of new shooters hone their skills.

First Shots is an introductory and refresher program made available through host target-shooting ranges across the country. With interest in firearm ownership at record high levels, First Shots programs are meeting the demand for education and experiences in the classroom and on the range.

Birchwood casey targets shoot-n-c

Birchwood Casey has been a longstanding partner of First Shots. Along with the donated targets, NSSF provides First Shots host ranges with program materials and promotional resources. Participants are provided handbooks, safety literature, plus hearing and eye protection for their time spent on the range.

This video features the Shoot-N-C Handgun Training Target. This target’s labeled impact zones help diagnose hold/sighting/trigger issues. Pistol shooters can improve their skills quickly using such targets. Birchwood Casey also makes excellent rifle targets, such as this 12″ Shoot-N-C Sight-In Target featuring a 1″ grid and five diamonds. Bullet impacts show with a high-contrast yellow circle.

shoot-n-c birchwood casey target

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March 1st, 2023

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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February 28th, 2023

Always Check for ALL Your Gear Before You Leave the Range

S&W Sig Sauer lost pistol handgun range colorado

Here’s a story about a $1500 screw-up. Last year a fellow was shooting pistols at a range in Colorado. After his range session, the shooter left behind a specialty back-pack containing two nice 9mm handguns, plus ammo, hearing protection, and other gear. The smaller pistol appears to be a Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 compact, while the larger handgun looks like a SIG Sauer P320 Nitron full size. Combined current value of those two handguns (with mags) was over $1200.00.

S&W Sig Sauer lost pistol handgun range coloradoWhat was the total value of the forgotten items? To the handguns’ value, you must add the cost of the ammo ($150+), hearing protection ($50+) and the price of the range backpack and other accessories ($150). All totaled, this unfortunate shooter left over $1500.00 worth of guns, ammo, and gear on the bench.

The poor fellow was fortunate however. His backpack filled with guns and ammo was found by an HONEST member of our Shooters’ Forum. That Forum member put up a notice about the lost items on the shooting club’s website. The objective was to safely return the guns and gear to their absent-minded rightful owner.

Here is the report from our AccurateShooter Forum (edited for clarity):

“I was at my club range in Colorado this morning right at sun up. I wanted to fire a box of 7mm-08 before the heat set in. I found this backpack left behind from the day before on a bench. The backpack had two pistols and was packed to the gills with ammo, magazines, and ear protection.

But there was NO OWNER ID inside!

I left a big note there at the range saying that I found the pack, and listing my phone number. I will have a ‘found gear’ notice posted on our shooting club website very soon.

Guys, this isn’t the first time. Last fall I found a Ruger 77 .30-06 rifle left in a rifle rack. The owner got it back a few days later.”

Guys — Slow down!

Look around before leaving the range!

Be sure to gather ALL your guns and gear!

HAPPY ENDING — Guns and Gear Returned to Owner

“The very happy owner was reunited with his pack after coming to my house. He drove out to the range at 1:00 PM and saw my note held down with a rock on that bench. He called and ID’d the contents. I love a happy ending!” READ Forum Thread.

S&W Sig Sauer lost pistol handgun range colorado
Creative Commons photo by Digitallymade.

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