April 1st, 2020

NRA Ranks Swell With Urban Liberal First-Time Gun Owners

NRA Meetings convention cancelled Tennessee Nashville

After the NRA cancelled its 2020 Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Nashville, TN, there were grave concerns about the NRA losing support…and members. NRA leaders were worried that the cancellation of the much-anticipated NRA convention in Music City might lead to a mass exodus of members.

NRA Meetings convention cancelled Tennessee Nashville

In fact, just the opposite occurred. A quite remarkable thing has happened. With the nationwide fears over the Coronavirus pandemic, American adults of all ages, all walks of life, and all political persuasions are now rushing out to buy firearms. And these new, first-time gun owners are signing up by the thousands with the NRA. Many of them are young, urban, and otherwise “liberal”. Some are avid CNN watchers who tweet “Orange Man Bad” and think AOC is cool. But they want their guns, and they want them now. Hence they are joining the NRA.

NRA Meetings convention cancelled Tennessee Nashville
Photo Courtesy TheWellArmedWoman.com.

Millenials and Gen-Xers Join NRA Ranks in Droves
In recent decades the NRA has become less diverse, which the majority of its members being older, conservative “red state” males. Now that is changing, with a wave of new gun-buying by younger, urban populations, male and female, of all ethnic groups. It seems the interest in self-defense sweeps across all age groups, even Millenials and Gen-Xers. And remarkably, the new NRA sign-ups cross party lines.

A surprising number of new gun owners list themselves as Democrats, who remain hostile to President Trump. However, after buying guns and joining the NRA, many of these urban Democrats now say they support the Second Amendment and the right to “Keep and Bear Arms”.

According to estimates received from the NRA sources, half of the new members are under 35 years of age, most live in urban metropolitan areas, and over 70% live in “Blue States”, some of which are being hit the hardest by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Why are young, urban Democrats joining the NRA? These new gun owners saw first-hand that Democratic Party-sponsored gun control laws have left them defenseless and vulnerable in a time of crisis. They are turning away from Beto, Biden and the Gun Grabbers.

NRA Meetings convention cancelled Tennessee Nashville

One 27-year-old from Baltimore stated: “Look, yeah I was anti-gun, but with all the demands on police and first responders, I don’t see any option but to have a gun for self-defense. I’m still a registered Democrat, but yeah I’m joining the NRA because I know Biden and company will take the guns away.”

NRA Meetings convention cancelled Tennessee Nashville

Fears about the Coronavirus have resulted in a dramatic public opinion shift regarding gun ownership. Urban liberals and registered Democrats are now lining up to buy guns:

gun laws

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April 1st, 2020

Accurate Shooter Releases “Voodoo Accuracy II” Book

Voodoo Accuracy Book

A decade ago, the Editors of AccurateShooter.com and a pantheon of legendary shooters first collaborated on Voodoo Accuracy, hailed as “the definitive print resource for precision shooting”. Now to mark the new decade, we are releasing an updated 666-page, full-color “Voodoo Two”, the Voodoo Accuracy Second Edition. Voodoo Accuracy II compiles the wisdom of today’s greatest Hall of Fame and National Champion shooters. With the Voodoo knowledge of the world’s ‘top guns’ in your grasp, you can and will shoot more accurately no matter what your discipline.

Why do Voodoo? Sure you can spend hours, days, months, heck even a lifetime measuring stuff with calipers and trickling individual powder kernels, but you’re not going to win the big matches without access to the closely-guarded Voodoo secrets of the world’s master marksmen. Remember, there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your reloading manuals!

Voodoo Accuracy II reveals the hidden shooting secrets of the greatest trigger-pullers of all time. Now you too can shoot like a legend! Find out how to win matches without ever practicing! Apply Voodoo reloading techniques with startling results! Voodoo Accuracy II contains chapters on all major forms of competitive shooting, from 25m air rifle to ultra-long range tactical competitions. Whatever your sport — point-blank benchrest, High Power, F-class, Silhouette, Palma, Multi-Gun, Biathlon, 1000-yard Benchrest — you’ll find invaluable Voodoo insights that will transform your shooting abilities overnight. We guarantee it!

Voodoo Accuracy II Chapter Highlights:

● Extreme Wind Calling — How to dope a hurricane.
● Barrel Break-In — Sure-fire 50-step, 1000-round method.
● Ogive Talkin’ — More incomprehensible Ballistology by Bryan Litz.
● Point-Blank Pointers — Feng Shui and the placement of Wind Flags.
● Why Weigh Charges? — How to throw perfect charges blind-folded.
● Powder Blending Basics — Have a BLAST with the Mix-Master method.
● For FTR, Size Matters — Six-foot-wide, servo-adjusting bipods by Danny Biggs.
● Hall of Fame Headgear — The effect of dorky hats on Group Size, by Tony Boyer.
● Barrel Tuning — Voodoo Methods demonstrated (results guaranteed non-repeatable).
● Tactical Gearfinder — Be the first on your block with the latest, overpriced Tacticool accessories.
● Voodoo Annealing — How to anneal by instinct (worrying about time and temperature is for sissies).

Here’s a sample from our chapter on the Joys of Abrasives: “We all learned as kids that shiny is good. Well it is. And more shiny is even better. Why settle for a bore that has anything less than a mirror finish? Just do a quick high-pressure bead-blast down your bore, followed by few thousand strokes with JB, and your bore will be perfectly slick and shiny. And you won’t have to waste any more time with those annoying lands and grooves that trap carbon and copper. They’re gone for good! Polish your bore to a mirror finish for the ultimate in barrel cleanliness.”

Order Your Own Copy of Voodoo Accuracy
Voodoo Accuracy II comes in a handsome, large-format hardback edition for $49.99. There is also a special, limited-run letterbox edition signed by Hall of Famers so legendary we can’t even mention their names here. The letterbox edition, limited to 250 copies, will cost $1000.00. Think that’s too much? Well who can put a price on perfection? We guarantee that if you buy Voodoo Accuracy II you’ll win early and often, feeding your self-esteem while reducing your shooting rivals to whimpering, broken shells of their former selves. Remember, as Charlie Sheen said, it’s all about “Winning”! If you want to run with the Big Dogs, and strut your stuff on top of the podium, order your copy of Voodoo Accuracy II today!

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March 31st, 2020

NRA Suspends All Sanctioned Matches Through April 30, 2020

NRA Camp Atterbury Indiana Camp Perry National Matches

On Monday, March 30, the National Rifle Assocation (NRA) announced the suspension of all sanctioned matches until the end of April. Here is the NRA’s official statement:

Due to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, the NRA is unfortunately suspending all sanctioned matches through April 30, 2020. Any requests for sanctioning of new matches beyond April 30 are also suspended until further notice. As a result of this suspension, the NRA will no longer accept match fees or scores. The NRA will continue to monitor the situation and make additional statements as the Covid-19 pandemic unfolds. [For more information] Please contact the NRA Competitive Shooting Division at comphelp@nrahq.org, follow the NRA Competitive Shooting Facebook page or monitor the Competitive Shooting Division website at Competitions.nra.org.

NRA Camp Atterbury Indiana Camp Perry National Matches

NOTE: At this time there are no plans to cancel the NRA National Championship Matches to be held at Camp Atterbury, Indiana during July and August 2020.

NRA Smallbore Championships — July 23 – August 5, 2020
NRA High Power Rifle Championships — August 9-15, 2020
NRA Mid-Range Rifle Championships — August 16-20, 2020
NRA Long Range Rifle Championships — August 21-25, 2020

NRA Camp Atterbury Indiana Camp Perry

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March 30th, 2020

How to Verify Your Scope’s True Click Values — Box Test

Click Optics MOA turrent verification test

Let’s say you’ve purchased a new scope, and the spec-sheet indicates it is calibrated for quarter-MOA clicks. One MOA is 1.047″ inches at 100 yards, so you figure that’s how far your point of impact (POI) will move with four clicks. Well, unfortunately, you may be wrong. You can’t necessarily rely on what the manufacturer says. Production tolerances being what they are, you should test your scope to determine how much movement it actually delivers with each click of the turret. It may move a quarter-MOA, or maybe a quarter-inch, or maybe something else entirely. (Likewise scopes advertised as having 1/8-MOA clicks may deliver more or less than 1 actual MOA for 8 clicks.)

Nightforce scope turretReader Lindy explains how to check your clicks: “First, make sure the rifle is not loaded. Take a 40″ or longer carpenter’s ruler, and put a very visible mark (such as the center of an orange Shoot’N’C dot), at 37.7 inches. (On mine, I placed two dots side by side every 5 inches, so I could quickly count the dots.) Mount the ruler vertically (zero at top) exactly 100 yards away, carefully measured.

Place the rifle in a good hold on sandbags or other rest. With your hundred-yard zero on the rifle, using max magnification, carefully aim your center crosshairs at the top of the ruler (zero end-point). Have an assistant crank on 36 (indicated) MOA (i.e. 144 clicks), being careful not to move the rifle. (You really do need a helper, it’s very difficult to keep the rifle motionless if you crank the knobs yourself.) With each click, the reticle will move a bit down toward the bottom of the ruler. Note where the center crosshairs rest when your helper is done clicking. If the scope is accurately calibrated, it should be right at that 37.7 inch mark. If not, record where 144 clicks puts you on the ruler, to figure out what your actual click value is. (Repeat this several times as necessary, to get a “rock-solid”, repeatable value.) You now know, for that scope, how much each click actually moves the reticle at 100 yards–and, of course, that will scale proportionally at longer distances. This optical method is better than shooting, because you don’t have the uncertainly associated with determining a group center.

Using this method, I discovered that my Leupold 6.5-20X50 M1 has click values that are calibrated in what I called ‘Shooter’s MOA’, rather than true MOA. That is to say, 4 clicks moved POI 1.000″, rather than 1.047″ (true MOA). That’s about a 5% error.

I’ve tested bunches of scopes, and lots have click values which are significantly off what the manufacturer has advertised. You can’t rely on printed specifications–each scope is different. Until you check your particular scope, you can’t be sure how much it really moves with each click.

I’ve found the true click value varies not only by manufacturer, but by model and individual unit. My Leupold 3.5-10 M3LR was dead on. So was my U.S.O. SN-3 with an H25 reticle, but other SN-3s have been off, and so is my Leupold 6.5-20X50M1. So, check ‘em all, is my policy.”

click values scope Mrad moa scope test

From the Expert: “…Very good and important article, especially from a ballistics point of view. If a ballistics program predicts 30 MOA of drop at 1000 yards for example, and you dial 30 MOA on your scope and hit high or low, it’s easy to begin questioning BCs, MVs, and everything else under the sun. In my experience, more than 50% of the time error in trajectory prediction at long range is actually scope adjustment error. For serious long range shooting, the test described in this article is a MUST!” — Bryan Litz, Applied Ballistics LLC.

Bryan also uses a Tall Target Test to determine true click values. CLICK HERE to read a detailed, explanatory article about Litz’s Tall Target Test.

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March 29th, 2020

See Bullet Holes at 500+ with White Background Splatter Targets

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

Do you have trouble seeing your bullet holes (on paper) when shooting past 400 yards? That’s a common issue even with premium ($1600+) high-magnification scopes. Here’s a target that solves that problem. A hit creates a larger black circle that’s much more visible than a plain bullet hole, making this target ideal for use at longer range (500 yards and beyond).

The 12″ square Birchwood Casey white background Sight-In Target displays a black “halo” around each hit (like the yellow circle on a conventional Shoot-N-C). Larger than bullet diameter, the “halos” can be easily seen with a high-magnification scope at long range (see video below). The self-adhesive target features four diamonds with contrasting red box centers. For precise aiming, you can position your cross-hairs to align with the corners of the boxes. Or, you can put a target dot sticker in the middle.

This video shows Black Shot Halos on white background:

White splatter targetWhile we envision using this target with optics at long range, Birchwood Casey says that open sights show up well against the white background, making these targets well-suited for indoor ranges or use in low light conditions.

This white background grid target has five aiming points and a 1-inch grid overlay for quick and easy sight adjustments. It comes with target pasters that allow shooters to cover up bullet holes and continue using the target for added value. The White/Black Shoot-N-C 12″ Sight-In Targets come in 5-packs with 75 target pasters for $8.99 from MidwayUSA or $12.70 on Amazon. If you prefer circle targets, there is a larger 17.5″ Shoot-N-C target with one large bull with red diamond center (photo right).

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 $6.80 for an 8″ five-pack.

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

Permalink Gear Review, New Product, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
March 28th, 2020

NRA Offers Free Experienced Hunter Education Course

Experiencd Hunter education course NRA

Many of our readers are under mandatory “Stay at Home” orders. And, in some states, public shooting ranges have been closed. That limits your options. If you want a break from watching TV and doing chores around the house, here is a way you can improve your hunting skills/knowledge — and it’s 100% FREE.

The National Rifle Association recently launched the NRA Experienced Hunter Education Course, a new online training program designed to help hunters brush up their skills. Free to all, this comprehensive hunting refresher course will help hunters become safer and more confident before heading out into the field. CLICK HERE for more information.

Experiencd Hunter education course NRA

NRA’s Experienced Hunter Education Course is an online review of everything an experienced hunter should know, including a review of firearm safety and safe hunting practices. Though not a substitute for state-mandated hunter safety requirements, it will provide a solid foundation of the fundamentals.

Experiencd Hunter education course NRA

“If you’ve taken a break from the shooting sports or haven’t hunted in a season or two, our Experienced Hunter Education Course is the perfect refresher for firearms safety and safe hunting practices,” explained Elizabeth Bush, managing director of NRA Community Engagement. “Best of all, we’re offering this service completely free of charge.”

Course Description
This online training course is specifically designed for individuals who have not hunted in the past year or more and are looking for a safety refresher before they head back out in the field. In this course, hunters will have the opportunity to refresh their skills by taking a look at safe hunting practices and firearms safety. Once completed, you will be a safer hunter in the field.

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March 25th, 2020

Six Shooting and Safety Tips for New Handgun Owners

Birchwood Casey Target Spots neon day-glow
OK this is no novice. But even champion pistol shooter Jessie Harrison, Captain of Team Taurus, had to start with the basics. Jessie says that safety should always be your number one priority.

Due to concerns about the Coronovirus pandemic, many Americans are purchasing firearms for self-defense. A large percentage of these purchasers are first-time gun buyers. It is vital that “newbie” gun owners learn proper safety procedures. In addition, even long-time gun owners should probably review the basic rules of gun safety. Here are six tips for shooting safely and accurately with handguns. These pointers will help you advance your skills and be more assured with your pistols and revolvers.

1. Make Sure Safety Is Number One

Whether you own one gun or one hundred, gun safety must always be your main priority. In this video, Smith & Wesson Team Captain Julie Golob covers the basics of gun safety.

2. Start with a .22 LR Handgun

Pistol Shooting Tips Target Mentor safety training

We strongly recommend that new pistol shooters start off with a .22 LR rimfire handgun. The .22 LR cartridge is accurate but has very low recoil, less “bark” than a centerfire, and very little smoke and muzzle flash. New shooters won’t have to fight muzzle flip, and won’t develop a flinch from the sharp recoil and muzzle blast common to larger calibers. With the .22 LR, the trainee can focus on sight alignment, breathing, and trigger pull. When he or she has mastered those skills, move on to a .38 Special or 9mm Luger (9x19mm).

What gun to use? We recommend the 10-shot Smith & Wesson Model 617. Shooting single action, slow-fire, this is ideal for training. Shown above is the 4″-barrel Model 617version which balances well. There is also a 6″-barrel version. It has a longer sight radius, but is a little nose-heavy. Both are great choices. They are extremely accurate and they boast a very clean, precise trigger.

browning buck mark buckmark stainless udx rimfire .22 LR pistol

If you prefer a semi-auto .22 LR pistol, we recommend the Browning Buck Mark series. Buck Marks are very accurate and very reliable. This rimfire pistol is available in a variety of models starting at under $350.00. Like the S&W Model 617, a good Buck Mark will serve you for a lifetime.

3. Shoot Outdoors If You Can

Pistol Shooting Tips Target Mentor safety training

We recommend that new pistol shooters begin their training at an outdoor range. There are many reasons. First, you can stay away from persons who may have a health problem, and you will be breathing fresh air. Second, the light is better outdoors. Third, sound dissipates better outdoors. The sound of gunfire echoes and bounces off walls indoors. Fourth, an outdoor range is a more comfortable environment. In addition, “stay at home” executive orders may have closed urban ranges. If you can make it to an outdoor range (which is still open in your area), you should have a good experience. Just be considerate with others and exercise “social distancing” — stay at least six feet from others.

4. Use Quality Targets with Multiple Aim Points

Birchwood Casey Target Spots neon day-glow

Birchwood Casey Target Spots neon day-glowIt’s common for new pistoleros to start shooting at cans or clay birds at a public range. That can be fun, but it’s better to start with proper targets, placed at eye level, at 7-10 yards. We like to use targets with large, brightly colored circles. Focus on putting 5 shots in a circle. We recommend targets that have multiple bullseyes or aiming points — that way you don’t have to constantly change your target. There are also special paper targets that can help you diagnose common shooting problems, such as anticipating recoil. EZ2C makes very good targets with bright, red-orange aim points. You can also use the bright orange Birchwood Casey stick-on Target Dots (right). These come in a variety of diameters. We like the 2″ dot at 10 yards.

5. Find a Good Mentor and Watch Some Videos First

Pistol Shooting Tips Target Mentor safety training
Photo courtesy AV Firearms Training.

Too many new pistol shooters try to move right to rapid fire drills. It’s better to start slow, practicing the basics, under the guidance of a good mentor. If you belong to a club, ask if there are certified instructors who will help out. This Editor learn pistol shooting from a seasoned bullseye shooter, who got me started with a .22 LR revolver and very close targets. Over the course of a few range sessions we progressed to farther targets and faster pace. But the fundamentals were never forgotten. When starting your pistol training, it’s wise to view some instructional videos. Top Shot Champion Chris Cheng hosts an excellent Handgun 101 Series produced by the NSSF. We’ve linked one of these Handgun 101 videos for Tip #6.

6. SLOW DOWN — This Is Not a Race

When you learned to ride a bicycle, you started slow — maybe even with training wheels. The same principle applies to pistol shooting. When you get started with handguns, we recommend you shoot slowly and deliberately. Start with the handgun unloaded — just work on your sight alignment and breathing. With snap caps in place, try some dry-firing drills. Then progress to live fire. But be deliberate and slow. With the target at 20 feet, see if you can get three successive shot-holes to touch. Believe it or not, many common pistols are capable of this kind of accuracy (but you won’t see many shooters at indoor ranges who pursue that kind of precision). Once you master your form and accuracy, then you can work on your speed.

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March 22nd, 2020

Gun Talk Radio — Doug Turnbull, and Biden’s Anti-Gun Agenda

Joe Biden Beto O'Rourke gun control AR15 AR-15 second amendment Tom Gresham Gun Talk coronavirus

There’s a very good episode of Gun Talk Radio slated today. Gun restoration expert Doug Turnbull will answer questions on restoring old guns, the team looks at the upcoming Presidential election, and Tom talks with the author of a new concealed carry manual. Tune in for all this today on Gun Talk, the original nationally-syndicated radio talk show about guns and the shooting sports.

Joe Biden Beto O'Rourke gun control AR15 AR-15 second amendment

Tom Gresham Given Concealed Carry bookThis week, Tom interviews gun restoration expert Doug Turnbull (Turnbull Restoration). Call in with your questions about that old gun you own. Then gun rights attorney Emily Taylor comments on what a Biden presidency might look like and Tom also talks to Jerry Wayne, the Michigan union member who confronted Joe Biden about the Second Amendment. Lastly Tom Given talks about his new book Concealed Carry Class–The ABCs of Self-Defense Tools and Tactics.

This broadcast airs Sunday March 22, 2020 from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM Eastern time on radio stations nationwide. Past podcasts can be heard online via the GUNTALK PODCAST Site and Apple iTunes. The Gun Talk podcast archive has many great shows. Click the link below to hear a recent show (3/15/2020) about the challenges of buying guns and ammo during the current crisis caused by the Coronovirus. In California, for example, the Governor has ordered the closure of gun stores, and state law blocks mail-order ammo sales.

Gun Talk Coronavirus Podcast from 3/15/2020:

As always, call 866-TALK-GUN with your comments, questions, and range reports.

Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk Radio show airs live on Sundays from 2PM-5PM Eastern, and runs on more than 270 stations. Listen on a radio station near you or via LIVE Streaming. All Gun Talk shows can also be downloaded as podcasts at http://bit.ly/GTRpodcast, Apple iTunes, or through the Gundelio Apps. Gun Talk is also available on YouTube, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and GunTalk.com.

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March 20th, 2020

Savage Offers Expert Advice with Articles and Videos

Savage Arms Expert Advice website tech tips

Savage Arms has completed a major overhaul of the Savage website. Now the SavageArms.com site is more mobile-friendly and easier to navigate. Savage has expanded information on its rifle products, and also updated the Expert Advice area. This section of the website offers informative technical articles/videos, as well as numerous helpful tips for hunters.

You’ll find 30 informative topics in the Expert Advice section of the updated Savage Arms website. Below are FIVE of our favorites. Click each item to view the full text and linked VIDEOS. Even if you don’t own a Savage, these features are useful. And all new shooters should definitely check out the Advanced Optics selection. This features a good video covering mirage and light refraction.

1. Advanced Optics — Stan Pate

Savage Arms Expert Advice website tech tips

Light refraction can wreak havoc on your ability to connect with a target at extreme long range. Stan Pate offers some good advice concerning mirage and refraction.

2. Gun Motion Management — Patrick Kelley

Savage Arms Expert Advice website tech tips

3. How to Mount a Scope

Savage Arms Expert Advice website tech tips

4. How to Sight In a Rifle

Savage Arms Expert Advice website tech tips

5. How to Adjust the Savage Accutrigger

Savage Arms Expert Advice website tech tips

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March 19th, 2020

Getting Started in F-Class — Target Shooter Magazine Article

Vince Bottomley Target Shooter F-Class F-Open F-TR

A while back, our friend Vince Bottomley in the UK wrote an excellent article for Target Shooter Magazine. Vince offers “solid-gold” advice for new F-TR and F-Open shooters. Vince reviews the cartridge options, and offers suggestions for a shooter’s first (and hopefully affordable) F-Class rifle. Vince also reviews various bipod choices for F-TR and discusses optics options (from $300 to $3000).

Here’s a short sample from the Target Shooter Magazine article:

Getting Started in F-Class by Vince Bottomley
As membership secretary of a large club, one of the questions I’m frequently asked – “What’s the best way to get started in F-Class?” My club has an F-Class shoot every couple of weeks at ranges from 300 to 1000 yards and, not surprisingly, it’s very popular.

F-TR or Open Class?
From a shaky start way back in 2004, the F-TR Class is now proving as popular as Open Class and, at GBFCA League shoots and club shoots, many shooters choose to start with a 308, shooting off a bi-pod – in other words F-TR. In Open Class, the 7mm WSM soon established itself as the “must have” cartridge – if you wanted to win but, the WSM’s appetite for barrels eventually brought another 7mm cartridge into play – the 284 Winchester. This 50-year-old stalwart was revived a decade or so ago as the 6.5-284 and indeed this cartridge found some favor with F-Class pioneers – before the potency of the WSM was discovered. If you don’t mind shelling out for a couple of barrels per year (barrel life is about 750 rounds with the WSM) go for the 7mm WSM but, if you require a decent round-count, then opt for the .284 Win and learn to read the wind a bit better!

Scopes for F-Class
If you will be shooting 1000 yards then I would recommend at least 32 power and preferably a variable – like the 8-32. The cheapest “usable” scope in this range is the Sightron. It’s a great scope for the money and at under $900 (in the USA) it’s half the price of its nearest competitor. It’s also light – at 1.5 lbs – and there are some great reticles for the F-Class shooter – like the LRMOA.

Vince Bottomley Target Shooter F-Class F-Open F-TR

Read Full Article on Target Shooter Magazine Website.

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March 17th, 2020

Free St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock and Pot of Gold Targets

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

Today, March 17th, is St. Patrick’s Day. With the current global health crisis it may be hard to feel lucky, 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 target at 100 yards for rimfire rifle and 200 years for a centerfire gun.

CLICK Below for Big PDF Shamrock 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 bars with tiny bullseyes. Those smallest bulls will be a challenge even at 100 yards. You’ll need a half-MOA (or better) rifle to “clean” this target, hitting the smallest red dots.

CLICK Below for Big PDF Pot of Gold 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, 2020

Challenging Conditions at 2020 Cactus Classic in Arizona

Arizona is warm, dry, and sunny right? Well not always. This past weekend, rain fell in droves on the Friday practice day for the 2020 Cactus Classic 100/200 yard Benchrest event. Yes, it was Friday the 13th! But then the rain clouds receded, and visitors were greeted to a stunning rainbow.


Rainbow photo by Michelle Gallagher.

The two-day match got underway on March 14th in relatively dry but windy conditions. That created challenging conditions for the competitors — even with windflags set up to show wind velocity and angles.

One of the best matches of the year, the Cactus Classic attracts many of the nation’s top “point-blank” shooters. These aces compete with 10.5-lb Light Varmint and 13.5-lb Heavy Varmint rifles, nearly all chambered for the 6PPC cartridge. Many shooters run their LVs in HV classes as well, for simplicity (and to save money — one rifle costs less than two). In this game, the vast majority of shooters load at the range between relays. That lets them tune their loads to the condition — something that can help when you’re trying to shoot tiny dots.

Cactus Classic Benchrest LV HV Ben Avery Phoenix Berger

With all the interest in F-Class, PRS, and ELR, we sometimes forget that plenty of folks are still competiting in Short-Range Benchrest disciplines, with standards of accuracy we can only envy. For a PRS shooter, a good 100-yard, five-shot group would be half-MOA. For a benchrest shooter, a good group at 100 would be in the “Ones”. That’s smaller than 0.200″ center to center for five shots. And the small group of a Relay is often in the “Zeros”.


Conditions were wet on Friday the 13th before the 2020 Cactus Classic.

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March 16th, 2020

Wind Hack — Estimate Crosswind Deflection Without a Meter

Applied Ballistics Crosswind Estimation Wind hack G7 BC

Applied Ballistics Wind Hack

Any long range shooter knows that wind is our ultimate nemesis. The best ways of overcoming wind are to measure what we can and use computers to calculate deflection. The Applied Ballistics Kestrel is a great tool for this. As good as our tools may be, we don’t always have them at our fingertips, or they break, batteries go dead, and so on. In these cases, it’s nice to have a simple way of estimating wind based on known variables. There are numerous wind formulas of various complexity.

Applied Ballistics Crosswind Estimation Wind hack G7 BC

The Applied Ballistics (AB) Wind Hack is about the simplest way to get a rough wind solution. Here it is: You simply add 2 to the first digit of your G7 BC, and divide your drop by this number to get the 10 mph crosswind deflection. For example, suppose you’re shooting a .308 caliber 175-grain bullet with a G7 BC of 0.260 at 1000 yards, and your drop is 37 MOA. For a G7 BC of 0.260, your “wind number” is 2+2=4. So your 10 mph wind deflection is your drop (37 MOA) divided by your “wind number” (4) = 9.25 MOA. This is really close to the actual 9.37 MOA calculated by the ballistic software.

WIND HACK Formula

10 mph Cross Wind Deflection = Drop (in MOA) divided by (G7 BC 1st Digit + 2)

Give the AB wind hack a try to see how it works with your ballistics!

Some Caveats: Your drop number has to be from a 100-yard zero. This wind hack is most accurate for supersonic flight. Within supersonic range, accuracy is typically better than +/-6″. You can easily scale the 10 mph crosswind deflection by the actual wind speed. Wind direction has to be scaled by the cosine of the angle.

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March 15th, 2020

Review Shooting Fundamentals with Ryan Cleckner Video

Still Tac30 action tactical rifle Ryan Cleckner book
Photo by Forum member GAT. Chambered in 6-6.5×47 Lapua, this rifle features a Stiller TAC30 action, Krieger barrel, Harrells brake, Konohawk Stock, and Sightron SIII 6-24x50mm scope.

Ryan Cleckner has created many good shooting videos for the NSSF, such as his excellent Understanding MOA Video. Ryan is noted for his ability to explain complex topics in an easy-to-comprehend manner. This video, covering the fundamentals of shooting, has been viewed over 1.6 million times. It’s worth watching, particularly for guys getting started in PRS/practical competitions.

In this video, Ryan Cleckner reviews proper technique for rifle shooters. A stable platform, sight alignment, sight picture, and trigger control are key fundamentals to shooting properly. This is basic stuff, but Cleckner presents it in a clear, logical fashion. This is a good video for novice shooters.

Tip on Viewing Your Reticle:
Cleckner: “Sometimes it can be difficult to focus between the target and the reticle, even with the parallax adjusted properly. I recommend you focus only on the reticle. Just like the front sight on a rifle or a handgun, that reticle is what you can control, and it’s what matters. Focus on a crisp, clear reticle, in a stable platform, and all that’s left is trigger control.”

Tip on Trigger Control:
Cleckner: “Trigger control is pretty straightforward, as long as you think about it as a continuous process, and not just one thing that happens. I like to think about it as drawing a line in the dirt. I like to think about this constant pressure that I’m adding as I draw this line straight back, and then… continuing to draw that line even as the rifle goes off. That’s the good follow-through you’ll need.”

Long Range Shooting Handbook — A Good Resource
Cleckner has authored a book, the Long Range Shooting Handbook, which expands on the topics covered in the above video. You can view Sample Chapters from Ryan’s Book on Amazon.com.

Ryan Cleckner’s new book is designed as an intro to important fundamental concepts such as MOA vs. Mils, External Ballistics, and Environmental Effects. Included are personal tips and advice based on Cleckner’s years of experience as a sniper instructor and special operations sniper.

The Long Range Shooting Handbook is divided into three main categories: What It Is/How It Works, Fundamentals, and How to Use It. “What It Is/How It Works” covers equipment, terminology, and basic principles. “Fundamentals” covers the theory of long range shooting. “How to Use It” gives practical advice on implementing what you’ve learned, so you can progress as a skilled, long range shooter.

As a long-range shooting expert, Ryan Cleckner has impressive credentials. Cleckner was a special operations sniper (1/75 RGR) with multiple combat deployments, and he has served a U.S. Army sniper instructor. Currently he works as a firearms industry executive and attorney.

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March 13th, 2020

CMP Western Games Proceed But Some CMP Events Cancelled

CMP Western Games

Competitors take note — The CMP Western Games will continue as scheduled at Ben Avery in Phoenix this week, from March 13 (today) through March 22, 2020. However, the CMP has cancelled some other events scheduled this spring due to concerns over the Coronavirus (COVID-19) (see below).

Regarding the Western Games, the CMP states: “The Western CMP Games and HP Matches at Ben Avery Shooting Facility, AZ [are] to be Conducted as Scheduled. Participants need to be mindful of sound general health practices to help prevent communication of the virus (frequent hand washing, social distance with others, etc.).”

CMP 2020 Western Games
The Western Games begin Friday, March 13 and conclude Sunday, March 22.

CMP Event Cancellations

1. CMP National JROTC Championship — Camp Perry, OH (March 19-21)
Changed to Postal Match.

This championship event will continue as a postal match with finals. Details will be emailed to teams and coaches as soon as they are finalized.

2. CMP 3-P Regional Airgun Championships — Camp Perry, OH – Sandy, UT – Anniston, AL (March 26-28 and April 2-4)
Changed to Postal Matches.

These regional events will continue as postal matches with finals. Details will be emailed to teams and coaches as soon as they are finalized.

3. CMP 3-P Air Rifle Junior Summer Camps and Clinics Program — Multiple Locations (June, July and August). CANCELLED Completely.

On the Watch List:

CMP 3P Air Rifle National Championship — Camp Perry, OH
(Sporter – June 25-27 and Precision July 11-13)

At this point the CMP is planning to conduct the CMP National 3-P Championship in June and July, but will be monitoring the situation and will announce additional cancellations if needed.

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March 10th, 2020

The Key to 3P — Beginner’s Guide to Smallbore Position Shooting

Matt Emmons three-position 3P shooting Olympics Gold medal
Rio 2016 World Cup Photo Courtesy ISSF and Team USA

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

Matt Emmons Anschutz 3P three position shooting tipsMatt Emmons competed in the Three-Position Event at the Rio Olympics, his fourth Olympic appearance. Matt has competed on the U.S. National Team since 1997, medaling in three Olympic games: Gold in 2004 in Men’s 50m Prone; Silver in 2008 in Men’s 50m Prone; and Bronze in 2012 in Men’s 50m 3X40. Although his specialty is Men’s 3-Position rifle, Emmons’ World Championship and Olympic Gold are in Men’s 50m Prone. He usually shoots an Anschütz or Bleiker .22LR rifle, with Eley Tenex ammo.

Winning Gold with a Borrowed Rifle
There is a fascinating story behind Matt’s 2004 Gold Medal, won with a “loaner” rifle. In April 2004, just prior to the Olympic Team Trials, Emmons discovered his rifle had been severely sabotaged in the supposedly secure locker room at the United States Olympic Training Center. The precisely tuned barrel and action were heavily damaged. “I unpacked my gun and I noticed that something wasn’t right,” Emmons said. “Sure enough, somebody had done something to it. I shot it and I couldn’t get the shell out. Emmons said it could not have been an accident: “Oh no, no,” Emmons said. “Somebody took a screwdriver and went in.” Emmons went on to the 2004 Summer Olympics using a rifle belonging to using his former University of Alaska Fairbanks teammate, Amber Darland. With that borrowed rifle he won the Gold Medal in 50m prone. Emmons never found out who the saboteur was, but said “I’d like to know so I could shake their hand and say thanks.”

In this Olympic Channel Video, Matt explains 50m 3-Position Shooting.

Here are shooting tips from Matt, courtesy Anschütz. Click image below to launch a full-screen PDF file.

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

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March 7th, 2020

Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk Celebrates 25 Years

Tom Gresham Gun Talk Radio

This week, Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk Radio celebrates 25 years on the air, a significant milestone for the original nationally-syndicated radio talk show about guns and the shooting sports. The 25th Annual Episode airs live on Sunday March 8, 2020 from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM Eastern time on radio stations nationwide. This special show can also be heard online via the GUNTALK PODCAST Site and Apple iTunes.

As a special bonus for Gun Talk Fans, here is a podcast of the first-ever Gun Talk Radio show in 1995.

Bonus Podcast: First Gun Talk Radio Show – March 5, 1995

To celebrate 25 years of radio, Tom Gresham has invited some of his favorite guests to stop by, including Second Amendment Foundation’s Alan Gottlieb, National Shooting Sports Foundation CEO Joe Bartozzi, Ted Nugent, Gunsite’s Ken Campbell, Pro Shooters Julie Golob and Rob Leatham, Sheriff Jim Wilson, and Shootrite Training Academy’s Tiger McKee.

Tom Gresham Gun Talk RadioTom Gresham noted: “When I created Gun Talk in 1995, gun owners had just seen the passage of two massive anti-rights laws — the Brady Act and the Clinton Gun Ban. The media, when it covered this at all, lied and continued to lie … even when corrected. America’s 100 million gun owners were sick of the slanted news coverage, and they found Gun Talk to be a breath of fresh air…”

“Today, we face many of the same challenges… Gun Talk radio is perhaps more important today than … 25 years ago. Whether it’s helping the first-time gun buyer sort out what he needs to buy, or exposing politicians who claim to be supporters of the Second Amendment while putting restrictions on this right, there’s plenty to talk about.”

Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk radio show airs live on Sundays from 2PM-5PM Eastern, and runs on more than 270 stations. Listen on a radio station near you or via LIVE Streaming. All Gun Talk shows can also be downloaded as podcasts at http://bit.ly/GTRpodcast, Apple iTunes, or through the Gundelio Apps. Gun Talk is also available on YouTube, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and GunTalk.com.

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March 5th, 2020

Mental Marksmanship — Visualize Success for Better Scores

shooting bipod Anette Wachter
In this video, Anette Wachter (the 30CalGal) offers tips for shooting from bipod.

Anette Wachter Mental Game VisualizationOur friend Anette Wachter, aka “30CalGal”, stars in a smart video from NRAWomen.TV. In this episode of Tips & Tactics, Anette talks about the “mental game” in competition. Specifically she explains how to “visualize success”:

I have found that a lot of my success in competition has come through what I call a ‘mental rehearsal’. I actually visualize every stage of the match and I visualize the success of the match and winning the match.

I actually visualize that round going downrange into the target, and the target coming up with a dead-center ‘X’. I visualize this over and over. If you visualize success you will achieve success.

Visualization is a process of mental preparation that is done before you get to the range. Many of the greatest shooting champions have used this technique to get ready for big matches, and to optimize their performance during record fire. If you want to enhance your “mental game” through pre-match visualization, we strongly recommend Lanny Bassham’s book, With Winning in Mind.

As a competitive smallbore 3P shooter, Bassham developed a mental management system. Using this system, Lanny Bassham won 22 world individual and team titles, set four world records, and captured an Olympic Gold Medal in Montreal in 1976. His techniques have been embraced by professional and Olympic athletes in many sports. With Winning in Mind covers a complete system of “mental management” techniques used by Olympians and elite champions.


About 30CalGal
Life is short. Go Shoot! — Anette Wachter
Along with being a talented competitive shooter, Anette has her own Gun Blog, 30CalGal.com, and she writes for several gun publications including GunUp Magazine, Shooting Sports USA, Sure Shots Magazine, and Wide Open Spaces. She also designs and crafts custom jewelry items, sold through her AW Collections webstore.

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March 3rd, 2020

Pistol Matches Are Fun — Give IDPA a Try

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 $20.00 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.

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:

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March 2nd, 2020

Registration for 2020 CMP National Matches Opens

Camp Perry CMP National Matches 2020

Registration for the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s (CMP) 2020 National Trophy Pistol and Rifle Matches opened March 1, 2020. The annual event, held at the Camp Perry National Guard Training Base since 1907, features traditional pistol and rifle marksmanship events and a lineup of CMP’s own competitions. Activities this year run from 7/6/2020 to 8/8/2020. Adult and junior competitors of all skill levels are invited to participate during this year’s National events. All events are open to the public.

CLICK HERE for 2020 CMP National Matches Registration »

For registration and more information on the National Trophy Pistol and Rifle Matches, including a complete schedule of events, visit the CMP National Matches Web page. NOTE: You must create a CMP Log-In account to register for 2020 National CMP Pistol Matches & Pistol Games Matches.

CMP 2020 National Matches at Camp Perry Dates:
CMP National Matches First Shot Ceremony — July 7, 2020
CMP National Matches Pistol Championships — July 7-12, 2020
CMP Smallbore Championships — July 14-22, 2020
CMP High Power Rifle Championships — July 21-31, 2020
CMP National Games Events — July 30 – August 3, 2020
CMP Long Range Matches Camp Perry — August 4-8, 2020

national matches cmp nra 2020 calendar

CLICK HERE for Full-Size 2020 Nat’l Match Calendar PDF »

Camp Perry CMP National Matches 2020

CMP National Matches Program 2020 at Camp Perry
The CMP will open the National Matches at Camp Perry with its First Shot Ceremony and pistol matches on Tuesday, July 7. CMP pistol events will run through Sunday, July 12. CMP Smallbore rifle check-in and practice will commence on Tuesday, July 14 and matches will run for a week with championships and prone awards on Wednesday, July 22. CMP’s Rimfire Sporter Match and CMP Junior Smallbore camp will also be completed during that period.

CMP Cup High Power Rifle matches begin Tuesday, July 21 and will conclude with a CMP Cup awards ceremony on July 23. CMP Rifle Clinics will begin July 24 and conclude July 26. CMP’s National Trophy Rifle Matches will begin July 27 – July 31, with CMP National Games Events July 30 – August 3. CMP Long Range matches open on Tuesday, August 4 and conclude with the CMP Palma Rifle match and Long Range awards on Saturday, August 8.

New in 2020 — High-Tech Smallbore Scoring, New Long-Range and Pistol Events
During the smallbore events, scoring will utilize Shooters Technology, a mobile application that transmits target images via cell phone to the Orion scoring system and allows scores to be compiled before competitors even return from hanging targets down range.

Returning to the CMP schedule is a series of Long Range events for teams and individuals. Long range matches will be fired at 1,000 yards and are open to match rifles, service rifles or Palma rifles.

The pistol program has been expanded greatly. A CMP Revolver Match has been added. And for .22 Pistol, Centerfire Pistol, and .45 Pistol divisions, the CMP has added 900 Aggregate and Pistol Team events to the National Matches Pistol schedule.

CMP National Matches at Camp Perry | NRA National Matches at Camp Atterbury

NRA CMP matches map indiana camp perry atterbury

Camp Perry is located six miles west of Port Clinton. Housing is available on base on a first-come, first-serve basis, and a campground is also located onsite. Other area accommodations are only a short drive away and only minutes to Lake Erie.

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