September 3rd, 2021

FREE NRA Experienced Hunter Education Courses

Experiencd Hunter education course NRA

Hunting season is starting soon in most areas of the country. Here’s a way you can improve your hunting skills/knowledge. The NRA is offering a FREE online Experienced Hunter Education Course for those preparing to take advantage of the 2020 hunting season.

“Our Experienced Hunter Education Course provides those who might have taken a season or two off a convenient way to sharpen their skills before heading back into the field.”said Peter Churchbourne, director of NRA’s Hunters Leadership Forum.

NRA’s free 2-hour course is a firearm and hunting safety-training refresher in a convenient and engaging platform available through desktop, tablet, or smartphone. The course is available to everyone at www.NRAEHE.org. NOTE: The course is NOT a substitute for state-mandated hunter safety requirements and does not offer any certifications.

Experiencd Hunter education course NRA

The NRA’s NRA Experienced Hunter Education Course, is an 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

“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.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
September 1st, 2021

Measure Groups Precisely with Ballistic-X App for Android & iOS

Ballistic-X group measure measuring plot software Android Apple iOS

Here’s something all shooters need — a smartphone App that calculates bullet-hole group sizes from your own photos. The Ballistic-X App is simple to use. Take a photo of your target, set some values (such as bullet diameter and distance to target), then use the touchscreen to place circles around each hole. The App will calculate group size (in MOA or Mils), distance to point of aim, and provide all the info in an overlay. Then click “save” to record your group for posterity!

Ballistic-X group measure measuring plot software Android Apple iOS
Ballistic-X Apple (iOS) version shown. There is also a Ballistic-X Android App.

This App works well, is relatively easy to set-up, and costs just $7.99. It is available for both Android devices and iOS (Apple) devices. There are other ways to measure group sizes from target images, such as the excellent On-Target program, which we have used for years. However On-Target requires a software installation on a Windows platform desktop or laptop. Ballistic-X is a simple, easy-to-install App with versions for both Android and iOS (Apple) Mobile devices.

Google Play app store source
Download Android App
Apple store Ios app store source
Download Apple App

The Ballistic-X App has a relatively easy-to-use interface. Of course you can choose either MOA or Milrad group values, and Inch or Metric dimensions. There are various labeling options that provide useful info for Load Development. There is even an ATZ (Adjustment To Zero) feature for adjusting your turrets.

How to Use Ballistic-X App

1. Select Photo Source — Choose Camera to take new photo or get image from Photo Library.

Ballistic-X group measure measuring plot software Android Apple iOS

2. Set Reference Values — Select Bullet Diameter and enter Distance to Target.

3. Establish Scale on Image — Mark two points on target photo to set scale.
For example, if the target has a 1″-square grid lines, mark two points on grid for 1″ distance.

4. Mark Point Of Aim — Put the central X on the aim point.

5. Designate Shot Locations — Place the green circles around each shot.

Ballistic-X group measure measuring plot software Android Apple iOS

6. Finalize Data Display — Position Overlay, select size/color options, and export file.

Ballistic-X group measure measuring plot software Android Apple iOS

Android Options — Range Buddy FREE App
Along with Ballistic-X, there is another Mobile App, Range Buddy, that also measures shot groups. Range Buddy is currently offered for Android devices only. It is FREE, but has adverts. Range Buddy isn’t bad, but users complained about the program crashing, and there are compatibility issues with newer phones. We recommend you pay $7.99 and stick with Ballistic-X.

Ballistic-X group measure measuring plot software Android Apple iOS

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August 30th, 2021

SSG Amanda Elsenboss Wins National High Power Championship

Amanda Elsenboss 2021 High Power Champion championship Camp atterbury service rifle National Guard USAMU

Hail the new Champion — SSG Amanda Elsenboss is the 2021 NRA High Power Rifle National Champion. Amanda secured the High Power title with a Grand Aggregate score of 2386-133X. This is a major achievement for Amanda. In winning the coveted High Power title, Amanda is now just the third female to earn this honor, along with Nancy Tompkins and Nancy’s daughter Sherri Gallagher. And we believe this is the first time a woman won the High Power title shooting a Service Rifle in all matches.

Amanda Elsenboss 2021 High Power Champion championship Camp atterbury service rifle National Guard USAMU

Elsenboss, formerly with the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, now competes with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard Team. She is classified as a High Master in NRA High Power. Finishing second overall was SSG John Coggshall of the Army National Guard with a score of 2380-125X. Coggshall, like Amanda, shot a Service Rifle. Kenneth Lankford, shooting a Match Rifle, finished third with 2379-104X.


CLICK HERE for Full High Power Championships Results »

The match was held August 22–28 at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. On her Facebook Page, Amanda posted:

“Today was a great day. After four long, hot days on the range I won the 2021 NRA [High Power] Rifle Championships. Thank you to everyone for the support and encouragement along the way. Congratulations to John Coggshall for coming in second overall and second Service Rifle, and to Kirk Freeman for being third Service Rifle. It was some great shooting by the Guard… and everyone really making the last day count.”

Amanda Elsenboss 2021 High Power Champion championship Camp atterbury service rifle National Guard USAMU

Amanda added: “I have to thank my biggest supporter — Perry Sabertooth X Mayfly” (shown above in Amanda’s shooting cart at Camp Atterbury).

Before Her High Power Victory, Amanda Took 2nd in Long Range

Amanda Elsenboss 2021 High Power Champion championship Camp atterbury service rifle National Guard USAMU
Before winning the 2021 High Power National Championship, Amanda took second in the 2021 NRA Long Range National Championship, also held at Camp Atterbury.

This has been a great summer for Amanda at Camp Atterbury. She finished second overall at the 2021 NRA Long-Range Nationals, behind Oliver Milanovic, and she also won the Canadian Cup at Atterbury. Prior to that, competing at Camp Perry with the National Guard All Guard Marksmanship Team, Amanda shot perfect individual scores in both the National Trophy and Hearst Doubles team events. Her 500-34X in the National Trophy Team (NTT) event set a National Record.

Amanda, then shooting with the USAMU team, previously won the NRA Long Range National Championship in 2019. Now that she has won BOTH High Power and Long Range National Championships, Amanda can truly be ranked among the most notable shooters in U.S. history.

Amanda Elsenboss — America’s New Leading Lady of Shooting

SSG Amanda Elsenboss 2021 NRA High Power Championship

Before his retirement from the U.S. Army, Emil Praslick III coached Amanda as a shooter with the U.S. Army Markmanship (USAMU) team. Emil, considered one of the greatest shooting coaches in the nation, was impressed with Amanda’s skill and dedication. Emil posted: “[Amanda is] by far the easiest shooter to coach I’ve ever worked with. A machine.”

SSG Amanda Elsenboss high power championship NRA Camp Atterbury

Video Interview with SSG Amanda Elsenboss
This video, featuring SSG Amanda Elsenboss, was created by the USAMU to mark Women’s History Month. Amanda talks about her career in the military, and her love of competitive shooting. This is a great video, well worth watching. There are images from many shooting ranges around the nation.

SSG Amanda Elsenboss. CLICK Speaker Icon to Hear Sound!

When serving with the USAMU, Amanda shot the sling division at the Berger SW Nationals:
SSG Amanda Elsenboss

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
August 29th, 2021

Work on Your Breathing to SEE Better and SHOOT Better

Vision Eye Target Scope Relaxation Oxygen Target

Do you find that the crosshairs in your scope get blurry after a while, or that you experience eye strain during a match? This is normal, particularly as you get older. Focusing intensely on your target (through the scope or over iron sights) for an extended period of time can cause eye strain. Thankfully, there are things you can do to reduce eye fatigue. For one — breathe deeper to take in more oxygen. Secondly, give your eyes a break between shots, looking away from the scope or sights.

In our Forum there is an interesting thread about vision and eye fatigue. One Forum member observed: “I have noticed recently that if I linger on the target for too long the crosshairs begin to blur and the whole image gradually darkens as if a cloud passed over the sun. I do wear contacts and wonder if that’s the problem. Anyone else experienced this? — Tommy”

Forum members advised Tommy to relax and breath deep. Increase oxygen intake and also move the eyes off the target for a bit. Closing the eyes briefly between shots can also relieve eye strain. Tommy found this improved the situation.

Vision Eye Target Scope Relaxation Oxygen Target

Phil H. explained: “Tom — Our eyes are tremendous oxygen hogs. What you are witnessing is caused by lack of oxygen. When this happens, get off the sights, stare at the grass (most people’s eyes find the color green relaxing), breath, then get back on the rifle. Working on your cardio can help immensely. Worked for me when I shot Palma. Those aperture sights were a bear! The better my cardio got the better and longer I could see. Same thing with scopes. Try it!”

Keith G. noted: “Make sure you are still breathing… [your condition] sounds similar to the symptoms of holding one’s breath.”

Watercam concurred: “+1 on breathing. Take a long slow deep breath, exhale and break shot. Also make sure you take a moment to look at the horizon without looking through rifle or spotting scope once in a while to fight fatigue. Same thing happens when using iron sights.”

Arizona shooter Scott Harris offered this advice: “To some extent, [blurring vision] happens to anyone staring at something for a long time. I try to keep vision crisp by getting the shot off in a timely fashion or close the eyes briefly to refresh them. Also keep moisturized and protect against wind with wrap-around glasses”.

Breathing Better and Relaxing the Eyes Really Worked…
Tommy, the shooter with the eye problem, said his vision improved after he worked on his breathing and gave his eyes a rest between shots: “Thanks guys. These techniques shrunk my group just a bit and every little bit helps.”

Read more tips on reducing eye fatigue in our Forum Thread: That Vision Thing.

To avoid eye fatigue, take your eyes away from the scope between shots, and look at something nearby (or even close your eyes briefly). Also work on your breathing and don’t hold your breath too long — that robs your system of oxygen.

eye vision Vince Bottomley

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August 28th, 2021

Prepare for Hunting Season with FREE Printable Game Targets

gun.deals deer buck bullseye sight-in target

Hunting season is coming soon. It’s time to sight-in those deer rifles, check the optics, and make sure you’re ready to go. We know some hunters might enjoy shooting game profile targets when at the range for the sight-in process. To that end, here are six animal profile targets from Gun.Deals. Right-click any target to download the printable PDF file, designed to print to standard 8.5″ x 11″ paper. All these targets include entry boxes for Shooter Name, Score, Range (distance), and Date.

Deer Targets with Center Hit Zones
Gun.Deals offers two different deer targets, both free to download. We prefer the standing buck with target ring in center mass (left below). Hit the red “10” for maximum points. You can also use this target for rimfire fun practice.

gun.deals deer buck bullseye sight-in target gun.deals deer buck leaper sight-in target

Bear Targets with Center Bulls
Few of us have actually encountered large bears in the wild. But if you do… it can be scary. Work on your bear recognition skills with these two targets, a standing bear, and a bear horizontal profile.

gun.deals bear sight-in target gun.deals bear sight-in target

Sight-In Target and Bullseye Target
Courtesy of Gun.Deals, we’ve also included a conventional bullseye and a sight-in target. You can augment that sight-in sheet with neon orange Birchwood-Casey Target Spots if you want multiple aim points. A target pack with 160 1.5″ Target Dots is just $4.49 at Amazon.

gun.deals sight-in target gun.deals bullseye target
Permalink Hunting/Varminting, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
August 28th, 2021

Prone Shooting Technique — Mastering the Prone Position

prone shooting position smallbore highpower lones wigger nra sports usa

Shooting Sports USA (SSUSA) offers a wide selection of informative articles on marksmanship techniques. If you shoot prone, “hard-holding”, you know how important proper positioning and technique can be. There is a SSUSA article that every prone shooter should read — whether you shoot air rifle, smallbore, or High Power. Compiled wtih the help of some of the country’s best prone marksmen, this article, How to Master Prone Shooting, provides a step-by-step guide to perfecting your prone position technique.

READ Full Article on Shooting Sports USA »

How to Master Prone Shooting — SSUSA by NRA Staff
The prone position is the most precise of the rifle shooting positions. It is used in many different shooting events at distances as close as 5 meters and as far away as 1,000 yards, and beyond that in long-range disciplines such as PRS and NRL. Prone shooting is very popular among shooters whose training time is limited, because it does not require as much practice. Age has little effect on a shooter’s ability to do well in prone; many older shooters are able to continue competing successfully in prone matches.

Here is a sample, listing STEP ONE, the basics of the prone position:

Step One: Study the Position
The prone position is steady because it is low, which gives a wide base of support to help keep the rifle still. Below are the key features of the prone position.

1. Straight line form left hand through left arm, side and leg.
2. Head tipped down comfortably.
3. Right hand grips rifle lightly.
4. Body lies behind rifle. Angle to rifle is 10 to 20 degrees.
5. Right knee bent slightly, toe pointing out.
6. Rifle lies on heel of left hand, fingers relaxed.
7. Left elbow rests to left of rifle.
8. Sling (if present) supports weight of rifle. Left arm relaxed.
9. Body rests slightly more on left side.
10. Left leg straight, toe pointing inward or straight back.

There are FIVE MORE STEPS described in detail with specific actions to perform, in the FULL Article. For example, in STEP FOUR (Sling Adjustment), the article explains: “Put the sling high on the arm and tighten the sling keeper. Wrap the arm around the sling so that the sling comes across the left hand and forearm.”

prone shooting position smallbore highpower lones wigger nra sports usa

prone shooting position smallbore highpower lones wigger nra sports usa

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August 27th, 2021

Major Winchester Online Resource for New Shooters

Winchester new shooters training website videos

To help serve America’s many millions of new gun owners, Winchester has created a new online information site for first-time ammunition and firearms buyers as well as those just getting started in the shooting sports and hunting. Winchester’s New Shooters Site has many helpful articles plus a series of videos.

Winchester new shooters training website videos

Winchester Videos (click links to watch)

Getting Started as a Gun Owner
Four Main Gun Safety Rules
What to Look for in a Gun Range
Your First Time at a Gun Range
Safe Gun Training at Home — Dry Firing
How to Safely Store Guns at Home
How to Safely Store Ammo at Home
Best Guns for Beginners

Where-To-Shoot Nationwide Listings

Winchester’s New Shooters Site also incorporates the NSSF’s WHERE-To-SHOOT Resource, the internet’s most comprehensive listing of gun ranges. The Where-to-Shoot section makes finding a local range easy. Simply input your location and max desired distance, and the site will generate a list of nearby indoor and outdoor ranges with a Google map.

Winchester new shooters training website videos

Access Content on Social Media Platforms Also

Winchester’s information for new shooters will be featured on Winchester.com/NewShooters as well as on Winchester’s Facebook Page, Instagram Site, and YouTube Channel.

“More than 12 million people since the beginning of 2020 purchased a firearm for the first time, and that is in addition to the more than 56 million people in the U.S. who currently target shoot,” said Matt Campbell, vice president of sales and marketing for Winchester Ammunition. “As an industry leader, we are committed to helping educate people about the many topics surrounding firearms, ammunition, safety and more. More and more people want to participate in the shooting sports and hunting. Our audience is diverse and growing, and this platform will be an excellent resource.”

Features and content included on Winchester’s new digital platform are:

— Skill-level filtering, allowing new shooters to find the most relevant content
— New video series and blog posts with entry-level topics
— Product recommendations for firearms and ammunition
— Tips and training (shooting fundamentals)
— Safety and storage

About Winchester Ammunition
Winchester was founded in 1866, 155 years ago. Winchester is now the largest small caliber ammunition enterprise in the world providing a huge variety of pistol, rifle, and shotgun ammunition. Learn more about Winchester by visiting Winchester.com or Winchester’s Facebook Page.

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August 23rd, 2021

Wind Reading Tips from Bryan Litz and Emil Praslick III

Wind reading coaching bryan litz Ben Avery Phoenix wind video

Wind effects are complex. In trying to access wind speeds and angles, you’ll want to watch multiple indicators — mirage, dust, wind-flags, grass movement, and more. You’ll also need to be concerned about wind cycles. In the video below, Bryan Litz talks about variable wind speed along a bullet’s flight path. A respected ballistics guru, Bryan is the founder of Applied Ballistics and a designer of Berger’s Hybrid Match projectiles. He is also a past F-TR National Champion and a High Master Palma ace.

In this video, Bryan discusses how wind effects can vary in intensity at different points along the bullet’s flight path to the target. Sometimes the firing line is sheltered, and the strongest winds come into effect in the middle of the trajectory. Bryan concludes: “Wind matters everywhere … but the best thing you can do is try to get a handle on the wind [velocity and angle] where you are. That may or may not represent the wind down-range — that’s when you have to look downrange and make a judgment[.]”

Litz Competition Tip: Select your wind shooting strategy carefully. For beginners and veterans, most points are typically lost to wind. Successful shooters put a lot of thought into their approach to wind shooting. Sometimes it’s best to shoot fast and minimize the changes you’ll have to navigate. Other times it’s best to wait out a condition which may take several minutes. Develop a comfortable rest position so you have an easier time waiting when you should be waiting.

More Wind Tips from Wind Wizard Emil Praslick
In these two short videos, Emil Praslick III, former coach of the USAMU and USA National long range teams, explains how to find the wind direction and how to confirm your no-wind zero. Praslick is widely considered to be one of the best wind coaches in the USA.

When Winds Are EXTREME — Near Gale Force at Ben Avery

This video shows INSANE winds at NBRSA 100/200 Benchrest Nationals. This was filmed at the Ben Avery Range in Phoenix, AZ during the recent NBRSA 100/200 yard National Championships. Extreme to say the least. Based on what we’re seeing here, there are 20-25 mph crosswinds, with gusts to 35 mph — near Gale Force. Video by Hall-of-Fame Benchrest competitor Gene Bukys, whom we sadly lost to COVID last year. RIP Gene.

Texas gunsmith Mike Bryant reports: “This video shows the Unlimited Class 200 at the Nationals in Phoenix. I had three 10-shot groups in the low 2″ range with a 2.228″ being my big group and was glad they weren’t bigger. Thursday and Friday were the worst of the windy days. Unfortunately those were the days for the UL 200 and it was about as windy through most all of the Sporter 200.”

Excellent Wind Reading Resource

The Wind Book for Rifle Shooters covers techniques and tactics used by expert wind-readers. The authors provide a wind-reading “toolbox” for calculating wind speed, direction, deflection and drift. They explain how to read flags and mirage, record and interpret your observations, and time your shots to compensate for wind. Here are two reviews:

This is a must-have book if you are a long-range sport shooter. I compete in F-Class Open and when read it from cover to cover, it helped me understand wind reading and making accurate scope corrections. Buy this book, read it, put into practice what it tells you, you will not be disappointed. — P. Janzso

If you have one book for wind reading, this should be it. It covers how to get wind speed/direction from flags, mirage, and natural phenomenon. This is the best book for learning to read wind speed and direction. — Muddler

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August 21st, 2021

Oliver Milanovic Wins NRA Long Range National Championship

NRA High Power long range national championship palma oliver milanovic Eliseo tubegun
Top Guns at LR Nat’l Championship: SSG Amanda Elsenbuss (2nd place), Oliver Milanovic (Champion), Jeffrey Miles (3rd place). Photo courtesy Shooting Sports USA.

NRA High Power long range national championship palma oliver milanovic Eliseo tubegunMilanovic Wins LR National Championship
We have a new Long-Range National Champion. Competing at Camp Atterbury in Indiana, Oliver Milanovic took the 2021 NRA National Long Range Championship with a score of 1245-73X. Oliver was shooting an Eliseo Chassis + Borden Action Palma Rifle with 155gr bullets. Finishing second, tied on points but with four fewer Xs, was 2019 National Long Range Champion SSG Amanda Elsenbuss, with 1245-69X. In third place was Jeffrey Miles, just one point back, with 1244-73X.

As you can see, with the top three shooters all separated by just one point, it was a very close competition. But Milanovic, a popular marksman from Arizona, put on an impressive performance to take the win and the Thompkins Trophy. No stranger to the podium, Oliver has been on the winning Sling Division Team at the Berger SW Nationals in the past.

For all the relays, Milanovic shot his trusty .308 Winchester Competition Machine (Eliseo) chassis rifle with a Borden action, loading Palma-spec 155-gr bullets. In the Long Range Championship, other chamberings are allowed for some stages, but we’re told Oliver ran his 155gr Palma load throughout. Milanovic also won the Palma Individual Trophy Match with an impressive 450-30X score, not dropping a single point.

CLICK HERE for Full Long Range Nat’l Championship Results »

NRA High Power long range national championship palma oliver milanovic Eliseo tubegun

NRA High Power long range national championship palma oliver milanovic Eliseo tubegun

A full report on the 2021 NRA High Power Long Range Championship will appear in a future digital edition of Shooting Sports USA.

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August 21st, 2021

How to Install and Adjust Competition Rifle Slings

Dennis DeMille Creedmoor Sports Rifle Sling video training set-up
Dennis DeMille shows a young competitor at the CMP Western Games how to adjust his leather sling.

The NRA High Power Over-the-Course (OTC) National Championship will be held at Camp Atterbury over the next 7 days. Firing will be done in multiple positions — prone, sitting/kneeling, and standing. Proper support and adjustment of the sling is vital for successful High Power competition. In this short article, Dennis DeMille, a past Service Rifle Champion, explains how to set-up a sling on match rifles.

Setting-Up a Leather Service Rifle Sling for Competition
So you made the mistake of disassembling your leather service rifle sling, or are intimidated about how to use one? In this Creedmoor Sports InfoZone video, Dennis DeMille (past Creedmoor G.M.) explains how to set up and use a sling. The covers the basics — Dennis starts with a totally disassembled leather service rifle sling and shows you how to set it up properly.

Tip: “Many shooters shy away from using a leather sling because they have never been taught how to use one. That’s unfortunate. In my opinion a leather sling offers more support than a web sling, which is important when competiting with the heavier than normal rifles.”

Configuring the Sling for the Standing (Offhand) Position
In this second in a series of Creedmoor InfoZone videos on the setup and use of the leather service rifle sling, Dennis DeMille details how to configure and best utilize the leather service rifle sling while shooting from the standing position.

Tip: “Putting the Frogs in different hole will change the amount of added elevation a sling provides.”

Looking at Sling Types — Comparing the Features
In this video Dennis showcases a large variety of shooting slings. He explains the strong points of each type so you can choose the sling best suited to your discipline and shooting style.

Dennis DeMille High PowerThe Benefits of Dry-Fire Training
Once you know how to set up your sling properly, you’ll want to practice. Dennis DeMille stresses the importance of dry-fire practice with sling and shooting coat. Dry-Fire training is essential to the sling disciplines. Dennis DeMille, a national Service Rifle Champion, told us that, for every minute he spent in actual competition, he would spend hours practicing without ammunition. While in the USMC, Dennis would practice in the barracks, working on his hold and dry-firing:

“The most important thing is to spend time off the range practicing. Most of what I learned as a High Power shooter I learned without ammunition — just spending time dry firing and doing holding exercises. Holding exercises will really identify the weak parts of your position. The primary purpose of dry firing is to get you used to shooting an empty rifle. If you can shoot a loaded rifle the same way you shoot an empty rifle then eventually you will become a High Master.”

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August 19th, 2021

Long Range Matches at Camp Atterbury This Week

Camp Atterbury Palma Long Range Matches Wimbledon 2021

The 2021 NRA Long Range Target Rifle Championships, and Palma Matches, have been taking place this week at Camp Atterbury in Indiana. May of America’s top sling shooters have been competing, employing their skills on targets at 800 to 1000 yards. The Palma Team and individual matches were held August 15-16, with other matches running through Friday, August 19.

Camp Atterbury Palma Long Range Matches Wimbledon 2021

15 August — Palma Team Match
16 August — Palma Individual Match
17 August — Leech Cup/Porter/Andrus/Roumanian Team Matches
18 August — Wimbledon Cup/Farr/Doc Aiken/Herrick Team Matches
19 August — Mustin/Remington (and Shoot-offs)/Award Ceremonies*

Camp Atterbury Palma Long Range Matches Wimbledon 2021

Last day of the 2021 NRA National Long-Range Championships at Camp Atterbury:

Thomas Colyer Wins Leech Cup Shoot-Off
Forum member Corbin Shell reported: “I was fortunate to score for Thomas Colyer who shoots on the Oak Ridge Sportsmen’s Association (ORSA) long range rifle team. His Shoot-Off score was a 100-5X — not dropping a point. Michelle Gallagher was also in the Leech Shoot off and shot 99-3X.” A talented marksman, Thomas Colyer also won the Wimbledon Cup several years ago.

Camp Atterbury Palma Long Range Matches Wimbledon 2021
Camp Atterbury Palma Long Range Matches Wimbledon 2021

Phillip Crowe Wins Mustin Match
FYI, Phillip Crowe, also from Oak Ridge Sportsmen’s Association (ORSA) long range team, won the Mustin match with a Shoot-Off score of 99-3X. Here is a photo of Phillip at the beginning of the Mustin Shoot-Off.

Camp Atterbury Palma Long Range Matches Wimbledon 2021

Palma Competition — by John Parker, Shooting Sports USA

According to the NRA High Power Rules 3.3.1 (a), a Palma rifle is “a rifle with metallic sights chambered for the .308/7.62 or .223/5.56 NATO cartridge case”.

When talking about Palma rifle competition, the traditional course of fire is at three yardages, 800, 900 and 1000 yards. The first Palma match was conducted by the NRA in 1875 at New York’s Creedmoor Range. The original Palma trophy, now lost to the ages, was commissioned by none other than Tiffanys. SEE 2018 SSUSA Camp Atterbury Long Range Gallery HERE.

Camp Atterbury Palma Long Range Matches Wimbledon 2021


* This is the schedule as published on the NRA Camp Atterbury National Matches Official Calendar. However it appears the Mustin Shoot-Off was completed on Thursday, August 18.

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August 18th, 2021

Texas Lady Trains for F-TR Competition

F-TR Tracy Slayton Self F-TR Krieger Barrel Chamber Chiller

Texas action pistol and 3-Gun competitor Tracy Slayton Self has been taking up the F-Class game. On Facebook, she recently posted a nice training session with her Krieger-barreled F-TR rifle. You can watch her shooting video HERE on her Facebook page. She used a battery-powered, Chamber Chiller fan unit to cool the barrel.

F-TR Tracy Slayton Self F-TR Krieger Barrel Chamber Chiller

On August 8th, Tracy posted: “Very, very windy day today but pulled off a 444/450 18X which is a High Master score. My Krieger barrel is the bomb and my Kahles scope allows me to see that target at 600 yards clearly. My Chamber Chiller really cools my barrel down in between matches and my Stiller action is as smooth as butter.”

F-TR Tracy Slayton Self F-TR Krieger Barrel Chamber Chiller

Click Photo for short video of Tracy’s shooting session, with shots called on audio:

F-TR Tracy Slayton Self F-TR Krieger Barrel Chamber Chiller

F-TR Tracy Slayton Self F-TR Krieger Barrel Chamber Chiller

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August 14th, 2021

For New Shooters — TEN Commandments of Firearm Safety

National Shooting Sports month August

August is National Shooting Sports Month. The NSSF, through its “+ONE” campaigns, encourages all dedicated gun owners invite a new shooter to the range. Here’s the challenge to our readers — make a commitment to introduce at least one new person to the shooting sports this year.

Be sure to tell the new shooter about the 10 Commandments of Firearm Safety:

National Shooting Sports month August

The +ONE Movement — The Mission
The goal of the +ONE campaign is to build the ranks of shooters. The idea is basic — make a commitment to act as a MENTOR and encourage at least ONE new person to get involved. As the NSSF says: “If just one in three of America’s recreational shooters adds one new person to the shooting sports, we’ll secure a strong future for generations to come.”

Learn more about the NSSF’s +ONE Movement at LetsGoShooting.org and LetsGoHunting.org.

Shooting Sports hunting new join mentor movement +1 +one plus one


MENTORS — SHARE THESE TIPS WITH +ONE INVITEES

Shooting Sports hunting new join mentor movement +1 +one plus one

CLICK HERE for Illustrated TEN RULES of Firearm Safety »

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August 13th, 2021

Determine Your Dominant Eye with This Simple Test

6.5 Creedmoor Annealing

Shooting Sports USA Eye dominanceDo you know which one of your eyes is dominant? It’s easy to determine eye dominance with a simple exercise. Pick an object about 6-10 feet away (a light switch or door knob works well). Make an “OK” sign with your right hand (see photo) and hold that about 18″ from your face. Now, with both eyes open, look through the circle formed by your thumb and index finger. Center the circle on the object, so you can see the object in the middle.

Now, here’s the important part — while still holding your hand up, centered on the object, first close your right eye. If you don’t see the object anymore, then your right eye is dominant. If you still see the object, then repeat the procedure with the left eye shut and right eye open. If you don’t see the object when your left eye (only) is closed, then you are left-eye dominant.

6.5 Creedmoor AnnealingThe digital archives of Shooting Sports USA contain many interesting articles. A while back, Shooting Sports USA featured a “must-read” expert Symposium on Eye Dominance, as it affects both rifle and pistol shooting. No matter whether you have normal dominance (i.e. your dominant eye is on the same side as your dominant hand), or if you have cross-dominance, you’ll benefit by reading this excellent article. The physiology and science of eye dominance is explained by Dr. Norman Wong, a noted optometrist. In addition, expert advice is provided by champion shooters such as David Tubb, Lones Wigger, Dennis DeMille, Julie Golob, Jessie Harrison, and Phil Hemphill.

Top Rifle Champions Talk About Eye Dominance:

David Tubb — 11-Time National High Power Champion
I keep both eyes open, always. Some use an opaque blinder in rifle or shotgun shooting. If you close your non-dominant eye, you will not get as good a sight picture. If your aiming eye is not your dominant eye, you have even more of a problem to overcome.

Lones Wigger — World, National and Olympic Champion Rifleman
Shooters should try to use the dominant eye unless the vision is impaired and the non-dominant eye has better vision. You should always shoot with both eyes open since this will allow the shooting eye to function properly.

Dennis DeMille — National Service Rifle Champion
I close my non-shooting eye initially. Once I pick up my sight picture, it’s not something I focus on. For those that use a patch, I recommend that they use something white to block their view, rather than cover the eye.

Bruce Piatt — 2015 World Shooting Championship Winner
Some shooters, especially those with nearly equal or cross-dominance, will naturally find themselves squinting one eye. When anyone does this, you are also closing your dominant eye to some extent and adding stress to your face.

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August 11th, 2021

Silhouette Championship in Pennsylvania — and a Piece of History

Ridgway PA NRA smallbore silhouette championship Erich Mietenkorte SK Lapua

Silhouette Championship in Pennsylvania
Ridgway PA NRA smallbore silhouette championship Erich Mietenkorte SK LapuaFor the past few days, the Ridgway Rifle Club in Ridgway, PA has hosted the 2021 NRA Smallbore Rifle Silhouette Championship. Many of the nation’s top silhouette shooters attended this event. After a warm-up match on the 7th, the Championship match began on Sunday, August 8th and concluded on Tuesday, August 10th. Each match day featured a 40-round match with Standard Rifle and a 40-round match with Hunter Rifle. The High Power (centerfire) Silhouette Matches will continue later this week.

Ridgway PA NRA smallbore silhouette championship Erich Mietenkorte SK Lapua

Original 1950s Metal Silhouette from Mexico Donated to Ridgeway Club
There was a special dedication at the match. Ace silhouette shooter Erich Mietenkorte explained: “Most people will see this picture and just see the two of us kneeling next to a piece of steel that roughly resembles an ewe. However, in reality it represents the origin of [a sport] that has enriched my life immensely. Rifle silhouette … has added to my life an extended family of some of the nicest, most humble, and selfless people I have had the privilege to get to know[.]

Ridgway PA NRA smallbore silhouette championship Erich Mietenkorte SK Lapua

This silhouette was made in the 1950s for the Club De Tiro Y Caza Cananea in Sonora, Mexico and is one of the original targets that was shot at a distance of 500 meters to give birth to the sport of rifle silhouette. It is only fitting that it was presented to the Ridgway Rifle Club for its ongoing efforts in promoting the sport in the United States. Special thanks to Daniel and Carlos Salazar, and Mark Pharr for honoring our sport with this special gift. READ Letter from Club De Tiro.

Ridgway PA NRA smallbore silhouette championship Erich Mietenkorte SK Lapua
Here are Team Lapua, Team Berger Bullets, and Team SK members with their awards from the match. The staff of the Ridgway Rifle Club put on an outstanding event, with High Power Silhouette to follow. Excitement is growing for the inaugural Lapua Monarch Cup in 2022.

Congratulations to Luke Johnson on winning the 2021 NRA smallbore rifle silhouette championship. Luke won the overall title and also won the hunter gun championship. Luke’s team Lapua teammate Cathy Winstead-Severin won the standard rifle championship. Cathy Winstead-Severin finished 2nd followed closely by Laura Goetsch. Team SK’s Erich Mietenkorte took 4th overall. CLICK HERE for full Match Results.

Silhouette Centerfire high power history formation Mexico Ram Pig Chicken livestock

The NRA Blog ran an feature on Silhouette shooting by NRA Silhouette Program Coordinator Jonathan Leighton. Here are selections from Leighton’s story:

NRA Silhouette Shooting
The loud crack from the bullet exiting the muzzle followed by an even louder ‘clang’ as you watch your target fly off the railing is really a true addiction for most Silhouette shooters. There is nothing better than shooting a game where you actually get to see your target react to the bullet. In my opinion, this is truly what makes this game so much fun.

Metallic Silhouette — A Mexican Import
Silhouette shooting came to this country from Mexico in the 1960s. It is speculated that sport had its origins in shooting contests between Pancho Villa’s men around 1914. After the Mexican Revolution the sport spread quickly throughout Mexico. ‘Siluetas Metalicas’ uses steel silhouettes shaped like game animals. Chickens up front followed by rows of pigs, turkeys, and furthest away, rams. Being that ‘Siluetas Metalicas’ was originally a Mexican sport, it is common to hear the targets referred to by their Spanish names Gallina (chicken), Javelina (pig), Guajalote (turkey) and Borrego (ram). Depending on the discipline one is shooting, these animals are set at different distances from the firing line, but always in the same order.

Before Steel There Was… Barbeque
In the very beginnings of the sport, live farm animals were used as targets, and afterwards, the shooters would have a barbeque with all the livestock and/or game that was shot during the match. The first Silhouette match that used steel targets instead of livestock was conducted in 1948 in Mexico City, Mexico by Don Gonzalo Aguilar.

As the sport spread and gained popularity during the 1950s, shooters from the Southwestern USA started crossing the Mexican border to compete. Silhouette shooting came into the US in 1968 at the Tucson Rifle Club in Arizona. The rules have stayed pretty much the same since the sport has been shot in the US. NRA officially recognized Silhouette as a shooting discipline in 1972, and conducted its first NRA Silhouette Nationals in November of 1972.

Now There Are Multiple Disciplines
The actual sport of Silhouette is broken into several different disciplines. High Power Rifle, Smallbore Rifle, Cowboy Lever Action Rifle, Black Powder Cartridge Rifle, Air Rifle, Air Pistol, and Hunter’s Pistol are the basic disciplines. Black Powder Cartridge Rifle also has a ‘Scope’ class, and Hunter’s Pistol is broken into four sub-categories. Some clubs also offer Military Rifle Silhouette comps.

Where to Shoot Silhouette
NRA-Sanctioned matches are found at gun clubs nation-wide. You can find match listings on the Shooting Sports USA website or contact the NRA Silhouette Department at (703) 267-1465. For more info, visit SteelChickens.com, the #1 website dedicated to Silhouette shooting sports.

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August 10th, 2021

Jumbo Playing Card Targets — FREE to Download

NRA Playing Card targets

With so many Americans locked down under governmental “Stay at Home” orders, we know folks may be playing cards for entertainment. Well here’s another card game you can play — but with rifles and pistols. If you can get to a public range that is still open, or if you’re lucky enough to be able to shoot on your own property or BLM lands, here’s a unique set of Playing Card Targets, courtesy of the NRA.

A while back, the NRA Blog has published a nice set of super-sized playing card targets. These boast a variety of aiming points (large and small) so they work well for rifles as well as pistols. On the Queen of Diamonds, aim for the large bull-style designs in the “red zone” or aim for the smaller dots on the periphery. For a real challenge, try to shoot each one of the 26 small red diamonds in the curved, central white stripes.

On the Five of Clubs target, you can aim for the smaller club symbols, or shoot for the orange, purple, and green “dripping paint” bulls in the large, central club. The Ace of Spades target offers a colored bullseye in the center, plus a very small bullseye in the letter “C”. That should provide extra challenge for those of you with very accurate rifles. Enjoy these targets.


Click Any Image to Download Printable PDF Target:

NRA Playing Card target NRA Playing Card target
NRA Playing Card target NRA Playing Card target
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August 7th, 2021

Pistol Skills — How to Diagnose Handgun Accuracy Issues

NSSF Chris Cheng Pistol Accuracy Handgun Shooting Skills

When shooting pistols do your shots normally land smack dab in the middle of the target? If not, you may have some technique problems that are causing your shots to move off center. Top Shot Champion Chris Cheng has produced a good video for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) that helps handgunners diagnose accuracy issues. By shooting 3-shot groups and looking at the pattern and location of the shots, you can see what you’re doing wrong (or right). Here are some examples. Note, this process works best for shooters whose shots fall typically in one target zone. If your shots are all over the target, your form is inconsistent and problems will be harder to diagnose.

1. Low Left — Jerking Trigger: Here we see three (3) shots at the 7 O’clock position. This shows that the shooter is jerking the trigger, meaning that the shooter is pulling the trigger too quickly and therefore forcing the barrel to drop when breaking the shot. This is a very common problem, particularly with novices who are reacting to the noise/recoil of the pistol.

NSSF Chris Cheng Pistol Accuracy Handgun Shooting Skills

2. 9 O’Clock — Too Little Trigger Finger: If we see three (3) shots at the 9 O’clock position, what this can be indicative of too little trigger finger on the trigger. And therefore with every shot, the shots are getting pushed to the left. Try moving your trigger finger on to the pad of your index finger. Also try dry firing drills.

NSSF Chris Cheng Pistol Accuracy Handgun Shooting Skills

3. High Left — Anticipating Recoil: In this next example, we see three shots around the 11 O’clock position. What could be happening here is that the shooter is anticipating the recoil, and is actually lifting the gun up when he shoots. We recommend slowing down, working on your breathing, and, again, do dry-firing drills.

NSSF Chris Cheng Pistol Accuracy Handgun Shooting Skills

4. 3 O’Clock — Too Much Trigger Finger: Finally, if you see three (3) shots at the 3 O’clock position, this can indicate that there is too much trigger finger on the trigger. Therefore when the shot breaks the shooter is pulling each shot to the right. Note: Each of these descriptions is for a RIGHT-handed shooter. If you are a left-handed shooter you’ll want to reverse those descriptions.

NSSF Chris Cheng Pistol Accuracy Handgun Shooting Skills

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August 6th, 2021

Classic Rifles at Camp Perry this Weekend — GSMM Event

Brian Williams M1 Carbine CMP Modern Military 4-Gun 3-Gun

Friday August 6 through Sunday, August 8, 2021 classic military rifles will fill the firing lines at Camp Perry. The National John C. Garand, Springfield, Vintage and Modern Military Match (GSMM) will be held Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, with the one-day Springfield M1A Match on Sunday only. (See CMP Camp Perry Calendar.) Some participants will shoot just one rifle type, but there is also a combined GSMM 4-Gun Aggregate. This GSSM Agg encompasses a series of position shooting matches on NRA SR targets at the CMP Nationals. As the matches are completed, day by day, results will be posted on the CMP National Matches Results Page.

M1 Garand Match Camp Perry

This video shows the Garand Match at Camp Perry. The rifles are still the same a decade later…

The annual GSMM event is one of the most popular events at Camp Perry, drawing participants from around the nation. One of the favorites to win the GSMM Aggregate is Brian Williams, recently profiled in our Daily Bulletin. The 4-gun Aggregate includes Garand, 1903 Springfield/1917 Enfield (or similar bolt rifle), M1 Carbine, and AR-type rifle for “Modern Military”. Remarkably, Brian has won the GSMM 4-Gun at the CMP National Matches in Camp Perry three years in a row — the inaugural 2017 4-Gun Agg, plus 2018 and 2019. There was no match in 2020 due to COVID, so Brian aspires to his fourth title in 2021. Below, Brian offers some thoughts on the classic wood-stocked rifles used in GSMM competition.

The Classic Wood Guns of CMP 4-Gun Competition

Brian Williams M1 Garand M1903 springfield .30-06 M1 Carbine CMP Modern Military 4-Gun 3-Gun

Perspectives on M1 Garand, M1903A3, M1917, and M1 Carbine
Brian provides perspectives on the “Wood Gun” game, with suggestions on how to improve your performance with the M1 Garand, M1903 Springfield, M1917 Enfield, M1 Carbine, and other 20th Century military rifles. Brian explains what to look for

Q: What should one look for when acquiring older rifles for CMP 4-Gun Games — M1 Garand, M1903/1903A3, M1917, M1 Carbine? What are realistic budgets for these firearms? What kind of accuracy can one expect? What upgrades are important?

Brian: All of these military surplus rifles are out there, but they are getting harder to get your hands on. And, just like everything else, the prices continue to rise. Not that long ago you could get your hands on a M1 Garand for four or five hundred dollars. In today’s market they are usually about double that price. But understand that these rifles are all unique and all have a story to tell. No two are alike, or have the same story. Just like the guns themselves, there are fewer and fewer dedicated gunsmiths for these vintage rifles. But I promise if you look for a good smith, they are out there and they are some of the most interesting people you will ever meet.

M1 Garand — Of the four (4) centerfire guns I shoot in the CMP games, my favorite has to be the M1 Garand. There were over 6 million of them produced in a very short time period, and every single one has its own unique story, and that is just cool. M1 Garands are capable of good accuracy. I believe that a well-maintained M1 with at least a replacement barrel is capable of shooting between 1 and 1.5 MOA.

Brian Williams M1 Carbine CMP Modern Military 4-Gun 3-Gun

M1903A3 Springfield — I find that the sights on a M1903A3 are a little easier to see than the sights of the M1903, but both are very accurate rifles. Like most military rifles in the current climate the prices have risen dramatically, but there are some gems out there that can be had for far less than $1000. The nice thing about the Springfield rifle is that almost all of the accuracy than you would want can come from just replacing a worn out 80-year-old barrel. In terms of accuracy, I think a good M1903A3 can shoot 1 MOA most of the time.

Brian Williams M1 Carbine CMP Modern Military 4-Gun 3-Gun

M1917 Enfield — This rifle is the newest of my collection and it shoots very well, with just a new Criterion barrel — again about 1 MOA with iron sights. These rifles are very close in price to the M1903 Springfield. But if you do your homework and keep your eyes open, there are always great deals to be found. I actually prefer shooting the M1917 to my M1903A3, due primarily to the M1917’s cock-on-close bolt which allows smoother cycling.

Brian Williams M1 Carbine CMP Modern Military 4-Gun 3-Gun
Public domain photo from Armémuseum (The Swedish Army Museum).

M1 Carbine — By 1945 there had been more M1 Carbines built than Garands. Today the Carbine can be harder to find, and due to the scarcity the price has shot up and most military M1 Carbines are going for more than $1000 at this point. The great thing about the M1 Carbine is that as long as you have a good ammo supply this rifle can shoot. Honest. I have had countless numbers of people that tell me that there is not an M1 carbine that will shoot. I can tell you from experience that they will, but you are going to have to put in some time with one to learn how to get it to shoot where you want it.

Brian Williams M1 Carbine CMP Modern Military 4-Gun 3-Gun
The M1 Carbine shoots the .30 Carbine round, with 110gr bullet going about 1990 FPS. In comparison, the .30-06 Springfield round used in the M1 Garand is almost three times more powerful than the .30 Carbine.

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August 5th, 2021

Great Performances at Perry By High Power Shooters

Camp Perry 2021 National Trophy Junior Team Match matches

August 3, 2021 was a record-breaking day at Camp Perry. Four new category records were set during the National Trophy Individual (NTI) Match (see below). The winner of the NTI match was the USAMU’s SGT Brandon Muske (above), who fired a 498-25X to capture the Daniel Boone Trophy. In fact the USAMU’s Service Rifle Team claimed the top four spots of the National Trophy Individual Rifle Match: SGT Brandon Muske – 498-25X (winner); SSG David Bahten – 498-24X (second); SGT Kade Jackovich – 498-23X (third); SFC Brandon Green – 498-18X (fourth).

Camp Perry 2021 National Trophy Junior Team Match matches

Camp Perry 2021 National Trophy Junior Team Match matches
3-Time National High Power Champion SFC Brandon Green takes aim at NTI match.

Here is video from Monday’s President’s 100 Match. Shooter is SFC Brandon Green:

The President’s 100 Match was held on Monday, August 2nd. Major Samuel Freeman (ARNG) won the President’s Trophy with an impressive 396-19X score, edging SP4 Luke Rettmer (396-12X) by X-count. For the President’s 100/NTI Aggregate title, James Fox scored 792-32X to win the Alice Bull Trophy as the highest scoring civilian. Runner-up Haley Robinson was just one point behind at 791-36X.

Camp Perry 2021 National Trophy Junior Team Match matches
SSG Erin McNeil of the USAMU (left) competes in NTI match with a young lady shooter.

Camp Perry 2021 National Trophy Junior Team Match matches

National Trophy Junior Team Match

The National Trophy Junior Team Match (NTJT) was held on Wednesday, August 4th. It was great to see so many talented young teens on the firing line. The California Grizzles – Team Leupold shot 992-49X to win the match, followed by the Wisconsin Cheddar team (seconed), and Texas Junior Giraud team (third). The Grizzlies Leupold squad smashed the existing 979-39X match record set by the Grizzlies Team Shilen in 2016.

Camp Perry 2021 National Trophy Junior Team Match matches
Camp Perry 2021 National Trophy Junior Team Match matches
Camp Perry 2021 National Trophy Junior Team Match matches
Camp Perry 2021 National Trophy Junior Team Match matches

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August 4th, 2021

Kirsten Joy Weiss — Annie Oakley for the 21st Century

Kirsten Weiss trick shot Annie Oakley NRA All access

Talented sharpshooter Kirsten Joy Weiss is featured in an episode of NRA All Access. The show covers Kirsten’s development as a competitive shooter, and her success as a trick-shot artist with her own popular YouTube channel. Here’s the All Access segment featuring many of Kirsten’s most famous trick shots.

During the video Kirsten also talks about her background in shooting and how she wants to be a good ambassador for the shooting sports, “spreading the positive reality of shooting”. Kirsten explains: “The fun challenge and joy of shooting is important to me because I really wanted to be a positive example. So when the media says the ‘guns are a bad thing and nobody does anything good with guns’, they can say ‘Well, what about her [Kirsten]’?”

Kirsten: “I think that it’s important for young girls to have somebody that they can look up to… I feel responsibility to show young shooters coming up, especially females, that you can respect yourself and shoot a gun as well.”

annie oakley kirsten joy weiss trick shot YouTube channel

Kirsten Joy WeissA gifted “natural” shooter, Kirsten started shooting fairly late — at age 16. Despite her relatively late start, she learned very quickly, and managed to earn a place on the University of Nebraska shooting team. That literally opened up a new world for Kirsten: “During the course of my career, I’ve had a lot of success. I’ve gone to World Cups… in Zagreb, Croatia, in Munich, Germany. I’ve won National Championships, and got on to the U.S. Olympic short list, so it’s been a good career.”

Kirsten tells us: “A lot of people don’t think of shooting as a sport, but it absolutely is, and I would even go so far as to say that it is an art form.” We don’t know if this is art, sport, or magic, but very few shooters have the skill or flexibility to make this upside-down shot…

Kirsten Weiss trick shot Annie Oakley NRA All access

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