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January 20th, 2017

Shoot Better with No Ammo at All — Dry-Fire Training Tips

kirsten weiss dry fire anschutz smallbore

Kirsten Joy Weiss has created a useful video about Dry-Fire practice. Dry-Fire is a method of training without a live round in the chamber. Dry-Firing is effective, Kirsten explains, because “it eliminates all the extra noise and messages that you get when you fire a live round. Without recoil, without the sound of a shot going off etc., all you hear is the click of the trigger. This allows you to focus on your sight picture and your trigger press.” This the lastest installment in Kirsten’s ‘How to Shoot Awesomely’ series. Kisten says: “I hope it helps you, and keep on aiming true!”

kirsten weiss dry fire anschutz smallbore

Dennis DeMille High PowerThe Benefits of Dry-Fire Training
If you are not doing Dry-Fire practice yet, then it’s time to start. Dry-Fire training is essential to the sling disciplines, and very useful for F-Class. 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.”

Dry-Fire Training Can Benefit Benchrest Shooters
What about benchrest? Well, we’ve found that Dry-Fire sessions can even benefit benchresters — it can help reveal flaws in your trigger technique, or inconsistencies in the way you address the rifle from shot to shot. With the gun set up with your front rest and rear bag, if you see the scope’s cross-hairs wiggle a lot when you pull the trigger, you need to work on your technique. Also, dry-fire practice can help you learn to work the bolt more smoothly so you don’t disturb the gun on the bags.

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December 3rd, 2014

NRA National Indoor Rifle & Pistol Championships Schedule

The 2015 NRA National Indoor Rifle & Pistol Championships start January 1, 2015. Unlike the NRA’s National Matches at Camp Perry, the Indoor Championships are shot as a postal match, through multiple sectional tournaments all across the country. This means you can join the action from the comfort of your local range. The scores from shooters around the nation are compared by the NRA, which names the winners in each classification.

NRA indoor championships

The Indoor Rifle & Pistol Championships include a variety of disciplines: Air Pistol, Rimfire Pistol, Air Rifle, and Rimfire Rifles. There is even a BB gun class for Juniors. The Indoor Championships involve multiple sectional tournaments, held in a variety of states from January through mid-April. This is like a super-duper postal match. Winners will be announced by the NRA in late May. There will be nearly 300 sectionals in 2014, so you’ll probably find an event close to home. Here are dates for 2013:

Open Sectionals: 1/1 – 3/18 | Collegiate Sectionals: 1/1 – 2/12 | JR. Sectionals: 1/1 – 4/15

NRA Indoor Championships

The 50m Free Pistol is one of the events in the NRA National Indoor Championship. It takes skill — the pistol is shot one-handed, with iron sights, and the Ten-Ring is only 50mm (about 1.97″) in diameter. A competitive world-class score is 560 or better out of 600 possible points. Learn more about this challenging discipline in this USA Shooting video:

Story based on report in NRA Blog.

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May 15th, 2014

CMP Summer Camps are Filling Up Quickly

CMP summer Air Rifle CampEach summer the Civilian Marksmanship Program sponsors a popular series of Junior Air Rifle Camps and Clinics to teach intermediate and advanced marksmanship skills to junior shooters. All camps are one-week-long, three-position air rifle camps, with the exception of the Outreach Clinics and the Advanced Standing Camp.

The CMP’s summer Rifle Training Camps are filling up fast. Many camps are now posted as full, and several more will be full soon. If you want to help a Junior get involved, act soon. Interested Juniors should sign-up today for one of the remaining CMP Camps or Clinics. These are great training options for the summer. For more information, visit:



Camp Dates


Anniston, AL- CMP South

2-6 June

Clinic A

Progresso, TX (Outreach Clinic)

2-4 June


Anniston, AL- CMP South

9-13 June


Camp Perry, OH- CMP North

9-13 June

Clinic 1

Willard, MO- Springfield Area (Outreach Clinic) **FULL**

16-18 June


Anniston, AL- CMP South **FULL**

16-20 June


Camp Perry, OH- CMP North **FULL**

16-20 June

Stand A
30 June-2 July

Clinic 2

Port Orchard, WA- Seattle Area (Outreach Clinic)

7-9 July

Clinic 3

Bozeman, MT (Outreach Clinic)

7-9 July

Stand 1

Phoenix, AZ- Ben Avery (Advanced Standing Camp)

10-12 July


Anniston, AL- CMP South **FULL**

14-18 July


Phoenix, AZ- Ben Avery **FULL**

14-18 July


Anniston, AL- CMP South **FULL**

21-25 July


Kerrville, TX **FULL**

21-25 July


Anniston, AL- CMP South**FULL**

28 July-1 Aug


Fountain, CO **FULL**

28 July-1 Aug

Stand 2

Anniston, AL- CMP South (Advanced Standing Camp)

4-6 Aug

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October 21st, 2013

High Schooler Wins High Woman Title at National Championships

Here’s a feel-good story about a talented young shooter.
Article based on report by Lars Dalseide, for
NRA Blog.

Amy Fister stands Camp Perry NRA Smallbore 3-Position High Woman

Finding the X-Ring while taking part in NRA’s National Rifle and Pistol Championships can be challenging enough. Finding the X-Ring from three positions during the smallbore rifle phase of the championships can be even more trying. But Amy Fister, winner of this year’s NRA 3-Position Rifle High Woman title, found it with no trouble at all. A surprising result given her wry self-description.

“I’m a nerd,” she said with a laugh. “I’m very dedicated to my studies.”

Based out of Kutztown, Pennsylvania, Fister walked away from the 3-Position Awards Ceremony with three titles: High Woman with Metallic Sights, High Civilian with Metallic Sights, and High Woman Overall. Fister finished with a score of 2374 – 140X (good for 7th overall). “Last year I was close but not close enough,” said Fister. “I guess this year it was my time.” Seeing her on stage, winning award after award, it’s hard to believe that it almost didn’t happen — she nearly fell victim to the summer heat at Camp Perry.

Fighting Dehydration at Camp Perry
About halfway through the National Championship match, Fister was setting up targets when she realized something was wrong: “I was delusional, seeing things,” Fister explained. “After setting up my target, it wasn’t there. I started chasing down the target guy for another one. It was an interesting and a little bit scary of an experience.”

She was dehydrated. Heartbeat rapid, extremely lethargic, unsteady on her feet — she recognized the signs and started back for the line. Pulling a bottle of Gatorade out of her bag, she gulped until it emptied. Feeling a touch steadier, she made for the water coolers behind the line. A few cups later and she was ready to proceed. “Luckily it happened during prone,” she said with a laugh. “Standing would have been a different story.”

How a Nerd Became a World-Class Rifle Shooter
Starting as far back as she can remember, Fister was out shooting with her dad. First as the official gear porter, then as a huntress. “Deer and goose, that’s what we went for,” she said. “I go out deer hunting whenever I can, but it cuts into my shooting time. You’ve got to find a happy medium.”

Amy Fister stands Camp Perry NRA Smallbore 3-Position High WomanThough it was dad who first put a rifle in her hand, it was her sister Valerie who started her down the competitive trail. Like most stories of sibling rivalry, big sister joined the rifle team so little sister (Amy) wanted to also. A little practice, a little patience, and it all came together — so well in fact that Amy has earned a shooting scholarship to the University of Memphis. But her ambitions don’t stop there. They reach as far as Rio de Janeiro, site of the 2016 Olympics.

“I missed a spot on the U.S. Team by two points. Now the goal is to be part of the Olympic Rifle Team in 2016. Problem is that I don’t want my scores to drop and I don’t want my grades to drop.

“My goal is to become a pediatrician and an Olympian. Guess I’ll just find a way.”

To learn more about the NRA’s Competitive Shooting Programs, visit

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June 7th, 2013

37-Year-Old Whips Young Guns at USA Shooting Championships

Justin Tracy wasn’t prepared to be standing on top of the podium at the USA Shooting Championsihps. The 37-year-old from Farmington, NY, didn’t start competitive shooting until well after his college years and only had minimal military experience as a part-time member of the New York Air Guard.

Yet the relative newcomer to the sport beat a field of competitors dotted with Olympians and World Cup medalists to find himself atop the podium with a National Champion title in the Men’s Prone Rifle event at the USA Shooting National Championships. Tracy has a two-day aggregate score of 1256.9 points and has earned himself a spot on the National Team as well.

usa shooting Championships

“I was one of the few shooters in yesterday’s final that was in today’s final so that gave me a real advantage and I just ran with it!” said Tracy. “Before Spain I’m going to need to definitely work on shooting under pressure- I saw some weak points I had, getting a shaky trigger finger with nerves, so I’ll need to work on things like that!”

Rounding out the podium in second place is four-time Olympian and U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) shooter Jason Parker with a score of 1253.5. Parker took gold in the Men’s Three-Position Rifle event earlier this week. In third was National Junior Team member Daniel Lowe with 1251.3 points.

Two other new National Champions in prone rifle shooting were also crowned. On the Women’s Prone Rifle side, National Team member Sarah Beard took home her second medal of the week with a first-place finish of 1248 points. In the Junior Men’s Prone event, Kevin Sui took gold with 1246 points.

usa shooting Championships

New members to the National and Developmental Paralympic teams were welcomed at events yesterday and today with eight new athletes being named to the Paralympic Development Team and one new athlete named to the Paralympic National Team.

usa shooting Championships

Rifle Competition in rifle now moves to Men’s Air and Women’s Three-Position over the next two days. View all photos from the USA Shooting National Championships for Rifle & Pistol at To view results for all disciplines, CLICK HERE for USA Shooting Championships scores.

All Photos courtesy, All Rights Reserved.
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April 14th, 2013

Deanna Binnie Takes Women’s 3P Rifle Crown at 2013 NJOSC

NJOSC shooting championships

Pennsylvanian Deanna Binnie is the newest USA Shooting National Junior Team member after winning the Three-Position event, as competition in women’s rifle concluded as part of the 17-day National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships (NJOSC). Binnie, who will enroll at Ohio State Univ. this fall, led from beginning to end in her two relay events. She shot the two highest scores (586, 578) in qualifying to give her a 10-point cushion heading into the 8-person final. Despite not shooting well in the Finals (96.1), she held on to win. Binnie’s 2013 victory was impressive given the fact that she only finished 19th in 2012.

NJOSC shooting championships

Rachel Martin (who will attend Nebraska) also earned National Junior Team distinction after finishing second. Rachel was in a tight battle with Minden Miles. Both ladies shot a 99.3 in the final with Martin earning the silver medal given her two-point lead over Miles after qualification. The 16-year-old Miles was the only competitor in the field to have made two event finals and recorded the two highest final scores in the process.

CLICK HERE for the latest NJOSC Match Results.

NJOSC shooting championships

NJOSC shooting championshipsQualifying for the National competition begins at the state level as State Junior Olympic Championships included competition in 47 states utilizing 80 different USA Shooting clubs. The 2013 competition consisted of over 2,200 individual participants in rifle and pistol events. State champions and those who qualify via high scores are invited to Colorado Springs to compete in the NJSOC

The competition takes place over a three-week period with over 500 of the finest junior shooters in attendance. The top-two finishers in each event earn a spot on USA Shooting’s National Junior Team. The 17-day event features shooting matches in Men’s and Women’s Pistol (Air/Sport) and Rifle (Air/Smallbore). The NJOSC wraps up next Friday with the best male youth rifle shooters descending on Colorado beginning Sunday as they get ready to test themselves in three events (air, smallbore prone and three-position).

NJOSC shooting championships

NJOSC shooting championships

Photos by See more at

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March 18th, 2013

Univ. of Michigan Wins NRA Intercollegiate Club Championships

Story based on report by Kyle Jillson for NRABlog
The University of Michigan Wolverines won the 2013 NRA Intercollegiate Rifle Club Championships, with an Aggregate score of 4363 out of 4800. After winning the Air Rifle championships on Day One with a 2221 score, Michigan topped the field in the Day Two Smallbore event as well, with a 2142 out of 2400 team score. That gave Michigan the overall title, ahead of runner-up Penn State University.

NRA Intercollegiate Club Rifle

Matthew Chezem from the University of Akron took the Aggregate overall individual championship, with a great smallbore performance on the last day. Matt won the smallbore match with a high of 565 of 600, leapfrogging competitors who had scored higher on Day One (during the Air Rifle Competition). Matt finished with 1132 out of 1200, to earn the individual title.

NRA Intercollegiate Club Rifle Matthew Chezem

Ying Yi Liu Shoots Perfect 100 in Air Rifle Match
A highlight of the Match for the Wolverines was the stellar Air Rifle performance by Univ. of Michigan’s Ying Yi Liu. She shot a perfect 100 score (10 points on all 10 targets) in her final air rifle relay, to lead the Wolverines to a first-day win in the Air Rifle segment. That gave Univ. of Michigan a lead it never reliquished. Liu also won the individual Air Rifle Championship with a 565 score.

NRA Intercollegiate Club Rifle
NRA Intercollegiate Club Rifle

NRA Intercollegiate Club Rifle

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March 8th, 2012

NCAA Rifle Championships March 9-10 at Ohio State

Dardas Andrea Jacksonville State NCAA rifle team

NCAA Rifle ChampionshipsThe nation’s top collegiate men and women shooters have converged on Ohio State University to compete in the 2012 NCAA Rifle Championships. The Championships run March 9-10 (Friday and Saturday) at the Converse Hall and French Field House in Columbus, Ohio. The undefeated Horned Frogs from Texas Christian University (TCU) look to upset the reigning champion Wildcats from the University of Kentucky (UK). You can follow the NCAA Rifle Championships on the website (rifle page). Event coverage will include live streaming video of some relays. The 8-minute video below includes profiles of top male and female shooters.

NCAA Rifle Championships

The following eight teams qualified (based on regular season aggregate scores) to compete in both air rifle and smallbore events: University of Alaska-Fairbanks (UAF), West Point Army, Jacksonville State, University of Kentucky, West Virginia University, University of Nevada, University of Texas El Paso (UTEP), and TCU. On Friday, March 9, the three-position smallbore shooters (both team and individual competition) will shoot 60 shots. The next day, air rifle competitors will take the line for 60 shots as well. According to NCAA rules: “the overall team champion will be determined by combining smallbore and air rifle team scores into one aggregate score for each institution.” The NCAA Rifle program has been in existence since 1980 and currently has 29 schools participating.

Individual and team competitions in smallbore three-position (60 shots) will be held Friday, March 9. Individual and team competitions in air rifle (60 shots) will be held Saturday, March 10. The overall team champion will be determined by combining the smallbore and air rifle team total scores into one aggregate score for each institution.

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July 22nd, 2011

NRA Smallbore Championships Kick Off with 3-Position Events

Metallic Sights Standing Competition Video
Yesterday, 21 August, marked the opening of the Smallbore 3-Position Competition at the NRA Championships in Camp Perry, Ohio. The video below shows some of the shooters during the standing segment of the Metallic Sight portion of the smallbore championship events.

Standing Position Shooting
This week, smallbore competitors compete in three different positions: Prone, Standing, and Kneeling. Here are images from the standing portion of the event.

Prone Shooting
Here is a slide-show from the prone segment of the Smallbore three-position tournament at Camp Perry. These photos were taken on 21 July, during the first relay.

Images provided courtesy the NRA Blog, used by permission, all rights reserved.

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November 18th, 2010

November Issue of Shooting Sports USA is Available

The November 2010 digital edition of Shooting Sports USA has been released, and it’s definitely worth reading. The lead story explains the correct positions for 3-P smallbore and air rifle shooting. This is a well-organized, easy-to-understand article, packed with large photos from start to finish. If you are a three-position shooter (or want to be), you should definitely read this article.

Silhouette Competition History
In addition to the position shooting story, the current edition of Shooting Sports USA has an excellent article by Jock Elliot on Metallic Silhouette shooting. Elliot covers the evolution of the sport from its origins in Mexico, to today’s popular rimfire and centerfire silhouette programs that attract thousands of shooters throughout the USA. Elliot explains the silhouette courses of fire and interviews top silhouette shooters including 11-year-old Mallory Nichols, the youngest master in the history of silhouette shooting.

Traveling with Firearms — Helpful Tips
Both competitive shooters and hunters can benefit from Shooting Sports USA’s guide to traveling with firearms, found on pages 9-10 of the November edition. There, you’ll find short reviews of recommended travel cases, plus travel tips from experienced shooters. Carroll Pilant of Sierra Bullets explains why he now marks his ammo: “I color code my primers with a Magic Marker. I was on my way to Brazil for the IHMSA match and TSA dumped all my ammo into a pile to weigh it. If they hadn’t been all the same loads, I would have been in trouble.”

In addition to the November issue, you can read previous editions of Shooting Sports USA. Click on the “Archives” tab at the bottom of the page, after you’ve launched the November issue in your browser. Visit to request a free Digital Edition of Shooting Sports USA each month.

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