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July 17th, 2022

Sunday Gunday: Kirsten Joy Weiss and Her Smallbore Anschutz

Kirsten Weiss trick shot anschutz smallbore Annie Oakley NRA All access

Kirsten Weiss knows a thing about accuracy. She won the 2012 NRA Three-Position Women’s Smallbore Championship, while finishing as the National Overall Woman Champion. She used to shoot with the American team in top-level World Cup competition. Kirsten started shooting fairly late in high school. Despite her relatively late start, she earned 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 Joy Weiss Anschutz .22 LR Smallbore

In the sections below, Kirsten offers key tips on accurate shooting. In the first section she explains the importance of dry-fire practice and offers tips on dry-fire technique. Next, Kirsten talks about canting error — how having inconsistent side-to-side tilt on your rifle. In the third section, Kirsten explains the importance of proper trigger placement, with a helpful video that illustrates the correct trigger technique.

The Benefits of Dry-Fire Practice

kirsten weiss dry fire anschutz smallbore

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.” Kirsten says: “I hope it helps you, and keep on aiming true!” CLICK HERE for Kirsten’s Dry-Fire Training Video.

kirsten weiss dry fire anschutz smallbore

Consistent Rifle Cant (Tilt from Centerline)

Kirsten says most training manuals don’t explain rifle cant: “You won’t find this shooting technique just anywhere. Most shooters don’t even think about it — and they’re missing out. Proper Rifle Cant or Gun Cant (also known as cant error or even scope cant) is a complicated topic, but I’ll explain it simply — and how to simply avoid cant error.”

Want to know how to actually aim a gun right? This accuracy tip covers a crucial aspect of marksmanship. If you cant your rifle inconsistently from shot to shot, the point of impact will change, even with “perfect aim”. This is another episode in Kirsten’s How to Shoot Awesomely video series.

Proper Trigger Finger Technique

Kirsten tells us: “Finger placement on the trigger might not seem like a big deal, but it actually is. The reason for this is because, depending on where your index finger is placed on the trigger, [this] translates to different muscle interactions with the gun.” Watch this video to see Kirsten demonstrate proper finger placement (and explain problems caused by improper finger positioning).

When you pull the trigger, you only want to engage the last section of your finger, in order to avoid unwanted muscle engagement and to achieve a smooth shot. Remember there is a “sweet spot” between the crease (first joint) and the tip of the finger. If you position the trigger in that “sweet spot”, you should see an increase in your accuracy. Don’t make the mistake of putting the trigger in the crease of your finger, as shown below.

Kirsten Joy Weiss shooting tip marksmanship

Watch more videos on Kirsten’s YouTube Channel »

Kirsten Joy WeissA gifted “natural” shooter, Kirsten started shooting fairly late. Despite her relatively late start, she learned very quickly, and success in high school earned her a place on the University of Nebraska shooting team. Competitive shooting then 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

Interview with Kirsten on NRA All Access

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.

In this NRA All Access 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]’?”

Anschutz — A Company with 166 Years of Heritage

Julius Gottfried Anschutz founded J.G. Anschutz in 1856 in Mehlis, Thuringia, Germany. Forty years later, the company moved from its small workshop to its first factory building, and within 10 years grew from 76 to 550 employees. After World War II, the Russians shut down and dismantled the factory, causing the Anschutz family to move operations to Ulm in West Germany. Again, the company grew quickly and shortly thereafter, the first Olympic gold medals were won at the 1960 Olympic Games with Anschutz target rifles, equipped with the world famous Match 54 action.

Kirsten Weiss trick shot anschutz smallbore Annie Oakley NRA All access

From its headquarters in Ulm, Anschutz now serves customers in approximately 90 countries. Anschutz North America is the primary distributor for the United States and Canada.

Kirsten Weiss trick shot anschutz smallbore Annie Oakley NRA All access

For its 160th Anniversary, Anschutz produced a series of commemorative rifles, including the rare, exotic $10,995.00 Model 54.30 with Titanium stock.

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December 10th, 2020

Three Dry-Fire Training Systems — Mantis, Strikeman, SCATT

Mantis X2 X3 X10 dry fire monitor system

With the current acute shortages of ammo and reloading components (particularly primers), many shooters are doing more dry-fire training. This method allows you to practice your hold, aiming, and trigger-pulling skills without using precious components and/or barrel life. Here are three systems employed for Dry Fire Training. The first device, the Mantis X Series, fits on a Picatinny rail and has a full-featured App that records your sessions and offers training tips. The Strikeman, used primarily by pistol shooters, features an in-chamber laser and a smartphone App that “reads” a proprietary target. The third device, the SCATT MX-02, is favored by top air rifle Olympic shooters and smallbore marksmen, but it can also be effectively used with centerfire rifles also. AND it can work for LIVE-fire as well as dry-fire training.

Mantis Systems — X2 for Dry-Fire, $99.99

Mantis X2 dry fire monitor system

Built for dry-fire use only, the Mantis X2 ($99.99) provides real-time, shot-by-shot feedback for both pistol and rifle users. You can track multiple training sessions with data-driven insights, and monitor your progress. This unit has earned high user reviews such as: “As a new gun owner the Mantis X is a game changer for me. I have not been able to get to the range during the lockdowns and being able to practice at home [is great].” And another: “Easy to install[.] The App is free and easy to use. I can’t make it to the range very often so I love being able to improve at home. It holds its charge for a long time.”

Mantis X2 dry fire monitor system

Guns America Digest has reviewed the Mantis X2. Tester Edgar Sherman says it offers good functionality for the $99.99 MSRP: “[The X2] is a clip-on attachment you can put on your handgun or rifle to test your accuracy [and see] how much movement you produce when breaking your shot. I use this system for myself to check my grip and trigger press [and] help new shooters eliminate variables. This tool will link up to your phone via Bluetooth and a free [Android App].” The Mantis X2 is a good value. The manufacturer states: “There is nothing at this price point that will give you this level of feedback for dry fire.”

There are actually four Mantis versions for firearms: X2 ($99.99), X3 ($169.99), X7 Shotgun ($199.99) and X10 Elite ($249.99). The X3 adds live fire functionality, allowing you to delve into and compare performance improvements between dry and live fire sessions. The capabilities of each system are found on the Mantis Model Comparison Page. NOTE: If your pistol/rifle lacks a standard accessory rail, Mantis offers a variety of Clamp-on Rail Adapeters.

Strikeman Training System


In this video Dustin Ellerman shows how to use the Strikeman Dry Firing System.

The Strikeman system is designed for dry-fire training primarily with handguns. This $99.99 system has four components: 1) a laser cartridge (similar to a bore-sighter) that fits in your chamber; 2) a special target; 3) a mount for your smartphone; and 4) a smartphone App that records your aiming. During practice, you set up your smartphone to point at the target, and the App record the laser movement, effectively tracking your muzzle movement. The manufacturer explains: “By using our signature target, laser cartridge and smartphone holder in unison with our phone App, you can safely practice your shot in the comfort of your home. The target includes a removable mount and suction cups. Our custom designed smartphone holder allows you to adjust your smartphone effortlessly.” Users seem to like this system, and Strikeman even offers a 15-day sastisfaction guarantee: “The Strikeman Training System is guaranteed to improve your shot accuracy, or your money back. Try it risk free for 15 days!”

strikeman laser cartridge dry fire training target

The Strikeman is currently offered for seven (7) different cartridge types: .380 ACP, 9x19mm, .357 SIG, .38 SPL, .40 SW, .45 ACP, .223 Rem/5.56. The manufacturer’s video below shows how to place the Strikeman laser cartridge in your pistol and set up your smartphone and the special target:

SCATT MX-02 for Dry-Fire and Live-Fire

SCATT MX-02 training digital camera sensor target

The SCATT MX-02 ($1799.99) is an electronic shooter training system that can be used effectively for dry-fire training. However, it it is also capable of operating outdoors with live, centerfire ammunition, at distances from 25 yards to 600 yards. Tony Chow tested this product for AccurateShooter.com. As fitted to his AR-15 Service Rifle, Tony found this is a very useful tool that can help High Power competitors refine their technique and shoot higher scores. CLICK HERE for MX-02 3000-word Review. There is a newer SCATT MX-W2 model ($1899.00) that offers all the same capabilities with a Wireless configuration.

How the SCATT MX-02 Works
The SCATT sensor mounted on the end of the barrel has a digital camera that recognizes the black bullseye in the target, even in broad daylight outdoors. Using the bullseye as a reference, the SCATT software tracks the movement of the muzzle relative to the center of the target. The unit can plot these movements as a continuous trace, which appears on a monitor as a squiggly, colored line. By sensing the exact moment of shot release, the SCATT can also interpolate relative shot placement (for a single shot or series of shots) — but this is not the same as an electronic target which actually records the exact shot impact location on the target.

SCATT Dry-Fire Training MX-02 MX-w2 WSB WS-1

If you do not need Live-Fire capability, SCATT offers two lower-priced dry-fire-only systems, the SCATT USB Dry-Fire Training System ($1049.00), and the SCATT WS-1 Wireless Dry-Fire Training System ($1299.00).

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June 2nd, 2020

Improve Shooting Skills with SCATT Electro-Optical Devices

Kirsten Joy Weiss SCATT MX-02 Video Trainer demo electronic trace target live fire dry firing

“SCATT” — if you’re an Olympic Class air rifle or smallbore competitor you know what SCATT means. The Russian-made SCATT is a marksmanship training system with an electro-optical sensor that fits on the end of a barrel. The sensor “sees” the target and then tracks your muzzle movement relative to the center of the target, recording a “trace” that can be displayed on a computer. The SCATT MX-02 unit works for live-fire training as well as dry-fire training. There is also a newer SCATT MX-W2 wireless system that works for dry-fire AND live-fire training. To learn more about the SCATT electronic trainers, visit SCATTUSA.com.

Pro shooter Kirsten Joy Weiss demonstrates the SCATT MX-02 electronic training system:

The system traces and records valuable information such as hold pattern, shot hold duration, follow-through, recoil pattern, and much more. The latest SCATT MX-02 systems can be used both indoors and outdoors up to 300 meters (and possibly more). READ FULL SCATT MX-02 TEST HERE.

SCATT traces reveal muzzle movements during the aiming process.
Kirsten Joy Weiss SCATT MX-02 Review Video Electronic Trainging system test

Kirsten Joy Weiss, a top-level competitive position shooter, has tested the latest SCATT MX-02 training systtem. She put the MX-02 through its paces, and then produced an informative video that shows how it works. Click on the video above to see Kirsten use the MX-02 with her Anschütz rifle and other guns.

Kirsten Joy Weiss SCATT MX-02 Video Trainer demo electronic trace target live fire dry firing

Kirsten was impressed with the SCATT MX-02 she tested:

“We live with tech woven into our every day, so if you had the chance to work with a computer to make you a better shooter — would you? Can a computer train you as well as your favorite coach or, dare to say, better than a human?”

Weiss says it’s like having a little coach with you recording your every move. “If R2D2 had a cousin who knew how to shoot,” Weiss quips, “his name would be the MX-02″.

The SCATT MX-02 can also be used with target pistols.
Kirsten Joy Weiss SCATT MX-02 Video Trainer demo electronic trace target live fire dry firing

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