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March 25th, 2023

Federal Court Rules Against CA Micro-Stamping Requirement

California unsafe handgun act micro-stamping microstamp injunction district court unconstitutional

Report from National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF)
The U.S. District Court (Central District of California) has issued a preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of California’s Unsafe Handgun Act with its microstamping requirement. The case, Boland v. Bonta, was filed shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Bruen decision. The District court issued the preliminary injunction on March 20, 2024, via an order signed by U.S. District Judge Cormack J. Carney.

“This order is a victory for lawful gun ownership in California. For too long, the Second Amendment has been significantly infringed upon by elected officials who have taken every opportunity to put roadblocks in front of law-abiding citizens seeking to exercise their Second Amendment rights”, said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior VP and General Counsel.

This microstamping requirement is technologically unsound. And it has resulted in massive reductions in handguns available to California citizens. According to the NSSF: “Since [the microstamping rule went into effect], California’s list of handguns certified for sale has dwindled. No new models have been added to California’s approved list since 2013, and models available for sale have dwindled 75%, from 976 handgun models to under 250 in 2022[.]”

“The order … is a significant win. NSSF has long contended that California’s Unsafe Handgun Act is an unconstitutional infringement denying Californians their ability to legally purchase the handguns that would best suit their needs”, Keane continued. “The court is correctly applying the holdings of the Supreme Court’s Bruen decision that the Second Amendment is the only test when it comes to lawful firearm ownership and the holdings of Heller that firearms in common use are protected by the Second Amendment.”

Boland v. Bonta, filed by the California Rifle & Pistol Association, challenged California’s Unsafe Handgun Act that requires all new pistols sold in the state to be equipped with a chamber-loaded indicator, a magazine disconnect mechanism, and be capable of using the firing pin to embed a microstamp on the primer of a fired cartridge case. That final requirement is technologically problematic, to say the least.

NSSF has testified in California’s legislature that it was impossible to meet the microstamping requirement. And event the microstamping patent-holder, Todd Lizotte, admitted that microstamping is unreliable, stating, “…legitimate questions exist related to both the technical aspects, production costs, and database management associated with microstamping that should be addressed before wide scale implementation is legislatively mandated.”

“The microstamping provision requires handguns to have a particular feature that is simply not commercially available or even feasible to implement on a mass scale,” the court’s order reads. This is a fact that NSSF has long maintained, and all peer-reviewed studies have reached the same conclusion.

Microstamping can be easily defeated by dragging a nail file over the tip of a firing pin or replacing the firing pin. However, the requirement was certified by then-Attorney General Kamala Harris. Since the adoption of the microstamping rule, California’s list of handguns certified for sale has dwindled. No new models have been added to California’s approved list since 2013, and models available for sale have dwindled 75 percent, from 976 handgun models to under 250 in 2022.

Permalink Handguns, News No Comments »
March 9th, 2023

Help for FFLs — NSSF Offers Instruction for Updated Form 4473

BATFE ATF form 4473 2022 2023 revision update NSSF Training course

Here is some useful information for FFLs and gun dealers. The NSSF now offers a special online training course: “Completion of the ATF Form 4473 2023 Edition”. NSSF members can access this web-based course via the SHOT University Online education center.

Why do you need to learn about the latest ATF Form 4473? Well the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) revised the form in December 2022 to reflect new statutory requirements imposed by the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the NICS Denial Notification Act, and the ATF Final Rule 2021R-05F. Use of the latest December 2022 edition Form 4473 is mandatory as of April 1, 2023.

Completing Form 4473 | NSSF SHOT University Online from NSSF on Vimeo.

This training series reviews key elements of the 6-page Form 4473, as well as tips for identifying and correcting common errors made by both buyers and sellers. The training series has three segments:

Module 1: Overview of Form 4473
Module 2: Completing Form 4473, Sections A-B
Module 3: Completing Form 4473, Sections C-E

The NSSF states that “All FFL counter salespeople, compliance officers, records keepers, and license holders should consider these SHOT University Online courses to be vital training to enhance FFL training and help reduce errors when using the new form.”

FFLs can order the December 2022 edition of the Form 4473 through the ATF Distribution Center, and the form is available for download at Use of the December 2022 edition is mandatory beginning April 1, 2023. At that time, use of the May 2020 edition must be discontinued. The new Form 4473 and continuation sheets are available from the ATF in both English and Spanish. A PDF version is offered online also.

SHOT University Online and the “Completing the Form 4473 2023 Edition” series are available as part of NSSF member benefits. For this and other instructional offerings, paid NSSF members should log in at SHOT University’s home page with their username and password, then click on the course of their choice.

Permalink Handguns, News, Tech Tip No Comments »
March 3rd, 2023

Shooting Industry Magazine — Fifth Annual Woman’s Issue

Shooting Industry Magazine woman's issue females training ladies

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

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

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

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

Shooting Industry Magazine woman's issue females training ladies

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

Access Full Archive of Articles about Gun Products for Women »

Shooting Industry Magazine woman's issue females training ladies

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

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

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March 3rd, 2023

Birchwood Casey Donates 10,000 Targets to First Shots Program

Birchwood casey targets shoot-n-c

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

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

Birchwood casey targets shoot-n-c

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

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

shoot-n-c birchwood casey target

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February 23rd, 2023

Rimfire Challenge Shooting Assn. Partners with +One Program

NSSF plus one +ONE rimfire challenge mentorship new shooters training family

The Rimfire Challenge Shooting Association (RCSA) is now an official partner of the +ONE Movement, a mentorship program organized by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). “RCSA is looking forward to a long relationship with NSSF,” stated RCSA Board President Peter Swenson.

NSSF +ONE programs encourage mentorship related to firearm safety, firearm basics, shooting sports, and hunting. The +ONE program focuses on peer-to-peer development in shooting sports and hunting.

NSSF plus one +ONE rimfire challenge mentorship new shooters training family

About the Rimfire Challenge Shooting Association
Designed to introduce new shooters to shooting sports in an exciting, family-friendly format, Rimfire Challenge matches focus on competition with .22 LR rifles and pistols. Matches are open to shooters of all shooting experience levels, with events conducted at ranges nationwide. The annual RCSA World Championship takes place each October. The RCSA promotes rimfire competition nationwide, supports beginning competitors and clubs, and solicits support for rimfire events from industry businesses.

Programs that inspire mentoring can make a huge difference. According to recent research, if just one out of three target shooters and hunters can introduce someone new to the shooting sports, we can help to secure a strong future for generations to come.

The NSSF encourages shooting sports enthusiasts and hunters to join the +ONE movement and invite someone to the range or afield. Learn more about the +ONE Movement by visiting and
This article is Copyright 2023 No reproduction on any other site is permitted.

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February 7th, 2023

Download Free Firearms Safety Resources

firearms Safety Gun Safety Rules Pamphlet manual Remington NSSF

Do you have a family member who has recently acquired his or her first firearm? Do you have friends or neighbors who keep firearms in a home with small children? It is important to know and practice the principles of firearms safety, ALL the time. Here are two well-written gun safety manuals in printable PDF format. All firearms owners, even experienced hunters and competitors, can benefit from reviewing these resources from time to time. And new gun owners, in particular, should take the time to read both these guides. The Remington Safety Manual includes the “Ten Commandments of Firearms Safety”. Here’s the First Commandment:

firearms Safety Gun Safety Rules Pamphlet manual Remington NSSF

Click Image to Download Printable PDF Versions:

firearms Safety Gun Safety Rules Pamphlet manual Remington NSSF firearms Safety Gun Safety Rules Pamphlet manual Remington NSSF
Permalink Hunting/Varminting, Shooting Skills No Comments »
January 20th, 2023

Vegas Visions — Images from SHOT Show 2023

SHOT Show 2023 las vegas venetian NSSF shooting industry photos

SHOT Show 2023 was a big success, drawing over 52,000 registered visitors from over 100 nations. The show was virtually sold out of exhibit space with 2500+ exhibitors overall. Everything you can imagine relating to firearms and hunting was on display at the show: rifles, pistols, shotguns, ammunition, optics, stocks, barrels, reloading equipment, safety gear, gun cases, and more.

Today, January 20th, 2023, is the last day of SHOT Show 2023. To celebrate the successful show this year, we’ve collected a variety of images from the event. If you’ve never been to SHOT Show, the biggest gun-related gathering in the world, these photos provide a “look inside”, offering a vicarious SHOT Show experience for our readers.

SHOT Show 2023 — Images from the Big Event

SHOT Show 2023 las vegas venetian NSSF shooting industry photos
Yes, SHOT Show can be crowded! This is opening day at the Venetian EXPO, Level 2.

SHOT Show 2023 las vegas venetian NSSF shooting industry photos
Ace pistol, PRS, and 3-Gun competitor Doug Koenig records a Podcast at the Ruger booth.

SHOT Show 2023 las vegas venetian NSSF shooting industry photos
Line-up of display stocks with mounted rifle scopes.

SHOT Show 2023 las vegas venetian NSSF shooting industry photos
Brightly colored purple and black AR pistol from GunTec USA.

SHOT Show 2023 las vegas venetian NSSF shooting industry photos
The quantity and variety of guns on display can be a little overwhelming for show visitors.

SHOT Show 2023 las vegas venetian NSSF shooting industry photos
Above all SHOT Show is about commerce — connecting manufacturers and wholesalers with retail dealers/vendors across the nation and the world.

SHOT Show 2023 las vegas venetian NSSF shooting industry photos
SHOT Show 2023 featured a small archery range set up on the plaza near Caesars Forum.

SHOT Show 2023 las vegas venetian NSSF shooting industry photos
On Wednesday there was an All-Star Jam Concert outside Caesars Forum, next to Great Outdoors Plaza.

SHOT Show 2023 las vegas venetian NSSF shooting industry photos
SHOT University’s ATF Compliance seminar drew hundreds of firearms retailers.

SHOT Show 2023 las vegas venetian NSSF shooting industry photos
Setting up SHOT Show 2023 at the Venetian Expo and Caesars Forum (above) was a massive job requiring heavy equipment. Over 2500 companies exhibited at SHOT Show 2023.

SHOT Show 2023 las vegas venetian NSSF shooting industry photos

SHOT Show 2023 las vegas venetian NSSF shooting industry photos

Permalink Gear Review, News No Comments »
January 6th, 2023

NSSF Auctions on Gunbroker Benefit Project ChildSafe

NSSF Gunbroker childsafe charity auction Partners With NSSF To Raise Money For Project ChildSafe has partnered with the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) for charity auctions. Dozens of fine products are being auctioned with all proceeds benefiting Project ChildSafe. The auctions are underway now with bidding through January 20, 2023. CLICK HERE to SEE Auctions.

GunBroker has a wide assortment of auction items — rifles, pistols, gun safes, cases, ammo and much more. Many brands in the shooting sports industry and beyond have stepped up to donate. The most valuable item is a .50 BMG rifle package complete with Vortex FFP 4.5-27x56mm scope and Accu-Tac bipod.

NSSF Gunbroker childsafe charity auction

The mission of NSSF’s Project ChildSafe is to help prevent firearm accidents, theft, and misuse. Visit the GunBroker Project ChildSafe Auction page to see the dozens of items available.

Gunbroker/NSSF ChildSafe Charity Auction Items Include:

HM Defense HM50B Package: Bolt-Action 50BMG Rifle, Vortex Razor HD 4.5-27x56mm Scope, Accu-Tac HD-50 Bipod

Sports Afield Haven Series 36-Gun Biometric Safe

Ruger Custom Shop Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor 26″ Barrel

Marlin Marlin 1895 Guide Gun 45-70 Govt. 19.1″ Threaded Barrel

Henry Big Boy Deluxe Engraved Limited 3rd Ed. .357 Mag/.38SPL

Norte Hunters Argentinian Dove Hunt with 3-Night Accommodations

Creedmoor Sports TRX-925 Precision Reloading Scale

SIG Sauer P365-XMACRO 9mm Optic Ready

Springfield Armory Hellcat Pro OSP 9mm

Glock Handgun of YOUR Choice

Maxim Defense MD-9 9mm

Kalashnikov USA KR-103 7.62x39mm Rifle

Hornady Rapid Safe Handgun Night Guard RFID (15 units, auctioned separately)

Q LLC Erector 9mm Modular Suppressor, Black

US PeaceKeeper RAT Rifle Case 36″ Black

US PeaceKeeper RDP Rapid Deployment Pack OD Green/Black

US PeaceKeeper $200 Gift Certificate

EAA Girsan Regard MC 9mm

Real Avid Master Gun Vise

Gunsite Academy 250 Defensive Pistol Class

KOR 5er VRS Universal Gun Case Insert

Liberty Ammunition 40 S&W 60gr HP – 200 Rds

Timney Triggers USA H&K MP5 Two-Stage Trigger

Traditions Performance Firearms NitroFire® .50 Cal 26″ Barrel

GunAlert Firearm Safety Monitoring Device 2022 Production

If It Moves… Safety Monitoring Device 2022 Production

About Gunbroker Charity Program Support is pleased to continue to promote not-for-profit organizations whenever possible, including YSSA, USA Shooting, Kids and Clays, The Light Foundation (via Ruger’s efforts), Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP), Scholastic Action Shooting Program, and more. For decades, we’ve dedicated prime space on the homepage to charitable auctions and take no transactional fees.

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December 20th, 2022

Winter Training Indoors — Guidelines for Safe Range Sessions

NSSF indoor range survey pistol shooters Southwick Associates range report
Photo courtesy Silver Eagle Group Shooting Range, Northern Virginia.

Winter solstice is tomorrow, Wednesday, December 21, 2022. We’re seeing extremely cold temperatures throughout many northerly states, with tons of snow falling on the ground. For American firearms fans in those colder climes, indoor training is the only realistic option this time of year.

snow ice snowstorm winter
AccuWeather forecasters warn that a significant storm may bring a wide swath of snow, rain, and fierce winds from the Plains to the East Coast this week. CLICK HERE for Accuweather Weather Report.

This article explains some key points to remember when shooting at indoor ranges. Always remember — safety first. Be especially careful to follow ALL the rules of safe gun handling. And even before you get to the range, make sure your guns are transported safely and in compliance with all local laws. In some states firearm(s) and ammunition must be kept in separate containers during transport.

This Video Covers Basic Gun Range Safety Rules and Etiquette


1. Follow the Three Fundamental Rules for Safe Gun Handling
ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction. ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot. ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.

2. Follow ALL Range Officer Instructions
ROs are the first and final authority on any range and their decisions are generally final. Arguing with a Range Officer may just get you thrown out.

3. Don’t Bother Others or Touch Their Guns
Respect other shooters’ privacy unless a safety issue arises. Do NOT engage other shooters to correct a perceived safety violation unless absolutely necessary – inform the RO instead. NEVER handle or touch another shooter’s firearm without their permission!

4. Know Your Range’s Rules
Review and understand any and all range rules and requirements/expectations. For example, what is the range’s maximum rate of fire? Are you allowed to collect your brass?

5. Know What To Do During a Cease Fire
IMMEDIATELY set down your firearm, pointed downrange, and STEP AWAY from the shooting booth (or bench). Range Officers do not want shooters trying to “secure/unload” their firearms in a cease fire situation — they want the shooters separated from their guns instantly.

NSSF indoor range survey pistol shooters Southwick Associates range report

BAD RANGE BEHAVIOR — Five Things NOT to Do at the Range

Here are the five worst behaviors we’ve seen at indoor ranges. These behaviors are both dangerous and inconsiderate. Any one of these behaviors can get you permanently banned from an indoor range.

1. Sweeping other individuals after loading a weapon behind the firing line is very bad. All your weapons should be empty until you reach your shooting station.

2. Turning the handgun sideways while trying to clear a malfunction or insert/remove a magazine. This will point the muzzle at a fellow shooter. Or, after shooting a gun, the shooter fails to clear the weapon and then places the gun somewhere near the shooting station with the muzzle in an unsafe position.

3. Reacting unpredictably when firing a high recoil handgun. We’ve seen people take a second shot by accident with the muzzle way off target.

4. Not obeying range commands — in particular continuing to shoot during called cease-fires.

5. Poorly aimed shooting that hits target frames or carriers, causing ricochets.

Double-Up on Hearing Protection When Shooting Indoors
When shooting indoors we recommend quality muffs with earplugs underneath, offering double protection. When inside an enclosed range, with other shooters blasting away right next to you, you really need effective hearing protection. But you also need to hear range commands and be able to communicate. That’s why we recommend electronic muffs with plugs underneath.

indoor range survey results NSSF

For indoor rifle and pistol shooting, we like the latest Howard Leight Impact Pro Muffs. These offer an impressive 30 dB Noise Reduction Rating (NRR). In addition, these muffs are pretty comfortable and offer Headphone Functionality so you can connect to your smartphone, MP3 player, or other audio device. These muffs are now $66.85 on Amazon and $66.85 at Walmart.

Howard Leight Impact Pro Electronic Muffs NRR 30

Permalink News, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
October 16th, 2022

Long Range Shooting Handbook by Ryan Cleckner

Ryan Cleckner book Long Range Shooting

You have probably watched one of the excellent shooting sports videos Ryan Cleckner has done for the NSSF. Ryan’s Understanding Minute of Angle (MOA) video (see below) has been viewed over 3.4 million times! Ryan is noted for his ability to explain complex topics in an easy-to-comprehend manner.

Cleckner has also authored a hugely popular book, the Long Range Shooting Handbook, which expands on the topics covered in his popular video series. This book is the #1 Best Seller on Amazon in its category. You can view Sample Chapters from Ryan’s book — just click “Look Inside” on the Amazon product page.

Ryan Cleckner long range shooting handbook

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.

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.

Ryan Cleckner’s best-selling Long Range Shooting Handbook is designed as an introduction 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.

Iain Harrison, editor of Recoil Magazine, said: “Whether you’re looking to dip a toe into the complex world of long range shooting, or you’re a seasoned shooter with years of trigger time, Ryan Cleckner’s book will prove to be excellent reference material. Well written and easy to understand, it covers all the essential topics that a well-rounded shooter needs to master.”

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.

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September 29th, 2022

How Safe is Your Gun Storage? Try This Storage Quiz

NSSF resources quiz new firearm gun owner

Do you have a friend or family member who is a first-time gun owner? Then show them this article. It provides important guidelines for new gun owners. There’s an Infographic printed below. And, there’s a helpful Firearm Storage and Safety Assessment Quiz. This walks gun owners through questions related to safe handling and storage of firearms. Here is Part One of the Quiz. If you click on this part, you can complete the entire Quiz and see how you score.

Take Gun Storage and Safety Quiz »

NSSF resources quiz new firearm gun owner

Firearms Safe Storage Video

Firearms Safe Storage/Transport in Vehicles | Ten Tips for Firearms Safety in Your Home

home gun storage table

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September 23rd, 2022

20 Tips for Hunters Before National Hunting & Fishing Day

hunting safety annual day top 20 tips

Tomorrow, September 24th, is National Hunting and Fishing Day, held each year on the fourth Saturday of September. To help the avid hunters among our readers, here are Twenty Tips that can help ensure a safe and successful hunt. These tips have been compiled from our AccurateShooter Hunting Forum, with help from Hunting Editor Colton Reid (who has already been out hunting this month). Some items are preparatory — such as working with maps, sighting in the rifle, and improving physical fitness. We also talk about equipment — having the right gear, from proper boots to a GPS for multi-day hunts.

Of course there are entire volumes written on hunting, but these 20 Tips can benefit all hunters. Follow these suggestions and you should have a safer hunting experience with greater likelihood of success. If you liked these pointers, you’ll find two dozen more helpful hints on the NSSF Website.

hunting fishing day Hunting guide

Preparations Before The Hunt

1. Map Your Hunt and Notify Others — Before your hunt, make a plan and notify friends and family members about WHERE you are going and your intended return date and time. Print out a Google Satellite map and locate landmarks and trailheads. Mark where you plan to park your vehicle and give a copy of this map to friend and/or family members. A hunter may injure himself by falling off a rock, or tumbling in a creek-bed. After that kind of injury the hunter may be confused or unable to walk. If you get stranded in the wilderness, you want trusted persons to know where you are. So, before you leave on a trip, provide a map to a friend or family member. Show them where you will leave your vehicle, and where you expect to be every day of your hunting adventure.

2. Licenses and Permits — Make sure you have a valid hunting licenses and all the necessary tags. Begin this process with ample time before your intended hunt(s). The NSSF adds: “If you are crossing state or national borders, find out about any special considerations you must take care of. Border crossings can mean knowing about firearm transport laws or Chronic Wasting Disease-related regulations.”

3. Work on Your Fitness — On a multi-day hunt you may be trekking many miles. You need to be in good shape. If you are out of shape you may be putting yourself in a precarious situation, particularly if you underestimate the terrain difficulty. As the NSSF says: “Not being able to handle the conditions lessens your chances of success, can turn a great experience into an agonizing one and can endanger your health.”

4. Do Your Homework — Study the area you will be hunting. Talk to other hunters. Look at satellite photos. Get a real sense of the walking and terrain challenges. For a multi-day hunt, MAKE a PLAN. The NSSF states: “Eliminate surprises. Learn as much about where you will be staying, the area you will be hunting, what the weather might be like and what you need to bring[.]”

5. Rifle and Ammo — Make sure your rifle is sighted-in and your ammo is tested. Sight-in your rifle with the ammo you plan to use on your hunt. CLICK HERE for 4-Shot Sight-in Method. After sighting-in from the bench, confirm your zero by shooting from typical hunting positions (kneeling and with forearm supported on a rock or post).

hunting rifle sighting in target

6. Shooting Positions — Practice the shooting positions you will use in the field. Practice sitting, kneeling, and prone positions. You should also practice with shooting sticks, using your day pack as a rest, and with a bipod. Try to have a rock-steady rest before taking your shot.

Hunting Positions

7. Back-Up Irons — If possible, select a rifle with back-up iron sights. While modern scopes are very durable, they can and do fail (glass can crack). If you’ve invested a lot of time and money in your hunt, back-up iron sights can keep you in the game even if your riflescope fails.

8. Communications and GPS — Bring a GPS if you are in a wilderness area far from civilization. It’s a good idea to bring a cell phone, but you may not have coverage if you’re quite a distance from populated areas. A smart-phone also doubles as a digital camera to record your trophies. For navigation and safety, consider getting Garmin inReach Explorer+. This high-tech handheld unit features interactive SOS, connecting you to the GEOS 24/7 search-and-rescue monitoring center. They also allow you to send and receive text messages, no matter where you are, via advanced inReach satellite technology. Yes you can communicate even if you are miles from the nearest cell tower.

9. Select Good Gear — Make sure you have GOOD BOOTS that are comfortable — you’ll spend a lot of time on your feet. You may want a pack with harness for your rifle so you have both hands free. On a multi-day trip, make sure you can carry enough water, and that you will stay warm enough at night. Good practices for backpacking apply to multi-day hunts.

10. Make a Gear Checklist — Create a complete checklist of the gear and supplies you need. That includes arms, ammunition, rangefinder, binoculars, proper clothing (including spare clothes), hunting accessories, sleeping gear (on multi-day hunts), toiletries, medications. Don’t forget a good first aid kit — lots of bad things can happen during any wilderness trip. You can cut a hand, break an ankle or worse.

During The Hunt

11. Have a Plan — know where you plan to go and when. Try to be where you want in the early morning and early evening hours when deer are likely most active.

12. Take Your Time — If you spot a deer and get too excited and don’t take your time you may spook him. Go slow and glass. If possible, wait for the animals to bed down and relax. Then work out the best way to approach your prey. Remember, “You get so few opportunities, don’t screw it up!”

13. Glass More, Walk Less — Let your eyes do the walking — get good binoculars and use them. With their heightened senses of smell and hearing, deer/elk are able to spot you way better than you can spot them. If you are walking around a lot, chances are you are getting spotted by your prey.

14. Riflescopes Are Not Binoculars — Never use a riflescope as a substitute for binoculars. The temptation to do so is real, but when one does this, one is by definition pointing the muzzle of the gun at unknown targets. We like binoculars with built-in rangefinders. When glassing at long range, try supporting your binoculars on your pack.

hunting scopes binoculars Zeiss Colton Reid

15. Be Sure of Your Target before Shooting — Every year during whitetail season, farmers are forced to spray-paint their cattle or risk having them “harvested” by hunters who don’t bother confirming the species in their sights. Hunters with “buck fever” can make mistakes. When in doubt, don’t shoot.

hunting scope deer rifle

16. Know When to Unload — When finished hunting, unload your firearm before returning to camp. You should also unload your gun before attempting to climb a steep bank or travel across slippery ground.

17. Bring Hearing Protection — While pursuing and stalking your prey you’ll want full sensory use of your ears. But when you’re finally ready to take the shot, slip in hearing protection. A shot from a large-caliber hunting rifle can exceed 170 decibels. Unprotected exposure to noise from a SINGLE 170+ dB shot can cause permanent hearing damage. (Source: If you make a follow-up shot, you double that noise hazard. Therefore a hunter with a non-suppressed rifle should have hearing protection available.

hunting safety annual day top 20 tips

You can keep a pair of quick-insert plugs on a cord around your neck. Or, get a lightweight neck band with earbuds, such as Howard Leight Quiet Band QB2HYG, 3M Safety Band, or Sellstrom Band, all with a good 25 dB Noise Reduction Rating. You can keep these lightweight bands around your neck, for quick deployment before you shoot.

hunting safety annual day top 20 tips

“Once a hunter is successful, the REAL work begins.” — Colton Reid

18. Harvesting the Animal — When dressing your animal, be careful with the meat. You’ll want very sharp knives. Some hunters prefer knives with replaceable, razor-sharp blades. Don’t rush the task. Make sure you don’t get moisture or dirt on meat. The three spoilers of meat are heat, moisture, and dirt.

19. Pace Yourself When Packing Out — If you DO succeed, and bring down a big buck, will you be able to dress the animal and carry out the meat? Always be prepared to hike out with extra weight. If you are successful, make sure not to waste the meat you worked so hard for. Choose a pack that can help you carry a heavy load. Remember, this is not an insignificant challenge — you may be carrying 60 to 100 extra pounds in addition to your other gear. Again, take your time. Rest as needed. Don’t hurt yourself.

20. Remember to Enjoy the Experience — Our Hunting Editor, Colton Reid, offers this sage advice to all hunters, but particularly to novices: “Have fun, and appreciate your hunt, whether you bag a buck or not. It is a privilege to experience the wilderness and to get away from the city. Enjoy it while you’re out there. And keep your spirits up. You may get tired, but remember that ‘comes with the territory’. At the end of the day, yes you may be exhausted. And you may want to quit and go home. But stay positive, stay focused. Be patient, the experience is worth it.”

hunting fishing day Hunting guide
CLICK HERE for Hunter Training/Mentoring Programs State-by-State.


There’s a great online resource for hunters that will help you find game locations in your state and ensure you have all the proper permits and game tags. features an interactive map of the country. For all 50 states, the NSSF has compiled information about hunting license and permits, where to hunt, hunter education classes, laws and regulations and more. For each state you’ll also find a link for required applications and license forms.

Click Map to Get State-by-State Hunting INFO
Where to Hunt hunting license game location

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August 25th, 2022

+ONE — Help a New Shooter During Nat’l Shooting Sports Month

National Shooting Sports month nssf +one

national shooting sports month nssf+ONE Program to Encourage New Shooters
August is National Shooting Sports Month. As part of this effort, the NSSF encourages firearms owners to take one novice to the range this one. This +ONE Movement will help strengthen the ranks of shooters, which, in turn, can help protect our Second Amendment freedoms. The NSSF states: “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. So be the one. For all the thrills and excitement recreational shooting has given you, join the +ONE movement and invite someone to the range today. Share your experience on social media.”

As part of the +ONE Movement, the NSSF encourages all participants to practice gun safety and proper firearms handling and storage practices. This video covers basic gun safety procedures:

The NSSF has created a list of TEN Rules of Firearms Safety. While you’re at the shooting range or anywhere you handle a firearm, safety ALWAYS comes first. Here are the 10 Key Rules of Firearms Safety. NOTE: The first four rules are the most important.

National Shooting Sports month nssf +one

National Shooting Sports month nssf +one

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August 10th, 2022

Firearms Storage Quiz — Are YOUR Guns Stored Safely?

NSSF resources quiz new firearm gun owner

Gun safety is not just about safe firearms handling and safe shooting. Your guns need to be safe and SECURE during the 95+% of the time they are NOT in use. This article offers a helpful Firearm Storage and Safety Assessment Quiz. This walks gun owners through questions related to safe handling and storage of firearms. Here is Part One of the Quiz. If you click on this part, you can complete the entire Quiz and see how you score.

CLICK HERE to Take Gun Storage and Safety Quiz »

NSSF resources quiz new firearm gun owner

Firearms Safe Storage Video

Safe Gun Storage/Transport in Vehicles | Ten Tips for Firearms Safety at Home

NSSF resources quiz new firearm gun owner

Other Gun Safety Resources

NSSF resources quiz new firearm gun owner

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August 9th, 2022

+One Movement — Bring Someone New to the Range this Month

nssf august shooting sports month

August is National Shooting Sports Month. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), encourages every avid shooter to take one new person to a shooting range this month. Let that newcomer experience the fun of pistol, rifle, or shotgun shooting. The NSSF states: “One trip to the range can be all it takes to create a new recreational shooter. Share your passion and invite a friend on your next trip to the range.”

nssf august shooting sports month plus one +1

The +One Movement is intended to expand the number of participants in the shooting sports — something we need if we want to preserve our rights, which are under attack now from politicians in Washington.

nssf august shooting sports month plus one +1

Find Shooting Sports Events Near You
The NSSF’s website offers a comprehensive, searchable database. This lets you search by state, to find ranges, events, and sales promotions near you. Visit the NSSF online database of NSSM shooting events to find matches, clinics, training sessions, special sales — and much more.

nssf august shooting sports month plus one +1

nssf august shooting sports month plus one +1

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