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December 29th, 2023

Shooting Sports USA — 2023 Cover Stories

shooting sports usa john parker 2023 cover stories

The NRA’s Shooting Sports USA magazine covers a wide spectrum of competitive shooting sports: F-Class, High Power, Palma, Shotgun (Trap/Skeet), Air Rifle 3P/Prone, Rimfire 3P/Prone, Target Pistol, and major Action Pistol events. Each month Shooting Sports USA releases a new issue with reports on major competitions for a wide range of disciplines. Along with the print magazines, the leading stories are posted on the SSUSA.org websites. In addition, every month the full magazine is released in digital format.

Shooting Sports USA recently released a web-based article featuring its twelve 2023 cover stories.

CLICK HERE to see all 12 Shooting Sports USA 2023 cover stories.

Below are four of our favorite Shooting Sports USA cover stories from 2023. Click each cover to read the full story via the Shooting Sports USA digital archive. Note, if this is your first visit, you will first see an NRA webpage requesting that you verify your age before reading the stories.

shooting sports usa john parker 2023 cover stories

Sighting In New Shooters and Eye Dominance

March 2023, photo by John Parker. READ the cover story by Field Editor Chris Christian.


shooting sports usa john parker 2023 cover stories

2023 F-Class World Championships in South Africa

June 2023, photo by U.S. F-Open Team. READ the cover story by John Parker.


shooting sports usa john parker 2023 cover stories

2023 NRA National Matches and 2024 NRA World Shooting Championship Update

July 2023, photo by John Parker. READ the cover story by John Parker.


shooting sports usa john parker 2023 cover stories

Record Breaker: Jerry Miculek Sets Two NRA World Records

November 2023, photo by John Parker. READ the cover story by John Parker.


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December 2nd, 2023

The Early History of the National Rifle Association — 1871-1907

NRA history creedmoor sea girt camp perry

With the New Year approaching, we thought our readers might enjoy some historical background on the National Rifle Association, an organization which has served American firearms owners and marksmen for over 150 years.

Shooting Sports USA (SSUSA) has a good article on the origins and history of the National Rifle Association. This feature story covers the first 36 years of NRA history from 1871 to 1907. The NRA was founded in 1871, and 1907 marked the first year of Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio.

READ Full NRA History Article on Shooting Sports USA »

SSUSA explains the NRA’s original mission: “The NRA’s program during its youthful years centered mainly on improving marksmanship among the military. Rifle tournaments at ranges in Creedmoor (NY), Sea Girt (NJ), and Camp Perry (OH) captured the country’s spirit of nationalism and resulted in key improvements in rifles and target scoring. NRA also set standards for military rifle training and even inspired the federal government to form its own segment within the War Department to focus on promoting rifle practice among soldiers as well as civilians.”

NRA history creedmoor sea girt camp perry

1871 — A group of New York National Guardsmen founded the National Rifle Association to promote marksmanship training. Figures such as Capt. George Wingate had called for better rifle marksmanship to support the nation’s defense.

1872 — The NRA acquires Creed’s Farm in Long Island, New York for $26,250. Renamed “Creedmoor”, this becomes the NRA’s first range. The first match was held in 1873.

1874 — The NRA hosts its first International Match, shot at the Creedmoor Range in New York.

The First-Ever Creedmoor Challenge Match in 1874
The Irish International Shooting team arrived in New York on the 16th of September and proceeded to “take in the sights”, which was understandable, before some practice at the Creedmoor range. On September 26th they presented themselves for the match with confidence and in high spirits. The crowds that day were reported to be between 5,000 and 10,000 strong, which showed the huge support already growing for the fledgling sport in America.

Arizona Ireland USA American Creedmoor Challenge Cup rifle competition

The course of fire was 15 shots to each man at 800, 900, and 1000 yards. Unfortunately, the details of each mans scores at the individual distances have been lost to time but we do know that the Americans were well ahead after the 800-yard shoot. The Irish then caught up after the 900-yard and finished the 1000-yard shoot ahead by 1 point. The Americans still had one man left to shoot and it came down to his very last shot with which he scored a 4 giving the American team the win over the Irish by 3 points.

1892 — The NRA moves its Annual Matches to the Sea Girt Range in New Jersey, which was less than 60 Miles from New York City, NY. The Sea Girt Range was maintained by the New Jersey State Rifle Association, founded in 1878.

NRA history creedmoor sea girt camp perry

1903 — The U.S. War Department sets up a National Board for the Promotion of Rifle Practice (NBPRP). In 1903, an amendment to the War Dept. Appropriations Bill established the NBPRP to promote both Military and Civilian marksmanship. This government advisory board became the predecessor to today’s Corporation for the Promotion of Rifle Practice and Firearms Safety that now governs the CMP.

1907 — The NRA commences National Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio.

History of Camp Perry
The National Matches have been held at Camp Perry since 1907. The range is located along the shores of Lake Erie in northern Ohio near Port Clinton. The site was first acquired in 1906, in response to the need for a larger facility for military training and the NRA’s shooting programs. In 1906 Gen. Ammon B. Crichfield, Adjutant General of Ohio, ordered construction of a new shooting facility on the shores of Lake Erie, 45 miles east of Toledo, Ohio. The original land for Camp Perry was purchased in 1906, and the reservation was named after Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, the American naval commander who won the Battle of Put-in-Bay during the War of 1812.

NRA National Matches

On August 19, 1907, Cpl. L. B. Jarrett fired the first shot at the new Camp Perry Training Site. And that year, 1907, Camp Perry held its first National Pistol and Rifle Championship events. This location has hosted the annual NRA National Matches ever since. Today, over 4,000 competitors attend the National Matches each year, making it the most popular shooting competition in the western hemisphere.

Camp Perry 1907 history

Federal legislation originally launched the National Matches. The 1903 legislation also established the National Matches, commissioned the National Trophy and provided funding to support the Matches.

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June 28th, 2023

The Springfield M1A — Popular 7.62×51 Semi-Auto Civilian Rifle

M14 rifle Springfield M1A camp perry Shooting Sports USA
The Annual Springfield M1A Match will be held Sunday July 30, 2023 at the Viale Range at Camp Perry.

In the April 2018 issue of Shooting Sports USA, you’ll find a good article on the civilian version of the M14, now sold commercially as the Springfield M1A. An evolution of the battle-proven M1 Garand, the M14 was designed to shoot the 7.62×51 (.308 Win) round instead of the larger .30-06 Springfield cartridge used in WWI, WWII and Korea. While the vast majority of today’s M1As are chambered for .308 Win/7.62×51, Springfield Armory also produces a 6.5 Creedmoor version.

M14 rifle Springfield M1A camp perry Shooting Sports USA
“Descended from the M1 Garand, the M14 utilized multiple improvements that made it a far superior firearm for combat and a much better rifle for competition.” — Dick Jones, Shooting Sports USA.

Dick Jones reports that accurized M14/M1As could post remarkable scores: “The accuracy potential of the M14/M1A is unquestionable. During their reign as service rifles, they produced multiple perfect 200 scores at 600 and 1000 yards in the hands of top shooters. This is a difficult feat with a modern, scoped, magnum-caliber rifle and remarkable with an iron-sighted battle rifle. Good competition rifles can group 10 shots under one MOA, and the meticulously-massaged rifles used by the top shooters during my career would consistently put up 10 shots under an inch at 200 yards off a test cradle.”

springfield m1A rifle camp perry cmp

CLICK HERE for INFO on 2023 Springfield M1A Match »

Springfield M1A at Camp Perry National Matches
The CMP hosts a major M1A Match every year at Camp Perry, sponsored by Springfield Armory. The Annual Springfield M1A Match will be held Sunday July 30, 2023 at the Viale Range at Camp Perry. Significant prizes will be awarded. In past years M1A Match competitors took home over $25,000 worth of cash and merchandise.

For many years, the semi-auto version of the M14 was “top dog” in iron sights Service Rifle competition. Now that discipline is dominated by .223 Rem (5.56×45) AR-type rifles, but the bigger .308-caliber rifle, now sold as the M1A, remains popular. This year’s Springfield M1A match will be held at Camp Perry on August 8, 2021.

M14 rifle Springfield M1A camp perry Shooting Sports USA
Photo courtesy Civilian Marksmanship Program.

In this video, YouTube Reviewer Hickok 45 compares the M1 Garand and the M14/M1A:

springfield m1A rifle camp perry cmp

See how the modern M1A is built in this Springfield Armory Video:

As racing improves automobiles, competition improves firearms, and the current crop of Springfield M1As, from the Basic to the top-of-the-line Super Match and Loaded models, reflects the years of development. The M14 and its variants are still in service today and it’s still considered by many to be the best battle rifle in the history of the U.S. Military. — Dick Jones, Shooting Sports USA

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June 8th, 2023

Access 14 Years of Shooting Sports USA Articles for FREE

Shooting Sports USA competitive shooting high power marksmanship archive SSUSA

Enjoy the Shooting Sports USA Archives
As we head into summer, many Americans will be spending more time at the range. And competitors will be shooting in rimfire and centerfire rifle matches throughout the country. Here’s an opportunity to learn competition skills, gun tuning methods, and reloading techniques from leading experts. A vast resource of great gun-related content available online for FREE. Check out the Shooting Sports USA Articles Archive. SSUSA maintains a vast digital library with hundreds of articles going back to June 2009.

Shooting Sports USA competitive shooting high power marksmanship archive SSUSAIt’s easy to find back issues of Shooting Sports USA magazine. Here’s how: First, navigate to the current SSUSA Online Issue. Then click on the “ARCHIVES” icon in the upper right area (indicated with red arrow). When you click on “ARCHIVES”, a window will open with a selection of Shooting Sports USA magazine covers/dates in a vertical column. The most recent issue (June 2023) will appear at the top. You can then scroll down — use the vertical scroll bar to go from September 2022 (the latest issue) all the way back to June 2009. Click any issue cover to read.

Shooting Sports USA competitive shooting high power marksmanship archive SSUSA
The June 2020 issue features a Palma rifle built with Eliseo Tubegun Chassis System.

How to Find and Save Articles
To search back issues, select “MORE OPTIONS” from the toolbar (top left). Then click the “SEARCH” button. When that opens, select either “Search Archives” for ALL back issues or “Search Only this Issue”. When you’ve made your choice, enter your search term(s). For example, you can search for “Camp Perry” or “Palma” or “F-Class Championship”. You can also save any archived issue as a PDF for viewing offline. Just click “SAVE” to download the article you’re currently viewing/reading.

Shooting Sports USA competitive shooting high power marksmanship archive SSUSA

Read Sample Articles
Here are a couple of our favorite SSUSA feature stories from recent years. There are hundreds of other informative articles worth reading.

Wind-Reading Tips from Champion Shooters »

Shooting Sports USA Wind Reading tips

How to Clean and Maintain Match Barrels »

Shooting Sports USA Barrel Maintenance Clean Bore Scope

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May 1st, 2023

Improve Flexibility, Reduce Back Pain with Stretching Exercises

shooting sports usa physical fitness stretching yoga lower back prone sling

We know many of our readers are getting older and are not as flexible as they once were. If you shoot prone with sling, or do position shooting, you can definitely benefit from doing some key stretches on a regular basis. This can help avoid cramping, muscle pain, or unwanted tension. In addition, doing stretching exercise can help with general health and fitness.

Shooting Sports USA has a good fitness article: Easy Stretches And Strength Movements. While the main focus of this article is on strethces to alleviate lower back pain, many of the movements illustrated can help ease neck, shoulder, and mid-back tension. This Editor, who suffers from neck/shoulder tension, can confirm that these exercises really do help. NOTE: The lead photo above shows the Floor Pec stretch (left) and Pigeon stretch (right), referenced below.

The article’s author, Corey Howard, explains:

Let’s look at the simple stretches … to maintain a healthy range of motion in your four corners — your hips and shoulders. If any of these areas are tight, then nine times out of 10, your body can’t stabilize and you’ll have low back issues.

There are four simple yoga stretches I have all my clients do: child’s pose, floor pec stretch, half kneeling hip flexor, and pigeon. These are simple and can be seen in the photos. The child’s pose lengthens the spine and stretches the lats, the big muscles in your upper back. Pec stretch on the floor opens up your chest and relaxes your shoulders so your posture improves. Half kneeling hip flexor stretch should be felt on the front side of your hips and ease the strain on your lower back. Finally, pigeon stretch can be felt through your glutes and will ease any lower back discomfort.”

Good Basic Stretching Routines — Video Instruction

Here are two videos that offers some other stretching techniques that can help older marksmen. This Editor started doing some of the listed morning stretches. Right away this helped to significantly reduce stiffness associated with working at a computer all day long.

And here is a more aggressive stretching routine that includes some of the stretches found in the Shooting Sports USA article. For older readers — you may want to just do a few of these stretches for starters — not the entire routing.

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March 12th, 2023

Barrel Break-In: Expert Barrel-Makers Explain the Best Methods

Barrel Breakin Break-in conditioning cleaning Wade Hull Shilen Walther Varminter.com Eric Mayer Video interview barrels
Photo courtesy Sierra Bullets.

The question of barrel break-in is controversial. Some folks advocate an elaborate, lengthy cycle of shooting and brushing, repeated many times — one shot and clean, two shots and clean and so on. This, it is argued, helps barrels foul less and shoot more accurately. Others say minimal break-in, with patching and brushing after 10-15 rounds, is all you need. Still others contend that break-in procedures are a total waste of time and ammo — you should just load and shoot, and clean as you would normally.

We doubt if there will ever be real agreement among shooters concerning barrel break-in procedures. And one must remember that the appropriate break-in procedure might be quite different for a factory barrel vs. a custom hand-lapped barrel. This Editor has found that his very best custom barrels shot great right from the start, with no special break-in, other than wet patches at 5, 10, and 15 rounds. That said, I’ve seen some factory barrels that seemed to benefit from more elaborate break-in rituals.

What’s the best barrel break-in procedure? Well our friend Eric Mayer of Varminter.com decided to ask the experts. A while back Eric interviewed representatives of three leading barrel manufacturers: Krieger, Lothar-Walther, and Shilen. He recorded their responses on video. In order of appearance in the video, the three experts are:

Wade Hull, Shilen Barrels | Mike Hinrichs, Krieger Barrels | Woody Woodall, Lothar Walther

Barrel Breakin Break-in conditioning cleaning Wade Hull Shilen Walther Varminter.com Eric Mayer Video interview barrelsDo I Need to Break-In a New Rifle Barrel?
Eric Mayer of Varminter.com says: “That is a simple question, [but it] does not necessarily have a simple answer. Instead of me repeating my own beliefs, and practices, on breaking-in a new rifle barrel, I decided to answer this one a bit differently. While we were at the 2016 SHOT Show, we tracked down three of the biggest, and most popular, custom barrel makers in the world, and asked them what they recommend to anyone buying their barrels, and why they recommend those procedures. We asked the question, and let the camera run!” Launch the video above to hear the answers — some of which may surprise you.

Long-Term Barrel Care — More Experts Offer Opinions
Apart from the debate about barrel break-in, there is the bigger question of how should you clean and maintain a barrel during its useful life. Some folks like aggressive brushing, other shooters have had success with less invasive methods, using bore foam and wet patches for the most part. Different strokes for different folks, as they say. In reality, there may not be one solution for every barrel. Different fouling problems demand different solutions. For example, solvents that work well for copper may not be the best for hard carbon (and vice-versa).

CLICK HERE for Long Term Barrel Care Article »

Shooting Sports Lohman Barrel

Chip Lohman, former Editor of Shooting Sports USA Magazine, has authored an excellent article on barrel maintenance and cleaning: Let the BARREL Tell You — Match Barrel Care. In this article, Chip shares the knowledge of a dozen experts including respected barrel-makers Frank Green (Bartlein Barrels), John Krieger (Krieger Barrels), Dan Lilja (Lilja Barrels), and Tim North (Broughton Barrels).

“Why worry about a little barrel fouling when the throat is subjected to a brutal 5,600° F volcano at 55,000 PSI? To investigate these and other questions about taking care of a match barrel, we spoke with a dozen experts and share their knowledge in this first of a series of articles.

After listening to folks who shoot, build barrels or manufacture cleaning solvents for a living, we concluded that even the experts each have their own unique recommendations on how to care for a match barrel. But they all agree on one thing — the gun will tell you what it likes best. Because the life expectancy of a match barrel is about 1,500 to 2,500 rounds, the objectives of cleaning one should include: preserve accuracy, slow the erosion, and remove fouling — all without damaging the gun. This article doesn’t claim that one cleaning method is better than the next. Rather, we set out to interject a little science into the discussion and to share some lessons learned from experts in the field.” — Chip Lohman

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December 27th, 2022

Great .22 LR Rimfire Ammo Comparison Test — 31 Types Tested

Shooting Sports USA .22 LR 22LR Rimfire ammunition test subsonic hi-velocity lead-free hyper velocity suppressor match ammo plinking varmint hunting

Here’s a “must-read” article for .22 LR rimfire shooters. The October 2018 issue of Shooting Sports USA (SSUSA) includes a great article with data on thirty-one (31) different types of popular .22 LR rimfire ammunition. The line-up includes low-speed, standard, and Hi-Velocity types, plus choices for plinking, varminting, and target applications. Brands tested include: Aguila, American Eagle, CCI, Federal, Fiocchi, Lapua, Remington, and Winchester. The slowest ammo, CCI Quiet-22 Lead RN, clocked 727 FPS. The fastest ammo, CCI Short-Range Green Lead-Free HP, ran 1735 FPS, 2.4 times the speed of the Quiet-22.

SSUSA .22 LR Rimfire Ammo TEST | SSUSA October 2018 Issue

For each ammo type, SSUSA lists the bullet weight, velocity (FPS), and average of two, 5-shot groups at fifty yards. The most accurate ammo was Lapua Center-X LRN, with a 0.37″ average 50-yard group size. Second best was Lapua X-ACT LRN at 0.42″. Ammo was tested from a bench with a Cooper Model 57-M rifle fitted with 3-9x33mm Leupold VX-2 scope. The ammo offerings were grouped into three categories: (1) Varmints/Small Game; (2) Target; and (3) Plinking. (See ammo tables below.)

Shooting Sports USA .22 LR 22LR Rimfire ammunition test subsonic hi-velocity lead-free hyper velocity suppressor match ammo plinking varmint hunting
Click for larger page-view.

Different types of .22 LR (Long Rifle) rimfire ammo have different applications. Subsonic ammo, typically, is best for 25m to 50m target work with precision rimfire rigs. Hi-Velocity .22 LR ammo provides a flatter trajectory for longer ranges. SSUSA explains: “The array of .22 LR loads… turns a person’s head every which way. Subsonic target loads are the key to decisive accuracy on targets, while hyper-velocity cartridges provide striking bullet expansion on small varmints. In between, standard and high-velocity .22 LRs are loaded with a variety of bullet weights and styles for everything from small-game hunting to plinking[.]” READ Full SSUSA .22 LR Rimfire Ammo Story.

Rimfire Ammo Article tip from EdLongrange.
Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review 1 Comment »
November 22nd, 2022

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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September 30th, 2022

Access 13 Years of Shooting Sports USA Articles — All FREE

Shooting Sports USA competitive shooting high power marksmanship archive SSUSA

Enjoy the Shooting Sports USA Archives
As fall becomes winter, many Americans will be spending more time indoors at home. For some folks that means long sessions in front of the boob tube. Here’s a better idea — there’s a vast resource of great gun-related content available online for FREE. Check out the Shooting Sports USA Articles Archive. SSUSA maintains a vast digital library with hundreds of articles going back to June 2009.

Shooting Sports USA competitive shooting high power marksmanship archive SSUSAIt’s easy to find back issues of Shooting Sports USA magazine. Here’s how: First, navigate to the current SSUSA Online Issue. Then click on the “ARCHIVES” icon in the upper right area (indicated with red arrow). When you click on “ARCHIVES”, a window will open with a selection of Shooting Sports USA magazine covers/dates in a vertical column. The most recent issue (September 2022) will appear at the top. You can then scroll down — use the vertical scroll bar to go from September 2022 (the latest issue) all the way back to June 2009. Click any issue cover to read.

Shooting Sports USA competitive shooting high power marksmanship archive SSUSA
The June 2020 issue features a Palma rifle built with Eliseo Tubegun Chassis System.

How to Find and Save Articles
To search back issues, select “MORE OPTIONS” from the toolbar (top left). Then click the “SEARCH” button. When that opens, select either “Search Archives” for ALL back issues or “Search Only this Issue”. When you’ve made your choice, enter your search term(s). For example, you can search for “Camp Perry” or “Palma” or “F-Class Championship”. You can also save any archived issue as a PDF for viewing offline. Just click “SAVE” to download the article you’re currently viewing/reading.

Shooting Sports USA competitive shooting high power marksmanship archive SSUSA

Read Sample Articles
Here are a couple of our favorite SSUSA feature stories from recent years. There are hundreds of other informative articles worth reading.

Wind-Reading Tips from Champion Shooters »

Shooting Sports USA Wind Reading tips

How to Clean and Maintain Match Barrels »

Shooting Sports USA Barrel Maintenance Clean Bore Scope

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June 5th, 2022

Improve Your Scores Through Enhanced Mental Preparation

Shooting Sports USA Brain mental game psychology cerebellum

Looking to improve your competition skills? The Shooting Sports USA website has scores of informative articles that can help your score higher at your next shooting tournament. You’ll find articles on wind reading, position shooting, match strategies, and much more.

One great Shooting Sports USA article, Shooting is 90% Mental, was penned by Chip Lohman (SSUSA’s former Editor). With the help of two very smart Ph.D types, Judy Tant and Mike Keyes, Lohman examines the mental processes involved in the shooting sports. Chip’s co-authors have impressive credentials. Dr. Judy Tant is a Clinical Psychologist and National Bullseye Pistol Champion. Dr. Michael J. Keyes, is a licensed Psychiatrist and former physician for the U.S. Shooting Team.

CLICK HERE to Read Full Article in Shooting Sports USA Online Magazine.

Visualization, Brain Function, and Muscle Memory

If you shoot competitively, this is definitely a “must-read” article. The authors examine how the brain functions under stress, how “visualization” can be used to improved performance, how “brain speed” can be enhanced through proper training, and how the brain stores learned routines into “muscle memory.” And that’s just for starters — the article gives many concrete examples of techniques top shooters have employed to improve their “mental game” and shoot higher scores.

Brain Speed and Trigger Control:
Shooting Sports USA Brain mental game psychology cerebellumResearch: Scientists believe that the newer frontal lobe may not be able to keep up with “deep” brain signals that transmit at nearly 300 mph. This is explained when athletes talk about “letting go”, rather than over-thinking the shot.

This conscious signal can take up to 0.3 seconds from recognizing the desired sight picture to moving the trigger finger — too long to capture the opportunity for a perfect shot. However, if the signal is initiated spontaneously in the cerebellum where such procedures are thought to be stored through repetition, the reaction speed is much quicker. Signals are processed by the “deep brain” almost twice as fast as the problem-solving frontal lobes.

Mental Preparation for Shooting Matches

Below are tips from Emil Praslick III, former USAMU coach. Considered one of the best wind readers on the planet, Praslick also was known for his ability to help his shooters master the “mental game”.

Emil Praslick III mental game coaching preparation

Thinking Your Way to Success
by Emil Praslick III
Why does it seem that the same small group of shooters wins the majority of the matches? What is the difference among shooters who are technically equal? Confidence. A confident shooter is free to execute his shots without the fear of failure, i.e. shooting a poor shot.

Negative thoughts (can’t, won’t be able to, etc.) will destroy a skilled performance. The mind’s focus will not be on executing the task, but on projecting fear and self-doubt. Fear is the enemy, confidence is the cure. How does a shooter on the eve of an important match … attain the confidence needed to perform up to his potential? A pre-competition mental plan can assist in acquiring that positive mental state. The plan can be broken down into a few phases.

Build a feeling of preparedness. Developing and executing a plan to organize your equipment and pre-match routine will aid you in feeling prepared on match day.

Avoid negative and stressful thoughts. Focusing on “winning” the match or shooting for a specific score (like making the “cut” or making the President’s 100) can cause undue stress. Good shooters focus on aspects that are within their control: their sight picture, their sight alignment, their position. Each shot should be treated as an individual event.

Train stage-specific tasks during your practice sessions. Instead of shooting matches or practice matches only, include some drills that focus on your problem areas. Training in this manner will assist your level of confidence.

As part of your pre-match routine, imagine yourself shooting perfect shots. Visualize getting into the perfect position, acquiring a perfect sight picture, and perfect trigger control.

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May 17th, 2022

Test Your Gun Smarts with Shooting Sports Crossword Puzzle

shooting sports crossword puzzleLike crosswords? Like guns? Well, thanks to Shooting Sports USA (SSUSA), you can try a crossword puzzle that tests your knowledge of gun stuff and competitive shooting. In the February 2013 digital edition of Shooting Sports USA magazine, you’ll find a crossword puzzle created just for shooters. There are some easy items, such as the location of the annual NRA National Pistol Championships (see story above). Other entries are more difficult, and may require some research. To print the crossword puzzle before you start working, click this Page 12 link, and then select the print icon. Spoiler alert — all the answers appear on PAGE 14 of the same February issue of SSUSA.

NOTE: These pages may be slow to load, but don’t fret, they WILL appear if you’re patient.

shooting sports crossword puzzle

CLICK HERE for Crossword Puzzle Answers.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News No Comments »
November 4th, 2021

Access 12 Years of Shooting Sports USA Articles — All FREE!

Shooting Sports USA competitive shooting high power marksmanship archive SSUSA

Enjoy the Shooting Sports USA Archives
With winter coming, many Americans will soon be spending more time indoors at home. For some folks that means long sessions in front of the boob tube. Here’s a better idea — there’s a vast resource of great gun-related content available online for FREE. Check out the Shooting Sports USA Articles Archive. SSUSA maintains a vast digital library with hundreds of articles going back to June 2009.

Shooting Sports USA competitive shooting high power marksmanship archive SSUSAIt’s easy to find back issues of Shooting Sports USA magazine. Here’s how: First, navigate to the SSUSA Online Issue. Then click on the “ARCHIVES” icon in the upper right area (indicated with red arrow). When you click on “ARCHIVES”, a window will open with a selection of Shooting Sports USA magazine covers/dates in a vertical column. The most recent issue (November 2021) will appear at the top. You can then scroll down — use the vertical scroll bar to go from November 2021 (the latest issue) all the way back to June 2009. Click any issue cover to read.

Shooting Sports USA competitive shooting high power marksmanship archive SSUSA
The June 2020 issue features a Palma rifle built with Eliseo Tubegun Chassis System.

How to Find and Save Articles
To search back issues, select “MORE OPTIONS” from the toolbar (top left). Then click the “SEARCH” button. When that opens, select either “Search Archives” for ALL back issues or “Search Only this Issue”. When you’ve made your choice, enter your search term(s). For example, you can search for “Camp Perry” or “Palma” or “F-Class Championship”. You can also save any archived issue as a PDF for viewing offline. Just click “SAVE” to download the article you’re currently viewing/reading.

Shooting Sports USA competitive shooting high power marksmanship archive SSUSA

Read Sample Articles
Here are a couple of our favorite SSUSA feature stories from recent years. There are hundreds of other informative articles worth reading.

Wind-Reading Tips from Champion Shooters »

Shooting Sports USA Wind Reading tips

How to Clean and Maintain Match Barrels »

Shooting Sports USA Barrel Maintenance Clean Bore Scope

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