Category Archives: NRA

Firearms Industry Stocks Fall Post-Election

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Looks like a great presidential win for gun owners was a loss for some in the firearms industry…. Ruger, Smith & Wesson stock prices fall sharply on Wednesday following the election.


Photo credit: Gage Skidmore
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Firearm stocks opened high Wednesday, but just a few hours into the trading day, began steadily dropping, and by the close of the day, two major manufacturers saw sharp declines in their share prices. Newly-renamed Smith & Wesson took a major hit, falling 15% in value. Sturm, Ruger & Company showed a 14% decline in market value.

Even though Smith & Wesson and Ruger shares fell, some ammunition and defense corporation prices climbed. Olin Corporation (Winchester Ammunition) saw a 3% increase, General Dynamics climbed 8%, and Lockheed Martin ended Wednesday with a substantial 14% gain.

Overall, the Dow skyrocketed 257 points Wednesday, following an initial, but brief, price plunge. Market analysts credit president-elect Trump’s assuring acceptance speech for the soaring end to the day.

A note Wednesday from analyst Gil Luria (Director of Research for Wedbush Securities) stated that the election results are good for the “long-term viability of the [gun manufacturing] industry.” But. The Trump victory bundled with a Republican Congress, could be a net-negative for Smith & Wesson and others as it “eliminates any realistic fear of gun regulation,” Luria wrote. According to the note, threats of restrictive gun regulations had been a major force driving higher volume firearms sales over the last eight years.

The Trump victory was no doubt assisted strongly by efforts by NRA supporters. Given that the NRA has been accused of having “morphed from an advocacy group for hunters into a radical mouthpiece for its largest benefactors, the gun manufacturers” (from a letter published in the LA Times) looks like individual rights and profits might for a time better exist higher and lower, respectively. What matters is the long run.

5 Quick Tips for a Safe(er) Halloween

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Halloween can be a little stressful, when it comes to the conscientious concealed carrier. What may be recognized as a threat any other day, is just someone trying to give their pancreas an extra workout for an evening.

Our friends over at U.S. Law Shield/Texas Law Shield put together a quick video addressing some common issues, and some interesting insight into how we, as concealed carry folks, should approach certain situations on Oct. 31st.

Just a reminder, many of these laws stated in the video pertain to Texas only, and you should always check out your states laws, as they pertain to your individual situation.

Feds Use Local Police to Collect License Plate Info at Gun Shows

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Might want to park across the street… Privacy watchdog groups and firearms enthusiasts upset about spy tactics initiated by feds through local police.

gun show, privacy, wall street journal, license plate scan, police, ICE

A new report from the Wall Street Journal reveals that the federal government has on multiple occasions used local police departments to scan automobile license plates at gun shows. This has been done in an effort to collect and record information on gun show attendees.

The Journal reviewed a series of 2010 emails between the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) and police departments in Southern California, including one in Del Mar, near the Mexican border. In the emails, federal agents persuade local police to use license plate readers to randomly scan cars at local gun shows. The agency planned to cross-reference that data with cars crossing the Mexican border to find and prosecute gun smugglers.

And there’s more… According to the Journal, the emails indicated that this strategy could have been employed elsewhere around the country. ICE has no policy that dictates the use of license plate readers, and nothing would have kept them from continuing the practice from 2010 until now.

No shock: the report has upset both privacy watchdog groups and firearms enthusiasts. It clearly raises Constitutional questions, to say the least.

Erich Pratt, Executive Director of Gun Owners of America, told the Journal that his group opposes such surveillance: “Information on law-abiding gun owners ends up getting recorded, stored, and registered, which is a violation of the 1986 Firearm Owners Protection Act and of the Second Amendment.”

What ICE doesn’t seem to realize is that, contrary to what the Clinton campaign would have us believe, gun shows are NOT hotbeds of criminal activity. According to an NIJ (National Institute of Justice, the research, development and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice) study released in December 1997 (“Homicide in Eight U.S. Cities”), only 2 percent of criminal guns come from gun shows. The vast majority of firearm sales at gun shows are being offered by federally-licensed gun dealers who must ensure that each customer passes a background check, which blocks firearms purchases by most known criminals as well as illegal immigrants. This is likely why, according to the Journal, “There is no indication the gun-show surveillance led to any arrests or investigative leads.”

No one familiar with gun shows would think to target attendees in an effort to locate criminals. Perhaps instead of invading the privacy of law-abiding gun show patrons, ICE should use its taxpayer dollars to target straw purchasers and criminals who steal firearms, both more likely sources of illegal guns than random gun show attendees.

What do you think?

Good Guy with a Gun Saves a Sheriff’s Deputy

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NRA All Access meets with Scott Perkins, a Marine veteran, who didn’t think twice about his own life as he sprung into action to stop a violent attack on a local Sheriff’s deputy by drawing his concealed firearm.

AR-15: Americans’ Best Defense Against Terror and Crime

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NRA News contributor Dom Raso, a former Navy SEAL and founder of Dynamis Alliance, reminds us that the AR-15 is the best defense against terror and crime in this informative video. Along with reminding us that banning AR-15s wouldn’t have prevented most of the recent terror attacks, Mr. Raso offers his common sense solution to stemming the tide of terror: Law-abiding citizens prepared to deal with the imminent threats we face.

Raso added, “After the attack at Pulse night club in Orlando, Hillary Clinton looked past the obvious enemy – radical Islamic terror – and instead said “weapons of war have no place on our streets” and that we need to ban AR-15s immediately. AR-15s are fine for Hillary and her family. They’ve been protected by armed guards who use them for three decades. But average Americans who watch the news and feel genuine fear for their safety, and their families’ safety—Hillary wants to deny them the level of protection she insists upon herself.”

What did you think of Raso’s “Best Defense Against Terror” video? Let us know what’s on your mind in the comment section.

The AR-15: Americans’ Best Defense Against Terror and Crime?

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In this informative video, NRA News contributor Dom Raso, a former Navy SEAL and founder of Dynamis Alliance, reminds us that the AR-15 is the best defense against terror and crime — and he points out that banning AR-15s wouldn’t have prevented most of the recent terror attacks.

Raso also offers his common-sense solution to stemming the tide of terror: Law-abiding citizens prepared to deal with the imminent threats.

Raso highlight quote: “After the attack at Pulse night club in Orlando, Hillary Clinton looked past the obvious enemy — radical Islamic terror — and instead said ‘weapons of war have no place on our streets’ and that we need to ban AR-15s immediately. AR-15s are fine for Hillary and her family. They’ve been protected by armed guards who use them for three decades. But [for] average Americans who watch the news and feel genuine fear for their safety and their families’ safety — Hillary wants to deny them the level of protection she insists upon for herself.”

What did you think of Raso’s “Best Defense Against Terror” video?

Five Things to Know About the Bianchi Cup

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bianchi-cup-logoThe 2016 Bianchi Cup is scheduled to run through May 28, 2016 at the Green Valley Rifle and Pistol Club in Hallsville, Missouri. It is one of the crown jewels of shooting competition, and since its inception in 1979, the event has changed the landscape of competition shooting forever. First prize money in 2016 is $12,000, $2,250 for 2nd place, and $1,500 for third. Here are a few more fast facts about the Bianchi Cup:

1) Two men are primarily responsible for creating the Bianchi Cup: Ray Chapman and John Bianchi. The latter is the better known of the two, with Bianchi’s name long established as a holster maker, law-enforcement officer, and Hollywood cowboy. But as a law-enforcement officer and IPSC champion of the 1970s himself, Chapman was likewise integral in the creation of the event. Chapman passed away in 2008. The current shooting site at Green Valley Rifle and Pistol Club was formerly called the Chapman Training Academy.

2) The Bianchi Cup course of fire is a mixture of IPSC, Police Pistol Combat, and NRA Conventional Bullseye pistol-shooting styles. In 1984, the formal name of the event became the NRA Bianchi Cup, National Action Pistol Championship.

3) Citizens of any country may win the MidwayUSA & NRA Bianchi Cup Championship, except by those whose countries restrict participation and winning their championship to their own citizens.

4) The first of the four match sections is the Practical Event, followed by the Barricade Event, the Falling Plate Event, and the Moving Target Event.

5) Competitors are cautioned not to pick up dropped firearms unless under the direction of a tournament official. Dropping of an unloaded firearm and subsequently picking it up creates two safety violations and is reason for disqualification. Dropping an unloaded firearm is not sufficient reason for disqualification by itself, so competitors should contact a tournament official before picking up a dropped firearm.

To see results of this year’s competition, click here.

Midsouth Shooters Crawfish Cup Part 3: The Competition

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It’s Match Day at the 2016 Crawfish Cup, and the air is filled with morning haze, a few mosquitoes, and palpable anticipation!

87 Competitors took to the range on the day of the competition. The shooters gathered under the pavilion for the competitor meeting, where it was announced that the official referees from the NRA would provide practiced eyes on the competition. Also in attendance was Damien Orsinger, the region’s NRA representative, whom we were thrilled to see.

Damien

With these exciting developments relayed to the competitors, the final range rules were given, and they dispersed into their 8 person squads to begin their assigned event: The Mover, the Barricade, the Falling Plates, and the Practical Event.

If you’re like us, you may have a slight knowledge of what each event entails.  The Falling Plates are pretty self explanatory. Each competitor lines up at 10 yards, and must shoot a series of 6 plates within a specified amount of seconds. The difficulty increases with distance, all the way out to 25 yards. You saw in Part 2. It’s not as easy as it looks.

The Barricade presents even more challenges as the competitors must set themselves behind a partition, without eyes on the target. The buzzer sounds, the target turns to face the competitor as he or she leans out from the barricade to take their shot. This must be done within seconds, from varying distances, and using alternating hands. Imagine coming out from behind a wall 35 yards from your target, drawing your gun, gaining your sight picture, and firing from your non-dominant hand, all within a matter of seconds. Yes, it sounds impossible.

The Practical Event shares some commonalities with the Barricade. Competitors line up to face a target which is turned away from them. They must fire a series of shots within a few seconds, and at varying distances. From here, the two events begin to differ wildly. The shots taken are within quick succession. For instance, one must place one shot in each target within three seconds, two shots in each target within four seconds, and three shots in each target eight seconds. Oh, did we mention there’s two targets! Yea, two targets. It only gets more difficult from here, as the amount of shots, total time to take the shots, and the distance changes dramatically. In the end, a competitor must make their final shots in two targets, three in each, at 50 YARDS! Hey, at least you can go prone. I know I would have to lie down, and I probably would just stay there.

Finally we have the Moving Targets Event, or the Mover. The shooters take on this event solo. A hush falls, the mover hums to life, and a target races across the berm. All the while, the shooter waits for movement, draws, and fires a number of shot before the target reaches the opposite side from which it started. Draw, lead, and squeeze. Now, back out a few yards. Fewer shots, same amount of time, about 6 seconds. Go further back now. Again. Now, you’re at 25 yards. You have to hit this target three times with each pass. It passes you 4 times at this distance. At 25 yards, that black circle you’re aiming for, is little more than a dot, even with your red dot, stick shift, years of training, practice yesterday, and anxiety under control, trying to compensate for each shot within a few seconds separates competitors from champions.

Even with a perfect score, you’re not guaranteed a win. The top competitors are trying to get as many X’s as possible. An X is a shot within the inner-most circle. Hit there, and you’re set. Get more shots within the “big” black dot, and the cup has a better chance of going home in your luggage.

Check out the gallery below, and see these true competitors hard at work in their sport.

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It was unlike anything we’d ever witnessed. The blend of speed, skill, accuracy, and precision culminated in a dramatic and inspiring performance from every competitor, whether they were a novice, or a world class professional. Each shooter stood tall, took aim, and gave it their absolute best on the firing line.

From Range Master George Mowbray, “The 2016 Crawfish Cup turned into a shootout amongst the elite competitors of the sport! The Open Gun Super Squad was comprised of last year’s winner, Bruce Piatt, 2014 winner Kevin Angstadt, 2013 winner Doug Koenig and challengers Mark Itzstein, Kim Beckwith, Troy Mattheyer, Jeremy  Newell and first time Crawfish Cup competitor Tony Holmes.”

George detailed how the drama unfolded throughout the day in his match narrative. He said, “Kevin Angstadt jumped out to an early lead in the TK Custom sponsored Practical Event, posting an impressive 480 points with 45 tie-breaking X-ring shots. Bruce Piatt also had a 480 on the Practical Event, but with 39 X’s. Troy Mattheyer was in third place with a clean score and 37 X’s. Mark Itzstein and Tony Holmes followed with 36 and 32 X-ring hits respectively. 2013 champion Doug Koenig had a high X-count of 44 on the Practical, but let one shot slip out of the ten-point ring, ending the event with 478 points. Still an impressive start to the match, nonetheless.”

“Next up for the top squad was the Briley Custom Barricade event. Typically, it is a high X-count event for the top Open Gun competitors, and today didn’t disappoint. Caspian’s Bruce Piatt and Mark Itzstein, sponsored by Secure Firearm Products, posted perfect scores of 480 points with a perfect 48 X’s on the event. This was a personal best for Itzstein and his first 48-X Barricade Event in competition and propelled him past Troy Mattheyer and into third place behind Midsouth Shooters Angstadt, who still led with 91 X’s and Piatt with 87 X’s.”

George continued, “Next came the Falling Plates, which was sponsored by Lucas Oil Outdoor Line. All of the squad easily cleaned the event with 480-48X scores. Going into the final event, it was a tight race with Midsouth’s Kevin Angstadt clinging to the lead he established at the outset with a total score of 1440-139X, to Piatt’s 1440-135X. Itzstein, Mattheyer and Holmes rounded out the top five with X-counts of 132, 129 and 123 respectively. As is usually the case at the Bianchi Cup National Action Pistol Championship.”

“The drama peaked when the four greats met for their final event of the day, the Moving Target, sponsored by Secure Firearm Products. The new state-of-the-art Mover raced targets before Bruce Piatt, Tony Holmes, Doug Koenig, and Kevin Angstadt. Tied in Falling Plates, X’s gathered in both Barricade and Practical, the Mover began to separate our champions into their positions. The slightest misstep, hesitation, or distraction could equal defeat. In the end, one champion rose above the others to take the day.”

“When the final shot rang out, Bruce Piatt repeated as the 2016 Crawfish Cup Champion with a score of 1920 points and 176 X’s. Tony Holmes jumped into second place by shooting a 478 on the Mover, finishing with a 1918-153X. Smith & Wesson’s Doug Koenig also had 176 X’s, but dropped 4 points overall to finish with a 1916-176X. Kevin Angstadt was close on his heels firing a 1916 with 173 X’s. Mark Itzstein also shot a 1916, but could only muster 158 X’s to finish in fifth place. Troy Mattheyer shot an eight point shot and a five point shot on the Mover to finish with a very respectable 1913-157X performance. The top three competitors, Piatt, Holmes and Koenig, are all sponsored by H & M Black Nitride giving Black Nitride a clean sweep at the Crawfish Cup.” Check out the press release from Black Nitride Here!

The-Cup

Check out Part 4 for more scores, match details, and plans for 2017!

Midsouth Shooters Crawfish Cup Part 2: Shooters Ready!

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Many of our readers are reloaders. It takes a different mentality to submerse one’s self into creating something to be used or consumed. Farmers get it. Butchers understand. Carpenters, masons, builders, creators, doers all understand. When one works for something, and sees the fruits of their labor, they gain a level of respect beyond the intended use of their creation. Although we weren’t competing, we were allowed to get a glimpse of the work that goes into becoming a competitor in action pistol, and the be a participant in The Crawfish Cup.

Members of the Army Marksmanship Unit, plus Bruce Piatt and Tony Holmes find some shade on the Mover
Members of the Army Marksmanship Unit, plus Bruce Piatt and Tony Holmes find some shade on the Mover.

Friday, the practice ramped up, especially on the new mover. Shots rang out across the range from Tracie and Eli Rushing as they took on each station. First Timer at The Crawfish Cup, Tony Holmes greeted us with a smile, and many kind words, and set to work preparing himself for the match to come. It was amazing to see these titans of the sport, Doug Koenig, Bruce Piatt, Kevin Angstadt, and Tony Holmes gather together across a few tailgates, and not only discuss the course of fire, but rib each other like old friends.

Kevin Angstadt, Bruce Piatt, Doug Koenig, and Tony Holmes gather together on practice day.
Kevin Angstadt, Bruce Piatt, Doug Koenig, and Tony Holmes gather together on practice day.

Soon after, the laughter died away, and the calm of experience took over as each shooter set off for his or her area of desired challenge. It was at this point we saw where the training ethics play a major roll in action pistol. To even be able to hit these targets, whether they’re turning, zipping from side to side, or just falling down after they’re shot, is a feat. Being able to maintain the amount of X’s (shots in the bullseye location) each competitor racked up was astounding. We tried! We were invited to try the falling plates at 10 yards. No big deal, right?

It’s harder than it looks, and it should be. It takes work, training, and dedication. Furthermore, it takes discipline! To develop a level of control where one removes their own body as a variable, is what separates a professional from the rest of the lot.

 

The feeling of community pervaded the entire day, especially at dinner. We gathered at Big Daddy’s, a local fixture in Lake Charles. Shooters of all levels, old hands and new faces alike, gathered like family to demolish mud bugs, and discuss the competition ahead. The food, much like the company, was fantastic. Saturday loomed close, and in order for a nice crop of X’s to be harvested, the fun had to slip behind the barricade, and the work had to begin.

Kevin Angstadts 9x23 Easter Eggs
Kevin Angstadt’s 9×23 Easter Eggs (ammo)

The work would never have been possible without the generous sponsors providing prizes, donations, and support to the range, and the competitors. Check out the sponsor profile from the last newsletter here. A Special thank you goes out to the event sponsors! With their donations and support, the match will continue to flourish beyond the amazing progress already made to benefit the competitors experience.

sponsors wall at 2016 crawfish cup
Thank you to all of the sponsors!
The Secure Firearms Products Mover Event Featuring Sig Shooter Tracie Rushing
The Secure Firearms Products Mover Event Featuring Sig Shooter Tracie Rushing
The Lucas Oil Outdoor Products Falling Plates Event Featuring SFP Sponsored Shooter Mark Itzstein
The Lucas Oil Outdoor Products Falling Plates Event Featuring SFP Sponsored Shooter Mark Itzstein
The Briley Manufacturing Barricade Event Featuring Midsouth Shooter Kevin Angstadt
The Briley Manufacturing Barricade Event Featuring Midsouth Shooter Kevin Angstadt
The T.K. Custom Practical Shooting Event Featuring Moose Liming
The T.K. Custom Practical Shooting Event Featuring Moose Liming

Stay tuned for part 3 of the Crawfish Cup, where we take you into the heart of the big match! Was there a competitor you were rooting for? What do you think is the most common caliber on the range? Discuss in the comments below!

Midsouth Shooters Crawfish Cup Part 1: Welcome to Lake Charles!

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2016 marks our first venture into action pistol, and it was an amazing experience, filled with great people. Action pistol is a sport, in every sense of the word. It takes a ridiculous amount of dedication, discipline, and attention in order to be a competitor.

Our group arrived in Lake Charles, LA to a torrential downpour. Thankfully, the clouds parted shortly after our arrival. In 2015, the competition, as well as the competitors, weren’t so lucky…

2015 Crawfish Cup monsoon
2015 Crawfish Cup monsoon

This year was blessedly cooperative weather-wise. The wide field of 87 competitors, ranging in all ages, and pistol varieties, were eager to get their feet wet on the course of fire, so to speak. Greeted by the range master, as well as the lead range officer, George Mowbray, and Gary Yantis, the heart and soul of the match. Their experience and expertise are only matched by their hospitality, and their willingness to impart any knowledge one wishes to gain about anything Crawfish Cup.

Range Master George Mowbray and Head Range Officer Gary Yantis
Range Master George Mowbray and Head Range Officer Gary Yantis

Gary and George, both pro pistol shooters with decades of experience between them, have built an amazing match thus far. In 2015, the match saw 70 competitors, with Bruce Piatt taking home the cup. 2014 had a similar field of competitors, with the Midsouth sponsored shooter, Kevin Angstadt raising the cup. 2013 had world class shooter Doug Koenig adding the Crawfish Cup to his trophy case. Every year saw outstanding competitors, and George and Gary making sure every competitor had a safe, fair, and fun competition. Having them to work with in preparation for 2017 only fuels our desire to exceed the progress we made this year in providing the best experience for every competitor on the road to the prestigious Bianchi Cup.

Click Here to check out the Gallery for this year’s Crawfish Cup!

Something that makes the Crawfish Cup special is the field of competition. We had the immense pleasure of meeting great people at every turn. Please head over to the competitor profile section to meet a few shooters from all over the U.S. Each one brought something special to the match. Also attending this year were the three members of the Yackley 5ive, Tim and Sean Yackley, and their mom, competitor Becky Yackley. These bright young men are the future of action pistol. We got the chance to bounce a few questions off them prior to the match:

Tim, Sean, and Becky Yackley
Meet Tim and Sean Yackley, and their mother, Becky Yackley.

Tim and Sean Yackley are not only involved in every aspect of action pistol, they take their dedication beyond Crawfish and Bianchi Cup, and into long range shooting, 3-gun, all the way down to working the reloading bench. When asked about their level of commitment to the shooting sports, they said, “One of the things that really makes us love shooting is seeing what we’ve been able to do with all the little things we’ve done:  we don’t have anyone training us, it’s a lot of our own work, over years.  As kids, it’s neat to see the tiny bits of work we do with each other turn into a great performance – stuff like working on particular skills and seeing that help each other in a match, or taking a small piece of advice someone gave us on say, shooting barricades, and seeing it play a role in something we figure out and can grow from – those things really make the little parts of everything we’ve done, with help from lots of people come into play.”

These Lucas Oil Outdoor sponsored shooters are already making a name for themselves. Tim Yackley took home first place in the Master Category, at age 13! Proof positive of a stellar career in shooting sports, and a definite presence at The Crawfish Cup.

Team Cerino stands out, and it’s not just because of Michelle’s tiara. Chris and Michelle are fierce competitors, and have a great rapport with every other shooter they encounter, adding a level of fun to each section of the match that we had no idea could exist in such a regimented structure.

Chris and Michelle Cerino
Chris and Michelle Cerino on match day at 2016 Crawfish Cup

Vera Koo is not only a shooter of legend, she’s a true ambassador to the sport. Earning High Lady, and Grand High Lady this year at the cup was a great achievement. Beyond that, she donated $300 of her own money to be divided up, and given as door prizes to other shooters.

Vera Koo heads to her next match
Vera Koo, Grand High Lady recipient heads to the next stage of the match

See, it’s the elements that lie underneath the surface of the competition. These acts of comeradery, generosity, and respect are what propel The Crawfish Cup to the next level.

Check out part 2 for more on the individual matches, competitor interactions, and information on the 2016 Crawfish Cup and their sponsors!

Have you participated in Action Pistol, or any other shooting competition? Tell us about it in the comments below!