Category Archives: Pistol

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!

Ten Essential Tips for CCW Holders

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10-CCW-Tips_Page_01Beretta’s free e-book, Ten Essential Tips for CCW Holders, has some useful tips to consider, in particular for gunowners who are contemplating the pros and cons of everyday carry for themselves.

As the Beretta CCW booklet says, “Carrying a concealed handgun requires a certain amount of confidence. You need to be confident in your knowledge of laws and regulations. You have to have confidence in your accuracy, and you need to trust that you can carry a gun effectively, securely and comfortably. If a gun is a burden for you to carry, you probably won’t.” So far, so good.

Click here to download 10 Essential Tips for CCW Holders as a PDF.

The topics covered are:

  1. Introduction
  2. Knowing How to Carry Your Gun Comfortably and Effectively
  3. Dressing to Keep Your Weapon a Secret
  4. Understand Your Weapon’s Capabilities
  5. Choose a Suitable Caliber
  6. Practicing Basic Skills
  7. Try Your Hand at Point Shooting
  8. Training to Clear Your Weapon
  9. Stage Your Weapon
  10. Closing to Engage a Threat

And Beretta offers some additional information which may be of value to our customers who are considering making the move to concealed carry:

  • 55% of gunfights take place 0-5 feet.
  • 20% of gunfights take place in 5-10 feet.
  • 20% of gunfights take place in 10-21 feet.
  • 95% of gunfights take place in 0-21 feet. (Source: FBI)
  • The average man can cover 21 feet of ground in 1.5 seconds.
  • The average man cannot draw a gun from concealment in under 2 seconds.
  • The average gunfight is over in 3-5 seconds.
  • 3 to 4 shots are usually fired.
  • Most gunfights take place in low-light conditions.
  • On average, one shot in four strikes someone.

Here are three of the ten tips in more detail:

Dressing to Keep Your Weapon a Secret

Once you’ve chosen a holster and a gun, you have to hide them both. The trick is keeping the gun both concealed and accessible. The main give-away is the gun’s outline being visible through clothing (printing). Some tips on choosing the right clothing to carry concealed:

  • Wear pants that have enough room in the pocket or in the waist band to comfortably carry the gun.
  • Shirt tails provide good coverage. Wear shirts that are meant to be worn untucked, and make sure your shirt extends past your waistband.
  • If you will be wearing shorts and T-shirts, you will have to consider carrying a small gun. A slim gun in an IWB holster should easily be covered by a shirt.
  • In fall and winter, heavy clothing will allow the concealment of even full sized handguns.
  • Suit jackets and coats make concealment easy.

Choose a Suitable Caliber

Here the rules are easy to understand. Larger rounds require larger guns, and typically do more damage. Small-framed handguns with short grips can be difficult to grasp. But larger guns are harder to conceal. Again, there is a balance that must be considered.

  • The .25 ACP is a tiny round that is fired from tiny guns. While easily concealed, the .25 ACP is not known for its stopping power.
  • The .32 ACP is moderately larger, and can be a perfectly effective round (though most consider a .32 to be a backup for a larger gun).
  • The .380 ACP is a very popular choice. The .380’s recoil is manageable, which allows for more accurate repeat shots. And many ammunition manufacturers make excellent .380 defensive rounds.
  • The 9mm is very popular, and close to the upper limit for lightweight concealed carry.
  • The .40 S&W is slightly larger, still. It is a popular choice for many law enforcement agencies.
  • The .45 ACP is a venerable handgun round, and offers excellent stopping power, though it is a bit slower than the 9mm.
  • The 10mm is seen by many as the upper limit of practicality. It is a .40-caliber bullet backed by more powder.

Many feel like the debate over caliber misses the mark. Practice, skill, and accuracy will do more for your success than a big bullet. Look for a gun that’s easily concealed in a caliber you can confidently handle and work on your shot placement.

Training to Clear Your Weapon of a Malfunction

What can go wrong will go wrong, and that applies to handguns as well. Sometimes primers don’t ignite the powder. Or the bullet will fire, but the gun won’t extract the spent brass. Or the next round won’t feed quite right. Anytime this happens, you have to fix the problem. Try a tap-rack. Pull the slide back with your non-dominant hand, hard, and let it go again, like you would if you were chambering a round. Sometimes a little shake will free a loose piece of brass. When the slide falls, it usually picks up the next round, or may push a stuck round into place.

This is easily practiced. Snap-caps and/or dummy rounds will allow you to simulate these problems without live rounds in the gun. See how easy (or hard) jams are to clear, and how quickly you can do it. Keep practicing these drills until the tap-rack becomes second nature.

In the worst case scenarios, you will need to lock the slide back and drop the magazine in order to clear the issue. Practice this, too. Your life may depend on your ability to understand the problem and fix it quickly.

When you decided to begin daily carry, what was the biggest obstacle for you personally to overcome? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments section below:

Sponsors Take Crawfish Cup to Next Level

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The 2016 Crawfish Cup has grown by leaps and bounds this year, and it’s all thanks for the sponsors who gave generously to the competition. Sponsors help make shooting sports possible through donations of products, money, or improvements to the range.

George Mowbray 2015 Crawfish Cup
Range Coordinator George Mowbray, the heart and soul of the Crawfish Cup at the 2015 awards ceremony.

At the time of this article, there are 90 competitors, with 19 of those competitors shooting the Aggregate Match. You’ll be able to follow all the action with live updates at the Crawfish Cup’s website. Click Here to check it out!

Our event sponsors top our list:

  • Secure Firearm Products: Moving Targets Event
  • TK Custom: Practical Event
  • Lucas Oil: Falling Plates Event
  • Western Powders: Open Gun
  • Briley Custom: Barricade Event
Western Powders
Western Powders Sponsors the Open Gun Event

The Special Categories:

  • “What-Ya-Say” Hearing Protection: Ladies Awards
  • Zero Bullet Company: Junior Category

Communications Provided by:

  • LRC Wireless (Louisiana Radio Communications)

Platinum Level Sponsors:

  • Hornady
  • Montana Gold Bullets
Hornady Reloading
Hornady Ammunition and Reloading Products, Platinum Level Sponsor

Gold Level Sponsors:

  • Rainier Ballistics
  • Zero Bullets
  • Swab-Its

Silver Level Sponsors:

  • Leupold
  • NRA Competitive Shooting
  • Graf & Sons
Leupold Optics
Leupold Optics, Silver Level Sponsor

Bronze Level Sponsor:

  • Sierra Bullets
Sierra Bullets, the Bullet Smiths
Sierra Bullets, the Bullet Smiths, Bronze Level Sponsor

Supporting Sponsors:

  • Boyd’s Hardwood Gunstocks
  • Shooting Chrony
  • Flitz Polish

Finally, there’s just us, Midsouth Shooters Supply. All we wanted to do was see the event take off like it deserved. Not only is the event a great build-up to Bianchi Cup, but it’s a great match in and of itself. Further more, it’s ran by some of the best people you could meet in shooting sports. Come to Lake Charles, Louisiana and see for yourself. At least stay long enough to enjoy the crawfish boil.

Follow the action of the cup HERE. Enjoy the site, look at the pictures from matches past, and stay tuned for pictures from this year as we’ll be uploading those during the matches. Also, check out the competitor profiles here. There are some great contenders attending this year. Doug Koenig, Bruce Piatt, and Kevin Angstadt are all past champions, and will be in attendence. You’ll also see some relatively new faces like Tracie Rushing, and some legends in the sport, like Carl Bernosky!

We’ll have more to come soon. Thank to you, and thanks to the sponsors that make events like this possible.

Will you be making the trip to Louisiana?

The Thompson ‘Chicago Typewriter’ Turns 100

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John T. Thompson first began researching a portable hand-held automatic weapon in 1915, with the firearm later being known as the “Chicago Typewriter” because of its staccato sounds of report. Now, Auto Ordnance is producing a commemorative 100th Anniversary matched set edition of the Thompson 1927A-1 rifle and matching 1911A1 pistol.

Auto Ordnance is offering a commemorative 100th Anniversary matched set edition of the Thompson 1927A-1 rifle and matching 1911A1 pistol.
Auto Ordnance is offering a commemorative 100th Anniversary matched set edition of the Thompson 1927A-1 rifle and matching 1911A1 pistol.

“We are proud to honor the name and the legacy of General John T. Thompson with this special 100th Anniversary matched set,” said Frank Harris, VP of Sales and Marketing, Kahr Firearms Group. “There is a rich historical past attached to the Tommy Gun, and we feel General Thompson would be proud to see that what started as a research project in 1915 has served the military, law enforcement and shooting enthusiasts around the world so prominently for over 100 years.”

The limited edition Thompson 1927A-1 Deluxe Carbine is offered in .45 ACP and comes with one 20-round stick magazine. It features a 16.5-inch finned barrel (18 inches with compensator) and is prominently engraved with the classic Thompson logo, limited edition numbers, and displays the words “100th Anniversary” on the matte-black steel frame. The gun weighs 13 pounds and has an overall length of 41 inches. Other features include a pinned-in front blade and an open rear adjustable sight. The stock is fixed, has a vertical foregrip, and is made from American Walnut.

As a matched set, the limited edition series also comes with the Thompson 1911A1 GI Specs pistol likewise chambered in .45 ACP, with a 5-inch barrel and a matte-black steel frame. Overall length is 8.5 inches, and it weighs just 39 oz. The low-profile front and rear iron sights are set in dovetail cuts. The pistol is shipped with one 7-round magazine. Just like the Thompson 1927A-1, it too is engraved with the iconic Thompson logo, the words 100th Anniversary, and lists the limited edition numbers on the frame. Both guns must be purchased as a set and the MSRP is $1,971. The guns are shipped together in a polymer hard case with the yellow Thompson Bullet logo and the words “Chicago Typewriter” in white stamped on the black case cover.

The story behind the guns: John T. Thompson was born in Newport, Kentucky on December 31, 1860. His father, a graduate of West Point, served as Lt. Colonel during the civil war and, John, following in his father’s footsteps, also graduated from West Point and served in the Army. It was while he was in the Army that Thompson went to engineering and artillery schools and began researching small arms. He was later assigned to the Army Ordnance Department in 1890 as a 2nd Lieutenant and was responsible for arming and dispersing of weapons during the Spanish-American war.

During WWI, before the U.S. became involved, Thompson saw the need to assist the allies with better artillery, so he retired from the Army to develop a fully automatic weapon. By 1916, while employed as chief engineer at Remington Arms, he created a gun that could be used to clear enemy trenches, nicknamed the “Trench Broom” and this was the beginning of the Thompson submachine gun.

When the U.S. entered WWI in 1917, Thompson re-enlisted into the Army and was promoted to brigadier general. Once the war was over, Thompson continued to perfect the Tommy Gun, and by 1920 it was patented.

Once the war was over, there was little demand for military arms, so Thompson began marketing the Tommy Gun to law-enforcement agencies and also to the general public. Historically, it also became infamous as the weapon of choice for gangsters, including John Dillinger, Al Capone, and Baby Face Nelson.

Thompson died in 1940 at age 79 and was honored with a burial on the grounds of the United States Military Academy at West Point. Less than two years after his death, WWII broke out and the U.S. Army ordered significant quantities of the Thompson submachine guns.

2016 National Matches – HELP WANTED!

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The 2016 NRA National Matches in Camp Perry, Ohio are right around the corner, and the NRA needs your help! They’re looking for Range and Pit officers to assist the National Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio. No experience necessary! They’ll train you. Contracted range and pit officers receive free housing. Application deadline to become a volunteer is June 13, 2016. Click Here to fill out your application!

As an added bonus, just send/email a copy of your confirmation as a volunteer from the NRA to us here at Midsouth Shooters, and we’ll send you an ambassador packet containing a Midsouth Shooters Hat, 6 Midsouth Moral Patches (3 PVC, 3 Embroidered), and 10 Midsouth Shooters Decals for you to hand out at the matches to some of your favorite competitors.

2016 NRA National Matches

We appreciate your time, and the NRA is grateful for your consideration!

History of the National Matches:

The National Matches were first held in 1903, moved to Camp Perry, Ohio, in 1907 and continue to take place every summer at Camp Perry. The National Matches have become a huge, national shooting sports festival with well over 6,000 annual participants. School students and competition event shooters range from beginners to many of the world’s best.

Group of Folks at the National Match

More Info on the Matches:

The National Matches include Small Arms Firing Schools that are mandated by law and a series of CMP National Trophy Rifle and Pistol Matches and CMP Games Events as well as several National Rifle Association national championships that are held in connection with the National Matches. The CMP fulfills its responsibility to conduct the National Matches through a working partnership that includes the Ohio National Guard and the NRA.

The National Matches include the CMP National Trophy Rifle and Pistol Matches, the Pistol and Rifle Small Arms Firing Schools, CMP Games rifle events and the NRA National Pistol, Smallbore Rifle and Highpower Rifle Championships. The matches are conducted jointly by the CMP, NRA and the Ohio National Guard.

The First Shot Ceremony is the official “opening ceremony” of the National Matches. Each year an invited special guest makes brief remarks to assembled competitors, match officials, volunteers and state and local military and government leaders. Several hundred people attend the ceremony each year. After the First Shot Speaker makes their remarks, the First Shot Speaker has the honor of firing the ceremonial “first shot” of the National Matches.

For more information, or to apply, visit
703-267-1466 | assistnra@nrahq.org | www.assistnra.org

Email a copy of your confirmation to specials@midsouthshooterssupply.com, or mail them to Midousth Shooters, 770 Economy Drive, Clarksville TN, 37043 for your ambassador packet.

Contact info for the NRA

2016 Crawfish Cup Website is Live!

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It’s finally here! The Midsouth Shooters 2016 Crawfish Cup website is now fully operational. Visit www.thecrawfishcup.com now to take the tour.

Welcome to thecrawfishcup.com!
Welcome to thecrawfishcup.com!

You’ll be able to get live updates from the shoot, check out tons of pictures and videos of your favorite shooters as they compete for the cup, and more! Want to compete in The Crawfish Cup? Head over to the site and fill out the entry form.

The Crawfish Cup is a rare venue in that it’s a place where amateurs and professionals alike compete along side each other in the chase for the cup. It’s a great competition for those who’re looking to one day compete in the Bianchi Cup, as well.

Would you, or your company like to be a sponsor of the shoot? Join Midsouth Shooters as a sponsor for the 2016 Crawfish Cup by clicking HERE! We’re proud to be the title sponsor, but competitions like this one always use more help toward bettering the event. We all appreciate it!

So swing by www.thecrawfishcup.com and see for yourself just what the Midsouth Shooters 2016 Crawfish Cup NRA Action Pistol Shoot is all about.

Five Guns Every Shooter Should Own

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Owning firearms takes money, which comes as no surprise to anyone here at MSS. So one important question is, when you’re building your collection, what are your must-haves and can’t-do-withouts?

Everyone’s list is different, but here’s one that makes a lot of sense to us for five guns every shooter should own:

#1
.22 LR rifle and ammunition to feed it. What action and brand of rifle? Your pick. How much is enough rimfire ammo to have on hand? We think keeping a rolling stock of 5,000 rounds minimum is about right.

#2

.22 LR handgun. A complement to #1, so it can be semi-auto or wheelgun.

#3
Defensive concealable handgun. Most will prefer semi-autos, but wheelguns are fine. Need to keep on hand at least 500 to 1,000 rounds minimum — and extra mags or speed-loaders depending on your pick.

#4

Semi-auto battle rifle. 5.56 chambering is a mainstay, of course, but 30-cals do more farther away. Again, money raises its ugly head when you’re counting round inventory, but we think 1k is the minimum to have on hand for this.

#5
A 12-gauge shotgun. Pumps are famous for their reliability, and upkeep is minimal. Rounds to have on hand include at least 250 bird-suitable shotshells (#7’s), a similar amout of buckshot loads, and a similar amount of slugs.

If we were to expand the list one slot, we’d next include a bolt rifle chambered in the same cartridge as #4, which would suggest the semi-auto and bolt gun both be .308s. Another way to go would be to co-chamber #3 and #4 in a handgun round, such as the 45 ACP. A handgun-cartridge-chambered carbine has a lot going for it, but you would have to accept reduced range.

What’s your lineup of five must-have firearms? Let us hear about it in the comments section below.

 

MSS isn’t recommending any particular brand or models here, just a suitable collection of five should-have firearms. Top, Ruger makes several rimfire rifles and handguns that can make this list, including the SR22 pistol, the 10/22 rifle, and the 22/45 pistol. The company is also selling suppressors for them now as well. Cans are handy, but optional, on our list. Second from top is a suitable self-defense sidearm, this one being Springfield Armory’s 1911 Range Officer Pl9129LP chambered in 9mm Luger. Below that is a semi-auto self-defense rifle; this one is a Daniel Defense DDM4V7LW chambered in 5.56 NATO. And rounding out our list is, bottom, a Mossberg 590 Magpul 50669 Pump 12 Gauge. What does your list include?
MSS isn’t recommending any particular brand or models here, just a suitable collection of five should-have firearms. Top, Ruger makes several rimfire rifles and handguns that can make this list, including the SR22 pistol, the 10/22 rifle, and the 22/45 pistol. The company is also selling suppressors for them now as well. Cans are handy, but optional, on our list. Second from top is a suitable self-defense sidearm, this one being Springfield Armory’s 1911 Range Officer Pl9129LP chambered in 9mm Luger. Below that is a semi-auto self-defense rifle; this one is a Daniel Defense DDM4V7LW chambered in 5.56 NATO. And rounding out our list is, bottom, a Mossberg 590 Magpul 50669 Pump 12 Gauge. What does your list include?

Exploring Hodgdon’s Pistol-Cartridge-Load Website

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Midsouth Shooters Supply customers buy a lot of Hodgdon powders because the company makes great products and because Hodgdon’s staffers support the efforts of reloaders in a number of ways.

We previously noted here that some of the company’s available materials appear in the Hodgdon Reloading Education section. Click here to see the landing page on which Hodgdon begins the education process. Click here to see Safety precautions. Then click the Reloading for Beginners tab to get an overview of the basics of handloading. Click here to  prob

The Hodgdon Pistol Reloading Data page displays a pulldown menu with a lineup of available cartridges from 17 Bumble Bee through 500 S&W Magnum. Here’s a closer look at the detailed data for the 155-grain lead semi-wadcutter bullet.
The Hodgdon Pistol Reloading Data page displays a pulldown menu with a lineup of available cartridges from 17 Bumble Bee through 500 S&W Magnum. Here’s a closer look at the detailed data for the 155-grain lead semi-wadcutter bullet.

e more deeply into the data available for reloading rifle cartridges.

This time we’re going to explore the Hodgdon Pistol Reloading Data page. Like the Rifle page, the Pistol page gets you started by asking you to select a cartridge from a pulldown menu. The lineup of available cartridges begins at the 17 Bumble Bee and continues through the 500 S&W Magnum. There are dozens choices of currently available commercial favorites, such as the 380 Auto, 9mm Luger, and 45 ACP, plus a bunch of popular high-performance loads that can be chambered in handguns as well as rifles.

Once you’ve selected a cartridge, which for our purposes here is the 45 ACP, you’re then able to select a range of bullet weights. In the case of the 45 ACP, that ranges from weights from 155 to 230 grains and a variety of bullet profiles.

When the user selects a bullet weight (or weights), the site returns a range of data for that load. We’ve been looking at building a lower-recoil training load with a 155-grain bullet, so we clicked “155” from the bullet-weight menu, and then perused the two load-data selections the site presented: a 155-grain cast bullet and an SFire projectile. The cast load was what we’re looking for, so we then expanded that window and saw additional information about that choice, including Case: Winchester, barrel twist (1:16 inches), primer (Federal 150 Large Pistol), barrel length (5 inches), and trim length for the case (0.893 inches).

Then, in more detail, the window for the 155-grain cast LSWC (lead semi-wadcutter) load lists the recommended powders, starting loads, and maximum loads, along with estimated pressures. For our training load, a promising starting load for the 45 ACP 155-grain round is 4.9 grains of Winchester WST, which will produce a velocity of 919 fps and develop 13,100 copper units of pressure (CUP).

If we wanted to work up hotter and hotter loads, there are plenty of powder choices — 15 others, to be exact. Just among the starting loads we could run up to 1,019 fps with 7.8 grains of IMR 800-X, which is estimated to produce 13,600 CUP. Then, if we wanted to really push that 155-grain round, we could work up to maximum loads producing as much as 1,132 fps and 17,000 CUP with 6.2 grains of Hodgdon’s Titegroup.

Also, you can narrow your selections by manufacturer or specific powder if you have already have pet loads you like to work with.

The Hodgdon pistol-cartridge reloading table lets you select proven, safe, and varied mixtures of bullet weights and powder choices to build nearly any recipe of handgun performance you need.

The Hodgdon Pistol Reloading Data page displays a pulldown menu with a lineup of available cartridges from 17 Bumble Bee through 500 S&W Magnum. See the image above for a detailed look at the 155-grain lead semi-wadcutter bullet.

Crawfish Cup: Look Behind to Look Ahead

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Top-level shooters from across the U.S. are gearing up to shoot in the Midsouth Shooters Supply 2016 Crawfish Cup NRA Action Pistol Regional Championship, which will be held on April 22-23, 2016 at the Southwest Louisiana Rifle and Pistol Club located outside Lake Charles, Louisiana. What makes this shooting competition so inviting to the best Action Pistol shooters in the game?

George-and-Bruce-Piatt2
George Mowbray Presents Bruce Piatt with the 2015 Crawfish Cup Overall Champion Award

“Here’s a bit of trivia; most of the Bianchi Cup winners since 2011 have won the Crawfish Cup the same year. We are excited to have so many World Class shooters shoot our match,” said George Mowbray, match director for the Crawfish Cup.

Crawfish-cup-2015

The Southwest Louisiana Rifle and Pistol Club has been hosting NRA Action Pistol Tournaments since 1987. Starting out with portable, static targets that had to be set up and removed for each match, volunteers who run the Crawfish Cup have slowly and continuously built the range into one of the best Action Pistol ranges in the country.

“We strive to duplicate the range experience of the Bianchi Cup with very similar equipment and procedures,” Mowbray said. “We want to build the identity of the Crawfish Cup as a competition where pros can hone their skills, and amateurs can match their skills against some of the best in the country.”

Crawfish-Range
Competitors take aim at the 2015 Crawfish Cup

Under several different names, the match has been run near Lake Charles since the late 1980s. In 2011, Mowbray said the organizers adopted the name Crawfish Cup to draw attention to the Cajun delicacy that is in its prime season during April and May.

“He went on to say, “We also shifted the date of the Crawfish Cup to late April, typically about four weeks prior to the Bianchi Cup, in hopes of attracting more attendance from top competitors who start focusing on Action Pistol in the spring and from International competitors coming to the U.S. to compete in the National Action Pistol Championship. We have regularly had competitors from New Zealand and The Netherlands, as well as  Australia. For many years, attendance at our regionals ran from 40 to 45 competitors. When we renamed the match the Crawfish Cup, and moved it closer to the Bianchi Cup, we instantly saw an increase of about 15 more competitors.”

In 2013, Doug Koenig and Carl Bernosky attended the match and have apparently spread the word that not only is the range constantly improving, but is also a well run match.

The organizers also made a critical decision to reschedule the match so that competitors who wanted to attend the NRA’s Annual Meeting and shoot the match that fell on that same weekend, could be squadded to shoot the match on a Friday, and then leave to attend the NRA’s Annual Meeting.

“In 2014, Doug Koenig flew in, shot the match, and flew out to attend the NRA Annual Meeting,” Mowbray said. “We think that says something about the quality of the Crawfish Cup Regional, and Doug’s commitment to the sport.”

Doug-Win
From Left: Doug Koenig, Gary Yantis, George Mowbray. George and Gary present Doug Koenig with the 2013 Crawfish Cup Overall Champion Award

Also, Mowbray pointed out that last year, past Bianchi Cup Champion Bruce Piatt was among the 75 competitors who participated in 2015. At the 2015 Crawfish Cup, Piatt beat Koenig by three Xs, but Koenig came back to win at the 2015 Bianchi Cup. Other former Bianchi Cup Champions have included Kevin Angstadt, who in 2014 won the Crawfish Cup and followed it with a win at the Bianchi Cup.

2014-Overall-Champion
From Left: Gary Yantis, Kevin Angstadt, George Mowbray. Gary and George present Kevin Angstadt with the 2014 Crawfish Cup Overall Champion Award

Also, Mowbray notes that several people have set national records at the Crawfish Cup. In 2014, Martin Johnson set new records as a Senior competitor using a metallic sight firearm in the Practical Event, the Barricade Event, and the Falling Plate Event. Also that year, Vance Schmid set a new national record for a Senior competitor using a Production Firearm in the Moving Target Event (Modified).

“With all the improvements that we’ve been able to make to the range with the help of Midsouth Shooters Supply, we’re able to increase our range capacity,” Mowbray said. “With the addition of another moving-target range, we’re able to accommodate about 120 competitors at the one-day match.”

Mowbray noted that in 2015, the Crawfish Cup surpassed $11,000 in donated merchandise, which was awarded via random drawing, giving all competitors an equal chance to leave the match with some very nice prizes. Mowbray said, “The more we get the word out there, and the more folks we’re able to bring on as sponsors, the more we can grow the competition.”

In addition to top-level competition, part of the match’s draw is its Cajun flavor. Competitors are all invited to dinner at a locally-owned and operated restaurant Friday night before the match, featuring boiled crawfish and other Cajun cuisine. Also, the owner of the restaurant brings his big grill on a trailer to the range and grills chicken, burgers, and sausage for the competitors on Saturday as his contribution to the match.”

The Crawfish Cup is more than just a competition. It’s quickly becoming a time for friends to gather, take in some local culture, and compete in a sport that’s unlike any other,” Mowbray said. For example, in 2014, the match staff organized an airboat tour of the Atchafalaya Basin, enabling competitors to get up close and personal with alligators and other wildlife in their natural swamp habitat.

Airboar trip 2014 (24)
Airboat Tour through the Atchafalaya Swamp
Airboar trip 2014 (50)
The airboat driver stops to ask a local or directions…

Mowbray said, “We are recommending this tour this year as well, although we’re not officially organizing it. It’s located about 80 miles from Lake Charles, and can be arranged individually at www.basinlanding.com.”

“We’re looking forward to the shoot this year,” Mowbray said, “and we’re up to the challenges that a growing competition brings, and the anticipation that starts to build as we get closer to The Crawfish Cup!

Click the date below for Crawfish Cup Results from:

2015;   2014;   2013;   2012;   2011

Next issue, we’ll take a look at the origins of the field, get a first-hand look at some of the top competitors, and give you a better idea of what The Crawfish Cup is going to look like in 2016.

Glock on Mars?

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Photo courtesy of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Photo courtesy of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

One of the latest photos beamed back to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) from a Mars rover appears to show the first handgun ever spotted on Mars. Some commenters say it’s a spitting image of a Glock 17. Others argue that the big slide and overall size make it a spitting image of a Desert Eagle. What’s your take?