Category Archives: Shooting Skills

Nearly 2,700 Youth Compete at SASP/SCTP Nationals

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The Scholastic Clay Target Program and Scholastic Action Shooting Program National Championships event and results, KEEP READING

SSSF nationals

SOURCE: SSSF 

The Scholastic Clay Target Program and Scholastic Action Shooting Program National Championships were conducted July 14-21 at the Cardinal Shooting Center in Marengo, Ohio. Youth from 26 states participated in the eight day event with 2,692 competitors putting over one million rounds down range.

Highlights of the week-long event included Wednesday evening’s Opening Ceremonies, Thursday’s pizza party, Friday’s ice cream social and college recruiting day plus the filming of a major motion picture about our sport!

Scholastic Clay Target Program competition events included 16 yard trap, handicap trap, trap doubles, skeet, skeet doubles, sporting clays and bunker trap.

SCTP Award Ceremonies for Skeet and Sporting Clays were held on Thursday evening and for Trap, Skeet Doubles and High Over All on Saturday.

SCTP Main Event H.O.A. results:
1st Place — Lake Oconee Shotgun Team (Georgia) — 2,112
2nd Place — Forest City Juniors (Georgia) — 2,106
3rd Place — Central Georgia Elite Shooters (Georgia) — 2,103
4th Place — North Scott Trap Team (Iowa) — 2,102
5th Place — PC Eagles (Iowa) — 2,074

SCTP High School H.O.A. results:
1st Place — North Scott Trap Team (Iowa) 2,865
2nd Place — PC Eagles (Iowa) 2,791
3rd Place — Allen Eagles Competitive Shooting Team (Texas) 2,781
4th Place — Union Grove Broncos Shooting Club (Wisconsin) 2,757
5th Place — Marquette Hilltoppers Trap Team (Wisconsin) 2,744

Complete results for the 2018 SCTP National Championships available HERE

The Scholastic Action Shooting Program events included competition in rimfire pistol, centerfire pistol, rifle optics, rifle iron sights, 1911 and pistol caliber carbine (PCC). Award Ceremonies were held on Saturday evening and for the 5th year in a row the Lake Country Action Shooters of Wisconsin won the Senior Division of Centerfire Pistol!

Centerfire Pistol — Senior Division results:
1st Place — Lake Country Action Shooters 186.36
2nd Place — Central Florida Rifle & Pistol Club 207.66
3rd Place — Arnold Junior shooters Red 230.16

Other notable results for the SASP Rifle Competitions included two athletes, Ethan Inocando and Nate Gibson, who shot sub-30 second match times, which has never been done before at the SASP National Championships.

Optics Rifle Men results:
1st Place — Ethan Inocando (South Texas Shooters) Senior/Varsity, 29.06
2nd Place — Nate Gibson (Steel Shooters of Traer) Intermediate/Advanced, 29.68
3rd Place — Holdon Perez (South Texas Shooters) 30.92

Complete results for the 2018 SASP National Championships available HERE 

The Scholastic Clay Target Program and Scholastic Action Shooting Program introduced a new event at this year’s National Championships — the Top Gun Challenge. Over the years SCTP and SASP watched the steady increase in athletes shooting multiple disciplines in both their programs at nationals. They wanted to find a way to recognize the commitment and stamina these athletes have shown competing in so many events, over the course of the week. CZ-USA, a large sponsor of both SCTP and SASP graciously offered to sponsor the top prize for the winner. CZ-USA donated a Shotgun, a Rifle and a Pistol to SCTP/SASP and awarded all three prizes to the winners.

Top Gun Winners:
Tom Keeshan — North Scott Trap Team (Iowa), Rookie/Intermediate/Varsity Division
Mark Beardsley — Mason Dixon Shooters (Pennsylvania), College Division

View complete Top Gun standings HERE

Side competitions held during the week included Make a Break and Last Competitor Standing.

Make a Break Winner, Todd Hitch of the William Blount Shooting Team, received the Grand Prize, a Blaser F16 Sporting Shotgun donated by Double Guns of Nashville.

The first of two Last Competitor Standing Competitions was held Wednesday evening following the Opening Ceremonies. Over 550 athletes stood shoulder to shoulder and competed for the title of Champion in the Men’s, Ladies and Collegiate Divisions. The second competition was held on Friday night. Winners received custom championship belt buckles and the Men’s and Ladies Division winners won SKB IS300 or Beretta A300 shotguns.

About the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation
The Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation (SSSF) is 501(c)(3) public charity responsible for all aspects of the Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) and Scholastic Action Shooting Program (SASP) across the United States. SCTP and SASP are youth development programs in which adult coaches and other volunteers use shooting sports to teach and to demonstrate sportsmanship, responsibility, honesty, ethics, integrity, teamwork, and other positive life skills. SCTP was developed as a program of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) until the SSSF was created in 2007 to operate SCTP. In 2012, SSSF created SASP and became the managing foundation of both programs.

VISIT SSSF

SKILLS: 3 Quick and Compact Drills For Your Sub-Compact Carry Gun

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Do not neglect range time with your small carry gun! Here are some fun and valuable drills to hone your skills. KEEP READING

XD-S Mod.2
XD-S Mod.2

SOURCE:  Team Springfieldby Ivan Gelo

One of the old mantras many of us continue to see and hear is that the sub-compact firearm is, “Carried often, but shot little.”

Let me just go on the record right now stating that I TOTALLY DISGREE with this old adage. Like many of you, my every-day carry (EDC) companion is a sub-compact handgun (the dark-earth framed 9mm Springfield Armory® XD-S® ), and I shoot it on a regular basis.

It seems this adage is often repeated by instructors because, in their experience, many of the subcompacts of the past were difficult to manage and the recoil was harsh. These “cons” resulted in little practice time with the firearm.

With the smaller versions of the Springfield XD® series though, I do not find this to be the case at all. I actually enjoy practice sessions with these small pistols.

SPECIAL CONCEALMENT ASSIGNMENT
Quite often I get requests from friends in the security business requiring assistance with multi-day protection details. A few days prior to receiving the Springfield XD-S® Mod.2® for evaluation, I answered one of these calls. After obtaining some of the specifics related to this executive detail, it was clear that a suit and tie were the “uniform” of the day. Knowing that 1) dress belts are not the best rig when carrying full-sized firearms and 2) blending in and concealment were the high priority, I opted to carry my sub-compact 9mm Springfield Armory® XD-S® as my primary firearm. My Springfield Armory® SAINT® was relegated to the trunk of my transport vehicle as the “back-up” weapon. Good choice, I know…

RANGE TIME REQUIRED
With the protection detail a short week out, I focused my range training specifically to the XD-S® 9mm and the .45 caliber XD-S® Mod.2® that I had not yet shot.

I decided to drill / practice three techniques:

One: Movement while drawing, with a concealment garment.
Two: Multiple round engagements, more than the traditional 2 shots per target
Three: “Failure drills”; multiple rounds to the body, followed up by rounds fired to the head.

ccw draw

DETAILS
ONE: Drawing from Concealment with Movement

Practicing the draw, and specifically drawing from concealment if this is your EDC mode, is a MUST. Incorporating movement during a draw is an additional skill set that should be practiced and perfected. Movement makes you a more difficult-to-track target and is therefore worth the investment.

As with all new shooting skills, If you haven’t previously practiced concealment draws or concealment draws with movement, dry draws are HIGHLY recommended first.

When dry drawing / dry firing, the gun is UNLOADED and condition VERIFIED. NO ammo should be allowed in the practice area. And, find a SAFE backstop (that’s able to stop a potential negligent discharge). Dry practice can also be done at the range if your facility permits.

Back to my drill…

There are several methods of drawing from concealment. Some of the more popular are:

Sweeping the cover garment with your strong hand.
Pulling back on the garment with your support hand.
Pulling up on the garment with your support hand.

I personally prefer the “sweep” method. This approach allows my support hand greater freedom to perform any of the numerous defensive empty hand responses, such as a palm heel strike, shielding technique, or deflection.

The Sweep Draw
Sweeping the concealment or cover garment involves only your holster-side (strong) hand:

The hand starts with an open palm, similar to your normal draw, however, the fingers are spread apart more than normal and the pinky and ring fingers curve in slightly.

Use those two fingers to hook the front of the garment and sweep it to the rear and behind / past the holster and firearm. Some instructors teach that during this process the cover garment is also “flung” back (which might clear the gun and draw better). Try both approaches and see which is best you, your carry rig, and the concealment garment you most often use.

With the holster area clear of the garment, draw the firearm as you have trained.

Appendix note: If you prefer appendix carry, it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to first practice just the draw portion of this with an unloaded gun! Get that down before you live fire and/or add concealment and movement.

ccw training

TWO: Multiple Round Engagement
This drill does not have to be complex. One target is all that’s needed. I most often use cardboard USPSA or IDPA targets, as I like the zone markings.

Start close — 3 yards — just beyond contact distance. Move the targets out 3 yards at a time as your training progresses, and you master each distance.

The goal is to draw and fire 4 rounds in quick succession. Keeping all hits in the “0” zone or top half of the A zone is what I expect.

At this close range, even a shooter with a moderate skill level, should be able to accomplish this with some practice.

Use a shot timer and start with 1 second splits (time between shots). Decrease your split times by .25 seconds when you can repeatedly put all shots in the “center zone” on demand.

Remember, at this close distance perfect sight alignment is not required. The sight index, “flash sight picture,” or whatever term you use, should deliver good hits on target as long as you do your job keeping the gun aligned with minimal grip pressure increase or hand/wrist movement.

When you make it to the .25 second split time speed, you will have to move the trigger FAST. To do this, you will most likely be “banging the trigger,” but that’s okay. Learn to work the gun at this speed in training; especially when the threat is CLOSE.

THREE: “Failure Drill”
If you are justified in using deadly force on another human being and body shots are not stopping the lethal threat, then face or head shots could be one of the best ways to end the confrontation.

Using the previous drills as a base, after firing 4 rounds in the body at 3 yards, move the shot placement to the face or head area and fire 2 more rounds.

Given the limited rounds in the magazines in your carry sub-compact gun, shot placement is even more critical. Work at speed, but have the discipline to hit the center of the head zone area; the A zone on a USPSA target and the “0” zone on the new IDPA target are a good go / no-go standard.

Again, once you have made improvements at 3 yards, move the target distance out 3 more yards.

multiple round drill

DETAIL DRILLS COMPLETED
In my several training sessions through the noted week, I fired over 300 rounds of .230 grain ball and 50 rounds of duty / self defense .230 grain jacketed hollow point .45 ACP ammunition. As I expected, the Springfield XD-S® Mod.2® was enjoyable to shoot and had zero malfunctions!

So, ”Don’t be that guy…” The one who carries regularly but practices irregularly, especially if your EDC is a sub-compact firearm. Practicing with a sub-compact firearm might even assist with your focus on the fundamentals of shooting.

Once practiced up and proficient with your sub-compact pistol, check your local ranges and their match schedules for International Defense Pistol Association (IDPA) matches. The events are set up with defense-minded scenarios and drawing from concealment is required on most stages. Additionally, there has been an increase in the popularity of back-up gun (BUG) matches, directly designed for your carry gun. Either event, IDPA or BUG, is great for confirming your ability to shoot your sub-compact carry gun under a little pressure.

And what could be more perfect? Take advantage of someone else setting up a match, so you can practice your pistol skills, all while enjoying a variety of challenges and courses of fire.

As a matter of fact, I’m one of those “someone elses” (match directors). If you ever visit the Phoenix area, I’d be honored to have you attend one of my events — 2nd Wednesday night of every month at Rio Salado Sportsman’s Club. DETAILS HERE 

See you and your sub-compact carry gun there!

RELOADERS CORNER: Blissful Moderation

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Glen Zediker recollects and reflects on the first advice he ever got on choosing a load: all things in moderation, pressure and velocity included! READ IT ALL

range load
When you just want to load up and go have a go at the range, there’s no need for speed. But! There is a need for enough pressure-power for reliable, clean function. I suggest trying something in the “medium” range for daily use. Your rifle, your barrel, your cases, and your senses will all thank you for reducing the shock by taking “two steps to the left” to find a load. Promise: you will not notice anything at all negative from any lack of “power.”

Glen Zediker

I spend a great amount of space in this department warning, and I hope educating, on the signs, signals, dangers of excessive cartridge pressure. That’s all been and being done because, for the majority, maximizing velocity is an ammo-goal. Hunters, varmint and game, competitive longer-range shooters, usually want the most they can get from bullet flight performance, and also impact strength.

For me, there’s zero doubt that more speed is a better score on a full-length NRA High Power Rifle course. (Side note: it is a fallacy that lighter loads are more accurate. They’re not, or not because they’re lighter. Some of the best perforations I’ve seen are with maxed loads.)

But! I shoot a toned-down load for reduced-distance courses (as well as for the 200-yard events on full-length), and my general-purpose clods-and-cans load is a lower-stress recipe.

I mentioned last time that I had recently fired a good deal of current NATO-spec ammo and was, I guess “impressed” is the right word, with its power level. The stuff I make up for afternoon fun-runs is a good deal less stressed.

I’m not at all recommending a “light” load. Just let’s call it a solid “medium.” Looking over my notes for the past umpteen years, going through my last most current load-data notebook, I saw what was to me an interesting happenstance. I tended to be pretty much right at one-and-one-half grain less than maximum (and about two grains with .308-class rounds).

dirty case
Signs of a load that’s too “light” include, clearly, one that won’t cycle the action reliably on a semi-auto. Another couple, for any action type, include an unusually dirty chamber and sooted-up cartridge case necks and shoulders. A little lighter still and you might see a primer that’s backed out a tad. Those all result from the case not expanding fully to seal the chamber forward and stretch to comply closer to chamber dimensions end to end. A little reduction won’t normally show any of this, and, tip: go a tad toward the faster end of suitable burning rate for general use.

Thats not a light load! It’s “three halves,” three one-half grain drops. That half-grain, and some might recollect my mentioning this a few times in the past, is my always-recommended “come-off” step for any pressure sign (not a tenth or two, but a “full” half grain). Any other over-pressure indicator from that point then signals need to come off another “full” half-grain. So I pretty much come off those two halves from the get go, add another, and, guess what? Never nary a pressure concern.

Slightly faster-burning propellants, in my experience, lend themselves better to the “medium” power level reduction in terms of maintaining accuracy. As always, “faster” and “slower” are values within a small range of propellant rates suitable for a particular cartridge and bullet. And, in following this plan, when needed bump it up to full speed with predicatable results.

For .223 Rem.-class cartridges, a half-grain is worth ballpark 40-50 feet per second, again depending on propellant.

The advantages of a “medium” load are predictable, but here’s my list: plain old easier on the gun, and on the barrel, and on the self. Again (and again) I’m not talking abut a “light” load, just one that’s maybe 95-percent, a solid 150-200 feet per second less than published maximum. Case stress will be reduced, and that’s associated with length trimming frequency and overall “life” before primer pocket enlargement and general stretch-thinning, cracking symptoms retire the brass.

Back to my “story,” which was the interesting happenstance (all this was all brought back to me by the initial outing with my new old AR15 I talked about last edition, and my 16-year-old son asking me if I could teach him how to reload because we ran out of ammo so quickly…): So. When I first learned to reload I was 15. This event coincided with my first AR15 rifle, which was purchased new at a Skaggs drugstore. Right. My mother did not eagerly agree to sponsor a reloading setup, but, being a wise-enough woman, did interpret the math the same way I did: I could shoot a lot more for a lot less if I was doing my own. So, I had a friend, Gary. Most fortunate man to know. Gary, and I see this more clearly each year that passes, knew more about guns and shooting than any 10 people I have since encountered.

We went to Bald Bob’s Sporting Goods in Rifle, Colorado. He chose an RCBS kit for me, a piece at a time. Bob sold RCBS only. Press, dies, scale, meter, case lube, doo-dads, and, of course some propellant and brass and bullets and primers. And a Sierra Bullets loading book. So, back home, and a short time later, there I sat before my new array of green pride-and-joys. After stern lectures about things I was never supposed to do, and at least an equal number of things I was always supposed to do, we got this show flowing downriver.

Gary had chosen IMR 4198 for me for a propellant. He said it was clean-burning and economical. Didn’t take much of it. I had some Speer 55-grain full-metal-jacket bullets, some Remington cases to go along with the empties I had saved in a paper bag, and some CCI primers. Now. We looked at the loading tables in the Sierra Manual, and he had me find my cartridge and bullet. (He already knew exactly where we were going, so this was for my benefit.) He pointed out the “maximum” load and the “starting” load, one on the far right and the other on the origin point of the table on the left. He then counted back two places from the far right: 20.5gr. He said, “There. That’s the one. It’s not going to give you any troubles, and it’s adequate for function.”

“That was easy,” I thought.

I have since learned that advice was too good not to share.

If you’re looking for a good load, and you know the propellant is wisely-chosen, going two steps down from the manual-listed maximum should, indeed, be a great place to start, or to stay if you are sans chronograph. Time after time, I have noticed over the many, many years I have now been doing all this, that the “two steps back from max” procedure is safe, sane, and satisfying.

reduced load list
Here’s a page (“the page”) from my now-ancient Sierra manual. Not all manuals agree (not nearly) on max loads, and not all are done in multiple increments, but the essential advice is reducing the max load by two steps, or about one-and-one-half grains of propellant in this case (reduction amounts vary, certainly, based on the cartridge). It’s wise advice from a wise man, and I’m talking about Buddy Gary. I just pass it along because it sho works for me!

I shot about a gozillion rounds of 20.5 grains of 4198 through that SP1. Since it was not a max load, I could also change the bullets without worry, going from one brand to the next at the same weight, of course. I could change cases and even primers. It was a tenth shy of one-and-one-half grains under maximum. I don’t recollect ever grouping that rifle on a paper target. I zeroed it based on preference and I also don’t recollect ever missing anything I aimed at by more than a little bit, and never twice.

This article is adapted from Glen’s books, Handloading For Competition and Top-Grade Ammo, available at Midsouth HERE. For more information about other books by Glen, visit ZedikerPublishing.com

SKILLS: Counter Sight Fixation

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Watching the front sight is important to accuracy, but there’s more out there to pay attention to! READ MORE

rob leatham rob pincus

SOURCE: Team Springfield, Rob Leatham and Rob Pincus

It’s amazing what “over thinking” can do to your accuracy. Whether you’re in competition or self-defense mode, speed and accuracy are a key part of your shooting acumen. So why do we let fixating on the front sight deter both of those elements?

DON’T FIXATE — JUST AIM
One of the biggest myths about shooting is that we only need to see the sights when firing the gun — the front sight in particular. If it’s bullseye accuracy you are after and the speed of the shot is of little to no concern, knock yourself out. Take aim, put your finger on the trigger and then idle for several seconds, double and triple-checking your sights before firing.

If it’s close and fast, though, and time means winning or dying, you will need another tool.

The truth is when the goal is speed, you will go slower if you “over-aim.” This is because fixating on the front sight can hinder your ability to pull the trigger.

You should be able to get the accuracy you need with an increased level of speed by not requiring that crystal clear front sight.

Here’s why: Often while going for that perfect sight picture, an internal mental battle occurs. Going for “perfection” instead of accepting “good enough,” increases the likelihood of mistakes. Flinching (pulling the gun out of alignment) increases due to the hesitation of pulling the trigger. This of course leads to poor accuracy and it’s slow.

Keep it simple and speedy.

Point the gun at the target, aim, move to the trigger and fire. This should all occur very quickly. Not always one smooth motion, but still done fast. Faster than you can read this sentence.

There are so many old sayings like “slow is fast” or “smooth is fast,” and so on, but just remember this: Fast is fast and accurate is accurate. Sometimes fast is violent and not perfectly clear visually.

Too slow — just like too fast — is bad. Remove any hesitation once the decision to fire has occurred. Only an obstruction of the target or a late decision to abort the shot should stop the process.

If you’re a competition or defensive shooter who wants to maintain a fast pace, don’t bother trying to maintain a perfect, clear sight picture for every shot. It’s not going to happen.

WATCH THE VIDEO

SKILLS: Concealed Carry on the Go

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Dealing with a concealed weapon when you’re out on the road and away from home raises a few questions, here are a few answers! READ MORE

Console storage vault
Console storage vault.

Jason Hanson

LOCATION: Parking lot. Tucson, Arizona
TIME: 8:40 p.m.

An unsuspecting woman had just gotten in her vehicle when a man with a hatchet appeared and demanded her car keys.

The woman retrieved a handgun from her car and told the man to leave, but he ignored her commands. As he raised his hatchet to strike the woman, she shot him. She held the suspect at gunpoint until police arrived to secure the scene and render medical aid.

According to police, the woman stayed on scene and complied with all police requests. The suspect was treated at a local hospital and is expected to survive his injuries. Currently, charges are pending against the man even though he was shot, because the woman shot him in self-defense.

The fact is this woman quite literally saved her life by having an accessible firearm in her car.

Have Permit, Will Travel
With summer here, lots of people will be hitting the roads to visit unfamiliar locales far and wide. So today, I want to share with you some tips for storing firearms in your vehicle.

Just because you are going out of town (or even driving to the store) and can’t carry your gun, you do have options for leaving it in your vehicle. Obviously, I’m a big believer that your gun should always be on your person, but I realize that there are places you may not legally be able to take your firearm — or maybe you don’t want to.

Now, I recommend storing a gun differently based on whether you are in the vehicle or plan on leaving it in the vehicle.

What I mean is if you are in the car traveling, you still want to be able to quickly access your gun in case you need it. However, if you are going into a courthouse for a few hours (for example), you should make sure your gun is secured and out of sight.

Read on for specific recommendations…

You Can Take It With You
There are a number of different holsters on the market designed for use in cars to give quick access to your firearm while you are in your vehicle.

CrossBreed makes a modular holster backed with Velcro so you can conveniently mount it almost anywhere in your car. These types of holsters are a good idea if you spend a lot of time in your car and don’t want to keep your gun on your person.

CrossBreed holster
CrossBreed holsters can have variable use options, including a car mount.

In addition to mounted holsters, you can also find holsters that attach underneath your steering wheel, allowing you to draw quickly while seated. These holsters clip to the piece of plastic that surrounds the steering column.

Another popular alternative is seat drapes. These hang down in front of your seat with a pocket holster to secure your firearm. The nice thing about this option is that seat drapes are easy to remove when not in use.

These are all great options for storing your firearm when you are in the car, but they are not ways I recommend storing your gun when you aren’t there. The fact is these methods usually leave the gun visible, which is the last thing you want to do when you are gone.

Seat drape
Seat drape.

Leave It Behind
On the other hand, let’s say you always carry your firearm but work in a secure building where you can’t have it with you. You need to store it in your car in a manner that will keep it secure, hidden and out of the hands of criminals.

One of the most common places people keep guns in their cars is the glove box. But if someone breaks into your car, this is the first place they’d look. Although if you keep it locked, they might not waste their time trying to get in.

Another option is the center console, which you should also keep locked if you decide to use it. In fact, several companies make locking inserts you can put in the center console to secure your firearm.

Some of those companies are Tuffy, Console Vault, and Guardian. These locking consoles are among the best options for keeping a firearm secure in your vehicle when you are gone.

Another option is to store your gun under the front seat. Some of the same companies I mentioned above also make lock boxes that can slide under the front seat.

Or you could simply buy a small firearms lockbox and secure it to the seat with the cable it comes with. This would prevent a criminal from stealing your firearm even if they did find the safe.

Typically, you are more vulnerable to criminal threats when you’re in your vehicle. It’s critical that you are prepared to defend yourself.

So whether you are taking your family on a road trip or just leaving your gun in your car to go grocery shopping, make sure that your firearm is stored safely and securely.

Jason Hanson is a former CIA Officer and New York Times bestselling author of Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life. To get a free copy of his book, visit www.SpyEscape.com.

SKILLS: 6 Tips To Getting A Better Grip On Your Gun

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One of the most poorly understood elements of handgun control is how to grip your pistol. 24-time National Champion Rob Leatham knows a thing or two! READ MORE

rob leatham

SOURCE: Team Springfield, by Rob Leatham

A lot of people struggle to properly position the gun in their hand. There are varying opinions on how much effort, or gripping pressure to use and how to maintain that pressure.

I’m going to outline how to improve your grip and control over a firearm.

1. GET A FIRM GRIP
Most shooters are told to relax and not grip the pistol tightly. This is ok if all you will ever fire is a .22, but even that gun is going to kick. You need to hold firmly.

A new shooter or beginner may have better things on which to concentrate, but even they need have a strong enough grasp to completely control their gun. If you’re an experienced shooter, you can just go ahead and ignore the “relax” part all together.

2. LOCK YOUR WRIST
Many shooters have too much movement in their wrist. This leads to problems returning the gun to alignment and can cause you to move the gun out of alignment prematurely when trying to shoot fast.

Try to immobilize your wrist joint. Being too loose can, in extreme cases even cause weapon malfunctions. When trying to gain speed, the old adage “do not jerk the trigger” should be replaced with “do not move your wrist.”

Keep everything solid as if the gun was mounted in a vise.

3. POSITION THE GUN IN YOUR HAND SO YOU CAN REACH THE TRIGGER
The angle the gun sits in relation to your arm is not that important. Being able to place your finger properly on the trigger is.

Don’t try to align the barrel of the pistol with your arm. For me to reach most triggers, because of my short fingers, the gun actually points a little to the right or outside of the line of my forearm.

4. TWO HANDS ARE BETTER THAN ONE
If you can get both hands on the gun, do it!

The whole point of a two-handed shooting stance is to create a triangle between your shoulders and the gun. Doing so allows the force of the gun to be transmitted through your torso, making recoil much easier to control.

5. KEEP THE PRESSURE ON
Do not vary the amount of pressure you exert on the gun when pulling the trigger. This will cause a shift in the gun’s alignment and start a whole avalanche of problems.

Keep it solid and consistent.

6. PRACTICE HOLDING ON TIGHT
Gripping properly will not just happen. I have to address this issue with many experienced, top-notch shooters. Most think it will just come with practice, but it doesn’t unless you think about it. One area that dry fire can really help is maintaining a tight grip while pulling the trigger.

It’s easy to pick up bad habits from dry firing with no live fire to support the techniques being learned. If you never have to deal with effects of the gun firing, muzzle flip and recoil, you will never learn how to control them.

In my three decades of training every level of shooter, I have seen only a handful that held on too tightly. On the flip side, I’ve seen hundreds that hold on too loosely.

Learn the hand postions and make yourself do them correctly. Remember, you will do whatever you teach yourself to do. Once you memorize a technique, good or bad, that is what is likely to occur when you shoot under pressure.

Make sure you are doing it correctly.

SKILLS: Take The Curve

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Stay ahead of action-reaction power curve! Steve Tarani lays out a 3-step formula for a personal protection plan. Pay attention! READ IT ALL

steve tarani

SOURCE: Team Springfield, written by Steve Tarani

When it comes to personal protection against an active threat, having a defensive action plan is not a luxury but a necessity. The advantage of such a plan is:

You’re not waiting around to be caught in the middle of an attack.
You are not forced to come up with a solution on the fly.
You have a widened scope of awareness prior to an attack.

Your intent should always be to predict or prevent your involvement in any violent physical threat. However, if you have no choice but to engage a threat, you must consider your response options based on realistic expectations.

REACT FACT
Most people, without ever having attended any formal training, think, “Well, I’ll just shoot him.”

The fact is, should you even consider going to guns (to “shoot yourself out of a bad situation”) in self-defense, means that you’ve been pushed back on your heels reacting to that situation.

Being reactive means you’re already behind the action-reaction power curve and are forced to take immediate physical action to regain the initiative.

WHO TAKES CONTROL WINS
The bad guy(s) will always hold the initiative at the onset of an active threat. They are the ones who decide, when, where, and how the attack will go down. They also determine what weapons will be used, and who will be their victims. Because the bad guys set these battle parameters, they have complete control of the action-reaction power curve.

When challenged with an active threat, your objective is to take back that curve. To do this, you need to accomplish only one task — make them react to you. There is a very simple three-step formula you can follow to take the curve:

Bad guy has control
Good guy makes bad guy react
Good guy takes control

SIMPLE BUT NOT EASY
Although a simple objective, it is not an easy one. You’re starting at a tactical disadvantage. Engaging a threat reactively means that you didn’t see it, hear it, or smell it coming and have been taken off-guard. You’re starting at the bottom of the hill and you must scramble to the top to take control as quickly as possible.

What are some vetted climbing tools you can use to take the curve?

IDENTIFY THE SOURCE
First and foremost is to acquire a clear picture of exactly what’s going on around you. Snap your attention from wherever it was (perhaps buried deeply into your text messages?), to your immediate environment. Instantly scan your surroundings using visual and audio sensory input for threat indicators — such as gunfire, explosions, screeching tires, etc. — and determine the source of the threat. Once you’ve identified the source, your very best tactical option is to create space — distance from any threat is always your friend.

DON’T BE AN EASY TARGET
One of the most effective methods to help you take the curve is to make yourself a more difficult target. If you can’t change your distance, you can certainly change your physical position relative to your threat — such as movement behind cover or to higher ground. To change your distance or position and to make yourself a more difficult target, stay mobile. A moving target is always more difficult to hit than a stationary target.

FORCE A REACTION
Becoming a more difficult target by changing your physical position and staying mobile forces your opponent(s) to react. Your actions have pressed them to ask two critical questions: “1 — Is this difficult target really worth it?” and “2 — Are there softer targets?” It may very well be the case that you ARE NOT worth their continued efforts. If so, they will hunt for lower hanging fruit (softer targets).

Bottom line is that by your decisive actions, you’ve changed the game. You’ve caused them to react. The split second you cause them to react is that exact moment in time that you take control of the action-reaction power curve. And that’s always the best place to be.

To learn more about training conducted by Steve Tarani, go to Steve’s websites:

www.handtogun.com

www.stevetarani.com

About the Author: Steve Tarani, is a former CIA protective services subject matter expert who served on Donald Trump’s pre-election protection detail and is the lead instructor for the NRA’s new Non-ballistic Weapons Training program offered nationally to 2.3 million members. Tarani, an active protective agent, is a Central Intelligence Agency and FLETC-certified federal firearms instructor who also provides services for the US Naval Special Operations Command, FBI National Citizens Academy Alumni Association, National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO), and others.

MATCH REPORT: Sokalowski Wins 2018 NRA Bianchi Cup

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Crawfish Cup winner, SFC Adam Sokolowski is the 2018 NRA Bianchi champion! READ MORE

bianchi champion

SOURCE: Various news outlets

With a perfect score of 1920-176X, SFC Adam Sokolowski of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) is the 2018 champion of Colt’s NRA Bianchi Cup, the NRA Action Pistol championship event. Additionally, Sokolowski won the Multi Gun Championship with a score of 3822-329X.

SFC Adam Sololowski
SFC Adam Sololowski.

Mark Blake was second, ending up in a points tie with 18-time Bianchi Cup winner and perennial “top gun” best-bet, Doug Koenig; scorecard review broke the tie.

Sokolowski won Midsouth Shooters Supply Crawfish Cup earlier this year, and became now the third time the winner of this event went on to claim the NRA championship. We’re very proud that the Crawfish Cup has attained that status: if you can win here you can win there…

SFC Sokolowski holds another distinction as an NRA Action Pistol champion: he is the only shooter who has won all three Bianchi Cup divisions — Open, Metallic, and Production (and the first-ever perfect score in the Metallic [sights] division. This man can shoot a pistol! And all that in just four years on the circuit.

Rob Vadasz is the 2018 Metallic champion with 1912-155X, his sixth win in this division. Second place Metallic was Enoch Smith (also 2018 World Action Pistol Metallic Champion) 1907-150X. Third was Roman Hauber with 1906-141X.

In the Production division, Sokolowski’s AMU teammate SFC Patrick Franks took the championship home to Ft. Benning with a 1894-136X. Franks previously won back-to-back Bianchi Metallic Championships, as well as having earned a NRA National Precision Pistol Championship. Second went to legendary action pistol shooter Rob Leatham of Team Springfield Armory with a score of 1862-129X. Seiichi Ishikawa followed Rob in third place with 1822-109X.

SFC Patrick Franks
SFC Patrick Franks, Production champion.

Anita Mackiewicz, now a three-time champion, won the Women’s Championship with a score of 1911-153X. Second place went to last year’s winner, Cherie Blake, 1910-137X. 2016 champion Tiffany Piper finished third with 1903-154X.

Read complete coverage by John Parker HERE and HERE

 

SKILLS: Free E-Book Download: Anatomy Of A CCW Draw

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This is a great free resource compiled by some of the best. Get it, read it, practice it! MORE

ccw book

SOURCE Team Springfield

When and where legal, there are many positives to carrying a pistol concealed. Chief among them is the lowered visibility to the outside world. The whole point of concealed carry is to be discreetly armed.

When it comes to drawing your concealed firearm, though, how do the experts do it? What’s the safest and most efficient way?

Our e-book, “Anatomy of a Concealed Carry Draw,” demonstrates:

The two-handed draw and re-holster
The one-handed draw and re-holster
Safety guidelines for firearm handling
Our top recommendations for concealed carry pistols

IF YOU WANT TO CARRY LIKE A PRO, MAKE SURE YOU CAN DRAW LIKE A PRO.

DOWNLOAD the Springfield Armory e-book now, and our experts will show you, step by step, exactly how to draw like a pro.

.300 BLACKOUT — Take The Plunge!

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Here’s a compelling argument in favor of this relatively new cartridge for an AR15 enthusiast wanting to expand the capabilities of this firearms platform. Read why…

300 blackout

SOURCE: Team Springfield, posted by Steve Horsman

Historically, I have been hesitant to jump on the bandwagon of newly introduced cartridges. I am already heavily invested in several pistol and rifle calibers. When a new caliber comes out, I usually wait to see how it’s received and if it’s going to stick around. So when the .300 Blackout made its appearance several years ago, I took the “wait and see” approach.

As time went on, and it was apparent that the .300 Blackout was here to stay, I took the plunge and built an AR-style rifle with parts that I had on hand. I had to buy a barrel in .300 Blackout, so I invested in a 16-inch. When I put it all together, the rifle worked great. I’ll admit that I have only put a few hundred rounds through that gun, but like any good firearm enthusiast, I purchased the dies and components to eventually handload .300 Blackout.

As time went on, I continued researching the caliber, but my .300 Blackout rifle largely remained in the gun vault due to other firearm projects taking priority. #FirstWorldProblems

saint 300 blk

DUTY CALLS
In late 2017, Springfield Armory® introduced the SAINT™ Pistol in 5.56, and to say it has been successful would be a huge understatement! Prior to the release, I was tasked with testing the pistol and subsequently penned a blog about it shortly after it came out.

After literally shooting thousands of rounds through my 5.56 SAINT™ Pistol (and having a lot of fun), I started to think that a cool, new version would be if it were available in .300 Blackout. Well, the decisio- makers at Springfield Armory® were on the same track (great minds think alike), and designed the newest SAINT™ Pistol chambered in .300 Blackout.

I was excited to get my hands on one of the early production samples and I admit, though I really like the first 5.56 SAINT™ Pistol, I LOVE the newest chambering of .300 Blackout.

My .300 Blackout test firing consisted of shooting multiple steel and paper targets at 80 yards, and I also performed some reload drills. The only ammunition I had on hand when testing the .300 Blackout was 125-grain supersonic FMJs. Even though that ammo may not have been the optimal choice, the .300 blackout SAINT™ Pistol functioned perfectly and shot amazingly well. I was able to put one round on top of another at the 80-yard distance. I was very pleased to say the least.

BALLISTIC COMPARISON
There is a ton of ballistic data available for the .300 Blackout on the internet, so I will share just a little of the basic info with you here.

Compared to the 5.56 round, the .300 Blackout performs really well, and it actually excels in a short-barreled gun (primarily because it doesn’t lose velocity as rapidly as the 5.56 out of a shortened barrel).

The 5.56 REQUIRES velocity for peak performance whereas the .300 Blackout’s peak performance is based much more on the combination of bullet weight and velocity.

What I am basically saying is that the lightest bullet (commonly a 110-grain projectile) in the .300 Blackout is double the weight of the most common 5.56 bullet weight (a 55-grain).

A quick comparison shows that a 55-grain 5.56 round out of our 7-inch SAINT™ Pistol comes out at about 2300 FPS, creating about 650 foot pounds of energy. On the other hand, the 110-grain .300 Blackout round comes out of the 9-inch SAINT™ Pistol at about 2100 FPS, creating about 1090 foot pounds of energy.

If you’re more of a visual learner like I am, this may process better:

SAINT™ Pistol 5.56 — 55 gr. bullet — 7-inch barrel — 2300 FPS — 650 FT LBS

SAINT™ Pistol .300 — 110 gr. bullet — 9-inch barrel — 2100 FPS — 1090 FT LBS

Ballistically speaking, because of the huge difference in bullet weight, the comparison is pretty incredible!

SIDE BY SIDE SAINT PISTOLS
At first glance, the SAINT™ Pistols in 5.56 and .300 Blackout visually appear similar, but on closer inspection you will notice that the .300 Blackout version does not share the muzzle blast diverter that the 5.56 has. Also, the barrel on the 5.56 model is 7 inches long, whereas the .300 Blackout has a 9-inch barrel with a conventional A-2 flash hider.

NOTABLE SIDE NOTE
Most gun enthusiasts know that all 5.56 / .223 AR-style magazines and ammo work and function perfectly with .300 Blackout chambered guns. This may seem like a small detail to some, but the reason this is critically important to talk about is that the opposite is NOT true. Do NOT try to shoot a .300 Blackout cartridge through a 5.56 firearm!

While it may take some effort to get the .300 Blackout round into the chamber of the 5.56, it is extremely dangerous and will cause great damage. Just do a Google search to see photos and video of what actually happens. It’s not good and it’s not pretty. #ChamberDanger

Needless to say, I was very happy to see that the SAINT™ Pistol .300 magazines are smartly marked “.300 Blackout” on the side. This makes it easy to quickly differentiate from my 5.56 mags when I put my new SAINT™ .300 Blackout into the gun safe with the rest of my arsenal.

WRAP AND ROLL
The Springfield Armory® SAINT™ Pistol in .300 Blackout just might be the perfect size-to-power ratio in an AR-based pistol. The .300 and I will be spending a lot of time together this summer both at my backyard range and in my truck. Now, I’m not getting rid of my first 5.56 SAINT™ Pistol in the truck. I’ll just have two now — one for me and one for my lovely Mrs. The sleek, compact size of the SAINT™ pistol family makes that totally doable.

I’m also making space in my reloading bunker, because I’m now committed to another proven caliber.

Click HERE to check out AMMO at Midsouth!

saint pistol

Click HERE for more on the SAINT