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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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…
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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!
Beretta’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:
Knowing How to Carry Your Gun Comfortably and Effectively
Dressing to Keep Your Weapon a Secret
Understand Your Weapon’s Capabilities
Choose a Suitable Caliber
Practicing Basic Skills
Try Your Hand at Point Shooting
Training to Clear Your Weapon
Stage Your Weapon
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:
SIG Sauer Academy Director Adam Painchaud demonstrates his method of transitioning from a rifle to a pistol and back again to the rifle. There are a lot of reasons why you might put down a perfectly good long gun and go to a handgun — running out of ammunition, experiencing a malfunction, or simply being in too-tight a space. Painchaud covers how to make the transitions safely and quickly in this 7-minute 41-second NSSF video.
Winchester Smokeless Propellants has released Winchester 572, a new Ball Powder available immediately in 1-pound, 4-pound, and 8-pound containers. The company says this new propellant is designed and manufactured to perform multiple functions:
Allows duplication of the famous Winchester 28-gauge AA target load.
Suits development of the original Winchester 3¼-dram-equivalent, 1330 fps, 1¼ oz, 12-gauge upland-game load;
Provides top-quality 1200 fps target loads in both 28- and 20-gauge with popular reloading components;
Allows use in shotshell field loads from 12 gauge to 28 gauge and handgun applications such as 380 Auto, 9mm Luger, 38 Special, and 45 ACP.
Cosmo magazine kicks off a new, sexist “gunsplainer” campaign with the article “Why You Should Never Date a Gunsplainer” and an accompanying video. In the 150-second video below, Dana Loesch points out that the campaign defines gun owners as white, male and unattractive, while ignoring women’s rights, intelligence, and proficiency with guns when, often, they are the citizens who need them most. Super stuff.
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.
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
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:
Montana Gold Bullets
Gold Level Sponsors:
Silver Level Sponsors:
NRA Competitive Shooting
Graf & Sons
Bronze Level Sponsor:
Boyd’s Hardwood Gunstocks
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.
Iowa became the 42nd state to legalize suppressors when House File 2279, introduced by Rep. Matt Windschitl and Rep. Terry Baxter, was signed by Governor Terry Branstad on March 31. And to celebrate, a national suppressor-owners’ rights organization is throwing a free shoot next week.
After three years of efforts by the American Suppressor Association (ASA) and the Iowa Firearms Coalition (IFC) to educate lawmakers on the benefits and realities of suppressors, HF 2279 was met with positive response. The legislation passed earlier this session 46-4 in the Senate and 78-21 in the House.
Effective immediately, the new lawalso makes Iowa the 39th state to allow for the use of suppressors while hunting.
“The legalization of suppressors in Iowa is a tremendous victory for the law abiding citizens of The Hawkeye State,” said Knox Williams, President and Executive Director of the American Suppressor Association. “For the past three years, the ASA has worked alongside the Iowa Firearms Coalition, the National Rifle Association, Rep. Windschitl, and, this year, Rep. Baxter to get this legislation passed so that the sportsmen and women of Iowa could use these benign accessories to protect their hearing while in the field and at the range. We are incredibly excited that Iowa is now one of 42 states that allows suppressor ownership, and one of 39 states that allows their use while hunting.”
To celebrate the new law, the American Suppressor Association will be hosting a public suppressor shoot from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 16 at the Big Springs Shooting Complex.
To find the range, use Google Maps and search for the address, 5015 Highway 146, Searsboro, IA 50242. That will get you a pointer right by the range gate, according to the Big Springs Range website.
Knox said, “We will be bringing the top manufacturers from across the country to showcase their products, and educate any interested Iowans on why they should be excited that Iowa became the 42nd state to legalize suppressors. Admission and ammo are free, so we encourage you to join us!”
Several Midsouth Shooters Supply customers have asked for explanations of minute of angle and the measurement term “milliradian” (mil) and how to use a mil-dot scope to measure the distance to your target at the range and in the field. In the accompanying two videos, the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Ryan Cleckner explains both concepts and how to put them to best use.
Looking for more long range shooting instruction? Cleckner’s book, Long Range Shooting Handbook, is the complete beginner’s guide to long-range shooting written in simple every-day language so that it’s easy to follow. Included are personal tips and best advice from his years of special operations sniper schooling and experience, and as a sniper instructor. If you are an experienced shooter, this guide will help you brush up on the principles and theory of long-range shooting.
This is a specially-adapted excerpt from the forthcoming book, “Top Grade Ammo,” by author Glen Zediker, owner of Zediker Publishing. Click here to order from Midsouth.
by Glen Zediker
My approach to some topics has changed over the years. It used to be that I would state my version of the truth, and explain its origin, and that meant also that anything not said didn’t matter, to me, or to the advice and instruction I was set out to deliver. Well. The internet.
If you’ve kept up with the advice presented in this space on the better way to set up a case-sizing die, this next has already been dispelled, but judging from some of the emails I received asking questions, here’s a little more. I’ve fielded a few about “camming-over” a reloading press.
Some reloading presses, and RCBS comes first to mind, are designed with eccentric linkage. The concept involves circular motion and linear motion, meaning that when the ram traveling in a linear path reaches full extension, the linkage, which is traveling in a circular path, can move through the 0-degree mark and go to a negative degree. What that does is change the press ram position at the very top of its travel limit to a lower position. As the handle is drawn downward, the ram top reaches its maximum height and, at the last little bit, lowers. The amount varies in different designs. This action is an asset to attain flush-plus contact with the shellholder and the bottom of the sizing die, for them that wants it.
Now, any substantial press, whether it has eccentric linkage or not, can produce the effect of camming-over. A Forster Co-Ax, for good example, can just about crush a chrome bumper and doesn’t have eccentric linkage. To set up that press, any press, to cam-over, turn the sizing die downward beyond what provides full and flush contact with the shellholder when the ram is at its full height. Say, another 1/8 turn down.
Then, when the press handle is fully depressed, the additional pressure in the last bit of the handle stroke goes toward flexing the press. Simple as that, and that is what camming-over does: flex the press. That’s true whether it has eccentric linkage or not.
Don’t do it. Just don’t.
There’s no need to cam-over a press for a case-sizing operation. It stresses the machine and the tooling. Dies can get deformed and bent, carbide dies can break, and the press itself can suffer. I’ve known them to break. Some say that presses are designed to “take it,” but there’s an eventual penalty for repeatedly taking any machine to its limits. Ask any racer.
The main point is this: It’s not necessary. And it’s wrong. Going over the previous material on using a cartridge case headspace gage to determine sizing die positioning to get the correct amount of case shoulder setback, it’s clear that this sure should occur at a point shy of full contact of the die bottom and the shellholder surfaces. And, if it’s not enough, trying to push a case farther into the die by crushing the shellholder against the die isn’t going to do much. Folks. Done is done. The flexing might, maybe (maybe), increase setback 0.001.
If your sizing die doesn’t adequately set back a case shoulder, have a machinist remove metal from the die bottom. Best to use a surface grinder to avoid messing with the heat-treat on the die.
I’m rehashing a few things already covered because they’re germane to the whole camming tactic. Tooling manufacturers tend to suggest the “turn the die down to the shellholder, and then another xx-th turn…” to ensure that someone’s reloads are plenty short enough in headspace to fit any rifle made out there. As mentioned a few times back, I applied that tactic with a new Forster Full-Length .223 Rem. die (without adding any extra down-turns to cam-over the press) and that netted 0.008 additional case shoulder height reduction on a new, unfired commercial case. A foolish amount, in my belief. Since I then adjusted the die to provide 0.004 setback from fired, which was 0.002 taller than the new case read (on my headspace gage), it’s clear that this die is not touching the shellholder to produce well-beyond-safe shoulder reduction. One-eighth turn is about 0.009 inches.
To find out if you have a “cammer,” run the press ram fully up (press handle fully down) and thread a die in until it touches the shellholder. Try to move the handle back down. If it won’t budge, it’s got eccentric linkage. It won’t move because the ram is trying raise again. Back out the die until the handle moves and pulls the ram away. It’s at this point where “flush” contact with a die bottom will be.
Camming-over a press is a “feel-good” measure for some folks: there’s this satisfying “ka-thunk” at the bottoming limit of press handle stroke, and that lets a loader know that he or she gave it all they could get. It’s just going to be too much. The only time it’s not is for bullet swaging operations, but those aren’t on my list.