Shooting USA - Bianchi Cup 2012
The biggest prize money in the handgun sports is in Columbia, Missouri, where the annual Bianchi Cup National Championship of NRA Action Pistol is worth well into six figures. We’re covering the top shooters in the game as they shoot for titles, counting both target points and the X-count that separates the very best into winners and also-rans on the final day of competition. Plus the story of the Kalashnikov, the man and his rifle, as Garry James joins our team with expert commentary on History’s Guns.
It is a test of accuracy and skill like no other, the only world class competition that requires a perfect score. It is the world championship of NRA action shooting, The Bianchi Cup. In thirty plus years of the match there have been ups and downs in attendance but for the 8th year in a row the growth continues, due in large part to a very rich prize table. The NRA Action Pistol Championship, better known as the Bianchi Cup. It is the only shooting sport that can be identified simply by naming the events of the match. The Practical… The Barricades…. The Falling Plates… and the Mover. These are the four events that will determine who will capture the title of Bianchi Cup Champion.
There are champions to be named in three divisions. The top scores and the Cup will go to the Open Division competitors using the most enhanced guns in the match. This is the division that requires shooting clean, with all shots in the ten ring, and the champion determined by X-count, shots in the four inch X-ring inside the eight inch 10 Ring.
The Metallic Division Guns use Iron Sights and the winner will be based on 10 Ring score.
The Production Division Guns are required to be as offered by the Manufacturers. The Champion will be based on target score.
Additional Titles and cash awards go to the top Woman Competitor, to the Junior Champion, and special awards go to the top Newcomer, shooting for the first time at the Bianchi Cup.
History’s Guns – The AK 47
AK – Automat Kalashnikova. Automat for automatic. Kalashnikova for Mikhail Kalashnikov – the Russian soldier and firearms designer – whose genius at the drawing board brought this renowned rifle to service in 1947.
Garry James shares his knowledge, his opinions, and his visit with Kalashnikov in this edition of History’s Guns.
John’s Final Conversion of the S&W M&P 40 to a Limited Gun
The M and P .40 Pro series Limited gun project has reached a cross roads. To this point, everything I have done on the gun is reversible, so in theory we could change out a few of the parts and the gun could go back to the production division. So now it’s decision time, do we continue and make permanent modifications, or do we just leave well enough alone?
Well once you see this you are going to know my decision, I have had Tim Calhoun and Calhoun Custom take over an ounce of weight out of the slide. The five cuts and the scalloping get the slide weight down to a little over 11 ounces, which Tim tells me is about what he looks for when building a custom 1911 top end. So this is a permanent decision, there is no going back to Production now, and that gets me to the next modification.
This is the forward set sear and trigger kit from Apex Tactical. This is more than a drop in trigger weight. The forward set sear has a cam surface that is drastically different from the factory design. All told, these parts are going to shorten the trigger travel to about a tenth of an inch. I have the sear housing block out and I have already removed the sear for that comparison. Now for reassembly, I need to start by replacing the sear plunger spring with the heavier duty spring that comes with the kit. This spring is going to add tension to the sear which is going to eliminate the possibility of sear flutter and a dead trigger. Then it’s the sear plunger itself, and the sear.
The trigger assembly comes out and we are going to be reusing the trigger transfer bar so I am going to need to press out the trigger pin here with a fine punch. The transfer bar is pinned on to the ne trigger like this. We also have a heavier trigger return spring that comes with the kit, ad that means we are going to give back about a half-pound in trigger pull weight, but what we make up for in trigger travel is so going to be worth it.
I will assemble the trigger group around this slave pin and then, when I drop it back into the frame, the trigger pin will push the slave pin out of the way. Now the sear housing can reunite with the transfer bar, and press down into the frame and we make sure the sear is moving, and it is. So now we will re-pin and we will tear into the upper.
Inside the slide the striker block is going to have to be changed because of the shortened length of travel for the transfer bar, that contour just simply won’t work, So we are going to use the tool from the kit to drift the rear sight out of the way. Then we will remove the spring disk and the rear sight drifts out of the way, and the striker block and spring just fall right out, and we will replace them with the new parts.
Reassembly is just this easy, using that tool from the kit to hold everything in place so we can drift the rear sight back in. There it is. Now let us see how we’ve done.
This is the factory trigger pull. And this is Apex forward set sear trigger pull. And we’re still under 4 pounds. The M& P project pistol really works great, that trigger is superb. And the slide lightening just helps so much with felt recoil. I think you’ll agree, it looks pretty cool, too.
Believe it or not, I haven’t blown the budget. Calhoun Custom’s work on my slide, that was only 200 bucks, and Tim will be happy to do one for you, just ship him your slide. And the Apex Tactical forward set sear and trigger kit, only $160… Money well spent, if you ask me, for an affordable and competitive USPSA Limited Gun.
The Radio Neck Strap from Tab Gear
This is a universal neck strap from Tab Gear, the antenna of your radio is held here, and the belt clip goes over the strap, then it hangs from your neck for easy access. Simple and effective, and cheap, less than ten bucks
Pro Tip – Todd Jarrett on the AR Rifle
Blackhawk Pro Shooter, Todd Jarrett teaches tactical classes for elite military units, all across the country… Those classes are advanced skill training, But he also knows there are a lot of new owners of AR Rifles. So that’s what Todd has in mind in his Pro Tip, techniques and advice for shooters who are new to the AR.
View Pro Tip
Smith & Wesson’s New SD–VE Pistols
Two affordable new entries from Smith and Wesson in the polymer based striker fired pistol market. The SD VE pistols, in your choice of 9mm or .40 caliber. The SD is for Self Defense and either would make a good carry piece, in terms of ease of use, reliability, and function.
These are affordable as defense handguns. Each has a suggested retail of $379.
More Info from Smith & Wesson
Colors for the Range
All choices have some internal structure to maintain the shape and are adjustable.
Find them in the Shooting USA Online Store
NRA Membership Offer: Jim Pays $10 when you join the NRA through the Shooting USA website.