Shooting USA - U.S. Steel Nationals
Draw and shoot 5 steel targets. That’s the challenge for the fastest pistol shooters in the nation, running all out for the title of National Champion in the US Steel Nationals from Florida. Plus, the secrets behind the movie guns. John Scoutten is at ISS to learn how they make them look so real safely. And John Paul explains your choices of rifle scope zero and how to choose.
U.S. Steel Nationals
It’s the race for the national title at the Titusville Rifle and Pistol Club in Florida, where the best steel shooters in the country gather for the U.S. Steel Nationals. At the top of this sport, competitors draw and shoot five steel targets well under two seconds at each of the eight stages. And, for the first time, Rimfire Rifles have divisions, both Open and Iron Sight.
“For the last two years in a row I have had to sneak in and kind of come in through the back door,” says rimfire rifle shooter, Jason Moore. “Now, three years later, they have divisions for us, and they are feeding us lunch and we can come in the front door. We’re welcome just like everybody else.
With new divisions and a history of top talent, this competition welcomes shooters of all ages and all walks of life, from 11-year-old Aiden Parsons, to Smith & Wesson Shooter Trevor Baucom. Jerry “The Burner” Barnhart, who took a 16-year absence from the sport, also returned, and ended up going head-to-head with Max Michel, who wasn’t even in kindergarten when Barnhart won his first national in 1987.
History’s Guns - The Gewehr 98
The 03 Springfield, the U.S. battle rifle of WW1 and the sniper rifle of WW2, features the bolt-action that is still the standard of the world today. But, the U.S. was not the first to introduce it. Mauser created the action for the German Army back in 1898, and that action first appeared on the Gewehr 98.
“Well the 1903 Springfield is one of the most gorgeous, magnificent, beautiful military rifles ever made, but all it is, is a modification of the 98 Mauser,” according to Garry James, our firearms historian. “Of course, we had to pay the Germans, ultimately, for the right to use the action, which is kind of interesting.”
Inside Independent Studio Services
The largest firearms provider to Hollywood is ISS, or Independent Studio Services, just outside of Los Angeles. It’s where gunsmiths create guns with realistic effects for the movies. And, it’s a tedious process.
“These guns were not designed by the manufacturer to fire blanks,” says Karl Weschta of ISS. “We are actually taking what they did and literally destroying it to get it to function for what we need to do for filming purposes.”
And, as the caliber goes up, so does the amount of work required to make the guns run. Though the bill can be pretty pricey for those Hollywood directors, the work of ISS is the key to providing authentic firearms accuracy. From Apocalypse Now, Full Metal Jacket and Blackhawk Down” to more recent films, such as Lone Survivor, and American Sniper; ISS is credited with dozens of films, providing firearms to the stars, dating back to 1977.
Sighting In - STI 2011 Marauder, Custom Patriot Cases
Built on the tried and true 2011 double stack design, the STI Marauder was created with more firepower due to the growing number of 3-Gun competitors. The surfaces, along with the magazines, are treated to the Black Nitride process, creating a smooth, satin look. Shooting USA’s John Scoutten takes a closer look.
“That Dawson fiber optic front sight is sharp and compliments the STI adjustable rear sight perfectly,” he said. “Initially the under barrel rail mount seemed a little out of place, but when you look at the popularity of Midnight Three gunning, it really is a handy addition. The STI 2011 grip just fits the hand perfectly and the ambidextrous thumb safety is streamlined yet serrated for positive disengagement.”
For this pistol, John recommends Patriot Cases. It’s an SKB hard-sided case with custom CNC cut hard foam insert, both of which are under a lifetime warranty.
Pro Tip - JP on How to Zero Your Scope
John Paul, the “JP” of JP Enterprises, has made a science out of accurate long range shooting. On his Blue Steel Ranch outside of Tucumcari, New Mexico, John tells us about the different zeros for your rifle, and how to choose the right one for the long shots.
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