Shooting USA – PALMA Long Range World Championship
It’s your first chance ever to see the world’s oldest continuing rifle match. The PALMA Long Range World Championship is in the USA for the first time in 23 years, and it won’t return for another 28 years. It’s team competition at 800, 900 and 1,000 yards in the most unusual match you’ve likely ever seen. Plus, the British Sea Service pistol is one of History’s Guns. And, Hornady’s discovery brings a breakthrough in accuracy.
PALMA Team World Championship
It is known as the PALMA, meaning honor or victory, and it is the longest running rifle match in the world with perhaps the biggest trophy, made by the famed jewelers Tiffany’s and Company. The PALMA started as a service rifle match held for the first time in New York in 1876, and America won the first title. The PALMA World Championship takes place every four years, but for the first time in 23 years it’s in the USA where the top eight teams in the world compete for the prized PALMA trophy at Camp Perry in Ohio.
“It’s fantastic. It is the greatest honor you could ever get to represent your country. We wouldn’t give it up for anything,” says Australia PALMA Team Member, Ben Emms.
The match itself takes place over two days, with each team shooting at 800, 900 and 1,000 yards. Every competitor shoots a modern target rifle chambered in .308 with 155-grain bullets, but it is the coach’s responsibility to call the wind and adjust the shooter’s aperture sight.
“His job is very complex. He’s up there, he’s watching the mirage, the wind flags, and paying attention to the other targets down range,” says American PALMA Team Member Amanda Elsenboss. “Basically I lay up there and he tells me when to shoot and I squeeze the trigger.”
The next PALMA Team World Championship will take place in New Zealand in 2019.
History’s Guns: British Sea Service Pistol
During the 1700s, as small arms production became more of a standard in Britain, the men of the Royal Navy were armed with a typical flintlock of the period, the British Sea Service. The pistol first went to war in the late 1600s, and remained in service for nearly a century. It was the boarding gun, for one devastating shot, before hand-to-hand combat on the deck of the enemy ship.
“At close range, it’s a deadly, effective gun,” says Firearms Historian Garry James. “Did it settle any great naval battles? Probably not, but by the same token it gave the sailors a lot of confidence.”
Hornady Breakthrough: ELD Bullets
Hornady has long built its name on precision, and that includes using the finest technology available to test new products. One ballistic measuring tool is the Doppler radar, which in this case measures the bullet’s velocity, time of flight, and distance. However, engineers discovered an issue with a new product that was about to go into production. They found the bullet experienced an unusually high drag at 300 yards, which meant something about the bullet was changing during flight, but no one could figure it out.
“I guess it came down to we just want to know,” says Hornady President Steve Hornady. “We hate that little niggling part of the process that says, it just doesn’t quite match.”
So the engineers returned to work and investigated the drag, only to find the polymer tip on the bullet melted at 300 yards. After trial and error, Hornady engineers created the result: the Extremely Low Drag (ELD) Expanding Bullet with a Heat Shield Tip. And that’s how Hornady has set the new standard for ballistic performance bullets.
Hornady ELD-X Bullets
Pro Tip: Adam Painchaud on Ankle Carry
When choosing to carry concealed, there are many decisions to be made – not only what gun, but also where on the body to carry. An option that is often overlooked is the ankle. Sig Sauer’s Adam Painchaud takes us through his ankle set-up and demonstrates techniques for fast retrieval.
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NRA Membership Offer: Jim Pays $10 when you join the NRA through the Shooting USA website.