Shooting USA – GAP Grind Pro-Am
Precision rifle competition can be one of the most intimidating sports to new shooters, but at the GAP Grind Pro-Am in Tennessee, John is now considered an experienced Pro, helping a new shooter compete. Plus, Japan’s historic, yet unreliable revolver is one of History’s Guns. And, juniors break clays at the Scholastic Clay Target Program Nationals.
GA Precision Grind Pro-Am
In 2012, the Precision Rifle Series (PRS) of matches was created to attract the best long-range, precision rifle enthusiasts to the shooting sports. And, it has. Hundreds of law enforcement officers and military personnel compete, along with fans of the discipline. However, the equipment is expensive and the challenges of the sport can be intimidating to first-timers. That’s why Shannon Kay and George Gardner continue to host the Bushnell GAP Grind, now in Tennessee. Teams compete in this unique PRS match, where amateur shooters are paired with experienced shooters to help in the challenge of being a new shooter.
“I’ve got a lot of customers who love to shoot. Some of them might be a little bit intimidated by shooting their first match. I’ve heard a million times, ‘hey come shoot a match,’ ‘oh, I’ve never shot one before.’ You hear that so much,” says Gardner of GA Precision. “This gives them that chance to shoot their first one. They are with somebody who’s been there, done that, and it just makes them feel comfortable and it kind of takes that excuse out of their mind.”
The match begins with a day of training and introduction. Then, teams tackle more than 20 stages together during the weekend-long match, consisting of moving targets, reactive targets, steel targets, paper targets, and targets out to 1,200 yards. And the courses of fire have a time limit, which doubles the challenge at the GAP Grind Pro-Am.
History’s Guns - Type 26 Revolver
In 1893, Japan’s military adopted a 9-millimeter, six-shot revolver with hopes to keep pace with firearms’ advancement across the globe. However, Japan’s Type 26, as it was known, was in service for more than half of a century through World War Two. And, it proved inferior to the variant of the Smith & Wesson Russian, which the Type 26 ultimately replaced.
“You cannot fire it single-action. The hammer, obviously being double-action, it has no hammer spur whatsoever and it has a rather long trigger pull,” says Firearms Historian Garry James. “Consequently, accuracy on it is not tremendous.”
And that’s just one of the failings of the Type 26 that’s historic, but inferior to revolvers of the day.
Hornady American Series Die Sets
As the reloading process for handloaders continues to evolve, Hornady Manufacturing aims to keep pace with constant innovation. So, with the addition of a CNC machine at its Nebraska factory, Hornady has sped up the process of producing new products, and is now able to create their American Series Die Sets in a shorter amount of time, making it more efficient for the company and cost-effective for the consumer.
“When we look at new CNC equipment, they have made such strides in the past ten or 12 years or so with the equipment that, yes; we can drop in a raw piece of bar stock and drop out a fully finished die. Then all we need to do is heat treat and then put a final smooth polish onto the inside and it's done,” says Director of Engineering at Hornady, Mitch Mittelstaedt.
American Series Reloading Dies
Innovative Targets – Know Your Limits
Innovative Targets has a solution to maintaining those precision rifle skills with its custom Know Your Limit (KYL) Target. It’s a five-target array in decreasing in sizes, with the plates cut from three-eighths inch thick AR 500 steel. They’re also reversible and hang from the patent-pending NSD rotation system, making the plates ideal for long range, small target training. Prices start at $600.
Smith & Wesson Performance Center Ported Shield in .40 S&W
Smith & Wesson just celebrated a milestone for a gun that was unveiled three years ago at SHOT Show. One million Shields have been assembled at the Smith & Wesson factory in Massachusetts as new variations of the popular firearm continue to be introduced. One of which is the Performance Center Ported Shield. It has the ported barrel, which helps reduce muzzle flip and felt recoil in the .40-caliber. It also sports six lightening cuts in the Shield slide, and High Viz fiber optic sights.
“Unloaded, the Shield weighs just over a pound. It’s only an inch thick, and it’s highly accurate. So, that tells you why there are a million shields out there,” says Shooting USA Executive Producer Jim Scoutten.
SCTP Nationals in Sparta, Illinois
Of all of the youth shooting programs, there is one that continues to grow each year, the Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP). It started with a few hundred youngsters shooting trap. Now, there are more than 13,000 kids across the country, shooting trap, skeet, and sporting clays, and training for the National Championships in Sparta, Illinois, the biggest event of the year.
“The crowds are bigger every year, more parents. You know, just seeing the families, that’s the biggest part of it. It’s family friendly. It’s a great atmosphere. It really is a festival of youth shooting sports and a celebration of our Second Amendment rights and Americans,” says Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation President, Ben Berka.
More than 3,000 kids from 26 states compete at the SCTP National Championships, and the World Shooting Complex in Sparta is the place to be, with three-and-a-half miles of trap fields. In 2016, the National Championships will move to the Cardinal Shooting Center in Marengo, Ohio.
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