Shooting USA – NRA in Louisville
This time, more than 80,000 Second Amendment supporters head to Louisville for the NRA’s 145th Annual Meeting and, in this political year, the event makes big news! Plus, Colt’s snub-nosed Detective Special is now one of History’s Guns. And college students are ringing steel on Spring Break at the Scholastic Action Shooting Program’s National Championships.
NRA Annual Meeting in Louisville
For 145 years, the National Rifle Association has been holding annual meetings, but this year the convention comes during an election year. More than 80,000 supporters of the Second Amendment flocked to Louisville to see the new guns and gear on the show floor, and to see Chris Cox introducing the NRA’s endorsed choice for President of the United States.
Other familiar faces include Jerry and Kay Miculek, plus Smith & Wesson Team Captain Julie Golob. Many come to meet and greet the professional shooters, browse new guns and gear from manufacturers, and others attend the NRA Annual Meeting to sign up for the organization as a member. While some, like Wayne Bird, continue to return each year to celebrate the Second Amendment.
“I’ve been a member of the NRA 78 years and I’m 99 years old. And ever since that time they have been fighting for our freedom, for our Second Amendment freedom to bear and hold a gun for law-abiding gun owners to keep their guns and I’ve stayed in it for that reason,” says Bird.
And a remarkable number of new products were introduced at this year’s NRA Annual Meeting:
History’s Guns - Colt Detective Special
In 1907 Colt introduced the double-action long-barreled revolver, the Police Positive, but the wheel gun was difficult to carry. So, Colt cut off the four or five inch barrel. It resulted in the snub-nose, six-shot pocket revolver nicknamed the Dick Special that dominated the roaring 1920s and Hollywood.
“As a kid I grew up watching good old Warner Brothers gangster movies,” says Firearms Historian Garry James. “It seems like every lawman and every gangster and every bootlegger and whatever, they had a Colt Detective Special. You know, the Dick Special was the gun to have.”
SASP College Pistol Nationals
It’s not often you hear a college student say they’re spending Spring Break at a pistol match in Alabama, but nearly 100 college students from across the country are doing just that. They’re competing at the National Championships through the Scholastic Action Shooting Program (SASP) at the CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park in Alabama.
“We are just a great program because we are a youth oriented organization that teaches life skills through the shooting sports,” says SASP National Director Tammy Mowry. “So the kids are learning teamwork, ethics. They’re learning safe handling of guns…. and it’s a sport that the whole family can participate in down the road.”
Competitors run through four stages on squads of four, with men and women both shooting together. The goal is to shoot all five steel targets on each stage as fast as possible. The best four of five strings count for score. Winning college teams can also access endowment money through the SASP.
Smith & Wesson 22 Victory
Now that the Smith & Wesson 22 Victory has been introduced to dealer shelves, you may not find it because of its popularity and it’s versatility. There is a bull-barrel version, with a relatively heavy 5.5 inch stainless barrel, but that can be easily swapped for a Volquartsen carbon fiber lightweight barrel or a threaded barrel.
“I think it’s awesome. You know, the first time I put it in my hand on the ergonomics of the grip, the way the sights line up, it’s really flat,” says Smith & Wesson Team Member Doug Koenig. “I love the fiber optics; really good trigger. A great entry-level, competition shooting gun.
The Victory is fitted with a fiber-optic front and rear sight, and it’s shipped with two ten-round magazines and a strip of Picatinny rail. Suggested Retail is just over $400, when you can find one in stock at your dealer.
Ammunition Encyclopedia, 5th Edition
Everything you might want to know about ammunition can be found in Michael Bussard’s Fifth Edition of the Ammunition Encyclopedia. It is a widespread collection of data, history, and dimensions of everything that has ever been chambered, including actual size representations and ballistics charts. It’s sold by Blue Book Publications for $34.95, or it can be found on Amazon.
Pro Tip: Hackathorn – Eight Ball Drill
Ken Hackathorn is one of the founding members of IPSC and IDPA. He trains U.S. Military Special Operations Forces on a regular basis, and he is also an FBI certified firearms instructor. And he’s a member of the Colt Combat Advisory Team. He’s got a favorite multi-gun exercise to show us that he calls the Eight Ball.
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NRA Membership Offer: Jim Pays $10 when you join the NRA through the Shooting USA website.