Shooting USA – The Smith & Wesson Revolver Nationals
It’s classic wheel gun competition at the Smith & Wesson Revolver Nationals. PASA Park, in Barry, Illinois, hosts competitors of all ages and skill levels to be challenged on 14 action-shooting stages of fire. Plus, the long-serving British Sniper Rifle, that is now one of History’s Guns. And a profile of one IDPA club in Delaware that’s having remarkable success growing the sport by shooting a lot, on the cheap.
USPSA Revolver Nationals
It is the age of the autoloader for police, military and for personal protection, but the revolver still has widespread appeal. Wheel guns are reliable, simple to operate, and fun to shoot in competition. That’s why the United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) continues to maintain a revolver-only championship sponsored by Smith & Wesson.
“The wheel gun is a very challenging platform. People who don’t understand it don’t understand the allure of it but it’s a very traditional platform,” says USPSA President Mike Foley.
About 100 shooters from all over the country compete at the one-day Revolver National Championship at PASA Park in Barry, Illinois. Eight-shot revolvers and six-shooters are allowed in competition, but six-shooters require more reloads, making them less competitive. Still, the discipline is fun and competitive for all shooters, including 11-year-old hot shot JW Aguirre and eight-time National Champion Annette Aysen.
“I am ecstatic. It doesn’t matter how the day’s going to end. It’s just that everybody’s having a good time,” says Annette, the Smith & Wesson Pro Shooter. “You’re seeing juniors out here, more ladies.”
2016 USPSA Revolver Nationals Results
History’s Guns - L42A1 Sniper Rifle
As America built on the 03 Springfield to create an effective sniper weapon, the 03A4, Great Britain built on the famous Lee Enfield to create its sniper weapon, the L42A1. Her Majesty’s military adopted the rifle in 1970, and it was the last in a long line of British military rifles built on the Lee bolt-action, though the L42A1 was re-chambered the .303 to the 7.62 by 51-millimeter NATO cartridge.
“The .303 was old fashioned. It was a rimmed cartridge and the 7.62 by 51 is not. It’s a rimless cartridge, so it’s more adaptable to a number of different uses. Great round,” says Firearms Historian Garry James, “and in the L42A1, a very effective sniper round.”
Bridgeville Rifle and Pistol Club
The secret to growing shooting sports participation is welcoming new shooters into competition. Everybody would agree with that, but we’ve found one International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) club in Delaware that’s having remarkable success. The Bridgeville Rifle and Pistol Club not only mentors new shooters, but also hosts six matches a month with a $5 registration fee. That formula attracts both locals and people from surrounding states, including Chuck Kime who drives two hours to the club from Philadelphia.
“Well the $5 was the first reason I decided to come down, but then I met the people and this is a good group. They have good matches, you know, challenging scenarios,” says Kime. “They really give you a chance to work on your pistol craft.”
Bridgeville Rifle and Pistol Club on Facebook
Colt Rail Gun
Colt has been producing some of the finest examples of John Browning’s 1911 for nearly a century, and the Colt Rail Gun is the newest is in their progression. It’s still a full-size Government Model, but it draws on its name from the under-barrel picatinny rail, perfect for mounting lasers or lights. The Colt Rail Gun is available in .45 ACP or 9mm for just under $1,200 suggested retail.
Hogue Knives & Tomahawk
The Hogue Brothers have been expanding their products beyond grips and stocks by bringing some of their technology and materials into new products, including to the line of Hogue Knives. They’ve utilized their over-molded technique to add grip to clip-point fixed blades with a locking sheath. Retail Price is $150
Hogue is using G-Mascus grip material in their folders or an anodized aluminum frame with G-10 inserts. Both folders use a new thumb button lock that’s easier to release than the usual liner lock. Suggested Retail is $240
Then, Hogue has something special in its own padded case, the tomahawk. It comes with a slick, magnetic catch, belt holster with rotating safety lock. Suggested Retail $300.
Pro Tip: SFC Glenn Eller – Shotgun Loads
If you’re a hunter or enjoy shooting clays, you know there is a wide variety of ammunition to choose from, and some shells are more effective than others depending on your sport. Five-time Olympian Sergeant First Class Glenn Eller knows that well and he’s showing us how to choose the right shell for your game.
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NRA Membership Offer: Jim Pays $10 when you join the NRA through the Shooting USA website.