Iron Sights Nationals


Shooting USA - Iron Sights Nationals

This time, high-capacity guns and handguns direct from the factory compete at the Iron Sights Nationals. It’s the top competitors in the Limited Division and the Production Division shooting for national titles in USPSA competition. Then the Walther P-38 is one of History’s Guns. Plus, Comp-Tac brings holsters out of the garage to be number one in IDPA. It’s a company profile from Houston. And, We’re Talking Tech, defining MOA and what you get in accuracy with a rifle guarantee.


USPSA Iron Sights Nationals

36-16-2In the beginning, practical pistol competition was single stack 1911 pistols, but then came the enhancements with high capacity, double stack magazines, and ultimately polymer, striker-fired guns. So, the USPSA separated these guns by category. Handguns from the factory compete in the Production Division, and high capacity guns, without optics or compensators, compete in the Limited Division. This year, the United States Practical Shooting Association hosted the Iron Sights Nationals near St. George, Utah, with two championship titles up for grabs: Production and Limited.


36-16-1The best shooters in the country are tested over a three-day period on 17 courses of fire, many with low ports, hidden steel targets, and a lot of movement. Each stage has its own challenge, but there is a common theme among all of them, thanks to Match Director Ken Nelson.




36-16-5“I view it more like a curvy road. You’ve got straightaways where you’re accelerating, and then you’ve got a hard corner or hairpin. You’ve got to stop, shoot something hard, and get on the gas again. It’s a rhythm change. Shooters like to establish rhythm and we like to disrupt that rhythm,” says Nelson.



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Akai Custom Limited Gun

36-16-16John’s choice for a USPSA Limited Division gun is an Akai Custom chambered in .40 Smith & Wesson, built on a 2011 frame. Specifically, it’s the Akai Butler Cut three-quarter Dust Cover with a bull barrel, which adds weight to the gun, making it flat shooting. The slide is the Akai Nitro, a tri-top design with aggressive texturing, and it has extended thumb safeties from Phoenix Trinity. Prices start at $2,899 from Akai.  

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Bedell Custom Limited Gun

36-16-17Tony’s choice for a USPSA Limited Division gun is a Bedell Custom in .40 Smith & Wesson. It’s built on a six-inch platform, and that extra inch provides extra weight on the forward portion of the gun, as well as an extended sight radius. It also makes for a very soft and flat-shooting gun. It has a fiber optic front sight, adjustable rear sight, EGW trigger components with a flat trigger, which gives consistent finger placement. There is mild texturing on the grip and a standard STI magwell.

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History’s Guns: Walther P38

36-16-6In the 1930s as Hitler was taking power in Germany, and the build up of the Wermach was underway, the German army sidearm was still the 9mm Luger. It was time for a more modern solution, which ultimately came from Walther as the P38. Its revolutionary design included a free-floating barrel, dual side-mounted recoil springs, and a pivoting block to unlock the action. It was heavy, weighing in at 34 ounces, empty. Fully loaded, its magazine held eight rounds of 9x19mm Parabellum.  




“The P38 is probably the most sophisticated handgun used during World War Two. Very reliable, accurate, easy to use.” says Firearms Historian Garry James.




Talking Tech: Minute of Angle Explained

36-16-13MOA is the acronym for “minute of angle” but what does it mean? It’s the standard for rating the accuracy of a rifle. One minute of angle is one sixtieth of one degree. We’re slicing a degree into minute measurements along the line where the rifle is pointed to the target, which gives us the ability to measure a tiny variation in the bullets shot on target.. And when a rifle manufacturer gives you a guarantee of Minute of Angle accuracy, that is a good rifle. A guarantee of MOA accuracy from Les Baer Custom is a very good rifle.



Inside the new Comp-Tac Victory Gear Factory

36-16-9Look to the history of some of the most successful companies in the firearms industry and time after time, you’ll find one guy starting it in his garage, because he needed something he couldn’t buy. That’s the story behind the holsters of Comp-Tac Victory gear, but now they will be produced in Comp-Tac’s new purpose-designed building near Houston, Texas. It’s a feat that calls for a celebration, including cake, balloons, and barbecue for employees, thanks to Comp-Tac Owner Gregg Garrett.

36-16-11Garrett has always been a competitive shooter, as well as two of his key employees, Marketing Director Randi Rogers, and General Manager Gordon Carrell. That allows for immediate feedback on products, which ultimately leads to better and more affordable products, including for those men and women in the military, and wounded warriors. That’s why Comp-Tac involved former Blackhawk Pilot, Trevor Baucom in the process to produce the first affordable holster solution for wheelchair shooters.

36-16-12“The warriors that come back, that lost chunks of themselves and leave it overseas, if they want to come out and shoot, we want them to come out and shoot with us,” says Garrett.   “We owe these guys so much. I’m the son of a combat Vet, who’s also my favorite person in the whole world.”


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