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Shooting Sports Scoring Challenges

I’ve seen quite a few competitive shooters praising this column in today’s Shooting Wire about the methods of scoring that contribute to making watching a shooting competition about as exciting as watching paint dry.

It’s an interesting thing to consider because as much as the Olympic shooting sports are criticized from many shooters of the more modern shooting competitions as boring because of the shooting style, they do real-time scoring with graphic representations of the targets on screen during the television coverage. You get to see that pulled shot within seconds or stand amazed at the accuracy of a shooter you’re cheering. It makes it much easier to get involved as a spectator.

It’s an interesting challenge to think about for the various shooting sports. The beauty of having so many different types of sports at so many different levels of competition is that maybe this column will spur some clubs to try out different methods of sharing scores to see what works to improve the sports for spectators and even other shooters.

Good News for Hunting & Ultimately Guns

I realize that most readers of this blog aren’t hunters. But, if you’re like Sebastian, you may have been invited to go hunting once or twice, but couldn’t give it a try alongside the experienced hunter who invited you because you didn’t pre-plan and sit through an 8+ hour hunter safety course in order to get a license.

Pennsylvania was an early adopter of an apprentice hunting program that allowed experienced hunters to take children out to the woods on a limited license that didn’t require the pre-planning hassle of finding an available hunter ed class. It was wonderful, but it didn’t solve the problem for those who were over 18 and would like to give hunting a try. Recently, the legislature and the Game Commission have set out to fix that problem, and final approval to new regulations is scheduled for April.

It’s great to see some roadblocks to growing the sport coming down, especially when you add in that the Game Commission has been rolling out online hunter ed with only a few hours to do in an actual classroom.

Stories like this don’t just make me think about great news for hunting, but they should get all gun people thinking about barriers to entry for any of their favorite shooting sports and what they can do to help knock them down.

Video Day: Toying With a Sniper

I came across this on Facebook last night, and I just realized I can’t embed it. Syrian rebels toying with a sniper. Not a very good sniper if he’s falling for it. Each shot risks giving away his position. If the rebels aren’t busy trying to flank him, find out where he’s hiding, and take him out while he’s distracted with the dummy, they are dumber than he is.

Wading into the Next Controversy

Papa Delta Bravo wades into the next controversy over gender and guns that’s been making its way around the blogosphere:

This picture manages to be more insulting and condescending than the usual “booth bunnies” holding and displaying firearms. It’s arranged to be an “action” picture, yet it’s obviously and ridiculously artificial. The layout of the photo is supposed to make her look like an expert, but the details make her look like she has no idea what she’s doing (although she is a competitive shooter when she’s not posing for pictures). We’ve crossed the line from “sex sells” window dressing into “men will only listen to female industry reps if they’re flawless 10s”.

I don’t really have a problem with the gun industry using sex to move product, but it has to be done in a way that’s not going to put off other women. In the pharmaceutical industry, which are selling to the predominately male medical profession, sales reps tend to be unusually attractive women. Why? Because men are suckers for pretty ladies trying to sell them shit. But you’d never see a pharma rep dress like Melissa Gilliland in these photos. Why? Because it would violate the professional standards of the community they are selling into, for one, and for two, there are women in the medical profession that drug companies don’t want to alienate.

I agree with PDB that there’s a fine line. This picture here illustrates it for me. Which one do you think you could get away with posting on your office wall? The firearms community cannot afford to be off-putting to women. Other industries have adopted professional standards that still recognize that they are selling into a male dominated community, but avoid over the top nonsense like this. The Firearms business has gotten better in recent years, but there’s still a lot of vendors out there advertising that guns and shooting are a boys club.

Carving Your Turkey Jerry Miculek Style

Of course, for hunters who don’t think their hunting guns are in any real danger should note this reaction from our favorite Brady Board member, who has been on a tear of inanity lately, and who I must credit for pointing me to this video:

The thing is, he mentioned at about 2:20 or so into the video that you could see the damage done to the soft tissue. Since we all know that no one is going to “carve” a turkey by shooting the raw bird, this reference must have been for how well one can inflict soft tissue damage on a human being. Or did he mean to a deer perhaps? Does one want to do a lot of soft tissue damage to a deer? What would be left of the deer for eating? I don’t know. I’m just asking. Why would he mention this at all? A .460 Magnum is a powerful gun all right. He made his point but he had to carry on for 4 minutes showing the slow motion video of the turkey exploding over and over again. I’m sure the video was meant to be funny. It’s pathetic actually.

In the interest in developing some holiday season understanding between the two sides, I will describe all this to our pearl-clutching opponent. The “humor” is that as soon as one mentions they have a rifle chambered in .460 Weatherby Magnum, which few would disagree deserves application of the term “elephant gun,” it becomes immediately apparent to the astute viewer what is about to transpire if the intended target is a turkey. That is, what we would technically call “way too much gun” for the intended target. The end result does not disappoint. All living things have what we would refer to as “soft tissue.” Hunters are very aware of what rifle bullets do to “soft tissue.” That your brain immediately drew the analogy to “human” says a lot more about you than it does about us, or Jerry Miculek, doesn’t it?

Looks Gimmicky

SayUncle has a video highlighting a new AR-15 trigger system. It looks to me like a semi-auto trigger, just one where the characteristics of the trigger change if you switch it to the fun setting. My guess is that the switch makes it a hair trigger, which is easier to fire faster. If you look at the video, it looks like the shooter is squeezing for each round fired.

I’m not sure why you wouldn’t just put a good trigger in your AR, though. The primary benefit, that I can see, is that it allow you to look all cool to the other dudes at the range by flipping your selector to the “auto” setting. The marketing seems to suggest this special trigger will make you a total high-speed, low drag, badass. Because of this, I expect it will sell well.

Philadelphia Gun Club in the Crosshairs Again

Jeff Soyer reports that the EPA is looking to go after the Philadelphia Gun Club, which is not actually in Philadelphia, but rather in Bucks County, in Bensalem Township. The real beef is that PGC is a pigeon shooting club, and a lot of the club’s neighbors are unhappy with the attention it’s bringing to the neighborhood, and with finding dead birds on their property. While I get PGC has a long tradition (Ernest Hemingway was a member), I’ve long maintained that Bensalem probably isn’t the best place in the world to pick a fight over pigeon shooting. Looks like the EPA is going to step in:

David Sternberg, an EPA spokesman, said the agency was required by statute to conduct a preliminary assessment of the Philadelphia Gun Club after a “citizen petition.”

The petition was filed by the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, a nonprofit that seeks to protect the watershed. The organization said it conducted tests earlier this year that revealed high levels of lead in samples taken from sediment on the banks of the river along the club’s property. The club has been in operation for more than 100 years.

The article notes that the club decided to pay off the petitioner previously, to the tune of 15 grand. They never should have done such a thing. Most other clubs don’t have that kind of money and you’ve just taught anti-gun and anti-shooting activists that this can be a successful method for shaking down clubs. That kind of Danegeld would bankrupt most clubs.

Traditional Shooting Sports

Who says that more traditional shooting sports like trap have to be boring?

Video via Charles C W Cooke who adds: “This is the greatest thing I’ve ever seen and I will not be happy until I’ve done it.”

The Remington 700 Controversy Continues

Someone is calling for criminal charges against Remington execs because he claims the Remington 700 trigger system is dangerous.

The Aleksich lawsuit was over a 1988 incident similar to the one that killed Barber’s son. Fourteen-year-old Brent Aleksich was shot through both legs by his brother, Brock, when the Remington 700 Brock was holding fired after he released the safety, the lawsuit said.

Of course, the question I would have is why you were pointing a rifle at your brother’s legs? This is why we have the four rules. I don’t know enough about the Remington 700 to have an opinion as to whether the trigger is flawed, but this is why we don’t point guns at people.

On Revolvers

Caleb caused quite a stir when he noted that wheelguns are obsolete. Tim followed up, noting that the issue was capacity. Tam notes that the correct word is “obsolescent.”

Any bets on how long it takes for the first commenter to say “If’n my revolver’s so obsole… obsolecs… obso-whatever, why don’t you stand over there and let me shoot it at you?” Hey, a Model A is obsolescent, but I wouldn’t bet you couldn’t drive one to New York.

I used to carry an N-frame sometimes when I hiked, mostly because it’s a cheaper and more reasonable option over a Desert Eagle, if you want a pistol capable of firing a cartridge that can top 1000ft-lbs of muzzle energy. I’ve never had much interest in revolvers other than as a trail gun and for IHMSA competition, back when I had time for that.

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