Tag Archives: Competition Shooting

Shooting Intro for Youth: Keeping it Fun!

Target practice at the range

  Recently I finished a trade show in Harrisburg, PA and had some time to visit with nearby family.  This included a beautiful morning spent at the range with three generations of the family.  The youngest was my soon to be 11 year old niece, Bella.

  Bella has been going to the range with her dad off and on for the past four years.  She started out with a Cricket .22 single shot.  Last year I won another Ruger 10/22 at a match and changed out the stock with a Boyd laminate with the some snazzy purple coloring for her.  Bella was now upgraded to the ten shot magazine!  This girl is now putting 1 inch groups at 100 yards from the bench!  Her dad offered to take her for an evening at the sprint car races if she put the first shot in the bullseye….darned if she didn’t just edge it too!   Races it is! Next to safety, the point is to keep it fun for them!

Look at that concentration!

    After convincing me of her prowess with the 10/22, we brought out her little 32 revolver.  We went over safe loading and muzzle management from bench to shooting line.  You could tell this was not her first time at the range, but it still gave opportunities for giving little lessons on range terminology such as not “sweeping” any part of your body, muzzle down range, “going hot” etc.  I was impressed with her concentration.

A little itimidating…but willing to give it a try!

  We brought out the 20 GA Remington 870, www.remington.com, youth model for her next.    This is still a bit intimidating for her.  We made sure she had the light loads for the least recoil possible and set her up with dad to assist.  With some Shoot ‘n See targets she shot twice and peppered it!  Now the big grin was on.  Along with this I’ve been sending her the occasional DoAll, www.doalloutdoors.com,  self-healing fun targets to shoot at.   She loves it and I will continue to encourage her whenever I have the opportunity. 

Sharing family time and enjoying a sport together is time cherished.

Aunt Chris and “Junior Chris” in training!
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Steel Challenge Match

This May, I was finally able to take a breather from work travel and get on to shooting a few matches.  However out of practice I am, I still had a great time shooting.   Besides if I was afraid of how well I’d do, I’d never shoot and what fun is that?!  Pueblo West held a Steel Challenge match Memorial Day weekend. 

I entered to shoot two different guns.  Friday I shot .22 Open Rimfire Rifle class and Saturday I shot Limited class with my M&P 9mm with the HIVIZ sights.  Neither day did I threaten to knock anyone out of the top scoring spots!  The Steel Challenge, a speed steel shooting competition is governed by USPSA/SCSA, www.steelchallenge.com.  The match consists of eight stages.  Each stage consists of five steel plates in different arrays, one of those being your stop plate.  Seven of the eight stages you shoot 5 strings and throw out your worst time.  The other four times are added for total time on that stage.  

Open Rimfire Rifle Class

With some good trigger control and practice I can get some pretty decent times.  Yes, I have my moments!  But…the key here is practice, practice, and more practice to be consistently good!  I’m working on that practice and consistency part….

I’ve been shooting this match off and on for the past five years and this year I was finally able to talk my shooting friend’s wife into joining us.  Deb’s husband fixed her up with an STI Steel Master, trigger job and finely tuned by our local STI guru.   She was a little aprehensive about competing, but we were all there to help, give advice and above all else, make sure she was safe.  Prior to competing we did have her out off and on the past 6 months or more for local shoots, so she wasn’t completely with out experience.  The format and rules she was unfamiliar with. 

Shooting like a pro!

 Deb did very well and is now more comfortable coming to the matches.  She has also signed up for the next Babes with Bullets camp in Steamboat Springs the end of June!  She’s hooked!  Like I said, don’t let your fear of failure or just the unfamiliar keep you from participating in the sport.  And for those that do already, get that woman who may be a little leery about the idea and encourage her!!!

Be safe, shoot straight, and have FUN!!!

To Reload or Not to Reload?

Steel Shoot - Rawlins, WY

I had never intended to be reloading when I first started shooting monthly revolver matches.  That turned into shooting the regional matches and eventually also shooting action pistol and some IPSC matches.   I quickly found it was very easy for me to go through 1,000 rounds every few weeks, depending upon the frequency of my shoots.

Steel Shoot - Rawlins, WY

For a novice shooter, I thought if I wanted to continue, I needed to learn how to reload to make this more economical.  I was fortunate enough to have several master class shooters and others at my local range who were all more than happy to assist in getting me started.  I knew nothing about reloading or how much I was about to learn!

While there are many modern and efficient reloading presses available, I started with an old Star Reloader found online that needed a little “TLC” to get up and running.   I was thrilled to start with anything.   I moved two old work benches to the basement and before long had a “reloading” work center.   With the Star mounted to the bench, I loaded up on .38 brass, small pistol primers and the powder recommended to me. 

9mm Brass Fresh From the Tumbler

Through this process, I discovered there are different bullet weights, powders, primers, etc., which all relate to one another for achieving proper power factor to function properly in the revolver you are loading for.  The amount of powder used, the overall length of the bullet seating, proper crimp and how to adjust all of these on your reloader are just a few of the minor, but very important, details not to be overlooked. 

Loading sounded complicated and you certainly wanted to be precise about it.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help from an experienced reloader, as I did many times.  That was how I learned and am still learning when presented with a “fussy” press issue.  Stop and ask.

Dillon 650XL Press

I later acquired another new press that I keep set up for 9mm loading.  Another little learning curve there, but it is so satisfying for me to know that I can do this … no running out of ammo before the next big shoot!