Tag Archives: Shooting sports

The Second Amendment: Through the Eyes of an 11 Year Old Girl

 

Bella's Essay for her Sixth Grade Gov't Class
Bella’s Essay for her Sixth Grade Gov’t Class

What Freedom Do I Enjoy Most

            The freedom to bear arms/weapons is important because you may need a gun to hunt to provide food for your family.  You may need a gun for self-defense if you live in an unsafe area.  I think one of the most important reasons was during the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Japanese could have taken over the United States but they didn’t because they said, “Behind every American door there is a gun.”

            When I hunt or go to the shooting range I enjoy it.  I get to do two things I love:  shooting, and spending time with my dad. 

            I know about many crimes that have occurred using guns, but I believe that guns don’t kill people, people kill people.  If there weren’t any guns in the world there might not be any shootings but, we would not have any self-defense and there would be many more robberies.  Some people need guns to perform their jobs, for example, policemen and women when they are in a dangerous situation.  Hopefully they won’t have to use a gun but they might need it for self-defense.  Some people hunt for a living and need guns to hunt.  As a hunter, that is why I think the right to bear arms is important and can save lives, possibly even your own.

            In the end, what it comes down to is that the person using the weapon must be responsible and knowledgeable about it, and respectful of others and their rights.

                                                Bella Nace

This is my niece, and I couldn’t be prouder of her!  I love you Bella! 

Serious Huntress!
Serious Huntress!

Our Industry in Europe…is it That Different?; IWA Outdoor Classics in Nuremberg, Germany

Guten Tag!
Nuremberg Messe
  Europe’s SHOT Show counterpart is the IWA & Outdoor Classics Show in Germany every March.  It is the leading exhibition for hunting and sporting guns, classic outdoor equipment and law enforcement equipment.  The show attracts about 1200 exhibitors and more than 30,000 trade visitors. 
 
  The variety of exhibited products is growing more diverse each year.  While hunting and sporting guns are the main focus, growing now are product developments for experiencing nature, especially for hunting and shooting sports, archery, hiking and animal watching.
 
  The trend that has been seen stateside the last several years holds true in Europe.  The Law Enforcement segment is getting more and more attention each year.  You will find items for official agencies, police and security services, security equipment, operational clothing, special accessories and products for personal and body protections.
 
  There are seven exhibition halls at IWA.  In one of the halls, expert presentations on topical issues and guest celebrities appear.  There is an Archery Shooting Range, and indoor test range for bows and arrows, and the Demonstration Area, where security exercises are presented live.   And there is another showcase area where they show IWA visitors how to make promote the shopping experience for their customers.   Not all that different from our SHOT Show.
 
  The social importance of shooting sports and hunting is stressed here.  There are 1.5 million people in the Deutshcer Schutzenbund, (shooting association) and 300,000 hunters in the Jadgschutzverband (hunting association).  These associations cultivate traditional custom over generations and strengthen young people’s responsibility for the common good. 
 
  I have been twice to the IWA Show and was surprised and encouraged to see that the industry is as large as it is in Europe.  It is a wonderful experience!…. and learning to speak a more German is the next task to conquer on my list.
 
I came, I saw, I devoured!
 
 
……the food I have already conquered!

History of Sporting Clays

Me and My Shooting Cronies at Weld County
   Sporting clays is one of the shooting disciplines I enjoy the most and don’t get to shoot it often enough!  I had previously been to The National Shooting Complex in San Antonio, www.nationalshootingcomplex.com, and gone through their NSSA-NSCA Museum & Hall of Fame there and wanted to share some of the history.  Most of what I found on the internet just mentioned that sporting clays had its’ origins in the UK in the latter half of the 1800s and didn’t really come to the US until the 1980s.  Kind of vague…until I came across this website:  www.shooting-academy.com .  I couldn’t put it better than as Michael Davey relayed on his website and decided to post his article here for a brief but detailed history of the game.
 
Article content by Michael Davey, The Shooting Academy, Scottsdale, AZ
 
What is “Sporting Clays”?         Where did Sporting Clays come from?
  To best explain Sporting Clays let’s go back in time to the mid 1800’s.  All large estates in England are owned by the “landed gentry”, (Lords, Earls, Barons etc).  These are massive acreages of land where almost unlimited game could be bred and reared.  If you wanted to hunt, you had to be invited, by the landowner, to shoot on his land.  The alternative was that you poached (Robin Hood days).  Although social standing played a large part in being invited to shoot, there was also a requirement, from the landowner, that you were a reasonable shot – he didn’t want his game just winged or injured – clean kills were preferred and a “not-so-good” shooter could be passed over, regardless of his social level.Where then to practice?  As the majority, if not all, the hunting land in England was under control of the “upper-class”, there was very little, if any, land available for the “social-ladder-climber” to practice his shooting skills.  There were many attempts to produce “game-like” targets for practice, and by the 1870’s, many attempts had been made at producing “life-like” inanimate targets. 

  First there were glass balls, similar to fishing floats, then they stuffed feathers into these balls to make them more “life-like” when hit.  These balls were thrown into the air for the shooter, but the “caddie” stood a good chance of being showered with glass fragments, or being directly shot (There is only so high a glass ball can be thrown – the higher you throw – the less chance of being shot).  Capt. Bogardus Patented a Glass Ball Trap to project these balls higher into the air.  These resembled the early Anglo-Saxon catapults where a length of spring steel was secured  to the ground while the other end had a small cup fitted to it and was tensioned down to the ground thus bending the spring.  A peg was inserted into the device at the cup end to hold the bent “arm” down.  To this, was fastened a length of string going back to the shooting position.  A glass ball was placed in the cup and the caddie would retreat back to the safety of behind the shooter.  When the shooter was ready he would request the string to be pulled, and the arm would release.  The term “PULL” is still used today as the international signal to release a target.

  An innovative idea, for that time, was to add two extra strings (as can be seen right), to control the direction of throw.  The top picture shows a “wobble” trap while the lower shows a single direction trap.

  This was a slow game and expensive in glass and very messy.It was in the 1880’s that a guy named Ligowski reportedly saw children skimming clamshells across a pond and came up with the idea of the first clay target – that was the founder on all clay targets used today.  Shaped like a saucer, the original targets were made from baked clay and were extremely hard to break.  Today they are made from a mixture of limestone and petroleum pitch and are very regulated as to size, height and weight.
 
 
  New launchers were designed by emulating the children’s arm throwing the clays by “flicking” the wrist.  That principal is still used today on all clay target throwers.Going back to the “social ladder climbers” ….  With the development of the new targets and launchers, more shooters were training in preparation of being invited to shoot on the estates, but they became engrossed with the fun of having targets continually available, and the practice soon became a sport in its own right.The IBSA (Inanimate Bird Shooting Association) was formed to be the ruling body on this new sport and the first Championship was held at Wimbledon Park, London in 1893.  From this time the sport progressed very rapidly until the start of the First World War.  It ceased during 1914 – 1918 but restarted in 1919 and took off in “leaps and bounds”.There were now two types of shooter;  the target shooters, and the gentry who used the sport purely for tuning up their hunting skills.  Both King George V and his son (The Prince of Wales) were so enthused about target shooting that they had a launcher mounted on the stern of the battleship they used when visiting overseas…  (So that’s where that idea came from).The sport developed  further and the idea of simulating hunting conditions, by hiding or camouflaging the launchers and throwing targets to suit the topography of the land, evolved.  Hence, Sporting Clays was born and the first International Sporting Clay tournament was a match between England and Scotland at Carlisle, Scotland in 1925 (Scotland won). 
 
  Today, Sporting Clays is the fastest growing shotgun discipline.  Thousands of courses cover the world varying from a “mom-and-pop” backyard operation using half a dozen launchers to the multi million dollar “super-courses” spread over hundreds of acres using 100 to 200 fully automatic clay target launchers, where shooters move from station to station riding golf-carts, traveling tarmac roads similar to top golf resorts.
 
  Formed in 1989 the NSCA, National Sporting Clays Association is the largest sporting clays association in the world and the governing body for the sport in the US.  Currently there are over 22,000 members.  Current Executive Director is Michael Hampton, Jr.  I don’t know him personally but had the pleasure of shooting on a team at Sportsman’s Team Challenge against his father, Mike Hampton, Sr.  We had a blast!  Glynne Moseley, NSCA Assistant Director also shot the match that year.  Wonderful lady. 
 
  If you ever get the chance to visit the National Shooting Complex, be sure to visit the Museum and Hall of Fame and visit with some of the nice folks there in Texas!