Saturday, December 29, 2007

Entry fee, $5000

World All Around Championship, May 08 - 11, 2008

“The World Series of Shotgun Shooting”

Purpose of this event is to determine the World’s Greatest All Around Shotgun Shooter.

Payout of $160,000 is based on 40 entries. Each of the nine disciplines will pay $15,000 1st thru 7th place prize money in addition to the All Around Champion thru 5th place overall prize money.


World All Around 2008 Information

2007 Results...

George Digweed outdistanced the field to win the first All Around World championship by nearly 20 birds over Jon Kruger with Bill McGuire taking third after an exciting shoot-off with Scott Robertson.


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Some say the format favors Sporting Clays shooters, maybe so. However, its not a contest to see who's the best at hitting outgoing or crossing targets set by speed gun and meeting standardized height requirements. It's that and much more!

If a skeeter wins the skeet event he wins the equivalent of his entry fee. The same goes for the trap or bunker shooter.

They should win there own events, Yes?

So, if some might think sporting clays shooters have the advantage, the non-sporting clays shooters should at a minimum win there discipline and the entry fee should not be an issue or am I missing something?

Who knows maybe a skeet or trap shooter will raise to the challenge and take home the big prize, but we we'll never know if they decide to stay home.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Remington to Acquire Marlin Firearms

Remington Arms Company, Inc. the only manufacturer of both firearms and ammunition for Hunting, Law Enforcement/Security, Government & Military applications in the United States, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Marlin Firearms Company, Inc. ("Marlin"). The transaction is expected to close by the end of January 2008.

Marlin, headquartered in North Haven, Connecticut, also owns Harrington and Richardson (H&R), New England Firearms (NEF) and LC Smith brands of rifles and shotguns.

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Do you see the pattern....

Cerberus Capital Management

Cerberus Capital Management LP is one of the largest private equity investment firms in the USA. The firm is based in New York City, and run by 47-year-old financier Steve Feinberg.

Acquired Bushmaster Firearms, Inc., from Windham, Maine native Dick Dyke for an undisclosed sum in April 2006, and purchased Remington Arms in April 2007.

Under Cerberus direction, Bushmaster Firearms acquired Cobb Manufacturing, a well-respected manufacturer of large-caliber tactical rifles in August 2007.

Cerberus also announced the acquisition of DPMS Panther Arms in December 2007.

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At some point management at various companies will be trimmed and production lines reduced (closed) and/or merged.

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Update, December 28

HARTFORD, Conn. - Remington Arms Co. Inc. will buy Marlin Firearms Co. for about $41.7 million, Remington said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Friday.

Remington, which is based in Madison, N.C., will make the purchase by buying the shares of North Haven-based Marlin.

The deal, announced Wednesday, brings together two firearms companies founded in the 19th century that serve a range of customers from police to hunters.

Remington, which was acquired by Cerberus Capital Management in April, will add Marlin's long guns, including shoulder arm designs and lever action rifles.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Time to give sporting clays a try?

If your bored with skeet or trap, sporting clays may just be the ticket.

On the pricey side compared to skeet & trap, but for the most part challenging targets and good value for your money. I'd rather shoot 100 sporting clay targets than spending the day shooting 200 skeet or trap targets.

Women and youth shooters seem drawn to the sport and thus a sport for the whole family. For the women, I don't know if it's the social aspect or the challenge, but those who do give it a try always seem to come back a second time.

You'll see a variety of target presentations. Targets not set with a speed gun or required to meet height requirements.

If its windy, its windy...

Shoot pre-mounted or low gun...

No one is expected to break all targets, nor is anyone suppose too!

You visit a course, shoot 65x100 and feel pretty good, but thinking of the ten targets you should of hit...

New shooters break two out of six targets on a station and everyone is happy for them.

Some drive carts, but most carry a small bag for shells or have a hand cart.

Some clubs have hard courses, but most clubs have not so hard, with IC choke more then enough to take care of most targets.

As sporting clays matures in the states I'm seeing more and more clubs with two courses. A soft course and one for the more advanced shooters.

Bradford in Florida added a second course last year and the newest club in Florida (Amelia Shotgun Sports) has one course built and plans a second.

I'm also seeing some clubs installing a small parcour (FITASC). Not so much to shoot FITASC, but to give the advanced shooters a place to practice serious target presentations, targets above the level you would see on most sporting course. Five or six machines and some hoops on the ground and your set to go. A 5-stand without buildings or permanent shooting stands. This may not be for you, but if you think of yourself as an above average shooter...

As for the equipment you'll need?

As in all the shooting sports; hearing and eye protection.

A shotgun capable of holding two shells.

The ability to change chokes a must. IC is a good all round choke. Throw a LM and maybe a Mod or Full choke in your bag and your set.

It's a 12 gauge game, but I see a number of shooters using a 20 gauge. As in skeet and trap, you see the $400 guns and the $4000 guns, O/U and semi-auto. Even a side by side or pump from time to time.

1oz #8's is all you need. But from time to time, 7 1/2 or #9's might come in handy.

A bag that can hold five boxes of shells that can be comfortable carried around the course.

Maybe a soft gun sleeve for carrying the shotgun.

Throw a candy bar and a bottle of water in the bag and your set to go.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

23 Dec @ Underhill

Annual turkey shoot at the Underhill Rod & Gun Club (Vermont).

The forecast was 100% rain and winds gusting to 60 knots.

No rain and it didn't become windy until the last hour of shooting.

The wind when it came was not even close to 60 knots, more like 10-15 knot gust.

When I departed it was 48 degrees.


The fields were plowed as you can see from the photo. Last weeks storm dropped 18 - 30 inches of snow. The fields were clear of ice, but the parking area was icy.

Three 50 target events; skeet, trap, & 5-stand.

The skeet event consisted of a regular round of skeet and one round of doubles. Trap was 16-yards and one round at 20 yards. Ten birds per station on the 5-stand.

I shot 5-stand last and that's when the winds kicked in. Made for interesting target presentations.

I came in third in two events and was HOA Runner-Up.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Purchase ammunition now!

I highly recommend you check with the person or business you normally buy ammunition from and place an order. Purchase as much ammunition that you can afford.

Don't wait...

If you can get a nice deal on 50 cases or more, but can't afford it, go in with a friend or two and make the deal.

If the local store has a sale, stock up!

If you normally purchase 10 cases, purchase 20.

If you don't purchase by the case, but instead purchase value packs, buy out the store.

The cheaper shells at Dick's are a deal. Take advantage now!

The new prices that were talked about our being seen in many regions as businesses restock shelves.

A case of Estate shells are now $50 in many regions. A few years back the same shells could be had for $32.

AA & STS are are past the $7 level.

Prices for .410 and 28 gauge shells have gone through the roof.

Imported ammunition will reflect the value of the dollar. The price of lead has dropped off its highs, but has not dropped enough to make any impact on 2008 prices.

You can hold off and take your chances, but its a gamble...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Sporting clays and picking up spent hulls

Should you be required to pick up your spent hulls when shooting sporting clays?

I think we've all shot at one club or another and wondered when they were going to get around to cleaning up around the stands, as it seemed two months of spent hulls were laying about.

As a long time skeet and trap shooter, my first instinct is to say yes, be required to pick up the hulls. Saying that, I would not be inclined to do so if the following conditions exist.

1. Area not cleared of brush. Poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac or just the possibility of tripping.

2. Station positioned on the edge of drop offs or uneven terrain.

3. Areas where water puddles because the club did not put down fill in the immediate area around the stand. I have better things to do then fish for hulls.

4. Mud. See above.

5. No trashcan at the station.

6. Registered shoot.

To tell the truth, if two clubs were equal driving distance, I would drive to the club where hull retrieval is not required.

The member run clubs may have a problem coming up with workers, but the private ranges most likely can have a kid rake the stands once or twice a week and consider that part of services provided.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

How much to shoot a round at your club?

I see the question posted from time to time.

I get the impression some want to hear clubs are charging less then there own so they can demand a reduction in shoot fees.

Apples and oranges...

Is the clubs operating expenses covered by membership fees or target fees, or a combination of both?

1. Paid help or volunteers. When you start paying, the price of shooting raises.

2. Number of targets thrown per year. Three trailers brings in more money than one trailer.

3. Insurance. Some clubs take the minimum. Other clubs have well above the minimum and might even insure officers and board of directors.

4. Taxes from town to town in the same region can vary widely.

5. Is the club paying to have the lawn mowed or the parking lot plowed?

6. Electic and heat cost?

7. Do machines need to be purchased or the clubhouse roof replaced?

You get the point...

Monday, December 17, 2007

Gander Mountain, ba humbug!

Has Gander forgot Christmas? Becoming one of those happy holiday type businesses where Christmas is not allowed, with the company only after the contents in your wallet.

Today's visit saw $12.99 for .410 and 28 gauge. Ba humbug!

On my last visit the price was $9.99.

Skeet shooters have been reloading sub-gauges for years and will continue, but It should be interesting to see if current prices have any impact on sporting clays where the larger shoots also offer sub-gauge events.

Compared to trap and skeet not many sporting clays shooters reload, especially in the sub-gauges. Even those with a few extra bucks in there pocket may think twice before making a purchase at Gander Mountain.

No sales on 12 gauge AA and Remington shells. $8.99 a box. Ba humbug!

Two brands going for $4.99.

At Dick's AA and Remington shells are on sale, 25% off. Ho! Ho! Ho!

The ammunition value packs were on sale. $3 off.

The other ammunition sales associated with Dick's were also to be had.

If you have limited choices; check Walmart first, Dick's second, Gander last...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Lead shot and gun clubs

I was asked if raising dedicated monies for a defense fund, used to fight efforts to close a club due to lead contamination is a worthwhile effort?

The money would be raised in anticipation of EPA or local government action.

If your club is shooting over wetlands I don't think any defense fund, nor the lawyers it will buy, will save your club.

A short news video on a club in New Jersey:

Fairfield shooting range worries about pollution
* Video from outside source.

If you think your club has a problem, be proactive.

Get out the maps, walk the property, confirm shot fall areas. The government generally uses 300 yard shot fall zones in regard to clay target shooting.

Shooting over wetlands or water runoff into wetlands or streams is nothing but trouble.

Runoff problems can be addressed. Shot falling directly on wetlands is most likely cause for a field to be closed and/or relocated. This has to be addressed, not ignored. It may be perfectly legal, but you must be proactive.

Is it getting into the ground water?

Areas in doubt can be tested for lead contamination.

Do all ares where there is water have to be lead free? I don't know...

I suggest some serious reading is needed in regard to lead management and your club.

This includes the local club expert that all clubs seem to have. The one that is not an expert on anything, but has an opinion on all matters.

Best Management Practices for Lead at Outdoor Shooting Ranges

Lead Management at Florida Shooting Ranges

The Massachusetts Lead Shot Initiative

Michigan Dos and Don'ts for Shooting Ranges

You don't have to do it alone.

I don't know how involved the NRA is in regard to the lead situation, but The National Association of Shooting Ranges is an excellent resource.

An agreement of interest.

NASR, EPA Agreement Allows Range Anonymity in Environmental Certification

If your club is not a member of the NASR, maybe its something that needs to be addressed.

As for a defense fund.

If things are that bad, maybe it should be a club relocation fund...

Friday, December 14, 2007

Self Referee, Sporting Clays?

I first took part in a "self referee" registered NSCA shoot in Florida two years back.

Monthly shoot, automated course, no hand traps.

The squad goes out with pad, pulling and scoring there own.

The benefit to the club is 12-16 bodies not needed (paid help or volunteers).

The benefit to the shooter is lower shoot cost and a club that is inclined to hold more shoots instead of thinking of getting out of the registered business all together.

Many clubs are in a constant struggle to have the required number of workers present. This can be a big factor in how many shoots, if any, are held each year.

I have no problem with "self referee" as long as the shooters know the rules, especially on show pairs and no bird calls.

Shoot management cannot assume all know the rules! Even long time NSCA shooters don't know the rules as reflected on some of the postings seen on the talk boards and from my own observations.

The La Roue du Roy in Quebec does not hold registered shoots, but a nice thing they do is have NSCA rules printed on the back side of each clipboard in regard to no bird calls for following pair, report pair, and doubles. I think they also include the rule for show birds, but I may be mistaken. Just a printed paper on the back of the clipboard, protected from the weather. I've peaked at the rules a few times myself : )

As for the cheat factor...

Yes, we will have that, but do we have less shoots (or no shoots) because a few are inclined to cheat?

In the end, I don't think the cheaters gain much and I can't be worried. If caught, ban them from all future shoots at the club.

My perspective.

More clubs are going this route and it's for the best.

Not for big money shoots and of course not for state and zone shoots.

Must be stated on the shoot flyer. If you don't like the concept, don't attend.

I want to know before hand that a shoot is "self refereed" as I'm not driving and staying overnight to attend a shoot that is self refereed, unless maybe a first time visit.

I will do a day trip, but an overnighter for me would take a lot of justification.

A non-registered shoot I use to attend was a six hour drive. I don't think I ever shot over 60%, but excellent targets. A learning experience. The last shoot I attended was self refereed, the previous were refereed. It was missing something and I have not been back...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Reloading cost, 13 Dec

Is it worthwhile to reload 1oz 12 gauge loads at todays prices?

US prices and purchases.

700X powder @ $105. (17.2 grains per drop)
W209 primers @ $146. (5000)
Wads 1oz @ $83. (5000 Claybuster)
Lead @ $38.
Hulls (free)

Total cost per box, $4.32

If you drop down to 7/8 ounce loads, the cost is $4.03 per box.

I used $38 for lead. I've seen it listed for $29 on the west coast, but not a delivered price. If you purchase at $32, the price per box falls to $3.91 for 1 oz loads.

The cheaper primers such as Cheddite can be a money saver if your comfortable using same, but even those types of primers are seening increased prices.

You must add tax to any purchases, if applicable.

Some may find the same components listed at lower prices. Either on the Internet, local business, club purchase, or off the back of a truck at a shoot. Each persons ability to purchase is different and thus reloading cost are unique. Each has to run his own figures.

If satisfied with the cheaper priced shells, then no reason for the four box a week shooter to reload 12 or 20 gauge. Each situation has to be weighed on its own merits and cost savings.

The .410 and 28 gauge shooters will always find it cheaper to reload, as factory shells are selling for ridiculous prices.

* Graf & Sons prices for powder, primers, and wads. Includes shipping. Hazmat fee waived on 32 pounds of powder. They will ship primers with the powder order.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Walmart Game Load shell prices

The local Walmart is selling Game Load shells for $4.14 per box.

25 shells per box, 1290fps, 1oz, #8 or 7 1/2.

That's cheaper then Federal value packs and less then charged at Dick's.

The manager in charge of the ammunition section in Walmart told me he was well aware of the prices at Dick's.

AA ammunition was $7.49 per box and STS was going for $6 and something cents.

The price hikes I've been reading about for premium shells has arrived, at least at Walmart.

As stocks are replenished the newer prices will be reflected.

If you must shoot the premimum shells you may want to gamble and pick them up if you see them cheaper. Of course, the price could go down.

Walmart is not the only game in town, but a reflection of where prices are heading.

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The spot market for lead is down to $1.11 US per pound.

China announced they are not changing there tax on exports of lead in the upcoming months and the lead mine in Australia has confirmed they will resume shipments this summer. Those who deal in the market feel the US economy is slowing and is another reason the price of lead has declined.

I recently talked to a small shotgun shell manufacture who is in the market to purchase lead for his company, but holding off on a purchase. Hoping for a further price decline. If he had to purchase lead at the prices quoted last month, it would not have been worth his effort to produce shells.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Dec 9th @ Montreal Skeet

The clubs annual clay target turkey shoot.

Snow on the ground. Looked like 9 inches on the sporting clays course.


In the teens the whole day, but more importantly, no wind.

If you dressed correctly, not a bad day.

I did have one problem in that my left hand started to freeze when shooting trap. A chemical hand warmer inserted in the glove took care of that.

One shooter said that if you inserted a chemical hand warmer under a wrist band, it would also keep your hands warm, as it warmed the blood flowing to the hand.

Five events offered. We shot trap, 5-stand, and sporting clays.

All 50 target events.

I used 7/8 ounce 12 gauge reloads in all events. All went off without failure. They sat in the house the previous evening so the cold was not an issue. Another shooter had a number of off sounding shells. He said they had been sitting in his vehicle for the past two weeks.

Rather impressive hits on the trap field. The jury still out on using them full time in sporting clays, but at 16-yard trap with full choke, no reason to use any other load. Any misses were my fault and not the shells. Next week should be the skeet test and I assume the same results.

The club uses Pro-Matic machines. Maybe two or three no birds for the day. Not bad considering the temperature. I saw what looked like extra long batteries on the sporting clays course.

Ann LaBrecquel (left) shot her first 25 straight in skeet. A very good all round shooter and I was surprised to hear that was her first.


Ann is one of the good "guys". I can't count the times where I've seen her take a new shooter under her wing and take him out on the course during a shoot.

The club has paid kids that work the shoots. All hustle and seem to know the rules for whatever game your shooting. From what I seen from previous visits, the clubs hired help has a low rate of turnover. All I came in contact with spoke French and English.

At 3:30 p.m. the turkeys were handed out. The club was nice enough to give me one after the event winners were announced. I was given one for the effort I put into promoting the shooting sports.

No issues at the border and no wait time, coming or going. We used two different crossings.

Americans skeet & trap shooting in Canada

Prior to Canada requiring firearm registration and in the days of an exchange rate at 70%, it was not uncommon to find large number of Americans attending shoots in Canadian.

Those days are gone and except for that rare skeet or trap shoot, if you see more then a handful in attendance it’s something to comment on.

It’s often more expensive to shoot in Canada, but an American could rationalize it in the past because of the exchange rate. With the dollar at par the price per hundred targets is a major consideration, registered or not.

High shoot fees and the raising Canadian dollar killed off some of the traffic, but Canadian Firearms registration is what killed the desire for most Americans to attend shoots in Canada.

I would think a drop of 90% in the first year, maybe even higher for some shoots.

It cost $25 for a sixty (60) day Canadian Firearms permit.

$25 is hard to take, especially if you’re only attending one shoot.

Americans Bringing a Firearm Into Canada

A small group of Americans have a five year Canadian Firearms license, but not in the numbers that make a difference in shoot attendance.

Yes, you will always find the shooters that will pay the $25 and not think twice about it.

Initially it was a $50 fee, but it was good for one year. With it now being only good for 60 days, Canada took a step backwards.

I gather the powers to be were worried about the American hunter coming north for his one week of hunting and lowered the permit fee as not to scare him off. Clay target and other target shooters were not even a consideration when the permit process was modified.

I was talking to a member of one NSSA Canadian club last year and I broached the idea of the club paying the $25 permit fee, if it was a first crossing for the year and the shooter shot all four guns at a NSSA event held at the club.

I would think the same concept would work for a major trap shoot.

The idea is to attract shooters to the North that would not normally do so because of the $25 fee, not the cost per 100.

It may not be worth the effort and maybe it’s no big deal that Americans no longer attend shoots in large numbers.

But, if you were looking to attract American shooters, do you have a better idea?

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Gander Mountain doesn't get it

If Gander Mountain wants my business they need to lower prices!

The clothing line is nice and they do have a vast selection of camping and fishing gear, but when I visit my primary reason is ammunition and reloading supplies. The non-sale prices offered are always on the high end.

Sales on ammunition is non-existent. They may offer a cheap brand of shells, but nothing to get exited about. The price charged for reloading supplies is a joke.

I once had a clerk get visible upset when I mentioned that Dick's had better deals on ammunition. He said Dick's was losing money on each sale and they were just after Gander Mountains business. Sounds like sour grapes and not an understanding on how the market place works.

Dick"s may not make a huge profit on ammunition, but I can't count the times that I ended up making an additional non-ammunition purchase at Dick's when shopping for ammunition.

My first stop when I'm looking to make a local ammunition purchase is Dicks, maybe Wal-Mart. Many times I don't even bother visiting Gander Mountain.

The talk boards are always talking about sales at Dick's and if the Dick's discount coupons include ammunition sales.

The same boards when Gander Mountain is mentioned always talk of high prices.

Buying at Gander Mountain is like purchasing a printer for your computer. They give you a good deal on the printer, but you pay an arm & leg for the print cartridge.

In August I purchased lead for $30.49. Gander Mountain was selling it at its store in Rochester, New York for $49.99.

$19 markup on a $30 purchase?

Do you think they noticed or even care?

If my purchases and readings on the talk boards are any indication, Gander Mountain lost a huge number of potential sales this past year.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Dicks discount

I received a Dick's Reward members flyer in the mail.

$15 off on $75 purchase, through 12/15

$10 off on $50 purchase (12/16 - 12/24)

No restrictions in regard to ammunition purchases, but no reproductions of the coupons accepted.

I was asked by Dick's to take a survey a few months back and one of my comments was I wanted Dicks coupons too not have ammunition restrictions.

If you do shop at Dick's, I suggest you pick up a rewards card and get on their mailing list.

Lead prices, Dec 6

The US spot market price as of this writing is $1.20 per pound.

Off the wires....

Lead Falls to Five-Month Low on Speculation Mine Will Restart

By Chanyaporn Chanjaroen

Dec. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Lead fell to a five-month low in London on speculation an Australian pit with the capacity to account for as much as 3 percent of world mine supply will restart production. Copper increased.

Ivernia Inc. said April 3 it was suspending output from its Magellan mine because of a lead-poisoning probe at a port in Western Australia. Since then, lead has jumped 36 percent on the London Metal Exchange, and traded at a record $3,890.15 a metric ton on Oct. 10.

The Canadian mining company said Dec. 3 it's seeking approval for a plan to use an alternative harbor to export lead concentrate, a raw material used by smelters. The mine may restart in the first quarter of 2008, metals analysts including BNP Paribas's David Thurtell have predicted.

``The fact that lead got up to near $4,000 was from speculative excessiveness,'' Stephen Briggs, an analyst in London at Societe Generale, said today by phone. ``What's changed now is the Magellan story.'' Briggs has monitored metals since 1980.

Lead for delivery in three months on the LME fell $170, or 6 percent, to $2,665 a ton as of 11:43 a.m. London time. Earlier, it traded at $2,652, the lowest intraday price since June 29.

The metal, more than 70 percent of which is used in car batteries, has gained 56 percent this year and is the best performer among LME-traded metals.

It is not yet clear whether Magellan will be reopened, Briggs said. Exports of the metal from China, the world's largest producer, have slowed in the second half of the year, he said.

Lead stockpiles monitored by the LME gained 600 tons, or 1.4 percent, to 44,600 tons. They have risen 8.4 percent this year, to an amount equal to less than two days of global consumption.

Monday, December 03, 2007

NSSA / NSCA Crossfire

All should be aware the NSSA and NSCA have combined memberships as its been advertised for the past several months.

I renewed my NSSA membership as that expired 31 Oct.

I received a new membership card that not only had my NSSA number listed, but also included a NSCA membership number with a "C" prefix added to my NSCA membership number.

The question I put to the NSCA was, as a past and current member of the NSCA, what would be my NSCA membership expiration date and at what point would I receive a new NSCA classification card?

From my readings I was pretty sure about the answer to the classification card, but I didn't need to be attending a shoot and run into problems.

This is the prompt reply I received from the NSCA:

Your crossfire ID# for NSCA is good until your membership in NSSA expires.

You will use the NSCA Crossfire ID# anytime you shoot sporting clays.

You will not have voting rights in NSCA and the NSCA website will show your expiration date in NSCA as 12-31-07 as long as you are not a member of the NSCA.

You will only receive the NSCA classification card after you have shot registered target using the crossfire number.

The crossfire ID number does not give you a membership in NSCA only the ability to register targets.

Verlee

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For those who shoot both, it may come down to what magazine you wish to receive, as you have to pay extra for the other disciplines magazine if your only a full member of one discipline.

If your a sporting clays shooter that happens to shoot registered skeet occasionally, don't renew your skeet membership if its only the sporting clays magazine you wish to receive.

As in sporting clays, you will receive your NSSA classification card after you attend your first shoot.

Caution....

If your a skeet shooter who has attended sporting clays shoots in the past, shooting in Hunters Class.

Do not use the Crossfire option unless you plan on shooting NSCA targets at all NSCA shoots for the rest of the year.

The Hunter Class cannot be entered by registered shooters. You do not have the option to decline NSCA targets. Once you shoot registered, you must shoot registered for the rest of the year, if NSCA is offered at the shoot.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Right to Bear Arms, Yes or No?

Until the Supreme Court rules this summer on the Second Amendment, what you read or hear from those on both sides of the fence means nothing.

The NRA, the Brady Group, and supporters on both sides can write all the articles they wish, go on talk radio and also discuss it on the cable networks, but its a discussion that has no bearing on the upcoming ruling.

It's in the hands of the Supreme Court, not the NRA or Brady Group!

Liberal justices believe the Constitution is a living document that evolves and also consider current European laws.

The Conservative judges are what we think of as the old fashioned type. Pretty much following the written words of the Constitution and Amendments. When an issue is not clear, they read the written papers leading up to an Amendments passage. Papers written at the time the Amendment was original proposed to better understand the intent of those at the time who were directly responsible for it becoming an Amendment.

The likely outcome will be a sharply divided court with an American having the right, but a right that each state can regulate.

In the Washington D.C. case that brought this issue to the court, D.C. will have to change it's current position of no hand guns, period. They will implement a very restrictive law, much as you see in New York City.

The outcome that most gun owners can live with is adults have the right to be armed and the state can regulate. The state must allow for you to be armed unless they can prove you are a threat, such as mentally unbalanced or a convicted felon.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Guns for sale postings

The Lost Target page in regard to "Firearms For Sale" and "Shoot Dates" has been reformatted.

Lost Target Calendar & Information

The USA and Canada now have their own sections in regard to "For Sale" items.

Several other changes were made, to include a re-working on how shoot date information is displayed.

The Lost Target sites are pretty much visited by shooters from around the world. I'm not saying your going to sell your reloader to someone living in Australia, but the Florida shooter may be able to sell it to someone in Montana. Better then just having a flyer at the local club house.

As for shoot dates. I can go to the NSSA, ATA, and the NSCA and find registered shoot dates, but then I have to find contact information and hopefully a shoot flyer.

Let me tell you, this can be a pain, especially if you have never visited the club before. Aways nice to see shoots posted with added information. It just makes life a little bit easier.

And, the big one in regard to shoot dates, is FUN shoots. Don't know how many fun shoots I missed in my travels because only the locals knew of the shoot. Not even the sister club had a flyer posted for the last one I missed.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Odds & Ends (Nov 27)

Lead.

The spot market price for lead has falling to $1.36 per pound.

Last week it dipped below $1.30 for about 30 seconds.

Where it will be at next spring is anyone's guess.

Much depends on China and India. The mine in Australia is slated to come back on line next summer. China is a big player on the world market for all raw materials, to include oil. They just agreed to develop and operate the worlds largest copper mine in Afghanistan and are involved in deals across the globe. They use taxes to control exports from China.

From what I read its the worry about a slowdown in the US economy more then anything else that has eased lead prices.

If it goes below $1.30 and stays, you may see a real drop, but that is only from reading what the experts have to say.

I have not seen any large price increases in shot prices in the last few months and you should be able to pick it up for between $35 - $40 a bag, as long as you stay away from stores such as Gander Mt. I have heard of a few buys below $35, but second hand information.

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7/8 ounce loads.

I've been shooting 7/8 ounce loads (1260fps) in the 12 gauge and I'm getting comfortable using that load in conjunction with LM for choke.

I shot mostly skeet practice this fall with the 28 gauge and had gotten away from 12 gauge shooting and my experiment with 7/8 loads.

I shot 5-stand the past few weeks and like the hits I'm getting.

If the weather cooperates I plan on attending two fun shoots in December and will use the 7/8 ounce loads in skeet, trap, and 5-stand. Should be the deciding factor on my using them in future events or just for practice.

I did use the 7/8 loads at a few sporting clays shoots a few months back, but the jury is still out on targets on edge with a bit of distance. More a visual observation then anything, but on certain presentations the hits looked weak. I suspect I may want to keep a box of one ounce loads handy.

I'm sticking with #8 shot, but have heard that 7 1/2 makes a nice load and is suppose to pattern better. Maybe next spring I'll load up some 7 1/2's.

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Remington Gun Club Hulls.

At times we use an 1100 to shoot.

I find the green hulls easy to reload and just as reliable as AA and STS hulls.

I don't make any component changes and have not had one failure to fire or a weak sounding shell.

As they are used in an 1100, they are used once and tossed. I would not recommend more then one reload with such shells.

I was at a club this week and they were just lying about and could be picked up for free. I picked enough to load a case.

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Shoot Calendar 2008.

Please, don't schedule a shoot at your club and then cancel it.

Once the word goes out on a shoot its almost impossible to reach everyone if canceled, especially if pre-registration is not required.

If a hurricane or floods wipe out your club that is one thing, but because the response was not as great as expected or at the time it was scheduled it seemed like a good idea, is not reason to cancel.

Why any club that averages 60 shooters would plan a shoot based on 150, beats me, but thats another posting.

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Global Warming.

The USA and Canada are still the bad guys in regard to global warming from what you read in the world press.

Good for the Canadian Prime Minister to insist this past week that not only the USA sign off on any global agreements, but China and India must also sign off on any such agreement. I don't think there is one county that has even come close on reaching standards agreed upon in past agreements. I gather the UN wants a piece of the action by taxing pollution. They are the same organization that wanted a world tax on the Internet.

If the USA and Canada had kept building nuclear power plants, much of the controversy over coal fired plants would not see the light of day, as they would not be needed. Anyone for a wind mill in there back yard?

An interesting article this week.

Off the wires...

The case for anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming (AGW) is getting weaker and weaker, not “stronger and stronger and stronger” as Dr. John Stone of the IPCC’s Working Group II told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation earlier this month. To date, no convincing evidence for AGW has been discovered. And recent global climate behaviour is not consistent with AGW model predictions.

Mean global temperature has not again reached the high it did in 1998 (an El Nino year) and it has been stable for the last 6 years despite an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration of by 4% since 1998.

Global temperature has not increased since 1998 because, while the northern hemisphere has warmed, the southern hemisphere has cooled. Global warming was supposed to actually be global, not hemispheric

Sunday, November 25, 2007

International Clay targets from China

I was talking with management at a club recently and had a conversation on alternate suppliers of clay targets for International shooting.

I did a bit of research and came up with a Chinese supplier who deals in clay targets, 110mm.

Zhongyan Gift (Jurong) Co.,Ltd.

I contacted the company and they will ship containers to the east coast with delivery in 30 days. Payment in US dollars.

At some point in the past the company made targets in three sizes, but I'm not sure if they still do and did not ask.

You can't go wrong asking for a price quote and import broker fees should not be a deal breaker.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Shells and cold weather shooing

Shells sounding a little off, or worse?

The same shells that were perfect throughout the summer?

Several years ago someone on a talk board ran a test and found it took six to eight hours for ammunition left in a vehicle overnight to return to room temperature.

I have no reason to doubt his findings.

May I suggest the shells your taking to the club need to be in the warmth of your home the night before. Not sitting in the garage, but in the home.

You may not want to place them in the trunk when heading out, but place them in a heated area of the vehicle or in an insulated container.

Shells sitting in a vehicle when its 20 degrees, is a temperature well below the freezing point.

Blame it on wads, primers, powder or what have you, but plan ahead in regard to shell storage and cold weather shooting.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Canadians hunting in the US

I was asked about deer hunting in the states, not this year, but next.

I can't answer questions on hunting, especially for the next year. Harvest levels change year to year, state by state, so its almost impossible to give an informative answer.

What I did recommend was to spend the approximately $20 and pick up a Alaska or North Dakota non-resident hunting license sometime this spring and then send in an firearm permit application to the ATF so they would have an approved ATF Form 6NIA in hand prior to deer hunting season.

The approved form with a valid hunting license (any state) would allow for the possessor to cross the border with a firearm(s) and ammunition for 12 months.

The ATF approval process can take two months and if a problem, longer.

The person I was talking with said, does that mean I can go trap shooting in the states prior to deer season? It sure does!

Of course, an additional hunting license will be required for the state that was being hunted in, but the paperwork required for bringing a firearm into the states would be completed and one possible problem out of the way for a planned deer hunt.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Visits to a gun club

The club you think highly of may not be visitor friendly when a shoot in not being held.

We always wonder what we'll find at a club that we have have never visited and a shoot is not scheduled.

All clubs have there defenders, but...

- Shooter was told he shoots too slow (practice) and asked not to rejoin the squad.

In this instance the shooter ended up shooting skeet practice with me and the wife.

I think he dropped maybe three targets in an afternoon of shooting. His perceived slowness, he loaded one shell on singles.

- Shooter has his semi-auto made fun of by shooters on his practice squad, all who had guns that exceeded $2,500 in value.

A first time visitor to the club and has never returned. His family now shoots, but they attend a club that requires an additional 30 minutes of driving.

- A number of regulars at the club refuse to shoot with outsiders.

- Shooters told not to join a short squad, as the squad does not allow others on the squad, not club members, nor visitors.

- Club manager has attitude with skeet shooters, as he is a trap shooter.

- Club manager had attitude with trap shooters, as he is a skeet shooter.

- Club manager (trap shooter) assigns visiting skeet shooters to a field with only one operational skeet machine and is aware of it. Ha, Ha...

- Visitors to a club stand around for 15 minutes and no one introduces themselves.

- A short squad going out, does not offer a spot on the squad to visiting or new shooters.

- Club does not allow for distance adjustment of targets during practice. When asked, told it is just not done.

Not one of the situations listed was at a club that has Sporting Clays as it's main discipline, nor on the field with Olympic Bunker Trap or International Skeet shooters.

Could what is listed above be the reason your club has a hard time attracting or keeping members?

Attitude (and a little bit of common courtesy) is everything...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Gun club target loads

I was at Dick's and they had Gun Club Targets Loads at $4.28 per box, if you purchased a minimum of ten boxes.

25 shells to a box.

1145fps, #8, 1 1/8. You can shoot them all day.

The sale banner stated the non-sale single box price was $5.99. Sale price of $4.98 on a single box purchase.

I looked and looked but did not see any shells for $5.99.

I called over a sales women and asked if they had sold out of the $5.99 shells, as I could not find any.

She told me the sale price was still valid, but they had just raised prices this AM and the shells were now $6.99, not $5.99.

I picked up three cases at $4.28 a box.

They did not have anymore available. I suspect there may be cases sitting in a store room to replenish the shelves, but I was told that's all they had.

Dicks has cheaper shells, but you have to watch the fps. I bought into a so called deal a few years back and ended up not wanting to shoot the shells, even in a 1100.

To much recoil. I decided then that some deals are just not worth it.

I also looked at the value packs at Dicks. I only saw Remington value packs and they were cheaper then WalMart. The best deal on value packs is still WalMart, but you need to purchase Federal or Winchester.

Also, if you have a Dicks coupon and it's good for ammunition, make sure you bring it along.

The local mall has a Gander Mt.

No deals to be found.

Factory .410 and 28 gauge targets shells were going for $9.99 per box.

Lead was $48.

Briley tube set shell ejectors

Briley has a new line of tubes with a newly designed shell ejector that will eject brands of shells, that in the past were a problem.

The new tubes are suppose to accommodates imported shells, in addition to domestic.

I don't know if it was well know among shooters, but an ongoing problem was that certain brands of ammunition would not eject when used with Briley tubes.

Usually of European manufacture. I'm aware of one Canadian shooter who had problems with Canadian made shells.

I don't know if they can upgrade older tube sets.

The new tubes are available in all makes of Briley tubes, such as Companion drop in tubes.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

One gun shooters at 4-gun skeet shoots

Registered 4-gun skeet has a disconnect with vast majority's of those who shoot for fun and even with some one or two gun registered shooters.

May it be the expense or the time required to attend various shoots, or the idea they just can't compete as a 4-gun shooter.

12 and 20 gauge shooters is the market and the future, you know, the shooters at the club, the vast majority shooting the semi-auto or hunting gun. The shooters purchasing value packs at the local box store, not into reloading.

No matter how we market skeet, no numbers of any consequences are going to start shooting .410 and 28 gauge.

As a shooting community we need be more inviting to those who don't shoot 4-guns.

Something that might work, and if not, nothing lost...

Call it marketing!

Many clubs have the one sold out shoot each year, with the rest of the 4-gun shoots seeing a drop-off in the number of shooters in attendance, with many unfilled slots or empty squads.

Why not take the opportunity to market 4-gun shoots with proven lack of attendance to one and two gun shooters?

Yes, they can attend now, but it's intimidating to the new shooter or those considering registered skeet. They may feel out of place or way in over there heads.

That just the way it is, perception is everything!

Many clubs have 12 & 20 gauge on Saturday.

I’ve attended a number of 4-gun shoots, where a 1/4 of Saturday shooters do not participate on Sunday, sometimes a third, with Saturday not sold out to begin with.

Why not address the reality of the situation and offer dedicated one day Saturday squads on the shoot flyer.

Not just saying they are welcomed, but actually give them rotations they can sign up for, where all the shooters they will be shooting with, will be shooting one or two guns.

Not fitting them in on a two-day squad or saying the can shoot at 4pm.

Take a AM and PM rotation and designate on the shoot flyer they are reserved for one and two gun shooters. They may be your hard to fill rotations or whatever you decide.

You could find that you may fill more than one such squad.

Are you thinking outside the box to promote the sport?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Women shooters and Christmas presents

With the growing numbers of women shooters, I imagine a number of shooting type presents will be under the tree this year.

Finding a vest or shirt that fits off the rack is always tough.

A mans shooting vest is not going to fit most women!

The Lost Target links page has a designated section in regard to womens clothing and shotguns.

Women Clothing & Shotguns

If clothing is not what you had in mind, a number of links to companies such as Rugged Gear and the various companies that sell hearing and eye protection are provided in various sections of the links page, as well as companies that offer leather accessories.

A Rugged Gear cart for her, that can be used by the gift giver!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Importing a firearm into Canada

Unfortunately, buying a firearm is not a simple trip to the states, picking it up, and traveling back to Canada.

A Canadian on a visit of less then 90 days cannot take possession of a firearm, either purchased from a dealer or private sale.

All sales (dealer or private) must go through an FFL, who has to ship the firearm to Canada.

The problem is finding an FFL that will export firearms to Canada.

I'm directing this to Canadians, but Americans that have a firearm they would like to sell to a Canadian but don't know how to go about it, may find this useful.

The three companies listed (for a price) will arrange to have your firearm delivered to Canada.

Leroy's Big Valley Gun Works
Box 22, 527-2nd Avenue North
Glasgow, Montana 59230 USA

Phone: 406-228-4867 E-mail: leroygun@nemontel.net

Leroy's is highly recommended on various talk boards. A number of rife shooters use them.

You can also try this company.

Questar International

And


Simpson Ltd

For those seriously considering an import I suggest you visit the below link as additional and more in-depth information is provided:

Canadians Importing a Firearm

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UPDATE (January 23, 2008)

I've copied and posted a few of the ATF rules on the subject, as a person who replied to this blog entry had a different experience.

The ATF postings:

"A nonimmigrant alien generally MAY NOT purchase a firearm from an FFL or nonlicensee and take possession of the firearm in the United States. If you violate this prohibition, you could receive a maximum of 5 or 10 years of imprisonment, depending on the violation."

"If you are not eligible to purchase a firearm from an FFL to possess in the United States, you MAY NOT have someone who is eligible purchase one for you. If you violate this prohibition, both you and the person who purchases the firearm for you could receive a maximum of 5 or 10 years of imprisonment, depending on the violation."

There other writings on the subject, put you get the point.

It does not matter if restricted or a non-restricted firearm.

As they say, Ignorance of the law is no excuse...

Most Americans are not likely aware of the law, but an FFL is risking his business and knows better.

Saying that, if you can get the firearm to the border, Canadian Customs from past postings does not care if the firearm is being exported legally from the U.S., as long as you properly register the firearm in Canada and pay any required duties. I would not count on this, but it's not an uncommon experience.

You may also have to contend with random U.S. Border Patrol checkpoints prior to reaching the Canadian border. Common in many regions.

All I can do is lay out the law and you have to decide the downside if caught.

Unless a new gun, what's it's history?

Was it stolen or involved in a past crime. Just hope it never comes up on a Law Enforcement watch list, or if purchased via an FFL he gets busted at some point down the road.

In any case, Questar International a Canadian company has an excellent FAQ section on importing firearms and related issues.

All eyes on the Supreme Court

By the end of the day on Tuesday we will know if the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the Washington D.C. appeal of a federal court ruling that lifted the city"s ban on handguns.

And, you did not think it mattered who the president is!

The justice appointed by a Republican president is most likely to make decisions based on the Constitution. A Democratic president appointee is most likely to place his own interpretation on laws and even consider European law.

Yes, that's not fair if your a gun owner and respect the Constitution and a Democratic appointee is deciding, but thats the real world.

A perfect ruling is for the Supreme court to rule that all have the "right to bear arms" and it's up to the government to prove case by case that an individual does not.

I think such a broad ruling will not be made, but just direct Washington, D.C. to implement a licensing system where it will be up to the individual to prove that he needs to be armed. The government can deny him or her. The present system that New York City uses.

Why should I have to prove to the government why I wish to be armed?

If I don't suffer from mental defect or have a felony conviction, than what's the problem?

I think both the NRA and the Brady Gun Control group are more than a little concerned on the wording of any ruling.

I tend to think it will be more in favor of some type of controls, with the government in this case having the final say. But, I'm not sitting on the Supreme Court or a lawyer.

It may take 12 months for the court to rule.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Rio primers

I made an inquiry to Rio and asked if they had published information on Rio 209 primers in the 20, 28, & .410 in regard to reloading.

The answer...

"Currently, we only have published data for 12 gauge loads."

The same question had been asked at the beginning of the year by another shooter and received the same answer, but they did say at that time they might have such data in the future.

What I have read is they are as hot as a Federal Primer and a hair larger then a WW209 primer.

I for one am not going to reload the smaller shells with RIO primers without published data, as replacement tubes are not in my budget.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Cost of shooting on the raise

$8.30 per case - White Flyer Bio. It seems like just last week they were $7.90 a case...

All bets are off on the price for Lawry targets, as they ship from Canada.

The exchange rate is in the favor of Canadians by $.10 on the dollar.

Not good if your a company exporting to the U.S. and being paid in U.S. dollars. A currency price swing of at least 25% in the last twelve months. This is not good for Lawry!

$37.50 bag - Magnum Eagle Shot. Add $2 for Lawrence shot.

Clubs may be selling lead for a few dollars more and a few distributors may be selling lead for a few dollar less.

I can easily see a $5 increase in a bag of lead based on todays lead spot market.

Give it three more weeks to see what direction lead prices are heading on the spot market. A slight increase in lead supplies on the world market this week, but nothing you can hang your hat on.

Ammunition prices are set for another increase in January. On average 10% to 15%.

Some of the box stores still have decent prices on ammunition, with Wal-Mart seeming to be holding back on increases in some regions. If you see anything for under $4 a box, I suggest you buy out the store. Even shells under $5 has to be considered a deal.

On the local news tonight they were interviewing truck drivers.

Diesel prices are up on an average $.78 a gallon in the last 52 weeks.

$.20 gallon increase just in the past two weeks.

The delivery price for targets and shooting supplies will raise accordingly.

Anything imported such as firearms, ammunition, and reloading supplies will be increasing due to the devalued dollar.

If you have been looking at an imported firearm, this may be the time to purchase.

I don't think the sky is falling, but it sure may seem like it to some.

Canadians have been paying $1 more for gas in Canada then what we pay in the states for years (high taxes) and it has not cut down travel. Drive around Montreal or Toronto some time, or travel down the 401. High fuel prices had no affect on traffic.

They pay higher shoot fees on average than you see in the states and seemed to have worked it out in regard to shoot budget.

They don't see many deals when it comes to reloading supplies or ammunition, but make do and keep shooting.

We are going to lose some on the budget edge, but we've been going in that direction for the past few years, but at a more gradual pace.

Its rare when I see someone shooting at a club who works at WalMart...

Maybe it's always been that way, but I always thought that informal skeet and trap was affordable by all, if not weekly shooting, at least a few times a month.

I'm not seeing those shooters in any numbers and I fear the clay target sports are more and more for the upper middle class.

Thankfully, we still have a number of older member run clubs, especially in the northeast, that are offering targets at affordable fees.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Radio controlled release for skeet

A club I shoot skeet at has two fields equipped with a radio control target release.

I don't care for them, but I can see where during the winter months they would be preferred when fields are covered with snow.

Always a slight delay...

I was talking with someone this past week and he said he read where up to a one second delay is allowed, so no big deal.

Yes, a person who does not shoot registered skeet!

If a referee gave a delay as seen with the radio controlled unit, he would be looking for another job by the time he hit station #2, in the first round.

I think part of the problem is the target is not released until you bottom out the button on the unit.

I would re-design the unit and offer a registered skeet release model, with the target released with the slightest pressure placed on the button. I don't know if that will greatly decrease the delay, but it has to be of some help.

The good news when I visit the club is the regular release cord is easy to install and the radio unit only needs to be set aside.

Most times we're willing to give the radio release a try, as why make waves, but by time the second round comes about...

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Who's cutting back on shooting?

When it's all said and done, what you hear from fellow shooters or see written on various talk boards, raising prices are not going to stop most from shooting.

In my world and I think for most, a day of practice at the local club is 100 targets (four boxes of shells).

Throwing some general numbers around, let's look at the price increases that some say is going to be the cause for many to cut back on shooting or even stop shooting all together.

1. A $4 price increase in the last year for ammunition to shoot 100 targets. Whether premium or value packs. Could be less, especially for the value packs, but a good round number.

2. Let's say targets (skeet/trap) went from $12 per hundred, to $14 per hundred.

Throw in your own numbers, but I'm not aware of any club that raised the price per 25 by more than $1 in the last year, except for a county run club that I read about. On average, many went with a $.50 increase.

If a club went with a higher price increase then the average stated, than I suspect the clay targets shooters are supporting more then the clay target operation at there respective club. A sporting clays operation might have seen a higher increase, due to additional cost.

3. Club membership raised by $10 per year. An increase of $.20 per week.

4. Paying an extra dollar for gas (round trip) in weekly travel.

The weekly price increase to shoot 100 practice targets is $7.20.

If that's a number a shooter can't live with...

Will some attend fewer shoots outside there respective region?

Certainly, but from my observation of those who travel, I don't see those on the competitive circuit slowing down due to cost.

Yes, a number of shooters may have to cut back on attending a shoot or two, but for the greater number, not a factor. The time needed to attend registered events probably has more impact on attendance, than price increases.

Saying that, the clubs charging Holiday Inn prices but given a Motel 6 experience will always have problems attracting large numbers of tournament shooters. We can only take so many poorly run shoots and/or targets that just don't make the grade.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

ATF Form 6NAI Clarification

I have two pages posted on the Lost Target in reference to entering the USA or Canada with firearms.

Every so often I come across information provided by ATF or the Canadian Firearm Center on there respective web site that I'm not clear on and ask for clarification.

I recently queried the ATF in writing.

On the ATF Form 6NAI it states a nonimmigrant alien could use a U.S. Customs Form 4457 instead of the 6NAI. It's been on the form from the time it was created, but I never asked for clarification until two weeks ago. The more I looked at it, the more it did not make sense, but why would it be on the form?

The ATF response was the use of the U.S. Customs Form 4457 is only applicable when the nonimmigrant alien is residing in the United States and temporarily leaves the country with firearms and/or ammunition.

ATF Response (PDF)

Thanks to the ATF for there prompt response.

If it was me, I would remove the statement from the ATF Form 6NAI as that is really not the place for it and may cause confusion for someone trying to use the option as stated on the form or simple reword it.

In the next week or two I will be submitting a second question in regard to the ATF Form 6NAI. I think I already know the answer, but we never know until we ask.

From my prospective I rather have all gray areas addressed, so someone does not have to tap dance when they arrive at the border.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

No youth shooters at the club?

The Scholastic Clay Target Program may be a consideration if your looking for a venue to get young people involved in shooting at your club, especially if you have club members who enjoy working with youngsters.

The following is offered; Skeet, Trap, Sporting Clays, and Olympic Shooting.

Many young ladies involved...

SCTP follows the rules of the appropriate associations, with modification.

STEP OUTSIDE Grants available...

Federal and Winchester offer special deals on ammunition.

A nation wide programs, but not all states involved (State Directors At Large) and not all disciplines offered in every state that has the program.

As with most youth shooters, we will not see them for a number of years once they leave the program, but as they become established in life many they will return to the shooting sports, with some being future club officers.

If not, maybe they will be on the local town board and considering the future of the local gun club in the community.

With the event of single family parent homes and a downturn in hunting in many regions, the SCTP program may be just the program to capture youth shooters who in most circumstances would have nothing to do with the shooting sports.

I usually post one or two articles a week in the "Junior Shooters in the News" section of the Lost Target, with most articles involving SCTP or the 4H shooting program. Check out the articles, you may get as much enjoyment out of reading them as I do.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Olympic Bunker Clubs

I've added a new web page to the Lost Target.

Olympic Bunker Clubs

I imagine I missed a club or two. I did a bit of searching and some clubs that are suppose to have an operational bunker, did not come up on radar. I'm sure someone will drop me a line if they see their club not listed.

I also did not knowingly include a club that just has a one machine building with a wobble trap machine installed. That is not Olympic Bunker!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fun shoot flight times

It's that time of year when clubs are getting ready to put out shoot flyer's for the annual turkey fun shoot.

Do us all a favor and include a registration shut-off time.

Nothing more frustrating then showing up at 9 a.m and after shooting 100 - 150 targets in various events, find at 2:30 p.m. the club is still letting squads go out and have no idea when prizes will be awarded.

A full skeet squad shooting 50 targets will take 40 minutes, and if the same squad is also going to shoot trap and maybe 5-stand...

Those who shoot in the AM are expected to wait until what time?

It's not like you can leave early, as you may have a turkey to collect...

If your not willing to close registrations at a reasonable time, then restructure the events so individual winners can be recognized as they come off the field, to include changing the type of games offered.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Friday, October 19, 2007

Firearm microstamping is here!

Gov. Schwarzenegger signed the firearms microstamping bill. This bill requires semiautomatic handguns manufactured after 2010 to make a microscopic identification imprint on ejected brass. Law enforcement personnel are exempt from this requirement -- for both duty and personal weapons.

.40 S&W cartridge case.
California is the first state to pass the microstamping legislation. Massachusetts and Rhode Island introduced similar legislation this year and the Maryland Police Department is promoting consideration there. Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA and Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Los Angeles) intend to introduce legislation to require microstamping on a Federal level.

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BILL NUMBER: AB 1471

The Crime Gun Identification Act of 2007, would, commencing January 1, 2010, expand the definition of "unsafe handgun" to include semiautomatic pistols that are not designed and equipped with a microscopic array of characters that identify the make, model,and serial number of the pistol, etched in 2 or more places on the interior surface or internal working parts of the pistol, and that are transferred by imprinting on each cartridge case when the firearm is fired.

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It has been shown in test after test to be easily defeatable with a nail file.

A few strokes with a file on the firing pin and the breech face of a pistol and a person can destroy or erode the imprint enough to make it unreliable at the very least. If a person were to simply swap out the firing pin of a new pistol for one that is not etched, and gently run a file across the breech face, that would likely destroy the microstamp.

Todd Lizotte, who owns the patent on this technology acknowledged to Gun Week this is a possibility, but contended that the majority of criminals are not going to take the time to strip down a pistol and work it over with a file.

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I presume we will see laws making it illegal to deface a firing pin. It will be up to you, the gun owner, to prove you did not.

A law that makes it illegal to possess a semiautomatic handgun, who's firing pin does not leave an ID on the spent primer. Well we need to run yearly test to ensure we are not in violation?

You will need to go to the semiautomatic handgun manufacturer for firing pin replacement, as it will have to be laser etched with your firearm information. How much will this cost, will they ship to you direct or only via an FFL?

In states that require recurring handgun license registration, will you need to bring in your semiautomatic handgun to have the firing pin examined upon each re-registration?

What's the procedure for verifying firing pin ID when purchasing a used firearm?

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I have not seen any test results where a serious competitive shooter used such a firing pin over the course of a season.

Will the drug dealers and gangs ensure they are buying lawful guns with up to date firing pin ID technology, or will they just do as always and ignore all firearm laws?

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Your empties are collected at the local firing range by a neighbor you have been having problems with. He shoots his firearm eight or nine times in the air outside of his home at 3 a.m, and then scatters your spent cartridges on the ground. Prove to the police that you did not do it!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Odds & Ends (Oct 18)

I completed a review of the information posted on the Lost Target in regard to procedures for bringing firearms into Canada and the U.S., as well as overall firearm laws.

A few cosmetic changes in regard to wording and updating of links, and checked against information posted on government web sites. I also took the opportunity to break out key information and post it to the right side of the page for quick reference.

For most, information posted is all they need. Those with special circumstances need to contact the appropriate government agency for guidance. The ATF is very good at answering questions by telephone.

As aways, if you come across something I don't have posted that would benefit others or you see information that is not current and you have the up to date information, please send an email.

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Frontier Airlines.

Frontier Airlines is now allowing firearms on flights to and from Canada.

I read early in the year that it was under consideration and checked the airline website several times, but only recently did I see the change posted. This is for Canada and U.S. flights only.

Always check your airlines web site for current policy before you fly.

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Don't know what's up with England.

American Airlines will not accept firearms in checked baggage to/from the United Kingdom and Delta Airlines requires a permit from the United Kingdom.

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Air Canada.

Air Canada has a intra Canada firearm handling fee posted to it's web site.

I talked to several Canadians that traveled within Canada this past summer and they said they were not charged the fee.

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Bringing firearms into the U.S.

The ATF has gotten it's act together in the past year or two.

Problems seem to be at a minimum, with most receiving an approved ATF Form 6NIA within weeks, with some reporting a same week turnaround.

The ATF has followed my lead and the PDF ATF Form 6NIA can now be typed directly from your computer screen. You cannot save the information. Canada has done the same with it's PDF forms. I deleted the forms that I had modified and posted.

As for the PDF forms I had formated in the past. Credit also needs to go to Pirre Dubois. In any case, one less item that needs to kept up to date.

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Passport.

Passports are still not required when driving to and from Canada.

An approved government photo ID (drivers license) and birth certificate is all you need.

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Lead.

Lead is at $1.67 per pound on the sport market. Last week it was $1.78.

25lbs X $1.67 = $41.75 (before being processed or delivered)

Even with swings of $.10 per pound from week to week, we will be seeing hefty prices for lead in 2008.

I suppose price will depend on when the shot manufacturer makes his lead purchase.

1 1/8 ounce box of 25 shells use two pounds of lead.

$3.34 in lead alone!

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Global warming.

When you see your electric rates double in several years...

Dozens of Coal Plant Proposals Scrapped Due to Global Warming Concerns

BILLINGS, Mont. — At least 16 coal-fired power plant proposals nationwide have been scrapped in recent months and more than three dozen have been delayed as utilities face increasing pressure due to concerns over global warming and rising construction costs.

The slow pace of new plant construction reflects a dramatic change in fortune for a fuel source that just a few years ago was poised for a major resurgence. Combined, the canceled and delayed projects represent enough electricity to power approximately 20 million homes.

Of 151 new coal plants announced in recent years, only 15 have been built since 2002. Combined, they generate about 3,700 megawatts.

Meanwhile...

"China and India are building coal-fired capacity as fast as they can," says Christopher Bergesen, who tracks power plant construction for Platts, the energy publishing division of McGraw- Hill.

China is the dominant player. The country is on track to add 562 coal-fired plants - nearly half the world total of plants expected to come online in the next eight years. India could add 213 such plants.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Setting skeet targets by radar

It's happened more then once this year. I ask to see targets and the first thing out of the referees mouth after the targets hit the ground was, they were set by radar.

What does that have to do with the price of lead and why by itself would that make them legal targets, especially when we can both see that something is not correct?

If the winds not blowing and targets are going through the middle of the hoop, but falling five yards short or long...

I suspect a number of clubs either have cheaper or older models of radar guns that may not be giving accurate readings.

Could it also be that the person using the radar gun may need a refresher?

The hoop has to be configured correctly to get a good radar reading.

I attended a shoot a few years back and questioned the height of targets. The club manager came out and challenged my request to have targets raised and he had them hooped. The targets went through the middle of the hoop. I expect he had a few laughs at my expense while I was out shooting...

After shooting the 100 targets, I took a tape measure to the hoop and found it was not at the correct height, as it was short by at least three feet. As you can imagine this affected target speed. By the way, if you shoot the targets, legal or not, the score counts.

Set a field by the book, under no wind conditions, and then take a radar reading. If the radar gun is not giving you the reading you expect, better to discovery it now than during a shoot.

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Use of Radar Gun for Setting Skeet Targets (NSSA Web Site)

1. Check high house-set at 46.0 to 46.9 MPH. Stand on station 1 and aim gun at the top of the hoop. DO NOT TOUCH THE TRIGGER. Hold gun steady and throw a target through DEAD-CENTER (+ or - 6 inches) of hoop. The top speed will be measured approx. _ way to the hoop. Set spring tension within above speeds. A good machine with good targets will throw 4 consecutive targets through a 12" hoop under "NO WIND" conditions. The targets will strike level grounds 58-59 yards from high house. As shooting progresses the transmissions warm the oil and the targets fall at 61-62 yards.

SETTING UP THE RADAR GUN

1. Turn on "power”
2. Push "self test" or use calibration fork (included)
3. Push "set up" mode. Use "A-25" recommended for skeet. Speeds are recorded in 1/10 MPH and the gun disregards all movements slower than 25 MPH
4. Push "x-mit" button-turns on transmitter
5. Push "peak-hold" button -display fastest speed only

The gun is now ready for use

NOTES: Targets slow down approx 8 MPH from the arm to the hoop. Speeds will self clear from the screen in a couple of seconds. Pushing "x-mit" to hold will lock-in the top speed with the use of the trigger. Radar guns often pick up targets from adjoining fields. Altitude has negligible affect on distance once the springs are set for above speeds.

Tests show that targets set manually on multiple fields by real experts will vary 3-4 MPH. Targets set properly will cross approx 1 foot to the right of center (hypotenuse).

No further adjustments will be required on spring tension. Speeds will remain constant for weeks.

Selecting a radar gun is important as a 15 milliwatt microwave system is far superior to a 5 milliwatt. We have used 4 different guns -1 bad - 2 fair - 1 excellent. The STALKER SPORT model (15 milliwatt) worked the best and NSSA owns one.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Suicide at the range

Off the wire...

A 20-year-old man, who rented a pistol at the XXXXX Gun Club indoor gun range, shot himself to death in front of the club's range master Monday evening, police said.

The 20-year-old man went to the gun club about 7:30 p.m. He asked to rent a semi-automatic pistol.

He was given instruction and paperwork then an employee took him to the range to fire the weapon.

He shot at a target for a few minutes before turning to face the range master. He shot himself once in the head.

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As a rule I don't normally post such articles to the Lost Target and for the most part will continue this policy.

Unfortunately, this type of incident happens more frequently then most would imagine.

I come across articles such as this once or twice a month. 99% of the time the suicide takes place at an indoor range. Sometimes it will be called an accidentally shooting, but under investigation.

I've read where some ranges have a policy that you are not allowed to shoot by yourself, but as you can see this is not a deterrent, but I imagine it does have some deterrence.

The anti-gun people aways jump on such tragedies, using them in there arguments to limit access to firearm.

Suicide by Automobile I suspect will always be vastly more prevalent then what we see at shooting ranges, but only when a note is left will such a vehicle death be attributed to suicide.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Sporting Clays show targets

On two talk boards a discussion has recently taking place in regard to how many "show targets" are allowed in sporting clays at each station and who has the right to request them.

The first person on every squad shall be allowed to view a good presentation of targets from within the shooting station.

This is not limited to one pair, but is up to the ref. This person is the only person permitted to mount their unloaded gun and track the targets being viewed.

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The rules does not say any member of the squad at any time can demand to see show targets. That is only the right of the lead off shooter. Also, the lead off shooter is the only one who has the right to view targets from within the shooting stand.

I suggest the following.

1. Before calling for show targets, the lead off shooter ensures all on the squad are ready to observe.

2. The referee points out the location of machines, target type, and target path.

3. Only at that time does the lead off shooter call for show targets.

4. The lead off shooter should give the second shooter time to change chokes prior to calling for tournament targets.

If your the second shooter or further back in the pack, you are watching the targets being shot at by the shooters ahead of you, aren't you?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Club operations in 2008, raised prices?

In the north shooting has slowed until spring. A Thanksgiving turkey shoot and maybe a winter league.

Clubs are taking a look at this years tax bills and operation expenses.

Servicing the lawn mower each week is expensive. Local taxes seem to be on the raise.

Targets need to be replenished and the club is probably holding it's breath on a price quote.

The club is looking at what needs to be repaired or replaced, whether a target machine or lawn mower. Does the clubhouse roof need to be replaced?

The treasurers report will tell the story on income and expenses for the past year.

Did income remain steady and expenses held in check, or are expenses starting to catch up with income?

Does the club need to raise the price of targets and/or club membership rates?

The club is a business!

Should the club raise the price of clay target shooting to subsidize other club disciplines? Raising cost of ammunition may make this a non-starter and do more harm then good.

A big decision to be made in that regard.

What non-clay target disciplines are not paying there way, but who's existence is rationalized by saying they generate club memberships?

The treasurers report will tell the story and I suspect a raise in clay target fees is not the answer...

Monday, October 08, 2007

Clay target prices in 2008

I suspect in 2008 clubs will not see large price increases from White Flyer, the major U.S. supplier of clay targets.

Wages are stable and current fuel prices have worked through the system. Raw materials to make targets are not imported. Some raw material shortages have been reported, but from what I read, on the mend.

If a club purchased targets in the last three months, they will not see much of a price increase from a previous order. If restocking from a 2006 delivery, be prepared for sticker shock.

Now, if Democrats push through a fuel tax increase, and $.50 a gallon tax is being proposed to fight global warming, hold onto your wallet.

All bets are off in regard to Lawry, the Canadian company.

I suspect they made a nice profit off the U.S. dollar/Canadian exchange rate for many years.

With the Canadian dollar at par it will be interesting to see if they can still price below White Flyer. They may go with a smaller profit margin to keep market share.

For those who are not familiar with Lawry, they ship out of Caledonia, Ontario. Lawry targets can be found as far south as Florida.

At one time Lawry targets could be purchased for a dollar less per case then White Flyer. A big savings when ordering a tractor trailer load. A club must provide a tax number for the cross border paperwork and that needs to be taking into consideration when pricing.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Keeping an eye on reloading cost

If you have to watch the dollar and reloading is how you do it, you may need to re-think the components your using.

I keep running the numbers on reloading. The major cost savings I see for the 12 gauge shooter is to switch to cheaper primers, such as NobelSport and reduce the amount of shot used per shell.

You decide...

As suppliers replenish there lead stocks you will at a minimum pay $40 for a bag of lead, if not more. The spot market for lead closed at $1.698 on Friday. That comes out to $42.25 a bag before it's processed and delivered. Could we see $50 per bag at the wholesale level?

7/8 ounce loads for most weekend shooters is plenty, especially in 16 yard trap and for skeet. Many sporting clays practice courses are set where a 7/8 ounce load would have no affect on scores.

Gamaliel is selling Winchester 209 primers for $154.75 and NobelSport primers for $95.

Winchester wads for $98.00, Claybuster for $70.

If your in a position to not have to pay the cost for shipping and/or the hazardous materials fee, so much the better. Remember, no deals at Gander Mt. and stores of that nature when buying components.

Some have gotten into making shot. Recommended for those who enjoy that type of work and understand, it is work. You also must be willing to do some scrounging around for wheel weights, having a reliable long term supply supply.

When it's all said in done, you may be better off taking your credit card and purchase all the factory shells you will need for 2008, unless you can purchase next years components at today's prices.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Why the high prices for shells?

I'm no expert on prices but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express : )

2 lbs. of lead in a 1 1/8 ounce box of 25 shells

A year ago lead was at $.65 per pound

It closed today at $1.66 per pound (price prior to being delivered to the processor)

The world at best has a one day supply on hand. If any disruptions in supply the highest bidder gets the order. This is because of problems with operations in Australia and the way China has started to treat lead exports in the past year. Other issues also, but you get the drift.

Cost of the the raw materials that shot, primers, hulls, and wads are made from have increased over the past year or two. You think of a raw material and the price has gone up.

Even re-cycled lead prices have gone through the roof.

Hopefully, high prices will result at some point in less demand and/or increased mining that will result in lower prices.

Oil is around $80 a barrel. Ask truck drivers what there fuel cost are...

China and India are growing. Instead of the masses riding bicycles, they are transitioning to vehicles.

New cities in China are being built, along with power plants. They are purchasing raw materials from around the world.

We have a weak dollar that in the long run will be good for the U.S., but it's painful at the moment. All the Canadians shopping at U.S. stores along the border is the result of a weak dollar.

It does not help that we cannot drill for oil in new areas in the U.S. and its waters. Nuclear power and coal fired plants are political incorrect. I guess wind mills are the future, but for now it's imported oil and gas. Canada thanks you as they export vast qualities to the U.S.

If you think the price of shells is high, wait until you see the price increases in food at the local supermarket in the next year. Just keep an eye on the commodity market to see whats in store.

Heck, just check out the price of a gallon of milk compared to two years ago.

Congress made things worse when they deemed corn will be used in fuel, not looking at the long term effect on overall food prices.

Current cost to reload.

Gamaliel Shooting Supply, shipping not included (Oct 4, 2007).

Winchester 209 Primers - Case 5000 - $154.75

700X Powder - 8 lb. - $96.95

Claybuster Wads - Case 5000. 12 ga. - 1 oz WAA12SL - $70.00

Plug in your own lead price per bag, but plan on your local supplier being at $32, but most likely higher. As I posted previously, I saw a club selling lead for $37 a bag.

From past experience you can shop around and find lower prices, but the long term trend is for higher prices as indicated above. Club buys are the best way to go if you can get in on the initial order, such as the club buying lead by the pallet.

You can save a third on the price of primers if your willing to switch to NobelSport or Cheddite.

You may want to consider shooting 7/8 oz loads in the 12 gauge for practice. Skeet shooters aways have the .410 and 28 gauge to turn too.

The cheap hunting loads you see in stores can in some cases match your cost to reload in 12 and 20, but the 12 gauge shells tend to be on the heavy side in regard to recoil.

If you see shells selling for around $40 a case, fill up the back of the vehicle and then go back for more...

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Badmouthing the NRA

From the dictionary.

Badmouth: To criticize or disparage, often spitefully or unfairly.

Gun Owners of America: To criticize or disparage the NRA, often spitefully or unfairly.

Unfair comparison?

Maybe so, buy I've never seen a posting by a NRA member getting down on the Gun Owners of America.

However, it's not uncommon to see postings on various talk boards from supposed members of the Gun Owners of America (GOA) saying whatever it takes to disparage the National Rifle Association.

Both organizations have there strong suites.

The GOA is more of a no compromises type organization in regard to gun rights, being the more conservative of the two. If you believe you can carry concealed in all 50 states without a license, than your more likely to be a member of the GOA as the NRA will not go there.

The NRA is recent years is more willing to look for the middle ground without having Americans give up the right to bear arms, such as NRA support of legislation to disallow gun ownership for those who have mental health issues.

GOA posters need to learn to state the facts on why they support or do not support certain gun legislation or candidates for office and cut out the nasty remarks in regard to the NRA.

As it stands, I would not spend a penny in support of the GOA just based on the postings I've read on various talk boards.

Monday, October 01, 2007

20 station sporting clays

I expected to find an eighteen station course set for the sporting clays shoot at Beaver River as that has been the standard for the past few years, but instead found a twenty station course : )

No need for more than IC choke.

As you find in the northeast, a bit of shooting in the woods, but for the most part the background was not an issue.


$35 to shoot the event and that included a steak dinner and all the trimmings.


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The wife's Remington 1100 using 1oz RIO shells worked flawlessly.

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I had a balance issue this year and found myself off balance going after the second target at a number of shoots this year. It was costing me targets!

I suspected I was leaning to far forward when taking the second shot and my balance was off.

I found myself in the same situation at this shoot but immediately recognized what was happening and made the stance correction.

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I added a live feed "lead price chart" to the Lost Target site last week.

It has worked so well I also added a program that displays the current Canadian/American currency exchange rates.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Lead prices

I've posted a live feed "lead price chart" on the main page of the Lost Target web site. At a glance you can see current price.

Lead this AM is $1.583 per pound.

This is the U.S. price before it's processed.

You can do the math, but no near term relief is in store in regard to the cost to reload or for those who purchase factory ammunition.

Barring a recession in China or increased production and/or the opening of new mines, be prepared to see higher prices in 2008.

LONDON (Reuters) - Renewed concerns over tight supplies and expectations of strong demand in the last quarter of the year sent lead prices to a record high on Thursday, while copper rose to a two-month high on a weak dollar.

The metal, mainly used in the battery industry, trimmed some of its earlier gains after LME inventories showed a rise of 200 tonnes, bringing total stocks to 22,000 tonnes -- still less than a day's global consumption.

Also, lead shipments via Esperance from a mine run by Magellan Metals have been suspended since March after thousands of bird deaths due to lead contamination.

* The mine is located in Australia and will remain closed for an unknown period.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

International Shotgun web site?

I don't come across many sites dedicated solely to International Skeet and Bunker Trap and this one seems light on traffic. A shame as it has a simple format and information can easily be found.

International Shotgun

If you shoot Olympic skeet or Olympic bunker, please pass the link around and see if we can get something going before we lose the site.

I post shoot dates and what have you as I receive them to the Lost Target web site, but this site should be the major focus for posting information; such as shoot dates, results and photos.

Anyway, whether you shoot informally or travel about to sanctioned events, a posting or two might generate some interest.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Graco service

I received a call from Graco this AM.

They were ready to install the recoil reducer and had a few questions on the work I requested.

They received the stock last Tuesday and here they are working on it first thing Monday morning.

Not only quick service but making sure they do it right the first time by calling the customer. My fault on the required call.

I will assume it will ship today, but did not ask.

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Remington 1100.

The 1100 is still going strong, but did have two failures to load yesterday.

I tore it down as soon as we got off station and did a wipe down, taking off excess Break Free. The gun fired the next 80 shells without fail.

This is the second time I've had problems because of excess Break Free.

I guess this is a good problem to have.

Going to have to get away from using the spray can and just apply directly from what I smear at the end of a finger tip.

I try to shoot 1100's as dry as possible but Break Free gets into every opening and can sometimes be difficult to remove, even with a can of air and Q tips.

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Sporting Clays.

Sunday is the shoot at Beaver River.

Mostly hand traps, but 18 stations : )

Lewis class shoot and includes a steak dinner.

All for $35.

They advertised a cut off date for pre-registration, but I suspect if you give them a call they will fit you in.

One of those clubs where I always have a good time.

It will be my wifes first visit.