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.