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.

---------

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.

---------

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.

---------

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.

---------

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

--------------------

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.