Helice Shooting – Clay Pigeon from Hell

Have you ever Helice shoot?, Or even heard of it?
Don’t worry not many sportsman have heard of it either.
This game is like shooting clays with the unpredictability of bird hunting, which is what it should be.
This game will challenge the most experienced trap shooters. Here’s how it’s done.


Origins
This game originated in Belgium during the 1960s and the name goes by 2 other names, Electrocibles and ZZ bird shoot. Depending on who you talk to ZZ refers to zig-zag pattern that the targets take. The other says, the pigeon target (Zurito) was made of zinc. Helice shooting is more popular overseas than in the U.S.
First impression seems to be another form of clay pigeon shoot, the obvious differences is the target. Its made of two different plastic pieces. The witness cap and the propellers.

Clay Pigeon from Hell
With this flamboyant target design which makes it fly at high speed in an unpredictable path resulting in a fun way to shoot clay pigeons.
The shooting is done on pure instinct not from a pre-pattern flight that most clay shooters are accustom to. This may be the closest way to shooting a live bird without being out in the field with your dog.

Besides the target being different, the setup is also different and exciting. There are five launchers and each one holding two helice targets. Shooters only take on five targets at a time, sometimes there are variant that utilizes seven launchers.
Just like with clay shooting, once in the shooting stand, the shooter calls pull to release the targets. You get two shots to hit each target. This is where helice varies dramatically from any type of clay shooting.
The helice targets are rotated rapidly by the machine and once released, thanks to those plastic wings, they take off on an unpredictable flight path that can’t be replicated by any clay target.

Helice targets flies anywhere from high and fast or low to the ground. You never know which way a helice target is going. It’s easy to see why this style was made because it closely resembles hunting live pigeons or doves.
The basic idea behind the whole thing is that the launching of the targets is completely randomized. You never know which one is going to launch next.
With the extra target on each machine, the shooter can’t predict the next launch.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> now what

Check out these Cool Gun Safes Click HERE
to Check it out.

Scoring
By now you may have figured out that Helice scoring is different from trap or skeet shooting. There is more to it than just hitting the plastic targets. In the field you’ll notice a semicircular fence in the back of helice ring. This fence isn’t there for looks, its part of the game.
When you score its not just hitting the target, you need to separate the witness cap from the propeller portion and hopefully (must) the cap fall inside the fence to count. If the witness cap falls over the back of the fence, no score.
What if the witness cap doesn’t separate? Bad luck, its considered a miss. And, you can’t shoot the target once it crosses the fence.

As you can tell, even experienced trap shooters who try helice will be humbled. It’s hard enough to hit such an erratic, fast target, but there are so many other intangibles in play that you can do little to change.

A helice match consists of just 30 targets, but because of the unpredictable nature of the targets, a perfect score is very rare, even with professional shooters. Are you game enough to try this?

MGM Ironman

The MGM Ironman Competition 2015

Story by Patrick Caughran

Completely and insanely awesome is the only description for the MGM Ironman competition. There were 10 different squads and 10 separate stages, which meant that there was not a moment during the day when three or four guns weren’t going off in rapid succession. With the stages incredible, the shooters even better, and the sand’s temperature reaching 127 degrees, there wasn’t anyone who didn’t have an extremely good, although very hot, shooting experience.

PHOTO 1 Slide One of the stages in the MGM Ironman competition involves climbing and sliding with your firearms.

Challenges this year were the same as previous years, but some were slightly different. For instance, instead of having to haul a 150-pound dummy over to and on top of a 5-foot shooting platform, this year the competitors were given three options: a 100-pound, taped-up sack for a 60-second bonus; two steel targets weighing in around 60 pounds and tied together for a 30-second bonus; and the final option – for those who considered a slim 10-second bonus worthwhile – a baby doll placed in a cart with a pink Hello Kitty parasol. The doll and umbrella had to be taken to the next stage, but there was a catch: the shooter had to skip (yes, you read that right: to add insult to injury, they had to skip) to the platform. A few big and strong shooters calculated this to be the best option and swallowed their pride.

To the relief of some, but disappointment of most extreme enthusiasts, the zip-line shooting stage, featured last year, was not in this year’s event. However, the highly anticipated slide and golf-cart stages were.

Most competitors were young to middle-aged men, although there were a few women, many of whom shot with distinction, and even some junior shooters from 14 years old and upward.

PHOTO 5 Roof top
In over 125-degree temperatures, black shooting mats on black shingled roofs were begrudgingly endured.
PHOTO 2 Golf Cart
On the fun scale, shooting on the move can only be improved by using a vehicle. Competitors are required to move, steer correctly and shoot during this phase.

The trooper class, which is undoubtedly the toughest because each shooter has to carry every single item they will need during the entire course, attracted all types and sizes. They were often seen carrying large and overflowing backpacks as well as several long guns slung and/or carried in soft cases. Many found themselves exhausted, but all stood victoriously at the end with a satisfied grin. This group included Wyatt Gibson who was the first junior to ever win the Trooper class and did it using his open-division USPSA pistol for the entire run, instead of a carbine like most competitors, and Jessica Brown, the first female to ever complete this class. Most will be back again next year, eager for whatever challenge the organizers at MGM will have for them.

Check out these Cool Gun Safes Click HERE
to Check it out.


After the competition, a benefit auction was held to aid a little boy named Urijah, who is the four-year-old son of a long-time MGM Ironman supporter, and who is battling cancer. Many high-quality products were donated, and competitors bid and gave generously. Following the auction, everyone gathered around the prize table and as always, there were a lot of incredible awards, to include complete rifles from Seekins Precision and other high-priced items.

Although some things were different, the competition as a whole was just as rugged as always, and the stages just as fast-paced as ever. The atmosphere was competitive and fun, but surprisingly more relaxed than one might expect. I will definitely be back to shoot each and every year they keep running this tremendously exhilarating event. ASJ

Editor’s note: Patrick Caughran is the owner of Pocket gillie Ponchos. You can visit them at PocketGhilliePonchos.com

Purple Pixie Power

[su_heading size=”30″]Five years ago, Aimee Williams was in search of a hobby. Today, she finds herself high on the Leader Boards of many Steel and Rimfire Challenge events[/su_heading]

A photo of Aimee Williams in action could be used as a textbook illustration for focused energy and concentration. She personifies effort, spirit and achievement, all wrapped up in a high-energy, 5-foot 1-inch pixie frame. From a humble start – plinking with her twin sons on Mother’s Day in 2012 – she shot her first Steel Challenge match in the spring of 2013 at the Nampa Rod and Gun Club in Nampa, Idaho. By 2015, she’d placed first in the Ladies Division in rifle, pistol or overall at nearly 20 local competitions.

Humble but personable, she has quickly become one of the favorites of other shooters on the competition circuit, and has proven to be popular with sponsors as well. Her swift success story is also a notable opposite of the stereotypes often trotted out by the anti-gun crowd. Although not unfamiliar with guns, Aimee had only shot them a few times while in her twenties.

The impetus to do so grew out of a desire to start a hobby of her own, since her sons would soon be leaving the nest. At first, her children were incredulous about the sports shooting focus, but soon progressed to bragging about their mother, re-posting her photos on social media and generally playing up her maternal awesomeness.

MUCH OF AIMEE’S FORMAL TRAINING came from Ron Stricklin, with whom she began working in 2015. As she continued competing, she discovered that most of her fellow shooters were quite willing to help her improve by sharing what they knew, even though she would be competing directly against them later.

The industry supporting the shooting sports proved very generous with equipment as well. After borrowing guns for her first few competitive efforts, Aimee finally got some of her own. Her first major event was the 2013 Ruger Rimfire Challenge held in Parma, Idaho, and one of the local gun stores built a 10/22 rifle for her to compete in that match. After shooting the discipline, Aimee was hooked and wanted to really learn how to shoot a rifle.

Then somebody spoke to Vortex Optics, and they sent her a red dot sight. Soon after, Tactical Solutions’ Mike Wirth found her and introduced her to Chet Alvord, one of the principals of that company. Later, she met the Tandemkross team at SHOT Show, and her guns got upgraded.

With Tactical Solutions and, later, Volquartsen Firearms providing rimfire guns, Aimee was set for both Steel Challenge and Rimfire Challenge, two disciplines that differ primarily in the target configuration and number of shots permitted.

With the help of Adaptive Graphx, a Cerakote specialist, she transformed her guns into functioning purplehued works of art to match her unique purple jersey. Even when she is part of a team with a standard visual scheme, Aimee has always worked in her own distinctive colors as a visual reminder of her easily identifiable “call sign,” PurpleVortexGirl, in honor of her first sponsor.

Aimee’s current sponsors also include Steel Target Paint, Tandemkross, Larry’s Sporting Goods and Nanuk gun cases. Gemtech supplies her high-grade rimfire ammunition. In 2016, Focus Vision Therapy helped her transition from shooting with one eye open to two eyes open.

Most recently, she started shooting a .45 ACP gas-operated carbine made by Flint River Armory in Pistol Caliber Carbine (PCC) for Steel Challenge and USPSA. The .45 is a stand-in for the eventual 9mm model, which isn’t yet produced. She chose the CSA45 in large part due to the extra-mild recoil, but Aimee has fired more powerful guns, including a 50 MBG rifle.

A RIMFIRE CHALLENGE MATCH is shot with both a .22 rifle and a .22 pistol. Each competitor is allowed eleven rounds and shoots five to seven static plates, hoping to attain the fastest time. In Steel Challenge, eight standard stages with five steel plates each require mostly dexterity and practice. Rimfire Challenge stages vary in arrangement, with the plates in unpredictable configurations, so quick thinking is also required.

Aimee shoots both types of competition, and plans to shoot PCC matches and Steel Challenge/USPSA in the near future. From January through mid-March, Aimee practices weekly at a local indoor range. Then her outdoor practice season begins.

Outdoor practice usually consists of 500 rounds of pre-planned and dedicated practice. In August of 2015, she purchased her own set of steel targets, using them to set up any one of the eight stages for Steel Challenge, as well as configurations mimicking NSSF Rimfire Challenge layouts.

That method of “reconnaissance by fire” gives her a leg up on the less dedicated opponents. Although I already knew her to be an excellent shot, she has surprised even me. When I was testing a CAA Roni 9mm Glock conversion to a carbine at the range, I let her try it. She was able to hit steel consistently all the way out to 175 yards from a standing position, while my best efforts topped out at 150 yards from the bench.

Her rapid ascent through the competition ranks is due to not only a large measure of natural talent, but also to the more than 30,000 rounds she fires annually in practice. She may be small, but she’s wiry and seemingly indefatigable in practice and competition. Her ability to attract a variety of sponsors comes from her treating the shooting circuit seriously and doing a yeoman’s job of promoting her growing list of supporters. To that end, Aimee’s social media channels are updated nearly weekly with images, video, commentaries and testimonials.

HER ATTRACTION TO THE SHOOTING sports is simple. “I want to get better,” Aimee told me. “I have fun. I like meeting new people. I like learning and improving myself. I like to be challenged.” And challenged she has been, with occasional equipment malfunctions, inclement and scorching weather in turns, long solo drives through both isolated landscapes and traffic-filled urban jungles. In other words, the usual daily issues faced by all competition shooters.

To offset those potential annoyances, she’s developed a strong camaraderie among her fellow shooters with no geographic or age divisions, and has found willing assistance in gun smithing, learning and logistics. These positives far outweigh the negatives, and make the shooting sports a welcoming domain for Aimee and many others.

In my work with Aimee, I found her to be remarkably patient and even-tempered. Those qualities have obviously served her well in both learning and the training, enabling steady incremental improvements from the almost-zero baseline of 2012. She’s unassuming, and acts perpetually surprised that people want to watch her shoot, to support her with products and materials, and to have pictures taken with her as if she’s a celebrity. The fact that she actually is a celebrity to fans of the shooting sports never enters her mind.

In the near future, I expect Aimee to rise through the ranks of the top national shooters. She has the technical ability, the drive and the dedication to self-improvement that make merely good shooters into competition winners.

Story and Photos by Oleg Volk

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Over the Top

Are You Crazy Enough For The MGM Ironman?

Hit it again!” Splinters rain from the crossbar as a load of bird shot smashes through just a little high. A second charge obliterates the remains of the crossbar and fills the air with the smell of broken wood.
“Go!”
The shooter lunges and kicks the slowly opening door clear. His shotgun rises as he crosses the threshold, then belches fire towards one target after another. Swirling clouds of lead dust and paint chips billow off the steel as his loads slam into the target. Madly reloading, he shuffles forward and soon more targets meet the same fate.

Ducking behind a wall, the shooter reappears with a rifle, and each piercing blast knocks down another target as he moves 20 yards forward — all motion and noise. Pausing to drop his rifle into a plastic barrel, he sprints towards a rack of steel plates 50 yards away. One hand stays clamped down on his pistol while he runs and then he whips it clear of the holster as he closes to the 15-yard line. Sounding like a toy compared to the shotgun, the pistol barks a sharp “pow-pow-pow-pow-pow” and in a single moment it’s over.

A breathless official tracking just behind says, “If you’re finished, unload and show clear.” As the pistol disappears back into the holster the official draws a deep breath and yells: “Range is clear! Next shooter!”

MEN AND WOMEN from across the United States travel thousands of miles to southwest Idaho just to shoot the MGM Ironman each year. They come to test their skills and equipment against the most difficult and arguably most physically demanding multi-gun match in America. Although the competition is well known, don’t look for adherence to anybody’s rulebook. This is an “outlaw” match and organizers are unapologetic.

“This match isn’t for weenies or crybabies,” says Mike Gibson, its founder. He began the shoot in 1997, birthing an instant classic. Every stage involves at least three different types of firearms (sometimes four or five) and you’ll crash your way through a host of obstacles, like that shoot-open door, along the way. I was there for the first match requiring over 500 rounds.

Today it’s over 900 – if you don’t miss. Throughout the course, you will carry a 150-pound dummy, shoot from vehicles, shoot over mock rooftops and perhaps careen down a 300-plus-foot zip-line. Almost every challenge requires more than 90 shots to complete, and while the courses are tough, each shooter comes back grinning ear to ear.

“The goal is to shoot 1,000 rounds in a weekend,” laughs Mike’s son Travis, who took over as match director in 2007. He’ll freely tell you he hates running this match because of the technical headaches but he loves to shoot it. Travis shoots on the 3-Gun Nation Pro Tour, is a father and works full time for MGM Targets alongside his dad. Mother Rhonda and sister Tennille help out with the matches, and Tennille served as match director in years past.

The Gibson family is part of the practical shooting bedrock in the United States. They have a depth of expertise in 3-Gun that’s almost unequaled, with a crazy streak to match. No other match in the country is quite this over-the-top. The MGM used to allow you to neutralize a target any way you could if you ran out of ammo. A man nicknamed “Rice Patty Bob” rather famously took out several targets with a tomahawk in 2007.

“It’s always been a little off the hook – like the Island of Misfit Toys for shooters,” says Craig Outzen, a professional 3-Gun shooter. “The MGM is a little like bush Alaska. If you don’t fit into other shooting sports, come to the MGM and they’ll find a place for ya!”

ONE CLASS OF SHOOTER is the Trooper Class. This group hand-carries everything they plan to use for the entire three days across a conspicuous line in the parking lot. Once they cross that line, they can’t go back. “If you mess up and leave your tripod in the truck, that’s too bad,” says Travis. “Once you leave the trooper shed (a secure building where the troopers’ guns are stored overnight) each morning, you can’t take a spare bullet, a stick of gum or anything from anyone else.”

Every trooper has to carry their gear throughout the match as though they were carrying it to battle. “It’s not like a regular match,” said one veteran shooter. “This is an endurance contest.” A carbine, pistol, shotgun, sniper rifle, spare parts, water, bandages and 1,500 rounds of ammunition (much of it shot shells) is a serious load. Now take one of those troopers and hang him from a zip-line; let go and let him shoot at targets with a pistol as he flies by! “You work your butt off all day taping and resetting targets, shoot a crazy amount of ammo and do stuff you won’t see anywhere else,” says Outzen. “It’s great!”

TROOPER OR NOT, everyone here expects to finish the day dirty, tired, sunburned and probably bruised or bleeding somewhere. If your guns survive in working order, that’s a bonus. As I said earlier, the MGM match is an outlaw event and one of many that form a kind of outlaw circuit in 3-Gun. Most of the true professionals compete in the 3GN Pro Series as their main focus, but you’ll see a handful of the top guns here, including USPSA National Champion Mike Voigt.

“A lot of the top guys have shot it,” says Travis, “but a lot of them don’t come back. It’s very physical and some of them don’t want to deal with throwing a dummy up on a platform.” Others cite concerns about the wear and tear on their equipment. One person made a number of remarks about not wanting to replace his finely tuned guns. “Everyone fears the ‘Parma moon dust,'” says Travis, only half-joking this time.

He’s talking about the fine, talcum like sand that blows around the Parma range. If the wind picks up, the dust cakes itself onto any part of your gun that is wet with oil. If you don’t keep an eye on that, you can end up shooting a marathon stage with a gun full of abrasive powder. Keeping your guns up and running is always a challenge for any 3-Gun competitor, but here, multiply the breakage factor by three. “Honestly, if you can keep your gear running throughout the entire match, you’re doing pretty good,” says Travis.

ALL PRACTICAL MATCHES involve a certain amount of waiting to shoot and because of the nearly 100-round stages, you’d think the waiting times would be pretty bad. It isn’t. Thanks to a lot of trial and error, the Ironman stands out as a model of efficiency. Often, stages involve two or three “pits” in a series, with the shooter racing from one to the next in turn. As the shooter leaves each pit, a set-up crew goes in right behind him, scoring and resetting targets for the next guy. For anyone with a little match production experience, it’s a rolling seminar on how to reset quickly.

INTERESTED? EVERY YEAR, new shooters take on the challenge of the MGM Ironman for the first time. I asked Travis for his advice and he offered these suggestions for new “Ironmen.”
• Make sure all of your guns will run, no matter what.
• Know where your rifle hits from 2 to 500 yards.
• Have the ability to carry 40 shot shells on your person, sorted by type.
• Sight in your shotgun with slugs. You will consume 60 to 80 shotgun slugs on targets out to 100 yards.

Normal 3-Gun events don’t force you to shoot such long distances or carry so much ammo, so even experienced 3 Gunners need to pay attention to Travis’s suggestions. His match puts a lot of emphasis on long range accuracy: “At our tournaments, we’ll have targets out to at least 350
yards on four stages,” says Travis. This year’s match will include a range of bonus targets stepping all the way back to 920 yards.

SHOOTING THAT MANY ROUNDS in a row, you’ll soon appreciate heat buildup, muscle fatigue and the importance of staying hydrated in ways you hadn’t imagined. Most 3-Gun matches have some stages that will take roughly 30 seconds to complete. Normally, if you take 3 minutes, you’re deemed to have timed out and the range officers will stop you.

“At this match, you can win a stage at 180 seconds and the time-out will be around 8 or 9 minutes,” says Outzen. New shooters often don’t realize just how exhausting this is, or how hot their guns are getting until they set them down. “They’ll lay their shotgun down in a plastic drop-box and it will melt into the plastic. I’ve had suppressor’s melt through the bottom of the holding barrel,” says Travis. Under Travis’ leadership, the round counts are balanced to help reduce heat build-up, but the targets are accuracy intensive.

If you struggle to hit a distant rifle target, barrel heat quickly becomes an issue. “I’ve added two or three more stages so we can keep from destroying people’s guns so badly,” says Travis. That said, keeping your hot gun running is part of the match. When I shot the Ironman, one stage required 48 rifle shots followed by 36 shotgun rounds ending with 24 shots from a pistol, with the last six fired weak hand only! After 84 rifle and shotgun rounds, a 9mm pistol feels ridiculously small like a popgun yet my hands were so exhausted I could barely hold on.

My hands were mush. I’d never had an experience like that. A stage later the fatty part of my left thumb rolled around the hand guard on my trusty 870 pump and touched the barrel. Ouch! Many of my friends and I (experienced shooters all) found ourselves looking at heat shields in a whole new way.

TO PULL OFF THE EVENT takes help from sponsors like Patriot Ordnance Factory and Seekins Precision, along with a supporting cast of a dozen others. “Safariland, Surefire, they’ve been with us for years, and lately Brownells has really helped out,” says Travis.

Both halves of the MGM Ironman have enviable prize tables. At match’s end you’ll see thousands of dollars in prize guns, prize holsters and all types of other gun-goodies laid out for the asking – fastest shooter chooses first. Among “black gun” shooters, the MGM Ironman ranks as a bucket-list item like the Knob Creek machinegun shoot or attending the SHOT Show. It’s a learning experience like no other and one that will teach you much about yourself, your guns and what’s possible with each weapon you own. If you take the time to prepare, you can join us on the line in Idaho next month. Are you good enough (or crazy enough) to take on the MGM Ironman? ASJ

Originally published in May 2015 Print issue by Robin Taylor.

Squirrel Shootin’ Southern Style

[su_heading size=”30″]Gamo’s annual Squirrel Master Classic continues to remain on target with kids and adults alike.[/su_heading]

STORY AND PHOTOS BY LARRY CASE

[su_dropcap style=”flat”]M[/su_dropcap]any of us started out shooting a BB or pellet gun at a target and graduated to small game like rabbits and squirrels. Some of us did the other way around. But it seems that in these times of shrinking hunter numbers fewer and fewer of our young people are going down that path. Four years ago Jackie Bushman of Buckmasters fame decided to do something about that and created the Squirrel Master Classic. The event is held every year at the Southern Sportsman Hunting Lodge west of Montgomery in Alabama’s legendarily rich-soiled “Black Belt” region.

Bone Collector cameraman Hunter Rollins captures footage of outdoor TV’s Kenneth Lancaster.
Kenneth Lancaster with a squirrel and his Gamo gun.

The Squirrel Master Classic could be classified as a friendly competition, as it pairs up teams consisting of an outdoor TV personality, a young person involved in 4H Shooting Sports, outdoor writers, and a squirrel dog handler. The teams compete in a morning and evening squirrel hunt with a shooting competition at midday. This year, the range was supervised by world champion shooter Doug Koening, whose most recent major win (as of this writing) came at the 2016 NRA Bianchi Cup.

Vicki Cianciarulo of Archer’s Choice and Travis “T-Bone” Turner of Bone Collector sight in their air rifles before the competition.

Scoring is simple. The team with the most squirrels and most points earned in the shooting competition wins the competition. In order to qualify to take part in the event, the six 4H shooters in this year’s classic had to compete with other 4H’ers for the privilege. The lone girl in that half dozen, Moriah Christian, outshot all of her colleagues during the shooting competition.

Six 4H shooters qualified to join the competition: (left to right) Joseph McFarland, Jeremy McFarland, Luke Christian, Dawson Kissik, Jackson Umlauf and Moriah Christian.

ALL HUNTING AND COMPETITIVE shooting is done using Gamo air rifles, the event’s sponsor. Each hunter this year were supplied with Gamo’s new Swarm .22-caliber pellet rifle (see sidebar), which features a 10-shot detachable magazine, eliminating the need to reload after each shot.

While the competition is intense for the coveted squirrel trophy awarded to the winners, the real emphasis here is on the young hunters. The TV personalities attending this year – Jackie Bushman, Michael Waddell, Travis “T-Bone” Turner, Kenneth Lancaster, Ralph and Vickie Cianciarulo, and Richard Eutsler – along with Gamo president Keith Higginbotham and others at the event all recognize the need to encourage and nurture young people in hunting and the shooting sports.

Host Jackie Bushman (left), Kenneth Lancaster and ‘T-Bone’ Turner at the noon squirrel weigh-in.
Despite an influx of new shooters to the squad, T-Bone’s Team Bone Collector took the competition honors for the third consecutive year.
The coveted Gamo Squirrel Master competition trophy.

In the end, Turner’s team (which I was fortunate enough to be a member of) took the trophy, and while we were very pleased I saw no smiles bigger than those of the young 4H shooters. They had a day in the beautiful Alabama woodlands following some feisty squirrel dogs, shooting air rifles, and spending time with some of their media heroes. It was a day they will not forget anytime soon – nor will I, for that matter – and that, my friends, is whole idea of the Squirrel Master Classic. ASJ

The first squirrel of the day brings smiles to everyone at this year’s Squirrel Master Classic, including Luke Christian (left), Mo the squirrel dog, and Butch Morton.

Team Mathews Dominates World Cup Championship & Sweeps Women’s Division in Vegas

TEAM MATHEWS DOMINATES WORLD CUP CHAMPIONSHIP IN VEGAS

 

Las Vegas, Nevada – Mathews Pros, Jesse Broadwater and Tanja Jensen, won men’s (Broadwater) and women’s (Jensen) compound Indoor Archery World Cup Champion titles at the series finale on Saturday at the 2017 Vegas Shoot.

Broadwater edged out reigning World Archery Field Champion, Steve Anderson, 146 to 145 points in front of the capacity crowd at the South Point arena. “It was extremely intense making it to the Gold match,” said Broadwater. “Everybody is shooting at such a high level, but I felt very confident. My setup has been pounding, so I knew all I had to do was be patient and do my best.”

Coming off a big win at the qualifying tournament in Nimes, Tanja Jensen, dominated the women’s World Archery event, shooting a perfect 600 going into the Gold Match. She then shot five consecutive 10s in the final round to defeat Andrea Marco for the World Cup Championship title.

Jensen then went on to cap off the weekend by finishing the three-day Vegas Shoot with a perfect 900. Team Mathews swept the women’s division with Sharon Carpenter coming in second and Holly Larson in third. “I was nervous, but my equipment performed flawlessly,” said Jensen. “Winning both events was more than I could have hoped for.”  

Both Broadwater and Jensen were competing with the top 16 shooters in their division after four qualifying World Cup events in Marrakesh, Bangkok, Nimes and the first two days of the Vegas event. “We couldn’t be more excited for Jesse and Tanja,” said Derek Phillips, Mathews Pro Staff Manager. “They both train hard and deserve this big win.”

 

JENSEN SCORES A PERFECT 900, AS TEAM MATHEWS SWEEPS THE 2017 VEGAS SHOOT.

Las Vegas, Nevada – Mathews Pros, Tanja Jensen, Sharon Carpenter and Holly Larson, swept the podium in the women’s compound division at the 2017 Las Vegas Championship on Sunday at South Point arena. Tanja Jensen delivered an amazing performance, as she became only the third women in history to score a perfect 900 over the three-day event.

Jensen, coming off a big win in Nimes last month, also took the Indoor World Cup Championship at South Point on Saturday night. After four qualifying events in Marrakesh, Bangkok, Nimes and Las Vegas she advanced to the finals to compete against the top 16 shooters in her division, where she defeated Andrea Marco for the series title.

Jensen was on top of her game in both events, shooting a total of 76 Xs. “I was pretty nervous,” said Jensen. “But my equipment performed flawlessly, and I was able to stay focused. I’m so happy to have won with the other women on my team.”

This marks two years in a row for Team Mathews in the women’s event. Jensen’s friend and training partner, Sarah Sonnichsen won the 2016 World Cup Final.

“We are so proud of Tanja, Sharon and Holly,” said Derek Phillips, Mathews Pro Staff Manager. “They’re tough competitors and it was great to see them all on the podium together.”

___________________________________________________________________________

 

About Mathews Archery

Mathews Archery has been committed to elevating the archery experience for over 25 years. All Mathews bows are designed and built in Sparta, Wisconsin, U.S.A. and distributed through independent retailers around the world. Experience the full line of premier target and hunting bows at mathewsinc.com.

Subguns Are Fun Guns

The author sets the learning curve to full auto at his very first submachine gun competition.

STORY AND PHOTOS BY ROB REED

It’s the first stage of my first match and I’m nervous. The range officer asks, “Shooter ready?” and I nod, almost reluctantly. The buzzer sounds and I raise my Uzi submachine gun, sight in on a plate rack downrange, and trigger a burst. The staccato bark of my gun marks the start of my first-ever subgun competition.

A lineup of subguns at a competition includes a mix of Uzi SMGs and modified MAC buzzguns.

I was at the Michigan subgun match because I wanted to do something with my registered fullauto Uzi more interesting than “busting dirt” at the local gravel pit. A submachine gun competition sounded like the challenge I needed.
ALTHOUGH I WAS NEW to the sport, the sport itself is not new. Organized submachine gun competitions have been around since at least the 1980s. The events, while never as well known as other “run and gun” sports such as IPSC, have maintained a mix of die-hard supporters and new blood. The basic requirement is for a fullauto-capable gun that fires a pistol-caliber cartridge.

The longest continuously running SMG match in existence is the Knob Creek Range National Subgun Competition held in West Point, Ky., each April and October. The match is part of a larger event at the Knob Creek Range that includes a machine gun shoot, huge gun show, and other competitions. Shooters from all over the country compete in what has become the defacto national title match for subgun shooters.

Three Uzis and a Thompson (second from the top) on the table at a match. The Uzi is popular due to its availability, reliability, accuracy, and ability to accept accessories.

The KCR match has evolved over the years: The early match format featured a single long stage where shooters moved along a predesignated path while engaging targets along the way. Over time the match changed to a more efficient multistage format that allowed match directors to work in different challenges, while also being quicker to reset. The original format still survives as the “Jungle Walk” side match.

The match has also changed to keep up with technology. The advent of “slow fire” kits for the MAC series of SMGs offered advantages to seasoned shooters and also made it easier for new shooters to get into the game by making those less expensive guns competitive. These changes are reflected by alterations in course design, rules, and how guns are classified for the match.

A shooter with a Thompson SMG at a match.
A shooter advances to engage a target array.

THE MATCH FORMAT will seem familiar to anyone who has shot in an IPSC or 3-gun competition. Most matches are multistage with three to five shooting positions in each stage. The targets are a mix of steel, other reactive targets such as bowling pins, and paper targets. Obstacles, barricades, and “no shoot” targets are used to round out the course. The round count can be as low as 150 rounds for a good shooter, and up to over 500 rounds for those of us who miss a lot.

One difference is that most matches require that the gun be fired only in full-auto mode for the whole match. This rewards those shooters with good trigger manipulation skills who can fire short bursts or even single shots on demand. Although this is the best way to shoot most targets, the shooter might be instructed that certain target arrays can only be shot with a single long burst. This benefits those who are also good at keeping the gun on target while firing a long burst or even a full mag dump.

A close up of an Uzi with the selector in the “A” for auto position.

Scoring is based on the shooter’s time and modified by penalties for things such as missed targets, insufficient hits on paper targets, lower scoring hits on paper targets, and hits on “no shoot” targets.

Many matches feature scenarios or an overriding theme. One scenario at a recent KCR match required competitors to try to rescue a downed pilot in enemy territory and included a stage with a large helicopter mock-up as a shooting position.

A pair of Uzis at a match. The top gun sports an optic and vertical grip.

At the KCR match, guns are divided into classes based on their method of operation and sighting system. The classes are Open Bolt/Iron Sights for guns like the Uzi or MAC with stock sights, Open Bolt/Optics for those same guns if they mount any type of optical sight, Closed Bolt/Iron Sights for guns like the MP-5 or 9mm M-16 and Closed Bolt/Optics, for those guns when they mount optics.

Other matches may use an older system that divides guns up by date of design (pre- or post-1945), open or closed bolt, sight system (irons or optics), or rate of fire (below or above 900 rounds per minute) or they may use a different classification system altogether.

Safety is paramount at all matches. Any shooter who has an accidental discharge or breaks the 180-degree rule, pointing the barrel in an unsafe direction, is immediately disqualified. One special rule commonly used is that shooters are not allowed to backtrack once they have moved even a single step forward. This is to reduce the chance of a shooter tripping while holding a loaded full-auto firearm.

The author fires his Uzi at steel poppers at the Michigan Subgun Match.

THE BEST WAY TO GET STARTED with subgun matches is to enter a competition like the Jungle Walk side match at Knob Creek. This is because the range will actually rent you a submachine gun for the match. For only $40 you get a Uzi or 9mm M-16 and 50 rounds of ammo. You then get to take a nice walk in the woods while looking for 18 swinging steel targets that are usually rusty and hard to spot. A range officer follows you the whole time and once you’ve completed the course he’ll help you safe the gun, tell you how many targets you hit and your time. The winner each day is the shooter who hit the most targets (usually all 18) in the fastest time.

Aside from the Jungle Walk, or a really good friend who will loan you his gun, the other way to get started in submachine competition is to jump in with both feet and buy your own gun.

While all the details of how to legally buy a submachine gun are beyond the scope of this article, machine gun ownership is legal in most states, and the required ATF paperwork and procedures are really not that difficult to complete.

The bad news is that the guns aren’t cheap. That is because private citizens can only own those machine guns that were manufactured and registered with the ATF before May 19, 1986. Since this limits the available supply, the law of supply and demand has kicked in over the past 30-plus years, and prices have steadily risen in that time.

Although the initial expense may shock you, an entry level but still competitive SMG can be obtained for just a bit more than what it would take to purchase a complete three-gun setup. By the time you add up the costs of a quality AR, optics, an auto-loading shotgun, a handgun, slings, mag pouches, and other gear, you aren’t that far off from the price of a MAC series SMG and a slow fire conversion kit.

A competitor shooting an Uzi in the Optics division at the Michigan Subgun Match.

Of course, if you have the cash, other guns such as the Uzi, MP-5, Sterling, Thompson, etc., are out there and are suitable for competition. Aside from the gun, all you really need are extra magazines, mag pouches, and lots and lots of ammo! ASJ

Editor’s note: The author wants to thank Paul Winters and Todd L. for their help with this article.

Shooter Ready… Standby!

[su_heading size=”30″]An Interview with Tim Norris, Volquartsen Firearms Pro Shooter[/su_heading]

INTERVIEW BY RAYLEE MELTON PHOTOGRAPHS BY TERRY DALTON, FAST FIVE PHOTOGRAPHY

[su_dropcap style=”light” size=”5″]T[/su_dropcap]he popularity of shooting competitions can be dated back hundreds of years. There is just something about the thrill of competition and improving your shot under pressure. With the 2016 season well underway we wanted to catch up with pro shooter Tim Norris to find out how to get started, found a sponsor and ideas on what equipment to use.
American Shooting Journal Tell us about some of your competition success.

Tim Norris I was in the top five for the Ruger and NSSF Rimfire Challenge World Championships from 2008 to 2014. I was also the 2013 Briley West Coast Steel Championship rifle champion.

ASJ How did you get started in shooting?

TN I was 8 years old the first time I pulled a trigger. I was on a family camping trip in the mountains just outside of Phoenix, Ariz. My father put a 1911 in my hands, helped me support it and bang! It was the greatest thrill of my life up to that point, and I was forever hooked.

ASJ So, your parents clearly encouraged you?

TN Yes. My parents saw how much I enjoyed it and knew how important it was for me to learn firearm safety and discipline. They enrolled me in a hunter-safety course. Then it got good. My Christmas gifts between the ages of 9 and 10 were firearms: a .410 shotgun, .22 rifle and .22 pistol. I still have those guns today, and every time I handle them they bring back fond memories.

ASJ What made you want to continue?

Tim Norris 2
Tim Norris is a professional competition shooter for Volquartsen Firearms, and is adept in numerous shooting disciplines. Here he takes aim with a Volquartsen Ultralight rifle and 4½-inch Scorpion pistol.

TN When I was 18, I joined the US Navy and spent six years on active duty. The Navy is where I was introduced to a new world of really fun firearms, from the M14 to the M2 Browning and everything in between.

ASJ Thank you for your service, Tim! When did you decide you wanted to compete?

TN In 1988 I joined a local club that ran a combat-pistol match every month. Combat shooting, as it was referred to in less politically correct times, was still a fairly new sport and as such was still evolving rapidly. Back then there were few veteran shooters, let alone pros around to draw experience from, so I just had to jump in with both feet and hope for the best.

ASJ What was your first competition like for you?

TN My first tournament-level competition was the 1991 World Speed Shooting Championships, and it was intimidating. Back then you would pick up the leading shooting magazines and read about the pros and world championship events, and it looked like a lot of fun. The problem was that I didn’t have a clue what it took to compete, so again as before, I jumped in head first and hoped that the water was deep enough, but not too deep.

ASJ What did you learn from your first event?

TN At the first Steel Challenge, there were 30 pros and the other 250 competitors were just like me. Most of us who shoot competitively started just like this, and we continue to compete for the love of the sport. It has become less daunting after a few trips to the shooter’s box. Even though we were novices we had a reliable support network.

ASJ What type of events have you competed in over the years?

TN Over the years, I have shot many different kinds of competition, but I am most active in NSSF Rimfire Challenge, United States Practical Shooting Association – pistol and rifle – and 3-Gun. I love to compete because it pushes me to improve, and I get to hang out with some of the greatest people around.

ASJ When did you get sponsored?

TN In 2009 I realized a lifelong goal of becoming a sponsored shooter and have been on the Volquartsen Firearms team ever since. One of the best side effects of being sponsored is the ability to teach clinics for novice shooters to help them enter the world of competitive shooting.

Tim Norris

ASJ It’s great that you take the time to help others. I know you said you are very involved with the NSSF Rimfire Challenge. I have heard wonderful things about those events. It is a .22 rifle and pistol program created to introduce new people to the shooting sports and provide a pathway to competition. Everyone will want to know what types of firearms you shoot with and why.

TN I use a 4½-inch Volquartsen Scorpion pistol with a custom Volquartsen compensator, a C-MORE Systems railway dot sight with an 8-minute dot. The sight is attached to a Bearcave Manufacturing 90-degree mount. The pistol has Hogue 1911 stocks that are modified to fit, and the magazines have a VC spring-loaded magazine ejector. My rifle is a Volquartsen Ultralight with a Boyd SS Evolution stock, C-MORE Systems RTS red-dot sight with a 3-minute dot. The sight is mounted scout-rifle style on the front end of a VC Picatinny scope mount and has an Alchin Gun Parts rimfire rifle compensator. I shoot Fiocchi 22FHVCRN high-velocity ammo.

ASJ Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us today, Tim. Keep us in the loop on your progress – we will be watching.

TN Will do. Thank you.
Editor’s note: If you have questions for Tim Norris, please send them directly to raylee@volquartsen.com.