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    2014 NRA Fullbore Nationals – Day 6 Range Report

    Posted on

    Being able to take a week off from work and shoot all day in these matches reminds me just how blessed I am.  I would not be able to travel and compete like this if not for extremely generous support from Eagle Eye Ammo.  I’m also very grateful for the support provided by Sinclair International / Brownells.  Thank you very, very much.

    If you are not familiar with target rifle competitions, I gave a bit of an explanation of things in my previous posts, please reference those: http://kellysgunsales.com/

    Today was exciting. If it seems like I’m gushing when you read this it’s because I am. Today God helped me shoot some of the best I’ve ever shot and it was a lot of fun doing it.

    This was the last day of the individual competition in the NRA Fullbore Nationals. We shot 1000 yards twice, 15 shots each time. I was originally on the third relay (the third group to shoot), but a few people didn’t show up so I got moved to first. The flags were perfectly still, there was no wind. I was extremely excited to shoot 1000 yards with essentially no wind. It wasn’t meant to be because once the load command was given the wind turned on and built steadily over the next 3-5 minutes from nothing to a steady 10-12 mph wind. Below I have a before and after picture of what I thought I was going to shoot in and then what I actually shot in. I waited to shoot and watched many folks around me shoot misses for their sighters. I waited for a bit, 5-6 minutes maybe before I took my first shot. I shot carefully and tried to figure out what the wind was doing. I did OK ending up with a 72-8V. That moved me from 7th place to 10th place.

    Going into the final string at 1000 yards I felt myself starting to get a little worked up. I stopped and prayed and really worked at calming myself down. I got in position and got ready to shoot, loaded my first round, made my wind call and took the shot. “Click”. It didn’t go off and worse still I jerked the heck out of the trigger. It’s odd that it didn’t go off, but it happens once in a while, I usually just cock the rifle again and the round goes off on the second try. I line up the sights again, “Click”. Yikes! I jerked the trigger again and there must be something wrong with my rifle! I pull the bolt back and check the end cap, it’s not loose, so I go to eject the round to inspect it and I discover that I never loaded the rifle to begin with. That really calmed me down, quite a lot. I was almost laughing at myself on the line. After that I picked an indicator, there was a flag almost pointing at me, and I used it to judge the angle changes. I watched other flags and the mirage for velocity changes and I tried my best to break good shots, and it worked. It was as if God helped me break the right shots at the right time. On a number of occasions I took a shot I called on one side or the other and the wind had either picked up or let off in such a way that if I hadn’t shot it exactly where I did then I would have lost points (calling a shot is just guessing where the shot will be based on how it felt and what it looked like when the gun went off). It was awesome. I ended up with a 75-8V, one of only five 75s that were shot on that string. This means that in in 10-15 mph crosswinds, from 1000 yards away, with iron sights, and supported by a sling, I kept 15 consecutive shots inside an area less than two feet across with more than half of them in an area less than one foot across.

    That moved me into 3rd place overall.

    Since this match is a dress rehearsal for the world long range championships next year there is then a shoot off amongst the top 10 scoring competitors. Fifteen more shots at 1000 yards and the score from that additional string is added to each shooter’s running total. The overall winner is the one with the most points.

    As it turns out, I also got to shoot in a shoot off for a silver or bronze from one of the morning’s matches. So after the lunch break I would shoot 5 shots to settle a tie, and then shot 15 shots to settle the overall winner. I asked if the two shoots would be one right after another and it sounds like they would have been, so I asked for a 10 minute break so I could cool down in between.

    For the tie break shoot off, the winds were stronger than when I had previously shot, but they weren’t as strong as I thought. I over compensated for the wind and started the tie break off with a 3! Down two points on my first shot of a 5 shot string I didn’t think there was much hope for me. I didn’t give up, however, and I finished strong with a 5 and three Vs to have a 23-3V. I didn’t realize it, but my opponent had also dropped two points, he had a 23-2V making me the winner, and the soon-to-be recipient of a silver medal.

    Just a few minutes later was the shoot off for the grand aggregate. The wind had picked up a little more, but not much. The biggest challenge I had was that the wind had such a speed that even from prone and with a sling the rifle was no longer steady. Instead the rifle sights were bouncing around as if I was shooting standing. So it was no longer good enough to simply have a good handle on the wind, we now also needed to squeeze the shot off at precisely the right moment. Needless to say some shooters excelled and some did not. Nancy Tompkins impressed everyone present by shooting a 75-7V in these conditions. I think the next highest score was a 74 and then it dropped off after that. I had a 70-4V which I didn’t feel bad about at all. That moved me from 3rd place to 5th place.

    So I just got 5th place in the NRA Fullbore Nationals and I’m honestly quite blown away by that result. There are some of the best shooters in the world present. Some of the other countries brought their same shooters who will compete next year in the world long range championships; they were here. This also served as a try out session for the US Palma Team so many of the best shooters from the USA were present and competing. And then there is me. I’ve shot two matches this year: a local 1000 yard match back home, and these nationals. I practiced about half a dozen times and usually at less than 200 yards before coming to nationals. Yet, despite the many reasons I shouldn’t have done well here, God saw fit to bless me and helped me to shoot very well. God is very good and this was lots of fun.

    The scores can be tracked here:

    http://compete.nra.org/championship-results/nra-national-outdoor-rifle-pistol-championships-results.aspx

    2014 NRA Fullbore Nationals – Day 5 Range Report

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    Today we took a break from the individual competition and fired a team match.  I shot with a crew similar to what I did in the 2011 world long range championships.  We shot fine for the most part, but we had a few mechanical/technical difficulties with a rifle at 1000 yards, it was a real bummer.  The team from Great Britain won squarely and will likely be found celebrating somewhere in Port Clinton tonight.

    That’s all I’ll write up for today.  In the team matches all I have to do is shoot, so I really didn’t pay lots of attention to wind, to my scores, or too much of anything besides the next shot I was going to take.  Tomorrow the individual competition will resume.

    The scores can be tracked here:

    http://compete.nra.org/championship-results/nra-national-outdoor-rifle-pistol-championships-results.aspx

    2014 NRA Fullbore Nationals – Day 4 Range Report

    Posted on

    Being able to take a week off from work and shoot all day in these matches reminds me just how blessed I am.  I would not be able to travel and compete like this if not for extremely generous support from Eagle Eye Ammo.  I’m also very grateful for the support provided by Sinclair International / Brownells.  Thank you very, very much.

    If you are not familiar with target rifle competitions, I gave a bit of an explanation of things in my previous posts, please reference those: http://kellysgunsales.com/

    Today was the third day of the NRA Fullbore Nationals.  We shot 300 yards, 600 yards, and 1000 yards today with 15 shots at each.  Like yesterday, there were a number of shoot offs throughout the day to settle bronze, silver, and gold medal positions in various matches.  Winds were calm in the morning, coming out of the west.  By the time we got back to 600 yard line they had started to turn and were coming from either the north-northwest or north-northeast.  That is a very challenging condition to shoot in.  When we got back to the 1000 yard line the wind had settled into something like what it was yesterday, a steady wind out of the northeast.  It was finicky, but it could be read and compensated for if you were careful.

    Shooting alongside the best shooters in the country (and world) is tough.  This is the mental aspect of the sport.  Everyone expects the best shooters to shoot well, but how well do you expect yourself to shoot?  Once you start shooting better than your expectations it’s possible to bring things back inside of your expectations by getting nervous and doing the ever-so-graceful crash and burn.  I’ve done that many times.  For this reason I do spend a good deal of time thinking, scheming, and doing whatever I can to keep myself very calm and focused during a competition.

    If you’ve read other things I’ve written you’ll know that I’m a Christian and very much believe that God gave me this fun talent (shooting) for some reason.  With that in mind, I spent most of my time right before I shot each yard line in prayer asking God to help me stay calm, to help me break perfect shots, and to help me understand how to compensate for the wind.  I very much think that God helped me and answered those prayers today :-).

    At the 300 yard line I had two Vs for sighters (sighters are the practice shots we get to take prior to the shots counting for score).  Under the ICFRA rules the sighters can be converted, so I was already part way into my string; this gives the shooter bit of additional momentum as it immediately cancels out two shots that would otherwise have to be fired.  It helped me along just fine and I ended up with a 75-13V.  That means that out of 15 shots I had 13 inside of about a 2.5” to 3” bull’s-eye, and I had two that were just slightly wider than that.  That felt good.  I came off the firing line thanking God for giving me such a fun talent and helping me to shoot such a tight little group.  As it turns out this was the second highest score shot, the highest was shot be a friend and teammate, Brianna Rachinski who shot a 75-14V!  I’ll be in a four-way shoot off tomorrow morning to decide who gets the silver and bronze in that match.

    At the 600 yard line the wind was kind of tricky.  It was a head wind out of the north and it would quickly switch by just the smallest amount and introduce a right or left component.  I had my heart set on getting all the points, 75 of them, knowing that the wind was tricky this would be a challenge.  I pressed on and shot very carefully.  I spent lots of time in my spotting scope watching the wind settle into one direction or another before shooting.  The perseverance paid off and I ended with a 75-7V.  Apparently others did not have the same difficulty I had, as there were about two dozen scores better than that.

    At 1000 yards the wind was pretty steady with subtle angle changes and infrequent let offs.  I worked very hard at it and ended up with a 74-7V.  Of course I would have loved to shoot a 75, but while I was on the gun sighting in on the target the wind let off a little and I got caught.  It happens and there isn’t much that one can do about it.

    Ending the day with a 224-27V put me in third place for the daily aggregate and moved me from 18th to 7th in the overall aggregate.  The top 10 has been juggled again, but a little less than on Day 2.  Nancy Tompkins and Kevin Nevius are leading the pack; they have each dropped five points so far.  The rest of us in the top 10 are one or two points behind them, all of us separated by a bunch of Vs.  As tight as it is, it looks very much like the match will be won (or lost) in the last two strings at 1000 yards on Saturday.  Tomorrow we will take a break from the individual competition and shoot a team match.  I’ll be shooting with some other folks from Washington which also happens to be much of the same crew I shot with in 2011 in Australia.

    I couldn’t get a picture of the 75-13V target I shot, so I took a picture of my data book sheet where I plotted the shots.

    The scores can be tracked here:

    http://compete.nra.org/championship-results/nra-national-outdoor-rifle-pistol-championships-results.aspx

    2014 NRA Fullbore Nationals – Day 3 Range Report

    Posted on

    Being able to take a week off from work and shoot all day in these matches reminds me just how blessed I am.  I would not be able to travel and compete like this if not for extremely generous support from Eagle Eye Ammo.  I’m also very grateful for the support provided by Sinclair International / Brownells.  Thank you very, very much.

    If you are not familiar with target rifle competitions, I gave a bit of an explanation of things in my previous posts, please reference those: http://kellysgunsales.com/

    Today was the second day of the NRA Fullbore Nationals.  For the rest of the competition the weather forecast has sunshine and high 70s to low 80s, so it should be fine shooting weather.  We shot 600 yards, 900 yards, and 1000 yards today with 15 shots at each.  In between the regular 15 shot strings were a number of shoot offs to settle ties that existed.  The calm winds on the first day of shooting allowed for many high-V 75s to be shot.  The wind came out of the northeast all day and it gave us the most trouble in those moments when it became a northern wind or eastern wind.  The velocity of the wind was very consistent today, it was the angle changes that killed us.

    After shooting a 74 at the 600 yard line yesterday, I was determined not to make the same mistake today (placing too much wind correction on the rifle).  I was able to avoid that mistake a second time and I left the 600 yard line with a 75-10V, a fine score.  I’ll mention here that those of us trying out for the US Palma Team are interestingly motivated at this match.  Certainly we want to shoot well; we want to win, but we are being graded on the vertical dimension of the groups we shoot, so it’s possible that we are focusing more on shooting perfect shots than on reading the wind.  The winner of the match will have balanced those two tasks the best.

    The 900 yard line started giving some people a little trouble.  The truth is that the wind was very readable; it looked much worse than it was.  Many flags have been added to the range this year.  I’m not sure of the exact number of new flags, but it feels like there are more than double what there used to be.  I wonder if some of us are simply on overload with all of the new information presented to us.  I’ve found myself constantly guessing that there was more wind than there really was.  I lost one point at 900 yards and ended with a 74-8V.  While that’s certainly not a winning score, it’s just fine.

    The 1000 yard line is where this match is going to be won (or lost).  There are four 15 shot strings at 1000 yards in this championships, and I think they are the four most important strings of fire.  Today’s 1000 yard line was the beginning evidence of that.  I dropped four points in my first few shots at 1000 yards; it was a real eye opener.  I have only shot 1000 yards twice this year: once a few months ago at home and now.  I should have practiced more.  A few shots in it was very apparent to me that I was not paying attention to the wind in the way that I should.  I stopped shooting for about 5-6 minutes while I surveyed the situation, watched the wind, and watched others shoot.  After a bit procrastinating I jumped back in, but I was able to stay ahead of the wind from then on, finishing the rest of the string without losing a point.  I ended up with a 71-5V at 1000 yards, not exactly a score to write home about.  Having shot my final 11 shots without losing a point I knew for certain that a keen shooter would have shot a perfect 75 in that wind.  Keen I was not, but a few others were.

    At the end of day 2 of shooting the top 10 looks largely different than at the end of day 1, only two shooters who were in the top 10 after day 1 remain in the top 10 today: Nancy Tompkins and Kevin Nevius.  I thought for sure that losing four points at 1000 yards would have moved me to page 3 of the results, but I’ve moved from 12th place to 18th place according to the preliminary results.

    Of course one of the best things about shooting a fullbore match is shooting with all the folks from around the world.  Last night the US Team hosted a mixer of sorts for the other teams and we did a bunch of socializing with folks from the Great Britain Rifle Team and Australian Rifle Team.  I just got back from having a beer with a number of folks from the Great Britain Rifle Team.  Certainly, making friends with these folks is one of the best parts of the sport.  We don’t see each very often, but we do become great friends.

    A few shots from one of the shoot offs and of me scoring and chatting with a US Team coach are below.

    The scores can be tracked here:

    http://compete.nra.org/championship-results/nra-national-outdoor-rifle-pistol-championships-results.aspx

    2014 NRA Fullbore Nationals – Day 2 Range Report

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    Today was the first day of the actual competition.  The weather forecast was for rain with an 80% chance of thunderstorms.  We somehow snuck through on that 20% and had great shooting weather all day.  We shot 300 yards, 600 yards, and 800 yards today with 15 shots at each.  For the 300 yard line and part of the 600 yard line the wind came out of the west, as usual.  Part way through the 600 yard line it started to switch and for the rest of the day it only came out of the north east or directly out of the east.

    The ICFRA (International Confederation of Fullbore Rifle Associations) targets are sometimes smaller than the NRA targets we are used to shooting in the USA.  The 300 yard target has an especially small bull’s-eye; it must be just 2.5” across or something.  Interestingly these targets are also 5-V targets as opposed to our 10-X targets.  This means the maximum points that can be scored with each shot is 5 points (instead of 10) and the tie-break ring is called the V-ring (instead of the X-ring).  As a rehearsal for the world long range championships, I think the match is off to a great start.  There have been a number of logistical issues that have come up and they only would have by running this match, so I’m very hopeful that we’ll have all of our ducks in a row next year.

    One of the fun things about shooting with ICFRA rules is that after someone shoots a possible (gets all the possible points, like 75 out of 75) they have to immediately get their trigger weighed.  It’s sort of a fun event because you get to watch your friends come off the line and you immediately know how they did and can quickly give them a thumbs-up and rush over to congratulate them.

    In a match like this, with the relatively calm wind conditions we had today, the top few shooters will likely go the whole day without dropping a single point and they’ll do it with a pretty high V-count.  That means scores of 75 with 10+ Vs at every yard line are likely what it takes to find yourself towards the top (75-15V is the maximum score possible).  I had a 75-9V at 300 and I was quite pleased with the group I shot, it must have been just a few inches tall.  As one of the previous US Palma Team members, all of my shots in this match are being plotted and evaluated as part of the US Palma Team try outs.  It’s a very good incentive to break great shots.

    At 600 yards I probably shot the tightest group (elevation wise) that I’ve ever shot at 600 yards, but I did lose one point finishing with a 74-11V.  I could go into a long excurses about why it happened, but the short version is simpler: I goofed up.  At 800 yards the target looks gigantic and the V-ring seems magnetic.  I saw a lot of high scores shot at 800 yards.  I ended up with a 75-10V at 800 yards, a fine score.  For the day that gives me a 224-30V out of a possible 225-45V.  I’m sure there are some 225s out there, but I think I’m doing just fine for now.

    There is some really great shooting going on.  I highly recommend following the scores online.  One under 25 gal from across the pond (Chloe Evans) spent most of today showing all the rest of us how it is done.  It looks like she finished the day with a 225-36V.

    I didn’t manage to snap any pictures today, sorry I have none to post.  The scores can be tracked here:

    http://compete.nra.org/championship-results/nra-national-outdoor-rifle-pistol-championships-results.aspx

    2014 NRA Fullbore Nationals – Day 1 Range Report

    Posted on

    Arriving at my hotel in Port Clinton, OH, there was talk of water being undrinkable and the folks behind the hotel counter said that bottled water was not to be found.  I got to the local Wal-Mart where I usually stock up on supplies and the shelves were bare.  They did have beer, but no water.  As it turns out the water is fine and I found some bottled water at a less frequented grocery store, it’s a necessity for shooters who spend all day on the firing line in the high heat.  An algal bloom and fears of contaminated water supplies have put the locals on edge making things a little more exciting for those of us just passing through.

    Today was day one of the 2014 NRA Fullbore Nationals.  Well, maybe it was more like day zero.  Today was a practice day, we shot 300 yards, 600 yards, 800 yards, 900 yards, and the 1000 yard line got canceled because of imminent thunder and lightning.  The fullbore matches at Camp Perry this year are really a dress rehearsal for the world long range championships next year.  With that in mind, I expect there to be a few bumps in the road and for folks to generally be slightly confused.  On the plus side, we don’t have to pull targets; this will be my first visit to Camp Perry without the full body workout that is pulling targets here.

    Nothing terribly exciting happened today, it was a pretty low key practice day for most it seemed.  I was playing ammunition conservation and I used a total of 13 rounds to confirm my zeroes at the various yard lines.  The most interesting thing happened when we were on our lunch break (yes the fullbore match includes a one hour lunch break).  The wind swirled in off the lake and from about 400 yards to the targets the flags were showing right to left wind out of the east, a few flags in the middle were shoeing wind out of the north, and the remaining flags from about the 600 yard line back were showing left to right wind out of the west.  It looked pretty interesting, but no one got to shoot in it.

    I’ll try to post some more meaningful things here as the match progresses.  The scores can be tracked here:

    http://compete.nra.org/championship-results/nra-national-outdoor-rifle-pistol-championships-results.aspx  

    Below are some sunrise photos that were snapped just right outside my hotel room this morning with the sun coming up over Lake Erie and a picture showing right to left wind from the 900 yard line.

    New Policies & Reasonably Priced Pistols

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    The About Page has been updated with new information about how we will do business.  In particular, our contact information is easier to find and our FFL Transfer fees are explained.  Handgun transfers are $40 with your WA CPL or $60 without.  Long gun transfers are $40.  If we can buy the firearm for you and sell it to you direct, we’d prefer to do that rather than transfer it from another seller.

    Also we are running our first few promotions.  I will try not to over-hype this one, but I think these are some pretty awesome prices on the pockets pistols and also on the XD.  Only the 9mm XD is listed, but the .40 is the same price, just ask us about it.  Also, only the DB380 pistols are listed, but I have the DB9 pistols too, they are $35 more than their .380 counterparts, just ask about them.  These sale prices are good through July 1st at Midnight.

    Diamondback DB380 Black $289.99

    Diamondback DB380EX EX/Black $299.99

    Springfield Armory XD 9mm 4″ $419.99

    We Got Our FFL!

    Posted on

    It’s been just over three months since we let you all know we had re-applied for our Federal Firearm License, our FFL.

    I’m very excited to let you know that as of today we are fully licensed in every capacity necessary to sell firearms!

    We received our FFL in mid-April and then immediately applied for our Washington State Firearms Dealer License.  We received our WA State license earlier this week and then just today we received the rest of the paperwork that will allow us to start transferring firearms.

    We have in mind to run some promotions and have an online and in-person grand opening event/sale.  We will be working on the details for that event and should be sending out another announcement and advertising such an event within a week or two.

    In the near term, most of the firearms we sell will be sold to-order.  That means we likely won’t have a bunch of them in inventory.  This is just a matter of how young our business is; when we have more capital to invest in inventory, we will do exactly that.

    If you’re in the market for a firearm, please consider contacting us and buying the firearm through us.  We can transfer firearms that are bought somewhere else, but our preference is to sell you the firearm, ammo, targets, etc. that you need.  A small portion of the firearms we can get are already up on our site, you can see those here: Firearms at KGS Online and you can initiate the purchase through the website.  At the bottom of this post is a list of some of the firearms we can get right now, in most cases we can have those firearms in a week or less.

    Please let me know if there is anything I can help you find.

    Firearms manufacturers list:

    Adcor, American Tactical, Anderson Mfg., Armalite, Armscor, Arsenal, Auto-Ordnance, Beretta, Bersa, Black Dawn, Black Rain Ordnance, Bond Arms, Browning, Bushmaster, Century, Charles Daly, Charter Arms, Chiappa, Cimarron, Citadel, CMMG, Inc., Colt Competition, Colt Sporting Rifles, CVA, CZ, CZ USA, Daniel Defense, Del-Ton, Diamondback Firearms, Doubletap Defense, DPMS, Escort, European American, FNH USA, FosTech Outdoors, Glock, GSG, H&R, Heckler & Koch, Heizer Firearms, Henry, Henry Repeating Arms, Heritage, Hi-Point, Howa, I.O., ISSC, Ithaca Guns, Iver Johnson, Just Right Carbines, Kahr, Kel-Tec, Keystone, KRISS, LHR Sporting Arms, M&M, Inc., Marlin, Master Piece Arms, Metro, MGI, Mossberg, NEF, Noreen, North American, Palmetto State Armory, Panther Arms, Para Ordnance, Parabellum Armament, Patriot Ordnance, Plinker, Puma, Remington, Rock Island Armory, Rossi, Ruger, RWC, Savage Arms, SCCY, Sig Sauer, Smith & Wesson, Springfield, Stevens, Steyr, Taurus, Taylors & Co., Thompson/Center Arms, Tikka, TR Imports, Tristar, Troy Defense, USSG, Vepr, Walther, Weatherby, Winchester, Windham Weaponry

    Business Update from KGS

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    It’s been a little while since I was able to give you an update on the business.  Being an accountant, my wife is taking over some of the financial matters of the business so “I” has become “we”.  We were finally able to lease some commercial space that we will use to get our Federal Firearms License.  We confidently mailed in our application today.

    It may not have seemed like much to you, but the business each of you gave us over the last year really added up.  We’ve been able to buy inventory which we take to the Washington Arms Collectors gun shows about once a month and also list for sale on our website.  We’ve invested some of the profits to redesign our modest website; we know it still needs some improvements, but we’re getting there.  Most recently, we’ve leased commercial space in Tukwila, WA from where we will get our FFL.  None of this would have been possible without your support.

    We know you didn’t have to give us your business.  We know it was a deliberate choice on your part to support our young, burgeoning business.  For that, we sincerely thank you.

    We hope to be able to give you some great news soon; we could be buying/selling firearms as soon as 60 to 120 days from now.  Until then, our current inventory is posted here and it is updated every few weeks with the new items we buy.  If there is anything you need or that you would like my help picking out, please let me know.

    Best,

    Kelly Bachand