About the Blog

Educating fellow Jews about the sporting and defensive use of firearms. Especially Jews in North America, too many of whom are instilled with the belief that guns aren't for nice Jewish boys and girls.

If you know of notable Jewish shooters that should be documented on the blog, even if it is only at the local club level, I am happy to report and profile them. And don't be shy if that person to be documented is you! Please drop me a line at jewishmarksman at gmail dot com. Also follow me on twitter @JMarksmanship.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Resolve to Help Jewish Marksmanship in 2011

Although I have a few Jewish shooters on my list to write about in 2011, finding material for the blog is never easy. Please send suggestions my way in 2011. Any Jewish shooter who competes is interesting, and feel free to volunteer yourself even if you only compete at a local club!

Other than that, shana tova to everyone, and may all your shots find the X-ring in 2011!

P.S. Laura Spector's blog is active again lately for those that want to read about an American Jewish Markswoman training for the next Olympics!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Philo Jacoby - Champion Jewish Marksman

I previously covered Jewish Marksman and lawman Emil Harris, who lived in California in the 1800's. Today we have another great Jewish Marksman from that locale and era, Philo Jacoby. Philo Jacoby was born in Lebork, Poland, Dec. 5, 1837. In 1859 he immigrated to San Francisco, Calif. He was the editor and publisher of the San Francisco publication "The Hebrew." Jacoby was also an expert sharpshooter and strongman and started the California Schützen Club. Jacoby died March 25, 1922.

A schützen club is basically a precision shooting club. Jacoby was active in organizing shooting events in the US and took trips to Europe to compete (and win!). There is an excellent article discussing some of his accomplishments (click here) and one story about a shooting competition in Switzerland stands out:

Jacoby next contested one day at the Cantonal shooting a Zofingen where he won goblets and other prizes, and having bought Staub’s Vetter Ii, a splendid shooting rifle in Zurich for 150 francs, he became quite at home in the Numbers. The week following, the great eight-day Cantonal shooting festival in Solothurn took place. From Zurich , Jacoby took the train to the festival place; his car was an open one and when the train entered the station in Solothurn it ran straight into another train left standing on the same rails. All occupants of the open car jumped; Jacoby was one of the first, the fall did not hurt him much but a 200 pound Swiss mountaineer marksman who jumped upon him with the spikes of his boots tore a deep cut in his right hip. Jacoby was carried to the station house where doctors soon attended him, sewed up his wound and made arrangements to send him to a hospital. The accident happened about 11 A. M. and the Cantonal shooting was to begin at 1 P. M. The Swiss marksman (his name was Streif Luchsinger,) who was the innocent cause of Jacoby’s accident, remained with him and helped to make him as comfortable as possible. He said he would leave for the shooting range at 12:30 as he had entered for the first goblet contest. Of course, the writer felt double sore; on his hip and that he should not be able to be at the opening of the festival. He asked Streif Luchsinger to help him on his legs, and when Jacoby found that he could stand fairly steady, he insisted on accompanying his new comrade to the Schuetzen Platz in spite of the advice of the doctors. Streif Luchsinger called a carriage and soon they were at the range. Jacoby’s baggage and rifle had been left at the station and he was supplied with weapon and ammunition by his friend. The contest began for the first goblet. Streif Luchsinger scored the first 100 numbers, and won the honor. Jacoby although somewhat unsteady on his legs, kept pegging away, and when he finally won his goblet (he was 7th on the list) he could scarcely keep upright. Streif Luchsinger carried him, accompanied by great many marksmen, on his shoulders to the Gaben Temple , where the gritty Californian received his hard earned trophy under resounding cheers. Then the doctors got hold of him and brought him in a carriage to a hospital where for the next three days he laid in high wound-fever.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Post-Shabbat Reloading

This evening was spent doing some tedious .223 ammunition reloading (click here for a great Wikipedia summary). Why reload ammunition? From Wikipedia:
Economy, increased accuracy, and performance are common motivations for handloading cartridges. Reloading fired cases can save the shooter money, or provides the shooter with more, and higher quality, ammunition for a given budget. Reloading may not be cost effective for occasional shooters, as it takes time to recoup the cost of the required equipment, but those who shoot on a regular basis will see benefit. Besides economy, the ability to customize the performance of the ammunition is a common goal. ... Target shooters seek the best achievable accuracy, as well as the best shot-to-shot consistency. Many handloaders customize their cartridges to their specific firearms, usually in pursuit of accuracy: they can assemble precision ammunition using cartridge cases that have been fire formed in the chamber of a specific firearm.
The Jewish Marksman uses almost exclusively Lee brand reloading equipment because they are a great value! Reloading is not particularly difficult if you have the capacity to follow instructions, take your time, pay attention to detail, and observe common sense safety precautions.

If you shoot a rimfire cartridge, such as .22LR, those cases are not reloadable. However, the brass does have value...nowadays anywhere from $0.50 to $1.50 a pound depending where you go. Take it home, throw it in a bucket, but don't leave it at the range! At some clubs, it is customary to leave the rimfire brass at the the club as a 'donation', but it is perfectly acceptable to take home all of your centerfire brass! Someday you may want to reload it, sell it, or give it to a shooter who reloads. If you leave it at a commercial range, they will simply sell it as scrap metal.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Jewish Marksman Moves up in Classification!

Last weekend I shot a Master level score in High Power Rifle, 95%. It was a on a 100 yard reduced course, but nonetheless a good showing. I've been shooting Expert class scores, but the club sometimes doesn't get the scores into the NRA. But this score made it in, and moved me from Marksman to Sharpshooter. If my math is right I should get my Expert card next month if I shoot an Expert score (or better). Master by the end of 2011 might be a realistic goal! My second goal for 2011 will be to get to some real "across the course" matches which the 100 yard matches simulate. I've been swimming in the shallow end, as the real show is at 200, 300 and 600 yard stages. Considering I know absolutely nothing about reading or accommodating for wind, those should be a lot of fun! To read more about my journey up the NRA classifications, click here.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Dr. Dennis Lindenbaum - Neuropsychologist and Jewish Marksman

Our latest featured Jewish Marksman is Dr. Dennis Lindenbaum, who was recently chronicled in a Jewish community paper in Atlanta (click here to read it). Dr. Lindenbaum has become a highly accomplished shooter in a very short period of time, achieving a Master ranking and qualifying for the US Dewar Team. Dr. Lindenbaum is a good example of how precision shooting sports fit well with the personalities of Jewish professionals in the US, and why more Jewish doctors, lawyers and accountants ought to give it a try, from the article:
“He’s a trained professional and understands the scientific method, so he’s very analytical, and that carries over into his shooting,” said Tommy Steadman, a Club officer and good friend of Lindenbaum. “He’s very meticulous in the way he goes through this, and he’s most interested in functionality and performance, so that’s the way he went through selecting his equipment, and [he did it] very, very slowly.”

Precision shooting is all about precision, the scientific method, and self-discipline...natural talent or strength play no role (some say it's a sport that rewards mild o.c.d....). A perfect compliment to the schooling many American Jews have received in their professional careers.

Dr. Lindenbaum is also a great spokesperson for the sport:
“Not a bunch of guys in camo”
Dr. Lindenbaum would like to point out that the idea that shooting is a violent or unsafe practice is simply not true. Indeed, he calls the regulations at matches “borderline excessive” and has never seen or even heard of someone getting injured as a result of participation. Nor is the stereotype of a hunter, country bumpkin or delinquent to be tied to a shooter. The many young people he’s gotten to know courtesy of smallbore have all represented the sport with intelligence and responsibility. “It takes a certain type of discipline to be able to have this kind of focus,” he said. “These are kids who get together on weekends to either train or go to these competitions, and it’s really a wholesome, clean activity. And they’re learning certain mental skills I think will be helpful to them in their academic and work lives later on.”
Mrs. Lindenbaum also gets involved:

Reinforcing the idea that the culture here is just as family-friendly as bowling, baseball or board games is the support Lindenbaum gets from his wife, Barbara. Though she does not shoot, she has taken a keen and sincere interest, helps organize club matches and is just as much a part of the community as the man with the rifle.“It’s really great; you need to have somebody to partner with you,” he said. “I don’t know if I would even enjoy the matches…I can’t do it without her.”
Lastly, for all the Jewish parents out there who are on the fence, consider what you might be denying your child by not introducing them to the shooting sports at a young age:
“Dennis, had he gotten into this younger and pursued it like he has, I have no doubt that he would have an extremely good possibility of being an Olympian,” Steadman said.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Appleseed Project and Jewish Marksmanship by Joshua Streiff

The Appleseed Project is a non-profit organization that encourages the development of marksmanship skills. Just as important, the Appleseed Project promotes greater understanding of America's founding and the origins of the freedoms that many take for granted. One of that organization's leaders is a proud Jewish marksman, who has graciously submitted a brilliant essay on the principles of the Appleseed Project and why that organization's message ought to resonate with Jews in particular:

The Appleseed Project and Jewish Marksmanship,
by Joshua Streiff.

Hello, my name is Joshua Streiff. I am a member of the Appleseed Project, a marksmanship instructor in my own right, and a fellow Jew. I appreciate this opportunity to explain both the Appleseed Project itself as well as explain why my involvement in it is a natural outgrowth of and match to my Jewish view on life, history and meaning.

The Appleseed Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to teaching every American our shared heritage and history as well as traditional rifle marksmanship skills. Our volunteer instructors travel across the country teaching those who attend about the difficult choices, the heroic actions, and the sacrifices that the Founders made on behalf of modern Americans, all of whom are their “progeny.”

Our heritage program vividly portrays the Battles of Lexington and Concord with the kind of care and immediacy that is absent from most formal schooling. Modern listeners are confronted with the danger, the fear, and the heartbreaking separations that arose out of the choices made on April 19th, 1775. They are also reminded of the marksmanship skills and masterful organization that ultimately helped set the colonists on the path to success. Those who attend gain a better understanding of the fundamental choices faced by our ancestors as they began to set the stage for the nation we now enjoy.

Our program seeks three goals in every attendee: individual skill in rifle safety and marksmanship, individual growth of love for history, and a personal connection with our founding history that brings meaning and civic action to each of our lives.

How do we accomplish this? We teach something that is very familiar to Jews but lost to most Americans: lived history. Jews know history in a deep personal way that is lost to most modern Americans. In Judaism the word Zachor is both the term for history, but is also a command to remember. And that memory is not one of dry facts of names and dates. It is a memory full of the tears and laughter of the Seder table. It is the tie to ancestors filled with warnings about our future. It is about the past reminding us about who we are and what guides us each as individuals into both our personal and collective futures. It is a history lived, experienced, and deeply connected with year after year passed from one generation to the next.

Appleseed Events are two days long and throughout that time we instruct marksmanship and history side by side. Just as in the Seder where we take turns between eating and history, at an Appleseed event we take turns between marksmanship instruction and the history of April 19, 1775. Just as we put ourselves into the land of Mitzrayim in one, Appleseed places it's attendees on Lexington green that cold morning. Just as we meet Moses and Pharaoh in one, attendees meet Paul Revere and General Gage in the other. These experienced histories, these lived moments that transcend time are a new experience for most Americans, but for the Jews among us, it is a familiar and comfortable experience that we know already even if the specific content is new.

Now, who is Appleseed for and why would a Jewish American want to go? I get this question all the time. Appleseed is for everyone. And by that I mean everyone of any race, creed, preference, background and political leanings. Everyone. Now, there are a few exceptions which I go over at the beginning of every event: racists, supremecists and those interested in the overthrow of our government are not welcome. We are not militia, and we have both military and law enforcement in our midst as instructors. We are normal folk and have no interest in those who would tear America apart or hurt it's people for their own vile reasons. And my experience has been that every person I have met at a seed has been as normal as you and I. Catholics, Jews, Protestants, and all sorts of folks are not only attendees but also have signed on as instructors as well. Given the need, I am pretty sure I could gather a minyan of instructors alone!

But again, what draws us? What is brings people and more importantly, what keeps them coming back to donate their spare time as volunteers?

The answer is twofold: marksmanship and civic involvement.

Jews know marksmanship. To some that is an oxymoronic statement, but the reality is that we do. It is less common in this generation, and it is less common in America, but it remains a true statement nonetheless. Jews are a practical bunch and not a warrior society. However, we are also a bunch that remembers our times of fighting and has learned the need for the skills of self preservation.

Look at the stories from ancient times and see the battles of Lachish and Jerusalem in antiquity. In our Machzor, we cover the tales of medieval Jewish fighters at Mayence as well as those in more modern times figthing in the Ghetto streets of Europe. Then move forward to the superb skills of our Israeli cousins and it takes no more to understand that Jews may be reticent to take up arms, but when faced with need will do so. In Israel the need is clear and unceasing. In America the temptation is to say there is no need and thus this generation can skip the knowledge and lose the skills. But as the Seder reminds us in every generation an enemy will arise that must be stopped. Without the skills remembered another generation of Jews will have to build skills when evil has already moved. Frankly, the skills of self preservation are the exact skills that cannot be learned in the moment of crisis. Sadly the Jews of Europe had to learn this, and the Jews of Israel will never forget. American Jews stand in the space in between and have to choose their path through the Galut. It can be with or without a rifle, but it should never be a path of intentional ignorance of it's proper use. At least, never again.

Now, Jews have never been completely without our skills for self care even when we have been without arms. One that we have learned well is that that our enemy comes in many forms and the greatest defense there can be is political involvement. Appleseed sees the same reality. We teach our students that the greatest enemies to our nation and it's people are be apathy, ignorance and laziness. We like to say that the destruction of our nation will come a the hands of the couch. It will all fall because we do nothing to save it.

And this is the message that brings me back to Appleseed as a Jew: be civically involved. We tell our students that the past teaches us three paths. The first is the path of slavery and subjugation. The second path is that of violent rebellion and bloodshed. Neither of these paths are good or desired. But from them comes the opportunity of a third path: freedom through civic involvement. That third path was won for us by our ancestors. In Appleseed terms, it was won by Paul Revere, Isaac Davis, and so many others who bled so that we do not need to. But as Jews we know the eternal tale of slavery, struggle and now lived freedom. Freedom that only exists by our continued efforts, and by our learned skills.

And that in-meshed message, that our future is ours to secure, ours to live out and ours because of those who came before should be obvious to any Jew. The message that skill is learned by hands and needed in every generation if for no other reason than to pass it onto the next who will need it also should be no stranger to any Jew. And Appleseed is more than a simple rifle school: it is a history and heritage program with a superb marksmanship clinic. It is a movement to take the couch sitters and pull them into the active body politic. It is a place where history lives and leads us into a better future for us all. It is a place for you.

I would invite each of your readers to come and join us for two days. Come and learn. Your past and present await, as does your future and some new friends. I look forward to meeting each of you.

Thank you,
Joshua Strieff

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Sharon Barazani - 50m Prone Rifle Junior Champ

Over the summer I reported on the Israeli shooters who competed at the ISSF World Championship in Munich. As it turns out, the USA also sent a Jewish shooter, Sharon Barazani. Sharon took first place in 50m Prone with a 596 - 45x! Mazal tov! Click below to watch the video of Sharon in action.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Rabbi Barry Dov Lerner - Rifleman and Archer

I came across an article on about.com by Rabbi Barry Dov Lerner discussing a Jewish perspective on hunting. In the article, Rabbi Lerner discusses his own marksmanship background:
I am a former national champion archer with two national records while in college - and I can't wait for Maccabiah Games to institute Archery as a Masters sport! I'd love nothing more than to carry the American/US flag in the parade in Israel.

Secondly, I was a [manager] of the Arizona State ROTC Rifle Team [...] and also on the side was a member of a fast-draw pistol/side-arm group.
I emailed Rabbi Lerner a little while back to ask him more about his history with guns and bows. With his permission, I republish his response:

Dear JM

I mentioned my experience with rifle and archery only to make my point about not hunting or the taking of a life. Except for the holding of a national inter-collegiate title back in early 60's at ASU under the coaching of Margaret Klann, may she rest in peace, who went on after my college days to formalize an NCAA standing for archery. She was a wiz of a coach, a guide in personal issues, and I for one never fully realized what we were accomplishing with her - it was just great sport.

Many years later, I returned to archery instituting archery at Camps Ramah in Berkshires,NY and then Palmer,MA. I was thrilled to re-experience teaching an Olympic style albeit mixed with a "martial arts flavor" for East Coast Jewish youth, and that included everyone in camp throughout each day from camp administrators to the pre-camper staff kids, from kitchen staff to campers. We used every bow we had and every target we could afford, from right after breakfast to right before dinner. I taught my wife to shoot and then passed on lessons to her and the kids I had learned almost 40 years earlier from Mrs. Klann in re-fletching and marking arrows, shooting line etiquette and related it to Jewish laws of respect and courtesy with regard to neighbors and others, to enjoying the woods and "roving" and "field shooting."

Since then, I opened a hands-on Jewish educational Foundation in 2000 and have been using archery as a sport relating to Jewish holidays, especially the 33rd day in the interval between Passover and Shavuot/Festival of Weeks. Tradition and legends claim that students used archery as an excuse to be out in the fields shooting, while in reality they were studying Jewish text and laws in defiance of Roman occupation and oppression which forbade Jewish education and/or practice.

Good to hear from you and anyone interested in archery, check me at out www.jewishfreeware.org for free downloads or consultations on sports and Jewish education.

Rabbi Dov Lerner

Monday, September 27, 2010

Jewish Markswoman Laura Spector Back in Blog

Jewish markswoman Laura Spector is blogging again. As we covered here a few months ago, Laura is a Jewish Olympian who competes in a demanding shooting sport, the Biathlon. Train hard and keep em in the X-ring!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Shana Tova to all Jewish Marksmen

May the new year bring health and happiness to you and your loved ones. (And in the new year, may all your shots find the X-ring!)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Jewish Marksman: From Marksman to Expert

This weekend I had a good Service Rifle match, shooting a 90% average, two levels above my classification. I am currently classed as a Marksman, and hope to be ranked as an expert before the end of the year. The NRA classifications for High Power rifle are:
Classification percentage minimum score in a
50 shot match
minimum score in a
80 shot match
High Master 97% 485 776
Master 94% 470 752
Expert 89% 445 712
Sharpshooter 84% 420 672
Marksman up to 83.99% 419 or lower 671 or lower
Basically, when you compete in NRA sanctioned matches, your scores get sent in to the NRA. After three matches within a class you get moved up (never down) and the NRA sends you a classification card (and some cool stickers). I think it is a really good system, albeit imperfect. Once you get your card, you can take it with you to any NRA match in the country as proof of your classification.

The secret to my jump? No secret, just routine practice and finally getting my act together on the line. I think it has now been my 6th or 7th match, and it has taken me that long to get all the little distractions eliminated. This last match was the first time I felt I could just focus on shooting and not be bothered by things like the spotting scope, how much time I had left, how many rounds I've fired, etc. The only ongoing distraction is my glasses, which are my daily wear glasses and tend to fog under safety goggles and get annoying drops of sweat on them. Once I get that problem solved I can start shooting for Master! Well, first let's get that Expert card by shooting 90%+ consistently!

As for Air Pistol, that has fallen to the side for a while I focus on Rifle. I just don't have the time to keep getting better at both disciplines at once.

If you are a Jewish shooter with an NRA classification, please use the comments to post your classification and the discipline you earned it in!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Mountain Jews: Expert Marksmen

What is a "Mountain" Jew? According to Wikipedia:

Mountain Jews, or Juhuri, are Jews of the eastern Caucasus, mainly of Azerbaijan and Dagestan. They are also known as Caucasus Jews, Caucasian Jews, or less commonly East Caucasian Jews, because the majority of these Jews settled the eastern part of Caucasus, though there were also historical settlements in Northwest Caucasus.

The name "Mountain Jews" or "Caucasian Jews" is something of a misnomer, as it does not include Georgian Jews of the Caucasus Mountains.

In terms of ethnic origin, it is assumed that the Mountain Jews and Tats have inhabited Caucasia for a long time. Their distant forefathers once lived in southwest Persia, the south-western part of present-day Iran. It was there that they adopted the Middle Persian language. The predecessors of the Mountain Jews settled in Caucasian Albania in the 5th–6th century and from that time on their history has been related to the mountains and the people of Dagestan.

After fleeing persecution in Persia, they migrated north to mountain villages on both sides of the high peaks between the Black Sea and the Caspian. They still speak a dialect of Persian and few Juhuri know more than the odd Hebrew phrase.

For centuries Qırmızı Qəsəbə (also known as Krasnaya Sloboda in Russian) in Azerbaijan - perhaps the only completely Jewish settlement outside Israel - kept its traditions intact, surrounded by Muslims. The fall of the Soviet Union, however, in 1991 prompted a mass exodus. In recent years, the population has plummeted as inhabitants emigrate to Israel, America and Europe. It is the last stronghold of the Caucasus Mountain Jews, or Juhuri.

The number of Juhuro in the Caucasus regions outside Azerbaijan is also declining rapidly. In neighbouring Russia, the threat of Islamic fundamentalism[verification needed] and other violence has forced thousands of Mountain Jews to emigrate from Dagestan. In April 2003, vandals desecrated 42 Jewish graves in the region.[1]

I encourage you to go read the Wikipedia article or this one here. There is also a neat book, with great pictures called Mountain Jews: customs and daily life in the Caucasus By Le'ah Midash-Shema'ilov, Liya Mikdash-Shamailov, Muze'on Yisra'el, much of which can be browsed through google books here.

And the connection to Jewish Marksmanship? According to one article:

"[l]ike the Khazars, the Mountain Jews were 'skilled horsemen and expert marksmen'. They loved horses and nature. Mountain Jews knew the value of self-defense and carried and owned many weapons (especially daggers)."

It seems like in all of the historic pictures of Mountain Jews online, the men are carrying long daggers and belts or outer pockets to accommodate rifle bullets. Mazal Tov!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Lilian Copeland: Olympic Athlete and Jewish Marksman

Lilian Copeland was a top US track and field athlete in the 1920's and 30's. She excelled in the weight throwing events like discus and shot put, but also in javelin. She boycotted the 1936 Olympics because of Hitler and the Nazis. However, we at the Jewish Marksmanship blog are far more interested in her later police career, where she worked for the LA County Sheriff and "qualified as an expert marksman in 1938, scoring 274 points out of a possible 300 in a sheriff’s department competition."

She is the second Jewish law enforcement officer we've covered here, the other being Emil Harris.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Gil Simkovitch Article Provides Marksmanship Insights

About 3 years ago this article appeared in the Jerusalem Post on Israeli rifle competitor Gil Simkovitch. It is interesting in several ways, but most of all how the author's misconceptions about target shooting were corrected. Here is a portion I like:
While some would think of a sport involving rifles and ammunition as aggressive, even violent, for Simkovitch it is an exercise in Zen-like tranquility. He enjoys the peace when he is shooting, calling it "a meditative experience." Since his rifle, a 1913 Anschutz, is ultra-sensitive to the extent that his pulse beating against the barrel shifts the aim, he must be patient and sufficiently aware of his body to time his shots between heartbeats. "It's hard at competitions, when your heart is racing from excitement," he says. "It's a conflict in shooting, because there is pressure to shoot well, which makes it harder. It's easy to shoot a 10 [a perfect score] when you're indifferent, but you can't be indifferent." He therefore engages in a constant dance to achieve equilibrium. "If you try too hard, you will eventually fail," he says. "You have to find a balance. This sport is very much about balance.
Although my #1 training excercise at the moment is simply to find time to practice...#2 is developing the mental skills to shoot as well under match conditions as I do during practice. Gil's observations are 110% b'emet (truth).

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Jessica Levine: 2010 Camp Perry Rifle Competitor

Every year target shooting competitors from all across the US flock to Camp Perry located in Ohio for the National Matches. Camp Perry is where we find out who the top guns really are. I know several Jews who go to compete...but until now I haven't seen many Jewish names on the leader boards. This year I saw the name Jessica Levine, and with a little internet sleuthing was able to confirm that one of the elite US collegiate shooters is indeed a member of the tribe!

Jessica's results this year:
  • In the NRA 3-Position Championship (201), composed of Metallic Sight Matches (231,232,233), she took 9th place with a 1172-44x. Note this ranking is mixed men and women, military and civilians.
  • In standing (232), she shot a 393-14x, which was 2nd place overall, and earned her the titles of High Woman and High Collegiate. By the way, standing is the toughest position and the game that separates the real shooters from the wannabes.
  • In the aggregate (Metallic and Any Sight), she placed 13th with a 2309-72x!

Mazal Tov!

Monday, August 9, 2010

ISSF World Cup: Womens 50m Prone

Ella Sterberg took 33rd with a 592- 31x, and Adi Cohen took 68th with a 583- 26x. Polina Medviner took 67th in the Juniors competition with 572- 22x. Mazal Tov!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Sid Caesar: Jewish Marksman

Sid Caesar, the famous actor, writer and comedian is another Jewish Marksman. According to this article quoting a Jewish waiter in the Catskills:
"One of my special guests in the hotel was Sid Caesar. He was a great guy, very nice; I even played pinochle with him. Sid Caesar was quite a marksman. I would go into town, buy cans of shaving cream, and he would shoot them to see how high they would go. He had a .357 magnum and a high-powered rifle. He wouldn't kill a fly, but he loved to shoot. His best friend owned the Joyva halvah13 company. They'd fill the halvah tins with seltzer, shoot at them. If you have money, you can do anything."
I stumbled across a quote from Caesar's biography, where he talks about shooting with famous Jewish comedian Buddy Hackett:

ISSF World Championships: Womens 50m 3P

Yael Kan-Dagan took 36th with a 575- 19x, and Junior Polina Medviner took 57th with 560- 12x. Mazal Tov!

ISSF World Championships: Guy Starik takes 4th in 300M Prone

300M is a real sniper's competition, using centerfire rifles. Guy Starik took 4th with a 598- 31x, Mazal Tov!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

ISSF World Championship: More Israeli Junior Excellence!

Leor Madlal and Immanuel Ben-Hefer had an outstanding 50m 3P competition, scoring 1161-58x and 1137-48x for 4th and 47th place. Mazal Tov!

Monday, August 2, 2010

ISSF World Championships: Great Junior Results!

Leor Madlal took second place in 50m Men's Prone Rifle with 595- 38x, just short of first place by 2x! Mazal Tov! Leor also took 58th in 10m Air Rifle with a 582- 30x. Immanuel Ben Hefer took 15th place in 50m with 593- 31x, also very impressive! Immanuel also took 77th place in 10m Air Rifle with 575- 22x.

Polina Medviner took 76th in 10m Women's Air Rifle with a 387- 23x.

ISSF World Championships: Mens 50m Rifle

What are the odds that Israelis Guy Starik and Gil Simkovich would shoot the same score? 595- 39x, for 33rd place. Mazal Tov!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

ISSF World Championships: Womens 10m Air

Tal Chen, Ella Sternberg and Adi Cohen together put Israel into 17th place out of 30, Mazal Tov!

Their individual scores and places were, respectively 22:396-25x, 70:392-24x, and 94:390-22x.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

ISSF World Championships Begin in Munich - Rickhter off to a Good Start!

Israeli Sergy Rickhter took 24th (out of 128) place in Men's 10m Air Rifle with a 593- 51x. Mazal Tov!

I'll be posting results for the Israeli shooters throughout the World Championships, and also for American Dmitriy Schteyman if he did get over to Munich.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Jewish Marksman Reviews an Israeli Pistol: Jericho 941 (a.k.a. Baby Eagle)

In the past two years I've had two opportunities to shoot the Israeli Weapon Industries Jericho 941 (a.k.a. Baby Eagle) chambered in .45 ACP. Actually, on both occasions, both were purchased by Jewish friends (against my advice to get a revolver...) who came to my club range with me to shoot the guns for the first time. I can't say I've put more than twenty or thirty rounds through it, but that's enough for me to form some opinions. On both occasions it was the stainless model. I just shot one today, so I figured I'd share my opinion about this Israeli pistol:

1. Ergonomically, I find it doesn't fit my hand perfectly, but not terribly. I have small hands, so the trigger on its double-action setting is a just a little further away from where I would like it.
2. The double action trigger is pretty heavy, as heavy or heavier than some of my revolvers...but it is smooth.
3. The single action trigger is nice. It has some take up, then a stop, then some creep before a clean break. I think many people will not feel the creep, and will like the single action trigger.
4. The sight picture is decent for a combat pistol.
5. The gun is light, which is an issue shooting full house .45acp and felt recoil, which is stout.
6. It never happened to me, but when my friends shot it they had failures to feed and a stove-pipe...I saw this on both new guns. It could be the gun needs to be broken in, the tolerances do feel very tight. It could be my friends limp-wristed it, not being used to .45 recoil.
7. Those tight tolerances yield a very accurate off-the-shelf gun. I could consistently hit an 8" steel plate at 50 yards with whatever cheap ball ammo the friend bought. At 15 yards I was putting up 2 handed groups within 2-3".
8. I did take one bulls eye style shot, one handed at 15 yards and just had to take the target home (click to enlarge):Would I buy one or recommend one? Probably not. I don't like guns that fail even occasionally, and I don't like the idea that a defense gun needs a "break-in" period. To me the gun is a little light for .45, I'd rather carry a heavier gun and deal with less recoil. If you're going to carry a light .45, you might as well carry a more reliable compact Glock. There are better weekend range guns in .45, like the tried and true ...any 1911.

That being said, I'd be open minded about the Jericho in 9mm, where I think the gun's weight wouldn't be such an issue. When someone refuses to get a revolver and wants a recommendation for a semi-auto, I just tell people to make their lives' simple and get a Glock or a Sig Sauer...you can't go wrong that way.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Revolver Day at the Range

Air pistols and dry firing is peaceful and meditative, but as a shooting buddy likes to say, "It just feels good to shoot a big gun." And today I felt like making some noise. I had a bunch of loose .45 and 38 rounds lying about, just begging to be shot.

First up, .45ACP from a S&W 625 revolver. I have been thinking of doing a monthly Bullseye match at my local club, and using this revolver for the .45 or center fire stages. With the right loads, this gun is a tack-driver. For a few months now I've just been dry firing the gun while watching TV, figuring it was a good way to strengthen the trigger finger as it has a heavier pull than any of my other competition guns. So I brought along my shot timer to see if I could at least get off 5 rounds in 20 seconds for timed fire. I only had 18 loose rounds lying around, but here was the result (ignore the .22 holes, I recycled someone's used target):That target (click on it to enlarge) was 18 shots, one-handed at 25 yards, double action. I shot sets of 5 shots under 20 seconds. I'm pretty happy with the results (the 7 at 7 was a sighter). I'm going to work up a lighter load and see if I can bring my times down under 10 seconds for the rapid fire stage. I've thought about thumbing the hammer, but my hand is a little small for the N-frame 625, and my double action technique keeps getting better, so I'll just stick with that.

Next up was my S&W 649 .357 snub-nose revolver with a 2 inch barrel, but I shot 38 specials out of it: Don't let anyone tell you snub nose revolvers are not accurate...that target (I used a 10m AP target) was shot two handed at 50 feet, double-taps. I've shot the gun out to 25 yards at it groups well, I've also hit steel plates consistently at 50 yards single-action. The rear sights are simply a notch in the frame, so you have to use Kentucky windage to deal with distance, but otherwise the gun will shoot.

Lastly, I wanted to put a few rounds through my wife's gun, a S&W 686 .357, with 38 specials. This is our home defense gun we keep loaded with .357, and the main gun my wife practices with. I had not shot it much actually, but here's how it went at 50 feet with double-taps two handed:Sure enough, turns out that gun is a tack driver too! So I decided to put out a target at 50 yards and shoot it one-handed. After I got it sighted in, the gun was clearly 10-ring accurate...so now I may have a second center fire gun for Bullseye matches.

I'll clean these guns and put them away again, maybe after I accomplish what I want to in High Power rifle I'll take up Bullseye pistol seriously. For now, I'll just keep up with 10m air pistol. I have been practicing, just have not had time to shoot a 60 shot match but hope to soon!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Emil Harris: Marksman and First Jewish Police Chief of Los Angeles

Today I bring you an interesting Jewish marksman. From Wikipedia:
Emil Harris was the only Jewish police chief in Los Angeles, California. He was appointed to serve for one year from 1877 to 1878. He was born in Prussia and immigrated to Los Angeles in 1869. He helped create the city's first volunteer fire department. He began on six-person police department where he quickly became a deputy chief. The Yiddish-speaking cop became chief after his leadership in the Chinatown massacre of 1871. He was also a detective. His conduct during the capture of the horse thief Tiburcio Vasquez in 1874 at the present-day intersection of Santa Monica Blvd. and Kings Road led to his promotion to chief.
He had a really amazing and colorful life as a law man, discussed in an article at the Western States Jewish History web site. The article is really worth reading, especially the parts about the Chinese massacre (As a side note, I have always thought that relations between Jews and Chinese have had an interesting history, both in this country and world wide. I joke with my wife that I want our daughter to someday marry a Chinese Jew...). Harris sure had some adventures...and a sense of Yiddish humor. But he was also a skilled Marksman:
The Turn Verein Germania [(sports club)] had a military section. The rifle division listed its officers in 1876: Emil Harris, captain; Conrad Jacoby, lieutenant; E. Neitzke, sergeant; W. Marxsen, first corporal; and Charles Gollmer, second corporal. When Captain Harris received his sword it was in time for the May Day parade in which he led the Turn Vereins military company. When the rifle section planned target practice in East Los Angeles at their own shooting range, Harris assured the public, through the daily press, that every precaution was taken to prevent accidents and "that it is utterly impossible for anything of an untoward nature to happen." To accommodate the expected crowd at the rifle practice, "Trains on the East Los Angeles Street Railroad will run every half-hour." The shooting match in the fall of 1876 saw Emil Harris win the top award, the silver medal for rifle marksmanship. "He has to win once again when it will become his permanent property." In the summer of 1876, Harris had been re-elected to another six months term as rifle section captain. In 1902, J. M. Guinn recorded that Harris was one of ten to organize "the Turner Germania, which has grown to be a very important organization, with five hundred members."
The Western States Jewish History page is very interesting...I always enjoy reading about Jewish life in America outside of New York and Florida!

Outstanding Results for Womens 50m 3P Rifle: ISSF World Cup Belgrade

It seems the Israeli women shoot especially well on Shabbos!
Ella Sternberg took 14th with a 577- 25x
Adi Cohen took 27th with 575- 21x
Yael Kan-Dagan 30th with 575- 18x

Mazal Tov, and good luck to all the Israeli shooters in Munich!

P.S. I had a Service Rifle match today and did very, very poorly (well, for me anyway)....blah.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Guy Starik Takes Care of Business! (ISSF World Cup Belgrade: Mens 50m Prone Rifle)

What a way to get ready for the big Munich event next month! Guy Starik took 2nd place in 50m prone rifle with a 597- 41x. He was actually running in 6th place, but under the pressure of the final round got the top score so he moved up in the ranks. Mazal Tov! Note the ISSF web site has videos of the finals to see him in action.

Gil Simkovitch finished 60th with a 588- 35x, and Sergy Rikhter 65th with a 586- 29x.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

ISSF World Cup Belgrade: Women's 25m Pistol

Israeli Marina Sokolovsky took 61st place with 556-12x. Mazal Tov!

ISSF World Cup Belgrade: Mens 50m 3P

Three Israelis competed:

44th Place: Leor Ovadia Madlal 1155-46x
54th Place: Sergy Rikhter 1150-40x
75th Place: Gil Simkovitch 1119-46x, however apparently at some point he had too many shots on a target, which normally means losing a higher shot. Either he didn't count his shots correctly, or someone shot on his target by accident. Oy Vey!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

ISSF World Cup Belgrade: Men's 10m Air Pistol and Women's 10m Air Rifle

Today's results for Israeli shooters:


Alexei Kiriyevski made 61st place with a 568-15x in 10m air pistol.

On the girl's side, 10m Air Rifle:

Adi Cohen took 35th place with a 394-27x.
Yael Kan-Dagan took 42nd place with 393-29x.
Chen Tal took 52nd place with 393-24x.

Mazal Tov! Tomorrow 3 Israelis shoot in the Men's 50m 3-position match.