Wednesday, June 30, 2010
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
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.
Monday, June 28, 2010
Sergy Rikhter took 4th place with a 596- 50x, note that first place was 597- 48x, so he actually "out-x'd" the winner! Leor Ovadia Madlal took 76th place with a 584- 34x. Mazal Tov to both!
Really a great way for Sergy Rikhter to get ready for the World Championships July in Munich...can he win the gold for 10m air rifle?!
Women's 10m air rifle tomorrow, however the lineup has not been posted, so I don't know which Israeli women are shooting yet.
You can watch the final at the ISSF web site!
Friday, June 25, 2010
It was Spielberg’s father, an electrical engineer and amateur film buff, who spurred his interest in movie-making. It was also his dad, a World War II Air Force sharpshooter, who taught Steven his gun-handling skills.
As someone who never enjoyed much of the regular sports during his childhood, Steven Spielberg introduced his son Max, in 1995, to the sport he knows best — Sporting Clays.
Screenwriter and director John Milius (Apocalypse Now and Clear and Present Danger) describes Steven Spielberg as a sharpshooter. Spielberg, he said, regularly shoots an Italian over/under Fabri shotgun, an engraved model of which costs in the neighborhood of $85,000.
Milius said he began shooting sporting clays with Spielberg in the late 1960s at the Oak Tree Gun Club in southern California. During their younger days, Milius said, they used to play at least once a week. “We call it red-neck golf,” Milius said, “just like golf, you either like it or you don’t.”
Explaining Spielberg’s passion for collecting top-of-the-line shotguns, Milius told this writer, “They are just beautiful things. How many beautiful works of art can you take out and use?”
Milius would often shoot Sporting Clays with Spielberg. He admits having lost “a few times” to Spielberg, who actually received some shooting lessons from him in the past. “I’m the teacher and he’s the student, but on a good day he’s really good.”
Art Bright, manager of the Pachmayr Range in southern California, remembers giving Spielberg and young Max a few shooting tips. “Steven Spielberg is a pretty good shot,” Bright says. “He’s probably a solid B-class shooter.”
Saturday, June 19, 2010
DORON SHAZIRI has already proven that he is one of the best shooters in the world. He has been competing since shortly after losing his left leg in Lebanon in 1987 when, during the course of his military service, he stepped on a land mine. Now he is heading to his fifth Paralympics, having already collected silver and bronze medals in the 1996, 2000 and 2004 games. But the bull's-eye in his free rifle competition is only 10 millimeters across - smaller than a one shekel coin - so the margin of error is minuscule. And since his training is hampered by financial constraints, he isn't taking anything for granted. "I would prefer to train more often, and to travel to more competitions," he says. "If I did, I would be better, without a doubt. Yes, I am good, and I have won medals. But you can't rely on talent alone." Shaziri settles in for a four-hour training session in Herzliya, one of only two or three he is able to manage each week. That's half as many as the members of the able-bodied shooters, he notes, but he can't afford to do it more often. No one repays him for his time away from work, designing custom wheelchairs for handicapped athletes. "I don't even get the stipend that I'm supposed to receive as a top-tier competitive athlete, because there's no budget for it," Shaziri says. "I'm not crying and whining, that's just the situation for handicapped sport in Israel. I mean, apparently, sport just isn't very important to the State of Israel. If no money is budgeted for it, what other conclusion can you draw?" Without a major boost in funding, Israel may very well see talented handicapped athletes abandon their sports entirely. Shaziri has already seen it happen in his own sport, which requires a heavy investment in a highly specialized bolt-action rifle and other sophisticated, sport-specific equipment.I was not able to find any recent articles about whether or not the funding situation has changed, but I hope so. Also no word on Shaziri's plans for the 2012 London Olympics. While it is important for Israel to be represented on the world's mainstream athletic stage, disabled athletes should not be brushed aside, especially when they are IDF veterans!
Shaziri, for example, exudes the kind of positive attitude that most able-bodied people would do well to adopt. "Right after my injury my first thought was, 'I wonder how my prosthesis will work,'" he says, leaning nonchalantly on the metal pole and prosthetic foot that prop him up. "Look, my leg isn't going to just grow back. So what? Why should I remain disgruntled and depressed all my life?"
"We are not 'handicapped' athletes, we are athletes. Why discriminate against us?" "Sport is sport, no matter whether it's handicapped, and it ought to be promoted," adds Shaziri. "The state ought to be proud of its athletes' accomplishments. After all, we're proud to represent the country. Isn't the country proud to be represented by us?"
As a side note, here in the US the NRA devotes considerable resources to making shooting sports accessible to the disabled, devoting an entire department to that purpose. They hold competitions for wheelchair competitors, many of whom are veterans returning from the Afghan and Iraqi wars against radical Islamic terrorists. Precision shooting is a great way for anyone with physical limitations to stay active in sports, and is even used as a form of physical therapy.
Mazal Tov to Doron, and hopefully he will be bringing home a gold in 2012!
I was quite happy with the results, considering I hadn't touched the pistol for a week! I had been keeping up with the grip and hold exercises, which I think paid off. I shot 90%, a 540 on the dot. (Have I mentioned that 10m air pistol is shot one-handed?)
Most interestingly, I shot the target shown above. The 5 shot string got off to a bad start, I wasn't mentally focused and let loose a seven. That kind angered me and caused me to focus more. I proceeded to pop off four tens in a row. That result lit a few bulbs for me upstairs. For one, I've come to notice that unlike when I first started shooting, now I shoot very well when I put pressure on myself. I've noticed this at matches as well. Match pressure no longer manifests itself as a "fear" of not performing well, rather, now it manifests itself as a sort of motivator to do well. And it made me realize that mentally I'm not 100% focused on each and every shot. In the target above, after the seven I just decided I was going to shoot only 10s and did so.
But how to return to that mental state for every shot? As usual, something new to practice, I guess?!
The SCATT system is amazing. Essentially, it records the path the muzzle of the gun takes, and estimates where the shot would hit. It is a precise system, always on call for me, and my scores closely match what I end up shooting in matches. After each shot, I can graphically see what my muzzle is doing, which allows me to make adjustments and track improvements. It also provides a variety of statistics. For example, it tells you what your score would have been had you released the trigger at given points in time, on average. For example, my scores jumped about 5 points once I realized that my shot releases needed to happen a second or so earlier in my hold, something that was not visibly obvious to me. Particularly with the seated and prone positions with a sling, the SCATT allows me to see my pulse-beat's effect on the target and tweak my position to minimize it. One of the coolest features is the audio, which emits a tone pitched to how close you are to the 10 ring, which really helps to develop recognition of the perfect sight picture. SCATT systems aren't cheap, but they pay for themselves in terms of ammo savings and range time--they drastically reduce the need for either. It turns boring dry-fire practice into a fun video game.
Friday, June 18, 2010
- Eric Cantor, Republican Congressman from Virginia "is opposed to Gun Control, voting to ban product misuse lawsuits on gun manufacturers in 2005, and to ban gun registration and trigger-lock laws in the District of Columbia. He has a rating of "A" from the National Rifle Association (NRA)."
- Mike Weisman, 1st Vice President of the Illinois State Rifle Association.
- Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation.
- Debbie Schlussel, a conservative thinker and nationally recognized political commentator, describes herself as a "strong proponent of the Second Amendment" and blogged about her experience applying for a concealed carry permit.
- Bill Bernstein, a Tennessee gun store owner and prominent local conservative.
- Ronald Miller, a prominent Michigan real estate professional and organizer of the Detroit Jewish Cigar and Shooting Club.
- Jackie Mason, world famous comedian speaks plainly about the right to self defense with a firearm.
- John Stossel, prominent reporter formerly on ABC and now on Fox, has reported and written about the fallacies and myths of gun control.
- Dennis Prager, conservative talk show host and author, wants "more good people to have arms," as it brings more "goodness" into the world.
- Eugene Volokh, a world renowned conservative law professor, argues that "[p]eople should be free to have the weapons that are necessary to effectively defend themselves."
- Mark Levin, conservative radio talk show host and renowned author.
- Joshua Streiff is a leader in the Appleseed Project.
- Aaron Zelman (1946-2010) was the founder of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, an organization whose name speaks for itself.
- Robert Farago is the Publisher and Managing Editor of the influential gun blog, thetruthaboutguns.com.
- Dan Lederman is a state legislator in South Dakota, and has been awarded a Defender of Freedom award and A+ rating from the NRA.
- Itamar Gelbman is a congressional candidate in Texas, and a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment.
- Jeff Spiegelman a state Representative in Delaware and NRA life member.
- Ben Shapiro is a prominent conservative pundit, lawyer, and supporter of the 2nd Amendment.
- David Mamet is a well known Hollywood big-wig and supporter of the 2nd Amendment.
- Robert Avrech is an award-winning screen writer and 2nd Amendment supporter.
- Alan Gura is an attorney who has won several landmark 2nd Amendment cases, including Heller, McDonald, and Madigan.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
I was quite disappointed. Not a single Mauser in the place. Nor was there much in the way of competitive target guns or rifles. I can summarize the show with three words: tacticool, tacticool, tacticool. Not my cup of tea.
What is "tacticool?" Tactical guns and gear are designed for specific military and police purposes. Usually these items are geared for "CQB" or close(d) quarter battle. Think of a SWAT team busting into a crack house, or soldiers street fighting in Afghanistan. There are weapons configurations specific for those purposes. For example, a rifle may be configured as a "carbine" with a shorter stock and barrel so the "operator" can maneuver easily in enclosed spaces. Pistols might have a slightly heavier trigger pull, due to the user's stress and possibly the fact he might be wearing gloves. Laser aiming devices, red dot scopes, high powered flash lights and other doo-dads are often mounted on the guns.
There is a place for these platforms on the public market. Some configurations are good for home defense. There are shooting sports where weapons so configured are perfect. So I'm not knocking them. But it seems to me that these configurations make up the majority of guns on display in many shops, the magazines, and certainly at the show I went to. The term tacticool comes from the impression that these guns are marketed as being "cool," as if owning one somehow unleashes your inner Navy Seal.
I guess what I'd like to see is greater emphasis in the firearms industry on marketing guns that real people can use to make shooting a regular part of their lives. I know too many guys with a closet full of tacticool guns and gear they never use. They're not collectors, but they read the Maxim ad that said buying a DPMS AR-15 earns them their "man card." If the salesman (and the industry) had steered them instead into a 10/22, they might actually get out and shoot more due to the greater ease of shooting and more affordable ammunition. The reality is that many people will not get into action shooting sports, and their shooting time will be spent picking off stationary paper. Indeed, many public ranges do not even allow rapid fire shooting! So what happens is they show up at the range with their CQB gear, stand in one spot, can barely hit the broad side of a barn, get frustrated, and the hundreds of dollars of gear stays in the closet.
Ah well, give the people what they want, I guess. It just disappoints me that we have a nation of so many gun owners but so relatively few become good shooters. The Obama election definitely boosted gun ownership and has made the public ranges a little more crowded, but when the current fad passes, who will be left?
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Saturday, June 12, 2010
As you can see, the 9 ring on a 10m target is about the size of a quarter. The 10 ring is smaller than a dime, and the X is the size of a pellet. A shot that breaks the ring of the higher point counts, so the target above has two 10s and three 9s. I use cheap target paper and a relatively low velocity pistol, so I tend to get tears in the targets instead of nice clean holes. Good target paper from Germany or a slightly faster gun gives nice clean holes, but hey, who cares!
Today's training session was a little odd. Here was the progression:
I started gangbusters with a 47, although I wasn't pleased with the 8. I was clipping along nicely at 90%+ for the first 30 shots. I was on a pace to break 540, managing the fatigue in my hands and wrists, and definitely feeling the benefits of the strength training I've been doing for them. But then shots 30-35 came, and suddenly my hands and wrists didn't feel strained anymore...they felt very relaxed. I couldn't get a comfortable grip. The shots were not on call. So I decided the best thing to do was to call it a night and go eat dinner with friends. No sense in practicing bad habits when you are not shooting well. It took me roughly an hour to shoot the 30 shots, as I abandoned a lot of shots. While I was shooting I listened to the weekly Torah portion commentaries on my mp3 player (I like rabbis Silberberg and New).
Overall I'm happy with the progress. When my hand and arm are feeling fresh, I'm popping in 10s and 9s. My hold is improving where the 8's are probably trigger errors as opposed to hold drift...I am getting a good 9 ring hold. I'll stick to the game plan and keep building strength and endurance so I can last the full 60 shots. Before I was tanking after 20 shots, now I'm up to 30...halfway there!
Sometime soon I'll write about Service Rifle training with the SCATT, and how my wife tolerates my AR-15 dry firing in the bedroom every night!
Friday, June 11, 2010
Off the shelf, German and Austrian manufacturers make the best precision target firearms and accessories today. I use an old Feinwerkbau 65 air pistol, and a 300S air rifle. Both are probably older than me and I had to reseal and re-spring them, but they will still shoot one hole at 10m. My smallbore (.22LR) competition rifle is an Anschutz. Most Olympians are using rifles and pistols from Anschutz, Steyr, Walther, and Feinwerkbau. Even the Israelis! (However, my competition AR-15 is all American, as well as my S&W revolvers, my 1911 and 10/22 fun rifle...)
Perhaps the quintessential symbol of the relationship between Jews and German guns is the "IDF Mauser." Mauser is a German arms manufacturer of a line of bolt-action rifles and pistols from the 1870s to present. Interestingly, a Jew, Ludwig Loewe, once owned a company which in turn owned 50% of Mauser. Loewe and his family were destroyed by Antisemitism, and his estate seized by the Nazis. Mauser produced a rifle used by the Nazis called the K98. From Wikipedia:
The use of the Karabiner 98k to establish the nation-state of Israel often raises a lot of interest among people and rifle collectors today. Many Jewish organizations in Palestine acquired them from post-World War II Europe to protect various Jewish settlements from Arab attack as well as to carry out guerrilla operations against British Army forces in Palestine.
The Haganah, which later evolved into the modern-day Israel Defense Forces, was one of the Jewish armed groups in Palestine that brought large numbers of Mauser Karabiner 98k rifles ... from Europe during the post-World War 2 period. Many, though not all, Israeli-used German surplus Mauser Karabiner 98k rifles have had all of the Nazi Waffenamt markings and emblems defaced with over stamped Israel Defence Force (IDF) and Hebrew markings as part of an effort to ideologically "purify" the rifles from their former use as an infantry weapon of Nazi Germany.
As the Arab-Israeli conflict approached, the Haganah and other Jewish forces in Palestine tried to get hold of as many weapons as they could in the face of an arms embargo by British colonial authorities. One of most important purchases was a secret January 14 1948, $12,280,000 worth contract with Czechoslovak Government including 4,500 P-18 rifles, as well as 50,400,000 rounds of ammunition. Later, the newly established Israel Defence Force ordered more numbers of Mauser Karabiner 98k rifles, produced this time by Fabrique Nationale. These have Israeli and Belgian markings on the rifle as well as the emblem of the IDF on the top of the rifle's receiver. The FN-made Karabiner 98k rifles with the IDF markings and emblem on the rifle were produced and sold "legally" to Israel after it established itself as an independent nation in 1948. The Israeli Karabiner 98k utilized the same bayonet design as in German service, with a barrel ring added. The Israeli bayonets were a mix of converted German production and domestically produced examples.
During the late 1950s, the IDF converted the calibre of their Mauser Karabiner 98k rifles from the original German 7.92 mm round to 7.62 mm NATO following the adoption of the FN FAL rifle as their primary rifle in 1958. The Israeli Mauser Karabiner 98k rifles that were converted have "7.62" engraved on the rifle receiver. Rifles with original German stocks have "7.62" burned into the heel of the rifle stock for identification and to separate the 7.62 NATO rifles from the original 7.92 mm versions of the weapon still in service or held in reserve. Some Karabiner 98k rifles were fitted with new, unnumbered beech stocks of recent manufacture, while others retained their original furniture. All of these converted rifles were proof-fired for service.
The Karabiner 98k rifle was used by the reserve branches of the IDF well into the 1960s and 1970s and saw action in the hands of various support and line-of-communications troops during the 1967 Six-Day War and the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. After the rifle was retired from reserve military service, the Israeli Mauser Karabiner 98k was given to a number of Third World nations as military aid by the Israelis during the 1970s and 1980's, and sold as ex-military surplus on the open market.
Occasionally I see fine specimens come up on the auction sites, but they aren't cheap. And I don't intend to turn one into a "safe queen" (a gun that is meant to be collected, stored in a safe, and never shot). I would really like to find (cheaply) one in shooting condition that I could use to compete for fun NRA High Power matches. But I don't know a whole lot about them, so I'm still doing my research and figuring out how technically and financially feasible my idea is.
Update 11/24/12: I've been tagging my Israeli Mauser posts, where I've been tracking them on Gunbroker.com and also documenting my shooting adventures with mine (click here to see tagged posts).
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Shteyman is a championship pistol shooter and instructor, and his latest target is the 2012 Olympics in London. The Jewish shooter took part in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China, as a member of the USA support team, but hopes to make it as a shooter in 2012.
“This is my third chance to make the Olympic team, and it’s always a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Shteyman said. “I’m very excited to be able to compete against the best shooters in the USA.”
Shteyman, who has worked as a programmer/analyst for SYSCO Corporation for 13 years, is a bronze medalist in the USA Shooting National Championships and two-time national record holder.
He also coaches kids ages 8 to 18 (including one Jewish girl) at the 4-H Shooting Sports Club in Rosenberg. One of his 18-year-old students, who he has been teaching for three years, is a national juniors champion in the 25-meter Rapid Fire Pistol.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
"Will your heart endure, or will your hands remain strong in the days that I will deal with you?" - Ezekiel 22:14
For training my grip I use the Captains of Crush grippers. I had an opportunity to talk briefly with a member of the Team USA pistol team, and he swore by them. The grippers are numbered by difficulty, right now I can close #1 about 5 times with my strong hand and mostly use the weaker #T for 20-30 reps. The Team USA shooter can close the #2 several times, which probably means his grip is four or five times stronger than mine....grip matters! (There are no absolutes in shooting, there are shooters who grip very lightly with excellent results. You have to figure out what works for you. For me, the firmer the better!)
I also like the Dyna-Flex and the old-fashioned wrist-roller.
Unfortunately, while I was focused on rifle the past year I let my grip strength go, but with 3-days a week training it's starting to come back to me.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Over at http://www.airgunarena.com you can sign up and, basically, enter your scores on the honor system. This is called a "postal match", and is a great way to compete for folks like me who can't find local air pistol matches (according to USA Shooting, sanctioned matches for me are a state or two away...I'll wait until I'm shooting Master level to bother...).
Drop me a line if you are interested in recommendations for starter 10m airguns--don't just go pick one up from Walmart or Outdoor World, as you'll likely be disappointed with the accuracy.