Swab-Its Returns As Sponsor Of IDPA’s Music City Cup II

by Editor 31. October 2012 08:30
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Super Brush, makers of Swab-its® brand firearms cleaning swabs for every job, announced that they are returning as a sponsor of the Volunteer State’s largest IDPA match, the Music City Cup II, which takes place this weekend at the Music City Tactical Shooters’ range in Dickson, Tennessee.

This is the second year for the Music City Cup, which exploded last year as Tennessee’s largest gathering of IDPA competitors and quickly became one of IDPA’s major must-attend matches. Despite the near crippling impact hurricane Sandy has had on the east coast, organizers still expect upwards of 200 shooters to compete in the 13-stage event.

“When we started the Music City Cup last year we never expected it to become Tennessee’s biggest IDPA competition. Now, thanks to the generous support of sponsors like Swab-its, the Music City Cup II is one of IDPA’s premier matches and certainly one of the South’s best,” said Michael Bresson, match director for the Music City Cup.

“Swab-its is proud to once again sponsor the Music City Cup and help continue the expansion of shooting opportunities for IDPA members in the Volunteer State. Our support for the Music City Cup II is part of our continuing commitment to promote the shooting sports,” said Cathy Desorcy, product manager for Swab-its. “Thanks to the feedback we get from Music City Cup competitors on our Swab-its brand Bore-tips and Gun-tips, we’re making sure that we continue to provide shooters with the kind of innovative cleaning products they need.”

As part or their sponsorship, Swab-its has donated packs of their popular Bore-Tips™ and Gun-Tips™ firearms cleaning swabs to be distributed at the match.

Designed to be lint-free and reusable, foam Bore-tips from Swab-its provide the ultimate in barrel bore cleaning with their tight bore-fitting 360-degree cleaning surface, delivering improved barrel cleaning and maximum lubrication. Bore-tips are available in a six-piece pack in .357cal/9mm, .22cal, .243cal, or .30cal, and in a five-piece pack for either .40cal or .45cal.

Gun-tips from Swab-its are lint-free, reusable foam swabs that offer gun owners superior firearms detailing versatility. Used in conjunction with Bore-tips as part of a regular firearms cleaning and lubricating regimen, the Gun-tips swab kits give hunters, sportsmen, and gunsmiths the ability to protect and preserve their firearms like never before. Gun-tips come in a variety of shapes, sizes and lengths to ensure cleaning and lubricating of all parts of the firearm, while leaving no residue of lint commonly found in other cleaning devices.

With Swab-its, you Clean It Like You Mean It.

For more information on the International Defensive Pistol Association and the Music City Cup II, visit www.IDPA.com. For more information on the complete line of Swab-its lint-free, reusable gun cleaning swabs, visit www.swab-its.com.

Swab-its products are available at your local firearms dealer, or from one of these online retailers, Brownells, Dillon Precision, Graf & Sons, MidwayUSA or direct from Swab-its.

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IDPA Insights: Carolina Cup Eyes and Ears

by Editor 25. October 2012 07:00
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When it comes to eye and ear protection, the preferences of IDPA members shooting the 2012 Carolina Cup are wide ranging. The rather nondescript category of 'Other' leads with 30.4% of eye protection, made up of a variety of brands with minimal representation or just random eyewear deemed protective enough for use on the range. Among the major brands, Rudy Project (17.6%) edged out Oakley (16.7%), followed by ESS (13.7%). Prescription glasses account for 11.8%, presenting ample opportunity for eyewear makers to expand their presence with RX versions of their shooting glasses.  

When it comes to hearing protection the distribution by brand among Carolina Cup shooters was much more even. Peltor (24.5%) led with EAR Inc. (17.0%) and Howard Leight (12.3%) trailing. Unfortunately, survey responses did not clarify if the hearing protection in question was electronic or not. Nor did they provide for a more exact assessment of what percentage was of the molded in-ear style of hearing protection.

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NSSF Returns As Major Sponsor Of Smith & Wesson IDPA Indoor Nationals

by Editor 25. October 2012 06:00
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BERRYVILLE, Ark. – Continuing its mission to promote and support the shooting sports, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry, has again signed on as a major sponsor of the Smith & Wesson IDPA Indoor National Championship, according to an announcement by officials with the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) and Smith & Wesson.

Celebrating its 16th year of defensive pistol shooting excellence, the 2013 Smith & Wesson IDPA Indoor National Championship will take place February 21-23 on the indoor ranges of the Smith & Wesson Shooting Sports Center in Springfield, Massachusetts. As part of their sponsorship, NSSF will be the official sponsor of the awards banquet taking place Saturday evening, February 23.

“The National Shooting Sports Foundation has been a tireless advocate for the shooting sports, helping take participation to all-time highs. Smith & Wesson and IDPA are extremely grateful for the generous support NSSF has given to the Indoor Nationals over the years and the important role the organization has played in making this one of the best and most popular events in competitive shooting,” said Joyce Wilson, executive director for IDPA.

“IDPA's growth over the past few years has been nothing short of remarkable, and NSSF is committed to helping the sport continue its record growth," said Chris Dolnack, NSSF senior vice president and chief marketing officer. "NSSF is proud to support IDPA and this year's Smith & Wesson IDPA Indoor National Championship."

Regarded as one of the finest competitive shooting matches in the country, the Smith & Wesson IDPA Indoor National Championship represents the official start of IDPA’s competition season. More than 300 of the sports’ best shooters are expected to compete for titles in Custom Defensive Pistol, Enhanced Service Pistol, Stock Service Pistol, Stock Service Revolver and Enhanced Service Revolver, the five divisions within IDPA.

For more information on IDPA, the Smith & Wesson IDPA Indoor National Championship or to find a club near you, visit www.IDPA.com. You can also follow @OfficialIDPA on Twitter, like ShootIDPA on Facebook, watch IDPA TV, or check out the Down Zero Blog to keep up with the latest news.

About National Shooting Sports Foundation:
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) is the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 7,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen's organizations and publishers.

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IDPA Insights: Glock, S&W Rule On and Off the Range

by Editor 24. October 2012 09:15
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At the inaugural IDPA World Shoot in 2011 results from the equipment survey showed that together Glock (37%) and Smith & Wesson (30%) combined for 67% of the handguns used in the competition. That position of dominance hasn't changed with the two again combining for the overwhelming majority of the handguns at the 2012 Carolina Cup. 

Results from equipment surveys returned by 126 of the 324 shooters showed that 70.6% of the competitors chose either a Glock (35.7%) or a Smith & Wesson (34.9%). The most popular model by far was the Glock 34 which accounted for 51.5% of all the Glocks used in the match. With another 26.7% going to the Glock 17, the two models approach 80% of Glocks used in the match.

For Smith & Wesson which makes a model of firearm for each of IDPA's five divisions, variants of the M&P accounted for 68% of the S&W handguns used. Revolvers – where S&W is the undisputed King of Kings – wheelgunners accounted for 27.3% of S&W's total.

The use of Glocks and Smith & Wesson's M&P fuels the dominance of the striker-fired pistol, at least at the IDPA's Carolina Cup but presumably across the other major IDPA events. Between striker-fired handguns and the 1911 platforms (including the double-stack variants), little room is left for the DA/SA (or DAO) hammer-style pistol which pulled just 5.6% of the pistols at the match.

Included in this equipment survey was a request for information regarding CCW habits. Of those that responded, 92.9% of IDPA shooters competing in the 2012 Carolina Cup have a CCW. As for their preference in a carry gun, the results follow closely their preferences in a competition gun. Glock (31.8%) and Smith & Wesson (23.6%) combined for 55.4% of the CCW handguns. As one would expect, models and brands not found on the competition range – such as Kahr and Ruger – find their way into the CCW profile of the IDPA shooter, reflecting those brands' strong performance in the CCW consumer market. Please note that the survey asked for the competitor's primary CCW handgun and not a list of all the makes and models they carry.

Since IDPA is a sport based on personal defense scenarios, it is difficult to determine to what extent the CCW gun influences the choice of competition gun, or if it's the competition gun driving the CCW firearm choice. It's likely that competition is ultimately the key influencer since it provides the opportunity to build proficiency and thus reaffirming the CCW holders choice in a carry gun.

Regardless, the breakdown in CCW firearm type mirrors that of the competition choice with striker-fired models and 1911 variants the clear preferred choices.

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Remington Introduces Model 1911 R1 Carry

by Editor 23. October 2012 18:03
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Remington® is proud to introduce a new version of America’s favorite pistol design, built by America’s most trusted gunmaker – the Remington Model 1911 R1™ Carry.

The R1 Carry is a full-size 1911 pistol that is “de-horned,” meaning that any sharp edges have been smoothed, making the pistol easier to carry and holster without the worry of the edges catching or grabbing.

The Remington Model 1911 R1 Carry features a de-horned carbon steel slide and forged-steel frame with satin-black oxide finish; beavertail grip safety with 25 LPI checkered memory bump; ambidextrous safety; front strap and mainspring housing checkered at 25 LPI; Novak® Sights with Tritium front sight; and cocobola grip panels. The Remington Model 1911 R1 Carry is shipped in a custom carry case with one seven-round and one eight-round magazine and a barrel bushing wrench. Suggested retail price is $1,299.

The first Model 1911 manufactured by Remington was delivered during World War I. You could say the Model 1911 is in Remington's DNA. Perfectly configured for practical competition or personal protection, the Remington Model 1911 R1 Carry is the next evolution of the Model 1911 R1 product line.

For more information on the Model 1911 R1 line of handguns, please visit www.1911R1.com.


Model 1911 R1 Carry
Order # 96332
Action Semi-Auto
Caliber .45 Auto
Mag. Capacity 7 & 8
BBL Length 5-Inches
Barrel Type Stainless Steel
Rifling Twist Rate 1-16 LH
Overall Length 8 ½ Inches
Overall Height 5 ½ Inches
Grip Material Cocobola
Grip Design Checkered 
Sights Novak® Night Sights 
Trigger Pull 3.5 – 5 Pounds
Average Weight 38.5 Ounces
MSRP $1,299


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IDPA Insights: It's Comp-Tac for Competition & CCW

by Editor 23. October 2012 09:15
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Similar to firearms brands used by IDPA competitors – at least at the major matches – the choice of holster comes down to two main players: Blade-Tech and Comp-Tac Victory Gear. This was true at the 2011 IDPA World Shoot where Blade-Tech had 31.7% of the competitors to Comp-Tac's 30.4%. The numbers from the 2012 Carolina Cup were almost the same but with Comp-Tac taking the lead with 30.3% to Blade-Tech's 29.5%.

Below is the breakout of the top holster brands at the Carolina Cup. The numbers are based on the equipment survey. Please note that while we had just 122 respondents (37.6%) out of of 324 competitors, the numbers do reflect those from the World Shoot.  

In addition to tracking preferences in competition gear, the equipment survey for the 2012 Carolina Cup also asked about preferences in CCW gear. Of those that responded, 92.9% hold a CCW with 7.1% either responding "no" or not answering the question. The high percentage of IDPA competitors holding a CCW clearly reflects the sport's foundation in real world defensive style shooting.

When it comes to the preferred brands of holsters used by competitors for their primary carry gun, the list was much broader than that for competition. Unfortunately a large number (17.9%) declined to name a brand, so the true breakdown is difficult to tell with certainty. However, Comp-Tac Victory Gear once again emerges as the top choice with over one fifth choosing holsters from the Houston-based maker. 

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IDPA Insights: 67% Handloaded for 2012 Carolina Cup

by Editor 22. October 2012 10:00
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During the 2012 Carolina Cup IDPA asked competitors to fill out an equipment survey in order to collect additional data following up on the survey conducted during the 2011 IDPA World Shoot. While we have completed surveys from only 126 (38.8%) of the 324 shooters, the data collected does provide some interesting insights, especially when compared to the information from the 2011 World Shoot.

Ammunition is one of those areas where there was a significant change. Whether because of a smaller survey sample, issues with availability, or cost, the percentage of shooters handloading jumped from 53% at the World Shoot to 67.2% at the Carolina Cup.

Though the percentage of respondents shooting factory loads declined from 47% to 32.8%, IDPA added an ammo brand question to find out what factory loads competitors were shooting. Not surprisingly Federal (22.5%) and Winchester (20.0%) led the pack, and along with Atlanta Arms & Ammo (12.5%) accounted for over half of the factory ammo used during the Carolina Cup.

For those loading their own match ammo, Hodgdon once again held the lion share with 58% compared to 48% for the World Shoot. Winchester moved ahead of Vihtavuori as the second most popular brand of powder with 19.8%.

When it comes to primers, the numbers skew down for Federal and CCI due to the nearly 30% of the respondents failing to indicate which brand of primer they used. Interestingly, Winchester held firm with 24.7% of Carolina Cup reloads compared to 25% at the World Shoot.

The story on brass is the increase in the number of shooters opting to mix the brands they use instead of committing to just one. At the World Shoot "mixed" brass accounted for 53% while at the Carolina Cup it's up to almost 80%.

Jacketed bullets were the preferred bullet type with just over half those reloading choosing jacketed over plated (28.4%) or lead (21.0%). 

The number of bullet brands was down significantly at the Carolina Cup with competitors loading 16 different brands compared to 44 at the World Shoot. This may yet again be a reflection of the fewer completed surveys. However, Montana Gold Bullet once again proved the dominant brand with almost a third shooting their bullet. Berry's finished as the second most popular bullet, just as they did at the World Shoot, while Precision Delta finished third.

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From Pennsylvania, With Kitty: The Results

by Editor 21. October 2012 16:22
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Well it's all over but for the crying... Thanks to Kitty Richards we have the early results from the 2012 Pennsylvania State IDPA Championship. And a couple more photos, like this action shot (right) of Ron Singer, stats guys for the match, taking it easy. When a match runs this smooth the awards ceremony takes care of itself. 

CDP Champion - Craig Buckland
ESP Champion - AJ Stuart
SSP Champion - Andy Arnal
SSR Champion - Casey Dudek
ESR Champion - Kirk Crego
High Lady - Sharon Burwell
High Senior - Brad Bends
High LEO - Burt Dopirak
High Industry - AJ Stuart
High Junior - John Curtis III
High Military Veteran - Doug Bryant
High Dist. Senior - Dan Smith
Most Accurate - David Woodbridge (7)

ABOVE: High Lady Sharon Burwell takes on stage 3 at the Pennsylvania State IDPA Championship.

BELOW: Match Director Corey Murphy with David Woodbridge who was the match's most accurate shooter with just 7 points down.

ABOVE: Match Director Corey Murphy with Dave Bair who took Marksman honors in Stock Service Pistol.

BELOW: And finally, the people that made it all happen. The Safety Officers and Staff of the 2012 Pennsylvania State IDPA Championship. 

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From Pennsylvania, With Kitty: Every Day Is A Hollidaysburg

by Editor 20. October 2012 13:48
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Earlier today IDPA's Keystone State Bureau Chief, Kitty Richards, sent in a couple more pics from the 2012 Pennsylvania State IDPA Championship. Kitty's been working undercover as a Safety Officer to get the inside story, so with any luck we'll have some more to report. 

ABOVE: Up and coming Junior Shotter Zach Matish shoots the PA State Match in Hollidaysburg.

BELOW: SO Bobby Heargraves shoots under the direction of Scott Bourgeois.

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From Pennsylvania, With Kitty: SOs Load And Make Ready

by Editor 19. October 2012 13:30
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The hardest working correspondent in the shooting sports is back, as IDPA's own Keystone State Bureau Chief, Kitty Richards, reports from the "Battle of Hollidaysburg", or what the rest of us call the 2012 Pennsylvania State IDPA Championship.

The mist settles over the multicolor fall foliage in Hollidaysburg as Safety Officers prepare to shoot the state championship. They gather for the shooters meeting with first shots fired scheduled for 10:00am. - Kitty 

We expect more reports from Kitty as we assume she'll be 'waxing poetic' throughout the match...and perhaps there will be news of a better camera phone too (hint, hint).


ABOVE: SO Frank Koo shoots stage 6 earlier this morning. Shooting was suspended for 20 minutes as a hunter was identified shooting on range property. He was promptly escorted off the property and the match got back underway.

BELOW: We have no words, but clearly Kitty's right in the middle of the action. By-the-way, nice boots Kitty. What did you do, order them from the LL Bean Tactical Catalog?

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A Girl & A Gun Expands In Houston With Athena Gun Club Event

by Editor 17. July 2013 09:25
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HOUSTON, Texas – A Girl & A Gun Women's Shooting League, the ladies-only organization established by women shooters for women shooters for the pistol, rifle and shotgun sports, announced that it will expand its popular ‘Girls Night Out’ event to a third Houston-area shooting range tonight, Wednesday evening, July 17, at the Athena Gun Club located at 10814 Katy Freeway.

The ‘Girls Night Out’ event will run from 6:00pm to 8:00pm and is open to the public. A Girl & A Gun members will pay $9 for their range fees. Non-members will be able to join the league or pay $18 to attend the event as a guest for the day. Rental firearms are available and will be offered to A Girl & A Gun members at a discounted rate on the day of the event.

“We are very excited to be partnering with the Athena Gun Club to help bring the fun and excitement of the shooting sports to more Houston-area women,” said Tracy Hughes, facilitator of the Houston chapter of A Girl & A Gun.

“Any women in and around Houston that wish to learn more about firearms and the shooting sports are encouraged to join us tonight at the Athena Gun Club for what is sure to be another great ‘Girls Night Out’ event.”

Founded in February 2011 in Austin, Texas by Julianna Crowder and Renee Blaine, A Girl & A Gun has quickly become the fastest growing shooting organization for women with over 1,500 members in 48 chapters across 19 states.

The Houston chapter, started by Tracy Hughes, began in October of 2011 with just 20 women participating in events at The Arms Room in League City, Texas. Today the chapter has almost 150 members and hosts events at three Houston-area shooting facilities.

For more information on A Girl & A Gun, visit www.AGirlAndAGunClub.com. You can also join the conversation online on Facebook or by following @AGAGClub on Twitter.

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Demand Pushes Live Free Or Die IDPA Match To 2nd Day

by Editor 17. July 2013 07:35
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BERRYVILLE, Ark. – After selling out in just three hours, and with more than 60 shooters on a wait list, organizers of the 2013 Smith & Wesson Live Free Or Die State IDPA Championship have expanded the match to include a second full day of competition on Sunday, October 20.

Hosted by the Pioneer Sportsmen Club in Dunbarton, N.H., the Smith & Wesson Live Free Or Die State IDPA Championship will now take place October 18 thru 20. Shooters will compete on either Saturday or Sunday, October 19 and 20, while staff and VIPs will shoot for score on Friday, October 18.

The response by New Hampshire-area IDPA members to the IDPA program at Pioneer, and the announcement that after a two year hiatus the Granite State would once again hold an IDPA state championship event, has been tremendous and reflects the energy and enthusiasm for the sport seen all across the country.

“When we decided to relaunch a state IDPA championship in New Hampshire we had no idea what to expect in terms of the response from shooters,” observed Ken Lambert, match director. “Obviously the response has been nothing short of overwhelmingly enthusiastic, and we’re proud to announce we’ll be open for business on Sunday, October 20.”

Those currently on the wait list will be able to select their squad, and the day they would like to shoot, today based on the slots available. Any additional open slots for the match will become available starting on Thursday, July 18 when the registration site will open up to current IDPA members who can register on a first come, first served basis until the match is full.

In addition to expanding to host more competitors, the Live Free Or Die State IDPA Championship has received strong support from sponsors such as Smith & Wesson, the title sponsor, Taurus and Apex Tactical Specialties which is sponsoring the King of New England which concludes with the Live Free Or Die match.

Companies interested in sponsoring the Live Free Or Die State Championship should contact the sponsorship coordinator at psi.sponsorship@gmail.com.

To learn more about IDPA and defensive shooting, or to find a club near you, visit www.IDPA.com.

You can further connect with the IDPA community through IDPA’s social media, such as @OfficialIDPA on Twitter and ShootIDPA on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr, or check for regular news and updates on the organization’s DOWN ZERO Blog.

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SIG SAUER Sponsors Smith & Wesson New England Regional IDPA Championship

by Editor 17. July 2013 07:25
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BERRYVILLE, Ark. – New Hampshire firearms maker SIG SAUER® has signed on as one of the premier sponsors of the 2013 Smith & Wesson New England Regional IDPA Championship.

The Smith & Wesson New England Regional IDPA Championship will take place August 16-18 at the Harvard Sportsmen's Club in Harvard, Massachusetts and will again be hosted by the MetroWest Tactical IDPA club.

SIG SAUER joins Blade-Tech Industries, MyGunDB, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Tactical Defense Solutions and Smith & Wesson, the title sponsor of the match, in supporting the New England Regional which is among the region’s largest defensive pistol shooting competitions.

“We’re grateful to have the support of one of New England’s premier firearms makers. SIG SAUER pistols and rifles are held in the highest regard, as is their commitment to the shooting sports. We’re proud to work with SIG SAUER to make this year’s New England IDPA Regional the best yet,” said Dori Smith of the MetroWest Tactical IDPA club.

“SIG SAUER is devoted to supporting rifle and pistol matches worldwide, and being a sponsor of the New England Regional IDPA Championship is a great fit for us,” said Jarrod McDevitt, rifle product and competitive shooting program manager. “We are investing more in shooting sports than ever before to help ensure future generations get the opportunity to enjoy matches like this. We appreciate all the hard work volunteers put into making events like this so great and are happy to be part of it.”

The 2013 Smith & Wesson New England Regional IDPA Championship is expected to draw upwards of 200 of the region’s top shooters. Registration for the event opened on May 1 and match officials report that the competition is sold out with a waiting list of shooters hoping for a last minute opening.

For more information on IDPA, or to join the more than 22,000 members competing each week all across America, visit www.IDPA.com.

You can further connect with the IDPA community through IDPA’s social media, such as @OfficialIDPA on Twitter and ShootIDPA on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr, or check for regular news and updates on the organization’s DOWN ZERO Blog.

About SIG SAUER®, Inc.
SIG SAUER, Inc. is the largest member of a worldwide business group of firearms manufacturers that includes SIG SAUER GmbH & Co. KG in Germany and Swiss Arms AG in Switzerland. This global network of companies gives SIG SAUER a world-class firearms knowledge base, unparalleled design expertise, and extensive manufacturing capacity, enabling the company to respond quickly and effectively to changing market conditions and the needs of its military, law enforcement, and commercial markets worldwide. SIG SAUER is an ISO 9001: 2008 certified company more than 800 employees. For more information on SIG SAUER, any of its products, or the SIG SAUER Academy℠, log on to www.sigsauer.com.

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Tactical Defense Solutions Sponsors Smith & Wesson New England Regional IDPA Championship

by Editor 15. July 2013 07:25
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BERRYVILLE, Ark. – Tactical Defense Solutions, the number one source for defensive carry and duty-suitable ammunition offering complex solutions for life’s simple problems, will be a gold sponsor of the the 2013 Smith & Wesson New England Regional IDPA Championship.

The Smith & Wesson New England Regional IDPA Championship will take place August 16-18 at the Harvard Sportsmen's Club in Harvard, Massachusetts and will again be hosted by the MetroWest Tactical IDPA club.

Tactical Defense Solutions joins Blade-Tech Industries, MyGunDB, the National Shooting Sports Foundation and Smith & Wesson, the title sponsor of the match, in supporting the New England Regional which is among the region’s largest defensive pistol shooting competitions.

“Tactical Defense Solutions has been a constant presence at IDPA matches throughout New England and we are proud to have them as a gold sponsor of this year’s championship,” said Dori Smith of the MetroWest Tactical IDPA club.

"We are proud to support the local shooters here in New England and, as IDPA shooters ourselves, we especially look forward to competing in this year’s New England Regional IDPA Championship,” said John Domfort of Tactical defense Solutions.

The 2013 Smith & Wesson New England Regional IDPA Championship is expected to draw upwards of 200 of the region’s top shooters. Registration for the event opened on May 1 and match officials report that the competition is sold out with a waiting list of shooters hoping for a last minute opening.

For more information on IDPA, or to join the more than 22,000 members competing each week all across America, visit www.IDPA.com.

You can further connect with the IDPA community through IDPA’s social media, such as @OfficialIDPA on Twitter and ShootIDPA on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr, or check for regular news and updates on the organization’s DOWN ZERO Blog.

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Coast Guard Academy Hires First Full-Time Shooting Sports Coach

by Editor 11. July 2013 09:14
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NEW LONDON, Conn. — The U.S. Coast Guard Academy has hired Richard Hawkins, prior coach of a three-time U.S. National Shooting Team Championship winning team, as the first full-time academy shooting sports coach.

Hawkins coached at the international level during the twelve years he spent at the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit at Fort Benning, Ga., were he served as a pistol coach before accepting the position at the Coast Guard Academy. Having also previously served as the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit's international rifle coach, Hawkins coached team members to both world championships and the Olympics.

"The level of discipline, dedication, and fitness of the service academy cadets is unparalleled among collegiate students," said Hawkins. "Working with cadets of this caliber will allow me to develop them into top competitors."

In addition to coaching, Hawkins has written several articles published in Shooting Sports Magazine, as well as conducted multiple shooting sports-related research projects that have been published in peer-review scientific journals.

Hawkins will report to the Coast Guard Academy Aug. 12. Through recruitment and by developing current shooters, Hawkins hopes to have Coast Guard Academy shooters competing at the national level.

To connect with Coast Guard Academy shooting sports, visit www.facebook.com/USCGAshooting.

For more information on the Coast Guard Academy, visit the academy’s webpage at www.uscga.edu. To further connect with the Coast Guard Academy, visit our social media sites at www.Facebook.com/CoastGuardAcademy, www.Flickr.com/USCoastGuardAcademy, and www.YouTube.com/user/CGAPublicAffairs.

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Smith & Wesson Once Again Sponsors IDPA U.S. National Championship

by Editor 11. July 2013 07:25
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BERRYVILLE, Ark. – For the last 16 years Smith & Wesson has sponsored the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) Nationals, so it’s no surprise that this 161-year-old American gun making icon has signed on as a major sponsor of this year’s IDPA U.S. National Championship.

“Smith & Wesson is one of the most respected, and best known names in firearms and shooting sports, and that’s no more true than here at IDPA. For the past 16 years we have counted on Smith & Wesson as a corporate sponsor and a true partner in promoting competition shooting. We cannot thank the leadership and dedicated employees of Smith & Wesson enough for their generosity and commitment to the International Defensive Pistol Association,” said Joyce Wilson, executive director for IDPA.

In addition to supporting the IDPA Nationals, this year Smith & Wesson has taken on the role of major match sponsor for a number of IDPA events including the 17th Annual MassachusettsState Championship, the New England Regional Championship, the Live Free Or Die State Championship, the newly announced Smith & Wesson hosted Back Up Gun Nationals and, of course, their own Smith & Wesson IDPA Indoor Nationals.

"More than any other company Smith & Wesson recognizes the important role pistol shooting competitions play in developing good gun handling skills. As more and more people join the ranks of first time firearms owners, we hope they look to organizations like IDPA to fully realize the fun and excitement that comes with safe, responsible firearms ownership," said Paul Pluff of Smith & Wesson.

Hosted by the U.S. Shooting Academy in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the 2013 IDPA U.S. National Championship will take place September 19 thru 21 and is again expected to draw over 300 of the sport’s top shooters. Smith & Wesson joins Brownells, Harris Publications, Taurus and the National Shooting Sports Foundation as a gold level sponsor of the event.

For more information on IDPA, the 2013 IDPA U.S. National Championship, or to join the more than 22,000 members competing each week all across America, visit www.IDPA.com.

You can further connect with the IDPA community through IDPA’s social media, such as @OfficialIDPA on Twitter and ShootIDPA on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr, or check for regular news and updates on the organization’s DOWN ZERO Blog.

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Team Safariland's Bobby Mcgee Wins ESP At 2013 IDPA Central California Regional

by Editor 10. July 2013 07:56
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ONTARIO, California –Safariland® congratulates team member, Bobby McGee, for winning the ESP (Enhanced Service Pistol) Division with the fastest overall time of 187.87 at the 2013 IDPA Central California Regional Championship held in Winton, CA on Sunday, June 30.

McGee was faced with 10 technical stages and more than 130 competitors at the Rivers Oaks Range hosted by Mid-Valley Defensive Shooters. “This match had a few stages where you had to draw your pistol off-balance, while seated and also moving,” said McGee. “During this point, it is very critical that you get a high positive grip on the pistol, and the Safariland Model 5197 makes it happen…it rides at that perfect height on the belt. You can’t go wrong with this set-up.”

“Bobby is one of the top-rated IDPA shooters on the west coast, as well as nationally,” said Scott Carnahan, Team Captain and Vice President, Equipment Category Marketing. “Bobby’s dedication to the IDPA sport was instrumental in the development of the new Range Series holster product line. We’re thrilled to have Bobby represent Safariland in this sport as he demonstrates the value of the Safariland and Bianchi products he designs.”

McGee competes in IDPA competitions with a Safariland Model 5197 Open Top Concealment Holster with Belt Loop, Model 332 Range Series Belt, and a prototype of the new Range Series 778 Double Magazine Pouch, expected to be released this fall. McGee uses this equipment for ESP, SSP and CDP divisions. “Shooting competition is our passion and we design and shoot the best gear available,” said McGee.

For more information on Team Safariland, visit http://www.safariland.com/DutyGear/team/index.aspx

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Smith & Wesson M&P Shield Enhanced by Apex Tactical Specialties

by Editor 3. July 2013 10:50
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Terry Burba (LM04739) takes a look at the M&P Shield. After running into some accuracy issues (translation: he couldn't hit squat) at the Smith & Wesson Indoor Nationals, Terry talked to Scott Folk with Apex Tactical Specialties who had just the cure for what ailed him. Here is Terry's review of the Apex-improved M&P Shield.

In February of this year, I was privileged to be asked to be the Chief SO for one of the bays at the Smith & Wesson Indoor Nationals. When Lou Denys called, he asked if we would design a stage to use the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield as a pickup gun. The stage was a lot of fun for us to run and it seemed most of the competitors enjoyed it, as well.

We ran that Shield hard for four days and shot over 3,000 rounds through it. All I did for maintenance each morning was wipe the pistol down and apply a small amount of lubrication. The Shield performed flawlessly without a single failure of any kind. I was impressed with that reliability. I was also impressed how well the Shield handled recoil. One thing the shooters didn’t realize was our ammo sponsor for this stage: CORBON. Yes, we shot 3,000 rounds of CORBON 9mm through the Shield! The dual spring system of the Shield really tamed the recoil.

I came away from the S&W Indoor Nationals very impressed with the M&P Shield. But, I’m a 1911 guy. I have a great pocket sized 9mm 1911 from Springfield: the EMP. I didn’t need another one.

Another wonderful experience of the 2013 Indoor Nationals occurred on SO day. We were fortunate to have Scott Folk of Apex Tactical Specialties assigned to our squad. Unfortunately, Scott got hit by Mr. Murphy and his infamous law. The overnight shipping company did not deliver his shooting gear in time to shoot on Wednesday. Scott, being the great guy he is, came along anyway to keep score and generally help out with our squad however he could. Color me impressed. I was happy to continue building my friendship with Scott throughout the Indoor Nationals.

A few weeks later, I talked to Scott about upgrades to a Shield. He gave me several ideas of Apex products that could be used with the Shield. But then he blew my mind when he stated, “Or you could just send it to me and let me work some magic on it. I’ve got a number of ideas of things we might do."


Now the quest was on to locate a Shield somewhere in the market. A winning bid through an on-line auction and a new M&P Shield was on its way to Apex. Now the waiting began.

Around the middle of May, a box showed up at my FFL. My FFL is a good shooting friend and Sunday morning at a Texas Tactical IDPA match, he showed up with a blue box. We did all the appropriate paperwork and the Shield was now in my hands.

What a beautiful piece of craftsmanship. I totally trashed the match that day. I just could not stay focused over the excitement of shooting the new Shield as soon as the match was finished. Several folks tried a few rounds through it that afternoon. And everyone who went to the safe table with me to look at the pistol was impressed. Kitty had contacted one of our great IDPA Sponsors in Comp-Tac for one of their new Infidel Ultra IWB holsters for the Shield as a birthday present. I had ammo, holsters, magazines and pouches ready to go. What I didn’t have was range time.

Those of you who shot the 3 port bay at S&W saw our test targets next to the “Saving Joyce” stage. You saw what both Kitty and DM Tom Yost were able to do with the stock Shields. What you didn’t see was the abysmal target I shot. I really struggled with the stock Shield. At 7 yards, I simply could not keep 5 rounds in the head.

I was appropriately embarrassed.

On to range time with the new Shield with the Apex carry kit trigger upgrade. Now at 7 yards, I put all 8 rounds in the head with several shots through the same holes! Apex has an outstanding reputation for their trigger kits. And this one test alone proved the reputation is well earned. Kitty was able to use the 7 round magazine with equal success.

A few magazines after a match is hardly a test of a new firearm. I had a couple more work trips which would keep me out of town for a few weeks. As soon as those trips were complete, I had my good friend Col Phil Torres join me for a trip out to the range to put the new Shield through its paces.

To run the Shield as an ESP gun did require this 1911 shooter to adapt my manual of arms a bit. The small size of the grips seemed to let my hands get in the way of a drop free reload. DM Gordon Carrell teaches a slightly different process for reloading his M&P that adapted very well to the Shield. Using Gordon’s technique, I was able to consistently get the 8-round mag to drop free and do a fairly quick slide lock reload. The slide release was easily reachable by my short dominate hand thumb. I could get back on target almost as fast as I can with a full sized M&P Pro.

I quickly grew to love the Infidel Ultra holster from Comp-Tac. Mine is a belt clip inside the waistband holster. It is a combination leather and kydex holster from their Minotaur line. It’s super comfortable. And is very easy to put on and take off. The Ultra version of the Infidel is made in a way that it can be worn both on the strong side hip as well as appendix carry. I have worn this holster for 8 to 10 hours a day and honestly do forget I have it on at times. I have since purchased another Infidel Ultra for my 1911s.

I wrote earlier on the reliability of the Shield at the S&W Indoor Nationals. I did run a number of different rounds through the Shield and it seemed to eat anything I tried to feed it, including several different reloads I had been testing for my 1911. I never did experience a failure to feed during the 300-350 rounds of testing.

I will admit I do like Dawson Precision fiber optic sights. I have their narrow.090 width front sight on all my IDPA 5 inch 1911s. The .125 width sight Apex installed on this Shield is a bit wider than I have on the other guns. But I really didn’t notice any issues using it with the stock rear sight that comes on the Shield.

Let’s face it: what Apex is most known for is their trigger work. And that really shows up on this Shield. Scott explained to me Apex didn’t feel it was good practice to put a competition trigger on a carry firearm. The “Carry Kit” is the only drop in kit Apex offers for the Shield. However, Scott also did what Apex refers to as “Level 2 action work”. They installed a fully machined sear, USB kit and DC spring kit. As I mentioned, this work made all the difference to me. The more comfortable I got with the Shield, the better the groups I was able to produce. The trigger came to me with just a small amount of creep. As Scott explained, this pistol had never been fired when it arrived at Apex. It needed to be broken in by putting a few hundred rounds through it. The more I fired the gun, the better the trigger got. I was extremely happy with the trigger by the end of my testing.

Of course, that is just my opinion. One of the fun parts of getting any new toy is showing it off to your friends. I have a number of friends who jumped on the shield band wagon at release. Col Phil, who gets the photo credits for this article, “lost” his Shield very quickly after purchase. That’s what happens when you let your daughter test fire your Shield and she refuses to give it back. The Col was very impressed by the action work done by Apex. Every Shield owner I let try this trigger came away commenting on what a nice improvement to an already good trigger system.

One question I do get asked is about the RAM reset from Apex. Apex does not offer the RAM option for the Shield. Some people really rely on the sound and feel of a trigger resetting. The last several coaches I have trained with have encouraged me to move away from listening and feeling the reset point. They teach pulling the finger back off the trigger and then taking out the slack once again. Some call it Slack Out. Others call it Prep The Trigger. I now do that with all my firearms, so I don’t use the “click” of the trigger reset. Thus I don’t have the RAM on my M&P 9 Pro.

That said, there is a definite “click” sound and feel with the Shield right out of the box. Most of my friends who do utilize this method of trigger reset feel the stock Shield click is adequate for their needs. Honestly, I really never even noticed the click in my testing.

As you look at the pictures of the work Apex did on this Shield, you will notice some cosmetic enhancements as well. Scott did some serrations along the top of the slide and he also did some light milling along the sides of the slide. The amount of material removed was less than doing a Browning Hi-Power cut or a tri-top melt which are both already allowed in ESP. Under the new rules, engraving has been defined as being no deeper than the original OEM lettering. In this case, the Smith & Wesson logo can still clearly be seen on the slide. If you look closely, even the Springfield MA is still visible. That lettering is even lighter than the full Smith & Wesson logo. These modifications are within the rules and do not constitute slide lightening. This pistol could be used in ESP in addition to the BUG division. I may use it in a few local matches just so I can remain comfortable shooting what I carry. I will be able to shoot it in ESP or the new Not For Competition division.

The bottom line question is …“Are the improvements worth the effort?”

I feel they are. The Apex drop-in Shield carry kit is no more difficult to install than the kits for the regular line of M&P pistols. And for many shooters, that may be enough of an improvement for them. As primarily a 1911 shooter, I am use to a significantly different type of trigger. The additional Level 2 action work was an extremely nice upgrade for me. It made the Shield feel more like one of my 1911s. The front sight was a requirement for me as I like seeing the same sight picture regardless of which of my guns I pick up.

The highlights and serrations? Yeah… the bling is cool. It makes the pistol “mine”. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat.

This then begs the ultimate question…. What am I going to shoot at the S&W BUG Nationals? I really do love the 1911 platform. It’s what I shoot in 98% of the sanctioned and local matches around the country. Thanks to the great platform from S&W in the Shield and the excellent gunsmithing by Apex Tactical Specialties, I will be sporting this Shield in Springfield this November. I’m not giving up anything from my 1911s. And with the recoil system of the Shield, I am probably better prepared to shoot well.

Hope to see you there.

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The Bubba Report: Beast of the East - Wrap Up Edition

by Editor 1. July 2013 14:23
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The first Beast of the East match is in the books. As I write this I am winging my way back to Texas with a bit of time to reflect on the weekend.

First, let me congratulate Ken Ortbach and his Co-MD Dan Jensen. While this was the first sanctioned match for the team at Easton Fish and Game, it is far from Ken’s first rodeo. And it showed. Ken ran the “Hard as Hellertown” match for several years until range conditions caused the end of that match. That match had a reputation for living up to it’s name. Ken and Dan brought that experience to this match. Ken and Dan had stages that looked fairly easy – until you looked at them closely. There were untold numbers of little things which would reach out and bite you if you didn’t study the stages closely. My buddy Junior shooter and Team Para member Lee Wills probably said it best with his comment on Facebook, “Done. That was hard!”

Ken told me Sunday, he had very little to do over the weekend as his staff had the match running on all cylinders. That says good things about the staff. But it says more about all the preparation for the match long before the staff showed up to shoot. Ken and Dan certainly did their homework.

Well done guys.

It was a different match for me not working as a Safety Officer. Running around as a reporter and photographer, let me see the match from a lot of different angles. It was a different perspective for me and one I enjoyed. To all the staff, thank you for your patience with me as I invaded your stages. To a person, I observed a very professional staff. I saw a crew that really seemed to want to help shooters be successful. This is the attitude we love to see in IDPA. After all, these shooters are our customers who have paid for an entertaining and fun experience at your club. You made them all feel welcome. Great job folks.

One area I wanted to discuss from this match was the electronic scoring used. At this match, Practiscore was the scoring software being run on Apple iPhones and iPads. (Practiscore also has a version for Android devices).

While Practiscore has been used quite a bit in USPSA, their IDPA product has mostly been used at the local club level to this point. The Beast of the East is one of the first matches to use it for a sanctioned match. And there is a difference in implementation between the two.

I have used Practiscore on my Galaxy Note II at some matches to track my own scores just to get a feel for the software. I am of the opinion they have worked out most of the bugs in the software at this point and it is indeed stable enough to use for a sanctioned match. Ken and company didn’t seem to have any issues with the software for this match.

However, we do have some additional requirements needed for sanctioned matches which will preclude letting the software be the only scorekeeping tool in the match. Shooters will want hard copies of their scores. But so will the match staff. Hard copies are a requirement going forward in the new rule book. I think Ken and his staff proved the key to making the electronic scoring viable for a sanctioned match is the external processes in place outside of the software itself. Ken had two part carbonless sheets for the hard copies. The top copy went to the stat shack as a backup to the electronic scores. And the shooters got the yellow copy. Practiscore does have some examples of sheets that can be used with USPSA matches. Ken modified one of those to work with IDPA. One thing I did hear from shooters was they would have like the printing to be on the yellow sheet to match the original. It’s hard to understand what the carbon marks mean without that printing.

What this did process did was basically add a second scorekeeper to each bay. Both scorekeepers followed the CSO taking in the scores as they were called out. Then the scorekeepers reconciled the scores before showing them to the shooter and saving them electronically. But there can still be issues. It’s too easy to have the focus be on the technology and forget the basic scoring principles we have used for years with a paper based system. That process can be where errors can pop up.

Consistency in the process is key. Swapping the device from person to person like is done at a local match is just asking for problems in a sanctioned match. One person on each job working as a single unit will help keep the process consistent. Review both sets of scores with the shooter just like we do with the paper based systems. Make sure everyone is in agreement with the entered information prior to pressing SAVE.

One other suggestion became evident. Even if your Safety Officers have been using a system at local matches for a while and think they understand the system, run a few local matches with the sanctioned match process which includes the paper trail and review process. You might even want to continue using your normal paper based score sheets for a few matches just to make sure you have a process that will work well with your staff. You will uncover areas of your process you can tweak prior to the start of the sanctioned match. Just like any other shooting skill set, practice is vital to success.

As for session 4 of The Beast of the East, it felt very relaxed on Sunday. Most of the squads were small and the staff had a fairly easy day. Still lots of challenges for the shooters to finish up the match. But everyone felt like the match was a lot of fun.

One big thanks should also go out to the major match sponsor; Competitive Edge Dynamics.

CED provided enough prizes that every shooter left with a prize. CED is local to the Allentown area and has always been a great IDPA sponsor. I became a CED customer a number of years ago when I was exposed to their products at a PA State match. I know each and every shooter was appreciative of their gifts. I know I am going to be using the CED accessories bag I got as an ammunition carrier for years to come. Thank you CED for always being there for IDPA. And thank you from all of the shooters for your gifts.

Another great match sponsor was Bayou Bullets.

Each day, one lucky shooter was awarded 500 bullets. I know my friend Marc Rodriguez was thrilled to be the session 4 winner. He mentioned he was just getting started reloading and had everything he needed except for bullets. You’ll be hearing from Marc shortly, Donny. Thank you Bayou Bullets for all your support at IDPA matches around the country.

Any wrap up would not be complete without mentioning the winners. These folks shot the complex stages of The Beast of the East extremely well. My hat is off to all of them for showing us how to get things done.

ESP division champion and overall winner was A. J. Stuart with a time of 155.36. A.J. is well known in the area as a top shooter and he proved it once again.

SSP division champion (and getting a match bump to Master) was a great shooter and all-around good guy, Keith Gibson. Some of you might remember that name from Season 4 of Top Shot.

Keith really put a great match together with a score of 173.93. I was very happy to see this Top Shot competitor move to Master by winning his division.

Other division champions included:
CDP: Lenny Jacukowicz - 197.68
SSR: Vince Hlavinka Jr. - 288.93
ESR: Dean Witt - 340.95

Specialty Awards went to:
Most Accurate - Ron Galati ESP/Master 188.97 (27)
High Lady - Joanna Lenczewska CDP/Sharpshooter 223.44
High Law - Brian Steskla SSP/Master 189.22
High Military Veteran - Keith J. Gibson SSP/Expert 173.93
High Industry - AJ Stuart ESP/Master 155.36
High International - Piotr Palasz ESP/Sharpshooter 220.19
High Junior - Lee B. Wills ESP/Sharpshooter 239.74
High Dist. Senior - Jerry Greg SSP/Master 214.36

High Senior - Some old geezer from Texas ESP/Expert 196.45

All the results can be found here.

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The Bubba Report: Beast of the East - Day 2

by Editor 30. June 2013 16:00
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One of the things that has been so educational for many of the 70+ Tiger Team members is learning how clubs operate all over the country. It certainly has been an education for me. The format of the Beast of the East is a great example.

In The Republic of Texas, almost all of our matches are single day affairs for the shooters. Everyone other than the staff shoots the match in a single day. Here in the upper east coast it is almost a given the match will be shot in multiple half day squads. I had never heard of such a concept before I shot the Pennsylvania State match a number of years ago.

Here at The Beast of the East, the match has been setup with three half day sessions. Yesterday we had sessions in both the morning and the afternoon. Typically the squads are smaller than we see in my part of the country on this split session day. I think most of the squads yesterday were 9 shooters and less. The final session on Sunday will limit squads to 12 or less.

The shooters really seem to love these split sessions. A sanctioned match doesn’t take up your entire weekend. You can come in and shoot Saturday morning, have a great time at the match and be back home that afternoon. The Afternoon shooters have 4 or 5 hours to drive in that morning, shoot the afternoon session and be home later that night. It certainly is an interesting concept. And it seems to work well here.

One of the things that worked well with this concept is it allows the match staff to discover any bottleneck issues early and adapt without slowing down the entire match for everyone. I will admit my CSO mind looks at every match I attend for flow issues. I do that for my own education to learn how different match directors solve different types of challenges. As I came into this match, I looked at the final bay with a bit of concern. There were 3 stages in this bay and two of them had several different props that would need to be reset. My CSO warning alarms started clanging in my head.

SO day by its nature of working out the kinks in stages doesn’t always reveal bottleneck issues. I was watching this bay closely on session 1. A few flow issues did pop up early. However, the staff on this bay recognized them early. They were able to adapt the roles and responsibilities of each team member and get the bay running at peak efficiency. By the afternoon session with the full sized squads there were no longer any bottlenecks at all. The match was running like a Swiss watch. Hats off to all of the match staff here at Beast of the East. Great job folks. One more session today and this great match will be in the books.

Any of you who spend any time after the match with Miss Kitty will remember her standard post match questions. “What was your favorite stage of the match?” “Which stage had the biggest impression on you?”

My favorite was probably Stage 6 “You can’t Run” This stage had 7 targets strategically placed around a multitude of barrels. It was a great stage to test a shooter's ability to change speeds. Four of the targets were within 3-4 yards and the shooter could burn them down pretty quickly. However, the next 2 targets were out from 15 to 20 yards and were partially hidden by barrels. The shooter had to slow down and make very accurate shots. After engaging at least 5 of those 6 targets from P1 at the back of the first array of barrels, the shooter had to advance to engage T7 and possibly T6 if they had not engaged it from P1.

The fun part of this stage was there seemed to be as many different ways to shoot it as there were shooters in the match.

The stage that had everyone talking at this match was Stage 11 “Nowhere to Hide”. I’ve never seen a more difficult 6 shot stage! The shooter had to start by picking up a friend who had been attacked and was now unconscious. Dragging the friend from harm, the shooter then had to engage 1 static target. However, the process of dragging the friend then activated a runner and a drop turner. 2 rounds on each target. But since you were pulling your friend to safety with your non-dominate hand, that then meant the shooter was engage these movers and turners with their dominate hand only.

Let me tell you, I have never seen a runner move THAT fast! Lots of down 10s on that target.

The Sunday morning session is just getting started. I need to get back out on the range and take more pictures of today’s shooters. Before I go let me leave you with the overnight leaders in the clubhouse.

ESP – A.J. Stuart – 155.36
CDP – Lenny Jacukowicz – 197.68
SSP – Keith Gibson – 173.93
SSR – Vince Hlavinka Jr - 288.93
ESR – Dean Witt - 340.95


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