Shooting USA – Bianchi Cup 2015
It’s the NRA Action Pistol Championship. The world’s best compete for the Bianchi Cup. Plus, the rifle for the early frontier, the Hawken is one of History’s Guns. And, we’re Talking Tech on .38 caliber bullets and how the cartridges got their names.
It is the World Championship of NRA Action Pistol competition, also known as the Bianchi Cup. It’s widely regarded as the most prestigious and richest handgun tournament in the world, and the world has noticed. Some travel from as far as Australia and South Africa to compete in Columbia, Missouri, where the match is defined by four courses of fire: The Practical, The Barricades, The Falling Plates, and The Mover.
Competitors shoot the eight-inch ten-ring of the NRA AP-1 Target. Inside that is the 4 inch X-Ring, worth 10 points and an X, which is used to break ties. In all, there are 1920 points possible or 192 shots at the Bianchi Cup. In the last 20 years only one championship has been won without a clean score.
For 15-time Bianchi Cup Champion Doug Koenig, his plan of attack is to take each stage, one at a time. “They are not real difficult. We make them more difficult than they are, but if you make a mistake you will be out of the top 20,” says Koenig.
Though the pressure can ultimately get to some shooters, the best do shoot a clean match.
Talking Tech - .38 Caliber Bullets
In the early 1900s there was world-wide agreement on using the .38 caliber bullet in two highly significant cartridge introductions. But you wouldn’t know it even today because of the different measuring scales in the US and in Europe. Jim takes us through the measuring and the naming rules for the cartridges that are prominent today.
History’s Guns: Hawken Rifle
In 1823, a pair of gunsmiths from St. Louis designed a rifle for the pioneers headed west across the Mississippi River to settle the plains. They were the brothers, Samuel and Jacob Hawken, who assembled the sturdy rifles chambered in large calibers, many in .54 and .68, for their percussion rifles. And they were up to the challenges of settling the plains.
“It’s a good caliber for hunting. I would have no qualms about taking this against a bison,” says Firearms Historian Garry James.
Sig Sauer MPX with Armageddon Gear Sling
Sig Sauer’s new pistol caliber firearm is based off of an AR-15 platform, but is versatile. The MPX-P configuration is a 9mm semi-auto, however there are select fire versions for military and law enforcement. All of the MPX systems function around a closed fully-locked, short-stroke pushrod gas system, inside the monolithic upper. John Scoutten tried out the 6.5-inch barrel, but 4-inch and 8-inch barrels are also available. Now should you decide to go with the MPX with a stock, civilian ownership becomes more complicated in that the system is then considered a short-barreled rifle.
Every MPX-P ships with an Armageddon Gear single point sling, creating better transitions. Caliber conversions are available for .357 Sig and .40 S&W. The MPX-P retails just under $2,000.
Bushnell is out with “the next generation of legendary” binoculars or the Legend Series. All are 10x42 millimeter for an ultra-wide field of view, and they all have the rain-guard HD hydrophobic coating, making them 100 percent water and fog proof. The Entry Level set is the E-Series; the next step up is the L-Series, with the addition of ED prime glass in the lenses. ED is extra-low dispersion with improved contrast and color resolution. The next step up is the M-Series, with a dielectric coating on the prism. Bushnell claims a 92 percent light transmission level and that puts the M-Series into a category with competitors charging two to three times the Bushnell price. The Legend M-Series is about $400; the L-Series about $300; and the E-Series is $200.
Pro Tip: Max Michel on Three Steps to Draw
In competition or personal defense, the first skill that every shooter needs is the draw. It can make or break your first shots. World and National Speed Shooting Champion Max Michel is one of the best at it, and he’s got three steps for you to improve your draw.
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