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Competitors’ Corner: February 2020

Competitors’ Corner: February 2020

This month’s cover story is on the Beretta 694 Sporter, a new over/under that the entire sporting-clays community has been salivating over since its announcement last year. The 694, filling a segment between the flagship DT11 and other guns in the company’s sporting lineup, boasts a modern design that’s the result of high-end R&D, plus the know-how and manufacturing skills that come from Beretta’s 500 years as a gunmaker in northern Italy. Read all about the 694 Sporting here.

Beretta 694 Sporting


Ruger has been on a roll with its new Custom Shop guns and will keep up the trend this year. Recognizing the need for a 10/22 optimized for games like Steel Challenge out of the box, the company rolled out a line of Ruger Custom Shop 10/22s that will make it easier for both new and old shooters to compete in rimfire action games without the need to have a complex, aftermarket build. Read Field Editor Chris Christian’s article here.

Ruger Custom Shop 10/22 rifles


Author Dick Jones often competes in defensive pistol matches, and when the Springfield Armory Hellcat was introduced last year he promptly put in a call to get a loaner for testing. Needless to say, he was quite impressed with the performance of the gun in competition, saying that “Springfield Armory certainly has a winner in this one.” You can check out his review of the Hellcat at this link.

Springfield Armory Hellcat


According to author Glen Zediker, the key to function in an AR-15 is the architecture, namely the gas system. In his article, Zediker reviews the symptoms of an overgassed gun, also sharing tips on how to correct AR-15 function without the use of accessories. Read what he has to share about the subject here.

AR-15 Architecture


At VMR matches, the Short, Magazine Lee Enfield of British Empire fame is one of the most popular rifles with competitors. And with good reason—the market was flooded with surplus Enfield rifles after World War II, and the Enfield’s cartridge, the venerable .303 British, remains in production to this day. In his article, Field Editor Art Merrill shares his know-how on reloading the .303 British for VMR competition. Read it here.

.303 British for VMR competition


As I write this upon returning from SHOT Show 2020, I can’t help but reflect on two things that I observed out there that stuck out to me—continued innovation in the .22 LR realm and the increase in gear across the board intended for long-range shooting. Both are good things for competitive shooters. More guns and gear using affordable .22 LR ammunition means more opportunity to compete in disciplines such as precision rimfire and NRL22, as well as for training for centerfire sports. And, with more options for long-range shooters, these games are more accessible now than ever before. Be sure to look for our full report from SHOT Show 2020 in next month’s issue.

—John Parker
Executive Editor, Shooting Sports USA

Reporters Welcome

In our efforts to recruit more reporters, we frequently hear the comment: “But I’m not a writer.” What people overlook is that they are on the scene, hearing and seeing the action first-hand. Editing and completing the article is our job, so if you’d like to try your hand at sharing draft reports and photographs from national-level matches or interviews with key people in the shooting sports, please email us at shootingsportsusa@nrahq.org.

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