This month’s cover features Indiana First Lady Janet Holcomb at the First Shot Ceremony for the inaugural NRA National Matches at Camp Atterbury. The state of Indiana, and the Indiana State Rifle and Pistol Association have been key partners for the NRA in its new endeavor at Camp Atterbury, and Mrs. Holcomb has been one of our biggest supporters. I took the photo on the range after she fired the ceremonial first shot with a Walther KK300 rifle and SK Standard Plus .22 LR ammunition. You couldn’t have asked for a better way to begin the Smallbore National Championships, with someone who loves the shooting sports like Mrs. Holcomb and the brand new, 100-point covered range at Camp Atterbury. Read all about it in the August digital magazine.
Rimfire precision competition has exploded in popularity in recent years, and with good reason—the ammunition can be significantly cheaper than its centerfire counterparts. Author Serena Juchnowski brings us the scoop this month on the gear that PRS .22 competitors are using after firing her first match in the sport. She was guided by Allison Zane, a talented junior PRS competitor who not only knows her way around a precision rifle but has also garnered a substantial social-media presence while sharing her match experiences. Check out this month’s Product Focus.
The relationship between pistol barrel length and velocity is the subject of Brad Miller’s latest article. He argues that you can’t always assume that a longer barrel means higher speed and that sometimes a shorter barrel will produce higher speed than the longer barrel. Read it here.
Classic side-by-side shotguns are a real treat to shoot. Author Dick Jones has been a fan of double guns since he was a teenager and says that not only are they great collectibles, they are also loads of fun to shoot. Classic double-gun competitions and exhibitions are located around the country, and you can often find exquisite shotgun artistry to the tune of millions of dollars. Read about these fine guns from the past and the competitions, starting on page 34.
The third installment in Chris Christian’s Steel Challenge series focuses on the lightning-fast Smoke & Hope stage. One of the most challenging stages, Smoke & Hope requires shooters to shift from pure speed on the Option plates to a precise hit on the Stop plate, which is smaller in diameter. Learn how to master this fan-favorite stage.
As I write this, the Tokyo Olympics are still in full force and eight U.S. shooters have won six individual and team medals—Vincent Hancock (gold, skeet), Amber English (gold, skeet), William Shaner (gold, air rifle), Mary Tucker and Lucas Kozeniesky (silver, mixed team rifle), Kayle Browning (silver, trap) and Maddy Bernau and Brian Burrows (bronze, mixed team trap). This number already exceeds the total U.S. medal count for shooting events at the Rio 2016 Games and showcases just how talented our competitors are when they compete internationally. Although the Tokyo Olympics this summer are marred in part by COVID, the fact that the Games have persevered in the face of the pandemic represents how athletics, and especially the shooting sports, are a way for humanity to be united, even for just a few weeks. Good luck to the remaining athletes on Team USA!
Finally, the 2021 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits will take place at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Tex., on Sept. 3–5. This is an event you won’t want to miss, and admission is free is for NRA members. Learn more at www.nraam.org.
Executive Editor, Shooting Sports USA
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Read more: Competitors’ Corner: July 2021