Hunter Sighting In

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HunterShooter events were designed to encourage hunters to practice their shooting on the range in a manner more in line with their shooting in the field. Too many hunters that at least bother with a formal sight-in session (and too many skip even this preliminary step) fail to attempt shooting other than slow fire from a bench rest.

I’ve seen this play out poorly many times. Here’s an example shared elsewhere.

When I helped with gun club-required membership weekend hunting sight-ins, I would see folks shooting 100-yard one-inch groups – sometimes the rare tighter groups. If they looked like good sports, I would ask them to play a game with me.

After their sighting-in I would have them stand ready with a round chambered and safety on and when I said “start” they had 10 seconds (actually lots of time) to shoulder up and fire one shot offhand at their 100-yard target.

I have done this about a hundred times. Only six times has anyone hit an 18×18-inch target with the first shot!

All are shocked! Actually, about 40 percent miss the entire four-foot square backing board. Then the learning curve comes into play, assuming a deer or elk gives you a second chance at 100 yards – oh sure. I ask them to try again. About 20 percent are on paper. By the third shot they settle in and 95 percent get on the sheet of paper. After this little drill, most get quite a kick out of seeing the effects/results from the bench to the real world of their shooting. A high percentage then stuck around to finish the remainder of their box of hunting ammunition firing from kneeling and standing positions.

– Jim Shults
https://www.ssusa.org/articles/2018/1/17/a-few-techniques-about-sighting-in-your-rifle/

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Cover Use vs Real Life

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From John P Correia

I was watching a video of someone shooting IDPA yesterday, and it struck me that they demand use of cover. And my first thought was that I almost NEVER see shooters using cover in real gunfights.

And then I went back and looked through a couple of months of videos. And the reality is, I do occasionally see the use of cover/concealment in defensive gunfights. Not OFTEN, but not almost never. A majority of gunfights just don’t provide any options for cover, and most people move a step or three and then go to work with their roscoe.

I ain’t nobody in any competitive shooting organization, but if I were, I would consider whether all shooting MUST be done behind cover. If there was one thing I would change, it’s the amount of time I see people have to lean into weird stances as they shoot to keep their feet in bounds and get their hits. THAT, I have never seen in a gunfight. Some squatting, some minor leaning, but not anything like what I see time and again in competition videos.

If an organization really wanted to mimic real-life gunfighting, they would all but eliminate reloads as parts of their CoF. (I know they won’t because it adds a skill metric and a differentiating factor among competitors, but still) Maybe throw an intentionally staged malf in there once in awhile instead. Or allow dropping of partial mags and recognize that movement from one place to another actually stands in for “first gunfight is over, now staging for second scenario as soon as you get more bees in the blaster.”

Just some random thoughts.

I am only an occasional competitive shooter who does it for fun and for grins & giggles with friends, so please don’t take what I am saying as a call out of any shooting org or yelling at gamers to get off my lawn or any of that silliness. Their game, their rules!

Why Weight Training Is Ridiculously Good For You

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Experts say it’s well past time to discard those antiquated notions of what resistance training can do for your physique and health. Modern exercise science shows that working with weights may be the best exercise for lifelong physical function and fitness.

“To me, resistance training is the most important form of training for overall health and wellness,” says Brad Schoenfeld, an assistant professor of exercise science at New York City’s Lehman College. During the past decade, Schoenfeld has published more than 30 academic papers on every aspect of resistance training—from the biomechanics of the push-up to the body’s nutrient needs following a hard lift. Many people think of weight training as exercise that augments muscle size and strength, which is certainly true. But Schoenfeld says the “load” that this form of training puts on bones and their supporting muscles, tendons and ligaments is probably a bigger deal when it comes to health and physical function.

“We talk about bone resorption, which is a decrease in bone tissue over time,” he says. When you’re young, bone resorption is balanced and in some cases exceeded by new bone tissue generation. But later in life, bone tissue losses accelerate and outpace the creation of new bone. That acceleration is especially pronounced among people who are sedentary and women who have reached or passed menopause, Schoenfeld says. This loss of bone tissue leads to the weakness and postural problems that plague many older adults.

Resistance training counteracts all those bone losses and postural deficits,” he says. Through a process known as bone remodeling, strength training stimulates the development of bone osteoblasts: cells that build bones back up. While you can achieve some of these bone benefits through aerobic exercise, especially in your lower body, resistance training is really the best way to maintain and enhance total-body bone strength.

More research links resistance training with improved insulin sensitivity among people with diabetes and prediabetes. One study published in the journal Diabetes Care found that twice-weekly training sessions helped control insulin swings (and body weight) among older men with type-2 diabetes. “Muscle is very metabolically active, and it uses glucose, or blood sugar, for energy,” says Mark Peterson, an assistant professor of physical medicine at the University of Michigan.

During a bout of resistance training, your muscles are rapidly using glucose, and this energy consumption continues even after you’ve finished exercising, Peterson says. For anyone at risk for metabolic conditions—type-2 diabetes, but also high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol levels and other symptoms of metabolic syndrome—strength training is among the most-effective remedies, he says.

Strength training also seems to be a potent antidote to inflammation, a major risk factor for heart disease and other conditions, says Schoenfeld. A 2010 study from the University of Connecticut linked regular resistance training with inflammation-quelling shifts in the body’s levels of cytokines, a type of immune system protein. Another study from Mayo Clinic found that when overweight women did twice-weekly resistance training sessions, they had significant drops in several markers of inflammation.

More research has linked strength training to improved focus and cognitive function, better balance, less anxiety and greater well-being.

If all that isn’t convincing enough to turn you onto weights, perhaps this is: maintaining strength later in life “seems to be one of the best predictors of survival,” says Peterson. “When we add strength…almost every health outcome improves.”“It used to be we thought of strength training as something for athletes,” he adds, “but now we recognize it as a seminal part of general health and well-being at all ages.”

Read more:
http://time.com/4803697/bodybuilding-strength-training/

Running Fast and Injury Free

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Running Fast and Injury Free
by Gordon Pirie

Gordon Pirie was a British long distance runner most famous for his silver medal at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics in the 5000 meters. The 1998 edition of the Guinness Book of Records lists Gordon Pirie under the Greatest Mileage entry, stating that he had run a total distance of 347,600 km (216,000 miles) in 40 years to 1981. That’s over 100 miles (160 km) a week every week for 40 years! The irony of this is Pirie gives three reasons why runners get injured, and one of them is too much “long slow distance” (LSD) mileage! In all fairness, he does believe in a balance of various types of running and to include strength training as a component.

Running Fast and Injury Free is partly biographical and partly an outline of Pirie’s training approach. From the introduction:

“In the last 45 years, I have participated in three Olympic Games (winning a Silver Medal in the 5,000 metre race at the 1956 Melbourne Games), and have set five official world records (and a dozen or so more unofficial world bests). I have faced and beaten most of the greatest athletes of my time, and have run to date nearly a quarter of a million miles. Along the way, I have coached several of Great Britain and New Zealand’s best runners some of whom have set their own world records. In addition, I aided the late Adolf (Adi) Dassler (founder of Adidas) in developing spiked racing shoes, on which most of today’s good designs are based. This brief list of some of my accomplishments is presented in order to lend credibility to what follows”.

Pirie lists what he considered the three biggest causes of injury among runners. First, few runners know how to run correctly. Improper technique puts undue strain on the feet, ankles, knees, back and hips, and makes injury inevitable. Second, most running shoes today are designed and constructed that make correct technique impossible (and therefore cause chronic injuries) due to a misconception that a runner should land on his or her heels and then roll forward to the front of the foot with each stride. In designing their shoes, most shoe companies fall prey to this incorrect assumption. Third , is an over-emphasis on mileage in training, especially “long slow distance” (LSD). Without the constant maintenance of a proper balance in training including sprinting, interval training, weights, hills and long-running – a runner’s body simply will not adapt to the stresses it encounters on a day to day basis.

His recommendations on strength training are especially interesting. He devoted an entire chapter to weight training.

A race is an all-out effort over a short period of minutes or seconds. The aim of weight training for runners is to simulate as closely as possible the movements used in running their special event, and hence the demands which racing makes on the body. In this way, the body’s strength can be developed, with an emphasis on ensuring that the body is balanced in strength, and not lopsided with one side stronger than the other, as commonly occurs because most people are either right- or left-handed. A runner should be equally strong in both sides of the body – left and right – and have balanced strength between the front and back of the body… Many of the runners who decry the positive effects of weight training have gained their superior strength with the assistance of a good Doctor or Chemist. Others – like Sebastian Coe and Steve Scott – are open about the significant role that weight training has played in their training… You should aim to work to at least two-thirds or more of your body weight with bar-bells. The ultimate test is to be able to lift the equivalent of your own body weight over your head. When you can do this, you will be strong enough for running events.

Before I began weight training, I was a long distance and cross country runner who could grind it out with anyone, but a constant loser in a sprint. A diet of hard weights, however, turned me
into a complete competitor, one who could pour on the pace and still sprint madly at the finish.

Before getting onto the specifics of an effective weight-training protocol, here are some general guidelines about fitting weights into your overall programme:

How often should one do weight-training?
Every second or third day is about right, along with a full running programme (curtail your weights several days before a race). Your weight training should also continue through the height of the racing season. Do not give away all the good training you have done just when you need the greatest amount of strength.

How hard should the weight-training be?
There are two types of weight sessions: (1) a full-out session in which you do all and every exercise as hard as you can; and (2) an easier session with half-dosages of fewer exercises. It is not uncommon for a tired runner to feel much fitter after a moderate session with the weights. These sessions seem to flush out your muscles. On the other hand, the full-out, go-for-it, maximum sessions tend to put the body down a bit, and numb it for a while; so those sessions should never be attempted near to a race day (say within six days). The body does cope easily with easy routines, however, and I sometimes even find that a few exercises with strong weights before a three-hour running session can bring fantastic strength into the running, making it feel much easier. I have always found my best running fitness – when I was able to set world records and finish races in stunning fashion – to be absolutely tied in with my best form with the weights. The stronger I was at grappling with the weights (combined with a lot of hard running), the better I was on race day.

Pirie is basically describing a HLM (Heavy-Light-Medium) template, 2-3 times per week, recommending to warm up light and then ramp up to a weight you can handle with good form for about six repetitions and then increase in each session in a steady, programmed manner from there. Free weights are ideal and lifts specifically recommended include presses (working up to pressing a barbell loaded to bodyweight over head), rows (using 2/3 bodyweight and increasing from there), cleans, deadlifts (starting at bodyweight and increasing from there), and chin ups. This is very similar to the advice given by noted strength coach and competitive lifter, Bill Starr.

Running Fast and Injury Free
by Gordon Pirie
Free download:
https://www.scribd.com/document/13695/Gordon-Pirie-s-Running-Fast-and-Injury-Free/

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-5k-not-the-marathon-is-the-ideal-race/

New Mexico Veterans set sights on Golden Age Games competition

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The Games include ambulatory, visually impaired and wheelchair divisions, with each divided into age categories. Competition events include 3-on-3 basketball, air rifle, badminton (singles and doubles), boccia (singles and doubles), bowling, pickleball, cycling, field (discus, javelin, shot put), golf, horseshoes, nine ball, power walk, shuffleboard, swimming, table tennis and track.

Volunteer registration for the 2018 National Veterans Golden Age Games opens April 20. For more information, or to volunteer, visit https://www.va.gov/opa/speceven/gag/index.asp

More:
https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/47517/new-mexico-veterans-set-sights-golden-age-games-competition/

Endurance Race: Safety and Participation

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About 2,500 Boston Marathon runners receive medical treatment

Boston Globe, April 16, 2018
https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2018/04/16/marathon-runners-treated-for-injuries-wellesley/JhQbVspqLwJEy4XFKjvULI/story.html

The food, drinks, coffee, and roaring fire in the building’s front room took on a more serious purpose as more than 50 injured competitors streamed in, many suffering from symptoms of hypothermia.

“It’s just become this impromptu shelter for running refugees,” said associate pastor Ashley Murphy, who lives nearby and had already raided her pantry and linen closet for food, towels, and dry clothes.

More than 2,500 runners, including 25 elite athletes, received medical treatment, race organizers said. Eighty-one runners were taken to the hospital.

Given 29,978 runners registered for the 2018 Boston Marathon (and they had to pre-qualify to be accepted), this is more than a 8.3% casualty rate. Contrast this to the injury rates common at shooting or strength sport events, which are comparatively non-existant.

So why do endurance sports enjoy positive attention? The stats continue to show why non-shooting events receive attention while shooting events do not.
https://firearmusernetwork.com/tag/participation-rates/

29,978 runners registered for the 2018 Boston Marathon, supported by 9,500 volunteers, over 500,000 spectators, and $830,500 in prizes. There were another 10,000 participants at the BAA 5K around the Boston Common held just before.
The 2018 Boston Marathon: By The Numbers by Kurt Badenhausen, Forbes Magazine
https://www.forbes.com/sites/kurtbadenhausen/2018/04/16/the-boston-marathon-2018-by-the-numbers/#7ccf034b31d6

Contrast this to participation rates at shooting or strength sport events and you’ll have your answer.

Improving Marksmanship Programs

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Words of wisdom from John Tate

  1. Get competition instilled at the unit level – then post level, etc. I put this first – because it is the most important factor. Getting leadership interested in crucial. Get awards and/or commendations for commanding officers of small units when their people shoot well. If the brass appears to care about something, their minions will too.
  2. Instill competition. Just like PT should be, consider every qual session to be competitive. Post scored and give some sort of prize/praise to the top shooters. Castigate those at the bottom.
  3. Promote self-training. Use on-duty time to show proper techniques (especially dry fire techniques), and have troops practice on their own time. Don’t soldiers work on PT on their own time? Also, don’t you still own boots 24/7? In my day (1960s, 1/2 a century ago) not only boots, but regulars were yours 24/7.
  4. Publish the comparative costs of shooting against other activities that require consumables … like jet fuel for aircraft, guided missiles, projectiles for armor and artillery. I think you can make the case that small arms ammo is cheap. And, if you can copy some of the laser simulation systems, you don’t even need ammo, no worry about lead poison, and no worry about negligent discharges.
  5. Consider a practice from WWI through the VietNam era: Use .22 LR and airguns.
  6. Use reduced size ranges & targets. For rifle, long ranges are hard to use. They take up lots of space and preparation/mainatenance. They require target pullers. They require time just walking back and forth from line to pits. Consider reduced range work. Putting bullets in the same hole at 1,000 inches equates to holding the 10-ring at 600 yds.

Hang Tough – Keep the Faith – Watch your 6.

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