SHOT Show 2018…
Another January has come and gone, and with it was once again the largest event of its kind in the world… The 2018 Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show was held at the Sands Expo and Convention Center from January 23rd through the 26th. Covering nearly 6 hectares (14.8 acres) of flooring, an excess of 2100 exhibitors displayed their products and services for some 60,000 attendees of the 4 day event. 2018 signified the 40th anniversary of the SHOT Show which started way back in 1979 with 290 exhibitors covering a comparatively miniscule 0.48 hectares (1.1 acres).
This year’s SHOT Show also marks the 20th time that SHOT has been hosted in Las Vegas, Nevada; and city that is larger than life seems to be a prefect fit for the SHOT Show. Last year saw nearly 3.2 million kg (3,500 tons) of exhibits moved onto the show floor. To put it mildly, the SHOT Show is unbelievably huge. However there is always a catch when it comes to the biggest and best; the SHOT Show is not open to the general public. That is correct, it is only open to members of the industry and trade. Manufacturers, wholesalers, importers, exporters, retailers, training, non-profit organization and media, all of which are involved in Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoors are able to apply to attend SHOT Show.
The SHOT Show is preceded by Industry Day at the Range on the Monday before the show. This day allows only exhibitor-invited media and buyers to come out to Boulder City Rifle & Pistol Club and experience first hand the products offered by over 160 companies. Everything from crossbows to handguns, throwing axes to fully automatic rifles and everything in-between. With over 1400 media and 800 buyers potentially being on site during this day, Industry Day continues to be the premier hunting and shooting event in the industry providing hands-on experience for attendees. The one caveat is the same as during SHOT Show itself, members of the public are not allowed.
This was the author’s 12th year of attending the SHOT Show and I was accompanied by some long time attendees who had an additional dozen or more shows under their belts. The SHOT Show is now less fun and exciting than it used to be, likely due to the more structured and business oriented planning now done by the author. However, attending the event has always left the author with a sense of awe at the sheer scale of firearms and accessories that are even out there. In perspective; Canada’s outdoor hunting, sporting market brings in roughly $6.5 billion in annual revenue. SHOT Show has that value of product and exhibits on display. Damned!
Now SHOT Show does bring in companies that have absolutely anything remotely to do with the firearms industry, and that includes law enforcement as well as other enterprises. However in a dozen years this had to be the first time the author noticed certain things that never had been at the show previously or escaped notice. With an excess of 1800 exhibitors, you will always miss something when attending, but some stuff is also new…
IF you thought that the Industry Day at the Range would be the favourite of the author’s annual pilgrimage to SHOT, you would be very close indeed. However, it is the now huge Canadian event that keeps the author coming back every year. The Canadian Shooting Sports Association (CSSA) once again stepped up and hosted the 5th Annual Canadian SHOT Show Reception, with the support of the Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association (CSAAA). This event has literally blossomed from a dozen people gathered in a hotel room, to a huge event that draws in Canadians from every aspect of the firearms community. Hosted at the Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower, the event was held towering above the city of Las Vegas 108 stories in the air. The view was incomparable, the food was great but extremely short-lived, and the casual atmosphere allowed for the Canadian contingent of SHOT Show attendees to unwind a bit and relax and talk to other Canadians about anything including shop talk. This past event hosted in excess of 300 individuals that otherwise rarely, if ever, communicate to each other except through emails and phone calls. However this reception in its current state is only possible through the sponsorship of multiple firearms related businesses and individuals. TPF would like to personally thank each of these for their support and will list each and every one here.
Canadian Shooting Sports Association
Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association
North Sylva Co.
Trigger Wholesale Inc.
Calgary Shooting Centre
T.E.C. Trade Ex Canada
Nordic Marksmen Inc.
Tactical Ordinance Inc.
Double Tap Sports
Holosun Technologies Inc.
Firearms Legal Defence
Korth Group Ltd.
Thanks to these sponsors for making the Canadian SHOT Show Reception possible and for being a part of the event. Here at TPF we will be sure to visit each of the sponsors and look at what they have to offer to our Canadian firearms community. We hope that you would do so as well.
As preparations have already begun for next year’s 41st SHOT Show, which will return to the Sands Expo on January 22-25, 2019; so to have the preparations for the 6th Annual Canadian SHOT Show Reception. Companies and potential attendees are asked to contact CSSA Director Mike Duynhoven.
As a FYI to readers who are not Canadian, or are not familiar with our listed organizations; the CSSA is similar to the USA’s National Rifle Association, only more polite eh? They are the organization that represents the firearms consumers across Canada with training, and political outreach; but only have two decades under their belt compared to the NRA’s 150. The CSAAA represents the Canadian firearms industry and looks after their interests, similar to the National Shooting Sports Foundation which organizes and runs the SHOT Show.
Here is a few images showing some of our Canadian companies that are exhibiting at SHOT Show! Make sure to visit ALL of them and help them all out.
There are currently over 30 Canadian companies that exhibit at SHOT Show with more and more doing so every following year. We at TPF will strive to get you a list and images of every single one of our Canadian exhibitors next year at SHOT Show 2019. Thank you for reading all the way through this small write-up of the 2018 SHOT Show. We will soon have more reviews and look forwards to future events for 2018.
Fun Fact: Canada, while only a tenth of the population of the USA, has a substantial number of legal firearms owners. For every 1000 firearms made in the USA, 95% of those remain in the USA for domestic sales, Canadian markets account for 80-90% of the those exported from the USA. That means out of every 500 firearms exported from US manufacturers, Canadian markets get 400-450 of those. This is the reason that most firearms manufactured have a slightly longer barrel to meet Canadian Restricted status instead of Prohibited, such as Ruger GP-100 is 108mm (4.2″) in length.
What is a Lightweight Modern Sporting Rifle? TPF takes a look!
The origins of the much enjoyed AR-15 platform started back in the mid-1950’s with Eugene Stoner’s 7.62mm semi-automatic rifle design, the Armalite Rifle Model 10, also known as the AR-10. In 1957, Mr. Stoner and two engineers, Jim Sullivan, and Bob Fremont, were tasked to design a scaled down version of the AR-10 to use a .22 calibre cartridge and the result was the Armalite Rifle Model 15. Due to poor marketing of the AR-15 design, Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corporation, the parent company of Armalite, sold the AR-10 & AR-15 designs to Colt’s Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company in 1959. Starting in 1962, the AR-15 design was utilized and adopted by the military of the United States in both the original and a fully automatic version, the M-16; and saw the design’s first true widespread usage during the war of Vietnam. There were many issues, which were found during those years of abuse and extreme environmental usage. You may have seen the movies and videos of soldiers of that era equipped with an AR-15/M-16 who religiously cleaned their rifles in every moment outside of actual combat. There is a bit of truth in that, hence why those scenes were so common.
Fast forward, a half a century and the AR-15 platform has become the measuring stick for determining what construes the Modern Sporting Rifle. The widespread definition of a Modern Sporting Rifle, to be called MSR henceforth, came about in 2009, as Mr. Randy Luth, then retiring President and Founder of DPMS firearms, continued to promote the AR-15 platform as a viable firearm to the hunting market in the United States. A MSR is one of which has most, if not all, of the following features:
- Semi-automatic in operation. The redirection of a portion of generated energy to enable self-reloading allows for lower recoil, and thereby faster recovery and follow-up shots.
- Mounts a pistol grip. This allows for more comfortable hold as well as having more ergonomic access to operating controls of the firearm (safety, bolt release, etc…)
- Utilizes a detachable magazine as a means of reloading the firearm both simply and easily.
- Has an adjustable stock which enable the ability to allow for personalized “fit-up” for individual users.
- Incorporates accessory mounts that allow the installation of optics as well as possibly multitude of other accessories that are customized to the individual’s requirements.
With over 50 years of history and production of a wide variety of AR styled rifle platforms, it has become such a popular design that a seemingly endless number of manufacturers offer their own versions. With prices of a few of these ranging up to several thousand dollars before even buying a magazine, the AR runs the gambit for value for the consumer’s ability and desire to purchase quality and performance. The balance point for the individual user is the issue, but stereotypically firearms owners in Canada are somewhat frugal in nature. The old saying of “Knowing is half the battle”, applies to O’Dell Engineering, a Canadian distributor of firearms and accessories has taken that to heart with their recently launched Lightweight Modern Sporting Rifle, or LMSR. It incorporates modern polymers and proven designs to bring a quality AR platform rifle to the firearms community of Canada.
Here at Tactical, Practical & Fantastical; were delighted to acquire one of the original entry level LMSR’s offered by O’Dell Engineering and have brought it to you, our readers.. So without further delay let’s take a look at the intro level LMSR available in Canada.
The LMSR is an AR-15 platform rifle, which incorporates all the features mentioned about for defining a Modern Sporting Rifle, and like a typical AR-15 has three primary components. A lower receiver, an upper receiver and the bolt carrier group. The lower receiver in this case is manufactured by American Tactical and is comprised of injection-molded polymer and is machined to exacting specifications. The standard AR15/M4, six position polymer stock is mounted on the commercial diameter buffer tube and factory trigger comes set between four to five pounds of force. The controls are the standard common versions found on most basic AR platforms.
The upper receiver is an anodized black, A3 flattop profile, that is machined from cast 7075-T6 aluminum which is roughly 50% stronger than 6061-T6 aluminum for superior wear, stress resistance and fatigue levels. The barrel of the reviewed LMSR is hammer forged and 406mm (16.0″) in length. The barrel itself has a surface treatment known as Melonite Nitrocarburizing Process, which not only adds surface hardness, but also improves corrosion and wear resistance as well. Chambered in 5.56x45mm and sporting a 1 in 7″ rate of twist, the barrel also has a protected crown, also known as a recessed crown; and a bolt-on low profile, picatinny railed gas block located at the carbine positioned gas port. The receiver rail and the gas block rail are not co-linear in height however, so prospective users should be aware of this fact.
The furniture is basic and black, with a standard A2 grip and two-piece, carbine length, hand guards. With the rear take down pin movement being extremely snug to insert and remove; the upper and lower fit together so securely that there is absolutely no need for an accu-wedge or shimming to have a solid, rattle-free, assembly.
The Specifications of the LMSR – Intro level (as reviewed)
Classification: Restricted firearm
Action: Semi-automatic, direct impingement gas system
Calibre: 5.56x45mm/.223 Remington
Lower: Black polymer, 6 position M4 style collapsing buttstock, commercial diameter buffer tube, 4-5 lb trigger
Upper: Anodized black 7075-T6, A3 picatinny rail flat-top profile
Barrel: 16″ black melonite finish, carbine length 2-pc hand guard, picatinny gas block, recessed crown, 1:7 twist
Mass: 2.6kg (5.73lbs) w/o magazine & optics
As this specific rifle is to become the test rifle for many future accessories to be reviewed here at TPF, it was only fair for the author to put this rifle through it’s paces and season it. So over the course of the last year this rifle has had several hundred rounds fed through it, both to test accuracy and durability of what is a value priced, entry level AR platform for the Canadian marketplace. For our labour of love the author mounted an Eotech 512.A65 far forward on the upper’s picatinny rail to ensure that there was minimal possible distortion. Once dialed in, the rifle spit 45-55 grain projectiles downrange and consistently was able to shoot 20 cm (8″) diameter steel plates from offhand shooting positions @ 91m (100y) and engage all forms of targets in local 3-Gun scenarios. TPF’s LMSR in the factory configuration has been tried with a variety of magazines, several hundred factory and reloaded rounds of ammunition and has suffered zero failures to fire and eject at the time of this TPF installment.
The LSMR (Intro Level) comes with a 16″ barrel length, which has an MSRP of $899.99 CDN and is assembled and distributed throughout Canada by O’Dell Engineering Limited. To find a retailer near you access their Dealer page. There is a premium version available that is outfitted with a High Standard, chrome lined barrel in 16″, 14.5″ or 10.5″ length options; all of which have a 1/2″-28 threaded A2 flash-hider “birdcage” mounted and sport an bayonet lugged A2 gas block with a fixed front sight for true co-witness ability. The question is whether you the reader feel that the LMSR is Practical, Tactical, or Fantastical.
P.S.: The LMSR has, as of mid-2014, been upgraded with a second generation lower with added features and manufacturing advancements. The new rifle designation is the LMSR2. If you want to ask the Distributor questions you can reach them on facebook HERE.
The solution to the second most tedious thing about progressive reloading… YES!
“The second most tedious thing?” That was surely the question of most readers when looking at the title of this installment of TPF-Online. Yes, the author did mean to say the second most. The number one most tedious job from the majority of reloaders is trimming brass to length and there are a multitude of methods to do exactly that. However this instalment is about the second most tedious thing for reloaders who utilize progressive presses from Dillon, Hornady, RCBS, etc… So what is the second most tedious thing in progressive reloading? Filling the priming system of the press.
There are currently three common methods used in primer feed devices. Tube, Strip, and Box fed priming systems. Lee progressive presses, like the Loadmaster, utilize the box feed systems for their progressive press designs and it is by far the fastest for reloading primers. RCBS progressives now routinely use a preloaded primer feeding strip system since it’s introduction over a decade ago. But for the rest, a primer fill tube is used for the reloading process to be have one hundred primers ready for reloading. This has, for many, been done via the old fashion method of using a primer flip tray and a primer collecting tube and manually forcing each individual primer into the fill tube. It can take several minutes for an experienced user to pick up a hundred primers, and so many people pre-load several of these fill tubes prior to reloading, which is hard on the hands.
Luckily however, the author occasionally peruses the internet for firearms related products and businesses at random, and it was not too long ago that TPF came across a Canadian IPSC shooter, Mr. Nik Papadhopulli, who decided to open up a small business to supply Canadian shooters with various items to help with reloading and equipment to help competitors with the shooting sports. One of these products offered is an accessory to help speed up primer tube filling. Now TPF knows about Dillon’s RF-100 primer filling station, which is a hands free filler. You put a box of one hundred primers in the top of the unit and press a button and couple minutes later you have a full tube. This option is quite costly with a price tag of nearly $400 including the option to be able to fill both large and small primer tubes. However, at roughly half the price of the RF-100, Red Tip Bullet offers an alternative to Canadians. The Pal-Filler, designed and manufactured in Italy by Palvik, is a hand held, battery operated, primer tube filler.
Smaller, cheaper, and faster, this product already includes the ability to load both small and large primers. Now the Pal-Filler is not some complex, ergonomic and aesthetically beautiful product. It is in fact relatively plain and basic is shape and operation. Included is a double-usage primer tray, where one side is for small primers and the opposite side is for large primers. This tray is attached to the handle/grip and a primer tube is inserted in the appropriate opening. Operation of the Pal-Filler is a simple affair and assumes that the proper primer tube is already pre-inserted into the Pal Filler tool.
- A box of primers is dumped into the flipping tray, and shaken until all primers are anvil side up.
- Once primers are all oriented properly, the user inserts the retaining lid.
- With the unit tipped slightly towards the tube filling hole, the user flips the switch.
- The vibration caused by a rotating offset mass vibrates the Pal-Filler and the primers all fall in sequence into the open tube top.
- Did TPF mention it was fast? From the primer box to a tube filled with one hundred (100) primers in roughly thirty (30) seconds.
The concept for the Pal-Filler is very simple. Use proven, existing technology in a compact package. The small electric motor is wired in series with the simple on/off switch and the battery holder. The motor mounts an offset mass that creates the high frequency vibrations in the unit itself. It indeed is simple and one may think that should not equate into a high cost. Normally TPF would agree, except the Pal-Filler is completely manufactured on CNC machines. The aluminum grip halves are both machined from a billet of aluminum, inside and out. The tray is CNC machined from a block of high density plastic. The motor retaining bracket is machined aluminum as well. Even the battery holder is given a CNC machined base to be mounted on. The design features for ruggedness and longevity are apparent when looking at the Pal-Filler.
Made from quality materials, with quality craftsmanship, this is a fine tool for the reloader who does not want to load primers into tubes manually and is especially suited to volume usage as done by many progressive reloaders. The Pal Filler as reviewed has an MSRP of $189.00 CDN and is available from Red Tip Bullets (
http://www.redtipbullet.com). The question posed to our readers is if this piece of equipment is Tactical, Practical, or Fantastical.
Addendum 2017… We have been informed that Red Tip Bullets has since closed its doors. Which is unfortunate.
Getting into Action Shooting – Part 3
Combat pistol shooting has been around since the early 1900’s as military forces and law enforcement began to use handguns as a means of defense. Even back nearly 50 years ago, combat shooting was practiced by law enforcement as a means of training law enforcement officers (LEOs) to be able to effectively and accurately use their service pistols in a variety of shooting positions. A six shot revolver chambered in .38 Special was the standard staple of these LEOs so accuracy was an extremely important skill to have with their limited ammunition capacities. Remember that while a 1911 was designed over a century ago, most semi automatics were very expensive compared to the revolvers even just a few decades prior to today. This version of Combat Shooting has survived today as Police Pistol Combat (PPC) and is seen as the for-runner to current dynamic action shooting disciplines. It wasn’t until the late 1960’s and early 1970’s that the true combat shooting was starting to take shape in today’s version which incorporates drilling the concepts of threat identification and tactical awareness as well as accuracy while under stress. For readers who are in the younger generations, TPF recommends you go and look for the movie Magnum Force (1973), starring Clint Eastwood, and you will see a small snippet of the fore-runners of today’s action shooting with the “Combat Shooting Championships” in the . Please remember that movie is nearly 40 years in age and at the time action shooting sports had not been truly established. While PPC was, and is still today, practiced both a discipline and sport, it was the foundation for what developed into the modern action shooting sport, such as International Practical Shooting Confederation which was officially formed in 1976.
As the concept of getting into action shooting sports has already been addressed in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, this installment is to those individuals have already tried their hand at the fun filled world of action shooting. As TPF has inferred in the aforementioned posts, the majority of the experienced people who participate in action shooting are extremely friendly and open. Now some of these people now train others and use their vast amounts of experience and knowledge and years of refined skills to help jump start newcomers into shooting, and to enhance skills of those familiar to the sport. TPF, on behalf of the CSSA was able to interact with many of the shooters in the previous installments and get a quick tip from them. Please recall that many of these people make a living from training people how to become a better shooter and as such will only give small snippets of advice outside of a training session. TPF is honoured by the following individuals for their time and efforts at promoting the shooting sports and for their willingness to assist new shooters in some tips which they have found helpful in being a superior competitive shooter.
A huge supporter of IPSC and the owner of Freedom Ventures in Canada, Mr. Sean Hansen graciously gives TPF readers a quick tip on improving your shooting ability.
STI International sponsored competitive shooter, Mr. Blake Miguez is very open and a great individual whom was very forthcoming when asked to share his insight of how to improve one’s shooting prowess in action shooting. Mr. Miguez’s Facebook site here.
Michael Voigt is one of the true veterans of the shooting sports with many years of experience and skill under his belt. You will not how much he enjoys discussing the sport he has loved for many, many, years of dedication. Mr. Voigt’s website here.
Rob Leatham is to Action Shooting what Wayne Gretzky is to Hockey. Considered by many to be the overall grand master of knowledge and techniques from years upon years of being one of the best in the world in action shooting. Mr. Leatham’s website can be found here.
Angus Hobdell has been shooting CZ handguns for so long that the two are nearly interchangeable when talking about one or the other. A great great love for the shooting sports and a very friendly nature to all, means that Angus has no issues in letting TPF readers in on one of the small secrets for a successful shoot. Visit Angus Hobdell.s wesite here.
With a good sense of humour and a great demeanor, Ms. Tierani Hendrix is a credit to the shooting sports with her outgoing personality. While at the 2012 SHOT Show, she spared a small amount of time to give new action shooters a tip for improving. Her website can be found here.
Ms. Randi Rogers is pure gold in her enthusiasm for shooting sports and has an amazing level of skill and energy which she is always more than happy to share with new shooters. TPF was able to “co-erce” Ms. Rogers into offering a helpful hint just by asking her. Find Randi Rogers’ website here.
Para-USA Shooter, Travis Tomasie was yet another professional shooter who is happy to help out prospective shooters aquire higher skill sets and compete in action shooting sports. Travis’ website can be found here.
TPF would like to thank all the professional shooters who were willing to spend a moment of their time to assist TPF in these videos. Unfortunately these videos were all done in a limited time frame and due to these time constraints only a few were approached. If readers have any specific shooters, or questions to have asked of these shooters, please ensure that you write us with your suggestions here!
Regardless if it is Tactical, Practical, or Fantastical; the popularity of action shooting sports is on the rise. Thanks for reading!
Getting into Action Shooting – Part 2
Getting into Action Shooting – Part 2! – On behalf of TPF-Online and the CSSA! Part 1 can be found here!
Continuing the theme of how to get people into action shooting, or at least experience shooting sports in general, TPF-Online once again brings various video snippets from the ranks of the extremely knowledgeable and experienced names in action shooting. Once again however, TPF cautions that many of these interviews come from a American point of view, which is somewhat different due to the prevalence of shooting sports in the United States when compared to Canada. Thanks to the efforts of organizations like the Canadian Shooting Sports Association, podcasts like that of Canadian Reload Radio, and people who want to help grow the sport and educate the unknowing to the fun and sport of shooting.
First up is Tierani Hendrix, a wonderful person who has been shooting since 2008, only a scant 4 years; and whose skills have earned her a spot on Team Smith & Wesson along side of legendary competitive shooters like Jerry Miculek. Ms. Hendrix is consistently one of the top women shooters in the realm of IDPA, and TPF was able to snag a few moments with Ms. Hendrix while she was attending Safariland, one of her sponsors. Even with a quick sponsor plug, she tells you what who can do regarding entering into the shooting sports.
One of the legends of experience and techniques, Michael Voigt, took a small bit of time out of a hectic SHOT Show schedule to spend a bit of time with TPF and discuss with Professionally shooting since 1979, Michael Voigt has over 20 years of experience and developed techniques under his belt. Since 2001, Michael Voigt has competed with Jerry Miculek for the tops spots as Nation champion for USPSA’s 3-Gun Open division, proving that skill and experience is still a driving force in these action shooting events. Many thanks to a great gentleman and sportsmen for sharing his thoughts to the readers of TPF Online.
From the age of 11 Randi Rogers has been shooting, and shooting, and shooting. Even though her first true exposure was to Cowboy Action Shooting due to her upbringing, she has embraced almost every style and type of action shooting. A true champion who has been national champion in SASS, IDPA, IPSC, USPSA, and several other disciplines; TPF Online was pleased to be able to have Ms. Rogers give a small bit of insight into getting into action shooting. At the time of the SHOT Show when this video was taken, Randi Rogers was an employee and member of Team Glock, but has since transferred her business acumen and shooting talents to Comp-Tac.
A relative newcomer to Team Para-USA, Travis Tomasie is no stranger to guns having served in the military and being a member of the US Army Marksman Unit Shooting Team for eight years prior to joining Para-USA in 2011. Never heard of him? TPF will bet you have seen of him is you have ever looked up action shooting on Youtube. Search for the fastest reload and you’ll see Mr. Tomasie in action. Mr. Tomasie honoured TPF-Online by taking some time out of his schedule at the 2012 SHOT Show and giving his take on how to get into action shooting.
She has spent over 80% of her life shooting, and no, she is not very old at all. Tori Nonaka, shooting since she was three years old, and currently a member of Team Glock shares her ideas of how to get into action shooting. Her youth and drive are evident as Ms. Nonaka graces TPF with a few moments of her time at the 2012 SHOT Show. Many thanks to Ms. Nonaka for giving your opinion and showing TPF readers how much you love shooting!
Another veteran to shooting, Doug Koenig began his shooting career back in 1987, and is classed as one of the best all round shooters in the world. In 1999, at the age of 20, Doug Koenig was the first ever person to shoot a perfect score at the Bianchi Cup. He is a great competitor and has a wealth of experience and skills which people can learn from. Here Doug Koenig shares a moment with TPF-Online to describe how to find and get involved in action shooting sports.
Talking to these individuals is a great pleasure for reasons mentioned previously. Such individuals are thankfully not rare in the action shooting sports, and by that TPF-Online is heartened by the open and welcoming attitudes which many, if not all, of these top competitors have.
TPF hopes you the reader, and viewer in this case, hold your judgement until you see some more future shooting personalities in later installments, but as always; action shooting. Is it Tactical, Practical, or Fantastical?
Getting into Action Shooting – Part 1
Video games such as Call Of Duty, Battlefield, and other first person shooters have greatly increased the appeal of firearms to the younger generations. For this TPF cannot apologize, as despite knowing that such video games turn violence into a hyped up and marketable commodity, it has done more to get the next generation of shooters into the sport than almost any other combination of approaches. That in itself shows how much farther all shooters need to reach to not only accept the newest members of our sport and hobby, but how much they need to get off their own derrieres and teach the unknowing masses what they are missing.
Unfortunately it seems that fewer people nowadays are hunting and the reason for that is because for the last couple decades, firearms have become publicly of crime and unlawful activities. Nothing can be further from the truth as 99.9% of firearms owners are caring, safety conscious individuals who, outside of hunting and wilderness survival, would find it very difficult to ever commit any form of violent act against another living creature. TPF authors personally know individuals who are firearms owners and refuse to even consider playing paintball or air-soft games for the simple reason that to play those games one would have to point a “gun” at another person. That being said the author has no issues with paintball, nor air-soft, as both are akin to the firearms community. They build teamwork, camaraderie, and just as actual firearms usage, safety is the number one responsibility of all those involved.
While hunting with firearms appears on the surface to be in decline, the reality is that more and more shooters are gravitating towards handguns, “black rifles” and action shooting sports. Readers should recall that in June 2011, TPF did indeed mention some of the various action shooting disciplines available to people. This time around TPF-Online is proud to have been able to enlist several individuals who compete professionally and have them give a tip or two about what to do if you are interested in this category of extreme sports. Be advised that many of these shooters are based in the United States and have a much more prominent network for action shooting information and contacts.
Getting into Action Shooting – Part 1! – On behalf of TPF-Online and the CSSA!
First up is Canadian shooter Sean Hansen. President of Freedom Ventures Limited, and a multiple IPSC Provincial Champion in Nova Scotia, is a strong supporter of action shooting and enjoys many years of good memories and experiences regarding his efforts in action shooting and has many more years to create more.
Next up is Blake Miguez, whom at just over 20 years old holds the title of 2011 ISPC World Champion and is proof that shooting for fun can lead into more opportunities.
The lovely and talented Julie Goloski Golob shares a bit of insight on the simple and easiest method of getting into action shooting.
Talking to these individuals is a great pleasure for reasons mentioned previously. Such individuals are thankfully not rare in the action shooting sports, and by that TPF-Online is heartened by the open and welcoming attitudes which many, if not all, of these top competitors have.
TPF hopes you the reader, and viewer in this case, hold your judgement until you see some more future shooting personalities in later installments, but as always; action shooting. Is it Tactical, Practical, or Fantastical?
Just a bit more to whet your appetite as well…
Jerry Miculek – The fastest trigger in the world and arguably the best revolver competitor that ever existed.
Todd Jarrett – A world level competitor with millions upon millions of rounds of of experience and a great ambassador to the shooting sports as well.
SHOT Show 2012
Back in January, an event occurred, which the author has been privileged in attending now for the sixth year in a row. The event consists of a single day of practical hands on experiences for media and then four days of talking to an ungodly number of individuals whom are representative of the entire world for Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor manufacturers, distributors and retailers. Of course this equates to the 2012 SHOT Show which is the largest venue of its kind anywhere in the world.
The Monday, January 16th, the temperature outdoors was quite decent and the sky was cloud-free which made Media Day, once again a fine day to go and play with some of the newest firearms and related products which are currently or soon to be available for the commercial markets. Optics, ammunition, handguns, rifles, shotguns, stocks, and a host of other items were available to over 1200 media individuals to experience first hand the products available. Some items truly stood out for the author and the number one item memorable experience was cranking the handle of Colt’s reproduction 1877 Gatling Gun. 20 rounds of 45/70 Government, flew by and seemed effortless as you turned the handle of this beautiful reproduction of history. High quality prototype 308 Winchester chambered bull-pup rifles, custom machined .50 BMG projectiles, the Slide Fire stock, are just a couple of the items that were experienced by the huge crowd of media types.
For the next four days the actual trade show ensued once again at the Sands Convention center. Over 1600 companies were there with in excess of 36,000 people coming to interact with them brought the total attendees to more than 61,000 people over four days. Stunning, especially when you consider that representatives from all 50 states were there as well as representation from more than 100 countries.
TPF will not go into the thousands of products that were displayed and showcased as there are multitudes of other websites and writers whom dwell on the little nuances. There were however an extreme multitude of famous and mentionable people in attendance or in some cases, on display at SHOT Show 2012. As usual the legends and successful masters of shooting disciplines were present, as well as TV sensations both past and present. Lou Ferrigno, was seen repeatedly examining various products as a guest of Barrett Firearms; as well, several participants of the TV Show Top Shot Season 4 were discovering the huge industry on display at SHOT Show 2012. Further highlights of celebrity fanfare was the feature appearances by the crew of Red Jacket Firearms from the TV show, Sons of Guns, and many others.
A short, incomplete listing of well known people who attended Shot Show:
- R. Lee Ermey
- Les Stroud
- Bear Grylls
- Ted Nugent
- Troy & Jacob Landry
- Larry Vickers
- The SeAL team/cast from the movie “Acts of Valor”
- An nearly every known professional shooter, Outdoor TV series hosts, etc…
TPF isn’t going to go into the huge details about what was present and what new products were available for the US market. Suffice to say that the author would be able to write a short novella of several tens of thousands of words showing the various new non-firearm products, let alone new guns. We will however keep you, the reader, abreast of any products which these manufacturers, distributors, and retailers, graciously provide to TPF-Online for review.
Much of the excitement and great moments at the SHOT Show is when the author met so many other Canadians on happenstance, Mrs. Page from Packing Pink, Mr. Krete from The Gun Centre, Mr. Hansen from Freedom Ventures, Mr. Muir from Lever Arms, Mr. Ruston from Tactical Products Canada, and a host of others representing Canadian businesses. Many thanks are to be given to these individuals and companies for attending and creating the contracts and arrangements which continue to supply our Canada market with firearms and related products.
If you are ever able to go, TPF-Online recommends that you do so and experience the multi-billion dollar industry which is partially displayed at SHOT Show. And recall that this is just a PARTIAL display as there are many many other businesses and manufacturers who are not in attendance. A great example is FWB, or Feinwerkbau, one of the oldest and most renowned Olympic class firearms makers, wasn’t present yet again in this year’s SHOT Show.
This years SHOT Show was executed even better than last year and once again, anyone coming should bring a couple pairs of walking shoes to explore and experience the whole event and all booths. However, be forewarned that should you attend, plan your visits to the booths they would have roughly a minute for visiting each booth, and when you consider the sheer scale of the show, much of that time can be walking from booth to booth. There are many displays and extra events which can eat up several minutes of time, such as watching professional shooters show their skills, lining up to get autographs and pictures with celebrities, as well as hands on experience with the multitudes of firearms accessories and outdoor gear.
The 2012 Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show is the largest event of it’s type in the world and TPF can guarantee that should you ever attend this event, every single product displayed at the show will be Practical, Tactical, or Fantasical.
A small example of how you can spend your time talking to one of the many representatives of companies in attendance. Presenting Angus Hobdell, who has been shooting CZ products since 1986 and a member of Team CZ-USA since 2003. In 2012, he is still a great competitor and 100% behind promoting CZ-USA.
On behalf of TPF-Online and the CSSA, many thanks Mr. Hobdell for your time and efforts.
As an added bonus, over the next few days and weeks, TPF will be releasing small video clips from many of the top action shooters in regards to the shooting sports and tips for improving your abilities. So stay tuned!
Action Shooting Sports…
The author of TPF has been shooting for a short time compared to many, a scant dozen years of firearms experience under his belt. As with most individuals who are into shooting, the entire ordeal started with the acquisition of a single rimfire rifle and a bag of old soup cans and other small items to enjoy shooting at. Since that point in time however, interests change, as does exposure to whole new fields of firearm events and disciplines which are radical changes from plinking at tin cans. A few of those disciplines are those in the category of Action Shooting Sports.
What are Action Shooting Sports? Unlike most shooting disciplines, action shooting mainly does away with static position firing and utilizes movement and strategies which challenge competitors physically and mentally in a safety oriented game in which competitors must physically overcome and avoid obstacles in order to engage various targets with the greatest accuracy in the least amount of time. These games of skill, speed, and techniques have multiple reasons for being popular and showing continued increase in participants. These reasons can be a trial to improve one’s self, have fun in a non-static shooting event, or even strive to be a top competitor in your discipline. As with ALL shooting disciplines safety is the number one rule and must be adhered to at all times. Failure to follow these safety protocols will at best disqualify you from matches and at worst could lead to legal ramifications. Firearms are tools and can be used in recreational activities for immense enjoyment and entertainment, yet unsafe handling can lead to negligent discharges and the possibility of injury. Thankfully, Canada’s action shooters practice levels of safety which far exceed federal requirements as most competitors are extremely safety conscious.
Most action shooting sports practised in Canada are those which utilize a handgun and require a holster for participation of the game, yet several disciplines include rifles and shotguns in their rules and regulations. TPF will only be concentrating on the handgun portion of Action Shooting Sports at this time.Here are some background and details on some of the more popular action shooting disciplines which have captured the attention of tens of thousands of Canadian shooters, the author among them.
Disciplines of Action Shooting:
International Practical Shooting Confederation (aka IPSC)
While it’s origins can be traced back to the late 1950’s in California, the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) was officially founded in Columbia, Missouri, in May 1976. IPSC’s origins began as a competition in a newer realm of action shooting. It is widely considered to be the founding father of all action shooting disciplines due to it’s history and initial departure from traditional shooting sports. Primarily a handgun based sport, IPSC is derogatorily known as running and gunning due to the fast paced action while participating in a course of fire. A Latin phrase; Diligentia, Vis, Celeritas (DVC) is the basis for all IPSC participation. These translate into Accuracy, Power, Speed. These three items are the cornerstones of what IPSC embodies and it’s popularity is evidenced by participation in over 80 countries around the world and having literally tens of thousands of competitors among those participating countries.
IPSC also has addition divisions outside of handgun, these are Rifle, Shotgun and, as of 2010, Action Air. Action Air is controversial as it does not embody the “power” aspect in IPSC and usually only found in countries where firearms ownership is extremely difficult.
International Defensive Pistol Association (aka IDPA)
After many years of IPSC, a group of individuals (Bill Wilson, John Sayle, Ken Hackathorn, Dick Thomas, Walt Rauch and Larry Vickers) believed that IPSC had become an equipment race and the courses of fire had become extravagant obstacle courses. In 1996, the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) was founded. IDPA decided to keep the gaming aspect but made the game revolve around real world defensive scenarios. Regulating the firearms to minimal alterations and adopting a more tactical outlook, IDPA became a slower version of IPSC with many technical penalties added in to create a more reality based action shooting game. From the website, “the main goal is to test the skill and ability of an individual, not his equipment or gamesmanship.” IDPA has gained acceptance in Canada in the last half dozen years and now has continued to grow to several thousand members in Canada alone. In the last 5 years the number of clubs that practice IDPA has tripled across Canada to number nearly two dozen.
Ontario Defensive Pistol League (aka ODPL)
The Ontario Defensive Pistol League (ODPL) started originally as a Canadian copy of IDPA. Back in the late nineties while IDPA was growing in the USA, several individuals decided to emulate it in Ontario. The Independent Defensive Pistol Association – Ontario was formed without the blessing of the IDPA and decided to use formal IDPA rules and start their own Action Shooting locally in Canada. For nearly a decade IDPA-Ontario existed and then underwent a face lift and converted into the ODPL. There were some rule changes in regards to scoring and penalties between ODPL and IDPA; but the biggest difference was the lack of shooter skill grading and the requirement to be a member of an organization in order to compete in ODPL. ODPL also has incorporated rifles and shotgun usage aspired from multiple gun matches commonly found in the United Staes of America. Officially there are seven (7) clubs in Ontario which host ODPL events and more are in the works.
Canadian Defensive Pistol (aka CDP)
Canadian Defensive Pistol (CDP) originated under the purview of Mr. Dave Burke, who decided that Canada needed a Canadian version of IDPA (prior to IDPA expanding into Canada). The concept was to take those Canadian Shooting Clubs which already hosted IDPA-like matches, but were not officially IDPA affiliates, and give them a set of rules and regulations similar to IDPA but with Canadian flavour to them. While the concept was sound, the execution of CDP dragged and the complete rewording of commonly used IDPA terminology did not translate well. CDP still exists in some clubs, but has fallen to the wayside for a multitude of reasons. The CSSA is determining if it should completely pull out of CDP matches, redesign, revamp and relaunch CDP entirely, or come out with a generic Action Shooting Guide book that would give information to clubs who wish to run action shooting without being associated to anyone.
Action Shooting Sports are some of the fastest growing shooting activities in Canada. The amazing thing about these sports is that their safety records are nearly perfect with injuries only resulting from sprains and strains. That is correct. A game/competition where individuals have their times recorded for completing a given course of fire, assessed accuracy penalties, and are penalized for procedural violations. Several thousands of Canadians, shooting millions of rounds annually, for the last several years and have ZERO firearm related injuries. There are several reasons for that. As with all firearms disciplines, safety is the primary, secondary, and tertiary rule government the usage of firearms. To that effect there are several options which are available for learning the various games and the required safety levels in Action Shooting.
All of these disciplines involve the use of handguns with a minimum calibre of 9mm/.38 Special and are the primary tools for competing in these games. Add in multiple magazines, holsters, and gear, and you can range from under $500 to several thousands just for competition equipment, and that is prior to expenditures of ammunition. IDPA, ODPL, and CDP are usually considered to be a cheaper alternative than IPSC due to the generally greater numbers of magazines utilized, the higher volume of rounds expended, however, one can compete in IPSC using the same equipment that is acceptable for usage in the other aforementioned disciplines.
IPSC’s Black Badge course is the most comprehensive and intense training available for those wishing to learn how to compete in IPSC matches. Usually a 3 day event requiring just shy of one thousand (1000) rounds of ammunition, the Black Badge course is geared specifically for those interested in IPSC and holders of such are recognized by ALL other disciplines in Canada as having acceptable certifications for action shooting. That being said, IPSC ONLY authorizes those who have attained a Black Badge to compete in IPSC events.
IDPA in Canada has a New Shooter Orientation Course (NSOC) which allows competitors to become familiarized with the usage of handguns in a holster and the basics of competing in an IDPA Match. IDPA accepts all accredited certifications in order to participate in official matches. As the author has not experienced this course, it is difficult to tell you how many rounds or what the course entails. By far the least expensive prospect of all available courses. IDPA recognizes IPSC, CDP, course qualifications in addition to the NSOC. To shoot sanctioned matches you need to be a member of IDPA.
ODPL at one time considered creating a training regime but it was decided to allow all other forms of accreditation and not split up manpower and time resources to dedicated training courses. As ODPL has no membership requirements, as long as the individual has an accepted qualification,they are allowed to shoot all ODPL matches.
CDP arranged to have courses to be performed by CSSA instructors, this course is between IDPA’s NSOC and IPSC’s Black Badge. Performed over one and a half days, and roughly 400 rounds of ammunition, the course teaches holster usage and the technical basics for defensive pistol shooting. To shoot sanctioned matches you need to be a member of CDP.
Which one is the best to participate in?
That is a question that can only be answered by yourself. I do recommend if you decide to try it, go to a local club practice night for the related discipline. Not all clubs shoot all, or even any, of these disciplines, but watch a practice or a match and see if it interests you. The camaraderie and friendships developed by the author has made Action Shooting a, hopefully, permanent fixture in his life. As with all firearms related activities, Stay safe and enjoy!
Action Shooting Sports – Tactical, Practical, or Fantastical?