It was one of those rare days when I visited a range to shoot handguns, in this instance, Quail Run, a full-service shooting facility southeast of Denver. Although a S&W .22 semi-auto pistol rested on a case next to my CZ 9mm, for no reason that I recall, I began my session with my Ruger small frame .357 /.38 Special. Ritually I loaded the cylinder with Fiocchi .38 Special, 125 grains XTP JHP ammunition. Reasonably good groups punched through the target gently fluttering in the wind some twenty-five feet down range . Fifty rounds into the exercise I stopped. An uncomfortable question seeped like quicksilver into my mind: What goals were I accomplishing? The groups were pretty good and I was having what is sometimes referred to as fun. But my primary reason for being at the range was to sharpen self-defense skills. I don’t shoot often enough to merely play around. If my goal was just plinking, I’d shoot .22s until the skin wore off my trigger finger.
Coincidentally I had been reading the book “Special Operations Mental Toughness” by Navy SEAL Lawrence Colebrooke. Extracting some of his words from my mind’s cobwebs, I committed to making every shot count towards a goal. Each shot had to lead to improvement. One of Colebrooke’s rules is “Prepare yourself to make a hard choice, should your conscience ever require it.” That is, prepare mentally and physically for challenges, no matter how unlikely they might materialize. This preparation is achieved through constant, realistic, and challenging practice sessions that replicate the actual "game day" conditions. Colebrooke wrote: "If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!"
Firearms self-defense classes instruct that the body changes under threat. The fine motor skills become compromised as adrenaline pumps into the body. The heart rate increases to jack-hammer intensity; peripheral vision decreases. I know these facts. My goal, thus, is to shoot, to train, in anticipation of what I know will occur. Colebrooke wrote: “Goal setting is critical to most any successful endeavor because it helps to focus your attention, prioritize efforts, enhance persistence, and develop effective learning strategies. Otherwise, suboptimal performance or outright failure is more likely as the person procrastinates or simply flies by the seat of their pants without a viable plan." Not to belabor the obvious, but such an outcome is most undesirable in a life-and-death situation.
So I adjusted. I focused more. I demanded that every shot have value; that every shot bring me closer to my goals. I refused to yield to the seductive foolish siren song of assuming I would make the right call under tremendous pressure. I had to use these moments now to improve the odds that I would do the right thing then: With this sense of purpose, I had more fun.
Michael Sabbeth is a lawyer and writer in Denver, Colorado. See his book The Good, The Bad & The Difference: How to Talk with Children About Values. Available at Amazon.com http://tinyurl.com/c5flmmu
We held a retriever event and everyone had to shoot Fiocchi ammo was a great day Saturday we also had a Nutrena Food rep there too . Were constantly promoting and letting people try our Team Shooter Ammo. Thanks for all you do from Duck hunting and letting clients try Fiocchi Steel Shot in the blind to using lead shot shooting fliers in training everyday.
I'm on facebook under Puddle Duck Labs and Doug pdl Williams to see more pics.
Puddle Duck Labs
3244 Pike County Lake Rd
Troy Al 36079
This weeks were going to discuss some of the differences between the “promotional” shotgun shells on the market and Fiocchi’s Shooting Dynamics. “You get what you pay for” is most evident in shotgun ammunition. Let me start by saying the Shooting Dynamics is NOT a promotional load. This article is to make it crystal clear that the Shooting Dynamics is superior to a promotional load for just pennies more per box.
We’ve already written about the evil recoil and how it can make for a great or lousy day. I picked up a couple of the promotional loads out there and a Shooting Dynamics to see the internal differences as well as fire some. OUCH!!! After shooting exclusively Fiocchi ammunition for the last two (2) years, I was blown away how hard the promotional loads hit even in my semi-auto shotgun.
Look at the photo of the wads. Which wad appears to have been designed to reduce recoil??? The “waffle” portion of the Shooting Dynamics wad absorbs more recoil than the others. The wad isn’t the only thing… there is a lot of science that takes all the components into consideration to ensure reduced felt recoil, clean burning, and great patterning.
Now look at the shot photos. It’s hard to see, but there are four (4) different shot sizes in the promotional load. As for the Shooting Dynamics, the lead is all the same size.
If it’s the lack of quality control or they purposely used multiple shot sizes in the promotional ammo is an indicator, what about the rest of the load??? Fiocchi promotes our ammo, but not by inferior components and trying to be the cheapest.
As Carlo Fiocchi so eloquently states ‘putting a promotional load into a fine firearm is like putting regular unleaded gas in a Ferarri’… why sacrifice performance??? Remember, shooting is the way you want to spend your recreation dollars. Why not give yourself the chance to maximize your fun??? Because in the end, it’s the shot that breaks the target!!!
Be it in competition, plinking, or self-defense it’s the first shot that count the most. Self-defense especially may only give the chance for a “first” shot. A technique for making that first shot both quicker and more accurate is to practice “ready-ups”. This simple technique requires only a few minutes per session, but can make a world of a difference in your shooting.
The goal behind ready-up drills is to train memory into the muscles of your wrists, shoulders, and hands. We are teaching them where they need to be for your handgun to be at the correct height and orientation for you to make your shot with minimal adjustment. As with any training that establishes muscle memory repetition is required. This can be done both live-fire and not.
Let’s go over the steps:
1.) All safety precautions apply regardless of whether you know the firearm to be loaded or not.
2.) The target should have a specific aiming point. While a torso-sized target may be the end game, this drill needs a focusing point such as a 1” dot.
3.) Select a distance that is appropriate for your skill level. Start close and work your way to further distances. Remember that your muscles don’t know how far the target is. The only difference is how fine the adjustments need to be.
4.) Begin in your shooting position, with the firearm pointed at about a 45-degree angle away from you.
5.) When ready quickly raise the gun up and attempt to look down the sights. Make a conscious note of how they were off, correct them, and lower the firearm once more.
6.) Repeat the previous step until you find yourself bringing the gun up to the correct height and angle.
7.) Once the gun seems to come up naturally to where it needs to be (requiring only minimal adjustments) take a shot. One, single shot. The focus of this training is working on our shoulders, wrists, and hands. After the firearm has cycled take your finger off the trigger and lower back down to the 45 degree angle.
8.) Repeat. I’ve found five rounds to be a good number. Let the need to reload provide you mind and body with a break.
The video demonstration shows this method works. When it gets too easy try for a farther distance, smaller target, or quicker shots.
“Graham Baates” is a pen name used by a 15-year active Army veteran who spent most of his time in the tactical side of the Intelligence community including tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. Post-Army Graham spent some time in the 3-Gun circuit before becoming a full-time NRA Certified defensive handgun instructor and now works as an industry writer while curating a YouTube channel and blog on the side. Visit Graham on .
We had the distinct pleasure to return to the Clark County Shooting Complex in Las Vegas for the 31st Ducks Unlimited Continental Shoot also known as “Duck in the Desert” as a major sponsor last week. The weather made things interesting from mid-day Thursday thru Saturday night. Wind and rain made it perfect conditions for ducks, however clay targets were the game of choice.
There were plenty of shooting opportunities with a 200 target Main Event, 100 target Preliminary, & 50 target 5-Stand, 20 ga., 28 ga., .410 bore, and new this year, Super Sporting. On top of all that, shooting a practice round also netted the shooter a drawing ticket for fabulous prizes including guns drawn daily.
One of the highlights is the Saturday night banquet. The host hotel, Aliante Casino & Hotel, did a marvelous job with steak dinner and all the trimmings. A plethora of raffle items, silent and live auction items surrounded the huge room. Speaking of the silent auction, I went to pay for an item I won and left my raffle tickets with my lovely wife Linda. As luck would have it, she won a gun with my…. I mean our… I mean her ticket.
The Fiocchi “star” of the week was our Sporting Clays Pro Staffer Josey Martin. Josey was the High Overall (HOA) in the Super Sporting event not only breaking 49 out of 50 targets, but beat target and flyer veteran Jimmy Heller in a shoot-off. She also cleaned up in the other events. First, she was Main event Lady Champion, and tied for Junior Champion with a 190 out of 200. In the Preliminary, she took Runner Up in both Lady and Junior. Finally, Josey was the Lady Champion in the 5-Stand.
Josey shoots the Fiocchi Little Rino (12TX75) with #7 ½ shot from the Exacta line. This 1 oz. 1250 fps load is soft on the shoulder while crushing the targets with high antimony shot. These are one of our most popular loads with women and younger shooters who want the best performance possible with less recoil. Make no mistake, they guys love them too!!
Clean burning, less felt recoil, best patterning… there is no other choice than the Fiocchi Exacta line. Remember, in the end it’s the shot that breaks the target!!!
When and how did our earliest ancestors start hunting for the meat they ate?
Until quite recently most scholars thought that, until about 400,000 years ago, they scavenged the leftovers of other predators, or animals that had died of natural causes. However, anthropologist Professor Henry Bunn of Wisconsin University now claims that early humans were using complex hunting techniques to ambush and kill antelopes, gazelles, wildebeest and other large animals nearly two million years ago.
These ancient hunters would have been about the size of chimpanzees with brains that were not much larger. Although primitive and puny, Professor Bunn believes that they had learnt to select and isolate individual animals from a herd of antelopes and bring their prey home for dinner.
Professor Bunn and his team examined the remains of wildebeest, antelopes and gazelles at a huge butchery site in the Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, which had been brought there by ancient humans over 1.8 million years ago.
Studying the teeth in the skulls that were left gave them a very good idea of the type of meat being eaten and the age of the animals. Then they compared their findings with the kinds of animals taken by lions and leopards.The research showed that when selecting large antelopes, humans preferred adult male animals in their prime, whereas lions and leopards take old, young and adults indiscriminately. For smaller species, the picture was slightly different. Humans preferred older animals, while the big cats go after adults in their prime.
As well as the differences in preferences for types of prey, there was other evidence to suggest that these humans hunted and did not rely on carrion. There were plenty of bones from choice parts of the prey that lions and leopards would be unlikely to leave behind willingly.
So how did they hunt? Professor Bunn believes these early hunters probably sat in trees and waited until herds of antelopes or gazelles passed below, they then speared them at point-blank range. They carried them back to the butchery site and used stone tools to skin and strip the meat and smash open the bones for marrow.
Some scientists believe that hunting skills, developed far earlier than suspected, helped our brains evolve faster. Hunting gave our species a larger supply of meat than they could obtain through scavenging. With an abundant protein-rich source of energy, our ancestors no longer needed a huge digestive tract and massive teeth for processing vegetation. This freed up more energy to fuel the growth of our brains and develop evermore sophisticated social skills needed for working together to hunt animals that are larger and faster than humans.
By Celine Castelino - Archeologist
This past weekend, I had the pleasure to shoot Helice or ZZ birds at the Smokin Gun’s brand new ring in Mesquite, NV. If you’re not familiar with Helice, it is a very exciting shotgun game. The “targets” consist of an orange plastic propeller with a white dome. The dome is called the “witness”. When the target is hit properly, the witness separates from the propeller. It must then fall inside the shooting area that is bound by a short fence. The speed of the spinning targets we shot was 5100 rpm and 6000 rpm.
A normal course of fire is a 30-bird event. Each shooter attempts five (5) targets, then the next shooter shoots his five and so on. Starting at the 24-yard line, once a shooter scores a perfect 5 out of 5, he then “slides” back one yard. You wouldn’t think moving back 3-feet would make a difference, but it can.
Joining me was Neal Johnson, George Marnell, John Zambetti, Guy Martin and 15-year-old Travis Martin. Neal and I have shot Helice together for years… the rest enjoyed their first time. Marnell started off like a house of fire scoring his first eleven (11) targets as dead. Having run the first two rounds, he had slid back to the 26-yard line. After his 11th target, he missed the next four (4).
Youngster Travis ended up beating the rest of us with a spectacular first time score of 26 out of 30. The rest of us… we’ll we had so much fun we shot another 20 birds.
As with any shotgun shooting, the ammo really makes a difference. As the Helice rules limit the load to 1 oz., Fiocchi offers our 12SCRN75 (Super Crusher Nickel Shot) for ZZ birds. The Fiocchi Crusher (12CRSR75) also worked extremely well.
For giggles and grins, I used the Fiocchi 12CPTR8 (Interceptor Spreader) on the first shot for one round. I did kill three (3) out of five targets however the ones I didn’t score were on edge. Fiocchi doesn’t recommend this load for Helice… we’ll discuss the proper application in another report.
For more information, please go to www.fiocchiusa.com , www.ushelice.com , and www.thesmokingunclub.com . Thanks again to Jason, Karrie, Connie, Nate, Mike, and everyone at the Smokin Gun for a great day!!! #fiocchi @fiocchi_ammunition
We have 144 guests and no members online