Monthly Archives: May 2021

  • Clay Season Shooting Essentials

    Clay shooting is the popular and growing sport of shooting flying clay targets with a shotgun. Hitting the target requires skill, timing and hand-eye coordination and you can enjoy clay shooting at any level, from local club shoots all the way through to national and international competitions and the Olympics.

    There are a range of different forms of clay target shooting disciplines which tend to be roughly divided into Trap, Skeet and Sporting. All three types of clay pigeon shooting challenge a shooter to hit moving targets, but they each vary according to structure, rules and style. Although all of these shooting disciplines originated as hunting simulations, they have evolved to become unique versions of the same sport.

    Differences in Types of Clay Pigeon Shooting

    Trap clay pigeon shooting challenges the shooter by flinging the target straight in front and away. The marksmen fire five shots from each of the five different positions for a total of 25 shots per round. The shooter on station one fires the first shot, followed by each of the shooters on the other stations. Once all shooters have fired their total of five shots, each shooter moves to the next station. This means that the marksman at station five, walks behind the others to station one. All station changes are made with unloaded guns and open actions for safety.

    Skeet clay pigeon shooting involves the crossing over of the targets. Two target machines, 40 metres apart, launch the clay targets across a semi-circular arrangement of positions at a constant trajectory and speed. One target launcher, referred to as the ‘high house’, is 10 feet above the ground, while the second, called the ‘low house’ is just 3 ½ feet above the ground. This difference in height creates a greater challenge for the shooters as they move around the stations. A round of skeet shooting includes both single (one target at a time) and double (two targets at a time) target presentations. Similar to trap shooting, skeet involves the shooters moving through the various positions to complete a round. Also like trap, the different shooting positions in skeet create alternative angles relative to the targets.

    Sporting clays is thought to offer the greatest approximation to an in-the-field hunting experience as it is classed as the most unpredictable. A sporting clays course tends to include a range of different stations, each with unique target presentations and machine setups. For instance, one station might send a single target straight up into the air, while a second could send two targets simultaneously, one rolling across the ground and one heading towards the shooter.

    So how did clay shooting start?

    • The first clay pigeon shoots started around 1885 as an affordable alternative to competitions using live pigeons as targets.
    • Shooting schools – particularly those owned by London gunmakers – set up courses to simulate the flight of live birds. The new sport quickly became a hit with Victorian and Edwardian game shooters as a form of practice during the closed season.

    Tips for beginners

    1. Your first taste of clay shooting will almost certainly be on a Sporting range where targets are thrown to simulate the flight of game birds.
    2. In Sporting you will shoot from a number of different “stands” each offering a different target. These targets vary greatly in terms of trajectory, angle, elevation, distance and speed and it’s that variety that makes Sporting so popular with clay shooters.
    3. Determine your dominant eye - Determining your dominant eye is important- some right –handed people will shoot left-handed if they have a left master eye and vice versa. Likewise some people who are right handed but who have a left master eye will close one eye to help their aim.  Either way it will help you decide which eye to use to look down the barrel of the gun to focus best on your target.
    4. Comfortable and strong standing position - By getting your feet in the right position and holding your body correctly you will be able to maintain accuracy when firing shot after shot.
    5. Mounting the gun correctly - By holding the gun in the correct position you will be able to fire your shot comfortably and accurately.
    6. Bring your head to the shotgun - This is often a problem for new clay pigeon shooters. Instead of keeping the body steady and bringing the head into position, it can be tempting to lean back or slouch the body to be positioned.

    What do you need for clay shooting?

    The different forms of clay pigeon shooting do have an ‘ideal’ shotgun type that works best. However, if you’re just starting out in clay shooting, do not let a lack of the ‘right’ equipment stop you. You can start in any of the three shooting disciplines with virtually any form of shotgun, as long as it can fire two shots without reloading.

    Clay season shooting Essential accessories:

    •  Ear Defenders - Safety first, whatever discipline of shooting. We recommend wearing a pair of ear defenders.
    •  Eye Protection - All clay shooters should wear eye protection.
    •  Shooting Vest - This is the most essential piece of kit for most clay shooters.
    •  Shirt or Polo Shirt - As most clay shooting is within the summer months, a light shirt will be sufficient - or even a polo.
    •  Hat / Cap - Especially if it is a really sunny day, a baseball cap or flat cap will keep the sun out of your eyes.
    • Footwear - In wet weather, wellingtons are ideal.
    •  Jacket (waterproof) - If you are going to wear the coat while clay shooting, it needs to fit well and not restrict movement.
    • Shooting / cartridge Bag - To carry cartridges, chokes and any extra clothing you think you'll need for warmth would be ideal.
  • Primary Arms Holosun HS507C -X2 Awarded Silver Rating by NTOA

    The Primary Arms Holosun HS507C -X2 has been tested and recommended by the members of the National Tactical Officers Association.

    Primary Arms
    Holosun HS507C -X2
    Overall Score: 4.36

    Tester 1 of 4
    Tested by a police officer from California

    Design 5
    Performance 5
    Ease of Use 4
    Size 4
    Quality 4.5
    Durability 4.5
    Storage 4
    Versatility 4.5
    Convenience 5
    Application 5
    Comfort 3.5
    Accuracy 4
    Cleaning & Maintenance 5
    Individual Score 4.42

    As pistol optics have been around for years they have continued to improve to reach a duty grade level of durability and use. With the number of departments making the jump to RDS equipped pistols we often see a steep learning curve for officers switching from irons to dots, primarily with finding the dot in the optic window. The ACSS Vulcan reticle solves a big problem of maintaining the pistol in a correct orientation so that the dot is centred or in assisting the shooter to quickly reposition the pistol to see the dot. The enlarged ring around the centre chevron is such a great addition to help new shooters I am surprised it wasn't done sooner and I fully expect other manufacturers to follow suit. I've used the original Holosun 507c on my duty pistol for the last two years and it has been a great optic, changing the battery annually and daily cleaning the lens were all I e needed to do. I'm confident the 507c-X2 will be just as durable. I initially mounted the X2 on a 12 gauge shotgun, firing duty 00B and slug rounds. The optic performed well and had no issues maintaining zero. Once mounted on a pistol the optic was easy and quick to zero at 25. After a day of single handed manipulations by racking the slide off the optic and a range post, I've noticed no zero issues. The updated side battery tray is a big upgrade to older Holosun and the majority of other RDS optics. No need to remove the optic from the slide and check zero annually, just swap the battery. As an armorer, this is a welcome addition, as it saves us time from ensuring optics are properly mounted and saves us ammo in having students needing to re-zero. My only complaint is the chevron in place of a dot, but this is a personal preference. The more time I have spent behind an RDS equipped pistol the smaller the dot I want for increased accuracy. At this point I prefer a 2 or 1 MOA dot. Newer shooters do benefit from the larger MOA chevron and dot options because it usually means less searching in the window, however with the large ACSS Vulcan reticle to redirect the shooter to centre the optic, I feel a smaller MOA dot is better for accuracy. This optic, particularly the unique ACSS Vulcan reticle, performed better than expected. As an instructor it will be mandatory to have on a loaner pistol for RDS classes to help students having issues finding the dot on the draw/recoil. It will also be added to the departments approved RDS optic list.
    Tester 2 of 4
    Tested by a member from Florida

    Design 4.5
    Performance 4.5
    Ease of Use 4.6
    Size 4.2
    Quality 4.5
    Durability 4
    Storage 3
    Versatility 3.5
    Convenience 4
    Application 3.6
    Comfort 4
    Accuracy 5
    Cleaning & Maintenance 4.4
    Individual Score 4.15

    Overall a very sound piece of equipment. It carries enough weight to be solid yet negligible on the weapon. I used it in the rain, sun and sand. The illumination was adjustable as to work in varied light levels. The chevron shaped aim point was effective and easy to use. With practice, it can be used almost like a mil-dot. Once zeroed at 25yds, consistently hitting 12" steel plates at 100yds was no problem. Mounting this optic on the Glock 19 was as easy as pulling the plate and putting two of the provided screws through the optic. I had no issues with loosening due to vibration. The one downside to the ACSS Vulcan reticle was the outer ring. It served no functional purpose. If the point of aim was on it hit. The ring didn't help acquire the sight picture. All of the adjustments, (on/off, illumination + / -, windage and elevation) were all easy to reach and manipulate.

    Tester 3 of 4
    Tested by a member from Maryland

    Design 4
    Performance 4
    Ease of Use 5
    Size 4
    Quality 5
    Durability 5
    Storage 4
    Versatility 5
    Convenience 5
    Application 5
    Comfort 5
    Accuracy 4
    Cleaning & Maintenance 5
    Individual Score 4.69

    The Holosun H507C- X2 ACSS Vulcan work with your handgun or Carbine platform. I put the Holosun on my Glock 19, which does not have the MOS slide. I ordered a DPP Titanium Mounting Kit for Glock, which fit the Holosun HS507C-X2. The only issue with going with this method is you must remove your rear sight as the Mounting kit slides into the grove on your slide. To do this you will need a rear sight tool. The only issue with not having the MOS slide and removing your The Holosun HS507c- X2 ACSS Vulcan will definitely get my recommendation. This sight will work with rear sight is you solely depend on the red dot and you do not have a backup if the sight stops working. Once installing the sight, which was easy to do, I did several evolutions with an empty weapon just acquiring my target. I did not have any issues with target acquisition. The Chevron was easy to find and made shooting with both eyes open easy. This sight also has a large Halo around the centre chevron. When you punch out or present, if you have a good sight picture and have good alignment you will only see the centre chevron. If your alignment is off, you will start to see the halo around the centre Chevron, which gives you your corrections. For example, if you are aiming right, you will start to see the halo on the left side of sight giving you your correction. I found when in a standing isosceles stance and you press out, almost every time you will find your chevron with not issues at all and no Halo. Where this reticle really comes into play is when you start positional and barricade shooting. As we all know when you start getting in those awkward shooting positions, it easy to lose the dot and your moving the firearm all around trying to find it. The ACSS Vulcan reticle takes all of that guess work out of it. It gives you the corrections or reference you need to find the chevron. Now why the Chevron instead of just a dot. The Chevron is your bullet drop compensator. You zero the sight at 25 yards for a 9mm. Then the middle of the Chevron is zero for 50 yards and the bottom at 100 yards. Using this sight, I was able to hit steel with no issue at these distances. Now for CQB when you are within 5 to 7 yards you need to remember your mechanical offset. When you press out and aim at the 10 ring on a B27 target putting the point of the chevron on the X, your point of impact will be slightly low. When your close within 5 to 7 yards, you hold high using your point of aim as the bottom of the Chevron and your impact will be the same. Not to mention the clarity of the glass and lack of severe parallax is unparalleled. The ability to change reticles puts it a head above the rest and the battery life is second to none! Shake awake, auto brighten/dim, solar assist, chevron/ring, night vision capabilities, this has far more to offer than even the most expensive out there!!!!

    Tester 4 of 4
    Tested by a member from Maryland

    Design 3.99
    Performance 3.99
    Ease of Use 4.5
    Size 3.5
    Quality 4.5
    Durability 4.5
    Storage 3.5
    Versatility 4
    Convenience 4.5
    Application 4.5
    Comfort 4.0
    Accuracy 4
    Cleaning & Maintenance 4.5
    Individual Score 4.19

    The Holosun HS507C-X2 out the box was an impressive optic. The mini reflex sight was essentially zeroed from the factory and was easily mounted to an aftermarket pistol mounting adapter on a .40cal Smith & Wesson M & P pistol. It would easily mount to an optic-ready slide and comes with a picatinny mount for long-gun applications. The reticle view has the option of a traditional chevron or switching to the unique ACSS Vulcan Reticle. The large 250 MOA circle (ACSS Vulcan reticle) was a welcome addition to the reticle in comparison to other optics on the market. The circle provides quick reference for the shooter to properly sight in allowing for rapid target acquisition during instinctive/combat shooting drills without losing the chevron. This is especially true while firing on the move. Adjustability to the circle size or a slightly smaller circle would have been preferred allowing the shooter to see the outer edges of the large circle even when the sight is properly aligned. I was able to conduct a moderate drop test of the optic and the zero did hold. It performed well in various lighting and weather conditions with no unexpected issues. The sight would compliment any personal or duty weapon nicely and appears to be comparable to other brands on the market with the ACSS Vulcan reticle giving it a slight edge of some of the competition.

     

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