BJ Norris’ Blog

Your Source for Shooting News & Tips

New website up and running

Hey guys, change your bookmarks to http://www.bjnorris.com to see the new and improved blog site!

December 24, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New Site Coming Soon

Hey Guys, I’m in the process of a total over-haul and rebuild of this site., hopefully I’ll have it up and running soon!

December 7, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Yo Homie! Or Maybe Not…

Ok, so after working a lot with junior shooters the past couple years (most of which are not just a WHOLE lot younger than I am…), something finally hit at the Area 4. Almost every junior I’ve worked with lately seems to have the seem issue during movement, turning the gun sideways!

I’m not sure when it started, I don’t Think I did it myself just a couple years ago, but sure enough, 75% of the junior shooters I’ve worked with lately will turn the gun 90 degrees while moving between positions. The other aspects of their technique, keeping the gun high, finger outside of the trigger guard, etc are really solid. Turning it sideways could possibly be a little safer, especially while opening doors and windows since it does give you a little better awareness of exactly where the muzzle is. But, turning the gun back straight is going to take more time since it’s more movement, and more movement also increases the chance the sights won’t be aligned.  So, and this goes for everybody, young and old, keep the gun high underneath your chin and straight up and down during movement.

October 13, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Indoor Range Ammo Restrictions

Saw on @gunnuts.net where they were having a discussion about indoor range ammo restrictions. I’m sure anybody who has shot at an indoor range has seen them, anywhere from very little, to outlandish. Here’s what I had to say about it.

As somebody who works at an indoor range (which has ammo restrictions), and has been to a number of them across the country, I’d like to weigh in a bit.
Cases:
Yes, this is something ranges impose to make sure they get brass cases. In our case, we take the range brass and have it reloaded, and our guy really hates steel and aluminum cases. Yes, a magnet will pick out the steel, but when you have 15K+ cases in a giant pile, how much do you really expect get without taking the time to spread the cases out?
Projectiles:
This is where it can get sticky, depending on what backstop that particular range uses. We use a Caswell Grantrap, which works quite well, but you have to treat it right. We don’t allow anything that sticks to a magnet just as a precaution. It is true that the majority of Wolf/Tula/MFS, etc ammo is a bi-metal jacket, which poses no more danger than a standard copper jacket, but when somebody brings in a mystery can full of steel case/magnetic projectile rounds for his 7.62×25, we have no way of knowing if it’s bi-metal jacket, or steel core, which would MOST LIKELY be contained by our backstop. However, if they start shooting things that are not designed to take repeated direct hits, like the walls, ceiling or target carriers (which are not cheap if you’ve ever priced one), things can go downhill before you can stop them. We don’t have the time or tools to start cutting everybody’s bullets in half to see what they’re made out of.
Now, about lead bullets vs. air quality. Generally, ranges are not worried about air quality at the backstop, doesn’t take much to realize that it’s not going to be safe to breathe pretty much no matter what you do. What we are worried about is air quality at the firing line. Lock & Load doesn’t restrict lead bullets, although we do warn that if ANY ammo is extremely smokey, it will be pulled. We have other customers (at many times young children) as well as employees to worry about breathing that stuff in on a consistent basis if our air handler system can’t pull it downrange quick enough. Decent quality 22 LR and other lead bullets don’t smoke a whole lot more than regular jacketed bullets at the pace most people shoot. The problems start with poor-quality bullets, or when somebody starts to fire quickly (which BTW, we don’t have a restriction on as long as you’re hitting the target). The other problems lie in the filter system. Our range uses a 3-stage filtration system, including a HEPA at the end. Let’s just say that a HEPA system for a 3250+ Sq ft open space is NOT inexpensive to operate. The quicker the filters get dirty, the worse the air quality gets, and the sooner we have to spend the cash to have the filters changed.
Now, if a (non-green) range tells you that you have to shoot ammo that you bought there (in your gun, not theirs), that’s when I start getting a little upset!

August 29, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

SBR Ammo

My first experience with SBR Ammunition came at the US Steel Nationals earlier this year. Kenny Dickerson of Speed Shooter Specialties let me try some of the his ammo and I was extremely impressed with the consistency and accuracy of it. But, before we get too far, let’s talk a little bit about SBR, and Buddy Singleton, the man behind the ammo.

Southern Ballistic Research was founded in 2004 in response to a need for custom loaded ammunition for Law Enforcement and government agencies. The founder, LTC Buddy Singleton (Ret.) has been a life-long shooter, even attending college on a small bore rifle scholarship. Buddy understands what makes ammo good, better than anyone I’ve ever talked to, but he’s also not afraid to defy conventional logic. SBR is one of the largest commercial manufacturers of tracer and frangible rounds in a variety of calibers, as well as being one of only companies that loads 458 SOCOM. Now, on to the ammo!

Buddy is very willing to experiment with different loads to find a load that performs the best. To that end, we took the basic 100 Gr GreenMatch, reworked and out came GreenMatch Competition. Loaded with the 100 Gr Sinterfire Flatnose bullet, the 9MM GreenMatch Competition uses new brass, Federal Match primers and clocks in at about 1150 FPS from a 5” barrel. This provides a very light recoiling load, but due to the recoil impulse of the 100 Gr bullet, it has just enough snap to cycle even standard guns. It’s available as the match load, and also a practice load using fired brass and standard grade primers to reduce the cost.

The second 9MM load I am using is the 158 Grain Special Application Sub-Sonic. It passes the chrono at 860 FPS out of my M&P Pro with a KKM barrel. Though it is heavier than standard 9MM loads, it shoots great and is wonderfully accurate. Again, this is available as a match load with new brass and Federal Match primers, or practice ammo with used brass and standard primers.

Visit Buddy’s websitr at http://www.sbrammunition.com!

August 9, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Shooting Groups, simple yet difficult.

As I continue to train myself to be more accurate by shooting 10 shot groups with my S&W Model 41, I’m finding out, or perhaps remembering some very subtle things that make a very large difference.

 

The first thing is knowing exactly where your gun is sighted in. It’s more important to have a pinpoint location where you know can aim and hit in the middle of the target. Also, the smaller target you choose, the more precise your overall group will become.

 

The next thing is that if your sights are near the target, your trigger needs to prepped and ready to fire all of the time. You never know when your sights will cross the perfect location and you will need to fire, and if your trigger isn’t already prepped, you will most likely jerk the trigger when you see the sights cross where you need them to be.

 

More tips coming soon, but I thought I’d share those two observations while they were fresh on my mind.

February 2, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

2011 Schedule and Goals

Now that a few more matches and events are scheduled, I want to officially announce my schedule.

Proposed 2011 Competition Schedule:

 

  • Texas State Open Championship – Houston, TX, 3/11/11
  • US Steel Challenge National Championship – Titusville, FL, 3/25/11
  • USPSA Area 6 Championship – Frostproof, FL 4/15/11
  • USPSA Single Stack National Championship – Barry, IL, 5/13/11
  • SCSA Rocky Mountain Regional Championship – Pueblo, CO, 5/28/11
  • SCSA Northeast Regional Championship – Old Bridge, NJ 6/3-6/4
  • SCSA West Coast Regional Championship – Piru, CA, 6/18/11
  • Pro-Am Championship – Tulsa, OK, 7/15-7/17/11
  • MGM Junior Camp – Parma, ID, 7/22-7/24
  • MGM Man-On-Man Grand Nationals, Parma, ID, 7/24/11
  • Ruger Rimfire Series World Championship – Founder’s Ranch, NM, 8/5-8/6
  • Steel Challenge World Championship – Piru, CA, 8/18/11
  • USPSA Area 4 Championship – Tulsa, OK, 9/2/11
  • USPSA Production National Championship – Las Vegas, NV, 9/16/11
  • USPSA Limited-10 Championship – Las Vegas, NV, 9/21/11
  • Texas State SCSA Championship – TBD
  • SCSA Northwest Regional Championship – TBD

 

As I said before, my goals this year center heavily on Steel Challenge. Therefore, my goals this year are to win the overall titles at all of the SCSA Regionals, the Rimfire Optic, Iron Sight, SteelMaster and Overall title at the Steel Challenge World Championships in August. Following the steps I outlined in my previous post will be of the utmost importance to reach these goals. My physical, dry-fire and group shooting training has already begun and my live-fire USPSA and Steel Challenge training will begin soon.

January 31, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

2011 Season goals

As we close in on the start of the 2011 competition season, everybody should be thinking about their goals for the year. It doesn’t really matter what you set your goals to be, as long as they are important to you and inspire a work ethic to achieve them. If your goals do not inspire you, you need to re-think why you set it as a goal in the first place. It may be as simple as re-wording the goal to suit your current mindset and circumstances, or you might need a total over-haul.

 

I plan to announce my major goals for 2011 season in the coming month or so, but here are some of things I plan to do to achieve them.

 

Dry Fire 15 minutes daily

Steel Challenge competitions will play a major role in my goals this year, therefore I plan to practice one of the biggest parts in Steel Challenge everyday, the draw. A time savings of only .1 seconds on every draw adds up to 3.1 seconds over the course of the 8 stage match.

 

Group Shooting

Increasing your ability to shoot accurately can never hurt your match performance. I plan to spend time everyday shooting groups with my Model 41 to practice sight alignment, sight picture and trigger control.

 

Physical Readiness

While USPSA and SCSA are not purely physical sports, they do generally require multiple, long days of competition and standing around. Fatigue can and will set-in early in a match if you are not prepared and the first effect will be in your mental game. Next week, I will start working out in the gym regularly again, combined with running three days a week. My goal weight is 150-155 pounds, and I believe I can reach that goal by 6/1/11.

 

Think about your own goals, what they mean to you, and how you can achieve them.

January 7, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

New Steel Open Gun

Just finished up my new Steel Challenge Open gun for 2011. I started with a stock SW1911 9MM Pro Series and had my friend Bill Hailey lighten the slide with a surface grinder and port the barrel by EDM, as well as drilling and tapping the frame to mount my Aimpoint Micro H-1. The result is a short and light gun, with most of the weight centered in or directly around your hands, which is the optimum location , especially when you are doing as many transitions as SCSA calls for.

I know a lot will wonder why I opted to port the standard bushing barrel instead of adding a new barrel with a traditional comp, the short answer is weight savings. To bring the balance of the gun to frame area with a comp hanging out on the end of the gun can be difficult, which means more time making more precise cuts in the slide, and can also increase the chance of the slide cracking which, needless to say, is something you do not want to happen at a critical time.

Preliminary testing leads me to believe that while I may not be able to shoot the gun faster, I should be able to shoot it easier. It gives me the feel of being able just to move my hands to wherever I need to aim, instead of swinging a gun around to the targets. Looking forward to using this set-up in the upcoming season, look for pictures of the new gun on my Facebook Page.

January 4, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

USPSA Production Nationals

The 2010 Smith & Wesson USPSA Nationals were once again held in Las Vegas, NV. The split of divisions stayed the same this year, Open/L10 in one match, and Limited/Production/Revolver in the other, though this year the order in which they were shot was reversed. Due to a few different factors, I was only able to compete in the Production match. The stages for this year were, in my opinion, the best I’ve seen at a Production Nationals. Challenging target arrays and the limited number of rounds allowed by the Production rules forced shooters to take some risks to try to stay on top of the competition.

 

I used my Smith & Wesson M&P9 Pro Series to achieve my best finish ever at a Production Nationals. Overall, I’m very pleased with my performance at the match, completing the match with just 2 penalties and 5 Deltas. Interestingly enough, my plan throughout the entire match was to shoot my own game and shoot as many points on target as I could, funny how well that works. I feel that this was the first time I’ve really been able to do that for an entire USPSA Nationals, and I think it basically boils down to mental/match experience. It can be very tough to see yourself as being able to beat the shooters that were the ones you looked up to during the early stages of your career, but to advance your own performance, you have to forget about who you are shooting against and focus solely on your own performance.

 

After the first 2 days of the match, I had a slight lead going into stages 1-6, which made up a very large portion of the available match points. Dave overtook me slightly in the first few stages of the day, but I was still shooting well when I had a case-head blowout on stage 4. I was able to clear the case and complete the stage, however I estimate that the event cost me at least 50 match points, which pretty much took me out of contention for the title.

 

I have to thank the match staff, who worked all day for more than a few days out in the Vegas sun, The match sponsors for always supporting one of the best pistol matches in the world, and of course my own sponsors, without them, my career would not have advanced to this point.

 

Video of the match can be found on Youtube

November 22, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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