NEWS

Wilson Combat Announces Peerless Performance Ammunition

With years of experience and millions of rounds fired, Bill Wilson and the staff of Wilson Combat announce a comprehensive line of exceptional defensive, hunting and practice ammunition designed and tested in Wilson's world-renowned custom firearms.


Impossible Shots Features A Rifle Shot With A Revolver

A six hundred yard shot, off-hand, with a .44 Magnum is the highlight of this week's edition of Shooting USA's Impossible Shots. See if Bob Munden can pull the shot off, and much more, from Jerry Miculek showing multi-gun mastery to a one hour SHOT Show special, tonight on Outdoor Channel.


Micro90 LED Weapon Light from Smith & Wesson Flashlights

PowerTech™, Inc. maker of the Smith & Wesson® brand of flashlights and tactical illuminators has introduced its first weapon mounted light, the new Smith & Wesson® Micro90™ compact LED pistol light.Designed to fit virtually all universal or Picatinny-style accessory rails, the Micro90's high-output LED and precision bezel provide for a tight hot spot and broad corona, making it ideal for tactical or personal defense low light use.


Smith & Wesson M&P15-22 Tactical Rifle Earns Shooting Industry Award

Smith & Wesson® has received the "Rifle of the Year" award from the Shooting Industry Academy of Excellence for the company's M&P15-22 tactical rifle, the company's second consecutive selection as maker of "Rifle of the Year".


Archers from 34 Countries in Ogden, Utah for World Cup

Archers from thirty-four countries are in Ogden, Utah this week, competing in the Archery World Cup. A first for the United States, competition begins today (Wednesday) and runs through Saturday, August 7. The United States leads the World Cup Nations Ranking with 443 points and 14 medals after two stages, followed by Russia and the People's Republic of China.


Empire State Range Hosts USPSA Area 7 Handgun Championships

Over 245 of the region's best pistol shooters in the sport of practical shooting will put more than 46,000 rounds downrange during the four-day handgun shooting championship when the Area 7 USPSA regional championships are held Tuesday through Sunday, August 5-8, 2010 at the Pathfinder Fish & Game Club in Fulton, New York.


Nebraska Range Hosts 2010 Hornady Area 3 Handgun Championships

Over 220 of the region's best pistol shooters in the sport of practical shooting will put more than 80,000 rounds downrange during the four-day Area 3 handgun championships at the Heartland Shooting Park, Grand Island, Nebraska, Thursday through Sunday, August 5-8, 2010.


Masterpiece Arms Changes Agencies

Laura Burgess Marketing has been engaged to handle public relations and marketing for MasterPiece Arms, manufacturer of the Defender Series of MAC10 type guns and soon-to-be-released Protector Series of small personal protection firearms.


ZEISS Announces New State-of-the-Art Tripod and Head

Carl Zeiss is now offering a newly designed aluminum tripod set with many enhancements over its predecessor. This newest model features a state-of-the-art Photo/Video Head for quick and easy observation and photography using the ZEISS DiaScopes and PhotoScope.


Nikon Announces Big Bucks Rebate

Nikon Sport Optics is pleased to announce the "Big Bucks Fall Rebate", offering consumers a cash incentive to buy one of its popular Monarch X binoculars. For a limited time, consumers can receive a $100 rebate for purchasing Nikon's best selling 45mm Monarch X binocular during the period of August 1 through October 31, 2010.


Bushmaster® and One Shot Inc© Teaming up at Camp Perry

Bushmaster Firearms will be teaming up with Ohio's own: One Shot Inc, to offer our customers and competitors at the 2010 Camp Perry National Matches great deals on Bushmaster rifles, carbines, and lowers receivers.


Help Restore the Gulf's Wildlife Habitat

As part of the Fall 2010 Rebate Roundup program beginning August 1, 2010, Remington Arms Company, Inc. is offering a way for consumers to make donations to the Coastal Conservation Association. By simply checking a box on the rebate coupon, donating all or a portion of the rebate, you will be helping to restore one of our country's most valuable wildlife habitats.


Marlin® Offers Rebate Donation Program to Help Restore Gulf Wildlife Habitat

As part of the 2010 Fall Consumer Rebate program beginning August 1, 2010, Marlin Firearms Company is offering a way for consumers to make donations to the Coastal Conservation Association. By simply checking a box on the rebate coupon, donating all or a portion of the rebate, you will be helping to restore one of our country's most valuable wildlife habitats.


NASGW Announces Changes to Board of Directors

Richard Lipsey of Lipsey's (Baton Rouge, Louisiana), is the new Chairman of the National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers (NASGW) and Jack Baumler of W. L. Baumler Company (Lorain, Ohio) now holds the office of Secretary within the organization. Both elections are effective immediately and carry terms which run through January, 2011.


Benelli Tactical Sales Event

The Benelli Tactical Sales Event has begun. To qualify for a rebate, purchase any new Benelli MR1, M4 Tactical, M2 Tactical, SuperNova Tactical or Nova Tactical shotgun. Then complete the form on the reverse side of the rebate coupon and attach a copy of your dated receipt and the UPC code from the box of your new Benelli shotgun or rifle.


NSSF Gives $231,796 in Grants to Shooting Ranges

The National Shooting Sports Foundation has awarded grants totaling $231,796 to nine shooting facilities through its Range Partnership Grant Program. New marketing strategies designed to motivate individuals, particularly youth and inactive shooters, to go target shooting and hunting dominated this year's winning proposals.


Lipsey's Exclusive Supplier of the Black FNP 45 Tactical

Lipsey's, one of the nation's leading wholesale firearms distributors selling only to federally licensed dealers, has added the latest FNP-45 Tactical (Item #FN66810) to its exclusive inventory line-up. The new pistol is the first all-black version of the just-launched and very popular Tactical line and is only available at Lipsey's from July 1 to September 30.


Emmons Takes First US Olympic Quota Slot

Matt Emmons of Browns Mills, New Jersey demonstrated yet another reason why he is one of the top shooters in the world yesterday, securing the first Olympic quota for Team USA in London 2012.


Army Shooters Dominate Interservice Championships

Soldiers with the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit's Service Rifle team braved the heat and stiff competition to uphold the Army's reputation as the military's best marksmen and came out on top at the 49th Interservice Rifle Championships, completing a sweep of all Interservice marksmanships in 2010.


Heartland Public Shooting Park to Host Nationally Recognized Shooters

The United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) Area 3 competition will be held at the Heartland Public Shooting Park in Grand Island, Nebraska, this Friday through Sunday, August 6-8, 2010. Sponsored by Hornady Manufacturing, Team Hornady members Mike Voigt, Max Michel, Maggie Reese and Nick Neel will be competing, along with other noteworthy shooters.


Guns and Gear This Week on VERSUS

This week's episode of Guns and Gear features new products from Smith & Wesson, Olympic Arms, Trijicon, Nosler Custom Rifles, and Ruger as well as shooting tips from Gil Ash and Tom Gresham. Guns and Gear airs on VERSUS and VERSUS HD on Saturdays at 8:00 AM Eastern and Wednesdays at 12:30PM Eastern.


Groups Seek Ban on Lead-Based Ammunition and Fishing Tackle

A coalition of conservation, hunting and veterinary groups has filed a formal petition with the Environmental Protection Agency requesting a ban on the use of toxic lead in hunting ammunition and fishing tackle.


NSSF Responds to Anti-Hunting Attack on Traditional Ammunition

The National Shooting Sports Foundation has responded to a formal petition to the EPA asking for the removal of lead from ammunition and fishing tackle, calling the petition another anti-hunting attack on traditional ammunition.


Slots Still Available for Steel Challenge World Speed Shooting Championships

There's still time to join the action at this year's Steel Challenge World Speed Shooting Championships, and with over 100 guns being given away, it's a match you won't want to miss. Slots are still available for shooters wishing to compete in one or more of the many divisions supported in the match.


FEATURE

First Shot In Lead Battle Fired

The old sales saw says "if someone tells you it's not about the money, it's about the money." With that in mind, I sat in on a teleconference yesterday with the American Bird Conservancy and the Center for Biological Diversity to learn more about a formal petition filed yesterday with the Environmental Protection Agency requesting a ban on the use of lead in hunting ammunition and fishing tackle.

"Today's petition is the most significant move in two decades," was the opening comment from Jeff Miller of the Center for Biological Diversity. "It's long past time to do something about this deadly-and preventable- epidemic of lead poisoning in the wild. We've taken lead out of gasoline, paint, water pipes and other places dangerous to people. Now it's time to get the lead out of hunting and fishing sports to save wildlife for needless poisoning."

As expected, the shooting industry has fired back with a vengeance.

"There simply is no scientific evidence that the use of traditional ammunition is having an adverse impact on wildlife populations that would require restricting or banning use of traditional ammunition beyond current limitations, such as the scientifically based restriction on waterfowl hunting." said NSSF President Steve Sanetti."

During the conference, spokespersons from both organizations were quick to say that they weren't anti-hunting or fishing, but were moving to save the estimated 10 million to 20 million birds and other animals that die each year from lead poisoning in the United States.

That number, incidentally, is estimated to include animals scavenging on carcasses and "contaminated with lead bullet fragments" and any animal that might pick up and eat spent lead pellets or lost fishing weights.

"The science on this issue is massive in breadth and unimpeachable in its integrity," said American Bird Conservancy president George Fenwick, offering "hundreds of peer-reviewed studies showing continued lead poisoning of large numbers of birds and other animals."

Those 473 studies, he says, make the EPA petition "a prudent step to safeguard wildlife and reduce unacceptable human health risks."

So, the American Bird Conservancy, Center for Biological Diversity, Association of Avian Veterinarians, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, and a California hunters' group Project Gutpile are asking for the ban under the Toxic Substances Control Act, which regulates dangerous chemicals in the United States.

Only the ABC and CBD participated in the teleconference.

In one respect, they're accurate in their assertion that their petition isn't just about banning hunting or fishing. While it cites the 3,000 tons of lead "shot into the environment by hunting every year" it also claims "80,000 tons are released at shooting ranges, and 4,000 tons are lost in ponds and streams as fishing lures and sinkers."

So, the petition seeks a ban on lead in those situations as well.

Since "viable alternatives" to lead in either bullets or fishing sinkers exist, they say it's not an anti-hunting or fishing petition. They were a little less reluctant to respond to questions regarding the fact their petition, if granted, would drive costs significantly higher for hunters, shooters and anglers.

In contrast, the NSSF says a ban would have a negative impact on hunting, shooting and fishing -and wildlife conservation. The eleven percent federal excise tax manufacturers pay on ammunition is a primary source of funding of wildlife conservation. In fact, the NSSF asserts, that funding is the "financial backbone of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation."

"Needlessly restricting or banning traditional ammunition absent sound science will hurt wildlife conservation efforts as fewer hunters take to the field," said NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Lawrence G. Keane.

"Hunters and their ammunition have done more for wildlife than the CBD ever will. And the CBD's scientifically baseless petition and endless lawsuits against state and federal wildlife managers certainly do not serve the wildlife that the organization claims to protect."

One study cited by the two organizations found that "up to 87 percent of cooked game killed by lead ammunition can contain unsafe levels of lead." In fact, they said, "state health agencies had to recall venison donated to fed the hungry because of lead contamination from lead bullet fragments."

That isn't necessarily the case.

The study they cited was later discredited as having been both non-scientific in its methodology and "hopelessly biased" by its author. The recall of venison in Minnesota shelter programs was later found to be an unwarranted concern, although the state's Health, Agriculture and Natural Resources departments did create guidelines regarding processing of deer harvested using lead bullets.

Officials later admitted the whole issue was overblown.

Despite the seemingly impeachable "evidence" offered, it would be unwise to consider the petition as lacking merit.

As demonstrated in a press conference executed only hours after the release announcing their petition, these groups are neither naive nor reluctant to have the entire matter argued in public.

In fact, appear to believe they can get around the fact that the Environmental Protection Agency has no jurisdiction over ammunition, despite the Toxic Substances Control Act's regulating dangerous chemicals in the United States.

Because ammunition is subject to a federal excise tax, ammunition is exempt from the Toxic Substances Control Act. It falls under other guidelines.

Guidelines the CBD and ABC believe can be circumvented.

"Viable alternatives to lead as an ammunition compoent exist today," the Center for Biological Diversity's Jeff Miller told me, "because those alternatives exist, we're asking that the components of ammunition be covered by the Toxic Substances Control Act."

That approach would, at least theoretically, allow the EPA to exert control over ammunition -without endangering the revenues produced from the federal excise tax collected from ammunition manufacturers.

And what of the longstanding argument that forcing non-traditional ammunition on hunters and shooters would cause many to stop pursuing both?

"We heard that argument when California banned lead because of concerns over the California condor," was the response, "it never materialized- at least not in any number large enough to measure."

That may be true, but this latest petition calls for a ban on lead based ammunition in all applications-meaning recreational shooters would also be forced to use alternative ammunition. It would also ban the use of the estimated hundreds of millions of rounds of surplus ammunition that exist across the country.

Replacing that ammunition would certainly drive up costs for shooting in any form.

It's no secret that the alternatives to lead used in the fishing tackle business has resulted in significant cost increases, and the processes for manufacturing fishing weights are significantly simpler than the complicated processes involved in manufacturing non-lead ammunition.

The costs of retooling and meeting demand for lead-free ammunition would, in fact, be passed on to consumers in the form of higher ammunition costs. In today's uncertain economic climate, that would almost certainly guarantee that many shooters and hunters facing already tight budgets could be priced out of hunting.

Is this the first shot in what looks to be another protracted war?

Probably.

The Environmental Protection Agency has, by statute, 90 days after the petition's filing to either grant or deny that petition.

If the EPA Administrator grants the petition, "appropriate proceedings" would commence immediately.

If the petition is denied, the Administrator would be required to publish the reasons for the denial in the Federal Register.

We'll keep you posted.

--Jim Shepherd

Editor's Note: You can read the entire petition by clicking this link

Aug 5
Heartland Shooting Park - Grand Island, NE
Aug 5
Fulton NY (Pathfinder)
Aug 5-7
PASA Park, Barry, IL
Aug 10-13
Grand Sierra Resort, Reno, Nevada
Aug 11-14
LaPorte, Indiana
Aug 14-15
Founders Ranch, east of Albuquerque, New Mexico off I-40
Aug 20
Harris, MN
Aug 21
Mill Creek Rifle Club Desoto, KS
Aug 21
Chillicothe Sportsman Club 61523-0013
Aug 22
Emmett, Idaho
Aug 26
Fredericksburg, VA
Aug 29
Richmond Rod & Gun Club, Richmond, CA

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