The search for the perfect hunting tool began very early in human evolution. While humans are not the only mammals to use tools to get to their food, they are unique in the way they improve on what nature provides. Once they realised how lethal a pointed object could be, they started to polish and chip pieces of stone and fashion them into spearheads.
Fossil records show that our ancestors’ brain size increased dramatically about 500,000 years ago, and continued to grow, as they learned to look at rocks, stones, antlers, horns and bones and imagine how they could transform them for different purposes. More than that, it appears that they had an eye for beauty and a pride in craftsmanship; many of their stone tools are exquisite. Their problem-solving ability led to great technological breakthroughs such as learning how to make glue and use heat to fasten their spearheads to wooden shafts.
Applying their ingenuity to increasing the range of their weapons led early hunters to develop different kinds of spear throwers, sometimes called atlatls. Recent discoveries in Pinnacle Cave, South Africa, revealed that as early as 70,000 years ago they were hafting sharp stone tips, about 2 inches / 5 cms long, to be propelled from their atlatls to lethal effect. Darts from an atlatl can fell prey at 40 metres /45 yards, earning it the nickname ‘Stone Age Kalashnikov’. Versions can be found throughout the world including Australia where it’s known as the woomera or miru.
The spear was not the only popular projectile. Contrary to popular belief, boomerangs were not exclusive to Australia. The earliest yet, made from a mammoth tusk, was found in a cave in Poland and dated to 23,000 BCE. This takes us into the Mesolithic, or Middle Stone Age, when bows and arrows, being lighter and more portable, gradually replaced the atlatl in most parts of the world. Today, however, the atlatl is enjoying a revival in sport.
As the glaciers from the last Ice Age retreated, hunters followed herds across land bridges between continents. Their technology had grown more varied and sophisticated to include fine arrowheads, harpoons and tools using tiny blades to work skins into clothing, tents and other objects. Fish bones and piles of empty shells show that diets and hunting methods had become more varied. Gradually humans began to settle down and start farming and herding as the New Stone Age or Neolithic began. But hunting remained popular both to supplement their diet, particularly in the winter, and as a sport.
The wonderful hunting scenes painted on rock faces from around 40,000 years ago attest that hunting was not just a way of obtaining food, but was also deeply ingrained in culture. The most ancient examples include those from caves in the Dordogne in France, and Eastern Spain, which were decorated over hundreds of years. A magnificent scene from the Cova dels Cavalls, Spain, shows a group of archers chasing a herd of nine deer; a painting from another cave depicts six hunters chasing and hitting boars with arrows. Did these commemorate hunting success, or were they created as ritual hunting magic to ensure a good result, or were they painted for other reasons? The jury is still out.
By Celine Castelino - Archeologist
Some great action here room from the Paralyzed Veterans of America's shoot at Redlands Shooting Park.
You can show you support for Paralyzed Veterans of America through he link below!
Now that the sporting clays season is firing up across the country, there are so many choices… which events to go to this year. If you are a Fiocchi customer, we’d ask you to consider a shoot or shoots that we support.
We take great care in supporting the ranges that stock our excellent ammunition. These sponsorships are a testament to supporting the shooters, our end use customers, as well. By providing sponsorships, we help the ranges keep the cost to the customer lower than without.
At this year’s three (3) Fiocchi Cups, the sponsored ammo is given to the shooters through either performance or just old fashion luck. Each of these events have a different format for ammo distribution, however the ammo this year will be from our Exacta line.
Back to picking shoots to attend this year, here is a list of the major events Fiocchi is proud to sponsor. All of them are being held at top rated ranges with exceptional staffs.
March 22 - 26, 2017 - NSCA Western Regionals & North American F.I.T.A.S.C. - Coyote Springs Sporting Clays - Tucson, AZ
March 30 - April 2, 2017 - ACUI Collegiate National Championship - National Shooting Complex - San Antonio, TX
April 25 - 30, 2017 - World English Sporting Clays Championship - National Shooting Complex - San Antonio, TX
May 17 - 21, 2017 - NSCA Northeast Regional Championship & U.S. National F.I.T.A.S.C. - M & M Hunting Preserve - Pennsville, NJ
June 5 - 11, 2017 - NSCA U.S. Open - Big Red Oak Plantation - Gay, GA
June 21 - 25, 2017 - U.S. F.I.T.A.S.C. Grand Prix - Michigan Shooting Centers - Orion, MN
August 1 - 6, 2017 - NSCA North Central Regional Championship - Caribou Gun Club - Le Sueur, MN
August 18, 2017 - Fiocchi Cup Central - Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Academy- Branson, MO
August 23 - 27, 2017 - Fiocchi F.I.T.A.S.C. 500 - Northbrook Sports Club - Hainesville, IL
October 21 - 29, 2017 - NSCA National Championship - National Shooting Complex - San Antonio, TX
November 16 - 19, 2017 - Fiocchi Cup West - Ben Avery Clay Target Center - Phoenix, AZ
December 15 - 17, 2017 - Fiocchi Cup East - South Florida Shooting Club - Palm City, FL
We encourage you to pick your shoots for this year from this list. For more information, please contact the range. When you are picking your ammo please remember, in the end it’s the shot that breaks the target!!!
In continuation of last month’s lesson, we can take that muscle-memory to the next level and start the “cool guy” double tap. If you missed last month’s article read it first here: http://www.fiocchiusa.com/news-events-menu/news-menu/488-make-the-first-shot-count. The double-tap is actually a useful tool in competitions and for self-defense. Competitors are scored on a mix of time and accuracy with the option in many divisions to either land one great shot or two good shots. When ammo conservation is of no concern it’s often quicker to fire two rapid shots and move on than to slow down for a perfectly-aimed shot. In self-defense ammo conservation is often more important, but multiple hits offer better insurance of neutralizing the threat.
Now that we understand the why let’s get to the how. There are actually two types of double-taps. The first is what we see in all of the movies and is faster, but less accurate. We’ll refer to is as a “hammer”. The second takes a bit more time but offers better accuracy and is referred to as a “controlled pair”. The difference is in aiming. With a Hammer, we aim once and squeeze the trigger twice quickly. For a Controlled Pair, we trap the trigger to the rear while getting back on target and fire again as soon as we have a flash of a good sight picture. As the name implies the controlled pair offers us a lot more control and so is usable at longer ranges and offer the chance to not fire a second shot should the need arise.
In competition, in self-defense, or having fun on the range these are practical skills to develop and practicing them will increase your skills as a shooter regardless of what you use them for. After getting comfortable with the basics challenge yourself by testing your skills at different ranges. Begin at 5 yards and work the target farther and farther away in two-yard increments. Find your natural limit to the effectiveness of hammering and try to push that limit while maintain what you consider acceptable accuracy for your application. Remember “aim small, miss small!” Double-taps are not a race but rather a specific skill set. Firearms with shorter, crisper resets make it easier, but this can be performed with any semi-automatic firearm.
Congratulations Katilyn Koenig for placing High Above All at the USAYESS Jr. Clay Target Western Regional Championship!
Sporting Clays 91/100
Impressive shooting young lady!! Thank you for representing Fiocchi of America so well!
The NSSF Rimfire Challenge is designed to provide a fun gateway into the world of competitive shooting. The sport utilizes steel targets and .22 rimfire rifles and pistols. A rifle and a pistol are both required to compete.
.22 rimfire rifles, pistols, and ammunition makes entry into the sport inexpensive. .22 rimfire rifles and pistols are some of the most commonly owned firearms in the United States. .22 Long Rifle cartridges are the least expensive cartridges on the market. In the rimfire challenge, any commercially available .22 LR ammunition can be used. Fiocchi ammunition is often chosen for its reliability and accuracy.
The rimfire challenge is designed to be both safe and appealing to competitors and spectators. The action is fast and easy to follow. A distinct “Ping” is heard when the target is hit. Targets are spray painted white for each competitor, so hits are easy to see.
Eye and ear protection is required to be used by all participants, spectators and range workers.
The Rimfire Competition was developed with safety in mind. A course consists of at least 5 plates, and no more than 7 plates. Courses are completed without having to reload. As shooters run the course, they receive immediate feedback as to whether they have hit the targets or not.
Holsters are not allowed in this competition. This helps keep the price of entry low, and the emphasis on shooting instead of drawing. The courses are a challenge to shooters of all ages.
There are two basic categories, "Open" and "Limited". In the open category, pistols or revolvers with "scopes, optical sights, light gathering scopes, battery powered optics, lasers, compensators or muzzle brake" are allowed. In the limited category, iron sights, including adjustable sights and fiber optics, are allowed, but electronic sights, compensators, muzzle brakes or barrel weights are not.
Scoring. Targets are expected to be at least 8" in diameter, and easy to hit. Each target is scored as a hit or a miss. Each missed target adds two seconds to the score. The score consists of the time to complete the course. Firing is allowed until the targets are all hit or the firearm is empty.
Competitors fire each stage five times. The longest time is dropped, then the other four scores are added to give the score for that stage. The scores for all stages together are added to make the score for the match. The lowest score for the match wins.
The rules can be found on the NSSF website
Image courtesy Oleg Volk
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