Monthly Archives: June 2010

ISSF World Cup Belgrade: Mens 50m 3P

Three Israelis competed:

44th Place: Leor Ovadia Madlal 1155-46x
54th Place: Sergy Rikhter 1150-40x
75th Place: Gil Simkovitch 1119-46x, however apparently at some point he had too many shots on a target, which normally means losing a higher shot. Either he didn’t count his shots correctly, or someone shot on his target by accident. Oy Vey!

ISSF World Cup Belgrade: Men’s 10m Air Pistol and Women’s 10m Air Rifle

Today’s results for Israeli shooters:


Alexei Kiriyevski made 61st place with a 568-15x in 10m air pistol.

On the girl’s side, 10m Air Rifle:

Adi Cohen took 35th place with a 394-27x.
Yael Kan-Dagan took 42nd place with 393-29x.
Chen Tal took 52nd place with 393-24x.

Mazal Tov! Tomorrow 3 Israelis shoot in the Men’s 50m 3-position match.

ISSF World Cup Belgrade 2010: Israeli 10m Mens Air Rifle Results

Great shooting today by two Israelis today:

Sergy Rikhter took 4th place with a 596- 50x, note that first place was 597- 48x, so he actually “out-x’d” the winner! Leor Ovadia Madlal took 76th place with a 584- 34x. Mazal Tov to both!

Really a great way for Sergy Rikhter to get ready for the World Championships July in Munich…can he win the gold for 10m air rifle?!

Women’s 10m air rifle tomorrow, however the lineup has not been posted, so I don’t know which Israeli women are shooting yet.

You can watch the final at the ISSF web site!

Jewish Marksman Steven Spielberg

Hollywood-types (that’s Hollywood, California–not Hollywood, Florida) are usually thought of as being anti-gun, even as they surround themselves with armed bodyguards. But according to this article, Steven Spielberg is an avid sporting clays shooter:

It was Spielberg’s father, an electrical engineer and amateur film buff, who spurred his interest in movie-making. It was also his dad, a World War II Air Force sharpshooter, who taught Steven his gun-handling skills.

As someone who never enjoyed much of the regular sports during his childhood, Steven Spielberg introduced his son Max, in 1995, to the sport he knows best — Sporting Clays.

Screenwriter and director John Milius (Apocalypse Now and Clear and Present Danger) describes Steven Spielberg as a sharpshooter. Spielberg, he said, regularly shoots an Italian over/under Fabri shotgun, an engraved model of which costs in the neighborhood of $85,000.

Milius said he began shooting sporting clays with Spielberg in the late 1960s at the Oak Tree Gun Club in southern California. During their younger days, Milius said, they used to play at least once a week. “We call it red-neck golf,” Milius said, “just like golf, you either like it or you don’t.”

Explaining Spielberg’s passion for collecting top-of-the-line shotguns, Milius told this writer, “They are just beautiful things. How many beautiful works of art can you take out and use?”

Milius would often shoot Sporting Clays with Spielberg. He admits having lost “a few times” to Spielberg, who actually received some shooting lessons from him in the past. “I’m the teacher and he’s the student, but on a good day he’s really good.”

Art Bright, manager of the Pachmayr Range in southern California, remembers giving Spielberg and young Max a few shooting tips. “Steven Spielberg is a pretty good shot,” Bright says. “He’s probably a solid B-class shooter.”

Doron Shaziri: Champion Israeli Rifle Competitor

Israeli Doron Shaziri lost his left leg to a Lebanese land mine. But that has not stopped him from becoming a champion Paralympian rifle shooter, and earning medals in numerous Paralympics and other international competitions. In 2008 he won the Silver in Men’s 50m Free Rifle. Interestingly, in 2008 Shaziri provided the Jerusalem Post with some insights into the lack of support from the Israeli government for top-tier disabled athletes as compared to “able bodied” athletes:

DORON SHAZIRI has already proven that he is one of the best shooters in the world. He has been competing since shortly after losing his left leg in Lebanon in 1987 when, during the course of his military service, he stepped on a land mine. Now he is heading to his fifth Paralympics, having already collected silver and bronze medals in the 1996, 2000 and 2004 games. But the bull’s-eye in his free rifle competition is only 10 millimeters across – smaller than a one shekel coin – so the margin of error is minuscule. And since his training is hampered by financial constraints, he isn’t taking anything for granted. “I would prefer to train more often, and to travel to more competitions,” he says. “If I did, I would be better, without a doubt. Yes, I am good, and I have won medals. But you can’t rely on talent alone.” Shaziri settles in for a four-hour training session in Herzliya, one of only two or three he is able to manage each week. That’s half as many as the members of the able-bodied shooters, he notes, but he can’t afford to do it more often. No one repays him for his time away from work, designing custom wheelchairs for handicapped athletes. “I don’t even get the stipend that I’m supposed to receive as a top-tier competitive athlete, because there’s no budget for it,” Shaziri says. “I’m not crying and whining, that’s just the situation for handicapped sport in Israel. I mean, apparently, sport just isn’t very important to the State of Israel. If no money is budgeted for it, what other conclusion can you draw?” Without a major boost in funding, Israel may very well see talented handicapped athletes abandon their sports entirely. Shaziri has already seen it happen in his own sport, which requires a heavy investment in a highly specialized bolt-action rifle and other sophisticated, sport-specific equipment.

Shaziri, for example, exudes the kind of positive attitude that most able-bodied people would do well to adopt. “Right after my injury my first thought was, ‘I wonder how my prosthesis will work,’” he says, leaning nonchalantly on the metal pole and prosthetic foot that prop him up. “Look, my leg isn’t going to just grow back. So what? Why should I remain disgruntled and depressed all my life?”

“We are not ‘handicapped’ athletes, we are athletes. Why discriminate against us?” “Sport is sport, no matter whether it’s handicapped, and it ought to be promoted,” adds Shaziri. “The state ought to be proud of its athletes’ accomplishments. After all, we’re proud to represent the country. Isn’t the country proud to be represented by us?”

I was not able to find any recent articles about whether or not the funding situation has changed, but I hope so. Also no word on Shaziri’s plans for the 2012 London Olympics. While it is important for Israel to be represented on the world’s mainstream athletic stage, disabled athletes should not be brushed aside, especially when they are IDF veterans!

As a side note, here in the US the NRA devotes considerable resources to making shooting sports accessible to the disabled, devoting an entire department to that purpose. They hold competitions for wheelchair competitors, many of whom are veterans returning from the Afghan and Iraqi wars against radical Islamic terrorists. Precision shooting is a great way for anyone with physical limitations to stay active in sports, and is even used as a form of physical therapy.

Mazal Tov to Doron, and hopefully he will be bringing home a gold in 2012!

The Red Heffer and 10m AP 540 (90%)

Yesterday I decided to go the 10m range and get in some air pistol practice while listening to the week’s Torah portion sermons on mp3. This week’s portion includes instructions regarding the Red Heffer (Cow), whose ashes purify a person who has been contaminated by contact with a dead body. The portion is significant in that its logic is difficult, if not impossible to grasp. It is said that the purpose of the commandments surrounding the Red Heffer are placed in the Torah to remind us of our intellectual limits, that human connection to the Torah is deeper than logic and reason.
I was quite happy with the results, considering I hadn’t touched the pistol for a week! I had been keeping up with the grip and hold exercises, which I think paid off. I shot 90%, a 540 on the dot. (Have I mentioned that 10m air pistol is shot one-handed?)

Most interestingly, I shot the target shown above. The 5 shot string got off to a bad start, I wasn’t mentally focused and let loose a seven. That kind angered me and caused me to focus more. I proceeded to pop off four tens in a row. That result lit a few bulbs for me upstairs. For one, I’ve come to notice that unlike when I first started shooting, now I shoot very well when I put pressure on myself. I’ve noticed this at matches as well. Match pressure no longer manifests itself as a “fear” of not performing well, rather, now it manifests itself as a sort of motivator to do well. And it made me realize that mentally I’m not 100% focused on each and every shot. In the target above, after the seven I just decided I was going to shoot only 10s and did so.

But how to return to that mental state for every shot? As usual, something new to practice, I guess?!

SCATT, the AR-15 Rifle, and a Scene from a Typical Jewish Home

I’ve mentioned that my main focus lately has been Service Rifle competition using the AR-15. My practice routine consists entirely of dry-firing every night with a SCATT system (you can order one from CenterShot). I put on my shooting coat and glove and right in the comfort of our bedroom take between 10 and 100 shots on my own private range! Our 6 mo. old daughter loves watching abba (dad) do this as emma (mom) watches TV. We can all still chat, or I can keep an eye on the baby, which I couldn’t do with air rifle training in the garage. I think it’s great that boobah will grow up thinking this is a normal and expected routine in a Jewish household! I can’t wait for the call from the school when the kids draw pictures of their daily lives at home and abba is depicted laying on the floor with a big black rifle.
The SCATT system is amazing. Essentially, it records the path the muzzle of the gun takes, and estimates where the shot would hit. It is a precise system, always on call for me, and my scores closely match what I end up shooting in matches. After each shot, I can graphically see what my muzzle is doing, which allows me to make adjustments and track improvements. It also provides a variety of statistics. For example, it tells you what your score would have been had you released the trigger at given points in time, on average. For example, my scores jumped about 5 points once I realized that my shot releases needed to happen a second or so earlier in my hold, something that was not visibly obvious to me. Particularly with the seated and prone positions with a sling, the SCATT allows me to see my pulse-beat’s effect on the target and tweak my position to minimize it. One of the coolest features is the audio, which emits a tone pitched to how close you are to the 10 ring, which really helps to develop recognition of the perfect sight picture. SCATT systems aren’t cheap, but they pay for themselves in terms of ammo savings and range time–they drastically reduce the need for either. It turns boring dry-fire practice into a fun video game.

Jews and the Second Amendment

Here is the beginnings of a list of locally or nationally prominent US Jews who support the Second Amendment:
Please feel free to suggest additions to the list, I am sure there are many more! I will keep it updated and re-post from time to time.

The Myth of Anti-Gun Jewish Politicians

Well, obviously it’s not a complete myth. However, there are a number of Jewish politicians who have strong gun rights records. It is more accurate to say that the Democratic party is anti-Gun, and it so happens that most Jewish politicians are Democrats. However, here are some examples of pro-gun Jewish politicians:

Eric Cantor, Republican, Virginia’s 7th congressional district, has an “A” rating from the NRA.
Arlen Spector, Democrat, PA US Senator, “… strongly opposes most gun control, voting against the Brady Bill, background checks at gun shows, the ban on assault weapons, and trigger locks for handguns.” (However, GOA gives him a “D”, which is somewhat confusing).