This evening was spent doing some tedious .223 ammunition reloading (click here for a great Wikipedia summary). Why reload ammunition? From Wikipedia:
Economy, increased accuracy, and performance are common motivations for handloading cartridges. Reloading fired cases can save the shooter money, or provides the shooter with more, and higher quality, ammunition for a given budget. Reloading may not be cost effective for occasional shooters, as it takes time to recoup the cost of the required equipment, but those who shoot on a regular basis will see benefit. Besides economy, the ability to customize the performance of the ammunition is a common goal. … Target shooters seek the best achievable accuracy, as well as the best shot-to-shot consistency. Many handloaders customize their cartridges to their specific firearms, usually in pursuit of accuracy: they can assemble precision ammunition using cartridge cases that have been fire formed in the chamber of a specific firearm.
The Jewish Marksman uses almost exclusively Lee brand reloading equipment because they are a great value! Reloading is not particularly difficult if you have the capacity to follow instructions, take your time, pay attention to detail, and observe common sense safety precautions.
If you shoot a rimfire cartridge, such as .22LR, those cases are not reloadable. However, the brass does have value…nowadays anywhere from $0.50 to $1.50 a pound depending where you go. Take it home, throw it in a bucket, but don’t leave it at the range! At some clubs, it is customary to leave the rimfire brass at the the club as a ‘donation’, but it is perfectly acceptable to take home all of your centerfire brass! Someday you may want to reload it, sell it, or give it to a shooter who reloads. If you leave it at a commercial range, they will simply sell it as scrap metal.
Our latest featured Jewish Marksman is Dr. Dennis Lindenbaum, who was recently chronicled in a Jewish community paper in Atlanta (click here to read it)
. Dr. Lindenbaum has become a highly accomplished shooter in a very short period of time, achieving a Master ranking and qualifying for the US Dewar Team. Dr. Lindenbaum is a good example of how precision shooting sports fit well with the personalities of Jewish professionals in the US, and why more Jewish doctors, lawyers and accountants ought to give it a try, from the article:
“He’s a trained professional and understands the scientific method, so he’s very analytical, and that carries over into his shooting,” said Tommy Steadman, a Club officer and good friend of Lindenbaum. “He’s very meticulous in the way he goes through this, and he’s most interested in functionality and performance, so that’s the way he went through selecting his equipment, and [he did it] very, very slowly.”
Precision shooting is all about precision, the scientific method, and self-discipline…natural talent or strength play no role (some say it’s a sport that rewards mild o.c.d….). A perfect compliment to the schooling many American Jews have received in their professional careers.
Dr. Lindenbaum is also a great spokesperson for the sport:
“Not a bunch of guys in camo”
Dr. Lindenbaum would like to point out that the idea that shooting is a violent or unsafe practice is simply not true. Indeed, he calls the regulations at matches “borderline excessive” and has never seen or even heard of someone getting injured as a result of participation. Nor is the stereotype of a hunter, country bumpkin or delinquent to be tied to a shooter. The many young people he’s gotten to know courtesy of smallbore have all represented the sport with intelligence and responsibility. “It takes a certain type of discipline to be able to have this kind of focus,” he said. “These are kids who get together on weekends to either train or go to these competitions, and it’s really a wholesome, clean activity. And they’re learning certain mental skills I think will be helpful to them in their academic and work lives later on.”
Mrs. Lindenbaum also gets involved:
Reinforcing the idea that the culture here is just as family-friendly as bowling, baseball or board games is the support Lindenbaum gets from his wife, Barbara. Though she does not shoot, she has taken a keen and sincere interest, helps organize club matches and is just as much a part of the community as the man with the rifle.“It’s really great; you need to have somebody to partner with you,” he said. “I don’t know if I would even enjoy the matches…I can’t do it without her.”
Lastly, for all the Jewish parents out there who are on the fence, consider what you might be denying your child by not introducing them to the shooting sports at a young age:
“Dennis, had he gotten into this younger and pursued it like he has, I have no doubt that he would have an extremely good possibility of being an Olympian,” Steadman said.