Raahauge’s Shooting Sports Fair is back after not being held last year


By JIM MATTHEWS

www.OutdoorNewsService.com

CORONA -- The Raahauge’s Shooting Sports Fair is back.

After a one-year hiatus, the original and largest hands-on firearms show in the nation returns to Mike Raahauge Shooting Enterprises June 3-5 this year. The event has most of the nation’s firearms manufacturers and importers with their wares on the firing line, and those attending the three-day event can shoot -- yes, shoot -- any and all of latest firearms from these vendors.

Sponsored by Lucas Oil and Turner’s Outdoorsman, this year’s event has the largest array of firearms for the public to shoot in the show’s history. There will be over 500 different rifles, shotguns, and handguns on the main firing line, not including the shooting bays adjacent to the main line.

The event has been held almost annually since 1983. The brain-child of the late Mike Raahauge, it is the only event of its kind in California, and none of the other hands-on events anywhere in the country have the number and variety of different firearms.

Firearm companies represented for 2016 include, Ruger, Savage, Mossberg, Howa, Springfield, CZ, Smith & Wesson, Glock, Beretta, Colt, Benelli, American Tactical Imports (ATI), Del-Ton, NEMO, Walther, and many other smaller companies and imported brands. Sig-Sauer, a new addition in 2014, is back, and Early and Modern Firearms (EMF) is here for the first time in 2016.

Also new this year, the Lucas Oil Shooting Team will be running a special 3-Gun Nation shooting booth in Bay 1 (the biggest of the shooting bays) where everyone attending the shot can shoot -- for free -- a three-gun event as an introduction to this exciting shooting sport. If you join 3-Gun Nation at the Shooting Sports Fair, you can actually shoot a qualifying score and, once the scores are posted on the group’s website, see where you rank nationally. Members of the Lucas Oil Shooting Team, who are running this booth, will also give demonstrations on three-gun competitions at 1 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.

There will be a lot of steel to shoot in the shooting bays this year. The new EMF booth in Bay 4 will have their historic replica guns available to shoot cowboy-type event on steel. In Bay 5, Glock will have a steel shooting gallery you can plink with Glocks, and Firearms Training Associates (FTA) will have its special steel range where they teach defensive firearms use.

Would you like to shoot a California-compliant belt fed semi-auto? Triple R Munitions and Moar Munitions will have a number of new and historic belt-fed firearms for the public to shoot. They will include the HK 21 and 23 models in 5.56 and 7.62 NATO rounds, an historic 8mm MG 34 of World War II vintage, a trio of .50 calibers, and the brand new Freedom Ordinance 9mm belt fed that David Un describes as the “most freakin’ awesome thing I’ve ever played with.”

But there’s even more than just shooting. Paul Cacciatori of Starlight Kennels has been a fixture at the Sports Fair since its inception, and he will again be giving his demonstration on how simple and rewarding it is to train your retriever to be a good hunting dog, focusing on discipline and retrieving. These seminars are always one of the most popular at the Fair and they are given all three days of the event.

The California Rifle and Pistol Association and the National Rifle Association are also on hand to provide information on the latest state and national gun control efforts. Most of the region’s sporting conservation groups -- from Ducks Unlimited to Quail Forever -- have booths where volunteers with these organizations talk about their work in this region. The mail aisle leading to the firing line and shooting bays will be lined with a number of outdoor vendors with shooting and hunting accessories.

Moss Brothers will have its latest line of vehicles for outdoorsmen on display, including the Ram 1500s with the Hemi and the turbo diesel Cummings, the Chevrolet Silverado and Tahoe, Toyota Tacoma, and Jeep Wrangler and highly-reviewed Renegade. Of course, they will also have at least one of the sexy Dodge Challengers, or as Moss representative Greg Donahue said, “American muscle at its finest.”

There are also a host of activities just for kids, from a rock-climbing wall to air soft guns to a fishing pond.

If you want to see and do everything, give yourself plenty of time -- or plan on coming more than one day. The Shooting Sports Fair will be open from noon to 6 p.m. Friday, June 3, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 4, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 5. Admission is $15 for adults and parking is $5 (the parking fee includes entry into a drawing for a Howa Mini-Action rifle and scope package, a $900 value). There are also small fees -- to cover the costs of ammunition -- for shooting the different guns.

For more information or directions, call Mike Raahauge Shooting Sports Enterprises at 951-735-7981 or go to www.raahauges.com. There is also information on the Turner’s Outdoorsman web site at www.turners.com. A $2 off coupon for admission is available at Raahauge’s and all Turner’s stores throughout Southern California.

END

Lucas Oil, Raahauge’s team up

to introduce Protect the Harvest

CORONA -- Lucas Oil is the new major sponsor of the Raahauge’s Shooting Sports Fair being held June 3-5 at Mike Raahauge Shooting Enterprises in Corona, but the relationship between Raahauge’s and Lucas Oil is more philanthropic than about selling product.

“This sponsorship is right up our alley to bring awareness to the Lucas Oil foundation, Protect the Harvest,” said Keli Gunn, aide to Forest Lucas.

This organization is becoming a major force in protecting the rights of fishermen, hunters, farmers, ranchers, pet owners and breeders. With the financial backing of Lucas Oil and an increasing number of corporate and individual supporters, Protect the Harvest is building a war chest to battle animal rights groups with a comprehensive education program and the legal clout to go to court when necessary.

Protect the Harvest has quickly stepped to the forefront in protecting these traditional activities and has been described as the antithesis of the Human Society of the United States (HSUS) and Center for Biological Diversity (CBD). Unlike the traditional outdoor groups, Protect the Harvest has the financial clout to sue.

“It’s the missing link,” said Lincoln Raahauge about Protect the Harvest. “We have a ton of hunting organizations, but they are even afraid to say who is attacking us.”

Lincoln Raahauge, the late Mike Raahauge’s nephew, has been developing a relationship with Forrest Lucas and Lucas Oil through Protect the Harvest. Raahauge, who has a hog hunting guide service and works promoting Strong Point dog food, set up a special fundraising sporting clays shooting event for Protect the Harvest at the family shooting range in February this year and raised $56,000 for the organization, which has only been in existence four years.

He has also worked with the owners of Strong Point to make sure a portion of the sale of each bag of this dog food is donated to Protect the Harvest.

“How could you not want to support gun oil from a man who is supporting us to the tune of millions of dollars,” said Raahauge about Forrest Lucas. “Protect the Harvest is his baby; it’s his passion.”

“We’ve developed a partnership with the Raahauges and Protect the Harvest, and with our line of outdoor products. It was just a really good fit for us to become sponsors of the Shooting Sports Fair,” said Gunn.

In addition to promoting Protect the Harvest at the Sports Fair, Lucas Oil will be displaying its relatively new line of gun and fishing oil products. Still little known to many in the shooting and hunting sports, the line includes bore solvents, gun oil, a multi-purpose CLP (clean, lubricate, protect) line, polish, and grease for firearms, and a specialty fishing reel oil. These are new additions to the well-known Lucas Oil line of automotive, motorcycle, and boating products.

In all of its product lines, Lucas Oil is an aggressive sponsor of product users in competitive sports. The Lucas Oil Shooting Team will be running a special 3-Gun Nation shooting booth in Bay 1 (the biggest of the shooting bays). Everyone attending the shot can shoot -- for free -- a three-gun event as an introduction to this exciting shooting sport. If you join 3-Gun Nation at the Shooting Sports Fair, you can actually shoot a qualifying score and, once the scores are posted on the group’s website, see where you rank nationally.

Members of the Lucas Oil Shooting Team, who are running this booth, will also give demonstrations on three-gun competitions at 1 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.

The Raahauge Shooting Sports Fair will be open from noon to 6 p.m. Friday, June 3, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 4, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 5. Admission is $15 for adults and parking is $5 (the parking fee includes entry into a drawing for a Howa Mini-Action rifle and scope package, a $900 value).

For more information or directions, call Mike Raahauge Shooting Sports Enterprises at 951-735-7981 or go to www.raahauges.com. There is also information on the Turner’s Outdoorsman web site at www.turners.com. A $2 off coupon for admission is available at Raahauge’s and all Turner’s stores throughout Southern California.

For more information on the Lucas Oil line of gun oil and other outdoor products, go to http://lucasoil.com/products/out-door-line.

Howa Mini Action rifles

at Shooting Sports Fair

CORONA -- Hunters and shooters will be able to see and fire the new Howa Mini Action bolt-action rifle at this year’s Raahauge’s Shooting Sports Fair held June 3-5 at the Corona shooting complex. The new short-action is one of the most innovative new developments in bolt-action rifles in the last 25 years, and the change is a simple one.

Most bolt action rifle makers chamber their rifles for .223-class cartridges, which are about 2 1/4-inches long as loaded round, but they use the same actions they would use for .243 and .308 class cartridges which are just over 2 3/4-inches long. To accommodate the larger, longer rounds, the bolt-action rifles are necessarily a half-inch longer than they need to be to accommodate the shorter .223-class of rounds. This means there is extra weight, a longer-bolt throw, and potentially more difficult feeding of shorter rounds.

Howa decided to shorten its popular Model 1500 bolt-action rifle to be the correct length for the .223-class of rounds, a length which also includes popular rounds such as the 7.62x39, 6.5 Grendel, 6.8 SPC, and other rounds designed for AR-style firearms.

The chamber and bolt of the new Mini Action are significantly shorter (approximately 12 percent) than regular short actions. This feature produces a shorter bolt throw for faster reloads and less weight for the overall gun. In fact, the new Howa Short Action rifle, without scope, weighs just over 5 1/2-pounds. It also comes with 20 or 22-inch drawn barrel, three position safety, and a very smooth two-stage trigger.

The drawn barrel produces better accuracy than a forged barrel because they are not extruded and stretched, and Howa does not begin with billet stock. Instead, these barrels begin as extrusion tubes that are swaged, drawn, and then roll-leveled before cutting. Drawn barrels are also heat treated. This method produces less stress on the metallurgy and leads to a straighter barrel, producing better accuracy. Recent field tests by writers of many major magazines and blog sites confirm these new guns, like most Howas, are shooting amazing groups.

The new Howa Mini Action is currently available in .204 and .223 calibers, and test guns in 6.5 Grendel are already being shot. It is likely this round will be available in other calibers soon, including the 7.63x39. The rifles are available in a wide variety of configurations and retail prices range from $608 to $782, depending on barrel and scope package options.

The Legacy Sports booth on the main firing line will have at least two Howa Mini Action rifles available for handling and shooting at this year’s Sports Fair.

END

[Jim Matthews is a syndicated Southern California-based outdoor reporter and columnist. He can be reached via e-mail at odwriter@verizon.net or by phone at 909-887-3444.]

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