Do you want to be inspired? Want to know what "kids these days" are doing? Check out this week's feature article, compliments of the Civilian Marksmanship Program. Recently, over 200 youth airgun shooters from JROTC programs across the country gathered for the 2018 JROTC National Air Rifle Championship. Here's what went down.

During the Day 2 finals, Taylor Gibson fired a new Army JROTC National Record score of 699.9.

Gibson Reclaims Title, Sets National Record at 2018 JROTC National Air Rifle Championship

By: Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer

CAMP PERRY, Ohio – Taylor Gibson, 17, of the North Salem Vikings Army JROTC from Oregon, returned to the JROTC Three-Position Air Rifle National Championship with an abundance of aspirations in her mind – ready to defend the precision title she earned at last year’s event and to give a repeat of her record-setting performance.

Gibson and over 200 other juniors competed at the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s (CMP) Gary Anderson Competition Center at Camp Perry, March 22-24. The championship is the completion of a series of three-position air rifle events that begins in October and combines the talents of junior athletes from around the country with two days of competition and finals.

Taylor Gibson claimed the overall precision competition win for the second consecutive year.

Last year, Gibson fired a new Army JROTC National Record 3x20 score of 597-48x. This year, she came only one center-shot away from tying that score on the last day of qualifying competition. With only the finals left to fire in her 2018 showing, she set her sights on a new goal – an overall score of 700 for the day.

After starting out a little shaky in the final with two “9” shots, she picked herself up and fired seven straight pellets through the black – ending just shy of her goal with a score of 699.9.

“I was really striving to get that 700,” she said. “It was still really exciting and still super fun – but I was so close!”

“Next year, I’ll do it,” she added.

Her overall two-day aggregate score of 1293.1 was enough to blow passed her peers by more than 10 points and give her the championship title for the second year in a row. The win was the satisfying end result of a year full of self-discipline, both physically and mentally, and keeping herself set to an objective she was sure she could reach with concentration and determination.

“I wanted to do the same thing I did last year,” she said. “I wanted to have two consecutive years of winning, so I was really focused – really trying hard to stay where I was from last year. I didn’t want to give up my title.”

After earning the runner-up position in 2015 (as an eighth-grader) and 2016, Gibson finally claimed the championship title in 2017. Next year, she’ll return as a senior, looking to maintain that title for the third straight year.

Winning the 2018 sporter individual competition was Emma Thompson, 17, of Freeport High School Navy JROTC from Illinois. A senior, Thompson was primed to win the event after suffering a bad cold at last year’s JROTC Nationals and landing just short of victory in the second place spot.

Granbury High School from Texas came out on top of the precision team match.

This year, Thompson secured a comfortable lead early in the competition and maintained her confidence throughout – claiming the championship title by a margin of more than 20 points above her competitors.

“I just tried to make it fun, make it strong – I came back prepared,” she added. “I finished pretty well, in my average, and that’s all I can ask for my senior year. So, I think it went really well.”

We've gotten reports that some of you didn't receive last week's Airgun Wire. We're sorry for any inconvenience and believe we've sorted out the problem. For those that missed last week's feature, Backyard Plinking on a Budget, we're re-posting it in this week's issue.

The Umarex Browning Buck Mark URX looks like its fire and brimstone breathing cousin, but shoots .177 caliber pellets, so it's backyard friendly.

Last week we took an up-close and personal look at the Gamo Urban 22 PCP air rifle. While it offers greatly expanded safe shooting opportunities over those presented by centerfire guns, it still packs some punch by flinging .22 caliber pellets at velocities up to 900 feet per second.

This week, let’s consider a pistol that brings the power level way down - on purpose - so you can safely shoot for practice or plain old fun just about anywhere. 

Browning Buck Mark URX by Umarex

The folks are Umarex are always busy making all sorts of airguns. Some they create based on licensing agreements with other gun manufacturers, such as the one we're covering today. Others like the new .50 caliber Hammer are offered as unique Umarex-branded models. 

The Buck Mark URX air pistol looks and handles much like the classic rimfire version.

At first glance, the Buck Mark URX looks like the rimfire version of the classic Browning target, hunting, and plinking pistol. When you pick it up, only then will you notice the blend of polymer and metal construction that make this an affordable and simple-to-operate break-barrel air pistol. Like its fire and brimstone breathing cousin, it’s about 12 inches long overall and has a thick bull barrel. Technically speaking, this one has a thin internal steel barrel surrounded by a larger polymer shroud to produce the bull-barreled appearance.

It’s a .177 caliber pellet gun that claims velocities in the 320 to 360 feet per second range depending on whether you use lighter alloy projectiles or heavier lead ones. Each cock of the spring-piston gives you exactly one shot, so it’s a great model for beginning air gunners and kids in the earlier stages of learning safe gun handling. While it’s a full-sized pistol with a 5.25-inch rifled barrel, the grip is slender enough to accommodate smaller hands. It also has a positive safety which can be engaged during the cocking and loading operations. The safety is also automatic, so if it's off, it still engages each time you cock the Buck Mark URX.

The Umarex Browning Buck Mark URX is a spring-piston design. One cock of the barrel gives you exactly one shot

Podium LLC will be the exclusive pellet provider for USA Shooting leading up to the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games and beyond, with the sponsorship set for possible extension in March of 2022.  Podium will also provide airgun testing, coaching, and gunsmithing services using its sophisticated electronic testing method for team athletes, while also having a strong presence during major events including Junior Olympics, Winter Airgun and National Championships.

Twelve open airgun athletes will compete for Team USA at the 2018 International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Championships later this summer after winning an intense two-part selection match that was finalized today at the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) in Fort Benning, Georgia. 

Athletes began their quest during the 2017 Winter Airgun Championships and solidified their standing today at the Rifle/Pistol Spring Selection Match following a two-day match and Final.  Team spots were handed out to the top-three finishers in Men’s and Women’s Air Rifle and Pistol. The World Championships will take place August 31-September in Changwon, South Korea.

The event is free for spectators. All ages are welcome to come in and view the action at any time during the match.

The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) invites bystanders and curious guests to explore the remarkable world of air rifle competition April 5-7, 2018, as hundreds of coaches, competitors and spectators arrive in the Sandy area for the 2018 CMP 3P Regional Air Rifle Championships, held at the Mountain America Expo Center – previously known as the South Towne Exposition Center.

The 3 Gun Nation Airgun & Airsoft Division is timed, fast-paced sports of rapid fire. It consists of various target configurations, providing an assortment of response scenarios for the shooter. The rules parallel the 3 Gun Nation firearm divisions.

3 Gun Nation Airgun and Airsoft Division is for ages eight years old through adult. It is a fun, exciting, and competitive program for individuals, families, beginner, and intermediate shooters. For those who are serious about 3 Gun firearm competition and skills, you know how critical training is in order to maintain and excel your skills. Participating in 3 Gun Nation Airgun & Airsoft Division can save thousands of dollars in training ammunition. Competitors can choose guns from a variety of excellent options.

April 1-30
April Airgun Monthly Bench League

Port Clinton, OH


April 6-27
Rifle/Pistol National Junior Olympic Championships

Colorado Springs, CO
USA Shooting

April 14
Flag City Toys That Shoot Show

"If you remember playing with it as a child, chances are one of our vendors will have it."

Findlay, OH

More Information

13th Annual Flag City Toys that Shoot Airgun Show

April 21
2018 CA Junior Olympic 3PAR State Championship (2 of 2)

Selma High School MJROTC
Selma, CA


American Legion, Dept of Virginia, North Region Championship

Warrenton Rifles
Centreville, VA


CMP April Monthly Match, Anniston

Anniston, AL


2018 NC Junior Olympic 3PAR State Championship 2 of 3

Dalton L McMichael HS AFJROTC
Mayodan, NC


CMP April Monthly Match, Camp Perry

Port Clinton, OH


April 21-22
2018 PA Junior Olympic 3PAR State Championship

DuBois Rifle & Pistol Club, Inc.
DuBois, PA


April 26-29
2018 FL State 3PAR JO (2 of 2) / General Frank Laudano Memorial

Sarasota Military Academy
Sarasota, FL


April 27-28
Oxford High School Shoulder-to-Shoulder Rifle Match

Oxford High School Marine Corps JROTC
Oxford, MS


Arkansas Airgun Show

Malvern, AR
For More Information email

April 28
2018 SD Junior Olympic 3PAR State Championship

Humboldt Sharpshooters Junior Club
Pierre, SD


Stranahan New Shooter Match 2018

Stranahan High School
Ft Lauderdale, FL


American Legion Virginia Eastern Regional Championship

King George High School NJROTC
King George, VA


April 28-29
Daystate Owners Club Shoot

Rio Salado Sportsman’s Club
3960 N Usery Pass Rd
Mesa, AZ 85207

Saturday April 28, 2018 1:00PM – 5:00PM
Sunday April 29, 2018 8:30AM – 2:00PM

Registration Information: nbsp; 

April 30 - June 30
2018 Net Competitor Spring Kick-Off League - Postal Match


May 1-31
2018 May Airgun Monthly Bench League

Civilian Marksmanship Program
Port Clinton, OH


May 5
2018 Student Air Rifle Program (SAR) Missouri State Tournament

Jefferson City,  Missouri 

Register Here

May 7-15
ISSF World Cup USA Rifle & Pistol

Ft. Benning, GA
USA Shooting

May 19
2018 CMP May Monthly Match - Anniston

Civilian Marksmanship Program
Anniston, AL


2018 CMP May Monthly Match Camp Perry

Civilian Marksmanship Program
Port Clinton, OH


June 1-30
2018 June Airgun Monthly Bench League

Civilian Marksmanship Program
Port Clinton, OH


June 4 - August 3
3-P Summer Camp 2018

Civilian Marksmanship Program
Port Clinton, OH


June 4 - August 4
3-P Summer Clinics 2018

Civilian Marksmanship Program
Port Clinton, OH


Standing Camps Summer 2018

Civilian Marksmanship Program
Port Clinton, OH


June 10-17
Rifle & Pistol National Championship

Ft. Benning, GA
USA Shooting

June 30
Midwest Airgun Show
Air Gun Wire - 2271 N Upton St., Arlington, VA 22207
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