NRA's grassroots fundraising program for the shooting sports eclipses 2012 effort

Kings County Friends of NRA's original committee

Fairfax, Virginia - Finishing off my list for the top stories of 2014, there is no doubt that that honor should go to Friends of NRA. Formed in 1992, Friends of NRA has been raising money in support of shooting sports programs all over the country for 21 years. They've made my lists before, and they've made it again for having yet another record-setting year.

If it seems like Friends of NRA is always breaking records that's because they are. … more on Friends of NRA's record year in 2013 ...

NRA Board Member and Motor City Madman tops the charts for NRAblog

Ted Nugent points out to the crowd at the NRA Convention in Houston, Texas

Houston, Texas - Was there ever any doubt?

When it comes to finding a story that's popular with members of the National Rifle Association and the world of shooting sports, you can usually count on Uncle Ted ending up near the top. In our case, Mr. Nugent ended up at the very top.

More on Ted Nugent's work with Wounded Warriors as the top story of 2013 ...

Successful launch of NRA's introductory 3-Gun program brings shooters to the range

Samantha Olsen leads the NRA 3-Gun charge appearing on NRANews

Fairfax, Virginia - When looking for a word to describe 3-Gun competitions I'd have to go with awesome. Or exhilarating. Maybe breathtaking. Daunting. Okay, so that's four words. But you understand where I'm coming from. The idea of running through a course while taking on one set of targets with a pistol before switching to shotgun or rifle to take on another. Accuracy is essential. So is speed. So is focus.

That's where the challenge lies. You're plunge headfirst into a high anxiety filled adrenaline rush that calls for calm when calm is the last thing on your mind.

More on Lars' #2 story of 2013 - NRA's 3-Gun Experience ...

NRA takes command of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania's famed annual outdoor show

NRA's Great American Outdoor Show

Fairfax, Virginia - Arguably our #1 story of the year, 2013 saw the NRA take over production of the annual Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, hunting and outdoor show after an attempt to ban modern sporting rifles led to a protest and eventual cancellation. Harrisburg's economy was estimated to have lost $80 million dollars from the vendors and visitors who did not arrive to do business in the state capital.

With management of the show open to a new organization, the NRA jumped at the chance to not only run the show, but help it grow into something much larger than it had been before. We knew we could achieve this growth thanks to our 141 (now 142) years of putting on the NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits. Harrisburg's show is the largest consumer outdoor show in the country, but it was still only a regional attraction. A combination of the show's existing support and the NRA's ambition would turn the Harrisburg show into a national event, drawing outdoors enthusiasts from all over the United States.

More on the Great American Outdoor Show, Kyle's #2 story of 2013 ...

Female focused stories leg out a triple for the National Rifle Association

Emily Miller fires a GLOCK .45 at the NRA Headquarters Range in Fairfax, Virginia

Fairfax, Virginia - Sliding into third for the top NRAblog stories in 2013 goes to the women. A collection of women to be more precise.

So why go with three instead of a single story? Because each of these found a spot in the top ten. One at number 4, one at 8 with the final piece standing in the 10 spot. After seeing that, I had no problem throwing the collecting into third.

More on the Women of the National Rifle Association in 2013 ...

NRA Competitive Shooting Division carries America's shooting sports traditions into the 21st century

Doug Koenig at the 2013 MidwayUSA & NRA Bianchi Cup Colt Speed Event

Fairfax, Virginia - My list's #3 is the successful year in NRA Competitive Shooting. While all may seen quiet in the cold winter months, the Competitive Shooting staff is working hard to make sure it continues offering a wide range of shooting activities to everyone interested in our great American tradition - from novices to world champions.

How many activities? The NRA sanctions more than 11,000 shooting tournaments and sponsors more than 50 national championships each year.

While not as visible as Camp Perry or the Bianchi Cup, NRA Competitive Shooting's largest event actually began yesterday. The National Indoor Rifle & Pistol Championships is the biggest competition of the year, bringing in thousands of shooters who participate comfortably from their backyards in sectional tournaments across the country.

More on NRA Competitive Shooting ...

Remington 11-87 Police Shotgun gets attention on the range

Left barrel view of Patrolman Charles Blohm's 11-87 Remington Police Shotgun

Albuquerque, New Mexico - The National Police Shooting Championships usually earns a spot in the highlights every year. 2013 is no exception.

Way out west under the Albuquerque sun we were there to see Border Patrol Agent Robert Vadasz returned to successfully defend his title, Stephanie Diaz won her 5th overall Women's Championship, and Jose Ortiz walked away with his first Shotgun Crown.

More on my #4 story of 2013: the High Sheriff's 11-87 Remington Police Shotgun ...

Education and Training Division reaches milestone with pistol guidebook sales

NRA Instructor looks on at Women on Target event.My #4 moment of the year is another milestone accomplishment for the NRA's Education and Training Division. Back in October, the division sold its one millionth copy of the NRA Guide to the Basics of Pistol Shooting. Better known as the Basic Pistol handbook, the guide is a comprehensive resource on responsible pistol use and is the foundation of NRA’s popular Basic Pistol and FIRST Steps Pistol Orientation courses.

Replacing the aging pistol handbook in July 2009, the Basic Pistol handbook was written with intent to be more than a by-the-numbers instruction manual. The NRA wanted the Basic Pistol handbook to become an at-home reference guide that gun owners would be proud to put on their bookshelves. The guide covers a breadth of topics including basic firearm safety, storage options, range rules, target scoring and basic fundamentals such as shooting positions, grip and aiming.

Since coming off the press, the NRA has been shipping nearly 650 copies of the book per day. NRA's Program Materials Center sells the Basic Pistol handbook both individually and as part of a the packet in NRA Instructor-led courses. Thanks to the continued growing national interest in firearms, we don't expect that number to slow down any time soon and look forward to celebrating the sale of the 2,000,000th Basic Pistol handbook in a few years.

More on the 1,000,000th Basic Pistol handbook milestone ...

Highlighting the firearms found on Sportsman Channel's NRA News

NRA Senior Curator Philip Schreier holding out a .38 caliber Colt Banker's Special for Curator's Corner on NRANews & Sportsman Channel

Fairfax, Virginia - In the past, the creation of the NRAblog's Top 5 or Top 10 list centered on what we thought were the best stories of the year. That will not be the case for 2013.

More on the Guns of Curator's Corner in 2013 ...

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