Considering this sport, any advice?

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Post by robvasi on 1/6/2019, 6:50 pm

I have no experience in competition shooting.  I have no delusions of being a superior pistol shooter.  My goal is to participate in the Hunstman Games held in southern Utah. The Games are in October. By then I want to be able to hit the black with 75% of the shots fired and hit the bullseye with 15%.

I shot at a local range and I can hit the paper at 25 yards, sometimes in the black.  I use a Ruger Mark IV.  I ordered the Volquartsen PISTOL COMPETITION KIT FOR MK IV. I am considering the Volquartsen upper assembly, including their bolt.

I am also considering the Hi-Viz front sight.

To reach my objective will require practice, and money for range fees, ammunition, and pistol modifications. I'd like to present some questions with the realization and there is no specific answer to these questions because you have not seem me shoot. I shoot right handed and seem to be left eye dominate.

I wear progressive glasses.  The achievement of the proper sight picture is near to impossible.  I read an article written by a doctor of Optometry who is also a shooter.  His solution is to have new glasses made with the lens for the dominate eye focused for near vision, at the distance from the eye to the front sight.  The other lens is focused for far vision. 

1. Is my goal realistic in the time frame I have allocated? 
2. What is your opinion on the Volquartsen upper?
3. 4.5" barrel or 6" barrel? (If I choose the Volquartsen barrel)
4. Do you have experience, either yourself or someone else, who wears glasses like I described?  If so, what are your opinion on glasses in this configuration for target shooting?

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Post by SteveT on 1/6/2019, 7:48 pm

I have no idea if you can reach your goal, but you won't if you don't try. Go for it. Is the competition you want to compete in a normal Bullseye course of fire?

Progressive lenses are not good for accurate pistol shooting. Neither are Hi-Viz sights. You want a nice clean black notch and post. Hi Viz, light pipe and tritium sights are only good for short distance, high speed, snap shooting, and I'm not even sure they are good for that.

Depending on your prescription you can get safety glasses with a prescription lens online and sometimes at local home stores. I won't recommend using drug store reading glasses for shooting unless they are safety rated, but I have done it. In general you want a prescription lens between your reading and distance prescription. Distance +1 diopter is usually in the right ball park.

22's are inherently very accurate and forgiving. I recommend 4.5 or 5" barrel. There will not likely be an accuracy difference and the longer sight radius actually makes it harder to shoot. One of the surprising things about precision pistol shooting is that it's all mental. It is too easy to jerk the trigger and send the shot flying, we need to learn how to smoothly pull the trigger when the sights are reasonably well aligned and somewhere in the vicinity of center. Read all you can about "area aiming" and "wobble area" and "surprise break". Focus on the front sight, I focus on the top edge of the front sight and make sure it is aligned with the top edge of the rear sight. Sight Alignment Is All That Matters! It's hard to believe, but it's true. If you fire a shot with the sights aligned, but a little off center on the target it will be a 9 or and 8. If you fire a shot aligned with the target but the sights aren't aligned it will be a 6, 5 or total miss. It took me too long to realize the 99% of what's important happens at the gun (sight alignment and smooth trigger)

Most 22's with standard velocity ammo will be accurate enough. If you have access to a successful bullseye shooter they can test your gun and ammo.

Read about dry firing. Then do it every day.
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Post by gregbenner on 1/6/2019, 7:56 pm

I am not familiar with the match you refer to?  Is it all at 25 yards?  

NRA bullseye rules, one handed, etc?

When you mention keeping it in the black, what target?  The black for a 25y NRA Target is approx 5 1/2”.  Slow fire, time fire or rapid fire?  I gather you plan on using iron sights (v red dot)?

I have two Volquartsens, nice pistols, but I don’t think their barrels will have any noticeable impact on accuracy. I owned a Mark 4 for a while (gave it to my BIL), and on mine the trigger was really awful. If I were getting a VC barrel, AND were staying with iron sights, I’d get the 6” barrel for the longer sight radius. 

I would suggest getting a really good trigger job, and lots of practice (std velocity CCI) including dry firing (which is pretty cheap)

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Post by Paul M. on 1/6/2019, 9:25 pm

I have progressive lenses in my everyday glasses and my shooting glasses have my distance prescription and I use an Eye Pal iris.  I had a set of lenses made with +1.25 diopter and I used them for a while, but I switched back to the iris.  There are several threads on the subject under “Fundamentals” in this forum.
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Post by cdrt on 1/6/2019, 9:26 pm

This is what he is referring to.  I can't find anything about the course of fire, distances, etc.  I guess you would have to email them for particulars.
https://seniorgames.net/
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Post by SonOfAGun on 1/6/2019, 9:34 pm

Figuring out exactly what the game is will be important for equipment selection and training. I googled the Huntsman Games and I assume you're talking about The Huntsman Senior Games 

https://seniorgames.net

If that's correct, the shooting sports categories are Cowboy Action Shooting, Benchrest, and Shotgun. There is a category called simply "Shooting Handgun" but it seems to just redirect back to the general sports selection page.

Anyway...

Benchrest is rifle, and shotgun is... shotgun. That leaves Cowboy Action as the only obvious handgun category.

Within Cowboy Action are the following events:
Traditional 
Gun Fighter
Classic Cowboy/Duelist 
Open Black Powder
B-Western

It also seems to suggest that Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) rules may apply. Also, one or more "period type" firearms may be required, and handguns may be restricted to single action revolvers.

In my limited knowledge, none of the Cowboy Action games are directly analogous to Bullseye, which is the subject of this forum.

I'm not really sure if Bullseye-style shooting would help you train for your event. Maybe, maybe not.

Do you have any further info that might help clear this up?
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Post by Dave Glenn on 1/7/2019, 9:21 am

I agree with the post that recommended specific open sight shooting glasses. What works for me is 1/2 of my normal reading glasses prescription ( my readers are + 1.5 diopter and my shooting glasses are + .75  ) that gives me a good view of the front sight without blurring the target too much. there are only 2 things you have to learn, one is lining the sights while focusing on the front sight and the other is squeezing the trigger without disturbing the sight alignment. Both can be vastly improved with dry fire practice.

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Post by willnewton on 1/7/2019, 9:36 am

At this point in your game, I would skip the VQ upper. The chances you will outshoot the Ruger barrel is zero for a loooong time. Save the money for ammo. The VQ trigger group parts do help.

I have some of the same questions as the others about the shooting format. I will say that you should continue to practice Bullseye no matter what pistol events or style you shoot. Bullseye is absolute honing of fundamentals in a way no other style is. It will make you a better shot at EVERY shooting discipline.

Welcome to the forum!
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Post by BE Mike on 1/7/2019, 11:24 am

In the past, I've competed in a lot of shooting disciplines, but predominately bullseye. Bullseye pistol shooting will improve your fundamentals of marksmanship, but I suggest that you find out specifically what match will be held and train for it, especially if the match requires speed and reloading. Dave Glenn nailed it regarding glasses. I have a pair of prescription glasses for iron sights and another for distance vision that I use for a red dot scope.
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Post by MarkF45 on 1/7/2019, 5:51 pm

OP, before you go any further, you need to decide exactly what event you are entering, and what the course of fire is for that event.

Cowboy shooting is VERY different from Bullseye/Precision. "Shooting Handgun" can mean anything . One hand, two hands, rimfire, centerfire, paper targets, steel targets, slow, rapid, whatever.

You want to practice for the correct event.

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Post by robvasi on 1/7/2019, 11:21 pm

SteveT wrote:I have no idea if you can reach your goal, but you won't if you don't try. Go for it. Is the competition you want to compete in a normal Bullseye course of fire?

Progressive lenses are not good for accurate pistol shooting. Neither are Hi-Viz sights. You want a nice clean black notch and post. Hi Viz, light pipe and tritium sights are only good for short distance, high speed, snap shooting, and I'm not even sure they are good for that.

Depending on your prescription you can get safety glasses with a prescription lens online and sometimes at local home stores. I won't recommend using drug store reading glasses for shooting unless they are safety rated, but I have done it. In general you want a prescription lens between your reading and distance prescription. Distance +1 diopter is usually in the right ball park.

22's are inherently very accurate and forgiving. I recommend 4.5 or 5" barrel. There will not likely be an accuracy difference and the longer sight radius actually makes it harder to shoot. One of the surprising things about precision pistol shooting is that it's all mental. It is too easy to jerk the trigger and send the shot flying, we need to learn how to smoothly pull the trigger when the sights are reasonably well aligned and somewhere in the vicinity of center. Read all you can about "area aiming" and "wobble area" and "surprise break". Focus on the front sight, I focus on the top edge of the front sight and make sure it is aligned with the top edge of the rear sight. Sight Alignment Is All That Matters! It's hard to believe, but it's true. If you fire a shot with the sights aligned, but a little off center on the target it will be a 9 or and 8. If you fire a shot aligned with the target but the sights aren't aligned it will be a 6, 5 or total miss. It took me too long to realize the 99% of what's important happens at the gun (sight alignment and smooth trigger)

Most 22's with standard velocity ammo will be accurate enough. If you have access to a successful bullseye shooter they can test your gun and ammo.

Read about dry firing. Then do it every day.
Thank you! I watched some videos on aiming, but I've not heard the phrase 'area aiming' so I will research this.  I am not able to get out now, as I am ill, but not ill enough to avoid research.

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Post by robvasi on 1/7/2019, 11:32 pm

gregbenner wrote:I am not familiar with the match you refer to?  Is it all at 25 yards?  

NRA bullseye rules, one handed, etc?

When you mention keeping it in the black, what target?  The black for a 25y NRA Target is approx 5 1/2”.  Slow fire, time fire or rapid fire?  I gather you plan on using iron sights (v red dot)?

I have two Volquartsens, nice pistols, but I don’t think their barrels will have any noticeable impact on accuracy. I owned a Mark 4 for a while (gave it to my BIL), and on mine the trigger was really awful. If I were getting a VC barrel, AND were staying with iron sights, I’d get the 6” barrel for the longer sight radius. 

I would suggest getting a really good trigger job, and lots of practice (std velocity CCI) including dry firing (which is pretty cheap)
An RSO at the range told me that this will be the first year that there will be a pistol event. I will inquire of him as to the details.  So, as of yet, I do not have an answer to your questions.

I bought the Volquartsen trigger replacement kit.  I will have the local gunsmith install it.  I spoke to him and he said the Volquartsen is the best kit available. 

I shot a gun with a Tactical Solutions barrel and I liked the look of it.  It was 6" and felt balanced.  So, I am now leaning toward the Tactical Solutions barrel.

I will stick with the iron sights.  To keep my eye focused on the front sight is a challenge with progressive lenses. I assembled some components that will enable me to rest my hand on a platform while work on the proper sight picture.  Of course, I will not use this device in a competition.

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Post by robvasi on 1/7/2019, 11:38 pm

SonOfAGun wrote:Figuring out exactly what the game is will be important for equipment selection and training. I googled the Huntsman Games and I assume you're talking about The Huntsman Senior Games 

https://seniorgames.net

If that's correct, the shooting sports categories are Cowboy Action Shooting, Benchrest, and Shotgun. There is a category called simply "Shooting Handgun" but it seems to just redirect back to the general sports selection page.

Anyway...

Benchrest is rifle, and shotgun is... shotgun. That leaves Cowboy Action as the only obvious handgun category.

Within Cowboy Action are the following events:
Traditional 
Gun Fighter
Classic Cowboy/Duelist 
Open Black Powder
B-Western

It also seems to suggest that Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) rules may apply. Also, one or more "period type" firearms may be required, and handguns may be restricted to single action revolvers.

In my limited knowledge, none of the Cowboy Action games are directly analogous to Bullseye, which is the subject of this forum.

I'm not really sure if Bullseye-style shooting would help you train for your event. Maybe, maybe not.

Do you have any further info that might help clear this up?
I considered Cowboy Action, for about five minutes.  Not something I want to do, other than dress like a cowboy.  Handgun shooting is a new event for this year.  I will find out more about this event and post the information.

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Post by robvasi on 1/7/2019, 11:41 pm

MarkF45 wrote:OP, before you go any further, you need to decide exactly what event you are entering, and what the course of fire is for that event.

Cowboy shooting is VERY different from Bullseye/Precision. "Shooting Handgun" can mean anything . One hand, two hands, rimfire, centerfire, paper targets, steel targets, slow, rapid, whatever.

You want to practice for the correct event.
I agree, and I will find out more in the next few months.  This is a new event for this year.  In any case, it seem Bullseye shooting will help to develop the marksmanship skills for any event.

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Post by robvasi on 1/7/2019, 11:50 pm

BE Mike wrote:In the past, I've competed in a lot of shooting disciplines, but predominately bullseye. Bullseye pistol shooting will improve your fundamentals of marksmanship, but I suggest that you find out specifically what match will be held and train for it, especially if the match requires speed and reloading. Dave Glenn nailed it regarding glasses. I have a pair of prescription glasses for iron sights and another for distance vision that I use for a red dot scope.
I have an appointment with my eye doctor this week.  I asked if I could bring my gun to the appointment so the doctor could measure the sight distance.  The nice lady on the phone checked with her supervisor and I was told I can't bring my gun.  I have the impression that some people believe a gun to have the ability to act on its own volition.

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Post by mikemyers on 1/8/2019, 3:00 am

robvasi wrote:I have no experience in competition shooting.  I have no delusions of being a superior pistol shooter.  My goal is to participate in the Hunstman Games held in southern Utah. The Games are in October...........By then I want to be able to hit the black with 75% of the shots fired and hit the bullseye with 15%...........I shot at a local range and I can hit the paper at 25 yards, sometimes in the black. ........

My opinion, for whatever it's worth, is to consider buying a red dot sight, if possible (if not, use what you've got), to forget buying any new equipment, and forget the word "competition".  Go to your local range at least once a week, and practice dry-fire every day, multiple times a day.  I don't know if you can safely dry fire your gun - there are "fake" bullet type thingies that can go in your gun, preventing any damage.  Chances are, when you look through your gun, that red dot (or the front sight) will be dancing all over the place.  To improve that, follow the suggestions in this video:

It's free, just takes time, and by the time you do this for a while, you'll notice your sights or red dot will start to stay more stable.  

As to glasses, DO get a good pair of shooting glasses, made from polycarbonate for safety.  Measure the distance from your eye to the front sight, as you're holding the gun out in front of you, and give that measurement to the person doing the refraction.  Bring along a tape measure, in case he doesn't have one.   If you don't already have them, get a good pair of ear muffs too.

If you keep at it, your groups on the paper will tighten up.  How quickly they do so, depends on how much you practice.  

As to the competition, just show up, tell them your ability, or lack of, and ask them what group you can shoot with.  I'm sure they'll put you in with a group of people you can shoot with, safely.  Do NOT worry about winning, or your score, or that it's a competition.  Just shoot like what you've learned.  Reading up on this forum will all start to make sense to you after a while, and it's a gold mine of excellent information.

Between now and then, take a photo of your targets, and post them here.  Chances are you'll get a LOT of useful feedback.  I know I did.
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Post by robvasi on 1/8/2019, 1:07 pm

I send an email and requested information on the rules and equipment for the Senior Games. I received a reply this morning:

EVENTS:
Rimfire - 10 Each NRA B-3 Bullseye Targets at 50 feet(Open Sights, Optical/Electronic Sights)
Centerfire - 10 Each NRA B-3 Bullseye Targets at 50 feet(Open Sights, Optical/Electronic Sights)

EQUIPMENT CLASSIFICATION:
• Handguns will be .22 LR pistols and revolvers or .32 to .45 caliber centerfire pistols and revolvers. They may have custom grips but otherwise cannot be custom shop firearms. They may be designated by the manufacturer as either target or standard model firearms having open or optical/electronic sights. However, aiming devices that project image on the target are not permitted. Handguns with integral laser sighting devices must remove batteries prior to the competition. Muzzle brakes or compensators are not permitted and the barrel length, including revolver cylinder, cannot exceed ten inches. Shoulder stocks and fore grips are not permitted. Note that open sights and optical/electronic sights compete in separate categories.
• All handguns must be transported to and from the shooting position in a closed case or box of some kind. Holsters, worn or otherwise, are not considered adequate for this purpose.
• Standard handgun ammunition will be used. Hand loaded centerfire ammunition is acceptable. Magnum and +P cartridges are not permitted.
• For safety purposes, it is required that all auto loading handguns (pistols) have their trigger pulls weights checked before each match begins in order to avoid a disqualification if the equipment is later found to be out of specification. If a trigger is found to be underweight after a match is fired, the score must be reported as "DQ" (the same as any other disqualification). The required trigger pull weights for this competition is as shown as follows:
     a.     .22 Long Rifle          not less than 2 pounds
     b.     .32 to .40 caliber     not less than 2-1/2 pounds
     c.     .45 caliber              not less than 3-1/2 pounds
• The shooting postion will be standing using either a one-hand grip or a two hand grip, whichever the shooter prefers. Artificial supports of any kind are not permitted.


They may have custom grips but otherwise cannot be custom shop firearms.


When I read this I had the impression that the pistol has to be unmodified in any way.  I clarified this and was told the Volquartsen modification would be allowed.  It will reduce the trigger pull to 2.5 pounds. 

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Post by Deerspy on 1/8/2019, 4:18 pm

it looks like a bullseye shooter came up with these rules.
what is the round count per target , and are there any timed or rapid fire strings?
how many rounds per Rimfire part and centerfire part.

sounds like they just need to shoot a NMC and use NRA rules except use one hand or two hand Fun we due one 
like this , fun fun fun had by all!

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Post by robvasi on 1/8/2019, 4:29 pm

Deerspy wrote:it looks like a bullseye shooter came up with these rules.
what is the round count per target , and are there any timed or rapid fire strings?
how many rounds per Rimfire part and centerfire part.

sounds like they just need to shoot a NMC and use NRA rules except use one hand or two hand Fun we due one 
like this , fun fun fun had by all!
EVENTS:
Rimfire - 10 Each NRA B-3 Bullseye Targets at 50 feet(Open Sights, Optical/Electronic Sights)
Centerfire - 10 Each NRA B-3 Bullseye Targets at 50 feet(Open Sights, Optical/Electronic Sights)

what does 'B-3' mean in this context? is 10 the number of rounds.


As far as  I know there is no rapid fire

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Post by Deerspy on 1/8/2019, 5:06 pm

B-3 target is 50 foot timed and rapid fire , a B-2 would be slow fire

NMC corse of fire
10 shots slow fire in ten minutes B2 target
two 5 shot strings 20 seconds  per string B3 target
two 5 shot strings 10 seconds per string B3 target 

total 30 rounds (shots) 300 posible score.

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Post by mikemyers on 1/8/2019, 8:57 pm

robvasi wrote:I send an email and requested information on the rules and equipment for the Senior Games. I received a reply this morning:

......... All handguns must be transported to and from the shooting position in a closed case or box of some kind. Holsters, worn or otherwise, are not considered adequate for this purpose.........
Not that it matters to you (just do it safely), but for the safety of all involved, this should have specified "unloaded".
There is a reason why clubs and ranges always have that rule.  
For a group of people who may not be so experienced, it seems essential to me.

You might want to point that out to them.  They probably thought those words were already there.
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Post by robvasi on 1/9/2019, 12:19 pm

mikemyers wrote:
robvasi wrote:I have no experience in competition shooting.  I have no delusions of being a superior pistol shooter.  My goal is to participate in the Hunstman Games held in southern Utah. The Games are in October...........By then I want to be able to hit the black with 75% of the shots fired and hit the bullseye with 15%...........I shot at a local range and I can hit the paper at 25 yards, sometimes in the black. ........

My opinion, for whatever it's worth, is to consider buying a red dot sight, if possible (if not, use what you've got), to forget buying any new equipment, and forget the word "competition".  Go to your local range at least once a week, and practice dry-fire every day, multiple times a day.  I don't know if you can safely dry fire your gun - there are "fake" bullet type thingies that can go in your gun, preventing any damage.  Chances are, when you look through your gun, that red dot (or the front sight) will be dancing all over the place.  To improve that, follow the suggestions in this video:

It's free, just takes time, and by the time you do this for a while, you'll notice your sights or red dot will start to stay more stable.  

As to glasses, DO get a good pair of shooting glasses, made from polycarbonate for safety.  Measure the distance from your eye to the front sight, as you're holding the gun out in front of you, and give that measurement to the person doing the refraction.  Bring along a tape measure, in case he doesn't have one.   If you don't already have them, get a good pair of ear muffs too.

If you keep at it, your groups on the paper will tighten up.  How quickly they do so, depends on how much you practice.  

As to the competition, just show up, tell them your ability, or lack of, and ask them what group you can shoot with.  I'm sure they'll put you in with a group of people you can shoot with, safely.  Do NOT worry about winning, or your score, or that it's a competition.  Just shoot like what you've learned.  Reading up on this forum will all start to make sense to you after a while, and it's a gold mine of excellent information.

Between now and then, take a photo of your targets, and post them here.  Chances are you'll get a LOT of useful feedback.  I know I did.
terrific video, thank you for sharing it. 

I wanted to proceed without red-dot sights.  Alas, that seems an impossible feat.  So, it seems the red-dot is the best way to proceed, as you suggested. 

I will ask my eye doctor about prescription shooting glasses.

Thank you for your suggestions


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Post by mikemyers on 1/9/2019, 12:39 pm

Maybe this might help?

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Post by robvasi on 1/17/2019, 6:44 pm

thank you for sharing this video.

I want to participate in both the Optics category and the open sights category for both the .22 Cal and .38 Cal events.  So a total of four events. 

Is there a mount that will enable a single optic to be used on both guns without the need to zero the optic when it is moved to the gun? My presumption is that the red-dot optic is zeroed to the mount, not to the rail.  My thought is that this is not possible because the mount will not fit the rail each the same way.


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Post by robvasi on 1/17/2019, 6:48 pm

mikemyers wrote:
robvasi wrote:I send an email and requested information on the rules and equipment for the Senior Games. I received a reply this morning:

......... All handguns must be transported to and from the shooting position in a closed case or box of some kind. Holsters, worn or otherwise, are not considered adequate for this purpose.........
Not that it matters to you (just do it safely), but for the safety of all involved, this should have specified "unloaded".
There is a reason why clubs and ranges always have that rule.  
For a group of people who may not be so experienced, it seems essential to me.

You might want to point that out to them.  They probably thought those words were already there.
good point.  With all the shooing events going on, I'd think there would be a standard set of rules by now.  'Copy and paste' is a lot better than writing rules every time.

robvasi

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