September 18th, 2009

IBS 600-Yard Nationals in Pierre, SD — Hall, Davis, & Schatz Battle

Sam Hall did it again. The 2008 IBS National Champion and 2008 Shooter of the Year captured his second straight National Championship, winning the 2-Gun Grand Agg shooting a standard 6BR in both Light Gun (LG) and Heavy Gun (HG) classes. It was an impressive victory in challenging conditions at the Varmint Hunter Assn. (VHA) range in Pierre, South Dakota. But this was a very close match. Mike Davis, runner-up in the Grand Agg, tied Sam in 2-Gun points, but Sam was awarded the title based on 2-Gun Small Group tie-breaker. Richard Schatz was just one point behind Sam and Mike. All three men shot superbly and any of the three could have won it all. Davis won the HG Overall Agg (with Hall second), while Schatz won the LG Overall Agg, with Hall again placing second. Both Davis and Schatz shot 6BR Improved cartridges in both LG and HG — Davis shooting the 30°-shoulder BRX, while Schatz campaigned a 40° Dasher. Rodney Wagner (6BRX) and John Griswold (6 Dasher) tied with 27 points in the 2-Gun overall, with Wagner earning 4th place overall on the tie-breaker.

Horrendous Conditions on Friday — Many DQs
Sam Hall said the conditions on Friday were “horrendous” with 25 to 35-mph gusts. Conditions were among the worst ever seen by the VHA rangemasters, and a third of HG competitors (17 of 48) DQ’d because the wind blew shots off paper. Luckily, conditions moderated for the Saturday relays, with mild 10 mph winds. Regulars at the VHA range said Saturday’s conditions were “about as good at it gets in Pierre.”

Sam Hall IBS 600 yard champion Sam Hall IBS 600 yard champion

Complete Results are posted under Long Range Match Results on the IBS Website.

Equipment — Still dominated by 6BR and 6BR Improved
A quick look at the equipment lists for both LG and HG classes showed the 6mm as the preferred caliber, with a 6mm Dasher or 6mm BRX the most popular cartridge (though Hall won it all with his standard 6BR). Despite the windy conditions, the mid-sized cases such as the 6-6.5×47 Lapua couldn’t outshoot their smaller brothers. Notably, Sam Hall used a plain vanilla 6BR to win LG Agg with a 2.852″. Shooting a 6BRX, Mike Davis won HG Agg with a 2.492″, with Hall’s 6BR only .054″ behind.

LG Equipment List
IBS 600-yard Benchrest

HG Equipment List
IBS 600-yard Benchrest

Calibers: 17 of the top 20 in LG shot 6mms, mostly Dashers (but Hall won LG with a standard 6BR). There was one .22 and two 6.5s. In HG it was pretty much the same story, 16 of 20 using 6mms, with a couple 6.5s, a .308 Baer and a 30 BooBoo (not “39” as stated in equipment list).

Barrels: Sam Hall won LG Group Agg with a Broughton button-rifled barrel, but otherwise cut-rifled barrels from Brux, Krieger, and Bartlein dominated the Top 20 in both classes. In HG, Mike Davis shot a Brux to finish #1. NOTE: Sam Hall had a Lilja barrel on his second-place, 28-lb Heavy Gun, not a Brux as shown on the official equipment list.

Bullets: Sam Hall used Spencers in LG, and Steve Shelp shot BIBs in his 30 BooBoo Heavy Gun. Otherwise it was “all yellow box”, with Berger filling the Top 10 equipment rankings for both LG and HG. It’s fair to say Berger Bullets dominated the match.

Powder/Primers: Alliant Reloder 15 and CCI 450s (usually pushing Berger 6mm bullets) composed the preferred combo in both LG and HG. Sam Hall did use CCI BR4s, however. Rodney Wagner was the only Dasher shooter to use Hodgdon Varget, but he finished fourth overall in the 2-Gun Aggregate.

Optics: While ace shooters Sam Hall and Mike Davis both used Leupold Competition Scopes in both LG and HG classes, Nightforce scopes, (mostly 12-42 BR models) dominated the Equipment Top 20 lists. To our surprise, there were only a couple March Scopes in the Equipment Top 20 in HG, and just one in LG.

Stocks: Shehane (D & B Supply) stocks were used by 8 of the Top 10-ranked LG Shooters, and 5 of the Top 10 in HG rankings. The Trackers, both ST 1000 and MBR Tracker, remain hard to beat. We did see some “true maxies” in this match.

IBS 600-yard Championship

Hall Reveals Shooting Secrets in Home-Made Video
If you’re interested in 600-yard competition, or just want to shoot more accurately and consistently from the bench, you should watch a video Sam Hall put together last year. Because of wind noise, the audio is pretty bad at first, but be patient. Sam delivers some invaluable advice in the video. His tips on body positioning, gun-handling, and follow-through can earn you some points in your next match.

YouTube Preview Image
Permalink - Videos, Competition No Comments »
September 18th, 2009

Firearms Terminology Defined in Online Resources

Confused about the meaning of a term such as “meplat”, “magnaflux” or “obturate”? Need to know the OAL of an unusual Wildcat such as the .218 Donaldson Wasp? Well CCI and MidwayUSA offer handy answers on the web. CCI’s Shooters’ Glossary is a very complete collection of gun-related and reloading terms. MidwayUSA’s GunTEC Dictionary contains short descriptions of hundreds of cartridges, plus definitions of thousands of shooting-related words and phrases. How many of you knew that “Maggie’s Drawers” is “a colloquial term used for the red flag once used by pit workers to signal a missed shot at high-power rifle competitions”?

MidwayUSA GunTec Dictionary

Consulting the dictionary, we learned that “Magnus Force” was not a Tom Selleck TV show. Rather, “Magnus Force is the movement of a bullet in the direction it is rotating (and downward) due to the lower air pressure surrounding it. The low pressure pocket is caused by the effect of the bullet’s fast rotation on the surrounding air.” MidwayUSA’s GunTEC dictionary even includes short “bios” of notable firearms inventors and marksmen, including J.M. Browning, Fredrich von Martini, and Peter Paul Mauser. A serious shooting buff could spend hours browsing the GunTEC dictionary, learning new facts (and a ton of obscure trivia.)

Permalink - Articles No Comments »