June 13th, 2010

Hall Breaks IBS Records with 0.686″ (50 pt.) Group at 600 Yards

On June 12, 2010, at the Piedmont Range in Rutherfordton, NC, Sam Hall, shooting a 6mm Dasher, set TWO new pending IBS 600-yard world records with a stunning 0.686″ five-shot group. The group was centered up in the Ten Ring for 50 points with two doubles! This group should give Sam both the single target IBS Light Gun small group record AND the Light Gun score record. Sam’s 0.686″ beats Paul Wagoner’s 0.711″ previous small-group record set in 2008 with a 6 BRX. Larry Isenhour previously held the IBS score record with a 50-3X (0.944″) group shot in August, 2007, also with a 6 BRX. NOTE: Sam had only one X, but the official tie-breaker for the score record is group size, not X-count. Therefore, if approved, Sam’s 0.686″ group establishes both new group size and score records. (We wish the IBS had some other official recognition for high X-count.)

Sam Hall 600-yard IBS record

Sam Hall 600-yard IBS record

Record-Setting Chambering, Load, and Hardware
Sam was shooting a 6mm Dasher with 32.0 grains of Norma 203B powder, Berger 105gr VLD bullets (unpointed), CCI 450 primers and Lapua brass, neck turned to 0.266″ for a 0.268″-necked chamber. Regarding the choice of powder, Sam says Reloder 15 gives the same accuracy and speed as 203B but he “just happed to have 8 pounds of [203B] and decided to use it in this rifle.” Interestingly, Sam was jumping his 105s about forty thousandths. That’s right, .040″ OFF the lands. The record gun has a BAT MB action, Shehane Tracker stock, and Krieger 29″, .237″ bore, 1:8″ twist HV barrel.

Here is Sam’s report from Piedmont:

Shooting the Record — Conditions and Strategy
The afternoon was slightly overcast with mild mirage. Winds were running left to right at approximately 5 mph. During the afternoon I noticed the wind would stay in one direction for several minutes then would make a complete reversal. On my record round I had made four (4) shots when I noticed the wind picking up in intensity slightly from left to right. I knew this because I saw my wind flag Daisy wheels start spinning faster. For the fifth shot I held left one inch from my previous four shots and let it fly. I was shooting the string as fast as I could and stay smooth. I was expecting a reversal because the wind has stayed constant for too long — it was about time for a reversal.

Evidently holding off was smart — otherwise the group might have been a 1.686″! This year I have been concentrating on learning more on wind and mirage reading. This game is getting more competitive every year. I figure the only way I can stay ahead is to work on my wind reading. If you don’t read the wind, you are eventually going to get bit.

About my Light Gun
I was shooting a BAT 1.550″ round, dual-port MB action with non-fluted bolt. The stock is a Shehane fiberglass ST-1000, pillar-bedded by Tom Meredith. Tom epoxied lead shot in the butt to bring it up to 16.94 lbs. with a Leupold 40x competition scope. The barrel is a 29″, 8-twist, .237″, HV contour Krieger with a Vais muzzle brake. This barrel, purchased three years ago from Brunos, came off the Terry Leonard-stocked rifle that earned me a lot of Shooter of the Year (SOY) points in 2009. It has about 700 rounds on it. It started life as a 6BR, but my reamer had gotten dull and left a rough chamber. So I gave the barrel to Mike Davis and told him this was a perfect excuse for me to try a 6mm Dasher. The barrel is now chambered as a 6mm Dasher with a .268″ neck with .124 freebore, the same as my Maxi-Tracker 6 Dasher.

Sam Hall 600-yard IBS record

Load Details — Yes I Was Jumping Berger VLDs a Country Mile
Last year, I could not get the Berger 105 VLDs to shoot like I wanted in this barrel, so I used Berger 108 BTs, jumped .015″. After last season, I tried the 105 VLDs again. I think they have a slight advantage in the wind compared to the 108s. But again the 105s would not shoot well at 600 jammed in the rifling as I normally do. I noticed this barrel was shooting better off the rifling. I kept backing the bullets off the rifling. I found a sweet spot 40 thousandths off the rifling. The gun was shooting 1 to 1.5 inch groups pretty consistently at 600 yards at my home range. The day I shot the record was the first time I had shot this load and rifle in competition. I believe it is a keeper! — Sam Hall

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June 13th, 2010

GAO Ruling Affirms Amtrak Must Allow Guns as Checked Baggage

Amtrak gun transportIn December 2009, President Obama signed a transportation funding bill that included a provision allowing Amtrak passengers to bring firearms aboard trains — provided the arms are stowed in locked, checked baggage.

Amtrak’s gun ban was instituted after the 9/11/2001 terrorist attack. The 2009 legislation will restore rail riders’ rights that existed prior to “9/11″. Amtrak has until December to put the new law into effect, and Amtrak is obliged to deliver an implementation plan to Congress next week.

Amtrak officials have resisted the new policy on gun transport from the beginning, pointing to a shortage of funding. However, just last week, on 6/10/2010, the Government Accounting Office (GAO) removed any “wiggle room” for Amtrak. The GAO held that the legislation obligating Amtrak to carry firearms was “permanent law”, erasing doubts that Amtrak would have to comply. The amendment (to the 2009 funding bill) which obliges Amtrak to resume firearms carriage was authored by Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS). Senator Wicker explained the purpose of his amendment: “Sportsmen who would like to use an Amtrak train for hunting trips cannot do so because they are not allowed to bring a firearm in checked luggage, something that is done every day at airports across our country.”

How does all this shake-out for shooters traveling by rail? Amtrak’s current policy still prohibits carriage of firearms on trains, and that won’t change until December, 2010. Below is the language of Amtrak’s stated rules regarding transport of firearms:

AMTRAK Baggage Policy — Firearms in Checked Baggage
Amtrak’s current policy prohibits all firearms, ammunition and other weapons aboard its trains. This includes any being carried on the person, in carry-on baggage, or in checked baggage. Please be advised that this policy remains in effect until Amtrak begins firearm carriage service by December 2010.

The Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2010, enacted into law on December 16, 2009, requires Amtrak to implement the procedures necessary to provide storage and carriage of firearms in checked baggage cars and at Amtrak stations that accept checked baggage, within one year of the bill’s enactment. This requirement applies solely to checked baggage, not carry-on baggage.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, News No Comments »