August 24th, 2010

East Texas Championship Benchrest Fun Shoot

A Texas shooter put together a great video covering the East Texas Championship Benchrest Shootout, held August 20-21 in Huntsville, TX. This match, the first at the new Huntsville Range, was co-sponsored by the Pine Valley Benchrest Shooters Association and S&S Precision Rifles of Argyle, TX. On the Friday before the main match, there was also a 500-yard Egg Shoot.

In the video you can see Don ‘Stick’ Starks of S&S piloting a 6.5×47 Lapua long-range varminter he built on a candy-red Robertson Composites ‘Speedy’ F-Class stock. Stick and other competitors were shooting at large (120mm), medium (90mm), and small (60mm) clay birds at 400 yards. Over the course of the day, competitors fired 50 record rounds at the targets. Each shooter came to the line five times to shoot 10 rounds per stage in seven minutes or less. The ‘top shot’ who nailed the most birds took home $600.00 in cash. There was also a team challenge with a $430.00 winning payout.

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Thirty-six competitors attended this fun match with $1300.00 in total prize pay-outs for the top four bird-busters. Jason Leavelle won the $600 first-place prize with an 810 score, while Dr. Darrel Martin earned $400 for his second-place finish, 50 points behind Leavelle. Tymn Combest was third, earning $200, and Arthur McMeans took home $100 for fourth place. Pudge Morris was the Junior Division winner. We congratulate all the money winners — it wasn’t easy. According to Mike Cockcroft, who helped run the match, “it was 100 degrees, the winds were strong, and the mirage heavy.” The only wind indicators are range flags at the targets and a couple of standard benchrest flags out at about 100 yards.

Match Winner Used a 6.5×284
Forum member Joe Duke reports: “Jason Leavelle shot a nice 810 out of 1000 (possible) points. He is the winningest shooter on our circuit (fondly known as the ‘Redneck Circuit’) and is always tough to beat. He shoots a 6.5-284 crafted by Sam Duke. Jason’s rifle is built on a Stainless Steel Viper action and sports a Krieger 8.5-twist barrel. I can’t think of one of our shoots that was won with anything other than a 6.5-284 in the last three or four years.”

Rules were fairly “wide-open” for the Saturday Shoot-Out, so you saw everything on the line from varmint rifles to 40-pounders. Most guns are custom bench rigs weighing 17 to 30 pounds. All shooters competed in the same class with these basic rules:

S&S Precision Rifles

  • NO RAIL GUNS OR RETURN TO BATTERY GUNS
  • 40 POUND MAX WEIGHT LIMIT
  • NO SIGHT OR SCOPE RESTRICTIONS
  • NO CALIBER OVER .30
  • NO ONE-PIECE RESTS OR GUN-VISES
  • NO Shooter-Supplied WIND FLAGS
  • NO SPOTTING EXCEPT DURING SITE-IN ROUND
  • NO TANK OR CLAM TYPE MUZZLE BRAKES

You should definitely watch the video. It is extremely well made and there are some seriously nice rifles on display. Plus it sure looks like the new Huntsville facility is a beautiful range (even if the Texas winds did blow in the afternoons). CLICK HERE to download Match Rankings and Scores (PDF File).

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August 24th, 2010

California’s Bob Gustin sets Palma Records at Camp Perry

Bob Gustin NRA Palma Recordby Lars Dalseide, NRA Blog
Bob Gustin of Cameron Park, California, didn’t set out to establish a new record at the 2010 NRA National Rifle and Pistol Championships in Camp Perry, Ohio — so he set two. One as part of a team and one all on his own. “Guess it was my time,” Gustin mused. “After 46 years of shooting here at Camp Perry, I should have set a record at something.”

First on the agenda was the Palma Individual title. That’s fifteen shots from 800, 900, and 1000 yards. And how many times did Bob drop out of the ten ring? Not once. “I cleaned it,” said Gustin. “I’ve shot a perfect round before, but never with this many Xs.”

Bob’s 450-33X score beat the old Camp Perry National Championship mark by six Xs. The previous record of 450-27X was held by Bob’s Palma teammate Nancy Tompkins-Gallagher. Just to show there were no hard feelings, Nancy and her daughter Michelle Gallagher joined Bob along with Bryan Litz to set a new Palma Team Match record of 1796-119x.

Gustin Sets Camp Perry Record After Decades in the Sport
Bob started shooting on the smallbore range. Then, in 1980, he switched to reserve shooting with the service rifle section until ultimately moving to High Power in 1990. Now, twenty years later, he’s perfected the shot and found more time for the range. After retiring from a 31-year stint on the California Highway Patrol, Bob now gets to do what he really loves.

“I shoot,” Gustin laughed. “Well, I also drive my wife around in our motor home. Last place we saw was Shipshewana, Indiana. There’s a nice Amish community there that she likes to visit for the quilting, the food and the people.” But Bob always finds a time for practice: “I just like shooting. It’s fun and you meet a lot of interesting people. Especially here at Perry.”

Historical Note: Bob’s 450-35x is a record for the Palma match at the Camp Perry National Championships. However, the absolute National Record for any American Palma Match still belongs to John Corning. John fired a 450-39x at Forbes Range, Colonie, NY in 2007.

Bob Gustin Palma Team

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August 24th, 2010

Three Sisters Shoot with Top Pennsylvania Junior Squad

Horomanski Sisters PAThe Steel Eagles Junior Rifle Team from Pennsylvania is one of the nation’s top junior squads. The Steel Eagles two-person junior team of John Yates, 18, and Brian Deyoung, 15, took top honors in the At-Large category of the National Trophy Junior Team Match.

The Steel Eagles’ Gold six-person team placed second in the National Trophy Rifle Team Match behind the California Grizzlies Team Seeley. Firing members for the Steel Eagles 6-person team were: Nathan Evagash, 16; Joseph Hendricks, Jr., 14; Elyse Horomanski, 19; Garrett Miller, 19; Jacob Perryman, 17; and Thomas Trent, 16. Read MORE…

Trio of Sisters Compete Together
The Steel Eagles may be the only Junior team in the country with three sisters shooting together. The three Horomonski girls, Elyse (age 19), Jenna (age 16), and Marie (age 14) all compete with the Steel Eagles. Elyse shot her personal best at Camp Perry this year. Father Curt Horomanski, of Monroeville, PA, says he’s happy to provide shooters for the Steel Eagles junior rifle team. His oldest daughter Chessa, 22, recently graduated from the junior ranks but he still has three daughters shooting with the Steel Eagles team, affiliated with the PA Rifle and Pistol Association. The Horomanski sisters, Elyse, Jenna, and Marie, have each been shooting High Power since the age of 12. They follow the sibling shooting tradition set by eldest sister Chessa, a tradition they hope will continue on with their eight-year-old brother.

Horomanski Sisters PA

Sisters Started Shooting ARs at Age 12
The girls didn’t take the traditional route of shooting air rifle or .22 caliber smallbore rifle prior to jumping into High Power. All of the Horomanski girls fired nothing but AR-15 rifles from the start,. “They all started at [age] 12,” Curt said. “We started in club shooting and they went to the firing line standing and didn’t hit the target very much -– sometimes they were on paper, but not in the scoring area. Of course the tears would roll down, but they got better and better.”

Over the years the Horomanski family has traveled to matches in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, and most recently, North Carolina, improving at each event. The girls attended the Eastern Junior Highpower Clinic & Championship at Camp Butner, NC, and did very well. “They went down [to Butner] and didn’t want to leave,” Curt said. “They made a lot of friendships at Butner.” Marie, the youngest, added: “I enjoy going to shooting events because I like making friends from all across the country.”

Story courtesy CMP Online Magazine; top photo from Steel Eagles’ Facebook page.
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