May 20th, 2012

Shooting Facilities Readied for 2012 London Olympic Games

Story based on Report by Gary Anderson in the CMP’s First Shot Online Magazine
The Opening Ceremony of the XXXth Summer Olympic Games will take place in London on July 27, 2012. The next morning, the first gold medal of the Games will be awarded to the winner of the Women’s Air Rifle event. That will be the first of 15 Olympic rifle, pistol and shotgun events to be contested on London’s Royal Artillery Barracks Shooting Venue during the first ten days of the Games. 390 shooters from at least 103 countries. plan to participate in Shooting competition. That number of participants places the shooting sports third among all summer Olympic sports.

London Olympic Shooting Venue
Finals Range Exterior: All of the rifle and pistol ranges at the London Olympic Venue feature this same distinctive architectural style. This large structure houses the 10m/25m/50m Rifle and Pistol Finals Range.

The Olympic Shooting Venue at the Royal Artillery Barracks
The British government’s Olympic Development Authority created the Olympic Shooting Venue at the Royal Artillery Barracks at a cost of £36 million. This temporary Shooting Venue includes a combined 50m and 10m Rifle and Pistol Range, a 25m Pistol Range, a Rifle and Pistol Finals Range and a Shotgun Range with three fields. Rifle and pistol targets are electronic. Originally, Olympic shooting events were to be held at the National Shooting Centre at Bisley in Surrey, but that plan was changed after the International Olympic Committee complained about the number of sports staged outside London. So, the decision was made to create a temporary facility at the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich (East London). Sadly, that means that the temporary venue will be torn down after the 2013 London Games. Three of these ranges will be moved to Glasgow, Scotland for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. But otherwise the Olympic Shooting venue will disappear after the London Games. According to the BBC website: “The Woolwich venue has proved controversial within the sport as it is temporary and will be pulled down after the Games”, thereby denying UK shooters a post-Olympics legacy facility.

London Olympic Shooting Venue
Finals Range Interior. This is where the top eight shooters in each rifle and pistol event compete in Finals. Top to bottom are: monitors for each shooter’s target, the 50m targets, eight finalists on the line, and the Range officer control station.

The Pre-Olympic Test Competition
In April, test competitions in London were staged as an ISSF World Cup with athletes from 100 countries participating, the most ever for an ISSF World Cup. The 800+ athletes that competed is more than double the number of shooters who will qualify for the Summer Olympics. The huge number of Test Comp shooters, plus unseasonably cold, wet, windy weather, made the World Cup a supreme test of LOCOG preparations for the Games.

London Olympic Shooting Venue
Cold Weather: Headgear worn by these two finalists in the 50m 3×20 Rifle Women Final tells a lot about weather conditions during the test competition.

The Pre-Olympic Test Competition in London also served as a preview of the Olympic competitions this summer. Scores were surprisingly high considering how bad the weather was. The top medal-winning nations in the London World Cup were Russia and China with six each. Italy won five medals followed by the USA and Ukraine with four medals each. USA medal winners were Matt Emmons, 50m 3X40 Rifle Men; Kim Rhode, Skeet Women; Kayle Browning, Trap Women and Mike McPhail, 50m Prone Rifle Men. The USA Shooting Team hopes to contend for several medals in London.

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May 20th, 2012

.284 Shehane for Long-Range Competition

7mm has become the caliber to beat in F-Class open division. The dominant performances of UK shooters with 7mm cartridges at the 2009 F-Class World Championship, following the South African team’s success with 7mms at the previous Worlds, has shown the strength of 7mm chamberings for long-range competition. After losing to the Team Britain, the U.S. F-Open Team decided to switch to a 7mm for the next World Championship. While most of Britain’s top F-Class shooters were using WSM-based 7mm cartridges, you don’t need a short magnum to enjoy the wind-bucking abilities of a 7mm.

High-BC 7mm BulletsWith a standard .284 Winchester, or better yet, a .284 Improved, you can drive the high-BC Berger 180gr bullets to competitive velocities. A .284 Improved will shoot well inside a 6.5-284, and you’ll probably get 40-60% longer barrel life (at least 2000 rounds vs. as little as 1200).

The straight .284 Win is a good cartridge, but in most barrels, it can’t push the 180s at 2900-2950 fps velocity levels*. A lot of barrels will top out at about 2850. That’s where the .284 Shehane comes into play. The .284 Shehane is a slightly modified wildcat that retains the same 35° shoulder as the parent case. However, by blowing the sidewalls out 0.010″, the .284 Shehane picks up about 3.3 grains of extra case capacity. That enhancement makes a BIG difference. The extra boiler room is enough to drive the 180s at 2900-2950 fps with H4831sc. With N560 or Reloder 17 you can go even faster.

Scotland’s Grant Taylor used the .284 Shehane to finish 3rd overall in the 2009 individual F-Class World Championships at Bisley, England. Grant reports: “I have a .284 Shehane and it’s very accurate with superb vertical spreads at 1000 yards. I have to thank Jim Hardy for putting me onto the caliber, it has awesome accuracy. I’m getting 2930-2950 fps with spreads in the 3-5 fps range. I use Hodgdon H4831sc powder, CCI BR2 primers, and pointed 180gr Bergers.”

7mm .284 Winchester Shehane

Forum member Jim Hardy has shot the .284 with great success. He tells us: “In my humble opinion, the .284 Shehane is the best balanced long range round there is — bar none. I (perhaps_ have shot more of this chambering than anyone else, and it has proven better than I ever expected. Here is why:

You have to shoot a 30 Cal magnum with a 240gr bullet to equal the performance of most 7mm chamberings with the 180 Berger VLD. With the .284 Shehane, you have a .308 bolt face, medium action, and Lapua brass. You use less powder than the 7 mags, and have great accuracy and ballistics even while fire-forming. The .284 Shehane shoots inside the 6.5 AND the straight 284, the 300 WSM, and the 300 Win Mag with less recoil. The .284 Shehane offers twice the competitive barrel life of the 6.5-284, an easy 2950 fps with H4831 SC, [and it] can run 3000+ with N560 and Reloder 17, which is right there with the 7mm WSM. What is not to love about the 284 Shehane? It is a no-brainer for long range — F-Class or Prone or 1000-yard Benchrest.”

*Some exceptional barrels chambered in straight .284 Win can reach 2900 fps with the 180s. Ryan Pierce, who recently set a 450-24X Pending F-Open record, has a 32″ Brux barrel that is delivering 2900 fps with the straight .284. However, Ryan acknowledges that his velocities are not typical: “A lot of .284 Win barrels top out at around 2850 fps with the 180s.”

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May 20th, 2012

Online Registration for 2012 National Matches at Camp Perry

Camp Perry National Matches RegistrationOnline registration is now open for the 2012 National Rifle and Pistol Championships at Camp Perry. The National Matches are broken down into four different phases: Pistol, Smallbore Rifle, High Power Rifle and Long Range High Power Rifle. There are also team events.

On the Online Registration page, you can enter the various competitions individually. Once you have completed one entry, you will be given the option to enter a different match. Each competition can only be entered once per shooter. To enter the NRA/M1A Springfield match, please use the NRA High Power Rifle Championship option.

There is a secondary National Matches Downloads Page with links for Liability Forms, “With Me” Applications, and Special Squadding Request forms for the Smallbore Rifle Phase. Please note that team entries must be made on-site at Camp Perry. If you have questions about online entry, email compadmin@nrahq.org.

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