June 14th, 2012

Profiles in Accuracy: Jenkins Sets 600-Yard Agg Record with 6BR

Last month, shooting at the Piedmont Gun Club, Chad Jenkins put together a stunning 1.495″ Aggregate at 600 yards. Once certified, that will be a new IBS 4-target Light Gun record. Chad’s smallest group was a 1.033″. Chad’s 1.495″ Agg breaks the existing 1.6068″ record set by Sam Hall in 2011. Chad was shooting a no-turn-neck 6mmBR featuring a BAT action, Krieger barrel, and Shehane ST-1000 fiberglass stock. We had the chance to talk with Chad and learn more about his record-setting rifle, and the methods he uses to achieve superior accuracy. Chad was kind enough to tell us about his equipment and what he does to build very, very accurate ammo. For starters, Chad wanted to “say thanks to Lewis Winkler, James Coffey, Mike Davis, and Larry Isenhour” all of whom provided invaluable help and support over the years.

The Record-Setting Rig
Chad credits much of his success to an “fantastic Krieger barrel that shot great right out of the gate”. It’s a 1:8″ twist, HV contour, finished at 28″ — nothing unusual there. Mike Davis did the chambering, barrel-fitting, and barrel crowning. One reason the gun shoots so well is that Chad’s friend James Coffey did the stock work and bedding, and also added weight to the Shehane ST-1000. Chad says “James really knows what he’s doing”. For optics, Chad uses a Leupold 45X competition scope, with fine cross-hair (FCH). Chad says he can “aim at the ‘X’ at 600 yards more precisely with the cross-hairs than with a target dot.”

Chad Jenkins Aggregate IBS Record

$200 Front Rest Good Enough to Set Record
You may be surprised that Chad set his record with an inexpensive Caldwell Fire Control Joystick rest, that sells for about $203.00 on Amazon.com. The Caldwell isn’t fancy, but it did the job. Chad says: “I have a family and a young boy. I don’t have the money to pour into equipment like some other people. I will continue to use my Caldwell, but I have recently modified the base. The record though was set with an unmodified unit, just as it appears in the photo.”

Chad Shoots a “Classic” 6BR Load, But He Jumps his Berger VLDs
Chad gets great accuracy with a pretty “standard” 6mmBR match load: 30.5 grains Varget, CCI 450 primers, Berger 105gr VLDs, in Lapua “Blue Box” brass. (Editor’s Note: That load can be too hot in some guns in summer conditions). Chad loads his ammo with a Redding bushing full-length sizing die with an 0.266″ bushing. Chad says: “That’s a good size for the ‘Blue Box’ Lapua brass (I tried a 0.268″ and I could pull the bullets out with my fingers). I seat my bullets about 0.020″ OFF the lands with a Redding Comp seater die.” The brass that shot the record Agg had about 10-11 firings on it, and Chad has NOT annealed the cases yet. While Chad is a very exacting reloader, he believes in the KISS principle — he doesn’t ream flash holes or uniform primer pockets. While he weighs every load with an RCBS Chargemaster, he normally does not double-check charges with a second balance. Chad tells us: “I just get the Chargemaster to where where it is going consistently and run with it.”

Chad Jenkins Aggregate IBS Record

Knowing that gun-handling and barrel maintenance are key elements of accuracy, we asked Chad about his shooting style, rest set-up, and his cleaning regimen:

Shooting style: “I try not to touch the gun, except with my thumb on the back of the triggerguard, and my index finger on the trigger. I use just a slight amount of pressure as the finger pulls the trigger. I don’t have any pressure on my shoulder. The buttplate is just barely touching my shirt.”

Rest position: “I usually let the gun run out to the stop. But there’s not much overhang. It hangs over an inch and a half. That’s where I always shot it. In the rear the ears are pretty much centered on the underside of the buttstock.”

Cleaning: “I use Montana X-Treme with patches and bronze brushes, and I clean every 35-45 rounds. I don’t brush a lot — I kind of go on feel, anywhere from 4-10 strokes. The gun shoots so incredibly well, I want to baby it, so I try not to over-clean.”

View Chad Jenkins’ Four (4) Targets

Common Sense Tips for New Shooters
Chad offered some advice for shooters starting out in the 600-Yard Benchrest game:

Reloading — I don’t claim to be an expert. But I will say that consistency is all-important. I learned this first from my friend Lewis Winkler (who passed away), and then James Coffey. Lewis always told me that the main thing is that you must be consistent in everything — when you’re sizing, when you’re weighing, when you’re seating bullets. You can’t be deviating and expect your loads to shoot.

Mental Game — I don’t go to a match to beat anybody, or to compete against anyone in particular. I shoot the best I can shoot and let the chips fall where they may. Even in practice, I basically compete against myself and I try to do the same thing in a match.

Focus (when to have it and when to relax) — I do try to stay focused when I’m shooting. But I also try to get away from the pressure between relays. A lot of the guys spend 15-20 minutes looking at everybody’s targets. I just look at my own targets and go back and sit down and relax. I don’t try to overthink things. When I was a teenager I was a successful competitive golfer. And in those days, I didn’t think about it … I just stepped up to the ball and hit it. I think, with some competitive activities, “thinking too much” can probably mess you up more than it helps.

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June 14th, 2012

Vote in Forum Poll on Proposed F-TR Bullet Weight Limits

In our Shooters’ Forum, Darrell Buell, Captain of F-TR Team USA, has started a discussion about permitted bullet weights in F-TR competition. Darrell observes that a new generation of ultra-heavyweight 215-230 grain bullets may spur a “technology race” that would increase the cost to compete in F-TR matches at the top level.

Darrell writes: “In order to run the uber-heavies, you will be required at a minimum to get a gunsmith to re-cut at least the throat of your chamber, then you are stuck with a tiny number of projectiles that will work in the rifle. People that want to be competitive will feel compelled to drop the expense of modifying their rifles, and not have any guarantee that their mods will turn out to be effective. We will have strayed from our successful initial model for F-T/R, as a class for ‘shooter vs. shooter’ competition, and be marching down the road that you must have a $5000 custom to be remotely competitive.” As the result, Darrell has proposed an F-TR rule change that would limit the max weight of permitted .308-caliber bullets to “less than 201 grains”.

CLICK HERE to View POLL on F-TR Bullet Weights

At the beginning of the F-TR Bullet Weight Thread, you’ll find a poll on the issue of bullet weights. Registered members of our Forum can vote in the poll. You have three choices: a) Leave the Rules unchanged; b) Limit max bullet weight to less than 201 grains; and c) Limit max bullet weight to 156 grains or less.

What do you think? Should the F-TR rules be changed to cap bullet weights? Or, is it best to leave bullet choice unrestricted for .308-caliber shooters? Darrell wants F-TR shooters to express their opinions by Voting in the Poll.


Modern F-TR Rigs are getting increasingly sophisticated (and looking more like F-Open rifles). Here is Vince Bottomley’s latest F-TR rifle, which, in the hands of Stuart Anselm, won the European F-TR Championship shooting 185gr Berger Bullets.

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June 14th, 2012

‘Texas Triggers’ Shooting Ranch Offers ‘Top Shot’ Experience

texas triggersFans of the Top Shot TV series will soon be able to enjoy a Top Shot-style experience at the new Texas Triggers shooting facility. Created by Top Shot host Colby Donaldson and his brother Reid Donaldson, Texas Triggers is a “theme park” for shooters. Over the course of a 3-day ranch stay, you can sample a wide variety of weapons, including exotic military arms such as a full-auto M2 Browning Machine Gun, an M60, a Barrett m107 50-Cal, select fire AR-platform rifles, and even M79 grenade launchers. In addition, you can shoot a host of different handguns and shotguns in Top Shot-style challenges with a variety of reactive targets from 10m to 1000 yards. There will also be a selection of historic arms, such as Winchester lever guns, single action revolvers, and black powder rifles.

Promo Video for Texas Triggers (Click Gear Icon for 720p HD)

texas triggers

At Texas Triggers, paying participants get to shoot a vast arsenal of weapons, including guns that most people could never afford. And, if you live in a jurisdiction where select-fire weapons are not legal, Texas Triggers gives you the chance to taste the “forbidden fruit”. All that participants need to bring is their enthusiasm (and a checkbook). Texas Triggers supplies all the guns and ammo, along with on-site bunkhouse-style facilities. What does it all cost? Texas Triggers has not announced prices, but you can email email inquiries to: info [at] texastriggers.com. NOTE: The official www.texastriggers.com website is not yet ready, but should “go live” within a few weeks.

texas triggersVisitors to Texas Triggers won’t be limited to punching paper. To make the experience more exciting, Texas Triggers has invested heavily in reactive targets, including automated LaRue rifle silhouettes, dueling trees, re-settable steel plate arrays, and arcade-style target bays. There is even an elevated zipline like you’ve seen on the Top Shot TV show. This is very much a “Shooters’ Disneyland” that can provide a once-in-a-lifetime firearms experience. Colby Donaldson says: “Texas Triggers is THE ultimate shooting experience. It’s an adventure. It’s the exclusive opportunity to come down to the ranch for three days and train with the world’s top marksmen, using the most impressive weapons ever produced.”

texas triggers

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