September 30th, 2012

Richard Schatz Wins IBS 600-Yard Nationals Two-Gun

Richard Schatz won the Two-Gun Overall Title at the 2012 IBS 600-Yard Nationals held this weekend in St. Louis, Missouri. Congratulations to Richard for this big win against very capable competition! This marks two Overall wins for Richard in the past three years (Schatz also won in 2010). The match was well-attended, with 81 shooters in Light gun and roughly 60 shooters in the HG division. Winds were challenging at the Match, particularly on Saturday. Sam Hall stated: “Richard [showed us] some fine shooting shooting in those switchy St Louis winds. Richard didn’t do anything spectacular but he was very consistent in all categories — he rarely makes a mistake. Congratulations on the Overall 2-Gun Championship! It could not have happened to a finer fellow!” We are still awaiting the final, official scores to be posted.

Richard Schatz IBS 600-yard champion

Here are tentative Top 10 Two-Gun Overall Rankings (not official) Forum member LMMike obtained by phone from Match Director Jerry Kloppell (there may be spelling mistakes):

Two-Gun Overall Standings
1. Richard Schatz
2. Mike Hanes
3. Stephen Hall
4. Sally Bauer
5. John Powers
6. Sam Hall
7. Tod Soeby
8. Darrel Daucus
9. Chad Jenkins
10. Rodney Wagner

IBS 600 yard nationals schatzTim Claunch photo

Posting in our Shooters’ Forum, Sam Hall and Chad Jenkins provided these preliminary (non-official) Light Gun (Day 1) and Heavy Gun (Day 2) results:

Light Gun Overall
1. Mike Hanes
2. Sam Hall
3. Richard Schatz
4. Sally Bauer
5. Chad Jenkins
Light Gun Group
1. Mike Hanes, 2.124″
2. Tim Claunch, 2.138″
3. Sam Hall, 2.198″
Light Gun Score
1. Mike Hanes, 384
2. Sam Hall, 376
3. Chad Jenkins, 376
Heavy Gun Overall
1. Stephen Hall (5 pts)
2. Richard Schatz (8 pts)
3. Tom Jacobs (9 pts)
4. John Powers (11 pts)
5. Tod Soeby (15 pts)
Heavy Gun Group
1. Rodney Wagner, 2.0159″
2. John Powers, 2.1500″
3. Steve Hoskin, 2.1510″
Heavy Gun Score
1. Stephen Hall, 384 (2.1574″)
2. Tom Jacobs, 382 (2.3796″)
3. Richard Schatz, 381 (2.2241″)

Richard and Rory — A Living Legend and a Bright Young Talent
Richard Schatz IBS Nationals Rory Jacobs

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September 30th, 2012

Web Buyers Guide and Gun Talk Radio Provide Gun Safe Info

Liberty Gun Safe Gunsafe rebateIt seems like every week, readers send us questions about gun safes. They want to know how much they should spend and who has the best deals. They also have numerous hardware questions, such as: “What’s better — digital keypad vs. rotary (spin dial) lock?”, and “Should I look for a safe with internal or external hinges?”. We answer many of these questions in our comprehensive Gun Safe Buyers Guide, which is definitely worth reading.

After reading our Gun Safe Buyers Guide, if you still have more questions, tune in to Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk Radio Show this Sunday, September 30th. On this Sunday’s broadcast, Liberty Safe’s Jamey Skousen talks about the important features of gun safes and security vaults, and Skousen explains what to look for when shopping for a safe. As an added bonus, Liberty Safe is offering a special rebate in connection with this Gun Talk broadcast. To save money on your next safe, click the graphic at right to download the rebate form. Or, go to LibertySafe.com and click on the photo of Tom Gresham in the upper right hand corner. On a $1500.00 Liberty Safe you’ll get a $50.00 instant rebate plus a $50.00 mail-in rebate, for $100.00 total savings.

Gresham Gun Talk RadioIn its 18th year of national syndication, Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk Radio airs live on Sundays from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm Eastern. Gun Talk Radio runs on more than 135 stations, plus XM (Ch. 165) Satellite Radio. The Gun Talk Minute on XM also airs on XM 165, 166, 168 and Fox Sports every day. Gun Talk shows can be downloaded as FREE Podcasts via Gun Talk’s Podcast Archive.

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September 30th, 2012

New Three-Position Air Rifle Rules Released

CMP Air Rifle Three Position RulesThe 9th edition of the National Standard Three-Position Air Rifle Rules has just been released. The new 2012-2014 rulebook goes into effect immediately. Digital versions of the new Rulebook can be downloaded from the CMP website in eZine Format or Adobe PDF Format. NOTE: All changes from the previous rules are underlined in the Rulebook so new rules can easily be identified.

The 2012-2014 National Standard Rulebook has several rules that were changed to keep national 3-position air rifle rules in line with what competitors will see in USAS/ISSF rules at larger competitions. The ISSF is changing its rules for 10m and 50m rifle and pistol events to have separate “preparation and sighting” periods before record or competition firing begins. Since this will become the new international standard, the Council decided that junior position air rifle competitors in the U. S. should use the same procedures.

Here are some of the other notable rule changes (this is only a partial list; consult Rulebook for all changes!):

Rule 2.4 – LOAD
The command “LOAD” is no longer given before “START” in regular competitions. The command “LOAD” is still given prior to “START” in finals. This change reflects the fact that there is a separate preparation and sighting time before record fire. The command “START” allows competitors to continue to prepare their positions and then load and fire when they are ready to start firing sighters.

Rule 4.1.7 – 600 FPS Velocity Restriction
The new rules clarify that match directors do not have to check rifle velocities unless they feel a rifle was altered to be a “high velocity” rifle. It also recognized that using non-lead pellets may produce velocities slightly above the 600 fps maximum.

Rule 7.16 – Malfunctions
No extra time will be given for a malfunction or malfunction repair. An athlete may repair a rifle after notifying the Range Officer or a replacement rifle may be authorized by the Range Officer if there is physical evidence that the malfunction cannot be repaired. Additional sighting shots may be allowed if the athlete must get out of position to facilitate the repair, but only within the remaining shooting time. This change is [made] to eliminate delays caused by giving shooters extra time for malfunctions that frequently throw matches off schedule.

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September 29th, 2012

Sally Bauer Sets Pending IBS 1000-yard HG Score Record

Last month, Sally Bauer set a pending new International Benchrest Shooters (IBS) Score Heavy Gun (HG) record for 1000-yard competition. Her score was 100-5X with a 3.495″ tie-breaker group. Sally shot the group on August 19, 2012 at the Gopher Rifle and Revolver Club in Harris, MN. If this record is approved, Sally will be the first female shooter to hold an IBS 1000-yard benchrest record. Sally’s handsome 67-lb Heavy Gun, “Stars & Stripes”, is painted with an American flag theme.

Sally Bauer IBS 1000 yard heavy gun

Sally Bauer IBS 1000 yard heavy gunSally Sets a Record
At the end of the Heavy Gun match #10 Sally was directed by Range Officer Gordy Mitchell to leave all of her equipment and rifle setting on her bench. Sally was perplexed by Gordy Mitchell’s direction but he assured her “It is a good thing”. Rumors swirled and Dave Holland was summoned to the pits.

Dave and Gordy brought the target back to the scoring shed and had club officials and some respected competitors measure and sign the target. All agreed Sally had just shot an IBS record score. Sally’s rifle and equipment were measured and photographed and the target sent off to the IBS for final measurement and verification.

Sally Bauer IBS 1000 yard heavy gun

Gun Specifications
Sally’s 67-lb Heavy Gun was originally purchased from Bill Shehane, and it uses Bill’s Maxi-Tracker stock. The gun was originally chambered for the 6-6.5×47 Lapua Improved. But the gun didn’t shoot like the Bauers wanted, so it was rechambered to 6mm Dasher by Gordy Gritters. The action is a 2″-diameter, round, chrome moly, 3-lug, 7 ½” BAT. The barrel is a 28″, 1:8″-twist Krieger, with 1.45″-diameter straight tube. The barreled action is secured in the stock with a 9″-long barrel block. The gun uses a 12X42 Nightforce BR scope and a Jewel BR trigger. Gordy Gritters smithed the rifle. Jim Sauer states: “We have known Gordy for years now and trust every phase of our gun projects — all of them are mechanical works of art. When we get our guns from Gordy we know we can put our focus on brass prep and load development and don’t have to worry about the guns being right. That really helps save time.”

Reloading Procedure for Sally’s “Stars & Stripes” Maxi by Jim Sauer
With every new rifle we start with new brass. The first step is to run them through a full length sizing die, then over an appropriate expander mandrel. Since we use a .270 neck on our 6 Dasher chambers, neck turning amounts to a 80% cleanup of the new Lapua brass necks. We do the normal primer pocket and flash-hole uniforming.

We fire-form two times to make sure we get nice sharp shoulder corners before competition. We then separate them according to weight using 1/10th of a grain differences for each box. Much of our loading process is geared around time savings. We look for easy-to-use, consistently good products and don’t vary from them unless we have a problem or results aren’t to our standards. We have chosen to shoot Clay Spencer’s 103gr 6mm bullets. We weight-sort and bearing-surface sort them and that’s it. I gave up trimming and tipping simply because it didn’t improve how Clay built them. We also use only one primer, the CCI 450.

We use one of four different powders. Our “go-to” powder is RL15, next we try Varget, then IMR 8208, and if that doesn’t work we try H4895. We have found that these bullets usually shoot best at 2970 fps. This is not an absolute, just what normally works best. We always try higher and lower velocities looking for that special load. Once we find the powder and quantity that works the best we play with the seating depth. Usually this is a fine-tune method and most of the time 15 thousandths into the rifling works the best. But don’t be afraid to jump the bullets as much as 0.100″. When we use this procedure we usually find a combination that will shoot nice, round ¾” groups at 400 yards.

Our reloading regimen starts with ultra-sonic cleaning our brass, then tumbling until shiny. We anneal the brass every time. We proceed to full-length resizing, repriming, and lubing the inside of the necks with graphite. We then charge with our selected powder and seat the bullets. We measure for concentricity, [shooting] the best ones for the record and the others for sighters. The load that Sally shot the record with is 33.0 grains of IMR 8208 XBR, CCI 450 primers, Spencer 103gr bullets, Lapua brass, bullet seated 15 thousandths into rifling, Velocity 2980 fps.

About Sally Bauer – This is the third year of competitive shooting for Sally. She listened to proper and basic instruction and learned at her pace. She developed her own style and discipline. Not wanting to be dependent on others Sally learned to set up her rests and carries Stars & Stripes to the bench by herself.

Sally and I would like to thank the kind people we have met in this crazy frustrating game of shooting. For the most part fellow competitors have been helpful and giving of the time, experience and knowledge. Every range owner and operator we have come across has treated us like family and friend. I can think of no other sport where the participants give so freely. We would also like to thank Dave Holland, Gordy Mitchell and all the others at GRRC for the professional way they handled the target and situation. — Jim and Sally Bauer


As an interesting historical note, Gordy Mitchell observed that there was an all-star line-up at the match when Sally set her record: “After checking our bench roster I noticed we had three national champions (2009-Ed Nazy, 2010-Jim Bauer, 2011-Todd Soeby) and current top five Shooter of the Year points leaders (Al Forbes, Sally Bauer, Jim Bauer, Shannon Lowman, and Larry Bryant) all at one match.”
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September 29th, 2012

CMP Kimber Benchrest Conversion by Roy Bertalotto

Last year, our friend Roy Bertalotto acquired a budget-priced Kimber 82G rimfire target rifle from the CMP. The Kimber comes with an oiled-wood stock that works fine for three-position training, but Roy wanted to shoot the gun for the bench. The original Kimber stock, with its narrow, radiused forearm, was not ideal for this purpose. Roy wanted a wide, flat fore-end, which is much more stable in the bags. Rather that spend hundreds on a new benchrest stock, Roy modified his Kimber’s original stock by slicing a section off the bottom of the stock and then replacing this with a 3/4″ X 2 3/4″ X 15″ piece of walnut. The finished product is in the second photo below.

Roy explains: “The modification I did on my Kimber 82G stock was done using a milling machine, hand planes, files, die grinder and sand paper. It can also be done with simple hand tools — it will just take longer. The first step is removing the wood on the bottom of the fore-end. This was accomplished in the milling machine. A scrap piece of 2X8 was mounted to the milling machine’s table and the surface milled to be perfectly flat. The Kimber stock was screwed to this 2X8 with two large screws and the bottom of the stock was milled flat. Once this was done, a piece of 3/4″ X 2 3/4″ X 15″ walnut was glued using West System epoxy to the cut out area. I use West System epoxy in boat building, but any good wood glue will work.” WATCH project stages in Slide-Show below:

After gluing the new bottom piece in place, Roy milled the sides to provide side flats with a radius to transition from the wider lower section to the narrower upper part of the fore-end. As a added enhancement, Roy contoured the rear of the fore-end to blend with the rear of the stock, adding what he calls “1965 Ford Mustang side scoops”. Roy then used a Die Grinder with a 1.5″ sanding wheel to modify the wrist area to provide more thumb relief.

Following the cutting, milling, gluing, and shaping, Roy sanded with 150 grit and 300 grit sandpaper before applying multiple coats of Tung Oil. Once the main stock was completed, Roy completed the project by crafting an extended buttplate from a couple pieces of 1/8″ aluminum and two 1.5″ aluminum tubes, “all polished to a slightly less than mirror finish”. NOTE: This metal buttplate assembly was made from scratch (other than the pad). This is not an aftermarket extension kit.

Overall the gun turned out very nicely. Log on to Roy’s RVB Precision webpage to learn more about this Kimber stock modification project, and view more photos of the building process.

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September 29th, 2012

American Gunsmithing Institute Offers Firearms Appraiser Course

AGI AppraisalAmerican Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) now offers a Firearms Appraiser Course conducted via audio CDs, DVDs, books, and an extensive course manual. The total package costs $2497.00 (Yikes!). We think that’s a lot of money, but the program does include a large library of materials including thirteen (13) audio CDs from top firearms appraisers such as Jim Supica, Director of the National Firearms Museum, and Steve Fjestad, author of the Blue Book of Gun Values.

The course package also includes three of the best gun valuation books in print: Blue Book of Gun Values, Flayderman’s Guide to Antique American Firearms, and American Gunsmiths (Frank Sellers).

Greg Martin Firearms AuctionsExperts Share Knowledge on DVDs
Four multi-media DVDs are also included in the Firearms Appraiser Course. DVD One provides a step-by-step course content review with AGI President, Gene Kelly. In DVD Two, gun expert and auction operator Greg Martin shares his extensive knowledge of gun valuation and auctions.

In DVD Three, Master Gunsmith Gene Shuey covers Firearms Restoration vs. Refinishing. The fourth DVD, “Appraising in Action,” features Gene Kelly and noted collector/appraiser Carey Creech who specializes in Colt Single Action revolvers and Winchester® rifles.

Students Receive Certification after Completion of Course
Once a student has completed the material and passes the course exam, he will receive a certification number and documentation to validate his AGI Certified Firearms Appraiser status. The AGI Firearms Appraiser Course is offered through AmericanGunsmith.com for $2,497.00. (Product ID# FAPCOURSE)

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September 28th, 2012

Team Sinclair International Wins F-TR National Team Title

Adding to its undefeated resume, Team Sinclair Int’l racked up an unprecedented fifth Team F-TR National Championship at Raton, New Mexico, last week. The team, consisting of firing members, Paul Phillips, Brad Sauve, Jeff Rorer, Derek Rodgers (Captain) and wind coach, Ray Gross, prevailed over 12 other teams representing the best F-TR shooters from the USA, South Africa, Australia, and Canada.

F-TR Team Sinclair International

Boasting the highest attendance of any F-Class Nationals, the 2012 competition was made up of dual 1,000-yard matches, with 800 possible points per match. Team Sinclair scored 1561-48X to win the F-TR championship, finishing ahead of second-place North State X-Men (1542-39X) and third-place Team Savage (1541-47X). Team Sinclair’s Day 1 score of 790-31X topped all other F-TR teams and set a new (pending) U.S. F-TR National record for 1,000-yard F-Class competition.

“We’re grateful for Sinclair International’s support,” said the team in a joint statement. “All of us use Sinclair’s precision shooting components and reloading supplies when preparing for these events. We need products of the highest quality and consistency for us to succeed. We’ve never been defeated, and that’s a testament to Sinclair International.”

CLICK HERE for Complete 2012 F-Class Nationals TEAM RESULTS.

Sinclair’s F-TR Team has been competing since 2007. The newest member, Jeff Rorer, joined the team in 2009. Team Sinclair Int’l remains undefeated in F-TR National Championships. Here’s an interesting factoid about the Team Sinclair shooters. One or more members of the current Sinclair squad have been on the winning F-TR team at every U.S. F-Class National Championships since they were first held in 2004, except for 2010 when Sinclair did not field a team. Brad Sauve has been on the winning F-TR team every year except 2010: Great Lakes Express (2004, 2005 winning team); Team Green (2006 winner); Team Sinclair (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011 winner). Ray Gross and Paul Phillips were also on most of those winning squads.

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September 28th, 2012

Fjord Mountains Deer Hunting Video from Norway

Norway Fjord Hunting SkorpenIf you need a break from your hum-drum day at the office, how about taking a virtual vacation to Norway, where you can explore the scenic mountains in the Fjord region?

Forum member Kenneth Skorpen (aka “Sal”) has created a cool video of a recent deer-hunting trip in Norway. He didn’t bag a buck on this trip, but the walk in the Fjordland mountains took Kenneth through some spectacular scenery. (At the 11:25 time mark you’ll see an amazing sunset over the Fjord.) Kenneth did encounter a doe that had fallen down the mountain, and apparently broken its neck (14:35 time mark). The terrain is very steep, and Kenneth observed that: “I feel fortunate to be able to do this, but I also feel very tired in my legs. Did you know that the hares around here have shorter left legs due to the steep hills?”

More Hunting/Shooting Videos from Norway
You can watch more interesting hunting and shooting videos from Norway on Kenneth Skorpen’s Streken Vertebrae YouTube Channel. Here are some links:

Norway Fjord Hunting Skorpen

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September 28th, 2012

Custom-Crafted Bolt Knobs from Bill Hawk

Looking for a cool extended bolt knob to provide extra leverage and more secure grip while working the action of your rifle? Bolt Knobs by Bill offers a wide array of styles and colors, all hand-crafted with great precision. Bill Hawk’s products range in price from $13.50 to $35, with most metal knobs priced at $30 to $32. The O-Ring style provides excellent comfort and grip. The Tactical style knob is slightly longer and has no o-rings. It is available with or without knurling. Bill also offers a conventional oversized ball in plastic or metal. Click images below to see LARGE PHOTOS.

Custom bolt knobs are made from aluminum stock that has been machined, media blasted, and powder coated for a durable and uniform finish. Choose from dozens of powder-coat colors. Knobs are drilled and tapped to fit 5/16 x 24 threaded bolt handles. A round ball style is available in aluminum, steel, or phenolic (hard plastic with threaded brass insert). This configuration still provides plenty of gripping surface but keeps the overall length of the bolt handle shorter compared to the tactical model.

Bill Hawks tells us that all his products can be customized: “I started selling bolt knobs a few years ago when I began to combine my passion for metal working and my passion for shooting. Of course, there were other manufacturers who already made bolt knobs, but I wanted to offer something a little different by allowing the shooter to tell me what they wanted and do my best to produce it. Hence the ‘custom’ part. Most people are happy with the tactical and O-ring knobs that are featured on my website, but I also make them to customer spec. Length, profile, thread size, and material can all be adjusted at no extra charge in most cases. My emphasis is primarily on offering a service to my fellow shooters.” There is a secure shopping cart on Bill’s website, BoltKnobsbyBill.com, so it’s easy to order. Send any questions regarding Bill’s products, or the ordering process, to: info [at] boltknobsbybill.com .

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September 27th, 2012

Lonnie Hummel Retires from Hornady

Over the years, we’ve had the pleasure to work with Hornady Custom Shop Tech Lonnie Hummel. Lonnie helped us with custom sizing dies, hydro-forming dies, and other special projects. We could always count on Lonnie to respond to a request in a timely and professional manner. Lonnie showed a genuine interest in his customers and he really took pride in his work. Whenever we worked with Lonnie, we could tell that he loved the shooting sports and had a true passion for the “relentless pursuit of accuracy.” No question about it, Lonnie was one of the good guys, and we were fortunate to have a chance to work with him.

Lonnie Hummel

Today Hornady threw a party for Lonnie, who is retiring from the company. We wish we had a chance to be there and give Lonnie an “attaboy” for the excellent service he has rendered over the years. Today, on Hornady’s Facebook page, the company announced: “We are celebrating with [Lonnie] on his retirement this afternoon here at the plant.” Lonnie, we hope you enjoy your retirement and get to spend more time shooting and having fun outdoors….

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September 27th, 2012

Hodgdon Powder Launches Informative Facebook Page

Hodgdon Powder Company, Inc. launched a Facebook Page earlier this month. The new page, launched September 10, gives Hodgdon customers an outlet to discuss reloading, hunting, target shooting and other powder-related topics. “We envision this page as a community for our friends, fans, and experts to get together and talk shop. If you have a question, a great hunting story to tell, or just want to brag about a nice tight group this is the place for you”, said Chris Hodgdon, the company’s Public Relations Manager. “While so much of handloading is in the data and details, we also know there’s a huge social component to it as well.”

Hodgdon Facebook page

We’re pleased to see that Hodgdon’s Facebook page is regularly updated. Much to our amazement, Chris Hodgdon himself is answering user reloading and product questions. How many companies let you communicate directly with a top company decision-maker?

New Content Daily
Unlike some companies that roll out a Facebook page with much hooplah but then let it languish, Hodgdon has been adding new, interesting content daily, including cartridge histories, product release info, hunting stories, and even match reports. Just today, Hodgdon posted an informational diagram for the .30-06 cartridge:

Hodgdon Facebook page

LINK: Hodgdon Powders can be found on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/HodgdonPowder.

Story Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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September 27th, 2012

Vogel and Miculek Win at 2012 IDPA Nationals

Robert Bob Vogel IDPA Championship

For years Tiger Woods dominated the sport of golf. But even in his heyday, Tiger never had a run like IDPA ace Robert Vogel, who has an IDPA unbeaten streak dating back to 2007. For the sixth straight year, Bob Vogel (the IDPA’s only three-division Distinguished Master), has claimed the title of IDPA “Top Gun” winning the Stock Service Pistol (SSP) division title at the 2012 IDPA National Championships.

Vogel not only outgunned the entire field of 340+ shooters by 30 or more seconds this past weekend, but he also claimed the Most Accurate title to go along with his SSP win.

Vogel finished the match with six stage wins and a time of 206.62 seconds with just 31 points down over sixteen extremely challenging shooting stages. “The course design at the 2012 IDPA Nationals was technically very difficult and presented a serious challenge for even the most accurate of shooters”, said Joyce Wilson, IDPA Exec. Director.

There were many other impressive performances at the 2012 IDPA. Matthew Mink won the Enhanced Service Pistol (ESP) Division with a 238.93 (48), while Glenn Shelby took the Custom Defensive Pistol Division (CDP) title with a 248.48 (44) score. Team Comp-Tac’s Randi Rogers once again won High Lady, shooting 301.99 (114). Scott Warren earned High Senior honors with a strong 264.96 (79) performance.

Miculek Wins Enhanced Service Revolver Division
Jerry Miculek, the wizard of wheelguns, continued his string of consecutive Enhanced Service Revolver (ESR) titles, winning the 2012 title with a time of 298.14 (75). “There is nobody in the shooting sports like Jerry Miculek. Besides being a once-in-a-lifetime shooting talent, Jerry is above all an ambassador for the sports he competes in and the companies he represents,” said IDPA’s Joyce Wilson. “While most top shooters would leave the range immediately after shooting in the rain, Jerry stayed behind and spent time talking to the match staff and volunteers. That’s why you’ll never find an IDPA club or match where Jerry Miculek isn’t warmly welcomed.”

The 2012 IDPA National Championships took place September 19-22 in Oxford, North Carolina. Complete results from the 2012 IDPA Nationals are found on the IDPA website Match Page. To learn more about IDPA shooting, visit www.IDPA.com, read the DOWN ZERO Blog, or check for updates on the ShootIDPA Facebook Page.

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September 26th, 2012

David Bailey and Team Long Shots are F-Open Champions

Congratulations to David Bailey, the 2012 F-Open National Champion. Shooting at Raton last week, David scored 1283-59X, to finish one point ahead of fellow Forum member Bob Sebold (1282-59X). Past F-Open Champion Jeff Cochran tells us: “David did a masterful job. He had one of the best, if not the best, rifles on the line for the morning trigger-pulling contests. He also showed great patience choosing his shots wisely in some of the nasty, switchy afternoon conditions. Not only spitting them downrange when the conditions called for it, but he was smart enough to put on the brakes and not get burned. All in all, David had a great performance in a wide range of conditions.”

David Bailey F-Class Open Champion 2012

Bailey Shot a .280 Remington with Berger 7mm Hybrids
David was shooting a 7mm cartridge, but not the 7mm you might expect. David’s Bat-actioned F-Open rifle has a 32″ Bartlein, 9-twist barrel chambered for a no-turn-neck .280 Remington. David’s winning load consisted of 180gr Berger Hybrid bullets pushed at 2860 FPS by Russian primers and Hodgdon 4831SC powder. Bullets are seated about 0.015″-.020″ away from the lands (this happens to be Berger’s suggested “starting point” seating depth for these Hybrids). David says he does “very little brass prep” other than sorting his Remington brass. (That’s right — Remington!) He does use an expander ball during reloading to push out any neck-wall-thickness variations.

The pretty green stock is a Robertson Composites ‘Speedy F-Class’ model, with adjustable cheek-piece. David added 4.5 pounds of lead in the buttstock to bring the gun up to max F-Open weight. David’s rifle was originally smithed by Richard King of King’s Armory in Arlington, Texas, (817) 265-0118, rking3005 [at] sbcglobal.net. The current .280 Rem barrel was chambered and fitted on the gun by David himself.

David Bailey F-Class Open Champion 2012We had a chance to chat with David Bailey after the Nationals. When asked how he felt about the big win, David replied: “It took a while to sink in… I was extremely happy that two of my teammates finished in top 10 — Mark (Walker) and Michelle (Gallagher) — [as a team] we had a very good week overall.” David wanted to give credit to his past/present team-mates, “both the Spindle Shooters and Long Shots — they have been a tremendous help.” David added, “In particular I want to say thanks to Jeff Cochran. And I can’t forget my gunsmith Richard King, he’s been a tremendous asset.”

For those who have been following David’s shooting, it was no surprise that he did well at Raton. David noted: “I’ve been shooting well for the last couple of years, but this time it all came together. I will say my wind reading has gotten a lot better the last couple of years.”

Asked if he had any advice for new F-Class shooters, David replied: “Practice — shoot as much as you can. And as for hardware and reloading — don’t get hung up on the gimmicks.”

Team Long Shots Wins F-Open Team Title
As captain of Team Long Shots, David Bailey helped lead the Long Shots Open Team to their second consecutive national title. The Long Shots compiled a 1583-83X score to finish first, ahead of second-place Team Spindle Shooters (1576-65X). Long Shots Team Members are: David Gosnell, Mark Walker, Ken Dickerman, team captain David Bailey, and coach Michelle Gallagher. This year, the Long Shots turned in a great performance, emerging victorious over what may be the largest number of F-Open teams ever at the F-Class Nationals.

David Bailey F-Class Open Champion 2012 Team Long Shots

For the equipment junkies, it’s interesting to note that Michelle Gallagher used a rifle with a new stock David Bailey designed and built. Texas gunsmith Richard King barreled Michelle’s rifle in .280 Remington, and also built other guns for Long Shots Team members. Richard built Mark Walker’s rifle and Ken Dickerman’s rifle and stocked David Gosnell’s gun. Jeff Cochran reports that Richard King also smithed two rifles used by the Sierra Spindle Shooters team (Cochran’s own gun and Jeff Traylor’s rifle). Overall Richard King worked on six rifles for the top two F-Open teams — that’s a pretty strong endorsement of King’s gun-building skills.

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September 25th, 2012

Top Shot’s Iain Harrison Stars in New “Rapid Fire” TV Show

Rapid Fire Television Iain Harrison Outdoor Channel

A new high-octane, gun-oriented TV show, Rapid Fire, debuts October 3, 2012 on the Outdoor Channel. Rapid Fire focuses on military weapons, in particular, full-auto machine guns and other select-fire hardware. The Rapid Fire preview video confirms the new show features plenty of action, with reactive targets, and lots of lead going downrange. The show is hosted by Top Shot Season 1 Champion Iain Harrison, a talented shooter with military training in all types of small arms. Harrison will be aided by co-host Mike Seeklander, Training Director for the U.S. Shooting Academy. While firing legendary automatic weapons is the centerpiece of the show, Rapid Fire will also provide historical background information on a variety of weapons, explaining their design and their role in history.

Rapid Fire Preview Video (Lots of Action!)

Watch the video above to see Harrison and Seeklander try out everything from a hand-crank Gatling to a modern, motorized mini-gun. Sixteen full-auto weapons are featured, including SAWs, BARs, Thompsons, Vietnam-era M60s, HK PDWs and much more. Rapid Fire airs at 8:30 pm and 11:30 pm ET on the Outdoor Channel.

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September 25th, 2012

NRA and Brownells Offer Youth Achievement Awards

outstanding achievement awardDo you know a talented junior shooter who could use $5000.00? Well here’s an opportunity. Applications are now being accepted for the Brownells/NRA 2013 Outstanding Achievement Youth Award. Chosen for their accomplishments in the community, the classroom and the shooting sports, three exceptional young people will receive a total of $10,000 courtesy of Brownells. First place wins $5,000, second place takes home $3,000 and third place will recieve $2,000. Eligibility requirements are explained below. While only the top three candidates will get cash prizes, all qualifying entrants will receive an official NRA Youth Award Certificate and Medal.

Shooting sport enthusiasts under the age of 21 who meet the core requirements are eligible for the award. Those requirements include completion of a NRA Basic Firearm Training Course, earning a rating through the Winchester/NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program, submitting three letters of recommendation, providing a copy of their school transcript and writing a 1,000 word essay entitled, “What the Shooting Sports have Taught Me.”

In addition to the Core Requirements, candidates must complete a minimum of five (5) Elective Requirements out of 19 possible options. Many fun activities qualify. Here’s a partial list: compete in an NRA Postal Match; attend an NRA Shooting Sports Camp; join a local shooting club; participate in a summer camp shooting program; visit a Firearms Museum. CLICK HERE for Full List of Electives.

Deadline to enter is May 1, 2013. CLICK HERE for Application Form. If you have any questions, contact the NRA Youth Programs Department at (703) 267-1505 or email oayaprogram [at] nrahq.org.

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September 24th, 2012

Air Guns are Fun! SoCal Regional Air Rifle Benchrest Match

Open Grove Range in Southern California recently hosted an air rifle benchrest match. The Open Grove (SoCal) Regional was conducted in conjunction with the World Postal Championship and U.S. Air Rifle Benchrest nationwide standings, under World Rimfire and Air Rifle Benchrest Federation (WRABF) rules. All shooters competed for individual placements and SoCal Regional standings for this one event. In addition, three SoCal team members, Linzie Boise, Jim Herrick, and John Carter, would have their combined three-person match scores entered into World Postal Match team competition standings. It sounds more complicated than it really was. For most of the shooters this match was all about having fun with good friends. The cost was low, the fun factor was high, and, at the end of the day, everyone left with a big smile. CLICK HERE to View Match Photo Gallery (170 hi-rez pictures).

Open Grove Air Rifle Benchrest

WATCH Match Video with Shooter Interviews

There were two competition classes: Light Varmint (LV) and Heavy Varmint (HV). Light Varmint class is for rifles weighing no more than 10.5 pounds, with a power limit of 12 foot-lbs-energy (FPE) max power. The Heavy Varmint class allows 15 pounds max weight, with a max power limit of 20 FPE. Any scope magnification is allowed. Unlike ARA rimfire benchrest, you can’t use a one-piece rest; a two-piece set-up (with front rest and rear bag) is required. For more information on Air Rifle Benchrest rules and classifications visit www.wrabf.com and usairriflebenchrest.com.

Open Grove Air Rifle Benchrest

Hardware and Course of Fire
The rifles used at SoCal Regional are pre-charged using compressed air tanks. The rifles were chambered for either .177 or .22 caliber pellets. While some of the rifles were dedicated benchrest rigs, many were converted/adapted Field Target Rifles. The large side-focus-parallax wheels you see on some of the rifles are used for ranging in Field Target competition. The targets were set at 25 meters. Each target has 25 record bulls. The time limit was 30 minutes per target. Winners were determined based on the Overall Aggregate from the combined scores of three, 25-bull targets. Trophies were awarded to top shooters in HV and LV classes, and the Overall winner.

Open Grove Air Rifle Benchrest

Comments from Match Director
After seven years as a rimfire benchrest shooter, I found a new passion with these air rifles. The cost involved will vary depending on where one wants to start. The sport right now is developing quickly with barrel manufacturers, custom action builders, and stock makers all getting involved. For Open Grove Benchrest, this event was a huge success in attracting different levels of competitors from first-time shooters to Benchrest regulars. We hope this will be a turning point for attracting new shooters to the sport. We tried to make this a fun family event. People really did seem to enjoy themselves. After the last relay, all the shooters were treated to a lunch. Then we gave out door prizes and awarded trophies to the winners.

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September 24th, 2012

RCBS Neck Bushings with Tungsten Disulfide Coating Option

RCBS neck bushingGear Review by Boyd Allen
Just about everyone knows that Wilson and Redding make neck-sizing bushings. But few shooters seem to be aware that RCBS produces bushings. In fact, RCBS does make quality neck-sizing bushings, including very nice Tungsten Disulfide-coated bushings.

As a companion product for their Gold Medal bushing-style dies, RCBS produces its own line of sizing bushings, that have a couple of notable features. First, along with plain steel bushings, RCBS offers bushings with a distinctive, dark gray Tungsten Disulfide (WS2) anti-friction coating. Redding offers bushings in bare “white” steel or with a gold-colored Titanium-Nitride anti-friction coating. Wilson bushings are plain steel with a shiny silver finish. Though the Redding and Wilson plain steel bushings may look like stainless, remember that these un-coated bushings need to be kept oiled or they WILL rust. In normal use, you shouldn’t have to worry about rust on the Tungsten Disulfide-coated RCBS bushings.

Comparing coated bushings, Redding’s gold TiN-coated bushings look pretty, but the WS2 anti-friction coating on RCBS bushings seems to work as well. Tungsten Disulfide (WS2) has an extremely low coefficient of friction — 0.03 compared to 0.6 for Titanium Nitride. Accordingly, the RCBS WS2-coated bushings can work with minimal neck lubrication. When I actually sized necks with the RCBS WS2-coated bushings, the “smoothness” of the neck-sizing operation seemed on a par with other quality, coated bushings.

Another notable difference with the RCBS bushings (compared to other brands) is that RCBS stamps the bushing size onto the outside of the bushing, rather than on the top. RCBS puts the bushing diameter on a reduced-diameter band that runs around the circumference of each RCBS bushing. I think that this is a good idea because it eliminates the possibility that raised edges from the stamping itself might interfere with proper bushing alignment*. (Remember that the top of the bushing — where size marks are stamped by other bushing-makers — contacts the retaining cap in the die during sizing.) Putting the size marks on the outside also makes it easy to distinguish RCBS bushings from other bushing brands.

RCBS neck bushing

The other feature that I like is the shape of the entry chamfer on the bottom of the RCBS bushing. This chamfer is large and angular, rather than curved. This is only a guess, but I think that it may do a better job of letting the bushing align itself with the case as it is inserted into the die, and do a better job on brass from chambers that allow more neck expansion. (The picture shows the smaller chamfer at the top of the bushing.)

That about wraps it up, with the exception of one small point. While MidwayUSA has a wide selection of RCBS bushings, other retailers need to do a better job of stocking these bushings. I got mine from RCBS, but you may have trouble finding them in many online catalogs, or on dealers’ shelves. Hopefully this small review will help to increase awareness of RCBS bushings, and more retailers will carry them.

*As you probably know, stamping displaces metal, some of which is raised above the level of the surface that was stamped. Although it can be argued that shooters have gotten some pretty spectacular results in spite of any cocking of neck bushings caused by their being stamped on top, I am sure that a lot of us would prefer to have things as straight as they can be, and moving the stamping to a recessed band that runs around the outside of the bushing helps accomplish this.
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September 24th, 2012

Koenig and Duff Win at World Action Pistol Championships

World Action Pistol Championship

World Action Pistol ChampionshipsTwo familiar names topped the Open Division at the 8th NRA World Action Pistol Championship in Phillipsburg, Germany, which concluded September 16th. Doug Koenig won the Mens Open Division with a 1916-184 tally, finishing ahead of fellow Americans Kevin Angstadt (1916-171), and Bruce Piatt (1916-167). Among lady shooters, Jessie Duff scored an impressive come-from-behind victory to capture the Womens Open title with a 1900-151 score, edging USA team-mate Helen Jeavons (1899-131) by one point. Team USA’s Troy Mattheyer won the Metallic Division.

The host German Team also did well, winning titles in the Open Modified, Production, and Revolver Divisions. In fact, Germany’s Christoph Geppert (1912-159), Roman Hauber (1897-148), and Frank Reiche (1896-124) finished 1-2-3 among the wheelgunners.

CLICK HERE for Complete World Action Pistol Championships Results

Jessie Wins Ladies’ Open Title
Jessie explained how she pulled out a gritty, come-from-behind win: “Dropping 12 points in the Practical event and being four points behind the leader, I was feeling rather defeated right out of the gate. I still had another event to shoot that day. After a short time to gather my thoughts, I decided I didn’t come to Germany to give up, and would give the rest of the match everything I had! My next two events were plates and barricade, and approached them with a clear mind and positive attitude, and cleaned them both.”

The last day of the event Jessie, sponsored by Taurus, was still four points behind the leader. With the “Mover” still to shoot, she knew she had to turn in her best performance to stay in the hunt for the championship. “I realized, I had given it everything I had, and that’s what I asked of myself. I couldn’t change anything now, and whichever way the title goes, I would be happy. When they brought our targets over to be scored officially, is when I realized I had pulled ahead by one point and won the Bianchi World Cup!”

USA ‘A-Team’ Wins Team Event
Team USA A, composed of Kevin Angstadt, Jerrold Della Bella, Doug Koenig, and Bruce Piatt, won the Team Open title with a combined score of 7652-658. Germany’s Team BDMP finished second with 7614-607. USA Team B (shown below) scored 7573-566 to finish third. In the two-person team comps, Rob Leatham and Kyle Schmidt combined for a Mens’ Production division win, while Americans Helen Jeavons and Vera Koo won the Ladies’ Team Event.

World Action Pistol Championship

Photos courtesy Julie Golob, D. Brandenburger, and Jessie Duff.
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September 23rd, 2012

IBS 600-Yard Nationals in St. Louis September 28-30, 2012

Mark your calendars, gents. The IBS 600-yard Nationals are slated for next weekend — September 28th through 30th. The event will be held in St. Louis, Missouri at the Bench Rest Rifle Club of St. Louis (BRRC). The 2012 600-yard Nationals consist of an 8-target Aggregate match in Light Gun (LG), plus an 8-target Aggregate match in Heavy Gun (HG). There will be a total (LG + HG) of 16 record targets (5 record shots each [80 total]). After a safety meeting, the match begins at 9:00 am on FRIDAY September 28th, and continues on SATURDAY, September 29th at 8:00 am. Sunday, September 30th is a make-up day if needed due to weather delays.

Bench Rest Rifle club of St. Louis Missouri

Sight-In and Practice Times on Thursday
Sign-up begins at 10:00 am, Thursday September 27th at the Club House. The range is also open on Thursday for sight-in and set-up. NOTE: Due to the nature of this event, open practice sessions will not be available on match days (9/28 – 9/30) prior to the start of the matches.

CLICK HERE for IBS 600-yard Nationals Registration form (PDF)

Match Fees are currently $80 for one class (Light Gun or Heavy Gun) or $150.00 for both classes. There is still time to register. Make checks payable to BRRC. For Match Info and lodging suggestions visit ShootingSTL.com or call Jerry Kloeppel at 314-973-2326. Camping is available for $10.00 per day.

CLICK HERE for Map to BRRC in St. Louis, Missouri.

Story Tip from Sam Hall. We welcome reader submissions.
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September 23rd, 2012

New Hornady Ballistic Calculator Generates Printable Drop Chart

Hornady Ballistics Calculator Cheat Sheet Drop ChartHornady just unveiled its “new and improved” online Ballistics Calculator. It’s free, fast, and easy to use. New enhancements include selectable G1 or G7 BCs, drop and windage in MOA and MILS, metric value option, and the ability to enter shooting angle, wind angle, and more. To access all these features (such as G7 BCs), you’ll need to select the “advanced” display from Hornady’s Ballistic Calculator Entry Page. That will open up more entry fields. Default values are entered in the temperature and pressure fields, but you can override these with your actual field data. You can select a zero range from 0 to 2000 yards, with intervals from 25 to 400 yards. Once you’ve entered all the values, simply click “Calculate” and the program provides your drop numbers in a handy chart.

Printable ‘Cheat Sheet’ for your Rifle
One very cool feature of Hornady’s online calculator is the “Cheat Sheet” — a handy, printable come-up table. Once you’ve entered your variables and run the calculator, the results appear in a handy table that you can print-out and affix to your rifle stock. Here’s a sample Cheat Sheet prepared for Berger’s 105gr VLD and a 6mm Dasher*.

Hornady Ballistics Calculator Cheat Sheet Drop Chart

Although it can employ G7 BCs now, the Hornady Ballistic Calculator, unlike the JBM online solver, does NOT include a built-in database of G7 values, based on field-testing by Bryan Litz. For that reason, the JBM Ballistics Calculator is still our first choice for an online ballistics solver. We really do like Hornady’s handy “Cheat Sheet” option though. You can, of course, get a Litz-derived G7 value from JBM and then plug that number into the Hornady Calculator to produce a printable drop table.

*NOTE: Note: Even if you have a Dasher and use the Berger 105gr VLDs, you should run your own solution with your specific sight height, elevation, temp, pressure, humidity, and zero distance.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 9 Comments »