David Bailey and James Crofts Win 2012 F-Class Nationals
The 2012 F-Class Nationals have concluded and the event was a great success. Nearly 200 shooters competed at Raton this year.
Congrats to the new F-Class National Champions: David Bailey (F-Open) and James Crofts (F-TR). Bailey amassed a 1283-59X score to edge F-Open runner-up Bob Sebold (1282-59X) by a single point. Note that Jim and Bob, both AccurateShooter Forum members, had the same X-count. Bob’s excellent X-count placed him ahead of Jim Murphy (1282-50X), who captured third place along with F-Open High Senior Title. High Lady Shooter was Michelle Gallagher with a 1274-51, while Danny Biggs, a past National Champion, was High Senior with 1273-46X.
Forum member James (‘Jim’) Crofts took the F-TR crown with a truly dominating performance. Jim’s 1272-47X was a full six points and 11 Xs ahead of runner-up (and 2011 champ) Jeff Rorer, who finished with 1266-36X. In third-place overall, was High Senior Daniel Pohlable (1264-42X). In fourth overall, was the High Lady shooter Trudie Fay (1259-45X).
Jim Crofts really deserves praise for his marksmanship at Raton. Jim’s F-TR Score of 1272-47X would have ranked him 13th in the F-Open division, ahead of dozens of skilled shooters running ballistically-superior cartridges. In his .308 Win, Jim ran Berger 200gr Match Hybrids at 2600 fps with Hodgdon Varget. Jim’s winning F-TR rifle featured a 30″ Brux barrel and Precision Rifle & Tool (PR&T) stock. And take note — Jim’s barrel had over 3000 rounds though it by the end of the match. Jim wants to thank Ray Bowman at PR&T for smithing a great rifle and providing sponsorship.
Interview with Jim Crofts
We had a chance to talk to Jim by telephone this morning, and he was kind enough to answer a few questions for us….
AccurateShooter: Is this your first big win? How did you feel receiving the trophy as National F-TR Champion?
Jim: I won the Berger SW Nationals earlier this year, but this is my first-ever National Championship. I was very relieved once it was over because there were many great shooters right behind me.
AccurateShooter: Did you run any new hardware at the Nationals? Did you alter your load any?
Jim: This is the same combination that I’ve used all year long. I went back to my old faithful PR&T-built rifle and my old faithful load and everything works. I still anneal my cases every firing. You will find this helps maintain consistent bullet seating and it helps lower your extreme spread.
AccurateShooter: Shooters from your neck of the woods have now won the F-TR division two years running — Whats the secret?
Yes, with my win we’ve had back to back F-TR National championships for North State X-Men club members. Jeff Rorer, last year’s F-TR champ [and 2012 runner-up] shoots with us at a local level. That’s who I’ve been chasing since last year’s National Championship. When you shoot against quality competition every week, it makes you strive for perfection.
AccurateShooter: How were conditions during the week? Raton can be windy…
Jim: Actually, conditions were moderate most of the week. However, on the last day, it was calm during the first match, but in the second match it got to be very tricky. There were changes in velocity and angles — I had a hard time keeping up with the velocity changes in the last match.
AccurateShooter: How has the FTR game changed in the last couple years? Is it more competitive than ever before?
Jim: The sport is growing and it’s getting tougher, that’s for sure. This year we had 91 competitors in F-TR. It went up from about 60 last year to 91 this year — a 50% increase. And the competition is really getting tight in F-TR. Not only are the numbers of shooters growing, but the quality of the competition is getting higher every year.
Also at the F-Class Nationals this year, some Eliseo Tubeguns made an appearance. Shown below are Linda Shehan (Team Australia) and Warren Dean (Team USA) with their GC-1 FTR rigs at the nationals. These tubeguns feature actions by Rod Shehan, with an Adam Davies bipod on the left, and Sinclair F-Class bipod on the right.
- F-Class Nationals at Raton — Reports from Shooters
- Multiple National Records Set at 2010 Spirit of America Match
- Registration Closes June 15 for F-Class Worlds and U.S. Nationals
- Major F-Class Championships in Wisconsin and New Mexico
- Conversation with 2010 F-Open Champ, Derek Rodgers