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 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’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.”
- 2012 IBS Long-Range Shooters of Year Recognized
- Richard Schatz Wins IBS 600-Yard Nationals Two-Gun
- Matt Kline Shoots 2.815″ Record at 1000 Yards with 300 WSM
- Match Report: IBS 1000-Yard Nationals in Harris, Minnesota
- 80 Years Young and Still Bustin' Records