August 16th, 2014

American Squad Wins America Match Team Competition

Here’s breaking news from Ottawa, Canada. Team USA has won the America Match, an F-Class International Team competition . Shown below are the victorious U.S. Team members and coaches. The U.S. team was led by Rick Jenson and coached by the first family of long range shooting, Mid Tompkins, Nancy Tompkins, and Michelle Gallagher.

America Match Team USA

The 2014 F-Class America Match
Team Size: Captain, Adjutant, Main Coach, 2 Target Coaches, 8 firers, not more than 4 of whom may be Class F-Open, and 2 Reserves (total team strength 15), from a single country or group of countries approved by the DCRA.
Course of Fire: 2 sighting shots (convertible) and 15 on score at 500, 600, 800 and 900 meters.
Targets: DCRA F-Class targets will be used (these are normal DCRA targets, with an additional central V-bull, half the diameter of the normal V).

In other Team events at the Canadian F-Class Championships, the U.S. 4-man F-Open team proved unbeatable. They had a clean sweep of all three four-person team matches during the past week of competition at the Connaught range near Ottawa, Ontario. Congratulations.

America Match Team USA

Next Sunday, August 24, 2014, the Dominion of Canada Rifle Association (DCRA) will host a similar America Match for Target Rifles (slings and irons).

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August 16th, 2014

Radical Gain-Twist Barrel for AR and High Power Rifles

“Gain-twist” refers to a form of barrel rifling where the twist rate gets tighter over the length of the barrel. For example, a gain twist barrel might start with 1:12″ twist and finish with 1:8″ twist. There is some evidence that gain-twist rifling can deliver more velocity (compared to a conventional barrel) with certain cartridge types. There have also been claims of increased accuracy with some types of bullets, but such claims are more difficult to quantify.

Gain-twist rifling is not new. This form of rifling has been around for a long, long time. The first gain-twist barrels appeared in the late 1800s. However, in the last few years, there has been increased interest in gain-twist barrels for both short-range and long-range competition.

Video Explains Gain Twist Rifling

Radical Extreme Gain Twist Barrel Design
In this video from our friend John M. Buol Jr., gunsmith John Carlos talks about a fairly radical gain-twist barrel design for high power and service rifle shooters. Produced by Bartlein Barrels, this gain-twist barrel starts with a 1:14″ twist and finishes with a 1:6.8″ twist at the muzzle (See 1:50 time-mark). Carlos believes that this type of barrel delivers higher velocities while providing excellent accuracy for a wide range of bullet weights. In .223 caliber, the gain twist works with the 75-77 grain bullets used on the “short course” while also delivering excellent accuracy with the longer 80-90gr bullets used at 600 yards and beyond. Velocity is the important bonus for long-range use. Carlos says the gain twist barrels deliver greater muzzle velocity, allowing a 90 grain bullet to stay well above the transonic zone, even at 1000 yards. (See 4:50 time-mark.)

This 1:14″ to 1:6.8″ gain-twist barrel is the product of much experimentation by Carlos and Bartlein. Carlos states: “We’ve varied all sorts of internal dimensions, such as the land height, and the groove depth. We’ve tried 5R rifling and 4-groove rifling, and we’ve worked with various rates of twist, and I believe we have it down really well right now.”

In this video, John Carlos explains the history of gain-twist rifling, and he explains how modern Bartlein gain twist barrels have been developed in recent years for both benchrest and High Power applications. If you are interested in barrel technology and design, take the time to watch.

Twist Rate

Erik Dahlberg illustration courtesy FireArmsID.com.

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August 16th, 2014

Balolia Wins F-Open and Chou Wins F-TR at Canadian Nationals

The 2014 Canadian F-Class Championship in Ottawa, Ontario proved to be a supreme challenge for shooters. Rain combined with strong and changeable winds to make this one of the toughest Canadian long-range events in years. But two shooters mastered the conditions and earned well-deserved wins. In the F-Open division, Grizzly Industrial President Shiraz Balolia posted an impressive 664-71V score to top the field. Reigning F-Open World Champion Kenny Adams from Florida finished second, two points behind Balolia, with 662-72V. Shiraz was proud to wear the red-ribboned Champion’s medallion. This was a real battle, Shiraz observed, because: “Conditions and the competition were so tough.” As for the infamous Connaught breezes, Shiraz observed: “It’s been a while since I had 5 1/2 minutes of left wind on my .300 WSM and was holding left 3+, then holding right 3 1/2 just two shots later!”

William Chou (F-TR) and Shiraz Balolia (F-Open) overcame tough conditions at Connaught.
Connaught Canadian Championship
Photo courtesy U.S. F-TR Rifle Team

In F-TR division William Chou out-shot a large field of competitors (including his brother Kevin, who finished 7th). Will dominated the bipod F-TR division with an untouchable 655-54V score. This was nine points ahead of the next highest F-TR shooter, fellow Canadian Jonathan Laitre. Congrats to Will for a run-away victory in very challenging conditions. The top American F-TR shooter was Bill Litz, who finished with 642-39V.

F-Open Top Ten

1. Shiraz Balolia, Washington, USA 664-71V
2. Kenny Adams, Florida, USA 662-72V
3. Marius DeChamplain, Quebec, Canada 662-58V
4. Don Nagel, Ohio, USA 660-65V
5. Marc Thibault, BC, Canada 657-53V
6. George Robertson, Ohio, USA 654-56V
7. Gordon Ogg, Ontario, Canada 653-69V
8. Ralph Colgan, Quebec, Canada 652-61V
9. Eric Bisson, Alberta, Canada 648-60V
10. Bruce Condie, Ontario, Canada 646-55V

F-TR Top Ten

1. Williams Chou, Ontario, Canada 655-54V
2. Jonathan Laitre, Quebec, Canada, 646-55V
3. Kenny Proulx, Quebec, Canada 645-51V
4. William Litz, Michigan, USA 642-39V
5. Alan Barnhart, Michigan, USA 639-47V
6. John Pierce, Michigan, USA 639-33V
7. Kevin Chou, Ontario, Canada 638-46V
8. Jim Crofts, Virginia, USA 637-44V
9. Marcel Timmons, Ontario, Canada 636-32V
10. Paul Vanduyse, Ontario, Canada 632-41V

Today the Canadian F-Class Championships conclude with the Americas Match, a Team Match with North American bragging rights at stake. Best wishes to all the team competitors!

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August 16th, 2014

Video Shows How to Hydro-Form 6 Dasher Cases

Can you form a wildcat cartridge such as the 6 Dasher without expending primer, powders, and bullets? Absolutely. Using the hydro-forming method you can form improved cases in your workshop with no firing whatsoever, so there is no wear on your precious barrel. Watch this video to see how it’s done:

6 Dasher Case Hydro-Forming Demonstration:

6mm Dasher hydroforming case die hornday

Forum member Wes J. (aka P1ZombieKiller) has produced a helpful video showing how to form Dasher cases use the Hornady Hydraulic forming die kit. This includes a two-part die (body and piston), and a special shell holder. To form the case, you insert a primer in your virgin brass, top the case off with with a fluid (water or alcohol), then run the case up into the Hydro-forming die. A few stout whacks with a hammer and your case is 95% formed.

6mm Dasher hydroforming hydraulic 6mmBR hornadyHydro-Forming Procedure Step-by-Step:
1. Insert spent primer in new 6mmBR brass case.
2. Fill with water or alcohol (Wes prefers alcohol).
3. Wipe excess fluid off case.
4. Place case in special Hornady shell-holder (no primer hole).
5. Run case up into Hydraulic forming die.
6. Smack top piston of forming die 3-4 times with rubber mallet or dead-blow hammer.
7. Inspect case, re-fill and repeat if necessary.
8. Drain alcohol (or water) into container.
9. Remove primer (and save for re-use).
10. Blow-dry formed case. Inspect and measure formed case.

Wes achieves very uniform cartridge OALs with this method. He measured ten (10) hydro-formed 6 Dasher cases and got these results: two @ 1.536″; 2 @ 1.537″; and 6 @ 1.538″.

Three or Four Whacks Produces a 95%-Formed Case
With a Hornady hydro-forming die, hydraulic pressure does the job of blowing out the shoulders of your improved case. The process is relatively simple. Place a spent primer in the bottom of a new piece of brass. Fill the case with water, and then slip it into a special Hornady shell-holder with no hole in the middle. Then you run the case up into the forming die. Now comes the fun part. You gently insert a plunger (hydraulic ram) from the top, and give it three or four stiff whacks with a mallet (or better yet, a dead-blow hammer). Remove the plunger and you have a 95% formed case, ready to load.

Walter Queen Hydraulic Hornady DieHornady supplies a shell holder made specifically for the hydro die; there’s no hole in the bottom of it. Just insert a spent primer into the primer pocket and you’re ready to go. The spent primer combined with the solid shell holder, keeps the water from seeping out of the primer pocket. The primer pushes out a little bit during this process, but it’s impossible for it to come out because of the way the shell holder is designed. The shell holder has a grove which allows the case to slide out of the shell holder even when the primer protrudes a bit.

Story tip from Body Allen. We welcome reader submissions.

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