September 18th, 2014

IBS Match Report: 100/200 Score Nationals in North Carolina

Report by Dick Grosbier for IBS
Over the weekend of September 13-14, 2014, the Ashe County Wildlife Club of Laurel Springs, North Carolina hosted the 44th annual IBS 100/200 Score Nationals. Sixty-two shooters were on the line for the event, including many record holders and major match winners.

Click Photo for full-screen version
Ashe Country NC IBS Score Nationals

CLICK HERE for Match Results Spreadsheet | CLICK HERE for Competitors’ Equipment List

The shooters traveled from as far away as Florida, Wisconsin, and Maine. Considering the miserable weather forecast for Saturday it was really a pretty nice day. We did have rain but thanks to the way the roof overhangs the firing line (photo below) the competitors stayed dry, only the target crew got wet. In spite of this they did an excellent job — they were fully prepared as the forecast was for a very high percentage chance of rain. Saturday got into the high 70s and actually got a little muggy. Sunday was overcast cooler and little if any rain fell.

Ashe Country NC IBS Score Nationals

This was my third visit to Ashe County this year and I must say it gets better each time. They have a great crew of people and a wonderful facility. There are 30 covered benches located next to a very large (40’x160’) reloading, scoring, dining, and clubhouse facility. The entire range is built on the side of a big hill. They have literally moved thousands of cubic yards of dirt (50,000+) to build this facility.


Breeden Busts Record — 1000-59X Two-Gun Total May Be Best Ever!
This year’s IBS Score Nationals saw a performance for the ages. Dean Breeden put together one of the most impressive feats of score shooting in history. Dean’s Two-Gun total score (for VFS and Hunter) was a stunning 1000-59X. This is a pending new Two-Gun IBS world record. Think about that — this means that Dean did not drop a single point through twenty (20) total matches (i.e. 20 targets), while alternating between two different rifles, one with a puny 6-power scope! That’s 100 “Tens” in a row on 100 Bullseyes, without fail. That’s really a remarkable achievement. As least Dean does not have to console the old record-holder, because the pre-existing record, 1000-52X, was set by (you guessed it), Mr. Dean Breeden. In besting his own record by seven Xs, Breeden won the Two-Gun award at this year’s IBS Score Nationals and earned a new entry in the record books. Congrats to Dean!

Ashe Country NC IBS Score Nationals

Bullet-maker Randy Robinett was amazed at Breeden’s 1000-59X performance. “Some years ago, I held the Two-Gun score record with a 999-52X. What Dean has accomplished with his 1000-59X is truly noteworthy — this really is a BIG deal. Let me tell you, getting 1000 points is really hard to do. You have to switch between two different rifles, and adjust from a high-power scope to a 6X scope, changing rests and equipment all the time. This is very tough.”


Looking at the Equipment List (Editor’s Comment)
The Equipment List from the 2014 IBS Score Nationals is quite revealing. As you’d expect, this match was very much a 30-caliber affair, but we were surprised to see such dominance by cut-rifled barrels, and Hodgdon H4198 powder.

1. All of the Top 15 VFS shooters ran cut-rifled barrels. There were mostly Bartleins and Kriegers, with two Brux barrels and one Rock Creek.

2. Hodgdon H4198 is definitely the powder of choice, used by 14 of the Top 20 VFS shooters. Federal 205M primers were used by at least 13 of the Top 20 shooters.

3. Randy Robinett’s BIB bullets were the most popular, used by four of the Top 10 shooters.

4. Every VFS shooter and every Hunter Class shooter was running a 30-caliber cartridge. Most VFS shooters ran 30BRs, but the 30×47 cartridge was favored by half the Hunter shooters.

5. Two gunsmiths smithed six of the Top 10 rifles. Three were by Mike Niblett and three were by Sid Goodling (who also smithed #11 and #12).

6. BAT Machine actions are still #1. BAT actions were used by 14 of the Top 20 shooters.

Ashe Country NC IBS Score Nationals

Mike Niblett (above) had a typical VFS rig: BAT action, Krieger cut-rifled barrel, with a Nightforce 12-42X scope. Mike used H4198 of course, but he shot Hill bullets in his 30BR, rather than BIBs.

Many 250s with 20 or more Xs Shot on Saturday
Saturday, at 100 yards, it was the Kevin and K.L. show. Kevin Donalds Sr. and K.L. Miller took the lead in Varmint For Score, and Hunter classes respectively all day long. Kevin turned in a fine score of 250-22X followed closely by Dean Breeden with 250-21X. Dean was just barely short of the win all weekend in both classes. Mike Niblett was third with 250-20X, ahead of five other 250-20X scores based on tie-breaker. There were four 19X and eight 18X scores. K.L. Miller turned in a fine 250-18x score in Hunter Class followed closely by Peter Hills and Frank McKee (both with 250-16Xs). It was moderately windy and switchy all day and since the Nationals involve shooting each record match from a different bench you essentially faced a new set of conditions each time you came to the line.

‘Top Guns’ at the Score Nationals: Kevin Donald Sr., K.L. Miller, and Dean Breeden.
Ashe Country NC IBS Score Nationals

Sunday it was overcast and cooler but not as rainy. Anthony Isner stepped up and took the lead in VFS class turning in a fine 250-16X score. Second place went to, you guessed it, Dean Breeden. Dean’s 250-15X was followed closely by Kevin Donalds Sr. also with 15X. In Hunter class it was Randy Jarvais’s turn to win an Aggregate. Randy’s 250-9X score beat out Dean’s 250-8X and Miller’s 250-7X scores.

In the VFS Grand Aggregate, Kevin Donalds Sr. topped the field with 500-37X, followed by Dean Breeden with 500-36X, and Anthony Isner with 500-34X. K.L. Miller won the Hunter Grand Agg handily — his 500-25X easily topped Dean’s 500-23X and Randy’s 500-20X totals. The IBS 2-Gun award went to Dean Breeden with a record score of 1000-59X. This is a potential new 2-Gun record as he bested his own record by seven Xs.

Ashe Country NC IBS Score Nationals

Ashe Country NC IBS Score Nationals

Praise for the Match Organizers and Staff
All in all it was a very well run match at a great new facility. This was the first Nationals event to be held there but it will not be the last. Hats off to E.T. Weaver and his helpers. The target crew deserves special mention. They were very good and very fast. A match with full bench rotation can be a nightmare for any target crew but these guys handled it like old pros even though it was their first-ever attempt. Well done guys and gals!

Ashe Country NC IBS Score Nationals

Ashe Country NC IBS Score Nationals

The Ashe County Wildlife Club put on a great event, complete with delicious country Barbecue.
Ashe Country NC IBS Score Nationals

Photos Courtesy Clint Johnson and Dick Grosbier.
Permalink Competition No Comments »
September 18th, 2014

Leverology 101: Magazine Names Top 10 Lever Guns

Greatest top 10 lever RifleShooter magazine Winchester Savage Ruger

RifleShooter Magazine released a list of the Ten Greatest Lever Guns of All Time. Writing for RifleShooter, Brad Fitzpatrick examined a wide selection of lever guns produced in the past 150 years, and came up with this short list of ten “all-star” lever action rifles:

Browning BLR
1860 Henry Rifle
Marlin 336
Marlin 1895/444
Ruger 96/44

Savage Model 99
Winchester Model 1873/73
Winchester Model 1888/88
Winchester Model 1892/92
Winchester Model 1894/94

As with all “Top 10″ lists, this will be controversial. Where is the Winchester model 1866 “Yellowboy”, the favorite of Native Americans? Where is the iconic Winchester model 1895, the beloved gun Teddy Roosevelt called “Big Medicine”? But other choices are hard to fault. The Henry Rifle, the first popular cartridge lever gun, surely belongs on the list. And, believe it or not, the Winchester Model 94 is the best-selling sporting rifle of all time in the USA, according to RifleShooter.

Greatest top 10 leer guns yellowboy 1866

Greatest top 10 leer guns yellowboy 1866

So what do you think of RifleShooter’s Top 10 list? Does it make sense, or did RifleShooter magazine get it wrong? If you go to the RifleShooter website, you can vote for your favorite lever gun among the ten candidates listed above. (Scroll to bottom of page for poll.)

Fitzpatrick writes: “The lever action played a very legitimate role in America’s westward expansion. It could bring meat to your table or protect your land and assets against rustlers.

Nostalgia aside, the lever gun is an effective hunting tool for those willing to live within its limitations. While it can’t beat a bolt gun with a light trigger and free-floated barrel in a long-range shooting competition, a lever action in the right hands can be rather accurate, especially given new advancements in rifle design and bullet technology.”

Permalink - Articles No Comments »
September 18th, 2014

Video Animation Shows How the Cut-Rifling Process Works

Have you ever wondered how a cut-rifled barrel is made? This process, used by leading barrel-makers such as Bartlein, Border, Brux, Krieger, and Obermeyer, can yield a very high-quality barrel with a long useful life. Cut-rifled barrels have been at the top in short- and long-range benchrest competition in recent years, and cut-rifled barrels have long been popular with F-Class and High Power shooters.

You may be surprised to learn that cut-rifling is probably the oldest method of rifling a barrel. Invented in Nuremberg around 1520, the cut-rifling technique creates spiral grooves in the barrel by removing steel using some form of cutter. In its traditional form, cut rifling may be described as a single-point cutting system using a “hook” cutter. The cutter rests in the cutter box, a hardened steel cylinder made so it will just fit the reamed barrel blank and which also contains the cutter raising mechanism.

Above is a computer animation of an older style, sine-bar cut-rifling machine. Some machine features have been simplified for the purposes of illustration, but the basic operation is correctly shown. No, the cut-rifling machines at Krieger don’t use a hand-crank, but the mechanical process shown in this video is very similar to the way cut-rifling is done with more modern machines.

Pratt & Whitney Cut rifling hydraulic machine

Read About Cut-Rifling Process at Border-Barrels.com
To learn more about the barrel-making process, and cut-rifling in particular, visit German Salazar’s Rifleman’s Journal website. There you’ll find a “must-read” article by Dr. Geoffrey Kolbe: The Making of a Rifled Barrel. This article describes in detail how barrels are crafted, using both cut-rifling and button-rifling methods. Kolbe (past owner of Border Barrels) covers all the important processes: steel selection, hole drilling, hole reaming, and rifling (by various means). You’ll find a very extensive discussion of how rifling machines work. Here’s a short sample:

“At the start of World War Two, Pratt & Whitney developed a new, ‘B’ series of hydraulically-powered rifling machines, which were in fact two machines on the same bed. They weighed in at three tons and required the concrete floors now generally seen in workshops by this time. About two thousand were built to satisfy the new demand for rifle barrels, but many were broken up after the war or sold to emerging third world countries building up their own arms industry.

Pratt & Whitney Cut rifling hydraulic machine

Very few of these hydraulic machines subsequently became available on the surplus market and now it is these machines which are sought after and used by barrel makers like John Krieger and ‘Boots’ Obermeyer. In fact, there are probably less of the ‘B’ series hydraulic riflers around today than of the older ‘Sine Bar’ universal riflers.

The techniques of cut rifling have not stood still since the end of the war though. Largely due to the efforts of Boots Obermeyer the design, manufacture and maintenance of the hook cutter and the cutter box have been refined and developed so that barrels of superb accuracy have come from his shop. Cut rifled barrel makers like John Krieger (Krieger Barrels), Mark Chanlyn (Rocky Mountain Rifle Works) and Cliff Labounty (Labounty Precision Reboring)… learned much of their art from Boots Obermeyer, as did I.” — Geoffrey Kolbe

Video find by Boyd Allen. Archive photos from Border-Barrels.com. In June 2013, Birmingham Gunmakers Ltd. acquired Border Barrels. Dr. Geoffrey Koble continues to work for Border Barrels, which maintains operations in Scotland.
Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing 2 Comments »