July 31st, 2015

Long Shots — Images from the Long Range Championships

This week, many of the world’s top marksmen have been competing at the National Long Range High Power Rifle Championships, held 29-31 July, 2015 at Camp Perry. The distances are great (1000 yards maximum) as are the challenges — the fickle winds blowing off Lake Erie can be unpredictable.

This year is extra special. The USA hosts the World Fullbore Long Range Championships next week at Camp Perry. The World Championships are held every four years, but any country may only host the event every 25 years. That means the next Fullbore Worlds in the USA could not take place before 2040. This year, teams from 11 countries will compete for national honors (and serious bragging rights). Many top international shooters have already arrived, and they are using the NRA Long Range High Power Championships as a “prelim” for the Fullbore Worlds next week.

Ace ISSF 300m shooter Reya Kempley shoots a hybrid rig with a Stolle Panda Action in an Anschütz smallbore-type metal stock.

Reya Kempley long range high power

Here’s the same rifle, as fitted with hand rest for position shooting. CLICK to Zoom:
Reya Kempley long range high power

British Palma Shooter David Luckman hung tough after suffering a dissappointing 8 (low right) on his first record shot. After serving up that 8 at 4 o’clock, David fought back, shooting all tens and Xs for the rest of his 10-shot string. (Orange stickers show record shots — the yellow dots mark sighters.) David doesn’t crack under pressure — he won the 2012 Long Range Championship at Camp Perry, and he is the reigning ICFRA World Long Range Fullbore (Palma) Rifle Champion.

Palma David Luckman UK Camp Perry long range high power

Those targets are placed a long way off. Now imagine trying to shoot half-MOA with iron sights.

Camp Perry 2015 long range high power

Past Long-Range Champion John Whidden shows good form. John runs a centerfire action in an Anschütz metal smallbore stock. He smithed this rig himself. John favors the ergonomics and adjustability of the Anschütz stock. He also really likes the small-diameter, rounded forearm on this design. “This stock suits me really well”, John told us.

John Whidden Anchutz Camp Perry long range high power

This competitor has an Eliseo (Competition Machine) Tubegun in Patriotic Stars and Stripes Livery.

Gary Eliseo Tubegun Camp Perry long range high power

This U.S. Marine Corps shooter campaigned a classic “Battle Rifle” in the LR Championship, firing a semi-auto version of the M14. It looks like he named the rifle “Lucy”.

Reya Kempley long range high power

Photos from 2015 NRA Long Range High Power Rifle Championships courtesy NRABlog.com.

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
July 31st, 2015

City of Los Angeles Bans Possession of High-Cap Magazines

Los Angeles Magazine Ban high-capacity NRA

Don’t drive through the City of Los Angeles (or fly into LAX) if you have a magazine that holds more than ten (10) rounds. In its infinite wisdom, the Los Angeles City Council approved a new law that makes mere possession of a full-capacity magazine illegal EVEN if it was obtained legally, in compliance with all state and federal laws. This, by definition, is an “ex post facto” law — a statute that makes a crime out of what was considered legal before, requiring citizens to take affirmative action or else be subject to criminal penalties. Possession of a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds will now be a misdemeanor in the City of Los Angeles, as soon as Mayor Eric Garcetti signs the measure into law, which he has promised to do.

Once codified into law, the magazine ban gives residents only two months to comply. Residents will have 60 days to surrender their magazines to the police or remove their magazines from the city. The author of the law, City Councilman Paul Krekorian, declared that the new law will be enforced aggressively by the Los Angeles Police Department.

WARNING — Do Not Transport High-Capacity Magazines Through Los Angeles
We caution all readers that they should not bring any firearm magazines that hold more than ten rounds into the Los Angeles city limits. Even if you are just “driving through” on the way to another location, you could be arrested for possession. Likewise, do not ship magazines into Los Angeles, and do not fly into Los Angeles city airports (such as LAX) with high-capacity magazines in your possession on in your luggage. Even if we were just transferring in Los Angeles from one flight to another, we would not carry high-capacity magazines into that airport zone.

Los Angeles Magazine Ban high-capacity NRA

Under current California state law it is illegal to buy, sell, manufacture, or import magazines that hold more than ten rounds. However, statewide (except in San Francisco, and Sunnyvale and soon Los Angeles) it is still completely legal to possess such magazines if they were acquired legally BEFORE the high-cap magazine ban went into effect. In other words, possession of “pre-ban” high-cap magazines is “grandfathered” in California — you just can’t buy or sell them anymore within California.

Is the Los Angeles Magazine Ban Constitutional?
The new Los Angeles law can be attacked on various legal grounds. First it can be challenged as an “Ex Post Facto” law. Second, the law should be invalid under the pre-emption doctrine, since regulation of firearm magazines is already controlled by state statute. The pre-emption doctrine recognizes that a state cannot allow municipalities to enact myriad conflicting laws on the same subject matter. Unfortunately, an NRA legal challenge to municipal magazine bans in San Francisco and Sunnyvale failed on Second Amendment grounds. It would have made more sense to have attacked those city-specific regulations on the basis of state pre-emption. Unfortunately, the NRA’s litigation failure will make it more difficult to overturn the Los Angeles magazine ordinance.

LAX Photo By JadeLux (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Permalink News 16 Comments »
July 30th, 2015

Long-Range Championships at Camp Perry

Brandon Green SFC long range camp perry 7mm RSAUM USAMU

The NRA High Power Long Range Championships kicked off on the 29th of July. Despite challenging winds there were many impressive performances, including one by newly-crowned NRA High Power Champion SFC Brandon Green. The talented USAMU shooter traded his Across-the-Course Rig for his 7mm RSAUM prone rifle to compete in the series of Long Range matches. Brandon shot very well, finishing with a 100-7X in the final Shoot-Off to win the Mustin Trophy match.

Shown at top is SFC Brandon Green with his long-range rifle. Note: the target in the photo shows the shot position for Brandon’s 10-shot Shoot-Off — all 10s and Xs. However, this is a REDUCED-SIZE target used for shot-marking (display) purposes only. The actual 1000-yard NRA Long-Range Target has a 10″ X-Ring, and a 20″ Ten-Ring. So the group of shots shown is much smaller than Green’s actual shots on the real 1000-yard target. Nonetheless this was a very impressive string for a sling-shooter using iron sights.

If you’re curious about Green’s long-range rifle, it is a 7mm RSAUM with an Anschutz trigger in a Robertson Composites prone-style stock. This rifle features iron sights, but when USAMU shooters participate in scoped “any sights” competitions, they normally use Nightforce NSX scopes, according the USAMU coach SFC Emil Praslick III.

You Call the Wind…

Conditions were far from easy on Day 1 of the Long Range Championships. Here is a shot taken through a 25X spotting scope by Kevin Thomas of Lapua. Take a look at those flags swinging at different angles. Based on what you can see, what’s your wind call?

Brandon Green SFC long range camp perry 7mm RSAUM USAMU

Permalink Competition, News 4 Comments »
July 30th, 2015

New Ultra-High-BC, Solid Bullets from Warner Tool Company

Flat Line High BC bullet Warner Tool Company

Warner Tool Company (WTC) has introduced a new series of “Flat Line” ultra-high-BC bullets. These sleek, lathe-turned solids are some of the most perfectly-streamlined projectiles ever sold. The Ballistic Coefficients (BCs) of Flat Line projectiles are as much as 20% higher than other match bullets of similar caliber and weight. For example, the .30-caliber 200gr Flat Line bullet has a claimed G1 BC of 0.780. Compare that to 0.555 for the Sierra 200gr MatchKing and 0.622 for the Berger 200gr Hybrid.

The new Flat Line bullets all show extremely high Ballistic Coefficients for their weights:

Caliber Description

Twist Rate

3000-1500 fps 3500-1500 fps
G1 BC G7 BC G1 BC G7 BC
30 155.5gr Palma 10 0.553 0.285 0.576 0.290
30 175gr FTR 10 0.678 0.340 0.694 0.348
30 200gr 9 0.780 0.391 0.796 0.399
33 255.5gr LRBT 10 0.814 0.400 0.834 0.411

WTC also claims that Flat Line bullets can be launched at faster velocities than other bullets of similar caliber and weight. In its marketing materials, WTC says that Flat Line bullets deliver “Higher velocities when compared with projectiles in its weight class [and] much higher velocity when compared with projectiles of similar BC.” For example, WTC claims that “the 155.5gr .30-caliber bullet has the velocity of a 125-135gr bullet [with] the BC of a 185-200gr bullet.” It will be interesting to see if these claims can be verified in field tests.

Here are comparative G1 BCs for a variety of large .30-caliber bullets:
Flat Line High BC bullet Warner Tool Company

Cal Zant of the Precision Rifle Blog has obtained some early-production Flat Line bullets from their designer, Josh Kunz. Zant has written a lengthy article explaining the design and features of the new Flat Line bullets. If you are considering ordering some of these new lathe-turned solids, you should definitely read Zant’s report.

READ Flat Line Bullets Product Report in Precision Rifle Blog.

These bullets were designed by Aerospace engineer Josh Kunz using advanced computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to simulate supersonic air flow around the bullets. Through the use of advanced modeling and precision CNC machining, Kunz has developed extremely uniform, ballistically “slippery” bullets that fly faster and flatter than other projectiles of similar weight/caliber.

Premium Pricing: Flat Line Bullets Cost $125 to $165 per Hundred
These new Flat Line solid bullets are pricey. The 155s cost $1.25 per bullet and the price goes up from there. If you need large quantities of projectiles for a week-long match, the cost can be daunting. One hundred fifty of the 200-grainers will set you back $435.00! Here is a price list for the new Flat Line bullets. All quantities are in boxes of 50. Pricing is introductory and subject to change.

.30 Cal 155 grain $62.50 per 50-ct box ($1.25 per bullet)
.30 Cal 180 grain $67.50 per 50-ct box ($1.35 per bullet)
.30 Cal 200 grain $72.50 per 50-ct box ($1.45 per bullet)
.338 Cal 255 grain $82.50 per 50-ct box ($1.65 per bullet)

Is the cost worth it? When you look at the overall expense of attending a major match, and the fact that the top places in big matches are sometimes are decided by a single point (or X-Count), some competitors will spend the extra money for these ultra-high BC solids.

For more details or to place an order, visit Warner-Tool.com, call WTC at (603) 352-9521, or email info [at] warner-tool.com. CLICK HERE for WTC Flat Line Bullets Data Sheet (PDF).

Photos and Comparison Chart copyright PrecisionRifleBlog.com. Story tip from EdLongrange.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 20 Comments »
July 29th, 2015

SFC Brandon Green Wins National High Power Championship

Brandon Green NRA High Power Championship 2015

Congratulations to SFC Brandon Green on winning the 2015 NRA National High Power Championship. Green shot an impressive 2387-140X to earn his second High Power title, finishing ahead of past Champion Norman Houle (2380-126X) and USAMU team-mate SFC Shane Barnhart (2379-127X). Brandon told AccurateShooter.com: “It’s a great honor and privilege to shoot and compete with such great people here at camp Perry. We had a great match this year and I already look forward to seeing everyone next year.”

Over 260 shooters competed in this year’s High Power Championship events. CLICK HERE to view complete match results, with overall rankings, as well as category-specific results.

It was a well-deserved win for Green, who had to over-come the effects of a nasty spider bite on his right arm (see photo). Joe Caley observed: “Our man Brandon Green and his new-found Spiderman powers pulled off another great Championship. Years from now, no one will remember the 2015 Championship [scores], but they will remember Brandon Green’s Spider Bite!”

Brandon Green NRA High Power Championship 2015

SFC Green expressed gratitude to all those who assisted his efforts: “I just want to say thank you to all of my friends and family who support and help us do what we love to do. Thank you for all of the hard work, congratulations, and encouraging words. From the USAMU support team to the friends on the range and back home, I feel blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful people. THANK YOU!”

Here are the Top Ten Finishers, ranked by score for all Classifications:

1. SFC Brandon Green (HM) 2387-140X U.S. Army, Service Match Rifle
2. Norman Houle (HM) 2380-126X Civilian Match Rifle
3. SFC Shane Barnhart (HM) 2379-127X U.S. Army, Service Match Rifle
4. Rodrigo Rosa (HM) 2374-106X Civilian Match Rifle
5. MSG Robert Mango (HM) 2372-104X U.S. Army Reserve, Service Rifle (NRA Rule 3.1)
6. SGT Lee Bahten (HM) 2370-116X U.S. Army, Service Rifle (NRA Rule 3.1)
7. Joseph Hendricks (HM) 2369-82X Civilian Match Rifle
8. Ronald Zerr (HM) 2367-112X Civilian Match Rifle
9. CPT Samuel Freeman (HM) 2367-96X U.S Army Reserve, Service Rifle (NRA Rule 3.1)
10. Kenneth Lankford (HM) 2367-95X Civilian Match Rifle

CLICK HERE for Complete Results from NRA 2015 High Power National Championships.

2015 NRA High Power National Championships

2015 NRA High Power National Championships

Bernosky Forced to Withdraw Due to Medical Issues
Report by NRABlog.com
This is the second championship for SFC Green, whose first win came two years ago in 2013 after a tie with legendary shooter Carl Bernosky at 2384-126X each. Although both possessed the same point total and X-Count, Green was ultimately awarded the championship after a rulebook-mandated comparison of Xs at each distance gave him the advantage.

Bernosky, a ten-time NRA High Power Rifle champion, withdrew from this year’s competition after the first day (while in sole possession of first place) due to medical complications.

“This win is kind of bittersweet because Carl wasn’t able to be out here. We are pretty good friends and we’re both super competitive people so I wanted to shoot against him,” Green said. “Carl is one of the best competitors I’ve ever seen in this sport, Norm too, and it’s nice to be able to shoot with these guys every year.”

Range photos from 2015 HP Nat’l Championships courtesy NRABlog.com.

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
July 29th, 2015

Get $25 Gift Card with $100 Purchase at NRA Store

Discount Coupon NRA Store

Want to get a $25.00 store credit on a $100.00 purchase? Here’s how — use discount code “25NRASTORE” when shopping in the NRA’s online web-store now through September 13, 2015.

The NRA recently upgraded the NRAStore.com website. To encourage folks to try out the new site, the NRAStore is providing a FREE $25.00 gift card with all orders of $100 or more. If you purchase a minimum of $100 worth of gear, and you get $25 towards your next NRAstore purchase. Use promo code 25NRASTORE during checkout.Note: Gift card cannot be used towards initial or previous purchases. The Physical gift card will be delivered with order.

Here are three popular products from the NRA Store:

1. NRA Tactical Handgunner 4-gun Backpack, $119.95

Discount Coupon NRA Store

This specialty backpack features compartments for hearing protection, shooting glasses, stapler, tape, optics, and pistol magazines. The rigid lower compartment features a slide-out, four-gun foam cradle. Dimensions: 17” W x 22” H x 9” D.

2. The Ultimate Survival Manual: 333 Skills That Will Get You Out Alive, $24.95

Discount Coupon NRA Store

Outdoorsman Rich Johnson presents 333 key tips in this 256-page survival manual. Topics include first-aid, building a shelter, and putting together a “bug-out” bag.

3. Tri-Fold Gun Cleaning Mats. (Pistol $19.95, Rifle $29.95, Shotgun $39.95)

Discount Coupon NRA Store

This is a very nice mat. The waterproof exterior won’t absorb solvents, while the Tri-Fold design contains small parts when cleaning. Three sizes: Pistol (14” x 18”), Rifle (42” x 14”), and Shotgun (52” x 14”).

Discount Offer tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Hot Deals No Comments »
July 29th, 2015

Six Tips for Better Results at Club Matches

Every summer weekend, there are probably 400 or more club “fun matches” conducted around the country. One of the good things about these club shoots is that you don’t have to spend a fortune on equipment to have fun. But we’ve seen that many club shooters handicap themselves with a few common equipment oversights or lack of attention to detail while reloading. Here are SIX TIPS that can help you avoid these common mistakes, and build more accurate ammo for your club matches.

Benchrest rear bag1. Align Front Rest and Rear Bags. We see many shooters whose rear bag is angled left or right relative to the bore axis. This can happen when you rush your set-up. But even if you set the gun up carefully, the rear bag can twist due to recoil or the way your arm contacts the bag. After every shot, make sure your rear bag is aligned properly (this is especially important for bag squeezers who may actually pull the bag out of alignment as they squeeze).

Forum member ArtB adds: “To align my front rest and rear bag with the target, I use an old golf club shaft. I run it from my front rest stop through a line that crosses over my speed screw and into the slot between the two ears. I stand behind that set-up and make sure I see a straight line pointing at the target. I also have a piece of tape that I’ve placed on the golf shaft that indicates how far the back end of the rear bag should be placed from the front rest stop. Don’t have an old golf shaft? Go to Home Depot and buy an inexpensive piece of wood dowel.”

2. Avoid Contact Interference. We see three common kinds of contact or mechanical interference that can really hurt accuracy. First, if your stock has front and/or rear sling swivels make sure these do NOT contact the front or rear bags at any point of the gun’s travel. When a sling swivel digs into the front bag that can cause a shot to pop high or low. To avoid this, reposition the rifle so the swivels don’t contact the bags or simply remove the swivels before your match. Second, watch out for the rear of the stock grip area. Make sure this is not resting on the bag as you fire and that it can’t come back to contact the bag during recoil. That lip or edge at the bottom of the grip can cause problems when it contacts the rear bag. Third, watch out for the stud or arm on the front rest that limits forward stock travel. With some rests this is high enough that it can actually contact the barrel. We encountered one shooter recently who was complaining about “vertical flyers” during his match. It turns out his barrel was actually hitting the front stop! With most front rests you can either lower the stop or twist the arm to the left or right so it won’t contact the barrel.

3. Weigh Your Charges — Every One. This may sound obvious, but many folks still rely on a powder measure. Yes we know that most short-range BR shooters throw their charges without weighing, but if you’re going to pre-load for a club match there is no reason NOT to weigh your charges. You may be surprised at how inconsistent your powder measure actually is. One of our testers was recently throwing H4198 charges from a Harrell’s measure for his 30BR. Each charge was then weighed twice with a Denver Instrument lab scale. Our tester found that thrown charges varied by up to 0.7 grains! And that’s with a premium measure.

4. Measure Your Loaded Ammo — After Bullet Seating. Even if you’ve checked your brass and bullets prior to assembling your ammo, we recommend that you weigh your loaded rounds and measure them from base of case to bullet ogive using a comparator. If you find a round that is “way off” in weight or more than .005″ off your intended base to ogive length, set it aside and use that round for a fouler. (Note: if the weight is off by more than 6 or 7 grains you may want to disassemble the round and check your powder charge.) With premium, pre-sorted bullets, we’ve found that we can keep 95% of loaded rounds within a range of .002″, measuring from base (of case) to ogive. Now, with some lots of bullets, you just can’t keep things within .002″, but you should still measure each loaded match round to ensure you don’t have some cases that are way too short or way too long.

Scope Ring5. Check Your Fasteners. Before a match you need to double-check your scope rings or iron sight mounts to ensure everything is tight. Likewise, you should check the tension on the screws/bolts that hold the action in place. Even with a low-recoiling rimfire rifle, action screws or scope rings can come loose during normal shooting.

6. Make a Checklist and Pack the Night Before. Ever drive 50 miles to a match then discover you have the wrong ammo or that you forgot your bolt? Well, mistakes like that happen to the best of us. You can avoid these oversights (and reduce stress at matches) by making a checklist of all the stuff you need. Organize your firearms, range kit, ammo box, and shooting accessories the night before the match. And, like a good Boy Scout, “be prepared”. Bring a jacket and hat if it might be cold. If you have windflags, bring them (even if you’re not sure the rules allow them). Bring spare batteries, and it’s wise to bring a spare rifle and ammo for it. If you have just one gun, a simple mechanical breakdown (such as a broken firing pin) can ruin your whole weekend.

Permalink Tech Tip 6 Comments »
July 28th, 2015

Larry Vickers Speaks the Cruel Truth about Tacti-Cool Hardware

Training tactical tacti-cool accessories Larry Vickers AR15 Black rifle

Larry Vickers is a respected firearms trainer who has served with the U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF). In the course of teaching classes he’s learned that many gun owners waste money on impractical gun accessories. In his recent Ammoland.com article, “Don’t Be a Tacti-Cool Fool”, Vickers examines today’s trend of over-accessorizing firearms, particularly AR-platform rifles. Vickers doesn’t mince words… he states that too many people are spending too much money on poorly-designed hardware that may be “useless” at best.

Equipment Selection Advice from Larry Vickers
Every class I teach I see and hear students talking about the realization that some things about their gear and shooting in general just doesn’t add up on the range. Everything looks good in a Brownells Catalog but a significant amount of the parts and accessories offered on the market today are: a) useless; b) poorly designed; c) of questionable value; or d) downright dangerous.

No one is better at taking fully-functional, factory-made firearms and turning them into junk than a certain segment of the American gun-buying public.

Some people really don’t apply the common sense approach of not messing with what is potentially a life-saving tool. Sadly some of those same people will get on the Internet and talk bad about how the firearm they modified no longer functions and therefore is junk. Or they will recommend to fellow shooters the same parts and modifications they have used to turn their gun into, at best, a range toy.

Some of this shows up in my classes and usually by lunch on the first day the obvious flaws of the equipment at hand become apparent for everyone in the class, most of all to the owner of said equipment. It may have cost the shooter some money but in turn he learned a serious life lesson –be careful what you read on the Internet about firearms modifications and there is no substitute for shaking out your equipment at the range in a structured class.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you’ll learn more about guns and shooting in one class than you could in a month on the Internet.

READ about guns, gear, and shooting on the Internet. LEARN about guns, gear, and shooting on the range during well-thought-out and useful training. This approach is proven and consistently produces results and shooter confidence.

Training tactical tacti-cool accessories Larry Vickers AR15 Black rifle

Larry Vickers
Master Sergeant (Retired)
U.S. Army SOF Combat Veteran
http://vickerstactical.com

Larry Vickers is a retired U.S. Army Special Operations Forces veteran with 20+ years of service. Vickers served in Panama, the Middle East (Desert Storm), Somalia, Bosnia, and other locations. During his time with Delta Force, Vickers worked on weapons R&D, and served as a combat marksmanship instructor training new operational members of Delta.

Permalink Shooting Skills, Tactical 5 Comments »
July 28th, 2015

Congress Members Oppose Efforts to Deny Social Security Recipients’ Gun Rights

Gun Rights Social Security Congress Obama Administration Prohibited Persons NICS

Safeguarding Social Security Beneficiaries’ Second Amendment Rights
Nineteen members of the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee have challenged plans by the Obama administration to provide the names of disabled Social Security beneficiaries to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). This would result in the classification of these beneficiaries as “prohibited persons” who are not allowed to acquire firearms. The Representatives say this proposal would violate the spirit of the Americans with Disability Act and threaten the Constitutional rights of law-abiding older Americans.

In their joint letter to the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, the Representatives argue convincingly that plans to classify older citizens as “prohibited persons” for NICS purposes is unconstitutional:

It has come to our attention that the Social Security Administration is considering a policy to provide the names of Social Security beneficiaries who have a “representative payee” to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) in an effort to limit [their] Second Amendment rights. This would be a dangerous overreach, and we urge you to abandon any such plan.

The representative payee system is vital for beneficiaries who need assistance managing their own finances. Millions of responsible seniors and people with disabilities rely on a representative payee. Simply using this system does not mean beneficiaries are a risk to themselves or others.

Providing information on individuals who have a representative payee to the NICS is a broad overreach of authorities and violates beneficiaries’ constitutional rights. This policy runs counter to the aims of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA)[.]

Old age or a disability doesn’t make someone a threat to society. Having a representative payee should not be grounds to revoke constitutional rights. We strongly urge you to halt any steps to provide information on Social Security beneficiaries or Supplemental Security Income recipients to the NICS.

Permalink News 4 Comments »
July 27th, 2015

Eliseo F1 F-Class Chassis System Enters Production

Gary Eliseo Competition Machine F1 F-Open F-Class F-TR Chassis

The new F1 Chassis System from Competition Machine is now in production. This straight-line, all-metal chassis with ultra-low bore axis is optimized for F-Class competition. Designer/builder Gary Eliseo tell us that Competition Machine is now accepting F1 Chassis orders for fall 2015 delivery. To order or if you have questions, email Gary via his website contact page.

Gary tells us: “The new F1 Chassis System, designed specifically for F-Open class, has already begun to rack up awards. The system has several innovations that make it an excellent choice for your next build.” F1 Chassis has many design features that improve tracking and tame torque effect:

Low COG — Super low rider fore-end keeps the center of gravity as low as possible

Long Wheelbase — The long separation from front of stock to rear bag-rider improves tracking and reduces the tendency to jump or twist (torque).

Adjustable Offset — The bag-rider section of the fore-end can be adjusted left to right. This adjustable horizontal offset allows you to choose if you want the fore-end offset left, right or center.

Adaptable to All Shooters — The F1 Chassis System features adjustable length of pull, buttplate drop, and cheekpiece height.

Gary Eliseo Competition Machine F1 F-Open F-Class F-TR Chassis

Unique Bonded Barrel Block™ System
Stress is the enemy of accuracy. For this reason the F1 Chassis system features a “zero stress” barrel mounting system which uses a barrel block securely bonded to the barrel (with an epoxy-type adhesive). This allows the action to float, relieving all stress from the threaded joint between the barrel and action and all flexing of the action. With this unique “floating action” design, the F1 chassis is compatible with ANY round rifle action. Replacement barrel blocks are available so you can run multiple barreled actions with your F1 chassis. When it’s time to replace the barrel, the barrel block can be “unbonded” and adapted to a new, same-diameter barrel.

Permalink Competition, New Product 5 Comments »
July 27th, 2015

CMP National Rimfire Sporter Match at Camp Perry

CMP Rimfire Sporter Match Camp Perry

One of the most popular events at the Camp Perry National Matches is the CMP Rimfire Sporter Match. This will be held Saturday, August 1st, 2015 at Camp Perry. The match attracts shooters from 8 to 80 years, both novice competitors as well as experienced marksmen. Rimfire Sporter stresses fun, accessibility and practical marksmanship skills. It is a great game for shooters who want a target event that does not require expensive rifles or gear.

CMP Rimfire Sporter Match Camp Perry

Rimfire Sporter tests shooters’ skills in three different firing positions, at two different ranges, in both precision and rapid-fire shooting. During the match, competitors fire smallbore sporter rifles from 50 and 25 yards. Rifles may be manually operated or semi-automatic and supported with sights or a sling. Choose whatever sighting system you prefer — there are classes for both iron sights rigs and scoped rifle. Competitors will complete slow fire prone, rapid fire prone, slow fire sitting or kneeling, rapid fire sitting or kneeling, slow fire standing and rapid fire standing shot sequences. There is no minimum age for the match, but all competitors must be capable of safely completing a 60-shot course of fire.

Three different classifications of rifles will be used during the competition: “O Class” for open-sighted rifles, “T Class” for telescope-sighted rifles and the recently-added “Tactical Rimfire” class. High Juniors and Seniors, as well as Overall winners will be named for each class.

For those wanting to learn more about the match before firing, an instructional Rimfire Sporter Clinic will be held on Friday, July 31 from 4-6 p.m. to cover rules, Course of Fire, safety instructions, and competition procedures. This FREE CLINIC will include demonstrations and presentations by qualified members of the CMP. Competitors with no previous Rimfire Sporter Match experience are strongly encouraged to attend.

CMP Rimfire Sporter Match Camp Perry

To learn more about Rimfire Sporter Competition read AccurateShooter’s Guide to Rimfire Sporter Shooting. That comprehensive article explains match rules, rifle equipment standards, and the course of fire. In addition, the article illustrates the shooting positions, and explains how to start a rimfire sporter match at your local club.

Permalink News No Comments »
July 27th, 2015

M1 Garand Instructional Resources

M1 Garand match instruction video War Department

On his Firearm User Network website, our friend John Buol has published a series of resources for M1 Garand shooters. Buol says these informational articles and videos should benefit all Garand shooters: “Some are appropriate for pure beginners, while some a bit more advanced. None are very advanced.” The links were compiled with the help of John Tate.

Rifle Marksmanship with the M1 Garand Rifle

The film was made in 1942/43 for the War Department. It shows shooting positions and holding techniques for the M1 Garand. This informative video will help both novice Garand shooters as well as experts seeking a “refresher course”. The film focuses on the M1 Garand but the techniques can be applied to any rifle. The narration sounds a bit “corny” by today’s standards, but focus on the techniques shown and you’ll learn plenty.

M1 Garand Tips & Tricks series:

http://www.examiner.com/article/tips-and-tricks-for-the-m-1-garand

http://www.examiner.com/article/m-1-garand-tips-tricks-part-2-cleaning-lubrication-ammo-spare-parts

http://www.examiner.com/article/m-1-garand-tips-tricks-part-3-malfunctions-accuracy-improvements

Recommended M1 Garand Manual
Among the many M1 Garand manuals available, we recommend the CMP’s U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, M1: ‘Read This First’ Manual. This booklet covers take-down, reassembly, cleaning, lubrication, and operation. The manual is included with CMP rifles and is also available for just $3.00 from the CMP eStore. The author of Garand Tips & Tricks says: “It’s one of the best firearms manuals I’ve seen and I highly recommend it.”

M1 Garand match instruction video War Department

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July 26th, 2015

Big Bore Breakthrough — 30 Dasher for Group Shooting

Roy Hunter 30 Dasher Benchrest Rifle wood carbon fiber stock

Roy Hunter’s Brace of Two 30 Dashers
by Jeff Stover, IBS President
Short range benchrest at 100 and 200 yards is the domain of the 6PPC. Since 1978 that has been the case. Yes, an occasional 30BR, the King of Score Benchrest, will sometimes punch with the 6PPC in group competition. But a .30-caliber benchrest rifle will put you at a disadvantage in group shooting over the long haul — that’s certainly the conventional wisdom. Apparently, no one told Roy Hunter.

6PPC Group vs 30 Dasher Group at 200 yards — the “Fat Dasher” is definitely competitive.
Roy Hunter 30 Dasher Benchrest Rifle wood carbon fiber stock

Roy brought two rifles to the 2015 Group Nationals. Both were 30 Dashers. He did not even go with the milder 30 BR. The Dasher boasts more case capacity and, thus, more velocity. (The 30 Dasher is a 6mmBR improved with the neck expanded to .30 caliber and the shoulder blown forward). Speed comes at a price. That price is recoil, especially in a 10.5-pound rifle, such as Light Varmint and Sporter (same as LV but with at least a 6mm bore). Roy can handle the Dasher even in a 10.5-lb gun. The target above shows a sub-.300” group at 200 yards compared to a 6PPC group at the same distance. The larger cartridge and .308 bore CAN compete with a 6PPC – at least in the hands of a benchrest ace like Roy.

Roy Hunter 30 Dasher Benchrest Rifle wood carbon fiber stock

Roy’s 30 Dasher in 10.5-lb trim boasts a 1:17″-twist Pac-Nor barrel. Roy shoots Euber 116gr .30-Cal bullets over 38 grains of H4198. That load is good for nearly 3300 fps. This rifle, shown above, has a distinctive stained Butternut finish.

The stocks on Roy’s rifles are his own, made in his shop near Gettysburg, PA. Before Roy Hunter was a premier benchrest stockmaker he built museum-quality 18th Century-style furniture, following Chippendale patterns and the like. Now he just makes benchrest-style stocks (benchrest only — there’s no time to make hunting stocks). The fit and finish are as good as it gets. Roy’s stocks combine old world craftsmanship with high-tech construction. Roy uses Butternut wood, English Walnut, and other woods laminated with carbon fiber. His 10.5-lb rifle is Butternut, while his 13.5-lb rifle is Walnut — and they both shoot superbly! If you are interested in a Roy Hunter stock, the best way to reach Roy is by phone: 410-259-7944.

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July 25th, 2015

Match Report: 2015 IBS Group Nationals in Pennsylvania

IBS Group Benchrest Nationals Union County Weikert PA Pennsylvania 6PPC 30 Dasher Tony Boyer

IBS Group Nationals — July 13-18, 2015

Report by IBS President Jeff Stover
The ancient benchrest alchemists once predicted a perfect storm for small groups. The recipe is: one part near ideal shooting conditions, 90 of the best benchrest shooters in North America and mix with the shooters’ best barrels and bullets. Place the entire concoction at the shooting benches for seven minutes at time. The result in Heavy Varmint (13.5-lb rifles) at 100 yards, for example, was that the top 17 shooters averaged under .200 for their five targets! Yes, nearly the entire Top 20 in HV100 shot a “teen agg”. Ten or fifteen years ago, that would have been unthinkable. Sure, the winners or top two or three would be in that rarefied air, but not half of an entire relay of 40 shooters. Remarkable.

Bill Sutton of Hart Rifle Barrels
IBS Group Benchrest Nationals Union County Weikert PA Pennsylvania 6PPC 30 Dasher Tony Boyer

IBS Group Nationals Full Results (XLS Spreadsheet) | IBS Group Nationals Equipment List

IBS Group Benchrest Nationals Union County Weikert PA Pennsylvania 6PPC 30 Dasher Tony Boyer Another landmark of the 2015 IBS Nationals was that 17-year-old Wyatt Peinhardt of Quarryville, PA won the 200-yard stage of Heavy Bench. That meant he earned his first point toward the U. S. Benchrest Hall of Fame (HOF). You need ten to get in, but young Wyatt has plenty of time to get the other nine. He is no ‘flash in pan’. The young Mr. Peinhardt has been shooting since 2009 and now runs full speed with the big dogs of the sport. He was in the Top 20 in this year’s Super Shoot 2-gun results. Frequently he battles his dad, Jeff for supremacy at the bench. Strangely enough, here at Weikert in the Sporter Grand Aggregate (average of five targets at both 100 and 200 yards) Wyatt and his father tied right down to four decimal places: 0.2317!

Six Days of Competition with Four Classes
Some say that the Group Nationals are a marathon — six long days of competition at both 100 and 200 yards with four classes of rifles: Light Varmint (10.5 lb); Sporter (10.5 lb – 6mm minimum caliber); Heavy Varmint (13.5 lb) and Heavy Bench (known as ‘Unlimited’ in NBRSA-land). The first three are simply known as the “bag guns”. Most competitors use a 10.5-lb rifle in 6PPC and compete in all three classes. The Heavy Bench (HB) class requires 10-shot groups as opposed to the 5-shot ones for the bag guns. There is no prohibition to shooting your 10.5-pound rifle in HB, but a shooter is simply outclassed by the rail guns, especially for 10-shot groups.

IBS Group Benchrest Nationals Union County Weikert PA Pennsylvania 6PPC 30 Dasher Tony Boyer

As mentioned, the week’s weather was very good. After what seemed like weeks of on and off rain, the central Pennsylvania weather gods smiled on what is considered one of the most beautiful ranges in the USA. The shooters had nice sunshine and instead of the usual Weikert blow, they were treated to light zephyrs. It was a glorious week to be at a rifle match.

IBS Group Benchrest Nationals Union County Weikert PA Pennsylvania 6PPC 30 Dasher Tony Boyer

Course of Fire — First 100, then 200
The sequence of competition groups has 100-yard targets shot the first three days followed by three days at 200 yards. It is done this way to require only one change of wind flags. Nationals competition requires ‘full rotation’. That means that every time a shooter goes to the line for the next match target, he or she must move a requisite number of benches to the right. At the end of the day a shooter will shoot across the full width of the line. Some ranges offer unique properties that render some parts of the range harder or easier to shoot small groups. Bench rotation is important to even out those factors.

IBS Group Benchrest Nationals Union County Weikert PA Pennsylvania 6PPC 30 Dasher Tony Boyer

Monday morning saw the Heavy Bench (HB) shooters hauling the big rail guns to the line. Old pro Jack Neary led the way at 100 yards with .2186 Aggregate. The 200-yard stage for HB would not be held until Saturday morning. The winner there, of course, was Wyatt Peinhardt with his .2993 (MOA conversion for 200-yard scores). On Tuesday the bags guns came out for Light Varmint (LV) and Sporter (SP). Conditions allowed for quite a few very good groups. The top thirteen shooters in Sporter shot ‘teen aggs’ with Bart Sauter leading the way at a .1666. In Light Varmint, Wayne Campbell shot a tiny .1556. Both his warm-up and first record target were in the ‘zeroes’ (.096 and .088)!

Wednesday’s 100-yard Heavy Varmint match enjoyed what were probably the best conditions of the week. You needed to average under .200 for five targets to finish in the Top 20 or nearly so. Harley Baker won with a .1616. The talk in the loading area was Baker’s fourth record target — a tiny 0.050 bughole centered right in the center ring (usually called the ‘mothball’). It was probably the prettiest target most had ever seen. Better yet, the standing IBS HV 100 record is a 0.052 shot way back in 1980. Harley’s target is being submitted to the IBS Measuring Committee as a potential IBS record.

IBS Group Benchrest Nationals Union County Weikert PA Pennsylvania 6PPC 30 Dasher Tony Boyer

Wednesday afternoon saw the moving of flags for the 200-yard stage of the competition. The SP and LV 200-yard targets were Thursday’s course of fire. In LV, Andy Shifflett shot a .1966 Aggregate to pick up a HOF point. At 200 yards, Aggregates are logged in MOA units. Therefore, Andy’s .1966 Aggregate translates to an average 200-yard target measurement of slightly less than .400″. The afternoon was reserved for SP targets. Billy Stevens shot a .2060 to win the afternoon’s contest.

Powderpuff Event at the IBS Group Nationals
For decades IBS has hosted an exhibition shoot on the afternoon of a day when only one Aggregate is contested instead of two. It is called the Powderpuff and is intended to allow family members and others that do not shoot competitively to give benchrest shooting a try. Each shooter is assisted by a coach who instructs the shooter. World-class shooters such as Gene Bukys and Lester Bruno give their time and talents to assist novice shooters. There is no time limit to rattle the inexperienced shooters.

2015 Powderpuff Winners Jaydin Johnson (left) and Pam Campbell (right)
IBS Group Benchrest Nationals Union County Weikert PA Pennsylvania 6PPC 30 Dasher Tony Boyer

IBS benchrest Powderpuff Youth match Weikert PA Group Nationals

Barbara Hottenstein continued as the Powderpuff chair and assembled a large array of awards and prizes. The competition is financially supported by the IBS President’s Fund. This year we had 12 youth and adult competitors. Pam Campbell won the adult category while Jaydin Johnson (shown above with coach Nancy Scarbrough) won the youth division.

On Friday, a single Aggregate of five record targets were shot-for Heavy Varmint (HV) at 200 yards. Harley Baker had his mojo working with a .1896 Aggregate. That performance, coupled with Harley’s .1616 at 100 yards meant that his average in the HV class was a .1756 Grand Aggregate. That is small. Really small.

On Friday afternoon, many of the awards for bag guns were given out. Saturday was reserved for HB 200. Since some of the bag gun shooters do not shoot a rail gun, a number of competitors left Friday afternoon. The rail guns came out to contest 200 yards on the last day of the Nationals. The winner was Wyatt Peindardt. His .2993 was the only Aggregate under .300. Wayne Campbell was second with a .3028. Winning the HB Grand Aggregate was two-time Super Shoot winner, Larry Costa.

IBS Group Benchrest Nationals Union County Weikert PA Pennsylvania 6PPC 30 Dasher Tony Boyer

IBS recognizes Aggregate performances as follows: Grand (100 + 200) Aggregates in each of four classes; Two-Gun (all HV and LV targets in 100 + 200); Three-gun (HV, LV, SP in 100 + 200) and 4-gun (HV, LV, SP and HB in 100 + 200). In the multi-guns, Harley Baker won the Two-Gun. Gene Bukys added more HOF points by winning the Three-Gun. In the Four-Gun, Virginia’s Wayne Campbell who took the overall four-class Agg with an excellent .2326.

CLICK HERE for Full 2015 Group Nationals Results on IBS Website.

Praise for the Range Crew and Sponsors
The IBS Group Nationals requires a ton of work to run smoothly. The Weikert range’s sparkplugs are Mark Trutt and Dale Boop. This shoot does not happen without those two. This year’s registration and general admin fell to Nancy Scarbrough, who ran a flawless operation. She was assisted by Will Baylor in the scoring and by Stacy Hynes. Steve Dodge oversaw the entire target crew while Larry Hertzog alternated with Mark Trutt as Range Officer.

The benchrest cottage industry should be commended for giving back to the shooters. This year’s sponsors included: BAT actions, Black Hills Shooters Supply, Boops Sporting Goods, Bruno Shooters Supply, Hart Rifle Barrels, Jewel Triggers, JDS Bullets, K&M Precision Shooting, Krieger Rifle Barrels, L. E. Wilson, Pacific Tool & Gauge, and Shilen Rifle Barrels.

Parting Shot — Some Competitors tried to keep up with work while reloading …
IBS Group Benchrest Nationals Union County Weikert PA Pennsylvania 6PPC 30 Dasher Tony Boyer

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July 25th, 2015

‘Also-Ran’ Cartridges — The .244 Remington (aka 6mm Rem)

6mm Remington .244 Rem .243 Winchester .308 Cartridge AccurateShooter Chuck Hawks Sierra Bullets

What we now know as the “6mm Remington” was originally called the .244 Remington. The cartridge was renamed because it was not a commercial success initially, being eclipsed by the .243 Winchester. The .244 Remington and the 6mm Remington are identical — only the name was changed. Why was the .244 Remington an “also-ran” to the .243 Win? Sierra Bullets Ballistics Technician Paul Box provides some answers…

Was Anything Wrong With The .244 Remington?

by Ballistic Technician Paul Box for Sierra Bullets Blog

The year was 1955. A time of carhops, drive-in movies, and Buffalo Bob. It was also the year that Winchester introduced the .243 Win and Remington counter-punched with the .244 Remington (now more commonly known as the 6mm Remington). The .243 Win was based off the time-proven .308 Win case while Remington chose the old war horse, the 7×57.

We’ve all read countless times how Winchester chose the 1:10″ twist, while Remington adopted the 1:12″ twist for their .244 Rem rifles. The first complaint in the gun magazines of that era was how the faster twist Winchester could handle 100 grain bullets, while Remington’s [12-twist factory rifles were supposedly limited to 90 grain bullets].

The first complaint I remember reading was that the 100-grainer was better suited for deer-sized game and the 1:12″-twist wouldn’t stabilize bullets in this weight range. Now, let’s look at this a little closer. Anybody that thinks a 100-grainer is a deer bullet and a 95-grainer isn’t, has been drinking too much Kool-aid. In all honesty, it’s all about bullet construction and Remington had constructed the [90s] with light game in mind. In other words, Remington got it right, but due to a lack of knowledge at the time on both bullet construction and stability, the .244 never gained the popularity it deserved. At that time, Sierra had the 100gr SMP and Hornady offered a 100gr RN that would both stabilize in the slower 1-12″ twist. The .244 Remington provides another classic example of how the popularity of a cartridge suffered due to a lack of knowledge.

.244 Rem vs. .243 Win — What the Experts Say
Respected gun writer Chuck Hawks says the .244 Remington deserved greater acceptance: “The superb 6mm Remington started life in 1955, the same year as the .243 Winchester. It was originally named the .244 Remington. Although the 6mm lost the popularity contest to the .243, it is one of my favorite rifle cartridges, and much appreciated by reloaders generally. The .244 Rem and 6mm Rem cartridges are completely interchangable, and anyone with a .244 Rem rifle can shoot [6mm Rem] ammunition in complete safety (or vice-versa). Remington .244 rifles made from 1958 on can stabilize all 6mm bullets, while those made in 1955 through 1957 are limited to loads using spitzer bullets not heavier than 90 grains for best accuracy.”

Nathan Foster, author of The Practical Guide to Long Range Hunting Cartridges, states: “In 1963 Remington attempted to regain ground by releasing .244 rifles with a new 1:9″ twist to handle heavier bullets. The cartridge was renamed the 6mm Remington and new ammunition was loaded giving the hunter the choice of either an 80gr bullet for varmints or a 100gr bullet for deer. In comparison to the .243 Win, factory loads for the .244/6mm Remington are slightly more powerful while hand loads increase this margin further.”

6mm Remington .244 Rem .243 Winchester .308 Cartridge AccurateShooter Chuck Hawks Sierra Bullets

Was the .244 Remington Actually Better than the .243 Winchester?
The .244 Remington (aka “6mm Remington”) has a velocity advantage over the .243 Winchester due to a slightly larger case capacity. The longer case neck of the .244 Remington is considered desirable by handloaders. We like the added capacity and long neck of the original .244 Remington. As renamed the “6mm Remington”, the cartridge HAS developed a following, particularly with varmint hunters looking for a high-velocity 6mm option. But it never achieved the success of the .243 Winchester for many reasons. As a member of the .308 family of cartridges, the .243 Winchester has certain obvious advantages. First, you can simply neck down .308 Win brass, which was available at low cost from many sources. Moreover, a .308 Win or 7mm-08 full-length sizing die could be used for body sizing. Still the .244 Remington (6mm Remington) presents an interesting “what if?” story…

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July 25th, 2015

Amazing Slow-Motion Video Shows Bullet Impacts

werner mehl kurzzeit.com high speed slow motion bullet video

Want to see a bullet hit a target in ultra-ultra-slow motion? Watch this video to witness some amazing things — such as a bullet jacket peeling back like a banana-skin (at time-mark 7:30). A while back, Werner Mehl of Kurzzeit.com produced a 10-minute video for the SHOT Show. This video has has been watched over 10.6 million times, making it one of the most popular shooting-related videos in history. Employing cameras recording at up to 1,000,000 (one million) frames per second, Mehl’s bullet flight video has been called “astounding” and “mesmerizing”. If you haven’t seen it yet, sit back and enjoy!

LINK: Kurzzeit.com Video System and PVM-21 Chronograph
Click the link above to learn more about Werner Mehl and his super-sophisticated camera systems that can record at 1,000,000 frames per second. On the same linked page you can learn about the advanced PVM-21 chronograph (now sold as the BMC-19) designed by Werner. Operating “all-infrared, all the time”, the PVM-21/BMC-19 is the best optical chronograph we have tested for very low light conditions, or very tricky light conditions.

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July 24th, 2015

F-Open Shooter Turns to the “Dark Side”… F-TR Competition

jaychris3

Jay Christopherson, our Forum admin and dedicated F-Open shooter, recently ventured to the “dark side”, crossing disciplines and trying his hand at F-TR, shooting off a bipod. Jay wasn’t using just any old F-TR rig. He used a purpose-built rifle, designed to mimic the handling of his Open rifle. With this rig, Jay won two of the three matches he’s shot in, including the F-TR division at the Washington State Long Range Championships. Jay’s last 600-yard match featured two clean scores with excellent X-Counts, including a 200-13X and a 200-15X (one off the national record) for a total score of 599-36X.

The 2015 Washington State Long Range Championships was held at the infamous “Rattlesnake” range in Richland, WA, which has some of the most challenging wind conditions in the USA. At the LR Championships, shooting his .308 Win F-TR rig, Jay was right up there with the F-Open shooters. Until the final relay, Jay was within three points of the overall F-Open leader, and still finished second overall in X-Count and score. This demonstrates the capability of a state-of-the-art F-TR rig.

In this story, Jay describes his F-TR rifle and set-up. Knowledgeable readers will recognize that Jay’s gun is similar to John Pierce-built rigs successfully fielded by Michigan F-TR Team shooters.

JOINING THE “DARK SIDE”

by Jay Christopherson
I originally decided to build a F-TR rifle to shoot at local mid-range club matches. I keep burning through F-Open barrels (and components) because I shoot a lot more local club matches than “big” matches – maybe 2:1 or 3:1. The end result is that I’d be endlessly tweaking loads and burning up barrels and I just got tired of it. The endless tweaking also caused me some trouble at large matches and I thought shooting a .308 Win would be more “relaxing” from a technical point of view.  It’s a very well understood round at this point.

I’d been kicking around the idea of shooting F-TR for a couple of years, but I didn’t want an F-TR rig that handled completely different than my Open gun. I didn’t want to learn different habits from a different stock or position that would cause issues on race day. I use a Terry Leonard/Speedy Gonzales designed F-Class Open stock that is designed more along benchrest lines than the traditional prone stocks you see most F-Class shooters using. I don’t like to use any hand grip at all and my preferred position is very light pressure into the shoulder and just enough cheek touch to index. So, when I saw Eric Stecker at the 2014 Berger SWN (and later Bryan Litz) shooting an F-TR rig that was designed along the same lines, I decided to get serious about it.

The Stock is the Secret
The stock is a Scoville carbon-fiber-over-balsa model set up for a Panda action (which I had on hand). This stock is extremely stiff and stable. I purpose-built the rifle to shoot 215gr Berger bullets and I knew that I would keep my velocity relatively low-ish – in the 2500+ fps range. If I ran those 215s much faster, the recoil would become an issue for me. I bought and chambered a Benchmark 1:9″-twist barrel, in a heavier-than-normal contour. This was finished at 28″. I custom-throated the chamber with a PTG .30 Cal Uni-Throater to accommodate the longer-than-normal OAL I wanted.

F-TR rifle Jay Christopherson Washington Long-Range Championship

I modified my Phoenix bipod based on some of the pictures I’ve seen of John Pierce’s modifications and after talking to John at the 2015 Berger SWN. I sure do appreciate how open he is with the modifications he’s done. I doubt I would have thought of putting together a rifle like this without his example.

Proofing at Mid-Range
From the get-go, this F-TR rifle has been a shooter. It handles extremely well, and recoil is not a problem at my velocities. The 215s still maintain a significant wind advantage over the more usual 155gr and 185gr bullets at long distances. Ballistics Performance is not quite in the same class as the 7MM 180gr bullets I shoot in my F-Open rifle, but not that far off either.

Below is a 300-yard target shot while proofing my load in preparation for 600-yard matches. I decided to shoot a “match” string (2 “sighters” + 20 “record” shots). Looking at this target, I’m thinking that if I had clicked left one or two clicks, this might have been a 200-20X.

F-TR rifle Jay Christopherson Washington Long-Range Championship

On Race Day
I’ve shot three matches with my F-TR rifle now, two 600-yard club matches and the WA State Long Range Championships at the infamous “Rattlesnake” range in Richland, WA. The LR Championship was the first time I’ve shot the rifle at long range. At the 600-yard club matches, I’ve had several “cleans”, including a 200-13X and a 200-15X (finishing 599-36X at the last one, which is just within my normal Open scoring range). At the WA State Long Range Championship, I managed to win the F-TR division in extremely hot conditions (100+ degrees over two days of shooting) and managed to post the second highest X-count and finish second overall among all F-Class shooters (F-Open and F-TR combined). I was “in the running” for the overall win until the last relay.

Seduced by the “Dark Side” — The Lure of F-TR
I still plan to shoot my Open rifle at “big” matches, but I doubt I’ll be able to leave the F-TR rifle in the safe for all of them. My reference to the “dark side” is an inside joke between myself and another shooter. I kept saying that shooting F-TR was just for fun… that I wasn’t taking it too seriously. However, the more I shoot F-TR, the deeper into the “Dark Side” I seem to fall. F-TR is a different animal than F-Open (I use a Nascar vs. Formula 1 analogy), but it’s addicting. And not having to carry 30 pounds of front rest doesn’t make me sad when I’m traveling!

F-TR rifle Jay Christopherson Washington Long-Range Championship

Top Three F-TR shooters at WA State Championships: Jay Christopherson (Winner), Monte Milanuk (second), and Laton Crawford (third).

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July 24th, 2015

Ray Gets His Gun… With New McMillan F-TR Stock

F-TR McMillan stock Bix 'N Andy Ray Gross

USA F-TR Team Captain has a new competition rifle, which features the brand new McMillan F-TR stock. Ray is very pleased… “It’s like Christmas”, he says. The reduced mass of the new McMillan stock helps F-TR shooters “make weight” more easily. Ray tells us:

“This McMillan stock really changes the weight budget. Kelly McMillan updated his three-way buttplate design to make it substantially lighter and the stock itself has a very light fill. Fully assembled, with a 29″ HV-contour barrel (.900″ at muzzle), Duplin bipod, and Nightforce NXS scope, the rig is about 10 ounces under weight. Switch to a Nightforce Competition scope and it will be 14-15 ounces under.” Ray says he could run a slightly longer barrel and still make weight.

Initially, Ray will install a Jewell trigger in the rifle, but he hopes to try out a Bix ‘N Andy trigger in the future. Made in Austria, the advanced Bix ‘N Andy trigger (shown below), features ball bearing internals for an ultra-smooth, creep-free pull and very short lock time.

F-TR McMillan stock Bix 'N Andy Ray Gross

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July 23rd, 2015

U.S. Shooters Help South Africans After Match Ammo Seized

Palma Long Rnage World Championships US Customs ATF South Africa Ray Gross

Story Based on Report by NSSF
American shooters, along with Brownells and Redding, are providing help to the South African Palma (Target Rifle) team members, who will be competing at the Long Range World Championships at Camp Perry in early August, 2015. The ability of the South Africans to compete has been jeopardized by the unexpected seizure of their pre-shipped match ammo by U.S. Customs and ATF. We don’t know why the Feds seized the South Africans’ match ammo, but without it, the South African Team’s ability to participate in the Long Range World Championships has been threatened.

To rectify this situation, American F-TR and Palma shooters, backed by Brownells and Redding, have secured reloading equipment (presses, dies) and ammo components (brass, bullets, powder) so that the South Africans can assemble the needed .308 Win ammo on their arrival in the USA at the end of July.

F-TR Palma World Championships US Customs ATF South Africa Ray GrossAccording to industry sources, the shipment of match ammo for the South African Palma team was seized at the U.S. port of entry by U.S. Customs and ATF agents. When Ray Gross, captain of the U.S. F-TR rifle team, learned about this, Ray contacted Geoff Esterline, Product Category Manager at Brownells. Esterline immediately turned to Robin Sharpless, Executive VP of Redding Reloading, for help.

“I won’t go into the full list of presses and accessories we’ve gathered up, but I can say it’s extensive,” Sharpless told NSSF. “A member of the U.S. F-TR team who lives near Camp Perry has agreed to take our shipment and those from Brownells and the other companies providing brass, powder and bullets so that, when the South African team arrives in the U.S. during the last days of July, they can get started immediately on hand-loading. The U.S. team is even building benches for the press setups, so the South African team should be able to knock this out and get to the more important task at hand, and that is shooting at Camp Perry.”

The 2015 Palma Match and Long Range World Championships will be held August 3-15, in conjunction with the annual NRA National Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio.

Ray Gross reports: “The folks who deserve credit for this are the members of the U.S. Palma Team, Ryan Henning, Geoff Esterline of Brownells, and the folks at Redding. Members of the Palma team had donated much of the needed equipment within hours of U.S. Palma Team Captain Dennis Flaharty putting the word out.

My contribution was limited to a few emails to Brownells. They coordinated with Redding to provide the remaining equipment. This is a great example of international shooting camaraderie, but my part in it was very small.”

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July 23rd, 2015

Steyr SSG Carbon Rifle with Chipped Carbon SMC Stock

Steyr sniper ssg carbon stock .308 Win trigger

First revealed at SHOT Show 2014, the Steyr SSG Carbon is finally making its way to America. It took Steyr 16 months to fill a large quantity of LEO orders, but now the innovative Steyr SSG Carbon should be available throughout the USA for $3695.00 MSRP. That sounds pretty expensive, but this is a very sophisticated rifle.

Here’s a very cool video — worth watching full-screen in HD.

The SSG Carbon is based on Steyr’s SBS action (with a +20 MOA rail on top). This gun features the same crisp, adjustable single-stage trigger used in the vaunted SSG 08. The rifle has a hammer-forged, four-groove 1:10″-twist barrel (20″ or 22.4″) chambered for the .308 Winchester. The SSG Carbon rifle offers excellent ergos, with adjustable cheek piece, adjustable butt plate, and an integrated adjustable rear mono-pod. But the real selling point for this rifle is the stock — a carbon stock built like a Formula 1 car chassis.

Chipped Carbon Stock Construction
Unlike conventional carbon-fiber stocks made from woven carbon fabric, the SSG Carbon’s stock is made using the same “chipped-carbon” Sheet Molding Compound (SMC) construction used to create load-bearing structures in Formula 1 racecars and high-performance aircraft. The SSG Carbon’s chipped-carbon flakes combine thermally with the binding agent to form the SMC for a distinctive appearance to the stock. The carbon chips interlock with each other to create a “tension net” that is superior to steel, at a fraction of the weight of steel or even aluminum. Steyr claims that the SMC stock material absorbs recoil better than wood, metal, fiberglass or other synthetics.

Steyr SSG Carbon Features
Caliber: .308 Winchester
Magazine type/capacity: Polymer double-stack detachable box/10 rounds
Finish: Mannox
Safety: 3+1 Position Safety
Trigger type: Single-stage, 3 lb. 8 oz. pull-weight
Stock material/type: SMC carbon fiber
Length of pull: 14.25 inches minimum (adjustable with 0.33″ inserts)
Comb adjustments: 0.5 inches longitudinal; 0.133 inch lateral (rotationally adjustable)
Drop at heel: +1.07 to -3.8 inches vertical adjustment
Pistol grip: Polymer with interchangeable rubber inserts

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