November 28th, 2017

World Benchrest Shooting Championship in New Zealand

2017 World Benchrest Championship Nelson New Zealand
Photo courtesy Australia WBC 2017 Team

The World Benchrest Shooting Championship (WBC) was held in New Zealand earlier this month. The 14th WBC was conducted November 7-11, 2017 at the Packers Creek Range, Nelson, New Zealand. The match was hosted by the Nelson Branch of the New Zealand Deerstalkers Association on behalf of the World Benchrest Shooting Federation (WBSF). There were 76 competitors from 14 nations. Many competitors said this was one of the prettiest ranges they had ever seen. The Kiwi hosts put on a great event in a beautiful South Island shooting venue.

There were both individual and team awards. The Australian Benchrest Team 1 took top honors in the Two-Gun Team Match. Congrats to the Aussies, who had a great team effort to post a winning 0.283212 Agg. Finishing Second in the Two-Gun Overall was Team US1 with 0.286112. The 4-Man US1 Squad also won the Heavy Varmint Team Competition with a 0.270162 Agg, while the US2 foursome won the Light Varmint Team title with a 0.290925 Agg.

Standing atop the podium (center) are the four members of Team Australia 1, winners of the 2017 WBSF Team Championship:
2017 World Benchrest Championship Nelson New Zealand

Championship Organizer Graeme Smith said that the Championship got away to a cracking start with Kiwi shooter Greg Couper winning the Light Varmint Small Group contest with a Group of .076, just over the current world record. Overall the day was won by American Wayne Campbell, who was in hot form having recently won the USA Nationals. Day 2 provided the only new World Record shot at the Championship with Australia’s Steve Sori shooting a new Small Group record at 200 yards of 0.138, well under the existing WBSF record of .160. Mike Conry of the USA led the field for the day. The next two days followed the previous pattern with Wayne Campbell taking the Heavy Varmint 100-yard contest and Mike Conry the 200-yard event. The most sought-after medals were for the Two-Gun Aggregate, covering four days of competition. Mike Conry dominated the field, winning the Gold Medal, followed by Wayne Campbell taking Silver, and David Kerr of Australia earning Bronze.

In short-range benchrest, final standings can turn on a few thousands of an inch, so groups must be measured with great precision.
2017 World Benchrest Championship Nelson New Zealand
Photo Courtesy AMP Annealing.

Shooting in Paradise…
The Packers Creek Range outside Nelson is a lovely shooting venue.
World Benchrest Championship Nelson New Zealand 2017 world record

The “top gun” at the match was American Mike Conry from Texas. Mike won the Heavy Varmint Grand Agg as well as the Two Gun Overall Aggregate. Mike received glory, medals, and most importantly, a new AMP Annealing machine from the New Zealand-based manufacturer, AMP Annealing. AMP’s President, Alex Findlay told us: “Mike Conry was definitely the dominant shooter. By the end of the awards he was just about weighed down with all the medals around his neck.”

WBC 2017 Equipment List | WBC 2017 Teams 2-Gun Aggregate Results | WBC Match Results

U.S. shooters filled the podium for the 200-yard Heavy Varmint. Winner Mike Conry (0.2458), flanked by Gene Bukys (R) and Ed Adams (L). Conry was also top individual shooter at the 2017 WBC, winning the Two-Gun Overall, as well as the HV Grand Agg.

World Benchrest Championship Nelson New Zealand 2017 world record

Top Individual Winners at 2017 World Benchrest Championships
Two-Gun First Place: Mike Conry (USA) – 0.2597
Two-Gun Second Place: Wayne Campbell (USA) – 0.2655
Two-Gun Third Place: David Kerr (AUS) – 0.2795
Two-Gun Fourth Place: Mitchell Tallar (AUS) – 0.2813
Two-Gun Fifth Place: Larry Costa (USA) – 0.2833

World Benchrest Championship Nelson New Zealand 2017 world recordAussie Steve Sori Sets Record
There were some ultra-small groups shot at the match. Shown below is an amazing 200-yard 5-shot Light Varmint Group shot by Australian Steve Sori. This tiny 0.138 group is a pending new World Benchrest Shooting Federation Record. Steve’s LV rig featured a BAT action, 1:13.5″-twist Krieger barrel, Scoville stock, and March High Master 48X scope. The cartridge was the 6PPC (of course), with Bart’s 68gr Bullets pushed by N133 and Federal 205m primers in Lapua Brass. Bullet-maker Bart Sauter is a Forum Member — its’ great to see his bullets perform so well at the WBC.

While this was an internationally-sanctioned match, the yardages shot were 100 yards and 200 yards. This was NOT a Metric Match with targets at 100m and 200m.

World Benchrest Championship Nelson New Zealand 2017 world record

Record Target and Range Photos courtesy Team Australia WBC 2017 Facebook Page.

American competitor Wayne Campbell watches a 100-yard Heavy Varmint Relay.
World Benchrest Championship Nelson New Zealand 2017 world record

Shooters from 14 nations came to New Zealand’s South Island to compete. Match Director Graeme Smith said the weather for New Zealand spring time could hardly been better with one wet day in 10 (including the practice days).
2017 World Benchrest Championship Nelson New Zealand

2017 World Benchrest Championship Nelson New Zealand

The reloading tent was full of equipment. In this discipline, most shooters load at the match between relays. That enables them to tune their loads to the conditions.
World Benchrest Championship Nelson New Zealand 2017 world record

Parting Shot — Little Emily Has Fun in New Zealand

Emily, an English schoolgirl, traveled with Team UK to help her father Bruce Lenton who was shooting in the competition. Emily provided updates on social media during the match. Emily does shoot benchrest matches (Read Story), but she was not shooting for Team UK on this trip.

World Benchrest Championship Nelson New Zealand 2017 world record

Vince Bottomley reports: “Emily was a huge hit over in NZ — she was given the honor of hoisting the New Zealand flag at the opening ceremony, she drove the target changer’s buggy, did some impressive shirt-swapping.” Here she is wearing a Team Canada Jersey — a bit big for pint-size Emily.

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November 28th, 2017

How To Pull Bullets Using Press-Mounted Collet Tools

Collet Bullet Puller Hornady RCBS Press Mount Reloading

Do you have some ammo that got loaded incorrectly, perhaps with the wrong powder? Then you’ll want to disassemble the ammo for safety’s sake. You can use an impact puller to do this task, but if you have more than a dozen rounds or so, you may prefer to use a collet-style bullet puller. These work very quickly and positively, making quick work of big jobs. The efficiency of the collet-style puller is worth the investment if you frequently disassemble ammo. These devices retail for under $25.00 (collets sold separately). Normally, you’ll need a specific collet for each bullet diameter. But collets are not that costly, so this isn’t a big deal, particularly if you only load a few calibers, such as .223, 6mm, and .308.

Hornady and RCBS use different mechanisms to tighten the collet around the bullet. On Hornady’s Cam-Lock Bullet Puller, a lever-arm on the top of the bullet puller serves to tighten the collet around the bullet. Simply rotate the lever from the vertical to the horizontal position to grab the bullet. Lower the ram to remove the case. The bullet will drop out when you return the lever arm to the vertical position. This is demonstrated in the video below:

Hornady Cam-Lock Bullet Puller Demonstrated

Collet bullet-pullers resemble a loading die with a lever or handle on the top. They screw into a standard reloading press. Hornady and RCBS both make collet-style bullet pullers. They use the same basic principle — the device tightens a collet around the bullet, and then the bullet is separated from the case by lowering the press ram. NOTE: Collet pullers may leave small marks on your bullets, unlike impact (kinetic) pullers.*

Hornady collet bullet pullerLike the Hornady tool, the RCBS Bullet Puller employs a collet to grab the bullet. However, the RCBS tool tightens the collet in a different way. The head of the RCBS tool is threaded internally. By rotating the lever arm clockwise in a horizontal circle you squeeze the collet around the bullet. To remove the bullet, after lowering the press ram, simply spin the lever arm back in the opposite direction. The use of the RCBS tool is demonstrated in this video:

RCBS Collet Bullet Puller Demonstrated:

WARNING: When removing bullets from loaded cartridges, always make sure there are no obstructions or debris in your shell-holder or under the loaded round. NEVER engage a primer seating accessory on your press when working with loaded rounds. You can cause a round to discharge by contacting the primer! Also, we recommend you keep your head and torso away from the bullet puller tool at all times.

*By contrast, impact pullers rarely mark bullets, particularly if you put a little bit of foam or paper wadding in the closed end of your impact puller. When dismantling loaded rounds, powder kernels can get trapped in the wadding, so you should remove and replace the wadding before changing to cartridges loaded with a different powder type (assuming you intend to save the powder).

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