October 24th, 2018

12-Year-Old Hunter Hall Wins NC 1000-Yard LG Group BR Title

Samuel Hall Hunter Hall North Carolina IBS 1000-Yard Championship NC Light Gun heavy gun Championship Title 6BR Ackley H4895 Berger Bullets

It’s always newsworthy when a novice shooter wins a major event. But it’s even more remarkable when that new shooter is just 12 years old! Proving that “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”, young Hunter Hall, son of past IBS 600-Yard Shooter of the Year Samuel Hall, recently won the LG Group title at the North Carolina State 1000-Yard IBS Benchrest Championship. And this was Hunter’s first-ever benchrest match (and the first time he had even shot at 1000 yards)! The young man took the LG group title in spectacular fashion, with some great shooting. In fact, Hunter won his first-ever 1000-yard relay with a 4.312-inch group and a perfect 50 score! Father Sam noted: “It takes most new shooters several months, or even years, to shoot that good (me included)!”

Samuel Hall Hunter Hall North Carolina IBS 1000-Yard Championship NC Light Gun heavy gun Championship Title 6BR Ackley H4895 Berger Bullets

Gun and Load — 6BR Ackley with Berger 105 Hybrids
Hunter was shooting one of Sam’s old 600-yard rifles off a SEB Max rest in front and Protektor DR bag in the rear. The rifle features a BAT MB 1.55″-diameter round dual port action, McMillan ST-1000 stock with 4″-wide aluminum rail-plate on the fore-end, Jewell trigger, and March 40X scope with 1/16 dot reticle. The barrel was a Krieger HV barrel Sam had recently rechambered from a Dasher to his favorite 6BR-AI (what some call the 6BRA). The load was Berger 105gr Hybrids about 0.010″ in the lands, pushed by H4895 powder and CCI BR4 primers.

Report from Proud Father Samuel Hall:

I’m proud to report that my son, Hunter Hall, won the Light Gun (LG) Group trophy in the 2018 North Carolina IBS 1000-Yard State shoot. On his first-ever 1K target he shot a 4.312″ group with 50 score. That relay had some great shooters in it including Mike Wilson, past IBS 1000-Yard Shooter of the Year and Nationals winner. Hunter went on to win the shoot-off for the LG Group NC State Championship in some very windy conditions.

Samuel Hall Hunter Hall North Carolina IBS 1000-Yard Championship NC Light Gun heavy gun Championship Title 6BR Ackley H4895 Berger Bullets

I must say, I was very worried just before he was shooting. Winds had picked up to 10-20 mph and were switching quickly. Even for seasoned veterans it is hard to shoot in those conditions! Hunter never appeared nervous and ran his five record rounds off in mere seconds, never raising his head while shooting — just as I taught him the day before the match.

This was Hunter’s first-ever benchrest match, and first time he’d even shot at 1000 yards. Hunter has occasionally helped me sight in my long-range Benchrest rifles since he was six. He just expressed interest in shooting a match the Monday before the match. After scrambling to get him two rifles to shoot that week, I taught him how to “speed shoot” in case it was windy, and how to handle the rifle without upsetting it in the bags while cycling the bolt. I showed him how to put his thumb on the tang to help keep the gun level during recoil. His hands have just gotten large enough to do that.

Hunter says now he wants to shoot all the Hawks Ridge matches next year! I may take him to a 600-yard match next year and see how he likes that. I told Hunter that if he continues to beat me like he did Saturday, I may just become his caddy! I was ten times more excited for him to win than me winning! Benchrest needs more shooters. This is the kind of thing that can help grow the sport. — Samuel Hall

Other Winners at NC State 1000-Yard IBS Championships
Along with young Hunter Hall, there were other notable performances at the NC State 1K Championship. Mike Hanes won the Heavy Gun (HG) Score Title while Mike Wilson won the HG Group Title. Barry Splawn was a double winner, finishing as NC State LG Score Champion as well as Factory Gun Champion.

Match Director Dave Mathews reports this was a very successful event: “We had a fantastic turn out … with 50 Light Gun shooters, 40 Heavy Gun competitors, and 9 Factory Class shooters. Thanks to everyone who helped make this a great event. Now it’s time to head south to the Georgia Long Range Extravaganza. Hope to see you there…”

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October 24th, 2018

Kirsten “Carves” Halloween Pumpkin with Volquartsen .22 LR

Halloween Pumpkin Kirsten Joy Weiss carving Volquartsen

Halloween is just one week away… so we thought we’d share the seasonal spirit with our readers. In this video, our friend Kirsten Joy Weiss shows off her impressive trick-shot skills. To help celebrate the gouls/goblins holiday, Kirsten “carved” a pumpkin using her semi-auto Volquartsen .22 LR rifle. Kirsten had to send a lot of rimfire rounds into her orange friend. It turns out the little .22-caliber bullets worked better on exit than entry — Mr. Pumpkin’s posterior side was more impressive than his front. But overall, the effort turned out very well indeed, as you can see. Nice job, Kirsten.

On inspection, Kirsten found that the most impressive Jack ‘O Lantern face appeared on the reverse side of her pumpkin. The “exit wounds” were better than the entry holes.
Halloween Pumpkin Kirsten Joy Weiss carving Volquartsen

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October 24th, 2018

Tech Tip: Don’t Store Brass and Ammo Near Ammonia Solvents

Ammonia Solvent Brass Cracking MTM

Chances are that many of you have packed away your ammo and shooting supplies for the winter. Maybe you put your brass in a storage bin that might also contain solvents, old rags, or used bore swabs. Well, if you use any ammonia-based solvents, we suggest you separate the brass and ammo and keep it away from potential ammonia vapors. This is because long-term exposure to ammonia fumes can cause cracks to form in your brass. This can lead to case ruptures and possible injury.

This case-cracking phenomenon has been called Season Cracking, a form of stress-corrosion cracking of brass cartridge cases. Season cracking is characterized by deep brittle cracks which penetrate into affected components. If the cracks reach a critical size, the component can suddenly fracture, sometimes with disastrous results. If the concentration of ammonia is very high, then corrosion is much more severe, and damage over all exposed surfaces occurs. The brass cracking is caused by a reaction between ammonia and copper that forms the cuprammonium ion, Cu(NH3)4, a chemical complex which is water-soluble. The problem of cracking can also occur in copper and copper alloys such as bronze.

Season Cracking was originally observed by the British forces in India a century ago. During the monsoon season, military activity was reduced, and ammunition was stored in stables until the dry weather returned. Many brass cartridges were subsequently found to be cracked, especially where the case was crimped to the bullet. In 1921, in the Journal of the Institute of Metals, the phenomenon was explained by Moor, Beckinsale, and Mallinson. Apparently ammonia from horse urine, combined with the residual stress in the cold-drawn metal of the cartridges, was responsible for the cracking.

Ammonia Solvent Brass Cracking MTM
Don’t store ammunition (or brass) for long periods in a box or container holding ammoniated solvents:

The Australia Department of Defense (AUSDOD) has also explored the problem of brass cracking caused, at least in part, by exposure to ammonia. A study was done to see whether the amount of cracking (from ammonia exposure) varied according to the duration and temperature of the annealing process used on the brass. CLICK HERE to read AUSDOD Research Report.

Story idea from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
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