June 28th, 2019

Precision Rifle League in the UK — Orion Mountain Challenge

UK United Kingdom PRL Precision rifle league Orion Firearms Training Cambrian Mountains England

Tiff Dew, the founder of the UK’s Precision Rifle League (PRL) has posted: “I have dedicated the last dozen or so years of my life to establishing and developing the sport of precision rifle shooting over here in the UK. Having launched the Precision Rifle League, it is finally starting to take shape at a national level!”

UK United Kingdom PRL Precision rifle league Orion Firearms Training Cambrian Mountains England

Tiff added: “Maybe next year there might be a few more British shooters heading across the pond and perhaps a few US/International shooters might like to shoot the PRL over here?”

UK United Kingdom PRL Precision rifle league Orion Firearms Training Cambrian Mountains England

UK United Kingdom PRL Precision rifle league Orion Firearms Training Cambrian Mountains England

Well, after seeing these great photos, we definitely think some American shooters would like to shot a PRL match in the UK. And we welcome United Kingdom shooters to our PRS and NRL matches in the USA.

View 100+ More Great Photos on UK PRL Facebook Page »

PRL Orion Mountain Challenge in Cambrian Mountains
The Orion Mountain Challenge, the PRL’s third match of the year, was outstanding, as you can see from the photos. Nestled high amongst the Cambrian Mountains, Orion Firearms Training Limited’s facility provided the perfect venue for round three of the Precision Rifle League series. Forty-two shooters registered for the event. Participants reported: “The scenery was breathtaking and the weather simply sublime! Combined with excellent RCOs and a suitably complex course of fire, a very enjoyable weekend ensued.” NOTE: For these great images, Credit Philip Rowland Photography.

UK United Kingdom PRL Precision rifle league Orion Firearms Training Cambrian Mountains England

UK United Kingdom PRL Precision rifle league Orion Firearms Training Cambrian Mountains England
The United Kingdom’s PRL is not just for guys. Ladies enjoy the Challenge too!

About the UK’s Precision Rifle League

The Precision Rifle League hosts events throughout the United Kingdom. PRS Matches or “Challenges” as they are better known, take place from Scotland to Cornwall. Individuals can enter as many Challenges as desired. The PRL’s primary aim is to provide a positive resource for fellow shooters, helping to develop and expand precision rifle shooting in the UK.

UK United Kingdom PRL Precision rifle league Orion Firearms Training Cambrian Mountains England

UK United Kingdom PRL Precision rifle league Orion Firearms Training Cambrian Mountains England

UK United Kingdom PRL Precision rifle league Orion Firearms Training Cambrian Mountains England

There are several precision rifle events across the UK. However until now, there has been no single point of reference for all these great shoots. The league is designed to address this, promoting these events and enabling shooters to see their progress on a national level.

UK United Kingdom PRL Precision rifle league Orion Firearms Training Cambrian Mountains England

UK United Kingdom PRL Precision rifle league Orion Firearms Training Cambrian Mountains England

The PRL currently has two main classes: Open Division and Factory Division. After the final Challenge Match of the year is fired, trophies and prizes will be awarded to the top three in each division. In addition, there are sub-classes including International, Ladies, Parasport and others.

UK United Kingdom PRL Precision rifle league Orion Firearms Training Cambrian Mountains England

UK United Kingdom PRL Precision rifle league Orion Firearms Training Cambrian Mountains EnglandThe PRL Challenge Calendar for 2019:

May 4-5 – Spring Roundhouse Rifle Challenge

May 25-26 – Gardners Guns Challenge

June 15-16 – Orion Mountain Challenge

July 13-14 – Summer Roundhouse Rifle Challenge

September 7-8 – Orion Mountain Challenge & Sponsors Raffle

For further information and the PRL Forum, visit: PrecisionRifleLeague.co.uk.

Hundreds of other PRL photos from the UK are found on the PRL Facebook Page.

CREDIT Philip Rowland Photography for all these excellent images from the Orion Mountain Challenge.

Permalink Competition, News, Tactical 4 Comments »
June 28th, 2019

Seeing Bullet Holes at 1000 Yards? Yes It IS Possible…

Pentax PF 100ED
Coalinga Range in California. At dawn we could clearly see 7mm and .30 Cal bullet holes at 1000 yards.

Pentax smc-xw 10mmWhile attending the CA Long Range Championship a few seasons back, we had the opportunity to test the performance of a high-magnification (63X) spotting scope in near-ideal conditions (maybe the best I’ve ever witnessed). On the event’s last day we arrived at 5:45 am, literally as the sun was cresting the horizon. I quickly deployed our Pentax PF-100ED spotting scope, fitted with a Pentax SMC-XW 10mm fixed-power eyepiece. When used with the 100mm Pentax scope, this 10mm eyepiece yields 63X magnification. Befitting its $359.00 price, this eyepiece is extremely clear and sharp.

At the crack of dawn, viewing conditions were ideal. No mist, no mirage, no wind. The first thing this Editor noticed was that I could see metal nail heads on the target boards. That was astonishing. As soon as the first practice targets went up, to my surprise, I could see 6.5mm, 7mm, and 30-caliber bullet holes in the white at 1000 yards. No lie…

That’s right, I could see bullet holes at 1000. I know many of you folks may not believe that, but there was no mistaking when I saw a 7mm bullet cut the white line separating the Nine Ring and Eight Ring on the target in view. (I was watching that target as the shot was fired and saw the shot-hole form). And when I looked at the 30-cal targets, the bullet holes in the white were quite visible. In these perfect conditions I could also make out 3/8″ bolt heads on the target frames.

The Human Factor
When viewing the bullet holes, I was using my left naked eye (no safety glasses or magnification). I also had a contact lens in my right eye (needed for distance vision). To my surprise, while I could see the bullet holes without much difficulty with my left eye, things were fuzzier and slightly more blurry with the right eye, even when I re-focused the scope.

Pentax smc-xw 10mmThen I invited 3 or 4 shooters to look through the scope. One younger guy, with good eyes, said immediately: “Yeah, I can see the holes — right there at 4 o’clock and seven o’clock. Wow.” Some older guys, who were wearing glasses, could not see the holes at all, no matter what we did to the scope’s main focus and diopter adjustment.

The lesson here — if you have to wear glasses or corrective contact lenses, just that extra bit of optical interference may make a difference in what you can see through the scope. Basically anything that goes between the scope eyepiece and your eyeball can degrade the image somewhat. So… you may be better off removing your glasses if you can still obtain good focus sharpness using the diopter adjustment and focus ring. I did the left vs. right eye test a half dozen times, and I could definitely see small features at 1000 yards with my naked eye that I could not see with my right eye fitted with a contact lens. (I did have to re-focus the scope for each eye, since one had a corrective lens while the other did not.)

Mirage Degrades Image Sharpness and Resolution
The “magic light” prevailed for only an hour or so, and then we started to get some mirage. As soon as the mirage appeared I was no longer able to see raw bullet holes, though I could still easily see black pasters on the black bulls. When the mirage started, the sharpness of the visible image degraded a huge amount. Where I could see bullet holes at dawn, by mid-morning I could barely read the numbers on the scoring rings. Lesson: If you want to test the ulimate resolution of your optics, you need perfect conditions.

Chromatic AberrationChromatic Aberration Revealed
As the light got brighter and the mirage increased I started to see blue and red fringing at the edges of the spotting disk and the large numerals. This was quite noticeable. On one side of the bright, white spotting disc you could see a dark red edge, while on the other side there was a blue edge (harder to see but still present).

The photo below was taken through the Pentax spotter lens using a point and shoot camera held up to the eyepiece. The sharpness of the Pentax was actually much better than this photo shows, but the through-the-lens image does clearly reveal the red and blue fringing. This fringing is caused by chromatic aberration — the failure of a lens to focus all colors to the same point. Chromatic aberration, most visible at high magnification, causes different wavelengths of light to have differing focal lengths (see diagram). Chromatic aberration manifests itself as “fringes” of color along boundaries that separate dark and bright parts of the image, because each color in the optical spectrum cannot be focused at a single common point on the optical axis. Keep in mind that the Pentax does have “ED” or low-dispersion glass, so the effect would be even more dramatic with a cheaper spotting scope.


CLICK HERE to view LARGE PHOTO that shows aberration more clearly.

If you wonder why top-of-the-line spotting scopes (such as the $2980 Swarovski ATS-80 ) cost so much, the answer is that they will deliver even LESS chromatic aberration at long range and high magnification. With their exotic apochromatic (APO), ultra-low-dispersion glass, a few ultra-high-end spotting scopes can deliver an image without the color edging you see in the photo above.

The Pentax PF-100ED is a heck of a spotting scope. Any scope that can resolve bullet holes at 1000 yards is impressive. But if you want the ultimate in optical performance, with minimal chromatic aberration, you may need to step up to something like the 88mm Kowa Prominar TSN-884 with Flourite Crystal lenses ($2450.00 body only), or the 82mm Leica APO ($3899.00 with 25-50X eyepiece).

EDITOR’s NOTE: The purpose of this report is to show what is possible… in IDEAL conditions. With this Pentax 100mm, as well as a Swarovski 80mm, we have often been able to resolve 6mm bullet holes at 600 yards. But again, that performance requires really good viewing conditions. By 10:00 am at my range, even with the 100mm Pentax at 75 power, seeing 6mm bullet holes is “iffy” at best. So don’t go out and mortgage the house to buy a $4000 optic with the hope that you’ll be able to spot your shots at 1000 yards. If conditions are anything less than perfect, you’ll be lucky to see bullet holes at 500 yards. The real solution for very long-range spotting is to set up a remote target cam that broadcasts a video picture to a screen at your shooting station.

Permalink - Articles, Optics, Tech Tip 5 Comments »
June 28th, 2019

Save $20 on MagnetoSpeed Sporter Chronograph — $159.99

Magnetospeed sporter MidwayUSA chron chronograph

This post essentially puts twenty bucks in your pocket if you need a chronograph. You see the MagnetoSpeed Sporter Chrono typically costs around $179.00 from most vendors. But right now MidwayUSA is running a special — the true “shopping cart price” is $159.99. That’s $20.00 cheaper than Midway’s regular price, and $19.01 cheaper than the lowest price we found anywhere else. But this special “Shopping Cart Discount” may not last long, so you may want to act quickly. We confirmed Midway’s $159.99 price on the morning of June 28, 2019.

Strapped on your barrel, the MagnetoSpeed Sporter records velocities accurately without requiring any hardware to be placed downrange. Everything is self-contained at your shooting station, so you no longer have to waste time setting up tripods and aligning the bullet path through old-fashioned chrono skyscreens. For most shooters, the MagnetoSpeed Sporter is all they need — they don’t need to spend $380.00 for the Deluxe MagnetoSpeed V3 Model. Here’s a video review which compares the Sporter to the more expensive V3 chronograph.

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