July 16th, 2019

How to Shoot DOTS — Insanely Small Groups at 200 Yards

200 yard benchrest group charles huckeba australia tiny group 6 PPC

This site is for and about accurate shooters. So today we feature the short-range group Benchrest game, where it’s all about shooting tiny groups in the ones and even “zeros”. Seeing the tiny groups 6 PPC aces produce, it’s easy to think the precision is all about the equipment. But there is a lot more involved. A talented human still has to watch the flags, run the gun properly, and tune his loads for the conditions. Here are some tips from one of the world’s best benchresters, Charles Huckeba.

Texan Charles Huckeba was the top individual shooter at the 2013 World Benchrest Championships (WBC) held near Sydney Australia in October 2013. In this video, 2013 WBC Two-Gun Overall winner Charles shoots a 1/8th MOA group at 200 yards — “a little bitty dot” as a fellow Team USA shooter observes. That’s impressive. If you can describe Huckeba’s style in a nutshell it would be “smooth, consistent, and rapid but not hurried”.

Charles also employed some unusual hardware. In the video, take a close look at the joystick on the Farley Coaxial front rest. There’s no knob at the end. In its place is a small, wood ammo caddy. Charles removed the standard knob from the handle of his Farley rest and replaced it with a home-made wood block that holds cartridges for the record target. The 10.5-lb Light Varmint rifle is chambered in 6PPC with a BAT Machine Action and a composite wood and carbon-fiber stock.

Watch Charles Huckeba Shoot 1/8 MOA, 200-yard group at World Benchrest Championships

Here is the actual 200-yard, 5-shot group Charles shot in the video. Photo (by Stuart Elliot) taken through the lens of Huckeba’s 50X March scope (reticle has 1/16th MOA Dot).
200 yard benchrest group charles huckeba australia
200 yard benchrest group charles huckeba australia

Analyzing the Fine Points — What Makes Huckeba So Good

Short-range benchrest shooter Boyd Allen saw some interesting things in Huckeba’s WBC performance, as captured on video. Boyd noticed Huckeba’s smooth gun-handling and efficient loading. But Boyd also spied some interesting equipment, including an innovative joystick “handle-caddy”.

1. Low Friction Bags — When Huckeba slid his rifle, there was very little apparent friction. The front bag features the new 3M material (ScotchLite) on the sliding surfaces. The rear Protektor bag has ears of the same low-friction material.

2. Pause Before Chambering — While he was watching the flags and deciding when to start firing, Charles kept his first round in the action, but out of the barrel’s chamber, probably so as not to heat the cartridge and change the round’s point of impact.

Charles Huckeba PPC World Benchrest joystick handle3. Ammo Caddy on Joystick Arm – Charles shoots a Right Bolt/Left Port action, so he pulls his rounds with his left hand. Note that Huckeba’s record rounds rest in a small, wood ammo caddy attached to the end of the joystick shaft. Look carefully, you’ll see the wood ammo block in place of the normal black ball at the end of the joystick. That allows Charles to pull shots with the absolute minimum of hand movement. Ingenious! Huckeba is very fast, with a great economy of motion. I believe that because his ammo was literally at hand, Charles was better able to keep his focus on aiming and the flags.

4. Smooth-Cycling BAT Action — Note how smoothly Huckeba’s action operates. When Charles lifts the bolt handle (to extract a round and cock the firing pin), this does not disturb the rifle. Likewise, as he closes the bolt, the gun doesn’t wobble. The smooth action allows Charles to hold point of aim even when shooting relatively quickly. Huckeba’s BAT action is chrome-moly steel. Some shooters believe this metal makes for a smoother action than stainless steel or aluminum.

5. Long-Wheelbase Stock — The wood and carbon fiber stock is light, long, and stiff. Yet, importantly, the stock is also well-damped. The longer-than-average stock length (with extended forearm) seems to help the gun track well without jumping or rocking. The longer forearm allows a longer “wheelbase”, effectively shifting the weight distribution rearward (less weight on the front, more weight on the rear). This places a greater share of the gun’s weight on the rear bag, as compared to a more conventional benchrest stock. Huckeba’s stock, built by Bob Scoville, is at the cutting edge of short-range benchrest design. Its light-weight balsa wood and carbon fiber construction provides a combination of stiffness and vibration damping that allows its relatively long fore-end to be fully utilized to increase the weight on the rear bag (always an issue with 10.5-pound rifles).

To learn more about this benchrest stock design, read the comments by stock-builder Bob Scoville in our PPC with Pedigree story in our Gun of the Week Archives. Bob observed:

“There is a lot more to the structure of the stocks than meets the eye. The carbon fiber skin with which I cover the stocks creates a light, tough exterior surface. However, this contributes very little to the overall performance of the stocks. The real strength and stiffness is the result of an internal beam utilizing balsa core/carbon fiber technology.

This type construction can be found in aircraft, race cars, powerboats, and sailboats. It is interesting to note, balsa has the highest strength to weight ratio of all woods and carbon fiber is one of the lowest stretch (modulus of elasticity) relative to weight of all materials. The marriage of these two materials is common in the high-performance world. Additionally, balsa is used commercially for vibration dampening and sound reduction.”

Video find by Boyd Allen. Video by Stuart Elliot of BRT Shooters Supply, Brisbane, Australia.
Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition 1 Comment »
July 16th, 2019

Bring the Popcorn — Great Shooting USA Episode Tomorrow

Shooting USA AR10 JP Enterprises Fort Benning Multigun challenge Rimfire championship model 1917

Set aside some TV time tomorrow folks. On Wednesday, July 17th, there’s a GREAT episode of Shooting USA on the Outdoor Channel. Over the course of Wednesday’s hour-long broadcast there are FOUR notable features well worth watching. Show times are 8:00 pm Eastern and Pacific; 9:00 pm Central.

FOUR FEATURES Worth Watch on Wednesday!

1. Fort Benning Multi-Gun Challenge. This is one of the best 3-Gun events of the year. If you like fast action, with rifles, pistols, and shotguns, you’ll love this Shooting USA sequence. The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit at Fort Benning, Georgia hosts one of the toughest and most challenging multi-gun matches. Watch top competitors move through difficult stages that test strength and agility as well as marksmanship.

Shooting USA AR10 JP Enterprises Fort Benning Multigun challenge Rimfire championship model 1917

Multi-gun competition tests shooters’ skills with rifle, pistol, and shotgun, running stages “on the clock”. You must be fast AND accurate to successfully complete a course of fire.

2. Rimfire Challenge World Championship (RCWC). This is a great family event. The Rimfire Challenge is a timed, short-range event for .22 LR handguns and rifles. In recent years, the RCWC has been held in Alabama with 16 stages, 8 for rifle and 8 for pistol. This major match attracts hundreds of competitors from around the nation. It’s fast and fun with instant feedback from ringing steel plates. The RCWC is family-friendly event that’s great for all skill/experience levels.

Shooting USA Rimfire Challenge Championship Alabama

3. Classic Arms — The U.S. Army’s Model of 1917 Rifle. The Model 1903 Springfield is perhaps more famous, but more Model 1917 rifles were actually issued to American troops in World War I. This sequence covers the history of this important American battle rifle.

4. AR-Platform 6.5 Creedmoor Precision Rifle. In this segment John Scoutten works with JP Enterprises on a 6.5 Creedmoor semi-auto precision rig using JP’s LRP-07 components. This sequence showcases the AR10-type platform’s abilities with mid-sized cartridges.

Shooting USA AR10 JP Enterprises Fort Benning Multigun challenge Rimfire championship model 1917

Shooting USA AR10 JP Enterprises Fort Benning Multigun challenge Rimfire championship model 1917

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills, Tactical 1 Comment »
July 16th, 2019

Great Deal on S&W 9mm Pistol and MTM Handgun Case

Smith Wesson S&W M&P M2.0 Shield Compact Pistol

Here’s a great deal on a nice 9mm S&W pistol, plus Prime Day super-savings on a versatile 6-handgun carry case. Right now you can get the 9mm M&P M2.0 Compact Pistol for just $339.99 with FREE shipping. This same gun sells elsewhere for $450.00 or more. This is a good handgun, ergonomic, reliable, and more accurate than most other 9mm compact pistols. We’ve used the M&P series pistols, and we like them more than the Austrian competition.

Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0 Compact
The M&P M2.0 pistol has a stainless-steel internal chassis and a low bore axis for reduced muzzle rise. Compared to the previous model, the new M&P M2.0 pistol has a lighter, crisper trigger with tactile/audible reset. The pistol includes textured grip and four interchangeable palm-swell inserts for optimal hand-fit. This pistol comes with two magazines, limited lifetime warranty, and lifetime service policy.

MTM 6-Handgun Transport Case — $37.99
To carry your new S&W 9mm M&P compact and other handguns, check out this handy MTM 6-Pistol Carry Case for $37.99. This is a good case for avid pistol shooters who go to the range with multiple handguns. NOTE: This case is NOT intended for long-term storage. After going to the range, and cleaning your pistols, we recommend you put your handguns in Bore-Store bags inside a secure gun safe.

Smith Wesson S&W M&P M2.0 Shield Compact Pistol

Permalink Handguns, Hot Deals No Comments »