August 18th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: New 33XC Rifle for Reigning King of 2 Miles

ELR light class Paul Phillips Global Precision

ELR light class Paul Phillips Global PrecisionNew Cartridge, New Rifle for the King
Paul Phillips is the reigning King of 2 Miles. The founder of the Global Precision Group, Paul is one of the top ELR marksmen on the planet. He has also been a team-mate of past K02M winners.

Paul recently put together a new rifle for the 25-lb max, .338 caliber-or-under ELR Class. This is chambered for the 33XC, an efficient new cartridge devised by 11-time National HP Champion David Tubb. With promising initial testing at 500 yards, it looks like Paul’s 33XC project will be a success. The rifle’s first match will be the NRA Extreme Long Range Championship, to be held August 21-23, 2019 at Camp Atterbury, Indiana.

ELR light class Paul Phillips Global Precision

ELR light class Paul Phillips Global Precision

Paul reports: “The 33XC is ready for the NRA ELR Nationals. I have tested loads from 3100-3450 FPS and and will settle on a load around 3250 FPS [which is] my most accurate load so far. The Peterson Cartridge brass is really working well.”

Paul states he would like to look for a higher node from 3300-3400 GPS: “Next stop is with the Applied Ballistics LLC mobile labratory and radar testing with a PDM for the Nationals.” Paul cautions: “I encourage everyone to start low and work up. Every chamber, barrel, and components are a little different.”

ELR light class Paul Phillips Global Precision

During initial testing, Paul’s 33XC put three shots in 0.27″ at 100. Then, at 500 yards, the rifle produced a 3-shot group around 1/3-MOA with just 1.22 inches of vertical. That’s pretty impressive for early testing. Paul will also be trying some Berger bullets soon. When he determines the most accurate load, Phillips will stretch the rifle’s legs, shooting out to 2500 yards and beyond.

Quote: “The Cutting Edge Bullets are not the highest BC but they are very stable and consistent at ELR (sub-sonic) ranges and that’s the most important factor in finding the best ELR bullet. I actually test all my bullets at sub-sonic speeds to make sure they are consistent and stable. Finding a good load at 500 yards is just the first part. The real test is shooting them at sub-sonic speeds and see how consistently they group. This is what gives you the highest percentage to impact at 2 miles and beyond.”

ELR light class Paul Phillips Global Precision
CLICK Image for full-screen version.

This rifle features a BAT action mated to a 34″ Bartlein barrel chambered for David Tubb’s new 33XC cartridge. Paul Phillips is currently running Cutting Edge 275gr Lazer solid bullets. Paul notes: “I also have a .338 Lapua Magnum barrel and 300gr Berger bullets for the restricted class in France.” Paul gave special thanks to Alex Wheeler for doing the metal work and Alex Sitman for doing the bedding.

Rifle Component List
Action: BAT Machine CTH dual-port action
Trigger: Bullet Central Bix’N Andy
Barrel: Bartlein 1:8″-twist barrel (34″)
Chambering: 33XC for Peterson brass
Stock: McMillan A6 Super Mag, Bedding Alex Sitman
Scope: Nightforce Optics 7-35x56mm F1 ATACR.
Bipod: Duplin Rifles

33XC Load Components
Cartridge Brass: 33XC by Peterson Cartridge
Bullets: Cutting Edge 275gr Lazer Bullets
Powder: Vihtavuori

ELR light class Paul Phillips Global Precision

Paul Phillips notes: “Alex Sitman has been bedding rifles stocks for most of his life. I believe that [bedding] is a very important … to keep consistent accuracy and repeatable zeros after traveling all over the globe.”

ELR light class Paul Phillips Global Precision

Even with the TacomHQ Charlie Tarac scope prism in place, the rifle makes the 25-pound weight limit with Duplin Rifles bipod. Paul says: “I love it when a plan comes together!! I’m under by 2 ounces!”

About the 33XC (eXtra Capacity) Cartridge
David Tubb invented the 33XC cartridge because he thought the CheyTac cases were too much trouble — requiring a larger action, oversize presses, and ultra-expensive dies. The 33XC was designed to fit .338 Lapua Magnum-size actions and use normal reloading presses.

The 33XC (eXtra Capacity) has 137.5 grains of H2O capacity with over 125 grains of usable powder capacity while leaving the 0.393″ neck unfilled for bullet seating.

The 33XC has a .338 Lapua Magnum lineage. Think of it as a better, 35°-shoulder .338 LM. David explains: “The 33XC uses standard reloading dies along with a 7/8″ x 14 TPI reloading press. There is no fire-forming — all case ‘improving’ has already been done with a production case that has 20 grains more powder capacity, 35-degree shoulder, and longer neck compared to a .338 Lapua Magnum. This puts the various .338 Lapua wildcats and the Rem Ultra Mag Improved into the ‘also ran’ category. They simply can’t compete with the velocities attainable with the 33XC.”

ELR light class Paul Phillips Global Precision

The 33XC is based off of a .580″ bolt head. Tubb states that “A fired case will extract with little effort when using a properly-polished chamber with a maximum powder charge after resizing with the Superior Shooting Systems FL sizing die.” Tubb’s 33XC die reaches the case head which is important for accuracy. Peterson Cartridge produces the 33XC brass for Superior Shooting Systems. This high-quality brass costs $115 for 50 cases (or $2.30 per case), and can be purchased directly from Superior Shooting Systems.

ELR light class Paul Phillips Global Precision

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Gunsmithing, New Product 1 Comment »
August 18th, 2019

Short-Range Benchrest Game Captured on Video

Benchrest IBS 100 yards 6PPC Video

We know that many of our readers have never personally participated in a short-range (100/200 yard) benchrest match. That’s understandable — moving backers are required in registered 100/200 benchrest (for group) matches, yet only a small percentage of ranges have that equipment. If you’re curious about the “point-blank” benchrest game, but haven’t had the chance to see it first-hand, check out this video created by youtuber “Taofledermaus”. On his YouTube Channel, you’ll find many other interesting shooting videos, including slow-motion target impact clips. This video shows the LV and HV guns, the flags, the gun-handling, the reloading set-ups, and of course, tiny little groups on targets.

Registered 100/200 Benchrest Match

Viewer Comments on the Video:

“There is a lot more to this game than just pulling the trigger. Record targets are 5-shot groups, 5 averaged together for an Aggregate. Most times the winning Agg is under .250″ for 25 shots at 100 yards. Rifles weigh 10.5 pounds for LV class. Used rifles can be had for about $1500. Then add in another $1000 for rest, bags, loading tools, bullets, powder, not to mention windflags.” — Vmhtr

“Benchrest shooting is sort of an ‘academy of shooting’. Lots of academic thought and measurements, handloading made with anal attention at detail. It’s much more thought than action. Most of those people made their tools themselves. [There are] It’s plenty of seniors because it takes patience, lots of patience. Sure a teenager ain’t gonna bother it.” — THP

“I was surprised they did all their hand loading right there on the spot. — I think you nailed it. It’s a super-precise sport. It’s expensive, it’s slow, and it requires a lot of travel, so it’s well-suited for retired folks. It’s gotta beat golfing!” — Tao

“I used to shoot 6mm PPC in a BR rifle. I spent so much time at the reloading bench that I just gave up on it all and switched to 22 rimfire gallery matches. Saved a lot of my sanity doing that….” — Walt

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
August 18th, 2019

Results of Survey of Indoor Shooting Range Users

NSSF indoor range survey pistol shooters Southwick Associates range report

How many folks shoot at indoor ranges? What are their shooting preferences and habits? To answer those questions, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) commissioned a nationwide survey of indoor range shooters. The results of this Southwick Associates NSSF Survey are quite interesting.

The survey reveals that a LOT of folks use indoor ranges. In fact, roughly 38% of all U.S. firearm owners shot at an indoor shooting range at least once in the past year. Moreover, indoor range users spend roughly two-thirds of their annual target shooting days at indoor ranges. These target shooters also tend to shoot more often than the average firearm owner. That’s not surprising, since most indoor ranges are located fairly close to residential areas, while outdoor ranges may be 20-50 miles from town.

NSSF indoor range survey pistol shooters Southwick Associates range report
Photo courtesy Silver Eagle Group Shooting Range, Northern Virginia.

Indoor shooting ranges definitely stoke interest in firearms ownership. More than a third of people who go to indoor ranges ultimately buy a firearm after first trying it out indoors. That means we need to support indoor ranges because they are vital in bringing new shooters into the sport.

More Facts about Indoor Range Users in the USA:

Most users (over 80%) use indoor ranges for marksmanship training. Fun or entertainment and improving self-defense skills are also important factors.

Roughly 50% of indoor range shooters shoot at least once a month, while 13% shoot once a week (or even more often).

Semi-automatic handguns were shot by 96% of those who visited an indoor range last year. Revolvers were used by 66% of shooters and modern sporting rifles by 41%.

NSSF indoor range survey pistol shooters Southwick Associates range report

Indoor range users are 10% more likely to have purchased a new firearm in the past year compared to all other firearm owners.

The majority of indoor range users do not currently have a range membership, instead choosing to pay range fees each time they visit.

Three-quarters of indoor range users consider proximity to their home to be an important factor when selecting an indoor range. Location is key to the success of an indoor shooting range.

This NSSF Video Covers Basic Gun Range Safety Rules:

Double-Up on Hearing Protection When Shooting Indoors
When shooting pistols indoors we recommend quality muffs with earplugs underneath, offering double protection. When inside an enclosed range, with other shooters blasting away right next to you, you really need effective hearing protection. But you also need to hear range commands and be able to communicate with your fellow shooters. That’s why we recommend electronic muffs with plugs underneath.

indoor range survey results NSSF

For pistol shooting, we like the latest Howard Leight Impact Pro Muffs. These offer an impressive 30 dB Noise Reduction Rating (NRR). In addition, these muffs are pretty comfortable and offer Headphone Functionality so you can connect to your smartphone, MP3 player, or other audio device. These muffs are a good value. They are currently offered for $62.55 on Amazon.com.

Howard Leight Impact Pro Electronic Muffs NRR 30

Permalink - Articles, Handguns, Shooting Skills No Comments »