October 25th, 2019

IBS Match Report — 2019 100/200 Meter Score Nationals

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina
View through 6X scope at 2019 Metric Score Nationals in South Carolina. This is exactly what Jeff Stover’s camera recorded — it is not a Photoshop job.

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-CarolinaMatch Report by Jeff Stover, IBS President
“You need to come shoot with us” said Jim Cline at the January 2019 meeting of the IBS. Jim is both a Match Director at Mid-Carolina and an IBS Vice-President. I, as IBS President, considered it for a few seconds. Virtually all of my shooting is short-range group, but I wanted to see why IBS Score Benchrest was so hot — and growing — in the Southeast. “I will be down in October for the Score Nationals” was my response. Bottom line — The event was great, and I should have made the trip years earlier.

The Mid-Carolina Rifle Club is located about 35 miles southeast of Columbia, South Carolina. It sports 20 solid and well-designed concrete benches. A nice feature is the very deep, behind-the-firing-line roof for cleaning rifles, and chatting with fellow shooters.

The main competition at the Score Nationals is for the “Varmint for Score” 13.5-pound rifles. The cartridge of choice is the 30 BR (6mmBR parent cartridge). The extra .065″ bullet diameter over a 6mm helps with the Best Edge Scoring, but the 30 BR gives nothing away to the 6PPC in the accuracy department. As any score shooter can tell you, the 30 BR is an inherently accurate cartridge that is relatively easy to tune.

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina
Firing Line at Mid-Carolina Rifle Club with ample behind-the-Line roof coverage.

It was a dream shoot for me. I don’t have a VFS 30 in my gun cabinet, but that was all taken care of. Both rifle and ammo came courtesy of Mike Clayton, one of the circuit’s top shooters. All I needed to bring were my rests! Mike’s rifle was a laser which I did not fully exploit. Mike showed true Southern Hospitality.

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina
Mike Clayton ready to pull the trigger on his 30 BR rifle.

About 70 shooters made their way to Orangeburg. More had preregistered but the threat of Tropical Storm Nestor kept a few away. The storm was projected to bring 25+ mph gusts and heavy rain on Saturday. Those dire predictions did not materialize. We had somewhat light, but quickly switching, winds and mostly light rain. It was a dreary day for 100 meter competition but the mood along the firing line was convivial.

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina
Tropical Storm Nestor delivered only rain and switchy breezes instead of the predicted gales.

At 100 meters, Brud Sheats led the way with a very nice 250-23X. On his heels were Ronnie Milford and Jim Cline with 22 and 21 Xs respectively. Jim and Ron are leading the Score Shooter of the Year standings. In 6-power class, Jim Cline’s had a good 250-14X for high score with Dewey Hancock 3 Xs behind.

IBS meter 100 200 score Emilee nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina

Young Lady Shines at Her First Registered Match
Above is young competitor Emmalee McMurry (from eastern Tennessee) with her 6 PPC Heavy Varmint rifle. This was her very FIRST registered match. Her father Bill is her coach and mentor. Using her 6 PPC she shot two really good targets, a 50-5X and 50-4X. I shot next to her, and was impressed — she has composure and was very comfortable shooting a bench gun. If she stays with it, she could be a future force in Score Benchrest competition. — Jeff Stover, IBS President

Sunday, the targets and stationary backers were moved to the 200 meter butts. The weather started as Saturday had finished — light misty rain with some fog and 10 mph switchy wind. By mid-morning, however, the rain stopped and around lunchtime things brightened. After lunch the sun started to make more frequent appearances and the Orangeburg mirage returned. At the conclusion of the 200 meter stage only three of 65 shooters shot “clean” — i.e. a 250 score, with a 50 on every target.

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina
Jim Cline aligning rifle. The multiple bolts are for his Light and Heavy VFS rifles and 6X Hunter Class rifle.

Mid-Carolina Rifle Club Extends the Red Carpet with Fine Food
All shooters were treated to a free grilled chicken and macaroni and cheese luncheon. In the evening, for a small charge, the Mid-Carolina club hosted a catered prime rib dinner. It was the “real deal” — premium beef carved to order. We had hoped for a pleasant Carolina evening instead of poor weather, but the great food made up for it.

At 200 meters, Brud Sheats lost none of his score-shooting mastery from Saturday. He won VFS 200 with a 250-5X. Ken Habadank followed with a Creedmoored 5X and Miles Gibby was 3rd with a 250-2X. The golden rule of score shooting is “stay clean”. That is, shoot a 50 on every target (five tens). The Xs are gravy, especially at 200. Anthony Isner shot a really nice 12 Xs in those conditions. But a wayward shot cost him a point on one target. A 250 beats a 249 despite the X counts. Having won both yardages Mr. Sheats won the 100-200 Grand aggregate with a 500-28X. Ken Habadank’s second place was six Xs behind. Miles Gibby, the only other 500 shooter, had 17 Xs to complete the podium.

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina

See Complete 2019 100m/200m IBS Score Nationals Match Results HERE on IBS Website.

So what about the 6-power-max optics rifles? Shooting a 6-power scope at 100 meters is tough enough. At 200, well, it is twice as difficult, especially in Sunday’s conditions. Anthony Isner’s 243-4X won the day followed by Maine’s Orland Bunker at 242-3X. In the 6X Grand Agg, Dewey Hancock took the title with a 491-16X, closely followed by Brian Fitch with a 490-16X.

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina
After Cease Fire is called, competitors show detached bolts to ensure safety.

Great Match — With Many Fine Shooters Returning to the Ranks
This was a fine, well-run match by any standard. I did not embarrass myself with a score rifle, so that was a plus! I made the trip to see “what’s what”, and was delighted to find a range full of enthusiastic and fun competitors. And these fellows really know how to shoot. I talked to several shooters who have come back to the sport after years, if not decades, of being away from benchrest. The PR efforts of Jim Cline, Ronnie Milford and other stalwarts in the region are beating the drum and many are answering the call.

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina
Score Benchrest rifles racked and ready for the next relay.

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina
30 BR ammo with timer, and bolt lube, on bench.

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October 25th, 2019

Become a Range Safety Officer — The World Needs More RSOs

Range Safety Officer Course Online NRA Training

A few good men (and women) — that’s what the shooting sports need these days. We need skilled, trained personnel to serve as Range Safety Officers (RS0s). Without RSOs, there would be no shooting matches — no F-Class, no High Power, no Smallbore Matches — you get the idea. Thankfully there are now ways to get requisite RSO training without costly travel far from home.

The NRA now offers an online training course for its Range Safety Officer (RSO) program. The online course teaches the skills needs to conduct and supervise safe shooting activities and range operations. Online RSO Course students can access the electronic course materials for 90 days. You can complete the course in multiple sessions. The program will save your progress so you can return later.

NRA RSO Course OnlineThe Online RSO Course consists of SIX LESSONS:

• Introduction to the NRA Basic Range Safety Officer Course
• The Role of the NRA Range Safety Officer and
Range Standard Operating Procedures
• Range Inspection and Range Rules
• Range Safety Briefing
• Emergency Procedures
• Firearm Stoppages and Malfunctions

Who Can Take the Course?: The Online RSO Course is available to anyone who currently possess a valid NRA Firearms Instructor certification or NRA Coach appointment. Course cost is $125.00. Individuals without a trainer rating must attend the in-person Range Safety Officer course consisting of both classroom time and practical exercises on a range.

Range Safety Officer Course Online NRA Training

NRA RSO Course OnlineCertification Procedure: Students must complete all six lessons and a short electronically administered test in order to become a certified Range Safety Officer. Once the test has been passed, newly certified Range Safety Officers will receive an electronic completion certificate that can be printed or saved to a computer.

The NRA RSO program was developed in response to the demand for a nationally-recognized range safety officer certification. More than 54,000 NRA Range Safety Officers are involved in aspects of target shooting, training, and range supervision around the USA.

Berger SW Nationals
Range Safety Officer supervises the line at Berger SW Nationals. Without dedicated RSOs, we could not have matches like these.

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October 25th, 2019

Eye in the Sky — Drone View of 1122-Yard Shooting Session

Texas .223 Rem Drone Video 1000 Yards Gorilla Ammo

Many of our readers have never had a chance to shoot much past 600 yards. How far away does a 1000-yard+ target really seem to the naked eye? Well this short video answers that question. Gorilla Ammo, the video’s producers, used a camera-carrying aerial drone to fly downrange from the firing line all the way out to 1122 yards (and back again). Watch the drone footage at 0:00-0:07 and especially 0:48-1:03. The “bird’s-eye view” really gives you a sense of the distance. The “fly-back” at 0:48-1:03 time-mark is what makes this video worth watching.

The video features prone shooting at steel targets placed at 750 and 1122 yards. We do apologize for the lame, “oh so serious” voice-over which attempts to make this rather ordinary range session seem like some kind of life-changing experience. (Frankly, you may just want to turn the sound off — it’s that annoying.) It’s really not that big a deal to hit steel at 750 yards with a quality AR-15, chambered in .223 Rem, shooting Sierra 77 grain MatchKings.

Texas .223 Rem Drone Video 1000 Yards Gorilla Ammo

Hitting Steel at 1122 Yards with 2540 FPS Ammo Can Be Challenging
The 1122-yard hits are a bit more impressive. Gorilla Ammo lists a relatively sedate 2540 fps Muzzle Velocity for its .223 Rem 77gr SMK ammunition. According to JBM Ballistics, at 1125 yards, that 2540 fps load has 68.3 MOA of drop from a 100-yard zero (firing at sea level and 80° F ambient). Morever the bullet goes trans-sonic around 750 yards (losing stability) and is traveling just 933 fps at impact. And the wind’s the killer — at 1125 yards, with this bullet/load, a mere 2 mph, full-value wind change can move the Point of Impact over three feet!

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