February 10th, 2020

Berger SW Nationals 2020 Results — Hail the Winners

Berger SW Nationals SWN southwest Phoenix 2020

The 2020 Berger Southwest Nationals are complete. As expected, it was a hugely successful match that challenged the nation’s top Sling and F-Class shooters. We want to praise all the competitors and congratulate the 2020 SWN Champions in all three classes. The competition was fierce through-out the match. John Whidden won the Sling Division with a 1245-75X score, just one point ahead of runner-up Oliver Milanovic (1244-72X). Bobby Gill was third with 1240-58X.

CLICK HERE FOR 2020 Berger SWN Complete Scores »

Jay Christopherson Berger SWN F-Open win In the F-TR Division, Peter Johns had a dominant performance with 1242-58X, twelve points ahead of second-place Wade Fillingame (1230-50X) and third-place Ian Klemm (1230-46X). Ian also shot on the winning USA Independence F-TR Team.

Jay Christopherson Wins F-Open
We cheered the F-Open news. AccurateShooter’s own Jay Christopherson, our Systems Administrator, took the 2020 F-Open title with a brilliant 1247-83X score, 11 “Xs” ahead of runner-up Pat Scully (1247-72X). In third place was Tod Hendricks (1245-81X). Jay (photo right) was shooting a Brux-barreled straight .284 Win with Berger 180gr Hybrid bullets. Up front he uses a SEB Mini coaxial tripod rest. Jay also helped carry Team Lapua-Brux-Borden to an F-Open Team victory. Here’s a short video of Jay shooting when he finished second in F-Open division at the SWN a couple seasons back. You can view Jay’s smooth gun-handling and patience waiting for his condition:

Jay Christopherson, AccurateShooter.com’s System Admin, won the F-Open division. Jay’s Brux-barreled .284 Win was superbly accurate all week long. This video was from a past Berger SWN Event.

Berger SW Nationals SWN southwest Phoenix 2020

John Whidden of Whidden Gunworks won Sling division with a 1245-75X score. John really likes this match: “For most of us it’s the first match of the year, a chance to shake off the cobwebs.” John said conditions were “pretty nice on Friday, Saturday and Sunday — most of the changes came slow and conditions were readable from the mirage.” John, a 5-time National Long Range Champion, is always a threat to win at the SWN. John shot a .308 Win in the Palma Class, and then his .243 Win in the Any Rifle division. Both with Berger bullets and Vihtavuori powders. Here’s John at Ben Avery in 2018:

JOhn Whidden Berger SW Nationals SWN southwest Phoenix 2020

Peter Johns Berger SW Nationals SWN southwest Phoenix 2020

Above is Peter Johns, F-TR Class winner. Peter posted: “I just accomplished one of my goals of winning a national-level F-Class shooting match! I was only able to do with the support of my wife and family. Also I would like to thank Alonzo Custom Rifles for building a great shooting rifle, Kelly McMillan for the best rifle stock for F-TR (Kestros BR) and Vortex for the best riflecope (Golden Eagle) for F-Class.”

Top SWN Team Performances

A new team record was set at Ben Avery this year. In the F-TR Division, Team USA Independence finished with a 2563-113X score. We are told this is the highest-ever F-TR score. Congratulations to Top Scorer Ian Klemm (645-28X) and the other shooters Wade Fillingame, Fritz Braun, and Luke Ramsey. Keith Trap coached and Kent Reeve was Captain.

Berger SW Nationals Team Lapua Brux Borden

In F-Open Team Lapua-Brux-Borden continued its dominance, with a fine performance on the final day. The Team finished at 2584-160X, six points ahead of runner-up Team McMillan F-Open (2578-135X).

Berger SW Nationals Team Lapua Brux Borden


F-Open Rifle with Barrel-Cool Device on SEB Neo front rest.

Give Credit to the Match Directors and Staff
Emil Praslick III of Capstone Precision Group offered this perspective on the 2020 Berger SW Nationals: “Wrapping up the Southwest Nationals which was amazingly well run by the Desert Sharpshooters. Matthew Schwartzkopf, Michelle Gallagher, Nancy Tompkins, Melesia Cisneros, Scott Fulmer, Mid Tompkins, and everyone else behind the scenes literally work for at least six months to make the event the well-oiled machine that it is.

Emil Praslick III Berger SWN

Moving and managing close to 400 shooters is a Herculean task, and anyone who thinks they can do better should… offer to come down to help out. I shot awful, but it was a pleasure to see the joy of the shooters as they experienced this one-of-a-kind match. Imagine cooking Thanksgiving dinner for 400 relatives with individual dietary needs on a motel hot plate, and you’ll get an idea of the scale involved. Again, thank you Matt and the gang, and we’ll see you next year!”

2020 Berger Southwest Nationals SWN report

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February 10th, 2020

Bargain Finder 229: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Sunday afternoon or Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Cabela’s — Predator Sale — Save on Rifles, Optics, Gear

Frankford Arsenal Powder Measure

Cabela’s is running a big sale with significant savings on rifles, optics, hunting accessories, and outdoor gear. You can save up to $100 on optics, and up to $80 on firearms. There are some very good deals with this Predator Hunting Sale which lasts through 11:59 pm on Wednesday February 12, 2020. For example, the Vortex Ranger 1300 Rangefinder is just $299.99.

2. Amazon — Frankford Arsenal Powder Measure, $37.23

Frankford Arsenal Powder Measure

This new Frankford Arsenal Powder Measure — just $37.23 on Amazon — is a very good value. The unit measures from 0.8 grains up to 120 grains. A “Quick-Disconnect” screw allows you to take the powder measure off the mounting assembly quickly to pour powder back into the jug easily. We really like that feature. This measure also has a micrometer-style adjustment knob with white-on-black markings. The unit ships with two mounting stands allowing either elevated position or bench-edge mount.

3. Amazon — Barska Double-Sided Hard Rifle Case 50″, $159.08

barska double hardsided rifle case

We like cases capable of carrying two rifles. But it’s very difficult to find a soft case with the strength to carry two long-barreled scoped rifles. We like this new Barska Double Hard-Sided Case because each rifle is carried in a separate lockable compartment, with foam padding AND a hard protective panel on BOTH sides of the rifle. The interior length is 50″ — that should fit rifles with barrels up to about 28″. The exterior of the Barska Case is made of rigid ABS with an aluminum frame.

4. Brownells — Sellier&Bellot 6.5 Creedmoor Ammo $13.99/20rds

Sellier & Bellot 6.5mm Creedmoor ammo tactical PRS

We know many PRS and tactical shooters don’t have time to load large quantities of 6.5 Creedmoor ammo for practice sessions (or even a match). Right now you can purchase 20 rounds of reliable 6.5 Creedmoor loaded ammo for just $13.99 at Brownells. That’s just $0.70 per round. These days you can pay $1.00 or more just for 6.5 Creedmoor brass. This Sellier & Bellot 6.5mm Creedmoor ammo drives 140gr FMJ bullets at 2500+ FPS muzzle velocity.

5. Precision Reloading — ADG Brass for Magnum Cases Special

Atlas Development Group (ADG) brass is quality American-made cartridge brass, proven to be strong and consistent. It is a very good choice if you are looking for less-common large or magnum cartridges. Precision Reloading has many ADG brass types at attractive prices. Cartridge types available include: 6.5 PRC, .308 Win, .300 Norma Magnum, .338 Rem Ultra Magnum, .338 Edge, and .338 Lapua Magnum.

6. Amazon — Caldwell E-Max Pro Electronic Muffs

Caldwell electronic e-max earmuffs nrr 23 hearing protection muffs

The new Caldwell NRR23 E-Max Pro Electronic Muffs are a good value at $44.29 on Amazon. Other compact electronic muffs, such as the NRR22 Howard Leight Impacts, can cost $60.00 or more. Caldwell’s new 23dB NRR E-Max Muffs deliver excellent performance with easy-to-use Push Button Volume Controls, illuminated On/Off Indicator, and Auto-Shutoff. Color options: Neon Blue, Neon Green, or Hot Coral (orange).

NOTE: Caldwell also offers the Bluetooth-enabled NRR24 E-Max Pro BT. This $99.99 unit allows you to hear phone calls, listen to music, or monitor audio from Bluetooth Apps.

7. CDNN Sports — Ruger American Pro 9mm, $299.89

Ruger 9mm pistol american Pro handgun sale $299

We like the 9mm Ruger American Pro pistol. It is extremely reliable and is very accurate. The American Pro also boasts great ergonomics with interchangeable backstraps to suit different hand sizes. We prefer this full-size 9mm to a Glock and the Ruger American Pro is 50% less expensive than a SIG or HK. Right now you can get the 9mm Ruger American Pro at CDNN for $299.89, complete with two 17-rd metal magazines.

8. Midsouth Shooters — Hornady A-Tip Sample Packs, $9.99

Hornady bullet A-tip aluminum match bullet projectile

Many of our readers have been curious about Hornady’s A-Tip bullets, but don’t want to spend $75-$85 to try out a full box. In addition, many of the more popular calibers and bullet weights are sold out. Now, thanks to Midsouth Shooters, you can try an A-Tip Sample Pack to see if A-Tips work in your barrel. Choose from four options: 110gr 6mm; 135gr 6.5mm; 153gr 6.5mm; and 250gr .308 caliber. All Sample Packs contain 10 bullets, and cost $9.99 at Midsouth.

9. Amazon — 12″ x 12″ Splatter Grid Targets, 10 for $9.99

Sight-in 12

This 12″x12″ Splatterburst Target combines splatter shot marking with a grid background, with five aiming points. The bright neon shot circles make it easy to see your shots. And the handy grid lets you quickly estimate your group size. Get a 10-pack for $9.99, or a 25-pack for $17.99 (better deal). This particular target has earned rave reviews — 87% of verified buyers gave this a FIVE-Star rating. One example: “Excellent quality and durability. The adhesive is really strong and the splatter contrast is [great].”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Hot Deals, New Product, Optics No Comments »
February 10th, 2020

Blast from the Past — Setting Prize-Winning Record in 1955


Barney M. Auston of Tulsa, OK with rifle he built to break NBRSA record and win $250 cash award from Sierra Bullets. (From cover of Precision Shooting magazine. May 1956).

Way back in 1955 Sierra Bullets offered a $1000 prize for anyone setting a new Aggregate benchrest record with a 6mm (or larger) bullet. At the time the .222 Remington ruled the roost, and Sierra wanted to promote the larger caliber. Sierra also offered a $250.00 prize for a record-breaking performance with any size caliber (including the .22s). Here is the story of how a Tulsa shooter claimed the $250.00 award with a world-record-setting Aggregate involving 10-shot groups at 100 and 200 yards.

Barney Auston’s record-setting rifle was built on an FN Mauser action with double set trigger, with a Hart stainless steel barrel, 30″ x 1 1/8″, chambered for the .222 Remington cartridge. The stock, made by Auston, has a hydraulic bedder as made by L. F. Landwehr of Jefferson City, MO. The scope is a 24X, 2″ inch Unertl. Mr. Auston shot 50gr bullets, custom made by W. M. Brown of Augusta, Ohio, with .705″ Sierra cups and soft swedged. His powder charge was 21 grains of 4198. The rifle rests, both front and rear, were also made by Auston.

Record-Setting Performance
On August 20, 1955, shooting at night in a registered shoot on the John Zink range near Tulsa, Oklahoma, Barney M. Auston of Tulsa broke the existing National Match Course aggregate record. As the first person to do that in 1955, Auston won the Sierra Bullets $250 cash award. Here is the original Sierra Bullets prize offer from 1955:

10-Shot Groups at 100 and 200
Mr. Auston’s winning Aggregate for the National Match Course (five 10-shot groups at 100 yards and five 10-shot groups at 200 yards) was .4512 MOA. He also broke the 200-yard aggregate with an average of .4624 MOA, beating the .4801 match MOA record set by L.E. Wilson only a month earlier.

Barney Auston was a custom rifle maker in Tulsa who fabricated the rifles used by many of the leading benchrest competitors in the Mid-Continent and Guild Coast Regions. Auston was himself one of the top benchrest shooters in those regions during his shooting career.

Editor’s Note: Both of Mr. Auston’s records were broken before the end of the 1955 shooting season, but Auston was the first to win the Sierra Prize. Interestingly, in setting his record, Austin broke the existing Agg record by L.E. Wilson of Cashmere, Washington — yes, the same L.E. Wilson that now makes dies.

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