November 13th, 2020

.22 LR Smallbore F-Class — We Expect This Sport to Grow

Camp Wa-Ke-De indiana 2018 smallbore F-Class Jim Murphy
Anschutz .22 LR rifle set up for F-Class competition. Photo courtesy Sportschieben Blog.

Here’s a relatively new discipline we think will grow in years ahead — Smallbore F-Class with .22 LR rimfire rifles. Rest-supported prone rimfire matches have been held around the world for quite some time, but only a few years ago was the discipline officially codified in the NRA Smallbore Rulebook. And the first-ever Smallbore F-Class National Championship was held in July 2018 in conjunction with the Smallbore Nationals at Camp Wa-Ke’-De in Bristol, Indiana. The Nationals involved multiple days of prone shooting at 50 meters and 100 yards.*

Jim Murphy, a respected centerfire shooter and coach, became America’s very first Smallbore F-Class National Champion, shooting an impressive 2374-146X score in 2018. Fourteen points behind, but with the same X-Count, was runner-up David Pessall (2360-146X). Jess Huehn finished third with 2358-137X.

Camp Wa-Ke-De indiana 2018 smallbore F-Class Jim Murphy
National Championship photo from Shooting Sports USA.

Competitors could either shoot F-TR style with a bipod, or use a front rest. In this photo from the inaugural NRA National Championship you can see a shooter with SEB Coaxial Rest at top, with a competitor using a low-profile bipod at bottom. Note the extended handle used to adjust bipod elevation. This is not a coaxial joystick, but rather a long handle attached to the mariner wheel.

For more information read Hap Rocketto’s Shooting Sports USA Smallbore F-Class Report.

Smallbore F-Class — The Future Looks Bright
With the high cost of centerfire ammunition, and the limited number of 1000-yard (or even 600-yard) ranges, we can envision that Rimfire F-Class will become a popular event at ranges across the country. Clubs don’t even need benches — just a 100-yard target bay and flat ground for the shooters. You can start with an inexpensive rimfire rig and Harris bipod. Then work up from there. Here is a custom rimfire F-TR style rig that belongs to F-Class ace and past centerfire F-TR National Champion James Crofts.

Camp Wa-Ke-De indiana 2018 smallbore F-Class Jim Murphy

And Vudoo Gun Works has a new .22 LR Single Shot Target Rifle that should prove ideal for rimfire F-Class. It features the new V22-S single-shot action, McMillan stock, and Flavio Fare BR-VS trigger.

Camp Wa-Ke-De indiana 2018 smallbore F-Class Jim Murphy

Smallbore F-Class Course of Fire
The Smallbore F-Class Nationals was completed on paper targets at 50 yards and 100 yards. According to Shooting Sports USA: “The tournament ran during the any sight and metric phases of the 2018 NRA National Smallbore Rifle Championships, featuring a daily course of fire which mirrored the sling shooters, 40 shots at 50 meters on the A-50 target, a Metric Dewar, followed by 40 shots at 100 yards on the A-33 target. Although the international targets were shot throughout, the first two days were titled ‘conventional’ and the last two ‘metric’.”

The specifics of the match such as rifle requirements, rests, and sights may be found in the Provisional Smallbore Rifle F-Class Rules (Section 23), found on page 65 of the current NRA Smallbore Rifle rulebook. Any rules not covered in Section 23 will [reference] the normal rules of Sections 1 through 22.

* All ‘short range’ F-Class was shot at 50 meters on the A-50, the 50 meter International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) target. All ‘long range’ stages were shot at 100 yards using the NRA A-33 target, the ISSF 300-meter target reduced to 100 yards.

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November 13th, 2020

Criterion Barrel — Great Accuracy with Creedmoor Sports Ammo

criterion barrel black creedmoor sports .308 Win Ammunition ammo

Superb Accuracy with Criterion Pre-Fit Barrel and Creedmoor Sports Ammo
Check out that 0.188″ group. Can you believe that was shot with factory .308 Win ammo? A while back our friends at Criterion Barrels tested some .308 ammo from Creedmoor Sports. This was loaded with Lapua’s 175gr Scenar HPBT bullet in Lapua brass. The results speak for themselves. Any time factory ammo can shoot inside quarter-MOA, that’s impressive. This ammo was used in a “Rem/Age” project rifle. That term refers to a Remington action rifle that has been re-barreled with a pre-fit Criterion barrel. The new barrel is secured with a Savage-style barrel nut. Hence the term “Rem/Age” or “Rem-Age”.

shooting target accurateshooter load developmentCriterion posted: “I think we may have a new favorite factory match load for the nitrided Rem/Age build.” Another reader added: “[Creedmoor’s] 175 Scenar .308 ammunition is top notch.” FYI, this group was shot on our load development target, which you can download for free from our Targets Page.

Why do Criterion barrels shoot so well? One reason is that Criterion’s barrel steel is carefully stress-relieved. In the photo below, Criterion Rack 1A (aka the “Coffin”) has been loaded with barrel blanks — made ready for the stress-relieving process.

criterion barrel black creedmoor sports .308 Win Ammunition ammo

Working with Pre-Fit Barrels
While they may require the purchase of some additional tools and a bit of a learning curve to install, using Rem/Age pre-fit barrels offer advantages over gunsmith chambering and barrel-fitting. In this video, 8541 Tactical explains how to install a Criterion 6.5 Creedmoor “pre-fit” barrel. You save money and time — you don’t have to wait for a gunsmith to chamber the barrel. While Criterion recommends that a competent gunsmith oversee the pre-fit installation, if you understand the use of go/no-go gauges and you have a barrel vise and action wrench set up to remove the original barrel, putting on a pre-fit barrel CAN be a DIY project. You don’t have to pack up your rifle to ship it off to a smith.

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November 13th, 2020

Top 4 Armageddon Cup Competitors Used Hornady A-Tip Bullets

hornady armageddon cup a-tip bullets
Armageddon Gear Founder Tom Fuller competes in PRS and supervised the 2020 AG Cup.

We know many readers have wondered if Hornady A-Tip bullets are good enough for competition. Well at least in the PRS world, it looks like these aluminum-tipped, high-BC bullets are more than capable of winning. The top four shooters in the 2020 Armageddon Gear Cup all used 110gr 6mm Hornady A-Tips. Of course in PRS/NRL, accuracy standards are different. In the hands of a very good PRS shooter, a half-MOA rifle can win. PRS is not benchrest where you need bullets that can shoot in the “ones”. But still, this is an impressive performance for Hornady’s A-Tips, at least in PRS-type tactical competition.

Hornady A-Tip bullets were used by the first, second, third, and fourth place competitors at the 2020 Armageddon Gear Cup match, held October 30-31 in Blakely, Georgia. Austin Orgain took first place, followed by Robert Brantley (2nd), Tate Streater (3rd), and Dave Preston (4th). All four shooters were using Hornady 6mm 110-grain A-Tips. Winner Austin Orgain stated “A-Tip bullets are the most forgiving bullets I have ever loaded… Combine a high-quality bullet with high BCs, you have a winning combination.”

hornady armageddon cup a-tip bullets

The Hornady A-Tip was designed as a low drag, high-BC match bullet. The most striking features of A-Tip bullets are the long, aluminum tips. The highly-uniform aluminum tips are precision-machined. Hornady claims that these tips “coupled with highly refined AMP bullet jackets… and optimized boattails” yield reduced drag compared to other bullets of similar weight.

About the Armaggedon Gear Cup Match
2020 marked the second year of the Armageddon Gear (AG) Cup, an invitational match at the 2300-acre Arena Training Facility in Georgia. This year showcased an all-star line-up of tactical talent, with the nation’s top PRS/NRL shooters invited. This is a big money event. In 2019 $41,000 in prize money was up for grabs, with the overall match winner guaranteed twenty thousand ($20,000) in cash and a $1000 prize for the winner of each of the 20 Stages. You can watch last year’s AG Cup on Shooting USA’s Vimeo Channel.

armageddon gear cup georgia shooting usa

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