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September 21st, 2021

In Memoriam — Walt Berger, Founder of Berger Bullets

Walt Berger bullets RIP memorial Benchrest Range Ben Avery

Walt Berger bullets RIP memorial Benchrest Range Ben AveryA legend in the shooting community has passed. And we are all diminished. Walt Berger passed away on September 19, 2021. A great innovator, a great benchrest competitor (with many Hall of Fame points), and a great friend to countless shooters, Walt will be truly missed.

Berger Bullets announced yesterday: “It is with our deepest regrets that we announce the passing of Berger Bullets & Ammunition founder, Walter Berger. Walt passed peacefully on Sunday afternoon September 19th, 2021, surrounded by friends and family at the age of 92.

‘If a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right’, were words that Walt lived by. One could see it in how he treated friends and family, and in his impact on the shooting world. Walt’s legacy and dedication to quality is carried on by his grandson, David Hamilton, the Plant Manager of the Berger manufacturing facility in Mesa, Arizona. Walt’s philosophies and business practices are the guiding principles in our mission to ensure that products bearing the Berger name continue to be something Walt would be proud of. We celebrate his life and will do our best to live up to his example.”

Walt was a remarkable man who loved the sport of benchrest shooting. He was still competing at age 90+. Here he is in 2016 at the Cactus Classic in Arizona.
Walt Berger bullets RIP memorial Benchrest Range Ben Avery

Many of our readers and Forum members knew Walt and shot with him at matches over the decades. Here are some of the expressions of sadness at his passing:

“Great man, he had a long run, and touched many lives.” — Boyd Allen

“A real gentleman and always there to help anyone that needed it. I’m blessed to have known him many years. RIP old Friend.” — Bill Shehane

“Now there is a man for ya! I remember talking to him and Eunice on the phone back in the 80s ordering some of their benchrest bullets. May God bless his family. Thank you Walt for the great bullets — I’ve watched them do some amazing things!” — Don Mild

“Walt was an iconic figure in accurate shooting for many many years. A gentleman in the game who traveled worldwide including Australia. He will be sorely missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family. Rest assured men like Walt aren’t made any more. Thanks for everything Walt — your Australian friends will never forget you.” — Brad Ward

“When I first started chasing accuracy I used to buy bullets from Walt at his little shop on Camelback Road in Phoenix. He always had time to share his expertise and to help me. He and Eunice are together again, shooting at the big range in the sky where the weather is perfect with no wind.” — Doug Whitson

“My prayers go to David, Stacey, Eric, and the girls.
Walt was a truly special man and friend.” — Nancy Tompkins

“He was a Man of Legend. And Legends live forever.” — Ivan Lukashevych

Walt in 2015 at the dedication of the 100/200-yard Ben Avery range named in his honor.
Walt Berger memorial Benchrest Range Ben Avery
Walt Berger memorial Benchrest Range Ben Avery

About Walt Berger and Berger Bullets
Walt Berger shot competitive benchrest most of his adult life. Seeing that the bullets he could buy off-the-shelf were not up to his quality expectations, Walt decided that he could make better precision bullets than he could purchase. Walt started making his own bullets and proved their quality by winning competitions and eventually even earning his place in the Benchrest Shooters Hall of Fame. Other benchrest shooters saw his success and solicited him to make their bullets as well.

Walt Berger memorial Benchrest Range Ben Avery

After years of crafting bullets by hand in his garage, Walt’s wife, Eunice, who was also a legend in benchrest competition, encouraged him to expand his hobby into a business. Together, they grew Berger into a large-scale precision bullet operation with exceptionally high quality standards.

Walt Berger memorial Benchrest Range Ben Avery

Walt Berger memorial Benchrest Range Ben Avery

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September 21st, 2021

Stabilize Your Shooting Positions — Techniques for Hunters

USAMU Michael McPhail position hunting prone kneeling treestand
For hunters in a tree stand, SFC McPhail recommends a position with your weakside leg pulled up and firmly braced on the front rail of the treestand. You can then rest your support arm on your leg. This provides a rock-solid position when shooting from a stand.

USAMU Michael McPhail position hunting prone kneeling treestandTeam USA Olympian and ISSF World Cup Winner SFC Michael McPhail is one of the world’s best smallbore rifle shooters. He is also an avid hunter, who enjoys harvesting game with centerfire rifles. In a USAMU video, McPhail shows how competition shooting positions can be adapted for hunters. McPhail shows how well-established positions can provide a more stable platform for hunters in the field. That can help ensure a successful hunt. McPhail demonstrates three positions: kneeling, supported prone, and sitting in a tree-stand.

Watch SFC McPhail Demonstrate Positions for Hunters (Good Video):

USAMU Michael McPhail position hunting prone kneeling treestand

McPhail first demonstrates the kneeling position. Michael notes: “I like kneeling. It’s a little bit of an under-utilized position, but it’s almost as stable as prone. It allows you get up off the ground a little bit higher to [compensate for] vegetation. For kneeling start by taking your non-dominant foot and put that towards the target, while at the same time dropping down to a knee on the dominant leg. At the same time … wrap the sling around wrist and fore-arm, lean slightly into the target and take the shot.”

USAMU Michael McPhail position hunting prone kneeling treestand

McPhail shows a nice “field expedient” use of your backpack. He shows how the basic prone position can be adapted, using the pack as a front rifle support. McPhail recommends pulling your dominant (strongside) leg forward, bent at the knee. According to Michael, this takes pressure off the abdomen, helps minimizes heart beat effects, and helps with breathing.

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September 21st, 2021

2021 Steel Challenge on Shooting USA This Week

2021 steel challenge talladega alabama world speed shooting championship pistol rimfire rifle

Bang Clang! The 2021 Steel Challenge World Speed Shooting Championship will be featured on Shooting USA TV tomorrow. The Shooting USA Steel Challenge episode runs September 22, 2021 on the Outdoor Channel. Show times are: Wednesdays, 9:00 PM Eastern and Pacific, 8:00 PM Central.

This past April, the fastest speed shooters in the nation showcased their skills at the Steel Challenge Championship at Alabama’s Talladega Marksmanship Complex in Alabama. The Steel Challenge course consists of multiple 5-target close-range stages. This discipline has been called “drag racing with guns”. Draw and shoot 5 steel targets with time as your score. The shooter with the lowest overall time wins.

There are multiple pistol and revolver classes, both rimfire and centerfire, iron sights and optics. Increasing in popularity (and speed) are the rimfire rifle and pistol-caliber centerfire rifle classes. There are 13 gun classes in total, the most for any shooting championship. In the centerfire handgun match, the fastest times are posted by competitors using enhanced open guns with compensators and red-dot optics. This year, KC Eusebio has set out to become the only eight-time World Speed Shooting Champion.

Here is a full length Shooting USA Steel Challenge Episode from 2017:

Shooting USA Video covers Course of Fire, Firearms Classes, and Target Layouts (1:20)

Definitely watch the 4-minute video (above) produced by Shooting USA. It explains the classes, shows the stages, and illustrates ALL the different gun classes, pistol AND rifle. You can also see some of the world’s fastest shooters including Jessie Harrison (1:47, 3:44) and Max Michel (3:48). Be amazed by the speed of semi-auto rimfire rifles — five targets hit in under two seconds!

2021 steel challenge talladega alabama world speed shooting championship pistol rimfire rifle

Here is Jessie Harrison, the fastest lady pistol shooter on the planet. At the 2021 World Speed Shooting Championship, Jessie won the Ladies Overall Open title for the 13th time with a total time of 93.03 seconds. Full Report on SSUSA.org.

2021 steel challenge talladega alabama world speed shooting championship pistol rimfire rifle

The Steel Challenge was founded in 1981 by Mike Dalton and Mike Fichman, in Southern California. The two Mikes wanted an exciting alternative to paper targets and came up with the all-steel format. The Steel Challenge World Speed Shooting Championships have grown to one of the largest professional pistol competitions in America. In 2021, scores of competitors competed at the Talladega Marksmanship Park for glory and cash prizes. The Steel Challenge is governed by the Steel Challenge Shooting Association (SCSA) that consists of eight standardized stages with three types of steel targets: small circle, big circle, and square. Here is a steel challenge layout in Germany.

rimfire steel challenge outer limits germany

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