Another long-range benchrest record was set recently — this time at the Williamsport Range in Pennsylvania. On Saturday, May 18, 2013, Paul Martinez shot a fantastic 3.505″ 10-shot group at 1000 yards. It was nicely centered for a 99-6X score as well. Paul’s 3.505″ group should be a new 10-shot record for the 17-lb Light Gun Class under Williamsport Rules. The previous best was a 3.746″ (99-1X) group shot by Scott Weber at Williamsport last summer. Congrats to Paul for some great shooting!
Paul’s 17-lb Light Gun was chambered as a .300 WSM and Paul was loading heavy-weight .30-caliber Berger bullets. Paul’s rifle was smithed by Eric Springman of Springman Rifles in Allenwood, PA. Paul’s record-setting rifle featured a Borden action, Krieger barrel, McMillan MBR Tooley stock, and Nightforce Benchrest model scope (we don’t know if this was the old BR scope or the new-for-2013 version). Eric Springman notes: “This was not a fluke — Paul has shot several small groups with this gun and has shot under 4″ at 1000 yards before.”
Under Williamsport Rules, the Light Gun Class shoots 10-shot groups at 1000 yards. Under IBS and NBRSA Rules, Light Guns shoot 5-shot groups at 1000 yards, so there is no comparable IBS or NBRSA 10-shot record for the 17-lb class. However, IBS and NBRSA Heavy Guns DO shoot 10-shot groups at 1000 yards. The current IBS Heavy Gun 10-shot record is 3.044″, shot by Joel Pendergraft in 2009. The NBRSA 10-Shot Heavy Gun record is 4.322″ by Dave Tooley, posted in 2006. Looking at those numbers, Paul Martinez’s 3.505″ beats the existing NBRSA HG record by 0.817″ and Paul’s group is just 0.461″ off the IBS HG record. Any way you look at it, that is great shooting with a 17-lb rifle.
The 2013 35th Annual NRA Bianchi Cup National Championship kicks off today, May 22nd in Columbia, Missouri, and runs through May 25th. This prestigious event draws shooters from all over the world. Along with the USA, competitors have come from Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, and Switzerland.
Categories include: Open Division, Metallic Sights, Service Pistol, and Revolver. In addition there be awards for the top shooters in specific classes: Law enforcement, Women, Junior, International, Newcomer, Senior, Grand Senior. One of the favorites in the Women’s Division this year is Jessie Duff, shown competing with one of her Bianchi Cup custom rigs. Jessie’s pistol sports special brackets to help steady the gun during barricade shots.
Bianchi Cup — Classic Four-Stage Course of Fire
The MidwayUSA/NRA Bianchi Cup is a combination of Speed and Accuracy. Competitors shoot from both standing and prone positions and are also required to shoot with both strong and weak hands at various stages. Stages may combine stationary and moving targets. As conceived by former police officer and holster-maker John Bianchi, the Bianchi Cup originated in 1979 as a Law Enforcement Training match. The Course of Fire consists of four separate matches:
The Practical Event: From the appropriate shooting line, the shooter fires at distances from 10 yards to 50 yards under varying time limits.
The Barricade Event: From within shooting boxes and behind barricades, a shooter fires at targets on either side of the barricade at different distances and under varying time limits.
The Falling Plate Event: From the appropriate shooting line, the shooter fires at 8 inch round steel plates arranged in banks of six at distances from 10 to 25 yards under varying time limits.
The Moving Target Event: From within shooting boxes at distances ranging from 10 to 25 yards, the shooter fires at a target moving from left to right with the target being exposed for only 6 seconds.
Ruger has created a series of videos showcasing Metallic Silhouette, IDPA, SCSA (Steel Challenge), and USPSA shooting events. Log on to Ruger’s Beginner’s Guide to Shooting Competitions webpage to see informative videos on each of these popular sports. Below you can find the Video on Metallic Silhouette and the Video on SCSA Steel Challenge pistol competition. Silhouette is a great family sport and the Steel Challenge is the ultimate pistol speed-shooting event.
INTRO to RIMFIRE RIFLE METALLIC SILHOUETTE Competition
INTRO to STEEL CHALLENGE Pistol Competition
Ruger also offers many other cool videos, both on its Video Webpage and on Ruger’s YouTube Channel. On YouTube, you’ll find a great four-part Tactical Carbine video series, hosted by Dave Spaulding, winner of the 2010 Trainer of the Year award by Law Officer Magazine. Spaulding also hosts a set of Ruger videos on defensive handgun use. For novice handgunners, Ruger offers Beginner Shooting Tips with video segments covering each of these topics:
Firearm Safety Rules
Body Position Stance
Gripping the Handgun
Loading and Unloading
Shooting to Slidelock
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
Editor’s Comment: All long-range competitive shooters should watch this excellent video — whether you shoot with a team or as an individual. Three cameras were used so you can watch the shooter, the range flags, and the target simultaneously. After a discussion of scoring, the actual shooting starts at the five-minute mark in the video. Under the guidance of wind coach Gary Rasmussen, U.S. F-Class Open Team Captain Shiraz Balolia shoots 100-7X for ten shots, following Gary’s wind calls.
Team Shooting with a Coach
Shiraz tells us: “We come across a lot of shooters who have never shot under a coach. This video was produced to give shooters a basic understanding of shooting with a coach and the importance of releasing a good shot. In a team setting, you basically leave all the decision-making to the coach and aim where you’re told to aim. I’ve worked with Gary many times and it shows in the comfort level we have with each other. The coach plots the shots or a plotter advises the coach of any grouping that is not centered.”
Watch Gary Call the Wind and Shiraz Shoot 100-7X for Ten Shots
For best viewing, click the YouTube settings button to watch in 720p or 1080p HD (high definition).
Shiraz was shooting a 7mm F-Open rig: “My .284 Shehane rifle takes about 10 to 12 shots to settle down and that is probably why we made several scope adjustments while shooting. It is a great caliber and a step up from a straight .284 Winchester. The wind was relatively calm, but sometimes that slow wind with subtle angle changes can be very deceiving.”
The video was shot the first week of May 2013 at a range in Custer, WA located about 20 miles from Bellingham, Washington. The production team included Shiraz Balolia, Gary Rasmussen, three cameramen, and a target puller. Big Thanks to Grizzly Industrial for providing the camera crew and post-production talent.
Report based on story by Kyle Jillson inNRABlog.
There will be a new rifle discipline at Camp Perry this year — the NRA National Mid-Range Championships, slated for August 5-9. Created due to the rising popularity of F-Class shooting, the new 3000-point Mid-Range Championships will be shot from distances of 300, 500, and 600 yards and will add yet another fun sport to the annual Remington/NRA National Rifle and Pistol Championships. The new Mid-Range Championship isn’t just for F-Class Open and T/R rifles though. Sling shooters are allowed to compete with Service Rifles and Match Rifles and will be classified accordingly.
F-Class is target shooting with scoped sights and artificial support (bipods for F-TR and rests or bipods for F-Open). F-Class shooting is done entirely from the prone position. Originally started among older High Power shooters who were straining to see traditional iron sights and needed a little more support, the sport now includes young shooters as well as experienced shooters looking for a new challenge.
There are two F-Class divisions: Open Class (F-Open) and Target Rifle (F-TR). In F-Open, rifles can weigh up to 22 pounds, fire any caliber under .35 and may be shot off just about any type of rest. F-TR rigs are limited to 18.15 lbs (8.25 kg), must be shot off a bipod, and must be chambered for either the .223 Rem and .308 Win (or 7.62×51) cartridges. For F-TR, the bipods are counted in the weight of the rifle. Other F-class rules are found in the official NRA High Power Rulebook.
The Mid-Range Championships will be held alongside the High Power Rifle Championships August 5-9 at Camp Perry, Ohio. And if your thirst for F-Class has not been sated by then, the US F-Class National Championships are coming to the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, New Mexico from August 18-20. After that the Whittington Center will hold the F-Class World Championships from August 23-27.
This past weekend, Team Glock Captain KC Eusebio won the 2013 European Steel Challenge in record time. Held in Winterswijk, Netherlands, the Euro-Steel competition was hosted by the Stichting Winterswijkse Accomodatie Sportschieten. Eusebio shot the 6-stage indoor Open match in 58.57 seconds, winning by 3.07 seconds over two-time past European Steel Challenge champion, Saul Kirsch. This match was shot entirely indoors under artificial lighting. Eusebio used as GLOCK 34 pistol prepared by ZEV Technology.
Watch KC Shoot the Euro Steel Challenge
“I have always wanted to shoot this match against Europe’s best shooters on their turf,” said KC. “It was an honor to finally be able to do so. I can’t wait to come back to this beautiful country next year!”
After winning the Euro Steel Challenge, KC attended the Dutch Army MOD match (Harskamp, Netherlands) on May 15-16 as guest of the Dutch Army Shooting Team (photo below):
Eusebio Won U.S. National Steel Challenge in Florida in March
KC’s victory in Europe followed his win at the 2013 U.S. National Steel Championship on March 23, 2013 in Titusville, Florida. Eusebio shot the match in 76.27 seconds, setting a new Main Match record. KC beat his next closest competitor, Max Michel, by almost three seconds. KC’s 2013 time broke the previous record of 80.09 Eusebio set back in 2007. In Florida, KC won four of the eight stages outright, and he set two new stage records.
Report by Jeff Stover, IBS President
This past weekend, forty-five shooters from nine states descended on a piece of paradise in central Pennsylvania to try to shoot small groups at 100 and 200 yards. The 27th Annual Boop Memorial shoot proved to be a study in contrasts. Saturday was a good day for shooting. Sunday was brutal. On Saturday, small groups were “in”. Temps were in the mid 60s with on and off showers and humidity well beyond the clammy side. The winds were relatively light, and readable for the most part. But by mid-afternoon on Saturday, the humidity was dropping, the zephyrs growing stronger and the groups a just a bit larger. That was a portent for the tough conditions on Sunday.
Sunday was a beautiful spring day but a shooter’s nightmare with red and green wind indicators showing.
J.D. Denoff Shines on Saturday
The 100-yard stage was a J.D. Denoff show. The Virginia-based bullet-maker had his ‘A’ game going full tilt. He started by winning the Light Varmint 100-yard stage with a .2168 aggregate. Larry Costa had the same aggregate, but J.D. had the edge via tie-breaker. J.D.’s first three groups in the Heavy Varmint stage were three .140s and tiny .057. So, after four targets J.D. had a fantastic .1230 aggregate. If he could maintain that level a new IBS record was possible. J.D.’s shot at a record all depended on what he could do with his last target.
The weather gods did not cooperate. Conditions deteriorated, and J.D. only managed a .309 for his last target. That .309 looked huge compared to the tiny groups he had shot four times in a row. Still, he managed to complete a .1586 100-yard aggregate — still superb in anyone’s book. J.D. was shooting his own bullets (of course) crafted on Sierra jackets. He was running a new Bartlein barrel that he chambered himself. Smiley Hensley and Larry Costa, despite shooting ‘teen aggs’, were pretty far back with high .19xx scores.
Tough Conditions on Sunday
Sunday was a new day in more ways than one. The range at Weikert is known for sometimes wild and woolly conditions. Yes, there are some ranges with stronger winds. And there are others with those sneaky conditions that bite the unwary benchrester in the butt. But on Sunday, the conditions in the Penns Creek valley were downright tough, even for seasoned veterans. The fresh, dry breezes could not decide which way to blow. It was a war of the wills between green and red (wind indicator colors), with each struggling for supremacy.
The wind moved rapidly from 3 o’clock to 9 o’clock directions. The swing was so quick that checking the sighter was pretty much a waste of components. The only thing that resembled something to shoot was a dead tail wind. Yep, a tail wind was the only way to get something to resemble a decent group. Caution to the shooter, though, that ignored a teeny bit of red or green in your favored tailwind. Choosing both on the same target resulted in shots on either side of the one inch mothball (ten ring). One shooter, just for fun, shot the two extremes on his sighter and found nearly six inches of condition!
So given these conditions, many shooters, some of the best in the country were thrilled with a .6 or .7 group. It was one of those days when you shoot an inch group, you move up in the standings. So enter Larry Costa from Florida. Certainly, he is one of the best in the game. Like a lot of the knowledgeable shooters, he shot the tail wind, but he deftly holds for small changes in the wind’s direction.
Larry Costa won both Grand Aggregates and the Two-Gun overall.
Larry really dominated the match on Sunday. In the morning he shot a .2881 aggregate which was phenomenal for the day. He was followed by a top shooter, Hal Drake, with a .3310. Curtis Nelson shot his 30BR to third place with a .3806. The fifth place shooter, Bob Hamister, was over .4. Larry even shot a .177” small group just to add some zing into his win. If anything, the wind in the afternoon was bit worse. Larry won the LV 200-yard stage with a .3422 agg. Russ Boop was second with a .3759 and Hal Drake third with a .3773. With his two 200-yard wins, Larry Costa won both Grand Aggregates and the Two-Gun overall. In the Two-Gun he was followed by Russ Boop and J.D. Denoff.
IBS President Jeff Stover Talks About the 27th Annual Boop Memorial Shoot
Click “Play” to Hear Audio
Weikert Range on a damp early Saturday morning.
The Annual Boop Memorial Match honors the memories of Nate Boop and Rich Altemus. Both were “founding fathers” of benchrest shooting at the Union County Sportsmen’s Club in Weikert, Pennsylvania. Russ and Dale Boop are Nate’s sons. Awards at this year’s 27th Annual match were given by Nate’s grand-daughter Rachel (photo at right). Rachel is Dale Boop’s daughter.
If you’re looking for a great start for your summer, mark your calendars for May 31 through June 2, 2013 and plan to shoot the 2013 Remington-Bushmaster Long Range Regional at the Reade Range in central Pennsylvania. June in the Appalachian Mountains is a beautiful time and place. The Reade range is a first-class facility and terrific place to shoot. Since last year improvements have been made to the range to help accommodate the large number of competitors that this and other matches draw. The Regional tournament is open to conventional (sling), and F-class shooters (both F-TR and F-Open). There is still time to sign-up for the match and entries are still being accepted.
Firing will begin on Friday, May 31st with a 4-man team match that follows a morning of practice. Saturday is 3×1000 any/iron match followed by a wind clinic by Bryan Litz and a prize raffle. The match concludes on Sunday with 3×1000 any/any matches and awards presentations (with meal provided). Several teams are expected to be in attendance, pit pullers will be available for hire by competitors and Applied Ballistics will operate a hospitality tent with drinks and snacks all weekend.
CLICK “PLAY” to HEAR Bryan Litz TALK about LR Regional Match Course of Fire and PRIZES:
As if the fun of competitive shooting isn’t enticing enough, this match is heavily sponsored with some terrific prizes. Awards for the winners include: Remington rifles, Championship medals, and first place Team medals. Pluis half the entry fees will be returned to the winners as cash awards. In addition to awards, the prize table, containing donations from over 30 sponsors with a value well over $6,000, will be raffled as door prizes. Last year, every competitor was able to walk away with a prize!
Remington-Bushmaster Arms is the primary sponsor of the match. Applied Ballistics, LLC is promoting the match and you can see a full list of the match sponsors and prizes on the Applied Ballistics website. Sponsor donations are greatly appreciated. If you have a business in the firearms industry and would like to support the shooting sports by donating to this match, please contact Jennifer Litz at Jennifer.litz [at] appliedballisticsllc.com.
Here’s a way you can support competitive shooting, while getting a tax deduction. Donations to the NRA Competitive Shooting & National Championships Endowment can be tax-deductible. Started in 2007 by then NRA President John Siegler, the Endowment provides direct funding for shooting programs, including the NRA National matches at Camp Perry. This is a permanent Endowment, with investment income channeled to shooting programs.
According to the NRABlog: “Donations go right into the fund and stay there. They are never touched. 85% of the earnings (or interest) generated by the fund are dispersed to the Competitive Shooting Division for their yearly budget. The other 15% goes back into the principal. By never touching the principal, and reinvesting a portion of the earnings, the endowment will always grow. Simple as that.”
You can contribute in one of two ways — as a gift or as a tax-deductible donation. No matter what path you choose, the money still goes towards the overall cost of running the competitions. To make a contribution to the fund, download the Competitive Shooting & National Championships Endowment flyer, fill out the form and send it to:
NRA Treasurer’s Officer
11250 Waples Mill Road
Fairfax, Virginia 22030
“Once [the Endowment] is big enough, it could pay for all of competitive shooting. That’s something every competitor would benefit from.” — Dennis Willing, NRA Competitive Shooting Director.
This is one of the most amazing feats of precision shooting ever recorded. In an IBS 600-yard Benchrest match today at the Piedmont range (Rutherfordton, NC), Forum member Rodney Wagner shot a 0.349″ five-shot group at 600 yards. That smashes the existing 0.699″ IBS Light Gun Record (and it’s way smaller than the NBRSA record as well). To top that, the group was centered up for a 50-2X score, which establishes another record (50 score with small-group tie-breaker). Rodney (aka “Eggman” on the Forum) was shooting a 17-lb IBS Light Gun with a Brux barrel chambered for the 6mm Dasher, a popular improved version of the 6mm BR Norma cartridge. Rodney was shooting 32.5 grains of Varget, with CCI 450 primers, and Berger 108gr BTs, seated .020″ away from the lands.
Stay tuned — we will have more information soon. Our friend Sam Hall was on hand to interview Rodney at the Piedmont range. Click “PLAY” button below to hear Rodney talk about his rifle and his load:
Rodney Wagner Talks about his 0.349″ 600-yard Group (Click PLAY to Hear Audio)
Record-Breaking Family — Like Son, Like Father
Here’s an interesting factoid: In 2008, Rodney’s teen-age son set the IBS 600-yard Light Gun record with a .711″ five-shot group, combined with an Aggregate of 1.628″. That Agg was itself an IBS record (until Chad Jenkins recorded an 1.5009″ Agg in 2012). Rodney’s son was shooting a 6BRX. The 600-yard group record was then lowered by Rodney’s friend Sam Hall, who shot a 0.699″ group in 2010. Sam also set the current 600-yard LG score record with a perfect 50, but that should be eclipsed by Rodney’s 50 score based on tie-breaker by group size.
Look at that target and try not to be astonished! When this editor saw the group, I was honestly stunned and speechless. Consider this, one MOA at 600 yards is 6.282 inches. So Rodney’s 0.349″ group works out to 0.055 MOA. That’s what a mid-zero group at 600 yards looks like boys and girls….
Equipment: BAT Model B action (RBLP Rt Eject), Brux HV-contour barrel (29″), Jewell trigger, March 10-60x52mm (Tactical knobs, Burris Rings), Shehane ST1000 fiberglass Tracker stock.
If you plan to compete at the 2013 NRA National Rifle and Pistol Championships, you can now register online. To sign up, visit www.NMEntry.com. Returning shooters should enter their Camp Perry Competition ID (from a previous year). New shooters should enter NRA member ID, if available. Choose one (or more) of the five championship events: Pistol Championship, Smallbore Rifle Championship, High Power Rifle Championship, Mid-Range Rifle Championship, Long Range Championship.
Competing at Perry is special: “For over 100 years, shooters in the United States have made the pilgrimage to Camp Perry for the NRA National Matches, and the honor to shoot shoulder-to-shoulder with the best.” (NRABlog)
Watch Slide Show from 2012 NRA Long Range Championship