April 11th, 2021

Sunday GunDay: Home-Built Heavy Gun with Coaxial Rear Rest

Rear coaxial Rest Heavy gun

If you’re a fan of “Heavy Artillery” here’s an impressive rifle that Forum member “Straightpipes” crafted himself nearly a decade ago. Even today, it remains a state-of-the-art engineering Tour De Force, complete with a custom-built, joy-stick REAR rest. We’re mightily impressed by the innovative design and superb metal-work displayed by this “home-built special”. ‘Straightpipes’ certainly proved that American “know-how” and creativity is still alive….

Coaxial (joy-stick) rests allow both vertical and horizontal movement with a single control. If you want to make a diagonal shift in point of aim, you can do this with one, smooth, continuous movement. Until now, this advantage has been limited to front rests. Well there’s some new technology in the benchrest world. Forum member ‘Straightpipes’ has created a coaxial rear joystick rest. He built this simple, compact rear rest in his home workshop for use with his 40-lb Heavy Gun. In combination with a vertically adjustable front rest, this innovative rear joystick rest allows aiming to be controlled from the rear, with your left hand in a comfortable position. Yes this kind of adjustable rear rest is legal in NBRSA HG and LG classes, and in IBS Heavy Gun class.

Rear coaxial Rest Heavy gun

Straightpipes Rear Coaxial Rest — Design and Features
The rear rest is crafted from aluminum with a stainless steel forward-pointing joystick. Total weight, including the long, stabilizing base foot, is about 10 pounds. Though the rear rest doesn’t seem to have a large movement range, the system offers plenty of “on-target” travel. At 100 yards, the rest offers 10 MOA left, 10 MOA right, 5 MOA up, and 5 MOA down adjustment. That’s plenty of range for most targets, once you center the Point of Aim vertically using the captain’s wheel on the front rest, which Straightpipes also crafted himself. Click Square Photos Below to see Large Images.

Inside the rear cradle sits a Protektor rear sandbag, with Cordura fabric filled with ordinary sand. This fits the 3″-wide bottom of Straightpipes’ 40-lb heavy gun. There are some sophisticated components you can’t see in the photos. The rear rest can pivot (right or left slightly) to stay aligned with the front rest (as adjusted to level the cant of the rifle). Straightpipes says: “With the pivot, whatever I do to the front, the rear follows.” The basket (cradle) also employs a 20-lb bias spring system to handle the weight of the Heavy Gun. This prevents the co-axial system from binding, so it is fluid and easy to operate. Even with 20 pounds of gun weight on the rear, the joystick can be easily manipulated with a light touch of thumb and fore-finger.

Video Shows Rear Coaxial Rest in Action

Watch the video below to see how the joystick controls the rear rest. Total joystick movement is about a 2.5″ sweep. This gives 20 MOA total windage adjustment at 100 yards, and about 10 MOA vertical.

About the Straightpipes Front Rest
The coaxial rear rest is designed to work with the massive front rest as a system, though they are NOT connected, so as to comply with IBS Heavy Gun rules. The 30-lb front rest supports exactly half the weight of the rifle and is used to set gross elevation. Windage and fine elevation is controlled in the rear. Straightpipes also designed and built his beefy front rest himself. As with his rear coaxial unit, the front rest pieces were all shaped by hand on a belt sander after being milled out. Straitpipes even “finish-sculpted some pieces with hand files the old craftsmen way.” The main center support column was milled with extremely fine threads. This allows the captain’s wheel to turn with little effort and no locking mechanism is required. Straightpipes does not need to fuss with locking knobs when he sets gross elevation. To help keep the unit from binding, there are stainless guide shafts on the left and right. These shafts slide in oil-impregnated bronze bushings.

Rear coaxial Rest Heavy gun

40-lb Barrel Block Heavy Gun with Savage Action
Straightpipes built this beautiful set of rests to work with his 40-lb Heavy Gun. Chambered in 7mm WSM, the gun features a Savage Target Action, and a Brux 32″, 1.300″ straight-diameter barrel fitted with a custom barrel nut. The barrel is clamped forward of the action in a 9″-long barrel block. This allows the Savage action to free-float. The block, also built by Straightpipes, looks fairly standard, but it has some clever design features. Between the barrel and the block there is sleeve that is slightly compressed when the block’s bolts are tensioned. This sleeve, made of a proprietary material, eliminates metal to metal contact between barrel and block. Straightpipes believes this enhances accuracy and provides some damping. Other shooters with barrel-block guns have used epoxy between block and barrel, but that makes disassembly difficult. The sleeve system on Straightpipes’ gun allows the barreled action to be easily removed from the stock. In addition, the compressed sleeve system is very stable — Straightpipes doesn’t have to fiddle with the bolt torques on his block.

Rear coaxial Rest Heavy gun

‘Black Beauty’ Stock Made from Resin-Soaked Laminated Wood, with Rust-Oleum Finish
Straightpipes built the beefy stock himself. It is made from “red oak” wood soaked in resin and then laminated together with JB Weld. The rear section features a polished aluminum buttplate and twin metal “runners” on the underside, where the stock rides the Protektor Cordura bag. Straightpipes says the stock is very stable: “it absolutely does not flex or warp with changes in temp or humidity”. We asked Straightpipes about the stock finish. To our surprise, “Pipes” revealed he used inexpensive Rust-Oleum fine texture outdoor furniture paint. “Pipes” told us: “I’ve been using this stuff for years. It’s abrasion proof and tough as nails — the bags won’t wear it off. It’s solvent-proof, won’t get soft or bubble up. It cleans up with a damp cloth, just rub it down and it looks like new.”

Rear coaxial Rest Heavy gun

As designed and crafted by Straightpipes, this Heavy Gun rest system is impressive. The rear rest is brilliantly simple, and beautifully finished. But the important question is: “how does it shoot?”. Straightpipes reports that the whole system exceeds his expectations: “The rear rest actuation is smooth and positive. It works smoothly in conjunction with the front rest. Everything is working together — there’s nothing that’s fighting another element of the system. The gun tracks straight. When it returns to battery, the thing is pretty much waiting for you shot after shot.” The rear rest’s small footprint allows the “driver” to sit comfortably behind the rig. Straightpipes reports: “Shooters can ‘address the rifle’ just like a Light Gun — you’re not straining to wrap your arm around something overly massive. Anybody can shoot this, it’s a very easy gun to shoot.”

Is it accurate? In a word, “Yes”. Straightpipes doesn’t want to make claims before the rig has been tested in competition, but he says it has “shot groups at 600 and 1000 yards that would be very competitive.” We promised not to publish group sizes yet, but we can tell you that at 600 yards in good conditions it drilled some “scary small” 5-shot groups, well, well under 1/4 MOA.

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April 10th, 2021

Weakside Bolt Placement — When and Why It Works

left port McMillan Rifle

Most bolt-action rifle shooters work the bolt with their trigger-pulling hand. This is because most rifles sold to right-handed shooters come with right-side bolts, while “lefty” rifles come with left-side bolts. This “standard” configuration requires the shooter to take his dominant, trigger-pulling hand off the stock to cycle the bolt, then re-position his hand on the stock, and “re-claim” the trigger. Often the shooter must lift or move his head to work the bolt, and that also requires him to re-establish his cheek weld after each and every shot. Not good.

This really doesn’t make much sense for precision shooting with fore-end support*. There is a better way. If you leave your trigger hand in position and work the bolt (and feed rounds) with the opposite hand, then you don’t need to shift grip and head position with each shot. All this requires is a weakside-placed bolt, i.e. a left bolt for a right-handed shooter or a right bolt for a left-handed shooter. The video below shows a “Lefty” working a right bolt. Note how efficient this is:

As our friend Boyd Allen explains: “If you think about it, if you are going to work with a factory action where your options are left bolt and left port or right bolt and right port, and you are building a rifle that will only be shot from a rest, using the left/left for a RH shooter or using a right/right for a LH shooter works better than the conventional configuration”.

Shoot Like a Champ and Work the Bolt with Your Weakside Hand
Derek Rodgers, the current F-TR World Champion and the only person to have won BOTH F-Open and F-TR U.S. National Championships plus the King of 2 Miles Match, runs this kind of “opposite” bolt set-up. Yep, Derek shoots right-handed with a left bolt. Though Derek is a right-hander, he shoots with a Left Bolt/Left Port (LBLP) action. He pulls the trigger with his right index finger, while working the left-side bolt with his left (weakside) hand. This allows him to stay in position, and maintain his cheekweld. He places his right hand on the grip, while manipulating the bolt (and feeding rounds) with his non-trigger-pulling hand.

Recent F-TR World Champion and King of 2 Miles Derek Rodgers
left port McMillan Rifle Derek Rodgers

This is the rifle with which Derek won the 2013 F-TR National Championship.
left port McMillan Rifle Derek Rodgers

*For true standing, off-hand shooting (whether in competition or on a hunt), a conventional strongside bolt placement makes sense, since the non-dominant arm must support the front of the rifle all the time. When shooting from bipod or rest, it’s a different story.

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April 9th, 2021

The CRPS — Rimfire Tactical Competition in Canada

Canadian Precision Rimfire Series CRPS

The Canadian Precision Rimfire Series (CRPS) is a non-profit organization founded in 2018 to promote competitive shooting sports for Canadians coast-to-coast. The CRPS now hosts 100+ events with over 1500 competitors annually. The CRPS was created to provide shooters across Canada with a challenging environment to test their precision shooting skills using .22 LR rimfire rifles. Matches are held throughout Canada to allow all Canadians a chance to see how they “stack up” against the rest of the country. The CRPS has three divisions: Open Class; Production Class (Rifle $500 USD MSRP max, Optics $700 USD MSRP max); and Youth Class (competitors under 18 years at season start). These events give shooters of all budgets an opportunity to test their skills and equipment under demanding conditions.

Canadian Precision Rimfire Series

Using a PRS-style match format, with timed stages, competitors engage 1-5 steel targets per stage. Targets are placed from 50 to 300 meters. Target sizes range from 1/2″ to 9″. The steel targets are shot from a variety of positions. Many stages involve a challenging set of platforms or barricade rests.

Canadian Precision Rimfire Series

CRPS Match Video — Watch the Action

This video is well worth watching. It shows actual CRPS rimfire tactical matches, showing stages and discussing match strategies. The video also shows a wide collection of rimfire tactical rifles and accessories.

Canadian Precision Rimfire Series CRPS

Canadian Precision Rimfire Series CRPS

What Gear You Need for CRPS Matches

How to Get Started
Are you just starting out? Wondering what you should bring to a rimfire tactical match? CRPS Staffer Matt explains the essential match gear you will need, including rifle, support bags, mags, and chamber flags. Check out his “Womfat” YouTube Channel for more helpful videos.

Youth Competitors – Free Registration
The Canadian Rimfire Precision Series (CRPS) promotes junior competitors. That’s great because this is a definitely a fun sport for young shooters. To help get young shooters involved, the CRPS allocate five (5) free registration spots per match for youth shooters (under 18 years) when accompanied by a registered shooter. That registered adult does not have to be a family member.

Savage Sponsorship of CRPS

CRPS Savage B22 Precision .22 LR rimfire tactical rifle

Savage Arms is a 2021 Gold Sponsor of the Canadian Rimfire Precision Series. Rick Katigbak, CRPS Founder and President, observed: “The partnership with Savage Arms will allow the CRPS to host more events in 2021 and provide competitors with the opportunity to see, first-hand, Savage’s line of precision rimfire rifles including the new competition-oriented B22 Precision models“.

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April 8th, 2021

Thunder Downunder — New Zealand North Island Rifle Match

Clevedon New Zealand club match F-TR FPR F-Open Sling Target Rifle

Clevedon New Zealand club match F-TR FPR F-Open Sling Target RifleNew Zealand is a beautiful country with rich, verdant green hills, snowcapped Southern Alps, thousands of miles of coastline, and abundant, unspoiled nature. Here’s quick look at what it’s like to shoot in New Zealand, aka Aoteoroa, the Land of the Long White Cloud.

New Zealand has a long, proud heritage of Marksmanship, and the little island country has hosted major international matches in recent years. This report is from a regional club match hosted at the Clevedon Rifle Club in the North Island, south of Auckland. The club website says: “At Clevedon we shoot from 300 yards back to 1000 yards, mainly with single-shot target rifles in any caliber up to 8mm. There are several styles of target shooting, Target Rifle with open sights and supporting the rifle with a sling, F-Class where a rest and telescopic sights are used and Hunter Class where standard hunting rifles with a support are used. The shooting season goes from September until May. The range is situated on a working farm so changes to the club program happen around hay making [and other farm activities].”

Clevedon New Zealand club match

Clevedon New Zealand club match F-TR FPR F-Open Sling Target Rifle

These photos are from the Clevedon Rifle Club in Clevedon NZ (North Island), south of the Auckland metropolitan zone. The range is on a working farm near the Clevedon Scenic Reserve and Hanua Ranges Regional Park. These images were posted on the New Zealand NRA Facebook page.

Sunshine Down Under with Competition at 300, 500, and 600 Yards
The Kiwi club reports: “Round 5 of the Clevedon Club Championships was completed today over 300, 500, and 600 yards in fine, sunny conditions. This is the finish of the short ranges with the Long Range [matches set for] next Saturday. Being Easter weekend we had a great turn out with 28 shooters, still managed to get people shooting on the wrong target. The four divisions were F-Open, F-TR, FPR (Field Precision Rifle), and Target Rifle. Next Saturday, 10 April, shooting is over 800, 900 and 1000 yards, last round of the Club Champs, set up from 8:15 and shooting to start at 9am At 800 yards.”

What is FPR Class?
The FPR (Field Precision Rifle) class is for shooters with muzzle brakes or suppressors (not allowed in normal F-Class rules), and are generally bolt-action rifles purchased from retail stores. Commonly used are the Ruger RPR, Remington 700, and Savage variants. EDITOR: We would like to see the FPR Class get started here is the USA. It seems like a good way to expand participation with more affordable rifles.

Clevedon New Zealand club match F-TR FPR F-Open Sling Target Rifle

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April 7th, 2021

Hornady Precision Hunter Steel Challenge on ShootingUSA

Hornady Precision Hunter Steel Challenge Cameo Grand Junction Colorado CO PRS

Today, Wednesday April 7, 2021, Shooting USA TV features the Hornady Precision Hunter Steel Challenge. This is a unique, one-of-a-kind match set in 2000 acres of natural terrain at the Cameo Shooting Complex in Colorado. The match replicates long-range hunting challenges, with steel targets sized to simulate the vitals of western game animals. Some 135 competitors engaged steel targets in 20 challenging stages.

Match Director Scott Satterlee says, “This is as close as it can get to mountain hunting. We have vital-sized targets out there. They are 12-inch squares turned to diamonds which are really difficult to hit”.

Hornady Precision Hunter Steel Challenge Cameo Grand Junction Colorado CO PRS

SHOOTING USA TV Air Times
View Shooting USA on the Outdoor Channel: Wednesdays 9:00 PM (Eastern and Pacific); 8:00 PM Central.
NOTE: If you miss the 1/13/2021 broadcast, you can still view the show on Vimeo for a small 99-cent fee, or just $1.99 per month unlimited. LINK HERE: Shooting USA on Vimeo.

The inaugural Hornady Precision Hunter Steel Challenge took place in Colorado August 8 and 9. This unique competition involved lots of hiking with various shooting positions in challenging natural terrain. The unique match was hosted at the Cameo Shooting Complex near Grand Junction, CO.

Hornady Precision Hunter Steel Challenge Cameo Grand Junction Colorado CO PRS

There were 135 registered competitors — quite a turn-out for a physically demanding match in a fairly remote location. Congrats to Heavy Class and Overall Winner Brian Black who topped the field with 140 Match points (100% of possible). Brian shot a 6.5×47 Lapua with Berger 6.5mm 140gr Hybrids. Brian’s winning rig featured a Lone Peak Arms Fuzion action, Benchmark barrel, and XLR Element chassis.

Hornady Precision Hunter Steel Challenge Cameo Grand Junction Colorado CO PRS

Hornady Precision Hunter Steel Challenge Cameo Grand Junction Colorado CO PRS

The Hornady Precision Hunter Steel Challenge tests a rifleman’s fitness and skills as marksman and hunter. The stages were blind with a 4-minute time limit to move to the shooting area, locate, range, and engage targets. Shooters could choose between two rifle weight classes (light or heavy) and had to meet a minimum power factor cartridge requirement that helped even the playing field. The match featured a diverse course of fire with a good mix of prone and natural terrain shooting positions.

Hornady Precision Hunter Steel Challenge Cameo Grand Junction Colorado CO PRS

CLICK HERE for 100 More Match Photos (Facebook Album) »

hornady hunting ammoHunting Ammo Tested by Shooting USA
In this same episode, Shooting USA tests a variety of Hornady hunting ammo offerings on the G.A. Precision private gun range in Missouri. (We’d love to have our own private range like that!) Jason Hornady says his company starts the design of all hunting ammunition with bullet selection: “For us it started with the bullet … for us the bullet still makes the cartridge.”.

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April 6th, 2021

Nancy Tompkins Wins 3rd Straight Western Wildcat Smallbore

Lapua Nancy Tompkins Western Wildcat winner Ben Avery Arizona

For the third consecutive year, Team Lapua member Nancy Tompkins has brought home the Western Wildcat International Smallbore title using Lapua Center-X .22 LR ammunition. The Western Wildcat event was hosted by the Desert Sharpshooters Rifle Club March 15-21, 2021 at the Ben Avery Shooting Complex in Phoenix, Arizona. Tompkins won the Grand Aggregate with a commanding 6392-508X (of possible 6400). This year marked a “three-peat” for Nancy, who also won the last two Western Wildcat smallbore titles.

Tompkins Lapua Center-X .22LR ammunition is matched to her firearm at Lapua’s Rimfire Performance Center in Mesa, Arizona. Unique lots of ammunition are tested at 50 and 100 meters simultaneously, identifying the best performing ammunition for purchase. This testing service is available to all shooters who wish to gain a competitive advantage. Schedule your testing here at either of Lapua’s Rimfire Performance Centers located in Mesa, AZ or Marengo, OH.

Lapua Nancy Tompkins Western Wildcat winner Ben Avery Arizona

Tompkins stated, “The 2021 Western Wildcat Smallbore matches were challenging, but a great time of shooting and enjoying friends. It was just a year ago that the world was shut down due to the pandemic. The 2020 Wildcat was canceled as was most everything for many months. While travel is still challenging for some and impossible for our overseas friends, we had over a dozen first time shooters to the Wildcat and thankfully many of our longtime participants.”

“I always say that the best part of shooting is the people, and that still holds true. That includes the shooters, the workers, and the sponsors that contribute their time and/or product to make this match what it is. I would like to thank Lapua for making precision ammo that allows me and others to achieve their highest possible scores. Winning the Western Wildcat three times in a row is an honor for which I am truly thankful.” — Nancy Tompkins

Nancy Tompkins Cactus Classic rimfire

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April 6th, 2021

Springfield M1A Resources and M1A Match at Camp Perry

Springfield M1A gunsmith armorer's course AGI

Do you own a Springfield M1A (or wish you did)? Then you should watch this 5-minute video from the American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI). This video shows the basics of the operation of the popular M1A rifle, the civilian version of the military M14. In this video, gunsmith John Bush field-strips the M1A and shows how the bolt, op rod, and trigger group fits together and operates. This video contains excerpts from the M1A Rifle Armorer’s Course, AGI Course #1584. The full Armorer’s Course is available on DVD from www.AmericanGunsmith.com.

Watch Highlights of AGI M1A Rifle Armorer’s Course:

Springfield M1A rifle camp perry m14 .308 win AGI

Springfield M1A gunsmith armorer's course AGI

2021 CMP Springfield M1A Match at Camp Perry

The 14th annual Springfield Armory M1A Match will take place during the 2021 CMP National Rifle Matches. The CMP will host the event on Sunday, August 8, 2021. Competitors of all experience levels are encouraged to bring their M1A rifles to Camp Perry and compete. CMP Online Registration commenced April 1, 2021. The match is open to all individuals ages 12 and above. For more information contact the CMP at competitions@thecmp.org or call 419-635-2141 ext. 724 or 714.

Springfield M1A match high power rifle

The Springfield Armory M1A match began with one man’s idea and passion. Springfield Armory’s Mike Doy witnessed the waning of classic M1 Garand and M1A rifles from the competitive High Power firing lines. “I really wanted to get those M1A rifles out of safes and closets and back out onto the field. So 11 years ago, I promoted the idea of running an M1A-specific match at Camp Perry. That first year we had over 600 competitors and spectators.” Now the match offers some of the biggest pay-outs at Camp Perry. In recent years, Springfield Armory has donated over $25,000 worth of cash and prizes, including a $2,000 cash award to the overall winner.

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April 6th, 2021

Determine Your Dominant Eye with This Simple Test

6.5 Creedmoor Annealing

Shooting Sports USA Eye dominanceDo you know which one of your eyes is dominant? It’s easy to determine eye dominance with a simple exercise. Pick an object about 6-10 feet away (a light switch or door knob works well). Make an “OK” sign with your right hand (see photo) and hold that about 18″ from your face. Now, with both eyes open, look through the circle formed by your thumb and index finger. Center the circle on the object, so you can see the object in the middle.

Now, here’s the important part — while still holding your hand up, centered on the object, first close your right eye. If you don’t see the object anymore, then your right eye is dominant. If you still see the object, then repeat the procedure with the left eye shut and right eye open. If you don’t see the object when your left eye (only) is closed, then you are left-eye dominant.

6.5 Creedmoor AnnealingThe digital archives of Shooting Sports USA contain many interesting articles. A while back, Shooting Sports USA featured a “must-read” expert Symposium on Eye Dominance, as it affects both rifle and pistol shooting. No matter whether you have normal dominance (i.e. your dominant eye is on the same side as your dominant hand), or if you have cross-dominance, you’ll benefit by reading this excellent article. The physiology and science of eye dominance is explained by Dr. Norman Wong, a noted optometrist. In addition, expert advice is provided by champion shooters such as David Tubb, Lones Wigger, Dennis DeMille, Julie Golob, Jessie Harrison, and Phil Hemphill.

Top Rifle Champions Talk About Eye Dominance:

David Tubb — 11-Time National High Power Champion
I keep both eyes open, always. Some use an opaque blinder in rifle or shotgun shooting. If you close your non-dominant eye, you will not get as good a sight picture. If your aiming eye is not your dominant eye, you have even more of a problem to overcome.

Lones Wigger — World, National and Olympic Champion Rifleman
Shooters should try to use the dominant eye unless the vision is impaired and the non-dominant eye has better vision. You should always shoot with both eyes open since this will allow the shooting eye to function properly.

Dennis DeMille — National Service Rifle Champion
I close my non-shooting eye initially. Once I pick up my sight picture, it’s not something I focus on. For those that use a patch, I recommend that they use something white to block their view, rather than cover the eye.

Bruce Piatt — 2015 World Shooting Championship Winner
Some shooters, especially those with nearly equal or cross-dominance, will naturally find themselves squinting one eye. When anyone does this, you are also closing your dominant eye to some extent and adding stress to your face.

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April 3rd, 2021

Register Soon for 2021 NRA National Championships in Indiana

NRA national match championships camp atterbury 2021 f-class high power mid-range Long range ELR pistol smallbore

Get ready to sign up folks! Registration for the 2021 NRA National Championships for Smallbore Rifle, High Power Rifle, F-Class, and Precision Pistol opens in five days. Online registration will open at 9:00 am Eastern Time on Thursday, April 8, 2021.

Register for the 2021 NRA National Championships via the NRA Competitive Shooting Web Portal. Get a head start on registration by setting up your profiles at: Competitor.nra.org/Register.aspx

NRA national match championships camp atterbury 2021 f-class high power mid-range Long range ELR pistol smallbore

These 2021 NRA Championships will be held at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, from July 6, 2021 through August 28, 2021. Camp Atterbury has hosted the High Power Rifle Nationals since 2017. Here is the schedule:

Smallbore Rifle Championship: 6-18 July, 2021
Precision Pistol Championship: 20-25 July, 2021
F-Class Mid-Range Championship: 21-25 July, 2021
F-Class Long Range Championship: 27-30 July, 2021
Fullbore Championship: 1-7 August, 2021
High Power Mid-Range Championship: 9-13 August, 2021
High Power Long Range Championship: 14-19 August, 2021
ELR 1-Mile Championship: 20-21 August, 2021
Over-the-Course (OTC) Competition: 22-28 August, 2021

NOTE: Listed dates include registration/sign-up and/or practice day, and award ceremony.

See 2021 Camp Atterbury NRA National Championships calendar below. CLICK to view larger, full-screen, printable image that is easier to read. ENLARGE (+ with mouse) after loading to read small print.


CLICK CALENDAR to VIEW Full-screen PDF then click Enlarge (+)

NRA national match championships camp atterbury 2021 f-class high power mid-range Long range ELR pistol smallbore

Above is the Official Calendar for the 2021 NRA National Championships at Camp Atterbury. The 2021 NRA Nationals start with the Smallbore Championships, July 6 through Sunday, July 18. The Precision Pistol National Championships begin on Tuesday, July 20. The F-Class Mid-Range Nationals start July 22, with F-Class Long-Range commencing on July 27. Moving on to High Power Rifle, the Fullbore event runs August 1-7, while the Mid-Range Nationals begin on Tuesday, August 9, followed by the Long-Range Nationals starting on August 14, 2021. Then the NRA Extreme Long-Range (ELR) Championship begins on Friday, August 20 and concludes Saturday, August 21.

Camp Atterbury Indiana national guard NRA high power smallbore matches championships

John Parker, Shooting Sports USA Editor, says this should be an exciting summer for rifle shooters: “As for High Power Rifle, the 2021 NRA Mid-Range, Long-Range, F-Class Long-Range, F-Class Mid-Range and International Fullbore Championships will also be fired at Camp Atterbury. The matches will begin on July 23 and run through August 29. Plus, the Extreme Long-Range Championship is slated to return on August 20…. This popular event that debuted in 2017 at Camp Atterbury is a can’t-miss for ELR competitors [with] targets at one mile and beyond.”

To learn more about the 2021 NRA Nationals, visit compete.nra.org. And for the latest updates, subscribe to the free Shooting Sports USA Insider newsletter.

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April 3rd, 2021

Save 10% on All Creedmoor Sports Brand Products

Creedmoor sports coat sling rifle case book gear Easter 10% Off sale

This Easter Weekend Save 10% off Creedmoor Brand Products with Promo Code EASTER.

Here’s good news for shooters getting their gear for the 2021 season. Creedmoor Sports is now offering 10% OFF all Creedmoor brand products. If you need a quality shooting coat, shooting mat, scope stand, sling, glove, data book, or other shooting accessory, here’s your chance to save. Hundreds of Creedmoor-branded products are 10% OFF through Monday, April 5, 2021 at 12:00 PM CST.

CLICK HERE to see all the discounted products. Remember, to get the 10% Discount you need to use Discount Code “EASTER” during checkout. Below are some of the best-selling Creedmoor brand shooting sports products on sale.

Here are some of the quality Creedmoor brand items on SALE:

Creedmoor canvas shooting coat Creedmoor blue 55
Creedmoor bipod scope stand Creedmoor roll-up mat
Creedmoor shooting cart conversion kit Lapua Brass Creedmoor no pulse arm sling
Creedmoor scope cover kennel Creedmoor data book
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April 3rd, 2021

Miculek Hits 3 Targets at 400 yards in 4.37 Seconds — OFFHAND

Jerry Miculek AR15 400 yards

Three Shots Standing at 400 Yards in 4.37 Seconds
Could you hit a silhouette target at 400 yards, shooting offhand? Probably, with a little practice. Now try doing that three times in just 4.37 seconds, including picking up/mounting the rifle! Not possible? Watch the legendary Jerry Miculek do that in this impressive demonstration of rapid-fire rifle shooting.

Jerry Miculek — that name is synonymous with revolvers. But Jerry is also one heck of a rifleman, as he demonstrates in this video. Grabbing his AR rifle from the top of an oil drum, Miculek proceeds to put shots on three different steel targets at 400 yards — all in under 4.4 seconds. Most of us would be lucky to make one successful shot in that time limit. Watch the successful 3-shot sequence starting at 2:19 time-mark in the video.

In this video, Jerry hits not one but THREE c-zone targets at 400 yards. And he does this in under 4.4 seconds starting with his rifle laying on a support. It took Jerry two tries (on his first run he hit 2 out of 3 in 4.65 seconds). On the second attempt (see video starting at 2:19), it takes Jerry just 4.37 seconds to shoulder his rifle, aim, and fire three shots, each hitting a separate steel target. Wow. That’s truly remarkable. Most of us would need ten seconds (or more) just to get the scope on the first target.

Jerry Miculek AR15 400 yards

Trust us folks, this ain’t easy. It takes remarkable marksmanship skills to shoot with this kind of precision at this kind of pace. As Jerry would say himself, “Not bad for an old guy who needs glasses”.

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April 2nd, 2021

Register Now for 2021 CMP National Matches at Camp Perry

Camp Perry 2021 national matches registration open cmp

CMP 2021 National Matches at Camp Perry — Registration
The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) has commenced registration for the 2021 National Trophy Rifle and Pistol Matches at Camp Perry in Port Clinton, Ohio. Guests may sign up for the historic annual event beginning April 1, 2021 on the CMP website.

CLICK HERE to REGISTER for the 2021 National Matches »

The 2021 National Matches kicks off with the Pistol phase on July 12, featuring 1911 As-Issued Match, Military & Police, GLOCK, Service Pistol EIC matches and Pistol Small Arms Firing School. New Pistol events have been added to the 2021 NM calender.

Camp Perry 2021 national matches registration open cmp

Following the Pistol series is the CMP’s Smallbore program. This will include 3-position, prone, and team matches for competitors of all ages. For the first time, a Smallbore Small Arms Firing School will be conducted for new and experienced marksmen, led by members of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit.

Camp Perry 2021 national matches registration open cmp

The remainder of the National Matches schedule includes modern and vintage Rifle competitions: Garand, Springfield and M1 Carbine matches, Rimfire Sporter, President’s Rifle, National Trophy Individual — plus several other favorites enjoyed by scores of competitors each year.

Camp Perry 2021 national matches registration open cmp

A 4-Man Team event and 800 Aggregate will also be fired on the CMP’s High Power electronic targets. The National Matches Rifle events will conclude in August with the Long Range series, fired on Camp Perry’s Viale Range.

During the summer, the National Match Air Gun events will be held at the CMP’s indoor airgun range, the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center. The air-conditioned range, which features state-of-the-art electronic targets, will be open throughout the National Match weeks. Rental equipment and pellets are available for a small fee.

New Product Demonstrations at 2021 National Matches
Also new in 2021, the CMP has created Industry Days. Conducted during the Pistol and Rifle phases Industry Days will feature vendor stations located around Camp Perry. Displays will highlight new technology with live-fire demonstrations and other interactive product demos.

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April 1st, 2021

PRS Launches New Sonic Tactical Series with “Impact” Scoring

PRS STS Match

With the current drastic shortage of reloading components — powder and primers in particular — many folks are finding it difficult to load sufficient live ammo for matches. And when you CAN find primers, they may cost as much as $300 per thousand! Even if you’re able to pay that crazy price for primers, if you can’t find suitable powder, then you can’t shoot.

Thankfully the Precision Rifle Series (PRS) team has developed a new form of competition ideal for this challenging era of component shortages. In the new Sonic Tactical Series (STS), the PRS organization offers an affordable, fun form of competition that is not powder/primer dependent at all. And STS competitors never have to worry about burning out those costly custom barrels. That’s because STS matches are all about the fun of tactical togetherness, without the hassle of hand-loading, or the frustration of misses. STS is all about fun with guns with zero cost-per-shot. Now that’s something we can all appreciate.

PRS STS Match

The new PRS Sonic Tactical Series (STS) will feature full multi-stage matches, complete with varied shooting positions, barricades, moving targets, and ranging exercises. You will do everything just like a normal PRS match, but without burning precious ammunition (or using up barrel life). All stages will be run via dry-fire but with AUDIBLE confirmation of “virtual” hits on target. The exciting shout of “Impact!” will confirm your hits after dry-firing at the target. Experiencing the adrenaline rush of hearing the word “Impact!” is what this game is all about, hence the Name Sonic Tactical Series (STS).

STS PRS Sonic Tactical Series
It’s fun to shoot STS Matches with your significant other. Ramia Whitecotton Facebook photo.

You can shoot an STS match without having to worry about loud noises or muzzle blast. All you’ll hear is that reassuring “Impact!” from your partner. BTW, this is a great way to get your wife or girlfriend involved in the shooting sports. She’ll enjoy instant gratification from your loud “Impact!” shout, with no painful recoil or blustery muzzle blast.

PRS STS Match

Any types of rifles can be used at STS matches including inexpensive Airsoft rigs. Put the money you save into your tactical wardrobe. Remember, a real man can never have too much camo!

All STS matches are conducted with two-person teams. The first team member will aim at the target, range it with his FFP MilRad reticle, center his crosshairs, and then yell “Bang”. His partner must wait the appropriate time and then yell “IMPACT” loudly, so everyone within two counties can hear. The two-person team that has the best correlation between true shot-over-distance time and the issuance of the word “Impact” will win the stage. So Be Loud and Be Proud!

PRS STS Match

In STS Matches, competitors work as a team. The triggerman ranges the target, then steadies his aim, and shouts “Bang!”. His partner calculates the exact flight time then yells “IMPACT!”… the louder the better!

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills, Tactical 3 Comments »
March 29th, 2021

Wind Reading Advice from Bryan Litz and Four Top Champions

Shooting Sports USA

The digital archives of Shooting Sports USA magazine (SSUSA) features an Expert Forum on Wind Reading. This outstanding article on wind reading starts off with a section by ballistics guru Bryan Litz, author of Applied Ballistics for Long-Range Shooting. Then four of the greatest American shooters in history share their personal wind wisdom. Lanny Basham (Olympic Gold Medalist, author, Winning in the Wind), Nancy Tompkins (Past National HP Champion, author, Prone and Long-Range Rifle Shooting), David Tubb (11-Time Camp Perry National Champion), and Lones Wigger (Olympic Hall of Fame) all offer practical wind-reading lessons learned during their shooting careers.

CLICK HERE for Full Article in Shooting Sports USA Archive

CLICK HERE to Download Article Issue in Printable PDF Format

Whether you shoot paper at Perry or prairie dogs in the Dakotas, this is a certified “must-read” resource on reading the wind. Here is a sample selection from the article:

Shooting Sports USA



Visit www.SSUSA.org

Shooting Sports USA magazine (SSUSA) has a modern, mobile-friendly website with tons of great content. Log on to www.ssusa.org. There you’ll find current news stories as well as popular articles from the SSUSA archives. The SSUSA website also includes match reports, gear reviews, reloading advice, plus expert marksmanship tips from the USAMU.

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March 28th, 2021

Sunday GunDay: .300 WSM Pending 1K World Record Heavy Gun

Charles Greer 1000 yard Heavy Gun HG NBRSA 10X world record group .300 WSM

This Sunday we feature an impressive .300 WSM Heavy Gun shot by a superb long-range shooter. With this rig, at age 83, Arizona benchrest ace Charles Greer drilled a remarkable 2.862″ 100-10X group, beating all known 1000-Yard HG 10-shot records on the books. If this record is approved (which is likely), Greer’s .300 WSM can rightfully be hailed as the most accurate 1000-yard gun in history.

Charles Greer 1000 yard Heavy Gun HG NBRSA 10X world record group .300 WSM
CLICK HERE for full-screen rifle photo.

Story compiled with help from Jason Peterson
This would be an excellent 10-shot NBRSA Heavy Gun group at 600 yards, but this target was shot at 1000 yards by Charles Greer (aka “chuckgreen” on AccurateShooter forum) on February 13, 2021 at an NBRSA Match in Arizona. Chuck was shooting his .300 WSM Heavy Gun with Borden action, Krieger barrel, and Berger 220gr Hybrids. The event was hosted by the Sahuaro 1000 Yard Benchrest Club, at Three Points Range, outside Tucson, Arizona. Though it is pending final approval, it appears this is the smallest 10-shot Heavy Gun group ever shot, anywhere, at 1000 yards, and it was centered for a 10X. That’s doubly impressive when you consider that Charles Greer achieved this at age 83! Yes “Old guys rule”!

Charles Greer 1000 yard Heavy Gun HG NBRSA 10X world record group .300 WSM
Amazing 100-10X 2.642″ (unofficial) 10-Shot Group at 1000 Yards.

This group is perfectly centered for an amazing 100-10X score. The group was range measured at 2.642 inches. For reference, the 1000-yard X-Ring is 3.00″ in diameter. The “X” itself is about 1.2″ tall. Pending final verification, this amazing target should shatter two NBRSA records. This handily beats the current single target HG score record of 100-6X held by Bill Schrader since 2005, and the single target HG group record of 3.650″ held by Tim Height (2019). For comparison, the current IBS 10-Shot 1000-yard HG group record is 2.871″ by Michael Gaizauskas from 2016. So it appears that this may be the smallest 10-shot group ever shot in competition in history. And from what we can determine, this is the first potential HG size record that also has a 100 score with TEN Xs.

Because shots are not marked in this discipline, this stunning group was a surprise to Greer: “I had no idea that I was shooting a world record target until I went back to the pits after my relay. Just as well. If I’d seen nine rounds in the X on the target, staying steady [for the last shot] would have been challenging….”

Charles Greer 1000 yard Heavy Gun HG NBRSA 10X world record group .300 WSM

Forum member “Tom” (2016 IBS 1000-yard Nat’l Champion and holder of several IBS 1000-yard records) unofficially measured Greer’s 1K group at 2.680 inches (0.256 MOA), using Ballistic-X software. Awaiting final group measurement by the NBRSA Long Range Committee, as currently measured, this target is just under existing IBS and Williamsport 10-shot HG 1000-yard records: The current IBS HG 1000-yard group record is 2.871″ held by Michael Gaizauskas. The current Williamsport HG 1000-yard group record is 2.815″ held by Matthew Kline.

Benchrest Shooting — Sport for All Ages
Charles Greer 1000 yard Heavy Gun HG NBRSA 10X world record group .300 WSMCharles Greer reminded us that even senior citizens can succeed in benchrest competition: “One of the benefits of benchrest shooting is that it is a sport accessible to us even as we age. I cannot run and gun anymore like I used to do in IPSC and IDPA but as long as I can get my body and my equipment up to a bench, I can still be very competitive. That is not possible for us old guys in most sports and shooting disciplines. As I am ‘only 83′ I am hoping to squeeze a few more years of competition out of the old body before I have to pack it in for good.”

Charles is thankful for what he has achieved in this sport over many decades: “The Shooting Gods have certainly smiled on me from time to time during my brief shooting career and for that I am incredibly grateful.”

This target may also be the smallest 1K 10-shot group ever shot in competition, in ANY Class. In 2014, Jim Richards fired a 10-shot, 2.6872″ Light Gun group under Williamsport Rules at Deep Creek Range in Montana. However, Jim’s record small group was NOT centered in the 10-ring and it appear that Greer’s group could measure smaller. [Editor: Charles is no stranger when it comes to 1000-yard records. Charles is the current listed holder of two NBRSA 1000-yard score records: 3-Target HG Score: 294-8X (2010); 6-Target 2-Gun Score: 441-13X (2010).]

Charles Greer 1000 yard Heavy Gun HG NBRSA 10X world record group .300 WSM

100-10X at 1000 — This May Be a First
After looking at all the 1000-yard records from different organizations, it appears that Greer’s 100-10X score could well be a first! And it may be many years before another 100-10X score is ever shot in competition.

Charles Greer 1000 yard Heavy Gun HG NBRSA 10X world record group .300 WSM

Arizona’s Three Points Range is known for its windy conditions. So much so that small groups are not common in match reports. 6mm cartridges that are commonly shot at other 1000-yard benchrest competitions are rarely shot at Sahuaro 1K BR Club matches. The bigger calibers dominate here.

Charles Greer 1000 yard Heavy Gun HG NBRSA 10X world record group .300 WSM

Charles Greer NBRSA 1000-Yard Heavy Gun Specifications:
Action: Borden BRMXD drop port
Barrel: Krieger 30″ 4-groove, 1:10″ twist, custom contour 1.35″ tapered to 1.00″
Chambering: .300 Winchester Short Magnum (WSM)
Chamber Specs: .337 neck with .280 freebore
Stock/Weight: McMillan/Wheeler LRB (solid fill) stock at 27 pounds
Gunsmith: Gerald Reisdorff
Optics: Vortex Golden Eagle 15-60x52mm
Front Rest: Sinclair Competition with 4″ Edgewood bag
Rear Rest/Bag: Wahlstrom mechanical rear rest with custom Edgewood bag

Load Details: Norma .300 WSM brass, Alliant Reloder 23 powder, Federal 210M primers, Berger 220gr LR Hybrid bullets at 2800 FPS

Charles Greer 1000 yard Heavy Gun HG NBRSA 10X world record group .300 WSM

Upside-Down (Wider Base) Stock Rudder Improves Rifle Tracking

Charles Greer 1000 yard Heavy Gun HG NBRSA 10X world record group .300 WSMGreer has done something clever with his McMillan/Wheeler benchrest stocks. He has flipped over (inverted) the adjustable metal rudder (or keel) that runs on the underside of the buttstock. This provides a wider, flat tracking surface. The inverted rudder runs in a special sandbag on a Walhstrom mechanical rest. NOTE: Mechanical rear rests ARE legal for BOTH Heavy Guns and Light Guns under current NBRSA rules (see page 24). Shown at right is Greer’s Light Gun, but his Heavy Gun has the same system.

Charles explains: “Both my LG and my HG are of the same configuration except for additional weight in the stock of the HG. I decided to do this so that I would not need a separate rest system for each gun which saves on expense and makes it much easier to switch the LG out for the HG during competition. No need to change rest systems and re-align everything. Both of my stocks are McMillan/Wheeler LRB models with the adjustable rudder that can be repositioned horizontally to improve tracking. The rudder has a 3/4 inch-wide base that is usually fit into an Edgewood gator bag with a flat top. I did not like the way the rifle tracked with this set up and wanted something more solid and stable.

So I found that if I turned the rudder upside down and re-installed it that way on the stock, using the same screws and holes, the top of the rudder when turned down provided me with a base 1.5″ wide with a 1/4″ rail on each side. I got a Wahlstrom mechanical rear rest and had a custom Edgewood front bag made for it with a 1.5″ separation between the ears. The rail tracks perfectly in the bag and I can tighten the ears to make it quite solid and steady. I have noticed a huge improvement in tracking with this set up. I am still refining this arrangement but plan to continue using it on both rifles. I have never seen this done and was thinking maybe your readers would be interested.”

Questions & Answers with Charles Greer

Hall of Fame short-range shooter Gary Ocock interviewed Charles Greer. This interesting Q&A dialog covers shooting styles, equipment selection, recoil management and other notable topics.

Q: Tell us about your rifle, accuracy standards, and choice of calibers and bullets for the 1K game.
Greer: I set up two rifles, Light Gun and Heavy Gun. Both will shoot 100-yard 5-shot groups in the high ones and low twos. In Arizona I want a heavy, high-BC bullet in both guns to buck the wind and want to keep the ES under 10 FPS. I’m finding .300 WSM with Berger 220 LRHT bullets and a 4 groove Krieger barrel will provide the performance I need, and I shoot this round in both rifles.

Q: Explain your rest set-up, tracking, and recoil management. And how fast do you typically shoot your strings of fire?
Greer: I am using a Sinclair Competition Front Rest along with a mechanical rear rest, both with Edgewood front bags, to give me the stability necessary to provide consistent tracking even with these relatively high recoil rounds. Almost perfect tracking and consistent return to battery in the same spot is necessary to get a record string off quickly and smoothly. I try to get my strings off in a time of between 6 and 10 seconds per round depending on conditions. Any faster and I get sloppy.

Q: What were conditions like when you shot that amazing 10-shot group?
Greer: On the day I shot the record-pending target I had the first relay. There was wind but it was light, maybe 4-5 mph and seemed steady. The flags were about halfway up to horizontal and seemed to be holding that way. My procedure is to shoot 5 sighter rounds, two to adjust my initial round on paper to the X-Ring and then three more during the last minute to check for changes in the wind. If these last three rounds stay in the Ten Ring it is usually a sign that the wind may be steady enough for me to shoot a good group. On the “record” day the last three sighters were right in or near the X-Ring and when the record target came up I quickly but carefully dumped my 10 rounds holding the scope dot right on the X. The wind apparently held absolutely steady, and I got the result you see on the target.

That is my normal shooting technique. I pretty well know during the last minute of the sighter period whether a good group will be possible. If each of my last three sighters ends up inches away from the X in different directions, I know the wind is shifty and a good group on that target is unlikely. I adjust the last sighter to the X and then dump the string the same way just hoping the wind may hold for a minute or so. Sometimes it does, but often not so much.

During the record strings there is no way to know where the rounds are going. They are not marked, and the holes cannot be seen through the scope at that distance. The 1K flags are big and heavy and not very indicative of minor wind changes so I do not try to hold off or change my point of aim unless a flag completely reverses direction during a string. I’ve found that over the years adjusting my point of aim to the X after the last sighter and then dumping my strings gets the best results overall.

Q: What is your highest shooting accomplishment so far?
Greer: Well, the highest accomplishment (if one can call it that) would have to be this 100-10X target. This may end up being the best 10-shot target ever shot in a sanctioned match. 0f course, there is a tremendous amount of luck involved in this coming together but I certainly am pleased.

I had set four NBRSA world records when I was shooting previously: Light Gun Agg in 2008, and all three possible Highest Three Target Score records in 2010, two of which still stand. The first was probably the most satisfying as was my performance in the 2010 Nationals where I placed high in several categories and was Heavy Gun Champion for Score.

Charles Greer 1000 yard Heavy Gun HG NBRSA 10X world record group .300 WSMQ: Who do you attend matches with?
Greer: During the last year my son, Brian, has become my match shooting companion. We go out together every month. Brian was able recently to purchase the great 300 Ackley HG that I competed with and set world records with in 2010. I sold the rifle to a friend who never shot it and it found its way back into our family. Brian is now becoming a serious competitor.

Photo Right: Charles Greer with son Brian.

Q: What are your future shooting goals?
Greer: To keep on shooting our local match each month and to try to get to the Nationals once or twice more before I get too damn feeble. And to be able to see my son take my place as a regular winner when I can no longer compete.

Q: Is there any advice you would like to share with new shooters?
Greer: Make a commitment to excel at whichever discipline you choose. Get the best equipment and components that you can afford and consider each match a learning experience. At some point anything that can go wrong will go wrong and one must learn from these mistakes. Most importantly, be patient and keep coming back. In Arizona good shooting conditions are rare. You gotta be “in it to win it”. If you show up at every match you can attend eventually a great condition will appear on your relay and you will have a chance to shoot a spectacular score.

Charles Greer 1000 yard Heavy Gun HG NBRSA 10X world record group .300 WSM

Q: What is your shooting background?
Greer: I started shooting rabbits as a kid in the Mojave Desert, trained on various firearms in the military in the fifties and sixties and over the years hunted birds and large game and played with various handguns. In 2005 I moved to Tucson from Mexico the first time and, looking for an activity, started shooting IDPA and IPSC pistol matches at Pima Pistol Club. Shortly thereafter I bought a .308 Savage tactical rifle and got interested in shooting for accuracy. One thing led to another and before long I bought a better Savage varmint rifle in .300 WSM and started shooting the 1K match at Tucson Rifle Club at Three Points around 2007. I kept upgrading my equipment, started winning matches, set some world records.

After the 2011 NBRSA Long Range Nationals I felt rather burnt out on shooting. I sold all my guns and equipment and headed South looking for perhaps one more adventure. I found some but they did not include shooting as South of the border folks tend to shoot back when they hear anything go bang. I returned to Tucson in May of 2019, built a couple of new rifles, and got involved again in the monthly Sahuaro match where the most recent world record target was shot. I would like to resume shooting the NBRSA Long Range Nationals. Will not be ready this year but probably will in 2022.

Q: Have you tried other disciplines at different ranges?
Greer: I have only competed in Long Range, mostly 1000 yards but 600 yards a few times at the Nationals. I would like to try shooting “Score” and there is a monthly match at our range. May try it if I can get an appropriate rifle.

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Shooting Skills 7 Comments »
March 27th, 2021

CMP Marksmanship 101 Training Programs in 2021

CMP Marksmanship 101 Small Arms Firing School USAMU 2021

The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) will offer hands-on rifle and pistol training programs in 2021 at locations around the nation. The CMP’s Marksmanship 101 Program, formerly known as the Small Arms Firing School (SAFS) On The Road, is designed to train beginners on rifle or pistol essentials and competition basics in a closely monitored setting, utilizing the talents of qualified CMP staff, trainers, and members of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU).

Held at CMP Games matches and at various CMP Affiliated Clubs around the nation, the courses are led by certified CMP Master Instructors and talented members of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit. The course curriculum is based off of the Small Arms Firing Schools (SAFS) offered at the annual National Rifle and Pistol Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio, which have been attended by countless individuals since 1918.

Upcoming Rifle Marksmanship 101 Classes:
New England Games, September 19, 2021, Jericho, Vermont
Oklahoma Games, October 17, 2021, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Talladega 600, November 16, 2021, CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park, Talladega, Alabama

Upcoming Pistol Marksmanship 101 Classes:
New England Games, September 19, 2021, Jericho, Vermont
Oklahoma Games, October 17, 2021, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

CMP Marksmanship 101 Small Arms Firing School USAMU 2021

Firearms and Ammunition Are Provided by CMP

Here is one of the biggest lures of the Marksmanship 101 Program — the CMP supplies guns and ammo! Rifles (AR-15), pistols (M9) and ammunition will be provided by the CMP at each location.

Programs Combine Classroom Learning and Outdoor Shooting

The Marksmanship 101 rifle and pistol courses train both adults and juniors in a safe and comfortable environment. Courses will be held at multiple locations. CMP Training Director Steve Cooper explains: “We know there are many people across the country who simply don’t have the time or means to travel to Ohio for the Small Arms Firing Schools during the National Matches, so, we decided to take the same basic curriculum and training on the road and customized the name.”

The Marksmanship 101 courses are a mix of indoor classroom learning and outdoor experiences on the range. Areas covered during the course include firearm safety, essential firing practices and handling, positioning and other competition skills, along with live firing on the range. Each course ends with applying everything learned to a true Excellence-In-Competition match on the range. “We always start our 101 events in a classroom environment, where we explain and demonstrate everything we’re going to do, very thoroughly,” Cooper said.

Program Requirements for Marksmanship 101

Since CMP Marksmanship 101 programs are designed to fit even those new to the marksmanship world, no previous firearm experience is required to attend. Participants ARE required to bring hearing and eye protection for the live-fire activities. Individuals should also dress according to weather conditions and may also bring any other desired competitive shooting equipment they wish to use.

cmp marksmanship 101 training program

How to Register for CMP Marksmanship Training Programs

Visit the CMP Marksmanship 101 website for Registration Links and other information. Once on the website, click your desired date and location to be sent to the CMP Competition Tracker page to complete registration. Questions regarding Marksmanship 101 may be directed to Amy Cantu at 419-635-2141 ext. 602 or acantu@thecmp.org.

CMP Marksmanship 101 Small Arms Firing School USAMU

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March 26th, 2021

What’s Wrong with This Picture — Look Carefully

Bisley Range Deer England Centre UK Wildlife F-Class
Click image to zoom full-screen.

What’s wrong (or right?) with this picture? Does the “F” in F-class refer to “Fauna”? Look carefully at this Bisley Range photo taken by Australian R. Hurley while looking downrange through his March 8-80X scope. The photo was taken in 2015 at the Bisley National Shooting Centre in the UK.

The Story Behind the Photo
British shooter T. Stewart reports: “I was there when this photos was taken. All I can say was that Mr. Hurley was firmly reminded that should said deer accidentally jump in front of his bullet … he would spend five years ‘At Her Majesty’s Pleasure’.”

“That morning we had five deer moving across the targets, literally blocking the V-Bull. Since we were on the 900-yard Firing Point, and elevated for such, obviously the bullet would pass well above them. But they do NOT move or flinch at the noise or passing bullets since they are not hunted on the Bisley Ranges. Earlier this year we saw a herd of 20 or so deer grazing slowly across the Range.”

More Fauna Findings…
Apparently Bisley is not the only place were “the deer and the antelope play”. In Canada, on the Connaught Ranges near Ottawa, Ontario, shooters often encounter a variety of wildlife. William McDonald from Ontario says: “Animals are a common sight on the Range. Along with deer we see geese, turkeys, and coyotes on a daily basis.”

Likewise, E. Goodacre from Queensland, Australia often sees ‘Roos on his home range: “I shoot at Ripley, Australia, and shooting is regularly interrupted by kangaroos. Our last silhouette match was delayed by an hour while 30 ‘Roos dawdled across — silly buggers!”

R. Hurley wasn’t the first fellow to view deer through his F-Class rifle’s scope. After seeing Hurley’s photo from Bisley, B. Weeks posted this image, saying: “Been there, done that!”

Bisley Range Deer England Centre UK Wildlife F-Class

Permalink Competition, News, Optics, Shooting Skills 7 Comments »
March 22nd, 2021

Talladega Spring Classic in Alabama Was a Success

Talladega Spring Classic 2021

Over the past six days the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) conducted a major spring shooting event — the Talladega Spring Classic held at the Talladega Marksmanship Park in Alabama. This year’s event was a success, with participants enjoying a wide range of pistol and rifle competitions, plus training courses.

Talladega Spring Classic 2021

Talladega Spring Classic 2021TALLADEGA SPRING CLASSIC 2021
Spring has sprung! From March 16 through 21, the CMP has hosted a major series of rifle and pistol matches at the CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park in Alabama. The March 2021 Spring Classic event at Talladega included a mix of both new and traditional rifle matches, along with pistol competitions, and a variety of training courses.

On the rifle firing lines were Service Rifles, Vintage Military Rifles, and Rimfire Sporter Rifles. And there were even M1 Garands being shot from the bench. In the pistol areas, both rimfire and centerfire matches were held.

Talladega Spring Classic 2021

Spring Classic Featured New Benchrest Garand Match
The Talladega Spring Classic featured traditional matches plus some notable new events. Debuting this year was a Benchrest Garand Match. In addition there was a new Mid-Range 3×600 Rifle Match, and new Pistol 2700 Match. Along with the new events, the Spring Classic including CMP staple events including: Rimfire Sporter Rifle Match, .22 Rimfire Pistol EIC, Service Pistol EIC, and GSMM (Garand/Springfield/Vintage and Modern Military) Rifle matches.

Talladega Spring Classic

There were also multiple training sessions including: Long Range Rifle Clinic, Team CMP 600-Yard Clinic, Rifle Marksmanship 101 Course/M16 Match, and Pistol Marksmanship 101 Course/M9 Match. These classes allow participants the opportunity to learn marksmanship from skilled, certified instructors.

Talladega Spring Classic 2021

Talladega Spring Classic 2021

CMP Western Games Cancelled 2021 Phoenix Arizona Ben Avery Shooting Facility

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March 21st, 2021

Sunday GunDay: Suhl-Action .22 LR Rimfire with Indexed Barrel

Suhl 150 Benchrest Rimfire 22LR

This article was originally written by noted rimfire gunsmith Bill Myers. Sadly, Bill passed away in May 2010, but his legacy lives on. He pioneered many advancements in rimfire gunsmithing and Myers-built guns still win matches in benchrest competition.

Crafting competitive rimfire benchrest rifles is considered an art as much as a science. The smith must understand subtle, yet critical aspects of vibration control, barrel tuning, and rifle balance. In the United States, only a handful of gunsmiths consistently turn out rimfire BR rifles that consistently run at the front of the pack at major matches. Bill Myers was one of those master craftsmen. In this article Bill discussed the process of building a winning rimfire BR rig. He reveals some interesting secrets, including his procedures for testing bedding performance and his barrel indexing system. Bill’s methods obviously work, as the Suhl-actioned rifle featured here won a truckload of trophies in its very first match.

Building a Match-Winning Rimfire Benchrest Rig

by Bill Myers
In my opinion, a winning rimfire benchrest rifle is probably twice as difficult to build as a competitive centerfire rifle. The relatively slow .22 LR bullets stay in the barrel much longer than centerfire bullets. This means that vibration control is critical. Likewise bedding is critical. Bore finish and lapping are very important. The amount of bore taper or “choke” can have a huge effect on accuracy. Ignition is also very important and above all, rimfire BR rifles need a very stable stock that tracks perfectly. A rimfire that shoots great is a complete marriage of all components and of the shooter’s need to be aware of everything possible.

Click Photo to Zoom
Myers 22LR

The rifle featured in this article was built from scratch with attention to all the details that go into accuracy. The goal was to build a gun that could win from the get-go. This would be a “Spec Gun”, meaning a rifle that was personally tested and tuned by me for optimum performance before it went out to the customer.

Suhl 150 Benchrest Rimfire 22LR
The Suhl trigger is as good as it gets so no change was needed. It easily adjusts down to about 2 ounces.

Baer Stock in Bubinga Wood
There are many choices when you start to build a complete rifle. It has to shoot well and it has to catch ones eye, or it’s just another rifle on the line. I prefer wood stocks on rimfires for two reasons: they are very stable if the right wood is used and they have a certain traditional appeal to many shooters. I chose Bubinga wood for this particular gun because it is very stable and heavy, it has a very dense grain and a very pronounced figure with a natural red color. The Bubinga is a very forgiving wood to work with.

Suhl 150 Benchrest Rimfire 22LR

Gerry and Bruce Baer in Pennsylvania do all my stock blanks. I do all my own inletting and bedding. The blank weighed 4.5 pounds when it came off of Bruce Baer’s duplicator. This Bubinga wood is so hard that it did not need pillars, but I put them in anyway. I bed all my stocks with Loctite Steel Bed liquid and add filler to desired thickness. The final bedding is done with an aircraft tooling epoxy that does not deteriorate over time. The stock has an ebony butt plate and six (6) coats of automotive clear, polished to a “high buff” finish.

Suhl 150 Benchrest Rimfire 22LR

Suhl 150-1 Action
Suhl 150 Benchrest Rimfire .22 LR 22LRAccurized and BN-Nickel Plated
I used a new, unfired Suhl 150-1 action. As explained in the sidebar below, the Suhl 150 actions were originally crafted in East Germany for position rifles. They have a very fast lock-time and come with an outstanding trigger. However, they need some work when adapted to a modern BR gun. The action needed to be accurized and threaded. I have a special tool that I use to accurize actions. It uses two sets of spiders for dialing-in the bolt raceway. After the bolt raceway is running true, one can thread and true up all bearing surfaces so that everything is in perfect alignment with the action raceway bore.

Suhl Action Myers benchrest .22 LR rimfireBN-Nitride Plating on Action
I decided to plate the action and all bolt parts with Boron Nitride nickel plating. I bough the BN Electroless Nickel Kit from Caswell Plating and did the job myself. I started by bead-blasting the action so that it would end up with a “satin” finish. The plating material is then applied in a tank. The Boron Nitride goes directly into the plating solution, but you need to use a pump to keep the solution agitated so the BN distributes evenly.

Once the action is completely ready (the metal must be perfectly prepped, with no contaminants), the process goes easily and can be completed in about half an hour. The end result is a very slick, low-friction finish, that is .0002″ (two ten-thousandths) thick and hard as glass. The Boron Nitride makes everything very smooth. After the plating job, the action was noticeably slicker than before.

The cone breech (photo below) permits the barrel to be INDEXED (rotated around bore axis) to any position on the clockface. You then test various rotation settings to find the best accuracy. The system does work. Some barrels shoot best in a particular rotational setting. E.g. with index mark at 3 O’clock vs. 12 O’clock.

Suhl 150 Benchrest Rimfire 22LRFitting and Chambering the Barrel
As for a barrel, I had two good choices: one Shilen 1:16″-twist, 4-groove ratchet and one Benchmark 1:16″-twist, 3-groove. Both barrels were very accurate and at the end, I decided to leave the Shilen on the rifle because I wanted to put the Benchmark on another Suhl I’ve set aside for myself. I chambered the barrel for Eley flat nose EPS. We’ve found the gun also shoots the new Lapua X-ACT ammo very well.

The barrel finished at 25″ long and features a tuner by the Harrell brothers of Salem, Virginia. I use a flat 90° crown–it’s the most accurate and its gives a good seal against the tuner. I also use a 45°, 12-flute cutter that leaves no burr when cutting the crown. This chamfer protects the crown when cleaning the barrel. There is no sharp edge for the brush or jag to hit on the return stroke. The barrel was headspaced at .043″ and I use a tapered reamer ground by Dave Kiff of Pacific Tool & Gauge in Oregon. The chamber leade area is lightly polished to remove reamer burrs. The breech end of the barrel is machined with a 1/2″ ball end mill to produce what I call a “Myers cone breech.” Technically, it has a sloping radius as you can see, rather than a straight-sided cone. Finishing the breech in this fashion facilitates indexing the barrel, as the barrel can be rotated to any position (on the clockface), without requiring new extractor cuts.

Barrel Indexing — Finding the “Sweet Spot”

When indexing a barrel, one rotates it to different clockface positions relative to the action. Imagine marking a barrel at TDC or 12 o’clock, and then rotating it so the mark is at 3 O’clock, 6 )’clock, 9 O’clock and so on. At each position one shoots groups to determine at which index setting best accuracy is achieved.*

I know that barrel indexing is controversial. I don’t want to get into a lengthy debate other than to say that I believe that careful and thorough testing can reveal a “preferred” index position for a good barrel. With the barrel set in that particular position relative to the action I believe the barrel can yield optimal performance.

I perform the indexing tests indoors at 50 yards. I use a rail-gun with floating action. The barrel is held in place with a clamping fixture similar to an Anschutz 2000-series action. Basically, two vertically-stacked metal blocks clamp around the barrel. I can index the barrel this way simply by unclamping the barrel blocks, rotating the barrel and then re-clamping the system. I have a special system so the action can stay in the same position, even as the barrel is rotated.

It takes time and effort to get solid indexing results. Normally I shoot at least 400 rounds of ammo in 3-4 indexing sessions. Shooting a handful of groups is not enough. You may think you’ve identified the best index position, but you need to shoot many more rounds to verify that. Also, in a very good barrel, the effects of indexing may be subtle, so it will take many groups to confirm the optimal position. In my experience, really good “hummer” barrels do not benefit as much from indexing as an “average” barrel.

IR 50/50 rimfire targetAccuracy Testing with Both Barrels
I tested the rifle indoors at 50 yards at the Piney Hill Benchrest Club range. There was no finish on the stock, but it shot well in my one-piece rest with the Benchmark 16-twist, 3-groove barrel and no added weight on the tuner. I shot 30 rounds of Eley Match EPS Black Box (1064 fps) and had 25 Xs and five 10s on the IR 50/50 style target. Not too shabby for a new barrel with no special break-in.

When the Shilen barrel arrived, I installed it on the rifle. By this time the stock had been clear-coated and finished, and the action had been polished and plated. I shot the Shilen barrel outside since it was too hot in the building. The first target was a 250-19X with a new lot of Eley Match EPS Black Box (1054 fps). The gun shot well. My friend Tony Blosser asked to shoot the gun, and he drilled a 250-20X in a steady wind using the same Eley ammo. See target at right.

Myers 22LR
Bill Myers Suhl .22 LR Benchrest rifle

Advanced Procedures — Vibration Control and Tuner Position

Barrel Tuning Using 2-Way Electronic Indicators
Before competing with this rifle, I put it in a firing fixture I use to tune the barrel. I employ a pair of very expensive Swiss 2-way electronic min/max hold indicators. These measure both up movement and down movement of the barrel as the gun is fired. I can measure the actual vertical travel of the barrel at any position from the front of the receiver to the tuner. I can also tell how long the barrel vibrates, time-wise. Using this fixture I found that the Shilen barrel was very consistent in readings and seemed to work well with no additional weight on the tuner. No barrel ever stops vibrating completely — but this was close, showing less than .002″ of total movement.

Bedding and Vibration Control
I have found that measuring the actual movement of the barrel during firing tells me a lot about the quality of the bedding. I have learned that if I see very big movements (e.g. .010″ up and .005″ down), then there may be a problem with the bedding. I saw this kind of big swing on a rifle with bedding that had not cured properly.

Another pattern I watch for is uneven vertical movement. For example, if the barrel vibrates .008″ up but only .002″ down, that tells me the bedding has issues. As noted above, I look for minimal vibration travel (after the tuner is fitted and optimized), and I also want that travel to be relatively equal both up and down. Good rimfire gunsmiths agree that proper bedding has an important influence on vibration control and tuning. By measuring actual barrel movement during firing, we can, to an extent, quantify how well the bedding is working. At a minimum, we can see if there’s a serious bedding problem.

Trial by Fire — Shooting the Gun in Competition
After semi-gluing in the action, the rifle was shooting great. So, I decided to take it to the Maryland State Unlimited Championship to see if it was truly competitive — whether it could “run with the big dogs”. As it turns out, the Bubinga Suhl was more than just competitive. The rifle won three of the six cards and won the meters championship. In the photo below you can see all the trophies the gun won in its very first match. One of the other competitors in Maryland, dazzled (and perhaps a bit daunted) by the Bubinga Suhl’s stellar performance, told me: “Sell that gun Bill. Whatever you do, just get that darn rifle out of here.” Confident that this was a rifle capable of winning major matches, I packed up the rifle and shipped it to Dan Killough in Texas. Killough has shot some impressive scores with the gun.

Suhl 150 Benchrest Rimfire 22LR

Suhl Target Rifles — East Germany’s Legacy

Suhl 150 rifles were manufactured in former East Germany (GDR) by the Haenel firearms factory in the town of Suhl. This region has a long history in arms production. In 1751, Sauer & Sohn founded the first German arms factory in Suhl. Following WWII, Suhl 150s were produced for Communist Bloc marksmen, including East German Olympic shooters. Prior to German unification, the East German national shooting arena was located at Suhl and hosted many top-level competitions including the 1986 ISSF World Championships.

Suhl 150 Target Rifle

Superb Rifles with Amazing Triggers
As a product of East Germany, the “mission” of the Suhl 150 was to rival the accuracy of the Anschütz, Walther and other premium match rifles built in the West. East German shooting teams wanted to finish on top of the podium, so they needed a rifle with superb inherent accuracy. The Suhl 150s have an outstanding trigger that can be adjusted down to about two ounces. The Suhl 150 action, like the Anschütz 54, boasts an extremely fast lock-time — an important factor in a position rifle. And Suhl barrels were legendary for accuracy.

Suhl 150 Target Rifle

Suhl 150 Benchrest Conversions
Many of the first used Suhl 150s that made it to America were converted to Benchrest rifles because the action/trigger/barrel combination was unbeatable for the price. Some of the barrels on these “surplus” Suhls were phenomenal — as good as any custom barrels available today. It was not unknown for a Suhl 150 barreled action, transplanted into a benchrest-style stock, to win BR matches with the original barrel. Today, however, most of the Suhl benchrest conversions end up with modern, American-made barrels. While some older Suhl barrels can “shoot with the best of ‘em”, new barrel designs optimized for use with tuners have an edge, at least in benchrest circles. That’s why builders such as Bill Myers swapped out the Suhl barrel with something like a Benchmark reverse-taper two-groove.

Suhl 150 Target RifleToday Suhl 150 rifles are very hard to find in North America. In 2006, a used Suhl 150, even without sights, might fetch $1200.00 or more. Then, in 2007 through early 2008, hundreds of Suhl match rifles were imported. This drove prices down, and those “in the know” snapped up complete Suhl 150s at prices ranging from $450 to $850 (see 2007 advert at right), depending on condition.

Many of these rifles were left “as built” and used successfully in prone competition. Others were converted into benchrest and silhouette rifles, “parted out” for the actions and triggers. If you were able to grab one of those imports at a good price–consider yourself lucky.

Suhl 150 Target Rifle

* Bill Myers actually created his own clamping rimfire action to facilitate barrel indexing. CLICK HERE for Myers Rimfire Action. To index the barrel, Myers simply loosened three clamping-bolts and rotated the barrel in the action. Because there is no thread to pull the barrel in or out, the headspace stays the same no matter how much the barrel is rotated. With a threaded action, you might have to use shims to test different rotational positions, or otherwise re-set the shoulder with each change.

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March 15th, 2021

Benchrest is Back! Lester Bruno Wins Big at 2021 Cactus Classic

Cactus Classic 2021 COVID Benchrest NBRSA match Lester Bruno

Congrats to Lester Bruno, overall winner of the 2021 Cactus Classic Benchrest Match. This popular NBRSA match is held every year at the Ben Avery Range outside Phoenix, Arizona. Lester shot brilliantly, particularly at 200 yards, to win the Two-Gun convincingly with an 0.2099 Overall Aggregate. Ed Adams was second with a 0.2303 Two-Gun Agg, with Durward Wofford in third place with 0.2655. Along the way Lester nailed a remarkable 0.1742 200-yard Heavy Varmint Agg. That’s mighty impressive.

Click Image Below for full-screen Panorama Image:
Cactus Classic 2021 COVID Benchrest NBRSA match Lester Bruno

Paul Parosky reported: “So the Cactus Classic COVID Edition of 2021 has come to an end. Lester Bruno won with some amazing shooting at the LV and HV 200 yards. Myself? I need some more time behind the rifle and at 200 yards. We came across some nasty mirage that basically it was really hard to see the bullet hole. I still was able to finish in the middle of the pack 29th in the 2-Gun Aggregate, which is OK with me. But most of all had super great time, meeting new people and also putting faces to the FB friends from the group. The referees, Matthew Schwartzkopf and his crew [plus] the Wickenburg School volunteers did a wonderful job keeping the match going flawlessly.”

Cactus Classic 2021 COVID Benchrest NBRSA match Lester Bruno

2021 Cactus Classic Top 25 Two-Gun Overall Results:

Cactus Classic 2021 COVID Benchrest NBRSA match Lester Bruno

Cactus Classic 2021 COVID Benchrest NBRSA match Lester Bruno

In 100/200 yard Group Benchrest, most top competitors load at the range, tuning their loads for the conditions. Here you can see the portable powder measure (left) and a compact ARKCO Hood Press (right). That blue combo press can both size cases with a screw-in die and seat bullets using a Wilson Seater die (placed on left side). The vast majority of short-range benchrest-for-group competitors run the 6PPC cartridge with fast-burning powders such as Vihtavuori N133.

Cactus Classic 2021 COVID Benchrest NBRSA match Lester Bruno

Capstone Precision Group (Berger Bullets, Lapua, SK, Vihtavuori) provided many valuable prizes to competitors at the 2021 Cactus Classic.

Cactus Classic 2021 COVID Benchrest NBRSA match Lester Bruno

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