August 20th, 2016

U.S.A. Shooting’s Women Bring Home Medals

Ginny Thrasher Gold Medal Rio Olympic Games 10m Air Rifle

The Rio Olympics shooting competition has ended, and USA Shooting Team’s medalists are all women. Ginny Thrasher of Virginia got the USA medal count off to a great start by winning the first gold medal of the 2016 Olympic games in Women’s Air Rifle, and Corey Cogdell-Unrein repeated as bronze medalist in Women’s Trap. By winning a bronze medal in skeet last Friday, 37-year-old Kim Rhode became the first female and summer Olympian ever to win medals in six consecutive Olympic Games. Read coverage in the LA Times, USA Today and Associated Press. Kim Rhode’s Olympic Odyssey.

Shooting Sports USA profiled Ginny Thrasher, winner of the very first Gold Medal awarded at the Rio Olympic games:

Ginny Thrasher Gold Medal Rio Olympic Games 10m Air Rifle

For 36 hours, Thrasher was the face of Team USA as the lone gold medalist, winning the first medal of the 2016 Olympic Games. The 19-year-old WVU sophomore was propelled into the media spotlight…

Thrasher explained how she coped with the pressures of competing in the most important sporting event on earth:

“I think this competition is one where you can mentally out-think yourself, and that’s the danger. For me, just being very focused. During the match I started out with some struggles, and I had to come off the line and my Olympic coach down there said, ‘Ginny, all you can do is shoot the best you can.’ I got back on the line, and that’s what I did. I shot the best that I could. I had a very bad hold, but it didn’t matter. Once I got into the final, I was very much focused on my breathing, and that was the point where all the training and all the discipline just came through for me. All I did was focus on my breathing and let my body do what it knew how to do.”

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August 18th, 2016

Bump Buster Recoil Reduction System for F-Open Rifles

Bret Solomon Speedy Thomas Gonzalez hydraulic recoil reduction F-Class F-Open accurateshooter.com

Many of our Forum members have expressed interest in a recoil-reduction system for prone F-Open competition rifles shooting heavy bullets from powerful cartridges. A .300 WSM shooing 200+ grain bullets can definitely take its toll over the course of a match. One system that has been used with considerable success is the hydraulic “Bump Buster” recoil system. This definitely reduces the pounding your shoulder gets during a long match. To illustrate this system, we’ve reprised an article on Brett Soloman’s F-Open rifle from a couple years back. Watch the Videos to see the Bump Buster in action.

Bret Solomon Speedy Thomas Gonzalez hydraulic recoil reduction F-Class F-Open accurateshooter.comOn his Facebook page, Hall-of-Fame shooter and ace gunsmith Thomas “Speedy” Gonzalez unveiled an impressive new F-Open rifle built for Bret Solomon. The rifle features Speedy’s new low-profile F-Class stock.

Bret’s gun is chambered for his 300 Solomon wildcat, shooting heavy 210gr bullets, so it can can be a real shoulder-buster, without some kind of buffer. The stock is fitted with a Ken Rucker’s Bump Buster hydraulic recoil reduction system to tame the recoil. The Bump Buster was originally designed for shotguns and hard-hitting, big game rifles. It is interesting to see this hydraulic buffer adapted to an F-Open rig.

Here you can see Bret shooting the gun, coached by Nancy Tompkins and Michele Gallagher:

Bret’s gun features a stainless Viper (Stiller) action, barrel tuner, and an innovative Speedy-crafted wood stock. Speedy says this stock design is all-new: “It is a true, low Center-of-Gravity F-Class stock, not a morphed Palma stock merely cut out on the bottom”. See all the details in this short video:

Stock Features: Glue-in or Bolt-In and Optional Carbon Pillars and Cooling Ports
Speedy explained the features of the new stock design: “Terry Leonard and I started working on an F-Class version of his stocks last year during the F-Class Nationals and came up with what he and I consider the first true low-CG stock in the sport. As you can see by the videos, there is very little torqueing of the stock during recoil. I add the carbon fiber tunnel underneath the forearms to save Terry some time. This bonds very well to his carbon fiber skeleton within the stock adding addition stiffness to the forearm to support the heavy barrels found on the F-Class rigs. We are playing with both glue-ins like we benchresters use and bolt-ins as well. The rifles on the videos are glue-ins. Bret just took delivery today of his first bolt-in employing carbon fiber pillars and the first Leonard stock ever to have cooling ports.”

Need for Recoil Reduction Follows F-Class Trend to Bigger Calibers and Heavier Bullets
In recent years we have seen F-Open competitors move to bigger calibers and heavier bullets in pursuit of higher BC. There is no free lunch however. Shooting a 210gr .30-caliber bullet is going to produce much more recoil than a 140gr 6.5mm projectile (when they are shot at similar velocities). Does this mean that more F-Open shooters will add hydraulic buffers to their rigs? Will a recoil-reduction system become “de rigueur” on F-Open rifles shooting heavy bullets?

Our friend Boyd Allen observes: “You may imagine that shooting a short magnum, or even a .284 Win with heavy bullets, involves a fair amount of recoil, and in the prone position this can be more than a little wearing. It can in fact beat you up over the course of a match. Some time back, Lou Murdica told me about having a hydraulic recoil absorbing device installed on one of his F-Class rifles, chambered in .300 WSM. Lou is shooting heavy (210-215gr) bullets so the recoil is stout. According to Lou, the hydraulic recoil-reduction system made all the difference.”

Story tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
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August 18th, 2016

Youth Shooting Programs — How to Get Your Kids Involved

4H National Shooting Sports Youth Program
The Camp Josepho Boy Scouts facility in California offers outstanding marksmanship programs.

Article based on report in NRABlog.com.
Want to get young people involved in the shooting sports? Through organized training programs youngsters learn safe firearms handling, improve marksmanship skills, and meet other kids with similar interests. They also learn important life skills such as teamwork and goal attainment. There are several youth marksmanship programs available. All these programs let you share your joy of shooting with the younger generation. Remember today’s juniors are the future of our sport.

NRA National Junior Shooting Camps

NRA Junior Shooting Championships
File photo from NRA Smallbore Rifle Championship

The NRA’s National Junior Shooting Camps provide high-quality training opportunities in rifle, pistol and shotgun disciplines. Instruction is directed by highly qualified, top-level coaches. NRA offers camps for advanced and intermediate juniors. There are also Junior Olympic Shooting Camps, hosted by USA Shooting and supported by the NRA and the Civilian Marksmanship Program.

National 4-H Shooting Sports

4H National Shooting Sports Youth Program

The National 4-H Shooting Sports Program was created to teach marksmanship, the safe and responsible use of firearms, the principles of hunting and archery, and much more. State level 4-H clubs offer programs for individual training as well as team competitive shooting. There is also a National 4-H Shooting Sports Championship each summer which hosts Shotgun, Air Rifle, Air Pistol, Smallbore Rifle, Smallbore Pistol, Compound Archery, Recurve Archery, Muzzleloading Rifle and Hunting Skills events.

Boy Scouts of America

Youth Education BSA Shooting Sports Boy Scouts

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) offers several marksmanship opportunities for new and intermediate shooters. Programs provide training for marksmanship badges and there are a variety of other competitive and recreational programs. Check with your local Boy Scout organization to learn about the range offerings for scouts in your region.

American Legion Junior Program

American Legion Junior Program

Thousands of male and female junior shooters have participated in the American Legion Junior Shooting Sports Program, which has a perfect safety record. The Junior Program includes a Basic Marksmanship Course, Qualification Awards and Air Rifle Competition. To learn more, visit www.legion.org/shooting.

Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC)

The NRA’s Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC) program helps kids 18 and under to learn hunting, marksmanship, and safety skills. From rifle, bow, and muzzleloader shooting, to wildlife identification, map & compass orienteering and more, YHEC participants get hands-on training in eight skill areas. This is a great program for parents and kids who want to go on family hunts together.

Winchester/NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program

From a young shooter’s first BB gun to sophisticated air rifles, shotguns, muzzleloaders, pistols, and rifles, the year-round Winchester/NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program offers a pathway to excellence for young shooters. Qualification shooting provides incentive awards for developing and improving marksmanship skills. Progression is self-paced and scores are challenging but attainable. Performance is measured against established par scores and any shooter who meets or exceeds those scores is entitled recognition awards for that rating.

Brownells / NRA Day

Brownells NRA Day

Brownells / NRA Day events provide adults, youth, families, hunters, sportsmen, competitors – literally everyone – the opportunity to come together under a formal program to learn, experience, share, and grow in appreciation of the shooting sports. The event themes offered in the program are designed for discovery. They provide exposure to the many different activities available in shooting sports and offer participants the opportunity to explore them in a safe, controlled environment.

Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation

Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation

The Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation (SSSF) offers a variety of fun, team-based shooting tournaments in both the Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) and Scholastic Action Shooting Program (SASP). These programs are open to student athletes aged elementary through college.

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August 17th, 2016

Whidden on Winning at Long Range: Part 1 — The Wind

Camp Perry John Whidden Wind Reading Long Range Championship

John Whidden of Whidden Gunworks won his fourth Long Range National Championship at Camp Perry this month. In this article, the first of a three-part series on Long Range competition, John shares his thoughts on wind strategies and keeping one’s composure in pressure situations. John tells us Camp Perry was very challenging this year: “The 2016 Long Range Championship will go down in my memory as one with quick wind changes that made it very easy to shoot a 9.”

How to Win at Long Range Shooting
(Or at least what worked at the 2016 National Championships)

by John Whidden, 2016 National Long Range Champion
The NRA Long Range National Championships at Camp Perry Ohio are now in the history books and the competitors are home and reflecting on what they could have done to improve their score. I think anyone who has ever competed always knows they could have done even better if they had changed this detail or that aspect. This is the case regardless of where a shooter places in the standings, even for the winners.

John Whidden National Long Range Championship Camp Perry 2016 Wind Reading

This year the winds were reasonably tough. We mostly have either headwinds or winds from the 2-3 O’clock positions with speeds often in the 9-11 mph range. The changes came quickly and we had to be on our toes. Fortunately the course of fire allows the shooters some options. For the 1000-yard matches, we typically have 33 minutes for preparation, an unlimited number of sighter shots, and then 20 shots for record. Many shooters will shoot about 3-5 sighters and complete the task in about 15 minutes.

The 2016 Long Range Championship was definitely a match where you had to fight for every point during the whole event.

In preparation for shooting by watching the wind, I realized that the quick changes were going to add to the difficulty. Given the conditions, I chose a strategy of choosing only one condition to shoot in and waiting during any changes away from my desired condition. This plan meant that I would have to be very patient and plan to use all of my 33 minutes allotted time if needed.

The sun was shining for most of the matches so we had mirage to look at. There are plenty of flags at Camp Perry and I was glad for them!

As the wind speeds get higher I think a shooter should study the appearance of the flags. Some people look at the flag, and some really LOOK at the flags. The difference is observing things like how many ripples are in the flag, how far the flag stands off the pole, the angle of the flag in a headwind or tailwind, and how high the tip of the flag is relative to where the flag is attached to the pole. These details make all of the difference.

Time Management and Patience
Patience in wind reading can be a virtue. Choosing a condition and being patient has probably yielded more success in my long range wind reading than any other method. It’s not the only way to go, but on a day when you have time available and patience on your side it can yield a win! It should be obvious now that keeping a timer and managing the available time along with the number of shots remaining is an important part of this.

John Whidden National Long Range Championship Camp Perry 2016 Wind Reading
John Whidden National Long Range Championship Camp Perry 2016 Wind Reading

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August 16th, 2016

Inaugural New England CMP Games, September 14-18

Eastern CMP New England Games Jericho Vermont Ethan Allen

There’s still time to sign up for the inaugural New England CMP Games, held September 14-18, 2016, in Jericho, Vermont. Similar to the Eastern, Western, and Oklahoma CMP Travel Games, the New England Games will take place at Camp Ethan Allen Training Site and is hosted by the Vermont State Rifle and Pistol Association, along with the Burlington Rifle and Pistol Club. CMP Sales will be held at the Games, and on-site barracks accommodation is available.

Click Here for Match Schedule | Click Here for Registration Form

Eastern CMP New England Games Jericho Vermont Ethan Allen

The 2016 CMP New England Games will begin with Small Arms Firing School (SAFS) and the M16 Match. The event will feature Garand/Springfield/Vintage Military matches and the Modern Military match. Other matches include an EIC Rifle Match, Carbine Match, a Rimfire Sporter Match and the popular Vintage Sniper Match. There will be five pistol matches: CMP .22 Rimfire EIC Pistol Match, EIC Service Pistol Match, Pistol Team Match, Military & Police Pistol Match and CMP As-Issued 1911 Pistol Match.

Eastern CMP New England Games Jericho Vermont Ethan Allen
The New England Games will feature CMP’s signature M1 Garand Match.

Along with the SAFS, a GSM New Shooter Clinic and Garand Maintenance Clinic will also be offered. SAFS training by qualified instructors is geared toward new shooters, so no previous firearm experience is required.

The CMP Sales Trailer will be on-site offering registered competitors a first chance at the CMP goodies on September 14th during the Competitor-Only Sales Event. The CMP will also offer rifle and ammo sales September 15-17 starting at noon each day. Housing will be available on post in the form of transient quarters with a shared bath as well as barracks with large open bays and smaller bays for small groups or families.

To register, visit the New England Games Page on the CMP website. For more info, call Christina Roguski at 419-635-2141 ext. 714, or email competitions@thecmp.org.

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August 14th, 2016

Jim Laughland: A Living Legend at Camp Perry

Jim James Laughland Camp Perry Alice Bull Trophy
Jim Laughland (far left) with Alice Bull, the first Distinguished female (third from left).

Article based on story by Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer
Jim Laughland, age 77, was the presenter of the Alice Bull Trophy during the 2016 National Trophy Rifle Matches at Camp Perry. To Jim, the Alice Bull Trophy is something very special … it rekindles memories of a cherished friend and mentor, and his many decades at Camp Perry. “I just thought it’d be nice to have the chance to present it because I don’t know if I’m coming back again,” he said. “Otherwise, you might have someone presenting who never knew [Alice Bull] or loved her like I did.”

Jim James Laughland Camp Perry Alice Bull TrophyThe first female to earn the Distinguished Rifleman Badge, Alice Bull was an extraordinary individual. A true pioneer, she was the women’s rifle team captain at the University of Washington. Before WWII, Bull competed at the National Matches from 1935 – 1937. In 1949, Alice became the first woman elected to the NRA’s Board of Directors. She went on to become the first female to earn the Army’s Distinguished Rifleman Badge in 1961.

The Alice Bull Trophy, awarded to the highest aggregate civilian competitor during the National Rifle Matches, was first presented in 1991 by the Washington State Rifle and Pistol Association to commemorate this legendary woman and competitive shooter. The trophy features a bronze figure of Alice on top, with two rifles below, one the actual M1 Garand with which Alice earned her Distinguished Rifleman Badge.

Jim first met Alice Bull when he was a young member of the Seattle Rifle & Pistol Club. He had been friends with her son, Lee, and Jim shot with Alice in an indoor smallbore league. She helped him develop his marksmanship skills, including perfecting the cross-ankle sitting position that he still uses. Now, the woman he knew is immortalized in a perpetual trophy.

“I think it’s wonderful. And, incredible that she was a woman,” he said. “I treated her like my mother. She was very kind — a brilliant, wonderful person.”

Sixty Years of Marksmanship Starting at Camp Perry
During his 60 years of marksmanship experience, Jim has traveled all around the country and has competed with many of the most recognized individuals in the world of shooting. And, it all began at Camp Perry. “When I come to Camp Perry, there are a lot of ghosts I know, walking around,” he said.

Jim’s first visited Camp Perry in 1955, when he was just 17 years old. Jim even skipped his first week of high school to attend the National Matches. Jim started out unclassified, but left an Expert Marksman. During his early career, he shot with the Washington State National Guard and the New York National Guard. In 1962, he moved to Baltimore and joined the Maryland State Team which went on to win the Hilton Trophy for the High National Guard Team in the National Trophy Team Match. Later, he earned his Distinguished Rifleman Badge in 1964.

Jim James Laughland Camp Perry Alice Bull Trophy

Head to Head with Carlos Hathcock
In August 1965, Laughland shot in one of his most memorable Camp Perry matches — going shoulder-to-shoulder with Carlos Hathcock, famed marksman and Marine Corps sniper in Vietnam. Hathcock won the Wimbledon Cup Match by a single point. “He’s the one who made me famous”, Jim said with a smile.

Jim also notably shot with two-time Olympic gold medalist and Director of Civilian Marksmanship Emeritus, Gary Anderson, in the 1960s while both were members of the All National Guard Team. Shown below are Anderson and Laughland at Camp Perry.

Jim James Laughland Camp Perry Alice Bull Trophy

Another memorable match for Jim came in 1977, when he joined the All National Guard National Rifle Team and traveled to Camp Perry with them as only an alternate – or so he thought. On that day, with blustery 30 to 40 mph winds, Jim remembers remarking to his friend, “I’m glad I don’t have to shoot in this wind today!” Soon after, the colonel came up to Jim and told him he’d be shooting. At that point in his career, it had been 10 years since he had shot with the All Guard team. “I looked at my friend, thinking, ‘Should I cheer or cry?’” he joked.

At the end of the match, he and his friend were the high shooters on the team and won the National Trophy Team Match for the National Guard for the first time in 65 years.

“When I think about it, I get teary. It was such an honor,” he said. “I think it was one of the highlights of my shooting. It was like going into the World Series, in the 7th game with bases loaded, 3 runs down with a 3-2 count and hitting a Grand Slam.”

High Master and Three Grand Senior Service Rifle Championships
In 1979, the NRA introduced the High Master Classification, and Laughland became the first on the All Guard team to earn the title. Most recently, Jim won the Grand Senior Service Rifle Championships in 2008, 2009 and 2014 at Camp Perry, saying the desire to win is what keeps him shooting.

“When I found out they had the ‘old folks’ award, I switched to Service Rifle,” he said. “And I figured I’d never win it again, because these younger guys are coming in — you know, who are only 70 or 75. But when I looked and saw my name on the bulletin in 2014, I started to cry.”

Laughland Leaves a Legacy
In 2015, Jim was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, which has left him with some ailments that make it difficult to compete at his top level. But, with the reputation that precedes him, he has many friends at the National Matches, both old and new, that are always eager to welcome him back. “I have a hard time coming to Camp Perry and walking around without someone stopping me and asking me to take a picture with them,” he said. “I get choked up.”

“I’d like to leave a legacy,” he said. “When I don’t make it to Camp Perry anymore, it’s the people I’ll miss the most. It’s been my life….”

Jim James Laughland Camp Perry Alice Bull Trophy


The Civilian Marksmanship Program is a federally chartered 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation. It is dedicated to firearm safety and marksmanship training and to the promotion of marksmanship competition for citizens of the United States. For more information about the CMP and its programs, log onto www.TheCMP.org.

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August 12th, 2016

American Riflemen Seek Olympic Medals in 50m Smallbore Prone

Rio Olympics 2016 50m prone rifle smallbore

Today is an important day for Team USA shooters at the Rio Olympics. American rifle marksmen SFC Michael McPhail and David Higgins will be competing in the smallbore 50m prone event. In addition, 25m Pistol shooters will compete, and the Women’s Skeet Finals will be held this afternoon.

UPDATE: CLICK HERE for Video Highlights of Mens 50M Prone Finals on NBCOlympics.com

Schedule for the Remaining 2016 Olympic Shooting Events:

Friday, August 12
8:00 am – 50m Rifle Prone Men
8:00 am – Skeet Women
9:30 am – Skeet Men Day 1
10:00 am – Finals 50m Rifle Prone Men
11:15 am – 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Men Stage 1
2:00 pm – Finals Skeet Women

Saturday, August 13
8:00 am – 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Men Stage 2
8:30 am – Skeet Men Day 2
11:30 am – Finals 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Men
2:00 pm – Finals Skeet Men

Sunday, August 14
8:00 am – 50m Rifle 3-Position Men
12:00 pm – Finals 50m Rifle 3-Position Men

SFC Michael McPhail

Hopes are high for McPhail, one of the favorites to win a shooting Gold Medal in Rio. McPhail, ranked number one in the world in men’s 50-meter rifle prone, won the ISSF World Cup Finals in Munich this September. McPhail also won back-to-back gold medals at the ISSF World Cup events at Fort Benning, GA and Munich, Germany, held in May and early June of 2015. This is McPhail’s second Olympic appearance, so he understands what’s at stake: “The Olympics are unlike any other match you’ll ever shoot, the magnitude of it….”

SFC Michael McPhail
SFC Michael McPhail, shown above, is currently ranked #1 in the world in the smallbore 50m prone rifle discipline. He’s one of the favorites to win Gold today in Rio.

Rio Olympics 2016 50m prone rifle smallbore

David Higgins

Air Force Academy graduate David Higgins has been a competitive shooter since his early teens. “I was 13 when I first began shooting Rifle competitively, and I immediately knew that I wanted to pursue Rifle as my primary sport,” said Higgins.

Rio Olympics 2016 50m prone rifle smallbore

Higgins recently graduated from the Air Force Academy and enjoys rock climbing, sailing and surfing in his free time. He now moves on to the next phase of his military career, having cross-commissioned into the Marine Corps upon graduation to become an infantry officer.

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August 10th, 2016

Canadian F-Class National Championships Commence

Canada Canadian F-Class Championships Connaught Ontario Canada F-TR F-Open

Many of the world’s best F-Class shooters have traveled to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada this week to compete at the Canadian F-Class National Championships. F-Open ace Shiraz Balolia, who won back-to-back Canadian F-Open Championships in 2015 and 2014, will pursue a “three-peat” at Canada’s Connaught Ranges. There will be plenty of F-TR talent on hand as well, including Bryan Litz, reigning U.S. Mid-Range and Long-Range F-TR Champion. The first challenge for the shooters will be the weather, which can be notoriously wet and windy at Connaught. The weather forecast looks good for today and tomorrow, but thunderstorms (and rain) are predicted for Friday and Saturday.

Get Ready for the Thunderstorms…
Canada Canadian F-Class Championships Connaught Ontario Canada F-TR F-Open
Weather.com 5-Day Forecast. CLICK HERE for update.

U.S. F-TR Rifle Team Prepares for the Canadian Championships:

Canada Canadian F-Class Championships Connaught Ontario Canada F-TR F-Open

Shown above is the U.S. F-TR Rifle Team, which will compete in the F-TR division. In the America Match, teams from Canada, South Africa, and the United States will battle head-to-head for national honors.

Many Companies Help Sponsor U.S. F-TR Rifle Team
It takes significant resources to field a large shooting team in international competition. The U.S. F-TR Rifle team is fortunate to have many great sponsors helping the team with equipment and financial support. The team’s top-level “Gold Medal” sponsors, are, in alphabetical order: Berger Bullets, Gemtech, Kelbly’s, McMillan Fiberglass Stocks, Nightforce Optics, Pierce Engineering, and 5.11 Tactical. CLICK HERE for a list of all sponsors.

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August 9th, 2016

Hail the 2016 High Power and Long Range National Champions

Norman Norm Houle High Power John Whidden 2016 National Long Range High Power Championship Camp Perry Barnard Action

We congratulate Norman Houle, the 2016 National High Power Champion, and John Whidden, the 2016 National Long Range Champion. Norm secured his win with an impressive 2384-130X score. Along with the title of National Champion, Norm received a Mumma Trophy Plaque, a National Champion Medallion, Krieger Barrels Certificate, Trijicon Scope, and Geissele Certificate. In second place was last year’s champion, SFC Brandon Green of the USAMU. Brandon, who won the 2015 and 2013 High Power Championships, finished with a score of 2381-120X. In third place was SGT Nick Mowrer with 2381-114X, a very impressive score with a Service Rifle. (SGT Mowrer won the Service Rifle Championship.)

Norman Norm Houle High Power John Whidden 2016 National Long Range High Power Championship Camp Perry Barnard Action

John Whidden is always strong at Camp Perry (file photo from past event).
John Whidden 2016 National High Power Championship Camp Perry Barnard Action

Whidden Wins Long Range Championship
In the Long Range Competition (Tompkins Trophy Match), John Whidden of Whidden Gunworks topped the field with a very strong 1240-77X performance. This victory secured John’s fourth Long Range National title. As in the High Power Championship, in the Long Range event SFC Brandon Green also finished in second place (1238-67X). Rounding out the Long Range podium was William Gelet with a 1238-57X tally. With his Long Range Championship win, Whidden took home a Tompkins Trophy Plaque, a Gold Championship Medallion, and a $500 Berger Bullets Certificate.

John campaigned three rifles he smithed himself. These feature Barnard actions in modified Anschutz smallbore stocks. For the open-caliber events, John shot .243 Win-chambered rifles with 6mm 105gr Berger Hybrids. For the Palma matches he shot a .308 Win with 155gr Berger Hybrids. John’s ammo was loaded on Whidden dies of course. During the Long Range cycle, matches were shot with both iron sights and scopes. John had two different .243 Win rifles, one fitted with iron sights, the other with a scope.

Norman Norm Houle High Power John Whidden 2016 National Long Range High Power Championship Camp Perry Barnard Action

High Power Hardware: The Guns of Perry

We thought our readers would like to see some of the ultra-accurate rifles campaigned by High Power competitors at Camp Perry. Both bolt-action and self-loading rifles are popular. Among bolt guns, Tubb 2000s and Eliseo tubeguns are popular. Semi-auto AR platform “Space Guns” offer some advantages (particularly during rapid-fire and for standing position), and are favored by many of the top marksmen. Many Camp Perry High Power competitors are also shooting less exotic AR service rifles.

Tubb 2000 with a shortened handguard, and custom hand support bracket forward of mag well.
Camp Perry AR15 Tubegun High Power Space Gun Tubb 2000 Rifle Standing

The modern AR Space Gun, scoped version. Note the side charging handle, and absence of forward assist. A block fitted under the handguard helps with the standing position. The scope is mounted on a “piggy-back” rail that extends forward of upper receiver’s built-in rail.
Camp Perry AR15 Tubegun High Power Space Gun Tubb 2000 Rifle Standing

Photos Courtesy NRABlog.com.

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August 8th, 2016

Ginny Thrasher Wins First Gold Medal of 2016 Rio Olympics

Rio Olympics Games Shooting Sports Virginia Thrasher Ginny Gold Medal
Rio Olympics Games Shooting Sports Virginia Thrasher Ginny Gold Medal

The United States garnered its first Gold Medal of the 2016 Olympiad on Saturday… but it wasn’t won by a swimmer, or a runner, or a gymnast. That first gold was captured by a shooter — a bright-eyed, talented 19-year-old girl, Ginny Thrasher. In fact, Ginny won the very first gold awarded in any sport at the 2016 Olympics, so she has become something of a celebrity. Watch the video below to see Ginny’s “Gold Medal Moment”.

Ginny Thrasher Wins 10m Air Rifle Gold Medal

Ginny shot superbly, starting off with a perfect 10.9 ace, and finishing the event with a 208.0 match total score, a new Olympic record.

Rio Olympics Games Shooting Sports Virginia Thrasher Ginny Gold Medal

Thrasher made history by winning the women’s 10 meter Air Rifle finals, outshooting top-ranked Andrea Arsovic (Serbia) and defending champion Siling Yi (China). In the final round, Ginny went head to head with Li Du from China, a two-Time gold medalist (2004, 2008). Competing in her first-ever Olympics, Ginny’s superb skills and positive mental attitude helped her overcome the Chinese shooter’s years of experience. Ginny told reporters: “This is beyond my wildest dreams. I knew it was a realistic expectation for me to get into the finals and once you get into the finals, anything can happen. For me, this year has been incredible.” Read More HERE.

Rio Olympics Games Shooting Sports Virginia Thrasher Ginny Gold Medal

Though still a teenager, Virginia “Ginny” Thrasher has risen to the very top of her sport. In April she won the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Smallbore Rifle, securing her spot at the Rio Olympics where she won gold. Prior to that, Ginny won individual NCAA titles in both air rifle and smallbore as a freshman on the WVU Mountaineers shooting team. This girl is a genuine phenom. Congratulations Ginny — you’ve made your country proud. We also wish good luck to all the other Team USA shooters.

Thrasher Factoid: Ginny Thrasher was a competitive figure skater before switching to shooting five years ago after going on a hunting trip with her grandfather. Who knows — perhaps Ginny could have medaled in the Winter Olympics had she stayed on the ice.

Rio Olympics Games Shooting Sports Virginia Thrasher Ginny Gold Medal

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August 7th, 2016

30 BRX Wildcat — a 30 BR Improved That Runs Significantly Faster

30 BR 6mmBR 30 BRX wildcat Al Nyhus

We first ran this story a few years back. But it’s still a very interesting subject for benchrest shooters. Shown above, the 30 BR (a 6mmBR necked up to .30 Caliber) currently rules the benchrest-for-score game. However, a 30 BR Improved offers some potential advantages, particularly when the winds are strong or tricky. In this article Al Nyhus explains his 30 BRX wildcat. Running Hodgdon H4198, Al says he gets an easy 150 -200 FPS more than the conventional 30 BR. That can translate to less drift in the wind. It also lets you pursue a higher speed node, which can lead to improved accuracy with some barrels.

30 BRX wildcat cartridge VFSForum member Al Nyhus is a top-level score shooter who has competed successfully with the 30 BR cartridge in VFS (Varmint for Score) matches. Al has been working on an “improved” 30 BR cartridge that delivers extra velocity. Al’s 30 BRX cartridge is inspired by the 6mm BRX cartridge, popular in 600-yard benchrest and across-the-course competition. The 6mm BRX cartridge maintains the same sidewall profile and shoulder angle as the parent 6mmBR case. Likewise, the 30 BRX retains the 30° shoulder used on the popular 30 BR cartridge.

Al reports: “Thought you might like to see what I’ll be working with in my VFS gun this season. It’s a true 30 BRX — a 30 BR with the shoulder moved forward 0.100″ with the standard BR shoulder angle. Stan Ware of SGR Custom Rifles built one last season for Steve Grosvenor and I was really impressed by the performance of Steve’s gun. The 30 BR barrel on my VFS gun needed replacing, so the new 30 BRX got the nod.”

30 BRX Delivers 150-200 FPS More Velocity than 30 BR
Al says his 30 BRX gives a solid 150-200 fps speed gain over the 30 BR at the top, while needing just 2.5-3.0 more grains of Hodgdon H4198 to do so. A 30 BR case holds on average 40.8 grains of water, while the 30 BRX holds 42.3 grains (roughly 4% more). So the 30 BRX delivers a 7% increase in velocity with a mere 4% increase in H20 capacity. That’s pretty good efficiency. [Editor’s Note: Assuming 34 grains of H4198 is a typical 30 BR match load, Al’s increase of 2.5-3.0 grains for the 30 BRX represents roughly a 7.5-8.5% increase in actual powder burned. That explains the higher velocities.]

Why did Nyhus decide to try an “improved” 30 BR?

Al explains: “The 30 BRX was created to operate at a [higher] velocity level than can be achieved with the standard 30 BR case, while at the same time keeping the easy-tuning characteristics of the standard 30 BR case. We also wanted to use the same powders currently used with the 30 BR and maintain similar operating pressures.” Is the 30BRX harder to shoot because of the increased velocity? Al doesn’t think so: “In a 13.5-lb HV gun, the 30 BRX case is a pleasure to shoot with just a flea bite of recoil.”

Will the 30 BRX Replace the 30 BR in Score Competition?
The 30 BR is already an exceptionally accurate cartridge that dominates short-range Benchrest for Score competition. Will the 30 BRX make the standard 30 BR obsolete? Nyhus doesn’t think so. However, Al believes the 30 BRX offers a small but important edge in some situations: “On any given day, it’s the shooter that hits the flags best and makes the fewest mistakes that ends up on top. No amount of velocity will save you when you press the trigger at the wrong time. Missing a switch or angle change at 200 yards that results in 3/4″ of bullet displacement on the target can’t be compensated for with another 200 fps. That’s the hard fact of benchrest shooting. But on those days when, as Randy Robinett says, ‘our brains are working’, the BRX may offer enough of an advantage to turn a close-but-no-cigar 10 into an ‘X’ at 200 yards. Or turn a just-over-the-line 9 into a beggar 10.” Given the fierce competition in Score matches, an extra 10 or another X can make the difference between a podium finish and also-ran status.

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August 5th, 2016

Olympic Shooting Sports Schedules and Coverage

The 2016 Rio Olympic Games kick off today with the Opening Ceremony. Shooting sports will be a part of these Olympics with competitions for rifle, pistol, and shotgun. From August 6 though August 14, Olympic shooters will compete in Brazil’s ultra-modern Olympic Shooting Center, originally created for the 2007 Pan-American Games at a cost of $53.5 million.

CLICK HERE for USA Shooting Olympic Preview with Team Profiles

SFC Michael McPhail Team USA
SFC Michael McPhail, shown above, is currently ranked #1 in the world in the smallbore 50m prone rifle discipline. He’s one of the favorites to win Gold in 2016.

2016 Olympic Media Coverage — TV and Internet
There will be some broadcast television coverage of shooting events. But the best way to follow the shooting matches is through streaming on the internet. NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports App will live stream 4,500 total hours of Olympics coverage — covering every event. Each day you can click the NBC Live Stream Schedule for Shooting Sports Events to see what’s running. CLICK HERE for complete shooting sports schedule.

With Rio just one hour ahead of the Eastern Time zone, Americans will enjoy great “real-time” coverage of the 2016 Summer Games. NBCUniversal will present 2,084 hours of Olympic programming across 11 affiliated TV and Cable networks.

Olympic Shooting Event Schedule

Note: All times are listed in Eastern Standard Time, one hour AFTER Rio Local Time. These are events with USA competitors.

Friday, August 5
7:00 pm Opening Ceremony

Saturday, August 6
7:30 am – 10m Air Rifle Women
9:30 am – Finals 10m Air Rifle Women
12:00 pm – 10m Air Pistol Men
2:30 pm – Finals 10m Air Pistol Men

Sunday, August 7
8:00 am – 10m Air Pistol Women
8:00 am – Trap Women
10:00 am – Finals 10m Air Pistol Women
2:00 pm – Finals Trap Women

Monday, August 8
8:00 am – 10m Air Rifle Men
11:00 am – Finals 10m Air Rifle Men

Tuesday, August 9
8:00 am – 25m Pistol Women Precision Stage
11:00 am – 25m Pistol Women Rapid Stage
2:30 pm – Finals 25m Pistol Women

Wednesday, August 10
8:00 am – 50m Pistol Men
8:00 am – Double Trap Men
11:00 am – Finals 50m Pistol Men
2:00 pm – Finals Double Trap Men

Thursday, August 11
8:00 am – 50m Rifle 3-Position Women
11:00 am – Finals Rifle 3-Position Women

Friday, August 12
8:00 am – 50m Rifle Prone Men
8:00 am – Skeet Women
9:30 am – Skeet Men Day 1
10:00 am – Finals 50m Rifle Prone Men
11:15 am – 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Men Stage 1
2:00 pm – Finals Skeet Women

Saturday, August 13
8:00 am – 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Men Stage 2
8:30 am – Skeet Men Day 2
11:30 am – Finals 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Men
2:00 pm – Finals Skeet Men

Sunday, August 14
8:00 am – 50m Rifle 3-Position Men
12:00 pm – Finals 50m Rifle 3-Position Men

You’ll find more information on Team USA and Olympic Shooting Competition on these websites:

usashooting.org
nbcolympics.com/shooting
teamusa.org

issf-sports.org
Rio2016.com
olympic.org

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August 4th, 2016

Dasher Duo: One for 1K and a Second for Groundhog Matches

6mm Dasher Shehane duo

Chuck’s Pair of Pennsylvania Dashers
There’s been a lot of interest in the 6mm Dasher cartridge lately, so we thought we’d showcase a matched pair of Dasher rifles belonging to a Forum member. The 6mm Dasher began as a wildcat improved version of the 6mmBR Norma cartridge. The 6mm Dasher has been very successful in competition, and now factory Norma-made Dasher cartridge brass is available from Bullets.com.

Forum Member Chuck L. (aka “Ridgeway”) has created a handsome duo of 6mm Dashers for competitive benchrest and varmint matches in Pennsylvania. Both guns are built on Kelbly Panda RBLP actions, with Bartlein 8-twist barrels, and Shehane Laminated Tracker Stocks. However, the two rifles are not exact twins, as you can see. One, which we’ll call the Big Dasher, is built on a Shehane ST1000 Tracker stock. The other gun, the Small Dasher, sports Shehane’s “Baby Tracker” stock — a design used with great success by Richard Schatz. The Big Dasher, optimized for 1000-yard competition, also has a slightly longer freebore — 0.136″ vs. 0.104″ for the Small Dasher.

6mm Dasher Shehane duo

Specifications for the Dasher Duo:

Small Dasher (13.5-pounder): Chambered for 6mm Dasher with approximately .104 freebore and a .264 NK. (No way of knowing exactly since it freebore was done in a separate operation by Kelbly.) Components are: Shehane Baby Tracker stock, Kelbly Panda RPLB action, Bartlein 1:8″ LV barrel at 26 ¾”, Kelbly Rings, Weaver T36, Jewell trigger. The barrel was chambered by Kelblys and the stock was bedded, glued and balanced by a shooting buddy (Forum Member johara1). I clear-coated the stock with auto urethane. Total weight is 13 lbs., 4 ounces.

Big Dasher (1K Light Gun, 17-pounder): Chambered for 6mm Dasher with a .136 freebore and .264 neck (PTG Reamer). Components are: Shehane ST-1000 stock, Kelbly Panda RPLB action, Bartlein 1:8″ HV 5R barrel at 28″, Shehane +20-MOA rings, Nightforce NXS 12-42x56mm, Jewell trigger. The barrel work, pillar installation, and bedding was done by Dave Bruno. The stock was clear-coated by Chuck with auto urethane. Chuck also made the rear butt plate and balanced the rifle. Total weight: 16 lbs., 13 ounces.

Chuck tells us: “I don’t get out shooting competition as much as I want due to time and family, but when I do compete, I shoot a Groundhog match at Southfork Rifle Club in Beaverdale, PA. Info on Southfork Club events can be found at Southforkrifleclub.com. The Southfork match is basically a 100-, 300- and 500-yard match with one sighter the entire match and 5 shots at each yardage for score. The Small Dasher, with the shorter ‘Baby Tracker’ stock, was set up for the Southfork Rifle Club’s ‘Light Unlimited’ class which has a 13.5-lb max weight.” (Editor: ‘unlimited’ is a misnomer for a weight-limited category.)

Chuck adds: “The Big Dasher with the heavy ST-1000 stock is set up for 1000-yard benchrest matches in Light Gun class. I hope to shoot a couple 1K matches with it at Reade Range in southwest Pennsylvania. I am still in load development for this rifle since it was just finished in January. One ironic thing is, it shoots the same load I’m shooting out of the lighter gun rather well. The only difference between the two chambers is the freebore is roughly thirty thousandths longer on the 1K gun (Large Dasher). I will also shoot this at Southfork in the ‘Heavy Unlimited’ class.”

6mm Dasher Shehane duo

Dasher Case-Forming: Neck-Turn then Fire-form with Bullets Hard in Lands
To fireform, I turn my cases down to fit the chamber and stop where the false shoulder makes snug contact with the chamber. Fire-forming rounds are loaded up with a 29-grain charge of H4895 or Varget and a 108gr Berger bullet seated hard into the lands about 0.020″ past initial contact with the rifling. It takes about three firings to make a nice clean Dasher case with a sharp shoulder. I anneal about every 3-4 firings. I have many cases that have about 10+ firings on them and they are still shooting well. The primer pockets are a little looser, but still hold a primer.

6mm Dasher case fire-forming fireform

Both Dashers Group in the Ones at 100 Yards
My main bullet for both rifles is the 107gr Sierra MK, loaded with Reloder 15 powder, Lapua cases and CCI 450 primers. My main load for the Small Dasher is 33.0 grains of Reloder 15. This load shoots in the ones at 100 yards. For the Big Dasher, I’m still working on a load, although the same 33.0 grain load shoots in the ones in the heavier gun as well. I’m still looking for more velocity and my ‘max’ node. So far, I’ve gone well above 33.0 grains of RL 15 without pressure signs, but that load produces vertical at 100 yards, so I’m going to tinker with the load until I see pressure or it starts to shoot.

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August 3rd, 2016

Amazing 2.856″ 10-Shot Group at 1000 Yards — Potential Record

IBS 1000 yard record heavy benchrest Harry Jones Range West Virginia 6.5x47 Lapua Mike Gaizauskas
Yes, there are ten (10) shots. In the lower left (7 o’clock) of the group, two shots overlap!

Stunning 1000-Yard 10-Shot Group
IBS 1000 yard record heavy benchrest Harry Jones Range West Virginia 6.5x47 Lapua Mike GaizauskasYou’re looking at a stunning feat of rifle accuracy. That’s a sub-3″, ten-shot group shot at 1000 yards, all 10s or Xs. Measured at 2.856 inches, this group by shooter Mike Gaizauskas works out to 0.2727 MOA. Nearly quarter-MOA for ten shots at 1K! And the vertical for 7 of 10 shots is under an inch. Now that’s impressive. This was done with an IBS Heavy Class Benchrest gun, chambered for the 6.5×47 Lapua, a mid-sized cartridge originally designed for 300m competition.

Gun Specs: 6.5×47 Lapua chambering, Krieger 30″, 1:8″-twist barrel, Lapua 139 grain Scenars, Hodgdon H4350, CCI BR4 primers, Nightforce NSX scope. Smithed by Mark King, stock by Mike Gaizaukaus.

This amazing group, which establishes new IBS world records, was shot at the Harry Jones Memorial 1000-Yard Gun Club range in Fairview, West Virginia. Set in wooded, rolling hills, this range is shielded on all sides by thick stands of trees. It’s a beautiful facility, and you can see why, when conditions are right, the Harry Jones range can be about as close to shooting in a “tunnel” as you’ll ever get at 1000 yards. The Harry Jones Club in WV hosted the 2014 IBS Long-Range Nationals.

IBS 1000 yard record heavy benchrest Harry Jones Range West Virginia 6.5x47 Lapua Mike Gaizauskas

IBS 1000 yard record heavy benchrest Harry Jones Range West Virginia 6.5x47 Lapua Mike Gaizauskas

Mike’s remarkable 10-shot performance may be a Score Record as well as a group record, because all ten shots were in the 10-Ring and, under IBS rules, group size is the tie-breaker, rather than X-Count. Mike’s target was scored 100-3X, with two of the three Xs just clipping the outside of the X-Ring. Match directors reported: “On 7/24/2016, two new pending IBS 1000-yard world records were shot by Mike Gaizauskas with a 6.5X47 Lapua: 1) Heavy Gun Group (2.856″) and 2) Heavy Gun Score (100-3X). Congratulations Mike!” Here are the listed IBS records that will be broken, when this target is certified:

► Current IBS 1000-Yard Heavy Gun 10-Shot Single Group Record: 3.044″, Joel Pendergraft, 4/18/2009.

► Current IBS 1000-Yard Heavy Gun 10-Shot Single Group Score Record: 100 points, with 3.353″ group size tie-breaker, Gary Nicholson, 7/27/13.

Best 1000-Yard 10-Shot Groups Ever
This jaw-dropping 2.856″ group by Mike Gaizauskas also handily breaks the current NBRSA 1000-Yard, ten-shot Heavy Gun Record, which was 3.9912″ set by Bill Johnston on November 17, 2015. FYI: IBS and NBRSA Light Guns only shoot five-shot groups, so there is no equivalent IBS or NBRSA Light Gun 1K ten-shot record.

Only one other 10-shot, 100-score 1000-yard group was better than this in the history of rifle competition on this planet. Back in 2010, at a Williamsport match, Matt Kline shot a 2.815″ 100-4X. Depending on how Mike’s 2016 2.856″ group is finally measured, it could end up smaller than Matt’s. The difference (before final IBS verification) is only 0.041″, a mere four hundredths of an inch.

In 2014, Jim Richards fired a 10-shot Light Gun group at 1000 yards initially measured at 2.6872″. Shot under Williamsport Rules at the Deep Creek Range in Montana, that 10-shot group may be the smallest ever at 1K. However, the whole group was out in the 8 Ring, for a score of 80, not 100.

About the 6.5×57 Lapua Cartridge

To learn more about the record-setting 6.5×47 Lapua cartridge, including bullet and powder options and reloading tips, visit our comprehensive 6.5×47 Lapua Cartridge Guide.

6.5x47 Lapua Cartridge

The 6.5x47mm Lapua was developed in 2005 as a precision cartridge for 300m CISM rifle matches. Lapua (of Finland) and Swiss rifle-maker Grünig & Elmiger created this new cartridge to match the “pure accuracy” of the 6mmBR, but with even better ballistics. Following its debut as a 300m match cartridge, the 6.5×47 has proven to be a popular “jack of all trades”. Shooters have adopted this efficient, mid-sized cartridge because it offers excellent accuracy, mild recoil, good ballistics, and ample barrel life (plus it feeds well from a magazine). The 6.5×47 Lapua has won two NBRSA 600-yard Nationals. Now that this modern, mid-sized cartridge has set an all-time record for grouping precision at 1000 yards, we expect more shooters to experiment with this cartridge in the mid- and long-range benchrest disciplines.

Story Tip by Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions
Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills 9 Comments »
July 31st, 2016

Match Etiquette: Be Prepared, Know the Rules and Course of Fire

Match Etiquette USAMU Course of Fire Rules SFC Norman Anderson CMP Rulebook NRA

Match Etiquette USAMU Course of Fire Rules SFC Norman Anderson CMP Rulebook NRA

Don’t Be “That Guy” (The Bad Apple on the Firing Line)

By SFC Norman Anderson, USAMU Service Rifle Team Member
You know the guy, he’s still talking at the coffee jug when his preparation period begins, then his magazines aren’t loaded when the command “STAND” is given, and finally, he doesn’t know the rules when he argues with the block officer as his target comes up marked “9 and No”. Although this guy might be the highlight of the “after match” activities, he is the proverbial bad apple on the firing line. With this example fresh in your mind, let’s go over how not to be “that guy”.

While the sport of High Power shooting is a hobby for most, all are passionate about performance throughout the day. In order to achieve your maximum performance each and every day, it is essential that you conduct yourself as a professional competitor. As a competitor, you have a personal responsibility to know the course of fire as well as the rules and procedures that apply to it and to be prepared to follow them. Knowing this will not only make you a better competitor, but it will enable you to resolve situations with other targets besides your own. So what does all this mean? I’ll explain…

Know the Course of Fire
Know the course of fire. It sounds easy enough, as we all shoot plenty of matches, but it’s more than that. If you think about it, how many people in the pits, for example, do not really know what is happening on the firing line? This leads to targets being pulled early during a rapid fire string or missing a shot during a slow fire string. In cases like this, the result is the same, delays in the match and upset competitors. To avoid being “that guy,” it is imperative that you stay tuned to the events as the day progresses. When you are at the range shooting a match, be at the range shooting the match.

At any firearms competition — be sure you know (and understand) the course of fire.
CMP Match Etiquette

Match Etiquette USAMU Course of Fire Rules SFC Norman Anderson CMP Rulebook NRAKnow the Rules
Now, let’s discuss rules. As you have probably heard more than once, the rulebook is your best friend. Here is why. I can virtually guarantee that most competitors know some of the rules based only on the old “this is how we do it at home” adage. The funny part of that is, the same green NRA rulebook and orange CMP rulebooks are used to govern High Power matches all over the country.*

It is vital that all shooters be familiar with the rules as they are written, not with “how they are applied at home”. This creates consistency and continuity in how matches are conducted, from local club matches to state tournaments to National Championships. Knowledge is power when it comes to scoring targets under contention, what to do in the case of a malfunction, or even how to file a protest correctly. These rules are in place for a reason and it benefits everyone to both know and operate by these rules.

Maintain Composure and Humility — Exhibit Good Sportsmanship
One aspect of competing that cannot be forgotten is bearing. As I mentioned earlier, you must be prepared for both good and bad to happen. All too often we all see “that guy” (or that “that guy’s” gear) flying off of the firing line in disgust. Remember that we all must maintain our composure and humility in all conditions, not matter what happens. After all, it’s just a game. To put it into perspective, if it were easy, attendance would be a lot higher. Sportsmanship must be displayed in an effort to keep from ruining the day for all those around you. It doesn’t cost anything to smile, and smiling never killed anyone. So turn that frown upside down and keep on marching, better days will come.

Like a Boy Scout — Always Be Prepared
Lastly, I would like to cover preparedness. Being prepared goes beyond simply having your magazines loaded and a zero on your rifle. It means approaching the firing line, knowing what you are about to do, being ready for what is going to happen (good or bad), and being ready for the results. If you approach the firing line to merely shoot 10 shots standing in your next LEG match, you are not going to be pleased with the result. You must be prepared mentally and physically, not only for the next stage, but also the next shot. By being prepared physically (equipment ready), you give yourself peace of mind which is an essential part of being prepared mentally, and by being prepared mentally, you are less likely to become distracted and are more likely to maintain focus for each and every shot.

Conclusion — Informed Competitors Make for Better Matches
The culmination of these efforts results in a shooter that knows how to be ready for success on the range, but also and perhaps more importantly, a shooter who knows what it means to be a competitor. When you have a range full of competitors who know and follow the rules and proper match procedures, the match runs smoothly, everyone shoots well, and a good time is had by all. In the end, isn’t that what it’s all about?


* After this article was originally written, the CMP separated its rules into two different Rulebooks:

The 2016 4th Edition of the CMP Competition Rules for CMP Games Rifle and Pistol Matches governs all CMP-sanctioned matches for As-Issued Military Rifle and Pistol events including Special EIC Matches that are fired with As-Issued Military Rifles or Pistols.

The 2016 20th Edition of the CMP Competition Rules for Service Rifle and Service Pistol governs sponsored and sanctioned matches for Service Rifle, Service Pistol and .22 Rimfire Pistol events, including National Trophy Rifle and Pistol Matches, Excellence-In-Competition (EIC) matches and other CMP-sanctioned competitions.

This article by SFC Norman Anderson originally appeared in the CMP First Shot Online Magazine.

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July 30th, 2016

Vintage Sniper Rifle Match Draws 259 Teams to Camp Perry

Vintage Sniper Rifle Match

Earlier this week, on July 27th, the CMP held the 2016 Vintage Sniper Rifle Match at Camp Perry. This unique event is a two-man team competition using scoped rifles of WWI and WWII Vintage. This has become of of the most popular rifle matches held at Perry, with 259 teams competing this summer. Many competitors use some version of the M1903 Springfield, but you’ll also see scoped M1 Garands, K31s, Mausers, and even a Lee-Enfield or two. (Semi-Auto shooters are scored separately). This year the Vintage Sniper Match was won by the “Yogi & BooBoo” family team of Silas Fentress and Wesley Fentress, with a 396-13X score. Close behind was runner-up duo Donald Schedler and John Watson (394-13X). Winning the semi-auto division were Brian Dobish and Clayton Maugans (373-8X).

Vintage Sniper Rifle Match

CLICK HERE for 2016 Vintage Sniper Rifle Match Results (Select from List).

Two-person teams will fire 10 rounds in 20-second intervals from scoped vintage military rifles set on sand bags. One team marksman shoots from the prone position at 300 and 600 yards, while the other serves as a spotter to relay shot position. Marksman and spotter switch positions on the firing lines, allowing each teammate to play both roles. Scores are then combined for an Aggregate team total.

Two M1 Garands, fitted with scopes and lace-on cheekpads.
Vintage sniper rifle team match camp perry

Who can identify this rifle, with its unusual scope mount?
Vintage sniper rifle team match camp perry

Our friends at Criterion Barrels have written an interesting article about the 2014 Vintage Sniper Rifle Match. It you want an “insider’s perspective” on the 2014 Match, plus Vintage Sniper gunsmithing tips, read this article. Here are some highlights:

About the Match and the Rifles
The Vintage Sniper Match was the brainchild of Hornady’s Dave Emary. The competition was inspired by his father, a World War II scout sniper, who carried a rifle similar to the 1903A4 rifle builds that can be found today on the Camp Perry firing line. Bob Schanen worked alongside Dave and the CMP staff in establishing the various competition rules prior to the first official Vintage Sniper Match in 2011. The match developers made a point to offer some level of flexibility in rifle configuration, allowing specific types of non-issue optics and rifle rebuilds. This helped make the match more inclusive.

Hornady’s Dave Emary and “Gunny” R. Lee Ermey (right):
AccurateShooter.com CMP Vintage Sniper Rifle Match

Camp Perry — The Venue
The hallowed grounds of Camp Perry have hosted some of the nation’s finest shooters each summer for more than a century. Some of the world’s greatest marksmen have accomplished remarkable feats on the ranges of this lakeside military outpost. Located on the coast of Lake Erie, Camp Perry is positioned just outside of the scenic town of Port Clinton, Ohio. It is our firm belief that every shooter should make the pilgrimage to the Camp Perry at least once in their lifetime. If not participating in an event, visitors should at least make an attempt to meet the competitors, witness the wide selection of firearms used by participants, and pay a visit to the various vendors on base.

Photos from Garand Thumb Blog and NRA Blog.

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills 5 Comments »
July 28th, 2016

Camp Perry Calendar — Keep Track of All the Action in Ohio

2016 national match calendar CMP

CLICK HERE to Download 2016 National Matches Calendar PDF

The NRA High Power Championship cycle commences August 1, 2016. Want to follow the action at the National Matches at Camp Perry? The NRA maintains a webpage with the latest results for all the National rifle and pistol matches at Camp Perry. Click any of the links below to launch a page with match-by-match results. Once you navigate to the appropriate results page, click the particular match title (or 3-digit match number) to open a table with ranked lists of competitors and their scores. For example, the National High Power Rifle Championship is Match number 400.

Camp Perry National Matches

CLICK for MATCH RESULTS

Tubb 2000 rifle, left-hand version. Note how the butt-plate is adjusted for cant, angle, and drop.
Camp Perry AR15 Tubegun High Power Space Gun Tubb 2000 Rifle Standing

Over $25,000 Worth of Prizes at 2014 NRA Springfield M1A Match
The Springfield M1A Match will be held Sunday, July 31, 2016 (the day after the CMP Garand Match). Sponsored by Springfield Armory, this popular event features big-money payouts and valuable hardware prizes. More than $25,000 in cash and prizes were awarded, with categories for shooters of all skill levels. There was a big turn-out for the event. Competitors were treated to bright, sunny skies yesterday. Here are photos from the match, courtesy NRA General Operations.

Springfield M1A Match Camp Perry

Springfield M1A Match Camp Perry

Springfield M1A Match Camp Perry

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July 26th, 2016

Optics-Equipped Service Rifles Dominate President’s 100 Match

President's 100 match

President's 100 match March Optics 1-4.5x24mm Service Rifle

When the NRA and CMP issued new rules allowing the use of 4.5X optics for Service Rifles, some asked: “will scopes really make a difference?”. The answer is a resounding “Yes”, based on match results just in from Camp Perry. In the prestigious National President’s 100 Match fired July 25th, the first-, second-, and third-place finishers all had scopes. Keith Stephens won the match, SFC Evan Hess took second, and Hugh Reich finished third — an all-optics Podium. Both winner Keith Stephens and third-place Hugh Reich were running March 1-4.5x24mm scopes on their rifles. And there were many other optics users among the Top 20 competitors in the President’s 100 Finals. (The President’s 100 Match concludes with a single 10-round shoot-off at 600 yards, fired by the best 20 shooters from the prelims.)

2016 President's hundred 100 match winner Keith Stephens March scope

The March 1-4.5x24mm scope was designed expressly for Service Rifle competition and tactical applications (it will focus down to 10 yards). This first-focal-plane optic features 1/4″ MOA clicks and optimal eye relief for AR-type rifles. March’s optics experts tell us: “This scope was specifically designed for the Service Rifle match shooter. Oversized tactical turrets allow for easy windage and elevation adjustments. High-quality ED (low distortion) lenses provide superior image resolution”. Current retail price for this scope is $2338.00 from Bullets.com.

That is a significant investment to be sure. But if you asked President’s 100 Match Winner Keith Stephens, he’d probably tell you his March 1-4.5x24mm scope was worth every penny…

March Service Rifle Optic scope 1-4.5x

Permalink Competition, Optics 10 Comments »
July 25th, 2016

National President’s 100 Rifle Match at Camp Perry

2016 President's hundred 100 match winner Keith Stephens March scope
Keith Stephens won the prestigious 2016 President’s 100 Match at Camp Perry, as well as the Alice Bull Trophy for the highest-scoring civilian.

Our friend Dennis Santiago is at Camp Perry, where today (25 July) he is shooting the National President’s 100 Rifle Match — a competition steeped in history. First fired in 1878, this match was incorporated into the National Match program in 1903. The President’s Match was modeled after the famous British Queen’s Prize Match. Originally, the Match winner received a letter of congratulations from the President of the United States.

National President's 100 Match Camp Perry 2016 Dennis Santiago

In the President’s Rifle Match, all competitors fire 10 shots standing, 10 shots rapid prone, and 10 shots prone slow fire to determine who makes the President’s 100 list. The top 20 shooters then advance to a final where they fire a 10-shot stage at 600 yards. This 20-marksman Finals Shoot-off now concludes the President’s Rifle Match.

CLICK HERE for Results of President’s Match and Other National Trophy Matches.

Origins of the President’s Match
The President’s Match originated in 1878 as the American Military Rifle Championship Match. In 1884, the name was changed to the President’s Match for the Military Rifle Championship of the United States. It was fired at Creedmoor, New York until 1891. In 1895, it was reintroduced at Sea Girt, New Jersey. Today, the match is held at Camp Perry, Ohio.

Dunfey USAMU President's MatchThe President’s Match was patterned after an event for British Volunteers called the Queen’s Match. That British competition was started in 1860 by Queen Victoria and the NRA of Great Britain to increase the ability of Britain’s marksmen following the Crimean War.

The tradition of making a letter from the President of the United States the first prize began in 1904 when President Theodore Roosevelt personally wrote a letter of congratulations to the winner, Private Howard Gensch of the New Jersey National Guard.

After a hiatus in the 1930s and 1940s, The President’s Match was reinstated in 1957 at the National Matches as “The President’s Hundred”. The 100 top-scoring competitors in the President’s Match are singled out for special recognition.

CLICK HERE for history of the President’s Match.

Videos from Camp Perry 2016

Relay Four of the President’s 100 Rifle Match. Shooting offhand, 150 guns at a time.
Rain, thunder, lightning, storm cells. “Load and be ready!” — Not.
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July 24th, 2016

Phillips Video Shows Highlights of King of Two Miles Competition

Mitchell Fitzpatrick Team Applied Ballistics King of Two 2 Miles KO2M long range .375 Berger Bullets Kelly McMillan

Extreme Long Range — 2477 Yards
Notably, two Applied Ballistics team shooters made hits at 2477 yards. Just how far is that? Take a look at the photo above — that shows the location of the 2477-yard target with the firing line in the far distance. Now THAT is truly long range!

By Paul Phillips
I wanted to share a video that I made. This was from the King of 2 Miles event held recently in Raton, New Mexico. I was fortunate enough to be apart of an amazing team with Bryan Litz and Mitchell Fitzpatrick. We had some awesome sponsors: Berger Bullets, Nightforce Optics, McMillan Group International, Lethal Precision Arms LLC and Applied Ballistics LLC. Team Applied Ballistics took First, Second, and Fourth places out of 38 teams in this competition. Our Team highlight was working together to make first-round hits on a 24×36 inch plate at 1.4 miles. With me as coach, both Mitchell and Bryan made their first-round hits at 1.4 miles (2477 yards to be exact).

Video Shows Team Accomplishing Hits at 2477 Yards in Raton, NM

This event has been a personal goal of mine for a long time and I wanted to thank Bryan Litz and Mitchell Fitzpatrick for having me on the team. I call them quiet professionals. I also wanted to thank Kelly McMillan for sponsoring our team and being involved. Kelly has been an amazing sponsor and advocate for shooting sports and providing stocks and rifles for our military snipers for the past 40 years. I can’t forget to thank Ian Klemm for loaning me his Vortex Spotting scope with the MOA milling reticle. It worked great and was very fast to make corrections along with good glass.

Mitchell Fitzpatrick Team Applied Ballistics King of Two 2 Miles KO2M long range .375 Berger Bullets Kelly McMillan

Mitchell Fitzpatrick won the KO2M finals to earn the title “King of Two Miles”. He had a dominant performance shooting a .375 Lethal Precision Arms LLC rifle loaded with prototype solid 400gr Berger bullets. Mitchell built this rifle himself using a McMillan A5 Super Mag stock. Note: Berger has no current plans to market this .375-caliber bullet — it is still in the prototype stage.

Editor: Paul Phillips asked to make a special dedication, remembering a family member: “My brother Daniel Phillips passed away with brain cancer last year and this event was one that he wanted to video for me. I know he is smiling in heaven.”

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