December 14th, 2014

Benchrest Tip: Optimize Your Rifle Position on the Rests

Here’s some benchrest advice that can help you reduce vertical and shoot tighter groups… without spending another penny. Next time you go to the range, experiment with the position of your rifle on the front rest, and try a couple different positions for the rear bag. You may find that the rifle handles much better after you’ve made a small change in the placement of your gun on the bags. Recoil can be tamed a bit, and tracking can improve significantly, if you optimize the front rest and rear bag positioning.

Balance Your Gun BEFORE You Spend Hours Tuning Loads
In the pursuit of ultimate accuracy, shooters may spend countless hours on brass prep, bullet selection, and load tuning. Yet the same shooters may pay little attention to how their gun is set-up on the bags. When you have acquired a new rifle, you should do some basic experimentation to find the optimal position for the forearm on the front rest, and the best position for the rear bag. Small changes can make a big difference.

Joel Kendrick

Joel Kendrick, past IBS 600-yard Shooter of the Year, has observed that by adjusting forearm position on the front rest, he can tune out vertical. He has one carbon-fiber-reinforced stock that is extremely rigid. When it was placed with the front rest right under the very tip of the forearm, the gun tended to hop, creating vertical. By sliding the whole gun forward (with more forearm overhang ahead of the front sandbag), he was able to get the whole rig to settle down. That resulted in less vertical dispersion, and the gun tracked much better.

Likewise, the placement of the rear bag is very important. Many shooters, by default, will simply place the rear bag the same distance from the front rest with all their guns. In fact, different stocks and different calibers will NOT behave the same. By moving the rear bag forward and aft, you can adjust the rifle’s overall balance and this can improve the tracking significantly. One of our shooters had a Savage 6BR F-Class rifle. By default he had his rear bag set almost all the way at the end of the buttstock. When he slid the rear bag a couple inches forward the gun tracked much better. He immediately noticed that the gun returned to point of aim better (crosshairs would stay on target from shot to shot), AND the gun torqued (twisted) less. The difference was quite noticeable.

Benchrest stock

The important point to remember here is that each rig is different. One gun may perform best with the front rest right at the tip of the forearm (Position ‘D’ in photo), while another gun will work best with the rest positioned much further back. This Editor’s own 6BR sits in a laminated stock that is pretty flexy in the front. It shoots best with the front rest’s sandbag located a good 6″ back from the forearm tip (position ‘A’).

A small change in the position of the forearm on the front rest, or in the placement of the rear bag, can make a big difference in how your gun performs. You should experiment with the forearm placement, trying different positions on the front rest. Likewise, you can move the rear bag back and forth a few inches. Once you establish the optimal positions of front rest and rear bag, you should find that your gun tracks better and returns to battery more reliably. You may then discover that the gun shoots smaller groups, with less vertical dispersion. And all these benefits are possible without purchasing any expensive new gear.

Rifle photo courtesy Johnson’s Precision Gunsmithing (Bakersfield, CA).

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills 6 Comments »
December 14th, 2014

Need Official Targets? Here Are Your Options…

Target NBRSA IBS NRA shooting sources vendor printingAccurateShooter.com offers dozens of FREE, printable targets for target practice, load development, and fun shooting. We also offer a few of the most popular NRA Bullseye targets. One or more of these printable targets should work for most training purposes. However, some readers have asked: “Where can we get the real targets… exactly like the ones used in NRA, IBS, and NBRSA shooting matches?”

Sources for Official Shooting Competition Targets
Here are seven (7) sources for official match targets:
ALCO Target Company, American Target Company, Kruger Premium Targets, National Target Company, Orrville Printing, Pistoleer.com, and U.S. Target Company.

All these vendors carry nearly all the NRA High Power and Smallbore targets, including the new, smaller F-Class targets. Germany’s Kruger Targets sells all the important NRA targets, and international (ISSF) air rifle and smallbore targets too.

NRA Target IBS Hunter Rifle Target

Kruger Targets

Orrville Printing currently sell IBS targets for rimfire (50 yard) benchrest, short-range centerfire Benchrest (100, 200, 300 yards), Hunter BR Rifle (100, 200, 300 yards), plus the official 600-yard and 1000-yard IBS targets. National Target Company also has most of the IBS targets. NBRSA short-range, 600-yard, and 1000-yard benchrest targets are available directly from the NBRSA Business Office. Call (307) 655-7415 to order for the season.

Available Official Competition Targets
Vendor NRA High Power F-Class NRA Smallbore Air Rifle/Pistol IBS NBRSA Other
ALCO Target
Company
Yes, All No Yes Yes No No Archery, IDPA, IPSC, Police, Realistic, Shoot-N-C, Silhouette, Fun Targets, Pasters.
American Target
Company
Yes, All Yes Yes, All Yes No No USBR, Sight-in, Muzzle-Loading, Police Silhouette
Kruger Premium
Targets
Yes, All Yes Yes, All Yes No No IDPA, IPSC, Animal Shapes, ISSF, Sight-in, Fun Targets
National Target
Company
Yes, Nearly All Yes Yes, All Yes Yes* No IDPA, IPSC, FBI, Police Silhouette, Sight-in, Target Backers, Pasters
Pistoleer.com Yes Yes Yes, most and color training Yes Yes No Bianchi, FBI, IBS, IDPA, IPSC, Silhouette, Archery, Pasters
U.S. Target, Inc. Yes Yes Yes, All Yes No No Bianchi, FBI, Police Silhouette, IPSC, Realistic Silhouette, Varmint

ALCO Target Co., Ph: (626) 358-4814, 2048 Central Ave., Duarte, CA 91010
American Target Co., Ph: (877) 733-0433, 1328 South Jason St., Denver, CO 80223
Kruger Premium Targets (USA Sales), Ph: (503) 746-6816, 125 W. Main St., Hillsboro, OR 97123
National Target Co., Ph: (800) 827-7060, 3958-D Dartmouth Ct., Frederick, MD 21703
Orrville Printing Co., Ph: (330) 682-5066, 1645 N. Main St., Orrville, OH 44667
Pistoleer.com, Ph: (618) 288-4588, 12 Schiber Court, Maryville, IL 62062
U.S. Target Inc., Ph: (800) 746-6836, 16472 Common Rd., Roseville, MI 48066

NBRSA 600 yard Target NRA Air Rifle Target
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December 13th, 2014

Dream Jobs: NRA Seeks High Power Rifle Program Coordinator

So you’d like a job in the shooting industry? Looking for a position with responsibility? Well how’d you like to help run the NRA’s High Power Shooting Program for the whole darn country? That’s enough responsibility for a lifetime, we figure.

NRA High Power Competition Camp Perry

This is the real deal — we kid you not. The NRA is now seeking a National High Power Rifle Program Coordinator to work at NRA Headquarters in Virginia. The job description says the High Power Coordinator, in coordination with the High Power Manager, will “assist in the daily management of all traditional High Power programs and High Power Tactical programs.” This is a full-time position.

Here Are the Specific Job Duties:

ESSENTIAL RESPONSIBILITIES:
1. Assist the Manager in compiling and maintaining complete and accurate National Records and assumes the responsibility of initiating the National Records procedures.
2. Accurately maintain the database of Honorary Club Awards and provide accurate and timely recognition thereof.
3. Provide input to the establishment of a departmental budget as directed. Such input is based on participation in departmental activities that require budgetary support.
4. Assist in maintaining the departmental inventory and ordering of awards for High Power Rifle Championships and achievement programs as directed.
5. Research, compile, review, edit and draft program promotional materials as directed.
6. Work within traditional NRA High Power Rifle programs to bring in new equipment and courses of fire that will enhance the existing programs and increase participation.

If you are interested, CLICK HERE for more information and to submit a resume.

High power rifle

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December 12th, 2014

Great Video: “Shooting Is Our Passion”

European Shooting Championships Confederation Moscow

Think 3-position shooting is a dull game? You may think differently after watching this “must-see” video from the 2014 European Shooting Championship in Moscow. Great imagery, superb editing, and a stirring sound-track combine into one of the most uplifting shooting videos we’ve seen. If you love competitive shooting, you should watch this video, which features dynamic movement and fast cuts, like a movie trailer. Most footage is from the Women’s Air Rifle competition, but Men’s Air Pistol events are also featured. We recommend viewing in Full-Screen HD. Enjoy!

Watch Video from European Shooting Championship (Movie Trailer Style):

NOTE: Click the Full-Screen Icon to Watch in 720p or 1080p High-Definition.

This video was compiled for the 2014 European Shooting Confederation Championship in Moscow, Russia. This video was posted on the Russian Shooting Union (RSU) YouTube Channel. Music is “Fire of Zeus” by Ryan Amon.

European Shooting Championships Confederation Moscow

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December 9th, 2014

Champ ‘Feels the Joy’ — Shoots 200-9X at 1K with Joy-Pod

James Crofts F-TR bipod joy-pod joystick bipod F-classThis past weekend, reigning F-TR National Champion James Crofts shot a match using the latest generation of the SEB Joy-stick Bipod, aka “Joy-Pod”. Apparently, James didn’t have any problems adjusting to the coaxial Joy-Pod. James definitely “felt the joy”, shooting a 200-9X score, his first-ever perfect 200 at 1000 yards in F-TR.

James reports: “I used the SEB Joy-Pod, it was amazingly stable. The Joy-Pod works amazing.” James is a “releaser” not a holder. When shooting with the Joy-Pod, he releases the joy-stick handle right as he fires: “I let go when breaking the shot”. Some other guys maintain light contact, allowing the joy-stick shaft to float back between/over their fingers during recoil. But it looks like James has a method that works.

SEB Joy-Pod Fitted on Savage-Actioned PR&T F-TR Rig
Here’s the rig James was shooting. Yes it has a Savage action, complete with AccuTrigger. James proves you don’t have to have a $1200.00+ custom action to shoot 10s and Xs at long range. The rifle was built by Ray Bowman of Precision Rifle & Tool. James wanted to thank Keith Trap (Forum member KT) for helping James do all of the testing on this rifle. James tells us: “I have decided this year I want to work more on myself as an individual shooter and not spend as much time [working with] my ammo and my rifles.”

CLICK PHOTO to See Full-screen image with more detail:
James Crofts F-TR bipod joy-pod joystick bipod F-class

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus and yes that’s a Savage action in this rig!
James Crofts F-TR bipod joy-pod joystick bipod F-class

Note the grippy suede base-pad under the Edgewood rear bag, which features low-friction ear material.
James Crofts F-TR bipod joy-pod joystick bipod F-class

USA F-TR National Champion James Crofts.
James Crofts FTR F-class joy-pod joystick F-TR SEB
Photo by Kent Reeve.

Permalink Competition, New Product 7 Comments »
December 9th, 2014

Get Poker Chips in CMP Airgun “Aces” Postal Match

Postal match CMP air rifleDo you shoot an air rifle or air pistol? Want to test your skills against other shooters across the country? Then sign up for a fun new “Aces” postal match in January. The CMP’s inaugural “Aces” postal match offers airgun marksman a nation-wide competition with Air Rifle, Air Pistol, and Para-Air Rifle/Air Pistol events. Match Registration opens on January 1, 2015 for the initial January-March (Q1) match period.

COURSE OF FIRE
All 3×20 courses of fire are 20 shots prone, 20 shots standing, and 20 shots kneeling in integer format while all other rifle courses of fire are 60 shots in decimal format. All PPP courses of fire are 40 shots with the rest of the pistol events in 60 shots, both in integer format.

cmp postal match air rifle pistol aces 2015

Special “Aces” Event Poker Chips — One Per Quarter
Every competitor in the CMP “Aces” Postal Match will receive a specially- designed participation poker chip. There will be a different color each quarter, so collect all four!

Quarterly matches can be shot on Orion paper targets or electronic targets. Orion targets must be requested from the CMP and will be mailed to participants. All Orion targets must be returned for scoring at CMP. Current National Standard Three-Position Air Rifle Rules and USA Shooting Air Rifle and Pistol rules apply. CLICK HERE for more information and schedules.

Modern competition air rifles are decidedly high-tech. Check out this Feinwerkbau:
CMP Air Rifle feinwerkbau

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December 7th, 2014

You Go Girl! Ten-year-old Angelina Bests Benchrest Big Boys

Angelina Benchrest girl phoenixYou have to love this story, supplied by our friend Lou Murdica. It seems that a petite little 10-year-old school girl finished fourth in a 100-Yard Benchrest match in Phoenix, beating some of the best in the business, including many Benchrest Hall of Famers. That’s right, shooting a remarkable 0.1612 Aggregate, little Angelina G. put a whupping on some very big names in the Benchrest game, including Lou Murdica himself. Angelina finished just .008 behind Hall of Famer Gary Ocock, beating other Benchrest superstars such as Bob Brackney, Lester Bruno, and Tom Libby. Angelina also beat legendary bullet-maker Walt Berger, but we’ll cut Walt some slack. Now in his 80s, Walt deserves praise for doing so well at the opposite end of the age spectrum.

Congratulations to Angelina on some great shooting in the Unlimited Class. Her five groups measured: 0.186, 0.172, 0.173, 0.121, 0.155. That’s impressive consistency. You go girl!

Angelina Benchrest girl phoenix

Point to ponder: If Angelina was shooting a Rail Gun, her rifle probably weighed more than she did.

Check out the big names who finished behind little Angelina.

Angelina Benchrest girl phoenix

Permalink Competition, News 3 Comments »
December 3rd, 2014

NRA National Indoor Rifle & Pistol Championships Schedule

The 2015 NRA National Indoor Rifle & Pistol Championships start January 1, 2015. Unlike the NRA’s National Matches at Camp Perry, the Indoor Championships are shot as a postal match, through multiple sectional tournaments all across the country. This means you can join the action from the comfort of your local range. The scores from shooters around the nation are compared by the NRA, which names the winners in each classification.

NRA indoor championships

The Indoor Rifle & Pistol Championships include a variety of disciplines: Air Pistol, Rimfire Pistol, Air Rifle, and Rimfire Rifles. There is even a BB gun class for Juniors. The Indoor Championships involve multiple sectional tournaments, held in a variety of states from January through mid-April. This is like a super-duper postal match. Winners will be announced by the NRA in late May. There will be nearly 300 sectionals in 2014, so you’ll probably find an event close to home. Here are dates for 2013:

Open Sectionals: 1/1 – 3/18 | Collegiate Sectionals: 1/1 – 2/12 | JR. Sectionals: 1/1 – 4/15

NRA Indoor Championships


The 50m Free Pistol is one of the events in the NRA National Indoor Championship. It takes skill — the pistol is shot one-handed, with iron sights, and the Ten-Ring is only 50mm (about 1.97″) in diameter. A competitive world-class score is 560 or better out of 600 possible points. Learn more about this challenging discipline in this USA Shooting video:

Story based on report in NRA Blog.

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November 25th, 2014

King Kenny and the Rise of the 7mm RSAUM

F-Open shooter Kenny Adams has enjoyed a spectacular 2013-14 season. Over the past 12 months “King Kenny” enjoyed a string of successes that established Adams as the man to beat in the ultra-competitive F-Open ranks. After finishing second at the 2013 F-Class Nationals, Kenny won the 2013 World Championship. He then won a series of regional matches heading into the 2014 National Championship. There he finished on the podium with a 3rd Place finish in the individual competition. He then earned gold as a member of the winning 4-man F-Open squad, Team Grizzly. We don’t think any other F-Open pilot has put together a stronger season.

Kenny attributes his success to great team-mates, great equipment, and great ammo. He’s a huge fan of Berger’s 7mm hybrid bullets: “The [Berger] 7mm 180 hybrids have made load testing much easier, and needless to say, raised my scores considerably!” Kenny also gave credit to his gunsmith: “I want to thank my gunsmith, Stick Starks from S&S — he got me going in this thing in the right direction four and a half years ago. Working with Stick has probably shaved a couple of YEARS off my learning curve.” Kenny’s world-championship rifle features a Panda F-Class action, Krieger barrel, and a Robertson F-Class stock. Kenny likes this combo so much he actually owns four complete red rifles with similar configurations. Check them out:

Kenny Adams

Kenny pushes those 180gr hybrids with the 7mm Remington SAUM (RSAUM) cartridge. A “new-generation” magnum, the RSAUM resembles a 6mm BR Norma on steroids. It has the same short, fat appearance, just scaled up — way up. This gives the 7mm RSAU the capacity to drive the big Berger 180-grainers at optimal velocities. The image below shows the older Berger 180gr VLD. Kenny shoots the newer 180gr Hybrid. They are both very, very accurate.

SAUM RSAUM 7mm

Kenny Adams F-Open

Banner Year for King Kenny
Pictured above is Kenny Adams holding his 1st Place Plaque from the 2013 F-Class World Championship. To the right, Ken (with fellow Team Grizzly members) is pictured at the 2014 F-Class Nationals accepting the Berger Trophy for the First Place F-Open 4-Man Team.

Below are Kenny Adams’s major shooting accomplishments from the past 12 months:

2013 – F-Class Nationals – 2nd Place F-Open.
2013 – F-Class World Championship – 1st Place F-Open.
2013 – Christmas Match in Florida – 1st Place F-Open.
2014 – Southwest Nationals – 1st Place F-Open 4-Man Team Grizzly (Set National record).
2014 – Orange Blossom Regional – 1st Place F-Open.
2014 – Sinclair East Coast Fullbore Nationals – 1st Place F-Open and set new Fullbore national record.
2014 – Mid West Palma – 1st Place F-Open 1200-yard match and set 1200-yard record.
2014 – F-Class Nationals – 3rd Place F-Open.
2014 – F-Class Nationals – 1st Place F-Open 4-Man Team Grizzly.

Kenny’s World-Beating 7mm RSAUM Load
For his 7mm RSAUMs Kenny loads Hodgdon H4350 powder and Federal 215m primers into Nosler or Norma RSAUM brass. In the RSAUM he runs Berger 180gr Hybrid bullets seated “just touching” the lands. Kenny is very precise with his charge weights. Using a Sartorius Magnetic Force Restoration scale, Kenny tries to hold his powder charges to within 1-2 kernels charge-weight consistency.

7mm RSAUM Kenny Adams

When you get it all correct, when every phase of the reloading process has been carried out perfectly, then you have rounds that can set records and win world titles. So what does championship-grade ammo look like? Take a look at the photo above. This is the 7mm RSAUM ammunition used by Kenny Adams at the 2014 Berger Southwest Nationals (SWN). Kenny is the 2013 F-Class World Champion.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition 5 Comments »
November 10th, 2014

Tools of the Trade — What You Need for a 3-Gun Competition

3-Gun three gun pistol rifle shotgun carbine holster

Thinking of getting started in 3-Gun competition? In this NSSF video, Top Shot Finalist Chris Cerino reviews the hardware you’ll need for multi-gun matches. Chris talks about carbine configurations — including barrel, handguard, and optics options. In reviewing shotguns, Chris discusses shotshell caddies and the high-capacity extended tubular magazines now available. Cerino also demonstrates pistol techniques and explains the key features of a belt/holster rig for 3-Gun competition.

Gun Control — Tips on AR Shooting with Jerry Miculek
In another NSSF video, pro shooter Jerry Miculek provides tips on handling an AR-type rifle in 3-Gun matches. First, Jerry recommends a slightly forward stance, with your nose over your front toe. Second, it is important to have a consistent trigger pull. No matter how good your sight alignment, Jerry cautions, you can miss the target with a sloppy trigger pull. Finally, Miculek recommends placing your non-trigger hand well forward on the handguard. That provides better balance, tames muzzle rise, and gives you better control over the rifle for quick follow-up shots. Some shooters use a low hand position on the magwell, but Jerry says that makes the AR-15 feel top-heavy. Having your support hand out front on the handguard lowers the AR’s perceived center of gravity, allowing faster transitions for better stage times.

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November 5th, 2014

F-TR Triumph — Team Sinclair’s Record-Breaking Performance

Want to see how some of the best rifle shooters in the world operate in high-stakes, 1000-yard competition? This video shows Team Sinclair powering to victory at the 2014 F-Class National Championships in Phoenix. Scoring an impressive 792-38X, Team Sinclair topped the field, winning the 4-man team title and setting a new 1000-yard F-TR National Team Record in the process. It was a close match, with America’s “powerhouse” F-TR teams battling it out for the top three spots: Team Sinclair (Gold), Team X-Men (Silver), and Team Michigan (Bronze). Team Sinclair’s wind coach Ray Gross did a superb job. Ray also serves as the Captain of the USA F-TR Rifle Team.

F-Class nationals Team video Sinclair X-Men

Along with the Team Sinclair shooters, this video also features Team X-Men (orange shirts), and Team Michigan. Starting at the 2:05 time-mark, you can hear Bryan Litz calling wind for Team Michigan. Watch the mirage in the video and see if you can match Bryan’s wind calls with the movement of the mirage. This is a great opportunity to see F-TR Top Guns in action. Team score cards appear in the video, starting at the 3:01 time-mark.

Watch Team Sinclair, Team X-Men, and Team Michigan at 2014 F-Class Nationals:

Warning — Video starts with loud rock music. You may want to turn down your speakers if at work.

F-Class nationals Team video Sinclair X-Men

F-Class nationals Team video Sinclair X-Men

Thanks to Paul Phillips for editing and uploading this video. Photos courtesy Nightforce Optics.
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November 4th, 2014

The F Zone: Nightforce Photo Gallery from 2014 F-Class Nationals

F-Class Nationals Phoeniz Berger Arizona

nightforce opticsThe folks from Nightforce Optics attended the 2014 F-Class National Championships in Phoenix last week. Sean Murphy and his Nightforce colleagues snapped a ton of photos of F-TR and F-Open shooters in action. You can see over 300 images from the Nationals on the Nightforce Facebook Page. Below are some of our favorite shots, with captions. Facebook users can access the full F-Class Nationals Gallery.

Click any image to see large-size version

Here’s winning 2014 F-TR National Champion James Crofts, with his PR&T-built rig.
F-Class Nationals Phoeniz Berger Arizona

Young female shooter uses SEB JoyPod, a coaxial, joystick-actuated bipod. Yes it is F-TR legal.
F-Class Nationals Phoeniz Berger Arizona

Yes, you CAN shoot F-Open with a Tube-gun. This modular chassis sports a Delrin bag-rider.
F-Class Nationals Phoeniz Berger Arizona

With the rising popularity of F-TR compeition, shooters are adapting Benchrest-style stocks to use a bipod. Here’s a McMillan Bench stock fitted with a bipod.
F-Class Nationals Phoeniz Berger Arizona

F-Class Nationals Phoeniz Berger Arizona

It was hot in Phoenix. Notice that the shooter covered his ammo as well as his head.
F-Class Nationals Phoeniz Berger Arizona

“See, Focus, Trust” — One competitor wrote his mantra on his ammo box lid.
F-Class Nationals Phoeniz Berger Arizona

Here ballistics Guru Bryan Litz shoots a John Pierce-built F-TR rig. This uses a low-profile, Benchrest-style carbon composite stock.
F-Class Nationals Phoeniz Berger Arizona

Shiraz Balolia had a very patriotic rig and a blinged-out tripod front rest.
F-Class Nationals Phoeniz Berger Arizona

Cactus and morning balloon ascents before the wind starts. Yes, this is Ben Avery…
F-Class Nationals Phoeniz Berger Arizona

All photos copyright Nightforce Optics 2014, used with permission.

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