With all the talk about the new Norma Dasher brass coming in the fall from Bullets.com, we thought it was time to feature a special rifle chambered for the 6mm Dasher wildcat. This gun has a great story behind it. Forum member Bob A. (aka “Killshot”) used his “Forum Classifieds Special” to beat all comers in the F-Class Division in the American-Canadian Match and the Long Range Regional Match in 2013 in Sacramento, CA. Bob’s 6mm Dasher sports a blue-printed Rem 700 action. Who says you need a high-dollar custom action to run with the big dogs? In fact, this same gun, built with components sourced from AccurateShooter Forum Classified Ads, set a Sacramento F-Class range record of 200-17X a few years back. In this story, Bob talks about the build, and he explains his methods for loading ultra-accurate Dasher ammo.
Bob’s Budget-Build Dasher F-Classer
I wanted to build a proper rifle for F-Open but needed to keep it simple and, well, cheap. I found a solid “base” to build on in the form of a Dave Bruno-built, “pre-owned” 6-6.5×47 Lapua that I located in the AccurateShooter Forum classifieds in late 2011. The base action was a trued and blue-printed Remington 700 receiver circa 1971 with a spiral-fluted bolt. It was in a Shehane ST1000 stock painted sky blue and had a Jewell 1.5-oz BR trigger. I sent the bolt to Greg Tannel (Gretanrifles.com) to have the firing pin hole bushed and sleeved, the ejector removed and the hole filled and the face trued. I ugraded to Tannel’s Light Steel firing pin assembly while it was out.
Having the working bits completed, I needed a barrel. So I went to the AccurateShooter classifieds again and found a 1:8″-twist, 30″ x 1.25″ (diam.) Bartlein with a 0.236″-land bore. I called Dave Kiff and explained my pursuit and he recommended his PT&G “world record” 6 Dasher reamer (.2704″ no-turn neck and .104″ freebore). A month or so later the reamer and gauges arrived.
I had the barrel chambered by Marc Soulie of Spartan Precision Rifles (510-755-5293, Concord, CA). Marc is a great builder and I’m pleased to call him a friend.
The rifle got its good looks from a Pennsylvania artist named Kenny Prahl. His Prahl Designs shop (724-478-2538) added the white ghost-flames over the existing sky blue metallic paint.
Looks Great, Shoots Better
Fire-forming showed great promise — ten-shot groups of half an inch at 200 yards were typical. I lost only one case to a split neck and the “blow lengths” are good and consistent. This was followed up with load development which saw 100-yard, five-shot groups in the .1s and .2s as the rifle showed its preference for Reloder 15 over Varget powder, and for CCI 450s over all other primers. The bullet of choice was the ever-popular Berger 105gr Hybrid Target.
In February 2012 I began shooting the Dasher in monthly club matches at the Sacramento Valley Shooting Center, the home range of a number of excellent F-Class, Benchrest and High Power shooters. Using a Farley Coaxial rest up front (also picked up from a WTB ad on AccurateShooter’s Forum) and an Edgewood bag in the back, I gradually improved my gun-handling to the point where I could shoot a respectable score. This was very different from the bipod shooting I’d done in the past in F/TR.
Dasher Loading Tips
My chamber is set up for blue box Lapua 6mmBR brass. My case preparation is straight-forward. I fire-form with virgin cases right out of the box. I don’t size them but I will give the primer holes a good look and clean up the flash hole with a .058″ bit in a pin vise. To fire-form, I seat a Berger 108gr BT .030″ into the lands over a standard 6mmBR load of Varget.
For match loads, I use Alliant Reloder 15. While Varget is less sensitive to temp changes, RL15 has given me lower extreme spreads and better long range control. [Bob acknowledges that every barrel is unique, so a different powder might work better for you.]
Dan Pohlabel is a member of the all-conquering Team Sinclair F-TR squad. This talented group of shooters hasn’t lost a team match in years. What’s the secret of Team Sinclair’s success? Well there is not one single factor. These guys have very accurate rifles, they work hard on load development, and they practice in all conditions. In this interview, Dan Pohlabel talks about F-TR competition, reviewing the hardware (and skill set) it takes to win. He offers some great tips on developing loads. You’ll find a longer version of this interview on the Sinclair Int’l website. CLICK HERE to Read Full Interview.
Q: What do you find most challenging in F-TR Shooting?
It has to be keeping up with the competition, our sport has grown so quickly with new talented shooters. Staying at the top requires having a laser of a rifle, perfect loads, near perfect wind reading, and, of course, breaking good shots.
Q: How can novice shooters improve their game?
Seek out the local F-TR shooters and go to matches with them, listen and learn. Attend team matches and offer to score for one of the teams. As a scorer, you will sit close enough to hear the coach make wind calls and see the results on the target. Through the spotting scope you will see changes in mirage and it’s the quickest way to learn the basics of wind reading. Choosing and buying equipment is relatively easy, learning to read the wind is a journey.
Q: What’s in your range bag for match days?
Rear bag, towel, shooting glasses, canned air, ear protection, data book, pen, rifle rain cover, hat, rifle tools, timer, ammo, and bug spray.
Q: What specialized gear can you not live without?
1. A good set of elbow pads. It’s hard to keep concentrating on shooting when your elbows are rubbed raw from days of competing on them.
2. Good bug spray. We shoot from the ground but our shooting mats aren’t that big. It’s hard to concentrate with bugs crawling or chewing on you.
Q: Load Development — How do you work up a load?
First, I call Derek Rodgers and get his load data, he is the best load development shooter I know! Otherwise, here is the procedure I recommend. Measure throat length with bullet of your choice, to determine how much room is left in the case. The above measurement determines what powders you can use. We use only Hodgdon Extreme powders. Shoot a ladder test, five rounds each in 0.2 grain increments, to find the accuracy node for that bullet/powder combination. Take the best two loads and do a jump test with five rounds each, test at .005″, .025″, .060″ jump. One of these groups will be significantly better than the rest, now you can tweak that measurement +/- .002” or .005” to get the best accuracy.
Test at least three different primers to determine which offers a little better ignition for your load, a 5-shot test will usually tell you which is the best. Go back and test the two best combinations in a 10-shot test at least twice, pick a cool overcast day and also a hot sunny day and compare results. Take your final “best load” back and do a “simulated match”, 20 shots, waiting at least 20 seconds between shots. If you like those results it’s probably a reliable and accurate load.
Q: What rear bag do you use?
I use a two-bag system, large bag on bottom with a smaller bag on top. I had the bags made of marine canvas, zippered and filled with plastic beads. I can adjust the amount of fill to make them a perfect height for my shooting position. Teammate Jeff Rorer uses a similar system and mine is nearly a copy of his rear bags.
Q: How often do you practice and how many rounds do you shoot per year?
In good weather I practice a couple times a week at the local range, a couple more dry-firing practices/week at home. I typically shoot between 2,000-2,500 rounds per year.
Q: How do you prepare mentally before a match?
[I do] lots of visualization — run the video in my head of what I expect to see and of my performance. I think about the correct strategy for the conditions, staying disciplined to the strategy.
Q: What do you avoid before a shoot?
No late nights or excessive alcohol. Very little caffeine in the morning. Leave your cell turned off. Avoid emotional people.
Q: What’s your procedure on a Match day?
I arrive early, get squadding card, move gear, watch wind speed/direction, check over rifle and gear, sit and relax, visualize and focus on the most important goal of the day. Most days we shoot three relays of 20 shots. It’s important to eat and hydrate continually all day. My focus and concentration are better when I snack all day with fruit and energy bars, and lots of water. While taking my turn in the pits, I try to relax and only focus on what is ahead of me and [not] what’s already happened.
Q: What is your favorite reloading product?
My favorite reloading product is the Sinclair Premium Neck Turning Tool with Handle, I also use the expander mandrels provided by Sinclair for sizing the brass in preparation for the turning process. Correct and repeatable neck tension begins with turning necks to a uniform thickness. Sinclair also has mandrels to size the necks after neck turning that accurately size the necks for a specific neck tension.
Q: What is your preferred scope?
The scope I find the most useful is the Nightforce Competition Scope. This scope is very light-weight, has 15-55X magnification, world-class quality glass, 10 MOA per revolution on the turrets, 1/8 moa adjustments. It’s perfect for F-Class competition.
Q: What advice do you have for someone wanting to get into the sport?
Find a local club with some F-TR shooters and ask for their help. Most shooters will be happy to take you with them to a match, listen and learn while you’re there. You may find out it’s not what you thought, or you may be hooked. If you decide to jump in, start with an inexpensive rifle. This sport is expensive and you don’t need a $5000 rifle to learn good wind-reading skills. Start with a used Savage F-TR rifle and learn the basics, shoot for a year at least before making a larger investment. The money you saved buying a used Savage rifle will help pay for your divorce lawyer, LOL.
Q: What training drills do you use?
Dry-firing the rifle at home is a good way to practice when you can’t get to the range and shoot. It allows me to practice set-up, rifle handling, and position. When I can practice at a local range, I also dry-fire between shots to increase the amount of repetitions and increase the time spent in position.
Q: Who has been your biggest influence in shooting?
Eric Bair, 2006 F-Open National Champion helped me get started and gave me great advice. Most of the shooters on Team USA and Team Sinclair help each other, nobody knows all the answers but we share what we have learned. Danny Biggs, 2008 and 2009 F-TR National Champion also helped me when I was struggling to learn some of the ranges. I learned a lot from Danny.
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Experience and Youth — HV Grand Agg Winner Harley Baker with Hart Trophy Winner Henry Miller.
Report by Ken Frehm
In early August, many of the nation’s best Benchrest shooters headed to New York for the N.Y. State IBS Championships and 16th Annual Pro-Am Group Shoot at the Camillus Sportsmen’s Club (located outside Syracuse, NY). For this IBS event, held August 1st and 2nd, shooters were graced with two beautiful sunny summer days. Forty sharpshooters tested their skills against each other as well as the challenging, and ever-changing winds at Camillus.
Many competitors arrived early on Friday to see if they could get a handle on the unique conditions at Camillus. Our benches, as well as our facilities, have been newly renovated and a new tree line pattern influenced the course in an entirely different way. The 100-yard matches on Saturday were quite difficult as winds gusted to 20+ miles per hour and 180-degree shifts in direction were commonplace. Getting five in one hole was difficult at best. Good-natured grumbling, head shaking and “Where did that come from?” comments were heard from some top shooters. Yet, many managed to Agg in the twos!
On Sunday, the second day, the 200-yard matches were blessed with less fickle winds, and some conditions that even remained constant for a very brief time. Improved groups and scores reflected the kinder conditions that Mother Nature shared with us.
Top Shooters at N.Y. State Group Benchrest Championships, August 1-2, 2015:
HV Grand Aggregate
LV Grand Aggregate
1. Brushingham, Bob 0.2762
2. Baker, Harley 0.2870
3. Dolinsky, Brian 0.3002
4. Auman, Al 0.3007
5. Reed, Tim 0.3023
1. Baker, Harley 0.2469
2. Auman, Al 0.2538
3. Reed, Tim 0.2602
4. Brushingham, Bob 0.2605
5. Peinhardt, Wyatt 0.2664
1. Brushingham, Bob 0.2919
2. Hamister, Bob 0.2941
3. Miller, Jim 0.2957
4. Mitchell, Paul 0.3063
5. Dolinsky, Brian 0.3121
On the line, we had three youngsters competing. 11-year-old Henry Miller (from Malden Bridge, NY) proved that you don’t have to have gray hair to have low Aggs! Henry won the Clyde Hart Trophy silver bowl. New shooters (amateurs) as well as top experts were intermingling, helping each other and sharing their experiences. Of course a lot of good-natured ribbing was overheard. Amazingly, I didn’t hear a serious complaint during the entire two-day event.
There were many tables set up for ammo-loading activity under the pavilions as well as in our clubhouse. A number of spouses were there to help their better halves in any way they could. Many campers were in evidence as well.
Interview with Shooters — Challenges and Great Friendships
I asked some of the competitors, “What is the hardest thing for you? … What is the most challenging? They told me: “Having the patience to wait until things are right… as well as the mental game of conditioning oneself to be strong and to be a champion.”
I also asked competitors: “What is the most pleasurable thing about this sport for you?” In every instance the folks I interviewed told me that the best aspect of benchrest competition was “the People”. Having relationships within the community of Benchrest folks is what is BEST — No doubt about it!
My job of roving photographer/event reporter gave me a unique opportunity to see things in a new way and to gain insights from a wide range of helpful marksmen. My most important take-away was that this group of sportsmen (and women) are friendly, helpful, and genuinely nice people. What are the secrets to winning? They will share them with you willingly! Need help? They are there!
Hardware Report — Top Guns
Harley Baker finished second overall in the Two-Gun and took the HV Grand. Baker’s rig featured a Tony Leonard Stock, Bat Action, Krieger barrel, and BixNAndy trigger. Harely shot Sta-Moly Bullets with 30 grains of Vihtavuori N133. The rifle was smithed by Jeff Peinhardt.
Jim Miller, who placed third in the Light Varmint Grand Agg, shot JW 65g bullets with 30.0 grains of N133 powder. Jim’s rifle featured a Roy Hunter Stock, March Scope, and BixNAndytrigger.
Bob Brushingham won the Two Gun Overall. Bob’s rifle, smithed by Don Beaver, featured a Panda action and Krieger barrel. Bob shot Berger 65g Bullets pushed by 28.6 grains of LT32.
Many Hands Make Light the Work — Praise for the Volunteers
Many volunteers helped make the weekend a great success. Four different groups manned the golf carts that put up and took down the targets between each relay and match. Event Chairman, Bob Hamister put it all together. Volunteers from the Syracuse Police Department, as well as our club members and some of their kids joined in the effort. Camillus Club members prepared all the targets, the target boards, the moving backers and all the paraphernalia that was needed. In the clubhouse, three ladies and our club president (Bill Parfitt) manned the scoring boards, and the computers. Three ladies took over the griddle, delivering delicious food and drinks for the shooters’ breakfasts and lunches.
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Didn’t get enough of Camp Perry this summer? Then tune in to Shooting USA TV this evening. Tonight’s episode of Shooting USA television spotlights the National Matches and CMP events at Camp Perry, Ohio. The National Matches at Camp Perry are the World Series of American shooting sports, attracting the nation’s top pistol and rifle marksmen. There are individual competitions, such as the Vintage Sniper Match, or the M1 Garand Match featuring legendary firearms. Then there’s the National Trophy Infantry Team Match, known as the Rattle Battle among competitors, simulating an assault by an Infantry Squad. Catch this episode of Shooting USA on the Outdoor Channel. NOTE: This is a repeat broadcast including footage from the 2014 National Matches.
Tubb 2000 rifle, left-hand version. Note how the butt-plate is adjusted for cant, angle, and drop.
The 1903 Springfield on Tonight’s Show
Vintage military rifle fans take note — this week’s show also features an American classic, the U.S. Rifle, Model of 1903, better known as the 03 Springfield. While its design was initially borrowed, its accuracy, quality and service record proved to be a fine military bolt-action rifle in the trenches of WW I and on into World War II. “It was a beautifully made gun, extremely, extremely well balanced,” says Firearms Historian Garry James.
With so much action going on at Camp Perry, Ohio this August (including the Fullbore Worlds), you might not realize that another NRA rifle championship was taking place simultaneously in Pennsylvania. The NRA High Power Hunter Rifle Silhouette Championship was held 6-8 August at the Ridgway Rifle Club, in Ridgway, Pennsylvania. This event attracted the nation’s top silhouette shooters.
At this year’s Silhouette Championship, Team Lapua shooters Cathy Winstead-Severin and Mark Pharr finished first and second overall. The match went down to the wire, with Cathy edging out Mark in a shoot-off for the overall title. Earlier in the competition, Cathy set a new Woman’s National Record in a 120-shot course with a stunning 97/120, breaking the previous record of 90 by seven points. Another record was broken by the Hunter Rifle Team of Cathy Winstead-Severin, Mark Pharr, and Mallory Nichols. This talented Team Lapua threesome set a new national record of 295, besting the mark set in 2004. Team Lapua also took second place in the Standard Rifle Team Division.
16-Year-Old Girl Finishes Fourth in Hunter Class
Team Lapua’s youngest member, 16-year old Mallory Nichols, was incredibly impressive as she entered the competition as an AA shooter and blasted her way through AAA into Master class in finishing fourth overall in Hunter Rifle. (She was in the running for third place overall, until a shoot-off with Eric Boos of Washington, who finished third). Nichols also set new national records for Long Run for Women and Intermediate-Junior hitting 18 pigs in a row. The previous Intermediate-Junior record was 14 set by Luke Johnson in 2011.
Winning Silhouette Loads
2015 Overall Silhouette Champion Cathy Winstead-Severin was shooting a 6-6.5×47 Lapua with 90-grain and 105-grain OTM Scenar bullets, pushed by Vihtavuori N135 powder. Mark Pharr and young Mallory Nichols were both shooting the regular 6.5×47 Lapua cartridge with 108-grain and 139-grain OTM Scenar bullets and Vihtavouri N140 powder.
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Three-Position (3P) Air Rifle Shooting is the most popular and fastest-growing form of shooting sports competition for junior shooters (High School age and younger). The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) conducts two different 3P Air Rifle events. Precision Air Rifle is modeled after Olympic-style shooting and allows the use of specialized target rifles and equipment. Sporter Air Rifle is designed for new competitors or those who desire to compete with a minimum of equipment and expense.
In both types of shooting, competitors fire at targets at a distance of 10 meters in three different positions, prone, standing and kneeling. Three-Position Air Rifle provides young competitors with competitive shooting sports opportunities that can be offered on a wide variety of easily accessible or easily constructed ranges, with equipment that is commonly available at affordable costs.
The CMP actively promotes Three-Position Air Rifle shooting as a premier youth marksmanship competition by providing low-cost equipment and pellets as well as training materials and competition activities. In addition, other air gun events for juniors and adults are hosted by CMP throughout the year. CMP facilities have Open Public Shooting evenings, and matches for air rifle and air pistol take place at the CMP Marksmanship Centers.
A quarter million bucks in cash and prizes — that’s what’s up for grabs at the NRA’s World Shooting Championship (WSC) next month. This unique, multi-discipline event is the world’s richest shooting match, with $50,000 worth of cash awards ($25K to the winner) plus a monster $200,000 prize table. Competitors don’t even have to bring their own firearms — sponsors provide ALL guns and ammo.
The WSC, slated for September 24-26, at the Peacemaker National Training Center in Glengary, WV, is a multi-stage match involving 12 shooting disciplines over three days. Nearly all the firearms shooting sports (except benchrest and air rifle) will be showcased, so competitors must be skilled with rifle, pistol and shotgun. Speed is paramount. Although there are some accuracy-oriented stages, this is predominantly a multi-gun action match “on the clock” with relatively large, close targets.
The top WSC pro shooters, such as last year’s WSC winner SFC Dan Horner of the USAMU, are all seasoned 3-Gun competitors with blazing shot-to-shot speed and the ability to make rapid transitions from one gun to the next.
Reigning WSC Champion SFC Dan Horner is wicked fast. (File Photo, not from WSC).
All firearms and ammunition will be provided. This alleviates the need for shooters to purchase expensive new equipment and competitor travel costs are greatly reduced (since shooters won’t have to haul an arsenal of arms plus ammo). Think you’ve got what it takes to win? Then you can still register by visiting the World Shooting Championship Registration Page.
Here are the stages at the NRA World Shooting Championship:
The Canadian F-Class Championships took place last week at the Connaught Range outside Ottawa, Ontario. American shooters performed well, taking top honors in both the F-Open and F-TR divisions. In the F-Open class, Bullets.com President Shiraz Balolia won his second straight Canadian National Championship (he also won in 2014). This year he was shooting a .300 WSM. The long, heavy .30-Cal bullets offer a ballistic advantage… IF you can handle the additional recoil. Shiraz told us: “This [match] was particularly challenging and satisfying as there were some incredible shooters from around the world including two World Champions, three U.S. National Champions, Canadian National Champions, British Champions, and European Champions shooting alongside me. It was an honor to shoot alongside the best shooters in the world.”
A large number of American shooters ventured to Ontario for the Canadian F-Class Championships.
James Crofts shot consistently to win the F-TR division, and Paul Phillips finished second. Of Jim, the “man to beat” in F-TR, fellow competitor Tom Hittle said: “Congratulations to James Crofts for the overall win in TR. It was well deserved. Thank you for all the guidance and tips over the last couple of years.” After the match, James told us: “I want to thank a few companies that helped me get where I am. BRUX Barrels — I have now won three Nationals with Brux barrels. Jim Borden from Borden Actions — your action was smooth and precise. And Ray Bowman (PR&T) who, hands down, builds the best rifles available. I have used two different PR&T rifles to win U.S. F-TR Nationals. Proof is with the gold medals.”
In Team competition, a “dark horse” squad from North Carolina pulled off a real upset, taking Gold for the 4-man team event. The “Team NC” boys (James Hittle, Tom Hittle, Ed Shelley, and Greg Denekamp), benefited from good wind-calling by the Hittles plus some very accurate rifles. Tom Hittle remarked: “Ray Bowman of PR&T rifles were used by each team member. Thank you Ray for incredible-shooting hammers.”
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Congratulations to the Great Britain Palma Rifle Team (GBPRT), winner of the 2015 ICFRA World Long Range Palma Team Championship match. The British team shot superbly, winning by 70+ points over runner-up Team USA. Great Britain’s 7106-827V score* set a new Palma Team Championship record, smashing the old record by 79 points. The British marksmen displayed stunning accuracy — Team GB had fully 102 more Vs than did the second-place American squad (A “V” is the equivalent of an “X” in American scoring). The Brits shoot great as a team. Consider this — Great Britain had eleven shooters with 50 or more V-bulls. Team USA had just three.
Team GB ran away with the match with a great team performance at 1000 yards on Day Two. As the GBPRT blog noted: “An awesome demonstration of GB shooting and coaching was made – superb use of the wind and the firers to not just hold our lead, but to win the range by a stonking 33 points.”
Great Britain 2015 Palma Team Highlights
Match record beaten by 79 points – 7106.827 (176 V-bulls more than last time*).
Individual record beaten by 3 points – 449.59 (Toby Raincock).
Highest 900-Yard Aggregate score – 2384.276.
Most consecutive Palma Team matches won – Four in a Row.
Great Britain’s Toby Raincock Shoots a Match for the Ages
The top individual shooter in the Team match was Great Britain’s Toby Raincock, who dropped only one point over two days to finish with 449-55V, a new record individual score that will be very hard to break. The next best individual score was the 447-49V by fellow Brit Jon Underwood. The top American shooter was John Whidden, who finished with a 445-45V.
The GBPRT website summed up the big victory as follows: “It was a glorious day for GB and more statistical analysis would tell you more of the depth of our victory[.] We won big and we were justly proud of years of hard work. The celebrations immediately after the match were wonderful and full of the beauty of our sport. All the teams gathered and shook hands. The runners up USA and South Africa were valiant fighters and all teams showed their appreciation for not only a great match but also a great win.
Team USA Takes Second
The American team shot very well in finishing second, breaking the previous Palma Team match Aggregate record in the process. Team USA enjoyed a significant 25-point margin over third-place South Africa. John Whidden had a great match, finishing as the seventh-highest shooter overall.
Team USA member Kelly Bachand praised his team-mates and coaches: “I am extremely proud to have contributed to the USA’s silver medal in the 2015 Palma Trophy match. I feel very blessed to have been counted a member of this elite group of shooters and coaches.” Team USA’s shooting members included: Kelly Bachand, SFC Shane Barnhart, Tyrel Cooper, Mark DelCotto, SSG Amanda Elsenboss, Trudie Fay, Michelle Gallagher, SFC Brandon Green, Norman Houle, Bryan Litz, Kevin Nevius, Kent Reeve, Justin Skaret, SGT Eric Smith, Nancy Tompkins, John Whidden, (SFC Russ Theurer and Wayne Budbill alternates). Dennis Flaharty was Team Captain, SFC Emil Praslick III was head coach, Robert Mead was adjutant, and line coaches were: Norm Anderson, Ray Gross, Steve Hardin, Gary Rasmussen.
Jim Mauer added a farewell note for coach Praslick: “Special shout out to SFC Praslick. [Emil] will be retiring later this fall. It has been a challenging pleasure competing against him for the last six years. I wish you the best of luck in retirement Emil! You have left a lasting impression and legacy on the Army and the entire competitive marksmanship community.”
*The previous record score was 7027-651V set in Brisbane, Australia in 2011 by Team Great Britain. NOTE: the NRA Bulletin lists Great Britain’s Final Score as 7106-825V, rather than 7106-827V as noted on the GBPRT website. We don’t understand the discrepancy, but we will list the higher total until we receive clarification.
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Here’s an early report from the 2015 World Palma Team Championships being held at Camp Perry. After Day 1 of the Team Championships (conducted on August 13th), Great Britain is in the lead with a score of 3551-403. That gives the Brits a 30-point margin over their closest rival. Team USA holds second place with a score of 3521-359, followed by South Africa in third with a score of 3512-339.
Today, August 14th, is the final day of Palma Team Competition. We’ll see if Team USA can come from behind, or whether Team Great Britain can build on its Day One lead. Stay tuned for more updates, including the final results after today’s team matches.
Here is Junior Team USA member Dusty Taylor showing off her USA pride. Today is the final day of the Palma Team World Championships. Dusty says: “Go USA!!!!”
Dusty Taylor photo by Anette Wachter of the U.S. Palma Team. Top photos by Berger Bullets.
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As far as we can tell, the first-ever formal benchrest shooting match took place in 1944 at the Tacoma Rifle & Revolver Club in Tacoma, Washington. Known today as the “Sniper King Competition”, this is still a popular event, drawing top shooters from around the country.
Our friend Lou Murdica bested the competition this year to win the Sniper King competition and Benchrest shooting’s oldest trophy. Take a look at that target. That’s a TEN-Shot group at TWO hundred yards. That works out to 0.1299 MOA for ten shots. That’s might impressive…
We have to give Lou credit for his shooting skills and loading spectacularly accurate ammo. Lou was running a Kelbly action, Shilen Barrel, and March scope. He loaded 6mm Berger 65gr BT bullets driven by Accurate LT 30 powder.
Have you ever shot a smaller TEN-shot group, even at 100 yards? If so, tell us about that, by posting a comment below.
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Congratulations to Ben Emms of Australia for winning the World Fullbore Long Range Championship at Camp Perry. Nigel Ball of Great Britain finished second, while another Aussie, Mattthew Pozzebon, took third. There was some amazing shooting done this past week by the top competitors. Here is a report from Anette Wachter, a member of the U.S. Palma Team.
How Ben Emms Won the World Championshipby Anette Wachter (30CalGal.com)
For a while I thought he was not human. Ben Emms of Australia kept powering through every yard line of the Long Range Championship with perfect scores. When the rest of us got pummeled at the 1000-yard line on day 3 he still cleaned the string. He “finally” dropped one point the last day. I guess he is human after all.
But for some dramatic effect he kept us on the edge of our seats during the shoot off. Two crazy shots (a wide two and a low three) were nail biters. His last round for record had to be at least a four to keep the Gold medal from going to second place finisher Nigel Ball from Great Britain. Cheers came from the crowd and especially his team-mates when the final shot came up as a FIVE on the target. Nigel had a beautiful target of centered shots and won the Silver while Matthew Pozzebon also of Australia took the Bronze Medal. Tom Whittaker and Bob Stekettee were also in the Top Ten shoot-off. Tom came home with many awards last night.
The three top Lady trophies went to Sherri Jo Gallagher for the Gold, Trudie Fay with Silver and Jane Messer of GB with the Bronze. We were rooting for Trudie all week as she also was down only one point. Her last string at 1000 was difficult but she still finished in the top 25 in the world. Sherri almost made the shoot-off. She was in 10th place all day until the final results came in at the end and she was pushed to 11th. Although the 11th spot kept her out of the shoot-off, she did stay for the awards ceremony to receive her High Woman Gold Medal and then hit the road for an all night 14-hour trip back to Golden Knights turf for work. Hard core girl!
Here’s a great feel-good family story. Will McChesney, wife Sarah, and their six (6) children ventured to Camp Perry this year for National Rimfire Sporter Match held August 1, 2015. The McChesneys like to do things together as a family “team”, and competitive shooting was no different. Father Will and all six kids competed in the event while mother Sarah provided logistical and moral support.
All of the six McChesney children fired side-by-side on the firing line during the Rimfire Sporter Match. From bottom right corner: Julia, Cheri, Bria, Judi, Heidi, and Jimmy.
The ace shooter among the McChesneys was 15-year-old daughter Judi, who earned a bronze medal during the Rimfire Match. Judi finished in the Top 20 of the junior marksmen, shooting “clean” in slow fire prone stage along the way. That earned her family bragging rights as she finished ahead of 14-year-old James, the one son in the family. But Jimmy helped his sisters during the match — adjusting their slings and loading their magazines.
This was the first big shooting match for the McChesney clan which hails from Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. Will did some hunting and varmint shooting as a boy growing up, and he and wife Sarah did enjoy plinking and pistol shooting on Will’s father’s farm in New Galilee, PA.
Later on, when the Beaver Valley Rifle and Pistol Club was looking to expand its youth program, it recruited one of the McChesney daughters. As the club soon found out, the family does absolutely everything together, and recruiting one McChesney meant recruiting all.
The McChesney bunch chose the 2015 National Rimfire Sporter Match as their first real travel match and their first taste of competitive shooting. The days leading up to the match, the entire family practiced together to prepare themselves. All but Sarah actually competed at Perry this year. However, she still came along for support and she plans to compete next year.
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Deep Creek 1000-yard line: 46°55’35.03” N 114°14’45.40” W, elevation 3355′.
The International Benchrest Shooters (IBS) welcomes the Montana NW 1000 Yard Benchrest Club as a newly-affiliated club hosting registered IBS matches. The Montana club’s origins go back to 1996 when the Whitefish (Montana) Rifle and Pistol Club affiliated with the Original Pennsylvania 1000-Yard Benchrest Club (Williamsport) to conduct 1000-yard matches. Early in 1998 the Northwest 1000-Yard Benchrest Association was formed to promote 1000-yard benchrest competition in affiliation with Williamsport. The Club now operates at the Deep Creek Range as the Montana NW 1000 Yard Benchrest Club (www.MT1000yd.com), an IBS-affilated organization.
2015 Championships at Deep Creek
The 2015 Championships were held this past weekend, August 7-9. The video below features the winners from this year’s championships, Tom Mousel (Two-Gun Overall), Leo Anderson (Heavy Gun Overall), and Bill Johnson (Light Gun Overall). The three winners describe their equipment. Tom shot a pair of 17-lb 6mm Dashers, running Vapor Trail Bullets pushed by CCI 400 primers and Hodgdon H4895 powder. The brass is Lapua 6mmBR hydro-formed to Dasher with lightly-turned necks.
Here is one of Tom Mousel’s match-winning rifles, and an impressive 100-3X, 10-shot target:
The Club holds 12 shoots per year over six weekends that count towards the 6- and 10-shot Aggregates for the year. The Championship Shoot held in August is match number 11 and 12 and does not count for Aggs. More than $20,000 worth of prizes were donated by major sponsors this year. The prize table featured scopes from Nightforce and Vortex, actions from DeFrance, Borden, BAT, Kelbly, and Stiller, plus barrels from Bartlein, Benchmark, Brux, Caliber, Krieger, and McGowen.
The Deep Creek Rifle Range is located near Missoula, Montana. Club members are continually upgrading the 1000-Yard Range, which has become one of the best long-distance benchrest shooting facilities in the country. The Deep Creek Rifle Range invites shooters to visit this scenic shooting facility. Participation in club matches continues to grow, and club members hold several 1000-yard World Records for group, score, and Aggregates of both. For more information on club shoots and joining the club, contact Alex Wheeler: zfast_malibu [at] yahoo.com.
Here’s “Bunker Buster”, a metal-stocked Heavy Gun (HG):
At Deep Creek, competitors shoot three (3) classes: IBS Light Gun (LG), IBS Heavy Gun (HG), and a special 11-pound class. At registered matches, Light Gun shoots five shots per relay, Heavy Gun shoots 10 shots, while the 11-pound class shoots five shots. For more information on classes and courses of fire, visit MT1000yd.com or send email to: northwest1000ydbenchrest [at] gmail.com.
New World Records Set at July 2015 Match:
Important 1K records were set at the Club’s July 9-10 match earlier this summer. Tom Mousel broke the Light Gun 10-match score record and Heavy Gun 10-match group record. Jim Williams broke the HG 10-match score Agg record. In the video below, Tom Mousel talks about his record-breaking performances.
Missoula, Montana Travel Tips
The City of Missoula is nestled in the Northern Rockies of Montana, at the confluence of three rivers. Surrounded by seven wilderness areas, Missoula is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. You can kayak, raft or tube through downtown, or take a relaxing hike in 60,000 acres of wilderness minutes from your hotel. Missoula is known for blue-ribbon trout fishing (made famous by the movie A River Runs Through It) and spectacular natural beauty.
Missoula is a popular destination for shopping and dining, featuring three shopping districts and an abundance of restaurants, cafes, and brew-pubs with something to fit all budgets and palates. Known for its eclectic culture, Missoula offers a wide variety of entertainment including theater, film festivals, college sports, ballet, and even roller derby.
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The Fullbore (Target Rifle) World Championships are now underway at Camp Perry. Held every four years (like the Olympics), the ICFRA World Target Rifle (Fullbore) Championships event is quite possibly the most important long-range rifle competition on the planet. This year the World Championships take place in the USA, at Camp Perry, Ohio. Teams from 11 countries are competing. Here we have some early reports from the August 8th Opening Ceremony…
Report by Ray Gross, Captain U.S. F-TR Team, 8 August, 2015
The U.S. Army Golden Knights parachuted in as part of the opening ceremony for the World Long Range Championships being held at Camp Perry, Ohio. Three of our sister teams, the U.S. Palma Team, the U.S. Veterans Team and the U.S. Under-25 Team will be competing against teams from around the world. Several members of our team, Ray Gross, Steve Hardin, Bryan Litz, and Lane Buxton, are part of the U.S. Palma Team.
The format is very similar to our own World Championships. Everyone entered in the Individuals will shoot 15 shoots for record at 800, 900, and 1000 yards and they will complete that course of fire three times over the next several days. The team event fires the same course twice.
The main difference from our style of shooting is that they will compete using aperture-type target sights and will be using an arm sling as support compared to the scopes and bipods that we use. The rings on our target are substantially tighter to account for the the greater stability and accuracy of the type of rifles that we use.
Report from Anette Wachter (aka 30CalGal), 8 August 2015
Day One of the World Long Range Championships — we had Opening Ceremonies this morning which had our U.S. Army Golden Knights jumping in and the flag raising of each participating country. Sherri Gallagher, former USAMU shooter and now a Golden Knight, led the team as the first and solo jumper. I was sort of hoping she would land in the prone position with a rifle and start the competition. The rest of the Knights fell from the sky and landed perfectly on the X.
The U.S. Fullbore Nationals consisted of individuals and various team events as well as the biggest event, the America’s Match. The USA has never lost the America’s Match at home. We won it three years ago here at Perry and last summer up in Canada. Yesterday was not in the cards. First let me congratulate Great Britain for some outstanding shooting. They lost a total of 17 points for 8 shooters all day and took the Gold. Australia came in second, South Africa 3rd and the USA in 4th. Very humbling yes. One of our coaches had to leave at the middle of the match for a family emergency as well. So I believe the kinks are done and we can move on successfully for this coming week of Worlds. We have the best shooters in the U.S. on our team. Things will turn around. Three women were in the top 25 of the Fullbore Nationals: Michelle Gallagher, Trudie Fay, and Jane Messer. Our Veterans and Under 25s had their World Championship team events as well. Our Veterans took the Gold and the USA Under 25s took the Bronze. The GB kids shot very well and received Gold and Silver medals.
Victor Betzold had a Camp Perry experience for the ages. At the 2015 CMP Games, Betzold won the Garand Match, won the M1 Carbine Match (setting a new Record), and took the 3-Gun Aggregate for the second year in a row. Now that’s an impressive performance. Betzhold is no stranger to shooting – beginning in junior high and firing well into college, then taking his love for guns into the Army. After the years went on and work and family became higher priorities, he fell away from the sport he loved. But now that he’s retired at age 60, he’s had time to practice again – practice that has certainly paid off.
During his remarkable showing at the National Games Matches, Betzold won the Carbine Match with a score of 375-6X, setting a new National Record in the process. In the National Garand Match, Betzold fired a score of 290-7X to become the overall winner of a field of 1213 competitors.
“It feels great,” he said. “I’ve been working at this for a long time.” The 60-year-old Betzold was also the top senior for both the Garand Match and the Carbine Match.
With his outstanding performances in the Garand and Springfield Matches, as well as an exceptional seventh-place finish in the Vintage Military Match, Betzold claimed the 3-Gun Aggregate title for the second year in a row — with a combined score of 865-19X.
Our friend Vince Bottomley provides this report about an Aussie-style Fun Match held at the Diggle Range in the UK. Read all the details on theTarget Shooter Magazine website.
Fly-Shoot Report by Vince Bottomley
The Fly-Shoot competition involves shooting three, 5-shot groups at 500 yards on a target just eight inches (8″) in diameter. In the middle of the 10-Ring is a fly — bigger than a UK fly admittedly but this is an Aussie competition and I’m told that such flies are normal down-under….
This year’s Fly Shoot enjoyed a record entry with almost 70 shooters turning up to shoot a fly at 500 yards. Quite a few managed that feat! Steve Barrett was the overall winner. Points are awarded for score and group size and of course for hitting the fly. Fly swatters get a commemorative patch and this is what most competitors covet.
For once, the weather was kind – overcast and threatening rain in the morning but, from a shooter’s point of view – perfect, with Diggle’s reservoir resembling the proverbial ‘sheet of glass’ – a rare sight, believe me! The shoot attracts a great variety of custom rifles and with it an equally assorted band of competitors from bunny-bashers to benchresters and, that’s part of the attraction….
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From August 3 through August 14, Camp Perry, Ohio will be the center of the Fullbore (Palma Rifle) universe. From 3-7 August the U.S. Fullbore Championship will take place on the shores of Lake Erie, followed by the ICFRA World Target Rifle (Fullbore) Championships, which runs 8-14 August. The Worlds are a very big deal — just like the Olympics, the ICFRA World Target Rifle (aka Fullbore or Palma) LR Championships event is held every four years. This year the World Championships take place in the USA, at Camp Perry, Ohio. Teams from 11 countries will be competing. The United States won’t host the Worlds again for at least another 25 years.
Our friend Anette Wachter (aka 30CalGal) was on hand for the start of the U.S. Fullbore Championships this week. Here are some images Anette posted from Perry. Many foreign shooters are already in the USA, using the U.S. Fullbore Championship as a “tune-up” for the upcoming World Championships. In addition some of the international events are being held this week such as the ICFRA Veterans World Championship Team Match and the ICFRA Under-25 and Under-21 World Team Championships.
Photos courtesy Anette Wachter. Read Anette’s Shooting Commentaries on 30CalGal.com.
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It’s great to see young people get involved in the shooting sports and achieve success through dedication, practice, and team-work. We congratulate the Pennsylvania Junior Team which took first place in the 6-man and 2-man Junior team matches this year at Camp Perry. Special kudos go to this year’s High Junior, PA team member Matt Lovre, shown at right.
The winning 6-Man Pennsylvania squad included Jack Graw, Joe Hendricks, Kevin Kerin, Matt Lovre, Alexander Thomas and Wyatt Thomas. Alexander Thomas reports: “Great day, great coach, [Berger] bullets flying true. Conditions were tough, but team members held together to shoot awesome scores and take the number 1 spot at Nationals!”
The Pennsylvania Junior Team’s match load featured .22 cal Berger 77gr OTM bullets pushed by Alliant Reloder 15 powder. The team’s AR-platform rifles were smithed by Dead Center Sports with White Oak upper receivers and Geissele triggers.
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The matriarch of American Long Range Shooting has done it again. The amazing Nancy Tompkins won the 2015 NRA Long Range Championship with an impressive performance. This marks the fifth time Nancy has won the LR Championship. This year’s LR match went down to the wire after many days of shooting. It all came down to X-Count, with two talented ladies tied for score. Shooting a 1242-58X over the multi-day competition, Nancy finished four Xs ahead of SSG Amanda Elsenboss (1242-54X). Both women dropped only 8 points out of 1250 possible. Amanda’s USAMU team-mate, SFC Brandon Green, finished third, one point back, at 1241-75X. SFC Green, the newly-crowned 2015 High Power National Champion, had high X-Count by a wide margin.
This year’s Long Range Championships event was hugely popular, with 321 competitors on the match roster. Many familiar faces ranked among the Special Award winners. Our friends David Tubb (1241-69X) and Jim O’Connell (1235-66X) were High Senior and High Grand Senior, respectively. Tubb finished fourth overall, with the second-highest X-Count. There were also talented newcomers, such as High Junior Charlotte Flanagan, a young Kiwi from far-away New Zealand. Firing a 1236-40X, Charlotte is shooting at an extremely high level for someone so young. As Ken Littlefield noted: “It’s pretty impressive to come into Camp Perry for the first time and win the Junior Championship!” Charlotte could be formidable at the World Fullbore LR Championships slated for 3-9 August at Camp Perry.
Here are the overall Top 10 finishers. Note that Michelle Gallager, Nancy Tompkins’s daughter, made the Top 10, making this a “family affair” for the Tompkins/Gallagher clan:
1. NANCY TOMPKINS (1242-58X), HM, Div. B – U.S. Match ‘Any’ Rifle*, Rule 3.2, 3.7(c)
2. SSG AMANDA ELSENBOSS (1242-54X), HM, USA REG W Div. B – U.S. Palma Rifle, Rule 3.3.1(a)
3. SFC BRANDON GREEN (1241-75X), HM, USA REG Div. B – U.S. Palma Rifle, Rule 3.3.1(a)
4. DAVID TUBB (1241-69X), HM, Div. B – U.S. Palma Rifle, Rule 3.3.1(a)
5. DAVID CALVERT (1241-63X), MA, Palma Rifle (NRA Rule 3.3.3 (b))
6. JANE MESSER (1240-60X), HM, Palma Rifle (NRA Rule 3.3.3 (b))
7. DAVID LUCKMAN (1239-68X), MA, Palma Rifle (NRA Rule 3.3.3 (b))
8. SGT DICONZA (1238-59X), HM, USMC REG Div. B – U.S. Palma Rifle, Rule 3.3.1(a)
9. PHILLIP CROWE (1238-54X), HM, Div. B – U.S. Palma Rifle, Rule 3.3.1(a)
10. MICHELLE GALLAGHER (1237-64X), HM, Div. B – U.S. Palma Rifle, Rule 3.3.1(a)
*The NRA Match bulletin lists Palma Rifle, but Nancy said she shot her “Any Rifle”.
In this photo, Michelle Gallagher is missing … but someone had to take the photo.
Here is Nancy with the Tompkins Trophy. And yes, if you are wondering, that trophy was donated, decades ago, by hubby Mid Tompkins as the top prize for the Long Range High Power Rifle competition.