September 26th, 2017

Rimfire Challenge World Championship — For the Whole Family

NSSF Rimfire Challenge 10/22 M&P .22 LR ruger browning buckmark Alabama

What is the most family-friendly shooting discipline? It just might be the NSSF Rimfire Challenge. NSSF took over the Rimfire Challenge in 2014, replacing Ruger as the sponsoring organization. Now more than 400 Rimfire Challenge events are held across the country each year. The matches are designed to encourage family participation in a friendly atmosphere. Entire families, both oldsters and youngsters, can have fun shooting together in a supervised setting. You don’t need expensive ammo or hardware, and the primary focus is on having fun and enjoying the comraderie.

CLICK HERE to REGISTER | CLICK HERE for Match Results

The NSSF Rimfire Challenge World Championship will be held October 13-15 at the Cavern Cove Range in Woodville, Alabama (near Huntsville). There will be five “tune-up” fun matches on Friday, October 13, followed by the main matches on Saturday and Sunday. This year there will be 14 total stages (7 handgun and 7 rifle).

Demonstration Sessions with Guns and Ammo Provided
During the Championship weekend there will be free demo programs. That gives visitors some trigger time even if they are not an official competitor. At last year’s NSSF Rimfire Challenge Championship in Alabama, Smith & Wesson was on hand with demo rifles and pistols. See the action in the S&W-produced video above. At the October event, attendees were able to try out the Smith & Wesson® SW22 Victory pistol and the M&P 15-22 rifle.

Competitors will be challenged with rimfire pistol and rifle stages at the Cavern Cove Competition Range in Woodville, Alabama (near Huntsville). Like all NSSF Rimfire Challenge events, the sponsors encourage both novice and experienced shooters to participate. In fact, for many shooters the Rimfire Challenge Championship may be their first-ever major competition.

Guns of Choice: S&W M&P 15-22 and Browning Buck Mark

If you want to shoot both Limited and Open class, a very good rifle choice rifle is the Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22. The feel, weight, and controls will be familiar to any AR owner. These 15-22s have been refined over the years and now are very reliable. Shoot it in Limited Class with the standard iron sights. Then fold down the sights and attach a 1-4 optic to shoot Open Class.

Smith Wesson M&P 1-22

Smith & Wesson’s M&P 15-22 Sport MOE SL model (Magpul Original Equipment Slim Line) has been upgraded with a more comfortable handguard, an improved grip, and an adjustable Magpul buttstock. It is offered with Flat Dark Earth (tan) furniture (shown above) or dressed in matte black.

Browning Hunter Buckmark 7.25

For pistol competition, we recommend the Browning Buck Mark Hunter. This has a nice set of iron sights, and you can fit a red-dot or pistol scope on the integral Picatinny Rail. The Hunter model, shown above, has a long, 9 3/4″ sight radius with bright fiber-optic sights. It’s also handsome with matte black finish and real Cocobolo grips. Another good choice is the Buck Mark Contour URX stainless with a 7 1/4″ slab-sided heavy barrel.

The Rimfire Challenge is all about shooting fast, so rapid-fire reliability is critical. The Buckmark is one of the most reliable semi-auto pistols ever made, and the ergonomics are great. You can find Buckmarks starting at $249.99 with the current Browning Bucks Rebate.

Rimfire Challenge Rules and Course of Fire

The NSSF Rimfire Challenge offers Open and Limited (iron sights) Divisions, plus Special Recognition sub-classes (Lady, Senior, Junior, Youth and Cowboy/Cowgirl). To learn more about rules, courses of fire, and the upcoming Rimfire World Championship, visit NSSF.org/Rimfire.

NSSF Rimfire Challenge Basics

The Rimfire Challenge is a two-gun event so you need a rifle and a handgun (which can be either a semi-auto pistol, or revolver).

  • There are two divisions: 1) Open — Any firearm (pistol or revolver in handgun class) with scopes, optical sights, light gathering scopes, battery powered optics or lasers; and 2) Limited — Pistols and rifles with iron sights, adjustable metallic sights, and/or fiber optic.
  • Bolt-action rifles and lever-action rifles are allowed, but self-loading (semi-auto) rifles are most popular because they can shoot quickly.
  • It is suggested that your firearms hold at least ten rounds each, as there is no reloading allowed during the actually stages.
  • It is a good idea to have five (5) magazines per gun (5 each for rifle and pistol). That way you don’t have to reload between stages. If you have a 10-shot revolver, you can reload manually, or use speed loaders.
  • At Rimfire Challenge Matches, each competitor gets five (5) runs through each target stage.
  • Eye and ear protection is required on the range at all times. This is true for spectators as well as competitors.

NSSF Rimfire Challenge Courses of Fire | NSSF Rimfire Challenge Rulebook

Many different stage designs can be employed at Rimfire Challenge matches. Here are two examples from the NSSF Rimfire Challenge Suggested Courses of Fire:

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September 24th, 2017

Washington Squad Sets New F-Open National Team Record

Washington F-Open Team Jay Christopherson F-Class Montana Deep Creek National Record
WA Team members, left to right: Tod Hendricks, Jay Christopherson, Monte Milanuk, David Oakes.

F-Class competition continues to evolve, as guns and shooters get better every season. That means records get broken. Yet another record was smashed this month as the “Washington F-Open” team scored 1794-121X, a new pending National Record. That stunning combined team score beats the previous best by five points and more than 20 Xs. We believe the current record is 1789-100X, set at the 2017 Berger Southwest Nationals.

The new 1794-21X team record was set at the 2017 Northern Rockies LR F-Class Regional Match, held September 6-8 at the Deep Creek Range outside Missoula, Montana. This is a three-day, long range regional F-Class match consisting of two individual days and one team day.

Washington F-Open Team Jay Christopherson F-Class Montana Deep Creek National Record

Team Member Jay Christopherson, who won the F-Open Division, was proud of his Team’s accomplishment: “We were very excited when our shooting held up at 1000 yards to break the record.” Forum member Pat F., who also shot the match in Montana, said this was a really impressive performance: “I think that record will stand for a while.”

Washington F-Open Team Jay Christopherson F-Class Montana Deep Creek National Record

World’s Most Accurate IT Guy Wins F-Open with Brilliant Performance
Our AccurateShooter.com Systems Administrator, Jay Christopherson, won the F-Open Division with a superb 1047-62X individual performance. Remarkably, when you combine that 1047-62X with his 449-33X score in the team match, Jay dropped only four (4) points the entire weekend over 150 shots (105 shots in individual competition and another 45 in the team match). That is a combined percentage 99.73% in the Ten-Ring. Amazing! Jay is definitely “The World’s Most Accurate IT Guy”. Congrats Jay.

Jay was shooting a new F-0pen rifle built with his favorite hardware: a smooth-cycling Borden BRMXD action riding in a hardwood X-Ring stock. The barrel was a 32″-long, 1:9″-twist Bartlein chambered for the .284 Winchester cartridge. All team members were shooting straight .284 Wins with Berger 180gr Hybrid bullets. Jay was using a new scope, a fixed-power 48x52mm March High Master. Jay was impressed with the sharpness, clarity, and reliability of this scope. He said that during the match he never felt the need to dial-down power, so the 48X fixed magnification worked fine.

Jay reports: “Conditions were generally pretty good. Not perfect, but almost… There was enough change to push you out of the 10-Ring if you were not careful, but overall, the conditions were about as consistently good as you can expect. There was also some smoke haze, particularly on Friday and Saturday, that made seeing the target a challenge and looking at mirage was basically impossible. But, for all that, the wind was mostly very, very kind.”

“This is the fourth year I have traveled to shoot this match and as always, it was an excellent match. Jamey Williams does an outstanding job of herding cats and ensuring that the match runs smoothly. Bob Evans ran the line and really did an excellent job of keeping everyone safe and the match moving.”

Here is an aerial view of the Deep Creek Range (Drone video by David Gosnell):

Northern Rockies LR F-Class Regional Match Results
Individual Top Three Shooters (1050-105X Possible)

F-Open Division:
Jay Christopherson, 1047-62X, MW

Tod Hendricks, 1043-61X, 2nd MW
Jim Williams, 1041-51X, 3rd MW

F-TR Division:
Justin Covey, 1030-48X, MW

Tom Hubbard, 1030-41X, 2nd MW
John Van Santford, 1027-36X, 3rd MW

F-Class Team Matches (1800-180X Possible)

F-Open Winning Team:”Washington F-Open”, 1794-121X
Jay Christopherson, 449-33X
Tod Hendricks, 448-28X
David Oakes, 448-30X
Monte Milanuk, 449-30X

F-TR Winning Team: “Misfits”, 1751-50X
John Van Santford, 436-14X
Beverly Van Santford, 441-13X
Phil Brackenbury, 436-12X
Larry Bandaccari, 438-11X

Course of Fire: The individual days are a 105-shot aggregate, consisting of a 45-shot Palma (800/900/1000) followed by a 20-shot x 1000 (Day 1) and a 40-shot x 1000 match (Day 2). The team match is a 45-shot per team member Palma match (800/900/1000).

Permalink Competition, News, Optics 3 Comments »
September 23rd, 2017

Sling Thing: Dennis DeMille Explains How to Set Up Your Sling

Dennis DeMille Creedmoor Sports Rifle Sling video training set-up
Dennis DeMille shows a young competitor at the CMP Western Games how to adjust his leather sling.

Setting-Up a Leather Service Rifle Sling for Competition
So you made the mistake of disassembling your leather service rifle sling, or are intimidated about how to use one? In this Creedmoor Sports InfoZone video, Creedmoor G.M. Dennis DeMille explains how to set up and use a sling. The covers the basics — Dennis starts with a totally disassembled leather service rifle sling and shows you how to set it up properly.

Tip: “Many shooters shy away from using a leather sling because they have never been taught how to use one. That’s unfortunate. In my opinion a leather sling offers more support than a web sling, which is important when competiting with the heavier than normal rifles.”

Configuring the Sling for the Standing (Offhand) Position
In this second in a series of Creedmoor InfoZone videos on the setup and use of the leather service rifle sling, Dennis DeMille details how to configure and best utilize the leather service rifle sling while shooting from the standing position.

Tip: “Putting the Frogs in different hole will change the amount of added elevation a sling provides.”

Looking at Sling Types — Comparing the Features
In this video Dennis showcases a large variety of shooting slings. He explains the strong points of each type so you can choose the sling best suited to your discipline and shooting style.

Dennis DeMille High PowerThe Benefits of Dry-Fire Training
Once you know how to set up your sling properly, you’ll want to practice. Dennis DeMille stresses the importance of dry-fire practice with sling and shooting coat. Dry-Fire training is essential to the sling disciplines. Dennis DeMille, a national Service Rifle Champion, told us that, for every minute he spent in actual competition, he would spend hours practicing without ammunition. While in the USMC, Dennis would practice in the barracks, working on his hold and dry-firing:

“The most important thing is to spend time off the range practicing. Most of what I learned as a High Power shooter I learned without ammunition — just spending time dry firing and doing holding exercises. Holding exercises will really identify the weak parts of your position. The primary purpose of dry firing is to get you used to shooting an empty rifle. If you can shoot a loaded rifle the same way you shoot an empty rifle then eventually you will become a High Master.”

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills, Tech Tip No Comments »
September 21st, 2017

Where to Buy Official Competition Targets

Official Target Printer Vendor Source

Need targets — not just any old targets, but the correctly-sized targets for specific shooting disciplines (such as NRA Smallbore, F-Class, and 1K Benchrest)? Well you won’t find them at your neighborhood Wally World store. Precise, dimensionally-correct competition targets are producted by a half-dozen specialty printers. In this article we provide links to the leading target sellers, with a chart showing “who’s got what”. Look for your particular discipline and the vendors will be specified.

Sources for Official Shooting Competition Targets:

ALCO Target Company

American Target Company

Kruger Premium Targets

National Target Company

Pistoleer.com

U.S. Target Company

AccurateShooter.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?”

Official targets NRA IBS NBRSA

All these vendors carry nearly all the NRA High Power and Smallbore targets, including the new, smaller F-Class targets. National Target has the F-Class and High Power targets, including 100-yard reductions of the 200, 300, and 600-yard military 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

Orrville Printing currently sells 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

Kruger Targets

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September 20th, 2017

2017 NRA World Shooting Championship Results

World Shooting Championship NRA PeaceMaker West Virginia multi-discipline

Report based on story in the NRA Blog
The 2017 NRA World Shooting Championship was a big success. Attendance was strong — nearly 300 competitors shot the three-day event at the Peacemaker Nat’l Training Center in Glengary, West Virginia. Both pros and amateurs competed in 12 challenging stages with a broad spectrum of firearms — rifles, shotguns, and handguns. This is the richest multi-discipline shooting event in the world. With $250,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs, competition was tough. Rankings were based on a “blend” of time plus points — you had to shoot fast AND accurately. Congrats to Pro Greg Jordan who took home the $25,000 first prize as overall winner. John Chambers finished first in the Amateur Division, Lena Miculek was High Lady, and Michael Davis was High Junior.

Greg Jordan – 2017 NRA World Shooting Champion
John Chambers – NRA World Shooting Championship – High Amateur
Lena Miculek – NRA World Shooting Championship – High Lady
Michael Davis – NRA World Shooting Championship – High Junior

CLICK HERE for the complete WSC Match Results »

World Shooting Championship NRA PeaceMaker West Virginia multi-discipline
(Overall winner Greg Jordan seconed from left. Photo courtesy Jim Powell)

Big Turn-Out in Amateur Division
Unlike typical matches, the NRA World Shooting Championship allows those interested in the shooting sports to compete among some of the best shooters in the world all while using the same firearms and equipment. This year, 232 competitors participated in the Amateur Division — some who had never competed in a shooting competition before!

Here are the final scores for the top 10 shooters from each division:
World Shooting Championship NRA PeaceMaker West Virginia multi-discipline

We want to add a special congrats to Sean Murphy of Nightforce. Sean finished 9th overall in the Pro Division, an impressive showing for an industry executive with limited time to attend matches. Sean says: “I had a great time at the NRA World Shooting Championship this weekend. It’s a 12-stage match featuring 12 different disciplines, with all equipment provided. You have to adapt to each set of rules and equipment and then shoot and be competitive. This is a fun format for both new and experienced shooters, and gives some insight [into] other disciplines. I finished at 9th place in Pro, hitting my goal of a Top 10 finish. Congratulations to Greg Jordan on the overall win, don’t spend that $25k all at once!”

World Shooting Championship NRA PeaceMaker West Virginia multi-discipline

WSC Highlight Video with Competitor Interviews (Past Event):

Seen at the WSC: VuDoo Gunworks Tactical .22 LR Rimfire Rifles
The WSC included a side-match featuring Vudoo Gunworks .22 LR rimfire tactical rigs. Shooters were impressed with the V-22 rifle, which looks and feels like a centerfire rig, but with a rimfire repeater action running full-size mags.

Vudoo states: “Our V-22 also runs a full-size short action bottom metal (DBM) and our V-2210 magazine has a [full-size] AICS form factor. The V-22 is the only controlled-round-feed .22 LR receiver out there. The bolt has full capture control of the cartridge from the time it leaves the magazine until it ejects the spent round out the ejection port.” That means the round never touches anything during feed travel so the bullets won’t be nicked/dented during rapid cycling. Sean Murphy of Nightforce enjoyed shooting the Vudoo Gun Works .22s: “I’ll probably end up with one of their rimfires as it is a sweet setup.”

World Shooting Championship Vudoo Gunworks Rimfire

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September 19th, 2017

Eight-Year-Old English Schoolgirl Shines at 1000-Yard Benchrest

Emily Benchrest 1000 yards England UK schoolgirl Kales Scope Light Gun Record
Emily has won many awards — including a screamer at 1000 yards — and her accomplishments have not gone unrecognized. At a recent UK Shooting Show, Emily was presented with a Kahles 10-50x56mm scope by UK Importers RUAG which will come in very useful for the UK winter 600-yard benchrest series. She also received a one-off Hausken suppressor in her favorite color — pink!

English Emily and Her Record-Breaking 6mmBR Stolle

Report by Vince Bottomley
Turning back the clock a decade or so to 2006 and Accurateshooter’s Gun of the Week #71 you will see my smiling face and my 7mm WSM BAT which had just set a new UK Light Gun record for 1000-yard benchrest with a 5-shot group measuring 2.67 inches. That record has now been broken — sadly not by me but by Emily’s Grandfather with a gun I built for this talented schoolgirl. Here’s the story of the precocious Emily and her record-setting rifle…

In 2006, when I set the record, young Emily Lenton wasn’t even born but, a couple years later she arrived – into the shooting-mad Lenton family. Both father Bruce Lenton and Granddad Tony have represented their Country at European and World Benchrest Championships and it was no surprise to see Emily, at just eight years old, shooting in her first 1000-yard benchrest competition.

Eight-year-old Emily shoots 6mm BR Heavy Gun at 1000 yards.
Emily Benchrest 1000 yards England UK schoolgirl Light Gun Record

Recoil is always going to be a problem for an 8-year-old, so Emily’s first bench-gun was Granddad’s 1000-yard Heavy Gun chambered for the 6mmBR cartridge. It hardly moves when Emily pulls the trigger and she soon became a serious contender.

Under her father Bruce Lenton’s careful supervision, Emily loads all her own ammunition.
Emily Benchrest 1000 yards England UK schoolgirl 6mmBR 6BR vince bottomley Light Gun Record

Of course, she wanted her own gun and who better to ask to build it than the current record holder — me of course! Emily chose a Stolle action RBLP as this was to be a 17-lb Light Gun, bedded into a UK-made Joe West laminate stock. The barrel was a heavy-profile 1:8″-twist Krieger chambered in 6mm BR Norma (6BR) with a ‘no-turn’ neck (reamer from Pacific Tool & Gauge) and fitted with a UK Tier One muzzle-brake.

Emily’s Light Gun begins to take shape…
Emily Benchrest 1000 yards England UK schoolgirl 6mmBR 6BR vince Bottomley Light Gun Record

Emily buckles down to some winter load-development (note the fleece coat and wool gloves).
Emily Benchrest 1000 yards England UK schoolgirl 6mmBR 6BR vince bottomley Light Gun Record

It was down to Granddad to help Emily with load-development and of course, he could also shoot it in competition — after all Emily had just about shot-out Granddad’s Heavy Gun with a full season of rapid-fire 10-shot groups!

Granddad Tony gets ready to shoot Emily’s gun.
Emily Benchrest 1000 yards England UK schoolgirl vince bottomly 6mmBR 6BR Light Gun Record

Then something happened – Granddad went and broke my ten-year old record with Emily’s gun! Well, I suppose there was some consolation — at least I’d built the record-breaking gun. The new UK Light Gun 1000-yard five-shot record now stands at 2.462 inches. For those who like load details, Emily uses Lapua brass, Vihtavuori N150 powder, CCI 450 primers, and Berger 105 grain VLD bullets loaded with Wilson hand-dies.

Tony Lenton with Emily’s gun just after he broke my 1000-yard record. I’m doing my best to smile!
Emily Benchrest 1000 yards England UK schoolgirl 6BR 6mmBR Vince Bottomley Light Gun Record

Next Stop… New Zealand! 2017 World Benchrest Championships Down Under
Emily has now got her own 6PPC gun for short-range benchrest and she will be travelling to New Zealand this fall with her family. She’ll be helping her father and Granddad who are part of the United Kingdom squad competing at the 2017 World Benchrest Shooting Championships to be held at the Packers Creek Range in Nelson, NZ. How long will it be before Emily makes her own ‘World’ debut?

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Gunsmithing, News 5 Comments »
September 18th, 2017

Fort Benning Multi-Gun Challenge on Shooting USA

Fort Benning 3-Gun multigun PRS match shooting usa
The 2017 Fort Benning Multi-Gun Challenge will be held November 16-19, 2017. This year there will be at least 12 stages, plus more than 40 guns on the prize table!

Rifle, pistol, shotgun. More guns = more fun. If you are curious about multi-gun matches, check out this video from Shooting USA. This episode covers the 3-Gun Match at Fort Benning, Georgia. This one-of-a-kind match is the only multi-gun competition where civilians can run-and-gun on an active U.S. Army installation. What’s more, at this match competitors get to ride in a Stryker armored vehicle and shoot Army weapons such as the M249 SAW and M203 Grenade launcher. The lure of playing with military hardware, along with the quality of the stages, makes this a hugely popular 3-Gun event which quickly sells out every year.

Interested in 3-Gun Shooting? Here’s an in-depth report on the Fort Benning Multi-Gun Challenge:

Fort Benning 3-Gun multigun PRS match shooting usa

Getting Started in 3-Gun Competition

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.

Dan Horner 3-Gun USAMU

SSG Dan Horner of the USAMU, a past winner of the 3-Gun Nation Championship, is one of the country’s best multi-gun competitors. Here Horner offers some tips on 3-Gun hardware, and safety procedures:

Adapting to New Equipment
There’s a lot of hardware in 3-Gun Competition. To succeed you need mastery of ALL the tools: “New competitors should know how to operate all their equipment. They should spend time getting familiar with their equipment. I spend exponentially more time ensuring the gear is right than I do shooting.”

Dan Horner USAMU 3-gun ssg

Safety in 3-Gun Competition
Everyone practicing with shotguns, rifles and pistols must keep safety as top priority. “Obviously, safety is the No. 1 priority, but after that, the focus should be on developing specific skills,” noted Horner. A good three-gunner must not only be fast, but he or she must also be accurate and be able to adapt to a wide variety of shooting positions. And strategy is involved too. Successful 3-gunners develop a ‘plan of attack’ for each stage.

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Tactical No Comments »
September 16th, 2017

IBS Match Report: Visalia 3-Gun California Championship

IBS International Benchrest Shooters Visalia CA california match Boyd Allen
The Visalia Sportsman’s Association Dale Wimp Shooting Range — a great place to shoot.

Report by Boyd Allen | Photos and video by Pete Kitrinos
The IBS is in the West! The first International Benchrest Shooters (IBS) match at the Visalia, CA range was held over the recent Labor Day Weekend. Despite scorching 106° heat, many of the West’s top short-range benchrest shooters assembled for the first IBS-sanctioned match (after a 30-year history with the NBRSA) at the Visalia range. The mix of shooters included at least one Benchrest Hall of Fame member, as well as NBRSA record holders. Competitors were happy to return to Visalia, which had been closed for seven months while range improvements were made (some parts of the East berm were still under construction). With only two ranges in the entire state holding short range group matches, the temporary loss of Visalia had a significant impact. It was time to get back to business — the business of shooting tiny groups.

This video includes Aerial Drone footage of the range — worth watching!

Surrounded by fields, the Visalia Range is located in California’s Central Valley, a rich agricultural area.
IBS International Benchrest Shooters Visalia CA california match Boyd Allen

For about thirty years the California 3-Gun Benchrest Championship match has been held at the Visalia Sportsman’s Association Dale Wimp Range over Labor Day weekend. For all those years, the matches have been put on by local shooter and current club president Dennis Thornbury. During a good part of that time, he has also managed to keep his name in the NBRSA record book, and pick up four Benchrest Hall of Fame points, as well as having recently done a tour as NBRSA president. This year’s match is sanctioned by the IBS, a first at Visalia.

Don “The Pumpkin” Nielson used an action he fabricated, a “fat bolt” aluminum 3-lug with steel insert.
Visalia IBS Benchrest Rest

Dennis Thornbury has been putting on registered matches at the Visalia range for 30 years. He holds an NBRSA record, and has 4 Hall of Fame points.
IBS International Benchrest Shooters Visalia CA california match Boyd Allen

The format: On Saturday competitors shot 100 yards all day, Sporter in the morning, Light Varmint in the afternoon. The following day the morning competition was Heavy Varmint at 100 and at lunch the targets were moved to 200 yards with Heavy Varmint being shot that afternoon. On Monday, Labor Day, at 200 yards, Light Varmint was shot in the morning and Sporter in the afternoon. All three days consisted of five, 5-shot matches in the morning and five more in the afternoon.

Morning, Day 1 — Very few “daisy wheels”. This has been the trend for many years at this range.
IBS International Benchrest Shooters Visalia CA california match Boyd Allen

Getting down to business. Shown, from right to left: Henry Pinkney, Joe Stanovich, Steve Epstein, Keith Cottrell (face obscured), Jim Nicolas (standing).
IBS International Benchrest Shooters Visalia CA california match Boyd Allen

Sunday Top Shots: Jack Childers, Keith Cottrell, John Pierce, Lester Bruno, Dennis Thornbury, and Don Nielson. (Yes that’s a corn field in the background):
Visalia IBS Benchrest Rest

With the big temp changes between morning and afternoon, competitors were chasing powder loads all weekend. Small groups were hard to find, so only three “screamers” were recorded all weekend, and no teen Aggs. With the oppressive heat, attrition was also a factor: “We started with 30 shooters, and ended with just 21 competitors”.

Temperatures were in the triple digits for Saturday and Sunday, backing off to the high 90s on Monday. High humidity made it feel even hotter — heat stress was a definite issue. Even the rifles seemed to be at less than their best, causing very light wind conditions to produce Aggregates that were larger than the observed wind conditions would lead one to expect. Wind was generally light and switchy. Lighter mornings with wind increasing slightly through the days. Sunday saw more wind than the other two days after ten o’clock or so.

Loading benches with the usual clutter. Note the LabRadar chronograph on a bench at the firing line. Lawrence Weisdorn tracked his velocities during the match to know when a powder charge adjustment was needed.
IBS International Benchrest Shooters Visalia CA california match Boyd Allen

Top Shooters: The Top Five in the 3-Gun (HV, LV, and Sporter) Championship were: Keith Cottrell (.2534), John Pierce (.2695), Dennis Thornbury (.2714), Art Kawai (.2885), and Rich Shaw (.3016). Winners of the Class Grand Aggs were Dennis Thornbury (HV .2424), Lester Bruno (LV .2400), and Keith Cottrell (Sporter .2395). CLICK HERE for full Match Results.

Visalia IBS Benchrest Rest

Equipment List for Top Five Shooters
Visalia IBS Benchrest Rest

You can use a LabRadar during competition. This was Lawrence Weisdorn’s set-up at Visalia.
IBS International Benchrest Shooters Visalia CA california match Boyd Allen

Benchrest Technique — How to Shoot at Visalia
This range is built a bit like a large bathtub, dug into a flat field with the excavated earth thrown up in steep berms on three sides. This configuration and the usual lack of strong winds creates a lot of thermal-generated switchiness with flags changing direction often and very little agreement within any shooter’s set. This places a high premium on visual memory and the ability to judge equivalent conditions, because duplicates are almost never seen. Although the opportunity to run groups can happen, this is mostly a “pickers” range, which places a high premium on visual memory.

Visalia IBS Benchrest Rest

Facilities at Visalia Sportsman’s Association Range
There are 28 monolithic, steel-reinforced, concrete benches (poured in place, base and top all one pour). The reloading area is behind the benches with most of it on the same level as the benches. There are permanent (fixed position) tables that have laminate tops, except for where the range house sits, mid-range, with a “wailing wall” along its east and north sides. The direction of fire is north. The benches are under a slightly pitched metal roof that has recently been extended so that it has a good amount of overhang in front of the benches. Electricity is available in the reloading area and there are a few electrical outlets in the parking lot for RVs. There are both steps and a wheelchair ramp connecting parking lot to the reloading level and the shooting level.

Visalia IBS Benchrest Rest

Field of (Benchrest) Dreams — Precision Shooting Among the California Corn Fields.
Visalia IBS Benchrest Rest

Permalink Competition, Gunsmithing, Shooting Skills 4 Comments »
September 14th, 2017

Double-Decker Indoor Shooting Ranges

Double-Decker Florida Shooting Range Lotus

Bet you’ve never seen anything like this before — a “double-decker” indoor shooting range. Lotus Gunworks of Jensen Beach, Florida, operates a super-sized twin-lvel indoor shooting range featuring a two-story-high steel funnel bullet trap. Nicknamed the Lotus 8/11 for the number of steel panels used to create it (eight panels on the bottom slope and 11 panels on the top slope), this version of Action Target’s Total Containment Trap is the first of its kind. “No one has ever seen a range like this before” noted Lotus Gunworks’ Robbie Abell.

Abell came up with the two-story concept when it became clear that the new Lotus building in Jensen Beach was not wide enough for two side-by-side ranges AND a gun store. Necessity was the mother of invention… Lotus wanted at least two ranges, so the only option was to make a double-decker range where both levels shot into the same bullet trap.

Indoor ranges require ventilation to remove potentially hazardous dust and lead particles. The sheer size of the double-decker range presented a unique challenge, but Carey’s Small Arms Range Ventilation installed a system that can completely replace all the range air every 80 seconds.

Other Multi-Level Shooting Ranges

While the Lotus Range may have the first two-story bullet trap, it’s not really the first-ever double-decker indoor shooting range. Other multi-level ranges exist, they just don’t have the giant bullet trap. In fact, some of the multi-level ranges in Europe are bigger and even more sophisticated.

Brünig Indoor facility — Multi-Level Range Underground
Switzerland boats a popular shooting facility built completely underground. The large, deluxe Brünig Indoor facility includes a 300m underground range with multi-level shooting stations.

Brünig Indoor shooting range Tunnel Switzerland

This video shows centerfire rifle practice on the upper level of one of Brünig Indoor’s shooting tunnels:

Dutch Double-Decker Range
Here’s a Dutch Double-Decker Range. Check out Schietsportvereniging (SSV) Katwijk, a great twin-level range in Holland featuring electronic targets with displays at each shooting station (on both levels):

Holland SSV Katwijk

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September 14th, 2017

King of the Range Combo Match: Long Range and 3-Gun Shooting

Nosler October King of Range Match 3-Gun Long Range

We’ve seen new shooting disciplines emerge in recent years (3-Gun, PRS, ELR to name a few) and now we’re seeing another trend — shooting matches that combine action shooting with precision Long Range competition. The latest and greatest example of that is the Nosler King of the Range event slated for late October in Oregon. 3-Gun, Long Range, and a combined match title will all be up for grabs in this two-day, combo event. Competitors can shoot either the 3-Gun or Long Range match, or shoot both, going after the title of “King of the Range”.

Nosler October King of Range Match 3-Gun Long Range

It is unusual for a 3-Gun action match to be combined with a long-range competition, because few venuea offer the right combination of terrain and facilities for both disciplines. Mason Payer, Nosler Marketing Manager says: “The size and varied terrain of the COSSA park facility [near Bend, OR] presents the opportunity to combine both 3-Gun and Long Range, making this a truly multi-discipline match that will be fun for and challenging for everyone.”

The Nosler King of the Range, presented by MGM Targets and COSSA, will be a combined-match format, spread over two days of competition. Day One will feature 5 or 6 stages of 3-Gun, while Day Two will be comprised of 5-6 stages of Long Range, for both Bolt Guns and Gas Guns.

Nosler King of the Range Course of Fire:
Day 1: Match consists of 5-6 stages of 3-Gun that run anywhere from 30 to 160 seconds.
Day 2: Long Range 5-Stage Match with Bolt Guns out to 1000 yards and Gas Guns out to 800 yards.
NOTE: Separate rifles can be used for the 3-Gun half and the Long Range half.

CLICK HERE to Register for the Nosler King of the Range Match (3-Gun + LR)

Nosler October King of Range Match 3-Gun Long Range

The Nosler Cup 3GN Long Range Match will be comprised of approximately 10 stages of challenging precision shooting. This will be a standard 3-Gun match running concurrent with the long range match. Ten stages with 6-8 rifle targets per stage, and 4-10 pistol targets on most stages.

CLICK HERE to Register for the Nosler Cup 3GN Long Range Match.

The Nosler Cup 3-Gun Match, hosted by COSSA, will be a one-day competition, featuring 5-6 stages of running and gunning. Shooters will have the opportunity to shoot on Saturday OR Sunday (either day).

CLICK HERE to Register for the Nosler Cup 3-Gun Match.

Central Oregon Shooting Sports Association (COSSA)
P.O. Box 1606
Bend, Oregon 97709

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September 13th, 2017

The CMP Western Games and Creedmoor Cup in October

CMP Western Games Creedmoor Cup Vintage Rifle sniper

The 14th annual CMP Western Games and Creedmoor Cup Matches will head back to the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix, Arizona next month. The CMP Western Games run October 13-17, 2017, followed by the Creedmoor Cup Matches from October 18-22, 2017. Popular CMP Western Games events will include the Garand, Springfield, Vintage Military, Modern Military, Rimfire Sporter, Carbine and Vintage Sniper matches. The Creedmoor Cup features a 4-Man Team Match, EIC Match and 80-Shot High Power rifle event. The 10-day combined series of vintage and service rifle matches are open to competitors of all ages and experience levels.

CMP Games Creedmoor Cup Ben Avery

Western CMP Games Entry Form | Western CMP Games Online Registration
Western CMP Games & Creedmoor Cup Program | Directions to Ben Avery Range

Western CMP Games Matches

  • Garand & Springfield Match Clinic
  • John C. Garand Match
  • Springfield Match
  • Vintage Military Rifle Match
  • Small Arms Firing School/M16 Match
  • Rimfire Sporter Match
  • Carbine Match
  • Vintage Sniper Match
  • Modern Military Rifle Match
  • Western Creedmoor Cup Events

  • High Power Rifle Clinic
  • Creedmoor Cup (2400 point aggregate)
  • 4-Man Team Match
  • Creedmoor EIC Match
  • High Power Shooting Clinic and SAFS
    A CMP Advanced High Power Shooting Clinic will also be held with instructino from some of the nation’s leading High Power Shooter. In addition, a rifle Small Arms Firing School will give participants insight into the fundamentals of marksmanship and competition shooting. Participants are teamed up with experienced CMP Rifle Master Instructors for classroom and hands-on training, with rifles and ammunition provided. Students in the school will also fire in a true M16 EIC Match, observed by instructors on the line.

    CMP Western Games Creedmoor Cup Vintage Rifle sniper

    Try Out CMP’s Traveling Electronic Targets
    Competitors at this year’s CMP matches at Ben Avery will also have the opportunity to fire on the CMP’s highpower electronic target system.

    CMP Western Games Targets Electronic

    The traveling targets, which include precision scoring hardware and software, plus a high-tech wireless monitor system, were used earlier this year with great success at the Oklahoma Games in April and Eastern Games in May. In June, at the outset of the National Matches, the targets made history by recording 36,000 shots during an entire week of successful National Match Course events on the ranges of Camp Perry in Ohio.

    CMP Western Games Targets Electronic

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    September 12th, 2017

    Custom Rimfire F-Class Rifle for a Grand-Daughter

    Doan Trevor .22 LR rimfire Mango stock Anschutz model 54
    The dots and dashes are Morse Code for the shooter’s initials. The wood is Mango with Walnut fore-end wing inlays. The barreled action is an older Anschutz Model 54 that spent years in a prone stock.

    Build Report by Doan Trevor
    How do you build a stock for the grand-daughter of an award-winning shooter? Over the years I have built five or six rifles for this shooter, and now his grand-daughter had taken an interest in F-Class. He wanted her new rifle to mirror his own F-Class rifle, and he provided me with an old Anschutz Model 54 barreled action. Her new rifle would get her started in rimfire with the possibility of graduating to High Power (centerfire) shooting. The dots and dashes on the sides of the stock are Morse Code for his grand-daughter’s initials — “AMS”.

    Rimfire F-Class Stock Design Factors
    Typically when I build a rimfire F-Class stock I use the same pattern as I do for High Power stocks. The pattern has evolved from my prone stocks, as it has proven very successful with time. Also, there is a known issue of using wood for a stock in F-Class. The wood needs to be cured, and unfortunately, finding wood in the specific dimension for the stock is near to impossible. Therefore, I inlay pieces in the fore-end making sure that it is straight and on center. Other materials can be used for an F-Class stock, but keeping them straight and centered can be very difficult. Using cured wood during the build process, I continually check the centerline from fore-end to the rear slider, ensuring that the stock stays centered. This helps ensure good tracking and return to point of aim.

    Doan Trevor .22 LR rimfire Mango stock Anschutz model 54

    Adapting Prone Stock for F-Class Use
    There is a current trend of older Palma and prone shooters to convert their rifles for F-TR and F-Open due to eyesight problems and other disabilities. The stocks that they have been using (and loving) can be recycled to their new shooting styles with a few design changes. I have been doing this successfully for the last several years. Whether it be a new shooter or an older one, you can either plan for the future or adapt older equipment so that all can shoot the style that they want. My philosophy in rifle building is to create every rifle with the potential to win a national or world championship. I am proud to say that I have build rifles for Derek Rodgers, Trudie Faye, Lige Harris, Barry Smith, Eric Rhodes, Kent Reeves, Terry Glen and many more award-winning shooters. And I look forward to many more.

    Doan Trevor .22 LR rimfire Mango stock Anschutz model 54

    What the Heck is .22 LR Rimfire F-Class?
    There is no official NRA F-Class rimfire discipline (at least not yet). However, many F-Class shooters (both F-0pen and F-TR) employ .22 LR rifles for low-cost training. For example, James Crofts practices extensively with his 40X rimfire F-TR rig. In addition, many shooting clubs offer F-Class style rimfire fun matches, shot prone with front rest or match bipod. This rifle was built for an F-Class fun match hosted regularly by the Los Angeles Rifle & Revolver Club (LAR&R).

    The photo below displays a different Doan Trevor-crafted rifle, a rimfire benchrest rig with Turbo action. This shows how Doan makes the 3-inch-wide fore-end. Outboard left- and right-side wings are bonded to the central stock material, then the wings are carefully shaped for straightness. Getting the geometry “just right” helps the rig track perfectly.

    Doan Trevor .22 LR rimfire Mango stock Anschutz model 54

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    September 12th, 2017

    Care and Feeding of .50 BMGs — What You Need to Know

    fifty caliber shooting association

    A while back we published an Introduction to .50-Caliber Shooting authored by James Patterson. James has written a companion piece for Sinclair’s Reloading Press that covers the “care and feeding” of the big .50 Cal match rifles.

    50 BMG FCSA 50 Caliber 50 BMG

    Owning and Feeding ‘The Big Bore’

    Is The Challenge Of Big Bore Extreme Range Shooting And Hunting Right For You?
    By James Patterson

    Handling a 50 BMG
    Is a 50 BMG caliber rifle difficult to shoot? Not at all. The relatively heavy weight of a standard rifle at 30 pounds or more combined with a very efficient muzzle brake makes it a pleasure to shoot. The typical recoil can be compared to a .243 rifle or a 12 gauge trap load. On the other hand, the burning of a typical load of 230 grains of powder combined with that muzzle brake makes the muzzle blast experience exhilarating. A first time shooter will fire, pause for a moment in awe at the muzzle blast, and then break out into what has become known as “The 50 caliber Grin”, almost impossible to wipe from ones face. My daughter started competing with the 50 BMG at 18 (115 lbs of tall skinny girl) and happily shoots 100+ rounds in the course of a match, her grin on the last round is as wide as on the first! Many members and competitors in the FCSA are women and many have distinguished themselves as excellent marksman having set world records on numerous occasions.

    50 BMG Fifty Caliber Shooting Association

    Fifty 50 Caliber shooting Association

    Cost of Big-Bore Shooting
    Is owning and shooting a 50 BMG caliber rifle expensive? Relatively speaking yes, but one must put it into perspective. Rifles may run from $2500 to $7000, maybe even more for a top of the line custom rifle. A good scope will set you back $500 to $1500. And while excellent commercial ammo is available it runs from $3 to $5 a round. Most serious shooters start reloading for the rifle as soon as practical, not only for the economics of reloading but also for the ability to fine tune custom ammo for their specific rifle. It’s a very rare match that is won shooting commercial ammo. I recently compared the cost of my hobby — owning, shooting, and competing with the 50 BMG — with a friend whose hobby is snowmobiling. Factoring in the cost of equipment, licensing, gasoline, clothing, etc. it was soon obvious that my hobby was significantly less expensive than his.

    50 BMG FCSA Fifty Caliber

    50 BMG FCSA fifty Caliber

    FCSA 50 Caliber 50 BMG

    Getting Started
    FCSA 50 BMG Fifty Caliber Shooting AssociationSo how does one get started? You could do as I did, purchase a rifle not knowing what you were really getting into; or you could come out to a FCSA-sponsored event, shoot a number of different rifles, rub shoulders with those who have already taken the plunge, and see if this sport is right for you. While membership in the Fifty Caliber Shooters Association (FSCA) is required to compete at a FSCA event, membership is not required to come and experience first hand what is going on. If you have any inclination that you are interested in the extreme sport of long rang, big bore shooting then a year’s membership in the FCSA is only $60 ($20 for active duty military) a significant bargain if it helps you make just one well-informed equipment choice. In addition one of the primary functions of the FCSA is helping to identify active members near you who can help you understand just what is involved and help you ‘get your feet wet’ in this challenging sport.

    FCSA 50 Caliber 50 BMG

    Photos courtesy FCSA Photo Gallery.
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    September 6th, 2017

    PRS Tactical and Vintage Sniper Matches on Shooting USA TV

    GAP Grind PRS Tennessee John Scoutten Shooting USA

    GAP Grind PRS Tennessee John Scoutten Shooting USA

    GAP Grind PRS Competition and Vintage Sniper Rifle at Talladega — that’s what you get in a double-feature episode of Shooting USA TV, now available on YouTube. This is a killer episode, with great coverage of two rapidly-growing shooting sports. The GAP Grind is the biggest PRS tactical match of the year, while Vintage Sniper Rifle matches have proven popular with competitors of all ages, from 18 to 80. Learn all about these shooting disciplines in this 48-minute Shooting USA production. Photos, unless otherwise indicated, come from Ramia Whitecotton’s GAP GRIND 2016 photo album

    PRS Competition — the GAP Grind

    This Shooting USA episode features the Bushnell GAP Grind Pro-Am, a tough tactical/practical match in Tennessee with 300 competitors. Conducted in association with the Precision Rifle Series (PRS), the GAP Grind features a Pro/Am format — new shooters partner with an experienced shooters for the two-day, 25-stage event. This year John Scoutten teamed up with novice shooter Jen Hodson.

    Yes this video includes the GAP Grind PRS match. Click the arrow and it should begin with the PRS segment, 28 minutes into the episode:

    One stage required the use of “human support” by one’s team-mate. Here Shooting USA’s John Scoutten provides a strong shoulder for female competitor Jen Hodson.
    Shooting USA John Scoutten GAP Grind PRS tactical competition

    Lots of Action, with 20+ Stages
    The GAP Grind is a notoriously challenging, “high tempo” match with minimal down-time between stages. Over the course of 20+ stages, competitors will fire 200+ shots at a variety of steel, paper, moving, and reactive targets out to 1,200 yards. Targets vary in size/difficulty based on the shooter’s position, distance, and time allotted. Most stages include “stressors” — i.e. time limits or required movement(s).

    Shooting USA John Scoutten GAP Grind PRS tactical competition

    On the first day of the Bushnell GAP Grind, teams are scored together. On the second day team members still work together but scores are logged individually. This is a difficult event with awkward positions, barriers, and other challenges. Targets vary in size, shape, and distance. One of the toughest targets is the 500-Yard Mover. And the shooting platform (below) offered a double-decker challenge…

    GAP Grind PRS match

    Here’s a “Dawn Patrol” shot from Bryan Sikes. He mastered this stage: “6:00 am cold bore — nailed it!”
    Shooting USA John Scoutten GAP Grind PRS tactical competition

    Vintage Sniper Rifle Competition at Talladega

    Talladega Marksmanship Park Vintage Sniper Rifle CMP

    In this episode, Shooting USA features the Vintage Sniper Match at the CMP’s Talladega Marksmanship Park. This is a popular two-man team event, for shooter and spotter, using military rifles in service up to 1953. One added challenge is the time limit. The team has only 20 seconds to complete each shot — That’s 20 seconds for the spotter to read the conditions, and for the shooter to pull the trigger.


    File photo from Vintage Sniper match at Camp Perry. At Talladega, there are video target monitors at each shooting station.

    Shooting USA Vintage Sniper USAMUGuns of Grandfathers…
    In this episode two USAMU marksmen, SGTs Daniel Crody and Robert Shoup, compete with an Springfield M 1903 A4 reproduction topped with a vintage optic. “For me it holds a little bit of sentimental value,” says SGT Crody. “I did have two grandfathers in World War II. It is definitely a pleasure holding a piece of history… and to be able to see and feel what these guys had as far as tools to operate with.”

    “It’s a match that brings a different type of competitor out. It brings a nostalgic competitor out. You’ll see World War II time-period rifles, sniper-type rifles that were used during World War II, Korean War era,” says the CMP’s Chief Executive Officer, Mark Johnson. “The optics are either original optics or current reproduction of old optics.”

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    September 5th, 2017

    Extreme Long Range — New ELR DVD from Applied Ballistics

    Applied Ballistics DVD KO2M) extreme long range

    Team Applied Ballistics will soon release a new DVD on the science, skills, and strategy required for successful Extreme Long Range (ELR) shooting. The new DVD features a reality-style documentary following Team Applied Ballistics in the 2017 King Of 2 Mile (KO2M) competition. Team AB has now won this prestigious event two years in a row. Team shooter Mitchell Fitzpatrick won the KO2M title in 2016, followed by team-mate Derek Rodgers in 2017.

    Applied Ballistics DVD KO2M) extreme long range

    Bryan Litz tells us: “Applied Ballistics is proud to announce the release of our latest DVD: ELR Shooting With Applied Ballistics. With lessons learned from our successful 2016 KO2M campaign, you can see how the AB ELR team developed our equipment and approach through practice and careful analysis. Learn the essential elements of ELR competition from the top team in the sport.”

    This documentary, filmed over the course of a year, shows Team Applied Ballistics preparing for, and competing in, the 2017 KO2M match. This presentation includes interviews from all Team AB members, along with tips on ELR shooting. Pre-Order the ELR DVD and Save $5.00 (Pre-Order Price $19.95)

    2017 K02M Match-Winning Performance on Video
    The video below shows Team Applied Ballistics shooter Derek Rodgers winning the 2017 King of 2 Miles event. This excellent video combines firing line and target-cam views. You can see the strings-of-fire at 2667 and 3028 yards. Then Watch Derek, after four misses, hit the last target with his fifth (and final) round! That plate was set at a mind-numbing 3368 yards (1.91 miles). Derek had Paul Phillips as a spotter and Emil Praslick as a wind coach — a very powerful team and it showed.

    ELR K02M 2017 derek rodgers

    » READ ELR Story on Shooting Sports USA

    If you want to learn more about ELR shooting and how team Applied Ballistics achieves great results in ELR competition, we recommend an excellent article just released byShooting Sports USA. SSUSA’s Editor John Parker interviewed Team Applied Ballistics members Bryan Litz and Paul Phillips. Both men said that successful Extreme Long Range shooting requires solid team-work.

    Bryan Litz (center) conferring with Team AB members Emil Praslick (L) and Doc Beech (R).
    Applied Ballistics DVD KO2M) extreme long range

    Paul Phillips explained: “ELR is very difficult. It requires a great shooter with 1/2-MOA accuracy, a really good wind coach and spotter to see impacts, trace and the ability to quickly negotiate and engage the targets. It’s one fluid team working together.”

    Bryan Litz, Applied Ballistics founder, concurred: “Of all the various precision rifle disciplines, ELR shooting is particularly suited to a team approach. All aspects of ELR shooting are both highly challenging as well as critical to success. One individual is typically not able to stay on top of all the variables effectively enough to hit targets at extreme ranges all by themselves.”

    Applied Ballistics DVD KO2M) extreme long range

    Litz says superior wind-reading skills are vital in the ELR game: “One of the important challenges of hitting targets at long range is reading the wind. All the shooters on our team can read wind, but when we’re shooting a match, we put our strongest wind-reader in this position for all shooters. Emil Praslick is arguably the best in the world at putting a number on the wind. He’s got a well-rehearsed process that works in all scenarios. When Emil isn’t available, someone else on our team will apply his process and focus specifically on the wind.”

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    September 5th, 2017

    Thinking Outside the Box — Stan Ware’s Wicked No-Neck Wolfpup

    Stan Ware Wolfpup SGR Custom Rifles

    Think you need a relatively long case-neck for good accuracy? Think again. Stan Ware broke all the rules with his radical Wolfpup cartridge, proving that a near-no-neck design can deliver match-winning accuracy. Read on to learn how the Wolfpup works…

    Stan Ware SGR Custom RiflesRetired gunsmith Stan Ware is a talented shooter who’s not afraid to think “outside the box”. Stan competes in both Hunter Benchrest (HBR) and Varmint for Score (VFS) disciplines. In his quest to build the ultimate Hunter Benchrest cartridge, Stan created the radical “Wolfpup” wildcat, based on a 6mmBR parent case. Noting the dominance of 30 BRs in VFS matches, Stan wondered if a stretched 30 BR could work in HBR competition. The challenge was case capacity. Under HBR rules the cartridge must hold at least 45.0 grains of water, equal to the capacity of the classic 30/30 case.

    To get the requisite HBR case capacity, Stan figured he needed to boost the volume of a 30 BR case significantly, so he would have to move the shoulder forward — a lot. He did this by running a 30 BR reamer deeper and deeper, test-firing brass along the way. After three reamer passes, he ended up with the capacity he needed (the Wolfpup holds 45.3 grains of water). But then he looked at the finished product — a case with almost no neck, and he wondered “how could this possibly work?”.

    Stan Ware SGR Custom RiflesFrom Trashbin to Winner’s Circle
    Ware’s prototype Wolfpup ended up so short-necked, so unlike any “normal” cartridge, that Stan figured it was “dead on arrival”. Stan told us: “I said ‘this ain’t going to work’ and I threw the brass in the trash can. Honest. But later I thought I better shoot it and see what it does.” There was one problem — Stan didn’t have a seating die. He noticed the short neck provided a bit of tension after fire-forming, so he literally seated some bullets, BIB 118s and 125s, with his fingers. For powder he used H4198 and started with 35 grains, one grain more than a 30 BR load. Stan then did a pressure work-up: “I actually went up to 41.0 grains and didn’t have a sticky bolt. I ended up at 37.9 grains of Hodgdon 4198 — that gave 3150 fps, where the sweet spot is.” (Later testing revealed a second accuracy node at about 3020 fps, using 36.4 grains of H4198).

    Stan’s radical short-necked Wolfpup shot great from the get-go. Once he found the right velocity node, the gun shot in the ones and zeros with both 7-ogive and 10-ogive bullets, both 118s and 125s. The Wolfpup proved easy to tune — it’s not finicky at all. And it’s a winner. Stan began shooting the Wolfpup in 2006 in both VFS and HBR matches and the ‘Pup’ started winning matches right away. In 2007, Stan won the Wisconsin State VFS Championship shooting the Wolfpup. In June 2010 at a Webster City, Iowa VFS match, Stan won the Grand Agg and posted high X-Count for the match, while placing first at 100 yards and second at 200 yards. How’s that for a cartridge that almost ended up in the trash bin?

    Does Stan deserve an award for “most innovative benchrest cartridge design”? Stan chuckles at that notion: “I’m not a hero, not a genius. I really didn’t do anything. The fun part is thinking outside the box — for me anyway. Shooting is an age-old process of experimentation. You never learn it all.”

    Stan Ware Wolfpup HBR SGR Custom Rifles

    Stan Ware Wolfpup HBR SGR Custom RiflesWhy Does It Work?
    How can such a radical case design perform so well? “That’s a good question,” Stan admitted. He then explained: “The 30 BR is inherently accurate, so I figured something based on the 30 BR should be accurate too. My personal belief is that the short neck doesn’t hurt you. Plus if the throat in the barrel is straight, the bullet can self-align. If the chamber is good, the bullet will self-center in the throat. In a regular case there’s not much room to do that, so a bullet can start off-center, and you don’t get the same results every time. A bullet in a conventional case is stopped from self-centering by the stiffer neck, particularly in a tight-clearance BR gun.”

    Reloading the .30 Wolfpup
    Stan’s Wolfpup chamber has a neck dimension of 0.330″. He turns his necks for a 0.327″ loaded round. Bullets are jammed .020″ forward of first contact with the lands. When he closes the bolt it pushes the bullet back in the case — almost a soft seat. Stan notes: “To start with I normally bump the shoulder .0005-.001″ so they go in easy. Just by doing that I get a little neck tension. I also use a bushing. Right now I’m running a .322, but it’s not particularly sensitive. I’ve tried one-thousandths increments up to a .325 bushing and couldn’t tell a lot of difference.” For bullet seating, Stan uses a Wilson 30 BR seater die into which he ran the chamber reamer. This gives perfect case fit during seating operations.

    Stan Ware Wolfpup SGR Custom Rifles

    About the Illustrated Gunstock
    You’ll notice Stan’s stock contains scenes from Vietnam and a quotation. Here’s the story. A Vietnam combat veteran, Stan served “in-country” with the Army’s 509th Non-Divisional Combat Unit (out of Fort Riley) from 1965-1966. Shortly before he left Vietnam, Stan went to a shop to have a souvenir lighter engraved. He asked the vendor for an appropriate inscription. The shop’s metal-worker engraved: “War is a tragedy. It takes mans’ best to do mans’ worst.” That message, along with the combat scenes, were hand-painted on Stan’s rifle by his wife Susan, a talented artist. She spent more than 20 hours painting the rifle stock.

    Photos courtesy Ryan Ware and Stan Ware.
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    September 5th, 2017

    CMP New England Games Return to Vermont, September 20-24

    2017 CMP Games New England Electronic Targets

    CMP games new englandOn September 20-24, 2017, the CMP New England Games will take place in a scenic corner of Vermont (check out that photo above — is that nice or what?). Hosted by the Vermont State Rifle and Pistol Association and the Burlington Rifle and Pistol Club, the New England Games will be conducted at the Camp Ethan Allen Training Site, a beautiful facility.

    » CLICK HERE to Register for 2017 CMP New England Games

    Registration is currently open. Competitors are encouraged to register right away, though interested shooters will also be able to register for additional matches while attending the event. Last year, over 150 competitors shot in the inaugural New England Games. This year the number may top 200. The New England Games have become extremely popular for the breathtaking views and serene environment. Add in the new electronic target system and you have a recipe for success.

    2017 CMP Games New England Electronic Targets

    The 2017 New England Games will feature the CMP’s electronic High Power targets. Thus far in 2017, this mobile target system was used during the Oklahoma Games in April, the Eastern Games in May, and at Camp Perry in June. The electronic target system is now well-sorted and provides accurate scoring. Shooters have monitors right at their shooting stations, providing instant scoring info — no more waiting for the targets to be marked manually. And with the elimination of pit duty allowed by the target system, matches are completed in a shorter amount of time.

    Here’s the view from the berm, looking back to the firing line…
    new england cmp games 2017 camp ethan Allen

    The 2017 New England CMP Games will include a GSM New Shooter Clinic and a Small Arms Firing School (SAFS), led by certified instructors. No previous firearm experience is required for SAFS. Students participating in the clinic will learn gun safety, target shooting skills, positioning, and basic rifle mechanics. Then they will participate in a true M16 EIC match. The CMP provides ammunition and a rifle during the Rifle SAFS.

    new england cmp games 2017 camp ethan Allen

    Similar to the Eastern, Western, and Oklahoma CMP Travel games, the New England Games features a variety of competitive shooting matches including: Garand/Springfield/Vintage andModern Military Match, As-Issued 1911 Pistol Match, EIC Pistol Match, .22 Rimfire Pistol Match, Rimfire Sporter Match, M1 Carbine Match, and Vintage Sniper Match, along with the regular High Power competitions.

    Competitors Praise Venue and Match
    Competitors at last year’s inaugural CMP New England Game were mightily impressed by Camp Ethan Allen, a beautiful venue. “I was blown away by the facilities at Camp Ethan Allen,” said Steve Cooper, CMP North general manger. “The grounds were neatly manicured, our offices for registration and sales were very convenient and the classrooms were perfect for our clinics.”

    He went on to say, “As beautiful as the surroundings were, the people were even better. They truly wanted us there and they enjoyed the matches, clinics, and other activities. It will be a pleasure to return next year for an even bigger and better event.” Photos from the 2016 event are posted on the CMP’s Zenfolio website.

    Many awards will be earned at the 2017 New England Games…
    New England Games CMP CEATS SAFS

    Of course, it wouldn’t be a true CMP Games event without a Rimfire Sporter Match.
    New England Games CMP CEATS SAFS

    The CEATS Pistol Range hosted both centerfire and rimfire matches in a lovely, tree-lined setting.
    New England Games CMP CEATS SAFS

    Learn More about the CMP New England Games
    For registration, travel, and housing information, visit the New England Games Page on the CMP website. If you have questions, Contact Christina Roguski at 419-635-2141 ext. 714, or email competitions [at] thecmp.org.

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    September 3rd, 2017

    NRA World Shooting Championship September 14-16, 2017

    World Shooting Championship Bruce Piatt Multi-Gun Peacemaker, Glengary West Virginia

    How’d you like to score a check for $25,000? That’s the winner’s pay-out for the 2017 NRA World Shooting Championship (WSC), which runs September 14-16 at the Peacemaker National Training Center in Glengary, WV. This event offers over $250,000 in cash awards and product prizes, making the WSC the richest combined shooting event in the USA (if not the world).

    WSC Highlight Video with Competitor Interviews:

    You can still Register for the WSC — though remaining spots are filling up fast. It ain’t cheap — Pros pay $395 while amateurs and juniors pay $325. Keep in mind though that all guns and AMMO are supplied. This unique 3-day multi-gun match tests competitors’ skills across twelve challenging stages involving nearly every major shooting discipline for rifles, shotguns, and pistols. REGISTER HERE.

    WSC Home Page + Rules | Descriptions of 2017 WSC Stages | 2017 WSC Registration Page

    World Shooting Championship Bruce Piatt Multi-Gun Peacemaker, Glengary West Virginia

    All the Equipment is Supplied
    “What makes this event very unique, especially to a professional shooter, is all the equipment is supplied. You have to leave your ego at home and just try to adapt as best you can to the equipment that you have supplied.” — Jerry Miculek

    This major match attracts both sponsored Pros and “regular Joes”. For 2017, shooters will be split into two groups: a Professional Division for sponsored shooters, and the Amateur Division for non-sponsored competitors. All firearms, optics, and ammo will be provided by match sponsors for both divisions. “This year the NRA is going back to basics and returning the match to the original format of two divisions for professionals and amateurs, putting everyone on an even playing field”, said Cole McCulloch, NRA Competitive Shooting Director.

    Video Shows 2014 World Shooting Champion SFC Daniel Horner in 3-Gun Stage

    Cash Awards, Huge Prize Table, and New Random Drawings
    The NRA World Shooting Championship will offer $250,000 in cash and prizes. Along with the $25,000 winner’s pay-out, there will be fat cash prizes for second and third place overall, High Lady, and High Amateur Junior. Then there are the prize tables — a real treasure trove. The designated Amateur prize table by itself will offer products and certificates topping $100,000 in value.

    NEW Random Drawings — The WSC has added a new type of prize for 2017. Ten (10) Random Draw Prize Winners of $400 will be chosen during the WSC Awards Banquet. These random drawings give every competitor a chance to win cash, no matter what their event ranking.

    How to Register for 2017 WSC

    CLICK HERE for Registration Page

    Match entry fees are $395 for Professionals, $325 for Amateurs and Juniors. All firearms and ammunition are provided, and entry fees include one awards banquet ticket. For more information, visit WSC.NRA.org, call the WSC Coordinator at 703-267-1479, or email NRAhighpower@nrahq.org. On the official WSC.NRA.org you’ll find descriptions fo the 12 WSC stages. In addition, there is information about Peacemaker National Training Center and nearby lodging options.

    World Shooting Championship Bruce Piatt Multi-Gun Peacemaker, Glengary West Virginia

    How to Win the World Shooting Championship

    “The format at the NRA World Shooting Championship is unique in that you don’t know what you have to shoot until you show up, so training for the event is a little difficult. My advice is to pack some good eye and ear protection, bring an open mind, be prepared to listen to the stage descriptions, figure out the best way you can take the guns they provide, and post the best score you can. When the match supplies all the guns and ammo, all you have to do is deal with ‘the performance’. This is the most level playing field in the shooting sports — anyone from around the world can come and play.” — Bruce Piatt, 2015 NRA World Shooting Champion

    World Shooting Championship Bruce Piatt Multi-Gun Peacemaker, Glengary West Virginia

    Competitors can register in one of two divisions: professional and amateur. The pro division is reserved for shooters who possess sponsorships, receive financial support for their competitive shooting or those who have been part of specialized firearms teams. All other shooters register in the amateur division. The playing field is completely level — every competitor uses the same guns, optics and ammunition. No competitors are allowed to bring their own gear, so everyone starts the match on equal footing.

    Permalink Competition, Tactical 1 Comment »
    September 2nd, 2017

    IBS Match Report: 2017 Group Benchrest Nationals in Michigan

    IBS Group Nationals international benchrest shooters 2017 Holton Michigan Powderpuff 6PPC Wayne Campbell Tony Boyer
    The IBS Groups Nationals has a 4-man team competition based on the HV Grand Aggregate results. The 2017 winning team was a “Murderer’s Row” consisting of Wayne Campbell, Billy Stevens, Bart Sauter, and Larry Costa. Each boasts Hall of Fame and/or multiple World Team accomplishments. Hamming it up in the background is HOF shooter Jack Neary.

    2017 IBS Group Benchrest National Championships

    Holton Gun & Bow Club, Holton, Michigan
    August 14-19, 2017

    Report by Jeff Stover, IBS President
    This year the 2017 IBS Group Benchrest Championship was held at the Holton Gun & Bow Club, in Holton, Michigan. This is a pretty facility boasting an impressive firing line with forty (40) concrete benches. Monday morning in western Michigan saw the Heavy Bench (HB) shooters hauling their big railguns to the line. Hall of Fame and multiple World Team shooter Wayne Campbell shot a nice .1858 aggregate for five 10-shot groups. The only other “Teen Agg” was Iowa’s Dave Coots with a .1978. Wayne’s win foretold what was to come the rest of the week.

    IBS Group Nationals international benchrest shooters 2017 Holton Michigan Powderpuff 6PPC Wayne Campbell Tony Boyer

    Wayne Campbell and Jeff Summers Put on a Show
    On Tuesday, the bag guns came out for Light Varmint (LV) and Sporter (SP). Mr. Campbell maintained his mojo, shooting yet another “Teen Agg”. Wayne’s .1788 edged fellow HOF member Larry Costa’s .1854. The Light Varmint 100 was also contested on Tuesday. Peter Smith shot a very fine .1658 to beat out Canadian Bill Mitchell at .1960.

    Wednesday was reserved for Heavy Varmint (HV) at 100 yards. Holton is Bob Scarbrough’s home range, but he can shoot “lights out” anywhere. Nevertheless, his .1518 had to be satisfying. Wayne Campbell, still on fire, laid down a .1694. In third place, Tennessean Jeff Summers posted a .1800. Mr. Summers is always near the top of any benchrest leader board. He is coming off another Super Shoot win. Most of the time Jeff does not win the small group of the day, but he wins many Aggregates. He is one of the most mistake-free shooters in the game.

    IBS Group Nationals international benchrest shooters 2017 Holton Michigan Powderpuff 6PPC Wayne Campbell Tony Boyer
    File photo courtesy Holton Gun & Bow Club

    Benchrest for Group Basics — Four Classes at Nationals
    IBS group competition is contested at 100 and 200 yards. At the National Championships, it takes thirty targets of five shots each and ten targets of 10-shot groups to win a “4 Gun Nationals”. That includes four (4) gun classes: Light Varmint, Heavy Varmint, Sporter, and Unlimited. For all practical purposes, the first three are known as “bag guns” while the heavy bench rifles are “railguns”.

    In fact, most competitors shooting a bag gun opt for a single rifle, which has been benchrest standard for decades: a 10.5-lb rifle chambered in 6PPC. This can compete in three classes: Sporter, Light Varmint, and Heavy Varmint. The fourth class shot at the Nationals is Unlimited (aka Heavy Benchrest or “HB”). This class features the big, heavy railguns — the most sophisticated Benchrest rigs of all which shoot 10-shot groups at 100 and 200 yards.

    For the IBS Nationals, group-shooting competition features 100-yard targets for the first three days followed by three days at 200 yards. Six days total. It is done this way to require only one change of wind flags. Nationals competition requires “full rotation”. That means that every time a shooter goes to the line for the next match target, he or she must move a requisite number of benches to the right. At the end of the day a shooter will shoot across the full width of the line. Some ranges offer unique properties that render some parts of the range harder or easier to shoot small groups. Bench rotation is important to even out those factors.

    Thursday was set for 200 yards. Starting off was Heavy Bench (HB), the big railguns. Upper Midwest shooter, Mark Buettgen shot steadily for a .2406 Agg, aided by a small .378. His largest group was a .527. Consistency wins bench matches. Lee Hachigian drove in from the Detroit area with his railgun to be next to the winner with a .2608.

    On Friday, two Aggs were shot, Light Varmint and Sporter. Larry Costa nearly nicked a Teen Agg to win LV 200 with a .2027. Lurking high in the standings once again was Jeff Summers and his .2352. Wayne Campbell was not asleep. He was merely third at .2480. The Sporter competition was won by the best benchrest shooter of all time, Tony Boyer. Tony shot a .2287 to edge Billy Stevens. Mr. Boyer added another Hall of Fame point. His 170 points are 120 more than the next shooter (Lester Bruno, no slouch!) in the ranking.

    Benchrest legend Tony Boyer added another Hall of Fame point to his amazing total. (File photo from 2016 IBS Group Nationals in Weikert, PA)
    IBS Benchrest Group Nationals Holton Michigan

    The HV guns came out to contest 200 yards on the last day of the Nationals. Jeff Summers worked a .1868 to the winner’s circle. The always tough Larry Costa was close at .1929.

    At the IBS Group Nationals, shooters compete for Grand Aggregate (100+200) honors in four classes: LV, HV, Sporter, and HB. In addition, there are multi-gun titles: 2-Gun (all HV and LV targets in 100 & 200); 3-gun (all HV, LV, SP in 100 & 200), and 4-gun (all HV, LV, SP and Heavy Benchrest in 100 & 200).

    The Grand Aggregate (100+200) winners were:
    Heavy Varmint: Bob Scarbrough, Jr. (.1824)
    Light Varmint: Jeff Summers (.2313)
    Sporter: Wayne Campbell (.2119)
    Heavy Bench: Lee Hachigian (.2374)

    IBS Group Nationals international benchrest shooters 2017 Holton Michigan Powderpuff 6PPC Wayne Campbell Tony Boyer

    In the prestigious multi-gun competition, Jeff Summers won the 2-Gun. Wayne Campbell added more HOF points by winning BOTH the 3-Gun AND the 4-Gun. With his impressive 3-Gun and 4-Gun victories, the talented Mr. Campbell claimed the title of Top Overall shooter after six days of trigger-pulling.

    CLICK HERE for FULL IBS GROUP Nationals RESULTS »

    IBS Group Nationals international benchrest shooters 2017 Holton Michigan Powderpuff 6PPC Wayne Campbell Tony Boyer

    2017 IBS Nationals Powderpuff Exhibition Shoot
    For decades, IBS hosts an exhibition shoot on the afternoon of a day when only one Aggregate is contested instead of two. It is called the Powderpuff and is intended to allow family members and others who do not shoot competitively to give benchrest shooting a try. Each shooter is assisted by a coach who instructs the shooter. World-class shooters such as Billy Stevens and Bob Scarbrough give their time and talents to assist the novice competitors. There is no time limit to rattle the inexperienced shooters.

    IBS Group Nationals international benchrest shooters 2017 Holton Michigan Powderpuff 6PPC Wayne Campbell Tony Boyer
    File Photo from previous Powderpuff Event at 2015 IBS Group Nationals

    The competition is financially supported by the IBS President’s Fund. This year, at Holton in Michigan, we had four youth and 11 adult competitors. Chris Jeffers won the adult category with a nice .204″ group, while Jake Henderson put his five shots into a .244″ to win the youth division. Congratulations to all the Powderpuff competitors — we hope this inspires them to get more involved in Benchrest shooting.

    Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
    September 2nd, 2017

    Fore and Aft Rifle, Rest, and Bag Positioning for Accuracy

    Benchrest stock

    To get the best accuracy out of any benchrest rifle, you need to find the optimal position of front rest and rear bag. The important point to remember 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’).

    Here’s some benchrest advice that can help you reduce vertical and shoot tighter groups… without spending another penny. Many benchrest shooters spend a fortune on equipment and devote countless hours to meticulous handloading, but they never experiment with their rifle’s position/balance on the bags. This article explains why you should test your rifle in various positions. What you learn may surprise you (and improve your scores).

    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.

    front rest Sally benchrest IBS
    This competitor has the front rest positioned fairly far forward but not all the way out. Note the stop on the front rest — this limits forward stock travel.

    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.

    stock position benchrest forearm sandbag front rest
    Fore/aft stock position is important even with very wide fore-ends.

    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.

    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 1 Comment »