Newly-Appointed IBS Executive VP Josh Shrum was IBS 2016 Score Shooting Rookie of the Year.
The International Benchrest Shooters (IBS) organization has appointed Mr. Josh Shrum of Whitney, PA to be its Executive Vice-President (EVP), effective March 1, 2017. Josh will work with the IBS Executive Board to promote the IBS, expand IBS membership, boost match attendance, and grow Benchrest shooting in general.
“With Josh on-board, we will take IBS to new levels to achieve visibility, results and growth that a group of volunteers simply cannot achieve.” said IBS President Jeff Stover. While Josh’s EVP position is part-time, Josh will bring a full-time amount of energy and a passion for Benchrest shooting in all its disciplines. Working under the direction of the President and IBS Board, Josh will complement the existing IBS staff of webmaster Dick Grosbier and recording secretary Joan Borden.
Josh will greatly expand IBS’s association with the AccurateShooter.com website. In recent years, the IBS partnered with this popular precision rifle shooting site which draws over 500,000 unique visitors per month, a very large audience focused on rifle accuracy. “By far, Accurateshooter.com is the world’s largest stage for accuracy shooters. The IBS needs to take full advantage of this opportunity to grow Benchrest.” added Stover.
You can expect to see Josh shooting in all the disciplines: Score, Group, 600 and 1000. In 2016, he was IBS Score Shooting Rookie of the Year and solidified his benchrest shooting bona fides by snagging a 25X 100-yard aggregate in his first full year of shooting.
Josh, just 31 years old, brings a youthful perspective to the IBS. For his “day job”, he manages a 1,600-acre estate owned by the Benedictine monks of St. Vincent College in Latrobe, PA. He holds a degree in History and English from St. Vincent College. “I am excited and looking forward to working to promote the IBS. I already have a list of ideas to present to the Board” Josh said after hearing of his selection.
International Benchrest Shooters (IBS) was formed in 1970 to foster uniform competition to achieve the ultimate accuracy in firearms, ammunition, components, equipment and shooting methods. Benchrest disciplines contested include group and score at 100, 200 and 300 yards. The Long Range program is especially active with competitions at both 600 and 1000 yards. IBS Registered matches are held from Maine to Missouri and from Montana to Georgia.
This is something we really like to see — big-time support for youth marksmanship programs. It’s vital that we get young people involved because they are the future of recreational and competitive shooting. We want to see future generations of Americans enjoy the fun and challenge of shooting just as we do, and as previous generations did.
Over $2 Million Paid to 700+ Teams
The MidwayUSA Foundation recently paid over $2 million to youth shooting teams across the country, wrapping up the December grant cycle. This team grant payout is the largest to date for the MidwayUSA Foundation and 719 youth shooting teams will benefit from these team grant funds.
“We couldn’t be more excited to get these grant dollars from the MidwayUSA Foundation and into the hands of team leaders around the country to benefit their shooting teams. These team grant funds will help them purchase ammunition, pay for entry fees, targets, travel and more. It is our hope that teams will continue to grow their endowment and every grant payout exceeds the previous payout. The more funds teams add to their team endowment, the more they can receive in grant funding,” said MidwayUSA Foundation Executive Director, Randy Moeller.
The Queen Creek 4H Trap Team received a MidwayUSA Foundation Grant
Grants are provided through the Team Endowment Account Program, offered by the MidwayUSA Foundation. Teams with a balance in their Team Endowment Account are eligible to apply for a grant once per year by completing the MidwayUSA Foundation grant application. Grant deadlines are June 15 and December 15 and teams can receive 5% of their account balance to use for shooting team expenses.
The MidwayUSA Foundation is a public 501(c)(3) charity, founded by Larry and Brenda Potterfield, working to sustain the shooting sports industry by providing permanent, long term endowment funding to over 3,000 youth shooting teams. For more information about the MidwayUSA Foundation, Inc. and its Team Endowment Account Program, please visit midwayusafoundation.org or call 1-877-375-4570.
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The Precision Rifle Series (PRS) for tactical bolt guns has become hugely popular. Capitalizing on that success, the PRS has approved a new Gas Gun series for semi-auto rifles such as AR15s and AR10s. Since the launch of the PRS a few seasons back, Gas Gun shooters have wanted to play. Recognizing the interest among semi-auto shooters, the PRS ran two “prototype” Gas Gun matches last year.
PRS Director Shawn Wiseman Explains New Gas Gun Series in this Video:
Based on positive feedback from the 2016 test matches, PRS founders approved a full 2017 Gas Gun series which kicks off this week. The 2017 PRS Gas Gun Series opener will be held February 17-19, 2017 at the CORE Shooting Solutions range in Baker, Florida. Here’s a video showing CORE’s facility:
For the new PRS Gas Gun Series, rules and scoring procedures needed to be developed. Accordingly, a committee of top PRS shooters, Multi-Gun shooters, and Match Directors was assembled to develop the PRS Gas Gun Series Rule Book. Highlights of the Rules are listed below.
SSUSA: What will be the format of the 2017 PRS Gas Gun Series matches?
Wiseman: The matches will be a two day format with 8 to 10 stages per day. No more than 50 percent of the stages can be unlimited round count and 25 percent of the targets must be 2 MOA or smaller. The scoring will be overall time plus penalties with the winner being the shooter with the fastest time including all penalties. There are three Divisions; Tactical Light for 5.56x45mm NATO/.223 Rem. rifles, Tactical Heavy for 7.62x51mm NATO/.308 Win., and Open for everything else up to .30 cal. The maximum distance will be 800 yards.
SSUSA: What guns do you expect to be popular?
Wiseman: In the Open Division, I expect to see a lot of 6.5 Creedmoors for two main reasons; it’s an inherently accurate cartridge and Hornady makes great ammo for the folks that aren’t into reloading. I think the Tactical Light Division will probably be the most popular. It is hard to say specifically what rifles will be the most popular but there are a few AR companies that are known for the accuracy. Armalite, GA Precision, LaRue and Seekins will all be very popular rifles in this Series. I think we will continue to see high-end optics with 5 to 6X zoom range on the rifles. Bushnell, Kahles, Leupold, Nightforce and Vortex will continue to be the most popular.
Scoring and Penalties
The Gas Gun Series utilizes a time plus penalty-based scoring system for all match scoring. This means the score is the shooter’s total combined time on all stages plus any penalties accrued.
Penalties are as follows:
30 seconds for any rifle targets not engaged or neutralized.
15 seconds for any pistol targets not engaged or neutralized.
15 seconds for hitting a “No Shoot” target.
No more than 50% of the stages at a match can utilize an unlimited round count. At least 25% of the targets in Gas Gun Series match must be 2 MOA or smaller. Maximum distance is 800 yards.
Open Division: The Open Division rifles will not exceed a caliber of .30 or a velocity of 3,200 fps. A match DQ will result any rounds over the speed limit of 3,200 fps (+/- 32 fps for environmental factors and equipment discrepancies). Match Officials may request at any point during a match that a competitor fire their rifle through chronograph. If the bullet exceeds the 3,200 fps speed limit, the shooter will receive an automatic match DQ.
Tactical Light Division: Intended to allow competitors the opportunity tocompete using traditional military and law enforcement caliber. This promotes Active Duty military and law enforcement competitors use of their Service and Department-issued rifles. Tactical Light Division rifles are restricted to 5.56 NATO/.223 Remington calibers only. Bullet weight cannot exceed 77 grains and muzzle velocity cannot exceed 3,000 fps.
Tactical Heavy Division: Intended to allow competitors the opportunity to compete using traditional military and law enforcement caliber. This promotes Active Duty military and law enforcement competitors use of their Service and Department issued rifles. Tactical Heavy Division rifles are restricted to 7.62 NATO/.308 Winchester calibers only. Bullet weight cannot exceed 178 grains and muzzle velocity cannot exceed 2,800 fps. No modified wildcat rounds permitted to shoot in the Tactical Divisions Anyone discovered violating this rule will receive an automatic Match DQ. Tactical Division shooters will shoot the exact same COF as Open Division shooters.
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The 2017 Berger Southwest Nationals (SWN) are now history. This was a great match, with extremely close competition, and record-setting scores. For the first few days, conditions were very mild. That allowed the “top guns” to shoot “cleans” and even set a few new National records. In individual competition, there were familiar faces among the Top Ten, but also some rising stars. In the F-Open and Sling team events, two new squads topped some of the experienced “all-star” teams. Overall it was a great match — one of the most tightly contested ever. Even with 400 competitors, everything ran smoothly. For those who attended the 2017 Berger SW Nationals, this has been a truly memorable week at Ben Avery. F-Open and F-TR Final Results Posted HERE.
This is our final Berger SW Nationals video for 2017, with interviews with the three class winners: John Whidden (Sling), David Gosnell (F-Open), Donald Erpenbach (F-TR).
Top Five Competitors in Each Class
John Whidden, 1248-84X
Adrian Harris, 1243-74X
Allen Thomas, 1242-65X
Justin Skaret, 1242-59X
Erik Rhode, 1241-59X
David Gosnell, 1247-84X
Jay Christopherson, 1246-74X
Keith Glasscock, 1245-79X
Pat Scully, 1243-71X
Dan Bramley, 1243-70X
Donald Erpenbach, 1230-53X
James Crofts, 1225-43X
Alan Barnhart, 1224-32X
Ian Klemm, 1222-55X
Bryan Litz, 1222-49X
Bryan Litz congratulates Sling winner John Whidden. John is reigning National Long Range Rifle Champion.
Below are SWN F-Open Champion David Gosnell (left) and F-TR Winner Donald Erpenbach (right).
Record-Setting Performances in 2017
This year Ben Avery conditions were very good — calm mornings, and little wind in the afternoons for the first three days. With the very calm Day 1-3 conditions, we witnessed some spectacular individual and team performances. Lester Bruno shot a brilliant 200-23X at 600 Yards, setting a new National record. Ian Klemm set a new 60-shot, 600-yard National record of 599-38X. The Cluster Ducks set a new National F-Open Team Record for 800/900/1000 yards with their 1789-100X Score. And the talented North-by-Southwest F-TR squad set both a National Record and an overall SWN match record.
The North-by-Southwest team won the 2017 SWN F-TR team event in fine fashion, setting new National and range records in the process.
And here is Team Longshots, winner of the F-Open Team Title. Individual F-Open Champ David Gosnell is at far right. The winning Sling Team was Scotland Thistle.
Forum Admin Finishes a Very Close Second in F-Open
Hats off to AccurateShooter.com’s very own Systems Admin, Jay Christopherson. A talented tech expert, Jay runs our web servers and manages our Forum software. His skills and dedication keep the Forum running smoothly, even as we approach 35,000 members. Jay shot a brilliant match at Ben Avery this week, finishing second in F-Open, just one point behind F-Open winner David Gosnell. We’re proud of Jay, and we want to recognize his achievement. It’s interesting to note that Jay shot the entire match with the new SEB Mini rest, and he was using a Vortex 15-60x52mm Golden Eagle scope. Here’s a short video of Jay shooting his .284 Win rifle on Saturday.
The show’s over — it’s time to pack up the gear and head on home. We’re already looking forward to the 2018 Berger SWN. See you next year!
Big News for Berger Bullets
Big news in the Industry is that Berger Bullets is becoming part of the Nammo Group, parent of Lapua, Vihtavuori, SK and other companies. This major acquisition will combine Nammo’s resources and advanced engineering with Berger’s match-winning bullet designs and strong focus on competition. Yes, you can expect to see factory-loaded ammunition with Berger projectiles and premium Lapua brass. To learn more about the big Berger/Nammo deal, watch this interview with Berger President Erik Stecker.
Eric Stecker, Berger’s President, says the exact timing of the move has not yet been set, nor has the location been chosen. Arizona is high on the list of potential sites, but Berger is considering other states as well. Once the new factory location is determined, Eric says he expects the move to be completed “by December 2018 at the latest”.
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We saw a change in weather on Saturday. It dawned warm and relatively calm, but the winds picked up in the afternoon as clouds rolled in. There wasn’t any rain though, and for shooters who were sunburned after many days in the Arizona sunshine, the overcast was a bit of a relief. On Saturday, Ben Avery hosted both individual and team matches. All three classes (Sling, F-Open, F-TR) shot two 1000-yard individual matches. This was followed by 4-person Team Matches at 1K. Here are the top five performers in Saturday’s individual matches:
Top Five Competitors in Each Class
Kevan Hoffarth (P), 400-19X
Jerry Iliff (A), 400-18X
John Whidden (A), 399-23X
Peter Church (A), 399-22X
Gary Rasmussen (A), 399-16X
Dan Bramley, 399-28X
Robert Hoppe, 399-27X
Pat Scully, 399-24X
Erik Cortina, 399-22X
John Meyers, 399-20X
Ian Klemm, 394-16X
Bryan Litz, 393-16X
Nancy Tompkins, 392-19X
Peter Ricci 392-13X
Alan Barnhart, 392-9X
In a great individual performance, Kevan Hoffarth, shooting a Palma Rifle, shot clean to beat ALL sling shooters, including those in the “Any Rifle” sub-class. In fact, “Any” shooters took the next four sling places. In the F-Open Division, it was a very tight race, decided by X-Count for the top five places, with Dan Bramley edging Robert Hoppe for the win by one X.
Watch Highlights of Day 4 at the Berger SW Nationals:
What the Berger SW Nationals is All About
When folks usually talk about shooting matches they focus on the obvious — scores and hardware. But the Berger Southwest Nationals (SWN) is about much more than putting holes in paper with bangsticks. We’d say this match has become so popular (with 400 entrants) because it offers the whole experience — fun, challenge, a warm-weather escape, and above all, camaraderie.
Some shooters come to Ben Avery for the swag (the prize table is amazing). Others come for the sunshine (think warm 75-85° weather). And even more folks come to try out their shiny new toys and to test their skills against the nation’s best shooters.
But we’d say the number one reason most folks make the pilgrimage to Ben Avery every year is the camaraderie — the chance to connect with friends, rekindling connections that may go back decades. Fundamentally, then, the Berger SWN is about the people. For this Editor, the chance to meet good friends such as John Whidden, Gary Eliseo, Doan Trevor, Nancy Tompkins, Anette Wachter, Shiraz Balolia, Adam Braverman, Jay Christopherson, Erik Cortina, Scott Harris, and so many others, gives me plenty of motivation to make the 7-hour drive from California.
For many of us, this is the only time of the year when we get a chance to meet fellow shooters from distant corners of the USA. And where else will you find a past NRA President (John Sigler) on the firing line, and have a chance to chat with him during a lunch break. The SWN is very special.
The Brain Trust — Experts Galore
The best minds of the shooting world come to Ben Avery every year. Got a question about ballistics? Well, Ballistics Guru Bryan Litz will be happy to answer your questions between relays. Want some expert advice about wind reading? Seek out Mid Tompkins (usually found hanging around the club-house) or Emil Praslick, one of the most knowledgeable wind coaches on the planet (Emil was shooting and coaching this year). And if you have a gunsmithing question, you’ll find some of the top barrel-fitters and stock makers, including Doan Trevor and Gary Eliseo.
Emil Praslick III heading out to the firing line…
Tubegun Chassis-Maker Gary Eliseo was at the match
Compete against the Best
If you want to test your mettle against some of the best shooters in the world, get yourself to Ben Avery in February. Here you can compete, shoulder to shoulder, against the best Sling and F-Class shooters on the planet. Guys like John Whidden (reigning Long Range National Champion) and Kenny Adams (reigning World F-Open Class Champion). If you want to play with the “Big Boys”, Ben Avery is the place. Having said that, novice shooters will enjoy the experience as well, because you’ll find that these top shooters are (almost universally) happy to share their knowledge.
Learn from Top Talents
If you want to improve your game, this is the place. Walk down the firing line and you’ll stand shoulder to shoulder with many national champions. There is no question that you can improve your techniques by watching top shooters, and you can get ideas about hardware by looking at the rigs campaigned by the best. Where else will you find a half-dozen national F-Class champs seated around a table. Or an 11-time National High Power Champion (David Tubb), hanging out at the Lapua trailer in the parking lot.
2015 F-TR National Mid-Range and Long-Range Champion Bryan Litz helps a Junior shooter
Mid Tompkins at Shooters’ Clinic
Gun Gear Candy Store
If you are thinking about upgrading your match rifle, you’ll find plenty of inspiration at Ben Avery. On the firing line you’ll fine the newest actions from Barnard, BAT, and Borden, the latest/greatest optics (see Vortex Golden Eagle below), and the newest most advanced stocks. F-TR guys will find a wide variety of exotic bipods plus the latest generation of sandwich-construction bipod “mats”. (NOTE: These are becoming rigid, elevated platforms with low-friction tops — will the rules be tightened?).
Warm Arizona Weather
When we arrived in Phoenix on Tuesday it was a relatively mild 76°. By Friday it had warmed to a balmy 84°. We didn’t hear any complaints from the Canadians who fled ice and snow to shoot the match. Even while California was getting soaked with rain it was sunny and warm in Arizona. And you can even have a balloon ride right over the Ben Avery range.
Enjoy a Desert Escape
The Ben Avery Shooting Facility is located in a scenic corner of Arizona, north of Phoenix. Get here early in the morning and watch the balloons take off. Head northwest and you can visit the historic town of Prescott. Two hours north is Sedona, famed for its stunning Red Rock scenery. A few hours south you can visit Tombstone and the OK Corral. There’s a lot to see and do in the Phoenix area that makes the trip worthwhile in addition to the gun fun at the range.
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Thursday was TEAM DAY at the Berger Southwest Nationals (SWN). In the Sling, F-TR, and F-Open classes, dozens of 4-person teams shot under coaches at 800, 900, and 1000 yards. The key difference between the team game and individual competition is that (for the most part) shooters function as trigger pullers only. Wind and elevation calls are typically made by the coaches, who sometimes even dial clicks for the shooters. In the above photo Bryan Litz is just about to click his shooter’s elevation turret.
This year the Scottish Thistle Team won the Sling division, lead by a strong 449-27X performance by Angus McLeod. The Hayes Rays of Sunshine Team finished second, six points back. In the highly competitive F-TR class, North by Southwest took the team title, with Da Bulls in second.
In the F-Open class, the Cluster Ducks (clever name) took the win, edging out second place The Longshots by a single point. Third in F-Open was Tex-Mex #1. Kudos to AccurateShooter’s own Jay Christopherson, our site systems manager, who lead 4th Place Team Lapua/Brux with a strong 448-25X. Jay keeps our servers running smoothly — and he’s a great shooter in his own right.
Here’s Team Krieger (foreground) getting ready on the 1000-yard line.
Anette Wachter (in chair) shot a 450-36X in the Team Match — not dropping a single point. Outstanding!
TEAM EVENT TOP THREE in SLING, F-OPEN, and F-TR
1st Place — Scotland Thistle 1786-100X
Angus McLeod, 449-29X
Sandy Walker, 447-27X
Ian Shaw, 445-24X
Michael Barlow, 445-21X
2nd Place — Hayes Rays of Sunshine 1780-97X
3rd Place — Sabine 1775-88X
NOTABLES: Annette Wachter, 450-36X (4th Place Team High)
1st Place — The Cluster Ducks 1789-100X
James Laney, 450-27X
Kevin Shepherd, 448-24X
Norman Harrold, 448-21X
Joe Meyer, 443-28X
2nd Place — The Longshots 1788-103X
3rd Place — Tex-Mex #1 1781-93X
NOTABLES: Jay Christopherson, 448-25X (4th Place Team High)
1st Place — North by Southwest 1773-74X
Daniel Lentz, 445-22X
Ian Klemm, 445-17X
Daniel Pohlabel, 443-18X
Ken Klemm, 440-17X
2nd Place — Da Bulls 1770-81X
3rd Place — Michigan F-TR Team 1764-85X
NOTABLES: Mike Plunkett 447-16X (4th Place Team High)
NEW F-OPEN TEAM Record: The Cluster Ducks set a new National Team Record for 800/900/1000 yards with their 1789-100X Score. In fact, the second-place Longshots also broke the previous 1786-104X record, set by Team Grizzly in 2014. Because the Cluster Ducks edged The Longshots by one point the Ducks will go down in the record books. But both teams can rightfully say they broke the then-current 1786-point F-Open record. Well done shooters!
Team Thunder-Struck from the Land Down Under brought along an inflatable mascot.
GUNS and GEAR HIGHLIGHTS
Interesting Competition Hardware at Ben Avery
Eliseo F-Class Chassis with Two-Piece Barrel Block
Christine Harris was shooting a new prototype Eliseo F-Class stock with a two-part barrel block. This is similar to the Eliseo F1 stock but the bolt-together barrel block allows easier exchange of barreled actions.
Stunning F-Open Rig from Cerus Rifleworks Cerus Rifleworks showed us a jaw-dropping new F-Open rifle. This is an amazing combination of beauty and advanced performance. The CNC-milled stock is stiff and straight, with tolerances that put most wood stocks to shame.
A Lady Soldier’s Coat and Rifle
This Monard shooting coat belongs to SSG Amanda Elsenboss, a shooter with the USAMU Team. The rifle features a Barnard action in what appears to be a classic Robertston Composites H&H-style prone stock. Nice hardware for a talented lady soldier.
Pair of ‘Pods
We saw many SEB Joy-Pods on the front end of F-TR rifles. These light-weight bipods offer quick and easy aiming via a joystick-controlled coaxial head. The large flat feet allow the rifle to move back smoothly on recoil, and then slide right back on target.
Gear-Hauler for Many Seasons
This cart has seen countless matches over the years. Those stickers are markers in time, recording decades of shooting matches in many venues. How many stickers can you identify?
Distinguished Rifleman’s Spotting Scope
The stories this old spotting scope could tell — how many targets has it seen over the years? The most important sticker, “Distinguished Rifleman”, bears witness to its owner’s skill and commitment to the sport.
Nightforce Optics Competition Scopes
Nightforce, a major sponsor of the Berger SW Nationals, had a variety of scopes mounted on viewing rigs. You could quickly compare one scope vs. another. We’d like to see more optics makers demo their scopes at major matches.
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The competition phase of the Berger SW Nationals kicked off today with a 600-yard match for Palma, F-TR, and F-Open rifles. Today’s star was Lester Bruno, who drilled a 200-23X with a 6mm BRX F-Open rifle he built himself. This rifle features a BAT Action, Krieger barrel, and presentation-grade Bastogne Walnut stock. Loaded with Berger 105gr Hybrids, Varget Powder, and Federal 205m Primers, this rifle absolutely hammered at Ben Avery on Wednesday — Lester put 23 shots in a row in the half-MOA X-Ring at 600 yards. Under NRA rules, if you shoot all Xs through the designated string of fire (here 20 shots), you are allowed to keep shooting until one shot falls outside the X-Ring. Lester drilled three extra Xs after shooting all Xs for his designated 20-shot string.
Lester Bruno Sets Pending National 600-yard Record with 200-23X in F-Open Division
Lester was excited to set a pending National record, breaking the previous 600-yard record by one X: “Conditions were in my favor, and it was a lot of fun.” However, Lester revealed the record string was nerve-wracking: “I was nervous after I shot 20 and they told me I could keep shooting to try to break the record. I had no knowledge I was able to do that.” Lester took his time, watched the conditions, and shot carefully: “I held off probably at least half of my shots but never held out of the X-Ring. It depended on the condition. A left to right condition was pushing the bullet down so I was holding a little high but when it went right to left I held a little low. I was very patient.”
Lester was all smiles after his 200-23X performance this morning. He told us: “This will be my first record in this discipline though I’ve set records in short-range benchrest.” (Lester is a member of the Benchrest Hall of Fame).
How’d You Like a Rifle That Can Shoot 200-23X
NOTE: If you want a rifle that shoots like this, you may be lucky. Lester says this is a working prototype of a new line of match rifles he’ll be offering for sale through Bruno’s Shooter Supply. These will be high-end rifles for guys who want the very best. The Bastogne wood for Lester’s own gun cost over $1500.00 (that’s just for the blank), but it’s a beauty.
Calm Conditions — But You Needed to Watch the Mirage
Conditions were very good most of the day, with very little wind. However, there WERE subtle directional changes you need to monitor. Bryan Litz, who won both mid-range and long-range F-TR National Championships here at Ben Avery in 2015, said that he did have to hold one side or the other though the wind was very calm. With the mirage roiling and distorting the view through his scope, Bryan said the Bullseye looked like a Medusa head rather than a concentric circle.
F-TR competitor Ian Klemm also had a Mid-Range match for the ages, dropping just one point for the whole day, to finish at 599-38X, and win the F-TR class. We’re told this 599-38X was also a new National F-TR record. Ian was shooting a new McMillan XiT stock.
Here are the Top Five Competitors for Each Divsion:
Allen Thomas, 600-40X
Benjamin Lucchesi, 600-37X
Erik Rhode, 599-49X
Anette Wachter, 599-45X
Trudie Fay, 599-39X
Dwayne Draggoo, 600-44X
Danny Biggs, 600-43X
Dan Bramley, 600-35X
Todd Hendricks, 600-34X
Don Nagel, 599-37X
Ian Klemm, 599-38X (New Record)
Phil Kelley, 599-32X
James Crofts, 598-41X
John Moreali, 598-28X
Bryan Litz, 597-33X
Note: Results are prelminary, subject to final tabulation.
Watch Highlights from the SWN Mid-Range Match:
Ben Avery Bling — Stunning Paint Job and New SEB Mini
Jay Christopherson, AccurateShooter’s Systems Manager, had a stunning metallic flame paint job on his F-Open rifle. Up front, that beautiful stock is resting on the new SEB Mini coaxial pedestal rest. This looked very stable and Jay said the joystick works perfect. Jay is very impressed with this new coaxial front rest. We expect to see more Minis on the line in future F-Open matches.
Sling Shooters in Palma Division
There were many Eliseo tubeguns in the hands of the sling shooters. For the Palma division, the cartridge of choice is the .308 Winchester. This old cartridge is still capable of extreme accuracy. Never underestimate a skilled sling shooter with a good Palma rifle.
Wickenburg High School Rifle Team
While most of the competitors at this match shooters were middle-aged or older, it was nice to see a youth contingent from Wickenburg High School in Arizona. These young folks shot well — Ben Avery is their “home range”, so they felt confident with the conditions.
Disaster Averted by British Ingenuity
British competitor Tom Rylands had his rear sight break during the middle of a string. Undaunted, Tom secured the sight with some electrical tape and finished the string with a good score. We applaud Tom’s “never say die” attitude. Have tape, will travel…
Ladies Love Ben Avery…
The T-Shirt says it all — there were many female competitors at the mid-range match, including some “all-girl” teams. There were some great lady shooters competing on Wednesday, including Nancy Tompkins and Trudie Fay.
First Lady of Shooting — Nancy Tompkins
It was great to see Nancy Tompkins on the firing line. A strong argument can be made that Nancy is the greatest female long-range competitive shooter in the history of the sport. We chatted with Nancy between relays. She revealed she had not shot sling “in quite a while” so she need to readjust some items on her gun. So… even the great ones need to tweak their gear now and then.
The True Spirit of Competition
The team at the Berger SW Nationals encourages all participants, even those with disabilities. Here competitor Bob Depp shoots from a bench because he cannot hold his rifle normally, due to injuries sustained while serving as a U.S. Marine Corps Scout Sniper in Vietnam. It’s all about participating.
The Smell of Victory…
With the wind flags hanging straight down most of the day, perhaps the best wind indicator of all was the smoke coming from the Barbeque pit. You have to love the Berger SW Nationals at Ben Avery — where else can you get delicious, hot BBQ on the 600-yard line?
Long-Range Matches Run Thursday through Sunday
All the relays Wednesday were held at 600 yards. Starting Thursday, the shooters will compete at 800, 900, and 1000 yards. If conditions hold similar to today (with very little wind), we could see some impressive performances at the longer yardages. But as with any shooting venue, things can change quickly at Ben Avery. We’ve seen morning calms followed by afternoon gales. Good luck to all the competitors.
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The Berger Southwest Nationals (SWN) kicked off with a two-day shooting clinic held Monday and Tuesday, February 6-7, 2017. Competition at the Ben Avery range begins with a 600-yard Mid-Range Match on Wednesday, followed by long-range matches Thursday through Sunday. Three classes of competitors will be on the firing line: Palma (.308 Win sling), F-TR, and F-Open. This is one of the most popular matches of the year, drawing competitors from around the nation (and a few foreign countries).
The Berger SW Nationals event has become the premier long-range match of the year in the Western United States. This prestigious rifle competition, hosted at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility, outside Phoenix, Arizona, draws the nation’s top F-Class and sling shooters. Over 360 shooters have already registered for the SWN.
2017 Berger Southwest Nationals Schedule of Events
Monday, 6 – Tuesday, 7 February 2017, 9:00 AM
Shooting Clinic: Two-Day clinic includes instruction in both classroom and live fire settings. Instruction will start at 9:00 AM.
Wednesday, 8 February 2017, 9:00 AM
Mid-Range Match – Three, 20-shot matches at 600 yards.
Divisions: Palma, Any Rifle/Any Sight, F-Open, F-TR
Thursday, 9 February 2017, 9:00 AM
4-Man Palma Team Match – 15 shots for record at 800, 900 and 1000 yards.
Divisions: Palma, F-Open, F-TR
Practice available to those not shooting with a team.
Friday, 10 February 2017, 8:30 AM – Start of Grand Agg
Individual Palma Match – 15 shots for record at 800, 900 and 1000 yards.
Divisions: Palma, F-Open, F-TR
Swap Meet – after conclusion of fire at 1000-yard line.
Saturday, 11 February 2017, 8:30 AM
Individual 1000-Yard Matches – Two 20 shots matches at 1000 yards. Any Rifle-Iron Sight (Any sight for F-Class shooters). (Divisions – Palma, Any Rifle-Iron Sight, F-Open, F-TR)
4 Man Team Match – 20 shots at 1000 yards. Any Rifle-Iron Sight (Any sight for F-Class shooters). (Divisions – Palma, Any Rifle-Iron Sight, F-Open, F-TR)
Banquet Dinner – Approximately 5:00 pm at Indoor Range.
Sunday, 12 February 2017, 8:30 AM
Individual 1000-Yard Matches – Two 20 shots matches at 1000 yards. Any Rifle-Any Sight (Any sight for F-Class shooters). (Divisions – Palma, Any Rifle-Any Sight, F-Open, F-TR)
Awards Ceremony at the Indoor Range.
To help you prepare for the Berger SW Nationals, here are some competition tips from Bryan Litz. Bryan knows the Ben Avery range well. He won the Mid-Range and Long-Range F-TR National Championships there in 2015. And twice he has won the sling division at the Southwest Nationals. Here are wise words from Bryan:
Competition TIP ONE. Improving your scores in long range competition is a constant process of self-assessment. After each match, carefully analyze how you lost points and make a plan to improve. Beginning shooters will lose a lot of points to fundamental things like sight alignment and trigger control. Veteran shooters will lose far fewer points to a smaller list of mistakes. At every step along the way, always ask yourself why you’re losing points and address the issues. Sometimes the weak links that you need to work on aren’t your favorite thing to do, and success will take work in these areas as well.
Competition TIP TWO. Select your wind shooting strategy carefully. For beginners and veterans, most points are typically lost to wind. Successful shooters put a lot of thought into their approach to wind shooting. Sometimes it’s best to shoot fast and minimize the changes you’ll have to navigate. Other times it’s best to wait out a condition which may take several minutes. Develop a comfortable rest position so you have an easier time waiting when you should be waiting.
Competition TIP THREE. Actively avoid major train wrecks. Sounds obvious but it happens a lot. Select equipment that is reliable, get comfortable with it and have back-ups for important things. Don’t load on the verge of max pressure, don’t go to an important match with a barrel that’s near shot out, physically check tightness of all important screws prior to shooting each string. Observe what train wrecks you and others experience, and put measures in place to avoid them.
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Forum member Bill Goad’s 6XC II Hunter Rests in a Whitetail Rack taken this past year.
One of the most popular items in our Shooters’ Forum is the ongoing “Pride and Joy” thread. Since 2009, Forum members have posted photos and descriptions of their most prized rifles. Here are some of the most recent “Pride and Joy” rifles showcased in our Forum. Do you have a gun you’d like to see featured there? Just Register for the Forum and you can add your favorite gun to the list.
TT Freestyle’s Husband and Wife Borden Benchrest Rifles
Here’s a pair of “His and Hers” rigs delivered by Santa in December. Forum member TT Freestyle reports: “After our rookie year in Short Range Benchrest with good used equipment, my wife and I decided we liked it enough to get two new Bordens for Christmas!”
FalconPilot’s Fabulous F-Classer in Shurley Claro Walnut Stock
This beauty belongs to Forum member FalconPilot. He tells us that his “Lastest F-Classer features a Shurley Brothers SOD stock in beautiful Claro Walnut.” Components include Bat M action, Bix-N-Andy trigger, and Nightforce Comp scope. FalconPilot has several barrels for this Open-Class rig, including tubes chambered for .284 Win and 6mm Dasher.
Eric’s Blacktical .308 Win for Precision Rifle Series
Forum member Eric32 spent months building out this rifle, “getting it to work just right for PRS”. Designed for practical/tactical matches, this rugged rig features a blue-printed Rem 700 action (with 1.5-lb 40X trigger) in an XLR Element chassis. On the end of the .308 Bartlein 5R barrel is a JP brake. Other components include: PiG skins barricade grips, Atlas Bipod, and GGG bungee sling. On top is a SWFA HD 5-20x50mm optic with Vortex scope level and custom throw-lever.
Forum member Willow reports: “Here is my new F-Open gun. It features a hydro-dipped LowBoy stock and LH Barnard Model P action with ‘V’ bedding block. The barrel is a straight profile 32″, 1:8.5″ twist Bartlein 5R, chambered in 280AI by Matt Paroz”. On top is a Vortex 10-60x52mm Golden Eagle in a Spuhr 3001 mount. Willow says his lightning bolt rig is a shooter: “After 42 rounds through the barrel, I’m liking what I am seeing so far”. Check out that trick aluminum base for his rear Edgewood bag.
Stinnett’s 6.4×47 Lapua Tactical Rig
Forum member Stinnett tells us: “This is my third 6.5×47 Lapua rifle — the 6.5×47 is the best cartridge ever! I’m not a huge fan of muzzle brakes. I look at them as tools — use the correct tool for the job. The ’47 doesn’t need a brake. .308 Winchester and up need muzzle brakes. For this rifle, I’m going to start out with 123gr Scenars and Reloder 15. I also like to shoot the 123gr SMKs and Varget. The SMKs are much less seating-depth sensitive. Very easy to find a load! Also gonna try the Berger 130 Hybrids and H4350.”
Components: McMillan A5 adjustable stock in GAP Camo, Stiller TAC 30 A/W action, Jewell HVR trigger, Badger bottom metal and DBM, Atlas Bipod, Nightforce NXS F1 3.5-15×50 with MLR 2.0 reticle. Metal has been Cerakoted graphite black.
6mm BRX Benchgun with Home-Made Cherry/Redheart Stock
You have to give credit to a guy who crafts his own custom wood stock. This 6mm BRX benchgun features a custom-built laminated stock featuring Cherry wood with vivid Redheart pieces on the sides and Redwood Burl on the buttplate. The front of the stock is 4″ wide. The action is a Benchrest Borden RBLP Right Eject unit, with custom titanium scope rings on top. Owner Erick C. is proud of this stock, saying it is “the best one I’ve built so far”. We agree it’s a beauty.
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This year, the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) will offer a new Range Officer Training Program. This comprehensive training program will train and certify Range Officers for the CMP phases of the National Matches, CMP Travel (Regional) Games competitions, and CMP 3-position air rifle championships. The first objective of the new program is to train volunteers to serve as Range Officers in the 2017 National Matches. The course fee will be waived for National Matches volunteers.
CMP Chief Operating Officer Mark Johnson explained: “Knowledgeable, fair, effective Range Officers are absolutely essential… The CMP recognizes that the best way to make sure it has excellent Range Officers for its competitions is to train them.”
The CMP held the first-ever New England CMP Games event in 2016.
Range Officer Volunteers will be enrolled in Level I training to be completed in the first months of 2017. Level II courses will be available prior to the start of the National Matches. If you have questions about the RO Training Program, email the CMP Competition Department: competitions [at] thecmp.org.
Level I Range Officer Training
Level I Range Officer instruction covers general topics common to all Range Officer work. Enrollees will receive a Range Officer Handbook titled Becoming a Range Officer and be able to complete an online training course. Enrollees who complete Level I training will receive a certification and CMP Range Officer Vest and be eligible to attend Level II training.
Levels II and III Range Officer Training
Level II courses are discipline-specific, 1-day, in-person sessions taught by CMP-appointed instructors. Level II RO instruction will be offered for four shooting disciplines: 1) Highpower Rifle; 2) Bulls-Eye Pistol; 3) Rimfire Sporter; and 4) 3-Position Air Rifle. The highest Level III certification will be issued after Range Officers who complete Level II training serve as Range Officers in CMP competitions under the supervision of a CMP Master Range Officer. CMP Master Range Officers will conduct/supervise the training of Level II and Level III students. The first Level II courses should begin in March or April.
CMP Rimfire Sporter Competition Level II Training will be offered for this and other specific disciplines.
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A new .22 LR rimfire shooting discipline has been developed, copying the PRS series. Call it “PRS Lite” — a practical-style match shot with .22 LR bolt-action and self-loading rimfire rifles. This series will be called the Practical Rimfire Challenge (PRC) with ELEY as Title Sponsor. The first three matches will be held at the Peacemaker National Training Center in Glengary, West Virginia. Match Dates are March 25, May 13, and September 30, 2017.
PRC Matches Will Feature Multiple Positions and Movement
ELEY Practical Rimfire Challenge series matches are positional shooting events in field conditions out to 300 yards. You can use either a bolt-action or semi-auto .22 LR rimfire rifle. Much like PRS (Precision Rifle Series), competitors will shoot from a variety of positions: prone, strong/weak shoulders, standing, sitting, and kneeling. There will be shots from barricades, and movement from position to position during stages.
PRC rules will, to a large degree, mirror PRS rules. However, shooters will see some different type of stages than what is normally seen at a PRS match. For example, there may be unsupported standing or unsupported kneeling shots in some stages. Peacemaker’s goal, along with ELEY, is not to replicate PRS in Rimfire, but rather to create the ultimate challenge for shooters on the rimfire rifle platform.
Cole McCulloch, owner of Peacemaker, says that the PRC should appeal to a wide variety of shooters: “We expect to see recreational, action, Olympic, NRA and PRS shooters all competing and having fun”. McCulloch also expects rapid evolution in the equipment: “I fully anticipate a Space Race for this sport. Meaning, we already know that the ammunition coming out from ELEY is fully capable of hitting small targets out to 300 yards. What will be fun to watch is the different types of rifles and optics the shooters choose to use. Some examples of this will be: Bolt or semi, heavy or ultra-light weight, MILS or MOA, 10 power or 30 power. The debate will rage and the rifle platform approaches will vary greatly.”
Rimfire Tactical Matches Aren’t Really New
We’re pleased to see this new PRC shooting discipline — it sounds like fun. However, the concept of a rimfire tactical/practical match is not new — at least on the West Coast. California shooting clubs have been running “Rimfire Tactical” matches for a nearly a decade already. CLICK HERE to read our comprehensive Rimfire Tactical report from way back in 2008. This article includes free targets, ballistics charts, and a complete run-down on suitable rimfire rifles.
The Concept Behind the Rimfire Tactical Match by Bill Erwin
Many guys who shoot long-range tactical matches practice with .22 LR rifles of similar configuration. Rimfire ammo is way more affordable than centerfire, you do not need a big range facility, and shooting rimfire saves wear and tear on your centerfire rifle. Further, for learning how to read the wind, there really is no better training tool than a 22 LR, even as close as 50 yards. Check out this table showing how a .22 LR ballistics compare to .308 Win:
22 LR vs. .308, Distances for Equal 10 MPH Wind Drift
This table shows the corresponding distances at which a 10 mph full-value crosswind pushes a .22 LR bullet and .308 projectile the same amount. Values are based on 0.130 BC for a 40gr .22 LR bullet, and 0.496 BC for 175gr .308 bullet.
22 LR 40gr 1050 fps
50 yd Wind 1.0″
75 yd Wind 2.2″
100 yd Wind 3.8″
125 yd Wind 5.8″
150 yd Wind 8.2″
175 yd Wind 11.0″
200 yd Wind 14.3″
.308 Win 175gr 2650 fps
130 yd Wind 1.07″
180 yd Wind 2.15″
230 yd Wind 3.68″
280 yd Wind 5.63″
330 yd Wind 7.98″
380 yd Wind 10.71″
440 yd Wind 14.56″
This table shows how the .22 LR can be an effective substitute for a .308 Win during training. Because the smaller bullet drifts more in the wind, a 22 rimfire shooter will experience roughly the same crosswind effects as if he was shooting a 175gr .308 twice as far out. So, rimfire work can teach you to dope the wind like a .308, but at less than half the distance. Shooting a .22 LR at 100 yards is like shooting a .308 (with 175 SMK) at 230 yards.
Shooting Peacemaker NTC Plate Rack at 100 Yards with Suppressed Rimfire
SPECIAL BONUS–Rimfire Tactical Precision Targets
These FREE targets by DesertFrog are offered in Adobe Acrobat format for easy printing. CLICK HERE to download all six targets as a .ZIP archive.
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One Hundred Men vs. One Hundred Women — get ready for the Battle of the Sexes at the Second Annual Babes with Bullets 3-Gun Challenge. The match takes place May 20th and 21st at the Miculek’s Shootout Range near Shreveport, LA. In this unique match, there will be an equal number of male and female participants, for a total of 200 competitors. The first place in men’s division will be a $2,000 check as will the first place in the ladies division. This match follows an “equal pay” philosophy rarely seen in the shooting sports. The prize tables, valued at over $50,000, will also be divided equally between men and women’s divisions. Each division will also have a junior and senior category.
Match directors state: “Our goal is to have an equal number of female and male participants. All competitors will shoot the same stages of fire, with the Women’s Domain and Men’s Domain scored separately. Equal play, equal pay!” Men’s and Women’s Domains will have separate prize tables with Tactical Optics Division winners guaranteed $2,000 cash OR first pick from the respective prize tables.
Otis Technology Sponsors Event Otis Technology, makers of gun cleaning products, is the presenting sponsor of the BWB 3-Gun Challenge. Otis’s Marketing Manager, Heather Pleskach, notes that “Last year’s inaugural match was a well-organized event that welcomed shooters from all experience levels. We couldn’t be more proud to continue our participation for 2017 and look forward to another successful event.” At this year’s 3-Gun Challenge, Otis Technology will partner up with Thompson Center/Smith & Wesson for an exciting side match at the event. Tracy and Lanny Barnes, former Olympic Biathletes, will be competing in the match on behalf of Otis.
About Babes with Bullets: Since 2004, Babes with Bullets have provided firearms handling and safety training for women. Co-founders Deb Ferns, camp director, and Kay Miculek, head instructor, have led these camps for almost thirteen years. See the 2017 camp schedule at BabeswithBullets.com.
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Our friend Monte Milanuk needed to get in a little practice for the upcoming Berger Southwest Nationals. Monte didn’t let a little white stuff get in the way of his training session at the NCW Gun Club range in East Wenatchee, WA. Monte says: “For all you southerners and snowbirds… this is how the rest of us get ready for the Berger SWN!” Oh man that does look cold…
Monte’s F-TR competition rig features a fully-adjustable McMillan XIT stock resting on a SEB JoyPod up front with an Edgewood bag in the rear. On top is a Nightforce Competition scope. Monte shoots Berger bullets, measuring their velocity with a LabRadar chronograph. The LabRadar sits on a Manfrotto tripod, which can adjust super-low, as you can see. With this set-up, Monte tells us “life is good” — even on a chilly morning in Wenatchee.
We wish Monte (and all competitors) good luck at the Berger SW Nationals. The popular event runs February 6-12, 2017 at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix, AZ. See you on the firing line!
By Gary Anderson, DCM Emeritus
The 2017 CMP competition rules are now approved and posted on the CMP website. The 2017 CMP Highpower Rifle and Pistol Competition Rules and the 2017 CMP Games Rifle and Pistol Competition Rules can be downloaded on the CMP Competition Rules Page.
2017 marks the third consecutive year with major CMP competition rule changes. The 2015 Rules opened Service Pistol shooting to a wider variety of pistols and introduced the popular 22 Rimfire Pistol Distinguished Badge. The 2016 rules authorized limited power optical sights for service and modern military rifles and opened Service Rifle shooting to a wider variety of M16/AR-type rifles.
AR Alternative Rifles Allowed in Highpower Service Rifle Competitions
The 2017 rules authorize residents in states where AR ownership is prohibited to use an Alternative Rifle that is legal in that state. The introduction of an Alternative Rifle rule exemplifies the CMP’s determination to take whatever steps are legally possible to ensure that all competitors in the USA can continue to compete in CMP Highpower Service Rifle competitions.
The new Highpower Alternative Rifle will allow competitors in states where the ownership or possession of M16/AR-type rifles is prohibited to use a rifle that has the same capabilities as an M16/AR-type rifle. Alternative Rifles may be either semi-auto or manually operated and must be chambered for the 5.56 x 45mm NATO cartridge (.223). Optical sights with a manufactured maximum of 4.5X are permitted. These rifles must have a 4.5-pound trigger pull, a maximum barrel length of 20 inches and a fixed sling swivel on their fore-ends. Alternative Rifles may have stocks with the same adjustment capabilities as Service Rifles, that is butt-stock length may be adjustable, but the cheek-piece and butt-plate must be fixed. Stock design and magazine configuration is flexible according to what is permitted in the competitor’s state.
Match Rifles Will Be Allowed in Highpower Matches
The 2017 CMP Rules will also open the door for Match Rifle competitors to shoot in CMP-sanctioned highpower events. Due to the advantages these rifles have (more cartridge options, no trigger limitation, infinite stock adjustments and unlimited optical sight power), competitors with Match Rifles will usually compete in a separate or Open Individual Category, but they will now be welcomed in CMP Highpower Matches. Traditional EIC and National Trophy Match events will still be restricted to Service and Alternative Rifles, but match sponsors can now invite Match Rifle competitors to shoot in CMP-sanctioned events. Except for EIC and National Trophy Matches, which will continue to be no-sighter matches, the 2017 Rules will permit sighters in other matches.
Most Match Rifle competitors have already competed in CMP Matches with Service Rifles and are familiar with CMP requirements that shooters must start rapid-fire series from standing. The CMP regards this requirement to quickly go from standing to sitting or prone and place the natural point of aim on the target as a vital skill that highpower rifle shooters should be able to perform. However, some Match Rifle competitors who have never competed in CMP Matches will find this to be a new … challenge.
New Competition Classification System
The CMP will develop and introduce a new competitor classification system in 2017. The system will be similar to traditional classification systems where competitors are divided into five classes according to current match score averages. CMP classifications will initially be available for use by Highpower and Service Rifle match sponsors. The CMP system will provide for instant, electronic updates of match score data. Match sponsors will be able to confirm competitor classifications through online look-ups.
For those competitors who are over 70 or who have physical impairments, the CMP has lots of experience in making it possible for those competitors to start rapid-fire series in position. Everyone who is able is expected to start rapid-fire from standing, but those who cannot are allowed to start in position. These competitors can win special and class awards as well as CMP Achievement Awards; they just cannot win the match.
Use of Electronic Devices (Airplane Mode OK)
The new rules clarify that the use of “electronic devices such as cell phones, tablets or other hand-held communication devices only to keep time, record shots, or compute sight adjustments” is permitted. However, those devices must not be capable of communicating with other electronic devices (must be placed in airplane mode).
Below are summaries of other rule changes in the 2017 CMP Competition Rules.
There’s a notable quote: “Old Age and Treachery will always beat Youth and Exuberance.” (David Mamet). Well, that’s not always true. Recently a 15-year-old marksman beat the entire field of shooters at the CMP’s Talladega 600 M16 match. Here’s the story of that remarkable win…
Report based on story by Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer
Alabama native Anthony Kissik, one of only two junior competitors in the Talladega 600 M16 EIC Match, was the overall winner with an impressive score of 383-16X. In winning the match, Kissik beat all adult shooters, including many top-flight competitors with decades of experience. With his win, Kissik received his first EIC (Excellence-In-Competition) leg points towards earning his Distinguished Rifleman Badge — a major honor for competitive marksmen.
Last year, Kissik missed the EIC cut mark by only a few points, slipping in his prone rapid stage. It was a mistake he was determined to avoid at the 2016 event. As the 2017 match commenced, Kissik was focused on not making mistakes. “Don’t screw up. Don’t screw up” he told himself. After cleaning the prone slow-fire portion, he felt comfortable with his performance. “And it was good from then on out”.
The M16 EIC Match is fired at the conclusion of the CMP’s Small Arms Firing School, an introductory clinic designed to instruct new and veteran marksmen on rifle safety, fundamentals and techniques. The EIC match gives competitors the chance to earn their first four leg points towards the 30 points needed to earn a revered Distinguished Badge.
From 3P Air Rifle Competition to High Power Rifle at Camp Perry
An Alabama state-level junior champion, Kissik began his shooting career on a sporter 3P air rifle team. He then got started in High Power competition through matches hosted by the Virginia Junior Marksmanship Program. He attended his first High Power match at Fairfax before heading to Quantico in the summertime. Fresh off the air rifle firing line, he had a steep learning curve in the High Power discipline: “When you win in air rifle, it’s fun. In High Power I still have a lot to learn. In order to win in High Power, you have to be very precise.”
Competing at Camp Perry at Age 13
Kissik attended his first National Matches at Camp Perry at age 13, the youngest member of his squad. “Ultimately I want to get to High Master classification, and Distinguished, of course,” he added. As another personal goal, Kissik hopes to someday outshoot his coach, Sam Richardson.
With a new appreciation for High Power, Kissik has worked to hone his skills at CMP’s Talladega Marksmanship Park, which Kissik now calls home: “The [Talladega] facility is great. No pits, you don’t have to walk. It’s one of the most advanced in the country, and I get to call it my home range.”
The Talladega Marksmanship Park boasts Kongsberg electronic targets at 200, 300, and 600 Yards.
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Here’s interesting news from the PRS world — there’s now an official chassis for the Precision Rifle Series. The PRS has chosen the Masterpiece Arms (MPA) Chassis System as the Official 2017 PRS chassis. This recognizes the success many PRS shooters have achieved with MPA Chassis-equipped rigs.
“Our MPA Chassis system has been available to serious shooters for several years now and has been dominating the PRS…” said Phil Cashin, MasterPiece Arms President. “We are honored the Precision Rifle Series has taken notice and chosen MPA as its official chassis.”
MasterPiece Arms now offers the MPA BA Chassis system for the Remington 700 Short and Long, Savage and Howa Short and Long actions, the Badger M2013, Mausingfield, Surgeon 591SA and 1086 LA, Stillers, and Tikka T3 and others. Machined from 6061 aluminum, the ambidextrous MPA BA chassis offers many important features for serious PRS shooters.
MPA Also Produces Production Class Rifle
The Precision Rifle Series has established a price-capped Production Class in an effort to make competition more affordable. Under recently-issued PRS rules, Production Class rifles may cost no more than $2000.00 (not counting optics), and Production Division rifles may not be altered or improved in any way from the original factory configuration.
To fit the new Production Class Rules, MasterPiece Arms (MPA) has developed the new BA Lite PCR Competition Rifle built around a Savage Model 12 short action. Designed specifically for the new PRS Production Class, MPA’s PCR Competition Rifle offers many premium features yet stays under the $2,000 Class limit. The Savage action is upgraded with a Rifle Basix 2-lb trigger, and the adjustable, modular chassis offers a bag rider, barricade stop, and built-in bubble level.
For more information on MasterPiece Arms and its product line of pistols, rifles, carbines and suppressors, visit MasterPieceArms.com.
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A while back our Aussie friend Stuart Elliot of BRT Shooters Supply recently filmed some interesting videos at the QTS range in Brisbane, Australia. Stuart told us: “I was shooting in an Air Gun Benchrest match here in Brisbane, Australia. I finished my target early and was awaiting the cease fire and took a short, slow-motion video of windflag behavior.” You may be surprised by the velocity changes and angle swings that occur, even over a relatively short distance (just 25 meters from bench to target).
Here are windflags in slow motion:
The flags show in the videos are “Aussie Wind Flags”, developed by Stuart Elliot. These are sold in the USA by Butch Lambert, through Shadetree Engineering.
Here is a video in real time:
Stuart says this video may surprise some shooters who don’t use windflags: “Many people say the wind doesn’t matter. Well it sure does — whether for an airgun at 25 meters or a long range centerfire at 1,000.” This video illustrates how much the wind can change direction and velocity even in a small area.
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This article comes from the Sierra Bullets Blog. Visit Sierra’s Blog for a variety of interesting articles about reloading, ballistics, hunting, and competitive shooting.
Shooting F-Class as a Team by Sierra Bullets Product Development Manager Mark Walker
Last [year] I attended the Southwest Nationals for my third straight year. However this was the first year that I had the opportunity to participate in the team shooting events. At the previous matches I was strictly shooting to try and post the best individual scores that I could. This was challenging in its own right and I pushed myself to become a better shooter. During this time I became friends with some other shooters and started to become exposed to the team events. A good friend of mine, Bret Solomon, approached me about shooting with the Spindle Shooters team and I jumped at the chance.
F-Class teams consist of four shooters and a wind coach. As a shooter, you are responsible for the vertical up and down component of each shot. You want to have a rifle that shoots with very little vertical dispersion from shot to shot to give the wind coach as much of the width of the scoring ring to use as possible. The wind coach is responsible for the horizontal component of each shot. The wind will move the bullet from side to side on the target and it is the wind coach’s job to tell the shooter where to aim so each bullet will land in the highest scoring rings in the middle of the target. Everyone has a job and for the team to succeed, everyone must be at the top of their game.
For some people, the stress of having four other people depending on you is a bit daunting. However, that is what makes the team events so fun! Not every string you shoot will be a clean. But there is nothing more exhilarating than when the wind is blowing and you and your coach are having to pick your way through the conditions, and that final shot comes up an X.
Now when I attend matches, I shoot the individual targets to help determine how my rifles are shooting and pick the best one to shoot in the team events. And I have to admit that even my individual scores are improving due to the extra attention that I give the rifles to try and have the best equipment for the team. If you have never tried team shooting, I encourage you to give it a try. At most large matches, there are “pick-up” teams that are looking for shooters. This makes a perfect opportunity to meet new people and get [started]. Once you give it a try, you will be hooked!”
Team Shooters Work Together for a Common Goal.
USA F-TR Team member Matt Schwartzkopf excels at F-TR team shooting despite lacking two lower legs. He works as a range manager at Ben Avery. In recognition of his character and determination, at the 2016 SWN, Matt was awarded one of the first Accurateshooter Corinthian Awards. (2015 Photo.)
Marksman, Sharpshooter, Expert, Master, High Master — how are those classifications set up and how does one move up (or down) from one classification to another? These questions and more are answered by the NRA in a Shooting Sports USA article.
The purpose of the classification system is to allow competitors of the same relative ability to compete on a level playing field. That way relatively new or inexperienced shooters can compete in a class with others of the same skill levels, and be recognized. Likewise, the most skilled or successful shooters compete in the Master and High Master categories. But now and then a Marksman or Sharpshooter can indeed win a match outright or place in the top ten.
How Does a Competitor Receive a Classification?
You begin the classification process by competing in a sanctioned, registered tournament. The match sponsor then sends the scores to the NRA within 30 days. If you are an NRA member, your NRA membership number is your classification ID. Non-NRA members are assigned a classification number.
What are the Standards for Each Classification (Marksman, Sharpshooter etc.)?
Section 19 in each NRA Rule Book covers the classification rules for that discipline. This section includes the course-of-fire used for classification, number of shots required and the percentage for each class. For example, in High Power Rifle competition a minimum of 120 shots is required for the first classification card. The High Power performance-based classification levels are:
Marksman: Below 84 percent
Sharpshooter: 84-88.99 percent
Expert: 89-93.99 percent
Master: 94-96.99 percent
High Master: 97 percent or above
NOTE: After the initial High Power classification, an additional 240 shots will be required to reevaluate a classification — and each time thereafter.
How Long Does the Classfication Card Remain Valid?
A classification card remains valid as long as the competitor competes in an NRA-sanctioned tournament at least once every three years (five years if the competitor holds a Master card). The date on all classification cards is the effective date, not an expiration date. You do NOT have to shoot three matches a year to maintain your classification (a common misconception).
Is an NRA Classification Card Required to Enter a Tournament?
NRA has no such rule, generally speaking. However, some tournament sponsors may require this as part of their local regulations. You may use a Temporary Score Record Book for your first few tournaments while awaiting your classification card. These books are free and are provided either by your tournament sponsor or by the NRA Competitive Shooting Division. Note that until you are classified, you must compete in the master class for your first few tournaments.
NOTE: Some high-level matches do require NRA membership. For example the 2016 NRA National Smallbore Rifle Championships Program stated: “Competitors who do not hold an NRA Official Classification, either in the type of competition being fired, or an Assigned Classification, will not be allowed to enter.”
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Happy New Year to all our readers worldwide, and especially the nearly 34,000 members of our AccurateShooter Forum. We hope 2017 brings you happiness in your lives and success in your endeavors. And we wish for small groups, good scores, and successful hunts in the New Year.
We upgraded our site in the beginning of 2016, making our Forum mobile-friendly with new faster, more modern software. We hope you’ll continue to enjoy our feature articles, our Daily Bulletin, our match reports, and our Free Forum Classifieds. The formula seems to be working — our audience is bigger than ever and it just keeps growing, with over 550,000+ unique users visiting the site every month.
Forum Membership Grows 14% in 2016
Our Shooters’ Forum grew significantly in 2016. Our membership grew by over 14% as Forum ranks swelled to nearly 34,000 members! More people are successfully buying and selling in our FREE Forum Classifieds section than ever before. Remember, user donations help make our Free Classifieds possible.
Join our Shooters’ Forum Community — 34,000 Strong
Site is Modern and Mobile-Friendly!
We need your support. For over 13 years the site has relied largely on volunteer efforts by dedicated shooters. But as the site grows, serving a larger audience, we need the assistance of freelance writers and video producers, plus help from expert computer and software techs. Those guys don’t work for glory alone.
Consider this — what do you pay for a couple of movie tickets these days? Maybe 20 bucks for 90 minutes of escapism. For around two bucks a month ($20-$25 per year) you can help this site provide a YEAR’s worth of info, tests, tech tips, bargains, and shooting news.
In the past quarter of 2016 about 190 site users have donated. We thank all those who have generously contributed. But that still leaves tens of thousands of users who access the site regularly without contributing. With more donations we can deliver more premium content and offer more services to our members.
Here’s our proposal. First, if you have used our FREE Classifieds to successfully sell your rifles or shooting gear, consider sending in $10.00 from your sale proceeds. Second, for those who use the site regularly, consider donating $20 for the year. That will help us sustain our operations, for the cost of couple of movie tickets (or one large pizza).
How to Contribute
Making a donation to the site is simple and easy. Just click on the orange “Donate” button at right. If you have a credit card, you don’t need a Paypal account to contribute. Any sum is welcome — with $20 the average annual donation.
Help Support this Site by Making a Secure Donation.
If you don’t like Paypal, you can send a check. Make the check payable to our “Answerman” Jeff Williams. Please list your Forum Log-In Name (if any), and mail the check to:
P.O. Box 240
Solon Springs, WI 54873
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