November 15th, 2019

PRS 101: Getting Started in Practical/Tactical Competition

65 Guys Ed Mobley Steve Lawrence PRS Precision Rifle Series Competition Tips

Our friends, Ed Mobley and Steve Lawrence, aka the “6.5 Guys”, have written an excellent article on getting started in practical/tactical competition. If you are new to the game, these tips can help you save money, progress faster, and have more fun. Here are article highlights, but we recommend you read the full story, 5 Tips for Attending Your First Precision Rifle Match, on www.65guys.com.

We often meet people who are new to long range precision shooting, and want to improve their knowledge and skill level. However, they aren’t sure if they are ready to sign up to compete in a match. They often ask, “What knowledge or skills are necessary to compete in a match?” Others may state, “I need to purchase this gear or that gear before I can attend a match”. For those guys who have a strong interest in precision rifle shooting, and who wish to chec out a precision rifle match, below are Five Tips to make it a positive experience.

TIP ONE: Make Plans and Commit to Go

First you need to start by finding a match to attend. This may entail a little bit of research and investigative work on your part to find what matches are scheduled in the next few months. We recommend starting with any match that may be within a reasonable driving distance. This may likely be a local “club” match, many of which are held on a regular basis. These make great venues because it will provide an opportunity to meet some of the regular attendees as well as shooters that are from your geographic area. Additionally, most of the smaller matches are a little more relaxed in terms of level of competitiveness.

Once you decide on the match you want to attend, do your homework. This means finding out if you need to pre-register or pre-pay the match fee. Commit to going by registering for the match and putting it on your schedule. Be sure to find other useful information for questions such as:

— What time should I arrive?
— Is there a mandatory safety briefing for new shooters at that venue?
— What is the travel time required to get to the match site?
— How many stages will there be?
— Is there a description of the stages available before the match?
— How many rounds should you bring?
— Are there special equipment requirements? (E.g. do you need chamber flags, is there a pistol stage?)

65 Guys Ed Mobley Steve Lawrence PRS Precision Rifle Series Competition Tips

TIP TWO: Bring What You Have

(Don’t Spend a Fortune at the Start)
Some new shooters often assume they need a custom match rifle or all of the miscellaneous shooting gear associated with long range precision shooting to compete in match. While having a Kestrel weather meter and a high quality laser range finder and other shooting accoutrements are invaluable kit, you will find other shooters at your first match that will provide you with the information and coaching you need to get on target.

In fact, the only gear you really need to bring is a scoped rifle with a bipod and ammo capable of consistently shooting within one MOA. Also, be sure to know the ballistic drops or have a ballistic drop table prepared for your rifle/ammo to dial the correct DOPE on your scope for different target ranges. Many of the other participants at the match will be willing to let you borrow a support bag, bipod, tripod or other gear if you need one — just ask. Don’t use the excuse of not having the right gear to delay getting out to a match!

One reason not to make a big initial investment in a new rifle and assorted gear before competing, is we’ve seen a number of people come into the sport and try it for a year and then make the decision to move on to something else.

TIP THREE: Be Prepared to Learn

As a new shooter at a match, there is no better opportunity to learn. We often look to our local club matches as a group ‘training’ session to prepare for the bigger matches. You will find competitors at all levels of skill and many of your fellow shooters will enthusiastically provide helpful advice once they learn you are new to the sport. Take advantage of the opportunity to ask questions if you would like ideas for how to engage a stage, but also be sure to do more listening than talking as you receive guidance and tips from more experienced competitors.

Watch and observe other shooters and how they approach and ‘game’ a specific stage or course of fire. You’ll begin to recognize which shooting positions work best for different scenarios, and maybe even come up with some new ones that no one has thought of before.

Seeing what the better shooters do is an invaluable instructional tool. You can use your smart phone’s video camera to record other shooters (with their permission). When you’re ready to shoot, ask another shooter to record your performance. Watching yourself will point out needed areas of improvement.

65 Guys Ed Mobley Steve Lawrence PRS Precision Rifle Series Competition Tips

After each match conduct an informal after action review and summarize for yourself the things that went well and what you should continue to do. You should also identify the specific shooting skills you should develop and make a plan to integrate the appropriate practice drills into your practice sessions. Finally, if you maintain a shooter’s data book or journal you’ll want to note things such as:

After Action Review – How you did, what went well, things you need to work on in practice.
Stage Observations – Successful methods used for specific courses of fire. Note barricades, positions used, specific gear used for stages.
Gear Observations – How your rifle/gear performed, what new items you should add to your “buy list”.

TIP FOUR: Be Safe and Have Fun

You’ve all heard a parent or teacher say, “It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye.” The same can be said of the shooting sports. Safe handling of firearms is the number one rule at any match, and comes before the FUN part in terms of importance.

Before all matches start there will always be some form of a mandatory safety briefing. Make sure you know, understand, and follow any unique safety protocols for the match you attend. Some matches require all rifles have chamber flags inserted and are stowed in bags/cases while not on the firing line — other matches may not. If you run afoul of any safety rules, you risk the chance of being disqualified from a stage or worse, the entire match.

65 Guys Ed Mobley Steve Lawrence PRS Precision Rifle Series Competition Tips

The second rule is simply have fun. This starts with having a good attitude throughout the day. Keep in mind that as a new competitor you should think of a match as a solid day of practice and training. If you blow a stage, use it as an opportunity to diagnose what you could have done differently or what you need to improve on — then smile and drive on.

Any day at the range or shooting is a good day. A match is an opportunity to hang out with like-minded people who are passionate about shooting and impacting targets far-far away. Life is great when you are doing what you enjoy!

TIP FIVE: Make Friends

There is no better way to meet lots of precision rifle shooters and make friends than at a match. The people that attend the tactical precision matches on a regular basis are those that have ‘fallen into the deep end of the pool’ and are really into the sport. As a result, they have become part of the local precision shooting community. As you strike up conversations at the match, find out if your new-found friends visit specific forum boards or social media outlets, or if there are other matches they attend.

Precision shooters tend to congregate and share information in different corners of the Internet. It will serve you well to meet some of the guys in person at matches and be able to connect a face to a screen name. As you develop your friendships and develop a level of trust, you will find opportunities become available to shoot with others in your local area, or get ‘read-in’ on a secret honey-hole of a spot to shoot long distance. Additionally, the local shooting community will often find it more convenient to sell or trade gear and equipment locally than deal with buyers/sellers that are out of state.

>> CLICK HERE to READ FULL ARTICLE on 65Guys.com

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November 15th, 2019

Crazy But It Works — Log-Splitter Heavy Gun for IBS Competition

Can you really make a silk purse from a sow’s ear? Would you believe a winning benchrest rifle could be constructed with a stock fashioned from a cast-off log-splitter? Well it can.

Anyone who has attended an IBS benchrest match knows that this brotherhood of shooters includes some “backyard engineers” who can build amazing things with low-cost components. Consider Steve Jordan. He has built a winning Heavy Gun with a gunstock made out of a wood splitter. Check out the photo. The butt section is in the shape of a “V” like an ax. The “V” sits on an adjustable, flat rear sandbag. The flat shaft of the wood-splitter, running horizontally, serves as the main chassis and fore-end. The barrel block sits on top (with the action floated), while the flat, forward section of the shaft rides the front bag. Not only does this “log-splitter” stock work, but Jordan has won IBS matches with it! Sometimes simple and cheap beats expensive and fancy.

Sam Hall Says the Log-Splitter Has Been “Kicking Our Tails”
Sam Hall (multi-time IBS 600-yard champion) reports: “I was not at the first match (years ago) where Steve Jordan debuted his barrel-blocked, Heavy Gun stock made out of a wood splitter. From what I heard he cleaned house with it that day. When I first heard about this log-splitter rig, I thought guys were pulling my leg. But the log-splitter Heavy Gun really exists. In fact, over the past two years at Piedmont, Steve’s home-built log-splitter HG has won numerous Heavy Gun matches, out-performing nearly all the other Heavy Guns on the line, even those that cost thousands more to build.

Steve made the rifle as economical as possible. Steve’s entire stock is made from a metal wood splitter. From what I understand, Ray Lowman gave him the barrel block. This rides on the shaft of the wood splitter. With this inexpensive, simple rig Steve has kicked our tails at times! By the way, Steve’s Heavy Gun is chambered as a 6mm Dasher.”

Accurateshooter.com International Benchrest Shooters

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November 12th, 2019

CMP & NRA 2020 Nat’l Matches at Camp Perry, Camp Atterbury

national matches cmp nra 2020 calendar

Good news — the NRA and the CMP are coordinating the schedules of their respective pistol and rifle National Match and Championship events at Camp Perry (CMP) and Camp Atterbury (NRA) in 2020. This should allow competitors to shoot ALL their favorite events, without conflict. Coordinating CMP/NRA event schedules will also help competitors save on travel time and expense.

CMP’s Programs Chief, Christie Sewell and NRA’s Cole McCulloch, Director of Competitive Shooting, said jointly: “It’s important that competitors of both organizations have the opportunity to shoot matches of their choice without conflicting dates, by event.”

Key 2020 National Matches Dates:
NRA National Matches First Shot Ceremony — July 1, 2020
NRA National Matches Pistol Championships — July 1-5, 2020
CMP National Matches First Shot Ceremony — July 7, 2020
CMP National Matches Pistol Championships — July 7-12, 2020
CMP Smallbore Championships — July 14-22, 2020
CMP High Power Rifle Championships — July 21-31, 2020
CMP National Games Events — July 30 – August 3, 2020
CMP Long Range Matches Camp Perry — August 4-8, 2020
NRA Smallbore Championships — July 23 – August 5, 2020
NRA High Power Rifle Championships — August 9-15, 2020
NRA Mid-Range Rifle Championships — August 16-20, 2020
NRA Long Range Rifle Championships — August 21-25, 2020

national matches cmp nra 2020 calendar

CLICK HERE for Full-Size 2020 Nat’l Match Calendar PDF »

CMP National Matches Program 2020 at Camp Perry
The CMP will open the National Matches at Camp Perry with its First Shot Ceremony and pistol matches on Tuesday, July 7. CMP pistol events will run through Sunday, July 12. CMP Smallbore rifle check-in and practice will commence on Tuesday, July 14 and matches will run for a week with championships and prone awards on Wednesday, July 22. CMP’s Rimfire Sporter Match and CMP Junior Smallbore camp will also be completed during that period.

CMP Cup High Power Rifle matches begin Tuesday, July 21 and will conclude with a CMP Cup awards ceremony on July 23. CMP Rifle Clinics will begin July 24 and conclude July 26. CMP’s National Trophy Rifle Matches will begin July 27 – July 31, with CMP National Games Events July 30 – August 3. CMP Long Range matches open on Tuesday, August 4 and conclude with the CMP Palma Rifle match and Long Range awards on Saturday, August 8. All CMP events will continue to be held at Camp Perry in Port Clinton, Ohio.

NRA National Matches Program 2020 at Camp Atterbury
The NRA Pistol Championships run July 1-5, 2020. NRA Smallbore 3P Rifle begins on Thursday, July 23 and concludes Tuesday, August 4 with a final awards ceremony. NRA High Power Rifle commences on Monday, August 9 and concludes with an awards ceremony on Saturday, August 15. NRA Mid-Range Rifle opens on Sunday, August 16 and closes on Thursday, August 20 with an awards ceremony. NRA Long Range Rifle begins Friday, August 21 and concludes Tuesday, August 25 with the final awards ceremony.

For more information CLICK these links:

CMP National Matches at Camp Perry | NRA National Matches at Camp Atterbury

NRA CMP matches map indiana camp perry atterbury

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November 9th, 2019

Locate Shooting Ranges Nationwide with Website and Apps

WheretoShoot.org

This November, many readers will be traveling nationwide on holiday. It might be fun to visit shooting ranges near your holiday destination(s). Or perhaps you’ve recently relocated and want to join a shooting club near your new residence. Or maybe you’re just looking for a facility close to home that offers instruction or specialized programs for women or juniors. You can quickly find exactly what you want via the WhereToShoot.org website.

A service of the NSSF (Nat’l Shooting Sports Foundation), WhereToShoot.org offers a Searchable Database of pistol, rifle, and shotgun ranges around the country. You can search by state, or select a particular distance from any zip code. The database is very complete. The individual range pages also include web addresses, phone numbers, and map links. The example below shows the results of a search for shooting ranges near Boulder, Colorado:

WheretoShoot.org

Where to Shoot Mobile App

To complement Wheretoshoot.org, the NSSF also offers a Where To Shoot Mobile App. This App quickly locates shooting ranges near you, drawing on North America’s most comprehensive range directory. Users can search by current location, state, or zip code. Once you locate a range, you can view activities offered along with a summary of range facilities. You can even get driving directions.

CLICK HERE for FREE Apple iPhone and iPad App | CLICK HERE for FREE Android App

where to shoot mobile app nssf range locator software

Where to Shoot iOS App for iPad

where to shoot mobile app nssf range locator software

The app is modeled after NSSF’s popular WhereToShoot.org® website and is updated frequently with range information for every U.S. state and Canadian province. Once you’ve located a place to shoot, the App can provide directions to the range. The App also includes video tips for shooters, news, and firearm-safety information.

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November 6th, 2019

Shooting USA Worth Watching This Week — A-Tips Featured

Hornady A-Tip

You may want to tune in to Shooting USA tonight. There are three interesting topics covered in the one-hour cable TV broadcast. Hornady’s A-Tip Bullets are featured in a product spotlight. Next the ultimate speed-shooting contest, the USPSA Steel Challenge, is covered. And for the tactical/PRS crowd, Shooting USA interviews Tom Fuller of Armageddon Gear. The hour-long Shooting USA show runs on the Outdoor Channel Wednesday nights at 9:00 PM Eastern and Pacific time, 8:00 PM Central time.

1. Hornady A-Tip Bullets — Worth the Very High Price?
This week Shooting USA reviews Hornady’s new A-Tip bullets. These A-Tips generated a lot of buzz because of their high price and unusual packaging. These expensive ($75-$85/box) aluminum-tipped projectiles have very consistent bullet BCs according to Hornady. They are sold in sequential order for consistency, and shipped in clear plastic egg-crate style packaging to protect the tips. The jury is still out on these bullets, as we haven’t seen them used much in competition outside the PRS realm. But if you are curious, check out this report.

Hornady A-Tip

Hornady A-Tip

2. Steel Challenge — Fun and Fast Steel Plate Competitions
For fans of steel shooting, Shooting USA will cover the famous Steel Challenge, a speed shooting competition with eight standardized steel plate stages. It’s all about speed — the top guns can nail all five targets in under three seconds. Run by the Steel Challenge Shooting Association (SCSA) a division of the USPSA, the Steel Challenge is fast and exciting. Regional matches are held at affiliated clubs through the USA, with a large annual World Speed Shooting Championships (WSSC) that attracts competitors from around the world. In 2018 and 2019 the WSSC was held in Talladega, Alabama. LEARN MORE HERE

3. Armaggedon Gear — Tactical Accessories
Finally, this week’s Shooting USA episode visits Armageddon Gear in Georgia. This company, founded by former U.S. Army Ranger Tom Fuller, sells support bags, gun cases, slings, suppressor covers, scope covers, and a wide variety of other accessories popular with the PRS/NRL crowd. With a 22-year Military career behind him, Tom Fuller is creating and selling what he knows, shooting gear. Fuller’s company is an American success story, as Armageddon Gear now provides products to the U.S. Military, Law Enforcement, as well as PRS/NRL competitors.

Armageddon Gear Game-Changer Bag
Game Changer PRS bag

Armageddon Gear Founder Tom Fuller:

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November 5th, 2019

IBS 600-Yard Nationals in Minnesota — Winter Arrives Early

IBS 600-yard 600 Nationals Championship benchrest shooters international Minnesota MN 2019

The 2019 IBS 600-Yard Nationals took place October 12-13th at the Gopher Rifle and Revolver Club (GRRC.org) in Harris, Minnesota. It was a challenging event, given the cold and stormy conditions. Nonetheless many of the nation’s top shooters shot very well, and some young newcomers had strong showings. The real star of the match was new 600-Yard National Champion Jason Wolf. He delivered a masterful performance, winning the 2-Gun Overall, Light Gun Overall, and Heavy Gun Overall.

Click HERE for Full Match Results and Equipment List (PDF) »

IBS 600-yard 600 Nationals Championship benchrest shooters international Minnesota MN 2019

IBS 600-yard 600 Nationals Championship benchrest shooters international Minnesota MN 2019
Dave Holland, past GRRC Bench Director and Host of 2010 IBS 1000-Yard Nationals.

Match Report by Kent Bratten

MD, IBS 2nd Vice President and Awards Chairman
There was some scrambling before and during the Nationals due to the weather. Gopher Rifle and Revolver Club is a large, multi-discipline range set among marshes and woods just off I-35, about 40 miles north of a large metropolitan area in Minnesota. Because of the topography, winds and mirage can often be tricky.

IBS 600-yard 600 Nationals Championship benchrest shooters international Minnesota MN 2019
IBS 600-yard 600 Nationals Championship benchrest shooters international Minnesota MN 2019

Due to the forecasted poor weather, a large circus-tent style cover was rented in place of the usual canvas/pole type temporary structure (see AcccurateShooter’s article on the 2010 1000-yard Nationals at Harris). It is likely the clean-up crew would still be picking up the pieces if that structure had been used.

IBS 600-yard 600 Nationals Championship benchrest shooters international Minnesota MN 2019

Course of Fire for IBS 600-Yard Nationals
The event was run with the same format as the 2018 IBS 600-Yard Nationals in St. Louis. The course of fire was Light Gun (total weight 17 lbs. max) on Saturday and Heavy Gun (no weight limits) on Sunday. Each of the 63 competitors shot eight (8) targets daily in four relays. Saturday evening Vapor Trail Bullets hosted a banquet, at which time the Light Gun titles were awarded, along with a large prize table drawing afterwards. Sunday was Heavy Gun and had 61 shooters (two dropping out due to a family emergency). Despite no further snow and no ferocious winds, conditions were hardly ideal as it was still cold in the morning with swirling winds throughout the day. Hence on neither day did the group averages drop below two inches and there were only a handful of perfect scores.

IBS 600-yard 600 Nationals Championship benchrest shooters international Minnesota MN 2019

Formidable Performances Even in Tough Conditions
Despite the conditions and several DQs on Day One, the top guns still put on a very good performance. Scotty Powell of North Carolina won the Light Gun Group and Chris Nichols, also from North Carolina, won the Heavy Gun Group award. Jason Wolf of South Dakota was the big winner, taking home the Light Gun Score, Light Gun Overall, Heavy Gun Overall, and the 2-Gun Overall titles. Jason’s performance was superb. Along with his LG, HG, and 2-Gun titles, Jason shot the smallest group of the match, a stunning 0.673″ in Heavy Gun. He also placed second in Heavy Gun Group Agg, just 0.166″ off the best, while finishing third in Light Gun Group Agg, .340″ from the top. All in all, it was a dominant showing by the South Dakotan.

IBS 600-yard 600 Nationals Championship benchrest shooters international Minnesota MN 2019

IBS 600-yard 600 Nationals Championship benchrest shooters international Minnesota MN 2019
Robby Vick smiling despite the cold. But did you really need the fan Robby?

Snow Flurries and Other Shooting Challenges
After the match, we interviewed most of the Top Ten shooters. We covered topics such as as strategies for bad conditions and their previous shooting experience. Several mentioned having trouble seeing the marks on the white-painted steel sighting plates. And, because of snow flurries, some could only see the last round hit (last sighter), about 5-10 seconds before their record target came up. Accordingly, many competitors depended on the tracking ability of their rifles and maintaining their point of aim throughout the record period. As for shooting backgrounds, many of the Top 10 enjoyed long range hunting and varminting — especially prairie dog adventures. Some had started out with rimfire bench competition, some began with short range IBS matches, while others already shoot long distance (1000-Yard) IBS matches and F-Class. For all those interviewed, the result was pretty much the same. After starting in competitive shooting, they had gotten hooked on precision, and sought to push their skills to the limit.

IBS 600-yard 600 Nationals Championship benchrest shooters international Minnesota MN 2019

Possible New Trends in Equipment — Wider Stocks
The Top 10 Equipment Lists show the favorite actions (BAT), bullets (Vapor Trail and Bart’s) and scopes (Nightforce) with a sprinkling of different barrels and stocks. We note there does seem to be a trend towards wider stocks. When we reviewed the Top 20 List (about 30% of the pool) we noted a growing number of stocks with wider fore-ends (4 inches or more), especially the Wheeler/McMillan Tracker. As for chamberings, the 6 BRA (6mmBR Ackley Improved) seems to be very popular, but is not dominant over the 6 Dasher yet.

IBS 600-yard 600 Nationals Championship benchrest shooters international Minnesota MN 2019

IBS 600-yard 600 Nationals Championship benchrest shooters international Minnesota MN 2019

IBS 600-yard 600 Nationals Championship benchrest shooters international Minnesota MN 2019
Junior Champ Andrew Powers, setting up. Beside him is his grandfather, Johnny.

IBS 600-yard 600 Nationals Championship benchrest shooters international Minnesota MN 2019

COMMENTARY from Match Director Doc Bratten
It was a somewhat hair-raising experience leading up to the Nationals, with the bad forecast followed by a two-day period before the match when high winds made practice difficult. A major concern was that the weather would worsen and cause a major delay or cancellation. But, like the D-Day invasion of 1944, prayers for a break in the weather were answered. We also had an unexpected shortening of staff. But the Nationals team still did a wonderful job of running the line and everyone chipped in with putting up the “mess tent”, line cover, and helping in the target review area. Also hats off to the target crew and scorers in the Red Shed. With the snow and wind, it could not have been easy working with those targets and drying them after.

IBS 600-yard 600 Nationals Championship benchrest shooters international Minnesota MN 2019
Into the quagmire to look at targets…

We are very grateful to all our IBS sponsors, whose generosity ensured rich prize tables for both the Hawk’s Ridge 1000-Yard Nationals and here in Minnesota. I would especially like to thank Sally and Jim Bauer of Vapor Trail Bullets for sponsoring the Awards Banquet. We very much appreciated the Grand Prizes supplied by Alex and Matt Findley of AMP Annealing, David Dorris (and Ms. Krag) of BenchSource, Alex Wheeler of Wheeler Accuracy and Bart Sauter of Bart’s Bullets. The full list of IBS 600-yard and 1000-yard Nationals sponsors can be found on the IBS Website.

IBS 600-yard 600 Nationals Championship benchrest shooters international Minnesota MN 2019

Finally, we extend a very special thanks to our friends at Gunstop Reloading and Gunstop of Minnetonka gun sales for their trophy donations. We also thank Dave Newell, Past President at GRRC, current Club newsletter editor, and exceptional wedding photographer, for his great photos of the match.

CLICK HERE to View 90+ photos from 600-Yard Nationals »

IBS 600-yard 600 Nationals Championship benchrest shooters international Minnesota MN 2019
Great BBQ lunches were provided by Rick of Dickies. Vapor Trail Bullets sponsored the Awards banquet.

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November 4th, 2019

New B-14 R .22 LR Rimfire Trainer from Bergara

Bergara 22LR .22 lr rimfire NRL22 trainer

Looking for a nice .22 LR rimfire training rifle that works well with rear bags and bipods? Then check out the new B-14 R from Bergara. It is set up for rimfire training and tactical-style competitions. The action and magazine are full centerfire dimensions, so that you can train with a rimfire rifle offering centerfire-style “feel” and ergonomics. MSRP is $1150.00 so expect street price to be around $1000.00.

We think this would be a good choice for the NRL22 tactical competition for shooters preferring a conventional-style stock. It has an adjustable cheekpiece and LOP adjusts with spacers. The toe of the buttstock is straight so this will work well with bags. And if you want to later swap to a metal or composite chassis, the B-14 R barreled action will fit stocks and chassis systems designed for Rem 700s. In fact you can even use aftermarket Rem 700-compatible triggers.

Bergara 22LR .22 lr rimfire NRL22 trainer

B-14R Bolt Action .22 LR
The Bergara B-14 R Bolt Action Rifle in .22 LR is the latest offering in Bergara’s popular B-14 series of rifles. The company states: “The Bergara B-14 R has been a product that our customers and enthusiast have been requesting for quite some time, and with the growing NRL22 and PRS .22 competition matches, we believed that the time was right to introduce a rifle of this nature.”

This rifle is designed as a true rimfire trainer with the feel of a Rem 700 centerfire rig. The action shares dimensions of a Rem 700 receiver so you can upgrade to Rem 700-compatible stocks, and triggers. The single-stack .22 LR magazine has the same external dimensions as the commonly-used short action AICS mag for centerfires. So even your mag swaps will duplicate the “feel” of your centerfire rifle.

Bergara 22LR .22 lr rimfire NRL22 trainer

Bergara B-14 R Specifications

Barrel: 1:16″-twist 4140 Bergara, 18″ free-floated
Muzzle Thread: 1/2-28
Rifle Weight: 9.25 lbs. (without optics)
Rifle Length: 38″ with all spacers
Magazine Capacity: 10 rounds
Scope Mounts: 6-48 screws, Rem 700 compatible
Stock: Bergara HMR stock molded with full-length integrated mini-chassisinternal mini-chassis, integrated OD flush cup sling mounts and swivel mounts, adjustable cheek piece and length-of-pull.

Bergara 22LR .22 lr rimfire NRL22 trainer

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October 29th, 2019

M1 Carbine Matches — CMP Competition with Retro Rifles

M1 Carbine Match CMP

One of the CMP’s most popular competitions is the M1 Carbine Match. The little carbines are easy to hold and easy to shoot, with relatively low recoil compared to an M1 Garand or M1903 shooting the full-power .30-06 cartridge. Unfortunately, genuine GI-issue M1 Carbines are now hard to find at affordable prices. The CMP has announced: “CMP’S Carbine Inventory has been exhausted and we do not expect to receive any additional shipments.” Authentic, “all-original” M1 Carbines are going for $1500 to $1800.00 these days on Gunbroker.com.

CMP M1 Carbine Matches — Growing in Popularity
The CMP M1 Carbine Match is part of the CMP Games program that already includes Garand, Springfield and Vintage Military Rifle Matches. “As-issued” U. S. Military M1 Carbines are fired over a 45-shot course of fire at 100 yards on either the old military “A” target or the “SR” target. The course includes 5 sighters and 10 shots for record prone slow fire in 15 minutes, a 10-shot rapid fire prone series in 60 seconds, a 10-shot rapid fire sitting series in 60 seconds and 10 shots slow fire standing in 10 minutes.

CMP M-1 carbine games

CMP M1 Carbine Match at Western CMP Games
CMP M-1 Rimfire Carbine Citadel

New Production M1 Carbines

auto ordnance M1

Thankfully, you don’t need to source a real WWII-era M1 to enjoy CMP M1 Matches. You can now get a brand new, American-made M1 Carbine clone for HALF the price of old CMP rifle. Brownells is now offering American-made Auto Ordnance brand .30-Caliber M1 Carbines that look, feel, and shoot just like the originals, for a lot less money. There are two versions:

Another producer of M1 Carbine replica rifles is Inland Manufacturing, a modern company which shares the name of a leading WWII M1 Carbine maker. These made-in-the-USA, newly manufactured M1 Carbines are very authentic copies of the original carbines from the World War II era. With a $1139.00 starting MSRP, they feature authentic 1944-type adjustable sights, push button safety, round bolt, “low wood” walnut stock, and a 10–round or 15-round magazine. There are three (3) versions: M1 1944 style, M1 1945 style, and M1A1 Paratrooper model.

CMP M-1 Rimfire Carbine Citadel

CMP M-1 Rimfire Carbine Citadel

GunsAmerica.com report compares new Inland M1 Carbines side-by-side with original vintage M1 Carbines: “We had to get in close to tell the difference. Overall, the two examples we were able to handle looked great and held up when next to the originals. The stampings are even close to correct with a few minor differences that were chosen to stop the new Inlands from being mistaken for originals. Take a look at the photos and see for yourself.” READ M1 Carbine Review.

CMP M-1 Rimfire Carbine Citadel

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October 27th, 2019

Mr. and Mrs. King Share a Martini — Mark III Variety

rimfire benchrest .22 LR mac tilton Martini Mark III husband wife
Here is gunsmith Richard King, with his updated Martini Mark III smallbore rifle.

This is the kind of family-friendly, “feel-good” story we like. A few years back, Texan Richard King created a rimfire benchrest rifle using a classic Martini Mark III smallbore action. He fitted the gun with a new flat, wide forearm and a new buttstock, allowing the gun to sit steady on the bags and track smoothly. The narrow action was also fitted with a cantilevered top rail to hold a high-magnification scope.

Here is Vicki King, with Martini Mark III and her trophy.
rimfire benchrest .22 LR mac tilton Martini Mark III husband wife

But here’s the best part. Back in 2014, Richard provided this updated classic to his wife Vicki, who proceeded to win a rimfire benchrest match (Vintage class) with the old Martini. Richard reports: “Here is my lovely wife with her High Overall Vintage trophy. That is a Martini Mark III that I re-stocked in walnut for 50-yard, .22-caliber benchrest matches. It’s great to have her shooting with me again.”

rimfire benchrest .22 LR mac tilton Martini Mark III husband wife

Bravo Richard — kudos to you AND to your lovely bride. It’s great to see a couple shooting together. It’s also great to see a classic rifle brought back to the winner’s circle with some inspired stock-work, new optics mount, and other smart upgrades. Old rifles never die… at least if they find their way to a great smith like Richard King.

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October 25th, 2019

IBS Match Report — 2019 100/200 Meter Score Nationals

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina
View through 6X scope at 2019 Metric Score Nationals in South Carolina. This is exactly what Jeff Stover’s camera recorded — it is not a Photoshop job.

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-CarolinaMatch Report by Jeff Stover, IBS President
“You need to come shoot with us” said Jim Cline at the January 2019 meeting of the IBS. Jim is both a Match Director at Mid-Carolina and an IBS Vice-President. I, as IBS President, considered it for a few seconds. Virtually all of my shooting is short-range group, but I wanted to see why IBS Score Benchrest was so hot — and growing — in the Southeast. “I will be down in October for the Score Nationals” was my response. Bottom line — The event was great, and I should have made the trip years earlier.

The Mid-Carolina Rifle Club is located about 35 miles southeast of Columbia, South Carolina. It sports 20 solid and well-designed concrete benches. A nice feature is the very deep, behind-the-firing-line roof for cleaning rifles, and chatting with fellow shooters.

The main competition at the Score Nationals is for the “Varmint for Score” 13.5-pound rifles. The cartridge of choice is the 30 BR (6mmBR parent cartridge). The extra .065″ bullet diameter over a 6mm helps with the Best Edge Scoring, but the 30 BR gives nothing away to the 6PPC in the accuracy department. As any score shooter can tell you, the 30 BR is an inherently accurate cartridge that is relatively easy to tune.

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina
Firing Line at Mid-Carolina Rifle Club with ample behind-the-Line roof coverage.

It was a dream shoot for me. I don’t have a VFS 30 in my gun cabinet, but that was all taken care of. Both rifle and ammo came courtesy of Mike Clayton, one of the circuit’s top shooters. All I needed to bring were my rests! Mike’s rifle was a laser which I did not fully exploit. Mike showed true Southern Hospitality.

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina
Mike Clayton ready to pull the trigger on his 30 BR rifle.

About 70 shooters made their way to Orangeburg. More had preregistered but the threat of Tropical Storm Nestor kept a few away. The storm was projected to bring 25+ mph gusts and heavy rain on Saturday. Those dire predictions did not materialize. We had somewhat light, but quickly switching, winds and mostly light rain. It was a dreary day for 100 meter competition but the mood along the firing line was convivial.

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina
Tropical Storm Nestor delivered only rain and switchy breezes instead of the predicted gales.

At 100 meters, Brud Sheats led the way with a very nice 250-23X. On his heels were Ronnie Milford and Jim Cline with 22 and 21 Xs respectively. Jim and Ron are leading the Score Shooter of the Year standings. In 6-power class, Jim Cline’s had a good 250-14X for high score with Dewey Hancock 3 Xs behind.

IBS meter 100 200 score Emilee nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina

Young Lady Shines at Her First Registered Match
Above is young competitor Emmalee McMurry (from eastern Tennessee) with her 6 PPC Heavy Varmint rifle. This was her very FIRST registered match. Her father Bill is her coach and mentor. Using her 6 PPC she shot two really good targets, a 50-5X and 50-4X. I shot next to her, and was impressed — she has composure and was very comfortable shooting a bench gun. If she stays with it, she could be a future force in Score Benchrest competition. — Jeff Stover, IBS President

Sunday, the targets and stationary backers were moved to the 200 meter butts. The weather started as Saturday had finished — light misty rain with some fog and 10 mph switchy wind. By mid-morning, however, the rain stopped and around lunchtime things brightened. After lunch the sun started to make more frequent appearances and the Orangeburg mirage returned. At the conclusion of the 200 meter stage only three of 65 shooters shot “clean” — i.e. a 250 score, with a 50 on every target.

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina
Jim Cline aligning rifle. The multiple bolts are for his Light and Heavy VFS rifles and 6X Hunter Class rifle.

Mid-Carolina Rifle Club Extends the Red Carpet with Fine Food
All shooters were treated to a free grilled chicken and macaroni and cheese luncheon. In the evening, for a small charge, the Mid-Carolina club hosted a catered prime rib dinner. It was the “real deal” — premium beef carved to order. We had hoped for a pleasant Carolina evening instead of poor weather, but the great food made up for it.

At 200 meters, Brud Sheats lost none of his score-shooting mastery from Saturday. He won VFS 200 with a 250-5X. Ken Habadank followed with a Creedmoored 5X and Miles Gibby was 3rd with a 250-2X. The golden rule of score shooting is “stay clean”. That is, shoot a 50 on every target (five tens). The Xs are gravy, especially at 200. Anthony Isner shot a really nice 12 Xs in those conditions. But a wayward shot cost him a point on one target. A 250 beats a 249 despite the X counts. Having won both yardages Mr. Sheats won the 100-200 Grand aggregate with a 500-28X. Ken Habadank’s second place was six Xs behind. Miles Gibby, the only other 500 shooter, had 17 Xs to complete the podium.

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina

See Complete 2019 100m/200m IBS Score Nationals Match Results HERE on IBS Website.

So what about the 6-power-max optics rifles? Shooting a 6-power scope at 100 meters is tough enough. At 200, well, it is twice as difficult, especially in Sunday’s conditions. Anthony Isner’s 243-4X won the day followed by Maine’s Orland Bunker at 242-3X. In the 6X Grand Agg, Dewey Hancock took the title with a 491-16X, closely followed by Brian Fitch with a 490-16X.

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina
After Cease Fire is called, competitors show detached bolts to ensure safety.

Great Match — With Many Fine Shooters Returning to the Ranks
This was a fine, well-run match by any standard. I did not embarrass myself with a score rifle, so that was a plus! I made the trip to see “what’s what”, and was delighted to find a range full of enthusiastic and fun competitors. And these fellows really know how to shoot. I talked to several shooters who have come back to the sport after years, if not decades, of being away from benchrest. The PR efforts of Jim Cline, Ronnie Milford and other stalwarts in the region are beating the drum and many are answering the call.

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina
Score Benchrest rifles racked and ready for the next relay.

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina
30 BR ammo with timer, and bolt lube, on bench.

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October 25th, 2019

Become a Range Safety Officer — The World Needs More RSOs

Range Safety Officer Course Online NRA Training

A few good men (and women) — that’s what the shooting sports need these days. We need skilled, trained personnel to serve as Range Safety Officers (RS0s). Without RSOs, there would be no shooting matches — no F-Class, no High Power, no Smallbore Matches — you get the idea. Thankfully there are now ways to get requisite RSO training without costly travel far from home.

The NRA now offers an online training course for its Range Safety Officer (RSO) program. The online course teaches the skills needs to conduct and supervise safe shooting activities and range operations. Online RSO Course students can access the electronic course materials for 90 days. You can complete the course in multiple sessions. The program will save your progress so you can return later.

NRA RSO Course OnlineThe Online RSO Course consists of SIX LESSONS:

• Introduction to the NRA Basic Range Safety Officer Course
• The Role of the NRA Range Safety Officer and
Range Standard Operating Procedures
• Range Inspection and Range Rules
• Range Safety Briefing
• Emergency Procedures
• Firearm Stoppages and Malfunctions

Who Can Take the Course?: The Online RSO Course is available to anyone who currently possess a valid NRA Firearms Instructor certification or NRA Coach appointment. Course cost is $125.00. Individuals without a trainer rating must attend the in-person Range Safety Officer course consisting of both classroom time and practical exercises on a range.

Range Safety Officer Course Online NRA Training

NRA RSO Course OnlineCertification Procedure: Students must complete all six lessons and a short electronically administered test in order to become a certified Range Safety Officer. Once the test has been passed, newly certified Range Safety Officers will receive an electronic completion certificate that can be printed or saved to a computer.

The NRA RSO program was developed in response to the demand for a nationally-recognized range safety officer certification. More than 54,000 NRA Range Safety Officers are involved in aspects of target shooting, training, and range supervision around the USA.

Berger SW Nationals
Range Safety Officer supervises the line at Berger SW Nationals. Without dedicated RSOs, we could not have matches like these.

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October 22nd, 2019

Range Day Checklist — What To Bring, and How to Organize Gear

Springfield Armory Range Day 1911 pistol

Before your head to the range for some late-season practice, run through a checklist so you won’t forget essential items. Springfield Armory, maker of the M1A series of rifles and many popular handguns, has published a thorough Range Day Checklist. While this is oriented more for pistol shooters, many suggestions will help rifle shooters as well.

Packing the essentials, a few extras and having a plan will help you make the most of your day at the range. Here are highlights from Springfield Armory’s Range Day Checklist. Read the full article for more details including a flow-chart showing target options.

READ FULL Article on Springfield Armory BLOG HERE »

Springfield Armory Range Day 1911 pistol

RANGE BAG — What to Pack

You need a range bag that works for you and all of your equipment. We suggest getting one with several compartments to keep your range items organized. Some shooters prefer one large bag, many like the new backpack style, still others want multiple smaller bags – either way, you will need plenty of room.

Before you head to the range, pack your Range Bag(s) with these basic requirements:

Hearing Protection
Make sure you have ear protection. You may want to also throw in a spare set in case you misplace one, or a friend needs to borrow a pair. Basic ear plugs or earmuffs do the job, but high-quality electronic headsets are a worthwhile investment for both safety and convenience. They amplify voices (safe noise levels), compress harmful noise levels – and you don’t have to remove your earmuffs to hear someone speak. Backup batteries are a must with electronic headsets.

Eye Protection (Ballistic Glasses)
Quality eye protection is another must-have, but it doesn’t have to be fancy (or expensive). Your eyewear should however be performance rated by ANSI Z87.1. This standard protects your eyes from high velocity and high mass impact. Grab a pair of safety glasses you’d wear in the shop, or you can opt for something more stylish from Oakley or ESS.

Magazines & Mag Loader
You can’t shoot if you forget your magazines. Many shooting bags have specific compartments that hold mags individually. Also… always number your magazines. This helps to identify and separate any magazines that are not properly functioning or need to be cleaned. It’s also nice to have a magazine loader. They’re inexpensive and easy on the thumbs. Our SME’s favorite manufacturer is MagLULA.

Cleaning & Tool Kit
Toss in a portable cleaning kit designed for your firearm, along with any other maintenance tools you might find handy. You don’t need anything elaborate — just enough to make sure your gun and magazines stays in good working condition.

Cleaning Cloth(s)
Cleaning solution
Screw driver
Bore snake or barrel brush
Gun-specific take down tool
Gun oil

Allen wrenches
Flashlight
Pocket knife
Squib rod
Hand sanitizer or better yet D-Lead wipes
Miscellaneous Items

Springfield Armory Range Day 1911 pistol

AMMO & AMMO CAN
An ammo can is good to have — either the new, polymer-style varieties or military surplus steel cans. You will also need a container for your spent brass. Any sort of receptacle with a lid works, from an empty cardboard box or military steel can, to a 5-gallon bucket. One of my favorites is old freezer storage bags.

BE PREPARED — First Aid Kit
Plan for the best, prepare for the worst. A small first aid and trauma kit should be a part of everyone’s range bag. Hopefully you will never need the plastic gloves and quick clotting agent, but sterile wipes and bandaids are more likely to occasionally come in handy. Also, don’t forget the sun protection: Sunscreen, Hat, lip blam, and of course plenty of water for Hydration.

PRACTICE LOG
Practice makes perfect … so keep a practice log. Keeping a log is beneficial, as you can revisit old drills to continually re-test your skill level and compare results. If you’re old school, a physical paper training book / log works fine. Put it in your range bag. More of a smart phone junkie? Try the RangeLog app.

MAKE YOUR MARK — Put Your Name on Your Gear
It’s also not a bad idea to put your name on your gear. It greatly increases your chance of getting misplaced items back. A lot of equipment looks alike; shooting bags, earmuffs, magazines, etc. I’m betting I’m not the only one who has come home from the range without my earmuffs [more than once].

Springfield Armory Range Day 1911 pistol

» READ Rob Leatham 1911 Pistol Tips (Great Article!)

Here are some tips on shooting a 1911 pistol from handgun ace Rob Leatham: Not sure how best to zero your new 1911? Who better to learn from than Team Springfield’s championship shooter Rob Leatham.

Springfield Armory shooting tips

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Gear Review, Handguns 3 Comments »
October 22nd, 2019

Hot Ticket for NRL22 — CZ 457 or CZ 455 in MDT ACC Chassis

NRL22 MDT chassis CZ 527

We love the NRL22 rimfire tactical series. When you consider the amount of fun you experience per dollar expended, NRL22 .22LR rimfire competition is hard to beat. You enjoy the challenge of PRS-type shooting at reduced distances, and much reduced cost. In the NRL22 series you can be completely competitive with .22 LR ammo costing 15 cents a round. That’s a fraction of what you’d spend making your own centerfire handloads, or buying match-grade, factory-loaded centerfire ammo.

NRL22 MDT chassis CZ 527

There’s a new option for NRL22 competitors competing in the Open Class. Modular Driven Technologies (MDT) now offers its ACC Chassis for the popular CZ 457 series of rimfire rifles. There are nine different CZ 457 variants currently offered. You can get the CZ 457 Training Rifle for around $400 (MSRP is $449.00). Simply install your CZ 457 barreled action in the MDT ACC chassis and you’re got a high-quality rimfire system with ergonomics that duplicate a full-size centerfire ring. NOTE: MDT also offers an ACC chassis that fits the CZ 455 series, predecessor to the CZ 457. The ACC CZ 457/455 chassis systems cost $999.00 — too expensive we think, but then quality ain’t cheap. Purchase from MDTTAC.com.

NRL22 MDT chassis CZ 527

MDT ACC Chassis System (Shown with Centerfire Actions)

MDT Tactical ACC adjustable core chassis PRS rifle system

The MDT ACC (Adjustable Core Competition) Chassis was designed around an integrated, modular weight system that allows shooters to fine tune chassis weight and balance point. A series of weights (up to 9 lbs. of steel) can be added to either the buttstock, interior fore-end or exterior fore-end. With action, barrel, scope and accessories, shooters can configure their rifles upwards of 25-30 lbs. in the ACC. Other features include: full 17” ARCA/RRS fore-end, flared mag well, extended barricade stop, widened thumb shelf, and adjustable cheek riser/length of pull.

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Tactical No Comments »
October 20th, 2019

Sunday Gunday: AR-Platform Rifles for PRS Gas Gun Series

AR15 AR-15 Gas Gun Series

ARs in PRS? Yes PRS has a “Gas Gun” division. And frankly, shooting a PRS match is one of the most fun and challenging things you can do with your Black Rifle (Beto O’Rourke notwithstanding). Since the early days of the PRS, Gas Gun shooters have wanted to play. Recognizing the interest among semi-auto shooters, the PRS now offers a Gas Gun Series for semi-auto rifles such as AR15s and AR10s. The Gas Gun Series started in 2017, and has quickly become quite popular.

Sean Murphy Gas Gun
Photo Credit Michael Cage.

Gas Guns to 800 yards — Yes there are targets down there somewhere.
PRS Gas Gun Nightforce Optics CORE Florida AR15 AR Jeff Cramblit Facebook photo

PRS Gas Gun Series Rules

For the new PRS “Gasser” Competition, the PRS developed rules on gun types, scoring, match timing, penalties, safety and other key topics. CLICK HERE for Full PRS Gas Gun Series Rules.

Open Division: Open Division rifles will not exceed a caliber of .30 or a velocity of 3,200fps. 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. [“For Ammo in Open Class, 6mm and 6.5mm Creedmoor are popular.” — John Parker, SSUSA]

Tactical Division: Tactical Division: Intended to allow competitors the opportunity tocompete using traditional military and law enforcement caliber. This promotesActive 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 and 7.62 NATO/.308 Winchester calibers only. .223 Bullet weight cannot exceed 77 grains and muzzle velocity cannot exceed 3,000 fps, .308 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. Tactical Division shooters will shoot the exact same COF as Open Division shooters. [NOTE: This division now replaces the previous Tactical Light and Tactical Heavy divisions.]

Scoring and Penalties
The Gas Gun Series utilizes a time plus penalty based scoring system for all match scoring. This means your score is your total combined time on all stages plus any penalties you may have accrued.

Stage Course of Fire and Targets
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.

The preferred rifle color choice at the first PRS “Gasser” Match was definitely black…
PRS Gas Gun

Gas Gun Match Loads — Short Range vs. Long Range
“The .223/5.56 [Tactical Light] guns had some lag time waiting on shot impacts. I believe the long-term solution may be to find a light and fast load for closer stages for near-instant reaction time and use a heavy load for the long shots to see splash and get the target to move a little more.” — Sean Murphy, Nightforce

Gear Options for PRS Gas Guns
There are many buttstock options for ARs. For the PRS game, we like the Magpul PRS stock. This features a quick-adjustable cheek-piece and butt-plate — allowing you to easily adapt head position and LOP for your discipline of the day. (You may want a different LOP for prone shooting vs. bench shooting). The Magpul stock works well in a rear bag.

Colt AR AR15 match rifle upper lower kit discount CDNN

We recommend something like the Blackhawk grip which is more comfortable than the typical grips supplied by most black rifle makers. Up front, you’ll want a handguard with adaptability. Shown is a handguard with Picatinny rails on top and on both sides, affording lots of options. We might move one of the rails to the bottom, however, so it could be used for a bipod mount.

Add Your Favorite Premium Barrel:

Colt AR AR15 match rifle upper lower kit discount CDNN

PRS with a Gas Gun — Gavin Gear’s Experience

Thinking of trying out the Precision Rifle Series, starting off with a gas gun? Well Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com did just that, competing in his first-ever PRS match up in Washington State. With its timed stages (some just 90 seconds long), Gavin learned that PRS is about speed as well as accuracy. As a PRS newbie, Gavin found the competition fun but challenging. Gavin’s account of his experiences, set forth in two articles with accompanying videos, will help other novice PRS competitors prepare for PRS-type matches and assemble the right equipment.

This video has cool Aerial Drone footage, and in-depth explanation of stages:

READ Full Story of Gavin’s First PRS Match »

Gavin enjoyed his first match: “Overall, the match was more fun and more laid back than I thought it would be. The guys in our squad were all really helpful, and even loaned me gear to try out when they noticed my gear wasn’t right for a particular shooting activity. One such case was when Ken Gustafson (of KYL Gear) offered to loan me one of the bags he had made. Below you can see me shooting off the infamous unstable tippy tank trap with a KYL Gear bag, and I’ll have to say [the bag] was amazing. It helped me lock down my rifle and get on target. What a great feeling!”

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Gear Review, Tactical 1 Comment »
October 16th, 2019

Save $$ By Using Lake City 5.56x45mm Once-Fired GI Brass

Each Wednesday, the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit publishes a reloading “how-to” article on the USAMU Facebook page. A recent “Handloading Hump Day” post covered preparation of once-fired 5.56x45mm brass. This article, the first in a 3-part series, has many useful tips. If you shoot a rifle chambered in .223 Rem or 5.56x45mm, this article is worth reading.

This week, Handloading Hump-Day will answer a special request from several competitive shooters who asked about procedures for morphing once-fired GI 5.56mm brass into accurate match brass for NRA High Power Rifle use. The USAMU has used virgin Lake City (LC) 5.56 brass to win National Championships and set National Records for many years. In this 3-part series, we’ll share techniques proven to wring match-winning accuracy from combat-grade brass.

GI brass has an excellent attribute, worth noting — it is virtually indestructible. Due to its NATO-spec hardness, the primer pockets last much longer than most commercial brass when using loads at appropriate pressures.

Preparing Once-Fired GI 5.56 Brass for Reloading (Part 1 of 3)

Assuming our readers will be getting brass once-fired as received from surplus dealers, the following steps can help process the low-cost raw material into reliably accurate components.

1. Clean the Brass
First, clean the brass of any dirt/mud/debris, if applicable. Depending on the brass’s condition, washing it in a soap solution followed by a thorough rinsing may help. [This step also extends the life of the tumbling media.] Approaches range from low-tech, using gallon jugs 1/2 full of water/dish soap plus brass and shaking vigorously, to more high-tech, expensive and time-consuming methods.

cleaning Lake City 5.56 brass

2. Wet-Tumbling Options (Be Sure to Dry the Brass)
When applying the final cleaning/polish, some use tumblers with liquid cleaning media and stainless steel pins for a brilliant shine inside and out, while others take the traditional vibratory tumbler/ground media approach. Degree of case shine is purely personal preference, but the key issue is simple cleanliness to avoid scratching ones’ dies.

If a liquid cleaner is used, be SURE to dry the cases thoroughly to preclude corrosion inside. One method is to dump the wet brass into an old pillow case, then tilt it left/right so the cases re-orient themselves while shifting from corner to corner. Several repetitions, pausing at each corner until water stops draining, will remove most water. They can then be left to air-dry on a towel, or can be dried in a warm (150° F-200° F max) oven for a few minutes to speed evaporation.

Shown below are Lake City cases after cleaning with Stainless Media (STM). Note: STM Case cleaning was done by a third party, not the USAMU, which does not endorse any particular cleaning method.

3. Inspect Every Case
Once dry, inspect each case for significant deformation (i.e., someone stepped on it), damaged mouths/necks and case head/rim damage. Some rifles’ ejectors actually dig small chunks of brass out of the case head — obviously, not ideal for precision shooting. Similarly, some extractors can bend the case rims so badly that distortion is visible when spinning them in one’s fingers. These can be used for plinking, but our match brass should have straight, undamaged rims.

Dented case mouths are common, and these can easily be rounded using a conical, tapered tool, [such as a .223 expander mandrel. A dummy 7.62 or .30-06 cartridge with a FMJ spitzer can also work.] If most of your brass is of one headstamp, this is a good time to cull out any odd cases.

4. Check the Primers Before Decapping
Your clean, dry and inspected brass is now ready for full-length sizing, decapping and re-priming. Historically, primer crimps on GI brass have caused some head-scratching (and vile language) among handloaders. Our next installment will detail efficient, easy and practical methods to remove primer crimp, plus other useful handloading tips. Until next week, Good Shooting!

NOTE: The USAMU Handloading (HL) Shop does not RE-load fired 5.56 brass. We use virgin LC brass with our chosen primer already staked in place. However, our staff has extensive personal experience reloading GI brass for competition, which will supplement the Shop’s customary steps. In handloading, as in life, there are many ways to accomplish any given task. Our suggestions are note presented as the “only way,” by any means. Time for loading/practicing is always at a premium. Readers who have more efficient, alternative methods that maintain top accuracy are invited to share them here.

Accuracy Potential of Mil-Surp 5.56×45 Brass

So, how accurate can previously-fired GI surplus brass be in a good National Match AR-15? Well, here’s a data point from many years ago that might be of interest. A High Power shooter who wrote for the late Precision Shooting magazine took a Bill Wylde-built AR match rifle to a registered Benchrest match. His first 5-round group ever fired in a BR match was officially measured at 0.231″ at 200 hundred yards. This was fired in front of witnesses, while using a moving target backer that confirmed all five rounds were fired.

He recounted that his ammo was loaded progressively with factory 52gr match bullets and a spherical powder using mixed years of LC brass with no special preparation whatsoever. Obviously, this was “exceptional”. However, he had no difficulty obtaining consistent 0.5-0.6 MOA accuracy at 200 yards using LC brass and a generic “practice” load that was not tuned to his rifle.

Saving Money by Using GI Brass

So, with good commercial brass readily available, why would one go to all the extra steps necessary to process fired GI brass? [Editor: It’s about saving money.]

Economically, it makes great sense. When the author was actively practicing and competing with the service rifle, he had ~3,000 rounds of 5.56mm brass, which allowed him to load during winter and spend most time in the summer practicing. If one were wealthy and wanted to shoot nothing but the finest imported brass, the current cost of 3,000 is ~$1920 (plus shipping.)

Dropping down to good, but less-expensive new, U.S. commercial brass brings the price to a much more realistic ~$720. However, at current rates, the same amount of surplus GI once-fired brass costs between $120 — $150, leaving lots of room in the budget for other expenses. [Editor: that’s less than 10% of the cost of the best imported brass.]

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Reloading 2 Comments »
October 16th, 2019

IDPA World Championship Takes Place at Talladega Next Week

IDPA World Championship Talladega Marksmanship Park

The International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) World Championship comes to Alabama this month. The main portion of the 2019 SIG SAUER IDPA World Championship will take place October 23-26 at the Talladega Marksmanship Park, drawing competitors from around the world. CMP staff began constructing stages on October 14. Ppreliminary firing begins at the end of this week. The 4-Day IDPA Worlds are expected to draw 350+ pistol shooters from 20+ countries.

IDPA World Championship Talladega Marksmanship Park

Realistic Competition — What Makes the IDPA So Popular
Among the many action pistol disciplines, IDPA competition is probably the most “realistic” — the closest to actual defensive handgun use. Competitors use off-the-shelf pistols, suitable for carry. No exotic race-guns are allowed. Match stages simulate self-defense scenarios and real life encounters. An IDPA match is more than just a trigger-pulling contest. Shooters must use cover when available, and employ the same defensive strategies they would use in a real gunfight.

The IDPA’s founders developed the sport so that practical gear and practical guns may be used competitively. Shooters can spend a minimal amount on equipment and still be competitive. The main goal is to test the skill and ability of the individual, not equipment or gamesmanship.

IDPA targetIn IDPA competition, firearms are grouped into five divisions: 1) Custom Defensive Pistol (.45 ACP semi-autos); 2) Enhanced Service Pistol (9mm or larger semi-automatics); 3) Stock Service Pistol (9mm or larger caliber double action, double action only, or safe action semi-automatics); 4) Enhanced Service Revolver (.38 caliber or larger double action revolvers); and 5) Stock Service Revolver (.38 caliber or larger double action revolvers). All classes have a minimum power factor. Scores are based on time and shot placement on the IDPA target.

IDPA Scoring System
The official IDPA Target (right) has multiple scoring zones. If you don’t hit the target’s center mass zone or head zone (both appear green in illustration), you drop one or three points. Here’s the formula: Score (in seconds) = Time + Points Down + Penalties. In IDPA, “points down” (and penalties) are added to your time. If you hit the outer edge of the target, you get 3 points down. Nearer center can be 1 point down. Center hit or head shot is 0 points down. See IDPA Scoring for Dummies.

About the IDPA — Fast, Fun, and Popular Worldwide
Held virtually every week of the year, IDPA matches attract over 25,000 members from the United States and over 70 other countries. Scores are classified by a number of divisions in a 1- to 3-stage Course of Fire. These events are held regularly throughout the country. Learn more at IDPA.com.

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October 15th, 2019

Wind Wisdom from Experts Bryan Litz and Emil Praslick III

Wind reading coaching bryan litz Ben Avery Phoenix wind video

Wind effects are complex. In trying to access wind speeds and angles, you’ll want to watch multiple indicators — mirage, dust, wind-flags, grass movement, and more. You’ll also need to be concerned about wind cycles. In the video below, Bryan Litz talks about variable wind speed along a bullet’s flight path. A respected ballistics guru, Bryan is the founder of Applied Ballistics and a designer of Berger’s Hybrid Match projectiles. He is also a past F-TR National Champion and a High Master Palma ace.

In this video, Bryan discusses how wind effects can vary in intensity at different points along the bullet’s flight path to the target. Sometimes the firing line is sheltered, and the strongest winds come into effect in the middle of the trajectory. Bryan concludes: “Wind matters everywhere … but the best thing you can do is try to get a handle on the wind [velocity and angle] where you are. That may or may not represent the wind down-range — that’s when you have to look downrange and make a judgment[.]”

Litz Competition Tip: 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.

More Wind Tips from Wind Wizard Emil Praslick
In these two short videos, Emil Praslick III, former coach of the USAMU and USA National long range teams, explains how to find the wind direction and how to confirm your no-wind zero. Praslick is widely considered to be one of the best wind coaches in the USA.

When Winds Are EXTREME — Near Gale Force at Ben Avery

This video shows INSANE winds at NBRSA 100/200 Benchrest Nationals. This was filmed at the Ben Avery Range in Phoenix, AZ during the recent NBRSA 100/200 yard National Championships. Extreme to say the least. Based on what we’re seeing here, there are 20-25 mph crosswinds, with gusts to 35 mph — near Gale Force. Video by Hall-of-Fame Benchrest competitor Gene Bukys.

Texas gunsmith Mike Bryant reports: “This video shows the Unlimited Class 200 at the Nationals in Phoenix. I had three 10-shot groups in the low 2″ range with a 2.228″ being my big group and was glad they weren’t bigger. Thursday and Friday were the worst of the windy days. Unfortunately those were the days for the UL 200 and it was about as windy through most all of the Sporter 200.”

Excellent Wind Reading Resource

The Wind Book for Rifle Shooters covers techniques and tactics used by expert wind-readers. The authors provide a wind-reading “toolbox” for calculating wind speed, direction, deflection and drift. They explain how to read flags and mirage, record and interpret your observations, and time your shots to compensate for wind. Here are two reviews:

This is a must-have book if you are a long-range sport shooter. I compete in F-Class Open and when read it from cover to cover, it helped me understand wind reading and making accurate scope corrections. Buy this book, read it, put into practice what it tells you, you will not be disappointed. — P. Janzso

If you have one book for wind reading, this should be it. It covers how to get wind speed/direction from flags, mirage, and natural phenomenon. This is the best book for learning to read wind speed and direction. — Muddler

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October 15th, 2019

Creedmoor Sports Celebrates 40 Years with 40-Day Giveaway

Creedmoor sports dope roller 40 year anniversary 40-day giveaway
Since 1979, Creedmoor Sports has served the rifle shooting community. Over that time, the company has been dedicated to manufacturing the best products to help shooters succeed at every level of competition.

2019 Marks the 40th Year in Business for Creedmoor Sports. To celebrate this 40-Year milestone, Creedmoor is running a 40-Day Giveaway, with new prizes each day for 40 days. Sign up once a day for 40 chances to win! Daily prize packages are worth up to $500. Prize packages may include tools, shooting accessories, and/or reloading components from top companies such as Anschutz, Lapua, Berger, Dillon Precision, Forster, Redding, LabRadar, and Whidden Gunworks. (Full list below.)

How to Enter Creedmoor Sports 40-Day Giveaway
Starting October 15, 2019, go to Creedmoorsports.com and click on the 40-Day Giveaway Banner. Click each day to see the prizes and sign up. Overall you will have 40 chances to win. CLICK Contest Banner.

Creedmoor sports dope roller 40 year anniversary 40-day giveaway

“We wanted to do something HUGE to celebrate and thank our customers and partners for all of their support over the years. Jim Hill started Creedmoor Armory (now Creedmoor Sports) back in 1979 — it’s awesome to see how far we’ve come. We couldn’t have done it without the incredible support of our customers and suppliers. We’re excited to continue to innovate the shooting sports and help shooters hit the 10-ring for another 40 years.” — Brent Books Creedmoor Sports GM

Alphabetical List of Partners Providing Prizes for Creedmoor Sports 40-Day Giveaway:

Anschutz
Berger Bullets
Civilian Marksmanship Program
Dewey Manufacturing
Dillon Precision
Fields Slings
Forster Products
Hornady
ITC Marksmanship
Kelbly’s
LabRadar
LAM Firearms
Lanny Basham/Mental Management
Lapua
Lyman
MISO
Redding
RFP Sports
Ron Brown Slings
Shooter’s Puzzle Book
SK
Tec-Hro
Technical Marketing
VihtaVuori
Whidden Gunworks
Zanders Sporting Goods

Noteworthy New Products at Creedmoor Sports
While you are visiting the Creedmoor Sports website at www.creedmoorsports.com, check out Creedmoor’s new Deluxe Long-Range Rifle Case. This is just what you need for that long-barreled F-Class or Palma rifle. Available in both 55″ and 60″ sizes, this deluxe padded case features large, external zippered pockets that can hold ammo, accessories, Kestrel, shooting logs and more.

Another innovative product is Creedmoor’s new DOPE Roller — the world’s first Quick-Detach Ballistic Data Turret. The DOPE Roller displays windage/elevation data without requiring shooters to break position from behind the rifle. Display ballistic data by wrapping a simple adhesive label around the DOPE Roller. The DOPE Roller mounts to quick-detach sling swivel studs, offering mounting points for Picatinny rails, MLOK rails, and Keymod rails, and many chassis designs.

Creedmoor sports dope roller 40 year anniversary 40-day giveaway

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October 13th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: Seb Succeeds at WARA Match in Australia

SEB Neo Rest Sebastian Lambang Australia WARA Queen match

It’s not often when a gun accessory designer/builder shoots a high-level international competition and finishes on the podium. Well Sebastian (“Seb”) Lambang did just that recently, earning the Silver Medal for finishing second overall (F-TR) at the West Australian Rifle Association (WARA) Queens Prize Meeting at the Pinjar Range in Western Australia. Seb shot in F-TR division, piloting a handsome new .308 Win rifle supplied by Seb’s Aussie friend Jason Mayers, the F-TR Match winner. Here is Seb’s account of his visit to Perth, Australia to shoot the WARA Queens Match. SEE Match Results HERE.

SEB Neo Rest Sebastian Lambang Australia WARA Queen match

WARA Queens Prize Meeting in Western Australia
Report by Sebastian (“Seb”) Lambang
My wife Lily and I arrived in Perth, Australia, on September 23, two days before the competition began. At first, I wanted to attend the Australian Nationals in Brisbane which I have participated in before. I thought that would be bigger and more exciting than the WARA Queens. However, I received a recommendation from Jason Mayers to participate in the Queens instead. I was told that more shooters would come to this match because there would be a State team match and pre-qualification for the World Championship.

SEB Neo Rest Sebastian Lambang Australia WARA Queen match

About the Pinjar Shooting Range in Perth, Australia
The Pinjar shooting range near Perth (on Australia’s West Coast) is excellent both in its facilities and management. Ranging from ample parking space, clean toilets, spacious hall and canteen, wailing walls, water reservoir, very nice electronic targets etc, they have it all. It even offers a special preparation area for fouling shots on the far right side of the range.

SEB Neo Rest Sebastian Lambang Australia WARA Queen match
SEB Neo Rest Sebastian Lambang Australia WARA Queen match

The Target boards downrange are at 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 900 meters from right to left. One interesting thing about Pinjar is that all the firing stations are along the same horizontal track. Shooters only need to move sideways to change the shooting distance — e.g. from 300 to 500 or from 600 to 800.

SEB Neo Rest Sebastian Lambang Australia WARA Queen match

Twin Rifles for Seb and F-TR Match Winner Jason Mayers
My rifle is one of the two identical builds put together by Jason Mayers with the help of some local gunsmiths and shooters. This rifle, loaded with moly-coated Berger 200gr Hybrids, shot like a laser.

SEB Neo Rest Sebastian Lambang Australia WARA Queen match
Both Seb and F-TR match winner Jason Mayers used the new, prototype ski-feet on their Joy-pods.

The stock was designed over a period of time with local stock maker Robert Eager based in Goulbourn, NSW, Australia. Jason worked with Bob over several years trialing various shapes until they settled on the design seen in the photos. The stocks are made from Spalted Blackbean wood.

SEB Neo Rest Sebastian Lambang Australia WARA Queen match

For the twin rifles, Barnard actions were chosen and Bartlein 1:10″-twist .308 barrels were fitted to both by Matt Parroz of LRP Solutions. The barrels are chambered for Berger 200gr Hybrids. Both rifles are running moly-coated projectiles. Huntsman Tuners, made in Brisbane, are fitted to both rifles.

Impressive F-TR Second Place for Seb at 2019 WARA Queens Match

SEB Neo Rest Sebastian Lambang Australia WARA Queen match
Here F-TR Silver Medal Winner Seb Lambang (466.22V) stands with F-TR Match Winner Jason Mayers (469.38V). They shot identical .308 Win rifles!

“Thank you my brother Jason Mayers who took care of everything for me, and shared your knowledge[.] Without your help I wouldn’t have been able to place 2nd in the WARA Queens F-TR! Congratulations on your 1st place Jason, it was absolutely outstanding! I am sure this is the toughest and biggest F-TR match in Australia ever held so far … with the best Australian shooters qualifying for the Worlds. Congratulations to all winners in the WARA Queens! See you again next time!” — Seb Lambang

About SEB Products — Coaxial Rests, Joystick Bipods, Accessories

Seb told AccurateShooter: “I always try to make my products better over time, not just keeping them ‘as is’. Quality has and always been my top priority. I am grateful that many friends around the world always willing to help through their input, suggestions, and field testing. I am also grateful for what we have achieved today. Yes there have been some who copied my rests and bipod but people know which one has the best value for them. My thanks to all our loyal customers around the world!”

SEB Neo Rest Sebastian Lambang Australia WARA Queen match

SEB Neo Rest Sebastian Lambang Australia WARA Queen match

SEB Neo Rest Sebastian Lambang Australia WARA Queen match
SEB Max rest set for 1200 yards in Coonabarrabran, Australia (Jenni Hausler photo).

Sebastian Lambang SEB Mini coax coaxial pedestal rest F-Open Vince Bottomley

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October 12th, 2019

Oklahoma CMP Games Are Underway This Weekend

CMP Oklahoma Games

The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) Oklahoma Games are happening this weekend at the Oklahoma City Gun Club. Events started on October 7th and run through Sunday the 13th with the final event — the popular Vintage Sniper Team Match. If you’re anywhere near OK City you might want to check out the action. There are Vintage Military Matches today, along with Rimfire Sporter competition and EIC pistol matches. The CMP’s Oklahoma Games are not just for seasoned competitors. There will be a Small Arms Firing School plus a New Shooter Clinic for those who have never fired in a CMP Games match.

CMP Games - Oklahoma

Oklahoma CMP Games Resources

Previously held in April, the CMP Oklahoma Games will feature the popular M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, Springfield, Vintage/Modern Military, Rimfire Sporter, and Vintage Sniper Rifle matches. Pistol matches, such as the As-Issued 1911, Military & Police Service Pistol and .22 Rimfire Pistol will also be held throughout the week. The CMP Cup Matches will again be held at this Travel Games event. This include two days of invididual competition, followed by a 4-Man Team Match, and EIC Service Rifle Match.

Electronic Targets Allow Faster Relays and No Pit Duty!
High Power competitions will be fired on CMP Targets, an electronic target system that plots shot placement in real time, and eliminates the need for pit duty — allowing quicker matches with less physical labor. Shot locations/scores appear on remote monitors placed at each shooting location.

CMP Oklahoma Games

Along with competitive matches, a rifle Small Arms Firing School (SAFS) was held. Both beginning and experienced marksmen were trained in the classroom and on the firing line, with the help of CMP staff and certified instructors. SAFS attendees learned rifle handling, shot technique and safety, followed by firing in an actual M16 EIC match.

CMP Oklahoma Games

VINTAGE SNIPER MATCH — Sunday October 13th
The last event of the 2019 Oklahoma Games is the Vintage Sniper Team Match. Competitors must use Korean War or earlier, as-issued military sniper rifles or replicas of those rifles. Optics must also be original issue or replica scopes from the same period. The CMP Games Rules lists the approved rifles and optics.

Camp Perry Vintage Sniper match Oklahoma

The course of fire is designed to reproduce the conditions under which skilled long-range military riflemen operated. Two riflemen work together as a team. During the match, each team member functions alternately as a shooter or a spotter. After one team member finishes firing, they switch roles and the other team member fires. Firing is done at distances of 300 and 600 yards from the prone position. Shooters may use either a sling or sand bag support, but not both. Wind doping is critical and firing must be done quickly; targets are exposed for each shot for only 20 seconds and then withdrawn for 20 seconds.

About the CMP Travel Games
The CMP Travel Games are regional competitions held in different corners of the country throughout the year, featuring exclusive CMP rifle and pistol outdoor events. A common part of the CMP schedule for the last decade, the Games are centered around recreation-oriented competition and educational activities that are designed to accommodate experienced marksmen as well as those just beginning the sport.

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