November 19th, 2017

Drilled by Dasher — Spectacular 600-Yard Target Shot in Oregon

Tri-Valley Gun Club TVGC Portland Oregon

Take a look at that group. That would be pretty nice for 200 yards. But this group was shot at 600 yards in competition by Fred Dobson at a recent NBRSA match in Oregon. The X-Ring is 1.2″ in diameter. Perfectly centered for a 50-5X, this Light Gun target should be a new NBRSA Score record, pending approval. The previous Score record was Ken Schroeder’s 50-4X.

Tri-Valley Gun Club TVGC Portland OregonFred’s 600-yard group is also amazingly small. Using On-Target Software, we measured Fred’s five-shot group at 0.738″, which is a tiny 0.118 MOA at 600 yards.

NOTE: This is NOT an official measurement. The actual 5-shot group size might be larger or smaller, though it won’t be an NBRSA GROUP record. The current NBRSA 600-yard Light Gun group size record is 0.5823″ set by Robert Hoppe way back in 2008. But Fred’s 50-5X target should, indeed, be a new SCORE record.

Forum member “Jet” reports: “The Tri-County Gun Club just south of Portland, Oregon hosted its second NBRSA 600-guard match 11/18/2017. Twenty-one shooters brought rifles to the line. Fred Dobson shot the 50-5X target shown here.”

Congrats to Fred. Forum member KVD posted: “That’s truly fine shooting — something to be proud of. Seems like the bar gets boosted higher and higher every time there is a sanctioned match.”

Load Specifications
Cartridge: 6mm Dasher
Bullet: Precision Ballistics 105 gr
Powder: Hodgdon Varget
Primer: CCI 450

Equipment Specifications
Action: Kelbly
Barrel: Bartlein 1:7.5″ twist
Stock: McMillan MBR

Tri-County Gun Club TVGC Portland Oregon
TCGC 600-yard Range. This range uses the same target holders as the 300-yard line of the 200–300 yard range, which is closed when the 600-yard range is in use. Raised platform is for prone shooting.

About the Tri-County Gun Club in Oregon
Tri-county Gun Club TVGC Portland Oregon

Tri-County Gun Club is one of the premiere shooting clubs in the Pacific Northwest. The 230-acre private facility is located in Sherwood, Oregon just 15 minutes from downtown Portland. TCGC offers a wealth of ranges, competitions, and social activities for shooters of all ages, interests, and skill levels.

Article Tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
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November 18th, 2017

Water-Cooled Wondergun Set 1000-Yard IBS Record

Joel Pendergraft

We like “outside of the box” thinking. And in the world of competitive shooting, it doesn’t get more unconventional than this. But this radical liquid-cooled benchrest rig wasn’t just a crazy experiment — it actually delivered the goods. This IBS Heavy Gun, built by Joel Pendergraft, produced a superb 10-shot, 3.044″ group that stood as an International Benchrest Shooters (IBS) 1000-Yard Heavy Gun record for seven years, not being broken until 2016*.

Using this water-cooled 300 Ackley Improved, Joel shot the record-breaking group in April 2009 at Hawks Ridge, NC. This monster features a 12-twist, 4-groove Krieger barrel inside a water-filled sleeve (like on a liquid-cooled machine gun). Joel shot BIB 187gr flat-based bullets in Norma brass, pushed by a “generous amount” of Alliant Reloder 25 and Federal 210M primers.

Joel Pendergraft

This 3.044″ 10-shot group was a remarkable accomplishment, breaking one of the longest-standing, 1000-yard World Records.

Joel Pendergraft

Pendergraft was modest after his notable achievement: “What makes this so very special is to be able to celebrate the accomplishment with all of my shooting friends[.] A good friend once said that records are shot when preparation and opportunity meet. I feel blessed to have personally had the opportunity. The preparation we can individually work on and achieve but the opportunity only comes to a few. Those of you that compete in long range competition will know what I mean.”

Joel Pendergraft


*On July 24, 2016, Michael Gaizauskas shot a 2.871″ ten-shot group that bettered Pendergraft’s record by 0.171″ (less than a quarter inch). Michael’s group was also all in the 10 ring, for a perfect 100 score. CLICK HERE for IBS Long-Range Records

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November 13th, 2017

IBS Match Report: 2017 600-Yard Nationals in Memphis

IBS 600 Yard nationals benchrest Memphis Range wind 6mmBR 6BR

Report by Boyd Allen, IBS Executive VP
The 2017 IBS 600-Yard Nationals were held October 20-21 at the Memphis Sport Shooting Association (MSSA) Range. There was a good turn-out for the event, with 80 shooters. Conditions were challenging Saturday afternoon — strong winds that put some shooters right off the target. But those who mastered the conditions earned glory. The “Top Gun” at this year’s Nationals, earning the title of IBS 600-yard National Champion, was Andy Ferguson. In winning the Two-Gun Overall, Andy turned in a truly dominant performance, recording First Place Score in both Light Gun and Heavy Gun classes, along with second in HG group and fourth in LG Group. Finishing second Overall was Gaylan Breyans, while Jim Bauer was third.

IBS 600 Yard nationals benchrest Memphis Range wind 6mmBR 6BR

Top Shooters (L to R): Steve Wilson, Scotty Powell, Seth Wooten, Gene Ford, Lindsey Talley, Andy ”Who” Ferguson, Gaylon Breans, Jim Bauer, Justin Dale, Darrell Jones, James Lederer, Robby Miles, Jeff Godfrey, Jason Wolfe, Mike Hanes. NOTE: CLICK PHOTO for large image of top shooters.

Top Ten Competitors
IBS 600 Yard nationals benchrest Memphis Range wind 6mmBR 6BR


CLICK HERE for Complete 600-Yard IBS Nationals Results »

Today’s 600-yard benchrest rigs are capable of remarkable accuracy. Even with tough conditions in the afternoons, there was some pretty impressive shooting. Out of 640 targets that were shot by 80 competitors there were 27 scores of 50, 56 groups of 2” or less, 14 of 1.50” or less, 3 groups of 1.25″ or less, and one of 1” or less. See the FULL Results for more details.

Demonstration of Winning Form — Smooth and Fast
How do you win a 600-Yard National Benchrest Championship? Here’s a video answer to that question. To see how a top shooter handles his rifle on the bench, watch the short clip below of Two-Gun Winner Andy Ferguson shooting one of his targets with his 6BR Light Gun. Andy demonstrates smooth “table manners”. He keeps his head down, running off five shots in under 15 seconds. Note how well the gun tracks, returning to Point of Aim.

Match Winner Andy Ferguson Drills Five Shots in Under 15 seconds with his Light Gun

Notably, Andy won the match shooting the “plain vanilla” 6mmBR Norma — not a Dasher, not a 6 BRX, not a 6 BR Ackley. The parent 6mmBR cartridge can still do the job, particularly in the hands of a smooth shooter like Andy Ferguson. At the Memphis range, the usual strategy is to shoot on the sighter gong just before the switch to the record and then fire all shots on the record target as rapidly as possible to stay in the same wind condition.

600-Yard Benchrest Competition — The Basics

Two Classes — Light Gun and Heavy Gun
For those that are not familiar with this 600-yard Benchrest competition, the equipment rules are the same as for 1,000-yard Benchrest. There are two classes of rifles. The Light Gun (LG) rifles are limited to 17 pounds with no stock width or buttstock angle restrictions. The front and rear of these rifles must rest on sand bags. The rear bag may not have any provision for aiming the rifle.
Heavy Gun (HG) rifles have no weight limit. Like the LGs their stocks are not limited as to width or butt stock shape. HG rear sand bags may be supported by “mechanical” rests. Return to battery rests are not allowed for either class. Both HG and LG classes may use muzzle brakes.

Match Procedures at Memphis
In 600-yard IBS Benchrest competition, targets are measured for group size and there is also a score value based on shot placement in the target rings. Prizes are awarded for group, score, and combined. Before the first record target of an Aggregate, the sighter period is six minutes. For subsequent targets in that Agg, it is reduced to two minutes. At the end of sighter period, upon command, shooters have 10 minutes to complete their record target. Aggregates consist of eight targets. Shots that do not print on the target result in that target being disqualified (DQ), as well as the applicable Aggregate.

At this year’s Nationals, shooters rotated four benches to the right after every pair of targets was shot, continuing that rotation through both days. LG was shot on Friday, HG on Saturday. Thanks to an efficient target crew and recorded match commands, shooting was over by 2:25 pm both days.

Equipment List for Top Ten Shooters

The Top Ten Shooters all ran 6mm cartridges (6BRs and Dashers) loaded with similar components. All of the Top Ten who listed their components ran Varget powder and CCI 450 primers in Lapua brass. BAT Actions were predominant, and both Nightforce and Sightron scopes were popular. The top projectiles were Vapor Trail 103s and Berger 105s.

Top Ten Equipment List
IBS 600 Yard nationals benchrest Memphis Range wind 6mmBR 6BR
CLICK HERE for longer Equipment List.

A Well-Run Match
According to all reports the entire event ran like a well-oiled machine. The target crew was quick and skilled and all of the other details were handled efficiently. Prizes and trophies were in abundance. There was even some originality. Much to everyone’s amusement, instead of the usual (boring) plaque or trophy for the Two-Gun winner, a professional wrestling-style Prize Belt was awarded. Great idea! Showing off the Champ’s Belt is Two-Gun winner Andy Ferguson (Right) with past Shooter-of-the-Year Richard Schatz.

IBS 600 Yard nationals benchrest Andy Ferguson Prize Belt Two Gun Winner

Wicked Winds Challenge Shooters on Saturday
The conditions were variously described as “horrible”, the “worst for any match on this range this year”, and so on. Conditions were worse on Saturday than Friday, blowing like stink by the end of the day. Friday morning it was cool, humid and breezy, with a wind speed of a little over 3 mph. By mid-afternoon, when the match finished, it was 20 degrees warmer and the wind had increased significantly to about 9 mph. Saturday morning was warmer, less humid, and the wind speed was about the same as Friday afternoon. But by mid-afternoon, at the end of the match, the wind was blowing 15 mph having peaked an hour earlier at 17 mph!

IBS 600 Yard nationals benchrest Memphis Range wind 6mmBR 6BR

Doing a little research on the Berger Bullets website, with a 105gr VLD running 2950 fps, and a 15 mph wind coming from 5 O’Clock, the bullet deflection at 600 yards would be over 17.5 inches. There were a fair number of shooters with good records that missed targets.

Good Deed by Match Director Mike Moses
Match Director Mike Moses “paid it forward” this year in Memphis. Mike learned that his friend, bullet-maker Bart Sauter, had invited a young barrel-maker, James Lederer, to the Nationals. As this would be Lederer’s first 600-yard experience, Bart was going to lend Lederer one of Bart’s rifles. But it had another maker’s barrel installed. Mike decided Lederer should, fittingly, use a barrel Lederer made himself. So Mike then chambered up one of two Lederer barrels Mike had recently purchased, and fitted it to one of his own rifles. Mike then fire-formed cases, worked up a load, and assembled ammo for the match.

Mike prepared three complete rifles (and ammo) for the match — one for himself, one for his daughter (Lindsey Talley, ace photographer), and one for James Lederer. It’s hard enough to prepare a Nationals rig for one shooter. Mike did it for three people, PLUS he ran the match.

How did it work out? James Lederer finished mid-pack on Friday, and put what he had learned to good use on Saturday, taking a solid fourth place in Heavy Gun.

Both Bart and Mike have been impressed with the quality of Lederer barrels. James has several years’ experience working for a well-known barrel-maker before designing his own computer-controlled cut-rifling machine, and opening his own one-man shop.

Bauer Power — Jim and Sally Bauer at IBS 600-Yard Nationals

Bauer heavy gun 600 Yard nationals van truck transport slide-out wood caddy

Jim Bauer sends 5 record rounds down range with his “Eagle” HG in Maxi-Tracker stock.

Sally Bauer shoots sighter rounds with her Stars & Stripes HG Maxi-Tracker.

Bauer heavy gun 600 Yard nationals van truck transport slide-out wood caddy

The Bauers have a great transport set-up, with custom, slide-out rifle carriers fitted to their van. You can see the two Heavy Guns featured in the videos in the lower drawer.

The Memphis Sport Shooting Association Facility
The Memphis Sport Shooting Association operates an impressive facility with ranges for rifle, pistol, and shotgun. The 600-yard benchrest range, with covered firing line, is nicely sited, with thick stands of trees left and right. There are 24 very solid concrete-top benches. Plentiful rain and sunshine provide ideal conditions for trees and grass. For those of us in the arid West, the Memphis range seems green and lush. The trees on either side offer some (but obviously not complete) protection from wind.

Bauer heavy gun 600 Yard nationals van truck transport slide-out wood caddy

Bauer heavy gun 600 Yard nationals van truck transport slide-out wood caddy
2012 Photo by Birdog for VarmintHunters.com.

The range was built on land that had been an across-the-course High Power range, and the raised berms for intermediate firing lines are still present. That makes the wind bit more “interesting” when head- or tail-wind angles prevail. There are no pits. For each bench, at 600 yards, two record targets are posted one above the other with a 20” square steel sighter gong directly below. The sighter plates are repainted throughout the day during target changes. CLICK HERE for a 360-degree video view of the range from the covered firing line.

To the IBS Membership — Thanks for Helping with Match Reports
Putting together these match reports for the IBS page on Accurateshooter.com is challenging and enjoyable work. The hard part is coming up with pictures and videos. This time I have been lucky and I am thankful for that. The best part is that I get to talk to some very fine people. Thank you all for taking the time to make my work possible. I appreciate it. — Boyd Allen

Credit Randy Dawson (Birdog) for most of the images and videos used here.

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November 13th, 2017

CMP Travel Games — Big Changes for 2018

CMP Travel Games electronic targets Creedmoor Cup

Report based on story By Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer
The CMP Travel Games will see some big changes in 2018. The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) has revamped its 2018 Travel Games schedule by adding matches and establishing its own Classification System. Starting in 2018, ALL additional Travel Games matches will be held on Electronic Targets, the CMP will take over the Creedmoor Cup Matches, and all matches will now follow CMP High Power Rifle Competition Rules. Moreover, all the Individual Service Rifle Matches will now count towards the new CMP Classification System.

CMP Travel Games schedules have been updated to accommodate the latest additions. CLICK HERE for New Schedules and more INFO.

Electronic Targets to Be Used for Additional Travel Games Matches
In 2018, the CMP will take over the Creedmoor Cup Matches and add new events to the CMP Oklahoma and New England Games. All additional matches will use the CMP’s Electronic Target System. This shows shot location instantly on monitors next to each shooter. The Electronic Targets also eliminate the need for pit duty, so matches run more quickly and there is less work for competitors.

CMP Travel Games

CMP Travel Games electronic targets Creedmoor Cup

New Events Added to the CMP Travel Games
Additional matches added to the Travel Games include Excellence In Competition (EIC) events that will count towards the Distinguished Rifleman Badge. All regular CMP events, such as the Small Arms Firing School, various vintage rifle competitions, Vintage Sniper Match, Rimfire Match, Carbine Match, and pistol matches (except Western), will still be included on the Travel Games schedule.

Oklahoma CMP Travel Games
File photo from 2015 Oklahoma CMP Games. Check schedule for 2018 dates.

Match Changes for CMP 2018 Travel Games:

  • Oklahoma CMP Cup & CMP Games Matches — two 80-Shot (800 Aggregate) Matches and a 4-Man Team Match.
  • Eastern CMP Cup & CMP Games Matches — The three Creedmoor 80 Shot Matches will now be changed to three 80-Shot CMP Cup Matches (800 Aggregate). A 4-Man Team Match and EIC Rifle Match will still be fired.
  • New England CMP Cup & CMP Games Matches — two 80-Shot (800 Aggregate) Matches and a 4-Man Team Match.
  • Western CMP Cup & CMP Games Matches — The three Creedmoor 80-Shot Matches will now be changed to two 100-Shot (1000 Aggregate) Matches. A 4-Man Team Match and EIC Rifle Match will still be fired.

CMP Travel Games

(more…)

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November 12th, 2017

CMP Custom Shop Can Repair and Upgrade Military Rifles

CMP Custom Shop

You may not be aware, but the Civilian Marksmanship Program runs a reliable, reasonably-priced maintenance/repair facility for USGI-issue rifles. Since October 2013, the CMP Custom Shop (Anniston, AL) has provided gunsmithing services for a wide range of U.S. Military rifles, specifically those issued in early eras. As well as repairs and troubleshooting, the CMP Custom Shop can upgrade, accurize, customize, and refinish the types of rifles the CMP sells.

CMP will work on the M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, 1903 and 1903A3 Springfield, the 1917 Enfield and the Krag. Other rifles like the Remington 40X, Mossberg 44, and H&R Model 12 can also be serviced. CMP will NOT work on shotguns, pistols, revolvers, M14/M1A, AR15-style rifles or other commercially-produced modern rifles. For a list of services (with prices) visit the CMP Custom Shop webpage.

cmp custom shop USGI rifle repairs

NOTE: Before you can send a rifle to the CMP Custom Shop you must be a customer on file in the CMP system. Customers must meet the same eligibility requirements as for CMP rifle purchases. Once qualified, you can purchase a rifle from the CMP and have the CMP Custom Shop make modifications to it prior to shipping.

CMP Custom Shop Can Work on USGI Rifles Purchased from Other Sources
The CMP Custom Shop can work on rifles that may have been purchased elsewhere as long as they were made by a USGI contractor. Some examples include: Springfield Armory (not Springfield Inc.), Harrington & Richardson, Winchester, International Harvester, Remington, Rock Island, Eddystone, Inland, Underwood, Rock-Ola, Quality Hardware, National Postal meter, Standard Products, IBM, Irwin-Pederson and Saginaw. NOTE: There are many NON-USGI copies of the M1 Garand, 1903 Springfield and especially the M1 Carbine that CMP will be unable to work on.

CMP Custom Shop Garand 1903 repair

CMP Custom Shop Garand 1903 repairFor more information, call (256) 835-8455, x1113, or send email to customshop [at] thecmp.org. Shipping and Correspondence address for the CMP Custom Shop is:

CMP Custom Shop
1803 Coleman Rd
Anniston, AL 36207

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November 9th, 2017

British Shooter Wins Big at CMP Western Games

CMP 2017 Western Games

Ellis Wins Three-Gun and Four-Gun Titles at 2017 Western CMP Games
Story based on Report by Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer
In a masterful showing of marksmanship, William Ellis of Langley, England won both the Three-Gun and Four-Gun Aggregate rifle competitions during the CMP Western Games in Phoenix last month. 2017 was a great year for Ellis, who first traveled to the Western Games in 2009. William’s 2017 performances earned him the second Distinguished Rifleman Badge by a non-U.S. citizen this past year.

CMP Western Games Vintage Sniper rifle

Earning twin Aggregate Titles was a great accomplishment for Ellis, who had nearly won three years ago. In 2014, Ellis was the runner-up (second-place) in both 3-Gun and 4-Gun. But this was Ellis’s year — he was unstoppable. He shot superbly in the Arizona desert, taking the top spot in the Springfield Rifle Match along with second place in the Vintage Military Match. Those strong showings helped earn Ellis the 3-Gun and 4-Gun overall victories. To accompany his centerfire victories, Ellis shot great in the Rimfire Match, winning the Tactical Class. This was truly a masterful five days of shooting by Ellis.

CMP 2017 Western Games

Ellis Will Be Featured on Shooting USA
The media took notice of Ellis, who may have traveled farther than any other competitor at this year’s Western Games. Ellis will be featured in a Carbine Match video segment by Shooting USA TV, which filmed portions of the 2017 CMP Western Games for an upcoming episode.

CMP 2017 Western Games

Other Winners at CMP Western Games — Ben Avery Shooting Facility, October 13-17, 2017

Garand Match: Randall Dwornik, 287-3X
Vintage Military: William Fairless, 290-7X
Modern Military: Jeffrey Schneider, 293-6X

Vintage Sniper Team Match:
Manual Class: Michael Miller, Mike Barranco – 393-11X
Vintage Sniper Semi-Auto Class: SSG Steven Ophoff, Jeffrey Schneider – 364-8X

CLICK HERE for Complete Western Games Results | CLICK HERE for Western Games Photos

Training and Instruction at Western Games
Along with competitive events, Western Games also featured a Small Arms Firing School class, a Garand-Springfield-Military new competitor clinic, and a High Power Level II Range Officer class.

CMP 2017 Western Games

Hot Day-Time Temps and Wicked Night Winds at Ben Avery
2017 Western Games competitors experienced hot weather in Phoenix. Temperatures reached well into the 90s each day. The afternoon of the Sniper team match day saw temps topping out at 102° F. But the real weather problem was a gale-force wind that howled one night. The CMP’s 30 electronic targets were set up on the berm in front of the High Power rifle range pits wall. After the Small Arms Firing School was concluded, 40+ MPH overnight wind gusts toppled the entire target line. Thanks to the CMP staff and several competitors, the majority of the targets were reset, and all matches were fired upon them for the scheduled day and the remainder of the matches.

About the CMP Western Games at Ben Avery
The CMP Western Games include Garand, Springfield, Vintage Military, Modern Military, Rimfire Sporter, Carbine, and Vintage Sniper matches. The October Western Games event is the last of the CMP Travel Games events held each year. The other Travel Games, hosted in Oklahoma, North Carolina, and New England, feature both vintage and modern rifle and pistol events — recreational competition for both adults and juniors and all experience levels. The Western Games is the only Travel event for rifles only.

CMP 2017 Western Games

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November 9th, 2017

Access Nine Years of Shooting Sports USA Magazine Online

Shooting Sports USA competitive shooting high power marksmanship archive SSUSA

Enjoy the Shooting Sports USA Archives
Winter is right around the corner. Soon we’ll all be spending more time indoors. For some folks, that means long sessions in front of the boob tube. We have a better idea — there’s a vast resource of good gun-related content available online for free. Check out the Shooting Sports USA Articles Archive. SSUSA maintains a vast digital library with hundreds of articles going back to June 2009.

It’s easy to find back issues of Shooting Sports USA magazine. Here’s how: Using the gray Toolbar at the top, click on the “Archives” icon in the upper right area (blue arrow) and you’ll be presented with a selection of magazine covers/dates in a vertical column. Simply use the vertical scroll bar to go from 2017 all the way back to 2009. Click any issue cover to read.

Shooting Sports USA competitive shooting high power marksmanship archive SSUSA

How to Find and Save Articles
To search through back issues, select “More Options” from the gray Toolbar. Then click the “Search” button. When that opens, select either “Search archives” for ALL back issues or select “Search Only this Issue”. When you’ve made your choice, enter your search term(s). For example, you could search for “F-Class” or “Camp Perry”. You can also save any archived issue for viewing offline as a PDF file. Just click “Save” to download the article you’re reading.

Read Sample Articles
Here are a couple of our favorite SSUSA feature stories from recent years. There are hundreds of other informative articles worth reading.

Wind-Reading Tips from Champion Shooters »

Shooting Sports USA Wind Reading tips

How to Clean and Maintain Match Barrels »

Shooting Sports USA Barrel Maintenance Clean Bore Scope

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November 8th, 2017

Shooting USA TV Features Bianchi Cup Competition

2017 NRA Bianchi Cup Columbia MO Action Pistol Championship
Match pistol photo courtesy Clark Custom Guns.

Bianchi Cup Pistol MatchThis week’s edition of Shooting USA, which airs Wednesday, November 8, features the NRA Bianchi Cup. This competition is one of the most prestigious and popular events in the world of handgun shooting. Officially, the annual competition in Columbia, Missouri is known as the National Championship of NRA Action Pistol. But to everybody, world-wide, it’s the Bianchi Cup, the trophy named for one of the founders, John Bianchi. In the past 30 years the match has become the richest handgun tournament in the world, with cash and prizes for the best scores on four stages of fire. Shooting USA will spotlight top male and female Bianchi Cup competitors in both wheelgun and and semi-auto pistol divisions. Along with North American shooters, the Bianchi Cup draws top handgun competitors from around the globe. Shooting USA airs Wednesday nights, on the Outdoor Channel, at 9:30 pm, and 1:30 am (Thursday) — East Coast Times.

CLICK HERE to Preview Bianchi Cup Episode on Shooting USA »

John Scoutten and S&W shooter Julie Golob report the action from the Bianchi Cup. This year shooters from as far away as Australia, New Zealand, and Japan traveled to Columbia, Missouri in search of the perfect 1920 match score. Each round is the aggregate of the four (4) fired events: Practical, Barricade, Falling Plate, and Moving Target Events. Each of the four events requires 48 shots to complete. 480 points possible on each event. Three of the four are scored on the NRA tombstone P1 target. You must hit in the 10-ring or inner X-Ring on EVERY shot to shoot a “clean” 1920.

Bianchi Cup Pistol Doug Koenig 2017

27 Years ago Doug Koening set the standard with a 1920. Since then, every Open shooter knows that he or she must “clean” this match (i.e. score a “1920”) to have a chance to take the title of “Champion”. The X-Count is the tie-breaker.

Bianchi Cup Pistol Doug Koenig 2017
Here are the top four women shooting the Practical Event during the Colt Championship Final. From top: 2017 Bianchi Women’s Champion Cherie Blake, third place SFC Katie Bahten, second place Anita Mackiewicz, and fourth place Jessie Duff. Shooting Sports USA Photo

This Bianchi Cup Preview, filmed a few seasons back, offers the perpective of newcomers to the game…

Bianchi Cup — Classic Course of Fire
The MidwayUSA/NRA Bianchi Cup is a combination of Speed and Accuracy. Competitors shoot from both standing and prone positions and are also required to shoot with both strong and weak hands at various stages. Stages may combine stationary and moving targets. As conceived by former police officer and holster-maker John Bianchi, the Bianchi Cup originated in 1979 as a Law Enforcement Training match. The Course of Fire consists of four separate matches:

  • The Practical Event: From the appropriate shooting line, the shooter fires at distances from 10 yards to 50 yards under varying time limits.
  • The Barricade Event: From within shooting boxes and behind barricades, a shooter fires at targets on either side of the barricade at different distances and under varying time limits.
  • The Falling Plate Event: From the appropriate shooting line, the shooter fires at 8 inch round steel plates arranged in banks of six at distances from 10 to 25 yards under varying time limits.
  • The Moving Target Event: From within shooting boxes at distances ranging from 10 to 25 yards, the shooter fires at a target moving from left to right with the target being exposed for only 6 seconds.

Due to the high accuracy required in each stage of the Bianchi Cup, the tournament is widely considered one of the most difficult handgun championships on the planet.

Bianchi Cup Revolver

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November 6th, 2017

Fixed-Power Optics for F-Class — Testing in Competition

Optics Scope review March High Master fixed-power 48x52mm 48-power competition optic Jay Christopherson Accurateshooter.com

March 48x52mm High Master Scope — Tested in Competition

by Jay Christopherson, AccurateShooter.com Systems Admin
Using a fixed power scope on your F-Class rifle is not only effective, but can save you weight and money — key benefits when it comes to the F-Class game.

I recently tested the March High Master 48x52mm scope on my F-Open rifle in three different matches, including a Long Range Regional match in Montana and the recent 2017 US F-Class National Championships in Lodi, WI. While I’ve long been considering a fixed-power optic, it wasn’t until a recent F-TR build came in over-weight (with a large zoom scope), that I finally decided to give it a fixed-power comp scope a try. The March High Master 48x52mm saved me both weight (10.6 oz. or 300 grams) and money ($800+) compared to a top-end, variable-power March.

Across three matches and multiple conditions (including heavy mirage), I never found myself wishing that I had a variable-power scope on top of my rifle. And I never experienced issues holding rings on the target. A fixed-power scope might not be for everyone. However a serious F-Class shooter who needs to cut some weight, or save a little cash (compared to high-end zoom scope), shouldn’t be worried about being “under-glassed” with a fixed power scope such as the March HM 48x52mm. It can do the job. [Editor: Jay finished second overall in F-Open Division at the 2017 F-Class Nationals.]

The Case for A Fixed Power F-Class Optic

There’s been a thought bouncing around and growing in my head for the past few years while shooting F-Class — Why don’t more guys shoot a fixed power scope in F-Class? Nine out of ten F-Class shooters I’ve polled spend most of their time between 40 power and 50 power, regardless of the conditions. It seemed to me that a fixed power in the 40X – 50X range would be a great option.

I’ll admit, that I’ve long been an advocate of needing a variable-power scope so that I could “dial down to see the rings” on those really heavy mirage relays. There’s even been times when I’ve been successful dialing down to 35X – 25X just for that reason. But still, like most guys, I find that I rarely go above 50X and rarely below 40X – 99% of my time is spent right around 42X – 45X. Having gotten used to shooting high magnification now, it’s been quite a long time since I’ve bothered to dial down below 40X, even in very heavy mirage. But, I held on to that notion that it’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

Optics Scope review March High Master fixed-power 48x52mm 48-power competition optic Jay Christopherson Accurateshooter.com

I recently built an F-TR rifle. I made a slight mistake on the weight. Fully built with my zoom scope, the rig ended up at 8.3kg (8.25kg is the limit for F-TR). That’s not much overweight, but I don’t like to be too close to the limit anyhow. There are lots of ways I could have addressed the issue, but I started thinking again about the scope. I love my current variable-power scopes, but I couldn’t help thinking that a fixed power scope in the 40X – 50X range might solve my issue nicely (and give me a chance to try something new). So I obtained a March High Master 48x52mm fixed-power scope to test. The 48X magnification falls right into my comfort zone. With its 52MM objective, the March HM matched the profile of my existing variable-power scopes nicely. Aesthetics is at least part of the goal and in my opinion, 50MM+ objective scopes look “right” on F-Class rifles. It’s also worth noting that this is the only fixed power scope that I have tried so far and that I have no affiliation with the manufacturer.

There’s the notion out there that fixed power scopes have inherently brighter sight pictures or maybe “clarity” is a better word. This may be due to there being less complex lenses and fewer parts inside. I don’t have any way to quantify that, so I’ll just say that the image clarity is excellent on the 48X March. I also found that the scope weighed 300 grams less than my variable-power scope, which brought me under the F-TR weight limit nicely, as I had hoped.

Optics Scope review March High Master fixed-power 48x52mm 48-power competition optic Jay Christopherson Accurateshooter.com

Fixed-Power Scope at 2017 F-Class Nationals and Other Matches
Because my F-TR rifle was still in load development, I decided to try out the March HM 48x52mm at a couple matches on my F-Open rifle, while I waited on a part for my F-TR rifle. I fitted the 48x52mm scope to my F-Open rifle and used it at three matches: 1) a local 600-yard mid-range match in WA State; 2) the Long Range Regional at Deep Creek in Montana; and 3) the 2017 US F-Class Nationals in Lodi, WI. I ended up using it the entire match at all three matches. With three different matches, all a few weeks apart and in different parts of the country, I got a nice cross-section of light, weather, and mirage conditions to sample. At all three matches, and even in a medium-heavy mirage situation, I never found myself wishing I could dial down the power. In fact, I never thought about variable power at all — the scope was excellent in all of the different conditions. Even with a good deal of mirage present, I never had a problem making out the rings well enough to hold on. For what it’s worth, I used the scope while shooting on two different teams that set (pending) National LR and MR F-Open team records at those matches. If I didn’t have confidence in a fixed-power scope (and the March in particular), I would never have taken a chance shooting it where a team depended on me. [Editor: In individual competition, Jay finished second in F-Open at the Nationals.]

Scope Tracked Great and Click Values Were Right On
In terms of technical details, the scope tracked perfectly on my scope checker (there are several threads on the AccurateShooter forums regarding checking a scope for drift), which meant I felt comfortable using it at the F-Class Nationals. Critically, I spent a good bit of time working on the ocular focus (reticle focus) so that it would be perfectly set-up for my eye. I’ve found that many complaints about parallax and “soft” or “blurry” images can be traced back to the owner never taking this critical step with a new scope. Normally my scopes all have external, tactical-style turrets — the March HM 48×52 has covered turrets. I wondered how this would work for me, but again, I never thought about it while shooting. Once the covers are off, the clicks are extremely tactile and easy to read and it just never became an issue. The parallax adjustment works nicely and the scope tracked well with every adjustment I made, from 600 yards to 1000 yards.

Optics Scope review March High Master fixed-power 48x52mm 48-power competition optic Jay Christopherson Accurateshooter.com

What Could Be Improved
On the con side of things, I find the scale on the elevation turret to be a bit confusing. Most scopes I have used have an incrementing scale on the elevation (and windage) turrets, so that you can count up from zero as you dial up the adjustments. The 48X HM uses a ‘0’ that is centered on the turret travel (see photo above), so that you count down or up on the scale. Here, I would prefer a scale that bottoms out at zero (or that you can adjust to bottom out at zero) and then increments. I think it’s an easier and more consistent way to measure, but your mileage may vary. Other March scopes I’ve used have a color-coded system on the turrets which I also find a little less than useful. Again, I wouldn’t mind at all if March re-thought its system there.

The other con for me is the eye-relief. It’s middle of the road as far as other high-end scopes I’ve used, but for me personally, I still find it a bit on the short side — I would prefer more eye relief.

Save Hundreds Compared to a Premium Zoom Scope
On the plus side (from a cost standpoint), fixed power scopes are generally priced quite a bit lower than equivalent-quality, variable-power optics. The March HM 48x52mm (product # MAR1076) I tested is no exception. Bullets.com sells the HM 48x52mm for $1951.00. That’s $810 less than its variable-power relative, the March HM 10-60x52mm, priced at $2763.00. I consider the 48x52mm’s $1951 price to be very reasonable for such a quality piece of hardware.

Conclusion — High-Quality, Fixed-Power Scopes Are Worth Considering
Overall, if you find that you spend 99% of your time in the 40X – 50X range with your variable-power scope, I’d encourage you to give some thought to a fixed-power scope for F-Class. I’ve only tried one fixed-power optic — the March HM 48x52mm. But having used this excellent, fixed-power scope in several high-level F-Class competitions now, I’d have no qualms about recommending a high-grade, fixed-power optic to anyone shooting F-Class.

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Optics 12 Comments »
October 30th, 2017

2018 NRA National Match Schedule Released

2018 NRA National Match schedule Camp Perry F-Class High Power Smallbore Camp Atterbury

Mark your calendars boys and girls — here is the complete 2018 NRA National Match schedule. This includes the National High Power Championship, National F-Class Championship, Fullbore (Palma) Championship, and a 15 more major national events.

2018 NRA National Match schedule Camp Perry F-Class High Power Smallbore Camp AtterburyThe 2018 NRA Championship season kicks off with the Intercollegiate Pistol and Rifle Championships at Fort Benning (GA). Then comes the NRA Bianchi Cup, followed by the National High Power Matches at Camp Atterbury (IN), the National Pistol Championships at Camp Perry (OH), the National Smallbore Championships in Bristol (IN), the National HP Silhouette Championships in Raton (NM), the NRA World Shooting Championship in Glengary (WV), the National F-Class Championship in Raton (NM), and many more major events throughout the summer and fall.

The complete 2018 NRA National Match schedule is as follows:

EVENT / DATE / LOCATION

Intercollegiate Pistol Championships / March 17-20, 2018 / Fort Benning, Georgia

Intercollegiate Rifle Club Championships / March 23-25, 2018 / Fort Benning, Georgia

NRA World Action Pistol Championship / May 19-20, 2018 / Hallsville, Missouri

NRA Bianchi Cup / May 23-25, 2018 / Hallsville, Missouri

National Muzzle Loading Championship / June 9-17, 2018 / Friendship, Indiana

National Air Gun Championship / June 14-19, 2018 / Bloomington, Illinois

National High Power Matches / July 5-24, 2018 / Camp Atterbury, Edinburgh, Indiana

Camp Perry Pistol championship F-class

National Pistol Championships / July 9-13, 2018 / Camp Perry, Ohio

National Silhouette Smallbore Championships / July 16-18, 2018 / Raton, New Mexico

National Smallbore Championships / July 19-30, 2018 / Wa-Ke’-De Range, Bristol, Indiana

National Smallbore championship Bristol Indiana wa-ke'-de

National Silhouette High Power Championships / July 19-21, 2018 / Raton, New Mexico

National Silhouette Championship Lever Action Rifle / July 24-27, 2018 / Raton, New Mexico

National Silhouette Black Powder Cartridge Rifle / July 30-Aug. 3, 2018 / Raton, New Mexico

Fullbore Prone National Championship / September 8-14, 2018 / Raton, New Mexico

NRA World Shooting Championship / September 13-15, 2018 / Glengary, West Virginia

National F-Class Championship / September 16-23, 2018 / Raton, New Mexico

National Police Shooting Championship / September 24-26, 2018 / Albuquerque, New Mexico

National Silhouette Black Powder Target Rifle / October 1-7, 2018 / Raton, New Mexico

Black Powder Target Rifle Championship

How to Get More Information about NRA Championships
CLICK HERE for more information about NRA Competitive Shooting, including MATCH INFO and program rules. Visit Shooting Sports USA Magazine online at www.SSUSA.org for shooting news, competitor profiles, and match reports.

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October 29th, 2017

Rise of the Railguns — Potential Records Set at IBS Match

Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California
Gary Ocock let the event’s youngest competitor, 12-year-old Gavin Lichtenwalter, shoot Gary’s new Railgun for the last three matches on Sunday afternoon. The day before Gary shot what should be a new IBS 100-yard, five-shot HB group record. Photo credit: Ben Zentner

Heavy Benchrest (Unlimited) rifles, also known as “Railguns”, are the most accurate competition firearms ever invented. And these amazing examples of shooting technology showed their capability recently, with potentially four (4) new records being set at an IBS Heavy Benchrest Invitational match in Visalia, California. If you are curious about the most accurate rifles on the planet, then read on…

2017 Visalia Invitational — IBS Heavy Benchrest Match

Report by Boyd Allen, IBS Exec. Vice President
There was some amazing shooting at a recent Invitational Heavy Benchrest match* held in Visalia, California on October 21-22, 2017. No less than FOUR new Heavy Benchrest (HB) records may have been set. Three individual targets were submitted for the 100-yard HB five-shot group record, a .039 by Gary Ocock (photo below), along with two targets by Jim Nicolas, a .040 and .041.

Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California

Multiple Aggregate records (at both 100 and 200 yards) may also have been set. Larry Boers shot a 100-yard, five-target 0.1232 Aggregate that will be submitted for the IBS HB 100-yard, five-shot group Agg record. And Gary Ocock may have set two additional HB Agg records. Gary’s five-target 200-yard Agg (0.1310) is a potential new five-shot-per-target record, as is his ten-target Grand Agg (0.1480) (that covers 100 AND 200 yards, five targets per yardage, ten targets total).


CLICK HERE for Complete Match Results (PDF) »

Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California

Top Guns Come to IBS Match in California
This California match attracted some of the best Railgun pilots in the game today. On the firing line were three current NBRSA Unlimited record holders: Larry Boers (one record), Steve Kostanich (two records), and Gary Ocock (three current NBRSA UNL records, plus one HV). All three shot well enough in this match that their targets are being submitted to the IBS for consideration as Group, Aggregate, or Grand Aggregate records. NOTE: The “Heavy Benchrest” IBS category is equivalent to “Unlimited” under NBRSA rules. CLICK HERE for Complete Match Results.

Top Shooters for the Match included: Larry Boers (Two Gun, HB GrAgg1, HB 100-yd); Gary Ocock (HB 200-yd and HB GrAgg2); Francis Lee (HB 200-yd).

Two-Gun Overall Results
Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California
Note: The computer software shows the results for one Grand Agg as “Heavy Varmint”. In fact the SAME HB Railguns were used for both Grand Aggs, so the “Two-Gun Agg” is actually a pair of HB Aggs.

Top Equipment List
Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California

Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California
Saturday Winners: George Lozano, Larry Boers, Lawrence Weisdorn, Gary Ocock, Joe Stanovich, and Jim Nicolas. Photo by: Dan Lutke.

Conditions: It rained on Friday, but Saturday and Sunday were sunny and slightly cool at first and perfect after that. Saturday at 10:00 am it was 62°, 64%, and the wind was light, increasing slightly later in the day. Sunday’s conditions were similar with a slightly higher wind speed, but still light. The wind was from the West at 3-10 mph, generally stronger closer to the firing line than down range. This normally is more of a picker’s range than a runner’s venue. However, there was some “running” of groups this weekend since rail guns are particularly suited for that style of shooting.

Hall of Famer Helps Young Novice
Along with the seasoned veterans, there was a new competitor, a 12-year-old shooting his very first match. As with life, there were highs and lows. Young Gavin started out with an equipment failure — the rifle he brought wasn’t working, so shooter Bob Hatley let Gavin borrow Bob’s bag gun. Then Gavin got some expert assistance from one of the world’s best — Hall of Famer Gary Ocock. Gary let Gavin shoot the last three 200-yard matches with Gary’s new integral block, Jay Young-built Railgun, one of the most accurate firearms on the planet. Gary shot this rig on relay #1 and let Gavin shoot it in relay #2. How many of us will ever get this kind of opportunity, much less a first time 12-year-old competitor? It’s like a school kid getting to drive an Indy-winning race car.

Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California
This photo shows Gavin with family and friends: Grandmother Mary Oulrey, father Mark Lichtenwalter (second from left), grandfather Gary Oulrey (far right). Bob Hatley (extreme left) stepped up to share his bag rifle with Gavin, and Gary Ocock (right of Gavin) let Gavin shoot his Railgun. Note Gavin is wearing Gary’s Hall-of-Fame jacket.

The Facility at Visala — Dale Wimp Rifle and Pistol Range
The Visalia Range has a covered firing line with 28 fixed, monolithic steel-reinforced concrete benches. The direction of fire is north. The cover extends well past the front of the benches as does the concrete. There are covered loading areas both at the level of the benches, directly behind them, and one level up farther to the rear. The firing line and range are below the level of the surrounding land, having been excavated in flat ground with the material from the excavation surrounding the range on three sides, higher in the back, forming an impact berm. A major construction project is about to be finished that will extend the range to 300 yards, and provide a new 10-station, 25-yard pistol range.

Surrounded by fields, the Visalia Range is located in California’s Central Valley, a rich agricultural area.
visalia benchrest shooting range unlimited benchrest railgun heavy gun

Notables on the Visalia Firing Line

Three of the competitors at the match deserve special mention because of their recent accomplishments in the world of Benchrest shooting and the interesting equipment they had on display.

Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California

Jim Nicholas was on fire on Saturday. During Saturday morning’s 100-yard Aggregate he shot a .040 in the fourth match, and a .041 in the fifth. Both targets and the .039 that Gary Ocock shot were sent in to be measured for a record. All are substantially smaller than the current record, Hap Zeiser’s .063. In the photo above, note the tuner. Jim adjusted a little less than 8 degrees just before he shot .040 in the fourth match and .041 in the fifth. That must have been the “sweet spot”. Jim’s blue Railgun, built by Craig Kinsler, features a barrel block that is integral with the rig top. This is like the new Jay Young Railgun Ocock shoots.

Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California

Larry Boers owns the NBRSA Unlimited, 100-yard 10-shot group record (.097). This makes the fourth time that he has won the Two-Gun Overall for this match. Larry is not just a trigger-puller — he makes his own bullets and chambers his own barrels. This year he shot a bullet he still lists under his bullet-making mentor’s name (Del Bishop) a 65 grain, double radius 5/9 FB made from J4 .790 jackets, out of a Nemi point die. Del originally made the bullet and the story is that Nemi at first refused to make the die because he was sure that it wouldn’t shoot well. Later, after some cajoling by Del, he made it, tried a few and excitedly called Dell to tell him just how good the bullets shot. Larry set his record shooting a .750 jacket short BT (.040) bullet from the same die.

Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California

Steve Kostanich, a long-time competitor and highly-respected gunsmith from Washington State, recently received official confirmation that he will go in the record books with a pair of 10-shot Unlimited NBRSA world records. The first record is a 10-shot 200-yard 0.1839 Aggregate, while the second is Steve’s 100-200 yard 0.1951 Grand Aggregate.

Parting Shot — This is what happens when you set your Wind Flag stand too high.

Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California


* Course of Fire: This was a two-day Heavy Benchrest (aka HB or “Unlimited”) weekend match with targets at 100 and 200 yards, five shots per target. Saturday all shooting was at 100 yards. Sunday all shooting was at 200 yards. There were two (2) Grand Aggregates. One Grand Agg combined Saturday morning (100) with Sunday afternoon (200). The Second Grand Agg combined Saturday afternoon (100) and Sunday morning (200). The match had two HB Grand Aggs because only one class of gun (Heavy Benchrest or “Unlimited”) was shot. The computer software shows the results for one Grand Agg as “Heavy Varmint”, but all matches were for Heavy Benchrest (Unlimited) guns. NOTE: Some competitors did shoot bag guns as these are allowed under HB/Unlimited rules.

Permalink Competition, News 2 Comments »
October 28th, 2017

Fathers and Sons Compete at Talladega Marksmanship Park

Talladega Marksmanship Park father son shooting competition
Terry Mathy (right) watched as his father Dusty (left) fired on electronic targets for the first time.

Here’s a “feel-good” account of father and son duos who competed this year at the CMP’s modern Talladega Marksmanship Park. It’s great to see fathers introduce their children to the shooting sports, and carry on the tradition of marksmanship from generation to generation.

“In my opinion, there is no better way to teach responsibility, self-discipline, integrity and to build trust. There are so many lessons in shooting sports, and in hunting, which apply to other areas of life. It’s also an opportunity to build an understanding of the freedoms we enjoy, why we have those freedoms and why we must act responsibly to preserve them.”

“It makes me proud when others approach us at the range and compliment [my son] Terry on his safety and etiquette. There are no stronger bonds between father and son than those formed in the woods, on the water, and at the range.” — Dusty Mathy

Through the Eyes of Father and Son: The Affinity of Marksmanship
Report based on story by Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer

The Talladega Marksmanship Park is a major draw for marksmen around the country. Just ask father/son duo Dusty and Terry Mathy. Back in June 2017, SSG Dusty Mathy (U.S. Army) visited Talladega for the first time. Dusty brought along all four members of his family: wife Rachel, son Terry (9) and daughter Olivia (8). The Mathy family traveled all the way from their Kansas home to attend the Talladega D-Day matches.

Talladega Marksmanship Park father son shooting competition
During the D-Day event, father Dusty Mathy earned a medal for his Carbine Match performance and posed with his son, Terry (left).

During the D-Day match, father Dusty took his first shots on outdoor electronic High Power targets, an experience he won’t soon forget: “That alone was worth the trip… Shooting an entire EIC match, start to finish in about 90 minutes, with no pit duty, [was] priceless.” Son Terry helped out by recording scores: “I marked my Dad’s shots in the data book, and looking at the electronic targets saved time. The match was much faster, and it was easy to see how my dad was doing. And easy to mark his shots.”

Talladega Marksmanship Park father son shooting competition
Talladega Marksmanship Park in Alabama is a 500-acre facility featuring modern electronic target systems with monitors at each shooting station.

For Dusty and Terry, marksmanship is more than putting shots through a target — it’s a way of building character and … enjoying life together. When Terry was 7, the two shot at their first Project Appleseed event, where they learned about American history as well as marksmanship. Now the father and son regularly shoot at a local 300-yard Vintage Sniper Match using Terry’s .223 Savage Axis in Open class. Terry’s skills continue to improve each time he fires — his personal best so far is 97-3X.

During the week the Mathy family visited the South CMP Store in Anniston and took a tour of the CMP’s impressive armory. The family also attended the barbeque the CMP hosts as a “thank you” for competitors and guests. “It was outstanding,” said Dusty of his family’s experience. “We met some really great people at the matches. Rachel and Olivia really appreciated the relaxing environment in the Club House and being able to sit at the little covered bleachers during the matches.”

The Lewis Father and Son Team at Talladega
There was another father and son team at the Talladega during the D-Day event in June 2017. LTC Jerry Lewis and his son Josh Lewis (16) of Fayetteville, Georgia, both attended and competed in the Talladega D-Day event together. Though still in high school, Josh is an accomplished marksman who learned his skills from his father, a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. military.

Talladega Marksmanship Park father son shooting competition
Josh Lewis shoots M1 Garand (.30-06 Sprg) while his father Jerry Lewis tallies the score.

Talladega Marksmanship Park father son shooting competition
Jerry and Josh Lewis are another example of family teams who enjoy Talladega’s competitions and deluxe shooting facilities. There are shotgun and pistol ranges along with the rifle range.

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October 26th, 2017

Jim Borden on Kelly McMillan’s “Taking Stock” Radio Show

Kelly McMillan Taking Stock Radio Show Voice America

You’ll want to tune in to Kelly McMillan’s Taking Stock Radio Show tomorrow, Friday, October 27, 2017. This week’s Episode 42 features respected action-maker and gunsmith Jim Borden of Borden Accuracy. The Radio Show, which streams on the internet, runs 8/27/2017 at 11:00 AM Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Sports Channel.

Jim and Kelly will discuss a variety of topics, including gunsmithing, action design/manufacture, the past/present/future of Benchrest and F-Class competition, and how Benchrest technology have influenced other disciplines. Jim Borden is a “benchrest icon” who has been in the business maybe as long as McMillan. Kelly notes: “I remember the Borden name dating way back to when it was just my mother, father, and I working in the garage. Jim Borden will share the story of his legacy with our listeners”. CLICK HERE to LISTEN.

The Radio Show will also feature Kelly’s friend Kevin Finley, a professional bass fisherman. Access this and other “Taking Stock” episodes by clicking the Radio link on McMillanUSA.com, then select “Listen Live” or select Episode on Demand to hear previous shows. In past weeks, Taking Stock Radio has featured K02M and World F-TR Champ Derek Rodgers, Team USA F-TR Captain Ray Gross, Ballistics Guru Bryan Litz, Long-Range Champ Nancy Tompkins, High Power Champ Carl Bernosky, Legendary Olympic Shooter Lones Wigger, Sniper’s Hide Founder Frank Galli, and many other notables.

Borden and McMillan Collaborate on F-Open Rifle for Juniors

Borden Rifles Accuracy McMillan

It’s great to see two important businessmen give back to the shooting sports. Kelly McMillan and Jim Borden are working together on a project — creating an F-Class Open rifle that can be loaned out to young shooters to help them get started with the sport. Great idea — we need to get more young folks involved in precision shooting. In F-Class (as well as benchrest) we have an “aging population”. Engaging the next generation of shooters is vitally important.

Jim Borden Photography Rimrock RiflesBorden Accuracy — A Success Story
Borden Accuracy/Borden Rifles has been a source for precision benchrest and hunting rifles for many years. Jim started doing his own gunsmithing while competing in benchrest and High Power silhouette matches. Jim launched his business in 1987, working nights and weekends while still employed at P&G. The business became full-time in 1995 with Jim and his wife Joan doing the work. The business was expanded in 1999 with the construction of the new Springville, PA facility and the addition of sons Jim Jr. and John to the staff. Son-in-law John Mecca came onboard in January 2000.

Jim and company began making Rimrock benchrest and Rimrock hunting actions in 2001. They added Borden Alpine and Timberline actions in 2006. These actions are made in an advanced manufacturing facility which has three CNC vertical Machining centers, three CNC lathes, three manual lathes, a manual knee mill, a surface grinder, a cylindrical grinder and wire EDM machine. To learn more, visit BordenRifles.com, call 570-965-2505, or send email to info [at] bordenrifles.com.

Borden Accuracy Rifles benchrest actions

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October 23rd, 2017

Team USA at ISSF World Cup Final in India this Week

Team USA Trap Mixed Team Ashley Carroll Derek Haldemann

Ten USA Shooting athletes compete this week at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup Final in New Delhi, India. Some 160 shooters from 15 countries will compete in this year’s invitation-only World Cup Final which runs October 22-30, 2017. Most of the Team USA squad in India are shotgunners. This year our Skeet/Trap shooters, including six-time Olympic Medalist Kim Rhode (above left), have garnered 26 top-10 finishes plus 12 individual medals and eight team medals.

The new Olympic events of Air Rifle Mixed Team, Air Pistol Mixed Team, and Trap Mixed Team kick off this ISSF World Cup Final in India. The USA has two pairs in the Trap Mixed Team event: Kayle Browning/Jake Wallace and World Championship bronze medalists Ashley Carroll/Derek Haldeman.

Browning and Wallace won a team silver at the World Cup in Acapulco, Mexico. Ashley Carroll (Solvang, California) and Derek Haldeman (USAMU, Sunbury, Ohio) won team bronze at the World Championship in Moscow, Russia. Interestingly, Ashley and Derek have a life together away from the trap range — they have been dating for two years now.

Team USA Trap Mixed Team Ashley Carroll Derek Haldemann

“The way the team event goes, it’s still a pretty individual game,” said Haldeman, who will make his World Cup Final debut in New Delhi. Haldeman, a Double Trap specialist, converted to Trap this season upon Double Trap’s elimination from the Olympic program. “It’s hard to help each other out during the actual competition. Ashley came down to Fort Benning to work on stuff. We worked on how we can work together, what we can say and what we can’t say, and that’s kind of how we were getting ready for World Cup Final. We’ll shoot together, have fun with it and see what happens!”

Ashley will compete again later in the week as the lone U.S. competitor in Women’s Trap. Carroll had a breakout year in 2017, winning her third National Championship win in a row, along with a gold-medal win and world-record finish at World Cup Acapulco.

Thrasher is Sole American Rifle Shooter at ISSF World Cup Final
2016 Olympic gold medalist Ginny Thrasher (Springfield, Virginia) is the sole USA Rifle competitor at the 2017 ISSF World Cup Final. Thrasher, who earned her berth by virtue of winning Olympic Gold in Rio, took Bronze at the 2016 World Cup Final in Bologna, Italy.

Ginny Thrasher ISSF World Cup Final Olympic gold medal

ISSF World Cup Final
Competition commenced Sunday and concludes on October 30. The ISSF World Cup Final runs each year at the conclusion of the World Cup season. Athletes earn points through finishes throughout the season, with the eight best athletes in each event earning invitations to this match. Wild card invitations are also granted to title defenders, and in years of the Olympic Games and World Championships, to the three medalists in each event.

Finals will be streamed live on the ISSF website, on the Federation’s Livestream channel, on its official Facebook page and on the Olympic Channel.

ISSF World Cup Finals Schedule (All times USA Eastern Time)

Tuesday, October 24th: Trap Mixed Team at 4:30 am
Wednesday, October 25th: Skeet Women at 5:30 am
Thursday, October 26th: 10m Air Rifle Women at 2:30 am; Skeet Men at 5:30 am
Saturday, October 28th: Trap Women at 5:00 am
Sunday, October 29th: 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Men at 12:45 am

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October 20th, 2017

Tough Brass for Big Ammo — Cheytac Brass from Peterson

Peterson .375 Cartridge Brass Cheytac K02M

Do you have a hankering to shoot Extreme Long Range (ELR)? Then you’ll want a large-caliber cartridge with plenty of boiler room. Some of the most successful ELR cartridges have been based on the CheyTac family, including the .375 CheyTac (9.5×77) and .408 CheyTac (10.36 x 77). Now brass for both these jumbo cartridges is offered by Peterson Catridge. This Peterson Cheytac brass has proven to be tough and long-lived. And it is capable of winning — Derek Rodgers won the 2017 King of 2 Miles (K02M) event shooting a .375 Cheytac with Peterson brass. Here’s a report on how Peterson developed and tested its tough CheyTac cartridge brass.

Developing and Testing CheyTac Brass

Report by Peterson Cartridge Co.
Recently, our president, Derek Peterson, was live-testing our most recent iteration of the .375 CheyTac (aka 9.5 X 77). He started with five casings, and did a full-body resizing after each firing. He got 17 firings out of each before he started to notice the early signs of case head separation. [Editor: Theses were with extremely high pressure loads.] He then took another set of casings and after each firing he just bumped the shoulder back, like a typical reloader would. He got 20 firings out of those casings.

Peterson .375 Cartridge Brass Cheytac K02M
Note: CheyTac® is a registered trademark of CheyTac USA, LLC. Peterson Cartridge has no affiliation.

Low MV Extreme Spread
On the first two shots the muzzle velocities were within 12 feet per second of each other. On the 3rd and 4th shots the muzzle velocities were within 6 feet per second of each other. By the 5th shot the muzzle velocities were within 1 foot per second of each other. Now that is how you can put two bullets in the same hole down range.

No SAAMI Spec for CheyTac Cartridges
As many of you probably already know there is no SAAMI spec on these calibers. So, without a SAAMI spec there is no stated maximum pressure for a service load. However, there IS an international spec on the .408 [promulgated by the] CIP (Commission International Permanente). And the CIP max pressure for this round is extremely high. Our partner in Europe tells us it is probably unnecessarily high. Our partner loads these rounds and they have a standard load for the .375s which is also quite high. So that is the pressure we did our testing at. To even achieve that pressure, we had to use a compressed load. We are explaining all this to say that you [should not use] a load that hot, and therefor you will most likely get more reloads than we did[.]

Peterson Brass Goes Through 11 Dimensional Tests
With all the casings we make in any caliber, we perform a battery of in-process, real-time dimensional checks. [We test] 11 different dimensions continuously throughout each shift. Some of these are tube cylindricity, mouth to body concentricity, primer pocket diameter, length to shoulder, overall length, and more. These measurements are automatically fed into Statistical Process Control software. If a dimension begins to drift from nominal we can catch it immediately and correct it.

Peterson is Fully Committed to CheyTac Brass Production
Peterson Cartridge purchased additional manufacturing equipment designed specifically to produce these large casings. Our capacity is 5-million casings a year. We are committed to there not being a shortage of these calibers ever again.

.375 CheyTac — K02M-Winning, World-Beating Cartridge

Derek Rodgers is the 2017 King of 2 Miles. He is also the only human to ever hit the maximum distance target target at 3368 yards (1.91 miles). His cartridge choice? The .375 CheyTac. Derek ran Cutting Edge Bullets in Peterson brass with Hodgdon H50BMG powder.

Q: Why did you choose the .375 CheyTac cartridge?

Derek: When I was asked to join the Applied Ballistics Team, I needed to get an ELR rifle built in a short period of time. I was under a very tight time schedule to get the project complete. In an effort to eliminate variables, I decided to keep things standard and as simple as possible. I chose the .375 CheyTac for the ease of getting components. The larger rifles are more difficult to get components quickly and I felt like the .375 CheyTac had enough attributes to be competitive at ELR distances.

.375 Cheytac Derek Rodgers KO2M King 2 miles

.375 Cheytac Derek Rodgers KO2M King 2 miles

Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Tech Tip No Comments »
October 20th, 2017

13,000 More Crossman Air Rifles for Army JR0TC Program

crossman challenger pcp air rifle u.s. army jrotc trainer contract

Crosman, the world’s largest airgun manufacturer, has again been awarded the contract to supply Sporter Class air rifles for the U.S. Army JROTC program. The Army will purchase more than 13,000 Crosman Challengers, adding to the more than 4,000 rifles the Army purchased in 2016. The Challenger air rifles will be built at Crosman’s headquarters in Bloomfield, New York.

The Challenger PCP (pre-charged pneumatic) Air Rifle is the preferred .177 sporter class air rifle for competitive marksmanship programs throughout the country, including the Marine Corps JROTC, Army JROTC, Air Force JROTC, Navy JROTC, American Legion, and 4-H. The Challenger is a three-position competition rifle that features a fully adjustable stock, a two-stage, adjustable match grade trigger, a hooded front aperture sight, a micro click, adjustable diopter rear sight, a patented ambidextrous pull bolt, and a floating Lothar Walther™ barrel.

“The Crosman Challenger has long been the preferred air rifle for coaches from a variety of marksmanship programs,” said Jennifer Lambert, VP Marketing & Product Development for Crosman. “We’re proud that the Army JROTC chose to continue our partnership and we can’t wait to see what new championships and records their cadets will achieve.”

In addition to airguns, Crosman sells Lasermax optics and laser aiming devices, and Centerpoint archery products. Crosman is a subsidiary of Compass Diversified Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CODI).

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills No Comments »
October 19th, 2017

Paul Hill Wins European F-Open Championship with 7mm RSAUM

Paul Hill Bisley Europe European F-Class Championship

Shooter Profile by Des Parr, UK
We have a new European F-Open Champion: Paul Hill from the UK. If he looks familiar, it’s because Paul appeared here 12 months ago when he set a new F-Open record score of 100-17X at 900 yards at last year’s European Championships. There are some factors which make Paul’s victory all the more significant. First, he didn’t employ a top gunsmith to do his work — he’s a real working-class here who did it all himself. To keep costs down he taught himself to do all his own machining and bedding. Paul acquired a lathe, learned how to run it, and then carefully did all his own chambering and fitting. He then taught himself how to bed the rifle too. You have to admire a man who teaches himself how to build Championship-winning rifles.

Paul Hill Bisley Europe European F-Class Championship

Another unusual factor is Paul’s choice of components. Paul used the Lapua Scenar 180-grain bullet, the same bullet used to set his 2016 record. The 180gr Scenar is a fairly “old-fashioned” shape, but Paul points them using a “shooting shed” pointing tool. For seating, he uses his own home-made die with a Wilson top. Whatever the Lapuas may lack in BC, they more than compensate for in consistency, and that’s the key to success. As an aside, they compare very favourably in tests on the Juenke ICC machine, indicating that they’re very well made indeed.

7mm RSAUMPaul Hill Equipment List
Paul shot in the F-Open class firing the 7mm RSAUM cartridge, a short magnum. He ran a 30″ Krieger 1:9″-twist barrel mated to a Barnard Model P action bedded in a Joe West laminated stock. His pushed those Lapu8a Scenar with the relatively new Reload Swiss RS70 powder. Paul rates this RS70 propellant very highly. It may be unfamiliar to shooters in the USA, but RS70 is REACH compliant and is likely to become more popular when many other powders are forbidden from the EU next year. Paul is also a big fan of the Russian KVB-7 primer, a very mild and consistent primer — marketed under “Wolf” in the USA.

It is not just about having the right equipment though, it is also all about the application of skills and techniques and Paul was very keen to acknowledge his debt of thanks to Erik Cortina for his reloading techniques and Brian Litz for his writings on range mind set and diet. There is another, until now, secret factor that may have helped Paul. He is an Apiarist (bee-keeper) and he swears by the beneficial effects of his daily honey on toast. Who knows? Perhaps he’s on to something — nothing sells like success, so Paul’s honey sales may take off now just like his shooting career.

Here’s a good video showing F-Class Shooters at Bisley (FieldSports Channel 2015)

2016 Wasn’t So Bad Either
Paul Hill’s 2017 Championship win followed an impressive performance last year. At the 2016 European F-Class Championships at the Bisley Ranges, Paul set a record score at 900 yards: 100-17V! That’s 17 shots placed in a five-inch circle the size of a CD (compact disc) at over half a mile. [NOTE: At Bisley, the maximum score is FIVE points, not ten points. So the maximum score for 20 shots is 100. Also what Americans call an “X” is called a “V” at Bisley.]

Paul Hill Bisley Europe

Record Set with Slower Pair Firing Method
The style of shooting in Great Britain is pair-firing. Under this procedure, each of two competitors shoots alternately, taking turns from shot to shot. Each shooter has 45 seconds to take his shot. Allowing for the target pullers to do their jobs, this means that each shot can take up to one minute. As Paul was pair firing, he had to concentrate for up to 40 minutes to get all 20 shots off! You can imagine how many times the wind changed course in those 40 minutes –pick-ups, let-offs, changes of angle and direction. Paul had to counter each change and still managed to put 17 shots in that 5-inch circle!

Permalink Competition, News, Reloading No Comments »
October 17th, 2017

IBS Chooses Boyd Allen as New Executive Vice President

IBS Benchrest Shooters Boyd Allen Executive Vice President VP

The International Benchrest Shooters (IBS) is pleased to announce the hiring of Boyd Allen as its new Executive Vice President/IBS Editor. Boyd will be responsible for guiding the IBS’s marketing and Public Relations efforts. He will handle all articles on IBS’s web partner, Accurateshooter.com, the leading rifle accuracy site on the Internet. He will also coordinate and contribute to preparation of match reports on Accurateshooter.com for IBS National Championships and other featured matches. Boyd will also work with the IBS Executive Board and discipline committees on rulebook and other administrative activities. Boyd Allen can be reached at: boydallen [at] live.com.

A long-time competitive shooter, Boyd has competed in registered benchrest matches near his home in Fresno, CA. He has written for both Precision Shooting magazine and Shooter’s News. Most recently, Boyd has been a regular contributor to Accurateshooter.com and an active Forum member. Boyd will help the IBS reach a broader audience through AccurateShooter.com and social media. He expects to enhance match reports and also do regular articles on benchrest equipment and trends. He will spearhead a proposed 300-yard exhibition match in 2018 that can bring together shooters from multiple precision rifle disciplines. (Editor: We like this idea — this 300-yard showdown could be the ultimate “bragging rights” match with “point-blank” PPC shooters dueling with Dasher pilots and F-Class aces.)

The IBS is a leading organization for group and score benchrest competition, including the 100/200/300 benchrest games, along with 600-yard and 1000-yard benchrest disciplines.

IBS Benchrest Shooters Boyd Allen Executive Vice President VP

IBS Benchrest Shooters Boyd Allen Executive Vice President VP

IBS Benchrest Shooters Boyd Allen Executive Vice President VP

IBS Benchrest Shooters Boyd Allen Executive Vice President VP

IBS Benchrest Shooters Boyd Allen Executive Vice President VP

IBS Benchrest Shooters Boyd Allen Executive Vice President VP

News Tip from Edlongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Competition, News 3 Comments »
October 16th, 2017

PRS for the Very First Time — Gavin Gear Goes Gas Gun

Gavin Gear PRS Precision Rifle Series 22 Nosler AR15

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.


READ Gavin PRS MATCH REPORT | READ Gavin PRS GEAR REPORT

What PRS is All About
PRS is all about pushing your rifle skills to edge. You may have to hit targets at four different distances in 90 seconds- and dial in your dope between each shot. These kinds of challenges are super-difficult, but with enough experience and practice, it’s amazing what you can do. I saw guys that were so smooth, steady, fast, and accurate, it was mind blowing! It doesn’t come easy, and the guys at the top of the heap are super-dedicated. — Gavin Gear

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

Gavin’s First PRS Match: The Experience

By: Ultimate Reloader
Gavin told us that he’s wanted to try out the PRS game: “For a long time I’ve talked with friends about trying out a PRS-style match. Life has been busy, but when the right opportunity came, I decided to give it a try. My friend and shooting partner Jim Findlay offered to help me prepare, and told me it would be ‘fun to shoot gas guns together’. I decided I would shoot an AR-15, and thought that would be an ideal opportunity to try something new — the 22 Nosler. I wasn’t sure exactly what I was getting myself into, but that’s typically the way things happen when you’re really trying something new. It was a great experience, and it taught me a lot about shooting. I also made some great connections and friends during the match. If you are at all interested in PRS (Precision Rifle Series, or just Precision Rifle in general) I would suggest you enter and compete in a match. You most likely won’t regret it.”

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!”

Gavin did experience issues with his “stout” 22 Nosler loads: “I did run into some trouble — I had loaded my 22 Nosler rounds to max charge weight with Varget powder and experienced some failure-to-feed issues during the match. Initially I thought my bolt needed more lubrication, but [it was] between 96 – 100°F during the hottest part of the Match day.” With the ultra-high ambient temperatures, Gavin experienced over-pressure. Word to the wise — “Test everything you plan to use on match day, and take into account things like weather conditions as well”.

Gear Choices and Selection

Ultimate Reloader ultimatereloader.com PRS Gavin Gear match report 22 Nosler AR-15

Gavin tells us: “In order to be successful in a PRS match, you need a rifle that is accurate enough, extremely reliable, has great ergonomics, handles well, and fits your budget.”

READ Full PRS Gear Article on UltimateReloader.com »

22 Nosler AR-15 rifle used by Gavin in the PRS match
18″ 1:8-twist 22 Nosler Upper
Two Stage Match Trigger – .154″ Hi-Speed DMR (GEISSELE AUTOMATICS)
Hogue AR-15 rubber grip
Magpul PRS stock
Harris S-BRM 6-9″ bipod
Vortex Viper HS-T 6-24x50mm scope

Action Type — Bolt vs. Semi: While most PRS competitors use bolt-action rifles, there are classes of competition that specifically call for semi-automatic actions to be used. Even so, in Open Class where you can pick which action type you’d like to use, there’s a split between the two for various reasons. I used an AR-15 in my first match, and for comparison, I think I’ll use a bolt-action rifle in my next match!

Support — Bipods and Bags: I think the first thing I said when trying to shoot from a barricade was: ‘You have to be kidding’. For someone used to prone shots from a bipod (when shooting long-range) this new challenge seemed impossible. My reticle was literally all over the place trying to shoot a target at 400 yards. But over time things improved drastically! Part of this improvement came from practice and technique, and part came from using the right support systems, such as the Game Changer Bag from Armaggedon Gear:

Ultimate Reloader ultimatereloader.com PRS Gavin Gear match report 22 Nosler AR-15
Photo Courtesy Accurate Ordnance.

All the Gear Items You Need — Bags, Bipods, Optics and More
UltimateReloader.com’s PRS Gear Summary covers Rifle Choice (gas gun vs. bolt-action), chambering options, optics, support systems (bipods and bags), dope cards, accessories and much more. Both novice and experienced PRS competitors will find this article well worth reading.

Permalink Competition, New Product, Tactical No Comments »
October 15th, 2017

Sight Picture Options for Iron Sights

Iron sights picture metallic sights USAMU

In an article for the CMP Online Magazine, SSG Tobie Tomlinson of the USAMU Service Rifle Team explains the various sight alignments employed by iron sights shooters. Tobie writes: “There are a myriad of sight picture options that shooters have used to great effect over the years. The sight picture that allows you to consistently shoot the smallest group, with a minimal shift in zeros, is the correct one. Remember, for any shooter to be successful, consistent sight picture must be complemented by front sight focus and sight alignment.” CLICK HERE to read FULL ARTICLE

Center Hold
The front sight is placed directly in the center of the target. A center hold is great in different light conditions. On a bright day the target appears small. On a dark day the target appears large. In [any] light conditions the center of the target is always in the center. A shooter who has problems with elevation shots in various light conditions may benefit from a center hold.

6 O’Clock Hold
With the 6 O’Clock hold the front sight is placed at the bottom of the aiming black. For many shooters, this hold allows precision placement of the front sight. The ability to accurately call your shots will come with time and experience. Light changes, which alter the appearance of the target, may affect shooters who utilize the 6 O’Clock hold.

Sub 6 Hold
The sub 6 is just like the 6 O’Clock hold, only there is a small line of white between the front sight and the aiming black. Many shooters have a problem determining the exact 6 O’Clock position with their front sight, but by using a sub 6 or line of white they may be able to better estimate their hold.

Frame Hold
With the frame hold, just like with the other holds, the front sight is in the center of the rear sight. The front sight can then be placed at the 6 or 12 O’Clock position on the frame when there is no visible aiming point. This hold is typically reserved for foul weather and poor light conditions. By placing the front sight at the top or bottom of the frame, a shooter may hold better when there is little target to see. It can be difficult to hold a tight group this way, but it may add more hits in bad conditions. This technique is normally applied when shooting longer ranges such 600 or 1000 yards.

CLICK HERE for more articles from The FIRST SHOT, CMP Online Magazine.

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »