January 18th, 2017

MasterPiece Arms Chassis Named Official 2017 PRS Chassis

PRS MPA Chassis official modular stock

Here’s interesting news from the PRS world — there’s now an official chassis for the Precision Rifle Series. The PRS has chosen the Masterpiece Arms (MPA) Chassis System as the Official 2017 PRS chassis. This recognizes the success many PRS shooters have achieved with MPA Chassis-equipped rigs.

PRS MPA Chassis official modular stock

“Our MPA Chassis system has been available to serious shooters for several years now and has been dominating the PRS…” said Phil Cashin, MasterPiece Arms President. “We are honored the Precision Rifle Series has taken notice and chosen MPA as its official chassis.”

PRS MPA Chassis official modular stock

MasterPiece Arms now offers the MPA BA Chassis system for the Remington 700 Short and Long, Savage and Howa Short and Long actions, the Badger M2013, Mausingfield, Surgeon 591SA and 1086 LA, Stillers, and Tikka T3 and others. Machined from 6061 aluminum, the ambidextrous MPA BA chassis offers many important features for serious PRS shooters.

MPA Also Produces Production Class Rifle
The Precision Rifle Series has established a price-capped Production Class in an effort to make competition more affordable. Under recently-issued PRS rules, Production Class rifles may cost no more than $2000.00 (not counting optics), and Production Division rifles may not be altered or improved in any way from the original factory configuration.

MasterPiece Arms Production rifle PRS

To fit the new Production Class Rules, MasterPiece Arms (MPA) has developed the new BA Lite PCR Competition Rifle built around a Savage Model 12 short action. Designed specifically for the new PRS Production Class, MPA’s PCR Competition Rifle offers many premium features yet stays under the $2,000 Class limit. The Savage action is upgraded with a Rifle Basix 2-lb trigger, and the adjustable, modular chassis offers a bag rider, barricade stop, and built-in bubble level.

For more information on MasterPiece Arms and its product line of pistols, rifles, carbines and suppressors, visit MasterPieceArms.com.

Permalink Competition, Tactical No Comments »
January 15th, 2017

The Whims of the Wind — Slow-Motion Windflag Video


Photo of Aussie Wind Flags courtesy BRT Shooters Supply.

A while back our Aussie friend Stuart Elliot of BRT Shooters Supply recently filmed some interesting videos at the QTS range in Brisbane, Australia. Stuart told us: “I was shooting in an Air Gun Benchrest match here in Brisbane, Australia. I finished my target early and was awaiting the cease fire and took a short, slow-motion video of windflag behavior.” You may be surprised by the velocity changes and angle swings that occur, even over a relatively short distance (just 25 meters from bench to target).

Here are windflags in slow motion:

The flags show in the videos are “Aussie Wind Flags”, developed by Stuart Elliot. These are sold in the USA by Butch Lambert, through Shadetree Engineering.

Here is a video in real time:

Stuart says this video may surprise some shooters who don’t use windflags: “Many people say the wind doesn’t matter. Well it sure does — whether for an airgun at 25 meters or a long range centerfire at 1,000.” This video illustrates how much the wind can change direction and velocity even in a small area.

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January 8th, 2017

Shooting F-Class in a Team Role

Sierra Bullets Blog Mark Walker Team Shooting F-TR F-Class

This article comes from the Sierra Bullets Blog. Visit Sierra’s Blog for a variety of interesting articles about reloading, ballistics, hunting, and competitive shooting.

Shooting F-Class as a Team
by Sierra Bullets Product Development Manager Mark Walker
Last [year] I attended the Southwest Nationals for my third straight year. However this was the first year that I had the opportunity to participate in the team shooting events. At the previous matches I was strictly shooting to try and post the best individual scores that I could. This was challenging in its own right and I pushed myself to become a better shooter. During this time I became friends with some other shooters and started to become exposed to the team events. A good friend of mine, Bret Solomon, approached me about shooting with the Spindle Shooters team and I jumped at the chance.

F-Class teams consist of four shooters and a wind coach. As a shooter, you are responsible for the vertical up and down component of each shot. You want to have a rifle that shoots with very little vertical dispersion from shot to shot to give the wind coach as much of the width of the scoring ring to use as possible. The wind coach is responsible for the horizontal component of each shot. The wind will move the bullet from side to side on the target and it is the wind coach’s job to tell the shooter where to aim so each bullet will land in the highest scoring rings in the middle of the target. Everyone has a job and for the team to succeed, everyone must be at the top of their game.

Sierra Bullets Blog Mark Walker Team Shooting F-TR F-Class

For some people, the stress of having four other people depending on you is a bit daunting. However, that is what makes the team events so fun! Not every string you shoot will be a clean. But there is nothing more exhilarating than when the wind is blowing and you and your coach are having to pick your way through the conditions, and that final shot comes up an X.

Now when I attend matches, I shoot the individual targets to help determine how my rifles are shooting and pick the best one to shoot in the team events. And I have to admit that even my individual scores are improving due to the extra attention that I give the rifles to try and have the best equipment for the team. If you have never tried team shooting, I encourage you to give it a try. At most large matches, there are “pick-up” teams that are looking for shooters. This makes a perfect opportunity to meet new people and get [started]. Once you give it a try, you will be hooked!”

Team Shooters Work Together for a Common Goal.
F-Class F-TR Team Matt Schwartzkopf
USA F-TR Team member Matt Schwartzkopf excels at F-TR team shooting despite lacking two lower legs. He works as a range manager at Ben Avery. In recognition of his character and determination, at the 2016 SWN, Matt was awarded one of the first Accurateshooter Corinthian Awards. (2015 Photo.)

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
January 2nd, 2017

NRA Competition Classifications — What You Need to Know

NRA High Power Competition Category Classification Master, High Master, Expert, Marksman
2014 NRA High Power Champion Joseph Hendricks

Marksman, Sharpshooter, Expert, Master, High Master — how are those classifications set up and how does one move up (or down) from one classification to another? These questions and more are answered by the NRA in a Shooting Sports USA article.

The purpose of the classification system is to allow competitors of the same relative ability to compete on a level playing field. That way relatively new or inexperienced shooters can compete in a class with others of the same skill levels, and be recognized. Likewise, the most skilled or successful shooters compete in the Master and High Master categories. But now and then a Marksman or Sharpshooter can indeed win a match outright or place in the top ten.

NRA High Power Competition Category Classification Master, High Master, Expert, Marksman

How Does a Competitor Receive a Classification?
You begin the classification process by competing in a sanctioned, registered tournament. The match sponsor then sends the scores to the NRA within 30 days. If you are an NRA member, your NRA membership number is your classification ID. Non-NRA members are assigned a classification number.

Competitors may check their classification status at any time via the NRA Classification Page.

What are the Standards for Each Classification (Marksman, Sharpshooter etc.)?
Section 19 in each NRA Rule Book covers the classification rules for that discipline. This section includes the course-of-fire used for classification, number of shots required and the percentage for each class. For example, in High Power Rifle competition a minimum of 120 shots is required for the first classification card. The High Power performance-based classification levels are:

Marksman: Below 84 percent
Sharpshooter: 84-88.99 percent
Expert: 89-93.99 percent
Master: 94-96.99 percent
High Master: 97 percent or above

NOTE: After the initial High Power classification, an additional 240 shots will be required to reevaluate a classification — and each time thereafter.

NRA High Power Competition Category Classification Master, High Master, Expert, Marksman

How Long Does the Classfication Card Remain Valid?
A classification card remains valid as long as the competitor competes in an NRA-sanctioned tournament at least once every three years (five years if the competitor holds a Master card). The date on all classification cards is the effective date, not an expiration date. You do NOT have to shoot three matches a year to maintain your classification (a common misconception).

Is an NRA Classification Card Required to Enter a Tournament?
NRA has no such rule, generally speaking. However, some tournament sponsors may require this as part of their local regulations. You may use a Temporary Score Record Book for your first few tournaments while awaiting your classification card. These books are free and are provided either by your tournament sponsor or by the NRA Competitive Shooting Division. Note that until you are classified, you must compete in the master class for your first few tournaments.

NOTE: Some high-level matches do require NRA membership. For example the 2016 NRA National Smallbore Rifle Championships Program stated: “Competitors who do not hold an NRA Official Classification, either in the type of competition being fired, or an Assigned Classification, will not be allowed to enter.”

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January 1st, 2017

Happy New Year 2017 and Message to Our Readers Worldwide

AccurateShooter.com Forum New Year 2016 donation
Image courtesy iwishyouthesame.com.

Happy New Year to all our readers worldwide, and especially the nearly 34,000 members of our AccurateShooter Forum. We hope 2017 brings you happiness in your lives and success in your endeavors. And we wish for small groups, good scores, and successful hunts in the New Year.

AccurateShooter.com ForumWe upgraded our site in the beginning of 2016, making our Forum mobile-friendly with new faster, more modern software. We hope you’ll continue to enjoy our feature articles, our Daily Bulletin, our match reports, and our Free Forum Classifieds. The formula seems to be working — our audience is bigger than ever and it just keeps growing, with over 550,000+ unique users visiting the site every month.

Forum Membership Grows 14% in 2016
Our Shooters’ Forum grew significantly in 2016. Our membership grew by over 14% as Forum ranks swelled to nearly 34,000 members! More people are successfully buying and selling in our FREE Forum Classifieds section than ever before. Remember, user donations help make our Free Classifieds possible.

Join our Shooters’ Forum Community — 34,000 Strong
Site is Modern and Mobile-Friendly!

AccurateShooter.com Forum

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We need your support. For over 13 years the site has relied largely on volunteer efforts by dedicated shooters. But as the site grows, serving a larger audience, we need the assistance of freelance writers and video producers, plus help from expert computer and software techs. Those guys don’t work for glory alone.

Consider this — what do you pay for a couple of movie tickets these days? Maybe 20 bucks for 90 minutes of escapism. For around two bucks a month ($20-$25 per year) you can help this site provide a YEAR’s worth of info, tests, tech tips, bargains, and shooting news.

In the past quarter of 2016 about 190 site users have donated. We thank all those who have generously contributed. But that still leaves tens of thousands of users who access the site regularly without contributing. With more donations we can deliver more premium content and offer more services to our members.

Here’s our proposal. First, if you have used our FREE Classifieds to successfully sell your rifles or shooting gear, consider sending in $10.00 from your sale proceeds. Second, for those who use the site regularly, consider donating $20 for the year. That will help us sustain our operations, for the cost of couple of movie tickets (or one large pizza).

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Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
January 1st, 2017

Solid Gold Shooting Tips from Sam Hall

At the request of many Forum members, we’re reprising this archived video from past IBS 600-yard Shooter of the Year Samuel Hall. Without a doubt, Sam is one of the best mid-range benchrest shooters in the nation. While the video quality is rough (to say the least), Sam’s offers plenty of tips you can “take to the bank”. Even if you don’t shoot competitively, the techniques described here can improve your accuracy when shooting from a bench.

2008 IBS 600-yard National Champion Samuel Hall has prepared a 9-minute VIDEO showing his techniques for shooting from the bench. Sam covers a number of topics including bag set-up, body position, bolt manipulation, and loading skills. He also explains the importance of having a relaxed, comfortable posture and keeping your head in the same position shot to shot.

If you’re serious about accurate benchrest shooting, at ANY distance, you should watch this video. Sam’s tips can really help you. We guarantee it. While the video itself is grainy and wind noise affects the audio, you can still glean many great points from the video. From minute 8:00 on Sam shoots a 5-shot string on camera with his BAT-actioned, Leonard-stocked 6BR. Though he was fighting 20-mph winds Sam achieves a half-inch group at 200 yards. Quarter-MOA in such conditions is good shooting.

IBS Sam Hall Benchrest

Permalink - Videos, Competition No Comments »
December 28th, 2016

One Dollar DIY: Make a Mirage Shield from a Venetian Blind

make your own mirage shield for rifle

make your own mirage shield for rifleWant to shoot better scores at your next match? Here’s a smart, inexpensive do-it-yourself project from the good folks at Criterion Barrels. For less than one dollar in materials, in just a few minutes you can create a handy, effective mirage shield, custom-fitted to your favorite rifle.

All precision shooters should be familiar with mirage, a form of optical distortion caused primarily by variations in air temperature. Savvy shooters will use mirage as a valuable tool when gauging wind speed and direction. Natural mirage is unavoidable, but there are many techniques designed to limit its influence in long-range marksmanship.

A form of mirage can be produced by the barrel itself. Heat rising from the barrel may distort sight picture through your optics, leading to erratic results. Mirage caused by barrel heat can be reduced dramatically by a simple, light-weight mirage shield.

How to Make a Mirage Shield

A mirage shield is an extremely cost-effective way to eliminate a commonly-encountered problem. Making your own mirage shield is easy. Using old venetian blind strips and common household materials and tools, you can construct your own mirage shield for under one dollar.

Materials Required:
1. Vertical PVC Venetian blind panel
2. Three 1”x1” pieces adhesive-backed Velcro
3. Ruler or tape measure
4. Scissors or box cutter
5. Pencil or marker

1. Measure the distance from the end of the receiver or rail to the crown of the barrel.

make your own mirage shield for rifle

2. Using a pencil and ruler, measure the same distance and mark an even line across the blind.

make your own mirage shield for rifle

3. Cut across the line using scissors or a box cutter, shortening the blind to the required length. (Remember, measure twice, cut once!)

4. Expose the adhesive backing on the loop side of the Velcro. Center and apply the Velcro strips on the barrel at regular intervals.

make your own mirage shield for rifle

5. Expose the adhesive backing of the fuzzy side of the Velcro.

6. Place the blind on the upper side of the barrel. Apply downward pressure. Once the Velcro has secured itself to the barrel, separate the two sides. Proceed to mold both sides of the Velcro to fit the contour of their respective surfaces.

7. Reaffix the blind. Barrel related mirage is now a thing of the past!

make your own mirage shield for rifle
NOTE: You can attach the Velcro on the opposite side of the blind if you want the blind to curve upwards. Some folks thinks that aids barrel cooling — it’s worth a try.

How to Remove and Re-Attach the Mirage Shield
Removal of your mirage shield is accomplished by simply removing the blind. You can un-install the Velcro by pulling off the strips and then gently removing any adhesive residue left behind using an appropriate solvent. (Simple cooking oil may do the job.) Caution: With fine, high-polish blued barrels, test any solvent on a non-visible section of the barrel. Before storing the gun, re-oil the barrel to remove active solvents and residual fingerprints.

Permalink Competition, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
December 25th, 2016

Benchrest Bling — The Pappas Front Rest for Rimfire BR

Pappas Air gun front rest

Our friend and product tester Joe Friedrich is the proud owner of a spectacular Pappas front rest. Built by James Pappas, this rest is used for both air rifle and rimfire benchrest matches. The fancy Pappas front rest is a shortened, front-support-only version of the Pappas one-piece rest, which is popular with rimfire benchresters. Pappas engineered this rest to comply with air rifle benchrest rules which do not allow use of integrated (one-piece) front and rear rests. The end result was a 30.8-lb masterpiece of machining. Sadly, James Pappas passed away in 2014. This beautifully-crafted rest, built in 2011, is one of the finest examples of his work — a fitting legacy.

Pappas Air gun front rest

The workmanship on this Pappas front rest is astounding. Accurately described as a “work of art” by Joe Friedrich, this rest, crafted of aircraft-grade aluminum, sets new standards for “Benchrest BLING”. It looks like it should be on display in an art museum. Nearly all components of this rest, including the adjustment controls, have been polished to a mirror finish.

Pappas Air gun front rest

Convenient Rear Windage and Elevation Controls
The Pappas front rest features separate fine-tuning controls for windage and elevation, plus a central gross-elevation control. Normally, once the rest is centered-up on the target, you can make all needed elevation and windage adjustments with the rear (fine-adjustment) controls. In the video below, Joe explains how the controls work as he practices with his modified Theoben Rapid MFR air rifle. (Note: In the last minute of the video, the back-lighting was so intensely bright that we lost detail in the foreground. We apologize for that flaw, but you can still hear the audio.)

YouTube Preview Image

Price for this Masterpiece? Don’t Ask…
If you are interested in getting a similar rest, visit PappasRimfireProducts.com, or call (325) 754-5771. Be forewarned — “If you need to ask about the price, you probably can’t afford it.” This is truly the “Rolls-Royce” of front rests, and it will be priced accordingly.

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December 22nd, 2016

Personalized Precision — The Modern Smallbore Match Rifle

Anschutz 1913 rifle smallbore

Report based on Lars Dalseide story in NRAblog

Anschutz smallbore position rifleHigh-Tech Rimfire Rigs
If you watched the smallbore position and prone shooters at the 2016 Brazil Olympic Games, you couldn’t help but notice the exotic rifles competitors were shooting. There were wood stocks, metal stocks, factory-built rifles and customized specials. Why are there are so many different design features and stock types? To answer this question, the NRAblog’s editors called on Jessie McClain of the NRA Competitive Shooting Division.

“The customized rifles, like the Anschütz you showed me, can make a real difference in a shooter’s performance,” explained McClain. “I went from a decent shooter to making the varsity shooting team my freshman year because of the rifle.” As Jessie explained, one new feature out there is the adjustable stock, which she called the Porsche of the shooting world. Fully adjustable from the butt plate to the check piece to the hand stop and risers and bolt knobs, this component is fully customizable to the athlete … which can be a huge advantage. “Every person is different … a customizable rifle fits anyone. A rifle team can purchase four of these and field a shooting team for years.”

Anschutz 1913 rifle smallbore

The Modern Anschütz Position Rifle
Smallbore match rifle makers are using modern materials in response to the need for greater adjustability (and enhanced accuracy). One of the popular new designs is the Anschütz model 1913 position rifle with a “1918 ALU Precise” brushed aluminum stock. This looks like it has been crafted in an aircraft plant.

Anschutz 1913 rifle smallbore

Story by Lars Dalseide, courtesy the NRA Blog.
Permalink Competition, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
December 21st, 2016

Aiming Techniques for Long-Range Competition

F-Class Aiming Long Range Score Shooting
The movie “The Patriot” gave us the phrase “Aim small, miss small”. While that’s a good mantra, aiming strategies for long-range competition are a bit more complicated, as this article explains…

In our Shooters Forum, one newcomer wanted some advice on selecting a reticle for F-Class optics. He wondered about the advantage of Front (first) Focal Plane (FFP) vs. Second Focal Plane scopes and also wondered if one type of reticle was better for “holding off” than others.

In responding to this question, Forum regular Monte Milanuk provided an excellent summary of aiming methods used in F-Class. For anyone shooting score targets, Monte’s post is worth reading:

Aiming Methods for F-Class (and Long-Range) Shootingby Monte Milanuk

600-yard F-Class TargetF-Class is a known-distance event, with targets of known dimensions that have markings (rings) of known sizes. Any ‘holding off’ can be done using the target face itself. Most ‘benefits’ of Front (first) focal plain (FFP) optics are null and void here — they work great on two-way ranges where ‘minute of man’ is the defining criteria — but how many FFP scopes do you know of in the 30-40X magnification range? Very, very few, because what people who buy high-magnification scopes want is something that allows them to hold finer on the target, and see more detail of the target, not something where the reticle covers the same amount of real estate and appears ‘coarser’ in view against the target, while getting almost too fine to see at lower powers.

Whether a person clicks or holds off is largely personal preference. Some people might decline to adjust their scope as long as they can hold off somewhere on the target. Some of that may stem from the unfortunate effect of scopes being mechanical objects which sometimes don’t work entirely as advertised (i.e. one or two clicks being more or less than anticipated). Me personally, if I get outside 1-1.5 MOA from center, I usually correct accordingly. I also shoot on a range where wind corrections are often in revolutions, not clicks or minutes, between shots.

Some shooters do a modified form of ‘chase the spotter’ — i.e. Take a swag at the wind, dial it on, aim center and shoot. Spotter comes up mid-ring 10 at 4 o’clock… so for the next shot aim mid-ring 10 at 10 o’clock and shoot. This should come up a center X (in theory). Adjust process as necessary to take into account for varying wind speeds and direction.

John Sigler F-Class

600-yard F-Class TargetOthers use a plot sheet that is a scaled representation of the target face, complete with a grid overlaid on it that matches the increments of their optics — usually in MOA. Take your Swag at the wind, dial it on, hold center and shoot. Shot comes up a 10 o’clock ‘8’… plot the shot on the sheet, look at the grid and take your corrections from that and dial the scope accordingly. This process should put you in the center (or pretty close), assuming that you didn’t completely ignore the wind in the mean time. Once in the center, hold off and shoot and plot, and if you see a ‘group’ forming (say low right in the 10 ring) either continue to hold high and left or apply the needed corrections to bring your group into the x-ring.

Just holding is generally faster, and allows the shooter to shoot fast and (hopefully) stay ahead of the wind. Plotting is more methodical and may save your bacon if the wind completely changes on you… plotting provides a good reference for dialing back the other way while staying in the middle of the target. — YMMV, Monte

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
December 20th, 2016

New Kestros F-Class Open Stock from McMillan

McMillan F-Open F-Class Kestros Long Wheelbase Boyd Allen
Click Image for full-screen version of photo

F-Class has become one of the fastest-growing types of mid-range and long-range rifle competition. Because of that popularity, a market for specialty equipment has been created, including stocks. McMillan Fiberglass Stocks offers a variety of stocks for both F-TR and F-Open disciplines. Shown above and below is the new Kestros*, McMillan’s upgraded, second-generation F-Open stock. This is an impressive offering, with good stiffness, a torque-taming low-profile design, and good adjustability for the shooter. Our friend Boyd Allen had the chance to test drive a Kestros recently.

McMillan F-Open F-Class Kestros Long Wheelbase Boyd Allen

McMillan Kestros “First Look” Range Review by Boyd Allen
McMillan’s first-generation F-Open stock was well-received, and this new GEN II Kestros includes some significant improvements, making it even better. To achieve increased stiffness, the fore-end was filled out and its fill density was increased. (F-Open rifles have a rather generous 22-lb. weight limit, so the slight increase in stock weight should not be a problem.)

Because F-Open Shooters typically shoot long, heavy bullets through fast-twist barrels, torque control is an issue, which is why the base of the front section of the fore-end is close to the barrel. This low-profile design counters torque. By maximizing the angle defined by the bottom corners of the stock and the bore’s centerline, this stock geometry increases resistance to roll.

McMillan F-Open F-Class Kestros Long Wheelbase Boyd Allen

As tested, this Kestros stock features a nice three-way adjustable butt, as well as an adjustable cheek piece. Symmetrical palm swells and the symmetrical cheek piece make the stock truly ambidextrous. We believe that the cheekpiece locking knob can be switched to either side, adapting to both lefties and righties.

Comments by Tester Boyd Allen
Wanting some visual pop for pictures, and knowing that this was to be a range-only rifle, I ordered a tri-color flame pattern gel coat, the most durable of stock finishes, because it is part of the stock rather than being an applied, surface-only finish.

McMillan has been in the stock business for a long time, and when you sit down behind this one, you understand why. This company really knows what it is doing. The Kestros is a real pleasure to shoot, tracking perfectly. As the saying goes, it falls readily to hand.

My test Kestros stock came very accurately CNC-inletted for my action, with the optional aluminum pillars. The fit is so good that I am doing a full load work-up before doing final bedding, so I can see just how much (if any) bedding improves accuracy. For this test I have chosen a 6PPC barrel (yes it does look short with this stock.) because it will allow me to make finer distinctions in this area. Later I will be working with other calibers (and longer barrels). So far I have been very impressed with this stock — ergonomics, tracking, stability, build quality, and inletting have all been excellent.

* The original Kestros (aka “Kestrosphendone” or “Cestrus”) was an ancient Greek military weapon, a type of sling used to hurl heavy, arrow-like finned projectiles.

Permalink Competition, Gear Review No Comments »
December 19th, 2016

Basics of the Prone Position — Building the Position

USAMU Prone First Shot CMP
USAMU Prone First Shot CMP

The First Shot, the CMP’s online magazine, features a well-written article on Prone Shooting Technique by SPC Matthew Sigrist of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU). The article covers all the major points of gun hold and body position: hand position, elbow position, stock weld, buttstock placement, and sling position/tension.

Keep it Steady — The Elements of a Good Prone Position

Part 1 — Building the Position
By SPC Matthew Sigrist

Imagine the following scenario: You are at the last stage of fire in the National Trophy Individual Match, firing at the 600 yard line in the prone position and every point matters. What should you reflect on as you prepare to shoot this final string? As your eyes cloud from sweat, you realize that all you have to rely on is your experience and knowledge of the fundamentals.

During the National Trophy Individual Match, you will fire 60 percent of your shots from the prone position. This article will address the fundamentals of a good prone position and help you learn the techniques required to be successful in both the slow and rapid-fire stages of National Match competition.

This article will be divided into two parts. In part one, we will discuss the elements of a good prone position. In part two, we will cover the techniques you will in the rapid-fire and slow-fire stages.

The Fundamentals

The fundamentals are the building blocks of a position. Much like the framework of a house, a correct application of the fundamentals ensures a solid and stable structure. Since each person’s position will depend on their particular body build and shape, there is no “perfect position” that applies to everyone. Experience, practice and knowledge of the correct fundamentals will dictate the best position for you.

There are six key elements of any position. The purpose for these six points is to achieve a solid platform that allows for consistent sight alignment using the least amount of muscle tension.

    1. Placement of the Firing Hand (the hand that pulls the trigger)
    The firing hand needs to be placed high on the pistol grip. This high hand position will give you better control of the rifle. Combined with a firm grip there will be a reduced amount of hand movement when pulling the trigger. Wrap your thumb over the three fingers on the pistol grip (excluding the trigger finger). This will help isolate the movement of the trigger finger.

    2. Placement of the Non-firing Hand (the hand supporting the rifle).
    The non-firing hand should grip the handguard or stock in the flat portion of the hand between the thumb and forefinger. The fingers should curl naturally around the stock, but they should not grip it tightly. The position of the hand on the stock will depend on the physical size of the shooter. Generally speaking, taller shooters with longer arms will grip the rifle further out, near the sling swivel, while shorter shooters will need to pull their hand rearward. This is sometimes referred to as “short-stocking” the rifle.

    3. Stock Weld
    Stock weld is the contact that the face makes with the stock. It is important because it directly effects your sight alignment. Consistent head placement will help you achieve consistent sight alignment. The human head weighs an average of 8 to 10 pounds. The full weight of the head must rest on the stock. In doing this you achieve two things, a relaxed neck and reduced recoil because of the pressure of the head.

    4. Placement of the Rifle (the contact that is made in the firing shoulder)
    The rifle butt placement needs to be consistent. If this changes between shots, it effects your sight alignment and the effect of recoil. In the prone position the rifle will sit lower in the shoulder compared to other shooting positions. This allows for a more forward head and a lower position as a whole.

    5. Position of the Sling
    The sling should be high on the arm, above the bicep. This way the sling will have less leverage on the arm so it doesn’t cut off the circulation.


Demonstration of the placement of the firing elbow (left) and non-firing elbows (right).

    6. Placement of both the firing, and non-firing elbows
    A guideline for non-firing elbow placement is that there should be 1 ½’’ to 2’’ gap between your non-firing arm and the rifle’s magazine. (NOTE: this references the AR-15 service rifle) Your arm should be almost straight up and down; this will transfer the weight directly down the arm and not to the side (see picture above). Think of the firing arm as only a kind of kickstand, it doesn’t support weight it only holds the firing hand in position.

Variations of the Prone Position

There are two main variations of the prone position; open/spread legged, and bent-legged. The two types will be discussed below.

Open/Spread Leg Position

Demonstration of the Open/Spread Leg Position.

The first position is the open/spread legged position. This is when the shooter spreads their legs shoulder width or more apart. This allows for a more forward pressure on the sling and elbows. This position requires a tighter sling and solid elbow placement. The rifle should sit tight in the shoulder. With this position, your body will be farther behind the rifle compared to the bent leg position, allowing for minimum disturbance from recoil.

Bent Leg Position

Demonstration of the Bent Leg Position.

The bent leg position is when the shooter bends the firing side leg up towards the firing hand making the knee at a rough 90 degree angle to the body. The non-firing leg will remain straight and inline with the body. This will take pressure off the lungs and heart minimizing the pulse from the chest as well as easing the pressure on the lungs which will allow for easy breathing and control.

Summary

You now know the fundamentals of a good prone position, as well as the two types most commonly used. Extensive dry-firing will reveal which is the best position for you. If possible, have a friend take pictures of you in position. This will enable you to better diagnose and correct your errors. Remember, a position must be both fundamentally sound and comfortable. Practice frequently to learn your new position and to develop the conditioning required to endure long days on the range.

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December 15th, 2016

CMP Adds New Rifle Events in First Week of National Matches

Camp Perry CMP Cup Matches Ohio NRA High Power

With the NRA Moving the National High Power Rifle Championships away from Camp Perry starting in 2017, the CMP has stepped into the breach, offering a new series of rifle matches in the first part of the June 2017 National Match Schedule. The new CMP Cup Individual Matches, CMP Cup Team Match, and EIC Rifle Match will provide rifle competitors an opportunity to participate in the type of matches that have been fired on the shore of Lake Erie since 1907.

In the opening week of the National Matches schedule, June 26-30, 2017, the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) will lead off the competitions with CMP Service Rifle and CMP Match Rifle events, called the CMP Cup Matches. The CMP Cup series includes a CMP Four-Man Team Match, three days of CMP 800 Aggregate Matches (2,400-point Overall Aggregate), and wrapping up with a CMP Excellence-in-Competition (EIC) Service Rifle Match.

NOTE: The New Matches (Marked as CMP CUP WEEK) Will Be Held June 26-30, 2017:
CMP CUP National Matches Calendar 2017 Camp Perry

CLICK HERE for 2017 National Matches Calendar (PDF).

“We are pleased to announce the introduction of new CMP service rifle and match rifle events during the first phase of the National Matches, previously occupied by other events”, said Mark Johnson, CMP Chief Operating Officer. “It is our mission… to host competitive rifle and pistol matches befitting our nation’s best shooters at the permanent home of the National Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio.” The CMP’s expansion of marksmanship events at Perry began in 2016 with the Legacy Series events for vintage and modern military rifles.

BACKGROUND: NRA MOVES RIFLE EVENTS to INDIANA
The NRA has announced that it is moving the National High Power XTC Rifle Championship, Mid-Range Championship, and Long Range Championship away from Camp Perry, Ohio, starting in 2017. These matches will henceforth be held at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. These changes are subject to final approval by the NRA Board of Directors in 2017, but we do not anticipate a change. That means if you want to compete in both CMP and NRA rifle matches, you would need to go two different venues, located 280 miles apart, in two different states.

On July 14, the CMP will fire its second set of National Matches rifle events including SAFS for Rifle, the CMP National Trophy Rifle Matches, and CMP Rifle Games Events, which conclude July 25. The final event, CMP National Rimfire Sporter Match, will be conducted on Saturday, July 29.

For more information about the National Matches, including the finalized 2017 calendar, visit the CMP 2017 National Matches website.

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December 14th, 2016

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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December 11th, 2016

Holiday Showcase — Behold December’s Pride & Joy Rifles

pride joy 6.5x55 Ackley Borden Action Robertson Stock F-Class F-Open, Bartlein Barrel
pride joy 6.5x55 Ackley Borden Action Robertson Stock F-Class F-Open, Bartlein Barrel
Forum member Rardoin’s handsome F-Open rig features the new Borden BRM-XD action.

One of the most popular items in our Shooters’ Forum is the ongoing “Pride and Joy” thread. Since 2009, Forum members have posted photos and descriptions of their most prized rifles. Here are some of the most recent “Pride and Joy” rifles showcased in our Forum. Do you have a gun you’d like to see featured there? Just Register for the Forum and you can add your favorite gun to the list.

Bill Goad’s 6PPC Hunter “Ranch Rifle”

pride joy Bill Goad Hunter 6mm PPC benchrest

Forum member Grimstod tells us: “This is the personal rifle of Bill Goad. He has been experimenting with it on several levels. It is shooting great and has several matches on it now. Please enjoy these photos. More can be found on the website www.PremierAccuracy.com. We like the subtle barbed wire effect on the stock.

Twin-Upper AR with Custom Wood Furniture

pride joy AR Sporting Rifle Maple Walnut Furniture AR Platform

This very unique AR belongs to Forum member Nuto-BR. He tells us: “Here are the two uppers I built. The top one is am X-caliber in 20 Practical with 24-inch, 1:11″-twist barrel. The bottom one is a WOA in .223 Rem, with 20″, 1-12″ twist barrel. They both shoot 1/2 MOA or better. Both stocks are laminated Maple and Walnut. I reversed the order of the two woods to tell them apart.”

Two Dashers and a Rimfire for Fun

pride joy 6mm Dasher Anshutz

Courtesy Forum member Dan H., here are two red-stocked Dashers plus an Anschutz 54.30 (Benchrest Stock) to make it a trio. Dan says: “The Anschutz provides good practice in trigger-pulling. It’s amazing what you can learn from a rifle that is as sensitive as this one.”

Dream Hunting Rifle with Custom Camo

pride joy Hunting stock camo custom paint 6.5-280 Ackley Improved

Here is Forum member TyDaws’s “Dream Hunting Rifle” in 6.5-280 Ackley Improved. We love the custom paint work by by Melodie Yarbrough. Smithed by West Texas Ordnance, this rifle features a Rem 700 action with fluted bolt, PT&G tapered recoil lug, and Timney 510 2-lb trigger. The barrel is a fluted 26″ 1:8″-twist Bartlein 5R #3 contour. On top is a Huskemaw Blue Diamond 4-16x42mm optic in Warne Maxima rings. That’s an Atlas bipod up front.

Three Guns for Mr. Big

pride joy .243 Win Stiller Rem 700 Tactical Farley 6.5x47 Lapua 6PPC

Forum Member Mr. Big offered up another trio of rifles — two bench guns and a tactical rig. Mr. Big says: “Here are the rifles I shoot most: Farley 6mm PPC, Stiller .243 Win, and Rem 6.5×47 Lapua. They will do just about anything I ask them to…” Challenge: Can you identify the makers of the three different stocks shown in this picture (and the different materials used in each)?

Dasher in Robertson Spider Web Stock

pride joy 6mm Dasher Robertson Stock

Here is Forum member Vahena’s 6mm Dasher. It has a no-turn-neck chamber in a 28″, 1:8″-twist barrel with 1.25″ straight contour. This has an original Robertson fiberglass stock with spider web graphics. This rifle was originally built as a 6.5×284 with a fluted barrel. Now it sports a bigger barrel for a smaller cartridge. The front rest is a SEB Neo with counterweight up front.

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December 9th, 2016

Ultimate DIY — Aussie Builds his own Action and Rail Gun

Australia Benchrest Bulletin

We know some guys who make their own stocks, and others who do their own chambering. But consider this, Robert Carnell of Australia built his own state-of-the-art, water-cooled, tension-barrel Rail Gun, even including the action. That’s right, Robert even made his own action. Wow, this has to be the ultimate home gunsmithing, do-it-yourself project.

Carnell is an accomplished benchrest shooter and past Australian Sporter Class Champion. In 1993 he won a Silver Medal at the World Championships. But Carnell is far more than an ace trigger-puller. Robert is a skilled and creative “home gunsmith” who has crafted his own custom action and built his own railguns from scratch. Robert also runs the Austrialian Benchrest Bulletin website.

Home-Built Rail Gun — Aussie Innovation
Below are photos of one of Rob Carnell’s most amazing builds. This liquid-cooled, tension-barrel rail gun is a great example of self-reliant Aussie engineering. The barrel runs inside a coolent-filled, large-diameter sleeve, much like an old water-cooled machine gun. This is the fourth rail gun that Rob built, and the second fitted with a tensioned barrel.

Australia Benchrest Bulletin

Robert explains: “My railgun design has a 1.75″ barrel under tension inside an aluminium tube filled with radiator coolant. There is nearly a gallon of coolant, and the barrel stays cool no matter how many shots I seem to fire, or how quickly they are shot. The brass nut on the front rides on a nylon bearing and can be tightened to get the best accuracy. I am a believer in the ‘tuner’ idea and this seems to work for me. The main tube is thick-walled aluminium 600mm (24″) long. There is a flange at both ends. The flange at the back fits onto the barrel before the action is screwed on. The front flange is a press-fit into the tube, then there is a brass nut that fits over the barrel and screws against a nylon washer on the front flange. The Railgun’s base is aluminium and has the standard adjustments — windage, elevation and a sighter cam. In addition, there is a 1/10 thou dial indicator for windage. This allows me to zero the indicator and shoot my group. If I need to add a bit of windage for a condition, I can quickly get back to the original position if my condition comes back.”

Home-Built Action Uses Rem Bolt
Rob’s rail gun uses his own home-made stainless action, which features Panda-spec threads and a modified Remington 700 aftermarket bolt. Not bad for a do-it-yourself project we’d say! CLICK HERE to read how Rob designed and built the action.

Australia Benchrest Bulletin

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December 7th, 2016

American Marksman Championship at Talladega in January

American Marksman TV show Championship television Michael Bane Talladega CMP

The CMP’s Talladega Marksmanship Park will host the first-ever American Marksman National Championship January 6-8, 2017. This will be the culmination of a nationwide series of competitions for the Outdoor Channel’s new American Marksman television show. The January big-money National Championship gives amateur shooters the chance to win cash, gear and fame. The top shooter will win $50,000 and earn the title of “American Marksman”.

The American Marksman competition began in March 2016 with regional qualifiers at locations across the country. That was followed by nine Regional Championships. The process all comes to a high-stakes conclusion at the American Marksman National Championship in Talladega in January 2017. Top competitors from the nine Regional Championships are eligible to compete in the National Championship. Competitors are split into one of four divisions: Men’s Open, Women’s Open, Military/Law Enforcement, and Juniors. The entire process will be filmed for later broadcast on the Outdoor Channel.

CLICK for American Marksman National Championship INFO Page

American Marksman Competition Talladega CMP

American Marksman — A Nationwide Challenge Match
“If you ever wanted to enter a shooting competition and thought it was too intimidating or too expensive – then this is your chance to show the world what you’ve got,” said producer Michael Bane of the Outdoor Channel. “For only $20 at the local level, you get the chance to try to qualify with other amateurs in a relaxed, safe environment and the best of you will meet in a … National Championship with TV cameras rolling. The person who earns the title of ‘American Marksman’ walks away with $50,000.”

Course of Fire Remains Top Secret
The Course of Fire for the National event at Talladega will not be released until competitors arrive at the venue. Eligible participants receive a sheet outlining a list of skills to practice during the fall leading up to the match. The National Championship competitor will be awarded a check for $50,000, a prize package and the honor of being named the first American Marksman.

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December 4th, 2016

NSSF Rimfire Challenge World Championship in Alabama

Smith Wesson M&P 15-22 Rimfire Challenge

Rimfire shooting is one of the fastest-growing firearm sports in the USA. One of the most important rimfire events of 2016 was the NSSF Rimfire Challenge World Championship held October 14-16 at the Cavern Cove rimfire facility in Woodville, Alabama (near Huntsville). Hundreds of shooters of all ages attended this fun event.

Families Enjoy Rimfire Fun at the NSSF Rimfire Challenge

At the 2016 NSSF Rimfire Challenge Championship in Alabama, Smith & Wesson was on hand with demo rifles and pistols. See the action in the S&W-produced video above. Competitive shooting is one activity in which entire families, both oldsters and youngsters, can come together in a supervised setting to enjoy the spirit and camaraderie of competition. At the October event, attendees were able to try out the Smith & Wesson® SW22 Victory pistol and the M&P 15-22 rifle.

In this video, our friend Julie Golob explains the features of Smith & Wesson’s AR-style M&P 15-22 rifle. We’ve shot the semi-auto M&P 15-22 and it’is a ton of fun. It offers familiar AR15-type ergonomics and balance, with excellent reliability, and the inherently low recoil of the .22 LR rimfire cartridge. All that combines for affordable fun for the whole family.

S&W 15-22 rimfire challenge M&P

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November 30th, 2016

.30-06 Revisited — The ‘Old Warhorse Ain’t Dead Yet’

.30-06 cartridge IMR 4350

This article first appeared in 2014. We are reprising it at the request of many readers who are fans of the .30-06 cartridge.

The “Old Warhorse” .30-06 Springfield cartridge is not dead. That’s the conclusion of Forum member Rick M., who has compared the 1000-yard performance of his .30-06 rifle with that of a rig chambered for the more modern, mid-sized 6.4×47 Lapua cartridge. In 12-16 mph full-value winds, the “inefficient and antiquated” .30-06 ruled. Rick reports:

“I was shooting my .30-06 this past Sunday afternoon from 1000 yards. The wind was hitting 12-16 mph with a steady 9 O’clock (full value) wind direction. My shooting buddy Jeff was shooting his 6.5×47 Lapua with 123gr Scenar bullets pushed by Varget. Jeff needed 13 MOA left windage to keep his 6.5x47L rounds inside the Palma 10 Ring. By contrast I only needed 11.5 MOA left windage with my .30-06. I was shooting my ’06 using the 185gr Berger VLD target bullet with H4350. I managed the same POI yet the .30-caliber bullet only needed 11.5 MOA windage. That’s significant. From this experience I’ve concluded that the Old Warhorse ain’t quite dead yet!”

.30-06 cartridge IMR 4350

Rick likes his “outdated” .30-06 rifle. He says it can deliver surprisingly good performance at long range:

“To many of the younger generation, the Old Warhorse .30-06 is ‘outdated’ but I can guarantee that the .30-06 Springfield is a VERY ACCURATE cartridge for 1000-yard shooting (and even out further if need be). With some of the advanced powders that we have today, the .30-06 will surprise many shooters with what it’s capable of doing in a good rifle with the right rate of twist. My rifle has a 1:10″ twist rate and I had it short-throated so that, as the throat erodes with time, I could just seat the bullets out further and keep right on shooting. My recent load is Berger 185gr Target VLDs pushed by IMR 4350. This is a very accurate load that moves this bullet along at 2825 fps.”

.30-06 cartridge IMR 4350

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November 29th, 2016

2016 IBS 1000-Yard Nationals at Georgia’s Cool Acres Range

IBS 2016 1000-Yard Nationals Benchrest long range Mousel Cool Acres Georgia

Match Report by David and Donna Matthews
The 2016 IBS 1000-Yard National Championships were held September 4-5 at the Cool Acres Sporting Camp in Swainsboro, Georgia. The event was well attended with 87 Registered Light Gun shooters and 76 Heavy Gun competitors. After a hurricane-filled practice day, the competitors put forth their best effort to master the sometimes tricky Georgia range. The 1000-Yard National Match for 2016 featured a three-target Aggregate for each Division (i.e. six targets total for both classes).

The Cool Acres Range and Facility is one of the best in the country. The facility features a wide 1000-yard range lined with Georgia pines on each side. Conditions held constant for most relays. Mother Nature blessed the shooters with temperatures that were cooler than during preceding weeks. The management of Cool Acres put on a great event this year. In addition, upgraded restrooms and a new cleaning shed were added — these were very much appreciated by all. Several shooters had very positive comments about the upgrades and changes made to the Cool Acres facility in Swainsboro.

IBS 2016 1000-Yard Nationals Benchrest long range Mousel Cool Acres Georgia

The Two-Gun Champion and Overall winner was Tom Mousel from Montana with 24 rank points. Tom also won the Light Gun Overall title. Notably, Tom placed first in Light Gun Group with a stunning 3.356″ Group Agg — remember this was at 1000 yards folks. That’s a 1/3 MOA Agg at 1000 yards — truly remarkable precision.

Tom came to Georgia with one thing on his mind and that was winning. He accomplished that with his Wheeler Accuracy-built 6mm Dashers with Krieger barrels. Tom ran Vapor Trail bullets pushed by Hodgdon H4895. Finishing second in the Two-Gun Overall was 2015 winner Jim Bauer with 36 rank points. Jim took First Place honors in Light Gun Score with his Gordy Gritters-built 6mm Dasher shooting Vapor Trails pushed by Hodgdon Varget powder. The bright star of the show was Junior Division Winner Amber Brewer. Remarkably, this talented young lady topped the entire Heavy Gun field, winning Heavy Gun Score (97.667 average) and winning Heavy Gun Overall against all comers (of all ages). Her father, Henry Brewer Jr., played a role in her HG win — Henry smithed Amber’s class-winning 6.5×47 Lapua Heavy Gun, and even crafted the stock. Amber shot Berger bullets with H4895. Sally Bauer was top female shooter with her Douglas-barreled 6mm Dashers LG and HG, both built by Gordy Gritters. Sally also shot Vapor Trail Bullets with Varget.

Tom Mousel 6mm Dasher Deep Creek

Mousel won Light Gun Group with a stunning 3.356″ 5-shot Group Aggregate. That’s a 1/3 MOA Agg at 1000 yards — amazing, awe-inspiring accuracy.

Overall Winner Tom Mousel shot the 6mm Dasher cartridge in both Light Gun and Heavy Gun Classes. This little wildcat, shown below, has accuracy to spare. Alex Wheeler smithed Tom’s Rifles. Tom is shown below at his home range in Montana with an older rifle (not one used in Georgia this year).

Tom Mousel 6mm Dasher Deep Creek
Tom Mousel 6mm Dasher Deep Creek

Follow Link for Full Match Results and Equipment List
The IBS website has results for all major IBS Matches. Complete Results and Equipment Lists for the IBS 2016 1000-Yard Nationals can be found by CLICKING THIS LINK for the Nationals Results Page.

Tom Mousel 6mm Dasher Deep Creek

Big Prize Table — Over $18,000 Worth of Hardware
Over $18,000 worth of prizes were awarded at this year’s IBS 1000-Yard Nationals. Prizes included: Nightforce scopes, Sightron Scopes, SEB Coaxial Rest, BAT Action, Bench Source Annealing Machine, Defiance Action, Baity Action, Shehane stocks, reloading tools, Sierra bullets, Berger bullets, and much more. Many thanks go to Stanley Taylor from Douglas Barrels for his time and energy in acquiring prizes for the match. And the IBS thanks ALL of the generous sponsors for the 2016 1K Nationals.

Tom Mousel 6mm Dasher Deep Creek

Great Southern Hospitality and BBQ
On Saturday evening competitors were rewarded with a fantastic Southern meal prepared by the talented cooks of Real South BBQ from Swainsboro, Georgia, sponsored by Vapor Trail Bullets.

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