At ranges across the country, on any given weekend, there are probably more IDPA matches than any other type of pistol competition. And now the IDPA has its own official steel practice target: the IDPA PT (Practice Torso). The new target, crafted by Utah-Based Action Target from 3/8″-thick AR550 steel, features a regulation torso shape with scoring zones. Green-colored reactive plates provide instant feedback. Notably, the target has no exposed bolts, clamps or brackets. The completely flat shooting surface reduces the risk of ricochets coming back at the shooter.
The IDPA target’s reactive plates feature an innovative hinge design. “A lot of work went into the design of this target,” said Chris Hess, Action Target’s marketing manager. “Not only did we ensure that the torso dimensions of the target perfectly match IDPA regulation, we also created a new patent pending hinge design for the reactive plates that minimizes the number of parts needed and provides consistent reaction on every shot. This new design will soon be used on all of our reactive steel targets.”
New IDPA PT Target features innovative, Patent-pending hinge design.
Two-time national IDPA champion Tom Yost helped develop the new steel target: “As a competitive shooter, this is exactly the kind of target I want to train with. Practicing on steel helps build muscle memory for accurate shots better than anything else because it provides instant feedback that you can hear and see.”
IDPA Matches feature “real-world” type scenarios, with guns drawn from cover.
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Shooting can be a frustrating sport at times, prompting shooters to say some funny things in the heat of the moment. Here’s a collection of humorous range riposts, supplied by Shooters’ Forum members (who are listed after each quote). Enjoy. (CLICK HERE for full Forum Funny Saying Thread).
“I paid to use all of the target and I’m getting value for money on all of the real estate!” (Macropod)
“How did I do?” “Well the gun went off and nobody got hurt, we can build on that….” (Mr. Majestic)
“Treat that trigger likes it’s your first date, not like you’ve been married to it for 20 years.” (Jet)
“It’s a good thing broad sides of barns aren’t at many shooting ranges.” (Rocky F.)
“At 65 years of age, 1000-yard benchrest is better than sex, because a relay lasts 10 minutes!” (The Viper)
“If you flip the safety off, velocity will increase 1000%” (Rope2Horns)
“If you chase the wind, it will always win.” (Boltline13)
“It’s not the arrow, it’s the Indian.” (Rocky F.)
“It was an 0.2″ group! Well, err, except for that flyer….” (Dsandfort, photo by RyanJay11)
“I can’t understand it. That load worked good in my other barrel”. (Hogpatrol)
“You bakin a biscuit?” Said to me as I was sitting at the bench ready to shoot with a cartridge in the chamber of a hot gun, taking longer than necessary. (Ebb)
“Shooting groups is easy. Just put the last three between the first two.” (Uthink)
“There is no Alibi for Stupid” (Seen at Berger SWN — Erik Cortina)
“I just shot two Xs, how can that be an 8!!!???” (Snuggie)
Shooter 1: “Hey you cross-fired on my target!” Shooter 2: “Well you cross-fired on mine first.”
Shooter 1: “Yeah but you could have at least shot an X like I did on yours.” (At Raton — Rocky F.)
“I had a bughole going and my second shot dropped straight down!” (JDMock)
“The nut came loose on the end of my stock.” (TXDan)
Quoting James Crofts: “That’s a pretty eight.” (REastman)
“I almost shot a record.” (Jay Christopherson)
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We know that many of our readers have never personally participated in a short-range (100/200 yard) benchrest match. That’s understandable — moving backers are required in registered 100/200 benchrest (for group) matches, yet only a small percentage of ranges have that equipment. If you’re curious about the “point-blank” benchrest game, but haven’t had the chance to see it first-hand, check out this video created by youtuber “Taofledermaus”. On his YouTube Channel, you’ll find many other interesting shooting videos, including slow-motion target impact clips. This video shows the LV and HV guns, the flags, the gun-handling, the reloading set-ups, and of course, tiny little groups on targets.
Registered 100/200 Benchrest Match
Viewer Comments on the Video:
“There is a lot more to this game than just pulling the trigger. Record targets are 5-shot groups, 5 averaged together for an Aggregate. Most times the winning Agg is under .250″ for 25 shots at 100 yards. Rifles weigh 10.5 pounds for LV class. Used rifles can be had for about $1500. Then add in another $1000 for rest, bags, loading tools, bullets, powder, not to mention windflags.” — Vmhtr
“Benchrest shooting is sort of an ‘academy of shooting’. Lots of academic thought and measurements, handloading made with anal attention at detail. It’s much more thought than action. Most of those people made their tools themselves. [There are] It’s plenty of seniors because it takes patience, lots of patience. Sure a teenager ain’t gonna bother it.” — THP
“I was surprised they did all their hand loading right there on the spot. — I think you nailed it. It’s a super-precise sport. It’s expensive, it’s slow, and it requires a lot of travel, so it’s well-suited for retired folks. It’s gotta beat golfing!” — Tao
“I used to shoot 6mm PPC in a BR rifle. I spent so much time at the reloading bench that I just gave up on it all and switched to 22 rimfire gallery matches. Saved a lot of my sanity doing that….” — Walt
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Earlier this month, the Ben Avery Range in Phoenix hosted America’s top long-range shooters at the Berger SW Nationals. This week cowboys and cowgirls take over Ben Avery during Winter Range, the SASS National Championship for Cowboy Action Shooting. Winter Range, which runs February 23 through March 1, is the second largest Cowboy Action event of the year, after End of Trail, the annual Single Action Shooting Society World Championship held each year in Edgewood, New Mexico.
Hundreds of cowboy action shooters, ages 12-80, will compete in multiple classifications based on age, and type/caliber of firearms. In addition, this year the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association and the SASS Mounted Shooters will run an exciting 3-day mounted shooting event. This is expected to draw more than 100 competitors mounted on horses. You’ll see this kind of action:
Cowboy Action Shooting requires that contestants compete with firearms typical of those used in the taming of the Old West: single-action revolvers, lever-action rifles, and period shotguns. Participants each have a registered cowboy shooting alias (such as “Deadeye Dave”), used in SASS events. Competitors, organized in “Posses”, shoot a series of multi-gun stages. This is a fun shooting sport that draws multiple generations of the same family. In addition to the primary competitions, Winter Range 2015 will feature displays of period militaria, exhibitions of western skills and crafts, a fast-draw contest, and nearly 100 vendors selling vintage-style clothing and “sundries”.
Here is some serious Saturday “gun glamour” from the folks at Star Shooter Precision, a bipod-builder and stock-maker based in Montreal, Canada. This stunning .308 Win F-TR rifle features a carbon-wrapped Star Shooter stock, angle-adjustable tubular bag-rider, star-shaped escutcheons, and a Kelbly Panda action. Up front is Star Shooter’s signature lightweight bipod.
Click Each Image for Large, Full-Screen Version
About the Rifle Builders Star Shooter Precision is a company located on the south shore of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Fred Harvey is the designer. Fred says: “Our goal is to perfect the art of competition shooting the best we can with our custom bipods. The Star Shooter bipod is designed for shooters in F-Class competition, varmint hunting, load testing, tactical shooting and sighting in rifles.”
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Trijicon is out, and Magpul is in (as lead sponsor), so the much-ballyhooed NRA World Shooting Championship (WSC) will continue — at least for one more season. Held at the Peacemaker Nat’l Training Center in West Virginia, the inaugural 2014 “World Shooting Championship” left some folks shaking their heads after match directors made a few puzzling rule changes on the fly. In addition, it was hard to call last year’s NRA event a true “World Championship”. In 2014, almost all the WSC shooters were American, and, what’s more, a real ISSF World Championship was staged at the very same time last year in Granada, Spain. That important ISSF event in Spain had shooters from 40+ countries and many Olympic medalists.
Nonetheless, we’ll see more WSC action this fall. The 2015 NRA World Shooting Championship will be held September 24 – 26, 2015 at Peacemaker in WV. This will once again be a “big money” event, with a $200,000 prize table and $50,000 in cash awards. With a quarter-million dollars worth of cash and hardware prizes up for grabs, this is probably the richest shooting event in the world. And, as before, the match organizers will provide all the guns and all the ammo.
Competitors at the 2015 NRA World Shooting Championship will compete in three divisions: Pro, Amateur, and Junior. The event will feature twelve (12) stages drawing from a variety of firearm disciplines, such as Cowboy Action, F-Class, and Smallbore standing.
“We’ve created the NRA World Shooting Championship to be the top competitive shooting event in the world,” said NRA General Operations Executive Director Kyle Weaver. “Not only will providing all firearms and ammunition help level the playing field, but it will alleviate competitors needing to buy new equipment and simplify international and domestic travel.”
Here’s the best use of a convention center we’ve seen yet, thanks to the CMP. A section of the Phoenix Convention Center was transformed into an indoor shooting range for the 2015 JROTC Service Championship. This week (February 19-21), approximately 231 JROTC cadets will compete in Phoenix utilizing the CMP “Mobile Range”. This is a complete 60-station air rifle range that can be trucked from venue to venue and set up in a few hours. That’s pretty slick. Concurrently with the Phoenix event, USMC and NAVY JROTC cadets will be competing in Anniston, Alabama. Results from Phoenix and Anniston will be posted at on the CMP Competition Tracker webpage.
The CMP’s state-of-the art, mobile air gun range boasts 60 electronic MEGAlink targets produced in Norway. MEGAlink is the same target system used at CMP North and South stationary air ranges. The MEGAlink target “boxes” are each connected to a lift system than can raise and lower the targets for 3-position shooting. All of the components are designed so that the range can be quickly assembled by 3-4 workers. A large trailer can haul all 60 targets plus all the related monitors, computers, tables, chairs, and hardware in one load-out.
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The 2015 Berger Southwest Nationals are now history. It was a remarkable event, one of the best-run matches in the country. Over 350 shooters enjoyed generally fine conditions, with sunny skies and warm temps. Records were set, and there were some remarkable performances. The talk of the tournament was Derek Rodgers’s stunning F-TR score. Derek served notice that F-TR rifles can run with the F-Open rigs (at least when piloted by a wizard). Rodgers shot superbly to finish at 1234-56X, just two points shy of F-Open winner Bob Sebold, who shot 1236-63X. In fact, Derek’s score would have placed him third overall in the F-Open division, one point behind Christine Harris (1235-45X). In sling division, shooting a Palma rifle, Trudie Fay won with 1242-64X. Two points back (at 1238-66X) was last year’s sling winner Bryan Litz.
Brilliant F-TR performance by Derek Rodgers shocked some F-Open shooters…
F-Open Winner Bob Sebold loved the bling, but for Sling winner Trudie Fay, “Cash was King”.
The Harris Clan — Top Shots
Christine Harris was one of four talented Harris family members shooting at the event. Husband Scott Harris (1220-46X) took second in F-TR, and son Devon Harris (1203-29X) was F-TR High Junior. Twelve-year-old Adrian Harris also shot well, piloting a .223 Rem in F-TR. Adrian did great in the mid-range match, beating most of the adults. Dad Scott Harris says Adrian may have set an Age Group record during the SWN.
The Harris Clan: Scott Harris (2d Place F-TR), Christine (2d Place F-Open), and Adrian (600-yd High Junior)
Bob Sebold – 1236-63X
Christine Harris – 1235-45X HW
Dan Bramley – 1230-54X
David Mann – 1229-57X HSR
William Wittman – 1227-48X
Derek Rodgers – 1234-56X
Scott Harris – 1220-46X
Matt Schwartzkopf – 1216-38X
Jade Delcambre – 1214-44X
Daniel Lentz – 1213-35X
Trudi Fay – 1242-64X P
Bryan Litz – 1238-66X
John Whidden – 1237-76X
Justin Skaret – 1235-63X P
Phil Hayes – 1234-56X
FINAL TEAM RESULTS
Third Gen. Shooting – 2551-100X
Lapua/Brux – 2544-108X
Spindle Shooters -2544-90X
Team Berger – 2542-92X
U.S. F-TR Team Blue – 2513-67X
Mich. Rifle Team F-TR – 2498-60X
Team Savage – 2492-68X
U.S. F-TR Development -2487-67X
U.S. Nat’l Tompkins – 2563-127X
Team Phoenix -2562 -122X
Team Challenger – 2555-112X
Two Worlds – 2550- 113X
The Guns of the Southwest Nationals
We saw some serious hardware on display at Ben Avery. Here is a beautiful maple-stocked F-Open rig. We believe this belongs to David Mann of Texas. This gun shoots as good as it looks. David Mann scored 1229-57X to finish fourth overall (and High Senior) in F-Open Division.
Click Photo to View Full-screen Version
Stunning Phoenix sunset after Sunday’s awards ceremony…
NOTE: Scores listed may be subject to final correction.
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Breaking news from Ben Avery — the U.S. FT-R Team Blue, consisting of Phil Kelley, Dan Pohlabel, Derek Rodgers, Matt Schwartzkopf, and coach Jim Crofts, won the F-TR team event at the Berger Southwest Nationals. The “Blues” scored an impressive come-from-behind victory, finishing at 784-24X on Team Day 2 to secure the overall Berger SWN F-TR Team Championship. Well done gentlemen. Show in the photo, left to right are: James Crofts, Derek Rodgers, Ray Gross, Matt Schwartzkopf, Phil Kelley, and Dan Pohlabel.
Team member Matt Schwartzkopf is a double amputee below the knee, having had his lower legs removed due to a birth defect. Matt is an inspiration to us all. He told us: “This condition has not held me back from anything.” Jokingly, he added, “I may not have ‘a leg to stand on’, but that doesn’t mean I can’t still shoot 10s and Xs at 1000.” Matt is living proof that competitive shooting is a sport for all individuals — young and old, able-bodied and physically challenged.
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Competitors at the 2015 Berger Southwest Nationals were treated to something special on Saturday morning. After a short address by Eric Stecker, fireworks boomed from downrange and a flight of three warbirds streamed overhead, trailing smoke. Watch these dramatic moments in the video below.
This ceremony marked the dedication of Ben Avery’s 1000-yard range as the Middleton Tompkins Range. With his family by his side, Mid was recognized for his achievements in the shooting sports and his decades of service. This was a heart-warming event honoring Mid, a six-time National High Power Rifle Champion, and the leading member of America’s first family of shooting. Wife Nancy Tompkins and step-daughters Sherri Jo Gallagher and Michelle Gallagher have all been National rifle champions (High Power and/or Long-Range). This was an emotional day for Mid — he revealed to us that this was certainly one of the greatest highlights of his life.
Berger President Eric Stecker speaks at range dedication ceremony. Mid Tompkins stands with his family members Sherri Jo Gallagher (to Mid’s left), wife Nancy Tompkins, and Michelle Gallagher.
Along with the dedication of the 1000-yard range, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the new multi-purpose facility at Ben Avery. Situated at the 1000-yard range, this facility was constructed with $420,000 in funding from Berger Bullets and Nightforce Optics. Mid Tompkins cut the red ribbon on the facility’s front doors, officially opening the multi-purpose center for public use.
Mid jokes with the crowd, showing his quick-witted sense of humor.
Panorama of Middleton Tompkins 1000-Yard Range at Ben Avery (CLICK to ZOOM)
Interview with Past NRA President John Sigler at Ben Avery
In the video below, we interview past NRA President John Sigler. An avid long-range shooter himself, John is the current chairman of the NRA High Power Committee. John was at Ben Avery this week competing in the F-Open Division. John says that the emergence of the F-Class discipline has extended his competitive shooting career. He had high praise for the Ben Avery Range and the new multi-purpose building dedicated on February 14th.
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Today marked the third day of competition at the Berger Southwest Nationals. The superstitious types among the competitors viewed the day with some trepidation. There was actual bad luck for some folks, including Mid Tompkins, who broke his leg in a parking lot accident in the morning. But most shooters didn’t worry too much about the date — they were more concerned about calling the wind correctly. As Bryan Litz said: “I don’t believe in superstition. We make our own luck”. In the video below, you’ll see highlights of Day 3 at the SW Nationals from the break of dawn to the final shots on the 1000-yard line.
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Thursday at the Berger Southwest Nationals was Team Match day. Teams of sling shooters as well as F-TR and F-Open marksmen competed at 800, 900, and 1000 yards. Conditions on Thursday (Feb. 12) were much better than on Wednesday (Feb. 11) when strong, fish-tailing winds created big problems for the shooters. For the Thursday Team Match, the winds were variable, but generally the mirage was a good indicator of speed, and the flags were showing the angles. The wind coaches for the teams told us that the conditions “were quite readable”.
Here is AccurateShooter.com’s video wrap-up of the Team Match on Thursday. F-TR shooters should watch carefully — Ray Gross, captain of the F-TR USA Team. talks about the latest equipment used by the top shooters. In addition, Ray announced a Team Try-Out Session on Monday February 16, 2015.
In team competition, the shooter relies on his coach and spotter.
This could be the most beautiful F-Open rifle we’ve ever seen. Look at the figure in that wood.
Nancy Tompkins dials wind for Anette Wachter (aka “30 Cal Gal”).
Matt Schwartzkopf excels despite lacking two lower legs. He works as a range manager at Ben Avery.
Tube-gun chassis-maker Gary Eliseo shot in the Sling Division. His company, Competition Machine, is now based in Cottonwood, Arizona.
Dan Polabel’s F-TR Rifle with Flex Bipod.
Walt Berger enjoyed the Team Match. “Seems like the wind’s a bit better today” he joked.
It was just a warm, beautiful day at Ben Avery….
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