September 16th, 2014
Report by Vince Bottomley
For this year, the European F-Class Championships moved from its traditional November date to mid-September. England can be smitten with some dreadful weather in November and previous Championships have suffered everything from rain and mist, to sub-zero temperatures. It proved to be a wise decision and competitors enjoyed balmy, sunny weather for the whole week, with matches on September 12-14, 2014. The event was well attended with 206 individual entries and over 20 teams. With competitors from a dozen nations, this is one of the biggest F-Class events in the world.
Congratulations to Scotland’s Des Parr, the new F-Open champion (on V-count over James Finn), and congrats to Giulio Arrigucci of Italy, who won the F-TR title. Both Parr and Finn dropped only five points over the entire two-day individual competition. For more information (and full listing of match results) visit www.GBFclass.co.uk.
|F-Open Individual Results
||F-TR Individual Results
|1. Des Parr (Scotland): 470.48V (possible 475)
2. James Finn (Ireland): 470.41V
3. Marco Been (Holland): 467.49V
4. Mik Maksimovic (GB): 465.38V
5. Daniel McKenna (Ireland): 464.40V
6. Dave Lloyd (GB): 463.36V
|1. Giulio Arrigucci (Italy): 455.30V
2. Francisco Franco Mosquera (Spain): 454.30V
3. Sergii Gorbon (Ukraine): 452.36V
4. Tom Bond (GB): 449.29V
5. Valentin Pomomarenko (Ukraine): 449.29V
6. Russell Simmonds (GB): 449.29V
Over the past few years, numbers have increased steadily and this year, over 200 shooters assembled on Bisley’s famous Stickledown range on the Friday morning for the first of two days of individual competition, followed by Team Matches on the Sunday. The four days preceding the Championships were available for practice and informal competitions.
With near-perfect conditions for the first 800-yard stage, some excellent scores were recorded. Scotsman Paul Crosbie’s F-TR score of 75.12V not only took the stage win but also set a new GB record and equaled the top F-Open score (by Italian Gian Antonio Quaglino). Maximums were also recorded at 900 yards by both classes but at 1000 yards, Scotsman Des Parr’s 74.11V was a clear winner, with Italy’s Andrea Ceron’s recording a 72.6V in F-TR.
The Famous Stickledown Range at Bisley
At the end of Day One, Des Parr was leading Open Class by a single point and Spain’s Francisco Franco Mosquera had a two point lead in F-TR. The following day, competitors tackled the same course of fire to decide the title of European Champion.
Although a little overcast for the start of Day Two, the sun soon broke through and the fact that the top 36 Open shooters didn’t drop a single point at 800 yards gives an indication of conditions. Even the top 15 F-TR shooters ‘cleaned’ the target but, some relays experienced less favorable conditions.
At 900 yards, again the top nine Open competitors shot ‘possibles’ but, in F-TR, Ukraine’s Sergii Gorban’s excellent 74.9V was the top score. For the final 1000-yard shoot – a 2 and 20 this time, Ireland’s Kevin Clancy’s 95.5V was a great F-TR score but Dave Lloyd’s winning Open score of 99.6V was absolutely stunning.
In the end, Scotland’s Des Parr and Ireland’s James Finn tied on points with 470 of 475 possible, but Parr took the 2014 European F-Open title based on V-bull count: 48 for Parr vs. 41 for Finn. Italy’s Giulio Arrigucci won the F-TR Championship by one point over Francisco Franco Mosquera.
We were delighted to have American shooter Francis ‘Biff’ Conlon join us – shooting a borrowed rifle in F-TR (second from left in the above photograph). Biff shot as part of one of the F-TR Teams in the pre-Championship competitions and picked up a gold medal – note the unusual trophy! Maybe a few more Americans might think it worthwhile making the trip to shoot in next year’s Europeans.
The Championships end with the Teams Matches on the Sunday. These matches are for eight-man teams so, not all countries are able to field a team but four Open Teams and five FTR teams were fielded. Ranges are 900 and 1000 yards with 15 shots at each distance. Wind coaches are permitted.
|F-Open Team Results
||F-TR Team Results
|1. Great Britain – 1161.120V
2. Italy – 1145.74V
3. Germany (BDMP) – 1129.91V
|1. Germany (BDMP) – 1106.57V
2. Italy – 1104.68V
3. Ukraine – 1101.69V
Report from David Lloyd, current Great Britain F-Open Team Captain
I’ve just got back from the F-Class European Championships. The minor 4-man teams match was held last Thursday afternoon and was shot over 1000 yards with 2 + 20 to count. I was part of the victorious Team March (388.26V). In second place was the Midland Precision Guns Team with 383.26V.
The conditions were good and the level of competition was very high. Team March was captained by Gary Costello the UK and European importer of March scopes. The coach was Tony Marsh and he did a superb job of coaching the team to victory (he coached me to a score of 100-6Vs). The shooters were: Gary Costello, David Lloyd, Ian Boxall, Darren Stewart. Peter Walker was reserve shooter and register keeper.
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September 15th, 2014
Daniel Horner of the USAMU has been crowned the World Shooting Champion, and he has a $50,000 check to prove it. In the first running of the Trijicon World Shooting Championship (TWSC), 159 of the world’s top shooters competed in a grueling 4-day, multi-discipline event. To do well at the TWSC you had to be an expert with rifle, shotgun, and pistol — and you couldn’t have any real weaknesses. You needed mastery of speed pistol, trap shooting, long-range rifle shooting, cowboy action disciplines, “run and gun”, and defensive action scenarios.
SSG Daniel Horner (File photo — not from TWSC)
Horner topped the field with 966.856 points. In second place was Bianchi Cup Ace Bruce Piatt with 924.895. The legendary Jerry Miculek took third with 870.153. Jerry’s performance gave hope for us old guys. There must also be something about Miculek DNA — Jerry’s daughter Lena was the top female competitor, finishing 28th overall. We also want to acknowledge young Brian Nelson who, competing as a Junior, finished fourth overall, a great accomplishment. Other than Nelson, most of the top finishers are professional 3-Gun competitors. These folks know how to put rounds on target quickly and transition smoothly from one firearm to the next.
For four days, the shooters competed in twelve equally-weighted disciplines from various shooting sports. The match combines pistol shooting (action and bullseye), rifle shooting (action, smallbore, high-power, and F-Class), and Shotgun (Sporting Clays/trap/tactical). All firearms and ammunition were provided for each event.
Horner won the big prize through consistency. Out of the 12 shooting events, he finished in the top 10 in all but two. Writing in the Shooting Wire, Jim Shepherd reports: “Horner took outright stage wins in the Wobble Trap Doubles (100%) and NRA Action Rifle (100%) and used them to overcome his two worst scores, a 28th-place finish in F-Class rifle and a 13th-place in .22 rifle. For his achievement, Horner wins the $50,000 prize, and the dubious honor of now knowing that every competition shooter in the world has him solidly in their sights now, not just the 3-gun shooters he regularly tests … and bests.”
TWSC Complete Final Results | TWSC Stage-by-Stage Results
Big Cash Awards and Unrivaled Prize Table
Competitors came to the Peacemaker National Training Center in Glengary, WV for a chance to be crowned the “World Shooting Champion” and receive a $50,000 first place cash prize. This match carried “multi-gun” competition to a whole new level, with BIG MONEY at stake:. There were cash payouts for most stages and over $150,000 worth of hardware on the prize table.
First Place Overall: $50,000
Lady Champion: $5,000
Pistol Segment Winner: $5,000
Rifle Segment Winner: $5,000
Shotgun Segment Winner: $5,000
Second Place Overall: $3,000
Third Place Overall: $2,000
Fourth Place Overall: $1,000
Stage Winner $2,000
Side Match Winner: $1,000
Meanwhile, in Spain — the ISSF World Shooting Championships
The next TWSC will be held October 15-17, 2015. This inaugural event went well, and it will surely grow in prestige as time passes. However, we do question the notion that this was truly a “World Championship”. The TWSC took place in West Virginia at the same time that the ISSF World Championships were being held in Granada, Spain. That means that virtually none of the world’s top shotgun aces or top prone/3P rifle shooters attended the TWSC — they were in Spain instead. Over 2000 shooters are competing at the 2014 ISSF World Championships, including hundreds of Olympians. The TWSC had less than 200 competitors, and few Olympians. TWSC was, then, more realistically, a North American Multi-Gun Championship. Let’s hope that, in the years to come, the TWSC will attract more foreign-born competitors. That way it can properly be called a “World Shooting Championship”.
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September 15th, 2014
Kelly Bachand competed in the 2014 Trijicon World Championship. Here his TWSC report from Day Two, which involved a 3-Gun Nation-type stage, an F-Class rifle stage, and a .22 Rimfire rifle stage.
Report by Kelly Bachand, Kelly’s Gun Sales
Day Two included one of the more exciting events, the 3-Gun stage. My squad was just behind the squad with a bunch of 3 gun shooters in it, so I had fun watching Taran Butler, Daniel Horner, Jerry Miculek and others shoot the course. It was a pretty straight-forward course, 10 falling steel pistol targets, 8 clay shotgun targets, and six 3-Gun Nation rifle targets. We could shoot them in any order we wanted. The pro 3-gunners shot it shotgun first, pistol second, rifle last. When it was finally my turn to shoot I was pretty sure I had a plan made out in my head. I started with the shotgun and went 8 for 8 on the clay targets then burned the last round in the hill so I could just dump the shotgun into the barrel. To my extreme pleasure I went 10 for 10 on the falling steel pistol targets and then grabbed the rifle. I fumbled with the safety a bit but finally got it to fire and shot the two outside targets, one from standing and one from a high kneeling position. Then I kicked my front leg way out to a very low kneeling and shot the final 4 targets from beneath the barricade. Most folks shot those targets from prone, but I felt like it was a little quicker just to sit down into kneeling. I did that in about 36 seconds, the fastest shooters did it in about 20 seconds.
Kelly Bachand at TWSC (from Day 1)
F-Class Style Competition at 500 Yards
Next we shot an F-Class-inspired stage at 500 yards. The coolest part about this stage was the electronic scoring system (photo below). There were some other top rifle shooters (Carl Bernosky, Brandon Green, Rob Mango) here and I chatted with some as they came off of the line about the firearms and the conditions. Unfortunately they told stories of rifles that were shooting pretty tall groups, somewhat unpredictably. We shot .308 Win FN rifles with 20″ barrels and detachable box mags. There was a variable-power illuminated optic on top with a bipod and rear rest underneath. Unfortunately, I have to agree with my fellow long range shooters, the set-up wasn’t quite right for the F-Class target, and furthermore it was setup so that us long range shooters had no advantage at all in that stage.
.22 LR Rimfire — Position Shooting at 25 yards
Last stage of the day was a .22 Rimfire stage inspired by smallbore competition. We shot targets from 25 yards with the Magnum Research 22 (like a tricked out 10/22) with a Trijicon RMR on top. We shot standing, kneeling, and sitting. We got two sighter shots, but we had no spotting scopes or further feedback after those two sighter shots. I had fun with this match as this reminded me of my first introduction to competitive marksmanship, my high school air rifle team. I harnessed my inner high school self and shot a 148 out of 150, I think that put my towards the top on that stage. That was a very fun and accurate 22 rifle!
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September 13th, 2014
Got plans for October? If you live in the western USA, consider a trip to Phoenix for the CMP Western Games. The 11th Western CMP Games and Creedmoor Cup Matches will be held at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix, Arizona, on 10-19 October 2014. The Western CMP Games Matches run 10-14 October 2014. The Creedmoor Cup Matches take place on 15-19 October 2014. All interested shooters are invited to participate in these unique, national-level competitions. NOTE: Registration for the Creedmoor Cup matches must be done online via www.creedmoorsports.com.
Western CMP Games Entry Form | Western CMP Games Online Registration
Western CMP Games & Creedmoor Cup Program | Directions to Ben Avery Range
|Western CMP Games Matches
Garand & Springfield Match Clinic
John C. Garand Match
Vintage Military Rifle Match
Small Arms Firing School/M16 Match
Rimfire Sporter Match
Vintage Sniper Match
Modern Military Rifle Match
||Western Creedmoor Cup Events
High Power Rifle Clinic
Creedmoor Cup (2400 point aggregate)
4-Man Team Match
Creedmoor EIC Match
Small Arms Firing School
CMP Rifle Small Arms Firing School offered at during the Western CMP Games in Phoenix, AZ, Friday, October 10th. This course is recommended for all new shooters and anyone that would like to learn gun safety and sound target shooting skills, regardless of previous experience. In this course you will learn about safety, positions, how to load and clear the rifle, how to loop a sling and prepare for practice firing. Rifle SAFS students are required to use the Rock River AR15 commercial rifles issued by the school. Personal rifles are not permitted. Ammunition will be issued for use during practice fire and the M16 EIC Match and coaches will be available to assist students. Junior competitors must be at least 12 years old.
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September 11th, 2014
The oldest remaining record in international shooting sports was the 581 score in 50m Free Pistol set way back in 1980 at the Moscow Olympics. After thirty-four long years, that record has finally been broken — by South Korea’s Jin Jong-oh. The South Korean, who earned gold medals in both the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games, has been chasing this record for a long time, and now it is his. Congratulations to Jin Jong-oh. Well done!
Jin Jong-oh Shoots 583 in Free Pistol to Break 34-year-old Record
South Korean pistol ace Jin Jong-oh scored a combined 583 points on the way to winning the 50m Free pistol title in Granada on Tuesday. With his 583 score, Jin broke (by two points) the world record set by Russian Alexander Melentiev at the 1980 Olympics. This was the first individual world title for Jin, who won 50m pistol gold at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and also added the 10m title at the London Games.
Records are “meant to be broken” they say. This was a long time coming. But Jin Jong-oh, the five-time Olympic medalist from South Korea, finally broke “The Record” — that historical 581-point world record set in 1980 by Alexander Melentiev of the USSR. Melentiev’s 50m mark was the longest-lasting shooting world record. Athletes from all over the world had been chasing that record for 34 years.
Yikes! Emmons’s Smallbore Match Rifles Lost in Paris…
Smallbore rifle events begin Wednesday with the Elimination Matches in Men’s Prone. Ready to compete is three-time Olympic medalist Matt Emmons, 2012 Olympian Michael McPhail, and Air Force Academy cadet David Higgins. A two-time Olympic medalist and three-time World Champion medalist in the event, Emmons arrived in Granada minus his two smallbore rifles courtesy of the Paris Charles De Gaulle airport, which seems to have lost or delayed many guns bound for the World Championships in Spain. Thankfully, Emmons has McPhail’s three-position gun available for the elimination. Emmons is familiar with that type of rifle so, hopefully, this will not be too great a set-back for Matt.
Want more info? CLICK HERE for ISSF World Championships results and schedules.
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September 10th, 2014
Notice the narrow configuration of the Harry Jones Range. The 1000-yard targets are located below the tree line in the rear center of the picture.
Report by Jack Mulroy for IBS
This year’s IBS 1000-Yard National Match was held August 29-30 at the Harry Jones Range in Fairview, West Virginia. Attendance was good — there were 74 Light Gun shooters and 66 Heavy Gun competitors. After a tune-up day, the 1000-Yard Match for record started on Friday, August 29, and finished on Saturday, August 30, 2014. The 1000-Yard National Match is a three target Aggregate. You shoot three times for Light Gun and three times for Heavy Gun. I guess the reason you shoot at three targets is because anybody can get “lucky once” (such as a blind squirrel finding a nut). Shooting luck happens “when preparation and hard work meet opportunity”.
Mike Gaizaukas, World Record Shooter at Harry Jones Range on August 29, 2014
The overall Two-Gun Champion and match winner was Steve Waldrep with 32 rank points. Close behind, with 33 rank points, was Jim Bauer, who finished second overall. Waldrep dominated the Heavy Gun (HG) division, posting the best HG score and winning HG overall. Waldrep shot a .300 WSM Heavy Gun featuring Lawton action, Bartlein barrel, Byers stock, and Nightforce scope. Waldrep’s Light Gun was also chambered in .300 WSM. It had a Remington action, Bartlein barrel, McMillan stock, and Weaver scope. Jewell triggers on both guns.
Overall Winner Steve Waldrep (Left) with assist from Stanley Taylor (right)
In Light Gun division, James Isaacson put on an impressive show, winning LG overall and posting smallest LG group. Jim Bauer (second overall in the Two-Gun), posted the top LG score.
|Top Shooters by Division
|Two Gun Overall——— Steve Waldrep
Heavy Gun Overall——- Steve Waldrep
Heavy Gun Score——— Steve Waldrep
Heavy Gun Group——– Mike Gaizaukas
(1000-Yard World Record/2.871 inches)
|Light Gun Overall——– James Isaacson
Light Gun Group——— James Isaacson
Light Gun Score——— Jim Bauer
Click Here for 2014 1K Nationals Complete Match Results (PDF).
World Record 2.871″ HG Group by Gaizaukus
Mike Gaizaukus shot the small HG group for the match — a stunning 2.871″ ten-shot group. Pending approval, Mike’s group should be a new IBS 1000-yard world record. Congrats to Mike for his record group. Mike’s record-setting gun featured a 1:10″-twist Krieger barrel chambered by Mark King in .300 WSM. Mike shot Berger 210gr VLDs with CCI BR2 primers.
The Harry Jones Range
Founded in 2008, this facility was named in memory of the former property owner Harry Jones who passed away a few years ago and is buried on top of the hill next to the range. Presently the property is being administered by Harry’s daughter, Jean Dawson. The property has been in the family since 1840. The 1000-yard shooting facility is a covered pavilion that has 13 shooting positions with ambidextrous concrete bench tops sitting on a concrete floor. Behind the pavilion is a covered ready line where the relays-in-waiting can stage their equipment. (For this shoot only 12 benches were used.)
Very Narrow Range — “Like Shooting Up a Holler”
The Harry Jones range is very unique — it’s very narrow in width, approximately 100 feet wide, and runs slightly uphill to the targets. As they say in West Virginia, “It’s like shooting up a Holler”. If there is such a thing as a “Wind God,” he’s alive and well at the Harry Jones Range. Some very good scores and groups have been recorded at this range (including a world record 2.871″ 10-shot group in this very match.) A longtime shooter friend of mine, Ralph, used to say when I would complain about the wind, “Jack, there is no such thing as wind, just sight adjustments”. Ralph was right, no matter what range you are shooting at, you have to deal with the wind through sight adjustments. Looks like Mike was “Right On” when he made his adjustments.
The management and membership of this range have come a long way in developing this range over the last few years. Trees had to be removed, gravel put down, buildings built, creek flow re-routed, target areas built, and shooting benches installed. But the effort was worth it — Harry Jones has become a very serviceable range that is a great place to shoot.
The Harry Jones range is not blessed with much “elbow room,” due to the configuration of the range, but through thoughtful placement of the firing line and ready area, the range is doable. At this match, there were 74 light gun and 66 heavy gun shooters. This match was well managed and ran smoothly, but parking space was at a premium. In my estimation the 2014 1000-Yard Nationals were at capacity with the number of shooters registered.
$27,000 Prize Table (with Lots of Scopes)
Roughly $27,000 worth of prizes were awarded at this year’s 1000-Yard match. Valuable prizes included Nightforce scopes, stocks, rests, bullets and more. Two of the nicest gifts presented at the match were a pair of quilts made by property owner Jean Dawson. Thanks Jean! That was a very generous gift that a shooter and his family will treasure for years. Many thanks should go to Stanley Taylor from Douglas Barrel for his time and energy in acquiring most of the prizes presented at the match.
Serious Artillery on Display — Rick Murphy’s Metal-Stocked Heavy Gun
The prettiest gun and gun rest at the match belonged to Rick Murphy of Adamsville, Tennessee. The barrel was originally 36 inches long, but was shortened to 30 inches. The gun now shoots much better after the reduction in barrel length. This Heavy Gun and rest set-up were probably the most expensive pieces of equipment at the 1000-Yard match. Rick has been working on this rig for the last three years and has put countless hours into the production of his gun and gun rest. Rick placed 13th in the Heavy Gun overall.
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September 10th, 2014
Want to watch the ISSF World Shooting Championships taking place in Granada, Spain? ABC, CBS, FOX, or NBC won’t be airing the World Championships at all, but you can watch ISSF shooting action by way of internet “web-casting”.
Eurovision is providing extensive coverage of ISSF Championship events. Match footage (including live Finals coverage) is available online on the ISSF website (ISSF-Sports.org), and through the Eurovision App for Apple and Android devices. Highlights will also be uploaded to the ISSF YouTube Channel.
Free Eurovision App for Mobile Devices
The Eurovision Sports Live App makes it easy to watch live streaming video, replays, and highlights from the ISSF Shooting Championships. To download the App, go to the Eurovision download page or click the appropriate link below.
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September 8th, 2014
Olympic shooter Matt Emmons will be competing at the ISSF world Championships this month in Spain. Matt is one of the USA’s top hopes in smallbore rifle competition. Emmons has competed on the U.S. National Team since 1997, medaling in three Olympic games: Gold in 2004 in Men’s 50m Prone; Silver in 2008 in Men’s 50m Prone; and Bronze in 2012 in Men’s 50m 3X40. Although his specialty is Men’s 3-Position rifle, Emmons’ World Championship and Olympic Gold are in Men’s 50m Prone. He usually shoots an Anschütz or Bleiker .22LR rifle, with Eley Tenex ammo.
Here are shooting tips from Matt, courtesy Anschütz. Click image below to launch a large PDF file. Right-click the image and “save as” to download the poster-sized PDF.
CLICK Photo to Load Large PDF File
Three Sets of Hardware for Three Positions
You may be surprised to find that Matt often totes three complete sets of rifle parts to important matches — three buttplates, three cheekpieces, and three Centra sights with adjustable irises. Matt told Shooting Sports USA that he travels with “three sets for three positions. Our final is so fast that I need three sets of everything to allow a fast change-over between positions.” Matt carries his gear in an an Anschütz sport bag: “It’s similar to the big Ogio duffels with wheels, but lighter. I’ve worked with AHG/Anschütz for many years and I like their bag because all of my junk fits in it.”
Emmons, who is competing at the ISSF World Championships this month, also carries something for good luck: “My wife Katy gave me a little figurine of a Czech fairytale character a long time ago for good luck and I always have it with me when I shoot.”
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September 7th, 2014
The GAP Grind is a hugely popular tactical match held annually at the K&M Precision Rifle Training facility in Florida. Sponsored by G.A. Precision and Bushnell, the GAP Grind attracts top tactical shooters from around the country. Held 29 – 31 August, the 2014 GAP Grind saw 164 shooters and 82 teams battle it out. Watch the video from the 2013 Grind to see what all the fuss is about….
Watch GAP Grind 2013 Video
GAP Grind Guns by Giddings
Click any photo below to see a full-screen version.
Shelley Giddings, a skilled shooter of both firearms and cameras, attended the 2014 GAP Grind last week. While there, Shelley snapped some cool images of state-of-the-art tactical rifles. Here is a Giddings Gallery of Grind Guns. You can find more GAP Grind pix on Shelly’s Facebook Page.
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September 7th, 2014
The new 2014-2016 National Standard Three-Position Air Rifle Rules has just been released, with an effective date of September 1, 2014. These 3P Rules, officially the 10 Edition, are issued by the National Three-Position Air Rifle Council, which issues new “National Standard Rules” every two years. Anyone with questions about the 2014-2016 National Standard Three-Position Air Rifle Rules or who wants further information should contact: 3PAR [at] TheCMP.org . Copies of the new rules can be downloaded at http://publ.com/BUSpRxp
After a series of major changes were two years ago, there are relatively few changes in this year’s rulebook. The 2012 changes in the course of fire, with separate preparation and sighting periods before record firing, as well as changes in finals procedures, proved to be successful changes that did not necessitate further changes this year. Howerver, there ARE two dozen or so rule modifications/additions in the Air Rifle Council’s 2014-16 Rules. Here are some of the more interesting rule changes:
Rule 2.14 — Safety Rule Violations
This change clarified when a person can be disqualified for safety violations; disqualification is warranted when an athlete handles a gun so as to “endanger the safety of another person.”
Rule 4.2.1 (a) — Approved Sporter Air Rifles
The CZ 200T was added to the approved Sporter air rifle list. Champions Choice sells this rifle as the Champions Choice T200. The Council confirmed with Champions Choice that this rifle is available to clubs at the $525 maximum price through special purchase arrangements.
Rule 4.2.4 (c & e) — Adjustable Cheek-Pieces and Butt-Plates
Adjustable cheek-pieces and butt-plates that are common on most Sporter Class air rifles today can now be adjusted between positions.
Rule 11.4 — National Records
This rule has been Modified to clarify that National Records can only be established in shoulder-to-shoulder matches (no postal scores).
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September 5th, 2014
Joe Hendricks of Team Remington is the 2014 NRA High Power National Champion. This is Joe’s first National High Power championship, and he accomplished it through a gutsy, come-from-behind victory on the final day. This was no easy win for Joe, aka “Joesr” on our AccurateShooter Forum.
Here’s the story of Joe’s 2014 victory at Camp Perry. One thing that made Joe’s victory even more memorable was that both Joe’s father and Joe’s son were there to witness the win. Three generations of Hendricks men were at Camp Perry to see his achievement. That’s a great thing for a family.
Down by Too Many Points and Too Many Xs
By Joe Hendricks, Nat’l High Power Champion (2014)
On the last day of the High Power Championship, believe it or not I felt no pressure — because I really didn’t think I had a chance to win it all. I knew the leaders would clean the day and my only hope was that possibly one or two would falter enough to allow me third place. All I was trying to do was shoot Xs, so that I could move past two of the people in front of me and (maybe) secure 3rd place. I started the day tied for third on points with two other competitor, but in fifth place when you figured in X-count.
Yes I was watching the board going into the final day and so many people say “Don’t watch the board!”. However, for me, looking at the board motivates me.
The best I could do at 300 yards was a 200-6X, with nice groups, but not centered. That was not enough Xs and I knew I wasn’t moving up the leader board. I knew that simply shooting a 200 score wasn’t going to cut it and I still had work to do to get onto the podium (i.e. earn third place). At that point I figured I was still tied for third (disregarding X-count).
So I went to the 600-yard line with goal of getting on to the podium. I was shooting for third at that point. I figured maybe with two cleans I could grab third place.
Understand I know my competition and I know I’m shooting against the best High Power marksmen in the world. There were two people who have won this match before and several deserving champions just behind. So at this point, I’m wasn’t giving myself a chance to win — I was hoping to place third.
The first string at 600 yards went well with nothing less than a 10. I shot a normal 200-10X, meaning 10s and Xs were mixed up with no wide shots. Apparently others faltered when I shot clean (all 10s or Xs) — I didn’t know that after the first string at 600 I was actually in the lead….
Click Image to See Full-Size Photo
Pulling it Together: Five Xs for the Final Five Shots
The second string at 600 yards was strange. I shot five Xs in my first 6 or 7 shots and then ran a string of 10s that were either wide or corner shots. So, after 15 shots, I wasn’t getting better, I was getting worse. I needed to get my act together (and right quickly).
I took a moment to regroup and said to myself: “Stop this. We are not doing this today…” (i.e. we are NOT going to break down with just five shots to go). That’s something I heard Ken Roxburgh said to my son during their team match.
That thought process changed my attitude, and it seemed to relieve the pressure, so I was able to concentrate on every shot. I was re-focused and ready to roll. I know Perry, I know the wind at Perry and I had confidence in my 6CM cartridge to shoot 10s through the final five shots.
That confidence paid off — in the final five shots I broke every shot dead center and every shot came up an X!
I don’t care where you place at Perry, if your final shot is an X you have something to take back for next year. Running five Xs in a row to end Perry is special. But, ironically, I can not say that running five Xs in a row to win Perry is a feeling I can actually remember, because, at the time, I thought I had finished third, not first….
After finishing the last string, I had a 1798 point total. I packed up my stuff, went over to the Remington golf cart, and told Ken Roxburgh that I was fairly sure I had placed third overall.
“Down 13… How About You?”
I then walked down the line and I saw Brandon Green from the USAMU congratulating Norm Houle on winning. I paused for a moment and then walked over to Norm and asked him: “What did you shoot?” Norm replied: “I was down 13, how about you?” I then answered “Down 11″. Norm gave me a huge handshake and then it hit me. I had won.
I was a feet away from my father. I went to him and said I think I won. Pricelessly, Dad said “Won what?” Then it hit him. Literally in tears, He called my mother to report the good news.
At that point I realized this Championship wasn’t my life’s work, it was his. THANK YOU DAD!
My son Joe Hendricks Jr. was in the pits and didn’t yet know about my first-place finish. He is 18 and has his own hopes for a rifle championship someday. When he came back from the pits, I said to him: “You don’t know…” He looked at me and said “Know what?”. I said “I won”, and he asked “Won what?”. Then I told him: “The whole thing.” I have never seen him smile the way he did at that moment.
Next we call my wife on the phone (she was staying in Port Clinton, but wasn’t at the range that day). I tell her I won, and she says “Won what?” Again, I reply “The whole thing … I won the whole thing.” I hear only silence on the phone, then she says “Are you serious?” I reply, “Yes I am” and then there is a long pause, after which she says: “Joe, you aren’t messing with me are you?” I tell her: “No, I’m serious, come out here, you’ll see…” She pauses then says, “OK I will… but if you are messing with me YOU WILL PAY.” My girls say she almost wrecked the car driving out to the range.
So my wife finally shows up at the Remington Team trailer. As she was getting out of the car she says “If you are [fooling] with me I will kill you. Did you really win?” In fact, she asked me three times before she believed it had actually happened.
By this time Ken Roxburgh of Remington (my coach) had also called Carl Bernosky. Carl Bernosky has been a huge part of my shooting since I young. Having Carl be so excited about my win means nearly as much to me as the win itself. What a great day!
Joe wanted to thank his sponsors Remington and Berger Bullets. The 6CM Cartridge he shoots is a wildcat based on the .243 Winchester. Joes uses slow-burning H1000 powder and he shot Berger 105gr 6mm Hybrids at Camp Perry this year.
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September 4th, 2014
Way back in 1955 Sierra Bullets offered a $1000 prize for anyone setting a new Aggregate benchrest record with a 6mm (or larger) bullet. At the time the .222 Remington ruled the roost, and Sierra wanted to promote the larger caliber. Sierra also offered a $250.00 prize for a record-breaking performance with any size caliber (including the .22s). Here is the story of how a Tulsa shooter claimed the $250.00 award with a world-record-setting Aggregate involving 10-shot groups at 100 and 200 yards.
Barney M. Auston of Tulsa, OK with rifle he built to break NBRSA record and win $250 cash award from Sierra Bullets. (From cover of Precision Shooting magazine. May 1956).
The rifle is built on an FN Mauser action with double set trigger, with a Hart stainless steel barrel, 30″ x 1 1/8″ and chambered for the .222 Remington cartridge. The stock, made by Auston, has a Hydraulic bedder as made by L. F. Landwehr of Jefferson City, MO. The scope is a 24 power, 2″ inch Unertl. Mr. Auston shot 50 grain bullets, custom made by W. M. Brown of Augusta, Ohio, with .705″ Sierra cups and soft swedged. His powder charge was 21 grains of 4198. The rifle rests, both front and rear, were also made by Mr. Auston.
On August 20, 1955, shooting at night in a registered shoot on the John Zink range near Tulsa, Oklahoma, Barney M. Auston of Tulsa broke the existing National Match Course aggregate record and, as the first to do that in 1955, won the Sierra Bullets $250 cash award. Here is the original Sierra Bullets prize offer from 1955:
10-Shot Groups at 100 and 200
Mr. Auston’s winning Aggregate for the National Match Course (five 10-shot groups at 100 yards and five 10-shot groups at 200 yards) was .4512 MOA. He also broke the 200-yard aggregate with an average of .4624 MOA, beating the .4801 match MAO record set by L.E. Wilson only a month earlier.
Barney Auston was a custom rifle maker in Tulsa who fabricated the rifles used by many of the leading benchrest competitors in the Mid-Continent and Guild Coast Regions. Auston was himself one of the top benchrest shooters in those regions during his shooting career.
Editor’s Note: Both of Mr. Auston’s records were broken before the end of the 1955 shooting season, but Auston was the first to win the Sierra Prize. Interestingly, in setting his record, Austin broke the existing Agg record by L.E. Wilson of Cashmere, Washington — yes, the same L.E. Wilson that now makes dies.
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