August 16th, 2017

Match Shooting Strategies — How To Use a Wind Plot

wind plot Bryan Litz FCWC Canada F-Class World Championship
CLICK HERE to see full-screen version of Wind Plot.

The Battle of Nations begins. Today is Day 1 of international team competition at the 2017 F-Class World Championships (FCWC) in Ottawa, ON, Canada. Talented teams, in their nation’s colors, will be competing for glory and national pride.

Team shooting is very different than individual competition. Typically a team coach makes the wind calls for the shooters. In some cases (where the rules allow), the wind coach even dials elevation and windage changes for the active shooter. For the wind coach to do his job effectively, he must follow the changes in the wind and determine what the correct wind call should have been for each shot. (In other words — what was the “right call”)

Past F-TR USA Nat’l Champ Bryan Litz was wind coach for the winning 4-man LUM F-TR Team at the 2017 Canadian F-Class Championships, which preceded the FCWC Worlds. Here Bryan explains how he uses a Wind Plot to make better wind calls, helping his team-mates maximize their scores.

wind calling plot log technique

Wind Plot Methodology by Bryan Litz

The wind plot I use is a running history of what the correct wind call was for every shot fired. The more you shoot, the more history you have in a condition, and I find that very useful information. This kind of plot IS NOT showing where the bullet hit, and is NOT showing what you held. It’s showing what you should have held to center each shot. IMO, this is the most valuable information to have when guessing where to hold next for each shot. Here are some key points:

1. I always look for blocks of stable conditions to shoot in and wait out the rest.

2. If the wind plot shows drastic changes, either I’m not picking the right time to shoot or it’s just a really unstable wind condition.

3. When you see many shots using the same hold (e.g. Robby’s 700m and 900m strings on plot), it can indicate very fast shooting and fast pit service.

Q. What are the numbers and Markings on this Wind Plot?
Litz: The wind plot represents the rings on the target. Left 2 for example, is the 5 line on the international target, while Left 2 is the 10 line on the USA target. F-Class shooters and coaches talk about wind holds in relation to these rings. A Left 2 hold isn’t left 2 MOA or 2 MILS, it’s the second ring from center. The vertical lines on the plot represent the rings going out from center, 4 or 5 in each direction. A left or right 5 hold is edge of black on the int’l target.

wind plot Bryan Litz FCWC Canada F-Class World Championship

Q: What Does this Specific Plot Reveal?
Litz: Looking at the plot, from left to right is 700m, 800m, and 900m that we shot progressively through the day. Top to bottom shows each shooter in sequence (shooters names are shown by their blocks). To the right I note what was on the gun for that shooter, and note when it changes. Often times we run the same wind on the gun for several shooters but if it changes, I note what the new windage is and continue on. For example if we’re settled into a condition where we’re shooting Vs with a right 3 hold, I might adjust the scope 1 MOA right because a right 3 hold is equal to 1 MOA. So we can move the scope and start shooting with a center hold.

Q. Are you Plotting Where the Bullet Hits?
Litz: Not exactly. This kind of plot IS NOT specifically showing where the bullet hit, and IS NOT showing what the shooter held. It’s showing what the shooter should have held to center each shot. IMO, this is the most valuable information to have when guessing where to hold next for each shot.

On each shot, the shooter or coach takes a guess about where to hold, and fires the shot. If the bullet hits the center, you plot the point right where you held because it was the correct hold. However, if you miss the call, you plot what hold was required to put that shot in the center. For example if you shoot a right 3 and hit where you held, the correct call would have been “center”. In this way, you’re building a history of what you should have done, which may or may not be what you actually did. This shows you the trends, and brackets which can be used to make future decisions.

Q: Is this Type of Wind Plot Something New?
Litz: I didn’t invent this method, it’s been around a long time. Vertical can be plotted the same way. In team matches, we have a plotter who is advising on elevation trends and suggesting corrections. But, as wind coach, my job is the horizontal so I only keep the wind plot. I have learned lots of strategies from my coaches Emil Praslick and Steve Hardin.

There are many ways to plot and many standard work sheets for this. They’re all tools and the key is to find something that works for you in different situations. I don’t keep a plot when I am personally behind the trigger string firing because I lose more points when I take the time to do it vs. just shooting fast. When pair firing or coaching, I can keep the wind plot without compromising the shooting.

2013 F-Class World Championships
Team Australia used plots and comms linking coaches to help win the 2013 F-Class Team World Championship. We expect other teams will follow suit in Canada in 2017.

Know Your Goal — Keep It Simple
Know your goal of plotting. The simplest plot is where you write the shot number where it hit on a target face. This kind of plotting is useful for evaluating shooter performance because it shows how big the group is (in particular the vertical dispersion). However keeping a plot like this does little to help you figure out the wind. It just shows you what shots you messed up on. It does nothing to help you find the center. [Editor: That’s a whole different matter with many variables.] The wind plot I use is a running history of what the correct wind call was for every shot fired. The more you shoot, the more history you have in a condition, and I find that very useful information.

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Tech Tip No Comments »
August 16th, 2017

PickleFork Rail Accessory for Eliseo Tubeguns

Eliseo Tubegun Chassis Pickle-Fork Picklefork foreend fore-end F-TR F-Class Bag Rider

Wouldn’t it be great if you could have one match rifle that could do double-duty — shoot position matches (with sling), and then function as an F-Open gun with front rest? Now that’s possible with Gary Eliseo’s clever “PickleFork” accessory for his line of tubeguns. This accessory also works great for load testing and varmint hunting.

Competition Machine’s Gary Eliseo is a very smart designer as well as a talented shooter. The inventor/builder of the popular Competition Machine Tubegun chassis systems, Gary has come up with something new, which he calls the PickleForks. These are rails that fit to the sides of the tubular fore-end/handguard on his chassis systems. This allows you to use a pedestal-style front rest for F-Class competition. It also provides a much more stable platform for load testing, varmint hunting, or any kind of rest-assisted precision shooting.

These PickleForks transform a Tubegun into an ultra-stable, straight-tracking rig when used with a competition-style front rest.

Eliseo Tubegun Chassis Pickle-Fork Picklefork forend fore-end F-TR F-Class Bag Rider

Gary explains: “Now you can have the same super low-boreline, long ‘wheelbase’ and vertical sides of our innovative F1 F-Class chassis system for your tube chassis. The new PickleForks attach directly to the sides of the F-Class/Tactical fore-ends, no modifications are required. They are very rigid with no flex or twist and make the rifle track like it’s on rails.” The new Eliseo Competition Machine PickleForks are offered for a very reasonable $70.00 per pair, with Cerakote finish. (You get two metal units, one for each side of the fore-arm). For more information, visit www.GotXRing.com or call (928) 649-0742.

Eliseo Tubegun Chassis Pickle-Fork Picklefork forend fore-end F-TR F-Class Bag Rider

New Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Gunsmithing No Comments »
August 15th, 2017

Individual Champions Crowned at F-Class Worlds in Canada

Canada Ontario Ottawa Connaught Ranges Championship 2017 FCWC Rod Davies Derek Rodgers

Hail the new F-Class World Champions: Australian Rod Davies (F-Open) and the USA’s Derek Rodgers (F-TR). The 2017 F-Class Individual World Championships event was memorable — with thunderstorms, tight competition, and wicked winds on the final day. On Day 1, Saturday 8/12/17, only one 700m relay was completed before a massive storm front dropped a deluge. Conditions prior to that were good, with dozens of competitors shooting “clean” — one competitor lamented “I didn’t drop a point but ended up way down the standings on V-Count…”

After one yardage, the FCWC was halted on Saturday (Day 1) by a massive thunderstorm.
Canada Ontario Ottawa Connaught Ranges Championship 2017 FCWC Rod Davies Derek Rodgers
Sebastian Lambang photo

F-TR — The King of 2 Miles vs. The Newly-Crowned Canadian Champ
The F-TR event couldn’t have been closer — this went down to the wire. American Derek Rodgers scored 473-36V to win the title on V-Count over Canadia Kevin Chou (473-31V). Kevin is a very tough man to beat on his home range in Ontario. At this same venue, Kevin recently won Canada’s F-TR National Championship, his second F-TR Canadian National title in a row.

This has been a great summer for Rodgers. Last month Derek won the King of 2 Miles competition in Raton, NM. But the World Championship F-TR win didn’t come easy. Not by a long shot. This was a tough, come-from-behind win for Derek. After Day 1, which was halted by rain, Derek was in 77th position. On Day 2, he had climbed to 17th. He moved all the way to the top of the podium on the third and final day by shooting brilliantly in very tough conditions.

Derek told us: “The wind was changing very rapidly on Monday (Day 3). There were radical changes. It was blowing left to right, but there were rapid velocity changes. You might move from holding at the edge of the black ring on the left, then over to the 2 ring on the right from shot to shot.” Derek noted that the match was “pair fire” so you had to wait up to 45 seconds for your partner to shoot. “That means you couldn’t shoot fast. You had to watch the conditions very carefully — watch those big canvas flags and the mirage.” Derek said the mirage was “huge in Canada… but it looks different than what I’m used to in the American Southwest. The mirage off grass is different.”

Canada Ontario Ottawa Connaught Ranges Championship 2017 FCWC Rod Davies Derek Rodgers

Many observers had counted Rodgers out when he stood in 17th place after Day 2, but he mastered the tough conditions to move up in the standings as others were dropping points in bunches. Derek said that starting in 17th might have been a blessing in disguise: “Starting 17th, I didn’t feel any pressure on the last day. Once I got the wind ‘roped’ on that last day, it was actually fun. I nailed a bunch of Vs, and that’s what carried me to victory.”

Canada Ontario Ottawa Connaught Ranges Championship 2017 FCWC Rod Davies Derek Rodgers

F-Open World Champion Rod Davies (Australia) Receives the Milcun Shield Trophy
Canada Ontario Ottawa Connaught Ranges Championship 2017 FCWC Rod Davies Derek Rodgers
Jenni Hausler photo.

Australian Captures F-Open Title with a Powerful Performance
In F-Open, the story was all Rod Davies, the talented Australian. He shot strong and steady throughout the match, to top the field with a 489-41V score. Finishing second was the UK’s Paul Sandie (485-38V), while another Australian, Adam Pohl, took third with 482-38V. Those Aussies do know how to shoot off grass in windy conditions. Five of the top 15 F-Open shooters were from Down Under. The top American was Jim Murphy in fourth place, followed by Erik Cortina in fifth.

Tough Conditions on Day Three
Erik Cortina told us that conditions were very tough on the last day. Wind velocities were changing unpredictably — with disastrous results for some shooters dropped 10 points or more. Somehow, in those rapidly changing winds, Eric nailed the top Aggregate for the last day, out-shooting the field: “I was lucky enough that conditions were very tough on the last day and that I was able to read the conditions good enough to win the Aggregate for the day. I moved up from 27th to 5th (overall) in one day. There were close to 200 of the best F-Open shooters in the World competing at this match, what an amazing experience to share the range with such an outstanding group of people.”

Canada Ontario Ottawa Connaught Ranges Championship 2017 FCWC Rod Davies Derek Rodgers

2017 FCWC relays were conducted with Pair Firing, with each shooter alternating shot by shot. Here are Mark Fairbairn (Australia) and Matt Schwartzkopf (USA) on the right. Sebastian Lambang photo.
Canada Ontario Ottawa Connaught Ranges Championship 2017 FCWC Rod Davies Derek Rodgers

YOUNG GUNS: At the 2017 FCWC the first-ever Under 25 World Champions were crowned: Mitchell Fitzpatrick (F-TR) and Rhys Ireland (F-Open). Rhys also won the 2017 Canadian National F-Open Championship last week. Mitchell is a past KO2M winner.

The young pit crew members did a great job. Sebastian Lambang photo.
Canada Ontario Ottawa Connaught Ranges Championship 2017 FCWC Rod Davies Derek Rodgers

Team Matches Come Next
There is a lay day today, August 15th, after which the Team Competition phase of the F-Class World Championships commence. We can expect a tough battle among the top teams: Australia, Canada, Great Britain/UK, South Africa, and the USA. Here is the schedule/course of fire for the Team Matches:

    FCWC Team Competition
    Wednesday, August 16: 2+15 @ 700m, 2+15 @ 800m, 2+15 @ 900m
    Thursday, August 17: 2+15 @ 700m, 2+15 @ 800m , 2+15 @ 900m
    Prize Giving and Closing Ceremonies
Permalink Competition, News 6 Comments »
August 14th, 2017

Gary Ocock Shoots Amazing 0.0840 Aggregate with Railgun

Gary Ocock Rail Gun Unlimited Target Visalia CA 6 PPC IBS NBRSA
Want to see the details? CLICK HERE to view full-screen photo.

Check out those five targets. The Aggregate (average) of all five targets is a tiny 0.0840 inches! These were shot by Gary Ocock at 100 yards in a California benchrest match on August 6, 2017. Though Gary’s 0.0840 Agg beats existing records, this was not a “sanctioned” match, so Gary’s killer Agg will NOT be submitted for IBS or NBRSA records. So, sadly, the Agg won’t appear in the record books, but this remains a spectacular, verified feat of rifle accuracy, accomplished in competition.

The argument can be made that this is the Most Accurate Gun Ever Built. As far as we can determine, no one has ever shot a smaller 5-target Agg anywhere, at any time.

The Unlimited Benchrest Record That Will Never Be (Official)

Report by Boyd Allen
Gary Ocock’s stunning unlimited Aggregate is beyond amazing. That’s an average of five, 5-shot groups of .0840. Shot under sanctioned match rules, but at an unsanctioned 100-yard fun match, this Aggregate is well under the current 100-yard official records of the IBS (.1386), and the NBRSA (.1242). The fourth of the five groups measured a minuscule .018, less than half the size of the existing NBRSA Unlimited record of .049 (also shot by Gary). Check it out:

Gary Ocock Rail Gun Unlimited Target Visalia CA 6 PPC IBS NBRSA

Gary Ocock Rail Gun Unlimited Target Visalia CA 6 PPC IBS NBRSA
When the top 15 shooters all post teen Aggs, conditions must be pretty favorable. However there were some light switchy winds — Gary said that he shot better in the left to right condition.

GUN SPECIFICATIONS
Ocock’s red Jay Young Unlimited Railgun features one major difference from Young’s typical Railgun designs. The bottom of the barrel block is integral with the top (moving part), of the gun. The barrel is Ocock’s usual 1:13.5″-twist Krieger chambered for the 6 PPC. The BAT Neuvo action* is unusual in that its lugs are horizontal at lock-up instead of the usual vertical. With horizontal lugs, both lugs maintain contact with their abutments when the action is cocked. In the more normal configuration when cocked the top lug is forced off of its seat by a combination of the angle of the trigger cocking piece interface, the pressure of the striker spring, and bolt clearance at the rear of the action.

LOAD SPECIFICATIONS
Gary shot this remarkable Agg with well-used brass, Vihtavuori N133 powder, and self-made 66gr BT bullets** seated at “jam”. This amazing Agg was shot on the second day of a 2-day Unlimited Benchrest match. On Day 1 Gary had experimented with various loads using both surplus IMR 8208 and Vihtavuori N133, but was not satisfied with the results. For his first group on Day 2, Gary tried a light load of N133. After seeing the result, however, he decided to go to the other extreme — a super stout N133 load — with the same powder. As you can see, Gary’s willingness to experiment paid off.

Gary Ocock Rail Gun Unlimited Target Visalia CA 6 PPC IBS NBRSA

Notably, Gary used light neck tension. Ocock found that for these bullets and this barrel, light neck tension worked best (contrary to “normal” N133 benchrest practice). Ocock used a bushing that only produces .001″ difference between the diameters of sized and loaded case necks.

Comment on Ocock’s Achievement
Congratulations to Gary Ocock for superb shooting (and smart loading). Even though the match was not sanctioned (so the Agg will never be a record), Ocock has raised the bar very high, and given us a new standard of ultimate accuracy.

Though this 0.0840 Aggregate and 0.018 group will never go into the record group, they are still noteworthy. There’s virtually no doubt that they would have survived inspection by any record committee. Except for the lack of fixed backers, an IBS requirement (for detecting cross-fires), all other conditions were met for an officially-sanctioned match.

*The new BAT Neuvo actions are the result of a collaboration between Dwight Scott, and Bruce Thom, featuring Dwight’s ideas and BAT’s proven manufacturing expertise.

** Ocock shot his own, boat-tail match bullets, made with George Ulrich-crafted dies using Hood cores. Although he said that it had been a while since he had weighed any, his best guess was that they weigh something around 66.5 grains.

Permalink Competition, Reloading, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
August 13th, 2017

$35,000 Pay-Out at Long Range Shooting Assn. Colorado Match

NALRSA National long range shooting association colorado Saguache $35,000 shooting match

NALRSA National long range shooting association colorado Saguache $35,000 shooting matchIs long range shooting going to become a big-money sport like golf? Well the North American Long Range Shooting Association (NALRSA) thinks so. This relatively new organization is running a series of matches with huge money pay-outs for the top shooters.

The next NALRSA Match is happening next weekend (August 18-20) in Saguache, Colorado. Remarkably, the organizers will be offering $35,000 in total prize money, making this one of the richest rifle matches of the year:

“$35,000 dollar guaranteed payout in Colorado! Yes you read that right! As promised we are adding money into the Format 2 competition. We are going to guarantee $5,000 in each category #5 and #7. So get signed up! We have a vision at NALRSA to turn Long Range Shooting into a ‘real’ sporting event with BIG payouts just like so many other sporting events. Help us grow the sport and become a part of our exciting events!”

NALRSA Facebook Page | NALRSA Website at Long-Range-Shooting.com

This guy knows a thing or two about long range shooting.
NALRSA National long range shooting association colorado Saguache $35,000 shooting match

NALRSA National long range shooting association colorado Saguache $35,000 shooting match
Yep, that’s our buddy Erik Cortina (left) with the $6,250 First Prize check he received for finishing first in NALRSA’s Bandera (TX) match held in May.

NALRSA National long range shooting association colorado Saguache $35,000 shooting match

NALRSA National long range shooting association colorado Saguache $35,000 shooting match

NALRSA National long range shooting association colorado Saguache $35,000 shooting match

NALRSA National long range shooting association colorado Saguache $35,000 shooting match

NALRSA National long range shooting association colorado Saguache $35,000 shooting match

Permalink Competition, Tactical 2 Comments »
August 12th, 2017

ICFRA F-Class World Championships Commence in Canada

FCWC F-Class World Championships

The F-Class World Championships (FCWC) commence today at the Connaught Ranges outside Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. We wish good luck to all the competitors. Based on the conditions at the recent Canadian F-Class National Championships, conditions could be challenging.

F-Class World Championships EVENT SCHEDULE:
Friday, August 11 (REST DAY – RANGE CLOSED)
Competitor Check-In for FCWC; Rifle Inspection; International Teams Reception
Saturday, August 12: Opening Ceremonies; ICFRA FCWC (Individual)
Sunday, August 13: ICFRA FCWC (Individual)
Monday, August 14: ICFRA FCWC (Individual); Awards Prize Giving
Tuesday, August 15: TEAM PRACTICE DAY
Wednesday, August 16: ICFRA FCWC (Teams)
Thursday, August 17: ICFRA FCWC (Teams): Awards Prize Giving & Closing Ceremonies

Tips for Success at the F-Class Worlds — #1, Avoid Train Wrecks

As an assist to all the competitors, we’re repeating an article by Bryan Litz, which many have found very helpful — how to avoid “Train Wrecks” at major championships.

train wreck Bryan Litz shooting tips ballistics

When you have a major, critical problem at a shooting match, i.e. a “train wreck”, this can be the end of your weekend. In this article, Ballistics Guru Bryan Litz talks about “train wrecks” — the big disasters (such as equipment failures) that can ruin a whole match. A recent USA F-TR Champion, Bryan illustrates the types of “train wrecks” that commonly befall competitors, and he explains how to avoid these “unmitigated disasters”.

train wreck Bryan Litz shooting tips ballisticsTrain Wrecks (and How to Avoid Them)
by Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics LLC.

Success in long range competition depends on many things. Those who aspire to be competitive are usually detail-oriented, and focused on all the small things that might give them an edge. Unfortunately it’s common for shooters lose sight of the big picture — missing the forest for the trees, so to speak.

Consistency is one of the universal principles of successful shooting. The tournament champion is the shooter with the highest average performance over several days, often times not winning a single match. While you can win tournaments without an isolated stellar performance, you cannot win tournaments if you have a single train wreck performance. And this is why it’s important for the detail-oriented shooter to keep an eye out for potential “big picture” problems that can derail the train of success!

Train wrecks can be defined differently by shooters of various skill levels and categories. Anything from problems causing a miss, to problems causing a 3/4-MOA shift in wind zero can manifest as a train wreck, depending on the kind of shooting you’re doing.

Below is a list of common Shooting Match Train Wrecks, and suggestions for avoiding them.

1. Cross-Firing. The fastest and most common way to destroy your score (and any hopes of winning a tournament) is to cross-fire. The cure is obviously basic awareness of your target number on each shot, but you can stack the odds in your favor if you’re smart. For sling shooters, establish your Natural Point of Aim (NPA) and monitor that it doesn’t shift during your course of fire. If you’re doing this right, you’ll always come back on your target naturally, without deliberately checking each time. You should be doing this anyway, but avoiding cross-fires is another incentive for monitoring this important fundamental. In F-Class shooting, pay attention to how the rifle recoils, and where the crosshairs settle. If the crosshairs always settle to the right, either make an adjustment to your bipod, hold, or simply make sure to move back each shot. Also consider your scope. Running super high magnification can leave the number board out of the scope’s field view. That can really increase the risk of cross-firing.

2. Equipment Failure. There are a wide variety of equipment failures you may encounter at a match, from loose sight fasteners, to broken bipods, to high-round-count barrels that that suddenly “go south” (just to mention a few possibilities). Mechanical components can and do fail. The best policy is to put some thought into what the critical failure points are, monitor wear of these parts, and have spares ready. This is where an ounce of prevention can prevent a ton of train wreck. On this note, if you like running hot loads, consider whether that extra 20 fps is worth blowing up a bullet (10 points), sticking a bolt (DNF), or worse yet, causing injury to yourself or someone nearby.

train wreck Bryan Litz shooting tips ballistics

3. Scoring/Pit Malfunction. Although not related to your shooting technique, doing things to insure you get at least fair treatment from your scorer and pit puller is a good idea. Try to meet the others on your target so they can associate a face with the shooter for whom they’re pulling. If you learn your scorer is a Democrat, it’s probably best not to tell Obama jokes before you go for record. If your pit puller is elderly, it may be unwise to shoot very rapidly and risk a shot being missed (by the pit worker), or having to call for a mark. Slowing down a second or two between shots might prevent a 5-minute delay and possibly an undeserved miss.

train wreck Bryan Litz shooting tips ballistics4. Wind Issues. Tricky winds derail many trains. A lot can be written about wind strategies, but here’s a simple tip about how to take the edge off a worse case scenario. You don’t have to start blazing away on the command of “Commence fire”. If the wind is blowing like a bastard when your time starts, just wait! You’re allotted 30 minutes to fire your string in long range slow fire. With average pit service, it might take you 10 minutes if you hustle, less in F-Class. Point being, you have about three times longer than you need. So let everyone else shoot through the storm and look for a window (or windows) of time which are not so adverse. Of course this is a risk, conditions might get worse if you wait. This is where judgment comes in. Just know you have options for managing time and keep an eye on the clock. Saving rounds in a slow fire match is a costly and embarrassing train wreck.

5. Mind Your Physical Health. While traveling for shooting matches, most shooters break their normal patterns of diet, sleep, alcohol consumption, etc. These disruptions to the norm can have detrimental effects on your body and your ability to shoot and even think clearly. If you’re used to an indoor job and eating salads in air-conditioned break rooms and you travel to a week-long rifle match which keeps you on your feet all day in 90-degree heat and high humidity, while eating greasy restaurant food, drinking beer and getting little sleep, then you might as well plan on daily train wrecks. If the match is four hours away, rather than leaving at 3:00 am and drinking five cups of coffee on the morning drive, arrive the night before and get a good night’s sleep.”

Keep focused on the important stuff. You never want to lose sight of the big picture. Keep the important, common sense things in mind as well as the minutia of meplat trimming, weighing powder to the kernel, and cleaning your barrel ’til it’s squeaky clean. Remember, all the little enhancements can’t make up for one big train wreck!

Permalink - Articles, Competition No Comments »
August 11th, 2017

Kevin Chou, Rhys Ireland, and USA Teams Win Canadian National F-Class Championships

Canada Canadian F-Class Championship Connaught Ottawa Ontario Team Litz USA

The 2017 Canadian F-Class Championships have concluded. As the event preceded the 2017 F-Class World Championship (in the same venue) by a few days, many of the world’s best F-Class shooters were on hand at the Connaught Ranges outside Ottawa, Ontario. Competition was fierce — as were the winds at times. The challenging conditions gave shooters a good test in preparation for the FCWC which gets underway in earnest on Saturday, August 12, 2017.

All 2017 CDN F-Class Nationals Individual Results | All 2017 CDN F-Class Nationals Team Results

Kevin Chou Wins Second Straight F-TR Canadian Title
Canada’s Kevin Chou (Aurora, ON) shot great to win the F-TR match with a strong 426v30 score. This made was two wins in a row for Kevin, who also took the F-TR Title in 2016. Two Yanks completed the podium, with Jeff Rorer (420v25) taking second place, and Robby Burton (418v25) placing third.

Canada Canadian F-Class Championship Connaught Ottawa Ontario Team Litz USA

Rhys Ireland Wins F-Open Canadian Championship
The F-Open Championship was a tightly-fought match that went down to the wire. Rhys Ireland won the Individual F-Open Championship with a 434v30. Just one point behind at 433v39 was Australia’s Rod Davies. Third, again just one point back, was Canadian Barry Price (433v30).

Canada Canadian F-Class Championship Connaught Ottawa Ontario Team Litz USA

Team USA (Litz) Wins F-TR Team Championship
American F-TR Teams managed a clean sweep of the top three places in the 4-shooter LUM Team Match. Team USA Litz secured the team victory with a 875v71 score. Finishing second in F-TR was USA Team Swartzkopf (871v74), followed by Team USA Hardin (870v72).

Who can explain the lines and dots on this shot tracking chart used by Bryan Litz?
Canada Canadian F-Class Championship Connaught Ottawa Ontario Team Litz USA

F-TR Team USA (Litz) members (alphabetically) Douglas Boyer, Robby Burton, Dan Lentz, Monte Milanuk; Bryan Litz (head coach), Stan Pate (asst.)
Canada Canadian F-Class Championship Connaught Ottawa Ontario Team Litz USA

Team USA (Nancy) Wins F-Open Team Title
The F-Open 4-shooter Team Competition was also dominated by American squads which finished first and second. Winning F-Open Gold, with a score of 888v98, was Team USA (Nancy), coached by Nancy Tompkins, America’s “First Lady of Shooting”. Finishing second was Team USA (Walker) with 887v100, followed by the Canadian F-Open Team at 887v90.

F-Open Team USA (Nancy) was packed with talent. Shooters were: Shiraz Balolia, Ken Dickerman, James Laney, and Pat Scully. Another American deserves mention, John Myers of the Texas F-Open Team. We believe John’s 225v27 was the high score for the team match, and he was the only competitor to shoot “clean”, not dropping a point.

Sebastian Lambang, inventor/builder of SEB Rests, competed in the Canadian Championships. Over half the competitors used SEB rests — Joy-Pods for F-TR and NEOs and MINIs for F-Open.

Canada Canadian F-Class Championship Connaught Ottawa Ontario SEB Lambang sebastian

Conditions were windy and challenging at the 2017 Canadian F-Class Championships. Will the strong winds continue for the F-Class World Championships (FCWC) starting tomorrow, August 12, 2017. Only the wind gods know for sure. Good luck to all the FCWC competitors from all nations!

Canada Canadian F-Class Championship Connaught Ottawa Ontario

Permalink Competition, News 1 Comment »
August 11th, 2017

The NRA Perpetual Trophies — Heritage of Shooting Excellence

Leech Cup Wimbledon Trophy Cup NRA SSUSA.org
Stunners in silver. Above are the NRA Leech Cup (left) and Wimbledon Cup (right).

Shooting Sports USA has a fascinating article about the Perpetual Trophies awarded in national-level NRA matches. The story recounts the history behind the elaborate trophies, some from the 1870s. SSUSA’s Jennifer Pearsall writes: “The pieces of wood, stone and precious metal … are more than just instant recognition of achievement. They are the link of the American shooter’s present to his or her patriotic past. As you read this legacy of the NRA ranges, their founders, and the long list of cups, bowls, and plaques, realize that the history of competitive shooting is undeniably a significant part of the foundation of this country”. Read Full Trophy Story HERE.

The NRA was co-founded by Col. William Church and Gen. George Wood Wingate (ranked Captain at the time). Both Church and Wingate hoped to improved the marksmanship skills of American soldiers. One of the newly-formed NRA’s first actions was to issue: “An Act to Establish a Rifle Range and Promote Skill in Marksmanship”. That led to the opening of the famed Creedmoor Range, with a special inaugural match in June of 1873.

Many of the awards presented in the first NRA matches were cash or firearms. Some of these firearms were heavily embellished works of art. In the very first match, a member of the 22nd New York Regiment took home a gold-mounted Winchester Model 1866 valued at $100 — big money for the time.

Leech Cup Wimbledon Trophy Cup NRA SSUSA.org
In the 1870s shooting competitions were social as well as sporting events. Ladies and gentlemen came to watch and cheer the winners. This illustration, originally from Harpers Weekly, portrays the shooters and the viewing gallery at the 1876 Grand Centennial Championship—the “Palma” Match.

The Leech Cup — A Gift from Ireland
The Leech Cup was created for the first meeting of the American and Irish shooting teams. The elaborate cup was presented by Major Arthur Leech, captain of the the Irish team, to the Amateur Rifle Club of New York. This masterpiece of Irish silversmithing was later given to the NRA in 1901 by the New York Club. Today, the Leech Cup is the oldest trophy offered in overall NRA competitive target shooting, awarded through the National High Power Long Range Championships.

Michelle Gallagher with Leech Cup in 2013.
Leech Cup Wimbledon Trophy Cup NRA SSUSA.org

The Wimbledon Cup
The Wimbledon Trophy was a gift from the NRA of Great Britain. It was given, as a gesture of sportsmanship, after the the U.S. Team was denied the ability to compete in England’s Elcho Shield match, then limited to Britain, Scotland, and Ireland. To maintain friendly competitive relations, the British presented the Americans with a large, engraved, lion-footed tankard trophy to be awarded each year to the Champion U.S. long-distance rifleman.

Wimbledon Trophy Cup NRA SSUSA.org

Palma Trophy Facts Team Match National Camp Perry Tiffany'sThe Palma Team Trophy
Originally named the Centennial Trophy, in honor of the Centennial celebration of the independence of the United States of America, the Palma Trophy was commissioned from Tiffany’s at a cost of $1,500. The trophy was a full-sized replica of a Roman Legion standard, executed in bronze with silver and gold inlay. On the banner of the standard was the legend, “In the name of the United States of America to the Riflemen of the world”. Above the banner was an eagle, bearing in its talons a wreath of palm leaves and a plaque on which was the single word, “PALMA”, the Latin word for palm tree, which was used by the Romans to signify victory, or the ultimate in excellence.

Because the word Palma was so easily seen, the trophy soon became known as the “Palma Trophy”, and by 1878 was referred to officially by that name. The sriginal seven and one-half foot trophy is now lost, having not been seen since at least 1954. Serving in its place is a copy which was commissioned by Dr. Herbert M. Aitken of Eau Claire, WI. The copy was made from the original Tiffany blue-prints at a cost of $32,500. Dr. Aitken has given this copy of the Palma Trophy to the NRA for use in the Palma Match. The trophy is retained by the winning team until the next Palma Match.

In 2008, the Palma Trophy was returned to the NRA, and it was decided that the trophy, once refurbished, will travel to the host nation for the match every four years, then returned to the NRA for safekeeping.

The first competition for the Palma Team was a challenge match for which the British Commonwealth nations were invited. The match was fired in 1876 at the old Creedmoor Range on Long Island as part of the Centennial celebration of the United States. Teams representing Scotland, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and the United States took part. The match is currently fired on a four-year interval.

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
August 9th, 2017

Talented Yank Shines at Canadian Silhouette Championship

Erich Mietenkorte Silhouette Rifle Canada Canadian Championships

American Silhouette shooter Eric Mietenkorte delivered a superb performance at the recent Canadian National Silhouette Championships in Fort Steel, British Columbia. Eric recorded a 1-2-3 Trifecta with 1st Place in Master Standard Rifle, 2nd Place in Master Hunter Rifle, and 3rd place in Master Smallbore Hunter. Eric is coming home with quite the trophy harvest. Other top shooters included Team Lapua members Mark Pharr and Cathy Winstead-Severin.

Erich called this a “target rich environment”…
Erich Mietenkorte Silhouette Rifle Canada Canadian Championships
Erich Mietenkorte Silhouette Rifle Canada Canadian Championships

Eric tells us: “The Canadian National Championships are all wrapped up. Thanks to the Bull River Shooters Association (B.R.S.A.) for hosting an incredible event! What a great [week] of shooting! Such a beautiful range with the nicest people! It was great seeing old friends and making new ones. [There were] definitely some challenging wind and mirage conditions, but lots of great shooting, and I even took home some hardware.” Erich has posted these photos from the event.

Erich Mietenkorte Silhouette Rifle Canada Canadian Championships

Erich was quick on the trigger shooting pigs at 300 meters. He says “I love hearing that clang from hitting the steel.” Click speaker icon to hear audio.

6.5mm Chamberings Favored for Centerfire (High Power) Silhouette
The 6.5mm caliber seems to be the “sweet spot” for High Power Silhouette shooters. Erich says: “I use the .260 Bobcat (6.5×250) wildcat. Most still use the .260 Remington and 6.5×47 Lapua.” Other popular chamberings for High Power Silhouette include the 6.5 Creedmoor, 6mmBR, 6mm Dasher, 6×47 Lapua, and 7mm-08.

One wicked cool paint job — the Fighter Plane graphics on Erich’s smallbore rifle drew admiring glances.

Erich Mietenkorte Silhouette Rifle Canada Canadian Championships

Here Erich spots for fellow American shooters Mark Pharr and Cathy Winstead-Severin of Team Lapua.

Erich Mietenkorte Silhouette Rifle Canada Canadian Championships

The Cranbrook Daily Townsman News did a nice story on the Championships, complete with this informative video.

Fort Steel in British Columbia is a beautiful venue. Stunning scenery all around…

Erich Mietenkorte Silhouette Rifle Canada Canadian Championships

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Shooting Skills 6 Comments »
August 6th, 2017

Four Marksmen To Be Inducted into USA Shooting Hall of Fame

USA Shooting International Hall of Fame induction inductee USAMU Olympic shooters
Hall of Fame Class of 2017 — Ed Etzel (top left, WVU photo); David Kimes (top right, USAMU photo); Don Haldeman (bottom left, NRA photo); Martin Gunnarsson (bottom right, USAMU photo).

USA Shooting Hall of Fame Inductions
Four outstanding American marksmen will be inducted into the U.S. International Shooting Hall of Fame on August 26th in Colorado Springs, CO. Ed Etzel, David Kimes, Martin Gunnarsson and Don Haldeman will be the largest group of inductees since the first distinguished class in 1991. Each of these four shooters served in the U.S. Army and shot with the USAMU. The Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will coincide with the USA Shooting alumni reunion and Biennial Coach Conference.

ED ETZEL
Etzel won the Gold Medal at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles in the Men’s English Match Rifle event and was a gold medalist in the 1978 World Championships and 1979 Pan American Games. He was 11-time National Champion and set numerous national rifle records as a member of the U.S. Shooting Team. Later, Etzel coached the WVU Rifle team from 1976-89, with a 101-3 career coaching record. He coached over 30 WVU All-Americans and guided his teams to four NCAA National Championships during the 1980s. He was an active duty officer in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps for nearly three years during the Vietnam War and subsequently for 10 years in the U.S. Army Reserves.

DAVID KIMES
Kimes earned 14 World Championship medals (team & individual) during his career. A five-time World Team member from 1966 to 1986, Kimes is the only U.S. shooter to win an individual World Championship (1974) while setting a World Record and then repeating the same feat in the next World Championships (1978). He was selected as a 1980 Olympian but was unable to compete due to the U.S. boycott of the Games in the USSR. Reflecting on his induction, Kimes quoted Thoreau: “Our truest life is when we are in our dreams awake.” He reflected back on his last shot of the 1974 World Championships in Switzerland, the cheering of over a thousand Swiss fans as he connected on his final shot for a perfect string of 100, resulting in a world record and title of world champion.
USA Shooting International Hall of Fame induction inductee USAMU Olympic shooters
MARTIN GUNNARSSON
Gunnarsson won the bronze medal at the 1968 Olympic Games in the 300m Three-Position Rifle event and was a Pan American and World Championships medalist during his distinguished career. His Pan American medals were both gold and were won in team events at the 1959 and 1963 Pan Am Games 00 in the English match and free rifle event, respectively. At the 1966 World Championships, he also won a gold medal in the free rifle team event. In addition, both free rifle team performances (in 1963 and 1966) earned him a share of the world record.

DON HALDEMAN
A two-time Olympian who competed in the 1972 and 1976 Olympic Games, Haldeman earned an Olympic gold medal in 1976 in Men’s Trap. Haldeman was a member of the gold-medal winning 1973-74 U.S. World Championship Team. He was also a member of the 1975 U.S. Pan American Games Team, winning individual silver along with a team gold medal. He remains the last U.S. team member to earn Olympic gold in Men’s Trap.

About the USA Shooting Hall of Fame
The U.S. International Shooting Hall of Fame was established in 1991 by the NRA International Competitions Committee. Selection is focused on marksmen who excelled in international competition over an extended period of time, and who have been retired from active international shooting at least five years. Living USA Shooting Hall of Fame members and USA Shooting Board of Directors nominate candidates and then join with USA Shooting alumni in voting on the final nominees.

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
August 5th, 2017

How to Aim True at the F-Class World Championships

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…

The The F-Class World Championships (FCWC) in Canada are just one week away. This August 11-17, the world’s top F-Class shooters will gather at the Connaught Ranges outside Ottawa, Ontario. Here are some tips that can help F-TR and F-Open shooters aim more precisely, and achieve higher scores. F-Class ace Monte Milanuk reviews reticle choices and strategies for holding off.

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 - Articles, Competition, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
August 5th, 2017

ELEY Ltd. Steps Up Support for Rimfire Benchrest Leagues

eley rimfire .22 LR Benchrest competition PSL ARA American Rimfire Association

Eley rimfire barrel .22 LRIt’s good to see an ammo-maker step up to help the shooting sports. ELEY Ltd. has recently made significant investments in .22LR rimfire benchrest and competition segments within the USA. ELEY has partnered with the American Rimfire Association (ARA) and Professional Shooting League (PSL) to help promote and expand rimfire benchrest shooting, one of the fastest growing .22 LR rimfire competition disciplines worldwide. The ARA and PSL competitions are leading rimfire benchrest organizations within the United States. ELEY’s financial and logistical support will help the ARA and PSL grow the ranks of rimfire benchrest shooters.


Here’s a record-setting rimfire benchrest rifle owned by our friend Joe Friedrich who competes in ARA matches, primarily using ELEY .22 LR Tenex ammo.

ARA was started in April 1998 by a group of .22 LR shooters who wanted an organization for competitive .22 LR benchrest competition. In 2010, ARA started to transition to what it has become today, with the unique goal of continuing the vision of the ARA founders by providing an honest competitive organization that is true to .22LR shooting.

PSL was founded as a benchrest organization for the true precision shooting professional. With the growth of rimfire benchrest, there was a need to have a professional organization to which shooters would be compensated for their hard work, training and competition success.

rimfire benchrest ARA PSL ELEY ltd investment
Image from National Rimfire Benchrest Association of Ireland (NRBAI)

Among .22 LR rimfire disciplines, benchrest shooting represents the “pinnacle of precision” — the very highest level of accuracy is needed to succeed. As such, ELEY has identified the need to help expand this growing sport. “This support by ELEY will help us bring .22 LR benchrest to the forefront of shooting competitions,” says Dan Killough, Director of ARA & PSL. “The expansion of [rimfire] benchrest … gives shooters a platform to enjoy and participate in rimfire competition that previously may not have been available to them,” stated Mike Corkish, ELEY Director of North America Sales.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition No Comments »
August 4th, 2017

Silhouette Star — The Amazing Cathy Winstead-Severin

Team Lapua Cathy Winstead-Severin Silhouette Champion Championships Ridgway PA USA Canada
Photos courtesy Lapua and Adam Braverman

2017 USA Smallbore Silhouette Champion | 2017 USA High Power Silhouette Champion
2017 Canada Smallbore Silhouette Champion

We don’t know if there is an official “Lady Rifle Shooter of the Year”, but we would nominate Silhouette shooter Cathy Winstead-Severin, based on her amazing shooting so far this summer. Cathy has delivered some truly dominant performances recently. In mid-July, competing at the Ridgway Rifle Club in PA, Team Lapua’s Cathy Winstead-Severin won the 2017 Hunter Rifle NRA Smallbore Silhouette Championship. Cathy scored 110/120 to win her 20th NRA National Silhouette title. Then Cathy went on to win both the Standard and Hunter High Power Rifle Silhouette National Championships.

With those victories, Cathy completed a clean sweep of Smallbore (Rimfire) AND High Power (Centerfire) awards — a stunning achievement. Cathy was using Lapua cases, VihtaVuori powder, and a combination of Lapua and Berger bullets to win her 21st and 22nd National Silhouette Titles.

Team Lapua Cathy Winstead-Severin Silhouette Champion Championships Ridgway PA USA Canada

More Glory Across the Border — Cathy Wins in Canada Too!
Less than three weeks after her wins at the USA National Silhouette Championships, Team Lapua’s Cathy Winstead-Severin ventured north and won the Canadian NFA National Smallbore Silhouette Championship. After the match she also hosted a very informative clinic for other shooters. Congratulations Cathy Winstead-Severin. You have our vote for Lady Shooter of the Year. We also thank Team Lapua for providing support for major Silhouette Championship events.

Team Lapua Cathy Winstead-Severin Silhouette Champion Championships Ridgway PA USA Canada

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills 4 Comments »
July 30th, 2017

NRA Hosts Black Powder Target Rifle Championship August 14-20

NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championship Raton NM
NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships Raton NM

The NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championship will be held August 14-20, 2017 at the Whittington Center in Raton, NM. Top Black Powder Cartridge Rifle (BPCR) shooters from around the country have come to Raton to test their skills during a week-long event with targets set from 200 to 1000 yards. Today through Thursday, mid-range matches continue at 200 to 600 yards. On the firing line you’ll see many handsome, custom-built BPCRs (Sharps, Ballards, Browning High Walls, Rolling Blocks) with exquisite wood, hand-checkering, and color-case-hardened receivers.

NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships Raton NM

NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships Raton NM

The 800-1000 yard Creedmoor matches will be held Friday and Saturday, August 19-20. Interestingly, for safety reasons, there are minimum bullet weight and muzzle velocity requirements for the Creedmoor matches. These BPCR shooters launch some seriously heavy projectiles downrange.

NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships Raton NM

REGISTRATION: Registration will take place at the Eagle’s Nest Building beginning at 13:00 – 17:00 on August 13, and 07:15 – 09:00 August 14 for the Championships. NOTE: The NRA Black Powder Committee and NRAWC has changed the minimum requirements of bullet weight and velocity. There may be a 2% variance in bullet weight or velocity. Numbers in BOLD indicate the 2% variance. Only ammunition which produces these results, or better, and only rifles that have long-range sights will be permitted for use in the Creedmoor Championships. See the BPTR Nationals Ballistic Velocity Chart below for minimum requirements.

NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships Raton NM

ACCOMMODATIONS: There are many motels in the town of Raton, about 10 miles from the Range. In additions, there are accommodations on the grounds of the Whittington Center: 90 beds in Competitors Housing and 100 beds in Log Cabins. These facilities fill up quickly — call the Whittington Center right away at (575) 445-3615 to reserve.

NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships Raton NM

NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships Raton NM

Permalink Competition, Hunting/Varminting, News No Comments »
July 30th, 2017

Doan Trevor Builds Raffle Rifle for U.S. National Palma Team

Doan Trevor Rifle Raffle U.S. Palma Team Pierce Brux

Our friend Doan Trevor is creating a new raffle rifle. This will be raffled off this fall to support the USA Palma Team. Doan is donating his labor and building the stock from a walnut blank. Pierce Engineering will supply the action and Brux Barrels will provide the barrel.

Doan tells us: “I have volunteered to build another raffle rifle for the U.S. Palma National Rifle Team. Work has begun. I am hoping to have this completed for the Spirit of America Match in Raton, NM this fall. The action has been donated by Pierce Engineering and the long Palma barrel has been donated by Brux Barrels. The one item we are lacking at this point is a Remington-style competition trigger.”

Doan says he will craft the stock from hand-selected American Walnut: “This is [my own] Doan Trevor prone design, modified to be used for F-TR. This can be shot either prone or F-TR (with bipod). This will be similar to the stock that I custom-designed for Derek Rodgers, which won several National Championships and other awards.” The photos below show Doan crafting the wood and starting the bedding on the 2017 U.S. Palma Team Raffle Rifle:

Doan Trevor Rifle Raffle U.S. Palma Team Pierce Brux

Doan Trevor Rifle Raffle U.S. Palma Team Pierce Brux

Another Doan Trevor Raffle Rifle — for the Veterans’ Team
What will the rifle look like when it’s complete? We can’t show you that yet, but here’s another custom Palma rifle Doan crafted for the 2011 U.S. Veterans’ Team. Doan says: “This is the finished rifle for the U.S. Veterans Palma Team raffle for 2011. It carries a unique serial number signifying the 2011 World Championships in Australia.”

Doan Trevor Rifle Raffle U.S. Palma Team Pierce Brux

Doan Trevor Rifle Raffle U.S. Palma Team Pierce Brux

Permalink Competition, Gunsmithing No Comments »
July 26th, 2017

CMP Rimfire Sporter Match at Camp Perry July 29th

CMP rimfire sporter match Camp Perry 2017 smallbore rifle

If there is a single CMP event at Camp Perry every summer that offers the highest level of shooter satisfaction, the most diverse group of competitors, and the lowest cost of entry, that would have to be the annual Rimfire Sporter Match. This year’s match will be held on Saturday, July 29, 2017, the very last day of the National Match Schedule at Camp Perry.

Each year, the Rimfire Sporter Match attracts hundreds of shooters to the shore of Lake Erie at Camp Perry. The CMP National Rimfire Sporter Rifle Match offers shooters a recreation-oriented competition where they use affordable, smallbore sporter rifles with either scopes or iron sights. All you need are a .22 LR rifle, sling, and ammo.*

Rifles may be manually operated or semi-automatic, in three classes: the standard “O Class” for open-sighted rifles, “T-Class” for telescope-sighted rifles, and the “Tactical Rimfire” Class. Firing is done at 50 and 25 yards on a target with a 1.78″ ten-ring. The target is simple enough for a beginner to hit, yet challenging enough that only one competitor in the history of the match has ever fired a perfect 600 score. Here’s the young man who did that, Samuel Payne:

CMP rimfire sporter match Camp Perry 2017 smallbore rifle

Download CMP Rimfire Sporter Guidebook | View AccurateShooter’s Rimfire Sporter Page

National Rimfire Sporter Match Camp Perry 2016

Rimfire Sporter Equipment

*Competitors must supply their own quality ammunition for this match. Lapua has graciously donated 50 rounds of Lapua .22 LR ammunition for each competitor in the National Rimfire Sporter Match, but this ammunition is a gift from Lapua and is not enough to shoot the entire match. Competitors will need a total of 60 rounds to fire the Rimfire Sporter Match plus any sighters or range alibis.

Getting Ready for the 2017 Rimfire Sporter Match

Preparing for the Match: You need to bring your own .22 cal. Rimfire rifle(s) and ammunition. Special target shooting equipment, shooting jackets, or shooting gloves are not permitted, but feel free to bring a spotting telescope and ground cloth or shooting mat. You will be shooting on a grass firing point. Competitors are strongly urged to you wear hearing and eye protection.

A free Shooters’ Clinic will be held Friday the 28th from 4:00-6:00 pm. The Clinic covers Rimfire Sporter rules, safety instructions, course of fire, and competition procedures. The Clinic will also demonstrate the firing positions, use of the sling, as well as slow and rapid-fire techniques. Shooters who have not previously attended a CMP Rimfire Sporter Match are strongly encouraged to attend.

Rimfire Sporter Course of Fire

Competitors will complete slow fire prone, rapid fire prone, slow fire sitting or kneeling, rapid fire sitting or kneeling, slow fire standing, and rapid fire standing shot sequences. To learn more about the National Rimfire Sporter Match, CLICK HERE.

National Rimfire Sporter Match Camp Perry 2016

National Rimfire Sporter Match Camp Perry 2016

Three different classifications of rifles can be used in Rimfire Sporter competition: “O Class” for open-sighted rifles, “T Class” for telescope-sighted rifles and the recently-added “Tactical Rimfire” class. Awards are offered to High Juniors, High Seniors, High Women as well as Overall winners are named for each class.

National Rimfire Sporter Match Camp Perry 2016

National Rimfire Sporter Match Camp Perry 2016

National Rimfire Sporter Match Camp Perry 2016

Do you want to see more match photos? CLICK HERE to view the CMP Zenfolio Archive with 500+ photos from 2016 National Rimfire Sporter Match.

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
July 25th, 2017

John Whidden Wins 2017 NRA Long Range Championship

Whidden Gunworks 2017 Long Range High Power National Champion Camp Atterbury Indiana

John Whidden of Whidden Gunworks has won his fifth Long Range National Championship, his second title in a row (he also won the LR Title in 2016). This year, competing at Camp Atterbury in Indiana, Whidden pulled together a gritty, come-from-behind victory. John won the title by shooting a perfect 450-28X (not dropping a point) in the final Palma match on the last day of the Long Range Championship. While Whidden, who finished at 1246-91X, edged runner-up Phillip Crowe (1245-68X) by just one point, John enjoyed a huge X-Count margin. Finishing third was past High Power and Long Range National Champion Nancy Tompkins (1244-65X). Here are the Top Ten finishers:

Whidden Gunworks 2017 Long Range High Power National Champion Camp Atterbury Indiana

Whidden’s Perfect Palma Match
Whidden secured the 2017 LR Title by shooting “clean” (not dropping a point) in the tough Palma competition. In the NRA Palma match, rifles must be .223 Rem or .308 Winchester, with metallic sights (no scopes). The match is conducted at three yardages, 15 shots at each distance of 800/900/1000 yards, with unlimited sighters at 800 and two sighters at 900 and 1000.

John liked the Camp Atterbury facility and he credited his equipment for his 2017 victory: “With the change to the new Camp Atterbury venue, many shooters were a little unsure how things were going to shake out. But it all turned out really well. All of my equipment shot fantastic all week long — that certainly made shooting a big score easier.”

Whidden’s Championship-Winning Rifle
Since John captured his fifth Long Range crown with a superb performance in the Palma match, we thought we’d give readers a look at John’s very special Palma rifle. This unique .308 Win prone rifle features a Barnard “P” action in a converted aluminum Anschutz “Precise” smallbore (rimfire) stock. The combo of Barnard action and Anschutz ergonomics is hard to beat, says John, who told us: “this is easily the best Palma rifle I’ve ever had.” John told us this gun handles like no other: “After recoil, with this Anschutz stock, the sights fall right back on target — better than any other prone rifle I’ve shot”.

As a bonus, the Barnard “drop-in” required no modification of the Anschutz Precise stock. This means John can actually swap in his rimfire barreled action and shoot smallbore with the same stock.

Sling Rifle Evolved: The Ultra-Accurate Hybrid Palma Rifle

by John Whidden
The mental component of Long Range competitive shooting is always challenging but having tremendous confidence in the accuracy of your equipment is a huge benefit. There’s nothing to start your Palma match off well like knowing that you are shooting the most accurate Palma rifle you’ve ever owned.

John Whidden Palma Rifle .308 Win Barnard Anschutz P action smallbore stock

Whidden Palma Rifle
Action: Barnard “P” (three lugs, 60° bolt lift)
Barrel: Bartlein 32″, Light Palma contour, cryo-treated by 300 Below.
Stock: Anschutz Precise aluminum smallbore stock, set up for centerfire barreled action.
Trigger: Barnard Two-Stage adjustable

John Whidden Palma Rifle .308 Win Barnard Anschutz P action smallbore stock

Whidden’s Wonder-Gun: German Stock, New Zealand Action, American Barrel
John built this Palma rifle in early 2016. With it, John won back-to-back long-range Championships in 2016 (Camp Perry) and 2017 (Camp Atterbury). The major components are: Barnard ‘P’ action, Anschutz Precise smallbore stock, and Bartlein barrel. The caliber is .308 Win, as dictated by the Palma rules. Palma matches are fired from 800, 900, and 1000 yards utilizing iron sights only. No optical sights are allowed.

The Anchutz Precise stock is so well-designed that once I finished adjusting the details, I realized that my hold was about 1/3 smaller than with the stocks I shot previously. While in recoil the gun will track vertically and fall back down right on my own target just as it should. In the past, with my other Palma rifles, it was frankly sometimes a struggle to get them to settle back on target after a shot.

Whidden Gunworks has installed a variety of different actions in the Anschutz Precise stocks. Though the stocks are designed for the .22 LR caliber 2013 action rifles, we’ve successfully installed Barnard, Kelbly, Bat, Nesika, and Remington clone actions into them. The Barnard Model P makes a particularly simple installation because there is no modification necessary to the stock at all. A competitor can then shoot both his centerfire rifle as well as his smallbore gun in the exact same stock. The location of the trigger and bolt handle on the Barnard are positioned just right to make this work. Other actions do require at least some amount of modification to the stock, and we have found the Barnard works the best.

Barnard manufactures several models of actions as part of their lineup. All of the actions in the lineup use three lug bolts which give a shorter 60-degree bolt lift when opening and closing. All of the critical surfaces are machined after heat treating. This means that they are exceptionally true and square, more so than other actions. The Model P action is most familiar to Palma and F-Class shooters and are commonly seen on the firing line. The fact that Model P actions include an excellent two-stage trigger makes also the pricing very attractive.

Based on my previous excellent experiences, I selected Bartlein barrels for this rifle. When shooting internationally in the Palma matches we are restricted to 155 grain .308 bullets, but I made the unusual choice of a 1-10″ twist for these bullets. I’ve shot this fast twist for some years with the 155s with good success and it’s pleasing to know that Bryan Litz is finding benefits in some cartridges to shooting faster twist rates than we previously thought we needed. The load is Vihtavuori N140 Powder with Berger 155gr Hybrid bullets. The chamber is the 2011 Palma and the barrel is a Light Palma contour finished at 32” length. The barrel was cryo-treated by 300 Below. The point of impact isn’t changed at all by barrel heating and the accuracy is incredible regardless of the temperature of the barrel. This can’t be said of all the barrels I’ve owned.

John Whidden Palma Rifle .308 Win Barnard Anschutz P action smallbore stock

Get Your Own Whidden Wonder-Gun for $4500.00
Like what you see — but wonder how much it will cost? Whidden Gunworks can build you a rig like this, fitting a centerfire barreled action in the Anschutz Precise stock. John tells us: “The price of a rifle like this one but without sights or mounts would be just under $4500.00. We attempt to keep all of the parts except the stock in inventory, so lead time should be under eight (8) weeks.”

Stock Offers Great Adjustability
John Whidden Palma Rifle .308 Win Barnard Anschutz P action smallbore stockOne thing that is quickly noticed about the Anschutz Precise stock is its adjustability. The engineers did a very good job of allowing many of these adjustments to be made while in the shooting position, most notably the cheekpiece adjustments. When a shooter picks up a Precise stock for the first time they also notice how narrow the fore-end is. This really contributes to reducing the pain in the forward hand in prone when shooting with a sling. This stock is, by far, the most comfortable sling stock I’ve ever handled.

This rifle was very accurate right away and very comfortable to shoot. I’ve built some really good shooting Palma rifles but this is easily the best Palma rifle I’ve ever had. The Barnard action with its superb quality and excellent two-stage trigger has been the best choice I could have made. When you can go to the firing line knowing that you have the very best, the foundation for success has been set.

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Gunsmithing 6 Comments »
July 25th, 2017

‘Sights, Wind and Mirage’ in Shooting Sports USA Archives

Wind Reading Quadrant High Power

Vand Zande wind readingIn the digital archives of Shooting Sports USA, we’ve found some great features that deserve a second look. A few years back, Shooting Sports USA published Sights, Wind and Mirage, an outstanding article that explains how to judge wind speed/direction and adjust your sights accordingly. Authored by highly respected shooter Ernest (Ernie) Vande Zande, this article is a definite “must-read” for all competitive rifle shooters — even those who shoot with a scope rather than irons. Vande Zande’s discussion of mirage alone makes the article well worth reading. Highly recommended.

CLICK HERE to Read “Sights, Wind and Mirage”
by Ernie Vande Zande

Invaluable Insights from a World-Class Shooter
The article covers a wide variety of topics including Wind Reading, Mirage, Effects of Sight Canting, Quadrant Shooting, and Sight Adjustment Sequencing. Vande Zande offers many jewels of insight from his decades of experience shooting and coaching in top level tournaments. U.S. Shooting Team Leader at the 1996 Olympics, Vande Zande has set more than 200 records in National and International competition. He was the Smallbore Rifle Prone Champion at Camp Perry in 1980. An International Distinguished shooter, Ernie has been on nine Dewar teams and he was a member of the USAR Shooting Team from 1982. No matter what your discipline, if you are a competitive rifle shooter, you should CLICK HERE to read Sights, Wind, and Mirage.

Vand Zande wind reading

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
July 23rd, 2017

First-Ever NRA Extreme Long Range One-Mile Match

NRA ELR Match Extreme Long Range Mitch Fitzpatrick Paul Phillips Corbin Shell
Photos by Sheri Judd. See more on Sheri’s Facebook Page.

The first-ever NRA Extreme Long Range (ELR) Match took place this past week at Camp Atterbury in Indiana. Also labeled the “One-Mile Match”, this inaugural event ran as a side-match between the NRA’s Mid Range and Long Range Championships at Atterbury. The event drew many of the nation’s top marksmen, including multi-time National High Power and LR Champion David Tubb, recent F-TR National Champion Bryan Litz, and 2016 KO2M winner Mitchell Fitzpatrick.

NRA ELR Match Extreme Long Range Mitch Fitzpatrick Paul Phillips Corbin Shell

It was a tightly-fought match. Showing exceptional skills (along with great rifles and ultra-accurate ammo), both Corbin Shell and Team Applied Ballistics’ Mitchell Fitzpatrick were perfect for 15 shots — making every shot at 1400, then 1575, and finally 1788 yards (1.016 miles). With the score tied, a 1000-yard target center (bullseye) was set on a target backer at 1988 yards (1.13 miles). Mitchell hit the target, but sadly Corbin had his first miss of the match. With that 1988-yard hit, Mitchell went down in the history books as the first-ever NRA ELR Champion. Winning at Extreme Long Range is nothing new for Mitchell, who was the winner of last year’s King of 2 Miles match in Raton, NM.

Mitchel posted: “We pulled off the win by shooting clean, never missing a shot! It was a great event and I look forward to competing in the coming years. They are trying to extend the facility to make it a 2400-yard match. With the NRA having such a rich competitive shooting history… I am beyond honored to have won the inaugural NRA ELR match. As ELR grows … it will be awesome to look back and know we were in at the ground level. Also, it should be noted that my extractor broke on the second shot at 1788 yards, and I ended up having to fire the last thre shots while extracting my cases with a cleaning rod from the muzzle end…”

Overall Standings NRA ELR One-Mile Match
1. Mitchell Fitzpatrick
2. Corbin Shell
3. Randy Pike
4. Paul Phillips
5. Dan Pohlabel
6. M. White
7. Rusty Phillips
8. Kent Reeve
9. Bryan Litz
10. David Tubb

NRA ELR Match Extreme Long Range Mitch Fitzpatrick Paul Phillips Corbin Shell

Corbin’s Big Rig Built for Extreme Long Range
Runner-Up Corbin Shell was shooting his impressive .338 Lapua Magnum Improved barrel-block rifle, originally built for the KO2M event. It performed superbly in Indiana. This rifle was showcased here on AccurateShooter last month. READ Corbin Shell .338 LM Story.

Corbin Shell .338 Lapua Magnum LM improved

Corbin Shell .338 Lapua Magnum LM improved

ELR TECH — Confirming Hits at a Mile (and Beyond)
Confirming hits at extreme yardages is a challenge. With a conventional spotting scope you can see a target swinging but it is very difficult to see actual impact at extreme ranges. For this match, wireless remote TV cameras were placed near each of the targets down range. These fed video signals to monitors and tablet computers, allowing scorers to confirm hits on steel. In addition to the Targetvision target cam systems, GSL Technology had a drone to get aerial footage and augment streaming video coverage on Facebook. Sheri Judd, NRA ELR Match Manager, also captured some great still images of the event, including the images you see in this article.

NRA ELR Match Extreme Long Range Mitch Fitzpatrick Paul Phillips Corbin Shell

Like Father, Like Son — Rusty and Paul Phillips

NRA ELR Match Extreme Long Range Mitch Fitzpatrick Paul Phillips Corbin Shell

The NRA ELR match was a family affair for the Phillips clan. Paul Phillips shot with his father Rusty. The elder Phillips, at the ripe young age of 80, had multiple hits at one mile, earning his official “One Mile Club Certificate”. You can see Rusty shooting in the video below. Paul says: “I had a great day shooting with my dad at the inaugural NRA ELR match. My dad went four for five at 1 mile (1788 yards) on a 36″ plate and earned his One Mile Club membership. This was his first competitive match ever shot at 80 years old and he finished 7th overall! Bryan Litz and myself help keep him centered up.” Paul and his father Rusty used GSL .375 Lethal Mag Copperhead Suppressor and the .338 Lapua Copperhead.

Rusty Phillips, at 80 years, shot 4 for 5 at 1788 yards (1.016 miles) to earn his One Mile Club Certificate. Congratulations Rusty!

NRA ELR Match Extreme Long Range Mitch Fitzpatrick Paul Phillips Corbin Shell

Permalink - Videos, Competition, News 8 Comments »
July 23rd, 2017

Congratulations to Trophy Match Competitors at Camp Perry

CMP Camp Perry 2017 National Trophy Matches Brandon Green
SFC Brandon Green (left above) set four new National Records at Camp Perry this year.

The CMP’s 2017 National Trophy Rifle Match cycle concluded 7/21/2017. There are more special matches (Springfield/Vintage Bolt Rifle today and Sniper Match on Monday), but the major CMP rifle awards ceremony was conducted on Friday the 21st. This was a very successful summer for the CMP — almost 2,500 participants traveled to Camp Perry for CMP matches and clinics. We congratulate the winners, including six rifle shooters who fired 10 new National Records throughout the week. SFC Brandon Green set four new records and was the Overall Individual Service Rifle Champion, dropping only seven (7) points throughout the week (1593-87X). Junior Liam McKenna (below) was the National Trophy Junior Service Rifle Champion (1279-49X). To view hundreds of other images from the 2017 CMP National Trophy Matches at Camp Perry, visit the CMP Zenfolio Photo Archive.

CMP Camp Perry 2017 National Trophy Matches Brandon Green

Scenes from Camp Perry 2017

CMP Camp Perry 2017 National Trophy Matches Brandon Green

CMP Camp Perry 2017 National Trophy Matches Brandon Green

CMP Camp Perry 2017 National Trophy Matches Brandon Green

CMP Camp Perry 2017 National Trophy Matches Brandon Green

CMP Camp Perry 2017 National Trophy Matches Brandon Green

CMP Camp Perry 2017 National Trophy Matches Brandon Green
Photos from CMP archive. Bottom photo courtesy SFC Brandon Green

Permalink Competition No Comments »