March 28th, 2021

Sunday GunDay: .300 WSM Pending 1K World Record Heavy Gun

Charles Greer 1000 yard Heavy Gun HG NBRSA 10X world record group .300 WSM

This Sunday we feature an impressive .300 WSM Heavy Gun shot by a superb long-range shooter. With this rig, at age 83, Arizona benchrest ace Charles Greer drilled a remarkable 2.862″ 100-10X group, beating all known 1000-Yard HG 10-shot records on the books. If this record is approved (which is likely), Greer’s .300 WSM can rightfully be hailed as the most accurate 1000-yard gun in history.

Charles Greer 1000 yard Heavy Gun HG NBRSA 10X world record group .300 WSM
CLICK HERE for full-screen rifle photo.

Story compiled with help from Jason Peterson
This would be an excellent 10-shot NBRSA Heavy Gun group at 600 yards, but this target was shot at 1000 yards by Charles Greer (aka “chuckgreen” on AccurateShooter forum) on February 13, 2021 at an NBRSA Match in Arizona. Chuck was shooting his .300 WSM Heavy Gun with Borden action, Krieger barrel, and Berger 220gr Hybrids. The event was hosted by the Sahuaro 1000 Yard Benchrest Club, at Three Points Range, outside Tucson, Arizona. Though it is pending final approval, it appears this is the smallest 10-shot Heavy Gun group ever shot, anywhere, at 1000 yards, and it was centered for a 10X. That’s doubly impressive when you consider that Charles Greer achieved this at age 83! Yes “Old guys rule”!

Charles Greer 1000 yard Heavy Gun HG NBRSA 10X world record group .300 WSM
Amazing 100-10X 2.642″ (unofficial) 10-Shot Group at 1000 Yards.

This group is perfectly centered for an amazing 100-10X score. The group was range measured at 2.642 inches. For reference, the 1000-yard X-Ring is 3.00″ in diameter. The “X” itself is about 1.2″ tall. Pending final verification, this amazing target should shatter two NBRSA records. This handily beats the current single target HG score record of 100-6X held by Bill Schrader since 2005, and the single target HG group record of 3.650″ held by Tim Height (2019). For comparison, the current IBS 10-Shot 1000-yard HG group record is 2.871″ by Michael Gaizauskas from 2016. So it appears that this may be the smallest 10-shot group ever shot in competition in history. And from what we can determine, this is the first potential HG size record that also has a 100 score with TEN Xs.

Because shots are not marked in this discipline, this stunning group was a surprise to Greer: “I had no idea that I was shooting a world record target until I went back to the pits after my relay. Just as well. If I’d seen nine rounds in the X on the target, staying steady [for the last shot] would have been challenging….”

Charles Greer 1000 yard Heavy Gun HG NBRSA 10X world record group .300 WSM

Forum member “Tom” (2016 IBS 1000-yard Nat’l Champion and holder of several IBS 1000-yard records) unofficially measured Greer’s 1K group at 2.680 inches (0.256 MOA), using Ballistic-X software. Awaiting final group measurement by the NBRSA Long Range Committee, as currently measured, this target is just under existing IBS and Williamsport 10-shot HG 1000-yard records: The current IBS HG 1000-yard group record is 2.871″ held by Michael Gaizauskas. The current Williamsport HG 1000-yard group record is 2.815″ held by Matthew Kline.

Benchrest Shooting — Sport for All Ages
Charles Greer 1000 yard Heavy Gun HG NBRSA 10X world record group .300 WSMCharles Greer reminded us that even senior citizens can succeed in benchrest competition: “One of the benefits of benchrest shooting is that it is a sport accessible to us even as we age. I cannot run and gun anymore like I used to do in IPSC and IDPA but as long as I can get my body and my equipment up to a bench, I can still be very competitive. That is not possible for us old guys in most sports and shooting disciplines. As I am ‘only 83′ I am hoping to squeeze a few more years of competition out of the old body before I have to pack it in for good.”

Charles is thankful for what he has achieved in this sport over many decades: “The Shooting Gods have certainly smiled on me from time to time during my brief shooting career and for that I am incredibly grateful.”

This target may also be the smallest 1K 10-shot group ever shot in competition, in ANY Class. In 2014, Jim Richards fired a 10-shot, 2.6872″ Light Gun group under Williamsport Rules at Deep Creek Range in Montana. However, Jim’s record small group was NOT centered in the 10-ring and it appear that Greer’s group could measure smaller. [Editor: Charles is no stranger when it comes to 1000-yard records. Charles is the current listed holder of two NBRSA 1000-yard score records: 3-Target HG Score: 294-8X (2010); 6-Target 2-Gun Score: 441-13X (2010).]

Charles Greer 1000 yard Heavy Gun HG NBRSA 10X world record group .300 WSM

100-10X at 1000 — This May Be a First
After looking at all the 1000-yard records from different organizations, it appears that Greer’s 100-10X score could well be a first! And it may be many years before another 100-10X score is ever shot in competition.

Charles Greer 1000 yard Heavy Gun HG NBRSA 10X world record group .300 WSM

Arizona’s Three Points Range is known for its windy conditions. So much so that small groups are not common in match reports. 6mm cartridges that are commonly shot at other 1000-yard benchrest competitions are rarely shot at Sahuaro 1K BR Club matches. The bigger calibers dominate here.

Charles Greer 1000 yard Heavy Gun HG NBRSA 10X world record group .300 WSM

Charles Greer NBRSA 1000-Yard Heavy Gun Specifications:
Action: Borden BRMXD drop port
Barrel: Krieger 30″ 4-groove, 1:10″ twist, custom contour 1.35″ tapered to 1.00″
Chambering: .300 Winchester Short Magnum (WSM)
Chamber Specs: .337 neck with .280 freebore
Stock/Weight: McMillan/Wheeler LRB (solid fill) stock at 27 pounds
Gunsmith: Gerald Reisdorff
Optics: Vortex Golden Eagle 15-60x52mm
Front Rest: Sinclair Competition with 4″ Edgewood bag
Rear Rest/Bag: Wahlstrom mechanical rear rest with custom Edgewood bag

Load Details: Norma .300 WSM brass, Alliant Reloder 23 powder, Federal 210M primers, Berger 220gr LR Hybrid bullets at 2800 FPS

Charles Greer 1000 yard Heavy Gun HG NBRSA 10X world record group .300 WSM

Upside-Down (Wider Base) Stock Rudder Improves Rifle Tracking

Charles Greer 1000 yard Heavy Gun HG NBRSA 10X world record group .300 WSMGreer has done something clever with his McMillan/Wheeler benchrest stocks. He has flipped over (inverted) the adjustable metal rudder (or keel) that runs on the underside of the buttstock. This provides a wider, flat tracking surface. The inverted rudder runs in a special sandbag on a Walhstrom mechanical rest. NOTE: Mechanical rear rests ARE legal for BOTH Heavy Guns and Light Guns under current NBRSA rules (see page 24). Shown at right is Greer’s Light Gun, but his Heavy Gun has the same system.

Charles explains: “Both my LG and my HG are of the same configuration except for additional weight in the stock of the HG. I decided to do this so that I would not need a separate rest system for each gun which saves on expense and makes it much easier to switch the LG out for the HG during competition. No need to change rest systems and re-align everything. Both of my stocks are McMillan/Wheeler LRB models with the adjustable rudder that can be repositioned horizontally to improve tracking. The rudder has a 3/4 inch-wide base that is usually fit into an Edgewood gator bag with a flat top. I did not like the way the rifle tracked with this set up and wanted something more solid and stable.

So I found that if I turned the rudder upside down and re-installed it that way on the stock, using the same screws and holes, the top of the rudder when turned down provided me with a base 1.5″ wide with a 1/4″ rail on each side. I got a Wahlstrom mechanical rear rest and had a custom Edgewood front bag made for it with a 1.5″ separation between the ears. The rail tracks perfectly in the bag and I can tighten the ears to make it quite solid and steady. I have noticed a huge improvement in tracking with this set up. I am still refining this arrangement but plan to continue using it on both rifles. I have never seen this done and was thinking maybe your readers would be interested.”

Questions & Answers with Charles Greer

Hall of Fame short-range shooter Gary Ocock interviewed Charles Greer. This interesting Q&A dialog covers shooting styles, equipment selection, recoil management and other notable topics.

Q: Tell us about your rifle, accuracy standards, and choice of calibers and bullets for the 1K game.
Greer: I set up two rifles, Light Gun and Heavy Gun. Both will shoot 100-yard 5-shot groups in the high ones and low twos. In Arizona I want a heavy, high-BC bullet in both guns to buck the wind and want to keep the ES under 10 FPS. I’m finding .300 WSM with Berger 220 LRHT bullets and a 4 groove Krieger barrel will provide the performance I need, and I shoot this round in both rifles.

Q: Explain your rest set-up, tracking, and recoil management. And how fast do you typically shoot your strings of fire?
Greer: I am using a Sinclair Competition Front Rest along with a mechanical rear rest, both with Edgewood front bags, to give me the stability necessary to provide consistent tracking even with these relatively high recoil rounds. Almost perfect tracking and consistent return to battery in the same spot is necessary to get a record string off quickly and smoothly. I try to get my strings off in a time of between 6 and 10 seconds per round depending on conditions. Any faster and I get sloppy.

Q: What were conditions like when you shot that amazing 10-shot group?
Greer: On the day I shot the record-pending target I had the first relay. There was wind but it was light, maybe 4-5 mph and seemed steady. The flags were about halfway up to horizontal and seemed to be holding that way. My procedure is to shoot 5 sighter rounds, two to adjust my initial round on paper to the X-Ring and then three more during the last minute to check for changes in the wind. If these last three rounds stay in the Ten Ring it is usually a sign that the wind may be steady enough for me to shoot a good group. On the “record” day the last three sighters were right in or near the X-Ring and when the record target came up I quickly but carefully dumped my 10 rounds holding the scope dot right on the X. The wind apparently held absolutely steady, and I got the result you see on the target.

That is my normal shooting technique. I pretty well know during the last minute of the sighter period whether a good group will be possible. If each of my last three sighters ends up inches away from the X in different directions, I know the wind is shifty and a good group on that target is unlikely. I adjust the last sighter to the X and then dump the string the same way just hoping the wind may hold for a minute or so. Sometimes it does, but often not so much.

During the record strings there is no way to know where the rounds are going. They are not marked, and the holes cannot be seen through the scope at that distance. The 1K flags are big and heavy and not very indicative of minor wind changes so I do not try to hold off or change my point of aim unless a flag completely reverses direction during a string. I’ve found that over the years adjusting my point of aim to the X after the last sighter and then dumping my strings gets the best results overall.

Q: What is your highest shooting accomplishment so far?
Greer: Well, the highest accomplishment (if one can call it that) would have to be this 100-10X target. This may end up being the best 10-shot target ever shot in a sanctioned match. 0f course, there is a tremendous amount of luck involved in this coming together but I certainly am pleased.

I had set four NBRSA world records when I was shooting previously: Light Gun Agg in 2008, and all three possible Highest Three Target Score records in 2010, two of which still stand. The first was probably the most satisfying as was my performance in the 2010 Nationals where I placed high in several categories and was Heavy Gun Champion for Score.

Charles Greer 1000 yard Heavy Gun HG NBRSA 10X world record group .300 WSMQ: Who do you attend matches with?
Greer: During the last year my son, Brian, has become my match shooting companion. We go out together every month. Brian was able recently to purchase the great 300 Ackley HG that I competed with and set world records with in 2010. I sold the rifle to a friend who never shot it and it found its way back into our family. Brian is now becoming a serious competitor.

Photo Right: Charles Greer with son Brian.

Q: What are your future shooting goals?
Greer: To keep on shooting our local match each month and to try to get to the Nationals once or twice more before I get too damn feeble. And to be able to see my son take my place as a regular winner when I can no longer compete.

Q: Is there any advice you would like to share with new shooters?
Greer: Make a commitment to excel at whichever discipline you choose. Get the best equipment and components that you can afford and consider each match a learning experience. At some point anything that can go wrong will go wrong and one must learn from these mistakes. Most importantly, be patient and keep coming back. In Arizona good shooting conditions are rare. You gotta be “in it to win it”. If you show up at every match you can attend eventually a great condition will appear on your relay and you will have a chance to shoot a spectacular score.

Charles Greer 1000 yard Heavy Gun HG NBRSA 10X world record group .300 WSM

Q: What is your shooting background?
Greer: I started shooting rabbits as a kid in the Mojave Desert, trained on various firearms in the military in the fifties and sixties and over the years hunted birds and large game and played with various handguns. In 2005 I moved to Tucson from Mexico the first time and, looking for an activity, started shooting IDPA and IPSC pistol matches at Pima Pistol Club. Shortly thereafter I bought a .308 Savage tactical rifle and got interested in shooting for accuracy. One thing led to another and before long I bought a better Savage varmint rifle in .300 WSM and started shooting the 1K match at Tucson Rifle Club at Three Points around 2007. I kept upgrading my equipment, started winning matches, set some world records.

After the 2011 NBRSA Long Range Nationals I felt rather burnt out on shooting. I sold all my guns and equipment and headed South looking for perhaps one more adventure. I found some but they did not include shooting as South of the border folks tend to shoot back when they hear anything go bang. I returned to Tucson in May of 2019, built a couple of new rifles, and got involved again in the monthly Sahuaro match where the most recent world record target was shot. I would like to resume shooting the NBRSA Long Range Nationals. Will not be ready this year but probably will in 2022.

Q: Have you tried other disciplines at different ranges?
Greer: I have only competed in Long Range, mostly 1000 yards but 600 yards a few times at the Nationals. I would like to try shooting “Score” and there is a monthly match at our range. May try it if I can get an appropriate rifle.

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Shooting Skills 7 Comments »
March 27th, 2021

CMP Marksmanship 101 Training Programs in 2021

CMP Marksmanship 101 Small Arms Firing School USAMU 2021

The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) will offer hands-on rifle and pistol training programs in 2021 at locations around the nation. The CMP’s Marksmanship 101 Program, formerly known as the Small Arms Firing School (SAFS) On The Road, is designed to train beginners on rifle or pistol essentials and competition basics in a closely monitored setting, utilizing the talents of qualified CMP staff, trainers, and members of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU).

Held at CMP Games matches and at various CMP Affiliated Clubs around the nation, the courses are led by certified CMP Master Instructors and talented members of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit. The course curriculum is based off of the Small Arms Firing Schools (SAFS) offered at the annual National Rifle and Pistol Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio, which have been attended by countless individuals since 1918.

Upcoming Rifle Marksmanship 101 Classes:
New England Games, September 19, 2021, Jericho, Vermont
Oklahoma Games, October 17, 2021, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Talladega 600, November 16, 2021, CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park, Talladega, Alabama

Upcoming Pistol Marksmanship 101 Classes:
New England Games, September 19, 2021, Jericho, Vermont
Oklahoma Games, October 17, 2021, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

CMP Marksmanship 101 Small Arms Firing School USAMU 2021

Firearms and Ammunition Are Provided by CMP

Here is one of the biggest lures of the Marksmanship 101 Program — the CMP supplies guns and ammo! Rifles (AR-15), pistols (M9) and ammunition will be provided by the CMP at each location.

Programs Combine Classroom Learning and Outdoor Shooting

The Marksmanship 101 rifle and pistol courses train both adults and juniors in a safe and comfortable environment. Courses will be held at multiple locations. CMP Training Director Steve Cooper explains: “We know there are many people across the country who simply don’t have the time or means to travel to Ohio for the Small Arms Firing Schools during the National Matches, so, we decided to take the same basic curriculum and training on the road and customized the name.”

The Marksmanship 101 courses are a mix of indoor classroom learning and outdoor experiences on the range. Areas covered during the course include firearm safety, essential firing practices and handling, positioning and other competition skills, along with live firing on the range. Each course ends with applying everything learned to a true Excellence-In-Competition match on the range. “We always start our 101 events in a classroom environment, where we explain and demonstrate everything we’re going to do, very thoroughly,” Cooper said.

Program Requirements for Marksmanship 101

Since CMP Marksmanship 101 programs are designed to fit even those new to the marksmanship world, no previous firearm experience is required to attend. Participants ARE required to bring hearing and eye protection for the live-fire activities. Individuals should also dress according to weather conditions and may also bring any other desired competitive shooting equipment they wish to use.

cmp marksmanship 101 training program

How to Register for CMP Marksmanship Training Programs

Visit the CMP Marksmanship 101 website for Registration Links and other information. Once on the website, click your desired date and location to be sent to the CMP Competition Tracker page to complete registration. Questions regarding Marksmanship 101 may be directed to Amy Cantu at 419-635-2141 ext. 602 or acantu@thecmp.org.

CMP Marksmanship 101 Small Arms Firing School USAMU

Permalink - Articles, Competition, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
March 26th, 2021

What’s Wrong with This Picture — Look Carefully

Bisley Range Deer England Centre UK Wildlife F-Class
Click image to zoom full-screen.

What’s wrong (or right?) with this picture? Does the “F” in F-class refer to “Fauna”? Look carefully at this Bisley Range photo taken by Australian R. Hurley while looking downrange through his March 8-80X scope. The photo was taken in 2015 at the Bisley National Shooting Centre in the UK.

The Story Behind the Photo
British shooter T. Stewart reports: “I was there when this photos was taken. All I can say was that Mr. Hurley was firmly reminded that should said deer accidentally jump in front of his bullet … he would spend five years ‘At Her Majesty’s Pleasure’.”

“That morning we had five deer moving across the targets, literally blocking the V-Bull. Since we were on the 900-yard Firing Point, and elevated for such, obviously the bullet would pass well above them. But they do NOT move or flinch at the noise or passing bullets since they are not hunted on the Bisley Ranges. Earlier this year we saw a herd of 20 or so deer grazing slowly across the Range.”

More Fauna Findings…
Apparently Bisley is not the only place were “the deer and the antelope play”. In Canada, on the Connaught Ranges near Ottawa, Ontario, shooters often encounter a variety of wildlife. William McDonald from Ontario says: “Animals are a common sight on the Range. Along with deer we see geese, turkeys, and coyotes on a daily basis.”

Likewise, E. Goodacre from Queensland, Australia often sees ‘Roos on his home range: “I shoot at Ripley, Australia, and shooting is regularly interrupted by kangaroos. Our last silhouette match was delayed by an hour while 30 ‘Roos dawdled across — silly buggers!”

R. Hurley wasn’t the first fellow to view deer through his F-Class rifle’s scope. After seeing Hurley’s photo from Bisley, B. Weeks posted this image, saying: “Been there, done that!”

Bisley Range Deer England Centre UK Wildlife F-Class

Permalink Competition, News, Optics, Shooting Skills 7 Comments »
March 22nd, 2021

Talladega Spring Classic in Alabama Was a Success

Talladega Spring Classic 2021

Over the past six days the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) conducted a major spring shooting event — the Talladega Spring Classic held at the Talladega Marksmanship Park in Alabama. This year’s event was a success, with participants enjoying a wide range of pistol and rifle competitions, plus training courses.

Talladega Spring Classic 2021

Talladega Spring Classic 2021TALLADEGA SPRING CLASSIC 2021
Spring has sprung! From March 16 through 21, the CMP has hosted a major series of rifle and pistol matches at the CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park in Alabama. The March 2021 Spring Classic event at Talladega included a mix of both new and traditional rifle matches, along with pistol competitions, and a variety of training courses.

On the rifle firing lines were Service Rifles, Vintage Military Rifles, and Rimfire Sporter Rifles. And there were even M1 Garands being shot from the bench. In the pistol areas, both rimfire and centerfire matches were held.

Talladega Spring Classic 2021

Spring Classic Featured New Benchrest Garand Match
The Talladega Spring Classic featured traditional matches plus some notable new events. Debuting this year was a Benchrest Garand Match. In addition there was a new Mid-Range 3×600 Rifle Match, and new Pistol 2700 Match. Along with the new events, the Spring Classic including CMP staple events including: Rimfire Sporter Rifle Match, .22 Rimfire Pistol EIC, Service Pistol EIC, and GSMM (Garand/Springfield/Vintage and Modern Military) Rifle matches.

Talladega Spring Classic

There were also multiple training sessions including: Long Range Rifle Clinic, Team CMP 600-Yard Clinic, Rifle Marksmanship 101 Course/M16 Match, and Pistol Marksmanship 101 Course/M9 Match. These classes allow participants the opportunity to learn marksmanship from skilled, certified instructors.

Talladega Spring Classic 2021

Talladega Spring Classic 2021

CMP Western Games Cancelled 2021 Phoenix Arizona Ben Avery Shooting Facility

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
March 21st, 2021

Sunday GunDay: Suhl-Action .22 LR Rimfire with Indexed Barrel

Suhl 150 Benchrest Rimfire 22LR

This article was originally written by noted rimfire gunsmith Bill Myers. Sadly, Bill passed away in May 2010, but his legacy lives on. He pioneered many advancements in rimfire gunsmithing and Myers-built guns still win matches in benchrest competition.

Crafting competitive rimfire benchrest rifles is considered an art as much as a science. The smith must understand subtle, yet critical aspects of vibration control, barrel tuning, and rifle balance. In the United States, only a handful of gunsmiths consistently turn out rimfire BR rifles that consistently run at the front of the pack at major matches. Bill Myers was one of those master craftsmen. In this article Bill discussed the process of building a winning rimfire BR rig. He reveals some interesting secrets, including his procedures for testing bedding performance and his barrel indexing system. Bill’s methods obviously work, as the Suhl-actioned rifle featured here won a truckload of trophies in its very first match.

Building a Match-Winning Rimfire Benchrest Rig

by Bill Myers
In my opinion, a winning rimfire benchrest rifle is probably twice as difficult to build as a competitive centerfire rifle. The relatively slow .22 LR bullets stay in the barrel much longer than centerfire bullets. This means that vibration control is critical. Likewise bedding is critical. Bore finish and lapping are very important. The amount of bore taper or “choke” can have a huge effect on accuracy. Ignition is also very important and above all, rimfire BR rifles need a very stable stock that tracks perfectly. A rimfire that shoots great is a complete marriage of all components and of the shooter’s need to be aware of everything possible.

Click Photo to Zoom
Myers 22LR

The rifle featured in this article was built from scratch with attention to all the details that go into accuracy. The goal was to build a gun that could win from the get-go. This would be a “Spec Gun”, meaning a rifle that was personally tested and tuned by me for optimum performance before it went out to the customer.

Suhl 150 Benchrest Rimfire 22LR
The Suhl trigger is as good as it gets so no change was needed. It easily adjusts down to about 2 ounces.

Baer Stock in Bubinga Wood
There are many choices when you start to build a complete rifle. It has to shoot well and it has to catch ones eye, or it’s just another rifle on the line. I prefer wood stocks on rimfires for two reasons: they are very stable if the right wood is used and they have a certain traditional appeal to many shooters. I chose Bubinga wood for this particular gun because it is very stable and heavy, it has a very dense grain and a very pronounced figure with a natural red color. The Bubinga is a very forgiving wood to work with.

Suhl 150 Benchrest Rimfire 22LR

Gerry and Bruce Baer in Pennsylvania do all my stock blanks. I do all my own inletting and bedding. The blank weighed 4.5 pounds when it came off of Bruce Baer’s duplicator. This Bubinga wood is so hard that it did not need pillars, but I put them in anyway. I bed all my stocks with Loctite Steel Bed liquid and add filler to desired thickness. The final bedding is done with an aircraft tooling epoxy that does not deteriorate over time. The stock has an ebony butt plate and six (6) coats of automotive clear, polished to a “high buff” finish.

Suhl 150 Benchrest Rimfire 22LR

Suhl 150-1 Action
Suhl 150 Benchrest Rimfire .22 LR 22LRAccurized and BN-Nickel Plated
I used a new, unfired Suhl 150-1 action. As explained in the sidebar below, the Suhl 150 actions were originally crafted in East Germany for position rifles. They have a very fast lock-time and come with an outstanding trigger. However, they need some work when adapted to a modern BR gun. The action needed to be accurized and threaded. I have a special tool that I use to accurize actions. It uses two sets of spiders for dialing-in the bolt raceway. After the bolt raceway is running true, one can thread and true up all bearing surfaces so that everything is in perfect alignment with the action raceway bore.

Suhl Action Myers benchrest .22 LR rimfireBN-Nitride Plating on Action
I decided to plate the action and all bolt parts with Boron Nitride nickel plating. I bough the BN Electroless Nickel Kit from Caswell Plating and did the job myself. I started by bead-blasting the action so that it would end up with a “satin” finish. The plating material is then applied in a tank. The Boron Nitride goes directly into the plating solution, but you need to use a pump to keep the solution agitated so the BN distributes evenly.

Once the action is completely ready (the metal must be perfectly prepped, with no contaminants), the process goes easily and can be completed in about half an hour. The end result is a very slick, low-friction finish, that is .0002″ (two ten-thousandths) thick and hard as glass. The Boron Nitride makes everything very smooth. After the plating job, the action was noticeably slicker than before.

The cone breech (photo below) permits the barrel to be INDEXED (rotated around bore axis) to any position on the clockface. You then test various rotation settings to find the best accuracy. The system does work. Some barrels shoot best in a particular rotational setting. E.g. with index mark at 3 O’clock vs. 12 O’clock.

Suhl 150 Benchrest Rimfire 22LRFitting and Chambering the Barrel
As for a barrel, I had two good choices: one Shilen 1:16″-twist, 4-groove ratchet and one Benchmark 1:16″-twist, 3-groove. Both barrels were very accurate and at the end, I decided to leave the Shilen on the rifle because I wanted to put the Benchmark on another Suhl I’ve set aside for myself. I chambered the barrel for Eley flat nose EPS. We’ve found the gun also shoots the new Lapua X-ACT ammo very well.

The barrel finished at 25″ long and features a tuner by the Harrell brothers of Salem, Virginia. I use a flat 90° crown–it’s the most accurate and its gives a good seal against the tuner. I also use a 45°, 12-flute cutter that leaves no burr when cutting the crown. This chamfer protects the crown when cleaning the barrel. There is no sharp edge for the brush or jag to hit on the return stroke. The barrel was headspaced at .043″ and I use a tapered reamer ground by Dave Kiff of Pacific Tool & Gauge in Oregon. The chamber leade area is lightly polished to remove reamer burrs. The breech end of the barrel is machined with a 1/2″ ball end mill to produce what I call a “Myers cone breech.” Technically, it has a sloping radius as you can see, rather than a straight-sided cone. Finishing the breech in this fashion facilitates indexing the barrel, as the barrel can be rotated to any position (on the clockface), without requiring new extractor cuts.

Barrel Indexing — Finding the “Sweet Spot”

When indexing a barrel, one rotates it to different clockface positions relative to the action. Imagine marking a barrel at TDC or 12 o’clock, and then rotating it so the mark is at 3 O’clock, 6 )’clock, 9 O’clock and so on. At each position one shoots groups to determine at which index setting best accuracy is achieved.*

I know that barrel indexing is controversial. I don’t want to get into a lengthy debate other than to say that I believe that careful and thorough testing can reveal a “preferred” index position for a good barrel. With the barrel set in that particular position relative to the action I believe the barrel can yield optimal performance.

I perform the indexing tests indoors at 50 yards. I use a rail-gun with floating action. The barrel is held in place with a clamping fixture similar to an Anschutz 2000-series action. Basically, two vertically-stacked metal blocks clamp around the barrel. I can index the barrel this way simply by unclamping the barrel blocks, rotating the barrel and then re-clamping the system. I have a special system so the action can stay in the same position, even as the barrel is rotated.

It takes time and effort to get solid indexing results. Normally I shoot at least 400 rounds of ammo in 3-4 indexing sessions. Shooting a handful of groups is not enough. You may think you’ve identified the best index position, but you need to shoot many more rounds to verify that. Also, in a very good barrel, the effects of indexing may be subtle, so it will take many groups to confirm the optimal position. In my experience, really good “hummer” barrels do not benefit as much from indexing as an “average” barrel.

IR 50/50 rimfire targetAccuracy Testing with Both Barrels
I tested the rifle indoors at 50 yards at the Piney Hill Benchrest Club range. There was no finish on the stock, but it shot well in my one-piece rest with the Benchmark 16-twist, 3-groove barrel and no added weight on the tuner. I shot 30 rounds of Eley Match EPS Black Box (1064 fps) and had 25 Xs and five 10s on the IR 50/50 style target. Not too shabby for a new barrel with no special break-in.

When the Shilen barrel arrived, I installed it on the rifle. By this time the stock had been clear-coated and finished, and the action had been polished and plated. I shot the Shilen barrel outside since it was too hot in the building. The first target was a 250-19X with a new lot of Eley Match EPS Black Box (1054 fps). The gun shot well. My friend Tony Blosser asked to shoot the gun, and he drilled a 250-20X in a steady wind using the same Eley ammo. See target at right.

Myers 22LR
Bill Myers Suhl .22 LR Benchrest rifle

Advanced Procedures — Vibration Control and Tuner Position

Barrel Tuning Using 2-Way Electronic Indicators
Before competing with this rifle, I put it in a firing fixture I use to tune the barrel. I employ a pair of very expensive Swiss 2-way electronic min/max hold indicators. These measure both up movement and down movement of the barrel as the gun is fired. I can measure the actual vertical travel of the barrel at any position from the front of the receiver to the tuner. I can also tell how long the barrel vibrates, time-wise. Using this fixture I found that the Shilen barrel was very consistent in readings and seemed to work well with no additional weight on the tuner. No barrel ever stops vibrating completely — but this was close, showing less than .002″ of total movement.

Bedding and Vibration Control
I have found that measuring the actual movement of the barrel during firing tells me a lot about the quality of the bedding. I have learned that if I see very big movements (e.g. .010″ up and .005″ down), then there may be a problem with the bedding. I saw this kind of big swing on a rifle with bedding that had not cured properly.

Another pattern I watch for is uneven vertical movement. For example, if the barrel vibrates .008″ up but only .002″ down, that tells me the bedding has issues. As noted above, I look for minimal vibration travel (after the tuner is fitted and optimized), and I also want that travel to be relatively equal both up and down. Good rimfire gunsmiths agree that proper bedding has an important influence on vibration control and tuning. By measuring actual barrel movement during firing, we can, to an extent, quantify how well the bedding is working. At a minimum, we can see if there’s a serious bedding problem.

Trial by Fire — Shooting the Gun in Competition
After semi-gluing in the action, the rifle was shooting great. So, I decided to take it to the Maryland State Unlimited Championship to see if it was truly competitive — whether it could “run with the big dogs”. As it turns out, the Bubinga Suhl was more than just competitive. The rifle won three of the six cards and won the meters championship. In the photo below you can see all the trophies the gun won in its very first match. One of the other competitors in Maryland, dazzled (and perhaps a bit daunted) by the Bubinga Suhl’s stellar performance, told me: “Sell that gun Bill. Whatever you do, just get that darn rifle out of here.” Confident that this was a rifle capable of winning major matches, I packed up the rifle and shipped it to Dan Killough in Texas. Killough has shot some impressive scores with the gun.

Suhl 150 Benchrest Rimfire 22LR

Suhl Target Rifles — East Germany’s Legacy

Suhl 150 rifles were manufactured in former East Germany (GDR) by the Haenel firearms factory in the town of Suhl. This region has a long history in arms production. In 1751, Sauer & Sohn founded the first German arms factory in Suhl. Following WWII, Suhl 150s were produced for Communist Bloc marksmen, including East German Olympic shooters. Prior to German unification, the East German national shooting arena was located at Suhl and hosted many top-level competitions including the 1986 ISSF World Championships.

Suhl 150 Target Rifle

Superb Rifles with Amazing Triggers
As a product of East Germany, the “mission” of the Suhl 150 was to rival the accuracy of the Anschütz, Walther and other premium match rifles built in the West. East German shooting teams wanted to finish on top of the podium, so they needed a rifle with superb inherent accuracy. The Suhl 150s have an outstanding trigger that can be adjusted down to about two ounces. The Suhl 150 action, like the Anschütz 54, boasts an extremely fast lock-time — an important factor in a position rifle. And Suhl barrels were legendary for accuracy.

Suhl 150 Target Rifle

Suhl 150 Benchrest Conversions
Many of the first used Suhl 150s that made it to America were converted to Benchrest rifles because the action/trigger/barrel combination was unbeatable for the price. Some of the barrels on these “surplus” Suhls were phenomenal — as good as any custom barrels available today. It was not unknown for a Suhl 150 barreled action, transplanted into a benchrest-style stock, to win BR matches with the original barrel. Today, however, most of the Suhl benchrest conversions end up with modern, American-made barrels. While some older Suhl barrels can “shoot with the best of ‘em”, new barrel designs optimized for use with tuners have an edge, at least in benchrest circles. That’s why builders such as Bill Myers swapped out the Suhl barrel with something like a Benchmark reverse-taper two-groove.

Suhl 150 Target RifleToday Suhl 150 rifles are very hard to find in North America. In 2006, a used Suhl 150, even without sights, might fetch $1200.00 or more. Then, in 2007 through early 2008, hundreds of Suhl match rifles were imported. This drove prices down, and those “in the know” snapped up complete Suhl 150s at prices ranging from $450 to $850 (see 2007 advert at right), depending on condition.

Many of these rifles were left “as built” and used successfully in prone competition. Others were converted into benchrest and silhouette rifles, “parted out” for the actions and triggers. If you were able to grab one of those imports at a good price–consider yourself lucky.

Suhl 150 Target Rifle

* Bill Myers actually created his own clamping rimfire action to facilitate barrel indexing. CLICK HERE for Myers Rimfire Action. To index the barrel, Myers simply loosened three clamping-bolts and rotated the barrel in the action. Because there is no thread to pull the barrel in or out, the headspace stays the same no matter how much the barrel is rotated. With a threaded action, you might have to use shims to test different rotational positions, or otherwise re-set the shoulder with each change.

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
March 15th, 2021

Benchrest is Back! Lester Bruno Wins Big at 2021 Cactus Classic

Cactus Classic 2021 COVID Benchrest NBRSA match Lester Bruno

Congrats to Lester Bruno, overall winner of the 2021 Cactus Classic Benchrest Match. This popular NBRSA match is held every year at the Ben Avery Range outside Phoenix, Arizona. Lester shot brilliantly, particularly at 200 yards, to win the Two-Gun convincingly with an 0.2099 Overall Aggregate. Ed Adams was second with a 0.2303 Two-Gun Agg, with Durward Wofford in third place with 0.2655. Along the way Lester nailed a remarkable 0.1742 200-yard Heavy Varmint Agg. That’s mighty impressive.

Click Image Below for full-screen Panorama Image:
Cactus Classic 2021 COVID Benchrest NBRSA match Lester Bruno

Paul Parosky reported: “So the Cactus Classic COVID Edition of 2021 has come to an end. Lester Bruno won with some amazing shooting at the LV and HV 200 yards. Myself? I need some more time behind the rifle and at 200 yards. We came across some nasty mirage that basically it was really hard to see the bullet hole. I still was able to finish in the middle of the pack 29th in the 2-Gun Aggregate, which is OK with me. But most of all had super great time, meeting new people and also putting faces to the FB friends from the group. The referees, Matthew Schwartzkopf and his crew [plus] the Wickenburg School volunteers did a wonderful job keeping the match going flawlessly.”

Cactus Classic 2021 COVID Benchrest NBRSA match Lester Bruno

2021 Cactus Classic Top 25 Two-Gun Overall Results:

Cactus Classic 2021 COVID Benchrest NBRSA match Lester Bruno

Cactus Classic 2021 COVID Benchrest NBRSA match Lester Bruno

In 100/200 yard Group Benchrest, most top competitors load at the range, tuning their loads for the conditions. Here you can see the portable powder measure (left) and a compact ARKCO Hood Press (right). That blue combo press can both size cases with a screw-in die and seat bullets using a Wilson Seater die (placed on left side). The vast majority of short-range benchrest-for-group competitors run the 6PPC cartridge with fast-burning powders such as Vihtavuori N133.

Cactus Classic 2021 COVID Benchrest NBRSA match Lester Bruno

Capstone Precision Group (Berger Bullets, Lapua, SK, Vihtavuori) provided many valuable prizes to competitors at the 2021 Cactus Classic.

Cactus Classic 2021 COVID Benchrest NBRSA match Lester Bruno

Permalink Competition, News 3 Comments »
March 15th, 2021

Trigger Technique — Become a Better Trigger-Puller

trigger show bix'n andy otm tactical

Do you occasionally get completely unexplained flyers, or have a shot land straight down at 6 O’Clock, right below your point of aim? That could be caused by poor or inconsistent trigger technique. How you pull the trigger can and does affect your accuracy.

Many gun enthusiasts start with pistols. When they later start shooting rifles they may carry over some not-so-good practices acquired from shooting handguns with heavy 4 to 6-pound trigger pulls. You may want to “re-learn” your trigger techniques to get better rifle results.

Shooting Sports USA has a good article on trigger technique that offers many useful tips. That article also has many helpful illustrations, including the one shown above. Another illustration shows different types of trigger shoes (straight vs. curved) and explains how each makes a difference: “With a lightly curved trigger, the shooter’s finger can contact the trigger either high or low according to preference. Higher contact will increase the resistance.” READ ARTICLE HERE.

The article analyzes common errors, such as pulling the trigger with the very tip of the finger rather than the pad of the index finger: “Using the tip of the finger can lead to lateral pressure on the trigger, which throws off the shot.”

The article also explains that you should check your trigger regularly to make sure it is functioning properly and is not out of adjustment: “Just like any other moving part, the trigger can suffer from wear. In such a precise mechanism, tiny amounts of wear can cause major problems.”

Gary Eliseo tubegun prone rifle
The ergonomics of the Eliseo Tubegun allow a nice, straight trigger pull.

Trigger Tips

Six Suggestions for Making your Trigger Control More Consistent.

1. If your triggers are adjustable, set the pull weight appropriate to the discipline. For a hunting rifle, you don’t want an ultra-light trigger pull. For High Power, you may want a two-stage pull, while on a Benchrest rifle you may prefer a very light trigger.

2. If you have a two-stage trigger, experiment with different combinations of First Stage and Second Stage.

3. Have a friend watch you as you pull the trigger, and maybe even take a close-up video as you pull the trigger. This can reveal a variety of flaws.

4. Practice dry-firing to see if flaws in trigger technique are causing gun movement.

5. As an experiment, try pulling the trigger with your middle finger. Ergonomically, the middle finger has a more straight alignment with the tendons in your hand. This exercise can help you identify alignment issues with your index finger.

6. For stocks with adjustable Length of Pull you may want to set the LOP differently for bench shooting vs. prone or F-Class shooting.

trigger show bix'n andy otm tactical

trigger show bix'n andy otm tactical

When Only the Best Will Do…
German-made Bix’N Andy triggers, available from BulletCentral.com, are among the very best you can buy. Available in both single-stage and two-stage, Bix’N Andy triggers are extremely precise, repeatable and smooth. The unique internal, friction-reducing roller ball system allows for extremely low reset force, yielding an ultra-crisp let-off. Bix’N Andy triggers can be fitted with a variety of trigger shoes according to shooter preference.

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Gear Review, Shooting Skills No Comments »
March 14th, 2021

Create Custom Shooting Targets with Free Target Generator

Target PDF Generator Free Bullesye Benchrest

Are you a do-it-yourself kind of guy with a creative eye? Then you’ll love the FREE Target Generator from the folks at ShooterShed.com. This free, interactive webpage allows you to design a variety of fun targets, including grids, benchrest-type Score Shooting targets, sight-in targets, and even playing card targets. Choose the paper size and orientation (vertical or horizontal), then select the number of target elements on the page. For example, you could have four (4) bulls or 52 playing cards. Then click the Style TAB to choose your target style. Use the OPTIONS TAB to overlay a grid on the target, choose squares or diamonds, or include load information blocks. For bullseye targets, you can control the number, color, and spacing (diameter) of the rings. LINK to TARGET GENERATOR.

Click the TARGET STYLE TAB to select one of many target styles, including NBRSA Benchrest targets and 20+ types of NRA bullseye targets, scaled to distance:

Benchrest
Bullseye
Shapes
NRA High Power
NRA Pistol
NRA Rimfire
Images
Playing Cards
Load Test Blocks

Target PDF Generator Free Bullesye Benchrest

The program provides a preview of each target you generate. There are controls to choose border and fill colors. If you like a particular design, save the file, and then print as many targets as you want. Check it out, this program is fun and handy to use. Here are five (5) targets your Editor created just for this article. With a bit of practice, you can be generating your own custom targets in minutes. We just created the green diamonds grid target in 5 minutes this morning. Have fun!

Target PDF Generator Free Bullesye Benchrest

Target PDF Generator Free Bullesye Benchrest Target PDF Generator Free Bullesye Benchrest
Target PDF Generator Free Bullesye Benchrest Target PDF Generator Free Bullesye Benchrest

About the Creator of the Target Generator
The Target Generator program was created by Rod Brown of Sheridan, Wyoming. Rod tells us: “I build custom rifles and coach shooters. I’ve got a 100-yard range out my back door. I shoot short- and long-range benchrest competitively around the country. I’m a full-time software development consultant and an FFL holder. When I’m not developing custom software for my clients, I’m usually fiddling in the shop, building a custom benchrest rifle, traveling to a match, chambering a barrel, or reloading some ammunition.

Story tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink - Articles, Competition, Tech Tip No Comments »
March 14th, 2021

$90,000 Up for Grabs at Armageddon Gear Cup — ShootingUSA TV

Armageddon Gear AG Cup Invitational Shooting USA

If you like PRS/NRL competition then definitely check out the Armageddon Cup show. Shooting USA offers a special long-format edition devoted to the second Armageddon Gear AG Cup Invitational. The episode was broadcast Wednesday 3/10/21, but you can watch it anytime on Vimeo. The 2020 AG Cup showcased an all-star line-up of tactical talent. 42 of the nation’s top PRS/NRL marksmen were invited to the three-day match at the Arena Training Facility in Georgia. $90,000 was up for grabs at this event — the highest cash payout in the history of the sport. There’s $1,000 for the winner of each stage and $50,000 for the overall winner of the Cup.

Watch Video for Highlights of Armaggeddon Gear Cup Tactical Match:

This full, 48-minute AG CUP episode can be streamed on Vimeo for $0.99. Or you can watch an unlimited number of Shooting USA shows for a $3.99 per month subscription. Click the video above to preview the broadcast.

2020 was the second year of the Armageddon Gear Cup match. With $90,000 in total prizes (and $50K for the Cup Winner) there couldn’t be more excitement or more pressure as the field of 42 competitors is cut down to 12 finalists. Those dozen finalists started Day Three with a clean record in their quest for the Cup title and huge pay-out.

hornady armageddon cup a-tip bullets
Armageddon Gear Founder Tom Fuller competes in PRS and supervised the 2020 AG Cup.

Armageddon Gear AG Cup Invitational Shooting USA

In this hour-long Shooting USA special, John Scoutten and Armageddon Gear’s Tom Fuller report the action and interview top competitors. The winner of each of the 20 stages received a $1000 cash prize. During the show, you can watch the competitors adapt to challenging stage set-ups and weather conditions. With $1000 at stake for each stage, a single miss can cost serious money!

Arena Training Facility — 2300 Acres
The 2300-acre Arena Training Facility is a premier shooting facility with multiple shooting ranges from 50m to 2100m. Arena’s 1000-yard covered Known Distance range offers multiple benches, steel and paper targets out to 1000 yards. On Arena’s UKD (unknown distance) range shooters can engage steel out to 2300 yards. This 2100m UKD range boasts a 3-Story Shooting Tower, Air-Conditioned Shoot House, and multiple Positional Challenges.space.

arena training facility Georgia

Armaggedon Gear — Tactical Accessories
Armageddon Gear, founded by former U.S. Army Ranger Tom Fuller, sells support bags, gun cases, slings, suppressor covers, scope covers, and other accessories popular with the PRS/NRL crowd. Armageddon Gear now provides products to the U.S. Military, Law Enforcement, as well as PRS/NRL competitors.

Armageddon Gear Game-Changer Bag
Game Changer PRS bag

Shooting USA new products rifmire challenge
Shooting USA is available On Demand via Vimeo.com. Watch a single episode for $0.99, or get a full-month subscription for $3.99 and watch as many shows as you like with limited commercial interruptions.

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Tactical No Comments »
March 11th, 2021

Zombies in the Heartland Match Returns in June 2021

zombies heartland hornady 2021

Zombies are preparing to invade once again for the Zombies in the Heartland 3-Gun Match on June 4-6, 2021 at the Heartland Public Shooting Park in Grand Island, Nebraska. After canceling the match due to COVID-19 in 2020, Hornady will host the popular event again this year. For complete event information, visit the official Zombies in the Heartland website, or follow the Zombies in the Heartland Facebook page. Hornady posted: “We are already half full, so sign up fast! We look forward to having you this year!”

ZOMBIES MATCH REGISTRATION: Early registration for past competitors opened on February 24th. Returning competitors were emailed with registration links. General registration opened on 3/2/2021, so you can register now online via Practiscore (you’ll need to set up a free Practiscore Account):

CLICK HERE to REGISTER for Zombies in the Heartland 2021

zombies heartland hornady 2021

LODGING INFO: Hotel rooms can be reserved at the Boarders Inn and Suites, 3333 Ramada Road, Grand Island, NE. Mention Zombies in the Heartland for reduced rates.

Pandemic 3-Gun Match Zombies in the Heartland Nebraska HornadyAbout the Zombies in the Heartland Match
The very popular Zombies in the Heartland event, one of the biggest three-gun shoots in the nation, will take place June 4-6, 2021 at the Heartland Public Shooting Park in Grand Island, Nebraska. The “Zombie Pandemic” match traditionally has a rich prize table worth over $150,000. Prizes include pistols, rifles, shotguns, scopes, AR uppers, gun parts, and gear of all kinds.

The Zombie Match is a veritable theme park for shootists, with many fun stages and innovative targets. Many unique, reactive zombie targets have been developed specifically for this match. The use of paper targets has been minimized — so it’s mostly “bang and clang”.

In recent years there have been TEN multi-gun stages. Rifles, pistols and shotguns are used on most stages, which feature handgun targets from 1-15 yards, shotgun targets from 10-20 yards, and rifle targets from 1-200 yards. There were also side matches with full-auto demo firearms, exploding targets, and specialty targets.

Zombies in the Heartland Highlights Video. This well-made 2017 video is worth watching! This video offers Shooter’s POV views of many stages including full auto:

zombies heartland 2021

zombies heartland hornady 2021

ABOUT the RANGE FACILITY: Operated by the Grand Island Parks and Recreation Department, the Heartland Public Shooting Park is the largest and most complete public shooting facility in the Midwest. The facility hosts regional and national events, drawing shooters from around the world.

zombies heartland hornady 2021

Permalink Competition, News, Tactical No Comments »
March 10th, 2021

2021 National Matches Will Be Held at Camp Perry this Summer

Camp Perry National Matches 2021

Here’s great news for rifle and pistol competitors — the National Matches will return to Camp Perry, Ohio in 2021. The National Rifle and Pistol Matches have been part of Camp Perry tradition since 1907. After being cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Matches will be held again, but with some important changes:

— No First Shot Ceremony
— Squadding Reduced to Half Maximum Capacity
— Limiting Firing Points
— Social Distancing and Mask Wearing
— No Public Awards Ceremonies

REGISTER for National Matches Starting April 1, 2021

Registration for the 2021 National Matches opens April 1, 2021. Learn more about the event and get updates on the CMP.org Website.

Camp Perry National Matches 2021

Camp Perry National Matches 2021Housing and Lodging — In the summer of 2021, Camp Perry on-base housing and RV spaces WILL be available. Visit the Camp Perry Lodging Conference Center website for more details and reservation links. This offers very affordable lodging and/or camping options. A barracks bed starts at $16.10/night. Reserve a 4-person hut for $58.65 per night.

Small Arms Firing Schools — We’re informed that the Small Arms Firing Schools (SAFS) are still on the schedule for 2021, with a reduced number of spots available. The CMP suggests you sign up early if you wish to participate.

Camp Perry 2021 National Matches

Key Changes to Camp Perry National Matches for 2021

First Shot Ceremony: Due to the complexity of dealing with COVID concerns, the First Shot Ceremony, which typically serves as the formal opening event of the National Matches, will NOT be held this year.

Squadding: Squadding/participation for all events will be restricted to half maximum capacity. Competitors will be placed at every other firing point for distancing purposes. For those events squadded on the line, social distancing and masks will be required while squadding is taking place.

Awards Ceremonies: In order to prevent crowds, the traditional awards ceremonies will NOT be held in 2021. That also applies to competitor receptions held prior to the awards.

NM Welcome Center (In-Processing): Several check-in desks, appropriately spaced, will be available for arriving guests. A limited number of individuals will be permitted into the building at a time and will be required to be seated in chairs, six-feet apart.

Camp Perry National Matches 2021

Running the National Matches with Safe Protocols
The CMP is partnering with the Ohio National Guard to remain up-to-date on CDC guidelines, to provide an environment that is as safe as possible for guests of Camp Perry, while also staying true to the events and customs that have made the National Matches a celebrated destination for marksmanship enthusiasts for over a century. With the evolving regulations of COVID-19, CMP staff members are hard at work updating the National Matches to fit the modern era. Procedures for the 2021 National Matches include revisions to safety regulations (such as social distancing and mask wearing), limiting firing points, squadding protocols, in-processing, awards and other details.

CMP GSMM Petrarca Range Camp Perry Ohio
CMP GSMM Petrarca Range Camp Perry Ohio

The CMP would like to thank all individuals for their cooperation as we navigate the most efficient ways of hosting our events and ensuring the safety of our staff and supporters. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone back on the shores of Lake Erie for more marksmanship memories and fun in 2021!

The Caveat — Cancellations Might Occur if Health Guidelines Change
The CMP has posted: “Although it is CMP’s hope to hold our upcoming events, please keep in mind that we may have to cancel due to COVID-19 issues. For those events that we do conduct, we will follow the appropriate state’s guidelines and recommendations. We continue to monitor the venue states’ guidelines and adjust our procedures based on those guidelines and common sense.

Directions to Camp Perry:

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
March 7th, 2021

2021 NRA National Championships Schedule for Camp Atterbury

NRA national match championships camp atterbury 2021 f-class high power mid-range Long range ELR pistol smallbore

NRA Competitive Shooting has released the Official Calendar for the 2021 NRA National Championships at Camp Atterbury. The 2021 NRA Nationals at Camp Atterbury start with registration for the Smallbore Championships on Tuesday, July 6. The Smallbore Nationals continue through Sunday, July 18. The Precision Pistol National Championships begin on Tuesday, July 20, with the F-Class Mid-Range Nationals starting July 22 (registration/practice), with F-Class Long-Range commencing on July 27. Moving on to High Power Rifle, the Fullbore event runs August 1-7, while the Mid-Range Nationals begin on Tuesday, August 9, followed by the Long-Range Nationals starting on August 14, 2021. Finally, the NRA Extreme Long-Range (ELR) Championship begins on Friday, August 20 and concludes Saturday, August 21. The last week of the month, August 22-27 is slated for OTC competition.

NRA national match championships camp atterbury 2021 f-class high power mid-range Long range ELR pistol smallbore

Smallbore Rifle Championship: 6-18 July, 2021
Precision Pistol Championship: 20-25 July, 2021
F-Class Mid-Range Championship: 21-25 July, 2021
F-Class Long Range Championship: 27-30 July, 2021
Fullbore Championship: 1-7 August, 2021
High Power Mid-Range Championship: 9-13 August, 2021
High Power Long Range Championship: 14-19 August, 2021
ELR 1-Mile Championship: 20-21 August, 2021
OTC Competition: 22-28 August, 2021

NOTE: Listed dates include registration/sign-up and/or practice day, and award ceremony.

See full 2021 Camp Atterbury NRA National Championships calendar below. CLICK to view larger, full-screen printable image that is easier to read. ENLARGE (+ with mouse) after loading to read small print.


CLICK CALENDAR to VIEW Full-screen PDF then click Enlarge (+)

NRA national match championships camp atterbury 2021 f-class high power mid-range Long range ELR pistol smallbore

To learn more about the 2021 NRA Nationals, visit compete.nra.org. And for the latest updates, subscribe to the free Shooting Sports USA Insider newsletter.

Permalink - Articles, Competition, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
March 5th, 2021

New Camp Perry Rifle Matches Scheduled for 2021

Camp Perry Petrarca Viale Range electronic targets

Good News — Camp Perry is BACK for 2021!

There WILL be shooting matches at Camp Perry in 2021, with safety protocols in effect to prevent COVID transmission. The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) will host a variety of Garand, Springfield, Vintage and Modern Military (GSMM) rifle matches during the 2021 season at the historic Camp Perry National Guard Training Facility in Ohio. There will be matches at both the Petrarca Covered range and the Viale outdoor range. Registration for all matches is now open. Competitors of all skill levels are welcome to attend these recreational events. Knowledgeable CMP staff members will be on hand at all events. Space will be limited, so sign up soon.

Camp Perry Petrarca Garand modern military spring match

Garand, Springfield, Vintage and Modern Military at Petrarca Range
A series of GSMM matches will be held at Camp Perry’s Petrarca Range using Camp Perry’s advanced electronic target system. The use of the KTS (Kongsberg Target System) targets means faster competition time (with no need for pit duty) and extra convenience for competitors who can rely on the instant and accurate shot monitors, located beside each firing point. Dates for the 2021 GSMM events at Petrarca Range currently include: May 22, June 26, and September 25.

Camp Perry Petrarca electronic targets

CLICK HERE for more information about the Petrarca Range and its electronic target system.

High Power Matches at Viale Range
In addition to the Petrarca matches, a set of High Power rifle 800 Aggregate and Excellence-In-Competition (EIC) events will be held on Camp Perry’s outdoor Viale Range, June 26-27, 2021. The CMP explains: “The matches are ideal for those in the quest for a Distinguished Rifleman Badge as well as those with a love for modern military rifle shooting.” The Viale matches will utilize CMP’s High Power electronic targets.

Camp Perry Petrarca Viale Range electronic targets

Availability of Petrarca Range for Public Shooting Practice
Along with organized competitions, Camp Perry’s Petrarca Range is open for public shooting each Monday, with advanced reservations. Opening day for Petrarca Range’s Open Public slots begin March 15, 2021. Every Monday, by appointment only, guests may use Petrarca during the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., March through May and September through November. During the summer months (June through August), Petrarca is open from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Please note: During the National Matches scheduled July 12 – August 14, Petrarca Range will be open throughout the week but only after firing is complete on Rodriguez Range. Guests to Petrarca must adhere to current CDC guidelines, including masks and social distancing.

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
March 3rd, 2021

Marksmanship Training — PRO Tips from the USAMU

USAMU Shooting USA Pro tips

The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU), in cooperation with Shooting USA TV, has created a series of instructional Pro Tip pages covering a wide range of shooting disciplines. All totaled, there are more than 50 USAMU Pro Tips. Most relate to rifle marksmanship but there are also numerous tips for shotgunners and pistol shooters. Each Pro Tip entry includes multiple photos and 6-15 paragraphs, in an easy-to-follow format. Many Pro Tips also include an instructional video produced by Shooting USA. Here are three Pro Tip videos, and links to seven more Pro Tip web pages.

USAMU TOP TEN PRO TIPS

1. Reading the Wind with SGT Sherri Gallagher.
Apart from gravity, wind has the most pull on the bullet as it travels down range. Being able to accurately read the wind and mirage will greatly enhance your performance on the rifle range. National Champion, SGT Gallagher gives you some of her tips.

2. Angle Shooting with SFC (Ret.) Emil Praslick.
SFC Praslick shows you how to determine the angle to your target, and then how to include that to change your data necessary to hit your target on the first shot.

3. Rifle Grip, Stance and Body Position for 3-Gun with SFC Daniel Horner.
Professional 3-gun marksman SFC Daniel Horner, U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU), give tips on how to properly handle a semi-automatic rifle, including grip, stance and body position.

4. Service Rifle Positions (with SFC Brandon Green)

5. Rifling and Twist Rate (with SFC Ret. Emil Praslick)

6. Setting the Right Zero (with SPC Ty Cooper)

7. Practice Drills (with SFC Lance Dement)

8. Using the Sling

9. Getting Your AR Zeroed

10. 3-Gun Rifles By Division (with SFC Daniel Horner)

USAMU Pro Tips Sherri Gallagher Emil Praslick Daniel Horner

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Shooting Skills No Comments »
February 28th, 2021

Experiment with Fore and Aft Rifle Position on Rest and Bag

Benchrest stock

To get the best accuracy out of any benchrest rifle, you need to find the optimal position of front rest and rear bag. The important point to remember is that each rig is different. One gun may perform best with the front rest right at the tip of the forearm (Position ‘D’ in photo), while another gun will work best with the rest positioned much further back. This Editor’s own 6mmBR rifle has a laminated stock that is pretty flexy in the front. It shoots best with the front rest’s sandbag located a good 6″ back from the forearm tip (position ‘A’).

Here’s some benchrest advice that can help you reduce vertical and shoot tighter groups… without spending another penny. Many benchrest shooters spend a fortune on equipment and devote countless hours to meticulous handloading, but they never experiment with their rifle’s position/balance on the bags. This article explains why you should test your rifle in various positions. What you learn may surprise you (and improve your scores).

Next time you go to the range, experiment with the position of your rifle on the front rest, and try a couple different positions for the rear bag. You may find that the rifle handles much better after you’ve made a small change in the placement of your gun on the bags. Recoil can be tamed a bit, and tracking can improve significantly, if you optimize the front rest and rear bag positioning.

front rest Sally benchrest IBS
This competitor has the front rest positioned fairly far forward but not all the way out. Note the stop on the front rest — this limits forward stock travel.

A small change in the position of the forearm on the front rest, or in the placement of the rear bag, can make a big difference in how your gun performs.

Balance Your Gun BEFORE You Spend Hours Tuning Loads
In the pursuit of ultimate accuracy, shooters may spend countless hours on brass prep, bullet selection, and load tuning. Yet the same shooters may pay little attention to how their gun is set-up on the bags. When you have acquired a new rifle, you should do some basic experimentation to find the optimal position for the forearm on the front rest, and the best position for the rear bag. Small changes can make a big difference.

Joel Kendrick

Joel Kendrick, past IBS 600-yard Shooter of the Year, has observed that by adjusting forearm position on the front rest, he can tune out vertical. He has one carbon-fiber-reinforced stock that is extremely rigid. When it was placed with the front rest right under the very tip of the forearm, the gun tended to hop, creating vertical. By sliding the whole gun forward (with more forearm overhang ahead of the front sandbag), he was able to get the whole rig to settle down. That resulted in less vertical dispersion, and the gun tracked much better.

stock position benchrest forearm sandbag front rest
Fore/aft stock position is important even with very wide fore-ends.

Likewise, the placement of the rear bag is very important. Many shooters, by default, will simply place the rear bag the same distance from the front rest with all their guns. In fact, different stocks and different calibers will NOT behave the same. By moving the rear bag forward and aft, you can adjust the rifle’s overall balance and this can improve the tracking significantly. One of our shooters had a Savage 6BR F-Class rifle. By default he had his rear bag set almost all the way at the end of the buttstock. When he slid the rear bag a couple inches forward the gun tracked much better. He immediately noticed that the gun returned to point of aim better (crosshairs would stay on target from shot to shot), AND the gun torqued (twisted) less. The difference was quite noticeable.

A small change in the position of the forearm on the front rest, or in the placement of the rear bag, can make a big difference in how your gun performs. You should experiment with the forearm placement, trying different positions on the front rest. Likewise, you can move the rear bag back and forth a few inches. Once you establish the optimal positions of front rest and rear bag, you should find that your gun tracks better and returns to battery more reliably. You may then discover that the gun shoots smaller groups, with less vertical dispersion. And all these benefits are possible without purchasing any expensive new gear.

Rifle photo courtesy Johnson’s Precision Gunsmithing (Bakersfield, CA).

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
February 27th, 2021

Fundamentals of Marksmanship — Learn from a Champion

USAMU Basic Riflemans Course SFC Brandon Green High Power Shooting Training

The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) has produced an excellent series of videos covering the Basic Rifleman’s Course. If you are getting started in High Power shooting, or want to improve your position shooting skills, this series is well worth watching. And these videos are not just for service rifle shooters — even bench shooters can benefit from these videos, particularly Part 5, which explains how to estimate wind speed and direction. The lead instructor for these videos is SFC Brandon Green, three-time National High Power Champion, and 2017 Service Rifle Champion. When SFC Green talks, you should listen.

SFC Brandon Green is a shooting superstar. Green won his third NRA National High Power Rifle Championship in 2018 at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. He dominated the HP Championship cycle, finishing eight points and ten Xs ahead of his nearest competitor. Brandon also won High Power National Championships in 2015 and 2013. One of the greatest marksmen in the nation’s history, SFC Green excels at all positions, both rapid-fire and slow-fire.

Part 5 — Wind and Weather Estimation (Very Useful for All Shooters)


Note: This video includes a hit location “target analysis” in the first 6 minutes.

Part 4 — Minute of Angle Explained

Part 3 — Ballistics and Zeroing

Part 2 — Positions, Sight Alignment, and Natural Point of Aim (Very Useful)

USAMU Basic Riflemans Course SFC Brandon Green High Power Shooting Training

Part 1 — Aiming and Sight Picture

SFC Brandon Green 2017 CMP Camp Perry USAMU Service Rifle
SFC Brandon Green (left above) has set multiple National Records at Camp Perry.

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Shooting Skills, Tactical No Comments »
February 24th, 2021

Precision Rifle Challenge on Shooting USA TV Today

Shooting USA hornady precision rifle challenge Utah 2020 AccurateShooter

Precision Rifle Challenge on Shooting USA This Week
This week, Shooting USA TV features a show that should interest PRS/NRL fans, tactical marksmen, and long range hunters. Run in Utah’s backcountry, the Hornady Precision Rifle Challenge is a unique long range competition with serious wind and elevation changes.

This was a big match with 177 competitors at Hornady’s private 250,000 acre ranch property outside of Evanston, Wyoming, across the state line in Utah.

This isn’t a typical PRS Pro Series match by any means. Participants in this challenging Precision Rifle match encounter tough conditions not typically seen in other tactical matches.

Shooting USA hornady precision rifle challenge Utah 2020 AccurateShooter

This video is great — lots of equipment closeups, stage set-ups, plus drone footage of range.

Shooting USA hornady precision rifle challenge Utah 2020 AccurateShooter

This Shooting USA episode airs Wednesday, February 24, 2021, at 9:00 PM Eastern (8:00 PM Central) on the Outdoor Channel. If you miss that, it runs again on Thursday afternoon. In addition, you can watch all episodes of Shooting USA on the VIMEO channel by subscription. Each episode is just $0.99.

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Shooting Skills, Tactical No Comments »
February 23rd, 2021

Practical Tactical — Training Video Series with Ryan Cleckner

practical PRS NRL shooting tactical rifle videos ryan cleckner

Former Army Ranger sniper instructor Ryan Cleckner is the author of the best-selling Long Range Shooting Handbook. Cleckner hosts a series of videos that cover shooting techniques appropriate for tactical and PRS-type disciplines. Here are five short videos that cover various aspects of shooting techniques and rifle set-up. We think PRS/NRL competitors (and long-range hunters) can benefit from these videos.

“Consistency is the key to accuracy.

You need to think about a system of how you’re going to shoot that is not only comfortable, but [is] repeatable when you’re shooting.” — Ryan Cleckner

In this first video, Cleckner explains proper scope position. Ryan finds that some shooters place the scope too far forward or too far rearward. If the scope is too far back you may have issues with eye relief and stock reach to shoulder. If it is too far forward, you may have cheek-weld problems or get neck strain.

Cleckner offers a simple method to check your scope position: “To see if your scope is set up properly … close your eyes, lay your head on your gun, get completely comfortable, and only when you are set-up, then open your eyes. If you can’t see clearly through your scope, CHANGE something [such as comb height or scope position]”. “When you open your eyes, if you see some scope shadow [i.e. the black ring around the edge of the scope picture], figure out which way you need to move your head to get rid of that shadow, and then make adjustments to either your position, the rifle, or the scope.”

Cleckner prefers shooting off a bag when in the prone position, when that is practical. The bag provides a more stable support than a small Harris-type bipod, doesn’t require pre-loading the rifle, and there is less bounce or hop on recoil.

Former Army Ranger sniper team leader Ryan Cleckner explains how important it is to keep your rifle straight up and down when long-range precision shooting. Cleckner demonstrates with an AR-10 modern sporting rifle how slight cant to your rifle can cause a miss over long distances.

Here Cleckner covers some of the basic points of trigger control on tactical-style rifles. These basic principles apply to both single-stage and two-stage triggers. NOTE: For benchrest rigs, with ultra-light pull weights, more refined techniques may be appropriate.

In tactical events, when you’re shooting on the clock and loading from a detachable magazine, you should manipulate the bolt smoothly but strongly. Here Cleckner demonstrates how to cycle a tactical-type rifle. He says, “You should be running the bolt on your rifle with authority. Run it like you mean it!” NOTE: Completely different techniques are appropriate for custom benchrest rifles that manually feed.

Long Range Shooting Handbook — A Good Resource
Cleckner’s Long Range Shooting Handbook covers a wide range of topics important for precision marksmanship — both shooting skills and technical matters. You can view Sample Chapters from Ryan’s Book on Amazon.com. Cleckner’s book is designed as an intro to key concepts such as MOA vs. Mils, External Ballistics, and Environmental Effects. Included are personal tips and advice based on Cleckner’s years of experience as a sniper instructor and special operations sniper.

The Long Range Shooting Handbook is divided into three main categories: What It Is/How It Works, Fundamentals, and How to Use It. “What It Is/How It Works” covers equipment, terminology, and basic principles. “Fundamentals” covers the theory of long range shooting. “How to Use It” gives practical advice on implementing what you’ve learned, so you can progress as a skilled, long range shooter.

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Competition, Shooting Skills, Tactical No Comments »
February 23rd, 2021

Fitness and Cardio Training for Marksmen — It Makes a Difference

In the archives of The First Shot (the CMP’s Online Magazine), SGT Walter E. Craig of the USAMU discusses physical conditioning for competitive shooters, particularly High Power competitors. Fitness training is an important subject that, curiously, is rarely featured in the shooting sports media. We seem to focus on hardware, or esoteric details of cartridge reloading. Yet physical fitness also matters, particularly for High Power shooters. In his article, Craig advocates: 1) weight training to strengthen the Skeletal Muscle System; 2) exercises to build endurance and stamina; and 3) cardiovascular conditioning programs to allow the shooter to remain relaxed with a controlled heart beat.

SGT Craig explains: “An individual would not enter a long distance race without first spending many hours conditioning his/her body. One should apply the same conditioning philosophy to [shooting]. Physical conditioning to improve shooting skills will result in better shooting performance[.] The objective of an individual physical training program is to condition the muscles, heart, and lungs thereby increasing the shooter’s capability of controlling the body and rifle for sustained periods.”


» CLICK HERE to READ FULL FITNESS ARTICLE

In addition to weight training and cardio workouts (which can be done in a gym), SGT Craig advocates “some kind of holding drill… to develop the muscles necessary for holding a rifle for extended periods.”

For those with range access, Craig recommends a blind standing exercise: “This exercise consists of dry-firing one round, then live-firing one round, at a 200-yard standard SR target. For those who have access only to a 100-yard range, reduced targets will work as well. Begin the exercise with a timer set for 50 minutes. Dry-fire one round, then fire one live round and without looking at the actual impact, plot a call in a data book. Continue the dry fire/live fire sequence for 20 rounds, plotting after each round. After firing is complete, compare the data book to the target. If your zero and position are solid, the plots should resemble the target. As the training days add up and your zero is refined, the groups will shrink and move to the center.”

Brandon Green
Fitness training and holding drills help position shooters reach their full potential.

Training for Older Shooters
Tom Alves has written an excellent article A Suggested Training Approach for Older Shooters. This article discusses appropriate low-impact training methods for older shooters. Tom explains: “Many of the articles you will read in books about position shooting and the one mentioned above are directed more toward the younger generation of shooters in their 20s. If you look down the line at a typical high power match these days you are likely to see quite a few folks who are in their middle 30s and up. Many people in that age range have had broken bones and wear and tear on their joints so a training program needs to take that into account. For instance, while jogging for an extended period for heart and lung conditioning may be the recommended approach for younger folks, it may be totally inappropriate for older people.”

READ FULL ARTICLE by Tom Alves

Permalink - Articles, Competition No Comments »
February 23rd, 2021

Get FREE Data Book Scoring App for Android and iOS (Apple)

Creedmoor Sports High Power CMP Competition Scoring App Apple Android

Creedmoor Sports High Power CMP Competition Scoring App Apple AndroidTired of carrying old-fashioned paper Score Books? Well now you can go digital — Creedmoor Sports offers a full-featured Scoring Book App that lets you plot your shot locations/scores using an Android device or Apple iPhone or iPad. The price is right — FREE! Just visit the iTunes store or Google Play Store to download the App for FREE.

Record Match and Practice Data
This new App, available for free in the Apple App Store, and the Google Play Store provides all the same functions and capabilities of the traditional, spiral-bound print-format Creedmoor Rifle Data/Score Book, but with the convenience and ease of recording your match and practice information with your mobile device. With this App you can break your 20 shot slow-fire segments into either 10- or 20-shot targets, and also opt for sighting shots. All the specific event data can also be recorded, such as location, wind, light etc., along with wind and elevation adjustments.

creedmoor scoring app

CLICK HERE for iOS (Apple)

creedmoor scoring app

CLICK HERE for Android OS

creedmoor scoring app

COMMUNICATIONS Restrictions: In some matches you are not allowed to have electronic communication ability, so you may have to set your iPhone to “Airplane Mode”, or use this only with an iPod (which does not have two-way communication capability).
Permalink Competition, Gear Review No Comments »