October 29th, 2017

Rise of the Railguns — Potential Records Set at IBS Match

Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California
Gary Ocock let the event’s youngest competitor, 12-year-old Gavin Lichtenwalter, shoot Gary’s new Railgun for the last three matches on Sunday afternoon. The day before Gary shot what should be a new IBS 100-yard, five-shot HB group record. Photo credit: Ben Zentner

Heavy Benchrest (Unlimited) rifles, also known as “Railguns”, are the most accurate competition firearms ever invented. And these amazing examples of shooting technology showed their capability recently, with potentially four (4) new records being set at an IBS Heavy Benchrest Invitational match in Visalia, California. If you are curious about the most accurate rifles on the planet, then read on…

2017 Visalia Invitational — IBS Heavy Benchrest Match

Report by Boyd Allen, IBS Exec. Vice President
There was some amazing shooting at a recent Invitational Heavy Benchrest match* held in Visalia, California on October 21-22, 2017. No less than FOUR new Heavy Benchrest (HB) records may have been set. Three individual targets were submitted for the 100-yard HB five-shot group record, a .039 by Gary Ocock (photo below), along with two targets by Jim Nicolas, a .040 and .041.

Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California

Multiple Aggregate records (at both 100 and 200 yards) may also have been set. Larry Boers shot a 100-yard, five-target 0.1232 Aggregate that will be submitted for the IBS HB 100-yard, five-shot group Agg record. And Gary Ocock may have set two additional HB Agg records. Gary’s five-target 200-yard Agg (0.1310) is a potential new five-shot-per-target record, as is his ten-target Grand Agg (0.1480) (that covers 100 AND 200 yards, five targets per yardage, ten targets total).


CLICK HERE for Complete Match Results (PDF) »

Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California

Top Guns Come to IBS Match in California
This California match attracted some of the best Railgun pilots in the game today. On the firing line were three current NBRSA Unlimited record holders: Larry Boers (one record), Steve Kostanich (two records), and Gary Ocock (three current NBRSA UNL records, plus one HV). All three shot well enough in this match that their targets are being submitted to the IBS for consideration as Group, Aggregate, or Grand Aggregate records. NOTE: The “Heavy Benchrest” IBS category is equivalent to “Unlimited” under NBRSA rules. CLICK HERE for Complete Match Results.

Top Shooters for the Match included: Larry Boers (Two Gun, HB GrAgg1, HB 100-yd); Gary Ocock (HB 200-yd and HB GrAgg2); Francis Lee (HB 200-yd).

Two-Gun Overall Results
Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California
Note: The computer software shows the results for one Grand Agg as “Heavy Varmint”. In fact the SAME HB Railguns were used for both Grand Aggs, so the “Two-Gun Agg” is actually a pair of HB Aggs.

Top Equipment List
Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California

Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California
Saturday Winners: George Lozano, Larry Boers, Lawrence Weisdorn, Gary Ocock, Joe Stanovich, and Jim Nicolas. Photo by: Dan Lutke.

Conditions: It rained on Friday, but Saturday and Sunday were sunny and slightly cool at first and perfect after that. Saturday at 10:00 am it was 62°, 64%, and the wind was light, increasing slightly later in the day. Sunday’s conditions were similar with a slightly higher wind speed, but still light. The wind was from the West at 3-10 mph, generally stronger closer to the firing line than down range. This normally is more of a picker’s range than a runner’s venue. However, there was some “running” of groups this weekend since rail guns are particularly suited for that style of shooting.

Hall of Famer Helps Young Novice
Along with the seasoned veterans, there was a new competitor, a 12-year-old shooting his very first match. As with life, there were highs and lows. Young Gavin started out with an equipment failure — the rifle he brought wasn’t working, so shooter Bob Hatley let Gavin borrow Bob’s bag gun. Then Gavin got some expert assistance from one of the world’s best — Hall of Famer Gary Ocock. Gary let Gavin shoot the last three 200-yard matches with Gary’s new integral block, Jay Young-built Railgun, one of the most accurate firearms on the planet. Gary shot this rig on relay #1 and let Gavin shoot it in relay #2. How many of us will ever get this kind of opportunity, much less a first time 12-year-old competitor? It’s like a school kid getting to drive an Indy-winning race car.

Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California
This photo shows Gavin with family and friends: Grandmother Mary Oulrey, father Mark Lichtenwalter (second from left), grandfather Gary Oulrey (far right). Bob Hatley (extreme left) stepped up to share his bag rifle with Gavin, and Gary Ocock (right of Gavin) let Gavin shoot his Railgun. Note Gavin is wearing Gary’s Hall-of-Fame jacket.

The Facility at Visala — Dale Wimp Rifle and Pistol Range
The Visalia Range has a covered firing line with 28 fixed, monolithic steel-reinforced concrete benches. The direction of fire is north. The cover extends well past the front of the benches as does the concrete. There are covered loading areas both at the level of the benches, directly behind them, and one level up farther to the rear. The firing line and range are below the level of the surrounding land, having been excavated in flat ground with the material from the excavation surrounding the range on three sides, higher in the back, forming an impact berm. A major construction project is about to be finished that will extend the range to 300 yards, and provide a new 10-station, 25-yard pistol range.

Surrounded by fields, the Visalia Range is located in California’s Central Valley, a rich agricultural area.
visalia benchrest shooting range unlimited benchrest railgun heavy gun

Notables on the Visalia Firing Line

Three of the competitors at the match deserve special mention because of their recent accomplishments in the world of Benchrest shooting and the interesting equipment they had on display.

Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California

Jim Nicholas was on fire on Saturday. During Saturday morning’s 100-yard Aggregate he shot a .040 in the fourth match, and a .041 in the fifth. Both targets and the .039 that Gary Ocock shot were sent in to be measured for a record. All are substantially smaller than the current record, Hap Zeiser’s .063. In the photo above, note the tuner. Jim adjusted a little less than 8 degrees just before he shot .040 in the fourth match and .041 in the fifth. That must have been the “sweet spot”. Jim’s blue Railgun, built by Craig Kinsler, features a barrel block that is integral with the rig top. This is like the new Jay Young Railgun Ocock shoots.

Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California

Larry Boers owns the NBRSA Unlimited, 100-yard 10-shot group record (.097). This makes the fourth time that he has won the Two-Gun Overall for this match. Larry is not just a trigger-puller — he makes his own bullets and chambers his own barrels. This year he shot a bullet he still lists under his bullet-making mentor’s name (Del Bishop) a 65 grain, double radius 5/9 FB made from J4 .790 jackets, out of a Nemi point die. Del originally made the bullet and the story is that Nemi at first refused to make the die because he was sure that it wouldn’t shoot well. Later, after some cajoling by Del, he made it, tried a few and excitedly called Dell to tell him just how good the bullets shot. Larry set his record shooting a .750 jacket short BT (.040) bullet from the same die.

Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California

Steve Kostanich, a long-time competitor and highly-respected gunsmith from Washington State, recently received official confirmation that he will go in the record books with a pair of 10-shot Unlimited NBRSA world records. The first record is a 10-shot 200-yard 0.1839 Aggregate, while the second is Steve’s 100-200 yard 0.1951 Grand Aggregate.

Parting Shot — This is what happens when you set your Wind Flag stand too high.

Visalia Heavy Benchrest Unlimited Railgun record Visalia CA California


* Course of Fire: This was a two-day Heavy Benchrest (aka HB or “Unlimited”) weekend match with targets at 100 and 200 yards, five shots per target. Saturday all shooting was at 100 yards. Sunday all shooting was at 200 yards. There were two (2) Grand Aggregates. One Grand Agg combined Saturday morning (100) with Sunday afternoon (200). The Second Grand Agg combined Saturday afternoon (100) and Sunday morning (200). The match had two HB Grand Aggs because only one class of gun (Heavy Benchrest or “Unlimited”) was shot. The computer software shows the results for one Grand Agg as “Heavy Varmint”, but all matches were for Heavy Benchrest (Unlimited) guns. NOTE: Some competitors did shoot bag guns as these are allowed under HB/Unlimited rules.

Permalink Competition, News 2 Comments »
October 28th, 2017

Fathers and Sons Compete at Talladega Marksmanship Park

Talladega Marksmanship Park father son shooting competition
Terry Mathy (right) watched as his father Dusty (left) fired on electronic targets for the first time.

Here’s a “feel-good” account of father and son duos who competed this year at the CMP’s modern Talladega Marksmanship Park. It’s great to see fathers introduce their children to the shooting sports, and carry on the tradition of marksmanship from generation to generation.

“In my opinion, there is no better way to teach responsibility, self-discipline, integrity and to build trust. There are so many lessons in shooting sports, and in hunting, which apply to other areas of life. It’s also an opportunity to build an understanding of the freedoms we enjoy, why we have those freedoms and why we must act responsibly to preserve them.”

“It makes me proud when others approach us at the range and compliment [my son] Terry on his safety and etiquette. There are no stronger bonds between father and son than those formed in the woods, on the water, and at the range.” — Dusty Mathy

Through the Eyes of Father and Son: The Affinity of Marksmanship
Report based on story by Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer

The Talladega Marksmanship Park is a major draw for marksmen around the country. Just ask father/son duo Dusty and Terry Mathy. Back in June 2017, SSG Dusty Mathy (U.S. Army) visited Talladega for the first time. Dusty brought along all four members of his family: wife Rachel, son Terry (9) and daughter Olivia (8). The Mathy family traveled all the way from their Kansas home to attend the Talladega D-Day matches.

Talladega Marksmanship Park father son shooting competition
During the D-Day event, father Dusty Mathy earned a medal for his Carbine Match performance and posed with his son, Terry (left).

During the D-Day match, father Dusty took his first shots on outdoor electronic High Power targets, an experience he won’t soon forget: “That alone was worth the trip… Shooting an entire EIC match, start to finish in about 90 minutes, with no pit duty, [was] priceless.” Son Terry helped out by recording scores: “I marked my Dad’s shots in the data book, and looking at the electronic targets saved time. The match was much faster, and it was easy to see how my dad was doing. And easy to mark his shots.”

Talladega Marksmanship Park father son shooting competition
Talladega Marksmanship Park in Alabama is a 500-acre facility featuring modern electronic target systems with monitors at each shooting station.

For Dusty and Terry, marksmanship is more than putting shots through a target — it’s a way of building character and … enjoying life together. When Terry was 7, the two shot at their first Project Appleseed event, where they learned about American history as well as marksmanship. Now the father and son regularly shoot at a local 300-yard Vintage Sniper Match using Terry’s .223 Savage Axis in Open class. Terry’s skills continue to improve each time he fires — his personal best so far is 97-3X.

During the week the Mathy family visited the South CMP Store in Anniston and took a tour of the CMP’s impressive armory. The family also attended the barbeque the CMP hosts as a “thank you” for competitors and guests. “It was outstanding,” said Dusty of his family’s experience. “We met some really great people at the matches. Rachel and Olivia really appreciated the relaxing environment in the Club House and being able to sit at the little covered bleachers during the matches.”

The Lewis Father and Son Team at Talladega
There was another father and son team at the Talladega during the D-Day event in June 2017. LTC Jerry Lewis and his son Josh Lewis (16) of Fayetteville, Georgia, both attended and competed in the Talladega D-Day event together. Though still in high school, Josh is an accomplished marksman who learned his skills from his father, a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. military.

Talladega Marksmanship Park father son shooting competition
Josh Lewis shoots M1 Garand (.30-06 Sprg) while his father Jerry Lewis tallies the score.

Talladega Marksmanship Park father son shooting competition
Jerry and Josh Lewis are another example of family teams who enjoy Talladega’s competitions and deluxe shooting facilities. There are shotgun and pistol ranges along with the rifle range.

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October 26th, 2017

Jim Borden on Kelly McMillan’s “Taking Stock” Radio Show

Kelly McMillan Taking Stock Radio Show Voice America

You’ll want to tune in to Kelly McMillan’s Taking Stock Radio Show tomorrow, Friday, October 27, 2017. This week’s Episode 42 features respected action-maker and gunsmith Jim Borden of Borden Accuracy. The Radio Show, which streams on the internet, runs 8/27/2017 at 11:00 AM Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Sports Channel.

Jim and Kelly will discuss a variety of topics, including gunsmithing, action design/manufacture, the past/present/future of Benchrest and F-Class competition, and how Benchrest technology have influenced other disciplines. Jim Borden is a “benchrest icon” who has been in the business maybe as long as McMillan. Kelly notes: “I remember the Borden name dating way back to when it was just my mother, father, and I working in the garage. Jim Borden will share the story of his legacy with our listeners”. CLICK HERE to LISTEN.

The Radio Show will also feature Kelly’s friend Kevin Finley, a professional bass fisherman. Access this and other “Taking Stock” episodes by clicking the Radio link on McMillanUSA.com, then select “Listen Live” or select Episode on Demand to hear previous shows. In past weeks, Taking Stock Radio has featured K02M and World F-TR Champ Derek Rodgers, Team USA F-TR Captain Ray Gross, Ballistics Guru Bryan Litz, Long-Range Champ Nancy Tompkins, High Power Champ Carl Bernosky, Legendary Olympic Shooter Lones Wigger, Sniper’s Hide Founder Frank Galli, and many other notables.

Borden and McMillan Collaborate on F-Open Rifle for Juniors

Borden Rifles Accuracy McMillan

It’s great to see two important businessmen give back to the shooting sports. Kelly McMillan and Jim Borden are working together on a project — creating an F-Class Open rifle that can be loaned out to young shooters to help them get started with the sport. Great idea — we need to get more young folks involved in precision shooting. In F-Class (as well as benchrest) we have an “aging population”. Engaging the next generation of shooters is vitally important.

Jim Borden Photography Rimrock RiflesBorden Accuracy — A Success Story
Borden Accuracy/Borden Rifles has been a source for precision benchrest and hunting rifles for many years. Jim started doing his own gunsmithing while competing in benchrest and High Power silhouette matches. Jim launched his business in 1987, working nights and weekends while still employed at P&G. The business became full-time in 1995 with Jim and his wife Joan doing the work. The business was expanded in 1999 with the construction of the new Springville, PA facility and the addition of sons Jim Jr. and John to the staff. Son-in-law John Mecca came onboard in January 2000.

Jim and company began making Rimrock benchrest and Rimrock hunting actions in 2001. They added Borden Alpine and Timberline actions in 2006. These actions are made in an advanced manufacturing facility which has three CNC vertical Machining centers, three CNC lathes, three manual lathes, a manual knee mill, a surface grinder, a cylindrical grinder and wire EDM machine. To learn more, visit BordenRifles.com, call 570-965-2505, or send email to info [at] bordenrifles.com.

Borden Accuracy Rifles benchrest actions

Permalink Competition, Gunsmithing 1 Comment »
October 23rd, 2017

Team USA at ISSF World Cup Final in India this Week

Team USA Trap Mixed Team Ashley Carroll Derek Haldemann

Ten USA Shooting athletes compete this week at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup Final in New Delhi, India. Some 160 shooters from 15 countries will compete in this year’s invitation-only World Cup Final which runs October 22-30, 2017. Most of the Team USA squad in India are shotgunners. This year our Skeet/Trap shooters, including six-time Olympic Medalist Kim Rhode (above left), have garnered 26 top-10 finishes plus 12 individual medals and eight team medals.

The new Olympic events of Air Rifle Mixed Team, Air Pistol Mixed Team, and Trap Mixed Team kick off this ISSF World Cup Final in India. The USA has two pairs in the Trap Mixed Team event: Kayle Browning/Jake Wallace and World Championship bronze medalists Ashley Carroll/Derek Haldeman.

Browning and Wallace won a team silver at the World Cup in Acapulco, Mexico. Ashley Carroll (Solvang, California) and Derek Haldeman (USAMU, Sunbury, Ohio) won team bronze at the World Championship in Moscow, Russia. Interestingly, Ashley and Derek have a life together away from the trap range — they have been dating for two years now.

Team USA Trap Mixed Team Ashley Carroll Derek Haldemann

“The way the team event goes, it’s still a pretty individual game,” said Haldeman, who will make his World Cup Final debut in New Delhi. Haldeman, a Double Trap specialist, converted to Trap this season upon Double Trap’s elimination from the Olympic program. “It’s hard to help each other out during the actual competition. Ashley came down to Fort Benning to work on stuff. We worked on how we can work together, what we can say and what we can’t say, and that’s kind of how we were getting ready for World Cup Final. We’ll shoot together, have fun with it and see what happens!”

Ashley will compete again later in the week as the lone U.S. competitor in Women’s Trap. Carroll had a breakout year in 2017, winning her third National Championship win in a row, along with a gold-medal win and world-record finish at World Cup Acapulco.

Thrasher is Sole American Rifle Shooter at ISSF World Cup Final
2016 Olympic gold medalist Ginny Thrasher (Springfield, Virginia) is the sole USA Rifle competitor at the 2017 ISSF World Cup Final. Thrasher, who earned her berth by virtue of winning Olympic Gold in Rio, took Bronze at the 2016 World Cup Final in Bologna, Italy.

Ginny Thrasher ISSF World Cup Final Olympic gold medal

ISSF World Cup Final
Competition commenced Sunday and concludes on October 30. The ISSF World Cup Final runs each year at the conclusion of the World Cup season. Athletes earn points through finishes throughout the season, with the eight best athletes in each event earning invitations to this match. Wild card invitations are also granted to title defenders, and in years of the Olympic Games and World Championships, to the three medalists in each event.

Finals will be streamed live on the ISSF website, on the Federation’s Livestream channel, on its official Facebook page and on the Olympic Channel.

ISSF World Cup Finals Schedule (All times USA Eastern Time)

Tuesday, October 24th: Trap Mixed Team at 4:30 am
Wednesday, October 25th: Skeet Women at 5:30 am
Thursday, October 26th: 10m Air Rifle Women at 2:30 am; Skeet Men at 5:30 am
Saturday, October 28th: Trap Women at 5:00 am
Sunday, October 29th: 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Men at 12:45 am

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October 20th, 2017

Tough Brass for Big Ammo — Cheytac Brass from Peterson

Peterson .375 Cartridge Brass Cheytac K02M

Do you have a hankering to shoot Extreme Long Range (ELR)? Then you’ll want a large-caliber cartridge with plenty of boiler room. Some of the most successful ELR cartridges have been based on the CheyTac family, including the .375 CheyTac (9.5×77) and .408 CheyTac (10.36 x 77). Now brass for both these jumbo cartridges is offered by Peterson Catridge. This Peterson Cheytac brass has proven to be tough and long-lived. And it is capable of winning — Derek Rodgers won the 2017 King of 2 Miles (K02M) event shooting a .375 Cheytac with Peterson brass. Here’s a report on how Peterson developed and tested its tough CheyTac cartridge brass.

Developing and Testing CheyTac Brass

Report by Peterson Cartridge Co.
Recently, our president, Derek Peterson, was live-testing our most recent iteration of the .375 CheyTac (aka 9.5 X 77). He started with five casings, and did a full-body resizing after each firing. He got 17 firings out of each before he started to notice the early signs of case head separation. [Editor: Theses were with extremely high pressure loads.] He then took another set of casings and after each firing he just bumped the shoulder back, like a typical reloader would. He got 20 firings out of those casings.

Peterson .375 Cartridge Brass Cheytac K02M
Note: CheyTac® is a registered trademark of CheyTac USA, LLC. Peterson Cartridge has no affiliation.

Low MV Extreme Spread
On the first two shots the muzzle velocities were within 12 feet per second of each other. On the 3rd and 4th shots the muzzle velocities were within 6 feet per second of each other. By the 5th shot the muzzle velocities were within 1 foot per second of each other. Now that is how you can put two bullets in the same hole down range.

No SAAMI Spec for CheyTac Cartridges
As many of you probably already know there is no SAAMI spec on these calibers. So, without a SAAMI spec there is no stated maximum pressure for a service load. However, there IS an international spec on the .408 [promulgated by the] CIP (Commission International Permanente). And the CIP max pressure for this round is extremely high. Our partner in Europe tells us it is probably unnecessarily high. Our partner loads these rounds and they have a standard load for the .375s which is also quite high. So that is the pressure we did our testing at. To even achieve that pressure, we had to use a compressed load. We are explaining all this to say that you [should not use] a load that hot, and therefor you will most likely get more reloads than we did[.]

Peterson Brass Goes Through 11 Dimensional Tests
With all the casings we make in any caliber, we perform a battery of in-process, real-time dimensional checks. [We test] 11 different dimensions continuously throughout each shift. Some of these are tube cylindricity, mouth to body concentricity, primer pocket diameter, length to shoulder, overall length, and more. These measurements are automatically fed into Statistical Process Control software. If a dimension begins to drift from nominal we can catch it immediately and correct it.

Peterson is Fully Committed to CheyTac Brass Production
Peterson Cartridge purchased additional manufacturing equipment designed specifically to produce these large casings. Our capacity is 5-million casings a year. We are committed to there not being a shortage of these calibers ever again.

.375 CheyTac — K02M-Winning, World-Beating Cartridge

Derek Rodgers is the 2017 King of 2 Miles. He is also the only human to ever hit the maximum distance target target at 3368 yards (1.91 miles). His cartridge choice? The .375 CheyTac. Derek ran Cutting Edge Bullets in Peterson brass with Hodgdon H50BMG powder.

Q: Why did you choose the .375 CheyTac cartridge?

Derek: When I was asked to join the Applied Ballistics Team, I needed to get an ELR rifle built in a short period of time. I was under a very tight time schedule to get the project complete. In an effort to eliminate variables, I decided to keep things standard and as simple as possible. I chose the .375 CheyTac for the ease of getting components. The larger rifles are more difficult to get components quickly and I felt like the .375 CheyTac had enough attributes to be competitive at ELR distances.

.375 Cheytac Derek Rodgers KO2M King 2 miles

.375 Cheytac Derek Rodgers KO2M King 2 miles

Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Tech Tip No Comments »
October 20th, 2017

13,000 More Crossman Air Rifles for Army JR0TC Program

crossman challenger pcp air rifle u.s. army jrotc trainer contract

Crosman, the world’s largest airgun manufacturer, has again been awarded the contract to supply Sporter Class air rifles for the U.S. Army JROTC program. The Army will purchase more than 13,000 Crosman Challengers, adding to the more than 4,000 rifles the Army purchased in 2016. The Challenger air rifles will be built at Crosman’s headquarters in Bloomfield, New York.

The Challenger PCP (pre-charged pneumatic) Air Rifle is the preferred .177 sporter class air rifle for competitive marksmanship programs throughout the country, including the Marine Corps JROTC, Army JROTC, Air Force JROTC, Navy JROTC, American Legion, and 4-H. The Challenger is a three-position competition rifle that features a fully adjustable stock, a two-stage, adjustable match grade trigger, a hooded front aperture sight, a micro click, adjustable diopter rear sight, a patented ambidextrous pull bolt, and a floating Lothar Walther™ barrel.

“The Crosman Challenger has long been the preferred air rifle for coaches from a variety of marksmanship programs,” said Jennifer Lambert, VP Marketing & Product Development for Crosman. “We’re proud that the Army JROTC chose to continue our partnership and we can’t wait to see what new championships and records their cadets will achieve.”

In addition to airguns, Crosman sells Lasermax optics and laser aiming devices, and Centerpoint archery products. Crosman is a subsidiary of Compass Diversified Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CODI).

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills No Comments »
October 19th, 2017

Paul Hill Wins European F-Open Championship with 7mm RSAUM

Paul Hill Bisley Europe European F-Class Championship

Shooter Profile by Des Parr, UK
We have a new European F-Open Champion: Paul Hill from the UK. If he looks familiar, it’s because Paul appeared here 12 months ago when he set a new F-Open record score of 100-17X at 900 yards at last year’s European Championships. There are some factors which make Paul’s victory all the more significant. First, he didn’t employ a top gunsmith to do his work — he’s a real working-class here who did it all himself. To keep costs down he taught himself to do all his own machining and bedding. Paul acquired a lathe, learned how to run it, and then carefully did all his own chambering and fitting. He then taught himself how to bed the rifle too. You have to admire a man who teaches himself how to build Championship-winning rifles.

Paul Hill Bisley Europe European F-Class Championship

Another unusual factor is Paul’s choice of components. Paul used the Lapua Scenar 180-grain bullet, the same bullet used to set his 2016 record. The 180gr Scenar is a fairly “old-fashioned” shape, but Paul points them using a “shooting shed” pointing tool. For seating, he uses his own home-made die with a Wilson top. Whatever the Lapuas may lack in BC, they more than compensate for in consistency, and that’s the key to success. As an aside, they compare very favourably in tests on the Juenke ICC machine, indicating that they’re very well made indeed.

7mm RSAUMPaul Hill Equipment List
Paul shot in the F-Open class firing the 7mm RSAUM cartridge, a short magnum. He ran a 30″ Krieger 1:9″-twist barrel mated to a Barnard Model P action bedded in a Joe West laminated stock. His pushed those Lapu8a Scenar with the relatively new Reload Swiss RS70 powder. Paul rates this RS70 propellant very highly. It may be unfamiliar to shooters in the USA, but RS70 is REACH compliant and is likely to become more popular when many other powders are forbidden from the EU next year. Paul is also a big fan of the Russian KVB-7 primer, a very mild and consistent primer — marketed under “Wolf” in the USA.

It is not just about having the right equipment though, it is also all about the application of skills and techniques and Paul was very keen to acknowledge his debt of thanks to Erik Cortina for his reloading techniques and Brian Litz for his writings on range mind set and diet. There is another, until now, secret factor that may have helped Paul. He is an Apiarist (bee-keeper) and he swears by the beneficial effects of his daily honey on toast. Who knows? Perhaps he’s on to something — nothing sells like success, so Paul’s honey sales may take off now just like his shooting career.

Here’s a good video showing F-Class Shooters at Bisley (FieldSports Channel 2015)

2016 Wasn’t So Bad Either
Paul Hill’s 2017 Championship win followed an impressive performance last year. At the 2016 European F-Class Championships at the Bisley Ranges, Paul set a record score at 900 yards: 100-17V! That’s 17 shots placed in a five-inch circle the size of a CD (compact disc) at over half a mile. [NOTE: At Bisley, the maximum score is FIVE points, not ten points. So the maximum score for 20 shots is 100. Also what Americans call an “X” is called a “V” at Bisley.]

Paul Hill Bisley Europe

Record Set with Slower Pair Firing Method
The style of shooting in Great Britain is pair-firing. Under this procedure, each of two competitors shoots alternately, taking turns from shot to shot. Each shooter has 45 seconds to take his shot. Allowing for the target pullers to do their jobs, this means that each shot can take up to one minute. As Paul was pair firing, he had to concentrate for up to 40 minutes to get all 20 shots off! You can imagine how many times the wind changed course in those 40 minutes –pick-ups, let-offs, changes of angle and direction. Paul had to counter each change and still managed to put 17 shots in that 5-inch circle!

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October 17th, 2017

IBS Chooses Boyd Allen as New Executive Vice President

IBS Benchrest Shooters Boyd Allen Executive Vice President VP

The International Benchrest Shooters (IBS) is pleased to announce the hiring of Boyd Allen as its new Executive Vice President/IBS Editor. Boyd will be responsible for guiding the IBS’s marketing and Public Relations efforts. He will handle all articles on IBS’s web partner, Accurateshooter.com, the leading rifle accuracy site on the Internet. He will also coordinate and contribute to preparation of match reports on Accurateshooter.com for IBS National Championships and other featured matches. Boyd will also work with the IBS Executive Board and discipline committees on rulebook and other administrative activities. Boyd Allen can be reached at: boydallen [at] live.com.

A long-time competitive shooter, Boyd has competed in registered benchrest matches near his home in Fresno, CA. He has written for both Precision Shooting magazine and Shooter’s News. Most recently, Boyd has been a regular contributor to Accurateshooter.com and an active Forum member. Boyd will help the IBS reach a broader audience through AccurateShooter.com and social media. He expects to enhance match reports and also do regular articles on benchrest equipment and trends. He will spearhead a proposed 300-yard exhibition match in 2018 that can bring together shooters from multiple precision rifle disciplines. (Editor: We like this idea — this 300-yard showdown could be the ultimate “bragging rights” match with “point-blank” PPC shooters dueling with Dasher pilots and F-Class aces.)

The IBS is a leading organization for group and score benchrest competition, including the 100/200/300 benchrest games, along with 600-yard and 1000-yard benchrest disciplines.

IBS Benchrest Shooters Boyd Allen Executive Vice President VP

IBS Benchrest Shooters Boyd Allen Executive Vice President VP

IBS Benchrest Shooters Boyd Allen Executive Vice President VP

IBS Benchrest Shooters Boyd Allen Executive Vice President VP

IBS Benchrest Shooters Boyd Allen Executive Vice President VP

IBS Benchrest Shooters Boyd Allen Executive Vice President VP

News Tip from Edlongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Competition, News 3 Comments »
October 16th, 2017

PRS for the Very First Time — Gavin Gear Goes Gas Gun

Gavin Gear PRS Precision Rifle Series 22 Nosler AR15

Thinking of trying out the Precision Rifle Series, starting off with a gas gun? Well Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com did just that, competing in his first-ever PRS match up in Washington State. With its timed stages (some just 90 seconds long), Gavin learned that PRS is about speed as well as accuracy. As a PRS newbie, Gavin found the competition fun but challenging. Gavin’s account of his experiences, set forth in two articles with accompanying videos, will help other novice PRS competitors prepare for PRS-type matches and assemble the right equipment.


READ Gavin PRS MATCH REPORT | READ Gavin PRS GEAR REPORT

What PRS is All About
PRS is all about pushing your rifle skills to edge. You may have to hit targets at four different distances in 90 seconds- and dial in your dope between each shot. These kinds of challenges are super-difficult, but with enough experience and practice, it’s amazing what you can do. I saw guys that were so smooth, steady, fast, and accurate, it was mind blowing! It doesn’t come easy, and the guys at the top of the heap are super-dedicated. — Gavin Gear

This video has cool Aerial Drone footage, and in-depth explanation of stages:

Gavin’s First PRS Match: The Experience

By: Ultimate Reloader
Gavin told us that he’s wanted to try out the PRS game: “For a long time I’ve talked with friends about trying out a PRS-style match. Life has been busy, but when the right opportunity came, I decided to give it a try. My friend and shooting partner Jim Findlay offered to help me prepare, and told me it would be ‘fun to shoot gas guns together’. I decided I would shoot an AR-15, and thought that would be an ideal opportunity to try something new — the 22 Nosler. I wasn’t sure exactly what I was getting myself into, but that’s typically the way things happen when you’re really trying something new. It was a great experience, and it taught me a lot about shooting. I also made some great connections and friends during the match. If you are at all interested in PRS (Precision Rifle Series, or just Precision Rifle in general) I would suggest you enter and compete in a match. You most likely won’t regret it.”

READ Full Story of Gavin’s First PRS Match »

Gavin enjoyed his first match: “Overall, the match was more fun and more laid back than I thought it would be. The guys in our squad were all really helpful, and even loaned me gear to try out when they noticed my gear wasn’t right for a particular shooting activity. One such case was when Ken Gustafson (of KYL Gear) offered to loan me one of the bags he had made. Below you can see me shooting off the infamous unstable tippy tank trap with a KYL Gear bag, and I’ll have to say [the bag] was amazing. It helped me lock down my rifle and get on target. What a great feeling!”

Gavin did experience issues with his “stout” 22 Nosler loads: “I did run into some trouble — I had loaded my 22 Nosler rounds to max charge weight with Varget powder and experienced some failure-to-feed issues during the match. Initially I thought my bolt needed more lubrication, but [it was] between 96 – 100°F during the hottest part of the Match day.” With the ultra-high ambient temperatures, Gavin experienced over-pressure. Word to the wise — “Test everything you plan to use on match day, and take into account things like weather conditions as well”.

Gear Choices and Selection

Ultimate Reloader ultimatereloader.com PRS Gavin Gear match report 22 Nosler AR-15

Gavin tells us: “In order to be successful in a PRS match, you need a rifle that is accurate enough, extremely reliable, has great ergonomics, handles well, and fits your budget.”

READ Full PRS Gear Article on UltimateReloader.com »

22 Nosler AR-15 rifle used by Gavin in the PRS match
18″ 1:8-twist 22 Nosler Upper
Two Stage Match Trigger – .154″ Hi-Speed DMR (GEISSELE AUTOMATICS)
Hogue AR-15 rubber grip
Magpul PRS stock
Harris S-BRM 6-9″ bipod
Vortex Viper HS-T 6-24x50mm scope

Action Type — Bolt vs. Semi: While most PRS competitors use bolt-action rifles, there are classes of competition that specifically call for semi-automatic actions to be used. Even so, in Open Class where you can pick which action type you’d like to use, there’s a split between the two for various reasons. I used an AR-15 in my first match, and for comparison, I think I’ll use a bolt-action rifle in my next match!

Support — Bipods and Bags: I think the first thing I said when trying to shoot from a barricade was: ‘You have to be kidding’. For someone used to prone shots from a bipod (when shooting long-range) this new challenge seemed impossible. My reticle was literally all over the place trying to shoot a target at 400 yards. But over time things improved drastically! Part of this improvement came from practice and technique, and part came from using the right support systems, such as the Game Changer Bag from Armaggedon Gear:

Ultimate Reloader ultimatereloader.com PRS Gavin Gear match report 22 Nosler AR-15
Photo Courtesy Accurate Ordnance.

All the Gear Items You Need — Bags, Bipods, Optics and More
UltimateReloader.com’s PRS Gear Summary covers Rifle Choice (gas gun vs. bolt-action), chambering options, optics, support systems (bipods and bags), dope cards, accessories and much more. Both novice and experienced PRS competitors will find this article well worth reading.

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October 15th, 2017

Sight Picture Options for Iron Sights

Iron sights picture metallic sights USAMU

In an article for the CMP Online Magazine, SSG Tobie Tomlinson of the USAMU Service Rifle Team explains the various sight alignments employed by iron sights shooters. Tobie writes: “There are a myriad of sight picture options that shooters have used to great effect over the years. The sight picture that allows you to consistently shoot the smallest group, with a minimal shift in zeros, is the correct one. Remember, for any shooter to be successful, consistent sight picture must be complemented by front sight focus and sight alignment.” CLICK HERE to read FULL ARTICLE

Center Hold
The front sight is placed directly in the center of the target. A center hold is great in different light conditions. On a bright day the target appears small. On a dark day the target appears large. In [any] light conditions the center of the target is always in the center. A shooter who has problems with elevation shots in various light conditions may benefit from a center hold.

6 O’Clock Hold
With the 6 O’Clock hold the front sight is placed at the bottom of the aiming black. For many shooters, this hold allows precision placement of the front sight. The ability to accurately call your shots will come with time and experience. Light changes, which alter the appearance of the target, may affect shooters who utilize the 6 O’Clock hold.

Sub 6 Hold
The sub 6 is just like the 6 O’Clock hold, only there is a small line of white between the front sight and the aiming black. Many shooters have a problem determining the exact 6 O’Clock position with their front sight, but by using a sub 6 or line of white they may be able to better estimate their hold.

Frame Hold
With the frame hold, just like with the other holds, the front sight is in the center of the rear sight. The front sight can then be placed at the 6 or 12 O’Clock position on the frame when there is no visible aiming point. This hold is typically reserved for foul weather and poor light conditions. By placing the front sight at the top or bottom of the frame, a shooter may hold better when there is little target to see. It can be difficult to hold a tight group this way, but it may add more hits in bad conditions. This technique is normally applied when shooting longer ranges such 600 or 1000 yards.

CLICK HERE for more articles from The FIRST SHOT, CMP Online Magazine.

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October 14th, 2017

Modern Precision Rifle — New from Christensen Arms

Chistensen Arms Modern Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor .308 Winchester Win Tactical Folding stock PRS gun

Christensen Arms just unveiled a new rifle for PRS competitions and tactical applications. Christensen’s innovative Modern Precision Rifle features an all-new, proprietary chassis system and weighs less than seven pounds (for the 16″-bbl .308 Win version). The Modern Precision Rifle sports high-tech features, such as carbon fiber handguards/fore-end and cheek-piece, and black nitride-coated bolt, receiver, and muzzle brake. The rifle comes complete with a +20 MOA scope rail and a true folding stock with magnetic closure. The Christensen MPR carries a $2295.00 MSRP. That’s a grand more than a Ruger Precision Rifle, but the Christensen MPR’s action runs smoother and the gun is much, much lighter. The fore-end also feel better in the hand and the Christensen Arms rifle balances better than the Ruger.

Chistensen Arms Modern Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor .308 Winchester Win Tactical Folding stock PRS gun

The Christensen MPR is made from top-quality materials throughout. The chassis is machined from 7075 billet aluminum and features V-block bedding to promote superior accuracy. Other features include an adjustable folding stock with a locking hinge mechanism, and oversized, fluted bolt knob. The Modern Precision Rifle is built with a carbon fiber-wrapped barrel, free-floating handguard, and adjustable comb. The rifle is guaranteed to shoot sub-MOA.

Chistensen Arms Modern Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor .308 Winchester Win Tactical Folding stock PRS gun

Initial chamberings include 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Winchester in a variety of barrel lengths. Additional calibers, including long-action offerings, are expected in 2018. The Modern Precision Rifle will hit dealers’ shelves within the next 6-8 weeks with an MSRP of $2295.00.

Carbon Components Keep Weight Down
Chistensen Arms Modern Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor .308 Winchester Win Tactical Folding stock PRS gun

Visit the Christensen Arms website for full specifications, technical drawings, and more photos.

Chistensen Arms Modern Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor .308 Winchester Win Tactical Folding stock PRS gun

Chistensen Arms Modern Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor .308 Winchester Win Tactical Folding stock PRS gun

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October 14th, 2017

National High Power Championships in Shooting Sports USA

John Whidden Long Range Championship Shooting Sports USA Anette Wachter

We were pleased to see our friend John Whidden featured in the October 2017 issue of Shooting Sports USA. John captured the 2017 NRA Long Range Championship this summer, his second LR title in a row, and fifth overall. This year was a bit different, as the competition was held in Indiana at Camp Atterbury. All John’s previous Long Range HP titles were earned at Camp Perry.

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.

SSUSA’s Editor John Parker writes: “On another note, this month’s cover feature highlights the very first NRA High Power Rifle Championships conducted at the match’s new home—Indiana’s Camp Atterbury. Located about 50 miles south of Indianapolis, this active Indiana National Guard base boasts over 60 ranges, making it the ideal new venue to continue the legacy of NRA High Power. Hundreds of competitors made the trek to continue the historic tradition of rifle competition at the National Matches.”

CLICK HERE to Read Full October 2017 Issue of Shooting Sports USA

John Whidden Long Range Championship Shooting Sports USA Anette Wachter
Another friend, Anette Wachter, is featured in this issue as well. That’s the 30CalGal herself in the upper right after winning the Andrus Trophy Match.

Sling Rifle Evolved: The Ultra-Accurate Hybrid Palma Rifle

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

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.

Championship-Winning Rifle — Aluminum Smallbore Stock, Centerfire Barnard Action
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

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.

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October 12th, 2017

Getting Started in Precision Rifle Matches (Practical/Tactical)

65 Guys Ed Mobley Steve Lawrence PRS Precision Rifle Series Competition Tips

Our friends, Ed Mobley and Steve Lawrence, aka the “6.5 Guys”, have written an excellent article on getting started in practical/tactical competition. If you are new to the game, these tips can help you save money, progress faster, and have more fun. Here are article highlights, but we recommend you read the full story, 5 Tips for Attending Your First Precision Rifle Match, on www.65guys.com.

We often meet people who are new to long range precision shooting, and want to improve their knowledge and skill level. However, they aren’t sure if they are ready to sign up to compete in a match. They often ask, “What knowledge or skills are necessary to compete in a match?” Others may state, “I need to purchase this gear or that gear before I can attend a match”. For those guys who have a strong interest in precision rifle shooting, and who wish to chec out a precision rifle match, below are Five Tips to make it a positive experience.

TIP ONE: Make Plans and Commit to Go

First you need to start by finding a match to attend. This may entail a little bit of research and investigative work on your part to find what matches are scheduled in the next few months. We recommend starting with any match that may be within a reasonable driving distance. This may likely be a local “club” match, many of which are held on a regular basis. These make great venues because it will provide an opportunity to meet some of the regular attendees as well as shooters that are from your geographic area. Additionally, most of the smaller matches are a little more relaxed in terms of level of competitiveness.

Once you decide on the match you want to attend, do your homework. This means finding out if you need to pre-register or pre-pay the match fee. Commit to going by registering for the match and putting it on your schedule. Be sure to find other useful information for questions such as:

— What time should I arrive?
— Is there a mandatory safety briefing for new shooters at that venue?
— What is the travel time required to get to the match site?
— How many stages will there be?
— Is there a description of the stages available before the match?
— How many rounds should you bring?
— Are there special equipment requirements? (E.g. do you need chamber flags, is there a pistol stage?)

65 Guys Ed Mobley Steve Lawrence PRS Precision Rifle Series Competition Tips

TIP TWO: Bring What You Have

(Don’t Spend a Fortune at the Start)
Some new shooters often assume they need a custom match rifle or all of the miscellaneous shooting gear associated with long range precision shooting to compete in match. While having a Kestrel weather meter and a high quality laser range finder and other shooting accoutrements are invaluable kit, you will find other shooters at your first match that will provide you with the information and coaching you need to get on target.

In fact, the only gear you really need to bring is a scoped rifle with a bipod and ammo capable of consistently shooting within one MOA. Also, be sure to know the ballistic drops or have a ballistic drop table prepared for your rifle/ammo to dial the correct DOPE on your scope for different target ranges. Many of the other participants at the match will be willing to let you borrow a support bag, bipod, tripod or other gear if you need one — just ask. Don’t use the excuse of not having the right gear to delay getting out to a match!

One reason not to make a big initial investment in a new rifle and assorted gear before competing, is we’ve seen a number of people come into the sport and try it for a year and then make the decision to move on to something else.

TIP THREE: Be Prepared to Learn

As a new shooter at a match, there is no better opportunity to learn. We often look to our local club matches as a group ‘training’ session to prepare for the bigger matches. You will find competitors at all levels of skill and many of your fellow shooters will enthusiastically provide helpful advice once they learn you are new to the sport. Take advantage of the opportunity to ask questions if you would like ideas for how to engage a stage, but also be sure to do more listening than talking as you receive guidance and tips from more experienced competitors.

Watch and observe other shooters and how they approach and ‘game’ a specific stage or course of fire. You’ll begin to recognize which shooting positions work best for different scenarios, and maybe even come up with some new ones that no one has thought of before.

Seeing what the better shooters do is an invaluable instructional tool. You can use your smart phone’s video camera to record other shooters (with their permission). When you’re ready to shoot, ask another shooter to record your performance. Watching yourself will point out needed areas of improvement.

65 Guys Ed Mobley Steve Lawrence PRS Precision Rifle Series Competition Tips

After each match conduct an informal after action review and summarize for yourself the things that went well and what you should continue to do. You should also identify the specific shooting skills you should develop and make a plan to integrate the appropriate practice drills into your practice sessions. Finally, if you maintain a shooter’s data book or journal you’ll want to note things such as:

After Action Review – How you did, what went well, things you need to work on in practice.
Stage Observations – Successful methods used for specific courses of fire. Note barricades, positions used, specific gear used for stages.
Gear Observations – How your rifle/gear performed, what new items you should add to your “buy list”.

TIP FOUR: Be Safe and Have Fun

You’ve all heard a parent or teacher say, “It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye.” The same can be said of the shooting sports. Safe handling of firearms is the number one rule at any match, and comes before the FUN part in terms of importance.

Before all matches start there will always be some form of a mandatory safety briefing. Make sure you know, understand, and follow any unique safety protocols for the match you attend. Some matches require all rifles have chamber flags inserted and are stowed in bags/cases while not on the firing line — other matches may not. If you run afoul of any safety rules, you risk the chance of being disqualified from a stage or worse, the entire match.

65 Guys Ed Mobley Steve Lawrence PRS Precision Rifle Series Competition Tips

The second rule is simply have fun. This starts with having a good attitude throughout the day. Keep in mind that as a new competitor you should think of a match as a solid day of practice and training. If you blow a stage, use it as an opportunity to diagnose what you could have done differently or what you need to improve on — then smile and drive on.

Any day at the range or shooting is a good day. A match is an opportunity to hang out with like-minded people who are passionate about shooting and impacting targets far-far away. Life is great when you are doing what you enjoy!

TIP FIVE: Make Friends

There is no better way to meet lots of precision rifle shooters and make friends than at a match. The people that attend the tactical precision matches on a regular basis are those that have ‘fallen into the deep end of the pool’ and are really into the sport. As a result, they have become part of the local precision shooting community. As you strike up conversations at the match, find out if your new-found friends visit specific forum boards or social media outlets, or if there are other matches they attend.

Precision shooters tend to congregate and share information in different corners of the Internet. It will serve you well to meet some of the guys in person at matches and be able to connect a face to a screen name. As you develop your friendships and develop a level of trust, you will find opportunities become available to shoot with others in your local area, or get ‘read-in’ on a secret honey-hole of a spot to shoot long distance. Additionally, the local shooting community will often find it more convenient to sell or trade gear and equipment locally than deal with buyers/sellers that are out of state.

>> CLICK HERE to READ FULL ARTICLE on 65Guys.com

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October 11th, 2017

The Transformer — Anschutz Stock Adapted for F-Open Rifle

Anschutz 1411 stock gunsmithing project wood work palma rifle f-class F-Open stocking

Here is an interesting project by one of our Forum members. Martin C. (aka “Killick”) modified an Anschutz 1411 Match 54 rimfire prone stock to become a comfortable, great-tracking F-Class Open Division Stock. No Killick didn’t sacrifice a perfectly good rimfire rifle for this project — he bought the Anschutz stock by itself on eBay, then transformed it…

Killick explains: “This project started about seven years ago. I bought the Anschutz prone stock on eBay and whittled it a bit into a Palma rifle with a Barnard action and block and a Doan Trevor cheek piece and scope rail. Then about two years ago I decided to re-task the stock/action assembly into an F-Open rig. With more whittling, gluing, sanding, body fillering, sanding, filling, sanding, more sanding…and sanding, forming, priming, sanding, painting, waiting, painting, painting…painting and before you know it, Bob’s your uncle.”

Here is the eBay-sourced Anschutz 1411 stock, with new high-gloss blue finish, as initially modified for use in Killick’s centerfire Palma rifle. Looks nice!

Anschutz 1411 stock gunsmithing project wood work palma rifle f-class F-Open stocking

Next step was the addition of a 3″-wide wood fore-end for F-Open duties with front rest:

Anschutz 1411 stock gunsmithing project wood work palma rifle f-class F-Open stocking

Anschutz 1411 stock gunsmithing project wood work palma rifle f-class F-Open stocking

Almost done here… just needs priming and final painting:

Anschutz 1411 stock gunsmithing project wood work palma rifle f-class F-Open stocking

Here is Killick’s completed F-Open rifle with its much-modified Anschutz stock now finished in fire-engine red lacquer. This image shows the detail of the grip and customized cheekpiece.

Anschutz 1411 stock gunsmithing project wood work palma rifle f-class F-Open stocking

To learn more, visit Killick’s Anschutz Stock F-Class Project Thread on our Shooters’ Forum.

Permalink Competition, Gunsmithing 1 Comment »
October 9th, 2017

Mental Marksmanship — Visualize Success for Better Scores


In this video, Anette Wachter (the 30CalGal) offers tips for shooting from bipod.

Anette Wachter Mental Game VisualizationOur friend Anette Wachter, aka “30CalGal”, stars in a smart video from NRAWomen.TV. In this episode of Tips & Tactics, Anette talks about the “mental game” in competition. Specifically she explains how to “visualize success”:

I have found that a lot of my success in competition has come through what I call a ‘mental rehearsal’. I actually visualize every stage of the match and I visualize the success of the match and winning the match.

I actually visualize that round going downrange into the target, and the target coming up with a dead-center ‘X’. I visualize this over and over. If you visualize success you will achieve success.

Visualization is a process of mental preparation that is done before you get to the range. Many of the greatest shooting champions have used this technique to get ready for big matches, and to optimize their performance during record fire. If you want to enhance your “mental game” through pre-match visualization, we strongly recommend Lanny Bassham’s book, With Winning in Mind.

As a competitive smallbore 3P shooter, Bassham developed a mental management system. Using this system, Lanny Bassham won 22 world individual and team titles, set four world records, and captured an Olympic Gold Medal in Montreal in 1976. His techniques have been embraced by professional and Olympic athletes in many sports. With Winning in Mind covers a complete system of “mental management” techniques used by Olympians and elite champions.


About 30CalGal
Life is short. Go Shoot! — Anette Wachter
Along with being a talented competitive shooter, Anette has her own Gun Blog, 30CalGal.com, and she writes for several gun publications including GunUp Magazine, Shooting Sports USA, Sure Shots Magazine, and Wide Open Spaces. She also designs and crafts custom jewelry items, sold through her AW Collections webstore.

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October 8th, 2017

F-TR Glamour Gun — Canadian Carbon-Wrapped Stunner

Star Shooter F-TR Carbon Stock Rifle Bipod
Click Image for Large-Screen Version

Here is some serious Sunday “gun glamour” from the folks at Star Shooter Precision, a bipod-builder and stock-maker based in Montreal, Canada. This stunning .308 Win F-TR rifle features a carbon-wrapped Star Shooter stock, angle-adjustable tubular bag-rider, star-shaped escutcheons, and a Kelbly Panda action. Up front is Star Shooter’s signature lightweight bipod.

Click Each Image for Large, Full-Screen Version

Star Shooter F-TR Carbon Stock Rifle Bipod

Star Shooter F-TR Carbon Stock Rifle Bipod

Star Shooter F-TR Carbon Stock Rifle Bipod

Star Shooter F-TR Carbon Stock Rifle Bipod


Star Shooter Montreal Canada Quebec BipodAbout the Rifle Builders
Star Shooter Precision is a company located on the south shore of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Fred Harvey is the designer. Fred says: “Our goal is to perfect the art of competition shooting the best we can with our custom bipods. The Star Shooter bipod is designed for shooters in F-Class competition, varmint hunting, load testing, tactical shooting and sighting in rifles.”

Star Shooter Montreal Canada Quebec Bipod

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October 7th, 2017

F-Open Nat’l Champ Talks Wind Reading and Cartridge Choice

Lodi Wisconsin F-Class National Championship Ian Klemm Robert Mead Jay Christopherson F-TR F-Open Borden Brux
“A big congratulations to Bob Mead (1582-68X), who utterly destroyed the competition in tricky wind conditions to take the Gold.” — Jay Christopherson, 2017 F-Open Nationals Second Place.

In this 15-minute video, Team Lapua’s Erik Cortina interviews Robert Mead, the 2017 LR F-Open Champion. Robert (Bob) discusses his wind reading techniques with Erik, and the newly-crowned F-Open Champ explains how to set up a reliable wind zero. Bob also discusses cartridge choices in F-Open. He admits the straight .284 may be the tightest grouping 7mm cartridge, but he has used the 7mm RSAUM for a decade now. He believes the RSAUM may the best cartridge for 1,000 yards in 7mm, all things considered (grouping ability, ballistics): “To me it’s a light magnum, it’s capable of high speed, yet burns less powder than your regular magnums. [But] it’s a finicky cartridge — you’ve got to do a fair amount of load development.”

Every serious F-Class competitor should watch this video start to finish:

Credit Erik Cortina for video and the photo of Robert Mead with trophy above.

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October 6th, 2017

Mad Minute Marksmanship — The One-Minute Lee-Enfield Drill

Lee Enfield Mad Minute one-minute rifle drill British Army Gary Eliseo Dennis Santiago
British Lee-Enfield Model SHT’22/IV Rifle, courtesy www.iCollector.com.

Our friend Dennis Santiago was a technical advisor for History Channel’s Top SHOT TV show. One of the notable Top Shot episodes involved the “Mad Minute”, a marksmanship drill practiced by the British Army in the decades preceding World War I. Dennis observed that the Top Shot competitors didn’t fare too well in their “Mad Minute” attempts, not scoring many hits in the alloted one-minute time period. That prompted Dennis to give it a try himself — seeing how many hits he could score in one minute with an authentic Lee-Enfield rifle. So, a while back, Dennis ran the drill at a range in California.

Dennis, an active high power rifle competitor and instructor, enjoyed his “Mad Minute” exercise, though he assures us that this takes practice to perfect. Dennis tells us: “Here is a ‘Mad Minute’ drill, done using a period correct Lee-Enfield (SMLE) No.1 Mk III rifle and Mk VII ammo. I got to the Queen’s Regulations (15 hits in one minute) on the second run and put a good group on the target at 200 yards. This is ‘jolly good fun’ to do every once in a while. This is ‘living history’ — experiencing a skill from a time when the sun never set on the British Empire.”

Dennis Does the Mad Minute

Lee Enfield Mad Minute Mark IV
British Lee-Enfield Model SHT’22/IV Rifle, courtesy www.iCollector.com.

Lee Enfield Mad Minute Mark IVLee-Enfield No. 4 Rifle (1943), courtesy Arundel Militaria.

“Mad Minute” was a pre-World War I term used by British Army riflemen during training at the Hythe School of Musketry to describe scoring a minimum of 15 hits onto a 12″ round target at 300 yards within one minute using a bolt-action rifle (usually a Lee-Enfield or Lee-Metford rifle). It was not uncommon during the First World War for riflemen to greatly exceed this score. The record, set in 1914 by Sergeant Instructor Alfred Snoxall, was 38 hits. (From WikiPedia.)

Want to See More “Mad Minute” Action with a Modern Tubegun?
In 2012, Gary Eliseo ran a “Mad Minute” exercise using a modern, .308 Win Eliseo RTM Tubegun of his own making. Gary ended up with 24 hits on a bull target set at 300 yards. (Gary actually had 25 hits in 25 rounds fired, but the last round hit just after the 60-second time period expired.) Note how Gary pulls the trigger with the middle finger of his right hand. This allows him to work the bolt faster, using his thumb and index finger. CLICK HERE for Eliseo Tubegun Mad Minute story.

Watch Gary Elesio Shoot the ‘Mad Minute’ (Starts at 4:47 on Video)

NOTE: In an interesting coincidence, Dennis Santiago was actually in the pits pulling targets for Gary during Eliseo’s 2012 “Mad Minute” exercise.

History of the Mad Minute
Commentary by Laurie Holland
The original military requirement of the “Mad Minute” saw the soldier ready to fire with a round in the chamber, nine in the magazine, safety on. This course of fire is still followed by the GB Historic Breechloading Arms Association and other bodies in their recreated “Mad Minute” competitions.

The first 10 would go quickly, but reloads were critical, this not done by a magazine change as Gary did with the RTM or in a modern tactical or semi-auto rifle, but through slick use of ‘chargers’. It is this aspect which fouls so many of my colleagues up as it is very easy to cause a jam and a large part of 60 seconds can go in sorting it out!

Charger clips were selected for those that just held the rounds firmly enough to stop then falling out, were sand-papered and polished with a stove / fireplace polish called ‘Zebrite’ so that the rimmed rounds would slip through the clips like corn through a goose.

lee enfield 1916 rifle

If you’re unfamiliar with the cock-on-closing Enfield action, it seems clumsy. With intensive practice it is very smooth and can be operated incredibly quickly. The trick is to whip the bolt back onto its stop and initiate a rebound movement that takes it and the cartridge well into the chamber thereby reducing the effort required to close the bolt and chamber the round.

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills, Tactical 2 Comments »
October 4th, 2017

IBS Match Report: 2017 1000-Yard Nationals in West Virginia

IBS 1000-yard Nationals White Horse West Virginia

2017 IBS 1000-Yard Benchrest Nationals
Report By Boyd Allen
On September 1-4, the IBS held its 2017 1000-yard Benchrest Nationals at the Whitehorse Shooting Center in Peeltree, West Virginia. There was a great turn-out this year, with 118 entries in Light Gun Class (17-lb limit, 5 shots per target) class and 107 shooters in Heavy Gun Class (Unlimited weight, 10 shots per target). The conditions this year were challenging to say the least, with rain storms, spiraling winds, and fog. In fact, rain and fog on Saturday (with cancelled relays) caused the Nationals to be extended by one day through Monday, September 4th. What’s more, of the 107 shooters listed in the Two-Gun Overall results who actually shot both guns, there were dozens of DQs. (Yes, the wind was a bit tricky at this year’s Nationals.)

IBS 1000-yard Nationals White Horse West Virginia
Sam Hall, past IBS Shooter of the Year, provided this image and most of the photos in this report.

Congratulations to the “top guns” at the Nationals: Edward Kenzakoski (Two-Gun Overall Champion), Mike Gaizauskas (Light Gun Overall, plus LG Score Agg), and Mike Brennan (Heavy Gun Overall, plus HG Score Agg). Group Agg winners were Richard Schatz for LG, and Charlie Lentz for Heavy. Two ladies also deserve mention. Sally Bauer shot the smallest group of the match, a 1.923″ 5-shot group in LG — that’s 0.184 MOA! Ruth Edwards drilled a 2.104″, also mighty impressive. Nice shootin’ ladies…


CLICK HERE for Complete 1000-Yard Nationals RESULTS »

Top Shooters — Overall, Light Gun, and Heavy Gun:
IBS 1000-yard Nationals White Horse West Virginia
CLICK HERE for Larger Chart

White Horse Wind and Weather Factors — and Topography
The firing line for the 1000-yard range has a covered structure with 14 well-spaced masonry benches with block bases and cast concrete tops. Facing southwest, the firing line is above the land between it and the target butts, which are at the head of a canyon. There is a low area with trees on the left with an elevated flat area on the right.

IBS 1000-yard Nationals White Horse West Virginia

This topography create unpredictable wind patterns that can change rapidly with no warning. Those changes can wreak havoc with competitors’ groups and scores. The wind direction at the targets can be opposite that at the firing line, with the result that a let-off down range not only carries the penalty of making a hold-off incorrect, but because the wind at the firing line can continue, adding the additional penalty of a reversal. This was the common cause of disqualifications, which were numerous at this year’s Nationals.

Light Gun and Heavy Gun Equipment Lists (Partial Sample):
IBS 1000-yard Nationals White Horse West Virginia

Barrel-Block Heavy Gun with a handsome wood stock. Wide fore-ends enhance stability.
IBS 1000-yard Nationals White Horse West Virginia

Delay Caused by Fog and Rain
On Saturday, rain and fog delays, caused the match to be extended through Monday. The rules dictate that if a full match cannot be finished because of weather, then all of the day’s results are discarded. This meant that even those shooters who completed their relays on Saturday had to shoot them over — hence another day was added to the event. Because of the prospect of worsening conditions on Saturday afternoon, even though there was daylight left, the decision was made to extend the match through Monday.

Profile of 2017 IBS 1000-Yard National Champion Edward Kenzakoski

Commenting on his performance at the Nationals, Ed said modestly:
“I didn’t shoot really good. I just shot better than them other guys.”

IBS 1000-yard Nationals White Horse West Virginia

Winning Hardware (with a 110-lb Heavy Gun)
Notably, Ed does all of his own gunsmithing, and he built his Championship-winning rifles. Both guns featured 1:11″-twist, 30″ Krieger barrels. (LG: 1.250″ shank and .950 muzzle; HG: 2″ contour untapered). Ed’s Light Gun has a BAT action, no barrel block, Jewell trigger, and McMillan Tooley MBR stock. His Heavy Gun boasts a 10″-long BAT action in a two-piece aluminum stock with barrel block. That HG beast weighs 110 pounds! Both of Ed’s rifles (light and heavy) wore Nightforce 12-42x56mm BR scopes.

Winning Numbers
To win the Two Gun Overall, Ed posted 137 LG Score, 262 HG Score, and 399 Two-Gun Score Agg. His Group numbers were: LG Group 5.659, HG Group 7.483, Two-Gun Agg: 6.571.

Winning Loads and Reloading Methods
Both rifles are chambered in 300 WSM. Ed shoots 210gr Berger VLDs (sorted every way possible), with Norma brass, Hodgdon H4350 powder, and CCI BR2 primers. For the two guns he used very different seating depths — barely touching for the HG, 0.100″ jump for the LG. He said that it takes him a full four days to load the ammunition for both rifles for a match. Yes, he weighs primers, and he even passes his bullets through a .309 bushing.

No Dark Horse at White Horse — Kenzakoski is a Proven Winner
One shouldn’t be surprised at Edward Kenzakoski’s success. Ed really cleaned up at Williamsport this year, winning one 6-match Aggregate and two 10-match score and group Aggregates. He also established a new Williamsport club Light Gun record of 3.2″.

Last year’s winner Tom Mousel sitting at the bench on Sunday. Tom finished third overall this year.
IBS 1000-yard Nationals White Horse West Virginia

IBS 1000-yard Nationals White Horse West Virginia

Record-Setting Asymmetry
In 2016 Michael Gaizauskas set the current 1000-yard IBS Heavy Gun (10 shot) group and score records. He set those records with the rifle on the left (below), then chambered in 6.5×47 Lapua. In this match, Mike won LG Group and LG Overall with the rifle on the right as chambered in his own 7mm short magnum wildcat. Mike designed and built both these distinctive assymetric stocks.

IBS 1000-yard Nationals White Horse West Virginia

Prizes and Gift Certificates Galore at White Horse
The prize table at the IBS 1000-yard Nationals was impressive, with many scopes and stocks as prizes, plus a treasure trove of gift certificates:

IBS 1000-yard Nationals White Horse West Virginia

White Horse Shooting Center Facilities, Organization, and Location
The 1000-yard range used at the IBS 2017 Nationals is part of a large shooting facility run by Whitehorse Firearms Outdoor Education Center in cooperation with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. White Horse is located off of Route 20 near the small community of Peeltree, WV. The nearest town of any size, ten miles to the south, is Buckhannon, WV, which has about 5600 residents.

IBS 1000-yard Nationals White Horse West Virginia

White Horse Geography and Climate
The White Horse range is set in wooded hill country, with lots of creeks and some smaller rivers all kept green and running by an annual rainfall of about 48 inches and about the same for snowfall. To my eyes it is beautiful county, pleasingly rural and lush, in marked contrast to where I live where every plant must be served by some sort of irrigation.

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October 3rd, 2017

Young Gun — Hunter the Talented 7-Year-Old Trigger Puller

Boy junior Pennsylvania rifle shooting father son Dasher
Hunter always wears proper ear protection. Here he got behind an empty rifle on closed range.

Here is a great “feel-good” family story from Forum Member Jonathan T. (aka “sniperjwt”). Father Jonathan explains how he introduced his son Hunter to precision shooting, at the ripe young age of six. Hunter took to shooting like a fish to water. Now seven years old, Hunter is shooting half-MOA (or better) and hitting steel at 800 yards with ease. What’s more he even finished second in a St. Thomas, Pennsylvania Ground-Hog match — beating nearly all the ground-ups (including his Dad) in the process.

You’ve got to watch this video — It’s priceless. This kid has talent.

Like Father, Like Son — Teaching My Boy How to Shoot

by Jonathan T.
“Focus on your trigger… squeeze it easy”. If I’ve said it once I’ve said it 1000 times. Not because he isn’t listening, but just so he knows how important it is.

Last year, at the age of six, Hunter started showing a lot of interest in going with me to the local shooting range. Of course I was happy to let him tag along and see what it was all about. Most fathers hope that their son will pick up the same interest so they can share something that they both enjoy. Teaching a kid to shoot can be very difficult, but also very rewarding.

The first couple of times I just let him watch and I would go over the safety aspects of shooting and things to watch out for. After several range sessions he was no longer content with just watching and wanted to get in on the action. My first concern was recoil. He was not a big 6-year-old and I did not want to get him flinching because we all know how hard that is to overcome. I started him with a .223 Rem with reduced loads. I haven’t been concerned with where he hits on the target. In fact I often wait until he is done shooting to even look at the target. My focus is on making sure his mechanics are right and his trigger control is what it should be. But as you can see, he learned fast…

Hunter’s first really good group, shot at age 6. This is six shots at 100 yards with a Savage .223 Rem.
Hunter son kid boy shooter 6-year-old

After a couple range sessions, he wanted to shoot in one of the local groundhog matches I attend. I told him we would practice some more and if I thought he was ready we would go to the last match of the year in 2016. I ended up letting him shoot in that match, but he struggled a bit as it is a timed event. Overall he was happy with how he did and I was happy he enjoyed himself. Over the winter we continued to practice and he continued to improve each time we went out. In March he turned seven years old, but he is still a little guy weighing only 42 pounds. When this year’s 2017 matches started, he was very excited that I had told him he could go to all of them when he didn’t have baseball games. The first several matches he still struggled a little but he was getting better each time.

Seeing how well Hunter shoots, one Forum member joked: “I’m gonna try Hunters under-the-armpit position. If it works for him….”
Hunter son kid boy shooter 6-year-old

Half way through the summer when we were at a match at Shippensburg Fish & Game, Hunter had an “AH-HA” moment. He was shooting at 320 yards and his first two sighters were good so I had him move over to the score side of the target. The first two shots were in the 9 Ring, but he jerked his third shot and it went over into the sighter side of the target. He did not know where it went and I just told him to get another one and shoot again. After he got his target back he looked at me and said “someone shot my target”. I asked him why he said that and he pointed to a bullet hole and said someone shot it right here. I explained to him that on his third shot where he jerked the trigger that is where it ended up. He looked at me and then the target and it was as if a light-bulb went off. Bingo — he finally understood why I kept telling him to focus on the trigger and squeeze it easy.

Hunter son kid boy shooter 6-year-old

After the match I let him shoot at 540 yards with the gun we mostly use in matches — a Savage Model 12 F-Class .223 Rem with a Sightron 10-50x60mm scope. Our “go to” load is Varget in Lapua brass with Berger 73gr bullet. He hit the plate just high of middle on the first shot and then commenced to put 12 shots within about a 4″ circle on the plate. After about shot 8 or 9 he asked if he could shoot at something else because he couldn’t even tell where he was hitting as the plate was splattered with hits.

Hunter Hammers Steel at 800 Yards
About a month later we were at the same range after a match and he wanted to shoot some more so I let him try his hand at 800 yards. At that distance there is a large 4’x4’ plate and he thought he was going to shoot at it but I told him I wanted him to shoot at a smaller 8″x11″ plate instead. I dialed in the elevation and told Hunter to get comfortable and “send it when he was ready”. He thought his first shot missed because he did not hear it immediately (as he would at shorter ranges). I told him that he did hit the target and to load another one. The next three were all hits.

Hunter son kid boy shooter 6-year-old

On his fifth shot I had him hold just off the left edge because a wind flag suggested it would be blown to the right. But that was not the case, so shot five was a miss. We corrected the hold and he put the last four rounds on the plate. Hunter made 8 hits out of 9 shots on a 8″x11″ target at 800 yards! Not bad for a 7-year-old with a .223 Rem. Oh, and yes, the one miss was my bad wind call.

Hunter Beats the Big Boys at St. Thomas Ground Hog Shoot
The Groundhog match at St. Thomas is one of our favorite matches. Well, at this September match, Hunter would turn some heads for sure. At 100 yards he shot a perfect 100 with three Xs. I told him after he shot the 100-yard relay that his trigger control was not real good and if he wanted to do good at 200 and 300 that he would have to do better. At 200 yards there was a night-and-day difference in his trigger control. It was as close to perfect as I have seen him do. He ended up with a 48-1X at 200. At this time we both had 98 scores but he had 4X and I had 5X. I was joking around with him before the 300-yard relay and he even had me text my wife and tell her we were tied.

Hunter son kid boy shooter 6-year-old

After I scored 44 in my 300-yard relay I told him, “Buddy, if you get a 45 or better you will beat me” his response was, “OK Dad, I’ll do that”. After some sighters, his first shot was a 10. I again told him that the trigger control was perfect and to do four more just like that. Hunter’s second shot was a 10. Now I got excited. His third shot was low and right in the 9 ring. Fourth shot was high and left in the 9 ring. Now I am shaking in excitement. Last shot was an 8 low and right cutting the hole of the third shot. I quickly did the math in my head and when he looked up at me I was grinning from ear to ear. I asked him if he knew what score he shot and he replied that he did not. I said a 46, and now he had a huge smile on his face. I let him come over to the spotting scope and look through it and when he got done I gave him a big hug and told him how proud of him I was.

Hunter’s final score was a 144-4X. Only one other competitor (of any age) had a higher class score — 146-3X. So, at seven years of age, Hunter earned a second place finish! But it turned out his superb shooting created a problem…

After the match was over I was called into the club office. Apparently a Junior Shooter had never finished this high and they were unsure how to handle awards since Juniors aren’t charged an entrance fee. I told them that I didn’t care how they handled it. I was just happy that he did as well as he did and he sure was happy that he beat Daddy. In fact Hunter’s score of 144-4X is the 4th highest score of the year in that class. To top things off this was the first time I had let him load his own cartridges from start to finish (under my supervision of course).

Father and Son Spending Quality Time Together
As much as I enjoy Hunter’s interest in shooting, I love the fact that we have something we can spend quality time doing together. At the table after the match, Hunter was sitting next to a well-respected shooter everyone calls “Cowboy”. This gentleman leans over and says “Son, you don’t know how lucky you are, the only thing I did with my dad was work in the garden”. My hope is that one day he will know how lucky he is… Right now I know how lucky I am to be able to spend time with my son doing something we both enjoy.

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