July 22nd, 2017

National Trophy Infantry Team Match at Camp Perry

NTIT National Trophy Infantry Team Match Rattle Battle USAMU
NTIT National Trophy Infantry Team Match Rattle Battle USAMU
NTIT National Trophy Infantry Team Match Rattle Battle USAMU

In an impressive performance, the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit’s Service Rifle Team won the National Trophy Infantry Team (NTIT) Match on July 20th at Camp Perry, Ohio. In this match, also known as the “Rattle Battle”, six-member teams shoot at 200, 300, 500 and 600 yards with time limits — 384 rounds total. To win this match, the six shooters must work like a finely-tuned machine. This is a popular match with spectators as there is plenty of action in a short time span.

NTIT National Trophy Infantry Team Match Rattle Battle USAMU

This year, the USAMU-Barnhart Team won the title with a score of 1439. The record for this match is 1466, set by the USAMU-Remily Team in 1996. 2017 Team Barnhart members included: SFC Shane Barnhart (coach), SFC Evan Hess (captain), SFC Brandon Green, SFC William Pace, SSG Cody Shields, SGT Joseph Peterson, SPC Lane Ichord, and PVT Forrest Greenwood. The second place USMC team scored a 1406. (U.S. Army photos by Michelle Lunato/released).

NTIT National Trophy Infantry Team Match Rattle Battle USAMU

The National Trophy Infantry Team Match (NTIT) was first fired in 1922 and is part of the the CMP’s annual National Rifle Matches at Camp Perry. The NTIT is sometimes called the “Rattle Battle” because it emphasizes extremely fast, accurate fire.

NTIT National Trophy Infantry Team Match Rattle Battle USAMU

NTIT National Trophy Infantry Team Match Rattle Battle USAMU

NTIT National Trophy Infantry Team Match Rattle Battle USAMU

NTIT National Trophy Infantry Team Match Rattle Battle USAMU

Our friend Grant U., who runs the Precision Shooting Journal on Facebook, says the NTIT is a special match, a real “crowd-pleaser: “The National Trophy Infantry Team Match (Rattle Battle)… was always one of my favorite team events. It takes a hell of a lot more planning, practice, and precision than one might expect. You get one shot at it and the entire team had better be running on all cylinders because there are no alibis. Each team of six shooters is allocated 384 rounds and when the teams fire at 600 and 500 yards, it sounds like a war.”

NTIT National Trophy Infantry Team Match Rattle Battle USAMU

NTIT National Trophy Infantry Team Match Rattle Battle USAMU

NTIT National Trophy Infantry Team Match Rattle Battle USAMU

PHOTOS courtesy U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit. See more on USAMU Facebook Page.
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July 21st, 2017

Vintage Sniper Rifle Match at Camp Perry July 24th

Vintage Sniper Rifle Match

This upcoming Monday, July 24th, the CMP hosts the Vintage Sniper Rifle Match at Camp Perry. One of the most popular vintage rifle matches held each summer at Perry, this is a two-man team competition using scoped rifles of WWI and WWII Vintage. Many competitors use some version of the M1903 Springfield, but you’ll also see scoped M1 Garands, K31s, Mausers, and even a Lee-Enfield or two.

Vintage Sniper Rifle Match

Two-person teams will fire 10 rounds in 20-second intervals from scoped vintage military rifles set on sand bags. One team marksman shoots from the prone position at 300 and 600 yards, while the other serves as a spotter to relay shot position. Marksman and spotter switch positions on the firing lines, allowing each teammate to play both roles. Scores are then combined for an Aggregate team total.

Two M1 Garands, fitted with scopes and lace-on cheekpads.
Vintage sniper rifle team match camp perry

Who can identify this rifle, with its unusual scope mount?
Vintage sniper rifle team match camp perry

Our friends at Criterion Barrels have written an interesting article about last year’s Vintage Sniper Rifle Match. It you want an “insider’s perspective” on the 2014 Match, plus Vintage Sniper gunsmithing tips, read this article. Here are some highlights:

About the Match and the Rifles
The Vintage Sniper Match was the brainchild of Hornady’s Dave Emary. The competition was inspired by his father, a World War II scout sniper, who carried a rifle similar to the 1903A4 rifle builds that can be found today on the Camp Perry firing line. Bob Schanen worked alongside Dave and the CMP staff in establishing the various competition rules prior to the first official Vintage Sniper Match in 2011. The match developers made a point to offer some level of flexibility in rifle configuration, allowing specific types of non-issue optics and rifle rebuilds. This helped make the match more inclusive.

Hornady’s Dave Emary and “Gunny” R. Lee Ermey (right):
AccurateShooter.com CMP Vintage Sniper Rifle Match

Bob Shanen has two vintage sniper competition rifles. Both builds are based off of the USMC Model 1941 sniper rifle, a design similar to the M1903A1 National Match rifle. Bob’s rifles both carry 8x Lyman Junior Target Spotter scopes with a thin crosshair reticle. Bob attributes a large part of his rifle’s accuracy to the Criterion M1903 match-grade barrels installed on each rifle by Rick Humphreys, a Milwaukee area gunsmith. These tack-driving barrels are capable of half-MOA accuracy.

Camp Perry — The Venue
The hallowed grounds of Camp Perry have hosted some of the nation’s finest shooters each summer for more than a century. Some of the world’s greatest marksmen have accomplished remarkable feats on the ranges of this lakeside military outpost. Located on the coast of Lake Erie, Camp Perry is positioned just outside of the scenic town of Port Clinton, Ohio. It is our firm belief that every shooter should make the pilgrimage to the Camp Perry at least once in their lifetime. If not participating in an event, visitors should at least make an attempt to meet the competitors, witness the wide selection of firearms used by participants, and pay a visit to the various vendors on base.

Photos from Garand Thumb Blog and NRA Blog.

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July 19th, 2017

Smallbore National Championships — SSUSA.org Report

smallbore national championships Wa-ke-de
Photo courtesy Shooting Sports USA.

The NRA National Smallbore Championships (Conventional and Metric) took place July 8-17 at the Wa-Ke’-De Range in Bristol, Indiana. The NRA’s Shooting Sports USA website has extensive coverage of the event written by correspondent Hap Rocketto.

CLICK HERE to Read Full Report on SSUSA.org »

In team competition, the USAMU shooters dominated: “The [conventional] paper team match was an AMU runaway — they carded a 4766-338X to have a 30-point pad on the second place Coast to Coast Team’s 4736-267X effort. The Illinois State Association finished third with a 4679-210X.”

USAMU shooters on the firing line at the Wa-Ke’-De outdoor range in Bristol, IN.
smallbore national championships Wa-ke-de
Photo courtesy USAMU.

There were some great individual performances. In early prone competition, three shooters didn’t drop a point: “The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit’s (AMU) Patrick Sunderman… opened the tournament with a 400-38X. Mike McPhail, perhaps one of the best prone shooters in world, followed up with a score of 400-37X and … civilian Daniel Martz closed out the top three with his 400-36X.” Later, in kneeling position, McPhail shot his second perfect score of the day, 400-30X, to win the kneeling match.

Iron Man Competition
There was a special “Iron Man” title for the best performance over the entire 8-day cycle. Rocketto writes: “The final prone match, 40 shots on the metric target with any sights, was the deciding factor in the Iron Man competition when McPhail beat George Norton by four points. Over eight days, McPhail shot a 9504-711X, Norton 9501-655X, and last year’s Iron Man Sunderman scored 9478-640X.” Overall the Army swept the top three places.

The Iron Man podium: SFC Mike McPhail (Center), SSG George Norton, & SPC Patrick Sunderman.
2017 National Smallbore championship Iron Man

The last shot of the any sight metric position championship marked the end of the 2017 NRA National Smallbore Championships. The target frames have been stacked away until next year — when smallbore rifle shooters will again converge upon the Wa-Ke’-De Range in Bristol, Indiana.

Men and women now compete on equal terms at the National Smallbore Championship, gunning for the same honors in “gender-neutral” classifications.
Small Bore Rifle Championship NRA women category gender neutral
Photo courtesy Shooting Sports USA.

Camp Wa-ke'-de range Bristol indiana IN championship

Smallbore Rifle Championship (Wa-Ke’-De Range, Bristol, IN — July 8-17, 2017)
Webpage: CLICK HERE for National Smallbore Rifle Championships INFO.

The Key to 3P — Beginner’s Guide to Smallbore Position Shooting

Would you like to try smallbore position shooting? Here are some tips from one of the best 3P shooters on the planet, Olympian Matt Emmons. Matt Emmons Anschutz 3P three position shooting tipsMatt Emmons competed in the Three-Position Event at the Rio Olympics his fourth Olympic appearance. Matt has competed on the U.S. National Team since 1997, medaling in three Olympic games: Gold in 2004 in Men’s 50m Prone; Silver in 2008 in Men’s 50m Prone; and Bronze in 2012 in Men’s 50m 3X40. Although his specialty is Men’s 3-Position rifle, Emmons’ World Championship and Olympic Gold are in Men’s 50m Prone. He usually shoots an Anschütz or Bleiker .22LR rifle, with Eley Tenex ammo.

Here are shooting tips from Matt, courtesy Anschütz. Click image below to launch a large, full-screen PDF file.

CLICK Photo to Load Large PDF File
Matt Emmons Anschutz 3P three position shooting tips

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July 16th, 2017

Improve Your Marksmanship with USAMU Pro Tips

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)

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July 14th, 2017

Boy Scouts Of America Team up with Vista Outdoor Brands

Boy Scouts America Vista Outdoors Savage Arms merit badge rifle camelbak Bell helmet

Vista Outdoor Inc. (“Vista Outdoor”) (NYSE: VSTO) has entered into a wide-ranging partnership with the Boy Scouts of America. Vista Outdoor is now the official conservation sponsor of the Scouts, while Vista Outdoor brands Federal Premium, CCI, Savage, Gold Tip, CamelBak and Bell have become official partners with the Scouts for Shooting Sports, Archery, Hydration and Wheeled Safety.

Boy Scouts America Vista Outdoors Savage Arms merit badge rifle camelbak Bell helmetRyan Bronson, Vista Outdoor’s Director of Conservation stated: “This historic partnership will help … support over 2 million Scouts in their ability to enjoy the outdoors and be responsible citizens. Vista Outdoor and its brands have a long history of working with the Boy Scouts, and this partnership is the next logical step.”

“Scouting takes young people on adventures and lessons of character and leadership in the most remarkable class room imaginable – the outdoors,” said Brad Farmer, Assistant Chief Scout Executive leading the Office of Development for the Boy Scouts of America. “We are honored to partner with Vista Outdoor, an organization that shares our respect for the outdoors and long-lasting commitment environmental stewardship. In Scouting, we learn to leave no trace so that others can have the opportunity to experience the outdoor classroom as we have for generations.”

Boy Scouts America Vista Outdoors Savage Arms merit badge rifle camelbak Bell helmet

As the official conservation sponsor, Vista Outdoor is the presenting sponsor of the “Conservation Trail” at this year’s 2017 National Jamboree. In addition to the conversation sponsorship, Vista Outdoor brands became official partners of the Scouts in the following roles:

• Savage, Federal Premium, and CCI – official Shooting Sports Partners
• Gold Tip – official Archery Partner
• CamelBak – official Hydration Partner
• Bell – official Wheeled Safety Partner

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July 12th, 2017

SFC Brandon Green Wins CMP 2400 Agg Title at Camp Perry

Story based on Report by Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer
SFC Brandon Green, 32, of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, fired a score of 2368-97X to earn the championship title in the 2400 Aggregate Rifle event held during the inaugural Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) Cup Matches. The 2400 Aggregate award goes to the top shooter in the three combined 800 Aggregates. The 2015 National High Power Champion, SFC Green is a gifted competitor who has excelled in multiple rifle disciplines. In addition to Service Rifle and High Power events, Green has competed in PRS and tactical matches.

National Matches CMP Calendar Camp Perry Ohio
CLICK HERE to view larger version of this image.

CLICK HERE for 2017 National Matches Calendar (PDF).

SFC Brandon Green

Even before joining the USAMU Green was an ace marksman. As a junior, he earned Distinguished Air Rifle Badge #1. “I’ve been very fortunate to get support from friends, family and the ROTC programs in high school, and of course from the CMP and NRA as well, which kind of catered to someone like myself, coming in as a junior and shooting all the way up through the High Power sports,” said Green. “I’ve also been lucky enough to gain so many opportunities from being a part of the Army and the USAMU. It’s been a long learning journey, but it’s been a good one.”

The CMP Cup Matches, which kicked off the 2017 National Matches at Camp Perry, were introduced as an extra series of elite match and service rifle competitions. The schedule included a 4-Man Team Match, three consecutive days of 800 Aggregate matches, and an EIC Service Rifle Match.

CMP Matches
4-Man Team Match kicked off a week of events fired entirely on the CMP’s electronic High Power targets.

The CMP Cup Series week marked a new era at Camp Perry, with the first successful competitions fired on the base’s ranges using CMP’s mobile electronic targets. Over 36,000 rounds were sent downrange, with less than 50 questioned by competitors throughout the week. For many, the Cup Matches provided an initial look at the CMP’s target system.

Also making marks in the 2400 Aggregate match during CMP Cup Week was SSG Amanda Elsenboss, 28, of the Army Marksmanship Unit, who earned the High Woman Award, as well as Serena Juchnowski, 18, of Richfield, OH, who snagged the High Junior credit. Paul Terrence, 65, of Cleveland, OH, was named the High Senior of the event.

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July 11th, 2017

Gary Anderson’s Ten Lessons for Competitive Shooters

DCM CMP Gary AndersonIn the archives of On The Mark magazine, DCM Emeritus Gary Anderson, an Olympic Gold medal-winning shooter in his younger years, offers sage advice for competitive shooters.

In his article Ten Lessons I Wished I Had Learned as a Young Shooter, Anderson provides ten important guidelines for everyone involved in competitive shooting. Here are the Ten Lessons, but you should read the full article. Anderson provides detailed explanations of each topic with examples from his shooting career.

READ Full Article by Gary Anderson in On the Mark.

LESSON 1 – NATURAL ABILITY WILL NOT MAKE YOU A SHOOTING CHAMPION.
(You also need hard work, training effort and perseverance.)

LESSON 2 – ANGER IS THE ENEMY OF GOOD SHOOTING.
(The key to recovering from a bad shot is to stay cool, no matter what happens.)

LESSON 3 – BAD SHOTS CAN TEACH YOU MORE THAN GOOD SHOTS.
(Today, error analysis is one of the most powerful tools for improving scores.)

LESSON 4 – NEVER GO WITHOUT A SHOT PLAN.
(A shot plan is a detailed breakdown of each of the steps involved in firing a shot.)

LESSON 5 – PRACTICE IN BAD CONDITIONS AS WELL AS GOOD CONDITIONS.
(Most competitions are fired in windy conditions or where there are plenty of distractions.)

LESSON 6 – CHAMPIONS ARE POSITIVE, OPTIMISTIC PEOPLE.
(Negative shooters expect bad results; positive shooters expect to train hard to change bad results.)

LESSON 7 – IT’S NOT ABOUT WHETHER YOU WIN OR LOSE.
(It’s about how hard you try to win.)

LESSON 8 – YOUR DOG WON’T BITE YOU AFTER SHOOTING A BAD SCORE.
(Hopefully your coach, parents and friends won’t bite you either.)

LESSON 9 – YOUR PRESS CLIPPINGS CAN HURT YOU OR HELP YOU.
(Winning can go to our heads. We start thinking we are so good we don’t have to work hard any more.)

LESSON 10 — YOU NEVER SHOT YOUR BEST SCORE.
(Great champions are always looking for ways to improve.)

DCM CMP Gary Anderson

About Gary Anderson
DCM CMP Gary AndersonGary Anderson served as the Director of the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) from 1999-2009, and is now DCM Emeritus. As a Nebraska farmboy, Gary grew up hunting and shooting. Dreams of winning an Olympic Gold Medal in shooting led Gary to the U.S. Army. In 1959, he joined the elite U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit. Just two years later, he won his first national championship.

At the 1962 World Shooting Championships in Egypt, Anderson stunned the shooting world by winning four individual titles and setting three new world records. At the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, Gary won the 300m free-rifle Gold Medal, setting a new world record in the process. At the 1966 World Shooting Championships in Germany, Anderson won three additional world titles. At the 1968 Olympics, Gary won a second gold medal in the 300m free-rifle event.

DCM CMP Gary AndersonGary retired from active international competition after the 1969 World Championships in Spain, where he set a 50m, three-position world record. After his “retirement” from international competition, Gary competed in the National High Power Championships, winning the President’s National Trophy in 1973, 1975 and 1976. Over his competitive career, Anderson won two Olympic Gold Medals, seven World Championships, and sixteen National Championships. No American has ever won more major shooting titles.

Gary’s influence on shooting sports extends beyond the United States. Gary has attended eleven Summer Olympic Games, three as a competitor and eight as technical delegate or a jury member. Gary is the first American ever elected as Vice President of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF), and still serves in that capacity. In 2012, Gary received the International Olympic Committee’s highest honor, the Olympic Order.

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July 6th, 2017

Training for Long Range Shooting

Bryan Litz Video Long Range Training

In this video, Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics focuses on training. Bryan says that training is key for success in Long Range shooting: “Training in the sense that you want to want to refine your fundamentals of marksmanship — your sight alignment, your trigger control. You should practice those things enough that they become second nature and you don’t have to think about them. Keep in mind, it’s not just good enough to train, you have to learn how to train. You need to learn how to practice effectively, to get the most out of everything you do.”

Bryan says that success in Long Range shooting is not just about the hardware. It’s what’s between your ears that really counts: “The most important element in Long Range shooting is your knowledge — your understanding and practice of fundamentals of marksmanship, as well as your understanding of ballistics. You have to be able to fire the rifle, execute good shots that will put your rounds on target, but you also need to make intelligent sight corrections that will accurately account for the effects of gravity drop, and wind deflection, to center your group on those targets”.

Litz Competition Shooting Tips

Competition TIP ONE. Improving your scores in long range competition is a constant process of self-assessment. After each match, carefully analyze how you lost points and make a plan to improve. Beginning shooters will lose a lot of points to fundamental things like sight alignment and trigger control. Veteran shooters will lose far fewer points to a smaller list of mistakes. At every step along the way, always ask yourself why you’re losing points and address the issues. Sometimes the weak links that you need to work on aren’t your favorite thing to do, and success will take work in these areas as well.

Competition TIP TWO. Select your wind shooting strategy carefully. For beginners and veterans, most points are typically lost to wind. Successful shooters put a lot of thought into their approach to wind shooting. Sometimes it’s best to shoot fast and minimize the changes you’ll have to navigate. Other times it’s best to wait out a condition which may take several minutes. Develop a comfortable rest position so you have an easier time waiting when you should be waiting.

Competition TIP THREE. Actively avoid major train wrecks. Sounds obvious but it happens a lot. Select equipment that is reliable, get comfortable with it and have back-ups for important things. Don’t load on the verge of max pressure, don’t go to an important match with a barrel that’s near shot out, physically check tightness of all important screws prior to shooting each string. Observe what train wrecks you and others experience, and put measures in place to avoid them.

Bryan Litz Tips

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June 30th, 2017

IBS Match Report: Bud Pryor Memorial 100/200/300 Score Shoot

Bud Pryor Memorial Benchrest 30BR Score Shoot Match Thurmont Frederick Sportsman's Club Maryland IBS MD

23rd Annual Bud Pryor Memorial Match, June 10-11, 2017
Match Report by Josh Shrum
For 23 years now, Benchrest Score shooters have flocked to the Thurmont Conservation & Sportsman’s Club outside of Frederick, Maryland for “The Bud”. This year, competitors from as far south as Georgia and as far north as Vermont came to try their hand against the always-challenging conditions of “The Bud”. Traditionally held in mid-June’s tricky conditions, the Bud Pryor Memorial is an event to challenge even the most skilled Benchrest competitor.

Bud Pryor Memorial Benchrest 30BR Score Shoot Match Thurmont Frederick Sportsman's Club Maryland IBS MD

Day One started with the 100-Yard Aggregate, which pretty much set the tone for what was to come all weekend long. Of the 33 shooters competing in the Varmint For Score (VFS) class, thirteen shooters dropped at least one point at 100 yards. “The Bud” had begun.

100-Yard Winner Wayne France
Bud Pryor Memorial Benchrest 30BR Score Shoot Match Thurmont Frederick Sportsman's Club Maryland IBS MD

By the end of the 100-Yard Agg, five competitors finished with top scores of 250-21X, with Wayne France taking the win under Creedmoor tie-breaker rules. Wayne would continue to shoot well for the entire weekend, finishing in the Top 10 at 200 and taking second (by Creedmoor) at 300, shooting his Lederer-barreled BAT in a Dixie stock. Wayne does his own gunsmithing, makes his own bullets, and shoots his own cartridge design. He is truly a “Do-It-Yourselfer”.

200-Yard winner Ronnie Milford checking conditions…
Bud Pryor Memorial Benchrest 30BR Score Shoot Match Thurmont Frederick Sportsman's Club Maryland IBS MD

Ronnie Rocks at 200, with an Impressive X-Count
Georgia shooter Ronnie Milford won the 200-Yard Agg with an impressive 250-13X. Ronnie was one of only six shooters to finish “clean” at 200, as traditional Bud weather was punishing even the smallest errors in judgment by shooters. Built by gunsmith Doyle Anglin, Ronnie’s Lederer-barreled Panda beat the field at 200 yards by three Xs, a significant margin. The next three shooters (places 2-4 at 200 yards) all shot 250-10X. Interestingly, Ronnie was shooting Accurate LT-30 powder, not the more widely used Hodgdon H4198 or Vihtavuori N130.

Of special note, Mrs. Carol Grosbier came on Saturday to visit during the match. Nearly every single shooter there stopped by to visit and offer their condolences on the passing of her husband Dick Grosbier, former IBS Vice President and Webmaster. It was great to see Carol and everyone’s actions showed just how great of a community of shooters the sport of Benchrest has.

The longest challenge, the 300-Yard Agg, was shot on Day Two. While conditions were not quite as “tough” as the previous day, they were anything but forgiving. High heat and gusting winds kept shooters on their toes as they strove for victory at 300 yards. A mere seven shooters would manage to stay clean through the first match, and only Maryland shooter Dewey Hancock managed to stay clean through Match Two. Dewey would go on to win the 300-Yard Agg shooting a 248-3X, beating 100-Yard winner Wayne France by Creedmoor and edging out Joey Whittington’s score of 248-2X. Dewey’s Goodling-built rifle uses a BAT action, Krieger barrel, and sits in a beautiful Roy Hunter stock.

Bud Pryor Memorial Benchrest 30BR Score Shoot Match Thurmont Frederick Sportsman's Club Maryland IBS MD

Dewey Hancock Wins with Strong Performances at 100, 200, and 300
Dewey Hancock’s excellent performance at 300, coupled with his second-place finish at 200 and his Top Ten finish at 100 put him on the throne. Hancock won the Grand Aggregate for the 23rd Annual Bud Pryor with a score of 748-31X. Just one point behind, Wayne France took second with a score of 747-31X. Joey Whittington took third with 746-35X.

Hunter Class was contested by both K.L Miller and Brian Fitch (Brian competed in both VFS and Hunter) with K.L Miller taking the Grand Aggregate in Hunter with a 723-11X while Brian posted a 717-11X. Mark Ukishima shot the events only Factory Class gun. It was great to have so many different classes contested at this year’s Bud Pryor.

Bud Pryor Memorial Benchrest Score Shoot Match Thurmont Maryland IBS MD

TOP 10 EQUIPMENT LIST:
Bud Pryor Memorial Benchrest 30BR Score Shoot Match Thurmont Frederick Sportsman's Club Maryland IBS MD

Bud Pryor Memorial Benchrest 30BR Score Shoot Match Thurmont Frederick Sportsman's Club Maryland IBS MD

Bud Pryor Memorial Benchrest 30BR Score Shoot Match Thurmont Frederick Sportsman's Club Maryland IBS MD

About the Bud Pryor Memorial Match
Bud Pryor Memorial Maryland Score Benchrest MatchBud Pryor was a fine gentleman who started shooting IBS matches in 1983. He was a machinest turned gunsmith who made friends and got many people started in shooting IBS registered matches over the next few years. Bud and Dick Grosbier ran the first IBS match at the Thurmont range in April 1983. CLICK HERE to see vintage photos of the 1983 match.

After Bud’s untimely passing a few years later, the club decided to put on a big match and dedicate it to him. As Thurmont is one of the few ranges around with 100/200/300 yard capabilities, we decided to put on a 3-yardage Grand Aggregate match. This was not as simple as it seems, since the three-yardage 100/200/300 was not an IBS-recognized Aggregate. After an agenda item was approved at an IBS winter meeting, 100/200/300 records were set at Thurmont. Over the years, most records have stayed at this scenic range. There are a total of four IBS ranges now holding 100/200/300 yard matches.

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June 28th, 2017

Modern-Day Annie Oakley — Kirsten Joy Weiss

Kirsten Weiss trick shot Annie Oakley NRA All access

Our friend Kirsten Joy Weiss was featured in a recent episode of NRA All Access. The show covers Kirsten’s development as a competitive shooter, and her success as a trick-shot artist with her own popular YouTube channel. Here’s the All Access segment featuring many of Kirsten’s most famous trick shots.

During the video Kirsten also talks about her background in shooting and how she wants to be a good ambassador for the shooting sports, “spreading the positive reality of shooting”. Kirsten explains: “The fun challenge and joy of shooting is important to me because I really wanted to be a positive example. So when the media says the ‘guns are a bad thing and nobody does anything good with guns’, they can say ‘Well, what about her [Kirsten]’?”

Kirsten: “I think that it’s important for young girls to have somebody that they can look up to… I feel responsibility to show young shooters coming up, especially females, that you can respect yourself and shoot a gun as well.”

Kirsten Joy WeissA gifted “natural” shooter, Kirsten started shooting fairly late — at age 16. Despite her relatively late start, she learned very quickly, and managed to earn a place on the University of Nebraska shooting team. That literally opened up a new world for Kirsten: “During the course of my career, I’ve had a lot of success. I’ve gone to World Cups… in Zagreb, Croatia, in Munich, Germany. I’ve won National Championships, and got on to the U.S. Olympic short list, so it’s been a good career.”

Kirsten tells us: “A lot of people don’t think of shooting as a sport, but it absolutely is, and I would even go so far as to say that it is an art form.” We don’t know if this is art, sport, or magic, but very few shooters have the skill or flexibility to make this upside-down shot…

Kirsten Weiss trick shot Annie Oakley NRA All access

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June 28th, 2017

Fun Targets for Summer Shooting Sessions

splatter target Midsouth birchwood casey

When it comes to shooting targets, “Variety is the spice of life”. Shooting the same old target over and over again can get boring. We like to shoot a variety of targets. And we have to admit, the arrival of a new set of colorful targets in the mailbox has been known to motivate us to grab our guns and gear and head to the range.

Midsouth Shooters Supply has slashed prices on Birchwood Casey and Champion targets, both the splatter variety and conventional types. Here are some of our favorite fun-shooting targets. They are all inexpensive to buy. You can even get free shipping if you combine a target purchase with a larger order. Midsouth just announced $9.00 flat-rate shipping with orders of $99.00 or more.

splatter target Midsouth birchwood casey

And here are a couple of FREE fun targets, courtesy the NRA Blog:

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June 24th, 2017

If You’re Not Using Wind Flags You’re Throwing Away Accuracy


Forest of Windflags at World Benchrest Championships in France in 2011

There’s a simple, inexpensive “miracle device” that can cut your groups in half. If you’re not using this device, you’re giving away accuracy. The “miracle device” to which we refer is a simple wind indicator aka “windflag”. Using windflags may actually improve your accuracy on target much more than weighing charges to the kernel, or spending your life savings on the “latest and greatest” hardware.

Remarkably, many shooters who spend $3000.00 or more on a precision rifle never bother to set up windflags, or even simple wood stakes with some ribbon to show the wind. Whether you’re a competitive shooter, a varminter, or someone who just likes to punch small groups, you should always take a set of windflags (or some kind of wind indicators) when you head to the range or the prairie dog fields. And yes, if you pay attention to your windflags, you can easily cut your group sizes in half. Here’s proof…

Miss a 5 mph Shift and You Could DOUBLE Your Group Size

The table below records the effect of a 5 mph crosswind at 100, 200, and 300 yards. You may be thinking, “well, I’d never miss a 5 mph let-off.” Consider this — if a gentle 2.5 mph breeze switches from 3 o’clock (R to L) to 9 o’clock (L to R), you’ve just missed a 5 mph net change. What will that do to your group? Look at the table to find out.

shooting wind flags
Values from Point Blank Ballistics software for 500′ elevation and 70° temperature.

Imagine you have a 6mm rifle that shoots half-MOA consistently in no-wind conditions. What happens if you miss a 5 mph shift (the equivalent of a full reversal of a 2.5 mph crosswind)? Well, if you’re shooting a 68gr flatbase bullet, your shot is going to move about 0.49″ at 100 yards, nearly doubling your group size. With a 105gr VLD, the bullet moves 0.28″ … not as much to be sure, but still enough to ruin a nice small group. What about an AR15, shooting 55-grainers at 3300 fps? Well, if you miss that same 5 mph shift, your low-BC bullet moves 0.68″. That pushes a half-inch group well past an inch. If you had a half-MOA capable AR, now it’s shooting worse than 1 MOA. And, as you might expect, the wind effects at 200 and 300 yards are even more dramatic. If you miss a 5 mph, full-value wind change, your 300-yard group could easily expand by 2.5″ or more.

If you’ve already invested in an accurate rifle with a good barrel, you are “throwing away” accuracy if you shoot without wind flags. You can spend a ton of money on fancy shooting accessories (such as expensive front rests and spotting scopes) but, dollar for dollar, nothing will potentially improve your shooting as much as a good set of windflags, used religiously.

Which Windflag to buy? Click Here for a list of Vendors selling windflags of various types.

Aussie Windflag photo courtesy BenchRestTraining.com (Stuart and Annie Elliot).

Permalink Shooting Skills, Tech Tip No Comments »
June 23rd, 2017

IBS Report: 31st Annual Boop Memorial Benchrest Match 2017

IBS Benchrest Shooters International Memorial Match Weikert PA Jeff Stover
Al Auman, 2-Gun Second Place finisher, takes aim…

IBS 31st Annual Memorial Match at Union County Sportsmen’s Club, Weikert, PA
Reported by Jeff Stover, IBS President
The “Boop Shoot” is traditionally held on Mother’s Day in May, but this year it was moved to June due to a club conflict. No matter, as 63 shooters showed up on June 10th and 11th, 2017 to compete at one of the best benchrest ranges in the country. “Weikert” is nestled in a narrow valley in pastoral central Pennsylvania and has a wide following since the IBS Nationals have been held there a number of times.

IBS Benchrest Shooters International Memorial Match Weikert PA Jeff Stover

The 2-Gun Aggregate represents “all the marbles” — the overall win for a weekend of Short Range Group shooting. Accuracy gunsmith Dave Bruno won the 2-Gun with a .2606 Agg shooting his 6PPC built on a Borden action in a Roy Hunter stock. On Dave’s heels was Al Auman, shooting a Goodling-built 6PPC BAT. In third place was Paul Mitchell with his BAT 3-Lug in a Scarborough stock built by Dwight Scott. The 2-Gun Aggregate is the combined average group size for 20 targets total, 10 each for both the Light Varmint (10.5-lb) and Heavy Varmint (13.5-lb) classes, with shooting at both 100 and 200 yards. Despite the class distinctions based solely on rifle weight, a vast majority of shooters opt for a 10.5-lb rifle for the entire course of fire. You get a lot of shooting at an IBS Registered Group match.

IBS Benchrest Shooters International Memorial Match Weikert PA Jeff Stover
Two-Gun Overall Winner Dave Bruno (center) flanked by second place Al Auman (right) and third place Paul Mitchell (left).

The Tailwind from Hell
The real story of this match was the shooting conditions. For the entire weekend, there was a tail wind. When the wind blows hard, a pure tailwind is favored by many veteran shooters as velocity changes are less apparent on the target compared to a pure crosswind where pickups and letups can be mapped on the record target of a less-than-observant trigger puller. At this match, it was a tailwind from hell. The over-the-shoulder wind veered from red (right to left) to green (left to right) as quickly as it took you to read this sentence. The point of impact in the extremes could cause groups of 1.5 inches at 200 yards. It was one of those shoots where posting a .824” 200-yard group could move you up in the standings. Normally shooting an “eight” would assure a “bottom of the pile” finish.

Sunday morning saw that nefarious tailwind doing its dirty work once again, but it was not quite as bad as the afternoon would turn out to be. The tailwind’s impact, however, could be seen in the fact that the Heavy Varmint 200-yard winner was upstate NY shooter, Jim Miller with a .2817 (200-yard Aggregates are recorded in MOA, so Jim’s average group at 200 yards was .563”). He was the only competitor in the “twos”. Bob White shot well but his .3012 was not enough.

IBS Benchrest Shooters International Memorial Match Weikert PA Jeff Stover
Scott Miller ready to pull the trigger on the firing line…

Dave Bruno Dominates Light Varmint 200
Light Varmint 200 was shot after lunch on Sunday. The winds had picked up while the shooters were enjoying burgers and hot dogs from the range house. This last Aggregate was the climax of the entire weekend. Two-gun winner Dave Bruno set the stage for his overall win by shooting as if he were from another planet. He was on fire with a .2388 Aggregate. Next was Bob Brushingham with a .3024. That is a difference of .0636” in average group size, or about 1/16th of an inch. A sixteenth is not much in most things, but in short range benchrest it is a chasm that Evel Knievel would not dare to test. Most Aggregates in benchrest are won and lost by a few thousands, or even ten-thousands of an inch. Dave blew out the field with his singular performance. When asked what condition he shot, Dave said “the tailwind” — go figure.

Yes, 100-yard was also contested. Back in the day, a “Teen Agg” (an aggregate of targets under .200”) was usually shot in perfect, or mild, readable conditions. The level of shooting in recent years, however, has seen Teen Aggs shot in tough conditions. The aforementioned tailwind prevailed on Saturday too, but was just a bit less nasty.

Loading at the range remains important in the Benchrest for Group discipline. In a Special Report below, IBS President Jeff Stover explains how loading methods (and hardware) have evolved over the years.
IBS Benchrest Shooters International Memorial Match Weikert PA Jeff Stover

IBS Benchrest Shooters International Memorial Match Weikert PA Jeff Stover
Pat Hurley checking his aim (notice bolt is out).

Two Gun Overall
1. Dave Bruno: .2604
2. Al Auman: .2727
3. Paul Mitchell: .2776
4. Bob Brushingham: .2851
5. Kent Harshman: .2969

Heavy Varmint Grand
1. Jim Miller: .2582
2. Bob White: .2622
3. Allen Arnette: .2706

Light Varmint Grand
1. Dave Bruno: .2375
2. Al Auman: .2717
3. Paul Mitchell: .2770

Light Varmint 100 was won by veteran Howie Levy (he started shooting in 1968!) with a .1794. He was not alone below .2, as Dale Boop was close at .1848. He was shooting Norma 201 to boot. This powder was the ticket to small 6PPC groups in the 1980s, but has been little seen for many years.

More Teen Aggs were shot in the Heavy Varmint relays. Benchrest Hall of Fame shooter Allen Arnette recorded a tiny .1686. On the podium with Allen were Howie Levy with a .1808 and Willie Bauer who shot a .1980.

Light Varmint Trophy Winners (L to R): Hensley, Boop, Auman, Brushingham, Francis, and Bruno.
IBS Benchrest Shooters International Memorial Match Weikert PA Jeff Stover

IBS Benchrest Shooters International Memorial Match Weikert PA Jeff Stover

Memorial Shoot Is a Family Affair
The 2017 Annual Boop Memorial Shoot ran like clockwork, as usual, and once again the success of this annual shoot can be attributed to the Trutt and Boop families. Mark Trutt serves as range officer extraordinaire. Dale Boop is match director while his mother, Linda, handles the administrative and scoring chores. Target crew honcho Steve Dodge, once again, ensured a rapid and accurate changing of the target.

NOTE: It has yet to be determined whether 2018 Memorial Match will be on Mother’s Day or in June.

Loading at the Range — Then and Now

IBS Benchrest Shooters International Memorial Match Weikert PA Jeff Stover

In benchrest shooting for group, loading at the range has been de rigueur for decades. In the Score discipline, preloading is usually the custom. The main reason is that, in Score competition, only one Aggregate (warm-up match and five record targets) per day is usually shot. That would be less than 50 shots, assuming a few sighter shots. Also, the 30BR, the dominant Score cartridge, is amenable to pre-loading.

By contrast, the Group discipline includes 21 targets (two warm-ups and twenty record targets) over a weekend, usually shot with 6PPC-chambered rifles. Many times, the 6PPC shooters may tweak their loads through the day given changing atmospheric conditions or simply trying to find the correct tune to “dot up”. This term, “Dot up”, means the shots are essentially going through the same hole, or closely so.

IBS Benchrest Shooters International Memorial Match Weikert PA Jeff Stover

Loading at the range was a bit different when benchrest competition was in its infancy. The 1951 book, Modern Accuracy by Bob Wallack, is the best of the early benchrest books. Copies can be found, from time to time, on eBay or Alibris. It is a fascinating survey of benchrest as it existed more than six decades ago. There’s even coverage of a controversial target that was argued over at the time. In it, there is a photo of Wallack using the rear bumper of a car at the bench to clamp his reloading tools. Things have come a long way compared to the range loading set-ups of modern shooters. Here you can see Bob Wallack way back in 1950:

IBS Benchrest Shooters International Memorial Match Weikert PA Jeff Stover

Modern loading bench set-ups shown in this Boop Memorial Match Report belong to top shooters Howie Levy, Bob Hamister, and Kent Harshman.

IBS Benchrest Shooters International Memorial Match Weikert PA Jeff Stover

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June 16th, 2017

NSSF Programs Promote Firearms Safety

NSSF Safety message Videos

June is National Safety Month. In summer, when children are home from school and more likely to be unattended, it’s especially important to store firearms securely. The No. 1 way to help prevent accidents is to securely store your firearms when they’re not in use. The NSSF says: “Whether you own a gun or not, firearm safety is your responsibility. Take a moment to watch the videos below on how to safely handle and store firearms.” Along with these videos, the NSSF’s Project ChildSafe program offers a host of gun safety materials on its resources webpage.

Firearm Safety: First, Last, Always

There are “10 Commandments” to firearm safety and the first four are the big ones. Remember, while at the shooting range or anywhere you handle a firearm, safety always comes first.

This is a Good Video that Covers the Key Principles of Gun Safety. Worth Watching:

Storing a Gun Safely and Securely

For those who do have a gun in the home, now is also good time to review some gun storage options that fit your lifestyle. For more information on storing your firearms safely and securely, visit ProjectChildSafe.org.


Project ChildSafe’s 3rd Annual Friends and Family Campaign

Share Project ChildSafe resources, messages and gun safety tips for your chance to win prizes from NSSF partners. Enter HERE!

Spread the message of firearm safety with your friends and family

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June 15th, 2017

Free Instructional Videos for Concealed Carry Handgun Owners

Panteo Handgun video concealed carry pistol free

Panteo Productions, producers of firearms training videos, has just released a new series of FREE instructional videos for handgun owners. Co-sponsored by Ruger and Federal, the Handgun 101 video series covers handgun and ammunition nomenclature, handgun functions, basic shooting skills, and the key considerations for concealed carry. The three-part series includes: Intro to Handguns, A Concealed Carry Permit, and Intro to Concealed Carry. Part 1 includes multiple chapters with a ton of information. Combined with Part 2 (20 min) and Part 3 (33 min), this series delivers over two hours of helpful content.

These free videos are available streaming online from the Panteao website, on the Panteao mobile apps for Android and Apple devices, as well as on television from the Panteao Make Ready channel on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV. Click the links below to watch each of the three episodes.

Panteo Handgun video concealed carry pistol free

In part one of Handgun 101, Intro to Handguns, instructor Kyle Harth reviews the firearm safety rules, handgun function (and terminology) for both revolvers and semi-auto pistols. In addition, Harth reviews handgun sizes, ammunition, how to grip a handgun properly, safely storing a handgun, proper training, shooting sports and carrying a handgun. This video is intended to be a handgun owner’s first step in familiarizing himself with handgun operation.

Panteo Handgun video concealed carry pistol free

In Part 1 of Handgun 101, A Concealed Carry Permit, instructors Kyle Harth and Massad Ayoob carrying a handgun for self-defense, and the important issues associated with defensive gun use. This video reviews concealed carry, traveling from state to state, prohibited carry locations, the use of deadly force, protection of persons and property, and interaction with law enforcement. If you are considering obtaining a concealed carry permit or live in a state where you can carry open or concealed without a permit, this video is for you.

Panteo Handgun video concealed carry pistol free

In Part 3 of Handgun 101, Intro to Concealed Carry, instructor Kyle Harth reviews handgun selection, caliber and ammo choices, methods of carry, belts and mag pouches, clothing considerations, and the importance of training. Remember that the Handgun 101 series is not where your education process ends. Take courses from reputable firearms instructors with understanding of self-defense legal matters. Equally important, go to the range and practice!

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June 11th, 2017

Miculek Hits Three 400-Yard Targets in 4.37 Seconds

Jerry Miculek AR15 400 yards

Three Shots Standing at 400 Yards in 4.37 Seconds
Could you hit a silhouette target at 400 yards, shooting offhand? Probably, with a little practice. Now try doing that three times in just 4.37 seconds, including picking up/mounting the rifle! Not possible? Watch the legendary Jerry Miculek do that in this impressive demonstration of rapid-fire rifle shooting.

Jerry Miculek — that name is synonymous with revolvers. But Jerry is also one heck of a rifleman, as he demonstrates in this video. Grabbing his rifle from the top of an oil drum, Miculek proceeds to put shots on three different steel targets at 400 yards — all in under 4.4 seconds. Most of us would be lucky to make one successful shot in that time limit. Miculek hits all 3 targets (and makes it look easy).

In this video, Jerry hits not one but THREE c-zone targets at 400 yards. And — get this — he does this in under 4.4 seconds starting with his rifle laying on a support (plywood on top of a barrel). It took Jerry two tries (on his first run he hit 2 out of 3 in 4.65 seconds). On the second attempt (see video starting at 2:19), it takes Jerry just 4.37 seconds to shoulder his rifle, aim, and fire three shots, each hitting a separate steel target. Wow. That’s truly remarkable. Most of us would need ten seconds (or more) just to get the scope on the first target.

Jerry Miculek AR15 400 yards

Trust us folks, this ain’t easy. It takes remarkable marksmanship skills to shoot with this kind of precision at this kind of pace. As Jerry would say himself, “Not bad for an old guy who needs glasses”.

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June 6th, 2017

Extreme Long Range Training — Rockin’ Two Miles at Raton

ELR Raton 2 miles KO2M 375 Lethal Magnum
Shooter behind the .375 Lethal Magnum. Check out the size of that suppressor!

Two-Mile ELR Training
ELR Raton 2 miles KO2M 375 Lethal MagnumThe Applied Ballistics ELR Team spent the weekend at the NRA Whittington Center in New Mexico training for the upcoming King of 2 Miles event. Former USAMU coach Emil Praslick III was on hand to help with wind calls. The results were impressive — all team members had confirmed hits at 2.05 miles on a 36″x36″ steel target. Bryan Litz even had a 3-shot group that measured 17.5″ x 22″. That’s under 0.6 MOA!

Most guys would be happy with 0.6 MOA at 300 yards. Bryan did it at 3611 yards, shooting Paul Phillips’s .375 Lethal Magnum. When you consider all the variables involved (bullet BC variance, shot velocity variance, wind changes during flight, Coriolis effect etc.), that’s phenomenal.

ELR Raton 2 miles KO2M 375 Lethal Magnum

Report by Paul Phillips
Just got done shooting two days in New Mexico with Recoil Magazine and the Applied Ballistics ELR team. We learned a lot and had great success. Every team member made impacts on target at 2 miles. The best 3-shot group at 3611 yards (2.05 miles) was shot by Bryan Litz with my 375 Lethal Mag. The group measured 17.5 inches tall by 22 inches wide with Cutting Edge bullets. We also had Recoil’s David Merrill shoot at two miles and was laying them in there like a true pro. We had three team members make impacts on the 36-inch plate at two miles within just three attempts in a mock competition. I also increased my personal longest shot by hitting only 15 inches right of center at 3611 yards. 2.05 miles. I did it with a GSL Technology Copperhead Silencer.

ELR Raton 2 miles KO2M 375 Lethal Magnum

ELR Raton 2 miles KO2M 375 Lethal Magnum

Report by Emil Praslick
I participated in the Extreme Long Range training with the Applied Ballistics team at the Whittington Center in Raton, NM. All team members had confirmed hits at 2.1 miles. Components and hardware suppliers included: Berger Bullets, Cutting Edge Bullets, Nightforce Optics, Kestrel, FLIR Systems.

Q: At that distance (2.1 miles), how much do spin drift and the Coriolis effect impact bullet trajectories?

Praslick: At 3613 yards we had to adjust about 1.5 MOA/56″ of Coriolis (up), and 5 MOA/~190″ of right spin drift adjustment. You’d have to come down if facing East. The planet rotates counter-clockwise (from above), so your target would be falling away from you.

Here is a 3-round group at 1898 yards (1.08 Miles) shot with factory ABM Ammo .338 Lapua Magnum loaded with 300 grain Berger Bullets Hybrids. That’s sub-MOA elevation. (The guy calling wind didn’t do too bad, either.)

ELR Raton 2 miles KO2M 375 Lethal Magnum

Report by Bryan Litz
Learning is my favorite part of new ventures and we learned a LOT this weekend shooting extreme range in New Mexico. I connected on a second round hit on a 3-foot square target at 2 miles in simulated match conditions under coaches Emil Praslick and Paul Phillips. In fact all five of our team shooters got on at 2 miles. The Applied Ballistics Extreme Long Range team is in good shape for the King of 2 Miles match later this month, and there is still so much to LEARN!

ELR Raton 2 miles KO2M 375 Lethal Magnum

You need serious equipment for shooting beyond two miles. Who can identify this high-tech hardware?
ELR Raton 2 miles KO2M 375 Lethal Magnum

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Shooting Skills 11 Comments »
June 3rd, 2017

Interview with F-Class Ace Dan Pohlabel

Team Sinclair F-TR interview F-Class Reloading Load Development Training dry-fire
Team Sinclair F-Class

In response to many requests from Forum members who shoot F-Class, we are republishing this informative interview, which first appeared last summer. You’ll find many “solid good” tips that can help any long-range rifle competitor.

Dan Pohlabel is a member of the all-conquering Team Sinclair F-TR squad. This talented group of shooters hasn’t lost a team match in years. What’s the secret of Team Sinclair’s success? Well there is not one single factor. These guys have very accurate rifles, they work hard on load development, and they practice in all conditions. In this interview, Dan Pohlabel talks about F-TR competition, reviewing the hardware (and skill set) it takes to win. He offers some great tips on developing loads. You’ll find a longer version of this interview on the Sinclair Int’l website. CLICK HERE to Read Full Interview.

Q: What do you find most challenging in F-TR Shooting?
It has to be keeping up with the competition, our sport has grown so quickly with new talented shooters. Staying at the top requires having a laser of a rifle, perfect loads, near perfect wind reading, and, of course, breaking good shots.

Q: How can novice shooters improve their game?
Seek out the local F-TR shooters and go to matches with them, listen and learn. Attend team matches and offer to score for one of the teams. As a scorer, you will sit close enough to hear the coach make wind calls and see the results on the target. Through the spotting scope you will see changes in mirage and it’s the quickest way to learn the basics of wind reading. Choosing and buying equipment is relatively easy, learning to read the wind is a journey.

Q: What’s in your range bag for match days?
Rear bag, towel, shooting glasses, canned air, ear protection, data book, pen, rifle rain cover, hat, rifle tools, timer, ammo, and bug spray.

Q: What specialized gear can you not live without?

1. A good set of elbow pads. It’s hard to keep concentrating on shooting when your elbows are rubbed raw from days of competing on them.

2. Good bug spray. We shoot from the ground but our shooting mats aren’t that big. It’s hard to concentrate with bugs crawling or chewing on you.

Q: Load Development — How do you work up a load?
First, I call Derek Rodgers and get his load data, he is the best load development shooter I know! Otherwise, here is the procedure I recommend. Measure throat length with bullet of your choice, to determine how much room is left in the case. The above measurement determines what powders you can use. We use only Hodgdon Extreme powders. Shoot a ladder test, five rounds each in 0.2 grain increments, to find the accuracy node for that bullet/powder combination. Take the best two loads and do a jump test with five rounds each, test at .005″, .025″, .060″ jump. One of these groups will be significantly better than the rest, now you can tweak that measurement +/- .002” or .005” to get the best accuracy.

Test at least three different primers to determine which offers a little better ignition for your load, a 5-shot test will usually tell you which is the best. Go back and test the two best combinations in a 10-shot test at least twice, pick a cool overcast day and also a hot sunny day and compare results. Take your final “best load” back and do a “simulated match”, 20 shots, waiting at least 20 seconds between shots. If you like those results it’s probably a reliable and accurate load.

Q: What rear bag do you use?
I use a two-bag system, large bag on bottom with a smaller bag on top. I had the bags made of marine canvas, zippered and filled with plastic beads. I can adjust the amount of fill to make them a perfect height for my shooting position. Teammate Jeff Rorer uses a similar system and mine is nearly a copy of his rear bags.

Q: How often do you practice and how many rounds do you shoot per year?
In good weather I practice a couple times a week at the local range, a couple more dry-firing practices/week at home. I typically shoot between 2,000-2,500 rounds per year.

Q: How do you prepare mentally before a match?
[I do] lots of visualization — run the video in my head of what I expect to see and of my performance. I think about the correct strategy for the conditions, staying disciplined to the strategy.

Q: What do you avoid before a shoot?
No late nights or excessive alcohol. Very little caffeine in the morning. Leave your cell turned off. Avoid emotional people.

Q: What’s your procedure on a Match day?
I arrive early, get squadding card, move gear, watch wind speed/direction, check over rifle and gear, sit and relax, visualize and focus on the most important goal of the day. Most days we shoot three relays of 20 shots. It’s important to eat and hydrate continually all day. My focus and concentration are better when I snack all day with fruit and energy bars, and lots of water. While taking my turn in the pits, I try to relax and only focus on what is ahead of me and [not] what’s already happened.

Q: What is your favorite reloading product?
My favorite reloading product is the Sinclair Premium Neck Turning Tool with Handle, I also use the expander mandrels provided by Sinclair for sizing the brass in preparation for the turning process. Correct and repeatable neck tension begins with turning necks to a uniform thickness. Sinclair also has mandrels to size the necks after neck turning that accurately size the necks for a specific neck tension.

Q: What is your preferred scope?
The scope I find the most useful is the Nightforce Competition Scope. This scope is very light-weight, has 15-55X magnification, world-class quality glass, 10 MOA per revolution on the turrets, 1/8 moa adjustments. It’s perfect for F-Class competition.

Q: What advice do you have for someone wanting to get into the sport?
Find a local club with some F-TR shooters and ask for their help. Most shooters will be happy to take you with them to a match, listen and learn while you’re there. You may find out it’s not what you thought, or you may be hooked. If you decide to jump in, start with an inexpensive rifle. This sport is expensive and you don’t need a $5000 rifle to learn good wind-reading skills. Start with a used Savage F-TR rifle and learn the basics, shoot for a year at least before making a larger investment. The money you saved buying a used Savage rifle will help pay for your divorce lawyer, LOL.

Q: What training drills do you use?
Dry-firing the rifle at home is a good way to practice when you can’t get to the range and shoot. It allows me to practice set-up, rifle handling, and position. When I can practice at a local range, I also dry-fire between shots to increase the amount of repetitions and increase the time spent in position.

Q: Who has been your biggest influence in shooting?
Eric Bair, 2006 F-Open National Champion helped me get started and gave me great advice. Most of the shooters on Team USA and Team Sinclair help each other, nobody knows all the answers but we share what we have learned. Danny Biggs, 2008 and 2009 F-TR National Champion also helped me when I was struggling to learn some of the ranges. I learned a lot from Danny.

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June 1st, 2017

Long Range Shooting: Video Series with Bryan Litz

Bryan Litz Video Long Range large caliber rifles

Getting started in long-range shooting? Need some pointers on gun set-up and hardware options? Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics has created a helpful series of videos for the NSSF covering long range shooting. Bryan, a past F-TR Long-Range National Champion and Chief Ballistician for Berger Bullets, knows his stuff. His Applied Ballistics squad was the winning team at the 2016 King of 2 Miles event. Here are four (4) videos, each covering a topic of interest for long-range shooters. Running 3-4 minutes each, these videos can help you get started, and invest wisely when acquiring your next long-range rifle, scope, and accessories.

Long Range Precision — The Keys to Success

TIP for Plotting Long Range Trajectories: You want to know the true, actual ballistic coefficients of your loads. The BCs listed by manufacturers for their projectiles may be somewhat unreliable — the real BC could be higher or lower (and BC can change with velocity). That can result in problems at longer distances. Using sophisticated equipment, Applied Ballistics has measured true BCs for hundreds of projectiles. Plugging these verified numbers into your Ballistics App can improve your hit percentage at long range.

Tools of Choice — Purpose-Built Long Range Rifles

TIP for Choosing a Rifle: When you’re selecting a rifle for long range shooting, it’s important to understand your application and objectives. The applications for long-range shooting can be very refined. You have to select all the details of your application to select the correct rifle. Here are two examples — a semi-auto AR-platform rifle with scope and a bolt-action Fullbore (Palma) rifle with aperture sights. There are many other long range disciplines — F-TR for example. The F-TR rig uses a bipod and rear bag and a scope. To be competitive, a modern F-TR rig should shoot well under half-MOA.

Equipment Advice — Upgrading Your Hardware

TIP for Upgrading Your Rifle: At some point factory rifle owners will recognize weak links in the equipment chain. You can run that factory rifle for quite some time, but the barrel is eventually what’s going to hold you back. The twist-rate may not be high enough to stabilize the high-BC bullets. So the first thing you’re going to want to upgrade is the barrel. You want to get a fast twist-rate barrel with a chamber that is optimized for the bullet you’ll be shooting. A good-quality, custom barrel will be easier to clean, and it will improve the overall accuracy and precision of your shooting.

Big Boomers — Large-Caliber Rifles for Long Range

TIP for Shooting Hard-Recoiling Rifles: Bryan Litz defines “Large Caliber” as .338 caliber and bigger. These rifles can shoot heavy bullets with high BCs. However there are some trade-offs. It can be hard to maintain good fundamentals of marksmanship (trigger control, sight alignment) when you’re fighting heavy recoil and burning 100+ grains of powder. You’re dealing with the challenges that high energy brings. You want a muzzle brake with any cartridge .338 or above. Also, when considering lathe-turned solid bullets, remember that these typically have less sectional density compared to lead-cored bullets with similar profiles. This affects ballistics as well as recoil energy.

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May 31st, 2017

Women and Firearms — Growing Numbers of Female Shooters

Women NRA Gun Firearms statistics infographic 2016

Did you know that American women are the fastest-growing segment of gun owners? Whether it’s for self-protection, hunting, or target shooting, women are showing more interest than ever in owning firearms. Moreover, women are taking steps to train and educate themselves, and to get involved in hunting, recreational shooting, and firearms competition. This is now a significant trend — women are becoming an important and vital part of the shooting community. Nearly one-quarter (23%) of American women now own at least one firearm.

The numbers of women participating in the shooting sports has grown dramatically in recent years. in fact, in the decade from 2001 to 2010, the number of female target shooters has risen 43.5%:

Women NRA Gun Firearms statistics infographic 2016

Women and Firearms Infographic (CLICK HERE):

Women NRA Gun Firearms statistics infographic 2016

Story and images courtesy NRABlog.com.

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