If you own a FN SCAR 17S rifle — check the serial number before you shoot it. FN America recently recalled hundreds of FN SCAR rifles. In an official Recall Notice, the gun maker stated that 471 SCAR 17S rifles are being recalled due to the possibility of catastrophic failure caused by defective bolts. Here are key terms of the 8/10/2016 FN SCAR Recall Notice:
FN America, LLC is recalling 471 of its FN SCAR® 17S rifles due to the possibility that certain products may have been assembled with a bolt that does not meet our hardness specifications. Firing may cause catastrophic failure of the rifle over a period of time. FN America shipped these SCARs July 28 and 29, 2016, and is hoping to contain the issue at the distributor level. In the event any of the affected SCARs have been sold to customers, FN America will reach out to those customers and warn them not to use their FN SCAR® 17S if it is one of the serial numbers being recalled. Failure to follow these instructions could cause injury or death.
Although no injuries have been reported as a result of this potential issue, FN America is advising customers to discontinue use of these rifles immediately and return affected products to FN America directly for inspection and possible retrofit with compatible bolts at no cost. FN America also advises all FN distributors to immediately return all recalled products currently in inventory to FN America[.]
For more information, contact FN’s customer service at 1-855-536-4872, ext 145 or send email to email@example.com .
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Forum member Mike T. (aka “Watercam”), has cleverly adapted a tubegun cheek piece to conventional fiberglass and wood stocks. The cheek piece hardware comes from Competition Machine and is the same as used on Gary Eliseo’s tubegun stocks. Here is Watercam’s Project Report:
Installing Tubegun Cheek Piece on Conventional Gun Stock
All of my match rifles are equipped with thumb-wheel adjustable cheek pieces for the best of reasons — adjustments can be made while in position, on target. I’ve learned that variations in position, terrain, and vertical angle all demand adjustability to achieve optimal cheek weld.
I wanted a cheek piece for my hunting and tactical type stocks that gave the same adjustability without having to cut a chunk off of my butt stocks. It needed to be affordable and easy to install. I also wanted a unit that would not push my head laterally away from the centerline of the scope or iron sights. Turns out I already had what I needed on my Gary Eliseo B-1 tubegun. I ran the idea past Gary, who said: “If you’ll be the guinea pig I’ll send the hardware”.
Using Gary’s hardware, I mounted Eliseo alloy thumb-wheel adjustable cheek pieces on a Bell & Carlson Medalist hunting stock and a Boyd’s laminate tactical stock. Read Forum Discussion.
Building Version One on Bell & Calson Stock
I had a Bell & Carlson Medalist stock for a Mauser 98 chambered in 9.3×62. This test rifle was enough of a thumper to reveal if the metal cheek piece could handle strong recoil.
I started by drilling three 1/2″ holes into the top of the comb to match the two pillars and one threaded shaft on the cheek piece. I used aluminum tubing to make guides for each and epoxied them in place. Inletting the oval hole for the thumb wheel was reasonably straight forward and the fiber reinforced foam in the buttstock offered enough support. A large flat washer epoxied underneath where the thumbwheel lay gave a smooth bearing surface. Total adjustment (with 2.25″ pillars and shafts) is just about an inch. I chose to trim the bottom of the skirt of Gary’s cheek plate so as to allow better position behind the scope for me and allow maximum adjustment even with the cheek piece of the stock. Set screws could be used instead of the thumb-wheel or in conjunction with it. In the end it was exactly what I envisioned and works great! The only thing left to do is paint the metal to match the stock.
Version Two — Installed on Boyds Laminated Tactical Stock
Watercam’s second metal cheek piece installation was on a laminated tactical stock. This Boyds stock did have a movable comb, but the original adjustable cheek section was too awkward to adjust from position. So I adapted the Eliseo cheek piece to to the Boyds stock, as you can see:
Cheek piece installation for both stocks was straight-forward, and the new cheek pieces work every bit as well the systems on my match rifles. Aluminum tubes epoxied in place guide the rods and threaded shank. A matching-diameter flat washer epoxied under the wheel provides smooth bearing surface. The glass-filled filler of the butt stock is plenty strong enough to support the unit. A set screw and knob can be added to lock in changes if so desired.
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Our friend Kirsten Joy Weiss is a modern-day Annie Oakley. A very successful competitive shooter in the collegiate ranks, Kirsten now produces a popular YouTube Channel focusing on the “Joy of Shooting”. In her videos, Kirsten offers shooting tips and performs a variety of trick shots — such as splitting cards with a .22 LR rimfire. This young lady can shoot, that’s for sure.
In this video, Kirsten shoots at some tiny reactive targets — “Pop-Its”. These pea-sized targets “pop” audibly when hit. They make a very challenging target, even when bunched together. Kirsten secured three (3) Pop-Its with a clothespin, and then placed the clothespin in the ground.
It took a couple tries, but Kirsten did manage to light off a Pop-It or two. Kirsten reports: “Basically a small exploding target, Pop-Its, also known as ‘Bang Snaps’, snaps, snappers, party snaps, etc., are a fun firework trick noisemaker — but will they make a good target? Let’s put it to the test to see if these poppers are gun range-worthy targets. These little Pop-Its make for some challenging shots with reactive targets.” Enjoy the video:
Equipment Report: For this video, Kirsten shot Lapua .22 LR ammo in a Volquartsen Ultra-lite semi-auto .22 LR rimfire rifle, fitted with a C-More Red-Dot sight. She was using Oakley eye protection.
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Sturm, Ruger & Co. has created a series of 11 short videos that trace the history of firearms, from matchlocks to modern semi-autos. Ruger’s “History of the Gun” video series provides a fascinating look at firearms technology throughout the years. The host is Garry James, Senior Editor of Guns & Ammo magazine. Featured here is Segment 7 on Rifling. Other installments in the series are linked below.
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.
The Rio Olympics shooting competition has ended, and USA Shooting Team’s medalists are all women. Ginny Thrasher of Virginia got the USA medal count off to a great start by winning the first gold medal of the 2016 Olympic games in Women’s Air Rifle, and Corey Cogdell-Unrein repeated as bronze medalist in Women’s Trap. By winning a bronze medal in skeet last Friday, 37-year-old Kim Rhode became the first female and summer Olympian ever to win medals in six consecutive Olympic Games. Read coverage in the LA Times, USA Today and Associated Press. Kim Rhode’s Olympic Odyssey.
Shooting Sports USA profiled Ginny Thrasher, winner of the very first Gold Medal awarded at the Rio Olympic games:
For 36 hours, Thrasher was the face of Team USA as the lone gold medalist, winning the first medal of the 2016 Olympic Games. The 19-year-old WVU sophomore was propelled into the media spotlight…
Thrasher explained how she coped with the pressures of competing in the most important sporting event on earth:
“I think this competition is one where you can mentally out-think yourself, and that’s the danger. For me, just being very focused. During the match I started out with some struggles, and I had to come off the line and my Olympic coach down there said, ‘Ginny, all you can do is shoot the best you can.’ I got back on the line, and that’s what I did. I shot the best that I could. I had a very bad hold, but it didn’t matter. Once I got into the final, I was very much focused on my breathing, and that was the point where all the training and all the discipline just came through for me. All I did was focus on my breathing and let my body do what it knew how to do.”
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Here’s a significant new addition to our knowledge base for Long-Range shooting. Hornady has released a new Ballistics Calculator that employs bullet profiles derived from Doppler radar testing and 3D projectile modeling. Hornady’s Patent Pending 4DOF™ Ballistic Calculator provides trajectory solutions based on projectile Drag Coefficient (not static G1/G7 ballistic coefficients) along with the exact physical modeling of projectiles and their mass and aerodynamic properties. This new 4DOF (Four Degrees of Freedom) calculator also accounts for spin drift and the subtle VERTICAL effects of crosswinds.
We strongly recommend you watch this video from start to finish. In greater detail than is possible here, this video explains how the 4DOF System works, and why it is more sophisticated than other commercially-offered Ballistics calculators. There’s a LOT going on here…
Aerodynamic Jump from Crosswind Calculated
According to Hornady, the 4DOF Ballistics Calculator “is the first publicly-available program that will correctly calculate the vertical shift a bullet experiences as it encounters a crosswind.” This effect is called aerodynamic jump. The use of radar-derived drag profiles, correct projectile dynamics, aerodynamic jump, and spin drift enable the Hornady® 4DOF™ ballistic calculator to provide very sophisticated solutions. Hornady says its 4DOF solver is “the most accurate commercially available trajectory program … even at extreme ranges.”
“Current ballistic calculators provide three degrees of freedom in their approach — windage, elevation, and range — but treat the projectile as an inanimate lump flying through the air,” said Dave Emary, Hornady Chief Ballistician. “This program incorporates the projectile’s movement in the standard three degrees but also adds its movement about its center of gravity and subsequent angle relative to its line of flight, which is the fourth degree of freedom.”
Using Doppler radar, Hornady engineers have calculated exact drag versus velocity curves for each bullet in the 4DOF™ calculator library. This means the 4DOF™ calculator should provicde more precise long range solutions than calulators that rely on simple BC numbers or drag curves based with limited data collection points. Emary adds: “The Hornady 4DOF also accurately calculates angled shots by accounting for important conditions that [other ballistic] programs overlook.”
“This calculator doesn’t utilize BCs (Ballistic Coefficients) like other calculators,” added Jayden Quinlan, Hornady Ballistics Engineer. “Why compare the flight of your bullet to a standard G1 or G7 projectile when you can use your own projectile as the standard?” That makes sense, but users must remember that Hornady’s 4DOF projectile “library” includes mostly Hornady-made bullets. However, in addition to Hornady bullets, the 4DOF Calculator currently does list seven Berger projectiles, six Sierra projectiles, and one Lapua bullet type. For example, Sierra’s new 183gr 7mm MatchKing is listed, as is Berger’s 105gr 6mm Hybrid.
This Video Explains How to Use Hornady’s New 4DOF Ballistics Calculator
Using the 4DOF™ Ballistic Calculator:
The Hornady 4DOF Ballistic Calculator provides trajectory solutions based on projectile Drag Coefficient (not ballistic coefficients) along with exact physical modeling of the projectile and its mass and aerodynamic properties. Additionally, it calculates the vertical shift a bullet experiences as it encounters a crosswind, i.e. “aerodynamic jump”. The use of drag coefficients, projectile dynamics, aerodynamic jump, and spin drift enable the 4DOF Ballistic Calculator to accurately measure trajectories even at extreme ranges. It is ideal for both long range and moderate distances and is available for the low-drag precision bullets listed in the drop down menu of the calculator. For calculating trajectories of traditional hunting and varmint bullets using BCs (ballistic coefficients), you can use Hornady’s Standard Ballistics Calculator.
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Here’s an important announcement for anyone who uses a powder in the 4350 range. Alliant is now shipping the all-new Reloder 16 powder. The burn rate is slightly faster than Reloder 17, and a bit slower than Varget or Reloder 15. Notably, this new Reloder 16 powder is very temp stable. AccurateShooter.com was shown “top secret” test results comparing Reloder 16 with other popular propellants, including Hodgdon Extreme series powders. The results for Reloder 16 were remarkable. Reloder 16 showed extremely constant velocities even with very high ambient temps — so this is a powder you can shoot even on hot Arizona summer days.
This is NOT just a slower version of Alliant’s double-based Reloder 15 (which words great in the 6mmBR and Dasher cartridges). Reloder 16 is a completely new formulation, produced in Sweden by Bofors for Alliant. Reloder 16 utilizes TZ technology, which manipulates the response of the propellant and resists the natural tendency to generate more pressure at higher temperatures and less pressure at lower temperatures.
As a result, Reloder 16 offers outstanding temperature stability. Based on the test results we’ve seen, if you are using H4350 or IMR 4451 currently, you should definitely give Reloder 16 a try. The powder also boasts excellent lot-to-lot consistency and contains a proprietary de-coppering additive.
Match and Hunting Cartridge Applications:
Alliant tells us that Reloader 16 “is ideal for traditional hunting cartridges, such as .30-06 Springfield and .270 Winchester, as well as 6.5mm target loads and tactical applications wherein temperature stability is required.” We also think the powder may work very well in these popular match cartridges: 6XC, .243 Win, 6.5×47 Lapua, 6.5 Creedmoor, .260 Rem, .284 Win, and .300 WSM. For example, Alliant’s Load Data Sheet shows a 2772 FPS load with 142gr SMKs in the .260 Rem.
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Here’s a tip we feature every year or so, because it is something that costs nothing, yet can be very useful in the reloading process. With a simple, easy modification to a fired case, you can determine the length to lands in your rifle barrel. As long as you set the tension right, the measurements should be repeatable, and you’ve just saved yourself $31 — the price of a commercial OAL gauge.
To achieve best accuracy with a rifle, you must control bullet seating depth very precisely, so all bullets end up in the same place relative to the entrance of the lands, every time. There may be multiple cartridge OALs which prove accurate. However, with each, you first need to determine a “zero” point — a reliable, and repeatable OAL where the bullet is “just touching” the lands.
There are tools, such as the Hornady (formerly Stoney Point) OAL Gauge, that will help you find a seating OAL just touching the lands. However, the tool requires that you use a special modified case for each cartridge you shoot. And, while we find that the Hornady OAL Gauge is repeatable, it does take some practice to get in right.
Make Your Own Length-to-Lands Gauge with a Dremel
Here’s an inexpensive alternative to the Hornady OAL tool — a slotted case. Forum member Andris Silins explais how to create a slotted case to measure length to the lands in your rifle:
“Here’s what I did to find length to lands for seating my bullets. I made four cuts into the neck of fire-formed brass. Then I pressed the bullet in lightly and chambered the entire gauge. As the cartridge chambers, the bullet slides back into the case to give you length to lands. It took less than five minutes to get it cut and working. A little light oil in the barrel just past the chamber helps ensure the bullet does not get stuck in the lands. It works great and is very accurate.
I made the cuts using a Dremel with a cut-off wheel. You can adjust tension two ways. First, you can make the cuts longer or shorter. Longer cuts = less tension. If you used only three cuts insted of four you would get more tension. The trick is to be gentle when you open and close the bolt. If you ram the bolt closed you may wedge the bullet into the lands. When you open the bolt it helps to keep a finger or two near by to guide the case out straight because the ejector wants to push it sideways.”
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Many of our Forum members have expressed interest in a recoil-reduction system for prone F-Open competition rifles shooting heavy bullets from powerful cartridges. A .300 WSM shooing 200+ grain bullets can definitely take its toll over the course of a match. One system that has been used with considerable success is the hydraulic “Bump Buster” recoil system. This definitely reduces the pounding your shoulder gets during a long match. To illustrate this system, we’ve reprised an article on Brett Soloman’s F-Open rifle from a couple years back. Watch the Videos to see the Bump Buster in action.
On his Facebook page, Hall-of-Fame shooter and ace gunsmith Thomas “Speedy” Gonzalez unveiled an impressive new F-Open rifle built for Bret Solomon. The rifle features Speedy’s new low-profile F-Class stock.
Bret’s gun is chambered for his 300 Solomon wildcat, shooting heavy 210gr bullets, so it can can be a real shoulder-buster, without some kind of buffer. The stock is fitted with a Ken Rucker’s Bump Buster hydraulic recoil reduction system to tame the recoil. The Bump Buster was originally designed for shotguns and hard-hitting, big game rifles. It is interesting to see this hydraulic buffer adapted to an F-Open rig.
Here you can see Bret shooting the gun, coached by Nancy Tompkins and Michele Gallagher:
Bret’s gun features a stainless Viper (Stiller) action, barrel tuner, and an innovative Speedy-crafted wood stock. Speedy says this stock design is all-new: “It is a true, low Center-of-Gravity F-Class stock, not a morphed Palma stock merely cut out on the bottom”. See all the details in this short video:
Stock Features: Glue-in or Bolt-In and Optional Carbon Pillars and Cooling Ports
Speedy explained the features of the new stock design: “Terry Leonard and I started working on an F-Class version of his stocks last year during the F-Class Nationals and came up with what he and I consider the first true low-CG stock in the sport. As you can see by the videos, there is very little torqueing of the stock during recoil. I add the carbon fiber tunnel underneath the forearms to save Terry some time. This bonds very well to his carbon fiber skeleton within the stock adding addition stiffness to the forearm to support the heavy barrels found on the F-Class rigs. We are playing with both glue-ins like we benchresters use and bolt-ins as well. The rifles on the videos are glue-ins. Bret just took delivery today of his first bolt-in employing carbon fiber pillars and the first Leonard stock ever to have cooling ports.”
Need for Recoil Reduction Follows F-Class Trend to Bigger Calibers and Heavier Bullets
In recent years we have seen F-Open competitors move to bigger calibers and heavier bullets in pursuit of higher BC. There is no free lunch however. Shooting a 210gr .30-caliber bullet is going to produce much more recoil than a 140gr 6.5mm projectile (when they are shot at similar velocities). Does this mean that more F-Open shooters will add hydraulic buffers to their rigs? Will a recoil-reduction system become “de rigueur” on F-Open rifles shooting heavy bullets?
Our friend Boyd Allen observes: “You may imagine that shooting a short magnum, or even a .284 Win with heavy bullets, involves a fair amount of recoil, and in the prone position this can be more than a little wearing. It can in fact beat you up over the course of a match. Some time back, Lou Murdica told me about having a hydraulic recoil absorbing device installed on one of his F-Class rifles, chambered in .300 WSM. Lou is shooting heavy (210-215gr) bullets so the recoil is stout. According to Lou, the hydraulic recoil-reduction system made all the difference.”
Story tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
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Article based on report in NRABlog.com.
Want to get young people involved in the shooting sports? Through organized training programs youngsters learn safe firearms handling, improve marksmanship skills, and meet other kids with similar interests. They also learn important life skills such as teamwork and goal attainment. There are several youth marksmanship programs available. All these programs let you share your joy of shooting with the younger generation. Remember today’s juniors are the future of our sport.
NRA National Junior Shooting Camps
File photo from NRA Smallbore Rifle Championship
The NRA’s National Junior Shooting Camps provide high-quality training opportunities in rifle, pistol and shotgun disciplines. Instruction is directed by highly qualified, top-level coaches. NRA offers camps for advanced and intermediate juniors. There are also Junior Olympic Shooting Camps, hosted by USA Shooting and supported by the NRA and the Civilian Marksmanship Program.
National 4-H Shooting Sports
The National 4-H Shooting Sports Program was created to teach marksmanship, the safe and responsible use of firearms, the principles of hunting and archery, and much more. State level 4-H clubs offer programs for individual training as well as team competitive shooting. There is also a National 4-H Shooting Sports Championship each summer which hosts Shotgun, Air Rifle, Air Pistol, Smallbore Rifle, Smallbore Pistol, Compound Archery, Recurve Archery, Muzzleloading Rifle and Hunting Skills events.
Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) offers several marksmanship opportunities for new and intermediate shooters. Programs provide training for marksmanship badges and there are a variety of other competitive and recreational programs. Check with your local Boy Scout organization to learn about the range offerings for scouts in your region.
American Legion Junior Program
Thousands of male and female junior shooters have participated in the American Legion Junior Shooting Sports Program, which has a perfect safety record. The Junior Program includes a Basic Marksmanship Course, Qualification Awards and Air Rifle Competition. To learn more, visit www.legion.org/shooting.
Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC)
The NRA’s Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC) program helps kids 18 and under to learn hunting, marksmanship, and safety skills. From rifle, bow, and muzzleloader shooting, to wildlife identification, map & compass orienteering and more, YHEC participants get hands-on training in eight skill areas. This is a great program for parents and kids who want to go on family hunts together.
Winchester/NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program
From a young shooter’s first BB gun to sophisticated air rifles, shotguns, muzzleloaders, pistols, and rifles, the year-round Winchester/NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program offers a pathway to excellence for young shooters. Qualification shooting provides incentive awards for developing and improving marksmanship skills. Progression is self-paced and scores are challenging but attainable. Performance is measured against established par scores and any shooter who meets or exceeds those scores is entitled recognition awards for that rating.
Brownells / NRA Day
Brownells / NRA Day events provide adults, youth, families, hunters, sportsmen, competitors – literally everyone – the opportunity to come together under a formal program to learn, experience, share, and grow in appreciation of the shooting sports. The event themes offered in the program are designed for discovery. They provide exposure to the many different activities available in shooting sports and offer participants the opportunity to explore them in a safe, controlled environment.
Willa-Hyde, producers of firearms concealment storage systems, has introduced a handsome 6-foot tall chest of draws that hides firearms on either side. The side storage compartments, which can each hold multiple long-guns and 3-4 handguns, slide out to reveal their hidden contents. These slide-outs are secured by a steel pin locking system, which can only be unlocked with the provided rare earth magnet key.
True Capacity — the manufacturer Willa-Hyde claims this chest will hold a dozen long guns (six per side). We think 7-8 total long guns is more realistic.
When fully closed, the chest of drawers, crafted from Adler wood, is indistinguishable from any other piece of fine furniture.
Dimensions are 72″ tall x 33″ wide x 19″ deep, and the chest of drawers weighs 240 pounds. Price is $1995.00 plus a $250.00 delivery charge.
Crafted in Texas, the Willa-Hide storage cabinets were inspired by the inventor’s wish to keep his firearms away from inquisitive children: “Concealed gun cabinets have quickly become a ‘must have’ for any gun owner. [This concept] began when our co-founder wanted an easy way to keep his granddaughter from finding his guns, but at the same time still be able to get to them fast and easily when needed.” For more information on the Gun Chest of Drawers and other Willa-Hyde products (such as the Hidden Storage Wall Mirror), visit www.Willa-Hide.com.
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John Whidden of Whidden Gunworks won his fourth Long Range National Championship at Camp Perry this month. In this article, the first of a three-part series on Long Range competition, John shares his thoughts on wind strategies and keeping one’s composure in pressure situations. John tells us Camp Perry was very challenging this year: “The 2016 Long Range Championship will go down in my memory as one with quick wind changes that made it very easy to shoot a 9.”
How to Win at Long Range Shooting
(Or at least what worked at the 2016 National Championships)
by John Whidden, 2016 National Long Range Champion
The NRA Long Range National Championships at Camp Perry Ohio are now in the history books and the competitors are home and reflecting on what they could have done to improve their score. I think anyone who has ever competed always knows they could have done even better if they had changed this detail or that aspect. This is the case regardless of where a shooter places in the standings, even for the winners.
This year the winds were reasonably tough. We mostly have either headwinds or winds from the 2-3 O’clock positions with speeds often in the 9-11 mph range. The changes came quickly and we had to be on our toes. Fortunately the course of fire allows the shooters some options. For the 1000-yard matches, we typically have 33 minutes for preparation, an unlimited number of sighter shots, and then 20 shots for record. Many shooters will shoot about 3-5 sighters and complete the task in about 15 minutes.
The 2016 Long Range Championship was definitely a match where you had to fight for every point during the whole event.
In preparation for shooting by watching the wind, I realized that the quick changes were going to add to the difficulty. Given the conditions, I chose a strategy of choosing only one condition to shoot in and waiting during any changes away from my desired condition. This plan meant that I would have to be very patient and plan to use all of my 33 minutes allotted time if needed.
The sun was shining for most of the matches so we had mirage to look at. There are plenty of flags at Camp Perry and I was glad for them!
As the wind speeds get higher I think a shooter should study the appearance of the flags. Some people look at the flag, and some really LOOK at the flags. The difference is observing things like how many ripples are in the flag, how far the flag stands off the pole, the angle of the flag in a headwind or tailwind, and how high the tip of the flag is relative to where the flag is attached to the pole. These details make all of the difference.
Time Management and Patience
Patience in wind reading can be a virtue. Choosing a condition and being patient has probably yielded more success in my long range wind reading than any other method. It’s not the only way to go, but on a day when you have time available and patience on your side it can yield a win! It should be obvious now that keeping a timer and managing the available time along with the number of shots remaining is an important part of this.
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On August 10th, Vista Outdoor Inc. (NYSE: VSTO), officially opened its new 33,000-square-foot Utah corporate headquarters to the public with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by state and local officials, community partners, members of the media, and employees.
“We are proud to call Farmington home,” said Vista Outdoor CEO Mark DeYoung. “We’re committed to being a strong partner for this community, and we value our relationships with the state, county and city leaders who helped make this headquarters a reality. We chose Utah because of its focus on outdoor recreation as an economic driver, the business-friendly environment, a talented workforce and balanced quality of life, as well as amazing geography and the availability of four seasons for outdoor recreation.”
Founded in 2015 when ATK (Alliant Techsystems*) spun off its sporting goods division from its aerospace business, Vista Outdoor is a leading global manufacturer of outdoor consumer products as well as firearms. Vista Outdoor’s 50 product brands include such well-known names as Bell Helmets, Blackhawk, Bushnell, CamelBak, CCI, Federal Premium Ammunition, and Savage Arms.
Building Constructed with Utah Wood and Stone
The new Headquarters building uses locally-sourced natural materials such as wood and stone in many design elements. The main lobby atrium includes a “living wall” made with live plants and a central staircase with an expansive view of the Wasatch Mountains, bringing the feeling of “outdoors” inside. The back lobby features a fireplace/campsite.
“Vista Outdoor and its brands are committed to conservation and environmental stewardship,” said DeYoung. “We believe in the responsible use of natural resources and in conserving the wild places where our employees and our consumers go to pursue their outdoor adventures.”
*Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK) came into being as an independent company in 1990 when Honeywell spun off its defense businesses to shareholders. ATK got into the ammo business in 2001 when it acquired Blount International. ATK grew with later acquisitions of Weaver Optics (2008), Blackhawk (2010), Savage Arms (2013), and Bushnell (2013).
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Our take on Bore-Store Gun sleeves is simple: They work great, so buy them and use them — for ALL your valuable firearms.
These thick, synthetic-fleece sacks cushion your guns, preventing nicks and scratches. The breathable fabric wicks away moisture, and the fibers are coating with corrosion inhibitors. I personally use Bore-Stores for in-safe storage with all my guns, and I have never had one of my guns rust inside a Bore-Store, even when I lived a stone’s throw from the ocean.
Bore-Stores are offered in a wide range of sizes, so you can find something to fit everything from a Snub-nosed revolver to a 32″-barrelled 50 BMG. Rifle-size Bore Stores can be purchased for $12.00 – $21.00 from Brownells. For long F-Class or tactical rifles, we recommend the 10″x52″ Scoped Shotgun Bag, Brownells item 132-000-003. You can also order direct from the Bore-Store manufacturer, Big Spring Enterprises, www.BoreStores.com. Big Spring will also craft custom sizes on request.
Get Your Guns Out of Foam-lined Cases — They Are Rust Magnets
For long-term storage, just about the worst thing you can do (short of leaving your rifle outside in the rain) is to store firearms in tight, foam-padded cases. The foam in these cases actually collects and retains moisture from the air, acting as the perfect breeding ground for rust.
Remember, those plastic-shelled cases with foam interiors are for transport, not for long-term storage. Don’t repeat the mistake of a wealthy gun collector I know. He stored four valuable Colt Single Action Army (SAA) revolvers in individual foam-padded cases, and locked these away in his gun safe. A year later, every one of his precious SAAs had rusted, some very badly.
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There’s still time to sign up for the inaugural New England CMP Games, held September 14-18, 2016, in Jericho, Vermont. Similar to the Eastern, Western, and Oklahoma CMP Travel Games, the New England Games will take place at Camp Ethan Allen Training Site and is hosted by the Vermont State Rifle and Pistol Association, along with the Burlington Rifle and Pistol Club. CMP Sales will be held at the Games, and on-site barracks accommodation is available.
The 2016 CMP New England Games will begin with Small Arms Firing School (SAFS) and the M16 Match. The event will feature Garand/Springfield/Vintage Military matches and the Modern Military match. Other matches include an EIC Rifle Match, Carbine Match, a Rimfire Sporter Match and the popular Vintage Sniper Match. There will be five pistol matches: CMP .22 Rimfire EIC Pistol Match, EIC Service Pistol Match, Pistol Team Match, Military & Police Pistol Match and CMP As-Issued 1911 Pistol Match.
The New England Games will feature CMP’s signature M1 Garand Match.
Along with the SAFS, a GSM New Shooter Clinic and Garand Maintenance Clinic will also be offered. SAFS training by qualified instructors is geared toward new shooters, so no previous firearm experience is required.
The CMP Sales Trailer will be on-site offering registered competitors a first chance at the CMP goodies on September 14th during the Competitor-Only Sales Event. The CMP will also offer rifle and ammo sales September 15-17 starting at noon each day. Housing will be available on post in the form of transient quarters with a shared bath as well as barracks with large open bays and smaller bays for small groups or families.
To register, visit the New England Games Page on the CMP website. For more info, call Christina Roguski at 419-635-2141 ext. 714, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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We like the swivel (“S”) version of the Harris bipod. The swivel (actually tilting) capability of the bipod allows you to tilt (cant) your rifle around the bore axis to level the rifle on a side slope or uneven ground. Unfortunately, the swivel tensioner (friction knob) that comes standard with a Harris swivel bipod leaves much to be desired. The tensioning knob is hard to adjust with your fingers. The small knurled ring doesn’t offer enough leverage. When it’s tight enough to prevent movement it’s hard to release. For this reason, many folks replace the standard knurled ring with a rotating adjustment lever with push-button release. This works great and is easy to install.
While you can buy levers from various sources, Eabco.com has a tried-and-true system that works with both Harris and Caldwell XLA-S swivel bipods: “Our new S-Lever Tension Lever is an economical replacement for the friction tensioning knob to give you much better control and leverage.” For just $12.95, Eabco.com delivers all the parts you need for the upgrade. Shown below are instructions for installing the Eabco S-Lever.
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It was a family affair in the F-TR Division at the Canadian F-Class Championships this past week. In a remarkable show of strength, Kevin and Will Chou, brothers from Aurora, Canada, finished first and second, topping a strong 94-shooter field that included past American and Canadian Champions. The “Chou One-Two” performance was one for the ages. Kevin finished first with 611-61V (“V” is the equivalent of an “X” in the USA), while Will (2014 Champion) scored 607-58V to finish second. A full thirteen points behind Will was third place Daniel Lentz at 594-34V.
Look hard at those numbers — Champion Kevin Chou was 17 points ahead of Daniel Lentz (the first American), with nearly double Dan’s V-Count. 17 points is a huge margin in this kind of competition. You have to hand it to the both Chou Brothers, Kevin and Will — they were “on fire” this past week at the Connaught Ranges outside Ottawa, Ontario. Kevin’s 611-61V equaled the top score in the F-Open division. That’s a major milestone for the F-TR bipod class shooting a .308 Win.
1. CHOU, KEVIN (Aurora, ON, Canada) 611-61V
2. CHOU, WILL (Aurora, ON, Canada) 607-58V
3. LENTZ, DANIEL(USA) 594-34V
4. HOGG, TRACY (USA) 593-41V
5. BURTON, ROBBY (USA) 591-44V
Kevin Chou Rifle Specs
BAT Machine M action, RB/RP
Bartlein barrel 300×308 1:10″ 5R Heavy Palma 29” finished
Robertson Composites stock (Warner model)
Nightforce NXS 5-22×56 with mirage cap by Kreativ Solutions
Edgewood Mini Gator Rear Bag, extra short, slick ears
Will Chou Rifle Specs
Stolle Panda F-Class, RB/RP
Bartlein barrel 300×308 1:10″ 5R Heavy Varmint 30 1/2” finished
Mike Ezell Tuner
Master class stock (Warner model)
March Tactical 2.5-25x52mm with modifier disk
Edgewood Mini Gator Rear Bag, extra short, slick ears
Kevin Chou Load Data
Berger 200 Hybrids, .010″ jam
Hodgdon Varget, 44.2 grains, 2660 fps
Lapua .308 Win Palma brass, skim turned to .0145″, .002″ neck tension.
CCI BR4 primers
Will Chou Load Data
Berger 200gr hybrids, .010″ jam
Hodgdon Varget, 44.2 grains, 2660 fps
Lapua .308 Win Palma brass, skim turned to .0145″, .002″ neck tension.
CCI BR4 primers
Report from the Canadian F-TR Championships
by Will Chou and Kevin Chou
Weather was extremely hot and humid for the first two days, resulting in thick mirage, a excellent indicator. In the Army & Navy match during the F-Open relay, wind velocity increased and shifted from right full value to left half value winds. Wind settled down for the last match of the day.
On the third day, mainly team matches, the rain challenged the marking staff with target faces deteriorating; a stop was called to the match after the 1st relay of the final. The match committee determined the best course of action, refaced the target during dry period and finished the remaining seeded final relays.
On the seeded final relay, my brother and I had no idea we’d be shooting together, as we’ve not discussed or paid any attention to scores for the entire match. It was a familiar position though, as we always practice paired together. Strangely, we’re not competitive with each other but rather assist one another to raise the level together. Come to think of it, that’s not just with my brother — we do that with everyone.
On that note, we feel the F-Class community has been raising each others level, bridging the gap between F-Open and F-TR. International teams have been assisting each other, most recently with Canadians and South Africans. Congratulations to South Africa for its well-deserved victory in the International Team Match.
We also congratulate the USA Team, which won the America Team Match, raising the bar yet again. Lastly, Shiraz Balolia’s “three-peat” in the F-Open Division was an incredible feat.
Big thanks to everyone at Bartlein barrels for their support to the Canadian F-Class team. Special thanks to Dan Pohlabel of Kreativ Solutions for the mirage cap, which allowed a better aim in thick mirage. Lastly, Clint Cooper of Duplin bipods, for the great product and his support.
Thank you all and we hope to see you on the firing line.
Shiraz Wins Third Canadian F-Open Championship in a Row: 2016, 2015, 2014
Grizzly Industrial President Shiraz Balolia pulled off a remarkable F-Open “THREE-PEAT” at the 2016 Canadian F-Class Championships. Shiraz won his third straight Canadian F-Class Championship, after winning the title in 2015 and 2014. Shiraz shot a 611-61V to edge, by way of tie-breaker, fellow American Emil Kovan, who also shot a 611-61V. That’s as close as it gets! Rounding out the podium in third place was another Yank, Dwayne Draggoo with 608-44V.
Stay tuned — We’ll have a full report on Shiraz’s notable three-peat F-Open performance (with his equipment and load details) later this week. We’ll also have reports on the Team competitions. There were three teams of 8 shooters taking part in the International, won by South Africa. In the Lum Trophy Match for teams of 4 shooters, there were 14 teams in the F-Open class, win by USFO Blue, and 11 teams in F-TR, won by USA Schwartzkopf.
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At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.
1. Amazon — Caldwell Long Range Target Camera System, $349.49
Forum members have purchased this Caldwell Target Cam System and they’ve found that it works reliably, providing a clear signal to any WiFi-enabled mobile device (smartphone, iPad, Laptop). One member specifically tested the unit at 1000 yards and it functioned fine. NOTE: This system does NOT have a zoom camera lens, so you need to position the camera within 10 yards or so of the target. But if you place it to the side a bit, this shouldn’t be a problem. This system comes with a nice, fitted carrying case that holds camera, transceivers, antennas, and stands. You get a very capable system for under $350.00 (Amazon price includes free shipping for Prime members). You can also get this system from Midsouth for $357.02 (shipping extra).
2. Amazon — Tipton Gun Vise, $33.13 (free Prime Shipping)
This is an awesome deal on a durable, well-designed polymer Gun Vise that every rifle owner can use. Your Editor has one of these units which has served well for more than a decade. The base has compartments for solvents, patches, and tools. The cradles and pads contacting your gunstock are a soft, rubber-like material that is gentle on fine finishes. This vise is relatively light in weight, but sturdy enough to support big, heavy rifles. NOTE: This is currently back-ordered, but due in stock August 17, 2016.
3. Midsouth — Burris Eliminator LaserScope with $100.00 Rebate
The Burris Eliminator III is an impressive piece of electro-optical technology. The built-in laser rangefinder senses the distance to your target and the scope’s “brain” calculates the required hold-over. The calculated aiming point is then displayed with an illuminated red dot on the vertical cross-hair. Just put the bright red dot on the target and make the shot. We’ve used this scope out to 600 yards on small steel targets and it worked flawlessly. Right now you can get a $100 Factory REBATE plus attractive sale pricing from Midsouth. After rebate, the 3-12x44mm Eliminator III costs $1199.00.
Here’s a rifle with a smooth three-lug action and good trigger that can take any game in North America. The Browning A-Bolt is justifiably respected as a solid hunting rifle. The 300 Winchester Magnum chambering offers serious hitting power, even at long range. This rifle, with a blued barreled action, normally retails for $600.00+. Now it’s on sale for under $500.00. To sweeten the deal even more, right now Browning is offering $50 CASH BACK on Browning centerfire rifles purchased between August 1, 2016, and September 30, 2016. CLICK HERE for $50.00 REBATE FORM.
5. Grafs.com — Hornady Z-Max Poly-Tip Bullets, $64/500 and Up
It seems like the Zombie craze has run its course (thank goodness), so Hornady’s Zombie bullets are being sold off at very low prices. Graf & Sons acquired a truckload of the green-tipped Z-Max bullets. These are the same as the popular red-tip V-Max bullets, just with a different color for the tips. Choose .204, .224, or .308 calibers in a variety of bullet weights. Prices start at $63.99 for 500, 32 grain .204 caliber varmint bullets. That’s just $12.79 per hundred.
6. Grafs.com — Forster Co-Ax Reloading Press on SALE
The Forster Co-Ax is a unique press that loads very straight ammo. If you’ve been patiently waiting to acquire a Forster Co-Ax® reloading press, now’s the time to strike. Grafs.com has Co-Ax presses on sale at $289.99. That includes shipping charges (with one flat $7.95 handling charge per order).
7. Glen’s Army Navy — CCI 17 HMR Ammo, $10.99 for 50 Rounds
Here’s a good deal on 17 HMR ammo, our favorite cartridge type for small varmints. This quality CCI ammo is loaded with 20 grain jacketed SP bullets. Muzzle velocity is 2375 FPS. If you need 17 HMR ammo, you might want to act quickly. At this price this 17 HMR ammo will sell out.
8. Amazon — Two Rolls of 3″ Neon Target Stickers, $14.95
We like these bright Neon 3″ target stickers. They are big enough to see easily at 600 yards, giving you a 1/2 MOA target center at that distance. For $14.95 at Amazon.com, you get 250 3″-diameter self-adhesive centers (125 targets per roll) that stick to almost any surface The high-contrast fluorescent red/orange color provides an excellent HI-VIZ aiming point, along with good contrast for bullet holes that fall within the 3″ circle. To help line up your reticle cross-hairs, the target centers feature black markers at 3, 6, 9, and 12 O’clock.
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Many of you may not have seen how Jerry Stiller’s innovative Drop-Port works with a 6BR, PPC, or Dasher case. Stiller Precision has created one slick system. Just retract the bolt and your case exits, nose-first, through a small port, coming to rest right under the gun. It works by gravity alone so you don’t need a conventional ejector, with the case alignment issues an ejector can create. (An ejector pushes on one side of the rim — this can push the case out of “perfect” alignment.) While Drop-port technology could, potentially, work with nearly any size cartridge, at this time, Drop-ports are only offered for PPC, 6BR, and Dasher-sized cases. Your Editor has a Drop-Port Viper action used with the 6mm BRDX cartridge, which is similar to a Dasher but with a slightly longer neck. It works flawlessly. Our Belgian friend David Bergen was kind enough to video his Viper Drop-Port in action:
Currently, the Drop-port system is available with the Viper action (both aluminum and stainless), and the round-profile Diamondback actions (but expect to wait a LONG time if you want the flat-bottomed Viper action). Because of the nature of Drop-port geometry, this system is optimized for short-length benchrest cartridges such as the 220 Russian, 22 and 6mm PPC, 6mmBR, and the 6mmBR Improved (Dasher, BRX, BRDX). If you plan to use a Drop-port with a Dasher or other improved case, you should tell Stiller Precision when you order. Also, if your gunsmith has not built a Drop-port rifle before, he should first consult with Stiller Precision, (972) 429-5000, to ensure the exit port is placed and inletted correctly in the stock. Getting the geometry exactly right is critical with this system.
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