October 8th, 2019

IBS Match Report — 2019 1000-Yard Nationals at Hawk’s Ridge

IBS 1000-Yard National Championship Hawks Hawk's Ridge North Carolina NC 1K Heavy Gun Light HG LG Score Benchrest
Over 100 Top Shooters Competed at the 2019 IBS 1000-Yard Nationals.

Match Report by Blake Wilson, IBS Match Editor
The International Benchrest Shooters (IBS) 1000-Yard Nationals were, once again, a success. The Hawk’s Ridge Gun Club in Ferguson, North Carolina, hosted a flawless event over Labor Day Weekend. Over 100 of the nation’s top shooters, from 19 states, gathered to compete for the crown of “National Champion”. Events such as this take an army to make work and the 2019 IBS Nationals were no different. But the event was a big success, despite some challenging conditions on Day One. We congratulate Glenn Hiett, who shot superbly to win BOTH the Two-Gun Overall AND Light Gun Overall 2019 Championships. Well done Glenn! We also recognize IBS Heavy Gun Overall Champion Sam Edwards.

IBS 1000-Yard National Championship Hawks Hawk's Ridge North Carolina NC 1K Heavy Gun Light HG LG Score Benchrest

Ideal Conditions Change Quickly on Saturday
Hawk’s Ridge is a very beautiful range. But “The Ridge” can sometimes have very tricky, unfriendly winds. Labor Day weekend 2019 was no different. Conditions started near perfect early Saturday morning — the day began with mild temps and wind flags hanging low. Things then changed for the worse. The great conditions only lasted a handful of relays as winds became unpredictable, showing the competitors how tough Hawk’s Ridge can be. Tiny groups and high scores quickly become scarce and shooters began to feel the effects of switching, hard-to-read winds.

IBS 1000-Yard National Championship Hawks Hawk's Ridge North Carolina NC 1K Heavy Gun Light HG LG Score Benchrest

2019 IBS 1000-Yard National Championships Top Competitors

Two-Gun Overall Champion: Glenn Hiett
Light Gun Overall Champion: Glenn Hiett
Heavy Gun Overall Champion: Sam Edwards
Highest-Placing Female: Donna Matthews
Junior Champion: Hunter Hall

Light Gun Group Winner: Scotty Powell
Light Gun Score Winner: Robert Banner
Heavy Gun Group Winner: Sam Edwards
Heavy Gun Score Winner: Tod Soeby

IBS 1000-Yard National Championship Hawks Hawk's Ridge North Carolina NC 1K Heavy Gun Light HG LG Score Benchrest1000-Yard Nationals Course of Fire
IBS 1000-Yard Nationals is a 6-target Aggregate event over a two-day period for Light Gun and Heavy Gun. Light Guns must not exceed 17 lbs. weight and shoot 5 rounds per target. Heavy Guns have no weight limit and shoot 10 rounds per target. At the Nationals each shooter gets three Light Gun targets and three Heavy Gun targets. The results are aggregated together to determine Two-Gun Overall, Light Gun Overall, Heavy Gun Overall. There are also separate awards for Light Gun Group and Score and Heavy Gun Group and Score.

Day 1 included a Light Gun target, Heavy Gun target and ended with a second Light Gun target. After two Light Gun targets, several shooters were feeling great about their chances — Robert Banner, Brian Buttrick, and Dan Pantinski all had 99 scores, just one from perfect. Jerry Powers had the best Day 1 Light Gun Agg, a 3.472″ average (0.33 MOA). Justin Morrow shot the smallest Light Gun Group — 2.604″. That works out to a very impressive 0.249 MOA at 1000 Yards!

IBS 1000-Yard National Championship Hawks Hawk's Ridge North Carolina NC 1K Heavy Gun Light HG LG Score Benchrest
Donna Matthews shot this excellent 50-2X, 3.257″ LG target on Saturday.

Participants Rewarded with Famous Hawk’s Ridge BBQ
As Saturday came to an end, the smell of chicken had taken over the range. Range owner Mike McNeil is known for his famous secret sauce BBQ chicken. From the comments of the crowd as they sunk their teeth into chicken, potato salad, fresh baked desserts — they had no complaints whatsoever. Bellies full, guns cleaned, everyone headed to their rooms for some much anticipated rest.

IBS 1000-Yard National Championship Hawks Hawk's Ridge North Carolina NC 1K Heavy Gun Light HG LG Score Benchrest

More Readable and Consistent Conditions on Day 2
Feeling refreshed and excited for the challenge and anticipation for the final day, shooters showed up raving about the BBQ chicken and ready to shoot. For the most part, Day 2 was much more forgiving and calm than Day 1. The format was the opposite of Saturday — Heavy Gun relays were conducted first and last with Light Gun in the middle.

Perfect scores, small groups and everything in between was shot. Shooters made adjustments and for the most part they worked. But some made the wrong choices and the price was paid.

IBS 1000-Yard Nationals Equipment List (CLICK to Zoom):
IBS 1000-Yard National Championship Hawks Hawk's Ridge North Carolina NC 1K Heavy Gun Light HG LG Score Benchrest
CLICK PHOTO to view LARGE Equipment List.

Editor’s Comment: Looking at the Two-Gun Top 20 Equipment List above, we see the Light Gun Ranks were dominated by 6mm Dashers, and 6 BRAs (BR Ackleys), most using Hodgdon H4895 powder. There were quite a few 300 WSMs among the top Heavy Guns. Krieger, with 10 selections, was the most popular barrel choice, followed by Bartlein (4), and Brux (3).

More than Marksmanship — Competitors Appreciate the Camaraderie
These events are always a pleasure to attend. You get to put faces with the names you’ve heard, compete against the best across the country, and see how you stack up to them. It’s fun to shake hands with the likes of Tom Jacobs (Vapor Trail Bullets past National Champion), Bart Sauter (Bart’s Bullets and current holder of 600-yard records), Mike Wilson (Current Light Gun Group and score record holder), the Hornady Team and many more.

IBS 1000-Yard National Championship Hawks Hawk's Ridge North Carolina NC 1K Heavy Gun Light HG LG Score Benchrest

This wonderful sport has no shortage of great men and women from many different states and cultures. Match director David Matthews, as well as Robert Smithey and the entire Hawk’s Ridge Gun Club staff, definitely showed how to put on a nearly flawless event. We cannot forget Kent Bratten for his tireless efforts in finding prize donations for the match. The IBS gives a special thanks to all our great sponsors who make the prize tables so abundant. Thanks for your generosity!

IBS 1000-Yard National Championship Hawks Hawk's Ridge North Carolina NC 1K Heavy Gun Light HG LG Score Benchrest

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September 5th, 2018

IBS 1000-Yard Nationals Match Report from Montana

IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting

Report by Boyd Allen, IBS Vice President
Photos by Gordie Gritters and Alex Wheeler
The 2018 IBS 1000-Yard Nationals event was hosted by the Montana NW 1000 Yard BR Club, which has an active and well-run 1K benchrest shooting program. Over eighty shooters from as far away as Indonesia participated, 82 in Light Gun, and 85 in Heavy Gun. By all accounts it was a very well-run match, that was enjoyed by all who attended.

IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting
The Deep Creek Range is a beautiful place to shoot, with normally favorable conditions. But the winds were challenging at the 2018 IBS 1000-yard Nationals.

One man, Carroll Lance, dominated the match, taking the 2-Gun Overall Aggregate, while also winning HG Score Agg, HG Group Agg, and HG Overall Agg. It was a masterful performance — Carroll shot his Light Gun in both classes, beating dozens of bigger, heavier, and much more expensive rifles. Carroll’s name will be placed on four IBS perpetual trophies. Here’s Carroll with his line-up of trophies.

IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting

Winning Form — Carroll Lance Talks Technique
When asked for his advice to a new shooter, Big Winner Carroll Lance said: “Shooters should concentrate on being smooth, so as not to disturb the rifle in the bags. Speed will come naturally. The common mistake is to try to run the shots faster than can be done smoothly.”

Aerial Drone Video Shows Deep Creek Range outside Missoula, Montana. Worth Watching!

Challenging Conditions at Match
While Deep Creek is renown for often having good, “readable” conditions, this was a tough year according to Deep Creek veterans. As proof, there were five DQs on a single relay.

Tom Mosul (who ran the firing line for most of the event) noted that conditions were not extreme but could be tricky, with max wind speed s10-15 mph. It varied enough that being on some relays could effectively put a competitor out of the tournament. Tom also mentioned that indicators that he normally could depend on were not reliable this year.

Leo Anderson, who has been present at nearly all the 1000-yard matches ever held at Deep Creek, said this 2018 match had some of the trickiest conditions he has seen in 20 years of competition. Leo said you could not see the conditions causing POI changes. Alex Wheeler agreed, and added that although it was pretty calm at the benches, that the scorer who was running targets (from the pits to the firing line) said there was a strong cross wind half way down range that could not be felt at the pits or firing line…typical for Deep Creek, tough to read when it does decide to be nasty.

IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting

Summary of IBS 1000-Yard Nationals Match Results

For those who are unfamiliar with long range benchrest results, there are seven categories of winners, with seven corresponding traveling trophies (the big ones that bear the names of each year’s winners). For each of the two rifle classes (Light Gun and Heavy Guun) there are group, score, and overall aggregate winners (every target is both measured for group size and scored.) Finally, there is a 2-Gun winner for both rifle classes combined, based on group AND score.

With over eighty competitors, the PDF of the complete results, including those of every relay plus a very detailed list of the equipment used by every competitor for both classes, is a whopping 52 pages long. Links Below:

CLICK HERE for full Results PDF | CLICK HERE for Category Results Plus Equipment Lists

IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting

IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting

Equipment List Light Gun and Heavy Gun Classes
The seven travelling trophies went to just three shooters. Cody Finch won the LG Group aggregate. Tim Gonnerman won the LG Score aggregate and LG Overall aggregate. Carroll Lance won everything else — HG Score aggregate, HG Group aggregate, HG Overall aggregate, and the 2-Gun Overall.

Big winner Carroll Lance shot his 6mm Dasher Light Gun for both classes. The rifle, smithed by Jay Cutright, features a Borden BRM drop port action, Krieger barrel, Wheeler LRB stock, and Nightforce scope. Carroll’s match-winning load consisted of Vapor Trail bullets, in front of H4895 powder and CCI primers.

IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting

Cody Finch’s Light Gun was a 6BR Ackley (6BRA) with Lederer barrel, BAT action, Nightforce scope, and a DCT stock. His load consisted of Vapor Trail bullets, Hodgdon powder, and CCI primers. Alex Wheeler smithed the rifle.

Tim Gonnerman’s Light Gun, smithed by Mike Bigelow, featured a Krieger barrel (6mm Dasher), BAT action, Nightforce scope, and McMillan stock. The load consists of Vapor Trail bullets, H4895 powder, and CCI 450 primers.

Equipment List by Class Based on Two-Gun Overall Agg Rankings
Light Gun Equipment List (click to zoom):
IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting

Heavy Gun Equipment List (click to zoom):
IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting

CLICK HERE for Full Equipment List for All Classes

IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting

Top Guns Talk — What the Winners Revealed

I called the major Aggregate winners (Carroll Lance, Cody Finch, and Tim Gonnerman), and asked them about the 1K Nationals. My questions fell into five major categories: 1) how the wind compared to other matches (including other locations); 2) how each handles his rifle and equipment; 3) how they shot the match; 4) how they clean their barrels (and what their barrel accuracy life is); and 5) How they reload.

They all described the conditions as challenging. This was not a match to use for spotting small differences in accuracy between similar calibers. Even with the rotations of relays and benches, there was an inescapable luck factor, with some relays having significantly more challenging conditions than others. Changes could be rapid, with reversals that could be extreme.

Gun-Handling: On the subject of how the rifle is handled, Cody Finch shoots with only trigger contact, while Tim Gonnerman and Carroll Lance have light stock contact. Tim said that he is so focused on shooting that he is really not aware of the details of how he handles the rifle. Carroll said that he makes light contact with his trigger hand and has the butt touching his shoulder so lightly that he can barely feel it, but solidly enough that it only recoils about a quarter inch.

IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting

Shooting Strategies: Cody uses his sighter period to investigate how differences in mirage affect bullet impact location and then holds off shot by shot during his record string. Tim and Carroll do not, they adjust their scopes using the last sighter shot (which they can see because there is target service like an high power match with spotter disks) and then hold center for their record, trying to do as little with their rest adjustments as possible. Carroll mentioned that he only made one adjustment for the whole weekend and that his usual practice is to make small corrections with hand pressure.

Barrel Cleaning: Tim shot the whole weekend, without cleaning. When he does clean he uses Pro Shot Copper Solvent, patches, a nylon brush, and does a lot of soaking. Periodically he uses IOSSO with a patch on a nylon brush. He breaks in his barrels with the common one-shot-and-clean progressing to three and then five, and, sees a velocity increase at about 120 rounds from new. Tim cleans with patches and bronze brushes. I smiled when he told me what he cleans with, CLR, ThorroClean (Bullet Central) and IOSSO. CLR has been the topic of some discussion on the internet, and a friend found that it did a good job on carbon. It has been a controversial topic. Of note, Tim shot the smallest group for the tournament.

IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting

Barrel Life: All three Top Guns said that accurate barrel life varied from barrel to barrel. I got the general impression that most were done or close to done by 1,500 rounds, at least for the Dasher, with the BRA being too new to tell if it would stretch that far, but that it might.

Reloading Methods: On the reloading side, none of them anneal regularly, if at all. Carroll’s cases had 15-20 firings on them, and had only been annealed once, early on, but they still felt good when he was seating bullets. Last year he tried to anneal after every event.

Most of his competition has been at 600 yards, where Varget did a good job, with bullets seated .010 to .012 into the lands, but it did not perform well at 1K so he switched to H4895, which likes its bullets .005 into the lands. The chamber has a .268 neck. Case necks were turned to .0105 for a loaded round clearance of about .003. He used a .263 bushing.

Starting with a fired case, he sizes in a FL bushing die, tumbles in corn cob media to remove the lube, and just before seating bullets applies graphite to the insides of case necks with a Q-Tip.

Course of Fire at 1K Nationals (as explained by Tom Mosul):
“Relays were rotated along with bench assignment within each relay. The match is a three-target Aggregate, so what we did was divide the total number of relays and benches by 3, and then rounded down. Due to the number of benches (13) and shooters there were seven relays per target. Saturday morning started with LG target #1, followed by HG target #1, finishing the day with LG target #2. Sunday morning began with HG target #2, then LG target #3, and finished with HG target #3. For each relay six minutes are allowed for sighter shots, followed by a cease fire, and within a minute after that, a ten-minute record period.”

True Treasure Trove of Prizes at Deep Creek

IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting
There was a very rich prize table, including BAT, Borden, Curtis Custom, and Defiance actions; McMillan, McMillan/Wheeler and Shehane stocks; Kahles, Nightforce, Swarovski, and Vortex Scopes; SEB NEO Rest; Benchsource Annealing machine; Bartlein, Brux, Lilja, Krieger, and Rock Creek barrels; Zeiss Binoculars; many gift certificates (incl. Kelbly’s and McMillan) and much more.

The Top Guns got the pick of the prizes. Carroll Lance chose a Kahles 10-50 rifle scope, Tim Gonnerman chose a BAT Neuvo action, and Cody Finch chose a Borden BRM action.

NOTE: Prizes that manufacturers and vendors contribute are an important part of any successful match. I am sure that everyone who was connected with this event is grateful to all the generous sponsors who donated prizes and gift certificates. Sebastian Lambang (shown below), creator of SEB Rests, shot the match and donated a SEB NEO rest.

IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting

More Photos — Hundreds of Photos
Here are links to ALL pictures that Gordy Gritters and Alex Wheeler were kind enough to take at the 2018 IBS 1000-Yard Nationals. There are 359 images altogether:

Match Photos by Gordy Gritters (279 photos) | Match Photos by Alex Wheeler (80 photos)

Parting Shot — How to “Make Weight” in a hurry:

IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting
This shows Tom Jacobs of Vapor Trail Bullets holding his match rifle while Gordy Gritters drills a couple of ounces out of the butt. We’re told Tom knew he was an ounce heavy when he got there.

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August 31st, 2017

IBS 1000-Yard Nationals in West Virginia This Weekend

Whitehorse Shooting Center WV

IBS logoThe White Horse Center Range near Peeltree, West Virginia, will host the 2017 National IBS 1000-Yard Nationals from September 1-3, 2017. This will be a great match — over 100 shooters have signed up so far, including many of the nation’s top 1K benchrest aces. It’s not too late to sign up. You can register (on-site) up until 5:00 pm on Friday, September 1. The current match fee is $90.00 per gun class, or $175.00 for both classes (Light Gun and Heavy Gun). The White Horse 1000-yard range will be open on Friday for sight-in and practice.

» CLICK HERE for IBS 2017 1000-Yard Nationals Registration Form

This record-setting offset (assymetical) Heavy Gun belongs to talented shooter Mike Gaizauskas.
IBS 1000-Yard Nationals White Horse whitehorse west virginia

2016 IBS 1000-Yard Overall (2-Gun) Champion Tom Mousel (below) will travel to West Virginia to defend his title this weekend at White Horse. Last year Tom posted a stunning 3.356″ Group Agg to win Light Gun Group as well. That’s a 1/3 MOA Agg at 1000 yards — truly remarkable precision.

Tom Mousel IBS 1000 yard national championship

The Deep Creek Tracker stock, with adjustable “keel”, is the hot ticket now in the 17-lb Light Gun class.
IBS 1000-yard nationals white horse WV

Match Schedule and Fees
Whitehorse Shooting Center MapThe 1K Nationals will be a 3-target Aggregate match for both Light Gun (LG) and Heavy Gun (HG) with six (6) targets total. Practice and Sight-in will be available Friday (9/1/2017). NOTE: There will be a $10.00 per target fee during practice days. Match fees for the Nationals are now $90 per gun ($45 per gun for juniors). All registrations MUST be received by 5:00 pm Friday, September 1st. No walk-up registrations will be accepted on match days.

How to Get There
The Center is located 9.7 miles south on State Route 20 from I-79, exit 115 or 10.1 miles north of Route 20 from Buckhannon. Look for a brown and yellow Dept. of Natural Resources sign on Route 20. Take Crouse Road to the next sign, turn right at the sign, and proceed up the hill to the Center. Map coordinates are: 39°, 7′, 11″ North latitude; 80°, 13′, 4″ West longitude. The White Horse Center website has information on area hotels and campgrounds.

White Horse Shooting Center IBS Nationals 1000 Yard

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April 29th, 2014

NBRSA 600-Yard and 1000-Yard National Championships Results

The Sloughhouse Benchrest Shooters hosted the 2014 National Benchrest Shooters Association (NBRSA) 600-Yard and 1000-Yard National Championships April 23-27, 2014. The match was shot in generally good conditions at the Sacramento Valley Shooting Center. Richard Duncan won the 1000-yard championship, finishing 8 points ahead of past Champ Richard Schatz. In the 600-yard Championship, Steven Raeder edged runner-up Wayne Courand. Bill Johnston set three, NBRSA 1000-Yard Heavy Gun Group Records* during the course of the match. Jim O’Connell reports that the sponsors were very generous again this year. Jim notes: “I think the big raffle winner this year was Bill Hubina who won a Nightforce scope and a Bat action. Congratulations to all the winners and thank you for your support of the Sloughhouse Benchrest Shooters. Hope to see you again next year for the 2015 Nationals.”

File photo from past event.
NBRSA 600 yard 1000 nationals sacramento

The three linked MS Word documents include results of the 600-Yard Nationals, the 1000-Yard Nationals, and the F-Bench Match. Click and download these files to view complete Group, Score, and Aggregate results, with rankings of all the individual competitors.

NBRSA 1000-Yd Nationals Results | NBRSA 600-Yd Nationals Results | NBRSA F-Bench Results

1000-Yard Overall Two-Gun Results
1. RICHARD DUNCAN – 13 (Nat’l Champion)
2. RICHARD SCHATZ – 21
3. BILLY COPELIN – 25
4. BRUCE BANGEMAN – 25
5. ROBERT HOPPE – 28
6. SHAWN GREENE – 30
7. BILL JOHNSTON – 34
8. GREG WILSON – 37
9. CANADA CUMMINS – 41
10. PETER WHITE – 44

600-Yard Overall Two-Gun Results
1. STEVEN RAEDER – 12 (Nat’l Champion)
2. WAYNE COURAND – 15
3. TOM ESSER – 28
4. DAVID LLOYD – 31
5. JOSEPH MCKEE – 41
6. GREG WILSON – 46
7. KENNETH SCHROEDER – 48
8. JERRY TIERNEY – 49
9. TERRY BALDING – 51
10. SHAWN GREENE – 56

*Bill Johnston set the following Heavy Gun records at the Nationals: Single Target Heavy Gun Group, 4.219″; Three-Target Heavy Gun Group Agg, 5.056; Six-Target Heavy Gun Group Agg, 5.899.
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