February 11th, 2018

Berger SW Nationals 2018 — Hail the Champions

Berger SW Nationals Ben Avery Wind

Today was the final day of the Berger Southwest Nationals (SWN). Two 1000-yard individual matches were scheduled. But the weather gods did not cooperate. Sunday matches were cancelled due to high, gusty winds from the North-Northeast that made it very difficult to handle the large, wood target frames. With concern for the safety of pit workers, match organizers waited until 10:00 am, then canceled the matches. It was a disappointment for some, but all the competitors still enjoyed a great week at Ben Avery.

With the cancellation of Sunday matches, the three individual champions — Sling Division, F-TR, and F-Open have been decided based on the Friday and Saturday results. We congratulate the three new Champions: Bob Sebold (F-Open), Phillip Kelley Jr. (F-TR), and Allen Thomas (Sling).

Top Five Overall – F-Open
Bob Sebold, 843-49X
Keith Glasscock, 843-38X
Jay Christopherson, 841-45X
Stephen Potter, 841-37X
James Crofts, 841-34X
Top Five Overall – F-TR
Phillip Kelley Jr., 838-35X
Ellis Berry, 837-42X
Niklas Montin, 836-35X
Peter Johns, 835-36X
Edward Shelley, 832-33X
Top Five Overall – Sling
Allen Thomas, 844-37X
Oliver Milanovic, 843-45X
Trudie Fay, 842-32X
Nancy Tompkins, 840-43X
Angus McLeod, 840-43X

Team matches concluded yesterday, Saturday. In team competition, Team Lapua/Brux/Borden won the F-Open Division, while Team McMillan finished first in F-TR Division. In the Sling Division, Team USA National Hayes topped the field. Congratulations to the winning teams.

View Complete SWN Match Results on McMillan Facebook Page »

Berger SW Nationals Ben Avery Wind

Berger SW Nationals

Wicked Winds on Saturday Challenged Competitors
Saturday’s weather was not kind to shooters. Along with cloudy skies came wind — lots of it. The wind was veering, and gusty — with significant changes in velocity. It was hard to predict the cycles — if they could be called that. Erratic was more like it. Many shots were out in the 7 and 8 rings. One champion-level shooter told us: “That was ugly — I got my clock cleaned”. Another shooter said “I ran out of paper to hold off”. At one point, Team Lapua/Brux/Borden (LBB) waited over 30 minutes to take a shot, hoping to get into a steady condition. The patience paid off. Team LBB shooter Jay Christopherson’s final shot (after the long wait) was a 10.

Berger SW Nationals Team Lapua Brux Borden

Above is a view from a spotting scope during the 1000-Yard Team Match on Saturday. During the course of the day, there were many 7s and 8s showing on the targets. One competitor said “the wind was so bad, I was holding off the frame”.

Berger SW Nationals Team Lapua Brux Borden

Team Lapua/Brux/Berger shot great in tough conditions on Saturday to win the F-Open Team competition. Second from left is Jay Chistopherson, AccurateShooter.com’s System Administrator. When he’s not shooting, Jay works hard to keep our Shooter’s Forum and content sites running smoothly.

The team announced: “Team Lapua-Brux-Borden pulled off a major win today at Berger SW Natinols. Conditions were very challenging but our wind coach was able to keep up with the conditions. Our rifles shot very flat which allowed us to rack up points and Xs. We have a great team and amazing sponsors: Lapua, Brux Barrels, Borden Actions, Cerus Rifleworks. Team members: Jay Christopherson, Eric Cortina, Steve Harp, Tod Hendricks, Pat Scully, and Bob Sebold. Notably, Bob Sebold also won the 2018 Berger SWN Individual F-Open title, making him a double champion.

Eliseo Tubegun with Nightforce Competition scope. These versatile rifle chassis systems are produced by Competition Machine in Cottonwood, Arizona.
2016 Berger Southwest Nationals Phoenix Arizona AZ

Berger SW Nationals Team Lapua Brux Borden
Photo by Sherri Jo Gallagher.

There couldn’t be a match without the dedication of the folks who work the pits. At the Berger SWN, competitors did pit duty, ferried by trailers, and there were also some volunteers.

Berger SW Nationals Team Lapua Brux Borden
Photo by Sherri Jo Gallagher.

They say behind every successful man is a good woman. Derek Rodgers, current F-TR World Champion, is no exception. His wife Hope Rodgers was on hand throughout the SWN to cheer on her husband.

Berger SW Nationals Team Lapua Brux Borden

For many sling shooters, the Berger SWN is the second most important event of the year, right after the NRA Championships, held at Camp Perry (OH) and (now) Camp Atterbury (IN). Check out those patches.

Berger SW Nationals Team Lapua Brux Borden

Industry Report — Berger, Lapua and Capstone Precision Group

Last year Berger Bullets was acquired by the Nammo Lapua Group. Berger Bullets, along with Lapua Products, SK Ammo, and Vihtavuori Powder, are now distributed in the USA by the Capstone Precision Group. Berger will continue to offer its full line of bullets, plus Berger-branded Ammunition (formerly ABM Ammo). Likewise Lapua will continue to offer its superb caftridge brass, plus Lapua’s full line of bullets and loaded Ammunition. In this video, Capstone’s Director Bill Gravatt explains how Capstone is working to expand the availability of Lapua and Berger products. In addition, Eric Stecker explains how Berger Bullets can increase production significantly, now that Berger is operating in the large Nammo/Lapua facility in Mesa, Arizona.

Today is the last day of the Berger Southwest Nationals. After the cancellation of Sunday’s 1000-yard matches due to high winds, this year’s 2018 SWN concluded with the Award Presentations. We watched as scores of medals — along with heaps of cash and Berger bullets — were handed out. AccurateShooter.com also awarded prestigious Corinthian awards to Nancy Tompkins (Sling) and Rick Jensen (F-Class).

Berger SW Nationals Team Lapua Brux Borden
Photo by Sherri Jo Gallagher.

Team McMillan was the top-performing F-TR squad at the Berger SW Nationals. The team includes many former members of the all-conquering Team Sinclair.

Berger SW Nationals Ben Avery Wind

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January 18th, 2018

Williamsport Benchrest School 2018 Registration Opens

Williamsport 1000 yard Benchrest School
Sebastian Reist photo.

Williamsport benchrest schoolWant to learn long-range benchrest skills from the best in the business? Then head to Williamsport, PA this June. The registration period for the 2018 PA 1000 Yard Benchrest School is now open. This year’s session will be held Saturday and Sunday, June 16-17, 2018, with a “Meet and Greet” on Friday Night. Classes, taught by top 1K shooters, are held at the Original Pennsylvania 1000-Yard Benchrest Club Range, one of the best 1000-yard ranges in the country. The school will be limited to 25-30 students with one instructor for every two students.

CLICK HERE for 2018 Williamsport 1K Benchrest School Application
(MS Word Document)

Williamsport Shooting School Benchrest 1000 Yard

Praise from a 1K Benchrest School Grad
Here’s a testimonial from a recent graduate: “I can attest to the knowledge that you gain. I went last year and loved it. Have renewed my membership in the Club and would love to go this year. I would love to take the course again. In the photo above I am in the back row, fourth from the right — sunglasses and blue shirt.” — Bob, Class of 2016

Participants will learn all aspects of long-range benchrest shooting from some of the most skilled marksmen in the country. Much time is spent at the loading bench and on the firing line. Classes cover load development, precision reloading, bench skills, and target analysis. You don’t even need guns and ammo — all equipment and ammunition will be provided.

School instructors tell us: “This year’s benchrest school will be a 2-day weekend event. (There is also an optional ‘Meet and Greet’ gathering Friday evening). The school is a beginner class designed to teach the fundamental skills needed to be competitive at at 600 and 1000 yards. Saturday will be spent in class covering a range of topics including reloading ‘dos and don’ts’, load development and equipment handling. Sunday we will shoot an actual match to see what you’ve learned.”

Cost for the class is $425.00 including lunches on Sat/Sun and dinner on Saturday. Act soon if you want to attend the 2018 school — the school fills quickly. NOTE: To secure your placement, payment must be made in full prior to May 25th, 2018.

Watch Williamsport Benchrest School Slideshow:
Please enable Javascript and Flash to view this VideoPress video.

This slideshow was produced by Sebastian Reist an alumnus of the 2009 Williamsport 1000-yard BR school. SEE: www.sreistphotography.com.
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September 19th, 2017

Eight-Year-Old English Schoolgirl Shines at 1000-Yard Benchrest

Emily Benchrest 1000 yards England UK schoolgirl Kales Scope Light Gun Record
Emily has won many awards — including a screamer at 1000 yards — and her accomplishments have not gone unrecognized. At a recent UK Shooting Show, Emily was presented with a Kahles 10-50x56mm scope by UK Importers RUAG which will come in very useful for the UK winter 600-yard benchrest series. She also received a one-off Hausken suppressor in her favorite color — pink!

English Emily and Her Record-Breaking 6mmBR Stolle

Report by Vince Bottomley
Turning back the clock a decade or so to 2006 and Accurateshooter’s Gun of the Week #71 you will see my smiling face and my 7mm WSM BAT which had just set a new UK Light Gun record for 1000-yard benchrest with a 5-shot group measuring 2.67 inches. That record has now been broken — sadly not by me but by Emily’s Grandfather with a gun I built for this talented schoolgirl. Here’s the story of the precocious Emily and her record-setting rifle…

In 2006, when I set the record, young Emily Lenton wasn’t even born but, a couple years later she arrived – into the shooting-mad Lenton family. Both father Bruce Lenton and Granddad Tony have represented their Country at European and World Benchrest Championships and it was no surprise to see Emily, at just eight years old, shooting in her first 1000-yard benchrest competition.

Eight-year-old Emily shoots 6mm BR Heavy Gun at 1000 yards.
Emily Benchrest 1000 yards England UK schoolgirl Light Gun Record

Recoil is always going to be a problem for an 8-year-old, so Emily’s first bench-gun was Granddad’s 1000-yard Heavy Gun chambered for the 6mmBR cartridge. It hardly moves when Emily pulls the trigger and she soon became a serious contender.

Under her father Bruce Lenton’s careful supervision, Emily loads all her own ammunition.
Emily Benchrest 1000 yards England UK schoolgirl 6mmBR 6BR vince bottomley Light Gun Record

Of course, she wanted her own gun and who better to ask to build it than the current record holder — me of course! Emily chose a Stolle action RBLP as this was to be a 17-lb Light Gun, bedded into a UK-made Joe West laminate stock. The barrel was a heavy-profile 1:8″-twist Krieger chambered in 6mm BR Norma (6BR) with a ‘no-turn’ neck (reamer from Pacific Tool & Gauge) and fitted with a UK Tier One muzzle-brake.

Emily’s Light Gun begins to take shape…
Emily Benchrest 1000 yards England UK schoolgirl 6mmBR 6BR vince Bottomley Light Gun Record

Emily buckles down to some winter load-development (note the fleece coat and wool gloves).
Emily Benchrest 1000 yards England UK schoolgirl 6mmBR 6BR vince bottomley Light Gun Record

It was down to Granddad to help Emily with load-development and of course, he could also shoot it in competition — after all Emily had just about shot-out Granddad’s Heavy Gun with a full season of rapid-fire 10-shot groups!

Granddad Tony gets ready to shoot Emily’s gun.
Emily Benchrest 1000 yards England UK schoolgirl vince bottomly 6mmBR 6BR Light Gun Record

Then something happened – Granddad went and broke my ten-year old record with Emily’s gun! Well, I suppose there was some consolation — at least I’d built the record-breaking gun. The new UK Light Gun 1000-yard five-shot record now stands at 2.462 inches. For those who like load details, Emily uses Lapua brass, Vihtavuori N150 powder, CCI 450 primers, and Berger 105 grain VLD bullets loaded with Wilson hand-dies.

Tony Lenton with Emily’s gun just after he broke my 1000-yard record. I’m doing my best to smile!
Emily Benchrest 1000 yards England UK schoolgirl 6BR 6mmBR Vince Bottomley Light Gun Record

Next Stop… New Zealand! 2017 World Benchrest Championships Down Under
Emily has now got her own 6PPC gun for short-range benchrest and she will be travelling to New Zealand this fall with her family. She’ll be helping her father and Granddad who are part of the United Kingdom squad competing at the 2017 World Benchrest Shooting Championships to be held at the Packers Creek Range in Nelson, NZ. How long will it be before Emily makes her own ‘World’ debut?

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September 15th, 2015

Match Report: 2015 IBS 1000-Yard Nationals at Hawks Ridge

Hawks Ridge IBS Benchrest Shooters International 1000 Yard 1K Championship North Carolina 6mm Dasher

Report by David and Donna Matthews
The 2015 IBS 1000-Yard National Championships were held September 4-5 at the Hawks Ridge Gun Club in Ferguson, North Carolina. Attendance was great, with 103 Registered Light Gun shooters and 89 Heavy Gun competitors. After a practice day, the competitors tried on Friday and Saturday to master the unpredictable conditions at Hawks Ridge. The 1000-Yard National Match for 2015 featured a three-target Aggregate for each Division (i.e. six targets total for both classes).

The Hawks Ridge range is quite unique — it’s a very wide-open, over-the-hills range. Conditions constantly change (and change very quickly according to several competitors). The management and membership of this range put on a great event this year. Several shooters said this was one of the best-run National-level matches they had ever attended.

Hawks Ridge IBS Benchrest Shooters International 1000 Yard 1K Championship North Carolina 6mm Dasher

Jim Bauer Won the IBS 2015 Nationals shooting a 6mm Dasher in both Light Gun and Heavy Gun Classes. Here’s his match-winning Heavy Gun. Smithed by Gordy Gritters, Bauer’s Heavy Gun featured a BAT action, Kreiger barrel (in barrel block), Shehane stock, and Nightforce scope.

Hawks Ridge IBS Benchrest Shooters International 1000 Yard 1K Championship North Carolina 6mm Dasher

Bauer Drives Dashers to Victory
Hawks Ridge IBS Benchrest Shooters International 1000 Yard 1K Championship North Carolina 6mm DasherThe Two-Gun Champion and Overall winner was Jim Bauer with 24 rank points. In second place was Robert McMichael with 36 rank points. Bauer shot great in both Light Gun (LG) and Heavy Gun (HG) matches, posting Top 10 finishes in both classes. Bauer ran 6mm Dashers in both Divisions (LG and HG) with Vapor Trail bullets. By contrast, McMichael shot big cartridges — a .284 Shehane in LG and a .300 WSM in HG, using Berger Bullets for both calibers. Top lady shooter was Donna Matthews while Amber Brewer won the Junior Division. John Stecik won a BenchSource Annealing machine for shooting the Best Light Gun Target (50 score with a 3.758″ group). Steve Knight shot the Best Heavy Gun Target (100 with 4.407″ group), to win a Douglas barrel.

Hawks Ridge IBS Benchrest Shooters International 1000 Yard 1K Championship North Carolina 6mm Dasher

CLICK HERE for Complete Match Results and Equipment List

PDF File — scroll to bottom of document for EQUIPMENT LIST.

The Hawks Ridge Gun Club Range and Facility
The 1000-yard shooting facility is a covered pavilion that has 15 shooting benches located in the rolling hills of Wilkes County North Carolina. The Club has a great Barbeque grill on site, which the McNeil family employed to perfection, delivering an outstanding Barbeque chicken meal on Friday night.

Hawks Ridge IBS Benchrest Shooters International 1000 Yard 1K Championship North Carolina 6mm Dasher

One veteran shooter commented that when you can take 103 of the best shooters in the country and hold a event that had very little to any issues you have accomplished something. Range officials were quick to point out that it took a lot of hard work from Hawks Ridge Club members as well as support from the IBS, the sponsors, and the competitors.

Outstanding Prize Table
Over $20,000 worth of prizes were awarded at this year’s IBS 1000-Yard Nationals. Prizes included: Nightforce scopes, Sightron Scopes, BAT Action, Defiance Action, Baity Action, Shehane stocks, rests, reloading tools, Sierra and Berger bullets, and more. Many thanks should go to Stanley Taylor from Douglas Barrels for his time and energy in acquiring prizes for the match.

Hawks Ridge IBS Benchrest Shooters International 1000 Yard 1K Championship North Carolina 6mm Dasher

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May 31st, 2015

.300 WM Aussie Style — Most Popular 1000-Yard Benchrest Video

Here’s a true “Blast from the Past”, a video featuring our friend Stuart Elliott of Brisbane, Australia. This 2011 video has now racked up nearly 680,000 views, making it probably the most-watched long-range benchrest video ever uploaded to YouTube. The video shows Stuart shooting a 10-shot Heavy Gun string at the Brisbane range, Queensland, Australia, in July 2011. In this example, Stuart elected to “run a condition” with his big, .300 WM Heavy Gun, shooting fast with slight hold-off adjustments as the wind increased during the string. The cartridge is a .300 Winchester Magnum, loaded with moly-coated 190gr Berger VLDs. Stuart has an unusual bolt configuration. After each shot, Stuart removes the bolt completely with his right hand, and then uses the bolt to “shuck” the fired cartridge while loading the new cartridge with his left hand. That sounds awkward, but Stuart makes it all look easy. Stuart runs BRT Shooters Supply, a leading vendor of precision shooting equipment (including March scopes), in Australia and nearby regions.

Stuart Elliot BRT Shooters 1000 yards 1k benchrest march scope

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April 8th, 2014

James O’Hara — “Mr. Consistent”, Sets 1000-Yard Agg Records

James O'Hara IBS 1000 Yard Aggregate Record1000-yard Benchrest competitor James O’Hara set four (4) new IBS Records in 2013. These multi-match Light Gun Agg records were secured with O’Hara’s solid performance at the 2013 Virginia 1000-yard Benchrest State Championship. Here are the new records set by O’Hara in 2013:

10-Match Score Aggregate 47.5
6-Match Score Aggregate 49.5
6-Match Score Aggregate 49.83
6-Match group Aggregate 3.072”

During the VA state championships, O’Hara was on fire. All four groups were centered for 50s, with three groups under 3″ and the fourth a 3.715″. That’s consistency.

Target 1- Group 2.996” Score 50.2
Target 2- Group 2.433″, Score 50.1
Target 3- Group 3.715″, Score 50.4
Target 4- Group 2.188″, Score 50.1
Group Average 2.833″, Score Average 50.2

On 1000-yard benchrest targets, the 10-ring is just seven inches in diameter, while the X-Ring is a mere 3 inches in diameter. At the Virginia 1K Championships, James managed to keep all his shots within the seven-inch 10 Ring with eight of the shots inside the 3 inch X-Ring. That is amazing accuracy and consistency. David Goodridge says: “This is truly a remarkable example of superb marksmanship, rifle design, assembly, load development and equipment maintenance.” (O’Hara had previously set a 10-match Aggregate Light Gun World record of 4.5389″ in 2012).

Click image for Full-screen view
James O'Hara IBS 1000 Yard Aggregate Record

James O'Hara IBS 1000 Yard Aggregate Record

James O’Hara Talks About Record-Setting Rifles and Ultra-Accurate Long-Range Loads
James generously agreed to share his knowledge and experiences on the many facets of IBS 1000-yard benchrest preparation, reloading and shooting techniques in an intereview with Australian David Goodridge. This feature originally appeared in Australian Target Rifle Magazine. A few of O’Hara’s responses have been updated, based on a conversation with James on April 8, 2014.

Goodridge: James on behalf of the Australian LRBR community I would like to congratulate you on your achievements in 1000-yard Benchrest and thank you for [doing this] interview. To begin, could you provide an outline on your background and the reasons or factors that led you to becoming involved in 1000-yard BR at the Virginia Club.

O’Hara: I started short-range Benchrest in 1996 for a brief time and won my first 100-yard IBS match and I was hooked. Loss of eye-sight in one eye put a damper on it and I quit shooting for while, and I started shooting trap to try to switch over to left-handed. It worked and I started to pick up a gun left-handed so I went back to the rifle and built a tube gun.

I tried the local groundhog matches but the rules changed every match. I then found the Reade Range and 1000-yard matches. I restocked my gun with a long-range stock and started 1000-yard Benchrest. Finding I enjoyed the challenges associated with long range benchrest, I began 1000-yard Benchrest competition at Harry Jones Range and White Horse Range, two IBS ranges in West Virginia. I basically started after the year was under way in 2011 and I must say it was a very humbling experience. I soon learned that my previous short range [techniques] were not working.

New scales, a K&M arbor press with a force indicator, led to improvements. Then designing and obtaining reamers to my own specifications led to further substantial improvements, with the end result being that the same loads now seem to work from barrel to barrel.

James O’Hara Equipment Details

Gunsmithing: I do all the work myself, except barrel chambering/fitting is done by Dave Bruno.

Favored Caliber: I use a 6mm Dasher with a .266 neck and a .135 free bore. My load is a 103gr Spencer bullet trimmed and pointed with Hoover tools. Load is Alliant Reloder 15, 33.0+ grains weighed on a GD503 scale, with a CCI 450 primer. Right now I’m jumping the bullet about .006″. Previously, I shot them about .010” into the rifling but it was pulling the bullets or pushing them back.

Actions: For the IBS record groups I used a Bat 1.350” Bat B action in a Roy Hunter Stock. Other actions in use include a 1.530” Bat B and a Kelby F-Class Panda.
Barrels: The record barrel was a Brux Heavy Varmint, 1:7.83″ twist, finished at 28″, and fitted with a Harrell’s brake.
Stocks: I have two Roy hunter stocks and a PR&T and all track very well. They are balanced at two inches ahead of the receiver. All three stocks are glued with liquid Devcon and are pillared, so they are “glued and screwed”. I think this is the best system.
Scopes: The PR&T-stocked rifle has a March 10-60X and the two Hunter-stocked guns have Nightforce 12-42x56mm NXS scopes.
Rests: My front rest is a Sinclair Competition model that I modified with a cartridge holder that holds cartridges up by the port. I use the new super slick bag by Protektor and a rear Doctor Bag with leather ears.
Scope Mounts: Rings are Burris Signature Extra High (the ones with inserts).

Case Preparation and Reloading Techniques:
My cases are three years old, with close to 100 firings. They are all from the same lot. I anneal the cases dirty to save some work and I anneal every time to have consistent neck tension. I punch the primers out and clean the pockets and run the flash hole uniformer in to make sure there is no carbon build-up. You can use the same tool as you use to prep the new cases. Flash holes are uniformed to .0625″. (Flash holes, “out of the box”, are less consistent than you may think.)

I turn necks to .0102″ with a K&M tool. Some competitors don’t turn necks, but without uniform neck tension you will have vertical. I use a K&M VLD chamfering tool and a Wilson case trimmer for new cases and when I trim fired cases. I use a nylon brush for inside the necks and clean the cases outside with 0000 steel wool using a small power station or a drill to spin them. The cases are sized on a Forster Coax press with a Harrell’s full length bushing die. Priming is done by hand using a K&M priming tool. I throw a “close” charge with Harrell’s bench rest powder measure. That charge goes in the pan of my Sartorius GD503 scale and then I trickle up to weight with an Omega powder trickler.

James O'Hara IBS 1000 Yard Aggregate Record

For bullet seating, I now use the 21st Century Hydraulic arbor press with seating force indiciation. I previously used the K&M arbor press with force indicator — it was good, but the 21st Century unit is more sophisticated, more precise, and easier to read. I have a loading block that is color-coded in the pounds of force needed to seat the bullet. I try to keep rounds in sets of 3-lb seating force settings. Each loaded round is put in the appropriate column (based on measured seating force). All loaded rounds are color-coded to avoid mixing. Leftovers from matches are used at a later date.

Click image for Full-screen view
James O'Hara IBS 1000 Yard Aggregate Record

I have now made a tool from an old bearing surface comparator. It will contact the ogive of the loaded round and it will check the seating depth while it is sitting on a granite block. Relying completely on the force and feel of the dial indicator allows seating depths to be held to .0005″ (i.e. one-half-thousandth). Compared to others means, this seems a more accurate way to check seating depth.

Bullets are spun on a Juenke machine after they are trimmed on a Hoover trimmer and pointed on the Hoover tool. For the next step, a Tubb Bearing Surface Comparator is used to sort bullets to plus/minus .0005″. I don’t discard any bullets — if I have some small lots of bullets that have a shorter or longer measurement they are used for testing. With the Spencer and BIB bullets there are not many that are not within plus/minus .001”. I quit weighing cases because of the outside variations. I only do what makes a difference [on target] and I only test and do load development at 100 yards, where I can control the conditions.

James O'Hara IBS 1000 Yard Aggregate RecordBarrel Freezing (Cryogenic treatment)
For the 2013 season, I cut barrels back to 28″ and had them “frozen” (cryo-treated) at Cryo Plus. I think that both barrels are average in the wind, but the first shot from a clean barrel is in the group. I shot around seven 100s with my other Light Gun. In Heavy Gun, I even won the group Aggregate at the Virginia State shoot. I have cryo-treated all of my barrels and I believe I have proof that it does produce benefits. I talked to George Kelbly about this before I did it. My results agreed with what George had indicated: fire cracking was less, chambering was easier and the major benefit was that the groups did not ‘walk’ as the barrels became heated.

Bench Set-up and Shooting Procedures
I use a spotting scope to help see the flags and the mirage. The mount is a Sinclair for the bench. This really helps because I can’t see the flags far out. I think the most important part of the set up is getting the gun to track, it has to come back in the box every time and shooting under the same condition every shot. I know everybody likes to run them — I do if the condition holds — but if it doesn’t you must pick them one at a time. This is where the direction and the speed of the wind come into play; you must shoot in the same condition you zero in.

When I set up to shoot, I line up the gun on my target and I move it back and forth till I can get it coming back in the ten ring and then I set my scope. I load my record rounds in my holder and I use my sighters out of the box. I now am watching and timing the conditions and I now make the decision of the one I will use and this is the only one I sight-in with. If I have some big guns beside me with brakes, I will wait till they are done or try to get in between their shots (this doesn’t always work).

Trigger control is a must and you have to be consistent. I will give up a perfect sight picture for a perfect trigger pull. I use free recoil and only my finger is on the trigger. After the rifle recoils back, I hold the fore-arm and open the bolt — you have to be careful not to upset the gun in the bags. After loading the next round, I close the bolt and push the gun forward with my right hand on the fore-arm. I am guiding [the stock] forward in between the bags. This gives me less chance to make a mistake, and maybe half of the shots need no or very little adjustment. I know it’s hard to get accustomed to, but try not to take your eye out of the scope so you are watching the mirage and not to get caught in a change. For the best part, I shoot free recoil and do all my testing at 100 yards in my backyard range. I zero dead on at 100 and come up 24 minutes for 1000 yards.

Bore Cleaning Procedures
I never try to get the gun super clean at a match, I like to see a little gray on a clean patch. I don’t want the barrel to be squeaky clean — I like to see a little haze on a patch. When it’s like that, after one fouling shot, the next shot usually goes right where it’s supposed to. When it’s squeaky clean, it may take five shots to foul in.

I used a product called WartHog 1134, and it has served me well for a long time but now that the Hazmat stopped the shipment of it, so I went to over-the-counter products and all are equally bad compared to what I had used but they do the job, it just takes longer. I never pull a patch or brush back through (across the crown), I go one way only (outward) out and then unscrew the brush or take the patch off at the muzzle. I use a 50/50 mix of Hoppies and Kroil after I clean. Just before I shoot I run a smaller patch down the bore to leave a very thing film of oil in the bore. I never want to shoot over a dry bore. If you shoot over a squeaky clean, dry bore, you’ll get copper every time.

What the Future Holds for O’Hara
My goal last season was to set the Agg records. Now I only have one more goal — that is the single target group, so I will back off shooting the Heavy Gun. I have three excellent Light Guns and a bunch of barrels to do it… so maybe! I think the greatest enjoyment is the people you shoot with, the common interest is the bond I guess but I wouldn’t change it for anything. — James O’Hara

Goodridge: James, on behalf of all Australian IBS 1000-yard BR competitors, I would like to thank you for your great patience and cooperation in preparation of this article, and for the valuable and interesting insight that you have provided into what is required to achieve success at the highest levels of 1000-yard BR competition. Not that you need it, but good luck for the 2014 shooting season.

Permalink Competition, Reloading 4 Comments »
October 7th, 2013

How to Win at 1000 Yards — IBS National Champ Tells All

Henry Pasquet IBS 1000 yard Nationals champion two gun overall .284 shehaneYes old dogs can learn new tricks. Just five years ago Forum member Henry Pasquet (aka “HenryP”) got started in 1000-yard benchrest shooting. He was 66 at the time. Henry worked hard, learned fast, and pursued accuracy with a vengence. That all paid off when Henry won the 2013 IBS 1000-yard Nationals this summer, finishing as the Two-Gun Overall National Champion. Henry was kind enough to talk about his rifle, his reloading methods, and his strategy for success. In fact, Henry was eager to share “everything he knows, so that other guys can fast-track their learning process”. Henry told us: “I want to share every lesson I’ve learned, so that other guys can improve their game and enjoy the sport more.” Henry also wants to encourage other senior shooters: “If you pay attention to details (when reloading), and get a good rifle with a good barrel, age is not a handicap. With a good set-up, older guys can compete with anyone out there. This is one sport where you can be a champion in later life.”

Click on Rifle Photos to View Full-screen Versions

Protektor bag benchrest rifle Light gun IBS 1000 yard Nationals champion two gun overall .284 shehane

Q&A with Henry Pasquet, IBS 1000-Yard National Champion

Q: First, do you have any advice for older shooters getting started in their golden years?

Henry: You’re never too old. In this sport, you can excel even in your 60s, 70s and beyond. At this stage in life, we now have the time and money to get good equipment and rifles. Plus, our years of work experience help us to think, analyze, and thereby make progress. In this game, we older guys can definitely compete on a par with younger shooters.

HARDWARE

Q: Tell us about your Nationals-winning rifle and bench gear. Is there anything unique about your hardware that gave you an edge?

Henry: At the Nationals, I used my 17-lb Light Gun for both Light and Heavy Class. This rifle has a 1.55″, round BAT LP/RE action, fitted with a Bartlein barrel chambered for the .284 Shehane (an improved version of the .284 Winchester). The barrel was near-new; this was the first time I had used it this year. A great barrel and great batch of Berger 180gr VLDs all made a difference. Jay Cutright chambers my barrels. Jay’s metal-work is so precise that I can screw any barrel he’s chambered to any BAT action I own. The laminated stock was modified by Tommy Shurley from a standard 3″-wide fore-end to a 5″-wide True-Trac with an adjustable 3″-wide rear plate. It’s not pretty but it tracks like a Heavy Gun stock. Tommy made my other stocks as well.

Protektor bag benchrest rifle Light gun IBS 1000 yard Nationals champion two gun overall .284 shehane

Protektor sand bag 3M material IBS 1000 yard Nationals champion two gun overall .284 shehaneOn top is a Nightforce 12-42x52mm Benchrest scope with CH-3 reticle. I used a Fulghum (Randolph Machine) front rest with an Edgewood bag made with the low-friction 3M material. In the rear I use a special-order Protekor rear “Doctor” bag with ears spaced 3 inches apart. The rear bag also has the new 3M material on contact surfaces (photo at right).

Q: During the Nationals, at the last minute you switched guns. Why did you go from a 6mm Dasher to a 7mm Shehane?

Henry: I had planned to use my Light and Heavy Dashers, but after placing the Dasher on the ready line, decided to switch to the .284 Shehane. It was still early in the morning and I felt that the heavier bullets would be easier to see against the berm. The Dasher had actually been giving tighter groups under perfect conditions, but seeing the impact is important.

Q: Tell us about the combined tuner/muzzle brake on some of your barrels. How does this improve rifle performance and how do you set the “tune”? Do you tune the barrel to the load?

Henry: I use a tuner or tuner/brake on every barrel. I started with Time Precision tuners. Art Cocchia advised getting a load with a good known accuracy node with minimum extreme spread, which controls vertical. Do not go for the hottest loads, which just reduces brass life. Then use the tuner and tune the barrel to the load. The .284 Light Gun needed a muzzle brake and tuner. I had a local gunsmith cut a thread on the muzzle brake for a tuner I got from Sid Goodling. (Eric Bostrom developed an almost identical unit at the same time. I use Eric’s tuner/brakes on all my new barrels.) Just before Nationals, I tried going up and down one marker. Down one mark cut the group in half! Think how much range time (and barrel life) that saved me. Using a tuner is easier than messing around changing loads and tweaking seating depths. Tuners definitely can work. Last year I shot a 3.348″ 10-shot group at 1000 with my .284 Win Heavy Gun fitted with a Time Precision Tuner.

IBS 1000 yard Nationals champion two gun overall muzzle brake tuner .284 shehane

Q: What are the advantages of your stock’s 5″-wide fore-end and 3″-wide rear plate? Is there a big difference in tracking and/or stability? Does the extra width make the rifle easier to shoot?

Henry: I had true Heavy Guns with 5-inch fronts and 3-inch rears. They tracked well. I felt the same result could be had with a Light Gun. I talked two stock makers into making them. I initially had the standard rear stock until Tommy Shurley and Mike Hearn came out with an adjustable rear plate. The stocks track perfectly. You can see your scope’s crosshairs stay on the target the whole time and push the rifle back for the next shot. There is no torquing (gun wobbling) when cycling the bolt. Us old guys need all the help we can get. I am getting rid of my 45-pound Heavy Guns and replacing them with Light Guns with heavy barrels.

Protektor bag benchrest rifle Light gun IBS 1000 yard Nationals champion two gun overall .284 shehane

Q: Some people say the .284 Shehane is not as accurate as the straight .284 Winchester. You’ve proved them wrong. Why do you like the .284 Shehane? More speed, less pressure?

Henry: The reason I rechambered my 7mm barrels to .284 Shehane was not velocity, pressure, or brass life. It was all about bolt lift. My straight .284 almost required me to stand up to eject brass. I damaged an extractor and had to send the bolt back to BAT. With the .284 Shehane, my bolt cycles like there is no case to eject.

Reloading Methods

Q: People want to know about your load and your loading methods. What can you reveal?

Henry: For my .284 Shehane at the Nationals, I loaded 52.5 grains of Hodgdon H4350 and Federal BR-2 primers behind Berger 180gr VLDs. I usually anneal the brass each winter. I have used the same brass for years. I use Redding bushing dies, apply Imperial sizing wax, resize, wipe off wax, clean and uniform the primers pockets using the RCBS Trim Mate Case prep center, then apply Imperial dry neck lube with a bore mop.

K & M arbor seating force dial gaugeTo dispense powder, I use a RCBS ChargeMaster set 0.1 grain below my desired load and then weigh them on a Sartorius GD-503 magnetic force restoration scale to get identical charges. I use a K&M Arbor Press with seating force gauge when seating the bullets with a Wilson inline die. My “target” seating force on the K&M dial is 20-23 units for Dashers and 35-40 units for the .284 Shehane. I put any variables aside for sighters. I do not weigh brass, bullets, or primers. My bullets were so consistent that I did not sort by bearing surface. I did trim the Berger VLDs to the shortest bullet length with a Hoover Trimmer, and then pointed the meplats just enough to close them with a Whidden pointer. I sort my bullets to 0.005″ overall length, rejecting about five percent.

Q: What kind of precision are you looking for in your reloads? Do you trickle to the kernel? Does this really help reduce extreme spread?

Henry: I try to keep my charge weights consistent to one kernel of powder. I use the Omega powder trickler with a Sartorius GD-503 lab-grade balance to achieve that. For accurate dispensing, put very little powder into the Omega so you can drop one kernel at a time. Single digit ES (Extreme Spread) is the goal. This does make a difference at 1000 yards. If you get the same push on the same bullet with the same neck tension, good things are going to happen.

Q: You believe consistent neck tension (i.e. grip on the bullet) is really important. What methods are you using to ensure consistent bullet release?

Henry: I apply Imperial dry neck lube to the inside of my case-necks with a bore mop. The K&M arbor with seating force gauge shows the need to do this. If you put a bullet into a clean case, it will be jerky when seating the bullet. You may see 40 units (on the K&M dial) dropping to 20, then slowly increasing pressure. I explained to a friend that not lubing the neck is like overhauling an engine without lubing the cylinders. Smooth entry gives the bullets a smooth release.

Barrel Cleaning

Henry Pasquet IBS 1000 yard Nationals champion Carb out Carb-out WipeOut .284 shehaneQ: You go 60-80 rounds between cleaning and the results speak for themselves. What is your barrel cleaning procedure? Do you think some guys clean too often or too aggressively?

Henry: I cringe when I see people wearing out their barrels with bronze brushes between relays. I clean my barrels at the end of each day when I get home. I shot my best-ever 1K Heavy Gun group (3.348″) at day’s end after 60 to 80 rounds. After trying other solvents, I have gone back to Wipe-out’s Carb-Out and Patch-Out products. I use about four patches of Carb-Out, let it sit a few minutes, then use one stroke of a nylon brush followed by Patch-Out until the barrel is clean. I use a bore mop to clean inside the chamber, then some Break Free LP on the bolt followed by bolt grease on the lugs and cocking part. I use a bore guide when anything goes down the barrel.

Shooting Skills and the Learning Process

Q: Henry, you can shoot long-distance on your own property in Missouri. How important is practice, and what do you do during a typical practice session?

Henry: I can shoot 1000 yards on my farm. I have a concrete bench using a slab from a yard furniture place on concrete blocks. Two 4 x 8 sheets of plywood hold four IBS targets. I never practice. I only test, keeping a notebook with all the info. I do most of my testing at 300 to 500 yards, shooting off my deck so I can see my shots immediately.

Protektor bag benchrest rifle Light gun IBS 1000 yard Nationals champion two gun overall .284 shehane

Q: How much of your success do you credit to really accurate rifles, versus superior shooting skills?

Henry: I do not consider myself another Carlos Hathcock or some master marksman. I am an average 1000-yard shooter, but I do work hard getting the most out of my rifles. Four other people have shot their first 1000-yard matches with my rifles, including my wife, and all of them won relays! I loaned my Dasher to another shooter two years ago and he got second at the 600-yard Nationals. Others will tell you that the rifle must be “on” to win. If your barrel or bullets are average, don’t expect to perform above average in competition.

Q: What you do enjoy most about long-range benchrest shooting? What are the attractions of this sport?

Henry: The sport offers good people and a real challenge. 1000-yard shooting keeps us all humble, but we still keep trying to see how good we can do. I am thankful for Robert Ross providing the only match location that I can shoot regularly.

Q: Henry, you have been a Forum member for many years. Have you learned important techniques from other Forum members and other shooters?

Henry: I have followed the AccurateShooter Forum since 2008. At my age I am not good at computers. I copied and analyzed many articles, especially on the .284 and the Dashers. Without AccurateShooter.com, I would probably still be shooting double-digit (10″+) groups at 1000 yards, and I sure wouldn’t have my name on a National Championship trophy.

Q: You are in your 70s now and have only been shooting competitively for a few years. How did you get so good so fast? How did you manage to beat shooters who are decades younger?

Henry: I had 20/10 vision when I was young, but am down to only 20/20. I have been interested in long range shooting for a long time including ground hog hunting. I went to some VHA jamborees also. In 2008, I went to the Williamsport Benchrest School with a friend from Pennsylvania, John Haas. We would compare notes frequently. I bought a BAT three lug from Tom Mousel in Montana. We also compared notes and made each other better. At IBS matches I studied other shooters’ equipment and techniques. I tried some, accepting some and rejecting some.

Here’s my advice:
Always be ready to learn something new. If it makes sense, try it. I would also encourage other older shooters not to quit. Stick to it. You can make enormous progress in a few seasons.

Henry Pasquet IBS 1000 yard Nationals champion two gun overall .284 shehane

Permalink Competition, Reloading 1 Comment »
September 22nd, 2013

Match Report: IBS 1000-Yard Nationals in Yukon, Missouri

IBS 1000-yard National Championships Midwest Yukon Missouri benchrest long range

Report for International Benchrest Shooters (IBS)
IBS 1000-yard National Championships Midwest Yukon Missouri benchrest long rangeOn August 30-31, 2013, Robert and Chrissy Ross hosted this year’s 2013 IBS 1000-Yard National Championships at their Midwest Benchrest range in Yukon, Missouri.

This year’s format was run with all the Light Gun (LG) relays shot on Friday, followed by all the Heavy Gun (HG) relays on Saturday. The competition was very tight as the Two Gun Overall Champion, Henry Pasquet from Elsinore, Missouri, didn’t even realize he had won until his name was called out at the award ceremony. Henry, an active AccurateShooter Forum member, secured a well-deserved National Championship with strong performances in both classes. Henry registered a fifth place in LG Group along with tenth place in LG Score. Henry then finished first in HG Score along with eleventh in HG Group to earn the 2013 Two-Gun Overall Title.

IBS 2013 1000-Yard National Championships Results (PDF)

Matthew Kline traveled from Pennsylvania to take second place in the Two Gun competition. He garnered that honor with an eighth Place in LG Group and a fourth place in LG Score. Matthew followed up these with a ninth place in HG Group and eleventh place in HG Score.

IBS 1000-yard National Championships Midwest Yukon Missouri benchrest long range

IBS 1000-yard National Championships Midwest Yukon Missouri benchrest long range

Kansas’ Jim Bauer came in a close third in the Two Gun rankings, by finishing first in LG Score and 21st in HG Group, then adding a second place in HG Group and 16th place in HG Score. Jim’s wife Sally, last year’s IBS long-range Shooter of the Year winner, was the Top Female Shooter. Rory Jacobs, from Vapor Trail Valley Shooting Club in Spickard, MO was the Top Junior Shooter.

IBS 1000-yard National Championships Midwest Yukon Missouri benchrest long range

Hot Temperatures and Fickle Winds Challenge Shooters
The Midwest Benchrest range is literally in the Ross’ back yard and is cut right out of the middle of a Missouri forest, which gave the shooters new to the range a false sense of confidence, thinking the trees would block the winds. The shooters had to deal with temperatures in the upper 90s (and the shade trees offered little relief). With the incredible humidity present, it felt it was even hotter. Although the winds weren’t very high, they weren’t very cooperative either, as they were never consistent throughout both days. One minute it was directly behind the shooters and the next it was quartering to the right. A moment later it was to the left.

IBS 1000-yard National Championships Midwest Yukon Missouri benchrest long range

The early relay winners seemed to favor the end benches, while later in the day, they seemed to favor the middle benches. There was was nothing but bright sunshine for the two-day event. Cloud cover and cooler temps, which were earlier forecast for the shoot, finally showed up the day after the tournament. Needless to say, the “heat monkeys” were making small groups difficult at this year’s shoot. Most small groups that were shot, were followed up with larger groups, in both the LG and HG events.

IBS 1000-yard National Championships Midwest Yukon Missouri benchrest long range

All in all, everyone still had a great time competing, seeing friends and fellow shooters from other parts of the country, and enjoying the Ross’ hospitality. It wasn’t long after the shoot was over before everyone started talking about where the 2014 Nationals would be. Perhaps, Robert Ross said it best: “Ultimately, the competition yields to the resulting friendships, which are fostered as part of a common goal: Raising the bar in long range precision shooting.”

The two-day competition was run as smoothly as any monthly shoot is run. The weekend’s shoot really started off on Thursday night though. Jim and Sally Bauer, Hornady, and Midwest Benchrest, sponsored a fantastic fish fry for all the competitors and their spouses. This provided some neutral ground to meet up and catch up with both new and old friends alike before the actual shooting began. If possible we will add equipment lists and individual relay results to this story on Accurate Shooter.com.


Featured Hardware at the 1K Nationals (Click Photos to Zoom)

IBS 1000-yard National Championships Midwest Yukon Missouri benchrest long range

IBS 1000-yard National Championships Midwest Yukon Missouri benchrest long range

IBS 1000-yard National Championships Midwest Yukon Missouri benchrest long range

IBS 1000-yard National Championships Midwest Yukon Missouri benchrest long range

Permalink Competition, News 5 Comments »
May 16th, 2013

1K Benchrest School at Williamsport, PA, June 8th and 9th

Williamsport benchrest schoolIf you want to learn how to shoot accurately at very long range, one of the very best places to learn is the Williamsport 1000-Yard Benchrest School. The 6th Annual Benchrest School will be held Saturday June 8 and Sunday June 9, 2013. There are still a few slots available for this year’s session. Classes, taught by top 1K shooters, are held at the Original Pennsylvania 1000-Yard Benchrest Club Range, one of the best 1K ranges in the country. View the range on the Williamsport website, PA1000yard.com

Prospective students will be taught all aspects of long-range benchrest shooting from some of the most skilled marksmen in the country. All areas are covered: load development, precision reloading, bench skills, and target analysis. Much time is spent at the loading bench and on the firing line. And you don’t even need guns and ammo — all equipment and ammunition will be provided.

School instructors tell us: “This year’s benchrest school will be a 2-day weekend event. (There is also a ‘Meet and Greet’ gathering Friday evening). The school is a beginner class designed to teach the fundamental skills needed to be competitive at at 600 and 1000 yards. Saturday will be spent in class covering a range of topics including reloading dos and don’ts, load development and equipment handling. Sunday we will shoot an actual match to see what you’ve learned.”

Williamsport 1000 yard Benchrest School

Don’t hesitate if you want to grab one of the remaining slots for the 2013 school. Contact the school directors right away. For more info, visit contact Dave Gardner (Public Relations) at pa1000br@yahoo.com or 570-916-9095. To get an application, please contact Nancy Miller (Club Secretary) at nancymiller@htva.net or 607-426-1535. Cost for the class is $300.00 including lunch and dinner on Saturday.

To see what the 1K Benchrest school is like, watch the slide show/video below, produced by Sebastian Reist, an alumnus of the 2009 Williamsport 1000-yard BR school. Sebastian, a talented professional photographer, captured the highlights of his Williamsport 1K training weekend:

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Williamsport 1000 yard Benchrest School

Photos and slideshow courtesy Sebastian Reist, www.sreistphotography.com.
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March 23rd, 2013

2012 IBS Long-Range Shooters of Year Recognized

As we commence the 2013 IBS benchrest season, it’s time to give credit to the 2012 IBS long-range Shooters of the Year. Bill Shehane of D&B Supply sent us photos and profiles of three winners, who all used his Tracker stocks. Bill writes: “I would like to thank all the many 600-yard and 1000-yard shooters for once again making Tracker Stocks the number one choice in long range shooting for 2012.” Bill notes that: “I’ve always said we get beat by women and children more than we own up to and 2012 was a perfect example of this.”


Photo Credit: Gordy Mitchell

Sally Bauer, 2012 IBS 1000-Yard Shooter of the Year
In 2012, Sally Bauer became the first lady to win the title of IBS 1000-yard Shooter of the Year. Sally earned that honor through hard work, dedication, and a burning desire to “be all she can be”. While helping her husband Jim rise to the top of the 1000-yard benchrest game, Sally was taking notes and working toward her turn at the top. Well friends, Sally took no prisoners in 2012. At the Nationals, Sally fought a very tight battle with several extremely good shooters. But then she “put the hammer down” and pull away in a very convincing manner to clinch the top title.

IBS 1000 yard shooter of year Sally Bauer

Mason Hildrith, 2012 IBS 1000-Yard Junior Shooter of the Year
Mason Hildrith not only had a great performance at the 1000-yard National Championship in his home State of West Virginia, but was once again the top Junior Shooter in the IBS 1000-yard Shooter of the Year program. Bill Shehane writes: “I know just how proud your Grandmother and Grandpa are of you and Diane and I are just as proud of not only how good you are with the rifles but the way you conduct yourself. You are a fine young man and a great example of an humble shooter willing to help others enjoy the sport too.”

IBS 1000 yard shooter of year Mason Hildrith

Mike Hanes, 2012 IBS 600-Yard Shooter of the Year
Mike Hanes is a reformed .22LR rimfire shooter who took a liking to 600-yard benchrest competition. At last year’s 600-yard Nationals in St. Louis, Mike put on quite a show against a steller group of the Nation’s best 600-yard shooters. After this performance, Mike never let up and captured the 2012 IBS 600-yard Shooter of the Year title

IBS 1000 yard shooter of year Mike Hanes

Congrats to Sally, Mason, and Mike for a fine season of great shooting. Bill Shehane adds: “Diane and I both thank all of you for choosing Tracker Stocks. Keep up the good shooting and have fun in 2013.”

Diane & Bill Shehane
D & B Supply
www.Scopeusout.com

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March 14th, 2013

IBS Match Reports Will Be Featured on AccurateShooter.com

IBS benchrest AccurateShooter.com

IBS logo benchrestHere’s great news for IBS members. The IBS has announced its affiliation with AccurateShooter.com, the premier website dealing with all types of rifle accuracy. The IBS and this website will work together to provide prominent media coverage of IBS events. IBS President Jeff Stover explains: “The IBS leadership was faced with an unexpected dilemma in late 2012 with the loss of our print media outlet. We think the partnership with Accurateshooter.com will present the IBS (and the sport of benchrest) front and center before a large, global audience of shooters interested in small groups and high scores from 100 to 1000 yards.”

Building its internet presence will benefit the IBS and its members says Stover: “Benchrest shooting has earned a highly respected position among the shooting disciplines. Most, if not all, innovations in rifle accuracy technology have been derived from benchrest. Nevertheless, it has been a ‘niche’ shooting sport. We in the IBS feel that AccurateShooter.com will help us achieve two major goals. The first is to give our members (and the matches they shoot) increased exposure. AccurateShooter.com has a worldwide audience with over 130,000 visitors every week. Secondly, we hope this website will present benchrest shooting as approachable and a mature discipline that is ready to welcome new shooters.”



IBS President Jeff Stover Talks About IBS Match Coverage on AccurateShooter.com

[haiku url=”http://accurateshooter.net/Video/jeffstovertalks.mp3″ title=”Jeff Stover Talks about IBS”]Click “Play” to Hear Audio

Beyond the major match coverage at AccurateShooter.com, the IBS website (Internationalbenchrest.com) will remain the IBS’s primary online resource for schedules and match results for every registered IBS match, be it short range or longrange.

Looking Ahead — What the IBS Plans
In the future, the IBS envisions further synergies with AccurateShooter.com. Together we are exploring ways to enhance the way benchrest matches are scored and reported. AccurateShooter.com provides a new media platform that will allow both the match results and the human side of the competitions to be brought to life. There will be a dedicated area on this website for important IBS match reports (and special IBS features). We foresee a system being developed that will standardize the match scoring software that would be used at the range and then quickly be made available on the web. Match reports will evolve from a simple set of scores and equipment reports to rich content with lots of photos, audio reports, and even video clips.

Watch IBS Slide Show

AccurateShooter Teams up with IBS for Event Coverage
At AccurateShooter.com, we’re delighted to team up with the IBS. We plan to provide enhanced IBS match coverage in the months ahead. With luck, we’ll kick off our IBS coverage with three upcoming matches: the 1000-yard Match at Whitehorse WV (April 20), the Pennsylvania State Score Championships in York, PA (April 27), and the Boop/Altemus Memorial Shoot at Weikert, PA (May 11-12, group match). And of course, we’ll be covering the major IBS National events later in 2013.

We want to provide the “full story” of matches with photos, equipment features, and interviews with top shooters. Where possible, we hope to include audio interviews with the “Top Guns” and some videos of the matches. Our IBS Match Reports will feature the latest benchrest hardware, including some of the most accurate rifles ever made….

IBS logo benchrest

Our IBS Reports will show the ranges where benchrest dreams are chased, and world records are set.

IBS logo benchrest

And our Match Reports will feature the great people (of all ages) who make IBS Benchrest shooting such a great sport and rewarding pastime.

IBS benchrest

IBS benchrest

Permalink Competition, News 3 Comments »
July 27th, 2012

Brothers Bill & Shawn Squires Top Williamsport World Open Field

Williamsport World Open

Held July 14-15 at the Original Pennsylvania 1000-Yard Benchrest Club, the 2012 Williamsport Word Open attracted a large field, with over 130 competitors. Brothers Bill Squires and Shawn Squires finished first and second respectively in the Two-Gun Overall Championship, making this year’s World Open a family affair. Both men campaigned a .300 WSM Heavy Gun and 6mm Dasher Light Gun. These rigs were smithed by the brothers themselves. The Squires boys really dominated this year. Bill ended up with 40 rank points, while Shawn had 44. Next best was Scott Weber, who had 71 rank points to finish third Overall. Shooting a 6mm Dasher, Weber also captured the Light Gun (LG) event, edging out LG runner-up John Buhay by a tenth of an inch in Aggregate Group size. (Buhay shot a Dasher in both LG and HG classes, finishing 8th Overall.)

Williamsport Benchrest World Open

It was “Ladies First” (and second) in the Heavy Gun (HG) class. Two talented ladies, Veronica Martin and Melissa Wagner, out-shot all the male competitors. Shooting a 300 WSM, Veronica took the HG title with an impressive 4.491″ Group Agg and 99 Score Agg. Melissa piloted her 6mm Dasher to second place in HG, with a 4.901″ Group Agg and 98 Score Agg. Finishing third in Heavy Gun was 300 WSM shooter Matt Kline, who racked up a “best in match” 99.5 Score Agg, along with a 4.997″ Group Aggregate.

As usual, the Williamsport Club put on a great event. This year there was a $40,000+ prize table — probably the best ever for a 1000-yard benchrest match. Two-Gun Overall runner-up Shawn Squires stated: “Yes it was a great weekend, even with the monsoon that occured during Day 2 of Light Gun. I would like to thank the Sponsors and Board, pit pullers and all who attended the 2012 World Open. The team at Williamsport always puts on a great event. Congratulations to Bill Squires (Two-Gun Overall), Veronica Martin (Heavy Gun Overall) and Scott Weber (Light Gun Overall). I guess if I had to lose Two-Gun Overall it might as well have been to my brother! Looking forward to the 2013 World Open.”

World Open 2012

Shown above are the Top Ten Standings (and equipment lists) for the Two-Gun Overall, Heavy Gun Class, and Light Gun Class. For easier reading, click the “View Larger Image” link. Complete World Open Results for all 135 competitors are found on the Williamsport Club website at www.pa1000yard.com. The results are stored in an interactive database so you can search by class, event, or relay.

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July 7th, 2012

Williamsport World Open July 14-15 — Over $40,000 in Prizes

Williamsport Original PA Benchrest Club World Open

Report from Jason Baney, Asst. Editor
The Original Pennsylvania 1000 Yard Benchrest Club will host its annual 1000-Yard World Open July 14 and 15, 2012. It will be held at the club’s range about 15 miles north of Williamsport, PA and will draw shooters from all over the country. It is likely the largest gathering of 1000-yard benchrest shooters anywhere. This year, the combined prize value exceeds $40,000! Frank Grappone, Williamsport Club President, says: “Come shoot against the best!! Our prize table is legendary and we pay down many places in the final standings. Applications and info can be found at our website at www.pa1000yard.com. Hope to see you all there.” At this time, match fees are: $100.00 Per Class, $175.00 for both classes. (Saturday Night dinner is included in the Entry Fees.)

World Open Application (PDF file) | World Open Application (MS Word file)

This event is meant to bring together shooters from each 1000-Yard (IBS and NBRSA) organization, and the current rules reflect this. The World Open includes two classes, Light Gun and Heavy Gun. At Williamsport, 10-shot groups are fired by BOTH classes, not just Heavy Guns. Light Guns (LG) must be 17.00 lbs or under and the Heavy Gun (HG) class has no major restrictions (see rules on the Williamsport website for further detail). One 10-shot group will be fired each day in each class. Scoring will be accomplished by an aggregate list of the groups and scores fired.


This Williamsport 1K match video shows 10 shots in 26 seconds — done with a 90-lb Heavy Gun.

The Schedule of Events will be:
Saturday Morning – Light Gun Match One
Saturday Afternoon – Heavy Gun Match One
Sunday Morning – Heavy Gun Match Two
Sunday Afternoon – Light Gun Match Two

Prizes will be given out to the Two-Gun Overall Champion, LG Champion, and HG Champion among others including the top dozen or more in the top of each LG and HG group and score categories. The $40,000+ prize table at this year’s World Open is quite large, probably the biggest ever for a 1K benchrest match. Prizes will be chosen by the shooter in the order of their ranking, not handed out. In addition to the regular prizes, The Original Pennsylvania 1000-Yard Club will give $1000.00 CASH to the competitor who shoots the smallest group for the weekend AND breaks the current Light Class or Heavy Class Ten Shot Benchrest World Record during this event. (One winner only per class).

Williamsport Original PA Benchrest Club World Open

This match should be one of the largest yet, and hopefully shooters are not discouraged by the high gas prices. Camping and campers can be parked for free, but will have to provide their own power. Concessions will be available as will an evening meal. The more shooters we can gather, the better the competition. We hope to see you there.

WEB Link: www.pa1000yard.com | Range Location: N41° 26.7511′, W076° 52.4212′

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May 20th, 2012

.284 Shehane for Long-Range Competition

7mm has become the caliber to beat in F-Class open division. The dominant performances of UK shooters with 7mm cartridges at the 2009 F-Class World Championship, following the South African team’s success with 7mms at the previous Worlds, has shown the strength of 7mm chamberings for long-range competition. After losing to the Team Britain, the U.S. F-Open Team decided to switch to a 7mm for the next World Championship. While most of Britain’s top F-Class shooters were using WSM-based 7mm cartridges, you don’t need a short magnum to enjoy the wind-bucking abilities of a 7mm.

High-BC 7mm BulletsWith a standard .284 Winchester, or better yet, a .284 Improved, you can drive the high-BC Berger 180gr bullets to competitive velocities. A .284 Improved will shoot well inside a 6.5-284, and you’ll probably get 40-60% longer barrel life (at least 2000 rounds vs. as little as 1200).

The straight .284 Win is a good cartridge, but in most barrels, it can’t push the 180s at 2900-2950 fps velocity levels*. A lot of barrels will top out at about 2850. That’s where the .284 Shehane comes into play. The .284 Shehane is a slightly modified wildcat that retains the same 35° shoulder as the parent case. However, by blowing the sidewalls out 0.010″, the .284 Shehane picks up about 3.3 grains of extra case capacity. That enhancement makes a BIG difference. The extra boiler room is enough to drive the 180s at 2900-2950 fps with H4831sc. With N560 or Reloder 17 you can go even faster.

Scotland’s Grant Taylor used the .284 Shehane to finish 3rd overall in the 2009 individual F-Class World Championships at Bisley, England. Grant reports: “I have a .284 Shehane and it’s very accurate with superb vertical spreads at 1000 yards. I have to thank Jim Hardy for putting me onto the caliber, it has awesome accuracy. I’m getting 2930-2950 fps with spreads in the 3-5 fps range. I use Hodgdon H4831sc powder, CCI BR2 primers, and pointed 180gr Bergers.”

7mm .284 Winchester Shehane

Forum member Jim Hardy has shot the .284 with great success. He tells us: “In my humble opinion, the .284 Shehane is the best balanced long range round there is — bar none. I (perhaps_ have shot more of this chambering than anyone else, and it has proven better than I ever expected. Here is why:

You have to shoot a 30 Cal magnum with a 240gr bullet to equal the performance of most 7mm chamberings with the 180 Berger VLD. With the .284 Shehane, you have a .308 bolt face, medium action, and Lapua brass. You use less powder than the 7 mags, and have great accuracy and ballistics even while fire-forming. The .284 Shehane shoots inside the 6.5 AND the straight 284, the 300 WSM, and the 300 Win Mag with less recoil. The .284 Shehane offers twice the competitive barrel life of the 6.5-284, an easy 2950 fps with H4831 SC, [and it] can run 3000+ with N560 and Reloder 17, which is right there with the 7mm WSM. What is not to love about the 284 Shehane? It is a no-brainer for long range — F-Class or Prone or 1000-yard Benchrest.”

*Some exceptional barrels chambered in straight .284 Win can reach 2900 fps with the 180s. Ryan Pierce, who recently set a 450-24X Pending F-Open record, has a 32″ Brux barrel that is delivering 2900 fps with the straight .284. However, Ryan acknowledges that his velocities are not typical: “A lot of .284 Win barrels top out at around 2850 fps with the 180s.”

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August 25th, 2011

Major New Peacemaker Shooting Facility Opens Soon in WV

A vast new shooting facility in West Virginia is slated to open by the end of August. The new Peacemaker National Training Center (NTC), when fully completed, will be the east coast’s largest shooting sports complex with a 1000-yard rifle range, a 300-yard practice rifle range, 18 “tactical bays”, pistol ranges, and several shotgun ranges. Plans are underway to equip the 1000-yard range with state-of-the-art electronic target systems.

Located west of Washington, DC, the Peacemaker NTC site is a 60-minute drive from Dulles Airport. The facility is situated in the scenic hills of Glengary, West Virginia, on the far eastern end of the state.

Preview the Peacemaker National Training Center Facilities

Peacemaker to Host 1K Benchrest Match and 3-Gun Nation Championship
The new Peacemaker NTC facility will host future matches for the Virginia 1000-Yard Benchrest Club, an IBS organization. Peacemaker’s directors have stated that the 1000-yard range will have electronic scoring capability, but it is unclear when the electronic targets will be put into place, and whether these will be used for 1K benchrest matches. Assuming the ranges are completed on schedule, Peacemaker will host Match 9 of the 3-Gun Nation series on November 10-12, 2011, followed by the 2011 3-Gun Nation Championship on November 13th. Over 250 multi-gun competitors are expected to attend.

Private Membership Fees Start at $400.00 per year
The facility is private membership facility, with limited public access. The basic membership fee for an individual is $400.00 per year plus a one-time $100.00 initial range improvement fee. NOTE: Membership registration is still open. CLICK HERE to download a membership application.

Actual and Planned Peacemaker National Training Center Range Facilities

Patriot Rifle Range: Electronic Target Systems and Hanging steel. Target set-ups at 600, 700, 800, 900, 1000 yards. 10 shooting lanes. Suited for F-Class, Benchrest, and High Power. Peacemaker says this will be “the only competition-capable electronic 1000-yard rifle range in the USA”.

Liberty Ranges: Tactical Rifle/Pistol/Shotgun facility, with 14-18 interconnected shooting ranges. All ranges are 50 yards deep, some will be 100 yards deep. Bianchi Cup systems (turning targets, movers), steel courses, dueling trees, reactive steel.

Independence Range: General sighting-in and practice range for Rifle and Pistol (Rifle 100 to 300 yards, Pistol 3 to 25 yards).

Homeplace Shotgun Ranges: Trap, Skeet, 5-Stand, Sporting Clays, FITASC.

Peacemaker plans to offer training classes for rifle, pistol, and shotgun. NRA-certified instructors with be at the facility at all times. To learn more about the Peacemaker National Training Center, visit www.peacemakernational.com. For information on membership, and other details, email info@peacemakernational.com, call 304-262-1986, or write PNTC at 782 Foxcroft Ave #123, Martinsburg, WV 25401. Get the latest updates on Range Availability on Peacemaker’s Facebook Page

Editor’s Note: While Peacemaker has already conducted some tactical and 3-Gun matches, it appears that many of the facilities are still “under construction”. Before you plunk down your money for membership, we recommend you talk to the Peacemaker staff and, if possible, visit the facility in person. If you’re interested in particular range features (such as the electronic target system or the Sporting Clays range), you’ll want to learn the exact dates when these will be ready for member use.

Story tip by EdLongrange. FNH photo courtesy 3-Gun Nation.
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September 18th, 2010

Matt Kline Shoots 2.815″ Record at 1000 Yards with 300 WSM

1000-yard Matt Kline recordSeptember 12th at the Original Pennsylvania 1000 Yard Benchrest Club (Williamsport) range Matt Kline set a new 10-shot Heavy Gun World Record with a 2.815″, 100-4X.

Breaking the 3″ mark (for 10 shots) is big news in the 1K benchrest game. The existing IBS 10-shot, 1000-yard record is 3.044″ set by Joel Pendergraft in 2009, while the NBRSA 10-Shot, 1000-yard record is 4.322″ set by Dave Tooley in 2006. Counting this 100-4X target, Matt also set a new 6-Match Heavy Gun Score Aggregate of 99.000. With Williamsport Match 10 still to shoot, Matt could push the HG Score Agg even higher.

Record Set with 300 WSM and 210-grainers
Matt Kline shot a 300 WSM with 210gr Berger VLD bullets. This confirms the accuracy of the short magnum, which may prove to be the new “go-to” cartridge of choice for those who want to shoot the high-BC, heavy 30-caliber bullets. Matt’s gun featured a BAT action, 30″ Broughton barrel, and a Nightforce 8-32x56mm BR scope. The rifle was smithed by Mark King Rifles.

Matt shared some details of his reloading process with Assist. Editor Jason Baney. This may surprise you. Matt anneals his 300 WSM brass after every firing. The necks are turned to .0135″ wall thickness for a .338″-neck chamber. Interestingly, Matt does not meplat-trim or point his Berger bullets. However, he pre-sorts the bullets very thoroughly, segregating them by .001″ variance in both bearing surface and overall bullet length. You need extremely consistent bullet-to-bullet BCs to shoot record groups like Matt did.

1000-yard Matt Kline record

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September 8th, 2010

Match Report: IBS 1000-Yard Nationals in Harris, Minnesota

The 2010 IBS 1000-Yard Nationals took place September 1-4 at the Gopher Rifle & Revolver Club (GRRC) in Harris, MN. There were three days of shooting for both Light Gun (LG) and Heavy Gun (HG) classes, with IBS, NBRSA and Williamsport rifles eligible. There was some rain on Thursday (Day 1) that delayed the afternoon relays, but, overall, Thursday had the best conditions. Mike Wieland of GRRC reports that winds were very strong on Friday (Day 2), while on Saturday (Day 3) “a breeze developed that provided a challenging condition and kept the groups bigger and the scores lower for most of the shooters”. The very strong winds on Day 2 also produced a number of DQs.

IBS 1000 yard Nationals GRRC MN

Bauer Wins Two-Gun and Heavy Gun; Baron Graham Wins Light Gun
The Overall Two-Gun Match Winner was Jim Bauer, who shot a 6mm Dasher in LG and a 300 Ackley in HG. Both guns were smithed by Gordy Gritters and featured Krieger Barrels, BAT actions, and Shehane stocks. In his Dasher, Jim loaded Spencer bullets with Reloder 15. For his Heavy, Jim used Berger bullets with Reloder 25. Jim’s match Aggs were 8.879 for LG and 9.694 for HG. Finishing Second Overall in Two-Gun was Jim Isaacson, followed by Jay Cutright (3rd), David Powley (4th), and John Stecik (5th).

Match Two-Gun Winner Jim Bauer also won the Heavy Gun Division with his Gritters-built 300 Ackley. Close behind were runner-up Steve Sabo shooting a 300 WSM (Broughton barrel, BAT action), and third-place Jay Cutright shooting a Bartlein-barreled big 7mm wildcat. Fourth and fifth in HG, respectively, were Tod Soeby (300 WSM), and James Isaacson (6.5×47 Lapua). Though there were quite a few 6mms used in HG class, the big boomers dominated the top positions.

Baron Graham shot very impressively to win the Light Gun Division. Baron shot a big 30 wildcat (300 Atlas), built by Leonard Baity. In his Krieger-barreled 300 Atlas, Baron shot used Berger Bullets with Reloder 25 powder. Second in LG was Jon Ammerman shooting a 6XC, followed by David Powley (3rd, 6-6.5×47), James Isaacson (4th, 6.5×47), and Gordy Mitchell (5th, 6mmBR). Though Baron’s big 30 won LG overall, the mid-size 6mm and 6.5mm cartridges did very well. Though a Dasher didn’t crack the Top Five in Light Gun, there were a bunch of Dashers on the line. This little cartridge, an improved version of the 6mmBR case, is really coming into its own in 1K competition, as is the 6.5×47 Lapua.

IBS 1000 yard Nationals GRRC MN

The Gopher Rifle & Revolver Club crew did an excellent job running the firing line, working the pits, handling targets, as well as doing the scoring and information gathering. Mike Wieland of GRRC says: “Thank you to all the volunteers, the sponsors and the shooters who made this a success!”

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August 22nd, 2010

Dashers Rule at NW 1000-Yard Championship in Montana

The Montana NW 1000-Yard Benchrest Club held its annual Championship at the Deep Creek Range near Missoula, Montana last weekend August 13-15. A record number of shooters attended. The winds were strong and shifty at times, and were “not typical Deep Creek conditions” according to Tom Mousel, the overall Two-Gun Winner. Despite the challenging conditions (some shooters had trouble staying on paper), competitors went home happy as match organizers gave out over $21,500.00 worth of prizes. All 56 shooters left with a prize, and many of the top competitors came home with a brand new Nightforce scope. Top shooters included: 2-Gun Champion – Tom Mousel (Kalispell, MT); Heavy Gun Winner – Ed Janikowsky (Kalispell, MT); 17 lb. Class Winner – Leo Anderson (Kalispell, MT); and 11 lb. Class Winner – Duane Capehart (Sula, MT).

Montana 1000-yard Championship

Montana 1000-yard Championship

Saturday Match Results & Equipment List (MS Word)| Sunday Match Results & Equipment List (MS Word)

Over the course of the weekend, despite the difficult winds, some great groups and scores were shot. Richard Schatz of Bismark, ND, nailed a 100 score/5.502″ group on Saturday, and Scott Nix of Whitefish, MT, shot a remarkable 100 score/4.556″ group on Sunday. Both men were shooting 6mm Dashers. Schatz got his 100 in a Heavy Gun Relay (though his rifle is not a true Heavy), while Nix shot his century score in 17-lb. Relay. Two-Gun Overall Champ Tom Mousel shot a 6mm Dasher in both 17-lb and Heavy Gun Classes. Tom’s match-winning and record-setting Dasher features a Stiller Viper Drop-port action, Krieger 8-twist barrel, Nightforce scope, and Shehane Tracker stock. Tom’s gun was smithed by Montana gunsmith John King (King Machine). Tom shoots Berger 105gr VLDs, pushed by a stout load of H4895, with CCI 400 primers. Tom has at least 12 firings on his Lapua cases, which he anneals every 3-4 firings with a Bench-Source annealing machine.

Tom Mousel 6mm Dasher Record

6mm Dashers Dominate 2010 Montana 1000-Yard Championship
Missoula’s Deep Creek Range is definitely “Dasher Country” and the diminutive 6mmBR Improved cartridge totally dominated the event. Consider this, four out of the top five places in the two-gun overall were shot with Dashers (Barry Bluhm was 5th overall with a 6-6.5×47). All of the top five places in Heavy Gun were Dashers, and in the 17-lb Class, again Dashers were first through fourth, with Bluhm’s 6-6.5×47 in fifth. After the match Barry told us: “You know, my 6-6.5×47 is shooting well, but I’m thinking of going to the Dasher when it’s time to re-barrel. I’m tired of getting beat by them.” The performance of the little cartridge is pretty remarkable, when you consider this entire match is shot at 1000 yards. Check out the equipment list for Saturday’s Heavy Gun Relays 1 & 2 (below). The fact that the “top guns” are running the little Dashers, even in an unlimited weight class, speaks volumes. While other larger cartridges offer superior ballistics at 1K, the Dasher is “inherently accurate”, and its low recoil allows the best shooters to fire ten rounds in well under 30 seconds. When you can nail ten shots all in the same condition, the Dasher is hard to beat.

Montana 1000-yard Championship

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July 11th, 2010

Williamsport 1000-yard World Open Concludes Today

Williamsport World OpenAs this is being written, the final relays are going to the firing line at the 2010 Williamsport World Open, one of the most prestigious long-range benchrest matches in the country. Many of the nation’s best 1000-yard shooters, including our Asst. Editor Jason Baney, are competing for a wealth of prizes donated by dozens of sponsors.

Held Saturday July 10th and Sunday July 11th, at the Original Pennsylvania 1000-Yard Benchrest Club, the World Open is a four-target Aggregate match consisting of two separate, two-target Aggs for in the Light Gun and Heavy Gun classes. Competitors can shoot either or both classes, both days. There will be prizes for the Overall Two-Gun Champion, plus the 2-day Group and Score Agg winners in each class. In addition there will be separate awards for Top Junior Shooter, Top Female Shooter, plus small group and high score in each match.

Williamsport World Open

Complete World Open results should be posted on the Williamsport website, late Sunday or early Monday, after all targets are scored, and the scores are tabulated. We hope to post names of the big winners later today, if we can get hold of Jason after the event wraps up.

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April 13th, 2010

Sign Up Now for Williamsport 1000-Yard Benchrest School

From April 30 – May 2, the Original Pennsylvania 1000 Yard Club will host a multi-day, long-range benchrest school at its Williamsport range. For $250, up to 36 students will enjoy 1 night and 2 days of training under the tutelage of some of the nations’ top 1000-yard shooters. There are still some spots available for the Spring class, so get your applications in before the April 25th sign-up deadline.

Williamsport BR Club SchoolOn Friday night (April 30), students will meet their mentors. Saturday (May 1), the class moves to the range for a full day of hands-on technical training. Topics include precision reloading, load development, gun handling, use of chronograph, analysis of shooting results, gun cleaning, and target analysis. The Williamsport Club will provide the rifles and all reloading components. Saturday’s sessions are followed by a steak dinner, included in the $250 seminar price.

On Sunday (May 2), after an early training session covering bench set-up and match strategies, students will shoot a 1000-yard match, spending time both behind the trigger and in the pits. The program wraps up before 4:00 pm on Sunday. The 1000-yard Benchrest School is limited to 36 students (with less than 3 students per advisor). Intructors include Gunsmiths Bruce Baer and Mark King, our Asst. Editor Jason Baney, and many Williamsport Hall of Fame shooters. For more info, email School Director Frank Grappone, frankgrappone [at] sbcglobal.net.

Williamsport Benchrest School

1000-Yard Benchrest School Slide Show
Sebastian Reist attended the 2009 Williamsport 1000-yard BR school. A talented professional photographer, Sebastian captured the highlights of his Williamsport 1K training weekend in the slideshow below, provided courtesy www.sreistphotography.com.

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Permalink - Videos, Competition, Shooting Skills 3 Comments »