June 23rd, 2013

Duane Capehart, Noted 1000-Yard Shooter, Has Left the Range

Dawn Patrol Duane Capehart Missoula Deep Creek MontanaWe are sad to announce the passing of Duane Capehart, a leading figure in the long-range shooting community. Duane passed away in early June, and is survived by his wife Pat. Duane was one of the game-changing Montana marksmen who smashed records at the Missoula Deep Creek range.

Duane was always ready to share his knowledge with fellow shooters, and he helped this website with many projects. His friend Tom Mousel tells us: “Duane was among a handful of guys that started 1000-yard benchrest here in Montana. The man was breaking records before most of us knew what ‘MOA’ was, and he remained competitive to the very end. He and his wife Pat were the backbone of our club for many years. I will miss you my friend.”

We are much diminished by Duane’s passing. Those who knew Duane are very saddened by this loss. Here are some remembrances from our Forum members:

Duane Capehart was a truly great Hall of Fame shooter and a noble man. I am grateful for the wisdom he shared with me. He was a great fellow shooter at the range, that he helped build, especially on those frosty mornings. He never hesitated to help a new shooter. He was a good friend and neighbor here in the Bitterroot. He will be long remembered. My condolences, Pat. — Greg R.

Duane and I shot together many times and always had lots of fun before, during, and after the shoots. He will be missed for sure by the 1000-yard community and especially by the Missoula bunch. God bless you Pat, our thoughts and prayers are with you. — Diane & Bill Shehane

I had the honor and privilege to shoot against and converse with Duane on three occasions, and also by phone[.] Duane was funny, witty, sincere, and a friend to everyone. He was one of the best 1000-yard shooters in the business. My heart and prayers go out to Pat, and all his family. — Donovan M.

I met Duane just four years ago. He welcomed me at Deep Creek and he and I spent many a morning before the shoots visiting about shooting, hunting, work and everything in between. People there always seemed to look up to Duane, and once you got to know him you understood why. I will never forget some of the shoots with him, he was an amazing shooter, several times while pulling his targets he would not even be on target with his sighters. But then the record target would go up and he would pull off a 98 or a 99, or even a 100. This did not just happen once either — Duane [was] simply an amazing guy! I helped him and Pat hook up their camper at the end of the August final shoot last year, shook his hand goodbye and he said “I will see ya in the spring young man”. Well that didn’t happen but I will always remember Duane and always be grateful that he was my friend. Happy shooting in Heaven Duane, and God Bless you Pat. — Wayne B.

Duane’s Dawn Patrol
Duane took this photo at the Deep Creek Range in March a few years back during one of his “Dawn Patrol” missions. Temperature? Duane said it was about 17 degrees! Now that’s dedication. Duane truly loved the shooting sports. He will be missed.

Dawn Patrol Duane Capehart Missoula Deep Creek Montana

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May 31st, 2013

50 BMG Barrett M107 — Off-Hand First-Shot-Hit at 1000 Yards

Ryan Cleckner 1000 yards off hand m107 Barrett 50 bmgShooting a 50 BMG, off-hand, at 1000 yards may seem absolutely nuts, but read on — this story should make you smile. At the Texas Triggers Ranch (Sonora, TX), former Army Ranger and Sniper Team Leader Ryan Cleckner, shooting OFF-HAND, hit a torso-sized steel silhouette target at 1000 yards with a 50-caliber Barrett M107. That would be impressive enough, but consider this — Ryan hit the target on his first shot. And yes he was shooting standing (on his hind legs), holding the 37-pound rifle with his arms (no support).

Watch VIDEO of Ryan Cleckner Shooting Barrett M107 Off-Hand at 1000 Yards

Ryan Cleckner 1000 yards off hand m107 Barrett 50 bmg

Jumbo-Sized Ammo, and Jumbo-Sized Recoil
The ammo Ryan used in his 50 BMG Barrett pushes a 661-grain bullet at 2900 fps muzzle velocity. This load (fired from this 37-pound rifle), has 12,357 ft-lbs of energy at the muzzle, and 81.88 ft-lbs of recoil energy. To put things in perspective, an 18-pound, .308 Win F-TR rifle, shooting a 168gr bullet at 2750 fps, has 7.99 ft-lbs of recoil energy. So, Ryan was shouldering a weapon that delivered more than Ten Times the recoil energy of a .308 Win. (Energy numbers calculated with Point Blank software). And he made it look easy. Kudos to Ryan for proving what a properly-trained marksman can do. Rangers Lead the Way….

Ryan Cleckner 1000 yards off hand m107 Barrett 50 bmg

Credit Steve Johnson of The Firearm Blog for finding this video.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Shooting Skills 10 Comments »
May 22nd, 2013

3.505″ 10-Shot 1K Group — Martinez Sets Pending LG Record

Williamsport Benchrest Club

Another long-range benchrest record was set recently — this time at the Williamsport Range in Pennsylvania. On Saturday, May 18, 2013, Paul Martinez shot a fantastic 3.505″ 10-shot group at 1000 yards. It was nicely centered for a 99-6X score as well. Paul’s 3.505″ group should be a new 10-shot record for the 17-lb Light Gun Class under Williamsport Rules. The previous best was a 3.746″ (99-1X) group shot by Scott Weber at Williamsport last summer. Congrats to Paul for some great shooting!

Martinez light gun 1000 yard record Williamsport

Paul’s 17-lb Light Gun was chambered as a .300 WSM and Paul was loading heavy-weight .30-caliber Berger bullets. Paul’s rifle was smithed by Eric Springman of Springman Rifles in Allenwood, PA. Paul’s record-setting rifle featured a Borden action, Krieger barrel, McMillan MBR Tooley stock, and Nightforce Benchrest model scope (we don’t know if this was the old BR scope or the new-for-2013 version). Eric Springman notes: “This was not a fluke — Paul has shot several small groups with this gun and has shot under 4″ at 1000 yards before.”

Under Williamsport Rules, the Light Gun Class shoots 10-shot groups at 1000 yards. Under IBS and NBRSA Rules, Light Guns shoot 5-shot groups at 1000 yards, so there is no comparable IBS or NBRSA 10-shot record for the 17-lb class. However, IBS and NBRSA Heavy Guns DO shoot 10-shot groups at 1000 yards. The current IBS Heavy Gun 10-shot record is 3.044″, shot by Joel Pendergraft in 2009. The NBRSA 10-Shot Heavy Gun record is 4.322″ by Dave Tooley, posted in 2006. Looking at those numbers, Paul Martinez’s 3.505″ beats the existing NBRSA HG record by 0.817″ and Paul’s group is just 0.461″ off the IBS HG record. Any way you look at it, that is great shooting with a 17-lb rifle.

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September 6th, 2012

Match Report: 2012 IBS 1000-Yard National Championship in WV

Mark King IBS BenchrestThe 2012 IBS 1000-Yard National Championship was held August 31-Sept. 1 in Peeltree, WV at the White Horse Firearms and Outdoor Education Center. The match went well, with over 80 entries in both Light Gun and Heavy Gun classes. Light Gun and Heavy Gun relays were shot both days. Conditions were generally good, though it did get windy on Saturday.

Pennsylvania gunsmith Mark King topped the highly competitive field, placing first in the Two-Gun Grand Overall. Mark shot his trusty 6mm Dashers well in both Light Gun and Heavy Gun divisions to finish with 34 ranking points (lower is better). Mark’s LG had a Broughton barrel, while his HG had a Bartlein barrel. In second place Overall was runner-up Jeff Green with 49 ranking points. Tom Murtiff had a great run with his Light Gun, winning the LG Division after placing first in LG Score and fourth in LG Group. James O’Hara was second in Light Gun, followed by Mark King in third. In Heavy Gun division, the top two positions were separated by a single rank point. Jeffrey Moltern took the HG title after finishing first in HG group and sixth in HG score. Just one rank point behind Moltern in the HG class was Bud Williams, who finished fifth in HG Group and third in HG Score.

CLICK HERE for Complete 2012 IBS 1000-Yard National Championship Match Results

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May 9th, 2012

Ryan Pierce Sets 450-24X F-Open Record with Home-Built Gun

Forum member Ryan Pierce set a pending new F-Class Open National Long-Range record this past Sunday at a Long Range Regional Palma Match in Lodi, Wisconsin. Ryan shot a “clean” 450 with 24 Xs in a 800/900/1000 match at Winnequah Gun Club. Once certified, Ryan’s 450-24X score tops the 449-33X record set by Robert Bock in 2008. To make the story even better, Ryan smithed the gun himself, doing his own metal and stock work! Ryan’s record-setting rig is a .284 Win with BAT action, Brux barrel, and Precision Rifle & Tool (PR&T) stock. Ryan shot Berger 180gr Hybrids pushed by H4831SC and CCI BR2s. Interestingly, Ryan set the record with a ‘dirty barrel’. By the time he finished the 1000-yard stage on Sunday, he had put over 150 rounds through his barrel since its last cleaning. Ryan wasn’t just being lazy — he had noted that the vertical tightened up the more rounds he shot.

Ryan Reveals How Record Was Set
Ryan tells us: “I had actually debated using my 6BR last weekend but didn’t and used up my last box of 180 Hybrids. They are seated .025″ off the lands with 56.0 grains of Hodgdon H4831SC and a BR2 primer. This load is running 2900 fps. I had 1 1/2 min of wind on and was favoring another half minute. I had excellent pit service, 6 seconds, by Jeff Dick. I knew he was fast so I figured ‘let’s rock and roll’. I was done in 3 to 3.5 minutes. I was pretty stoked. Halfway through the relay I started shaking pretty bad. After my last shot came up a 10 I was all smiles and couldnt believe I’d shot the 450.”

Ryan Pierce F-Class Record Open Lodi

Above is Ryan with his rifle and 1000-yard target. He had two (2) sighters in the 9-ring, but the rest were 10s and Xs. Jim tells us: “As the string went on Ryan started flirting with the bottom of the 10 ring. Those pasters were removed to validate that they were indeed solid 10s.” Jim adds: “I witnessed Ryan’s 900- and 1000-yard strings and had the pleasure of signing the score card on the 1000-yard string, it was amazing to watch and see Ryan so excited about accomplishing this.”

Ryan Pierce F-Class Open Record

Ryan Pierce SPEAKS OUT

CLICK “PLAY” to hear Ryan TALK about setting Nat’l Record with .284 Win at Lodi.

[haiku url=”http://accurateshooter.net/Video/pierceaudio215.mp3″ title=”Ryan Pierce Talk About F-Class Record”]

Ryan Pierce F-Class Record Open Lodi

Above you can see Ryan’s 800- and 900-yard strings on the same target. Jim See reports that: “Due to the rain delay, and some relay jockeying, Ryan ended up being the last shooter at 800 and the first shooter at 900, all on a clean target. So when [Ryan] hit the pits he took the picture, not knowing what was in his near future.” NOTE: The 800-yard stage allowed unlimited sighters, so there are a few shots out of 10 Ring. At the 900- and 1000-yard distances, two sighters were allowed at each yardage.

We congratulate Ryan for his great shooting. This was a tough record to beat. Forum member Nodak7mm says: “This was great shooting by an awesome up-and-coming shooter in the F-Class arena. Ryan is definitely a force to be reckoned with….”. Click the link below to hear Ryan talk about setting the record, and some surprising changes he made the day of the match.

Ryan Pierce .284 Win F-Open Rig Specifications
Ryan provided this info on his record-setting rifle: “The gun has a BAT ‘M’ action (Jewell trigger), Brux 32″ 1:9″ twist barrel, and a Ray Bowman (PR&T) F-Open ‘low boy’ stock with adjustable cheekpiece and adjustable buttplate. The scope is a Nightforce NXS 12-42x56mm. The barrel has 1300 rounds through it. All the metal and stock work was done by me.” Ryan’s record-setting load consisted of Berger 180gr Hybrids pushed by H4831SC and CCI BR2s at 2900 fps. This was a straight .284 Winchester.

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April 7th, 2012

Ron Boyd Shoots 1.462" 5-Shot Group at 1000 Yards

Ron Boyd 1000 yards groupThis past weekend, Forum member Ron Boyd shot a 1.462″ five-shot Light Gun group at 1000 yards in an IBS benchrest match at the MidWest Benchrest Club in Yukon, Missouri. Ron shot a 6mm Dasher with Bartlein barrel and PR&T stock. Ron’s 1.462″ group is 0.065″ off the existing IBS 1000-yard Light Gun record. Ron’s group also happens to be .011″ smaller than the current NBRSA 1K Light Gun record, 1.473″ shot by Bill Schrader in 2002. (But this is not counted by the NBRSA since Ron shot in an IBS match.) Ron’s group was shot in the first relay of the day, in good conditions. The group had three (3) shots clustered in under one-third inch (0.03 MOA)!

Ron Boyd 1000 yards groupThis is truly a spectacular achievement. We think this has to been one of the smallest five-shot groups ever shot at 1000 yards, and probably the smallest ever with a 6mm cartridge. At 1000 yards, 1 MOA is 10.47″. This means that Ron’s group measured in at 0.1396 MOA! To give you an idea of how small Ron’s group really was, at left is a 1.462″ circle shown at 100% scale, along with a quarter at 100% scale.* The circle represents the center-to-center distance of Ron’s five shots at 1000 yards. Total vertical dispersion was just under 1.2″ for five shots. The vertical for the top four shots (measured with OnTarget software) was just 0.398″! Shown below is a flat-bed scan of the actual target. Notice the tight cluster of 3 shots touching. That’s a dime in the photo added for scale.

Ron Boyd’s 6mm Dasher Load
Ron Boyd 1000 yard groupRon loaded a stout charge of Long Range Match surplus powder with Spencer 103gr bullets seated about .010″ OFF the lands. The bullets were “right out of the box”, NOT pointed. This powder has burn-rate characteristics very similar to Alliant Reloder 15, and Ron used his regular RL15 charge, adjusted by half a grain or so. Ron was using no-neck-turn “brown-box” Lapua 6BR brass formed into the 40° improved 6mm Dasher case. The unturned, loaded case necks measure about 0.2695″, yielding .0015″ total clearance in a 0.271″ chamber. The brass used for the 1.462″ group had seven previous firings. Ron anneals his brass after every firing using a Benchsource annealing machine. Ron told us: “The Benchsource is the greatest annealing machine there is, as far as I’m concerned.” Ron ultrasonically cleans his brass and then tumbles his brass after the ultrasound process. He does NOT use an internal neck lubricant. He does NOT uniform his primer pockets and he does NOT ream his flashholes. Ron believes this load was running “right around 3000 fps”, but he has not chron’d it yet using the new Bartlein barrel.

Ron Boyd’s 6mm Dasher Light Gun
Ron’s 17-lb Light Gun featured a BAT SV Action, Bartlein 30″ 1:8″ twist, 0.237″ land barrel, and Precision Rifle & Tool “Hammerhead” benchrest stock with 5″-wide wings in front. This stock weighs 4 lbs 1 oz. with an aluminum butt plate and is about 36.5″ long with integrated rails on the bottom of the “wings”. Ron’s friends Rich Griffin and Jerry Kloeppel did the chambering and bedding. Ron recently put the Bartlein barrel on the gun. Ron estimates that the barrel had only 40 rounds through it when it produced the 1.462″ group. Ron tells us: “This new barrel is great, and the 5″ PR&T stock really works. I luckily pulled the trigger at the right time.” Ron told us that this rifle shot in the high ones/low twos at 100 yards during testing.

PR&T Hammerhead Stock (catalog photo)
Precision Rifle and Tool hammerhead rifle stock

*The circle and quarter should appear “true size” when viewed at the most common monitor resolution. If you are running a higher resolution on your monitor, the illustration will appear small than actual size.
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January 16th, 2012

Effects of Rifle Cant at Long Range — Tubb Explains

Eleven-Time NRA National High Power Champion David Tubb knows a bit about long-range shooting. One of the key factors in long-range accuracy is making sure that the tilt/cant of your rifle does not change throughout your shot string. In the clip below, the first in McMillan’s Master Class Video series, David Tubb explains the importance of keeping your rifle level. He explains that, at 1000 yards, your Point of Impact can change dramatically by canting the rifle either right or left. David states that, when shooting at 1000 yards, if your rifle is level and your shot is centered-up on a 72″ (six-foot) square target, you can actually put your next shot OFF PAPER by canting your rifle. That means you can move Point of Impact (POI) three feet or more, just by canting your rifle! Bryan Litz confirms Tubb’s observation. Bryan tells us that, as a general rule of thumb (for common cartridges), a 1° cant will produce five (5) inches of lateral displacement at 1000 yards. Thus, if you cant your rifle just 8°, the POI would move 40″ from the center of the target, putting the shot off the edge of a 72″-wide target.

David explains that, after one of his students has made two or three 1000-yard, X-Ring hits with a LEVEL rifle, “then I’ll have him take his rifle, and cant it to the right. I’ll have him shoot a shot. He will MISS the six-foot-square frame off to the right. Then I’ll have him cant his gun to the left and shoot another shot. He will miss the six-foot-square frame to the left.”

YouTube Preview Image

Rifle Hold and Canting — Consistency Counts
bubble level mountRemember that you must maintain the exact same amount of rifle cant from shot to shot. Yes, some iron sights shooters do tilt their rifle slightly to achieve a better hold or to index their sights better. However, these shooters do not change the tilt from shot to shot — the amount of cant remains the same on every shot.

When shooting prone with a scoped rifle it’s probably best to keep the rifle dead level, with the scope’s vertical crosshair straight up and down. Use a rifle-mounted bubble level to maintain a level hold, and avoid canting the gun either to the left or to the right. Affordable bubble levels that mount to your scope or scope rail can be purchased from Brownells and other vendors, starting at about $15.00.

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December 5th, 2011

Forum Member Slays Prairie Dog at 1032 Yards with 20BR Savage

In our latest AccurateShooter.com feature story, we cover the quest of Forum member VolDoc to nail a Prairie Dog at 1000+ yards with a .20-caliber rifle. If you’re a fan of the “Terrific 20s”, or have an interest in ultra-long-range varminting, you’ll enjoy this story. VolDoc, a dentist by trade, is a seasoned Prairie Dog Hunter who has made many trips to the P-Dog fields in Colorado with his hunting buddies. But until recently he had never managed to nail a P-Dog at 1000 yards with a .20-caliber rifle. Nor, as far as we can determine, had any one else. But VolDoc did it — accomplishing a verified Prairie Dog kill at 1032 yards, possibly the longest recorded with a .20-Caliber rifle.

READ VolDoc’s .20-Cal 1000-Yard Prairie Dog Quest Article

Voldoc Savage 20BR 1000 yard Prairie Dog

Modified Hart-Barreled 20BR Savage Does the Job
Shooting Prairie Dogs at extreme long range takes highly specialized equipment. To make his 1032-yard kill shot, VolDoc used a modified Dual-Port Savage chambered in 20 BR. The stock was geometrically-uniformed and pillar-bedded by smith Kevin Rayhill, who fitted a 28″ Hart barrel with a Rayhill muzzle brake. VolDoc loaded his 20BR with 55gr Berger BT LR Varmint bullets (0.381 G1 BC) pushed by a stout charge of Hodgdon Varget.

Voldoc 20BR Savage Rayhill

It took good conditions, and patience to make the successful 1000+ yard shot. Voldoc explains:

“We were out on the Colorado prairie at daylight and the conditions were perfect. The sunrise was at my back and we had about a 10 mph tailwind. I looked through my Leica Geovid Rangefinder Binos and the Prairie Dogs were out for breakfast. I quickly ranged the targets and found a group at about 1,050 yards.

My first shot was very, very close. I added about four clicks up and a couple of clicks left for windage and let another go. That shot threw dirt all over, but the dog didn’t even flinch. On the fourth shot, I saw the dog go belly up and kick its final throws. My quest for the 20-Caliber 1,000-yard Prairie Dog had become a reality. We confirmed the distance with our lasers at 1,032 yards.”

Voldoc Savage 20BR 1000 yard Prairie Dog

Voldoc’s Accurate Arsenal
In our report on VolDoc’s successful 1K Prairie Dog quest, we spotlighted two of VolDoc’s other accurate varmint guns. First, fans of fine wood will love VolDoc’s switch-barrel, drop-port Stiller Diamondback rifle. The wood on this gun is stunning. The custom stock was crafted from 40-year-old English Walnut to match the profile of a Shehane ST-1000. The rifle has three barrels with three different chamberings: 6BR Brux 1:8″-twist HV; 6BRX Krieger 1:8″-twist HV, and 6mm Dasher Krieger 1:8.5″-twist fluted straight contour (no taper). The scope is a Nightforce 12-42x56mm, with 2DD reticle.

Voldoc Diamondback Dasher Drop-Port

VolDoc’s “Go-To” Prairie Dog Rifle — Big Orange Crush Dasher
Next, check out VolDoc’s “Big Orange Crush” rifle. This features a stainless Nesika ‘J’ action in a painted fiberglass Shehane ST-1000 stock. Originally a 6BR, the gun is now chambered as a 6mm Dasher with a .271″ no-turn neck. The barrel is a 1:12″-twist Krieger fited with Vais muzzle brake. Big Orange Crush shoots 87gr V-Maxs into bugholes at 3,400 fps, according to VolDoc. He tells us that “The barrel now has more than 3,000 rounds down the tube and exhibits little throat fire-cracking and no loss of accuracy. I can’t explain why, it just hasn’t deteriorated yet. This rifle is my best-ever ‘go-to’ Prairie Dog rifle.”

Voldoc 6mm Dasher Nesika Varmint Rifle 12-twist

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
August 24th, 2011

Forum Member Builds 1600-Yard “Backyard” Range

Serious shooters dream of having a backyard range where they can practice, test loads, and shoot for fun with friends. For most of us, having even a 50-yard backyard range is impossible. And those lucky shooters who do have their own range can typically go out to 100 yards, but that’s it. It takes plenty of open land to set up even a 200-yard range, and then you still need the side of a mountain for a backstop, or many acres of additional clear land behind the berm, for safety reasons.

Utah Range

Mother of All Backyard Ranges
AccurateShooter Forum member J.R. (aka Huntinco) has put us all to shame. He is building the “mother of all backyard ranges” at a secret location in northern Utah. How long is J.R.’s range going to be? 500 yards? Nope — think WAY longer. J.R. has laid out a facility that is a full 1600 yards from firing line to the final target bay. Plus there are pits every 100 yards out to 1600 yards.

J.R.’s range is not just a strip of vacant land with a few target stands. The range will boast a full-featured shooting facility when it’s completed. J.R. is constructing a finished, covered “all-weather” shooting house with seven indoor shooting stations (and more benches outside). He explains: “I poured a 12×90 pad. I’m enclosing 45 feet and just putting a roof over the other 45 feet. On the enclosed part there are six, 6′-wide shooting stalls, with one on the end that’s 12′ wide. Shooting windows are 5′ wide and 4′ high. One small problem is that, the way the property lays out, only the 12′-wide stall can shoot 100 yards. All the rest will start at 200 yards.”

Utah Range

Interior Finishing Suggestions Are Welcome
J.R. hasn’t finished the interior of his shooting facility yet, so he is soliciting ideas as to how the inside should be laid out: “I need your input because I have never been to a range. I just shoot here on my place. Please help me with [your input] on the inside layout.”

Those of you who have suggestions for J.R., please place a comment here. And no, we won’t reveal where this beautiful range is being built. But we do give J.R. a hearty pat on the back for making his “dream range” a reality. CLICK HERE to view more photos.

UPDATE — Here are photos of the Shooting house, interior and exterior. Nice job J.R.!

Ultimate Shooting Range Backyard

Ultimate Shooting Range Backyard

Ultimate Shooting Range Backyard

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July 6th, 2011

West Virginia’s White Horse Center Hosts 2011 IBS 1K Nationals

IBS logoThe White Horse Center Range near Peeltree, West Virginia, will host the 2011 National IBS 1000-Yard Nationals from September 3-5, 2011. The good news is that the match directors have lowered the fees in response to the week economy and high gas prices. If you register before August 8th, the match fee is only $80.00 per gun.

CLICK HERE for IBS 2011 1000-Yard Nationals Registration/Entrance Form.

Whitehorse Shooting Center WV

Whitehorse Shooting Center MapMatch Schedule and Fees
The 1K Nationals will be a 3-target Aggregate match for both Light Gun (LG) and Heavy Gun (HG) with six (6) targets total. Membership in the IBS, NBRSA, or Williamsport organizations is required — bring your membership card. The match will run Saturday, Sunday, and MONDAY, September 3, 4, and 5. Practice and Sight-in will be available Wednesday (8/31), Thursday (9/1) and Friday (9/2), starting daily at 8:00 am. NOTE: There will be a $10.00 per target fee during practice days and the shooter must furnish his/her own target puller.

Match fees for the Nationals are $80 per gun ($40 per gun for Juniors), if post-marked before August 8, 2011. Thereafter fees go to $90 per gun ($45 per gun for juniors). All registrations MUST be received by 3:00 pm Friday, September 2nd. 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.

Story Tip by EdLongrange. We welcome submissions from our readers.
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June 21st, 2011

1000-Yard Williamsport Egg Shoot

Williamsport Egg ShootLast weekend, the first annual Father’s Day Fun Match and Egg Shoot was held at the Original PA 1000-yard Benchrest Club in Williamsport. One of the challenges was hitting hard-boiled eggs placed on the berm at 1040 yards. Most “egg shoots” are conducted at considerably shorter distances — but at Williamsport, “fun begins at 1000″.

The video below shows the egg “shoot-off” at 1040 yards. The eggs were suspended with fishing line so they bounce a bit — adding to the challenge.

Near the end of the video, at the 1:06″ mark, you can see a hit on the #7 egg target. (That’s our Asst. Editor Jason Baney calling the hit — the shooter was using a 6mmBR). It all goes to show that, with enough rounds downrange, a good shooter can nail an egg at 1000 yards.

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June 2nd, 2011

Father’s Day Fun Shoot at Williamsport, PA — June 18, 2011

The Original PA 1000-Yard Benchrest Club in Williamsport, PA, will hold a Father’s Day Fun Shoot with cash prizes on Saturday June 18, 2011 (starting at 8:00 am). This will be the first-ever match of its kind at Williamsport, the first and largest 1000-Yard Benchrest Club in the country. Entry is open to everyone. All net proceeds from this match are going directly to pay off the massive pit rebuild Williamsport recently completed. There will be 50% payback of fees to shooters, as well as door prizes. CLICK HERE for entry Form (Pre-registration recommended).

Williamsport 1000-Yard Club

Father’s Day Fun Shoot and 1000-Yard Scramble

  • 50% payback to top 10% of shooters in each class; there will also be door prizes.
  • Free lunch for every paid shooter (hot dog and drink)
  • Relays picked at 8am (random drawing). Match Starts at 9:00 am.
  • Pit crew will be provided, shooters need not pull pits.
  • Dinner will be provided for $7 if desired. Other concessions available.

THREE Classes – Light Gun, Heavy Gun, and Factory
Light-Gun and Heavy-Gun per Williamsport rules. Factory class rifles must include: factory barrel and receiver and stock. (Rechamber, trigger, re-crown, brake etc. are OK.)
ROUND COUNT: The total round count (per rifle) is 50-75 rounds.
ENTRY FEE: $75 per gun (each shooter may enter up to 1HG, 1LG and 1 factory)

Williamsport 1000-yard benchrest
Photo by Sebastian Reist, www.sreistphotography.com.

Williamsport Father’s Day Fun Shoot — Course of Fire:

Stage 1: 3-Shot and 5-Shot Groups at 1000 yards.
– Shot in one sitting with a short break between groups.
– 12 shooters per relay, with points given for each group and score.
– Approx. 18 rounds, 48 points possible.

Stage 2: 10-Shot Group at 1000 yards
– Same scoring as Stage 1.
– Approx. 18 rounds, 24 points possible.

Stage 3: Clay Birds at 1000 Yards.
– Three targets each: rabbit/skeet/mini clay-birds for each shooter in 3×3 arrays.
– Shooters have 2-3 minutes to break as many as you can (no shot limit).
– Approx. 10-20 rounds, 36 possible points.

Grand Finale – “Scrambled Eggs”
– Top 12 scorers from EACH CLASS go to final relay to shoot eggs on the bank at 1040 yards.
Note: this is shot in the evening for the best conditions.
– Factory class will shoot eggs at 600 yards.
– Two-minute sighters on bank at skeet, then 2 minutes to try and break eggs.
– Cash prizes awarded for breaking the egg (separate from the 50% payback).
– Approx 10-15 rounds.

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May 1st, 2011

Best Wallet Group Ever? 1.86" 5-Shot Group at 1000 Yards

What’s a “wallet group”? It’s a singularly spectacular proof target that entitles its bearer to bragging rights. The wallet group may or may not have been shot in competition, and, by definition, it may not be repeatable. But it exists as incontrovertible proof that, at least once, the stars aligned, and the wind gods smiled on the shooter.

1000-yard record groupFive Shots in 0.178 MOA at 1000 Yards
A couple seasons back, Forum member and F-Class shooter Gary Wood was testing his 6.5-284 rifle at the 1000-yard range in Coalinga, California, getting ready for an up-coming long range match. In practice, Gary nailed a witnessed 1.859″ five-shot group, with four of the five shots well under an inch. Use this as proof to win those club-house arguments about whether it is possible to shoot “in the ones” at 1000 yards. Gary’s group worked out to 0.178 MOA!

Gary reports: “I was load testing with 5-shot groups. Each group was shot on a new F-Class center and pulled by Ret. Master Chief Jerry Pullens and spotted by an other long-range shooter. The second 5-shot load group looked really small … by our reckoning four out of five shots measured under an inch. I was amazed. What’s more, when I shot the group, the 4th shot blew the spindle out of the 3rd shot. My spotter saw that in his scope and Jerry Pullens told me about it afterwards”.

As measured with the OnTarget Software, using a scan of the target, Gary plotted the group size at 1.859″ total for five shots, or 0.178 MOA. Gary noted: “I had everyone sign the target which I saved and photographed.” Yes, Gary, this may be the wallet group to end all wallet groups. You should have that target framed.

1000-yard record group

Gary’s Load and 6.5-284 Rifle Specs
Gary’s load was 48 grains of Hodgdon H4350 and CCI BR-2 primers, pushing 142gr Sierra MKs, in Lapua 6.5-284 brass. The rifle features an F-class, single-shot Surgeon action with a Bartlein 5R barrel chambered with a no-turn neck. Gary says “The barrel only has 70 rounds through it… yep, I think it will shoot.” Gary did all of the gunsmithing and barrel work himself.

Did Gary have any special reloading tricks? Apparently not: “Other than weighing the cases and the powder very carefully, there really were no magical reloading secrets used. The Sierra 142s were moly-coated straight from the box of 500, but they were not weighed or checked for bearing surface. The powder was dropped with a RCBS ChargeMaster then checked with an Acculab scale (to under a tenth). The Lapua cases were not neck-turned, but I did weight-sort them. The five cases for the small group weighed: 195.05, 195.03, 195.03, 195.03, 195.01.”

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April 18th, 2011

.308 Win vs. .30-06 — Match Results May Surprise You

The .308 Winchester, a shortened version of the .30-06, has almost completely replaced the .30-06 in NRA competition. The .308 is required for Palma shooting, so it is also used by many Palma competitors in other long-range and mid-range prone matches. However, with the exception of M1 Garand matches, you won’t see many .30-06 rifles on the firing lines. Does that mean the .30-06 is obsolete? Is the .308 Win really much more accurate? Or does it just offer the advantages of reduced recoil and reduced powder consumption?

.308 Win vs. .30-06
Cartridge photos courtesy Deuce45s.com, a leading source of specialized military cartridges.

In his Sibling Rivalry: .308 vs. .30-06 article on the Rifleman’s Journal site, German Salazar argues that the .30-06 remains a viable competition cartridge, particularly for the long-range game. This isn’t just a subjective opinion. German has data to back up the argument that the .30-06 can still do the job.

German compares the actual scores produced by his .308 Win rifles with the scores from his .30-06 rifles. German analyzes scores, over a two-year period, shot by “matched pair” rifles (one in each caliber) with similar actions, stocks, sights, and barrels. For comparison purposes, German also includes score data from his 6XC, a modern low-recoil chambering.

.308 Win vs. .30-06

RESULTS: .308 Has Small Edge at Middle Distance, But .30-06 Is Better at Long Range
Surprisingly, the .30-06 performed nearly as well as the .308 at middle distances. The .30-06 delivered 99.2% of max possible scores vs. 99.5% for the .308 Win. Notably, at 1000 yards, the .30-06 racked up 97.7% of max scores vs. 97.3% for the .308 Win. So, at 1000 yards, the .30-06 actually proved superior to the .308 Win. German explains: “This isn’t too surprising when one considers [the .308’s] limited case capacity for the bullet weights typically used in Long-Range shooting. They just run out of steam and dip perilously close to the transonic range as they approach 1000 yards of flight. The extra 150 fps or so that can be safely obtained from the .30-06 case really pays off at 1000 yards.”

Mid-Range Comparison
In NRA Mid-Range matches (500 and 600 yards), the average score and percentage of possible score for each cartridge was as follows:

.308 – 597-36X (99.5%), 960 rounds fired
6XC – 596-35X (99.3%),1260 rounds fired
.30-06 – 595-31X (99.2%), 2580 rounds fired

If we look at the score averages, the .308 comes out on top at the Mid-Range distances… by 0.3% of the possible score. By the way, notice that the 6XC, as good as it is, simply straddles the .30 caliber cartridges; it is not the winner.

Long-Range Comparison
German rarely shoots the .308 in matches that are only 1000 yards; most of his 1000-yard .308 shooting is done in Palma matches which include 800, 900 and 1000 yards. To make the comparison useful, the Long-Range results are presented only as a percentage of the possible score and the 800- and 900-yard stages of Palma matches were NOT included.

In NRA Long-Range and Palma matches, the average percentage of possible score for each cartridge at 1000 yards was as follows:

6XC – 98.9%, 360 rounds fired
.30-06 – 97.7%, 460 rounds fired
.308 – 97.3%, 490 rounds fired

Editor’s Note: Among the three cartridges German studied, the 6XC actually proved best at 1000 yards, delivering 98.9% of the maximum possible scores. The .30-06 was second-best with 97.7%, slightly better than the .308 Win at 97.3%.

You’ll want to read German’s full Sibling Rivalry article, which includes an interesting history of the .30-06 and .308 in High Power shooting, along with tables showing German’s actual scores with his .30-06, .308 Win, and 6XC rifles.

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April 5th, 2011

Williamsport 1K Benchrest School in May Has a Few Openings

If 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 next School session runs May 20, 21, & 22, 2011. Classes are held at the Original Pennsylvania 1000-Yard Benchrest Club Range, one of the best 1K ranges in the country. Classes are taught by top 1K shooters, including our Asst. Editor, Jason Baney.

Williamsport 1000 yard Benchrest School

While these Benchrest schools typically sell out, there were still eight (8) student slots available as of April first. If you want to grab one of the remaining slots for the 3-day school, don’t hesitate. 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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For more information or to sign up for the 2011 1000-Yard Benchrest Class this May, contact School Director Frank Grappone, or visit the Williamsport website, PA1000yard.com.

Photos and slideshow courtesy Sebastian Reist, www.sreistphotography.com.
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February 24th, 2011

Match Schedules Set by 1000-Yard Shooting Clubs

NC BR 1000 Yard Association

Both the North Carolina 1000-Yard Benchrest Shooters Assn. and the Montana NW 1000-Yard Benchrest Club have released their 2011 match schedules. You can access the schedules via the links below:

NC 1000-Yard BRSA Schedule

2011 Matches
Match | Date
1 & 2: 4-9-11
3 & 4: 4-30-11
5 & 6: 5-14-11
7 & 8: 6-4-11
Makeup: 7-16-11*
9 & 10: 9-10-11
Makeup: 10-8-11*

*Shot only if regularly scheduled matches are postponed due to inclement weather.

Montana NW 1000-Yard BR Club Schedule

2011 Match Dates
March 26-27
April 23-24
May 14-15
June 11-12
July 9-10.
August 12-14 Championship Shoot

Extra practice days are: March 13th, April 10th, March 26-27, April 23-24, May 14-15, June 11-12, July 9-10.

The 1000 Yard Range is available for practice on Mondays and Fridays, March 1st to August 31st, from 8:00 AM until Noon. We will have the range all day on Friday before each shoot.

NC BR 1000 Yard Association

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October 20th, 2010

NBRSA 1000-Yard Nationals This Weekend in Sacramento

This weekend, October 22-24, the Sacramento Valley Shooting Center hosts the NBRSA 1000-Yard National Championship (aka “Sloughhouse 1000″). Many of the nation’s best long-range shooters will be on the firing line. There will be two classes, Light Gun and Heavy Gun, with match fees of $75.00 per class. The Championship Match starts on the 22nd at 8:00 A.M. at Range 12. There will be a “sight-in & weigh-in” day on October 21st. On Friday and Sunday, food may be purchased from Jake’s Hot Dogs. On Saturday, lunch will be catered by Sierra Smokehouse Barbecue. (Sierra’s BBQ fare is truly superb!)

Sac Valley Shooting Center 600 yards

This is the view from 600 yards. The 1000-yard firing line is fully covered and shaded.

With blustery weather and moderate chance of rain predicted, it will be interesting to see how the 6mm Dasher aces like Richard Schatz do in tough conditions. This could be the weekend to shoot a big boomer in both classes. Past 1K NBRSA Champ Jerry Tierney will be there with his straight .284 Win. He is working on a 7mm RSAUM, but it isn’t ready for the event.

CLICK HERE for Entry Form/Information Sheet (PDF)

sac valley weather

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September 25th, 2010

Check out the Williamsport Long-Range BR School

It’s been over a year since Sebastian Reist drove out to Pennsylvania to participate in the 2009 Williamsport 1000-yard BR school. A talented professional photographer, Sebastian did a superb job capturing the highlights of his Williamsport 1K training weekend in a marvelous slideshow, complete with sound track. Photos and slideshow courtesy www.sreistphotography.com.

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If you haven’t viewed this video when we first ran it, you’re in for a treat. Sebastian captured some talented shooters in “mid-string” and he snapped some beautiful photos of the Williamsport facility. This is the same range where Matt Kline set a Williamsport 1000-yard world record, placing 10 shots from his 300 WSM heavy gun in just 2.815″. All shots were well-centered up for a 100-4X score. If you want to “run with the big dogs” in 1000-yard Benchrest competition, the Williamsport facility is a great place to learn. A lot has changed in the past 40 years. Compare the current deluxe covered shooting bays with Williamsport, circa 1968.

Williamsport Club

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August 19th, 2010

New Record Set at Camp Perry Palma Team Match

A new NRA record in the team Palma event was set yesterday at Camp Perry by the Litz-Gallagher team. The new record of 1796-119X was set by Brian Litz (Captain and Shooter), Michelle Gallagher (Coach and shooter), Nancy Tompkins (Coach and shooter), Bob Gustin (shooter). Shooting the Palma course of fire at 800, 900, and 1000 yards, these four beat the 1796-112X mark set in July at Raton, NM by an all-female ‘dream team’ of shooters coached by Steve Conico. (Both Michelle Gallagher and her mother Nancy Tompkins were member of the Raton ‘Dream Team’). Bryan Litz reports: “At Perry, Michelle and Nancy did an outstanding job shooting, and coaching Bob and myself to very high scores especially at the 1000-yard-line where the conditions were extremely difficult.”

Team Palma Record

Team member Bob Gustin also won the Individual Palma match with a 450-33X, not dropping a point. That’s remarkable considering Bob shoots right-handed while sighting with his left eye through off-set rear and front sights. Congrats to Bob and all the team members. Bryan Litz won’t take any time off after his team’s record-breaking performance. Bryan reports: “I’m on my way to Canada now for the America Match this Sunday — a bi-annual international fullbore match.” Good luck Bryan.

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July 22nd, 2010

Williamsport Winner Reveals 6.5×284 Reloading Secrets

John Hoover of Accuracy One Shooting Supplies is the 2010 Williamsport World Open Two-gun Overall Champion. Shooting a 6.5×284 in both Light Gun (LG) and Heavy Gun (HG) classes, John shot consistently, placing 3rd in Light Gun class, and 6th in Heavy Gun to win the overall Two-Gun with 34 rank points. It was a solid win. The next closest shooter was Paul Chackan with 59 rank points.

John Hoover Accuracy One

John Hoover Accuracy OneHoover’s Reloading Tips
We interviewed John after his World Open victory, and he shared his World Open-winning load, and some of the reloading secrets that allow him to craft ultra-accurate long range ammo. For his 6.5x284s, John loaded was Sierra 142gr MatchKings pushed by 48.0 grains of Hodgdon H4350, in “white box” Winchester .284 brass. Both rifles used exactly the same load. John revealed: “I have 9 match rifles, and they all shoot 48.00 grains of H4350.” John pointed his 142gr SMKs, using his own Accuracy One bullet-pointing tool: “I don’t shoot anything that isn’t pointed. All the loads we shoot use pointed bullets. I find that bullet pointing, combined with meplat trimming, reduces vertical dispersion at 1000 yards.”

Hoover’s Secret Ingredient? RWS Primers
Hoover lit his loads with RWS primers — the “Holy Grail” of rifle primers. Where did John get these superior German-made RWS primers, which are virtually unobtainable in the USA these days? John explained: “I bought those primers a long time ago, as a stocking dealer. I had about 100,000 at one time before they quit importing them, I kept a fair amount for us to use. I’m down to about 8000. When they’re gone I’ll have to change to something else.”

Hoover Now Anneals Brass “Early and Often”
Recently Hoover has changed his brass annealing procedure; he now anneals his Winchester brass earlier and more frequently: “I anneal more often now. I used to shoot my cases five to six times before annealing. Now before I shoot a case the very first time, I anneal it. That has help keep the ES and SD down. I anneal before I shoot the first time, and then every third firing. I use the Ken Light annealing machine.”

Ace Smiths Built Hoover’s Winning Rifles
John’s heavy gun was chambered by Al Warner of Warner Tools, while the light gun was chambered by 8-time National High Power Champion Carl Bernosky. Both light and heavy guns had Bartlein 1:8.5″ twist 5R barrels. All the stock work was done by Alex Sitman of Master Class Stocks. John credited these smiths: “I had good equipment from top to bottom, I had good smithing help from Alan, Carl, and Alex, who all did excellent work. When you’re walking to the firing line you get peace of mind from having the best equipment.”

READ MORE: To learn more about John Hoover’s successful 6.5-284s, read this Gun of the Week article.

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