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May 26th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: Old Savage Becomes 300M Match Rifle

300m meter Savage BVSS .260 Remington Shilen barrel Chassis prone rifle

Editor: This story by Tommy C. (aka “dc.fireman”) comes from our Shooters’ Forum. It’s fascinating to see how a relatively inexpensive Savage M12 BVSS varmint rig was transformed into a sophisticated 300M match rifle with a modern chassis, Shilen barrel, and top-of-line sights. With some ingenuity, and careful parts selection, Tommy created a rifle that can compete with match rifles costing many thousands of dollars more. American ingenuity at work!

300m meter Savage BVSS .260 Remington Shilen barrel Chassis prone rifle

Savage Reborn — Old BVSS Transformed into 300M Match Rifle

by Tommy C. (aka “dc.fireman”)
So, I began the project of building a 300M International competition gun, about a year ago, intending to compete at the 300M Nationals this year in Minnesota at the Minneapolis Rifle Club. Realistically, I didn’t want to pay the price-tag demanded of the Bleikers, Grunig & Elmigers, Hammerlis, or Tanners that (infrequently) pop-up for sale from time to time. So I decided to build my own 300M Match rifle with an American action, barrel, chassis, and trigger.

300m meter Savage BVSS .260 Remington Shilen barrel Chassis prone rifle
Here is Tommy’s completed 300M Match rifle with Savage action in PDC Custom chassis.

I had decided on the .260 Remington (aka 6.5-08) as the caliber choice. This beat out 6.5×47 Lapua simply due to the cost/availability of brass. The .260 Rem cartridge is based on the .308 Win parent. I made my first batch of brass by necking down some Federal .308, and it worked great. [Editor: We do recommend Lapua .260 Remington brass for match purposes for those who don’t have a supply of good .308 brass.]

300m meter Savage BVSS .260 Remington Shilen barrel Chassis prone rifle

I had an older Savage M12 stagger-feed action, originally from an old .22-250 BVSS. I contacted James at Northland Shooter Supply, and he walked me through the game plan and equipment I needed: Shilen Select Match 26″ barrel, NSS Stainless recoil lug and nut, a set of Forster headspace gauges, and the NSS action wrench.

300m meter Savage BVSS .260 Remington Shilen barrel Chassis prone rifle
Catalog photo of current Savage M12 BVSS in .22-250 Rem.

A few months later, I replaced the original Accu-trigger with a Rifle Basix SAV-II trigger, and immediately wondered why I waited so long to do that. The Rifle Basix is perfect for my application. Mind you the he safety DOES NOT work now, but, I don’t need it for my application.

Another member on the AccurateShooter Forum sold me a BVSS stock that has been re-worked by Alex Sitman of Masterclass Stocks, and it served as a placeholder, until I could find a maker who could nearly replicate my Feinwerkbau 2700 Alu stock in my smallbore match gun.

After scouring the AccurateShooter Forum, and multiple internet searches, I found PDC Custom in Michigan. I spoke with Craig Kierstadt a few times, before finally deciding to pull the proverbial trigger on his chassis. He had a few of the older chassis stocks with spacing for the Savage stagger-feed action. He machined an Anschutz rail into the fore-end for my hand stop and sling. Then he powder-coated the chassis black, and sent it to me sans grip and butt plate.

300m meter Savage BVSS .260 Remington Shilen barrel Chassis prone rifle
Photo of action/chassis. Tommy says: “It locks up really tightly, and you can tell Craig spent some time on the CNC work need to make this all fit.”

There are a few minor issues with the PDC chassis, but overall, I would rate this a 9.5 out of a possible 10. The price, and the features built into it, plus the ease of which everything fit together, far outweigh any minor issues. And two of the issues I quickly corrected with Teflon tape. I will need to make a walnut cheek piece — a curved one isn’t conducive to aperture iron sight shooting.

Savage Action .260 Rem 300M Match Rifle Components:

Action, Barrel, Stock, Grip
Savage M12 stagger-feed action, 4.27″ spacing
Shilen Select Match Barrel, 26″
Rifle Basix SAV-II Trigger
PDC Custom Chassis — tool-less adjustments
Bobsled SLED for single loading (required)
MEC Contact III Butt plate (German)
MEC handstop/sling swivel (German)
Walnut Target grip for AR-15 (eBay sourced)

Sight Components and Hardware
MEC Spy Long rear sight (German)
Centra front sight tunnel (German)
Centra adjustable aperture (German)
Medesha sight extension tube + collar
Champion’s Choice front sight base
Champion’s Choice mirage band

For his practice load, Tommy shot 123gr Hornady ELD-M bullets with H4831 powder and CCI BR2 primers. This load performed well — Tommy posted: “My 25-shot initial prone test today shows promise. There are five sighter shots, and 20 record shots. One of the 9s at 9 o’clock is my first sighter, the other one I own. The 8 out at 4 O’clock was a round that was difficult to chamber. My initial scoring puts me somewhere in the vicinity of 193-7X.”

300m meter Savage BVSS .260 Remington Shilen barrel Chassis prone rifle

The target used is the NRA C2, “300M International Rifle Target, reduced for 200 yards”.
The 10 Ring is 2.40″ in diameter, while the Inner 10 (X-Ring) is 1.24″.

Varget powder 300m .260 RemingtonMatch Load — Varget and Nosler Bullets
For his match load, Tommy switched to Varget and Nosler bullets: “My match load uses 37.9 grains Hodgdon Varget with a Nosler 123gr bullet. This was a recommendation by a gentleman with a lot of experience in 300M shooting.”

Tommy adds: “The amount of knowledge gained via the AccurateShooter Forum has made this all a reality, instead of just a passing thought.”

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January 17th, 2017

Bodacious Black Bleikers — $20K Worth of Swiss Perfection

Bleiker 300m rifle smallbore championship
You are looking at $20,100 of Competition Rifles here. (Click Image for full-screen version.)

Don’t inquire about the price of a Bleiker competition rifle. As the expression goes, “If you have to ask, you can’t afford it”. At the Pardini USA booth at SHOT Show we saw a pair of bodacious black beauties — two “full-race” Bleikers, one a smallbore match rifle (.22 LR) and the other a 300m position rifle chambered in 6mmBR Norma. The combined price for the two rifles was a jaw-dropping $20,100.00. Yep, over $20K for the two. The 6mmBR rig was $10,200 while the smallbore rifle was $9,900.00.

Bleikers command such high prices because they win. At recent ISSF 300m and Smallbore Championships, Bleikers have been used by many of the medal winners. A gun is worth $10K if it can really put you on the podium or, better yet, deliver a world championship.

Bleiker 300m rifle smallbore championship
Take a look at this slick feature on the 300m gun. The adjustable cheek-pad automatically tilts up (for clearance) when you retract the bolt. That’s clever Swiss Engineering.

Bleiker 300m rifle smallbore championship

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October 15th, 2014

Blast from the Past: Tokyo Gold, 50 Years Ago Today

50 years ago today, October 15, 1964, Gary Anderson (now CMP Director Emeritus) celebrated his Gold Medal victory at the Tokyo Olympics. Gary earned Olympic Gold for winning the 300m rifle event. A few days later, Gary’s team-mate, Lones Wigger, won a gold medal for the USA in 50m rifle competition.

Gary Anderson Lones Wigger Tokyo Olympics

Gary Anderson Lones Wigger Tokyo Olympics

Gary Anderson Lones Wigger Tokyo Olympics

Photos from CMP Archives. Follow the CMP on Facebook.
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October 19th, 2013

Video Reveals Lapua’s Commitment to Quality

Lapua brass and Scenar BulletsIn a world where too many companies have down-graded product quality and durability, we’re lucky there are some fanatical Finns who build great stuff for shooters. For serious handloaders, the cartridge brass of choice is made by Lapua in Finland. Lapua brass lasts longer than most other brands of cartridge brass, with industry-leading case-to-case uniformity. How do the Finns manage to make such good brass and loaded ammo? This informative video provides insights into Lapua’s “passion for precision”. This “must watch”, 12-minute video contains a surprising amount of “hard” info on Lapua products, with segments showing Lapua brass and rimfire ammo being produced. Watch carefully and you’ll see most of the processes used for forming and loading brass. Another short segment shows a Lapua technician inspecting a case for run-out.

The video spotlights some of the important American and international records set with Lapua ammo. You’ll see top 300m and Olympic rifle shooters in action, and there are also short comments from many champions, including American Benchrest legend Tony Boyer.

NOTE: This is long video — you may need to let it buffer (pre-load) for 10 seconds before playback. If that doesn’t work, let the entire video load, then hit the replay button.
Please enable Javascript and Flash to view this VideoPress video.

Yes, this video is first and foremost a marketing tool, but that doesn’t lessen that fact that it is fascinating to watch. Lapua’s video also does a great job making our sport seem important and exciting — NRA take note! We suspect many of you will want to save the video to your computer for future viewing. That’s easy to do. Just click on the link below. (Note: After downloading, we suggest that PC users play it back through Windows Media Player. You can then drag the Media Player corners to expand the video viewing size.)

CLICK HERE to download Lapua Video (Lo-Res, 24 megs).

CLICK HERE to download Lapua Video (Hi-Res, 258 megs, fast connection recommended).

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo 1 Comment »
September 2nd, 2013

USA Shooting 300M National Championships Held at Fort Benning

Report and Photographs by Tony Chow
On August 12th to 16th, USAMU’s Fort Benning range hosted the 2013 USA Shooting 300m National Championships. This match, held every four years, nominates athletes to represent the United States at the 300m World Championships, due to be held in 2014, in Granada, Spain.

300m Championships Fort Benning

300m Shooting — A World-Class Challenge
300m shooting is a challenging discipline. With much smaller scoring rings than NRA targets, the 300m target can bedevil even the most experienced High Power shooters, especially in tricky wind conditions. While European 300m shooters typically use expensive rifles from the likes of Gruenig & Elmiger (G&E) and Bleiker, less costly American-made equipment has proven to be every bit as competitive. Case in point are the free rifles used by the USAMU team, all of which are built from American target actions such as Panda and BAT, fitted with Krieger barrels, and glass-bedded into Anschütz stocks.

The competition took place in unseasonably mild weather for this time of the year in Georgia. As the popularity of 300m shooting is limited in the United States, 21 shooters in total took part in four days of competition. Despite the light participation, the athletes included some of the best international rifle shooters in the country. The relaxed and club-like atmosphere belied intense and high-level competition on the firing line.

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Electronic targets record all shots as 10, 9, 8, etc., with the X-count being the first tiebreaker. Each whole number score is accompanied by a more precise score that ranges from 0-100. An official 10, for example, could be anything from 91 (on the edge of the ring), all the way to 100 (dead center). The more precise score is NOT used officially for score keeping in ISSF competition, but could be in the future, as already is the case in 50m prone and 10m air rifle.

300m Championships Fort Bennign

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3P Course of Fire and Results
The 3P events occupied the first two days of competition. Athletes shot in three positions–kneeling, prone, and standing — using free rifles, mostly chambered in 6BR. Under ISSF rules, men fire 40 record shots in each position, while women fire 20 record shots in each position. Each event is repeated on the second day, and the two-day aggregates determined the winner. In Men’s 300m 3P, USAMU’s Joseph Hall, who had never shot a 300m match before, beat his more experienced teammates Joseph Hein and Michael McPhail to take gold. Among women, USAMU’s Erin Lorenzen edged out 2008 World Championship veterans Reya Kempley and Janet Raab for the gold.

The prone and Standard Rifle events followed in the second half of the competition. The 300m prone match is shot by both men and women, using same free rifles as in the 3P events. The Standard Rifle match is another 3-position event, except contested only among men, using rifles strictly limited in external shape and adjustability. Cooler temperatures and intermittent rain made conditions trickier to read than during the first two days. In men’s prone, USAMU’s Eric Uptagrafft took gold, edging out Unit teammates Hall and McPhail. In women’s prone, Erin Lorenzen once again came out on top over Reya Kempley (photo below) and Michelle Bohren.

300m Fort Benning National Championship Tony Chow

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In the Standard Rifle event, AMU’s Joseph Hall continued his good form and took another gold over teammate Joseph Hein. Equally noteworthy is the third place finisher Steve Goff. Goff, an AMU Hall of Famer who now competes as a senior in USAS matches, beat back much younger challengers to earn the third and final slot in the 2014 US Men’s Standard Rifle Team.

Cartridge Options for 300m Shooting — by Tony Chow
The cartridge of choice in 300m is 6mmBR Norma (aka 6BR). The AMU shooters all shoot Norma Diamond Line 6BR factory ammo, loaded with moly-coated 105gr Berger HPBT bullets, with the notable exception of prone match winner Eric Uptagrafft, who shoots handloads with HBN-coated bullets in his 6mm Dasher. Civilian shooters mostly shoot the 6mmBR as well, also preferring Berger bullets. I was the odd man out shooting a Gruenig & Elmiger (G&E) chambered in 6.5×47 Lapua. That cartridge was actually the result of a collaboration between G+E and Lapua to create an alternative to 6BR, though in the 300m world, it never managed to catch on. There was one shooter using 6.5-284 and another shooting a wildcat cartridge called “.260 BMR (boomer)”.

6BR 6mmBR Tony Chow 300mI’m not the authority on the pros and cons of various calibers. I doubt that most world-class 300m shooters concern themselves too much with these matters. The 6BR is simply good enough. It holds well inside the 10-Ring, is relatively economical, and offers extremely long barrel life when using mild factory loads. G+E rates its chrome-moly, cut-rifled 6BR barrels as capable of lasting 7,000 rounds. The AMU gunsmith, Glenn Sulser, told me that the AMU’s policy is to re-barrel at the 4,500-5,000 round mark.

Longer cartridges such as 6.5×47 and 6XC are supposed to offer easier feeding, but in my observation, the nose-heavy nature of 6BR is, in practice, not a major problem for 300m shooters. One of the advantages of 6.5×47 is even longer barrel life, and that’s the reason I went for this caliber myself. But looking back now, the greater recoil and extra cost in brass and powder are probably not worth it.

Factory Ammo vs. Handloads — Cost Considerations
One of the advantages the AMU shooters enjoyed over the civilians is that the Unit marksmen had an unlimited supply of ammo, and therefore could shoot as many sighters as they wished. In a 15-minute sighting-in period, it was not uncommon for AMU shooters to fire 20+ sighter shots, just as they do in smallbore. We civilians had to settle with under 10 sighters, in order to leave enough for the match.

Unless you are filthy rich or have someone else paying for the ammo, reloading is definitely the only way to go. A reloaded round costs under 50 cents a piece. The European factory ammo costs nearly $3 a round these days (as sold in the USA).

CLICK Photos to See Full-Screen Images:

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September 15th, 2012

300m European Cup Finals Dominated By 6mmBR Shooters

Lapua 6mmBR Norma ammo300m Lapua European Cup Finals are currently underway in Zagreb, Croatia. The prone events have concluded — and Lapua ammo shooters dominated the field, with the little 6mmBR topping all other cartridge types in both the mens’ and womens’ divisions. There have been challengers to the 300m crown, including Norma’s 6XC and Lapua’s own 6.5×47, but it appears that the 6mmBR cartridge is still “King of the Hill” at 300 meters. We know that Lapua’s 6mmBR factory ammo is outstanding. This factory 6mmBR ammo shot well under quarter-MOA in one Eliseo Tubegun we tested (READ 6mmBR Tubegun Story).

The European Cup Finals continue today with mens’ 3×40 and ladies’ 3×20 matches. On Sunday, the last day of the competition, the Mens’ 3×20 Standard Rifle and Super Finals are slated. Here are results from Friday’s 300m Prone matches:

Mens’ 300m Prone Results

1. Antti Puhakka, FIN 599-34X – 6mm BR
2. Juha Rutonen, FIN 598-42X – 6mm BR
3. Josselin Henry, FRA 597-32X – 6.5×47 Lapua
4. M. Ackermann, SUI 597-32X – 6.5×47 Lapua
5. Mikhael D’Halluin, FRA 596-39X – 6mm BR

All Top 5 male shooters used Lapua
factory-loaded ammunition.

Women’s 300m Prone Results

1. Catherine Houlmont, FRA 599-39x – 6mm BR
2. Charlotte Jakobsen, DEN 598-38x – 6mm BR
3. Eva Friedel, GER 598-32x – 6mm BR

All Top 3 female shooters used Lapua factory-loaded 6mmBR ammunition.

L to R in photo below:
Jakobsen, Houlmont, Friedel

Lapua 300m Europa Cup

Lapua 300m Europa Cup

CLICK HERE for Complete 300m European Cup Results from Zagreb.

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August 11th, 2010

300m Results at ISSF World Championships — Watch Videos

ISSF World Championships MunichIn international 300m competition the top shooters use high-tech rifles shooting some of our favorite cartridges: 6mmBR, 6XC, and 6.5×47 Lapua. These chamberings all possess superb inherent accuracy, allowing great scores even when shooting with iron sights. This week, both men and women have been competing in prone and three-position 300m events. The level of competition has been high — Bettina Bucher of Switzerland tied the womens’ 599 score record in winning the women’s 300m prone event, and the 600-point mens’ record score has been tied twice in prone matches, once by France’s Josselin Henry, shooting factory 6.5×47 Lapua ammo. To see Bettina Bucher and Josselin Henry in action, visit the ISSF-Sports.org website. There you’ll find complete match results, as well as photos and videos of the action.

ISSF 300m world championship

Right now there are three short videos covering 300m competition. CLICK HERE to access the videos. When the page displays, go to the scrolling menu (on right) and select: “300m Rifle Prone Women”, or “300m Standard Rifle Men”, or “300m Rifle Prone Men”. The video on the 300m prone womens’ competition features Switzerland’s Bettina Bucher who tied a World Record in the event. Note, in the 300m mens Standard Rifle highlights video, the American announcer incorrectly names the winner of the 300m Standard Rifle event as “Henry Josselin”. She got it backwards.

Josselin Henry Wins 300m Standard Rifle Event, But Three Shooters DQ’d
Marco Dalla Dea of the ISSF Media team reports that France’s Josselin Henry won today’s 300m Standard Rifle event, becoming the new world champion with a total score of 587 points. The French shooter, who had equaled the 300m Rifle Prone Men world record of 600 points two days ago, had never won an ISSF medal in this event before. Tomorrow, the 28-year old shooter from Paris will compete in the 300m rifle Three-Position event.

Three competitors were disqualified in the 300m mens’ Standard Rifle Finals. There are strict rules on the geometry and features of a “Standard Rifle”, in contrast to “Free Rifle” class which is pretty much “anything goes”. One shooter was DQ’d for an illegal front sight extension, another was tossed for having an “anatomical” grip, and a third shooter was sent packing because his buttplate had too much curve. In the standing position, a hook-style buttplate extension can provide a significant advantage. This hook configuration is allowed on Free Rifles only.

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August 6th, 2010

300m Centerfire Competition at the ISSF World Championships

At the 50th ISSF World Championship, most of the media attention has focused on air rifle, smallbore rifle, and trap (shotgun). However, the world’s top 300m centerfire shooters are also competing in Munich this week. In conjunction with the 2010 ISSF Worlds, the 300m World Championship is taking place in Munich this week, with mens’ and womens’ prone, 3-position, and team events.

Thus far, the 300m prone mens individual and team competition have been concluded, with Mens’ 3-position yet to be held. The womens’ 300m prone event takes place Monday August 9th, while both men and women will shoot the 3-position event on Tuesday, August 10th.

300m Rifle Keppeler Standard

300m Results So Far
In Mens’ Individual 300m prone, Great Britain won the team event, with a 1792-89X combined three-man score. Team Austria finished just one point behind, 1791-104X, but with a much higher X-Count. The French team finished third with 1790-104X, lead by a superb performance by Josselin Henry, who shot a 600-36X, not dropping a point. Though his 4th-place finishing Team Norway did not make the podium, Norway’s Vebjörn Berg shot a brilliant 600-43X, one of the best match scores in 300m history.

In individual mens’ 300m prone competition, the top three shooters were Austria’s Stefan Raser (599-36X), Norway’s Vebjörn Berg (598-44X), and Marcel Zobrist of Switzerland (5989-39X). Top American was Michael McPhail, who finished 7th with 597-36X.

Click these links for ISSF World Championships 300m Schedules and Results:

300m Rifle Record Lapua 6.5x47Frenchman Ties Perfect 600 Record Score
with 6.5×47 Lapua Factory Ammo

No equipment lists have been published for the 300m World Championships, so there is very little information on the hardware and ammo used by the top competitors. However, we did learn that France’s Josselin Henry shot his 600-36X using factory-loaded Lapua 6.5×47 ammo. Henry’s perfect 600/600 score was shot in the 300m Prone Relay 2 Elimination match yesterday, August 5th. A perfect 600 was first shot by Norway’s Harald Stenvaag, NOR in 1990, then matched by Germany’s
Bernd Rücker in 1994, and by Norway’s Vebjörn Berg in 2010. Notably, Berg also shot a 600-43X in his own prone elimination match in Munich on August 5th. According to Lapua factory representatives, Josselin Henry shot his 600-36X with factory-loaded 6.5×47 Lapua (123gr HPBT Scenar) rounds, right out of the box, without any test shooting or lot selection.

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