October 24th, 2018

12-Year-Old Hunter Hall Wins NC 1000-Yard LG Group BR Title

Samuel Hall Hunter Hall North Carolina IBS 1000-Yard Championship NC Light Gun heavy gun Championship Title 6BR Ackley H4895 Berger Bullets

It’s always newsworthy when a novice shooter wins a major event. But it’s even more remarkable when that new shooter is just 12 years old! Proving that “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”, young Hunter Hall, son of past IBS 600-Yard Shooter of the Year Samuel Hall, recently won the LG Group title at the North Carolina State 1000-Yard IBS Benchrest Championship. And this was Hunter’s first-ever benchrest match (and the first time he had even shot at 1000 yards)! The young man took the LG group title in spectacular fashion, with some great shooting. In fact, Hunter won his first-ever 1000-yard relay with a 4.312-inch group and a perfect 50 score! Father Sam noted: “It takes most new shooters several months, or even years, to shoot that good (me included)!”

Samuel Hall Hunter Hall North Carolina IBS 1000-Yard Championship NC Light Gun heavy gun Championship Title 6BR Ackley H4895 Berger Bullets

Gun and Load — 6BR Ackley with Berger 105 Hybrids
Hunter was shooting one of Sam’s old 600-yard rifles off a SEB Max rest in front and Protektor DR bag in the rear. The rifle features a BAT MB 1.55″-diameter round dual port action, McMillan ST-1000 stock with 4″-wide aluminum rail-plate on the fore-end, Jewell trigger, and March 40X scope with 1/16 dot reticle. The barrel was a Krieger HV barrel Sam had recently rechambered from a Dasher to his favorite 6BR-AI (what some call the 6BRA). The load was Berger 105gr Hybrids about 0.010″ in the lands, pushed by H4895 powder and CCI BR4 primers.

Report from Proud Father Samuel Hall:

I’m proud to report that my son, Hunter Hall, won the Light Gun (LG) Group trophy in the 2018 North Carolina IBS 1000-Yard State shoot. On his first-ever 1K target he shot a 4.312″ group with 50 score. That relay had some great shooters in it including Mike Wilson, past IBS 1000-Yard Shooter of the Year and Nationals winner. Hunter went on to win the shoot-off for the LG Group NC State Championship in some very windy conditions.

Samuel Hall Hunter Hall North Carolina IBS 1000-Yard Championship NC Light Gun heavy gun Championship Title 6BR Ackley H4895 Berger Bullets

I must say, I was very worried just before he was shooting. Winds had picked up to 10-20 mph and were switching quickly. Even for seasoned veterans it is hard to shoot in those conditions! Hunter never appeared nervous and ran his five record rounds off in mere seconds, never raising his head while shooting — just as I taught him the day before the match.

This was Hunter’s first-ever benchrest match, and first time he’d even shot at 1000 yards. Hunter has occasionally helped me sight in my long-range Benchrest rifles since he was six. He just expressed interest in shooting a match the Monday before the match. After scrambling to get him two rifles to shoot that week, I taught him how to “speed shoot” in case it was windy, and how to handle the rifle without upsetting it in the bags while cycling the bolt. I showed him how to put his thumb on the tang to help keep the gun level during recoil. His hands have just gotten large enough to do that.

Hunter says now he wants to shoot all the Hawks Ridge matches next year! I may take him to a 600-yard match next year and see how he likes that. I told Hunter that if he continues to beat me like he did Saturday, I may just become his caddy! I was ten times more excited for him to win than me winning! Benchrest needs more shooters. This is the kind of thing that can help grow the sport. — Samuel Hall

Other Winners at NC State 1000-Yard IBS Championships
Along with young Hunter Hall, there were other notable performances at the NC State 1K Championship. Mike Hanes won the Heavy Gun (HG) Score Title while Mike Wilson won the HG Group Title. Barry Splawn was a double winner, finishing as NC State LG Score Champion as well as Factory Gun Champion.

Match Director Dave Mathews reports this was a very successful event: “We had a fantastic turn out … with 50 Light Gun shooters, 40 Heavy Gun competitors, and 9 Factory Class shooters. Thanks to everyone who helped make this a great event. Now it’s time to head south to the Georgia Long Range Extravaganza. Hope to see you there…”