February 21st, 2017

Scrambling Eggs at 616 Yards with 6mmBRX

6mm BRX egg shoot

Can you hit an egg at 600+ yards? We mean hit it reliably — not just by luck. To do that you’ll need good shooting skills and a very accurate rifle. How accurate? Well, a chicken egg is, on average, 2 1/4 inches (57 mm) long and 1 3/4 inches (44.5 mm) in diameter. That means to hit an egg (on demand) at 600 yards, you’ll need a rifle capable of 1/3-MOA accuracy (or better). Forum member DukeDuke has such a gun, and he demonstrated its egg-busting prowess in this short video. DukeDuke’s rifle is chambered in 6BRX (a 30° 6BR Improved) and it’s loaded with DTAC 115gr bullets pushed by Alliant Reloder 17. In the video, the eggs are placed on top of poles set 616 yards from the firing line.

See Egg Hit at 38 second mark…

As you can see in the video, that’s a heck of a nice shooting range where DukeDuke scrambled those eggs at 616 yards. The range is situated just outside of Lake Jackson, Texas. As for the gun… the action is a Rem 700 SA BDL, blueprinted and bedded in a Rem/HS Precision PSS stock. The 31″ barrel is 1:8″-twist Broughton. The “P3″ on the barrel stands for Porter’s Precision Products, Lake Jackson, TX. The rifle was built by Kenneth Porter. The load was 33.5 grains of RL-17 at 2950 fps, with 115gr DTAC bullets touching the lands. Cartridge OAL is 2.400″.

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February 8th, 2017

Berger SW Nationals Report — Mid-Range (600-Yard) Match

600 yard mid range Ben Avery Berger Southwest Nationals

The competition phase of the Berger SW Nationals kicked off today with a 600-yard match for Palma, F-TR, and F-Open rifles. Today’s star was Lester Bruno, who drilled a 200-23X with a 6mm BRX F-Open rifle he built himself. This rifle features a BAT Action, Krieger barrel, and presentation-grade Bastogne Walnut stock. Loaded with Berger 105gr Hybrids, Varget Powder, and Federal 205m Primers, this rifle absolutely hammered at Ben Avery on Wednesday — Lester put 23 shots in a row in the half-MOA X-Ring at 600 yards. Under NRA rules, if you shoot all Xs through the designated string of fire (here 20 shots), you are allowed to keep shooting until one shot falls outside the X-Ring. Lester drilled three extra Xs after shooting all Xs for his designated 20-shot string.

Lester Bruno Sets Pending National 600-yard Record with 200-23X in F-Open Division
600 yard mid range lester bruno Ben Avery Berger Southwest Nationals

Lester was excited to set a pending National record, breaking the previous 600-yard record by one X: “Conditions were in my favor, and it was a lot of fun.” However, Lester revealed the record string was nerve-wracking: “I was nervous after I shot 20 and they told me I could keep shooting to try to break the record. I had no knowledge I was able to do that.” Lester took his time, watched the conditions, and shot carefully: “I held off probably at least half of my shots but never held out of the X-Ring. It depended on the condition. A left to right condition was pushing the bullet down so I was holding a little high but when it went right to left I held a little low. I was very patient.”

Lester was all smiles after his 200-23X performance this morning. He told us: “This will be my first record in this discipline though I’ve set records in short-range benchrest.” (Lester is a member of the Benchrest Hall of Fame).

How’d You Like a Rifle That Can Shoot 200-23X
NOTE: If you want a rifle that shoots like this, you may be lucky. Lester says this is a working prototype of a new line of match rifles he’ll be offering for sale through Bruno’s Shooter Supply. These will be high-end rifles for guys who want the very best. The Bastogne wood for Lester’s own gun cost over $1500.00 (that’s just for the blank), but it’s a beauty.

600 yard mid range lester bruno Ben Avery Berger Southwest Nationals

Calm Conditions — But You Needed to Watch the Mirage
Conditions were very good most of the day, with very little wind. However, there WERE subtle directional changes you need to monitor. Bryan Litz, who won both mid-range and long-range F-TR National Championships here at Ben Avery in 2015, said that he did have to hold one side or the other though the wind was very calm. With the mirage roiling and distorting the view through his scope, Bryan said the Bullseye looked like a Medusa head rather than a concentric circle.

F-TR competitor Ian Klemm also had a Mid-Range match for the ages, dropping just one point for the whole day, to finish at 599-38X, and win the F-TR class. We’re told this 599-38X was also a new National F-TR record. Ian was shooting a new McMillan XiT stock.

Here are the Top Five Competitors for Each Divsion:

SLING (Palma)
Allen Thomas, 600-40X
Benjamin Lucchesi, 600-37X
Erik Rhode, 599-49X
Anette Wachter, 599-45X
Trudie Fay, 599-39X
F-Open
Dwayne Draggoo, 600-44X
Danny Biggs, 600-43X
Dan Bramley, 600-35X
Todd Hendricks, 600-34X
Don Nagel, 599-37X
F-TR
Ian Klemm, 599-38X (New Record)
Phil Kelley, 599-32X
James Crofts, 598-41X
John Moreali, 598-28X
Bryan Litz, 597-33X

Note: Results are prelminary, subject to final tabulation.

Watch Highlights from the SWN Mid-Range Match:

Ben Avery Bling — Stunning Paint Job and New SEB Mini
Jay Christopherson, AccurateShooter’s Systems Manager, had a stunning metallic flame paint job on his F-Open rifle. Up front, that beautiful stock is resting on the new SEB Mini coaxial pedestal rest. This looked very stable and Jay said the joystick works perfect. Jay is very impressed with this new coaxial front rest. We expect to see more Minis on the line in future F-Open matches.

flame paint SEB mini pedestal rest Ben Avery Berger Southwest Nationals

Sling Shooters in Palma Division
There were many Eliseo tubeguns in the hands of the sling shooters. For the Palma division, the cartridge of choice is the .308 Winchester. This old cartridge is still capable of extreme accuracy. Never underestimate a skilled sling shooter with a good Palma rifle.

Eliseo Tube gun chassis tubegun Ben Avery Berger Southwest Nationals

Wickenburg High School Rifle Team
While most of the competitors at this match shooters were middle-aged or older, it was nice to see a youth contingent from Wickenburg High School in Arizona. These young folks shot well — Ben Avery is their “home range”, so they felt confident with the conditions.

Wickenburg High School Ben Avery Berger Southwest Nationals

Disaster Averted by British Ingenuity
British competitor Tom Rylands had his rear sight break during the middle of a string. Undaunted, Tom secured the sight with some electrical tape and finished the string with a good score. We applaud Tom’s “never say die” attitude. Have tape, will travel…

Tom Rylands Tape Fix Berger Southwest Nationals

Ladies Love Ben Avery…
The T-Shirt says it all — there were many female competitors at the mid-range match, including some “all-girl” teams. There were some great lady shooters competing on Wednesday, including Nancy Tompkins and Trudie Fay.

Ben Avery Berger Southwest Nationals

First Lady of Shooting — Nancy Tompkins
It was great to see Nancy Tompkins on the firing line. A strong argument can be made that Nancy is the greatest female long-range competitive shooter in the history of the sport. We chatted with Nancy between relays. She revealed she had not shot sling “in quite a while” so she need to readjust some items on her gun. So… even the great ones need to tweak their gear now and then.

Nancy Tompkins Berger Southwest Nationals

The True Spirit of Competition
The team at the Berger SW Nationals encourages all participants, even those with disabilities. Here competitor Bob Depp shoots from a bench because he cannot hold his rifle normally, due to injuries sustained while serving as a U.S. Marine Corps Scout Sniper in Vietnam. It’s all about participating.

Mid-Range 600 Disable Shooters Berger Southwest Nationals

The Smell of Victory…
With the wind flags hanging straight down most of the day, perhaps the best wind indicator of all was the smoke coming from the Barbeque pit. You have to love the Berger SW Nationals at Ben Avery — where else can you get delicious, hot BBQ on the 600-yard line?

Mid-Range 600 bbq cooking wind flags smoke Berger Southwest Nationals

Long-Range Matches Run Thursday through Sunday
All the relays Wednesday were held at 600 yards. Starting Thursday, the shooters will compete at 800, 900, and 1000 yards. If conditions hold similar to today (with very little wind), we could see some impressive performances at the longer yardages. But as with any shooting venue, things can change quickly at Ben Avery. We’ve seen morning calms followed by afternoon gales. Good luck to all the competitors.

Mid-Range 600 bbq cooking wind flags smoke Berger Southwest Nationals

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May 30th, 2013

First Time’s a Charm with 6BRX in Eliseo Tubegun Chassis

6mm BRX fire formingFor those of use who have sweated through fire-forming and load development, it’s nice to see things coming together right out of the gate. With the 6mmBR improved wildcats such as the BRX, BRDX, and Dasher, it’s not unusual to see outstanding accuracy even while blowing out cases. In fact the accuracy is usually good enough that you might as well do your fire-forming during competition (once you’ve confirmed that everything is working with a 10-round function test). We’ve seen Dashers shoot in the low twos and even ones during fire-forming — so long as you load carefully and use good bullets, powder, and primers. Here’s a report from Forum member Chris W. (aka “baydawg”) on his new 6mm BRX tube gun:

Shot my 6 BRX last night for the first time at 600 yards last night. The result was a 199-11X. Not bad for fire-forming brass with thrown loads… LOL. Thanks Gary Eliseo and Competition Machine for a kick-ass chassis!”

6mm BRX Fire forming Eliseo Tubegun

Gun Specs: Competition Machine R1 in Granny Smith green. Pierce repeater tube gun action. 32″ Bartlien 6mm barrel, chambered in 6mm BRX. Smithed by Pierce Engineering in Lansing, Michigan.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo 4 Comments »
February 19th, 2012

Forum Member Averages 1.677″ for Six Targets at 600 Yards

Tim Claunch (aka tclaunch) recently put on an amazing display of precision shooting. At an MSSA 600-yard Benchrest Score match in Memphis, TN, Forum member Tim shot six targets in a row, with an average 5-shot group size of 1.677″. Tim’s stellar performance began with a two-target shoot-off for club Shooter of the Year honors (he won). Then Tim shot four more targets as part of the club’s regular 4-target score match. NOTE: this is NOT an official six-target match result. The actual match that day was four (4) targets only, and Tim’s Agg for those four was about 1.8″, still darn impressive. No one is claiming any records here. Still give credit where credit is due — Tim put together six targets in a row, in competition, averaging 0.267 MOA for all six. Tim’s small group (of the six) was 1.351″ and his large group was 2.088″. That shows amazing consistency. This is spectacular shooting by any measure*.

Tim Claunch 6BRX Agg

Tim tells us: “I can check off one of the items on my ‘bucket list’ now — shooting a sub-two-inch Agg. We shot our monthly match here in Memphis at our awesome MSSA range. Though this was a score match, and the first two targets were part of a club shoot-off, I wondered about the average group size of all six. We measured all six targets I shot in sequence on Sunday. I was some kind of happy when I saw it was a 1.677″ 6-target average. That Bartlein and the .140″ FB BRX reamer are a good match. I used Varget with Berger 105gr VLDs and CCI 450 primers. I had never Agged under two inches before in my life (the 4-target Agg was 1.8″). Sure was nice to do it at home the first time.”

Tim Claunch 6BRX Agg

Tim shoots a 6mm BRX Light Gun with Shehane ST1000 Tracker stock, Borden Rimrock BR action, and Bartlein 6mm cut-rifled barrel. He uses a Leupold 45X scope in Burris Signature Zee rings sitting on a +20 MOA rail. Tim jokes: “People might laugh at my cheapo Burris rings. Well I guess those Signatures hold zero just fine.” Tim tried a power-booster lens on his Leupold for a while, but this altered eye relief, producing the occasional smack in the forehead. Not surprisingly, Tim removed the booster.

Borden Action with Dwight Scott Bolt and Firing Pin Upgrade
The action is a Borden Rimrock BR dual-port. “This action is smooth, and it allows me to rip ‘em when the conditions are good. For these six targets I shot fast.” The Borden action has some interesting mods: “The firing pin and bolt body were re-worked by Dwight Scott. He has a weight of pin to power of spring he worked out with Tony Boyer. I could tell a significant difference in performance.”


For better target resolution, click the gear-shaped icon and select 480p playback.

The stock is a Shehane fiberglass ST1000 Tracker bedded by TM Stockworks (Tom Meredith). The metalwork was done by Stephen Hall of Dyersburg, Tennessee. Tim reports: “I can’t say enough about this highly-talented guy. He’s a great smith and a great point-blank benchrest shooter himself. I’ve had four chambers cut by him and couldn’t be happier”. The barrel is a 1.250″ straight contour, finished at 26″. That’s a bit shorter than you’ll find on most 600-yard rigs these days, but Tim wanted some weight off the nose so he could add weight to the butt to balance the gun better (and still make weight). Tim raves about this Bartlein barrel: “Readers should not give up on maybe that next barrel being the one barrel a guy gets in a lifetime. I have tried all the cut-rifling barrel-makers, but I’ve recently gone to Bartlein. Based on my ratio of great-shooting barrels to average barrels I am there to stay.”

Tim’s Accurate Reloading Methods
Tim’s reloading procedures could rightly be described as the “relentless pursuit of perfection”. After two firings, once “the brass has settled down and conformed to the chamber”, Tim anneals his cases. He then re-anneals after EVERY subsequent firing. The brass he shot at the MSSA match had eight firings, so it had been annealed many times. Tim uses current-generation (blue box) Lapua 6mmBR brass, and he lightly turns his necks for an 0.269″-necked chamber. Tim points his bullets, but does not trim them: “These were pointed, no trimming, just point and shoot. I have shot a few of the new Berger hybrids, but I keep going back to the Berger VLDs.”

Superior accuracy, Tim believes, requires ultra-consistent neck tension. Tim uses a K&M arbor press with a force gauge. If the needle shows any notable variance in seating force, Tim will pull the round apart, run a mandrel in the neck, resize the neck, and re-seat the bullet. If the bullet still doesn’t seat smoothly, he won’t shoot the round for record. Tim is also particular about seating depth: “I measure every loaded round base to ogive using a comparator. All my match ammo is held to plus/minus .0005″ (i.e. one thousandth total spread) in base to ogive length. Yes, this is possible if you anneal regularly and monitor bullet-seating force carefully. If you can’t hold .001″ [base-to-ogive] tolerances with good bullets, that’s probably because of inconsistent neck tension.”

Secret of Success — Improved ‘Bench Manners’ and Gun Handling
Tim had a personal break-through not so long ago that improved his accuracy dramatically. Previously he got down on the gun, and would use some cheek pressure. But he noticed some erratic horizontal in his groups. Tim changed his shooting position, getting his head completely off the stock. The change worked: “After cleaning up my ‘bench manners’ and getting my head off the gun, my groups started shrinking. It was a real eye-opener.” Tim shoots with minimal hand contact (“just touching”) on the stock, and he doesn’t pin the gun to the stop. Tim explained: “I run the gun up to touch the stop before each shot, but I don’t use any shoulder pressure. I don’t push on the gun at all.”

Tim Claunch 6BRX Agg

You can learn more about Tim’s amazing six-target display of accuracy in this Forum thread. Registered Forum members can post questions about Tim’s rifle and the shooting conditions, and Tim will answer them when he has the opportunity.

* Just for comparison sake, the NBRSA official Light Gun 600-yard, 6-Target (30-shot) Agg record is 2.092″ (Robert Hoppe, 2006). The IBS official Light Gun 600-yard, 4-Target (20-shot) record is 1.6068″ (Sam Hall, 2011). The IBS does not list a LG 6-target Agg record for 600 yards.

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