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February 2nd, 2021

How to Shoot Standing — HP Champion Carl Bernosky Explains

Some folks say you haven’t really mastered marksmanship unless you can hit a target when standing tall ‘on your own hind legs’. Of all the shooting positions, standing can be the most challenging because you have no horizontally-solid resting point for your forward arm/elbow. Here 10-time National High Power Champ Carl Bernosky explains how to make the standing shot.

Carl Bernosky is one of the greatest marksmen in history. A multi-time National High Power Champion, Carl has won ten (10) National High Power Championships in his storied shooting career, most recently in 2012. In this article, Carl provides step-by-step strategies to help High Power shooters improve their standing scores. When Carl talks about standing techniques, shooters should listen. Among his peers, Carl is regard as one of the best, if not the best standing shooter in the game today. Carl rarely puts pen to paper, but he was kind enough to share his techniques with AccurateShooter.com’s readers.

If you are position shooter, or aspire to be one some day, read this article word for word, and then read it again. We guarantee you’ll learn some techniques (and strategies) that can improve your shooting and boost your scores. This stuff is gold folks, read and learn…


Carl Bernosky High PowerHow to Shoot Standing
by Carl Bernosky

Shooting consistently good standing stages is a matter of getting rounds down range, with thoughtfully-executed goals. But first, your hold will determine the success you will have.

1. Your hold has to be 10 Ring to shoot 10s. This means that there should be a reasonable amount of time (enough to get a shot off) that your sights are within your best hold. No attention should be paid to the sights when they are not in the middle — that’s wasted energy. My best hold is within 5 seconds after I first look though my sights. I’m ready to shoot the shot at that time. If the gun doesn’t stop, I don’t shoot. I start over.

2. The shot has to be executed with the gun sitting still within your hold. If the gun is moving, it’s most likely moving out, and you’ve missed the best part of your hold.

3. Recognizing that the gun is sitting still and within your hold will initiate you firing the shot. Lots of dry fire or live fire training will help you acquire awareness of the gun sitting still. It’s not subconscious to me, but it’s close.

4. Don’t disturb the gun when you shoot the shot. That being said, I don’t believe in using ball or dummy rounds with the object of being surprised when the shot goes off. I consciously shoot every shot. Sometimes there is a mistake and I over-hold. But the more I train the less of these I get. If I get a dud round my gun will dip.* I don’t believe you can learn to ignore recoil. You must be consistent in your reaction to it.

Carl Bernosky High Power5. Know your hold and shoot within it. The best part of my hold is about 4 inches. When I get things rolling, I recognize a still gun within my hold and execute the shot. I train to do this every shot. Close 10s are acceptable. Mid-ring 10s are not. If my hold was 8 inches I would train the same way. Shoot the shot when it is still within the hold, and accept the occasional 9. But don’t accept the shots out of the hold.

6. Practice makes perfect. The number of rounds you put down range matter. I shudder to think the amount of rounds I’ve fired standing in my life, and it still takes a month of shooting standing before Perry to be in my comfort zone. That month before Perry I shoot about 2000 rounds standing, 22 shots at a time. It peaks me at just about the right time.

This summarizes what I believe it takes to shoot good standing stages. I hope it provides some insight, understanding, and a roadmap to your own success shooting standing.

Good Shooting, Carl


* This is very noticeable to me when shooting pistol. I can shoot bullet holes at 25 yards, but if I’ve miscounted the rounds I’ve fired out of my magazine, my pistol will dip noticeably. So do the pistols of the best pistol shooters I’ve watched and shot with. One might call this a “jerk”, I call it “controlled aggressive execution”, executed consistently.

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Shooting Skills 3 Comments »
October 18th, 2020

Sunday GunDay: Tubb 2000 Across the Course (XTC) Rifle

David Tubb T2K Tubb 2000 across the course rifle high power championship

For this Sunday GunDay article we feature a “blast from the past” — David Tubb’s engineering tour de force, the Tubb 2000, or “T2K” for short. With the remarkable T2K, David earned multiple NRA High Power championships, and David shot the first-ever perfect score in the NRA Long-Range “any sights” championship 16 years ago.

Our write-up this week focuses mostly on “hardware” because David’s performance with the rifle speaks for itself. He has won eleven High Power National Championships at Camp Perry, and in 2004 David mounted a scope to his rifle and captured the Long-Range “any sights” Championship with a 1450/1450, the first and only perfect score ever logged at Camp Perry. He did this all with his trusty 6XC-chambered T2K, shooting the DTAC 115gr bullet in a 1:7.5″-twist Schneider P5 barrel. For more information about this remarkable competition rifle, read on.

David Tubb T2K Tubb 2000 across the course rifle high power championship

[Editor’s NOTE: Because this is an article from our older Archives, some technical details may have changed with time. For all current specifications on TUBB rifles, including the TUBB 2000, visit DavidTubb.com. For more information on the particular T2K rifle featured in this story, CLICK HERE.]

Mag-Feed Action with Unique Bi-Camming Bolt
The action is machined from 17-4 stainless steel to true benchrest quality standards. The design features a solid top with a loading port. This increases action stability, stiffness, and strength. The loading port is easily accessible and is angled to aid the shooter in single loading rounds. The Tubb 2000 is fed via 10- or 20-round box magazines.

“I prefer using 20-round magazines with the Tubb 2000 because it provides a secure hand hold when shooting off the bipod. For across the course competition, the 10-round magazines are the best choice as they do not encumber sling-supported shooting positions. There is no difference in the functioning or reliability of either capacity magazine.”

One-finger Bolt Operation
Low effort bolt operation was a key goal in the design of the Tubb 2000 action. The exclusive bi-camming design employs two cams that engage during bolt lift to radically reduce bolt lift effort. Bolt lift is 75 degrees. The cone-faced bolt has two locking lugs which are narrower and taller than on conventional actions. This design allows the magazine to be mounted higher in the action for smoother, more positive feeding. The bolt handle is designed for superior performance in sustained fire operation. Its ergonomic shape allows operation with a single finger, if desired. The bolt is machined from 8620 carbon steel and rides back into the butt extension, under the shooter’s face so the bolt can be operated without the shooter having to change his head position. This low center of gravity also improves the rifle’s feel and performance under recoil.

David Tubb T2K Tubb 2000 across the course rifle high power championship

The action features a full-length Picatinny rail that will accept Weaver®-style mounts. The action’s adjustable sight mounting system allows the rail to be mounted at one of three pre-set mounting angles — 0, 5, and 10 degrees — to allow the shooter to level the sights to fit his shooting style. A custom base is available to mount match iron sights. All barrels have a small section at the muzzle turned down to accept a clamping-style front sight mount or cant indicator.

The T2K’s Lock Time is ONE millisecond — over three times faster than a Model 70 Winchester.

Barrel Configuration
Tubb 2000 rifles featured hand-lapped stainless steel match barrels with the exclusive “Tubb Contour.” This unique contour maximizes accuracy and minimizes weight — it’s the perfect balance. According to David: “It’s a contour where the barrel wouldn’t shoot one bit better if it was one bit bigger.” The Tubb 2000 was conceived as a “switch barrel” gun — it’s designed to be easily re-barreled by the customer. This feature means that the same rifle can support different calibers and shooting disciplines. Finished barrels in a variety of calibers were available for “do-it-yourself” installations. The gun shown here has a Schneider barrel.

The Tubb 2000 has, over the years, been offered in a variety of chamberings including: .22-250; .243 Winchester; 6mmBR Norma (6BR); 6XC; .260 Remington; 7mm-08; and .308 Winchester. Available accessories include finished barrels, extra 10- or 20-round magazines, cleaning rod guide, adjustable bipods, custom adjustable handstop, fore-end weight rail, and cant indicator.

David Tubb T2K Tubb 2000 across the course rifle high power championshipTrigger, Stock Adjustment and Other Features
The Tubb 2000 uses the superb Anschütz® fully-adjustable two-stage trigger (with safety); one of the finest available to the precision rifleman. This trigger can also be adjusted to provide single-stage operation. The buttstock assembly, forend, buttstock clamping block, and magazine housing, trigger guard assembly are made from 60-series aluminum, hard anodized in the customer’s choice of 6 colors: light and dark teal, purple, red, forest green, and black. (The T2K Tactical (see below) comes in matte black only.) These four parts are each available in any of the listed colors, allowing the purchaser to design his own distinct rifle.

The buttstock is FULLY adjustable for length, height, cant (angle), and offset. The cheekpiece is adjustable for height. An easily accessible knurled wheel allows the shooter to adjust the cheekpiece from the shooting position. Shooter comfort is further augmented by an ergonomic pistol grip. All adjustment features on the Tubb 2000 were designed for easy shooter access. The butt extension, clamping block, shock housing, and buttplate all have index marks to allow the shooter to record and repeat adjustment settings. The tubular fore-end can be rotated and positioned to accommodate the shooter’s preference. An integral accessory rail accepts a custom adjustable handstop or bipod. The fore-end also incorporates a built-in barrel heat wave blocking system which eliminates optical distortion in the sighting plane.”

David Tubb Explains T2K Stock Adjustments

I advocate setting stock length a little longer than most people might. I am a firm believer that it is best to “reach” slightly for the pistol grip as this ensures a strong, secure hold on the rifle. I pull the rifle firmly into my shoulder pocket when shooting offhand, and also prefer to have what I would characterize as very firm contact between rifle butt and shoulder in the sitting and prone positions as well. When using a sling in prone or sitting, stock length (and sling tension) should be great enough so that, at the least, you have to push the buttpad forward with your hand in order to place the stock into the shoulder pocket. My buttstock is shortest offhand and longest prone. If my standing setting is “0”, I’m usually out about 1-1/2 inches for sitting and about another inch for prone. I have found that many people tend to shoot with a stock that’s too long in sitting and too short everywhere else.

I have found the cast off/on adjustment feature on the buttstock to be of great help to me in attaining the natural shooting positions I desire. For prone, I offset the clamping block so the buttplate moves outward [the index mark on the clamp is to the right of center on the scale on the receiver extension tube]. I swing it a little bit inward for offhand and slightly more inward for sitting. The amounts of cast on/off (in clock-face terms) are approximately 6:30 for standing, 4:30 for prone, and 8:00 o’clock for sitting.

Stock Position Diagrams © 2004, Glen Zediker, David Tubb, and Superior Shooting Systems, used with permission.

Stock Length Adjustment Procedure
The buttstock is adjustable in length 4+ inches. This adjustment is accomplished by moving the buttplate tube in or out after loosening the four screws on the clamping block. Ensure that the buttstock tube is fully contained in the block. The extent of rearward (lengthening) movement is determined by the front of the buttstock tube fitting flush with the front of the block.

David Tubb T2K Tubb 2000 across the course rifle high power championshipStock Cast and Cant Adjustment Procedure
The buttstock is adjustable for cast or offset by loosening the four screws on the clamping block and swiveling the block on the receiver extension tube. The buttplate itself is adjustable for cant up to 360 degrees and after loosening the screw directly in the center of the rubber recoil pad is adjustable for height at approximately 1-1/2 inches. The cheekpiece is adjustable vertically approximately one inch. The vertical cheekpiece adjustment is accomplished via the top knurled ring. The lower knurled ring will then secure the setting.

About David Tubb — Tubb 2000 Designer
David Tubb is arguably the winningest centerfire rifleman in history. He has won a record eleven NRA National High Power Rifle Championship titles at Camp Perry, along with six NRA Long Range HP Championships. In addition, David is an NRA Silhouette Rifle legend, having won nearly 30 open, individual National Championship titles in all four rifle categories. David has also won seven Sportsmen’s Team Challenge Championships and multiple Wimbledon Cups. His latest big win was the 2019 NRA ELR Championship in Heavy Gun Class.

For more information on the
Tubb 2000 Rifle contact:

David Tubb Accuracy
and Precision Gun Parts

800 N. 2nd Street
Canadian, TX 79014
DavidTubb.com
Phone: (806) 323-9488

David Tubb T2K Tubb 2000 across the course rifle high power championship

All photos and quoted text Copyright © 2004, Zediker Publishing and David Tubb, All Rights Reserved.

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Gear Review, Gunsmithing 4 Comments »
August 3rd, 2019

NRA Rifle Championships at Camp Atterbury — 2019 Schedule

Camp Atterbury Indiana high Power Championship

Many of the best rifle competitors in the United States will be heading to Indiana next week to compete at the 2019 NRA National High Power Rifle Championships which commence Monday, August 5, 2019. The Across-the-Course Championship, Mid-Range Championship, Long Range Championship, and Extreme Long Range Championship will all take place August 5-21, 2019 at Camp Atterbury, near Edinburgh, Indiana.

Camp Atterbury Indiana high Power Championship

GET 2019 High Power Rifle Championships PROGRAM HERE »

Camp Atterbury National NRA High Power championships 2019 program free

Day By Day Planner for 2019 Nationals at Camp Atterbury

Monday, August 5 will be the First Shot Ceremony, and squadded practice will also begin.

Tuesday, August 6 marks the beginning of the Team Matches. They will conclude on August 7.

Thursday, August 8 is the start of High Power Across the Course competition. They last until August 11.

Monday, August 12 is the Mid Range Team Championship, lasting until August 13.

Tuesday, August 13 is the first day of the Mid Range Individual Championship. They last until August 16.

Saturday, August 17 will be the Palma Team Match day.

Sunday, August 18 begins the Long Range Championship which continues through August 21.

Wednesday, August 21 is the registration day for the NRA Extreme Long Range Championship. The match will be fired over the next two days, finishing on August 23.

Email nrahighpower@nrahq.org for more information.

Camp Atterbury Indiana high Power Championship

View Schedule for ALL 2019 NRA National Championships »

Lodging at Camp Atterbury and Nearby
Camp Atterbury offers on-base lodging — rooms and cabins will be available to all competitors 18 and over. Camp Atterbury lodging includes suites and standard rooms as well as the MWR Campground and the MWR Cabins. Lodging is controlled by the Camp Atterbury Lodging Office, not by the NRA. Entry fees DO NOT include lodging costs. There are also a number of hotels nearby, including Charwood Suites. Nearby campground Johnson County Park also offers special rates for High Power competitors.

With the CMP hosting important matches next year at Camp Perry, many rifle competitors will be “commuting” between the two venues this summers, driving 4.5 hours from Indiana to Ohio.

Map Camp Perry Camp Atterbury Ohio Indiana

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
November 8th, 2018

NRA High Power Nationals (XTC, Mid-R, LR) 2019 Schedules

Camp Atterbury Indiana high Power Championship

Mark your calendars, marksmen. Here is the official schedule for next year’s 2019 NRA National High Power Rifle Championships. The Across-the-Course Championship, Mid-Range Championship, and Long Range Championship will all take place in August at Camp Atterbury, near Edinburgh, Indiana.

Next year’s High Power Nationals will be conducted August 5-21 at Camp Atterbury. The major events include: Across the Course Championship, Mid-Range Championship and Long Range Championships. Also returning is the NRA Extreme Long Range Championship.

Camp Atterbury Indiana high Power Championship

Day By Day Planner for 2019 Nationals at Camp Atterbury

Monday, August 5 will be the First Shot Ceremony, and squadded practice will also begin.

Tuesday, August 6 marks the beginning of the Team Matches. They will conclude on August 7.

Thursday, August 8 is the start of High Power Across the Course competition. They last until August 11.

Monday, August 12 is the Mid Range Team Championship, lasting until August 13.

Tuesday, August 13 is the first day of the Mid Range Individual Championship. They last until August 16.

Saturday, August 17 will be the Palma Team Match day.

Sunday, August 18 begins the Long Range Championship which continues through August 21.

Wednesday, August 21 is the registration day for the NRA Extreme Long Range Championship. The match will be fired over the next two days, finishing on August 23.

Email nrahighpower@nrahq.org for more information.

Camp Atterbury Indiana high Power Championship

To find NRA High Power Rifle matches near you, see the Shooting Sports USA Coming Events section.

View Schedule for ALL 2019 NRA National Championships »

Lodging at Camp Atterbury and Nearby
There is on-base lodging — rooms and cabins will be available to all competitors 18 and over. Camp Atterbury lodging includes suites and standard rooms as well as the MWR Campground and the MWR Cabins. Lodging is controlled by the Camp Atterbury Lodging Office, not by the NRA. Entry fees DO NOT include lodging costs. There are also a number of hotels nearby, including Charwood Suites. Nearby campground Johnson County Park also offers special rates for High Power competitors.

With the CMP hosting important matches next year at Camp Perry, many rifle competitors will be “commuting” between the two venues this summers, driving 4.5 hours from Indiana to Ohio.

Map Camp Perry Camp Atterbury Ohio Indiana

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
August 9th, 2018

6XC II — Great 6mm Option For Precision Rifle Series

robert whitley grimstod Premier Accuracy 6XC II 6XCII PRS precision rifle series varmint .243 Norma
Rifle Crafted by PremierAccuracy.com. Inset 6XC II photo by 6mmAR.com.

With all the buzz about the 6.5 Creedmoor and its 6mm Creedmoor little brother, some folks forget that we’ve had an outstanding mid-sized, Across-the-Course cartridge for a long time — the 6XC. Pioneered by 11-time National High Power champion David Tubb, the 6XC has won national High Power championships, excelled in mid-range prone matches, and performed great in the varmint fields. It has also been used successfully by many Precision Rifle Series competitors. It’s no wonder — the 6XC has less recoil than a 6.5mm Creedmoor, there is a great selection of superb 6mm bullets, and Norma-made 6XC brass is high-quality and reasonably priced from DavidTubb.com.

robert whitley grimstod Premier Accuracy 6XC II 6XCII PRS precision rifle series varmint .243 Norma

PRS Rifle with Modern 6XC II Chamber
Forum member Grimstod posted this new 6XC II rifle in our long-running Pride and Joy Rifle Thread. Grimstod notes: “These 6XC Gen IIs seam to be a hot commodity lately. This one is for PRS. It features a Premier Accuracy Atlas action made by Kelbly. The bolt and heavy-taper, fluted barrel are Ceracoted to match. I really like the ejectors on these Atlas actions. The stock is a KRG X-Ray painted in Premier Accuracy exclusive colors. The Kelbly Atlas action does not have any modifications. So far every Kelbly action we have tried has had perfect timing and trigger fall. We have been supper pleased with them. I look forward to using a lot more of these excellent actions.”

What is the 6XC II you may ask? That designates a 6XC with a chamber dimension optimized for Norma brass. It turns out that Norma brass is a bit bigger at the bottom than the 22-250 brass from which the 6XC originated. Robert Whitley of 6mmAR.com has created two new JGS reamer specs that fit the Norma brass perfectly, improving feeding and extraction. Here is Robert’s Report:

The 6XC II Chamber — Upgraded for Today’s Norma 6XC Brass

by Robert Whitley of 6mmAR.com
The 6XC II Chamber works perfectly with the Norma 6XC brass and resolves the “sticky bolt lift” issue. The original 6XC chambering was designed based off the usage of 22-250 brass which typically has a web diameter in the range of .461″-.463″. The area of the chamber just forward of the web on the original 6XC chambering was .4695″ which left plenty of clearance.

robert whitley grimstod Premier Accuracy 6XC II 6XCII PRS precision rifle series varmint .243 Norma

When Norma 6XC brass became available Norma appears to have developed the base of the case from the .308 Winchester line of cases which have a larger web diameter. The web diameter of the Norma brass typically measures right around .4685″ which leaves almost no diameter clearance.

As shooters would use Norma 6XC brass in an original 6XC chamber they typically would experience “sticky bolt lift” due to the lack of clearance and the fact that the large web diameter of the brass prohibited the re-size dies (no matter how small the base diameter was) from squeezing the brass down enough to create sufficient clearance. The 6XC II chamber resolves this issue. You can order 6XC II sizing dies from 6mmAR.com that work perfectly with this re-designed chambering. 6XC II die sets are in stock now — call (215) 348-8789 to order.

6XC II Long Range Reamer (Throated long for 105-115gr Bullets):
The 6XC II-LT reamer below is throated long to keep the full bearing surface of 110-115gr bullets forward of the neck/shoulder junction of the case. Note, 6mmAR.com has also developed a shorter-freebore version for 6mm bullets with shorter bearing surface. SEE shorter 6XC II Reamer Print.

robert whitley grimstod Premier Accuracy 6XC II 6XCII PRS precision rifle series varmint .243 Norma

6XC II Chamber and Sizing Die Combo:

– Resolves the “sticky bolt lift” problem shooters experienced using the Norma 6XC Brass in the original 6XC chambers.

– Chamber accepts all 6XC brass or ammo with no modification. Take your existing 6XC brass or ammo and use it without issues.

– Works well with existing Norma 6XC brass, or 6XC brass made from re-formed Winchester and Remington 22-250 brass.

– 6XC II Sizing dies and die sets are available from 6mmAR.com and in stock.

6XC II custom dies redding

If you are looking for someone to chamber your rifle or re-barrel an existing rifle in the 6XC II chamber, Fred at Sabreco, Inc. in Skippack, PA, (610) 584-8228 can help you. He has the reamers for the cartridge as well as the head space gauges for the cartridge, and has had extensive experience chambering many barrels and rifles.

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo 6 Comments »
November 4th, 2013

Stand and Deliver — Carl Bernosky Explains the Standing Position

Some folks say you haven’t really mastered marksmanship unless you can hit a target when standing tall ‘on your own hind legs’. Of all the shooting positions, standing can be the most challenging because you have no horizontally-solid resting point for your forward arm/elbow. Here 10-time National High Power Champ Carl Bernosky explains how to make the standing shot.

Carl Bernosky is one of the greatest marksmen in history. The reigning 2012 National High Power Champion, Carl has won ten (10) National High Power Championships in his storied shooting career. In this article, Carl provides step-by-step strategies to help High Power shooters improve their standing scores. When Carl talks about standing techniques, shooters should listen. Among his peers, Carl is regard as one of the best, if not the best standing shooter in the game today. Carl rarely puts pen to paper, but he was kind enough to share his techniques with AccurateShooter.com’s readers.

If you are position shooter, or aspire to be one some day, read this article word for word, and then read it again. We guarantee you’ll learn some techniques (and strategies) that can improve your shooting and boost your scores. This stuff is gold folks, read and learn…


Carl Bernosky High PowerHow to Shoot Standing
by Carl Bernosky

Shooting consistently good standing stages is a matter of getting rounds down range, with thoughtfully-executed goals. But first, your hold will determine the success you will have.

1. Your hold has to be 10 Ring to shoot 10s. This means that there should be a reasonable amount of time (enough to get a shot off) that your sights are within your best hold. No attention should be paid to the sights when they are not in the middle — that’s wasted energy. My best hold is within 5 seconds after I first look though my sights. I’m ready to shoot the shot at that time. If the gun doesn’t stop, I don’t shoot. I start over.

2. The shot has to be executed with the gun sitting still within your hold. If the gun is moving, it’s most likely moving out, and you’ve missed the best part of your hold.

3. Recognizing that the gun is sitting still and within your hold will initiate you firing the shot. Lots of dry fire or live fire training will help you acquire awareness of the gun sitting still. It’s not subconscious to me, but it’s close.

4. Don’t disturb the gun when you shoot the shot. That being said, I don’t believe in using ball or dummy rounds with the object of being surprised when the shot goes off. I consciously shoot every shot. Sometimes there is a mistake and I over-hold. But the more I train the less of these I get. If I get a dud round my gun will dip.* I don’t believe you can learn to ignore recoil. You must be consistent in your reaction to it.

Carl Bernosky High Power5. Know your hold and shoot within it. The best part of my hold is about 4 inches. When I get things rolling, I recognize a still gun within my hold and execute the shot. I train to do this every shot. Close 10s are acceptable. Mid-ring 10s are not. If my hold was 8 inches I would train the same way. Shoot the shot when it is still within the hold, and accept the occasional 9. But don’t accept the shots out of the hold.

6. Practice makes perfect. The number of rounds you put down range matter. I shudder to think the amount of rounds I’ve fired standing in my life, and it still takes a month of shooting standing before Perry to be in my comfort zone. That month before Perry I shoot about 2000 rounds standing, 22 shots at a time. It peaks me at just about the right time.

This summarizes what I believe it takes to shoot good standing stages. I hope it provides some insight, understanding, and a roadmap to your own success shooting standing.

Good Shooting, Carl


* This is very noticeable to me when shooting pistol. I can shoot bullet holes at 25 yards, but if I’ve miscounted the rounds I’ve fired out of my magazine, my pistol will dip noticeably. So do the pistols of the best pistol shooters I’ve watched and shot with. One might call this a “jerk”, I call it “controlled aggressive execution”, executed consistently.

Permalink Shooting Skills 3 Comments »
February 13th, 2012

Shooter Profile: Rodrigo Rosa — A Rising High Power Star

Rodrigo RosaRodrigo Rosa is a rising star in the world of High Power shooting. Though he’s been shooting competitively for only four years, he is already a top contender at the national level. In 2011, the young marksman, who now lives and works in New Hampshire, was right up with the leaders at the NRA National High Power Championships. At Perry, Rodrigo finished second in the Across-the-Course phase and finished third in the Long Range National Championship. He was also on the winning 2d Amendment match team with Norm Houle. Over the last couple of years, Rodrigo has lead the field at New England High Power events. He was New Hampshire State Champ in 2010 and 2011, Massachusetts State Champ in 2011, and Mid-Range (and Across-The-Course) Vermont State Champion in 2009. Rosa is also a two-time NE Regional Across-the-Course Champion, winning titles in 2008 and 2011. That’s an impressive shooting resume for a young man who shot his first High Power match in 2008, and had to borrow money to get his first real match rifle.

Rodrigo tells us: “I had a good year in Camp Perry in 2011. My goal was only to perform well in the across-the-course event, so taking second place after Carl Bernosky by only 3 points and taking third place in the Long Range event was a real treat.”

What was the “secret” of Rosa’s meteoric rise from rookie shooter to podium performer at Camp Perry? Rodrigo replied: “Key factors? I would have to say dry-fire practice, and working on consistency and the ‘mental game’. I spent many hours dry-firing last winter, particularly working on my off-hand position. Despite such training my technique was still flawed at the beginning of the year. I could dry-fire very well but the results did not show on target. I believe that my ability to finally build a mental sequence that allows me to perform the same movements time-and-time again, on demand, made the greatest difference on my results.”

Interview with Rodrigo Rosa — Born to Shoot

We had the opportunity to chat with Rodrigo. He told us how he got started in competitive shooting. He then discussed his shooting techniques and his reloading methods. At our request, Rodrigo offers some tips for new sling-shooters. Rosa also revealed his preferences in hardware and shooting gear.

Rodrigo Rosa

AccurateShooter: Rodrigo, tell us about your background. How did you get involved in shooting?

Rosa: I grew up on a farm in Brazil. When I was about 11 years old my mom bought me an air rifle, and I later inherited my grandpa’s Winchester .22LR. I hunted many rabbits and ducks with that rifle until I was 17 years old when my studies became more important. I traveled to the USA in late 2004 to finish my Veterinary clinical training at Cornell University, where I met my wife-to-be. We got married in 2005 and moved to California for internships. It wasn’t until early 2007 when I decided to buy a rifle and join a gun club. All I could afford was a simple .308 hunting rifle. With the .308, I tried (with limited success) to hit small metal silhouettes at 600 yards. Despite my limited success I decided to educate myself about the shooting sports, predominantly by reading books by David Tubb and Nancy Tompkins, as well as foreign publications.

My wife Kate and I moved to New Hampshire in 2007, when I decided to take a personal loan to buy a better rifle, suited for High Power competition. I joined the Nashua NH Fish and Game Association and started to work on my skills. In late 2010 I met Norm Houle who became a good friend and gave me extra motivation to stay in the game.

AccurateShooter: What are your strengths and what are the areas where you need improvement. What training methods do you use to improve those weak points?

Rosa: My strengths are my ability to concentrate, attention to detail and perseverance. The areas I tend to work on the most are my mental systems. I know I am able to shoot a perfect score in any yard line and shooting position, so I spend most of my time coming up with ways to make my shooting sequence as meticulous and repetitive as possible. I believe I still have a lot of work to do….

AccurateShooter: What are the best and worst things about competing at Perry?

Rosa: 2011 was my second year competing in Perry (I also started the match in 2009 but had to leave early for a family issue). I had one of the best weeks of my life! Perry is a wonderfully beautiful and challenging range, and the friends I had the pleasure to share my time with were the highlight of the trip. From previous experience, I would say that the heat and humidity are the worst things
about Perry, but 2011 gifted the competitors with amazingly pleasant weather.

Rodrigo Rosa
zoom

AccurateShooter: Rodrigo, do you have any tips for novice High Power shooters?

Rosa: Start by investing in good equipment — buy quality and you will buy it only once. Seek the advice of successful shooters. All truly good shooters will be glad to share their “secrets”, for it is only worth winning when all competitors can shoot their best. Develop a safe, reasonably good load for your cartridge and quit messing with it! If you already have an accurate rifle your time is much better spent working on your hold than on developing loads. Be ready! Develop checklists, plans, mental sequences. The less you can worry about, and the more prepared you are for adverse situations at the firing line, the better your chances will be.

AccurateShooter: Speaking of load development, tell us what load you shoot, and what methods you use to create accurate ammo.

Rosa: I shoot the 6mmXC cartridge Across-the-Course and Long-Range (except for Palma, of course). I use Federal 210M primers, Norma brass, Hodgdon 4350 powder, Sierra 70gr bullets for 200 yards and DTAC 115gr bullets from 300 to 1000 yards. My loads are: 39.5 grains H4350 with the Sierra 70gr; 37.5 grains H4350 with DTAC 115gr for 300 yards; and lastly, for Mid-Range and Long-Range, I use a stout H4350 load with the DTAC 115s. (Editor: Start at 37.0 grains H4350 and work up with the 115s; Rodrigo’s long-range load is near max).

The most important steps of my reloading are accurate load weighing (I weigh ALL loads) and bullet selection. I select all the bullets I shoot from 600 to 1000 yards by bearing surface and length. I do not spend any time doing elaborate load testing (and re-testing). All I care about is having a reasonably accurate load that functions smoothly in my rifle.

Rodrigo Rosa
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Rodrigo RosaAccurateShooter: Tell us about your shooting coat and sling. Do you have any advice concerning coat fit and sling adjustment?

Rosa: I currently wear a Monard shooting coat. Proper fit is fundamental for anyone who wishes to be competitive in any category of position rifle shooting, and the folks at Monard certainly have got that down. My advice to anyone who is going to invest hard-earned money in a coat is to make sure that the maker uses at least 15 different measurements of his/her body. Anything less than that is not acceptable in my opinion. I also prefer the stiffness and coolness of canvas over leather. Leather tends to mold better to ones body but softens and shrinks when wet. Since High Power shooters must often shoot in the rain I believe that canvas is a more durable and stable material. For a sling I always used the Superior Shooting Systems Heart Breaker Sling. This is an extremely well-made sling crafted to last many decades. It is important to cut the new sling to fit one’s arm diameter so that the “hinge” is located between the arm and the hand. I did not know this important “trick” for the longest time until David Tubb called my attention to it at Perry last year.

Rodrigo Rosa

AccurateShooter: You shoot a Tubb 2000 match rifle. Tell us the features of the T2K you really like, and explain how you set up the sights and buttstock for different positions.

Rosa: The Tubb 2000 rifle is the only rifle I have ever shot Across-the-Course. It is an extremely user-friendly gun that truly allows the shooter to extract all that a competitive target rifle can offer. I used to have only one buttstock and was therefore forced to make adjustments between shooting positions. Now I have three buttstocks individually set up for each position — a major asset in my opinion. My off-hand buttstock is probably the least orthodox of the three. It has a good deal of added weight to help balance the gun and a very narrow buttplate. I like the narrow buttplate because it fits my small shoulder better. This plate is, however, kept mostly flat (very shallow curvature) in order to comply with NRA rules (less than 1/2 inch depth).

Canting — I truly enjoy the ability to cant the T2K rifle to fit my body. Anyone who watches me shooting seated will notice that I use a great amount of canting in that seated position. Canting is a major asset and can greatly improve most shooter’s position by increasing comfort. The key thing with canting is you must be consistent with the amount of cant you use (hint: learn how to use a bubble level).

Forearm — I have shortened the tubular handguard/fore-end of my rifle in order to improve balance as well. People occasionally ask me: Didn’t you get nervous about cutting such an expensive rifle? (I had taken a loan to buy the rifle and it wasn’t even paid for yet). My answer was “Not at all!” My philosophy is that if something does not fit you or does not do the job for which it was intended, then you MUST act on it. It is pointless to have a rather costly piece of machinery if it does not lead to 10s and Xs.

Sights — I use a Warner #1 rear sight and a “Right Sight” in the front. I currently use the “Houle Tube” sight extension tube (bloop tube) made by Norm Houle. This bloop tube has been a major improvement. It lets me have a short, balanced gun for off-hand and a long gun for sling-supported positions. I must admit that I did not believe these extension devices would repeat zero until I tried one. The Houle Tubes are incredible. These extensions come in 2″, 4″ and 6″ lengths and repeat zero flawlessly every time.

Gunsmithing — Dick Beaudoin from Derry, NH has done most of the customization work on my rifle. I want to give him credit. His patience and attention to detail has made all the difference.

Editor’s Comment: We thank Forum member Rodrigo Rosa for taking the time to share his knowledge with our readers. He is a very talented, yet humble young shooter who works diligently on his game. We have no doubt that one day we will see Rodrigo standing on top of the podium at Camp Perry. Boa sorte Rodrigo, we wish you 10s and Xs and continued success…

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