July 21st, 2012

Australian Shooters Win Lawsuit to Preserve Famed ANZAC Range

Malabar Headland NSW ANZAC Range NSWRAScore one for Australian shooters. After a lengthy legal battle, the New South Wales Rifle Association (NSWRA) has preserved its rights to use the historic ANZAC Range on the outskirts of Sydney.

Last week, the New South Wales Supreme Court ruled that the Commonwealth Government could not shut down NSWRA shooting operations at ANZAC Range (and sell the 100-hectare Range site) because the Commonwealth had not provided a suitable alternative facility. The Court held that, under the terms of a 2000 License Agreement, NSWRA could not be evicted from the ANZAC Range until such time as a suitable new range was provided for use by the NSWRA and affiliated shooting clubs.

The ANZAC Range, the largest rifle range in the southern hemisphere, is located on the Malabar Headland, south of Sydney. The ANZAC Range has been a revered venue for Australian marksmen for more than a century and a half. It is headquarters to the New South Wales Rifle Association (NSWRA), and hosts the annual NSW Queen’s Prize. The range is shared among various shooting associations and clubs with the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (SSAA) occupying the “southern” end of the complex. The range is also extensively used by clubs affiliated with the SSAA and NSWRA. The ANZAC range is steeped in history. It has been used for recreational shooting since the 1860s. The term “ANZAC” comes from the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The early Australian Defense Corps trained at the Malabar Range, and Allied troops trained there during World War II.

Malabar Headland NSW ANZAC Range NSWRA

In recent decades, the New South Wales Rifle Association has been embroiled in a court case against the Commonwealth Government over the Malabar Headland, the land on which the ANZAC Rifle Range is located. In July 1986 the Commonwealth Government resolved to sell the ANZAC Rifle Range. Since that time the NSW Rifle Association and the dozens of gun clubs that regularly use the ANZAC Rifle Range have been facing closure. There were a series of eviction notices and legal proceedings, culminating in a year 2000 License Agreement under which the NSWRA was allowed ongoing use of the ANZAC Rifle Range at Malabar until an alternative site became available. There were plans to open a new public range for the NSWRA at the Holsworthy Army Base. However, those plans were scrapped and the Commonwealth never acquired and built a new facility. (Under the terms of the License Agreement, the Commonwealth was to give the NSWRA part of the Holsworthy Barracks and $9 million to help it relocate there.)

Malabar Headland NSW ANZAC Range NSWRACommonwealth officials assert the ANZAC Range would be converted to a National Park once shooting activities were terminated. The Range property would be deeded to the NSW State Government for Park use.

Though there were a number of lesser issues involved in the ANZAC Range litigation (including asbestos abatement and structure maintenance), the NSW Supreme Court’s decision turned on the failure of the Commonwealth to provide an alternative facility: “The Commonwealth has not given a Relocation Notice. Apparently it was decided that it was not appropriate that the Holsworthy Army Base be made available to provide a range for private shooting clubs. Although other potential rifle ranges have been identified, so far as appears, no steps have been taken, other than the carrying out of studies, to relocate the ANZAC Rifle Range.”

Under the terms of the Court’s ruling, the NSWRA can continue to use the ANZAC Range (but not necessarily forever). The Supreme Court’s ruling specifically blocks the Commonwealth from evicting the NSWRA from the ANZAC Range… for now. And likewise the Commonwealth is enjoined from selling or transferring the range property on the Malabar Headland. A range closure is still possible in the years ahead, but the Commonwealth must first provide a suitable replacement range complex.

Aussie Shooters Celebrate Legal Victory
Australian shooters are hailing this court decision as a major victory. The editor of Shooting.com.au, a leading Australian shooting sports website, tells us: “The NSWRA has won its case against the Government, thereby establishing [an important] precedent for shooters in Australia. Where previously we were trod upon without care, we now have a strong precedent with which to challenge, and hopefully prevail over, future legislative changes and government actions. It’s been a long time since Australian shooters had anything to celebrate about.” For more information, visit www.saveanzacrange.com.

READ the NSW Supreme Court Ruling
CLICK HERE for Transcript of New South Wales Supreme Court Judgment and Order in NSW Rifle Association Inc. v. The Commonwealth of Australia.

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June 25th, 2012

Steve Lee’s Feel-Good Music Videos for Gun Owners

Steve Lee I Like GunsMost of you have seen the “I Like Guns” music video by Australian singer/songwriter Steve Lee. This politically-incorrect ballad was released a couple years back, but in this election year, we thought it deserved an encore performance. In the song, Lee describes his affection for guns large and small, from revolvers to shotguns to safari rifles to .22 LR plinkers.

Lee wrote the song, in part, to draw attention to the gun restrictions in his home country of Australia. As a result of those tough gun laws, ownership of semi-automatic rifles and many types of handguns is tightly regulated down under. Consequently, some of the sequences in Lee’s pro-gun music videos have been filmed in other countries.

Steve Lee grew up in outback NSW and guns have always been a part of his life. “I never knew that people didn’t have guns when I was a kid, it just seemed like a normal, practical thing to have and shooting seemed like a normal, fun thing to do”. Now 42, Steve hasn’t slowed up and still loves guns just as much. He’s a member of his local pistol club, and enjoys nothing more than spending a weekend camping and shooting with his family and friends. His love of guns has led him all over the world from Africa to America, all places that allowed him to experience freedom with different types of guns.

On his Ilikeguns.com.au website, Steve explains: “I really wanted … to help us reflect on the good aspects of gun ownership and remind us that guns are a part of our Australian heritage. Both my dad and my grandfather owned guns and never had any trouble.”

If you enjoyed the “I Like Guns” video, you’ll get a kick out of Steve’s recent release, “I’ve Shot Every Gun”. Steve wrote the lyrics, but the tune is based on the song “I’ve Been Everywhere’ written by Aussie Geoff Mack in 1959 and popularized by North American performers Hank Snow and Johnny Cash.

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March 30th, 2012

500m Fly Shoot National Championships in Canberra, Australia

Report by Murray Hicks
On March 10, 2012, history was made down under when 78 shooters attended the inaugural BRT 500m Fly Shoot National Championships held in Canberra, Australia. 500m fly shooting has grown immensely in popularity down under since the first Fly Shoot was held in Canberra, 22 years ago. The Fly Shoot is a highlight of the Aussie shooting calendar, attracting the largest field of competitors among any benchrest-style match in Australia. The day of the match was a cracker (that means good in the Aussie lingo) with blue skies and light winds.

500m BRT Fly Shoot Championships Australia

CLICK “PLAY” to hear Murray Hicks talk about the sport of Fly-Shooting in Australia. Murray explains Fly Shoot rules, including the famous Rule 10: “Any competitor found not enjoying themselves, will be disqualified”.

[haiku url=”http://accurateshooter.net/Video/flyshoot.mp3″ title=”Fly Shoots by Murray Hicks”]

Stuart Elliott 500m BRT Fly Shoot Championships AustraliaThe 500m (560-yard) Fly Target is shot for score on a target with 10 scoring rings, plus a central fly image (instead of an “X”). A shot that hits any part of the fly counts as 10.1. Bonus points are also awarded for group size, with one point for a group under 10″ up to a maximum of 10 points for a group under 1″. Thus, 60.5 is the max possible score for one five-shot target (10.1 x 5 plus ten bonus points).

The Fly Shoot has two equipment classes: Light Gun (under 17 lbs.) and Heavy Gun. This is one of the few matches in Australia where Light and Heavy guns shoot head to head for overall placings. The wide variety of chamberings/calibers used by competitors is remarkable. Unlike the 600-yard BR game in the USA, which is dominated by small 6mm cartridges, at Australia’s Fly Shoots, you will see everything from small varmint calibers all the way up to big-bore Magnums. Many shooters favor the big 30s because it’s easier to see .30-caliber bullet holes through the mirage. This year’s Canberra event was won by Stuart Elliott shooting a 300 Win Mag. It was fitting that Stuart won the Inaugural BRT 500m Fly National Championships. Stuart, who runs BRT Shooters’ Supply, was one of the three Fly Shoot “founding fathers” who dreamed up the Fly Shoot discipline 22 years ago.

500m Paul Read BRT Fly Shoot Championships Australia

To learn more about 500m Fly Shooting or 200m Rimfire Fly Shoots, visit 500mflyshooter.com.au. There you’ll find official records, match results, and you can download the SSSA Fly Shoot Rules. CLICK HERE to view more photos of the competitors and their hardware.

Spotters Add to the Fun
The use of a spotter during the match is permitted and even encouraged. This adds greatly to the fun of the shoot. Having a good mate on a spotting scope alongside you spotting your shots and helping to call the wind changes can really help when conditions get rough (as they often do).

500m BRT Fly Shoot Championships Australia

The past year has seen the 500m Fly Shoot officially recognised by the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (SSAA) and added to the official rule book. As a result the March shoot in Canberra this year became the Inaugural Fly Shoot National Championships. BRT Shooters’ Supply came on board as the event’s major sponsor, offering BRT’s full support and organizing an excellent prize pool. Thus the “BRT 500m National Fly Shoot Championships” was born.

500m BRT Fly Shoot Championships Australia

The BRT 500m Fly Shoot Nationals were shot in reasonably good conditions, with major rains and floods in the week leading up to the shoot things were looking a bit dodgy. Luckily the day before the shoot the weather started to clear and over 40 tons of gravel had to be bought in to repair the access road to the 500m target line which had been washed away. The main organiser David Groves and his willing team of helpers took this all in their stride and did a tremendous effort to keep things running smoothly.


The inaugural shoot had an international flavor with shooter Sebastian Lambang, maker of the Seb rest, making the trek from Indonesia to compete. Lambang bought along his new switch-barrel rifle. With wide front “wings” attached and his .284 barrel, Seb finished 14th overall and 7th in Light Gun.

500m BRT Fly Shoot Championships Australia

Top Competitors at 500m BRT Fly Shoot Championships

Name – Score – Class + Placing
1. Stuart Elliott: 261.03 — HG 1
2. Murray Hicks: 260.05 — HG 2
3. Anthony Hall: 257.03 — LG 1
4. Jason Trotter: 249.02 — HG 3
5. Annie Elliott: 247.03 — HG 4
6. Michael Farr: 242.04 — HG 5
7. Les Fraser: 242.01 — HG 6
8. Les Fraser: 241.01 — LG 2
9. Tyson Trotter: 238.01 — LG 3
10. Roy Gow: 237.02 — LG 4
11. Mick Easton: 235.02 — LG 5
12. Dave Groves: 228.02 — HG 7
13. Michael Bell: 228.01 — LG 6

Other Important Results
Small Group Paul Read: HG 1.382″
Best target Jason Trotter: HG 58.01
Best Junior Roy Gow: LG 237.02

Note on Rankings: The ranking list (the “Dirty Dozen”) includes 13 rankings of 12 shooters. Les Fraser shot both classes, finishing 7th overall with his HG and 8th overall with his LG. A second entry is included in the “Dirty Dozen” list for Les to allow recognition of his second highest score in Light Gun Class. However, each shooter normally only gets one overall ranking in the “Dirty Dozen” top 12.

500m BRT Fly Shoot Championships Australia

All photos are copyright Murray Hicks, used with permission.
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October 22nd, 2011

Great Britain Wins 2011 Palma Match at World Championships

It’s Sunday, October 22nd in Australia, on the other side of the International Dateline. That means that the World Long Range Rifle Championships (WLRC) has concluded. The last major event was the Palma Cup Match, the most prestigious event in full-bore competition. The 2011 Palma Match has been completed with Team Great Britain the clear winner with a total Aggregate of 7027-651V. That’s 35 points ahead of South Africa which took second with a score of 6992-651V. (Interestingly had exactly the same V-count, for Center hits). Team USA captured the Bronze Medal, finishing third with a total of 6980-655.

Yanks Finish Third
Our friend Kelly Bachand, one of the Team USA Palma shooters, reports: “I’m a very proud member of the 2011 bronze medal winning USA Palma Team! There was very, very stiff competition and the conditions on the range tested our coaches and shooters thoroughly. After two long days of shooting we found ourselves bested by Great Britain and South Africa. While we did not win gold, this was still a tremendous accomplishment for our team, and I was very proud to shoot alongside the best rifle shooters in our country and from around the world.”

Link for Match Results
Preliminary results for the Palma Team Match and all the 2011 World Championships events are available online. For results for both individual and team events, visit the WLRC Results Page.

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October 20th, 2011

Britain’s Richard Jeens Wins World Long Range Rifle Title

Great Britain’s Richard Jeens won the Individual World Long Range Full-Bore Rifle Championship in Brisbane, Australia with a final score of 725-49V. (A “V” is a center-ring hit, equivalent to an “X” in American matches). Ceremonially hoisted in the air by his fellow competitors at the awards ceremony, Jeens was all smiles, having earned a title he’ll retain until the next World Championships in 2015. Jeens topped a field of 374 shooters from seven countries. Andre Du Toit of South Africa took the Silver Medal after a shoot-off for 2nd/3rd position against bronze-medal winner David Luckman of Great Britain. CLICK HERE for complete results.

World Rifle Championship Australia

Finishing 5th overall in the Three-Day Aggregate, Jeens had to rely on his shooting skills (plus a little bit of luck) to win the shoot-off (the top ten competitors after three days of competition advance to a final shoot-off.) The little bit of luck came by way of the winds during the 1,000-yard phase of the competition. Long Range shooters usually deal with all sorts of conditions, but the day’s wind was enough to knock a few of the favorites (such as SGT Sherri Gallagher) out of the Top Ten. Nonetheless, it was a well-deserved win, and we congratulate Richard on his achievement. Looking at Richard’s winning rifle, we surmise his victory settles the question whether a thumb-hole stock will work for long-range prone shooting — it seemed to suit Jeens just fine.

Jeens wasn’t the only hot-shooting marksman from Great Britain in the competition. Fellow Brit David Luckman shot a 723-68V, matching South African Andre Du Toit for the second highest score (Du Toit then prevailed in a shoot-off for second place). Only 4 Vs behind her team-mate Luckman, Great Britain’s Jane Messer finished fourth with 723-62V. Notably, three women finished in the Top 10, led by Messer, with Americans Trudie Fay and Nancy Tompkins in sixth and tenth, respectively. Heading into the final day of the Individual Championships, Nancy’s daughter SGT Sherri Gallagher was in the lead, but she dropped points in the very windy conditions on the last day.

With the individual side of the competition complete, all that remains is the Palma Match. Here are the final individual scores:

World Rifle Championship Australia

Photo Credit: US Palma Team member Dave Cloft. Report by Lars Dalseide for The NRA Blog.
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October 16th, 2011

Latest Results From World Rifle Championships in Australia

One of the most prestigious rifle competitions in the world is underway right now at the Belmont Shooting Facility, near Brisbane, Australia. Many of the best sling and irons marksmen (and women) in the world are competing for individual and team honors. American aces such as SGT Sherri Gallagher, Noma Mayo, Trudie Fay, Nancy Tompkins, Bob Gamboa, Bryan Litz, Robert Mead, and John Whidden are representing the Red, White, and Blue down-under, but they and their American teammates are facing stiff opposition from the Brits, South Africans, Canadians, New Zealanders, and the host Australians.

You can get complete individual and team results on the World Rifle Championships Website. Results are updated daily, so you can follow the action, which continues through October 22nd. Russ Theurer is also providing regular reports in our Shooters’ Forum.

One of the best performances so far was turned in by Bryan Litz, Berger Bullets’ Ballistician. In the Senior Australia Team match last week, Bryan outshot every other individual on the course, nailing a perfect 200-26V to tie the Championship Record. This was a brilliant display of marksmanship by Bryan. At the Awards Ceremony after the match, Bryan received a long standing ovation from his fellow competitors.

You’ll find lots of match photos in the official match Photo Gallery. Plus, Facebook users can access hundreds of photos uploaded by members of the USA Young Eagles Team. Young American shooters have been performing well. Russ Theurer reports: “Team USA Red won the Under 25 Australia Team Match, while Team USA Blue came from behind at 1000 to place third. Young Eagle Joshua Lehn was high score shooter of the team match of all teams combined.” Below are photos of the Young Eagles from Day 5, the Under 25 match:

Photos courtesy USA Young Eagles.
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October 15th, 2011

John Whidden Wins Queen’s Prize Match at World Championships

Our friend John Whidden accomplished another milestone in his storied shooting career. This time John topped an extremely competitive field of Palma shooters at the World Rifle Championships in Australia. Earlier today Whidden nailed a 100-13V on the final day of the Queen’s Prize Match to win the three-day event with a 399-46V Aggregate. (A “V” is equivalent to the “X” in American matches). John’s Day 1 score of 150-012V and Day 2 tally of 149-21V were enough to overtake early Palma Teammate Norman Anderson, and hold off the strong-finishing SGT Sherri Gallagher on Day 3.

When the dust had settled, John took the Queen’s Prize Match by a single point over runner-up Sherri Gallagher. In fact, Sherri and the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th-place finishers all had identical 398 scores, so V-counts were used as tie-breakers. Yes this match was that close.

John Whidden World Rifle Championship.

By tradition, fellow competitors carried Whidden and his green John Deere-sashed rifle to the awards in a ceremonial sedan-chair. John seems to be enjoying the ride. The above photo was taken by fellow Palma Teammate Dave Cloft. Overall, Americans did very well in the Queen’s Prize Match, taking four of the Top 10 places. South Africa, a strong force at the last World Championship, had three shooters in the Top 10. Here’s how the Top 10 finished in the Queens Match:

1. John Whidden, USA: 399-046V
2. Sherri Gallagher, USA: 398-054V
3. Jim Bailey, Australia: 398-044V
4. Petrus Haasbroek, South Africa: 398-043V
5. Norm Anderson, USA: 398-043V
6. Colin Cole, North Arm: 398-039V
7. Andre Du Toit, South Africa: 397-048V
8. Johannes Du Toit, South Africa: 397-048V
9. Geoffrey Grenfell, Bendigo: 397-048V
10. Tom Whitaker, USA: 397-047V

It looks like the Yanks are picking up steam in the World Rifle Championships, which continue with both individual and team events through October 22nd. (We’ll have a report on the hot-shooting USA Young Eagles team tomorrow.)

Story by Lars Dalseide for The NRA Blog.

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October 8th, 2011

World Long Range Championship Gets Underway In Australia

Story by Kerrin Brinkman for The NRA Blog.
The 2011 United States Long Range Rifle Team is in Brisbane, Australia and starts competing today in the World Long Range Rifle Championships for the prestigious Palma Trophy. Taking place at the Belmont Shooting Complex near Brisbane from October 8-22, 2011, the competition is 135 years old and only takes place every three to four years, with the last competition held in 2007. The United States has won 13 of the 28 Palma Matches, and Team USA is hoping to clinch another win this year.

USA National Palma Team in Australia

USA National Palma Team in Australia

The course of fire is comprised of three slow fire stages fired from the prone position. The first stage is 15 shots at 800 yards, the second stage is 15 shots at 900 yards, and the third stage is 15 shots at 1,000 yards. Targets are six feet square with a 20-inch black bullseye (10-ring), and an aiming circle of 44 inches that includes a 9-ring and an 8-ring. A perfect score for each stage is 150 points. Rifles are single-shot bolt actions equipped with iron sights, and ammunition is 7.62×51/.308 Winchester caliber using a bullet weighing 155 grains. CLICK HERE for Current Match Results (Updated Daily)

United States 2011 Long Range Rifle National Team Members and Advisors

Shooting Members: Bob Mead, Bryan Litz, David Littlefield, Gary Rasmussen, John Whidden, Justin Skaret, Kelly Bachand, Lane Buxton, Nancy Tompkins, Noma Mayo, Norm Anderson, Robert Gustin, Sherri Gallagher, Steve Cunico, Steve Hardin, Trevor Hengehold, Trevor Massey, Trudie Fay, Ty Cooper, and Wayne Forshee.

USA National Palma Team in Australia

Team Captain: Dennis Flaharty
Vice Team Captain/Adjutant: Dan Simpson
Vice Team Captain: Dr. Tom Whitaker
Armorer: Robert Gamboa
Head Team Coach: Emil Praslick III
NRA Advisor: Middleton Tompkins

Belmont Shooting Complex — World-Class!
The Belmont Range near Brisbane, Queensland is a beautiful facility. Firing mounds are maintained like golf greens and there are over 25 flags. With great facilities (and no pit duty!), it’s truly the lap of luxury for Fullbore shooting. Belmont is the largest shooting complex in the southern hemisphere and most target shooting sports are conducted there. Coordinates: 27°30 ’40″S 153°7’50″E. It is the home of the Queensland Rifle Association (QRA). (Editor’s Note: Click the tab below the photo to see larger image — it’s even more impressive.)

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September 17th, 2011

Wheeled Robotic “Smart Targets” for Live-Fire Training

The gyro-stabilized two-wheeled Segway was supposed to revolutionize personal transportation. That may never happen (mall cops excepted), but remote-controlled Segways just might revolutionize the way military and police personnel train for urban engagements.

Marathon Smart Targets

Robotic Segway “Smart Targets” for Live-Fire Training
An Australian company, Marathon Robotics, has created wheeled robot targets — remote-controlled Segways fitted with target silhouettes. The Segway Robots can move and respond like humans, ducking into doorways, or dispersing at the sound of gunfire. This provides challenging, ultra-realistic training for military and police sharp-shooters. This is not just science fiction. Australian Special Forces units already train in a mock urban center populated with Marathon’s rolling robots. And the U.S. Marine Corps has hired Marathon to create a similar robot-equipped, live-fire training venue.

Marathon Smart TargetsMarathon combined computer gaming technology with armored, remote-controlled Segways to create the ultimate 21st century moving target. The lower halves of the Segways are armor-plated, so the expensive electronic innards don’t get damaged by an errant shot. On top is mounted a replica human torso. The torso section can be clothed to distinguish “civilians” from military targets, or to distinguish terrorists from hostages.

Marathon’s sophisticated software can control multiple Segway Robots at the same time. A group of Segways can be programmed to mimic a squad on patrol, or a group of terrorists holding hostages. The control software allows autonomous or “intelligent” behavior by the Segway Robots. For example, the Segways can disperse automatically at the sound of a gunshot, and the Segways can be trained to seek cover in hallways or behind objects. Importantly, the Segway Robots are capable of human-like movement — they can stop quickly, turn 360° and retreat slowly, or accelerate to a human running pace. Marathon’s Segway Robots are equipped with laser range finders so they can avoid running into obstacles, including people on the move. The “Segbots” lean forward slightly as they walk forward, like people do.

To really understand how the Robotic Smart Targets work, watch this amazing video:

YouTube Preview Image

RESOURCES: Marathon Targets Webpage | Smart Targets Product Info (PDF) | Photo Gallery

Marathon Smart Targets

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January 20th, 2011

SHOT Show Report: Long-Range Champ John Whidden

While visiting the Forster Products booth at SHOT Show yesterday, we had a chance to chat with three-time National High Power Long Range Champion John Whidden. John was his amiable self as usual, sharing his match-winning experience with Kelly Bachand, a young .308 Palma shooter. John and Kelly are squadded together on the U.S. National Team that will be going to Australia for the World Full-bore Championship later this year.

YouTube Preview Image

John shared his thoughts on shooting the .243 Win in competition and he also discussed the advantages of a V-Block system in a prone rifle. With a good V-Block you can use the same stock with different barreled action. You can even change between centerfire and rimfire in the same gun. John uses V-Blocks in his own rifles, and Whidden Gunworks makes V-Blocks for Remington, Rem Clone, and Savage Actions.

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December 12th, 2010

Hodgdon Equivalents for ADI Product Codes

Many of the most popular powders sold under the Hodgdon brand in the USA (including Varget and H4350) are actually made by Thales Australia Ltd. (formerly ADI, Ltd.) in Australia. Some load manuals list Thales (ADI) data, but not Hodgdon data, or vice-versa, so we’ve compiled this list of equivalent powders. If you can’t find a recommended load for a particular Hodgdon powder in your caliber, download the latest ADI Smokeless Powders Handloaders Guide (2010, 5th Edition), a 5-megabyte Acrobat file.

Here’s a list of ADI to Hodgdon Powder equivalents:

AP50N = (No Hodgdon)
AS50N = International
AP70N = Universal
AP100 = (No Hodgdon)
AR2205 = H4227
AR2207 = H4198
AR2219 = H322
Bench Mark1 = (No Hodgdon)
Bench Mark2 = BenchMark
AR2206 = (No Hodgdon)
AR2206H = H4895
AR2208 = Varget
AR2209 = H4350
AR2213 = (Discontinued)
AR2213SC = H4831
AR2217 = H1000
AR2225 = Retumbo
AR2218 = H50BMG

ADI smokeless power Hodgdon

About IMR 8208 XBR
NOTE: Although new IMR 8208 XBR is made by Thales (ADI), Hodgdon has not published an ADI-equivalent product code. Thales has loaded some of the 8208 XBR into military ammo. However, Thales Australia Ltd. tells us: “[We] have yet to release the IMR 8208 XBR propellant in Australia to the sporting shooters market; thus it does not have an equivalent Thales (ADI) name”.

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October 23rd, 2010

Report from OZ: Yanks Do Well in Australian Championships

The United States Palma Team and USA Veterans Team recently ventured downunder to Queensland, Australia to compete in the Australian National Championships, held October 11-16 at the Belmont Shooting Complex outside Brisbane. The US Rifle Team travels well. Overall the Yanks performed great, with outstanding team and individual performances. Complete Match Results are posted at www.nraa.com.au. Team USA shooter Bryan Litz provides this Match Report…

U.S. Teams at Australian National Championships by Bryan Litz
The first match was the President’s Match, a two-day individual Aggregate with 10-shot strings fired at 600, 600, 900, and 1000 yards. Between the US Rifle Team and the US Veterans Team, we had five shooters in the top 20 (out of 128 shooters). That was a promising start.

Day 3 was the Chairman’s Team Challenge, a 4-man team match in which U.S. Teams Blue and Red captured first and second place. Conditions were challenging — during the first three or four days of shooting it rained constantly. There were several cease-fires called each day because of rain. We all learned how to cover our equipment and sights to stay dry while shooting.

Litz Tops Field in Queen’s Prize Match
Then began the 3-day Queen’s Prize match which is fired at 300, 500, 600, 800, 900, and 1000 yards. I managed to win this match, with a true come-from-behind performance. I went into the last day of shooting in 60th place. The extremely volatile conditions that last day (15-20 mph crosswind when shooting at 900 and 1000 yards) allowed me to make up so much ground on the leaders. For those who wonder, yes I shot “off the shelf” Applied Ballistics FULLBORE ammo to win the Queen’s Prize — the most prestigious match of the tournament. The winner is carried aloft in a ceremonial chair, proceeded by bagpipers and drums. You can see (photo right) that I enjoyed the pageantry.

The final individual event was the Royal Kaltenberg Challenge Cup, which is a shoot-off for an individual winner. The Cup was won by USA Shooter Noma Zinsmaster-Mayo. Congrats to Noma for a huge victory.

The President’s Challenge 4-man team match was swept by the Australian home team. The final event was an 8-man mini-Palma match which was won by Team USA.

Preparation Paid Off for Team USA
It goes without saying that the recent adjustments made to the U.S. Rifle Teams program under Captain Dennis Flaharty are moving the team in a positive direction. Each of the U.S. Team wins in Australia were ‘come-from-behind’ victories where we made up ground at the longer ranges. That’s a testament to the coaching staffs’ skills and organization. The Sierra 2156 Palma MK bullet was used exclusively by the Americans in all Team events. Sierra’s 2156 MK continues to prove itself to be an outstanding bullet.

The 20 or so shooters on the US Veterans Team Captained by Eddie Newman also traveled
and performed very well in the tournament.

Belmont Shooting Complex — World-Class!
The Belmont Range near Brisbane, Queensland is a beautiful facility. Firing mounds are maintained like golf greens and there are over 25 flags. With great facilities (and no pit duty!), it’s truly the lap of luxury for Fullbore shooting. Belmont is the largest shooting complex in the southern hemisphere and most target shooting sports are conducted there. Coordinates: 27°30 ’40″S 153°7’50″E. It is the home of the Queensland Rifle Association (QRA). (Editor’s Note: Click the tab below the photo to see larger image — it’s even more impressive.)

The Top 10 Grand Aggregate Results (President’s Match, Queen’s Prize, Kaltenberg Cup combined) are listed below. Australian George Edser of the Central Club had the best Aggregate score with 646-050. The top American was Noma Mayo, two points behind, with 644-059.

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October 12th, 2010

Americans Dominate 7th NRA World Action Pistol Championships

7th WAPC AustraliaThe 7th NRA World Action Pistol Championships (WAPC) was held October 6-9 in Blacktown, Australia. Chip Lohman, Managing Editor of Shooting Sports USA magazine, covered the event, which was dominated by American shooters.

  • First Place: Doug Koenig, 1920-188x
  • Second Place: Carl Bernosky, 1920-181x
  • Third Place: Bruce Piatt, 1920-177x

Doug Koenig, Carl Bernosky, and Bruce Piatt all shot perfect scores at the Championships, a phenomenal feat, Lohman said. Koenig is shown at left with one of his WAPC prizes. (Photo courtesy SSAA2010.com).

Complete WAPC results (PDF format) are posted on SSAA2010.com. You can view pictures of the action by browsing the WAPC Photo Gallery.

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July 23rd, 2010

Australian Sings About Gun Rights (and Fork-Tongued Politicians)

It’s a bit hokey, but the new music video from Australian singer/songwriter Steve Lee, has a catchy tune — and an important message. We commend I’ll Give Up My Gun, Lee’s latest musical jab at nanny-state gun restrictions in his Australian homeland. Lee, who earned worldwide attention for his I Like Guns music video, addresses serious topics — gun confiscation and personal freedom — in his new YouTube video. For those fighting anti-gun politicians, not only in Australia, but in other nations around the world, Lee’s defiant lyrics provide inspiration: “I’ll give up my gun… when the ocean runs dry. I’ll give up my gun… when politicians don’t lie.”

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To widen its appeal, Lee’s video blends humor with a serious theme. Hopefully this video may cause a few fence-sitters to rethink their position on gun control. Credit to Steve of The Firearms Blog for spotlighting this entertaining, yet thought-provoking video.

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January 26th, 2010

SHOT Show Report: Australia's Wild Dog Carbon Riflestocks

Though the use of high-tech materials, such as carbon fiber and kevlar, modern riflestocks have become stiffer, stronger, and lighter. Wild Dog, a small company in Queensland, Australia, is producing some of the nicest carbon-reinforced hunting and tactical stocks you can buy. Wild Dog stocks sport innovative features, such as a trap door for ammo storage in the side of the buttstock. Wild Dog’s hunting stocks are sized right and comfortable to hold — the comb height and drop angles are “just right” for a classic sporter.

wild dog stocks

And when Wild Dog says they can build a stock that’s “ultra-light”, they aren’t kidding. Wild Dog’s Bruce Simms showed us a lightweight sporter stock that weighed just 20 ounces! We were sufficiently impressed that we may choose a Wild Dog stock for an ultra-light, walk-around varminter project AccurateShooter.com has in the works.

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This Editor was also very impressed by Wild Dog’s tactical stocks. The Wild Dog thumbhole will work for shooters with any hand size. The grip section of some other thumbhole stocks (notably the Accuracy Int’l) is very thick and fat (way too fat for this Editor’s hands). By contrast, you’ll find the Wild Dog thumbhole is comfortable and controllable even for shooters with medium to small hands. Wild Dog’s adjustable cheekpiece system on the tactical stocks is better than most — the hardware is simple but sturdy and the cheekpiece fits flush when retracted.

wild dog stocks

wild dog rifle stocks

wild dog rifle stocks

Overall, the Wild Dog stock designs — both hunting and tactical, are carefully crafted and very well thought out. The tactical stocks feel right in both offhand and prone positions. The hunting stocks are easy to handle and the hand-painted camo finishes really do work in the field, as you can see in the photo below.

wild dog rifle stocks

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November 19th, 2009

Palma Team Tryouts Complete — Report from Butner

SFC Emil Praslick III sent us this report on the U.S. Palma Team tryouts at Camp Butner, NC. You can read other reports from Coach Praslick on the U.S. National Rifle Team Blog.

Last Tryout in the Books… On to the National Team
By Coach Emil Praslick

It was a hardy and intrepid group of US Palma Team hopefuls that braved the last vestiges of Hurricane Ida last weekend at Camp Butner, North Carolina. Camp Butner is the home range of the North State Shooting Club, which hosted the US Palma Team’s third and final tryout session. Temperatures in the 40s, winds from 20-30 mph, and a driving rain tested the mettle of both coaches and shooters.

Palma view through scopeUS Team Captain, Dennis Flaharty flung his net across the entire United States in a search for the best team shooters. By adopting a regional format for the tryouts, and separating the country into three areas (West Coast, Midwest, and East Coast), the team maximized the potential for attracting the best shots our vast nation has to offer. The three venues were: Sacramento, CA; Lodi, WI; and Butner, NC. At each venue, the top performers were invited to become members of the United States National Developmental Team.

New Team Tryouts Format
The format for the tryouts was different than any ever conducted by the United States. In the past, these events were held very much like individual matches. Shooters were evalauated by the scores they shot in a series of matches. While this undoubtedly picked the best individual shooters, those who experienced difficulty doping the wind, or those who simply shot during more difficult conditions, were often deselected early in the process. The current procedures call for shooters to be supervised by coaches at all times. This not only removes a shooter’s ability to negotiate wind from the process, it also gives the team management the opportunity to evaluate prospective coaches and to work on firing line procedures. Shooters are graded on their ability to shoot “elevation”, their speed, and their overall performance as part of the team.

The intent of forming a National Developmental Team was to establish a pool of skilled, international-quality shooters; not only for the upcoming 2011 Palma Match in Australia, but as the nucleus for future teams. The US National Team has an ambitious schedule for 2010, with trips to Canada, Camp Perry, Raton (NM) for The Spirit of America Matches, and Australia.

Palma target centersThe next milestone for the US National Developmental Team is to finish the processing of the shooter’s elevation data, and to begin planning which shooters will represent the United States at the planned events. Shooters will then be evaluated in match conditions and recieve further training/evaluation prior to the final Palma Team selection in the Fall of 2011.

I would like to thank all of the volunteers who assisted with the target pulling, scoring, running the firing line, and the host of myriad tasks that are necessary to conduct an event of this complexity. I would also like to thank the coaches who coached 400 rounds per day at 1000 yards with no complaint. It was a grueling (but very beneficial) exercise for them. We will announce the final US National Developmental team soon.

TWITTER: You can also follow the US National Team on Twitter. Visit www.twitter.com/usnationalrifle for the latest news.

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June 28th, 2009

Australian Team Wins WBC10 — Bukys & Boyer Top Two-Gun

The underdog Australians came and conquered at the 10th World Benchrest Championship just concluded in South Africa. In Team competition, the Australia “A” squad took the Two-Gun Gold. Finishing second was the USA “A” Team, while Team Italy took third place. Congratulations to Australia’s winning team: Brendan Atkinson, Stuart Elliott, Paul Sullivan, and Craig Whittleton. James Kelbly has posted: “Australia has been knocking on the door for many championships. Just got off phone with Roland Thomsen in South Africa and he told me conditions were as tough as he has seen. I would like to congratulate the organizers from South Africa for putting on a great match.”

Australia Benchrest Championship

In individual competition, Gene Bukys is the new Two-gun Grand Agg World Champion. Gene shot great throughout the match to finish at the top with a 0.2798 MOA Two-gun Agg. Second in the Two-gun was legendary Tony Boyer, and Australian Brendan Atkinson finished third. Bukys also won the LV Grand Agg.

You can download all the individual and team scores at the WBC10 website. Despite superb performances by Bukys and Boyer, the Aussies beat the favored Americans by more consistent shooting in very challenging conditions at 200m. If the Americans wish to get back on top, it may be time to experiment with higher-BC bullets for the 200m events, something Lester Bruno and other western-states Benchresters have been doing recently. Team USA was leading through Day 3, but the Aussies took the lead on Day 4 with superior team shooting in the HV 200m stage. Congrats to the winning Australian team!

Brendan Atkinson AustraliaTen Tips for Benchrest Shooters
Australian Brendan Atkinson has authored an excellent article, Ten Tips for Benchrest Shooters. Tip Number 10 is “Never, Ever, Give Up”. This positive attitude surely helped Brendan and his teammates achieve a come-from-behind victory at WBC10:

“You are only as good as your last group/aggregate. In 1980, I once started a 100-yard aggregate with a 1.026 group and then went on to win the overall match. I took the attitude that now that the A target was out of the way I was going to shoot nine very small groups. It was a very rough day, and took a lot of concentration to put shots together. In looking back, it was one of my most enjoyable wins. One should never give up –- even if a disastrous group does happen. Every shoot should teach you something –- even when you lose, don’t lose the lesson. Once a shot is fired on the business target, it is up there forever. There is nothing you can do about it, except get on with it. Do your very best, and curse about the lost shot later, in private.”

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February 10th, 2009

Important Message from the UK and Australia

Whatever your politics, you owe it to yourself to learn more about the restrictive firearm laws adopted in the United Kingdom and Australia. These have effectively banned hand-gun and semi-auto rifle ownership in the UK. In Australia self-loading rifles and even pump shotguns were banned, and hand-gun ownership was severely restricted. In this 10-minute video, gun owners in the UK and Australia tell their own story. The message is clear–without unified, organized opposition by sportsmen and hunters, gun rights will be taken away. In the UK, even shotguns and 22LR pistols used by Olympic competitors have been banned. Think it can’t happen here? Well already in California, new sales of semi-auto AR15-style service rifles are completely banned.

To further highlight the absurdity of gun laws in the UK, Great Britain agreed to construct a new indoor pistol-shooting venue — in order to win the right to host the next Olympic Games. But Olympic authorities have announced the shooting range will be demolished (at public expense) at the close of the games. Why? Because Brits aren’t allowed to own or shoot handguns. Today, even Britain’s Olympic pistol shooters are prohibitied from shooting in the UK and are required to do their training abroad. When London hosts the 2012 Olympic Games, Parliament will have to pass legislation allowing the athletes to import and fire their target pistols.

This is a “must-see” video. Click on the image below to watch the video, hosted by YouTube. CLICK HERE to watch other NRA-produced videos.

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October 13th, 2008

Custom Cartridge Caddy Design from Australia

Forum Member Jeff R. (“aJR”) from Australia has crafted a slick, handsome cartridge holder to use with his heavy Benchrest Gun. This is a simple, elegant design that would be relatively easy to build in a home workshop. Composed of two blocks of wood with parallel metal arms, the unit adjusts for height and block angle. Jeff tells us: “This is my new cartridge dispenser I knocked up in the shed. I wanted to get the record rounds up next to the action and this is adjustable for just about any gun/port configuration, right or left.” The cartridge caddy has ten round holes (for record shots) in the top wood block, stacked in two rows. The base piece has five holes for sighters, with the holes cut at an angle for easy access.

Benchrest Cartridge Holder

For the blocks, Jeff used “Jarrah” wood, a deep, red hardwood native to West Australia. Jeff says he did not stain the wood–what you see is the natural color, just sprayed with acrylic lacquer. A similar wood available in the USA is Satiné, also known as “Bloodwood”.

Benchrest Cartridge Holder

By the way, Jeff’s 1000-yard rifle is worth mentioning in its own right. The gun shoots a large 30-cal magnum wildcat cartridge and has set many Australian BR records. The rifle features a tensioned barrel system, custom Magnum drop-port action, and a metal/composite stock. Click HERE for more info. There’s even a YouTube Video showing Jeff shooting his big boomer.

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