For 2015, the Nationals will include both Mid-Range and Long-Range competitions. The NRA F-Class Mid Range National Championship will be held 23-27 October 2015. The F-Class Long Range National Championship then runs from October 27 through 31. The competition consists of two different Divisions: F- Open and F-TR (Target Rifle). Each Division is made up of five different Categories: High Master, Master, Expert, Sharpshooter and Marksman. There will also be a series of four-person team matches. The event is limited to 320 competitors maximum. All matches will be held at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility outside Phoenix.
You’ll see some serious hardware on the firing line at Ben Avery. Here’s a modern F-Open rig with a handsome maple stock. The gun, belonging to David Mann of Texas, shoots as good as it looks.
Under Two Inches at 500 Yards
To be competitive at the Nationals, one needs a tack-driving rifle and an ultra-accurate load. Shown below is one of Paul Phillips’s F-TR load development targets at 500 yards. The total 5-shot group size is under two inches. Impressive. That’s with 200gr Bergers, Varget powder, and large primer Lapua brass. Paul tell us: “The X-Ring is 5 inches at 1000 yards (equivalent to 2.5 inches at 500). We strive to be all in the X-Ring. However, wind is the big obstacle. A gust of wind can move you 1-2 feet away.”
F-Class National Championship Registration and Deadlines
Competitors must submit the official Registration & Entry Form (include NRA Membership ID#). Entries MUST be accompanied by check, money order or NRA Points. Make Check payable to Desert Sharpshooters Rifle Club.
Fees are $375.00 for both Mid-Range and Long-Range matches (combined), or $200 for just one match only (either Mid-Range or Long-Range). Team Matches cost $60 per entry.
Mail Entry Forms and checks to:
P.O. Box 11684
Prescott, AZ 86304.
Phone: (928) 776-8576.
Entry Deadline: The deadline for entries is 6:00 PM Monday, 12 October 2015. Entries after this time are considered late entries and may be accepted to fill vacancies on existing relays only. An additional $20.00 will be charged for late entries, on top of the basic fees.
2014 F-Class Nationals Photos copyright Nightforce Optics, used with permission.
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Ready for some action in Arizona? The 12th Western CMP Games and Creedmoor Cup Matches will be held at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix, Arizona. The CMP Games run 9-13 October while the Creedmoor Cup Matches dates take place 14-18 October. All interested shooters are invited to participate in these unique, national-level competitions. NOTE: Registration for the Creedmoor Cup matches must be done online via www.creedmoorsports.com.
To see a real pro shooting Service Rifle, check out the above video. That’s former National Champion (now Creedmoor Sports G.M.) Dennis DeMille, shooting 300-yard Rapids from the prone position. This was filmed at the 2010 Berger Southwest Nationals at Ben Avery. You’ll see Dennis adjusts his sights while looking through the spotter. Then watch how calm and steady Dennis stays from shot to shot. That comes with years of practice and training.
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F-Class shooting is the fastest-growing form of NRA rifle competition. While sling-shooting is in decline, the number of F-Class shooters grows every year. Recognizing this, the NRA Competitive Shooting Division has decided to expand the sport of F-Class with a new, third classification: F-TRipod. Like the current F-TR class, F-TRipod will be limited to .223 Remington or .308 Winchester chamberings. However, the rifle support can have three legs, and the weight of the tripod will NOT count in the rifle’s overall weight limit, which will be the same as F-TR, (8.25kg or 18.18 pounds). That way all current F-TR shooters will automatically “make weight” in the new F-TRipod class.
Three-legged shooting platforms can be adapted from photo tripods using a variety of mounts.
Why did the NRA create a new division for F-Class? According to Ryan Tromper of the NRA’s High Power Committee, “It’s all about improving the competitor’s experience. This new class should make the sport more popular among shooters of all ages and all levels of physical ability.” Ryan noted that many current F-Class shooters are not happy shooting on the ground: “At the 2014 F-Class Nationals in Phoenix, we polled F-Class shooters. The number one complaint was the shooting position. We heard many comments such as ‘I’m getting too old for this, I just can’t stay comfortable for a whole match anymore'”. After hearing many complaints about “eating dust all day on the ground”, the NRA realized there was a problem. F-TRipod is the solution.
The addition of the F-TRipod division should make F-Class competition more accessible for older competitors and for the many “weight-challenged” Americans who have difficulty getting down into the prone position. “We want F-Class to be inclusive. No matter what your age, your size, your shape, or your weight, we want you to be able to shoot F-Class and enjoy the experience”, said Tromper. This should make a big difference to shooters who have limited mobility.
With the advent of F-TRipod competition, shooters will no longer have to spend all day long on their belly in the dirt. Instead they can shoot from a comfortable seated position. F-TRipod competitors will be allowed to sit on the ground or in a portable chair.
F-TRipod Competition Should Be More Affordable
Affordability was another key factor in the NRA’s decision to create a new F-TRipod classification. As Derek Rodgers, the only man to win both F-TR and F-Open national titles, explains: “Let’s face it, F-Open has evolved into a hardware race. A complete F-Open rest set-up, with coaxial front rest, pad, and a couple custom rear bags, can run close to $1500.00. That’s not affordable for a lot of guys.” With the new F-TRipod division, all you need is a photo tripod and some kind of support head. With a used eBay tripod, and the $135.00 Pig Saddle, the whole system can be assembled for under $200.00. That’s half the cost of today’s most exotic F-TR bipods. Other than the tripod (with cradle) the only other accessory an F-TRipod competitor needs is a cushion for his or her posterior. (NRA rules will allow competitors to use cushions or camp chairs).
Favored by PRS competitors (and military snipers), tripods will soon be seen at F-Class matches as well. In the video below, the 6.5 Guys review various F-TRipod options.
Both current F-Class disciplines, F-Open and F-TR, are shot from the ground. Though rifle supports are permitted, this is essentially prone shooting (on your belly), and for many shooters, this is uncomfortable. Below, AccurateShooter’s Jason Baney demonstrates a modern rifle tripod system with a double cradle upper.
NRA F-Class Rifle Rules
3. EQUIPMENT AND AMMUNITION
3.4 F-Class Rifle
(c) F-Class Tripod Rifle (F-TRipod) – A rifle restricted to the chambers of unmodified .308 Winchester/7.62mm NATO or unmodified .223 Remington/5.56mm x 45 NATO cartridge cases. The rifle must be fired off a tripod, on which the rifle rests, or to which the rifle is attached. Any three-legged support, meeting the definition of a tripod, may be used but the tripod may not weigh more than 10 kilograms (approximately 22 pounds) and it may not contain any powered adjustment mechanisms or leveling systems. The tripod support may employ rigid or sliding mounts or cradles and manually-adjustable tilting heads are allowed. Any safe, manually-operated trigger is permitted. Any sighting system is permitted, but it must be included in the rifle’s overall weight.
(1) The rifle’s overall weight, including all attachments such as sights, sling, and rail(s), must not exceed 8.25 kilograms (approximately 18 pounds). The tripod and any mount or cradle permanently affixed to the tripod are not considered “attachments” if they can be separated from the rifle after the shooting sequence.
(2) The rifle must be fired in the seated or kneeling position from the shoulder of the competitor using rifle as defined in 3.4.1(b).
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Competitors at the 2015 Berger Southwest Nationals were treated to something special on Saturday morning. After a short address by Eric Stecker, fireworks boomed from downrange and a flight of three warbirds streamed overhead, trailing smoke. Watch these dramatic moments in the video below.
This ceremony marked the dedication of Ben Avery’s 1000-yard range as the Middleton Tompkins Range. With his family by his side, Mid was recognized for his achievements in the shooting sports and his decades of service. This was a heart-warming event honoring Mid, a six-time National High Power Rifle Champion, and the leading member of America’s first family of shooting. Wife Nancy Tompkins and step-daughters Sherri Jo Gallagher and Michelle Gallagher have all been National rifle champions (High Power and/or Long-Range). This was an emotional day for Mid — he revealed to us that this was certainly one of the greatest highlights of his life.
Berger President Eric Stecker speaks at range dedication ceremony. Mid Tompkins stands with his family members Sherri Jo Gallagher (to Mid’s left), wife Nancy Tompkins, and Michelle Gallagher.
Along with the dedication of the 1000-yard range, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the new multi-purpose facility at Ben Avery. Situated at the 1000-yard range, this facility was constructed with $420,000 in funding from Berger Bullets and Nightforce Optics. Mid Tompkins cut the red ribbon on the facility’s front doors, officially opening the multi-purpose center for public use.
Mid jokes with the crowd, showing his quick-witted sense of humor.
Panorama of Middleton Tompkins 1000-Yard Range at Ben Avery (CLICK to ZOOM)
Interview with Past NRA President John Sigler at Ben Avery
In the video below, we interview past NRA President John Sigler. An avid long-range shooter himself, John is the current chairman of the NRA High Power Committee. John was at Ben Avery this week competing in the F-Open Division. John says that the emergence of the F-Class discipline has extended his competitive shooting career. He had high praise for the Ben Avery Range and the new multi-purpose building dedicated on February 14th.
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Today marked the third day of competition at the Berger Southwest Nationals. The superstitious types among the competitors viewed the day with some trepidation. There was actual bad luck for some folks, including Mid Tompkins, who broke his leg in a parking lot accident in the morning. But most shooters didn’t worry too much about the date — they were more concerned about calling the wind correctly. As Bryan Litz said: “I don’t believe in superstition. We make our own luck”. In the video below, you’ll see highlights of Day 3 at the SW Nationals from the break of dawn to the final shots on the 1000-yard line.
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Thursday at the Berger Southwest Nationals was Team Match day. Teams of sling shooters as well as F-TR and F-Open marksmen competed at 800, 900, and 1000 yards. Conditions on Thursday (Feb. 12) were much better than on Wednesday (Feb. 11) when strong, fish-tailing winds created big problems for the shooters. For the Thursday Team Match, the winds were variable, but generally the mirage was a good indicator of speed, and the flags were showing the angles. The wind coaches for the teams told us that the conditions “were quite readable”.
Here is AccurateShooter.com’s video wrap-up of the Team Match on Thursday. F-TR shooters should watch carefully — Ray Gross, captain of the F-TR USA Team. talks about the latest equipment used by the top shooters. In addition, Ray announced a Team Try-Out Session on Monday February 16, 2015.
In team competition, the shooter relies on his coach and spotter.
This could be the most beautiful F-Open rifle we’ve ever seen. Look at the figure in that wood.
Nancy Tompkins dials wind for Anette Wachter (aka “30 Cal Gal”).
Matt Schwartzkopf excels despite lacking two lower legs. He works as a range manager at Ben Avery.
Tube-gun chassis-maker Gary Eliseo shot in the Sling Division. His company, Competition Machine, is now based in Cottonwood, Arizona.
Dan Polabel’s F-TR Rifle with Flex Bipod.
Walt Berger enjoyed the Team Match. “Seems like the wind’s a bit better today” he joked.
It was just a warm, beautiful day at Ben Avery….
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Was this Ben Hur or Ben Avery? With all the wheels rolling around the place, the Berger SW Nationals looked a bit like the Chariot scene from the 1959 Hollywood blockbuster movie.
Folks attending a big match such as the Berger Southwest Nationals must haul a lot of gear — both to the range and from vehicles to the firing lines (and then back again). This transportational necessity has inspired shooters to develop a wide variety of modern chariots. Here’s a selection of the “wheeled contrivances” we found at Ben Avery This week.
Don’t mess with Texas. That kind of says it all…
Folding carts were the favored mode of transport. Yes there are TWO carts in the back of this SUV.
Grizzly President Shiraz Balolia, appropriately enough, customized his cart with ursine artwork.
This rig had a custom bracket to support a rifle vertically. This clever invention preserves space in the main cargo section.
Felix Solis of the U.S. Veterans’ Rifle Team customized his travel van’s interior. Rifles are secured upright in the left compartment, with shooting coats on the right.
The little red wagon offers four-wheel stability. This one even has its own license plate.
Wait a minute — is that a stroller? Actually these rigs can be easily adapted to hold rifles and rests. Check out Craigslist for low-cost, “previously owned” strollers.
Past F-Class Nat’l Champ Larry Bartholome was seen rolling around with a familiar cart. This cart used to belong to our good friend German Salazar. Hey German, we all miss your presence at Ben Avery…
The Berger Southwest Nationals (SWN) kicked off Tuesday, February 10th, with an instructional clinic at the Ben Avery 1000-yard Range. This combined a lecture/Q&A session with live-fire training. Ballistics “Professor” Bryan Litz reports: “The clinic was a big hit as usual, with lots of competitor participation. There was a big crowd this year, as you can see.”
The clinic started with a class on Exterior Ballistics hosted by Bryan. This focused on why ballistics is important to competitive shooters, and how to balance ballistic performance objectives against real world constraints. Topics included bullet weight options for F-TR (155 to 215 grains), barrel/chamber considerations, plus the real-world trade-offs involved with heavy bullets (yes the BC may be better but recoil becomes an issue). Many of the questions related to content from Bryan’s recent books, and discussions in AccurateShooter.com’s Ballistics sub-Forum and Daily Bulletin.
Following the ballistics class, shooters made their way to the firing line for one-on-one instruction with experienced shooters in each discipline (sling, F-TR and F-Open). During this segment of the clinic, champion shooters worked directly with novice and intermediate shooters. Bryan said: “It was great to see the ‘top guns’ sharing their knowledge.”
Last but not least, Mid Tompkins directed a wind clinic with live fire demonstrations. Bryan reports: “Mid has a way of getting your attention. Personally, I thought his 2 MOA wind call that put the very first shot in the 5 inch X-ring at 1000 yards got everyone’s attention!” After the demonstrations, clinic “students” went to the firing line to put wind-clinic lessons into practice, and to verify their zeroes.
Mid Tompkins at the SWN Shooters’ Clinic
Here are some more images from the instructional clinic held last year at the 2014 SW Nationals.
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It’s almost time for the Berger SW Nationals. Phil Kelley says he’s ready for this view…
February in Phoenix… For many of us February is all about the Berger Southwest Nationals, which kicks off Tuesday, February 10th with a Shooting Clinic and runs through Sunday, February 15th. This prestigious match, hosted at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility, draws top F-Class and sling shooters from around the country. One of those F-Class shooters, Phil Kelley, posted the above photo, saying he’s ready to make the trek from his North Carolina home to Arizona. Good luck to Phil and all the competitors. A record number of shooters should be on the firing line this year.
Want to see how some of the best rifle shooters in the world operate in high-stakes, 1000-yard competition? This video shows Team Sinclair powering to victory at the 2014 F-Class National Championships in Phoenix. Scoring an impressive 792-38X, Team Sinclair topped the field, winning the 4-man team title and setting a new 1000-yard F-TR National Team Record in the process. It was a close match, with America’s “powerhouse” F-TR teams battling it out for the top three spots: Team Sinclair (Gold), Team X-Men (Silver), and Team Michigan (Bronze). Team Sinclair’s wind coach Ray Gross did a superb job. Ray also serves as the Captain of the USA F-TR Rifle Team.
Along with the Team Sinclair shooters, this video also features Team X-Men (orange shirts), and Team Michigan. Starting at the 2:05 time-mark, you can hear Bryan Litz calling wind for Team Michigan. Watch the mirage in the video and see if you can match Bryan’s wind calls with the movement of the mirage. This is a great opportunity to see F-TR Top Guns in action. Team score cards appear in the video, starting at the 3:01 time-mark.
Watch Team Sinclair, Team X-Men, and Team Michigan at 2014 F-Class Nationals:
Warning — Video starts with loud rock music. You may want to turn down your speakers if at work.
Thanks to Paul Phillips for editing and uploading this video. Photos courtesy Nightforce Optics.
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Forum member Rick Curtis, a shooter from the Phoenix area, put together an interesting video showing some of the F-Class shooters at a recent club match at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility. Rick notes: “As you can see (hear) at the beginning of the video the first relay was fired in a ‘frisky’ headwind.” (Don’t worry about the awful wind noise — it moderates 35 seconds into the video.) It is interesting to see the different shooting styles, and the wide variety of hardware on the line.
Watch F-Class Shooting Video from Ben Avery Range in Phoenix, AZ
One fellow who watched the video made an interesting comment: “A couple of those shooters sure do a lot of moving around before and after the shot. I shoot sling and jacket and definitely try to minimize my movement. Is minimizing movement as important in F-Class?”
Rick Curtis replied: “I sent some of the individual videos back to the shooters who were in them with some recommendations that included minimizing movement, spotting scope placement, shot routine suggestions and a few other observations.”
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Got plans for October? If you live in the western USA, consider a trip to Phoenix for the CMP Western Games. The 11th Western CMP Games and Creedmoor Cup Matches will be held at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix, Arizona, on 10-19 October 2014. The Western CMP Games Matches run 10-14 October 2014. The Creedmoor Cup Matches take place on 15-19 October 2014. All interested shooters are invited to participate in these unique, national-level competitions. NOTE: Registration for the Creedmoor Cup matches must be done online via www.creedmoorsports.com.
Small Arms Firing School
CMP Rifle Small Arms Firing School offered at during the Western CMP Games in Phoenix, AZ, Friday, October 10th. This course is recommended for all new shooters and anyone that would like to learn gun safety and sound target shooting skills, regardless of previous experience. In this course you will learn about safety, positions, how to load and clear the rifle, how to loop a sling and prepare for practice firing. Rifle SAFS students are required to use the Rock River AR15 commercial rifles issued by the school. Personal rifles are not permitted. Ammunition will be issued for use during practice fire and the M16 EIC Match and coaches will be available to assist students. Junior competitors must be at least 12 years old.
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The wind gods smiled on the shooters at the Berger Southwest Nationals on Thursday. For most of the day, the wind flags were hanging straight down or barely moving. Many shooters managed to go through the 800-yard stage without dropping a point. Conditions got tougher for the 900-yard and 1000-yard stages but it was still a day of low winds and high scores.
Team Grizzly made the most of the good conditions in the F-Open Division. Coached by Trudie Fay, and anchored by 2013 World Champion Kenny Adams, the four-person team shot brilliantly, scoring 1786 with 104 Xs. That beats the existing 800/900/1000 Palma course National record by five (5) points and ten Xs. The previous record, 1781-94X, was set by Team Berger in 2008.
During the match we had a chance to chat with Shiraz Balolia as he was getting his .300 WSM ready for the 1000-yard stage. Since stepping down as the captain of the USA F-Open Team, Shiraz had told us that he planned to shift his priorities, and devote more time to non-shooting activities. But here he was, back in the thick of competition. Shiraz smiled and said “You’re right, I was planning to get away from shooting a bit. But I just couldn’t miss this match … I guess I have the bug”. When a man’s this good at long-range shooting, you can’t keep him away from the firing line for long. Shiraz serves as Captain of Team Grizzly.
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The Berger Southwest Nationals (SWN) have kicked off at the Ben Avery Range in Phoenix, Arizona. Overall attendance has been impressive for this important shooting event. Approximately 275 shooters have registered. On Wednesday (February 5th) roughly 200 shooters competed in a 600-yard Mid-Range event, with three 20-shot matches. The wind clinic on Tuesday the 4th was also well-attended with 130 or so participants.
In addition to the rifle competition (continuing through Sunday), there will be other fun events. On Friday, after the 1000-yard match, there will be a SWAP meet.On Saturday, there will be a Banquet dinner at the Ben Avery Indoor Range.
The Mid-Range match was tightly fought. We don’t have official results yet, but we’re told that Jim Murphy was at the top in F-TR, followed by Lige Harris, Gerry Wiens, Grant Ubl, and Eric Stecker.
Next up is a 4-person Team match (800, 900, 1000 yards) starting bright and early on Thursday. AccurateShooter.com will be reporting directly from the match. Watch the Daily Bulletin for photos from the match and interviews with the shooters.
To learn more about the Berger Southwest Nationals, watch this video featuring footage from the 2013 event. Helpful interviews with last year’s competitors provide useful insights into conditions at Ben Avery. One regular shooter at Ben Avery told us: “On a typical day, when the wind builds it is pretty gradual and progressive. But when it starts to die, it can drop off quickly, with a pretty big change from shot to shot.”
Watch Berger SW Nationals Preview Video
Berger SWN Events Schedule (Thursday – Sunday)
The remaining action starts at 9:00 am each morning, Thursday through Sunday.
Thursday, 6 February 2014, 9:00 AM 4-Man Palma Team Match: 15 shots for record at 800, 900 and 1000 yards.
(Divisions – Palma, F-Open, F-TR)
Practice available to those not shooting with a team.
Friday, 7 February 2014, 9:00 AM – Start of Grand Agg Individual Palma Match: 15 shots for record at 800, 900 and 1000 yards.
(Divisions – Palma, F-Open, F-TR)
Swap Meet – after conclusion of fire at 1000-yard line.
Saturday, 8 February 2014, 9:00 AM Individual 1000 Yard Matches: Two 20-shot matches at 1000 yards. Any Rifle-Iron Sight (Any sight for F-Class shooters). (Divisions – Palma, Any Rifle-Iron Sight, F-Open, F-TR) 4 Man Team Match: 20 shots at 1000 yards. Any Rifle-Iron Sight (Any sight for F-Class shooters). (Divisions – Palma, Any Rifle-Iron Sight, F-Open, F-TR
Sunday, 9 February 2014, 9:00 AM Individual 1000 Yard Matches: Two 20 shots matches at 1000 yards. Any Rifle-Any Sight (Any sight for F-Class shooters). (Divisions – Palma, Any Rifle-Any Sight, F-Open, F-TR)
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A while back, while in Arizona, we headed out to the Ben Avery Shooting Facility, located about 27 miles north of downtown Phoenix on I-17. We were impressed by Ben Avery’s vast range complex, which includes a Clay Target (shotgun) center, 1000-yard High Power range, 100-300 yard Benchrest range, rifle and pistol silhouette ranges, handgun ranges, smallbore range, Running Boar range, and a large, 53-bay, 200-yard main range.
At the main range we ran into Forum Member Troy D., who had a brand-spanking new 6mmBR rifle built by Lester Bruno of Bruno Shooters Supply. While breaking-in his new 28″ Krieger barrel, Troy was using Sierra 70gr Blitz-Kings. Accuracy was impressive — the 70 grainers ripped tight, little knots in the high 2s, low 3s. Though his rifle has an 8-twist barrel, Troy was testing the 70s in preparation for a prairie dog trip next week. From what we saw, those p-dogs should be worried. Troy’s gun was a tack-driver with the Sierra Blitz-Kings.
Troy’s Compact Storage Box (Just $1.50!)
While Troy was cleaning between groups, we noticed he was using a compact little box to hold his jags, brushes and patches. The box was the perfect size for these items. Troy explained: “If you’re just taking one rifle to the range, you don’t need to take a big gear box with stuff for all your guns. Apart from solvent, bore guide, and cleaning rod, this little box holds all I really need to clean my rifle.” Troy sourced the box at Cabela’s for $1.50.
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The Berger Southwest Nationals, one of the biggest shooting events west of the Mississippi, kicks off next week at the Ben Avery Range near Phoenix, Arizona. The event begins with a Shooting Clinic on Tuesday, February 4, and concludes with 1000-yard Matches on Sunday the 9th. The host Desert Sharpshooters Club, and the staff at Berger Bullets, are working very hard to make this the best SW Nationals ever. And if you are interested, there is still time to register. Berger tells us: “It’s not too late to sign up for the 2014 Southwest Nationals! The match runs from Feb. 4-9 at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility. We have a great schedule and prizes.” The weather will be good (it was 74° in Phoenix yesterday), and there will be thousands of dollars of gear on the Prize Table. If you want to join the fun, download the entry form below, and, as soon as you can, send an email to michelle.gallagher [at] bergerbullets.com.
The Berger Southwest Long Range Nationals are held every February at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility just north of Phoenix, Arizona. Berger has partnered with the Desert Sharpshooters Rifle Club and the Arizona Game and Fish Department, resulting in a “must attend” event for long range shooters around the world.
Ben Avery is a truly world-class facility, with 98 firing points, carefully maintained firing lines and plenty of wind flags. As the match sponsor, Berger provides the “extras” – ice chests full of drinks on the firing line, a banquet on Saturday night and awards to the winners, including over $3,500 in cash prizes and over 30,000 bullets in awards.
Here’s a great Slide Show featuring images from the recent Western CMP Games at the Ben Avery Shooting Range outside Phoenix, Arizona. CLICK HERE for full match results. This video slide show features photos by Grant Guess and others. How many of your buddies do you recognize in the photos?
Click Arrow at lower left to start slide show (with music):
The Western CMP Games and Creedmoor Cup Matches were held October 11-20, 2013. As usual, the event was well-attended. The CMP Games featured the Small Arms Firing School, M16 Match, four Garand/Springfield/Vintage Military matches and the New Modern Military match. Other matches include a Carbine Match, a Rimfire Sporter Match, and the popular Vintage Sniper Match. The Creedmoor Cup events included a High Power Rifle Clinic, Creedmoor Cup (2400 point aggregate) Match, 4-Man Team Match, and Creedmoor EIC Match.
The 2013 Berger Southwest Long Range Nationals (at Ben Avery in AZ) have wrapped up, and some divisional results have arrived. (Stay tuned for more complete results — as they are made available.) Congratulations to Grizzly Industrial President Shiraz Balolia, who won the F-Open Division.
The F-Open competition was very close right down to the end, and the conditions were unforgiving. Shiraz finished with a 1226-55X score, one point ahead of F-Open runner-up Freddy Haltom (1225-60X), who had high X-count among Open-classers. We’re told that Shiraz was using a “shoulder-busting” .300 Win Short Mag in Phoenix. We’ve been promised photos of Balolia’s winning rig as soon as Shiraz gets back from Arizona.
The Top 10 F-Open shooters are listed in the chart above. Note, the 9th and 10th best Aggregate Scores were shot by two “Masters”, who out-shot dozens of “High Masters” to make the Top 10 overall. Steven Blair, who placed 8th Overall in F-Open, told us: “When conditions and competitors are as tough as they were in Phoenix, the winners deserve our accolades. It was no accident or luck that they finished as they did.” Forum member Kelbro agreed: “Except for the practice days, this was a challenging week. Double congrats to the top dogs. They earned it.”
In the F-TR division, John Hayhurst shot well throughout the Nationals to finish first with 1210-25X. Runner-up Lige Harris had 35 Xs, but ended six points down, finishing with 1204-35X. James Crofts, a past F-TR National Champion, finished third with 1203-24X. In F-TR Team Competition, the new Michigan F-TR team coached by Bryan Litz proved to be a powerhouse, securing an impressive team win. Shooters were: Al Barnhart (captain), Doug Boyer, Bill Litz (Bryan’s father), and Dale Sunderman. The second- and third-place teams were both USA F-TR Development squads. USA Team Blue grabbed second place, while USA Team Red took third. We’re told that USA Team blue set a new F-TR Palma record on Saturday. However, Team Michigan came back with a big win in Sunday’s 1000-yard team match, securing the Team Aggregate title.
In F-Open division, we’re told that Team UHaul finished first, with great shooting by Matt Davis, Herb Edwards, David Gosnell, and David Mann. Team Tex-Mex was second, with strong performances by Bryan Chatwell, Freddy Haltom, Ben Milam, and Cory Bizzel. Team Grizzly ended up third despite a cross-fire in one match. Team Grizzly is composed of F-Open winner Shiraz Bilolia, Emil Kovan, John Myers, and Tony Robertson.
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It’s February, so it must be time for Berger Southwest Long Range Nationals again. Hosted by the the Desert Sharpshooters at the Ben Avery Range outside Phoenix, this popular event kicked off on February 5th, and runs through Sunday, February 10th. As always, there has been a huge turnout (200+ shooters from throughout the USA and Canada), and the match is very well-organized. We’ll provide complete results when the match is complete, but here are some early highlights…
In F-Open competition, Team Grizzly won the Palma (800, 900 and 1000 yards) 4-person team match at the Berger SW Nationals against some of the fiercest competition in the country. Trudie Fay served as coach and the shooters were Shiraz Balolia (team captain), Emil Kovan, John Myers, and Tony Robertson.
Congratulations go to the USA F-TR Team “Blue” for winning the Palma Team Match. USA Team Blue narrowly edged out an excellent Michigan Team coached by Bryan Litz. The top F-TR shooter of the day was Dan Pohlabel (creator of the FLEX Bipod) who shot an impressive 443-17X, edging Matt Schwartzkopf of USA F-TR Team “Red” who scored 443-14X.
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The complete, final results of the Berger SW Long Range Nationals (at the Ben Avery Range in Arizona) have been posted. You can download all the results from the links at the bottom of this story. In case you missed our previous match report, Trudie Fay was the overall winner in the sling category, Jim Murphy took F-Open Class, and James Croft won F-TR. In team competition, The sling winners were the US National Team composed of Trudie Fay, Bryan Litz, Justin Skaret and Peter Church. In F-Open, the winning team was Team Norma/Berger composed of Larry Bartholome, John Brewer, Danny Biggs, and Jim Murphy. The winning F-TR team was the Arizona State Rifle & Pistol Assn. squad, with Warren Dean, John Chilton, Steve Lockwood and German Salazar. Complete Results are linked below.
This Video by Jim Everson, was shot from the pits at the 2012 Berger SW Nationals:
Michelle Gallagher of Berger Bullets provided this post-match message:
I hope you all enjoyed yourselves at the match and got back home safely. We were so excited that you could all make it, and I’m glad the weather even cooperated!
Thank you to everyone that helped out during the week. There are just too many to list everyone, but the match would not have run as smoothly without you, and we deeply appreciate everything you did. We want to give a special thank-you to Kathy Buell, Jennifer Litz, and Melesia Cisneros for their help. They had no idea what they were getting into when they volunteered to help, but they were invaluable. Also, Matt Schwartzkopf with AZ Game & Fish put in countless hours getting the range ready. He did an amazing job, the range looked beautiful, and we were excited to have him shooting with us! We also want to send a big thank-you to all the companies who donated to the match. We are so thankful for your participation, and I know the shooters were as well.
We’ll be sending out the results CDs as soon as possible, but here are some results for now. I also have them up on the Berger website. We’ll also be posting some photos of the match soon.