February 7th, 2017

Berger Southwest Nationals Event Starts with Shooting Clinic

The Berger Southwest Nationals (SWN) kicked off with a two-day shooting clinic held Monday and Tuesday, February 6-7, 2017. Competition at the Ben Avery range begins with a 600-yard Mid-Range Match on Wednesday, followed by long-range matches Thursday through Sunday. Three classes of competitors will be on the firing line: Palma (.308 Win sling), F-TR, and F-Open. This is one of the most popular matches of the year, drawing competitors from around the nation (and a few foreign countries).

The Berger SW Nationals event has become the premier long-range match of the year in the Western United States. This prestigious rifle competition, hosted at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility, outside Phoenix, Arizona, draws the nation’s top F-Class and sling shooters. Over 360 shooters have already registered for the SWN.

CLICK HERE to Download Berger Southwest Nationals Program

Berger Southwest Nationals Phoenix Arizona

2017 Berger Southwest Nationals Schedule of Events

Monday, 6 – Tuesday, 7 February 2017, 9:00 AM
Shooting Clinic: Two-Day clinic includes instruction in both classroom and live fire settings. Instruction will start at 9:00 AM.

Berger Shooting Clinic SW Nationals

Wednesday, 8 February 2017, 9:00 AM
Mid-Range Match – Three, 20-shot matches at 600 yards.
Divisions: Palma, Any Rifle/Any Sight, F-Open, F-TR

Thursday, 9 February 2017, 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, 10 February 2017, 8:30 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, 11 February 2017, 8:30 AM
Individual 1000-Yard Matches – Two 20 shots 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)
Banquet Dinner – Approximately 5:00 pm at Indoor Range.

Sunday, 12 February 2017, 8:30 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)
Awards Ceremony at the Indoor Range.

Click image to see full-screen panorama.

CLICK HERE for Phoenix Travel and Lodging Information.


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Competition Tips from Bryan Litz

To help you prepare for the Berger SW Nationals, here are some competition tips from Bryan Litz. Bryan knows the Ben Avery range well. He won the Mid-Range and Long-Range F-TR National Championships there in 2015. And twice he has won the sling division at the Southwest Nationals. Here are wise words from Bryan:

Competition TIP ONE. Improving your scores in long range competition is a constant process of self-assessment. After each match, carefully analyze how you lost points and make a plan to improve. Beginning shooters will lose a lot of points to fundamental things like sight alignment and trigger control. Veteran shooters will lose far fewer points to a smaller list of mistakes. At every step along the way, always ask yourself why you’re losing points and address the issues. Sometimes the weak links that you need to work on aren’t your favorite thing to do, and success will take work in these areas as well.

Competition TIP TWO. Select your wind shooting strategy carefully. For beginners and veterans, most points are typically lost to wind. Successful shooters put a lot of thought into their approach to wind shooting. Sometimes it’s best to shoot fast and minimize the changes you’ll have to navigate. Other times it’s best to wait out a condition which may take several minutes. Develop a comfortable rest position so you have an easier time waiting when you should be waiting.

Competition TIP THREE. Actively avoid major train wrecks. Sounds obvious but it happens a lot. Select equipment that is reliable, get comfortable with it and have back-ups for important things. Don’t load on the verge of max pressure, don’t go to an important match with a barrel that’s near shot out, physically check tightness of all important screws prior to shooting each string. Observe what train wrecks you and others experience, and put measures in place to avoid them.

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January 29th, 2017

Wenatchee White-Out Doesn’t Deter Monte…

Monte Milanuk snow southwest berger Nationals Phoenix Ben Avery Range Arizona

Our friend Monte Milanuk needed to get in a little practice for the upcoming Berger Southwest Nationals. Monte didn’t let a little white stuff get in the way of his training session at the NCW Gun Club range in East Wenatchee, WA. Monte says: “For all you southerners and snowbirds… this is how the rest of us get ready for the Berger SWN!” Oh man that does look cold…

Monte Milanuk snow southwest berger Nationals Phoenix Ben Avery Range Arizona

Monte’s F-TR competition rig features a fully-adjustable McMillan XIT stock resting on a SEB JoyPod up front with an Edgewood bag in the rear. On top is a Nightforce Competition scope. Monte shoots Berger bullets, measuring their velocity with a LabRadar chronograph. The LabRadar sits on a Manfrotto tripod, which can adjust super-low, as you can see. With this set-up, Monte tells us “life is good” — even on a chilly morning in Wenatchee.

We wish Monte (and all competitors) good luck at the Berger SW Nationals. The popular event runs February 6-12, 2017 at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix, AZ. See you on the firing line!

CLICK HERE for Phoenix Travel and Lodging Information.


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January 21st, 2017

Six by Litz — Tips for Shooting Long-Range

Berger Southwest SW SWN Nationals Ben Avery Bryan Litz

Berger SW Nationals Bryan LitzWith the Berger Southwest Nationals coming up soon (Feb. 6-12), we thought we would share some tips from a past Champion who really knows the Ben Avery range in Phoenix. In 2015, Bryan won the F-TR Mid-Range AND Long-Range National Championships hosted at Ben Avery. And at the 2014 Berger SW Nationals (SWN), Bryan took top honors among all sling shooters. If you only know Bryan Litz from his Applied Ballistics Books and DVDs, you may not realize that this guy is a great marksman (along with being an actual rocket scientist). This guy can shoot.

Given his impressive track record at Ben Avery, we asked Bryan if he had any advice for other long-range competitors. First Bryan provided three tips concerning Ballistics, his special area of expertise. Next Bryan offered three more general tips about long-range competition — how to analyze your shooting, how to choose your ‘wind strategy’, and how to avoid the most costly mistakes, i.e. how to avoid the “train-wrecks”.

Here is the sleek F-TR Rig Bryan Litz used to win the 2015 F-TR Mid-Range and Long-Range Championships at Ben Avery:
Bryan Litz F-TR Ben Avery Berger SW Nationals

Litz Ballistics Tips

Ballistics TIP ONE. If you’re having trouble getting your ballistic software to match actual drops, you need to look at a number of possible reasons. Here are some common issues that can cause problems.

Click Values Are Not Exact. Scopes and iron sights don’t always produce accurate adjustments. In other words, if your ballistics program predicts 30 MOA of drop, and you dial 30 MOA but hit low, it might be that your sight actually only moved 28 MOA (for example). To see if your sight is adjusting accurately, shoot a tall target at 100 yards and measure group separation when dialing your sight.

Barometric vs. Station Pressure. This is a commonly misunderstood input to ballistics programs. You can avoid this pitfall by remembering the following: station pressure is the actual measured pressure at your location, and you don’t need to tell the program your altitude when using station pressure. Barometric pressure is corrected for sea level. If you’re using barometric pressure, you also have to input your altitude.

Muzzle Velocity. Chronographs are not always as accurate as shooters think they are — your true MV may be off by 10-20 fps (or more). If your drop is different than predicted at long range, it might be because your muzzle velocity input is wrong.

Mixing Up BC (G1 vs. G7). Knowledgeable long range shooters know that the G7 standard is a more representative standard for modern LR bullets. However, using G7 BCs isn’t just a matter of clicking the ‘G7′ option in the program. The numeric value of the BC is different for G1 and G7. For example, the G1 BC of the Berger 155.5 grain Fullbore bullet is .464 but the G7 BC is .237. If you were to enter .464 but click on G7, the results would be way off.

Ballistics TIP TWO. A properly installed level is absolutely essential for long range shooting. Without a good level reference, your long range wind zero will be off due to minor canting of the rifle from side to side. You can verify that your level is installed correctly on a 100-yard ‘tall target’. Draw a plumb line straight up the target and verify that your groups track straight up this line as you go up in elevation.

Ballistics TIP THREE. If your long range ballistic predictions aren’t tracking, always come back and verify your 100-yard zero. Sometimes a simple zero shift can be misconstrued as errors in long range ballistics predictions.

Bryan Litz Tips

Litz Competition Shooting Tips

Competition TIP ONE. Improving your scores in long range competition is a constant process of self-assessment. After each match, carefully analyze how you lost points and make a plan to improve. Beginning shooters will lose a lot of points to fundamental things like sight alignment and trigger control. Veteran shooters will lose far fewer points to a smaller list of mistakes. At every step along the way, always ask yourself why you’re losing points and address the issues. Sometimes the weak links that you need to work on aren’t your favorite thing to do, and success will take work in these areas as well.

Competition TIP TWO. Select your wind shooting strategy carefully. For beginners and veterans, most points are typically lost to wind. Successful shooters put a lot of thought into their approach to wind shooting. Sometimes it’s best to shoot fast and minimize the changes you’ll have to navigate. Other times it’s best to wait out a condition which may take several minutes. Develop a comfortable rest position so you have an easier time waiting when you should be waiting.

Competition TIP THREE. Actively avoid major train wrecks. Sounds obvious but it happens a lot. Select equipment that is reliable, get comfortable with it and have back-ups for important things. Don’t load on the verge of max pressure, don’t go to an important match with a barrel that’s near shot out, physically check tightness of all important screws prior to shooting each string. Observe what train wrecks you and others experience, and put measures in place to avoid them.

“Must-Watch” SWN Video has aerial view of Ben Avery plus highlights from Saturday

Bryan Litz Tips

Photos by Steve Fiorenzo

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
November 17th, 2016

Henry 1000-Man Shoot Is Big Success in Arizona

Henry Repeating Arms 1000-man shoot Ben Avery Arizona NRA

One week after the November Election, Henry Repeating Arms and the NRA pulled off a remarkable display of support for the Second Amendment at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix, Arizona.

On Monday, November 14th, 1000 proud shooters from 16 states stood side-by-side in a line spanning a mile and a half long. Under the supervision of NRA Rangemasters, the 1000 shooters simultaneously fired two shots from Henry Silver Boy .22 LR lever-action rifles.

Henry Repeating Arms 1000-man shoot Ben Avery Arizona NRA

Anthony Imperato (shown above), President of Henry Repeating Arms, said: “The Henry 1000-Man Shoot was all that I had hoped it would be and more. Looking out at a sea of 1000 participants, their families, and 400 volunteers, was very emotional. There was a tremendous sense of patriotism and I’ll never forget it.”

The record-breaking event was a combined effort between Henry Repeating Arms and the NRA. Henry donated the 1000 commemorative .22 LR rifles. One million dollars is expected to be raised. All proceeds will support NRA initiatives, including Firearms Safety, Youth Shooting Sports, Disabled Shooting programs, Child Safety programs, and NRA efforts to protect Second Amendment rights.

Henry Repeating Arms 1000-man shoot Ben Avery Arizona NRA

Pete Brownell, first VP of the NRA and CEO of Brownells Inc., said the 1000-Man Shoot served as a statement that Americans would stand up for their freedoms: “As some of you may know, we made history last week,” Brownell told the crowd. Then he encouraged participants to go out and make their own history with the record-setting shoot.

Another 1000-Man Shoot in the Future?
Will there be another 1000-man shoot? Perhaps, but there are few other shooting facilities that can hold 1000 shooters in a single line. According to the NRA’s American Rifleman: “Henry’s Anthony Imperato wasn’t ready to look ahead to a repeat of such a massive undertaking, [but] the shoot was so well-received that it wouldn’t surprise him if follow-up events occur, first because of the fact that the 1,000 slots filled so quickly, and second because he has received so many requests for a similar event in other parts of the country.”

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September 28th, 2016

Western CMP Games & Creedmoor Cup Matches Coming Soon

CMP Western Games Games Creedmoor Cup Ben Avery

Ready for some action in Arizona? The 13th Annual Western CMP Games and Creedmoor Cup Matches will be held at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix, Arizona. The CMP Games run 7-11 October while the Creedmoor Cup Matches take place 12-16 October. All interested shooters are invited to participate in these prestigious, national-level competitions. NOTE: Registration for the Creedmoor Cup matches must be done online via www.creedmoorsports.com.

The CMP Western Games will include the Garand, Springfield, Vintage Military, Modern Military, Rimfire Sporter, Carbine, and Vintage Sniper matches. Along with the shooting matches, the CMP will offer a special CMP Games Match Clinic plus a Small Arms Firing School (Rifle). These training programs can benefit novices as well as experienced shooters. If you need to buy ammo or hardware, the CMP will operate a Sales Booth at Ben Avery all 4 days of Western Games.

Western CMP Games Entry Form | Western CMP Games Online Registration
Western CMP Games & Creedmoor Cup Program | Directions to Ben Avery Range

Creedmoor Cup Schedule and Events
The Creedmoor Cup Matches will begin on October 12th and conclude on October 16th. A great Bar-B-Q on Saturday is included with entry. This year’s Creedmoor Cup schedule includes the following events: High Power Rifle Clinic, Creedmoor Cup Match (2400 point aggregate), 4-Man Team Match, and Creedmoor EIC Match. The Special High Power Shooting Clinic will include lectures, demonstrations and dry-fire training by some of the world’s most talented service rifle marksmen.

CMP Games Creedmoor Cup Ben Avery

Western CMP Games Matches

  • Garand & Springfield Match Clinic
  • John C. Garand Match
  • Springfield Match
  • Vintage Military Rifle Match
  • Small Arms Firing School/M16 Match
  • Rimfire Sporter Match
  • Carbine Match
  • Vintage Sniper Match
  • Modern Military Rifle Match
  • Western Creedmoor Cup Events

  • High Power Rifle Clinic
  • Creedmoor Cup (2400 point aggregate)
  • 4-Man Team Match
  • Creedmoor EIC Match
  • 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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    March 29th, 2016

    Cactus Classic in Phoenix Draws Top Benchrest Talent

    Berger Bullets Cactus Classic Benchrest competition match Phoenix Ben Avery
    Click to view full-screen size image.

    The Cactus Classic is a prestigious benchrest competition held every year in Phoenix, Arizona. On March 16-20, many of the nation’s top short-range benchresters came to Ben Avery to vie for glory and prizes. There were some impressive performances at this year’s Cactus Classic, hosted by the Arizona Benchrest Shooters. Top Gun was Larry Costa who won the Two-Gun Grand Aggregate as well as the Light Varmint (LV) 200-yard Agg. Lou Murdica (shown below) won the Heavy Varmint (HV) 200-yard Aggregate. At the shorter range, Larry Baggett won the Heavy Varmint 100-yard Aggregate and Gary Bristow won the Light Varmint 100-yard Agg. For full results, click the link below. To see hundreds of high-rez photos from the match, visit the Berger Bullets Flickr Photo Gallery.

    CLICK HERE for Complete Cactus Classic Match Results.

    HV 200-yard Aggregate winner Lou Murdica.
    Berger Bullets Cactus Classic Benchrest competition match Phoenix Ben Avery

    Berger Bullets Cactus Classic Benchrest competition match Phoenix Ben Avery

    Berger Bullets Cactus Classic Benchrest competition match Phoenix Ben Avery

    Most short-range benchrest shooters load at the range.
    Berger Bullets Cactus Classic Benchrest competition match Phoenix Ben Avery

    Now in his late 80s, Berger Bullets founder Walt Berger is still competing…
    Berger Bullets Cactus Classic Benchrest competition match Phoenix Ben Avery

    Impressive hardware was on display at the Cactus Classic.
    Berger Bullets Cactus Classic Benchrest competition match Phoenix Ben Avery

    Cleaning is part of the routine in the short-range benchrest game.
    Berger Bullets Cactus Classic Benchrest competition match Phoenix Ben Avery

    Permalink Competition, News 2 Comments »
    February 25th, 2016

    Legendary Shooter Mid Tompkins Profiled in Shooting Sports USA

    Middleton Tompkins SSUSA High Power Interview video

    On the Shooting Sports USA website, legendary shooter Middleton (“Mid”) Tompkins is profiled this week. One of the great figures in American rifle shooting, Mid is also the patriarch of the greatest family of shooters in American history. Mid’s wife Nancy Tompkins, and daughters Michelle Gallagher and Sherri Jo Gallagher, have all been National Champions. Mid himself is a six-time, across-the-course national High Power rifle champion. He’s also been on 18 Palma teams as captain, coach or shooter. Mid started shooting smallbore rifle over 60 years ago, competing in that discipline at Camp Perry in 1954. But he committed to High Power in 1955 and never looked back: “I liked High Power’s diversification of standing, sitting, rapid fire and long range shooting.”

    READ Complete Mid Tompkins Profile in Shooting Sports USA

    Berger Nightforce Ben Avery Building 1000-yard range Middleton Tompkins MidHighlights of the SSUSA Story:

    Practice Ammo: Mid does not use practice ammo, saying: “If it isn’t the best ammo he owns, the shooter learns absolutely nothing because they don’t know—when they shoot an 8, if they shot it, the ammo shot it or the gun shot it.”

    On Scorebooks: “I totally, totally do not believe in scorebooks. It takes away your concentration from what you should be doing, which is doping the wind and pointing the rifle downrange. Shooting is not about book-keeping. Shooting is about putting a bullet in the middle of the target.”

    Practice Makes Perfect: For decades, Mid shot every Saturday and Sunday, whether for practice or in a match. Mid shot with four different clubs, each hosting their own match on a different weekend. He shot them all, as well as practicing the day before each match. That’s in addition to competing in Sanctioned and Registered matches.

    Middleton Tompkins Interview from 2015:

    In the video above, Mid talks candidly about his storied career as a shooter and a shooting coach. He explains what it takes to win, and offers advice on how new shooters can improve their skill sets. Mid also talks about advancements in rifle hardware and bullet design. Mid also offers invaluable advice on how to dope the wind at Ben Avery. Last year, the 1000-yard Range at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix was officially dedicated as the “Middleton Tompkins Range”.

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    February 14th, 2016

    Valentine’s Day Showdown — Berger SW Nationals Report

    Today’s the final day of the Berger Southwest Nationals, with individual Sling, F-TR, and F-Open matches on tap. The competition remains tight, with many shooters within striking distance for podium positions. Predictions are for light and variable winds for the day. We’re sad to see the fun come to a close. This is a special event, drawing top shooters from around the nation. As James Crofts told is: “It’s always great to see good friends and fellow shooters from far and near….”

    One shot left… will that last bullet end up in the X-ring? We hope so…

    If you’ve never shot this match, you should. You’ll squad alongside the nation’s best long-range shooters, and you’ll enjoy a superb facility. The desert range at Ben Avery is something special — check out a “birds-eye view” with our latest video from the match. This video also includes an interview with Derek Rodgers, the only man who who has earned both F-Open AND F-TR National titles. We strongly recommend you watch this video.

    “Must-Watch” SWN Video has aerial view of Ben Avery plus highlights from Saturday

    Yesterday, Saturday, marked the conclusion of the Team events. In the F-TR division, Michigan extended its lead to win Gold while the U.S. Rifle Team (USRT) held on for silver for the overall team title. Notably, ten of the twelve shooters making up the top three squads are members of the USRT, as are the top two coaches. Congrats to all.

    Phil Kelley reports that Saturday’s F-TR team match went down to the wire: “It was a fun 1000-yard team day at SW Nationals. Good to use a teammate’s backup gun to finally be competitive at something. Congrats to Team Michigan for the big win, both for the day and overall. There was great competition today with Michigan winning by 1 point (and some Xs) over X-men and X-men getting Team Virginia/USA by 1 point and some Xs. Great shooting by all.”

    Phil added that: “Dan Lentz continues to perform well with another great day and maintains the overall lead going into the final day. Derek Rodgers, Bryan Litz, and Jim Crofts are on his heels but Dan looks confident.” Tomorrow, here on the Daily Bulletin, we will provide final individual results from the match, along with all the final team results.

    Snapshots from the Berger Southwest Nationals

    Here’s one of the new Borden wide-body actions in a Shurley Brothers stock. The timing on this action is insanely good, making it very smoooooth to operate.

    This Scottish shooter showed some style on the range, with his traditional Scottish tweed cap. That’s classy. No floppy boonie hat for this dapper lad.

    Take a look at the very useful information card. Note that it shows mirage patterns and provides suggested windage and elevation corrections for all yardages.

    Check out the handsome, 3D-effect Stars and Stripes finish applied to this F-TR Rifle. Note that the right-handed shooter is running a Left-Bolt, Left Port action, with a SEB Joy-Pod up front.

    Here’s the brand-new F-Class front rest from Competition Machine. This 38-lb beast features a belt-drive elevation adjustment, joy-stick windage, and rotary pivoting head to align with your target.

    Rewards for Berger SWN Participants

    The Berger SW Nationals has one of the richest prize tables in the shooting sports. This Saturday night, nearly 400 participants received a variety of participation prizes and raffle awards. In addition, winners were announced for some of the events which concluded earlier in the week. Gunsmith John Pierce came up a big winner with a kiss from his lady and a Team Trophy for the Michigan F-TR Squad.

    Berger SW Nationals prizes

    Berger SW Nationals prizes

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    February 13th, 2016

    Individual Palma Competition on Day 3 of Berger SW Nationals

    2016 Berger Southwest Nationals SW

    The Individual Palma Match kicked off Friday at the Berger Southwest Nationals. While still mostly calm, conditions were more variable and tricky. James Crofts told us that you had to watch both the mirage AND the flags, because sometimes a change appeared on the flags before you could see anything in the mirage. The top shooters were scanning the range constantly for any velocity or angle change. If you don’t pay attention to the flags, James said, “you’ll be out in the nine ring”.

    Watch Video with Highlights from Day 3 of Berger SWN, including James Crofts Interview:

    Our good friend John Whidden, a past National Long-Range Champion, brought his “A Game” Friday, topping the Sling Division with 449-33X. Competition was fierce with five sling shooters finishing with the same 449 points, separated only by X-Count: Whidden (33X), Oliver Milanovic (31X), Rick Hunt (25X), Michael Barlow (25X), and Steven Powell (22X).

    2016 Berger Southwest Nationals SW
    John Whidden file photo from 2015

    In F-Open, the top three shooters for the day were: Ken Padilla (448-25X), John Myers (447-32X), and Kenny Adams (447-24X). In F-TR Dan Lentz topped the Field with 447-24X, followed by Derek Rodgers and Justin Bertino (both at 445-23X). Ryan Pierce noted that Dan Lentz’s performance for the day beat all but three of the F-Open shooters: “Extremely impressive is Dan Lentz 447-24X F-TR score [which] tied Kenny Adams’s third-place F-Open Aggregate. Shooting .308 Win off a bipod and keeping up with the 7mms and 30 Cal magnums is outstanding. Good shooting Dan.”

    2016 Berger Southwest Nationals SW

    2016 Berger Southwest Nationals SW

    Interesting Hardware

    New Speedy F-Open Stock (Jeff Reed, owner)

    Speed Gonzalez F-Open Stock

    Speed Gonzalez F-Open Stock

    F-Open competitor Jeff Reed has a new F-Open rig with the brand new Speedy Gonzales laminated stock. Jeff says he loves the stock, saying it “tracks like a dream”. Jeff also likes the recoil-reduction system fitted at the rear of the stock. This really makes a difference for the big calibers says Jeff. If you’re curious, that’s an IOR Valdada 12-52x56mm scope with a 40mm main tube on top of Jeff’s rifle. It features 25 MOA of elevation in one rotation of the turret.

    Spotting Scope Mounted to Front Rest

    Speed Gonzalez F-Open Stock

    Gunsmith Richard King of Texas has mounted his spotting scope directly to his Farley front rest. Very clever. This puts the spotter eyepiece just a few inches from his riflescope eyepiece so he can move easily from one optic to the other. This set-up also reduces the amount of gear Richard carries to the line. No separate spotting scope base, stand or horizontal mounting arm is required. This is a simple, elegant solution. We bet, with a little tinkering and design work, a similar system could be mounted to a SEB or Bald Eagle front rest. Note, it may appear that the lens is obscured by the front clamp, but that’s just the camera angle. We looked through the spotting scope and everything is clear.

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    February 10th, 2016

    2016 Berger Southwest Nationals Commence in Arizona

    2016 Berger Southwest Nationals Phoenix Arizona AZ
    Checking conditions at break of day. This week Phoenix will offer cool nights and warm days, with daytime temps in the mid- to high 80s (F).

    2016 Berger Southwest Nationals Phoenix Arizona AZThe Berger Southwest Nationals (SWN), is the biggest, most prestigious long-range shooting match west of the Mississipi. The SW Nationals, which run February 9-14, 2016, kicked off on Tuesday the 9th with a shooting clinic at the Ben Avery 1000-yard Range. This gave competitors a chance to confirm their zeros, study the conditions at Ben Avery, and prep their “mental game” for the upcoming competition. This will be a huge event, with over 370 shooters from all over the USA and many foreign countries. The SW Nationals attracts top F-Class and Sling shooters, lured by the quality of the competition and a huge prize table. This is truly a “world-class” event.

    Tuesday’s shooting clinic started with a class on Exterior Ballistics hosted by Bryan Litz. 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.”

    2015 Berger Southwest Nationals Clinic Applied Ballistics High Power F-Class Phoenix Ben Avery
    File photo from 2015.

    Nat’l Mid-Range and Long-Range F-TR Champion Bryan Litz instructs during Tuesday’s Clinic at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility.
    2016 Berger Southwest Nationals Phoenix Arizona AZ

    Eliseo Tubegun with Nightforce Competition scope. These versatile rifle chassis systems are produced by Competition Machine in Cottonwood, Arizona.
    2016 Berger Southwest Nationals Phoenix Arizona AZ

    Click image to see full-screen panorama.

    CLICK HERE for Phoenix Travel and Lodging Information.


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    Photos by Steven Fiorenzo.

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    January 28th, 2016

    Get Ready for Berger SW Nationals February 9-14, 2016

    Berger Southwest Nationals

    The Berger Southwest Nationals event is less than two weeks away… so get your bags packed and ammo loaded boys and girls. The SW Nationals run February 9-14, 2016, kicking off on Tuesday the 9th with a shooting clinic.


    Photo by Phil Kelley at Ben Avery Range.

    This prestigious rifle competition, hosted at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility, outside Phoenix, Arizona, draws top F-Class and sling shooters from around the country. The Berger SW Nationals event is the premier long-range match of the year in the Western United States. Over 360 shooters have already registered for the SWN. NOTE: there are a few spots left. To register, go to the Berger SWN Entry Page.

    CLICK HERE to Download Berger Soutwest Nationals Program and Entry Form.

    Watch Highlights from Last Year’s Team Match at 2015 Berger SW Nationals:

    Click image to see full-screen panorama.

    CLICK HERE for Phoenix Travel and Lodging Information.


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    berger southwest nationals 2016 Ben Avery Phoenix

    Competition Tips from Bryan Litz

    To help you prepare for the Berger SW Nationals, here are some competition tips from Bryan Litz. Bryan knows the Ben Avery range well. He won the Mid-Range and Long-Range F-TR National Championships there last year. And twice he has won the sling division at the Southwest Nationals. Here are wise words from Bryan:

    Competition TIP ONE. Improving your scores in long range competition is a constant process of self-assessment. After each match, carefully analyze how you lost points and make a plan to improve. Beginning shooters will lose a lot of points to fundamental things like sight alignment and trigger control. Veteran shooters will lose far fewer points to a smaller list of mistakes. At every step along the way, always ask yourself why you’re losing points and address the issues. Sometimes the weak links that you need to work on aren’t your favorite thing to do, and success will take work in these areas as well.

    Competition TIP TWO. Select your wind shooting strategy carefully. For beginners and veterans, most points are typically lost to wind. Successful shooters put a lot of thought into their approach to wind shooting. Sometimes it’s best to shoot fast and minimize the changes you’ll have to navigate. Other times it’s best to wait out a condition which may take several minutes. Develop a comfortable rest position so you have an easier time waiting when you should be waiting.

    Competition TIP THREE. Actively avoid major train wrecks. Sounds obvious but it happens a lot. Select equipment that is reliable, get comfortable with it and have back-ups for important things. Don’t load on the verge of max pressure, don’t go to an important match with a barrel that’s near shot out, physically check tightness of all important screws prior to shooting each string. Observe what train wrecks you and others experience, and put measures in place to avoid them.

    Competition TIP FOUR. If your long range ballistic predictions aren’t tracking, always come back and verify your 100-yard zero. Sometimes a simple zero shift can be misconstrued as errors in long range ballistics predictions.

    Bryan Litz Tips

    Permalink Competition, News 2 Comments »
    October 31st, 2015

    X-Men and Team Grizzly Win F-Class National Championships

    2015 F-Class national championship X-Men Team Grizzly ben avery

    We have two new National Champion F-Class Teams. At the 2015 Long-Range Team Championships in Phoenix yesterday, Team Grizzly won the F-Open Division while the X-Men team secured the F-TR Title. The teams had to deal with tough conditions, requiring wind coaches to bring their “A Game”. James Crofts of the X-Men said: “The highest level of winds in recent nationals memory greeted all on the line today.” And Shiraz Balolia, who finished with the highest score (395-17X) among all shooters, observed: “High winds in the second match really made a huge difference in scores.”

    Team Grizzly Wins 2015 F-Open Long-Range National Championship
    Team Grizzly finished first in the F-Open Division with a 1560-49X score. In second, nine points back with 1551-49X, was the Tex-Mex Squad, while local favorites the Wide Nines team finished third with 1548-45X. Team Grizzly’s 9-point winning margin was impressive — Leo Ahern joked that: “9 points is more like a spanking than a win!”

    Team Grizzly Captain Shiraz Balolia had the top score (395-17X) of all shooters participating in the team event. (This is a file photo from previous match).
    2015 F-Class national championship X-Men Team Grizzly ben avery

    Team Grizzly’s Captain Shiraz Balolia said: “My hat is off to our coach, Trudie Fay, who has coached and won us the last three consecutive Team matches at the National Championships. I have been fortunate to have been a shooter and Captain of all three gold medal wins, three years in a row, one with Team USA and two with Team Grizzly. Trudie did a great job and my Team gun just hammered!” Along with Faye and Balolia, Team members included Kenny Adams, Emil Kovan, and John Myers.

    2015 F-Class national championship X-Men Team Grizzly ben avery

    X-Men Team Tops F-TR Field
    Hail the Orange and Green invaders. The X-Men are the 2015 US Long Range National F-TR Champions. The Team included shooters Tracy Hogg, Phil Kelley, Ian Klemm, and Dan Lentz, along with Wind Coach James Crofts and Captain Ken Klemm. Crofts said: “Big thanks to our remaining X-men teammates Joseph Conley, Mike Hardy, and Radoslaw Czupryna. Special thanks to Ray Bowman as we were all shooting PR&T hammers. We have great respect for Team Sinclair (that has motivated us for a long time) and Team Michigan, our friends from up North. Today was a good day!”

    All four X-Men rifles featured Precision Rifle & Tool (PR&T) Low Boy stocks. PR&T’s Ray Bowman observed: “Ian Klem built his rifle on our stock, PR&T stocked Dan Lentz’s rifle and we built Phil Kelley’s and Tracy Hogg’s “HAMMER” rifles.” Gunsmith Ryan Pierce chambered two of the X-Men barrels.

    It was sunny but quite windy on Friday for the Team Match (Sherri Judd Photo).
    2015 F-Class national championship X-Men Team Grizzly ben avery

    Finishing second in the F-TR division was the Michigan Rifle Team, winners of the Mid-Range F-TR National Championship. The Team was coached by newly-crowned, Mid-Range F-TR Nat’l Champ Bryan Litz. Shooters include Doug Boyer, Jim Grissom, Bill Litz (Bryan’s father), and gunsmith John Pierce. Grissom shot a great match, finishing with 385-12X, but it was not enough to carry the Michiganders to victory. The squad finished with 1524-29X, six points behind the winning X-Men (1530-33X). Team Sinclair placed third with 1512-35X.

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    October 27th, 2015

    Litz Wins F-TR Mid-Range National Championship

    F-TR Mid Range National Championship Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics

    This past weekend, Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics LLC, topped a field of great shooters to win the 2015 NRA F-TR Mid-Range National Championship. Bryan shot very well, mastering conditions that were tricky and sometimes bewildering, particularly at the shortest range, 300 yards. Consider this, Lou Mudica had the top score on Day Two (all 600 yards), yet he was way down at 41st position on Day One (300/500/600 yards). Finishing Second Overall was Scott Harris. Bryan’s Michigan team-mate Jim Grissom was third, while Bryan’s father (and MI team-mate) Bill Litz was fourth.

    F-TR Top Ten at Mid-Range National Championship
    F-TR Mid Range National Championship Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics

    Bryan was using a low-profile, carbon/composite-stocked rifle built by John Pierce. Bryan told us: “This was the same rifle and almost the same load with which I won the Midwest Palma match in the summer of 2014. (Story HERE.) My gear consisted of Pierce rifle, Bartlein barrel, Nightforce scope, Berger bullets, Lapua brass, Hodgdon powder (All those companies are sponsors of the USA F-TR team as well as the Michigan F-TR team.) My load for the Mid-Range Nationals was 43.0 grains of Varget with the Berger 215gr Hybrid bullet seated 0.005″ off the rifling.”

    Click Image for Full-Size Version:
    F-TR Mid Range National Championship Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics

    A lot of wind shooting strategy isn’t just about knowing exactly where to hold at any given point in time. A big part of it is recognizing periods of predictable readable conditions versus UNpredictable unreadable conditions and avoiding shooting in them. — Bryan Litz

    At the Mid-Range Nationals, wind conditions at the shorter yardages caught many competitors by surprise. As a result, many shooters, including 2014 F-TR National Champion James Crofts, shot better at 600 yards than at 300. That seems surprising… but there is a reason. Bryan Litz explains that conditions at shorter distances are sometimes more difficult to read than at 1000 yards.

    Bryan Litz Talks about Mid-Range Wind-Reading Strategies
    Mid-Range is marked by more uncertainty than long range shooting. At long range you can see more flags, more mirage, and conditions tend to be more readable although they have a greater effect. At mid range, the closer you are to the target the less readable the conditions tend to be. Often times at 300 yards there is no mirage and very sparse flags to get a read on. You can still get blown out at 300 yards! 500 yards can be a little better and at 600 sometimes you can get a pretty good read on it, but the majority of strategy for shooting Mid-Range is managing the uncertainty. What is your plan for shooting blind?

    Suppose you’re shooting along pretty well centered up in the 10 Ring. Suddenly you shoot a 9 out the side and can’t see an indicator that explains why. Stop! Clearly something is going on which is not readable. It’s likely to be around for a period of time. Its best just to wait for that uncertainty to blow through and start shooting again when things settle out again. How do you know when things have settled out? When everybody else is pretty much back into the 10 Ring for a little while, then you know that a stable condition has settled back in. Take your best guess and get back into it.

    A lot of wind shooting strategy isn’t just about knowing exactly where to hold at any given point in time. A big part of it is recognizing periods of predictable readable conditions versus UNpredictable unreadable conditions and avoiding shooting in them. Good equipment is a must, and ballistic performance matters, but when it comes to winning a match versus placing in the top 10, it all comes down to who employs the winning strategy for the various different conditions. It can be more like a chess game then shooting. Competitive judgment is key.

    Bryan Litz didn’t do too badly in the Mid-Range Team Match either, shooting a 200-10X. Bryan’s team-mate John Pierce shot a brilliant 200-15X. Looks like those low-profile Pierce-built rigs really hammer:

    F-TR Mid Range National Championship Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics

    John Pierce (left) and Bryan Litz, who is holding his Pierce-built F-TR rifle.
    F-TR Mid Range National Championship Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics

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    October 25th, 2015

    F-Class Nationals Kick Off at Ben Avery in Phoenix

    2015 F-Class Nationals Ben Avery Phoenix Arizona James Crofts

    The 2015 United States F-Class National Championships are underway now at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix. There’s a “hybrid” format this year. For 2015, the Nationals combine both Mid-Range and Long-Range competitions in one week-long mega-match. The Mid Range F-Class Nationals take place 24-27 October 2015, with shooting at 300, 500, and 600 yards. The Long Range National Championships then run October 28 through 31, with all targets at 1000 yards. The competition consists of two different divisions: F-Open and F-TR (Target Rifle).

    The wind arrived early on Saturday…
    2015 F-Class Nationals Ben Avery Phoenix Arizona James Crofts

    It started off somewhat windy on Saturday, October 24 for the 300-yard and 500-yard matches. Bryan Litz mastered the conditions to end up leading the F-TR division. (Guess that knowing a thing or two about ballistics helps when the wind is blowing). James Crofts, 2014 F-TR National Champion, shoot well at 500 yards, but struggled at 300 yards (the X-Ring is just 1.5″ at 300 yards). He observed: “Not a bad day today — overall 13th. Bryan Litz has the overall F-TR lead. I’m down 20 for the day but there are lots of shots left to go.”

    2015 F-Class Nationals Ben Avery Phoenix Arizona James Crofts

    All the shooting today (Sunday, October 25th), will be at 600 yards. Jim posted from Phoenix: “It’s time to start Day Two of the F-Class Mid-Range Nationals. All 600 yards today and I’m ready. Looks like it could be a tricky day with gusty winds but it will be the same for everyone.”

    James Crofts at the 500-yard line. He had a tougher time at 300 yards.
    2015 F-Class Nationals Ben Avery Phoenix Arizona James Crofts

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    October 13th, 2015

    View from the Pits at CMP Western Games

    Ben Avery CMP Western Games Video SAFS Dennis Santiago target frames

    Our friend Dennis Santiago was doing pits duty during the Small Arms Firing School (SAFS) phase of the CMP Western Games. Here are some views from the pits at the Ben Avery Range in Phoenix, Arizona. Dennis also took a video from the pits during live fire. Listen to rounds zip over-head and impact into the berm beyond the targets, in the video below.

    Watch Video with rounds flying over the pit zone:

    Dennis reports: “Here’s a slice of life at the receiving end of live fire. This is a rapid fire stage as seen from the target pits at the 2015 CMP Western Games. The targets are placed up in the air. The bullets go through them over the heads of competitors protected behind an earth berm. The bullets land in a designated impact area (berm) beyond the target frames.”

    Ben Avery CMP Western Games Video SAFS Dennis Santiago target frames

    At the CMP Western Games, participants shoot, score and do pit service. The pit workers are positioned on a catwalk behind a concrete wall. There is a thick, earth-works berm on the other side.

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    September 29th, 2015

    2015 F-Class Nationals At Ben Avery Coming Soon

    F-Class Nationals Phoeniz Berger Arizona
    Here’s 2014 F-TR National Champion James Crofts, with his PR&T-built rig.

    Are you ready? The 2015 F-Class Nationals event is just three weeks away. The combined mid-range and long-range F-Class National Championships will be held October 23 – 31, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona.

    CLICK HERE for 2015 F-Class National Championships Program and Entry Form.

    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.

    F-Class Nationals 2015 Ben Avery Phoenix Arizona AZ

    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.”

    Fall foliage F-TR F/TR Nationals Paul Phillips .308 Win F-Class Phoenix 2014

    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:
    Middleton Tompkins
    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.

    2015 F-Class Nationals Ben Avery Phoenix Nightforce

    2014 F-Class Nationals Photos copyright Nightforce Optics, used with permission.

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    September 7th, 2015

    Western CMP Games and Creedmoor Cup Matches Coming Soon

    CMP Western Games Games Creedmoor Cup Ben Avery

    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.

    CMP Games Creedmoor Cup Ben Avery

    Western CMP Games Entry Form | Western CMP Games Online Registration
    Western CMP Games & Creedmoor Cup Program | Directions to Ben Avery Range

    Western CMP Games Matches

  • Garand & Springfield Match Clinic
  • John C. Garand Match
  • Springfield Match
  • Vintage Military Rifle Match
  • Small Arms Firing School/M16 Match
  • Rimfire Sporter Match
  • Carbine Match
  • Vintage Sniper Match
  • Modern Military Rifle Match
  • Western Creedmoor Cup Events

  • High Power Rifle Clinic
  • Creedmoor Cup (2400 point aggregate)
  • 4-Man Team Match
  • Creedmoor EIC Match
  • 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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    April 1st, 2015

    F-Class News: NRA Introduces New F-TRipod Classification

    NRA F-Class F-TR Tripod

    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.
    NRA F-Class F-TR Tripod

    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.

    NRA F-Class F-TR Tripod

    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 F-TR Tripod

    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).

    Permalink Competition, News 30 Comments »
    February 15th, 2015

    Ben Avery Range Dedicated to Mid Tompkins Plus New Building

    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.
    Middleton Tompkins, Ben Avery Berger Nightforce range dedication

    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.

    ben avery range dedication middleton tompkins

    Mid jokes with the crowd, showing his quick-witted sense of humor.
    Middleton Mid Tompkins

    Panorama of Middleton Tompkins 1000-Yard Range at Ben Avery (CLICK to ZOOM)
    satmid06x1600


    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.

    satmid05

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    February 14th, 2015

    Friday the 13th at the Berger Southwest Nationals

    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.

    accurateshooter.com Berger Southwest Nationals Palma sling Phoenix Ben Avery F-class

    accurateshooter.com Berger Southwest Nationals Palma sling Phoenix Ben Avery F-class

    accurateshooter.com Berger Southwest Nationals Palma sling Phoenix Ben Avery F-class

    accurateshooter.com Berger Southwest Nationals Palma sling Phoenix Ben Avery F-class

    accurateshooter.com Berger Southwest Nationals Palma sling Phoenix Ben Avery F-class

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