May 31st, 2015

.300 WM Aussie Style — Most Popular 1000-Yard Benchrest Video

Here’s a true “Blast from the Past”, a video featuring our friend Stuart Elliott of Brisbane, Australia. This 2011 video has now racked up nearly 680,000 views, making it probably the most-watched long-range benchrest video ever uploaded to YouTube. The video shows Stuart shooting a 10-shot Heavy Gun string at the Brisbane range, Queensland, Australia, in July 2011. In this example, Stuart elected to “run a condition” with his big, .300 WM Heavy Gun, shooting fast with slight hold-off adjustments as the wind increased during the string. The cartridge is a .300 Winchester Magnum, loaded with moly-coated 190gr Berger VLDs. Stuart has an unusual bolt configuration. After each shot, Stuart removes the bolt completely with his right hand, and then uses the bolt to “shuck” the fired cartridge while loading the new cartridge with his left hand. That sounds awkward, but Stuart makes it all look easy. Stuart runs BRT Shooters Supply, a leading vendor of precision shooting equipment (including March scopes), in Australia and nearby regions.

Stuart Elliot BRT Shooters 1000 yards 1k benchrest march scope

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October 22nd, 2011

Great Britain Wins 2011 Palma Match at World Championships

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

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

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

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October 20th, 2011

Britain’s Richard Jeens Wins World Long Range Rifle Title

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

World Rifle Championship Australia

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

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

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

World Rifle Championship Australia

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

Latest Results From World Rifle Championships in Australia

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

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

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

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

Photos courtesy USA Young Eagles.
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October 15th, 2011

John Whidden Wins Queen’s Prize Match at World Championships

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

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

John Whidden World Rifle Championship.

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

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

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

Story by Lars Dalseide for The NRA Blog.

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October 8th, 2011

World Long Range Championship Gets Underway In Australia

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

USA National Palma Team in Australia

USA National Palma Team in Australia

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

United States 2011 Long Range Rifle National Team Members and Advisors

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

USA National Palma Team in Australia

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


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


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October 23rd, 2010

Report from OZ: Yanks Do Well in Australian Championships

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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