July 14th, 2013

IBS 600-Yard Competitors Set Multi-Target Records at Piedmont

Report by Samuel Hall (AccurateShooter.com Field Editor)
July 13th was a great day for breaking records. Three shooters have potentially broken four IBS 600-yard records (pending final approval) at the Piedmont Range in Rutherfordton, NC. Conditions were excellent and three shooters had outstanding multi-target performances. Mike Hanes, Chad Jenkins, and Randy Peele were tuned in and took advantage of the great weather. The entire day was overcast with a slight 3-5 MPH breeze, misting rain at times. It was one of the only days I can remember we could see bullet holes all day!

Chad Jenkins Shoots a 199 Four-target Score at 600 Yards
In Light Gun, Chad Jenkins posted a 199 Score Agg, just one point shy of a perfect 200 score for four targets. Consider this — at 600 yards, Chad put 19 out of 20 shots into a circle 2.8″ in diameter, dropping just one shot out of the 10-Ring on four consecutive targets. That’s impressive. We believe this is the highest 4-target Score Agg ever shot with any rifle. (In Light Gun, Stephen Hall posted a 198 in 2012, and in Heavy Gun class Eric Wilson had a 198 in 2011). Chad took advantage of the good conditions to post his 199 score (with 1.954″ group size tie breaker). Chad was shooting a standard (not improved) 6mmBR with no-turn necks. Chad’s Light Gun features a BAT MB dual-port action, Shehane ST-1000 stock, Krieger 1:8″ twist barrel, and Leupold 45X scope. Chad has several hundred rounds on this rifle and has one other record with it. Chad has done a lot of winning the last couple of years with his 6BR. He shoots Berger 105gr Target VLDs in blue box Lapua brass, pushed by 30.3 grains of Varget and CCI 450 primers. Chad shoots with a modestly-priced Caldwell joystick front rest. Chad proved that you don’t need the most exotic equipment to set records.

Chad Jenkins IBS Heavy Gun Piedmont

Mike Hanes Sets New Light Gun and Two-Gun Group Agg Records
Mike potentially broke the Light Gun (LG) four-target group aggregate record with a 1.496 Agg, bettering the old record of 1.5009 shot by Chad Jenkins in 2012. Mike also potentially broke the eight-target, Two-Gun (LG and HG) Group Agg record with a 1.7885 Aggregate. The old record was 1.8120 shot by Charlie Macke in 2012. In LG Mike was shooting a no-turn-neck 6 Dasher with a Brux 1:8″ twist barrel and Shehane ST-1000 stock. On his Light Gun, Mike was using one of the new Nightforce 15-55x52mm Competition scopes. I looked through it and I will have to say it is great glass! Mike’s load was: Berger 105 VLDs, with 32.7 grains of Reloder 15 powder sparked by CCI 450s. In Heavy Gun class, Mike shot a 6mm Dasher in a true heavy chassis — a 55-pound aluminum Gary Alvey stock formerly owned by Mike Davis. (See this beast below. This same stock had set a record in the hands of Mike Davis.)

Mike Hanes IBS Heavy Gun Piedmont

Randy Peele Ties Heavy Gun 4-Target Score Record
Later in the afternoon in the Heavy Gun division, Randy Peele was on fire. Randy posted a first in group (1.894″) and a first in 4-target score (198) against some fierce competition. This ties the HG score record and is just off the tie-breaker group by a few thousandths. It will be submitted to the IBS Record Committee also. Congratulations of some fine shooting guys!

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June 14th, 2012

Profiles in Accuracy: Jenkins Sets 600-Yard Agg Record with 6BR

Last month, shooting at the Piedmont Gun Club, Chad Jenkins put together a stunning 1.495″ Aggregate at 600 yards. Once certified, that will be a new IBS 4-target Light Gun record. Chad’s smallest group was a 1.033″. Chad’s 1.495″ Agg breaks the existing 1.6068″ record set by Sam Hall in 2011. Chad was shooting a no-turn-neck 6mmBR featuring a BAT action, Krieger barrel, and Shehane ST-1000 fiberglass stock. We had the chance to talk with Chad and learn more about his record-setting rifle, and the methods he uses to achieve superior accuracy. Chad was kind enough to tell us about his equipment and what he does to build very, very accurate ammo. For starters, Chad wanted to “say thanks to Lewis Winkler, James Coffey, Mike Davis, and Larry Isenhour” all of whom provided invaluable help and support over the years.

The Record-Setting Rig
Chad credits much of his success to an “fantastic Krieger barrel that shot great right out of the gate”. It’s a 1:8″ twist, HV contour, finished at 28″ — nothing unusual there. Mike Davis did the chambering, barrel-fitting, and barrel crowning. One reason the gun shoots so well is that Chad’s friend James Coffey did the stock work and bedding, and also added weight to the Shehane ST-1000. Chad says “James really knows what he’s doing”. For optics, Chad uses a Leupold 45X competition scope, with fine cross-hair (FCH). Chad says he can “aim at the ‘X’ at 600 yards more precisely with the cross-hairs than with a target dot.”

Chad Jenkins Aggregate IBS Record

$200 Front Rest Good Enough to Set Record
You may be surprised that Chad set his record with an inexpensive Caldwell Fire Control Joystick rest, that sells for about $203.00 on Amazon.com. The Caldwell isn’t fancy, but it did the job. Chad says: “I have a family and a young boy. I don’t have the money to pour into equipment like some other people. I will continue to use my Caldwell, but I have recently modified the base. The record though was set with an unmodified unit, just as it appears in the photo.”

Chad Shoots a “Classic” 6BR Load, But He Jumps his Berger VLDs
Chad gets great accuracy with a pretty “standard” 6mmBR match load: 30.5 grains Varget, CCI 450 primers, Berger 105gr VLDs, in Lapua “Blue Box” brass. (Editor’s Note: That load can be too hot in some guns in summer conditions). Chad loads his ammo with a Redding bushing full-length sizing die with an 0.266″ bushing. Chad says: “That’s a good size for the ‘Blue Box’ Lapua brass (I tried a 0.268″ and I could pull the bullets out with my fingers). I seat my bullets about 0.020″ OFF the lands with a Redding Comp seater die.” The brass that shot the record Agg had about 10-11 firings on it, and Chad has NOT annealed the cases yet. While Chad is a very exacting reloader, he believes in the KISS principle — he doesn’t ream flash holes or uniform primer pockets. While he weighs every load with an RCBS Chargemaster, he normally does not double-check charges with a second balance. Chad tells us: “I just get the Chargemaster to where where it is going consistently and run with it.”

Chad Jenkins Aggregate IBS Record

Knowing that gun-handling and barrel maintenance are key elements of accuracy, we asked Chad about his shooting style, rest set-up, and his cleaning regimen:

Shooting style: “I try not to touch the gun, except with my thumb on the back of the triggerguard, and my index finger on the trigger. I use just a slight amount of pressure as the finger pulls the trigger. I don’t have any pressure on my shoulder. The buttplate is just barely touching my shirt.”

Rest position: “I usually let the gun run out to the stop. But there’s not much overhang. It hangs over an inch and a half. That’s where I always shot it. In the rear the ears are pretty much centered on the underside of the buttstock.”

Cleaning: “I use Montana X-Treme with patches and bronze brushes, and I clean every 35-45 rounds. I don’t brush a lot — I kind of go on feel, anywhere from 4-10 strokes. The gun shoots so incredibly well, I want to baby it, so I try not to over-clean.”

View Chad Jenkins’ Four (4) Targets

Common Sense Tips for New Shooters
Chad offered some advice for shooters starting out in the 600-Yard Benchrest game:

Reloading — I don’t claim to be an expert. But I will say that consistency is all-important. I learned this first from my friend Lewis Winkler (who passed away), and then James Coffey. Lewis always told me that the main thing is that you must be consistent in everything — when you’re sizing, when you’re weighing, when you’re seating bullets. You can’t be deviating and expect your loads to shoot.

Mental Game — I don’t go to a match to beat anybody, or to compete against anyone in particular. I shoot the best I can shoot and let the chips fall where they may. Even in practice, I basically compete against myself and I try to do the same thing in a match.

Focus (when to have it and when to relax) — I do try to stay focused when I’m shooting. But I also try to get away from the pressure between relays. A lot of the guys spend 15-20 minutes looking at everybody’s targets. I just look at my own targets and go back and sit down and relax. I don’t try to overthink things. When I was a teenager I was a successful competitive golfer. And in those days, I didn’t think about it … I just stepped up to the ball and hit it. I think, with some competitive activities, “thinking too much” can probably mess you up more than it helps.

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May 13th, 2012

Chad Jenkins Sets IBS 600-Yard LG Record with 1.495″ Aggregate

Piedmont Gun Club RutherfordtonThe regular, monthly 600-yard benchrest match at the Piedmont Gun Club in Rutherfordton, NC rivals a National event in terms of the quality of the shooters and the rifles. And just yesterday, a pending new IBS 600-yard, four-target Light Gun Group Aggregate Record was shot. Chad Jenkins put together a stunning 1.495″ Aggregate shooting a Light Gun with Shehane Tracker stock and Krieger barrel. Chad’s smallest group was a 1.033″. The caliber was a ‘Plain Jane’ 6mmBR. Chad’s 1.495″ Agg breaks the existing 1.6068″ record set by Sam Hall in 2011.

Sam Hall reports: “Congratulations goes out to Chad Jenkins today at Piedmont Gun Range, Rutherfordton, NC. Chad shot a 1.495″ four-target aggregate in LG this morning! The old record (1.6068″) was shot by yours truly last July. That is some kind of great shooting! Chad has been shooting great and kicking our tails for two years now. You will probabbly be hearing more from him. What I know is: he was shooting 105gr Berger VLDs (with Varget and CCI Primers) in a standard 6BR, with BAT action, ST-1000 stock, and 1:8″-twist Krieger barrel. I think it is safe to say it is a ‘hummer’!”

Piedmont Gun Club Rutherfordton

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