May 19th, 2017

Great Promo — Get 25% Off Champion Products

Midsouth Champion Targets 25% Rebate

Here’s a great money-saving Rebate Offer from Champion Targets. Now through May 31, 2017 you can get 25% Off a wide selection of Champion products including paper targets, reactive targets, hearing protection, sand bags, bipods and more. Getting a full 25% Off (with no price limit) is a very good deal, and much better than typical $10 or $20 rebates. GET Champion Rebate FORM. (Right Click and “SAVE AS” to download).

Here are just a few of the many qualifying Champion products, as sold by Midsouth Shooters Supply. With the Champion Mail-In Rebate, your net cost is just 75% of the listed price(s).

Midsouth Champion Targets 25% Rebate

Permalink Hot Deals, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
February 23rd, 2014

“People Win Matches, Not the Calibers” — Larry Bartholome

Larry Bartholome F-Open Champion SWN

Larry Bartholome (aka “LBart” on our Forum) is the current F-Open USA National Champion. He also won the F-Open division at the recent Berger Southwest Nationals. A “Senior Citizen” now, Larry is still at the top of the F-Class game. If you were to pick the top ten F-Open shooters on the planet, Larry would be on the short list, that’s for sure.

In a recent AccurateShooter Forum thread, there was a discussion of caliber/cartridge choice for F-Open shooting — specifically whether 6mm cartridges can be competitive at long-range (as opposed to mid-range).

Larry, who currently shoots a 7mm-270 WSM, offered some wise words. Here’s some sage advice from Larry, a champion who has triumphed at the highest level, against the toughest competition. F-Class competitors will benefit from reading what Larry has to say, and taking it to heart:

Cartridge Choice for F-Class — What Really Matters
Matches are won with what people decide to shoot. The people win matches, not the calibers. A person makes his decision on what he is going to shoot with and [that person] wins or loses based on the decision.

The smaller cases and bore sizes have advantages in less recoil and more inherent accuracy. They are easier to shoot well. Because they shoot smaller groups on average they make the 10 ring seem bigger. With light winds that helps.

When the wind gets to changing and picking up this advantage is negated by the wind drift advantages of the larger calibers. Once the switches and velocity changes get beyond the mind’s ability to stay up with them, the small caliber advantage is minuscule.

My own thought is I need all the help I can get. I know I can’t read the wind. I play the percentages. [My 7mm offers] good grouping, good wind drift, lower recoil than the 30s. My 7mm/270 WSM was shooting very well in Phoenix, just as the other Bartlein barrels shot well in Raton. The points lost were mine, not the rifle’s or the caliber.

When the wind flags and mirage are telling you to hold left and your bullets are going left, no caliber in the world will help you. You are the one steering those bullets.

Larry Bartholome
Team Berger/Norma

Larry Bartholome F-Open Champion SWN

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
October 7th, 2013

How to Win at 1000 Yards — IBS National Champ Tells All

Henry Pasquet IBS 1000 yard Nationals champion two gun overall .284 shehaneYes old dogs can learn new tricks. Just five years ago Forum member Henry Pasquet (aka “HenryP”) got started in 1000-yard benchrest shooting. He was 66 at the time. Henry worked hard, learned fast, and pursued accuracy with a vengence. That all paid off when Henry won the 2013 IBS 1000-yard Nationals this summer, finishing as the Two-Gun Overall National Champion. Henry was kind enough to talk about his rifle, his reloading methods, and his strategy for success. In fact, Henry was eager to share “everything he knows, so that other guys can fast-track their learning process”. Henry told us: “I want to share every lesson I’ve learned, so that other guys can improve their game and enjoy the sport more.” Henry also wants to encourage other senior shooters: “If you pay attention to details (when reloading), and get a good rifle with a good barrel, age is not a handicap. With a good set-up, older guys can compete with anyone out there. This is one sport where you can be a champion in later life.”

Click on Rifle Photos to View Full-screen Versions

Protektor bag benchrest rifle Light gun IBS 1000 yard Nationals champion two gun overall .284 shehane

Q&A with Henry Pasquet, IBS 1000-Yard National Champion

Q: First, do you have any advice for older shooters getting started in their golden years?

Henry: You’re never too old. In this sport, you can excel even in your 60s, 70s and beyond. At this stage in life, we now have the time and money to get good equipment and rifles. Plus, our years of work experience help us to think, analyze, and thereby make progress. In this game, we older guys can definitely compete on a par with younger shooters.

HARDWARE

Q: Tell us about your Nationals-winning rifle and bench gear. Is there anything unique about your hardware that gave you an edge?

Henry: At the Nationals, I used my 17-lb Light Gun for both Light and Heavy Class. This rifle has a 1.55″, round BAT LP/RE action, fitted with a Bartlein barrel chambered for the .284 Shehane (an improved version of the .284 Winchester). The barrel was near-new; this was the first time I had used it this year. A great barrel and great batch of Berger 180gr VLDs all made a difference. Jay Cutright chambers my barrels. Jay’s metal-work is so precise that I can screw any barrel he’s chambered to any BAT action I own. The laminated stock was modified by Tommy Shurley from a standard 3″-wide fore-end to a 5″-wide True-Trac with an adjustable 3″-wide rear plate. It’s not pretty but it tracks like a Heavy Gun stock. Tommy made my other stocks as well.

Protektor bag benchrest rifle Light gun IBS 1000 yard Nationals champion two gun overall .284 shehane

Protektor sand bag 3M material IBS 1000 yard Nationals champion two gun overall .284 shehaneOn top is a Nightforce 12-42x52mm Benchrest scope with CH-3 reticle. I used a Fulghum (Randolph Machine) front rest with an Edgewood bag made with the low-friction 3M material. In the rear I use a special-order Protekor rear “Doctor” bag with ears spaced 3 inches apart. The rear bag also has the new 3M material on contact surfaces (photo at right).

Q: During the Nationals, at the last minute you switched guns. Why did you go from a 6mm Dasher to a 7mm Shehane?

Henry: I had planned to use my Light and Heavy Dashers, but after placing the Dasher on the ready line, decided to switch to the .284 Shehane. It was still early in the morning and I felt that the heavier bullets would be easier to see against the berm. The Dasher had actually been giving tighter groups under perfect conditions, but seeing the impact is important.

Q: Tell us about the combined tuner/muzzle brake on some of your barrels. How does this improve rifle performance and how do you set the “tune”? Do you tune the barrel to the load?

Henry: I use a tuner or tuner/brake on every barrel. I started with Time Precision tuners. Art Cocchia advised getting a load with a good known accuracy node with minimum extreme spread, which controls vertical. Do not go for the hottest loads, which just reduces brass life. Then use the tuner and tune the barrel to the load. The .284 Light Gun needed a muzzle brake and tuner. I had a local gunsmith cut a thread on the muzzle brake for a tuner I got from Sid Goodling. (Eric Bostrom developed an almost identical unit at the same time. I use Eric’s tuner/brakes on all my new barrels.) Just before Nationals, I tried going up and down one marker. Down one mark cut the group in half! Think how much range time (and barrel life) that saved me. Using a tuner is easier than messing around changing loads and tweaking seating depths. Tuners definitely can work. Last year I shot a 3.348″ 10-shot group at 1000 with my .284 Win Heavy Gun fitted with a Time Precision Tuner.

IBS 1000 yard Nationals champion two gun overall muzzle brake tuner .284 shehane

Q: What are the advantages of your stock’s 5″-wide fore-end and 3″-wide rear plate? Is there a big difference in tracking and/or stability? Does the extra width make the rifle easier to shoot?

Henry: I had true Heavy Guns with 5-inch fronts and 3-inch rears. They tracked well. I felt the same result could be had with a Light Gun. I talked two stock makers into making them. I initially had the standard rear stock until Tommy Shurley and Mike Hearn came out with an adjustable rear plate. The stocks track perfectly. You can see your scope’s crosshairs stay on the target the whole time and push the rifle back for the next shot. There is no torquing (gun wobbling) when cycling the bolt. Us old guys need all the help we can get. I am getting rid of my 45-pound Heavy Guns and replacing them with Light Guns with heavy barrels.

Protektor bag benchrest rifle Light gun IBS 1000 yard Nationals champion two gun overall .284 shehane

Q: Some people say the .284 Shehane is not as accurate as the straight .284 Winchester. You’ve proved them wrong. Why do you like the .284 Shehane? More speed, less pressure?

Henry: The reason I rechambered my 7mm barrels to .284 Shehane was not velocity, pressure, or brass life. It was all about bolt lift. My straight .284 almost required me to stand up to eject brass. I damaged an extractor and had to send the bolt back to BAT. With the .284 Shehane, my bolt cycles like there is no case to eject.

Reloading Methods

Q: People want to know about your load and your loading methods. What can you reveal?

Henry: For my .284 Shehane at the Nationals, I loaded 52.5 grains of Hodgdon H4350 and Federal BR-2 primers behind Berger 180gr VLDs. I usually anneal the brass each winter. I have used the same brass for years. I use Redding bushing dies, apply Imperial sizing wax, resize, wipe off wax, clean and uniform the primers pockets using the RCBS Trim Mate Case prep center, then apply Imperial dry neck lube with a bore mop.

K & M arbor seating force dial gaugeTo dispense powder, I use a RCBS ChargeMaster set 0.1 grain below my desired load and then weigh them on a Sartorius GD-503 magnetic force restoration scale to get identical charges. I use a K&M Arbor Press with seating force gauge when seating the bullets with a Wilson inline die. My “target” seating force on the K&M dial is 20-23 units for Dashers and 35-40 units for the .284 Shehane. I put any variables aside for sighters. I do not weigh brass, bullets, or primers. My bullets were so consistent that I did not sort by bearing surface. I did trim the Berger VLDs to the shortest bullet length with a Hoover Trimmer, and then pointed the meplats just enough to close them with a Whidden pointer. I sort my bullets to 0.005″ overall length, rejecting about five percent.

Q: What kind of precision are you looking for in your reloads? Do you trickle to the kernel? Does this really help reduce extreme spread?

Henry: I try to keep my charge weights consistent to one kernel of powder. I use the Omega powder trickler with a Sartorius GD-503 lab-grade balance to achieve that. For accurate dispensing, put very little powder into the Omega so you can drop one kernel at a time. Single digit ES (Extreme Spread) is the goal. This does make a difference at 1000 yards. If you get the same push on the same bullet with the same neck tension, good things are going to happen.

Q: You believe consistent neck tension (i.e. grip on the bullet) is really important. What methods are you using to ensure consistent bullet release?

Henry: I apply Imperial dry neck lube to the inside of my case-necks with a bore mop. The K&M arbor with seating force gauge shows the need to do this. If you put a bullet into a clean case, it will be jerky when seating the bullet. You may see 40 units (on the K&M dial) dropping to 20, then slowly increasing pressure. I explained to a friend that not lubing the neck is like overhauling an engine without lubing the cylinders. Smooth entry gives the bullets a smooth release.

Barrel Cleaning

Henry Pasquet IBS 1000 yard Nationals champion Carb out Carb-out WipeOut .284 shehaneQ: You go 60-80 rounds between cleaning and the results speak for themselves. What is your barrel cleaning procedure? Do you think some guys clean too often or too aggressively?

Henry: I cringe when I see people wearing out their barrels with bronze brushes between relays. I clean my barrels at the end of each day when I get home. I shot my best-ever 1K Heavy Gun group (3.348″) at day’s end after 60 to 80 rounds. After trying other solvents, I have gone back to Wipe-out’s Carb-Out and Patch-Out products. I use about four patches of Carb-Out, let it sit a few minutes, then use one stroke of a nylon brush followed by Patch-Out until the barrel is clean. I use a bore mop to clean inside the chamber, then some Break Free LP on the bolt followed by bolt grease on the lugs and cocking part. I use a bore guide when anything goes down the barrel.

Shooting Skills and the Learning Process

Q: Henry, you can shoot long-distance on your own property in Missouri. How important is practice, and what do you do during a typical practice session?

Henry: I can shoot 1000 yards on my farm. I have a concrete bench using a slab from a yard furniture place on concrete blocks. Two 4 x 8 sheets of plywood hold four IBS targets. I never practice. I only test, keeping a notebook with all the info. I do most of my testing at 300 to 500 yards, shooting off my deck so I can see my shots immediately.

Protektor bag benchrest rifle Light gun IBS 1000 yard Nationals champion two gun overall .284 shehane

Q: How much of your success do you credit to really accurate rifles, versus superior shooting skills?

Henry: I do not consider myself another Carlos Hathcock or some master marksman. I am an average 1000-yard shooter, but I do work hard getting the most out of my rifles. Four other people have shot their first 1000-yard matches with my rifles, including my wife, and all of them won relays! I loaned my Dasher to another shooter two years ago and he got second at the 600-yard Nationals. Others will tell you that the rifle must be “on” to win. If your barrel or bullets are average, don’t expect to perform above average in competition.

Q: What you do enjoy most about long-range benchrest shooting? What are the attractions of this sport?

Henry: The sport offers good people and a real challenge. 1000-yard shooting keeps us all humble, but we still keep trying to see how good we can do. I am thankful for Robert Ross providing the only match location that I can shoot regularly.

Q: Henry, you have been a Forum member for many years. Have you learned important techniques from other Forum members and other shooters?

Henry: I have followed the AccurateShooter Forum since 2008. At my age I am not good at computers. I copied and analyzed many articles, especially on the .284 and the Dashers. Without AccurateShooter.com, I would probably still be shooting double-digit (10″+) groups at 1000 yards, and I sure wouldn’t have my name on a National Championship trophy.

Q: You are in your 70s now and have only been shooting competitively for a few years. How did you get so good so fast? How did you manage to beat shooters who are decades younger?

Henry: I had 20/10 vision when I was young, but am down to only 20/20. I have been interested in long range shooting for a long time including ground hog hunting. I went to some VHA jamborees also. In 2008, I went to the Williamsport Benchrest School with a friend from Pennsylvania, John Haas. We would compare notes frequently. I bought a BAT three lug from Tom Mousel in Montana. We also compared notes and made each other better. At IBS matches I studied other shooters’ equipment and techniques. I tried some, accepting some and rejecting some.

Here’s my advice:
Always be ready to learn something new. If it makes sense, try it. I would also encourage other older shooters not to quit. Stick to it. You can make enormous progress in a few seasons.

Henry Pasquet IBS 1000 yard Nationals champion two gun overall .284 shehane

Permalink Competition, Reloading 1 Comment »
September 23rd, 2013

Self-Healing Reactive Targets from Champion

champion dura seal duraseal reactive self-healing targetsDo you enjoy plinking with rimfire rifles and shooting reactive targets with handguns? Champion has developed a series of fun targets that tilt, spin, hop, or roll when hit. Made from a “self-healing” rubber-like polymer, Champion’s DuraSeal Targets can be hit dozens of times before they need to be replaced. (If you shoot only rimfire, they might last 200 rounds or more.) Along with the varmint spinners, we like Champion’s weighted wobble targets. These are offered in both a bowling pin shape and a sphere on a post (photo right). When you hit these targets they rock back and forth and side to side. Weights in the round bottom then bring the target back to an upright position.

Champion also offers “bouncing balls” and a 3D Star targets that hop and roll when shot. These make good long-range tactical rifle targets. The lifespan is not that great with large heavy bullets, but one of the ball or star targets should survive many dozens of hits with a .223 Rem or 6mmBR.

champion dura seal duraseal reactive self-healing targets

champion dura seal duraseal reactive self-healing targets

Permalink Gear Review, New Product No Comments »
February 11th, 2012

Valentine’s Day Gifts for the Lady Shooter in Your Life

Valentines DayValentine’s Day is just three days away, so you better start planning how you’ll show some appreciation for the lady in your life. Of course there are the old reliables: flowers, chocolates, and dinner at a fancy restaurant. But if you want to do something really different this year, how about giving your special lady some “pretty in pink” shooting gear. (Don’t forget the flowers though… if you value your life.)

Natchez Shooters Supplies offers a variety of pink products for ladies. How about a set of pink electronic ear muffs from Champion Shooters? A portion of the proceeds from sales of these muffs goes to fighting breast cancer. These muffs only have a 21 NRR (not so great), but they do collapse for easy storage. The Champion Ladies Target Muffs, item CM40975, sell for just $34.95.

Pink Ear Muffs Champion

Natchez also offers pink cases for both pistols and rifles. The Bulldog-brand 52″ Pink Rifle/Shotgun Case will hold most rifles or shotguns without optics. This would be a great gift for a young girl who shoots trap or who uses an iron-sighted rimfire rifle (such as a CMP H&R M12). The case features a water-resistant outer shell with a soft, scratch-resistant, tricot inner lining. The pink long-gun case costs just $14.75 at Natchez, item JZBD254.

Pink bulldog Rifle Case

For the Pistol-Packin’ Mama in the family, the Outdoor Connection makes a hot pink, range case. This tough, leather-bottomed bag features padded central compartments for pistols, with accessory pockets on all four exterior sides. There is plenty of room to stow ammo boxes, muffs, trigger locks, and other shooting gear. The great thing about this bag is that it can do double-duty as a general travel case when it’s not being used to haul pistols to the range. Made from heavy 600-denier nylon, the pink Range Bag is On Sale for $21.95 at Natchez.

Pink bulldog Rifle Case

Last but not least, MizMac.com offers a Pink, Limited Edition 4-Gun Range Cart, that’s perfect for a gal who shots service rifle, High Power, or multi-gun matches. The cart features a steel frame, run-flat tires on chrome spoke rims, and it even has dual rear parking brakes. The Cart can hold four, full-size long guns in a vertical position. It’s also a great cart for shotgunners, as it has a lower storage compartment that will hold 18 boxes of 12ga shells. Just as important as its ammo carrying capacity, the Rugged Gear Cart has a built-in Six-pack Cooler, for those vital liquid refreshments. As sold by MizMac.com, the Rugged Gear Pink Range Cart retails for $389.99.

Pink Pistol Case

Permalink New Product, News 4 Comments »
August 3rd, 2011

Win Gear in Champion’s Third-Annual Range Contest

Here’s an opportunity for your wordsmiths out there. Write a 200-word essay and you can win a ton of range gear in Champion’s Third Annual Range Contest. This contest gives shooters a chance to win a fully-outfitted personal shooting range system worth more than $1,700 — all with a 200-word online essay submission. Two additional prize packages are also up for grabs.

Champion Range Contest

Contest Details
Shooters can enter the Champion Range Contest at www.ChampionBackyard.com. For a chance to win, submit a 200-word essay explaining why you deserve the grand prize shooting range system. CLICK HERE for Official Contest Rules.

Three lucky shooters will each be awarded a personal shooting range system. The grand prize is a fully-loaded shooting range system worth more than $1,700. Two additional prize packages also include valuable Champion gear. All of the shooting range systems will include trap throwers, VisiColor targets, eye and ear protection, shooting accessories and more.

Permalink Hot Deals, News No Comments »
March 27th, 2011

Champion Offers New Reactive and Printed Targets

For 2011, Champion® Traps and Targets offers new 3D and printed targets. For fans of reactive targets, Champion now sells bright “Radiation Green” versions of its single and triple varmint spinner targets. These auto-resetting targets wobble or spin on impact to indicate positive hits. The targets are made from a self-healing DuraSeal polymer than can take hundreds of hits. (The smaller the bullet, the longer the target life.) The new day-glo green color really is eye-catching, even at long range. That’s because flourescent or “dayglo” colors not only absorb and convert light energy of the dominant wavelength, but also the wavelengths of ultraviolet rays and other colors lower in the visible spectrum. As a result, your eye perceives a far more intense color. More INFO.

In addition to reactive targets, Champion offers a wide selection of printed targets, including 100 and 200-yard benchrest targets. New for 2011 are “X-Ray” animal targets and Insect Targets. The X-Ray targets display the bone structure and heart/lung position of game animals. These will surely be popular with hunters, as will a new line of “Critter” targets with 5 different realistic animals in a 10-pack. Precision shooters looking for a change from standard bullseye-targets should have fun with the new Bug and Fly Precision Targets. We like shooting the Fly Paper target at 50 yards with our rimfire rifles.
CLICK HERE to view the new X-Ray Animal Targets, Critter Targets, and Precision Insect targets.


X-Ray Hunting Target
Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product No Comments »
March 9th, 2010

New Champion Eyewear Offers Enhanced Impact Protection

Champion Target has introduced a new series of shooting eyewear with impact resistance rated four times greater than “industry standard” ANSI Z87.1 specifications. These glasses are offered in both clear and gray-tinted lenses, either full-frame or open frame. The new clear ballistic shooting glasses (item 40615, MSRP: $17.49) have an open frame with a wrap-around design offering enhanced temple protection. The clear lenses are good for iron sights shooting, offering high light transmission even while providing 99% UV protection.

Champion Ballistics Glasses

Full Frame Glasses meet MIL-PRF-31013 Standards
The full-frame ballistic shooting glasses (item 40613, MSRP: $20.49) feature gray smoked lenses for reduced glare and enhanced image sharpness, and 99% UV protection. With impact protection that meets the tough military standard MIL-PRF-31013, these glasses are available in either red or black frames. NOTE: The new Champions are not the only shooting glasses that pass the MIL-PRF-31013 test. Many of the Wiley X products do so also (see video below).

You only have one set of eyes, and they are NOT replaceable. You should ALWAYS wear eye protection when shooting and it makes sense to use the best eyewear available. For more information on Shooting Eyewear, read our article on Eye Protection for Shooters.

MIL-PRF-31013 Certification vs. ANSI Z87.1
Safety glasses for US military applications must be certified with a ballistic Vo rating which exceeds ANSI Z87.1 requirements by a factor of four. ANSI Z87.1 testing checks for penetration with a .25 caliber projectile at 150 fps. The military MIL-PRF-31013 Vo protocol checks for penetration by a .15-caliber projectile moving at roughly 650 fps. See Video below, showing test of Wiley X eyewear.

MIL-PRF-31013 Test — .15 Cal Projectile at ~650 fps — Wiley X PT-1 Glasses

YouTube Preview Image
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