April 17th, 2017

MEGA Gong — All-Steel 72″x72″ Triple-Element “Gongzilla”

1000 yard steel bullseye target

Rick Mulhern GongzillaForum member Rick from Louisiana (aka RMulhern) has rigged up a fantastic target for long-range shooting. Rick, a long-time competitive Palma shooter, had a large 72″x72″ steel target fabricated with two separate center rings that are equivalent to the official paper Palma/Creedmoor target. He says he’s “shot a lot of Palma on that target, as well as lots of Black Powder Cartridge (BPCR) rounds”. The big steel target works great when Rick shoots his Sharps 45/110 BPCR at 800 to 1000 yards. The large steel background (painted white) helps Rick see and hear his hits. If you understand the high-arching trajectory of 500+ grain projectiles shot from a 45/110, you know it can take a few rounds to get Point of Impact dialed in.

Rick reports: “These are two of my favorite rifles to shoot: a M1874 Shiloh Sharps in caliber 45/110 (2 7/8) made in Big Timber, Montana by Kirk Bryan and family. The other is a 6.5×47 Lapua on a blue-printed M700 action with 1:8.5″-twist Krieger barrel and F5 McMillan Tactical stock. Many of the shooters that take up BPCR have a tendency to get away from their smokeless powder rifles in favor of the blackpowder game. Frankly I have the best of both worlds as I enjoy shooting both (smokeless and BPCR), although I must admit that I probably spend the majority of my time on the range with the Sharps rifles these days.” (Rick’s pretty good with his Sharps by the way — he recently shot a 95, 96, and 100 (clean) for 3×10 shots at 800 yards.)

Gongzilla: $1000 Worth of Steel with Three Plate Layers
Rick tells us: “Here’s the deal — everything is steel! The large plate is 72″x72″ and the black bull is 44″ diameter. The 20″-diameter central white bull is made from 1/2″-thick AR400 bull-dozer plating. That’s the same size as the regulation Palma/Creedmoor paper target. The white square and black bull are 3/8″-thick mild steel. Plates are off-set 2″ from each other. I welded a 2″ length of square tubing to the back of both plates and the bolt slides through and is attached to the large plate. I used 2 3/8″ upset tubing (oil field pipe) for the holder framing.” Rick says he invested about $1000.00 in metal for the target, but that was 15 years ago. Today the steel would be much more expensive.

1000 yard steel bullseye target

Rick says the AR400 armor plate in the center bull is very strong: “You can shoot a .338 Lapua Magnum at 200 yards and it won’t damage the center bull”. The mild steel works well for the cast bullets Rick uses with his Sharps 45/110. Also, Rick says the mild steel is rugged enough for 6.5mm and .308 hollowpoint match bullets, if you’re at least 500 yards away. However, Rick told us, “If I would make [the target] again, I would make the black bull AR400 as well. [That way] you would never have to worry about big dents or beating the plate up at any distance. The AR400 is very tough steel. You can shoot a Sierra or Lapua HP bullet and they will just splatter.”

Rick told us: “I built this target with off-set clanger plates. The white clanger is AR400. Bullets just splatter!” Does he worry about hitting the bolt head? Not at all. Rick says: “When I hit the bolt head, I break my arm patting myself on the back!”.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 4 Comments »
November 23rd, 2016

Lapua Now Offers 6.5 Creedmoor Cartridge Brass

Lapua Creedmoor 6.5 Brass cartridge 1.5mm tactical case

Here’s great news for mid-size cartridge fans, and especially PRS and tactical shooters. Lapua just announced it will produce 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge brass, which should be available in the first quarter of 2017. This premium-quality brass features a small primer, and 1.5mm flash hole (as found on Lapua’s 6mmBR, 6.5×47 Lapua, and 220 Russian brass). We expect Lapua’s 6.5 Creedmoor brass will set new standards for accuracy and case life for this popular mid-sized cartridge. Of course Lapua’s new 6.5 Creedmoor brass can also be necked down and loaded in 6mm Creedmoor configuration. With the small primer pocket and proven strength of Lapua brass, we think 6.5 Creedmoor shooters will see enhanced cartridge velocities with the ability to maintain tight primer pockets even with very stout loads. And we expect accuracy to be on a par with Lapua’s excellent 6.5×47 Lapua brass. Taken together, this is an exciting product release. Here is Lapua’s official announcement:

Lapua Creedmoor 6.5 Brass cartridge 1.5mm tactical case

We are happy to announce the addition of the 6.5 Creedmoor case to the Lapua line! Despite a relatively short time on the marketplace, the 6.5 Creedmoor has made a tremendous splash in the field, rapidly becoming one of the most requested cases we hear about from shooters. Lapua’s 6.5 Creedmoor is designed to function in a short action, which is also a plus for hunters, vitally concerned with the rifle’s weight and compactness. In fact, many of the same features which make for a successful competition cartridge, translate nicely to the hunting fields as well.

For most species of mid-size game such as deer or boar, the Creedmoor will prove to be a deadly performer. And while the selection of high grade Match bullets in the 6.5 bore size is tremendous, there’s no shortage of exceptionally good hunting bullets either. The 6.5s as a group have always been known as excellent performers on game.

Lapua Creedmoor 6.5 Brass cartridge 1.5mm tactical caseMade with Lapua’s typical dedication to precision, our new 6.5 Creedmoor case has been refined just a bit, to make it an even better performer. We’ve opted for the small rifle primer, which normally produces an optimized ignition and better accuracy than large primers in mid-sized cartridges like the Creedmoor.

We’ve also incorporated our smaller-diameter flash hole (1.5mm, rather than the industry-standard 2.0mm), which has proven to provide enhanced accuracy, and is used in a number of our other accuracy-oriented cases. In this respect, the new 6.5 Creedmoor joins the ranks of our other dedicated accuracy cartridges such as the .220 Russian (6mm PPC), the 6mmBR Norma, the 6.5×47 Lapua, and the .308 Win Palma cases.

And naturally, the new 6.5 Creedmoor will be made with our well-known Passion for Precision. Strictest control over the metallurgy, the forming and drawing processes, precise annealing all performed under the watchful eyes of our production experts. For you, the handloader, that means the durability for which our cases are famous, combined with consistency and long life. Already proven in competition, we predict that the 6.5 Creedmoor will be a force to be reckoned with for many years to come.

Comment on Lapua’s new 6.5mm Creedmoor
Our British friend Laurie Holland was excited about the new 6.5 Creedmoor brass from Lapua: “With this and Peterson Cartridge on the bandwagon, plus another U.S. brass maker… the Creedmoor’s momentum is becoming impressive.” Laurie observes: “A small primer Lapua-cased 6.5mm Creedmoor is in effect a 6.5X47 Lapua ‘Improved’!” That’s a pretty interesting concept indeed. Which makes us wonder if the .260 Remington has finally been fully eclipsed. With Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor brass you can probably get very, very close to .260 Rem performance in a much more efficient case.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, News 13 Comments »
October 9th, 2015

Soft Cases for (Very) Long Rifles

52

Many shooters prefer to use padded soft cases for their guns. These weigh less, take up less room in vehicles, and store more easily. Unfortunately most soft rifle cases on the market are too short (or not tall enough) to handle scoped rifles with 29″ or longer barrels, particularly if a muzzle brake or extended front site hanger is attached. You can find long soft cases designed for shotguns or long-barreled black powder rifles, but these typically do not have enough clearance (top to bottom) to handle bulky target scopes. Where can you find a quality soft case for a scoped F-Class or Palma rifle with 30″ or longer barrel, making the rifle at least 50-51″ in overall length? Here are some suggestions.

55″ Bald Eagle Match Rifle Case
A good combination of features and value is the 55″-long Bald Eagle soft case from Bullets.com. This case was designed for match competitors with long-barreled rifles (with barrels from 29″ to 32″). This case fits both scoped and iron-sight rifles, and has quality zippers and heavy-duty padding. Large, zippered storage compartments hold log books, chamber flags, and other gear. Available in two popular colors, red and black, this case measures 55″ long, 13″ tall on back end and 6″ tall on front end. It is currently on sale for $57.95. Bullets.com also sells 60″ soft cases, and 50″ soft cases to fit rifles with both longer and shorter OALs.

Extreme 52

Creedmoor Sports 5252″ Creedmoor Sports Soft Case
At the request of many High Power shooters, Creedmoor Sports has created a high-grade 52″x10″ softcase. That’s tall and long enough to fit a Tubb 2000, or AR-based spacegun with long barrel. The Creedmoor case is one quality offering, with nice 1″ thick close-cell foam padding plus tough Cordura nylon on the outside and nylon pack cloth on the inside. Both materials are urethane-coated for water proofing. Another nice feature are the integral backpack straps (see photo left). These free your hands to carry rests, spotting scopes or other gear.

The Creedmoor 52″x10″ case comes in Forest Green ($66.95, N152A), and Royal Blue ($76.95, N152C). Creedmoor also offers a similar, slightly smaller 48″x12″ case for Service Rifles in Green or Blue.

52″ Midsouth Gun Case
For those on a tight budget, Midsouth Shooters Supply offers an Extreme 52″ padded gun case for just $23.00 (item #208-BD240-52). This thickly-padded case is high enough in the center to fit most scoped rifles — even with big Nightforce scopes. Made by Bulldog Cases, the all-black Extreme 52″ case features a soft faux-fur inner lining, an external accessory pocket, and a removable shoulder strap.

Extreme 52

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August 18th, 2014

The Holy Black — BPCR Nat’l Championship is One Month Away

NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championship Raton NM
NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships Raton NM

On September 13-20, 2014, the NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championship will held at the Whittington Center in Raton, NM. Top Black Powder Cartridge Rifle (BPCR) shooters from around the country will visit Raton to test their skills during a week-long event with targets set from 200 to 1000 yards. The event kicks off with Mid-Range matches at 200 to 600 yards. On the firing line you’ll see many handsome, custom-built BPCRs (Sharps, Ballards, Browning High Walls, Rolling Blocks) with exquisite wood, hand-checkering, and color-case-hardened receivers.

NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships Raton NM

NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships Raton NM

The 800-1000 yard Creedmoor matches will be held Friday and Saturday, September 19-20. Interestingly, for safety reasons, there are minimum bullet weight and muzzle velocity requirements for the Creedmoor matches. These BPCR shooters launch some seriously heavy projectiles downrange:

Caliber Minimum Bullet Weight (Grains) Minimum Bullet Velocity (FPS)
.38 Cal 408 (375) 1300 (1375)
.40 Cal 408 1280
.44 Cal 450 1240
.45 Cal 510 1200
.50 Cal 600 1200

NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships Raton NM

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November 7th, 2013

NRA founded 142 Years Ago to Promote Marksmanship

The National Rifle Association celebrates its 142nd birthday this month. First chartered in New York state in November, 1871, the NRA was originally created to train citizens in marksmanship. Here’s an interesting account of the history of the NRA in the late 18th and early 20th century:

How the NRA Got Started in the 1870s
Dismayed by the lack of marksmanship shown by their troops, Union veterans Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate formed the National Rifle Association in 1871. The primary goal of the association would be to “promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis,” according to a magazine editorial written by Church.

After being granted a charter by the state of New York on November 17, 1871, the NRA was founded. Civil War Gen. Ambrose Burnside, who was also the former governor of Rhode Island and a U.S. Senator, became the fledgling NRA’s first president.

An important facet of the NRA’s creation was the development of a practice ground. In 1872, with financial help from New York state, a site on Long Island, the Creed Farm, was purchased for the purpose of building a rifle range. Named Creedmoor, the range opened a year later, and it was there that the first annual matches were held.

Political opposition to the promotion of marksmanship in New York forced the NRA to find a new home for its range. In 1892, Creedmoor was deeded back to the state and NRA’s matches moved to Sea Girt, New Jersey.

The NRA’s interest in promoting the shooting sports among America’s youth began in 1903 when NRA Secretary Albert S. Jones urged the establishment of rifle clubs at all major colleges, universities and military academies. In February 1903, an amendment to the War Department Appropriations Bill established the National Board for the Promotion of Rifle Practice (NBPRP). This government advisory board became the predecessor to today’s Corporation for the Promotion of Rifle Practice and Firearms Safety, Inc. that now governs the CMP. The 1903 legislation also established the National Matches, commissioned the National Trophy and provided funding to support the Matches. By 1906, NRA’s youth program was in full swing with more than 200 boys competing in matches at Sea Girt that summer.

Camp Perry

Camp Perry Site Acquired in 1906
Due to the overwhelming growth of NRA’s shooting programs, a new range was needed. Gen. Ammon B. Crichfield, Adjutant General of Ohio, had begun construction of a new shooting facility on the shores of Lake Erie, 45 miles east of Toledo, Ohio. The original land for Camp Perry was purchased in 1906, and the reservation was named after Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, the American naval commander who won the Battle of Put-in-Bay during the War of 1812.

On August 19, 1907, Cpl. L. B. Jarrett fired the first shot at the new Camp Perry Training Site. And that year, 1907, Camp Perry held its first National Pistol and Rifle Championship events. This location has hosted the annual NRA National Matches ever since. Today, over 4,000 competitors attend the National Matches, making it the most popular shooting competition in the western hemisphere.

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March 17th, 2013

For St. Patrick’s Day — A Salute to Irish Shooters

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to our readers around the world. As an Irish-American whose great-grandfather was born in County Donegal, I’m proud to wear green today. But lest readers think that Ireland is only a land of shamrocks, lucky leprechauns, and Riverdancers, be aware that Ireland has an active community of precision shooters. In 2011, the National Rifle Association of Ireland unveiled the beautiful new 1200-yard range in Tullamore, at the Midlands National Shooting Centre. Also in 2011 Tullamore was was the site of the first modern-era Creedmoor Cup Challenge Match between Irish and American Teams. The Yanks won that year, but that was just the beginning of a great rivalry.

Tullamore Range

Midlands National Shooting Centre of Ireland
National Rifle Association of IrelandIn the year 2000, the National Rifle Association of Ireland (NRAI) was formed. One of its primary goals was to promote fullbore target shooting in Ireland. The NRAI needed a home and that home was found on the bog of Derrymore in Blueball just outside Tullamore in County Offaly. In 2000, a 400-yard range was built on the site. Three years later the 600-yard “Windmill” range, the first of its kind in modern Ireland, was also built to allow for mid-range target shooting. The site was christened the Midlands National Shooting Centre of Ireland (MNSCI) and with it the story of Irish F-Class began. No sooner had the 600-yard range been built at the MNSCI, when the NRAI formed a national F-Class league bringing together like-minded shooters from all over Ireland.

tullamore range ireland Midlands

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November 17th, 2012

6.5 Creedmoor for High Power and Tactical Shooters

While the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge was devised primarily for High Power and Across the Course shooters, it has also found favor with tactical shooters looking for a highly accurate round that feeds well from a magazine, but offers significantly less recoil than a .308 Winchester. In fact, the 6.5 Creedmoor has become so popular that some vendors we checked were sold out of both brass and loaded ammo. (Don’t worry though — Creedmoor Sports has both 6.5 Creedmoor brass and loaded ammo in stock.)

6.5 Creedmoor Hornady
CLICK HERE for 6.5 Creedmoor Video and Specifications

6.5 Creedmoor brass cartridge6.5 Creedmoor vs. 6.5×47 Lapua — Cost Factor
The 6.5×47 Lapua and 6.5 Creedmoor offer very similar ballistics with 120gr and 140gr bullets. However, 6.5 Creedmoor brass AND loaded ammo are cheaper. That’s a big plus in the tactical game. At tactical competitions, there are “move and shoot” stages where you need to shoot quickly and then move to another position. It’s very difficult to recover all your brass. Losing a piece of 6.5×47 brass (at $1 dollar a pop) is painful. The Hornady brass is $34.49 per 50 (69 cents each) at Sinclair Int’l or $34.95 per 50 (70 cents each) at Creedmoor Sports.

Hornady’s 6.5 Creedmoor loaded ammunition is also much less expensive than the loaded 6.5×47 Lapua rounds. For shooters that don’t have the time (or skills) to reload, the 6.5 Creedmoor (at $25.95 per 20-rd box) makes more financial sense. Grafs.com currently sells loaded 123gr 6.5×47 Lapua ammo for $52.79 per 20 rounds.

On the other hand, the Lapua brass is tougher. Forum member Mudcat observes: “[As to] the Hornady brass, while it’s good, it ain’t no Lapua, so don’t try to run hot loads cause all you are going to do is blow out the primer pockets. Keep your loads reasonable and you will get over 20 loads out of em. I have some I have loaded well over 20 times during testing…they grow like a mother though, as they are a lot softer than Win or Lapua, which is why the pockets will go. However the necks haven’t been splitting.”

Barrel Life Looks Promising
Barrel life appears to be pretty good with the 6.5 Creedmoor. Barrels will last significantly longer than with a typical .243 Win or 6.5-284. Forum Member Mudcat reports: “Based on my throat wear at 600 rounds on my 6.5 Creedmoor barrel, I bet we are looking at 2500 rounds EASY of great accuracy and then probably to at least 3000 where you ain’t going to notice it shooting Cross the Course — you might see something at 600, but nothing worse than a few less Xs. At 600 rounds, I have not had to move my VLD seating depth yet.” Forum member Rob1, who shoots tactical comps with Team Blaster, notes that Hornady puts its load and velocity on every box (see photo below), so it’s easy for reloaders to duplicate the factory ammo. That way you can start with a few boxes of factory fodder, and then load your own.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review 12 Comments »
April 4th, 2012

Video Intro to Handgun Silhouette

This 8-minute video, filmed at the Ojai Valley Gun Club in California, shows a 200m metallic silhouette match for handguns. Noted IHMSA shooter Jim Harris describes the course and shooters demonstrate their technique. With these iron-sight, single-shot centerfire pistols, when shooting “freestyle”, most shooters prefer the lying down, feet-first Creedmoor position. This allows them to steady their pistols along the side of the front leg. In the 1800s, long-range rifle shooters also commonly used a Creedmoor position, sometimes resting the barrel on the toes of their boots.

YouTube Preview Image

In this second video, Jim compares two “Unlimited” pistols, one in 6.5 BR and the other in 7mm BR. Jim explains the pistols’ features and chamberings. Then the video offers a “shooter’s eye” view of Jim and Scott Mann firing the pistols at half-size pig silhouettes. Watch Jim and Scott both “clean” all five of their respective targets at 100m.

YouTube Preview Image

Shown below is an Anschütz Model 1416 MSP E Silhouette pistol, similar to the custom pistols you’ll see in the video. The Anschütz 6836 rear sight was specifically developed for handgun silhouette competition. The folding rear sight cover and anti-glare front sight tube greatly improve the sight picture. This 4.1-lb, single-shot pistol has a trigger pull weight of about 300 grams, roughly 10 ounces.

Jim Harris (“Gunzorro”) has posted many other shooting videos, which you’ll find on the “related videos” section of the YouTube page to which we’ve linked. Jim Harris has won several NRA National and IHMSA International championships in metallic handgun silhouette competition. He is also active in High Power Rifle Silhouette and Black Powder Cartridge Silhouette. In the silhouette arena, he helped popularize the 6.5BR, 6.5PPC, 6.5TKS (improved BR), .260 Remington and .22 PPC, and pioneered the use of Vihtavuori powders in the mid-90s. Jim is also a successful professional freelance photographer, specializing in commercial photography and architecture. Contact Jim at JimHarrisPhotography.com.

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July 18th, 2011

Creedmoor Black Powder LR Nationals at Whittington Center

The two-day 2011 Creedmoor Nationals for Black Powder rifles concludes today in Raton, NM. Many of the nation’s top black powder shooters are vying for the historic “Castle” trophy at the Whittington Center Range. Today’s course of fire is identical to Sunday’s — ten shots at each of three distances: 800, 900 and 1,000 yards. Weather was reasonably stable on Sunday, 17 July, but thunderstorms are predicted for this afternoon.

The Creedmoor Championship and the Castle Trophy

Castle Trophy BPCR CreedmoorThe Creedmoor Nationals’ match history dates back to the 19th century with the purchase of the Creed Farm in Long Island, New York. A long range black powder match between the United States and Ireland at the brand new Creedmoor range drew a significant amount of attention to the shooting sports and drew eventually drew its name from the NRA’s range. The 2011 championship currently being conducted at the Whittington Center is based on the original course of fire in keeping with the tradition of the match.

Castle Trophy
The Castle Trophy was first awarded to the 25th Lanarkshire Volunteers by Lord Elcho for their win over England and Ireland in a shooting match in 1871. The trophy was used as a prize at Creedmoor matches over the next couple of years. A noted inscription on the trophy reads: “Overall winners National Rifle Association of America 2nd Round” April 25, 1873. To honor the victors in the famous Creedmoor 1874 challenge match the USA and Ireland, this trophy was given to Colonel John Bodine of the United States of America Team.

Shown below, looking rather dapper in their waistcoats and top hats, are members of the American rifle team that defeated the Irish squad in 1874:

Story and photos by KJillson courtesy of the NRA Blog.
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June 27th, 2011

Yanks Dominate Creedmoor Matches in Ireland

The Creedmoor Cup F-Class events in Ireland have come to a close. The Irish hosts ran a great match and the American shooters proved their prowess — winning both team and individual titles. Here’s how the events were scheduled so you can keep things in order: after several practice days, the two-day NRA-Ireland F-Class Individual Championships was held Wednesday and Thursday last week. Then, on Friday, competitors divided into F-Open and F-T/R squads to shoot the USA vs. Europe matches. On Saturday and Sunday, the main event, the two-day Creedmoor Cup Match was held. All of these matches were conducted on the brand new 1200-yard range in Tullamore. The Irish are to be commended for constructing such a great range in a relatively short time.

Creedmoor Cup Ireland

Creedmoor Cup Ireland

American Shooters Dominate Team and Individual Events
We don’t have all the scores yet, but we do have key results. We’re proud to announce that the USA won the main Creedmoor Cup event! Prior to that, on Friday, the Yanks prevailed in the Europe vs. USA Challenge match (sort of like the Ryder Cup). Forum Member Erik Cortina reports: “I’m not 100% on the numbers but I know we beat them by about 110 points shooting in the rain! We have a very strong team and excellent wind coaches!”

Creedmoor Cup Ireland

In the individual competitions held during the week, American shooters also topped the podium. In F-T/R individual competition, Darrell Buell won the championship with a solid performance. Larry Bartholome shot superbly in windy conditions to win the F-Open match. (Larry was using a Precision Rifle & Tool Low Boy stock, Nightforce scope and a SEB Neo Rest.) Larry’s compatriots also shot well — there were nine Americans among the top 11 F-Open shooters. That is definitely a dominant performance by our talented F-Open squad.

Creedmoor Cup Ireland

Here are some reports from Ireland that came in from Forum members Erik Cortina and TonyR over the last few days:

Sunday, 6/26: “The second day of the Creedmoor Match was completed today and the USA has won the Gold Medal. I haven’t seen the score but I’m sure it will show up at some point. Shooting conditions were again tough with high speed fishtail tail winds that switched rapidly but our wind coaches, Bob Mead, Nancy Tompkins, Michelle Gallagher, Dale Carpenter, Jim Murphy, and Ricky Hunt were up to the challenge. The Irish Team were great hosts and we all had a wonderful time. They put together a new range with this event in mind in just a few months and it is something to be proud of.” — TonyR

Saturday, 6/25: “Shot the first day of the Creedmoor Cup today. Winds were tough! We had a fishtailing wind from 5-7 o’clock and we were being pushed into the 3 ring with ease, the F-T/R guys were going into the 1’s! We didn’t have a good day, we dropped 434 out of 4,000, but they had a worst day than we did, they dropped 648 points! So to say winds were tough is an understatement! We are having tons of fun regardless.” — Erik

Creedmoor Cup Ireland

Friday, 6/24: “We just finished shooting the Europe vs. USA Challenge. I’m not 100% on the numbers but I know we beat them by about 110 points shooting in the rain! We have a very strong team and excellent wind coaches!” — Erik

Thursday, 6/23: “Larry shot great today [to win the F-Open Championship]! In F-Open, there were 9 of us in the top 11. This is an awesome range! We have been shooting in 25 +- winds for two days and it’s fun when you can stay ahead of the wind, but if you get behind it, it’s not fun at all…” — Erik

Want to see more photos from Ireland, and read more reports from the competitors? You’ll find more info about the Creedmoor events, match results, plus linked photo galleries on the USA
F-T/R Team’s new Facebook Page. Log on to: http://www.facebook.com/us.rifle.team.

Creedmoor Cup Ireland

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May 13th, 2011

6.5 Creedmoor Finds Favor with Tactical Competitors

6.5 Creedmoor AmmunitionWhile the venerable .308 Winchester is still the chambering of choice for most tactical shooters, a growing number of tac competitors are switching to the 6.5 Creedmoor (as well as other 6.5mm chamberings such as the 6.5×47 Lapua and .260 Remington). Among the 6.5mm options, the 6.5 Creedmoor offers the advantage of high quality, relatively affordable factory ammo.

Can the 6.5 Creedmoor win tactical matches with factory ammo? Absolutely. Team Hornady’s Tony Gimmellie used Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor 120gr Match ammo to win the Oregon Sniper Challenge, held May 22-23, at the Douglas Ridge Rifle Club in Eagle Creek, Oregon. Tony said, “Hornady’s 6.5 Creedmoor ammo delivered ½ MOA accuracy from [my] POF gas piston rifle, allowing me to stay well ahead of the competition.”

To learn more about the 6.5 Creedmoor, along with the other popular 6.5mm cartridges used for tac comps, we recommend three articles by Accurateshooter.com contributor Zak Smith:

6.5 Creedmoor vs. the .308 Winchester
In the first article above, Zak explains: “Why 6.5 mm instead of .30 caliber? Put simply, they sling the long, slim, high-BC 6.5 mm bullets at respectable velocity. It duplicates or beats the .300 Win Mag’s trajectory with less recoil than a .308 Win. Compared to the 175 Sierra MK fired from a .308 Win, the 6.5 mm will have 27% less wind drift and about 10 MOA less drop at 1000 yards. Despite a 35-grain deficit in bullet mass, the 6.5 Creedmoor will retain 18% more energy and hit the target 260 fps faster.”

6.5 Creedmoor Ammunition

6.5mm Cartridges — Comparative Ballistics Performance by Zak Smith
Put in order of ballistic performance, the 6.5 Creedmoor and the .260 Remington are almost neck-and-neck, pushing the same weight bullets at about the same velocities from almost identical case capacities. The 6.5×47 Lapua in factory form lags by 100 to 200 fps due to less powder capacity; however, it has already gained a reputation for having a strong case that puts up with the high pressures some reloaders push in their custom rifles. The .260 Remington’s main problem for the reloader is lack of high-quality and affordable brass and to date there has only been one factory load produced which was appropriate for serious long-range competition for the non-reloader. The 6.5×47 was designed for intermediate-range competition and very accurate ammunition is available from Lapua; however, these factory loads are at a ballistic disadvantage at long range compared to the .260 Remington and the 6.5 Creedmoor.

There will always be those who bash new cartridges, claiming that they don’t do anything better than their favorite cartridge. By this logic, we’d all be shooting .30-06. Put simply, the 6.5 Creedmoor is what the .260 Remington should have been. It looks like Hornady has the right mind-set to make its new cartridge a success in the competitive and practical market, unlike Remington who basically let the .260 languish in a few hunting rifles. The 6.5 Creedmoor enjoys additional case capacity over the 6.5×47 Lapua, which allows better ballistics at a lower peak chamber pressure.

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July 17th, 2010

Shooting Carts — Wheeled Transport for High Power Shooters

High Power shooters have a bunch of gear to carry to the firing line–pad, shooting jacket, scope stand, spotting scope, ammo, log-book and rifle(s). If you’re shooting F-Class, add a heavy front rest and 15-lb sand-bag to the list. A range cart makes life much easier, particularly if the shooting area’s a long way from the parking lot. Creedmoor Sports makes a folding range cart that is very popular with the iron sights crowd. This unit features 14″ ball-bearing wheels and the frame is made from solid aluminum–not lightweight tubing that can bend or crack. Lift a simple locking lever and the cart folds. The cart can be completely dis-assembled, without tools, to fit in a suitcase (collapsed size 30″ x 17″ x 8″). The Creedmoor cart retails for $499.95, and that includes a rifle case, tray, and rain-cover. A handy side-mount rifle rack (item CRC-RACK) is a great $62.95 option that will be available in September.

Creedmoor Sports Range Cart

If $499.95 isn’t in the budget, or you’d like to build your own range cart with a lockable storage compartment, you should look at the carts used by Cowboy Action shooters. These wooden carts are heavy, but they provide a stable platform for multiple guns and a nice, solid perch for sitting. There are many do-it-yourself designs available. One of our favorites is the GateSlinger cart shown below. This well-balanced design breaks down into two pieces for transport. Click Here for cart plans, and read this “How-to Article” for complete instructions with many photos.

wooden range cart Gateslinger

Hand Dolly Conversions — Not Fancy, But Effective
The least expensive way to go is to purchase a Dolly (Hand Truck) at Harbor Freight, or a large warehouse store such as Home Depot. Make sure to get one with wheels at least 10″ in diameter, or you’ll have problems in rough terrain. The bigger the wheels the better, and solid . Normally you can find dollies for under $30.00. Just bolt a large box or milk crate to the bottom, and voilà, instant range cart. You can clamp a piece of wood at the top with slots for barrels on one side and a flat tray for ammo on the other. Use bungee cord or leather straps to hold the barrels in place. Having built a couple all-wood range carts (both collapsible and one-piece), this editor can assure you that starting with an inexpensive welded hand truck is the cheapest, simplest way to go overall. You can buy oversize, spoked wheels from NorthernTool.com. (From the Northern Tool home page, search for “spoked wheels”.)

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April 15th, 2010

Register Soon for 2010 Eastern CMP Games and Creedmoor Cup

Tubb 200 match rifleThe 2010 Eastern CMP Games and Creedmoor Cup Matches will be held May 8th through 16th at Camp Butner, NC. The event is hosted by the North Carolina Army National Guard. The 4th Eastern CMP Games and Creedmoor Cup Matches are co-sponsored by the CMP and Creedmoor Sports, Inc. CMP Games Matches will take place on 8-11 May while Creedmoor Cup Matches will be held 12-16 May. All interested shooters, (of all ages and skill levels) are invited to participate in these popular competitions. You’ll want to get your entry form in soon. There’s less than four weeks before the match starts.

CLICK for Match Program | CLICK for Match REGISTRATION

The Eastern CMP Games begin with a clinic on Saturday, 8 May. Three days of Garand, Springfield and Vintage Military Rifle Matches take place on 8, 10 & 11 May. The CMP Games Matches also include an “As-Issued” M1 Garand EIC Match on 9 May, a Rimfire Sporter Match and As-Issued Military Pistol Match on 9 May and an M1 Carbine Match on 10 May. New this year is a “Vintage Sniper Rifle Test Match” for two-man teams on 11 May. The Creedmoor Cup Matches begin on Wednesday, 12 May, with an advanced clinic. The Creedmoor Cup Matches include a Practice Match, a NMC team match, the 80-shot Creedmoor Cup Match and an EIC service rifle-NMC match rifle event. Both competitions feature special hospitality events and prize awards. Remington Firearms is sponsoring the High Power Rifle Clinic and a Practice Match (NMC). Creedmoor Sports is sponsoring a Four-Man team match (4 x NMC), the Creedmoor Cup 800 Aggregate and the Creedmoor EIC Match.

Tubb 200 match rifle

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December 21st, 2009

Last-Minute Bargains at Creedmoor Sports

Based in Oceanside, California, Creedmoor Sports is one of the leading suppliers of equipment for High Power, Prone, Smallbore and Air Rifle shooters. Creedmoor’s General Manager Dennis DeMille is a former National Champion High Power Shooter. Dennis and his staff have the expertise to know what competitive shooters need.

Creedmoor has some good Holiday Specials running right now, and there is still time to order gift items for Christmas if you get your order in by midnight PST on December 21st. Creedmoor’s “affordable gift picks” for this Holiday season include instructional DVDs, Shooting Gloves, Rifle Slings, and Shooters’ T-Shirts.

Creedmoor SportsJim Owens High Power DVDs — $16.00
Master Sgt. Jim Owens (USMC retired), aka “Jarhead Top”, has created a series of instructional DVDs for High Power, Position, and Service Rifle Shooters. Owens’ DVD titles include: Reading the Wind; Positions–Prone; Positions–Sitting & Offhand; Sight Alignment & Trigger Control; Service Rifle Sling; and M1 Garand Care & Cleaning. All these cost $16.00 (that’s 20% off), except the longer Reading the Wind DVD, which is $24.00 after 20% markdown.
Creedmoor SportsFull-Finger Shooting Glove — $40.00
This glove is offered for both right- and left-handed shooters and meets all ISSF and NRA rules. It’s made of premium leather with rubber facings and ample padding. The rubber on the back of the glove is designed to eliminate sling slippage when locked into position. For the holidays, this glove is marked down to $40.00 from $44.95.
Creedmoor SportsRon Brown Service Rifle Sling — $60.00
Each sling is hand-stitched by Ron Brown in Lexington, KY. These slings are made from the highest-grade Hermann Oak leather, in saddle-tan or black. Slings are edged and creased, and holes are numbered. D-rings are oversized and parkerized. Frog hooks are made by Waterbury Buckles. All slings are treated with Neatsfoot oil guaranteeing years of use in the harshest conditions. According to Dennis, this is “the highest-quality service rifle sling money can buy”. Price is $60.00.
Creedmoor SportsT-Shirts with Shooters’ Messages — $12.95
Creedmoor offers a selection of 100% cotton t-shirts printed with rifle images or clever messages that will appeal to serious shooters. In all there are over 30 gun-related designs available, including the ever-popular “Life’s Too Short to Shoot 9s” and “Got Ammo?”.
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November 29th, 2009

Top Marksmen at 29 Palms NRA Long Range & HP Regional

One of the most prestigious rifle competitions on the West Coast was held this past week, Nov. 18-22, at the Marine Corps Air Ground Task Force Training Center in 29 Palms, California. This year marked the 50th Anniversary of the NRA Long Range, High Power and EIC Regional Match, hosted by High Desert Competitive Shooting Club (HDCSC). Some 49 Long Range shooters and 54 High Power shooters competed at the Marine Corps’ Marksmanship Training Unit (MTU) rifle range. In addition to the individual shooters, there were 10 Long Range Teams (6 match rifle/4 service rifle) and 12 High Power teams (3 match rifle/9 service rifle).

The long range competition commenced on Thursday. The McVey (any/any) Trophy Match winner was Nat’l Guard SSgt Stuart Mackey (388-17X). Floyd Moore (374-9X) won High Palma, while Pete Jend (361-6X) won High Service Rifle. This year, 18 new “unclassified” shooters entered the long range event. The best among them was Allen Thomas, who posted a superb 376-11X with an Elesio RT-10 chambered in 7mm Rem SAUM. Remarkably, the top 3 Unclassified shooters would all have placed in the High Master Class. (There were also a dozen Unclassified shooters in Saturday’s High Power competition).

Conditions were windy and challenging on Friday, but there were many impressive performances. The Commanding General’s Long Range Trophy Match (the overall Grand Agg for both Thursday and Friday) was won by National Guard SSgt Stuart Mackey. The Onslow Memorial Trophy Match (Service Rifle, Long Range Grand Agg) was won by Pete Jend with a 743-15X. Among Friday’s other results, Gary Rasmussen, a perennial winner at 29 Palms, won the Stockinger Match, and Gary posted the High Palma Rifle score (395-14X). High Service Rifle was, again, Pete Jend with a 382-9X.

On Saturday, conditions were windy for the High Power shooters. With a 1550-53X score, SSgt Stuart Mackey secured first place in the Grand-Grand aggregate Gorchinski Trophy Match, the combined aggregates of both Long Range and High Power. Shooting a match rifle, Dennis Demille (Creedmoor Sports Manager) won the MSgt Jenks Trophy Match Aggregate, and the NRA High Power Gold Medal (774-29X). The Service Rifle category winner, and overall NRA Bronze Medal winner was SSgt Stuart Mackey (773-18X). The NRA Silver Medal went to Match Rifle shooter Steven Powell (773-21X). Although not among the class winners, a popular 29 Palms competitor for the past two years has been retired Marine Gunnery Sargent R. Lee Ermey, who hosts the Lock & Load TV series on the History Channel. Gunny Ermey shoots in the Expert/Sharpshooter class.

Sunday’s team and Leg events started off with moderate 6-7 MPH winds and sunshine. The winning team, using Service Rifles, was All Guard-Spiker with a combined score of 1542-34X. Fortune then favored those 23 shooters (plus 14 already Distinguished), who would shoot the “Leg” match. The winds died down to zero! The high shooter, among those not already Distinguished, was Sgt Sam Lynn, USMC (475-9X).

CLICK HERE for Regional Complete Scores

Ken Miller, President of the High Desert Competitive Shooting Club notes that: “All of the NRA and CMP officials with the High Desert Competitive Shooting group would like to thank Gunner Fred Keeney, USMC, Ed Folts (range master), Capt. Ruth Wilson, USMC, and all of the MTU’s range personnel for their superb work.”


Here, 29 Palms’ Marine gunners practice some true ‘High Power’ shooting.

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November 12th, 2009

Statesville, NC Welcomes NRA Disabled Shooting Clinic

A successful air rifle clinic for disabled shooters was held recently in Statesville, North Carolina. Coordinated by NRA Disabled Shooting Services Manager Vanessa Warner, the event was co-sponsored by Bridge II Sports and Turning Point Nation and was hosted at the VFW Post 2031.

Warner explained the clinic’s purpose: “One facet of my job involves introducing competitive air rifle shooting to people with disabilities through shooting clinics. Shooting clinics include an overview of air rifles, equipment, shooting positions, sight alignment and trigger control. At the conclusion of each clinic, a participant has a good understanding of competitive shooting and may even be able to compete in an air rifle match.”

Clinic Trains Many New Shooters
Warner brought 10 air rifles and 10 Creedmoor Sports Range Systems, a portable backstop that allows indoor shooting with pellet guns. The clinic began at 10:00 am and Warner reviewed equipment, types of shooting, the components of an air rifle and positions. By the end of the day, Warner and her assistants had introduced competitive air rifle shooting to more than 35 individuals whose ages ranged from 10 to 60, plus four reporters and many volunteers.

Warner reports that “This was one of the best organized and well-run of all of the clinics I’ve attended. There were almost as many volunteers as there were participants and I even got one of the reporters to try one of the guns. Bridge II Sports and Turning Point Nation deserve a huge pat on the back for a job well done.” Warner offered special thanks to VFW Post 2031, and post Commander Gerry Bancroft, for providing a venue on short notice.

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November 8th, 2009

Creedmoor Cup Results from Phoenix

The 2009 Western Creedmoor Cup Matches were held October 21-25 at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility outside Phoenix, AZ. The Creedmoor Cup Matches, which immediately follow the CMP Western Games, attract many of the nation’s best High Power rifle shooters. This was the third year the Western Creedmoor Cup was conducted at Ben Avery. The previous venue was Camp Pendleton in California.

CMP Western Games and Creedmoor Cup Complete Results

Match rifle shooter SPC Sherri Gallagher (USAMU) was the Creedmoor Cup Aggregate Match overall winner (as well as high woman shooter). Sherri posted a combined Agg score of 797-33X. Neil Jensen followed with an aggregate score of 791-30X. TSgt Daniel Rodriguez ANG scored the highest Creedmoor Cup Service Rifle Agg with a 782-26X, with junior Tyler Rico taking second with a score of 781-33X. Rico was also the top junior shooter, winning a Bushmaster AR-15 upper donated by Remington Arms. The top senior was Brandon Dale with a score of 751-20X.

Sherri Gallagher
Match Rifle Winner SPC Sherri Gallagher. Photo Courtesy Jonathan Ocab.

In team competition, USMC Team Base Hawaii won the service rifle event with an aggregate score of 1899-42X. Team Predator, consisting of Phil Hayes, Neil Jensen, Royal Hubert and Matthew Hubert, won the match rifle team event, posting 1895-40X. Finishing second in match rifle with an 1878-52X, was the popular Deadeyes team: Dennis DeMille (Mgr. of Creedmoor Sports), Ronald Zerr, Steve Davis, and GySgt. R. Lee Ermey (USMC Retired). “Gunny” Ermy is the host of the new Lock ‘N Load TV series on the History Channel.

'Gunny R. Lee Ermey

The Creedmoor Cup matches were proceeded by the 6th Annual Western CMP Games, which ran for four days. The CMP Games featured shooting clinics, Garand matches, Rimfire Sporter matches and many other events. This year, there were a record 476 entries in six different CMP Games events. CLICK HERE for compete Western CMP Games match report.

Story based on report by Steve Cooper, CMP Writer. Photos courtesy CMP. Ermey photo by Gary Anderson, DCM.

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September 28th, 2009

ShootingUSA TV Features Creedmoor Black Powder Match

On Wednesday, Sept. 30th, Shooting USA television features the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association (NMLRA) Creedmoor re-enactment, hosted at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. The show, a repeat broadcast, features black powder muzzle-loaders and black powder cartridge shooters recreating one of the most famous rifle competitions of the 19th Century. This show airs multiple times this Wednesday, Sept. 30th, on the Outdoor Channel:

Eastern Time 4:30 PM, 8:30 PM, 12:00 Midnight
Central Time 3:30 PM, 7:30 PM, 11:00 PM
Mountain Time 2:30 PM, 6:30 PM, 10:00 PM
Pacific Time 1:30 PM, 5:30 PM, 9:00 PM

Creedmoor Black Powder Match

Rifle shooting was a very popular spectator sport in the 19th Century. Thousands of spectators came to watch long-range rifle matches held on “Creed’s Moor”, a range built by the NRA with funds from the New York state legislature. The first International Creedmoor match took place in 1874, when a group of Americans responded to a “Challenge to the Riflemen of America” from the Irish rifle team, considered the world’s best. The match was shot at 800, 900 and 1000 yards and was decided on the very last shot. After an Irish cross-fire near the end of the match, American John Bodine shot a final bullseye to win the international challenge cup. The U.S. team used a combination of breech-loading Remington Rolling Blocks and Sharps rifles. The Irish team used Rigby muzzle-loading rifles.

Click Here for Creedmoor Match History | Click Here to view 12’x6′ 1874 Match Target

BPCR long range bullets BPCR long range bullets
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August 16th, 2009

Kerr Wins Bernosky Challenge (Air Rifle Comp)

Can you outshoot the 2008 National High Power Champion — with an air rifle? That was the challenge facing over 220 competitors at the inaugural Carl Bernosky Challenge at Camp Perry. Two able shooters proved up to the task, Paul Kerr and USAMU marksman SGT Brandon Green. This popular event introduced shooters to the new Creedmoor-Anschütz NMAR air rifle. The Bernosky Challenge, with $1000.00 in prize money up for grabs, attracted a large crowd, including ‘Gunny’ R. Lee Ermey, the retired Marine who hosts the new Lock N’ Load TV Series on the History Channel.

Carl Bernosky Challenge

With over 220 entries, Paul Kerr out-shot all of the competitors to win the Bernosky Challenge event with a 197-8X score. USAMU shooter Brandon Green finished a close second, scoring 197-3X. Nine-time NRA High-Power Champion Carl Bernosky was just one point behind, scoring 196-4X.

Carl Bernosky Challenge

CLICK HERE to view the Bernosky Challenge Finals PHOTO GALLERY.

The new National Match Air Rifle discipline was developed by the CMP to simulate High Power rifle across-the-course shooting and provide adults with an air rifle discipline that builds on the popular junior three-position air rifle program. This NMAR discipline is ideal for High Power competitors looking for indoor or off-season shooting opportunities. NMAR targets are scaled down High Power SR and MR targets. Courses of fire simulate High Power matches, but at shorter distances.

NMAR Air Rifle

Thirty-five (35) Creedmoor Sports NMAR rifles were available for competitors to use during this competition. To learn more about the NMAR air rifle, visit CreedmoorSports.com.

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August 10th, 2009

NRA National High Power Championships and M1A Match

The NRA National High Power Championships has commenced at Camp Perry. Among the early events was the M1A Match. Relatively new, the M1A match was organized in 2007 by the NRA and Springfield Armory to encourage use of the M1A, an M14 derivative that was the weapon of choice for rifle competition for a number of years. With competitors lured by substantial cash prizes plus Springfield Armory gun give-aways, the M1A Match has proved hugely popular, attracting hundreds of shooters, including many of the nation’s top marksmen.

Springfield Armory M1A rifle

Any configuration of the M1A is allowed in the Match, with the course of fire being 50 shots at 300 yards on the MR-65F as follows: 5 sighters; 20 shots slow-fire, prone; 10 shots rapid-fire, prone; 10 shots rapid-fire, kneeling or sitting; 10 shots slow-fire, standing.

Winner of the 2009 M1A Match was Thomas Rider, whose 484-15x score beat runner-up and 1st Place Civilian Nick Till (482-17X) by two points. Rider earned $2000.00 in prize money for his victory. Fritz Hemplemann (478-16x) was second place Civilian, while Creedmoor Sports General Manager Dennis DeMille was third place Civilian (476-21x). Emily Windmassinger of the USMC earned the High Service Award with an impressive 480-20X. In the video below you can see M1A competitors, including DeMille (0:13, 0:30, 0:42 second marks), in the standing stage.

YouTube Preview Image

CLICK HERE for complete M1A Match Results | This report courtesy the NRABlog.com.

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