April 15th, 2018

Video Takes You Inside Accuracy International Arms Factory

accuracy international suv AT

accuracy international suv ATWho wouldn’t like a look inside the Accuracy International (AI) factory in England? Thanks to The Telegraph, a British media outlet, you can do just that. The Telegraph got its cameras inside AI’s production facility “at a discreet location on the outskirts of Portsmouth”.

Accuracy International has introduced a number of new models in the past couple of years, including the modular, multi-caliber AXMC Rifle System, and the ATAICS Chassis for the Remington M700. Like the AI PSR system, the AXMC can be user-configured to shoot three different calibers: .308/7.62 NATO, .300 Winchester Magnum and .338 Lapua Magnum.

Watch the video below. NOTE — because this video is hosted in the UK, it may take a while to load while the digital packets swim across the Atlantic ocean.

This Accuracy International AT (on gimbaled mount) is not your average SUV Accessory.
accuracy international suv AT

Permalink - Videos, Tactical 1 Comment »
September 19th, 2017

Eight-Year-Old English Schoolgirl Shines at 1000-Yard Benchrest

Emily Benchrest 1000 yards England UK schoolgirl Kales Scope Light Gun Record
Emily has won many awards — including a screamer at 1000 yards — and her accomplishments have not gone unrecognized. At a recent UK Shooting Show, Emily was presented with a Kahles 10-50x56mm scope by UK Importers RUAG which will come in very useful for the UK winter 600-yard benchrest series. She also received a one-off Hausken suppressor in her favorite color — pink!

English Emily and Her Record-Breaking 6mmBR Stolle

Report by Vince Bottomley
Turning back the clock a decade or so to 2006 and Accurateshooter’s Gun of the Week #71 you will see my smiling face and my 7mm WSM BAT which had just set a new UK Light Gun record for 1000-yard benchrest with a 5-shot group measuring 2.67 inches. That record has now been broken — sadly not by me but by Emily’s Grandfather with a gun I built for this talented schoolgirl. Here’s the story of the precocious Emily and her record-setting rifle…

In 2006, when I set the record, young Emily Lenton wasn’t even born but, a couple years later she arrived – into the shooting-mad Lenton family. Both father Bruce Lenton and Granddad Tony have represented their Country at European and World Benchrest Championships and it was no surprise to see Emily, at just eight years old, shooting in her first 1000-yard benchrest competition.

Eight-year-old Emily shoots 6mm BR Heavy Gun at 1000 yards.
Emily Benchrest 1000 yards England UK schoolgirl Light Gun Record

Recoil is always going to be a problem for an 8-year-old, so Emily’s first bench-gun was Granddad’s 1000-yard Heavy Gun chambered for the 6mmBR cartridge. It hardly moves when Emily pulls the trigger and she soon became a serious contender.

Under her father Bruce Lenton’s careful supervision, Emily loads all her own ammunition.
Emily Benchrest 1000 yards England UK schoolgirl 6mmBR 6BR vince bottomley Light Gun Record

Of course, she wanted her own gun and who better to ask to build it than the current record holder — me of course! Emily chose a Stolle action RBLP as this was to be a 17-lb Light Gun, bedded into a UK-made Joe West laminate stock. The barrel was a heavy-profile 1:8″-twist Krieger chambered in 6mm BR Norma (6BR) with a ‘no-turn’ neck (reamer from Pacific Tool & Gauge) and fitted with a UK Tier One muzzle-brake.

Emily’s Light Gun begins to take shape…
Emily Benchrest 1000 yards England UK schoolgirl 6mmBR 6BR vince Bottomley Light Gun Record

Emily buckles down to some winter load-development (note the fleece coat and wool gloves).
Emily Benchrest 1000 yards England UK schoolgirl 6mmBR 6BR vince bottomley Light Gun Record

It was down to Granddad to help Emily with load-development and of course, he could also shoot it in competition — after all Emily had just about shot-out Granddad’s Heavy Gun with a full season of rapid-fire 10-shot groups!

Granddad Tony gets ready to shoot Emily’s gun.
Emily Benchrest 1000 yards England UK schoolgirl vince bottomly 6mmBR 6BR Light Gun Record

Then something happened – Granddad went and broke my ten-year old record with Emily’s gun! Well, I suppose there was some consolation — at least I’d built the record-breaking gun. The new UK Light Gun 1000-yard five-shot record now stands at 2.462 inches. For those who like load details, Emily uses Lapua brass, Vihtavuori N150 powder, CCI 450 primers, and Berger 105 grain VLD bullets loaded with Wilson hand-dies.

Tony Lenton with Emily’s gun just after he broke my 1000-yard record. I’m doing my best to smile!
Emily Benchrest 1000 yards England UK schoolgirl 6BR 6mmBR Vince Bottomley Light Gun Record

Next Stop… New Zealand! 2017 World Benchrest Championships Down Under
Emily has now got her own 6PPC gun for short-range benchrest and she will be travelling to New Zealand this fall with her family. She’ll be helping her father and Granddad who are part of the United Kingdom squad competing at the 2017 World Benchrest Shooting Championships to be held at the Packers Creek Range in Nelson, NZ. How long will it be before Emily makes her own ‘World’ debut?

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Gunsmithing, News 6 Comments »
September 20th, 2016

Home-Built F-Open Rifle and Dual-Belt-Drive Front Rest

Tikka 590 Essex Custom

We like Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects. It takes initiative, creativity, and dedication to make your own hardware, and that’s worth acknowledging. With the U.S. F-Class Nationals kicking off later this week, we thought it timely to feature a DIY F-Open rig, complete with home-built, belt-drive front rest.

Some of our mechanically-skilled readers chamber their own barrels or bed their own stocks. But these are relatively simple tasks compared to the jobs of constructing an entire rifle plus building an advanced front rest from scratch. Well that’s exactly what Forum member Steve B. (aka Essexboy) did a couple seasons back. He built his own rifle and an impressive twin-belt-drive pedestal rest. (Click photo below for large version). And get this, Steve’s home-made rifle was victorious in its first-ever match. Steve reports: “I shot my first Comp with the rifle … and managed to win with a score of 239-21!” (The match was shot at 300/500/600/1000/1100 with English scoring of 5 points for center bullseye).

Do-It-Yourself F-Open Rig from England
Steve, who hails from Essex in the UK, constructed virtually every component of his skeleton-style rifle except the 28″ HV Bartlein barrel (chambered as a 6mm Dasher) and the Tikka 590 donor action. Steve also did all the design and fabrication work on his one-of-a-kind front rest. Steve tells us: “Over the last year or so, I made this rifle stock and rest. I managed to make it all on a little Myford Lathe, as you can tell I’m no machinist but it saved me a load of money — so far I’ve got about $200 invested plus the barrelled action. The stock is aluminum except for the stainless steel bag runner. The rifle came in at one ounce under weight limit for F-Class Open division.” Steve did get help with the chambering and barrel-fitting, but he hopes to do all the barrel work himself on his next project.

Tikka 590 Essex CustomThe gun is very accurate. Steve notes: “I have shot the rifle to 1100 yards and it shoots well. Last time out the rifle dropped just one point at 1000 yards and 5 points at 1100 yards [English scoring system]. I know it’s not pretty, but it got me shooting long range F-Class for peanuts.” Message to Steve: Don’t worry how it looks. As another Forum member observed: “Any rifle that shoots well at 1100 yards is beautiful….”

Steve started with a Tikka 590 action: “The whole stock was made on a small (6.5×13) lathe and a vertical slide. This caused a few head scratching moments, figuring out how to hold the T6/HE30 alloy for the milling/turning operations, but it did teach me a few things. The hardest parts were clamping the longer sections (such as the fore-end) and keeping it all square. Due to the short cross-slide travel I had to keep re-setting the parts. I managed to keep all measurements to 0.001″ (one thousandth). I’m most proud of the trigger guard (photo below). This took a full day but came out really well, even if I say so myself.”

Tikka 590 Essex Custom

Belt-Driven Front Rest
We’re impressed with Steve’s ingenious front rest. Steve explains: “The rest is belt-driven and still in the experimental stage — hence no powder coating or polishing yet. I may have gone over the top as the key moving parts (the pulleys) run on three (3) types of bearings: radial; reamed bush; and a ball race. The main post runs on a radial bearing and the feet even have bearings in them, so when I raise the main body up (for rough height adjustment) the foot stays static.”

Tikka 590 Essex Custom

Will Steve build another rifle? Steve says he will, and he’s upgraded his tools: “Since building the rifle I have acquired a bigger lathe (Harrison m250) and a milling machine. For the next project I hope to be able to do the barrel work (threading, chambering, crowning) as well.” The next gun might be another Dasher. Steve explains: “After extensive reading on AccurateShooter.com, I chose the 6mm Dasher chambering, as I have a shoulder problem and can’t shoot a rifle with a lot of recoil.”

Permalink Competition, Gunsmithing 1 Comment »
July 3rd, 2016

The Gun-Maker’s Art — Holland & Holland

Holland and Holland Video gunsmithing

What goes into a £77,500.00 ‘Royal’ model hand-crafted shotgun? Watch this remarkable video from Holland & Holland to find out. Filmed in the Holland & Holland factory, this nine-minute video shows all the key stages in the creation of H&H’s prized shotguns and rifles. The video shows barrel-making, stock checkering, metal engraving and more…

Holland and Holland Video gunsmithing

Holland & Holland ‘Royal’ Side-by-Side Shotgun

Holland & Holland Double Rifle with Fitted Case
Holland and Holland Video gunsmithing

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April 20th, 2016

$99,000 Gold Cup Was World’s Most Expensive Plinking Target

Million-Dollar Target

John Weber, a 70-year-old from England, was given a metal mug by his grandfather in 1945. Though his grandfather had a “good eye” for antiques, John never thought the metal mug was worth much. He played with it as a child, and even used it as a target for his air rifle. The mug, assumed to be brass, has languished in a shoe box under Weber’s bed for decades.

Well, it turns out Weber’s old mug may be the world’s most expensive plinking target! The cup is actually made of solid gold, and is a rare, ancient artwork, crafted over 2300 years ago. The unusual mug, decorated with twin, opposite-facing female heads, was appraised with a value exceeding one-quarter million dollars ($250,000)!

According to news reports, Weber decided to have the old mug (thought to be brass) appraised when he moved from his house. He was shocked to learn that the mug is a Persian gold treasure, beaten out from a single sheet of gold before the time of Alexander the Great. Experts said the type of gold and the way the cup was hammered was “consistent with Achaemenid gold and gold smithing” dating back to the third or fourth century BC. The Achaemenid Empire ruled most of the Middle East and was conquered by Alexander the Great in 330 BC. Could this cup be one of Alexander’s war trophies? What stories could it tell from the past 2300 years?

Ancient Gold Cup Brings $99,000 at Auction
The rare cup was sold at auction by Duke’s Auction house in southwest England in June, 2008. Though the Cup was valued much higher by experts, it only fetched £50,000, or roughly $99,000 U.S. Dollars (at 2008 exchange rates). John Webber said he was still very pleased with that result.

CLICK HERE for Auction Description (Item 378).

Achaemenid Empire (in green)
Million-Dollar Gold Cup

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February 15th, 2016

British Shooting Show — Report from the UK

britshot1601

After the giant SHOT Show extravaganza in Las Vegas each year, Great Britain hosts its own firearms trade show. This is a much smaller affair of course, but the British Shooting Show (aka BRITSHOT) still draws many thousands of shooting and hunting enthusiasts. This year our friend Vince Bottomley visited the trade show and reported for Target Shooter Magazine. CLICK HERE for full report.

Vince noted that big names in the shooting industry had products on display. Leading vendors included: Blaser, Browning, GMK, Ruag, Vortex, Schmidt & Bender, Zeiss, and Swarovski.

Among the new optics at BRITSHOT, Vince was quite impressed with Vortex’s new “Golden Eagle” 15-60x52mm competition scope (as we were when we saw this new optic in Vegas last month).

“Vortex had their new F Class 15-60 scope on display. This was one of the products I’d come to see and I wasn’t disappointed…. The turrets look and feel great – big and very positive. The reticle is a nice, simple, fine crosshair. Drastically undercutting Nightforce, Leupold, and March equivalents, this could be a very popular F-Class scope. Target Shooter hopes to have one for testing very soon so keep checking our Facebook page.”

British Shooting Show

The British Shooting Show also featured an airgun range. We feel these kind of indoor ranges provide a great opportunity to increase interest in recreational shooting. Vince agrees: “The excellent airgun ranges, where anyone can have a go at reactive targets [is] a great way for kids to shoot their first gun… this is a valuable part of the SHOW.”

Read full British Shooting Show Report in Target Shooter Magazine.

Permalink New Product, News 1 Comment »
November 19th, 2015

What’s Wrong with This Picture?

Bisley Range Deer England Centre UK Wildlife F-Class
Click image to zoom full-screen.

What’s wrong (or right?) with this picture? Does the “F” in F-class stand for “Fauna”? Look carefully at this Bisley Range photo taken by Australian R. Hurley while looking downrange through his March 8-80X scope. The photo was taken earlier this year at the Bisley National Shooting Centre in the UK.

The Story Behind the Photo
British shooter T. Stewart reports: “I was there when this photos was taken. All I can say was that Mr. Hurley was firmly reminded that should said deer accidentally jump in front of his bullet … he would spend five years “At Her Majesty’s Pleasure”. That morning we had five deer moving across the targets, literally blocking the V-Bull. Since we were on the 900-yard Firing Point, and elevated for such, obviously the bullet would pass well above them. But they do NOT move or flinch at the noise or passing bullets since they are not hunted on the Bisley Ranges. Earlier this year we saw a herd of 20 or so deer grazing slowly across the Range.”

More Fauna Findings…
Apparently Bisley is not the only place were “the deer and the antelope play”. In Canada, on the Connaught Ranges near Ottawa, Ontario, shooters often encounter a variety of wildlife. William McDonald from Ontario says: “Animals are a common sight on the Range. Along with deer we see geese, turkeys, and coyotes on a daily basis.”

Likewise, E. Goodacre from Queensland, Australia often sees ‘Roos on his home range: “I shoot at Ripley, Australia, and shooting is regularly interrupted by kangaroos. Our last silhouette match was delayed by an hour while 30 ‘Roos dawdled across — silly buggers!”

R. Hurley wasn’t the first fellow to view deer through his F-Class rifle’s scope. After seeing Hurley’s photo from Bisley, B. Weeks posted this image, saying: “Been there, done that!”

Bisley Range Deer England Centre UK Wildlife F-Class

Permalink Competition, Hunting/Varminting 15 Comments »
July 12th, 2015

New 1000-Yard Benchrest Range Opens in Scotland

Castle Douglas Scotland UK UKBRA benchrest 1000 yard range AccurateShooter Vince Bottomley

Bench Barrels for Sound Attenuation
There’s something unusual about this range. Competitors are required to shoot through hoops. Vince Bottomley explains: “Competitors have to shoot with the rifle barrel inside a foam-lined plastic barrel, in an attempt to cut down on noise. This was a condition imposed by the local police but in practice, you don’t notice it as you are looking through a scope.” That looks pretty strange to us. Hopefully we won’t see these kind of restrictions imposed in the USA.

Here’s good news to report from the United Kingdom. The UK’s second 1000-yard benchrest facility just opened up in Scotland, near the town of Castle Douglas in the south of Scotland. Until now, Diggle was the only range running 1000-yard benchrest matches in all of the UK. With interest in long-range benchrest competition growing in the UK, it’s good to see a new 1K venue opening for business.

Read Full Report in Target Shooter Magazine

The new Ingleston Range in Castle Douglas is operated by the Galloway Small Arms Club. This club is affiliated with the United Kingdom Bench Rest Association (UKBRA), so any records established will be recognized by the UK governing body for benchrest shooting. Light Gun and Heavy Gun Classes are run according to American IBS rules. And, per UKBRA standards, there is also a third, Factory Rifle Class. Vince Bottomley reports: “The Range is located on a working farm and the GSAC members have worked tremendously hard to create a 1000-yard range from what is basically open countryside.”

Here’s the view looking downrange. What a beautiful place to shoot…
Castle Douglas Scotland UK UKBRA benchrest 1000 yard range AccurateShooter Vince Bottomley

Permalink Competition, News 9 Comments »
April 14th, 2015

New Trends: Civilian Service Rifle Competition — UK Style

Britain England United Kingdom civilian Service Rifle Straight pull AR15

Report by John Morgan-Hosey
Civilian Service Rifle (CSR) is a shooting sport in the United Kingdom shot with bolt action rifles and ‘Straight-Pull’ derivatives of semi-auto centerfire rifles. Why do the UK shooters use manual-operating versions of popular self-loaders? Well, that’s because of legal restrictions. Civilian ownership of semi-auto centerfire rifles was banned in the United Kingdom in 1987.

Britain England United Kingdom civilian Service Rifle Straight pull AR15

Give credit to the ingenuity of competitive shooters in the UK. The ban on semi-autos has not stopped shooters from adapting modern rifles such as the AR15. In fact, CSR is the UK NRA’s fastest growing shooting discipline. There are four classes for competitors:

1. Historic Class — Vintage Rifles, mostly Lee Enfields with iron sights.
2. Iron Sights Class — all non-Historic Rifles with Iron (open) sights.
3. Practical Optic Class — Rifles with bipods (and scopes 4.5X or greater magnification).
4. Service Optic Class — Rifles without bipods (and scopes with no more than 4.5X power).

Surprisingly, shooters in the Service Optic Class dominate these matches. So you don’t need a high-magnification scope or a bipod to do well. The most popular rifles are modified AR-platform rifles. These are set-up in the UK with no gas system to ensure they comply with our laws. Side-charger cocking handles are fitted to allow the rifles to be operated easily while in the shooting position. You can see in the photo above a modified AR with the Union Jack on the buttstock. Notice the bolt handle on the right. This opens and closes the bolt.

This video clip shows the side-charging ARs in use.

Note the side bolt handle that cycles the action on this non-semi-auto AR.
Britain England United Kingdom civilian Service Rifle Straight pull AR15

Here shooters advance 100 yards to engage the targets at the next firing line.
Britain England United Kingdom civilian Service Rifle Straight pull AR15

Competitor uses classic Lee-Enfield bolt-action rifle.
Britain England United Kingdom civilian Service Rifle Straight pull AR15

Dave Wylde Sets Impressive Record at the Civilian Service Rifle League Match.
The last matches in the 2014/15 CSR League took place on Sunday, 5 April. With final places in all four classes up for grabs, the fine weather and light winds made for some impressive scores, none more so than Dave Wylde in Service Optic Division. Dave scored a mighty impressive 246 (of a possible 250) in the PM Match. Breaking 235 is tough enough and scoring over 240 a rarity with the match includes standing snap shooting at 100 yards, a sitting rapid at 200 yards, and prone snap shooting at 300 yards with and two run downs to raise the shooters heart rate.

The most popular class, Service Optic, had Peter Cottrell retaining the trophy for the fourth consecutive year with a score of 993. Adam Chapman pushed him hard all season to finish a close second on 987 points, with Bill Ellis, one of the most consistent CSR shooters, third with 972.

Civilian Service Rifle Grows in Popularity
As CSR continues to grow in popularity, the sale of ‘Straight-Pull’ AR-platform rifles is increasing year after year. Accordingly, the United Kingdom NRA is allocation more range space at the Bisley National Shooting Centre to accomodate the increasing number of competitors.

Britain England United Kingdom civilian Service Rifle Straight pull AR15

Permalink - Videos, Competition 13 Comments »
January 22nd, 2015

Savage F-TR Rifle Review from Target Shooter Magazine

We’ll give you a break from SHOT Show coverage by taking you across the Atlantic to Great Britain. There Chris Parkin has been putting a Savage F-TR Rifle through its paces. Chris has reviewed this popular rifle in a field test just published by Target Shooter Magazine. Chris wrote a very detailed and thorough review. If you are considering any factory-based rifle for F-TR competition you should read this article. It is lengthy, but the text and photos are good and it is worth the investment of time.

Target Shooter Savage F-TR Chris Parkin UK

CLICK HERE to Read Savage F-TR Rifle Review

CLICK HERE to Download Savage F-TR Review as PDF File

Target Shooter Savage F-TR Chris Parkin UK

Permalink - Articles, Gear Review 2 Comments »
December 12th, 2013

Greatest Hits: Rockin’ the ‘Mad Minute’ with Gary Eliseo

We were talking with TubeGun builder Gary Eliseo recently, and the subject of his “Mad Minute” fun match came up. A while back, at our suggestion, Gary re-created the one-minute rapid fire marksmanship training drill done by British riflemen. Using a Competition Machine TubeGun, Gary managed 24 hits in 60 seconds on a 300-yard target. Gary told us that people often ask about his “Mad Minute” experience, so today we’re reprising the story (with video) for those guys who missed it the first time around. Forum member Laurie Holland, who hails from Great Britain, also contributes a brief history of the “Mad Minute” and the Lee-Enfield (SMLE) rifle.

Mad Minute Gary EliseoLast year, the Top Shot TV show featured the “Mad Minute”, a high-speed drill requiring shooters to place as many hits as possible on a steel plate set at 200 yards. The time limit was one minute, and shooters were using historic Lee-Enfield bolt-action rifles. Top Shot’s “Mad Minute” was based on a British Army training drill. Soldiers were expected to get at least 15 hits on an bullseye target at 300 yards. Top Shot cheated a bit, placing the target at 200 yards (instead of 300 in the real British Army “Mad Minute” drill). Still the two Top Shot shooters managed only six (6) shots each in one minute. Consider that a “passing score” for a Brit soldier was 15 hits, you have to give credit to those WWI-era Tommies.

Watch Gary Eliseo Shoot the ‘Mad Minute’ (Starts at 4:47 on Video)

Eliseo Gets 24 Hits on 300-yard Target in One Minute
Using an Eliseo RTM Tubegun chambered in .308 Winchester, Gary Eliseo attempted the “Mad Minute” last weekend. Gary ended up with 24 hits on a bull target set at 300 yards. That’s four times as many hits as the Top Shot competitors. Gary actually had 25 hits in 25 rounds fired, but the last round hit just after the 60-second time period expired. Note how Gary pulls the trigger with the middle finger of his right hand. This allows him to work the bolt faster, using his thumb and index finger. The straight-through (inline stock) design of the Tubegun allowed Gary to maintain his cheekweld and head position throughout the minute-long drill.

Gary Eliseo Mad Minute

Gary told us: “This isn’t easy. I came away very impressed with the training of the Tommy soldiers if they could make 15 hits in one minute. We had some skilled shooters who brought their own Lee-Enfields and they only did as well as the guys on Top Shot — making six or seven hits in a minute. The problem is that, with the cock-on-close operation of the Lee-Enfield, the gun would push away when the shooter closed the bolt, so the shooter would lose his sight picture, and have to re-center the rifle. I am truly astounded that the record for the ‘Mad Minute’ is 38 shots. That is hard to do with an AR, much less any bolt gun.”

Gary Hopes to Beat the ‘Mad Minute’ Record in the Future
The record for the “Mad Minute” — 38 shots on target at 300 yards — was set in 1914 by Sergeant Instructor Alfred Snoxall*. In the subsequent 98 years, that record has never been broken by any shooter with a conventional bolt-action rifle. Gary told us: “As long as that record still stands, I’m going to keep working at it. I know I lost a few seconds with mag changes. I think with some additional training, I can increase my score. Still, 38 hits is phenomenal. I am very, very impressed at what that guy did — it’s really mind-boggling to do that with an Enfield. Contrary to what has been written, those old Enfields are not that easy to shoot fast. Our club shooters found that out.”

* There is some uncertainty concerning the size of the target used by Snoxall. Some internet reports say the target was 12″ x 12″. Other posts, from England, suggest the target was 36″ by 36″. If the target was a 12″-diameter bull, Snoxall’s achievement is even more amazing.

‘Mad Minute’ and British Marksmanship with the SMLE (Lee-Enfield)
Commentary by Laurie Holland

The original military requirement of the ‘Mad Minute’ saw the soldier ready to fire with a round in the chamber, 9 in the magazine, safety on. This course of fire is still followed by the GB Historic Breechloading Arms Association and other bodies in their recreated ‘Mad Minute’ competitions.

The first 10 would go quickly, but reloads were critical, this not done by a magazine change as Gary did with the RTM or in a modern tactical or semi-auto rifle, but through slick use of ‘chargers’. It is this aspect which fouls so many of my colleagues up as it’s very easy to cause a jam and a large part of 60 seconds can go in sorting it out!

As well as the training Gary mentions and commends, there were pay incentives / penalties for certification or failure, and there were valuable monetary and kudos benefits in achieving very high hit counts in the 20 + range. Tommies could draw their rifles from the armory any time when off duty and spent hours in barracks practicing using inert rounds and dry firing. For instance, a common practice was to balance a halfpenny coin on the foresight blade between the sight protecting ears and take shot after shot prone on the barracks floor until the trigger was pressed and the ‘shot taken’ without the coin falling off its perch.

Charger clips were selected for those that just held the rounds firmly enough to stop then falling out, were sand-papered and polished with a stove / fireplace polish called ‘Zebrite’ so that the rimmed rounds would slip through the clips like corn through a goose.

If you’re unfamiliar with the cock-on-closing Enfield action, it seems clumsy. With intensive practice it is very smooth and can be operated incredibly quickly. The trick is to whip the bolt back onto its stop and initiate a rebound movement that takes it and the cartridge well into the chamber thereby reducing the effort required to close the bolt and chamber the round.

lee enfield 1916 rifle

None of this is to detract from the skill many of these guys had and the fantastic results they got both in rate of fire and accuracy out to 500/600 yards. That came from long days of live firing at full distances — far more practice than I’ll warrant US doughboys got at that time. The result was when the small British Expeditionary Force acted a blocking force against two advancing German infantry corps in Belgium in the autumn of 1914. Kaiser Wilhelm predicted confidently that his highly trained ‘Landsers’ would sweep this ‘contemptible little army’ aside. Instead, the Germans advancing in the open at ranges they felt was safe from rifle fire ran into a wall of lead of such a rate and accuracy that regimental commanders explained their failure to advance and massive casualties through the British having far more automatic weapons than their intelligence had briefed. The British survivors of that period adopted the self-styled title of ‘Old Contemptibles’ as an ironic rebuke to Wilhelm, one still used today. By Christmas 1914 that small and highly professional British army had been destroyed through attrition and army rifle competitions aside never achieved those riflecraft standards again — but of course that’s what a machinegun is for and it was criminal that BEF battalions (600-1,000 men) went to war with an establishment of only two Vickers-Armstrong machine-guns — a fraction of that in the opposing German units.

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November 8th, 2013

Across the Atlantic: European F-Class Championships at Bisley

F-Class European Championship Bisley Rutland England Great Britain Joe Melia Paul Eggerman

Credit Des Parr for providing match details found in this report.
The 2013 European F-Class Championships are now history. Congratulations to new F-Open Euro Champion Joe Melia of Ireland, and new F-TR Euro Champion Paul Eggerman of Germany. Held at the Bisley Ranges in England, the European Championships drew top shooters from all over the Continent, plus the U.K. and Ireland. Following the individual competitions, national teams competed, and Great Britain emerged the big winner. British teams won gold in F-Open, F-TR, and the Rutland Cup. Hail Britannia!

On the GB F-Class Association website, Des Parr authored a great day-by-day account of the Euro Championships. Des writes: “The 2013 European Championships had a little of everything to keep everyone happy — some very light winds to please the trigger pullers, some very strong winds to please the wind-readers and only a little rain to please everyone! Friday was notable for having remarkably calm and steady wind. This enabled everyone to really see what their rifles were capable of in near to ideal conditions. The result was predictable; some very high scores.”

Individual Championships
In F-Open division, senior Irishman Joe Melia shot 457.39 to capture the title. Des Parr notes: “Joe got a rousing cheer from all his fellow competitors, indicative of his good standing. In second, it was another medal for Ireland, this time the fiercely competitive Anthony Dunne used all his experience to rack up 453.38. In third place was the new GB Captain from Wales, David Lloyd with 452.33.”

In F-TR, the Germany’s Paul Eggemann shot a superb score of 447.35 to win the individual title, ten points ahead of his nearest rival. Ukraine’s Sergei Baranov took second with 437.22, while his countryman Sergei Gorban finished third with 436.26.

Links to Full European F-Class Championship Results
F-Open Championships Results | F-TR Championships Results | Team Championships Results

TEAM COMPETITION
8-Man Event — Top place went to Team GB with 1084.58. Second place was taken by Italy with 1035.46 and in third was BDMP Germany with 1021.32. In F-TR, first place went to Team GB with 1007.32, with Team Italy second (987.31), and Ukraine third (978.26).

4-Man Rutland — There were ten, 4-man teams in the Rutland Competition. In F-Open, Winning Team GB was steered to victory by captain Peter Hobson with a super 524.19. France Open 1 took second with 522.17, while the Europe Open team was third with 497.22.

Irish Teams won silver and bronze in the 4-man Rutland Match at the European Championships.
F-Class European Championship Bisley Rutland Ireland


In related news, Forum member Gary Costello from the U.K. won the GB/Euro National League title for 2013 with a total of 71 points. This multi-match title is based on the best of four (4) League Championship Competitions throughout the year. Gary explains: “We have eight shoots in total, this championship is open to GB F-Class Association members and includes shooters from France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Spain, Ukraine and several other countries. Most of these countries have maximum 300 yards to shoot so the UK is the closest place to compete in long-range competitions. That’s a bit amazing considering the size of the UK to Germany for example.”

F-Class European Championship Leagu Bisley Gary Costello 300 WSM

Gary used a 300 WSM built by Gunsmith Peter Walker, with a Nesika L action, Benchmark barrel, and a March 8-80x56mm scope. Gary told us that it took some time to master the 300 WSM, which has more recoil than a .284 Win, but in the end, Gary’s choice of caliber helped carry him to victory over a long season of hard-fought competition. Finishing second in League standings was Mark Daish with 70 points, while Des Parr took third place with 64 points. (Point totals based on best four matches.) Complete 2013 GB F-Class League Results are available on the GB F-Class Association website.

Photos courtesy F-TR Ireland and Gary Costello.
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November 8th, 2012

Seb Does Diggle… and Bisley and London

Our friend Sebastian Lambang, creator of the SEB Coaxial rests and the new SEB Joystick Bipod, recently visited Great Britain to participate in the European F-Class Championships. While in the UK, Seb visited the famous (infamous?) Diggle Range, as well as London Towne. Seb was hosted by Brit shooters Brian Fox and our buddy Vince Bottomley (who writes for the TargetShooter Magazine).

Shooting in the UK
Report by Sebastian Lambang
After flying from Surabaya to Manchester airport, Brian Fox picked up my wife Lily and me on Oct. 26 morning. We then went straight to Diggle Hotel. Saturday I shot the 800-yard match at Diggle Range and Sunday I shot the 300m ‘Tactical’ Match.

Monday to Wednesday morning Lily and I did sight-seeing in London. Then we went to Bisley by train. I got a little practice time on Thursday then shot the individual match on Friday and Saturday. The team match was on Sunday but I didn’t shoot it since a friend took us to his house.

Bisley Was Cold and Conditions Were Hard to Read
I think I didn’t do very well in the Europeans. Probably because this was my first-ever F-class match, and the temps were too low for me. I was told also that Bisley is hard to shoot, the wind flags pointing ‘everywhere’, and I wasn’t sure what I should I watch to judge the conditions. I can’t trust the wind-flags, I couldn’t see mirage most of the time to help to determine the hold off. However I really liked the Championship event and enjoyed the shooting. Congrats to Lee Tomlinson (F-Open Winner, 459.30), Tim Stewart (F-TR Winner, 439.23) and Great Britain’s victorious F-Open and F-TR teams.

CLICK HERE for Complete European F-Class Championship Results

Vince Bottomley supplied a rifle for me to use at the Championships. Vince is a great guy indeed, he helped me with the rifle, the loads etc., and most of all he spent three full days with me while I was shooting the match. I can’t thank him enough.

Testing the New SEB Joystick Bipod

AccurateShooter: How did the new Joystick Bipod Work?

Seb: Unfortunately I didn’t have much time to try the bipod myself. But Thursday afternoon several Spanish shooters tried the bipod on their gun and they said that the bipod works fine and their shots went into the spot they want. I tried a few rounds with their gun but the impacts were not as expected … probably because I shot their F-TR .308 gun free recoil. [Editor: Even with ski-type bipod feet, you will usually benefit by having a pretty firm grip on the gun — not a death hold — but contact with the gun at multiple points.]

AccurateShooter: When will the bipod go on sale? Is the design finalized?

SEB joystick bipodSeb: I still need to perfect the legs of the bipod, I think. I will probably make two models, one with compactness in mind and one other with the lightest legs possible. The MAX rest is in production currently, and then I’ll make another 200 NEO rests for the people on the waiting list. After that we could probably start bipod production. I do hope that the bipod can be ready for sale sometime in mid-2013. The first batch would be 100 units. If my prediction is correct, all 100 units will be sold or spoken for.

AccurateShooter: How much will the production version of the Joystick Bipod cost?

Seb: Still not sure, but it should be around $350-$400 in the USA. The most expensive part is the coaxial unit. According to Brian Fox, the bipod attracted a lot of attention/interest during the match and if I had a dozen units with me, we might have sold them all at the match.

Great Visit to the UK
I really enjoyed my visit to the UK, especially visiting with Brian Fox (he is a great guy and genuine indeed!) and meeting fellow shooters from other European countries. I learned a bit from the F-class shoot and I think the bug has bitten me. It’s also nice to see a sea of SEB rests at the Bisley range in the F-Open Class.

I send my thanks to all the people I met during my visit. It is great to make new friends, and I’m happy to be a part of this great group of shooters.

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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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June 3rd, 2011

Target Shooting Magazine Offers iPad Edition

Our friend Vince Bottomley of Target Shooter Magazine, www.targetshooteronline.com, let us know about an exciting new development for the quality UK-based shooting eZine. Starting this month, June 2011, the latest monthly edition of Target Shooter will be available as a digital App for Apple iPads. Each monthly edition can be downloaded from the iTunes store for just $0.99. That’s a good value when you consider Target Shooter has at least 6-8 feature articles every month, plus gear reviews and match reports. Here are some highlight from this month’s June edition of Target Shooter:

  • New Optics for 2011 from Leupold, IOR, March, Schmidt & Bender, Sightron (informative report by Vince Bottomley).
  • Handloading for the 6mmBR (Part 2), by Laurie Holland (Great article — a “must read”.)
  • Visit to Savage Arms Factory (in Massachusetts) by Yvonne Wilcock.
  • New Valkyrie Tactical .308 (in Folding Stock), by Chris Parkin.
  • Reading Mirage for Rimfire and Air Rifle Benchrest, by Carl Boswell.
  • Review of Bryan Litz’s Applied Ballistics (2d. Ed) book.
  • Target Shooter Magazine

If you prefer to read Target Shooter on the web, or you don’t have an iPad content reader, don’t worry, Target Shooter will still be available for free through Target Shooter’s website. Just log on to www.targetshooteronline.com. But if you want to see the latest and greatest version of Target Shooter, consider the iTunes download. Vince tells us: “the magazine is so much nicer to read with an iPad — it’s almost better than a paper magazine.” To download Target Shooter, just go to the iTunes Webstore and search iPad apps for “Target Shooter” or “targetshooteronline”.

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December 4th, 2010

Welcome to the Nanny State…

These photos show actual product restriction notices at stores in the UK. The bright red toy ray-gun can only be sold to adults. The sign reads: “This product is restricted…. To protect our younger customers, you have to be over 18 to buy imitation firearms.”

Britain Nanny State

Steak Knives — For Adults Only
If that wasn’t bad enough, check out this sign next to a set of flatware for the dinner table: “Sale of Knives & Bladed Articles — The sale of these products is governed by the Offensive Weapons Act 1996 (as Amended by the Violent Reduction Act 2006). It is a criminal offence to sell these products to any person under the age of 18 years.”

What’s next, restricting those under 18 to soft foods they can eat with a spoon? How did things ever become this absurd? What would Winston Churchill say about the rampant “Nannyism” in today’s UK?

One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils in this world are to be cured by legislation. — Thomas Reed

Editor’s Comment — Yes this is Real
We were skeptical about the knife ban, until we located the House of Commons Legislation Report. As originally passed in 1988, the knife-purchase age limit was 16 years, but, according to the report: “Section 43 [of the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006] amends section 141A(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 under which it is currently an offence to sell a knife or an article with a blade or point to a person under the age of 16 years. Section 43 increases that age to 18″.

Apparently not all Britain’s politicians are spineless idiots. During the debate on the 2006 Amendment (raising the age limit on knife sales), M.P. Mark Oaten stated:

“It is difficult to see how the proposed age limit for knives can work. The bill will land us in the ridiculous situation where a 16- and a 17-year-old can get married and set up home on their own, but can’t buy a kitchen knife”.

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June 12th, 2010

Failure of Euro-Style Gun Control Explained by Professor Lott

Cumbria England shooting UKIn the wake of a tragic, multiple shooting in Cumbria, England, there have been renewed calls for yet MORE gun bans in the UK. But it remains to be seen how much further the Brits can go without banning virtually all firearms. The Cumbria shooter was armed with an ordinary shotgun. Britain has already banned handguns and revolvers, banned self-loading and pump-action rifles, and banned most shotguns that hold more than two shells. The Brits have even banned Airsoft-type toy guns. The UK’s Violent Crime Reduction Act of 2006 made it a crime to manufacture, import or sell realistic imitation guns, and doubled the maximum sentence for carrying an imitation gun to 12 months. In Britain, it is even against the law to fire an air weapon beyond the boundary of any premises.

Can Britain prevent future mass shootings by banning yet more classes of firearms (whatever that might be)? Recent history suggests the answer is no. In Europe, some of the worst multiple-victim shootings occurred in those countries with the tightest restrictions on firearms. In the UK, to acquire a shotgun, one must go through a police interview, show “good reason” to own the shotgun, and then obtain a police-issued certificate. The police then visit the applicant’s home to verify the shotgun will be securely stored.

Cumbria England shooting UK

Lott Says More Gun Bans Won’t Solve Problem
Professor John Lott, author of More Guns, Less Crime, has written an interesting essay for the National Review Online. In that article, Lott analyzes the history of recent mass shootings in Europe. What he has found is that virtually all of these shootings have occurred in locations where it is illegal for private citizens to wield guns for self-protection. Lott suggests, therefore, that the problem of mass shootings will not be solved by more gun control… so long as potential victims are rendered defenseless by laws restricting the right to armed self-defense. Lott writes: “Look at recent history… all of the [multiple-victim public shootings in Western Europe] occurred in gun-free zones — places where guns in the hands of civilians are outlawed.” Here is Prof. Lott’s summary:

Contrary to public perception, Western Europe, most of whose countries have much tougher gun laws than the United States, has experienced many of the worst multiple-victim public shootings. Particularly telling, all the multiple-victim public shootings in Western Europe have occurred in places where civilians are not permitted to carry guns. The same is true in the United States: All the public shootings in which more than three people have been killed have occurred in places where civilians may not legally bring guns.

Large multiple-victim public shootings are exceedingly rare events, but they garner massive news attention, and the misperceptions they produce are hard to erase. When I have been interviewed by foreign journalists, even German ones, they usually start off by asking why multiple-victim public shootings are such an American problem. And of course, they are astonished when I remind them of the attacks in their own countries and point out that this is not an American problem, it is a universal problem, but with a common factor: The attacks occur in public places where civilians are banned from carrying guns. — John Lott

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July 31st, 2009

Hail Britannia! UK Shooters Dominate World F-Class Championships. USA F-TR Team Wins.

2009 F-Class Championships Bisley England, Farquharson TrophyThis year’s 2009 World F-Class Championship was held at the historic Bisley Range in England, and UK Shooters served their country proud, winning the prestigious F-Open Team Competition and dominating the individual matches in both F-Open and F-TR classes. Great Britain’s F-Open shooters proved their mastery of the challenging Bisley course, posting a 3436-230V score to top the second-place American Team by 59 points (Team USA score was 3377-234V). The South African Team, defending Champions, finished third with a 3337-188V score.

UK Shooters truely dominated the Individual F-Open Championship, capturing ALL of the top ten places, lead by Gary Costello (1st Place) with 458-44V, followed close behind by fellow Brit Des Parr with 456-36V. That’s nine Brits and a Scot in the Top Ten. In the Individual Competition, F-TR division, Britain finished one/two at the top of the podium, with Russell Simmons (437-23V) winning the Gold, and countryman George Barnard (432-23V) winning Silver. American Stan Pate took third with a 420-25V score.

2009 F-Class Championships

American F-Open Team Vice-Captain Shiraz Balolia, writing in his Bisley Blog, suggested that the windy conditions favored the 7mm caliber used by the home team Brits: “The individual World F-Class Championship is over. We essentially got overpowered by the 7mm guns. Bisley is not a range that you can win using 6.5mm guns, which is what the whole US Team is using. Of the top 10 positions, all but one were Brits with 7mm guns. The odd one was a Scot also with a 7mm gun.”

After the Team Match concluded, Shiraz wrote: “The British team won the World F-Class Open Championship. USA took second and South Africa third. The Brits beat us by 59 points and they were very surprised that we came that close to them. I believe that there were two main factors that worked very well for them. First and foremost was that they had full knowledge of their range and have been practicing on that range fairly regularly as a team for quite some time. Secondly, their 7mm guns were a good wind-bucking caliber that, when combined with good coaches (who have coached at that range for many years), gave them the results they were after. Someone made the comment to me that the Americans were improving by the day. Unfortunately, we ran out of days and it was game over. Our coaches did an outstanding job under very trying conditions. We beat the previous champs, South Africa, by 40 points.”

EDITOR’s NOTE: In the previous F-Open World Championships in South Africa, Team USA was defeated by the home team South Africans who were shooting 7mms. At Bisley in 2009, the same thing happened, with the Brits winning on their home turf, again using 7mms. Do we see the writing on the wall?

2009 F-Class Championships

CLICK HERE for Complete F-Class Championships Results.

CLICK HERE for 2009 F-Class World Championship Photo Archive.

2009 F-Class Championships

Americans Win F-TR Class
In the F-TR class the American Team powered to victory, haulting the British juggernaut. Under the leadership of Captain Darrel Buell, and coach Gary Rassmussen, shooters Brad Sauve, Dale Carpenter, Warren Dean, Monte Milanuk, Paul Phillips, Stan Pate, Jeff Rorer, and John Weil won the F-Class Restricted Teams Match with a 1581-76V score. The USA Rutland Cup Open Team of David Bailey, Mike Downey, David Gosnell, and Larry Taite, coached by Nancy Tompkins, also finished first, besting a strong Great Britain Red squad (second place), and Don Nagel’s third-place Connecticut Yankees.

2009 F-Class Championships

2009 F-Class Championships

All photos © 2009 by 762_AK, used by permission.

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