August 18th, 2017

F-Class Team Worlds: USA Wins F-TR, Australia Wins F-Open

F-TR F T/R Canada Connaught Ranges F-Class Team World Championship
Photo Credits Laura Perry(top) and Kelly McMillan (bottom)

The 2017 F-Class World Championships wrapped up August 17 with the final day of Team competition. Over the past two days, 8-shooter squads competed in the major international challenge match while 4-shooter teams vied for honor in the Rutland match. Team USA F-TR stole the show with a stirring come-from-behind victory over a very strong Australia F-TR squad. Not to be denied, Aussie F-Open shooters countered America’s F-TR success with a solid win for Australia in the 8-shooter F-Open match. It was Deja Vu… this result was a replay of the 2013 Worlds, where Team USA won the F-TR Team Title, while Team Australia won F-Open.

CLICK HERE for full 2017 F-Class World Championships Team and Individual Results

F-TR World Champions: Team USA, Richardson Trophy — Score: 3400-264V
PERRY, LAURA, AL — 419v31
DROELLE, JOHN, MI — 418v27
BARNHART, ALAN, MI — 433v36
HOGG, TRACY, NC — 424v31
KLEMM, IAN, WI — 426v39
RODGERS, DEREK, NM — 435v39
RORER, JEFFREY, NC — 429v35
POHLABEL, DANIEL, OH — 416v26
GROSS, RAYMOND, MI
HARDIN, CARLTON, GA
PHILLIPS, PAUL, MI
LENTZ, DANIEL, WI
LITZ, BRYAN, MI
FULMER, SCOTT, NY
REEVE, KENT, NC
BOYER, DOUGLAS, MI

F-Open World Champions: Team Australia, Farquharson Trophy — Score: 3511-342V
DAVIES, ROD — 441v45
CARTER, PETER — 437v37
LARSEN, PETER — 442v38
LOBERT, MARTY — 437v43
POHL, ADAM — 440v48
BRAUND, STUART — 431v39
BUNYAN, BRETT — 440v40
NUGENT, TIM — 443v52
MCGOWAN, CRAIG
BRAUND, RICHARD
WAITES, MICHAEL
LAZARUS, STEVE
REID, JOSH
FERRARA, BEN
TILLACK, LOWELL
DOBSON, DAVID

Team USA — Three-time World Champions deliver a come-from-behind win at the 900 meter line.
F-TR F T/R Canada Connaught Ranges F-Class Team World Championship

Along with winning F-Open, the Aussies did well in the 8-man F-TR competition, finishing second overall with a score of 3394-237V, six points behind Team USA F-TR (3400-264V). Third in F-TR was Team South Africa, with 3376-250V.

Rutland F-Class World Championship

Team Canada (3506-346V) finished second in F-Open, while Team USA (F-Open) finished third with the interesting score of 3500-350V (that’s not a misprint). We believe Calvin Waldner of Canada had the top individual F-Open score for the match — 444-51V.

The F-TR Team Battle — It Paid to Wait
The top two F-TR squads, Team USA and Team Australia, followed very different strategies. The Australians got off to a quick start, while the Americans waited… and waited … and waited. Being patient and waiting for more readable and stable wind conditions proved a winning strategy for the Yanks who overcame a 9-point deficit to finish with a six-point margin as time closed down in the firing period.

Team USA Captain Ray Gross reports: “The match came down to the last yard line. The Australians were up 11 points to start the day and the Canadians were 6 points behind. We made up 2 points at 700m and shot even with the Australians at 800m, leaving us 9 points down going into the final 900m stage.

The Aussies chose to start shooting right away in what looked liked easy conditions and we waited, hoping for better. While we waited the team stayed focused and ready. Luck was on our side, it calmed down and the shooters and coaches performed flawlessly, making up the nine points and finally pulling ahead in the last few minutes of the match.

We were the last team on the line shooting and everyone was behind us watching. After two days of very close competition, the match was not decided until our last two shooters. Our last shooter started with only 12 minutes left in the match and he finished his string of 15 shots in about five minutes. He only dropped two points giving us a six point victory.

We were so focused on delivering our best performance that we weren’t sure how the other teams had finished. After the last shot the Australian captain came over and congratulated me. They had been watching our score after they had finished and knew that we had won the match. Our gritty determination had paid off and it had been one of the most exciting matches that I’ve ever been a part of. Everyone on the team should be proud that they did not let our slim chances discourage them going into that last yard line. They stayed focused and each delivered a top performance.”

American F-Open Squads Dominate 4-Shooter Rutland Match

In the F-Open Rutland competition for 4-shooter teams, American squads dominated, taking the top 4 places. Team USA Blue (1758-177V) won the Rutland title, edging Spindle Shooters by a slim one-point margin. In third place was Team USA Red followed by the Texas State Rifle Association team.

Rutland F-Class World Championship

Rutland F-Class World Championship

In F-TR Rutland competition, Team “Da Bulls” secured a very convincing win. Da Bulls’ 1709-131V score was a full 14 points ahead of Team KP Ballistics. This was sort of an American victory… though Da Bulls did have one Canadian “ringer” on the squad, Stephen Ireland of Toronto. Runner-up KP Ballistics was just the opposite — KP had all Canadian members except one Yank, Wade Fillingame of New Hampshire.

Rutland F-Class World Championship
Above Team Da Bulls member James Crofts waives “good-bye” from the Connaught Ranges in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The next F-Class World Championships will be held in South Africa in 2021. ICFRA Web Page for 2021 FCWC.

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August 3rd, 2017

7mm MatchKings for the F-Class World Championships

Sierra MatchKing 183gr 183 Grain Bullet BC Long Range F-Class

The F-Class World Championships (FCWC) in Canada are just one week away. This August 11-17, the world’s top F-Class shooters will gather at the Connaught Ranges outside Ottawa, Ontario. The vast majority of F-Open shooters will be running some kind of 7mm (.284 Caliber) cartridge, with the .284 Winchester, .284 Win Improveds, and 7mm RSAUMs being popular.

7mm .284 Winchester F-Class Bullet

For those of you who plan to compete but who haven’t loaded your ammo yet, you may want to consider a very good 7mm match bullet from Sierra, 183 grain MatchKing (item #1983). We have found the 183gr MK, which comes “pointed” from the factory, to be very consistent in weight and base-to ogive measurement. Top F-Open shooters have told us that these bullets shoot exceptionally well, with minimal vertical dispersion at 1000. “Holding waterline” at long range is a reliable indicator that the BC is very uniform from bullet to bullet.

Sierra’s popular 7mm 183 grain MatchKing boasts an impressive 0.707 G1 Ballistic Coefficient (BC) at 2300+ fps. These bullets also have very consistent bullet-to-bullet BC, thanks to very uniform jackets and the tips being “pointed” at the factory. Sierra explains: “A final meplat-reducing operation (pointing) provides an increased ballistic coefficient for optimal wind resistance and velocity retention.”

Insight Into Sierra’s New 7mm MatchKing®
by Sierra Product Development Manager Mark Walker

In late 2015, Sierra introduced a new 7mm MatchKing® bullet with a different type of ogive. As part of the introduction, I had the opportunity to use them at the F-Class Nationals held in Phoenix with very good results. While at the match, several people had questions about what exactly was different about the ogive on this bullet as opposed to our tried and true blended tangent ogive. So with that in mind, hopefully this blog will answer those questions.

In the past, Sierra has typically used a tangent radius ogive design on our MatchKing® bullets. This is one of the most forgiving ogive designs due to its ability to shoot extremely accurately when jumped, as well as, jammed into the rifling. On rare occasions, some of our MatchKing® bullets have used a secant ogive due to design constraints. However, this ogive is much more sensitive to changes in seating depth than the tangent ogive so we tend to shy away from it. When we decided to work on this new bullet, we wanted to see if we could improve on the accuracy of even our best shooting tangent ogive bullets.

Sierra MatchKing 183gr 183 Grain Bullet BC Long Range F-Class

One of the main factors of what makes an accurate shooting bullet is how it aligns itself with the bore when fired. If a bullet is slightly crooked when entering the bore, it will cause inaccuracy on the target. We set out trying to think of ways to make sure that the bullet has no choice but to align itself with the bore perfectly.

The first part of the barrel to encounter the bullet is the leade in the chamber. The leade is an angle that is cut into the leading edge of the rifling which helps to guide the bullet into the bore. To illustrate how current bullets fit into the leade, picture a cone (leade) with a ball (bullet) sitting inside it. The ball can be rotated in all directions and the cone cannot force the ball to orientate itself in any particular direction. When a bullet with a radius encounters the leade, it behaves in a similar way. Now this of course is a very simple example and of course advanced shooters use tight necks and brass that is perfectly formed to the chamber to make sure the bullet is aligned as perfect as possible. However, there is always a small element of misalignment that is possible even with all this precise preparation.

This brings us to the ogive on the new 7mm MatchKing®. We thought instead of using the typical ogive radius that can allow slight misalignment, why not use the same straight angle that is used in the chamber leade on the bullet ogive to force itself to always align with the bore? Imagine the same cone as above (leade) with an identical cone (bullet) sitting inside of it. The cone inside has no choice but to align itself perfectly with the cone that it is sitting in every time. With that in mind, we designed the area of the bullet which contacts the leade in front of the bearing surface using a straight 1 1/2 degree angle instead of the typical radius. Once past that area, we use a traditional high caliber ogive radius to provide a very sleek, high BC bullet.

I hope that explains our thought process behind this new bullet. In our testing, it is one of the most forgiving high-BC bullets we have ever made.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review 3 Comments »
May 1st, 2017

Exotic Wood F-Open Rig for the F-Class World Championships

Speedy Gonzalez Cerus rifleworks F-Open rifle custom Borden Action

Gunsmith Thomas “Speedy” Gonzalez recently completed a stunning new F-Open rig for a customer competing at the 2017 F-Class World Championships held at the Connaught Ranges in Ottawa, Canada.

The special laminated fancy wood stock was crafted by Will McCloskey of Cerus Rifleworks. Cerus mills its stocks with a super-precise, computer-controlled CNC machine. This provides ultra-exact dimensions/geometry for superior tracking. This stock features carbon upgrades — a carbon fiber bedding block and carbon fiber forearm tunnel. Speedy tells us: “The Borden action is conventionally bedded, then glued-in as per our benchrest rifles in order for the stock and barreled action to function as one unit. This feature also eliminates the possiblity of moisture entering into the receiver’s bedding area in a rain or high moisture event.”

The stock is made from multiple layers of exotic and fancy woods. On the outside is Bocote, a super-dense (extra heavy) exotic from Central America. Next comes Birds-eye Maple, while the core (centerline) layer is Wenge wood. Strengthening the laminate are carbon fiber stringers. A stock like this can be purchased for $799.00 plus $100 for the exotic wood upgrades.

Speedy Gonzalez Cerus rifleworks F-Open rifle custom Borden Action

Speedy F-Open Rifle Specifications:

Cerus Rifleworks stock with R.A.D.
Borden Accuracy BRMXD action
Flavio Farè trigger
Brux barrel with Erik Cortina Tuner
Nightforce Competition scope
SEB Mini Coaxial front Rest with F-Class Feet


Speedy Gonzalez Cerus rifleworks F-Open rifle custom Borden Action
The handsome, CNC-milled laminated Cerus stock features a R.A.D. Recoil Reduction System.

Permalink Competition, Gear Review 11 Comments »
May 28th, 2016

The Color Purple — A Father’s Gift to His Daughter

Erik Cortina 6.5x47 Lapua F-Class Rifle Daughter

“My daughter’s favorite color is purple, so I built her a purple rifle….”

Here’s a feel-good story about a family that shoots together, and a dad who did something very special for his daughter. All fathers create things for their children, but it’s unusual to find a Dad who has the skills (and motivation) to build a top-level competition rifle for his child. Our friend, Erik Cortina, did just that. Here is the story of the lovely purple maple F-Class rig Erik built for his girl Amberleeana.

Erik Cortina 6.5x47 Lapua F-Class Rifle Daughter

AUDIO FILE: Erik Cortina and Daughter Amberleeana Talk about the Purple Rifle. (Sound file loads when you click button).

My daughter would always tell me when I would go to a match, “Remember Dad, only Xs matter, the other stuff on the target is just there for decoration!” — Erik Cortina

A Father’s Gift: An F-Classer for Amberleeana

by Erik Cortina
My daughter Amberleeana has been wanting to shoot F-Class for a long time because I have been dragging her to matches since she was a little girl. She would come into my reloading room and watch me reload while she asked a million questions, all which I tried to answer to the best of my abilities. At age 9, she started hunting with a semi-custom rifle her grandfather gave her, a 6×47 Lapua built on a Remington 700 action with a Bartlein barrel. She has been very successful as a hunter so she decided to move to the next step and start shooting F-Class.

She shot my backup rifle before and she really enjoyed it. Here’s a YouTube video from a while back. This shows Amberleeana, at age 11, shooting at 500 yards for the very first time. You can see she does very well.

After hearing about the U.S. F-Class Under 25 (U25) Rifle Team selection trials in Raton this upcoming summer, Amberleeana wanted to try out for the U25 Team. I told her that was OK, but we had to modify the rifle she was currently using so that it could fit her better. After some consideration, I decided instead to sell that rifle and build her a brand new one.

Erik Cortina 6.5x47 Lapua F-Class Rifle Daughter

Her favorite color is purple, so I built her a purple rifle with adjustable cheek piece and butt pad. Shurley Brothers (Austin, TX) crafted the stock from maple, and then applied a purple gloss finish. We think it turned out great. Amberleeana is eager to take the rifle to Raton this summer: “I would like to make the Under 25 U.S. Rifle Team and compete at the F-Class World Championship in Canada in 2017. My main focus now is on the upcoming team try-outs in Raton, New Mexico.”

I hope that my daughter enjoys F-Class as much as I have, which will allow us to spend more time together on the range and in the reloading room.

6.5×47 Lapua Load Development
The purple rifle is chambered for the 6.5×47 Lapua cartridge. Our preliminary load work up shows great promise using Vihtavuori N140 powder, 136gr Lapua Scenar bullets, and CCI 450 primers. We tried a variety of charge weights, starting at 35.7 grains of N140 and ending up at 38.2 grains. The photo below shows an initial series of 3-shot test groups at 120 yards. What do you think is the best node? What charge weight would YOU select among these? [Editor: That final load of 38.2 grains looks very good, but we would want to check for pressure signs and repeat with 10-round strings checking for ES and SD. Also, if you go by the vertical only, the 36.0 and 36.3 loads are worth further testing.]

Erik Cortina 6.5x47 Lapua F-Class Rifle Daughter

Erik Cortina 6.5x47 Lapua F-Class Rifle DaughterPurple Rifle Specifications:
Stock: Shurley Brothers Lowrider XL stock (Maple)
(Finished by Shurley Brothers, bedded by Speedy Gonzalez)
Action: Kelbly F-Class Panda
Trigger: Flavio Fare
Barrel: Brux 32″-long, 1:8″-twist, 4-groove stainless, chambered in 6.5×47 Lapua
(Barrel work and assembly done by Erik Cortina)
Barrel Tuner: ECTuner (matches barrel contour)
Scope: Nightforce 15-55x52mm Competition
Front Rest: SEB NEO front rest
Rear Sandbag: Edgewood
Load: VV N140, 136gr Scenars, CCI 450 primers

Erik Cortina 6.5x47 Lapua F-Class Rifle Daughter

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August 5th, 2013

‘World Championship’ Cartridge Caddies from Pistol Dynamics

The beautifully-made Pistol Dynamics (PD) Products Cartridge Caddy has become popular with many top shooters. USA F-Class Shooting Team members Shiraz Balolia, Kenny Adams and others rely on these caddies to access ammo and keep time. By providing a clear, unmistakable visual display of time remaining and rounds fired, these ammo caddies make life easier for shooter, scorer, and coach.

Pistol Dynamics PD Products Cartridge Caddy

To celebrate the 2013 F-Class World Championship in Raton, New Mexico this month, PD Products, through its Formula-F Division, has introduced a limited run of sequentially-numbered World Championship Caddies with F-Class World Championship graphics and optional name engraving. Production of these 25-round caddies will be limited by the number of units sold to participants of the match and will cease after that point.

Pistol Dynamics PD Products Cartridge Caddy

Caddies Custom-Fit Your Choice of Cartridge
Caddies are available for a variety of cartridge types from .223 Rem to 7mm Magnum. Some Caddies are multi-caliber capable. For example, the .308 block accepts .308 Win, .243 Win, 7mm08, and other .308 family variants. Limited-edition ‘World Shoot Caddies’ cost $140.00 (shipping included) with optional name engraving for $20.00 extra (at time of purchase).

Pistol Dynamics PD Products Cartridge Caddy

Original Caddy Also Available for $110.00
PD Products’ original On-Time Caddy is still available for $110.00, including standard shipping within the continental USA. Custom name engraving is also available on this product. Both the original PD Products Caddy and the special Limited Edition World Championship Caddy come with a lifetime warranty on machined parts and one year on the timer.

To learn more about the special ‘World Shoot’ Caddy or the original On-Time Caddy visit the
PD Products website, call (321) 733-1266, or send email to: info [at] pistoldynamics.com .

Permalink Gear Review, New Product No Comments »
November 19th, 2012

Registration Opens for 2013 F-Class World Championship

Register Now for the 2013 F-Class Worlds

Entry registration for the 2013 F-Class World Championships in Raton, New Mexico is now open on the Bald Eagles Rifle Club website. Beverly Bartholome notes: “Before registering for the 2013 FCWC please go to the F-Class World championships web site http://fcwc-usa.org/. Under ‘Entries’ read both the entire Program and the Information Packet.” You’ll find info on matches, awards and entry requirements. Plus links within the program take you to the FCWC and FCN entry forms.

CLICK BELOW for 2013 FCWC Program:
Program 2013 F-Class World Championship

CLICK BELOW for 2013 FCWC Info Packet:
Information Packet 2013 F-Class World Championship

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