As an Amazon Associate, this site earns a commission from Amazon sales.











April 29th, 2022

Team Competition — How to Make and Use a Wind Plot

wind plot Bryan Litz FCWC Canada F-Class World Championship
CLICK HERE to see full-screen version of Wind Plot.

Team shooting is very different than individual competition. Typically a team coach makes the wind calls for the shooters. In some cases (where the rules allow), the wind coach even dials elevation and windage changes for the active shooter. For the wind coach to do his job effectively, he must follow the changes in the wind and determine what the correct wind call should have been for each shot. (In other words — what was the “right call”)

Bryan Litz, founder of Applied Ballistics and Past USA F-TR National Champion, served as wind coach for the winning 4-man F-TR Team at the 2017 Canadian F-Class Championships, which preceded the F-Class World Championships also held in Canada. Here Bryan explains how he has used a Wind Plot to make better wind calls, helping his team-mates maximize their scores.

wind calling plot log technique

Wind Plot Methodology by Bryan Litz

The wind plot I use is a running history of what the correct wind call was for every shot fired. The more you shoot, the more history you have in a condition, and I find that very useful information. This kind of plot IS NOT showing where the bullet hit, and is NOT showing what you held. It’s showing what you should have held to center each shot. IMO, this is the most valuable information to have when guessing where to hold next for each shot. Here are some key points:

1. I always look for blocks of stable conditions to shoot in and wait out the rest.

2. If the wind plot shows drastic changes, either I’m not picking the right time to shoot or it’s just a really unstable wind condition.

3. When you see many shots using the same hold (e.g. Robby’s 700m and 900m strings on plot), it can indicate very fast shooting and fast pit service.

Q. What are the numbers and Markings on this Wind Plot?
Litz: The wind plot represents the rings on the target. Left 2 for example, is the 5 line on the international target, while Left 2 is the 10 line on the USA target. F-Class shooters and coaches talk about wind holds in relation to these rings. A Left 2 hold isn’t left 2 MOA or 2 MILS, it’s the second ring from center. The vertical lines on the plot represent the rings going out from center, 4 or 5 in each direction. A left or right 5 hold is edge of black on the int’l target.

wind plot Bryan Litz FCWC Canada F-Class World Championship

Q: What Does this Specific Plot Reveal?
Litz: Looking at the plot, from left to right is 700m, 800m, and 900m that we shot progressively through the day. Top to bottom shows each shooter in sequence (shooters names are shown by their blocks). To the right I note what was on the gun for that shooter, and note when it changes. Often times we run the same wind on the gun for several shooters but if it changes, I note what the new windage is and continue on. For example if we’re settled into a condition where we’re shooting Vs with a right 3 hold, I might adjust the scope 1 MOA right because a right 3 hold is equal to 1 MOA. So we can move the scope and start shooting with a center hold.

Q. Are you Plotting Where the Bullet Hits?
Litz: Not exactly. This kind of plot IS NOT specifically showing where the bullet hit, and IS NOT showing what the shooter held. It’s showing what the shooter should have held to center each shot. IMO, this is the most valuable information to have when guessing where to hold next for each shot.

On each shot, the shooter or coach takes a guess about where to hold, and fires the shot. If the bullet hits the center, you plot the point right where you held because it was the correct hold. However, if you miss the call, you plot what hold was required to put that shot in the center. For example if you shoot a right 3 and hit where you held, the correct call would have been “center”. In this way, you’re building a history of what you should have done, which may or may not be what you actually did. This shows you the trends, and brackets which can be used to make future decisions.

Q: Is this Type of Wind Plot Something New?
Litz: I didn’t invent this method, it’s been around a long time. Vertical can be plotted the same way. In team matches, we have a plotter who is advising on elevation trends and suggesting corrections. But, as wind coach, my job is the horizontal so I only keep the wind plot. I have learned lots of strategies from my coaches Emil Praslick and Steve Hardin.

There are many ways to plot and many standard work sheets for this. They’re all tools and the key is to find something that works for you in different situations. I don’t keep a plot when I am personally behind the trigger string firing because I lose more points when I take the time to do it vs. just shooting fast. When pair firing or coaching, I can keep the wind plot without compromising the shooting.

2013 F-Class World Championships
Here Team Australia used plots and communication gear linking coaches. This helped the Aussies win the 2013 F-Open Team World Championship held at Raton, NM.

Know Your Goal — Keep It Simple
Know your goal of plotting. The simplest plot is where you write the shot number where it hit on a target face. This kind of plotting is useful for evaluating shooter performance because it shows how big the group is (in particular the vertical dispersion). However keeping a plot like this does little to help you figure out the wind. It just shows you what shots you messed up on. It does nothing to help you find the center. [Editor: That’s a whole different matter with many variables.] The wind plot I use is a running history of what the correct wind call was for every shot fired. The more you shoot, the more history you have in a condition, and I find that very useful information.

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Tech Tip No Comments »
March 19th, 2022

Dad Develops .223 Rem F-TR Load for his Daughter

F-TR load development .223 Rem Remington Sierra TMK

Jeremy Rowland decided to put together an F-TR rifle for his eldest daughter, who enjoys competitive shooting. For his daughter, Rowland chose the .223 Rem option because it has less recoil and components are less costly than the .308 Win. Here is Rowland’s account of how he developed a .223 Rem load. For more details (with data charts), read Jeremy’s FULL STORY on Sierra Bullets Blog.

Journey to Find a .223 Rem F-Class Load

by Jeremy Rowland, Reloading Podcast
My oldest daughter has been to several matches with me, and has even competed in several, using her .243. [A few seasons back] I decided, she would compete with a .223 Rem in FT/R. Looking for a good starter rifle, I settled on the Savage Axis Heavy Barrel since it has a 1:9″ twist. This would be a great little rifle for her to learn on. The rifle was shot unmodified, as it came from the factory. A Sinclair F-Class Bipod w/micro elevation adjustment was fitted to the front.

Next came finding the components I wanted to use for her match loads. After spending hours and hours running numbers on JBM stability calculator as well as in my iPhone Ballistic AE app, the 69 gr Sierra Tipped MatchKing® (TMK) looked really good. So that’s what I decided to go with. I jumped in head first and ordered a bulk pack of the Sierra 69 gr TMKs. I had settled on Hodgdon CFE 223 powder since it shows good velocity. I decided to go with once-fired Lake City brass with CCI BR4 primers.

Next came the testing. I decided to run a ladder test (one shot per charge from min to max looking for the accuracy node). The ladder test ranged from 23.5 grains to 25.6 grains, in 0.3 grain increments.

F-TR load development .223 Rem Remington Sierra TMK

Ladder Test Conditions: Temp: 59.4° | Humidity: 63% | Elevation: 486 | Wind: 5-12 mph

F-TR load development .223 Rem Remington Sierra TMK

Bullet: 69 gr Sierra Tipped MatchKing®
Case: Lake City (mixed years, sorted by case capacity)
Primer:CCI BR4
Powder: Hodgdon CFE 223 (one round each from 23.5 to 25.6 grains)
Cartridge OAL: 2.378″
Base to Ogive: 1.933″ (.020″ off lands)

After his ladder test, Rowland settled on a load of 25.2 grains of Hodgdon CFE 223. He then fine-tuned his load with different seating depths: “I loaded up 5 rounds each at .020″ off lands, .015″ off lands, .010″ off lands, and .005″ off the lands. Here are the results from the best group for OAL/Ogive fine tuning. As you can see, I think I’ve found a winner in these 69 gr Sierra Tipped MatchKings.”

F-TR load development .223 Rem Remington Sierra TMK

Seating Depth Test Conditions: Temp: 36.3° | Humidity: 73.8% | Elevation: 486 | Wind: 5-7 mph

This article originally appeared in the Sierra Bullets Blog.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Reloading, Tech Tip No Comments »
February 15th, 2022

2022 Southwest Nationals Match Report

Berger Southwest SW Nationals 2022 f-class f-open f-tr 1000 yards palma sling match Ben Avery Phoenix AZ

The 2022 Southwest Nationals are history. This was a very successful mid-range and long-range event, with 330+ participants and some great shooting in F-Open, F-TR, and Sling divisions. We congratulate the 2022 SWN Champions: Tod Hendricks (F-Open, 1243-73X); Keith Trapp (F-TR, 1233-62X); and Kimberly Rowe (1231-63X). Shown below are Sling Winner Kimberly Rowe, and F-TR Champ Keith Trapp.

Berger Southwest SW Nationals 2022 f-class f-open f-tr 1000 yards palma sling match Ben Avery Phoenix AZ
Berger Southwest SW Nationals 2022 f-class f-open f-tr 1000 yards palma sling match Ben Avery Phoenix AZ

Here are the TOP TEN for each of the three divisions. CLICK HERE for ALL results:

2022 Southwest Nationals Top Ten Competitors by Division
F-Open Class

Tod Hendricks, 1243-73X
Tim Vaught, 1241-71X
Ken Dickerman, 1238-66X
John Masek, 1237-65X
William Kolodziej, 1235-57X
Doug Skogman, 1235-56X
Eric Wuestenhoefer, 1233-60X
Omar Alonzo, 1233-59X
Emil Kovan, 1233-57X
C.J. Sitton, 1232-62X

F-TR Class

Keith Trapp, 1233-62X
Fritz Braun, 1228-58X
James Crofts, 1224-36X
Brad Sauve, 1221-40X
Carl Matthews, 1217-50X
Drew Rutherford, 1217-45X
Matt Schwartzkopf, 1216-45X
Anthony Jordan, 1214-37X
Michael Waters, 1212-43X
Ellis Berry, 1210-48X

Sling Class

Kimberley Rowe, 1231-63X
Bobby Gill, 1231-55X
Oliver Milanovic, 1230-69X
Justin Skaret, 1229-58X
Curtis Gordon, 1228-63X
Ron Zerr, 1227-63X
Robert Gustin, 1226-49X
Trudie Fay, 1225-57X
Eron Ahmer, 1224-47X
Ken Shomber, 1222-51X

Berger Southwest SW Nationals 2022 f-class f-open f-tr 1000 yards palma sling match Ben Avery Phoenix AZ

Click the links below for full results, including Grand Aggs and day-by-day performances. You can also find further results plus a large collection of photos at SouthwestNationals.net.

ALL F-Open Results | ALL F-TR Results | ALL Sling Div. Results

Berger Southwest SW Nationals 2022 f-class f-open f-tr 1000 yards palma sling match Ben Avery Phoenix AZ
The Berger SW Nationals is one of the few American events where sling shooters compete on the same firing line as F-Class competitors (though in separate groups).

Berger Southwest SW Nationals 2022 f-class f-open f-tr 1000 yards palma sling match Ben Avery Phoenix AZ
Reading the wind can be challenging at Ben Avery. What’s your wind call here?

Berger Southwest SW Nationals 2022 f-class f-open f-tr 1000 yards palma sling match Ben Avery Phoenix AZ
Top competitors show focus and concentration in mid-range match.

Berger Southwest SW Nationals 2022 f-class f-open f-tr 1000 yards palma sling match Ben Avery Phoenix AZ
Stunning F-Open rifle with SEB Mini front rest with Blake Machine accessories.

Berger Southwest SW Nationals 2022 f-class f-open f-tr 1000 yards palma sling match Ben Avery Phoenix AZ
Looking downrange during Team Match.

Berger Southwest SW Nationals 2022 f-class f-open f-tr 1000 yards palma sling match Ben Avery Phoenix AZ
Here is the 1000-yard firing line on the final day of competition.

Competitor’s Thoughts about the 2022 SW Nationals
Our friend John Masek (“F Class John” in our Forum) shot great to finish 4th overall in the F-Open division. Here is his “take-away” from this year’s SWN:

The 2022 SWN saw what I can only describe as the largest collection of tight-shooting guns I’ve even seen. As we approached the 800-yard line for the first day of the Long Range program, it was absolutely dead calm and everyone knew some high scores were going to get posted. By the end of the 800-yard match, the vast majority of the 134 F-Open shooters shot a clean 150 with a staggering eight of them shooting a perfect 150-15X (even 11-year-old Ethan Blake). By the end of the day, after shooting 15 rounds each at 800, 900, and 1000 yards, the entire first page of F-Open shooters was separated by only 7 points — a crazy tight margin.

On the following day we started with a very difficult 10-15 mph headwind that derailed many shooters. After the dust settled, there were 22 points separating the first page of shooters but still just 9 points spread among the top 20. The final day was fairly mild and it was anyone’s game, but there was just enough wind to keep shooters on their toes, giving many a chance at redemption from the previous day.

At the end of the day, Tod Hendricks, Tim Vaught, and Ken Dickerman kept their heads in the game and held onto their leads to finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively in F-Open. Tod shot an amazing 200-15X in his final round, proving that he was indeed deserving of the F-Open gold medal after three days of fierce competition.

As always, this match, along with the F-Class Nationals and V2 Finale, bring out the finest shooters in the country (and others from around the world). I highly encourage anyone who is able to attend these matches to do so. It’s an experience like no other. No matter your score, you’ll leave with more experience and certainly more friends than you arrived with.

Berger Southwest SW Nationals 2022 f-class f-open f-tr 1000 yards palma sling match Ben Avery Phoenix AZ
There was construction behind the Ben Avery Range. Note the many tall cranes.

Berger Southwest SW Nationals 2022 f-class f-open f-tr 1000 yards palma sling match Ben Avery Phoenix AZ
Competitors being transported for their sessions pulling targets in the pits.

Berger Southwest SW Nationals 2022 f-class f-open f-tr 1000 yards palma sling match Ben Avery Phoenix AZ
Working in the pits is part of the Berger SWN experience.

Over 300 Competitors from Many Countries
On opening day of the 2022 SW Nationals Nancy Tompkins posted: “We started the day off with National anthems for Brazil, Canada, Puerto Rico, Scotland, the United Kingdom, and the USA. We have 282 shooters today and 333 for the Long Range portion of the match. It is fantastic seeing so many targets up and so many competitors after the last two years.”

Berger Southwest SW Nationals 2022 f-class f-open f-tr 1000 yards palma sling match Ben Avery Phoenix AZ
Photo by Nancy Tompkins near Ben Avery Shooting Facility the evening before the Southwest Nationals. Nancy posted: “Thank you to all of the sponsors, volunteers, and shooters who have traveled from all over… to make this match so special.

Parting Shot: Norm Harrold Target, 200-17X

Berger Southwest SW Nationals 2022 f-class f-open f-tr 1000 yards palma sling match Ben Avery Phoenix AZ

Paul Phillips posted: “Today I pulled a target for Norm Harrold. This was his 1000-yard target that scored 200-17X. This was the best F-Class score I ever pulled for. It sure is nice when they’re all in the X-Ring. Nice shooting Norm! This is a 5-inch X-Ring.” NOTE: This was from the first 20-shot competition on Day 2 at 1000 yards. We believe Norm had the second highest score for this particular 20-shot match, behind Steven Zock who shot an amazing 200-19X.

See you next year!

Berger Southwest SW Nationals 2022 f-class f-open f-tr 1000 yards palma sling match Ben Avery Phoenix AZ

Permalink - Articles, Competition, News 1 Comment »
February 8th, 2022

Berger Southwest Nationals — Equipment List from 2020

2020 Berger Southwest SW SWN Nationals gear list equipment actions barrels stocks bullets scopes

The Berger SW Nationals competition is back! After being cancelled in 2021 due to Covid concerns, one of America’s best shooting matches returns in 2022. The match kicks off tomorrow, February 9, 2022, and continues through Sunday February 13, 2022 at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix, Arizona.

This is a unique match that combines F-Class competition with High Power (Palma) prone sling shooting. The nation’s top F-Open and F-TR shooters will be in Phoenix, along with top “hard-holders” with their bolt-action long-range target rifles.

If you’re curious about the equipment favored by Berger SWN competitors, here are the equipment lists from the last SWN match in 2020. This list was compiled by the match directors from info supplied by 2020 F-Class and High Power competitors. This covers hardware (actions, barrels, stocks), optics (riflescopes, spotting scopes), and cartridges (brass, bullets, powders). As you’d expect, .284 Win (and variants) dominated the F-Open ranks. Though some guys did try the .223 Rem for F-TR, the .308 Win was still used by the vast majority of F-TR shooters.

Matt Schwartzkopf, USA F-TR Team member (and Ben Avery Range Supervisor), collected comprehensive gear reports during the 2020 Berger SW Nationals. Matt then created charts showing competitors’ choices for Actions, Barrels, Stocks, Riflescopes and Spotting Scopes. In addition, Matt compiled bullet choice and powder preferences for all classes along with cartridge rankings for F-Open Division.

ACTIONS Listed by Division (Sling, F-TR, F-Open)
2020 Berger Southwest SW SWN Nationals gear list equipment actions barrels stocks bullets scopes

ACTIONS by Brand (Combined Listing — All Divisions)
2020 Berger Southwest SW SWN Nationals gear list equipment actions barrels stocks bullets scopes

BARRELS by Brand (Combined Listing — All Divisions)
2020 Berger Southwest SW SWN Nationals gear list equipment actions barrels stocks bullets scopes

BULLETS by Brand (Combined Listing — All Divisions)
2020 Berger Southwest SW SWN Nationals gear list equipment actions barrels stocks bullets scopes

CARTRIDGE BRASS by Brand (Combined Listing — All Divisions)
2020 Berger Southwest SW SWN Nationals gear list equipment actions barrels stocks bullets scopes

POWDER by Brand (Combined Listing — All Divisions)
2020 Berger Southwest SW SWN Nationals gear list equipment actions barrels stocks bullets scopes

STOCKS by Brand (Combined Listing — All Divisions)
2020 Berger Southwest SW SWN Nationals gear list equipment actions barrels stocks bullets scopes

RIFLESCOPES by Brand (Combined Listing — All Divisions)
2020 Berger Southwest SW SWN Nationals gear list equipment actions barrels stocks bullets scopes

SPOTTING SCOPES Listed by Class (Sling, F-TR, F-Open)
2020 Berger Southwest SW SWN Nationals gear list equipment actions barrels stocks bullets scopes

The best F-Class and Sling shooters in the nation compete each year at the Berger Southwest Nationals at the Ben Avery range in Arizona. Walk down the firing line and you’ll see the absolute “best of the best” in equipment — from $3500 optics to $2000 stocks and $400 triggers. Berger SWN shooters have some of the best equipment you can buy. In this game, where just 1 or 2 points can separate first from third place (considering X-Count), it’s important to have top-flight equipment. That means a custom action, custom barrel, and high-end stock or chassis system.

Cartridge Selection in F-Open Division

In addition, Matt produced an interesting listing of cartridge/caliber types for the F-Open division. This is helpful because cartridge choice is unrestricted in the F-Open class. By contrast, the F-TR division is limited to .223 Remington (5.56×45) or .308 Winchester (7.62×51). You can see that the .284 Winchester (and variants) currently dominate F-Open.

2020 Berger Southwest SW SWN Nationals gear list equipment actions barrels stocks bullets scopes

2020 Berger Southwest SW SWN Nationals gear list equipment actions barrels stocks bullets scopes

Shooters’ Forum Thread about SWN Gear Selection

There was a discussion of the 2020 SWN Gear Selection in our Shooters’ Forum. CLICK HERE to view that Forum thread. Many top SWN shooters, including past F-Open National Champion Larry Bartholome, contributed to this Forum discussion about gear options.

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Gear Review 1 Comment »
September 3rd, 2021

Weakside Bolt Placement — When and Why It Works

left port McMillan Rifle

Most bolt-action rifle shooters work the bolt with their trigger-pulling hand. This is because most rifles sold to right-handed shooters come with right-side bolts, while “lefty” rifles come with left-side bolts. This “standard” configuration requires the shooter to take his dominant, trigger-pulling hand off the stock to cycle the bolt, then re-position his hand on the stock, and “re-claim” the trigger. Often the shooter must lift or move his head to work the bolt, and that also requires him to re-establish his cheek weld after each and every shot. Not good.

This really doesn’t make much sense for precision shooting with fore-end support*. There is a better way. If you leave your trigger hand in position and work the bolt (and feed rounds) with the opposite hand, then you don’t need to shift grip and head position with each shot. All this requires is a weakside-placed bolt, i.e. a left bolt for a right-handed shooter or a right bolt for a left-handed shooter. The video below shows a “Lefty” working a right bolt. Note how efficient this is:

As our friend Boyd Allen explains: “If you think about it, if you are going to work with a factory action where your options are left bolt and left port or right bolt and right port, and you are building a rifle that will only be shot from a rest, using the left/left for a RH shooter or using a right/right for a LH shooter works better than the conventional configuration”.

Shoot Like a Champ and Work the Bolt with Your Weakside Hand
Derek Rodgers, the current F-TR World Champion and the only person to have won BOTH F-Open and F-TR U.S. National Championships plus the King of 2 Miles Match, runs this kind of “opposite” bolt set-up. Yep, Derek shoots right-handed with a left bolt. Though Derek is a right-hander, he shoots with a Left Bolt/Left Port (LBLP) action. He pulls the trigger with his right index finger, while working the left-side bolt with his left (weakside) hand. This allows him to stay in position, and maintain his cheekweld. He places his right hand on the grip, while manipulating the bolt (and feeding rounds) with his non-trigger-pulling hand.

Recent F-TR World Champion and King of 2 Miles Derek Rodgers
left port McMillan Rifle Derek Rodgers

This is the rifle with which Derek won the 2013 F-TR National Championship.
left port McMillan Rifle Derek Rodgers

*For true standing, off-hand shooting (whether in competition or on a hunt), a conventional strongside bolt placement makes sense, since the non-dominant arm must support the front of the rifle all the time. When shooting from bipod or rest, it’s a different story.

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Shooting Skills 3 Comments »
August 18th, 2021

Texas Lady Trains for F-TR Competition

F-TR Tracy Slayton Self F-TR Krieger Barrel Chamber Chiller

Texas action pistol and 3-Gun competitor Tracy Slayton Self has been taking up the F-Class game. On Facebook, she recently posted a nice training session with her Krieger-barreled F-TR rifle. You can watch her shooting video HERE on her Facebook page. She used a battery-powered, Chamber Chiller fan unit to cool the barrel.

F-TR Tracy Slayton Self F-TR Krieger Barrel Chamber Chiller

On August 8th, Tracy posted: “Very, very windy day today but pulled off a 444/450 18X which is a High Master score. My Krieger barrel is the bomb and my Kahles scope allows me to see that target at 600 yards clearly. My Chamber Chiller really cools my barrel down in between matches and my Stiller action is as smooth as butter.”

F-TR Tracy Slayton Self F-TR Krieger Barrel Chamber Chiller

Click Photo for short video of Tracy’s shooting session, with shots called on audio:

F-TR Tracy Slayton Self F-TR Krieger Barrel Chamber Chiller

F-TR Tracy Slayton Self F-TR Krieger Barrel Chamber Chiller

Permalink - Videos, Shooting Skills No Comments »
July 30th, 2021

F-Class LR Team Championship — Team Indiana & Team USA Blue

F-Class Open F-TR camp atterbury team championship

Kelly McMillanThe NRA F-Class Team Championship was held July 29, 2021. Congrats to the winning squads, Team Indiana (F-Open) and Team USA Blue (F-TR). Conditions were fairly difficult with plenty of rapid wind switches to challenge the wind callers. It was great to see a large number of teams on the firing line, both in F-TR and F-Open.

Second place was very close in both divisions. F-TR was decided on X-count. In F-0pen, Team Kelly McMillan finished second by just one point, but with a huge edge in X-count. Team Kelly McMillan had 83 Xs compared to 66 Xs for Team Indiana. Tim Vaught and Norm Harrold both drilled 23 Xs while Doug Skogman had 20 Xs. Kelly, who sadly passed away recently, would have been proud of this team. His team’s outstanding performance honored his memory.

F-Class Open F-TR camp atterbury team championship

Full F-OPEN Team Aggregate Results

In F-TR division, Team USA Blue’s Luke Ramsey shot brilliantly to score 396-21X to lead his team. Ian Klemm, currently in first place in the individual F-TR competition, also shot great to tally 392-16X.

F-Class Open F-TR camp atterbury team championship

Full F-TR Team Aggregate Results

Getting the Band Back Together

Ray Gross joined six good friends to squad up as Team Creedmoor, which finished a very close second in the F-TR division. The top two squads had the same 1559 Aggregate point total with Team USA Blue earning Gold with 57Xs vs. 44Xs for Team Creedmoor.

Ray was proud of his team’s performance: “After a 3-year hiatus, we got the band back together to finish Silver (by Xs) at the U.S. F-Class Long Range Nationals. It was a fairly tough day, living off the flags, with a lot of quick switches. I’ll coach you guys anytime!”

F-Class Open F-TR camp atterbury team championship

Team Creedmoor team-mates (L to R): Daniel Pohlabel, Paul Phillips, Ray Gross, Brad Sauve, John Droelle, and Jeff Rorer.

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
July 28th, 2021

2021 Mid-Range Champions: Mayhall F-Open and Rutherford F-TR

NRA F-Class F-Open F-TR National Championship Camp Atterbury

The 2021 NRA Mid-Range F-Class Championships are complete, with the Long-Range competition running right now. We commend the new Mid-Range Champions who both shot spectacular matches. Roger Mayhall didn’t drop a point in F-0pen, finishing with 1800-131X to win F-Open. That’s a brilliant performance.

In F-TR division, Drew Rutherford topped a competitive field with 1791-96X. Hail the new Champions!

Roger Mayhall Wins F-Open Mid-Range with Stunning 1800-131X

NRA F-Class F-Open F-TR National Championship Camp Atterbury

NRA F-Class F-Open F-TR National Championship Camp Atterbury6mm Dasher Rifle Takes F-Open Title
Roger shot a 6mm Dasher, a wildcat based on the 6mmBR cartridge. Roger said his rifle was a tack-driver: “I think I owe my gunsmith a beverage or two!” Roger did a superb job of wind-reading to finish 3 days without dropping a point.

On the F-Class Competition Facebook Group, other shooters praised Roger’s amazing 1800-131X performance:

“I’ve known Roger for over 5 years. Great man, always willing to help a fellow shooter. Shooting clean all three days with an incredible X-count. Well done! So much for the claim that a 6mm can’t win an Aggregate!” — Jason Simes

“Good job buddy — I told you those Dashers could shoot. Just outstanding shooting.” — Chris Ford

“Awesome shooting Roger! Chalk up a national championship to the 6mm.” — Dan Bramley

About Roger Mayhall’s Championship-Winning Dasher
Posting on Facebook, Roger wrote: “I’ve had a few people ask about the equipment I used in the Mid-Range at Nationals. Here are the particulars:

The gun was a 6 Dasher, supported by a Defiance Deviant action, Bix ‘N Andy trigger, Alex Wheeler LBR F-Class stock, Sightron SV ED 10-50x60mm scope, Dan Bramley tuner on a 30″ Krieger [1:8″-twist] barrel. Also used were a SEB NEO front rest, Dima Rifle Systems Rear Bag with a Dead Bottom Bag. My load consisted of the 105gr Berger Hybrid in a fire-formed 6BR Lapua case propelled by Varget powder and a CCI 450 primer. Barrel work was done by Dan Bramley[.]”

Drew Rutherford Wins F-TR Mid-Range Championship

NRA F-Class F-Open F-TR National Championship Camp AtterburyDrew Rutherford put on a strong performance to win the F-TR Mid-Range Championship. Rutherford was using Eliseo R1 Tubeguns fitted with SEB JoyPod coaxial bipod. Chassis-maker Gary Eliseo noted: “Congratulations to Drew Rutherford, national midrange FTR champion! Drew used his .223 Rem and .308 Win R1 rifles to win the Mid-Range Championship, well done Drew!”

The Competition Machine (Eliseo) R1 Chassis is a very versatile system. As fitted with rear bag-riders and SEB JoyPods, Drew used his R1s with great success. But the same chassis, less bag-rider and bipod, can be used for “hard-holding” Palma Matches, or even High Power competition.

NRA F-Class F-Open F-TR National Championship Camp Atterbury

2021 NRA F-Open Mid-Range TOP TEN
Mid-Range F-TR National Championship
2021 NRA F-TR Mid-Range TOP TEN
Mid-Range F-TR National Championship


F-Open Mid-Range Full Results | F-TR Mid-Range Full Results



Solomon Sets New Nat’l F-Open 1-Day Record with 600-53X

Finishing second in the F-Open Mid-Range Championship was Bret Solomon with 1798-135X. That was notable because Bret posted the high X-Count, AND set a single-day National Record in the process. Gunsmith Thomas “Speedy” Gonzalez posted: “Congratulations to my friend Bret Solomon on shooting a 200-20X and then setting a new [1-Day] 600-yard National Record of 600-53X at the U.S. F-Class Nationals. Bret was shooting the Lil’ Red Devil in 7mm RSAUM with a new Bartlein 4-groove barrel I forced him to shoot!”

Brett Solomon Lil' Red Devil F-Open Rifle

Here are photos of Bret Solomon’s Lil’ Red Devil rifle as previously featured in our Daily Bulletin.

Brett Solomon Lil' Red Devil F-Open Rifle

Christened the “Little Red Devil” by Speedy, this ruby red, flame maple-stocked beauty is chambered in .284 Winchester. It features a Melonited BAT 3LL action with two bolts (regular and magnum bolt face). The stock is crafted by Will McCloskey using advanced CNC machines, allowing ultra-precise tolerances for improved tracking and perfect geometry.

Torrefied Wood from Yamaha, CNC-Milled to Perfection
This wood is very special — the flame maple was sourced from Yamaha which used a torrefaction process to stabilize the wood and prevent warping. Yamaha’s proprietary ARE process was developed by Yamaha for musical instruments. Speedy explained that Yamaha uses heat and pressure (we think) to stabilize the wood and dampen vibrations. During torrefaction, the sap in the wood actually crystallizes.

F-Open rifle Bret solomon

For this rifle build, the torrefied wood blank was CNC-milled by Will McCloskey to “best-in-industry” tolerances. A special red-tone polyester finish Lee Garver, a noted guitar painter. This very hard, yet glossy finish makes the stock “pretty nearly scratch-proof” according to Speedy.

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, News 1 Comment »
July 6th, 2021

Advice for Long-Range Shooters — Six Tips from Bryan Litz

NRA F-Class F-TR F-Open Nationals National Championships Bryan Litz

Berger SW Nationals Bryan LitzThe 2021 NRA F-Class National Championships at Camp Atterbury, Indiana kick off soon. The Mid-Range F-Class Nationals run July 22-26, 2021, while the Long Range F-Class Nationals take place July 27-30, 2021. SEE Nat’l Matches INFO Handout.

For those headed to the Nationals, we are sharing some smart tips from a past F-Class Champion who is both a great shooter AND a ballistics wizard. In 2015, Bryan Litz won the F-TR Mid-Range AND Long-Range National Championships hosted at Ben Avery. And at the 2014 Berger SW Nationals (SWN), Bryan took top honors among all sling shooters. If you only know Bryan Litz from his Applied Ballistics Books and DVDs, you may not realize that this guy is a also great marksman along with being an actual rocket scientist!

Given his impressive track record in both F-Class and Palma (Fullbore) out to 1000 yards, we asked Bryan if he had any advice for other long-range competitors.

First Bryan provided three tips concerning Ballistics, his special area of expertise. Next Bryan offered three more general tips about long-range competition — how to analyze your shooting, how to choose your ‘wind strategy’, and how to avoid the most costly mistakes, i.e. how to avoid the “train-wrecks”.

Bryan Litz won the 2015 F-TR Mid-Range and Long-Range Championships with this sleek rig:
NRA F-Class F-TR F-Open Nationals National Championships Bryan Litz

Litz Ballistics Tips

Ballistics TIP ONE. If you’re having trouble getting your ballistic software to match actual drops, you need to look at a number of possible reasons. Here are some common issues that can cause problems.

Click Values Are Not Exact. Scopes and iron sights don’t always produce accurate adjustments. In other words, if your ballistics program predicts 30 MOA of drop, and you dial 30 MOA but hit low, it might be that your sight actually only moved 28 MOA (for example). To see if your sight is adjusting accurately, shoot a tall target at 100 yards and measure group separation when dialing your sight.

Barometric vs. Station Pressure. This is a commonly misunderstood input to ballistics programs. You can avoid this pitfall by remembering the following: station pressure is the actual measured pressure at your location, and you don’t need to tell the program your altitude when using station pressure. Barometric pressure is corrected for sea level. If you’re using barometric pressure, you also have to input your altitude.

Muzzle Velocity. Chronographs are not always as accurate as shooters think they are — your true MV may be off by 10-20 fps (or more). If your drop is different than predicted at long range, it might be because your muzzle velocity input is wrong.

Mixing Up BC (G1 vs. G7). Knowledgeable long range shooters know that the G7 standard is a more representative standard for modern LR bullets. However, using G7 BCs isn’t just a matter of clicking the ‘G7′ option in the program. The numeric value of the BC is different for G1 and G7. For example, the G1 BC of the Berger 155.5 grain Fullbore bullet is .464 but the G7 BC is .237. If you were to enter .464 but click on G7, the results would be way off.

Ballistics TIP TWO. A properly installed level is absolutely essential for long range shooting. Without a good level reference, your long range wind zero will be off due to minor canting of the rifle from side to side. You can verify that your level is installed correctly on a 100-yard ‘tall target’. Draw a plumb line straight up the target and verify that your groups track straight up this line as you go up in elevation.

Ballistics TIP THREE. If your long range ballistic predictions aren’t tracking, always come back and verify your 100-yard zero. Sometimes a simple zero shift can be misconstrued as errors in long range ballistics predictions.

Berger Southwest SW SWN Nationals Ben Avery Bryan Litz
Bryan Litz Tips

Litz Competition Shooting Tips

Competition TIP ONE. Improving your scores in long range competition is a constant process of self-assessment. After each match, carefully analyze how you lost points and make a plan to improve. Beginning shooters will lose a lot of points to fundamental things like sight alignment and trigger control. Veteran shooters will lose far fewer points to a smaller list of mistakes. At every step along the way, always ask yourself why you’re losing points and address the issues. Sometimes the weak links that you need to work on aren’t your favorite thing to do, and success will take work in these areas as well.

Competition TIP TWO. Select your wind shooting strategy carefully. For beginners and veterans, most points are typically lost to wind. Successful shooters put a lot of thought into their approach to wind shooting. Sometimes it’s best to shoot fast and minimize the changes you’ll have to navigate. Other times it’s best to wait out a condition which may take several minutes. Develop a comfortable rest position so you have an easier time waiting when you should be waiting.

Competition TIP THREE. Actively avoid major train wrecks. Sounds obvious but it happens a lot. Select equipment that is reliable, get comfortable with it and have back-ups for important things. Don’t load on the verge of max pressure, don’t go to an important match with a barrel that’s near shot out, physically check tightness of all important screws prior to shooting each string. Observe what train wrecks you and others experience, and put measures in place to avoid them.

NRA F-Class F-TR F-Open Nationals National Championships Bryan Litz

Photos by Steve Fiorenzo

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Shooting Skills, Tech Tip No Comments »
June 14th, 2021

V² Finale F-Class Tournament Concludes in Tennessee

V2 finale f-class f-open f-tr match tennessee

The first Annual V² Finale, held this weekend in Tennessee, has concluded. This new-format match pitted F-Class competitors against each other in a bracket-style double elimination match. This was a very elite field, selected via a Points series. All targets were placed at 1000 yards, with a Euro-Style 5V target. In something unusual for an American F-Class match, ALL shooting was done via PAIR FIRING, with shooters going head-to-head with alternating shots, 15 per shooter in the brackets and then 10 per shooter in the final two-man showdowns for F-TR and F-Open divisions.

V2 finale f-class f-open f-tr match tennessee

The competition was fierce but we have final results of this tough F-Class tournament. Congratulations to the V² Finale 2021 winners who earned fame, glory, and large cash pay-outs: Tracy Hogg (F-TR) and William (Bill) Kolodziej (F-Open). Additional top finishers are listed below, with links for FULL RESULTS below the table.


F-TR Winner – Tracy Hogg | F-Open Winner – Bill Kolodziej

V2 finale f-class f-open f-tr match tennessee

V2 finale f-class f-open f-tr match tennessee

F-TR Final Full Results | F-Open Final Full Results

V2 finale f-class f-open f-tr match tennessee

V2 finale f-class f-open f-tr match tennessee

The event, hosted at the modern Dead Zero Shooting Park in Tennessee, was sponsored by Vihtavuori and Vortex Optics. Along with helping to defray the range costs, these sponsors provided prizes to top shooters. In 2021 shooters qualified for the event through a nationwide points series, with 32 slots for F-Open and 32 slots for F-TR. The match organizers encourage F-Class competitors to shoot points series matches in the future, to qualify for next year’s event: “Earn some points so you can be part of V² Finale II in 2022.”

V2 finale f-class f-open f-tr match tennessee

V² Points Series and Finale Info Packet | V² Facebook Page

Big Pay-Outs for Participants
The V² Finale was first and foremost a money match. This event offered the highest payout ever for F-Class competition. Cash awards are distributed to the top 8 shooters for each equipment category, as a percentage of the overall match fee pool. The actual amounts will depend on match fees and attendance. We don’t have final numbers yet but payouts for positions 1-8 in each class were estimated to be:

1st Place: $3840 (40%)
2nd Place: $1920 (20%)
3rd Place: $960 (10%)
4th Place: $450 (4.6%)

5th Place: $300 (3.125%)
6th Place: $300 (3.125%)
7th Place: $300 (3.125%)
8th Place: $300 (3.125%)

V2 finale f-class f-open f-tr match tennessee

V2 finale f-class f-open f-tr match tennessee
Erik Cortina with Bryan Blake. Note the innovative, new spotting scope support Bryan crafted.

V2 finale f-class f-open f-tr match tennessee

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
June 11th, 2021

V² Finale F-Class Tournament Underway in Tennesee

v2 f-tr f-open f-class shooting tournament finale point series tennessee dead zero shooting park

V² Finale Double Elimination Tournament at 1000 Yards
A new kind of F-Class Tournament is being held in Tennessee over the next three days. The V² (“V-Squared”) Finale, sponsored by Vihtavuori and Vortex Optics, is a double-elimination shooting match, conducted much like a basketball tournament. There are 32 competitor places each in F-Open Division and F-TR — for 64 places total. In each round there is “pair firing”. Two shooters compete head-to-head with three, 15-round strings, all at 1000 yards. The winner of each two-person match-up proceeds, while the loser goes into a loser’s bracket… so everyone has a second change to win some of the prizes. This event is about more than trophies and glory — it is also about winning big piles of cash — $28,000 in total.

V² Finale F-Open Bracket LIVE | V² Finale F-TR Bracket LIVE

64 shooters, who earned entry with points garnered in previous matches, have been invited to compete for $28,000 in prize monies. The V² Finale is held at the Dead Zero Shooting Park in Tennessee, an impressive, modern facility. The Dead Zero 1000-yard range is equipped with ShotMarker electronic targets. That means that scoring is quick, there is no waiting for targets to be marked, and, importantly, no pit duties for the competitors.

V² Points Series and Finale Info Packet | V² Facebook Page


This video, created last year explains the V² Finale Rules and Course of Fire.

The V² Finale itself is conducted over three (3) days. It’s a double-elimination tournament — this means that everybody has the opportunity to shoot at least two matchups. A loss in the primary bracket will seed you into the elimination bracket, where you will have the opportunity to continue on and potentially work your way back to shoot for the overall Championship.

The V² Finale is a pair-fire, best two of three format, with 15-shot strings (45 rounds max per person per bracket). If one shooter wins the first TWO strings, the third string is not fired. The idea behind this pair-firing is to have both competitors for each stage shooting at the exact same time, in the exact same conditions, on the exact same target. The only person you are competing against is the person next to you. The competitors who wins two out of three matches in the matchup will advance.

v2 f-tr f-open f-class shooting tournament finale point series tennessee dead zero shooting park

V² Finale Bracket Match Results

READ THIS!! You can scroll UP and Down with your mouse, and thereby see the Loser’s bracket for both F-Open and F-TR.
READ THIS!! You can use the BRACKET Pull-Down Menu (Upper Right) to select Winner’s and Loser’s Brackets, or choose Top 16 and Top 8.
READ THIS!! You can pull box to left to see more on the right side, using mouse (or finger on smartphone).
READ THIS!! The boxes below are live feeds from the Match Website. Click links below to view Bracket Results on FULL SCREEN.
READ THIS!! This is NOT a static image, it will change as results are filled in. You can come back to this page and see more results as the event progresses.

V² Finale F-Open Bracket LIVE | V² Finale F-TR Bracket LIVE

F-Open Event Results in Real Time — Use Mouse to Scroll!

F-TR Event Results in Real Time — Use Mouse to Scroll!

The V² Finale match, sponsored by Vihtavuori Powders and Vortex Optics, takes place June 11-13 at the Dead Zero Shooting Park in Tennessee. This is a limited-field event for the top 32 F-Open and 32 F-TR competitors who have accrued the most points for the 2020-2021 season. The match will be a double-elimination bracket system (e.g. NCAA March Madness) where shooters are matched up against a single opponent for each round. As opposed to a typical match where you shoot against the entire field, this type of competition allows for two shooters to go head to head pair-fire style, competing under the exact same conditions. No wind alibis. No relay roulette. No excuses. Keep advancing and you will find yourself in the finals where you’ll have a chance to win the prestige of being the best F-Open or F-TR shooter in the country plus some serious prize money and awards.

v2 f-tr f-open f-class shooting tournament finale point series tennessee dead zero shooting park
The V² Finale firing line on 6/11 at the Dead Zero Shooting Park.

Thanks to the generous support from Vihtavuori Powders and Vortex Optics, more than 85% of the entry fees are awarded back to the shooters in the form of cash prizes, awarded all the way down to 8th place for each category. The creators of the V² points series noted: “This type of reward for performance is one of the core reasons why we created the V² Finale and why you won’t find any prize tables.”

For more details see the V² Series Information Packet or visit the V² Series Facebook Page.

Vihtavouri Supports Innovative V² Finale Match Format
“Vihtavuori is honored to partner with Vortex Optics for the inaugural V2 F-Class Point Series Finale. We’re excited to be onsite and support the world’s best long range shooters who will compete in a match they designed themselves,” stated Geoff Esterline, Marketing Director for Capstone Precision Group.

v2 f-tr f-open f-class shooting tournament finale point series tennessee dead zero shooting park

Why Was the F-Class Points Series Created? (Official Statement)
Everyone in the F-Class world knows about their local, state and regional matches and many of those shooters attend the Southwest Nationals and F-Class National Championship each year. These matches are often challenging and feature some of the best shooters in the country at any given time. As great and exciting as those matches are, they have some key limitations – they don’t answer the question of consistency over peak performance. They allow for random chance to play a role in results, in the form of target service, conditions, or “relay roulette”, among other factors. Basically, they don’t allow for a true measure of shooter performance over time, and more specifically, in a true test of head-to-head competition. It was partly with this in mind that we created the F-Class Points Series to collect and award points with the ultimate goal of putting on a one-of-a-kind, limited-field, matchup-style event that will give competitors a format to prove that the best indicator of skill is reliable consistency, not peak performance. A points system will allow us to track consistent performance over the course of a yearlong FPS season, culminating in an invitation to join the limited field of the V² Finale for the top 64 qualifying competitors.

Map for Dead Zero Shooting Park

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
May 31st, 2021

First Report — New SEB JoyPod-X Shines in Competition

SEB Coax joypod bipod joypod-X review test F-TR

Posting on the F-Class Competition Shooting Facebook Group Page, F-TR competitor Tony H. said he was very impressed with the new JoyPod-X coaxial bipod made by SEB Rests. The upgraded JoyPod-X features an enhanced head unit and new rapid height adjustment for the legs. The new JoyPod-X is also offered now in a variety of colors: Blue (as shown), Red, Green, Purple, Black, and Bronze.

Click to Zoom Photo
SEB Coax joypod bipod joypod-X review test F-TR
CLICK HERE to view larger side-view image.

Tony H. stated: “First match today [shot] with the brand new JoyPod-X. What a GREAT bipod — thank you Sebastian Lambang for the outstanding product! Also want to thank Ernie Bishop for the awesome service he provides! Even getting used to the new setup made made that 597-38X even sweeter!”

SEB Coax joypod bipod joypod-X review test F-TR

2021 JoyPod-X bipod seb lambang coaxial bipod F-Class F-TR joystick

Leg Height Adjustment System
on New 2021 JoyPod-X

JoyPod-X designer Sebastian Lambang tells us: “Now height adjustment of the JoyPod-X can be much easier quicker and more precise. With a simple, adjustable brake and improved ratchet system. Thanks to Bob Bock for the design suggestions”.

Watch the video to see how this works. You can adjust each leg individually in seconds. You can do individual clicks up and down, with ratcheted steps. Or slide the entire leg unit rapidly up and down for gross elevation changes. So you have the choice of small, precise increments or big movements — whichever you want. This is very slick.

JoyPod-X Is Shipping Now
in Six Bright Colors

The new 2021 JoyPod-X has started shipping with the first units arriving in the USA in late May 2021 (as you can see). The new JoyPod-X is available in blue, red, green, purple, black, and bronze colors.

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, New Product No Comments »
May 6th, 2021

Train for F-Class at 300 Yards with Reduced Size Targets

F-Class Target center NRA training reduced size
Ben Avery Match Photo by Sherri Jo Gallagher.

Here’s a handy training option for F-Class shooters. Forum member SleepyGator is an F-Class competitor, but there are no long-distance ranges close to his home. Accordingly, he wanted some “reduced-distance” targets he could use at 300 yards for practice. There IS an official reduced-distanced standard for 300-yard F-Class matches. This utilizes the NRA No. MR-63FC – F-Class Target Center which is pasted over the MR-63 target. It provides a 1.42″ X-Ring, 2.85″ 10-Ring, and 5.85″ Nine-Ring. We offer some free targets you can print out for use at 300 yards. The dimensions of F-Class targets are found in the NRA High Power Rules, Sec. 22, part 4, page 70-71 — see sample below.

Training Targets for 300-yard F-Class

F-Class Reduced Target Centers

CLICK HERE to Download F-Class 300-yard Target Centers (.Zip archive with three targets)

To duplicate the 300-yard target, SleepyGator made a printable version of the MR-63FC Target Center, along with a pair of training targets with two bulls and five bulls. The two-bull and five-bull targets mirror the scoring rings on the MR-63FC, but they display only the innermost three rings and two rings respectively. All three targets are Adobe PDF files that can be easily printed.

NOTE: You may need to adjust the scale (sizing) on your printer to get the dimensions exactly correct. As noted above, when printed, the 10-Ring on all three targets should measure 2.85″. This should provide some handy practice targets you can use between matches. Thanks to SleepyGator for providing these targets. You can download all three as a .Zip archive. After downloading the .Zip file, just click on the .Zip archive to extract the individual targets.

CLICK HERE to Download NRA High Power Rules with F-Class Target Dimensions (Page 70-71)

F-Class Target Paste Center

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills, Tech Tip No Comments »
April 8th, 2021

Thunder Downunder — New Zealand North Island Rifle Match

Clevedon New Zealand club match F-TR FPR F-Open Sling Target Rifle

Clevedon New Zealand club match F-TR FPR F-Open Sling Target RifleNew Zealand is a beautiful country with rich, verdant green hills, snowcapped Southern Alps, thousands of miles of coastline, and abundant, unspoiled nature. Here’s quick look at what it’s like to shoot in New Zealand, aka Aoteoroa, the Land of the Long White Cloud.

New Zealand has a long, proud heritage of Marksmanship, and the little island country has hosted major international matches in recent years. This report is from a regional club match hosted at the Clevedon Rifle Club in the North Island, south of Auckland. The club website says: “At Clevedon we shoot from 300 yards back to 1000 yards, mainly with single-shot target rifles in any caliber up to 8mm. There are several styles of target shooting, Target Rifle with open sights and supporting the rifle with a sling, F-Class where a rest and telescopic sights are used and Hunter Class where standard hunting rifles with a support are used. The shooting season goes from September until May. The range is situated on a working farm so changes to the club program happen around hay making [and other farm activities].”

Clevedon New Zealand club match

Clevedon New Zealand club match F-TR FPR F-Open Sling Target Rifle

These photos are from the Clevedon Rifle Club in Clevedon NZ (North Island), south of the Auckland metropolitan zone. The range is on a working farm near the Clevedon Scenic Reserve and Hanua Ranges Regional Park. These images were posted on the New Zealand NRA Facebook page.

Sunshine Down Under with Competition at 300, 500, and 600 Yards
The Kiwi club reports: “Round 5 of the Clevedon Club Championships was completed today over 300, 500, and 600 yards in fine, sunny conditions. This is the finish of the short ranges with the Long Range [matches set for] next Saturday. Being Easter weekend we had a great turn out with 28 shooters, still managed to get people shooting on the wrong target. The four divisions were F-Open, F-TR, FPR (Field Precision Rifle), and Target Rifle. Next Saturday, 10 April, shooting is over 800, 900 and 1000 yards, last round of the Club Champs, set up from 8:15 and shooting to start at 9am At 800 yards.”

What is FPR Class?
The FPR (Field Precision Rifle) class is for shooters with muzzle brakes or suppressors (not allowed in normal F-Class rules), and are generally bolt-action rifles purchased from retail stores. Commonly used are the Ruger RPR, Remington 700, and Savage variants. EDITOR: We would like to see the FPR Class get started here is the USA. It seems like a good way to expand participation with more affordable rifles.

Clevedon New Zealand club match F-TR FPR F-Open Sling Target Rifle

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
January 29th, 2021

Getting Started in F-Class — F-TR vs. F-Open and Gear Options

Vince Bottomley Target Shooter F-Class F-Open F-TR

A while back, our friend Vince Bottomley in the UK wrote an excellent article for Target Shooter Magazine. Vince offers “solid-gold” advice for new F-TR and F-Open shooters. Vince reviews the cartridge options, and offers suggestions for a shooter’s first (and hopefully affordable) F-Class rifle. Vince also reviews various bipod choices for F-TR and discusses optics options (from $300 to $3000).

Here’s a short sample from the Target Shooter Magazine article:

Getting Started in F-Class by Vince Bottomley
As membership secretary of a large club, one of the questions I’m frequently asked – “What’s the best way to get started in F-Class?” My club has an F-Class shoot every couple of weeks at ranges from 300 to 1000 yards and, not surprisingly, it’s very popular.

F-TR or Open Class?
From a shaky start way back in 2004, the F-TR Class is now proving as popular as Open Class and, at GBFCA League shoots and club shoots, many shooters choose to start with a 308, shooting off a bi-pod – in other words F-TR. In Open Class, the 7mm WSM soon established itself as the “must have” cartridge – if you wanted to win but, the WSM’s appetite for barrels eventually brought another 7mm cartridge into play – the 284 Winchester. This 50-year-old stalwart was revived a decade or so ago as the 6.5-284 and indeed this cartridge found some favor with F-Class pioneers – before the potency of the WSM was discovered. If you don’t mind shelling out for a couple of barrels per year (barrel life is about 750 rounds with the WSM) go for the 7mm WSM but, if you require a decent round-count, then opt for the .284 Win and learn to read the wind a bit better!

F-TR f-class rifle match ben avery AZ
F-TR Rifle at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix, Arizona.

Scopes for F-Class
If you will be shooting 1000 yards then I would recommend at least 32 power and preferably a variable – like the 8-32. The cheapest “usable” scope in this range is the Sightron. It’s a great scope for the money and at under $900 (in the USA) it’s half the price of its nearest competitor. It’s also light – at 1.5 lbs – and there are some great reticles for the F-Class shooter – like the LRMOA.

Vince Bottomley Target Shooter F-Class F-Open F-TR

Read Full Article on Target Shooter Magazine Website.

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Optics, Shooting Skills No Comments »
November 8th, 2020

Sunday GunDay: 2020 F-TR Mid-Range Nat’l Champ .308 Win

Blake barrel Andrew Cyr F-TR Mid-range 2020 National Champion .308 Win Rifle gun of week McMillan Xit Border BRM action

Story based on Report by Bryan Blake, Blake Machine Company
Here’s the gold medal-winning .308 Win rifle of the 2020 F-TR National Mid-Range Champion, Andy Cyr. Arizona native Cyr won the F-TR Mid-Range Championship with an impressive score of 1761-72X out of a possible 1800 points. At this three-day Mid-Range event at Ben Avery in Phoenix, all 180 rounds were shot at 600 yards. Andrew delivered a convincing victory, winning by NINE points over runner-up James Crofts, a past national champion himself. We congratulate Andrew on his impressive win. And today’s Sunday GunDay feature examines the details of Andrew’s impressive .308 Win F-TR rifle.

Blake barrel Andrew Cyr F-TR Mid-range 2020 National Champion .308 Win Rifle gun of week McMillan Xit Border BRM action

Cyr Overcame Incredibly Tough Conditions at Ben Avery
After Day One of the Mid-Range Nationals, Andy was in 5th place. Andy made up some serious ground on the next two days despite winds that were well into the 20 MPH+ range. In fact, many experienced shooters took misses (not hitting the scoring ring) because the winds were so fierce. Interestingly, Andy’s 1761-72X score beat all but eight F-Open shooters.

Blake barrel Andrew Cyr F-TR Mid-range 2020 National Champion .308 Win Rifle gun of week McMillan Xit Border BRM action
Andrew Cyr’s .308 Win F-TR rifle during load development and accuracy testing.

F-TR Mid-Range Championship-Winning .308 Win Rifle Specifications:
Blake Barrel and Rifle 32″ .30 Caliber, 1:11″-twist barrel with custom specs
McMillan XIT Stock (lightened with ports on butt area)
Borden BRM Action
Kahles K1050 10-50x56mm Scope
Phoenix Bipod with F-Class Products lowering kit and skeleton legs

Andrew Cyr’s Championship-winning F-TR rifle was built by Phoenix-based Blake Barrel and Rifle (BBR) in 2018. Interestingly, this rifle was originally built for Andy’s daughter Jessica. The rifle was used by Andy a few months later. The rifle features a severely-lightened XIT stock with the grip smoothed out. Andy was actually the first customer of Blake Barrel and Rifle back in 2018. He has always been willing to try out new rifling profiles, twist rates, and barrel configurations as recommended by BBR.

Bryan Blake tells us: “Many customers demand exact specs and there is no way of changing their mind, even if it is factual-based. With Andy he was always willing to try new things, some things didn’t work well, but some things worked very well, just like the barrel used to win the Nationals.” Andy preferred a heavier barrel in the chamber area than most TR shooters. The shank diameter is 1.350″ rather than 1.250″. What this does is keep as much material around the chamber, which is the hottest area of the barrel. That way the barrel is less affected by heat over a string of fire, since the heat can be dissipated into a larger area.

Andy used a 32″ barrel, a length not commonly used in F-TR anymore. Most are running 30″ or even 28″ now. Many folks think a shorter barrel is more accurate so these competitors do not use a 32″ barrel. Well as you can see by his results, Andrew’s 32″ tube shot great. The extra length was NOT a handicap. We should remember that longer barrels can normally produce higher velocities than shorter barrels or deliver equivalent speeds with less pressure.

Blake barrel Andrew Cyr F-TR Mid-range 2020 National Champion .308 Win Rifle gun of week McMillan Xit Border BRM action

Many people also believe that a 1:9-10″ twist is needed to shoot 200-grain class bullets out of a .308 Win accurately. However, Andy took the advice of Blake Barrel and Rifle, and went with a 1:11″-twist Blake cut-rifled barrel. Many would say this twist is too slow, and some online calculators say a 1:11″-twist won’t fully stabilize 200-grain bullets. Obviously this is also not the case. Andy’s 11-twist and Berger 200-grain Hybrid bullets (NOT 200.20X bullets) work very well with this combination. NOTE: Andy uses an F-Class Products barrel tuner to tune his load. He will sometimes even alter tune between relays to compensate for changing barometric conditions.

Blake barrel Andrew Cyr F-TR Mid-range 2020 National Champion .308 Win Rifle gun of week McMillan Xit Border BRM action
Blake barrel Andrew Cyr F-TR Mid-range 2020 National Champion .308 Win Rifle gun of week McMillan Xit Border BRM action
Blake barrel Andrew Cyr F-TR Mid-range 2020 National Champion .308 Win Rifle gun of week McMillan Xit Border BRM action

Winning .308 Win Load — Lapua Palma Brass, VV N550, CCI 450s, Berger 200gr Hybrids
Andy Cyr took the Mid-Range title loading Vihtavuori N150 powder, CCI 450 primers, Berger 200gr Hybrids, and Lapua .308 Win Palma brass. Andy does not push his bullets very fast and finds a big accuracy node at the mid-2600 FPS range. He jumps his bullets .015″ off the lands. One thing Andy consistently does is test, test, test. He will test different powders, charge weights, seating depths nearly every time he is at the range. He will shoot a different load for each string to see what works best.

Profile of 2020 F-TR Mid-Range National Champion — Andrew Cyr
Father and Daughter Compete Together

Andy started shooting F-Class in 2012 to help him shoot better in the PRS series. He hoped to learn to read the wind better and get more experience in long-range shooting in general. After shooting F-Class he was hooked and found he enjoyed it more than PRS. Andy and his daughter Jessica have shot many state matches together, with both of them shooting F-TR. Jessica owned the Mid-Range 20-shot woman’s Aggregate record for years with a score of 200-11X. Interestingly Andy shot his very first clean at 1000 yards at the Nationals in Raton, NM in 2018 with a score of 200-11X also. This year Andy started using a spotting scope to help read mirage and it has helped him tremendously he reports.

Blake barrel Andrew Cyr F-TR Mid-range 2020 National Champion .308 Win Rifle gun of week McMillan Xit Border BRM action

The “Master” Beat the “High Masters”
Andy is currently classified in Mid-Range as a Master for F-Class, not yet High Master. Even after winning the F-Class Mid-Range Nationals, the most prestigious F-Class match of the year, he is still classified as a Master. Andy’s 1761-72X score works out to 97.8% of a perfect 1800. But the requirement for F-Class High Master is 98%. That just shows you how tough the conditions were at Ben Avery this year. But still the Master beat ALL the High Masters — if you look at the score sheet above, all the other Top 10 F-TR competitors were High Masters. Impressive. And we believe Andy is the first Arizona resident to ever win a national F-Class Championship in either F-Open or F-TR.

About Blake Barrel and Rifle
Blake Barrel and Rifle (BBR) has been in business since 2018. BBR built the rifle that Brian Bowling used to win the 2019 F-Open National Championship. And now another ultra-accurate BBR-built rifle has won the 2020 F-TR Mid-Range Championship. Bryan Blake tells us that Blake Barrel and Rifle has recently upgraded BBR’s rifle barrel building equipment. There are advanced CNC lapping machines, CNC bore-honing machines, and all-new, proprietary rifling cutter designs that no one else in the barrel business uses.

Blake Barrel and Rifle produces cut-rifled, 6-groove barrels with a unique rifling profile no other barrel manufacturer is using. Blake barrels have an impressive winning record in recent major competitions — earning National Championships, plus many match wins and podium performances. Bryan Blake tells us that “The time and quality control spend on Blake barrels is second to none and the proof in the results.” For more information, visit Blakebarrel.com.

Blake barrel Andrew Cyr F-TR Mid-range 2020 National Champion .308 Win Rifle gun of week McMillan Xit Border BRM action


Blake Barrel and Rifle | Blake Machine Company

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Gear Review, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
November 2nd, 2020

2020 F-Class National LR Championships — Hail the Champions

Ian Klemm Pat Scully F-Open F-TR Ben Avery 2020 Championship

The 2020 NRA F-Class National Championships are now complete. We hail the new Champions Pat Scully (F-Open), and Ian Klemm (F-TR). We also give congratulations to all the competitors who dueled often-tough conditions at Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix, Arizona, with periods of very high winds. CLICK HERE to see all 2020 F-Class Nationals Results for all participants.

F-Open Individual Results | F-Open Team Results | F-TR Individual Results | F-TR Team Results

Top-Ranked Shooters at 2020 NRA F-Class National Championships
F-Open Top Competitors

1. Pat Scully, F-0pen Champion, 1575-73X
2. Keith Glasscock, 1575-60X
3. Tod Hendricks, 1574-83X
4. Eric Wuestenhoefer, 1572-59X
5. Tim Vaught, 1565-76X
6. Patrick Fulghum, 1564-60X
7. Ken Dickerman, 1563-64X, High Senior
8. Bret Solomon, 1562-58X
9. Emil Kovan, 1562-53X
10. Erik Cortina, 1561-70X

Christine Harris, 1543-60X, High Lady
Kaycie Blankenship, 1517-35X, High Junior
Larry Bartholome, 1541-53X, High Gr. Senior

F-TR Top Competitors

1. Ian Klemm, F-TR Champion, 1561-56X
2. Keith Trapp, 1555-47X
3. Brad Sauve, 1553-40X, High Senior
4. Luke Ramsey, 1551-42X
5. Scott Harris, 1551-39X
6. Nancy Tompkins, 1550-44X, High Lady
7. James Crofts, 1546-52X
8. Henry Rockhill, 1543-37X
9. Brian Harder, 1539-37X
10. Nick Abbott, 1535-45X

Morgan Abbott, 1495-34X, High Junior
Raymond Weaver, 1534-30X, High Gr. Senior

Ian Klemm Pat Scully F-Open F-TR Ben Avery 2020 Championship
Pat Scully (right) is 2020 F-Open National Champion while fellow team-mate Tod Hendricks (left) finished third overall, just one point back.

In tough conditions, the top shooters put on impressive performances. Competition was tight and it went down to the wire. After multiple days of shooting, F-Open Champion Pat Scully and runner-up Keith Glasscock ended up tied on points (both scored 1575), but Scully did have a huge edge in X-count with 73X vs. 60X for Keith. In F-TR, LR Champion Ian Klemm posted an impressive 6-point win. Ian also recorded high X-Count (56X) among all F-TR shooters. Phil Kelley posted: “Ian is now only the second 3-Time F-TR National LR Champ and he has won 3 of the last 4 years — an amazing run.” Phil also observed that his fellow Team USA shooters took 7 out of the top 10 F-TR places.

Overall, the “top guns” in both divisions performed amazingly well given some very tough conditions. Forum member ShootDots noted:

“On the last day I was on the line with Keith Glasscock [Second Overall] on my immediate left. I was scoring for Pat Scully [F-Open Champion]. With wind conditions that would make a brass monkey flinch, these two gents made it look easy! I have shot with some REALLY good shooters over the years [but] these two are at a different level altogether!

I do not know Ian Klemm BUT I do know how he shoots! When you are surrounded by the finest, you get a first hand view of what REAL shooting is all about. My hat is off to the winners and to those who came within a hairsbreath of them! A B-I-G hearty CONGRATULATIONS to them!”

Our Forum tech staffer Praveen (who shot F-Open) concurred, praising the top-finishing Open-class competitors, noting that 3rd-place Tod Hendricks amassed an amazing 83 Xs. Praveen posted: “Congratulations… I witnessed some really fine shooting this year while experiencing some very tough wind conditions. Pat, Keith, and Tod — hats off to you. And Tod — so many Xs!” Forum member RonatSpokane also noted Tod’s stunning X-Count: “Sheesh Tod, you’re … bogarting those Xs. With 83 Xs, more than 50% of your shots were under 1/2 MOA. In those kinds of conditions, that’s nothing short of stunning.”

Forum member Carlsbad noted that the final day was very tough: “What a match. Every day had different challenges. The last day was challenging. We had one guy clean the afternoon string on Friday and then shoot 180 in the afternoon string on Sunday. That was tough. I don’t know how guys shot high 190s in those conditions. Congratulations to Ian Klemm and Pat Scully.”

Three National Titles in Four Years for 2020 F-TR Champ Ian Klemm
Ian Klemm F-TR Ben Avery 2020 Championship

Ian Klemm has now won three National F-TR Championships in four years. Ian captured back-to-back titles in 2017 and 2018, winning at Lodi, WI in 2017, and Raton, NM in 2018. Ian also finished second at the 2019 Nationals. Ian put on another great performance to win in 2020 under very challenging conditions.

Ian Klemm F-TR Ben Avery 2020 Championship

Ian Klemm Pat Scully F-Open F-TR Ben Avery 2020 Championship

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
November 1st, 2020

Report from F-Class Nationals in Arizona — LR Team Results

F-Class Nationals Championship ben avery phoenix Arizona

Yesterday was the 1000-yard Team Match Day at the F-Class Nationals in Phoeniz Arizona. It was also Halloween, and there were some very creative costumes on display at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility. First, for the serious stuff, we want to congratulate the two winning teams — Team Lapua/Brux/Borden in F-0pen and Team Texas in F-TR. CLICK HERE for updated F-Class Nationals Results.

F-Class Nationals Championship ben avery phoenix Arizona

F-Class Nationals Championship ben avery phoenix Arizona

Team Lapua/Brux/Borden (LBB) (1590-84X) took the F-Open title by six points (and 4 Xs) over runner-up The Long Shots (1584-80X), with Team Grizzly (1580-58X) third.

In F-TR, Team Texas topped the field with 1572-63X, winning by an impressive 17 points (and 5 Xs) over Team USA Independence (1555-58X). Team USA Freedom was third with 1553-44X. Team Texas’s Randy Littleton turned in a stunning individual performance in the first match, shooting 200-14X, best among F-TR shooters. F-Open competitor Jeff Cochran of Team Spindle Shooters also drilled a 200-14X in that first match, the top F-Open individual 20-shot performance.

F-Class Nationals Championship ben avery phoenix Arizona
“Team Texas (center) had plenty of silver and bronze medals in previous national championships, but today earned their first gold medal. Very talented USA teams finished second and third.” — Skip Barkley

F-Class Nationals Championship ben avery phoenix Arizona

Halloween Long Range Team Day at Ben Avery

F-Class Nationals Championship ben avery phoenix Arizona

F-Class Nationals Championship ben avery phoenix Arizona

F-Class Nationals Championship ben avery phoenix ArizonaF-Class Nationals Championship ben avery phoenix Arizona

F-Class Nationals Championship ben avery phoenix Arizona

F-Class Nationals Championship ben avery phoenix Arizona

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, News No Comments »
October 29th, 2020

Report: Wicked Conditions at Mid-Range F-Class Nationals

F-Class Nationals Championship ben avery arizona 600-yard mid-range

Mid-Range Competitors Battle Tough Conditions at Ben Avery
Report by F-Class John (competing at the Nationals)
The Mid-Range Nationals at Ben Avery in Arizona have been completed, and many competitors are breathing a sigh of relief. Winds were howling and conditions were VERY tough. We congratulate all the competitors who battled the high winds. This year all shooting at the Mid-Range Nationals was done at 600 yards (the simplified course of fire was adopted in 2019). I think I can safely say everyone is excited and ready to move on to Long-Range portion of the championships.

The Top 10 in each division are listed below. New F-Open Mid-range Champion Tim Vaught put together a very impressive performance, dropping just 14 points in very challenging conditions.

F-Class Nationals Championship ben avery arizona 600-yard mid-range

The fact that F-Open winner Tim Vaught dropped just 14 points across nine 20-shot relays is INSANE given the incredibly tough conditions. He deserved his title without a doubt. F-TR Mid-Range Champion Andrew Cyr also had an impressive performance, winning by 9 points over a very tough field, including past National F-TR Champions and Nancy Tompkins, past NRA High Power and Long Range Champion.

The F-TR division was won by Andrew Cyr. His gunsmith, Bryan Blake, said this rig has some unusual features, including barrel twist rate. Stay tuned for a full tech report…
F-Class Nationals Championship ben avery arizona 600-yard mid-range

Challenging Conditions at F-Class Mid-Range Nationals
Conditions were pretty incredible and by no means typical for Ben Avery for the Mid-Range portion of the USA F-Class National Championships. We started on Sunday with dead calm conditions on relay one and by the end of shooting, it was challenging but certainly not anything outside the normal for most of the people. We woke up Monday to crazy strong winds that just tore apart those who were ‘lucky enough’ to be on the first relay and it throughout the day it went from horrible to manageable and it was just dumb luck if your relay got hit or spared. The uncharacteristically strong winds met us Tuesday morning again for the final day of Mid-Range.

Video has highlights from three days of Mid-Range competition.

Before the first relay I measured gusts that were almost 24 mph with the constant wind hovering in the high teens. It calmed down from there but still remained very challenging until the end. Overall it was quite the fight for first with Tim Vaught earning the F-Open win with Dan Bramley and Tod Hendricks taking a respective second and third place out of a field of 66 High Masters and 13 Masters. These guys all shot superbly in some of the most challenging conditions ever witnessed at the Ben Avery range in Arizona. Mighty impressive…

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
October 22nd, 2020

2020 F-Class National Championships in Arizona NOTICE

2015 F-Class Nationals Ben Avery Phoenix Arizona James Crofts

The 2020 United States F-Class National Championships commence Sunday October 25, 2020 at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix. There’s a “hybrid” format this year. For 2020, the Nationals combine both Mid-Range and Long-Range competitions in one exended mega-match. The Mid-Range U.S. F-Class Nationals take place 25-28 October 2020, with all shooting at 600-yard targets. The Long Range National Championships then run October 29 through November 1st with all matches at 1000 yards. The competition consists of two different divisions: F-Open and F-TR (Target Rifle).

CLICK HERE for 2020 F-Class Nationals Match Program »

For health reasons, F-Class Nationals competitors will be required to follow a number of important health and safety protocols. This is to reduce the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus. Here are the 2020 protocols as issued by the host Desert Sharpshooters club:

2020 NRA F-Class National Championships — Safety Protocols

We have had to implement several measures for the 2020 F-Class Nationals due to COVID-19. The Ben Avery Shooting Facility is owned by the Arizona Game and Fish Department, a state government agency. Therefore, all state and local guidelines and measures regarding COVID-19 must be followed on the property. Unfortunately, the local guidelines include a mask mandate, among other measures. We were hoping for the measures to be relaxed as the Nationals grew closer, but that is not the case. The COVID-19 measures that must be implemented during the match are below.

COVID-19 measures for the 2020 F-Class Nationals include:

– Reduce the total number of entries to 180.
– Use every other target for a total of 45 targets.
– Food and drinks, including water, will NOT be provided or for sale.
– Only one person pulling a target.
– Wearing mask/face cover is required when 6 feet distancing cannot be obtained. This includes:

    Using the restroom.
    During all team matches, except the shooters. Only the shooter and coach will be permitted on the firing line. All other team members must be 6 feet from the shooter and coach.
    On the people movers traveling to and from the pits.
    Walking up/down the ramps/stairs at the 1000 yard line, or traveling to or from one’s assigned firing point.

– No banquet dinners.
– Award ceremony will be held each day on the firing line, with shooters in the parking lot social distancing.
– While scoring, the scorer will be at least 6 feet from the shooter.
– Shooters on the firing line will set up on each side of their assigned target marker with 6 feet separating them.
– Shooters not pulling targets, scoring, or shooting must remain off of the firing line and in their vehicles or socially distancing in the parking lot.
– Only the scoring and shooting relays will be permitted on the firing line. During pit changes, the previous scoring and shooting relays must vacate the firing line before the next scoring and shooting relays approach the firing line.
– All scores and squadding will be posted online. Those with no access to the internet can obtain their squadding on the bulletin boards on the east and west side of the building. Only one person will be permitted to be at the bulletin board at a time.
– No one is permitted to enter the Berger Building.
– Refunds will be given to those that wish to not participate in the event.

Failure of individuals to follow any of the above guidelines may result in disqualification and being asked to leave. If we do not comply with these regulations, we risk the Ben Avery Shooting Facility canceling the event without prior notice.

We would also like to remind shooters that if they are feeling sick or have any symptoms to please not come to the range, and notify us immediately at fclassnationals@gmail.com.

Ben Avery Shooting Facility Coronavirus Health Covid-19

Located on 1,650 acres in north Phoenix, BASF is one of the nation’s largest publicly operated shooting facilities. A City of Phoenix “Point of Pride,” the facility has received a five-star rating from the National Association of Shooting Ranges.

Firing line at 2015 F-Class Nationals at Ben Avery Shooting Facility.
2015 F-Class Nationals Ben Avery Phoenix Arizona James Crofts


View Larger Map

Permalink - Articles, Competition, News No Comments »