December 2nd, 2013
Forum member Jonathan L. (aka ‘Quest-QC’) was a member of the Canadian F-TR team at the F-Class World Championships in Raton, NM this fall. His handsome .308 Winchester rifle features some interesting hardware and a stunning African Padauk-wood stock stiffened with carbon fiber layers. We were impressed by the innovative, adjustable bag-rider assembly Jonathan fitted to the rear of his stock (scroll down for photo). With an Allen wrench, the vertical height and the slope (i.e. fore/aft angle) of the V-shaped bag-rider can be changed easily. This has many advantages. First, Jonathan can set his rifle to the most comfortable height (for his prone position) without using “lifters” under the rear bag. The system also gives him some gross elevation adjustment separate from the bipod. In addition, the angle adjustment allows the bag-rider to better match the geometry of the rear bag. Last but not least, by setting up the bag-rider with some drop (higher in front, lower in back), Jonathan can fine-tune his elevation (while aiming the gun) by simply sliding the rifle fore and aft.
Jonathan says: “This year was my second year shooting at 1000 yards and I managed to find a spot on Team Canada for the FCWC at Raton. Here is the rifle that brought me there…”
The rifle features a Kelbly Panda F-Class RB-LP action, 34″ Bartlein 1:11″-twist, Heavy Palma contour barrel. Fitted to the red-toned Padauk-wood stock is a 23.2 oz., StarShooter CF-SS light weight bipod with custom bench feet. On top is a March 8-80x56mm scope in Kelbly rings. Total weight of the rifle is 18 pounds, 1 oz., complete with the 24 oz. adjustable brass bag-rider at the back. The bag-rider block was modeled in 3D, then machined afterwards to use up the remaining weight available after all the other components. CLICK for StarShooter CF-SS Bipod Video.
African Padauk Wood is Very Stiff
Jonathan chose the red-toned African Padauk Wood because it is stiff for its weight: “The reason for choosing African Padauk is that the weight of the wood is the same as Maple but 45% more rigid.” The downside of Padauk, as Forum member Gstaylorg notes, is that it is a “very oily wood, which can make it somewhat difficult to finish with something like polyurethane. [Padauk] can generate a lot of bubbles and cause cracking problems around joints and/or seams.” Jonathan did note that he has observed a few bubbles in the auto clear coat on his stock. He plans to refinish the stock in the off-season.
Gun Is Extremely Accurate with Berger 200gr Hybrids
Jonathan says this rig was very accurate, at least until his barrel gave up the ghost. He says he has put 15 successive shots in about 1/4 MOA: “I managed to make it twice (1/4 MOA for 15) by taking my time between shots. You don’t want to overheat this barrel. I needed to provide a very strong effort (mentally) to be able to achieve such precision as the rifle is way better than me.” Jonathan shoots Berger 200gr Hybrid bullets (in the lands) with Hodgdon Varget powder, and Federal 205M primers, loaded into neck-turned Lapua .308 Win brass. He has also had good luck with Vihtavuori N150 powder in the past.
In compliance with F-Class rules, the adjustable bag-rider system would not be adjusted “on the fly” during record fire. The bag-rider’s vertical rise and fore/aft slope would be optimized before shooting, then locked in place. The bottom photo offers a good view of the V-shaped profile of the metal bag-rider. We have found that this kind of V-profile, closely matching the triangular profile of the rear ears, makes a rifle more secure in the rear bag and often allows the gun to track better.
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November 8th, 2013
Credit Des Parr for providing match details found in this report.
The 2013 European F-Class Championships are now history. Congratulations to new F-Open Euro Champion Joe Melia of Ireland, and new F-TR Euro Champion Paul Eggerman of Germany. Held at the Bisley Ranges in England, the European Championships drew top shooters from all over the Continent, plus the U.K. and Ireland. Following the individual competitions, national teams competed, and Great Britain emerged the big winner. British teams won gold in F-Open, F-TR, and the Rutland Cup. Hail Britannia!
On the GB F-Class Association website, Des Parr authored a great day-by-day account of the Euro Championships. Des writes: “The 2013 European Championships had a little of everything to keep everyone happy — some very light winds to please the trigger pullers, some very strong winds to please the wind-readers and only a little rain to please everyone! Friday was notable for having remarkably calm and steady wind. This enabled everyone to really see what their rifles were capable of in near to ideal conditions. The result was predictable; some very high scores.”
In F-Open division, senior Irishman Joe Melia shot 457.39 to capture the title. Des Parr notes: “Joe got a rousing cheer from all his fellow competitors, indicative of his good standing. In second, it was another medal for Ireland, this time the fiercely competitive Anthony Dunne used all his experience to rack up 453.38. In third place was the new GB Captain from Wales, David Lloyd with 452.33.”
In F-TR, the Germany’s Paul Eggemann shot a superb score of 447.35 to win the individual title, ten points ahead of his nearest rival. Ukraine’s Sergei Baranov took second with 437.22, while his countryman Sergei Gorban finished third with 436.26.
Links to Full European F-Class Championship Results
F-Open Championships Results | F-TR Championships Results | Team Championships Results
8-Man Event — Top place went to Team GB with 1084.58. Second place was taken by Italy with 1035.46 and in third was BDMP Germany with 1021.32. In F-TR, first place went to Team GB with 1007.32, with Team Italy second (987.31), and Ukraine third (978.26).
4-Man Rutland — There were ten, 4-man teams in the Rutland Competition. In F-Open, Winning Team GB was steered to victory by captain Peter Hobson with a super 524.19. France Open 1 took second with 522.17, while the Europe Open team was third with 497.22.
Irish Teams won silver and bronze in the 4-man Rutland Match at the European Championships.
In related news, Forum member Gary Costello from the U.K. won the GB/Euro National League title for 2013 with a total of 71 points. This multi-match title is based on the best of four (4) League Championship Competitions throughout the year. Gary explains: “We have eight shoots in total, this championship is open to GB F-Class Association members and includes shooters from France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Spain, Ukraine and several other countries. Most of these countries have maximum 300 yards to shoot so the UK is the closest place to compete in long-range competitions. That’s a bit amazing considering the size of the UK to Germany for example.”
Photos courtesy F-TR Ireland and Gary Costello.
Gary used a 300 WSM built by Gunsmith Peter Walker, with a Nesika L action, Benchmark barrel, and a March 8-80x56mm scope. Gary told us that it took some time to master the 300 WSM, which has more recoil than a .284 Win, but in the end, Gary’s choice of caliber helped carry him to victory over a long season of hard-fought competition. Finishing second in League standings was Mark Daish with 70 points, while Des Parr took third place with 64 points. (Point totals based on best four matches.) Complete 2013 GB F-Class League Results are available on the GB F-Class Association website.
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October 22nd, 2013
F-Class competition will be featured on this week’s episode of Shooting USA television. This week, Shooting USA takes an inside look at the rapidly-growing sport of F-Class shooting, with coverage of both F-TR and F-Open competition at 600 yards and beyond. This show will air three times on Wednesday, October 23rd, on the Outdoor Channel (see air times by region below). This episode will also feature the historic 1907 Winchester, a choice of gangsters in the 1920s.
The Shooting USA Hour on Wednesdays:
AIR TIMES BY TIME ZONE
Eastern Time 3:30 PM, 8:30 PM, 12:00 Midnight
Central Time 2:30 PM, 7:30 PM, 11:00 AM
Mountain Time 1:30 PM, 6:30 PM, 10:00 PM
Pacific Time 12:30 PM, 5:30 PM, 9:00 PM
The ‘F’ in F-Class stands for Farquharson. Canadian George Farquharson is credited with founding the sport in the 1990s. Farquharson wanted to create a discipline for fellow older shooters whose fading eyesight made it difficult to compete in traditional iron-sight high power matches. In 2007, the United States NRA officially recognized the prone shooting disciple. Since then the sport has grown rapidly. Over 350 shooters attended the 2013 F-Class Nationals in Raton, NM.
F-Class is similar to High Power rifle shooting, with competitors taking turns in the pits, pulling and scoring targets. Unlike conventional High Power shooting with iron sights, F-Class shooters use scopes (with up to 80x max power, though the most popular scope is still probably the 12-42x56mm Nightforce Benchrest).
All F-Class competition is shot prone. Competitors are classified into two divisions, F-TR (Target Rifle) and F-Open. F-TR rifles must be shot from bipod, and must be chambered for either the .223 Rem or .308 Win cartridges. Max F-TR gun weight is approximately 18.18 pounds, including bipod. In the F-Open division, rifles can weigh up to 10 kg (22 pounds) and front rests can be used (but you may shoot from a bipod if you wish). F-Open competitors may shoot any cartridge which is .35 caliber or under.
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October 12th, 2013
Harris swivel-model bipods allow you to adjust the cant of your rifle. This is useful if you are shooting on side-sloping ground. But what if you want to traverse from side to side, say to switch from one critter to another during a prairie dog safari? Well normally you would have to pick up the entire rifle and reposition it to the left or to the right. Now you have an option. The Upriser Arms Bipod Swivel Mount allows you to traverse your rifle left to right, without moving the bipod legs.
Video Shows How Traversing Bipod Mount Works, with Locking Plunger Knob:
This rugged, machined-aluminum bipod mount lets you swing your aim point from side to side without having to reposition the bipod. The rubber-padded Upriser Arms Bipod Mount accepts any bipod that attaches to a forward sling swivel stud. There is also a version that fits on tactical rails.
It is easy to engage or disengage traversing capability via the plunger knob on the front of the unit. When you pull down on the plunger (and twist to lock in “down” position), the rifle can swing smoothly on an internal, precision-bearing pivot. To go back to non-traverse mode, simply center the fore-arm and then twist and release the knob so the plunger pops up, securing the bipod in the “dead-center” position. Note: This unit adds approximately 1¼” to bipod height.
This $69.99 bipod mount comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee when purchased through Brownells or Sinclair Int’l. User feedback has been positive. One purchaser wrote: “I take this [traversing bipod mount] on all my hunts and it has impressed me immensely. The part is built strong and has improved my shooting. It is really smooth, easy to use, and helps me stay on scope when my game is on the move instead of having a shaky swivel or having to move the whole bipod. I have recommended this product to all of my friends[.] — Adam, Missoula, MT
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October 4th, 2013
Many styles of bipods were used by F-TR shooters at the F-Class U.S. Nationals and World Championships recently held in Raton, NM. Most featured angled arms — either left/right arms or parallel pairs of arms on either side. With such designs, vertical height is controlled by adjusting the angle of the arms (and hence the distance between the feet). Widen the track and the gun goes down; narrow the track and the gun goes up. One bipod design, Dan Pohlabel’s FLEX Bipod, was very different than the norm. On the FLEX, there are no angled arms — the main blade is a solid piece of metal. Each leg has independent control for height via adjustable “feet” on either ends of the main piece. A ratcheting locking lever controls the cant.
Click photo below for full-screen version
Monte Milanuk, who tested an early version of the FLEX Bipod, explains: “The FLEX bipod is a very simple design — no Mariner’s wheel for vertical adjustment, no joystick head, no changing width as it goes up and down. And the FLEX bipod is very light (as are most, these days), but also very durable. An added bonus is that it breaks down very flat for airline travel. Once I take the feet off, remove the ratchet lever (with screw), the whole bipod nestles very nicely in the bottom layer of foam in my gun case (with cuts for the head etc. in the foam). If someone bashes the case hard enough to damage what is essentially a plate of spring steel, then I’ve got bigger worries.”
Monte likes the FLEX Bipod, but notes that it works best if you lean into the gun when shooting: “Not everyone wants a bipod that slides around like a hog on ice. Some people manage to get things tracking straight back and forth, almost like it was constrained by a front rest. Personally, I have a hard time doing that in a repeatable fashion. While the FLEX Bipod shoots quite well with a [loose] hold, it was designed for those of us who like to ‘lean’ into the gun a bit. Quite literally, the idea is that you get the feet to dig in slightly, and push against the rifle butt with your shoulder and the bipod will ‘flex’ or bow forward slightly. It is one of those things that sounds wonky until you try it. It may take a few times to get a feel for it, but once you do, it is surprisingly repeatable.”
The FLEX bipod’s designer, Dan Pohlabel, offers these instructions:
The bipod feet are shipped loose. Note there is a left foot and a right foot. Determine the balance point of your rifle and mount the bipod approximately two inches forward of that point. You may want to move it further forward after shooting. Experiment with its placement to minimize movement of the bipod. When setting up, first grab each foot and ‘dig’ them in to the shooting surface, dirt, gravel, grass, carpet — it doesn’t matter. After making sure each foot has a hold, raise or lower the bipod to your target and use the cant adjustment to level your rifle. Loading the bipod with your shoulder is the preferred method of position. For more info, visit Kreativ-Solutions.com or email flex-bipods [at] kreativ-solutions.com .
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September 26th, 2013
Colt Mfg. Co. (Colt) is bringing out two new bolt-action rifles with actions from Cooper Firearms of Montana. (So maybe we should call these “Colpers” or “Coolts”?) Two different versions of the new Colt M2012 solid-stocked bolt-action rifles have been announced: a .308 Win with a Manners composite stock (MT308T), and a laminated stock version chambered in either .308 Win (LT308G) or .260 Remington (LT260G). All versions feature fluted barrels, detachable box magazines, and single-stage Timney triggers. All new M2012 MTs and LTs ship with signed, numbered, and dated Colt test targets.
These rifles will be pricey for a factory rifle. The M2012MT308T in .308 Winchester carries a $3,195.00 MSRP. That puts you pretty close to the cost of a custom tactical build. The laminated-stock LT versions list for $2,795.00, making those considerably more affordable. So what do you get for your money with a M2012 bolt-action “Coolt”?
The M2012MT308T features a 1:10″-twist, 22″ fluted stainless barrel with factory muzzle brake. All-up weight, even with the lightweight Manners carbon/fiberglass composite stock, is 10.25 pounds. Overall length is 44″, making the rifle fairly compact, good for tactical games and hunting.
The laminated LT models (offered in .308 Win or .260 Rem), weigh just 8.5 pounds, making them nearly two pounds lighter than the Manners-stocked models. We presume the weight saving comes from the use of lighter-contour barrels. The LT308G features a 22″ chrome-moly 1:10″-twist fluted barrel, while the LT260G sports a 22″ chrome-moly 1:8″-twist fluted barrel. This enables the .260 version to shoot popular 138-142 grain 6.5mm match bullets. Again, muzzle brakes come fitted to the laminated guns, just like the composite-stock variant.
Will these new Cooper-actioned rifles find favor with shooters? We think that depends on how well they shoot. Given the asking prices ($2,795 for Laminated, $3,195.00 for Composite) these rifles are close in price to a gunsmith-built, custom rig with a super-premium barrel. Such a custom should deliver 1/2-MOA or better. Can the M2012 “Coolts” match that? Hard to say…
These new Colt M2012s might be a decent starter platform for an F-TR rifle, but the fore-arm is pretty short (for optimal bipod use) and the shooter might need to retro-fit some kind of raised cheekpiece for prone shooting. It may be that the real market for these rifles will be hunters who want the security of a factory warranty, in a product that is a step-up from a basic Remington 700, Howa, or Savage.
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September 10th, 2013
While attending the 2013 F-Class World Championships at Raton, we had a chance to talk with Derek Rodgers, who had just been named the 2013 U.S. F-TR National Champion. Derek’s F-TR Win at Raton makes him the only shooter to have won U.S. F-Class National titles in both F-Open and F-TR divisions. Derek was excited about his performance at Raton: “F-TR was my first love in competitive shooting and [winning the F-TR title] has always been a personal goal to achieve”. In this Q&A session, Derek tells us about his rifles and his Nationals-winning .308 Winchester load. Derek also provides some advice for new shooters in the F-TR game.
Q: Readers want to know about your rifle. How did your select your stock, action, and bipod? And tell us about working with your gunsmith Doan Trevor and the quality of his work.
Derek: For my F-TR project, I carefully chose as many lightweight components as possible, without compromising performance. I wanted to put the weight savings (from light components) into a heaver, stiffer barrel. The rifle features a left port, left bolt Kelbly F-Class Panda action fitted with a Kelbly trigger. The stock was acquired as an uncut blank. It’s a McMillan Prone stock and is very comfortable in design. It also has a nice vertical pistol grip and gentle palm swell. This makes getting behind the gun feel very natural. [Editor's Note: Though Derek is a right-hander, he shoots with a Left bolt-Left port action. This allows him to stay in the shooting position, right hand on grip, while manipulating the bolt (and feeding rounds) with his non-trigger-pulling hand.]
CLICK on Rifle Photos for Full-Screen Versions
Rifle photos by Dennis Welker.
Doan Trevor built the entire rifle. Doan even made all of the hardware on the gun. Doan was able to drop pounds vs. ounces as a result. Doan’s 3-way butt-plate hardware alone weighs just half a pound! Doan was highly attentive in helping me build the gun the way I wanted. His bedding and fitment is clean and he has creative ideas for the competitive shooter. While my stock is fiberglass, Doan really shines when it comes to building stocks from wood blanks. In fact, Doan built the stock used by second-place finisher Lige Harris, and also fourth-place Trudie Fay. I feel fortunate to have Doan so close. He’s truly a master craftsman who can quickly turn a project into reality.
I chose a Bartlein barrel on this rifle. It is an 1:11″ twist, 32″ long, heavy-contour barrel to stabilize heavy bullets. This barrel was a real hummer from the start. I shot six shells over the chronograph to determine initial chamber behavior and all six loads shot into 1 hole at 100 yards. Each cartridge had 0.5 grains increase in powder. That’s never happened to me before.
Up front, I used a Duplin Bipod. It weighs just 17.2 ounces and is made in North Carolina by Clint Cooper and supplied through Brownells/Sinclair. It is a new product for them and it has already proved to be an extremely lightweight, solid platform. Kelbly rings and an NXS 8-32X scope top the rifle off.
Q: Could you talk about your experience shooting at Raton — dealing with the challenging winds. Did you have any strategy going into the Nationals? Did that change?
Derek: The Raton winds can be intimidating to a person that has never shot there before. In fact, one of the first comments I heard was that it was ugly and nasty out there as the flags ripped straight out to the NW. I glanced downrange and thought it looked like another beautiful New Mexico day (being from NM does have its perks). There is usually no shortage of big wind out here. I’m fortunate to shoot 1K matches locally at a Del Norte Gun Range located outside of Albuquerque. It prepared me to shoot when I can see the mirage and proceed with caution when I can’t. It is the same elevation as the Whittington Center and gives me true testing with actual come-ups that will work dead on at both ranges. My strategy going in to the match was to shoot heavy 200 grain Berger hybrid bullets. I felt like it was the best compromise between BC and velocity. My load held an incredibly flat water-line and that gave me the confidence to either shoot through the entire string in tough wind or stop and wait until the switching winds returned to what I like to see. I was fortunate to pick the correct wind-sets and jump in when I needed to — or wait when the mirage didn’t look right. It paid off as I saw competitors’ targets raised with wide ring spotters. A few times I watched my clock and let a couple relays tick down to the last several minutes before finishing. The winds are quite challenging here and wind pickups and let-offs are huge! The wind calls are definitely magnified in Raton.
Q: You are the only shooter to have won both the F-Open and F-TR U.S. National Championships. How would you compare and contrast F-Open vs. F-TR?
Derek: Now that I’ve won both F-TR and F-Open National titles, I have finally captured the elusive F-TR national victory. F-TR was my first love in competitive shooting and [winning the F-TR title] has always been a personal goal to achieve. I could not be happier to win in my home state with a spectacular level of expertise in attendance. You really need to remain 100% focused in F-TR and try not to miss any condition change. If you do, you will pay dearly as the .308 Win just doesn’t have the extra horsepower to plow through the minor wind changes like Open guns can. Needless to say, F-Open shooters have their hands full in Raton as well; high BCs and fast, booming magnums aren’t the only way to get good scores. Open shooters need to be just as in-tune with the wind. Most of the Open Class shooters use sophisticated rests and cartridges superior to the .308 Win. However, I saw rough conditions disrupt many top shooters as they handed over their score cards to line officers. Although not in a front rest, I have learned to manage my F-TR gun to keep it tracking straight back under recoil. I had two main concerns in Raton this year with my F-TR rifle: 1) Keep all my shots on paper even if the winds blow 25+ mph; and 2) do NOT shoot another target! It’s very easy to do if your bipod slides over during recoil. That was less of a concern for me when I shot Open. Open Class rifles have a more stable foundation that stays in place better. However, just one crossfire at this level will take you out of contention to win anything in Open or F-TR. Both classes are very tough these days on the upper level and you can’t afford to give away points.
Q. What was your load for Raton and did you have to make any adjustments for the altitude or temperature?
Derek: My load for the upcoming Nationals was something I used earlier in the year to win the 2013 East Coast Sinclair Nationals: Berger 200gr Hybrids, Lapua brass, Varget powder, Wolf LR primers. I felt it was very consistent against some of the best F-TR shooters around. However, my biggest concern was my load being over-pressured in late summer. It was a hot year in New Mexico. In June, I made a couple trips to Raton and discovered my loads that I felt were safe were actually on the hot side. I tested locally in the heat of the day vs. calm cool mornings. I also spent quite a bit of time studying past load data / temperatures and came up with a game plan to work with what I had. I kept my fingers crossed that the ambient temperature would stay in the low 80s. I knew my load shot well from 50-80 degrees, but above that and I thought I may have problems with the groups coming apart late in a string. I saw this happen to me in the past with temp-stable powders in a .308 Win. In fact, .308 Win loads become much more critical when pushing the cartridge to its full capacity. Had the temps been in the mid to upper 90s, I’m sure the rifle would have shot differently.
Q: What advice would you offer to someone getting started in F-TR competition?
Derek: I think shooting F-TR has allowed me to really get an idea of what the wind is doing. If a new shooter is interested in trying it, the best tips I can offer is to partner up with a few experienced shooters that know how to hand-load carefully and compare shooting notes. This helps someone get traction with proven methods. Another tip would be to get matches under your belt–at different ranges. It may seem trivial, but each range is different. The shooter may benefit by seeing something that he hasn’t encountered before. The other thing I’d suggest to new shooters is not to worry about your score when starting. Keep shooting. More trigger time is key. I’d recommend working on eliminating your lowest ring value first. For example, if you’re lowest score was a 6, next match try to only shoot better than 7s. Once that is eliminated work on your 8s. When you consistently shoot 9s and 10s then you can be assured that your technique is solid and manageable. Higher scores and Xs will come….
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August 28th, 2013
The F-Class World Championships wrapped up yesterday at Raton. This was the biggest F-Class Worlds ever, and the level of competition was higher than ever before. But the World Championships were not just about wind calls and V-Counts. The event was also about camaraderie. All those who participated made new friends from around the globe. In the end, this event was about fellowship, and the bond of shared challenges with fellow shooters. No matter what the tally on the team score-card, everyone who participated in the World Championships came home a winner — a winner in the game of life.
Two Aussies Share the Joy of Victory…
Team F-TR USA Members Ham it Up After Winning F-TR World Championship.
The U.S. F-Open National Team on its Way to the Silver Medal.
Tough Guys Jim Crofts, Paul Phillips, and Brad Sauve Helped Carry Team USA to Victory.
Team Canada at the 1000-yard Line. Canada Hosts the next F-Class Worlds in Ottawa, 2017.
2013 World Individual F-Class Champion Kenny Adams Shooting in Team Mode.
Past NRA President John Sigler with his Wife. John is an Avid F-Class Shooter Himself.
South African F-Open Shooter Hard at Work.
Our British Friends Russell Simmonds and Laurie Holland — both Forum Members.
Spanish Team Genius at work — Farley Rest Bolted to a Truck Brake Rotor. Rock Solid.
Team F-TR USA Captain Darrell Buell with the Superb New Nightforce Spotting Scope.
Two Young Ladies on the Junior F-TR Team Enjoyed the Event.
Team Ireland Proudly Shows the Colors. Erin Go Bragh!
Forum Boss and Raton Range Boss Watch the Action on Day 2.
Editor’s Note: If I learned one unforgettable lesson from this match, it is that we shooters have a common bond that spans oceans and crosses national borders. We truly are a brotherhood of riflemen who share a passion for a challenging and rewarding sport.
I want to thank all the many people who came up to me and said “Thanks for the website — keep doing what you’re doing — it’s important”. I heard that message from Brits, Aussies, Spaniards, South Africans, Germans, Kiwis, Italians, Brazilians, Ukrainians, Irelanders, and of course my fellow Americans. Thank you all for your kind words. Rest assured, we’ll do our best to “keep the faith” in the years ahead.
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August 26th, 2013
Top marksmen from around the world battled for national honors today during Day 1 of the F-Class Team World Championships. F-Open and F-TR teams from many countries were decked out in their national colors. We saw squads from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Ukraine, and the USA. Other nations were represented as well.
Along with the basic two divisions, F-Open and F-TR, there are separate classifications for 4-man squads and the big 8-member National Teams. One Junior team from the USA is also competing. Right now the 8-man USA F-TR squad has a commanding lead. The talent-laden USA 8-man F-Open squad sits in second place, just three points behind the surprisingly strong Australian squad. But there are hundreds of record rounds left to fire tomorrow, and USA F-Open team members hope to move into the top slot on Day 2. Scroll down the page for a video interview with USA F-Open Team Captain Shiraz Balolia.
More than once in today’s matches dust devils appeared on the range. During the 1000-yard match a large swirling dust cloud formed dead center on the range. We heard coach Mid Tompkins call to his shooters: “Whoa – Whoa, stop firing, stop everything”. Mid told us: “When you have dust devils like that, you have to stop — you can’t out-guess it and you may not even be able to see the target.”
Interview with USA F-Open Team Captain Shiraz Balolia
Many of the top teams are using “comm packages” with microphones and headsets. This allows the coaches to communicate with each other, conferring on observations and wind calls. Wireless communicators are not allowed, so cords are strung between the coaching stations.
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August 23rd, 2013
The dust has settled and all the scores have been tabulated at the 2013 U.S. F-Class Nationals. This was a hugely successful event with 350 shooters on the firing line. After three days of individual matches, concluding with blustery conditions on Thursday, we have two new USA F-Class Champions, Larry Bartholome (F-Open) and Derek Rodgers (F-TR). Both men shot great matches from start to finish — we congratulate both on their well-deserved victories.
CLICK HERE for Final F-Open Full Results | CLICK HERE for Final F-TR Full Results
Derek Rodgers (Team Sinclair) is the 2013 U.S. National F-TR Champion. Posting a 1270-44X final score, Derek edged runner-up Lige Harris (1268-44X) by two (2) points, both men finishing with identical X-counts. John Chilton was third with 1264-35X, with Trudie Fay (1263-33X) and James Crofts (1261-33X) rounding out the top five. Lige finished as High Senior, while Trudie was the High Lady.
Fellow F-TR shooter (and past National F-TR Champion) Brad Sauve praised Rodgers:
“Derek is the only person that has won both the F-TR and F-Open U.S. National Championships. Derek just dominated those Raton winds in every match and must have ice in his veins to go into that last match knowing he was tied for first and [still] pull out another great performance.”
In F-Open class, Larry Bartholome won the 2013 National Championship, besting an extremely strong field packed with talent. Larry shot great on all three days, holding on to his lead even in extremely challenging conditions on Thursday. Larry took the F-Open title with a 1283-59X score. The next three positions were decided on X-Count, with three shooters, second-place Kenny Adams (1281-66X), third-place Freddy Haltom (1281-52X), and fourth-place William Wittman (1281-50X) all finishing with 1281 point totals. Kenny’s impressive 66X was the high X-count for the match. Steven Blair finished fifth with a 1280-52X score.
Here’s One of the Next Generation of Champions…
Stormy Conditions on Thursday
On Thursday, the wind started out calm for the first couple of relays. Conditions started to get a little switchy by the 3rd through the 6th relays and then with a storm front coming in, the 7th and 8th relays got a bit wild. Our reporter at Raton, Jeff Williams, reports: “We had dust devils dancing between the line and the targets. Rain held back until after all shooters had finished.”
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August 21st, 2013
The U.S. F-Class Nationals, now underway in Raton, NM, are a big success. This event has drawn huge numbers of talented shooters from across America (and around the world). There are roughly 180 F-TR shooters plus over 170 F-Open Shooters. That’s a record turn-out we’re told. The Nationals got off to an impressive start — the best shooters were center-punching the 1000-yard targets right out of the gate. Chris Ford shot a 150-11X in the first F-0pen match of Day 1, when many other 150s were shot, including a 150-9X by Larry Bartholome. Many 150s were also shot on Day 2 during the first match. On both days, conditions got tougher over the course of the day.
In F-Open, after two days of shooting, William Wittman (894-39X) enjoys a two-point lead over Larry Batholome (892-42X). In F-TR class, Lige Harris (885-34X) has been the class of the field so far, posting the top scores on both Day 1 (445-18X) and Day 2 (440-18X). The level of competition is extraordinarily high this year — so high that some past National Champions are well down the pack. Overall, if you look at the complete score sheets linked below, you’ll see that competition has been very tight, with many shooters clustered with near-identical scores.
Download DAY ONE F-Open and F-TR Results | Download DAY TWO F-Open and F-TR Results
|F-Open Results Day 1 (Top 10)
William WITTMAN 148-7 150-10 150-4 448-21X
Martin LOBERT 149-8 150-6 148-9 447-23X
Gordon OGG 148-9 148-7 150-8 446-24X
Larry BARTHOLOME 150-9 148-6 148-6 446-21X
Speedy GONZALEZ 149-8 149-4 148-8 446-20X
Marce BEEN 148-6 149-3 149-8 446-17X
Bob SEBOLD 149-7 148-3 149-6 446-16X
Kenny ADAMS 150-7 145-7 150-8 445-22X
Mike MCGILL 146-4 150-10 149-8 445 22X
Freddy HALTOM 149-6 148-7 148-5 445-18X
|F-Open Results Day 2 (Top 10)
Larry BARTHOLOME 150-10 148-6 148-6 446-22X
William WITTMAN 150-7 147-7 149-4 446-18X
Freddy HALTOM 149-10 149-8 147-4 445-22X
Kenneth PADILLA 150-8 148-8 147-4 445-20X
Steven BLAIR 150-11 147-7 147-3 444-21X
Charles BALLARD 149-11 149-4 146-2 444-17X
Bob SEBOLD 150-9 148-1 146-5 444-15X
Emil KOVAN 150-6 147-4 147-3 444-13X
Jeff TRAYLOR 149-6 148-1 146-3 443-10X
Speedy GONZALEZ 149-8 146-7 147-6 442-21X
Pete PETROS 148-5 147-8 147-8 442-21X
|F-TR Results Day 1 (Top 10)
Lige HARRIS 149-5 146-6 150-7 445-18X
John CHILTON 150-7 146-3 146-4 442-14X
James CROFTS 149-6 143-3 149-7 441-16X
Paul KENT 147-4 147-6 147-3 441-13X
Philip KELLEY 146-6 144-5 150-9 440-20X
Derek RODGERS 148-10 143-3 149-6 440-19X
Michael SMITH 148-4 145-3 147-3 440-10X
Ian KLEMM 147-5 146-4 146-2 439-11X
Daniel POHLABEL 148-8 142-7 148-4 438-19X
Radoslaw CZUPRYNA 147-6 141-1 150-9 438-16X
|F-TR Result Day 2 (Top 10)|
Lige HARRIS 147-7 148-5 145-4 440-16X
Derek RODGERS 147-3 147-4 146-4 440-11X
Gerry WIENS 148-4 145-2 145-6 438-12X
Trudie FAY 146-3 146-4 146-3 438-10X
Ian KLEMM 149-6 145-7 142-5 436-18X
Alan BARNHART 148-9 144-2 144-1 436-12X
William LITZ 148-5 143-4 144-4 435-13X
Laura PERRY 146-5 146-4 143-2 435-11X
Allen TAMPKE 147-4 141-4 146-3 434-11X
Stephen SIRCAUSA 148-7 143-8 142-4 433-19X
Share the post "Hundreds of Shooters Battle at the U.S. F-Class Nationals"
August 19th, 2013
The U.S. F-Class National Championships are underway at the Whittington Range in Raton, New Mexico. The event commenced yesterday with squadded practice. Today the first official matches started at 8:00 am, with threee 15-shot invidivual events at 1000-yards. The event is hosted at Raton by the Bald Eagle Rifle Club (BERC). CLICK HERE for match information.
U.S. National F-TR Team on Practice Day…
Course of fire — Day One
- Match 1: 1000-yard individual slow fire prone. Unlimited sighting shots and 15 shots for
record in a time of 22 minutes.
- Match 2: 1000-yard individual slow fire prone. Two (2) sighting shots and 15 shots for record in a time of 22 minutes.
- Match 3: 1000-yard individual slow fire prone. Two (2) sighting shots and 15 shots for record in a time of 22 minutes.
Because the 2013 F-Class World Championships will be held at Raton immediately after the U.S. Nationals, many international shooters will be attending the U.S. Championships this week. The firing line definitely has a multi-national look this year. Below is U.S. F-Open National Team Captain Shiraz Balolia with a proud Canadian competitor. For once Shiraz may have been one-upped in the hatsmanship competition.
Photos courtesy Shiraz Balolia and Team USA F-TR Rifle Team
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