April 10th, 2016

Joystick Bipod Shooting Tips by Joy-Pod Inventor Seb Lambang

SEB Coax Joypod joystick bipod joy-Pod

Do you shoot with a SEB joystick-equipped bipod, or are you considering acquiring a “Joy-Pod” for your F-TR rifle? Then you should read this article. Here Sebastian (“Seb”) Lambang, the inventor and builder of the SEB joystick bipod, offers tips on shooting with this impressive piece of engineering. Seb explains some techniques that can help with tracking and getting back on target. You can ask SEB questions about his Joy-Pod in this Shooter’s Forum Thread.

Joy-Pod Shooting Tips by Seb Lambang

1. Be sure that the rear bag is settled before starting to shoot. Tap your stock into the bag. Then move your rifle back and forth, while checking your reticle. If it tracks straight, vertically perfect, and comes back to the original point of aim, it’s fine. If not, re-adjust.

2. If you use the Pod-Pad, be sure it is fully settled before starting to shoot. Tap the top where the feet rides on using your palm — you wan to create a flat top. To be sure the Pod-Pad does not move or slide, remove any gravel or pebbles under the pad — these can act as roller bearings.

SEB Coax Joypod joystick bipod joy-Pod
Photo Courtesy Busselton Rifle Club, Australia.

3. Be sure your shooting mat is NOT springy or spongy. This is very important. Use a proper mat, or cut it if possible so your rear bag rests directly on the ground. Use a heavy rear bag. You can use a sand-filled doughnut (not a rigid spacer) to stabilize the bag on uneven ground. These doughnuts are relatively inexpensive and really work.

4. Be sure your whole body position is correct, so your shoulder is square. “Follow” the recoil with your shoulder, don’t push “against” it. Don’t move too much. Don’t make unimportant movements during your shooting string. Always be as consistent as you can in all things — how you hold the rifle, even how you breathe before taking the shot.

This young lady shooter is using a first generation Joy-Pod. The newer versions have flat, ski-like feet.
SEB Joy-Pod

5. Be sure your rifle and rear bag are aligned. You want the slot between the ears of the bag perfectly aligned with your barrel. (You can use a yardstick or a piece of string to help with the alignment).

SEB Coax Joypod joystick bipod joy-Pod

6. Use a heavy rear bag. The heavier and the more stable, the better.

7. It does not matter (from my own experience) whether you light-hold the joystick or leave the joystick in the air when you shoot (see Darrell Buell video — he shoots “hands off”). I believe the bullet already exits the muzzle before the joystick moves in your fingers. I lightly hold the joystick myself, just as I would hold a billiard stick.

Watch Darrell Buell shooting his .375 CheyTac equipped with a counter-balanced Joy-Pod. Note how the gun comes straight back, and how Darrell can release the joystick before breaking the shot.

SUMMARY — When It All Comes Together
If everything is set up right, and done correctly, your rifle will track beautifully straight and your reticle will come back or very close to the original point of aim, every time. If you have to change the Joy-Pod, rear bag, or your body position after a shot, there could still be something wrong with your set-up, alignment, or body position. When everything is right, you can also see your own score in the scope after every shot you make (after initial recoil). You also should not have to change the bipod’s setting, the height, the cant etc., at all. You only need to adjust for the current condition with the joystick, the joystick will do it all. That’s why we call our bipod the JOY-Pod.

SEB JOY-POD Joystick Bipod, and POD-PAD
Weighing in at just 18 ounces (510 grams), the Gen 2 Joy-Pod is unlike any other bipod on the market. Designed specifically for weight-restricted shooting classes, the Joy-Pod offers smooth and precise joystick-controlled aiming. The Gen 2 model offers up to 14 degrees of cant and an improved design that functions with up to 50 pounds of rifle weight. Each Joy-Pod comes with a Weaver rail adapter. The optional Pod-Pad accessory is designed expressly for the Joy-Pod. It works filled or unfilled with the Joy-Pod’s sleds to bring you back to your shooting position easily. CLICK HERE for more information, or visit SebRests.com.

.308 Win Tactical Rifle fitted with Joy-Pod on Pod-Pad. CLICK HERE for Video.
SEB Coax Joypod joystick bipod joy-Pod

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Shooting Skills No Comments »
September 29th, 2015

2015 F-Class Nationals At Ben Avery Coming Soon

F-Class Nationals Phoeniz Berger Arizona
Here’s 2014 F-TR National Champion James Crofts, with his PR&T-built rig.

Are you ready? The 2015 F-Class Nationals event is just three weeks away. The combined mid-range and long-range F-Class National Championships will be held October 23 – 31, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona.

CLICK HERE for 2015 F-Class National Championships Program and Entry Form.

For 2015, the Nationals will include both Mid-Range and Long-Range competitions. The NRA F-Class Mid Range National Championship will be held 23-27 October 2015. The F-Class Long Range National Championship then runs from October 27 through 31. The competition consists of two different Divisions: F- Open and F-TR (Target Rifle). Each Division is made up of five different Categories: High Master, Master, Expert, Sharpshooter and Marksman. There will also be a series of four-person team matches. The event is limited to 320 competitors maximum. All matches will be held at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility outside Phoenix.

You’ll see some serious hardware on the firing line at Ben Avery. Here’s a modern F-Open rig with a handsome maple stock. The gun, belonging to David Mann of Texas, shoots as good as it looks.

F-Class Nationals 2015 Ben Avery Phoenix Arizona AZ

Under Two Inches at 500 Yards
To be competitive at the Nationals, one needs a tack-driving rifle and an ultra-accurate load. Shown below is one of Paul Phillips’s F-TR load development targets at 500 yards. The total 5-shot group size is under two inches. Impressive. That’s with 200gr Bergers, Varget powder, and large primer Lapua brass. Paul tell us: “The X-Ring is 5 inches at 1000 yards (equivalent to 2.5 inches at 500). We strive to be all in the X-Ring. However, wind is the big obstacle. A gust of wind can move you 1-2 feet away.”

Fall foliage F-TR F/TR Nationals Paul Phillips .308 Win F-Class Phoenix 2014

F-Class National Championship Registration and Deadlines
Competitors must submit the official Registration & Entry Form (include NRA Membership ID#). Entries MUST be accompanied by check, money order or NRA Points. Make Check payable to Desert Sharpshooters Rifle Club.

Fees are $375.00 for both Mid-Range and Long-Range matches (combined), or $200 for just one match only (either Mid-Range or Long-Range). Team Matches cost $60 per entry.

Mail Entry Forms and checks to:
Middleton Tompkins
P.O. Box 11684
Prescott, AZ 86304.
Phone: (928) 776-8576.

Entry Deadline: The deadline for entries is 6:00 PM Monday, 12 October 2015. Entries after this time are considered late entries and may be accepted to fill vacancies on existing relays only. An additional $20.00 will be charged for late entries, on top of the basic fees.

2015 F-Class Nationals Ben Avery Phoenix Nightforce

2014 F-Class Nationals Photos copyright Nightforce Optics, used with permission.

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
July 11th, 2015

Where to Shoot F-Class — 100+ “F-Friendly” Ranges in the USA

Accurateshooter.com F-Class Excel range list

F-Class shooting (both F-Open and F-TR) is one of the fastest-growing forms of rifle competition. Each season many new shooters hit the line and attendance at the big matches increases every year. But if you’re new to the game, you may ask “Where can I shoot an F-Class match?”. Well, Forum member Rod V. (aka Nodak7mm) has compiled a useful list of 109 ranges around the USA where F-Class matches are held (plus 6 “possibles”). With venues from Alabama to Wyoming — you should find an F-Class program not too far from home. The list, in Excel spreadsheet format, provides range locations and weblinks (where available). Click the link below to download the F-Class Range List (.xls file):

Download F-Class Range List, Revision 19 (12/30/2014) (.XLS file, right click to “save as”)

Note — this list, now in its 19th Revision, is augmented regularly, but info is still being gathered. No claim is made that the list is comprehensive. But it still covers the the lion’s share of the important F-Class venues nationwide. If you know of a range that should be added to the list, please post the location on our F-Class Range List Forum thread. Rod will update the list as new range info is received. Rod writes: “Range information is wanted and welcomed. I would like your help on collecting specific info on Clubs/Ranges where known F-Class matches are held.” Here’s a partial sample from Rod’s list:

Accurateshooter.com F-Class Excel range list

Accurateshooter.com F-Class Excel range list

Permalink News No Comments »
December 9th, 2014

Champ ‘Feels the Joy’ — Shoots 200-9X at 1K with Joy-Pod

James Crofts F-TR bipod joy-pod joystick bipod F-classThis past weekend, reigning F-TR National Champion James Crofts shot a match using the latest generation of the SEB Joy-stick Bipod, aka “Joy-Pod”. Apparently, James didn’t have any problems adjusting to the coaxial Joy-Pod. James definitely “felt the joy”, shooting a 200-9X score, his first-ever perfect 200 at 1000 yards in F-TR.

James reports: “I used the SEB Joy-Pod, it was amazingly stable. The Joy-Pod works amazing.” James is a “releaser” not a holder. When shooting with the Joy-Pod, he releases the joy-stick handle right as he fires: “I let go when breaking the shot”. Some other guys maintain light contact, allowing the joy-stick shaft to float back between/over their fingers during recoil. But it looks like James has a method that works.

SEB Joy-Pod Fitted on Savage-Actioned PR&T F-TR Rig
Here’s the rig James was shooting. Yes it has a Savage action, complete with AccuTrigger. James proves you don’t have to have a $1200.00+ custom action to shoot 10s and Xs at long range. The rifle was built by Ray Bowman of Precision Rifle & Tool. James wanted to thank Keith Trap (Forum member KT) for helping James do all of the testing on this rifle. James tells us: “I have decided this year I want to work more on myself as an individual shooter and not spend as much time [working with] my ammo and my rifles.”

CLICK PHOTO to See Full-screen image with more detail:
James Crofts F-TR bipod joy-pod joystick bipod F-class

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus and yes that’s a Savage action in this rig!
James Crofts F-TR bipod joy-pod joystick bipod F-class

Note the grippy suede base-pad under the Edgewood rear bag, which features low-friction ear material.
James Crofts F-TR bipod joy-pod joystick bipod F-class

USA F-TR National Champion James Crofts.
James Crofts FTR F-class joy-pod joystick F-TR SEB
Photo by Kent Reeve.

Permalink Competition, New Product 7 Comments »
December 30th, 2013

Eliseo Offers Wide,V-Shaped F-Class Rear Bag-Rider

Tube-gunners take note. Gary Eliseo has just introduced a new wider, V-profile rear bag rider for his Competition Machine modular chassis systems. The new bag-rider is a wide V-shape that conforms to the shape and angle of popular rear sandbags. Gary tells us that “The new F-class rear bag rider will be available as an option in 2014. Constructed of Delrin, the new bag-rider is reversible with 0 degree and 5 degree mounting ends. The bottom of the bag-rider is sized to fit 3/4″-wide ear spacing.”

Eliseo Competition Machine F-Class Bag rider

Eliseo Competition Machine F-Class Bag rider

Eliseo Competition Machine F-Class Bag rider

Editor’s Comment — This Kind of Bag Rider Really Works
We have tested a prototype, V-shaped bag-rider on an Eliseo 6mmBR Tubegun. The profile on our wooden prototype is very similar to Gary’s final design crafted from Delrin. We were really surprised at how much better the gun behaved with the wide, V-shaped bag rider, compared to a standard slab-sided skid. With the “V-Rider” the gun felt more “locked-in” with less side-to-side play. There also seemed to be less vertical bounce when shooting F-TR style with a bipod. But mostly the gun felt much more stable, with less tendency to roll. There was noticeably less side to side wobble, and the gun did track better.

The most important thing, is that the V-shaped bag-rider definitely made the gun easier to shoot — at least in the opinion of our three trigger-pullers. When we switched to our wide, V-shaped bag-rider, three different shooters were able to hold smaller groups with tighter horizontal. We saw fewer left/right shot impacts (away from the group center) that may have been attributable to little, last-micro-second movements of the rifle. The gun seemed to settle in the rear bag better, and after each shot, it seemed we could get back on target more quickly. The gun “locks in” to the rear bag faster and more solidly, so you spend less time fiddling with horizontal. With less wobble, the TubeGun feels less top-heavy. Understand that a V-shaped bag rider will not make your rifle more inherently accurate. However, it may help you steer the gun more consistently, and it make help the rifle track more consistently.

Product find by EdLongRange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product No Comments »
June 7th, 2013

A Beautiful Range in America’s Heartland (Malvern, Ohio)

Darrell Buell recently posted a photo of the oh-so-scenic Alliance Rifle Club Range in Malvern, Ohio. This is where Darrell and the U.S. F-TR Team will be practicing this week. Wow — what a beautiful place to shoot. The Alliance Range looks more like a top-flight Championship golf course than a mere shooting range. All that green grass, rimmed by trees, looks like heaven to a Westerner accustomed to ranges that are hard-packed dirt, dust, and gravel. This Editor now has a new item on his “bucket list” — get out to Ohio and shoot a match with the Alliance Rifle Club.


Photos by Darrell Buell and Alliance Rifle Club.
Permalink News 1 Comment »
May 17th, 2013

NEW Mid-Range Rifle Championships at Camp Perry This Year

Report based on story by Kyle Jillson in NRABlog.
There will be a new rifle discipline at Camp Perry this year — the NRA National Mid-Range Championships, slated for August 5-9. Created due to the rising popularity of F-Class shooting, the new 3000-point Mid-Range Championships will be shot from distances of 300, 500, and 600 yards and will add yet another fun sport to the annual Remington/NRA National Rifle and Pistol Championships. The new Mid-Range Championship isn’t just for F-Class Open and T/R rifles though. Sling shooters are allowed to compete with Service Rifles and Match Rifles and will be classified accordingly.

Camp Perry Mid-Range Championships

F-Class Basics
F-Class is target shooting with scoped sights and artificial support (bipods for F-TR and rests or bipods for F-Open). F-Class shooting is done entirely from the prone position. Originally started among older High Power shooters who were straining to see traditional iron sights and needed a little more support, the sport now includes young shooters as well as experienced shooters looking for a new challenge.

There are two F-Class divisions: Open Class (F-Open) and Target Rifle (F-TR). In F-Open, rifles can weigh up to 22 pounds, fire any caliber under .35 and may be shot off just about any type of rest. F-TR rigs are limited to 18.15 lbs (8.25 kg), must be shot off a bipod, and must be chambered for either the .223 Rem and .308 Win (or 7.62×51) cartridges. For F-TR, the bipods are counted in the weight of the rifle. Other F-class rules are found in the official NRA High Power Rulebook.

The Mid-Range Championships will be held alongside the High Power Rifle Championships August 5-9 at Camp Perry, Ohio. And if your thirst for F-Class has not been sated by then, the US F-Class National Championships are coming to the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, New Mexico from August 18-20. After that the Whittington Center will hold the F-Class World Championships from August 23-27.

Permalink Competition, News 1 Comment »
April 26th, 2013

Top F-TR Shooters Using 17-Ounce Duplin ‘Rorer Spec’ Bipod

Following our story on the Sinclair Int’l East Coast Fullbore Nationals, folks wanted to know about the bipods used by the winning F-TR squad, Team Sinclair. Some sharp-eyed readers noticed that three out of four Team Sinclair shooters were sporting a compact, parallel-arm bipod. This nice piece of kit is the ultra-light-weight (17 oz.) Rorer Spec Bipod produced by Duplin Rifles in North Carolina. The Rorer Spec Bipod is sturdy and easily-adjusted, yet it is one of the lightest wide-track bipods on the market.

Duplin Rifles Bipod F-TR, F/TR

Duplin Rifles — Rorer Spec Bipod
Weight: 1 pound, 1 oz. (17 oz.) | Finish: Clear- or black-Anodized Aluminum
Price: $350.00 delivered in USA | Options: Custom faceplates; Custom mount engraving ($35)

Duplin Rifles Bipod F-TR, F/TR

For more information, or to place an order, contact Duplin’s main man, Clint Cooper. You can send email to clint [at] duplinrifles.com or call 910-289-8217.

Duplin Rifles
4527 Hwy 117 South
Rose Hill, NC 28458

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 17 Comments »
April 11th, 2013

“Texas T” — Radical, All-Metal F-TR Rifle from Richard King

Report by Richard King (King’s Armory, Texas; ‘Kings X’ on our Forum)
With all the talk from Vince Bottomley in the April issue of Target Shooter about aluminum stocks, I thought you might like to see my latest project. This is my personal gun, built the way I wanted it. I know it’s radical and some may not care for it. But it works.

Richard King F-TR skeleton rifle

This is pretty much an all-aluminum rifle. The action is a Kelbly F-Class with a Shilen stainless steel competition trigger. The scope is a 1″-tube Leupold 36X with a Tucker Conversion set in Jewell spherical bearing rings. The .223 barrel is Pac-Nor 3-groove, 1:6.5″-twist mounted in a “V”-type barrel block. The bipod has vertical adjustment only via a dovetail slide activated by a stick handle. It works like a joy-stick, but for vertical only. I adjust for windage by moving the rear sandbag.

The 30″ barrel is 1.250″ in diameter. With the barrel block forward, the vibrations should be at a low frequency. Instead of one long rod whipping, I now have two short rods (barrel haves) being dampened. This is my fourth barrel block gun. They work, but so does a good pillar-bedded action. I just do stuff a little different.

Richard King F-TR skeleton rifle

The vertical “keel” down the bottom of the stock stops the “spring” of a flat-bar stock. There is little, if any, noticeable flex before or during recoil. The long length of the stock, the fat barrel, and the forward-mounted barrel block work together to keep the gun from rising off the ground. BUT, remember this is a .223 Rem rifle. A .308 Win version might act very differently. I may try a .308-barreled action soon, just to see what happens. But I will stick with the .223 Rem as my choice for match shooting.

Richard King F-TR skeleton rifleThe offset scope idea came from a benchrest “rail” gun. In truth, the whole concept came from a rail gun — just adapted to being shot off a bipod. Sure it isn’t directly over the bore. It is about 1.5″ over to the left. So if you want the scope to be zeroed on the center of the target, you have to adjust for the offset. At 100 yards that is 1.5 MOA. But at 300 it is only 0.5 MOA, at 600 only a ¼-MOA, and at 1000 about 1 click on my scope.

What the offset DOES do for me is eliminate any cheek pressure. My cheek never touches the stock. Since this is only a .223 Rem, I don’t put and shoulder pressure behind it. And I don’t have a pistol grip to hang on to, but I do put my thumb behind the trigger guard and “pinch” the two-ounce trigger.

The offset scope placement could interfere with loading a dual-port action from the left. That’s not a problem for me as I set my spotting scope up on the left side very close to the rifle. I have plenty of time to reload from the right side while the target is in the pits being scored.

Again — this is my rifle. It is designed for my style of shooting. It is not meant to be a universal “fit all” for the general public. However, I will say the design is adaptable. I can easily convert the system to run in F-Open Class. I would drop a big-bore barreled action into the “V” block, slide on a heavier pre-zeroed scope and rings, add plates on the sides up front to bring the width to 3”, and maybe a recoil pad. It might be interesting to offset the wings up from to counter torque of the big bullets. But I would also have to offset the rear bag rider to get the gun to recoil straight back.

How the Gun Performs
I have had “T” to the range only twice for load development. It groups like my present barrel-blocked 223 F-TR gun. But it’s much easier to shoot and it only moves about 3/4” — straight back. I tried to build am omni-directional joy-stick bipod but I could not get all the side-to-side wiggle out of it. So I have set it up so it only moves up and down (horizontal movement is locked-out). As it works now, the joystick on the bipod lets me set elevation on the target quickly (with up/down adjustment). Then, to adjust for windage, I slide my rear bag side-to-side as needed. Once set, I just tickle the trigger and smile.

Gun Handling — Shoot It Like a Bench-Gun
I basically shoot the gun with no cheek or body contact. I don’t grip it, other than maybe a pinch on the trigger guard. The scope was offset to the left to help the shooter move off the gun and avoid the possibility of head/cheek contact with the stock.

Listen to Richard King Explain How He Shoots his ‘Texas-T’ Rifle:

[haiku url=”http://accurateshooter.net/Video/RichKingTalks.mp3″ Title=”Richard King Talks”]

CLICK PHOTOS to See Big Size

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Gunsmithing 13 Comments »
March 23rd, 2013

Canadian F-TR Rifle in Dolphin Aluminum Chassis from UK

Canadian Fred Harvey of Star Shooter Precision recently posted photos of an interesting metal-stocked F-TR rifle, fitted with a Star Shooter CF-SS Bipod with carbon-fiber legs. This handsome .308 Winchester rifle features a Barnard S action, 30″ Krieger barrel (1:11.25″ twist), and aluminum stock/chassis from Dolphin Gun Company in the UK.

The all-up weight of this rig, including the Star Shooter bipod and mounting rail is 17 pounds, 15 ounces. (F-TR weight limit is 8.25 kgs, approx. 18.15 pounds). Gunsmith was Ian Robertson.

Dolphin Stock .308 Win F-TR rifle Star Shooter bipod

Dolphin Stock .308 Win F-TR rifle Star Shooter bipod

Dolphin Gun Company Aluminum F-TR/Tactical Rifle Stock

Dolphin’s modular, CNC-crafted F-TR/Tactical stocks are fully adjustable. Fore-ends are interchangeable and the pistol grip even adjusts for length of pull. Dolphin offers single shot and repeater inlets for Rem 700-style actions, Barnard S & SM actions, RPA Quadlite actions, plus BAT VR and Savage actions. Three types of fore-ends are available: short tactical style, long F-TR style, and a wide F-Open style. Repeater versions accept AI magazines. Dolphin claims the repeaters “feed faultlessly with any action fitted”. The aluminum Dolphin F-TR/Tactical stock comes with an adjustable buttplate fitted with Morgan Recoil pad. The bag-rider height also adjusts. These stocks sell for £630 (about $960 USD) with either Dura-coat or hard-anodized finish. A variety of anodizing colors are offered.

Dolphin Stock .308 Win F-TR rifle Star Shooter bipod

CLICK HERE for other Dolphin Rifle Company Stocks.

Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product 3 Comments »
December 26th, 2011

Bottomley Builds a Winner — 2011 Euro F-TR Champ Gun

Ace UK shooter Vince Bottomley decided he wanted to build a new F-TR rifle for the 2011 season. Vince selected all the best components: Stolle Action, Bartlein Barrel, Precision Rifle & Tool Stock. The build came together superbly, producing a .308 Win rifle that shoots bugholes at 100 yards, and holds sub-half-MOA (or better) to 1000. After building the rifle, Vince decided to shoot Open Class at the 2011 European Championship. So, he graciously loaned his purple F-TR rig to his friend, Stuart Anselm. The rest, as they say, “is history”. Despite having just one day’s practice with the gun, Stuart drove Vince’s rifle to victory, winning the 2011 European F-Class Championship (F-TR division) by a sizable margin.

READ Full Story about European Championship-Winning F-TR Rifle.

Vince Bottomley F-TR European championship rifle .308 Win bipod Leupold

Superb Accuracy with VV N150 and Berger 185gr Bullets
This 2011 Euro Championship-winning F-TR rifle is the star of our latest Gun of the Week Feature Story. In that article, Vince explains how he modified the long PR&T stock to make weight, and how he developed an accurate load with Vihtavuori N150 and Berger 185gr Target Long-Range Bullets. Vince notes that many UK F-Class shooters are moving back to single-base powders, after trying out double-base powders such as VV N550 and Reloder 17. What’s the reason? Barrel life. Vince feels that the single-base powders can give somewhat better barrel life, even if you lose a little velocity.

Bottomley F-TR .308 Win

New F-TR Champion Reviews Bottomley’s Stolle-Action Rifle
Stuart Anselm tells us: “I only shot the rifle a couple of days before the Europeans — two sighters and then five rounds at 800 yards which went into a 3.75-inch group. That gave me a lot of confidence in the rifle. The bi-pod is very light and looked a bit flimsy but it’s well-engineered, so it worked well. That long Precision Rifle & Tool stock is definitely the way to go and helps the rifle to track nicely under recoil. Of course, the Stolle action was perfect with the right-bolt, left-port set-up and the 10-60X March is just about the ultimate F-Class scope.”

Winning Performance: Scoring 452 points out of a possible 475, Stuart won the F-TR Euro Championship convincingly, finishing 10 points ahead of F-TR runner-up Adam Bagnall (also from Great Britain). Stuart also had the highest V-Bull count with 33.

Stuart Anselm F-TR European championship rifle .308 Win target accuracy

Permalink Competition, Gunsmithing 2 Comments »
November 14th, 2011

New Sinclair Height-Adjusting F-Class Bipod (3rd Generation)

Sinclair Int’l has started shipping its new, improved “3rd Gen” F-Class bipods. These are nearly a pound lighter than before, but just as stable. The key new feature is an optional, central rotary height adjustment. This was successfully tested by Danny Biggs, who won some big matches with a prototype height-adjusting bipod. While the new bipod is designed for F-TR competition, Sinclair’s wide-base bipods have also been used successfully by some F-Open Class competitors, and they have been popular with varmint hunters. Two versions of the new “3rd Gen” bipod are offered. The basic version, without central height adjustment, is currently in-stock for $199.95. The deluxe version, with central quick-adjust height control, can be pre-ordered for $249.95.

3rd generation sinclair f-class bipod height adjusting

Sinclair tells us: “The Sinclair F-Class Bipod was designed with input from many of our customers, including members of Team Sinclair. The new third generation Sinclair F-Class Bipod is offered with an optional quick-adjust elevation knob. Made from 7075 T6 aluminum, the 3rd gen bipod is lighter yet more rigid — nearly a full pound less than the previous generation.” The latest F-Class Bipod now also includes handy laser-etched height markings on the adjustable legs.

Popular features of Sinclair’s previous F-Class bipod designs have been retained, notes Sinclair: “The bipod locking feature enables you to adjust rifle cant quickly and easily. The bipod can be mounted to the rifle’s sling swivel stud in just a few seconds with the captured, hardened pin system. Two tensioning knobs then pull the stock against heavy, low-compression felt pads for a movement-free mount.”

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 1 Comment »
June 27th, 2011

Yanks Dominate Creedmoor Matches in Ireland

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

Creedmoor Cup Ireland

Creedmoor Cup Ireland

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

Creedmoor Cup Ireland

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

Creedmoor Cup Ireland

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

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

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

Creedmoor Cup Ireland

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

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

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

Creedmoor Cup Ireland

Permalink Competition, News 8 Comments »
May 23rd, 2011

.223 Remington Shooter Equals GB 1000-Yard F-TR Record

At a recent Great Britain F-Class Association Match at the Blair Atholl Glen Tilt range, AccurateShooter Forum member Laurie Holland shot a 96-9V for twenty shots, tying the British F-TR single match record. Laurie accomplished that feat with a Savage-actioned .223 Remington. Laurie proved that the little .223 Rem can be competitive, even at 1000 yards. The Blair Atholl range, 1,000′ ASL in the southern Scottish Highlands, has been described by a top international rifle coach as ‘the world’s second most difficult range for wind’ (behind Trentham in New Zealand). Many British F-Class shooters were therefore surprised when Laurie Holland took his Savage-based .223 Rem F/TR rifle to the range earlier this month to compete in the season’s second GB F-Class Association league round. The event consisted of five, 1000-yard matches over a weekend (three 15-round stages on the Saturday, and two 20-round matches on Sunday). Forty-eight registered GB FCA shooters turned up, split 50/50 between F-Open and F-TR categories.

Though heavy rains were expected, Saturday was dry. However, the predominately 5 o’clock wind grew progressively stronger throughout the day, swinging through 20 or 30° with irregular gusts and lulls. With the range situated on a steep and uneven valley-side, wind changes affect elevation markedly in addition to the usual lateral movements. A gust can send the bullet high and left, while a lull moves POI low and right.

After Matches 1 and 2 Laurie was at the bottom end of the top 10 shooters in the class, but he surged to the lead in the day’s final match that saw the most difficult wind conditions. Laurie’s 66-2V score topped second place Adam Bagnall (reigning GB F-TR league champion) by seven points, and was also better than many F-Open scores. Laurie and his .223 were now tied (on points) with F-TR world champion Russell Simmonds for the overnight lead. Both had 183 points but Laurie was leading by five V-Bulls to one. As chance would have it, Russell and Laurie had been squadded to shoot together on the second detail of Sunday morning’s 20-round Match 4. NOTE: Brits employ a different system for F-Class targets. Target Rings have a 1 through 5 value, with a “V” (rather than “X”) for a dead-center hit. The maximum score possible on a twenty-round match would be 100-20V.


Laurie used the Savage successfully in the 2010 F Class European Championship meeting seen here shooting for GB in the second placed GB F/TR ‘Blue’ Team.

What followed was a classic two-man duel. Laurie explains: “While the F-Open boys on the first detail were still shooting, we had a short but violent rainstorm that really spoiled their day, this finishing just as they took their last shots. As the rain cleared, the wind apparently died too, the flags hanging limp, so we didn’t delay getting set up to take maximum advantage of the conditions. Russell and I both found the Bull / V-Bull on shot 1. Russell drilled five consecutive Vs, while I had two Bulls and three Vs. I began to think I might just hold Russell on points, but he’d hammer me on V-count. We started to find something was moving the bullets about, but there was no way of reading this on the sodden flags or even by the sway of the tops of some tall silver birch trees near the firing point, these usually proving very sensitive. It was a case of watching the plot develop, use intuition, and watch where Russell’s shot went before I took mine. (Remember, we have two competitors to each target taking shots alternately — no string shooting in the UK.)


Kongsberg electronic scoring monitor. This system gives near instant shot marking and lets spectators watch competitors’ performance in real time.

Crowd Watches Two-Man Duel — Laurie Ties Record in Match 4
With the Kongsberg electronic scoring machines, a flashing circle on the target shows the most recent shot, with its numerical Ring Value on the right side of the screen. All of our Fours came up as 4.9s, just leaking out! I was very reluctant to touch the scope knobs knowing just how easily a quarter-MOA ‘click’ can overdo the correction in these conditions and increasingly aimed low and left as the match progressed. As we reached the end we guessed our scores must be close, and amazingly I was getting more Vs now than Russell and his .308. However, neither of us knew we were tied on shot 19, both having dropped four points, and scored eight Vs, so the last shot would be crucial. Russell told me afterwards he sensed the wind had maybe picked up marginally, briefly considered aiming off a little further left, but decided to stick with his previous aim that had given him a ‘V’ – crack, 4.9 at 3 o’clock! My shot 19 had been a Four in exactly the same spot and I eased the Sightron’s reticle dot over to the bottom left corner of the Bull ring – crack, V.0 at six o’ clock for 96.9v total. Just to our right, Adam Bagnall had also shot 96, but with eight Vs, so I won the match and equaled John Cross’s GB F/TR record 20-round 1,000-yard score shot last summer. This increased my overall lead to 1 point. As the shooting concluded, we heard a rising murmur behind and turned to discover we had a substantial audience, mostly of ‘Open’ competitors, who’d been following our progress — electronic scoring not only gives an instant result, but makes shooting a spectator sport!

I’d like to say the fairy tale had a happy ending, but I blew my lead in the final four shots of the final match and ended up fourth in F-TR class, Russell taking the top spot. So, the .223 Rem will have to wait a little longer to get its first GB F-TR league round win.”

Despite faltering in the last match, Laurie still earned two stage medals and posted the highest F-TR V-count (15) in what had been a low scoring weekend. Laurie’s impressive performance with a .223 Rem now has many people reconsidering the Mouse Gun cartridge’s utility in British long-range F-TR competition.

Permalink Competition, News 15 Comments »