November 15th, 2016

Competition Tips: 30CalGal Talks about ‘The Mental Game’


In this video, Anette Wachter (the 30CalGal) offers tips for shooting from bipod.

Anette Wachter Mental Game VisualizationOur friend Anette Wachter, aka “30CalGal”, stars in a smart video from NRAWomen.TV. In this episode of Tips & Tactics, Anette talks about the “mental game” in competition. Specifically she explains how to “visualize success”:

I have found that a lot of my success in competition has come through what I call a ‘mental rehearsal’. I actually visualize every stage of the match and I visualize the success of the match and winning the match.

I actually visualize that round going downrange into the target, and the target coming up with a dead-center ‘X’. I visualize this over and over. If you visualize success you will achieve success.

Visualization is a process of mental preparation that is done before you get to the range. Many of the greatest shooting champions have used this technique to get ready for big matches, and to optimize their performance during record fire. If you want to enhance your “mental game” through pre-match visualization, we strongly recommend Lanny Bassham’s book, With Winning in Mind.

As a competitive smallbore 3P shooter, Bassham developed a mental management system. Using this system, Lanny Bassham won 22 world individual and team titles, set four world records, and captured an Olympic Gold Medal in Montreal in 1976. His techniques have been embraced by professional and Olympic athletes in many sports. With Winning in Mind covers a complete system of “mental management” techniques used by Olympians and elite champions.


About 30CalGal
Life is short. Go Shoot! — Anette Wachter
Along with being a talented competitive shooter, Anette has her own Gun Blog, 30CalGal.com, and she writes for several gun publications including GunUp Magazine, Shooting Sports USA, Sure Shots Magazine, and Wide Open Spaces. She also designs and crafts custom jewelry items, sold through her AW Collections webstore.

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May 15th, 2016

NRA Competition Rule Changes for 2016

2016 NRA Competition Rules

The NRA has released new, updated versions of Competition Rules, with changes that have been adopted for 2016. There are quite a few minor changes affecting rifle competitors in High Power, Service Rifle, Prone AR Platform Rifle, F-Class, and Smallbore Disciplines. There are also new rules for matches with Electronic Targets.

You can read a detailed Summary of the Rule Changes on the Shooting Sports USA Website. Discipline by discipline, this SSUSA article lists the text of the new/modified rules.

You can download the updated rules, discipline by discipline, on the NRA Rulebook Page: http://rulebooks.nra.org. Bound copies of NRA Rule Books may be ordered online from the NRA Store: http://materials.nrahq.org.

NRA Official Rule Books

Discipline PDF Rule Book With Updates
Action Pistol Download the NRA Action Pistol Rule Book
Action Pistol Rule Changes
BB Gun Download the NRA BB Gun Rule Book
BB Gun Rule Changes
Black Powder Target Rifle Download the NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Rule Book
Black Powder Target Rifle Rule Changes
Precision Pistol Download the NRA Precision Pistol Rule Book
Precision Pistol Rule Changes
High Power Rifle Download the NRA High Power Rifle Rule Book
High Power Rifle Rule Changes
High Power Sporting Rifle Download the NRA High Power Sporting Rifle Rule Book
High Power Sporting Rifle Rule Changes
International Fullbore Rifle Prone Download the NRA International Fullbore Rifle Prone Rule Book
International Fullbore Rifle Prone Rule Changes
Int’l Pistol (Includes Air Pistol) Download the NRA International Pistol Rule Book
International Pistol Rule Changes
Muzzle Loading Rifle, Pistol, Shotgun Download the NRA Muzzle Loading Rule Book
Muzzle Loading Rule Changes
Police Pistol Combat Download the NRA Police Pistol Combat Rule Book
Police Pistol Combat Rule Changes
Precision Air Rifle Position Download the NRA Precision Air Rifle Rule Book
Precision Air Rifle Rule Changes
Silhouette Pistol Download the NRA Silhouette Pistol Rule Book
Silhouette Pistol Rule Changes
Silhouette Rifle Download the NRA Silhouette Rifle Rule Book
Silhouette Rifle Rule Changes
Smallbore Rifle Download the NRA Smallbore Rifle Rule Book
Smallbore Rifle Rule Changes
Sporter Air Rifle Position Download the NRA Sporter Air Rifle Rule Book
Sporter Air Rifle Rule Changes
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March 1st, 2016

Bob Gill Wins CA Fullbore Championship with .223 Palma Rifle

Bob Gill California Fullbore elesio R1 .223 Rem championship

Report by Johnny Fisher
Here’s something you don’t see very often — a fullbore shooter with a .223 Remington topped a field of talented .308 Win shooters. Not only that, he scored more points than any F-Class competitor (however, F-Classers shot a smaller target). Bob Gill’s performance proves that, even in an era of high-BC .308 bullets, the little .223 Rem cartridge can still hold its own in the hands of a great shooter.

At last weekend’s California State Fullbore Championships, Bob Gill bested over 30 competitors for the championship with a .223 Palma rifle, only dropping 7 points over the weekend for a 993-56X. The event was sponsored by the California Rifle & Pistol Association and hosted by the Coalinga Rifle Club.

Bob Gill California Fullbore elesio R1 .223 Rem championship

Bob Gill Talks about the ‘Mental Game’
Conventional wisdom when shooting any match is to just stay focused on each and every shot and let the scores work themselves out after all firing is complete. “Two To The Mound” shooting changes all of that, as each competitor is not only aware of their own standings throughout the course of the match – but also of their closest competitor during these pair-fire strings. With this championship never further out than a 2-point lead throughout the weekend, stress was high and every once of mental focus needed to be tapped.

Bob recalls, “The entire match was neck and neck. After a few mental mistakes and a few wind mistakes, with three shots remaining the thought is three shots and a 1X lead. I need to shoot three 10s. Everything else goes away. Shoot three 10s and he can’t catch me.”

Three 10s later, Bob won the CA State Fullbore Championship by one point and one X. Well done!

Gun Specifications
Bob was shooting a 1970s-era .223 Remington B-40X action inside a Competition Machine R1 chassis. The barrel is a 30.5″ Heavy Palma taper, 1:7″-twist Brux with a Wylde chamber and .220 freebore done up by Randy Gregory at Accuracy Unlimited. The Tubb 7T7 two-stage trigger was set at 1 + 1 pounds.

.223 Remington Accuracy Load — Berger 90gr VLDS, Varget and BR4s
Gill loaded 90gr Berger VLDs in front of 25.0 grains of Hodgdon Varget powder, jumping 15 to 20 thousandths for a 2.708 COL with a BR4 primer inside Lapua brass. Bob uses a Redding Full-Length S-Die to push the shoulders back .004 to match that of new Lapua brass and a bushing chosen to achieve .004 neck tension. He sorts his brass by weight into 0.5 grain lots and each piece is trimmed on a Giraud trimmer after sizing because he says “it grows like crazy”.

Bob Gill California Fullbore elesio R1 .223 Rem championship

Fullbore Course of Fire — Pair Firing on Day 2 at Coalinga
The Fullbore Course-Of-Fire for this match was squadded on the first day by classification for 15-shots string-fire at each yard-line: 300 / 600 / 900 / 1000 yards. These scores were then used to determine “two to the mound” squadding for the second day, when each competitor pair-fired with his closest competitor, and also kept score in between his own shots. In this “pair fire” arrangement, only 45 seconds are allowed between shots after a shooter accepts his shot score. This forces competitors to shoot through condition changes as opposed to waiting for a more favorable pattern.

CLICK HERE for CA Championship Individual Results | CLICK HERE for Team Results

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August 14th, 2015

Great Britain Takes Early Lead in Palma Team Championships

Palma Team USA World Fullbore Long Range Target Rifle Championships
Click above photo to view larger image.

Here’s an early report from the 2015 World Palma Team Championships being held at Camp Perry. After Day 1 of the Team Championships (conducted on August 13th), Great Britain is in the lead with a score of 3551-403. That gives the Brits a 30-point margin over their closest rival. Team USA holds second place with a score of 3521-359, followed by South Africa in third with a score of 3512-339.

Today, August 14th, is the final day of Palma Team Competition. We’ll see if Team USA can come from behind, or whether Team Great Britain can build on its Day One lead. Stay tuned for more updates, including the final results after today’s team matches.

Here is Junior Team USA member Dusty Taylor showing off her USA pride. Today is the final day of the Palma Team World Championships. Dusty says: “Go USA!!!!”

Palma Team USA World Fullbore Long Range Target Rifle Championships

Dusty Taylor photo by Anette Wachter of the U.S. Palma Team. Top photos by Berger Bullets.

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August 13th, 2015

Australian Ben Emms Wins World Fullbore Rifle Championship

fullbore Palma Target Rifle Camp Perry World Championships

Congratulations to Ben Emms of Australia for winning the World Fullbore Long Range Championship at Camp Perry. Nigel Ball of Great Britain finished second, while another Aussie, Mattthew Pozzebon, took third. There was some amazing shooting done this past week by the top competitors. Here is a report from Anette Wachter, a member of the U.S. Palma Team.

How Ben Emms Won the World Championship by Anette Wachter (30CalGal.com)
For a while I thought he was not human. Ben Emms of Australia kept powering through every yard line of the Long Range Championship with perfect scores. When the rest of us got pummeled at the 1000-yard line on day 3 he still cleaned the string. He “finally” dropped one point the last day. I guess he is human after all.

But for some dramatic effect he kept us on the edge of our seats during the shoot off. Two crazy shots (a wide two and a low three) were nail biters. His last round for record had to be at least a four to keep the Gold medal from going to second place finisher Nigel Ball from Great Britain. Cheers came from the crowd and especially his team-mates when the final shot came up as a FIVE on the target. Nigel had a beautiful target of centered shots and won the Silver while Matthew Pozzebon also of Australia took the Bronze Medal. Tom Whittaker and Bob Stekettee were also in the Top Ten shoot-off. Tom came home with many awards last night.

The three top Lady trophies went to Sherri Jo Gallagher for the Gold, Trudie Fay with Silver and Jane Messer of GB with the Bronze. We were rooting for Trudie all week as she also was down only one point. Her last string at 1000 was difficult but she still finished in the top 25 in the world. Sherri almost made the shoot-off. She was in 10th place all day until the final results came in at the end and she was pushed to 11th. Although the 11th spot kept her out of the shoot-off, she did stay for the awards ceremony to receive her High Woman Gold Medal and then hit the road for an all night 14-hour trip back to Golden Knights turf for work. Hard core girl!

READ FULL Story on 30CalGal.com >>


The Fullbore Team Championships are now underway, with squads from 11 countries competing for national honors. Team USA was ready to go on Day One, hoping to win the Worlds on our “home turf”:

fullbore Palma Target Rifle Camp Perry World Championships

Photos by Anette Wachter from 30CalGal Facebook Page.

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August 9th, 2015

World Fullbore Rifle Championships Commence at Camp Perry

Palma Target Rifle F-TR World Championships Camp Perry .308 Winchester Sherry Jo Gallagher

The Fullbore (Target Rifle) World Championships are now underway at Camp Perry. Held every four years (like the Olympics), the ICFRA World Target Rifle (Fullbore) Championships event is quite possibly the most important long-range rifle competition on the planet. This year the World Championships take place in the USA, at Camp Perry, Ohio. Teams from 11 countries are competing. Here we have some early reports from the August 8th Opening Ceremony…


Report by Ray Gross, Captain U.S. F-TR Team, 8 August, 2015
The U.S. Army Golden Knights parachuted in as part of the opening ceremony for the World Long Range Championships being held at Camp Perry, Ohio. Three of our sister teams, the U.S. Palma Team, the U.S. Veterans Team and the U.S. Under-25 Team will be competing against teams from around the world. Several members of our team, Ray Gross, Steve Hardin, Bryan Litz, and Lane Buxton, are part of the U.S. Palma Team.

CLICK HERE for more reports from U.S. F-TR Rifle Team Blog

Palma Target Rifle F-TR World Championships Camp Perry .308 Winchester Sherry Jo Gallagher

The format is very similar to our own World Championships. Everyone entered in the Individuals will shoot 15 shoots for record at 800, 900, and 1000 yards and they will complete that course of fire three times over the next several days. The team event fires the same course twice.

The main difference from our style of shooting is that they will compete using aperture-type target sights and will be using an arm sling as support compared to the scopes and bipods that we use. The rings on our target are substantially tighter to account for the the greater stability and accuracy of the type of rifles that we use.


Report from Anette Wachter (aka 30CalGal), 8 August 2015
Day One of the World Long Range Championships — we had Opening Ceremonies this morning which had our U.S. Army Golden Knights jumping in and the flag raising of each participating country. Sherri Gallagher, former USAMU shooter and now a Golden Knight, led the team as the first and solo jumper. I was sort of hoping she would land in the prone position with a rifle and start the competition. The rest of the Knights fell from the sky and landed perfectly on the X.

CLICK HERE for more reports from 30CalGal.com

Palma Target Rifle F-TR World Championships Camp Perry .308 Winchester Sherry Jo Gallagher

The U.S. Fullbore Nationals consisted of individuals and various team events as well as the biggest event, the America’s Match. The USA has never lost the America’s Match at home. We won it three years ago here at Perry and last summer up in Canada. Yesterday was not in the cards. First let me congratulate Great Britain for some outstanding shooting. They lost a total of 17 points for 8 shooters all day and took the Gold. Australia came in second, South Africa 3rd and the USA in 4th. Very humbling yes. One of our coaches had to leave at the middle of the match for a family emergency as well. So I believe the kinks are done and we can move on successfully for this coming week of Worlds. We have the best shooters in the U.S. on our team. Things will turn around. Three women were in the top 25 of the Fullbore Nationals: Michelle Gallagher, Trudie Fay, and Jane Messer. Our Veterans and Under 25s had their World Championship team events as well. Our Veterans took the Gold and the USA Under 25s took the Bronze. The GB kids shot very well and received Gold and Silver medals.

Click HERE for Full-Bore Nationals Results

Palma Target Rifle F-TR World Championships Camp Perry .308 Winchester Sherry Jo Gallagher

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August 3rd, 2015

It’s Palma Time at Perry — Fullbore Championships Commence

Anette Wachter 2015 Camp Perry USA U.S. Fullbore Target Rifle Palma championship

From August 3 through August 14, Camp Perry, Ohio will be the center of the Fullbore (Palma Rifle) universe. From 3-7 August the U.S. Fullbore Championship will take place on the shores of Lake Erie, followed by the ICFRA World Target Rifle (Fullbore) Championships, which runs 8-14 August. The Worlds are a very big deal — just like the Olympics, the ICFRA World Target Rifle (aka Fullbore or Palma) LR Championships event is held every four years. This year the World Championships take place in the USA, at Camp Perry, Ohio. Teams from 11 countries will be competing. The United States won’t host the Worlds again for at least another 25 years.

CLICK HERE for Day-by-Day Match Results from the U.S. Fullbore Championships.

2015 Camp Perry USA U.S. Fullbore Target Rifle Palma championship

Our friend Anette Wachter (aka 30CalGal) was on hand for the start of the U.S. Fullbore Championships this week. Here are some images Anette posted from Perry. Many foreign shooters are already in the USA, using the U.S. Fullbore Championship as a “tune-up” for the upcoming World Championships. In addition some of the international events are being held this week such as the ICFRA Veterans World Championship Team Match and the ICFRA Under-25 and Under-21 World Team Championships.

2015 Camp Perry USA U.S. Fullbore Target Rifle Palma championship

Photos courtesy Anette Wachter. Read Anette’s Shooting Commentaries on 30CalGal.com.

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September 3rd, 2014

2014 Spirit of America Match at Raton September 5-12

Preview by John Gaines, President, BERC
Sponsored by the Bald Eagles Rifle Club, the 2014 Spirit of America Fullbore Rifle Prone Championship will be held at the NRA Whittington Center near Raton, New Mexico on 5-12 September. The event is open to Target Rifle, F-Open, and F-TR shooters. There will be matches at 300, 500, 600, 900 and 1000 yards. CLICK HERE for 2014 Spirit of America Match Program.

Since 2001 the Bald Eagles have hosted the Spirit of America Match and it has grown in both stature and reputation with every year of competition. It is one of the premier fullbore matches in the world, and the range at Raton is one of the most challenging in the United States.

Spirit of America Match Raton, New Mexico

The short ranges are fired in the mornings and the long ranges in the afternoon. Short range matches (300, 500, and 600 yards) are fired “two to the mound” while the long ranges (900 and 1000 yards) are fired “string fire”. Both individual and team matches are fired and competitors not belonging to a recognized or hometown team are encouraged to join a “make-up” team for the experience and the camaraderie of team shooting. The total round count for the week is more than 400 (counting practice and “blow-off” shots.) That’s lots of shooting on one of the best ranges in the world!

Door Prizes and More…
In addition to cash, trophies, and medals there will be a door prize table containing various merchandise from recognized companies in the shooting sports industry. Top door prize will be a Savage M12 F-Class rifle with a Nightforce Competition scope. To learn more about the 2014 Spirit of America Match visit the Bald Eagles Rifle Club website at www.baldeaglesrc.org.

Spirit of America Match Raton, New Mexico

The Guns and the Targets
The match is for fullbore Target rifle, F-Class (Open), and F-Class (T/R). There will be separate awards for each category.

TARGET RIFLE
Gun Specs: A rifle chambered for the unmodified 7.62×51 or commercial .308 Win cartridge, or a rifle chambered for the unmodified 5.56mm or commercial .223 Remington cartridge. Any safe trigger is acceptable.
Targets: 300 yards-MR63; 500 yards-MR65; 600 yards-MR1; 900 & 1000 yards-NRA LR

F-CLASS
Gun Rules: Rifles and rests must comply with NRA rules 3.4 & 3.4.1
Targets: 300 yards-MR63FC; 500 yards-MR65FC; 600 yards-MR1FC; 900 & 1000 yards-R-FC

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August 25th, 2014

Yanks Win America Match with Record-Setting Performance

Congrats to Team USA, winners of the 2014 Target Rifle America Match in Ottawa, Canada. This year the American Team shot superbly to win this prestigious sling-shooting competition, finishing with a record score: 2392-339V. The America Match is an international fullbore rifle team Match held this year at the Connaught Ranges near Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

America Match Canada Team USA

America Match Canada Team USA

The America Match was held on August 24 as the culmination of the Dominion of Canada Rifle Association (DCRA) Fullbore Rifle Championships. The Fullbore championships were being held this past week, with the Grand Aggregate commencing on Sunday, 17 August and the Final of H.E. The Governor General’s Prize on Saturday, 23 August.

America Match Target Rifle Teams and Course of Fire
Team Size: Captain, Adjutant, Main Coach, 2 Target Coaches, 8 firers and 2 Reserves (total team strength 15), from a single country or group of countries approved by the DCRA. One team per country/group may enter.
Course of Fire: There were sighting shots (convertible) and 15 shotson score at 300 and 600 yards, and at 800 and 900 meters.

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August 10th, 2014

Aussie Ben Emms Wins Fullbore Championship at Camp Perry

fullbore nationals

fullbore nationalsBen Emms of Australia won the U.S. Fullbore Championship with an 891-114V score. One point back, Nancy Tompkins finished second, earning the Silver Medal with 890-105V. Michigander Charles Hayes won the F-TR division with 807-34V.

For the “slings and irons” Target Rifle competitors, the individual championship came down to a ten-person Shoot-Off. Americans fared well. Along with Tompkins’ second-place finish, Kelly Bachand placed fifth, Trudie Fay was eighth, Steven Powell finished ninth, and SSG Shane Barnhardt was tenth. Overall, that was a great showing by Americans. This bodes well for the 2015 Fullbore World Championship at Camp Perry.

Today the Fullbore Championships conclude with Palma Team matches. The top shooters are on the firing line, doing their best for their teams and respective countries.

Annette Wachter, aka “30 Cal Gal” offers this report from yesterday: “Here is my Award for most awesome team shirt. Saturday was a crazy morning. I got into position to shoot and there was zero wind. But by the time I took a shot it went to 11 minutes! I Got blown off the target twice. Had to laugh. Nothing I could do. I held great elevation though.”

fullbore nationals

CLICK HERE for Individual National Fullbore Championship Results, with Shoot-Off.

The Fullbore Championship — Down to the Wire

Competitor’s Report from Kelly Bachand, Kelly’s Gun Sales
Well it all turned out pretty darn well. I was in 7th place in the grand aggregate at the beginning of the day. After the first match of the day I dropped to 10th, and after shooting one of the best strings I’ve ever shot in my life I moved up to 3rd! I then shot in the Top 10 Shoot-Off to determine the final standing and I ended up 5th overall. I’m really quite pleased with this result and I feel very blessed.

Click No Bang — You Have to Load the Rifle!
Going into the final string at 1000 yards I felt myself starting to get a little worked up. I stopped and prayed and really worked at calming myself down. I got in position and got ready to shoot, loaded my first round, made my wind call and took the shot. “Click”. It didn’t go off and worse still I jerked the heck out of the trigger. It’s odd that it didn’t go off, but it happens once in a while, I usually just cock the rifle again and the round goes off on the second try. I line up the sights again, “Click”. Yikes! I jerked the trigger again and there must be something wrong with my rifle! I pull the bolt back and check the end cap, it’s not loose, so I go to eject the round to inspect it and I discover that I never loaded the rifle to begin with! That really calmed me down, quite a lot. I was almost laughing at myself on the line.

Reading the Wind
After the embarassing “click no bang” sequence, I picked an indicator — there was a flag almost pointing at me, and I used it to judge the angle changes. I watched other flags and the mirage for velocity changes and I tried my best to break good shots, and it worked. It was as if God helped me break the right shots at the right time. On a number of occasions I took a shot I called on one side or the other and the wind had either picked up or let off in such a way that if I hadn’t shot it exactly where I did then I would have lost points (calling a shot is just guessing where the shot will be based on how it felt and what it looked like when the gun went off). It was awesome. I ended up with a 75-8V, one of only five 75s that were shot on that string. This means that in 10-15 mph crosswinds, from 1000 yards away, with iron sights, and supported by a sling, I kept 15 consecutive shots inside an area less than two feet across with more than half of them in an area less than one foot across.

fullbore nationals Kelly Bachand

The Top 10 Shoot-Off
Since this match is a dress rehearsal for the World Long Range Championships next year there is then a shoot off among the top 10 scoring competitors. Fifteen more shots at 1000 yards and the score from that additional string is added to each shooter’s running total. The overall winner is the one with the most points.

During the Shoot-Off, the wind had picked up a little more, but not much. The biggest challenge I had was that the wind had such a speed that even from prone and with a sling the rifle was no longer steady. Instead the rifle sights were bouncing around as if I was shooting standing. So it was no longer good enough to simply have a good handle on the wind, we now also needed to squeeze the shot off at precisely the right moment. Needless to say some shooters excelled and some did not. Nancy Tompkins impressed everyone present by shooting a 75-7V in these conditions. I had a 70-4V which moved me from 3rd place to 5th place overall.

So I just got 5th place in the U.S. Fullbore Nationals and I’m honestly quite blown away by that result. There were some of the best shooters in the world present. Some of the other countries brought the same shooters who will compete next year in the World Long Range Championships — they were here. This also served as a try-out session for the U.S. Palma Team so many of the best shooters from the USA were present and competing. And then there is me. I’ve shot just two matches this year: a local 1000 yard match back home, and these Nationals. I practiced about half a dozen times and usually at less than 200 yards before coming to Nationals. Yet, despite the many reasons I shouldn’t have done well here, God saw fit to bless me and helped me to shoot very well.

Read Full Report by Kelly Bachand (more details).

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August 6th, 2014

Report from the NRA Fullbore Nationals by Kelly Bachand

Report by Kelly Bachand, for Kelly’s Gun Sales Blog.
Tuesday, August 5th, was the first day of the actual competition. The weather forecast was for rain with an 80% chance of thunderstorms. We somehow snuck through on that 20% and had great shooting weather all day. We shot 300 yards, 600 yards, and 800 yards on Tuesday with 15 shots at each. For the 300-yard line and part of the 600-yard line the wind came out of the west, as usual. Part way through the 600-yard line it started to switch and for the rest of the day it only came out of the north east or directly out of the east.

Kelly fullbore championship camp Perry

Int’l Fullbore Targets — More Challenging Than NRA Targets
The ICFRA (International Confederation of Fullbore Rifle Associations) targets are sometimes smaller than the NRA targets we are used to shooting in the USA. The 300-yard target has an especially small bullseye; it must be just 2.5″ across or something. Interestingly, these targets are also 5-V targets as opposed to our 10-X targets. This means the maximum points that can be scored with each shot is 5 points (instead of 10) and the tie-break ring is called the V-Ring (instead of the X-Ring). As a rehearsal for the 2015 World Long Range Championships, I think the match is off to a great start. There have been some logistical issues that have come up (and they only would have by running this match), so I’m very hopeful that the match directors will have all of their ducks in a row next year.

In a match like this, with the relatively calm wind conditions we had today, the top few shooters will likely go the whole day without dropping a single point and they’ll do it with a pretty high V-count. That means scores of 75 with 10+ Vs at every yard line are likely what it takes to find yourself towards the top (75-15V is the maximum score possible). I had a 75-9V at 300 and I was quite pleased with the group I shot, it must have been just a few inches tall. As one of the previous US Palma Team members, all of my shots in this match are being plotted and evaluated as part of the US Palma Team try-outs. It’s a very good incentive to break great shots.

Trigger Certification Rules
One of the fun things about shooting with ICFRA rules is that after someone shoots a possible (gets all the possible points, like 75 out of 75) they have to immediately get their trigger pull-weight tested. [That’s interesting] because you get to watch your friends come off the line and you immediately know how they did and can quickly give them a thumbs-up and rush over to congratulate them.

There is some really great shooting going on. I saw a lot of high scores shot at 800 yards. One under-25 lady from across the pond (Chloe Evans) spent most of today showing all the rest of us how it is done. It looks like she finished the day with a 225-36V. For the day, I had a 224-30V out of a possible 225-45V. I highly recommend following the scores online:

CLICK HERE for Current Fullbore Match Results from NRA website.

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September 12th, 2012

Report from Raton: Spirit of America Match Day 2 Results

Here is Bryan Litz’s latest report from the Spirit of America Match, underway at the Whittington Range in Raton, New Mexico. You can follow Bryan’s posts on the Applied Ballistics Facebook Page.

Raton Range

Report from Raton
Today was the second day of individual Fullbore shooting at the Spirit of America match. Some clouds moved in for part of the day and showered on us for about 15 minutes in the afternoon, but other than that the weather was good. There was wind, but nowhere near bad for Raton.

David Crandall won the sling class with the only clean for the day, followed by Bryan Litz, Bob Steketee, and Rick Hunt who were all down 1 point. For the Aggregate standings, Bryan and Nancy Tompkins are tied at 898, but Bryan has 57 Xs to Nancy’s 55. That’s a narrow margin with two days remaining!

Raton Range
Bill Litz, Bryan Litz, Michelle Gallagher, Nancy Tompkins

F-Class Results
Results in F-Open are interesting in that the top three places for todays shooting are also the same top 3 in the Aggregate. The winners for today, and leaders in the F-Open class are [familiar names]: Jim Murphy, Larry Bartholome, and Danny Biggs. These guys are three of the best F-class shooters in the USA. They’ll be difficult to catch.

Top three in F-TR today were: Trudie Fay, Ray Gross, and Darcy Spenst. Local shooter and U.S. Palma Team member Trudie Fay is also leading the F-TR aggregate by a decent margin. This comes as no suprise, as Raton is Trudie’s home range and she’s won the sling class of this tournament in the past. South African Ivan Lamprecht is second in the aggregate so far (Ivan is shooting ammo provided by Applied Ballistics Munitions!). Ray Gross of Team Sinclair is in 3rd place, despite having a miss on the first day of the tournament! Were it not for that, Ray would be leading by (up to) 7 points. Bill Litz (of Applied Ballistics Munitions) got off to a great start today, only losing 5 points in the morning (300, 500 and 600 yards). Bill’s new rifle built by John Pierce of Pierce Engineering is shooting the 215 grain Berger Hybrids EXTREMELY well. In Bill’s words: “That thing’s a freakin’ laser!”.

Two more days of individual shooting remain (on Thursday and Saturday), so we’re only half way through the tournament. Tomorrow’s 4-man team match will conclude the Team Aggregate.

Here are links to Day 2 full scores: F-TR | F-Open | Sling Class

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October 22nd, 2011

Great Britain Wins 2011 Palma Match at World Championships

It’s Sunday, October 22nd in Australia, on the other side of the International Dateline. That means that the World Long Range Rifle Championships (WLRC) has concluded. The last major event was the Palma Cup Match, the most prestigious event in full-bore competition. The 2011 Palma Match has been completed with Team Great Britain the clear winner with a total Aggregate of 7027-651V. That’s 35 points ahead of South Africa which took second with a score of 6992-651V. (Interestingly had exactly the same V-count, for Center hits). Team USA captured the Bronze Medal, finishing third with a total of 6980-655.

Yanks Finish Third
Our friend Kelly Bachand, one of the Team USA Palma shooters, reports: “I’m a very proud member of the 2011 bronze medal winning USA Palma Team! There was very, very stiff competition and the conditions on the range tested our coaches and shooters thoroughly. After two long days of shooting we found ourselves bested by Great Britain and South Africa. While we did not win gold, this was still a tremendous accomplishment for our team, and I was very proud to shoot alongside the best rifle shooters in our country and from around the world.”

Link for Match Results
Preliminary results for the Palma Team Match and all the 2011 World Championships events are available online. For results for both individual and team events, visit the WLRC Results Page.

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October 16th, 2011

Latest Results From World Rifle Championships in Australia

One of the most prestigious rifle competitions in the world is underway right now at the Belmont Shooting Facility, near Brisbane, Australia. Many of the best sling and irons marksmen (and women) in the world are competing for individual and team honors. American aces such as SGT Sherri Gallagher, Noma Mayo, Trudie Fay, Nancy Tompkins, Bob Gamboa, Bryan Litz, Robert Mead, and John Whidden are representing the Red, White, and Blue down-under, but they and their American teammates are facing stiff opposition from the Brits, South Africans, Canadians, New Zealanders, and the host Australians.

You can get complete individual and team results on the World Rifle Championships Website. Results are updated daily, so you can follow the action, which continues through October 22nd. Russ Theurer is also providing regular reports in our Shooters’ Forum.

One of the best performances so far was turned in by Bryan Litz, Berger Bullets’ Ballistician. In the Senior Australia Team match last week, Bryan outshot every other individual on the course, nailing a perfect 200-26V to tie the Championship Record. This was a brilliant display of marksmanship by Bryan. At the Awards Ceremony after the match, Bryan received a long standing ovation from his fellow competitors.

You’ll find lots of match photos in the official match Photo Gallery. Plus, Facebook users can access hundreds of photos uploaded by members of the USA Young Eagles Team. Young American shooters have been performing well. Russ Theurer reports: “Team USA Red won the Under 25 Australia Team Match, while Team USA Blue came from behind at 1000 to place third. Young Eagle Joshua Lehn was high score shooter of the team match of all teams combined.” Below are photos of the Young Eagles from Day 5, the Under 25 match:

Photos courtesy USA Young Eagles.
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September 18th, 2011

2011 Spirit of America Results from Raton, NM

September 11-17, the Bald Eagles Rifle Club hosted the 2011 Spirit Of America rifle match, at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, NM. This match serves as U.S. National Fullbore Championships, but there are also F-Class divisions. The match consists of conventional sling (TR) class, as well as F-Open and F-TR, and the event is shot at distances of 300, 500, 600, 800, 900 and 1000 yards. Approximately 80 shooters, including about 20 F-classer attended the event.

Bryan Litz won the Fullbore TR (sling) competition with a 1782-105X overall score, with runner-up Andrew Wilde (1780-101X), just two points behind. Sean Morris finished third with 1776-85X, and Jim O’Connell shot 1772-81X to claim the High Senior title.

F-Class SOA Bryan Litz Fullbore
Photo by Randy Pike

In F-Open Class, familiar names topped the leaderboard. Larry Bartholome earned his chair ride as F-Open winner, shooting an impressive 1776-98X. Second in F-Open, five points back at 1771-96X, was past F-Class National Champion Danny Biggs. In the F-TR division, Michael Smith topped the field with a 1738-69X, followed by John Killen, who shot a 1720-52X. NOTE: F-Open and F-TR competitors shoot a target with smaller-diameter scoring rings than the Fullbore Target.

F-Class SOA larry Bartholome michael smith

Conditions Were Mild… Then Wild
Bryan Litz tells us the conditions weren’t so bad … until the final day: “We dodged some rain throughout the week, but wind conditions were easy to moderate for the most part. That is until the last 1000-yard string of the last day when Raton finally showed its evil side! The most wind I had used all week was just over 3 MOA. That last relay on Saturday, it was running between 7 and 12 MOA with very quick changes. There were many misses, and just keeping all shots in the black was an accomplishment.” Rick Hunt concurred that the conditions were arduous on the final 1K stage: “At 1000 yards, there was a 9:00 o’clock wind running between 9 1/2 and 13 1/2 MOA. As seen by the scores, two shooters really nailed it. Other than that, it was pretty disastrous for most shooters with the really fast velocity changes.”

Raton New Mexico

When the smoke had cleared, the standings were all jumbled up compared to what they were the rest of the week. Litz added: “An experience like that really drives home the importance of wind shooting skills. To be honest, I had no particular strategy going in other than to stay calm and positive no matter what. A big part of shooting in adverse conditions is managing yourself mentally. I dropped 10 points that last relay, more than I’d lost in the entire tournament up to that point. But given the conditions, I felt good about it, knowing I’d done my best.”

Berger 155gr Hybrids Work Well in Fullbore Competition
Bryan Litz credits his 155gr Berger .308-cal Hybrids for his strong performance: “I was shooting the new Berger 155 grain Hybrid bullets which played a part in saving some points in that nasty wind (on the last day). Due to their length, these bullets require a 1:12″ twist to stabilize and have a higher BC than any other .30 caliber 155 grain bullet. The hybrid ogive makes them length tolerant (insensitive to seating depth) and as the results of this tournament show, they are very effective”.

Complete Final Scores On SOA Blog
You’ll find complete interim and final SOA Match Scores linked from the Bald Eagles Match Blog.

Saturday and Final TR (Fullbore Sling) Class (PDF).

Saturday and Final F-Open and F-TR Class Results (PDF).

At the match the USA Young Eagles unveiled the new uniforms the American team will wear at the World Fullbore Championships in Australia next month. On opposite sleeves, the uniforms feature logos from both major bullet sponsors — Berger and Sierra. Bryan Litz observerd: “Historically teams have been sponsored by ‘one or the other’, but there’s no reason a team can’t enjoy sponsorship by multiple brands, and this is a very positive step in that direction.”

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October 23rd, 2010

Report from OZ: Yanks Do Well in Australian Championships

The United States Palma Team and USA Veterans Team recently ventured downunder to Queensland, Australia to compete in the Australian National Championships, held October 11-16 at the Belmont Shooting Complex outside Brisbane. The US Rifle Team travels well. Overall the Yanks performed great, with outstanding team and individual performances. Complete Match Results are posted at www.nraa.com.au. Team USA shooter Bryan Litz provides this Match Report…

U.S. Teams at Australian National Championships by Bryan Litz
The first match was the President’s Match, a two-day individual Aggregate with 10-shot strings fired at 600, 600, 900, and 1000 yards. Between the US Rifle Team and the US Veterans Team, we had five shooters in the top 20 (out of 128 shooters). That was a promising start.

Day 3 was the Chairman’s Team Challenge, a 4-man team match in which U.S. Teams Blue and Red captured first and second place. Conditions were challenging — during the first three or four days of shooting it rained constantly. There were several cease-fires called each day because of rain. We all learned how to cover our equipment and sights to stay dry while shooting.

Litz Tops Field in Queen’s Prize Match
Then began the 3-day Queen’s Prize match which is fired at 300, 500, 600, 800, 900, and 1000 yards. I managed to win this match, with a true come-from-behind performance. I went into the last day of shooting in 60th place. The extremely volatile conditions that last day (15-20 mph crosswind when shooting at 900 and 1000 yards) allowed me to make up so much ground on the leaders. For those who wonder, yes I shot “off the shelf” Applied Ballistics FULLBORE ammo to win the Queen’s Prize — the most prestigious match of the tournament. The winner is carried aloft in a ceremonial chair, proceeded by bagpipers and drums. You can see (photo right) that I enjoyed the pageantry.

The final individual event was the Royal Kaltenberg Challenge Cup, which is a shoot-off for an individual winner. The Cup was won by USA Shooter Noma Zinsmaster-Mayo. Congrats to Noma for a huge victory.

The President’s Challenge 4-man team match was swept by the Australian home team. The final event was an 8-man mini-Palma match which was won by Team USA.

Preparation Paid Off for Team USA
It goes without saying that the recent adjustments made to the U.S. Rifle Teams program under Captain Dennis Flaharty are moving the team in a positive direction. Each of the U.S. Team wins in Australia were ‘come-from-behind’ victories where we made up ground at the longer ranges. That’s a testament to the coaching staffs’ skills and organization. The Sierra 2156 Palma MK bullet was used exclusively by the Americans in all Team events. Sierra’s 2156 MK continues to prove itself to be an outstanding bullet.

The 20 or so shooters on the US Veterans Team Captained by Eddie Newman also traveled
and performed very well in the tournament.

Belmont Shooting Complex — World-Class!
The Belmont Range near Brisbane, Queensland is a beautiful facility. Firing mounds are maintained like golf greens and there are over 25 flags. With great facilities (and no pit duty!), it’s truly the lap of luxury for Fullbore shooting. Belmont is the largest shooting complex in the southern hemisphere and most target shooting sports are conducted there. Coordinates: 27°30 ’40″S 153°7’50″E. It is the home of the Queensland Rifle Association (QRA). (Editor’s Note: Click the tab below the photo to see larger image — it’s even more impressive.)


The Top 10 Grand Aggregate Results (President’s Match, Queen’s Prize, Kaltenberg Cup combined) are listed below. Australian George Edser of the Central Club had the best Aggregate score with 646-050. The top American was Noma Mayo, two points behind, with 644-059.

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September 24th, 2010

Multiple National Records Set at 2010 Spirit of America Match

We recently reported that Trudie Fay of Raton, NM, shooting on her home range, was the Fullbore winner at the Spirit of America Match. Trudie and many other shooters set new National records during the course of the match. Trudie fired an aggregate score of 1781-104x, which was an Open, Civilian, and Woman’s National Record. Second place, with a Senior National Record, was Tom Whitaker. High Grand Senior was Johnie Franklin, high Junior was Kyle Doney, high Service was Emily Windmassinger.

Trudie Fay 2010 Spirit of AmericaThere were also new records set in F-Class competition, in both F-Open and F-TR classes. High F-Open shooter was Danny Biggs with a score of 1777-88x. Danny’s score was an Open, Civilian and Grand Senior National Record. High Senior was Jim Murphy firing 1766-90x.

Michelle Gallagher was the high F-TR shooter firing a score of 1717-62x. Michellle’s score was an Open, Civilian and Woman’s National Record. Daniel Borwiecki of the Marine Corps Rifle Team was the high Service shooter. Robert Depp was the high Senior and Alan Canavan was high Grand Senior.

Trudie Rides in Style
The winners were “chaired,” holding their rifle and hoisted in the air by the competitors. Trudie Fay, wearing white gloves, was carried in Raton’s timber sedan chair by the Fullbore competitors. Danny Biggs, the F-Class winner, was carried in a rocking chair by the F-Class competitors. Michelle Gallagher, the F-TR winner, was carried in a captain’s chair. All were carried off the 1000-yard line to the Bald Eagles Clubhouse while bagpipe music was played.

Report courtesy Jan Raab and the NRA Blog.

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September 19th, 2010

Fay Wins Spirit of America Fullbore Match — Biggs Wins F-Open

Trudie Fay SOA ChampionTrudie Fay continued her outstanding shooting from earlier this week to win the Spirit of America Fullbore Championsihp with a Grand Agg score of 1781-104X, edging Tom Whitaker by one point. That’s as close as it gets — Tom finished with 1780-105X. He had one more ‘X’ than Trudie, but one less point, and it is the total score that decides the Championship. Trudie shot brilliantly right out of the gate, winning the Sunday Agg with a 450-33X. Tom almost matched that later, winning Thursday’s Agg with a 450-31X, but ultimately, Tom was unable to overcome Trudie’s early lead. Congrats to Trudie and Tom, and all the shooters who performed so well at the 2010 Spirit of America Match.

Danny BiggsBiggs Wins F-Open Division
Multi-time F-Class National Champion Danny Biggs won the F-Open Division with an impressive 1777-88X, three points ahead of Ryan Pierce (1774-87X), a master-level shooter who finished ahead of all the High Masters except Danny. Ryan is clearly a rising star in the F-Class world. Third overall with high X-Count for the match was Jim Murphy who scored 1766-90X. Placing fourth overall was Larry Bartholome, whose 1763-78X score also earned him High Senior Honors. (Photo at right is a file photo when Danny shot F-TR at the 2010 Championships.)

Michelle Gallagher of Berger Bullets won the F-TR division with a 1717-62X score. Michelle eged runner-up Laura Perry (1717-57X) on X-Count. Bill Watts finished third in the F-TR Division with a 1710-60X score.

Spirit of America Match Results

Final Results have not yet been published for the team competition. But so far, in Fullbore Competition, the U.S. National 4-man Team, coached by Tom Whitaker, is in first place, while the 8-person United States Rifle Team, also coached by Whitaker, has a solid lead over the Bald Eagles Team. U.S. Rifle Team members are: Norm Crawford, Trudie Fay, Wayne Forshee, Johnie Franklin, Boyd Goldsby, Noma Mayo, Kent Reeve, and John Rhynard.

Berger 4- and 8-man Teams Lead in F-Class Team Competition
In F-Class Team events, the 4-Man Team Berger (Larry Bartholome, Danny Biggs, Robert Bock, Jim Murphy) has a 6-point lead over Team Sierra Spindle Shooters. In the SOA 8-man F-Class Team event, the Berger Right-Left Team, coached by Mid Tompkins, has a solid lead over the Insane Clown Posse, coached by Mid’s wife Nancy Tompkins. (It’s all in the family we guess.)

CLICK HERE for latest SOA Match Results

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September 6th, 2010

New Match-Grade .308 Win FULLBORE Ammo From Bryan Litz

Litz Applied Ballistics .308 Fullbore AmmoApplied Ballistics, run by top Palma shooter Bryan Litz, now offers extremely high-quality loaded match ammunition for .308 Fullbore (Palma) shooters. The new Applied Ballistics “FULLBORE” ammo, priced at $38.00/box, is unlike anything on the market. It features the best available components, with individually-weighed charges. Independent testing shows this ammo offers extremely low ES and SD with accuracy comparable to precision hand-loaded cartridges.

Bryan Litz tells us: “Applied Ballistics’ FULLBORE ammunition is not just another ‘factory ammo’ option. This ammo is loaded specifically for the rifles and chambers commonly used in international-style Palma and Fullbore shooting.” Bryan cited the important qualities which make his FULLBORE ammo unique:

  • AB FULLBORE is the only .308 Win Ammo with Individually-Weighed Charges.
  • AB FULLBORE is the only .308 Win Ammo with Berger Bullets AND Lapua Brass.
  • AB FULLBORE is the only .308 Win Ammo Optimized for Int’l Fullbore Competition.
  • AB FULLBORE is the only .308 Win Ammo with Independently-Verified Single-Digit SD.

Litz Applied Ballistics .308 Fullbore Ammo

What Makes Applied Ballistics’ FULLBORE Ammo Special
Unlike most factory ammo, AB FULLBORE powder charges are carefully weighed, not metered, which helps to minimize muzzle velocity variation. Velocity averages over 3000 fps from 30″ barrels with Standard Deviation (SD) typically under 10 fps. Components are the best available, according to Bryan: “The ammo is loaded with Berger 155.5 grain bullets and Lapua brass. These are the same components I’ve had success with for years. The brass preparation, loading techniques, and QC steps that I’ve implemented for larger-scale production insure this ammo is good enough to win at the highest levels.”

Litz Applied Ballistics .308 Fullbore Ammo

Applied Ballistics FULLBORE Ammo Already Proven in Competition
Can this pre-loaded FULLBORE ammo really rival handloads in competition? Yes it can, according to Bryan: “I’ve been prototyping and testing ammo this past year and have had very good results. One notable achievement was a 150-15X fired at 900 yards during a coached team match in Lodi, WI during the Midwest Palma Tournament.”

Brian adds: “This ammo is the perfect option for someone who doesn’t enjoy handloading but still wants the accuracy, consistency and performance of handloaded ammunition. It’s also a good option for beginners who haven’t learned how to reload and/or don’t yet have the equipment but want to train and compete with quality ammunition.”

Tierney Tests New FULLBORE Ammo and Rates It Highly
Jerry Tierney, past NBRSA 600-yard and 1000-yard Champion and skilled Palma shooter, has tested the new ammo extensively. In comparison tests with Jerry’s own .308 Win handloads, the Applied Ballistics FULLBORE ammo shot great. Jerry concluded: “The Applied Ballistics 155.5 grain FULLBORE loads matched the best I can do hand loading. They fit the new 2011 fullbore chamber very well. I would not hesitate to use this FULLBORE ammo in any match anywhere.”

Notably, the Applied Ballistics ammo had a lower ES and SD than Jerry’s handloads. One five-shot group of the FULLBORE ammo had an ES of 7 fps and SD of 2 fps — that’s remarkably low. Four groups shot with Tierney’s handloads at 300 yards averaged 0.449 MOA, vs. 0.498 MOA for two groups of the Applied Ballistics ammo, so the accuracy is very close to the best precision handloads.

Click Here for complete Jerry Tierney Applied Ballistics Ammo Test Results (PDF file).

Coming Next — Applied Ballistics Tactical .308 Win and .338 Lapua Magnum Ammo
Applied Ballistics plans to release more types of high-quality loaded ammo in the months ahead. Bryan reports: “Future plans include a .308 load optimized for tactical applications. This will be a magazine-length round probably with a 175 grain bullet with favorable transonic stability. Eventually I’d like to offer a .338 Lapua Magnum tactical/hunting round loaded with Berger’s 300 grain Hybrid bullet.”

Bryan explains that he is developing .308 Win tactical ammo, because the FULLBORE product is made specifically for Palma work: “The fact that the FULLBORE ammo is optimized for the target application means it’s not necessarily ideal for other uses. For example, the rounds are too long to feed through standard-length magazines so they’re not of much use for tactical shooters. Also the seating depth is optimized for the chambers typically used in custom target rifles so it’s not the best option for factory (SAAMI) chambers.”

To order Applied Ballistics’ .308 Win FULLBORE ammo, visit Bryan’s AppliedBallisticsLLC.com website, which features secure online ordering. Currently, .308 Win FULLBORE ammo is priced at $38.00 per 20-round box (shipping extra).

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August 20th, 2010

Team Savage Does Well in Can-Am Fullbore Matches

Savage’s Fullbore (Palma) rifle team performed well in recent competitions. The four-man team (Darrell Buell of Damascus, OR, John Weil of Welches, OR, Monte Milanuk of Wenatchee WA, and Stan Pate of Milwaukie, OR) wrapped up the season with two internationally-sanctioned matches. The first was the Canadian International Fullbore Championships in Chilliwack, B.C. and and the second was the Pacific International Fullbore Championships held just outside of Portland, OR. At both matches, elite shooters from around the world competed at 800, 900 and 1,000 yards. The two matches combined constitute a “Super Aggregate”, or Continental Title.

Team Savage Fullbore
Team members (L to R): John Weil, Darrell Buell, Monte Milanuk and Stan Pate. (File Photo 2009).

Team Savage loaded up on the hardware at both matches, winning multiple medals at the various distances. Savage’s four shooters captured the team gold at the Canadian match and Gold and Silver in the individual Super Aggregate.

Savage Palma Rifle

At the Pacific Int’l match in Oregon, local knowledge helped Team Savage rack up the medals. This competition was held on Weil and Pate’s home range at the Douglass Ridge Rifle Club. With John Weil leading the way, Team Savage put on a clinic: Weil won all seven gold medals available, while teammate Pate won six silvers. Milanuk added three bronzes. Weil also shot an impressive 148-4X at 1000 yards. In the video below, Team Captain Stan Pate demonstrates the accuracy of the Savage Palma (Fullbore) rifle, nailing a steel target at 1169 yards.

YouTube Preview Image
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