April 7th, 2018

New Barrel Chambering Book by Gritters and Zeglin

Gordy Gritters Fred Zeglin barrel chambering gunsmith lathe book dvd

There is a new book, Chambering Rifles for Accuracy, that will benefit folks who want to understand the chambering process, and potentially learn to chamber a barrel on their own. We caution, however — you really need a skilled, hands-on mentor for this this task. For someone without a lot of machining experience, chambering can be tricky, and working with lathes can be dangerous to say the least.*

With those cautions stated, this book will help any gun-owner understand how chambering is done, and what to look for when assessing chambering work by commercial gunsmiths. Chambering Rifles for Accuracy is co-authored by Gordy Gritters and Fred Zeglin. The methods detailed in this book can be used equally well by gunsmiths in a professional shop, and by skilled, well-trained hobbyists working in a home workshop. The book costs $49.95 from Amazon.

Gordy Gritters is a highly-respected gunsmith and gunsmithing instructor. Gordy has built many match-winning competition rifles so he knows his stuff. Fred is a gunsmith, gunsmithing instructor, author, and is the owner of 4-D Reamer Rentals, so he is very knowledgeable on the use and care of reamers. Fred has extensive experience building high-accuracy hunting rifles.

Fred wrote the first half of the book, which covers what is needed to prepare for and chamber high-accuracy hunting barrels. Zeglin lists all the tools needed such as reamers, micrometer reamer stops, headspace gauges, and more.

Gordy wrote the second half of the book, which goes beyond basic chambering. Gordy covers setting up a lathe for chambering barrels through the headstock, various dialing-in methods commonly used, how to deal with curvature in rifle bores, and how to deal with reamer chatter (especially prevalent in 5R-type barrels). Then Gordy covers the entire dialing-in/threading/fitting/chambering/crowning process used to build a benchrest-quality rifle. Gordy also explaines how to ream custom chamber necks, and how to throat the chamber for specific bullets or for a specific purpose.

Gordy Gritters Fred Zeglin barrel chambering gunsmith lathe book dvd

Gordy Gritters also created an excellent DVD, “Chambering a Championship Match Barrel”. No other chambering video shows the entire chambering process step-by-step with the advanced, precision techniques used by master gunsmiths. Gordy has built several rifles that hold world records and have won National Championships. This is a professional 90-minute production from Grizzly Industrial. You can purchase this $69.95 DVD from Gordy’s website or from Grizzly Industrial.


*This Editor’s own uncle suffered a severe arm injury while working with a lathe. He was not an amateur — he had done lathe and mill work for over 40 years. But a shirt-sleeve caught in the spinning chuck. The results were horrific.

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September 15th, 2015

Match Report: 2015 IBS 1000-Yard Nationals at Hawks Ridge

Hawks Ridge IBS Benchrest Shooters International 1000 Yard 1K Championship North Carolina 6mm Dasher

Report by David and Donna Matthews
The 2015 IBS 1000-Yard National Championships were held September 4-5 at the Hawks Ridge Gun Club in Ferguson, North Carolina. Attendance was great, with 103 Registered Light Gun shooters and 89 Heavy Gun competitors. After a practice day, the competitors tried on Friday and Saturday to master the unpredictable conditions at Hawks Ridge. The 1000-Yard National Match for 2015 featured a three-target Aggregate for each Division (i.e. six targets total for both classes).

The Hawks Ridge range is quite unique — it’s a very wide-open, over-the-hills range. Conditions constantly change (and change very quickly according to several competitors). The management and membership of this range put on a great event this year. Several shooters said this was one of the best-run National-level matches they had ever attended.

Hawks Ridge IBS Benchrest Shooters International 1000 Yard 1K Championship North Carolina 6mm Dasher

Jim Bauer Won the IBS 2015 Nationals shooting a 6mm Dasher in both Light Gun and Heavy Gun Classes. Here’s his match-winning Heavy Gun. Smithed by Gordy Gritters, Bauer’s Heavy Gun featured a BAT action, Kreiger barrel (in barrel block), Shehane stock, and Nightforce scope.

Hawks Ridge IBS Benchrest Shooters International 1000 Yard 1K Championship North Carolina 6mm Dasher

Bauer Drives Dashers to Victory
Hawks Ridge IBS Benchrest Shooters International 1000 Yard 1K Championship North Carolina 6mm DasherThe Two-Gun Champion and Overall winner was Jim Bauer with 24 rank points. In second place was Robert McMichael with 36 rank points. Bauer shot great in both Light Gun (LG) and Heavy Gun (HG) matches, posting Top 10 finishes in both classes. Bauer ran 6mm Dashers in both Divisions (LG and HG) with Vapor Trail bullets. By contrast, McMichael shot big cartridges — a .284 Shehane in LG and a .300 WSM in HG, using Berger Bullets for both calibers. Top lady shooter was Donna Matthews while Amber Brewer won the Junior Division. John Stecik won a BenchSource Annealing machine for shooting the Best Light Gun Target (50 score with a 3.758″ group). Steve Knight shot the Best Heavy Gun Target (100 with 4.407″ group), to win a Douglas barrel.

Hawks Ridge IBS Benchrest Shooters International 1000 Yard 1K Championship North Carolina 6mm Dasher

CLICK HERE for Complete Match Results and Equipment List

PDF File — scroll to bottom of document for EQUIPMENT LIST.

The Hawks Ridge Gun Club Range and Facility
The 1000-yard shooting facility is a covered pavilion that has 15 shooting benches located in the rolling hills of Wilkes County North Carolina. The Club has a great Barbeque grill on site, which the McNeil family employed to perfection, delivering an outstanding Barbeque chicken meal on Friday night.

Hawks Ridge IBS Benchrest Shooters International 1000 Yard 1K Championship North Carolina 6mm Dasher

One veteran shooter commented that when you can take 103 of the best shooters in the country and hold a event that had very little to any issues you have accomplished something. Range officials were quick to point out that it took a lot of hard work from Hawks Ridge Club members as well as support from the IBS, the sponsors, and the competitors.

Outstanding Prize Table
Over $20,000 worth of prizes were awarded at this year’s IBS 1000-Yard Nationals. Prizes included: Nightforce scopes, Sightron Scopes, BAT Action, Defiance Action, Baity Action, Shehane stocks, rests, reloading tools, Sierra and Berger bullets, and more. Many thanks should go to Stanley Taylor from Douglas Barrels for his time and energy in acquiring prizes for the match.

Hawks Ridge IBS Benchrest Shooters International 1000 Yard 1K Championship North Carolina 6mm Dasher

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February 13th, 2013

Match-Winning Rifle: Shiraz Balolia’s .300 WSM F-Open Rig

After Shiraz Balolia (President of Grizzly Industrial) won the F-Open Division at the 2013 Berger Southwest Long Range Nationals, folks wanted to know more about Shiraz’s match-winning .300 Winchester Short Magnum (WSM) rifle. That gun is a great piece of work, we can assure you. The Masterclass stock was extensively customized by Shiraz himself, who is a talented wood-worker (as well as a superb F-Class trigger-puller). CLICK PHOTO to see large “centerfold” shot of rifle.

Shiraz Balolia F-Class

Shiraz Balolia F-Class

The rifle features a BAT Machine ‘M’ action, with a 32″, 1:10″-twist Bartlein barrel. Metal work was done by Gordy Gritters. The scope is a March 10-60x52mm, which sits on a +20 MOA angled rail. The primary stockwork, including fitting of the adjustable cheek-piece and buttplate, was done by Alex Sitman of Masterclass Stocks. Shiraz customized the stock with finger grooves, fore-end channel, and a bottom rear slide. Shiraz did the final stock finishing as well.

Shiraz Balolia F-Class

Listen to Shiraz Balolia Talk about his F-Open Victory (Click PLAY to Launch Audio File)

[haiku url=”http://accurateshooter.net/Video/shirazmemo1.mp3″ title=”Shiraz Talks about F-Open”]


Q&A with Shiraz Balolia

Shiraz f-class
Q: Is the .300 WSM the “next big thing” in F-Open Competition?

Shiraz: The .300 WSM takes a bit to get used to. With more powder you have a bigger bang next to your head, plus you have to deal with the mule kick. My gun recoils so hard that it was coming to rest down on the neighbor’s target. I had to be careful about not cross-firing. Once you get these behind you it can be a very accurate caliber to shoot because of the great .30 cal bullet choices. There were about five .300 magnums in Phoenix, but only one in the top ten. You still have to read the wind!

Shiraz Balolia F-Class

Q: What’s your match load for the .300 WSM?

Shiraz: I use Norma brass with turned necks. At the Berger SW Nationals I used Berger 215gr Hybrids, Fed 215 LR magnum primers, and a stout load of Hodgdon H4831 SC. This drives the 215s at around 2910 FPS. If that sounds fast, remember I’m using a a 32″-long barrel.

Q: Can you tell us about your chamber and your fire-forming process?

Shiraz: On the .300” WSM [I run] a tight-neck .336” chamber for turned necks. Basically, I fire-form all my brass in a fire-form barrel and save the good barrels for matches. Gordy is so good that he can chamber different barrels to within .0002” in the headspace dimension. That way I can have several same-caliber barrels and can use the same brass for all those barrels. I use a .0005″ shoulder bump for my brass. I load the bullets so that the bearing surface sits above the doughnut ring.

Q: Do You Think Tuners Will Become Popular in F-Class?

Shiraz fclassShiraz: Tuners are a double-edged sword. In order to use them most efficiently you need to load test the barrel in many different conditions and record the results, fine tuning and turning the dials to find the best harmonic of that barrel in a given condition. When you encounter a similar condition at a match to what you tested previously, you would look up your notes and turn the dials so that it matches your tested condition. I am over-simplifying this, as it is quite complex and there are many articles about tuners. I do not see tuners catching on in F-Class as 99% of the users would not want to go through the aggravation.

Q: The stock looks highly customized. What special work did you do?

Shiraz: The stock is a Master Class F-Class stock that was highly modified by me. I channeled out the fore-end so the stock would ride on two “rails” on the front bag and not rock. I also added a wide 1.25″ base on the bottom of the stock that rides on the rear bag. There is a matching rear bag with a wide slot in it. The gun slides back and forth nicely and is very stable. I wanted finger grooves that fit my hand so I carefully filed those by hand with a round file, making sure to fit it many times during the process. Once all the modifications were complete I sanded and sprayed the stock with clear UV lacquer. My UV booth cures the spray in minutes. I usually assemble the gun the same day I spray it. As you know, I build guitars as a hobby as well.

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September 29th, 2012

Sally Bauer Sets Pending IBS 1000-yard HG Score Record

Last month, Sally Bauer set a pending new International Benchrest Shooters (IBS) Score Heavy Gun (HG) record for 1000-yard competition. Her score was 100-5X with a 3.495″ tie-breaker group. Sally shot the group on August 19, 2012 at the Gopher Rifle and Revolver Club in Harris, MN. If this record is approved, Sally will be the first female shooter to hold an IBS 1000-yard benchrest record. Sally’s handsome 67-lb Heavy Gun, “Stars & Stripes”, is painted with an American flag theme.

Sally Bauer IBS 1000 yard heavy gun

Sally Bauer IBS 1000 yard heavy gunSally Sets a Record
At the end of the Heavy Gun match #10 Sally was directed by Range Officer Gordy Mitchell to leave all of her equipment and rifle setting on her bench. Sally was perplexed by Gordy Mitchell’s direction but he assured her “It is a good thing”. Rumors swirled and Dave Holland was summoned to the pits.

Dave and Gordy brought the target back to the scoring shed and had club officials and some respected competitors measure and sign the target. All agreed Sally had just shot an IBS record score. Sally’s rifle and equipment were measured and photographed and the target sent off to the IBS for final measurement and verification.

Sally Bauer IBS 1000 yard heavy gun

Gun Specifications
Sally’s 67-lb Heavy Gun was originally purchased from Bill Shehane, and it uses Bill’s Maxi-Tracker stock. The gun was originally chambered for the 6-6.5×47 Lapua Improved. But the gun didn’t shoot like the Bauers wanted, so it was rechambered to 6mm Dasher by Gordy Gritters. The action is a 2″-diameter, round, chrome moly, 3-lug, 7 ½” BAT. The barrel is a 28″, 1:8″-twist Krieger, with 1.45″-diameter straight tube. The barreled action is secured in the stock with a 9″-long barrel block. The gun uses a 12X42 Nightforce BR scope and a Jewel BR trigger. Gordy Gritters smithed the rifle. Jim Sauer states: “We have known Gordy for years now and trust every phase of our gun projects — all of them are mechanical works of art. When we get our guns from Gordy we know we can put our focus on brass prep and load development and don’t have to worry about the guns being right. That really helps save time.”

Reloading Procedure for Sally’s “Stars & Stripes” Maxi by Jim Sauer
With every new rifle we start with new brass. The first step is to run them through a full length sizing die, then over an appropriate expander mandrel. Since we use a .270 neck on our 6 Dasher chambers, neck turning amounts to a 80% cleanup of the new Lapua brass necks. We do the normal primer pocket and flash-hole uniforming.

We fire-form two times to make sure we get nice sharp shoulder corners before competition. We then separate them according to weight using 1/10th of a grain differences for each box. Much of our loading process is geared around time savings. We look for easy-to-use, consistently good products and don’t vary from them unless we have a problem or results aren’t to our standards. We have chosen to shoot Clay Spencer’s 103gr 6mm bullets. We weight-sort and bearing-surface sort them and that’s it. I gave up trimming and tipping simply because it didn’t improve how Clay built them. We also use only one primer, the CCI 450.

We use one of four different powders. Our “go-to” powder is RL15, next we try Varget, then IMR 8208, and if that doesn’t work we try H4895. We have found that these bullets usually shoot best at 2970 fps. This is not an absolute, just what normally works best. We always try higher and lower velocities looking for that special load. Once we find the powder and quantity that works the best we play with the seating depth. Usually this is a fine-tune method and most of the time 15 thousandths into the rifling works the best. But don’t be afraid to jump the bullets as much as 0.100″. When we use this procedure we usually find a combination that will shoot nice, round ¾” groups at 400 yards.

Our reloading regimen starts with ultra-sonic cleaning our brass, then tumbling until shiny. We anneal the brass every time. We proceed to full-length resizing, repriming, and lubing the inside of the necks with graphite. We then charge with our selected powder and seat the bullets. We measure for concentricity, [shooting] the best ones for the record and the others for sighters. The load that Sally shot the record with is 33.0 grains of IMR 8208 XBR, CCI 450 primers, Spencer 103gr bullets, Lapua brass, bullet seated 15 thousandths into rifling, Velocity 2980 fps.

About Sally Bauer – This is the third year of competitive shooting for Sally. She listened to proper and basic instruction and learned at her pace. She developed her own style and discipline. Not wanting to be dependent on others Sally learned to set up her rests and carries Stars & Stripes to the bench by herself.

Sally and I would like to thank the kind people we have met in this crazy frustrating game of shooting. For the most part fellow competitors have been helpful and giving of the time, experience and knowledge. Every range owner and operator we have come across has treated us like family and friend. I can think of no other sport where the participants give so freely. We would also like to thank Dave Holland, Gordy Mitchell and all the others at GRRC for the professional way they handled the target and situation. — Jim and Sally Bauer


As an interesting historical note, Gordy Mitchell observed that there was an all-star line-up at the match when Sally set her record: “After checking our bench roster I noticed we had three national champions (2009-Ed Nazy, 2010-Jim Bauer, 2011-Todd Soeby) and current top five Shooter of the Year points leaders (Al Forbes, Sally Bauer, Jim Bauer, Shannon Lowman, and Larry Bryant) all at one match.”
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February 22nd, 2012

Check Out the Deals in Our Forum Classifieds — Guns, Optics, Gear

Thousands of shooting enthusiasts visit our Shooters’ Forum every day. The Forum now boasts over 16,600 members. One of the “main attractions” in our Forum are the Free Classified Ads. There you’ll find a huge selection of “previously owned” merchandise — everything from complete, top-flight match rifles to reloading components. There are great bargains on used hand-loading equipment — presses, dies, case prep tools, and miscellaneous hardware. You’ll also find scopes, rings, rangefinders and spotting scopes. This is one of the richest repositories of pre-owned precision shooting equipment you’ll find anywhere on the internet. Here are some of the gun offerings in the Forum Classifieds right now:

Guns and Actions

Here are some pix of that Cooper:

Message for Classified Sellers — How to Remove a Product Listing
For those of you who already sell items in our Classifieds, we have one request: delete your ad when the item sells. After guys sell their goods successfully, some of them neglect to delist their products and remove their ad. We suspect some newcomers to the site haven’t bothered to read the instructions. But it’s very, very easy to remove your advert once you’ve sold your stuff. In fact, you can delete your ad in a matter of seconds, with just two clicks of your mouse!

First, find the ad you placed in our FORUM MARKETPLACE. Then simply scroll down to the end of the thread (below all the replies) and look for the gray “Remove Topic” button. Click that and you’re done. Now wasn’t that easy?

AccurateShooter.com forum

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September 9th, 2011

Results from IBS 1000-Yard Nationals at White Horse Range, WV

IBS NationalsThe 2011 IBS Nationals were held at the White Horse Center Range near Peeltree, West Virginia. This was a 3-target Aggregate match for both Light Gun (LG) and Heavy Gun (HG) with six (6) targets total. The big winner was Shooters’ Forum member Tod Soeby (aka 4Xforfun). Tod, who hails from North Dakota, drove a long way to the match, but his journey was well worth it, as he topped a large, highly-competitive field of 117 shooters. Soeby won BOTH the 2-Gun Overall as well as the Light Gun Group+Score Overall (In Light Gun, Tod was #1 for Group and #6 for Score, shooting a 6mm Dasher). Soeby’s Light Gun Group Agg was a remarkable 3.884″, nearly an inch smaller than the next best Light Gun Group Agg, a 4.724″, turned in by Salley Bauer. Gordy Gritters finished second in 2-Gun Overall, while David Powell secured third place in 2-Gun Overall.

White Horse IBS 2011 1000 yard nationals

Tod’s three, 5-shot Light Gun groups were: 4.489″, 3.760″, and 3.283″. That yielded an average of 3.884″ at 1000 yards. Think about that — Tod’s average is barely over one-third MOA, which is 3.49″ at 1000 yards — seriously small. Yes, those Dashers can shoot!

Wesley Springman was the top Heavy Gun Shooter, placing second in Group and third in Score, to finish first Overall in Heavy Gun class. Don Rabun was second in HG overall, with Eric Springman taking third in HG, edging Don Nagel on a tie-breaker (both Eric and Don racked up 14 Agg Rank Points). As noted above, Tod Sobey won the Light Gun Overall, with Donald Whitlock second in LG, and David Powley third. Notable other performances were Jeffrey Morten’s first place finish in LG Score, and Eric Springman’s outstanding Group shooting in Heavy Gun. Eric finished #1 in HG Group, with an impressively small 5.925″ Agg (that’s for ten-shot groups). And Sharon Ruben nailed the small group for the match, a mind-blowing 2.686″ on her second Light Gun (5-shot) target. For reference, one-quarter MOA at 1000 yards is 2.617″. Amazing.

Winning Rifles: 6mm Dasher Light Gun, 300 WSM Heavy Gun
Tod Soeby provided this equipment rundown for his Nationals-winning rifles.

Light Gun (6mm Dasher): Smithed by Greg Wahlstrom, Straightline Customs, in Ogilvie, MN. Greg also did the stock work and bedding. Action is a BAT “M” multi-flat, 8.5″-long, R-L-R dual port. Stock is a Shehane ST-1000. Barrel is 30″ Krieger 1:8″ twist, chambered as 6mm Dasher with 0.267″ neck. Optics are: Nightforce NSX 12-42X in BAT +20 MOA aluminum ring/bases.

Heavy Gun (300 WSM): Smithed by Clay Spencer. Action is BAT “L”, 10″-long, 2″-round, dual port. Stock is a Bruce Baer 5″-wide thumbhole, with custom rails by Greg Wahlstrom of Straightline Customs. The barrel is a Hart 1:10″ twist chambered in 300 WSM. Optics are: Nightforce 12-42X Benchrest model. Tod is not sure about the source of Picatinny rail and rings.

CLICK HERE for Full 2011 IBS 1K Nationals Results

117 Shooters Competed at 2011 IBS Nationals
Overall, shooters commented that West Virginia’s White Horse facility was a nice range, and many folks hoped that other major events might be hosted there in the future. Despite the predicted hot, humid weather, there was a great turn-out for the event, with 117 registered shooters in Light Gun and 115 Heavy Gun Registrants. The match organizers at White Horse did a good job with such a large field of shooters. The excellent turn-out proves there is a growing interest in long-range benchrest.

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