August 11th, 2017

The NRA Perpetual Trophies — Heritage of Shooting Excellence

Leech Cup Wimbledon Trophy Cup NRA SSUSA.org
Stunners in silver. Above are the NRA Leech Cup (left) and Wimbledon Cup (right).

Shooting Sports USA has a fascinating article about the Perpetual Trophies awarded in national-level NRA matches. The story recounts the history behind the elaborate trophies, some from the 1870s. SSUSA’s Jennifer Pearsall writes: “The pieces of wood, stone and precious metal … are more than just instant recognition of achievement. They are the link of the American shooter’s present to his or her patriotic past. As you read this legacy of the NRA ranges, their founders, and the long list of cups, bowls, and plaques, realize that the history of competitive shooting is undeniably a significant part of the foundation of this country”. Read Full Trophy Story HERE.

The NRA was co-founded by Col. William Church and Gen. George Wood Wingate (ranked Captain at the time). Both Church and Wingate hoped to improved the marksmanship skills of American soldiers. One of the newly-formed NRA’s first actions was to issue: “An Act to Establish a Rifle Range and Promote Skill in Marksmanship”. That led to the opening of the famed Creedmoor Range, with a special inaugural match in June of 1873.

Many of the awards presented in the first NRA matches were cash or firearms. Some of these firearms were heavily embellished works of art. In the very first match, a member of the 22nd New York Regiment took home a gold-mounted Winchester Model 1866 valued at $100 — big money for the time.

Leech Cup Wimbledon Trophy Cup NRA SSUSA.org
In the 1870s shooting competitions were social as well as sporting events. Ladies and gentlemen came to watch and cheer the winners. This illustration, originally from Harpers Weekly, portrays the shooters and the viewing gallery at the 1876 Grand Centennial Championship—the “Palma” Match.

The Leech Cup — A Gift from Ireland
The Leech Cup was created for the first meeting of the American and Irish shooting teams. The elaborate cup was presented by Major Arthur Leech, captain of the the Irish team, to the Amateur Rifle Club of New York. This masterpiece of Irish silversmithing was later given to the NRA in 1901 by the New York Club. Today, the Leech Cup is the oldest trophy offered in overall NRA competitive target shooting, awarded through the National High Power Long Range Championships.

Michelle Gallagher with Leech Cup in 2013.
Leech Cup Wimbledon Trophy Cup NRA SSUSA.org

The Wimbledon Cup
The Wimbledon Trophy was a gift from the NRA of Great Britain. It was given, as a gesture of sportsmanship, after the the U.S. Team was denied the ability to compete in England’s Elcho Shield match, then limited to Britain, Scotland, and Ireland. To maintain friendly competitive relations, the British presented the Americans with a large, engraved, lion-footed tankard trophy to be awarded each year to the Champion U.S. long-distance rifleman.

Wimbledon Trophy Cup NRA SSUSA.org

Palma Trophy Facts Team Match National Camp Perry Tiffany'sThe Palma Team Trophy
Originally named the Centennial Trophy, in honor of the Centennial celebration of the independence of the United States of America, the Palma Trophy was commissioned from Tiffany’s at a cost of $1,500. The trophy was a full-sized replica of a Roman Legion standard, executed in bronze with silver and gold inlay. On the banner of the standard was the legend, “In the name of the United States of America to the Riflemen of the world”. Above the banner was an eagle, bearing in its talons a wreath of palm leaves and a plaque on which was the single word, “PALMA”, the Latin word for palm tree, which was used by the Romans to signify victory, or the ultimate in excellence.

Because the word Palma was so easily seen, the trophy soon became known as the “Palma Trophy”, and by 1878 was referred to officially by that name. The sriginal seven and one-half foot trophy is now lost, having not been seen since at least 1954. Serving in its place is a copy which was commissioned by Dr. Herbert M. Aitken of Eau Claire, WI. The copy was made from the original Tiffany blue-prints at a cost of $32,500. Dr. Aitken has given this copy of the Palma Trophy to the NRA for use in the Palma Match. The trophy is retained by the winning team until the next Palma Match.

In 2008, the Palma Trophy was returned to the NRA, and it was decided that the trophy, once refurbished, will travel to the host nation for the match every four years, then returned to the NRA for safekeeping.

The first competition for the Palma Team was a challenge match for which the British Commonwealth nations were invited. The match was fired in 1876 at the old Creedmoor Range on Long Island as part of the Centennial celebration of the United States. Teams representing Scotland, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and the United States took part. The match is currently fired on a four-year interval.

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August 15th, 2015

Rule Britannia! Team GB Wins World Palma Team Championship

Great Britain Palma Team Championship Camp Perry Fullbore August Team USA England

Congratulations to the Great Britain Palma Rifle Team (GBPRT), winner of the 2015 ICFRA World Long Range Palma Team Championship match. The British team shot superbly, winning by 70+ points over runner-up Team USA. Great Britain’s 7106-827V score* set a new Palma Team Championship record, smashing the old record by 79 points. The British marksmen displayed stunning accuracy — Team GB had fully 102 more Vs than did the second-place American squad (A “V” is the equivalent of an “X” in American scoring). The Brits shoot great as a team. Consider this — Great Britain had eleven shooters with 50 or more V-bulls. Team USA had just three.

Team GB ran away with the match with a great team performance at 1000 yards on Day Two. As the GBPRT blog noted: “An awesome demonstration of GB shooting and coaching was made – superb use of the wind and the firers to not just hold our lead, but to win the range by a stonking 33 points.”

Great Britain 2015 Palma Team Highlights

  • Match record beaten by 79 points – 7106.827 (176 V-bulls more than last time*).
  • Individual record beaten by 3 points – 449.59 (Toby Raincock).
  • Highest 900-Yard Aggregate score – 2384.276.
  • Most consecutive Palma Team matches won – Four in a Row.
  • First team ever to win ALL six ranges.

NRA Palma Team Match Bulletin (Team Results) | CLICK HERE for Complete Team Results Spreadsheet.

Palma Team Match Camp Perry 2015

Great Britain’s Toby Raincock Shoots a Match for the Ages
The top individual shooter in the Team match was Great Britain’s Toby Raincock, who dropped only one point over two days to finish with 449-55V, a new record individual score that will be very hard to break. The next best individual score was the 447-49V by fellow Brit Jon Underwood. The top American shooter was John Whidden, who finished with a 445-45V.

The GBPRT website summed up the big victory as follows: “It was a glorious day for GB and more statistical analysis would tell you more of the depth of our victory[.] We won big and we were justly proud of years of hard work. The celebrations immediately after the match were wonderful and full of the beauty of our sport. All the teams gathered and shook hands. The runners up USA and South Africa were valiant fighters and all teams showed their appreciation for not only a great match but also a great win.

Team USA Takes Second

Great Britain Palma Team Championship Camp Perry Fullbore August Team USA England

The American team shot very well in finishing second, breaking the previous Palma Team match Aggregate record in the process. Team USA enjoyed a significant 25-point margin over third-place South Africa. John Whidden had a great match, finishing as the seventh-highest shooter overall.

Team USA member Kelly Bachand praised his team-mates and coaches: “I am extremely proud to have contributed to the USA’s silver medal in the 2015 Palma Trophy match. I feel very blessed to have been counted a member of this elite group of shooters and coaches.” Team USA’s shooting members included: Kelly Bachand, SFC Shane Barnhart, Tyrel Cooper, Mark DelCotto, SSG Amanda Elsenboss, Trudie Fay, Michelle Gallagher, SFC Brandon Green, Norman Houle, Bryan Litz, Kevin Nevius, Kent Reeve, Justin Skaret, SGT Eric Smith, Nancy Tompkins, John Whidden, (SFC Russ Theurer and Wayne Budbill alternates). Dennis Flaharty was Team Captain, SFC Emil Praslick III was head coach, Robert Mead was adjutant, and line coaches were: Norm Anderson, Ray Gross, Steve Hardin, Gary Rasmussen.

Jim Mauer added a farewell note for coach Praslick: “Special shout out to SFC Praslick. [Emil] will be retiring later this fall. It has been a challenging pleasure competing against him for the last six years. I wish you the best of luck in retirement Emil! You have left a lasting impression and legacy on the Army and the entire competitive marksmanship community.”


*The previous record score was 7027-651V set in Brisbane, Australia in 2011 by Team Great Britain. NOTE: the NRA Bulletin lists Great Britain’s Final Score as 7106-825V, rather than 7106-827V as noted on the GBPRT website. We don’t understand the discrepancy, but we will list the higher total until we receive clarification.

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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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January 22nd, 2015

Savage F-TR Rifle Review from Target Shooter Magazine

We’ll give you a break from SHOT Show coverage by taking you across the Atlantic to Great Britain. There Chris Parkin has been putting a Savage F-TR Rifle through its paces. Chris has reviewed this popular rifle in a field test just published by Target Shooter Magazine. Chris wrote a very detailed and thorough review. If you are considering any factory-based rifle for F-TR competition you should read this article. It is lengthy, but the text and photos are good and it is worth the investment of time.

Target Shooter Savage F-TR Chris Parkin UK

CLICK HERE to Read Savage F-TR Rifle Review

CLICK HERE to Download Savage F-TR Review as PDF File

Target Shooter Savage F-TR Chris Parkin UK

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August 26th, 2013

Squads Battle Wild Winds at F-Class Team World Championships

F-class world championshipsTop marksmen from around the world battled for national honors today during Day 1 of the F-Class Team World Championships. F-Open and F-TR teams from many countries were decked out in their national colors. We saw squads from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Ukraine, and the USA. Other nations were represented as well.

Along with the basic two divisions, F-Open and F-TR, there are separate classifications for 4-man squads and the big 8-member National Teams. One Junior team from the USA is also competing. Right now the 8-man USA F-TR squad has a commanding lead. The talent-laden USA 8-man F-Open squad sits in second place, just three points behind the surprisingly strong Australian squad. But there are hundreds of record rounds left to fire tomorrow, and USA F-Open team members hope to move into the top slot on Day 2. Scroll down the page for a video interview with USA F-Open Team Captain Shiraz Balolia.

F-Class World Championship

More than once in today’s matches dust devils appeared on the range. During the 1000-yard match a large swirling dust cloud formed dead center on the range. We heard coach Mid Tompkins call to his shooters: “Whoa – Whoa, stop firing, stop everything”. Mid told us: “When you have dust devils like that, you have to stop — you can’t out-guess it and you may not even be able to see the target.”

F-Class World Championships

Interview with USA F-Open Team Captain Shiraz Balolia

F-class world championships

F-class world championships

Brazil F-Class World Championship

Many of the top teams are using “comm packages” with microphones and headsets. This allows the coaches to communicate with each other, conferring on observations and wind calls. Wireless communicators are not allowed, so cords are strung between the coaching stations.

F-class world championships

F-class world championships

F-class world championships

F-class world championships

F-class world championships

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July 24th, 2013

Brits Arrive to Compete in Pershing Trophy Match

Story based on report by Lars Dalseide for NRABlog
Fifteen members of the Great Britain Rifle Team descended upon the Viale Range at Camp Perry this week in preparation for the John J. Pershing Trophy Match. Sporting red team shirts and a touch of British swagger, they’re lead by by a man known as Jon Leech. A veteran of the sport, Leech is there to share his decades of experience to this new group of hopefuls. “They’re not juniors, though some have taken a while to mature,” he said with a laugh. “But they’re bringing with them a lot of experience.”

Great Britain Camp Perry Trophy Match Rimfire smallbore

History of Pershing Trophy Match
The Pershing Trophy Match takes place every four years. Every time it is shot, the location alternates from the United States to Great Britain. When shot in Great Britain, it is known as the Field Marshal Earl Roberts Trophy Match. With ten shooters per team, competitors take to the line and fire 20 shots at 50 yards and 20 shots at 100. The first match, shot in 1931, was won by the Brits. Since then the Americans have dominated the event, winning 13 times overall compared to four times for the British.

Led by Leech, along with captain Neil Gibbons, the Brits have assembled a strong team this year. “This team was put together specifically for this match,” explained Leech. “This is my fourth time at Camp Perry. First in 1979 to shoot smallbore. I’ve come here just to coach this year. Pass on some knowledge to the folk who came over. We have 15 people in total — 3 officials and 12 shooters – that we’ll get that down to 10 shooters so we can beat America.”

Marksmanship Training in the Basement of Lloyds of London
A broker at the famed insurance house Lloyds of London, Leech brings a colorful background to the smallbore shooting world. A fencer at first, it was a fluky bit of chance — and a little of the Lloyd’s magic — that introduced him to the world of rifles.

“I was at Lloyds and noticed a guy sitting next to me with a collection of targets. I asked ‘Where did you do that?’ to which he replied ‘In the range underneath our building’. I didn’t even know there was such a range. I started shooting there in 1972 and kept at it.”

Spending his youth shooting in tournaments throughout Europe, he now finds himself behind the shooter rather than behind the trigger … at least when it comes to international competitions. And, as an official with the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF), his passport includes stamps from Bangkok, Rio de Janeiro, Copenhagen, and Croatia. “We really do enjoy our shooting together,” commented Leech. “Traveling as a shooter, I’ve met some fabulous people which is a lot of what shooting is all about. This is Band of Brothers stuff.”

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August 15th, 2012

Team USA Wins America Match with Great Britain Second

SGT Emil Praslick of the USAMU just provided this report from Camp Perry: “The America International Rifle Match is complete. In the end, after shooting virtually level with the powerhouse that is the Great Britain Rifle Team, we held off a late charge by GB at the 1000-yard line to win by 3 points. Both sides fired four hundred and eighty bullets each… and it came down to three points on a ten-point target. Unbelievable.” The final scores (4800-480X possible) are: USA 4784-308X; GBRT 4781-305X; Canada 4743-260X; Australia 4729-233X; Japan 4377-109X.

Great Britain America Match

Praslick commented: “I continue to be impressed not only by the quality of GB shooting and coaching, but by their sportsmanship as well. We could all learn some lessons from their team. You cannot possibly find better sportsmen — within seconds of the final shot they were over here shaking hands. They are the best sportsmen I have ever seen.”

Shot over the course of a day, eight-man teams from each country took faced off at Camp Perry’s Viale Range, with stages at 300, 800, 900 and 1000 yards. Though the Americans leaped ahead in round three, Team Great Britain’s hot shooting in the fourth and final relay was almost enough to make the difference. “If we every have another one like this it’ll be enough to kill me,” joked one U.S. coach.

Great Britain America Match

Established in 2002, the America Match is open any country with an eight-man rifle team. This is a biennial match for .308 Win caliber Palma-type match rifles. The teams gather every two years to test their mettle in one of the toughest shooting competitions in the world. Held every four years in the United States, this is the first time it the match was conducted at Camp Perry. The NRA Whittington Center in Raton, NM, previously served as the USA host venue. With its 2012 victory, Team USA is now tied with Team Great Britain with three America Match wins each.

America Match Scores Bryan Litz

Story based in part on Report by Lars Dalseide in NRABlog.

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August 14th, 2012

David Luckman Wins 2012 NRA Long Range Championship

Breaking News from Camp Perry – Based on preliminary score tabulations, David Luckman of Great Britain is the 2012 NRA National Long Range Champion. Luckman finished with a 1246-74X.

David Luckman 2012 ChampionAs reported on NRABlog.com, Luckman topped a very competitive field, with a strong final day showing: “After a practically perfect performance in today’s Palma Individual Trophy Match (449-31X), it appears that David Luckman of the Great Britain Rifle Team will be crowned tonight as the NRA’s 2012 Long Range High Power Rifle Champion. A veteran of the International Long Range Rifle world, Luckman’s list of accolades includes the 2010 World Individual Long Range Rifle title as well as seventeen consecutive UK Grand Aggregate crosses.”

David started shooting with Sedgemoor Target Shooting Club. He became an Atheling in 1994 and has since toured with the GB team to Canada, the USA, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia. A truly great marksman, in 2010 Luckman shot 4 international matches in four consecutive days (National, Kolapore, Mackinnon and Australia) without dropping a single point.

David works for Clerical Medical in Bristol as an Actuary. In his spare time he is an avid sports player and qualified tennis coach. He competes in triathlons and half marathons as well as enjoying mountain biking, surfing, swimming and other sports.

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August 3rd, 2012

Young Brit Peter Wilson Wins Gold Medal in Double Trap

Peter Wilson25-year-old Peter Wilson of Great Britain earned the gold medal in front of the home country shooting a 188 out of 200. He is now Britain’s first shooting medalist since Richard Faulds won gold in the same event in Sydney 12 years ago. Sweden’s Hakan Dahlby finished second while Russian Vasily Mosin won bronze after a shoot-off with Kuwaiti Fehaid Aldeehani.

CLICK HERE for more photos of Peter Wilson

Though not well-known in North America, Wilson is a world-record-holder who was one of the favorites heading into the event. In Tucson (AZ) earlier this year, at the ISSF World Cup, Wilson set a new world record, hitting 198 out of 200. Peter, a farmer’s son from Dorset, was the youngest Olympic Double Trap finalist by 13 years and only started shooting at school following a sporting accident which prevented him from playing cricket and squash. He left school a National Shooting Champion and was ranked world No.1 earlier this year before the Double Trap Olympic final.

Practice Makes Perfect
In an interview with The Telegraph, Wilson revealed: “I shoot at 80,000 targets a year. That’s what you do, get the movements ingrained, so when you’re faced with two targets to go in an Olympic final, you’re completely comfortable about what you have to do.”

During his rise to the top, Wilson got a little help from the 2004 Olympic Double Trap Gold Medalist, Ahmad Mohammad Hasher Al Maktoum, a member of the Dubai royal family. After Wilson’s support funding from UK Sport was cut in 2008, the Dubai Royal stepped in to help, providing free coaching help for the young Brit. As the result of budget-cutting by UK Sport, Wilson lost his training stipend. Somehow he had to come up with £10,000 a year to cover his shooting expenses. He tried to work in a pub as a barman, but found that the night shifts conflicted with his shooting practice. His parents instead funded him for a year while he tried to secure further funding. He has also raised funds, along with the rest of the British shooting team, by running fundraising events.

Watch Peter Wilson Video Interview from London

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April 1st, 2012

UK Olympic Pistol Shooters Allowed to Practice with Mock Pistols

UK Olympic pistol shootersBecause of draconian restrictions on handguns in the United Kingdom, Olympic smallbore pistol shooters from the UK have been forced to conduct their training in neighboring countries, such as Belgium and France. Obviously, the need to travel overseas to practice their sport has been a major handicap for UK shooters who will compete with Team GB* at the upcoming London Olympics. Said one smallbore pistol shooter: “Our goal is to win a medal for mother England, the 2012 host nation. But it is hard to compete on a world-class level when we can’t even train at home. Going overseas every time we need to practice wastes precious time and money. Other Olympic shooters don’t face these kind of obstacles.”

With the 2012 London Olympics soon approaching, UK Olympic officials have been looking at ways that Team GB pistol shooters can avoid the need to travel abroad just to practice shooting. Now, through a special act of Parliament, it appears that UK Olympic pistol shooters may finally be able to hone their marksmanship skills at home. A new law will allow qualified Olympic-level pistol shooters on Team Great Britain to import a new, non-lethal training device recently introduced in the United States. With the aid of the American-made Trigger Trainer, UK Olympic shooters can now practice their trigger-pulling skills without risking a trip to prison. The Trigger-Trainer is a plastic device with a pistol grip, and spring-loaded “trigger”. However, it is incapable of firing a projectile because it lacks a barrel, magazine, firing pin, and sights.

UK Olympic pistol shooters

Some of Team GB’s shooters have expressed doubts about the usefulness of the rather primitive Trigger Trainer. (As it lacks front and rear sights, the Trigger Trainer is difficult to align precisely on the target). But top British Olympic decision-makers believe that the shooters’ complaints are unjustified. British Olympic Association official Nigel Wensleydale observed: “Complaints? That’s just idle whinging if you ask me… nothing’s perfect you know. Perhaps the Trigger Trainers do leave something to be desired as they come out of the box. But our Olympic shooters are clever lads. I think, with a little imagination and some sticky tape, these Trigger Trainers will be tip-top. Goodness, you could simply tape a drinking straw on top and sight through that. I mean how much precision do these chaps really need — the target’s only 10m away for goodness sake.”

UK Olympic pistol shooters

*Great Britain is the name under which the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland competes at the Olympic Games. Great Britain was one of 14 teams to compete in the first Games, the 1896 Summer Olympics, and has competed at every Games. Great Britain is the only team to have won at least one gold medal at every Summer Games.
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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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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.

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December 4th, 2010

Welcome to the Nanny State…

These photos show actual product restriction notices at stores in the UK. The bright red toy ray-gun can only be sold to adults. The sign reads: “This product is restricted…. To protect our younger customers, you have to be over 18 to buy imitation firearms.”

Britain Nanny State

Steak Knives — For Adults Only
If that wasn’t bad enough, check out this sign next to a set of flatware for the dinner table: “Sale of Knives & Bladed Articles — The sale of these products is governed by the Offensive Weapons Act 1996 (as Amended by the Violent Reduction Act 2006). It is a criminal offence to sell these products to any person under the age of 18 years.”

What’s next, restricting those under 18 to soft foods they can eat with a spoon? How did things ever become this absurd? What would Winston Churchill say about the rampant “Nannyism” in today’s UK?

One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils in this world are to be cured by legislation. — Thomas Reed

Editor’s Comment — Yes this is Real
We were skeptical about the knife ban, until we located the House of Commons Legislation Report. As originally passed in 1988, the knife-purchase age limit was 16 years, but, according to the report: “Section 43 [of the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006] amends section 141A(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 under which it is currently an offence to sell a knife or an article with a blade or point to a person under the age of 16 years. Section 43 increases that age to 18″.

Apparently not all Britain’s politicians are spineless idiots. During the debate on the 2006 Amendment (raising the age limit on knife sales), M.P. Mark Oaten stated:

“It is difficult to see how the proposed age limit for knives can work. The bill will land us in the ridiculous situation where a 16- and a 17-year-old can get married and set up home on their own, but can’t buy a kitchen knife”.

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August 10th, 2010

Three U.K. F-Class Records Broken at Match in Scotland

Report by Laurie Holland
Blair Atholl’s Glen Tilt range in the Scottish Highlands has a worldwide reputation for being difficult thanks to constantly-varying winds influenced by the venue’s steep, irregularly-contoured terrain. Nevertheless, three new GB F-Class Association League 1,000-yard competition records were set at Glen Tilt over the weekend of August 7th and 8th. The new records were shot in Round 5 of the F-Class Association’s championship program. The event comprised five matches, three on Saturday with 20 score shots and two on Sunday with 15 for a maximum possible score of 450-90V. (UK and British Commonwealth targets score five for the Bull). Targets were the usual international F-Class design, a modified Palma type with a half-MOA white aiming mark that also scores as the ‘V’ (‘X’ in American terminology), one-MOA bull and score rings spaced a half-MOA apart.

Looking downrange at magnificent but fiendishly difficult Blair Atholl range in Perthshire, Scotland.

New 1K Records in F-Open and F-TR
In Match 1, John Carmichael of HPS-Target Rifles Ltd. used one of his own creations to shoot a 100-6V. A new record, this was the first-ever 1,000-yard, 20-shot match F-Open ‘possible’. John Cross almost immediately followed with a new F-TR record score of 96-3V, just edging Spanish F-Class competitor Ramon Fito. In the photo below, John Carmichael plots another Bull or V while shooting a record 1,000-yard score, with his RPA / HPS-TR System Gemini 7mmWSM rifle.

John Carmichael

Sunday morning initially saw unusually light winds which no doubt helped Osprey Rifles proprietor Stuart Anselm set a new 15-shot, 1,000-yard F-TR record score of 75-4V in Match 4, using a rifle he had built himself on a Savage 12 Target action (photo below).

John Carmichael

British F-Class competitive standards continue to rise in both classes, perhaps more markedly in F-TR which is seeing very sharp competition in 2010 as well as increased numbers of entrants. The overall winners were Peter Hunt (439-17V) in F-Open, and Stuart Anselm (424-12V) in F-TR. Blair Atholl also saw the first use of a .223 Rem caliber F-TR rifle in a 1,000-yard GB national league event with Laurie Holland taking seventh with 412-11V using 90gr Berger VLDs.

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