October 15th, 2017

Sight Picture Options for Iron Sights

Iron sights picture metallic sights USAMU

In an article for the CMP Online Magazine, SSG Tobie Tomlinson of the USAMU Service Rifle Team explains the various sight alignments employed by iron sights shooters. Tobie writes: “There are a myriad of sight picture options that shooters have used to great effect over the years. The sight picture that allows you to consistently shoot the smallest group, with a minimal shift in zeros, is the correct one. Remember, for any shooter to be successful, consistent sight picture must be complemented by front sight focus and sight alignment.” CLICK HERE to read FULL ARTICLE

Center Hold
The front sight is placed directly in the center of the target. A center hold is great in different light conditions. On a bright day the target appears small. On a dark day the target appears large. In [any] light conditions the center of the target is always in the center. A shooter who has problems with elevation shots in various light conditions may benefit from a center hold.

6 O’Clock Hold
With the 6 O’Clock hold the front sight is placed at the bottom of the aiming black. For many shooters, this hold allows precision placement of the front sight. The ability to accurately call your shots will come with time and experience. Light changes, which alter the appearance of the target, may affect shooters who utilize the 6 O’Clock hold.

Sub 6 Hold
The sub 6 is just like the 6 O’Clock hold, only there is a small line of white between the front sight and the aiming black. Many shooters have a problem determining the exact 6 O’Clock position with their front sight, but by using a sub 6 or line of white they may be able to better estimate their hold.

Frame Hold
With the frame hold, just like with the other holds, the front sight is in the center of the rear sight. The front sight can then be placed at the 6 or 12 O’Clock position on the frame when there is no visible aiming point. This hold is typically reserved for foul weather and poor light conditions. By placing the front sight at the top or bottom of the frame, a shooter may hold better when there is little target to see. It can be difficult to hold a tight group this way, but it may add more hits in bad conditions. This technique is normally applied when shooting longer ranges such 600 or 1000 yards.

CLICK HERE for more articles from The FIRST SHOT, CMP Online Magazine.

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
September 28th, 2017

Hard-Holders Set Records in Montana Long Range Tournament

Deep Creek Long Range Tournament
Deep Creek is a beautiful range, lined with tall timber on both sides.

Report by Jamey Williams
The second phase of the Northern Rockies Long Range Tournament was held at the Deep Creek Range outside Missoula, Montana last weekend. The F-Class portion was held two weekends before, under very different but also favorable conditions. The F-Class event was at the tail end of a very bad fire year, and the conditions were hot, dry, and at times, smoky. Nonetheless, great scores were fired, including a pending National Team Record by the Washington F-Open Team.

This past weekend was very different, with low temps, rain, and fog — a very dramatic shift in a very short time. The 1000-yard team matches on Friday took place under a light rain, and several cleans were fired — a prelude of thing to come. Saturday brought cold conditions and fresh snow on the surrounding mountains. While it was cold and cloudy, several shooters fired high scores with some only dropping only a handful of points or less over the Palma match and the 1000-yard match. This brought us into Sunday morning with a fog starting to settle over the range during the 800 yard stage of the last Palma match. As the day went on, the conditions gradually improved and with some outstanding shooting, a couple of pending NRA National Records were set.

This past weekend was time for the sling-shooters, the “hard-holders” who shoot prone with sling, coat, and glove. There were some very impressive performances — including two pending records, one by an All National Guard marksman SSG John Coggshall, and the other by Kerry Spurgin, who shot incredibly well, to break a long-standing Open Record.

Deep Creek Long Range Tournament
Note: The upper left image shows SSG Coggshall at Deep Creek in 2010.

SSG John Coggshall of the Connecticut Army National Guard and member of the All National Guard Rifle Team fired an outstanding 1093-61X (out of a possible 1100 points), earning him the NRA Silver medallion. This score should earn him the Service Category National Record for the Long Range Regional Aggregate by one point and a bunch of Xs over the previous record set by SGT Eric Smith, USAR. SSG Coggshall previously held this record, which was set several years ago at the Deep Creek Range in Montana. Along with Palma rifle, Coggshall has a lot of experience shooting smallbore as well as service rifle. His Team Coach described him as a hard-holder who can hold half the X-Ring with his iron-sighted Palma rifle.

L to R: Todd Branin, Kerry Spurgin, SSG John Coggshall
Deep Creek Long Range Tournament

Also having a fantastic weekend was U.S. Palma Team member, Kerry Spurgin of Hillsboro, Oregon. Spurgin (above center) was an All-American Rifle Team shooter for Murray State University in Kentucky, and brother to Patricia Spurgin, 1984 Olympic air rifle Gold medalist. Spurgin started out day three of the tournament with an strong score fired in mildly foggy conditions at the 800-yard line, a 149-14X. He continued to fire very well, and ended the individual matches with the Gold Medallion and a pending Open and Civilian record score of 1097-75X. With less than perfect conditions, Spurgin managed to only drop three (3) points all weekend, breaking a National Record that had stood for 17 years.

Deep Creek Range
The Deep Creek Range in Missoula, MT is one of the nicest places to shoot in the Intermountain West region. The range is located in the mountains within a few minutes drive of Missoula, and there is camping on-site. When conditions are good at Deep Creek, records get broken. To learn more about shooting at Deep Creek, contact Jamey Williams at jameydan[at]gmail.com.

Here is an aerial view of the Deep Creek Range (Drone video by David Gosnell):

Permalink Competition, News 3 Comments »
September 11th, 2017

Breath, Relax … and Improve Your Vision

Vision Eye Target Scope Relaxation Oxygen Target

Do you find that the crosshairs in your scope get blurry after a while, or that you experience eye strain during a match? This is normal, particularly as you get older. Focusing intensely on your target (through the scope or over iron sights) for an extended period of time can cause eye strain. Thankfully, there are things you can do to reduce eye fatigue. For one — breathe deeper to take in more oxygen. Secondly, give your eyes a break between shots, looking away from the scope or sights.

In our Forum there is an interesting thread about vision and eye fatigue. One Forum member observed: “I have noticed recently that if I linger on the target for too long the crosshairs begin to blur and the whole image gradually darkens as if a cloud passed over the sun. I do wear contacts and wonder if that’s the problem. Anyone else experienced this? — Tommy”

Forum members advised Tommy to relax and breath deep. Increase oxygen intake and also move the eyes off the target for a bit. Closing the eyes briefly between shots can also relieve eye strain. Tommy found this improved the situation.

Keith G. noted: “Make sure you are still breathing… [your condition] sounds similar to the symptoms of holding one’s breath.”

Phil H. explained: “Tom — Our eyes are tremendous oxygen hogs. What you are witnessing is caused by lack of oxygen. When this happens, get off the sights, stare at the grass (most people’s eyes find the color green relaxing), breath, then get back on the rifle. Working on your cardio can help immensely. Worked for me when I shot Palma. Those aperture sights were a bear! The better my cardio got the better and longer I could see. Same thing with scopes. Try it!”

Watercam concurred: “+1 on breathing. Take a long slow deep breath, exhale and break shot. Also make sure you take a moment to look at the horizon without looking through rifle or spotting scope once in a while to fight fatigue. Same thing happens when using iron sights.”

Arizona shooter Scott Harris offered this advice: “To some extent, [blurring vision] happens to anyone staring at something for a long time. I try to keep vision crisp by getting the shot off in a timely fashion or close the eyes briefly to refresh them. Also keep moisturized and protect against wind with wrap-around glasses”.

Breathing Better and Relaxing the Eyes Really Worked…
Tommy, the shooter with the eye problem, said his vision improved after he worked on his breathing and gave his eyes a rest between shots: “Thanks guys. These techniques shrunk my group just a bit and every little bit helps.”

Read more tips on reducing eye fatigue in our Forum Thread: That Vision Thing.

To avoid eye fatigue, take your eyes away from the scope between shots, and look at something nearby (or even close your eyes briefly). Also work on your breathing and don’t hold your breath too long — that robs your system of oxygen.

eye vision Vince Bottomley

Permalink Optics, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
July 25th, 2017

‘Sights, Wind and Mirage’ in Shooting Sports USA Archives

Wind Reading Quadrant High Power

Vand Zande wind readingIn the digital archives of Shooting Sports USA, we’ve found some great features that deserve a second look. A few years back, Shooting Sports USA published Sights, Wind and Mirage, an outstanding article that explains how to judge wind speed/direction and adjust your sights accordingly. Authored by highly respected shooter Ernest (Ernie) Vande Zande, this article is a definite “must-read” for all competitive rifle shooters — even those who shoot with a scope rather than irons. Vande Zande’s discussion of mirage alone makes the article well worth reading. Highly recommended.

CLICK HERE to Read “Sights, Wind and Mirage”
by Ernie Vande Zande

Invaluable Insights from a World-Class Shooter
The article covers a wide variety of topics including Wind Reading, Mirage, Effects of Sight Canting, Quadrant Shooting, and Sight Adjustment Sequencing. Vande Zande offers many jewels of insight from his decades of experience shooting and coaching in top level tournaments. U.S. Shooting Team Leader at the 1996 Olympics, Vande Zande has set more than 200 records in National and International competition. He was the Smallbore Rifle Prone Champion at Camp Perry in 1980. An International Distinguished shooter, Ernie has been on nine Dewar teams and he was a member of the USAR Shooting Team from 1982. No matter what your discipline, if you are a competitive rifle shooter, you should CLICK HERE to read Sights, Wind, and Mirage.

Vand Zande wind reading

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
June 2nd, 2017

Old Eyes? Optical Disc Attachments Can Help with Focus

Those of us over-50 types can use some help when shooting iron sights. As one gets older, your eyes lose the ability to rapidly adjust to different points of focus. In practice, when shooting a rifle, this means the target image may be sharp but the sights are blurry, or vice-versa. Or you may be able to see the target and front sight reasonably well, but the rear sight is a complete blur. (That is this Editor’s problem when shooting a rifle, such as a Swedish Mauser, with a notched blade rear sight.) Even if you are using a rear peep sight, you may see a blurry rear circle (or two circles if you have astigmatism). Placing a diopter sight (sighting disc) on your shooting glasses can help many people see open sights better, when shooting both handguns and rifles.

Merit Corp. in Schenectady, NY, offers an adjustable optical disc that attaches to shooting glasses with a rubber cup. Though primarily intended for pistol shooters, the Merit optical attachment can also be helpful when shooting rifles with open sights, such as military bolt actions. Priced at $65.00, the Merit device features a shutter-style, adjustable aperture iris.

Merit explains: “The human eye, whether or not prescription glasses are required, cannot focus on both sights and the target at the same time. The eye will constantly shift focus from the sights to the target trying to ensure proper alignment. Unfortunately, as we age, the eye loses the flexibility which allows it to do this; thus, sights and target begin to grow fuzzy. There is a simple way to combat this by increasing your eyes’ depth of field (range of focus). If you look through an aperture or pinhole of the correct size, you will be able to see both sights clearly, and the target will be clearly defined as well.”

In addition to optical attachments for eyeglasses, Merit produces a variety of adjustable iris sight products for rifles, including the Variable Iris Aperature for AR15s. Visit MeritCorporation.com or call (518) 346-1420.

Permalink Optics, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
March 28th, 2017

How to Shoot Standing — HP Champion Carl Bernosky Explains

Some folks say you haven’t really mastered marksmanship unless you can hit a target when standing tall ‘on your own hind legs’. Of all the shooting positions, standing can be the most challenging because you have no horizontally-solid resting point for your forward arm/elbow. Here 10-time National High Power Champ Carl Bernosky explains how to make the standing shot.

Carl Bernosky is one of the greatest marksmen in history. A multi-time National High Power Champion, Carl has won ten (10) National High Power Championships in his storied shooting career, most recently in 2012. In this article, Carl provides step-by-step strategies to help High Power shooters improve their standing scores. When Carl talks about standing techniques, shooters should listen. Among his peers, Carl is regard as one of the best, if not the best standing shooter in the game today. Carl rarely puts pen to paper, but he was kind enough to share his techniques with AccurateShooter.com’s readers.

If you are position shooter, or aspire to be one some day, read this article word for word, and then read it again. We guarantee you’ll learn some techniques (and strategies) that can improve your shooting and boost your scores. This stuff is gold folks, read and learn…


Carl Bernosky High PowerHow to Shoot Standing
by Carl Bernosky

Shooting consistently good standing stages is a matter of getting rounds down range, with thoughtfully-executed goals. But first, your hold will determine the success you will have.

1. Your hold has to be 10 Ring to shoot 10s. This means that there should be a reasonable amount of time (enough to get a shot off) that your sights are within your best hold. No attention should be paid to the sights when they are not in the middle — that’s wasted energy. My best hold is within 5 seconds after I first look though my sights. I’m ready to shoot the shot at that time. If the gun doesn’t stop, I don’t shoot. I start over.

2. The shot has to be executed with the gun sitting still within your hold. If the gun is moving, it’s most likely moving out, and you’ve missed the best part of your hold.

3. Recognizing that the gun is sitting still and within your hold will initiate you firing the shot. Lots of dry fire or live fire training will help you acquire awareness of the gun sitting still. It’s not subconscious to me, but it’s close.

4. Don’t disturb the gun when you shoot the shot. That being said, I don’t believe in using ball or dummy rounds with the object of being surprised when the shot goes off. I consciously shoot every shot. Sometimes there is a mistake and I over-hold. But the more I train the less of these I get. If I get a dud round my gun will dip.* I don’t believe you can learn to ignore recoil. You must be consistent in your reaction to it.

Carl Bernosky High Power5. Know your hold and shoot within it. The best part of my hold is about 4 inches. When I get things rolling, I recognize a still gun within my hold and execute the shot. I train to do this every shot. Close 10s are acceptable. Mid-ring 10s are not. If my hold was 8 inches I would train the same way. Shoot the shot when it is still within the hold, and accept the occasional 9. But don’t accept the shots out of the hold.

6. Practice makes perfect. The number of rounds you put down range matter. I shudder to think the amount of rounds I’ve fired standing in my life, and it still takes a month of shooting standing before Perry to be in my comfort zone. That month before Perry I shoot about 2000 rounds standing, 22 shots at a time. It peaks me at just about the right time.

This summarizes what I believe it takes to shoot good standing stages. I hope it provides some insight, understanding, and a roadmap to your own success shooting standing.

Good Shooting, Carl


* This is very noticeable to me when shooting pistol. I can shoot bullet holes at 25 yards, but if I’ve miscounted the rounds I’ve fired out of my magazine, my pistol will dip noticeably. So do the pistols of the best pistol shooters I’ve watched and shot with. One might call this a “jerk”, I call it “controlled aggressive execution”, executed consistently.

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December 17th, 2016

Seven Smart Ways to Use Old Film Canisters

35mm film cannister tip bushings patches

While nearly everybody now favors digital photography over “old-fashioned” 35mm film, don’t toss those old 35mm film canisters, especially the clear Fuji-type with secure snap-in lids. Small plastic film canisters have a multitude of uses for the shooter and reloader.

Here Are Things You Can Do with Plastic Film Canisters:

1. Hold thrown powder charges. If you weigh powder charges after throwing them with a manual powder dispenser, throw the charges first into a film canister and then use that to drop the powder into the measuring pan on your scale. The canister will catch every kernel of powder. If you throw charges directly into a weighing pan, powder can sometimes bounce out. Using the film canister will help keep spilled powder off your loading bench and floor.

2. Store extra sets of foam ear-plugs in the canister. You never want to be without ear protection. This editor has four film canisters filled with plugs. Two go in the range kit, one goes in the car’s glove compartment, and a second stays in a lock box I use to transport pistols. This way I never find myself at the range without ear protection.

3. Place smaller cotton patches in film canisters, marked by caliber. If you use the water-tight Fuji-style canisters, you can even pre-soak the patches with solvent. You can have one canister for wet patches, another for dry patches. That saves time when you’re at the range, and avoids spillage. One caution–some solvents may react with plastic, so test this first before you put a solvent-filled canister in your range kit.

35mm film canister shooting gear rifle kit

4. Store your neck bushings, sorted by caliber in film canisters. With a permanent marking pen, you can mark the side or top of the canister with the bushing sizes, or caliber.

5. Store your favorite Bolt Grease (for rifles) or anti-seize compound (good for pistol slide rails), in the canister. You don’t need to fill it all the way up — a little dab will do ya. We only recommend this with the snap-top Fuji canisters.

6. Protect your muzzles with canisters, during transport. When shipping a rifle or barrel, slip the film canister over the muzzle, then secure it with electrical tape. This will protect the precious crown of a match barrel from dings or damage.

7. Protect front sights with linked film canisters. Forum member SPClark explains: “I’ve seen several shooters use film canisters to make up front match sight protection. Use some elastic cord between two canisters… that’s easy to remove once you get to the line.”

TELL US Your Tips!

There are countless other uses for 35mm film canisters. We invite readers to respond with their own tips on using these handy containers. If you don’t have some stashed in your workshop already, you can get empties for free at most film processing centers. The clear plastic Fuji canisters are the best — you can see what’s inside and the lids are watertight.

Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
July 30th, 2016

Lyman EyePal Stick-on Peep Sighting System Can Aid Vision

Eyepal diopter peep sight stick-on glasses vision

Do you have “fuzzy sight syndrome”? Are you frustrated because you can no longer see both your iron sights and your target sharply? Here’s a product that can help. Lyman’s new EyePal is basically an adaptation of aperture or “peep” sights (sometimes called “diopter sights”). The EyePal works by restricting the viewable image to a small-diameter circle. This improves depth-of-field dramatically, which in turn keeps everything in focus, both sights AND Target. This principle has been used for some time with the Merit adjustable optical disc that attaches to shooting glasses with a rubber cup. The EyePal does much the same thing — for a lot less money.

Simply apply the EyePal to any eyewear and you should see an immediate improvement in focus (both near and far). Lyman explains: “The EyePal provides a small image where everything is in focus. This is particularly useful to shooters who have limited near vision but have good far vision. The EyePal enables you to simultaneously see the target, and iron sights — all in focus.”

How Do EyePals Work?

The EyePal is a modern adaptation of the century-old peep sight, which some folks call a pin-hole sight (remember those pin-hole camera experiments back in school?). The EyePal enables you to simultaneously see the target, your front and rear sights — all in focus.

EyePal stick-on apertures are made of a static cling material. This allows EyePals to be easily placed on safety eyewear and prescription glasses without marring the surface or leaving a residue when removed. EyePals are inexpensive (about $25.00 per set), easy to use, and long-lasting.

Permalink New Product, Optics 1 Comment »
November 7th, 2015

Trijicon Miniature Rifle Optic Wins G&A “Optic of Year” Award

Trijicon MRO miniature Rifle Optic of Year Award Red Dot Reflex

The Trijicon Miniature Rifle Optic (MRO), a one-power “red dot” reflex sight, has been named the 2015 “Optic of the Year” by Guns & Ammo Magazine. The “Optic of the Year” is an annual award presented by the Guns & Ammo editorial staff based on performance, versatility, durability, and product value.

Trijicon MRO miniature Rifle Optic of Year Award Red Dot Reflex“We designed the new MRO to be as rugged and versatile as our renowned ACOG, while offering the features and benefits reflex optic owners desire,” said Chuck Wahr, Marketing VP for Trijicon. “We have been overwhelmed with the positive response from the industry. Being awarded “Optic of the Year” by Guns & Ammo is a great honor for Trijicon.” Users have praised the MRO. One purchaser wrote: “Great FOV, clear dot and glass. Light weight…love it.”

MRO Sells for under $450.00
The American-made MRO features a 2 MOA dot and 25mm objective lens for quick target acquisition. There are handy adjusters with half-MOA click values and 70 MOA total adjustment. Dot intensity is adjusted with a top-located brightness control. Street price for the Miniature Rifle Optic is $449.00 for the basic version, $515.00 with a low mount, and $535.00 for the elevated “co-witness” version.

With the co-witness elevated mount, the MRO allows “see-through” aiming with back-up iron sights.

Trijicon MRO miniature Rifle Optic of Year Award Red Dot Reflex

Permalink News, Optics No Comments »
August 1st, 2015

High Power Excellence from Camp Perry

Carl Bernosky Camp Perry Aaron Perkins

How good are the best High Power position shooters? Pretty amazing actually. Here are some targets from the 2015 NRA High Power Championship at Camp Perry. Shown above is a 100-10X (literally a perfect score) at 200 yards. This was shot sitting, rapid-fire by 11-time National High Power Champion Carl Bernosky. That’s impressive to say the least. As one Facebook fan noted: “Not bad for an old codger with a bad back….”

Carl Bernosky
File photo of Carl Bernosky from previous competition.

The target below is a 100-0X, shot rapid-fire prone by an unknown sling shooter. That may not seem that impressive at first, but this was fired from THREE HUNDRED yards. It takes a mighty solid hold to produce a nice 10-shot cluster like that without dropping a point.

Carl Bernosky Camp Perry Aaron Perkins

To put these impressive performances in perspective, Lapua’s Kevin Thomas reports: “For those who aren’t familiar with these targets, the center X-Ring on both of these targets is 3 inches across. The 10-Ring is 7 inches across [including line], roughly the size of a small sandwich plate.”

Target Photos from Facebook by Aaron Perkins.

Permalink Gear Review, Shooting Skills 12 Comments »
July 31st, 2015

Long Shots — Images from the Long Range Championships

This week, many of the world’s top marksmen have been competing at the National Long Range High Power Rifle Championships, held 29-31 July, 2015 at Camp Perry. The distances are great (1000 yards maximum) as are the challenges — the fickle winds blowing off Lake Erie can be unpredictable.

This year is extra special. The USA hosts the World Fullbore Long Range Championships next week at Camp Perry. The World Championships are held every four years, but any country may only host the event every 25 years. That means the next Fullbore Worlds in the USA could not take place before 2040. This year, teams from 11 countries will compete for national honors (and serious bragging rights). Many top international shooters have already arrived, and they are using the NRA Long Range High Power Championships as a “prelim” for the Fullbore Worlds next week.

Ace ISSF 300m shooter Reya Kempley shoots a hybrid rig with a Stolle Panda Action in an Anschütz smallbore-type metal stock.

Reya Kempley long range high power

Here’s the same rifle, as fitted with hand rest for position shooting. CLICK to Zoom:
Reya Kempley long range high power

British Palma Shooter David Luckman hung tough after suffering a dissappointing 8 (low right) on his first record shot. After serving up that 8 at 4 o’clock, David fought back, shooting all tens and Xs for the rest of his 10-shot string. (Orange stickers show record shots — the yellow dots mark sighters.) David doesn’t crack under pressure — he won the 2012 Long Range Championship at Camp Perry, and he is the reigning ICFRA World Long Range Fullbore (Palma) Rifle Champion.

Palma David Luckman UK Camp Perry long range high power

Those targets are placed a long way off. Now imagine trying to shoot half-MOA with iron sights.

Camp Perry 2015 long range high power

Past Long-Range Champion John Whidden shows good form. John runs a centerfire action in an Anschütz metal smallbore stock. He smithed this rig himself. John favors the ergonomics and adjustability of the Anschütz stock. He also really likes the small-diameter, rounded forearm on this design. “This stock suits me really well”, John told us.

John Whidden Anchutz Camp Perry long range high power

This competitor has an Eliseo (Competition Machine) Tubegun in Patriotic Stars and Stripes Livery.

Gary Eliseo Tubegun Camp Perry long range high power

This U.S. Marine Corps shooter campaigned a classic “Battle Rifle” in the LR Championship, firing a semi-auto version of the M14. It looks like he named the rifle “Lucy”.

Reya Kempley long range high power

Photos from 2015 NRA Long Range High Power Rifle Championships courtesy NRABlog.com.

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
July 12th, 2015

Want a Challenge? Try the CMP’s Four Gun Aggregate

CMP 4-Gun As-Issued Santiago

by Dennis Santiago
Tricked-out match guns are fun but, if you want to prove that you’ve got an eagle eye and steady hands, a true test of skill is the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s As-Issued Four Gun Aggregate.

CMP 4-Gun As-Issued SantiagoThe Four Gun Aggregate encompasses a series of CMP John C. Garand 30-shot matches (200-yard As-Issued Military Rifle Match Course A) on NRA SR targets at one of the CMP Regional Games or the Nationals officiated by the CMP. These are the only places you can earn the coveted neck-ribbon CMP achievement medals.

You will need four as-issued rifles. The first is the M-1 Garand. (The course of fire is named after this rifle’s inventor.) This remarkable battle rifle will test your prowess at slow prone, rapid prone, and offhand. The match winner will put almost all bullets into a saucer.

You do get to hear that classic “ping” when the en bloc clip ejects with this gun. It’s a good idea to write your firing point number on your hand for each match because you will move around over the course of the tournament.

Next comes the hyper-accurate 1903 Springfield. You can use either the WW I M1903 or the later WW II M1903A3 model with peep sights. A Springfield will typically shoot groups half the size of a Garand with the same ammunition. Think potential in terms of tea cups instead of saucers.

(more…)

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May 30th, 2015

High Power Champ Carl Bernosky Explains How to Shoot Standing

Some folks say you haven’t really mastered marksmanship unless you can hit a target when standing tall ‘on your own hind legs’. Of all the shooting positions, standing can be the most challenging because you have no horizontally-solid resting point for your forward arm/elbow. Here 10-time National High Power Champ Carl Bernosky explains how to make the standing shot.

Carl Bernosky is one of the greatest marksmen in history. A multi-time National High Power Champion, Carl has won ten (10) National High Power Championships in his storied shooting career, most recently in 2012. In this article, Carl provides step-by-step strategies to help High Power shooters improve their standing scores. When Carl talks about standing techniques, shooters should listen. Among his peers, Carl is regard as one of the best, if not the best standing shooter in the game today. Carl rarely puts pen to paper, but he was kind enough to share his techniques with AccurateShooter.com’s readers.

If you are position shooter, or aspire to be one some day, read this article word for word, and then read it again. We guarantee you’ll learn some techniques (and strategies) that can improve your shooting and boost your scores. This stuff is gold folks, read and learn…


Carl Bernosky High PowerHow to Shoot Standing
by Carl Bernosky

Shooting consistently good standing stages is a matter of getting rounds down range, with thoughtfully-executed goals. But first, your hold will determine the success you will have.

1. Your hold has to be 10 Ring to shoot 10s. This means that there should be a reasonable amount of time (enough to get a shot off) that your sights are within your best hold. No attention should be paid to the sights when they are not in the middle — that’s wasted energy. My best hold is within 5 seconds after I first look though my sights. I’m ready to shoot the shot at that time. If the gun doesn’t stop, I don’t shoot. I start over.

2. The shot has to be executed with the gun sitting still within your hold. If the gun is moving, it’s most likely moving out, and you’ve missed the best part of your hold.

3. Recognizing that the gun is sitting still and within your hold will initiate you firing the shot. Lots of dry fire or live fire training will help you acquire awareness of the gun sitting still. It’s not subconscious to me, but it’s close.

4. Don’t disturb the gun when you shoot the shot. That being said, I don’t believe in using ball or dummy rounds with the object of being surprised when the shot goes off. I consciously shoot every shot. Sometimes there is a mistake and I over-hold. But the more I train the less of these I get. If I get a dud round my gun will dip.* I don’t believe you can learn to ignore recoil. You must be consistent in your reaction to it.

Carl Bernosky High Power5. Know your hold and shoot within it. The best part of my hold is about 4 inches. When I get things rolling, I recognize a still gun within my hold and execute the shot. I train to do this every shot. Close 10s are acceptable. Mid-ring 10s are not. If my hold was 8 inches I would train the same way. Shoot the shot when it is still within the hold, and accept the occasional 9. But don’t accept the shots out of the hold.

6. Practice makes perfect. The number of rounds you put down range matter. I shudder to think the amount of rounds I’ve fired standing in my life, and it still takes a month of shooting standing before Perry to be in my comfort zone. That month before Perry I shoot about 2000 rounds standing, 22 shots at a time. It peaks me at just about the right time.

This summarizes what I believe it takes to shoot good standing stages. I hope it provides some insight, understanding, and a roadmap to your own success shooting standing.

Good Shooting, Carl


* This is very noticeable to me when shooting pistol. I can shoot bullet holes at 25 yards, but if I’ve miscounted the rounds I’ve fired out of my magazine, my pistol will dip noticeably. So do the pistols of the best pistol shooters I’ve watched and shot with. One might call this a “jerk”, I call it “controlled aggressive execution”, executed consistently.

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Shooting Skills 4 Comments »
May 28th, 2015

Tube TECH: How to Configure Eliseo Tubegun for Prone Shooting

Salazar tubegun

This 2010 story is reprinted at readers’ request.
In the past few years, tubeguns have really taken over in high power circles. At many matches you’ll see more tubeguns than conventional prone rifles, and a high percentage of those tubeguns will have been built using an Eliseo (Competition Machine) CSS chassis kit.

Step-By-Step Guide to Stock Set-Up
If you are a new tubegun shooter, or if you are planning a tubegun build this winter, German Salazar has prepared a comprehensive set-up guide for Eliseo tubeguns. Eliseo’s CSS chassis system affords a myriad of adjustments. Initially, one can be overwhelmed by all the variables: Length of Pull, Length to Sights, Length to Handstop, Cheekpad Height, Buttstock Offset, Buttstock Cant Angle, Handstop Angle, and Forearm Rotation.

Salazar tubegun

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December 18th, 2013

Fully Adjustable, ‘Customizable’ Smallbore Match Rifles

Report based on Lars Dalseide story in NRAblog

Anschutz smallbore position rifleIf you watched the position and prone shooters at the 2012 London Olympic Games, you couldn’t help but notice the exotic rifles competitors were shooting. There were wood stocks, metal stocks, off the shelf rifles and customized specials. Why are there are so many different design features and stock types? To answer this question, the NRAblog’s editors called on Jessie McClain of the NRA Competitive Shooting Division.

“The customized rifles, like the Anschütz you showed me, can make a real difference in a shooter’s performance,” explained McClain. “I went from a decent shooter to making the varsity shooting team my freshman year because of the rifle.” As Jessie explained, one new feature out there is the adjustable stock, which she called the Porsche of the shooting world. Fully adjustable from the butt plate to the check piece to the hand stop and risers and bolt knobs, this component is fully customizable to the athlete … which can be a huge advantage. “Every person is different … a customizable rifle fits anyone. A rifle team can purchase four of these and field a shooting team for years.”

Not for Novices
The one warning she did have is that these are not for the novice shooter. Get a couple of years of shooting under your belt and then think about moving on to a customized rifle. That way, you can learn the basics before investing in the high dollar equipment. “You wouldn’t give your 16 year old a Ferrari for his first car, would you?”

The Modern Anschütz Position Rifle
Smallbore match rifle makers are using modern materials in response to the need for greater adjustability (and enhanced accuracy). One of the popular new designs is the Anschütz model 1913 position rifle with a “1918 ALU Precise” brushed aluminum stock. This looks like it has been crafted in an aircraft plant.

Anschutz 1913 rifle smallbore

Anschutz 1913 rifle smallbore

Anschutz 1913 rifle smallbore

Story by Lars Dalseide, courtesy the NRA Blog.

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July 25th, 2013

Kempley Wins Iron Sights Prone Championship with Perfect Score

Story based on report by Lars Dalseide for NRABlog.
This week prone shooters are competing at the NRA National Smallbore Rifle Championships at Camp Perry. First on the agenda was the Metallic Sights Match. Shot at distances of up to 100 yards, the Metallic Championship is the aggregate of six separate matches fired over a two-day period. Courses of fire include a Dewar course (20 shots at 50 yards and 20 shots at 100 yards), 40 shots at 50 meters, and 400 shots at 100 yards.

NRABlog Archive Photo of Reya Kempley in an “Any Sights” Prone Match at Camp Perry.
Reya Kempley of New York wins NRA's 2013 Prone Smallbore Rifle Metallic Sights Championship

Coming out on top, with a score of 2400-202X (‘X’ stands for bullseyes) was New York’s Reya Kempley. This talented young lady beat all the men, including top marksmen from the USAMU. Congrats to Reya for an outstanding performance. Here are the top five smallbore metallic sights competitors:

NRA Smallbore Prone Rifle
Metallic Sights

Place Name Score
1 Reya Kempley 2400-202x
2 Eric Uptagrafft 2399-194x
3 Michael Seery 2399-187x
4 Michael Mcphail 2399-186x
5 Joseph Hein 2398-193x

Smallbore 3P Photo Gallery

Earlier this week the Smallbore Three-Position Matches were held at Camp Perry. Here are 3P “any sights” and metallic sights event photos from the GOnraMedia Archive:

Camp Perry smallbore three position 3P championships

Camp Perry smallbore three position 3P championships

Camp Perry smallbore three position 3P championships

Camp Perry smallbore three position 3P championships

Camp Perry smallbore three position 3P championships

Camp Perry smallbore three position 3P championships

Camp Perry smallbore three position 3P championships

Camp Perry smallbore three position 3P championships

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June 20th, 2013

USAMU Article Explains Sight Pictures for Metallic Sights

In an article for the CMP Online Magazine, SSG Tobie Tomlinson of the USAMU Service Rifle Team explains the various sight alignments employed by iron sights shooters. Tobie writes: “There are a myriad of sight picture options that shooters have used to great effect over the years. The sight picture that allows you to consistently shoot the smallest group, with a minimal shift in zeros, is the correct one. Remember, for any shooter to be successful, consistent sight picture must be complemented by front sight focus and sight alignment.”

CLICK HERE to read FULL ARTICLE

Center Hold
The front sight is placed directly in the center of the target. A center hold is great in different light conditions. On a bright day the target appears small. On a dark day the target appears large. In [any] light conditions the center of the target is always in the center. A shooter who has problems with elevation shots in various light conditions may benefit from a center hold.

6 O’Clock Hold
With the 6 O’Clock hold the front sight is placed at the bottom of the aiming black. For many shooters, this hold allows precision placement of the front sight. The ability to accurately call your shots will come with time and experience. Light changes, which alter the appearance of the target, may affect shooters who utilize the 6 O’Clock hold.

Sub 6 Hold
The sub 6 is just like the 6 O’Clock hold, only there is a small line of white between the front sight and the aiming black. Many shooters have a problem determining the exact 6 O’Clock position with their front sight, but by using a sub 6 or line of white they may be able to better estimate their hold.

Frame Hold
With the frame hold, just like with the other holds, the front sight is in the center of the rear sight. The front sight can then be placed at the 6 or 12 O’Clock position on the frame when there is no visible aiming point. This hold is typically reserved for foul weather and poor light conditions. By placing the front sight at the top or bottom of the frame, a shooter may hold better when there is little target to see. It can be difficult to hold a tight group this way, but it may add more hits in bad conditions. This technique is normally applied when shooting longer ranges such 600 or 1000 yards.

CLICK HERE for more articles from The FIRST SHOT, CMP Online Magazine.

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October 27th, 2012

Gear Review: Houle Bloop Tubes for Match Rifles

Houle Bloop Tube (Sight Extension) Gear Review by Robert Whitley
As a competitive shooter and a builder of custom AR-15 accuracy competition uppers, one of the frequent requests I have from shooters is for a recommendation for a good bloop tube. What people want is a bloop tube that is light and strong, one that has no detrimental effect on accuracy, one that works well with many of the existing front sights, and can be removed and re-attached quickly and easily with no loss of zero. For years finding a bloop tube that fulfills all these requirements has been a somewhat elusive exercise. I am pleased to report that I have found the Houle Bloop Tube to meet all my requirements. In my opinion, this is the best bloop tube on the market, by far. You can order a Houle tube from Norm’s Website, TopGunRI.com or e-mail Norm at topgunngh [at] verizon.net.

Norm Houle High Power Bloop Tube
Zoom picture

Norm Houle High Power Bloop TubeBloop Tubes Designed by a National Champion
Norm Houle is a High Power and long-range shooter who has used these tubes to win National High Power Rifle Championships multiple times in past years. This past summer at Camp Perry, Norm’s bloop tubes were used by top “podium level” shooters in various events, including David Tubb, who won the National Long Range Championship using one of Norm’s tubes. Rodrigo Rosa also used Houle tubes this year to place second in the National High Power Rifle Championship and third in the Long Range National Championship.

Norm Houle High Power Bloop Tube

I have a couple of Norm Houle’s bloop tubes that I have used with a couple of rifle projects. Here are some of my thoughts on installation and use of the Houle Bloop Tubes:

  • Accuracy with the tubes in place is excellent!
  • The tube assemblies are two piece clamp-on tube assemblies, and the bloop tubes can be removed and re-attached with no loss of zero (and I mean no loss of zero). This is a big one! Over the years I have had quite a few clamp on tubes, but few of them repeated like these.
  • The tubes are very light but also very strong and low profile. Some of the clamp-on bloop tubes I have had over the years were huge, heavy and provided a large side profile (crosswind sail factor for offhand, etc.).
  • Norm offers 2″, 4″, and 6″ bloop tube lengths. The tubes are made to work with a .750″ dia. muzzle turn down and both of the ones I have work perfectly with a minimum turndown of 1.625″ long which provides enough “front-back” distance to permit the locating ring and bloop tube to be properly mounted on the barrel at the same time and work as they should. The tubes are also set up to use front sights set up to mount on a .750″ diameter mounting.
  • Each tube assembly has a clamp-on locating ring plus a clamp-on bloop tube that positively indexes off a tapered pin that protrudes from the locating ring. The locating ring is light but very strong and absolutely stays put when you clamp it on the barrel end (clamps on with one screw using a common 7/64″ Allen wrench). The bloop tube part of the assembly has two clamp-on screws (use a common 7/64″ Allen to put on, mount and take off).

Norm Houle High Power Bloop Tube

Using Different-Length Tubes for Different Applications
You can buy one tube with two or more locating rings and set multiple rifles up so you can move your bloop tube (with front sight attached) from rifle to rifle. You can also use two different bloop tubes to mate up with one locating ring on the same rifle. Norm uses a 2″ tube (with a front sight attached) for offhand and rapid sitting at 200 yards (short tube minimizes crosswind sail factor). For 300-yard rapid prone and 600-yard slow prone, Norm takes off the 2″ tube and mounts a 6″ tube on the rifle (with a front sight attached to it). Norm switches back and forth as needed from match to match (a 4″ tube is also offered). Norm noted that Rodrigo Rosa also used the same Houle bloop tube set-up with two different tubes this year at Perry to take second overall.

The price of a Houle bloop tube assembly with locating ring is $125.00. That’s more than some other brands, but a good value considering the design, features, and high-quality construction of Norm’s bloop tubes. Just as with all sights and optics… you get what you pay for.

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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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July 19th, 2012

Team Lapua’s Nancy Tompkins wins Metric Smallbore Nationals

Already respected for her High Power and Long-Range shooting, Nancy Tompkins added the 2012 NRA National Metric Prone Smallbore Rifle National Championship to her impressive shooting resume.

The weather was very hot and breezy for the 2012 Metric Prone National Championships conducted at the Wa-Ke’-De Rifle Range, Bristol, Indiana. Forty-two competitors were on hand for this third Annual Metric Prone Nationals. On Monday the 1200-point Iron Sights Aggregate was held, followed by the Any Sight Aggregate on Tuesday. Winds began mild and built throughout the day. The range is sheltered by high trees, but as the wind increases, it swirls, making this range a very difficult place to shoot (especially given the use of the more difficult Olympic metric targets). The 100-yard stage of each day was the determining factor!

Metric Nationals Nancy Tompkins

Tompkins won the Iron Sight Aggregate with a score of 1172-55X to beat young Garrett Spurgeon by four points and Katie Bridges by 13. Kevin Nevius said: “Nancy was amazing — her 100-yard performance was some of the best shooting I have ever seen.”

Fellow Team Lapua member Kevin was shooting great himself. In the Any Sight competition, Kevin captured the National Title with an aggregate score of 1176-56X. Runner-up was Ron Wigger with 1169-54X, while Tompkins was High Woman at 1165-46X.

Tompkins’ consistency paid off as she captured the National Title with a total score of 2337-101X to narrowly defeat Spurgeon (2333-115X) and Nevius (2328-96X). “I was able to visit the new Lapua Service Center in Mesa, AZ about two weeks ago and found the perfect Lapua ammunition for my rifle,” reported Tompkins. Nancy was shooting Lapua Midas+ ammo, while Kevin Nevius competed using Lapua’s X-ACT ammunition. For additional information on the NRA Metric Smallbore Rifle National Championship visit http://www.nrahq.org/compete/nm_metric-prone.asp. To learn more about Lapua products and the Lapua Service Center contact Adam Braverman at abraverman [at] lapua.us.

Kevin Nevius metric championship

National Metric Smallbore Championships Results

GRAND AGGREGATE
Nancy Tompkins: Winner, 2337-101X
Garrett Spurgeon: Second, 2333-115X
Kevin Nevius: Third, 2328-96X
Joe Farmer: High Senior, 2318-112X
Michelle Bohren: High Lady, 2310-91X
Katie Bridges: High Junior, 2320-108X
Virginia McLemore: High Senior Lady, 2306-91X

IRON AGGREGATE
Nancy Tompkins: Winner. 1172-55X
Garrett Spurgeon: 1168-60X
Dempster Christenson: 1156-50X
Katie Bridges: High Lady, 1159-55X
Joe Farmer: High Sr., 1153-47X
Amanda Luoma: High Jr., 1138-43X
Virginia McLemore: High Sr., 1148-41X
Sarah Nakata: High Jr. Lady, 1139-36X
Samantha Peterson: High School Jr., 1123-31X

ANY SIGHT AGGREGATE
Kevin Nevius: Winner, 1176-56X
Ron Wigger: Second, 1169-54X
Garrett Spurgeon: Third, 1165-55X
Nancy Tompkins: High Lady, 1165-46X
Joe Farmer: High Sr., 1165-51X
Katie Bridges: High Jr., 1161-53X
Virginia McLemore: High Sr. Lady, 1158-50X

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