October 21st, 2014

Watch and Read: Chris Cheng and Kelly Bachand Explain I-594

Washington State Ballot Initiative 594, otherwise known as I-594, is bad news. This poorly-written proposed law puts dramatic restrictions on gun owners. I-594 could criminalize many traditional types of shooting activities (including training with shared firearms). I-594 is so sweeping and vague that law enforcement groups consider the initiative “unenforceable”. If you live in Washington State, you need to educate yourself about I-594. In this story, two of our shooter friends (and contributors to the Daily Bulletin) analyze I-594 and explain its flaws.

Kelly Bachand: Why is I-594 bad? I-594 is posing as a background check initiative, but that’s not what it is. I-594 limits the legal modes of recreational use by redefining a firearms transfer to include almost any time that a firearm changes hands, even if it’s just for demonstration purposes, a short-term loan, or a bona fide gift.

Top Shot’s Chris Cheng Reveals the Dark Side of I-594
If you believe in Second Amendment rights, you should watch this video. If you believe in gun rights and live in Washington state, you should make sure your friends, neighbors, and family members of voting age watch this video. Chris Cheng does a great job exposing the flaws of I-594:

Kelly Bachand I-594Kelly Bachand Analyzes Washington State Initiatives I-594 and I-591
Since I’m a licensed firearms dealer I’ve had to learn a lot about the law concerning firearms. It makes sense then that close friends have asked me about my position on I-594 and I-591 which are on the ballot in Washington. I’ve read the full text for both a few times. How will I vote? I will vote yes on I-591. I will vote no on I-594.

I opened up my voter’s pamphlet last night and I was incredibly surprised to find that in the Explanatory Statement from the WA Office of Attorney General, there is a statement that is simply untrue. It precedes both initiatives in the voter’s pamphlet and it reads “In Washington, a background check is only required to buy a pistol, and only if the seller is a firearms dealer.” That’s simply untrue. Every time I sell ANY firearm a background check is performed, background checks are not just done for handgun sales. Furthermore, handgun sales in WA require a secondary, redundant background check performed by local law enforcement [which is] reported to the WA DOL. S0, there are actually two background checks performed on a typical handgun sale.

Why is I-594 bad? I-594 is posing as a background check initiative, but that’s not what it is. Background checks are not bad, I-594 is bad because it’s not about background checks. If it was a well-written background check initiative that addressed actual issues with mental health and domestic violence documentation then there could actually be many firearms owners who supported it. Unfortunately, the largest impact on firearms that I-594 will have is to limit the legal modes of recreational use that are available to law abiding citizens. The things it purports to stop are already illegal so it won’t bother criminals at all that there is one more law they are breaking. I-594 limits the legal modes of recreational use by redefining a firearms transfer to include almost any time that a firearm changes hands, even if it’s just for demonstration purposes, a short term loan, or a bona fide gift.

Under I-594 I would no longer be able to borrow my friend’s new pistol to take to the range and test out before I buy one of my own; that would be a criminal act. Nor would I be able to lend my father-in-law a shotgun so that he could go shoot trap with his church group; that would be a criminal act. Why would I make such specific examples of what would be illegal under I-594? Those sorts of simple examples I gave are simple actions that many responsible firearms owners do regularly, and now they would be criminal. It’s already illegal to sell to a felon or anyone you even think may not be able to own a firearm. If I-594 is passed, it won’t bother criminals at all, they will still get firearms from black markets and through theft, but it will really bother those law0abiding citizens who enjoy even the simplest things like target shooting and introducing their friends to the same.

Why is I-591 better? I-591 says that WA State’s background check system will continue to be in line with the ATF’s regulations, the law at a federal/national level. The means background checks are still required for all firearms sales by dealers. It also means that law-abiding gun owners won’t be criminalized for typical recreational activities with firearms. I-591 also restates that confiscating firearms from a citizen by any government agency without due process is illegal. Is this already unlawful? Yes it is. It has been demonstrated, though, that in some states where initiatives like I-594 have passed (California for example) that the increased government oversight on law abiding citizens’ activities has created scenarios where firearms have been confiscated without due process.

Permalink - Articles, News 1 Comment »
August 10th, 2014

Aussie Ben Emms Wins Fullbore Championship at Camp Perry

fullbore nationals

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

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

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

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

fullbore nationals

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

The Fullbore Championship — Down to the Wire

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

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

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

fullbore nationals Kelly Bachand

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

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

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

Read Full Report by Kelly Bachand (more details).

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
August 6th, 2014

Report from the NRA Fullbore Nationals by Kelly Bachand

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

Kelly fullbore championship camp Perry

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

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

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

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

CLICK HERE for Current Fullbore Match Results from NRA website.

Permalink Competition 1 Comment »
August 12th, 2013

USAMU Shooters Lead Long Range Championships on Day Two

Story based on report by Lars Dalseide for NRABlog.
The second day of NRA’s National Long Range High Power Rifle Championships ended with members of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) at the top of the standings. But they’re not alone. A mere point or two behind are Nancy Tompkins and her daughter Michelle Gallagher. These civilian ladies have, in the past, captured a few National Long Range High Power Rifle titles of their own. The mother and daughter team are strongly positioned to challenge the Marksmanship Unit soldiers for the lead.

Two more days remain in the Long Range Championship. As the cool conditions continue, with a hint of rain on tomorrow’s forecast, the challenge will continue. Anything can happen (such as a cross-fire) that could completely re-shuffle the standings. Here is the “Leader Board” at the End of Day Two:

National


Long Range Nationals – Day 2 Range Report by Kelly Bachand

Today started with a lower velocity wind coming out of the south east. We shot 20 shots at 1000 yards as individuals then teamed up for a four man team match, again with 20 shots for each shooter. I shot fine in the morning getting a 198-5X; the winning score on my relay was a 198-10X I think. It was very hard to see the target first thing in the morning. The south eastern wind was only worth 30″-45″ of bullet drift (that’s about half of yesterday’s wind). In general the scores were a little lower today because the wind was a little trickier. While it was relatively constant in velocity, it changed direction quickly and subtly. That’s enough to give even the best shooters a 9 here and there. I don’t think there were any 200s shot with Palma rifles in the individual portion of the match today.

National

Right before the start of the team match the wind switched around and started coming from the north east with roughly the same velocity. I’m coaching a team made up of shooters from the United States Army Reserve team. Some of them are US Rifle Team members, and past Palma team members, really a bunch of great shooters. In a team match the coach is responsible to call the wind for each shot. Comparing this to a sniper/spotter setup the coach is the spotter and makes all the adjustments on the sights before giving the shooter the command to shoot. I did pretty good for the most part and kept my shooters in the middle the best I could. I was particularly excited to have coached one of the shooters to a perfect 200 — man that’s a great feeling!

Tomorrow (Monday) is a repeat of today with another 20 shots at 1000 for individual and then a four-man team match. After that the Palma match is up next. To read more of Kelly’s Reports from Camp Perry, visit KellysGunSales.com.

Permalink Competition 1 Comment »
August 11th, 2013

Day One at NRA Long Range Championships with Kelly Bachand

Report by Kelly Bachand, KellysGunSales.com

Kelly Bachand Camp Perry NRA Long Range Championship 2013After two years away I’ve returned to the NRA Long Range Nationals at Camp Perry hoping to have lots of fun and shoot well. When I saw the wind coming from the East I was initially a little worried that it could be a wild day as from my memory of Camp Perry a relatively consistent wind from the West is the norm. The Eastern wind was actually pretty consistent today and some very good scores were shot.

A little background is in order you can follow the rest of this range report. When shooting at long range, the biggest variable the shooter must correctly account for is typically wind. Knowing this it makes sense that someone shooting in less severe wind could end up with a higher score than perhaps even a much better shooter who shoots in more severe wind conditions. Because of this, in order to win a trophy match at the NRA Long Range Nationals you have to win twice — you must first win your relay by having the highest score when compared to those who shot at the same time as you, then you must win the Shoot Off where you shoot against the top shooters from the other relays. This prevents someone from winning simply because they shot in an easier condition.

Kelly Bachand Camp Perry NRA Long Range Championship 2013

I shot my first 20-shot string at 1000 yards and scored a 198-9X out of a possible 200-20X. That means I had 9 shots inside a the 10″ X-Ring, 9 shots in the 20″ Ten-Ring, and 2 shots in the 30″ Nine-Ring. The wind was a little tricky, but as it turned out I had tied another shooter for the high score on our relay. I originally was not listed for the Shoot Off and I asked what tie break was used because I was simply curious. A few minutes later the referee came by and told me I was in the Shoot Off after all because I had the high score on the relay, the tie didn’t matter. I shot my second string next and the wind was trickier still starting with about 75” of drift and decreasing to about 50” at the end. I lost track of the wind at one point and shot an 8 making my total for the second string a 198-11X. That wasn’t good enough for the second Shoot Off.

Kelly Bachand Camp Perry NRA Long Range Championship 2013

Kelly Wins A Shoot Off in Palma Class with 100-5X
The Shoot Off consists of 3 practice shots and 10 shots for score. The Shoot Offs are made more spectator-friendly and many competitors gather around and watch as the trophies are won and lost. I reminded myself I was here to have fun, said a quick prayer, and got ready to shoot. I was focused. I only looked at my own target and I was very careful on my wind calls and on my shot execution. I finished and got off the line to see my score keeper giving me a thumbs up! I had shot a 100-5X and everyone else had already dropped at least one point so I had won! This first match was sponsored by Remington I believe and I’ll get a plaque and my picture taken with the trophy. (Note to Remington — I’ve always wanted a Remington 700).

This was a fun first day of the competition, I’m very glad to be able to shoot for Team Sinclair and I can’t help but smile when God’s blessed me with such a fun talent as shooting!

Permalink Competition, News 1 Comment »
June 30th, 2013

Body and rifle positioning for prone shooting

by Kelly Bachand
Prone from above[Editor: If you have been watching the Top Shot All-Stars TV series this season you’ve noticed that our Buddy Kelly Bachand has been “kicking a** and taking names”. On last week’s episode Kelly was the only shooter to place multiple rimfire rounds through the center of a CD without touching the plastic. Most of the other Aall-stars in this challenge couldn’t send even one shot through the CD without breaking plastic. Shooting offhand, Kelly went three-for-three. That’s impressive. Though you know him best from Top Shot, Kelly is one of America’s leading young long-range prone shooters. Bachand has been a Top Five finisher in many major matches, and he has won the Canadian Open Target Rifle Championship, shooting his Barnard-actioned Palma Rifle.]

In this article, I’ll share what works for me in the prone shooting game. However, I recognize that every shooter/rifle combination is unique. So, the best way to find out what will really work best is by practicing and putting some rounds down range. But hopefully you’ll find some suggestions in this story that prove helpful.

The Rifle, Sling, Arms, and Hands
I keep my sling high on the pulse pad of my Creedmoor Sports shooting jacket which turns out to be at the top of my bicep muscle. The sling is tight enough that, with my forward hand against the hand stop and the stock firmly in my shoulder, the rifle is fully supported without any noticeable muscle use. As my coaches have recommended, placing my forward elbow as close to directly under the rifle as possible often yields a more stable position. My trigger hand does not support the rifle but rather grips it without disturbing its aim. If the rifle can be held level and stable with just the forward hand and sling, then one knows a good prone position has been found.

Head, Torso, Hips, and Legs
As with shooting off hand, when shooting prone, I find it best to keep my head as close to perfectly vertical as possible. While swaying is not a typical problem in the prone position, if a vertical head position grants me more stability, I will work to have one. My torso in particular bends in a way that may be uncomfortable for other prone shooters. My left hip and some of the left side of my stomach touch the ground but the majority of my chest and diaphragm are off the ground while I shoot prone. By minimizing the contact my stomach and chest have with the ground I can also minimize the effect my breathing has on my hold. (Also breathing is much easier when each breath isn’t lifting one’s torso weight). Below my waist my left leg extends almost perfectly straight out and sometimes falls asleep while shooting. My right leg is cocked and my right knee is brought up almost even with my right hip. This is what allows me to get so much of my torso off the ground.

Prone position

The Finished Product
In the prone shooting game we shoot at distances from 300 to 1000 yards using iron sights (and sometimes scopes). When I have a good prone position, and my breathing is correct, there are a few seconds right before I take a shot when I feel as if my rifle is being supported on a bench. This sort of stability is only needed for the few seconds it takes to squeeze the trigger. It can, however, very consistently produce sub-minute groups with iron sights from the prone position at any range from 100-1000 yards.

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills 8 Comments »
May 1st, 2013

Top Shot ALL STARS Premieres May 29 on History Channel

top shot all starsThe hit History Channel TV series Top Shot returns for an ALL STAR season Wednesday, May 29 at 10:00 pm Eastern, 9:00 pm Central. This season will feature a All-Star crew of competitors. The show’s producers say: “This season, it’s all about skill. No teams. No nomination range. Politics and alliances are a thing of the past.”

Past Top Shot champions Iain Harrison, Chris Reed, Dustin Ellermann, and Chris Cheng will also take part in the All-Star season. Colby Donaldson returns as host. And yes our buddy Kelly Bachand is back behind the trigger. Kelly tells us: “I can’t reveal what happens, but rest assured, this will be an exciting new series — there’s some serious talent in this line-up”. Donaldson agrees: “We brought back the best of the best — All Stars, All Skills.”

top shot all stars

Check out the Top Shot All-Stars sneak peek below:

What You’ll See in Season Five of Top Shot
Season Five comes fully loaded with formidable, history-inspired challenges and a vast array of weapons. The first episode calls for mastery of a Soviet semi-automatic rifle, which was used in the 1941 Nazi invasion; a Tactical OBR with 20-round magazines; the Milkor M32A1 grenade launcher; and an FN-FAL self-loading selective-fire battle rifle, popular among NATO troops. In addition, competitors must conquer a mortar-rigged barbed wire fence, an unstable platform and a bull’s eye target, where elimination is just a fraction of an inch away.

top shot all stars

Top Shot fans are excited about the new All-Star format. But, not all fan-favorites from the past will be returning this season. One Facebook commenter noted: “I’m definitely excited, but they should have brought back JJ Racaza (probably best shooter not to win) and Tara (only female to not get eliminated).”

top shot all stars

Permalink - Videos, News No Comments »
January 31st, 2013

Kelly Bachand Reviews Forster Co-Ax Reloading Press

This review first appeared in 2011. Having graduated from college in 2012, Kelly is now working full-time, and he has started a business, KellysGunSales.com.

Kelly BachandMost readers recognize Kelly Bachand from the popular Top Shot TV show on the History Channel. Kelly didn’t win the $100K grand prize, but he was a talented competitor who became an audience favorite with his accurate rifle shooting and “toughness under fire” (Kelly survived more one-on-one challenges than any other competitor). Last spring, with the cooperation of Forster Products, AccurateShooter.com supplied Kelly with a new Forster Co-Ax® Press. As a college student, Kelly had previously reloaded with a low-priced Lee Challenger Press — all that his “starving student” budget would allow. (In fairness to the Lee — it did produce some match-winning ammo for Kelly over the years.)

Kelly has been very impressed with the Co-Ax Press and he put together a video review for us. Kelly likes the ease with which dies can be swapped in and out of the press, and he also enjoys the added mechanical leverage provided by the coaxial design. Kelly favors the Forster’s straight-drop, spent primer-capture system. On other, conventional presses, spent primers and debris can collect around the base of the press, or end up on the floor, on your carpet, or on your bench-top.

YouTube Preview Image

Forster Co-Ax Press Design Features
The Co-Ax’s spring-loaded shell holder jaws float with the die, allowing cases to correctly center in the die. Dies snap easily in and out of the jaws so you can change dies in a couple of seconds. Many folks believe this improves die alignment, producing loaded rounds with less runout.

We really like the primer recovery system on the Co-Ax. Spent primers pass straight down into a cup — no more primers and carbon on the carpet. Every other single-stage press we’ve tried will toss a spent primer now and then, and primer residue builds up around the ram shaft.

PROS: Floating jaw shell-holder design delivers low run-out ammo. Smooth stroke without wobble. Best spent-primer collection system.

CONS: Clearance can be an issue with some very tall dies (but you can mill the yoke to accommodate). Dies must be equipped with cross-bolt style lock rings. We recommend the Hornady lock-rings.

If you need power for case sizing, the Co-Ax delivers three times the mechanical advantage of some conventional presses. The Co-Ax’s dual parallel guide-rod design also ensures that the ram movement is straight and smooth throughout the power stroke. With a center-mounted handle, the Co-Ax works equally well for both right- and left-handed reloaders.

Forster Co-Ax Press

The Co-Ax press accepts any standard 7/8″x14 threaded reloading die. You will need to use cross-bolt-style lock-rings on your dies. We recommend the Hornady rings. These are steel and have a hex-head cross-bolt. The Co-Ax requires no expensive shell-holders. The standard “S” jaw set supplied with the press fits nearly all common calibers except: 378 Wby., 45-70, 256 Win. Mag., 44 S&W, 416 Rigby, 416 Rem., 45-90 and 348 Win. These calibers can be used if you purchase the optional “LS” Jaws.

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review No Comments »
April 4th, 2012

Kelly Bachand Returns to Top Shot as 1500-yard Shooting Coach

AccurateShooter.com field tester Kelly Bachand returns to Top Shot on the History Channel next week. Kelly is one of two “alumni experts” tasked with helping competitors attempt a 1500-yard shot. Along with fellow Top Shot alumnus George Reinas, Kelly guides Season 4 competitors through the longest-range marksmanship challenge ever undertaken on the Top Shot series. The show will air Tuesday, April 10th at 10:00 pm. Kelly tells us: “OK — I can finally talk about it! I’ll be on Top Shot again [next week]. I’ll be there trying to teach the shooters how to read wind so they can make a 1500-yard shot.” We asked Kelly if he was going to get one of those $2K Bass Pro gift cards for his efforts. Unfortunately the answer was ‘no': “No gift cards….Yeah I wish they gave me four of them to make up for all the elimination challenges in Season One!”

Kelly instructs this season’s competitors in the skills needed to make a hit at 1500 yards. At right, you’ll see Kelly doing something he’s becoming very familiar with — looking through a spotting scope. At the World Long Range Championships in Australia, Kelly’s spotting skills helped keep the USA Young Eagles in the center to win both Gold and Silver. The teaser for next week’s Top Shot episode shows competitors using an Accuracy Int’l AX 338 to engage a target 1500 yards away. To make shots at that distance successfully, you need to have rock-solid fundamentals, wind-reading abilities, and ballistics info. Tune in next Tuesday to see how Kelly works with competitors trying to make the longest shot ever attempted on Top Shot.

AI AX338 Bachand

Permalink - Videos, Shooting Skills No Comments »
January 25th, 2012

SHOT Show: Savage Smallbore & Big Bore Highlights

Correspondent Kelly Bachand visited the Savage booth at SHOT Show 2012. As always we were impressed with the wide range of affordable, rimfire rifles marketed by Savage. The popular Mark II BTVS is a good choice for rimifire tactical games, and it is also a nice carry-around varminter for squirrels and other small critters. The model 93 ‘Package Series’ rifles are real bargains. MSRP on the model 93R17 XP Camo package (which includes 3-9x40mm scope) is $456.00, while the “street price” is around $385.00.

What really caught Kelly’s eye was the impressive Model 110 FCP chambered in .338 Lapua Magnum. This rifle features a stiff, high-quality HS Precision fiberglass tactical stock with V-block insert. New for 2012 is the .300 Win Mag chambering. (Other chamberings are .338 LM and .308 Win, both introduced last year). The Model 110 FCP HS Precision features a 5-round detachable box magazine, 26″ heavy fluted barrel, muzzle brake, and AccuTrigger. It even comes with scope rail.

In .338 Lapua Magnum, the m110 FCP weighs 10.7 lbs. The .300 WM and .300 Win are somewhat lighter, tipping the scales at 9 lbs. without optics. MSRP for the .300 WM version is $1192.00 — a good value, considering what the stock would cost by itself. The big .338 Lapua Magnum version has a $1549.00 MSRP on Savage’s website.

If you’re on a tight budget, Savage also offers a long-range big-caliber rifle in a polyethylene (tupperware) Accustock. The Model 11/111 Long Range Hunter is a lighter hunting variant that features a composite AccuStock with 3D bedding and a Karsten adjustable cheekpiece. It also has a 5-round detachable magazine, heavy fluted barrel, muzzle brake and AccuTrigger. MSRP for a Long Range Hunter in .300 Win Magnum, is $989.00.

Permalink - Videos, New Product No Comments »
July 20th, 2011

Top Shot Season 3 Debuts August 9th — Meet the Cast

Top Shot fans… get ready. The third season of the hit TV show Top Shot premiers on the History Channel Tuesday, August 9th at 10:00pm (9:00pm Central). Visit History.com for photos and bios of all Season 3’s sixteen new competitors. Those vying for the $100,000 Top Shot grand prize include Mike Hughes, a USPSA production division shooter from Washington, and ace ICORE and USPSA wheelgunner Cliff Walsh of Florida. Other practical pistol shooters include Amanda Hardin from Alabama and Mark Schneider of Florida. Watch the video below for a Season 3 sneak peek, including short profiles of all the competitors.

Top Shot Season 3 Preview — Meet the Cast

Permalink - Videos, News No Comments »
January 23rd, 2011

SHOT Show Report: Julie Golob Reveals Speed Shooting Secrets

Julie Golob Smith & WessonWe had a chance to chat with Team Smith & Wesson Captain Julie Golob at SHOT Show. Julie is one of the finest action pistol shooters in the world, so she knows a thing or two about shooting competitively on the clock.

Kelly Bachand, our SHOT Show correspondent, is primarily a Palma shooter. In that discipline there’s ordinarily plenty of time between shots. But Kelly, a popular contestant on the TOP SHOT TV series, hopes to branch out into action shooting and multi-gun competition.

Julie gives Kelly some great advice on how to succeed in speed games by finding the “acceptable” sight picture. Julie explains that you need to abandon the “pursuit of perfection” and find a zone of “acceptable” accuracy that lets you to score points while running the stage as fast as possible. As Kelly puts it, you need to find out “what you can get away with” in terms of sight picture. Kelly and Julie also discuss equipment for 3-Gun matches and the differences between open and tactical classes.

YouTube Preview Image
Permalink - Videos, Competition, News No Comments »
January 20th, 2011

SHOT Show Report: Long-Range Champ John Whidden

While visiting the Forster Products booth at SHOT Show yesterday, we had a chance to chat with three-time National High Power Long Range Champion John Whidden. John was his amiable self as usual, sharing his match-winning experience with Kelly Bachand, a young .308 Palma shooter. John and Kelly are squadded together on the U.S. National Team that will be going to Australia for the World Full-bore Championship later this year.

YouTube Preview Image

John shared his thoughts on shooting the .243 Win in competition and he also discussed the advantages of a V-Block system in a prone rifle. With a good V-Block you can use the same stock with different barreled action. You can even change between centerfire and rimfire in the same gun. John uses V-Blocks in his own rifles, and Whidden Gunworks makes V-Blocks for Remington, Rem Clone, and Savage Actions.

Permalink - Videos, Competition No Comments »
January 8th, 2011

TOP SHOT TV Show Seeks Contestants for Season Three

The popular TOP SHOT TV show was a hit in its first season, so the producers immediately started working on Season 2, which will run later this year. Since Hollywood can’t have too much of a good thing, the History Channel is now seeking seeking skilled marksmen for the third season of the “Survival”-style TV series. If you missed the show last summer, it features teams of shooters competing in weapons skill scenarios. One cast member is eliminated in each round. Near the end, the show shifts to one-on-one competition, with the “last man standing” earning a $100,000 cash prize.

Top Shot TV Casting Call

TOP SHOT Season 3 Casting Call — Applications Due by February 1st, 2011
The History Channel is actively soliciting new TOP SHOT cast members right now. Deadline for submission of entries is February 1, 2011. Interestingly, for season 3, the Show’s producer, Pilgrim Films & TV, hopes to find some paired contestants (such as two co-workers, or a husband and wife). The casting call notice states:

“We are looking for anyone with unrivaled shooting skills and a big personality to take on exciting physical challenges with multiple guns and mystery projectile weapons. It doesn’t matter if you’re a professionally-trained shooter or a self-taught average Joe or Jane! As long as you’re in good physical shape, have mastered a firearm and can adapt to new weapons and demanding physical situations, you could be America’s next ‘Top Shot’. We’re also looking for MARKSMEN PAIRS: Husband/Wife, Father/Son, Co-Workers or Siblings. If you and a close friend or relative are excellent shots, we want to hear from you both.”

Detailed eligibility requirements are found in the forms linked below. You can also use these forms to apply for Season 3 of TOP SHOT. Otherwise, simply email TopShotCasting [at] gmail.com with your name, city/state, phone number, a recent photo of yourself and a brief explanation of why you should be selected. If you have questions, call the TOP SHOT casting hotline: (818) 478-4570.

Casting Requirements and Eligibility Form – PDF (Print Hardcopy and Fax or Mail Back)
Casting Requirements and Eligibility Form – Editable PDF (Fill Out with Computer and Email Back)

Remember the Deadline for Applications is February 1, 2011.

Permalink - Videos, News 3 Comments »
January 1st, 2011

Kelly Bachand Video Review of Forster Co-Ax® Press

Kelly BachandMost readers recognize Kelly Bachand from the popular Top Shot TV show on the History Channel. Kelly didn’t win the $100K grand prize, but he was a talented competitor who became an audience favorite with his accurate rifle shooting and “toughness under fire” (Kelly survived more one-on-one challenges than any other competitor). Last spring, with the cooperation of Forster Products, AccurateShooter.com supplied Kelly with a new Forster Co-Ax® Press. Kelly, a college student, had previously reloaded with a low-priced Lee Challenger Press — all that his “starving student” budget would allow. (In fairness to the Lee — it did produce some match-winning ammo for Kelly over the years.)

Kelly has been very impressed with the Co-Ax Press and he put together a video review for us. Kelly likes the ease with which dies can be swapped in and out of the press, and he also enjoys the added mechanical leverage provided by the coaxial design. Kelly favors the Forster’s straight-drop, spent primer-capture system. On other, conventional presses, spent primers and debris can collect around the base of the press, or end up on the floor, on your carpet, or on your bench-top.

YouTube Preview Image

Forster Co-Ax Press Design Features
The Co-Ax’s spring-loaded shell holder jaws float with the die, allowing cases to correctly center in the die. Dies snap easily in and out of the jaws so you can change dies in a couple of seconds. Many folks believe this improves die alignment, producing loaded rounds with less runout.

We really like the primer recovery system on the Co-Ax. Spent primers pass straight down into a cup — no more primers and carbon on the carpet. Every other single-stage press we’ve tried will toss a spent primer now and then, and primer residue builds up around the ram shaft.

PROS: Floating jaw shell-holder design delivers low run-out ammo. Smooth stroke without wobble. Best spent-primer collection system.

CONS: Clearance can be an issue with some very tall dies (but you can mill the yoke to accommodate). Dies must be equipped with cross-bolt style lock rings. We recommend the Hornady lock-rings.

If you need power for case sizing, the Co-Ax delivers three times the mechanical advantage of some conventional presses. The Co-Ax’s dual parallel guide-rod design also ensures that the ram movement is straight and smooth throughout the power stroke. With a center-mounted handle, the Co-Ax works equally well for both right- and left-handed reloaders.

Forster Co-Ax Press

The Co-Ax press accepts any standard 7/8″x14 threaded reloading die. You will need to use cross-bolt-style lock-rings on your dies. We recommend the Hornady rings. These are steel and have a hex-head cross-bolt. The Co-Ax requires no expensive shell-holders. The standard “S” jaw set supplied with the press fits nearly all common calibers except except: 22 Hornet, 378 Wby., 45-70, 256 Win. Mag., 44 S&W, 416 Rigby, 416 Rem., 45-90 and 348 Win. These calibers can be used if you purchase the optional “LS” Jaws.

Permalink Gear Review 3 Comments »
September 16th, 2010

Top Shot Winner Iain Harrison Reveals Hollywood Insider Secrets

Iain Harrison, Top ShotThe History Channel’s new TOP SHOT television show was a big success, attracting more than two million viewers each week. The show, which featured equal amounts of “Reality TV” and head-to-head competition with a variety of weapons, had a winning formula that captured a large audience. The competitors in this gun-friendly series became instant celebrities of sorts, none more so than Iain Harrison, the ex-pat British Army officer who was “the last man standing” on the show’s final episode. Iain was a fast learner who had no real weaknesses with any weapons — from throwing knives to AR15s. He was a popular and deserving champion who came away with the show’s $100,000 prize and bragging rights to the title of “Top Shot”.

Iain Harrison was recently interviewed by the NRA’s American Hunter magazine. In his interview, Iain gave away a few TOP SHOT secrets — including “behind the scenes shenanigans”. To read the complete interview with Iain, visit AmericanHunter.com. In his closing comments, Iain had this to say about the overall experience:

If you ever get the chance to participate in one of these shows, my advice is to go for it. So long as you and your family can handle the separation, it will present a great opportunity to see behind the scenes of a TV show, shoot a few unusual guns and make some lasting friendships. Just remember that the show’s audience is comprised of mostly non-shooters, and whether you like it or not, you are acting as an ambassador for the sport we all love. Your behavior reflects on all gun owners. Don’t screw it up.

CLICK HERE for Harrison Interview.
Iain Harrison photo courtesy NRA Blog.

Permalink News No Comments »
July 29th, 2010

Top Shot TV Competitor Kelly Bachand Speaks Out

Top Shot Kelly BachandKelly Bachand, the youngest competitor on the Top Shot TV series, is a regular contributor to AccurateShooter.com. Currently an electrical engineering major at the Univ. of Washington, Kelly is a talented Palma rifle shooter who has managed to hold his own in other shooting disciplines. Kelly is the real deal — a genuine marksman, and we know many readers have been pulling for him through the grueling Top Shot elimination process.

There’s a fascinating full-page interview with Kelly in the Cheaper Than Dirt Blog. The first half of the interview covers Kelly’s background and marksmanship training. In the second half, Kelly discusses his Top Shot experience, revealing secrets about the show and the inter-personal rivalries which have become such a staple of the series. Kelly also explains how he managed to survive three elimination rounds.

Q: During the first elimination challenge you shot rifles and sent Mike Seeklander home. That was a pretty stunning defeat and seemed to surprise everybody. It does seem like your mental attitude has really helped you through all of the elimination challenges you’ve been through.

Kelly: I do have a certain mental ability that I’ve kind of picked up and practiced and begun to get better at over the last year, year and a half, to kind of shut other things out while I’m actually shooting. I’ll be extremely nervous up until the point I’m actually shooting, extremely nervous.

At the Beretta Xtrema [shotgun] challenge I got up to the line, and I’m way outside of my comfort zone holding this Beretta. I’ve fired it all of about 20 times now, and I got up there, I focused on what I need to do, and I make the shot. It all kind of goes away. What I do is I just repeat a mantra in my head. I just ask myself, “OK, what do I need to do to make this a perfect shot?”. Then I tell myself over and over what I need to do. If I continually force feed myself good thoughts — positive thoughts about what I need to do to make it perfect — I typically make very good shots. That’s right out of Lanny R. Bassham’s book With Winning in Mind.

Whether you love the Top Shot show (for the shooting) or hate it (for the Hollywood reality-show nonsense), we recommend reading Kelly Bachand’s interview. Kelly has managed to adapt and learn quickly and that’s why he’s still “in the running” while other, more experienced competitors have been eliminated. Kelly offers many insights that can help any competitive shooter.

Permalink - Videos, News 6 Comments »
June 10th, 2010

Top Shot TV Show Can Be Watched on Hulu.com

If you missed the first episode of Top Shot on the History Channel, you can still watch it on Hulu.com. While the show’s “Survivor”-style battle of personalities disappointed some gun enthusiasts, Top SHOT is still engaging television that brings the shooting sports to a large audience. Over 2.1 million viewers watched the debut episode of Top Shot. Click below to watch in embedded flash player, and you can click an icon to zoom to full screen. (Advert may load first — be patient.)

Permalink - Videos, News No Comments »