October 6th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: Chris Nichols’s 600-Yard Light and Heavy Guns

IBS Benchrest Chris Nichols Heavy Gun Record HG aggregate north carolina
Chris Nichols with potential world record (1.297″ 4-Target Agg) Heavy Gun Targets!

Report by Bart Sauter, Bart’s Custom Bullets
Chris Nichols is one of the best 600-yard shooters in the game. This 2019 season he compiled one of the most impressive mid-range benchrest seasons ever. Check out the stats — Chris’s nine-match, Two-Gun Group Aggregate (Agg) for the year is 1.983″! That’s under two inches average at 600 for 72 record targets fired in competition. Many 600-yard shooters aspire to shoot a single, 4-target Agg that measures 1.983″, but doing that for 72 targets is amazing!

And of the nine matches Chris shot, he took SIX Overall Two-Gun wins — a 67% win ratio. And in the process Chris also shot what is possibly the smallest 4-target Heavy Gun Agg ever recorded — 1.297 inches. Hey readers — that Agg works out to 0.206 MOA average group size — well under quarter-MOA for four, 5-shot groups at 0.34 MILES (600 yards)!

IBS Benchrest Chris Nichols Heavy Gun Record HG aggregate north carolina
Chris with 0.665″ group at 600 yards. This is the smallest HG group fired in the IBS in 2019.

The Equipment: 6mm Dasher Light Gun and Heavy Gun
Chris likes to run 1.550 stainless steel Bat “B” actions, Jewell triggers, Brux or Bartlein barrels. He prefers wooden stocks as he feels they produce a better resonance for Long Range rifles. Chris has his own stock design crafted by Johnny Byers. Imagine a Wheeler LRB stock front half mated with an McMillan ST 1000 rear section and you have Chris’ stock! It features a Wheeler-type, 4″-wide fore-end with an ST 1000 low-comb profile in the back. Both Light Gun and Heavy Gun sport Vortex 15-60x52mm Golden Eagle scopes mounted with Harrell’s double screw tall rings. Chris does NOT use either muzzle brake or tuner.

IBS Benchrest Chris Nichols Heavy Gun Record HG aggregate north carolina
Here is Chris at his home range with his Light Gun (17 lbs. max).

Chris Nichols’s Heavy Gun is a true heavy coming in at around 42 pounds. It was responsible for the HG Agg of 1.297″ (potential new world record). His season-long aggregate with his Heavy Gun was 1.861″ for 36 targets! This rifle has similar components as his Light Gun, except the barreled action rides in a barrel block in a McMillan HBR 50 BMG stock.

IBS Benchrest Chris Nichols Heavy Gun Record HG aggregate north carolina

Both rifles ride a top of a Sinclair competition rest with a Protector DR Flat Top rear bag. When Chris goes to HG gun he simply switches tops (made by Daniel Greenlaw) on his front rest to accommodate the larger forend. As Chris says ,” This keeps things simple and exactly the same. ” Just the way he likes it.

Reloading for the 6mm Dasher
Chris’s load choice for both LG and HG is Hodgdon Varget pushing 105gr Berger VLDs. He uses CCI 450 primers, seated with an old Lee hand primer. When it comes to reloading, Chris likes to keep things as simple as possible. “If people saw me reloading they’d probably laugh!” Chris revealed that he doesn’t anneal or clean his cases. He just sprays them down with Hornady One Shot Case Lube, resizes, then runs a brush down the necks, and cleans the primer pockets. The only cleaning his cases get is when he wipes the lube off of them. Chris WILL trim and chamfer as needed.

Chris says seating consistency is critical — he uses a K&M Arbor press with force dial indicator. I asked if there were certain numbers he looks for when seating. Chris replied, “I’m only concerned with consistency and not a certain number, 5 pounds or 60 pounds. It doesn’t matter as long as they are the same. I take what the brass gives me.”

Tuning the 6mm Dasher for Record-Setting Accuracy
I asked Chris what was special about his Dasher and how he kept it tuned and so competitive? His reply is something all shooters should pay careful attention to: “[Success] starts with having a good reamer, bullets and barrels. But more than that, it’s KNOWING your Cartridge, KNOWING your bullets, and KNOWING your barrels! I’ve shot it so much I just know what to do. I’m comfortable with it. I know how to get it to shoot and when it’s not, I have a pretty good idea how to get it back in tune. Once you know your equipment, then you can learn how to get the most out of it.”

IBS Benchrest Chris Nichols Heavy Gun Record HG aggregate north carolina

Chris has a range at his house and he tunes at 300 yards. He looks for consistent, 300-yard 5-shot groups of 0.600″ or less! He wants to see nice round groups! Not groups with four in and one out or vertical strings. Chris starts by finding “touch” (to the lands) then he moves the bullets .002″ off the lands and begins tuning. Chris has found that usually somewhere around .008-.012″ off the lands is where his Berger 105gr VLDs shot best. I asked Chris what’s the biggest factor contributing to his success? He said, one big thing was that he can do his own work. That’s a huge advantage.

Look for Accuracy First, Velocity Second
Early on Chris had it in his mind that for a 6mm Dasher to shoot best he needed to achieve a certain velocity range — 2990 to 3030 FPS. The problem was he wasn’t paying attention to what the target was telling him. He’d get to the speed he was looking for but the accuracy wasn’t there. Once he started slowing the speeds down and giving the barrel what it wanted, then the accuracy came! Also with the slower speeds came better consistency.

Chris Nichols’s Tuning Tips for 6mm Dasher:

• Take consistency over speed.
• Only change one thing at a time and run it to the ground.
• Every barrel is a little different, so give it what it wants.
• Pay attention to what your target is telling you.
• Don’t be afraid to REDUCE your powder load.

Chris Nichols’s Advice for New Shooters
Chris says the best thing a new shooter can do is align themselves with knowledgeable people, and if they will talk, listen! Next, be ready to buy the best equipment or be ready to buy it twice. Chris also says: “Don’t cheap-out on sighters. Sighters need to be just as good as your record rounds.”

In the Beginning — Learning the 600-yard Benchrest Game
Chris’s shooting career began in 2012. His first win came in 2014. He was shooting beside guys like Sam Hall, Larry Isenhour, Mike Hanes, Jeff Godfrey James Coffey, and Chad Jenkins, who are very tough competition indeed. He said when he won he was ecstatic and he’ll never forget it! That first trophy had him feeling like he’d just won the Nationals! Chris shot a 6BR for the first two years of his career, before switching to the 6 Dasher. I asked him why he switched? He said, “guys were starting to shoot the Dasher and winning with it!”

I asked Chris if he had a mentor and he said, “not really”. He learned by watching the guys who consistently finished Top 5 at matches and occasionally asked them a question. Not two questions, just one! Chris didn’t want to push his luck by asking too much. Then Chris would take that information and test it and apply it to his own shooting. Chris says, “he learned mainly by the ‘school of hard-knocks’. The good thing about learning that way is it sticks with you!”

Chris Nichols 2019 600-Yard Win List and Statistics

(more…)

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March 13th, 2019

Forum Member Sets Four NBRSA 600-Yard Score Records

NBRSA Score Championship Record Set October Oregon Rogue Valley

One of our Forum members, Jason Peterson, pulled off a remarkable accomplishment at an NBRSA 600-yard match last fall. Last October, at the Rogue Valley SSA range in Oregon, Jason set no less than FOUR new NBSRA Score Records: Light Gun 6-Target Score (30 shots), Heavy Gun 6-Target Score (60 shots), Two-Gun 6-Target Score (45 shots), and Two-Gun 12-Target Score (90 shots).

Jason was shooting a 6 BRA (6mmBR Ackley) Light Gun with Borden BRM action, LBR stock, and 1:8″-twist Krieger barrel. Bedding was done by Alex Wheeler. Notably, Jason’s father chambered the Krieger barrel — Thanks Dad! The load consisted of 108gr Bergers pushed by Hodgdon H4895. Writing in the NBRSA Magazine, Bill Johnston observed: “If my memory serve me right, this is the first time in Long Range History that 4 records were set at one match by the same shooter.”

NBRSA Score Championship Record Set October Oregon Rogue Valley

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November 21st, 2018

IBS 1000-Yard Nationals Featured on ShootingUSA TV Today

IBS 1000 yard nationals national championship Whitehorse West Virginia

Here’s a treat just in time for the holidays — you can see a video view of 1000-yard Benchrest competition tonight on Shooting USA television. The Wednesday, November 21, 2018 episode of Shooting USA features the 2017 IBS 1000-Yard National Championship held at the Whitehorse Shooting Center in Peeltree, West Virginia. This Shooting USA episode takes you to the Whitehorse 1K Range in September 2017. You can see the action on the firing line and the Shooting USA team also interviews many competitors. Watch this episode on the Outdoor Channel at these times: 9:00 PM Eastern and Pacific; 8:00 PM Central.

IBS 1000 yard nationals national championship Whitehorse West Virginia

If you want to learn about the 1000-yard Benchrest game, definitely tune in to Shooting USA on September 26, 2018 (tomorrow) to watch last year’s IBS action. There were nearly 120 shooters competing (118 in Light Gun, 107 in Heavy Gun).

IBS 1000 yard nationals national championship Whitehorse West Virginia

IBS 1000 yard nationals national championship Whitehorse West VirginiaTo learn more about on this event, read our detailed 2017 IBS 1K Nationals Match Report. At the 2017 Nationals, conditions were challenging to say the least, with rain storms, spiraling winds, and fog. In fact, rain and fog on Saturday (with cancelled relays) caused the Nationals to be extended by one day through Monday. What’s more, of the 107 shooters listed in the Two-Gun Overall results who actually shot both guns, there were dozens of DQs.

Read 2017 IBS 1000-Yard Nationals Match Report HERE »

Top Guns at the 2017 IBS 1000-Yard Nationals were Edward Kenzakoski (Two-Gun Overall Champion), Mike Gaizauskas (Light Gun Overall, plus LG Score Agg), and Mike Brennan (Heavy Gun Overall, plus HG Score Agg). Group Agg winners were Richard Schatz for LG, and Charlie Lentz for Heavy. Two ladies also deserve mention. Sally Bauer shot the smallest group of the match, a 1.923″ 5-shot group in LG — that’s 0.184 MOA! Ruth Edwards drilled a 2.104″, also mighty impressive. Here’s Sally below with her very patriotic Heavy Gun…

IBS Heavy Gun Sally Bauer benchrest HG 1000 yard

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September 5th, 2018

IBS 1000-Yard Nationals Match Report from Montana

IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting

Report by Boyd Allen, IBS Vice President
Photos by Gordie Gritters and Alex Wheeler
The 2018 IBS 1000-Yard Nationals event was hosted by the Montana NW 1000 Yard BR Club, which has an active and well-run 1K benchrest shooting program. Over eighty shooters from as far away as Indonesia participated, 82 in Light Gun, and 85 in Heavy Gun. By all accounts it was a very well-run match, that was enjoyed by all who attended.

IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting
The Deep Creek Range is a beautiful place to shoot, with normally favorable conditions. But the winds were challenging at the 2018 IBS 1000-yard Nationals.

One man, Carroll Lance, dominated the match, taking the 2-Gun Overall Aggregate, while also winning HG Score Agg, HG Group Agg, and HG Overall Agg. It was a masterful performance — Carroll shot his Light Gun in both classes, beating dozens of bigger, heavier, and much more expensive rifles. Carroll’s name will be placed on four IBS perpetual trophies. Here’s Carroll with his line-up of trophies.

IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting

Winning Form — Carroll Lance Talks Technique
When asked for his advice to a new shooter, Big Winner Carroll Lance said: “Shooters should concentrate on being smooth, so as not to disturb the rifle in the bags. Speed will come naturally. The common mistake is to try to run the shots faster than can be done smoothly.”

Aerial Drone Video Shows Deep Creek Range outside Missoula, Montana. Worth Watching!

Challenging Conditions at Match
While Deep Creek is renown for often having good, “readable” conditions, this was a tough year according to Deep Creek veterans. As proof, there were five DQs on a single relay.

Tom Mosul (who ran the firing line for most of the event) noted that conditions were not extreme but could be tricky, with max wind speed s10-15 mph. It varied enough that being on some relays could effectively put a competitor out of the tournament. Tom also mentioned that indicators that he normally could depend on were not reliable this year.

Leo Anderson, who has been present at nearly all the 1000-yard matches ever held at Deep Creek, said this 2018 match had some of the trickiest conditions he has seen in 20 years of competition. Leo said you could not see the conditions causing POI changes. Alex Wheeler agreed, and added that although it was pretty calm at the benches, that the scorer who was running targets (from the pits to the firing line) said there was a strong cross wind half way down range that could not be felt at the pits or firing line…typical for Deep Creek, tough to read when it does decide to be nasty.

IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting

Summary of IBS 1000-Yard Nationals Match Results

For those who are unfamiliar with long range benchrest results, there are seven categories of winners, with seven corresponding traveling trophies (the big ones that bear the names of each year’s winners). For each of the two rifle classes (Light Gun and Heavy Guun) there are group, score, and overall aggregate winners (every target is both measured for group size and scored.) Finally, there is a 2-Gun winner for both rifle classes combined, based on group AND score.

With over eighty competitors, the PDF of the complete results, including those of every relay plus a very detailed list of the equipment used by every competitor for both classes, is a whopping 52 pages long. Links Below:

CLICK HERE for full Results PDF | CLICK HERE for Category Results Plus Equipment Lists

IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting

IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting

Equipment List Light Gun and Heavy Gun Classes
The seven travelling trophies went to just three shooters. Cody Finch won the LG Group aggregate. Tim Gonnerman won the LG Score aggregate and LG Overall aggregate. Carroll Lance won everything else — HG Score aggregate, HG Group aggregate, HG Overall aggregate, and the 2-Gun Overall.

Big winner Carroll Lance shot his 6mm Dasher Light Gun for both classes. The rifle, smithed by Jay Cutright, features a Borden BRM drop port action, Krieger barrel, Wheeler LRB stock, and Nightforce scope. Carroll’s match-winning load consisted of Vapor Trail bullets, in front of H4895 powder and CCI primers.

IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting

Cody Finch’s Light Gun was a 6BR Ackley (6BRA) with Lederer barrel, BAT action, Nightforce scope, and a DCT stock. His load consisted of Vapor Trail bullets, Hodgdon powder, and CCI primers. Alex Wheeler smithed the rifle.

Tim Gonnerman’s Light Gun, smithed by Mike Bigelow, featured a Krieger barrel (6mm Dasher), BAT action, Nightforce scope, and McMillan stock. The load consists of Vapor Trail bullets, H4895 powder, and CCI 450 primers.

Equipment List by Class Based on Two-Gun Overall Agg Rankings
Light Gun Equipment List (click to zoom):
IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting

Heavy Gun Equipment List (click to zoom):
IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting

CLICK HERE for Full Equipment List for All Classes

IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting

Top Guns Talk — What the Winners Revealed

I called the major Aggregate winners (Carroll Lance, Cody Finch, and Tim Gonnerman), and asked them about the 1K Nationals. My questions fell into five major categories: 1) how the wind compared to other matches (including other locations); 2) how each handles his rifle and equipment; 3) how they shot the match; 4) how they clean their barrels (and what their barrel accuracy life is); and 5) How they reload.

They all described the conditions as challenging. This was not a match to use for spotting small differences in accuracy between similar calibers. Even with the rotations of relays and benches, there was an inescapable luck factor, with some relays having significantly more challenging conditions than others. Changes could be rapid, with reversals that could be extreme.

Gun-Handling: On the subject of how the rifle is handled, Cody Finch shoots with only trigger contact, while Tim Gonnerman and Carroll Lance have light stock contact. Tim said that he is so focused on shooting that he is really not aware of the details of how he handles the rifle. Carroll said that he makes light contact with his trigger hand and has the butt touching his shoulder so lightly that he can barely feel it, but solidly enough that it only recoils about a quarter inch.

IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting

Shooting Strategies: Cody uses his sighter period to investigate how differences in mirage affect bullet impact location and then holds off shot by shot during his record string. Tim and Carroll do not, they adjust their scopes using the last sighter shot (which they can see because there is target service like an high power match with spotter disks) and then hold center for their record, trying to do as little with their rest adjustments as possible. Carroll mentioned that he only made one adjustment for the whole weekend and that his usual practice is to make small corrections with hand pressure.

Barrel Cleaning: Tim shot the whole weekend, without cleaning. When he does clean he uses Pro Shot Copper Solvent, patches, a nylon brush, and does a lot of soaking. Periodically he uses IOSSO with a patch on a nylon brush. He breaks in his barrels with the common one-shot-and-clean progressing to three and then five, and, sees a velocity increase at about 120 rounds from new. Tim cleans with patches and bronze brushes. I smiled when he told me what he cleans with, CLR, ThorroClean (Bullet Central) and IOSSO. CLR has been the topic of some discussion on the internet, and a friend found that it did a good job on carbon. It has been a controversial topic. Of note, Tim shot the smallest group for the tournament.

IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting

Barrel Life: All three Top Guns said that accurate barrel life varied from barrel to barrel. I got the general impression that most were done or close to done by 1,500 rounds, at least for the Dasher, with the BRA being too new to tell if it would stretch that far, but that it might.

Reloading Methods: On the reloading side, none of them anneal regularly, if at all. Carroll’s cases had 15-20 firings on them, and had only been annealed once, early on, but they still felt good when he was seating bullets. Last year he tried to anneal after every event.

Most of his competition has been at 600 yards, where Varget did a good job, with bullets seated .010 to .012 into the lands, but it did not perform well at 1K so he switched to H4895, which likes its bullets .005 into the lands. The chamber has a .268 neck. Case necks were turned to .0105 for a loaded round clearance of about .003. He used a .263 bushing.

Starting with a fired case, he sizes in a FL bushing die, tumbles in corn cob media to remove the lube, and just before seating bullets applies graphite to the insides of case necks with a Q-Tip.

Course of Fire at 1K Nationals (as explained by Tom Mosul):
“Relays were rotated along with bench assignment within each relay. The match is a three-target Aggregate, so what we did was divide the total number of relays and benches by 3, and then rounded down. Due to the number of benches (13) and shooters there were seven relays per target. Saturday morning started with LG target #1, followed by HG target #1, finishing the day with LG target #2. Sunday morning began with HG target #2, then LG target #3, and finished with HG target #3. For each relay six minutes are allowed for sighter shots, followed by a cease fire, and within a minute after that, a ten-minute record period.”

True Treasure Trove of Prizes at Deep Creek

IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting
There was a very rich prize table, including BAT, Borden, Curtis Custom, and Defiance actions; McMillan, McMillan/Wheeler and Shehane stocks; Kahles, Nightforce, Swarovski, and Vortex Scopes; SEB NEO Rest; Benchsource Annealing machine; Bartlein, Brux, Lilja, Krieger, and Rock Creek barrels; Zeiss Binoculars; many gift certificates (incl. Kelbly’s and McMillan) and much more.

The Top Guns got the pick of the prizes. Carroll Lance chose a Kahles 10-50 rifle scope, Tim Gonnerman chose a BAT Neuvo action, and Cody Finch chose a Borden BRM action.

NOTE: Prizes that manufacturers and vendors contribute are an important part of any successful match. I am sure that everyone who was connected with this event is grateful to all the generous sponsors who donated prizes and gift certificates. Sebastian Lambang (shown below), creator of SEB Rests, shot the match and donated a SEB NEO rest.

IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting

More Photos — Hundreds of Photos
Here are links to ALL pictures that Gordy Gritters and Alex Wheeler were kind enough to take at the 2018 IBS 1000-Yard Nationals. There are 359 images altogether:

Match Photos by Gordy Gritters (279 photos) | Match Photos by Alex Wheeler (80 photos)

Parting Shot — How to “Make Weight” in a hurry:

IBS 1000 One Thousand 1000-yard Nationals National Championship Missoula Montana MT Deep Creek benchrest precision shooting
This shows Tom Jacobs of Vapor Trail Bullets holding his match rifle while Gordy Gritters drills a couple of ounces out of the butt. We’re told Tom knew he was an ounce heavy when he got there.

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November 19th, 2017

Drilled by Dasher — Spectacular 600-Yard Target Shot in Oregon

Tri-Valley Gun Club TVGC Portland Oregon

Take a look at that group. That would be pretty nice for 200 yards. But this group was shot at 600 yards in competition by Fred Dobson at a recent NBRSA match in Oregon. The X-Ring is 1.2″ in diameter. Perfectly centered for a 50-5X, this Light Gun target should be a new NBRSA Score record, pending approval. The previous Score record was Ken Schroeder’s 50-4X.

Tri-Valley Gun Club TVGC Portland OregonFred’s 600-yard group is also amazingly small. Using On-Target Software, we measured Fred’s five-shot group at 0.738″, which is a tiny 0.118 MOA at 600 yards.

NOTE: This is NOT an official measurement. The actual 5-shot group size might be larger or smaller, though it won’t be an NBRSA GROUP record. The current NBRSA 600-yard Light Gun group size record is 0.5823″ set by Robert Hoppe way back in 2008. But Fred’s 50-5X target should, indeed, be a new SCORE record.

Forum member “Jet” reports: “The Tri-County Gun Club just south of Portland, Oregon hosted its second NBRSA 600-guard match 11/18/2017. Twenty-one shooters brought rifles to the line. Fred Dobson shot the 50-5X target shown here.”

Congrats to Fred. Forum member KVD posted: “That’s truly fine shooting — something to be proud of. Seems like the bar gets boosted higher and higher every time there is a sanctioned match.”

Load Specifications
Cartridge: 6mm Dasher
Bullet: Precision Ballistics 105 gr
Powder: Hodgdon Varget
Primer: CCI 450

Equipment Specifications
Action: Kelbly
Barrel: Bartlein 1:7.5″ twist
Stock: McMillan MBR

Tri-County Gun Club TVGC Portland Oregon
TCGC 600-yard Range. This range uses the same target holders as the 300-yard line of the 200–300 yard range, which is closed when the 600-yard range is in use. Raised platform is for prone shooting.

About the Tri-County Gun Club in Oregon
Tri-county Gun Club TVGC Portland Oregon

Tri-County Gun Club is one of the premiere shooting clubs in the Pacific Northwest. The 230-acre private facility is located in Sherwood, Oregon just 15 minutes from downtown Portland. TCGC offers a wealth of ranges, competitions, and social activities for shooters of all ages, interests, and skill levels.

Article Tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
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October 4th, 2017

IBS Match Report: 2017 1000-Yard Nationals in West Virginia

IBS 1000-yard Nationals White Horse West Virginia

2017 IBS 1000-Yard Benchrest Nationals
Report By Boyd Allen
On September 1-4, the IBS held its 2017 1000-yard Benchrest Nationals at the Whitehorse Shooting Center in Peeltree, West Virginia. There was a great turn-out this year, with 118 entries in Light Gun Class (17-lb limit, 5 shots per target) class and 107 shooters in Heavy Gun Class (Unlimited weight, 10 shots per target). The conditions this year were challenging to say the least, with rain storms, spiraling winds, and fog. In fact, rain and fog on Saturday (with cancelled relays) caused the Nationals to be extended by one day through Monday, September 4th. What’s more, of the 107 shooters listed in the Two-Gun Overall results who actually shot both guns, there were dozens of DQs. (Yes, the wind was a bit tricky at this year’s Nationals.)

IBS 1000-yard Nationals White Horse West Virginia
Sam Hall, past IBS Shooter of the Year, provided this image and most of the photos in this report.

Congratulations to the “top guns” at the Nationals: Edward Kenzakoski (Two-Gun Overall Champion), Mike Gaizauskas (Light Gun Overall, plus LG Score Agg), and Mike Brennan (Heavy Gun Overall, plus HG Score Agg). Group Agg winners were Richard Schatz for LG, and Charlie Lentz for Heavy. Two ladies also deserve mention. Sally Bauer shot the smallest group of the match, a 1.923″ 5-shot group in LG — that’s 0.184 MOA! Ruth Edwards drilled a 2.104″, also mighty impressive. Nice shootin’ ladies…


CLICK HERE for Complete 1000-Yard Nationals RESULTS »

Top Shooters — Overall, Light Gun, and Heavy Gun:
IBS 1000-yard Nationals White Horse West Virginia
CLICK HERE for Larger Chart

White Horse Wind and Weather Factors — and Topography
The firing line for the 1000-yard range has a covered structure with 14 well-spaced masonry benches with block bases and cast concrete tops. Facing southwest, the firing line is above the land between it and the target butts, which are at the head of a canyon. There is a low area with trees on the left with an elevated flat area on the right.

IBS 1000-yard Nationals White Horse West Virginia

This topography create unpredictable wind patterns that can change rapidly with no warning. Those changes can wreak havoc with competitors’ groups and scores. The wind direction at the targets can be opposite that at the firing line, with the result that a let-off down range not only carries the penalty of making a hold-off incorrect, but because the wind at the firing line can continue, adding the additional penalty of a reversal. This was the common cause of disqualifications, which were numerous at this year’s Nationals.

Light Gun and Heavy Gun Equipment Lists (Partial Sample):
IBS 1000-yard Nationals White Horse West Virginia

Barrel-Block Heavy Gun with a handsome wood stock. Wide fore-ends enhance stability.
IBS 1000-yard Nationals White Horse West Virginia

Delay Caused by Fog and Rain
On Saturday, rain and fog delays, caused the match to be extended through Monday. The rules dictate that if a full match cannot be finished because of weather, then all of the day’s results are discarded. This meant that even those shooters who completed their relays on Saturday had to shoot them over — hence another day was added to the event. Because of the prospect of worsening conditions on Saturday afternoon, even though there was daylight left, the decision was made to extend the match through Monday.

Profile of 2017 IBS 1000-Yard National Champion Edward Kenzakoski

Commenting on his performance at the Nationals, Ed said modestly:
“I didn’t shoot really good. I just shot better than them other guys.”

IBS 1000-yard Nationals White Horse West Virginia

Winning Hardware (with a 110-lb Heavy Gun)
Notably, Ed does all of his own gunsmithing, and he built his Championship-winning rifles. Both guns featured 1:11″-twist, 30″ Krieger barrels. (LG: 1.250″ shank and .950 muzzle; HG: 2″ contour untapered). Ed’s Light Gun has a BAT action, no barrel block, Jewell trigger, and McMillan Tooley MBR stock. His Heavy Gun boasts a 10″-long BAT action in a two-piece aluminum stock with barrel block. That HG beast weighs 110 pounds! Both of Ed’s rifles (light and heavy) wore Nightforce 12-42x56mm BR scopes.

Winning Numbers
To win the Two Gun Overall, Ed posted 137 LG Score, 262 HG Score, and 399 Two-Gun Score Agg. His Group numbers were: LG Group 5.659, HG Group 7.483, Two-Gun Agg: 6.571.

Winning Loads and Reloading Methods
Both rifles are chambered in 300 WSM. Ed shoots 210gr Berger VLDs (sorted every way possible), with Norma brass, Hodgdon H4350 powder, and CCI BR2 primers. For the two guns he used very different seating depths — barely touching for the HG, 0.100″ jump for the LG. He said that it takes him a full four days to load the ammunition for both rifles for a match. Yes, he weighs primers, and he even passes his bullets through a .309 bushing.

No Dark Horse at White Horse — Kenzakoski is a Proven Winner
One shouldn’t be surprised at Edward Kenzakoski’s success. Ed really cleaned up at Williamsport this year, winning one 6-match Aggregate and two 10-match score and group Aggregates. He also established a new Williamsport club Light Gun record of 3.2″.

Last year’s winner Tom Mousel sitting at the bench on Sunday. Tom finished third overall this year.
IBS 1000-yard Nationals White Horse West Virginia

IBS 1000-yard Nationals White Horse West Virginia

Record-Setting Asymmetry
In 2016 Michael Gaizauskas set the current 1000-yard IBS Heavy Gun (10 shot) group and score records. He set those records with the rifle on the left (below), then chambered in 6.5×47 Lapua. In this match, Mike won LG Group and LG Overall with the rifle on the right as chambered in his own 7mm short magnum wildcat. Mike designed and built both these distinctive assymetric stocks.

IBS 1000-yard Nationals White Horse West Virginia

Prizes and Gift Certificates Galore at White Horse
The prize table at the IBS 1000-yard Nationals was impressive, with many scopes and stocks as prizes, plus a treasure trove of gift certificates:

IBS 1000-yard Nationals White Horse West Virginia

White Horse Shooting Center Facilities, Organization, and Location
The 1000-yard range used at the IBS 2017 Nationals is part of a large shooting facility run by Whitehorse Firearms Outdoor Education Center in cooperation with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. White Horse is located off of Route 20 near the small community of Peeltree, WV. The nearest town of any size, ten miles to the south, is Buckhannon, WV, which has about 5600 residents.

IBS 1000-yard Nationals White Horse West Virginia

White Horse Geography and Climate
The White Horse range is set in wooded hill country, with lots of creeks and some smaller rivers all kept green and running by an annual rainfall of about 48 inches and about the same for snowfall. To my eyes it is beautiful county, pleasingly rural and lush, in marked contrast to where I live where every plant must be served by some sort of irrigation.

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August 31st, 2017

IBS 1000-Yard Nationals in West Virginia This Weekend

Whitehorse Shooting Center WV

IBS logoThe White Horse Center Range near Peeltree, West Virginia, will host the 2017 National IBS 1000-Yard Nationals from September 1-3, 2017. This will be a great match — over 100 shooters have signed up so far, including many of the nation’s top 1K benchrest aces. It’s not too late to sign up. You can register (on-site) up until 5:00 pm on Friday, September 1. The current match fee is $90.00 per gun class, or $175.00 for both classes (Light Gun and Heavy Gun). The White Horse 1000-yard range will be open on Friday for sight-in and practice.

» CLICK HERE for IBS 2017 1000-Yard Nationals Registration Form

This record-setting offset (assymetical) Heavy Gun belongs to talented shooter Mike Gaizauskas.
IBS 1000-Yard Nationals White Horse whitehorse west virginia

2016 IBS 1000-Yard Overall (2-Gun) Champion Tom Mousel (below) will travel to West Virginia to defend his title this weekend at White Horse. Last year Tom posted a stunning 3.356″ Group Agg to win Light Gun Group as well. That’s a 1/3 MOA Agg at 1000 yards — truly remarkable precision.

Tom Mousel IBS 1000 yard national championship

The Deep Creek Tracker stock, with adjustable “keel”, is the hot ticket now in the 17-lb Light Gun class.
IBS 1000-yard nationals white horse WV

Match Schedule and Fees
Whitehorse Shooting Center MapThe 1K Nationals will be a 3-target Aggregate match for both Light Gun (LG) and Heavy Gun (HG) with six (6) targets total. Practice and Sight-in will be available Friday (9/1/2017). NOTE: There will be a $10.00 per target fee during practice days. Match fees for the Nationals are now $90 per gun ($45 per gun for juniors). All registrations MUST be received by 5:00 pm Friday, September 1st. No walk-up registrations will be accepted on match days.

How to Get There
The Center is located 9.7 miles south on State Route 20 from I-79, exit 115 or 10.1 miles north of Route 20 from Buckhannon. Look for a brown and yellow Dept. of Natural Resources sign on Route 20. Take Crouse Road to the next sign, turn right at the sign, and proceed up the hill to the Center. Map coordinates are: 39°, 7′, 11″ North latitude; 80°, 13′, 4″ West longitude. The White Horse Center website has information on area hotels and campgrounds.

White Horse Shooting Center IBS Nationals 1000 Yard

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April 13th, 2017

2016 600 Yard IBS National Championship

Big Piney 600 yard ibs nationals Missouri 600yd

This story involves a match held last fall, but we know many of our readers compete in the Mid-Range (600-Yard) Benchrest discipline and follow developments in this sport. Accordingly we’re offering this report on the 2016 IBS Nationals held at the Big Piney Sportsman’s Club in Houston, Missouri.

The 600-Yard Nationals at Big Piney last September was a great event that drew 82 shooters from 14 different states. Competitors traveled from as far away as Florida, Idaho, and North Dakota to compete in the 2016 600-Yard International Benchrest Shooters National Championship. The weather was great and so was the food. A good time was had by all, and shooters praised the facility and the efficient way the match was run. The IBS offers a big “thank you” to everyone involved in running this excellent match. Their hard work and dedication deserves recognition.

On the forearm of this Heavy Gun was painted: “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death”
Big Piney 600 yard ibs nationals Missouri 600yd

Two Gun Group Results | Heavy Gun Group Results | Light Gun Group Results

Here are the Class Winners at the 2016 IBS 600-yard Nationals in Missouri
Big Piney 600 yard ibs nationals Missouri 600yd

The opening morning for Light Gun class proved to be challenging, as the start time was pushed back one hour due to the fog settling in the firing line. By the second half of the eight targets to be shot, shooters began to settle in and take control of the conditions. The Missouri shooters stayed on top with Ben Peters winning light gun score with a 385. Jason Walker took the group win with a 2.008” through 8 targets. With Tom Jacobs, Darrel Dacus, Jim Bauer, and Carrol Lance rounding out the top 5 in Light Gun overall it was going to be a hard fight to the finish.

Click Image to View Larger Equipment List
Big Piney 600 yard ibs nationals Missouri 600yd
Look at the Caliber Column — Every Top 10 shooter in Light Gun Class shot either a 6mm BR Norma or a 6mm Dasher, an “Improved” version of the 6mm BR. In Heavy Gun it was 9 of 10 (with one unidentified 6.5mm). Hard to beat the 6mm BR and the Dasher for pure accuracy at 600 yards.

This competitor shot the match with a Labradar chronograph on his bench.
Big Piney 600 yard ibs nationals Missouri 600yd

On Sunday the Heavy Gun class started right on time with the clouds keeping Saturday’s fog in check. Relay 3 started the day off strong, putting it on top shelf for everyone to follow. The conditions seemed to stay pretty steady and helped create opportunities for competitors to shoot some amazing groups. Tom Jacobs came through with a 1.685 Heavy Gun group Aggregate. Rookie shooters Jim Kowske and TJ Stroop put on great Heavy Gun performances. Jim was second in Heavy gun group with 1.996” and TJ shot his way to second in score with a 384. Jason Walker hung on winning Heavy Gun score with a 389. This set up Jason as the Heavy Gun overall winner.

The Big Piney Range is a pretty facility surrounded by trees.
Big Piney 600 yard ibs nationals Missouri 600yd

Jason dominated the weekend landing himself a 2-Gun Overall Championship. The top Rookie honors went to T.J. Stroop. Sally Bauer won the Overall top female. Rory Jacobs was able to seal the top Junior spot. The Big Piney crew would like to thank everyone for being great friends and great competitors! We could not have done it without everyone!

The match organizers provided tasty BBQ banquets for hungry shooters.
Big Piney 600 yard ibs nationals Missouri 600yd

Here competitors relax between relays at the Big Piney facility.
Big Piney 600 yard ibs nationals Missouri 600yd

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April 4th, 2017

Hammerhead Stocks for Long-Range Benchrest

hammerhead stock Precision rifle tool Ray Bowman

hammerhead stock Precision rifle tool Ray BowmanWe know that many of our readers have never seen a “Hammerhead” benchrest stock before. This is a design with an extra wide section in the very front, tapering to a narrow width starting about 6″ back. When paired with a super-wide front sandbag, the hammerhead design provides added stability — just like having a wider track on a racing car. Some folks think mid-range and long-range benchrest stocks can only be 3″ wide. Not so — IBS and NBRSA rules now allow much wider fore-ends. While F-Class Open rules limit fore-end width to 3″ max, there is not such restriction on IBS or NBRSA Light Guns or Heavy Guns for 600- and 1000-yard competition. Here’s a 5″-wide Hammerhead design from Precision Rifle & Tool (PR&T).

Ray Bowman of PR&T sent us some photos of another hammerhead benchrest rig. Ray reports: “Here’s another benchrest rifle that Precision Rifle & Tool crafted. The customer shot this rifle at the 2014 IBS 1000-yard Nationals in West Virginia.” This IBS Light Gun sports PR&T’s “Low Boy Hammer Head” stock in red/black laminate. Other components are a 6mm BRUX 30″, 1:8″-twist barrel, Borden BR Action, and a PR&T 20 MOA scope rail.

hammerhead stock Precision rifle tool Ray Bowman

hammerhead stock Precision rifle tool Ray Bowman

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September 10th, 2014

Match Report — IBS 1000-Yard Nationals in West Virginia

IBS 1000 Yard Nationals Harry Jones West Virginia
Notice the narrow configuration of the Harry Jones Range. The 1000-yard targets are located below the tree line in the rear center of the picture.

Report by Jack Mulroy for IBS
This year’s IBS 1000-Yard National Match was held August 29-30 at the Harry Jones Range in Fairview, West Virginia. Attendance was good — there were 74 Light Gun shooters and 66 Heavy Gun competitors. After a tune-up day, the 1000-Yard Match for record started on Friday, August 29, and finished on Saturday, August 30, 2014. The 1000-Yard National Match is a three target Aggregate. You shoot three times for Light Gun and three times for Heavy Gun. I guess the reason you shoot at three targets is because anybody can get “lucky once” (such as a blind squirrel finding a nut). Shooting luck happens “when preparation and hard work meet opportunity”.

Mike Gaizaukas, World Record Shooter at Harry Jones Range on August 29, 2014
IBS 1000 Yard Nationals Harry Jones West Virginia

The overall Two-Gun Champion and match winner was Steve Waldrep with 32 rank points. Close behind, with 33 rank points, was Jim Bauer, who finished second overall. Waldrep dominated the Heavy Gun (HG) division, posting the best HG score and winning HG overall. Waldrep shot a .300 WSM Heavy Gun featuring Lawton action, Bartlein barrel, Byers stock, and Nightforce scope. Waldrep’s Light Gun was also chambered in .300 WSM. It had a Remington action, Bartlein barrel, McMillan stock, and Weaver scope. Jewell triggers on both guns.

Overall Winner Steve Waldrep (Left) with assist from Stanley Taylor (right)
IBS 1000 Yard Nationals Harry Jones West Virginia

In Light Gun division, James Isaacson put on an impressive show, winning LG overall and posting smallest LG group. Jim Bauer (second overall in the Two-Gun), posted the top LG score.

Top Shooters by Division
Two Gun Overall——— Steve Waldrep
Heavy Gun Overall——- Steve Waldrep
Heavy Gun Score——— Steve Waldrep
Heavy Gun Group——– Mike Gaizaukas
(1000-Yard World Record/2.871 inches)
Light Gun Overall——– James Isaacson
Light Gun Group——— James Isaacson
Light Gun Score——— Jim Bauer

IBS 1000 Yard Nationals Harry Jones West Virginia

Click Here for 2014 1K Nationals Complete Match Results (PDF).

World Record 2.871″ HG Group by Gaizaukus
Mike Gaizaukus shot the small HG group for the match — a stunning 2.871″ ten-shot group. Pending approval, Mike’s group should be a new IBS 1000-yard world record. Congrats to Mike for his record group. Mike’s record-setting gun featured a 1:10″-twist Krieger barrel chambered by Mark King in .300 WSM. Mike shot Berger 210gr VLDs with CCI BR2 primers.

IBS 1000 Yard Nationals Harry Jones West Virginia

IBS 1000 Yard Nationals Harry Jones West Virginia

The Harry Jones Range
Founded in 2008, this facility was named in memory of the former property owner Harry Jones who passed away a few years ago and is buried on top of the hill next to the range. Presently the property is being administered by Harry’s daughter, Jean Dawson. The property has been in the family since 1840. The 1000-yard shooting facility is a covered pavilion that has 13 shooting positions with ambidextrous concrete bench tops sitting on a concrete floor. Behind the pavilion is a covered ready line where the relays-in-waiting can stage their equipment. (For this shoot only 12 benches were used.)

IBS 1000 Yard Nationals Harry Jones West Virginia

Very Narrow Range — “Like Shooting Up a Holler”
The Harry Jones range is very unique — it’s very narrow in width, approximately 100 feet wide, and runs slightly uphill to the targets. As they say in West Virginia, “It’s like shooting up a Holler”. If there is such a thing as a “Wind God,” he’s alive and well at the Harry Jones Range. Some very good scores and groups have been recorded at this range (including a world record 2.871″ 10-shot group in this very match.) A longtime shooter friend of mine, Ralph, used to say when I would complain about the wind, “Jack, there is no such thing as wind, just sight adjustments”. Ralph was right, no matter what range you are shooting at, you have to deal with the wind through sight adjustments. Looks like Mike was “Right On” when he made his adjustments.

The management and membership of this range have come a long way in developing this range over the last few years. Trees had to be removed, gravel put down, buildings built, creek flow re-routed, target areas built, and shooting benches installed. But the effort was worth it — Harry Jones has become a very serviceable range that is a great place to shoot.

The Harry Jones range is not blessed with much “elbow room,” due to the configuration of the range, but through thoughtful placement of the firing line and ready area, the range is doable. At this match, there were 74 light gun and 66 heavy gun shooters. This match was well managed and ran smoothly, but parking space was at a premium. In my estimation the 2014 1000-Yard Nationals were at capacity with the number of shooters registered.

IBS 1000 Yard Nationals Harry Jones West Virginia

$27,000 Prize Table (with Lots of Scopes)
Roughly $27,000 worth of prizes were awarded at this year’s 1000-Yard match. Valuable prizes included Nightforce scopes, stocks, rests, bullets and more. Two of the nicest gifts presented at the match were a pair of quilts made by property owner Jean Dawson. Thanks Jean! That was a very generous gift that a shooter and his family will treasure for years. Many thanks should go to Stanley Taylor from Douglas Barrel for his time and energy in acquiring most of the prizes presented at the match.

IBS 1000 Yard Nationals Harry Jones West Virginia
IBS 1000 Yard Nationals Harry Jones West Virginia

Serious Artillery on Display — Rick Murphy’s Metal-Stocked Heavy Gun
The prettiest gun and gun rest at the match belonged to Rick Murphy of Adamsville, Tennessee. The barrel was originally 36 inches long, but was shortened to 30 inches. The gun now shoots much better after the reduction in barrel length. This Heavy Gun and rest set-up were probably the most expensive pieces of equipment at the 1000-Yard match. Rick has been working on this rig for the last three years and has put countless hours into the production of his gun and gun rest. Rick placed 13th in the Heavy Gun overall.

IBS 1000 Yard Nationals Harry Jones West Virginia

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April 7th, 2014

Best 10-Shot, 1000-Yard Group in History — Be Amazed

Ten shots… 1000 yards … 2.6872″. Think about that. Ten shots you could cover up with a coffee cup. That’s some amazing shooting. Is this a world record? Consider this — we believe this is the smallest 10-shot group ever shot at 1000 yards in any form of rifle competition, by anyone, anywhere, anytime. It is smaller than the existing Williamsport Light Gun and Heavy Gun 1K records. The IBS and NBRSA do not shoot 10 rounds for Light Gun, but this 2.6872″ group is smaller than the current IBS (3.044″) and NBRSA (4.322″) ten-shot HEAVY GUN records.

Jim Richards Montana Missoula Deep Creek Williamsport World Record

This amazing group was shot by Jim Richards at the Deep Creek Range outside Missoula, Montana during the 4th Light Gun Relay of a 1000-yard match. Jim was shooting the small 6mm Dasher cartridge with 105gr Berger bullets. Fellow Deep Creek Shooter Tom Mousel says this should be a new world record. The Deep Creek Range shoots under Williamsport rules, with ten shots for Light Gun. The current Williamsport Light Gun record (as listed) is 3.835″ by Cody Finch in 2006, but we’re told that Paul Martinez shot a 3.505″ at Williamsport last year. If approved at 2.6872″, Jim Richards’ new record is 23% smaller than the 3.505″ previous record. That’s remarkable — Jim Richards utterly demolished the previous mark. (As measured, Jim’s group is also smaller than the current Williamsport Heavy Gun record, 2.815″ by Matt Kline in 2010.)

Jim Richards Montana Missoula Deep Creek Williamsport World Record

The Record-setting rifle features a Borden action, Shehane ST 1000 fiberglass stock, and Nightforce Benchrest scope. The Krieger barrel was chambered by King Machine for the 6mm Dasher, with a 0.269″ neck and 0.103″ freebore. Jim Richards was running Berger 105gr Hybrid bullets.

The rifle was purchased used from Tim Claunch. We suspect Tim wishes he had not parted with it! Any gun that can put ten shots under three inches at 1000 yards is a “keeper”, that’s for sure.

Forum member Wayne B. says: “I am really happy for Jim. He has asked 1000 questions, slept in his pickup, upgraded his equipment, bought a rifle from another friend of mine and now he is a world record-holder. The men and women who shoot at Deep Creek in Missoula Montana are the best group of shooters in the world bar none! They will give you all the info you need to win and if you don’t have what you need they will loan it to ya, up to and including a rifle and ammo.”

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March 16th, 2014

Super-Wide Forearms Add Stability to Benchrest Rifles

Most long-range benchrest stocks are three inches wide because that used to be the max width under the rules for Light Gun Class. Many folks may not realize that the IBS, the NBRSA, and the Williamsport organizations have all modified their Light Gun rules to allow wider forearm widths in registered competition. A wider stock provides increased stability and resists rotation (torquing) as the gun is fired. If you’re building a new Light Gun, you may want to consider a 4″-wide or 5″-wide forearm. Do check the rules of your local club or regional organization to ensure the wider width is allowed in the matches you attend. And if you plan to shoot F-Class as well, stick to 3″. Under F-Class (Open) rules, “the width of the rifle’s forend shall not exceed 76mm (approximately 3 inches)”.

Wider Forearm Stock Options
Most stock-makers still only offer a 3″-wide forearm width with their Light Gun long-range benchrest stocks. However, there are some other options. On request, Joel Russo, Russo Rifle Stocks, can cut a stock with 4″-wide forearm, but that’s not a standard pattern.

If you want a 4″-5″ wide version of the popular MBR Tooley-style long-range stock, Bill Shehane offers a ‘Big Dawg’ version of his MBR Tracker stock. This features a longer, deeper, and wider fore-end for added stability and more resistance to torque with the heavy calibers. Along with having a wider forearm, the Big Dawg stock is cut 4″ longer than a standard Shehane ST-1000 Tracker. This provides a “longer wheelbase” for better balance with very long (30″+) barrels. (The ST-1000 itself is 3″ longer than most benchrest stocks.) The Big Dawg is available with a 4″-wide or 5″-wide forearm, and will handle barrels up to 40″ in length and 1.5″ in diameter. In the top photo, taken by Forum member Preacher, you see a 4″-wide Big Dawg next to a normal ST-1000 Tracker. (Both stocks are symmetrical; there is distortion caused by wide-angle lens.)

This color pattern is what Bill calls “Prairie Dog Camo”, a Rutland laminate in orange and dark gray, with olive ‘accent’ layers. The price for a ‘Big Dawg’ in Rutland laminate is $625. In African Obeche wood (any color choice), the price is $855.00. For more info, contact Bill Shehane at (704) 824-7511, or visit his website, www.ScopeUsOut.com.

Wide Stocks for Rimfire Benchrest
Ultra-wide stocks are also legal in many rimfire benchrest disciplines. Shown below is a rimfire rifle built with a 4″-wide Shehane Big Dawg stock. This gun is used in ARA Unlimited competition. Extra-wide stocks like this can also be used in the IR 50/50 Unlimited Class and RBA Unlimited Class.

Why use a wide stock for rimfire where recoil is not an issue? The extra width definitely provides more stability in the bags. This is noticeable when cycling the action during the loading process — the gun shows less “wiggle” when opening and closing the bolt. The larger mass of wood also, potentially, provides additional vibration damping. A wider stock design carries more weight (per inch of length) and more mass is distributed outboard. Initial testing shows that the wide stocks work well for rimfire shooters who like to grip their gun — the gun feels “planted” with less wobble when the stock is gripped or cheeked by the shooter.

Joe Friedrich Big Dawg rimfire rifle Shehane tracker

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July 14th, 2013

IBS 600-Yard Competitors Set Multi-Target Records at Piedmont

Report by Samuel Hall (AccurateShooter.com Field Editor)
July 13th was a great day for breaking records. Three shooters have potentially broken four IBS 600-yard records (pending final approval) at the Piedmont Range in Rutherfordton, NC. Conditions were excellent and three shooters had outstanding multi-target performances. Mike Hanes, Chad Jenkins, and Randy Peele were tuned in and took advantage of the great weather. The entire day was overcast with a slight 3-5 MPH breeze, misting rain at times. It was one of the only days I can remember we could see bullet holes all day!

Chad Jenkins Shoots a 199 Four-target Score at 600 Yards
In Light Gun, Chad Jenkins posted a 199 Score Agg, just one point shy of a perfect 200 score for four targets. Consider this — at 600 yards, Chad put 19 out of 20 shots into a circle 2.8″ in diameter, dropping just one shot out of the 10-Ring on four consecutive targets. That’s impressive. We believe this is the highest 4-target Score Agg ever shot with any rifle. (In Light Gun, Stephen Hall posted a 198 in 2012, and in Heavy Gun class Eric Wilson had a 198 in 2011). Chad took advantage of the good conditions to post his 199 score (with 1.954″ group size tie breaker). Chad was shooting a standard (not improved) 6mmBR with no-turn necks. Chad’s Light Gun features a BAT MB dual-port action, Shehane ST-1000 stock, Krieger 1:8″ twist barrel, and Leupold 45X scope. Chad has several hundred rounds on this rifle and has one other record with it. Chad has done a lot of winning the last couple of years with his 6BR. He shoots Berger 105gr Target VLDs in blue box Lapua brass, pushed by 30.3 grains of Varget and CCI 450 primers. Chad shoots with a modestly-priced Caldwell joystick front rest. Chad proved that you don’t need the most exotic equipment to set records.

Chad Jenkins IBS Heavy Gun Piedmont

Mike Hanes Sets New Light Gun and Two-Gun Group Agg Records
Mike potentially broke the Light Gun (LG) four-target group aggregate record with a 1.496 Agg, bettering the old record of 1.5009 shot by Chad Jenkins in 2012. Mike also potentially broke the eight-target, Two-Gun (LG and HG) Group Agg record with a 1.7885 Aggregate. The old record was 1.8120 shot by Charlie Macke in 2012. In LG Mike was shooting a no-turn-neck 6 Dasher with a Brux 1:8″ twist barrel and Shehane ST-1000 stock. On his Light Gun, Mike was using one of the new Nightforce 15-55x52mm Competition scopes. I looked through it and I will have to say it is great glass! Mike’s load was: Berger 105 VLDs, with 32.7 grains of Reloder 15 powder sparked by CCI 450s. In Heavy Gun class, Mike shot a 6mm Dasher in a true heavy chassis — a 55-pound aluminum Gary Alvey stock formerly owned by Mike Davis. (See this beast below. This same stock had set a record in the hands of Mike Davis.)

Mike Hanes IBS Heavy Gun Piedmont

Randy Peele Ties Heavy Gun 4-Target Score Record
Later in the afternoon in the Heavy Gun division, Randy Peele was on fire. Randy posted a first in group (1.894″) and a first in 4-target score (198) against some fierce competition. This ties the HG score record and is just off the tie-breaker group by a few thousandths. It will be submitted to the IBS Record Committee also. Congratulations of some fine shooting guys!

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May 11th, 2013

Amazing! Wagner Shoots 0.349″ (50-2X) Group at 600 Yards

Rodney Wagner 0.349 IBS Light Gun RecordThis is one of the most amazing feats of precision shooting ever recorded. In an IBS 600-yard Benchrest match today at the Piedmont range (Rutherfordton, NC), Forum member Rodney Wagner shot a 0.349″ five-shot group at 600 yards. That smashes the existing 0.699″ IBS Light Gun Record (and it’s way smaller than the NBRSA record as well). To top that, the group was centered up for a 50-2X score, which establishes another record (50 score with small-group tie-breaker). Rodney (aka “Eggman” on the Forum) was shooting a 17-lb IBS Light Gun with a Brux barrel chambered for the 6mm Dasher, a popular improved version of the 6mm BR Norma cartridge. Rodney was shooting 32.5 grains of Varget, with CCI 450 primers, and Berger 108gr BTs, seated .020″ away from the lands.

Stay tuned — we will have more information soon. Our friend Sam Hall was on hand to interview Rodney at the Piedmont range. Click “PLAY” button below to hear Rodney talk about his rifle and his load:

Rodney Wagner Talks about his 0.349″ 600-yard Group (Click PLAY to Hear Audio)

[haiku url=”http://accurateshooter.net/Video/wagnertalks.mp3″ title=”Wagner Talks about 600-Yard Record Group”]

Rodney Wagner 0.349 IBS Light Gun Record

Record-Breaking Family — Like Son, Like Father
Here’s an interesting factoid: In 2008, Rodney’s teen-age son set the IBS 600-yard Light Gun record with a .711″ five-shot group, combined with an Aggregate of 1.628″. That Agg was itself an IBS record (until Chad Jenkins recorded an 1.5009″ Agg in 2012). Rodney’s son was shooting a 6BRX. The 600-yard group record was then lowered by Rodney’s friend Sam Hall, who shot a 0.699″ group in 2010. Sam also set the current 600-yard LG score record with a perfect 50, but that should be eclipsed by Rodney’s 50 score based on tie-breaker by group size.

Look at that target and try not to be astonished! When this editor saw the group, I was honestly stunned and speechless. Consider this, one MOA at 600 yards is 6.282 inches. So Rodney’s 0.349″ group works out to 0.055 MOA. That’s what a mid-zero group at 600 yards looks like boys and girls….

Rodney Wagner 0.349 IBS Light Gun Record

Rodney Wagner 0.349 IBS Light Gun Record

  • Equipment: BAT Model B action (RBLP Rt Eject), Brux HV-contour barrel (29″), Jewell trigger, March 10-60x52mm (Tactical knobs, Burris Rings), Shehane ST1000 fiberglass Tracker stock.
  • Chambering: 6mm Dasher (.268″ Neck, .114″ Freebore, Necks turned to 0.265″)
  • Load: Lapua 6mmBR brass formed to 6mm Dasher, 32.5 grains Hodgdon Varget, CCI 450 Primers, Berger 108gr Boat-Tails seated .020″ away from lands (jumping).
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition 17 Comments »
March 26th, 2013

IBS Kicks Off 2013 with Bridgeville 600-Yard Matches

Match Report by Mike Wallace for the IBS, with photos by Hillary Martinez and Dean Breeden. This is the first in a series of in-depth match reports published jointly by the IBS and Accurateshooter.com.

Bridgeville 600 yard benchrest match

The Bridgeville Rifle and Pistol Club (Bridgeville, DE) held 600-yard IBS matches on March 16 and 17 — a separate match on each day. These two matches were the final competitions counting towards Bridgeville’s 600-yard Shooter of the Year honors. Turn-out was strong, with 21 Light Gun (LG), 17 Heavy Gun (HG), and 1 Factory Class competitors. On Day 1, weather (for Bridgeville) was good, with temperatures as high as 54° F, winds less than gale force, periods of overcast and bright sun. On the 17th the shooters braved more challenging conditions. Temps ranged from the low 30s to as high as 40 degrees, with more wind than the previous day and snow flurries in the afternoon.

Bridgeville 600 yard benchrest match

Topping the podium on March 16th for the Two-Gun Aggregate were Dewey Hancock (1st), Roy Hunter (2nd), and Craig Rowe (3rd). Top performers by Class were Dewey Hancock (2.3855 HG Group), Carey Lamb (196-2X, HG Score), Craig Rowe (2.2703 LG Group), Michael Wallace (189-2X, LG Score), and Robert Jones (4.9845, Factory Group; 172-2X Factory Score).

On March 17th, Craig Rowe, Roy Hunter, and Dewey Hancock finished first, second, and third respectively in the Two-Gun Agg. Class Winners were Jerry Ware (2.7213, HG Group), Roy Hunter (189-3X, HG Score), Dewey Hancock (2.1359, LG Group), and Craig Rowe (188-1X, LG Score). Robert Jones again won for group (6.9494) and score (159-0x) in the Factory Class.

Shooters L to R Craig Rowe, Roy Hunter, Dewey Hancock.
Bridgeville 600 yard benchrest match

16 March Match Results (Excel) | 17 March Match Results (Excel) | Equipment List (Excel)
16 March Match Results (PDF) | 17 March Match Results (PDF) | Equipment List (PDF)

Bridgeville 600 yard benchrest matchCompetition is very keen at Bridgeville. Richard Timmons, Match Director, said, “It can be challenging….it can cause you to talk to yourself!” Rookies and those interested in taking up the sport are gladly welcomed and mentored. When asked his advice for new shooters in the sport, Richard said, “Factory Class is the best place to start for beginning shooters. There are some good factory guns out there that will shoot 600 yards.”

The Bridgeville matches showcased a bright, young talent. 12-year-old Kevin Donalds Jr., the youngest competitor at the two-day event, is already a shooter to be reckoned with — Kevin placed 2nd in Light Gun Group (2.5343) at the March 17th Match. Woe unto many of us later because Kevin plans on staying in the sport a long time!

Like Father, like Son… Kevin Donalds Sr. and Kevin Donalds Jr.
Bridgeville 600 yard benchrest match

At this match, Bridgeville honored its 600-yard Shooters of the Year (SOY). Earning hard-fought SOY honors were the following shooters (listed 1st, 2nd and 3rd place for each Class).

Bridgeville Rifle & Pistol Club 600-Yard Shooters of the Year
Light Gun
1. Roy Hunter
2. Dewey Hancock
3. Craig Rowe
Heavy Gun
1. Roy Hunter
2. Dewey Hancock
3. Bobby Mallory
Factory Class
1. Robert Jones
2. Terry Balding
3. Charles Thuet
Two-Gun
1. Dewey Hancock
2. Roy Hunter
3. Craig Rowe

Shooting at Bridgeville is Fun and Challenging
Bridgeville 600 yard benchrest matchDewey Hancock is a rookie in his second year in the sport and is making a mark as you can see from match results and Shooter of the Year standings at Bridgeville R&P Club. He advises, “Good bench handling, good equipment, a good gunsmith, and good loading practice — these things will make you shoot with the good guys. You want to stay consistent in this game and that will eventually get you some wins.” When asked who his biggest competitor is, he smiled and said, “The wind!”, but then slipped in Roy Hunter’s name for 600 yards and Dean Breeden for the short range game. Dewey also stated what many of us in the sport know – “It is fun and the whole family can do it.”

Craig Rowe, in the sport for seven years shooting 600 yards and Score, said: “Bridgeville is a great place to shoot – great people – great food – and lots of great competition.” Craig cautions: “Don’t think you’re going to come here, walk in and steal the show, because there are a lot of good shooters.”

About the Bridgeville Club
The Bridgeville Rifle & Pistol Club, Ltd. was established over 50 years ago. The primary activity was NRA High Power Rifle competition at 200, 300 and 600 yards. There are 12 firing points on the High Power range. The Club recently opened its 1000-yard range, which also has firing points at 800 and 900 yards and is used for NRA Long Range Competition (Conventional, Fullbore, Palma, and F-Class) and IBS matches. The Club also has a multi-purpose range with a covered, concrete firing line with 15 benches and impact areas at 100, 200 and 300 yards. A pistol range has covered, concrete firing points and backstops at 25 and 50 yards. Another pistol range is open with five shooting lanes. This range is used for IDPA-style shooting, SASS (Cowboy Action) and Action Pistol. One 600-yard HG Score record has been set by Hal Drake at Bridgeville. For more information, visit www.Bville-rifle-pistol.org.

Bridgeville 600 yard benchrest match

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August 1st, 2012

Two LG Benchrest World Records in One Day for Scott Weber

Long-range benchrest shooter Scott Weber had a pretty decent day at the range last Saturday — to put it mildly. Shooting his 6mm Dasher in a Williamport (PA) 1000-yard match, Scott recorded two new Light Gun world records, breaking a record set by Scott’s own father (Frank Weber) in the process.

Scott Weber Light Gun 10-shot record 1000 yards

Scott Weber Light Gun 10-shot record 1000 yards

Early in the day, Scott shot a 3.746″ (99-1X) 10-shot group which beat the existing group-size record, a 3.835″ group shot at the Montana Deep Creek Range in 2006. Then, in the shoot-off, Scott drilled a 100-6X score to top the existing score record held by his father Frank Weber. Interestingly, Frank’s 2012 record was also a 100-6X, but Scott has the smaller group — 4.007″ vs. Frank’s 4.237″ — so Scott will be credited with the record. Well at least he kept it in the family!

Scott Weber Light Gun 10-shot record 1000 yards

Scott reports: “It’s unbelievable to set one record but two in one day on different relays — it doesn’t seem real. All I wanted to do was win the shoot off since I never won one since I’ve been shooting. My dad is happy for me , but he told me ‘don’t look back’ because he is coming to get his record back!”

INSIDE STORY — Rifle Specs and Load Details
Scott Tells us: “Mark King built the rifle. It is similar to my dad’s Light Gun that Mark also built. It has a Sitman (Master Class) stock with 2-inch rail in the back, BAT 3-lug action, Broughton barrel with Mark King brake, and a Jewell trigger. My scope is a Leupold 8.5-25X, MK IV.” The Broughton barrel is chambered for the 6mm Dasher with a 0.266″ neck. Scott turns his necks to about 10.5 thousandths thickness and runs 0.261″ neck tension.

Two Loads for Two Records
Scott used two different loads during the match: “The load I used for the group record was 32.7 grains Varget with CCI primers, 107gr VLD custom bullet, seated +.010 into the lands. These 107gr VLDs were experimental bullets I just recently received. I used a different load in the shoot-off when I broke the score record. That load was 33.7 grains Varget, CCI primers, 105 Berger hunting VLD, seated +.010 into lands. The Bergers were trimmed and pointed hard with a Hoover pointing die.” [Editor’s Note: The 33.7 grain load is very stout and may be UNSAFE in some Rifles. Both listed loads should only be used with fully-formed Dasher cases.]

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April 11th, 2012

Spotlight: Ron Boyd’s Light Gun and Henry Pasquet’s Heavy Gun

After we ran our Bulletin news item about Ron Boyd’s amazing 1.462″ 5-shot group at 1000 yards, many readers wanted to see some close-up photos of Ron’s rig. Thanks to Robert Ross of the MidWest Benchrest Club, we have some photos of Ron with his ultra-accurate 6mm Dasher 17-lb Light Gun. This rifle features a BAT SV action, Precision Rifle & Tool (PR&T) “Hammerhead stock” with 5″-wide front wings, Nightforce 12-42 Benchrest scope, and Jewell trigger. Ron had just added a 30″ 1:8″-twist Bartlein barrel to the gun before shooting the 1.462″ group. That barrel only had about 40 rounds through it when it produced the near-record group. The barrel in photos below was a 28″ Benchmark, recently replaced with the new Bartlein. Ron’s ultra-accurate 6 Dasher load consists of surplus Long Range Match powder, with Spencer 103gr bullets. Ron also anneals his Dasher brass after every firing.

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Ron boyd 1.462 at 1000 yards

Henry Pasquet’s .284 Win Heavy Gun
At the same Midwest Benchrest Club IBS match where Ron shot his small five-shot group, Henry Pasquet drilled a very impressive 3.348″ ten-shot group. This group was just .304″ off the IBS 10-shot Heavy Gun record of 3.044″ shot by Joel Pendergraft in 2009. We are told that Henry was running a straight .284 Winchester. You can see in the inset photos below that Henry uses a tuner on his barrel. He also has fitted an extra-wide front sled and a machined rear “keel” to reduce torque and improve tracking. Henry can adjust windage and elevation with BOTH his Fulghum front rest (from Randolph Machine) and his adjustable rear rest.

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Henry Pasquet 1000 yards

Permalink Competition, News 4 Comments »
November 18th, 2011

Seb’s Wild 6 PPC + .284 Win Fat-Bottom Hammerhead Convertible

You interested in a really wild, innovative bench gun that can shoot both short-range and long-range matches? Check out Seb Lambang’s latest “do-it-all” rifle. It’s a switch-barrel rifle combining two very different chamberings: 6 PPC and .284 Winchester. With that caliber combo, Seb’s covered from 100 yards (LV/HV mode) all the way out to 1000 (LR Light Gun mode). But the dual chambering is not the rifle’s only trick feature. Exploiting the new long-range benchrest rules, Seb has fitted a 3″-wide, flat rear metal keel to the buttstock. That counter-balances his 30″-long 7mm barrel, improves tracking, and adds stability. Seb built the stock and smithing was done by Australian gunsmith David Kerr.

Seb Lambang 6PPC .284 Win Benchrest hammerhead

Detachable Hammerhead Wing Section Plus Fat-Bottom Keel
To further reduce torque and improve tracking, the stock features an 8″-wide, detachable fore-end fixture. This “hammerhead” fore-end section has extended “wings” on both sides, making the rifle super-stable. The hammerhead unit can be removed, leaving the stock 3″ wide for use in registered benchrest matches where 3″ is the maximum width. The photos below show Seb’s gun in .284 Win Long-Range (LR) Light Gun mode.

Seb Lambang 6PPC .284 Win Benchrest hammerhead

Yes This Rig Shoots … In Both Configurations, Long-Range and Short
Seb has already used his switch-caliber, switch-barrel rig successfully in competition. Seb tells us: “The gun shot and tracked real well either in 6 PPC LV/HV mode or in .284 Win LG mode. I love it! With this gun I placed Top 10 for the Two-Gun at the Harry Madden Championship in Brisbane, Australia just a few days ago and took the silver medal for the 500m Flyshoot with the .284 Win on the next day. So who says a switch-barrel rifle can’t (or doesn’t) work?” And get this, Seb finished the stock just four days before the Brisbane match. He glued-in the action the evening before the match and shot it the next day in competition. Pretty impressive we’d say….

Seb Lambang 6PPC .284 Win Benchrest hammerhead

6 PPC and .284 Win Convertible Rifle Specifications
Action: Stolle Panda Short Action (glue-in plus front/rear alum. pillars), Right Bolt, Right Port, Right Eject, .473 bolt face.
LV/HV Weight: Rifle weighs 10.4 lbs in 6 PPC mode (no keel, no front wings).
LV/HV Barrel: Krieger 21.5″ OAL, 6mm (6 PPC, .270″ neck), 1:14″ twist.
Light Gun Weight: 15.5 lbs in .284 Mode with 3″ rear aluminum keel and 8″ fore-end attachment.
Light Gun Barrel: Maddco 30″ OAL, 7mm (.284 Win, .316″ neck), 1:9″ twist.
Metal: Home-made, one-piece scope base with +15 MOA scope rings.

Sebastian Lambang Hammerhead 6PPC

Seb Lambang — Indonesian Innovator
If you don’t know already, Seb Lambang is the designer/builder of the innovative SEB Coaxial rests. These are some of the best joystick rests on the market. The latest version, the SEB Neo Rest, is a brilliant design that folds flat for transport, yet offers extended vertical and horizontal travel and a rest top that can adjust from roughly 2″ wide to over 6″ in width. This Editor uses a SEB Neo for both bench and F-Class shooting and it is my favorite joystick rest. Rest in photos is a SEB Neo MAX.

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing, New Product 4 Comments »
September 25th, 2010

Check out the Williamsport Long-Range BR School

It’s been over a year since Sebastian Reist drove out to Pennsylvania to participate in the 2009 Williamsport 1000-yard BR school. A talented professional photographer, Sebastian did a superb job capturing the highlights of his Williamsport 1K training weekend in a marvelous slideshow, complete with sound track. Photos and slideshow courtesy www.sreistphotography.com.

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If you haven’t viewed this video when we first ran it, you’re in for a treat. Sebastian captured some talented shooters in “mid-string” and he snapped some beautiful photos of the Williamsport facility. This is the same range where Matt Kline set a Williamsport 1000-yard world record, placing 10 shots from his 300 WSM heavy gun in just 2.815″. All shots were well-centered up for a 100-4X score. If you want to “run with the big dogs” in 1000-yard Benchrest competition, the Williamsport facility is a great place to learn. A lot has changed in the past 40 years. Compare the current deluxe covered shooting bays with Williamsport, circa 1968.

Williamsport Club

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