August 9th, 2016

Hail the 2016 High Power and Long Range National Champions

Norman Norm Houle High Power John Whidden 2016 National Long Range High Power Championship Camp Perry Barnard Action

We congratulate Norman Houle, the 2016 National High Power Champion, and John Whidden, the 2016 National Long Range Champion. Norm secured his win with an impressive 2384-130X score. Along with the title of National Champion, Norm received a Mumma Trophy Plaque, a National Champion Medallion, Krieger Barrels Certificate, Trijicon Scope, and Geissele Certificate. In second place was last year’s champion, SFC Brandon Green of the USAMU. Brandon, who won the 2015 and 2013 High Power Championships, finished with a score of 2381-120X. In third place was SGT Nick Mowrer with 2381-114X, a very impressive score with a Service Rifle. (SGT Mowrer won the Service Rifle Championship.)

Norman Norm Houle High Power John Whidden 2016 National Long Range High Power Championship Camp Perry Barnard Action

John Whidden is always strong at Camp Perry (file photo from past event).
John Whidden 2016 National High Power Championship Camp Perry Barnard Action

Whidden Wins Long Range Championship
In the Long Range Competition (Tompkins Trophy Match), John Whidden of Whidden Gunworks topped the field with a very strong 1240-77X performance. This victory secured John’s fourth Long Range National title. As in the High Power Championship, in the Long Range event SFC Brandon Green also finished in second place (1238-67X). Rounding out the Long Range podium was William Gelet with a 1238-57X tally. With his Long Range Championship win, Whidden took home a Tompkins Trophy Plaque, a Gold Championship Medallion, and a $500 Berger Bullets Certificate.

John campaigned three rifles he smithed himself. These feature Barnard actions in modified Anschutz smallbore stocks. For the open-caliber events, John shot .243 Win-chambered rifles with 6mm 105gr Berger Hybrids. For the Palma matches he shot a .308 Win with 155gr Berger Hybrids. John’s ammo was loaded on Whidden dies of course. During the Long Range cycle, matches were shot with both iron sights and scopes. John had two different .243 Win rifles, one fitted with iron sights, the other with a scope.

Norman Norm Houle High Power John Whidden 2016 National Long Range High Power Championship Camp Perry Barnard Action

High Power Hardware: The Guns of Perry

We thought our readers would like to see some of the ultra-accurate rifles campaigned by High Power competitors at Camp Perry. Both bolt-action and self-loading rifles are popular. Among bolt guns, Tubb 2000s and Eliseo tubeguns are popular. Semi-auto AR platform “Space Guns” offer some advantages (particularly during rapid-fire and for standing position), and are favored by many of the top marksmen. Many Camp Perry High Power competitors are also shooting less exotic AR service rifles.

Tubb 2000 with a shortened handguard, and custom hand support bracket forward of mag well.
Camp Perry AR15 Tubegun High Power Space Gun Tubb 2000 Rifle Standing

The modern AR Space Gun, scoped version. Note the side charging handle, and absence of forward assist. A block fitted under the handguard helps with the standing position. The scope is mounted on a “piggy-back” rail that extends forward of upper receiver’s built-in rail.
Camp Perry AR15 Tubegun High Power Space Gun Tubb 2000 Rifle Standing

Photos Courtesy NRABlog.com.

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July 29th, 2015

SFC Brandon Green Wins National High Power Championship

Brandon Green NRA High Power Championship 2015

Congratulations to SFC Brandon Green on winning the 2015 NRA National High Power Championship. Green shot an impressive 2387-140X to earn his second High Power title, finishing ahead of past Champion Norman Houle (2380-126X) and USAMU team-mate SFC Shane Barnhart (2379-127X). Brandon told AccurateShooter.com: “It’s a great honor and privilege to shoot and compete with such great people here at camp Perry. We had a great match this year and I already look forward to seeing everyone next year.”

Over 260 shooters competed in this year’s High Power Championship events. CLICK HERE to view complete match results, with overall rankings, as well as category-specific results.

It was a well-deserved win for Green, who had to over-come the effects of a nasty spider bite on his right arm (see photo). Joe Caley observed: “Our man Brandon Green and his new-found Spiderman powers pulled off another great Championship. Years from now, no one will remember the 2015 Championship [scores], but they will remember Brandon Green’s Spider Bite!”

Brandon Green NRA High Power Championship 2015

SFC Green expressed gratitude to all those who assisted his efforts: “I just want to say thank you to all of my friends and family who support and help us do what we love to do. Thank you for all of the hard work, congratulations, and encouraging words. From the USAMU support team to the friends on the range and back home, I feel blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful people. THANK YOU!”

Here are the Top Ten Finishers, ranked by score for all Classifications:

1. SFC Brandon Green (HM) 2387-140X U.S. Army, Service Match Rifle
2. Norman Houle (HM) 2380-126X Civilian Match Rifle
3. SFC Shane Barnhart (HM) 2379-127X U.S. Army, Service Match Rifle
4. Rodrigo Rosa (HM) 2374-106X Civilian Match Rifle
5. MSG Robert Mango (HM) 2372-104X U.S. Army Reserve, Service Rifle (NRA Rule 3.1)
6. SGT Lee Bahten (HM) 2370-116X U.S. Army, Service Rifle (NRA Rule 3.1)
7. Joseph Hendricks (HM) 2369-82X Civilian Match Rifle
8. Ronald Zerr (HM) 2367-112X Civilian Match Rifle
9. CPT Samuel Freeman (HM) 2367-96X U.S Army Reserve, Service Rifle (NRA Rule 3.1)
10. Kenneth Lankford (HM) 2367-95X Civilian Match Rifle

CLICK HERE for Complete Results from NRA 2015 High Power National Championships.

2015 NRA High Power National Championships

2015 NRA High Power National Championships

Bernosky Forced to Withdraw Due to Medical Issues
Report by NRABlog.com
This is the second championship for SFC Green, whose first win came two years ago in 2013 after a tie with legendary shooter Carl Bernosky at 2384-126X each. Although both possessed the same point total and X-Count, Green was ultimately awarded the championship after a rulebook-mandated comparison of Xs at each distance gave him the advantage.

Bernosky, a ten-time NRA High Power Rifle champion, withdrew from this year’s competition after the first day (while in sole possession of first place) due to medical complications.

“This win is kind of bittersweet because Carl wasn’t able to be out here. We are pretty good friends and we’re both super competitive people so I wanted to shoot against him,” Green said. “Carl is one of the best competitors I’ve ever seen in this sport, Norm too, and it’s nice to be able to shoot with these guys every year.”

Range photos from 2015 HP Nat’l Championships courtesy NRABlog.com.

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September 5th, 2014

How Joe Hendricks Won the 2014 High Power Championship

Joe Hendricks of Team Remington is the 2014 NRA High Power National Champion. This is Joe’s first National High Power championship, and he accomplished it through a gutsy, come-from-behind victory on the final day. This was no easy win for Joe, aka “Joesr” on our AccurateShooter Forum.

Here’s the story of Joe’s 2014 victory at Camp Perry. One thing that made Joe’s victory even more memorable was that both Joe’s father and Joe’s son were there to witness the win. Three generations of Hendricks men were at Camp Perry to see his achievement. That’s a great thing for a family.

Team Remington Joeseph Hendricks 6CM H1000 Camp Perry High Power Championship AccurateShooter Forum

Down by Too Many Points and Too Many Xs
By Joe Hendricks, Nat’l High Power Champion (2014)
On the last day of the High Power Championship, believe it or not I felt no pressure — because I really didn’t think I had a chance to win it all. I knew the leaders would clean the day and my only hope was that possibly one or two would falter enough to allow me third place. All I was trying to do was shoot Xs, so that I could move past two of the people in front of me and (maybe) secure 3rd place. I started the day tied for third on points with two other competitor, but in fifth place when you figured in X-count.

Yes I was watching the board going into the final day and so many people say “Don’t watch the board!”. However, for me, looking at the board motivates me.

The best I could do at 300 yards was a 200-6X, with nice groups, but not centered. That was not enough Xs and I knew I wasn’t moving up the leader board. I knew that simply shooting a 200 score wasn’t going to cut it and I still had work to do to get onto the podium (i.e. earn third place). At that point I figured I was still tied for third (disregarding X-count).

So I went to the 600-yard line with goal of getting on to the podium. I was shooting for third at that point. I figured maybe with two cleans I could grab third place.

Understand I know my competition and I know I’m shooting against the best High Power marksmen in the world. There were two people who have won this match before and several deserving champions just behind. So at this point, I’m wasn’t giving myself a chance to win — I was hoping to place third.

The first string at 600 yards went well with nothing less than a 10. I shot a normal 200-10X, meaning 10s and Xs were mixed up with no wide shots. Apparently others faltered when I shot clean (all 10s or Xs) — I didn’t know that after the first string at 600 I was actually in the lead….

Click Image to See Full-Size Photo
Team Remington Joeseph Hendricks 6CM H1000 Camp Perry High Power Championship AccurateShooter Forum

Pulling it Together: Five Xs for the Final Five Shots
The second string at 600 yards was strange. I shot five Xs in my first 6 or 7 shots and then ran a string of 10s that were either wide or corner shots. So, after 15 shots, I wasn’t getting better, I was getting worse. I needed to get my act together (and right quickly).

I took a moment to regroup and said to myself: “Stop this. We are not doing this today…” (i.e. we are NOT going to break down with just five shots to go). That’s something I heard Ken Roxburgh said to my son during their team match.

That thought process changed my attitude, and it seemed to relieve the pressure, so I was able to concentrate on every shot. I was re-focused and ready to roll. I know Perry, I know the wind at Perry and I had confidence in my 6CM cartridge to shoot 10s through the final five shots.

That confidence paid off — in the final five shots I broke every shot dead center and every shot came up an X!

I don’t care where you place at Perry, if your final shot is an X you have something to take back for next year. Running five Xs in a row to end Perry is special. But, ironically, I can not say that running five Xs in a row to win Perry is a feeling I can actually remember, because, at the time, I thought I had finished third, not first….

After finishing the last string, I had a 1798 point total. I packed up my stuff, went over to the Remington golf cart, and told Ken Roxburgh that I was fairly sure I had placed third overall.

“Down 13… How About You?”
I then walked down the line and I saw Brandon Green from the USAMU congratulating Norm Houle on winning. I paused for a moment and then walked over to Norm and asked him: “What did you shoot?” Norm replied: “I was down 13, how about you?” I then answered “Down 11″. Norm gave me a huge handshake and then it hit me. I had won.

I was a feet away from my father. I went to him and said I think I won. Pricelessly, Dad said “Won what?” Then it hit him. Literally in tears, He called my mother to report the good news.

At that point I realized this Championship wasn’t my life’s work, it was his. THANK YOU DAD!

My son Joe Hendricks Jr. was in the pits and didn’t yet know about my first-place finish. He is 18 and has his own hopes for a rifle championship someday. When he came back from the pits, I said to him: “You don’t know…” He looked at me and said “Know what?”. I said “I won”, and he asked “Won what?”. Then I told him: “The whole thing.” I have never seen him smile the way he did at that moment.

Next we call my wife on the phone (she was staying in Port Clinton, but wasn’t at the range that day). I tell her I won, and she says “Won what?” Again, I reply “The whole thing … I won the whole thing.” I hear only silence on the phone, then she says “Are you serious?” I reply, “Yes I am” and then there is a long pause, after which she says: “Joe, you aren’t messing with me are you?” I tell her: “No, I’m serious, come out here, you’ll see…” She pauses then says, “OK I will… but if you are messing with me YOU WILL PAY.” My girls say she almost wrecked the car driving out to the range.

So my wife finally shows up at the Remington Team trailer. As she was getting out of the car she says “If you are [fooling] with me I will kill you. Did you really win?” In fact, she asked me three times before she believed it had actually happened.

By this time Ken Roxburgh of Remington (my coach) had also called Carl Bernosky. Carl Bernosky has been a huge part of my shooting since I young. Having Carl be so excited about my win means nearly as much to me as the win itself. What a great day!

Team Remington Joeseph Hendricks 6CM H1000 Camp Perry High Power Championship AccurateShooter Forum

Joe wanted to thank his sponsors Remington and Berger Bullets. The 6CM Cartridge he shoots is a wildcat based on the .243 Winchester. Joes uses slow-burning H1000 powder and he shot Berger 105gr 6mm Hybrids at Camp Perry this year.

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July 30th, 2014

Joseph Hendricks Wins 2014 National High Power Championship

Story Based on Report by Kyle Jillson for NRABlog.com
Joseph Hendricks won the 2014 NRA High Power Rifle Championship with a 1789-76X Score. Hendricks topped a large field of 288 total competitors. In second place, two points behind, was past champion Norm Houle with 1787-85X. Defending 2013 High Power Champion SSG Brandon Green was a close third, with 1786-89X. Green had the high X-Count for the match. The top “Any Sights” competitor was Kenneth Lankford, whose 1780-76X was the eighth-highest total overall.

2014 High Power National Championship Hendricks Green Houle

Great Shooting Takes Hendricks from Fifth to First on Final Day
Dawn on the final day of the 2014 NRA High Power Rifle Championship saw Joe Hendricks sitting in fifth place. But by sundown the Team Remington shooter had become the national champion. What happened in between was a shining example of consistency and perseverance.

Hendricks started the final day (Tuesday) four points down of the leader, tied for third but with a low X-Count. “I assumed everybody would go clean … so I needed to go clean just to maintain my spot,” Hendricks said. And clean he went. All 60 of Joe’s shots on Tuesday fell within the 10-ring. In fact, he hit straight 10s for the last 100 shots of the 180-shot championship. That is an impressive feat.

2014 High Power National Championship Hendricks Green Houle

Three Generations of Hendricks on the Firing Line
Hendricks has the unique privilege to shoot with his son, Joe Hendricks, Jr., and his father, Gary Hendricks. The rest of his family was there to cheer him on as well.

Altered Course of Fire on Final Day
Tuesday’s matches followed an unusual break after severe winds on Monday caused a complete cancellation of the matches. Normally, on the final day of the High Power Championship, competitors shoot matches at 200, 300, and 600 yards. This year, due to the Monday cancellation, competitors did not fire a 200-yard match, but instead fired the 300-yard match and TWO 600-yard matches.

View Photos from 2014 High Power Championships

When everyone found themselves back on the firing line Tuesday morning, the wind had died down. “The winds weren’t too tricky. I shot two nice groups at 300. Not the X-count I wanted, but I got all the points,” Hendricks explained. “When I got back to 600 I just tried to do the same thing. The wind dropped off enough a couple times that if I shot I’d lose points, so I waited until it came back.”

Hendricks finished with 1789-76X, two points ahead of Norman Houle (1787-85X), a three-time High Power National Champion. In third place, with 1786-89X, was SSG Brandon Green, last year’s High Power Rifle Champion.

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August 8th, 2013

Carl Bernosky Leads High Power Championship at Half-Way Point

Story by Kyle Jillson for NRABlog
(Camp Perry – August 7, 2013) Half way through the hunt for the 2013 NRA National High Power Rifle title, defending champion Carl Bernosky is in the lead with a 1193-69X. It is a narrow lead, but a lead nonetheless. One point behind Bernosky is 2009 champion Norman Houle at 1192-49X who himself holds off three very capable shooters by just one point.

NRA National High Power Championships Camp Perry Carl Bernosky

With six matches completed and six more to go, the Championships are at the official half-way point. The High Power Championship involves a 12-match cycle, with 480 total shots for record. Two full days of shooting remain for competitors, who have already been thoroughly pummeled by Camp Perry’s notorious heat and rain. Whoever wins the High Power title will have earned it — the hard way.

NRA National High Power Championships Camp Perry Carl Bernosky

Bernosky has been in this position before. The winner of ten national championships, he is more than aware of how close the race can get. All of the top shooters are veterans and capable of winning it all. At this point, with these scores, it’s nearly a blank slate when shooting begins again tomorrow morning. Will Bernosky hold on for number eleven, could Houle claim his fourth Mumma Trophy, or will a new champion step up on the podium?

NRA National High Power Championships Camp Perry Carl Bernosky

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October 27th, 2012

Gear Review: Houle Bloop Tubes for Match Rifles

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

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

Norm Houle High Power Bloop Tube

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

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

Norm Houle High Power Bloop Tube

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

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

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February 13th, 2012

Shooter Profile: Rodrigo Rosa — A Rising High Power Star

Rodrigo RosaRodrigo Rosa is a rising star in the world of High Power shooting. Though he’s been shooting competitively for only four years, he is already a top contender at the national level. In 2011, the young marksman, who now lives and works in New Hampshire, was right up with the leaders at the NRA National High Power Championships. At Perry, Rodrigo finished second in the Across-the-Course phase and finished third in the Long Range National Championship. He was also on the winning 2d Amendment match team with Norm Houle. Over the last couple of years, Rodrigo has lead the field at New England High Power events. He was New Hampshire State Champ in 2010 and 2011, Massachusetts State Champ in 2011, and Mid-Range (and Across-The-Course) Vermont State Champion in 2009. Rosa is also a two-time NE Regional Across-the-Course Champion, winning titles in 2008 and 2011. That’s an impressive shooting resume for a young man who shot his first High Power match in 2008, and had to borrow money to get his first real match rifle.

Rodrigo tells us: “I had a good year in Camp Perry in 2011. My goal was only to perform well in the across-the-course event, so taking second place after Carl Bernosky by only 3 points and taking third place in the Long Range event was a real treat.”

What was the “secret” of Rosa’s meteoric rise from rookie shooter to podium performer at Camp Perry? Rodrigo replied: “Key factors? I would have to say dry-fire practice, and working on consistency and the ‘mental game’. I spent many hours dry-firing last winter, particularly working on my off-hand position. Despite such training my technique was still flawed at the beginning of the year. I could dry-fire very well but the results did not show on target. I believe that my ability to finally build a mental sequence that allows me to perform the same movements time-and-time again, on demand, made the greatest difference on my results.”

Interview with Rodrigo Rosa — Born to Shoot

We had the opportunity to chat with Rodrigo. He told us how he got started in competitive shooting. He then discussed his shooting techniques and his reloading methods. At our request, Rodrigo offers some tips for new sling-shooters. Rosa also revealed his preferences in hardware and shooting gear.

Rodrigo Rosa

AccurateShooter: Rodrigo, tell us about your background. How did you get involved in shooting?

Rosa: I grew up on a farm in Brazil. When I was about 11 years old my mom bought me an air rifle, and I later inherited my grandpa’s Winchester .22LR. I hunted many rabbits and ducks with that rifle until I was 17 years old when my studies became more important. I traveled to the USA in late 2004 to finish my Veterinary clinical training at Cornell University, where I met my wife-to-be. We got married in 2005 and moved to California for internships. It wasn’t until early 2007 when I decided to buy a rifle and join a gun club. All I could afford was a simple .308 hunting rifle. With the .308, I tried (with limited success) to hit small metal silhouettes at 600 yards. Despite my limited success I decided to educate myself about the shooting sports, predominantly by reading books by David Tubb and Nancy Tompkins, as well as foreign publications.

My wife Kate and I moved to New Hampshire in 2007, when I decided to take a personal loan to buy a better rifle, suited for High Power competition. I joined the Nashua NH Fish and Game Association and started to work on my skills. In late 2010 I met Norm Houle who became a good friend and gave me extra motivation to stay in the game.

AccurateShooter: What are your strengths and what are the areas where you need improvement. What training methods do you use to improve those weak points?

Rosa: My strengths are my ability to concentrate, attention to detail and perseverance. The areas I tend to work on the most are my mental systems. I know I am able to shoot a perfect score in any yard line and shooting position, so I spend most of my time coming up with ways to make my shooting sequence as meticulous and repetitive as possible. I believe I still have a lot of work to do….

AccurateShooter: What are the best and worst things about competing at Perry?

Rosa: 2011 was my second year competing in Perry (I also started the match in 2009 but had to leave early for a family issue). I had one of the best weeks of my life! Perry is a wonderfully beautiful and challenging range, and the friends I had the pleasure to share my time with were the highlight of the trip. From previous experience, I would say that the heat and humidity are the worst things
about Perry, but 2011 gifted the competitors with amazingly pleasant weather.

Rodrigo Rosa
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AccurateShooter: Rodrigo, do you have any tips for novice High Power shooters?

Rosa: Start by investing in good equipment — buy quality and you will buy it only once. Seek the advice of successful shooters. All truly good shooters will be glad to share their “secrets”, for it is only worth winning when all competitors can shoot their best. Develop a safe, reasonably good load for your cartridge and quit messing with it! If you already have an accurate rifle your time is much better spent working on your hold than on developing loads. Be ready! Develop checklists, plans, mental sequences. The less you can worry about, and the more prepared you are for adverse situations at the firing line, the better your chances will be.

AccurateShooter: Speaking of load development, tell us what load you shoot, and what methods you use to create accurate ammo.

Rosa: I shoot the 6mmXC cartridge Across-the-Course and Long-Range (except for Palma, of course). I use Federal 210M primers, Norma brass, Hodgdon 4350 powder, Sierra 70gr bullets for 200 yards and DTAC 115gr bullets from 300 to 1000 yards. My loads are: 39.5 grains H4350 with the Sierra 70gr; 37.5 grains H4350 with DTAC 115gr for 300 yards; and lastly, for Mid-Range and Long-Range, I use a stout H4350 load with the DTAC 115s. (Editor: Start at 37.0 grains H4350 and work up with the 115s; Rodrigo’s long-range load is near max).

The most important steps of my reloading are accurate load weighing (I weigh ALL loads) and bullet selection. I select all the bullets I shoot from 600 to 1000 yards by bearing surface and length. I do not spend any time doing elaborate load testing (and re-testing). All I care about is having a reasonably accurate load that functions smoothly in my rifle.

Rodrigo Rosa
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Rodrigo RosaAccurateShooter: Tell us about your shooting coat and sling. Do you have any advice concerning coat fit and sling adjustment?

Rosa: I currently wear a Monard shooting coat. Proper fit is fundamental for anyone who wishes to be competitive in any category of position rifle shooting, and the folks at Monard certainly have got that down. My advice to anyone who is going to invest hard-earned money in a coat is to make sure that the maker uses at least 15 different measurements of his/her body. Anything less than that is not acceptable in my opinion. I also prefer the stiffness and coolness of canvas over leather. Leather tends to mold better to ones body but softens and shrinks when wet. Since High Power shooters must often shoot in the rain I believe that canvas is a more durable and stable material. For a sling I always used the Superior Shooting Systems Heart Breaker Sling. This is an extremely well-made sling crafted to last many decades. It is important to cut the new sling to fit one’s arm diameter so that the “hinge” is located between the arm and the hand. I did not know this important “trick” for the longest time until David Tubb called my attention to it at Perry last year.

Rodrigo Rosa

AccurateShooter: You shoot a Tubb 2000 match rifle. Tell us the features of the T2K you really like, and explain how you set up the sights and buttstock for different positions.

Rosa: The Tubb 2000 rifle is the only rifle I have ever shot Across-the-Course. It is an extremely user-friendly gun that truly allows the shooter to extract all that a competitive target rifle can offer. I used to have only one buttstock and was therefore forced to make adjustments between shooting positions. Now I have three buttstocks individually set up for each position — a major asset in my opinion. My off-hand buttstock is probably the least orthodox of the three. It has a good deal of added weight to help balance the gun and a very narrow buttplate. I like the narrow buttplate because it fits my small shoulder better. This plate is, however, kept mostly flat (very shallow curvature) in order to comply with NRA rules (less than 1/2 inch depth).

Canting — I truly enjoy the ability to cant the T2K rifle to fit my body. Anyone who watches me shooting seated will notice that I use a great amount of canting in that seated position. Canting is a major asset and can greatly improve most shooter’s position by increasing comfort. The key thing with canting is you must be consistent with the amount of cant you use (hint: learn how to use a bubble level).

Forearm — I have shortened the tubular handguard/fore-end of my rifle in order to improve balance as well. People occasionally ask me: Didn’t you get nervous about cutting such an expensive rifle? (I had taken a loan to buy the rifle and it wasn’t even paid for yet). My answer was “Not at all!” My philosophy is that if something does not fit you or does not do the job for which it was intended, then you MUST act on it. It is pointless to have a rather costly piece of machinery if it does not lead to 10s and Xs.

Sights — I use a Warner #1 rear sight and a “Right Sight” in the front. I currently use the “Houle Tube” sight extension tube (bloop tube) made by Norm Houle. This bloop tube has been a major improvement. It lets me have a short, balanced gun for off-hand and a long gun for sling-supported positions. I must admit that I did not believe these extension devices would repeat zero until I tried one. The Houle Tubes are incredible. These extensions come in 2″, 4″ and 6″ lengths and repeat zero flawlessly every time.

Gunsmithing — Dick Beaudoin from Derry, NH has done most of the customization work on my rifle. I want to give him credit. His patience and attention to detail has made all the difference.

Editor’s Comment: We thank Forum member Rodrigo Rosa for taking the time to share his knowledge with our readers. He is a very talented, yet humble young shooter who works diligently on his game. We have no doubt that one day we will see Rodrigo standing on top of the podium at Camp Perry. Boa sorte Rodrigo, we wish you 10s and Xs and continued success…

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