As an Amazon Associate, this site earns a commission from Amazon sales.











August 21st, 2021

Oliver Milanovic Wins NRA Long Range National Championship

NRA High Power long range national championship palma oliver milanovic Eliseo tubegun
Top Guns at LR Nat’l Championship: SSG Amanda Elsenbuss (2nd place), Oliver Milanovic (Champion), Jeffrey Miles (3rd place). Photo courtesy Shooting Sports USA.

NRA High Power long range national championship palma oliver milanovic Eliseo tubegunMilanovic Wins LR National Championship
We have a new Long-Range National Champion. Competing at Camp Atterbury in Indiana, Oliver Milanovic took the 2021 NRA National Long Range Championship with a score of 1245-73X. Oliver was shooting an Eliseo Chassis + Borden Action Palma Rifle with 155gr bullets. Finishing second, tied on points but with four fewer Xs, was 2019 National Long Range Champion SSG Amanda Elsenbuss, with 1245-69X. In third place was Jeffrey Miles, just one point back, with 1244-73X.

As you can see, with the top three shooters all separated by just one point, it was a very close competition. But Milanovic, a popular marksman from Arizona, put on an impressive performance to take the win and the Thompkins Trophy. No stranger to the podium, Oliver has been on the winning Sling Division Team at the Berger SW Nationals in the past.

For all the relays, Milanovic shot his trusty .308 Winchester Competition Machine (Eliseo) chassis rifle with a Borden action, loading Palma-spec 155-gr bullets. In the Long Range Championship, other chamberings are allowed for some stages, but we’re told Oliver ran his 155gr Palma load throughout. Milanovic also won the Palma Individual Trophy Match with an impressive 450-30X score, not dropping a single point.

CLICK HERE for Full Long Range Nat’l Championship Results »

NRA High Power long range national championship palma oliver milanovic Eliseo tubegun

NRA High Power long range national championship palma oliver milanovic Eliseo tubegun

A full report on the 2021 NRA High Power Long Range Championship will appear in a future digital edition of Shooting Sports USA.

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
August 1st, 2021

SonDay GunDay: Father Trains Son with Single-Shot .22 LR Rifle

Kelly Bachand Charles son father .22 LR Crickett first shooting

Today we present a feel-good story about the connection between father and son, and how that bond can grow through marksmanship training — father teaching son. This story features Kelly Bachand, and his young son Charles, who recently shot together at the Skyline Range in Alabama. We have known Kelly for many years, first meeting him when he was a young, prodigy Palma (Fullbore) shooter. As a college student he was holding his own with many of the top sling shooters in the country. Kelly later became a bit of a shooting celebrity as the youngest-ever contestant on the History Channel’s Top Shot TV show.


·
Here is Kelly’s report from his session with son Charles: “Today was the first shooting trip in about six months with Charles and he had a ball! We practiced all of the necessary safety rules, began working on some ideas that will help with accuracy, and learned to shoot prone!”

Kelly Bachand Charles son father .22 LR Crickett first shooting
Kelly Bachand Charles son father .22 LR Crickett first shooting

Kelly added: “I didn’t bring a shooting mat with me to Alabama so when we decided to try prone he had to lay on the ground and we used the soft rifle case under his elbows. He loved it!”

Kelly Bachand Charles son father .22 LR Crickett first shooting

Kelly notes that “Charles loved shooting prone and enjoyed shooting our new swinging target (see videos below). I enjoy teaching Charles so much, he is such an intelligent and joy-filled little guy.”

About Father Kelly Bachand

Kelly Bachand Charles son father .22 LR Crickett first shooting

Top Shot Kelly BachandYou may recognize Kelly Bachand. He was the youngest competitor on the History Channel’s popular Top Shot TV series. After graduating from the Univ. of Washington with a degree in Electrical Engineering, Kelly works for Aerojet Rocketdyne in Operations Leadership. Kelly’s life has progressed as he first became a husband (to wife Valerie) and then devoted father to three children. Throughout the years, Kelly maintained his interest in target shooting. Kelly is a talented Palma rifle shooter who has competed in major championships. Kelly is the real deal — a genuine marksman. It is great that he is able to share his skills with his young son Charles, who clearly enjoys learning marksmanship with his Dad.

Kelly represented the USA at the 2007, 2011, and 2015 World Long Range Fullbore Championships. In 2007 he was a member of the Gold Medal-winning Under-21 USA Young Eagles team. In 2011 he was the wind coach of the Silver Medal-winning Under-25 USA Young Eagles, and was a firing member of Bronze Medal-winning USA Palma Team. In 2015 he was a firing member of the Silver-Medal winning USA Palma Team. Although Kelly hasn’t competed since the 2015 World Championships, Kelly is still a member of the USA National Rifle Team. Kelly looks forward to competing again one day, perhaps in Palma, PRS, or one of several other firearms disciplines he enjoys.



Keystone Arms Crickett Precision Rifle — Great First Rimfire under $300.00
The little single-shot Crickett Precision Rifle Kelly acquired is very affordable. The base model rig has a $349 MSRP but you can find it for under $270 at some vendors. Or you can get a complete package with scope and bipod for $310-$350. That makes training with your young family members affordable.

The Crickett Precision Rifle from Keystone Sporting Arms is a scaled-down version of popular PRS designs. It features an adjustable comb, “Crickettinny” Rail that accepts Weaver or Picatinny-style rings, and a lower rail mount on the fore-end for the bipod. Sized perfectly for young boys and girls, this single-shot .22 LR is a good choice for a first rimfire rifle,

Kelly Bachand Charles son father .22 LR Crickett first shooting

The Crickett Precision Rifle (CPR) is available in a variety of external colors/finishes, including this patriotic Stars and Stripes model (the “Amendment” Package). The CPR is offered as a base rifle or as a package with 4x28mm scope and bipod. Kelly bought the base model and added a Red Dot optic, which he purchased separately. Kelly explained: “I bought the version without a scope and bipod, then put a Red dot on top — that’s easy for a 4-year old to understand because it has infinite eye relief.”

Kelly Bachand Charles son father .22 LR Crickett first shooting

Here’s a Review of the Keystone Arms Crickett Precision Rifle with another Father & Son Team

Permalink - Videos, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
June 13th, 2021

Sunday GunDay: Doan Trevor Custom Rifles and Wood Stocks

Doan Trevor custom wookd stock gunsmithingDetail from Doan Trevor rimfire prone stock (Fiddleback Walnut) with Stiller 2500 X Action.

New Mexico Gunsmith Doan Trever is a true wizard with wood. At Doan Trevor Custom Rifle Building, he crafts stunning figured wood stocks, and also builds complete wood-stocked and fiberglass-stocked rifles that shoot as good as they look. Doan is a true master, with a mind for function and an eye for beauty. The ability to hand-craft wood is becoming a lost art. For this Sunday, we celebrate four projects crafted by Doan: two complete rifle, a special F-Class stock built for multiple actions, and an F-TR stock for a Sako action. Visit DoanTrevor.com to view find dozens of other stunning stocks and complete rifles.

Mausingfield America Rifle with English Walnut Stock

Doan told us: “This is a highly figured piece of English Walnut with burls and flowers. Along the bottom of the stock there’s a burl/flower that looks like an owl and one side looks like the Sandia Mountains. This rifle is in 30 PCR. Doan adds: “The owner is enjoying this rifle immensely.”

Doan Trevor gunsmithing
Doan Trevor gunsmithing
Doan Trevor gunsmithing
VIEW more photos HERE

Walther KK500 (Twin Trigger), English Walnut Laminate Stock with Fiddleback Accents

About this unique rig Doan notes: “This left-handed rifle has two triggers. It has an electronic trigger AND a mechanical trigger. With the wood stock option, the charging cable needs to be modified modify in order to clear the trigger extension to be able to charge. Also, keeping with aesthetics, I made it able to remove the trigger guard in order to charge more easily. Removing the trigger guard does not change the bedding.”

Doan Trevor gunsmithing
Doan Trevor gunsmithing
Doan Trevor gunsmithing
VIEW more photos HERE

American Walnut F-Class Stock with Figured English/Claro Walnut Fore-End Inlay

Doan explains: “The owner has three actions with the same barrel block mounting system. He wanted to be able to use one stock. I built a bedding system that would accomplish this task. The two pieces of Claro Walnut on the fore-end are mirror copies.”

Doan Trevor gunsmithing
Doan Trevor gunsmithing
Doan Trevor gunsmithing
Doan Trevor gunsmithing
VIEW more photos HERE

F-TR Stock for Sako 85 with Johnny Byer Stock Blank

Here’s a handsome F-TR rig. Doan reports: “The pistol grip cap is a piece of Screw Bean Mesquite Wood from my old front yard in Albuquerque. (I live in Rio Rancho, NM now.) Take a look at the bottom photo with the blue background, the rifle doesn’t have any stippling yet. Sometimes, you have stippling as the last step. There’s no room for error when this order of events is necessary.”

Doan Trevor gunsmithing
Doan Trevor gunsmithing
Doan Trevor gunsmithing
VIEW more photos HERE

About Doan Trevor

Doan Trevor is a master gunsmith and stock-maker who works in the old style. He still hand-crafts stocks from start to finish, and does all the metal-work on the custom rifles he builds. Starting with highly-figured woods, Doan carves and shapes his stocks largely by hand, with meticulous attention to detail. Each rifle he builds is optimized for its intended discipline, and custom-fitted for the customer.

Doan Trevor

With photography by Doan’s talented wife Sue, Doan has created a website, DoanTrevor.com, that is a feast for the eyes. You can see beautiful wood-stocked rifles being hand-crafted. Doan also illustrates how he creates custom metal parts, and how he beds barreled actions into the finished stocks.

Definitely visit Doan’s website. Be sure to click on the site’s secondary pages: Rifle Building, Woodworking, and Metalworking. There you’ll find info on wood-working plus hundreds of high-quality photos.

Doan Trevor gunsmithing

doan trevor gunsmith wood stock builderContact Doan Trevor

Doan Trevor Custom Rifle Building
Website: DoanTrevor.com
Email: doantrevor@gmail.com
Phone: 714-457-5566

Products and Services: Custom rifle building for High Power, F-Class, Long Range, and Smallbore shooters. Fancy Wood and Fiberglass Rifle Stocks, Custom Grips for Rifles, and Offset Sights.

Permalink - Articles, Gear Review, Gunsmithing, News 5 Comments »
December 15th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: John Whidden’s .308 Win Wonder-Gun

Whidden Gunworks 2017 Long Range High Power National Champion Camp Atterbury Indiana

John Whidden’s Championship-Winning Rifle
For this Sunday GunDay we feature John Whidden’s very special Palma rifle, the rig that carried him to his 5th NRA Long Range National Championship in 2017. John captured his fifth Long Range crown with a superb performance in the Palma match. The caliber is .308 Win, as dictated by the Palma rules.

This unique .308 Win prone rifle from Whidden Gunworks features a Barnard “P” action in a converted aluminum Anschutz “Precise” smallbore (rimfire) stock. The combo of Barnard action and Anschutz ergonomics is hard to beat, says John, who told us: “this is easily the best Palma rifle I’ve ever had.” John told us this gun handles like no other: “After recoil, with this Anschutz stock, the sights fall right back on target — better than any other prone rifle I’ve shot”.

As a bonus, the Barnard “drop-in” required no major modification of the Anschutz Precise stock. This means John can actually swap in his rimfire barreled action and shoot smallbore with the same stock.

Whidden’s Perfect Palma Match
Whidden secured the 2017 LR Title by shooting “clean” (not dropping a point) in the tough Palma competition. In the NRA Palma match, rifles must be .223 Rem or .308 Winchester, with metallic sights (no scopes). The match is conducted at three yardages, 15 shots at each distance of 800/900/1000 yards, with unlimited sighters at 800 and two sighters at 900 and 1000.

Sling Rifle Evolved: The Ultra-Accurate Hybrid Palma Rifle

by John Whidden of Whidden Gunworks
The mental component of Long Range competitive shooting is always challenging but having tremendous confidence in the accuracy of your equipment is a huge benefit. There’s nothing to start your Palma match off well like knowing that you are shooting the most accurate Palma rifle you’ve ever owned.

John Whidden Palma Rifle .308 Win Barnard Anschutz P action smallbore stock

Whidden Palma Rifle
Action: Barnard “P” (three lugs, 60° bolt lift)
Barrel: Bartlein 32″, Light Palma contour, cryo-treated by 300 Below.
Stock: Anschutz Precise aluminum smallbore stock, set up for centerfire barreled action.
Trigger: Barnard Two-Stage adjustable

John Whidden Palma Rifle .308 Win Barnard Anschutz P action smallbore stock

Whidden’s Wonder-Gun: German Stock, New Zealand Action, American Barrel
John built this Palma rifle in early 2016. With it, John won back-to-back long-range Championships in 2016 (Camp Perry) and 2017 (Camp Atterbury). The major components are: Barnard ‘P’ action, Anschutz Precise smallbore stock, and Bartlein barrel. The caliber is .308 Win, as dictated by the Palma rules. Palma matches are fired from 800, 900, and 1000 yards utilizing iron sights only. No optical sights are allowed.

The Anschutz Precise stock is so well-designed that once I finished adjusting the details, I realized that my hold was about 1/3 smaller than with the stocks I shot previously. While in recoil the gun will track vertically and fall back down right on my own target just as it should. In the past, with my other Palma rifles, it was frankly sometimes a struggle to get them to settle back on target after a shot.

John Whidden Palma Rifle .308 Win Barnard Anschutz P action smallbore stockWhidden Gunworks has installed a variety of different actions in the Anschutz Precise stocks. Though the stocks are designed for the .22 LR caliber 2013 action rifles, we’ve successfully installed Barnard, Kelbly, Bat, Nesika, and Remington clone actions into them. The Barnard Model P makes a particularly simple installation because there is no modification necessary to the stock at all. A competitor can then shoot both his centerfire rifle as well as his smallbore gun in the exact same stock. The location of the trigger and bolt handle on the Barnard are positioned just right to make this work. Other actions do require at least some amount of modification to the stock, and we have found the Barnard works the best.

Barnard manufactures several models of actions as part of their lineup. All of the actions in the lineup use three lug bolts which give a shorter 60-degree bolt lift when opening and closing. All of the critical surfaces are machined after heat treating. This means that they are exceptionally true and square, more so than other actions. The Model P action is most familiar to Palma and F-Class shooters and are commonly seen on the firing line. The fact that Model P actions include an excellent two-stage trigger makes also the pricing very attractive.

Based on my previous excellent experiences, I selected Bartlein barrels for this rifle. When shooting internationally in the Palma matches we are restricted to 155 grain .308 bullets, but I made the unusual choice of a 1-10″ twist for these bullets. I’ve shot this fast twist for some years with the 155s with good success and it’s pleasing to know that Bryan Litz is finding benefits in some cartridges to shooting faster twist rates than we previously thought we needed. The load is Vihtavuori N140 Powder with Berger 155gr Hybrid bullets. The chamber is the 2011 Palma and the barrel is a Light Palma contour finished at 32” length. The barrel was cryo-treated by 300 Below. The point of impact isn’t changed at all by barrel heating and the accuracy is incredible regardless of the temperature of the barrel. This can’t be said of all the barrels I’ve owned.

John Whidden Palma Rifle .308 Win Barnard Anschutz P action smallbore stock

Get Your Own Whidden Wonder-Gun
Like this Anschutz-Barnard hybrid rifle? Whidden Gunworks can build you a rig like this, fitting a centerfire barreled action in the Anschutz Precise stock. John tells us: “The price of a rifle like this one but without sights or mounts would be under $5000.00. We attempt to keep all of the parts except the stock in inventory, so lead time should be under eight (8) weeks.”

Stock Offers Great Adjustability
John Whidden Palma Rifle .308 Win Barnard Anschutz P action smallbore stockOne thing that is quickly noticed about the Anschutz Precise stock is its adjustability. The engineers did a very good job of allowing many of these adjustments to be made while in the shooting position, most notably the cheekpiece adjustments. When a shooter picks up a Precise stock for the first time they also notice how narrow the fore-end is. This really contributes to reducing the pain in the forward hand in prone when shooting with a sling. This stock is, by far, the most comfortable sling stock I’ve ever handled.

This rifle was very accurate right away and very comfortable to shoot. I’ve built some really good shooting Palma rifles but this is easily the best Palma rifle I’ve ever had. The Barnard action with its superb quality and excellent two-stage trigger has been the best choice I could have made. When you can go to the firing line knowing that you have the very best, the foundation for success has been set.

John Whidden gunsorks .308 Win Palma 10% Off Christmas discount sale

Permalink - Articles, Gear Review, Gunsmithing 3 Comments »
December 1st, 2019

Sunday GunDay: Dennis Builds an Eliseo Tubegun Palma Rig

Dennis Santiago Eliseo Competition Machine Tubegun Chassis .308 Win Rifle Berger Southwest Nationals

Our friend Dennis Santiago is a talented Service Rifle shooter, who normally competes with an AR shooting the .223 Rem cartridge. Recently he decided to go over to the “dark side”, putting together a Palma (fullbore) rifle chambered for the .308 Winchester. Dennis selected a Competition Machine (Gary Eliseo) R1 Chassis for the project. Here’s Santiago’s account of his “true blue” Palma build…

Palma Rifle Report by Dennis Santiago
“Here’s my new project — a .308 Win Palma rifle with an Eliseo R1 chassis, Rem 700 action (blue-printed with PT&G upgrades), Jewell trigger, Boots Obermeyer 1:11″-twist barrel, and Phoenix sights holding Gehmann apertures. Next comes chassis and sling set-up, initial mechanical zeroing, and load development. Yup, I have a bunch of Peterson small primer .308 brass, Sierra #2156 155gr MKs, and Varget to get started with. I’m told I can drive 155gr pills to stay supersonic to 1K. Should make for an interesting 2020. My goal is to be cozy with this blue beast by the time the Berger Southwest Nationals kick off in February 2020. Hey, you gotta have goals!”

Dennis Santiago Eliseo Competition Machine Tubegun Chassis .308 Win Rifle Berger Southwest Nationals

Dennis Santiago Eliseo Competition Machine Tubegun Chassis .308 Win Rifle Berger Southwest Nationals
CLICK Image for full-screen photo with more detail.

Pinning the Picatinny — For a Super-Solid Mount
Dennis Santiago Eliseo Competition Machine Tubegun Chassis .308 Win Rifle Berger Southwest Nationals

One of the key parts of the build, Dennis explains, is mounting the top rail with pins: “Once the rail is aligned using a spin-centered optic, it locks down with three 3/16″ roll pins. That way there is no reliance on screws that can come loose. Above is a photo of the top of the Eliseo tube chassis showing the three, 3/16″ roll pins that unitize the Picatinny rail. You can also see the four brass screws that just kiss the action to fully stabilize it in the tube. The recoil ring buttresses completely around the action with metal to metal contact. There are a million details hidden inside a Gary gun.”

Phoenix Sights Front and Rear
Dennis Santiago Eliseo Competition Machine Tubegun Chassis .308 Win Rifle Berger Southwest Nationals

Rise of the Phoenix — Here are the sights for the Eliseo R1. There are very few manufacturers left making these kinds of ultra-precise and repeatable iron sights.

Dennis Santiago Eliseo Competition Machine Tubegun Chassis .308 Win Rifle Berger Southwest Nationals

These Ray-Vin tools help set mechanical zero on the sights. Dennis notes: “Finally a reason to pull out the Ray-Vin calibration paraphernalia to set up a mechanical zero. This photo is for all of you who still remember that those barrel flats and screws in our sight towers actually had a purpose once upon a time.”

Sling ‘N Irons — Classic Palma Configuration
Dennis Santiago Eliseo Competition Machine Tubegun Chassis .308 Win Rifle Berger Southwest Nationals
Dennis plans to use an Eric Hollis sling with his new blue Palma rifle.

Peterson Small Primer .308 Win Brass for Santiago’s Rig
Berger southwest SW Nationals

Dennis plans to use Peterson Cartridge Small Rifle primer .308 Win brass. Peterson offers a “Select” version weight-sorted and length-sorted at the factory. All Select casings (in a 50ct box) are guaranteed to be within 1 grain in weight and .001″ in OAL. Peterson Select brass is available for 20 different cartridge types, including .308 Win both small primer/small flash hole and large primer/large flash hole.

Getting the Blue Rifle Ready for the 2020 Berger SW Nationals

Berger southwest SW Nationals

Dennis plans to campaign his rifle at the 2020 Berger Southwest Nationals (SWN). He may shoot iron sights, or fit a scope and shoot in the “Any Sights” category. That’s not yet decided. The week-long Berger SWN is the biggest rifle match in the Western United States. Hundreds of shooters compete in both individual and team events. The SWN begins with the Mid-Range Nationals at 600 yards. Then the Long-Range matches are held, with targets out to 1000 yards. Watch the video to see the Ben Avery facility, home of the Berger SWN:

Chassis-maker Gary Elesio at the 2017 Berger SW Nationals. Gary shoots what he sells:

Gary Eliseo Chassis Dennis Santiago Palma .308 Win

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Gunsmithing 2 Comments »
May 20th, 2019

Stock Reborn: Second-Hand Anschutz Becomes F-Open Beauty

Anschutz 1411 stock gunsmithing project wood work palma rifle f-class F-Open stocking

Here is an interesting project by one of our Forum members. Martin C. (aka “Killick”) modified an Anschutz 1411 Match 54 rimfire prone stock to become a comfortable, great-tracking F-Class Open Division Stock. No Killick didn’t sacrifice a perfectly good rimfire rifle for this project — he bought the Anschutz stock by itself on eBay, then transformed it…

Killick explains: “This project started about seven years ago. I bought the Anschutz prone stock on eBay and whittled it a bit into a Palma rifle with a Barnard action and block and a Doan Trevor cheek piece and scope rail. Then about two years ago I decided to re-task the stock/action assembly into an F-Open rig. With more whittling, gluing, sanding, body fillering, sanding, filling, sanding, more sanding…and sanding, forming, priming, sanding, painting, waiting, painting, painting…painting and before you know it, Bob’s your uncle.”

Here is the eBay-sourced Anschutz 1411 stock, with new high-gloss blue finish, as initially modified for use in Killick’s centerfire Palma rifle. Looks nice!

Anschutz 1411 stock gunsmithing project wood work palma rifle f-class F-Open stocking

Next step was the addition of a 3″-wide wood fore-end for F-Open duties with front rest:

Anschutz 1411 stock gunsmithing project wood work palma rifle f-class F-Open stocking

Anschutz 1411 stock gunsmithing project wood work palma rifle f-class F-Open stocking

Almost done here… just needs priming and final painting:

Anschutz 1411 stock gunsmithing project wood work palma rifle f-class F-Open stocking

Here is Killick’s completed F-Open rifle with its much-modified Anschutz stock now finished in fire-engine red lacquer. This image shows the detail of the grip and customized cheekpiece.

Anschutz 1411 stock gunsmithing project wood work palma rifle f-class F-Open stocking

To learn more, visit Killick’s Anschutz Stock F-Class Project Thread on our Shooters’ Forum.

Permalink - Articles, Gunsmithing No Comments »
July 14th, 2018

NRA High Power and LR Championships at Camp Atterbury

NRA High power national championships SFC Brandon Green

Brandon green 2018 NRA High Power ChampionCongratulations to SFC Brandon Green, the 2018 NRA National High Power Champion. Brandon won yet another High Power title in convincing fashion, with a 2394-147X overall score. Two other soldiers finished second and third, separated by X-Count. Second-place SFC Shane Barnhart scored 2386-137X, while SGT Benjamin Cleland was third with 2386-128X. In fourth place, and top civilian, was Ronald Zerr with 2383-126X. (CLICK HERE for High Power Results.)

Now it’s time for High Power Long Range. For the next few days, the nation’s top long-range “hard-holders” will be competing at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. The NRA High Power Long Range Championships run July 13-17, with the Long Range Palma match on Tuesday the 17th. Many notable shooters will be there, including John Whidden, who is aiming for a “three-peat” after winning the LR Championship for the past two years running (and five times in total: 2007, 2008, 2010, 2016, 2017).

Camp Atterbury Indiana
Long Range competitors at 2017 NRA National High Power Rifle Championships.

Long Range and Mid-Range National Matches at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, 2018:
Friday, July 13 – Monday, July 16: NRA Long Range (awards ceremony on concluding day)
Tuesday, July 17: NRA Long Range Palma, Palma Team Awards Ceremony
Wednesday, July 18 – Saturday, July 21: NRA Mid Range Individual
Sunday, July 22: NRA Mid Range Teams, Mid Range Awards Ceremony
Monday, July 23: Range Clean Up/Clear Out

CLICK HERE for All 2018 NRA National Championships Results

Whidden’s Perfect 2017 Palma Match
Whidden secured the 2017 LR Title by shooting “clean” (not dropping a point) in the tough Palma competition. In the NRA Palma match, rifles must be .223 Rem or .308 Winchester, with metallic sights (no scopes). The match is conducted at three yardages, 15 shots at each distance of 800/900/1000 yards, with unlimited sighters at 800 and two sighters at 900 and 1000.

Whidden Palma rifle .308 Win winchester Camp Atterbury

John liked the Camp Atterbury facility and he credited his equipment for his 2017 victory: “With the change to the new Camp Atterbury venue, many shooters were a little unsure how things were going to shake out. But it all turned out really well. All of my equipment shot fantastic all week long — that certainly made shooting a big score easier.”

Whidden Palma rifle .308 Win winchester Camp Atterbury

Whidden Palma Rifle
Action: Barnard “P” (three lugs, 60° bolt lift)
Barrel: Bartlein 32″, Light Palma contour, cryo-treated by 300 Below.
Stock: Anschutz Precise aluminum smallbore stock, set up for centerfire barreled action.
Trigger: Barnard Two-Stage adjustable

Permalink Competition, News 1 Comment »
October 14th, 2017

National High Power Championships in Shooting Sports USA

John Whidden Long Range Championship Shooting Sports USA Anette Wachter

We were pleased to see our friend John Whidden featured in the October 2017 issue of Shooting Sports USA. John captured the 2017 NRA Long Range Championship this summer, his second LR title in a row, and fifth overall. This year was a bit different, as the competition was held in Indiana at Camp Atterbury. All John’s previous Long Range HP titles were earned at Camp Perry.

Whidden’s Perfect Palma Match
Whidden secured the 2017 LR Title by shooting “clean” (not dropping a point) in the tough Palma competition. In the NRA Palma match, rifles must be .223 Rem or .308 Winchester, with metallic sights (no scopes). The match is conducted at three yardages, 15 shots at each distance of 800/900/1000 yards, with unlimited sighters at 800 and two sighters at 900 and 1000.

SSUSA’s Editor John Parker writes: “On another note, this month’s cover feature highlights the very first NRA High Power Rifle Championships conducted at the match’s new home—Indiana’s Camp Atterbury. Located about 50 miles south of Indianapolis, this active Indiana National Guard base boasts over 60 ranges, making it the ideal new venue to continue the legacy of NRA High Power. Hundreds of competitors made the trek to continue the historic tradition of rifle competition at the National Matches.”

CLICK HERE to Read Full October 2017 Issue of Shooting Sports USA

John Whidden Long Range Championship Shooting Sports USA Anette Wachter
Another friend, Anette Wachter, is featured in this issue as well. That’s the 30CalGal herself in the upper right after winning the Andrus Trophy Match.

Sling Rifle Evolved: The Ultra-Accurate Hybrid Palma Rifle

John Whidden Palma Rifle .308 Win Barnard Anschutz P action smallbore stock

Since John captured his fifth Long Range crown with a superb performance in the Palma match, we thought we’d give readers a look at John’s very special Palma rifle. This unique .308 Win prone rifle features a Barnard “P” action in a converted aluminum Anschutz “Precise” smallbore (rimfire) stock. The combo of Barnard action and Anschutz ergonomics is hard to beat, says John, who told us: “this is easily the best Palma rifle I’ve ever had.” John told us this gun handles like no other: “After recoil, with this Anschutz stock, the sights fall right back on target — better than any other prone rifle I’ve shot”.

As a bonus, the Barnard “drop-in” required no modification of the Anschutz Precise stock. This means John can actually swap in his rimfire barreled action and shoot smallbore with the same stock.

Championship-Winning Rifle — Aluminum Smallbore Stock, Centerfire Barnard Action
John Whidden Palma Rifle .308 Win Barnard Anschutz P action smallbore stock

Whidden Palma Rifle
Action: Barnard “P” (three lugs, 60° bolt lift)
Barrel: Bartlein 32″, Light Palma contour, cryo-treated by 300 Below.
Stock: Anschutz Precise aluminum smallbore stock, set up for centerfire barreled action.
Trigger: Barnard Two-Stage adjustable

Whidden’s Wonder-Gun: German Stock, New Zealand Action, American Barrel
John built this Palma rifle in early 2016. With it, John won back-to-back long-range Championships in 2016 (Camp Perry) and 2017 (Camp Atterbury). The major components are: Barnard ‘P’ action, Anschutz Precise smallbore stock, and Bartlein barrel. The caliber is .308 Win, as dictated by the Palma rules. Palma matches are fired from 800, 900, and 1000 yards utilizing iron sights only. No optical sights are allowed.

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Gunsmithing No Comments »
July 30th, 2017

Doan Trevor Builds Raffle Rifle for U.S. National Palma Team

Doan Trevor Rifle Raffle U.S. Palma Team Pierce Brux

Our friend Doan Trevor is creating a new raffle rifle. This will be raffled off this fall to support the USA Palma Team. Doan is donating his labor and building the stock from a walnut blank. Pierce Engineering will supply the action and Brux Barrels will provide the barrel.

Doan tells us: “I have volunteered to build another raffle rifle for the U.S. Palma National Rifle Team. Work has begun. I am hoping to have this completed for the Spirit of America Match in Raton, NM this fall. The action has been donated by Pierce Engineering and the long Palma barrel has been donated by Brux Barrels. The one item we are lacking at this point is a Remington-style competition trigger.”

Doan says he will craft the stock from hand-selected American Walnut: “This is [my own] Doan Trevor prone design, modified to be used for F-TR. This can be shot either prone or F-TR (with bipod). This will be similar to the stock that I custom-designed for Derek Rodgers, which won several National Championships and other awards.” The photos below show Doan crafting the wood and starting the bedding on the 2017 U.S. Palma Team Raffle Rifle:

Doan Trevor Rifle Raffle U.S. Palma Team Pierce Brux

Doan Trevor Rifle Raffle U.S. Palma Team Pierce Brux

Another Doan Trevor Raffle Rifle — for the Veterans’ Team
What will the rifle look like when it’s complete? We can’t show you that yet, but here’s another custom Palma rifle Doan crafted for the 2011 U.S. Veterans’ Team. Doan says: “This is the finished rifle for the U.S. Veterans Palma Team raffle for 2011. It carries a unique serial number signifying the 2011 World Championships in Australia.”

Doan Trevor Rifle Raffle U.S. Palma Team Pierce Brux

Doan Trevor Rifle Raffle U.S. Palma Team Pierce Brux

Permalink Competition, Gunsmithing No Comments »
January 20th, 2017

Shoot Better with No Ammo at All — Dry-Fire Training Tips

kirsten weiss dry fire anschutz smallbore

Kirsten Joy Weiss has created a useful video about Dry-Fire practice. Dry-Fire is a method of training without a live round in the chamber. Dry-Firing is effective, Kirsten explains, because “it eliminates all the extra noise and messages that you get when you fire a live round. Without recoil, without the sound of a shot going off etc., all you hear is the click of the trigger. This allows you to focus on your sight picture and your trigger press.” This the lastest installment in Kirsten’s ‘How to Shoot Awesomely’ series. Kisten says: “I hope it helps you, and keep on aiming true!”

kirsten weiss dry fire anschutz smallbore

Dennis DeMille High PowerThe Benefits of Dry-Fire Training
If you are not doing Dry-Fire practice yet, then it’s time to start. Dry-Fire training is essential to the sling disciplines, and very useful for F-Class. Dennis DeMille, a national Service Rifle Champion, told us that, for every minute he spent in actual competition, he would spend hours practicing without ammunition. While in the USMC, Dennis would practice in the barracks, working on his hold and dry-firing:

“The most important thing is to spend time off the range practicing. Most of what I learned as a High Power shooter I learned without ammunition — just spending time dry firing and doing holding exercises. Holding exercises will really identify the weak parts of your position. The primary purpose of dry firing is to get you used to shooting an empty rifle. If you can shoot a loaded rifle the same way you shoot an empty rifle then eventually you will become a High Master.”

Dry-Fire Training Can Benefit Benchrest Shooters
What about benchrest? Well, we’ve found that Dry-Fire sessions can even benefit benchresters — it can help reveal flaws in your trigger technique, or inconsistencies in the way you address the rifle from shot to shot. With the gun set up with your front rest and rear bag, if you see the scope’s cross-hairs wiggle a lot when you pull the trigger, you need to work on your technique. Also, dry-fire practice can help you learn to work the bolt more smoothly so you don’t disturb the gun on the bags.

Permalink - Videos, Shooting Skills No Comments »
January 8th, 2011

Records Set at Florida End of Year Match

malabar rifle pistol clubReport by Dave Conrath
In the last week of December, 2010, two pending FTR records were set at the annual Snowbird X-Miss Match hosted by Florida’s Port Malabar Rifle and Pistol Club. Competitors traveled from as far North as Michigan (through heavy snow). At the match, conditions varied over the four days of shooting from 25-mph winds, to below freezing temperatures and frost, to burning swamplands including falling ash. In a superb performance given the conditions, Kent Reeve was Palma rifle and overall winner with 1799-99X (dropping only one point over the 3-day event). Keith Perry was overall iron sight winner with 1781-107X.

New NRA 600-Yard Service Record Set by SSG Emil Kovan
SSG Emil Kovan (USAMU) and SFC James Gaston (BNX Rifle Team) took turns setting and resetting the NRA 600-yard individual NRA Service record. SFC Gaston shot a 198-11X, only to be bettered by SSG Kovan with a 200-11X.

Kovan uses a GA Precision-built, Surgeon-actioned, .308 Win rifle. It has a 26″, 11-twist barrel for tactical competitions, plus a 29″, 10-twist twist tube for F-T/R, both chambered in .308 Win. The 26″ BBL is chambered for 175-190 grain bullets, while the 29″ is throated for 210-grainers. Kovan shots moly-coated Berger 210gr VLDs in the longer barrel. He reveled that he loads “bullets long so they get soft seated .010″ when [closing] the bolt”.

In F-TR class, SSG Kovan won for the second year with a 1772-75X, Nik Taylor took second overall with 1769-69X, SFC Gaston took third place 1739-75X. In an extremely tight race in F-Open Class Michael Dana was first with 1765-36X, Mark Finizio took second with 1764-68X, Tom Goodman finished third with 1763-62X.

BNX Rifle Team Sets Pending F-TR Team Record
During the team matches on the final day, the BNX rifle team from Coastal Carolina Rifle Club at Camp Lejeune shot a new, pending F-TR 4-Man Team National record with a 794-37X. Shown below are BNX Team members (left to right), SFC James Gaston (200-9X), Tony Robertson (199-11X), Dave Conrath (197-7X), Tom Goodman (Asst. Coach/Scorer), Nik Taylor (198-10X) — Team Captain and Wind Coach.

Permalink Competition 5 Comments »