July 25th, 2015

Match Report: 2015 IBS Group Nationals in Pennsylvania

IBS Group Benchrest Nationals Union County Weikert PA Pennsylvania 6PPC 30 Dasher Tony Boyer

IBS Group Nationals — July 13-18, 2015

Report by IBS President Jeff Stover
The ancient benchrest alchemists once predicted a perfect storm for small groups. The recipe is: one part near ideal shooting conditions, 90 of the best benchrest shooters in North America and mix with the shooters’ best barrels and bullets. Place the entire concoction at the shooting benches for seven minutes at time. The result in Heavy Varmint (13.5-lb rifles) at 100 yards, for example, was that the top 17 shooters averaged under .200 for their five targets! Yes, nearly the entire Top 20 in HV100 shot a “teen agg”. Ten or fifteen years ago, that would have been unthinkable. Sure, the winners or top two or three would be in that rarefied air, but not half of an entire relay of 40 shooters. Remarkable.

Bill Sutton of Hart Rifle Barrels
IBS Group Benchrest Nationals Union County Weikert PA Pennsylvania 6PPC 30 Dasher Tony Boyer

IBS Group Nationals Full Results (XLS Spreadsheet) | IBS Group Nationals Equipment List

IBS Group Benchrest Nationals Union County Weikert PA Pennsylvania 6PPC 30 Dasher Tony Boyer Another landmark of the 2015 IBS Nationals was that 17-year-old Wyatt Peinhardt of Quarryville, PA won the 200-yard stage of Heavy Bench. That meant he earned his first point toward the U. S. Benchrest Hall of Fame (HOF). You need ten to get in, but young Wyatt has plenty of time to get the other nine. He is no ‘flash in pan’. The young Mr. Peinhardt has been shooting since 2009 and now runs full speed with the big dogs of the sport. He was in the Top 20 in this year’s Super Shoot 2-gun results. Frequently he battles his dad, Jeff for supremacy at the bench. Strangely enough, here at Weikert in the Sporter Grand Aggregate (average of five targets at both 100 and 200 yards) Wyatt and his father tied right down to four decimal places: 0.2317!

Six Days of Competition with Four Classes
Some say that the Group Nationals are a marathon — six long days of competition at both 100 and 200 yards with four classes of rifles: Light Varmint (10.5 lb); Sporter (10.5 lb – 6mm minimum caliber); Heavy Varmint (13.5 lb) and Heavy Bench (known as ‘Unlimited’ in NBRSA-land). The first three are simply known as the “bag guns”. Most competitors use a 10.5-lb rifle in 6PPC and compete in all three classes. The Heavy Bench (HB) class requires 10-shot groups as opposed to the 5-shot ones for the bag guns. There is no prohibition to shooting your 10.5-pound rifle in HB, but a shooter is simply outclassed by the rail guns, especially for 10-shot groups.

IBS Group Benchrest Nationals Union County Weikert PA Pennsylvania 6PPC 30 Dasher Tony Boyer

As mentioned, the week’s weather was very good. After what seemed like weeks of on and off rain, the central Pennsylvania weather gods smiled on what is considered one of the most beautiful ranges in the USA. The shooters had nice sunshine and instead of the usual Weikert blow, they were treated to light zephyrs. It was a glorious week to be at a rifle match.

IBS Group Benchrest Nationals Union County Weikert PA Pennsylvania 6PPC 30 Dasher Tony Boyer

Course of Fire — First 100, then 200
The sequence of competition groups has 100-yard targets shot the first three days followed by three days at 200 yards. It is done this way to require only one change of wind flags. Nationals competition requires ‘full rotation’. That means that every time a shooter goes to the line for the next match target, he or she must move a requisite number of benches to the right. At the end of the day a shooter will shoot across the full width of the line. Some ranges offer unique properties that render some parts of the range harder or easier to shoot small groups. Bench rotation is important to even out those factors.

IBS Group Benchrest Nationals Union County Weikert PA Pennsylvania 6PPC 30 Dasher Tony Boyer

Monday morning saw the Heavy Bench (HB) shooters hauling the big rail guns to the line. Old pro Jack Neary led the way at 100 yards with .2186 Aggregate. The 200-yard stage for HB would not be held until Saturday morning. The winner there, of course, was Wyatt Peinhardt with his .2993 (MOA conversion for 200-yard scores). On Tuesday the bags guns came out for Light Varmint (LV) and Sporter (SP). Conditions allowed for quite a few very good groups. The top thirteen shooters in Sporter shot ‘teen aggs’ with Bart Sauter leading the way at a .1666. In Light Varmint, Wayne Campbell shot a tiny .1556. Both his warm-up and first record target were in the ‘zeroes’ (.096 and .088)!

Wednesday’s 100-yard Heavy Varmint match enjoyed what were probably the best conditions of the week. You needed to average under .200 for five targets to finish in the Top 20 or nearly so. Harley Baker won with a .1616. The talk in the loading area was Baker’s fourth record target — a tiny 0.050 bughole centered right in the center ring (usually called the ‘mothball’). It was probably the prettiest target most had ever seen. Better yet, the standing IBS HV 100 record is a 0.052 shot way back in 1980. Harley’s target is being submitted to the IBS Measuring Committee as a potential IBS record.

IBS Group Benchrest Nationals Union County Weikert PA Pennsylvania 6PPC 30 Dasher Tony Boyer

Wednesday afternoon saw the moving of flags for the 200-yard stage of the competition. The SP and LV 200-yard targets were Thursday’s course of fire. In LV, Andy Shifflett shot a .1966 Aggregate to pick up a HOF point. At 200 yards, Aggregates are logged in MOA units. Therefore, Andy’s .1966 Aggregate translates to an average 200-yard target measurement of slightly less than .400″. The afternoon was reserved for SP targets. Billy Stevens shot a .2060 to win the afternoon’s contest.

Powderpuff Event at the IBS Group Nationals
For decades IBS has hosted an exhibition shoot on the afternoon of a day when only one Aggregate is contested instead of two. It is called the Powderpuff and is intended to allow family members and others that do not shoot competitively to give benchrest shooting a try. Each shooter is assisted by a coach who instructs the shooter. World-class shooters such as Gene Bukys and Lester Bruno give their time and talents to assist novice shooters. There is no time limit to rattle the inexperienced shooters.

2015 Powderpuff Winners Jaydin Johnson (left) and Pam Campbell (right)
IBS Group Benchrest Nationals Union County Weikert PA Pennsylvania 6PPC 30 Dasher Tony Boyer

IBS benchrest Powderpuff Youth match Weikert PA Group Nationals

Barbara Hottenstein continued as the Powderpuff chair and assembled a large array of awards and prizes. The competition is financially supported by the IBS President’s Fund. This year we had 12 youth and adult competitors. Pam Campbell won the adult category while Jaydin Johnson (shown above with coach Nancy Scarbrough) won the youth division.

On Friday, a single Aggregate of five record targets were shot-for Heavy Varmint (HV) at 200 yards. Harley Baker had his mojo working with a .1896 Aggregate. That performance, coupled with Harley’s .1616 at 100 yards meant that his average in the HV class was a .1756 Grand Aggregate. That is small. Really small.

On Friday afternoon, many of the awards for bag guns were given out. Saturday was reserved for HB 200. Since some of the bag gun shooters do not shoot a rail gun, a number of competitors left Friday afternoon. The rail guns came out to contest 200 yards on the last day of the Nationals. The winner was Wyatt Peindardt. His .2993 was the only Aggregate under .300. Wayne Campbell was second with a .3028. Winning the HB Grand Aggregate was two-time Super Shoot winner, Larry Costa.

IBS Group Benchrest Nationals Union County Weikert PA Pennsylvania 6PPC 30 Dasher Tony Boyer

IBS recognizes Aggregate performances as follows: Grand (100 + 200) Aggregates in each of four classes; Two-Gun (all HV and LV targets in 100 + 200); Three-gun (HV, LV, SP in 100 + 200) and 4-gun (HV, LV, SP and HB in 100 + 200). In the multi-guns, Harley Baker won the Two-Gun. Gene Bukys added more HOF points by winning the Three-Gun. In the Four-Gun, Virginia’s Wayne Campbell who took the overall four-class Agg with an excellent .2326.

CLICK HERE for Full 2015 Group Nationals Results on IBS Website.

Praise for the Range Crew and Sponsors
The IBS Group Nationals requires a ton of work to run smoothly. The Weikert range’s sparkplugs are Mark Trutt and Dale Boop. This shoot does not happen without those two. This year’s registration and general admin fell to Nancy Scarbrough, who ran a flawless operation. She was assisted by Will Baylor in the scoring and by Stacy Hynes. Steve Dodge oversaw the entire target crew while Larry Hertzog alternated with Mark Trutt as Range Officer.

The benchrest cottage industry should be commended for giving back to the shooters. This year’s sponsors included: BAT actions, Black Hills Shooters Supply, Boops Sporting Goods, Bruno Shooters Supply, Hart Rifle Barrels, Jewel Triggers, JDS Bullets, K&M Precision Shooting, Krieger Rifle Barrels, L. E. Wilson, Pacific Tool & Gauge, and Shilen Rifle Barrels.

Parting Shot — Some Competitors tried to keep up with work while reloading …
IBS Group Benchrest Nationals Union County Weikert PA Pennsylvania 6PPC 30 Dasher Tony Boyer

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October 19th, 2014

How Altitude and Air Pressure Influence Ballistics

Suunto AltimeterOne of our readers asked “What effect does altitude have on the flight of a bullet?” The simplistic answer is that, at higher altitudes, the air is thinner (lower density), so there is less drag on the bullet. This means that the amount of bullet drop is less at any given flight distance from the muzzle. Since the force of gravity is essentially constant on the earth’s surface (for practical purposes), the bullet’s downward acceleration doesn’t change, but a bullet launched at a higher altitude is able to fly slightly farther (in the thinner air) for every increment of downward movement. Effectively, the bullet behaves as if it has a higher ballistic coefficient.

Forum member Milanuk explains that the key factor is not altitude, but rather air pressure. Milanuk writes:

“In basic terms, as your altitude increases, the density of the air the bullet must travel through decreases, thereby reducing the drag on the bullet. Generally, the higher the altitude, the less the bullet will drop. For example, I shoot at a couple ranges here in the Pacific Northwest. Both are at 1000′ ASL or less. I’ll need about 29-30 MOA to get from 100 yard to 1000 yards with a Berger 155gr VLD @ 2960fps. By contrast, in Raton, NM, located at 6600′ ASL, I’ll only need about 24-25 MOA to do the same. That’s a significant difference.

Note that it is the barometric pressure that really matters, not simply the nominal altitude. The barometric pressure will indicate the reduced pressure from a higher altitude, but it will also show you the pressure changes as a front moves in, etc. which can play havoc w/ your calculated come-ups. Most altimeters are simply barometers that read in feet instead of inches of mercury.”

As Milanuk states, it is NOT altitude per se, but the LOCAL barometric pressure (sometimes called “station pressure”) that is key. The two atmospheric conditions that most effect bullet flight are air temperature, and barometric pressure. Normally, humidity has a negligible effect.

It’s important to remember that the barometric pressure reported on the radio (or internet) may be stated as a sea level equivalency. So in Denver (at 6,000 feet amsl), if the local pressure is 24″, the radio will report the barometric pressure to be 30″. If you do high altitude shooting at long range, bring along a Kestral, or remember to mentally correct the radio station’s pressure, by 1″ per 1,000 feet.”

You can do your own experimental calculations using JBM Online Ballistics (free to use). Here is an extreme example, with two printouts (generated with Point Blank software), one showing bullet trajectory at sea level (0′ altitude) and one at 20,000 feet. For demonstration sake, we assigned a low 0.2 BC to the bullet, with a velocity of 3000 fps.

Trajectory of Bullet fired at Sea Level

Trajectory of Bullet fired at 20,000 feet

if you want to learn more about all aspects of External Ballistics, ExteriorBallistics.com provides a variety of useful resources. In particular, on that site, Section 3.1 of the Sierra Manual is reprinted, covering Effects of Altitude and Atmospheric Pressure on bullet flight.

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October 5th, 2014

Short-Range Benchrest Shooting Techniques Demonstrated

Benchrest Shooting Finland free recoilIn these two videos from the Rekyyli Ja Riista (Recoil and Game) YouTube Channel, you can see how a modern, short-range benchrest rifle is shot. Note how the gun tracks superbly, returning right on target, shot after shot. As a result, the shooter doesn’t have to adjust the rifle position after firing (other than pushing the gun forward), so he can quickly load and fire within seconds of the previous shot. Good rests and consistent, smooth bolt actuation keep the gun from rocking.

It does take practice to perfect the right technique for shooting free recoil (or nearly free recoil — with just a pinch on the trigger guard). And, of course, you must have a very good bag/rest set-up and the stock geometry and rifle balance must be perfect. The ammo caddy also helps by placing the cartridge up high, right next to the left-aide loading port. Hats off to Forum member Boyd Allen for finding these videos. Boyd told us: “Watch carefully — Now this is how it’s done.” [Work Warning: Loud gunshot noises — Turn Down Volume before playback.]

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October 31st, 2013

Report from World Benchrest Championships in Australia

WBC World Benchrest Championships Australia

There was “Thunder Down-Under” last week at the 2013 World Benchrest Championships (WBC 2013) in Australia. The event was held at the Silverdale Range, a 1.5 hour-drive west of Sydney, NSW. This event drew roughly 80 of the world’s best 100/200 yard Benchrest group shooters who competed both individually and on national teams. Squads from Australia, Canada, Finland, Italy, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the USA vied for WBC team honors. Both Australia and the United States fielded three teams, while New Zealand and South Africa each fielded two squads.

WBC World Benchrest Championships Australia

Conditions were vicious at times, with extremely high winds in a few relays. To show you how tough things were, legendary shooter Tony Boyer had a 1.560″ group during the LV 200-yard match, while Tom Libby shot a shocking 2.280″ group in the same relay. We can’t remember when we’ve ever seen groups like that posted by shooters of this skill level.

In team competition, the strong USA ‘A-Team’ finished first followed by South Africa A (second place) and Australia A (third place). Ed Adams, Tony Boyer, Gene Bukys, and Bob Scarbrough Jr. were the members of the winning USA A-Team.

WBC World Benchrest Championships Australia

In individual competition, Americans finished 1-2-3 in the Two-Gun. Texan Charles Huckeba topped the field, winning the Two-Gun Overall with a 0.2804 Grand Agg. Gene Bukys (0.2863) was second, and Bob Scarbrough Jr. (0.2881) finished third. In fourth place overall was South African Roland Thomsen (0.2919), while New Zealander Peter Haxell (0.2940) finished fifth. The top five for each of the LV and HV yardages are listed below.

WBC World Benchrest Championships Australia

Complete WBC 2013 Results have been posted on the Australian Benchrest Bulletin website. Scroll down and look for the blue “Latest Stuff” tab on the lower left. There you’ll find links for WBC 2013 events under the “Latest Results” header.

Light Varmint Grand Agg
1. Gene Bukys (USA-A) .2796
2. Todd Tyler (USA-C) .2817
3. Roland Thomsen (SA-A) .2952
4. Peter Haxell (NZ-A) .2971
5. Jan Hemmes (SA-A) .3024
Light Varmint 100 Yards
1. Freddie Botha (SA-B) .1936
2. Todd Tyler (USA-C) .2258
3. Wayne Campbell (USA-B) .2464
4. Peter Haxell (NZ-A) .2484
5. Gene Bukys (USA-A) .2486
Light Varmint 200 Yards
1. Jan Hemmes (SA-A) .2939
2. Gert Le Roes (SA-B) .2962
3. Roland Thomsen (SA-A) .2978
4. Gene Bukys (USA-A) .3106
5. Todd Tyler (USA-C) .3375
Heavy Varmint Grand Agg
1. Ivan Piani (ITA-A) .2389
2. Bob Scarbrough (USA-A) .2399
3. Ch. Huckeba (USA-C) .2424
4. Tony Boyer (USA-A) .2520
5. Ed Adams (USA-A) .2781
Heavy Varmint 100 Yards
1. Tony Boyer (USA-A) .1574
2. Ch. Huckeba (USA-C) .1722
3. C. Whittleton (AUS-B) .1872
4. Wyn. Campbell (USA-B) .1874
5. Bob Scarbrough (USA-A) .1900
Heavy Varmint 200 Yards
1. Ivan Piani (ITA-A) .2786
2. Ed Adams (USA-A) .2869
3. Bob Scarbrough (USA-A) .2897
4. Ch. Huckeba (USA-C) .3126
5. Jari Laulumaa (FIN-A) .3168

WBC World Benchrest Championships Australia

Photos by Todd Tyler, Tom Libby, and Scott Pieper, provided courtesy Aaron French.
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May 6th, 2009

Amos Sets 600-Yard Record with 'Universal' Benchrest Rifle

Roger Amos (aka Expiper) is a long-time friend of this website and member of our Shooters’ Forum. We were pleased to see that, while competing at the NBRSA 600-yard Nationals, Roger set a new NBRSA Light Gun 3-target score record of 145-4X. Roger set the record with his 13.4-lb Panda-actioned, 8-twist 6BR, the same gun he shoots in 100/200 yard benchrest matches. Roger has demonstrated that a single gun can be competitive at multiple distances. This concept of a “universal benchrest rifle” is something we’ve advocated for quite some time, as we would like to see more 600-yard shooters compete at 100/200 and vice-versa. Also, with the tough economic times, it makes good sense to have one rifle that can do double-duty. Roger explains that his record-setting rifle “is typical of what I [now shoot] because of the high cost of building a target gun that is only legal/shootable at one distance or discipline. I am disabled and can’t carry a heavy gun because of my back. Out of necessity came up with this ‘universal rifle’ solution.”

Amos Universal BR rifle

Roger’s record-setting 6BR features a 28.5″ Krieger barrel (UHV profile), with a .237″ bore, .271″ no-turn neck, and .040″ freebore. That freebore length is much shorter than on most 600-yard guns, which typically have .090″-.120″ freebore. With an .040″ freebore, Roger can shoot both the 100+ grain bullets as well as the 62-68 grainers. At 600 yards, Roger runs Berger 105gr VLDs, .015″ into the lands, pushed by Reloder 15 and Fed 205M primers.

Amos Universal BR rifle

Fast-Twist Barrels at Short Ranges
Roger tells us that: “I have been shooting 8-twist barrels for several years now at 100-200-300 and they will shoot just as well as a traditional 14-twist (point blank) barrel … IF you use GOOD bullets. I have found that Barts and Fowler 62-68s will stand the extreme rotation associated with 3600+ fps and 1:8″ twist. Some bullets can’t take it. You just gotta try whatever you have and see for yourself. I have found the most accuracy at 100-200 with the 66-80 grain Fowler bullets or the 80gr Bergers. At 300 yards the 80gr Berger or 90gr Berger BT are excellent! At 600-1000 yards, the Berger 95gr VLDs can outperform the 105s because of their extra speed (although the 95s have a lower BC, their greater velocity can offset the BC advantage of the heavier bullet.)

Most of my stocks are around 22 ounces and give a finished weight of approximately 12 pounds. My Kelbly Klub stock on this gun is 48 ounces, for an all-up weight of 13.4 pounds. To help with balance, this particular stock has extra matrix in the fiber and is heavier than normal for point-blank guns. This gun can make weight as a Heavy Varmint but not as a Sporter — even if I used a 5-lb barrel.”

Pre-loading vs. Loading at the Match
Roger often loads at the range, but this wasn’t feasible at the NBRSA 600-yard Nationals. Roger explains: “When shooting ‘point blank’ (100/200) events, I usually load at the match like the majority of shooters. However this 600-yard event in Sacramento required airplane travel. These days, when flying, you are very limited as to cargo weight. Also you can NOT carry gun powder or primers. In your checked luggage, you are limited to 5 kilos (11 lbs.) of LOADED ammo and two long guns (or 5 pistols). Accordingly, I couldn’t take my dies/press/etc. with me, so I preloaded for the 600-yard Nationals.”

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May 4th, 2009

2009 Super Shoot Commences May 20 at Kelbly's Range

Kelblys super shootPolish up your PPCs boys, the Super Shoot is coming up real soon! The Firearm Industry Super Shoot (FISS), the largest short-range benchrest match in North America, runs for four days, May 20-23, 2009 at the Kelbly range in North Lawrence, Ohio. This is a LV/HV match only. Here’s the shooting schedule: May 20 10.5-lb 100 yards; May 21 13.5-lb 100 yards; May 22 13.5-lb 200 yards; May 23 10.5-lb 200 yards.

Some Slots Still Available
The Super Shoot attracts 320 or more shooters every year. For more information, go to Super Shoot Info Page, or click the links below. The competition is limited to 420 shooters. But it’s not too late to register. The Kelblys tell us “there are still places available if you get your registration in soon.” Note: after May 10, 2009, registration fees are $120.00 per gun. No exceptions.

FISS benchrest Super Shoot

Location:
7222 Dalton Fox Lake Road
North Lawrence, OH 44666
Phone: (330) 683-4674

Registration Form (.pdf file)

General Information

Map to Range

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