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July 31st, 2012

CPT Christopher Abalo Wins Smallbore Prone Championship

Report based on story by Kyle Jillson for the NRA Blog
CPT Christopher Abalo of the USAMU won the NRA Smallbore Rifle Prone Championship at Camp Perry, claiming the prestigious Critchfield Trophy with a score of 4792-352X. Reya Kempley came in second, just two points back (4790-363X). Rounding out the top three was Michael Anti who shot 4787-350X

The “third time was a charm” for Abalo, who secured the title in his third appearance at the Camp Perry smallbore prone event. He was close to the top in the past two years. In 2010 Abalo finished second behind teammate SSG Shane Barnhardt, while in 2011 Abalo took third, behind teammate SSG Michael McPhail and Mark Delcotto. “It feels great,” Abalo said of his first win. “After coming in second and third the last two years, it feels great to be at the top of the podium this time.”

CPT Abalo Smallbore Prone ChampionshipsCPT Abalo shown during “Any Sights” stage of Smallbore Prone Event.

Comprised of a Metallic Sight Championship and Any Sight Championship, the Prone Championship saw improved weather from the previous week’s Position Championships. Conditions stayed dry for the most part, but the wind coming off Lake Erie was still a force to contend with and often made life difficult for the almost 300 shooters taking part in the matches.

Photo courtesy the NRA Blog

Permalink Competition 1 Comment »
June 16th, 2012

Meet the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Rifle Competitors

The rifle shooters who will represent the United States at the 2012 London Olympics are currently profiled on the RifleShooter magazine website. Log on to to read about Team USA’s Olympians who will be competing in Air Rifle and Smallbore (.22LR Rimfire) events in London next month. The Olympic selection process recently concluded, and we now know the talented men and women who made the cut. CLICK HERE to read bios of individual athletes.

U.S. Olympic Rifle Shooters Team USA

Men’s Rifle Team

Matt Emmons, 50m 3P
10m Air Rifle

Jonathan Hall, 10m Air Rifle

Michael McPhail, 50m Prone

Josh Olson, Paralympic R3, R6

Jason Parker, 50m 3P

Eric Uptagrafft, 50m prone

Women’s Rifle Team

Jamie Beyerle Gray, 50m 3P
10m Air Rifle

Amanda Furrer, 50m 3P

Sara Scherer, 10m Air Rifle
Story find by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
June 3rd, 2012

New Elesio H1 Rimfire Tubegun Kit from Competition Machine

Gary Elesio of Competition Machine has come up with a new product for smallbore shooters. Gary has a new H1 Tubegun Chassis for the Hall custom rimfire action, a very high-quality, single-shot action that can be fitted with a Jewell trigger. The new H1 Chassis, like other Elesio tubegun kits, features a fully-adjustable skeleton-style stock, and a tubular forearm. The forearm can be rotated so a sling-shooter can “dial in” the best angle for his hand-stop. We think this new H1 action should be popular with rimfire prone and position shooters who are looking for an affordable, all-American alternative to expensive European match rifles. Below is a “sneak peek” at Elesio’s new H1. This shows the H1 receiver housing fitted with a Picatinny-style rail. MSRP for the H1 has yet to be announced.

Elesio H1 rimfire chassis

About the Hall Action
The $1075.00 Hall action is a high-quality, custom-crafted design built to benchrest standards. The action is 1 3/8″ diameter by 7 ” long and is made of 416 stainless steel, with heat-treated, tool steel locking lugs. The action features an Anschutz-type feed ramp, and it comes with a trigger housing which uses 40X Remington-type triggers (Jewell Remington triggers will work). The Hall action is currently available with either right or left port, but only right bolt.

Hall rimfire Action

Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink New Product 8 Comments »
February 28th, 2012

Salazar Examines Prone Stocks for High Power Shooting

German Salazar, a top prone shooter and “head honcho” of the fine website, has crafted an excellent new article on stock design. Writing for Precision Shooting magazine, German compares traditional stocks, such as the MasterClass Prone, with more modern, modular designs, such as the Eliseo TubeGun and Ross Precision stock. German, who shoots match rifles built with each type of stock, explains the pros and cons of the different designs, and explains how to optimize the stocks’ adjustments for best fit and function. German also explains the best methods to attach and bed an action to each of the designs.

Salaza highpower stock review

Salaza highpower stock review

For a limited time, German’s excellent article is available online, courtesy of Precision Shooting Magazine. If you’re a High Power shooter, or you are interested in the design, construction, and engineering of modern competition stocks, this article is a “must-read”.


Salaza highpower stock review

Permalink - Articles, Gunsmithing No Comments »
October 15th, 2011

John Whidden Wins Queen’s Prize Match at World Championships

Our friend John Whidden accomplished another milestone in his storied shooting career. This time John topped an extremely competitive field of Palma shooters at the World Rifle Championships in Australia. Earlier today Whidden nailed a 100-13V on the final day of the Queen’s Prize Match to win the three-day event with a 399-46V Aggregate. (A “V” is equivalent to the “X” in American matches). John’s Day 1 score of 150-012V and Day 2 tally of 149-21V were enough to overtake early Palma Teammate Norman Anderson, and hold off the strong-finishing SGT Sherri Gallagher on Day 3.

When the dust had settled, John took the Queen’s Prize Match by a single point over runner-up Sherri Gallagher. In fact, Sherri and the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th-place finishers all had identical 398 scores, so V-counts were used as tie-breakers. Yes this match was that close.

John Whidden World Rifle Championship.

By tradition, fellow competitors carried Whidden and his green John Deere-sashed rifle to the awards in a ceremonial sedan-chair. John seems to be enjoying the ride. The above photo was taken by fellow Palma Teammate Dave Cloft. Overall, Americans did very well in the Queen’s Prize Match, taking four of the Top 10 places. South Africa, a strong force at the last World Championship, had three shooters in the Top 10. Here’s how the Top 10 finished in the Queens Match:

1. John Whidden, USA: 399-046V
2. Sherri Gallagher, USA: 398-054V
3. Jim Bailey, Australia: 398-044V
4. Petrus Haasbroek, South Africa: 398-043V
5. Norm Anderson, USA: 398-043V
6. Colin Cole, North Arm: 398-039V
7. Andre Du Toit, South Africa: 397-048V
8. Johannes Du Toit, South Africa: 397-048V
9. Geoffrey Grenfell, Bendigo: 397-048V
10. Tom Whitaker, USA: 397-047V

It looks like the Yanks are picking up steam in the World Rifle Championships, which continue with both individual and team events through October 22nd. (We’ll have a report on the hot-shooting USA Young Eagles team tomorrow.)

Story by Lars Dalseide for The NRA Blog.

Permalink Competition, News 5 Comments »
October 11th, 2011

New Berger 105gr 6mm Hybrid Bullets Perform Well

105gr Hybrid Tests Demonstrate Excellent Accuracy and Consistency
By Robert Whitley
After the initial Daily Bulletin Report on the new Berger 6mm 105gr Hybrids, I did some accuracy and consistency field testing with these new bullets. They shot so well, I thought an update was in order. My 100-yard testing has revealed much about these new bullets — all of it good so far. The test rifle was a MAK Tube Gun with a trued Rem 700 action (glued in), with a 6mm Brux 30″, 1:8″-twist barrel chambered with a no-neck-turn 6mm BRX chamber (1.563″ max case and .120″ free bore). The 6mm 105gr Hybrids fit and work well in this 6 BRX chamber configuration. (CLICK HERE to view a print of the reamer I used for the 6 BRX chamber.)

Berger 6mm 105 grain Hybrid bullet

Hybrids Show Excellent Accuracy in Prone Tests (with Sling)
As some may know, I am predominantly a prone shooter and do most of my load testing prone with a sling. I chose to do the same with these Hybrids, to see how they would perform when fired as they would be in a prone match. In this case, shooting prone with sling, I shot four 10-shot groups (two 10-shot groups in each of two range session). All four groups were right around .5 MOA (i.e. each group about .750″ edge-to-edge, minus a bullet diameter of .243″ = .507″). The new Berger 6mm 105gr Hybrid bullets had no problems doing this. The groups shot were also consistent with the best groups I have been able to shoot in the past with the Berger 108gr BT bullets and the Berger 105gr VLD bullets, and I consider both of those bullets to be excellent and accurate. There is no question in my mind that these new Hybrid bullets are accurate, and the consistency is there! Check out my test targets below.

The two 10-shot targets above were shot at 100 yards on September 30th, prone with sling. The 6 BRX load was: Berger 6mm 105gr Hybrids, Lapua brass, 32.0 grains N140, Federal 205M-AR primers, .020″ jump. Note: If you put the targets over each other the groups line up perfectly.

These two 10-shot targets (above) were shot at 100 yards on September 23, prone with sling. The 6 BRX load was: Berger 6mm 105gr Hybrids, Lapua brass, 31.0 grains H4895, Federal 205M-AR primers, .020″ jump. When I can shoot 20 Xs in a row (as I did with these two targets) the rifle is really shooting well.

Accuracy needs to be coupled with consistency, especially when running longer strings of fire or in matches demanding a larger number of hits on the target. I am pleased to report that I have found the Berger 105gr Hybrid bullets to be consistently accurate bullets (i.e. there were no anomalies or fliers, they just keep going where you pointed the rifle). At each of the last two range sessions I shot back to back 10-shot groups with no break between the two (i.e. 20 shots in a row and only switching to the next target after 10 shots). Not only did the individual 10-shot groups stay tight, but if you hold each first target over the second target, the groups are right on top of one another. This is what I look for in terms of consistency — that I can keep shooting, and the bullets keep going right into the group, with no odd fliers.

105gr Hybrid Bearing Surface and Optimum Free Bore
Shooters may wonder how the new 6mm 105gr Hybrids function with the existing freebores on chambers set up for current Berger 105gr VLDs and Berger 108gr BT bullets. Based on the investigation and measuring of various chambers, here are some general guidelines:

1. For a chamber with a 1.5° throat angle, and the bullets touching the lands, the Berger 105gr Hybrid bullets sit up in the neck a little further than both the current production Berger 105 VLD Target bullets and the Berger 108gr BT bullets.

2. Based on basic measuring and testing, for the junction of the boat tail and bearing surface of a 6mm 105gr Hybrid bullet to be in the same spot as other bullets, the 105 Hybrid (Lot #3079) would need about .020″ – .025″ less freebore than recent production Berger 105gr Target VLD bullets (Lot #3220) and about .030″ – .035″ less freebore than recent Berger 108gr Target BT bullets (lot #2791).

3. Since the Hybrids are designed to work both in the lands and jumped away from the lands, some extra freebore may not be a bad thing. In truth, the 105 Hybrid bullets should work well and fit well in various 6mm chamberings (such as 6 BRX, 6 Dasher, 6mmAR etc.) which have been optimized for the previous generation, non-Hybrid 6mm Berger 105s and 108s.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, New Product 7 Comments »
January 20th, 2011

SHOT Show Report: Long-Range Champ John Whidden

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

YouTube Preview Image

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

Permalink - Videos, Competition No Comments »
August 13th, 2010

American Junior Women Win 50m Prone Rifle Gold and Silver

There were many great performance by American female shooters at the recently concluded 2010 ISSF World Championships in Munich. Led by Olympian Kim Rhode, our lady shotgunners got most of the media attention, but two junior smallbore shooters also deserve mention. Sharon Barazani of Rossmoor, CA won the Gold Medal in the 50M Prone women junior event with a 596-46X score. Fellow American Sarah Beard (from Danville, IN) scored a 594-44X to finish second and earn the Silver Medal.

ISSF Junior Gold Sharon BarazaniThe ISSF website reports: “Sharon Barazani and Sarah Beard dominated the 50m Rifle Prone Women Junior [event]. Barazani nailed a perfect 100 in her final series to capture the gold medal. In her first major ISSF competition, the inexperienced Barazani shot like a seasoned veteran. Beard finished right behind her with 595 points and 44 center hits.”

The performances of both Barazani and Beard are particularly impressive because neither young lady had previously competed in an ISSF World Cup or World Championship event. In addition, Sharon managed to win the Gold without any sponsorship from USA Shooting. Sharon funded her own expenses to compete at the World Championship. That involved saving many pennies over the past few months but now she came back with gold. At right, Sharon is shown with legendary Olympic shooter Lones Wigger.

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
August 3rd, 2010

ISSF World Championships Underway in Munich

ISSF World Championships MunichWhile much of the American shooting community is focused on the National Championships in Camp Perry, Ohio, nearly 2500 of the world’s top shooters are competing in Munich, Germany in the 50th ISSF World Shooting Championships which concludes August 11, 2010.

ISSF World Championships MunichThe 50th World Shooting Championship opened in Munich, Germany on the 30th of July with a festive Opening Ceremony on Munich’s iconic Marien-platz. This is the largest World Shooting Championship ever — with 2,460 shooters from 103 countries competing for medals in 54 events. Competitors will also vie for 69 Olympic Quotas allowing their respective nations’ teams to compete at the 2012 Games in London.

At the ISSF World Championships, disciplines include Air Rifle, Air Pistol, Smallbore Rifle, Smallbore Pistol, Running Target, 300m Rifle, and Trap, with classes for Men, Women, and Juniors. So far Americans have done well, with high individual placings and a team win in the mens’ 50m rimfire prone event (see photo). The 50m mens’ prone team, consisting of Matt Emmons, SGT Michael McPhail, and SFC Eric Uptagrafft, won its second consecutive World Championship.

The website provides extensive coverage of the ISSF World Championships, including video webcasts of the finals in many disciplines. There are numerous photo galleries where you can see the shooters and high-tech air rifles and rimfire rifles used by the top shooters from many countries.

Running Target Competition is Fun to Watch
At the ISSF Worlds, one of the most challenging events is the Running Target Competition. Since this is not an Olympic shooting discipline, you may have never seen it before. But we guarantee this is worth checking out. Shooting in a man vs. man format, pairs of shooters engage a quickly moving target at 10 meters with air rifles. But the scoring is like tennis. For each pair of shots (one by each shooter), the competitor who puts his shot closest to dead center gets one point, while his opponent gets nothing. This is all done offhand from the standing position, requiring superb holding skills. It’s hard enough to shoot “10s” when the target is fixed. Imagine trying to put a pellet in a tiny 10-Ring, when the target is moving! To watch the Running Target Finals, CLICK this LINK then select the “Medal Match 10m Running Target Men” video from the list at the right. Forward to the 28-minute mark for the final Gold Medal shoot-out between Russia and China.

ISSF World Championships Munich

Team USA photo by Wolfgang Schreiber, ©2010 ISSF

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
August 2nd, 2010

88-Year-Old Former All-American Still Competes at Camp Perry

by Danielle Sturgis, The NRA Blog

Fred Cole Camp PerryA collegiate All-American in the 1940s, Mr. Fred Cole is now 88 years old and still a Camp Perry competitor. At Thursday night’s NRA Awards Ceremony, where smallbore prone champions were awarded their medals, Match Director H.Q. Moody was excited to introduce him to the audience before the official ceremony began. “He’s been our senior perennial champion forever,” Moody said, “and he’s one of our sport’s fine gentleman.”

As Cole stood and waved at the audience, the entire auditorium joined him in a thundering standing ovation. Cole competed in both the 2010 smallbore 3-position competition and the smallbore prone competition. He ended the week with a comprehensive score of 4714-216x. Cole’s pictured above (left) shooting in the prone position from 100 yards.

“I started shooting in 1937 at Xavier High School Rifle Team,” Cole told NRAblog. “That’s 73 years of shooting. I shoot mostly smallbore position. That’s my first love.”

The Stonybrook, New York, resident reports winning a total of 6 intermediate senior championships throughout his Camp Perry career.

Why has he devoted so much of his time to competitive shooting? “It’s the greatest sport in the world,” Cole proclaimed. “It’s a character builder. It demands personal discipline. It’s a challenging sport, and one can participate individually or as a team member.”

Permalink Competition, News 1 Comment »
July 30th, 2010

SSG Shane Barnhart Wins Nat’l Smallbore Prone Championship

SSG Shane BarnhartShooting an impressive 4790-355X, SSG Shane Barnhart earned the title of National Smallbore Rifle Prone Champion, while competing this week at Camp Perry, Ohio. Finishing second and third, respectively, were 1LT Christopher Abalo, and Charles Kemp. Abalo and Kemp had identical 4786 scores, but 1LT Abalo had the higher X count. Abalo scored 344X compared to Kemp’s 338X.

Army Shooters Top the Field
Story by Danielle Sturgis, The NRA Blog
SSG Shane Barnhart has been to Camp Perry since 1992, minus two years. This year is his best smallbore rifle performance. Did he come expecting to win? “I was hoping (to place in top 3),” he said. “I knew going into Any Sight that I had Abalo and Kemp, both very fine shooters, to keep up with.” What was the biggest challenge of the week? “Battling the wind,” Shane said. When asked if he had any advice for young people thinking about shooting competitively, Barnhart responded: “You can get a free ride to college,” he said.

First Lieutenant Christopher Abalo practiced for the national smallbore prone championships for just one month, yet still managed a strong second-place finish. “I took a two-year break from competitive shooting, so this feels good,” he said. “I feels great, actually. I expected to shoot well, and I would say I met my expectations.” Below are photos from the 2010 Smallbore Prone Championships.

Gunny Zins Wins his 10th Pistol Championship
In related news, retired Gunnery Sergeant Brian Zins of Poland, Ohio, was named national champion at the NRA National Pistol Championships held July 13-17 at Camp Perry. This was Zins’ 10th National Championship. Zins shot consistently high scores throughout the event, winning the .22 Caliber Championship and placing in the top three for both the Center Fire and .45 Caliber Championships. Zins’ Aggregate score of 2650-134X placed Brian at the top of the leader board for the tenth time in his shooting career — a record number of National Pistol Championships. CLICK HERE to learn more about Zins and other pistol competitors.

Permalink Competition No Comments »
July 29th, 2010

New Ballard-Designed F-TR Stock from Precision Rifle & Tool

F-TR lowboy gunstockCharles Ballard, two-time U.S. F-class Open Champion, has been working with Precision Rifle & Tool on a new F-TR (Target Rifle) stock. Charles designed the stock to combine the adjustability of the better F-Open designs with a nice rigid fore-end for bipod use. Charles has shot the new stock in competition and he says it tracks really well. When fitted with a wide-base bipod, the stock is super-stable, with minimal hop on recoil.

The new stock is officially called the “Ballard LowBoy F-Class Target Rifle (F-TR) Stock”. This new design is available immediately, in a variety of laminated colors, starting at $325.00 (without hardware). The stock can be inletted for Rem 700 actions, Rem 700 clones, the Savage Target Action, and most custom actions.

Key Features of the new Ballard F-TR stock are:

  • Extended front to provide proper balance with long barrels.
  • Low profile design for a lower, more stable center of gravity.
  • Buttstock has a 1/2″ machined flat on the bottom and angled sides to provide superior tracking in the rear bag.
  • Buttstock has a slight angle to allow minor elevation adjustments.
  • Optional adjustable buttplate and optional adjustable cheekpiece.

F-TR lowboy gunstock

Stock Delivery Options Dictate the Price
Precision Rifle & Tool can deliver the Ballard LowBoy F-TR in any state of completion the customer desires. The basic stock costs $325, inletted for your action, but unfinished and without hardware. Complete with removable/adjustable cheekpiece, and adjustable buttplate, the stock costs $900.00 ready to be bedded and finished. Clear-coating or oil finish is available at extra cost.

YouTube Preview Image

In the video, Charles Ballard gives you a “walk-around” of the stock and explains the stock’s design features. The high-tech, carbon fiber bipod is made by Center Shot Engineering in Oregon. For more info, or to order a Ballard LowBoy F-TR stock, visit, or call (336) 516-5132. Charles Ballard himself can talk you through the options.

Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product 2 Comments »
February 11th, 2010

Shooting Skills: Prone Position Shooting Tips from USAMU

The First Shot, the CMP’s online magazine, features a well-written article on Prone Shooting Technique by SPC Matthew Sigrist of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU). The article covers all the major points of gun hold and body position: hand position, elbow position, stock weld, buttstock placement, and sling position/tension.

SPC Matt Sigrist of the USAMU breaks down the prone position into “fundamentals” and explains how you put each element together to create a stable body position: “The fundamentals are the building blocks of a position. Much like the framework of a house, a correct application of the fundamentals ensures a solid and stable structure. Since each person’s position will depend on their particular body build and shape, there is no ‘perfect position’ that applies to everyone. Experience, practice and knowledge of the correct fundamentals will dictate the best position for you.”

SPC Sigrist also demonstrates the two basic variations of the leg position when shooting prone: open/spread legged, and bent-legged.

For any service rifle, highpower, cross-course, or prone shooter, this helpful article can improve your performance in the prone position.

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills 4 Comments »
February 3rd, 2010

New Combo Shooting Mat and Rifle Carry Case

Many of our readers have been looking for a folding shooting mat that does double duty as a rifle case. Well, the NRA just released such a combo mat/carry case that appears to have all the needed capabilities. In carry mode, the case is 48″ long by 13″ wide. The rifle is stowed in a padded center section, and held in place with velcro straps. A center handle lets you carry the bag like a suitcase, or optional shoulder straps allow backpack-style carry. These straps stow away in a zippered compartment when not in use.

Shooting mat carry case

When you arrive at the range, just open up the bag and you have a 3 foot wide by 6 foot long shooting mat with rubberized “elbow” contact zones. In shooting position you’ll find a convenient pouch for ammo on the right, and a place for your log-book on the left. Constructed of tough, 600D polyester with heavy-duty silent zippers, the NRA Mat includes four multi-position pouches: a 9″ x 8″ clear map / document pouch, a 10″ x 10″ zippered ammo pouch with 20 cartridge loops, a 9½” x 10″ exterior MOLLE pouch, and a 9″ x 18″ utility / strap pouch. The front exterior has MOLLE loops to attach additional pouches.

The NRA combo carry case/shooting mat costs $99.95, in either “coyote” tan or black. We think thats a pretty good price considering that a quality roll-up mat by itself can cost $80.00 or more and you still need a rifle case. This mat would be a good choice for F-Class shooters, and for long-range High Power shooters, provided their rifle is less than 45-46″ overall. Measure your gun before you order this product from the NRA Store.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 3 Comments »
May 30th, 2009

Field Test: Anschütz Model 64-R Biathlon

Anschutz 64R BiathlonWe’ve had an Anschütz model 64-R Biathlon to play with since the first of the year, thanks to Anschütz. This is a very impressive rifle. Accuracy has exceeded our expectations. Even with relatively inexpensive Wolf Match Extra and Eley Club Xtra, the gun has shot many 1/4″ groups at 50 yards from bipod. Our ace rimfire triggerman, Joe Friedrich, has shot some 50-yard groups with 4 out of 5 shots virtually through one hole, and the fifth maybe half a bullet width further out.

Originally, the gun came with a 2.2-lb (one kilo) two-stage trigger, suited for biathlon and silhouette. That trigger was nice, and certainly shootable, as we could get the second stage down to about 9 ounces. But Anschütz recently provided its 500 gram match trigger assembly, and that has made the gun even sweeter to shoot. The 500 gram trigger installed easily, and by adjusting two screws we got the total pull weight down to 1.13 pounds, with the second stage about 5 ounces. (Note: in the video, I said the trigger pull was about “one and a half pounds”; we later adjusted it down to 1.13 pounds, or 512 grams.)

Please enable Javascript and Flash to view this VideoPress video.

The cheekpiece adjusts for height and cant angle. Length of pull can be adjusted by means of plastic spacers. With the spacers provided by Anschütz, the LOP is about 13.3 inches. That’s still a bit short for this Editor, but the gun was still very comfortable to shoot in all positions: prone, sitting, and standing. The near-vertical grip is very comfortable in prone and, with the scope positioned well forward, you can easily get your head in the right position for scoped shooting. With its built-in accessory rail, and a $6.00 track adapter, a Harris bipod attaches easily, and you can move the bipod position fore and aft.

Anschutz 64R Biathlon

With its excellent ergonomics and stellar accuracy, we think the Anschütz 64R Biathlon is a superb choice for tactical rimfire matches. Plus, it’s dead-nuts reliable. By contrast, at the rimfire tactical matches we’ve covered, we’ve seen a variety of misfeeds and/or mag failures with other brands of rifles. With the Anschütz 64R, mag feeding and function has been flawless. We’ve shot over 700 rounds without a single problem.

Anschutz 64R Biathlon

Does the rifle have flaws? Yes, a few. First, as noted, the LOP is short for someone with long arms, even with 3 spacers installed. Second, the barreled action and bolt are prone to develop rust if you don’t keep them well-oiled. We wish Anschütz offered a more durable, corrosion-resistent finish so we didn’t have to baby the blueing after each shooting session. While the magazines fed flawlessly, the mag well is recessed and the mag release is small. This caused some fumbling when we tried to do “speed reloads.” That’s it — the complaint list is pretty small, and you could easily apply a baked-on resin finish if you wanted.

Anschutz 64R Biathlon

Subjectively, this gun is a hoot to shoot, and I can honestly say I’ve had more fun with this rifle than any other rimfire I’ve tested. No, it won’t rival a tuned ARA rimfire Benchrest rig, but it is still exceedingly accurate, and the gun is truly versatile. It’s ideal for tactical matches, club fun shoots, and if you lock the cheekpiece in place and use the 2.2-lb trigger, most clubs should let you use it for silhouette. The gun currently retails for about $1200.00 IF you can find one. Anschütz isn’t building many 64Rs these days, and only a handful made their way to the USA. Hopefully, our report will spur interest in the rifle and Anschütz will decide to ship more across the Atlantic.

Permalink News 6 Comments »
April 15th, 2009

New Portable F-Class Front Rest from Butch Lambert

Butch Lambert of Shadetree Engineering & Accuracy has come up with a very impressive new lightweight, break-down front rest base for F-Class shooters. Built primarily of anodized aluminum, the new rest base weighs just about 3 pounds. It can accept a variety of rest tops, including the Shadetree Joystick Top shown below (this omnidirectional top retails for $375.00 plus shipping).

Lambert Shadetree Eng. F-Class rest

Lambert Shadetree Eng. F-Class rest

We like this product and we predict it will become popular with F-Classers as well as varminters looking for a solid front rest that is light to carry and easily stowed. The fact that the rest base breaks down into small components is a big plus for shooters who must travel by air. Over the past year, the airlines have imposed very high fees for extra checked luggage–in some cases as much as $120.00 per bag! With the new Shadetree base, you can easily disassemble the unit into smaller parts that could even be stowed in a carry-on bag. Kudos to Butch Lambert for this innovative new design. To learn more about price and availability of the F-Class rest base, call Butch at (972) 524-2247 or email papawlambert [at]

Permalink New Product No Comments »
February 10th, 2009

Ladies Triumph in Arizona. Savage Shocks Shooters.

The ladies beat the gents at the 2009 Arizona Long-Range Championship at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix, AZ. Nancy Tompkins (photo left) triumphed over 50 other shooters to win the main 1K event with a spectacular 600-36X, followed by Michelle Gallagher (of Berger Bullets) who shot 598-28X. Trudie Fay was the top shooter in Palma (.308) class. Way to go ladies! In this event, competitors shot prone (with sling) at 1000 yards. There were 60 rounds for record over two days, with two “any sights” stages, and one “iron sights” stage; the second “iron sights” stage was cancelled due to a sudden and severe hail storm.

Savage Tubegun Wows the Crowd at Ben Avery
Tubegun builder Gary Eliseo finished third overall with 596-27X. Gary’s performance shocked many fellow shooters … not because Gary doesn’t have the skills, but because he shot a 200-12x and a 199-6X on Day One with a Savage-actioned rifle. That’s right, Gary was shooting a prototype S1 Tubegun built with an out-of-the-box Savage Target Action with factory Accutrigger. Gary told us: “To be honest, like everybody else, I was amazed at how well that Savage shot. And I did no modifications or accurizing to the action whatsoever. All I did was lap the outside of the action to the S1 chassis for a better fit.”

Eliseso Savage tubegun

Eliseso Savage tubegun

German Salazar believes the Savage Tubegun is a very important development: “Here’s an affordable long-range prone rifle that can be assembled by the shooter with simple tools. Get a prefit barrel with barrel nut and you don’t even need a gunsmith. You save money, and just as importantly, you save time — no more year-long waits to get your rifle built.”

Plenty of 6mm Rifles on the Firing Line
While the match winner and runner-up were shooting 6.5-284s, the majority of the remaining Top 10 finishers were using a 6mm cartridge of some kind. Gary Eliseo finished third shooting a 6BR Improved (BRX), Randy Tesseidre finished fourth, also with a 6BRX, and German Salazar finished fifth shooting a 6XC and four of the next five finishers also shot 6mm cartridges. This may evidence a trend towards the smaller caliber over the 6.5mm. Why are we seeing more 6mm cartridges used at 1000 yards? According to German Salazar: “The answer is pretty simple — higher scores. Many (but certainly not all) shooters have found their scores increase when shooting 6mm cartridges, as opposed to the 6.5-284 or even the 7mms. The reasons are more consistent vertical and less recoil, and those two factors are related. With less recoil it’s easier to maintain the precise hold needed to shoot 10s and Xs throughout the match.” Third-place finisher Gary Eliseo also feels that some of the 6mm cartridges may be easier to tune than the 6.5-284. “I shoot the 6BRX”, Gary explained, “it’s an amazing little cartridge–easy to load for. With Berger VLDs seated into the lands it’s super-accurate and really holds tight elevation.”

More Match Results on Desert Sharpshooters Website
Complete Match Results are available on the Desert Sharpshooters website. The Top Three F-Class shooters (in order) were Jim Murphy, Larry Bartholome, and Jeff Cochran, while John Brewer was F-Class High Senior. The Palma match for .308 rifles, held on Friday, was tightly contested. Among the 48 Palma competitors in Friday’s match (not part of the championship aggregate), the top five finishers were Eddie Newman (445-26X), Gary Eliseo (444-25X), David Littlefield (444-21X), Trudie Fay (443-29X), and Steve Cunico (442-26X). Trudie was the High Women shooter while Steve was High Senior.

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