September 29th, 2018

Norm Harrold and His Championship-Winning F-Open Rig

F-Class Open F-Open Norm Norman Harrold Champion Championship 2018 Raton NM New Mexico 284 Shehane Berger Bullets

After Norm Harrold won the 2018 F-Open National Championship in Raton, New Mexico, setting a new 1000-yard National Record in the process, many of our Forum members wanted to see Norm’s championship-winning rifle, and learn more about Norm’s experience at the Nationals. Read on for coverage of Norm’s equipment and .284 Shehane ammo. Scroll down and you’ll find a detailed video showing how McMillan builds the advanced Kestros ZR stocks, like the one Norm used at Raton.

Norm posted: “I made it home from Raton 2018 F-Class Nationals and what an unbelievably amazing week I had. I was blessed enough to bring home a new F-Open 1000-yard record and the National Championship! Our Team McMillan took second in Mid-range and fourth overall in Long Range. I am so thankful and blessed to have this opportunity and to be able to do it with such a stand-up group of competitors and lifelong friends. Thanks to all our sponsors: McMillan Fiberglass Stocks, Nightforce Optics, Kelbly’s [Actions], Bartlein Barrels, and Berger Bullets.”

F-Class Open F-Open Norm Norman Harrold Champion Championship 2018 Raton NM New Mexico 284 Shehane Berger Bullets

Gun and Load: Norm’s F-Open rig features a McMillan Kestros ZR stock and Bartlein barrel chambered for the .284 Shehane, which has a bit more case capacity than a standard .284 Winchester. Norm loaded Berger 184gr 7mm bullets in Lapua brass. Norma revealed his load in an Erik Cortina YouTube Video. Fellow shooter Erik Cortina joked — “the minute this video goes live, the 184s will be hard to find”. Norm says “Stock up guys — they shoot good!”

F-Class Open F-Open Norm Norman Harrold Champion Championship 2018 Raton NM New Mexico 284 Shehane Berger Bullets

Here Norm Harrold shows his shooting form. Note how low the McMillan Kestros ZR forearm sits on Norm’s SEB NEO front rest. Norma also uses a large footprint rear bag for enhanced stability.

Harrold Shoots 200-22X to Smash 1000-Yard F-Open Record
On a rainy day at Raton, Norm shot brilliantly to set a new F-Open National Record: 200-22X at 1000 yards. (The previous record was 200-17X.) How could he get 22 Xs for a 20-shot string? Under NRA rules, if you shoot all Xs for the full string, you are allowed to keep shooting for as long as you can put shots in the X-Ring. Norm almost missed the chance to extend his X-Count. After his 20th shot, Norm recalled, “I said ‘I’m done, give me my target’, but … my shooting partner said ‘No! Keep shooting!’” So Norm did, drilling two more Xs to set the new National Record.

F-Class Open F-Open Norm Norman Harrold Champion Championship 2018 Raton NM New Mexico 284 Shehane Berger Bullets

Kelly McMillan Shows Design and Construction of the Kestros ZR:

In this video, Kelly McMillan explains the design features and construction methods for the Kestros ZR, a fiberglass Kestros with aluminum extension rails in the front. Kelly explains “how and why we made the stock the way we did” and he shows how to retro-fit standard Kestros stocks with the new front rails. On the ZR the rails are anchored to a reinforced area for extra rigidity. In addition, the cantilevered rails are milled to be perfectly parallel. If you shoot F-Class we strongly recommend you watch this video.

Kelly McMillan Kestros ZR front rail prototype
Kelly McMillan showed us the prototype Kestros ZR at the 2018 Berger Southwest Nationals.

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July 19th, 2018

Wilkinson Dominates in Score at .50 Caliber FCSA Championships

Walter Wilkinson .50 BMG fifty caliber FCSA Raton New Mexico Whittington Center Steyr HS .50

Retired Army Special Forces Sgt. Maj. Walter Wilkinson won two of the four individual 1,000-yard Score titles — for Light Gun and Hunter Classes — at the recent Fifty Caliber Shooters’ Association (FCSA) 2018 World Championships. In addition to his two individual score titles*, Wilkinson was also a member of the winning 4-shooter team.

The FCSA World Championships were held July 5-7, 2018 at the NRA Whittington Center near Raton, New Mexico. There were shooters from Australia, Great Britain, Spain and the USA in attendance. The FCSA 1000-yard matches have four classes: Light Gun, Heavy Gun, Unlimited, and Hunter. In the first three classes, the rifles are normally shot from a machine rest off the bench. Hunter Class requires the shooter to fire from the ground with a bipod. And that’s how Wilkinson shot all his relays…

Steyr HS .50 BMG FCSA

Remarkably, Wilkinson, who shot his near-“box stock” Steyr HS .50 equipped with factory bipod from the ground in the prone position, posted the FCSA Championships’ highest score, beating out shooters in the Light Gun, Heavy Gun, and even Unlimited Classes.

Beating the Benchresters — While Shooting Prone from Bipod
Wilkinson, a Gunsite instructor from Edgewood, NM, shot a two-day total of 290-10X for the Hunter Score, and his Light Gun Score total of 291-7X was the highest of any shooter in any class — most of whom were firing custom-built rifles from mechanical rests atop concrete benches. Wilkinson also placed fourth overall in the 2-Gun Aggregate, which factors both scores and average group sizes from both classes. Wilksonson’s score wins marks his third FCSA victory in the Hunter Class with his Steyr HS .50 since his first win in 2012, and this year he notched his first Light Gun Score World Title.

Walter Wilkinson .50 BMG fifty caliber FCSA Raton New Mexico Whittington Center Steyr HS .50

The Wicked Whittington Range at Raton
Nestled at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the Whittington Center’s 1,000-yard range has notoriously tricky winds, especially in the afternoons. On the first day, Wilkinson shot on the afternoon relays. As usual, switching and swirling winds proved to be a formidable foe for all shooters. Wind coming from behind the shooters was switching from 4 O’clock to 8 O’clock and back again, often changing within seconds. Wilkinson was able to very quickly make wind judgments and adjust his hold accordingly. “I couldn’t do anything wrong,” Wilkinson said. “It was like every time the wind changed, I knew exactly where to hold, and the bullets just kept going where I wanted them to.

Walter Wilkinson FCSA .50 BMG fifty caliber

Walter Wilkinson FCSA .50 BMG fifty caliber
Photo courtesy Brett Berger.

Holding Off Right and Left for the Cycling Wind
“The highlights of the day were the last two strings of fire in Hunter Class during Relay 4″, Wilkinson explained. “I shot a 50-2X with a 9.8-inch group and a 49-2X with a 7.9-inch group. The Ten-Ring is right at 1.15 MOA, and when you keep them all in that, it says something about your rifle and your load. During both of those two strings, I changed from holding on the right side of the target to the left side during the string.”

Wilkinson’s .50 Delivered Quarter-MOA Groups During Load Testing
Wilkonson’ Steyr .50-Cal has always been an accurate rig. Back in 2012, when Wilkinson developing loads, the big rig showed outstanding accuracy: “As I was working up a load for the HS.50, I shot groups that amazed me. I was getting groups of 0.214 MOA at 220 yards, and I didn’t know what to think. All the bullets were going in the same hole, and it was like ‘Wow, I’ve really got a rifle that can shoot here’. That stunned Wilkinson: “With my [military] experience with the performance of the same .50 BMG cartridge overseas, I didn’t expect that kind of accuracy out of it.”

FCSA 50 caliber Fifty Cal world championships

Cost of Big-Bore Shooting
Is owning and shooting a 50 BMG caliber rifle expensive? Relatively speaking yes, but one must put it into perspective. Rifles may run from $2500 to $6000, maybe even more for a top of the line custom rifle. (Current MSRP for the Steyr H2 .50 is $5910.00). A premium long-range scope will set you back $1500 to $3000. And while excellent commercial ammo is available, it runs $3 to $5 per round! Most serious shooters start reloading for the rifle as soon as practical, not only for the economics of reloading but also for the ability to fine tune custom ammo for their specific rifle. It’s a very rare match that is won shooting commercial ammo.

*Wilkinson’s FCSA trophies state “Hunter Class Score World Champion” and “Light Class Score World Champion”. NOTE the FCSA also recognizes, for each class, a World Champion for Group size, AND a World Champion for combined Group and Score (Aggregate). Plus there are Championship Trophies for Two-Gun. This gets a little confusing. With other Disciplines there is only ONE World Champion per class, generally the competitor who has the best combination of Group Size and Score.

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July 6th, 2018

2018 King of 2 Miles (KO2M) Highlights Report

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The 2018 King of 2 Miles (KO2M) event took place July 2-4 in Raton, New Mexico. Conditions were very challenging this year, yet three shooters managed to hit the most distant 3,525-yard plate at least once in five shots, a remarkable accomplishment. At that range the bullet was in flight about six seconds.

Robert Brantley of Team Manners Composite Stocks is the new King of 2 Miles. Congrats to Robert and his team-mates. Robert amassed 85178 points, finishing over 20,000 points ahead of runner-up John Buhay. Paul Phillips of Team Applied Ballistics finished third. FULL K02M 2018 RESULTS HERE.

King 2 miles 2018 raton new mexico

King 2 miles 2018 raton new mexico
Here’s Robert Brantley after his superb qualifying performance, which set a new 2018 King of 2 Miles qualifying round record. Going perfect on targets 1, 2, and 3, Robert missed just one shot on Target 4 of the qualifying phase, amassing 51355 points, a new K02M record.

King 2 miles 2018 raton new mexico

CLICK HERE for a very complete and thorough KO2M report created by The Precision Rifle Blog (PRB). This excellent PRB Report contains complete load and rig specifications for the top five shooters. In addition, the PRB Report includes a full run-down on this year’s event.

K02m 2018 Raton New mexico Cheytac barrett
Though the trigger pullers get the glory, this is really a three-man game. One guy shoots, a second team member spots for hits and calls corrections, and a third watches mirage and makes wind calls.

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Multi-Day, Multi-Distance Competition with Farthest Target at 3525 Yards
The K02M Competition runs in stages, with the distances getting farther with each round. After five shots on target 1 at 1547 yards, there are then three shots per target for the remaining three parts of the Qualifying round. Then, in the three-target Finals phase, there are with five shots per target. You get more points for earlier hits in each string, and there are no sighters during the match. The event started with a tough Cold Bore Challenge — a single-shot at 1689 yards, just shy of one mile. Only three out of 62 competitors made that cold-bore mile shot on a 16″ plate, about 1 MOA at that distance. After that there are two rounds with the targets arrayed as follows.

KO2M Qualification Round
1,547 yards: 5 shots, 24” x 37” rectangle
1,719 yards: 3 shots, 24” x 37” rectangle
1,890 yards: 3 shots, 30” x 37” rectangle
2,095 yards: 3 shots, 30” x 37” rectangle
KO2M Finals Round — July 4
2,727 yards: 5 shots, 33” x 41” rectangle
3,166 yards: 5 shots, 42” x 54” rectangle
3,525 yards: 5 shots, 48” x 60” rectangle

Big Bore Rifles with High-BC Bullets
This year saw the continued evolution of equipment. Top shooter Brantley shot a .416 Barrett with 500gr Cutting Edge bullets. Robert’s massive 44-lb rifle featured a 39″ K&P barrel, McMillan action, and a Manners LRT (Long Range Tactical) stock designed expressly for this KO2M competition.

Second Place John Buhay shot an improved version of the .375 CheyTac, with 353gr Lehigh Defense Match Solid bullets. Buhay’s 37.6-lb rig bosted a BAT action and 36″ Krieger barrel along with a fairly conventional McMillan MBR 1K benchrest stock. Mark King built the rifle.

Third Place Paul Phillips campaigned a .416 Barrett with 550gr Cutting Edge Lazer bullets. Paul’s 42-lb rig featured a BAT action and McMillan Beast 1 stock. Shown below is the latest rifle of 2017 K02M champ Derek Rodgers, a .416 Barrett also in a McMillan Beast. Derek spotted for Phillips in the match.

derek rodgers ko2m beast

Optics Options
There was quite a variety of scopes used by Top K02M competitors, evidence that a number of manufacturers now offer optics with abundant elevation and the ability to stand up to heavy recoil. Here are the optics choices for the Top Five Shooters:

1. Bushnell XRS II 4.5-30x50mm with G3 reticle in Badger UniMount
2. Nightforce ATACR 5-25x56mm with MOAR reticle, with ERA-TAC Inclined Mount
3. Nightforce ATACR 5-25×56mm, with Charlie TARAC external Prism System for Elevation
4. Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25×56mm, in Spuhr mount with Charlie TARAC
5. Burris XTR II 5-25x50mm in Barrett rings

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Notably, two of the top five used the Charlie TARAC prism system. This provides a ton of extra elevation by essentially shifting the view seen through the scope. The unit fits to the scope’s front objective.

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Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, News 9 Comments »
March 29th, 2018

‘Big Boomer’ Galleries on Updated FCSA Website

Fifty 50 Caliber Shooters Association FCSA

50 Caliber Shooters AssociationFans of Heavy Artillery should head over to the updated and enhanced Fifty Caliber Shooters Association (FCSA) Image Gallery website. There you’ll find photo collections and animated slide-shows (there also a separate Video Collection) On the photo gallery page, you’ll find a map. Click on any gray range link to see images from that venue. There are also a series of articles covering FCSA competition along with the “care and feeding” of the big 50-caliber rifles.

The FCSA will host its 1000/600 Yard World Championship July 5 through 7, 2018 at the Whittington Center in Raton, New Mexico. This will follow the 2018 King of 2 Miles Competition at Raton, which runs July 2-4, 2018. CLICK HERE to Register for FCSA 2018 Championship.

Fifty 50 Caliber Shooters Association FCSA

Fifty 50 Caliber Shooters Association FCSA

Fifty 50 Caliber Shooters Association FCSA

Fifty 50 Caliber Shooters Association FCSA

About the FCSA
Founded in 1985, the FCSA is an international organization with members in 22 countries. Headquartered in Monroe, Utah, the FCSA has a membership of approximately 4000. While the FCSA provides a service to military and law enforcement with research and instruction as well as an active liaison in both communities, the primary charter of the FCSA is the promotion of the sporting use of the 50 BMG cartridge and its wildcat derivatives. The FCSA and its members have lead the way in refining .50-caliber cartridges, rifles, and 1000-yard plus shooting know-how. Members enjoy a quarterly magazine, a suppliers directory, a very active website, and access to literally the best repository of 50 BMG information on the planet. If you are interested in Mr. John Browning’s big 50, you should seriously consider joining the FCSA.

Story tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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February 24th, 2018

Complete NRA National Championships Schedule for 2018

NRA National Championship

Pick your passion — High Power, F-Class, Silhouette, Smallbore, Air Rifle, Pistol, Black Powder. The NRA runs National Championships for all these disciplines and more. Attending a National Championship event is a big commitment, but it’s worth it. You can meet new friends, test your mettle against the nation’s best, and record memories that can last a lifetime.

Mark your calendars boys and girls — here is the complete 2018 NRA National Match schedule. This includes the National High Power Championship, National F-Class Championship, Fullbore (Palma) Championship, and a 15 more major national events. The date and location are included for each listing. Click the link for each championship to go directly to the official NRA championship page for that particular discipline to get more information or to register. To get more information, visit compete.nra.org or send email to: comphelp@nrahq.org.

NRA National High Power Championships

Intercollegiate Pistol Championships
March 17-20 ― Fort Benning, GA

Intercollegiate Rifle Club Championships
March 23-25 ― Fort Benning, GA

NRA World Action Pistol Championship
May 19-20 ― Hallsville, MO

NRA Bianchi Cup Action Pistol Championship
May 23-25 ― Hallsville, MO

National Muzzle Loading Championship
June 9-17 ― Bloomington, IL

National Air Gun Championship
June 14-19 ― Bloomington, IL

National High Power Rifle Championships
July 5-24 ― Edinburgh, IN

NRA Pistol Championship National

National Precision (Bullseye) Pistol Championships
July 9-13 ― Camp Perry, OH

National Silhouette Smallbore Rifle Championships
July 15-17 ― Raton, NM

National Smallbore Rifle Championships
July 19-30 ― Bristol, IN

National Small bore Championship

National Silhouette High Power Championships
July 19-21 ― Raton, NM

National Silhouette Cowboy Lever Action Rifle Championship
July 24-27 ― Raton, NM

National Silhouette Black Powder Cartridge Rifle Championship
July 30-August 3 ― Raton, NM

Fullbore Prone/Spirit of America National Championship
September 8-14 ― Raton, NM

NRA World Shooting Championship
September 13-15 ― Glengary, WV

National F-Class Championship
September 16-23 ― Raton, NM

National Police Shooting Championship
September 24-26 ― Albuquerque, NM

National Black Powder Target Rifle Championship
October 1-7 ― Raton, NM

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July 30th, 2017

NRA Hosts Black Powder Target Rifle Championship August 14-20

NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championship Raton NM
NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships Raton NM

The NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championship will be held August 14-20, 2017 at the Whittington Center in Raton, NM. Top Black Powder Cartridge Rifle (BPCR) shooters from around the country have come to Raton to test their skills during a week-long event with targets set from 200 to 1000 yards. Today through Thursday, mid-range matches continue at 200 to 600 yards. On the firing line you’ll see many handsome, custom-built BPCRs (Sharps, Ballards, Browning High Walls, Rolling Blocks) with exquisite wood, hand-checkering, and color-case-hardened receivers.

NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships Raton NM

NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships Raton NM

The 800-1000 yard Creedmoor matches will be held Friday and Saturday, August 19-20. Interestingly, for safety reasons, there are minimum bullet weight and muzzle velocity requirements for the Creedmoor matches. These BPCR shooters launch some seriously heavy projectiles downrange.

NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships Raton NM

REGISTRATION: Registration will take place at the Eagle’s Nest Building beginning at 13:00 – 17:00 on August 13, and 07:15 – 09:00 August 14 for the Championships. NOTE: The NRA Black Powder Committee and NRAWC has changed the minimum requirements of bullet weight and velocity. There may be a 2% variance in bullet weight or velocity. Numbers in BOLD indicate the 2% variance. Only ammunition which produces these results, or better, and only rifles that have long-range sights will be permitted for use in the Creedmoor Championships. See the BPTR Nationals Ballistic Velocity Chart below for minimum requirements.

NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships Raton NM

ACCOMMODATIONS: There are many motels in the town of Raton, about 10 miles from the Range. In additions, there are accommodations on the grounds of the Whittington Center: 90 beds in Competitors Housing and 100 beds in Log Cabins. These facilities fill up quickly — call the Whittington Center right away at (575) 445-3615 to reserve.

NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships Raton NM

NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships Raton NM

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July 7th, 2017

King of 2 Miles ELR Match — Derek Rodgers Takes the Crown

King of 2 two Miles Raton NM New Mexico ELR Extreme Long Range Derek Rodgers Applied Ballistics
Photos by Stephen Fiorenzo, courtesy Applied Ballistics.

The 2017 King of 2 Miles match has concluded, and we have a new monarch. F-Class Ace Derek Rodgers is the new King of 2 Miles. Shooting with Team Applied Ballistics, Derek delivered a dominant performance, scoring nearly twice as many points as his nearest rival, Ronnie Wright. And Derek was the first KO2M marksman in history to hit the target at the maximum 3368-yard (1.91 mile) distance.

King of 2 two Miles Raton NM New Mexico ELR Extreme Long Range Derek Rodgers Applied Ballistics

King of 2 two Miles Raton NM New Mexico ELR Extreme Long Range Derek Rodgers Applied Ballistics

King of 2 two Miles Raton NM New Mexico ELR Extreme Long Range Derek Rodgers Applied Ballistics
King of 2 two Miles Raton NM New Mexico ELR Extreme Long Range Derek Rodgers Applied Ballistics

With his McMillan-stocked .375 CheyTac rifle, Derek shot brilliantly from the start. He was perfect — without a miss — at the first three yardages: 1543, 1722, and 1888. He had some misses at 1953 and 2667 yards, but then he out-shot all competitors at 3028 yards, going two for five. No other shooter managed a single hit at 3028 yards. Then it all came down to the big one — the last (and greatest) challenge, the target at 3368 yards (1.91 miles).

This would require superior shooting skills, a masterful wind call (by Emil Praslick), and nerves of steel. Derek tried four shots without success. It looked like the two-mile hit would continue to be an impossible goal. But then, on his fifth and very last shot, Derek did it — he hit the 3368-yard target.

After Derek made the (nearly) two-mile shot, cheers erupted on the firing line — what an achievement! Derek is the first (and only) shooter to make the 3368-yard shot at K02M. Watch him do it in this video:

Derek Rodgers Hits Target at 3368 Yards on his Final Shot:

Derek Rodgers K02M-Winning Hardware and Ammunition

RIFLE COMPONENTS
Stock: McMillan ELR Beast
Action: Barnard Model P-Chey
Trigger: Barnard Two-Stage
Barrel: Bartlein, 36″ length
Brake: Piercision 5-Port Muscle Brake
Optic: Nightforce 7-35x56mm ATACR F1
Bipod: Phoenix Precision
Level: Holland’s Shooting

CARTRIDGE and LOAD
Cartridge: 375 CheyTac (standard chamber)
Brass: Peterson Brass Co.
Powder: Hodgdon H50BMG
Bullet: Cutting Edge 400gr Lazer-Tip MAX
Primer: FED 215

Factory Rifle Finishes in Second Place
With so many full-custom rifles on the firing line, many were surprised to see a factory rifle finishing second overall. Ronnie Wright shot superbly with his stock Barrett M99 chambered in .416 Barrett. Ronnie’s impressive second-place performance proved the effectiveness of the .416 Barrett cartridge (and the build quality of the M99). For ammo, Ronnie used Cutting Edge 472gr MTAC projectiles loaded in Barrett-stamped .416 cases. The powder was Alliant Reloder 50 ignited by CCI #35 50 BMG primers. The rifle had a Barrett factory 32″ barrel fitted with an Accuracy 1st level.

King of 2 two Miles Raton NM New Mexico ELR Extreme Long Range Derek Rodgers Applied Ballistics

King of 2 two Miles Raton NM New Mexico ELR Extreme Long Range Derek Rodgers Applied Ballistics

INTERVIEW with DEREK RODGERS:

Q: What do you believe contributed to your success at this match?

Derek: This match was truly a team effort from the entire Applied Ballistics Team. Emil Praslick and Paul Phillips are world class wind-readers and spotters. They have the ability to make decisive decisions and trust that I (as the shooter) will put a bullet on target every time a command is given. We posses a dynamic team background with a lot of history and experience under our belt. Our positive team synergy is hard to find. The addition of vital tools played a huge role in our success. A few of the tools we used were the AB Kestrel and Garmin Foretrex 701 AB Elite to give absolutely crucial and accurate ballistic solutions. The new McMillan ELR Beast stock was stable and the NF ATACR scope is robust and clear. The Bartlein barrel used was top notch! However, one of the most important pieces of the ELR puzzle and the only thing that separates the target is — the bullet. We chose Cutting Edge (CE) bullets due to their high level of precision. These bullets proved to be invaluable in connecting every piece of steel at the KO2M competition. The CE 400gr Lazer Max bullet was selected and was tremendously accurate. This bullet transitioned into a sub-sonic velocity without any loss of precision at ELR distances. Our success would not be possible if the projectile did not fly correctly for 7+ seconds of flight time. CE has outstanding designs and several quality choices to choose from.

King of 2 two Miles Raton NM New Mexico ELR Extreme Long Range Derek Rodgers Applied Ballistics

Q: How many hours would you say you practiced for this match?

Derek: It is hard to calculate practice time in hours. ELR is a program that we work on every chance we get — day and night for months prior to the event. We have an extremely strong background of team shooting and long range shooting. A lot of time has been invested on and off the range, but does not stop there. The combined range time from other disciplines really helped me to be successful in transitioning from long range to ELR. It really is a compilation of 10 years of trials and tribulations. Some would say, “the Devil is in the details”. Our team tries very hard to not overlook any small detail. Practice and training is always scrutinized for improvements. Our Applied Ballistics team has a love and passion that goes beyond measurable amounts of time. We were fortunate to get together for two days a month prior to the Ko2M event to review our program and practice as a team. Bryan Litz had a plan, and we discovered as a team we had flaws in our program. Each one of us contributed from years of experience on improving our technique until we had a winning solution.

Q: Why did you choose the .375 CheyTac cartridge?

Derek: When I was asked to join the AB Team, I needed to get an ELR rifle built in a short period of time. I was under a very tight time schedule to get the project complete. In an effort to eliminate variables, I decided to keep things standard and as simple as possible. I chose the .375 CheyTac for the ease of getting components. The larger rifles are more difficult to get components quickly and I felt like the .375 CheyTac had enough attributes to be competitive at ELR distances.

King of 2 two Miles Raton NM New Mexico ELR Extreme Long Range Derek Rodgers Applied Ballistics
The Cutting Edge 400gr bullets are milled from solid copper bar stock on a CNC Swiss-style lathe.

New ELR Hardware and Software on Display at K02M
This marks the second straight year that Team Applied Ballistics has won the K02M event. Last year, Team AB shooter Mitchell Fitzpatrick won the coveted “King of 2 Miles” title (Fitzpatrick finished fourth this year, just off the podium). In the past year, there has been considerable evolution in Extreme Long Range hardware and software, and projectiles are constantly being improved.

Bryan Litz (center) conferring with Team AB members Emil Praslick (L) and Doc Beech (R).
King of 2 two Miles Raton NM New Mexico ELR Extreme Long Range Derek Rodgers Applied Ballistics

We asked Bryan Litz, founder of Applied Ballistics, to summarize developments in the ELR game. Here are Bryan’s observations:

“Each year the KO2M sees advancements and shooters converging on those tools and processes that have proven effective in prior years. It’s rather apparent, for example, that spotting impacts is a crucial part of success in this match. This was improved by the match directors/organizers placing the targets in very good locations for spotting impacts. We’re seeing less set-ups with adjustable bases, and more with solid/fixed scope mounts. One of the exciting new pieces of equipment is the periscope device made by TACOMHQ (John Baker). This device provides an optical shift to the image which allows you to get more elevation for those long shots. Also, the refinement of fire control (ballistic) solutions has really played a role in getting shooters centered up for their first shots.”

“This tournament highly favors first-round impacts with the scoring system, so the approach of ‘walking the shots on’, isn’t a winning strategy. Those who employed accurate ballistics solvers were able to score more first round hits, and pile up the points. First and second place (at least) were using Applied Ballistics solvers to center their shots. We’re looking forward to even more advancements and making these ELR shots even out to two miles more commonplace in the future thru systematically applying the Science of Accuracy.”

The winning Applied Ballistics Team:
King of 2 two Miles Raton NM New Mexico ELR Extreme Long Range Derek Rodgers Applied Ballistics

Bonus Video — Interview with David Tubb at KO2M

King of 2 two Miles Raton NM New Mexico ELR Extreme Long Range Derek Rodgers Applied Ballistics

King of 2 two Miles Raton NM New Mexico ELR Extreme Long Range Derek Rodgers Applied Ballistics

King of 2 two Miles Raton NM New Mexico ELR Extreme Long Range Derek Rodgers Applied Ballistics

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, News 11 Comments »
February 5th, 2017

NRA Whittington Center Video — What a Place to Shoot…

NRA Whittington Center New Mexico

If you’ve never visited the NRA Whittington Center outside Raton, New Mexico, it is well worth a visit. This new HD video shows the features of this unique facility where marksmen can shoot from 10 yards to two miles. Drone video footage gives you a “birds eye view” of the scenery and the ranges.

This is an excellent video. Well worth watching, with impressive aerial photography.

The Whittington Center hosts many major matches each year. Along with the training and range facilities, the Whittington Center has comfortable, modern cabins and RV camping zones for extended stays. Founded in 1973, the Center offers ranges for every kind of shooting discipline, along with a shotgun center, firearms museum, specialized firearms training, guided and unguided hunts, plus an adventure camp for younger shooters.

NRA Whittington Center New Mexico

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September 10th, 2016

Photogenic Fifties — FCSA Photo Galleries

FCSA 50 Caliber Photo Gallery

Are you a died-in-the-wool .50 BMG fan? Got a hankerin’ for heavy artillery? Then visit the FCSA Photo Gallery page. There you’ll find hundreds of photos from Fifty Caliber Shooting Association (FCSA) matches and 50 Cal fun shoots in eleven states plus Australia, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. To access the photos from the Gallery Page, start by selecting a state/country and then click on the colored buttons for the event date (e.g. 2015-04).

FCSA 50 Caliber Photo Gallery

FCSA 50 Caliber Photo Gallery

Photo sets go all the way back to 2002, so you can see the evolution of the hardware over the years. Sample multiple archives to see the differences in terrain from one range to another — from Raton’s alpine setting to the hot, dry Nevada desert. This Gallery is really a treasure-trove of .50-Cal history. Here are a few sample images.

FCSA 50 Caliber Photo Gallery

FCSA 50 Caliber Photo Gallery

FCSA 50 Caliber Photo Gallery

FCSA 50 Caliber Photo Gallery

FCSA 50 Caliber Photo Gallery

FCSA 50 Caliber Photo Gallery

Story Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
July 14th, 2016

Black Powder Target Rifle Championship Next Week in Raton, NM

NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championship Raton NM
NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships Raton NM

Next week the NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championship will be held at the Whittington Center in Raton, NM. From July 19-24, top Black Powder Cartridge Rifle (BPCR) shooters from around the country will test their skills during a week-long event with targets set from 200 to 1000 yards. On the firing line you’ll see many handsome, custom-built BPCRs (Sharps, Ballards, Browning High Walls, Rolling Blocks) with exquisite wood, hand-checkering, and color-case-hardened receivers.

NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships Raton NM

NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships Raton NM

The Black Powder Championship starts with mid-range matches from 200 to 600 yards. Then competitors set their sights for long range, with 800-1000 yard Creedmoor matches at the end of the week. Interestingly, for safety reasons, there are minimum bullet weight and muzzle velocity requirements for the Creedmoor matches. These BPCR shooters launch some seriously heavy projectiles downrange:

Caliber Minimum Bullet Weight (Grains) Minimum Bullet Velocity (FPS)
.38 Cal 408 (375) 1300 (1375)
.40 Cal 408 1280
.44 Cal 450 1240
.45 Cal 510 1200
.50 Cal 600 1200

NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships Raton NM

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July 1st, 2016

Applied Ballistics Shooters Dominate King of 2 Miles Finals

King of 2 two miles Raton New Mexico Berger Bullets Applied Ballistics Bryan Litz
Applied Ballistics team dominates the King of 2 Miles match: Mitchell Fitzpatrick (1st Place), Bryan Litz (2nd Place), and Paul Phillips (4th Place).

The King of 2 Miles event has come to an end, the scores have been tallied, and Team Applied Ballistics finished first, second, and fourth. That’s dominance. The “Top Gun” was young Mitchell Fitzpatrick, who blitzed the field with his impressive .375 Lethal Precision Arms LLC rifle shooting prototype solid 400gr Berger bullets. Mitchell built this rifle himself using a McMillan A5 Super Mag stock. Remarkably, Mitchell nailed first- and second-shot hits at the 2477-yard target, a full 1.4 miles away. That’s amazing shooting. The photo below illustrates the vast distance from firing line to target.

King of 2 two miles Raton New Mexico Berger Bullets Applied Ballistics Bryan Litz

Mitchell gave credit to his team-mates: “We had the best ballistic solutions possible thanks to the work done at Applied Ballistics LLC by the one and only Bryan Litz. Bryan is also a world-class wind coach and world champion shooter. Paul Phillips, also a world-class wind coach, world champion shooter, and just an all-around class act. Paul was invaluable to making the wind calls we needed to win this match. One of the most important parts of any rifle system is the projectile… Berger’s new prototype .375-cal 400gr projectile we have been developing gave us a monumental ballistic advantage. [It was] without a doubt, a key to our success.”

Berger Ballistician Bryan Litz took second place shooting a .338 Edge (the only .338 rifle in the Finals). Durvin Wick finished third, while Paul Phillips, shooting Bryan’s rifle, placed fourth overall.

King of 2 two miles Raton New Mexico Berger Bullets Applied Ballistics Bryan Litz

Report by Bryan Litz, Team Applied Ballistics
The 2016 King of 2 Miles event is in the books. Today the Top 10 teams engaged targets at 2011 yards, 2477 yards, and 3375 yards. All three Applied Ballistics teams had hits at 2011 yards, and two out of three of us scored first-round hits at 2477 yards! Note that no competitor (from any team) hit the two-mile (3375-yard) target, but that gives us a goal to shoot for next year. Many factors contributed to the success of the Applied Ballistics shooters in this event:

1. Teamwork. We shoot together on the U.S. Rifle Team. The standardized communication protocols between coaches and shooters was a big advantage in this timed event. We had excellent team-work, and are already discussing ways to improve and adapt our approach to ELR events.

2. Science. Applied Ballistics specializes in the science of accuracy. First round hits in this event are scored highly and you can get more first round hits if you know your ballistics. The top two shooters in this event both had first round hits at 2477 yards today which was key, and is not possible without highly accurate ballistic solutions.

3. Ballistic Performance. The performance of Mitchell Fitzpatrick’s .375 Lethal Precision Arms LLC rifle with the prototype 400 grain Berger Bullets solid is unmatched (G7 BC of 0.56 at over 3000 fps). This performance helped Mitch win the match by a sizable margin. The other two Applied Ballistics teams were shooting Bryan Litz’s .338 Edge with the Berger Bullets 300 grain Hybrid. Despite being a smaller caliber (compared to the .375s, .416s, and .50-calibers), the .338 Cal 300 grain Berger Hybrid proved to be a great performer.

There were quite a few big .50 Cals on the line, but a .375 topped the field. Sheri Judd photo.
King of 2 two miles Raton New Mexico Berger Bullets Applied Ballistics Bryan Litz

Thanks to Eduardo Abril De Fontcuberta, Founder of the KO2M Event
We would like to thank all those who worked hard to make this event happen especially Eduardo Abril De Fontcuberta (shown below with Mitchell Fitzpatrick and Paul Phillips). Eduardo has worked hard to organize a great event that pushes the limits of ELR shooting in a fun and competitive way. We’re very grateful for the chance to participate and look forward to competing in the King of 2 Miles event next year. Also, thanks to Kelly McMillan for his support of our team. Kelly has been an awesome sponsor of our efforts here, as well as the U.S. Rifle Team, and the shooting community in general.

King of 2 two miles Raton New Mexico Berger Bullets Applied Ballistics Bryan Litz

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June 29th, 2016

Report from Raton: King of 2 Miles Match, Day 1 and 2

Raton New Mexico King of 2 Two Miles

The King of 2 Miles Extreme Long Range (ELR) competition is underway at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, New Mexico. Many of the nation’s top shooters are competing — aiming for hits on targets as far out as 3500 yards.

Raton New Mexico King of 2 Two MilesBryan Litz of Applied Ballistics offered this report:

Day One went well. I was the third shooter this morning. Started out good with 4/5 hits at 1454 yards including a first-round hit which is worth a lot of points. The second target was only 100 yards further, but the wind cycled and I missed the first two shots. If you miss three shots on any target after the first, you’re out! So cautiously, and with help from my teammates/spotters Paul Phillips and Mitchell Fitzpatrick, I scored a third round hit at 1550 and was able to advance to the 1720-yard target. I manage to hit that 1720-yard target three out of three times.

The final target on Day One was at 2011 yards. Unfortunately I had three close misses. (Editor: Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, Bryan…)

Twenty teams shot today and about 15 more will shoot the qualifying stage tomorrow then the top 10 from the two days will shoot on Thursday at over 3300 yards for the crown. My score of about 29,000 points is good. But I won’t know for certain if I’ve made the Top 10 until all tomorrow’s teams fire.

Raton New Mexico King of 2 Two Miles
Mitchell Fitzpatrick hit every target on his first two shots and finished with 40,000 points on Day One. His farthest shots were just over 2000 yards.

So that’s my story so far, but that’s not THE story. Teammate Mitchell Fitzpatrick (with rifle above) topped the field today with a monster score, hitting all targets and racking up over 40,000 points! The prototype Berger .375-caliber, 400gr bullets and Mitch’s .375 Wildcat from Lethal Precision Arms LLC are a super high-performance combination that made short work of the ELR course.

Also, teammate Paul Phillips, who originally was only here to spot, has entered the competition. He’ll be shooting my .338 Edge tomorrow. Luckily I brought plenty of ammo!

Picture below is the full Applied Ballistics team with sponsor Kelly McMillan. Kelly has been great to our team and we’re looking forward to some future projects with him in ELR.

Raton New Mexico King of 2 Two Miles

In all the King of 2 Miles event is very enjoyable. It’s a great place to come and learn from fellow ELR shooters what works and what doesn’t work at these ranges. The spirit of the match is education and growing the knowledge base and I think it’s doing a great job at that. We’re thrilled to be a part of it!

DAY 2 UPDATE: Top TEN Shooters

Results of King of 2 Miles After Day Two
The Top 10 listed below continue to Day Three. On this final day, the ten remaining competitors will engage targets from 1-2 miles. Paul Phillips reports: “I managed to finish today with the highest score of the day. That placed me 7th overall and allows me into the shoot-off tomorrow. Team Applied Ballistics place three shooters in the 10 Final: Michael Fitzpatrick, Bryan Litz, Paul Phillips.”

King of 2 Miles Raton New Mexico

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October 20th, 2014

Care and Feeding of the 50 BMG — A Look at Big Bore Shooting

A while back we published an Introduction to .50-Caliber Shooting authored by James Patterson. James has written a companion piece for Sinclair’s Reloading Press that covers the “care and feeding” of the big .50 Cal match rifles.

FCSA 50 Caliber 50 BMG

Owning and Feeding ‘The Big Bore’

Is The Challenge Of Big Bore Extreme Range Shooting And Hunting Right For You?
By James Patterson

Handling a 50 BMG
Is a 50 BMG caliber rifle difficult to shoot? Not at all. The relatively heavy weight of a standard rifle at 30 pounds or more combined with a very efficient muzzle brake makes it a pleasure to shoot. The typical recoil can be compared to a .243 rifle or a 12 gauge trap load. On the other hand, the burning of a typical load of 230 grains of powder combined with that muzzle brake makes the muzzle blast experience exhilarating. A first time shooter will fire, pause for a moment in awe at the muzzle blast, and then break out into what has become known as “The 50 caliber Grin”, almost impossible to wipe from ones face. My daughter started competing with the 50 BMG at 18 (115 lbs of tall skinny girl) and happily shoots 100+ rounds in the course of a match, her grin on the last round is as wide as on the first! Many members and competitors in the FCSA are women and many have distinguished themselves as excellent marksman having set world records on numerous occasions.

50 BMG

Cost of Big-Bore Shooting
Is owning and shooting a 50 BMG caliber rifle expensive? Relatively speaking yes, but one must put it into perspective. Rifles may run from $2500 to $7000, maybe even more for a top of the line custom rifle. A good scope will set you back $500 to $1500. And while excellent commercial ammo is available it runs from $3 to $5 a round. Most serious shooters start reloading for the rifle as soon as practical, not only for the economics of reloading but also for the ability to fine tune custom ammo for their specific rifle. It’s a very rare match that is won shooting commercial ammo. I recently compared the cost of my hobby — owning, shooting, and competing with the 50 BMG — with a friend whose hobby is snowmobiling. Factoring in the cost of equipment, licensing, gasoline, clothing, etc. it was soon obvious that my hobby was significantly less expensive than his.

50 BMG

FCSA 50 Caliber 50 BMG

Getting Started
FCSA 50 BMG Fifty Caliber Shooting AssociationSo how does one get started? You could do as I did, purchase a rifle not knowing what you were really getting into; or you could come out to a FCSA-sponsored event, shoot a number of different rifles, rub shoulders with those who have already taken the plunge, and see if this sport is right for you. While membership in the Fifty Caliber Shooters Association (FSCA) is required to compete at a FSCA event, membership is not required to come and experience first hand what is going on. If you have any inclination that you are interested in the extreme sport of long rang, big bore shooting then a year’s membership in the FCSA is only $60 ($20 for active duty military) a significant bargain if it helps you make just one well-informed equipment choice. In addition one of the primary functions of the FCSA is helping to identify active members near you who can help you understand just what is involved and help you ‘get your feet wet’ in this challenging sport.

FCSA 50 Caliber 50 BMG

Photos courtesy FCSA Photo Gallery.
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September 3rd, 2014

2014 Spirit of America Match at Raton September 5-12

Preview by John Gaines, President, BERC
Sponsored by the Bald Eagles Rifle Club, the 2014 Spirit of America Fullbore Rifle Prone Championship will be held at the NRA Whittington Center near Raton, New Mexico on 5-12 September. The event is open to Target Rifle, F-Open, and F-TR shooters. There will be matches at 300, 500, 600, 900 and 1000 yards. CLICK HERE for 2014 Spirit of America Match Program.

Since 2001 the Bald Eagles have hosted the Spirit of America Match and it has grown in both stature and reputation with every year of competition. It is one of the premier fullbore matches in the world, and the range at Raton is one of the most challenging in the United States.

Spirit of America Match Raton, New Mexico

The short ranges are fired in the mornings and the long ranges in the afternoon. Short range matches (300, 500, and 600 yards) are fired “two to the mound” while the long ranges (900 and 1000 yards) are fired “string fire”. Both individual and team matches are fired and competitors not belonging to a recognized or hometown team are encouraged to join a “make-up” team for the experience and the camaraderie of team shooting. The total round count for the week is more than 400 (counting practice and “blow-off” shots.) That’s lots of shooting on one of the best ranges in the world!

Door Prizes and More…
In addition to cash, trophies, and medals there will be a door prize table containing various merchandise from recognized companies in the shooting sports industry. Top door prize will be a Savage M12 F-Class rifle with a Nightforce Competition scope. To learn more about the 2014 Spirit of America Match visit the Bald Eagles Rifle Club website at www.baldeaglesrc.org.

Spirit of America Match Raton, New Mexico

The Guns and the Targets
The match is for fullbore Target rifle, F-Class (Open), and F-Class (T/R). There will be separate awards for each category.

TARGET RIFLE
Gun Specs: A rifle chambered for the unmodified 7.62×51 or commercial .308 Win cartridge, or a rifle chambered for the unmodified 5.56mm or commercial .223 Remington cartridge. Any safe trigger is acceptable.
Targets: 300 yards-MR63; 500 yards-MR65; 600 yards-MR1; 900 & 1000 yards-NRA LR

F-CLASS
Gun Rules: Rifles and rests must comply with NRA rules 3.4 & 3.4.1
Targets: 300 yards-MR63FC; 500 yards-MR65FC; 600 yards-MR1FC; 900 & 1000 yards-R-FC

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August 18th, 2014

The Holy Black — BPCR Nat’l Championship is One Month Away

NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championship Raton NM
NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships Raton NM

On September 13-20, 2014, the NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championship will held at the Whittington Center in Raton, NM. Top Black Powder Cartridge Rifle (BPCR) shooters from around the country will visit Raton to test their skills during a week-long event with targets set from 200 to 1000 yards. The event kicks off with Mid-Range matches at 200 to 600 yards. On the firing line you’ll see many handsome, custom-built BPCRs (Sharps, Ballards, Browning High Walls, Rolling Blocks) with exquisite wood, hand-checkering, and color-case-hardened receivers.

NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships Raton NM

NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships Raton NM

The 800-1000 yard Creedmoor matches will be held Friday and Saturday, September 19-20. Interestingly, for safety reasons, there are minimum bullet weight and muzzle velocity requirements for the Creedmoor matches. These BPCR shooters launch some seriously heavy projectiles downrange:

Caliber Minimum Bullet Weight (Grains) Minimum Bullet Velocity (FPS)
.38 Cal 408 (375) 1300 (1375)
.40 Cal 408 1280
.44 Cal 450 1240
.45 Cal 510 1200
.50 Cal 600 1200

NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships Raton NM

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December 2nd, 2013

Slick F-TR with Adjustable Bag-Rider and Carbon-Metal Bipod

Forum member Jonathan L. (aka ‘Quest-QC’) was a member of the Canadian F-TR team at the F-Class World Championships in Raton, NM this fall. His handsome .308 Winchester rifle features some interesting hardware and a stunning African Padauk-wood stock stiffened with carbon fiber layers. We were impressed by the innovative, adjustable bag-rider assembly Jonathan fitted to the rear of his stock (scroll down for photo). With an Allen wrench, the vertical height and the slope (i.e. fore/aft angle) of the V-shaped bag-rider can be changed easily. This has many advantages. First, Jonathan can set his rifle to the most comfortable height (for his prone position) without using “lifters” under the rear bag. The system also gives him some gross elevation adjustment separate from the bipod. In addition, the angle adjustment allows the bag-rider to better match the geometry of the rear bag. Last but not least, by setting up the bag-rider with some drop (higher in front, lower in back), Jonathan can fine-tune his elevation (while aiming the gun) by simply sliding the rifle fore and aft.

F-TR F-t/r rifle starshooter .308 Win Winchester F-Class Berger Hybrids Adjustable stock bag rider Padauk African Wood Carbon Fiber Bipod

Jonathan says: “This year was my second year shooting at 1000 yards and I managed to find a spot on Team Canada for the FCWC at Raton. Here is the rifle that brought me there…”

F-TR F-t/r rifle starshooter .308 Win Winchester F-Class Berger Hybrids Adjustable stock bag rider Padauk African Wood Carbon Fiber Bipod

The rifle features a Kelbly Panda F-Class RB-LP action, 34″ Bartlein 1:11″-twist, Heavy Palma contour barrel. Fitted to the red-toned Padauk-wood stock is a 23.2 oz., StarShooter CF-SS light weight bipod with custom bench feet. On top is a March 8-80x56mm scope in Kelbly rings. Total weight of the rifle is 18 pounds, 1 oz., complete with the 24 oz. adjustable brass bag-rider at the back. The bag-rider block was modeled in 3D, then machined afterwards to use up the remaining weight available after all the other components. CLICK for StarShooter CF-SS Bipod Video.

African Padauk Wood is Very Stiff
Jonathan chose the red-toned African Padauk Wood because it is stiff for its weight: “The reason for choosing African Padauk is that the weight of the wood is the same as Maple but 45% more rigid.” The downside of Padauk, as Forum member Gstaylorg notes, is that it is a “very oily wood, which can make it somewhat difficult to finish with something like polyurethane. [Padauk] can generate a lot of bubbles and cause cracking problems around joints and/or seams.” Jonathan did note that he has observed a few bubbles in the auto clear coat on his stock. He plans to refinish the stock in the off-season.

F-TR F-t/r rifle starshooter .308 Win Winchester F-Class Berger Hybrids Adjustable stock bag rider Padauk African Wood Carbon Fiber Bipod

Gun Is Extremely Accurate with Berger 200gr Hybrids
Jonathan says this rig was very accurate, at least until his barrel gave up the ghost. He says he has put 15 successive shots in about 1/4 MOA: “I managed to make it twice (1/4 MOA for 15) by taking my time between shots. You don’t want to overheat this barrel. I needed to provide a very strong effort (mentally) to be able to achieve such precision as the rifle is way better than me.” Jonathan shoots Berger 200gr Hybrid bullets (in the lands) with Hodgdon Varget powder, and Federal 205M primers, loaded into neck-turned Lapua .308 Win brass. He has also had good luck with Vihtavuori N150 powder in the past.

F-TR F-t/r rifle starshooter .308 Win Winchester F-Class Berger Hybrids Adjustable stock bag rider Padauk African Wood Carbon Fiber Bipod

In compliance with F-Class rules, the adjustable bag-rider system would not be adjusted “on the fly” during record fire. The bag-rider’s vertical rise and fore/aft slope would be optimized before shooting, then locked in place. The bottom photo offers a good view of the V-shaped profile of the metal bag-rider. We have found that this kind of V-profile, closely matching the triangular profile of the rear ears, makes a rifle more secure in the rear bag and often allows the gun to track better.

F-TR F-t/r rifle starshooter .308 Win Winchester F-Class Berger Hybrids Adjustable stock bag rider Padauk African Wood Carbon Fiber Bipod

F-TR F-t/r rifle starshooter .308 Win Winchester F-Class Berger Hybrids Adjustable stock bag rider Padauk African Wood Carbon Fiber Bipod

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October 4th, 2013

Pohlabel FLEX Bipod Struts Its Stuff at Raton

raton flex bipod pohlabel F-TR F-t/rMany styles of bipods were used by F-TR shooters at the F-Class U.S. Nationals and World Championships recently held in Raton, NM. Most featured angled arms — either left/right arms or parallel pairs of arms on either side. With such designs, vertical height is controlled by adjusting the angle of the arms (and hence the distance between the feet). Widen the track and the gun goes down; narrow the track and the gun goes up. One bipod design, Dan Pohlabel’s FLEX Bipod, was very different than the norm. On the FLEX, there are no angled arms — the main blade is a solid piece of metal. Each leg has independent control for height via adjustable “feet” on either ends of the main piece. A ratcheting locking lever controls the cant.

raton flex bipod pohlabel F-TR F-t/r

Click photo below for full-screen version
raton flex bipod pohlabel F-TR F-t/r

Monte Milanuk, who tested an early version of the FLEX Bipod, explains: “The FLEX bipod is a very simple design — no Mariner’s wheel for vertical adjustment, no joystick head, no changing width as it goes up and down. And the FLEX bipod is very light (as are most, these days), but also very durable. An added bonus is that it breaks down very flat for airline travel. Once I take the feet off, remove the ratchet lever (with screw), the whole bipod nestles very nicely in the bottom layer of foam in my gun case (with cuts for the head etc. in the foam). If someone bashes the case hard enough to damage what is essentially a plate of spring steel, then I’ve got bigger worries.”

Monte likes the FLEX Bipod, but notes that it works best if you lean into the gun when shooting: “Not everyone wants a bipod that slides around like a hog on ice. Some people manage to get things tracking straight back and forth, almost like it was constrained by a front rest. Personally, I have a hard time doing that in a repeatable fashion. While the FLEX Bipod shoots quite well with a [loose] hold, it was designed for those of us who like to ‘lean’ into the gun a bit. Quite literally, the idea is that you get the feet to dig in slightly, and push against the rifle butt with your shoulder and the bipod will ‘flex’ or bow forward slightly. It is one of those things that sounds wonky until you try it. It may take a few times to get a feel for it, but once you do, it is surprisingly repeatable.”

The FLEX bipod’s designer, Dan Pohlabel, offers these instructions:
The bipod feet are shipped loose. Note there is a left foot and a right foot. Determine the balance point of your rifle and mount the bipod approximately two inches forward of that point. You may want to move it further forward after shooting. Experiment with its placement to minimize movement of the bipod. When setting up, first grab each foot and ‘dig’ them in to the shooting surface, dirt, gravel, grass, carpet — it doesn’t matter. After making sure each foot has a hold, raise or lower the bipod to your target and use the cant adjustment to level your rifle. Loading the bipod with your shoulder is the preferred method of position. For more info, visit Kreativ-Solutions.com or email flex-bipods [at] kreativ-solutions.com .

raton flex bipod pohlabel F-TR F-t/r

raton flex bipod pohlabel F-TR F-t/r

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October 3rd, 2013

Prototype ‘Big Wheel’ Farley Co-Axial Rest for F-Open Competition

farley coaxial f-class f-open raton speedy gonzalezAt the F-Class Nationals in Raton, we saw a wide variety of front rests being used by F-Open shooters. One that caught our eye was a new prototype Farley Coaxial rest brought to the match by our friend Speedy Gonzalez. This one-of-a-kind Farley features a big wheel on the side for gross elevation adjustment, plus an extended locking arm. These two upgrades make the rest easier to use from the prone position. Up front is a new L-shaped Delrin forearm stop (Speedy say this would be black in the production version). Special large-diameter feet with extended “anchor shafts” complete the package. (See bottom photo.) Speedy used this rest at the Nationals and did very well, finishing second in the Master division, and in the top 15 overall among all Open-class shooters.

CLICK Photos Below to See Full-Screen Version.

farley coaxial f-class f-open raton speedy gonzalez

Speedy says the folks at Farley hope to market the Big Wheel Coaxial with these F-Class upgrades by the end of 2013. Some of the items should be available for purchase separately, as upgrades to current Farley rests. Sorry, no pricing is available at this time.

farley coaxial f-class f-open raton speedy gonzalez

The rest also sported a new Edgewood front bag with the new light-colored, super-slick bag material. Along with the new bag fabric, Speedy explained that there are subtle changes to the bag design and construction so that it holds its shape better and doesn’t “plump up” in the middle.

farley coaxial f-class f-open raton speedy gonzalez

farley coaxial f-class f-open raton speedy gonzalez

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August 28th, 2013

FCWC — Images from Day 2 of Team World Championship

The F-Class World Championships wrapped up yesterday at Raton. This was the biggest F-Class Worlds ever, and the level of competition was higher than ever before. But the World Championships were not just about wind calls and V-Counts. The event was also about camaraderie. All those who participated made new friends from around the globe. In the end, this event was about fellowship, and the bond of shared challenges with fellow shooters. No matter what the tally on the team score-card, everyone who participated in the World Championships came home a winner — a winner in the game of life.

Two Aussies Share the Joy of Victory…
World F-Class Championships

Team F-TR USA Members Ham it Up After Winning F-TR World Championship.
World F-Class Championships

The U.S. F-Open National Team on its Way to the Silver Medal.
World F-Class Championships

Tough Guys Jim Crofts, Paul Phillips, and Brad Sauve Helped Carry Team USA to Victory.
World F-Class Championships

Team Canada at the 1000-yard Line. Canada Hosts the next F-Class Worlds in Ottawa, 2017.
World F-Class Championships

2013 World Individual F-Class Champion Kenny Adams Shooting in Team Mode.
World F-Class Championships

Past NRA President John Sigler with his Wife. John is an Avid F-Class Shooter Himself.
World F-Class Championships

South African F-Open Shooter Hard at Work.
World F-Class Championships

Our British Friends Russell Simmonds and Laurie Holland — both Forum Members.
World F-Class Championships

Spanish Team Genius at work — Farley Rest Bolted to a Truck Brake Rotor. Rock Solid.
World F-Class Championships

Team F-TR USA Captain Darrell Buell with the Superb New Nightforce Spotting Scope.
World F-Class Championships

Two Young Ladies on the Junior F-TR Team Enjoyed the Event.
World F-Class Championships

Team Ireland Proudly Shows the Colors. Erin Go Bragh!
World F-Class Championships

Forum Boss and Raton Range Boss Watch the Action on Day 2.

World F-Class Championships World F-Class Championships

Editor’s Note: If I learned one unforgettable lesson from this match, it is that we shooters have a common bond that spans oceans and crosses national borders. We truly are a brotherhood of riflemen who share a passion for a challenging and rewarding sport.

I want to thank all the many people who came up to me and said “Thanks for the website — keep doing what you’re doing — it’s important”. I heard that message from Brits, Aussies, Spaniards, South Africans, Germans, Kiwis, Italians, Brazilians, Ukrainians, Irelanders, and of course my fellow Americans. Thank you all for your kind words. Rest assured, we’ll do our best to “keep the faith” in the years ahead.

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August 28th, 2013

F-Class World Championships: Team USA Wins F-TR Team Titles, Australia Wins F-Open Team Championship

The 2013 F-Class World Championships are in the history books. Congratulations to Australia, winner of the 8-man F-Open Match (Farquharson Cup) and to the USA F-TR squad which captured both 8-person and 4-person F-TR team titles. Here’s a quick summary of the results (an in-depth report with more photos and videos is in the works).

Team Australia F-Class World Championship
Not all Australia team members shown in photo.

Marty Lobert Explains How Australia Took the Title:

With his straight .284 Win, Marty Lobert shot 442-46V for Australia during the team championships, one of the highest scores among all F-Open shooters during Team Comps. Marty’s Australian team-mate, Cameron McEwan, had a 443-40X, high score for the match. Congrats to Cameron — great shooting!

Team Australia won the 8-man F-Open Championship with a 3490-339V tally. The USA 8-man F-Open team finished second with a 3475-308V team score. South Africa was third with 3445-267V, while the previous champion Great Britain Team finished fourth with 3427-261V. Team Spindle Shooters won the F-Open Rutland Cup for 4-man teams with a 1750-163V score, 10 points ahead of the 4-man Team USA squad coached by Emil Praslick (1740-169V).

Team F-TR T/R USA F-Class World Championship

In the F-TR Division, F-TR Team USA won both the 8-person F-TR Richardson Trophy Match (3412-261V) and the 4-person F-TR Rutland Cup Match (1689-130V). Canada’s 8-man F-TR team scored 3400-245V for second place in the 8-man F-TR competition, while Great Britain’s 8-man team tallied 3393-220V for third place. Notably, F-TR Team USA’s 8-man team score would have been good enough for fifth place in the F-Open Division. Yanks dominated the 4-man F-TR match, with Nik Taylor’s BNX/21st Century squad placing second (after F-TR Team USA), and the Michigan F-TR team (Barnhart/Litz) finishing third.

Team F-TR T/R USA F-Class World Championship

Team F-TR T/R USA F-Class World Championship

Here are the published official results for the 2013 F-Class World Championships, for both the team and individual competitions. These links all point to PDF files. If you have the right browser plugin, you should be able to simply click and view. Otherwise, right-click the link and “save as” to your hard-drive before viewing.

2013 F-Class World Championship Final Scores and Rankings

FCWC Team Results
8-Person F-Open Team Match (Farquharson Cup)
8-Person F-TR Team Match (Richardson Trophy)

4-Person F-Open Team Match (Rutland Cup)
4-Person Team F-TR Team Match

FCWC Individual Results
Individual World Championship – F-Open
Individual World Championship – F-TR
Individual Day 1 – F-Open
Individual Day 1 – F-TR
Individual Day 2- F-Open
Individual Day 2 – F-TR

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