August 11th, 2019

Sunday GunDay — Eye-Catching Rifles from America and the UK

sunday gunday Rem 700 .270 winchester win tye sims
Here is Tye Sim’s .270 Win Mountain Rifle: “This is off a trued and blue-printed Rem 700 action. I love it.”

For today’s Sunday GunDay feature, we thought we’d present a selection of rifles featuring both cool gear and scenic venues. We’ve got quite a mix — hunting rifles and competition rigs, full customs as well as factory rifles. And there are some interesting calibers including 6.5 Creedmoor, .270 Win, .308 Win, plus a couple WSM variants. Enjoy our Sunday lineup!

Gary Costello Blair Atholl Scotland F-Open F-Class .300 WSM

To begin, here is the beautiful Blair Atholl range in Scotland. Owner Gary Costello posted: “Great day today, weather was interesting but not as bad as we thought!” Gary, a top F-Class shooter in the UK who often runs a .300 WSM, has been featured in a previous Sunday GunDay spotlight story HERE

F-class F-Open Andrew Stone .284 Win Labradar

Andrew Stone is an F-Class shooter from the Southern USA. Here his F-Open rig is set up for load testing from the bench at his beautiful, tree-lined home range. Targets are at 600 yards. Andrew is using a SEB front coaxial rest and LabRadar chronograph mounted on an aftermarket tripod.

F-TR Brian Harder rifle F-TR

In the photo above is Brian Harder’s handsome .308 Win F-TR rifle. This features a Kelbly action, McMillan stock, and Vortex scope with level. Up front is a SEB Joystick Bipod (Joy-Pod) with accessory ski-type feet. Note that Brian runs a front scope extension tube (sunshade), and a mirage shield on the barrel. These items do make a difference, particularly on hot summer days!

F-Class 7mm 270 WSM hydro-dip Bartlein

Here’s another British Beauty. This is the 7mm-270 WSM F-Classer belonging to Forum member Ian B. (aka “Elwood”). It features a Stolle Panda F-Class action, 32″ straight-contour Bartlein barrel, and a custom Joe West stock, modified by Ian and then hydro-dipped in brilliant blue by Hydro Graphics in the UK.

Bergara B14 6.5 Creedmoor HMR

Factory rifles can be interesting too. That’s pretty impressive accuracy shown by Steven Castleman’s Bergara B14 HMR chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. On this day Steve was shooting Hornady factory ammo loaded with 147-grain ELD Match bullets.

Savage Stealth 10 BA Rifle hog hunting

Here’s a stunning silhouette of a Savage 6.5 Creedmoor. Ed Whipple posted: “Borrowing a Savage 10 BA Stealth from my buddy Ron. He wanted a 100-yard head shot on a hog. I’m not listening to Ron any more. Federal Fusion bullet ain’t messing around.”

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October 29th, 2018

Scottish Shooter Sets UK 1000-Yard Records with Factory Savage

David Sharp UK Scotland Ingleston 1000-Yard 1000 yards record group factory sporter class vince bottomley
“The blue plastic barrels that we have to shoot through are the idea of the local police — to ensure that we keep our rifles pointing at the targets!” — David Sharp

Here’s a great story from the other side of the pond — the United Kingdom. Shooting a .308 Win factory Savage rifle, a novice benchrest shooter set two new 1000-Yard UK Factory Sporter Class records with a group barely over three inches plus a 6.756″ four-group Aggregate. The Savage had been upgraded with an inexpensive aftermarket stock and Timney trigger, but was otherwise “as manufactured” — with factory barrel.

David Sharp UK Scotland Ingleston 1000-Yard 1000 yards record group factory sporter class vince bottomley
At Ingleston, competitors shoot for group size only — so there are no scoring-rings on the targets.

On October 14, 2018 David Sharp had a memorable performance at the Ingleston Range in Scotland. David Agg’d 6.756 inches for all four 5-shot groups, a new UK 1000-Yard record for the Factory Sporter Class. His smallest group measured 3.090 inches, which is also a new UK Factory Sporter record. Great Shooting David — congrats!

Sharp Sets Two New UK Factory Sporter Class 1000-Yard Records

Report by Vince Bottomley
In the UK, long-range benchrest is far more popular than short-range. The UKBRA (United Kingdom Benchrest Association) holds shoots at three venues: Diggle (100, 600 & 1000 yards), Bisley (100 yards only) and Ingleston in Dumfries, Scotland (1000 yards).

The Scottish venue is the UK’s latest 1000-yard facility. It was established just three years ago yet it is already holding well-attended monthly shoots. It is operated by the Galloway Small Arms Club and, as you may imagine, it is situated in the beautiful wild Scottish countryside.

The UKBRA operates under IBS/NBRSA rules for the Light and Heavy Gun Classes but, many of the Scottish members are also deer stalkers and came to the benches with their hunting rifles, so we also run a Factory Sporter Class. Factory Sporter rifles must be the original manufacturer’s barreled-action but a more benchrest-compatible stock may be used or ‘bag-rider’ attachments may be fitted to the butt and fore-end. The barreled-action must however be totally as it left the factory — no re-chambering or throating, though the crown may be re-cut. To discourage potentially dangerous trigger modifications, an after-market trigger may be fitted.

The Factory Sporter Class is very popular and Savage rifles, chambered for the 6mmBR, 6.5-284, and .308 Win are the favored factory-classers. These have produced some remarkable performances over the years, often out-performing custom rifles!

David Sharp is a True Sharp-Shooter
David Sharp is a relatively new benchrest shooter, though he has decades of firearms experience. David started his shooting days wild-fowling and rough shooting with a shotgun over 50 years ago. After retiring, he moved to Dumfriesshire and began shooting again — clay pigeon, wildfowling on the Solway, driven pheasant and deer stalking. As a stalker, David keeps his eye in by shooting targets on a local range using his .308 Mannlicher.

Eventually, the pains of old age began taking their toll and stomping up hills was becoming more difficult. Fortunately, David heard about the Ingleston 1000-yard range and joined the Galloway Small Arms Club in 2016. As a complete novice to benchrest shooting, David relied on the guidance and advice from his fellow Club members and eventually purchased a Savage Model 12 F-TR rifle in .308 Winchester to compete in the Factory Class.

Here’s the view looking downrange. What a beautiful place to shoot…
Castle Douglas Scotland UK UKBRA benchrest 1000 yard range AccurateShooter Vince Bottomley

.308 Win Factory Savage with Choate Stock and Vortex Scope
David’s rifle has some upgrades, as permitted for Factory Sporter Class. The Savage trigger was replaced with a Timney. The Savage F-TR stock was replaced with a Choate Varmint stock fitted with a Sinclair front bag-rider. The Choate’s butt was home-modified to better ride the Edgewood bag. The rifle is fitted with a Vortex Golden Eagle 15-60 scope mounted on a 20 MOA Ken Farrell rail via Vortex rings. Dave shoots off a SEB Mini front rest. As the Mini is lighter to lug around than the SEB NEO (and less expensive), the Mini is becoming popular with UK shooters.

David reports: “My rounds are nothing special — I’m using Sierra 2155 155 grain bullets over Vihtavuori N140 powder and CCI 200 primers. I use Lapua brass (large primer) full-length sized in a Redding S bushing die to give 0.002″ neck-tension.”

Although the Ingleston Range is a beautiful place to shoot, as you can imagine conditions can vary dramatically and it is not known for mild days! However, at 9:00 am on the day of David’s record shoot, it was clear and quite still with the flags barely lifting. The temperature was already 15 deg C (59 deg F). What more could any benchrest shooter ask for?

David Sharp UK Scotland Ingleston 1000-Yard 1000 yards record group factory sporter class vince bottomley

In the photo of David above, you can just see the four 1000-yard targets in the extreme top right of the picture — up near the tree-line. Note, at Ingleston, competitors shoot for group size only. Hence there are no scoring-rings on the target. However, Vince Bottomley says score shooting may begin at some UK ranges: “This year we have purchased a set of electronic targets. The IBS target face can be inputted so we will now start to shoot for score as scores are registered instantly. Previously, it just took too long to score the targets as well as measure the groups.”

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July 12th, 2015

New 1000-Yard Benchrest Range Opens in Scotland

Castle Douglas Scotland UK UKBRA benchrest 1000 yard range AccurateShooter Vince Bottomley

Bench Barrels for Sound Attenuation
There’s something unusual about this range. Competitors are required to shoot through hoops. Vince Bottomley explains: “Competitors have to shoot with the rifle barrel inside a foam-lined plastic barrel, in an attempt to cut down on noise. This was a condition imposed by the local police but in practice, you don’t notice it as you are looking through a scope.” That looks pretty strange to us. Hopefully we won’t see these kind of restrictions imposed in the USA.

Here’s good news to report from the United Kingdom. The UK’s second 1000-yard benchrest facility just opened up in Scotland, near the town of Castle Douglas in the south of Scotland. Until now, Diggle was the only range running 1000-yard benchrest matches in all of the UK. With interest in long-range benchrest competition growing in the UK, it’s good to see a new 1K venue opening for business.

Read Full Report in Target Shooter Magazine

The new Ingleston Range in Castle Douglas is operated by the Galloway Small Arms Club. This club is affiliated with the United Kingdom Bench Rest Association (UKBRA), so any records established will be recognized by the UK governing body for benchrest shooting. Light Gun and Heavy Gun Classes are run according to American IBS rules. And, per UKBRA standards, there is also a third, Factory Rifle Class. Vince Bottomley reports: “The Range is located on a working farm and the GSAC members have worked tremendously hard to create a 1000-yard range from what is basically open countryside.”

Here’s the view looking downrange. What a beautiful place to shoot…
Castle Douglas Scotland UK UKBRA benchrest 1000 yard range AccurateShooter Vince Bottomley

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June 6th, 2015

Tikka T3 — Video Reviews from New Zealand and Scotland

Tikka T3 Review new zealand hunting scotland varmint rifle

The Tikka T3 rifle is very popular with hunters around the globe — for good reason. These rifles offer smooth-running actions, easy sub-MOA accuracy with good ammo, crisp triggers, and ultra-reliable detachable box magazines. The Tupperware stocks aren’t super-rigid, but they are comfortable and easy to handle. If you are looking for a hunting rifle, the Tikka T3 is a smart choice, offering good performance for the price (which starts at less than $580.00 for the T3 Lite version). The T3 series is offered in a wide selection of chamberings, from .204 Ruger up to the large magnums.

Here are two good Tikka T3 video reviews, the first from New Zealand, the second from Scotland. Both reviewers are experienced hunters who explain why the T3 is well-suited for hunting applications. In the first video, Mitch of BushBrothersNZ reviews a T3 with polymer stock and stainless barrel chambered for the .270 Win. Mitch focuses on the T3’s controls and functions, with particular attention to the operation of trigger, safety, and bolt.

(more…)

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September 16th, 2014

Report: European F-Class Championships at Bisley, England

Report by Vince Bottomley
For this year, the European F-Class Championships moved from its traditional November date to mid-September. England can be smitten with some dreadful weather in November and previous Championships have suffered everything from rain and mist, to sub-zero temperatures. It proved to be a wise decision and competitors enjoyed balmy, sunny weather for the whole week, with matches on September 12-14, 2014. The event was well attended with 206 individual entries and over 20 teams. With competitors from a dozen nations, this is one of the biggest F-Class events in the world.

Congratulations to Scotland’s Des Parr, the new F-Open champion (on V-count over James Finn), and congrats to Giulio Arrigucci of Italy, who won the F-TR title. Both Parr and Finn dropped only five points over the entire two-day individual competition. For more information (and full listing of match results) visit www.GBFclass.co.uk.

European GB Bisley F-class Championships great britain

F-Open Individual Results F-TR Individual Results
1. Des Parr (Scotland): 470.48V (possible 475)
2. James Finn (Ireland): 470.41V
3. Marco Been (Holland): 467.49V
4. Mik Maksimovic (GB): 465.38V
5. Daniel McKenna (Ireland): 464.40V
6. Dave Lloyd (GB): 463.36V
1. Giulio Arrigucci (Italy): 455.30V
2. Francisco Franco Mosquera (Spain): 454.30V
3. Sergii Gorbon (Ukraine): 452.36V
4. Tom Bond (GB): 449.29V
5. Valentin Pomomarenko (Ukraine): 449.29V
6. Russell Simmonds (GB): 449.29V

Over the past few years, numbers have increased steadily and this year, over 200 shooters assembled on Bisley’s famous Stickledown range on the Friday morning for the first of two days of individual competition, followed by Team Matches on the Sunday. The four days preceding the Championships were available for practice and informal competitions.

With near-perfect conditions for the first 800-yard stage, some excellent scores were recorded. Scotsman Paul Crosbie’s F-TR score of 75.12V not only took the stage win but also set a new GB record and equaled the top F-Open score (by Italian Gian Antonio Quaglino). Maximums were also recorded at 900 yards by both classes but at 1000 yards, Scotsman Des Parr’s 74.11V was a clear winner, with Italy’s Andrea Ceron’s recording a 72.6V in F-TR.

The Famous Stickledown Range at Bisley
European GB Bisley F-class Championships great britain

At the end of Day One, Des Parr was leading Open Class by a single point and Spain’s Francisco Franco Mosquera had a two point lead in F-TR. The following day, competitors tackled the same course of fire to decide the title of European Champion.

Although a little overcast for the start of Day Two, the sun soon broke through and the fact that the top 36 Open shooters didn’t drop a single point at 800 yards gives an indication of conditions. Even the top 15 F-TR shooters ‘cleaned’ the target but, some relays experienced less favorable conditions.

European GB Bisley F-class Championships great britainAt 900 yards, again the top nine Open competitors shot ‘possibles’ but, in F-TR, Ukraine’s Sergii Gorban’s excellent 74.9V was the top score. For the final 1000-yard shoot – a 2 and 20 this time, Ireland’s Kevin Clancy’s 95.5V was a great F-TR score but Dave Lloyd’s winning Open score of 99.6V was absolutely stunning.

In the end, Scotland’s Des Parr and Ireland’s James Finn tied on points with 470 of 475 possible, but Parr took the 2014 European F-Open title based on V-bull count: 48 for Parr vs. 41 for Finn. Italy’s Giulio Arrigucci won the F-TR Championship by one point over Francisco Franco Mosquera.

European GB Bisley F-class Championships great britain

We were delighted to have American shooter Francis ‘Biff’ Conlon join us – shooting a borrowed rifle in F-TR (second from left in the above photograph). Biff shot as part of one of the F-TR Teams in the pre-Championship competitions and picked up a gold medal – note the unusual trophy! Maybe a few more Americans might think it worthwhile making the trip to shoot in next year’s Europeans.

TEAM Matches
The Championships end with the Teams Matches on the Sunday. These matches are for eight-man teams so, not all countries are able to field a team but four Open Teams and five FTR teams were fielded. Ranges are 900 and 1000 yards with 15 shots at each distance. Wind coaches are permitted.

F-Open Team Results F-TR Team Results
1. Great Britain – 1161.120V
2. Italy – 1145.74V
3. Germany (BDMP) – 1129.91V
1. Germany (BDMP) – 1106.57V
2. Italy – 1104.68V
3. Ukraine – 1101.69V

Report from David Lloyd, current Great Britain F-Open Team Captain
I’ve just got back from the F-Class European Championships. The minor 4-man teams match was held last Thursday afternoon and was shot over 1000 yards with 2 + 20 to count. I was part of the victorious Team March (388.26V). In second place was the Midland Precision Guns Team with 383.26V.

The conditions were good and the level of competition was very high. Team March was captained by Gary Costello the UK and European importer of March scopes. The coach was Tony Marsh and he did a superb job of coaching the team to victory (he coached me to a score of 100-6Vs). The shooters were: Gary Costello, David Lloyd, Ian Boxall, Darren Stewart. Peter Walker was reserve shooter and register keeper.

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March 19th, 2014

Scottish Shooters Visit California for American-Canadian Matches

A large contingent of the Scottish rifle team came to Sacramento, California last week for the 23rd Annual American-Canadian and Long Range matches. A great time was had by all. Members of the U.S. Long Range Rifle team say: “Thank you for making the journey over and we hope to see you all again this fall at Camp Perry and/or Canada Nationals.”

Click Photo for Full-screen View

Congratulations to Scottish Team member Ian Shaw for winning the American-Canadian Full Bore Match! Here is Ian celebrating his victory with his winning mug. We met with Ian in February after the Berger Southwest Nationals. At the Phoenix airport, this Editor shared a quick meal with Ian and two of his Team London-Scottish comrades before the trio jetted home across the Atlantic.

As we chatted, I quickly learned how serious and dedicated these guys are. It’s no surprise to me that Ian took the top prize at the American-Canadian match. During our airport interview, Ian talked about target rifle shooting in the UK, and he invited American full-bore shooters to attend the Queen’s Prize Match held each year during the Imperial Meeting at the Bisley Range. Ian said, “Tell your American readers to come. This is a big match every year, with 900 competitors, about 700 of whom are from the UK.” Here’s a video explaining the history of the Queen’s Prize Match.

History of the Queen’s Prize Match (BBC, 1986)

H.M. The Queen’s Prize
The Queen’s Prize Match was first shot in 1860 when the Sovereign (Queen Victoria) gave a prize of £250 for the winner. This amount has remained unchanged to this day although in the original days, it was a considerable sum. The winner earns the right to have the initials ‘GM’ after his or her name. As detailed in the section below, there are three stages to the competition, the winners of the second stage earn the initials ‘SM’. The final stage is shot on the last Saturday of the NRA Imperial meeting held in July.

Photos from U.S. Long Range Rifle Team.
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June 27th, 2012

Olympic Starter Can’t Use His Starter Pistol at UK School Race

Starter Pistol Alan Bell ScotlandAlan Bell, the “Chief Starter” for track events at the 2012 London Olympics, has been called one of the “world’s top race starters“. Over the past 36 years, using his trusty blank-firing starter pistols, Alan has started over 25,000 events, including Olympic and World Championship races. Bell, the current Chairman of the IAAF International Starters Panel, is widely recognized as one of the most capable (and knowledgeable) race starters on the planet.

However, the regional Council in West Dunbartonshire (Scotland) recently decided that Bell should not be allowed to start a running race at a local elementary school. Bell had originally been invited as an Olympic VIP for the benefit of the student athletes in this small community near Glasgow. Bell was even planning to start the school race by firing the same starter pistol which will be used to start the 100m Finals in the 2012 summer Olympic Games.

Why did the West Dunbartonshire Council send Bell home? It’s all about gun-phobia. Council members feared “that the sound of a pistol discharge would frighten the children and, perhaps, psychologically scar them forever”. (Source: Outdoor Life Blog).

As might be expected, some locals lambasted the Council’s action. One parent told The Scottish Sun: “It was ridiculous. We were told that the children would be distressed by Mr Bell firing his starting pistol. Anyone who believes they would be frightened by a starting pistol has never experienced the noise at a typical three-year-old’s birthday party.” So worried was the Council over the firing of a starter pistol (which shoots blanks with no projectile), that it tried to find a “politically correct” alternative. One proposed solution was to use an iPod to play a recording of a starting pistol. The school’s administrators eventually decided to start the race with a Klaxon horn noise instead of the crack of a starter’s pistol.

Score one more victory for the gunphobic Nanny State. One wonders if the West Dunbartonshire Council’s next move will be to ban local broadcasts of the actual Olympic Games, so the sound of a starter’s gun on television will not traumatize young viewers.

Related News Stories about Starter Pistol Controversy: Daily Mail Online | The Telegraph.

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February 10th, 2012

Evans Sets UK Benchrest Records with Accuracy Int’l Tactical Rifle

Forum member Darrel Evans from the UK pulled off a remarkable feat recently. He set multiple 600-yard UK benchrest records shooting a true, military-type tactical rifle, an Accuracy International AW chambered in 6.5×47 Lapua. The gun had a custom 24″ fluted Border barrel, and bag-riding accessories, but other than that, Darrel’s gun was very much “as-issued” by the factory. Darrel pulled off this fine display of precision shooting at the December 27th 600-yard benchrest comp at England’s Diggle Ranges. (The Diggle, as you may know, is notorious for difficult conditions.)

Accuracy International 6.5x47

Report by Darrel Evans
Just thought that you all might like to know how I have been getting on with my Accuracy International AW chambered in 6.5×47 Lapua. To make a long story short, I broke three UK records: smallest group of the day — 1.8″ at 600; smallest Agg for the day — 2.8″; and smallest Agg for the Light Gun class — 2.8″. All these records can be viewed on the UKBRA and TargetShooter websites.

Accuracy International 6.5x47

To say that I was ‘over the moon’ would be an understatement. I was happy that all of my hard work had paid off. I was delighted to set records on the rifle’s first outing since [adding bag riders]. The 600-yard benchrest comps over here are run as a winter competition and the winds at the Diggle are not very forgiving. I knew that the group was small as the markers were over lapping each other when the target board came back up. But when they told me that it was 1.823″ I knew that I had got a record, as the last record of 2.225″ was set by myself in 2009 on the first Comp with the 6.5×47 barrel on, this was then broken with a 2.18″ on a calm day later that year. Later I received an email from Vince Bottomley telling me that I also had the best factory Agg record and the Agg record for Light Gun class.

About Darrel’s 6.5×47 Accuracy International
My Accuracy International AW (AI-AW), a military rifle system, started life as a .308 Winchester when I first bought it. But after a lot of reading I decided to buy a 6.5×47 Lapua barrel for it. As you know the AI-AW rifle system is a very good switch-barrel design, so after a phone call to Graeham Clark at Sporting Services I bought a Border Barrels 24″ fluted barrel in 6.5×47 Lapua. My .308 barrel is now in my gun safe. After seeing how the 6.5×47 barrel shoots, I doubt the .308 tube will ever go on again.

The rifle falls in the Factory Class for our 600-yard BR comps. This also qualifies in the Light Gun class. Most folks say that a factory rifle will never beat the custom lads in the Light Gun class…. Well, sometimes it’s nice to see this happen. To help the rifle’s bench manners, I made a plate for the front so that it would sit on my compact front rest with a Farley joystick top. I also made a bar to fit on the bottom of the buttstock for the rear sandbag.

Accuracy International 6.5x47

Load Development and Accuracy Testing
Accuracy International 6.5x47After a lot of testing with different powder and bullet combos, I settled on 38.2 grains of Hodgdon Varget, with 130gr JLK bullets and CCI 450m primers. Velocity is 2914 fps. Seems that this is where it likes to be. In the photo below, you can see the results of a few different powders, but all with the fantastic JLK 130gr bullets. The 38.3 Varget load had all four rounds in nearly one hole and I pulled the fifth, so this was pretty much the load that I went with for my 600-yard Comp. The JLKs are really good, consistent bullets, and I think that the next barrel that I buy will be set up for these bullets and no other — they are that good. I seat the bullets at 2.157″ OAL, just kissing the lands. I could not go any further out as the bearing surface is short.

Accuracy International 6.5x47

Wrapping up his success story, Darrel added: “I hope that this is of some help to people who have a 6.5×47 or are thinking of building one. All the best for 2012.”

Accuracy International 6.5x47

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July 11th, 2011

Scots Top American F-TR All-Stars at Blair Atholl on 4th of July

USA v Scotland F-TR at Blair Atholl
Match Report by Laurie Holland
After their success in Ireland (Bulletin June 27th) a third of the American shooters, Tony Robertson in F Class and a complete F-TR team captained by Darrell Buell, travelled to Scotland to shoot over Perthshire’s famous Jubilee Range above Blair Atholl. As well as competing in six individual 900 and 1,000-yard matches in the Scottish Long-Range Meeting, the USA challenged Scotland to a 900-, 1,000-, and 1,100-yard yd F-TR team competition, to be held on the American Independence Day, July 4th.

Scotland USA Match Blair Atholl
Scotland Rifle match Laurie Holland

After practice on Friday, July 1st, US competitors did well in the six individual matches over the weekend taking four out of the top six places overall with Stan Pate and Michelle Gallagher leading the way. However, Scottish home team captain Paul Crosbie took all three 900-yard matches and one 1,000-yard yard match. Winners of the other two 1000-yard events were Michelle Gallagher, and Scotland’s Laurie Holland, shooting his .223 Rem (That’s right — Laurie beat all the .308s with a .223). The weekend’s overall F-TR winner was Paul Crosbie on 405.23v (ex 450.90v) narrowly leading Stan Pate and Michelle Gallagher. After tying on Saturday, Scottish Shooter Les Bacon slowly pulled ahead of Tony Robertson in F Class and took this section by five points on an aggregate of 420.25v.

Scotland USA Match Blair Atholl
Scottish team captain Paul Crosbie and coach Tim Kidner pause during a wind change.

Independence Day Challenge — Team Scotland Beats Team USA
The 4th of July started cooler and cloudy with a near calm disturbed by intermittent light fish-tailing breezes from behind. The 900-yard scores benefitted from this, the six strong teams averaging 70 or more points per shooter out of the possible 75. After the 900-yard stages, Team USA was ahead with 427-24V against Scotland’s 420-20V.

By the time the teams relocated to 1,000 yards, the overcast had gone, sunshine alternated with moving shadows from big white puffy clouds to produce heat-induced, variable winds and intermittent mirage. Scores tumbled and there were many gaps between shots as the wind coaches stayed their hand waiting for a previous condition to return or trying to read a new one. Different wind doping approaches were apparent with Scotland’s Tom Kidner and Hamish Hunter relying mostly on the wind flags and plots while Nancy and Michelle spent considerable amounts of time glued to a pair of massive spotting scopes trying to read the mirage.

Scotland USA Match Blair Atholl
Nancy calls 1K wind for daughter Michelle Gallagher. USA captain Darrel Buell is just behind them.

At 1000 yards, the Scots produced 357-8V against the visitors’ 346-8V, putting them into a four-point lead overall. Remarkably, however, the youngest American shooter, Sierra Scott nailed the best individual 1,000-yard score, a 65-2V. With everything hanging on the 1,100-yard stage, conditions were as for 1,000 yards only more so — warmer, still more variable winds and intermittent aiming difficulties from a boiling mirage downrange. The Scottish coaches’ experience really paid off now, their shooters scoring 295-2V, 23 points ahead of the visitors. Three out of the top four individual results (with scores of 50 or better) were by Scots, and top scorer Paul Crosbie posted a 59 shooting the big 210gr Bergers. Michelle Gallagher (shooting Berger 155.5s) nailed an excellent 57 to edge Scotland’s Peter Burbridge (55 points shooting 208gr Hornady A-Max). Laurie Holland posted an impressive. His .223 Rem ‘mouse gun’ was obviously still in the groove at 1,114 yards!

Scotland USA Match Blair Atholl

So, the home team kept its honor and Blair Atholl’s reputation intact. While disappointed, the visitors knew they had done really well given their inexperience with the quirks of this most difficult of venues. Everybody had a great time, some old friendships were renewed, new ones made. This was F-TR at its most enjoyable with four days shooting that no participant will ever forget. There was even an informal 1,233-yard competition on the Saturday afternoon won by US team captain Darrell Buell.

CLICK HERE for Full Match Results (PDF file) | CLICK HERE for Match PHOTO GALLERY (139 pix).

USA v Scotland F/TR 4th July Results
Team 900 Yards 1000 Yards 1000 yards Total
USA 427.24v 346.8v 277.2v 1,050.34v
Scotland 420.20v 357.8v 295.2v 1,072.30v

Scotland USA Match Blair Atholl

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August 10th, 2010

Three U.K. F-Class Records Broken at Match in Scotland

Report by Laurie Holland
Blair Atholl’s Glen Tilt range in the Scottish Highlands has a worldwide reputation for being difficult thanks to constantly-varying winds influenced by the venue’s steep, irregularly-contoured terrain. Nevertheless, three new GB F-Class Association League 1,000-yard competition records were set at Glen Tilt over the weekend of August 7th and 8th. The new records were shot in Round 5 of the F-Class Association’s championship program. The event comprised five matches, three on Saturday with 20 score shots and two on Sunday with 15 for a maximum possible score of 450-90V. (UK and British Commonwealth targets score five for the Bull). Targets were the usual international F-Class design, a modified Palma type with a half-MOA white aiming mark that also scores as the ‘V’ (‘X’ in American terminology), one-MOA bull and score rings spaced a half-MOA apart.

Looking downrange at magnificent but fiendishly difficult Blair Atholl range in Perthshire, Scotland.

New 1K Records in F-Open and F-TR
In Match 1, John Carmichael of HPS-Target Rifles Ltd. used one of his own creations to shoot a 100-6V. A new record, this was the first-ever 1,000-yard, 20-shot match F-Open ‘possible’. John Cross almost immediately followed with a new F-TR record score of 96-3V, just edging Spanish F-Class competitor Ramon Fito. In the photo below, John Carmichael plots another Bull or V while shooting a record 1,000-yard score, with his RPA / HPS-TR System Gemini 7mmWSM rifle.

John Carmichael

Sunday morning initially saw unusually light winds which no doubt helped Osprey Rifles proprietor Stuart Anselm set a new 15-shot, 1,000-yard F-TR record score of 75-4V in Match 4, using a rifle he had built himself on a Savage 12 Target action (photo below).

John Carmichael

British F-Class competitive standards continue to rise in both classes, perhaps more markedly in F-TR which is seeing very sharp competition in 2010 as well as increased numbers of entrants. The overall winners were Peter Hunt (439-17V) in F-Open, and Stuart Anselm (424-12V) in F-TR. Blair Atholl also saw the first use of a .223 Rem caliber F-TR rifle in a 1,000-yard GB national league event with Laurie Holland taking seventh with 412-11V using 90gr Berger VLDs.

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May 31st, 2010

Memorial Day — Remember the Fallen

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Memorial Day 2010

Memorial Day 2010

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