You are looking at $20,100 of Competition Rifles here. (Click Image for full-screen version.)
Don’t inquire about the price of a Bleiker competition rifle. As the expression goes, “If you have to ask, you can’t afford it”. At the Pardini USA booth at SHOT Show we saw a pair of bodacious black beauties — two “full-race” Bleikers, one a smallbore match rifle (.22 LR) and the other a 300m position rifle chambered in 6mmBR Norma. The combined price for the two rifles was a jaw-dropping $20,100.00. Yep, over $20K for the two. The 6mmBR rig was $10,200 while the smallbore rifle was $9,900.00.
Bleikers command such high prices because they win. At recent ISSF 300m and Smallbore Championships, Bleikers have been used by many of the medal winners. A gun is worth $10K if it can really put you on the podium or, better yet, deliver a world championship.
Take a look at this slick feature on the 300m gun. The adjustable cheek-pad automatically tilts up (for clearance) when you retract the bolt. That’s clever Swiss Engineering.
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Editor’s Comment: This is not the only way to clean a rimfire barrel. There are other procedures. This is the method recommended by ELEY based on decades of experience with the top smallbore shooters in the world, including many Olympic Gold Medalists. Some shooters have been very successful cleaning less frequently, or using different types of solvents. The ELEY method is a good starting point.
Rimfire Barrel Cleaning
1. Clean the extension tube with a 12 gauge brush and felt or tissue moistened with solvent.
2. Smoothly insert a cleaning rod guide into the receiver.
3. Apply a dry felt to the cleaning rod adapter and push it through the barrel to the muzzle in one slow steady movement. As the felt is dry it may feel stiff.
4. Remove the soiled felt and pull back the cleaning rod.
High-Tech Rimfire Rigs
If you watched the smallbore position and prone shooters at the 2016 Brazil Olympic Games, you couldn’t help but notice the exotic rifles competitors were shooting. There were wood stocks, metal stocks, factory-built rifles and customized specials. Why are there are so many different design features and stock types? To answer this question, the NRAblog’s editors called on Jessie McClain of the NRA Competitive Shooting Division.
“The customized rifles, like the Anschütz you showed me, can make a real difference in a shooter’s performance,” explained McClain. “I went from a decent shooter to making the varsity shooting team my freshman year because of the rifle.” As Jessie explained, one new feature out there is the adjustable stock, which she called the Porsche of the shooting world. Fully adjustable from the butt plate to the check piece to the hand stop and risers and bolt knobs, this component is fully customizable to the athlete … which can be a huge advantage. “Every person is different … a customizable rifle fits anyone. A rifle team can purchase four of these and field a shooting team for years.”
The Modern Anschütz Position Rifle
Smallbore match rifle makers are using modern materials in response to the need for greater adjustability (and enhanced accuracy). One of the popular new designs is the Anschütz model 1913 position rifle with a “1918 ALU Precise” brushed aluminum stock. This looks like it has been crafted in an aircraft plant.
AccurateShooter.com offers dozens of FREE, printable targets for target practice, load development, and fun shooting. We also offer a few of the most popular NRA Bullseye targets. One or more of these printable targets should work for most training purposes. However, some readers have asked: “Where can we get the real targets… exactly like the ones used in NRA, IBS, and NBRSA shooting matches?”
All these vendors carry nearly all the NRA High Power and Smallbore targets, including the new, smaller F-Class targets. Germany’s Kruger Targets sells all the important NRA targets, and international (ISSF) air rifle and smallbore targets too.
Orrville Printing currently sells IBS targets for rimfire (50 yard) benchrest, short-range centerfire Benchrest (100, 200, 300 yards), Hunter BR Rifle (100, 200, 300 yards), plus the official 600-yard and 1000-yard IBS targets. National Target Company also has most of the IBS targets. NBRSA short-range, 600-yard, and 1000-yard benchrest targets are available directly from the NBRSA Business Office. Call (307) 655-7415 to order for the season.
We first featured this story in 2010, but the results of this rimfire ammo test have been of such widespread interest that we try to bring the test to readers’ attention every year.
In 2010, the staff of AccurateReloading.com Forum completed a massive .22LR Rimfire Ammunition Testing Project. Some 55 different types of ammo were tested, using a highly-accurate Swiss-made Bleiker rifle, with a 2-stage trigger. All ammo varieties were tested at 50 yards, 75 yards, and 100 yards, shooting five, 5-shot groups at each distance. Though these tests were completed some time ago, many readers have requested a “reprint” of the ammo rankings, so we’ve republished this data below.
The results are fascinating to say the least (and perhaps eye-opening). The tester observed: “I got some amazing groups, and some which are, frankly, absurdly bad! This has re-enforced what I had experienced with 22 ammo in the past — that is being consistently inconsistent.”
While we strongly caution that .22LR rimfire ammo may work well in one gun and not another, and ammo performance can be improved through the use of barrel tuners, the AccurateReloading.com research provides invaluable guidance for smallbore shooters. Overall, the testers burned through over 4,000 rounds of ammo, and you can see the actual test targets online. To read all the test reports, and view target photos visit AccurateReloading.com.
0.162 Eley Tenex Ultimate EPS
0.164 Lapua Midas Plus
0.177 Lapua Polar Biathlon
0.187 Eley Match EPS
0.193 Eley Match
0.203 Lapua Midas M
0.215 Lapua Center X
0.216 Western Value Pack
0.229 Lapua Signum
0.241 Lapua Master L
0.243 Eley Pistol Match
0.256 Olin Ball
0.256 Akah X-Zone
0.261 Lapua Midas L
0.261 Lapua Master M
0.263 Eley Tenex Semi Auto
0.270 Lapua Super Club
0.272 Eley Tenex
0.303 Lapua Standard Plus
0.312 CCI Standard Velocity
0.319 RWS R 50
0.319 Eley Standard
0.328 SK High Velocity
0.339 Eley Club Xtra
0.340 Winchester T22
0.356 Federal Champion
0.362 Eley Subsonic HP
0.371 CCI Mini Mag
0.376 Federal American Eagle
0.377 Norinco Target
0.380 Sellier & Bellot Club
0.384 Eley Club
0.387 Eley Sport
0.392 Swartklip Match Trainer
0.398 Federal Gold Medal
0.403 Swartklip HV
0.409 Eley Match Xtra Plus
0.424 Sellier & Bellot Std
0.443 Remington Target
0.461 Lapua Crow HP
0.475 Eley Silhouex
0.498 Eley High Velocity
0.513 Winchester Super X
0.516 Kassnar Concorde
0.539 CCI Blazer
0.560 Winchester Supreme Pistol
0.576 Norinco Pistol Revolver
0.593 SK Standard
0.611 Sellier And Bellot HP
0.626 SK Standard HP
0.686 Logo HV
0.956 Pobjeda Target
0.274 Lapua Center X
0.283 Lapua Standard Plus
0.295 Eley Tenex Ultimate EPS
0.307 Lapua Midas M
0.329 Lapua Master M
0.346 Eley Match
0.373 Lapua Polar Biathlon
0.399 RWS R 50
0.432 Lapua Midas L
0.448 Eley Tenex Semi Auto
0.467 Eley Match EPS
0.474 Lapua master L
0.491 Eley Match Xtra Plus
0.494 CCI Standard
0.496 Eley Subsonic HP
0.507 Eley Sport
0.512 Federal American Eagle
0.513 SK High Velocity
0.514 Eley Standard
0.516 Eley Tenex
0.516 Lapua Crow HP
0.532 Western Value Pack
0.533 Fed. Champion Target
0.535 Lapua Midas Plus
0.564 Akah X Zone
0.566 Olin Ball
0.573 Eley Club Xtra
0.616 Lapua Signum
0.631 Winchester T22
0.639 Swartklip HV HP
0.641 Eley Club
0.642 Eley Silhouex
0.647 CCI Mini Mag
0.679 Eley Pistol Match
0.682 Swartklip Match Trainer
0.690 Federal Gold Medal
0.692 Remington HV
0.703 Lapua Super Club
0.720 Winchester Super X
0.738 Eley High Velocity
0.759 Kassnar Concorde
0.765 Sellier And Bellot Club
0.770 Winch. Supreme Pistol
0.770 Norinco target
0.775 CCI Blazer
0.802 Norinco Pistol Revolver
0.841 LVE Logo HV
0.855 Sellier & Bellot Std
0.923 Sellier & Bellot HP
0.934 SK Standard HP
1.017 Remington Target
1.257 Totem Standard
1.442 SK Standard
1.578 Pobjeda target
0.455 Eley Match
0.510 Lapua Midas Plus
0.549 Lapua Midas M
0.611 Lapua Polar Biathlon
0.611 Eley Tenex Ultimate EPS
0.619 Eley Match EPS
0.622 Eley Club
0.630 Lapua Center X
0.631 RWS R50
0.679 Eley Tenex Semi Auto
0.694 Lapua Midas L
0.729 Eley Tenex
0.739 Lapua Master L
0.753 Lapua Super Club
0.785 Lapua Master M
0.831 Eley Sport
0.851 Eley Match Xtra
0.859 Lapua Standard Plus
0.867 Akah X-Zone
0.877 Eley Pistol Match
0.907 Norinco Target
0.924 Eley Silhouex
0.939 CCI Standard
0.952 Eley Subsonic HP
0.970 Olin Ball
0.978 Kassnar Concorde
0.995 Eley Club Xtra
1.009 Western Value Pack
1.032 Federal Champion
1.087 Norinco Pistol Revolver
1.100 CCI Mini Mag
1.112 Lapua Crow HP
1.143 Winchester T22
1.142 Federal Gold Medal
1.144 federal American Eagle
1.156 Swartklip Hollo Point
1.165 Lapua Signum
1.170 Swartklip Match Trainer
1.175 Fed. Champion Value Pk
1.182 SK high Velocity
1.224 Winchester Super X
1.358 Eley Standard
1.367 Remington High Velocity
1.375 CCI Blazer
1.414 Eley High Velocity
1.450 Remington Target
1.504 LVE Logo
1.813 SK Standard
1.879 S&B Club
1.947 S&B Hollow Point
2.073 SK Standard HP
2.221 S&B Standard
2.266 Pobjeda Target
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The National Shooting Sports Foundation and Cavern Cove Rimfire welcomes everyone to join us October 14 – 16, 2016 for the 2016 NSSF Rimfire Challenge World Championship! The event will be hosted at the Cavern Cove Rimfire facility in Woodville, Alabama.
Competitors will be challenged with both rimfire pistol and rifle stages. As with all NSSF Rimfire Challenge events, both novice and experienced shooters are encouraged to participate. This event is designed to be fun and enjoyable for all skill levels. For many shooters, a Rimfire Challenge represents their first competitive shooting experience.
Rimfire Challenge events are intended to be entertaining for the entire family. Whether you’re coming as a spectator or a competitor, side shooting activities are in the works so that everyone in attendance will have the opportunity to enjoy some trigger time. Come one come all to what will be a very exciting and fun weekend!
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Today is an important day for Team USA shooters at the Rio Olympics. American rifle marksmen SFC Michael McPhail and David Higgins will be competing in the smallbore 50m prone event. In addition, 25m Pistol shooters will compete, and the Women’s Skeet Finals will be held this afternoon.
Schedule for the Remaining 2016 Olympic Shooting Events:
Friday, August 12
8:00 am – 50m Rifle Prone Men
8:00 am – Skeet Women
9:30 am – Skeet Men Day 1
10:00 am – Finals 50m Rifle Prone Men
11:15 am – 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Men Stage 1
2:00 pm – Finals Skeet Women
Saturday, August 13
8:00 am – 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Men Stage 2
8:30 am – Skeet Men Day 2
11:30 am – Finals 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Men
2:00 pm – Finals Skeet Men
Sunday, August 14
8:00 am – 50m Rifle 3-Position Men
12:00 pm – Finals 50m Rifle 3-Position Men
SFC Michael McPhail
Hopes are high for McPhail, one of the favorites to win a shooting Gold Medal in Rio. McPhail, ranked number one in the world in men’s 50-meter rifle prone, won the ISSF World Cup Finals in Munich this September. McPhail also won back-to-back gold medals at the ISSF World Cup events at Fort Benning, GA and Munich, Germany, held in May and early June of 2015. This is McPhail’s second Olympic appearance, so he understands what’s at stake: “The Olympics are unlike any other match you’ll ever shoot, the magnitude of it….”
SFC Michael McPhail, shown above, is currently ranked #1 in the world in the smallbore 50m prone rifle discipline. He’s one of the favorites to win Gold today in Rio.
Air Force Academy graduate David Higgins has been a competitive shooter since his early teens. “I was 13 when I first began shooting Rifle competitively, and I immediately knew that I wanted to pursue Rifle as my primary sport,” said Higgins.
Higgins recently graduated from the Air Force Academy and enjoys rock climbing, sailing and surfing in his free time. He now moves on to the next phase of his military career, having cross-commissioned into the Marine Corps upon graduation to become an infantry officer.
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Virginia “Ginny” Thrasher, who will compete in the Rio Olympics this summer, showed continued dominance of her sport by winning the women’s national Air Rifle title last week at Fort Benning, Georgia, home of the USAMU. Mindy has been on fire in recent months. In April she won the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Smallbore Rifle, securing a spot at the Rio Olympics. Prior to that, Ginny won individual NCAA titles in both air rifle and smallbore — as a freshman! This girl is a genuine phenom…
Thrasher, a member of the West Virginia University Mountaineers, has been on a tear of late. After winning the the Olympic Trials in Three-Position Rifle in April, she then earned two finals appearances at the Munich World Cup in May. Prior to that, Ginny’s sharpshooting earned her individual NCAA titles in air rifle and smallbore. With those performances, the talented freshman led West Virginia University to the collegiate team title and was named Top Performer of the 2016 NCAA Shooting Championship.
Her WVU coach, Jon Hammond, said Ginny has had an amazing run to Rio: “It’s an unbelievable freshman year to win NCAA championships and qualify for the Olympics. I would hazard she’s probably going to be one of the youngest members of the U.S. shooting team at the Olympics.”
Thrasher earned her way onto the national team with a stellar performance at the 2015 U.S. championships, where she won five medals, three in junior competition and two in open competition. That performance propelled her into her freshman season at West Virginia University.
This year’s USA Shooting National Championships includes more than 300 athletes vying for National Team selections and the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Other shooters attending this year’s Nationals are looking ahead to the next Olympic Games — Tokyo 2020.
Mindy Miles (Weatherford, Texas) finished second at Nationals behind Thrasher in the women’s Air Rifle Event. Thrasher’s Team USA teammate at the Rio Olympics, Sarah Scherer (Woburn, Massachusetts), won the Final to finish third overall.
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Got a spare weekend in July? Then head to Camp Perry, Ohio for the National Rimfire Sporter Match. The CMP invites shooters of all ages to this fun event to be held Saturday, July 9, 2016 at Camp Perry. On Friday, July 8th, a free instructional Rimfire Sporter Clinic will be held in the afternoon. If you’ve never participated in a Rimfire Sporter Match, you should give it a try. One of the most popular events at Camp Perry, the Rimfire Sporter Match attracts hundreds of shooters from 8 to 80 years, novices as well as experienced competitors. It is a great game for shooters who “just want to have fun” without spending a small fortune on rifle, optics, gear and ammo.
Rifles used during the competition may be manually operated or semi-automatic and supported with sights or a sling. Competitors will complete slow fire prone, rapid fire prone, slow fire sitting or kneeling, rapid fire sitting or kneeling, slow fire standing and rapid fire standing shot sequences. For more info about the Rimfire Sporter Match (and entry forms), CLICK HERE.
The CMP Rimfire Sporter Rifle Match is an inexpensive, fun-oriented competition using .22 caliber sporter rifles (plinking and small game rifles). To compete, all you need is a basic rifle, safety gear, and ammunition. No fancy, high-dollar rifles are required. Many junior and senior clubs make the National Rimfire Sporter Match an annual tradition — bringing together marksmen of all ages.
Three different classifications of rifles will be used during the competition: “O Class” for open-sighted rifles, “T Class” for telescope-sighted rifles and the recently-added “Tactical Rimfire” class. Awards are offered to High Juniors, High Seniors, High Women as well as Overall winners will be named for each class.
The CMP will host a FREE instructional Rimfire Sporter Clinic on Friday, July 8 from 4-6 pm in the afternoon. This Clinic will cover rules, Course of Fire, safety instructions, and competition procedures. This FREE CLINIC will include demonstrations and presentations by qualified members of the CMP. Competitors with no previous Rimfire Sporter Match experience are strongly encouraged to attend.
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The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil are coming up soon. The Rio Olympic Games will include rifle, pistol, and shotgun competitions. Shooting events will be held in Brazil’s ultra-modern Olympic Shooting Center, originally created for the 2007 Pan-American Games at a cost of $53.5 million. Perhaps the most challenging Olympic rifle discipline is the 50m three-position (3P) smallbore match. In this article, American Olympian Matt Emmons provides expert tips on three-position shooting.
Here Matt Shows the Kneeling Position. The other two positions are Standing and Prone.
Matt Emmons will compete in the Three-Position Event at the Rio Olympics, seeking his fourth Olympic medal. Rio marks Matt’s fourth Olympic appearance — he has competed on the U.S. National Team since 1997, medaling in three Olympic games: Gold in 2004 in Men’s 50m Prone; Silver in 2008 in Men’s 50m Prone; and Bronze in 2012 in Men’s 50m 3X40. Although his specialty is Men’s 3-Position rifle, Emmons’ World Championship and Olympic Gold are in Men’s 50m Prone. He usually shoots an Anschütz or Bleiker .22LR rifle, with Eley Tenex ammo.
Here are shooting tips from Matt, courtesy Anschütz. Click image below to launch a large PDF file. Right-click the image and “save as” to download the poster-sized PDF.
CLICK Photo to Load Large PDF File
Three Sets of Hardware for Three Positions
You may be surprised to find that Matt often totes three complete sets of rifle parts to important matches — three buttplates, three cheekpieces, and three Centra sights with adjustable irises. Matt told Shooting Sports USA that he travels with “three sets for three positions. Our final is so fast that I need three sets of everything to allow a fast change-over between positions.” Matt carries his gear in an an Anschütz sport bag: “It’s similar to the big Ogio duffels with wheels, but lighter. I’ve worked with AHG/Anschütz for many years and I like their bag because all of my junk fits in it.”
Emmons, who will be competing in Rio this upcoming August, also carries something for good luck: “My wife Katy gave me a little figurine of a Czech fairytale character a long time ago for good luck and I always have it with me when I shoot.”
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Story based on article by Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer
This story is about two shooters who have shown dedication, courage, and the ability to overcome physical limitations. 18-year-old Taylor Farmer has cerebral palsy. Her mentor and shooting coach, Greg Drown, has multiple sclerosis. But working together, Taylor has shown amazing abilities in competitive shooting. Taylor hopes someday to compete for the USA as a paralympic shooter in the Olympics.
Taylor Farmer was born to persevere. Her entire life, cerebral palsy (a neurological condition that limits muscle coordination) has forced her to work harder than others to achieve her goals. The effects of the disease on her body cause her to walk with crutches and to use a wheelchair for longer distances — but that hasn’t slowed her down.
As a teenager, Taylor began shooting rifle with her dad and her older brother. She never let the cerebral palsy get in the way of her desire to shoot. “I didn’t really think of it as being a challenge. I just wanted to do it…” she said.
Taylor built her marksmanship skills shooting rimfire rifles with a junior 4-H club. Her 4-H coach, Mary Ann Miller, recognized Taylor’s talent and introduced her to Greg Drown, a past State Champion shooter. That was the beginning of a great partnership…
Shooting Champion Doesn’t Let Multiple Sclerosis Stop Him
Greg Drown, 56, was a member of the Ohio State University Rifle team from 1980-1984, serving as team captain and earning numerous shooting honors. He competed in the 1984 Olympic Team Tryouts in Los Angeles and has been a State Champion in Three Position Air Rifle and Smallbore Prone. But a greater challenge lay ahead…
From 1995-2000, Greg gradually developed multiple sclerosis, a disabling condition of the central nervous system. His disease placed him in a wheelchair, but his determination kept him moving further into his shooting career (and winning a slew of gold medals and championships).
“It was a daunting task to re-learn the positions, not to mention shooting out of a chair with an attached table,” he said. “I had my trials and tribulations, but it took three or four years to become competitive again.” With determination, Greg reached the pinnacle of his career by winning the 2009 3P Any Sight Para National Championship at Camp Perry. He also made it to a Para World Cup in 2011.
Greg and Taylor Work Together
In September 2015, Greg and Taylor connected for the first time during the Ohio Day at the Range at Camp Perry. This event, held annually at the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center, is conducted for children and adults with disabilities and their families.
“I grabbed a sporter rifle off the rack and Taylor began shooting off the foam rests,” Greg said. “She consistently put 20 or so shots in the 10 ring.”
Taylor then asked Greg if she could get rid of the rest and shoot out of the adapted standing position while seated in her wheelchair. To Greg’s amazement, she continued to put shot after shot in the 9 and 10 ring — all without a coat and glove.
The NRA has released new, updated versions of Competition Rules, with changes that have been adopted for 2016. There are quite a few minor changes affecting rifle competitors in High Power, Service Rifle, Prone AR Platform Rifle, F-Class, and Smallbore Disciplines. There are also new rules for matches with Electronic Targets.
by Tony Chow
In recent years, the use of electronic trainer systems has revolutionized training in all disciplines of position shooting. By capturing (and illustrating) key performance variables like the steadiness of a shooter’s hold, accuracy of aiming, and the timeliness of trigger release, these devices can offer tremendous insights into the strengths and weakness of a shooter’s position and technique, making high-level marksmanship training less voodoo and more of a science.
Until now, electronic trainers all suffered from one critical limitation: the inability to be used outdoors in live fire training. Now, however, SCATT has introduced the next-generation MX-02 electronic trainer, a product that can finally support outdoor live firing in broad daylight, as well as dry firing indoors. In addition, the MX-02 is the first electronic trainer to support centerfire rifles. It goes without saying that, when we at AccurateShooter.com were offered an MX-02 test unit to review, we jumped at the opportunity.
How the SCATT MX-02 Works
The SCATT sensor mounted on the end of the barrel has a digital camera that “sees” the black bullseye in the target, even in broad daylight outdoors. Using the bullseye as a reference, the SCATT software tracks the movement of the muzzle relative to the center of the target. The unit can plot these movements as a continuous trace, which appears on a monitor as a squiggly, colored line. Data points from the trace are also available in a tabular spreadsheet format. This allows the shooter to “crunch the numbers”, revealing strengths and weaknesses in his gun-handling and aiming technique.
In our testing, we confirmed that, like SCATT’s earlier indoor-only WS-01, the MX-02 offers excellent support for indoor dry-fire training, which will continue to be the primary means through which position shooters sharpen their fundamental skills. Since the new SCATT uses the same familiar Windows software for data capture and analysis as its predecessors, shooters and coaches upgrading to MX-02 will have no learning curve to overcome, and newcomers to the SCATT platform can tap into the wealth of institutional knowledge accumulated over the years by the shooting community on how to interpret shot data.
It’s in the support for outdoor live firing, however, that SCATT MX-02 distinguishes itself from its predecessors and the competition. Shot trace data captured by MX-02 during live firing turned out to be every bit as valuable (and revealing) as we had hoped. The ability to correlate SCATT tracing with real shots on target gave us a better understanding of the shooting process, and helped the reviewer, already a high-level smallbore prone shooter, uncover a significant problem in his shooting. SCATT MX-02’s outdoor capability is therefore an invaluable feature, particularly for experienced shooters aspiring to world-class performance.
In summary, SCATT MX-02 is an outstanding product that delivers on its promises. We heartily recommend it, both for first-time users of electronic training aids, and also for those shooters who may wish to upgrade their current electronic training system. The MSRP for SCATT MX-02 is $1,799, $500 more than its predecessor, the SCATT WS-01, which is still available. In my view, the $500 premium for the MX-02 is justified by the MX-02’s enhanced capabilities, making it a better long-term investment.
Our complete, 3600-word MX-02 review of the SCATT MX-02 can be accessed through the link below. This full review contains many more photos plus detailed field test results. For the time being, the review only covers our experience with the product in smallbore shooting. An upcoming addendum to the review will include test results from centerfire shooting. Those attending SHOT Show in Las Vegas next week can examine SCATT MX-02 in person. SCATT will have the MX-02 on display at Booth 111.
Guest Article By Michelle Gallagher, Berger Bullets
Let’s face it. In the world of firearms, there is something for everyone. Do you like to compete? Are you a hunter? Are you more of a shotgun shooter or rifle shooter? Do you enjoy running around between stages of a timed course, or does the thought of shooting one-hole groups appeal to you more? Even though many of us shoot several different firearms and disciplines, chances are very good that we all have a favorite. Are we spreading ourselves too thin by shooting different disciplines, or is it actually beneficial? I have found that participating in multiple disciplines can actually improve your performance. Every style of shooting is different; therefore, they each develop different skills that benefit each other.
How can cross-training in other disciplines help you? For example, I am most familiar with long-range prone shooting, so let’s start there. To be a successful long-range shooter, you must have a stable position, accurate ammunition, and good wind-reading skills. You can improve all of these areas through time and effort, but there are other ways to improve more efficiently. Spend some time practicing smallbore. Smallbore rifles and targets are much less forgiving when it comes to position and shot execution. Long-range targets are very large, so you can get away with accepting less than perfect shots. Shooting smallbore will make you focus more on shooting perfectly center shots every time. Another way to do this with your High Power rifle is to shoot on reduced targets at long ranges. This will also force you to accept nothing less than perfect. Shoot at an F-Class target with your iron sights. At 1000 yards, the X-Ring on a long range target is 10 inches; it is 5 inches on an F-Class target. Because of this, you will have to focus harder on sight alignment to hit a center shot. When you go back to the conventional target, you will be amazed at how large the ten ring looks.
Also, most prone rifles can be fitted with a bipod. Put a bipod and scope on your rifle, and shoot F-TR. Shooting with a scope and bipod eliminates position and eyesight factors, and will allow you to concentrate on learning how to more accurately read the wind. The smaller target will force you to be more aggressive on your wind calls. It will also help encourage you to use better loading techniques. Nothing is more frustrating than making a correct wind call on that tiny target, only to lose the point out the top or bottom due to inferior ammunition. If you put in the effort to shoot good scores on the F-Class target, you will be amazed how much easier the long-range target looks when you return to your sling and iron sights. By the same token, F-Class shooters sometimes prefer to shoot fast and chase the spotter. Shooting prone can help teach patience in choosing a wind condition to shoot in, and waiting for that condition to return if it changes.
Benchrest shooters are arguably among the most knowledgeable about reloading. If you want to learn better techniques about loading ammunition, you might want to spend some time at benchrest matches. You might not be in contention to win, but you will certainly learn a lot about reloading and gun handling. Shooting F-Open can also teach you these skills, as it is closely related to benchrest. Benchrest shooters may learn new wind-reading techniques by shooting mid- or long-range F-Class matches.
Position shooters can also improve their skills by shooting different disciplines. High Power Across-the-Course shooters benefit from shooting smallbore and air rifle. Again, these targets are very small, which will encourage competitors to be more critical of their shot placement. Hunters may benefit from shooting silhouette matches, which will give them practice when shooting standing with a scoped rifle. Tactical matches may also be good, as tactical matches involve improvising shots from various positions and distances. [Editor: Many tactical matches also involve hiking or moving from position to position — this can motivate a shooter to maintain a good level of general fitness.]
These are just a few ways that you can benefit from branching out into other shooting disciplines. Talk to the other shooters. There is a wealth of knowledge in every discipline, and the other shooters will be more than happy to share what they have learned. Try something new. You may be surprised what you get out of it. You will certainly learn new skills and improve the ones you already have. You might develop a deeper appreciation for the discipline you started off with, or you may just discover a new passion.
This article originally appeared in the Berger Bulletin. The Berger Bulletin blog contains the latest info on Berger products, along with informative articles on target shooting and hunting.
Article Find by EdLongrange.
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The 2016 IWA Outdoor Classics trade show (aka “Euro SHOT Show”) is now history. The IWA event increases in popularity each year. In 2016 there were 1457 exhibitors with nearly 5000 products on display. The final 2016 attendance count is not complete but there were probably close to 44,000 visitors at the IWA show in Nuremberg, Germany. Last year, in 2015, there were 41,748 trade visitors from 122 countries. The video below shows highlights of the 2015 IWA Outdoor Classic event:
IWA Outdoor Classics 2016 Wrap-Up Video
Many interesting new products were showcased at IWA this year. Here are some of the more innovative or noteworthy guns and shooting accessories on display in Nuremberg:
Anschutz 54.30 Smallbore Action and Rifle
The new Anschutz 54.30 smallbore target barreled action features a threaded receiver and barrel — a change from the past (when barrels were pressed and pinned). The new 54.30 action has many other important design improvements. The loading port was moved 30mm rewards and was reduced in size by 18%, resulting in a more rigid receiver. The closer location of the loading port is more ergonomic, allowing less movement when in position. The weight of the firing pin was reduced, resulting in a velocity increase of the firing pin and a shorter lock-time. Anschutz also claims that a newly-designed barrel chamber improves overall accuracy. The new 54.30 match action can be installed into all available stocks which fit Anschutz round match actions such as the 1907 or 1913.
Dentler Basis Vario — Modular Rifle Scope Mounting System
Dentler has introduced an interesting modular scope mounting system that allows you to quickly switch optics while retaining zero. The system offers many variations for scope height, optic type, and fore-aft position. Dentler claims this system offers 100% repeatable zeroes. Watch the video to see how the BASIS VARIO mounting system works.
CK Technology — Granular Rubber Bullet Trap
This is a smart use of recycled rubber materials. CK Technology of Belgium has created a new bullet trap that uses small rubber beads to capture bullets. The granular bullet trap is made of rubber granulates placed on an inclined galvanized steel plate. It offers many advantages compared to traditional steel bullet traps– most importantly there is less pollution, reduced noise, and most importantly, bullets are captured intact so there are no ricochets. This system works for up to .50 caliber bullets, and can be installed indoors or outdoors. The CK bullet trap takes up less space than a conventional steel bullet trap — an advantage for indoor ranges.
SIUS AG — Color Touch-Screen Electronic Scoring Display
SIUS AG is a leader in electronic scoring technology, and the new SA951 control/display unit represents the state of the art. The latest generation SA951 is designed for all types of pistols and rifles, centerfire, rimfire, and airguns. SIUS states the the SA951 is currently the only unit with ISSF Phase III approval for all types of firearms and airguns. The SA951 features a sharp 10.5-inch color touchscreen that permits the competitor to see his/her targets and easily navigate a variety of functions — all with the touch of a finger. Using the control menu and selecting programms and screens is easy, quick and intuitive. The control unit can also be operated via the remote control or the proven barcode scanner. This allows users the same kind of operation as with predecessor models SA931/SA941.
Korth Super Sport Revolver
This is one serious wheelgun. The new Korth Super Sport Revolver is big and beefy with Picatinny-type rails on top and on both sides of the barrel. Chambered for .357 Magnum, this gun was designed for used in action matches such as the Bianchi Cup. Weighing a hefty 3.64 pounds (1.652 kg), the Korth Super Sport is over 11 inches long, without compensator. This gun has many innovative features, including: externally adjustable hammer spring, externally adjustable double-action cycle (with pressure point wheel), adjustable iron sights, and quick-change cylinder (for caliber change to .38 Special or 9mm Para). Here’s video of the gun being shot at the SHOT Show Media Day event in January.
Svensk Jaktvision PhoneCam Holder
Svensk Jaktvision of Sweden offers a handy product that mounts a smartphone above your rifle-scope. This product is designed for hunters who want to record their experience in the wild. But the system is also useful for marksmanship training. The top-mounted smartphone screen allows a coach/instructor to see how the rifle moves in the hands of the trainee. Watch the video to see how the Jaktvision PhoneCam holder can be employed in the field.
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Online registration is officially open for the 2016 NRA National Rifle and Pistol Championships at Camp Perry, Ohio. Held July 11 through August 9, 2016, the National Matches attract the nation’s finest civilian and military marksmen who will participate in a month of competitive shooting on the shores of Lake Erie. From pistol, to smallbore rifle, high power rifle, and long range high power rifle (including F-Class), the national matches have something for just about every serious shooter.
Shooters may now register to compete in this summer’s 2016 NRA National Rifle and Pistol Championships at Camp Perry, Ohio. Championship will be held in NRA’s Pistol, High Power, Mid-Range, and Long Range disciplines. Click the links below for the 2016 NM Calendar and NM Registration Form:
Smallbore Championships Will Be Held in Bristol, Indiana
As usual, the pistol, High Power, and High Power Long Range Championships will be held at Camp Perry, Ohio, on the shores of Lake Erie. However, the NRA National Smallbore Position Championships and Smallbore Prone Championships will be held at the Chief Wa-Ke-De Range in Bristol, Indiana. This year’s Smallbore Championships are scheduled for July 10 through July 18th.
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Report based on story byNRABlog.com
Starting this summer, the NRA National Smallbore Rifle Championships will no longer feature a separate “High Women” award. From now on, men and women will compete shoulder to shoulder in the same category — every shooter will be scored in a single group regardless of gender. (There will still be age-based categories; also men and women have always been eligible to win match top honors regardless of gender).
The reason for this change is, quite simply, that ladies can shoot as well as men (or better in many cases). Consequently, there is no need for a separate class for women: “There is a high degree of parity between men and women shooters in the smallbore championships,” said H.Q. Moody, national manager of NRA’s Rifle Department. Moody explained: “Women are rightly viewed as equals in today’s America. Shouldn’t our championships reflect that attitude as well? Our smallbore committee has discussed making the championships gender equitable for many years now and finally felt it was the right time to implement the change.”
Men and women will now compete on equal terms at the National Smallbore Championship, competing for the same honors in “gender-neutral” classifications.
This change was officially adopted this past January at the NRA Board of Directors winter meetings. It only affects the NRA National Smallbore Rifle Championships for now, but a positive reception could see “gender-neutrality” spread to regional matches and below, and maybe even other NRA disciplines.
History of Women’s Classfication in Smallbore Competition
The women’s category was first introduced to the smallbore championships nearly 70 years ago. Back then, military shooters were dominating the field so convincingly that several new categories were created to recognize the accomplishments of civilian shooters. This move saw the creation of not just the Woman category, but also Junior and Senior. The latter two have since expanded even further (e.g. Grand Senior, Intermediate Junior) to accommodate the skill discrepancies within levels and they make perfect sense to have; junior shooters are generally more inexperienced and many seniors are affected by physical limitations.
But the same can no longer be said of the women’s category. While military shooters still do very well nowadays, the proliferation of female service members has seen quite a few woman match winners. There are also a number of extraordinary female civilian shooters who finish near the top of each year’s overall standings. For instance, women shooters placed first in each of the two aggregate matches that determined last year’s Conventional 3-Position Champion.
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The 2016 Berger Southwest Nationals event is less than a week away. If you need some last-minute practice before this match and you don’t have the time (or money) to load a couple hundred rounds of centerfire ammo, consider rimfire practice. Past F-TR National Champion James Crofts attributes much of his success to plenty of trigger time with his rimfire training rifle.
Rimfire Training for F-Classers
2014 and 2012 U.S. National F-TR Champion James Crofts is one of America’s top F-Class shooters. A member of the 2013 World Championship-winning F-TR Team USA squad, James knows a thing or two about long-range shooting, that’s for sure. But you may be surprised to learn how James sharpens his shooting skills at relatively short distances. You see, James often practices with a .22 LR rimfire rifle at distances from 50 to 200 yards. James tells us: “Shooting my F-Class rimfire trainer saves me money and improves my shot process and wind-reading abilities.”
Remington rimfire 40X barreled action in PR&T LowBoy stock with PT&G bolt.
Rimfire Training Teaches Wind-Reading Skillsby James Crofts
Training with the rimfire is extremely useful and can be done from 25 yards out to 200 yards. I am lucky and can shoot 50 yards right off my back deck. That is far enough that any miscue on rifle handling will show up on the target. I use a two dry-fire to one actual shot routine for my practices. This gives me much more positive reinforcement without any negative reinforcement.
Wind reading is extremely important with a .22 LR rifle. I use a set of smallbore flags to aid my wind calls. The smallbore flags are a must and force you to look at the flags and mirage on each and every shot. If you think the flags at Camp Butner move a lot, try smallbore flags around tall pine trees.
James Crofts — Photo by Kent Reeve.
Rimfire Training Is Cost-Effective
Rimfire ammunition is much less costly than centerfire ammo. Though .22 LR prices have risen in recent years (and rimfire ammo is harder to find), even now I can get a 500-round brick of .22 LR ammo for less than $75.00. That works out to fifteen cents a round. That’s a fraction of the cost of handloading .308 Win match ammo. Heck, you can pay 40 cents a piece for match-grade .308-cal centerfire bullets. Then you have to figure in brass, primers, and powder.
My CMP 40X Rimfire F-TR LowBoy Clone
My quest into the .22 LLR rimfire field started with an email from the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) announcing Rem 40X stripped barreled actions for sale. I thought, “Hmmm… Could one of those little 40X barreled actions be turned into a F-Class training rifle?” My gunsmith Ray Bowman of Precision Rifle & Tool was brought in at this point.
After conferring with Ray, it was decided that he could indeed turn this into a F-Class training rifle. Ray contacted Dave Kiff of PT&G and ordered a new bolt for the Remington 40X rimfire action. Next was the stock decision. I decided to go with a PR&T Low Boy F-Class stock — this is an exact clone of the stock for my .308 Win F-TR competition rifle. Then a Jewell trigger was acquired to complete the components. Ray built this just like he would any custom rifle, other than using the stock barrel. The project turned out awesome. The rifle was a hammer from the beginning even with the stock barrel.
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Kirsten Joy Weiss has created a useful video about Dry-Fire practice. Dry-Fire is a method of training without a live round in the chamber. Dry-Firing is effective, Kirsten explains, because “it eliminates all the extra noise and messages that you get when you fire a live round. Without recoil, without the sound of a shot going off etc., all you hear is the click of the trigger. This allows you to focus on your sight picture and your trigger press.” This the lastest installment in Kirsten’s ‘How to Shoot Awesomely’ series. Kisten says: “I hope it helps you, and keep on aiming true!”
The Benefits of Dry-Fire Training
If you are not doing Dry-Fire practice yet, then it’s time to start. Dry-Fire training is essential to the sling disciplines, and very useful for F-Class. Dennis DeMille, a national Service Rifle Champion, told us that, for every minute he spent in actual competition, he would spend hours practicing without ammunition. While in the USMC, Dennis would practice in the barracks, working on his hold and dry-firing:
“The most important thing is to spend time off the range practicing. Most of what I learned as a High Power shooter I learned without ammunition — just spending time dry firing and doing holding exercises. Holding exercises will really identify the weak parts of your position. The primary purpose of dry firing is to get you used to shooting an empty rifle. If you can shoot a loaded rifle the same way you shoot an empty rifle then eventually you will become a High Master.”
Dry-Fire Training Can Benefit Benchrest Shooters
What about benchrest? Well, we’ve found that Dry-Fire sessions can even benefit benchresters — it can help reveal flaws in your trigger technique, or inconsistencies in the way you address the rifle from shot to shot. With the gun set up with your front rest and rear bag, if you see the scope’s cross-hairs wiggle a lot when you pull the trigger, you need to work on your technique. Also, dry-fire practice can help you learn to work the bolt more smoothly so you don’t disturb the gun on the bags.
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You can spend thousands on a fancy new rifle, but all that expensive hardware won’t perform at its best if you have poor trigger technique. One key element of precision shooting is trigger control. Our friend Kirsten Joy Weiss has produced a good video that shows how to refine your trigger technique for better accuracy. In this video, Kirsten talks about the actual placement of a shooter’s index finger on the trigger. It is important to have the finger positioned optimally. Otherwise you can pull the shot slightly left or slightly right.
Kirsten tells us: “Finger placement on the trigger might not seem like a big deal, but it actually is. The reason for this is because, depending on where your index finger is placed on the trigger, [this] translates to different muscle interactions with the gun.” Watch this video to see Kirsten demonstrate proper finger placement (and explain problems caused by improper finger positioning).
When you pull the trigger, you only want to engage the last section of your finger, in order to avoid unwanted muscle engagement and to achieve a smooth shot. Remember there is a “sweet spot” between the crease (first joint) and the tip of the finger. If you position the trigger in that “sweet spot”, you should see an increase in your accuracy. Don’t make the mistake of putting the trigger in the crease of your finger, as shown below.
Effects of Incorrect Finger Placements
You want to place the trigger shoe between the end of your finger and the first joint. If you place the trigger on the very tip of you finger you’ll tend to push the rear of the rifle to the left when engaging the trigger, causing shots to go right (for a right-handed shooter). On the other hand, if you put the trigger in the crease (first joint), you’ll tend to bring the rear of the rifle to the right, causing shots to fall left. This is illustrated below for a right-handed shooter.
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