September 24th, 2010

Multiple National Records Set at 2010 Spirit of America Match

We recently reported that Trudie Fay of Raton, NM, shooting on her home range, was the Fullbore winner at the Spirit of America Match. Trudie and many other shooters set new National records during the course of the match. Trudie fired an aggregate score of 1781-104x, which was an Open, Civilian, and Woman’s National Record. Second place, with a Senior National Record, was Tom Whitaker. High Grand Senior was Johnie Franklin, high Junior was Kyle Doney, high Service was Emily Windmassinger.

Trudie Fay 2010 Spirit of AmericaThere were also new records set in F-Class competition, in both F-Open and F-TR classes. High F-Open shooter was Danny Biggs with a score of 1777-88x. Danny’s score was an Open, Civilian and Grand Senior National Record. High Senior was Jim Murphy firing 1766-90x.

Michelle Gallagher was the high F-TR shooter firing a score of 1717-62x. Michellle’s score was an Open, Civilian and Woman’s National Record. Daniel Borwiecki of the Marine Corps Rifle Team was the high Service shooter. Robert Depp was the high Senior and Alan Canavan was high Grand Senior.

Trudie Rides in Style
The winners were “chaired,” holding their rifle and hoisted in the air by the competitors. Trudie Fay, wearing white gloves, was carried in Raton’s timber sedan chair by the Fullbore competitors. Danny Biggs, the F-Class winner, was carried in a rocking chair by the F-Class competitors. Michelle Gallagher, the F-TR winner, was carried in a captain’s chair. All were carried off the 1000-yard line to the Bald Eagles Clubhouse while bagpipe music was played.

Report courtesy Jan Raab and the NRA Blog.

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December 30th, 2009

Palma Shooting — What Calibers Are Permitted?

There is, understandably, quite a bit of confusion concerning caliber limitations for Palma rifles and Palma competition. Some folks say you can shoot a .308 Winchester (or 7.62 NATO) with a bullet weight up to 156 grains. Others say you can shoot a .308 Win (or 7.62 NATO) with any bullet weight. Still others opine that you can shoot EITHER a .223 Rem (5.56×45) or a .308 Win (or 7.62 NATO).

So who is right? Well, all these viewpoints are correct in part. That’s because different rules apply in different venues. In most, but not all United States Palma competitions, you can shoot either a .223 Rem or .308 Win with no restriction on bullet weights. In some U.S. Matches, most notably the Spirit of America, certain prizes are limited to .308s with 156gr max bullet weights OR .223s with 81gr max bullet weights. What’s the bottom line? In most USA Palma competitions you can shoot either a .308 or a .223 with no limit on bullet weight. In International Palma competitions you can shoot either a .308 or a .223 but the max bullet weight is limited.

Applicable Rules for NRA Palma Competition
To help clarify the Palma rules, German Salazar has collected the applicable NRA and international rules which govern Palma and iron-sights fullbore competition. First, German explains: “The Palma Rifle is defined by NRA High Power Rule 3.3.3″ which states:

3.3.3 U.S. Palma Rifle:
(a) A rifle with metallic sights chambered for the unmodified .308/7.62 or
.223/5.56 NATO cartridge case. Rifles which also meet Rules 3.1 (.308 only)
or 3.1.1 (.308 only) are authorized.

(b) A rifle with metallic sights chambered for the unmodified .308/7.62 NATO
cartridge case. Rifles which also meet Rules 3.1 (.308 only) or 3.1.1 (.308
only or 3.1.2 (.223 only) are authorized.

German tells us: “The references to Rules 3.1, 3.1.1 and 3.1.2 apply to the M1, M14 and M16 rifles or civilian equivalents thereof. Accordingly, Palma Division ‘A’, which is how all matches other than the National Matches are fired, allows any rifle chambered in .308 or .223 with metallic sights. Palma, Division B, which is rarely seen outside the Nationals, is a separate award category for the service rifle in a Palma match.”

German notes that: “In all instances, there is no restriction on bullet weight, rifle weight or trigger weight of pull. All of these are unrestricted. The rules specify that the rifle must be chambered for the unmodified .308 or .223 “cartridge case” but if the chamber has, for instance, a longer than standard throat to accomodate a heavier bullet, that is acceptable.”

CLICK HERE to download NRA High Power Rules Book (PDF File)

MT Guns Palma Rifle

NEW NRA Fullbore Rules and International Rules
A few matches are run under the new NRA Fullbore Rules which are meant to align the USA with the rules observed in other nations competing in similar matches. The most notable of these is the annual Spirit of America Match which is also the Fullbore National Championship. The Grand Aggregate prize of the Fullbore National Championship is restricted to those competitors firing the International Target Rifle.

Under the Fullbore Rules, there are two categories of rifle, the Target Rifle, which is the same as the High Power Palma Rifle, and the International Target Rifle, which is compliant with the rules of most other nations. The International Target Rifle has restrictions on trigger weight of pull, but no restrictions on overall rifle weight. Additionally, there is an ammunition restriction which limits the weight of the bullet to 156 grains for the .308 and to 81 grains for the .223; this restriction applies to both Target Rifle and International Target Rifle categories. The applicable rules are listed below.

CLICK HERE to download NRA Fullbore Rule Book (PDF File)

3.3.5 Target Rifle:
(a) A rifle with metallic sights chambered for the unmodified .308/7.62mm
cartridge case. This rifle has no restrictions regarding weight of the rifle
or trigger, However, the trigger must be safe.

(b) A rifle with metallic sights chambered for the unmodified .223/5.56mm x
45 cartridge case. This rifle has no restrictions regarding weight of the
rifle or trigger. However, the trigger must be safe.

3.3.6 International Target Rifle:
(a) A rifle with metallic sights chambered for the unmodified .308/7.62mm
cartridge case with a minimum trigger weight of 0.5 kilograms (approximately
1.1 pounds and the total weight of the rifle is unlimited. OR…

(b) A rifle with metallic sights chambered for the unmodified .223/5.56mm
cartridge case with a minimum trigger weight of 0.5 kilograms (approximately
1.1 pounds) and the total weight of the rifle is unlimited.

3.17 Ammunition:
(a) Target Rifle / International Target Rifle — .308/7.62mm NATO with a
maximum permitted bullet weight of less than 156 grains or .223/5.56mm x 45 NATO with a maximum permitted bullet weight of less than 81 grains.

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September 4th, 2009

Litz Dominates 2009 Spirit of America Match

Well I guess we’re all going to have to read Bryan’s book now…. Over the past few days in Raton (NM), Bryan Litz, author of Applied Ballistics for Long-Range Shooting, proved he has the trigger-pulling skills to match his technical knowledge. At the 2009 Spirit of America Nat’l Fullbore Prone Championship, Bryan put on a clinic, winning most of the individual fullbore matches, and leading his “Palma Red” Team to victory in the Cunico Team Match, Folsom Team Match, Sierra Team Match, and Galaxy Team Match. The “Palma Red” Team was ably coached by Steve Cunico. Bryan’s fellow “Palma Red” shooters on the team were David Crandall, Trudie Fay, and Noma Mayo, all of whom shot great. Congratulations to Coach Cunico, Bryan, and all the Palma Red team members.

Bryan Litz also lead the pack in all the individual Aggregate standings — Short Agg, Long Agg, and Grand Agg (1793-121X). Finishing second in Individual Grand Agg was Mitchell Maxberry (1788-108X), and Nancy Tompkins took third (1787-112X). Charles Ballard (2008 F-Class Nat’l Champ) was the overall top shooter in F-Class with a 1775-94X. Second-place finisher Danny Biggs (1770-83X) edged Larry Batholome (1769-103X) by one point, but Larry had the high X-count among F-Classers. Keep in mind that F-Class targets have smaller scoring rings than the full-bore targets.

There must be some good info in Bryan’s Ballistics book, because Bryan seemed to have an edge over all the other shooters at the SOA this year. Litz started strong and stayed strong throughout the week, winning three of four individual events. USAR Shooter Russel Theurer captured the Sinclair Int’l Individual Match with a strong 449-24X performance. Russ observed: “It’s interesting to see that every day’s Match was won with the Berger 155.5 bullet”. Complete results of the 2009 SOA can be found on the Bald Eagles Rifle Club website. Here are rankings from the individual events:

McGee Individual Match
Bryan Litz, 450-30X | Nancy Tompkins, 447-29X | Mitchell Maxberry, 446-27X

U.S. Air Force Individual Match
Bryan Litz, 449-31X | Trudie Fay, 449-25X | Michelle Gallagher, 448-28X

Sinclair Individual Match
Russel Theurer, 449-24X | David Crandall, 448-33X | Mitchell Maxberry, 448-26X

Sierra Bullets Individual Match
Bryan Litz, 448-30X | Michelle Gallager, 448-29X | Mark Andrew, 447-21X

SOA Grand Aggregate (Individual)
Bryan Litz, 1793-121X | Mitchell Maxberry, 1788-108X | Nancy Tompkins, 1787-112X

Praise for Bald Eagles Club
Bryan Litz had high praise for the folks who run the Spirit of America Match: “The Bald Eagles do a great job running a safe and efficient National Championship. There is an extraordinary amount of experience and common sense at work…. In my opinion, they’re a shining example of how things should be done. One example is squading the relays according to standings. I believe it makes for a more fair contest. If you enjoy midrange and long range shooting, then I highly recommend making the trip to Raton for the Spirit of America match next year. The range is beautiful, people are friendly, and you’ll get plenty of team and individual shooting in the 7 days.”

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