February 8th, 2019

Friday Feature — .204 Ruger Cooper Model 21 Montana Varminter

While many of our readers are caught in the wicked cold-spell hitting the North Central states, take heart — spring is right around the corner. That means folks will be getting ready for varmint safaris. Here’s a story that may help you choose a cartridge for your next varmint rifle.

For many years, Ken Lunde journeyed to South Dakota to visit with his father, and do a little varmint hunting. This article features Ken’s Cooper Model 21 Montana Varminter chambered in .204 Ruger. During past varminting holidays in South Dakota, Ken had a chance to try the speedy .204 against his “old reliable” .223. He came to favor the .204 for its accuracy, flat trajectory, and superior performance in the wind. Ken told us: “I love my .223, but the .204 has the edge for Dog-Town duty.”

The Cooper Montana Varminter in .204 Ruger

by Ken Lunde

Photos Copyright © Ken Lunde, All Rights Reserved

I’ve been a big fan of Cooper Arms rifles ever since my dad introduced them to me a few years ago. I prefer Cooper Arms rifles over others because they perform as they should out-of-the-box, and have outstanding workmanship and beauty. You get form and function. You don’t need to choose one over the other. For the price one pays, Cooper Arms rifles are a great bargain. I mount a quality scope, usually a higher-end Leupold with a 40mm objective, go through barrel break-in, and they always perform extraordinarily well. I should state that all of my rifle shooting is geared towards hunting. In other words, any shooting I do on paper is treated as preparation for using the same rifle for hunting, whether it’s for varmints such as prairie dogs, or for larger game.

Cooper Montana Varminter 204 Ruger

Cooper Varmint Rifles–Components and Variations
The featured rifle is a Cooper Arms M21 Montana Varminter (aka “MTV”) chambered in .204 Ruger. It has a 24″ varmint-taper stainless steel barrel with a 1 in 12-inch twist. This twist rate seems to be typical of .204 Ruger barrels from other manufacturers. The stock is AA+ grade Claro Walnut, and has the varmint fore-end, “Buick” vents, and steel grip cap that are standard on the Montana Varminter configuration. Among Cooper’s three wood-stocked varmint rifle configurations — Varminter, Montana Varminter, and Varmint Extreme — I prefer the Montana Varminter as it seems to be the best balance of value versus features. Plus, I like the “Buick” vents. They’re very pleasing, at least to my eyes. Maybe that’s why I own seven of them, in M21 and M22 actions, and in a variety of calibers. [Editor: Ken’s father has a near-identical .204 Ruger Cooper, with consecutive serial number.]

For this rifle, I decided to mount a Leupold VX-III 6.5-20×40 LR scope with the Varmint Hunter reticle. The rifle came with Leupold STD bases in Matte finish, and I used Leupold 30mm STD rings in Medium height and Matte finish. I took the time to align the bottom rings on the bases, and properly lapped them. Other than mounting the scope, no custom work was done, because none was necessary. The trigger is superb out-of-the-box, which is typical of Cooper rifles.

Ruger 204 Cooper varminter varmint rifle gun load reloading South Dakota

Load Development and Accuracy
Cooper Montana Varminter 204 RugerI first tried factory ammo, loaded with Hornady 32gr and 40gr V-Max. The 32gr load shot the best—five-shot groups were slightly larger than a half-inch at 100 yards. My dad heard that Alliant Reloder 10X was a good powder for this cartridge, and he worked up a load using the Sierra 32gr BlitzKing bullet. He found that 26.5 grains was the right amount for his rifle. Considering that my rifle was probably made on the same day, having a consecutive serial number, I decided to try my dad’s load, along with a half-grain up and down, meaning 26, 26.5, and 27 grains of powder. I, too, found that my rifle prefers 26.5 grains of RL 10X. With this load, I’ve been able to shoot consistent quarter-inch, five-shot groups at 100 yards. Cartridge OAL is 2.353″, or 1.990″ measured from the ogive.

I am using Winchester brass, Federal 205M primers, Alliant Reloder 10X powder, and Sierra 32gr BlitzKing bullets. I use Forster dies, and load with a Forster Co-Axial single-stage press. Here are two typical targets. As you can see, this .204 can shoot.

Cooper Montana Varminter 204 Ruger

Cartridge Smack-Down — .204 Ruger vs. .223 Remington

Ken made these comments when he first tested his .204 Ruger vs. his trusty (and very accurate) .223 Remington: “I brought along two rifles. The first was my ‘proven’ varmint rifle, the one chambered in .223 Rem. It has stunning wood, and clearly escaped the factory with AAA grade Claro Walnut. That rifle also shoots consistent five-shot, quarter-inch groups at 100 yards. For the .223, my preferred load uses Winchester brass, Federal 205M primers, Hornady 40gr V-Max bullets (non-moly), and 26.2gr of Vihtavuori N133 powder.

I found that I very much enjoyed shooting the .204 Ruger rifle, which explains why I used only the .204 Ruger during the second trip, although I also brought along the .223. Why did I favor the .204? Well, those little 32gr bullets really zing out of the barrel, with a very flat trajectory, like a .22-250. And, to my surprise, they buck the wind very well, perhaps even better than .223. While I am no ballistics expert, I think that this may be due to its high velocity, clearly over 4,000 fps.”

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May 11th, 2018

Hunting Prairie Dogs in South Dakota with Dan Eigen

South Dakota Varmint Hunting Safari

South Dakota Varmint Hunting SafariNever had a chance to hunt prairie dogs in the American west? Then check out this video. Dan Eigen (aka “Walleye Dan”), host of the We Love It Outdoors Television series, head to South Dakota for some varmint hunting. Dan teams up with Varmint Hunter Association President Jeff Rheborg to patrol some South Dakota Dogtowns where things get serious. In the video, you’ll see p-dog hits at distances from 70 yards to roughly 450 yards. The hunters were shooting from portable, wood-topped swivel rests, using AR-platform rifles on X-type sandbag rest. (Rifle zeroing session is shown at the 5:30+ mark.)

Multiple cameras were employed so you can see both the shooter’s POV and close-ups of the prairie dogs downrange. Watch the shooters having fun with a prairie dog cut-out and some Tannerite at the 9:00-minute mark. This guys are having a grand old time sending critters to Prairie Dog Heaven — we think you’ll enjoy the video.

Prairie Dog Hunting Starts at 2:20 Time-Mark in Video:

(more…)

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June 10th, 2017

Dakota Dogs — Prairie Dog Hunt with Dan Eigen in South Dakota

South Dakota Varmint Hunting Safari

South Dakota Varmint Hunting SafariNever had a chance to hunt prairie dogs in the American west? Then check out this video. Dan Eigen (aka “Walleye Dan”), host of the We Love It Outdoors Television series, head to South Dakota for some varmint hunting. Dan teams up with Varmint Hunter Association President Jeff Rheborg to patrol some South Dakota Dogtowns where things get serious. In the video, you’ll see p-dog hits at distances from 70 yards to roughly 450 yards. The hunters were shooting from portable, wood-topped swivel rests, using AR-platform rifles on X-type sandbag rest. (Rifle zeroing session is shown at the 5:30+ mark.)

Multiple cameras were employed so you can see both the shooter’s POV and close-ups of the prairie dogs downrange. Watch the shooters having fun with a prairie dog cut-out and some Tannerite at the 9:00-minute mark. This guys are having a grand old time sending critters to Prairie Dog Heaven — we think you’ll enjoy the video.

Prairie Dog Hunting Starts at 2:00 Time-Mark in Video:

South Dakota Varmint Hunting Safari

South Dakota Varmint Hunting Safari

NOTE: This video actually covers three sequences: 1) Three-gun training; 2) Prairie Dog Hunting; and 3) Coyote Hunting. We’ve embedded the video so it plays back the Prairie Dog segment from 2:00 to 15:15. If you wish, you can slide the controls forward or back to watch the other segments.

Video found by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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May 11th, 2017

New $600 Competition Primer Seater from Primal Rights

Primal Rights Competition Primer Seater System Rifleshooter.com gear review

Seating primers is kind of a “dark art”. Many top shooters prefer to seat “by feel” using a hand tool. Others prefer bench-mounted tools that offer higher work-flow rates — with a good bench tool you can prime more cases in a given amount of time, plus it’s easier on the hands.

There have been many bench-mounted priming options — Forster has a tool, as does RCBS, and Lee. But there is a new player in the game — Primal Rights of South Dakota. And Primal Rights’ new Competition Primer Seater (CPS) may be the most precise bench priming tool yet offered to the public. It is certainly the most expensive. This patented tool costs $600.00! But the CPS delivers something special — superb, repeatable depth control, along with the ability to prime 1000 cases per hour. For some reloaders, that precision + productivity will justify the high price.

Primal Rights Competition Primer Seater System Rifleshooter.com gear review

The Primal Rights CPS is built like a Swiss watch — the machining is beautiful. It also uses some unique internal engineering to achieve a superb “feel” when priming. Unlike some other tools, it is also very easy to adjust — simply turn a wheel to adjust seating depth. You can see this in the photos — the word “Deeper” with the directional arrow.

Operation of Competition Primer System Shown in Video:

Key Features of the Primal Rights CPS, as stated by the manufacturer:

Speed with Precision: Some priming tools are very fast. Others are very precise. The CPS is the only priming tool to combine both features into a single unit. You can achieve seating depths accurate to within a thousandth of an inch, all while priming at a comfortable rate of over 20 cases per minute. At that pace you can easily prime over a thousand cases per hour.

Precision Primer Seating Depth Control: The CPS has a revolutionary adjustable shell holder system which allows you to raise and lower your case in relation to the priming rod. You can seat the primer deeper or shallower in .001″ increments. The adjustment mechanism has tactile and audible clicks to ensure you stay on your desired seating depth. One click = One thousandth of an inch adjustment.

Integrated Shuttle Feeding System: The CPS uses a manually-operated shuttle system to slide primers from the primer tube into position over the primer rod. This ensures that any jams or misaligned primers are easily and safely discovered by the operator.

Check Out Competition Primer Seater Gear Review on Rifleshooter.com
Our friend Bill at RifleShooter.com has just released a detailed review of Primal Rights’ bench-mounted priming tool. He was very impressed with the Primal Rights CPS, finding that it was fast to use yet very precise, with great feel: “The CPS uses a rotational drive system to seat primers. Unlike the lever systems you’ll normally encounter, this allows you better feel as the primer seats. The CPS is expensive. However, it is a solid tool. Amortize it over the time you’ll be reloading and it’ll be worth every cent. If you load a lot of precision ammunition and have the budget to support it, take a look at the CPS. I found it is a game changer. I wish I had one twenty years ago!” READ REVIEW.

Primal Rights Competition Primer Seater System Rifleshooter.com gear review

» Read Competition Primer Seater Review on Rifleshooter.com

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Reloading 18 Comments »
May 5th, 2016

Prairie Dog Safari in South Dakota with Dan Eigen

South Dakota Varmint Hunting Safari

South Dakota Varmint Hunting SafariNever had a chance to hunt prairie dogs in the American west? Then check out this video. Dan Eigen (aka “Walleye Dan”), host of the We Love It Outdoors Television series, head to South Dakota for some varmint hunting. Dan teams up with Varmint Hunter Association President Jeff Rheborg to patrol some South Dakota Dogtowns where things get serious. In the video, you’ll see p-dog hits at distances from 70 yards to roughly 450 yards. The hunters were shooting from portable, wood-topped swivel rests, using AR-platform rifles on X-type sandbag rest. (Rifle zeroing session is shown at the 5:30+ mark.)

Multiple cameras were employed so you can see both the shooter’s POV and close-ups of the prairie dogs downrange. Watch the shooters having fun with a prairie dog cut-out and some Tannerite at the 9:00-minute mark. This guys are having a grand old time sending critters to Prairie Dog Heaven — we think you’ll enjoy the video.

Prairie Dog Hunting Starts at 2:00 Time-Mark in Video:

South Dakota Varmint Hunting Safari

South Dakota Varmint Hunting Safari

NOTE: This video actually covers three sequences: 1) Three-gun training; 2) Prairie Dog Hunting; and 3) Coyote Hunting. We’ve embedded the video so it plays back the Prairie Dog segment from 2:00 to 15:15. If you wish, you can slide the controls forward or back to watch the other segments.

Video found by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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June 23rd, 2013

Texas and S. Dakota Governors Go East to Recruit Gun Makers

NSSF Rick Perry ConnecticutGov. Rick Perry of Texas and Gov. Dennis Daugaard of South Dakota visited Connecticut last week. The two Governors hoped to recruit manufacturers to re-locate operations to their more business-friendly states. Connecticut firearms makers are high on the list of businesses both Perry and Daugaard seek to bring to their respective states. Gov. Perry wants Connecticut gunmakers to relocate to the Lone Star State, while Gov. Daugaard hopes South Dakota can attract these enterprises.

Larry Keane, Senior vice president and general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, provides a perspective on the recruiting effort. Keane suggests that economic growth in Connecticut is being stymied by official state policies. And Connecticut is no friend of the gun business, though firearms production has been one of Connecticut’s few growth industries in recent years:

The economic report card for the State of Connecticut is in and the results are not good.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis reports that Connecticut was last in the nation in economic growth in 2012, the only state where the combined value of goods and services produced (GDP) was lower than in 2011. In fact, total state GDP fell a quarter of a billion dollars last year, the same amount it fell in 2011.

On the heels of that report, the Manufacturing Alliance of Connecticut released the results of a survey that revealed Connecticut manufacturers predict a bleak outlook for the state’s economy and the health of their industries. The survey reported that a majority of the state’s manufacturers have been recruited to expand or relocate to another state and that they would consider doing so, most citing “government attitude” as the reason.

Connecticut’s firearms and components manufacturers have been the rare exception to the state’s dismal economic performance in recent years. Colt, Mossberg, Stag Arms, Ammunition Storage Components, to name four such companies, have added hundreds of jobs in recent years and, as a result, have contributed more in local and state taxes, even as other industries have cut back and moved facilities and jobs out of state.

We see a direct connection between the state’s nation-trailing GDP performance and the attitude of state government…. Gov. Perry understands all this. So he is coming to Connecticut. So too, is South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard, who next week will also be recruiting these same manufacturers for his state. — Commentary by Larry Keane

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August 16th, 2012

Take a ‘Virtual Tour’ of VHA Range and Clubhouse

The Varmint Hunters Association (VHA) has a very cool feature on its VHA website — a virtual tour of the VHA 600-Yard Range and Clubhouse in Pierre, South Dakota. Special panorama software stiches together dozens of images, allowing you to “walk through” the range, from the Clubhouse lawn down to the 300-yard line. You can “pan” and “zoom” from any location, or you can use the quick-navigation menu to visit the Lobby, Gift Shop, Clubhouse lawn, 100-yard mark, or 300-yard mark. This fun virtual tour is truly the next best thing to being there. It would be great if similar virtual tours were available for other popular ranges such as Camp Perry (OH), Raton (NM), Deep Creek (MT), Sacramento Valley (CA), and Williamsport (PA).

CLICK HERE to Launch VHA Virtual Tour

Varmint Hunter Association virtual Tour

After a few seconds, the virtual tour will start rotating (it can make you a bit dizzy). To stop movement, left-click with your mouse anywhere in the view-frame, or hit the “auto-rotate” control in the lower left (globe icon). Use the right/left arrows to move horizontally. Use the up/down arrows to tilt your view vertically — but be careful — hold the up-arrow a bit too long and you’ll be seeing nothing but blue sky. There are also plus/minus zoom controls. When the orange navigation box disappears, you’ll find the directional controls in the lower RIGHT hand corner. You can also restore the orange control box by clicking the left-most “Navigation Info” icon in the lower LEFT.

Note: If you want to visit the VHA range in person, during summer months it is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 am through 5:00 pm, and by appointment on weekends.

Varmint Hunter Association virtual Tour
Varmint Hunter Association virtual Tour

Varmint Hunter MagazineFREE Digital Editions of Varmint Hunter Magazine
While you’re visiting the VHA website, you can also read the FREE Spring 2012 and Summer 2012 digital Editions of Varmint Hunter Magazine. Both the Spring 2012 and Summer 2012 issues contain dozens of informative articles about precision shooting and hunting. Even if you’re not a varmint hunter, you’ll learn something new about shooting in these magazines. CLICK HERE to read FREE Varmint Hunter Magazine Digital Editions.

Story Tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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May 7th, 2012

Varmint Hunters Association Cancels 2012 VHA Jamboree

VHA Jamboree 2012The Varmint Hunters Association (VHA) announced last week that the 2012 VHA Jamboree and competition would be cancelled for 2012. The Jamboree has now been cancelled two years in a row. Last year the Jamboree was called off because of extreme flooding in South Dakota.

This year, according to VHA President Jeff Rheborg, the Jamboree has been cancelled for financial reasons. In addition, “all shooting events will be suspended for the 2012 shooting year at the VHA range”. On Friday, May 4th, Jeff issued this statement:

RE: 2012 Shooting Events

I hope this letter finds you enjoying the spring weather many are having. With much regret, all shooting events will be suspended for the 2012 shooting year at the VHA Range. With the uncontrollable events of last year and the financial loss we incurred, we feel the overall cost of repairing, maintaining and preparing for these events is not financially viable for this year. The foundation of VHA is stable; we feel it necessary to protect it in this uncertain economy. If you were registered for the 2011 Jamboree your refund will be forthcoming.

We apologize for any inconveniences this may cause. Thank you for your continued support!

Jeff Rheborg

VHA Jamboree 2012

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June 18th, 2011

VHA Cancels Annual Jamboree Due to Missouri River Flooding

The Varmint Hunters Association has officially cancelled the 2011 VHA Jamboree, originally scheduled for July 25-29, 2011 in Pierre, South Dakota. The 2011 Jamboree was cancelled due to flooding in the Pierre and Fort Pierre areas — a major problem that may not be resolved until August. Unfortunately, previously paid 2011 Jamboree registration fees are non-refundable, but 2011 paid-up registrants will get a credit for the 2012 event. In a statement issued last week, Jeff Rheborg (VHA CEO-Club President) explained why the VHA determined to cancel the Jamboree this year:

To all VHA Members and Supporters:

With a heavy mind and heart we regret to inform you that we will not be hosting the 2011 Annual Jamboree. Some of you may already know and some might not have yet heard; the communities of Pierre and Fort Pierre are currently undergoing a flood. Each city has a levee system running parallel to the Missouri River, with some even running through the middle of town. Water currently being released from Lake Oahe is at 150,000 cubic feet per second. It is projected to stay at that level through mid August. To make it easier to visualize… if you were eating supper at the Pizza Ranch and looking out the window, if the levee was not there, all you would see is water. It is that high.

We did not reach this decision lightly. We took into account information we have received from local, state and national authorities as well as a long list of variables such as: electricity availability, water lines that may be affected, and the hundreds of evacuees that are being housed in area hotels. While we value the opportunity our annual Jamboree has to bring in visitors and thus revenue for area businesses in a time of need, we also cannot guarantee the ability of those businesses, such as downstream campgrounds, (which are all currently under water), restaurants and hotels to be able to accommodate people. We can tell you with great assurance; we will not put the safety of our members and their families at risk on the basis of “the levee should hold.”

As in years past our policy has been Jamboree registrations are non-refundable. Due to the current circumstances, which we have no control over, all participants who have already signed up for Jamboree 2011 will be given credit for Jamboree 2012. Credit is for Jamboree use only and cannot be transferred to another event or applied towards membership dues.

Thanks again for your continued support throughout the years. Plans are already being made for Jamboree 2012.

Jeff Rheborg, CEO, Varmint Hunters Assn.

Story tip by EdLongrange. We welcome submissions from readers.
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March 4th, 2011

The People Who Make Black Hills Ammo — Video Profile

Black Hills AmmunitionBlack Hills Ammunition has released a video showing the production process at Black Hills’ ammo plant in Rapid City, South Dakota. As you’d expect there is footage showing the assembly-line, with massive machines churning out loaded cases (look for the bullet seating machine). But this video has a second, softer side — it also focuses on the human factor at the Black Hills facility.

Black Hills President Jeff Hoffman narrates the video, which profiles some of the key production staff at Black Hills. There’s AJ the ‘gearhead’, who supervises the production process, making sure all the machinery is running optimally. When AJ’s not at the plant, he’s tinkering with his hot rods. Then there’s JB, the loading machine operator, who arrives each day at the crack of dawn and can’t wait to get to his machine. And there’s Laverne, who, for 22 years, has been Black Hills’ ace ammo inspector. The video provides an insight into the human side of the production process. We think you’ll enjoy watching.

YouTube Preview Image
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July 18th, 2010

VHA Jamboree Is Coming Soon — July 26 – 30, in South Dakota

The 2010 Varmint Hunters Association Jamboree will be held July 26 – 30th, in Pierre, South Dakota. This 5-day event features a 2-Day Shootout, 3-Man Team Competition, and 3-Gun Match with prizes valued at over $4900. Classes for the Shootout are: Field Stock, Stock, Modified, Limited Open, and Unlimited Open. CLICK HERE for complete Shootout Rules.

Varmint Hunters Association

In conjunction with the Jamboree, the South Dakota state 600-yard IBS Benchrest match will be held on Friday, the 30th. During the course of the week, other fun matches will be held, including a 600-Yard Groundhog Shoot, a 100-Yard Youth Shoot, and a .22 LR rimfire fun shoot.

The Jamboree is a family event with fun shoots Monday through Friday. There will be live and silent auctions, symposiums, special Ladies’ Events, regularly nightly speakers or entertainment, and a big Jamboree Banquet at the Ramkota Lodge on Friday. For more information, visit www.Varminthunter.org/jamboree.html, or call VHA members services, 1-800-528-4868.

CLICK HERE FOR VHA Shootout and Jamboree SCHEDULE of EVENTS.

Advanced registration is $35.00, while registration during the Jamboree costs $40.00. A Shootout ticket alone is $25.00, while a Banquet ticket costs $25.00. You must be a member of the V.H.A. and registered for the Jamboree in order to compete in the Shootout.

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September 18th, 2009

IBS 600-Yard Nationals in Pierre, SD — Hall, Davis, & Schatz Battle

Sam Hall did it again. The 2008 IBS National Champion and 2008 Shooter of the Year captured his second straight National Championship, winning the 2-Gun Grand Agg shooting a standard 6BR in both Light Gun (LG) and Heavy Gun (HG) classes. It was an impressive victory in challenging conditions at the Varmint Hunter Assn. (VHA) range in Pierre, South Dakota. But this was a very close match. Mike Davis, runner-up in the Grand Agg, tied Sam in 2-Gun points, but Sam was awarded the title based on 2-Gun Small Group tie-breaker. Richard Schatz was just one point behind Sam and Mike. All three men shot superbly and any of the three could have won it all. Davis won the HG Overall Agg (with Hall second), while Schatz won the LG Overall Agg, with Hall again placing second. Both Davis and Schatz shot 6BR Improved cartridges in both LG and HG — Davis shooting the 30°-shoulder BRX, while Schatz campaigned a 40° Dasher. Rodney Wagner (6BRX) and John Griswold (6 Dasher) tied with 27 points in the 2-Gun overall, with Wagner earning 4th place overall on the tie-breaker.

Horrendous Conditions on Friday — Many DQs
Sam Hall said the conditions on Friday were “horrendous” with 25 to 35-mph gusts. Conditions were among the worst ever seen by the VHA rangemasters, and a third of HG competitors (17 of 48) DQ’d because the wind blew shots off paper. Luckily, conditions moderated for the Saturday relays, with mild 10 mph winds. Regulars at the VHA range said Saturday’s conditions were “about as good at it gets in Pierre.”

Sam Hall IBS 600 yard champion Sam Hall IBS 600 yard champion

Complete Results are posted under Long Range Match Results on the IBS Website.

Equipment — Still dominated by 6BR and 6BR Improved
A quick look at the equipment lists for both LG and HG classes showed the 6mm as the preferred caliber, with a 6mm Dasher or 6mm BRX the most popular cartridge (though Hall won it all with his standard 6BR). Despite the windy conditions, the mid-sized cases such as the 6-6.5×47 Lapua couldn’t outshoot their smaller brothers. Notably, Sam Hall used a plain vanilla 6BR to win LG Agg with a 2.852″. Shooting a 6BRX, Mike Davis won HG Agg with a 2.492″, with Hall’s 6BR only .054″ behind.

LG Equipment List
IBS 600-yard Benchrest

HG Equipment List
IBS 600-yard Benchrest

Calibers: 17 of the top 20 in LG shot 6mms, mostly Dashers (but Hall won LG with a standard 6BR). There was one .22 and two 6.5s. In HG it was pretty much the same story, 16 of 20 using 6mms, with a couple 6.5s, a .308 Baer and a 30 BooBoo (not “39” as stated in equipment list).

Barrels: Sam Hall won LG Group Agg with a Broughton button-rifled barrel, but otherwise cut-rifled barrels from Brux, Krieger, and Bartlein dominated the Top 20 in both classes. In HG, Mike Davis shot a Brux to finish #1. NOTE: Sam Hall had a Lilja barrel on his second-place, 28-lb Heavy Gun, not a Brux as shown on the official equipment list.

Bullets: Sam Hall used Spencers in LG, and Steve Shelp shot BIBs in his 30 BooBoo Heavy Gun. Otherwise it was “all yellow box”, with Berger filling the Top 10 equipment rankings for both LG and HG. It’s fair to say Berger Bullets dominated the match.

Powder/Primers: Alliant Reloder 15 and CCI 450s (usually pushing Berger 6mm bullets) composed the preferred combo in both LG and HG. Sam Hall did use CCI BR4s, however. Rodney Wagner was the only Dasher shooter to use Hodgdon Varget, but he finished fourth overall in the 2-Gun Aggregate.

Optics: While ace shooters Sam Hall and Mike Davis both used Leupold Competition Scopes in both LG and HG classes, Nightforce scopes, (mostly 12-42 BR models) dominated the Equipment Top 20 lists. To our surprise, there were only a couple March Scopes in the Equipment Top 20 in HG, and just one in LG.

Stocks: Shehane (D & B Supply) stocks were used by 8 of the Top 10-ranked LG Shooters, and 5 of the Top 10 in HG rankings. The Trackers, both ST 1000 and MBR Tracker, remain hard to beat. We did see some “true maxies” in this match.

IBS 600-yard Championship

Hall Reveals Shooting Secrets in Home-Made Video
If you’re interested in 600-yard competition, or just want to shoot more accurately and consistently from the bench, you should watch a video Sam Hall put together last year. Because of wind noise, the audio is pretty bad at first, but be patient. Sam delivers some invaluable advice in the video. His tips on body positioning, gun-handling, and follow-through can earn you some points in your next match.

YouTube Preview Image
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July 5th, 2009

Mark Your Calendar for the VHA Varmint Jamboree

The Varmint Hunters Association Jamboree is set for later this month, July 27 – 31, in Pierre, South Dakota. This 5-day event features a 2-Day Shootout, 3-Man Team Competition, and 3-Gun Match with prizes valued at over $4900. Classes for the Shootout are: Stock, Modified, Limited Open, and Unlimited Open. CLICK HERE for complete Shootout Rules.

Varmint Hunters Association

This is a family event with fun shoots Monday through Friday. There will be live and silent auctions, symposiums, special Ladies’ Events, regularly nightly speakers or entertainment, and a big Jamboree Banquet at the Ramkota Lounge on Friday. For more information, visit www.Varminthunter.org/jamboree.html, or call VHA members services, 1-800-528-4868.

Pre-registration costs $30.00, while registration during Jamboree cost $40.00. A Shootout ticket alone is $25.00, while a Banquet ticket costs $25.00. You must be a member of the V.H.A. and registered for the Jamboree in order to compete in the Shootout.

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