February 11th, 2018

Berger SW Nationals 2018 — Hail the Champions

Berger SW Nationals Ben Avery Wind

Today was the final day of the Berger Southwest Nationals (SWN). Two 1000-yard individual matches were scheduled. But the weather gods did not cooperate. Sunday matches were cancelled due to high, gusty winds from the North-Northeast that made it very difficult to handle the large, wood target frames. With concern for the safety of pit workers, match organizers waited until 10:00 am, then canceled the matches. It was a disappointment for some, but all the competitors still enjoyed a great week at Ben Avery.

With the cancellation of Sunday matches, the three individual champions — Sling Division, F-TR, and F-Open have been decided based on the Friday and Saturday results. We congratulate the three new Champions: Bob Sebold (F-Open), Phillip Kelley Jr. (F-TR), and Allen Thomas (Sling).

Top Five Overall – F-Open
Bob Sebold, 843-49X
Keith Glasscock, 843-38X
Jay Christopherson, 841-45X
Stephen Potter, 841-37X
James Crofts, 841-34X
Top Five Overall – F-TR
Phillip Kelley Jr., 838-35X
Ellis Berry, 837-42X
Niklas Montin, 836-35X
Peter Johns, 835-36X
Edward Shelley, 832-33X
Top Five Overall – Sling
Allen Thomas, 844-37X
Oliver Milanovic, 843-45X
Trudie Fay, 842-32X
Nancy Tompkins, 840-43X
Angus McLeod, 840-43X

Team matches concluded yesterday, Saturday. In team competition, Team Lapua/Brux/Borden won the F-Open Division, while Team McMillan finished first in F-TR Division. In the Sling Division, Team USA National Hayes topped the field. Congratulations to the winning teams.

View Complete SWN Match Results on McMillan Facebook Page »

Berger SW Nationals Ben Avery Wind

Berger SW Nationals

Wicked Winds on Saturday Challenged Competitors
Saturday’s weather was not kind to shooters. Along with cloudy skies came wind — lots of it. The wind was veering, and gusty — with significant changes in velocity. It was hard to predict the cycles — if they could be called that. Erratic was more like it. Many shots were out in the 7 and 8 rings. One champion-level shooter told us: “That was ugly — I got my clock cleaned”. Another shooter said “I ran out of paper to hold off”. At one point, Team Lapua/Brux/Borden (LBB) waited over 30 minutes to take a shot, hoping to get into a steady condition. The patience paid off. Team LBB shooter Jay Christopherson’s final shot (after the long wait) was a 10.

Berger SW Nationals Team Lapua Brux Borden

Above is a view from a spotting scope during the 1000-Yard Team Match on Saturday. During the course of the day, there were many 7s and 8s showing on the targets. One competitor said “the wind was so bad, I was holding off the frame”.

Berger SW Nationals Team Lapua Brux Borden

Team Lapua/Brux/Berger shot great in tough conditions on Saturday to win the F-Open Team competition. Second from left is Jay Chistopherson, AccurateShooter.com’s System Administrator. When he’s not shooting, Jay works hard to keep our Shooter’s Forum and content sites running smoothly.

The team announced: “Team Lapua-Brux-Borden pulled off a major win today at Berger SW Natinols. Conditions were very challenging but our wind coach was able to keep up with the conditions. Our rifles shot very flat which allowed us to rack up points and Xs. We have a great team and amazing sponsors: Lapua, Brux Barrels, Borden Actions, Cerus Rifleworks. Team members: Jay Christopherson, Eric Cortina, Steve Harp, Tod Hendricks, Pat Scully, and Bob Sebold. Notably, Bob Sebold also won the 2018 Berger SWN Individual F-Open title, making him a double champion.

Eliseo Tubegun with Nightforce Competition scope. These versatile rifle chassis systems are produced by Competition Machine in Cottonwood, Arizona.
2016 Berger Southwest Nationals Phoenix Arizona AZ

Berger SW Nationals Team Lapua Brux Borden
Photo by Sherri Jo Gallagher.

There couldn’t be a match without the dedication of the folks who work the pits. At the Berger SWN, competitors did pit duty, ferried by trailers, and there were also some volunteers.

Berger SW Nationals Team Lapua Brux Borden
Photo by Sherri Jo Gallagher.

They say behind every successful man is a good woman. Derek Rodgers, current F-TR World Champion, is no exception. His wife Hope Rodgers was on hand throughout the SWN to cheer on her husband.

Berger SW Nationals Team Lapua Brux Borden

For many sling shooters, the Berger SWN is the second most important event of the year, right after the NRA Championships, held at Camp Perry (OH) and (now) Camp Atterbury (IN). Check out those patches.

Berger SW Nationals Team Lapua Brux Borden

Industry Report — Berger, Lapua and Capstone Precision Group

Last year Berger Bullets was acquired by the Nammo Lapua Group. Berger Bullets, along with Lapua Products, SK Ammo, and Vihtavuori Powder, are now distributed in the USA by the Capstone Precision Group. Berger will continue to offer its full line of bullets, plus Berger-branded Ammunition (formerly ABM Ammo). Likewise Lapua will continue to offer its superb caftridge brass, plus Lapua’s full line of bullets and loaded Ammunition. In this video, Capstone’s Director Bill Gravatt explains how Capstone is working to expand the availability of Lapua and Berger products. In addition, Eric Stecker explains how Berger Bullets can increase production significantly, now that Berger is operating in the large Nammo/Lapua facility in Mesa, Arizona.

Today is the last day of the Berger Southwest Nationals. After the cancellation of Sunday’s 1000-yard matches due to high winds, this year’s 2018 SWN concluded with the Award Presentations. We watched as scores of medals — along with heaps of cash and Berger bullets — were handed out. AccurateShooter.com also awarded prestigious Corinthian awards to Nancy Tompkins (Sling) and Rick Jensen (F-Class).

Berger SW Nationals Team Lapua Brux Borden
Photo by Sherri Jo Gallagher.

Team McMillan was the top-performing F-TR squad at the Berger SW Nationals. The team includes many former members of the all-conquering Team Sinclair.

Berger SW Nationals Ben Avery Wind

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December 27th, 2017

Three Great How-To Videos from Erik Cortina

Erik Cortina Video SEB Rest NEO Upgrade coaxial Lambang Modified Case Hornady Length gauge RCBS Chargemaster

Erik Cortina is one of the nation’s top F-Class shooters. A member of Team Lapua-Brux-Borden, Erik has been a top performer at National and World F-Class Championships. Erik is also a very smart guy and a skilled toolsmith who has upgraded his shooting equipment in interesting ways. Today we feature three “How-To” videos from Erik. These show how to upgrade a SEB Coaxial Rest, how to improve the performance of an RCBS Chargemaster, and how to create your own Modified Case for measuring length to lands.

1. How to Upgrade your SEB Co-Axial Joystick Rest

Erik Cortina Joystick SEB Rest accessory f-class feet holder

Joystick (coaxial) rests are used by top shooters in benchrest and F-Open disciplines. With coaxial rests, you can adjust both vertical and horizontal aim instantly in one fluid movement — there are no mariner wheels to spin or knobs to turn. Just gently stir the joystick to move up, down, or sideways. Erik Cortina explains: “If you want to get into F-Class (Open) and want to win, you should get a SEB rest. SEB makes an excellent product, but the one thing we upgrade automatically … is adding the F-Class feet. These have a bigger footprint and a spike on the bottom [so you can] dig the feet into the ground and make your rest a lot more stable.” In this video Erik installs a set of Blake Machine Co. F-Class feet. These feature a set-screw, so they are easy to attach and then remove for travel (no Loctite!). “Simple yet effective” declares Erik.

In the second half of the video (starting at 5:30), Erik installs a Dan Bramley Joystick Holder. This features two clamp-on cradles that hold the joystick crosswise below the top (see photo). This handy accessory ensures your handle always remains with the rest (and doesn’t get left at home when you travel to a big match). This joystick holder has been popular with competitors. Erik says, “The Bramley Joystick holder is $60.00 — money well spent.” To order, email Dan at dbramley [at] yahoo.com.

2. How to Make a Modified Case for the Hornady OAL Tool

Hornady Stony Point Tool OAL O.A.L. gauge bullet seating length ogive checker

In this video, Forum member Erik Cortina shows how to create a custom modified case for use with the Hornady Lock-N-Load Overall Length Gauge (formerly the Stoney Point Tool). While Hornady sells modified cases for many standard cartridges, if you shoot a wildcat such as the 6mm Dasher or .284 Shehane, you’ll need to create a custom modified case. And even if you shoot a standard cartridge such as the .308 Win, you can get more consistent measurements if you make a custom modified case from a piece of brass fired in your chamber.

MORE INFORMATION: Want to learn more? We published a much longer story in which Erik explains in greater detail how to made the Modified Case. That article illustrates the 5/16″ – 36 RH HSS Tap required and shows how to set up the lathe to drill and tap your case. If you are serious about making your own Modified Cases, you should Read the Full Article.

3. How to Make the RCBS ChargeMaster 1500 Work Better

Erik Cortina has been fiddling around with his RCBS ChargeMaster and he discovered something interesting. Through a series of tests he determined that the ChargeMaster dispensed slightly more precise charges when he trickled the last few 10ths of a grain on to the RCBS pan. Erik wasn’t expecting this result, but he confirmed there may be a slight benefit to this trickling method (as opposed to allowing the ChargeMaster to dispense the full charge). You can see Erik’s test procedure in this video:

We should note that Erik’s preferred method of weighing powder is to first dispense a slightly lower charge with the RCBS, transfer the pan to a laboratory-class Sartorius magnetic force restoration scale, then trickle up with his Omega (Dandy Products) Powder Trickler. However, if you don’t have a $800+ laboratory-grade scale, you might just try trickling on to the ChargeMaster pan.

MORE INFORMATION: We have published a more lengthy Bulletin Article that covers Erik’s Chargemaster Performance Findings in greater detail. That article has more photos plus a clever, bonus “Beep Defeat Tip”. If you own a Chargemaster, we recommend you READ the Full Article.

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December 15th, 2017

Erik Cortina and Dan Dowling on Kelly McMillan Radio Show

Kelly McMilland Taking Stock Radio Show Voice America
NOTE: Audio may auto-start when you click this graphic — turn down speakers at work

You should tune in to Kelly McMillan’s Taking Stock Internet Radio Show today, Friday, December 15, 2017. Two very smart and talented guys are featured on the show. Kelly’s first guest, Erik Cortina, is Captain of Team Lapua-Brux-Borden and one of American’s Top F-Class competitors. The second guest, Dan Dowling, is a respected name in the field of bolt-action rifle work, with his main focus being benchrest rifles and similar high-accuracy rifles. Today’s live show, and recorded archives, are hosted on the VoiceAmerica Sports Channel.

Liston to December 15 LIVE SHOW and Access Taking Stock Internet Radio Archives »

We have followed Erik’s career as he has risen to be one of the best F-Class and long-range shooters in the world. Texas State LR Champion (3 years in a row), Erik has placed Top 10 in the Berger SW Nationals, won a Bronze medal in World Championship with Rutland team (Team USA Red), placed 3rd in F-Class Nationals. Erik also has produced very informative shooting/reloading videos on his YouTube Channel. Erik tells us: “I am honored to be on Taking Stock with Kelly McMillan. As you all know, I enjoy passing on what I know so that other shooters can benefit from my experience. I received a lot of help from others, epecially Mike Downey and Mark Pharr, starting out, so I’m paying it forward. I also believe it’s a good way to grow the shooting sports.”

Erik Cortina Kelly McMillan Taking Stock Radio Show

On today’s radio show, Erik added: “We will also discuss the importance of using quality equipment as it is the most reliable and gives me the best chance at winning. Another topic we will discuss is learning to win. I believe learning how to shoot is fairly easy, especially with all the info out there these days, but learning how to win, is the difference between a great shooter and a Champion.”

Erik Cortina Radio Show Kelly McMillan Taking Stock
Erik Cortina shows one of his handsome F-Open Rifles at Berger SW Nationals.

You can also access previous episodes. Recent guests have included F-TR World Champion and King of 2 Miles Derek Rodgers, Multi-Time National High Power Champion Carl Bernosky, USA F-TR Team Captain Ray Gross, and GA Precision’s George Gardner.

CLICK HERE for Taking Stock Radio Show Past Episodes (Warning — Loud Audio May Start)

About McMillan Fiberglass Stocks
Kelly McMillan is the president of McMillan Fiberglass Stocks (MFS). This company began in 1973 when Gale McMillan starting crafting benchrest stocks at home in his carport/garage. In 1975 MFS hired its first employee, Kelly McMillan. By 1979 Kelly was made a partner, and by 1984 Kelly was in charge of running the stock shop. Since that time MFS has continued to grow with innovation and design. Today McMillan Fiberglass Stocks has a 15,000 sq/ft facility and 65 employees.

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August 9th, 2017

Talented Yank Shines at Canadian Silhouette Championship

Erich Mietenkorte Silhouette Rifle Canada Canadian Championships

American Silhouette shooter Eric Mietenkorte delivered a superb performance at the recent Canadian National Silhouette Championships in Fort Steel, British Columbia. Eric recorded a 1-2-3 Trifecta with 1st Place in Master Standard Rifle, 2nd Place in Master Hunter Rifle, and 3rd place in Master Smallbore Hunter. Eric is coming home with quite the trophy harvest. Other top shooters included Team Lapua members Mark Pharr and Cathy Winstead-Severin.

Erich called this a “target rich environment”…
Erich Mietenkorte Silhouette Rifle Canada Canadian Championships
Erich Mietenkorte Silhouette Rifle Canada Canadian Championships

Eric tells us: “The Canadian National Championships are all wrapped up. Thanks to the Bull River Shooters Association (B.R.S.A.) for hosting an incredible event! What a great [week] of shooting! Such a beautiful range with the nicest people! It was great seeing old friends and making new ones. [There were] definitely some challenging wind and mirage conditions, but lots of great shooting, and I even took home some hardware.” Erich has posted these photos from the event.

Erich Mietenkorte Silhouette Rifle Canada Canadian Championships

Erich was quick on the trigger shooting pigs at 300 meters. He says “I love hearing that clang from hitting the steel.” Click speaker icon to hear audio.

6.5mm Chamberings Favored for Centerfire (High Power) Silhouette
The 6.5mm caliber seems to be the “sweet spot” for High Power Silhouette shooters. Erich says: “I use the .260 Bobcat (6.5×250) wildcat. Most still use the .260 Remington and 6.5×47 Lapua.” Other popular chamberings for High Power Silhouette include the 6.5 Creedmoor, 6mmBR, 6mm Dasher, 6×47 Lapua, and 7mm-08.

One wicked cool paint job — the Fighter Plane graphics on Erich’s smallbore rifle drew admiring glances.

Erich Mietenkorte Silhouette Rifle Canada Canadian Championships

Here Erich spots for fellow American shooters Mark Pharr and Cathy Winstead-Severin of Team Lapua.

Erich Mietenkorte Silhouette Rifle Canada Canadian Championships

The Cranbrook Daily Townsman News did a nice story on the Championships, complete with this informative video.

Fort Steel in British Columbia is a beautiful venue. Stunning scenery all around…

Erich Mietenkorte Silhouette Rifle Canada Canadian Championships

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August 4th, 2017

Silhouette Star — The Amazing Cathy Winstead-Severin

Team Lapua Cathy Winstead-Severin Silhouette Champion Championships Ridgway PA USA Canada
Photos courtesy Lapua and Adam Braverman

2017 USA Smallbore Silhouette Champion | 2017 USA High Power Silhouette Champion
2017 Canada Smallbore Silhouette Champion

We don’t know if there is an official “Lady Rifle Shooter of the Year”, but we would nominate Silhouette shooter Cathy Winstead-Severin, based on her amazing shooting so far this summer. Cathy has delivered some truly dominant performances recently. In mid-July, competing at the Ridgway Rifle Club in PA, Team Lapua’s Cathy Winstead-Severin won the 2017 Hunter Rifle NRA Smallbore Silhouette Championship. Cathy scored 110/120 to win her 20th NRA National Silhouette title. Then Cathy went on to win both the Standard and Hunter High Power Rifle Silhouette National Championships.

With those victories, Cathy completed a clean sweep of Smallbore (Rimfire) AND High Power (Centerfire) awards — a stunning achievement. Cathy was using Lapua cases, VihtaVuori powder, and a combination of Lapua and Berger bullets to win her 21st and 22nd National Silhouette Titles.

Team Lapua Cathy Winstead-Severin Silhouette Champion Championships Ridgway PA USA Canada

More Glory Across the Border — Cathy Wins in Canada Too!
Less than three weeks after her wins at the USA National Silhouette Championships, Team Lapua’s Cathy Winstead-Severin ventured north and won the Canadian NFA National Smallbore Silhouette Championship. After the match she also hosted a very informative clinic for other shooters. Congratulations Cathy Winstead-Severin. You have our vote for Lady Shooter of the Year. We also thank Team Lapua for providing support for major Silhouette Championship events.

Team Lapua Cathy Winstead-Severin Silhouette Champion Championships Ridgway PA USA Canada

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February 12th, 2014

Valentine’s Day Trick Shot by Kirsten Joy Weiss

Valentine’s Day is almost here. To celebrate this romantic holiday, Kirsten Joy Weiss has devised a very special trick shot with her .22LR Volquartsen semi-auto rifle.

Braving winter weather, Kirsten manages to drill three shots into a heart shape on her target. This trick shot is performed, Kirsten adds, “for the love of shooting”. See more cool trick shots on Kirsten’s website, KirstenJoyWeiss.com.

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September 15th, 2012

300m European Cup Finals Dominated By 6mmBR Shooters

Lapua 6mmBR Norma ammo300m Lapua European Cup Finals are currently underway in Zagreb, Croatia. The prone events have concluded — and Lapua ammo shooters dominated the field, with the little 6mmBR topping all other cartridge types in both the mens’ and womens’ divisions. There have been challengers to the 300m crown, including Norma’s 6XC and Lapua’s own 6.5×47, but it appears that the 6mmBR cartridge is still “King of the Hill” at 300 meters. We know that Lapua’s 6mmBR factory ammo is outstanding. This factory 6mmBR ammo shot well under quarter-MOA in one Eliseo Tubegun we tested (READ 6mmBR Tubegun Story).

The European Cup Finals continue today with mens’ 3×40 and ladies’ 3×20 matches. On Sunday, the last day of the competition, the Mens’ 3×20 Standard Rifle and Super Finals are slated. Here are results from Friday’s 300m Prone matches:

Mens’ 300m Prone Results

1. Antti Puhakka, FIN 599-34X – 6mm BR
2. Juha Rutonen, FIN 598-42X – 6mm BR
3. Josselin Henry, FRA 597-32X – 6.5×47 Lapua
4. M. Ackermann, SUI 597-32X – 6.5×47 Lapua
5. Mikhael D’Halluin, FRA 596-39X – 6mm BR

All Top 5 male shooters used Lapua
factory-loaded ammunition.

Women’s 300m Prone Results

1. Catherine Houlmont, FRA 599-39x – 6mm BR
2. Charlotte Jakobsen, DEN 598-38x – 6mm BR
3. Eva Friedel, GER 598-32x – 6mm BR

All Top 3 female shooters used Lapua factory-loaded 6mmBR ammunition.

L to R in photo below:
Jakobsen, Houlmont, Friedel

Lapua 300m Europa Cup

Lapua 300m Europa Cup

CLICK HERE for Complete 300m European Cup Results from Zagreb.

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