October 28th, 2015

Old Guys Rule — Team SEB/Berger Wins F-Open Team Event

F-TR Mid-Range Team Championship Michigan

Yes, “Old Guys Rule” — at least at Mid-Range. At the NRA Mid-Range F-Class Nationals, a squad of seasoned veterans outshot their younger competitors, taking the F-Open Team Title with a 1598-102X score. The SEB/Berger Team Aggregate of 1598-102X is believed to be a new National Mid-Range Team Record. Think about that — the entire squad dropped only two points (out of 1600 possible) over the entire event. That’s superb shooting by a talent-loaded team.

F-TR Mid-Range Team Championship Michigan

The winning SEB/Berger team features shooters Larry Bartholome, Danny J. Biggs, Robert Bock, and Don Nagel, along with Coach Jim Murphy and Captain/sponsor Sebastian Lambang. Remarkably, all the “Three Bs” (Bartolome, Biggs, and Bock) shot 400s (not dropping a single point), and Danny Biggs totaled a superb 400-31X to finish as high man for the event.

Finishing second in F-Open team competition, with 1590-96X, was the local favorite, Team Wide Nines. Coached by Scott Harris, this squad features shooters Dan Bramley, Milton Gillette, Christine Harris, and Allan Rosenthal (also Captain). Dan Bramley finished the match with 400-24X, not dropping a point.

Individual F-Open Results
The individual Mid-Range F-Open Championship was a tightly-fought affair. Just six points separated the Top 10 shooters. John Myers took the title with a very impressive 1794-111X. Runner-up David Gosnell (1792-105X) edged third-place Danny J. Biggs (1792-100X) on X-Count. Jeff Cochran (1790-110X) was fourth, while Jim Murphy (1790-100X) finished fifth. While gains have certainly been made in the F-TR division, the Open-Classers proved that they still have the edge, shooting larger cartridges from a front rest. The best F-TR score, 1782-96X by Bryan Litz, was still 12 points and 15 Xs shy of Myer’s F-Open-winning performance.

Michigan Squad Wins F-TR Team Championship
In F-TR Team competition, the Michigan F-TR crew took top honors. Lead by newly-crowned Mid-Range F-TR Champion Bryan Litz, the Michiganders finished with an impressive 1597-89X, nine points ahead of runner-up Team Sinclair (1588-83X). Along with Bryan, Michigan shooters included Doug Boyer, Jim Grissom, and gunsmith/action-maker John Pierce. As a historical footnote, we believe this is the first time Team Sinclair has been beaten in a major match. However Team Sinclair’s Paul Phillips posted the top individual performance in the team event. Paul shot a superb 400-25X, not dropping a single point.

F-TR Mid-Range Team Championship Michigan

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August 30th, 2015

What It Takes to Win: Tips from F-TR Ace Dan Pohlabel

Team Sinclair F-TR interview F-Class Reloading Load Development Training dry-fire

Dan Pohlabel is a member of the all-conquering Team Sinclair F-TR squad. This talented group of shooters hasn’t lost a team match in years. What’s the secret of Team Sinclair’s success? Well there is not one single factor. These guys have very accurate rifles, they work hard on load development, and they practice in all conditions. In this interview, Dan Pohlabel talks about F-TR competition, reviewing the hardware (and skill set) it takes to win. He offers some great tips on developing loads. You’ll find a longer version of this interview on the Sinclair Int’l website. CLICK HERE to Read Full Interview.

Q: What do you find most challenging in F-TR Shooting?
It has to be keeping up with the competition, our sport has grown so quickly with new talented shooters. Staying at the top requires having a laser of a rifle, perfect loads, near perfect wind reading, and, of course, breaking good shots.

Q: How can novice shooters improve their game?
Seek out the local F-TR shooters and go to matches with them, listen and learn. Attend team matches and offer to score for one of the teams. As a scorer, you will sit close enough to hear the coach make wind calls and see the results on the target. Through the spotting scope you will see changes in mirage and it’s the quickest way to learn the basics of wind reading. Choosing and buying equipment is relatively easy, learning to read the wind is a journey.

Q: What’s in your range bag for match days?
Rear bag, towel, shooting glasses, canned air, ear protection, data book, pen, rifle rain cover, hat, rifle tools, timer, ammo, and bug spray.

Q: What specialized gear can you not live without?

1. A good set of elbow pads. It’s hard to keep concentrating on shooting when your elbows are rubbed raw from days of competing on them.

2. Good bug spray. We shoot from the ground but our shooting mats aren’t that big. It’s hard to concentrate with bugs crawling or chewing on you.

Q: Load Development — How do you work up a load?
First, I call Derek Rodgers and get his load data, he is the best load development shooter I know! Otherwise, here is the procedure I recommend. Measure throat length with bullet of your choice, to determine how much room is left in the case. The above measurement determines what powders you can use. We use only Hodgdon Extreme powders. Shoot a ladder test, five rounds each in 0.2 grain increments, to find the accuracy node for that bullet/powder combination. Take the best two loads and do a jump test with five rounds each, test at .005″, .025″, .060″ jump. One of these groups will be significantly better than the rest, now you can tweak that measurement +/- .002” or .005” to get the best accuracy.

Test at least three different primers to determine which offers a little better ignition for your load, a 5-shot test will usually tell you which is the best. Go back and test the two best combinations in a 10-shot test at least twice, pick a cool overcast day and also a hot sunny day and compare results. Take your final “best load” back and do a “simulated match”, 20 shots, waiting at least 20 seconds between shots. If you like those results it’s probably a reliable and accurate load.

Q: What rear bag do you use?
I use a two-bag system, large bag on bottom with a smaller bag on top. I had the bags made of marine canvas, zippered and filled with plastic beads. I can adjust the amount of fill to make them a perfect height for my shooting position. Teammate Jeff Rorer uses a similar system and mine is nearly a copy of his rear bags.

Q: How often do you practice and how many rounds do you shoot per year?
In good weather I practice a couple times a week at the local range, a couple more dry-firing practices/week at home. I typically shoot between 2,000-2,500 rounds per year.

Q: How do you prepare mentally before a match?
[I do] lots of visualization — run the video in my head of what I expect to see and of my performance. I think about the correct strategy for the conditions, staying disciplined to the strategy.

Q: What do you avoid before a shoot?
No late nights or excessive alcohol. Very little caffeine in the morning. Leave your cell turned off. Avoid emotional people.

Q: What’s your procedure on a Match day?
I arrive early, get squadding card, move gear, watch wind speed/direction, check over rifle and gear, sit and relax, visualize and focus on the most important goal of the day. Most days we shoot three relays of 20 shots. It’s important to eat and hydrate continually all day. My focus and concentration are better when I snack all day with fruit and energy bars, and lots of water. While taking my turn in the pits, I try to relax and only focus on what is ahead of me and [not] what’s already happened.

Q: What is your favorite reloading product?
My favorite reloading product is the Sinclair Premium Neck Turning Tool with Handle, I also use the expander mandrels provided by Sinclair for sizing the brass in preparation for the turning process. Correct and repeatable neck tension begins with turning necks to a uniform thickness. Sinclair also has mandrels to size the necks after neck turning that accurately size the necks for a specific neck tension.

Q: What is your preferred scope?
The scope I find the most useful is the Nightforce Competition Scope. This scope is very light-weight, has 15-55X magnification, world-class quality glass, 10 MOA per revolution on the turrets, 1/8 moa adjustments. It’s perfect for F-Class competition.

Q: What advice do you have for someone wanting to get into the sport?
Find a local club with some F-TR shooters and ask for their help. Most shooters will be happy to take you with them to a match, listen and learn while you’re there. You may find out it’s not what you thought, or you may be hooked. If you decide to jump in, start with an inexpensive rifle. This sport is expensive and you don’t need a $5000 rifle to learn good wind-reading skills. Start with a used Savage F-TR rifle and learn the basics, shoot for a year at least before making a larger investment. The money you saved buying a used Savage rifle will help pay for your divorce lawyer, LOL.

Q: What training drills do you use?
Dry-firing the rifle at home is a good way to practice when you can’t get to the range and shoot. It allows me to practice set-up, rifle handling, and position. When I can practice at a local range, I also dry-fire between shots to increase the amount of repetitions and increase the time spent in position.

Q: Who has been your biggest influence in shooting?
Eric Bair, 2006 F-Open National Champion helped me get started and gave me great advice. Most of the shooters on Team USA and Team Sinclair help each other, nobody knows all the answers but we share what we have learned. Danny Biggs, 2008 and 2009 F-TR National Champion also helped me when I was struggling to learn some of the ranges. I learned a lot from Danny.

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April 26th, 2013

Top F-TR Shooters Using 17-Ounce Duplin ‘Rorer Spec’ Bipod

Following our story on the Sinclair Int’l East Coast Fullbore Nationals, folks wanted to know about the bipods used by the winning F-TR squad, Team Sinclair. Some sharp-eyed readers noticed that three out of four Team Sinclair shooters were sporting a compact, parallel-arm bipod. This nice piece of kit is the ultra-light-weight (17 oz.) Rorer Spec Bipod produced by Duplin Rifles in North Carolina. The Rorer Spec Bipod is sturdy and easily-adjusted, yet it is one of the lightest wide-track bipods on the market.

Duplin Rifles Bipod F-TR, F/TR

Duplin Rifles — Rorer Spec Bipod
Weight: 1 pound, 1 oz. (17 oz.) | Finish: Clear- or black-Anodized Aluminum
Price: $350.00 delivered in USA | Options: Custom faceplates; Custom mount engraving ($35)

Duplin Rifles Bipod F-TR, F/TR

For more information, or to place an order, contact Duplin’s main man, Clint Cooper. You can send email to clint [at] duplinrifles.com or call 910-289-8217.

Duplin Rifles
4527 Hwy 117 South
Rose Hill, NC 28458

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April 24th, 2013

Sinclair International 2013 East Coast Nationals

Sinclair Derek RogersThe first-ever Sinclair International East Coast Fullbore Nationals (ECN) was held at Camp Butner (NC) on April 18-21, 2013. Hosted by the North State Shooting Club, this first-time Sinclair ECN attracted many of the nation’s top shooters, and we know the event will grow in popularity in the years to come. The Camp Butner range served up very challenging conditions for the four-day competition. This match definitely offered shooters a chance to test their wind-reading skills.

There was a strong turn-out with 27 F-TR shooters, 21 sling shooters, and 9 F-Open competitors. A Team Match event followed the regular match relays each day. The firing points consisted of 300, 500, and 600 yards each day plus a long range portion. This included 900- and 1000-yard segments shot on alternating days. This enabled shooters to test their skills twice at each long distance firing point.

Blustery, Switchy Winds — and Nearby Tornado Warnings
For the first two days of the match, temps were in mid 80s and there were blustery tail-winds that switched in erratic fashion. The final two days of the 4-day match gave shooters the opposite conditions with opposing headwinds and highs in the 60s. This kept shooters on their toes as wind values and directions constantly shifted from left to right and back again. In the afternoon, winds increased with pick-ups that pushed 25+ mph. To top that, as the shooters pressed on to complete their relays, local radio stations were broadcasting tornado warnings for three counties to the west.

Sinclair Int’l East Coast Nationals Individual Match Winners:

1st F-TR: Derek Rodgers, 1741-62X
2nd F-TR: Tracy Hogg, 1737-59X
3rd F-TR: Philip Kelley, Jr., 1734-67X
1st F-Open: Kenny Adams, 1767-71X
2nd F-Open: Bret Solomon, 1752-74X
3rd F-Open: Danny Biggs, 1750-72X
1st Fullbore: Kent Reeve, 1770-94X
2nd Fullbore: John Friguglietti, 1764-79X
3rd Fullbore: Norman Crawford, 1754-78X

Pete LaBerge and F-TR Winner Derek Rodgers
Sinclair Derek Rogers

AUDIO CLIP: Derek Rodgers talks about the F-TR equipment race — how advancements in bullets, bipods, and gear have “raised the bar” in F-TR competition. Click “Play” to hear Audio. [haiku url=”http://accurateshooter.net/Video/derekrodgerstalks.mp3″ Title=”Derek RodgersTalks”]

Sinclair Derek Rogers

Team Sinclair Wins and Sets Pending National Record
Team Sinclair scored an impressive win over some very tough F-TR competitors. The Team amassed a 1538-40X collective score, which appears to break the existing NRA National Record (pending NRA verification). Remarkably, with this record-breaking ECN victory, Team Sinclair now remains undefeated in match competition. Team Sinclair consists of wind coach Ray Gross and shooters Paul Phillips, Brad Sauve, Jeff Rorer and Derek Rodgers. The team was shooting Berger bullets, but of varying weights. Derek Rodgers tells us: “I was shooting 200gr Berger Hybrids, with CCI primers and Lapua brass. Other team members were using 185gr Berger BT bullets, with either Federal and CCI primers in Lapua brass. We have predominantly been using Hodgden Varget powder for most of our .308 Win loads. In selecting bullets, accuracy is key, as is a high BC to stay competitive at long distances. Berger produces high-BC bullet designs that are also super-consistent dimensionally, thus leading to more accuracy. Berger offers many .30-Cal bullet options, designs, and weights. That’s important in F-TR because we have to pick a bullet that works with the .308 Win’s case capacity. Choosing a bullet from Berger’s vast line-up is a matter of fine-tuning what works best for each rifle.”

Team Sinclair (L to R): Wind Coach Ray Gross, Derek Rodgers, Paul Phillips, Jeff Rorer, Brad Sauve
Sinclair Derek Rogers

The BNX/21st CenturyShooting Rifle Team won the F-Open Team match with a score of 1516-43X. Members of this team are: Robert Burton, Luis Eljaiek, Tom Goodman, and Nikolas Taylor. Among the sling shooters, the local North State Shooting Club Team won the NRA Fullbore Prone team match with an aggregate score of 1552-61X. The team consisted of John Friguglietti, David Huskins, Norm Crawford, Russ Jones, and JP Young.

Participants agreed that Sinclair Int’l organized an excellent, well-run match. Shooters are looking forward to another great match next year and expressed their gratitude to Sinclair for sponsoring the program. CLICK HERE for complete Sinclair East Coast Nationals Match Results

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September 28th, 2012

Team Sinclair International Wins F-TR National Team Title

Adding to its undefeated resume, Team Sinclair Int’l racked up an unprecedented fifth Team F-TR National Championship at Raton, New Mexico, last week. The team, consisting of firing members, Paul Phillips, Brad Sauve, Jeff Rorer, Derek Rodgers (Captain) and wind coach, Ray Gross, prevailed over 12 other teams representing the best F-TR shooters from the USA, South Africa, Australia, and Canada.

F-TR Team Sinclair International

Boasting the highest attendance of any F-Class Nationals, the 2012 competition was made up of dual 1,000-yard matches, with 800 possible points per match. Team Sinclair scored 1561-48X to win the F-TR championship, finishing ahead of second-place North State X-Men (1542-39X) and third-place Team Savage (1541-47X). Team Sinclair’s Day 1 score of 790-31X topped all other F-TR teams and set a new (pending) U.S. F-TR National record for 1,000-yard F-Class competition.

“We’re grateful for Sinclair International’s support,” said the team in a joint statement. “All of us use Sinclair’s precision shooting components and reloading supplies when preparing for these events. We need products of the highest quality and consistency for us to succeed. We’ve never been defeated, and that’s a testament to Sinclair International.”

CLICK HERE for Complete 2012 F-Class Nationals TEAM RESULTS.

Sinclair’s F-TR Team has been competing since 2007. The newest member, Jeff Rorer, joined the team in 2009. Team Sinclair Int’l remains undefeated in F-TR National Championships. Here’s an interesting factoid about the Team Sinclair shooters. One or more members of the current Sinclair squad have been on the winning F-TR team at every U.S. F-Class National Championships since they were first held in 2004, except for 2010 when Sinclair did not field a team. Brad Sauve has been on the winning F-TR team every year except 2010: Great Lakes Express (2004, 2005 winning team); Team Green (2006 winner); Team Sinclair (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011 winner). Ray Gross and Paul Phillips were also on most of those winning squads.

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November 4th, 2011

Video Interview with National F-TR Champion Jeff Rorer

Highly Recommended. Here’s a great video interview with current F-TR National Champion Jeff Rohrer. At the recent F-Class Nationals, Jeff won the F-TR division (individually), and Jeff also was a member of the winning F-TR squad, Team Sinclair (photo below). In this video interview, Jeff talks about his background in shooting, and explains some of the strategies and techniques that have made him a Champion. Jeff then discusses precision reloading and the equipment used in F-Class competition. Jeff also explores the differences between shooting as an individual and shooting in a team event. There’s a lot to be learned from Jeff’s interview — long-range competitors should take the time to watch it.

Jeff is a modest guy, but very, very talented. Forum member Mark H (aka “Deadlyswift”) tells us: “I have had the pleasure of shooting with Jeff, and against him at Camp Butner. Jeff is not just a great shooter, he’s a great guy! He sets a fine example for fellow shooters to follow. He is always helping out new shooters that come out to shoot with us at Camp Butner. He even lent his own rifle to a newcomer to shoot a relay, because the newcomer’s rifle and load just couldn’t make it to the target at 1000 yards. I have learned a great deal from Jeff. The way he handles himself, and treats people on and off the range, is great for our sport!”

Team Sinclair F-class Nationals

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October 7th, 2011

F-Class Nationals — Team Sinclair and Team Long Shots Win

In addition to the individual matches at the 2011 F-Class Nationals in Lodi, Wisconsin, there was a fiercely-fought team competition. Normally the team with the best combined (Aggregate) results of 600-yard and 1000-yard stages wins the Team Championship. However, this year, the 1000-yard team segment got called off due to a bad rain-storm that blew in about half way through the stage. So, as a result, the teams that won the 600-yard trophy also won the Aggregate trophy. Team Sinclair won F-TR class, while Team Long Shots won F-Open. CLICK HERE for all Team Results.

In F-TR Class, there were ten (10) teams competing. Team Sinclair finished first, scoring 771-22X. The USA Development Team (766-18X) finished second, edging third place BNX Team (766-16X) on X-count. Here’s a glamour shot of the Sinclair Team, complete with their trick Sinclair wide-base bipods.

Team Sinclair 2011 F-Class Nationals F-TR

This marks an impressive string of victories for Team Sinclair. Here’s an interesting factoid about the Team Sinclair shooters. One or more members of the current Sinclair squad have been on the winning F-TR team at every U.S. F-Class National Championships since they were first held in 2004, except for 2010 when Sinclair did not field a team. Brad Sauve has been on the winning F-TR team every year except 2010: Great Lakes Express (2004, 2005 winning team); Team Green (2006 winner); Team Sinclair (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011 winner). Ray Gross and Paul Phillips were also on most of those winning squads. Team Sinclair set the F-Class Team National Records at both 600 and 1000 yards.

Team Sinclair 2011 F-Class Nationals F-TR

In F-Open Class, the winning team was a new group appropriately called the ”Long Shots”, scoring 790-36X. Jeff Cochran of Team Sierra Spindle Shooters tells us: “The Long Shots did a great job under adverse conditions and pressure from all the major, more experienced teams.” Michelle Gallagher coached the Long Shots squad to victory. Finishing second in F-Open, with a 788-32X score, was Team Grizzly, coached by Emil Praslick. In third, tallying 786-41X, was the NAS Team (Bob Mead, coach). Thirteen (13) F-Open Teams competed this year at the Nationals in Lodi.

Team Longshots 2011 F-Class Nationals F-TR

Team Longshots 2011 F-Class Nationals F-TR

More 2011 F-Class Championships Photos in Forum
Forum member Denys Beauchemin (aka “Bayou Shooter”) has posted more than a dozen photos from the recent Championships in our AccurateShooter Forum. To view the pictures, go to This Forum Thread, starting with the third page of the thread. CLICK HERE for PHOTOS.

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